Links 12/13/12

Yves here. From one set of woes to another. Verizon went down (long shaggy dog story here about Verizon tech support adding insult to injury which I will spare you) but I can work (not very comfortably) in my building’s lobby. Lambert graciously did the overwhelming majority of today’s links.

* * *

New Zealand SPCA teaches rescue dogs how to drive a Mini Autoblog (YY)

Arizona woman’s creative holiday sign gets humorous point across using far less juice Daily News. Click through for meta. It b-u-r-n-n-s!

‘Jedi’ religion most popular alternative faith Daily Telegraph

Head of new U.S.-backed Syrian coalition endorses al Qaida-linked rebel faction McClatchy. And why not?

EU seals deal on banks watchdog AFP

Cosmetic, Can-Kicking Banking Union Agreement in Play DARECONOMICS

Low expectations ahead of EU summit Deutche Welle

Deutsche Bank offices raided amid tax evasion inquiry Guardian. It can’t happen here.

Police raid Deutsche HQ in tax probe FT. “Carousel fraud.”

Deutsche Bank watchdog dismisses false accounting claims – sources Reuters

Thomson Reuters seeks to run new Libor FT

European Central Bank says it has ‘much to learn’ from Latam robust financial systems MercoPress (Aquifer)

Catalan parties agree referendum on independence within two years El Pais

Extended Interview: Critics slam continued secrecy of Trans-Pacific Partnership, talks underway in New Zealand Free Speech Radio News (stuartbramhall). Audio. 3:17: “[C]ountries shall [emphasis added] conform their domestic laws, regulations and administrative procedures to the attached agreeements.”

The Fed Turns Aggressively Dovish With ‘Evans Rule’ Businessweek

Fed’s bond buying will continue until jobless rates drops McClatchy

“Right to Work” Isn’t a Civil Right. But Unionizing Should Be The New Republic

New MSM Trillion Dollar Coin Wave Misses the Big Story: Hayes and Carney New Economic Perspectives (also).

Is the new boom in domestic natural gas production an economic bonanza or environmental disaster? Good discussion.

Work on Keystone XL Halts in Texas over “Wrong Type of Oil” Claim OilPrice

New Report Could Effect Huge Change in the Pipeline Industry OilPrice

Enbridge Pipeline Faces Scallop-Farmers Fight Bloomberg

There is so much data stored in the world that we may run out of ways to quantify it Daily Mail

Data scientists take byte out of Mad Men FT

Nuchem Rosenberg, Rabbi Who Exposes Child Sex Abuse In Orthodox Community, Attacked With Chemical Huffington Post. Note police comment at end. Domestic fights are of interest, but apparently inter-sect ones don’t count. 

Scotland Yard investigating allegations senior politicians abused children in the 1980s and used ‘connections’ to escape justice Independent

The Fungus in Your Cheese Is Having Weird Sex Smithsonian

Stone Age people were making cheese over 7,000 years ago Independent 

Book review: Antifragile Nick Dunbar (RS). Deft work with that stiletto, Mr. Dunbar.

Bad faith and Zero Dark Thirty  L’Hôte (BLCKDGRD)

Hatership VS Black Leadership in the Age of Obama Black Agenda Report

The Silent Treatment: A Day in the Life of a Student in ‘No Excuses’ Land EduShyster. Compliance training.

Antidote du jour (YesMaybe):

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    1. wunsacon

      I suspect Rome looks upon fracking as a way to temporarily suppress the impact of all the money-printing on fuel and food prices.

      Plus, developing our own onshore supplies helps keep down foreign supply asset prices. With the money we’re printing, we can buy those supplies at a lower price.

      In other words, it’s a coordinated strategy. Without it, all that newly printed money would simply leave our borders at a faster and faster rate and the food/fuel prices would follow suit.

      Also, if any foreign colonies (esp. fuel exporters) happen to be destabilized (“oops”) while we’re printing money, it sure helps reduce investor interest in buying any assets in those colonies. In that scenario, only Rome’s unofficial partners have the political/military connections to guarantee an ROI.

      Rome FTW!

    2. Synopticist

      I’m slightly conflicted about fracking in the UK. We’re much less likelly to allow the unrestricted, chemical/polluting free-for-all that the US inevitably introduced.
      People here are much more concerned about groundwater contamination, and the enviromental lobby is stronger. That’s partly a function of higher population densities, and a wish to conserve traditionnally cute country landscapes.

      Obviously though, the industry will lie about the chemicals used, and try to get weaker regulation, and attempt to get “commercial confidentiality” clauses in so that they don’t have to disclose exactly what they’re pumping.

  1. fresno dan

    Bad faith and Zero Dark Thirty L’Hôte (BLCKDGRD)

    I think the movie shows the torture that happened and that it was ineffective and implicitly it paints a devastating critique of US policy. I would say the critisism of the movie is equivalent to saying Twain was a racist for writing Huck Finn…

    1. taunger

      it doesn’t help critics of torture to comment on things they have not seen. ” it is a certainty that many people will leave the theater after seeing Zero Dark Thirty convinced that torture was used to find Osama bin Laden, and that Osama bin Laden was at the time a threat to the United States (when he certainly was not), and so we must continue to torture. That’s just a fact. So: how do they feel about that?”

