Links 10/23/12

How big a backyard would you need to live off the land? Mike Hickman (furzy mouse)

Pa. woman shined light for son as they mistook girl in Halloween costume for skunk, shot her Washington Post (Richard Smith)

Advertisers fail to follow mobile trend Financial Times

Disabled War Vet Adan Gallegos Kicked Out of Mattress Store Opposing Views

L’Aquila quake: Italy scientists guilty of manslaughtern BBC (Richard Smith)

Preparing for a Digital 9/11 Karen Greenberg, Tom Engelhardt (LeovonaBalletRusse)

LAX’s controversial full-body scanners to go Los Angeles Times. Also many other big airports. If you can stand to, I’d still opt out (the new scanners are safer and less invasive but produce more false positives). I’ve done so at 6 airports (more than once in some) and the TSA folks every time have been super polite about the whole thing.

Across Corn Belt, Farmland Prices Keep Soaring New York Times

Goldman Sachs Predicts End to High Oil Prices OilPrice. Some readers are sure to be annoyed about the discussion of peak oil in the second piece; I’m more interested in the Goldman position change.

The good, the bad and the ugly in Chinese data MacroBusiness

Hunger Stalks My Father’s India Long After Starvation Banished Bloomberg

Eurozone crisis live: Hollande and Merkel both offer Ireland hope – as it happened Guardian

Cash-strapped Cyprus plots Russian exit from austerity Telegraph

Protest at the detention centre in Corinth reveals inhuman and degrading detention conditions infomobile (Nikki)

TARGET losses in case of a euro breakup VoxEU

What you can do with bad government debt John Dizard, Financial Times

Five startling facts about Mitt’s investments Salon (Richard Smith)

Romney’s Whooper About China Occupy Bend

Casting Dual Roles, at Treasury and the Fed New York Times. This is SOO depressing.

How Roger Ailes’ Fox talk revolutionised the American right Guardian

The War We Aren’t Debating New York Review of Books

GE acts to counteract ‘fiscal cliff’ fears Financial Times

The City of London continues to drive the criminogenic regulatory race to the bottom Bill Black, New Economic Perspectives. One reason to buy Black’s skepticism re the FSA’s take on liar loans: in the UK all mortgages are recourse, and lenders often do go after borrowers, so the disincentives for exaggerating income are much stronger than in the US.

NPR Sets Straight All Those Silly People Who Thought Unemployment Was the Country’s Biggest Problem Dean Baker

Federal Employees Paid Well Below Private Sector Counterparts David Dayen, Firedoglake

The Payoff: Why Wall Street Always Wins – Jeff Connaughton Bill Black, New Economic Perspectives

U.S. Energy Trade Group Says Economy Sucks – Survey Proves It OilPrice

Low Rates Pummel Bank Profits Wall Street Journal

The US Economy Will Need A Miracle To Get Back To Normal Clusterstock

The value of economists MacroBusiness. I know correlation is not causation, but if it were, this is the single best explanation of why my 85 year old couch potato mother (who also has constrictive pulmonary disease) is in as good shape as she is.

Are healthcare costs really skyrocketing? mathbabe

* * *

lambert here:

Mission elapsed time: T + 45 and counting*

The junk merchant doesn’t sell his product to the consumer, he sells the consumer to his product. He does not improve and simplify his merchandise. He degrades and simplifies the client. ― William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch 

Obama vs. Romney Round III. Recently, I’ve started taking the bus into town, so I can caffeinate myself and work on my laptop in a milieu that could make me feel like I lived in a city again, if I were able to suspend disbelief, which I can’t.

Point being that I take the last bus home, and the last bus here, like last buses everywhere, is filled with characters. A selection of characters I’m highly confident is drawn from populations that are under this or that form of supervison. Most exhibit detailed knowledge of pharmaceuticals, especially barbiturates. Their language is technical and official. They are expert in brands, dosages, arrests, trials, hearings, sentences, and treatment regimens. They trade tips. Most present well; they speak fluently and often, especially of compliance, recovery, and the disasters of others.

And heaven knows what they do when they get home. 

So, tonight, listening to our affectless, sweating, droning candidates speak so fluently and present so well, I couldn’t but be reminded of junkies on the last bus. Because it really is about the next fix with these guys, isn’t it? It always is, with junk. Oil, money, power: Junk. Right in the imperial vein.

Anyhow, I’ll aggregate reactions tomorrow. I gave the debate to Obama on points. Then again, Romney might have passed “the commander-in-chief test” for the tiny fraction of the voting population in the swing counties of swing states that hasn’t made up its collective mind. So Obama could win tonight’s debate on points and lose November’s election on votes. The Onion gets it right, as usual. Snippets will be abbreviated tonight, as I attempt to sleep without waking up screaming.

