Links 09/30/2012

I Can Haz Productivity? Why You Should Look at Cute Animals at Work LiveScience (Aquifer)

Europe is Revolting Counterpunch

Madrid coverage Timcast

Greek police send crime victims to neo-Nazi ‘protectors’ Guardian

Spain to Borrow $267 Billion of Debt Amid Rescue Pressure Bloomberg

Federalism or death Bernard-Henri Lévy, Presseurop

Stomach Bug Sweeps German Schools Der Speigel. “Cheap food, sick children.”

The “Pauperization of Europe” Testosterone Pit

How to Erase a Debt That Isn’t There Gretchen Morgenson. Obama’s mortgage settlement “forgiveness” program is HAMP all over again. Shocker.

US court scraps CFTC position limits rule FT

Bank of America’s Cascade of Settlement Payoffs Continue David Dayen, FDL. So, I guess the “billion here, billion there” bottom line is “They got away with it”? Look forward and not back?

Durable Orders Potential Recession Warning, WSJ Intellectual Dishonesty (Again) Big Picture (SW)

Crucial vote nears in Boeing contract talks Reuters

Urban Outfitters Says It Will Never Buy Another Cash Register Again — All Sales Will Be Done On iPods And iPads Joe Weisenthal, Business Insider

Now That My Campaign Is Over, I’d Like To Talk To You All About The Church Of Latter-Day Saints America’s Finest News Source. Somehow I missed this one.

Romney’s Tax Returns–What We Do Know –Tax Avoidance (Part VII) A Taxing Matter

Mitt Romney’s Unintentionally Hilarious Tax Return FAQ Angry Bear

Ann Romney: biggest fear is for Mitt’s “mental well-being” Reuters. Make up your own jokes!

Obama Cabinet Flunks Disclosure Test With 19 in 20 Ignoring Law Bloomberg

Lee Boyd Malvo, 10 years after D.C. area sniper shootings: ‘I was a monster’ WaPo

Revealed: Army scientists secretly sprayed St Louis with ‘radioactive’ particles for YEARS to test chemical warfare technology Daily Mail. One of the targets was Pruitt-Igoe.

New Justice Department Documents Show Huge Increase in Warrantless Electronic Surveillance ACLU

The decaying web and our disappearing history BBC

The Next Battle for Internet Freedom Could Be Over 3D Printing TechCrunch

The Writing Revolution The Atlantic

Won’t Back Down II: The Sequel Jersey Jazzman

Welcome to the party! FT 

Why the Beaver Should Thank the Wolf Times (furzy mouse). “Trophic cascades.”

Why criminal lineups can’t be trusted Salon (SW)

The Myth of Male Decline Times

Feast of fools  Al Jazeera (Aquifer)

What is a model? Mathbabe. Besides my former girlfriend? Kidding!

Myanmar is ripe for growth, but hazards await the unwary Independent

Antidote du jour:

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Peasant Pinguin Society

    Alternate History, Part Seven.

    In the Twelth Book of The Iliad, Sarpedon says to Glaukos: “My friend, if you and I could escape this battle and live forever, ageless and immortal, I myself would never fight again. . . But a thousand deaths surround us and no man can escape them. So let us move in for the attack.”

    Southern Italy, August 216 B.C.

    The mission was to take Rome.

    “A thousand ships from Argive land
    Put forth to bear the martial band,
    That with a spirit stern and strong
    Went out to right the kingdom’s wrong…”

    (Aeschylus, Agamemnon, 55-60)

    Before leaving for Italy, Hannah Belle’s Horsewomen had reestablished contact with Carthage, informing the city by seaborne messengers of their plans, and Carthage had joined the campaign, along with Libyans, Numidians, and Spanish. (Henceforth, Carthaginians, for simplicity)

    Meanwhile the glittering parade of Lofty rulers, Lords Summer, Rubin and Dimon were equally determined to defend Rome and maintain the Vast inequality.