      How do I feel about that? people are already convinced that torture was used to find Osama bin Laden, and convinced it should continue. So what does it matter about this movie, again? Let’s maybe watch it and get an idea!

      1. fresno dan

        I like reading Greenwald quite a bit – and a point Greenwald constantly makes are all the details and points not addressed or things that are outright not true. He also points out the red/blue mindlessness frequently.

        I think Greenwald’s view that this movie is condoing torutre is somehow “justifying” torture to me is like saying “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” was an aplogia for slavery.
        I think the movie trys to show how bad the torture was (to see what happens to these people, if you have any jot of humanity in you, is the best expose of what happended), how neffective it was, and how even “good” people can go along – the ostensible heroine goes along with it basically because you don’t keep your job in the bureacracy if you too stidently opposed it…
        I think it will takes years for some to come to grips with how we acted contrary to American ideals, just like with the internment of Japanese Americans, that sometimes a country goes overboard. It took a long time to acknowledge it wasn’t necessary, and it was wrong. I fear that we are losing our American ideals.

        Oh, this will make your hair stand on end:

      2. Cynthia

        Whether or not OBL was killed by Navy SEALS in May 2011 — and I’m not convinced — adding a fictitious torture session to a film that pretends to represent a historical event, a waterboarding session that suggests these methods were responsible for finding the dreaded evil-doer, is still torture propaganda no matter how you look at it.

        But the key thing is that if this film is like others produced with cooperation of the Pentagon, the film’s director, Kathryn Bigelow likely was contractually bound to get script approval from the White House and military command. Indeed, we saw a flap over the summer when it came out the White House was revealing classified information to Bigelow et al. So there you have it: Obama’s underhanded declaration that “Torture Is Again OK.”

        We will no doubt soon see the Obama-bots flocking to the theaters to support the Torturer-in-Chief.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Torture is not OK.

          A separate question is, what do we do with information given to us by another party who used torture to get it?

          It’s similar to the question, what do we do with the knowledge from the Imperial Japanese Army unit 731?

          For me, I would use it but reiterate the ban in the future.

        2. Aquifer

          There’s the rub – as long as it’s known someone will use the information from the process, the process will continue …

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            That’s a hard one for me too.

            I think a lot of our medical knoweledge came out of wars in the past few thousand years. And we us it without thinking much about its ‘evil’ origins.

          2. Aquifer

            I think that’s a bit different – the wars weren’t waged for the purpose of gaining medical knowledge – the knowledge was gained from an attempt to treat the victims of those wars … Whereas the torture was done for the purpose of gaining that information, and the knowledge was gained by creating, not treating, victims of barbarity …

          3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Maybe it’s the Post-Modern Age that we are in (we are told), but if you look at it from a different angel, they are quite similar – without wars, no such knowledge; without torture, no such information.

            As a Neo-Neanderthalist, and also member of S.O.U.L. (Society of United Luddites), this has a practical and important implication – we are ready to accept what is deemed Nature-compatible and useful (to be determined later) knowledge from science and technology up to now, regardless of where it came from, but we wish for an immediate moratorium on any further development until we determine whether it’s true that any one technological invention does not always and automatically lead to another problem waiting to be remedied by more technogoligcal inventions.

          4. direction

            I don’t want to butt into your conversation (it’s fun watching you two talk) but what do you think about technological determinism? I’m only a semi-luddite, but have great respect for the card carrying members such as yourself MLPB. If technology is evolving to eventually take over the meatspace we occupy, perhaps it is driving us to war/torture as an accellerated development ploy.

            P.S. Is there a secret hiding place being built by the Luddites for the Singularity? (I promise I am not a bot)

          5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Oh, hi and welcome.

            It’s not often I come across a Luddite or a semi-Luddite. Can I interest you in some brochures about our organziation, S.O.U.L.? As whether there is a secret hiding place, I am sorry, that is for members only; though it’s within your power to change that by joining us.

            Is technology the driving force behind war/torture? That’s a good question. I would not rule it out. It’s also quite possible that the Robot Republic of Mars already exists and can invade anytime, unless we humans kill off each other first. Then there will be no need for them to invade, with force, that is. They will just occupy the little blue dot.

          6. Aquifer

            MLPB – I must demur – the medical knowledge derived from the treating of victims of war is a knowledge of treating victims of trauma. Granted that war makes a hell of a lot more of them and accelerates that knowledge in the process, but much of the damage done is not unique to war and i must confess that I do not see how one can equate that with using the knowledge obtained from torture … medical folk don’t initiate war in order to gain knowledge, torturers engage in torture to gain information, so it seems to me the knowledge gained from the 2 activities is hardly “morally” comparable. In fact given the requirements of the Hippocratic Oath, ISTM that it would be morally unacceptable for Medical folk to fail to use their skills to treat and, in the process, learn from the injuries of the victims of war – it would be highly immoral for them to induce those injuries themselves for that purpose, however – what do you wish them to do when they see them – walk on by?

