Links 1/8/12

The loneliest lone wolf: Scientists say epic hunt for a pack or a mate by animal released into Californian wild is in vain and he will probably die alone Daily Mail

Oysters Killed by Climate Change’s Evil Twin Care2 (furzy mouse)

Toothed Bird Fossil Found In China Suggests Robin-Sized Creature Had Strange Teeth Huffington Post (Carol B)

Earth-sized planets ‘number 17bn’ BBC

The Kilogram Has Gained Weight Yahoo (Lambert)

New Delhi Attack: The Victim’s Story Wall Street Journal

Temperatures off the charts as Australia turns deep purple Sydney Morning Herald. Over 50 degrees?!?

Eurocrisis is over, declares Barroso Guardian

Cancer Risk Linked to Oil Sands in Canada New York Times

US Sailors Sue Over Fukushima Radiation OilPrice

Voice-mail hackers, possibly with al-Qaida and Syracuse connections, make thousands of fraudulent overseas calls Syracuse (bob). Commies in every woodpile, and now nasty terrorists in your phone system!

John Brennan’s extremism and dishonesty rewarded with CIA Director nomination Glenn Greenwald, Guardian

What Obama’s Nominations Mean: The Military Is Being Downsized … But Covert Operations Are Gearing Up George Washington

US drone attacks ‘counter-productive’, former Obama security adviser claims Guardian (John L)

Catfood watch:

US ‘seriously’ considering $1 trillion coin to pay off debt Telegraph

On the transient necessity of central bank independence FT Alphaville

Social Security Isn’t a Pension Plan But masaccio, Firedoglake

Why Nobody Trusts Steubenville Atlantic (Lambert)

The first word in mangled meanings Lucy Kellaway, Financial Times. Her annual corporate-speak awards.

Study defines when disclosing a whistle-blower’s identity, like in an email, becomes retaliation Science Codex

Health-Cost Pause Nears End Wall Street Journal

A future scenario with oil prices dominated by ‘above-ground’ factors FT Alphaville

Shining a light on Wall St’s power role Financial Times

It’s not the corporations; it’s the CEO class that runs them Gauis Publius

FREE ME FROM DJANGO UNCHAINED Eileen Jones, eXiled. I don’t agree with a lot of her premises, but this is a more insider-y critique than most. I think the violence would have been intolerable without the (often cheesy) humor, particularly since some of was clearly, intentionally over the top (in the last shootout scene, a baddie woman is knocked out of the frame of the scene by the shot). And having read about slave revolts (the lack thereof; the very few that took place were quickly and brutally suppressed) the idea of Django kicking off a slave revolt that would have worked is even more unbelievable than the movie was. As strained as it is, the idea of a single successful ex slave vigilante is more plausible than a black Spartacus.

Hourly Wage Linked With Hypertension Risk: Study Huffington Post


Rescued by a Bailout, A.I.G. May Sue Its Savior New York Times. Wow, this is surreal. Separately, there are two ways you get decent settlements: have a reasonable case, or have a theory that will get you past summary judgment and allow you to do painful and costly discovery. As much as Greenberg’s case is ridiculous, it would be amusing if he were able to depose folks like Geithner, who will soon be a private citizen.

Military consumers get a federal private right of action Consumer Lay & Policy Blog (Deontos)

US Foreclosure Settlement Angers Wall Street Critics Rianovosti

Why New Basel Rules Won’t Make Safer Banks John Carney, CNBC (Richard Smith). This is a really fine piece, and as someone who is not a Carney fan, I have to give him his due.

Beware the ‘central bank put’ Mohamed El-Erian, Financial Times

Emile Durkheim: religion – the very idea, part 5: humanity and the nation Guardian

Antidote du jour (Dr. Kevin):

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  1. David Lentini

    “I’ve got some slides to talk to”

    Perhaps this should have been given the “Clint Eastwood” award for best inanimate audience.

  2. taunger

    Pravda covering the link between tar sands extraction and cancer has got to be a big blow to the Big O. Could it be a sign of hope? Or just misdirection to keep the activists busy?

      1. taunger

        well it wouldn’t stop, but if it slows enough to miss those second quarter targets . . . isn’t that just as bad? I mean, if you are a legal fiction of a corporate oligarch?

      2. LeonovaBalletRusse

        PetroChemAgriPharmaNarcoWarMedFinance Global Cartel’s “Investment in the human body as its marketplace” — profits the Reich every which way. In every domain, it’s fixed for the Global Reich DNA: “Heads we win, tails you lose.”

        Isn’t this what Greenberg-A.I.G. “Investor” suit is all about? It’s a two-fer! Both sides of the coin pay to the Reich’s .01%DNA trickling to the .99% agents de convenance.

    1. Aquifer

      LOL – a Russian newspaper taking a whack at NA oil supplies, what a surprise! I have no doubt that the connection is true, but methinks it may have to come from a more “disinterested” source to maintain credibility ….

      1. Antifa

        That’s the ticket! I’m clearing some tundra this July for a banana plantation a bit Northwest of Hudson Bay.

  3. Ned Ludd

    The Nation’s “Net movement correspondent” is Ari Melber. In his other job, he gets paid to shill for the MPAA and Time Warner. He assisted Floyd Abrams in writing letters to Congress supporting SOPA and PIPA. In case you are not familiar with these awful pieces of legislation:

    We’ve discussed many times how the censorship provisions of SOPA and PIPA require US companies to set up a system that is technically identical to internet censorship systems in countries like China and Iran.

    Not surprisingly, The Nation’s “Net movement correspondent” avoided covering certain news: “Remember the huge web blackout to protest SOPA? The Nation’s ‘net movement correspondent’ didn’t write about it.”

    A Real Shill: The Nation’s Ari Melber

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Is “Floyd Abrams” part of the Abrams Dynasty of tribal warriors (Elliot, Bill)?

