Links 8/21/12

The Laughs Were on Her, by Design New York Times

Robots to Rule the World? Taking All Jobs? Replace Women? Michael Shedlock

How Google autocompletes ‘why is?’ question about news outlets and media people Jim Romenesko (Lambert)

WikiLeaks and Free Speech Michael Moore and Oliver Stone, New York Times

The War in the Shadows Chris Hedges

China’s July electricity usage rises MacroBusiness

Grexit looms again MacroBusiness

E.C.B. Rejects Speculation About Its Bond-Buying Intentions New York Times. So much for believing rumors from Der Spiegel. But we do have this: Germany backs Draghi bond plan against Bundesbank Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

EU Probes Cigarette Deal That May Have Aided Syria Wall Street Journal

UN Investigator to US: End ‘Conspiracy of Silence’ on Drone Strikes Common Dreams (furzy mouse)

Judge questions new curb on detainees’ lawyers SCOTUSblog (Lambert)

Investors in Health Care Seem to Bet on Incumbent New York Times. Further proof of ObamaCare as pork to Big Pharma and insurers.

‘Americans For Inequality’ Facebook Group Endorses Romney-Ryan Ticket Huffington Post (Warren B)

Krugman Slams Newsweek’s “Unethical” Obama-Bashing Cover Alternet (furzy mouse)

Buffett’s Move Raises Red Flag Wall Street Journal (Joe Costello)

Uncle Sam Needs YOU for a Bailout: 6 Reasons Another Big Banking Crisis Is Coming Our Way Alternet

Citi chief rejects calls for bank splits Financial Times. Duh!

Good due diligence is defined by the deals you walk away from John Hempton (Richard Smith)

Warren Pollock and Ann Barnhardt On the Increased Risk to Customers In the US Financial System Jesse (Francois T)

Why So Few Mega-Credit Card Class Action Settlements? Adam Levitin

ART CASHIN: A Gigantic Cauldron Of Geo-Political Risk Is Bubbling Clusterstock

Top Marginal tax rates: 1916-2011 Barry Ritholtz (furzy mouse)

* * *

lambert here:

D – 20 and counting*

“… and laugh At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues Talk of court news …” –William Shakespeare, King Lear

Occupy. Coalition to March on Wall Street South: “For the next two weeks leading up to the March on Wall Street South on Sunday, September 2, we will release at least one video each day featuring an organizer from our Coalition who lives, works, and calls Charlotte, NC or a nearby city home.” … CMWSS: “‘This is a safe, permitted, family-friendly demonstration that we’re building,’ said organizer Ben Carroll.” … CMWSS Solidarity Center: “Solidarity Center will serve as a place for several local organizers to meet and network with other activists and hold workshops before and during the Democratic National Convention.” …. Occupy Tampa: Ariel Fernandez helped organize Occupy Tampa and did the same with Occupy St. Petersburg. “I’m 33, and everywhere I go, everything I do, I know there could be a camera on me. People who go to these events, they can’t act out because the whole world is watching. There are eyes on you.”

IA. Polls: “The final count of corn kernels cast by 2012 Iowa State Fair visitors: 39,714 for Romney, 32,502 for Obama. I’m surprised it was that close. ”

LA. Corruption: “[F]ormer Mayor Ray Nagin has been subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury later this week. In June, a former city contractor said the former mayor took a $50,000 payoff and free granite for his family’s business.” … Media critique: “[S]ome of the seven people arrested in a fatal shootout with LA deputies have been linked to violent anarchists on the FBI’s domestic terrorism watch lists, a sheriff said. [T]he suspects were heavily armed adherents to an ideology known as the ‘sovereign citizens’ movement.” AP, FBI: Clever up. Anarchists and “sovereign citizens” are like chalk and cheese.

MA. Voting: “[MA AG] Galvin explained that he felt an investigation by the DA’s office was necessary because in the course of his office’s investigation into reports of hundreds of absentee ballots requested on the behalf of unsuspecting residents, many of whom were registered Ds.” … Money: “In January, Warren and Brown agreed to a voluntary enforcement system to keep interest groups from running ads aimed at influencing the election. If an outside group runs a [non-print] advertisement, the campaign that benefits must pay a penalty to charity. [W]hen two groups spent small sums on Brown’s behalf, [Brown quickly donated] $1,000 and $34,545 checks [and] helped erase doubts that the candidates would comply.”

MI. Corruption: “A MI State Police detective said he believed House Speaker Jase Bolger and state Rep. Roy Schmidt may have conspired to commit perjury when they recruited a fake D candidate to run for a Grand Rapids House seat, records obtained by the Free Press show.”

NV. Voting: “U.S. District Court Judge Robert C. Jones will hear Townley v State of Nevada. This is the lawsuit over “None of the above” (actually, in Nevada, it is “None of These Candidates”). Plaintiffs argue that if that [if] NV is going to have a ‘NOTA’ then if ‘NOTA’ gets the most votes, no one is elected.”

NY. Fracking: “Cuomo’s administration is pursuing a plan to limit the controversial drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing to portions of several struggling New York counties along the border with PA [Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Steuben and Tioga], and to permit it only in communities that express support for the technology.” Sacrifice zones. … Fracking: “A group of 76 lawmakers sent a letter to Cuomo today asking him to ban the recycling of wastewater before allowing any drilling in the state, among other concerns.” … Protest: “Over 100 people, organized by the left-leaning Community Voices Heard, marched on the suburban residences of Gov. Cuomo and Senate Majority Leader Skelos to protest the state’s inaction on proposals to raise the minimum wage and tighten the state’s campaign finance laws.”

OH. BoF: “Akin is currently in Ohio at the offices of Rex Elsass, Republican media consultant. Elsass is also John Kasich’s campaign media consultant and was paid nearly ten million dollars by Building a Better Ohio to help protect Senate Bill 5.”

TX. Horticulture: “The low watering requirements are just one reason why Hermann Park intends to install its third pocket prairie. Meanwhile, the second is being renovated to feature a walking path and signs with QR codes so visitors can find out information on the plants with their cellphones.”

VA. Land use: “‘We would like the officials of the Greater Richmond Chamber, Venture Richmond and the Richmond Flying Squirrels to understand that there will be no baseball stadium or any other sports venue constructed on the land where hundreds of thousands of African women men, children and even babies were sold like chattel animals in order that the wealthy white businessmen of that era could profit from their unpaid labor and suffering.”

WI. Ryan: “[Rob] Zerban thinks he has what it takes to supplant Ryan [who’s running for VP and for re-election in the district]. He cites his impoverished childhood, in which he ate “government cheese” and relied on federal loans to fund his higher education. Zerban ran two food service businesses, retiring at age 40 for a career in public service. … Public goods: “A Burlington Area School District Board member has been censured for commenting that ‘school personnel were like cattle and should be struck with a 2-by-4 so as to get their attention,’ according to board meeting minutes.”

WY. Fracking: “A former researcher who says he left the Colorado School of Mines due to pressure from the oil and gas industry has now lost his university job in Wyoming after an industry association complained to his superiors about comments he made about fracking.”

