Links 10/18/12

Police arrest man armed with sawfish bill ABC (YY). Only in Australia.

Daddy Longlegs Discovered In Laos Has 13-Inch Leg Span Huffington Post (Carol B)

Chinese growth slows to 7.4% in Q3 Financial Times

Merkel criticises ‘snail’s pace’ of Greek reforms Telegraph

Euro Exit by Southern Nations Could Cost 17 Trillion Euros Der Spiegel. So Greece will not be permitted to exit, and will be pounded into something that bears no resemblance to a civilized society.

Turkey-Syria on the Brink of War OilPrice. This is a workmanlike overview; I’m sure NC readers can add to the discussion in comments.

El-Erian Cautions Romney on China Stance Bloomberg. I’m surprised there wasn’t more reaction to this in the media commentary. But I assume most political observers see this an empty promise. Plus as many commentators have pointed out, the renminbi just isn’t that undervalued any more, see Against a Sea of Enemies: China as Currency Manipulator, Menzie Chinn, Econbrowser

NYT Decides to Start Blaming Medicare and Social Security for Bad Weather Dean Baker

Congressman and Chairman of the House’s Homeland Security Committee: Terrorist Threat Worse Now than Before 9/11 George Washington. Well, of course security threats are worse! We are within weeks of an election!

The libertarian/marijuana conspiracy to swing the election David Sirota, Salon (Mark Ames)

Mind The Binder ThePhoenix. The real backstory of those binders.

Former Sen. George McGovern ‘no longer responsive’ NBC (Lambert)

Bloomberg Starts ‘Super PAC,’ Seeking National Influence New York Times (furzy mouse)

Ahead of gay marriage votes, advocates skeptical of polling Reuters (Carol B). Not sure I buy this. The people that I’ve run into who oppose gay marriage are awfully unabashed in saying so. Bigger point is survey results of any kind are very sensitive to how the question is phrased, so “Do you favor/oppose gay marriage?” is most assuredly NOT the same question as “Will you vote for/against Proposition XYZ [which legalizes gay marriage]?”.

Scott’s Story and the Election Nicholas Kristof, New York Times (furzy mouse). What is going on in our society? Is this just more organized trolling, the Internet version of brownshirts, or is there a real decay in the zeitgeist? Boy, do I wish I’d been able to get permanent residence in Oz….

Volcker criticises UK banking reforms Financial Times

Poor Market Conditions will See 180 Solar Manufacturers Fail by 2015 OilPrice

Foreclosure-Suit Funds Shifted Wall Street Journal

* * *

lambert here:

Mission elapsed time: T + 40 and counting*

Well, I got a job and tried to put my money away

But I got debts that no honest man can pay. —Bruce Springsteen, Atlantic City

CA. Air war: “[Sacramento’s] region’s media market currently ranks 8th in the nation for political ad buys and related filings. viewers are hearing arguments for and against candidates running in competitive races for congressional seats. The region’s media market reaches parts of four high-profile House races.”

CO. Marijuana legalization: “[Gary] Johnson’s supporters are deftly leveraging all hoopla around the marijuana initiative to sharpen their candidate’s appeal and message to disaffected Democrats. Is this a brilliant GOP conspiracy theory? In other words, is the libertarian candidate deliberately trying to help Romney, as Obama partisans will no doubt grouse? Almost certainly not, as Johnson is no fan of Romney. Nobody should be surprised that having been betrayed, many of those D-leaning voters who supported Obama in 2008 specifically because of his position on the Drug War may look for an alternative in 2012.” (David Sirorta; MA).

FL. Greens: “Only two candidates are on the ballot for FL State House in Jacksonville: R incumbent Lake Ray and Green Party nominee Karen Morian. Morian has been endorsed by the Florida AFL-CIO, Duval Ds, Jacksonville Young Ds, Florida NOW, and other influential groups.” Weird. …

IA. Food: “Outbursts of ‘you guys are cowards,’ ‘tin soldiers,’ and ‘corporate shills’ were shouted from nearly 30 Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (CCI) members who appealed for the EPC to prevent large-scale commercial livestock operations from applying liquid swine manure on land where the current crop has been harvested and will be planted to soybeans during the next crop season.” …. Buyer’s remorse: “A full-page Romney campaign ad in today’s Cedar Rapids Gazette takes the form of an open letter from 13 Iowans who say they voted for President Barack Obama in 2008 but regret their choice and won’t do so again in 2012.” Ouch!

LA. Oil: “About 565,000 pounds of oiled material from the Deepwater Horizon spill was brought to the surface by Hurricane Isaac, more than had been collected in eight months before the storm, the state’s coastal protection agency said Wednesday. Overall, about 4.9 million barrels of oil spilled into the gulf during the Deepwater Horizon disaster and 1 million barrels are still unaccounted for.” (Apparently, a barrel of oil is around 300 pounds.)=

ME. Ladies of negotiable affection: “Police say [Mark Strong, the man accused of booking clients at the Pura Vida Studio owned by Wright[ helped run Wright’s alleged side prostitution business and helped video-tape her clients. Prosecutors say they have 100 hours of video evidence.” IIRC, solicitation is a misdemeanor. Is blackmail a felony? … Ladies of negotiable affection: “Three police detectives are working full time going through the evidence seized in the investigation of an alleged prostitution business, with the probe expected to continue for a few more months, increasing the overtime expense for the town.” …. Corruption: “[Stephen Bowen, ME’s education commissioner,] was preparing an aggressive reform [sic] drive to dramatically expand and deregulate online education in ME. ‘I have no ‘political’ staff who I can work with to move this stuff through the process,’ he emailed [Patricia Levesque]. Levesque replied [that FL Gov. Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education] would be happy to suggest policies, write laws and gubernatorial decrees, and develop strategies to ensure they were implemented.”

NC. Swing states: “However, Obama has not stepped foot in the state since his convention drew to a close nearly six weeks ago. After he touches down in IA and NH this week, every other battleground state will have gotten some in-person Obama post-convention love except for the Tar Heel state.”

NY. Fracking: A New York coalition, the landowner Advocates of New York, is scheduling a pro-drilling rally on Oct. 15 in Albany. It is being supported by the 77,000-member Joint Landowners Coalition of NY.” (Cf. NC 2012-10-16. I wondered who printed those T-shirts…. More, much more.) … Fracking: “[Kirsten] Gillibrand, a former congresswoman seeking her first full-term in the U.S. Senate, said hydrofracking should not be allowed until chemicals used in the drilling process are disclosed and studied for health effects, lest they find their way into drinking water supplies. She also said plans must be in place for dealing with wastewater, which may become naturally irradiated, and sealing abandoned wells.” … Police state: “If you’re told to do something, do it without asking the reason” (video).

OH. Fracking: “[Youngstown City Councillor Annie] Gillam says the city has four thousand acres of land and is looking at leasing a tenth of that; which would raise two-to-three million dollars. ‘People are getting around $5-thousand an acre; but it could be more. I understand some Utica shale deposits are getting close to eight thousand.'” Well, I’m sure that covers the externalities! … Early voting: “The state’s elections chief says close to 407,000 Ohioans have already voted in the key presidential battleground.”

TX. Pipelines: “‘This is not about the money,’ said [Julia Trigg Crawford], who notes that TransCanada’s final offer of $20,000 amounts to less than $1 a day over 60 years, less time than her family has been on the land. ‘This is about the right of a landowner to control what happens on their land.”

WY. Coal: University of Wyoming officials sped up the removal of a controversial anti-coal sculpture because of the furor it caused [with angry state legislators, energy industry donors and trade group representatives], but chose to tell the public the removal was as scheduled and because of water damage, emails show.” Well, no harm done. I’m sure the public assumed the university administrators were lying anyhow.

Outside baseball. Fracking: “[Hearst Media banned] all comments using the word fracking [which] effectively prevents a large segment of the populace from exercising their First Amendment right. That is convenient for industry.” … Food stamps: “Calculating someone’s eligibility for food assistance takes into consideration many factors: income, medical expenses, utility costs and other amounts. For the first time in many years federal government opted to change that utility deduction. So for many people, that means they’ll get about $35 less a month, starting in November.” Because socialism!

The trail. Gaslighting: “A suspected terrorist parked a van packed with what he thought* was a 1,000-pound bomb next to the Federal Reserve building in Lower Manhattan and tried to detonate it Wednesday morning before he was arrested in a terror sting operation, authorities said. [* No doubt because his Stasi handlers told him that.”] … Walmart moms: “‘Some of the points he was making, I had to compare to the last four years,’ one woman said. ‘We had a lot of hope, but I was left thinking, ‘Hmm, I’m not sure the next four years are going to be much different.’ ‘I was actually comforted,’ another woman elaborated. ‘Obama knows what went wrong, and he kind of knows how to fix it.'” “Actually…” …. White males undecideds: “‘I’ve been online checking them out, and I honestly think they both suck. They’ll lie to get your vote,’ [Larry Bushnell] said.” … Losing the political class: Check out this photo. You see photos like this of Romney all the time; very rarely of Obama. … Polls: “Obama’s chances of winning the Electoral College were 64.8% as of Tuesday‘s FiveThirtyEight forecast, down slightly from 66.0% on Monday. The forecast will not yet reflect any effects from Tuesday night’s debate.” (Nate Silver).

