Links 11/23/12

US Secret Service startled by lizards Bangkok Post. Furzy mouse says the Thais consider them to be inauspicious….

Mimicking a Beetle to Bring Water to the People living on earth. Dune gets closer! When do I get my spice?

Weather: 70mph gales could hit Britain this weekend Telegraph

Mohamed Morsi bars court challenges and orders Hosni Mubarak retrial Guardian

Egyptian fury over Mursi ‘coup’ BBC

Winning wars will not make Israel safe Financial Times

The ‘both-sides-are-awful’ dismissal of Gaza ignores the key role of the US government Glenn Greenwald

Jill Kelley received military civilian honour from David Petraeus Telegraph

The mistress who brought down disgraced CIA Director David Petraeus was snapped shooting up a storm with the futuristic firearm in December 2011 Daily News

One Interesting Thing About Paula Broadwell’s Petraeus Biography Matt Taibbi (Chuck L)

Why Hungry Indians Need Skinnier Politicians Bloomberg

Bye, bye China ‘stimulus put’ MacroBusiness

Mary Miller vs. Neil Barofsky for the S.E.C. Simon Johnson, New York Times. Please sign the CREDO petition.

U.K. Eyes a Swedish Bank Model Wall Street Journal. Swedish Lex notes: “This bank was one of the few Swedish banks that hardly made any losses during the financial crisis 20 years ago when the rest of the banks went under. Only thanks to their business model described in the article.”

Why is housing such a popular investment? A new psychological explanation VoxEU. Um, it’s taken economists this long to take note of the expression “safe as houses”?

Target Black Friday Store Hours 2012: Store Opening And Closing Times Huffington Post

Black Friday resistance plan mathbabe

Organized gangs offer homeless empty apartments in exchange for cash El Pais (Lambert)

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):

And a bonus antidote, this is the type of lizard that worried the Secret Service:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. ambrit

    This is the Lizard King?
    Cancel my subscription to the resurrection if this is the best the Secret Service boys can come up with.

  2. bmeisen

    Our Secret Service guys had obviously studied up on 007. Those ugly lizards in Skyfall eat good guys too.

    1. ohmyheck

      Ya, I called BS on that scene in Skyfall. Those were Monitor lizards, like the ones seen by the Secret Service. I’ve been to islands in the South China Sea, off the east coast of Malaysia, and those monitor lizards are very docile. We could wander quite close to them, they are fascinating to watch.

      The Secret Service article mentions the Komodo dragon lizards in Indonesia, and they are agressive. I doubt that Skyfall had Komodo Dragon lizard wranglers on the set. They just gave Monitor lizards a bad rap.

    1. Valissa

      An Arab Sheik was admitted to hospital for heart surgery, but prior to surgery, the doctor needed to store his blood in case the need rises.

      As the gentleman had a rare blood type, it could not be found locally, so, the call went out.

      Finally a Scotsman was located who had a similar blood type.

      The Scot willingly donated his blood for the Arab.

      After the surgery, the Arab sent the Scotsman as appreciation for giving his blood.
      A new BMW, diamonds & US dollars.

      A couple of days later, once again, the Arab had to go through corrective surgery

      His doctor phoned the Scotsman who was more then happy to donate his blood again.

      After the second surgery, the Arab sent the Scotsman a thank-you card and a box of Quality Street chocolates.

      The Scotsman was shocked that the Arab did not reciprocate his kind gesture as he anticipated.

      He phoned the Arab and asked him, “I thought you would be generous again. and give me another BMW, diamonds and money, but you gave me a thank-you card a box of chocolates?”

      To this the Arab replied, “Aye laddie, but now I have Scottish blood in my veins.

  3. fresno dan

    One Interesting Thing About Paula Broadwell’s Petraeus Biography Matt Taibbi (Chuck L

    “Which means: it’s impossible to tell the difference between the tone of a reporter who we now know was literally sucking the dick of her subject and the tone of just about any other modern American reporter who is given access to a powerful person for a biography or feature-length profile.”

    I take the above to mean that the tones of Broadwell and reporters are the same, but the amount of literal dick sucking differs….but how does he know??? From what I read about reporters and their spouses ties to institutions, the amount of Broadwell fellatio is probably less than the average reporter…

  4. Foppe

    Taleb’s gone off the deep end..