  4. frosty zoom

    “I think the violence would have been intolerable without the (often cheesy) humor”


    imagine “dr. strangelove” with mandrake deciding to blastersplat general ripper because it was “funny”.

    imagine “mad, mad, mad, mad world” with ethel murmen taking an AR-15 to her son-in-law.

    caddyshack with decapitated gophers…

    there’s got to be a better way.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      See role of Sullivan & Cromwell with Dulles, Walker-Bush Dynasties in:
      “TRADING WITH THE ENEMY” by Charles Higham. The surname “Sullivan” confers “invisibility” making the .01%DNA+.99%Agency of its sphere “untouchable” from era to era.

      H.G. Wells, like Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, and Stanley Kubrick, spoke in parables:
      “THE INVISIBLE MAN” – Book by H.G. Wells, Film (1933) directed by James Whale; “Brave New World” (Huxley); “Nineteen Eighty-Four”/”1984” (Wells).

      More direct is “BABYLONS’S BANKSTERS” by Joseph P. Ferrell.

      The A.I.G. Double Dip of citizen asset-stripping reveals revenge at stake.

      PSYCHOPATHIC DNA reigns, its hungry sphere growing from era to era. The “Obama” Putsch for citizen disarmament is ramping up with the “Gabrielle Gifford Movement” announced today on National Propaganda Radio “news”.

    1. Aquifer

      Yes! Read the Durkheim stuff – very relevant to “conversation” on a thread here the other day …

      But I was so pleased to find all the other series that showed up on your link, as well – including one on James …

      Will provide “hours of reading pleasure” – Thanx!

  5. Synopticist

    That Mark Ames piece on Andrew Sullivan is ace.
    The thing to remember about sullivan-he left the UK in the late eighties at Thatchers zenith, because it wasn’t right-wing enough. Most of his US career has been as a lying conservative hatchetman.

    Then he became a bigtime Obama supporter. But his political views havent changed, he’s in the same place in terms of the left-right spectrum that he was in 1987.

    1. bob

      Honestly, what one person can self identify as all of these-


      I predict he is at least 3 and as many as 5 different people.

      I can’t be the only one who notices that a lot of the completely over the top right wing pundits are gay. But, really, how gay are they? Does blowing your alter ego really count as gay? Isn’t that more accurately called a contortionist?

    2. frosty zoom

      Then he became a bigtime Obama supporter. But his political views havent changed, he’s in the same place in terms of the left-right spectrum that he was in 1987.

      that’s exactly why he’s an obama supporter.

      reagan envy, i guess..

      to whit:

      In 1987 Syrian popular opinion was split between those who supported and those who opposed President Assad’s regime. However, those who opposed the regime did so vehemently, while those who supported Assad appeared ambivalent. The charismatic Assad continued to enjoy considerable personal popularity among the latter group, but its approval did not extend to his regime as a whole. Even many of Assad’s supporters feared and loathed the draconian security measures that ensured the Assad regime’s survival, and they were shocked at the regime’s brutal repression of the Hamah insurrection in 1982.

      the möbius strip of time in action!

  6. frosty zoom

    why not make a $17,564,345,234,873,175,973,254,985,098,231.18 coin?

    free pierogi for everybody with change left over for strudel.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          With so many planets, it’s time to put an ad in the planet dating website: A lonely planet (the genuine article, not a TV show) looking for a compatible planet to explore the galaxy.

      1. craazyman

        The most confusing thought just occurred to me.

        Given how far away nearly all those planets are, and the time light takes to get here, there’s really no way of being sure they’re still there.

        1. frosty zoom


          the exact number of earth-like planets is 17,564,345,234,873,175,973,254,985,098,231.18.

          that’s almost beyond infinity.

          1. craazyman

            It’s even worse if you think about all the galaxies that are supposed to be out there. They’re millions and millions of light years away. God knows what’s happened since the light left them to get here. Maybe they’re all gone by now. Where would they go? How could we even know? It’s confusing as hell.

          2. frosty zoom

            if you think about it, everything you see is in the past.

            i think it’s all just some crazy möbius strip of time, space and cats.

            “yesterday, all my todays seemed so tomorrowish,

            now i need a place that’s not so borrowish,

            oh, i believe in 17,564,345,234,873,175,973,254,985,098,231.18 dollar coins…”

          3. Aquifer

            Wait a minute – that’s the same number as your coin, with a dollar sign in front – sumthin’ fishy goin’ on here …

        2. Aquifer

          well, we will soon know – if they haven’t checked in by April 15 – the IRS will ferret them out … unless of course some of them are offshore tax havens – hey, wait a minute, they are ALL offshore, ain’t they? Oh well, back to the drawing board, er telescope ….

          Do you think that hi-speed rail thingy would help?

        3. Hugh

          Most stars in the Milky Way are a 100,000 light years or less from us. Any planets they have are likely still to be there. As we look at other galaxies around 5-6 billion light years from us, any planets that might have been circling those stars could well be gone.

          Also although I do not have a ready figure at hand, I would think that any galaxies we currently see at around 4 billion light years from us have moved outside our universe, that is light from an object 4 billion light years from us today will, due to Hubble expansion, never reach the earth (while the light from 4 billion years ago could). The reason that we can see objects from 13 billion years ago is that the universe was smaller then although it has been expanding ever since.

          1. craazyman

            I actually saw the Andromeda galaxy as a kid through my department store 200 power reflecting telescope.

            Somehow I found it by slowly moving the telescope barrel with my hand, pointing it at the sky where the star maps said it would be. When it jumped back and forth across the shaking narrow field of view I couldn’t believe it. Then I tightened the scope down and centered it.

            It was a little puff of white light the size of a piece of lint — but you could see it was a spiral galaxy. I looked at it for 10 minutes in silent amazement and contemplation. I’ll never forget that moment.

          2. Aquifer

            craazy – you bring back memories ….