    The battle plan for Lord Summers, Rubin and Dimon’s army (henceforth Rome, for simplicity) can be summarized in three words: “pack the middle”, that is, break the Center of the Carthaginian line.

    But first, let’s set the stage. Rome may have found the flat coastal terrain reassuring since it gave Hannah Belle nothing to hide behind should she and her Horsewomen stage an ambush.

    Rome sent out their cavalry to reconnoiter. They had no trouble finding Hannah’s Carthaginians since they were not hiding, therefore Rome set up camp a few miles to the East, in the broad plain that runs down the Adriatic.

    The two armies warily closed the distance, each trying to gain some tactical or psychological advantage.

    The stage was set.

    Horns were blaring, drums pounding, swords beating, and war cries reverberating back and forth. Keep in mind, this was August in southern Italy, a very hot day.

    So it was they began to fight. The Roman heavy infantry pushed back the Carthaginians. However, instead of breaking, they pivoted inward, like a polished blade, a hidden blade, and in Unison they fell upon the Roman flanks.

    Rome soon found that their success in the middle had pushed them into potential disaster. As they victoriously fought farther into the center of the Carthaginian line, they found themselves encircled. They had been lured into a trap.

    Horsewomen completed the circle by forcing the rear of the Roman line to turn back and form a square. Hannah brought her archers and slingers to bear and the result in the confines was devastating.

    Tactically the battle was already over, but the killing had just begun.

    Eight hours later, as the sun set on this glorious day, Lord Summers, Rubin and Dimon watched in shock, as the last of their army was cut down by their enemies.

    They tried to escape in a Chariot but a Mongol Horsewoman’s Spear smashed into Lord Rubin’s bone and he fell out of the Chariot and on to the ground headlong. The Horsewoman stabbed him in the chest, and unstrung his limbs’ strength, another stab at the base of his leg so that the sinew was torn apart, and he was finished.

    Next the Horsewoman struck Lord Dimon, with a great stone in the middle of his head, and all the head broke into two pieces inside the heavy helmet, and he in the dust face downward
    dropped while death breaking the spirit drifted about him.

    Lastly the Horsewoman rushed at Lord Summers who huddled inside his chariot, and shrunk back, having lost all his nerve, and from his hands the reins slipped…

    The Horsewoman came up close and stabbed him with a spear-thrust at the right side of his jaw and drove it through the teeth, then hooked and dragged him with the spear over the rail, as a fisherman who sits out on the jut of a rock with hook and line and glittering bronze hook drags a fish, who is thus doomed, out of the water.

    Holding Lord Summers thus, like a bloated fish at the end of her hook and line, the Horsewomen cried out: “Victory! After ten years, Victory!”

    And it was all over.

    Such were the events of that August, and thus did the Horsewomen celebrate Hannah Belle, tamer of horses.

    Here Endeth Alternate History, Part Seven

    Disclaimer: Alternate history is a genre of fiction consisting of stories that are set in worlds in which history has diverged from the actual history of the world. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

    Footnote: The closing paragraphs are variants on certain passages from the Iliad (15.310-16, Lattimore translation)

    1. skippy

      @amends miss placement

      Self indulgent bravado is a poor second cousin to selfless valor… the bones of history are replete.

      Skippy… I do not for myself… but… those next too me…

    2. Ms G

      Oh boy, Peter Pinguid, this is a corking account! It didn’t just deliver on the blood, guts and sweat, though. The setting, the poetry of the Great Dispatching at sunset at the end of a hot day in Sicily, and such vivid establishment of the setting, with high poetry. Such crisp suspenseful narrative. And we meet Hanna Belle!

      What a great way to start this Sunday. Thank you, thank you!

    3. Peasant Pinguin Society

      Ms G,

      Karl Marx, the Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, pg 1: “Hegel says somewhere that, upon the stage of universal history, all great events and personalities reappear in one fashion or another. He forgot to add that on the first occasion they appear as tragedy; on the second, as farce.”

      Is the proletariat the new collective hero waiting to go on stage, another actor in the stage of history, a new actor in a neo-classical revival, as in 1848.