    The other difficulty is that too many of the ideas contained here appear thin and brittle rather than rich and flexible: fragile rather than antifragile. Taleb is keen on “heuristics” – shortcuts to wisdom that encapsulate human experience – but often these seem simply to reflect his own prejudices. To take just one example: Taleb thinks modern states become fragile when they get into debt, and that a prerequisite of political antifragility is rigid fiscal conservatism. This is nonsense. Eschewing debt makes states just as fragile as having too much of it. The durability of both the British and American states throughout their history has depended on their ability to use public debt to adapt to different challenges. As political analysis, Taleb’s heuristic – “when you don’t have debt you don’t care about your reputation … and somehow it’s only when you don’t care about your reputation that you tend to have a good one” – is glib and unconvincing.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Hah, yes, Niall Ferguson, in his saner days when he was more financial historian than empire booster, wrote in Cash Nexus how England’s superior tax bureaucracy (professional v. the French model of tax “farmers”) meant it could borrow at lower rates in international markets which in turn allowed it to punch above its weight militarily.

        1. Mark P.

          Yeah, Ferguson was decent once, actually.

          THE CASH NEXUS is okay, but the one to read is his whopping HOUSE OF ROTHSCHILD history — about 1200 pages, they had to split into two volumes in the US — which was a great piece of work that threw new light on the Industrial Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, the Duke of Wellington and the Rothschilds, how the bond industry developed — you name it.

          Kind of sad what’s happened to Ferguson since he started to get the chance to go on TV and such. Pat Buchanan has more intellectual gravitas these days.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Foppe, sounds like Taleb and Skidelsky are working *BreliteProp* off the same tip sheet, each in his own way, in whatever “Shakespearian rag” (Eliot).

  5. Tim Mason

    Fred Pearce on ‘Land Grabbing’ at the LSE ;

    “‘Land grabbing’ has been described as the most profound ethical, environmental, economic and social issue in the world today. Financial speculation and concerns over food security are driving the acquisition of vast areas of land by foreign entities from beneath the feet of its occupiers in Africa, South-east Asia, South America and Eastern Europe. This debate examines the relative impact of land grabbing on the lives of poor people across the globe. “

  6. Jim Haygood

    A U.S. district judge’s ruling against Argentina on behalf of defaulted bond holdouts could roil all emerging market bonds that are subject to New York law:

    A U.S. federal judge in New York late Wednesday ordered Argentina to pay immediately and in full everything it owes to what [Argentine president] Fernandez calls “vulture funds” that she blames for much of her country’s troubles. That adds up to $1.3 billion, due by Dec. 15.

    The judge also barred Argentina from paying other bondholders until it satisfies this judgment, putting the president’s back against the wall: If she doesn’t reverse her longstanding position and pay up, she risks triggering another historic Argentine debt default, this time totaling more than $20 billion.

    “It is hardly an injustice to have legal rulings which, at long last, mean that Argentina must pay the debts which it owes. After ten years of litigation this is a just result,” U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa concluded. Griesa’s orders were delivered just before the long Thanksgiving holiday closed markets in New York.

    Argentine Economy Minister Hernan Lorenzino responded to the judge Thursday by pledging to battle “judicial colonialism.” Lorenzino said Argentina would defend its stance using all legal means and would take the ruling to the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday.

    If Argentina doesn’t fully meet its payments in December, the exchange bondholders could demand immediate payment on their entire $20 billion. And if this happens, “the injunction will have turned a relatively minor default into a cataclysmic default that will further unsettle the already fragile global economy,” the exchange bondholders warned.–finance.html

    Looks like both Judge Griesa and Argentina’s black widow, Kristina Fernandez de Kirchner, have gotten their backs up in a serious hissing match. And neither one plans to lose face.

    Ooof … better watch this one from a safe distance … it could go nuclear without some adult intervention.

    1. Jim Haygood

      As an indicator of how Argentina might proceed, look at what happened last spring:

      President Barack Obama said on Monday [March 26th] he was suspending trade benefits for Argentina because of the South American country’s failure to pay more than $300 million in compensation awards in two disputes involving American investors.

      Obama suspended Argentina, effective in 60 days, from the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, which waives import duties on thousands of goods from developing countries.

      The United States imported $477 million of goods from Argentina under the GSP program in 2011, which was about 11 percent of total U.S. imports from the country last year.

      Argentina’s top exports under the program were grape wine, prepared or preserved beef, sugar confections and olive oil. Washington waived about $17.3 million in duties on those goods from Argentina last year.

      It is first time a country has been suspended from the GSP program for failing to pay an arbitration award.

      The foreign ministry in Buenos Aires, which insists the companies must start proceedings to collect the awards in Argentina, said it regretted “the attempt to try to oblige our country to make a decision that would violate federal law.”

      Only a handful of far-fringe developing economies, such as Cuba and North Korea, are excluded from GSP access to the U.S.

      In her fierce threadbare pride, Kristina has shown herself to be more than willing to shoot both of her own feet off, if the damned yanquis told her not to.

