Links 9/24/12

New Virus From SARS Family Identified in Qatari Man, WHO Says Bloomberg

Facebook raises fears with ad tracking Financial Times

Ninth Circuit OKs Facebook class settlement, holding that it’s fair for all the settlement funds to go to a defendant-created foundation Consumer Law & Policy Blog (Deontos). You cannot make this stuff up.

Google faces hefty fine from European Union antitrust authority Network World

Decades of federal dollars helped fuel gas boom Associated Press

Pettis: How to be a China bull MacroBusiness

Riot breaks out at Foxconn’s Taiyuan plant, reportedly over guards beating up a worker engadget. Makes iPhone 5 backs, and has a history of oppressive work conditions.

Chinese “stimulus” evaporates MacroBusiness

Americans Deserve Pre-emptive Debate on Iran Strike Bloomberg. Swedish Lex says this is why Merkel and her cohorts are supporting Obama.

Netanyahu’s red lines mark split with US Financial Times

Local ships take part in minesweeping exercise Virginian Pilot

Iran set to block access to Google Guardian

Eurogeeks are no longer the insiders you need John Dizard, Financial Times. Dizard is one of the very best columnists at the FT, and you have to search for his name on the site to find his work. I don’t know why they make his stuff so difficult to locate.

European Leaders Struggle to Overcome Fresh Crisis Stalemate Bloomberg

You’re Dreaming If You Think The Euro Crisis Is Resolved Illargi (Roel)

WTO slashes global trade forecast Guardian

Nation’s Choices Needn’t Be Painful Robert Frank, New York Times

Bill Maher – New Rules. 2012.09.21 (Z) Most of this segment takes the supposedly high minded independent voter down quite a few notches

Pastors Take on the IRS Jonathan Turley (Chuck L)

Blackstone to acquire Tampa Bay rental homes valued at $1B Tampa Bay Business (Lisa E). $1 billion by one fund in Tampa Bay alone.

Banks Threaten Elderly Veterans With Foreclosure TruthOut (Lisa E)

* * *

lambert here:

Mission elapsed time: T + 17 and counting*

“I expect the leader of the free world to go commando. Plus, his horse totally choked at the Olympics. On the other hand, he did invent Obamacare.” —Homer Simpson

This Week with George Stephanopoulos as told to The Bobblespeak Translations: “STEPHANOPOULOS: why aren’t you winning more easily? AXELROD: we will crush Romney and drive his advisors from the land and hear the lamentations of his fundraisers

Occupy. Demands (thumbsucker): “Demanding the creation and expansion of commons that are not subject to the imperative of accumulation and profit would make the divisions that are latent in the 99 percent apparent.”

Montreal. CLASSE: “The new Parti Québécois government scrapped a controversial increase in post-secondary tuition fees this week and a hardline student group is now turning to free education as its long-term goal.” That’s the ticket! What have you done for me lately?

AL. Privatization: “[Superintendent] Wardynski claimed that artificial intelligence would free teachers up from evaluating student’s work” (more; more).

CA. Corruption: “Some San Diego police employees are questioning the treatment of a police captain’s son who was not taken to jail after allegedly groping two women, punching another in the face, and drunkenly smashing a car window in Pacific Beach last month.”

CO. Enthusiasm: “The crowd’s reception for Romney was enthusiastic and loud on a clear night at the outdoor rally in Jefferson County, CO. Chants of ‘We want Mitt’ broke out before and after Romney’s speech.”

CT. Foreclosures: “BoA offered the couple a chance to modify the loan on the Jones Street house they’ve owned for 10 years in order to make payments more manageable, but only with conditions that include essentially agreeing to a gag-order.” … Charters: “[T]he district has suddenly found $2 million to improve the [Milner School] facility. Since those changes are publicly funded, the question is why Hartford failed to make those investments before. When it was only the needs of the students, the city failed to produce the resources. Yet the moment funds would flow through a private charter school company, the commitments were made.”

FL. Corruption: ” A key witness in a federal grand jury case involving U.S. Rep.David Rivera is still missing, but she left important evidence behind for investigators: at least four envelopes that had been stuffed with unreported campaign cash.” Where do these guys think they’re from? New Orleans?

MA. Elizabeth Warren: “It is as if the US Senate race will be decided by who is more popular at the Owl Diner, or who can tell the best story about Tarsy Poulios’s time on the City Council” (Lowell is ground zero).

MI. Public goods: “But we were healthy — perfectly healthy — until that PBB mess.” … Climate: “With a 50% decrease in hay production and each bale ranging from $4 to $9.50, many horse owners are puzzled over how to make ends meet this year.” Summer in March, frost in April. … Water: “Pressure is mounting on the U.S. and Canadian governments to explore ways to restore water levels on Lakes Michigan and Huron that have been lowered nearly two feet due to historic dredging on the St. Clair River. The two lake have been below their long-term average for more than a decade, and forecasters say in the coming months they could plunge below their record low.”

NY. Transparency: “[U]nder ‘participatory budgeting’ four City Council members completely surrendered control of a combined total of $5.6 million of their discretionary capital budgets to a transparent decision-making process led by their constituents. Four more council members have now signed on to the program for its second year, which has just begun. … Fracking: “Nearly 30 people slammed the energy industry outside the Chemung County Jail on Friday but praised [Susan Walker, 53] held inside for refusing to pay a fine for trespassing at a proposed gas storage facility. ‘If I were a corporation, I would not be going to jail.’, [Walker said].”

OH. Voting: “‘We see these lawsuits now. If it’s close, we’ll see these lawsuits later,’ said Edward Foley, an Ohio State University law professor specializing in election law.” … Fracking: “‘The geological formation in our area is prone for injection of used fracking water,’ [Kent Service Director Gene Roberts] said, estimating about 60 injection wells projected for Portage County in the future. ‘Injection wells are becoming a greater issue, leeching toxic fluids laden with heavy metals and chemicals into the drinking water,’ [Ted Voneida, former chair of Northeast Ohio Medical University’s neurobiology department] said. ‘The concrete lining is faulty and can leak out.'” … Romney: “Barnstorming the state by starting in western Ohio, which one R privately calls an ‘I-75 strategy,’ is no fluke. The freeway runs from Cincinnati to Toledo, via Dayton, Lima, Findlay and Bowling Green. Along and west of I-75 are some of Ohio’s most conservative counties” (Thomas Suddes)

SC. Working Families Party: “In 2010, candidates co-endorsed by the party received an average of 10 percent of their votes from voters selecting them as Working Families Party contenders.”