Outside baseball. Drones: “It’s a national census for government drone usage, and we need your help.” … Market state: “[Teach for America] was launched to serve public schools so poor or dysfunctional they couldn’t attract qualified teachers [and] now sends fully a third of its recruits to privately run charter schools, many with stellar academic reputations, flush budgets and wealthy donors.” … Fracking: “[C]ompanies with cash needs — such as Chesapeake Energy Corp. and Encana Corp., and others including Cecil-based Consol Energy Inc. and Downtown-based EQT Corp. — [have shifted] more focus to liquid-rich [ethane, propane and butane] areas.” … Ethanol: “The governors of NC and AR asked the [EPA] last week to temporarily waive the U.S. quota on ethanol made from corn, because the worst drought in 50 years has driven corn prices higher and hurt livestock producers who depend on the grain for feed.” …. Go die: “While the unemployed population has fallen by less than 10 percent in the past year, the [unemployment] insurance rolls are down by nearly 25 percent.”

Grand Bargain™-brand Cat Food watch. VA interview: “[OBAMA: ] ‘Ds have to understand we’re going to need some additional spending cuts, and Rs have to understand we’re going to need some additional revenues.’ By Sept. 6, the Obama administration will issue a report to Congress about how the cuts would be implemented.” Off the table: Aircraft carriers “that do the job,” SEALS. Not mentioned: Medicare, Social Security.

The trail. What It Takes: “Mix chicken broth mixture and turkey with spaghetti. Top with remaining cheese. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until surface is lightly browned.” The final step in “Mike” Dukakis’s recipe for turkey tetrazzini. Go read. … Polls: “Obama, who in 2008 became the first African American elected president, maintains a slight lead over challenger Romney in the battleground states likely to decide the election, 47%-44%. That’s better than his standing in the non-battleground states, where Romney leads 47%-45%.” … Money: “Obama’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee ended July with $126.9 million left in the bank, a notable disadvantage for an incumbent president compared to Romney’s $185.9 million, including money stocked away by the national GOP.”

Conventions. Deciding: “18.1 million voters decided their votes at the time of the 2004 conventions and 26.3 million decided then in 1988.”

RNCcon. Pre-positioning: “Yet [Mayor Bob Buckhorn] also rarely speaks of the convention without mentioning security and his concerns about ‘anarchists’ provoking violence. He and other officials have scrutinized reports from past conventions, a recent NATO conference in Chicago and other high-profile events.” Another D mayor…. Protester housing: “Closest to the action is Romneyville, a hive of mostly pink tents set up on N Tampa Street. Bruce Wright, who runs the site under the flag of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, said he expects the 30-person camp to grow to up to 300 people when the convention arrives. A few miles away is the Occupy Tampa site, at the Voice of Freedom Park in West Tampa, owned by strip club proprietor Joe Redner.”

DNCon. Streaming: “Protesters during the Democratic National Convention are by law allowed to photograph, videotape and audio-record anything in plain site, without restriction, said city attorneys during an online forum Monday night. The only instance where it could become a problem would be if someone’s photography or videography were impairing police from making an arrest on a third party, [City attorney] Newbold said.” Interesting detail. … The terrain: “Police are confident the layout of the city will be their biggest asset (convention-related activities will take place in the heart of the [Charlotte] business district, which is flat and ringed by expressways).” … Unions: “Sanitation workers picketed outside the Government Center. Some workers said they hope national activists would pressure the state to repeal its ban on collective bargaining by public employees.

Romney. Squee: “After the closing prayer, which asked for God’s guidance through the rest of the day, Mr. Romney wiped his eyes.” John 11:35. … Mr. Warmth: “The campaign aides are determined to overcome perceptions that Mr. Romney is stiff, aloof and distant. So they have built one of the most intricate set pieces ever designed for a convention .” Alrighty then. … Voting: “Like the purloined letter pinned prominently in plain sight, what Romney’s really hiding might be something more mundane: the home address written on the top of the tax form. Tax returns require taxpayers to state their residence address. So here’s the question: did Romney put his son’s basement’s address on the returns he filed in 2009 and 2010? Or did he truthfully use his real (non-Massachusetts) address, thus implicating himself in voter fraud?”

Obama. Squee: “The newest photo of the Obama family was released on Monday, of the Obama family going to church on Sunday here. Malia and Sasha are growing up; the girls are back from a month at a New Hampshire summer camp.”

Akins flap. So dire Obama holds a presser: “[OBAMA: ‘Male politicians] shouldn’t be making decisions on behalf of women for their health care decisions or qualifying forcible rape versus non-forcible rape. Those are broader issues and that is a significant difference in approach between me and the other party.'” … The timing, Lynn Sweet: “The remark puts Rs up and down the ticket on the defensive to start the week as the Ds are pushing out the science-defying comment of the MO lawmaker.” … The timing: “We’ll see if this is a one-day story or the beginning of a pre-convention political firestorm.” … Firestorm: “Kansas City’s KCTV5 replayed Akin’s comment twice and interviewed a rape victim at the top of the 10 p.m. news: “I heard that comment, and I just began to shake,” the rape victim says, her face off-camera.” … Best headline EVAH: “Akin rape comment doesn’t help GOP with women, experts say” … A gold star for trying: “[CONNIE MACK: ] “Like Joe Biden’s comments last week, I find Todd Akin’s comments made Sunday to be just as outrageous and offensive.” … Withdrawal: “The MO deadline to withdraw from a ballot is 5 p.m. Tuesday.” … Defenestration: “[JOHN CORNYN (NRSC chair): “Over the next 24 hours, Congressman Akin should carefully consider what is best for him, his family, the R Party, and the values that he cares about and has fought for throughout his career in public service.” … Even Karl Rove: “Crossroads GPS said on Monday that it would withdraw a new slew of ads on the MO Senate race.” … Even the Tea Party Express: “He should step down and give conservatives a chance at taking back the Senate in November.” … Refenestration: “Just before 8 p.m. Eastern time[, Akins tweeted:] ‘I have just begun to fight and I’m in this race to the end!’” … Polls, PPP (D): “[O]nly 6 percent of R women polled intend to vote for McCaskill and that although 75 percent of voters say Akin’s comments were ‘innappropriate,’ most still will vote along party lines.” … Best laid plans: “The R party needs to win a net four seats to gain control of the Senate. It had identified Missouri as an easy target.”

* 20 days until the Democratic National Convention ends with haggis for everyone on the floor of the Bank of America Panther Stadium, Charlotte, NC. PA has 20 electoral votes.

* * *

Antidote du jour:

And a bonus. Some people in OWS are looking for simple, effective ways to counter anti bank reform messaging. Do you like this sort of thing? Do you think it’s effective?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Chris Rogers


    A good mix of links today, however, could we have a little more from ‘CounterPunch’ and a few other alternative news sites and a little less from the UK’s Guardian Newspaper – US obsessed website.

