Links, 10/4/2012

For Obama, words not said in debate spoke the loudest Reuters

In the spin room, Republicans gloat, Democrats struggle Reuters

Troika Wants Faster Cuts Ekathimerini

Lost in migration: Earth’s magnetic field overdue a flip News Daily

3D printing for fun and profit: a serious hobby grows up The Verge

Turkey strikes back at Syria after mortar kills five Reuters

Argentine navy ship seized in asset fight FT

What have the economists ever done for us? Andrew Haldane

Penn State Faculty Snub of Fracking Study Ends Research Bloomberg

Sh*tstorm: Arizona’s Bizarre New Use for Human Waste  Alternet

Discussing the Eurozone Crisis at Columbia Law School with Marshall Auerback and Georges Ugeux; Friday 6th October, 6.15pm

Gaffe-Checking the Debates Bloomberg

How organized crime groups are destroying the rain forests Washington Post

U.S., Europe Nowhere Close to Ending Crisis, Krugman Says Bloomberg

Yet another oil sheen spotted in Gulf of Mexico Grist

Romneys likely gained from complex offshore deals, tax experts say Wichita Eagle

Top Nuclear Experts: Technology Doesn’t Yet Exist to Clean Up Fukushima Washingtonsblog

The Mortgage Settlement’s Big Day Katie Porter

Singer Sarah Brightman Outbids NASA for Space Tourist’s Seat ABC News

Quantum measurements leave Schrödinger’s cat alive New Scientist

Iran currency crisis sparks Tehran street clashes The Guardian

In North Dakota, hard to tell an oil millionaire from regular Joe Reuters

California Democratic Governor Jerry Brown stopped a bill granting overtime, meal breaks, and labor protections to domestic workers. He also vetoed a bill implementing farmworker protections. But don’t worry, Brown had the time to sign a bill building a statue of Reagan in the Capitol.

* * *

lambert here:

Mission elapsed time: T + 27 and counting*

“Coffee’s for closers only.” –David Mamet, Glengarry Glen Ross

CA. Unions: “CA voters are being asked to starve unions of the tens of millions of dollars they use to finance campaigns and political organizing, as the nation’s largest state wades into the national debate over labor clout. The battle over Proposition 32 on the November ballot follows conflicts in WI, OH, IN and elsewhere where efforts to dilute the strength of organized labor have produced political tumult, a flood of TV ads and widespread demonstrations.”

CO. Fracking: “In an unprecedented move last month, D Gov. John Hickenlooper’s Oil and Gas Conservation Commission took the extraordinary step of suing Longmont, CO in an attempt to overturn that city’s ordinances regulating drilling in residential neighborhoods and mandating water-quality monitoring at fracking sites” (good explainer; MR).

CT. Charters: “Rolling one’s eyes at a teacher will get a freshman sent to the school’s Reorientation Room, where [a] Dean of School Culture said ‘they get the extra culture they need.'” No doubt. It’s always hard to know when to file charter links under Tinpot Tyrants. Or Corruption.

FL. Voting: “Nathan Sproul was hardly unknown when his firm, Strategic Allied Consulting, was hired over the summer to register voters for the Republican Party. In 2004, employees with his previous firms were accused of a wide assortment of infractions: destroying voter registration forms of Ds, duping college students into registering as Rs, refusing to register Ds or Is. NV, OR and AZ opened investigations but closed them without charging anyone.” … Voting: “The FL Department of Law Enforcement announced Wednesday that it is launching a criminal investigation into voter registration forms filed by a GOP vendor, Strategic Allied Consulting.”

GA. Libertarians: “Also working to the [Libertarian’s] advantage is the likelihood that GOP nominee Mitt Romney will easily prevail in GA’s presidential voting. That frees up Rs and Ds with libertarian leanings to vote their preference without fear that doing so will help a candidate they don’t want to win.” Greens, too. … Charters: “In Calhoun County, where Pataula Charter is located, just 2 percent of the student body in the local school system is white. In Clay County, it’s a mere 1 percent. Yet in Pataula Charter, 75 percent of the student body is white.”

IL. Outsourcing: “‘They would like to get us out sooner if they can,” said [Sensata employee Tom Gaulrapp]. “Right now we’re in day 21 of our encampment. It’s not like we weren’t productive or we were making bad parts. We just want people to understand that we don’t deserve this. I don’t want to work for minimum wage with no benefits, but that’s my future.’ Sensata workers have been camped out at ‘Bainport’ since Sept. 12 to protest the loss of 170 jobs that are due to be eliminated and outsourced to China” (meanwhile).

LA. Legalization: “New Orleans assistant city attorney Jason Cantrell, 43, allegedly dropped a marijuana joint out of his pocket while he was talking to a group of New Orleans Police Department officers in a New Orleans magistrate court.” Jeebus, Darwin award. Who carries their joints around loose?

NC. Tinpot tyrants: “It all started last week when eighth-grader Parker Jackson was picked up by an ambulance after having a seizure in school. He returned to school the next day and was greeted with lots of hugs. He said at lunch, the assistant principal told them hugging wasn’t allowed. That night, Jackson and his friends made a Facebook group, and came to school the next day ready to hug in protest. Jackson said the same day, the principal met with the eighth-graders. ‘She was like, ‘y’all have no rights to that, even though y’all think you do,’ it was very inappropriate, and that if any teachers catch us hugging that we would get (in-school suspension),’ Jackson said.” … Class war: “42 percent of Americans born into the bottom fifth of the income distribution remain there as adults. This means that one’s financial standing as an adult is largely dependent upon their parents’ financial standing. This is certainly problematic considering 1 in 4 of North Carolina’s children live in poverty.”