TN. Charters: “[A] rewrite of Tennessee’s charter schools statute repeal[ed] numerical limits on how many there can be. One provision says that, if a charter is denied at the local level, the state Board of Education can review the decision. If the state board approves, the local school board is then obliged to approve as well” (so much for home rule). … Transparency: “Department of Children’s Services data indicate that in the first six months of the year 31 TN children died who were either in state custody or who had been brought to the attention of child welfare workers. A DCS attorney also acknowledged that the agency had failed to follow the law in routinely notifying lawmakers of each death.”

VA. Heritage: “It is immensely sad to see not one but two efforts to preserve the tragic history of slavery and memorialize the many victims of that vile institution founder and fail. The dead, and their descendants, deserve better.”

WA. Legalization: “But four [pro-marijuana legalization editors] on Sunday is a thunderclap, especially coming from the state’s leading conservative media outlet [the Seattle Times] with reach into those swingy, swing suburbs.”

WI. Enthusiasm: “Obama energized his supporters who filled the 5,000-seat BMO Harris Pavilion, [in Milwaukee] along with thousands more who sat in bleachers and stood on the pavement beyond the protection of the roof, even as wind and rain lashed down in the latter moments of the near 30-minute speech.” Yes, throwing Barrett under the bus is so yesterday.

Outside baseball. Privatization: “The pattern on the rug grows clear. Teaching will become a job, not a profession. Young people will typically spend a year or two as teachers, then move on to other, more rewarding careers. Federal and state policy will promote online learning, and computers will replace teachers.” Next, professors! …. Dependency: “[T]he overwhelming majority of entitlement benefit spending goes to support people who either: a) have worked their entire lives; b) are working currently; c) must find work before time limits expire (and demonstrate progress in doing so); d) cannot work because of a disability; or e) are widows and orphans. How does any of this promote dependency?” (study). Not “entitlements.” Social insurance. … More guns, please: “Many colleges have long been allowed to make their own decisions [(!!)] about whether students can carry firearms on campus, and most still forbid it. But gun-rights advocates working through the courts and state legislatures have managed to secure a significant expansion of gun rights at public universities.” … Community courts: “[C]ommunity courts are designed to provide quicker, cheaper justice while improving life in specific neighborhoods or police precincts. Defendants perform community service in the neighborhoods where they broke the law. Taggers must paint over graffiti. And shoplifters are required to help distribute clothes to the poor. States with community courts include MN, IN, NJ, CT, VA, GA, TX, TN, UT, CO, OR and WA.” Readers, any experience?

Legacy parties. Ds: “Obama [recounted] the differences between the Ds and Rs. They are almost all defensive. Defend social security, Medicare, and abortion. The Ds are not on the offensive” (Nader) … Rs: “The Republican Party — not just the Romney campaign, but the party as a whole — is running on nothing” (American Conservative).

The trail. Confidence: “How political is the public’s views on the economy? Gallup earlier this month saw its biggest spike ever in economic confidence–up 11 percentage points in just one week. That week also happened to correspond with the week of the Democratic National Convention.” … Campaigns: “This is a country with more than 300 million people and it moves slowly and incrementally in most cases, absent a huge event or crisis. It is usually the accumulation of various events or decisions that cause movement in voter attitudes, not any single event.” … Polls: “[Obama campaign manager MESSSINA: ‘We’re either tied or in the lead in every battleground state 45 days out. I think you will see a tightening in the national polls going forward. What I care way more about is OH, CO, VA, WI, etc. In those states, I feel our pathways to victory are there. There are two different campaigns, one in the battlegrounds and one everywhere else. That’s why the national polls aren’t relevant to this campaign.” So, if you don’t live in a swing state, why throw your vote away by voting for either legacy party? … 2016 (already): “[Creating frustration [Oh noes!] for his inner circle, as Mr. Cuomo considers a 2016 campaign for the White House, the eyes of his party are fixed on Mrs. Clinton.” … 2016: “Former President Bill Clinton said Sunday that he had ‘no earthly idea’ whether his wife might decide to run for the presidency in 2016,” … Rick Perry: “What is not widely known is that Perry, 62, had major health issues too — a serious but previously undiagnosed sleep disorder that was discovered just as the front-runner label was slipping from his hands.” … Partisan affiliation: “During the last three years, the range of Ds has varied from a high of 35% to a low of 28%. The range of Rs have been 32% to 18%. The range of independents has varied from 33% to 24%. The range of “none of these” is 7% to 20%.”

The Romney. Trope watch: “An R friend that I was having dinner with said this guy is defective. He’s like a bad NASCAR driver on a rich team. No matter how good the car is, no matter how bad the pit crew is, the driver has got to drive the car. And this guy puts it on the wall every single time.” Ouch! …. Learning: “[ROMNEY: ] But have I learned? Have I found that some things I thought would be effective turned out not to be effective? Absolutely” (60 Minutes). Now Romney’s “learning”! [NC 2012-09-21]

The Obama. Bipartisanship: “[OBAMA: A]fter the smoke clears and the election season’s over that that spirit of cooperation — comes more to the fore” (60 Minutes) Just like 2009! Oh, wait… Note the qualifier: “[OBAMA:] I think that, you know, as president I bear responsibility for everything, to some degree.” Deceptive CNN headline says “full responsibility.” … Content of his character: “[Hendryk] HERTZBERG of Obama: He is ‘such a singular creature.’ After saying, ‘he’s a black American,’ [Gwen] IFILL chimes in: “So they say.’” Ouch!

* Slogan of the day: Boundlessly loyal to the great leader Romney, boundlessly loyal to the great Romney Thought, boundlessly loyal to CEO Romney’s neo-liberal line!