Obama vs. Romney II. Romney to Jeremy: “When you come out in 2014 — I presume I’m going to be president — I’m going to make sure you get a job. (Chuckles.) Thanks, Jeremy. Yeah, you bet.” Empathy! … Obama to Jeremy: “Now, does that mean you are not struggling? Absolutely not.” Empathy! … Jeremy speaks: “‘No, I think I made a decision,’ he said. Epstein declined to reveal which candidate will be getting his vote.” Ha. … Video: Horses vs. protesters at Hoftra (DCBlogger). Word of the day: Fleague. … Memes: “Binders full of women” #3 of “Top 4 Rising Search Terms” during the debate, says Google. … Memes: “A woman leading an opposition party was handcuffed to a chair for crashing the rich people’s debate but BIIIIIIINDERS!” … Memes: “On this empty binder issue, it’s the president who has the empty binder …” Na ga happen. … Memes: “Whether such Internet memes have any effect on how people will vote is unclear, but there’s no doubt the online buzz will ensure Romney’s off-the-cuff remark continues to be a topic for water-cooler discussions in the aftermath of the debate.” … Undecided voters: “One of the stupider things that people say about undecided voters is that they’re stupid. But although they may follow politics less closely than other voters, they’re not somehow devoid of values, beliefs, and attitudes that bear directly on politics. So we shouldn’t be surprised that last night’s questions were something more than anodyne, and may have reflected honest and meaningful opinions” (more). … Undecided voters: “But what voters in the room made of it is anyone’s guess. They managed to get in only about half as many questions as Crowley had predicted, and in the end neither of the candidates seemed to be paying much attention to any of them.” … Media critique: “[W]hoever coached the Governor clearly did not look at the transcripts from September 12, where the president said: ‘No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today, we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act.'” Well, I read the transcript and — to be fair, in typically mushy and prolix Obama fashion — the paragraph Al Jazeera quoted is nine paragraphs away from the point at the beginning where Obama called the Libyan embassy “an attack” (and not, as he easily might have done, “an act of terrorism.” So Obama sure buried the lead. Pretty odd! (Goddard disagrees. Get the transcript. If nine paragraphs between “attack” and “terror” doesn’t do it for you, how about ~550 words?) To me, the whole episode (just like the binder flap) looks a lot more like the narrators in the political class giving Obama a collective reach-around than anything else. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

The Romney. One big company town: “[ROMNEY:] whether you agree with me or you agree with President Obama, or whatever your political view, I hope, I hope you pass those along to your employees.”

* Slogan of the day: I Love The Blue Sky of The Homeland!

* * *

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse). This is a Red-shanked Douc Langur. If you are really nice, I might put up the pix that show the red shanks:

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  1. Raty

    “Well, I read the transcript and — to be fair, in typically mushy and prolix Obama fashion — the paragraph Al Jazeera quoted is nine paragraphs away from the point at the beginning where Obama called the Libyan embassy “an attack” (and not, as he easily might have done, “an act of terrorism.” So Obama sure buried the lead. Pretty odd! (Goddard disagrees. Get the transcript. If nine paragraphs between “attack” and “terror” doesn’t do it for you, how about ~550 words?) To me, the whole episode (just like the binder flap) looks a lot more like the narrators in the political class giving Obama a collective reach-around than anything else. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

    Whole situation is pretty clear. Obama said basically: “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation” in case the attack was terrorism.
    Terrorism by one definition is pre-mediated act of violence. So this speech was given one day after the act, is Obama supposed to know by then if attack was pre-mediated or spontaneus act of violence? I would say no. So in my opinion he was being diplomatic.

    But I guess you americans prefer “shoot first, ask later”. Had Obama declared the attack terrorism “blind” without better knowledge so far, that would have been exactly like “shooting first, asking later”.

    1. Goin' South

      If you’re a regular reader of Lambert’s “Police state” feature, you’ll find many instances where American cops have not interest whatsoever in asking questions at any time. It’s shoot first, then shoot some more.

    2. BarryO

      But I guess you americans prefer “shoot first, ask later”.

      I’m sorry. I wasn’t aware there was anyone still alive who didn’t know that. Not to worry. A drone is monitoring you now and a response will be delivered shortly.

      1. TheObamanator

        Sorry for that last sign on with my “folksy, down home” handle. I prefer this one when delivering my termination notices.

        1. ohmyheck

          Ha…I found a bumpersticker online, and it reads “My Other Prius is a Drone”.
          Now, next door, every Thursday, my ObamaBot neighbor has a phone bank party. Oh, and yes, there is a white Prius parked in front every Thursday. Methinks a stealth hit with some tape, and that Prius will be riding around with some truth stuck to the back of her.

      2. TheObamanator

        Let me be clear (I love that phrase!), HillBillary’s already climbing up my rear end about my use of terminology in that last message (drone is such an ugly word!). So let me rephrase: an remote controlled customer service representative has been dispatched and is now circling overhead your location. Your complaint will be resolved very shortly – your ultimate satisfaction guaranteed!

    3. Lambert Strether

      Perhaps I should have added a parenthetical to the effect that I don’t support the “war on terror” frame in any aspect.

      Classifying the pre-election Fed bombing story as gaslighting makes that point, but rather obliquely.

      Or perhaps I should place a huge blinking “I*T*’*S* *A*L*L* *B*U*L*L*S*H*T*!*!*!*!*” sign over the horse race coverage section….

  2. Jim Haygood

    This report reveals a whole new dimension to ‘bonking her silly’:

    The manager of Paddy Murphy’s, an Orlando eatery, summoned cops after he “was notified by several patrons that a couple was having sex on a table in view of minor children.”

    Tom Murphy told officers that he approached the couple early Monday evening and told them to stop. But the man, identified by cops as Jeremie Calo, responded, “She can’t get up at this time.” Calo, 32, was referring to his companion Tiffani Lynn Barganier.

    Murphy told police that he directed Calo to “Compose yourself, pay your tab or I’ll call the police.” Calo, however, signed his check “NO” and then scuffled with a restaurant employee when he tried to leave without paying.

    After ‘NO’ he added ‘XOXO!’

  3. rjs

    some personal symbolism in “George McGovern ‘no longer responsive’”, as McGovern’s candidacy was the last time i believed in this country’s political process enough to vote…

    1. Klassy!

      I have only had the privilege of voting (or not) for one craptastic Democratic candidate for the presidency time and again.
      It is bizarre to me that there was once a mjor party candidate that posited that the victims of our war were just as worthy of life as any American.

  4. Bert_S

    El-Erian Cautions Romney on China Stance

    Leave it to economists to be completely confused. Next thing you know they will be recommending fiscal stimulus to get the bi-lateral trade deficit to go back up again.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s always like that where one guy does something and the result is what someone else wants. And so, this might curtail demand and reduce consumption. It could be good for the planet and it will cost jobs. But if what is good for the planet will cost jobs, mabye we have to think about coming up with a new way of doing things.

  5. Brindle

    Re: David Sirota/ Salon

    Obama’s tendency for hippy-punching may end up biting him in the ass in Colorado.

    —-“No, if Obamaphiles have any grievance over the Johnson Effect in Colorado, it should be with their candidate. He was the one who needlessly betrayed his own position on the failed drug war, a position that almost certainly got him votes in 2008 from disaffected Republicans and libertarians. He probably made the same calculation as the national media: He probably believed few care about the Drug War or his drug policy reversals, and that the brazen reversals might even win him votes by making him look “tough.”

    1. Noe G

      Thank you. I voted O because I believed Bush and company belonged in jail. Bush destroyed the GOP brand with an entire generation – my kids think Republicans are demons, without any input from me.

      But then – Date Rape from Obomney! I noticed rectal bleeding within weeks of his win.

      I am voting 3rd party on all candidates. Johnson is a terrific guy. He was our governor for years in New Mexico.

      Also, watch the Libertarians in Costa Rica – the online gambling and expat community have almost wrested power from the American puppets who keep a lid on that country.

      Panamanians and Ex Pat Costa Ricans could turn that part of the world into a libertarian dream. It’s already slated to become the Western headquarters for Medical and Dental tourism. San Jose is bursting with new buildings and schools pumping out medical personnel for that effort.

      The world is going off the rails… and I, for one, love it.

      Let the chips fall where they may. Those Panamanian hideaways above David are filled with angry Germans, Dutch, Americans and other entrepreneurial transplants. The whole area is ripe for economic BOOM

      Colorado is just a Johnny Come Lately clone.

      1. Noe G

        to understand Costa Rican politics, you must understand the demographic of the ex pats who are buying up the place.

        Greenies.. and a pliant indigenous population – want more space for monkeys and trees – and fewer roads and people.

        The Druggies, internet poker gazillionaires and libertarian transplants are buying up property and giving it to the National Park system with each election cycle.

        It’s a wonderful marriage of self interests. Nicaragua is ripe for the same kind of takeover, as more and more Americans flee to countries anxious for our money and energies. the locals go along to get along.