NY. Fracking: “[In Jeffrey v City of Binghamton:] While [Judge] Lebous struck down the ban due to circumstances and context unique to the Binghamton case, he affirmed the state’s ruling in favor of bans in two other controversial cases that collectively represent a key bit of case law in the larger home rule debate, supporting bans in the towns of Dryden and Middlefield.” … Food: “In the run up to the Cuomonian Booze Summit and just in time to be toasted at Friday’s grand opening of the Albany Distillery, the governor announced he had signed a bill that makes it easier for farm distillers to market their goods.” Awesome!

PA. Voting: “[In the photo ID ruling,] the court refused to enjoin tax-payer funded $5 million ad campaign, as written into the statute for the purposes of ‘educating’ the public about the Photo ID requirement (even though it no longer practically applies for this election.) Given that, and given that poll workers may still ask for ID this November, and given that the Photo ID requirements, barring more legal challenges, will be allowed to take effect next year, it is almost guaranteed that confusion will reign in parts of PA this year.”

TX. Climate: “A whopping 301 million trees have died across state forestlands as a result of the 2011 drought, the Texas A&M Forest Service reported Tuesday.”

VA. Panhandling: “From a First Amendment point of view, a panhandler with a sign asking for money is no different from a high-school band member with a sign advertising a car-wash fundraiser. A homeless person asking a passerby on the sidewalk for cash is no different from a tourist asking a passerby on the sidewalk for directions.”

VT. Landfills: “Residents’ major public safety concern, besides the noise from the blasting and odors from the sewage sludge and attending chemical neutralizers, is water quality. The Agency of Natural Resources may reclassify the groundwater underneath the landfill from potable (drinkable) to non-potable because heavy metals like arsenic have been found in water samples.”

WI. Fracking: “More than 50 people gathered Monday to protest frac sand mining outside a conference [by the newly formed industry association, the Wisconsin Industrial Sand Association] on the silica sand resources of MN and WI.” … Data mining: “A trio of high-profile UW-Madison professors went public Wednesday with concerns about Obama’s planned Thursday campaign rally, saying students who want to attend are unfairly being required to supply a phone number and email address to the campaign, even having to click ‘I’m In’ to get a free ticket at the campaign’s website.”

Outside baseball. Education studies: “”The Peutêtre findings rest on the long-disproven axiom that you can only learn subject matter through a transmission model,‘ said Lorraine Caulk, professor of educational neurobehavior at Instructors College in Iowa City. ‘In fact, research has shown that when we empower children as self-initiating scholars, they start to exhibit strategic thought behaviors without the hierarchical modeling of traditional task performance.'” Teh awesome! … Billionaires: “Who’s the most influential billionaire business figure in national politics? If you answered one of the Koch brothers (Charles or David) or George Soros, you’re wearing your partisan blinders. The former are known for their devotion to conservative causes, the latter to liberal. In either case, you’re wrong. The most influential billionaire in America is Peter G. Peterson.” … History note: “The modern American police blotter was born in 1833, when George W. Wisner, a pioneering New York crime reporter, began regaling readers of the Sun with pithy one-liners from the city’s 4 a.m. hearings.” … Marijuana: “As marijuana legalization efforts in CO and WA pick up steam, a similar push in OR seems to be going up in smoke. Marijuana activists who have ploughed big bucks into campaigns in the other two states complain the OR measure is poorly written and doesn’t poll well.”

The trail. Twitter: “In 2008, a total of 1.6 million tweets were sent on Election Day. Now, that many tweets are dispatched every six minutes.” … Drüdgerdämmerung: “Matt Drudge is famous for his ability to stir up controversy by just posting something on the Drudge Report. But Tuesday night’s much-hyped release of a 2007 speech by then-Sen. Barack Obama fell flat.” (Josh Marshall puts the boot in.) … Voting: “‘It is a remarkable development that courts across the country have almost uniformly rejected every single law passed making it harder for eligible citizens to vote,’ says Wendy Weiser, director of the democracy program at the Brennan Center.'” … Lying: “Compared with the Obama campaign’s, the Romney operation’s misstatements are frequently more brazen. But sometimes the most effective lie is the one that is closest to the truth, and Obama’s team has often outdone Romney’s in the dark art of subtle distortion. On both sides, the dishonesty is ‘about as bad as I’ve seen,’ says Brooks Jackson of”

Green Party. Jill Stein: “She indicated that she believed special treatment for amounts paid to clergy was a violation of separation of church and state principles. So if you want the Justice Department to pull the plug on defending Section 107, as it did with DOMA, you might want to vote for Jill Stein” (from a series of videos interviews to come).