* * *

Antidote du jour:

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  1. Jim Haygood

    From ‘Pastors Take On the IRS’:

    Over 1,000 churches will be challenging the IRS by telling their parishioners who they want them to vote for in the upcoming national elections. The event is dubbed “Pulpit Freedom Sunday.”

    Oh, great — blue churches and red churches! If they think this will reverse the sliding proportion of churchgoers in the population, they are delusional.

    Religion always will engage with issues, as is its prerogative. The sin that was most dinned into our heads as children was ‘premarital sex.’ I figured if it so exercised the adults, maybe I’d better give it a go with some pony-tailed temptress.

    That no major U.S. religion condemns Obama’s drone murders (which his opponent would surely continue) tells you how irrelevant religion is to teaching any recognizable moral standards today. Most pastors toe the safe line of sticking to pop culture (television, movies, politics) to illustrate their homilies, rather than venturing onto the dangerous territory of criticizing an increasingly violent and sociopathic government.

    After all, virtually without exception, its flag hangs near the altar. Render unto Caesar …

      1. Nathanael

        Churches have a perfect right to do political lobbying.

        And then they should pay their damn taxes. The IRS should say “Sure you’re a church, whatever, now PAY YOUR TAXES”.

        There is no excuse for tax exemptions for churches unless the church actually operates as a charity (which most don’t).

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Is that ‘render unto Caesar all material matters, like money, and render unto God all spiritual matters, which do not include money?’

      1. F. Beard

        No, the Temple Tax could not be paid with Caesar’s money.

        Why don’t you read the Bible instead of making wild guesses about what it says?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Is it true that you could pay your temple tax by giving your first born son to the priests?

          Is it also true that you can pay with valuable pieces of gold and silver work?

          1. F. Beard

            Why you haven’t been banned as a troll is a mystery to me. But you will be eventually as people get wise to you, I’d bet.

    2. F. Beard

      Christians are to obey Caesar unless it conflicts with obeying God:

      Romans 13:1-7 and

      But Peter and the apostles answered and said, “We must obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29

      1. patricia

        “Romans 13:2-4. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason.”

        You cannot make it work, Beard. Paul institutes the illogic of authoritarianism. His writings were/are an ongoing source of mental disorder for any human inclined to believe that the Bible is infallible scripture.

        At its most blunt and raw, how does a child abused by priests respond to a statement such as this? Carried forward, this kind of thinking destroys both the individual soul and society.

        That you don’t thoroughly believe it yourself is your saving grace.

        1. F. Beard

          At its most blunt and raw, how does a child abused by priests respond to a statement such as this? Patricia

          By reading the rest of the Bible and realizing that that priest will not go unpunished?

          Also, the Bible warns us against taking our own vengeance but implies that others may take it for us. A few dead or castrated pedophile priests might serve as an object lesson.

        2. F. Beard

          On second thought, government in the Bible does seem to have the upper hand (after 1 Samuel 8) so kids should be taught to report pedophile priests, bishops and Popes and anyone else to the civil authorities.

          1. patricia

            Yes. But the core of the damage is that such Biblical statements twist one’s understanding of God. A child abused by authority will believe that God sees the abuse as his/her own fault. Family/friends view authority with respect and awe, which creates a fog of passivity. And, as we have seen repeatedly, it makes self-righteous those who cover up the crap. (“I am instituted by God!”)

            Passages such as these also encourage large groups of people to accept whatever underlying authority runs their nation. Not the strawman authorities (“Pro-choice liberals want to destroy marriage and take my dwindling monies!”) but the actual authorities–the military, transnat corps, financial institutions, ultra-wealthy, and their colluders.

            It causes such dissonance that they ignore/twist huge swaths of reality. It is, at macro, the same problem faced by the small abused child.

            You wrote that a child should be taught to report to civil authorities. A child is incapable of it since he/she hasn’t enough maturity to understand the meaning of the abuse (“It just feels icky!”) but, yes, the family/community should do so. But the supposedly complete Word of God, in which they believe is everything worth knowing, teaches otherwise. It creates deep pathology.

            There are some beautiful concepts in the Bible.

            Be well, Beard!

  2. Goin' South

    Re: Wisconsin–

    “Yes, throwing Barrett under the bus is so yesterday.”

    I think Barrett was the bus. It was the labor insurgency that got tossed.

  3. Peter Pinguid Society

    Introducing Peter Matthiessen.

    Esteemed writer, three-time winner of the National Book Award, environmental activist, defender of native American rights, Zen Buddhist and early pioneer of LSD, joint founder and co-owner of the literary magazine Paris Review, that published such writers as Jack Kerouac, V. S. Naipaul, Philip Roth, Nadine Gordimer and Jean Genet.

    The writer Don DeLillo him as “one of our best writers”.

    Harvard Paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould called Matthiessen “our greatest modern nature writer in the lyrical tradition”.

    Oh, and I almost forgot, such a minor detail: Peter Mathiessen, CIA AGENT, member in good standing of the Peter Pinguid Society. Born and brought up as part of the east coast aristocracy, who once said, in a May 27, 2008 interview with Charlie Rose, that he “INVENTED The Paris Review as COVER” for his CIA activities. (hat tip: jsmith)

    WE’VE GOT YOU COMING AND GOING. We cover all the bases.

    Let’s say you’re a Kos reading Kossack. Or maybe not a Kossack retard, let’s give you some credit for half a brain and say you’re trying to escape the system so you become a Zen Buddhist, take lots of LSD, and throw paint onto the walls to create Abstract Expressionist paintings.

    No problem, we’ve got you covered.

    Or you come up with this radical new way of rejecting the system. You become a conceptual Post-artist. You do performance pieces such as Vacuuming, which consists of vacuum cleaning the second floor front and rear space, landing, stairs and entrance at 161 West 23rd Street in NYC, and the vacuum bags discarded after each cleaning are proof of the work’s significance.

    No problem, man, we’ve got you covered.

    Did you know the CIA owns 161 West 23rd Street?

    Congratulations! you’re working for us now.

    We are the Peter Pinguid Society, we are the 0.01 percent.

    1. Ms G

      It’s the onion that keeps on peeling. Are we at the point in history where the core of everything a .01% scheme?

