Links 12/26/12

Happy Boxing Day for all our Commonwealth readers!

Polar bear row splits campaigners BBC

Climate change is big business (for the insurance industry) ars technica

Christmas Trees Around the World Tim Iacono

Missing The Big Japan Story Tim Duy (Mark Thoma)

Civilian deaths in a drone strike spark outrage as Yemen’s government tries to hide what happened Washington Post

Voters back Egyptian constitution BBC

Israel approves another 1,200 settlement units around Jerusalem Guardian

Fueled by Deficit Hysteria, Obama and the Republicans Are Choosing the Path of “Economicide” New Economic Perspectives

FreedomWorks tea party group nearly falls apart in fight between old and new guard Washington Post (Lambert)

Decline in foreclosure backlog may give false hope Palm Beach Post

Foreclosure standstill to be Oregon topic in new year KMTR

New York gunman who killed firefighters left note saying he ‘likes killing people‘ Telegraph

Newspaper Posts Gun Owners’ Names ABC, more specifically: Map: Where are the gun permits in your neighborhood? (bob)

Sen. Boxer proposes deploying National Guard at schools Los Angeles Times (Stoller)

The Fed Has Removed $425 Billion Worth Of Interest Income From The Economy Clusterstock

Records show FBI monitored ‘Anarchist’ Occupy Wall Street protests AFP

But Mr. Ackman, Herbalife Is A Sustainable Pyramid Scheme Seeking Alpha (Michael M. Thomas)

U.S. Holiday Sales Advanced a Marginal 0.7%, SpendingPulse< Says/a> Bloomberg

Poor holiday sales growth greet US retailers Associated Press

ICE Chief Challenges Stock Views of Trading Wall Street Journal

Idled City Airports Are Finding a Second Life as Housing New York Times

Perfect 10? Never Mind That. Ask Her for Her Credit Score. New York Times

Antidote du jour (Lambert):

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


    1. AbyNormal, the first free independent website for researching and reporting prescription drug side effects, has added a Violence Zone to demonstrate and collect data on the links between prescription drugs and violent thoughts and behavior — from mild to suicidal or homicidal.

      “Violence and other potentially criminal behavior caused by prescription drugs are medicine’s best kept secret,” says Dr. David Healy, a world-renowned psychiatrist who has written extensively about the lack of data in evidence-based medicine, including in his latest book, Pharmageddon.

      Healy says this is a global issue, with medical, legal, ethical, and profound public policy dimensions. “Never before in the fields of medicine and law have there been so many events with so much concealed data and so little focused expertise.”

    2. Susan the other

      Funny how antidepressants work sometimes to exaggerate depression. To a level that is intolerable instead of amusing. When hope and expectation turns out to have been just another pretty story most people can handle it, some people even enjoy it. But depression is unpredictable. We have a family member whose life threatening illness threw him into depression and he started taking prozac. Soon after he pulled over to the side of the road, got his gun out of the glove box, and scared himself witless with thoughts of suicide. So he called 911 and said he was afraid he was going to kill himself, blah blah. Short story: they put him in a psychiatric hospital until the prozac worked out of his system but when he said he felt OK and wanted to leave, they said No way. You can’t just tell us you’re fine now, you have to stay here until the doctors are satisfied you won’t hurt anyone or yourself. So he was virtually committed; took him several weeks to get out. We thought it was hilarious that he couldn’t get out. (We’re really not very nice.) I think he did the most rational possible thing: turning himself in for attempted suicide. And the system responded equally rationally.

      1. different clue

        I have had a few depressions . . . and a few rounds of drug treatment sometimes coupled with psychotherapy-etc. Something I read semi-recently matched closely enough my own memory that I will recount my experience in case it may be useful.

        I had no such “paradoxical even-worse depressionary” effects from the good old tricyclic amines. I think I did have a version of such from a modern SSRI. But not entirely, only partly. Here is what I later read can happen. When the SSRI begins to take hold, it doesn’t “undepress” all brain-mind functions smoothly and equally. It “undepresses” the actual brain-mind ENergy levels beFORE it “undepresses” the brain-mind feel-bad levels. So if you feel just as bad, but feel more energy rising to be aboe to act on the feelbad, you just might “do something” about the homicide and/or suicide feelings you were just passively feeling before the SSRI begins to take hold.

        And here’s what I experienced. As the SSRI took hold and I underwent various “rocky adjustment” milestones along the way, I found myself looking more seriously at high bridges, high buildings, etc., thinking . . . ” is this high enough to ‘do the job’? . . . not that I want to ‘do the job’ . . . but if it should become necessary, is this bridge or building high enough to ‘do the job’?” The “returning energy” part of my brain-mind was coming back sooner than the “feel better” part. But eventually the “feel better” functions caught up with the “have more energy” functions.

        So the problem may be one of uneven and mismatched “lifting of depression” of various brain-mind functions out-of-step with eachother. By now the profession should know enough to warn patients about that and describe the problem in detail.

    3. Neo-Realist

      The blogger should go to the killing sprees post on which provides some relevant reasons.

  1. fresno dan

    Civilian deaths in a drone strike spark outrage as Yemen’s government tries to hide what happened Washington Post

    “Within seconds, 11 of the passengers were dead, including a woman and her 7-year-old daughter. A 12-year-old boy also perished that day, and another man later died from his wounds.

    “the Yemeni government initially said that those killed were al-Qaeda militants and that its Soviet-era jets had carried out the Sept. 2 attack. But tribal leaders and Yemeni officials would later say that it was an American assault and that all the victims were civilians who lived in a village near Radda, in central Yemen. U.S. officials last week acknowledged for the first time that it was an American strike.”

    “We don’t attack in populated areas,” said an Obama administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of discussing the U.S. airstrikes here. “We don’t go after people in dwellings where we don’t know who everyone is. We work very hard to minimize the collateral damage.
    “Having said all that, like any programs managed and operated by human beings, mistakes happen. We are not perfect.”

    Because the Yemenis, with their submarine launched MIRVed and MARVed intercontinential thermonuclear weapons, pose an existenttial threat to the US.

    What’s that? The Yemenis don’t have submarines? They don’t have MIRVs? They don’t have MARVs?
    Their navy consists of one rowboat?
    Oh! Well, than maybe we should reconsider blowing up little girls over there…

    “Since the attack, militants in the tribal areas surrounding Radda have gained more recruits and supporters in their war against the Yemeni government and its key backer, the United States. The two survivors and relatives of six victims, interviewed separately and speaking to a Western journalist about the incident for the first time, expressed willingness to support or even fight alongside AQAP, as the al-Qaeda group is known.”

    1. dearieme

      You don’t need drones to kill lots of inoffensive civilians: Clinton used conventional weapons to kill plenty of Serb civilians.

      1. CB

        I’ve come to believe the whole point is to keep the pot boiling and increased resistance perfectly suits the American war machine’s agenda. Manufactured crises “requiring” military responses.