      1. craazyman

        It seems like Argentina is always doing stuff like this. Something nutty is alwasy going on down there.

        first there was the Evita thing along with the corpse worship like Lenin, although it probably started before Evita and Juan.

        then there was the military dictatorship and the disappeareds.

        then they decided on the brilliant move of declaring the Falklands to be their own territory and predictably getting their butt kicked for no goood reason (not to mention the personal pain of the families who suffered loss of loved ones),

        Now they’re threatening another Falkland war and bullying around their trading partners down there (that’s the impression I get)

        and whatever this is all about is beyond me, but it seems like they’re always getting themselves into some sh*t one way or another.

        Don’t they control their own currency? Why not just flick up a few bits and bytes and pay it off?

        this lady seems a bit nutty to me, but the whole place seems a bit nutty to me. However, when I see a bottle of Argentinian wine iwth a $5 handle I usually grab it.

        1. Hypothetical_Taxpayer

          They run their own currency down to zero every ten years, then they have to borrow foreign currency to re-start the country and repeat the cycle.

          That’s why they need to invade the Falklands. Argentina economists have determined you can make good money in the Falklands.

        2. Valissa

          Corpse worship… a timeless and fascinating human desire…

          Isn’t worshipping a figure of a tortured deadman still nailed to a torture apparatus tantamount to corpse worship?

          The Myth of Osiris
          By the end of the New Kingdom, a tradition had developed that Set had cut Osiris’ body into pieces and scattered them across Egypt. Cult centers of Osiris all over the country claimed that the corpse, or particular pieces of it, were found near them. The dismembered parts could be said to number as many as forty-two, each piece being equated with one of the forty-two nomes, or provinces, in Egypt. Thus, the god of kingship becomes the embodiment of his kingdom. …

          Meanwhile, Isis searches for her husband’s body with the aid of Nephthys. … The goddesses find and restore Osiris’ body, … Once Osiris is made whole, Isis, still in bird form, fans breath and life into his body with her wings and copulates with him. Osiris’ revival is apparently not permanent, and after this point in the story he is only mentioned as the ruler of the Duat, the distant and mysterious realm of the dead.

        3. charles sereno

          “Why not… just pay it off?”
          Cristina (the black widow, nutty, willing to shoot both of her feet off) should make nice with Senor Vulture? What’s wrong with you guys?

          1. ginnie nyc

            Yes, agreed. Argentina isn’t allowed to defend its financial sovereignty, or is somehow less “moral” than the vulture funds? Please spare me, Mr. Haygood. And let’s stop with the personal attacks on President Kirschner: “Black Widow”, and “nutty”. The woman’s refusal to be bullied and have her country’s economy destroyed by thieves is to be admired.

            Let’s have an adult discussion without descending into gender slurs.

          2. LeeAnne

            Humor comes with a point of view. That point of view is as subject to criticism as any other comment. If you’re commenting about an intrusion into a private conversation, that’s another thing.

            Just say so.

            I personally come to this bog for serious criticism -a joke once in awhile breaks this up in a very pleasant way.

            Taken to extremes recently; it distracts and changes the subject -like trolls.

          3. craazyman

            OK instead of nutty how about “wacky”. I’m just being honest, she seems like a bit of a wack job. But so do lots of politicians, to me anyway.

            I don’t know anything bout this vulture fund but I do know the whole place is nutty. It’s not just the wacky president.

            I think Hillary is a little wacky too. so it Sarah Palin. So is half the Republican party, mostly these are men, and half the democratic party.. which are halfway between men and women as an act of compromise.

            So am I, wacky that is, but 100% heterosexual and male, but not macho. I’m not an alpha male I’m a zeta male. But I can get away with it becaue I’m in the peanut gallery.

            You probably are too, nutty and wacky, if you care what I write here. haa ahhahaha ahahahahah Perhaps you’re a member of the Society for Wasting Time. you would qualify.

            It may be time to study Master Po’s teachings. If he ran Argentina I’m sure he’d know what to do, but they would proably have killed him off by now. Some general, or some wacky politiciaN would have shot him like the emporer’s nephew shot him. That what happenes when insanity meets sanity on the road, Insanity convulses like a caged beast.

          4. Valissa

            I personally come to this bog for serious criticism

            Well LeeAnne, I personally come to this blog for insightful analysis, intelligent conversation and wit. I can put up with a little serious criticism here and there, but it’s not really my thing.

          5. craazyman

            Amazing! he does it again! Once again Master Po comes through with wisdom appropriate to resolving the Nutty Argentina Lady versus the Vultures. Like Rats and Cats. hahaah . . .

            Dead Rats, Dead Cats, Each Thinks theze Aristocrats. Crap, that’s Crap. -J Morrison when he must have been really drunk.

            So hard to do though . . .