            As for Luddites, shucks, I didn’t know there was such a society or i would have joined ages ago. Ned was no dummy … Personally I think it’s time to think about resurrecting him …

          7. direction

            I’d certainly never turn down the chance of receiving a beautiful hand printed brochure. Did you make the paper yourself?

          8. Aquifer

            Re technology – how about simply etching the Precautionary Principle on all our foreheads? Technology, unlike humans, is to be considered guilty until proven innocent …

          9. direction

            “No results found for “society of united luddites”

            Google has not found the hiding place yet!

          10. direction

            Excellent proposal. Needs refinement though. I tatoo’d the Precautionary Principle on my fine dome last year but still as of yet, have not run into any policy wonks on the street, and those guys are the ones who need to read it.

          11. Aquifer

            diection – Luddites don’t use Google … :) They also don’t use computers which is why i do all my composing on an abacus (1s and 0s work quite well on them) and deliver it all by carrier pigeon – the system does have its problems however – as when someone decides to feed the pigeons in Central Park say (THAT is why we are told not to feed them – it screws up the whole communications network)

            Maybe that’s why Yves is having problems, someone’s feeding her pigeons again ….

          12. They didn't leave me a choice

            >As for Luddites, shucks, I didn’t know there was such a society or i would have joined ages ago. Ned was no dummy … Personally I think it’s time to think about resurrecting him …

            With nanotechnology we can rebuild him!

          13. direction

            @Aquifer: yes, I agree. That’s why I referred to myself as a semi-luddite in my introductory post. I am very curious how many candles MLBP uses to power his internet ready abacus. Must be quite a sight.

    2. timmie agonistes

      I’m going to wait for 0dark Thirty II, the sequel where the heroes, the rough tough NCS cowards who let the grunts bring em in and tie em up so that it’s safe to beat em up, get mail that says a bunch of ibita bibitum latin shit and somewhere along the line, this: “Convention Against Torture Article 2 (2): No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture,” and how they snivel and whine and cry like little whipped cringing bitches instead of having their day in court and taking their medicine like a man would, like fuckin Ollie North and Liddy and Hunt did when they broke the law for the USA! USA! USA!

      1. Aquifer

        ISTM what is so ironic about that is that the use of that prohibition about speaking about torture because it might reveal government secrets is itself an admission of torture – the only way such testimony could possibly “reveal” details about anything is if that thing actually happened, otherwise the defendants would be making stuff up and the gov’t could say “liar, liar. pants on fire”.

        Everybody knows and the government has admitted these techniques were used – but if submitted as “fact” in court, could be legitimately used to prevent a prosecution where torture is used. STM the first and every time the gov’t uses this “uh,uh,uh, can’t say that” it ought to be, ipso facto, considered an admission that something forbidden did indeed happen …

    3. Westcoastliberal

      I haven’t seen “Zero dark thirty” as it’s not in release in the theaters here quite yet, but I’m curious to see if bin Laden’s dialysis machine is in any way depicted.
      As I’ve never heard this mentioned in any news accounts, and knowing that bin Laden was in ill health even back in 2001, the omission makes me doubt the entire scenario. Whether or not Bigelow was given “access”, it means nothing if the entire “operation” was a charade. Certainly published accounts of interviews with “bin Laden’s neighbors” indicate he didn’t live there.
      So what if it’s all just part of the government fairy tale about 9/11? That would leave us with the torture part of the story as an add-on bonus, wouldn’t it. And yet, why?

  2. gonzomarx

    a headline

    Head of new U.S.-backed Syrian coalition endorses al Qaida-linked rebel faction

    a question

    Does this mean the War on Terror is over?
    now we’re all on the same side!

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          And the story of the wiseman and the boy.

          The boy got a horse as a gift and everyone was happy for him.

          Master: Is that so?

          Then he broke his leg riding that horse and people were sad.

          Master: Is that so?

          The the election came and people voted in the charmer the second time.

          Master: Is that so?

          Then the charmer paid everyone (healthy enough that is) to go to war. The boy with the broken leg couldn’t make it to parade to the battelfield. He was sad to be without a job.

          Master: Is that so?

          Then all the friends of the boy got killed. The boy survived.

          Master: Is that so?

          That was a great story from Charlie Wilson’s War.

          1. Aquifer

            That is one version of the “Is it a Blessing or Is it a Curse?” story that seems to pop up in several traditions …

            Context is the key …..

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Aquifer, that’s so true and is the point of the story here.

            You don’t settle for this job and you might find a job you truly like later.

            So, should we ask: What kind of jobs are in a job guarantee program? Is it better to not have that job (while we extend the benefits) and find a better one later?

            Should we not make a genearlization against this question, but look at the context?

            It’s like the ‘progressive’ idea to grow more food, with the aid of pesticide in the 50’s and 60’s… nevermind the quality, we can feed more people. Maybe if we waited, we would have stuck to the better idea of education about having too many kids, and for sure, the better idea of addresing wealth inequality amonst nations so that we didn’t have to grow more food.