  2. ambrit

    Re. “Perfect Ten?”…
    I didn’t know whether to believe the article until I realized that the sample used was ” fifty daters across the country, all under the age of Forty.” Well now, that’s a representative sample of Americas’ population, isn’t it.
    The concerns shown by the “credit score question” perfectly mirror the old fashioned “middle class” preoccupation with “the ability to support our [daughter or son] in the style which [he or she] is accustomed to.” It seems the fear of “Fortune Hunters” is alive and well.

    1. JTFaraday

      Why would anyone want their kid to marry someone who wants to borrow a lot of money? Sounds like a disqualifying question to me.

      1. different clue

        If “someone” wants to borrow a lot of money, that would certainly be a “disqualifying” answer to me, if I had a kid.
        If my kid (if I had a kid) wanted to marry a “let’s borrow!” person anyway, I would wish my kid all the best and let the kid know that I would provide zero support if Mr. and Mrs. Kid got into trouble due to spousal borrowing.
        Let the kid know ahead of time that I see no sense in flushing money down the Darwin Gopher Hole.

        Of course I would still give Mr. and Mrs. Kid all the love and free advice they could ever want.

        1. YankeeFrank

          Soulless wankers. Money is a secondary issue when it comes to relationships, unless you are a materialistic tool. There are all sorts of reasons people have weak credit scores, only one of which is that they are uncontrollable profligates. The idea that one should decide who to date/marry based on a credit score is so pathetic I can’t imagine NOT barfing in your face if I met you.

          And, I should add, that in our society today its your patriotic duty to take as much credit as you can and then default on it in order to bring down the criminal banking cartels. Its a matter of taking a principled stand versus being a collaborator with the enemy.

          Thanks for showing us what tools you are.

          1. different clue

            Thank you for your interest in my comment. I am always happy to hear from you. Please let me know if you have any other concerns.

          2. JTFaraday

            Oh, please. The article we’re responding to is about people who ask for your credit score on the first date. If someone asks you for your credit score on the first date, asking them why they even want to know is the only rational response, and assuming they’re asking because they intend to borrow a lot of money seems like a good guess to me.

            Go read it before you lift your hind leg! As for your plan to deliberately trash your partner’s score, on principle, well, that’s not going to be for everyone either.

            At this rate, people start telling their kids to just stay home.

          3. different clue

            To JTFaraday actually . . .

            You are correct. I really should have read the article first. With all the random arbitrary things which affect a so-called “credit score”, such as even reducing you number of credit cards; “credit score” is no measure of anyone’s resistance or susceptibility to putting themselves into debt-danger.

  3. from Mexico

    @ “Missing The Big Japan Story”

    This is an important story because it is prima facie evidence that knocks the legs out from under the Zimbawe emotionalism being whipped up by the austerians.

    When the private sector is deleveraging, monetary policy alone is insufficient to spur on inflation, aggregate demand and economic growth.

    Will it be necessary for the United States to reinvent the wheel, languishing 20 years with economic no-growth or contraction to learn what Japan has already learned?

    1. rjs

      the problem we have is with the nomenclature used in discussing these policy issues…we talk of borrowing and debt, which have negative connotations, and the auterians talk of balancing the budget, which is a clever use of the language, as everyone thinks “balance” is something we should strive for, as if it were a virtue…

      we really need new words to describe government note, bill, & bond issuance, because the nature of a government issue is closer to creating the money needed for the economy to function than it is to what the public & the airheaded congresscritters think of as “debt”…obviously, obama suffers from the same delusion, often saying that the government is like a household and should also tighten its belt when times are tough…& the mistake they’re all making is what’s costing us this prolonged & deep recession…

    2. Susan the other

      I’m really enjoying this Japan story too. If you combine monetary with fiscal you almost have MMT. Think maybe Japan is also being realistic about China – how can Japan compete with a giant state-run economy setting policy unless they (Japan) dispense with the fiction of the free market?

    3. financial matters

      Yes, and hopefully spend the money productively which is at the heart of MMT. As Micheal Hudson elaborates in ‘Trade, Development and Foreign Debt’ 1992, Chaper 17 ‘Keynesian Income Approaches to the Balance of Payments’

      “More income will not spur output or achieve balance in the international accounts unless existing bottlenecks are alleviated and social-economic life is restructured in less polarized and less debt-ridden ways.”

      also of interest (same chapter)

      “in the 1920’s more money was to be made by financial speculation (largely with borrowed funds) than through new direct investment in plant and equipment. This led Keynes to oppose the stock market in general.”

    4. Hypothetical_Taxpayer

      Whew. That is certainly a relief about Japan finally getting serious about fixing inflation after all these years. I’ve noticed the price of Hondas and Toyotas have dropped to almost nothing. Tim Duy is a pretty sharp guy for picking up on that one.

      BTW, Zim must be a thriving country by now? Has anyone heard? I haven’t been following it – but last I heard they are one of those sovereign countries so there is no reason they wouldn’t be, I guess. Probably no reason to check it out. I’ll just assume everything is OK there.

      1. different clue

        Mugabe and the ZANU Mugabite Scum are still in basic control there. Who knows how Modern Munnytary Theory would work out for Zimbabwe if the burden of supporting the ZANU Mugabite Scum were somehow incinerated?

      2. Lambert Strether

        Oh, cute. Now “ZOMG!!!! Zimbabwe!!!!!” is to be accorded such legitimacy as an argument that a monikor has been devised for it! Smooth move! What next? “Wei”?

        * * *

        Heritage? AEI? Mercatus? I need work, can you give me some contacts where I can send my resume?

        1. Hypothetical_Taxpayer

          I think you have to contact Muggy if you want a paid contract for Zim research.

          I wasn’t interested, but I am trying to find out who paid Tim Duy for the Honda and Toyota price research.

        2. Kurt Sperry

          Putting Zimbabwe on the “trigger words” list here could only raise the level of discourse.

          After this post of course.

      3. from Mexico

        @ Hypothetical_Taxpayer

        You employ flippancy as a diversion to avoid any serious examination of your beliefs, which although confused, incoherent and massively ficticious, you nevertheless cling to as if they were a lifeboat in turbulent waters.

        At the heart of your beliefs is a confusion of correlation with causality. For the reality is this: Zimbawe’s monetary crisis was not the cause of the nation’s economic problems, but the result of them.

        Your confusion might be due to the embrace of neoclassical economic dogma, Say’s Law (which Keynes demonstrated to be empirically false, but nevertheless is the doctrine upon which neoclassical economics lives or dies), and the barter model of money. In this model of money, products are paid for with products, and money is believed not to be fundamentally different from products.

        Your confusion might also be caused by the embrace of a theory of money that is closely related to the neoclassical theory of money, but is equally as ficticious: the Austrian model of money. In the Austrian model, production cannot be enhanced by manipulation of the money supply.

        Here in Mexico there is a saying: Sin dinero, no hay nada. (Without money, there is nothing.) But the saying is a distortion. A far more accurate saying would be: Without production, there is nothing.