            Prolly around 50 years ago, when where i live now was less “developed” i remember that I could look up at the sky from my yard and see the Milky Way Galaxy with the naked eye … I don’t remember when, but it disappeared … Then, going up to the Adirondacks – it magically reappeared, and oh, the stars …

            A couple of decades ago I moved out to a small lake some miles north of here and – there was the Milky Way again – i was so excited! But there was a mall being built a bit south and when that mall was done and lit up, the Milky Way disappeared once more …

            It has occurred to me that more and more kids have to go to planetariums or the TV to see the stars – they can’t see them from their front yards anymore …

            Of all the things we have stolen from our children – the stars may be the most grand …

          3. Maximilien


            Wanna blow a city-slicker’s mind? Take him or her for a midnight walk in the country, when there ain’t no moon out and it’s so dark you cain’t hardly see where yer both goin’ and the stars git so bright they look like they’s are close enough to touch. I done it. It works. City-slicker mind duly blown.

            There’s a writer called Martin Amis. Sometimes he can be a pretty smart feller:

            “Cosmology will tell you that the universe is far more bizarre, prodigious, and chillingly grand than any religious doctrine, and that spiritual needs can be met by its contemplation.”

  7. JohnL

    Ocean acidification is such a big concern here in the Pacific northwest that even our Republican state representative is an activist on the issue, helping pass a bill limiting greenhouse gas emissions. To little, too late, and too local, but a start.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      JohnL, the SYMPTOMS show up long after the disease has taken hold of the system. Recall that even AIDS has a 10-year incubation period. What do you think has been the incubation period of the “disease” that causes Pacific Ocean “acidification”? The “better late than never” credo doesn’t fly past the point of no return.

    2. jrs

      Because it’s not mostly and has never been about whether they are Ds and Rs, it’s mostly been about exactly what constituency they have to represent. Of course at the top of the federal heirarchy they aren’t representing anyone but money anymore, but a little lower down …

  8. Andrew Watts


    Journalism was already kinda fucked in America. The New Republic itself was founded with Wall Street money. Willard Straight of JP Morgan was a founder of that publication. While Thomas Lamont also of the House of Morgan was a silent partner in that particular enterprise. Professor Carroll Quigley saw the New Republic as typical of most liberal publications in the United States. They served a multitude of purposes that will seem quite familiar to us.

    1. Play the role of gatekeeper for left-wing thought.

    2. Provide a safety valve for said thought.
    3. Keep liberal elements in the intellectual gulag.

    Which still works quite well to this very day. In his book, Quigley found this tidbit from the official biography of Willard Straight; “Straight was in no sense a liberal or progressive, but was, indeed, a typical international banker and that the New Republic was simply a mechanism for advancing certain designs of such international bankers”. Sure, why not? It’s not like the United States intervened in a European war to make sure the Anglophiles on Wall Street got paid back for all the loans they gave out to Great Britain and it’s allies. Or that liberal publications like the New Republic were staunchly in favor of armed intervention. That only happened twice!

    It would be ideal if journalism would provide a forum for the expression and free flow of ideas. Unfortunately reality is far from ideal. Until people realize that journalism acts as an opinion maker, there will be no mass inoculation against extreme ideas propagated by pseudo-intellectual whores like Andrew Sullivan.

    1. Andrew Watts

      People like Ames share more in common with the muckrakers of the Progressive Era then they do journalists like Hunter S. Thompson. Somebody whom Mark has quite obviously tried to emulate in the past. It makes reading him (and Yasha Levine) all the more enjoyable when they’ve begun to internalize that fact.

      Another generation of muckrakers is being born. With all the self-righteous fury that only an American can bring.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      AW, Isn’t it obvious by now that “Conservative” and “Liberal” are just the two faces of the same Global Reich coin of “currency”? How we’ve been played.

  9. Jim Haygood

    ‘That the Obama administration doesn’t plan on fighting as many conventional wars with men in uniform – soldiers, sailors, pilots and marines – but does plan to crank up assassinations, drone strikes and other covert operations worldwide.’ — GW

    Conventional war, with serried ranks of infantrymen blasting at each other across the fields of Flanders, is virtually obsolete. Fourth generation warfare, with chronic low-intensity warfare, is the future on which the military-industrial-political complex plans to sustain itself.

    Not coincidentally, it is executive power-centric. Large swathes of its budget and activities are classified, off limits to parliamentary review. The American republic is now the American empire, retaining the forms but not the substance of democracy.

    That’s where fourth generation, asymetric warfare against corrupt, dying nation-states comes in. Osama will go down in history as a greater military strategist than his alleged slayer, Obama, having goaded the U.S. empire into ensuring its own economic destruction via the creation of an oppressive, muscle-bound, value-subtraction national security state.

    1. Cynthia

      To see talking heads (whose relationship to the average American is about as remote as the drones themselves) droning on about how we are so privileged because we are not making any sacrifices like the families of the troops (the only sacrifice I made was to bite my tongue when various idiots I know encouraged their kids to enlist) – is nauseating. And of course the sales pitch for the drones comes right out of this parental anxiety – how nice to have your son or daughter serving at a video game console in Arizona rather than on the front lines…

      Of course this is like that experiment at Stanford in which students gave lethal doses of electricity (they thought) to people who got things wrong on a test. Here the test is whether you are an insurgent in your own country or a quisling. The quislings pass and the insurgents are zapped.

      What goes around, comes around. The people we zap may one day be our own. And there are willing executioners aplenty. The youthful participants in the experiment were the most gung-ho. Those who stepped out of the box tended to be older and wiser, but the military never much cares to have those types hanging around unless they are conduits of power, good conductors of zapping electricity.

      1. danb

        A minor point: the study at Stanford (circa 1972) involved randomly dividing students into prisoners and guards; at Yale (circa 1957) people recruited from the community were duped into thinking they were giving other people electric shocks in a learning experiment.

    2. Klassy!

      Well, wasn’t this all announced last year?– something about the need to close bases at home and cut Tricare so that we can spend on fancy new antiterror/surveillance crap.
      Ah well, I had this teeny tiny shred of hope because a non chicken hawk had been nominated for defense secretary. Nevermind. It all makes sense.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Drones have a much lower cost/benefit ratio. It’s ALL about the dough. (“Nothing personal” — it REALLY is NOTHING “personal” — don’tcha git it? Psychopaths do NOT “feel our pain” although they may be expert at portraying this “affinity” with fully human beings. ALL they care about is THEIR power, wealth, control, THEIR “freedom” from competition for Resources of Earth/Water/Air/FIRE. And it is by monopoly control of ALL “money” by any name that the Reich obtains this THEIR freedom from want/bother/care.