      Or is the proletariat the sober reality of the human condition (the necessity of labor) to be disclosed after the show is over, after the farce has ended.

      “And the iron statue of Napoleon will come crashing down from the top of the Vendome Column.” – Marx

      For the rest of the story as well as an update on the future of the Pinguin chronicles, please contact the Peasant Pinguin Society at:

      peasant dot pinguinsociety at yahoo dot com

      (And yes, this a valid email, not a joke)

      1. Ms G

        PPS, lost the thread at the second paragraph. But I never read what Marx had to say about the role of tyranny-by-credit and debt peonage. If anything, at the early 21st century mark in the formerly-industrial West, the understanding of class warfare must include a definition of proletariat that covers working persons whose wages have stagnated, declined or disappeared in the past 40 years plus persons trapped in debt peonage (overlap between the two sets is obviously considerable). In terms of who is getting on and off the stage, or appearing as tragedy or farce . . . dunno, that’s where I lost the thread of the metaphor(s).

      1. Ms G

        JEHR — You must have missed that Chapter of the Alternate History. Here it is for your convenience:

        Peasant Pinguin Society says:
        September 25, 2012 at 8:21 am

        Alternate History, Part Five.

        1348 A.D., somewhere in Europe.

        Some of the Mongolian Horsewomen have been threatening to hang Lord Blankfein for a long time, because of the way he had been behaving.

        By this time, the Blankfein pestilence had moved steadily northward through Italy and Spain. It struck Florence, Bologna, Pistoia, Perugia and Padua, in March and April and reached Siena, Ancona and Naples by May, when Perpignan, Barcelona and Valencia had also been infected.

        The Blankfein pestilence had killed hundreds of thousands in the cities of Europe, and left thousands of homes vacant without nobody living in them. This left countless numbers wandering Europe barefoot, in rags and ashes, attempting to flee the Pestilence.

        Lord Blankfein argued that just because he had gone too far (which he did not deny) did not mean he should be subjected to hanging. Going too far, he said, was something everybody did sometimes.

        The Mongolian Horsewomen didn’t pay too much attention to this argument.

        These were good Heathen Horsewomen. Gus Grue said so. And so did Genghis Khan.

        They hailed from Tribes in the distant East, but had been driven out of the Khazar Khaganate (their homeland), by Lord Blankfein’s men, who had looted the Khaganate, killed all of the men and raped all of the women, then hauled every Golden Matya back to Lord Blankfein.

        Having lost everything, the Heathen Horsewomen crossed all of Europe, to find the thieving Invader, and at last they had caught up with him.

        But they agreed with Lord Blankfein that simply going too far did not mean he deserved to be hanged.

        Lord Blankfein breathed a sigh of relief and told the Horsewomen that if they let him go, he was now ready to take action in support of the Volcker Rule.

        There was a long silence as they seemed to consider this offer.

        Instead the Heathen Horsewomen drew their Scimitars and hacked Lloyd Blankfein into pieces, then cut out his liver and threw it to the wolves.

        Afterwards the Mongolian Horsewomen held a Great Feast to celebrate and drank from buckets of wine that were placed ’round the Courtyard. They roasted Sacrificial Lamb, gnawed its meat and threw the bones at Lord Blankfein’s severed Head, which stood rotting on a Stick.

        The Heathen Horsewomen wrestled with one another, then forced Heribald the Half-witted Monk, to lead them in drunkenly singing Christian hymns.

        Rather than kill Heribald the Half-Wit Monk, they placed a crown of hair upon his bald head, and spared his life. Then the good Horsewomen rode off, leaving Heribald to tell his brothers later about the wild morals of the Heathen Mongolian Horsewomen.

        Here Endeth Alternate History Part Five

        Disclaimer: Alternate history is a genre of fiction consisting of stories that are set in worlds in which history has diverged from the actual history of the world. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

        Robin Hood says:
        September 25, 2012 at 8:48 am

        “Lord Blankfein argued that just because he had gone too far (which he did not deny) did not mean he should be subjected to hanging. Going too far, he said, was something everybody did sometimes.”

