Links 1/29/2013

Primates, Too, Can Move in Unison Science Daily

Dirty blizzard buried Deepwater Horizon oil Nature

A ‘prescient’ warning to Boeing on 787 trouble Seattle Times. Oldie but goodie.

Euro periphery draws back €100bn FT

Egypt Aflame Over Protests Counterpunch (CB).

Clashes continue for fifth day in Egypt Al Jazeera

Israel gave birth control to Ethiopian Jews without their consent Independent

Libor Lies Revealed in Rigging of $300 Trillion Benchmark Bloomberg

Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing accused of operating ‘massive pyramid scheme’ McClatchy. Small fry.

Pay Still High at Bailed-Out Companies, Report Says Times. Film at 11.

Report: Treasury approved excessive pay for executives at bailed-out AIG, GM and Ally WaPo

Wall Street executives fret about talent drain Reuters. They say it’s not the money, so…

Leverage? What Leverage? A Deep Dive into the U.S. Flow of Funds in Search of Clues to the Global Crisis [PDF] IMF (GG). The IMF view?

Video: Chrystia Freeland Interviews Larry Summers. Economist’s View. Listening to “Larry” reminds me of David Sedaris’s riff on “Easy French.”

Larry Summers Says the Clinton Administration Didn’t Have Access to Government Economic Data CEPR

RBS in for another round of bonus awkwardness, with added Libor angle FT Alphaville. More joy for UK taxpayers.

Analysis: Scandal of Italy’s Monte Paschi means questions for Draghi Reuters

Eurozone banking union is deeply flawed FT

U.S. Stocks Fall as Housing Data Overshadow Durable Goods Bloomberg

Campus Crest responds to problems at The Grove in Orono (Video) Maine Campus. If Campus Crest can’t manage cookie-cutter student housing it builds to its own spec, how is PE”s rentcropper play going to work out?

America’s Moving: Hello Texas, Bye-Bye Wyoming Bloomberg

Rising populism is worthy of Nixonland FT

Commentary: A tale of two gun shows McClatchy

Suicide is a gender issue that can no longer be ignored Guardian

Rape Tragedy in India: Dreams of ‘the Fearless One’ Der Spiegel

In China, Politically Connected Firms Have Higher Worker Death Rates Bloomberg

Pentagon’s new massive expansion of ‘cyber-security’ unit is about everything except defense Glenn Greenwald, Guardian

White House Petition to Fire Boston AUSA Over Swartz Probe Lags Main Justice

Papa John’s PR firm targets bloggers Politico. No anchovies? You’ve got the wrong man.

Republicans, Open-Source Community Both Want Obama for America To Release Campaign Tech Code Slate

If Hemingway wrote JavaScript (This is classic — OK, stale — but it’s also very funny, at least to geeks and geek wannabes like me.)

For 40 Years, This Russian Family Was Cut Off From All Human Contact, Unaware of World War II Smithsonian

Antidote du jour (Morgan Isaacs):

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. fresno dan

    Iceland – screw the banks….and the economy recovers and the foolish bankers get what they deserve, and the world doesn’t end.
    Funny how we didn’t do that…

    Pentagon’s new massive expansion of ‘cyber-security’ unit is about everything except defense Glenn Greenwald, Guardian

    all serviellance all the time – pretty much to make sure they can find you to make sure you pay back your loans.

  2. fresno dan

    Pentagon’s new massive expansion of ‘cyber-security’ unit is about everything except defense Glenn Greenwald, Guardian

    “As usual, though, reality is exactly the opposite. This massive new expenditure of money is not primarily devoted to defending against cyber-aggressors. The US itself is the world’s leading cyber-aggressor. A major purpose of this expansion is to strengthen the US’s ability to destroy other nations with cyber-attacks. Indeed, even the Post report notes that a major component of this new expansion is to “conduct offensive computer operations against foreign adversaries”.

    Seriously, if you look at the history of stuxnet, you see something that reminds one eerily of the LSD experiments in which innocent people were used as pawns to test LSD.

    Was stuxnet inadvertently released into the wider innernet, or was that the plan to begin with, and the government would accept any “collateral” damamge to any other computer system?

      1. Ms G

        I’m no geek but know enough that linux/gnu is the only way to go. Can you recommend what hardware one would use to have a stand-alone linux/gnu system for communicating and researching?

        1. Larry Headlund

          The difficult case is a laptop, where it isn’t easy to swap out a component if it doesn’t play well with linux. You can do a search on “linux laptop” or “linux your_model_laptop” for recomendations.

          All that said, usually the Lenovo (Thinkpad) lines work well but there are other choices.

          1. Ms G

            Thanks LH. I’m going to start looking into this. Am I going to have to learn how to “rebuild” the hardware guts of an off shelf product? I’m pretty sure what the answer is … argh!

          2. Stephen Nightingale

            The trickiest part is the partitioning of disk space right at the start of the install. Get that wrong and you overwrite your original operating system. Saving your personal data on a subsidiary drive beforehand is helpful. Having a ‘Windows recovery disk’ also helpful, particularly with some Linux options where you can after installing Linux, encapsulate the Windows op sys within it using a Linux app called ‘VirtualBox’.

            Laptops only last 2 years or so anyway. Why not do the Linux install on the outgoing laptop, after migrating your personal and sacred stuff, so if you hose the Windows, it doesn’t matter.