The debates. The winnah: “A CNN poll of registered voters who watched the debate found that 67 per cent declared Romney the winner. Only 25 per cent picked Mr. Obama.” … Polls: “These data suggest that the norm is for very little swing in candidate support following debates. Across all 16 presidential debates the average absolute change in candidate support was just less than 1 percentage point.” … Andrew Sullivan: “I can see the logic of some of Obama’s meandering, weak, professorial arguments. Obama looked tired, even bored; he kept looking down; he had no crisp statements of passion or argument; he wasn’t there. How is Obama’s closing statement so fucking sad, confused and lame? He choked. He lost.” Wrong on Obama sounding like a professor. He sounds like a college administrator. And not from a top-tier school. … Dan Froomkin: ” You know what Obama’s problem is? He’s gotten used to filibustering press conferences. Doesn’t work so great in this format. ” … Nicholas Kristof: “I hope Obama is looking distracted because a team of Navy Seals is taking out Zawahiri right now. #Debate.” Ha ha, teh funny. Morally and intellectually bankrupt political class, anyone? … Greg Sargent: “Romney won, but in so doing, he confirmed yet again that his campaign thinks he can win the election without presenting any credible policy agenda of his own.” … Charles Pierce: “I’ll tell you what, I wouldn’t vote for Chris Christie against the incumbent for Prince of Hell, but if he wants to take me to the track sometime, I’m there. He called it all over the Sunday shows [here].” … Taegan Goddard: “[Romney’s] performance should calm many Rs who have doubted him in recent weeks.” … Peter Daou: “Romney won because he articulated a philosophy undergirding his ideas. POTUS did not. Doesn’t even matter whether Romney believes it.” … I agree. And as a former policy debater, when I hear Romney come out of the box with a five-point plan, my heart goes pit-a-pat. Throughout, Romney was, tactically, the better debater. More engaged, more concise, more on point, “pulling through” arguments, and with a better command of the (putative) “issues.”* And why did Obama raise “economic patriotism” only to drop it? Sloppy! Also, the slightly husky timbre of Romney’s voice reminded me of [ominous music] Ronald Reagan. Did anybody else feel that? (Yes; Sullivan). [* Given the narrow range of ‘issues’ permitted in the discourse, of course. I have nothing to say about either debater’s command of the facts, if any (see The Times live blog)]. Finally, “comfortable in his own skin.” They actually say it! … P.S., my exploding head: “[OBAMA: ] The fact of the matter is, we used the same advisers, and they say it’s the same plan.” I will never understand “Vote for Obama, he passed RomneyCare!” It’s like that’s not even wrong. It’s surreal.

The Romney. Sleep: “But Romney got virtually no sleep Monday night, an aide said, blaming a freight train that passed through a grade crossing near the hotel and blew its horn roughly every hour all through the night. The candidate’s sleep deprivation so worried his staff that the campaign looked into switching hotels. The logistics were ultimately too tough, the aide said, and there was concern about how it would look” (Politico on a train.)

The Obama. Air war: “The Jewish Council for Education & Research (JCER) tops the WSJ Presidential Ads Chart this week with a new ad starring Samuel L. Jackson titled Wake the F@#k Up.”

* Slogan of the day: Take The Romney as the key link, for a leap forward in all fields!

* * *

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About Matt Stoller

From 2011-2012, Matt was a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. He contributed to Politico, Alternet, Salon, The Nation and Reuters, focusing on the intersection of foreclosures, the financial system, and political corruption. In 2012, he starred in “Brand X with Russell Brand” on the FX network, and was a writer and consultant for the show. He has also produced for MSNBC’s The Dylan Ratigan Show. From 2009-2010, he worked as Senior Policy Advisor for Congressman Alan Grayson. You can follow him on Twitter at @matthewstoller.


  1. Goin' South

    Re: debate—

    For me, the debate settled a question perplexing the Left for 3+ years about Obama. It was particularly funny/tragic to see him close with the claim that he is a “fighter” for the “middle class.” We had just spent 90 minutes watching how he “fights” against a 1%-er.

    We saw how Obama has risen so far while accomplishing so little of substantive value for the people he claims to champion. He is quite skilled and extraordinarily disciplined at remaining deferential to powerful white men even when they mistreat him–and the truth–with their customary arrogance and ruthlessness.

    1. mk

      Obama is just one man and one man can’t make the change you seek. It takes millions and millions of people hitting the streets in an organized manner and that just isn’t happening.

      1. BondsOfSteel

        Yeah, not buying it anymore.

        One man can change the world. It’s happened many, many times from Alexander the Great, Charles Martel, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Hitler / Churchill, Martin Luther King Jr, … ect.

        It’s called Leadership. It takes vision, ideas, passion, drive, and skill. As leader of the free world, Obama has the power. He’s lacking the leadership qualities.

        Of course, I’ll still vote for him. He is the better of two lesser…

      2. Goin' South

        I agree completely. In fact, I’m a abstentionist who advocates direct action rather than participation in electoral politics.

        But last night was an interesting view into how our elites operate.

  2. Ned Ludd

    Obama, last night, on Social Security: “I suspect that on Social Security we’ve got a somewhat similar position … but… the basic structure is sound. But I want to talk about the values behind Social Security and Medicare.” Obama is planning to cut Social Security, but he wants us to know that he still values it. As ohtarzie presciently remarked just a few days ago “never underestimate the extent to which liberals just want to have a POV legitimized with words separate from policy.”

    1. Bert_S

      “I suspect that on Social Security we’ve got a somewhat similar position … .”


      I haven’t bothered to have my “people” check the facts…but based on hearsay, there could be a problem…

      “but… the basic structure is sound”


      It would be nice if we could cut benefits and get the “surplus” to reapear so we got some money to spend on other stuff….otherwise we gotta start paying back the trust fund one of these years.