        As a study by the Dallas Fed explains, the problems for agrigculturaly-dependent Zimbawe began with periods of drougt in 1999. Aagricultural output fell 50 percent
        between 2000 and 2009, led by a decline in the country’s major foreign-exchange cash crop, tobacco, which slid 64 percent in 2008 from 2000 levels (Chart 3). Commercial production of maize, the national staple, dropped 76 percent during the same time (FAOSTAT Database 2011). In 2006 Zimbabwe had run up substantial overdue obligations to the IMF’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility and Exogenous Shocks Facility Trust, which were denominated and had to be paid in US dollars.

        As the Fed report explains, besides the persistent droughts there were also some policy decisions that contributed to the decline in agricultural production.

        The government also made some misteps in fiscal policy, spending money on veterans pensions and Congo’s civil war at the same time agricultural production was imploding. But these amounted to only a few percentage points of GDP, and paled in comparison to the fact that the country’s agrigultural production had fallen into oblivion.

        With a shrinking tax base and revenue that could not
        support expenditures and obligations, the government
        printed money, monetizing its spending. Currency lost value
        at exponential rates amid an imbalance between
        economic output and the increasing money supply
        (Chart 5). From 2007 to 2008, the local legal tender lost more than 99.9 percent of its value (Hanke 2008).

        1. Hypothetical_Taxpayer

          I guess I’ll never again say something like

          “Zim must be a thriving country by now? Has anyone heard? I haven’t been following it – but last I heard they are one of those sovereign countries so there is no reason they wouldn’t be, I guess. Probably no reason to check it out. I’ll just assume everything is OK there”

          as a way of saying I’ve bothered to get up to speed on all things ZIM. Guess that means I get to be a strawman for any statement you care to put in my mouth.

          Actually, whenever I hear of hyperinflation anywhere I usually assume without doing any research that the money printing was touched off in response to some other event.

          So I guess you are saying there is still drought in ZIM after 12 years and they didn’t get better yet, and maybe ZIM money has nothing to do with output, or maybe money does have something to do with output. Then there is always that IMF problem of paying off dollar money loans again. Shit. Wonder how that happens all the time.

          Maybe the clarity of economics could reduce my confusion here. But probably not. 30 years of biz, and reading econ and finance indicates to me this is not an area to look for clarity.

          BTW: Whenever I want to learn about international finance, I read what international bond fund managers have to say, or what forex traders have to say. I’ll just throw that out there to let you and any other blog commenters know that I may not swallow everything you have to post , hook line and sinker. So you can save your pontifications for someone brand new to the planet.

    5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Our wealth pyramid is upside down and printing more money or government spending just makes it a bigger upside down pyramid, like this: ∇.

      Printing more pigeon money —-> make the 0.01% fatter.

      More government stimulating —–> flows through the government, bid-winning corporation, and then workers.

      A simpler way: Wealth tax. Take from the 0.01% and give to the 99.99%. They (the 99.99%) can start their companies and trickle what’s left to the existig corporations and local governments.

      Notice this flow of money is the exact reverse of governmet stimulating.

      An even simpler way: GDP sharing. Here the government is just a Mac and computes the quarterly GDP/capita and everyone gets one check for the same amount. I know, I know, brain surgeons getting paid the same as a dishwasher? How DARE THEY????????????????????????

      Well, on every medical school application there is a self confession about becoming a doctor not to enrich oneself, but to help others.

      In any case, there is your ultimate small government – minimal government intrusion except to calculate our paychecks.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        By the way, we need to find our natural rate of GDP growth – that is, growth when we are not manipulated into fulfilling our desires, rather than our needs (Century of the Self), real growth not driven by bankster greed.

        That economy is a lot smaller than today’s, one would suspect.

        Under GDP sharing, people work at what makes them happy. Real jobs. Meaningful jobs. And if we’re poor, we are equally poor. Today, our society’s problem is one of wealth inequality. We have enough wealth, on the whole. We just need to distribute it better.

        AND PLEASE, STOP THE RELENTLESS ATTACKS ON NATURE by trying to stimualate the eoconomy excessively – we need to find the ‘natural state’ of our economy.

        The economy can stay where it is at. We can all be happier when the upside down pyramid is right-side up, keeping the size the same (or even smaller – mathematically it’s possible that the 99.99% are better off, even with that).

        SO, I would say, no to more pigeon money print.

        No to government stimulating.

        Yes to wealth tax.

        Yes to GDP Sharing.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          They want you to talk about fiscal stimulating so as to avoid talking about a wealth tax.

          That’s divide and conquer. Divide the 99.99% from Nature through more growth and attacking Nature. Conquer both. Shift attention awayfrom the 0.01%

    6. j.s.nightingale

      >”Of course, in lieu of tax cuts or increases in transfers the government could increase spending on current goods and services or even acquire existing real or financial assets”.

      So if roads, bridges and trains are not to Congressional taste, we could spend the new money on nationalizing a bunch of TBTF banks. Then manage them down to bathtub size, as it were.

  4. Hugh

    Re the NEP post, it isn’t Obama and the Republicans. It’s Obama, the Democrats, and the Republicans, both parties, our political classes in other words, who are in on this. They are not fueled by “deficit hysteria”. They work for the kleptocrats. Deficit reduction is just the current cover for looting vast areas of the government, and us. They are not being foolish or delusional, merely criminal. That said, I like that Hoexter includes wealth inequality in his discussion as well as addressing the productivity issue.

    As for the Christmas sales numbers, anyone remember all the Black Friday and Cyber Monday hoo-hah? It seems like this happens every year. Round one: The media hype the usually overblown holiday sales numbers they get from the retail trade groups. The character of our holidays is distorted, lost, and transmorgrified into opportunities for consumer binges. But such bingeing requires money or the willingness to add on even more expensive debt, and the 99% have been stripped clean. So the second series of numbers disappoint. This leads inevitably to Round two where the after Christmas sales and their “bargains” are pushed. This leads to a softening of the disappointing sales numbers, at least in the media. By the time any real final numbers are in, we’re into February and the news cycle has moved on.

    The Egypt constitution vote is noteworthy simply because it shows that it isn’t simply in the US where voters ratify false and rotten choices that work against their interests. Indeed the Arab Spring illustrates a central truth of and danger to revolutions, that they are most often co-opted by groups as authoritarian and anti-democratic as those the revolutions overthrew, you know “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss” syndrome.


    My Christmas Wish has come true! I just commented on Yves’ NC Now We Are Six post that I’d love to hear more from Michael M. Thomas, and TODAY HE’S RECOMMENDED A LINK to a pyramid scheme expose.

    I feel reassured hearing from Mr Thomas. When I was young, and a disillusioned MBA working on Wall Street, Mr Thomas was there, explaining how Lehman Brothers had lost its way.

    That helped me find mine. Thank you Mr Thomas.

    1. Klassy!

      It was you. I read the link and thought “is this the Michael Thomas a commenter wanted to hear more from?”.

      1. DANNYBOY

        Yes, it was.