        4. LeonovaBalletRusse

          This is IMF Organized Crime tough stuff, with Generalissimo Obama playing the heavy. Why doesn’t Argentina trade directly with a State of our Union, the way Russia trades directly with the State of Georgia for its chicken appetite?

        5. gepay

          Where would you rather live, Argentina or Greece or Latvia?
          The US financial sector has a history of making flaky loans to Latin American countries. Then the US would send in the marines to take over the customs offices in the ports and send the money back to the US banks. Franklin Roosevelt stopped this practice.
          More countries ought to default on bad loans made to bad politicians. Maybe the lenders would think about who they are making these loans to and whether they can pay them back. Oh yes, its gone beyond that now. Bad loans can be paid back by the taxpayers or by the Federal Reserve creating money and lending it to banks at a rate below inflation. Now its vulture hedge funds who have the moral high ground.

          1. charles sereno

            @ Valissa and craazyman

            Valissa: What’s the disconnect between “insightful analysis” and “serious criticism”?
            craazyman: You don’t know anything about vulture funds but you do know that the place they’re disrupting is “nutty”? A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. (Don’t blame me. Someone else said that).

  7. JTFaraday

    “And a bonus antidote, this is the type of lizard that worried the Secret Service”

    That thing would worry me too. The stuffed frog, on the other hand, slimy but still cute.

  8. George Bailey

    Regarding Mary J Miller, Johnson is too polite. She would be an awful choice for Treasury Secretary.
    Among other things, Miller is Treasury’s point person on MM reforms. Given her 26 years at TRowePrice, that shouldn’t come as a surprise.
    What may surprise is that she was the Treasury official who held closed-door meetings with the industry in the fall, just prior to the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) intervention to revive the stalled SEC Money Market reform process.
    The SEC had proposed 2 reforms which conform with the global standards recommended by the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), which were approved by the US representatives on the IOSCO board.
    Treasury introduced a third alternative for the FSOC to consider. That alternative mirrors a proposal BlackRock has been advocating. That proposal (to levy punitive redemption fees on MM account holders seeking to exit during a run) did not survive as one of the three recommendations in the final FSOC proposal.
    It is alarming that Treasury appeared to be lobbying the FSOC members on behalf of industry in the first test of its role as regulator coordinator. It appears that the other regulators checked Treasury in this instance, but Miller’s role bears scrutiny.

    This BBG fluff piece is worth reviewing if she really is on the short list for Treas Secy

    ‘Her experience at Baltimore-based T. Rowe Price boosts her credibility with Wall Street executives, who say she understands their business. “She has an enormous grasp of the issues, and a lot of this is very detailed, very complex,” said lawyer H. Rodgin Cohen, senior chairman at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, whose clients include JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS)’

    “White House staffers recommended Miller after talking with industry executives and others about possible candidates for the assistant secretary job”

    Since it is still relatively early days in the global efforts to reform the shadow banking system, and since MMfunds are a key element in that system, a career Mutual funds executive with no gov’t experience prior to her current role, would be a poor choice to lead that reform effort.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Over-the-top approval from Wall Street’s top fixer regulatory lawyer should be a major negative.

  9. LeeAnne

    Mohamed Morsi bars court challenges and orders Hosni Mubarak retrial. Guardian

    So, George W. Bush and Barack Obama have ushered in a whole new model for leaders of the world, and support for a new 21st century round of killer regimes.

    ‘The people’ don’t seem to realize that they and their politics do not start wars.

    The big wars take decades of planning. Banksters are required to support those wars. The propaganda machine is always grinding away; at the ready to produce support at propitious moments in time; before, during and after the big events.

    Its now both easier and more difficult for the system to work so smoothly; easier with TV; a little more difficult with the Internet. Like now; this blog has 3 links to the Petreaus sex angle.

    But none, no links that would shed light on a story involving CIA conflict with the military and the administration serious enough for the administration’s chosen one, with no CIA experience, appointed by Obama as head of the CIA, resigning after a slaughter for which various agencies agreed to standby and WATCH.

    1. Jackrabbit


      In fact, one of the most interesting aspects of the Benghazi story is how the media has been used.

      One would’ve thought this and other aspects of the matter would provoke interest among progressives as well, but my experience (as per replies to my NC comments regarding Benghazi) is that the progressive reaction to Benghazi can be summed up as follows: Yawn.

      Some replies I have received have related that the problems of Benghazi demonstrate the Progressive stance against militarism and empire (… no need to explore the matter further than that).

      Another reply was that they “don’t know anyone that cares.” This leads me to wonder if some Progressives are a sheltered and out of touch. Is there a self-selected bias where by Progressives friends and acquaintances are also progressive or progressive-leaning?