    3. Maximilien

      “The American republic is now the American empire…”

      Except for a (very) brief existence as a republic, America has ALWAYS been about empire. Beginning with the War of 1812, moving through the invasion of Mexico in 1846, the simultaneous expropriation of Indian lands, and the Spanish-American War of 1898; and into the 20th century with WWs I and II, Korea, Vietnam, Latin America, etc., etc., etc., the historical record speaks loud and clear.

      America was a republic for all of 25 years. It’s been an empire for 200. There should have been bi-centennial celebrations of the fact in 2012—conquering troops and saluting generals marching down Pennsylvania Avenue— but, of course, there weren’t. The Empire still dareth not speak its name.

      1. citalopram

        That’s a damn good point. Constitutional ideals went out the window quickly after the Republic was formed. Nothing has changed since man started forming governments: might makes right.

  10. Max424

    From the BBC: “…our Milky Way galaxy hosts at least 17 billion Earth-sized planets.”

    Is that all? Gad Zeus, but don’t our galaxy blow?

    I’m moving. Going to find me a parallel galaxy which has more planets, and hence more opportunities to become an entrepreneur!

    Whether I want to be an entrepreneur or not (I don’t!), is no longer the question. I need to be one. It’s either that or get a PhD and work the line at Burger King … or so sayeth and commandeth the true Masters of the Universe, the Neo-liberal Gods.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think we should make our planet bigger.

      Right now, our planet is not big enough to qualify for ‘too big to fail.’ So, it’s imperative we make it bigger.

  11. jsmith

    Regarding Euro crisis – good one, Jose! – here’s a nice overview of what 2012 offered us and what path the world is on for 2013.

  12. CB

    US drone attacks are counter productive only from a narrow anti-terrorism/state security perspective. From the perspectives of the MI complex and the surveillence state, taken together as the empire, it’s quite effective. Throw in the imperial and autocratic presidency and it’s spectacularly effective.

    I never thought anti terrorism was the objective.

    1. Cynthia

      Drones are a coward’s weapon. Sure, they’ll kill some “enemies”, here and there, but all that will accomplish is to teach their lieutenants to keep their heads down and faces covered. In the meantime, we’ll be showing the Arabs that we are cowards – afraid to look them in the eyes when we kill them. It will embolden jihad and benefit nobody except the corporate bloodsuckers who sell drones to the CIA. That’s just fine with them, however. More jihad equals more profits for them. How far we’ve fallen that we sacrifice the legacy of our Forefathers for such meaningless slaughter. You’d think that anyone who believed in “enlightened self-interest” would realize that there’s no profit in destroying the nation.

      And I must say that of all of the injustices meted out by the Bush Administration and continued by Obama – the Drone murders are the most disgusting. Having remote-controlled bombs rain terror on largely innocent people in violation of all and any international laws and standards is almost as low as it gets. I hope somebody in America is bringing it up in the political arena somewhere – this is purely criminal and must be stopped!

      1. CB

        European Americans have never stuck at slaughtering the innocent. It’s more a part of our history on this continent than the Constitution. The wars between native Americans and European Americans were sickeningly brutal. All stops out. And that doesn’t even touch the “issue” of slavery.

        The human propensity for carnage and cruelty is unmatched in the animal kingdom.

        1. Maximilien

          “The wars between native Americans and European Americans were sickeningly brutal.”

          CB, a document to support your assertion, a telegram dated Dec. 28, 1866 from General Sherman to General Grant:

          “We must act with vindictive earnestness against the Sioux, even to their extermination, men, women, and children.”

          Endorsement of genocide. On the record. The actual genocide came a little later, when Sherman conducted the “Indian wars” under Grant’s Presidency.

      2. wunsacon

        >> Drones are a coward’s weapon.

        As with “taxes” and “personal responsibility”, “bravery” is only for the little people.

    2. curlydan

      Coming soon to a reality near you:
      “Sky Wars: The Drone Wars”

      Blowback’s a b!+ch. The weathermen will soon be tracking drones. “There’s a drone warning for Johnson County for the next 30 minutes. It’s currently headed NE at 45 mph. All residents are advised to head to their basements”

    3. dale pues

      Drones have been around a long time, invented by some Hollywood actor. We played with them when we were kids. The local toy and hobby store sold them as kits and as completed planes, ready for gas, special gas if I remember correctly. They came with radio remote controls…kind of crude, but they took off, flew around, and landed, pilotless of course. We all knew that one day someone would turn our toy into a weapon. Now kids can own nearly the real thing:

  13. Herman Sniffles

    “The lonliest lone wolf”

    I would have called the article “Adam in the Garden Alone.” He’s picked a good spot. Most people don’t realize that this part of California, from just north of Sacramento up to the Oregon border (my stomping grounds) is larger than Wyoming and has a lower population density than that state. According to the map, the wolf passed very close to a spot where, during the mid 1800’s, 53 Modoc Indians held off 3000 government troups for days shooting at them from some lava beds. But of course that was before gun control.

    1. jfwellspdx

      I thought that headline was really misleading. The wolf wasn’t “released into California.” He migrated there – just like 3/4 of the human population.

    1. curlydan

      Time to update the lyrics to Midnight Oil’s “Beds are Burning” to:
      “The western desert lives and breathes
      In fifty-four degrees”

      1. wunsacon

        If it gets hot (and worthless) enough….who knows? Us Anglos *just might* “give it back”.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    US serioulsy considering $1 trillion coin – Telegraph.

    It seems that the $1 trillion coin is either a perpetual motion machine or a coin that operates a perpetual motion moachine.

  15. Klassy!

    Link from the huffpost hypertension article:
    Now I’m going to have hypertension. This is perfect. Who could have imagined? Why these aren’t groups expected to have an increased risk of hypertenison– women and younger workers? What is the answer: screening!
    Or, just perhaps we could look at th root causes: stress brought on by poverty, inequality, and lack of autonomy in the workplace.