          3. ambrit

            Dear aquifer;
            “Context is the key.” Yep pardner, it shorly uis! As in, Afghanistan is the ‘Graveyard of Empires.’
            Estimable Master MLTPB;
            Context is the key,
            All the sages agree.
            A journey of one thousand li,
            Places you in the World Village.
            The ubiquitous Great March begins,
            With a step which spins,
            Around the axis which grins,
            To see such profound foolishness.
            When Macedon to Kabul swept,
            By the waters of Potomac we wept,
            To see the honour of Great Ones kept,
            Eternally hostage to fate.
            (From Ambrits: “Deservedly Uncollected Doggerel.”)

          4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            That’s a gem, ambrit.

            I hope your ‘Great March’ doesn’t get lost in translation by those capitalists in the Rich People’s Republic of Han Chauvinists into ‘Long March.’

          5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            It wasn’t easy, but I located your original.


          6. ambrit

            Dear Master MLTPB;
            I feel so inadequate. When I ‘Google’ Translate all I get is a series of Metaphysical Discourses.
            (I consciously avoided “Long March” because I didn’t want to offend the sensibilities of the Lotus Flower Ladies who engage with this site. Who wants to generate ill will and discord by presenting a blatant Phallic Pun?)

      1. fresno dan

        With apologies to Harry Chapin:
        ‘all our policies are a circle, sunrise and sundown, enemies roll thorugh the nighttime, till our allies come around,
        All our policies are a circle, but I can’t tell you why, Wars spinning round again, years keep rolling by…
        Seems like we’ve been here before, I can’t remember when,
        but I have this funny feeling, we’ll be in another mid-east police action (remember WAR was not declared)

    1. From Mexico


      I don’t think the Canadian filmmaker Scott Noble would self-identify as a Marxist, but as an anarchist. However, if you haven’t seen it yet, you might enjoy his latest documentary film, “The Power Principle,” available on the internet here:

      Here’s what he has to say about it:

      My new film is called “The Power Principle” (‘Corporate empire and the rise of the national security state’). The title derives from a quote by the anarchist philosopher Mikhail Bakunin – “If there is a Devil in history, it is the power principle”. It’s essentially the story of the American empire, with emphasis on the Cold War period.

      There are only a handful of documentaries that approach the Cold War honestly. The 20 hour CNN series devotes most of its time to political intrigues between the United Sates and the Soviet Union. To the extent that it deals with atrocities, it emphasizes Soviet repression in Eastern Europe. Only one chapter is spent on atrocities in Latin America.

      My first goal was to weave together various “alternative” histories about the American empire. Then I began to address issues that I felt had been overlooked or downplayed.

      In terms of emphasis – here are some points I stress.

      #1. The Cold War was not just a struggle between the Soviet Union and the United States; the real struggle was between American corporations and the Third World.

      #2. Top policy planners in the US and other Western nations were acutely aware that the Soviet Union had a conservative foreign policy.

      #3. The United States does not have a free press.

      #4. The Pentagon is a Keynsian Mechanism.

      #5. The American government was responsible for genocide during the Cold War.

      #6. The Empire is similar to the mafia

      #7. Corporate interests are inextricably wed with military policy.

      #8. American imperialism is not of recent vintage.

      #9. Elites deceive themselves as well as the public.

      #10. The US is not exceptional. It is behaving pretty much as powerful states always have.

      #11. Western elites supported fascism prior to, during and after WWII.

      #12. A WWIII scenario is almost inevitable unless the American public wakes up – and fast.

      1. Nathanael

        #9 is the really big problem. Without that, we could appeal to enlightened self-interest. With that, the elites are going to kill us all, including themselves.

        1. psychohistorian

          Agreed about #9

          At some level at the top there must not be delusion because they are executing the control to delude the rest of the elite and the wannabee elites.

          Faith is so much easier than reason……put it on the gravestone of humanity.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          #9-A It’s not that the USSR used propaganda on their people, but that they weren’t good/refined/sophisticated at it.

          #9-B It’s not that Gaikhalt (the Amazing Mongol) tried to pass worthless paper money to his Persian subjects, but he didn’t do a ‘good’ job.

    2. Hypothetical_Taxpayer

      “Does this mean the War on Terror is over?
      now we’re all on the same side!”

      Ya’d think they’d get a formal treaty?

  3. Jim Haygood

    ‘The Fed will keep short-term interest rates near zero as long as unemployment remains above 6.5 percent and the inflation it expects in one to two years is no higher than 2.5 percent.’

    Central Planning 101: when what you’re doing clearly isn’t working, escalate it to a larger scale and bang your head against the wall even harder.

    Two things can happen. First, if other central banks copy the Fed, then we can all inflate together (ten-dollar cat food, etc.). Also, if there’s a more responsibly managed currency (and there’s always gold), the dollar will depreciate against it.

    With their brighter growth prospects, developing economies have a window to establish a better reserve currency. This is the natural economic process by which dying empires get superseded.