Occupy. Police state: “A man who was arrested in the Supreme Court’s museum corridor for wearing a jacket emblazoned with the slogan ‘Occupy Everywhere’ is suing the federal government over the incident.” … Wonderful world, beautiful A San Antonio businessman [Billy Bob’s Beds] kicked a disabled war veteran and his service dog out of a mattress store, and employee told the vet to ‘Go occupy Wall Street,’ the man claims in court.” … Portland, OR: “Occupy Portland–still soldiering along from its office in St. Francis in Southeast, and also from the city hall camping vigil, every single day–is tired of everyone thinking the movement’s dried up and gone as it enters its second year. And, so, a bunch of occupiers have decided to take a page from their friends in big business: launching a transformative new campaign to refresh a sagging brand.” … Chicago, IL: “Occupy Chicago’s virtual presence is phenomenal. Its social media committee certainly knows how to relate to the public. Now, the movement needs to figure out how to bring this interaction from the Internet into the real world.” … Occupy Duluth: “But those gathered questioned whether the group needed to obtain a burning permit to operate an outdoor fireplace in a public space.” … Occupy Calgary: “‘People are talking about things they hadn’t talked about before,’ [David Wolff] said. ‘People are now caring a little more about how we treat the weakest. I’m not sure the public was previously aware how bad — ridiculous — it was for some of us.'”

Walmart. Union: “Twenty-one individuals named in the suit [suit filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Chicago] allege that from early 2009 and continuing through today, Wal-Mart, Brookfield, Wis.-based QPS Employment Group Inc. and Labor Ready Midwest Inc., a division of Tacoma, Wash.-based True Blue Inc., failed to keep accurate records of workers’ time and provide workers with forms verifying hours worked, thereby making it ‘impossible for workers to make claims that they were not paid by the temp agencies for all of the hours they worked.'”

AK. Koch Brothers: “The [benefit] was to raise money to buy access to a new database sold by the reactionary Koch Brothers. The database actually marries church records and Internet shopping histories to better target voters likely to oppose — in the present case — the Alaska Senate Bipartisan Working Group. Minnery explained that this little invasion of privacy was for “the Glory of God and to get conservatives in power.””

LA. That sinkhole: “Boudreaux and Waguespack said it is their worry that the possible voids or gaps underground left by the 2.7 million cubic yards of earth that shifted could lead to sinkholes appearing in other locations.”

NC. Fracking: “[P]rotesters chained themselves to revolving doors at a state office building in downtown Raleigh and blocked the entry for over an hour Monday in an act of political theater the participants termed civil disobedience. [A]ctivists will stage more protests if fracking is permitted to proceed in NC.”

NY. Fracking: “Three years ago, [Rice University’s Bernard] Weinstein co-authored an economic impact study for Broome County predicting that over 10 years, drilling there would create 16,000 direct and indirect jobs with an economic impact of $15 billion. It used a price gas assumption of roughly $6/Mcf. Last week, Weinstein said that scenario has been flipped on its head.” Oh well!

PA. Fracking: “‘We should realize by now this is not going to be a short play. It’s going to be here, probably for generations, because it’s so productive,’ said George Jugovic Jr., president of PennFuture [a leading PA environmental group.]”

TX. Early voting: “[RICK PERRY: ] ‘Get that early voting done. You never know when the good Lord is going to call you home.'”

WA. Nuclear waste: “There is a slow leak in the oldest double-shell waste tank at the Hanford nuclear reservation that’s allowing highly radioactive and hazardous waste to leak into the space between the inner and outer shells, the federal Department of Energy said Monday.”

WI. Police blotter: “Former state senator Randy Hopper, who was one of the Rs to be ousted in last years recall, was arrested on drunken driving, domestic abuse, trespassing and misue of telephone charges.”

Outside baseball. The tribes: [“Russell] Means, who announced in August 2011 that he had developed inoperable throat cancer was forgoing mainstream medical treatments in favor of traditional American Indian remedies, died early Monday at his ranch in in Porcupine, SD. He was 72.” … Legalization: ” Five years and 30,000+ Mexican murders later, we’re pursuing the same strategies with worse results than ever.”

The trail. The air war: “in the past week, four of the top 10 TV markets for campaign ads were in OH, and only one was in Florida (Orlando), according to NBC. ”

The Romney. Jill Stein: “‘As governor, it’s hard to find differences between [Romney] and Deval Patrick,” [Stein] says. ‘Having lived under Mitt Romney for four years, I’m not quaking in my boots any more than I am’ at the prospect of Barack Obama’s reelection.”

* Slogan of the day: With Regard To The Great Teacher The Obama, Cherish The Word ‘Loyalty.’

* * *

Antidote du jour:

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  1. D. Mathews

    “Two acres is a whole lot of land — backyard farming is often so romanticized that one often forgets the amount of raw space required to keep it up beyond “hobby” status” Two considerations – First, it would be interesting to see how this would vary depending on the climatic region you’re talking about. The tropics could substantially reduce that acreage (of course the product mix would have to change, like substituting rice for wheat). But there opens a wide range of alternatives that could produce high yields – bananas, moringa, casava and other root vegetables like tannia, yams of the genus Dioscorea not to mention a plethora of fruits and other veggies. Second point: if like me you are a “part-time” vegetarian, you can reduce your supermarket purchases significantly. A few goats and chickens are all we need here in the West Indies.

    1. Invient

      My parents have a little under an acre in Denver, co… The soil is unsuitable to grow, but we tried this last season with a three sister garden. Everything grew to about half suspected size, but the corn did produce some ears, so I know they pollinated. Double dug 4 5’x25, and laid an inch of horse and pine compost.