      Thank you for today’s post, Peter Pinguid. (And to the WD + CD RJS Foundation for making it possible.)

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I think 0.01%, in addition to being both a noun and an adjective, can be a verb.

        Here is one example.

        Candidate A knows how to 0.01% others in the business world. Therefore, he is qualified to 0.01% others in the political world.

        1. Bert_S

          I think “Post Artists” have a lot of potential, especially working as “people” for the .01%. For instance, if they have Vacuum Art, then why not Tax Form Origami?

          But we need a better name than .01%. It just sounds so numerical and dry. And why so small?

          I was thinking Post Humans – but sci-fi took that one already, and I don’t think it really applies anyway.

          I kinda like Morlocks, but maybe that just tickles my fancy and isn’t mainstream enough.

          1. drupi

            “Polished Turd” is a more accurate descriptor of the 0.01% than any I’ve sen.
            A perfumed p.o.s. is still a p.o.s. no matter how money / power it has.

    2. Aquifer

      Question – so what are we to take away from this? Reject all of Matthiessen’s writings and everything by anyone who writes for/in the Paris Review? At this rate what’s left to read – the comics? or are they CIA too. At some point it seems to me such “info” is, at best, less than useful, and at worst, stultifying in the extreme …

      1. Ms G

        I find it very useful, as it allows me to “consider the source” as I read and therefore to make more conscious choices.

        1. Aquifer

          So, considering the source leads you to do what, exactly, with Matthieson’s readings, refuse to read them, change your mind from your first impressions of the value of the content or style? Considering the source is a two edged sword, IMO …

          i have to admit – it seems that so many sites i visit these days are overwhelmed with conspiracy theories, all based on some variation of clandestine gov’t control over some aspect of our society, to the point where one might logically, understandably, and reasonably wonder whether this saturation with conspiracy theory might, in itself, be a conspiracy to make folks so paranoid and afraid and convinced that “resistance is futile” that we either won’t desire to resist out of fear or be totally ineffective because we will be convinced that we can trust no one in our efforts, cutting us off at the knees…..

          Whether all this stuff is true or not, who the hell knows – but, taken in the aggregate, in fact, the effect it IS most likely to produce is an increase in cynicism and in a sense of impotency that in turn enervates any movement of or toward resistance …. That this result is an obvious consequence would legitimately allow a question as to motives …. A movement that thrives on questioning others motives must accept the legitimacy of questioning it’s own …

          Hey, that interpretation, using the same “logic”, is as valid as any other, ISTM, and, frankly, considering the response i often get to my enjoinders to buck the political system, is worthy of serious consideration ….

          This is not to argue that ignorance is bliss and “truth” should be “smothered” – only to suggest that overwhelming paranoia and hopelessness is not, IMO, a useful state to be in if one wants to fix something ….

          I suppose this response will produce a check in my “troll” column – oh well ….

          1. Ms G

            I don’t see discernment or cynicism as a facet of impotence. So perhaps that is where we differ?

            As far as reading Matthiesen’s books is concerned, learning about his underlying role as a CIA operative at the Review leads me to lose all interest in whatever he has written without disclosing that fact widely (though I was not impressed with the one book of his I read about 15 years ago). I do not feeling as though I am losing out on Shakespeare, for instance. And I’m not enabling the author’s activities as a covert CIA agent. That’s enough for me. And it is liberating, not paralyzing. So much room/time to explore other realms.

          2. Aquifer

            Who knows, maybe Shakespeare had a connection to the MI5 of his day …. would knowing that change your opinion of his work? It would “shed a whole new light” on many of his plays, now wouldn’t it …. (not that i am comparing the quality of Matthiesen’s work to that of Shakespeare …)

            I did not say that cynicism was an element of impotence – I said cynicism AND impotence – both of which tend to lead to detachment from any effort to resist – the former because any opposing effort/person offered “is just another scam/artist”, thus worthy of no support and the latter because any opposition, no matter how worthy, is futile ..

            I am obviously a person of no great sophistication, but to tell you the truth, though it may be nothing more than sour grapes, i has always seemed to me that the sophistication of well cultivated cynicism is a bit of a trap, to say the least …

          3. Aquifer

            “I has always seemed …” to forget to put a “t” here and there where they belong, wonder why tha is …

      2. Peter Pinguid Society

        There’s no reason to stop reading Matthiessen’s books.

        Speaking for the Peter Pinguid Society, you have differences and divisions and disagreements even within the 0.01. It’s rare to find three people who get along. About the only thing we all agree on is preserving the status quo.

        On the one hand, you have those like Matthiessen who are extraordinarily rich in culture and knowledge of the natural world. Their job is to influence the literate and sensitive types.

        And then you have the cave-men and barbarians completely lacking in culture or interest in the natural world, like Cheney, Karl Rove, the Bush family, the Koch brothers, etc

        Their job is to influence the cave-men and barbarians.

        But if even Matthiessen was a CIA operative who admitted he set up The Paris Review as cover for CIA activities, do you think there could be other things going on that no one has mentioned on Charlie Rose?

        How much of what you think you know is based on deception?

        What else have we NOT told you?

        We are the Peter Pinguid Society, we are the 0.01 percent.

        1. Ms G

          Peter Pinguid said: “What else have we NOT told you?”

          A hella stuff. That is why some 99.99%-ers are increasingly listening out for the dogs that did not bark, rather than tuning into your Fabricated Loony Toon Sensurround Reality! I know that today you are laughing all the way to the Bank (on my dime); enjoy it while it lasts!

      3. Walter Wit Man

        Yes, the spooks controlled comics as well. I was reading something on this recently and will try to find it . . .

        The spooks and their masters [the financial elite] control society. Period. They do this by controlling our culture which today is media and art (music and movies), etc. Ever wonder why football is like a religion now? Ever wonder why the president is being casually described as the “leader of the free world” during football games while military jets fly over head and cheerleader babes shake their booties and even a labor dispute between the refs and the league is heavily propagandized? Our entire culture is entirely controlled for capitalist and geopolitical purposes. There is no broader genuine culture.