    Further, perhaps Thompson’s tenure at the NYT has got off to a good start, I am of course referring to the Moore/Stone article in support of the Wikileaks founder and combined US/UK/Swedish efforts to have him rendered to the US to face god knows what trumped up charges.

    I’d not mind, but the Guardian – a newspaper I read loyally for 25 years – seems to think it a good idea that Mr. Assange be deported to Sweden to face allegations of sexual assault, an assault allegedly perpetrated against a woman whom somehow forgot he had ‘raped her’ by dint on organising a leaving party for him after the alleged offence – this sounds all too familiar to those of us who followed the travails of DKS at the IMF and his own rape allegations.

    Hence I’m pleased that the NYT has deemed it reasonable to give Moore and Stone a forum and only wish the Guardian would return to its liberal past and honour the words of CP Scott – obviously Mr. Rushbriger, an odious fellow who has turned the Guardian into a NEOCON mouthpiece – would rather take American coin in the form of advertising revenue than tell the truth or make a principled stand – Murdoch’s phone tapping was not a principled stand, rather it was all about taking out the opposition, this being The Sun, News of the World and Sunday Times.

    I also enjoyed the Alternet piece on banking and GFC Two.

    Again, I’ve no objections to articles being linked from traditionally Conservative news organisations, I do object to links being posted from once proud liberal newspapers corrupted by greedy buggers more interested in the 1%, rather than its own readership which is composed entirely from the ranks of the 99%.

    1. Chris Rogers

      May I apologise for a few typos in ones post, I’ve still yet to get my urgently required bifocals which will have to wait until I get back home to Blighty in a few months time.

    2. Bev

      A very truthful media/news source for all would be Mark Crispin Miller at
      who is being honored for decades of good work:


      An important story Mark Crispin Miller covers is about Don Siegelman who is being interviewed today at 6pm CST.

      Don Siegelman to be a guest on INN World Radio tomorrow (Tuesday)

      From Tom Kiely:

      Dear friends,

      We will be having a very important show tomorrow night (Tuesday Aug. 21st 6pm CST) that I would like to let you know about.

      For several years now INN, along with many others, has championed the cause of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman. Governor Siegelman and an associate are the victims of a foul political prosecution by the federal government under the George W. Bush justice department with continued hostility from the Obama justice department.

      The case of Governor Siegelman is an unbelievable thicket of corruption and conflict of interest by our federal officials which we have gone into many times. So vile is his case that over 50 former states attorneys general, from both political parties, have been moved to petition the government to review it.

      Due to this intervention the Governor was released from prison where he had already spent 9 months, much of it in solitary confinement, pending review. Well, his case has been reviewed—and his appeal rejected.

      For this reason, unless there is intervention from the Obama justice department, the 66-year-old Governor must report to federal authorities on September 11th to return to prison for six and one half more years.

      On tomorrow’s show Don will be our guest. I ask you to please tune in and after having heard what Don has to say I urge you to consider supporting his cause The website that has been setup on Don’s behalf, including a petition to President Obama, is:


  2. skippy

    The end is nigh!

    WASHINGTON — Condoleezza Rice has lived a life of firsts: first black woman to be Secretary of State, first black woman to be national security adviser and the first African-American, first woman and youngest person to be provost of Stanford University.

    On Monday, she added another first when she became one of the first two female members admitted to Augusta National Golf Club, the home of the Masters tournament, which has excluded women as members throughout its 80-year history. The other new member is Darla Moore, a South Carolina financier and philanthropist who was on the cover of Fortune in 1997 as “The Toughest Babe in Business.”

    Skippy… I weep… Hay Jake slice one for the team… eh. Wink.

  3. Goin' South

    Re: the LA story–

    “AP, FBI: Clever up. Anarchists and “sovereign citizens” are like chalk and cheese.”

    Feature, not a bug.

    Anarchists are the new “Muslim.”

  4. fresno dan

    The War in the Shadows Chris Hedges

    “Twenty-four [new intelligence] organizations were created by the end of 2001, including the Office of Homeland Security and the Foreign Terrorist Asset Tracking Task Force. In 2002, 37 more were created to track weapons of mass destruction, collect threat tips, and coordinate the new focus on counterterrorism.

    As someone who was a military linguist, there is no better definition of oxymoron than “military intelligence.” A cynic might say that manage the world as successfully as they manage the economy…

  5. fresno dan

    “UN Investigator to US: End ‘Conspiracy of Silence’ on Drone Strikes Common Dreams”
    They’re drone strikes for peace…because its illogical that a Nobel Peace prize winner would order drone strikes for war.

    1. Chris Rogers

      I laughed out loud when I first read your comment yesterday evening but neglected to post how much I enjoyed your wit.

      Regrettably, this really is how the ‘masters of spin’ are actually spinning this nonsense.

      As for the Nobel Peace Prize, its been devalued greatly since Obama was awarded his – next they will be honouring George W and Tony Blair!!!!!!

  6. Jim Haygood

    From the Chris Hedges article:

    A staggering 40 percent of the defense budget is secret, as is the budget of every intelligence agency. I tasted enough of this subterranean world to fear it. When you empower these kinds of people you snuff out the rule of law. You empower criminals and assassins.

    What little Members of Congress know about secret defense spending, they find out the same way you and I do — through rumors, leaks, blogs, reports of atrocities, etc. They are low-level munchkins who are told nothing.

    Only a handful of top Congressional leaders are briefed on the larger outlines of what’s going on, and even then much detail is withheld from them.

    There is no such thing as democracy when a secret branch of government is immune from parliamentary review. Such a corrupted, hijacked system will not be reformed by voting, and indeed should not be dignified by any form of voluntary participation.


    Re: Uncle Sam Needs YOU for a Bailout: 6 Reasons Another Big Banking Crisis Is Coming Our Way

    The appropriate question to ask is: Why has the US Government been aiding and abetting the financial system in this fraud.
    Then ask the same question of each Government player in each financial fraud.

    You’ll write a different article with this as your starting point.

    Hope this helps.

    1. Thế Thôi

      I was suggested this website by means of my cousin. I am now not sure whether this post is written by means of him as nobody else recognise such unique about my trouble. You’re amazing! Thanks!

      1. DANNYBOY

        Thế Thôi,

        I feel you. I too have had my Troubles, so I know what it’s like. Thank you for joining, as some here are yet to find out FIRSTHAND what these thugs are capable of. I fought back and it’s been bloody. But I will not lie down.

  8. Steve Roberts

    Why do people still read Krugman? He bashes others for a conflict of interest when his entire career these days is one big spin job to justify his conflict of interest.


    correction required to just this one sentence: “seems to provide the TBTF banks and their cronies a license to loot the financial system with impunity”

    please delete the word ‘seems’ for the sake of accuracy.

    Was once a quaint time, not so long ago (chronicled by Michael Thomas from Lehman) that the banks simply fed from the public troth. A little ‘taste with the snout’ as the Sicilian Mafia say. Now, the entire purpose of US Government is to put out the troth, fill it with public EARNINGS and, once filled, deliver it to the Banks. I have, until this very moment been thinking if the US Government as the ‘muscle’ for the banks, but now have a clear insight into their role as ‘bag man’ too. I guess the Government has extended it’s role in our society.