      Sidenote: People to add to the Simpson-Bowles-Peterson Club for gutting Social Security.

      The Roosevelt Institute, James Galbrath and MMTers all came out in favor of the “temporary” cuts to payroll tax. These were made up by the treasury, but now the SBP Club can say SS is a welfare program.

      Just keeping track.

  3. Expat

    “The most influential billionaire in America is Peter G. Peterson”

    Between charter schools and Pete Peterson, the US is creating a lost generation without the skills necessarry to repair and maintain a vibrant democracy and functioning economy. The Big Lie has been exposed over and over again, yet it has no traction. Is this how Rome fell and the Middle Ages waned?

    1. Richard Kline

      So Expat, I’m not sure either of the contexts you raise are good examples. A better comparable might be The Dumbing of Hispania. In c. 1250, the Iberian Peninsula had a culturally diverse (if frequently warring) mosaic of ethnically distinct states, some of them with the best educational and literary cultures in Western Europe. By 1650, Hispania was an intellectually backward, econonmically pallid backwater, living off imperial rents and colonial slavery. That happened when rascist, ultra-conservative, aristocratically choked Castile conquered the rest, expelled or ‘converted’ those different (when not massacring them outright), eliminated any but the most rigidly orthodox education, neutered (and rapidly snuffed) such quasi-democratic institutions as had sprung up, and founded a military conquest state off whose extractions overseas the domestic state lived wildly beyond its means in a zombie-like fashion with utter disregard of the domestic economy. The same trajectory could be argued for several of the all-China imperial aggregations there, or the Persian Empire for instance.

      That is what ‘decline’ really looks like in the historical record, folks: ultra-conservative, think-not empires run for the benefit of a tiny, parasitic elite. Historically, the process hasn’t been quick, taking numbers of generations. Whether those trajectories are accelerated int he modern age (since 1600 in most of the world) is debatable, if quite possible. It is a joke of the universe or some gods in it that ‘conservatives’ of the rejectionist sort are literally their own worst enemies in the long run—but they don’t care about the long run, only about staying rich and in power till they, personally, die in any given generation.

      1. ZygmuntFraud

        Around 1600, the French lawyer, mathematician and cryptographer Vieta (Francois Viete) cracked Spanish codes on his French Majesty’s Service.

        Over in Spain, the Spanish King accused Vieta of using “sorcery”, “withcraft”, altogether un-holy devices !

        1. Ms G

          That must be because “sorcery” was a way to funnel an inconvenient person straight to the Inquisition (fast) rather than whatever legal process existed at the time. “Sorcery” seems pretty much also what Rebecca Twit Soul was accusing her victims of in yesterday’s posts. Not so dissimliar from the NDAA criteria, not to mention O’s little list.

  4. Pat

    There is more to the Schneiderman lawsuit against JP Morgan than was reported here on NC last week.
    Read details here:
    As it turns out, an investigative journalist and a law firm (Patterson Belknap) had already uncovered the massive fraud involved in late 2010 and the law firm had filed suit the next year. So Schneiderman is simply walking in their footsteps and recycling their evidence.
    There are probably two reasons for this, imho. One, to make it appear (at election-time) as if the Demos are doing something about bankster fraud. And two, Schneiderman and the Demos probably want ultimately to pre-empt the other plaintiffs (Patterson Belknap), become the lead plaintiff and thereafter water down or kill entirely the whole civil suit. Things are not what they seem!

    1. Yves Smith

      With all due respect, this bit of journalistic detail is merely interesting color.

      Everything Buhl mentions showed up in earlier lawsuits. It’s public info. Schneiderman cribbed from those suits.

      Buhl does some very good work, but I’ve also seen her say some things (at length, on RT) that have been stunningly incorrect. Wish I could remember about what. I thought about shredding the discussion, then decided against it.

  5. Jim Haygood

    Funny about the Argentine navy ship seized in Ghana.

    In May, while visiting Angola a little farther down the coast, president Cristina Kirchner crassly used a photo op in an Angolan village to attack her critics at home. One of her aides handed out children’s socks embroidered with the logo of opposition newspaper Clarín, along with the caption Clarín miente (‘Clarín lies’). The little kids didn’t have a clue what it was all about.

    Here’s a photo of Cristina’s sordid little African stunt:

    Contacted for comment about the seized ship, Paul Singer (who runs the hedge fund which procured the court order) doubtless would crow, la zorra miente … y yo no voy a dar vuelta a su nave! (the bitch is lyin’ … and I ain’t givin’ back her ship neither)

  6. LeeAnne

    So, the powers that be can’t trust their minions Obama and Romney not to offend the global multinational corporate leaders of their ‘free market’ in workers and exploitable consumers.

    I don’t have the stomach for watching these two expostulate against their mutual lies. But I did try. After Drudge headlines this morning, I got as far as Jim Lehrer projecting himself as ‘the boss’ of the debate as he explained his ‘independence;’ the approval the master-of-spin didn’t require for ‘his’ guidelines.

    Problem with all of this is that it is such LOUSY theatre.