    1. Klassy!

      Oh, I’m picking on the wrong people: From the study:
      “By isolating a direct and fundamental aspect of work that people greatly value, we were able to shed light on the relationship between SES and circulatory health,” said Leigh. “Wages are also a part of the employment environment that easily can be changed. Policymakers can raise the minimum wage, which tends to increase wages overall and could have significant public-health benefits.”

        1. Klassy!

          It should be the starting point as well as a reduction in inequality — everything else is just nibbling at the edges.

  16. Hank

    Re Django. Nice whipping up of racial hatred against the Scots Irish southerners since things seem to have settled down lately.

    The largest slave owners in America were Jewish slave merchants such as Aaron Lopez out of Rhode Island and the biggest slave owning family was the Monsanto family out of New Orleans via Portuguese Africa. Would have been great to see Django going after those people.

    Historical facts can be so inconvenient. So you create shiny distractions.

    1. CB

      The Portuguese do have a history in Africa. I’ve often wondered just how slowly comes around goes around, because misfortunes do seem to catch up some generations on.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Hank, precisely so. Reich Divide & Conquer: “Italian” v. “Scots-Irish yeomen”. It’s more magick by touch of sacred Holly Wood!

    3. spooz

      Dunno bout stereotyping, the plantation owners’ nationalities didn’t really register with me.
      I just enjoyed Tarantino’s take on the spaghetti western, ultra violence and all. Is this something I should be ashamed of?

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Chief baddy was Calvin Candie. Candy would be a French name, Candie would be Italian. So I don’t see how anyone can say he was Scot Irish.

        1. IF

          As nobody has pointed it out yet, Tarantino pretty much ignored the 1966 Django except for the title song and the superhero motive. Nevertheless he took many ideas from the other Corbucci movie Il Grande Silenzio ( ) and deranged them grotesquely (Call it Tarantino style). There is nothing deep he created. The location selection was lazy (What, Alabama hills 4 times? In Texas?! California rolling coastal oaks hills?) Thick racial stereotypes that bordered offensive. I enjoyed it (more than other superhero flicks). But Candie ain’t no Loco.

    4. different clue

      What percent of all slaves owned were owned by Jewish slave owners? What percent of all slaves owned were owned by AngloSaxon/Celtic slaveowners?

      A clue might be found in what surnames post-slavery black people of today mostly have. How many black people today have Jewish surnames? For that matter, how many black people today have Polish or German or Italian last names?

      One can play games with names to see what sounds ridiculous, and therefor what percent of ethnocultural ownership of who by whom was highly rare.

      Ready? Begin! Dr. Martin Luther Schwartzentrubber. H. Rap Hoopingarner. Stokely Sonnenmoser. Booker T. Goppoldvonlobsdorff. Malcolm “X” Frauhammer. Fannie Lou Fingledinger. ( Those are all real last names I have really seen, by the way). Point made, hmmm?

  17. JEHR

    That sweet little bird picture took me awhile to figure out where the feet and head were. A beauty anyway!

    1. Aquifer

      What an incredible feat of gymnastics – reminds me the rings routine in the Olympics, only way more impressive, IMO …

  18. Jack Hepler

    My esteemed co-conspirators here at NC are scoffing at the trillion dollar coin— better called PlatinumCoin Seigneurage— to their discredit. The superficial argument is that it sounds so crazy that it must be crazy. QED

    So how about creating a trillion dollars out of electrons? Gee that’s great stuff, the evolution of modern finance. And then, with this funny money loaned to big banks (at .2% interest), said banks turn around and lend it to the USGov’t at 3 or 4% interest. Crazy???? No its business as usual. It can’t be crazy because it is OUR system, the greatest country the world has ever seen!! By definition it is GOOD

    I still don’t hear the larger question addressed: are we better off with our current system (which has left our country 16.7 trillion dollars in debt) of privately controlled debt-based money or might we try a Constitutionally mandated system in which the Govt directly controls the creation of money, without having to go deeply into debt?
    I cannot believe that the USGovt could do worse than what we have now.

    What I like most about the trillion dollar coin is its potential use as a tool to open up this debate. Personally, I see this first step— using the coin to raise the debt ceiling— is totally namby pamby, since it just gets us more room to borrow more money from the banks. However it IS a step that would be accomodated by enough of the elites that it could be done. The real value would be a huge precedent for the further steps toward retaking control of the money supply from the banksters.

    1. frosty zoom

      The real value would be a huge precedent for the further steps toward retaking control of the money supply from the banksters.

      the whole money thing is just nuts. all we need are little slips of paper that enable bartering between disparate parties on a global scale, say a telescope maker in des moines and a loquat farmer in kenya. we can let madame marquette set the value in an environment of strict environmental regulation.

      just declare yourself a bank. you know, “i the people” and such. fire up the ol’ epson* and start lending. in fact, let’s just stop using their money.

      ours is cleaner.

      everybank for hisself!

      *worst printer i ever had.

    2. ohmyheck

      Try using the “search” or “tags”. There have been quite a few discussions on the coinage issue, and there is certainly no NC consensus on it. Everyone makes rational points and it has been an excellent debate here, pro and con.

    3. LeonovaBalletRusse

      JH, but don’t you think the profit really redounds to the RoyalBOE/The City of BIS Principals and trickle-down agents committing treason in office in the U.S.?

  19. Cynthia

    Re — “Health-Cost Pause Nears End”:

    I can think of one glaringly obvious reason, despite being largely based on hearsay and anecdotal evidence, as to why the slowdown in healthcare costs is rapidly coming to an end. I recently ran into an old nurse friend of mine who had been working for about 10 years as an advanced practice nurse in interventional radiology and is now working as a manager in one of the ICUs. He told me that he made the switch because the pay and the hours are much better and the work is a lot less stressful and strenuous.