  10. Lambert Strether

    IMNSHO (based on Obama’s interview in VA), the election — the economy and unemployment having now been taken off the table — is shortly going to become about how soon to cut Social Security and Medicare, immediately after the conventions, which are a set-up for it. That will be the “mandate” of the election.

    That’s why both legacy parties passed, and Obama signed, the bill mandating that Obama report on his plans for cuts in case automatic “sequestration” kicks in. Obama, campaigning in swing state VA, big on defense, takes big ticket defense items off the table. Medicare and Social Security are, however, very conspicuosly on the table.

    So, look out. The report is due September 6. Not that I’m foily.

    1. LucyLulu

      Both parties want the deficit trimmed. Only one party advocates any increases in revenues, and those are marginal at best. That leaves cuts to balance the budget, which has three big ticket items. Defense, social security, and medicare. Neither party wants to cut defense. Lots of military facilities in lawmaker’s districts.

      Meanwhile, some democrats have drank the kool-aid on SS and Medicare, as have many of the constituents. We must make cuts or lose them altogether. It worked for the bailout. Give money to the banks or there will be tanks on the street. They’re ready to start implementing the cuts side of Bowles-Simpson. They’ll say the economy is too ‘fragile’ to increase revenues. Besides, they’ve appeased the current beneficiaries who vote and lied that they will “get theirs” (the same babyboomers who are ‘bankrupting the system’) and the rest of us will never get old. It’s a done deal. Obama will be re-elected and there will be cuts to SS and Medicare. After the election and risk of political fallout to incumbents is over.

      1. Expat

        If either or both parties wanted to trim the deficit, they would get rid of the ENTIRELY discretionary “defense” budget. Until that task is accomplished, I would not believe one peep about deficit reduction. And they could stop paying interest on US bonds to foreigners and people with incomes over $200,000. No need to raise taxes for awhile.

        I’ll bet that were Greenspan to do it over, he would not have argued for and helped push through higher Social Security taxes. It would have saved the Republicans and the wicked Obamian Democrats a lot of bother if Social Security were not completely paid for; they could simply default.

        1. DANNYBOY


          Help me understand this point, because it is very important to me.

          Are you saying that the government hasn’t been completely honest with us?

          Those rascals!

        2. Don Levit

          If Greenspan had to do it over again, he would have sustained the tax increases, and left the trust fund intact.
          Instead, Congress found an innovative way of paying for expenses when the revenues were deficient: borrow from the SS trust fund.
          What do you mean that SS is fully paid for?
          Did you know it was running a cash deficit the last 2 years?
          Is that what you call fully paid for?
          Don Levit

  11. Bev

    Possible solutions to the everyone’s increased risk in the now no longer segregated accounts:

    Jim Sinclair from recommends Direct Registration of corporate stocks/certificates.

    Jim Sinclair says you can be out of the middle men market and so safer with a direct ownership of corporations that you think might do well after any slow or sudden “event.” He recommends Direct Registry of company shares in your name (not street name) or paper certificates.

    My Dear Extended Family,

    Here is the correct information directly from the transfer agent, Computershare. This is the transfer agent for most Canadian companies.

    What you tell them is how your securities are presently held. Then you say I want to enter them into the DRS system. They will instruct you from that point forward.

    Retirement accounts require the cooperation of the custodian. With the custodian’s help you certificate the shares in the name of the custodian and the name of the account holder. The custodian holds the share certificates.



    And, Jim Sinclair is working to help save the market by making it less manipulated:

    In The News Today

    Posted by Jim Sinclair on August 20, 2012 @ 5:21 pm in In The News

    My Dear Friends,

    I am in the process of putting together a legal team to specialize in redress concerning the strategy of “Short and Distort.” There will be both lead legal counsel and attorneys at counsel.

    If you know of any attorney licensed to practice in New York with a firm track record of success in fraud, common commercial practice and securities law, I would appreciate the recommendation.

    Thank you,


    Another solution to protect all people is Debt-Free and Interest-Free Public/Government currency….

    When Money is Debt, governments, businesses and people acquire money through Bank Loans which have to be paid back with interest. However, interest is never created in the system so what happens…the unpayable interest is paid with bankruptcies, fraud and money laundering.

    Bankruptcies – No End In Sight.

    Don’t you wonder what happens to the money that was borrowed and then spent into the economy, when a person goes bankrupt?

    The money is now “out” in the economy, right? It did not get paid back to the bank, right?

    That is the money, that the rest of the “customers” of this scam the banking system is running on the world, use to pay their interest. As you know, there is no mechanism in the system, to create money to pay interest, the way it is set up now.

    We should change that so that we have a system that works without requiring bankruptcies, fraud and money laundering – just to function.


  12. leftover

    Re: Honest Competition
    Reinforcing the idea “honest competition” is achievable plays into the hands of monopoly capitalists and beneficiaries of institutionalized corruption. They are, after all, the ones who currently define “honest competition.”

    OWS should take up the call to tax Wall Street. A financial transaction tax, Robin Hood Tax, whatever you want to call it, I think, is more compatible to the OWS movement. OWS has done a great deal to raise consciousness on other issues, this could be another. I think it’s a issue that fits nicely within the framework of the OWS movement. Everybody, or almost everybody, within the movement could easily agree on it.

  13. jsmith

    Regarding Mr. Hedges:

    Oh, he so serious…

    “Since the attacks of 9/11 the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM)…”

    Stopped reading there, Chris.

    Once again, Chris, – ad nauseum – if you’re not going to show yourself to be a serious critical thinker and a person to be trusted by your fellow citizens living under the current fascist regime, you’re gonna have to put on your “big-boy pants” to quote CIA-murderer Jose Rodriguez and maturely deal with the farcical events of 9/11.

    In addition, as has been pointed out here before you worked for the NYT from 1990-2005 so your jumping to the head of the protest parade is a bit suspect.

    I mean, how does one go from writing THIS column in November of 2001 which helps promulgate the defector-spread horsesh*t that Iraq was training terrorists and producing biological weapons to the lightning rod for “leftish” activism in the US.

    From the article:

    “The other side of the camp, separated by a small lake, trees and barbed wire, was where the Islamic militants were trained. The militants spent a great deal of time training, usually in groups of five or six, around the fuselage of the 707. There were rarely more than 40 or 50 Islamic radicals in the camp at one time.”

    “The report of Iraqi ties with Islamic radicals comes on the heels of an announcement by the Czech interior minister, Stanislav Gross, who said Mr. Atta had met with Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani, an Iraqi diplomat identified by the Czech authorities as an intelligence officer, in April.

    There are unexplained gaps and absences, some as long as 15 months, during Mr. Atta’s stay in Hamburg, Germany, suggesting that he may have been training abroad.”

    Or how about this one Chris from November 2011 – again, how timely – in which Iraqi defectors tell of the secret prisons in Iraq where evil, evil Saddam – who you know had no connection to 9/11, nudge, wink – was still keeping captured Kuwaitis from 1991.