    After all, both the global U.S. military empire and the Fed’s central planning are massive value-subtraction activities. And someone’s got to pay. Struggle, comrades!

  4. rjs

    so does anyone think QE 4 will bring the unemployment rate down to 6.5% by 2015?

    (notwithstanding that U3 is a sham measure of unemployment)

    does anyone think QE1, QE2, & QE3 were responsible for its decline from 10% to 7.7%?

    1. diptherio

      Fed’s bond buying will continue until jobless rates drops=The floggings will continue until morale improves.

      QE did not bring down U3, people giving up on finding a job did; people taking inadequate part-time work did; people entering the black-market labor force did.

      All QE is doing is swelling bank’s reserve accounts (which now pay interest).

      Ben Bernanke himself admitted this during a lecture he gave at GWU. After showing how the bailout swelled bank reserves but didn’t affect the amount of money in circulation:

      “The banking system has a large quantity of these reserves, but they are electronic entries at the Fed, they basically just sit there. They’re not in circulation, they are not a part of any broad measure of the money supply.” –Ben Bernanke @1:30

      So riddle me this: If all that money the Fed is shoveling into banks’ reserve accounts isn’t finding its way into the real economy, how can it be expected to help the economy? By keeping interest rates low? That doesn’t matter when no one wants a loan because we’re all too busy paying off the last one(s). And even if people were wanting to borrow some of those funds and put them into circulation, the eventual repayment of those loans would represent a net increase in bank reserves and a net decrease in the rest of the economy’s reserves.

      You don’t kick-start the real economy by loading it down with a bunch of debt. We need QE, but it needs to start at the bottom of the pyramid, not the top.

        1. ambrit

          Dear juliania;
          Ah ha! You have stumbled upon one of the “secret goals” of the TPP! As long as local politicos can keep the polis anxious and uncertain, control is thereby facilitated.
          “Never let a good crisis go to waste?” Ha! It is really, “Never let the idea for a good crisis go to waste.”

      1. psychohistorian

        I see this as all part of the plan.

        I see the US dollar as the next/current bubble.

        The folks at the top end are making sure they have the preponderance of dollars so that when the bottom drops out they still have “something” to exchange for the new version of money.

        The global inherited rich must insure they stay at the top and in control of the concepts of inheritance, accumulating private ownership of property and finance/money.

    2. Hypothetical_Taxpayer

      I think bank excess reserves are at $1.5 trillion right now – QE should be renamed “Boomerang Money” – so the only thing I can figure is Ben is “hording cash”, and wishes to hoard a trillion per year more cash.

      Dunno why we let Ben do this.

      Then Janet will get to be a sell side bond trader. Talk about being set up for “The Big Fail”.

        1. Hypothetical_Taxpayer

          The big problem I see with all this is we will have President Hillary Clinton and Fed Chairman Janet Yellen in charge when they announce to the world they have half the USG debt for sale. That’ll be like Warren Buffet pre-announcing he is selling all his stock – except even worse. The Fall of the United States will then be blamed on women running things – and the backlash will be to take away women’s right to vote, driver’s licenses, and maybe even their right to smoke cigarettes.

          This will be a huge setback to Progressives and Latte Democrats alike.

          Almost seems like a conspiracy to me.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I think there are people who don’t like the term ‘liberals’ getting hijacked and having to used ‘progressives’ instead.

            In any case, I also think we can use something better than ‘progressives.’ How about ‘progressings?’

            What is a ‘progressing?’ Or why ‘progressing?’

            Well, it’s more about the journey than the destination and so, you are ‘progressing’ and thus are a ‘progressing.’

            Furthermore, what is progressive today could be reactionary tomorrow. So, we better start ‘progressing.’

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Well, I hope it’s not too presumptious or sounding arrogant, but I will think of myself as a progressing from now on.

          3. Aquifer

            Well I dunno – sounds apropos, female progressa, male progresso …. So take your pick, but seriously, as i have argued elsewhere, i think we have to stop letting other folks define and color in our words – if you liked “liberal” stick with it, a “liberal” is as a “liberal” does, who the well cares if the word police don’t like it … We have had so many things stolen from us already, I’ll be damned if i will let them steal any more words!

          4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Aquifre, I know what you mean about theft in general, though, in this case, to me anyway, it’s not ceding anything but ‘progessing’ to a more meaningful (personally speaking) term.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Specifically, the 99.99% aggregate demand.

        The 0.01% have not stopped demanding an arm and a leg. That’s demand is still strong.

    3. curlydan

      That whole “Evans rule” seems like a nice way to convince people that the Fed cares about unemployment.

      Picking a 6.5% UE target isn’t a change in policy because we’re not likely to see that until 2015 anyway, but it does let the central bankers feel good that they’re “concerned” about unemployment.

      Typical magician’s trick…”hey look over here at my little unemployed friends…aww, let’s help them” while they shovel the money the other direction

          1. ambrit

            Dear Master MLTPB;
            No, no, no! Read the sentence again! Your unconscious was feeding you a major insight.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            By the way, I was going to say ‘0’ is junk and ‘1’ is more junk, but I thought that was biasing against ‘0.’