    But why should this be so, I ask? Why are hospitals, at least teaching hospitals, paying a nurse manager, whose work is very poorly defined, does NOT require a license to practice and is NOT billable to Medicare/Medicaid or a private insurer, more than an advanced practice nurse, whose work is very well defined, DOES require a license to practice and is billable to Medicare/Medicaid or a private insurer? It seems rather backwards to me! The answer to this question lies in the fact that hospitals or any outpatient facility that’s a part of a hospital-owned network can tack on a HUGE “facility fee” to every test or procedure (see links below), from, say, a arteriovenous (A/V) fistulagram and dialysis catheter placement to cerebral or cardiac stent placement. A lot of this so-called “facility fee” isn’t going towards paying for highly skilled and trained workers like my friend who used to work as a nurse practitioner in interventional radiology, making him perhaps one among just a handful of nurses in the entire country with such skills. It is instead going towards paying for an overly fat and bloated management structure, which is chock full of overpaid and over-benefited nurse managers.

    So, if Congress and the President are looking for ways to cut health care costs without reducing health benefits or compromising patient care, they should seriously consider cutting out all of the “facility fees” going to hospitals and their entire network of outpatient facilities. And if anyone ever tries to tells you that most of these fees are going towards covering the cost of the uninsured, please know that this is a big fat lie! Charity care, via Medicaid and Medicare disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments, covers most of the costs of the uninsured.

    1. Aquifer

      Well, obviously the “system” benefits your friend – is he complaining? And that begs the question, ISTM, of whether he is overpaid now or was underpaid before …

      I agree with you there are too many admin who are paid too much, but i don’t think i would, ipso facto, assume that applies to staff ..

      1. JTFaraday

        Hospitals, like universities, run themselves. You just show up the day after Labor Day and there it is.

  20. Aquifer

    Kilogram gained weight? Good grief, must be all that hi-fructose corn syrup – that’s what happens when the metric system comes to America – it shoulda stayed in Europe, but, oops, too late now …

    And pretty soon it’ll get diabetes and oh dear ….

    (I am not making fun of the seriousness of our weight/DM issues – but “black humor” in medicine is sometimes the only thing that keeps med folks sane in the middle of mayhem … :))

      1. Aquifer

        Hmm, are you referring to girth or height? Humans do tend to get shorter after a certain age, but i don’t know about metres, the only ones I have met greeted me at K-Mart or Home Depot, but we never discussed shrinkage – too personal, i guess …

        1. Aquifer

          Do they work better than nail clippers? The last pair i got really sucked – methinks that’s why i keep hitting the rong kees …

    1. Busty Lusty

      “The Kilogram” is a measure of mass, not weight. Weight is the effect of gravity on mass, so the Froggie’s vaunted ‘Kilogram” is a different weight at sea-level or the top of a mountain, at the Pole or the Equator and, of course, weighs nothing at all in space.

      So there’s no need to diet. Just lose weight by going to live on a mountain top.

      1. Aquifer

        That raises all sorts of interesting – questions – if losing weight can reverse diabetes – could one do that by simply going “up in the air” a sufficient distance? Heh, heh ….

        There are clearly metabolic issues going on – so where are they “located”? Food (non-fat) for thought …

  21. Hugh

    The pro-torture, pro-kill list, pro-drone John Brennan is indeed extremist but he also shows how extremist and anti-Constitution Obama is. He’s Obama’s National Security Adviser and had Obama’s ear on a daily basis for 4 years now. He’s not a fluke. He’s the essence of Obama’s foreign policy, infinitely more so than Hillary Clinton doing her star turn, now coming to a close at State. If our country ever stood for anything worthwhile, Brennan is its opposite.

    Andrew Sullivan, by contrast, is way down the food chain from Brennan. Brennan is a high level architect of murder and war crimes. Sullivan is just one of thousands of really rather pathetic propagandists who populate our media.

    As for “It’s not the corporations it’s the CEO class which runs them,” that’s a riff on “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” Both are false. Corporations like guns are designed to be harmful. Corporations are there to maximize profits, not the social good. Otherwise a good screed against the rich.

    The biggest above ground factor in the price of oil is speculation. I could not read the referenced article because it was behind a paywall, even via google.

    1. Aquifer

      uh, oh – a paywall that is impervious to Google … First we can’t find out why the Pres, is whacking folks with drones, now we can’t even find out how to get into a webpage – this is getting serious, folks …

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Imagine how famously Obama would live as a hero in history books if he turned coat after putting his own chess pieces on the board! That would be a “man’s job” — is Obama a Wimp or a Man for the next thousand years?

  22. charles sereno

    “I think we can say that the existential threat against the euro has essentially been overcome,” Barroso said in Lisbon.

    I say that I think that, ” We can say that the ESSENTIAL threat against the euro has EXISTENTIALLY been overcome.” (reference, “Gobbledydook for Dummies).

  23. JTFaraday

    re: The loneliest lone wolf: Scientists say epic hunt for a pack or a mate by animal released into Californian wild is in vain and he will probably die alone, Daily Mail

    “He is believed to be the first of the predators to roam within the state’s boundaries since 1924, when the last gray wolf was killed by a trapper intent on making the West safe for cattle.

    ‘The reality is OR-7 is not likely to find a mate in California. He’ll likely pass on without successfully reproducing.'”

    I guess evolution is just friendlier to cattle.

  24. LeonovaBalletRusse

    //Tuesday, January 8, 2013
    For the latest updates, go to »
    Daily Report
    Mobile Apps Drive Rapid Change in Searches | When the Federal Trade Commission decided last week to close its antitrust investigation of Google without charges, one important factor, though hardly mentioned, was just beneath the surface: the mobile revolution, reports Claire Cain Miller in Tuesday’s New York Times.
    Google has repeatedly made the argument – and the commission agreed – that the speed of change in the technology industry made it impossible for regulators to impose restrictions without stalling future innovations.//
    Why the bum’s rush? Is the Reich doubling/tripling down on DNA despotism?