        1. Gepap

          And of course, to build this little wonderland in Chiriqui “liberterians” will make sure to buy off the oligarchs in Panama City that will ensure those pesky ‘locals’ don’t ruin things (as long as the maid room can be kept occupied). How ‘civilizing’ of you guys.

          1. Noe

            I lived in Ecuador – my family runs a busines there. We treat the ‘locals’ like family. You want to see exploitation???

            Look at the cooks living in lean to’s throughout Latin America. Rather an American boss than a local ANY DAY.

            Your knee jerk suggestion that the ‘locals’ will be exploited by nasty Gringos is silly and bears no resemblance to truth.

            Ask a Costa Rican whether he wants Americans or locals running the government…. it’s a no brainer. We’ve brought incredible prosperity to Costa Rica – it’s a model for the rest of those hell holes and their petty Latino thugs.

            Ask ANYBODY in your travels.. who are their favorite tourists AND investors. We win Hands DOWN. We are a good people, and do good things.

            That doesn’t extend to the psychopaths in banking and Wall St. but then, they are usually of a specific ethnicity that is hated throughout the world… not just the middle East.

            Guess who?

            Average, White, Entrepreneurial America brings hope, change and honest dealings to these places. Ya want to talk Panamanian politics… I can give you an earful. The best thing that ever happened to those people is Ex Pats growing carnations, strawberries and thoroughbreds in those mountains above David. The locals LOVE US.

          2. LeonovaBalletRusse

            Oh Noe — ” Brush up on your Shakespeare.” Costa Rica remains the .01% Western Extraction Cap playground: United Fruit, Zemurray Stone; and the “Ex-Pats” of your heart’s desire build their little fiefdoms under that corrupt tent.

            The indigenous DNA that wasn’t murdered or enslaved is still under “Iron Heel.”

          3. LeonovaBalletRusse

            Oh, and Noe, “We treat the ‘locals’ like family.” is a TELL of:

            “THE MIND OF THE MASTER CLASS…” by Fox-Genovese and Genovese.

          4. patricia

            There are so many ways you might have written your comment, but you chose to preen about your Average White American Spectacularity, thereby ruining any possibly useful info you had to offer.

            “The locals LOVE US.” Yah, I’m sure it’s you they love.

            “Like family.” Where’ve I heard that before?

          5. Noe

            there was no where to respond to Patricias demeaning assessment of WHITE PREENING.

            Well, Patricia.. below.. I’ll take 1950’s White America over pretty much anything anywhere today.

            Who better to preen? Argentines? Bush meat eating Congolese who keep baby monkeys chained in the sun til they butcher them?

            How about Fish bombing Indonesians? Yeah… there’s a lovable bunch.

            I’ll tell ya what Patricia.. ask any man or woman on the streets of Morocco, Manilla, or Caracas. Americans, specifically White Americans are their favorite people. We are the kindest, most generous, most trustworthy people they encounter – specifically in tourist areas.

            Ask about Greeks, Russians or Israelis… watch the eyes roll.. and the epithets about cheats and liars.

            sorry… I’ve been around this large block a few times .. and White Americans are the heroes of the planet… whether it’s rescuing a beach dog in Ocho Rios [and bringing it back to Ft. Lauderdale] or buying lunch for the barrio kids… White Americans are a STAND OUT group of people.

            So why is this heresy?

          6. Dan_in_KC

            Wow Noe – Your words reflect such a perfect representation of the classic white American male bigot that it almost comes across as comical. The dissonance between the unlikeable kind of person you reflect in your posts, when contrasted with your perceptions that ‘White’ Americans are the most loved types of tourists across the world, is classic.

            This needs a sign posting: Americanus Obnoxius

          7. wunsacon

            >> Ask a Costa Rican whether he wants Americans or locals running the government…. it’s a no brainer.

            Don’t the government locals report up to Americans anyway? Yeah, I guess the poor should cut out the local middleman and take orders directly from you guys.

    2. Neo-Realist

      I tended to suspect that the administration’s get tough policies on medical cannabis were based not on a calculation of more votes from the center, but a need to cater to the interests of big pharma who’s readying their own THC based products for the marketplace and don’t want the competition and some pushback from DEA who want the funding and the jobs to keep up the exercise in futility drug war.

  6. Jill

    I wanted to share this on Mittens and Barackie! “Green Party candidate Jill Stein called the debate commission, which kept all third party candidates out of the debates “entirely illegitimate.” Jill and her running mate Cheri Honkala were arrested trying to enter the Hofstra campus, and held for eight hours in a warehouse set up for protest detainees. *They were chained to chairs until after the debate ended.* Democracy Now reported this morning: [ ]

    It is really shocking, even to this jaded citizen of the best democracy money can buy!

    1. Jackrabbit

      I wasn’t there, but it seems that they were arrested for civil disobedience after sitting down in the street and refusing police requests to move.

      I am not a fan of the two parties but . . . c’mon! Making this an issue of democracy seems a stretch when you purposely seek arrest.

      I think the Greens and other third parties could do better than this. How about running their own all-inclusive debate? Even if the only ones that showed up were the third parties, it would be a ‘win’.

      Maybe they The League of Women Voters – who *used* to run/sponsor the debates (and ran them well and ethically) – would consider running/sponsoring a new set?


      The election is a public affair. Political Parties are private organizations. It is completely legal for Political Parties to “work with”/collude with other Political Parties.


      IMO There is a lot of voter education work that needs to be done. Most people I talk to think that primaries are where alternative candidates/points of view get vetted.

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          Jill, let’s go full-bore: “We the People’s Alternative” Debates, Town Halls, and Meet-ups, through a League of Women Voters ANSCHLUSS, starting now!

          If this is done correctly for the People, it should be an electrifying experience for the People, finally free to vote their own open minds in an open, participatory democracy. The Mind of the People has been imprisoned so long, that this Freedom to Participate in Our Own Destiny should lead to a “Count of Monte Christo” experience, a liberating exercise of/by/for the People who STAND UP to “protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” in 2012, in a demonstration of “love and gratitude” to our founders, who created and codified this eternal document as Our Guide to Freedom, Justice, and Government of/by/for the People.

          Dr. Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala have courage, intelligence, determination, and dignity that W the People need to see in ourselves.


        2. Jackrabbit

          OK, I went to the link. Doesn’t change my view. It is admirable that they stood up for their ideals, sure – but MOST voters will dismiss/ignore their action.

          The ‘expanded debate’ was interesting but very few will actually see it (besides Democracy Now viewers).

          It would be much more effective if they held a real debate at a real location which was sponsored/run by an reputable third party(s) (e.e The League of Woman Voters – or a group of nonprofits). They could invite all five candidates and if the Democratic and Republican Candidates didn’t show up – well that is then a reasonable topic for discussion during and after the debate.

          Oh and publicized it and live-streamed it (assuming no MSM interest).

          1. AnyDay

            The League of Women Voters used to sponsor the presidential debates until Ross Perot garnered too much support. After that, the debates were taken over by a bipartisan commision of Dems and Reps, and the bar for participating raised to make sure no 3rd party person ever made it into the debate. The system is rigged. Democrats and Republicans have more in common than they have separating them.

      1. Larry Barber

        There already are “inclusive” debates, but the “major party” candidates never show up. It really isn’t the fault of whoever is running the debates, they can’t force candidates to attend, and if they invite a third party candidate, one or the other, or both, of the major party candidates will stay home. It’s not a problem with who’s running the debates, but about cowardice on the part of the major candidates.

        1. Jill


          The legacy parties own and operate the debates. You can read about this. They are controlled by the parties down to every detail, including knowing in advance what question will “spontaneously” be asked by an audience member. You are seeing a Disney level of control over the spectacle.

          Of course, it is correct to say major party candidates do not want alternative, open, unscripted debates, but there are candidates willing to participate in a real forum. They are not allowed. In fact, you can get arrested and detained, cuffed to a chair for daring to say you have every right to attend a supposed “open” debate!

          This really should not be acceptable to citizens. But, this is the new, improved version of democracy in the age of Obamney!

        2. Jackrabbit

          So they don’t show up. That is their choice (and their right).

          Instead of complaining (which no one listens to), or getting arrested (which in many voters view in a negative light), third parties, as a group, could hold their own debate.

          1. Jackrabbit

            Clarification: third parties should find one or more reputable third parties that will host a debate that is more inclusive.

            If Obama and Romney don’t show up, THEN they might have a complaint that many Americans will see as legitimate.

          2. Aquifer

            Jack – the MSM is perfectly capable of inviting all qualified parties to attend, but they don’t – they are using public airways and should be required to provide that format – but they don’t – and why? Because they are owned by the corps which in turn owns the DnRs,

            I can pretty much guarantee that any outside the commission sponsor of debates would wind up with a no show from DnRs and without big buck sponsors they would have no access to the MSM airways ….

            I think what Stein/Honkala did will bring more attention to the umdemocratic farce that is Amer. duopoly politics – like it or not – than just about anything else we could say. The image of 2 women, legitimate candidates for the highest offices in the land, not only barred from the “official” debates before the election but handcuffed to chairs in a warehouse ’til the debate is over – is an image I would think ANY American should be ashamed of and an image that deservedly gives us another black eye on the international stage. Say what you like, jack, about what they could have done – but the simple fact is, in anything resembling a democracy, they were entitled to be on that stage on that nite and not handcuffed to a chair in a warehouse ….