      In any case I am now running some vermiculture bins, a set for food waste, and another for humanure… It sounds gross but there isn’t any smell as long as you separate the liquids. The plan is to transform the soil so the next garden is successful, hoping within five years our food bill can be cut to a fourth.

    2. direction

      I lived on a small experimental farm where we produced food without the use of fossil feuls and we bicycled the food 9 miles to market in carts. We ran this experiment for about 4 years and were able to save seed and rotate in a fallow field or two (missing from this model is a fallow field with covercrop to provide the rest and recouperation needed to not strip your topsoil). For the most part, this estimate looks fairly accurate except that a piece of land is usually not 100% usable area due to shade, need for windbreaks, stream banks etc. Also a family of 4 is probably not going to be able to keep up with the work, so say sayonara to the little nuclear family. Furthermore, there’s a reason for those huge photogenic wheat fields you see in national geographic. Wheat/bread will be something you probably trade for from someone specializing in the grain crop; expect more easily processed grains (corn, quinoa, amaranth) in your diet. And if you plan on cooking with something other than lard, you’ll have to grow something desirable to trade for cooking oil as well.

    3. JGordon

      Props to you for mentioning moringa. I just got a few hundred oleifera seeds a couple of stenopetala seeds in the mail myself to start growing.

      Also as someone who is studying permaculture myself, that article is pretty bogus. They use the land in the most innefficient and stupid ways possible, which of course tends to waste a great deal of space.

      Looking to that infographic to plan out how your going to survive in the city after society collapses is a great way to starve to death.

    4. evodevo

      The amount of acreage depends entirely on the local climate (rainfall, etc.), soil type and the amount of time you have. If you have access to a LOT of horse manure, you can, in time, transform even the most stubborn soil. However, the amount of heavy physical labor and time involved with even a modest gardening operation will tax most people’s energy reserves. (Been there, done that.) Unless you are independently wealthy or retired and in VERY good shape, growing more than an acre of veggies is beyond most. (Go watch the Amish sometime if you want to know how much work it really is.) And there’s no way you could grow enough grain to make all the grain-based foods we tend to eat. Veggies, chickens and maybe a hog once a year WILL cut way back on your grocery bill, AND you know what was used in the growing. Anything more than that I’d be cautious about getting into.

  2. fresno dan

    The value of economists MacroBusiness.
    It isn’t merely correlation and causation. It may be that they got causation backwards – maybe illness causes TV watching. What activity are you doing in the hospital…watching TV. If there was no TV, I dare say the study would have postulated that not listening to the radio (or reading books) would add X number of years to your life…

  3. fresno dan

    The US Economy Will Need A Miracle To Get Back To Normal Clusterstock

    What is the “official” GDP growth rate? When someone says there is an “output” gap, they are making an assumption about how fast GDP “should” grow. As a major constituent of GDP growth is population growth, isn’t GDP growth going to decline significant;y simply due to lower population growth?

    And of course, my own obsession – isn’t GDP a useless metric to begin with? How about something that makes sense like per capita GDP. Than maybe we could explain why the country (i.e., the 0.001%) is getting richer and richer (more GDP) and the average worker is getting poorer and poorer.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Thank you. I listened to the debate and tried to think of something sensible to say… And this is all I could come up with. I’ll do better processing the muck this evening, no doubt.

  4. danb

    “Some readers are sure to be annoyed about the discussion of peak oil in the second piece…” Understood, but many grasp the significance of peak oil -which Hubbert anticipated 40 years ago- is the question “How to adapt to the end of economic growth?”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Economic growth.

      A) when we produce for others and consume products/services provided by others, and if we decide to consume less, others are hurt – you hurt the ‘economy.’

      B) when we consume only what we produce, and if we decide to consume less, we hurt no one (we just work less), we don’t hurt any ‘economy.’ In fact, if we are currently over-taxing the environment, and when we decide to consume less, we help Nature.

      With A, there is a bias, perhaps not always, towards ever more consumption (we don’t want others to lose their jobs). With B, the bias is towards working just enough, towards not over taxing the environment through over-killing or over-planting (you don’t kill more than you can consume).

  5. AnonAnon

    I think DC National has the new millimeter wave machines. It also has one of the worst waits (at least at the Delta end) of any airport I’ve been to recently. Part of it is that they always insist on sending every single person through the machines. Other airports I’ve been to have often been using both the machine and the metal detector, especially when they’re busy.

    I always opt out. Have never had a bad TSA experience with it and at National I’ve found it doesn’t take much longer than waiting for the machine. Maybe five minutes.

    1. propertius

      The millimeter wave machines aren’t new – we’ve had them in Denver for years. They were introduced before the backscatter machines were even available. Their ubiquity owes more to the influence of Michael Chertoff than any technical advantages.

      I fly 6-8 times a month. I don’t have any qualms about going through a milliwave system, but I always opt out of the backscatter systems. Ionizing radiation dosage is cumulative, there’s no such thing as a “safe dose”. I get enough exposure from frequent flying and living at altitude – I don’t need to compound my dose by going through a scanner.