        The perps hijacked our media over 100 years ago. Really, it happened long before that, but it was the combination of the modern city and modern commercial culture (and advertising) with a controlled media that has really indoctrinated us.

        1. Bert_S

          Well, I do recall reading somewhere that they test marketed Synchronized Trampolining, then had the Dallas Indian Cheerleaders (350lbs a piece) come out at halftime and do a lap around the field in their motorized Wal-Mart scooters while a kazoo speed walking band played.

          But it didn’t catch on.

      1. Walter Wit Man

        Great link. His series on Laurel Canyon as well as the staged Moon Landings are great.

        There is no way these Laurel Canyon musicians were a “coincidence.” No way all these kids of military intelligence families just happened to become popular musicians and around the same time.

        Fake. Fake. Fake.

        Just like the Beatles invasion. Did you know the screaming girls meeting the Beatles at the airport was staged? Hell, they were doing that with Benny Goodman and then Frank Sinatra, and Elvis, right?

        1. ohmyheck

          Well THERE you are! I was wondering if you would go to that link, it’s right up your/our alley. Dammit, I spent way too much time today reading the Laurel Canyon articles.
          Dammit! I had things to do today. Oh well. Utterly fascinating, though, imo.

    3. Susan the other

      I think I’ll stick with Edward Abbey and John Muir. Because all things supercilious and fatuous, like some new book from the Brits on Kim Philby, just make me mildly ill. Thanks PPS for reminding me why I could never get past the first 10 pages of all that “highly recommended” reading.

      1. Aquifer

        Don’t be a bit surprised if someone comes up with a link that proved Abbey, or his mother’s cousin with whom he dined on several occasions, had links to the CIA ….

    4. ZygmuntFraud

      The MUCR or Monarchist Union of Central Russia (supposedly Монархическое объединение Центральной России in Russian) was a fake Monarchist organization in 1920’s Soviet Russia.
      It was a trap, even for super-spies like Sidney Reilly …
      The MUCR was a fron for the KGB of the day. MUCR was part of “Operation Trust”. I don’t think MI5 or MI6 had MUCR covered.

    1. Ms G

      That, and the Anschluss’ing of American housing stock. Followed by “A Rental in Every Pot” (ref. Herbert Hoover’s “chicken” line during the depression) — predicted to be a new slogan about 1.2 years into Obomney’s second term.

      Mark my words!

      Ms. G

  4. Aquifer

    The NYT seems to have “lost the page” on the 2016 “frustration” (Cuomo) link – hmmm, I wonder why that is ….

  5. Aquifer

    The piece on Occupy re commons was intriguing – it seems to me that could dovetail nicely with the movements exemplified by Maude Barlow, re establishing “rights” charters at the UN level (e.g. water as a human right).

    Pincer movement from above (international) and below (the street).

  6. rich

    “Occupy the Economy: Challenging Capitalism”
    David Barsamian; Richard Wolff
    About the Program

    Richard Wolff and David Barsamian talk about our economic crisis and argue that it can be traced back to the 1970s, when our economic system shifted from benefiting a vast majority of Americans to one which mostly benefits only the very rich. This event was hosted by City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco.

    1. Synopticist

      Because Europeans, even conservative Europeans, know that Romney’s republicans are freakishly insane moonbats, and they don’t want to have to deal with them.

      Sensible centre-right Obama suits them fine. It means they can carry on looting the continents wealth to prop up the banking sector, without the proles being shocked into an angry reaction by the election of a NAKEDLY pro-super rich American president.

  7. c.

    Riot breaks out at Foxconn’s Taiyuan plant, reportedly over guards beating up a worker engadget. Makes iPhone 5 backs, and has a history of oppressive work conditions.

    Link with commentary and no context. Excellent job there today. Yes, Foxconn has “oppressive work conditions” compared to US standards. Compared to Chinese standards it’s quite the luxury working opportunity. Yes, they have suicides. Compared to background government worker suicide rate in Taiwan, Foxconn actually have a lower suicide rate. I can go on. Please, if you feel the need to make commentary atleast put it in context.

    The bigger issue might be stated, China’s most famous oppressive electronics manufacturer, they’re all oppressive, seems to have had a riot break out… etc. etc.

    Please, context or skip the link. Thank you.

      1. JTFaraday

        I don’t know. This could be a troll, but it could be a not artfully expressed comment that while we focus on Foxconn– perhaps we’re just Apple haters or haters of iThing gaping Americans (which may be true)– Foxconn is not even worst in class.

        The larger context would be interesting to know more about.

        There does seem to be the desire to say that East Asian government run work farms are worse than Apple/Foxconn run work farms, which one might take to be anti-government (God forbid!), but I don’t know if this is true or not. Do you?

        1. Ms G

          JT Faraday. Following up on your comment, a couple of questions.

          If, given context, there are metrics allowing one to say that conditions at FoxConn (as documented in this and other stories) are “better than” conditions at other Chinese or East Asian factories (e.g., “more brutal” beatings, even less pay, living quarters covered in urine, etc. etc.) , then conditions at FoxConn are somehow acceptable or palatable or beyond reproach or not worthy of attention and pressure to reform? What is the point here — that we — those who do not work in a FoxConn factory — may then feel better about the atrocities that go on there and Apple and its i-Junk get a pass? If your mother, wife, daughter worked at FoxConn would that change anything?

          1. JTFaraday

            My point is– WHERE do you see that implication, of dismissal, in that comment? WHERE do you see that dismissal in my comment?

            I’m trying to suggest that there has to be a whole world of near slave industrial conditions beyond Foxconn, to which the comment alludes.

            If anyone dismissed that world, it’s the All-knowing Troll Grade, who assumed their interpretation and only their interpretation of that not artfully written comment was the correct one.

            We’re not going to suggest that conditions are better wherever they make the crap we buy in the Dollar store, are we?

          2. JTFaraday

            And one more thing about that. Had the “All-Knowing Troll Grader” disregarded that not artfully written comment, probably no one else would have jumped on it.

            Or, at least as likely, they would have asked the original poster the question you ended asking me.

            I can already how this site is going to devolve.

          3. JTFaraday

            ooops, sorry– meant to type:

            Or, at least as likely, they would have asked the original poster the question you ended upasking me.