    “Two Iraqi defectors, veterans of the country’s intelligence service, say they worked in a secret site outside of Baghdad where 80 Kuwaitis captured during the 1991 war were detained in an underground prison.”

    Or how about this one Chris from November 21, 2001 – gee, you sure were busy that month, eh, Chris – in which you breathlessly romanticize the newly minted WOT and how the “good guys” were taking down terra cells all over the world.

    “Eleven days after hijacked jets slammed into the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania, France’s chief antiterrorism judge, Jean-Louis Bruguière, was in Dubai negotiating the extradition of one of Osama bin Laden’s most important operatives in Europe.”

    “But the plotters, tipped off by a French press report about the arrest, frantically began shredding documents and erasing computer files. Mr. Bruguière, informed by phone of the destruction of evidence 30 minutes after it began, ordered the undercover agents to swoop down on the three apartments, arrest everyone inside, then seize the evidence. The raids took place 10 minutes later.

    There are few Western countries where such a swift response would be possible. But Mr. Bruguière, 58, who for a time carried a .357 Magnum and who travels in Paris in a bulletproof car with two bodyguards, not only is one of the most respected authorities on Islamic terrorists, but also one of their most powerful adversaries.”

    So, sorry, Chris you really may be trying to repent or something but until you come entirely clean, grow up and admit that you are still helping perpetrate a myth – 9/11 – that is to this day destroying America I say:


    1. jsmith


      There’s a typo that I wanted to clear up.

      Just so everyone clearly sees all three articles are from November 2001 – I had accidentally typed 2011 for the second one – when crack-reporter Chris Hedges was busy on the case spreading propagandist horsesh*t that helped lead to the murder of thousands and thousands of innocent people.

      Gee, it sure sucks living in the digital age, eh, Chris?

      Y’know, a time when it’s a bit more difficult to escape your past?

      Oh well.

    2. Lambert Strether

      That first link IS horse-sh*t. Well linked. Ick.

      And adding… Reading all the way to the end:

      The interviews for this article were obtained by The New York Times and the PBS series “Frontline.” Sections will be broadcast Thursday in a “Frontline” documentary about Iraq made in association with The Times.

      Oh well!

      1. jsmith

        So, having a “respected” writer attach their name to war propaganda is NOT what Mr. Hedges did in the first link?

        Please regale us with how that is not the case?

        You’re right, if I use my “pulpit” to promulgate lies that I’ve heard other people tell, I guess I’m just lazy.

        Whew, what a load off of Chris’ conscience, huh?

        Funny, how Mr. Hedges only really left the NYT AFTER the horse was already out of the barn, eh?

        Gee, shucks.

        So, care to comment on the other columns and how Mr. Hedges was seemingly a propagandistic tool?

    3. Eclair

      Nice job, jsmith!

      Translated: Hey, look over there! Bad Hedges! Bad, bad, bad! Don’t read his article on the rise of black-ops in governments all over the world but especially in the US, where it is antithetical to the functioning of a democratic republic.

      I am on the last chapter of Chalmers Johnson”s “Nemisis.” Read there how the CIA has gone from being an “intelligence-gathering” operation to a black-ops agency that operates globally and beyond the reaches of any system of justice.

      1. Walter Wit Man

        Hedges is saying these things to attract liberals so that he can control them. Look at what he did to Occupy. He was the pied piper calling people to protest saying now is the time to get arrested and throw sand in the gears of the machine.

        Then he turned on some of them, called them a cancer, demanded people turn in other people for petty misdemeanors, and generally divided people. This was planned. He’s a perp whose job is to divide.

        He says these things not to change people but as a way to get you to follow him. And he tells the truth but he does it in a way to scare you. It’s meant to intimidate.

        I hate the secret state more than Hedges does. I actually agree with his words but I can also see that Hedges is insincere and up to no good. People like this are far more dangerous than people that acknowledge they oppose you. Obama also pretends he’s liberal and this is really dangerous because people rely on these representations.

        He’s a dishonest prick. Just watch him talk. Does he seem sincere to you?

        1. Eclair

          “And he tells the truth but he does it in a way to scare you. It’s meant to intimidate.”

          Umm, mostly “the truth” (whatever that may be) – or, the data, or the facts (which may differ from the current “truth”) – is scary.

          Which is why so many humans spend their lives in denial.

        2. Goin' South

          Coming more and more to your point of view. jssmith’s link to that Judith Miller-worthy NYT article by Hedges moved me a bit further.

        3. emptyfull

          “Does he seem sincere to you?”

          Actually, yes. His conflicted religiosity strikes me as very genuine and his anti-black block rhetoric rings true to me. He may also be a jerk for all I know, but I don’t listen to his ideas because I think he’s immaculate.

          But then again, I’m a reformist liberal who wants the OWS movement to grow into a broad-based reform movement and thinks the best way to do that is win over the middle and working classes.

      2. jsmith

        I am quite familiar with the work of the Chalmers Johnson and I think most people – if they haven’t had their head up their wazoos for the last decade – know full well that the CIA and assorted black ops outfits have been out of control for decades before 9/11.

        Oh, I get it because Chris Hedges rehashes a topic that’s been common knowledge to informed people for decades why I guess I shouldn’t call him on his continued propagating of a myth – 9/11 – that strikes to the very heart of supposedly everything he stands for but about which he never ever speaks of.

        Gee, if Chris was so savvy and seasoned covering the black operations of the CIA during the 1980s, one would think that in the wake of the events of 9/11 some bulbs might go off in his mind as to what the real story was, huh?

        Nope, not Chris!

        He was ready for action and in November 2001 penned 3 columns that helped paint a picture of the glorious WOT and how Saddam Hussein was – according to the sources seasoned/savvy Chris talked to – helping sponsor said terrorism.

        Gee, don’t I remember some person…Ru..Rumm….Rumsfeld!.. that’s it! – also pushing for a war in Iraq at the exact same moment in time.

        Why, seasoned/savvy Chris Hedges wouldn’t have found himself being a sucker for war-mongering propaganda when he was amply familiar with the tactics of the government and intelligence community during the 80s and 90s, right?

        Witting or unwitting dupe, you be the judge.

        I would love to continue this discussion right now but won’t be able to post until later so if you rebut I’m not ignoring you just busy.

    4. Walter Wit Man

      Yeah. The fact all these progressives are pushing Chris Hedges is a sign he’s a perp. He’s the controlled opposition.

      Same with Michael Moore.

      Hedges is a pro war, pro Israel, stooge. Thanks for looking up some of his articles. I’m sure his articles on Serbia, etc. are just as bad as the current articles on Syria in the New York Times.

      Oh, and let’s not forget Hedges was the Middle East Bureau Chief for the New York Times. So he was way more responsible for its false reporting than the average reporter. Yet he defends the paper and plays this silly act of radical lecturer or something.