        Michael Thomas was on to this scheme and said so for more than 30 years. His observations about Lehman (again 30 years ago) draw a straight line to their demise.

        He wrote of the government for the benefit of the few, at the expense of the many. Of those feeding from the government trough with their snouts. This helped a young man, who’d found himself in their midst.

        Even now, I can hear Mr Thomas’ words describing his newcomer neighbors in our once beloved Sag Harbor:

        “Gimme dat!”

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          DB, the “sustainable Pyramid scheme” is what AMWAY always has been. Don’t you wonder why P&G “never could prove” that AMWAY was a Pyramid scheme?

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            No all pyramids are bad.

            Upside down wealth pyramids bad.

            Right-side up wealth pyramids good.

          2. DANNYBOY

            Intuitively, everyone must know that upside down pyramids are bad. I can attest, having studied at Giza Necropolis.

            And confirmed my findings watching Secrets of the Pyramids on TV (but no Secrets were disclosed on television, to my great disappointment).

          3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Our uside down wealth pyramid can be righted via a wealth tax.

            The unstable pyramid can be held up with fiscal stimulus on one side and pigeon money printing on the other.

          4. DANNYBOY

            I took a longer view. I was amazed and impressed with the artifacts in the Cairo museum;I hadn’t realized just how “advanced” the ancient Egyptions were, including brain surgery and jewelry with a ‘modern’ asthetic. It was then that I realized that advanced cultures fall and devolve (all I needed to see that was a step out on to the street).

            Now I see the US situation differently.

            Hardly related, but I know folks like interesting links”

  6. alchemist

    Excellent Dick Armey is getting thrown out of Freedom Works!

    Maybe Freedom Works will be about freedom after all!

    1. Lambert Strether

      What I find amazing is that Armey takes over a winger foundation at gunpoint, and holds onto it until a winger billionaire writes him a check, and this isn’t the headline in Pravda.

      I also find it amazing that Armey takes over a winger foundation at gunpoint, and the staffers keep working away and didn’t walk out, as if the “leadership transition” had been perfectly normal.

      Sure, FreedomWorks is a joke, albeit a sick one, but what happens if some copycat takes over AEI — which is, one might remember, a “deployable organization”? Or, for that matter, some copycat out of the Air Force academy takes over some nukes in Colorado? Do the staff just keep working away?

      1. different clue

        Isn’t that what staff normally do? Isn’t that what Stanley Kubrick was satirizing by showing how all the staff
        under that Renegade Air Force General just kept staffing away, flying their planes into Russia, etc.?

  7. Jennifer

    What happened to Boxer? I don’t live in CA and I guess I have not been paying close attention but did she just dive off into the deep or has she always been there?

    1. Hugh

      California certainly has no lock on terrible Senators, but it does say something that such a supposedly progressive state keeps re-electing a corrupt, conservative egomaniac like Feinstein and, there is no other way to put this, a “ditz” like Boxer.

      1. different clue

        Doesn’t the Limousine Liberal Pelosi and the Perrier Progressives who keep re-electing her say pretty much the same thing?

        “Impeachment is off the table” will go down (and I do mean DOWN in history) as Pelosi’s “Ford Pardon’s Nixon” moment. And her latte-lapping liberal perrier progressive constituents loved her for it.

    2. Butch in Waukegan

      The idea that fear, violence, and the threat of violence are the only things that can protect the citizenry is dominant at both ends of our deliberately constricted political spectrum.

      From the article:

      “The slaughter of the innocents must stop,” [Boxer] said. “We must keep our schools safe by utilizing all of the law enforcement tools at our disposal.”

      Meanwhile, Lew Rockwell, putative Libertarian (quoted at Max Keiser), weighs in with a paragraph beginning:

      No sane person could possibly believe that that drugged-out little punk who murdered all those children in Connecticut would have even contemplated, let alone succeeded, in doing what he did if there were two armed security guards at the entrance of that elementary school.

      Rockwell’s closing sentence in that same paragraph:

      Totalitarian control is only possible in a disarmed society, as the Nazis and communists demonstrated in the twentieth century.

      Freedom is slavery.

      1. optimader

        First of all, recognize that Lew Rockwell trolls a point of view to collect donations from a mostly affluent southern conservative bible thumper fringe(as he has so much as conceded in an email to me a few years ago when I challenged him on some flaky post-back when I occasionally read his blog). Consequently, most any occasionally sensible observations he may offer (say: unwinding our imperial/corporate military)is overwhelmingly drowned out by fantastically flaked out noise.

        The Premise: “Totalitarian control is only possible in a disarmed society, as the Nazis and communists demonstrated in the twentieth century.” is a logical muddle when tested in historical context.

        1.) I think he needs to read up on post WWI Germany, to understand why the German civilian population by in large were not interested in “overthrowing” the Nazis. No doubt in the full course of time, had the the Nazis prevailed w/a negotiated armistice much earlier, it still would not have ended well for the Nazi because what they offered was clearly a unsustainable model and an “armed” civilian population would have been irrelevant . So bad example by L Rockwellon on two counts.

        2.) As well, LR needs to read up on the military failures and civilian stewardship failure that resulted in the collapse of the Czarist monarchy into a revolution which shifted Military power to the Red Army. The Bolsheviks WERE the proletariat, and they overthrew the Czarist regime by force of will and migration of military support. Civilian posession of a pallet of bullets in the basement and a Bushmaster was quite irrelevant. As far as the efficacy of any subsequent “civilian gun control” in the Soviet Union, how did that turn out for the Communists? Another bad example by LR on two counts.

        3.) A third, and little discussed but obvious object lesson in this discussion of the neccesity of an “armed militia” is the fall of the Pahlavi’s Peakcock Throne -the Shah of Iran. In recent modern times, this is an stark example lesson of an comparatively disarmed civilian population that nonetheless overthrew a totalitarian government bristling to a unique extent with the best of the best weaponry the US Government could shill for our corporate merchants of death. the Shah had teh best money could buy, yet he was overthrown by an essentially unarmed mob.

        In the relevant cases, destabilizing and overthrowing what appear to be overwhelmingly entrenched regimes has more to do with the will of the people (ultimatly who are military cannon fodder drawn from after all?) than relative firepower.
        The notion that the paranoid gunfreaks in this country have the potential to self organize into a “militia” to overthrow the US Government is an absurd fantasy. Who are they going to shoot?? Maybe innocent people and “militias” of a different flavor (see file: Somalia)?. One thing you can be certain of, ANY “militia” insurrection against the standing US Government that does not have the tacit endorsement of the US military and agencies of Law Enforcement will be quickly turn into a red aerosol. Being armed for the purpose of consolidating a consensus fro regieme change amonst the US civilian population and ultimately the US Military is irrelevant to the point of probalby being counterproductive.

        1. different clue

          The Bolsheviks didn’t overthrow the Czarist regime, did they? I thought they overthrew the Kerensky regime which took over after the Czar abdicated and no new Czar was named.