            I can already seehow this site is going to devolve.

        1. Aquifer

          Could you enlighten me on how this AEC thing is supposed to work? i read the post yesterday on trolls, but I guess i am too dumb to figure it out – is the original post removed or kept with “corrections” and is it obvious that the corrections are made by AEC?

          Who decides on what is a candidate – is there a vote?

          I have been on other sites where it became fashionable to use the troll label – frankly, it seemed to me to degrade the conversation as much as the “troll” did – but that is just my take …

        2. Ms G

          L, I couldn’t add the rest of the reply because that is the Curator’s prerogative! Defo AEC candidate, on the other hand, disappeared quickly into the mist.

    1. Aquifer

      So, let’s see – abuses at Foxconn should be ignored because – a)others do the same b)the workers are masochists c)Apple is after all only killing them with kindness …

      (I guess I’m not supposed to respond, right? – but here’s the problem – believe it or not this person’s(?) argument as advanced and repeated all over, has grown roots in “everyman’s” psyche and should not, IMO, go unchallenged. Apparently whoever wrote this figures that a lot of folks come here, not all of whom would dismiss it out of hand …)

    2. craazyman

      there was a great Kung Fu episode (that 70s TV show I mean) where Chinese workers building the railroad out west were getting killed and injured on the job.

      Somehow Kwai Chang Cain (actor David Carridine) got in with them as a laborer, as one of their own.

      As people may know, Kwai Chang Cain was a trained Shaolin temple priest and kung fu master who could basically kick anybody’s ass anytime he wanted to. You’d be sitting there on the floor watching the TV, just watching him take shit and take more shit and take more shit, humbly and politely. It built like a coiled spring, and then some badass would go a step too far and all hell would break loose with Kung Fu moves and all the bad dudes would be sprawled on the ground.

      It was a very satisfying spectacle for the morally sensitive. The shows writers were often top notch. Really profound scenes with strong actions and dialogue that sometimes achieved a sparse poetry of meaning.

      So finally the railroad cowboys went a step too far, and all hell broke loose with Cain right in the middle, his arms and legs flying everywhere and badass cowboys on the ground in piles. You can even see it on Youtube.

      It makes you wonder whether the Foxconn dudes threw some kung fu moves on the guards or vice versa. It sounds like a Kung Fu movie, with 2000 dudes going at it at once.

      Not much changes in China, I guess. Or anywhere really. Just the clothes and the ways the fists fly. I personally never made it past the green belt. Which wasn’t very far. But I’m not a badass cowboy either so I don’t worry much about taking a punch. The worst it gets usually is a hangover from red red wine. Life is hard for some people and I don’t know how they endure.

        1. craazyman

          wow. those are hellacious pics. I wonder if some dude with a fresh iphone caught them for posterity :()

          It was always good to see Kwai Chang Cain kick ass.

          There was one time when a whole tribe of Apaches shot at him from a hilltop with bows and arrows. He just made a few deft moves with his forearms and deflected all the arrows right and left. It was incredible.

          he probably could have kicked all their asses if he wanted, but mostly he’d try to avoid fights. You when he was trying hard to avoid a fight, getting humiliated and insulted by some badass, that it was only a matter of minutes before his foot would be upside that dudes head. haha.

          1. Bert_S

            Ya. Censorship in a iPhone factory must be a bitch.

            That’s my favorite too, when Kung Fu guys do the arrow deflection thing.

            The part about avoiding fights is a Zen thing, I think.

            But that would be hard to tell from watching Kill Bill. The Chinese dude with the white hair was one ornery SOB.

            Plucked Daryl Hannah’s eye out and would beat the crap out of David and Uma for almost no reason at all!

    3. f.

      Why bother with context? Anybody who’s stupid enough to carry an Apple brand government-surveillance device cannot understand stuff like context. You think they care that Foxcon fails to comply with ILO Standards 87 or 98? You think they care that Apple itself wipes its ass with ILO Standards 87 and 98? These consumer victims don’t even know that Apple’s covert surveillance utilities violate CCPR Article 17, that’s how numb and doped-up these consumer zombies are.

  8. House Wulf

    Wow! We have to look to the comedians to say what the main stream media cannot say. Maher nailed it when describing the undecided voter.

    I depended on Comedy Central for my information on the two conventions.

  9. barrisj

    “Washington Week in Review: Gwen Ifill – one of the dumbest empty suits on the telly – Lawrence Spivak continues to spin uncontrollably in his grave. At one time, that program was really worth watching, when you had real reporters unabashedly taking on DC politicos with no concern about “objectivity”, or “equal time”, or “he said-she said” inanity.
    Such is the state of today’s MSM that Ifill represents public television’s best effort in political “analysis”…feh!

  10. Hubert

    “Dizard is one of the very best columnists at the FT, and you have to search for his name on the site to find his work”
    Dizard is THE BEST on FT and very hard to find while Wolfgang Munchau is probably THE WORST and always with TOP MARKER on the site.
    I would conclude that the FT is less for Thought/Analysis than for BS/Propaganda.

    1. JustAnObserver

      If not the BEST then certainly up there with the Martin Wolf’s, Johns (Gray & Gapper), etc. Even Gillian Tett seems to be slowly coming back to form.

      Question: How is it that, almost alone of the financial MSM, the FT has, at least in its columnists, managed to maintain a considerable degree of contact with reality ? The Economist used to be there as well but, more & more, I’m beginning to write it off as an deficit hysteric lost cause.

      1. Nathanael

        FT is a British newspaper. None of the rest of the “financial press” is a British newspaper.

        The British newspaper industry is still thriving on strong, opinionated news — i.e. they still have to do actual journalism to sell papers, and they do it, and it does sell papers, which isn’t what happens over here since most cities reduced to a single daily paper.

  11. Susan the other

    Today’s links on the Euromess. Italy saying that they aren’t going to “give up their sovereignty” and allow the ECB to dictate conditions. What crazy gobbledegook. Italy, et. al. gave up their sovereignty when they signed a contract to join the EU that lacked mutuality. Just like people signing contracts that are totally one-sided give up their rights. The talk is so spun out now it can’t even be understood. But the bottom line is that the EU is a political agreement, because all things are political including economics, and so it can be adjusted at will. They should draft a new legal instrument that effectively creates a restraining order against any new debt burden until the underlying contract is made equitable to all parties. Fun.