        Yes. I remember that. He said anyone can make Bubos sometimes.

  2. Goin' South

    Re: sick German kids–

    The company in question, French multinational Sodexo, supplies a lot of food for U. S. schools and universities as well. They’re also infamous for their virulent anti-union policies.

  3. skippy

    Self indulgent bravado is a poor second cousin to selfless valor… the bones of history are replete.

    Skippy… I do not for myself… but… those next too me…

  4. Goin' South

    Re: Golden Dawn’s rise in Greece–

    What’s happening in Greece is an example of why the Left had better be building mutual aid structures in the U. S. An American version of the fascist Golden Dawn will have no problem finding money to fund their efforts in the event of a dramatic worsening of this already bad economy. For us on the Left, it will take time and lots of organizing to get things going. It’s good that some local Occupy groups have gone down this path, but much more is needed.

    1. ambrit

      Dear Goin’ South;
      May I suggest that the American business community, with their credit score litmus test for employment, their “we don’t want to hear about unions here, if you want this job that is,” their “don’t ask questions, we know what’s best for you,” meme, and lots more fill the American Golden Dawn function quite nicely, thank you. After all. isn’t it “Morning in America” all over again? “I see a bright new Golden Dawn arising from ‘Sea to Shining Sea.'” Didn’t Mussolini call it something catchy back in the day?

    2. citalopram

      I think as things get worse, we’ll see (hopefully) more of this sort of thing.

      This is something Kevin Carson has been advocating, because we cannot rely on this criminal government anymore.

  5. ambrit

    Re. the antidote; that is a genius level squirrel! Sitting fat and sassy, it has combined the best of both Spider graphs and traditional Western Bar graphs. A three dimensional spiral graph! Man, some of the critters working here are awesome!

  6. Jack Jonsom

    Interesting will the Urban Outfitter worker be like the train conductor and have cash and coins on them for the cash customers?

    1. ambrit

      Dear Jack;
      Yep. You nailed it. Here comes the cashless economy! The DIY Boxxstore where I work has introduced iPhones to each department. They not only access the inventory lists, they also have laser and cameras scanners and, gasp, card readers! We hear that beginning next year, floor employees will be able to check out customers anywhere in the store. That is, those customers with plastic. No word about cash. We’re waiting for the other shoe to drop and see if they will keep any cashiers up front. By the way, what is the status of the ‘legal currency’ of the United States. Any trial balloons regarding the delegitimization of cash?
      Big Brother here we come.

      1. Susan the other

        Dispensing with cash makes it so much easier to claim the dreaded deflation and supply more digits to the money supply.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Plus take an arbitrary cut from your every transaction, track where the you are, datamine your personality construct, and prevent precrime by flagging and/or rolling back any “inappropriate” or “non-compliant” transactions. Not that I’m foily.

        2. Ms G

          Same vein. Treasury no longer sells paper I-Bonds through banks. Only place to get them is Virtual Treasury (TreasuryDirect) and only proof they exist is in VT’s ephemeral online “house.” Fast forward 10 years. Joe logs in to redeem a few of the 10 he bought years ago. Enters his account only to discover there’s all of 2 bonds in his “inventory.” What happened to the other 8? Call Treasury Direct help desk. Answer? We’re sorry, sir, unless you have a printout of the original inventory with a verifiable date stamp on special paper that verifies the printing transaction, you are unable to establish the existence of those 8 bonds. Shorter: Joe’s real money went to Treasury and it’s promise to pay back with a little extra. None of it ever came back — and there’s not a d*** thing he can do about it.

          The Virtual Money thing has got to be close to the check-mate move in the .01% war against the 99%.

          If this doesn’t scare you, nothing will.

          1. prostratedragon

            The long-dreaded shelf tax on in-home inventories will at last become reality. (Deflation will convert it to a tax on imputed capital gains.)