          3. Jackrabbit


            I’m not saying that they didn’t deserve to be there. And I’m not saying that what they did was meaningless.

            I’m saying that, as a practical matter, they could make a more pronounced statement by agreeing to attend a more inclusive debate (sponsored by one or more reputable third parties).

            Whatever their faults, Americans are by and large fair-minded. It will simply mean more to them that Romney and Obama refuse to show up to a fair debate than that a third-party candidate was arrested for civil disobedience.

            MSM deems the arrest to be not newsworthy because the debate was a private affair that they had no legal right to attend. But refusing a reputable third party’s invitation to debate where 3 of 5 candidates show up would be newsworthy (I think).

            I also think it would be more interesting to most voters to see a real debate (no matter who showed up) rather than responses to questions that Obama and Romney received.

          4. Jackrabbit

            And by the way, the MSM is not inviting the candidates to debate. The Presidential Debate Commission (PDC – set up by the two parties) invites the MSM to cover the debate.

            I don’t think there is any legal requirement to hold ANY debates. Debates are a private affair.

          5. Jill


            The third party candidates will debate on RT, I believe, Oct 23rd. Perhaps this action will be acceptable to you! In the meantime, everything Aquifer wrote is exactly correct. Did you know that the socialist party candidate debated on TV during the Eisenhower years? If the tee vee companies could do it then, they could do it now. They just won’t. Don’t you wonder why?

            Good idea LBR!

    2. Lambert Strether

      Copy editing note: “Mittens” is an epithet of one opposing tribe; “Barackie” (Barry) I assume another. Since the tribalism of the legacy parties is pernicious and a plague, I try not to reinforce it by using its terms, or to replicate them by adopting their methods.

      For this reason, I write “Romney” (and not “Gov. Romney”) and “Obama” (and not “President Obama”) or, when I wish to draw attention to simulacra nature of those candidates for whom (which) we will vote, “The Romney” and “The Obama” (following Philip K. Dick, “The Stanton,” “The Lincoln,” in We Can Build You.

      End copy editing note.

  7. Noe G

    On Gay Marriage. This boomer, loke so many, has lots of gay friends. That said, I don’t always say what I think to those friends.

    Sure, everybody loves that fun gay couple down the block. But a closer look at what’s on the gay menu should give everybody pause.

    First of all – the TV images soaking up our weeknights are pure propaganda. The Gay life is NOT Ellen and Modern Family.

    I just came back from San Francisco, where I visited with my daughter – she took me to the Folsum Street Fair. I’ve been to the Gay Pride parades in Pasadena with gay friends in LA… I’ve danced the night away in a terrific gay bar in Long Beach when I was younger.

    But nothing prepared me for the Folsom St Fair. Bondage, whips, chains, leather, and CHILDREN – wandering the streets.

    I never saw so many penises in my life. Men, sitting on the curb, with everything hung out… waiting for casual sex.

    A lesbian with legs spread, feeding herself spaghetti [down there] and asking passersby to “join her for lunch”.

    Question – has anyone EVER been to a gay event that was not public depravity? Anybody been to a gay celebration of anything but raw, unadulterated sexual deviancy?

    People were paying to be bound and beaten with whips. All for charity of course.

    Should acceptance of this kind of debauchery spread beyond enclaves in LA and SF …

    God [and I’m not a believer] HELP US ALL.

    This is NOT about equal rights for homey couples. This is about mainstreaming a lifestyle that is an abomination, when allowed to run rampant through our communities.

    Like I said.. there were CHILDREN at this fair.

    Just another day in the life of gay couples… right

    1. Klassy!

      The local gay pride fest here is “family friendly” and has corporate sponsors up the wazoo– so yes, it is a cesspool.

    2. direction

      The Folsom Street Fair is one of the few events where the kink community interfaces with the public. The extreme reputation of the event is well known, and no one forced people to bring their children there. And yes, it’s full of leather daddies and cruising gay men; it’s San Francisco.

      You ask if anyone has ever been to a gay event that was not full of public depravity, but I can’t think of any gay events at all that are even remotely similar to Folsom in this respect, none.

      It sounds like your daughter might have wanted to drag you there for the shock value. But assuming that gay equates with kink is innaccurate. That “nice gay couple down the street” could be just as vanilla as the straight couple next door. or not. Assuming that there are more gay people involved with kink than straight people, just because you went to Folsom, is ridiculous. And kinky bedroom practices are not limited to SF and LA. I’m straight and vanilla like yourself, but please don’t assume kink equates with gay.

      “Happiness lies neither in vice nor in virtue; but in the manner we appreciate the one and the other, and the choice we make pursuant to our individual organization.”
      -Marquis de Sade

    3. Ms G

      Of course another option would have been simply to head somewhere else — Citylights Bookstore? Land’s End?

      Too, how much “worse for the children” is a stroll down Fulsom than what they consume on game consoles, TV, iphones, etc? Not to mention the advertising that drowns our physical and sensory environmnet.

      1. Noe

        spoken like the propagandist you are.

        I know lots of gay men.. not so many lesbians. But I can attest that their phallo centric existence is not normal in any sense of the word.

        I’m sorry but phallic art in a house with toddlers is TWISTED. DO NOT TELL ME this is just everyday suburbia. It most certainly is not.

        AS to family friendly gay events… NAME ONE.

        Folsom is no different than Doo Dah.. it’s all prepubescent boy fantasy… childish, anti everything public debauchery.

        Each time I’ve witnessed this stuff it makes me shudder and understand Tea Party revulsion at mainstreaming of this behavior.

        Gays don’t seem to have our sense of proportion on the subject of sex. It’s not confined to the bedroom… but every aspect of their being.

        As I get older and have watched aging queens… it’s truly a sad existence. HItting on boys, straight or gay… sorry… but these are not innocents.

        the only Lesbians I run into are the thugs at TSA.. which seems to be a magnet for buzzcut cop wannabees.

        Sorry…the longer I live and see the evolution of those ‘happy couples’.. i realize it’s not the Modern Family that seduces us into believing they are just like you and me.

        they most certainly are NOT

          1. direction

            Shall we then also judge the heterosexuals by their most disfunctional members? One might conclude that heterosexuality is wrong and bad after realizing that most serial killers and mass murderers are heterosexual men. “I think heterosexuals are gross and terrible; in the privacy of their own homes they ALL probably make lampshades out of human skin.”

            Part of the gay community is open about kink because once you come out of the closet about one taboo aspect of your personality it makes it easier to come out about the kink as well. This does not mean that there is not a huge heterosexual population buisily sodomizing each other happily behind closed door where you can pretend it isn’t happening beause you don’t hear about it.

            Many kinksters believe that consensually exploring the taboo aspects of power that are sometimes intertwined with sexual urges is more healthy than stuffing those urges. How many gays end up in the news for imprisoning a sex slave in the basement against their will? none. Do you realize how many women are violently raped every year? Should we judge heterosexuals because throughout history they’ve shown a preponderance for this nasty habit of raping women?

        1. chris

          Your extreme homophobia is showing and it’s ugly. Ever been to Mardi Gras? Ever examined the true nature of heterosexuality? Your suggestions that “aging queens” are hitting on “boys” is tantamount to the right sugesting all gay men are pedophiles, when in fact most pedophilia is located in the heterosexual community, These sins that make you shudder makes me wonder when was the last time you had an orgasm…ooh is that a dirty too? Quite frankly, the kids you want to protect are getting the wrong message from your puritanism and you’re lucky your daughter escaped it. Throwing around terms like “phallo-centric” and “prepubescent” says more about you then the people you clearly want to disdain. Pathetic.

    4. Iam

      I have no idea if what you say is true but the slippery slope argument is certainly false. There are lots of straight people into “depraved” sex and hundreds of years of straight marriage has not “mainstreamed” it. You are peddling bigotry whether you realize it or not.

      1. Noe

        Plenty of straight people have depraved sex. But please take the challenge…. name ONE Family friendly Homosexual celebration!

        Name one!

        EVERY public homosexual celebration is XXX rated – and they bring their kids.

        They are NOT like you and me… and if straights are into depraved sex – it’s usually in the privacy of their own home.

        This is about culture/lifestyles. Homosexual culture accepts pornographic art as part of a suburban lifestyle!

        so YES, I am proudly bigoted on this subject.

        I’ve seen too much. This is not about equal rights. This is about further degrading an already degraded culture, with a pathological obsession with public displays of sodomy and fellatio. sorry… I’ll pass.

        1. Runeghost

          Fine. I’m delurking to refute your trollish idiocy. Try something done by the NYC Gay Men’s Chorus.
          Feel free to cease being smug about your bigotry immediately. And if you try to play No True Scotsman, may you be cast yourself into the fires of Doom.

        2. direction

          I posted an answer to your challenge, but there were so many links that my reply did not post. probably hit a spam filter.