  6. Goin' South

    Re: growing it at home–

    A look at what intensive farming of a small area looks like:

    I’m looking forward to checking out the “How Big a Backyard” link in detail. I live in the middle of the city and have very little room, but a garden is still invaluable. We grow things that:

    1) are usually of poor quality when purchased through conventional sources, e.g. tomatoes; and/or

    2) can be grown in compact spaces, e.g. snow peas and pole beans; and/or

    3) have short growing seasons, allowing for replanting with another crop, e.g radishes; and or

    4) are multi-purposed, e.g. Mammoth sunflowers that produce nice, roastable sunflower seeds AND make mini-trees in the summer shading the unprotected west side of our house.

    You’re not going to supply all your calorie/food needs, but you can improve the quality of your life not only with the food itself, but also the soul-restoring “labor” required to grow it.

      1. LeeAnne

        Correction. That article is mainly about squirrel. Pigeon and English sparrow are mentioned only near the end with lovely photos in the printed version. Must’ve been a projection; for me, pigeon is a much more palatable idea.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          I hate to tell you this, since for some reason squirrel is seen as poor white trash food, but having eaten a LOT of game (quail, wild duck and turkey, coots, pheasant, lots of deer, elk) squirrel is the best by a considerable margin.

          1. DK

            It depends on what the squirrels have been eating. The squirrels that have been eating my apricots, pears, etc. 9despite netting and chicken wire) are pretty good. Squirrels that have been eating garbage can be pretty bad.

    1. Neo-Realist

      But people who live in apartments in the middle of the city and have no gardens connected to their building are out of luck on such urban farming utopia. Maybe the companies that specialize in GMO’s will create at-home kits with potted dirt and seeds for apartment dwellers to grow their own fruits and vegies?

      “Soul restoring labor” with many urbanites is an oxymoron.

    2. direction

      Jules Dervaes has an hardworking family and has a great production record. He’s also an “end Times” fundimentalist extremist kook who’s actually registered a trademark on the words “urban homestead” and is actively sending cease and desist letters to others in the movement. the guy’s a jerk. But his website is great, full of beautiful photos and helpful tips.

  7. sickening

    >> Hunger Stalks My Father’s India Long After Starvation Banished Bloomberg

    Every time I read something about malnutrition, I recall a born-on-third-base libertarian friend confess (and then retract after seeing the shock on our faces) he thinks the poor should wake up hungry so that they get off their butts and contribute something to the economy.

    A previous Bloomberg article said that 900 million are malnourished. What does malnourishment do to the brain and especially children’s brain development?? How do people “contribute” when they’re in that condition?

    Well, fear not, because per a separate conversation I learned my libertarian friend also believes in legalizing human organ donor trade. So, those people might yet serve his economic interest after all.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I suspect 900 million are malnurished not because we are not growing enough food, but because of food and wealth mal-distribution.

      The solution is not to cut down more trees for farming, but better food and wealth distribution.

      It’s similar to the problem we have with respect to money. There is enough money printed already. It’s just not distributed equitably. The solution is, again, not more money but better distribution.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      You might remind him of Arab Spring, that hungry people are more inclined to violent revolt, and that if they are hungry enough, he might look like a tasty meal. Oh, and that police studies have found that guns are useless if the person going after you is within 21 feet (you can’t get your weapon out before they get you).

    3. different clue

      Hopefully the organ slave markets stay illegal and never come into existence.

      But if the Cannibal Class succeeds in making organ sale slavery legal, then hopefully every organ sold and installed into a Class Cannibal is full of disease, cancer, etc.

  8. bulfinch

    You are rare, Yves. I get my butt out of bed super early in order have time to opt out every single time I fly, (which is, regrettably, often). Except for one instance, I have always been the ONLY one opting out.

    I might also point out that the protocol for individual screening is both absurd and asburdly sloppy.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I get the vibe the TSA people don’t like these machines either. In every, and I mean every airport that has one, the TSA folks seem far more polite than they were in the past. It seems like too many data points to be coincidence.

  9. Max424

    re: GS oil price predictions

    M. King Hubbert was a cautious optimist. I don’t think any peak oiler has ever denied it. How could they. Hell, on many of his later black & white bell curve charts, the whole right side, from the peak of the curve (hmm…2005. 50 years into the future. Spot on, MK Nostradamus), up to the right hand corner, is shaded in, and in this grey area are typed the words, NUCLEAR POWER.


    (Most brilliant man of the century my ass)

    “[Hubbert’s] … doomsaying successors operate with a pretty movable set of goalposts”

    That’s because goalposts move, you dumb fuck. This isn’t football. This a fluid situation.

    I always thought that in the shaded area to the left of the curve, you would read the words, COAL LIQUEFACTION. I mean, we gotta fill the area up with something, an empty space to the right of the curve would spell the certain –and in a relative sense, instant– doom of modern civilization.

    I think we can all agree on that?

    I was wrong (so far). The shaded area is being filled in by non-flowing-crude elements like tar muck, fracked stone, and our corn crop.