          How much of the proletariat supported the Leninites? And how much opposed them (Kronstadt Mutiny and so forth)? And where did the peasantariat come down on all this?

          1. optimader

            1.)I’ll rephrase..”The Bolsheviks WERE the proletariat, and they overthrew the Czarist regime by force of will and migration of military support.

            ..”The Bolsheviks WERE the proletariat. The proletariat overthrew the Czarist regime by force of will and the eventual migration of military support.”

            The distinction without a difference is that the Czar was overthrown (ok advised to abdicate by his unempowered Duma) by virtue of the overwhelming and spontaneous civilian demonstrations against the monarchy -not as a result of an “armed militia”.

            …thought they overthrew the Kerensky regime which took over after the Czar abdicated and no new Czar was named.

            2.) the Kerensky “regime” maybe better called provisional government was the placemarker of the Imperial Russian Duma until the Bolsheviks consolidated military power and rather quickly disposed of him. At the highest level, Imperial Russian Monarchy was replaced by the Communists and the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic which evolved into the USSR, or what is referred to in Russian jokes as the failed 74 year experiment between Imperialism and Democracy.

            The point is, the regime change did not hinge a “militia” armed with personal assault weapons. What was relevant were the civilian demonstrations and the realignment of the military allegiance.

        2. Roland

          Don’t forget that many of the most loyal and zealous cadres of the Romanov regime were killed during the Great War. Young army officers drawn from the rural gentry were the backbone of the regime, but the bravest of them were left dead on battlefields in Poland and Galicia.

          The armies of the Central Powers indirectly and unwittingly served as an armed vanguard of revolution in Russia. The fiasco of the Great War not only fatally discredited the Tsar’s government, it also physically degraded the ability of the regime to hold power.

    3. sd

      Boxer went over to the dark side some time ago. The first evidence was when she stepped in to back Lieberman over Lamont whom Connecticut Democratic party members had chosen. There was no reason for Boxer to get involved and yet she did.

      It’s been down hill since.

      Politicians get to Washington and they quickly forget what it means to be middle class (a clear example being Washington’s excitement over tax cuts for those making under $250,000 while median income in America is in the $50,000 range).

      The Age of Aquarius morphed into Age of Hyper Narcissism – L’Etat C’est Moi Le Roi.

  8. Jim Haygood

    ‘Where are the gun permits in your neighborhood?’

    If the objective were to impart information about policy, it would have been sufficient just to show the distribution of dots on the Google maps.

    But no, the Journal News (a Gannett paper which serves New York’s northern suburbs) had to post names and addresses, setting up some of these folks for future burglaries by criminals who can’t get pistol permits.

    Die, MSM, die!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The intention may be good, but that’s not right.

      Do we publish privacy information about smokers then?

      Do we publish about dismissed cops? HOw about disciplined teachers? The list can go on forever.

      1. Lambert Strether

        How I feel. The newspaper shouldn’t have done it. What next? Foul-mouthed bloggers of the left?

        * * *

        I understand there’s an argument to be made for transparency here, but (a) You first! and (b) we all know that the transparency will only go so far before privileged classes are exempted from it.

    2. different clue

      If these “outed” homeowners are afraid of being burglarized, perhaps they could load their guns with a special kind of “explodey” rounds which explode in the guns and hands of anyone firing the gun . . . if such rounds exist. Then they could put their guns in a “logically burglarizable” place for burglars to find.

      Or they could coat their guns with a mixture of ricin and dimethylsulfoxide . . . IF! they can themselves handle the ricin-DMSO mix verrrry carefully.

      1. bob

        robbery, larceny, tresspassing and assult are NOT a license to kill, even in your own house. There has to be a credible belief that yours, or somone elses life is in imminent danger. Setting deadly traps is a ticket to fewer family members/neighbors and then a long trip to jail.

    3. bob

      It was a TERRIBLE idea. Aside from the obvious targeting by burglars, there is also-

      Subsets of “handgun permit holders”

      Cops/law enforcement
      Battered women/men families

      That story and map will have effects for years to come.

      Will the paper print follow up stories on strong arm robberies/assults at these addresses?

    4. Lidia

      Wait a minute, aren’t gun supporters generally advocates of open carry? (In that case anyone can publicly ID you and follow you to your house). And don’t gun supporters generally cite—as a reason for household guns—burglars’ supposition that a householder MIGHT have a gun to DETER burglaries?

      On the one hand, you’re saying that owning a gun that you keep at home makes you more safe, but at the same time it makes you more of a target. Which is it??

  9. Jagger

    “Israel approves another 1,200 settlement units” —-

    This is the reason we don’t have peace in Israel. The moment you have peace, you can’t just take someone else’s land and build another 1200 settlement units. No peace until Israel has all the lebensraum their heart desires and their military might can take.

    1. Cynthia

      Looking at this map of the world’s religions, one could easily conclude that Jews will soon be overtaken by either Christians or Muslims:

      But this is far from being the case. Thanks to the Zionist state of Israel and its very rich and powerful supporters across the globe, Western and Israeli Jews have successfully duped American Christians into fighting, dying and going broke for them.

      What Americans and Palestinians share in common is that they are both under Israeli occupation. The difference is that all of the latter know this and most of the former haven’t a clue.

      1. different clue

        I wonder whether America’s Rapturanian Armageddonite Christians aren’t supporting the expansion side of Israeli society preCISEly in ORder to proDUCE this result ON PURPOSE and with MAlice aFOREthought.

        If the Darby-CUFIists can maneuver Israel into the War of Armageddon, they think that Christ will then return to rule the Earth for a Thousand Years. So perhaps we are under CUFI Rapturanian Armageddonite Occupation? And Israel is under CUFI Rapturanian Armageddonite guidance?

  10. craazyman

    Channeling Santa Claus

    I Wonder If:

    Silvio Berlusconi got a biography of Savanarola for Christmas
    if Jans Weidmann got a first edition of Mein Kampf
    if Tim Geithner got a pre-employment bonus of $50 million from Citibank and a can of shaving cream (the foamy kind)
    if Spain got a donkey and a pancho, provided they apply for a bailout by New Year’s Day
    if Ben Bernanke got a John Law wig from Mario Draghi (just as a gag hahahahah!!!!)
    if Angela Merkel got a Ouija Board (don’t touch it Angie, God knows what doors you’ll open. :O)
    if Herman Von Rumpoy got a Nigel Farage voodoo doll with stick pins and sledge hammer (it makes me nervous thinking about that)
    if Santa got a snowmaking machine now that global warming is melting the workshop snowpack (does Santa give himself gifts? how does that work? Does it work like mark-to-model bank capital, ka-chiiing!)
    if MMT got a Jungian Mandala to contemplate alongside the owl (whoa! too subtle. Santa isn’t that subtle).
    if Thomas Jefferson got a year’s supply of xanax to help him cope, looking down upon us from on high. how long is a year where there’s no time?
    if everybody who deserves it got a little more time to waste doing nothing but drifting in their minds alone — that would be nice, really.