      1. Chris A

        I’m gay and I don’t live my life in any such manner as you describe seeing at such events. Nor would I ever attend. And I’m in the majority of LGBT people.

        That style of anti-gay smear tactics went out of fashion more than a decade ago, and good riddance. Your comments reek of anti-gay animus and you should take your sentiments elsewhere. They aren’t welcome at all with this reader, nor would I guess, the majority of readers here.

        1. Aquifer

          Chris – i would say you clearly put your reply in the wrong place – if you want to reply, push the “reply” below, not above, the comment you want to reply to. If it gets to a point where there IS no “reply” below a comment, just go up to the first place above the one you want to reply to where there IS a “reply”, press that and then, in your reply, mention the name of the person who wrote the post you want to reply to. This works pretty well, unless of course WP gets squirrelly, then all bets are off :)

          If on the other hand, you DID press the right “reply” but wound up in the wrong place – well that happens too :) – ain’t technology grand?

          I hope i am not insulting anyone here with this, but i have found that sometimes it helps folks if they know “how stuff works” – sorry, but IMO, this stuff is not always “obvious” or “intuitive” …

    1. Waking Up

      As I have said before and will most likely say on numerous occasions in the future, history will likely show the Obama administration to be one of the most corrupt, if not the MOST corrupt adminstrations.

  8. ambrit

    That creature in the antidote looks awfully like a thinly disguised Grey. Hmmm… Maybe Velikovsky was right after all!

    1. Valissa

      Perhaps no surprise that Velikovsky is not popular with cartoonists… btw, they’re also greys to me, but the cartoonists seem to prefer to call them grays.

      The gray point of view – Part 1

      The gray point of view – Part 2

      A Gray’s Tale

      The challenge of interspecies relations

      Alien encounters

        1. Jesse

          Yeah, this is the accepted model for how the moon came to be. It can always be discredited in the future, like any scientific theory.

        2. Valissa

          Agreed it’s not a new theory… I was playing off of ambrits mention of Velikovsky. All that is old is new again… and as Jesse says, new “truths” about the origin of the moon are likely to continue occuring. Science has it’s own special form of myths and legends.

          1. craazyman

            Haven’t you heard that the moon is a hoax? In reality it’s a giant cheesball floating in low earth orbit. You can look through a department store telescope and see for yourself, but nobody does. They just believe what they’re told. Ocean tides are caused by the earth’s wobbling on its axis. All astronomers know this but they’re sworn through a secret initiation into a code of silence, which they won’t break unless you get one of them drunk by themselves. I think Stanley Kubrik has something to do with this. :)

          2. Aquifer

            craazy –

            Golly cheez whiz! And here i spent all that time learning the Latin names for the “seas” on the “moon”. So the real title of the song should be “Blue Cheese Moon”?

    2. craazyman

      In the early 1990s I knew a woman in my apartment building in Manhattan who was abducted by the greys in upstate New York. It came up only in casual conversation in the building lobby and she seemed intrigued I was interested in her story.

      I hooked her up with an abduction researcher (who I’d never met, only read about him) and she went in for hypnosis. I remember her sitting in my apartment trying to make sense of it all, with tears streaming down her face, hoping I would somehow understand. She lived a reasonably sedate life as a musical performer and was otherwise very normal.

      She and her husband eventually moved out of the building and split up under the pressure of it all. This often happens.

      It is not a funny or easy thing to be touched by alternate realities. This is why shamanic initiations in non-Western cultures are often nearly deadly affairs and why powerful shamans have such astonishing abilities.

      1. Valissa

        I have met a few abductees over the years. When I was a kid I always wanted the aliens to come and take me “home” but after hearing the kinds of stories abductees tell, I got over that fantasy pretty quick. I like my alternate realities to be more earth based… ya know, like fairies and angels and gods… and especially dragons :)


  9. Middle Seaman

    Only uninformed journalist contemplate war between Turkey and Syria. Syria has weakened to a messy military and haunted leadership. Turkey may want the war, but Erdogan despite his dreams of a new Ottoman empire knows that attacking Syria without strong causation will weaken him in the West. Iran, the real force in Syria with Hezbollah protecting Assad’s weak grab and sending its own soldiers to rescue Assad, is also too concerned with its own dreams of the old Persian empire to want a confrontation with Turkey’s massive military force.

    If either Turkey or Iran could blame the war on Israel, both would get the full blessing of most Europeans countries. Sadly for the empire dreamers that isn’t in the cards and war is neither.

    1. anon y'mouse

      every time i try to read the responses by this individual, about halfway through the first paragraph it dawns that this is some kind of robot response generator that simulates actual meaning.

      then i look up at the username, and kick myself again.

      1. anon y'mouse

        oops, wrong reply button. that was in regards to the poster below. idarenotspeakitsname

  10. kevinearick


    Even a blind squirrel, like Harvard, finds a nut once in a while – Self-Constitution; Agency, Identity, & Integrity; Christine M Karsgaard: self-conscious activity leading to personal identity, making self into self; focusing on the causes behind threatens your sense of agency, autonomy and efficacy…but, like a game of pool, unintended consequences of independent action may create a positive feedback loop with others.

    Quality of character is the negative feedback loop that brings bipolar cognitive dissonance back into effective resonance, work. Quality people build quality products, producing a quality economy. Government needs to get back into its box before it hurts itself, irreparably.

    Demographic expansion and capital accumulation have turned. What is productivity growth?

    “The discussion is interrupted by Thrasymachus, who asserts that the best life is the unjust life, the life lived by the strong, who impose the laws of justice on the weak but ignore those laws themselves. The more completely unjust you are, T says, the better you will live, for pickpockets and thieves, who commit small injustices, get punished, while tyrants, who enslave whole cities, and steal their treasuries, lead a glorious life, and are the envy of everyone.”

    Never stop asking yourself, where am I in time? You vote most effectively by raising children accordingly. While the majority clings to the false assumption that the individual is powerless, subject to circumstance, to justify its participation in empire operations, ask the emperor who has positively affected the most kids over time.

    Look at the empire’s record; it’s not the empire, or anyone participating in its operation. You don’t build a high quality economy out of low quality, high quantity OEM behavior habits, manufacturing more and more mass at thinner and thinner margins, or by collecting profit in the form of ever more derivative paper. “Who is smart and who is stupid?”

    OEM manufacturing supporting brand owners supporting industry standard setters is not an economy; it’s an empire built for cultural export, exploitation. One working person supporting two parents supporting four grandparents, an inverted pyramid, is going to get ugly quite rapidly. Associated environmental degradation, natural resource shortage, and income disparity aren’t going to help.

    So China solved the famine problem. Really? Have you looked at global food production lately? In 1980, Shenzhen had 20,000 souls. Today, it’s 7M+. Thank goodness Kissinger opened up China and IBM plowed through with all those computers and numerical control, to hold exponentially increasing forms so government can control jobs globally, down to the last man, woman and child. If not for Canada, China would already be toast.

    “One fundamental thing to say about these three-plus decades is that it’s the most consistent bipartisan American policy. Every administration has substantially followed the way the relationship evolved.” Kissinger

    “they still have close to a billion people who have not benefitted in the slightest form from this wealth creation. They know it, and these people are getting mad…China knows what they have to do is to continue to industrialize, to get these people off those farms.” Powell

    “I think it will begin to change with a new president no matter which of these three candidates wins. You get a reset at that time.” Powell

    “I hope the new president will close Guantanamo…” Powell
    “I would hope that one of the first things that the next president would do would be to [not only] close Guantanamo…” Albright
    “With respect to Guantanamo, I totally agree with what Colin and Madeleine and Chris (Warren Christopher) have said.” Baker
    “I agree with the impact that Guantanamo has internationally…The negative impact.” Kissinger
    “Or in the words of another politician, “I feel your pain.”” Hamilton

    “Trust me…If you had the intelligence I have…” oxymoron politicians everywhere

    “Europe is built to wage peace…values that Europe espouses and tries to export…From the war in Iraq…in terms of 9/11…suddenly…those border restrictions now begin to be re-imposed again in terms of all the security we face at our airports and ports. If you don’t give us the information we’ll stop your planes landing. How are we going to approach some of these challenges that face us in the arctic? Are we going to try to approach them with old fashioned ideas and concepts of sovereignty – national sovereignty and territoriality? Ideas that really, I think, belong in past centuries? Or, are we going to look for some new concepts of supranational governance…?” Wallis

    “Appetite makes the proposal. Reason decides whether to act on it or not. Spirit carries the decision of reason out. The constitution in this way makes it possible for a group of citizens – who without the constitution would be a mere heap of individual people – to function as a single collective agent.”

    “don’t we often notice in other cases that when appetite forces someone contrary to rational calculation, he reproaches himself and gets angry with that in him that’s doing the forcing, so that of the two factors which are fighting a civil war…”

    Productivity is all about character. You can’t buy it from corporate or get it for free from government. You have to earn it, the old fashioned way, in the school of hard knocks. Quality, whether anyone likes it or not, is a function of the nuclear family, and if the zero-sum competitors in the middle class are convinced by capital to vote explicit nuclear operations out, the middle class crashes.