          3. ambrit

            I believe that the “Story of ‘O'” is a very subtle training tool for future ‘Citizens.’ Not as good as “Justine” though.

  5. jsmith

    Unions from nearly their inception were used to keep workers obedient, non-violent and under the control of capitalist scum.

    Here’s an overview written by the man – Jerry White – who recently ran for POTUS from the SEP party.

    “To establish the new industrial unions, workers had to carry out sit-down strikes and general strikes that paralyzed entire cities. They had to battle company thugs, police and the National Guard—and thousands paid with their lives.

    The great tragedy of this movement was that it remained under the control of a right-wing, pro-capitalist bureaucracy, which from the earliest stages worked to subordinate the newly organized unions to the corporations, the Democratic Party and American imperialism. In the 1940s, the socialists and left-wing militants who had led the sit-down strikes were purged from the UAW in the anti-communist witch hunts carried out by the union bureaucrats.


    The unions had no answer to the domination of the world economy by giant corporations, which made it possible for the capitalists to exploit a global labor market and transfer production to low-wage countries. Their only response was to go from pressuring employers to improve the wages and conditions of workers to pressuring the workers to improve the competitiveness of the corporations by means of layoffs, wage cuts and speedup.

    The unions repudiated any form of independent struggle and adopted the corporatist policy of union-management “partnership.” This went hand in hand with the promotion of economic nationalism to pit US workers against their class brothers around the world.

    1. psychohistorian

      Union ideals didn’t start out working against the common man but have been marginalized and refocused by the infusion of money and control over the ranks by the global inherited rich.

      Until we are not all fighting each other for table scraps, money will compromise many a good direction and organization of well meaning folk.

    2. RanDomino

      Specify the AFL, please. The CIO inherited what was left of the spirit of the IWW. Until they foolishly decided to partner with the AFL and all the radicals were purged.

  6. Lambert Strether

    Given the DB raids, somebody should ask Senator Warren if a similar raid could or should be made on Wall Street.

    I’m guessing (a) nobody will ask and (b) if they do, Warren will weasel.

    Would I love to be wrong!

    1. Aquifer

      Keep reminding yourself that she is now an official officer of that multinational corporation, the Democratic Party and has hitched her wagon to its war, er bar, er star …

    2. craazyman

      Last November would have been the perfect time for a raid.

      They had the nearly the entire NYPD in a ring around Zucotti Park, riot police, batons, helmets, the whole thing! I even saw horses. AND they had surveillance towers set up for looking in all the buildings.

      I checked it out, in person. I’m not making this up! I was there.

      I can report that the police appeared to be protecting a bunch of protestors in the park because they were in a ring around the park looking out at the streets. But the weird thing to me was the protestors didn’t seem to be in any danger, at least as far as I could tell. So the police could have safely re-deployed.

      I figure that, right at that point, the police had the manpower and woman power in place to have raided at least 10 Wall Street firms.

      It was the perfect opportunity for law enforcement action!

      Oh well, maybe next time. :)

      1. Ms G

        The Surveillance Tower (a white crane type thing on the north west corner) is still there. People who photograph it or look at it too long get accosted by NYPD or Rent A Cops working for Brookfield and are bullied into “moving along.” It would be great to have someone with a very powerful zoom lens stand at the opposite corner and video/photograph the Finest whose duty is now to sit in that tower and keep the Big Brother video feed of anyone who moves, breathes or sits in Liberty Plaza humming (don’t know if it gets (also) sent to that Citizen Data Fortress in Utah.)

    1. Valissa

      A bountiful crop indeed

      Regarding the mysterious disappearance of bees

      A carnivorous plant?

      Nilsson Schmilsson

      Hungryman, New & Improved

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        A carnivorous plant.

        I am all for stopping discrimination against vegetables, including genetically modified plants (they are victims too). But that doesn’t mean he, sorry, it should start a war against Europe.

        1. Aquifer

          Those GMOs need to be found and rooted out – they are just pretending to be real food – don’t be fooled by their attempts to play on your tender sensibilities ….

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            You may have a point.

            Just recently, I have been meditiating over the possiblity of guerilla viruses that look just like your friendly native DNA, but are actually there to overthrow your biological empire.

          2. Aquifer

            MLPB – its hard to find a good gorilla costume anymore .. and anyway they could never agree as to which gazillion would wind up in the “back seat” ….

          3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            When you have made as many typos as I have, you will understand how typos can become acceptable simply through familiarity.

          1. Aquifer

            I know anyone who says “war is a male thing” is accused of being a sexist, but methinks there may be enough coincidental or circumstantial data out there to warrant some scientific studies so i propose that for a period of time, say a thousand years or so, we put females in charge of the whole shebang and see what happens …

            Of course one could argue that to be a “proper” study, one needs a “control” group (as if we haven’t had one for the last 5000 years or so ..) So after the thousand years, we could have the countries draw straws and half would get the males back in charge, for the next 6 months or until a war broke out, whichever came first …

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I would distinguish between having a male body and having yang engery, and similarly, between having a female body and having yin energy.