          2. Richard Kline

            Relax: in the real, green economy, we’ll all be bartering bud baggies and scan-grid rave tix for personal transactions. For every superstructure, there’s a subversive work-around . . . .

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        You don’t have to be a genius to see where this is going.

        Picture this: iPhones on Robot Vacuum Cleaners that will roam every square inch of your shop, ready to check out any human customers

        Eventually, humans will dispatch robot shppers who will then check out their purchases with these robot vacuum cleaners with iPhones.

        Meanwhile, real humans will stay home getting high on electronics that dissovle in their bodies.

    2. Valissa

      OK, I’ll try replying again. I think I may have used a link source that triggered my comment being either rejected or put into moderation.

      I, too, wondered about the issue of cash. How are they going to handle cash transactions? Have a cash machine where cash can be converted to a temporary debit card card or some other electronic format? Despite all the interest some of the elite seem to have in a ‘cashless society’ (suggesting searching on that term) I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

      1. ambrit

        Dear Valissa;
        I suggest you check out Jan Troells 1972 film “The New Land,” a work about the vicissitudes of a brave new world experience. It has a good sequence where a fortune seeking farm boy gets swindled through the manipulation of currency. Now project that theme a billion fold, using the phantom aspects of modern electronic banking. If, as l’ affaire Deibold shows, the control of the counting house bestows mastery, what’s not to love for the wealthy and connected? Also, sometimes, things get done simply because they can be done, and worry about the consequences later. Never underestimate stupidity when it comes to policy.

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          Theft of the 99% with impunity: they’ll start with pennies, then get bolder. Your “digital money” will be disappeared, and there is nothing you can do about it.

          Like those “add-ons” at your Web/cell-access monopoly. The template for bold theft with impunity set some time ago by The Southern Company: ca. 5.00USD added on to your “utility” bill each month to pre-pay their “nuclear station” yet to come. Sweet, huh?

  7. ZygmuntFraud

    I’ve been studying the antidote picture for 10 minutes. How is it, looking at the corn cob, that it stands almost vertically? How did the squirrel and the corn cob end up so delicately balanced? What was the sequence of events leading up to this intriguing picture?

        1. ambrit

          Dear LBR;
          Hi, how’s the coast? BR is pretty flooded today our middle daughter says. By the way, didn’t Prince Vlad have issues with jihadis too?
          Love and kisses from the Way Deep South.

  8. Aquifer

    Methinks the cob is stuck on a pike ….

    The squirrel looks like he’s stuffed and is taking a break, maybe he’ll have a quick smoke and a pint, although from his expression, he might be thinking “Rats, i forgot to check the label, is this GMO corn?”

  9. Aquifer

    Methinks the cob is stuck on a pike …..

    The squirrel looks stuffed and is taking a break (maybe for a puff and a pint?) but he looks a bit worried “Rats, i forgot to check the label – is this GMO corn?”

    1. ZygmuntFraud

      I downloaded the image and zoomed-in with a Linux utility on the cob. There’s what looks like a small pinkish structure protruding just a little bit at top left of the cob. I accept the pike theory.

      Other images at the web-site I posted the link of earlier are
      more bizarre. There’s what looks like a smiling bird with slitted eye-lids: looks like it’s smiling owl (?) .

    1. ambrit

      Mr. Strether;
      Would we be amiss in thinking that all those drones are working for a bunch of Queens? I’ve heard too many stories about the homo erotic nature of the upper echelons of the “Company” to think this is mere coincidence.

      1. ambrit

        Dear ambrit;
        You berk! How dare you indulge in such an obvious ‘ad homonem’ attack on one of the bulwarks of Western Civilization! For shame! Get a grip man!

  10. Reader

    Yves, Lambert: When I went to the home page just now, yesterday’s stories are at the top. No sign of today’s stories.

  11. Susan the other

    It is notable that nobody cares enough about Romney to comment on Ann’s latest idiocy. She is worried about Mitt’s “mental state” IF HE WINS. Good grief. You think it could deteriorate?