      But I also think that perhaps Progressives still hope to have influence with a Democratic Administration – and won’t take issue against the Administration when there is no clear benefit in doing so.

      Lastly, Republicans often take bat-shit crazy positions, and act with such partisanship that the initial knee-jerk reaction by Progressives is to discount/disapprove of anything they say or do.

      But when NC has already detailed failings of the Obama Administration (like HAMP, etc.) and how they have used outright propaganda to promote those failings as good (“TARP made money!”, etc.) then you would think people here would take more interest at machinations in other areas.

      1. Jackrabbit

        Also, from a practical standpoint, no one really knows if the Benghazi matter has “legs.” Some of the those involved will be leaving the administration, and in addition (as I noted in my first comment on the Benghazi) a cynic view would be that any issues could be _resolved_ during negotiations over the ‘fiscal cliff’. (I think it was in Monday’s “Links” post)

        But I think the Republicans are really miffed at the dissembling and stonewalling (as well as the media coverage) – and it has ’caused them to believe that “where there’s smoke there’s fire.” I wrote of this in my second comment (Wednesday’s “Links”). So the matter may drag on indefinitely.

      2. Eureka Springs

        I don’t know if progressives ever were sincereley for the following… but it’s clear those who call themselves progressives certainly are not about it these days:

        Labor – decent pay, decent work conditions.
        Anti war – See everything from the NDAA to all you mention and more. It’s the war powers, and the massive MIC.
        Health care as a human right… not health insurance and high pharma prices as a corporate revenue right.
        Progressive taxation
        Retirement above a cat food diet plan

        Anyway, you make great points.. and I no longer think of myself as progressive anymore than i think of myself as a democrat for all of these reasons.

      3. liberal

        “…then you would think people here would take more interest at machinations in other areas.”

        Yawn. As a “progressive,” I’m not interested in the Bengazi nonsense. Why? Because the crime of the Obama administration was getting involved in Libya in the first place.

        1. LeeAnne

          and the story is about that crime; the crimes perpetrated by a mercenary military in league with Bush/Obama administration civilian stupidity getting us into those wars.

          If you pay any attention to how troops are being treated with multiple tours of duty, lousy medical treatment serving side by side with mercenaries making $250,000/yr and the perks of lawless behavior, you would expect blow back from the military themselves while Generals get multi millionaire payouts on retirement via Saudis and the IC of MIC.

  10. tyaresun

    Yes, the Indian GDP has doubled and malnutrition is still pervasive. What is the government response? Reduce the minimum daily nutritional requirement. The percentage malnourished has been going up even after this change in definition.

    Expect armed resistance to increase over the years. If this continues, expect India to break up in the next 50 years.

  11. Garrett Pace

    Broadwell shooting futuristic guns…


    I love how that isn’t even a firing range. That’s a parking lot. The “firing line” is an intermittent shoe scuff on the dirt. In the video the ordnance is piled on a folding table in the background. Those may be concrete barricades downrange, too. They even put shooters in a staggered line so the camera can get them all in view.

    Also, in the first photo a couple more degrees and she’s aiming at her own foot. Though finger is off trigger at least.

  12. kevinearick

    Projection, Propulsion, & Productivity

    1811-1891 Spokan Carry

    “Born to a chief and orphaned at 11, Carry was taught by missionaries to aid in fur trading. He was a teacher, a leader, a hunter and a peacemaker. Always the white mans friend, he was refused citizenship, burned off his land, deprived of his earthly goods and finally his dignity by the white man. He died here a lonely unwanted person in the land of his birth and the land he loved.”

    The empire is a spoiled, passive aggressive bully, of passive aggressive bullies. You adjust its gravity by limiting its technology frontier. There is no relative end to the capacity of the universe to fuel the empire, but only a transformative laborer can give it oxygen. The transformational orator is a myth, except to short the system. Just step out of the way.

    Graph airline flights, Boeing durable goods delivered, and cash accounting against GDP, Boeing durable goods orders, and accrual accounting. HP is just the tip of the iceberg. You may also want to graph monetary expansion times cash in circulation. The law is virtual, and the accounting rungs are collapsing as the rails split. What does all the corporate cash on the sidelines look like now? What is Delta doing?

    Macy’s doesn’t employ the bankruptcy code, to which you are denied access, on a regular basis by accident, which is why labor discounts the supply side credit markets, along with all participants, every time. The empire grows to the extent you mate with its replicating robots and blows up when you allow them to inbreed.