            We need more yin energy, more yin spirit, and if we find it in male bodies, there is no reason not to embrace those bodies.

          3. Aquifer

            MLPB – OK, i know what yin energy is, but yang engery? I wonder if your rebellious fingers are trying to tell you something ….

          4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            (Let me try to post this in a more sensible location)

            When you have made as many typos as I have, you will understand how typos can become acceptable simply through familiarity.

          5. ambrit

            Get a copy of Graves “The White Goddess” and wade through it to get an idea about how the Male Deity worshiping herders invaded and subjugated the Female Deity agriculturalists in the Fertile Crescent way back when. (That’s the real meaning of the Hebrew Testament.)

          6. Aquifer

            ambrit – yup, all that wonderful “pre-history” which was actually “herstory” – and those great little stone fertility statuettes that pop up here and there from those times, the few intact and the many broken ones …

            They don’t call it “his-tory” for nuthin’ ….

          7. knowbuddhau

            ambrit, glad to hear you mention it. Here’s an excerpt from Thou Art That: transforming religious metaphor, a collection of Joseph Campbell essays (published posthumously in 2001), that speaks directly to the same point.

            A basic methodological principle, to be regarded when mythology is being interpreted in psychological terms, tells us that what is referred to in myth as “other world” is to be understood psychologically as inner world (“the Kingdom of Heaven is within you”), and that what is spoken of as “future” is now. At an Anglican wedding ceremony, I once overheard the minister instruct the couple before him to live their life in such a way as to merit in the next, eternal life. Well yes, I thought, but that is not quite correctly phrased. He really should have said, “Live your life, your marriage, in such a way that in it you may experience eternal life.” Eternity is neither future, nor past, but now. It is not of the nature of time at all, in fact, but a dimension, so to say, of now and forever, a dimension of the consciousness of being that is to be found and experienced within, upon which, when found, one may ride through time and through the whole length of one’s days. What leads to the knowledge of this transpersonal, trans-historical dimension of one’s being and life experience are the mythological archetypes, those eternal symbols that are known to all mythologies and have been forever the support and models of human life.

            One of the most interesting things about the Bible is that every one of the major Old Testament mythological themes has been found by our modern scholars in the earlier Sumero-Babylonian complex: The serpent-god, the tree in the garden of immortal life, the fashioning of mankind from clay, the deluge, and many others. I think, however, of what has happened as a result: Myths that originally had pointed to the goddess as the ultimate source are now pointing to a god!

            This change is highly significant, and it is one of the most baffling things about our tradition. Symbols speak directly to the psyche. One spontaneously knows what they are saying, even if the person presenting and interpreting them may be speaking a different language. He is saying, “This story is telling us of the Father,” while one’s heart is saying, “No, it is of the Mother.” All of our religious symbols are thus speaking to us in double-talk. Since, as even Saint Thomas states in his Summa contra gentiles (book I, chapter 5), “Then alone do we know God truly, when we believe that He is far above all that man can possibly think of God,” it can surely not be proper to think of that which surpasses all human thought either as a male or a female. In our tradition, the problem is further compounded by the image of a male God minus a wife, so that we cannot even think of divinity as transcending and subsuming sexual opposites. This image of the divine is all very psychologically and socially important. As we now well know, this emphatically lopsided representation of the mystery of God was primarily contrived to support the claim of the superiority of the patriarchal conquerors over their matriarchal victims.

            All hail the wannabe war-gods in chief!

            Why are we effed in the head? Why do we make war on everything under the sun–and even under the sea? It’s the mythology! Specifically, the mythology of a cosmic tyrant-engineer, who built the cosmos all by his lonesome, thus making everything in the universe His private property, to dispose with as He sees fit.

            You see, He brought us all into being, the misguided thinking goes, so He can certainly take us out.

            The only way for these believers to get into their heaven is by standing in the proper relationship to the proper authorities of the proper dogma as preached by the proper church. To dissent is to brave the gates of hell themselves.

            Campbell continues:

            How do we achieve, however, the required relationship to Jesus? Through baptism and thereby membership in his Church—that is to say within and by means of a sanctified social context stressing certain exclusive claims. These claims depend for validation upon the historicity of certain specific miracles. The Jewish tradition depends on the notion of special revelation to a singular “chosen” people, in a certain place, and a these circumstances in historical time. The documentation, however, is questionable. Likewise, the Christian tradition is based on the idea of single incarnation, the authentication of which is in the evidence of certain miracles, followed by the founding of a Church and the continuity of this Church through time: every bit of this dogma is also historical.

            That is why our symbols have all been so consistently and persistently interpreted as referring not primarily to our inner selves but to supposed outer historical events. This emphasis may be good for the institution of the Church or the prosperity of the synagogue, but may not at all contribute to the spiritual health of the unconvinced individual. (Joseph Campbel, Thou Art That: transforming religious metaphors, pp.25-26. San Anselmo, CA: New World Library. Copyright © Joseph Campbell Foundation.)

            It’s certainly been very, very good for the governments that have chosen to exploit the power of this and other myths. But all is not lost, not yet.