    I stoppped watching at that point as ‘domestic issues only’ resonated. Indeed! Let’s ask ourselves why ‘domestic issues only’ when the issues of the day are loss of jobs through the export of the entire productive creative legacy of generations of Americans to China and other low wage parts of the world, our open borders and elevation of UN authority, and wars where not only has the monetary base for those wars been squandered, but our troops located in 100 or so countries across the planet in some of those countries are being slaughtered, sickened, impoverished and permanently damaged without health care or rehabilitation of any kind in hot wars; too many killed and maimed mentally and physically by the same people “we”? are saving from themselves as we utterly destroy their cultures and ours.

    The debates are valuable to us, the observers, for only one purpose; and that is for the front seat view of the manifestation of ‘total control/total domination’ being perpetrated upon us by the masters of the universe.

    1. sans suzy

      Elevation of UN authority?!? Hillary is publicly wiping her butt with UN Charter Chapter VII while the administration is trying to vilify and defund the UN Specialized Agencies. Don’t you worry, this kleptocracy hates rights and rule of law and pacific settlement of disputes way too much to elevate or even tolerate the UN. This state will never accept real accountability to the public, like , not when it can pretend to comply with the shreds of our obsolete constitution.

  7. Ned Ludd

    Matt asked a good question on Twitter:

    I wonder if Obama supporters will attack Obama for insisting that Obama and Romney agree on core policy ideas.

    As Susie Madrak observed, “They agree on awful trade deals, for-profit charter schools, cutting SS & Medicare… what a stark choice!”

    1. citalopram

      It’s not even worth enganging or watching. I’m wondering why anyone cares which neoliberal candidate said what.

  8. JTFaraday

    re: Outside baseball. Education studies: “The Peutêtre findings”

    ““It is too early to generalize the findings,” said Feldspar, “but we found, for instance, that students who took French for a year, and did their homework, showed significantly more learning gains in French by the end of the year than students who took no French.””

    What is this, The Onion?

    Students who took Trigonometry know more Trigonometry than students who didn’t take Trigonometry.

    Holy cow. Am I reading this right? It’s like an alternative reality out there.

  9. Richard Kline

    Re: 3-D ‘printing,’ when everybody makes junk, junk is all we’ll make. A problem with the approach of these machines is that they train you to make what they can make. This is the ‘corrupting hypnos’ writ small which we see in much of the modern gizmology, and if you’re not worried about it you should be. Devices of all sort are good at a tiny set of operations, whereas the human mind is artful at vastly more operations, often in combination with each other, if not always as specifically proficient at one particular thing. Once we get used to conceptualizing through the pinhole of devices, any device, that’s it. That becomes the ‘paramater set’ of imagination, what can be fit within the pinhole. Yes, we become very good at being pinheads while losing any vision on whatever else might be conceivable.

    One could argue, with some justice, that the bulk of the population never has any larger vision; of design, of art, of interaction, of experience. That a freakish few in the tail end of any distribution are the ones, the only ones, looking over the edge of the Flat Earth at any given time on Possibility; the possibility of madness, ineptitude, delight, sublime insight, rapturous if ineffable potential. That’s the way it is, few see anything because few can or choose to do so, for better or worse, by freak of luck or chance or by genetic accident or neuro-potentiating randomicity. That what the bulk of the population wants really is in fact a reliable plastic widget gadgetizer, a better mousetrap, and videos of some joe hitting themselves in the puss with a hammer set to ones favorite jingle. (And better porn, but somehow Grand Dreams of Things to Come never mention the sex everyone is _really_ looking for; but that’s another rant.) So for most, a plastic junkerator in every domicile might just be the next fun thing, because there never IS a next really USEFUL or BEAUTIFUL thing in those domiciles. I don’t like to see the world that way, but one could argue that’s the way it is, hey?

    But me, I don’t want the Next Pinhole Gizmo. It rules out more than it links in. Real progress, brief rature even more, seems to happen by accident; when someone takes that plastic widget gagetizer and makes a pair of sunglasses that allows one to see the corrupting hypnos printed on every surface, say. Now that’s MY kind of gadgetizer . . . but somehow the sweaty, petite capitalists who crowd these gizmo expos never seem too bent toward that kind of innovation; it doesn’t make them *cough* richer. So it takes some weird jane off by her lonesome 3-Ding ketchup-colored polarized specs to wow her girlmates to accidentally program the wrong parameter and pop out those anti-hypno specs. Baby let’s meet, upwind over vino, don’t text anyone you know just show up at Nepenthe for lunch some day. Here’s to _that_ future, comin’ at us head-on against the wind . . . .

      1. ZygmuntFraud

        Remove all filters and tech. gizmos? Come in a judo outfit?
        Or, design your own clothes –> “Systeme D”

        Very refreshing long post from ??? !

    1. tomk

      They Live reference? great movie, and it’s good to see you commenting, yours is one of the voices that keeps me coming back here.

      1. Richard Kline

        So tomk, yes, that was a ‘They Live’ rimshot, a sub-mediocre film yet a fantastically apt and enduring Dickian premise and se-up. I didn’t start with it, but it’s live in my middle consciousnes since I saw it—and sooo apt to the Occupy moment that was, too. Thanks for the kind words. I read Yves daily, but am moved to rant on topics diverse rather irregularly.

        1. skippy

          Amends for me stinkin up the joint, but:

          Frank: I’ve walked a white line my entire life, I’m not about to screw that up.