  25. diane

    (Tried to post regarding the following on yesterdays Links, but it was eaten up)

    Maybe the reduction in clean tech investments has much to with VC Angel whining over cutoffs in some of the Pig Fests which subsidized questionable $Green$ investments. For instance, I suspect that the BrightSource/Ivanpah Solar subsidies – which, for just one issue, created a stunningly microscopic amount of perm versus temp jobs (if it created any new perm jobs?) – seemed vastly more troubling in the long run, to me, than the Solyndra boondoggle. But perhaps there were far more ReThugs (Issa, for one?) with skin in the BrightSource pig fest:

    06/13/12 Why BrightSource is different than Solyndra (bolding mine):

    BrightSource’s largest investor is VantagePoint Venture Partners, which happens to have its own political action committee. The majority of VantagePoint PAC’s contributions have gone to Republican candidates, including Mitt Romney and House Speaker John Boehner.

    (Link: )

    To my last check, I was surprised to see that most, if not all, of its revenues came from Thermal Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR – solar to steam oil extraction) projects:

    Our Coalinga Solar-to-Steam for EOR project in California developed in partnership with Chevron represents our first thermal EOR project and is expected to commence operations in the second half of 2011. We believe that solar-to-steam applications of our systems, such as thermal EOR, represent a significant growth opportunity.

    Through December 31, 2010, our revenues have been primarily associated with two projects, Ivanpah and the Coalinga Solar-to-Steam for EOR project.

    (link: note: re that linked, April 2011, “Form S-1, Registration Statement” the IPO never came to fruition)

    Isn’t this thermal EOR fracturing (“fracking”) of a sort, as it involves underground steam insertion. I wasn’t able to verify, but I do know the State of California has been deliberately holding back the data for years on the Fracking being done within its boundaries.

    In Federal goodies alone, BrightSource is located on 3,500 acres of Public Land and received a DOE/Steven Chu “Fast Tracked” $1.6 Billion (Refer to the Form S-1 link above ) low rate, Federally Guaranteed Loan ( ), to Solyndra’s, dwarfed by comparison, $535M; which the Government (us actually) are essentially solely responsible for in the event of bankruptcy (fake or real).

    BrightSource and its investors, which include: the aforementioned, VantagePoint Venture Partners, Google, BP, Morgan Stanley, Chevron and Alstom ( ), will share in a whopping 1.3 Billion of Federal subsidies consisting of what looks to be the Section 1603 (no longer available) cash grant of $600M, and $700M of a 30% Investment Tax Credit, which credit will be spread over five years (092012: ).

    I would love to go in to further detail, as I many spent hours sifting through numerous articles, corporate info and government data, saving numerous fascinating links. For instance, I would love to delve further into the PG&E (the San Bruno, California, Community Incinerator Utility Co., which is now getting ready to charge its customers for its own stunning venality and malfeasance with, of course, the assistance of the CA Public Utilities Commission (PUC)) related aspect, or as to whether a foreign investor, such as France, Israel, or China, ends up with majority ownership; but I don’t want to take up any more space and I don’t have the time to properly do those issues justice. I will leave a link to the latest critique I could find regarding BrightSource, dated 12/03/12 (see photo caption and the environment link, as the piece is very much about BrightSource, though it’s oddly not named directly):

    State’s sprint to wind, solar power could trigger crisis, panel warns

    My own conclusion – after those long hours spent over the last few years – is that: in a better world, small localized utilities ( 12/29/12: Small-scale solar’s big potential goes untapped – Modest-size projects can produce electricity at a lower cost to consumers and the environment, but financing goes to big plants.,0,4877406,full.story ) would contribute to a non-corrupted Government nationalized utility system. Siiiighhh, …but. Iran tried the Nationalization of its oil in the fifties though, in relation to BP [Anglo-Persian Oil Co., Ltd.,], and the US consequently destroyed their attempt at Democracy (and that’s putting it way too mildly).

    1. diane

      Thanks so much for finally allowing this out of “moderation” and just thought I would add:

      The interesting thing about those Section 1603 Cash Grants is that they were apparently very short lived and that BrightSource was noted as the first in line for one:

      10/29/10 BrightSource Energy is First to Qualify for 30% Recovery Act Federal Funding

      The 30% cash grant funding under the Recovery Act for this sea change in US energy is like Cinderella’s coach, that is held together as if by magic, and turns back into a humble pumpkin at the stroke of midnight.

      These were cash grants which would have been (and would be now) very, very helpful to true, small, inspired groups of persons: where that cash would be pumped into that inspired product – versus being pumped into the pockets of investors who only invest for their own welfare – had those cash grants continued. Those quite short lived Cash Grants, were obviously lucrative for Bright$ource, et al …. who had (read: could afford) the legal expertise to set up “the deal” appropriately:

      January 2010 Issues to Consider When Using the Section 1603 Grant Program

      It is possible to monetize project depreciation; however, it is difficult and the right investor and tax structure is a necessity.

      I have to really wonder how many, if any, small, actually devoted to non-toxic, non-corrupted energy sources, actually knew about, let alone received, those grants within that short time span, let alone received any backing from the corrupt utility companies and VC Angel$ ™. And, of course, now it’s too late.

    2. diane

      Sorry, I messed up the blockquote html coding in my above post on the following, which was a quote from a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing, and not my commentary:

      Our Coalinga Solar-to-Steam for EOR project in California developed in partnership with Chevron represents our first thermal EOR project and is expected to commence operations in the second half of 2011. We believe that solar-to-steam applications of our systems, such as thermal EOR, represent a significant growth opportunity.

      Through December 31, 2010, our revenues have been primarily associated with two projects, Ivanpah and the Coalinga Solar-to-Steam for EOR project.

  26. LeonovaBalletRusse

    “Health Update” – 8Jan13 from
    //Money and Policy
    Cuomo Plans New Rules in Fight Against Sepsis
    Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo will announce in his State of the State Message this week that all New York hospitals must adopt aggressive procedures for identifying sepsis in patients.//
    What NO-ONE dare say is that “acrylic” and other false fingernails on innumerable “health workers” is a leading cause of sepsis in hospitals and clinics. Imagine “blowback” if false and “wrapped” nails are forbidden there.

  27. charles sereno

    Greenwald’s article in the Guardian about John Brennan led me to do some research. I recovered the following reputed notes from Brennan’s highly questionable, alleged diary:
    “I was agin waterboarding after I was fur it after I found out it had furrin connections. You know, like Chinese water torture or Spaniards’ “agua” treatments during inquisitions. On the other hand, supervised Amurican enhanced methods, OK. What the hell are we supposed to do? Just lay down before these jerks?