            Why not keep a permanent backup copy of your personal and sacred stuff on an external drive anyway.

          3. Ned Ludd

            Some vendors that sell systems already running Linux are: System76, ThinkPenguin, ZaReason, and Puget Systems. For Puget, you need to specify Ubuntu on the customize screen.

            Also, if you have a system at least a year old, it will often run GNU/Linux without much problem. It usually takes a year after hardware is available on the retail market before support get added, debugged, and propagated out to end-users.

            If you decide to build your own system, avoid graphics cards built with AMD/ATI chips. Their CPUs are compatible with GNU/Linux, but the graphics cards built have lousy drivers and AMD can be quick to drop support altogether.

          4. different clue

            Arent Lenovos made China? Why wouldn’t every keystroke on a Lenovo be recorded in China? Why wouldn’t made-in-China Lenovos have every sort of spy device and cyberwar device which Chinese Intelligence would like them to have?

        2. Ned Ludd

          I switched my parents from OS X to Ubuntu† for their older iMac and MacBook Pro systems. Both computers are now more stable, and my parents had no problems adapting to Ubuntu. I should add, though, that on the iMac, everything worked but the headphone jack.

          Installing Ubuntu is easy, but there is always the risk that one component of your computer won’t work with it. The following vendors sell desktops and, in some cases, laptops with GNU/Linux already installed. I recommend choosing either Ubuntu or its close cousin, Linux Mint.

          • System76
          • ThinkPenguin
          • ZaReason

          Puget Systems also sells some systems with Ubuntu installed; you must specify it on the Customize page.

          † Ubuntu and Linux Mint are complete operating systems that are built with Linux, GNU software, and other free/libre and open source software (FLOSS). Both also contain optional proprietary software.

          1. Ms G

            Ned, Thanks for all this.
            So do I understand correctly that Linux/GNU is a “shell” operating system within which one then runs OS or Windows? (I do not HEART microsoft and am “hearting” OS less and less). Or is it where you install UBUNTU (or Linux Mint) and then you can just do everthing with open source including, creating docs (and all that entails), storing photos and music etc. Would my Adobe Photoshop work with UBUNTU?

          2. Ned Ludd

            To use an analogy: Linux is an engine, GNU connects the engine to the wheels, and Ubuntu is the whole car. In the case of Macs: XNU is the engine, GNU and BSD connect the engine to the wheels, and OS X is the whole car.

            When people talk about GNU/Linux, they are not talking about a single operating system; they are talking about a family of operating systems. Ubuntu and Linux Mint are two of the most popular, and they are probably the easiest to use on a desktop or laptop computer. There are others, such as Bodhi, that work better on old machines.

            Ubuntu comes with the Ubuntu Software Center, which lists both free and paid software. Linux Mint has something similar. You choose what you want, press a button, and it gets downloaded from Ubuntu’s servers and installed on your system. There are about 38,000 pieces of software that you can install on Ubuntu for free. There is no Photoshop, but there is an alternative called GIMP. There is also a lot of cross-platform software like Firefox and LibreOffice available. If you prefer Google Chrome, you can download and install it directly from Google.

          3. Ned Ludd

            It is possible, if you have a copy of Windows, to run the entire Windows operating system from within Ubuntu (or from within OS X, for that matter). People only do this if they need to. I do this to watch movies on Netflix. I can manage my queue in Ubuntu, but on-line viewing requires Microsoft technology that is not available for Ubuntu or any other GNU/Linux system (until recently, the co-founder of Netflix was a Microsoft board member).

            Being able to run a guest Windows system, hosted by Ubuntu, is an optional feature that people use to run software that is only available on Windows and for which there is no GNU/Linux alternative.

        3. A Geek

          If you are starting out with Linux, try Ubuntu. As far as a computer, I would buy a refurbished computer (tigerdirect). You can google the computer you are thinking about and verify it works with Linux *before* you buy…

        4. ScottS

          Ms G,

          You can try out a live CD on your current system before committing to wiping out your existing OS.

          Especially for safe banking and researching, you may want to go this route. There is a distribution that comes with TOR for anonymous, uncensored web browsing and (after a reboot), won’t save any personal information.


          Also available as a live USB drive image.

        1. CB

          Dinotrac, who has a website of his own, over at DKos is an old hand with Unix/Linux and he doesn’t like Ubuntu. The guy is quite knowledgeable: he runs a small notebook type machine with remote access, developer software, so that he can access, track, troubleshoot and repair from his bicylce(on which he likes to spend as much of his time as he can). That takes some deep familiarity with complex networks and infrastructure. He uses Mint.

          I don’t use Linux, so I won’t offer advice. But among experts, Ubuntu is, I gather, not a unanimous choice.

          1. Ms G

            CB, thank you very much for your input. Who would have guessed there wasn’t unanimity in re computer systems? :)

  3. David Lentini

    “In short, Summers is describing a history that does not exist. He either has a very poor memory or is just making things up.”

    The true genius of Larry Summers, the consumate psychopath. Why do the press and economists like Krugman and DeLong keep covering for his lying and incompetence?

  4. down2long

    In response to Fresno Dan, don’t know if you heard about the delightful technology called “Stingray” the Homeland SSecurity Department provided to the LAPD – and probably every other PD in the country to combat, um, terrorism.