    …static … CLIMATE CHANGE … garble …


    Note: Because so much of this involves “the future,” we can’t be expected to agree on everything, but one thing I believe all peak oilers would agree on, this will be about price, in the beginning.

    And I think we would also, all agree, barring war or some other, terrible shock to the now, incredibly fragile system, in the short run, the price will go up, and the price will down, and economies will go up and down with the price, but in long run, the price will show a strong inclination to go up, and up (1998 till now?), while economies will exhibit a strong tendency to go down.*

    In response.

    *Unless economies wrestle control of money creation away from their respective (?) banking systems. If that miracle should occur, I do hold out hope we could produce a much bigger one.

    1. Invient

      Do you know about lenr?

      You can read about it in the November issue of popular science… The community consensus is it exists, and is repeatable.

      Towards the end, Dr. Melvin Miles a former denier, does a quick calculation that shows 1 g of loaded Pd in zeolite will produce about 1 MW which for the average USA home is enough power for 300 years ( using a doubling of average USA power use 24000 kWh, which is 3 kW energy use..)

      The current market price for 1 gram of Pd is $24.00… Nickel will Be tried in the future, and if it as reactive then a gram of nickel is $0.02….

      1. Max424

        The cold fusion miracle! All for it!

        And it’s high time we scale it up, as times a wasting.

        So, we need to slip at least one LENR patent past the deeply skeptical USPTO. That would be an important first step.

        1. Susan the other

          Goldman Sachs failed to give good advice? Not GS! I’m wondering why GS didn’t advise all their investors to go into Africa sooner. Agricultural competition. Bring the American bread basket to its knees. How patriotic. Plus lots of slave labor supplemented with modern mechanization. Cause that’s what GS did. And peak oil? Peak Red Herring? That has always depended on the definition of ‘peak’. I do like the self-aware facetious term ‘political peak oil’. Energy will be the thing we conquer because “it is there.”

    1. Larry Barber

      You might want to shoot a skunk because there is pretty high probability that it is rabid.

      But how big do skunks get in Pennsylvania that someone could mistake a 9 year old for one?

      1. slingshot

        Phooey… many skunk attacks are there? Probably way fewer cases than voter fraud–which is to say hardly any. Lob a loafer over it’ll saunter off. This idiot should loose his right to own a firearm for life.

        1. cwaltz

          In my area, skunks are a source of rabies(possums too). While I would be hesitant to shoot one myself, I could understand why someone would shoot one.

    2. Lambert Strether

      Well, I accidentally left the garage door open, and I heard a sort of rooting around noise, so I went back there, flicked on the light, saw a skunk… and moved quietly away and turned off the light.

      A woodchuck, now….

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Skunks are supposed to have nice personalities. Why wouldn’t you have a nice personality if you didn’t have to worry about predators?

  10. wunsacon

    After reading the most recent Washington’s Blog entries on Fukushima and the nuclear power industry generally, I’m led to conclude that nuclear energy is an “Industry of Mass Destruction”.

  11. Jackrabbit

    > > > > Today is the Day! < < < <

    P R E S I D E N T I A L
    . . D E B A T E

    Tuesday, October 23rd 8pm

    Moderator: Larry King

    Invited and Confirmed for the Debate:
    Rocky Anderson, Justice Party
    Virgil Goode, Constitution Party
    Gary Johnson, Libertarian Party
    Jill Stein, Green Party

    Invited but Unconfirmed:
    Barak Obama, Democratic Party
    Mitt Romney, Republican Party

    1. Jackrabbit

      Everyone that I’ve talked to about this debate has the same reaction.

      They are _really_ interested (I’m certain that most will watch), and they can’t believe that they hadn’t heard of it before.

        1. RupanIII

          linktv (included with directv packages, not sure about cable & dish) is airing the al-jazeera coverage as well

  12. Ray Duray

    New 9/11 Truth film project being created by Hollywood’s Martin Sheen and Woody Harrelson among others. Report by The Guardian UK.


    Martin Sheen and Woody Harrelson set for 9/11 ‘truther’ film September Morn

    Film’s advance publicity says: ‘We the people demand an independent investigation into the tragic events of 9/11’

    1. Susan the other

      Hi Ray. I wanted to reply to the antidote butterfly and flower today – something about the wild and careful art of nature – but I’m so mad I’m going to be here till the wee hours with no vacation into bliss.

      Occupy Bend. Romney and his partners and the Delphi extortion.

      Is Mitt Romney the most disgusting pig who ever pulled his hideous snout out of the shit and grinned at everyone with his slimey green teeth, or what?

      Posted by Occupy Oregon via Greg Palast: Romney and his PE partners extorted the US government out of many multiple billions of dollars because they (PE) held hostage THE steering column production capacity at Delphi, and then they still sent all the Delphi jobs to China and stuck the taxpayer with the pension fund. Gee, thanks Willard. You are such a fine upstanding patriot.

  13. amateur socialist

    Why do I suspect Rmoney’s flogging of Chinese currency manipulation is motivated by the fact he probably owns a big fat pile of yuan in one of his secret investment accounts? It’s pretty much the only thing he advocates wrt our outsourcer du jour…

  14. citalopram

    Jill Stein is polling at around 2 percent, so I hear. Can’t really compete with the corporate juggernaut, can we?