    1. Hypothetical_Taxpayer

      good questions craazy. some of these i haven’t even wondered about yet. except the one about tim, of course.

      i do have the answer about santa bank. santa used to worry about reserves. but then he invented the credit card and you aren’t required to have reserves for those. then he realized that if he appreciated his elves and reindeer twice as much, he could double santa bank’s capital and buy two snow machines as long as he repoed a few elves as collateral.

      it’s all done with mirrors. even on the north pole.

    2. Susan the other

      Santa self medicates so he gave himself his usual generous gift of a year’s supply of amanita muscaria, to get through the depressing summer and next year’s sleigh ride.

  11. leftover

    Re: Newspaper Posts Gun Owners names…
    Posting that map, for anyone who purports to be a journalist, is shameful behavior. Innocent, law abiding citizens should not be made potential targets for extremist or criminal behavior simply because they exist.

    Shame on NC for reproducing it here.

    1. JTFaraday

      Does posting necessarily imply approval? After all, the ABC article starts out “A newspaper in New York has received a wave of criticism…”

      Something can be news even if you don’t happen to like it.

      OTOH, with reference to the map as opposed to the publication of the names, to which one might construct an objection, surely the public has every right to know if their neighborhood is blanketed with guns.

      1. JTFaraday

        Remember that story about the guy who shot his cousin? Maybe today’s helicopter parents are right that they have to hover over their kids every second, just in case their neighbors are home:

        “An 8-year-old girl in New Sewickley Township, Pa., dressed for Halloween in a black costume and a black hat with a white feather was shot over the weekend by her cousin who thought she was a skunk.

        In a statement Monday, New Sewickley Township Chief of Police Ronald Leindecker said the girl was at a Halloween bonfire at a family member’s home around 10 p.m. The girl, whose name has not been released, was said to have been playing on a hillside when the home’s owner, Janet Grant, mistook her for the noxious pest.

        Police said Grant then asked her son, Thomas Grant, who police said was the victim’s cousin, to shoot the pest.”

    2. Eureka Springs

      Arkansas legislature passed a bill a couple years back which made gun permit data unavailable to the public online or by phone, iirc. I think one may still walk in one office in the capitol city and pay for this sort of information in person. Of course someone like myself would have to drive over eight hours to do so.

      I argued then that gov’t shouldn’t spend taxpayer money on such a database or maintain it if the information is kept from the very public who pay for it. Nor should a citizen have to pay for it twice if/when they go through so much trouble to drive down and get it.

      As for Boxer, I’ve been laughing all week at the so-called liberals who howl at the moon over NRA, while slurring the vague term “gun nuts” like it’s the new N word and every gun owner falls into that category…. all while their beloved progressive dem senators are suggesting we need to militarize schools with Nation Guard instead of providing local armed security. So the choice is more guns, or more guns in schools. But it’s the NRA’s fault!

      As I said last week – In a sea of absurdity, I choose the NRA. Since the CT shooting, this has never been a discussion or intent of nonviolence.

      1. Lambert Strether

        Let me clear up the vagueness:

        Gun nut. n. One whose self-actualization depends on owning, discharging, or fondling firearms.

        * * *

        Self actualization being at the top of Maslow’s hierarchy….

        * * *

        This definition may be helpful in distinguishing between the over-lapping but not identical classes of gun nuts, gun advocates, and gun owners.

        Notice that a lot of the rationalization for gun ownership to support Constitutional Government is just that, rationalization. I mean, after NDAA, the “kill list,” domestic drones… I’m a non-violence advocate, so I don’t support the reasoning, but in their own terms, gun advocates should have struck whatever blow they imagined they were going to strike against tyranny long ago. So, it’s really all back to self-actualization, cloaked with a claim to public purpose long since shown to be threadbare.

    1. rjs

      this is what you get:

      1. An identified as of October planned to en Iacks .196
      against protestors in Houston, Texas, if deemed necessary. An indentifiedl had ib7C
      received intelligence that indicated the protesters in New York and Seattle planned similar protests in
      Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin, Texas. lanned to gather intelligence against
      the leaders of the protest groups and obtain photographs, then formulate a plan to kill the leadership via
      suppressed sniper rifles. (Note: protests continued throughout the weekend with approximately 6000
      persons in NYC. “Occupy Wall Street” protests have spread to about half of all states in the US, over a
      dozen European and Asian cities, including protests in Cleveland l0/6-8/1 1 at Willard Park which was
      initially attended by hundreds of protestersSE-CR

      1. Neo-Realist

        Is this “hangout” of sorts a message to the movements for change that there is no hope since we’ve got you covered?

      1. rjs

        To: Jacksonville From: Jacksonville b7A
        Re: 10/19/2011 b7E

        interested in developing a long–term plan to kill local Occupy leaders
        via sniper fire.

    2. NCS death squads

      Wow, official documentary evidence of a plan and conspiracy for extrajudicial killings! This is a job for the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, . The template for submission of a complaint is here, .

      If international scrutiny does pry some facts loose, I bet we’ll find that the threat came from NCS cutouts in the white-supremacist subculture, like the gangs that corrections officers join. That way John Bennett can lie to Clapper with a straight face when he splits Scott Olsen’s skull.

  12. joebhed

    On the BI posting by Mike Norman.
    While MMT says that the CB is a public entity,here MN continues to decry the fact that Fed open-market Treasury purchases are removing the interest income ‘from the private sector’ and returning them to the people via Fed-Treasury transfer.
    The only question that should be on people’s minds is whether the $80 Billion annual is better spent by the taxpayer than by the millionaires holding the Treasuries.
    Since MMT proponents strongly advocate for ‘FICA taxpayer relief’, isn’t reducing the Treasuries interest payments ‘revenue requirement’ from the taxpayers the SAME as reducung the FICA tax burden?
    So, please explain why MMT is chanmpionuing the One-Percent rather than supporting the Restofus?

    1. Hugh

      Not sure I follow you. If you go the MMT route, you can cover new deficits without debt by issuing fiat and pay off existing debt/Treasuries as it comes due the same way. FICA is a regressive tax on workers. It could be made progressive or done away with altogether and financed via fiat.

      One of the reasons that I use a resources approach rather than MMT is that MMT leaves the impression that it is creating resources out of nothing. A resources approach makes clear that fiat issuance leads to a redistribution of resources, not a creation of any.

      1. joebhed

        Yes the MMT route ‘implies’ the ability to do that, but when was the last time you saw the mechanics of this:
        ” you can cover new deficits without debt by issuing fiat and pay off existing debt/Treasuries as it comes due the same way.” actually laid out.

        That’s what we COULD do – not issue debt – were it not for the legal requirement to issue public debt today, rather than being able to spend the fiat into existence as you explain. Can’t do that now.

        Norman is obviously in favor of the existence of the public debt (not in eliminating it) and the ‘monetary asset’ that the debt represents, and the paying, by the taxpaying public, of the interest on that debt, so that the private sector debt-holders can accumulate even more monetary assets.