          Nada: White line’s in the middle of the road, that’s the worst place to drive.

          skippy… Zarpe…

  10. Ms G

    Lambert, the link in the below-copied post leads to a short Josh M piece about why he stopped listening to Matt Drudge. No (seeming?) connection to the 2007 Senator O. speech or accounts of how it fell flat. Is there another link?

    But Tuesday night’s much-hyped release of a 2007 speech by then-Sen. Barack Obama fell flat.” (Josh Marshall puts the boot in.)

  11. Ned Ludd

    I want to live in the world where this debate took place:

    • Romney starts strong, averring that while anarchism might be ideal, at this stage in our history provisional state measures are required.

    • Hard to tell how the audience interprets this.One side of the room is singing The Internationale. Obama gives a thumbs up.

    Obama will concede nothing to anarchism. Says it affords too little protection for workers and the environment, among other things.

    • Romney once again is trotting out the Black Bloc stuff he did in Seattle in the 90s. Zzz.

    • Obama misquoting Marx, AGAIN!!!

    1. RanDomino

      “Topic is consolidated corporate power. Romney beating drum again for state-facilitated transfer to worker ownership.”

      “Obama cites ‘overwhelming success’ of first-term nationalization of banks and health insurers. Says the people are with him.”

      1. Bert_S

        Obama awarded Nobel Peace Prize for the second time!

        Romney states that America doesn’t have the Finest Health Care System In The World(tm) and claims Republicans are the reason why. Backs Hillary Care.

  12. Jim S

    Interesting to see the magnetic field link. A large segment of the truther community seems to feel that the flip is imminent, and I find the arguments fairly compelling myself. I’m interested to read craazynan’s comments.

    Also, here’s to hoping that cooler heads will prevail and you won’t find it necessary to post more re: Turkey-Syria, Yves…

    1. craazyman

      You’re cracking me up Jim.

      I used to hear about the imminent pole shift on late night talk radio 10 years ago. That’s where I get most of my information, places like that. There’d be earthquakes and tidal waves, the North Pole would be 90 degrees and the equator would be ice. The wind would blow like a hurricane. If you weren’t underground, you’d be a little piece of flying debris.

      It never happened — at least as far as I know. Most stuff never happens. It’s amazing how little really happens. Unless you don’t worry about it, then it happens. Maybe that’s why it didn’t happen. :)

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        When I think of pole shifts, I think of Wall Street money financing Lenin and I think of ardent members of Komsomol of the 70’s and early ’80s growing up to be ruthless capitalists today or former Red Guards from the late ’60s running Foxconn factories now.

        The only thing common is the arrogant faith in their own ‘intellect’ over the victims they want to liberate. Yesterday they did not believe and the world left them alone, but when they find their savior today, you will be bombarded endlessly by their newly found truth. Whatever they believe in at that moment, that’s what the world must believe in as well.

      2. Bert_S

        Personally, I try not to think about it…but if Jesus materializes on the North Pole, then So Be It.

    2. John M

      Magnetic field polar reversals take about 1000 years to occur. At least one paragraph in the article said that the magnetic field might drop to zero in 500 years as part of the polar reversal.

      I’m reminded of David Brin’s novel “Earth”. It dropped in factoids of knowledge that were generally irrelavent to the progress of the plot. The factoids of knowledge were (to put it nicely) incomplete. For example, he pointed out that if a polar reversal occurred today, then there would be severe consequences. True. There would also be severe consequences if Washington, DC suddenly turned into a swamp.

  13. jsmith

    Obama did bad in the debates?

    Every single paid propagandist – every single one – tells me that’s what happened so I guess that’s the new reality TPTB are pushing on us.

    Gee, I remember analysts telling me that McCain won every debate.

    Gee, I remember analysts telling me that W. won every debate.

    Gee, I remember analysts telling me Iraq had WMD.

    Gee, I remember analysts telling me 19 hijackers brought down the WTC.

    Oh, and they have fresh new poll numbers out to prove their points – much like how the DOW is up above 13,500 in our reality, right?

    I said it yesterday and I’ll say it again today:

    Even though many of you here KNOW it’s bullsh!t, how hard is it now to NOT pay attention?

    How hard is it NOT to think in the back of your mind: gee, maybe I’d better start to worry about a Romney presidency?

    How hard is it NOT to think: this one’s gonna be a horserace!!

    Competition is hard-wired into the propagandized and brainwashed minds of Americans from birth so it’s no accident that we all feel our buttons being pushed even if we successfully disregard the desired response.

    But you have to admit Obama did bad….

    You have to admit Romney did good….

    You have to admit….

    You must believe….

    You must have an opinion….

    You must participate.

    You must be engaged.

    You must lend credence to the spectacle.

          1. SR6719

            This Debord quote (taken from Molly Lambert’s blog) is more clear than the one I used earlier:

            “The spectacle is the ruling order’s nonstop discourse about itself, its never-ending monologue of self-praise, its self-portrait at the stage of totalitarian domination of all aspects of life.”

          1. ZygmuntFraud

            Well, perhaps fashion and coold have to do with “societe du spectacle”.

            I remember reading about invitation-only one-night parties in LA in “huge trailers” where (say) a new video-game on whateverBox would be premiered. Those chosen/invited got an expensive bag, given all the freebies included. Cool DJ, a theme for the night perhaps, good appetizers and drink; but mainly, promotion-wise, was lots of playing of the brand-new just-released video-game.