    1. direction

      Green Party platform is great and Stein has looked like the most appealing option, but she’s a terrible public speaker. Rocky Anderson was much more clear and informative yesterday on the shadow debate. I look forward to seeing all 4 alternates tonight on Al Jazeera.

      1. Eureka Springs

        I walked into my local upscale health food store last week to put a stack of free Jill Stein bumper stickers near the bulletin board.

        Not one person, customer or clerk, had ever heard the name.

        She has my vote… but there is MUCH work to do on the so-called left. I do wish she and Rocky were running mates.

    2. Ms G

      2% is a whole lot more than 0%, which is what MSM and Legacy Operations have been working overtime to achieve!

      I am psyched that Jill Stein is on the ballot in NY!

      1. ZygmuntFraud

        Sommetimes, strange things happen …

        Lambert Strether already mentioned the Quebec Province elections, around last September 5.

        A former “Carre Rouge” student leader, of “printemps erable”, run under the sovereignist/independentist banner Parti Quebecois, and defeated in Laval-des-Rapides riding former Liberal member (ministre délégué) Alain Paquet …

        The now Assemblyman Léo Bureau-Blouin (Parti Quebecois) was 20 years old this past summer.

        video in French, interview of Liberal assmblyman Alain Paquet last July:

    3. direction

      ross perot took 19% of the vote away from the legacy parties in 1992. It did not create an earth shifting event in 96. so 2% is unimpressive.

      1. Lambert Strether

        Well, 2012 isn’t 1992 in terms of the stresses, especially economic, placed on voters. And where Ross Perot was essentially a billionaire vanity candidate — [hi Mike! waves] — who didn’t seek to build a party (Nader’s failing too), both the Greens and the Libertarians are trying to do just that. (I’m not assuming that political parties are a solution to our current plight, but I think that weakening the legacy parties and opening up space is good).

  15. Jill

    Jill Stein sued the legacy party dead-bates. We do not have an independent judiciary”


    “Jill Stein Sues the Presidential Debate Commission





    Plaintiff, Case No:____________________















    1. This is a civil action for Emergency Injunctive Relief against the Federal Elections Commission, the Commission on Presidential Debates, the Republican National Committee, the Democratic National Committee, and Lynn University, to enjoin them from violating numerous laws of the State of Florida and the United States by conducting the U.S. Presidential debate scheduled to be held on October 22, 2012, at Lynn University, in Boca Raton, Florida, which violations have and will continue to directly, substantially and irreparably harm and damage Green Party Presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein.


  16. Brindle

    Russel Means–RIP

    Way back in 1974 in Winona, MN I went to a talk/presentation by by Means and Dennis Banks about the American Indian Movement. He was a good man.

  17. Cynthia

    “Hospitals Tally Likely Costs From New Readmissions Penalties”:

    The problem with hospitals isn’t that they are providing low quality care — something that the architects of ObamaCare wrongly assume. The problem with hospitals is that they are generating way too much unnecessarily costs. And most of these unnecessarily costs aren’t being generated at the patient care level, they are instead being generated behind the scenes at the administrative level. This is largely why hospitals have become way too top heavy, and why administrative costs are starting to outstrip the cost of providing care.

    So it would make more sense, at least to me it would, for Medicare and Medicaid, as mandated through ObamaCare, to simply make across-the-board reimbursement cuts to hospitals, instead of cutting reimbursements to hospitals whenever their quality indicators fall below a certain level. (By the way, most of these so-called “quality indicators,” such as patient satisfaction scores and readmission rates, have little, if anything, to do to improving patient outcome or reducing hospital stay.)

    Basing reimbursement on quality indicators is not only causing hospitals to find more creative ways, thus more wasteful ways, to game the system, but it is also causing hospitals and insurers to waste a lot of precious healthcare dollars on hiring an outrageous number of people, most who are overpaid and over-benefited RNs, to track and monitor these indicators. Thanks to ObamaCare, Medicare and Medicaid are taking a system that’s already riddled with unnecessary costs and making it even more riddled with unnecessary costs.

    Thanks to ObamaCare, our healthcare system is turning itself into one big giant self-licking ice cream cone — something which our military started to do at the dawn of the Cold War, only to accelerate the self-licking at the dawn of the War on Terror. The similarities between our healthcare system and our military are striking, which is deeply disturbing, at least to me it is.

    1. Ms G

      “The similarities between our healthcare system and our military are striking, which is deeply disturbing, at least to me it is.”

      Yes, and adding a further similarity: the University System, with its Bloated Tic Administrations that are basically eliminating the Education Part of the U. System.

  18. Valissa

    Mysterious elk-shaped structure discovered in Russia

    The Beluga whale that could talk

    L’Aquila quake: Italy scientists guilty of manslaughter

    Earthquakes are notoriously hard to predict, so this is a scary precedent.

  19. direction

    “If what you want is actual change, then what has to be built is a mass movement that is militant and can use direct action to slow or stop profit. A movement that can do that can demand whatever it wants. Why? Because politicians answer the dictates of the ruling class, the 1%. [Politicians] are merely puppets. If you have a movement that stops a portion of the economic machine, the ruling class will make their puppets dance for you.”