    It works like a radar array – point it at a building, or a restaurant, and voila – you can monitor the cell phone call of your “terrorist” as well as everyone else’s calls in the area.

    The SoCal ACLU says it’s like getting a search warrant for an apartment, and then searching all the apartments in the building. Of course, apparently so far the LAPD has not bothered with those pesky “search warrants.” Next up: Finding out whether the recordings w/o a search warrant are admissable in court. My bet is the U.S. SSupreme Court “Sez Yes.”

    Re Yves delightful requiem for Geithner (what a long and shameful goodbye that criminal has had). Somehow watching Geither speek always reminds me of my meth-head friends talking through their clenched jaws about how “they didn’t do it” and they “need money.”

    Sadly, Yves, I think Lew will be just as bad as Geithner (wow the WSJ did a hatchet job on Lew yesterday, thanks Ms. G). He will – a la “1984” just be more banal, sort of like a monetized Dick Cheney.

    Finally, don’t miss the Andrew Ross Sorkin excoriation of Mary Jo White in today’s Times. Never thought I’d see the day Sorkin would bite the hands that feed him. Maybe even HE’S finally fed up. ‘Bout time.”

    1. Ms G

      Sorkin excoriation of MJW. Hmm, there has to be an angle. Because if Sorkin was really fed up he would have been covering the “sudden departure” of L. Breuer.

      Oh, which reminds me!


      Day 7.

    2. Ms G

      ” … watching Geither speek always reminds me of my meth-head friends talking through their clenched jaws about how “they didn’t do it” and they “need money.””

      That’s EXACTLY it — no wonder it’s been hard to come up with an accurate analogy for this guy … we weren’t searching in the druggie world!

      This morning’s bow to Homer and Homeric epithets:

      Jaw Clenching Meth-Head Geithner.

      (I know, it doesn’t scan or trip well off the tongue. But it gets the message across :) )

  5. moo hoo haa haa haa haa

    >> A ‘prescient’ warning to Boeing on 787 trouble Seattle Times. Oldie but goodie.

    Of 6 offshoring efforts I’ve observed up close, all 6 were complete failures. Quality sucked so bad that no offshored work was even usable. Plus, the onshore staff spent time trying to feed them the work. (I really, really tried.) That means that every dollar spent offshore yielded negative return. Literally.

    Never again will I waste my time in that manner. If a future employer tries offshoring anything, I know a new phase of “frustration” lies dead ahead and I’ll leave immediately.

    1. Jim Haygood

      ‘Taken to its extreme conclusion the strategy of maximizing return on net assets could lead Boeing to outsource everything except a little Boeing decal to slap on the nose of the finished airplane.’

      Whereas Apple does pretty well at outsourcing most hardware, while retaining control of design and function.

      But consumer markets, with product cycles measured in months, are very different than project-based work (planes, trains, power plants) where years are spent in design and contracting before there’s any customer feedback.

    2. Ms G

      There seems to be a pattern with these “offshoring” models of doing things (similar pattern with massive IT “initiatives” where gov. agencies outsource to big consulting firms): ROI simply does not matter. That really turns the whole MBA-Business rationales on their heads, doesn’t it? When did leaner-meaner operational models become synonymous with Negative ROI? Any of the MBA’s even realize this?

    3. Mel

      There are two sides to Return On Net Assets.

      A company that’s operating on the “production mantra” will improve RONA by increasing production with the plant it has. Thus it avoids wasting valuable investment.

      A company that’s operating on the “efficiency mantra” will improve RONA by eliminating plant and casting around to meet required production some other way, some way that doesn’t involve investment — eg. by finding somebody else to do the production.

      I think the efficiency mantra is tailor-made for companies that are run by financial and legal people. They’re not trained to understand what the plant is, what it does, or what it needs. If they get rid of it they minimize the risk that they’ll make bad decisions about it. In the present case it looks like professionals who are world experts in lithium chemistry have got blindsided in a hugely expensive way; so what chance would an accountant or lawyer have?

      As a techie I sympathize with Hart-Smith’s point, but his argument could have had more nuance than reported.

      This Seattle Times article is the article I wish I’d been reading when I read the New Yorker article.

  6. tomk

    I just went to sign the Ortiz removal petition and it now has close to 50,000 signatures, up from the 10,000 when the article was written.

    Regarding the defective housing project at the Orono, Maine campus. Heat pump technology for heating is only functional in this climate (we just had a week of windy below or near zero temps) with super insulated structures, which they do not seem to be. It’s impossible to build cookie cutter projects suitable (in terms of cost and energy efficiency) for widely varying climates. Hard to believe a flawed project of that scale was planned and permitted.

    1. Ms G

      “Hard to believe a flawed project of that scale was planned and permitted.”

      Well, unless the only real goal was to put tax money in the pockets of privateers to build the thing. In which the quality and habitability of the place would be entirely irrelevant.

  7. Ms G

    Re. Summers: “Clinton Admin didn’t have econ data.”

    “In short, Summers is describing a history that does not exist. He either has a very poor memory or is just making things up.”

    I’ll take Door #2, the Lie. Cf. Tankus post re. Geithner going out with a bunch of Big Lies (in the press, for us).

  8. Ms G

    Re Chrystia F. interviews Summers.

    Why does anybody give this guy the time of day anymore? And taking up valuable space in the media sphere, too. Hmph.