    1. Ms G

      He might finally hit bottom and realize it’s all out of HIS control and all in the control of his Higher Joseph Smith Power. That would be viewed as a first step to regaining mental health in some quarters!

  12. Bev

    On the BBC article on the decaying web and our disappearing history (like washington’s blog disappearing all old comments when switching to its new comment system even though google still links to comments not shown):

    Anyone else experiencing their bookmarked Naked Capitalism link stopping at Sept 27, 2012…nothing more current. You can hit NC’s archive and get to Sept 29. You then have to put in the current date:

    to get the current updated site.

    Or, is it just me?

    Or, articles like this:

    PAPER BALLOTS ONLY THIS ELECTION DAY! (emergency petition)

    Petition for immediate emergency action to withdraw all electronic voting technology and replace with paper ballots for the November 6, 2012 election

    Sign the petition:

    Bev says:
    September 29, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    Vote counting company tied to Romney

    by Gerry Bello & Bob Fitrakis

    September 27, 2012

    Several Tanker trucks full of political ink have been spilled on Mitt Romney’s tenure as a vulture capitalist at Bain Capital. A more important story, however, is the fact that Bain alumni, now raising big money as Romney bundlers are also in the electronic voting machine business. This appears to be a repeat of the the infamous former CEO of Diebold Wally O’Dell, who raised money for Bush while his company supplied voting machines and election management software in the 2004 election.

    In all 234 counties of Texas, the entire states of Hawaii and Oklahoma, half of Washington and Colorado, and certain counties in swing state Ohio, votes will be cast on eSlate and ePollbook machines made by Hart Intercivic. Hart Intercivic machines have famously failed in Tarrant County (Ft. Worth), adding 10,000 non-existant votes. The EVEREST study, commissioned by the Ohio secretary of state in 2007, found serious security flaws with Hart Intercivic products.

    Looking beyond the well-documented Google choking laundry list of apparent fraud, failure and seeming corruption that is associated with Hart Intercivic, an ongoing Free Press investigation turned its attention to the key question of who owns the voting machine companies. The majority of the directors of Hart come from the private equity firm H.I.G. Capital. H.I.G. has been heavily invested in Hart Intercivic since July 2011, just in time for the current presidential election cycle. But who is H.I.G Capital?

    Out of 49 partners and directors, 48 are men, and 47 are white. Eleven of these men, including H.I.G. Founder Tony Tamer, were formerly employed at Bain and Company, and two of those men, John P. Bolduc, Douglas Berman, are Romney bundlers along with former Bain and H.I.G. manager Brian Shortsleeve.

    Additionally, four of these men were formerly employed at Booz Allen Hamilton. Booz Allen, now owned by the Bush family friendly Carlyle group, also made voting machines for the United States military. Booz Allen was also the key subcontractor for the controversial PioneerGroundbreaker program, an NSA data mining operation that gathered information on American citizens until it was shut down and replaced with even more invasive successor programs like MATRIX and Total Information Awareness.


    Although not boisterously promising to deliver states where their machines are to Romney as Wally O’Dell of Diebold did for Bush in 2004, they can launder hundreds of thousands of votes and swing the vote in the crucial swing state Ohio.


    In our first investigative article Who owns Scytl? George Soros isn’t in the voting machines, but the intelligence community is.

    the Free Press revealed that Scytl, a Spanish-based company now contracted to count 25% of the U.S. presidential vote, has ties to Booz Allen. Scytl’s start up funding comes from three European Venture Capital Firms, Balderton Capital, Nauta Capital, and Spinnaker SCR. The director of Nauta’s American operations is Dominic Endicott, who went from Cluster Consulting to Booz Allen Hamilton (NYSE: BAH) where he oversaw wireless practice. He then rejoined his former colleagues from Cluster Consulting at Nauta. In his capacity as a Nauta partner Endicott also sits on the board of CarrierIQ.