    1. Jim

      Rule of law doesn’t matter in Brussels, Susan.

      While Italy may have given up its sovereignty when it joined the EZ, Germany certainly did not.

      In fact, it extracted an EXPLICIT contract from the ECB that it would never monetize debt of any member country. Nonetheless, one month ago, the ECB proceeds to monetize debt.

      My point? Even if Italy had an agreement with the EZ stipulating that what it maintains is true, the “small group of far sighted statesmen” in Brussels would have no qualms about unilaterally changing it.

      These people believe that they alone can rule over Europe (sans the UK, which had the foresight to remain a nation state), regardless of voter discontent.

      And this is the scenario that many “progressives” in the US are cheering for.

      1. Susan the other

        Only by making the political contract mutually beneficial. I don’t see how, regardless of political power to foolishly impose austerity for a short time (which just makes everyone ten times angrier) the EZ can stay together without good policies. They don’t have any policies at all right now, let alone good ones.

  12. Susan the other

    Robert Frank. NYT. Nation’s Choices. I’m surprised this isn’t said every day somewhere in the NYT. It should be pointed out relentlessly that we need policy changes and good economic choices. Not a “plan” by that moron Paul Ryan. Jesus God. The infrastructure we build now should be sustainable. And our society should also be sustainable. As far as the Capitol dome repair work goes, I say let it fall in.

    1. ZygmuntFraud

      What I found was that the Supreme Court decided a case in 2009 related to Travelers and asbestos: Travelers Indem. Co. v. Bailey, 129 S. Ct. 2195 (2009).

      Maybe Elizabeth Warren was part of the team for Travellers at some court level (district, circuit, supreme). Someone on a team is not necessarily legal counsel. There are paralegals, expert witnesses, etc. The SCOTUS decision is only 25 pages.

      1. ZygmuntFraud

        For the opinion of the Court and the opinion of the dissenter(s), it’s probably best to search for: Travelers Indem. Co. v. Bailey PDF .

        E. Warren is listed as “Of counsel” and a second attorney at what seems to be a big law firm (in NYC?) is listed as “Counsel of Record”. [or maybe those appear on the Brief for Petitioners; I forget].

        1. Nathanael

          “Of Counsel” means you don’t have to be licensed to practice law in whatever jurisdiction, you’re not necessarily on the payroll, you’re just helping.

  13. JustAnObserver

    Re: Dizard

    In particular its really worth searching out the series of columns he’s done on the fracking “industry”. I think he was one of the earliest to jump on the extremely high rates of production decay in a fracked well, necessitating a constant stream of new investment to drill more & more wells. As a result in one of them IIRC he likened the fracking boom, from a financial point of view, to the sub-prime mortgage bubble.

  14. F. Beard

    re Pastors Take on the IRS Jonathan Turley (Chuck L):

    So who are these pastors gonna tell their congregations to vote for? Is this a pro-Obama or pro-Romney movement or neither?

    1. F. Beard

      So (haha!) are “Christian” Pastors going to tell their congregations to vote for a Mormon?! Will their politics trump their theology?

        1. Nathanael

          Seriously, someone needs to revoke their tax exemptions. I’m fine with churches being political organizations, I’m by now used to them being criminal conspiracies (the Catholic Church hierarchy at this point is mostly a conspiracy to cover up the abuse of children), I think it’s probably inevitable that they’re brainwashing-based organizations — but why for the love of all that is holy are they given TAX EXEMPTIONS?

          If they’re not paying taxes I shouldn’t have to pay taxes either.

  15. Hugh

    That Facebook settlement is outrageous. Consumers win against a corporation and they get nothing. Next time, they win maybe the courts will fine them to increase CEO bonuses. A natural progression, no?

    Netanyahu is a fascist. He’s not to be trusted, and he isn’t an ally.

    Isn’t Robert Frank just another Krugmanesque Establishment liberal deficit owl, or maybe worse? Some Keynesian stimulus now tackle the deficit later? It’s mostly BS. Any stimulus now would just be looted by the 1%. Frank’s advocacy of user fees is inherently regressive. It would do nothing about wealth and income inequality. As such, I would say Frank is running interference for the 1%.

    It would be interesting to know how accurate WTO forecasts have been over say the last ten years. The Guardian article didn’t even mention the warning signals coming out of China.

    1. Eureka Springs

      Maher is an insufferable, arrogant fool. Low info voters may be, you know, busy. to poor to give a rats ass, etc.

      Anyway, after several year hiatus from watching the show I caught the last couple of episodes.

      Take just one issue we know he believes in changing dramatically. Drug wars. And think for just one minute how the D party he’s enabling and promoting is against his belief in every way.

      Why should anyone listen to either a liar or an idiot who wont unapologetically stand up for what they believe in? In fact he’s championing the oppressor.

      Additionally recently I caught portion of a documentary rerun on Ralph Nader post Gore and Kerry election cycles. It included a snippet of Michael Moore and Maher on Real Time tag teaming Ralph on bended knee begging him to stop for the sake of Democrats… that is now permanently etched in my brain with new levels of contempt for both of them.

      Watching Maher this year quickly demonstrates he’s learned nothing.

      Go F yerselves Bill and Mike. 1 percent veal penners, the both of them.

      1. Neo-Realist

        There are a lot of low information voters who aren’t all that busy, and are smart, but are just intellectually lazy and would rather do things like play video games and engage in narcissistic social network masterbation on facebook and twitter. The realities are so daunting that they choose ignorance.

        I have to admit that Maher makes me chuckle with his jabs at the middle american rubes. Sure he’s in the veal pen, but if he escaped, he’d lose his comfy HBO gig.

        If Nader was so serious about establishing a third way of politics and governing outside of the Democratic/Republican dichotomy, why, after the election of 2000, didn’t he go about forging ahead with a 50 state strategy of sorts to find, run and elect Green Candidates for Congress all over the country. He tends to disappear into the ether between election cycles only to appear on the occasional talk show for the purpose of promoting some book or some singular cause. It makes me think that he is interested primarily in himself or is actually working for “them” rather than broader institutional change.