  9. from Mexico

    Why do the press and economists like Krugman and DeLong keep covering for his lying and incompetence?

    Because the neoliberal wing of the Democratic Party has paid liars for every class of idiot.

    For people who are complete idiots, they have paid liars like Rubin and Summers.

    For people who are just partial idiots, they have paid liars like DeLong and Krugman.

    1. from Mexico

      P.S. — I should have included Tim Geithner in the category of paid liars for the terminally stupid.

      The post by Nathan Tankus — “Geithner Finally Leaves Treasury, Blurts a Whole Series of Lies on His Way Out” — is on the money.

    2. craazyman

      that’s pretty good.

      and for people who are intermittent idiots, who fade in and out of idiocy, marked by episodes of focused intelligence on matters aside from politics, they have think tanks.

      I know people like this — not complete or partial idiots — but intermittent idiots.

      If it were me I’d prescribe a daily 20 mg dose of Pacifex (TM) which neutralizes the poltical psychosis wave and allows one to resume rational discourse on issues of import to the nation and local community. Pacifex is non-addictive and can be taken with alcohol, marijuana, hashhish, xanax and other recreation drugs. Pacifex (TM) will not interfere with the operation of an automobile or heavy machinery. You can even shoot guns on Pacifex and not feel the need to aim at anyone. Cans on fenceposts are a favorite target, as are bottles which explode in delightful shards when you hit them.

      1. Ms G

        Craazy — I know those people too — and I couldn’t figure out what box to put them in. Your post was a “eureka” moment for me!

        (Truth be told, and for all I kno, “those people” that I know and feel belong in the “intermittent” category may well view me as one of “those people” who is always a Debbie Downer about The Way the World Really Is.”

  10. Ms G

    Papa John Targets Bloggers (but no MSM) who discuss the Obamacare-Price Increase comment of PPaJ CEO.

    “It’s interesting that Papa John’s went after Stabley Times for relaying what CNN reported, but never went after CNN for the original report,” Stabley wrote in an email. “Of course they claim to have ‘somehow missed’ the CNN story.”

    Interesting indeed! “Somehow missed” is an easy tell — and for a highly paid PR firm … Papa John might want to hire a new Blog-Attach Dog.

          1. Brindle

            Certainly the Husky seems to have better comprehension of the world we live in than, say, David Brooks.

  11. Ms G

    Fretting over who will take the reigns of TBTF when the current crop of Klepto Leaders dies off.

    They really have no idea, do they? That their franchise is in tatters and viewed as useless and dangerous by more people than they care to acknowledge (or maybe Denial is kicking in big time).

  12. from Mexico

    @ “Egypt Aflame Over Protests” Counterpunch

    It is an open secret that almost anywhere in the developing world you find manifestations of reactionary, dictatorial and anti-democractic governance, you find the United States operating the levers behind the scenes.

    Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi from a speech he delivered in front of an enthusiastic crowd on May 13, 2012:

    The Koran is our constitution. The Prophet Muhammad is our leader. Jihad is our path. And death for the sake of Allah is our most lofty aspiration.

    But, as Georgy Gounev asks:

    Wouldn’t it be logical to expect that before issuing an invitation to Morsi to visit him at the White House, President Obama would ask his future guest how, if he believes that the country must be subjected to Islamic Law, he intends to defend the secular constitution of Egypt?

    If Jihad is the path Morsi wants to follow, then how can President Obama treat him as his guest? It is understandable: Once he contributed to Morsi’s ascension to power, the President has to deal with him on the issues of international politics. This fact does not mean, however, that Mr. Obama should lay down a red carpet for him. A White House reception for Morsi will represent a huge boost to — and an endorsement of — the “gathering storm” of Islamic Fundamentalism. Weren’t the Jihadists the ones who murdered thousands of Americans, and have openly stated that one of their most important goals has always been to destroy the American political system?

    If the occupant of the White House after November 2012 does not know how to say the words ‘Islamic Fundamentalism’, America will face tough times ahead not only abroad, but at home as well.

    Oh well, I suppose in the American polity’s hall of mirrors, Black is White, Up is Down and Left is Right.

    1. BondsOfSteel

      >It is an open secret that almost anywhere in the developing world you find manifestations of reactionary, dictatorial and anti-democractic governance, you find the United States operating the levers behind the scenes.

      North Korea? Iran? Zimbabwe?

      This is clear “Confirmation Bias”. The US’s hands may not be clean… but the world is a dirty place. There’s plenty of nastiness that happens without the US government involvement.

      1. from Mexico

        And what is your bias? A bias towards willful ignorance?

        The US had nothing to do with the situation we find in Iran today? The US had nothing to do with the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Mohammed Mossadegh and the installation of the brutal dictatorship of the Shah of Iran? Guess again. The entire sordid history of US involvement in Iran is laid out in detail in The Power Principle, beginning here at minute 8:00

        And the US doesn’t have its finger prints all over Zimbawe? Guess again. Connie White gives the dissident story, the one you’ll never hear or read in the US mainstream media.