        My point has to do with the MMT posit that we should eliminate FICA as a means to increase money held/spent by the public, while Norman decries the loss of the interest payments BY the taxpaying public – NOT TO THE GOVERNMENT but to the private holders of the monetary asset that the publc debt represents.

        The claim that MMT is about money for the public purpose does not square with it’s penchant for increasing the money-asset-holdings of the private sector.

        If the object of eliminating FICA is to increase aggregate demand to our GDP potential, then why do we not support eliminating taxpayer interest payments to the same end?

        MMT is too monetary-asset-centric.
        Your point about fiat monetary issuance being more ‘resource distributive’ than resource creation is spot on, and closely aligned to the thinking of Soddy on the real nature of money.

  13. Eureka Springs

    Despite the fact the Egyptian Constitution reads like a neoliberal religious document (IMF, US neoliberal, Muslim Brotherhood hybrid dream document), despite the fact it was rushed through and many long ago left the negotiations, I keep asking myself how can a country ratify a constitution (with a straight face) with less than one third of eligible voters casting a vote at all? Shouldn’t that level of turnout be considered a super majority rejecting it? One would think the bare minimum would be over 50 percent support by half or more of eligible voters. Shouldn’t there at least be a slot on this type of ballot which insists upon beginning anew?

    Of course the US Constitution was never put before voters at all.

    1. Roland

      Low turnout may have partly resulted from opposition calls for a boycott of the vote.

      I look at it this way: less than two years after the revolution, Egyptians have managed to have parliamentary and presidential elections, plus a constitutional referendum, while few people have been killed and there have been no mass arrests. Good show, so far.

      I am careful not to underestimate Morsi, after I saw how quickly he managed to eliminate Field-Marshal Tantawi from the political scene.

  14. kevinearick

    Welcome 2 Kville

    Plank: [I]t is impossible to obtain an adequate version of laws for which we are looking unless the physical system is regarded as a whole.

    Darwin: Animals manifestly enjoy excitement and suffer from ennui…and many exhibit curiosity.

    Restak: The second approach – the one that predominates in contemporary psychology – is based on the idea that voluntary movement as well as behavior is only apparent, and that both processes consist of nothing more than automatic responses to external stimulation (those CA psychos get paid a lot of money for a reason)…such experiments derive their inspiration from the Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov, who in the early 20th century strapped dogs to a laboratory table…What is actually occurring in such a highly artificial situation is a selective definition of ‘behavior’ on the part of the experimenter (hammer/nail).

    To prove it, animals are allowed to move freely about in an environment such as a maze. They are then taught to run from one point to another in the maze to obtain food. In such a test, those animals with prior experience of moving about in the maze learn the task more quickly (recursion)…Experiments by Vinogradova suggest that the hippocampus is necessary for information to be registered independent of any reward or punishment considerations. Averse therapy in our prisons, token economies in our mental hospitals, hierarchies of rewards in business – all are spinoffs from the operant-conditioning experiments based on stimulus and reward (where is my prize?). Movements, along with behavior, can never be adequately explained in terms of stimulus and response, since both are constantly changing.

    In other words, we don’t all want to show up at the skating rink at the same time to stand in line to skate in the same circle, as the empire is determined to have us do, and pay it with our energy for the privilege, regardless of the monetary policy creating artificial supply and demand.

    Restak: To be reading this you must be awake. You might think of wakefulness as similar to the maintenance of a degree of muscle tone without which a muscle becomes weak, flabby, and eventually paralyzed. Wakefulness depends on a two-way system capable of conducting information…the reticular formation’s activity (brainstem)…your ability to recall…the reception, analysis, and storage of information…capacity is located principally in the cortex.

    The motor cort4ex can be thought of as a computer; the premotor cortex its computer program. But for every computer and computer program there must also be a programmer…Loss of initiative, placidity, a desire for sameness in the environment – those were only some of the unfortunate results of cutting the fibers of the prefrontal lobes…Easily distracted by trivial events around him, the prefrontal-lobe patient will break off whatever activity he is engaged in at the moment and direct his full attention to distractions in the environment. Complex goals are replaced by simple ones, interests dwindle and horizons shrink.

    Ya gotta be smarter than the computer, and the niggers that program them. Contrary to their programming, alertness, information processing, and action, the mind, is not a one way street designed to replace the frontal lobe initiative with artificial intelligence entropy. Program yourself, or someone else surely will. If you think in terms of hierarchy, your child will be the boss, while you think you are. Prisoners dilemma is a choice, passed from generation to generation, embedded in false assumptions, creating the centrifuge.

    Restak: Mental activity thus takes on the quality of a dynamic process. Trying to pin down what part of the brain is involved…is like trying to describe the precise location and movement of a subatomic particle.

    Irrationality, emotion, may be employed as a form of constructive mobility or deconstructive immobility. The limbic system is a lock and key

    MacLean: The three brains amount to three connected biological computers, each having its own intelligence, its own subjectivity, its own sense of time and space, and its own memory and other functions. Except for altruistic behavior and most aspects of parental behavior, it is remarkable how many behavior patterns seen in reptiles are also found in human beings.

    Restak: Certainly, even the least introspective person recognizes the continuous interplay between what we feel and what we know. (context schizophysiology)

    MacLean: Affective feelings provide the connecting bridge between our internal and external worlds and, perhaps, more than any other form of psychic information, assures us of the reality of ourselves and the world around us. The limbic system contributes to a sense of personal identity integrating internally and externally derived experiences.

    Restak: From here it may be just a step to understanding how behavior based on intensely felt emotion can stir large numbers of people into irrational, even destructive behavior.

    MacLean: The explanation that found appeal under the banner of the swastika was that the Fatherland was threatened by one of its minority groups and that the resulting widespread sense of uneasiness (anxiety) could be relieved by the torture and extermination of this group. (Abraham)

    “San Francisco is a city of paradoxes. It prides itself on inclusivity, but is the exemplar of the exploding gap between America’s rich and poor. Preservation of affordable housing is enshrined as a top priority in the City’s general Plan, yet housing is historically unaffordable.”

    You are the center of global slave labor technology, income inequality is accelerating out of control, and you have an inclusive business plan, so you fail to see that the Fed fails every time it doubles down on its own rigged roulette wheel, as both the buyer and the seller of last resort, despite leverage from all the derivatives held by the entire elite class, as one false assumption after another, holding the empire up, falls into a growing abyss. That’s it, throw some more worthless pension paper into the black hole, and wonder why it acts like fertilizer.

    Do you really think intelligent kids are chomping at the bit to get Apple Empire TVs, Google Automated Transportation, Facebook Behavior Monitoring, & PayPal Monetary Micromanagement, in a closed-loop technology circle controlled by a-holes like Ron Conway, Henry Kissinger and the rest of that cabal?

    Love may be an emotional paradox, but it is not a logical one, if you understand brain balance (compilation) outside prisoners dilemma. It’s in your own self0interest to make children the priority, which requires breeding on the characteristic, because as an adult you are already a derivative in time. Empire is a self-fulfilling prophesy for those who choose it. The city casino would not look so appealing if the table with straps connected to a power source was easily recognized at the entry, but the shoes are a dead giveaway.