    The nuclear family doesn’t cease to exist; it simply becomes implicit. The empire can flag my records, seize my accounts, destroy my credit record, and revoke my ID, but it cannot stop me, because I travel at will and it locks itself up writing laws to prevent my travel. Meanwhile, I can accelerate time by knocking out the margin wherever I go.

    As you can see, the empire only increases your agency by attacking you, if you let it have its way. No matter of empire expenditure, it cannot read your mind, identify who is following your example, or know what you are going to do next, if you don’t know, which is the point of the spear, real time adaptation.

    If you want to believe in the bell curve, that’s your business, but if you tax me, don’t expect me not to have an effective response. I will raise the bar to increase the output gap every time. Notice the insecure eunuchs are circling the wagons with women again?

    You set the standard, aggregated. The empire is just the fall guy. The whole point of Jesus was/is/will be that individual initiative can and does make the difference on the margin, which becomes the whole. Why do you suppose the Church had to make him out to be God? How could a carpenter possibly beat the pants off the moneychangers, with a few words, here and there?

    “In fact, we could say failure means to succeed in a way that doesn’t really matter.” Depend on God, take responsible risks and expect opposition. That’s not a bad start.

  11. Herman Sniffles

    There’s something funky about that “libertarian/marijuana” Salon link. Both times I tried to open it my computer froze up and had to reboot. On one of the reboots the microsoft system went through and checked the system for five minutes.

  12. Posthack

    Scott`s sad story.
    Not sure how (and if) an entire population can be deprogrammed from the idea that health care for everyone is not evil socialism.
    I live in Canada, and while we complain like every other country about taxes, we have a working health care system. You get sick, you get taken care of and you don`t face bankruptcy.
    I went to my MD yesterday for intestinal problems. I had to wait one day for an appt because he was off the day prior. I waited maybe 10 mins to see him, he examined me, gave me a prescription, booked me for an abdominal x-ray and prescribed a colonoscopy (oh joy). I walked across the hall, had my x-rays and booked the scope procedure. my bill for the hour or so was about $8 for some over the counter laxatives that are not covered by my private insurance for drugs.
    I`ll gladly pay a bit more in taxes for single payer health care. I`m sure most Americans would too if they could.

    1. Carla

      Posthack, you are absolutely right. Most Americans would be thrilled with the level of healthcare that you have in Canada. But we ain’t gonna get it. The private insurers and the pharmaceutical industry are busy destroying Medicare, which was the best part of our non-system. Robamney care will finish it off.

  13. Noe

    Patricia groused that I “chose to preen about -Average White American Spectacularity, thereby ruining any possibly useful info {I}had to offer.

    reaaaally? White America has much to preen about? Tell me, who better to preen? Argentines? Congolese? Indonesian fish bombers?

    Let’s vote…. who wants to live in 1950’s WHITE America?

    The expectation was not that neighbors would flee before paying for gas. Letter boxes were unlocked.

    I’m sick of people like Patricia who demean White American Values… I will compare passport stamps with anyone on this board. Average White Americans are loved everywhere on the planet. We are a beacon for people everywhere.

    that’s not to say that other races and ethnicities are depraved… it’s just that WHITE America is a beacon for much more that is good in the world.

    Sorry.. I am not a self hating White Rural American. I love my country, if not it’s government. I love my culture, which is pure Colorado and New Mexico country.

    WE BRING HOPE TO OTHER CULTURES… not the other way around PATRICIA!!

    1. Hugh

      Ah yes, the 1950s with Jim Crow, McCarthy, HUAC, and the Cold War. A golden age for racism and intolerance. No wonder you are so fond of them.

      1. Noe

        We were and are a beacon for the world.

        The changes you wanted happened because WE made them happen.

        Uh, ask Whoopie Goldberg if she wishes she was born in Cape Town. I think Whoopie would rather be neighbors with me, thank you very much. Her interview after a trip to South Africa was hilarious.

        The whole world wants to be like me… White, Middle Class American.

        Gosh… so many haters of white people around here.

        AGAIN – take a trip to any other country. Ask em who their favorite tourists are. Who are the best employers. Who treats them fairly and honestly.

        It’s a no brainer. No white guilt here folks.

          1. Noe

            Ethnocentricity is common in Blacks, Latinos… there is an expectation that they will vote skin color.

            When whites appreciate and honor other whites… it’s EVIL?

            This is just a measure of what’s happened to our country.

            I tell you that Costa Rica and Panama are BOOMING because of American expats… I’m immediately vilified for advancing WESTERN values and mores on unsuspecting ‘locals’…

            I remind dissenters that Americans – White Americans specifically are loved everywhere we travel. THEN, I’m told I’m a racist because I understand and appreciate the values and mores advanced by my own European American heritage around the world. – not to be mistaken with American Government policy… advanced NOT by Average White Americans but multi national traitors to all that is good in this country.

            and I am the demon. This is truly twisted.

          2. Aquifer

            Noe – see here’s the problem, you want to separate “avge white Amer.” from their gov’t, and you really can’t – its those “avge white Amer.” who put in place that gov’t and who keep voting for the scmhucks who run it who then proceed to screw all those folks you say love us. So methinks ya gotta be a bit schizophrenic if you think we and our gov’t are separate entities as much as we would like to believe ..

    2. patricia

      Yes, dear, I am clear about your enjoyment of your genetic excellence, and about how happy it makes you to shine your white beacon into all the dim corners of the world. I think such pomposity is immensely narrowing and always ends up in tears, and so, of course, I disagree.

      As to gays-in-society, we have an annual family-friendly gay parade in my area. But why do you care, since you’re busy in the southern realms enjoying just another day in the life of Lovable Average White American?

      And aren’t libertarians especially stalwart regarding personal freedoms?

      But I’m delighted that you like typing my name!

      1. Valissa

        These comments by Noe are so archetypal/stereotypical, well organized and obviously liberal-baiting that it is hard to take them seriously.

        1. Valissa

          Of course there are people that believe those things, and there are some slightly uncomfortable truths carefully sprinkled into those statements, but why would someone like that make comments on this blog?

          1. patricia

            “Noe – A simple and extensible project generator”


            Real person using template, I suppose. I remember engaging a similarly patterned response a while back. Emotional, personal yet stereotyped, overuse of “antagonist’s” handle, not responding directly but throwing it back onto thread further down with increased emotion and victim-pose.

            Parodic troll with specific affect–best of all worlds! Fascinating. Have you seen this method anywhere else?

          2. Valissa

            Excellent detective work Patricia! The question is… who is running this experiment on this blog (and probably many others) and why? Could be grad students in sociology and/or political science (funded by ???)… could be professional propagandists-for-hire (i.e. Public Relations)… could be sponsored by Dem political operatives… it could even be international intrigue… but maybe I’m just thinking about that aspect because I toured the International Spy Museum in DC yesterday ;)

          3. patricia

            And if not trolling, as paid-to-wade or for-the-hell-of-it, then plain ole prancing racism. Interesting, whichever.

            Which of the three would I prefer? Ack!

          4. Valissa

            @Patricia… I may be getting myself into hot water here, but technically speaking I do not think what Noe said is racist. IMO, there is ethnocentrism, xenophobia and racism all they fall sort of on a spectrum. To me racism is more about hate of another group, and I do not detect any hate in Noe’s comments (assuming Noe is a real person and not a simulcra), merely ethnocentrism. However it is totally politically incorrect in the liberal worldview for white people to be ethnocentric except in certain ways. For instance, my ancestry is Danish so I often take pride in Denmark’s accomplishments, including environmental attitudes, gov’t style, sports wins and such. This type of ethnocentrism is more acceptable than focussing on my skin color (which is actually more beige than white). OTOH if I take pride in the fact that my ancestors were Vikings that is a more mixed bag. Then there is the Norse aspect of my spirituality which is an area that is more controversial.

          5. patricia

            Hi, Valissa: No hot water from me. I agree with a spectrum.

            “Ethnocentric: adj. centered on a specific ethnic group, usually one’s own.” I think it’s healthy to have pride in heritage/ethnicity. I have an affection for my American-Dutch background similar to your American-Danish. In a similar way, one can identify as a New Yorker or Californian. These can add grounding, attachment, and character, yes?

            But Noe clearly states that his/her race and nation’s citizens are superior to all others, such that wherever Noe goes, he/she is loved and respected and brings hope to all the world.

            “Racism: n. 1. The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.
            2. Discrimination or prejudice based on race.”

            Racism’s assumptive superiority feeds into contempt which often slides into hate. But that is a path one takes, and it’s generally not a short walk.

            The idea of nationalism is confused. Insomuch as it is a group of people bonded by a particular land and culture, it can be healthy. But when it reaches into exceptionalism and combines with either imperialism or isolationism, it also becomes destructive. “Xenophobia: n. 1. hatred or fear of foreigners or strangers or of their politics or culture.”

            Noe seems well on the destructive path, seen also in his/her opinions/assumptions of even something as undifferentiated as gay parades.

            My opinions, FWIW.