      The way he left the New York Times is ridiculous. He made some stupid graduation speech just to rile people up. He didn’t quit because of the New York Time’s false reporting on the Middle East and fomenting war. No. He supports that evidently. He quit because he wanted to give graduation speeches and write books and become a progressive pied piper.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Robots to rule the world?

    At the end of the second part, today, he talks about trade wars.

    I think there is a difference between trade defense and trade wars.

    You can still be for trade-peace with a strong trade defense, especially in a trade-dangerous world, armed to the teeth with Mass trade-Weapons of employment-Destruction (MtWeD’s).

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That didn’t look quite right.

      It should be trade-Weapons of Mass-employment Destruction (tWMeD’s).

  15. LucyLulu

    The Obama campaign and DNC will be tying Akin and ‘legitimate’ rape to the use of ‘forcible rape’ introduced in the GOP “No Federal Funding for Abortion” bill that was co-sponsored by Akin and Ryan. More fodder for the “war on women” meme that conservatives are fostering.

    The presidential race is reminiscent of the Reid vs. Engle race. Just when you thought that Reid couldn’t win……

  16. kevinearick

    american consumers have brought the world to the precipice again, replicating europe’s folly.

    what do you want to produce?

    add points of gravity to your number line. what happens?

  17. Garrett Pace

    Re: How Google autocompletes…

    If you want a tour of uncomfortable stereotypes, try googling “why are (religionists) so”

    Catholics and Jews really come in for it, as do Muslims and Protestants and Scientologists and even Jehovah’s Witnesses. Baptists and “Christians” as a group also. Buddhists and Hindus don’t have quite as bad a time however.

    Most amusing was on Yahoo, where “why are Protestants so ” returns “against Catholics” and nothing else.

    Also funny – “Why are scientologists” (without the “so”, actually) returns “gay” as one of the options. Reflect on the sorts of folks who think that’s an insult nowadays.

    The only ones who get off easy are, interestingly enough, the LDS. Autocomplete gives Mormons “so nice”, “so hot”, and “so happy”. The only pejorative that gets hung on the Saints is “so annoying”, and to that I can do nothing but plead guilty as charged.

    1. Garrett Pace

      Oh, and lest we think it’s one-sided, “why are atheists so” also gives discouraging results.

      This was a thought provoking exercise for me. When the tone of a discussion goes like this, nothing is ever learned and nothing is ever forgotten.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      GP, Middle school twerps: “That’s so gay!” (i.e. “That’s lame.”) Goes along with the common “Tom Cruise is gay” meme.

      1. DANNYBOY

        slight correction:

        “That’s so gay” = “that is a person with conviction, in this oppressive society”

    3. F. Beard

      Reflect on the sorts of folks who think that’s an insult nowadays. Garrett Pace

      So sodomy is now accepted by the Mormon Church?

      I suppose anything is possible when new “prophets” are allowed to contradict the older ones.

      1. Garrett Pace

        “So sodomy is now accepted by the Mormon Church?”

        Let’s see, “why are Mormons so gay” (in quotes) only gets eight hits on Google, so no. :)

        If the LDS church did condone homosexuality, it would probably not be the third least popular religion in the US.

        As for living prophets preaching today – if God has more He wants to tell us, I will not be the one to shush Him.

        One of the main roles of a prophet is expounding on existing scriptures. The Savior set the example for that:

        “Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,”
        Luke 24:45

        1. F. Beard

          if God has more He wants to tell us, I will not be the one to shush Him. Garrett Pace

          God does not contradict Himself. Yet Mormon theology contradicts the Bible.

          One of the main roles of a prophet is expounding on existing scriptures. Garrett Pace

          Yet Mormons claim the Bible is corrupted so they effectively deny existing Scripture.

          1. Garrett Pace

            “Yet Mormons claim the Bible is corrupted so they effectively deny existing Scripture.”

            The role of a prophet is to expound on scripture, including correcting later errors in translation or tradition. In such case I detect no “denial” of existing scripture, only a proper statement of the original teaching.

        1. F. Beard

          Don’t flatter yourselves.

          Except for Mittens being a Presidential contender, who would even care?

          And now Mormonism will be much more heavily scrutinized and laughed at.

          1. F. Beard

            Go ahead and laugh.

            There’s is a certain cynicism in Mormonism that recognizes that it is a made-up religion so that expediency, not truth, is the most important thing. So with expediency as the goal, and not truth, the Mormon Church will accept some things from the Bible and find others to be in error. How very convenient and that’s the point, isn’t it?

          2. Garrett Pace

            You’ll have to explain yourself more thoroughly – you think I’m okay with being laughed at because I know I deserve it?

            I’m sure I do deserve it, but not for conscious knowledge that I am perpetuating some sort of fraud.

            In my experience it’s the opposite – it’s humorless self-importance that is a strong indicator of either cognitive dissonance or a guilty conscience.

            Qua truth versus “expediency”, we’ve already talked in the past about how I go about finding the truth:



          3. F. Beard

            – you think I’m okay with being laughed at because I know I deserve it? Garrett Pace

            No, but because you think the so-called “Mormon Success Story” validates your beliefs. And conveniently, those beliefs can be modified as needed with new “revelation” – so long, I suppose, as it allows Mormons to be rich and successful. Thus, after the purchase of Pepsi, caffeine became OK for Mormons to consume.

            Seen this: All about Mormons ?

          4. Garrett Pace

            I’ve seen parts of it. I wouldn’t rely on it for information about the Church or its beliefs. But while I disagree with their conclusions, Parker & Stone’s fondness for the LDS is palpable. I think their mockery is pretty gentle.

            Seen this?


            It’s how “rich and successful” the LDS in the US are. Though people like Romney certainly would pull the average up.

            And seen this?


            I don’t like Colas, but my dad does and I think he’d definitely prefer that the church have bought Coca Cola instead of Pepsi. Oh well.

          5. F. Beard

            So Mormons aren’t allowed to drink coffee, tea or alcohol? Yet alcohol is clearly allowed in the Bible (Proverbs 31:6-7) and Jesus was accused of being a “wine bibber” (Matthew 11:19) because He drank wine.

          6. Garrett Pace

            The church does prohibit alcoholic beverages. I don’t know that there’s much wrong with the sparing use of alcohol, however I do see a great deal wrong with the culture of permissiveness and disinhibition that has developed around it, because of marketing campaigns associating the consumption of brand-name chemicals with popularity, sex appeal, and happiness.

            Still, if church leaders have gotten it wrong with this prohibition, I pray that they will get it right in the future. That’s one of the nice things about continuing prophecy – mistakes of men can be corrected by God. Regardless, I don’t find myself to be particularly deprived by not getting to drink alcohol for the time being.

            Here is the description of the doctrine in the LDS book of Doctrine and Covenants. Note that to Joseph Smith, “wine” has both alcoholic and nonalcoholic connotations.

            4 Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation—

            5 That inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold it is not good, neither meet in the sight of your Father, only in assembling yourselves together to offer up your sacraments before him.

            6 And, behold, this should be wine, yea, pure wine of the grape of the vine, of your own make.

          7. F. Beard

            Ole Joe Smith sure sounds full of himself.