    Nice interview with Boots Riley in Spin

  20. kevinearick

    History: Stack & Heap

    There are no freeways on the ocean. It makes no economic sense to ship raw materials across the ocean and finished goods back. What kind of societies tolerate that kind of accounting? Who is the 800lb gorilla on the sea, which sets the boundaries on land?

    Foucalt: the underlying tendencies that gather force, and are then suddenly reversed after centuries of continuity, epistemological acts and thresholds (Bachelord), suspend the continuous accumulation of knowledge, and force it to enter a new time, with displacement and transformation (Canguilhem), due to microscopic and macroscopic scales of the history of the sciences, detaching science from its ideology (Serres), the limits of the process, the point of inflexion of a curve, the inversion of a regulatory movement, the boundaries of an oscillation, the threshold of a function, the INSTANT at which the circular causality breaks down, what series of series, what tables it is possible to draw up (Marx), a consciousness turned upon itself, rebuilding foundations, after ideological use of history by which one tries to restore to man everything that has increasingly eluded him. (Man plans, God Laughs)

    Barzun: In advanced civilizations the period loosely called Alexandrian is usually associated with flexible morals, perfunctory religion, populist standards, and cosmopolitan tastes, feminism, exotic cults, and the rapid turnover of high and low fads – in short, a falling away (which is all decadence means) from the strictness of traditional rules, at Alexandria in the third century B.C. … as happened again at the tail end of the middle ages and again at the turn of the eighteenth century. The attic is crammed full. A healthy barbarian invasion may clear the air and the bookshelves for a fresh start.

    Information theory, not interested in message, but in the chance of getting its ‘shape’ across, tries to dominate psychology, linguistics, and anything else in which meaning still lurks untouched by abstraction. The point of the game is what we all used to do as children – repeat a word over and over till its meaning is emptied out.

    The upshot has been to regard all barriers as outmoded and unjust. The ever-present IMPULSE is to push against restriction and, in so doing, to feel intolerably hemmed in. Thus, in practice, every liberation increases the sense of oppression. ‘Don’t be left out of the period of pleasure.’

    What this comes down to is the thing we today keep bleating about as ‘the search for excellence.’ If the motto is not hypocritical, it is certainly ineffectual. In higher education we give degrees that supposedly certify excellence and then require stacks of letters of recommendation in order to distinguish real merit from the rest. It has to be assumed, too, that among the letters there will be a truthful one to help us reach sound judgment. And still not content, we also ask for figures based on so-called objective tests. In short we cannot tell a good man when we see him.

    It is a democratic spirit insofar as the passion for equality naturally stimulates envy and suspicion; but it is also a recast spirit in that it attributes virtues and violated rights to one group, wickedness and wrongful supremacy to another. In this sense, visibly, women are a race oppressed by the race of men; the old, the white, and the ‘bourgeois’ are races unjustly dominant over the races of the young, the colored, the poor, and so on down a long list.

    What Western civilization is witnessing, in short, is the last phase of the great emancipation…and the structure of civilization no longer has either the faith or the power to sustain itself. Bargaining by outrage is an old game…and capitalism has been so modified that it is at many points indistinguishable from communism, itself also hybridized; teachers cannot be mass produced at will like cars.

    [T]he present failure of authority is a prime symptom. It tells us that on the all-important question of how we live together, the contemporary world has not a single new idea to offer, not one. What is wanted is an open conspiracy of genuine Young Turks who will turn their backs on analysis and criticism and reinvent – say- the idea of the university, and show what it can do; who, seeing that bureaucracy is inevitable, will rethink the art of administration and make it work.

    Gombrich: The Power & Perils of Hindsight. Critics…who had a professional interest in problem solutions…the assumption that any improvement must have been striven for…tended to reduce the history of art to the story of how the past strove to become the present. [H]indsight shows its power if it makes us pay attention to the reasons which secured such a rapid victory…

    Lowinsky: The Peril & Profit of Foresight. The verdict went unanimously against Vincentino – an outcome that could have astonished only its victim, who underestimated the peril of foresight in an environment dedicated to the cultivation of tradition…in the risk of isolation. But the rejected pioneers of yesterday become the prophets of tomorrow…those who mastered all aspects of avant-garde technique but reserved it for special texts calling for extraordinary means. These masters reap the full benefit of the pioneer’s foresight; the early experiments now bear the ripe fruit of fully matured works.

    “The sea yields the world to the world by this art of arts, navigation.” Purchas

    Waters: While science is itself the product of civilization, civilization is, basically, the product of the activities of seamen sailing ships across the seas. The seas of the world are, as the Bible says, one – one great sheet of water enveloping four-fifths of the globe’s surface – yet, as Martin Bahaim declared on the first known terrestrial globe, everywhere accessible to men in ships…they have cross-fertilized cultures otherwise doomed to sterility and thereby conceived and given birth to new ones.

    The unity of the sea divides the lands of the earth; ships unite them; only ships carry the cargo in the quantities and in the variety necessary for the sustenance and growth of the many societies scattered about the world’s land surfaces.