    The ties of Hart Intercivic to Romney fund-raisers and Bain alumni should cause concern in the Obama re-election campaign. So, should the mysterious Spanish owned company, Scytl, with a U.S operation that seems to be an illusion.


  13. matt

    Ah the “philosopher” Bernard Henri–Levy, shouldn’t he be busy promoting NATO’s latest imperial endeavour?

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The Myth of Male Decline.

    You would think that supposedly non-reactionary countries like Cuba, North Korea, China woould have female paramount lifetiem leaders by now, if the myth of Male Decline were happening.

  15. Garrett Pace

    “Now That My Campaign Is Over, I’d Like To Talk To You All About The Church Of Latter-Day Saints”

    That was funny. Though if I was running for public office I think I would have tried more to be an example of LDS beliefs and ethics the whole time, not just when the prize is out of reach.

    Then my “mental well-being” might not be in danger like Gov. Romney’s appears to be.

    I carry my own biases to the table, of course. Maybe some people think Romney is a terrific messenger of their LDS attitudes, such as they are. No one person can very easily capture an entire belief system.

    1. Ms G

      “Dismissive” — more like “contemptuous” — or both, really. Good catch Klassy. I have big respect for Bartlett & Steele as I consider them to be true old fashioned investigative journalists. It isn’t surprising that a NYT reviewer would be brought in to minimize them with snobby dismissiveness as they’ve now taken on Amerikan Oligarchy with well researched detail to boot.

      Here’s the bio for Ms. Rampell who looks about 23 years old (Congressional page age, basically) in her NYT photo.

      “Catherine Rampell writes about economics for The New York Times, where she served as the founding editor of the Economix blog. Under her stewardship the blog was honored with an award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. She has also received the Weidenbaum Center Award for Evidence-Based Journalism and is a Gerald Loeb Award finalist. A lifelong theater nerd, she regularly contributes to The Times’s arts coverage, too.

      Before joining The Times, Catherine wrote for the Washington Post editorial pages and financial section and for The Chronicle of Higher Education. She grew up in South Florida (the New York part) and graduated from Princeton.”

      1. Ms G

        I read this insolent little book review. It is Exhibit A for why Hugh’s posts about (un)(dis)employment numbers and related information at this site regarding what in fact has happened in this country over the last 40 years and then in 2008 and since then are so important. She’s Adam Davidson’s Marie Antoinette factorum. I haven’t read Barlett/Steele’s book on the stealing of the “American Dream” but now plan to — a review of this type from the NYT usually means there’s a lot of meat on the bones.

        1. Klassy!

          Yes, makes me want to read it more. I do agree with the ideaofthat education as a solution for displaced workers is “shopworn”.

          1. Ms G

            @ Klassy. “Shopworn.” Yes, I’ve wondered how all that “retraining” (i.e. “education”) promised by Clinton and Bush for the millions of workers thrown out of jobs by NAFTA worked out. I recall one commenter here on NC noting that no real follow up was ever done. I guess the “metrics” and “analytics” would not have looked so good 2, 3, 5, 10, 20 years out.

    1. Valissa

      Some backstory on Gangnam Style and why it’s topically relevant to this blog :)

      “Beneath the antic surface of his world-conquering song, however, is a sharp social commentary about the country’s newly rich and Gangnam, the affluent district where many of them live.”

      PSY’s hit ‘Gangnam Style’ pokes fun at a real South Korean place

  16. JEHR

    I hope everyone reads The Feast of Fools by Lewis Lapham. Such intelligent anger directed in exactly the right places. We need more of that anger.

    1. JTFaraday

      “The wealthy and well-educated gentlemen who gathered 11 years later in Philadelphia to frame the Constitution shared Paine’s distrust of monarchy but not his faith in the abilities of the common people, whom they were inclined to look upon as the clear and present danger seen by the delegate Gouverneur Morris as an ignorant rabble and a “riotous mob”.”