        The party of Robert Mugabe, ZANU-PF, came to power in 1979 at the time of the Lancaster Agreement, but left the land and the Zimbabwean economy in the hands of the same class that owned the lands and managed the economy prior to Zimbabwe’s independence. ZANU-PF and Robert Mugabe have, until recently, been the “Quislings” of British and American transnational corporations. ZANU-PF sold out the Zimbabwean peasants and workers long ago when it agreed to the Lancaster Agreement that left the Zimbabwean economy and the arable land in the hands of domestic and transnational capitalists.

        After the independence struggles of Africa in the ’50s and ’60s, the ruling “Black” governments govern in name only. The real government of most of these independent nation states is based in the hands of the dominant economic class, and not in the hands of the “people of Africa.” The poverty of recently independent African nation-states from the overt political shackles of colonialism is due to persistent economic control of those economies by the same economic masters in a neo-colonialist system. Colonialism and neo-colonialism could not and would not have happened — nor could it continue — without the collaboration of “Quislings” in the colonial or/and neo-colonial countries.

        To wit, the “rule of law” — established at the time of the Lancaster Agreement, and in place until the recent enactment of the Zimbabwe Land Redistribution Act — supports stolen land acquired in the historical plunder of Zimbabwe remaining in the hands of the capitalists instead of being transferred to the Zimbabwean peasants and workers who are the rightful owners.

        In 2000, the Zimbabwean government declared that it is against the law in Zimbabwe for 1 percent of the population in Zimbabwe — i.e., white settler colonists — to own 1/2 of the arable land. In retaliation — to make Zimbawe “scream” to put it in the words of Richard Nixon — the United States congress passed the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001, which imposed economic sanctions against Zimbawe. The Western world has plundered Africa, killed and enslaved its population, and have created the basis for the food crisis existing in Zimbabwe today. In reality, the damages to the Zimbabwean economy are due to the structural adjustment plan(s) of the IMF and World Bank, are due to tobacco planters protesting land seizures by withholding tobacco crops at a time when the Zimbabwean economy was being crushed under the structural adjustment plan(s), and are due to the White settler farmers destroying prize farmland with the chemical atrozin(sp?), which kills crops for two to three seasons!
        — — — — — excerpted from — — — —

        If one looks at Chart 1 from this report published by the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, it’s evident that Zimbawe’s economic problems began after the US imposed sanctions in 2001.

    2. Mel

      I think the dream was that Morsi would keep Egypt on target, so that policy wouldn’t get as messy as it is, say, with Pakistan. I don’t know that there’s a set formula calculating how much latitude you allow your guy for staying in with his populace.

  13. Ms G

    Posting a link to a story that is way too similar to the one about the drunk investment banker stiffing and then stabbing the cabby who took him from NYC to Connecticut.

    This young lady is a daughter of a Pinguid — a fellow who used to be in charge of Travelers (remember, before merging with City thanks to Bobby Rubin and S. Weil?)

    There’s a good antidote to all the blood-pressure-raising finance stories in today’s NC. I don’t want to give anything away, so here’s the link:

    1. ohmyheck

      Hahahaha! It could have even been written by Peter himself, their writing styles are so alike!
      I think we should lay bets on her sorry, skinny a$$ being back in court for violating her probation. (With accompanying photos)

  14. jsmith

    From the I-didn’t-see-that-coming-department:

    US plans drone base on the Mali/Niger border:

    Now, the US also says that the Mali intervention could take years.

    It’s good to that the fascists war-criminals of the West have thoroughly realized that “shock and awe” (blitzkrieg) really doesn’t provided the economic largesse and needed resupplying of “terrorists” that “humanitarian intervention”(sitzkrieg) does.

    Hmmmm, false flag in Syria involving the UK setting off a chemical weapon and blaming it on the Assad and the Russians?

    What, you thought when confronted with abject failure concerning the overthrow of yet another sovereign nation our fascist war criminals have the wherewithal to stop committing war crimes?

    1. Stephen Nightingale

      ““shock and awe” (blitzkrieg) really doesn’t provided the economic largesse”

      The only economic largesse that’s really required is that which facilitates the continued buildout of Loudoun County.

  15. tyaresun

    Nirbhaya mata, may your sacrifice not go in vain. May your sacrifice awaken the nation and provoke a cultural change where women are given their rightful place in society.

    We worship a million goddesses but trample the half a billion daughters, sisters and mothers. May your sacrifice provoke the million gods to use their powers to improve the lot of your sisters, daughters and mothers.

  16. Bev

    No internet voting, no computerized voting, scanning, tabulating as it is all vulnerable to cheaters (both on site and remotely via get out the vote campaigns).


    Anonymous Saved The Election? (TEXT)

    Nathaniel Downes


    While some might consider this a random letter, or a jump to claim responsibility, if you step back and study the letter carefully a very clear message comes out.

    They cite specific numbers. They state precisely how many tunnels are there. They cite how many passwords were attempted. But, there are key words which look innocent but, to a computer engineer, are very much a trigger.

    These phrases are (our emphasis):

    We noticed these tunnels were strategically placed to allow for tunnel rats to race to the sewer servers from three different states.

    Now, to a normal person a rat is just that: a furry animal or a slang term for a scoundrel. But to a computer person, a rat is something radically different, a r.a.t. hack. The Remote Administration Tool hack is a method of remotely accessing a machine as if it were local. Using such a hack, you would have full access to the machine, at a level someone physically at the machine may not have. A “sewer server” is a term used to denote a hack over a secured tunnel, known as a Secured SHell (SSH), using a form of encryption designed to make it appear to be innocent background traffic.