          6. Valissa

            Patricia… many good points! But I had my fill of people screaming racist at every opportunity in the 2008 election (ya know, like for not wanting to vote for Obama), which triggered a personal decision NOT to participate in the racism name-calling game in politics anymore. I think there are plenty of other perfectly good adjectives, and that word has been overplayed. Also I tend to give people whom I don’t know, and haven’t talked to in person the benefit of the doubt, while remaining skeptical of their motives. It’s very easy to misread and miscommunicate on the internets.

          7. patricia

            I understand. Some words are wrecked by misuse. Thanks for your cartoons, BTW. (This to Valissa, 10:30pm–thread is caving.)

        2. Hugh

          I agree: a troll. Shows up on the site first time and immediately makes a bunch of racist statements, inviting rebuttal. The best thing to do is flag them and then ignore them.

          1. Noe

            This is not the first time I’ve been at this site. I’ve commented on several subjects.

            It’s just that mainstreaming homosexuality is a touchy subject with me since SF.

            AND I was baited on the subject of being white. If you reread the thread instead of trying to pigeonhole my philosophies, you’ll see that I was commenting on Libertarians trying to establish a beach head in Costa Rica… had I not been assaulted for advocating American values in Latin America… none of this would have occurred.

            Reread the thread. I’m no provacateur or troll.

            I speak my mind, and do not run from a fight. I was baited over and over again for defending being WHITE… that’s some kind of crime around here?

            What? we can generalize about Muslims, Republicans, the Taliban and Day traders… but oooh… nobody defend being a white American.

            Stormfront? Are you all serious?

            Pride in ones heritage does not mean hatred and advocacy for genocide for everyone else. Our business in Ecuador treats the help better than the local thugs. Americans are simply a great influence – one on one – in any culture.

            Troll? — you are quite simply nuts.

            and on that.. I’ll go back to my new Tom Wolfe novel. It’s more challenging.

          2. Lambert Strether

            Where is it written that baiting demands a response in kind? I ask this as a serious practitioner of both sides of the equation.

            “Say a dog bite me in the ham: must I bite him again i’ the same part?” –E. R. Eddison, The Worm Ouroboros

            1. patricia

              I bit him again i’ the same part. Sorry, Lambert.

              I will defend myself by observing that it is sometimes useful to stare the dog in the eye, while biting.

              I think part of the reason we are in such a cultural morass is that, long ago, we turned away from such twaddle in distaste. We ignored it because it was so obviously ridiculous, and it grew exponentially. Now we’re ineffective at countering it because we don’t understand how it is made. We can’t find workable cultural memes to neutralize it, and it rages on while we simply continue tut-tutting with a distant sardonic glint.

              But this is not my site and I understand that its comment section isn’t intended for such as this. So again, I apologize.

              ‘If this dog do you bite, soon as out of your bed, take a hair of the tail the next day.'” (Ebenezer Brewer)

              1. skippy

                Do not apologize patricia, ignorance should always be informed, much to their dislike… zealots and all.

                Skippy… If and when such practiced ignorant are given sway… well look about lovely lady, its environmental… eh.

                  1. skippy

                    “I will defend myself by observing that it is sometimes useful to stare the dog in the eye, while biting.” – patricia

                    skippy… if you don’t mind… i have found the – upper appendage – down the mental esophagus effective… just saying. Good night.

          3. skippy


            Your not white moron, your a ***Human Being***.

            Skippy… Race based delineations between our species… is an empiric fallacy. Thanks for dumb down the planet with your eugenics.

          4. Aquifer


            “Skippy… Race based delineations between our species… is an empiric fallacy.”

            Thanx! I’ve been saying that for a couple of decades now – can’t be said often enough …

    3. neo-realist

      Don’t forget all those wonderful diseases you brought to the Native Americans upon your emigration to the New World:).

  14. Hugh

    That Der Spiegel article on the $17 trillion costs of a eurozone collapse is pure and simple kleptocratic propaganda.

    1. Each year you go out in these types of multi-year projections the less reliable they become. The really big projected losses are usually in the out years resulting from the cumulative and compounding impact of the previous years. But a lot of those losses could be mitigated or reversed early on by the right kind of governmental interventions. These studies just assume that never happens.

    2. The current costs of maintaining the eurozone are being vastly underestimated. GDP is taken as an absolute measure of a country’s health, but it isn’t. Increases or maintenance of GDP are meaningless if they result in massive increased human suffering.

    3. What I would like to see is a study of the benefits of dismantling Europe’s kleptocracy. Wouldn’t mind seeing this for the US as well.

    1. Carla

      “What I would like to see is a study of the benefits of dismantling Europe’s kleptocracy. Wouldn’t mind seeing this for the US as well.”

      Me, too! Maybe this could be a project for Bill Black, Randall Wray, Michael Hudsdon and their MMT colleagues. Actually, why not start the project focusing on the US and then take on Europe?

  15. anon y'mouse

    on Scott’s story–i’ve noticed too that many articles like this end up with hundreds of comments sporting the ‘too bad for you’ attitude.

    also, a relative is like this. strictly working class, but convinced that they are middle class. lucky enough to be in a unionized job, and don’t realize how rare that is nowadays. an exemplar of the “i worked hard for everything i have, and so should everyone else” protestant work ethic thing. last visit home railed on about those people who ripped off the banks buying more home than they could afford. clueless about who holds the power in a lender/lendee relationship. clueless about a lot of things, except putting in as many overtime hours at work as possible.

    are these types the left-wing’s version of the 47%? i hope not, but it’s not looking well.

    1. Noe

      The too bad for you mentality is a product of multi culturalism.

      Pure and simple. We are no culturally homogenous. Our neighbors do not share our values. Hell, most of us can’t pick our neighbors out of a lineup… who would want to know them?

      AGAIN… in 1950’s Americana… people cared for their neighbors. We SHARED something. We pumped and then paid. We didn’t steal each other’s mail.

      Shoplifting? Drug use?

      sorry… I miss 1950’s america. I knew my neighbors and we all shared many beliefs.

      It was a better time… with better people. sorry… it’s just the facts ma’am.

      1. Joe

        If you pumped and then paid in 1950’s, you were on another planet. In the reality based universe I grew up in, gas was put in your car by an attendant well into the late 1960’s (I’m 55).

        Are you aware that you can be professionally examined to determine whether you have Alzheimer’s?

        Remember: Good mental hygiene is everyone’s concern!

        1. Noe

          In 1950’s Colorado, customers often pumped their own gas because the owner was under another car in the

          Your rejoinder reminds me of knuckle dragging Freepers pouncing on unwanted opinion – collectively demeaning an interloper because of a typo… usually loser and looser.

          But Alzheimers? that’s all ya got? Because our memories differ on gas services? Or that I am a proud white American who hates what has happened to MY country.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            I lived all over the US and my parents never pumped gas. This includes the early days of the oil crisis, the 1970s.

      2. Ms G

        Thank you for your comment. Your comment is very important to us. Please do not hesitate to comment again.

        1. LeeAnne

          aren’t you overdoing this a bit? i just tuned in -I think personally that Noe has an interesting point of view.

          1. Noe

            thank you

            You are witnessing a PC gang bang.

            All I said was that Americans in Costa Rica and Panama are better to the locals than, well, the locals.

            That turned into a hate fest against Whites, Western values, and oh yeah… i’m a bigot because I think Gay Pride parades are disgusting.

            Read my past conversations… they were about the temperament of Terrier dogs! yeah, I’m on a mission.

          2. LeonovaBalletRusse

            Noe, NC published your opinions/thoughts, they were not held under moderation. NC is an open forum, Q.E.D.

          3. dale pues

            Hello Noe, the isthmus has been my home since 2007 and I agree with you that Americans (and Europeans and Asians..) treat the locals better than the locals. There was a gay pride parade last year but I didn’t go. The Santo Domingo parade in Managua, Nicaragua includes everyone. Maybe one day I’ll say more.

          4. skippy


            How’s Quepos doing[?], old stopping grounds of mine, plus others in the day. Still have contacts with expat whitie folks from Mexico to Argentina. So with that said let get things clear, the largest mob of moneyed whities (yob creators) went down south as a tax dodge. Setting up shell or umbrella business identity’s with the help of local lawyers or politicians, to transfer their wealth – out side – america… full stop.

            They made their wealth – within – the confines of Americas tax, legal, massive consumer base system and ran away. How this observation echos through out history[!!!]

            Sure they like the locals, Whities love submissive natives, I mean, after the not so long ago colonialism, date palm, banana, pineapple, hardwoood plantation masters et al, you whities are as good as vanilla ice cream in sub tropic heat! Whitie loves the ability to graft their way to prosperity for chump change (been getting to expensive in the states: see BSDick-Libertarians crowding out the little micro dick libertarians). And WOW the gifts ye bring, resorts, sport fishing, avocado farms, subsided carbon trade tree planting, booming sex trade, golf coarse, gated community’s, religious compounds, etc, its a veritable neoliberal paradise!

            Skippy… BTW the olds going down there to stretch a buck, well, their next on the menu for the pirates. No income stream is to be left… untouched! FYI No gays in Spanish colonial exported culture… sigh… not to worry… the offspring of the oldest NYC family owned bath house resided in Quepos. Ahhhh the story’s one could tell…

            PS. Marry a suitable socially connected native divorcee from the big city and then hire a young maid or nanny, stops ya from crossing the boarder every month for that 72 Hr thingy but, ya can still get it up… eh, eh, know what I mean… know what I mean, eh, eh.