            I think it’s obvious, the trendy are offered this opportunity in the calculation that enough will come to the party, that this will start a buzz around Hollywood and that the enterprises behind the video-game can save on buying advetisements. Or, these parties could be now standard fare in modern marketing ….

        1. SR6719

          jsmith’s link did a pretty good job of expanding on the quote above.

          Also the blogger Molly Lambert helped to expand on this (in the link above) by illustrating Debord’s “smart but overwritten text” as she refers to it, with images from John Carpenter’s classic 1988 horror-futuro-action spectacular They Live.

          Using images from John Carpenter’s They Live helps to illustrate Debord’s statements (and I wish someone would develop this further) because taken by themselves, Debord’s statements can be pretty hard to understand.

          1. tomk

            The Debord quote was #4 of 221 (from SOTS) . Here are the first two. I hadn’t seen Molly Lambert’s post, fantastic. I would recommend for anyone interested in the situationists Greil Marcus’ book Lipstick Traces, and Sadie Plant’s The Most Radical Gesture as well as Raoul Vanegeim’s The Revolution of Everyday Life, and Debord’s Society of the Spectacle.

            1. In societies where modern conditions of production prevail, all of life presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has moved away into a representation.

            2. The images detached from every aspect of life fuse in a common stream in which the unity of this life can no longer be reestablished. Reality considered partially unfolds, in its own general unity, as a pseudo-world apart, an object of mere contemplation. The specialization of images of the world is completed in the world of the autonomous image, where the liar has lied to himself. The spectacle in general, as the concrete inversion of life, is the autonomous movement of the nonliving.

  14. Lambert Strether

    Since the debate was held in CO, it was great to hear the opposing views of the two candidates on two issues of national importance that are playing out in CO right now: (1) the conversion of the country into a second-world petro-state via fracking (and other resource extraction) and (2) legalizing marijuana, with a resulting decline in mass incarceration.

    Oh, wait…

    1. Ms G

      + 1000. The juxtaposition of the Mary Jane reality vs. Lack of Any Mention had struck me too. But the Fracking/2d World Petro State is right on the money too. Thanks for putting it on the graph of discrepancies between reality and the debate.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Lambert, “(1) the conversion of the country into a second-world petro-state via fracking (and other resource extraction) and (2) legalizing marijuana, with a resulting decline in mass incarceration.”

      Lambert, don’t forget the heroin we’ll see as we become “resource cursed” victims of The Victorian Reich’s next “Opium War” — with “British” Throne/Crown(City)/HSBC in common cause with the Disaster Kapitalist Kings of Shanghai & Hong Kong. Didn’t you hear Premier Kissoff on NPR this morning, as he formally chastised both Romney and Obama for criticizing China in the *Debate* last night?

      Surely you realize, indelicately, that “It’s our night in the barrel” don’t you? WE are the Victorian Reich’s Resource Bitch during this the Reich’s “Imperial Wedding” with Kapitalist Kings of China, with Court Jesters in attendance, ever skimming the cream. “It’s a Wonderful World.”


    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It would be cool to see the 102 year old woman, in her 150 year old hand me down clothes from her grand mother driving the 82 year old do a commercial where she says, ‘I only eat fresh vegetables I pick today. Never anything over a day old!’

    2. Neo-Realist

      How did that Beatle song go?

      Baby you can drive my car
      Yes, you’re gonna be a corpse
      Baby you can drive my car
      And maybe I’ll bury you

      Hurry up with the gene therapy already:)

  15. Valissa

    Oddly named man’s walking stick prompts evacuation in Akron

    Woman rides wild manatee in Florida, turns herself in

    Microbe Music: Scientists Turn Algae Data Into Songs
    Listen to it here

      1. Bert_S

        I did recognize some Zappa and Gentle Giant riffs in the second two songs, but those guys added a lot more to their compositions.

        However, I have been wondering what algae do all day. Now I know they hum to themselves, very slowly like trees do.

        1. Ms G

          “However, I have been wondering what algae do all day. Now I know they hum to themselves, very slowly like trees do.”

          A lovely addition to my poetry files, thank you Bert!

  16. briansays

    meanwhile in cali
    the Oakland A’s won the division
    13 back in June
    5 back with 9 to go and they won!!!

    we now have the giants and a’s in the playoffs
    last time was ’89
    when we had the quake
    and the new seismic fixed bridge opens next year

    as for obama
    what is lacking thanks to jesse

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Sometimes you get lucky and sometimes not.

      Though it’s tempting to confuse luck with talent, it’s wiser to avoid it.

    2. Chris A

      I’m thrilled about both the Giants and the A’s in the playoffs. But maybe it wouldn’t be so good for them both to make it to the World Series — the last time that happened, there was the earthquake. (Kidding.)

  17. craazyman

    Natural Mystic

    I had to read Mr. Haldane’s article just because — if for no other reason — he had a very nice suit at that Institute for Newfangled Evangelical Theorizing conference.

    I can see why people would go to a conference like that. It looked, first of all, based on the video on the internet, that the food and wine were probably pretty good. Second, I saw a few very hot women in the crowd. They must be smart or they wouldn’t be there. Not that it matters, but it would be nice to have a conversation along with the romantic activities. Third, wasn’t it someplace in Europe somwhere? I forgot. Someplace like a resort or something?