    This is not some general discussion, making claims in order to claim. They have released clear and specific details on what exactly was done, information which the people behind Orca can verify. Even more telling, however, is the name the group used for their denial of service attack:

    The Great Oz

    “Oz” refers to the land in the classic movie, The Wizard of Oz; more currently, it refers to the television show Oz, which is about a prison. And the actions the group took was to attempt to hack the election into jail, locking it away. It broke, absolutely. We reported on the failures of Orca and its public face earlier. What Anonymous is claiming is that Orca’s public face was a farce, a lie. It was not to coordinate poll challengers so much as to steal the election.


    What REALLY happened in Ohio on Election Night


    From Cliff:

    Some hackers/spooks hacked Romney’s computers, which crippled his election day get out the vote activity.


    A successful hack of the Romney campaign computers would have affected all of the operation, would have been illegal, and would have been known to Rove early on election day. So, it does not explain Rove’s dramatic disconnect over Fox’s calling Ohio for Obama at the 11 PM (EST) news hour.

    The hack we discovered was limited to Ohio. Its use was coming from Bob Urosevich the same guy who personally delivered a malicious patch in Georgia 2002 which flipped the votes and outcome in their governor and US Senate races. Our exposure of the problem in court through one of the top cyber security experts in the world (so certified by NSA) occurred at about 3:15 PM on election day.

    Urosevich would have been informed that the fix had been exposed and that an Ohio judge with jurisdiction had expressed willingness to adopt the corrective action recommended by our expert. He and the one operative who would have been positioned pull the trigger, instead nixed the operation. Neither of them would have been so foolish as to contact Rove to inform him that the Ohio fix was off. Rove’s communications were surely being monitored by law enforcement authorities.

    Thus, Rove’s mistaken rant over Ohio being prematurely called for Obama.

    Cliff Arnebeck


    Anonymous, Karl Rove and 2012 Election Fix?

    Thom Hartmann and Sam Sacks

    If this is true, then the implications are enormous and could take down the entire Republican Party and finally wake Americans up to the fact that our privatized vote system is shockingly flawed and insecure.

    1. Bev

      And, why wouldn’t buying control of the voting machines be illegal for a candidate:

      Coup and counter-coup in Washington

      Webster G. Tarpley and Press TV

      ORCA: Why the Pro-Romney Vote Fraud Did Not Materialize

      Tagg Romney and his associates, many of them investors in Bain Capital, had notoriously bought control of voting machines in almost a score of states, including Ohio. What frustrated the design to steal the election? Perhaps this operation was disrupted and aborted by investigations conveniently timed and targeting some of the main pro-Romney intelligence and military figures in the rogue network.

      The answer may also be related to the apparent failure of ORCA, Romney’s data-mining and data management operation, which was supposed to help GOP volunteers get out the vote, but which may have possessed additional and more sinister dimensions. But, as David Gewirtz of ZDNet wrote on November 13, ORCA “got harpooned. ORCA beached. It flopped. It died in the sun. It failed oh-so-bad.” And with it failed the hope of Romney’s backers that they could seize the White House.

      Also at

    2. neorealist

      Rove is a Bush Consigliere. Why help Romney win and block Jeb’s ability to get to the White House in 2016? If Rove wanted to steal Ohio….and Florida, which they didn’t in 2012, he could have helped to do so.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      The Truthout article was great and has a lot of collateral.

      The “cliff” material ought to cite to a court case mentioned so the claims can be independently verified. Without that linky goodness, I think it’s iffy.

  17. Peter Pinguid Society

    What did the torturers of the inquisition want?

    Confession restored a reassuring causality, otherwise, the least heresy would have rendered all of divine creation suspect.

    In the same way, when the Peter Pinguid Society uses and abuses the 99 percent like animals in laboratories, or when we abuse them with experimental ferocity in the name of science or austerity or the Chicago School of economics, what confession are we seeking to extort from them, from beneath the scalpel and the electrodes?

    Simply this: The 99 percent must be made to say that they are not humans, they are lab animals and filthy swamp things put here for our amusement.

    For us the 99 percent are like those cats in sixteenth-century Paris. The cat would be raised up in a sling up on a stage, and then slowly lowered into a fire. Meanwhile the king and his servant (the spitting image of Matt Yglesias) along with the queen and her servant (the spitting image of Heidi Moore) would shriek with laughter as the animals, howling with pain, were singed, roasted and finally carbonized.

    We are the Peter Pinguid Society, we are the 0.01 percent.

    1. Ms G

      PPS, that’s an A+

      “Filthy swamp things.” Reminds me of something in Love in The Ruins by Walker Percy.

  18. Hal

    Re: forced birth control in Israel.

    ‘threatening our existance as a Jewish state’?

    Funny how the same people here demand the destruction of the American state through racial dilution. Maybe it makes them feel safer here?

  19. gus

    Yves continues to post links to horrific behaviors by Israel and American Jewish apologists. AND the membership continue to yawn, and worry that should they post even an AMEN – their reputations are at risk.

    This long time reader, is disgusted dismayed, and more virulently anti Jewish because of American timidity in the face of such evil – so rampant, so unapologetic.

    Jews provoked the German solution. They are made of the same whole cloth today. But without gatekeepers to basic humanity, these demons will go unchallenged in their villainy.