    Bernanke, like Greenspan before him, has been instructed to torch the empire, rather than pay effective labor a market-clearing price for its skills. No amount of talking is going to change that. Real Africans are well mannered, highly intelligent, and hard working; like anywhere else, those capable of love, putting future generations first, are capable of great things. Those incapable of love, the talkers, are only capable of small mindedness, which is exactly what the empire wants, certifiable replicating robots lost in the artificial complexity of their own emotions, soothed by consumption to maintain the status the status quo.

    No one is brokering peace in the middle east. They are all ensuring division. The US is the strongest of the weaklings. You don’t build bigger and bigger guns because you have confidence in the effectiveness of your economy, in the adaptability of your relationships. Anything that is not unique gets programmed out, commoditized, including human peer groups. The Chinese, the Spanish, the English, all assumed the world could not exist without their particular brand of administrative genius.

    Supply the integral and demand the derivative, or don’t, depending upon the size of the empire you need to do whatever you want to do. In any case, ignore the “impending economic crisis.” The empire is always in an impending economic crisis, by design. That’s the nature of stupid.

    We will bring the Titanic back up and refit it; we always do.

  13. aletheia33

    reporting here on my local walmart action. has anyone else participated and if so could you perhaps give us a brief report? (hopefully much shorter than mine, i get way too far into all the details, i know.)

    my nearest walmart is in hinsdale, nh–a very rural area, not part of the north-of-boston nh commuter orbit. this walmart is a mile or so and across the connecticut river from brattleboro, vt (pop. c. 12,000), which was a back-to-the-land destination of the 1960s and 70s where a good number of counterculturistes settled for life, assimilating with the locals, building a large food coop, growing organic, founding alternative schools, working on solutions for the petroleum problem, etc. the widely varied mix of resident types both native and “flatlander” makes the town an interesting place to live where one can participate in a strong sense of community and mutual support and a tolerant, friendly social ambience. any local protest is likely to bring some people out.

    brattleboro people have been very active in the many years’ fight statewide to keep walmart out of vermont, but the corporation has managed to get way too close to the town by setting up a store across the river in nh, where there’s also no state sales tax. it’s hurt the local vt economy. today most or all of the protestors who were local probably came from brattleboro and villages in the surrounding county.

    so at the road entrance of the driveway to the walmart parking lot, having been told by walmart management that they must stay out there on public property, 8 people were present at 10 a.m., the designated starting time, with homemade signs. most of them 20- or 30- somethings, with 1 or 2 somewhat older. it seemed somewhat unusual not to see any oldsters, as the overall brattleboro population is weighted toward the latter half of life. maybe they were all having too much fun with their grandkids this morning!

    anyway, i wasn’t able to stand out there (due to immune condition, fighting an infection, and that raw wind that chills one to the bone). i offered to fetch hot drinks for all, took orders, and drove back across the river to the coop, where i purchased the hot drinks and some snacks, which i brought back to the demonstrators, who rewarded me with lovely smiles.

    the woman who had signed up on the CAN website to lead the action is an activist from boston, where she is involved with a workers’ rights nonprofit, a “sister” organization of the vermont workers center in burlington, vt. she had signed up for the hinsdale action because she was spending the holiday with family nearby.

    when i returned with the hot drinks, 4 more people were joining the demonstration in high spirits, along with 1 (or 2?) children and a dog, bringing the total at around 11:00 a.m., when i left, to 14-16, depending on the number of children and if you count the dog. enough people that no motorist turning into the driveway could miss the group with their signs standing on both sides of it.

    the leader had told me she would leave around 11 and was unsure if anyone would stay after that or for how long, or if anyone might arrive later. i asked some how long they thought they’d stay and got no definite answers–they seemed to playing it by ear.

    it’s interesting to watch some videos of shoppers pouncing en masse when their “handlers” throw the too-few “treats” down on the floor in their midst. to me, many of these shoppers simply seem to be quietly, grimly determined to hang in, hold their ground while moving forward, and get their hands on the item, more than they are actively pushing and shoving others aside.

    when i first approached the store today in search of the demonstrators, i noticed how many shoppers were in family groups with children. i’ve begun to wonder how much of the pathetic black friday behavior connects with that nexus of powerful emotion for parents: having young children who think they’ll die if they don’t get that thing everyone else has for christmas, and the intense shame and guilt that comes with feeling one has too little to give them. in so many ways TPTB control people by exploiting the primal drive to provide for one’s offspring to the utmost of one’s ability. if that means you’re a big guy and you can shove aside some tiny screaming single mom so your kids can all have that new phone they crave, maybe that doesn’t feel beyond the pale but like just protecting your own from the big bad world for as long as you can. i know the frenzy is motivated by other urges as well, but how come i’ve never seen this aspect mentioned in the media reports or supposedly more serious discussions?

    and why doesn’t the corporation simply meet the demand it knows exists by providing enough for all? we know why. there’s a barbarity there that’s far more deliberate than the way i suspect many shoppers get foolishly caught up in spontaneous brawls because they’re determined to get their hands on a bargain. who is being duped here and who is really perpetrating abuse?

    will drive over this afternoon again to observe demo and report back.