    Those are three good reasons to go. Who needs any other reasons?

    But for some reason (and thankfully the article was brief) he didn’t use the “F” word once to explain economic model failure. Well anyway. We know that was on purpose, don’t we. haha. Second, the idea of a model. I know certain personalities buy into the possibility that some math dude and dudette can wonk up “a model” to explain the natural mystic. Some personalities even think there’ll be a unified theory of everything that you can put in numbers. Some even think there’s one God. I bet they think they’ll make a lot of money if they do concoct some model that trots out with lots of “factors” and “agents” and fancy math. Why else would they do it? Intellectual interest? haha. I don’t think so. Somehow there’s gonna be a lot of cash flowing, their way. I have created a model for that, but it’s all in words. Sorry.

    1. Bert_S

      I remember that conference too and I know we had discussed how nice Mr. Haldane’s suit was. Forgot where it was too – but it was all those Big Money guys at a nice resort.

      But I share your reservations about math models modeling people (I’m not talking about Mathbabe wearing something hot while walking down a runway – but the serious kind like Einstien does)

      I read a Physics guy that I think was joking about it. He said all you need to do is model Brownian Motion in a large container and add some algorithims to explain how you can put something valuable in one corner – like money or a trillion dollar platinum coin and then put a sign called Federal Reserve and Treasury in the other corner.

      Then if you are real quiet you can observe the molecules crowd around the money corner. Then say “BOO!” loudly and all the molecules scurry towards the government corner.

      No wonder they want the research grant for that!

  18. Roland

    Who cares about the stupid “debate” ? What matters is the shooting between Turkey and Syria. This situation has been steadily escalating for months and can only escalate further.

    Why? Because Turkey and its NATO allies have been openly backing the Syrian rebels. The rebels receive arms and supplies in Turkish territory. The rebels have their headquarters located in Turkish territory. Rebels withdraw onto Turkish territory in order to evade Syrian government forces.

    It’s very interesting that news sources are all carrying soothing articles and editorials on the situation (even fairly decent papers like the Independent). Such articles, however, could not possibly be at greater variance with the gravity of what is taking place.

    The agenda is pretty obvious. The countries that wanted to intervene in the Syrian civil war were stymied in their effort to get a mandate in the UN Security Council. Yet they need some sort of legal pretext. Solution: get a war going between Syria and Turkey, which will lead to a Turkish call on its allies in NATO.

    Once the North Atlantic Treaty has been invoked, UN approval for war is unnecessary. Then can come the blockade, no-fly zones, air strikes, “humanitarian corridors” etc. Then comes “regime change” and full-scale occupation, although it looks like Turkish and GCC troops will get stuck with the counterinsurgency aftermath.

    The payoff for Turkey is carte blanche to deal with the Kurds in Syria, Iraq, and later Iran. The Kurds, their usefulness to the USA in the Iraq conflict being over, have now been sold down the river.

    The payoff for the GCC bunch is that the USA and its Western allies will eventually crush Iran, while turning a blind eye to GCC gov’ts stomping their own people down.

    The Turkish hypocrisy is really delicious for those of us who are aficionados of this sort of thing:

    Turkey claims right of “hot pursuit” against Kurdish guerrillas based in Iraq. Turkey has launched repeated air raids and even ground force incursions into northern Iraq in recent years.

    NATO and UN say nothing.

    Syria fires upon Turkish territory near the border, while Syrian government troops are engaged in pitched battle with guerrillas based on Turkish territory–guerrillas who receive arms from the Turkish and other governments, and who have their headquarters in Turkey.

    NATO condemns Syria.

      1. Roland

        Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty cites Article 51 of the UN Charter, which trumps the articles in Ch VIII that you mentioned:

        “UN Charter, Article 51:

        Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.”

        i.e. if the Security Council cannot agree on what to do, “collective self-defence” such as NATO has the “inherent right” to carry on with their war. Oh, yes, they have to report what they’re doing.

    1. goballs has no balls at all

      Glad you brought that up,

      (1) An Article 51 invocation has to pass the laugh test. Ask Uncle Sam about how the ICJ called bullshit on its claim of self-defense when Reagan went to war with Iran, in the biggest naval battle since WWII.

      (2) Thanks for quoting Article 51, including the most furiously-ignored clause in all of US supreme law: “…and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.” Meaning: self-defense is legal ONLY under UNSC supervision, exactly as described in Chapter VII. You can’t just toss an Article 51 invocation over the transom and go to town. That’s aggression, highest of all high crimes.

      Though God bless America works hard to keep its population ignorant of the law, that doesn’t help in the wider world, where the US is pissing away its soft power in increasing isolation.

      1. Roland

        Don’t mean to get too fussy about all this, but the phrase, “until the Security Council has taken measures necessary,” is pretty clear. You get to fight in “self-defence” until the SC decides to do something. If the SC is tied in knots (which a veto-wielding aggressor can do on its own behalf) then the war may simply go on, as desired.

        As you said, it has to pass the “laugh test.” But with the USA and several other Western governments, plus the Turks and the GCC, all looking for a pretext for war, the joke might be on the rest of us.

        Remember, there is no balance of power in world power-politics today. It’s not like the USA and its allies are actually frightened of anybody. Their genuflections toward world order are becoming more perfunctory, with every passing year since the end of the Cold War.

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