    Post after post on the evil of Geithner, Simon, Blankfein, et al… yet nary a peep that a Jew is a Jew is a Jew.

    We are lost.

    1. toxymoron

      Most Jews have a name, a husband or wife, kids that go to school, and are ordinary humans, like you and me.
      Some of them might be criminal, but then, any cross-section of humans will have criminals (and then it depends how you define “criminal”).

      1. Hal

        That is all true. However, an incredibly high and disproportionately large number of financial criminals runing our country come from this small group, as well as the arbiters of social conscience that has gottten us onto a miserable state.

        Maybe high math skills are not a good thing for humanity?

        1. DANNYBOY

          Yves and Lambert,

          As gus and Hal are building their case on your forum, I guess it’s your move.

          A Jew

          1. Nathan Tankus

            Please don’t use my post as an excuse to go on an anti-semetic tirade. I’m jewish; that background partially helps bring out my disgust with Geithner and the rest of our corrosive elite and institutional structure. It is true that jews have historically (and currently) sometimes held prominent positions of power. However, thse are individuals responsible for their own actions. We don’t all meet and spread the loot. Geithner and company don’t give a fuck about me, they care about themselves and their friends in high places. Judiasm at best is a cover to shield their narcissistic proclivities. Just like other religions and creeds elites happen to hold.

            Also: fuck off

    2. Yves Smith

      If you folks hadn’t responded, I could have deleted this bile without messing up the thread. But he has been dealt with.

    3. smokethebarbecue

      Gus says “Jews provoked the German solution”.

      No, they didn’t.
      But Germans provoked Dresden.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Yes. Collect the sales pitches and take them as far as you can without actually signing anything or giving them money.

      Might be another investigation in this :-)

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          I looked the site; they don’t look like fly-by-night grifters; but given the weaknesses that Yves has identified in BoA’s IT systems, I have to question how an automated workflow system would help… Garbage in, garbage out….

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    That’s a good point.

    I would also add that life-expectancy is another gender issue too important (for men anyway) to be ignored.

  21. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Luckily, that ‘Robinson Crusoe’ Russian family never met stranded Imperial Japanese soliders lost in the jungles of Southeast Asia.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I had that post more in mind as a salutary corrective to romantic notions of self-sufficiency in the forests. The part about regrowing their (rye?) seedstock from a single accidental planting is heartbreaking.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        You’re right. It is not as easy as we imagine. As we continue to assault Nature, one day, some of us might be driven to do something drastic like that.

    2. dale pues

      Amazing story. So many questions. And the sister at the end deciding to remain alone. The story raises an emotion in me I’ve never felt.

  22. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Pentagon…expansion…cyber-security unit.

    Why don’t they just put miniaturized traffic cameras everywhere on the planet?

    It’s almost certain they can catch all the bad guys this way.

    And with MMT, that’s not a problem finanacially…theoretically speaking.

  23. Jim Haygood

    Oops … MSM malfunction:

    During a segment on Monday night, CNN’s Erin Burnett took over two minutes to dissect the president’s shooting claim — and she found it wanting.

    Obama the skeet shooter,” she began. “Yeah, I’m not making this up. I mean, if someone is, it isn’t me.”

    She then played the clip of CNN’s Jessica Yellin confronting Press Secretary Jay Carney on the comments, repeatedly asking if a picture of the activity existed and why no one had ever heard of him doing it before.

    This is all an unfortunate misunderstanding.

    A stenographer wrote ‘skeet shooting’ instead of ‘spliff tooting.’

  24. Lambert Strether Post author

    RBS in for another round of bonus awkwardness, with added Libor angle

    Apparently, the regulators were worried that criminal charges against RBS would cause Mr. Market to have a sad.

    A finer example of cognitive regulatory capture would be hard to find.

  25. bobw

    Re: Cooperman “Cabbie-assaulting druggie:”
    “The deal had been contingent on Cooperman completing drug rehab and staying out of trouble for the past six months.”
    Wayback machine??

  26. Peter Pinguid Society

    At this morning’s staff meeting Professor Challenger raised the following questions:

    1. Is a post-Marxist, post-Baudrillardian Marxism possible?
    Should we be worried?

    2. What did Baudrillard mean when he said that Marx was focused on “classical” value (the more natural stage of use-value and the commodity stage of exchange value). But today value has passed through a structural stage (sign value), and is entering a fractal stage – a point of no reference at all “where value radiates in all directions”?

    3. Marx also, says Baudrillard, “eliminates the analysis of ideological labour,” and, in the end, leaves us with an enigma which can be expressed in the following question: “how is surplus value born?”

    4. Is there any danger of the left ever becoming more than a prosthesis of the right?

    5. Should the Peter Pinguid Society be concerned about a post-Baudrillardian Marxism posing a threat to rule by the 0.01 percent? Or can we ignore this and go back to sleep?

    We are the Peter Pinguid Society, we are the 0.01 percent.

  27. JGordon

    Oh, about that gun control article. I have some personal experience about this travesty of people running out and snatching up whatever fire arms they can lay their hands on whenever some mass shooting/talk of government regulations occur.