            That’s one of the nice things about continuing prophecy – mistakes of men can be corrected by God.

            True prophets can’t make mistakes with their prophecies:

            When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him. Deuteronomy 18:22 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

            This site seems to be useful on the subject of Biblical prophecy though I don’t necessarily fully endorse it:

          8. Garrett Pace

            “True prophets can’t make mistakes with their prophecies”

            Well, now we’re talking about different things – teachings/restrictions versus prophecies.

            Joseph Smith made prophecies that came true, but this prohibition of alcohol isn’t really in the same vein. Since a teaching isn’t an observable prediction, it can only be considered “prophetic” if it leads a soul to salvation. Which of course you can’t tell until and if it gets you saved, though the purpose of the Holy Ghost is to direct us on the right path and let us know when we’ve got the right idea of what to do about something.

            I can say that adhering to this commandment about alcohol has blessed my life, and helped me avoid problems that have befallen people I care a lot about.

          9. Garrett Pace

            And I should be more clear – verse 4 in the excerpt above makes it clear that the prohibition isn’t to do with any inherent unfitness of alcohol for consumption, but rather “In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation”

            Thus it is a warning due to conditions specific to our times, not meant to be universal. Thus I see no conflict with the fine Bible verses you quoted above.

  18. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Mes amis, tonight why don’t you kick back and QUAFF SUBLIME ART, in the form of: (1) exquisite theatre from a radically different time, and (2) exquisite ballet from a radically different place, RADICALLY different from that “America, FUCK YEAH,” brought to us by the Military-Industrial Complex.

    (1) “Max Reinhardt’s [Hollywood Bowl] Production of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM by William Shakespeare – Music by Mendelssohn” — Directed by Max Reinhardt and William Dieterle, 1935; Cast: James Cagney, Joe E. Brown, Dick Powell, Jean Muir, Victor Jorey, Verree Teasdale, Hugh Herbert, Anita Louise, Frank McHugh; Ross Alexander, Ian Hunter, Mickey Rooney [as Puck]; Olivia De Havilland, Hobart Cavanaugh, Grant Mitchell; arranged for the screen by Charles Kenyon and Mary C. McCall, Jr.

    (DVD: 2007, Turner Entertainment and Warner Bros. Entertainment; manufactured and distributed by Warner Home Video and Warner Bros. Entertainment);

    (2) “Aram Khachaturian: MASQUERADE” – Music by Aram Khatchaturian, Cheography by N. Rizhenko and V. Smirnov-Golovanov, Based on the play by Michael Lermentov — featuring Nikolai Dolgushin, Svetlana Smirnova, Sergei Baranov, Natalia Barisheva, Alexander Koreniak, Raphael Avnikian — Soloists, Corps de ballet, Orchestra and Chorus of Alexander Spendaryan State Academy Opera and Ballet Theate, Hakob Ter-Voskanian, conductor, 1985.

    (DVD: With kind permission of G. Shirmer; Program copyright © 2007 TO Ekran; Creative content © 2010 Video Artists International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Produced for DVD by Allan Altman – Design: Raymond Edwards; Executive producer for DVD: Edward Cardona; Curator and project coordinator: Gyorgy Vlasenco; [distributed by] VIDEO ARTISTS INTERNATIONAL, Pleasantville, NY.)

    Sublime Art! It’s the cure for what ails us, if only we will take the time to relax and enjoy it to the core of our starved beings. It’s doubtful, in the age of “investment” in compound derivates, that such Sublime Art shall be produced again, and made so readily available to We the 99%, the dispossessed. Enjoy these while you can, before DVD players are obsolesced! Drink to the dregs.

    (ISAIAH 55)



      Your taste is sublime. The first of your recommendations went straight to my heart: “Max Reinhardt’s [Hollywood Bowl] Production of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM by William Shakespeare – Music by Mendelssohn” — Directed by Max Reinhardt and William Dieterle, 1935; Cast: James Cagney, Joe E. Brown, Dick Powell, Jean Muir

      Jean Muir was a very close friend of my mothers, when I was young. I ofter heard of their earlier lives. As it happened, Jean Muir had been blacklisted during the McCarthy era and her career ended. Jean Muir was assisting in the Community Center of the Bronx River Houses (aka Projects) so I received the benefit of her huge talent, of which, the remainder of the world was denied.

      And around, and around, and around, we go, In the circle game.

  19. Cynthia

    Some of my thoughts on Niall Ferguson’s Newsweek Cover Story:

    Perhaps Niall Ferguson doesn’t have the evidence to back up his claim that the ACA will make our healthcare system more costlier than ever, but he would be right to say that the ACA does absolutely nothing to fence in, much less rein in, healthcare costs.

    Though I don’t have the hard numbers to prove it, I can personally attest to the fact that because the ACA has mandated that patient satisfaction scores be tied to Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, hospitals are spending an enormously amounts of precious healthcare dollars paying outside consultants to advise them on how to boost patient satisfaction scores. This has resulted in hospitals hiring a large army of full-time and fully benefited RNs, along with a very top heavy management team, to call up newly discharged patients and ask them what they liked and disliked about their hospital stay. They are doing this not because they are looking for better ways to satisfy their patients. Nor are they doing this to improve patient outcome or reduce hospital readmission rates. They are doing this because outside consultants like the Studer Group claim that by simply having RNs call up newly discharged patients at home to inquire about their recent hospital stay, these patients are more likely to give the hospital a higher satisfaction score than they otherwise would. Is this total nonsense, or what!

    It’s hard for me to believe that hospital administrators are falling for this Studer-ized nonsense given that there is plenty of data out there proving that high patient satisfactions scores are strongly correlated with higher readmission rates, more costly hospital stays, and higher patient mortality rates. As emergency physician ‘WhiteCoat’ aptly puts it, “High satisfaction with a health care facility means that you’re more likely to be admitted, you’re more likely to pay more for your care, and you’re more likely to be discharged in a body bag”:

    What I find particularly troubling about this, at least from a patient confidentiality standpoint, is that this information from newly discharged patients is being emailed to all doctors and nurses who work or had worked on the unit where the patient was staying, providing them with their medical record and room number. I don’t know about you, but I certainly wouldn’t want my medical record and the hospital room number I was staying in posted on hundreds of emails throughout the hospital! Then again, I’d refuse to talk to any stranger who calls me at home asking about my hospital stay. Now if either a doctor or nurse who had cared for me called me up to ask how I was doing and to answer any questions I had with regards to my discharged medicines and follow-up visits, I would be happy to speak with them.

    This emphasis of patient satisfaction scores has caused hospitals to waste precious healthcare dollars on providing wildly frivolous and inconsequential things like free 30-minute massages for patients and dishing out five-star meals to them. Now it is causing them to waste precious healthcare dollars on creating an entirely new nursing department whose only job it is to find out what patients liked and disliked about their hospital stay. Needless to say, this can only lead to higher healthcare costs — and higher healthcare costs that play no role whatsoever in improving patient outcome or reducing hospital stay.