      I have it on credible authority that Gouverneur Morris was on the balcony swilling champagne above Occupy Wall Street about a year ago–and “riotous mob” is not all he called them:

      “I stood in the balcony, and on my right hand were ranged all the people of property, with some few poor dependants, and on the other all the tradesmen, &c., who thought it worth their while to leave daily labor for the good of the country. The spirit of the English Constitution has yet a little influence left, and but a little. The remains of it, however, will give the wealthy people a superiority this time, but would they secure it, they must banish all schoolmasters, and confine all knowledge to themselves. This cannot be. The mob begin to think and to reason. Poor reptiles! it is with them a vernal morning, they are struggling to cast off their winter’s slough, they bask in the sunshine, and ere noon they will bite, depend upon it. The gentry begin to fear this. Their committee will be appointed, they will deceive the people, and again forfeit a share of their confidence. And if these instances of what with one side is policy, with the other perfidy, shall continue to increase, and become more frequent, farewell aristocracy. I see, and I see it with fear and trembling, that if the disputes with Britain continue, we shall be under the worst of all possible dominions. We shall be under the domination of a riotous mob.” –GM to Thomas Penn, aristocrat, 1774

      While American diplomat in France during the French revolution, America’s “Forgotten Founding Father” also acquired the distinction of leaving Tom Paine to rot in the Bastille.

      Well, no matter. We have the “Age of Reason” because of it, and John Adams apparently considered it the premier document of the times:

      “I am willing you should call this the Age of Frivolity as you do, and would not object if you had named it the Age of Folly, Vice, Frenzy, Brutality, Daemons, Buonaparte, Tom Paine, or the Age of the Burning Brand from Bottomless Pit, or anything but the Age of Reason. I know not whether any man in the world has had more influence on its inhabitants or affairs for the last thirty years than Tom Paine. There can be no severer satyr on the age. For such a mongrel between pig and puppy, begotten by a wild boar on a b***h wolf, never before in any age of the world was suffered by the poltroonery of mankind, to run through such a career of mischief. Call it then the ‘Age of Paine’.” –JA to Benjamin Waterhouse, physician, 1805

      And so we ought. As John Adams is nothing if not always right– after all, he did say that “ignorance and inconsideration are the two great causes of the ruin of mankind”– we are indeed fortunate to have it.

  17. JTFaraday

    re: The Writing Revolution, The Atlantic

    “New Dorp’s Writing Revolution, which placed an intense focus, across nearly every academic subject, on teaching the skills that underlie good analytical writing, was a dramatic departure from what most American students—especially low performers—are taught in high school. The program challenged long-held assumptions about the students and bitterly divided the staff. It also yielded extraordinary results.”

    One word: Duh!

  18. Tim

    I don’t know if this was caught earlier in the weekend here or not, but the TBTF Banks just successfully got an injuction from a judge for the CFTC Dodd-Frank position limits in the commodities markets.

    The TBTF Banks just sued their regulator! I know I’m not supposed to be suprised by anything at this point, but common, have they no fear or retribution from their regulator?

    Maybe that open CFTC probe on silver manipulator due to JPM’s ongoing record breaking short position is about to get more interesting! If it doesn’t then the CFTC has no cajons whatsoever.

  19. J Sterling

    Re: Why the Beaver Should Thank the Wolf

    It’s becoming clearer every year to ecologists that the biggest animals in the ecosystem, that used to be viewed as parasites on the smaller animals below them, are often key contributors. Isotope analysis of North American trees Bears are responsible, via their catch of fish, for almost all the nitrogen coming into the forest. Rhino dung makes the African savannah grow, so extinction of rhinos is a worry. Giraffes and elephants browsing the treetops create habitats for smaller creatures, and the brazil nuts you eat would not have grown if agoutis hadn’t taken some nuts away and buried them to make new trees.

    Unfortunately for Romney and his friends, this analogy doesn’t stretch to them: they aren’t a different species from the rest of us, they’re just regular humans who’ve had the luck to be born to rich fathers. All the good they do with their money could be achieved by the same money in anyone else’s hands.

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