    The US hasn’t had a private mortgage market since before the Great Depression. WSJ

    “find out where God is working and join him there.” Blackaby

    1. Garrett Pace

      “everywhere accessible to men in ships…they have cross-fertilized cultures otherwise doomed to sterility and thereby conceived and given birth to new ones.”

      I wish…global monoculture is more creeping disease than refreshing pollinator. It doesn’t cherish variety so much as commodotize it, and turn it into a cheap sensation that passes through the zeitgeist for a few moments and then forgotten.

      The clash of cultures is never a competition of art, religion or even science. Just the ability to turn land and life into money.

      Those who refuse to be commodotized – to turn themselves and their land and their culture into money – pay a price. They are replaced by people who will. Four hundred miles away from me are the gasping remnants of great Native American cultures – a few wise old heads are bowed down with a burden of tradition and moral teachings, the collected wisdom of centuries of successful living in one of the least hospitable parts of the whole world. And who do they give it to?

      Despairing of their ability to win the hearts of their own youth away from US, some wise old Hopi heads even got a fellow to write a book about their oral traditions and teachings, so things wouldn’t be lost forever.

      That was fifty years ago. How has it gone since then?

  21. Tom

    Tomgram: Karen Greenberg, Preparing for a Digital 9/11.

    The article is premised on well known behaviours resulting from fear mongering. The article is correct in assumptions and re-re shows that to be free requires bravery, knowledge and willingness to ask questions and take action. 9/11 seemed to fail to bring this home to many Americans.

    “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” – Abraham Lincoln

    “No protracted war can fail to endanger the freedom of a democratic country.” -Alexis de Tocqueville

    “A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny.” -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    “It is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad.” -James Madison

  22. J Sterling

    The population of India in the author’s father’s day was 430 million, and they were hungry. Today, after the Green Revolution, it’s 1,230 million, and they’re hungry again. How will we end hunger if we don’t stop growth?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think it’s not just the $182 billion or whatever it was, but the trillions from QE1, QE2 and QE3 that should be counted as well to come up with a reasonable figure as our cost basis.

  23. Max424

    “Most exhibit detailed knowledge of pharmaceuticals, especially barbiturates. Their language is technical and official. They are expert in brands, dosages, arrests, trials, hearings, sentences, and treatment regimens. They trade tips.”

    Brilliant. Nailed it.

    My people! Dudes who have patiently laid it out it for me over the years, out of respect, because I’m a fellow pool player and a veteran –though not fellow– gambler.

    “Crack, Jim? Seriously? Crack? Crack is what we do when we can’t mainline the good stuff.”

    “Get a load of this guppy. Go smoke a joint, ya nit.”

    That’s where I feel deregulation the most, the changes wrought at my level, in the power and accessibility of the new drugs, and in the boulevards readied for ALL the sheep to be herded into the gambling arena.

    The blood mix joining of Big Pharma and the Casino Mindset.

    Go together like a morning bottle of Kamchatka and an afternoon session over the toilet bowl!

    Note: Guzzle 80 proof vodka when you’re jonesin’ (not a 100 proof, because you might have to drive, should you get a call back). That’s a tip I got.

  24. Susan the other

    Also. Geithner and Bernanke possible replacements. I don’t care about who. Who is another red herring. I care about what is never outlined – I care about what. WTF?

    And. Bill Black on the City of London. Killer. and funny. but really not. but every word, let alone every sentence, is an indictment. Thanks Professor.

    Plus. I never knew much about Wm. Burroughs – but now thinking about reading him as a prophet.

    1. Bert_S

      Geithner and Bernanke possible replacements

      I figure just about everyone named in the article should be placed on O’s Tuesday hit list.

      1. ZygmuntFraud

        Re: Replacements. The latest DealBook piece by Andrew Roos Sorkin is just about that. Sorkin mentions a “parlor game” going on in Washington and on Wall Street.

        The mention of Washington there brought to my mind the hard-hitting book “Washington Babylon” by Alexander Cockburn and Ken Silverstein.

        I got to read a piece on Alexander Cockburn, who died not long ago, through subscribing to the New Left Review (very satisfied so far).

  25. Doug Terpstra

    Joe Klein bests the Onion on drone killings:

    “… the bottom line in the end is – whose 4-year-old gets killed? What we’re doing is limiting the possibility that 4-year-olds here will get killed by indiscriminate acts of terror”

    It’s a disturbing window into the warped worldview of the criminally insane, tribalism sans moral compass. He forces winger Morning Joe Scarborough to play a bleeding heart liberal.

  26. CB

    Mathbabe is right about complexity used to obfuscate responsibility. If you can’t pinpoint accountability, you can’t pinpoint responsibility. I paid out of pocket for med expenses for several decades, I saw the bills and heard the “not our department, we don’t know anything about that” runarounds. In the American medical-industrial complex, no one is finally responsible.

  27. Hugh

    Reading throught the possible nominees for Treasury and the Fed I could not help but think how many of them really belong in prison for the damage they have done to this country.

    The New York Times has value because it is great to put under litter boxes, but economists aren’t even good for that.

    Re Goldman, don’t gas prices usually fall just before an election?

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