    Funny, my mom lived a few blocks from here, when she was alive…and they don’t call it the Pacific Fleet by accident. Whether you are the hunted or the hunter depends upon perspective, location relative to the black hole…unless you can open a vortex gate at will.

    1. different clue

      Cell phones cause brain cancer . . . in my opinion.

      Am I right? I’ll let the cell phone users tell me in 30 years.

    2. Neo-Realist

      “Do you really think intelligent kids are chomping at the bit to get Apple Empire TVs, Google Automated Transportation, Facebook Behavior Monitoring, & PayPal Monetary Micromanagement, in a closed-loop technology circle controlled by a-holes like Ron Conway, Henry Kissinger and the rest of that cabal?”

      Some intelligent kids are, yes. And they would accuse you of being a conspiracy nut paranoid. At least the ones I knew while working in a company whose branch was located in a suburb. Their love for technology would blind them to the consequences.

      And they would also ask “Who’s Ron Conway?”

      1. kevinearick

        I suppose it depends on the definition, which is my point. What currently passes for intelligence is completely artificial, which is why the rocket scientists cannot stop themselves.

  15. optimader

    After having just carved a personal best powder run through the Larch grove, Briar Rabbit pops a nitro pill under his tounge

    1. skippy

      LOL… First rule to tree – glen skiing… don’t look at the trees… just the space between them.

      Skippy… Tree magnetism is… baaadddd~~~ That and tree wells…

      1. bob

        Stay on your skiis, it’s much easier. I spent more energy getting out of a tree well and back on my feet than I did climbing up the mountain. It seemed like it at the time.

      2. optimader

        thats pretty much right skippy. Unintuitivly for most, it is really the safest place for a competent skiier to ski.. if youre not an idiot.
        What seems to work best for me is pick a line ahead then sort it out continuously reevaluating several tree sets ahead while maintaining sufficient speed for agressive manuvering.
        Here’s Briar rabbit,
        As he’ll testify, it’s addictive..
        Diclaimer: use a helmet, I prefer one w/ a removable visor for deflecting limbs – Enjoy.

  16. abprosper

    Boxer’s plan isn’t entirely bad and that will be about the only thing that she’ll suggest where we have any common ground. The NRA might be OK with it too.

    I suspect any such NG people ought to have extra training though. More than a few of the schools where they’d probably be posted have regular race and other kinds of riots and we don’t want an ill trained officer shooting kids and creating some mini Kent State High School event.

    That being said, had I kids, better to go Homeschooling thanks. Especially here in California , #49 in academic performance.

    Not only do the kids get a superior education, homeschooling is easier than ever thanks to the Internet and with thinks like the Khan Academy, talented kids can go as fast as they feel able. No being held back

    On the other end, kids with challenges can get more help too.

    Of course making to work requires sacrifices. I’ve seen the results and I think they are well worth it though I can see where others may not and might even see it as a betrayal of the civic ideal.

  17. tiebie66

    Let’s say, for reference, on 1 January 2013:
    (i) What is the MMT prognosis on Mr. Abe’s policies?
    (ii)What is the MMT prescription for Japan’s ailments?
    (Unemployment 4.5%; public debt 250% of GDP; deteriorating current account; mild deflation; 2011 output gap -4.5%)

    Importantly, does it, or can it be framed as an MMT test case for falsifiability. How?

    If someone has already provided such an analysis, please direct me there. Given the many excuses made to explain Zimbabwe away (drought!, foreign denominated debts, etc.), we need a (modern economy) test case. I do not mean to be insensitive to the Japanese who are now put into the context of guinea pigs. The least I can do is try to learn from their experience.
    Many thanks.

    1. from Mexico

      Japan has already produced prima facie evidence that demonstrates that Austrian monetary theory is empirically false. This graph compares Japan’s public debt to that of the USA and Germany:

      By Q2 2011 Japanese public debt reached 226% of GDP. That’s almost 3 times that of the USA, which was 80% of GDP in Q2 2011. And yet, as you point out, Japan is still experiencing mild deflation. According to Austrian monetary theory, this is an impossibility.

      Obviously, there are more variables in the inflation equation than just public debt. Inflation cannot be predicted by some absurdly simplistic formula, such as the Austrian one, that only takes public debt into account. Other important variables that bear upon inflation are production, aggregate demand, and the level of private debt.

      Steve Keen, for instance, predicts a much rougher ride for countries like the USA and the UK whose neoliberal policies, both monetary and otherwise, have greatly exacerbated deindutrialization. Here’s Keen:

      Japan continued developing industry till the 1990s, and it still has it. There has been far more industrial development in Japan than in britain. You guys in Britain are specialised in the biggest Ponzi scheme on the planet. You have a much more difficult transition till you get to the productive malaise that Japan is still in. It won’t be as bad as the Great Depression, but it will be a continuous state of depression, where you fall into it and out of it and back into it, but without the social cohesion of Japan, and without the industrial base, and I think by the looks of it, a far higher level of private debt and financial speculation. So it’s a difficult road for britain to get to be Japan.

      1. tiebie66

        I did ask about MMT, not Austrian economics, though. An attempt to refute Austrian economics, in my view, does not strengthen the case for MMT. Nevertheless, thanks for the links and the replies.

    2. They didn't leave me a choice

      For Zimbabwe you forgot to mention Mugabes failed land reform, which was the main cause. Also, hardly an excuse, MMT is not a silver bullet in the sense that a government can do anything as long as it is printing money, nobody has claimed anything like that. It is extremely pathetic that it and interwar Germany are bought up over and over again in defence against government money creation without ever bothering to understand the reasons for the hyperinflation. But I guess when you have absolutely no case, you must fabricate one.

      1. from Mexico

        Actually I did not forget to mention land reform. To wit, my December 26, 2012 at 10:34 pm comment:

        As the Fed report explains, besides the persistent droughts there were also some policy decisions that contributed to the decline in agricultural production.

        Here’s the Dallas Fed’s exact wording:

        Land reallocation in 2000 and 2001, which redistributed large agricultural tracts, depressed commercial farming output.

        But it is irrelevant whether the production declines were caused by drought or land reform. The key point is that the production declines were not caused by fiscal or monetary policy.

      2. from Mexico

        The role social cohesion plays in productivity, which Keen mentions, also merits a second mention.

        There is no quicker way to destroy productivity than to createe the perception that the distribution of economic rewards is unfair.

        1. different clue

          Perhaps such unfairness need not destroy productivity in all cases. Perhaps such unfairness need only drive the victims of that unfairness to retarget their productivity to places where the upper class cannot steal it.

          Such as doing the least work possible in the time-is-money hamster wheel economy, and doing the most work possible turning one’s own dwelling area and surrounding land into a fortress on neo-peasant subsistence. Home gardening, home roofwater harvesting, home humanure production, etc.

Comments are closed.