  28. Butch in Waukegan

    The TSA Wants To Be Everywhere In 2013 (HuffPo):

    Few people know that $105 million of their taxpayer dollars are going to fund 37 VIPR teams in 2012, whose purpose is to “augment” the security of any mode of transportation. They don’t realize that these VIPR teams can show up virtually anytime, anywhere and without warning, subjecting you to a search of your vehicle or person.

    VIPR stands for Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response. When I emailed a link to this to a friend he replied “You know your organization is evil when it sounds like G.I. Joe should be fighting you… VIPR!”

  29. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Do you remember that line in Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove” —
    “You’re gonna have to answer to the Coca-Cola Company?”

    NOW do you understand what that means?

  30. Mercedes

    No, don’t continue the tradition of erasing the history of slave revolts. A better article, by a historian, not a film theorist, on Django’s riff on false narratives of slave history:

    From Wikipedia’s Slave Rebellion entry:

    North America

    Numerous black slave rebellions and insurrections took place in North America during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. There is documentary evidence of more than 250 uprisings or attempted uprisings involving ten or more slaves. Three of the best known in the United States during the 19th century are the revolts by Gabriel Prosser in Virginia in 1800, Denmark Vesey in Charleston, South Carolina in 1822, and Nat Turner in Southampton County, Virginia, in 1831.
    Slave resistance in the antebellum South did not gain the attention of academic historians until the 1940s when historian Herbert Aptheker started publishing the first serious scholarly work on the subject. Aptheker stressed how rebellions were rooted in the exploitative conditions of the Southern slave system. He traversed libraries and archives throughout the South, managing to uncover roughly 250 similar instances.
    The 1811 German Coast Uprising, which took place outside of New Orleans in 1811, involved up to 500 slaves. It was suppressed by volunteer militias and a detachment of the United States Army. They killed 66 black men in the battle, executed 16, and 17 escaped and/or were killed along the way to freedom.
    Although only involving about seventy slaves, the Turner’s 1831 rebellion is considered to be a devastating event in American history. Over sixty people were killed causing the slave-holding south to go into a panic. Fifty-five men women and children were killed as Turner and his fellow rebel slaves rampaged from plantation to plantation throughout Virginia. Fears afterward led to new legislation passed by southern states prohibiting the movement, assembly, and education of slaves, and reducing the rights of free people of color. Turner and the other slaves were eventually stopped as their ammunition ran out. Resulting in the hanging of about eighteen slaves, including Nat Turner himself.
    John Brown had already fought against pro-slavery forces in Kansas for several years when he decided to lead a raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia (West Virginia was not yet a state). This raid was a joint attack by former slaves, freed blacks, and white men who had corresponded with slaves on plantations in order to form a general uprising among slaves. It almost succeeded, had it not been for Brown’s delay, and hundreds of slaves left their plantations to join Brown’s force – and others left their plantations to join Brown in an escape to the mountains. Eventually, due to a tactical error by Brown, their force was quelled. But directly following this, slave disobedience and the number of runaways increased markedly in Virginia.[12]
    The historian Steven Hahn proposes that the self-organized involvement of slaves in the Union Army during the American Civil War composed a slave rebellion that dwarfed all others.[13] Similarly, tens of thousands of slaves joined British forces or escaped to British lines during the American Revolution, sometimes using the disruption of war to gain freedom. For instance, when the British evacuated from Charleston and Savannah, they took 10,000 slaves with them. They also evacuated slaves from New York, taking more than 3,000 for resettlement to Nova Scotia, where they were recorded as Black Loyalists and given land grants.[14]
    Part of a series of articles on…

    1526 San Miguel de Gualdape
    (Sapelo Island, Georgia, Victorious)
    c. 1570 Gaspar Yanga’s Revolt
    (Veracruz, Victorious)
    1712 New York Slave Revolt
    (New York City, Suppressed)
    1733 St. John Slave Revolt
    (Saint John, Suppressed)
    1739 Stono Rebellion
    (South Carolina, Suppressed)
    1741 New York Conspiracy
    (New York City, Suppressed)
    1760 Tacky’s War
    (Jamaica, Suppressed)
    1767 Battle of the Lord Ligonier
    (Atlantic Ocean, Suppressed)
    1791–1804 Haitian Revolution
    (Saint-Domingue, Victorious)
    1800 Gabriel Prosser
    (Virginia, Suppressed)
    1805 Chatham Manor
    (Virginia, Suppressed)
    1811 German Coast Uprising
    (Territory of Orleans, Suppressed)
    1815 George Boxley
    (Virginia, Suppressed)
    1822 Denmark Vesey
    (South Carolina, Suppressed)
    1831 Nat Turner’s rebellion
    (Virginia, Suppressed)
    1831–1832 Baptist War
    (Jamaica, Suppressed)
    1839 Amistad, ship rebellion
    (Off the Cuban coast, Victorious)
    1841 Creole, ship rebellion
    (Off the Southern U.S. coast, Victorious)
    1842 Slave Revolt in the Cherokee Nation
    (Southern U.S., Suppressed)
    1859 John Brown’s Raid
    (Virginia, Suppressed)

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      The ones in the US were all suppressed brutally. Pretending they were successes and by extension, a rebel could have succeeded, is simply incorrect.

      There were successful revolts in the Caribbean. Mark Ames explains why in his book Going Postal.

      1. Mercedes

        well, you said “And having read about slave revolts (the lack thereof; the very few that took place were quickly and brutally suppressed” which is not the same as just saying they were all suppressed. I dont deny specific revolts did not result in freedom for the slaves involved (although many slaves escaped– it was a constant problem), but most historians of this period understand the effect the revolts were having on the institution, as well as many other strategies slaves used to undermine their masters, and this resistance made it untenable for the south to consider making slaves into soldiers. The point of the article I link to is that the movie riffs on the notion of mostly obedient and loyal slaves, when this is really a caricature of slaves promoted by whites at the time, that still persists, and is deeply flawed.

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