    As one example, at my favorite hardware store near my house the price on my beloved AK-47s and their magazines is now through the roof. Considering that the likelihood anything getting through congress (or being ruled as “Constitutional” by our gun-friendly Supreme Court) is effectively zero, I do sometimes with that the gun grabbers would quiet down with their irresponsible hysteria that’s drving people to arm themselves to the teeth so that I can go back to purching equipment at reasonable prices.

  28. Gladys (Peter Pinguid's ex-assistant)

    Gladys here, Peter Pinguid’s former secretary.

    I have to say that Peter Pinguid and his friends completely disgust me, and it’s this no doubt sincere disgust that makes me incapable of stopping myself from talking about it.

    And now that I’m unemployed and no longer work for him, he can’t stop me from saying it either.

    Peter Pinguid is one of the most common, most vulgar men and in this he is typical of the 0.01 percent, simply because he unreservedly takes the side of the rich against the poor. And because all of his statements are an incitement to treat the poor and the weak without the least humanity or the least pity.

    And there’s nothing new or original about this, it’s been going on for a long time and only hides a desire for the return to a primitive state where the rich get rid of the poor and the elderly without ceremony, with no questions asked, simply because they are too weak to defend themselves.

    It is, therefore, just a brutal regression, typical of our times, to a stage preceding all civilisation, for any civilisation can judge itself on the fate it reserves for the weakest, for those who are no longer productive or desirable.

    In short Peter Pinguid and his abject 0.01 percent accomplices are the most tedious and miserable examples of the brutal and heartless scum who have been proliferating for far too long, and we must find a way to stop them.

    I am Gladys, I am the 99 percent.

    1. Gladys (Peter Pinguid's ex-assistant)

      Thanks Ms G.

      Keep an eye out for breaking news related to Peter Pinguid over the next day or two.

      This one’s going to be big.

      1. Ms G

        I can honestly say that I am at the edge of my seat with anticipation.

        A lady with your experience and gumption does not come along very often, and I can only imagine the stories you have.

        ‘Til the next installment …Tra-la!

    1. skippy

      Ah its not so bad over there…

      Let see how Straya is doing…

      Northern Territory

      No Warnings Current.

      Western Australia

      Warnings current:

      Marine Wind Warning Summary for Western Australia,
      Fire Weather Warning for Coastal Central West, Gascoyne Coast and Inland Central West – North fire weather districts,
      Ocean Wind Warning 1.

      Northern Territory

      No Warnings Current.

      Western Australia

      Warnings current:

      Marine Wind Warning Summary for Western Australia,
      Fire Weather Warning for Coastal Central West, Gascoyne Coast and Inland Central West – North fire weather districts,
      Ocean Wind Warning 1.

      South Australia

      Warnings current:

      Marine Wind Warning Summary for South Australia,

      Ocean Wind Warning 1.


      Warnings current:

      Fire Weather Warning,

      Ocean Wind Warning from Fiji,

      Flood Warning – Fitzroy River (QLD),
      Flood Warning – Burnett River (QLD),
      Flood Warning – Kolan, Baffle, Boyne and Calliope Rivers (QLD),
      Flood Warning – Burrum River (QLD),
      Flood Warning – Mary River (QLD),
      Flood Warning – Sunshine Coast Rivers (QLD),
      Flood Warning – Stanley & Brisbane above Wivenhoe Dam (QLD),
      Flood Warning – Lockyer, Bremer, Warrill & Brisbane below Wivenhoe (QLD),
      Flood Warning – Logan-Albert (QLD),
      Flood Warning – Coomera, Nerang (QLD),
      Flood Warning – Condamine-Balonne Rivers (QLD),
      Flood Warning – Macintyre, Weir & Border Rivers (QLD),
      Flood Warning – Moonie River (QLD),
      Flood Warning Summary (QLD).

      NSW and ACT

      Warnings current:

      Flood Warning – Tweed River (NSW),
      Flood Warning – Richmond and Wilsons Rivers (NSW),
      Flood Warning – Clarence River (NSW),
      Flood Warning – Bellinger River (NSW),
      Flood Warning – Macleay River (NSW),
      Flood Warning – Hastings River (NSW),
      Flood Warning – Hunter River (NSW),
      Flood Warning – Hawkesbury and Nepean Rivers (NSW),
      Flood Warning – Macintyre River (NSW),
      Flood Warning – Gwydir River (NSW),
      Flood Warning – Peel and Namoi Rivers (NSW),
      Flood Warning – Camden Haven (NSW),
      Significant Weather Media Release (NSW),

      Ocean Wind Warning 1.


      Warnings current:

      Coastal Waters Wind Warning for Victorian waters between Point Hicks and 60nm east of Gabo Island orian waters between Wilsons Promontory and 60nm east of Gabo Island,
      Ocean Wind Warning 1.


      Warnings current:

      Marine Wind Warning Summary for Tasmania,
      Ocean Wind Warning 1.

      Skippy… hay 12% of our – Federal Roads – just got erased and there is thousands of trucks that can’t resupply areas for up to a few weeks. Water supply’s – treatment plants, waste plants, power, telecoms, mines, AG & animal…. THANK GOODNESS its back to school over here[!!!], that would have been the final straw!!!!!!!

      1. skippy

        BTW we have already achieved our quota… 400ish mm this year to date.

        The chances of receiving above median rainfall during the February to April period are between 60 and 70% over the northern half of Queensland, as well as most of western and southwestern WA (see map above).

        Skippy… 3 months to go…

Comments are closed.