            If we’re not the toy soldiers of someone else’s war god, nor slaves on the plantations of that same god’s own exclusive landlords here on earth, nor mere automata, either — not just voting machines or appetites on two legs, then what are we?

            Kin, baby, kin!

          8. skippy

            @knowbuddhau… Yep the sun and the moon thingy… What if humanity had to consider, that way back in the dim past, the mentally maligned took over and venerated them selves. Too the point it was heresy and punishable by death.

            Skippy… the original second class human… the female… the fear of their sexual power and ability to create… sigh..

          9. craazyman

            If yuz think about this long enough it shrinks into a point that contains all knowledge in the universe, and you can just look at it and know everything — wordlessly. Laziness is the reward for years of effort. I won’t lie. haha

          10. Aquifer

            craazy – looking at it is one thing, getting it is something else altogether, ISTM … but what the heck do i know, i can’t even read Chinese ….

    1. Aquifer

      Problem – analysis paralysis …

      One caterpillar to the other “Ok, am i following you or are you following me?” Other caterpillar “Hmmm, well to answer that i have to know, in which direction are we heading?” And then the fun begins …

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Forget analysis.

        I want your intutitive answer on this one.

        Do you think one’s body is

        1) a biological empire
        2) a biolgogical democracy
        3) a biological profit-sharing coop
        4) a biological anarchy?

          1. Aquifer

            Ecosystem – a subset of a bigger ecosystem, which in turn is a subset of a bigger ecosystem …

            Or to paraphrase the lady respondent to James – “Sorry sir, it’s no use, it’s ecosystems all the way up …”

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            It would seem that way…many ‘sovereign’ parts, even within one’s brain.

            You never know what is going on in some remote regions there.

  7. Waking Up

    Yves, thanks for the link to the SPCA article in New Zealand. It just so happens that I’m bringing home a rescue dog today from our local Humane Society and I’ll show this link to the volunteers there.

  8. BondsOfSteel

    Jedi is less of a religion than a science. Midi-chlorians are responcible for the Force, not Faith :(

    They can be measured and tested with repeatible results. Argh! I hate the Phantom Menace!

    1. Aquifer

      Ah, but those Midi-chlorians were placed there by the Gods –

      Which reminds me – did anyone ever decide who Anakin’s father was?

      1. ambrit

        I believe Anakin is posited as being a “Virgin Birth” phenomenon. The SW Canon has nothing to say about Tatooine and Temples to the Great Mother and ritual Temple Prostitution.
        As to the quantifiability of midi-chlorian concentrations, this seems to be an artifact of Lucas’ Redactionist Philosophy.

        1. Aquifer

          Yeah, I rather figured that – Lucas being a fan of Campbell and familiar with the timeless motifs which reverberate through the ages – the virgin birth – the life that comes from Mother Earth when visited by Father Sky ….

          Redactionist? Gotta admit, am not familiar with it, but the need for quantifiability sounds quite “reductionist” to me :)

      1. Aquifer

        The Mini-chlorians and the Maxi-chlorians met at a party. One thing led to another and after awhile the Midi-chlorians “appeared”

          1. Aquifer

            THAT is the Great Mystery! The mini-chlorians don’t HAVE ribs!

            However, there are stories that suggest that each sprang from a pad, the minis from the Mini-pad and the Maxis from the Maxi-pad and those, in turn, came from that great i-Pad in the sky …

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            And the i-Pad came from an Apple in the Sky?

            Or was the i-Pad tempted by an Apple in the sky and subseqently was driven out of there?

          3. Aquifer

            Well there it gets a little murky – there are some who think the original Pad came from Kotex, but that is still in litigation …

            As for the Apple in the sky, there is a story that Monsanto tried to fool around with MN, if you know what I mean, ;),:) and was expelled from the garden for disobedience, but that is another story ….

            Strange how all this stuff ties together, though, isn’t it?

        1. ambrit

          Wait a minute there pardner! Are you trying to corrupt us with Marxist Doctrine! (More accurately, Engelian Doctrine. You know, Thesis, Anti-Thesis, Rough draft script.)

          1. Aquifer

            No, I think you misread me, that was not a typo – I MEANT “Maxi-pad”, not “Marxi-pad” …. :)

    1. Aquifer

      I saw the movie and it was clear the author was a Libertarian, heh,heh – the only pol he showed when mentioning a “non psycho” was Ron Paul …

      But I was wondering how does one know if one is a psychopath oneself – or does just the fact that one is wondering exclude one …

      Also, how does one identify a psychopath on-line? This movie wasn’t very helpful there …

      1. skippy

        Glad you pick that up, its been circulating through the Australian Wobblies and Occupy boards. Which then brings me to this video:

        Three Ingredients for Murder: Neuroscientist James Fallon on psychopaths and libertarians

        Skippy… Bit of a conundrum eh… Although nurturing is the key component when viewing out comes it seems. Nurturing and facts…

    1. Aquifer

      Only if he is connected to Woo-Fi

      And interestingly enough, with dogs the bitches seem to be better drivers … :)

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