            PSS. Quire, do you know Gregorio Ham[i]enstine? ZARPE old dawg!!!!

      3. Aquifer

        What i find interesting is that I too have better feelings about some of the “old days” but for very different reasons – for example, i like it that one person with one job working decent hours could raise a family on the proceeds, have a house and the kids could go to college if they wanted without going bankrupt, and look forward to a decent pension and healthcare in old age …

        But i don’t think of this as a “white” value, but a social value and a big part of our struggle, ISTM, should be to extend the possibility of at least such a life, if not a better one, to all – with the distinctly “modern” wrinkle of doing it within a framework of ecological sustainability. If these days have deteriorated it is not, IMO, because we abandoned “white” values, but because we abandoned social values – that sense that even if we weren’t so sure we WERE all in this together – at least we understood that our survival depended on behaving as if we were. These days it’s every (wo)man for him/her self and all “cultures” ere being corrupted by this “market based” concept of life …

        So, Noe, i tend to agree that we need to resurrect some of the “old ways” of thinking – the ways that brought us SS and Medicare and defined benefit pensions, and public education and all that stuff – but not because those ways are “white” but because they are in the best traditions of “human” society ..

        But i suppose that makes me a bit of a fool at least, if not a, hmmm, well i’ll let others fill in that blank …

      4. citalopram

        You a big fan of Pat Robertson, Noe?

        Just for the record, the fifties aren’t coming back. Ever. Might as well leave your idealism at the door and get real about the imminent danger we are in.

  16. Valissa

    Ocelots, pro baseball pitcher and pipeline builder tangled up in lawsuit

    Pigeon fancier ordered to get rid of birds – A pigeon fancier ordered to get rid of 20 birds by his local council has told them “it’s impossible” because they are homing pigeons.

    ATE team rescue another baby elephant from a well (5+ min)

  17. Valissa

    The latest in Gangnam Style news & politics…

    ‘Gangnam Style’-inspired lifeguard video: Calif. city council seeks to overturn firings

    Here’s their video… it’s cute but not as good as many of the others I’ve seen. Lifeguard Style (Gangnam Style Remake)

    In case you missed the original Gangnam Style discussion @NC, with ALL the links

    I heard that there are both Romney and Obama Gangnam Style videos too, but haven’t seen ’em yet.

    1. Valissa

      OK, I had some time to hunt them down… here are the best ones I found.

      Mitt Romney Style (Gangnam Style Parody)
      [NOT the Jay Leno show one re: RNC convention]

      Obama Style (Psy Gangnam Style Parody) Feat. Smooth-E and Alphacat
      NOTE: though it has pretty good lyrics, it’s not nearly as clever and funny as the Mitt Romney one. Why is it so hard to make fun of Obama? There are also a couple of “Vote Obama’ videos, which could well have been funded by the Democratic party.

      1. Aquifer

        Could it be that the funniest “making fun” toons et al are caricatures and any such of Obama would be immediately labeled racist and, once having been so stamped, become “off limits”?

        Is part of the allure of humor is that it skates so close to the taboo? Just wondering …

        1. Valissa

          I think a good Obama parody could be done that wasn’t racist. One could easily make satirical lyrics out of the type of complaints about him here on this blog, esp. focussing on his man crush on Geithner. But I agree it’s a more challenging job, because of both racism and race baiting concerns.

          Here’s a Gangnam style parody that pushes the envelope…is it funny or offensive or both? As in so many cases, it’s an individual judgement.

          Jewish style – Official parody to PSY – GANGNAM STYLE

  18. Jim

    Yves was spot on when she argued that PE investors in distressed housing were going to be disappointed b/c the biz does not scale well.

    Exclusive: Och-Ziff hedge fund looks to exit landlord business

    Och-Ziff’s move could indicate that institutional investors may have to dial back their expectations, especially with regards to rental income.

    “It’s not surprising that some investors may have overestimated rental returns,” said Rick Sharga, executive vice president with Carrington Mortgage Holdings, a division of Carrington Capital, which has been buying and renting foreclosed homes since 2007. “If you are an investor getting into this cold you were probably making assumptions based on models rather than experience.”

    1. Aquifer

      Assumptions based on models? Naw, who would ever be dumb enough to do that ….. nyuck, yuk, yuk ….

      I think that why i keep coming back to NC is – what i see as an underlying thread – the approach Yves takes, if I have gotten at least this right, of blowing holes in “accepted practice” that is based on – models and not how stuff “really works”. Being a big fan of the Fallacy of Misplaced Concreteness methinks I like the idea that someone else appreciates it, too …

  19. LeeAnne

    There are interesting stories out there woth thinking about.

    Mitt Romney’s Bailout Bonanza

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

    How Mitt and Ann made millions–and Mitt’s hedge fund donors made billions–from the auto-industry rescue that he condemned.

    By Greg Palast

    Mitt Romney’s opposition to the auto bailout has haunted him on the campaign trail, especially in Rust Belt states like Ohio. There, in September, the Obama campaign launched television ads blasting Romney’s November 2008 New York Times op-ed,“Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.”
    But Romney has done a good job of concealing, until now, the fact that he and his wife, Ann, personally gained at least $15.3 million from the bailout—and a few of Romney’s most important Wall Street donors made more than $4 billion. Their gains, and the Romneys’, were astronomical—more than 3,000 percent on their investment.

    It all starts with Delphi Automotive, a former General Motors subsidiary whose auto parts remain essential to GM’s production lines. No bailout of GM—or Chrysler, for that matter—could have been successful without saving Delphi. …more

  20. diane

    As a reminder, since November is dead ahead, another link for the link page. A quiz, on choosing our symbolic Daddy:

    Washington’s Rules Of Civility & Decent Behavior

    (although, I would have edited it some, for one instance, question number three:

    3. Kill no fleas, lice, ticks or bugs…

    a. while in the outhouse.

    b. in the sight of others.

    c. with your bare hand.

    d. on the face of the [potential] first lady [note to the failed swamp Newtster, don’t do that in public].

    as I would have thought that the correct answer (the missing “e.”, historically born out), would have been:

    e. Never, never ever go after the bloodsuckers, after all they are your ’employers.’

    1. skippy

      All hail the next CEO (Cough also know as his Divine Shadow) of the United Corporate States.


      Skippy… May his merciful divine shadow fall upon you…

      Ohhh… punishment… one to three organs for punishment, watch your demerit points kids. BTW you can opt out for the ***Protein Bank*** and end it all.

      Hail Merciful Shadow…

  21. Mike

    Single payer would not work in the US. The blog’s author mentions Australia but Australia has a very different health culture to the US. The US health culture is extremely predatory at all levels – I’ve yet to meet a doctor or dentist here that doesn’t do all they can do to scam the insurance system, Medicare or both. In Australia doctors seem to enjoy the job for old fashioned prestige and a high – but not crazy – income.
    Based on my experience the quality is far superior in Oz. I have been to the best money can buy in the US and they don’t match what Australia has in terms of competence (for a tenth of the price).
    It would take a century to rework US medical practioners viewpoints to seeing respect as part of their pay.

    1. Aquifer

      I will take a bit of exception to that ….

      I will go so far as to say that I do believe that when folks start out to train in medicine, for the most part, it is because they give a damn – as one goes along in training one does tend to become a bit more cynical about the field as a whole – but i gotta tell you there are times and experiences that no amount of money can compensate or reimburse for – you have to be in it for more than that.

      Having said that, however – what happens when you bump up against the “business” aspects of it – that keep you from taking care of patients in the way you think they need to be cared for – is that you are continuously frustrated and stressed, the satisfaction leaves – and all that is left is the money …

      Personally i think it is the system that warps providers and not the other way around – but i suppose i am a bit biased there :)

      Assure docs a decent secure living that doesn’t rely on number of services performed or patients seen and you will get better care … The ones who went into it for the money – goodbye and good riddance, they can become hedge fund managers ….

  22. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Tom Dispatch / By Tom Engelhardt 7 COMMENTS
    “Does Anyone Remember That Our ‘Enemies’ in Afghanistan Were Once Friends and Allies of America?”

    As John Coleman reminds us, the House of Welf-Este on the throne of England owns property in all of these countries where Americans have to go to war and die or lived maimed in body/mind. Is “America” the Praetorian Guard of London?

  23. LeonovaBalletRusse

    “Is Resistance Futile? The Corporate-Government Complex”
    October 18th, 2012
    in Op Ed, syndication
    Send feedback »
    Written by Derryl Hermanutz:

    “Enterprise scale alone prevents anybody but other collectivist plutocrats from entering the industry as a ‘competitor’. Rugged individuals who seek to prosper by their own independent efforts are simply bought out or steamrolled out of the running.”

    YVES, wasn’t the Sherman Anti-Trust Act passed to prevent this from happening?

    Bust the Trusts! Where is the spirit of Teddy Roosevelt and Ida Tarbell?

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