        1. Ms G

          Neo Liberal Democrats might recover some class (very small “c”) if they cut it out with their “jabbing” at “middle america rubes.” The smugness of .001%-ers (D or R) is revolting and ultimately extremely effective in losing large voting blocs. Heck, it’s almost as though the D’s had a territory-splitting deal with the R’s — “You get to make fun of “latte liberals” (and Kerry on his frick**n kite surf during campaign season) and we get to make tasteless, condescending jokes about “middle America rubes.”‘ This preserves the D & R’s respective “base” and voila — No Democracy For You Outside the Legacy System Inc.

          1. propertius

            “You get to make fun of “latte liberals” (and Kerry on his frick**n kite surf during campaign season) and we get to make tasteless, condescending jokes about “middle America rubes.”‘ This preserves the D & R’s respective “base” and voila — No Democracy For You Outside the Legacy System Inc.

            That really sums it up nicely. There is, in fact, nothing “the matter with Kansas” that also isn’t “the matter” with New York or Massachusetts.

          2. Ms G

            Exactly. (And nice riff on T. Frank.)

            Focus on X states v. Y states is the snare and delusion foisted on us by the D + R apparatus, which is nothing but Kleptocracy’s 2-trick-pony-show-for-rubes-of-all-states.

            New Acronym for Legacy Parties: DNR.

        2. Maximilien


          Your suspicions about Nader might have some substance. He is, after all, a lawyer, and can any lawyer really be trusted? Read chapter 4 of Andrew Tobias’s book “My Vast Fortune”, which is titled Ralph Nader Is A Big Fat Idiot.


          From the chapter: “…in 1996 Ralph Nader was the linchpin of a deceptive campaign that cost California consumers more than $3 billion a year.”

          The nut of Tobias’s story is that the drivers of California wanted no-fault insurance with cut-and-dried settlements for damages and injuries The lawyers wanted fault to be determined in court, with all the attendant legal
          wrangling and fat lawyers’s fees that came with it.

          According to Tobias, Nader sided with….the lawyers!! And the citizens of California were denied the public boon of no-fault auto insurance.

          An interesting, thought-provoking read.

    2. propertius

      I don’t see why it’s so terribly implausible that someone might have difficulty deciding between a corporate raider and a war criminal. Fortunately there are other alternatives.

  16. Eureka Springs

    As the documentary made crystal clear… Nader had an extraordinary number of traitors in his midst. And no doubt about it… D money party apparatus was applying serious torture like pressure to semi-friends, their family, organizations like Public Citizen.

    There are a lot of reasons people are low-info. Namely by design and intent of both criminal parties and oligarch owned, quote approved main stream media. Additionally if you aren’t a glutton for rehashing/punishment like me and many NC frequent flyers… you know those parties and our very constitution are not about us… except for the looting. So, delegitimization, even in low info intent or default is something I rather admire these days. We should not put them down… but wake them up when there is something/representation actually worth voting for.

  17. Kos machine

    Mitchell and I live under the ground and watch the console. The console is hooked up to the Kos machine. If certain events take place upon the console, we are to press a red button or a black button.

    Up on the console is an image of Bill Maher on live TV. Bill Maher’s brain receives information from Kos (after Mitchell receives and transmits it from the Kos machine) and the information acts by telling the neuroeffectors in the Bill Maher brain what to do. The neuroeffectors release a stream of Obot-neurotransmitters and the Obot-loop is completed as the performance of Obot-effectors provide new Kos-information to the Bill Maher Obot machine.

    This begins a new feedback loop, a nonlinear relationship between output and input. Next there is an interval, during which Mitchell presses the red button and the Kos machine creates new signals to the Obot-neurotransmitters in the Obot-Maher brain. This Kos transmission constitutes all that is directly experienced by the Obot Bill Maher brain.

    The response that takes place within the Obot Bill Maher brain is always effected without consent or awareness on his part. There is no choice. Kos information does not exist as information until it is within the higher levels of abstraction of the Obot-mind and computed as such.

    There is no choice or consent, all that’s happening in the Obot Maher’s brain are simultaneous neural operations generated by the Kos machine. In the instant in which signals from the Kos machine are projected into the Obot-Maher’s brain, bound up with the multiplicity of Kos neural operations projected onto the Obot-Maher mind, the subject once known as Bill Maher ceases to exist, he is no longer an independent subject, what you’ve witnessed instead is the birth of an Obot, a Kos transmitting machine.

    1. Kos machine

      Mitchell and I are still underground watching the console. We each wear a .45 and if Mitchell behaves strangely (i.e., fails to act like an Obot should) I am supposed to shoot him. If I behave strangely (or fail to act like an Obot should) Mitchell is supposed to shoot me.

      But I digress… for those who prefer to skip the precise electrical (not mental) transmission of neural pattern within the Maher Obot, here’s the short version:

      Bill Maher is Obot programmed by the Kos machine. Period.

      End of story.

      1. Kos machine

        Here you go, look for the first comment in response to the article below:

        Or if the link doesn’t work, just go to S.H.A.M.E. / August 15, 2012 eXiledonline

        New York Observer Picks Up S.H.A.M.E. Project Exposé On NPR Host Adam Davidson’s Conflicted Ties To Wall Street Sponsors

        And it’s the first comment (there was also an earlier version on Naked Capitalism, first comment under links for the day, Aug 15, 2012, but LCB got the wine selection wrong that day, so the eXiled comment was an improved version of the original NC comment)

  18. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit

    I run a community court – and am doing a presentation on them this week. Can’t beat experience like that… ;-)

  19. Dee

    Love the Huffington Post top article tonight..


    Just a couple years late. Everyone who follows knows Obama wants reforms to Medicare/Social Security since he was elected 4 years ago.

    Remember when the Democrats were proud of Social Security and Medicare? And what the hell happened to all of them?

  20. different clue

    So Blackstone is buying a billion dollars worth of Greater Tampa area rentcropper housing? Maybe they’ll lose their whole investment as the ice caps melt.

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