  20. MichaelC

    Re Video:

    I vote Aye for effectiveness.
    Slick production with a simple message. It got my attention.
    I could imagine this going viral.

  21. skippy

    ““I blew the whistle on torture and extraordinary rendition and the collusion of the CIA and MI6. I was in consequence immediately charged with extortion for sexual purposes and blackmailing people into sex in exchange for British visas.”

    He said it took him one and a half years to clear his name of those charges because “they routinely charge and try to beat up whistleblowers and that is what is happening to Julian Assange just as it happened to me.”

    He mentioned the case of Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, who blew the whistle on the fact that “she had seen documents signed personally” by then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld authorizing torture at Abu Ghraib. The “very next day” she was charged with shoplifting.

    Whistleblowers or dissidents are always “immediately charged with offensives which don’t relate to whistleblowing at all.” Why is this? Because in the United States, in the United Kingdom and now, apparently, in Sweden, “just as it seems to always happen in authoritarian and totalitarian countries, dissidents are not charged with political offenses. They are fitted up with criminal offenses.”- snip

    Skippy… the most effective torture is applied slowly and over a long period of time. Hard and fast breaks things, long and slow molds the mind like clay.

  22. LeonovaBalletRusse

    FOOD for thought: What do you think of this approach to civilization?

    “You may refrain from killing.”

    “This does not mean the use of arms of physical violence–it is also possible to kill through words, even through a look or a thought. With this in mind, we might ask if it really [is] possible for us not to kill. One being’s life on the planet is always at the expense of some other form of life. We never cease to kill in order to feed ourselves, whether vegetarian or not. And, sometimes, not content with the food on our plate, we indulge an appetite for psychic food by feeding on the ruined reputation of our neighbors. All sorts of strange food sticks to our plate, and our lips are stained with blood. Even more than knives or guns, these signs show the violence in our hearts and the judgment in our minds.

    “And yet: You may refrain from killing.

    “As with the other teachings, this is a process of becoming, a road that we are invited to walk upon, a process of radical transformation of our entire being. It would of course take an inspired and mighty effort to imagine a believable society that is not founded on murder, on self-assertion at the expense of someone else, and the many other forms of destruction of others in the name of survival. Doesn’t Darwin tell us that this is a law of evolution–survival of those who are the strongest and most capable of adapting to circumstances?

    “But which evolution? Is it the evolution of ever more neocortex cunning in service to the reptilian core of the old brain, or the evolution of the entire brain as a holistic instrument capable of peace, harmony, and the higher perception of which the Teacher speaks?

    “‘You may refrain from killing’ is an evolutionary teaching that makes technological progress a servant of the process of our humanization, instead of a mere instrument of our animal heritage. There is nothing to be added to this.”


    “THE GOSPEL OF MARY MAGDALENE: Translation from the Coptic and Commentary by Jean-Yves Leloup; English Translation and Notes by Joseph Rowe (Rochester, Vermont; Inner Traditions International, 2002; Editions Albin Michel S.A., 1997) – Part II: Text with Commentary; pp. 87-88.
    I studied this Gospel among many others in 2006, as a Katrina refugee settled in Savannah: beautiful with luxurious flora. I’ve returned to it lately for food, within the frame of “the end of history” with a murderous twist. Yesterday at NC I paraphrased the words of the “Teacher” from this Gospel, which are: “All things that are composed shall become decomposed.” Here’s more”

    “Henceforth I travel toward Repose.”

    “Thus the fulfillment of a week of work is Shabbat, whose etymological root means “to stop”–to stop doing, producing, thinking, to stop time.” (p. 154)
    This is a topic covered at length by Abraham Joshua Heschel in “The Sabbath.”
    As has been discovered in C.21, “The Sabbath” can be claimed at any time.

    And so, mes amis, “mes chers compatriotes,” (Camus: “The Fall”), bonne nuit.

  23. barrisj

    The whole Akin brouhaha has emboldened others of that persuasion to surface and prattle on about “forcible” v. “consensual” rape…a distinction that is not recognised in criminal law and is a priori risible, but evidently something that a Republican Congress would legislate as part of the Party’s hard-right misogynist and anti-abortion at all costs posturing. Why then would greater than 80% of registered Republican female voters still line up behind this crowd?? What am I missing here?

  24. Hugh

    We live in a kleptocracy. Obama already hit Medicare and Medicaid in the ACA and has signaled his intention to go after Social Security multiple times from a conference early in his Presidency to the creation of the Simpson-Bowles Cat Food Commission by Executive Order after his attempt to create it through legislation failed in the Senate, to his again multiply signaled intention to have another go at both Medicare and Social Security once the election is over.

    For trillion dollar wars, tax cuts, and bank bailouts, the Democrats and Republicans, our political class, are hardcore MMT. It is only when it comes to spending for the 99%, like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, help for distressed homeowners, that suddenly the money (and the political will) can not be found and hard cuts and hard, but “necessary” choices are in order.

    Long story short: The kleptocrats and the elites who work for them, and very definitely not us, were always going to loot these programs, always.

    A case in point is the Social Security Reform Act of 1983 which created the current surpluses. Those surpluses don’t exist. They never existed. They were simply an accounting trick to cover what was a regressive tax on the 99%. If there had not been one penny of surpluses, in about 2016 expenditures would exceed payroll tax receipts. The government would as that point approached have to figure how it was going to honor its prior commitments.

    If you understand MMT or the resource approach I use, you know that taxation doesn’t fund spending. So the question has always been from 1983 and before would the government commit the requisite resources/money to Social Security. Surpluses are irrelevant to this question and its answer.

    But even if you accept the traditional taxes pay for spending model, the surpluses are still a con. They were converted into general revenue and spent. In doing so, they allowed the political parties since 1983 to boost spending levels even as politicians claimed that tax rates on the lower and middle classes were lower than they actually were. In 2016, without any surplus, the government would still have the same problem of how to deal with the program’s funding shortfalls. Democrats and Republicans alike want to cut benefits and increase the payroll tax on the 99%. Both can be accomplished by simply raising the retirement age. Taking eliminating the income cap and taxing all revenue as income are taken off the table, much as Medicare for All was in the healthcare debate.

    If you look at it this way, Social Security has been looted for the last 30 years, no matter which accounting perspective you use. The coming push against is both a means to continue this looting and cover up what looting has already occurred.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Hugh, how about the SSA’s purchase of hollow point bullets for “FEMA” purposes? Is this “a loan” from one department to another, theft, “looting,” or embezzlement? George Washington’s Blog reported this a few days ago, which was posted also to ZH.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Hugh, ERROR above: bullets for DHS, not FEMA (but maybe tangentially. In any case, the FUNDS for the bullets came from the SSA and the NOAA, according to George Washington’s Blog. SSA has been looted for decades.

  25. Nghỉ Hưu

    Someone necessarily help to make significantly posts I would state. This is the very first time I frequented your website page and thus far? I surprised with the research you made to make this actual submit amazing. Magnificent activity!

Comments are closed.