  14. dearieme

    Why on earth are you carrying a link to a story about late autumn weather striking Britain in late autumn?

    “Hurricane-force winds hit 86mph at Capel Curig, north Wales, and Great Dun Fell, Cumbria – the UK’s highest wind speed since the 102mph New Year storm in Scotland.” Golly, the worst winds for – oh – ten or eleven months.

  15. different clue

    One interesting thing I notice about every single Taibbi entry. The left side is cut off badly enough that I cannot guess what all the words down the left side of the page are.
    This deters me from reading the piece. Is it only my computer? Or does anybody else ( or everybody else) notice this? If so, is it something Rolling Stone does to prevent people from reading the screenpage in hopes of encouraging more people to buy an issue of the magazine?

    1. Mel

      The Rolling Stone page seems to be enforcing some fixed widths for its two columns, and you seem to have zoomed text size in your browser to the point where there’s a conflict. I can duplicate your problem by holding the Ctrl key down and spinning the center wheel of my mouse way forward. That increases the text size, and eventually Firefox can’t fit it all into the column it’s meant for. I can make the problem go away by holding the Ctrl key and turning the center wheel back to decrease the text magnification. Hope that helps.

      It seems as though having a big picture in the article makes an HTML browser abandon good sense when it places text.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      dc, see if your computer screen has a slide at the bottom, which is all the way to the right. If you slide it to the left, you will see the Taibbi text to the left.

  16. LeonovaBalletRusse

    NC Link: “Mimicking a Beetle to Bring Water to the People living on earth.”
    //SORENSEN: “Yup. We actually see the MARITIME environment as really a very LARGE MARKET for us…”// [extra. caps mine] — CONNECT DOTS:
    ADMIRALTY LAW (also referred to as MARITIME LAW) is a distinct body of law which governs maritime questions and offenses. It is A BODY OF BOTH DOMESTIC LAW governing maritime activities, AND PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW governing the relationships between private entities which operate vessels on the oceans. . . . Admiralty law also covers many commercial activities, although land based or occurring wholly on land, that are maritime in character./
    /Admiralty law is distinguished from the Law of the Sea, which is a body of public international law dealing with navigational rights, mineral rights, jurisdiction over coastal waters and international law governing relationships between nations./
    . . .
    //Admiralty law became PART OF THE LAW OF THE UNITED STATES as it was gradually introduced through admiralty cases arising after the adoption of the U.S. Constitution in 1789. Many American lawyers who were prominent in the American Revolution were admiralty and MARITIME LAWYERS in their private lives. Those included are Alexander HAMILTON in New York and John ADAMS in Massachusetts./
    //The term thalassocracy . . . refers to a state with primarily maritime realms—an empire at sea, such as Athens or the Phoenician network of merchant cities. Traditional thalassocracies seldom dominate interiors, even in their home territories (for example: Tyre, Sidon, or Carthage). It is necessary to distinguish this traditional sense of thalassocracy from an “empire”, where the state’s territories, though possibly linked principally or solely by the sea lanes, generally extend into mainland interiors./
    /The term can also simply refer to naval supremacy, in either military or commercial senses of the word “supremacy”. Indeed, the word thalassocracy itself was first used by the Greeks to describe the government of the Minoan civilization, whose power depended on its navy. Herodotus also spoke of the need to counter the Phoenician thalassocracy by developing a Greek “empire of the sea”.//
    —————————————- [Semitic: LEBANON]
    –N.B. “Prinsep, Henry Thoby”–[connect other dots]
    SORENSEN is a *Winner*, isn’t he? He’s on the right side of the “MARKET.”

    1. charles sereno

      “Indeed, the word thalassocracy itself was first used by the Greeks to describe the government of the Minoan civilization, whose power depended on its navy.”
      This quote from Wiki on Thalassocracy is misleading with respect to the Minoan Civilization. While Minoans traded extensively in the Mediterranean, there is no archeological evidence that they had a “navy.” Their seats of government (so-called palaces) were not walled or fortified, they contained no outsized accomodations for “kings,” and were filled with gorgeous art, advanced engineering, public areas, and administrative records. Mycenean Greeks who followed when their civilization collapsed were less advanced. After a dark period, classical Greece reconstructed a fairy-tale picture of Crete from Homer to Herodotus to Plato. The remains of their civilization was unearthed at the beginning of the 20th century by Evans.

      1. Roland

        Minoan palaces may have been unfortified precisely because of naval power–viz. the lack of fortification in 19th cent. Britain, compared to the elaborate prepared frontier defenses of the continental powers of the same period.

        Minoan thlassocracy is mentioned in passing by Thucydides, which at the very least means that there was an ancient Greek historical tradition which held that the Cretans at one time exercised naval hegemony.

        Re: archaeology. Ask yourself how much archaeological evidence will remain, say, of 16th-cent. Spanish naval power, after the passage of several more millenia?

        Archaeology is often suggestive, but it is never sufficient. It can never substitute for the lack of a narrative tradition.

  17. Valissa

    Probable Higgs Boson Particle Just Plain ‘Vanilla’

    Bummer, I would have preferred strawberry or pistachio.

    Illuminating the transitive aspect of nature… Dog Chases Stick, Orca Chases Dog

    Marketing the apocalypse… Mayan Doomsday ‘Safe Zone’ Shut Down
    Citing fears that doomsday believers, curiosity seekers, and “above all” journalists will flood a French mountaintop on Dec. 21, the supposed day of the Mayan apocalypse, local officials are banning access to the mountain. …

    Other areas are welcoming the doomsday attention. In Belize, the Chaa Creek resort is trying to lure tourists with a seven-day, all-inclusive “Maya Winter Solstice” package, which includes workshops on Maya crafts, traditional Maya garb and names of guests inscribed into a giant stele that will be erected on Dec. 21.

    In Guatamala, the national tourism bureau is organizing all sorts of festivities, including a “New Dawn for Humanity” summit in Tikal, a major ancient Maya city. Elton John, Bruce Springsteen and U2 will provide entertainment.

    Mexico is aiming for the action, too, launching a tourism campaign called “Mayan World 2012” and encouraging visitors to seek out sites in southern Mexico, where the ancient Maya once built complex cities.

    1. Valissa

      The apocalypse article illustrates, in simple terms, why the French economy is not doing so well. Amazing that they are letting this opportunity to fleece gullible tourists pass them buy.

  18. Externality

    New column by Chris Hedges:

    We are all Israelis now: its brutality, unlike Syria’s, is fought in the name of the West’s war on terror Who set the precedent when it comes to “collateral damage”? The West did. Now the Israelis reel out the same tired excuses and platitudes to justify their violence

    Enough is enough. Now we have even “National Infrastructure” Minister Uzi Landau – one of my favourite dogsbodies in the Israeli government – talking about “collateral damage” and the justification for bombing Hamas’s broadcasting station. It could be used for transmitting military instructions, he said.

    But wasn’t that exactly what our own beloved Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara – now, I suppose, Lord Blair of the Holy Land – said after Nato bombed the Serb television station in Belgrade, when Nato, too, was blathering on about “collateral damage”?

    We Westerners set the precedents in the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq – trains, bridges, TV stations, wedding parties, blocks of civilian apartments, you name it – and now the Israelis can trot along behind and produce, whenever necessary, the same tired list of excuses we invented for Nato.

    (emphasis in original)

  19. Externality

    New column by Robert Fisk:

    We are all Israelis now: its brutality, unlike Syria’s, is fought in the name of the West’s war on terror Who set the precedent when it comes to “collateral damage”? The West did. Now the Israelis reel out the same tired excuses and platitudes to justify their violence

    Enough is enough. Now we have even “National Infrastructure” Minister Uzi Landau – one of my favourite dogsbodies in the Israeli government – talking about “collateral damage” and the justification for bombing Hamas’s broadcasting station. It could be used for transmitting military instructions, he said.

    But wasn’t that exactly what our own beloved Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara – now, I suppose, Lord Blair of the Holy Land – said after Nato bombed the Serb television station in Belgrade, when Nato, too, was blathering on about “collateral damage”?

    We Westerners set the precedents in the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq – trains, bridges, TV stations, wedding parties, blocks of civilian apartments, you name it – and now the Israelis can trot along behind and produce, whenever necessary, the same tired list of excuses we invented for Nato.

    (emphasis in original)

  20. gordon

    Conspiracy theory: Morsi will be protected and supported by the US in his power-grab because it’s aimed at other so-called “islamist” groups in Egypt, and those are the groups that the US is worried about. Look out for Brotherhood moves against Salafist groups. Morsi may also persecute Copts, so he can reward his supporters with the resulting plunder.

  21. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Can anyone shed light on the message below?
    “Copyright ©2009-2012 Media, LTD. All Rights Reserved.”

    “ABC Media, LTD” is not listed in wikipedia.

  22. diptherio

    “US Secret Service startled by lizards Bangkok Post. Furzy mouse says the Thais consider them to be inauspicious…”

    Uh, the lizards or the Secret Service?

Comments are closed.