Links 2/21/13

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Research Chimpanzees Savor Retirement At Chimp Haven Sanctuary In Louisiana Huffington Post (Carol B)

Pseudo-Protests and Serious Climate Crisis CounterPunch (Lambert)

Heavy metal moshers move just like molecules! Physicists reveal music fans in mosh pit follow same ‘logic’ as 2D gas particles Daily Mail

Unstable commodities FT Alphaville

Millions strike in India over high prices Aljazeera (Lambert)

Trade unions’ strike hits banking, transport services Hindu BusinessLine (Lambert)

BP’s Reputation Set to Take a Beating as it Begins its Trial against the Feds OilPrice

Fake horse racing blog dodges Italy’s election polls blackout Reuters

China to suppress housing, steel smacked MacroBusiness

The Mystery of Israel’s ‘Prisoner X’ Gawker

Catfood watch:

Pentagon Warns of Widespread Civilian Furloughs New York Times

What the Sequester Fight Shows About the Bipartisan Fetish Jon Walker, Firedoglake (Carol B)

On Education, Barack Obama is the President of Privatization. Can We Stop Him? Will We? Bruce Dixon, Black Agenda Report Carol B)

Four Are Dead After a String of Shootings in California New York Times

Steve Keen: Using Kickstarter to Fund Research Global Economic Intersection

Major football stadium in Florida to be named after private prison company Daily Mail (Lambert). If you had any doubts that running prisons is way too lucrative, this should settle them.

Our Rhee on Rose: The potted plant! Daily Howler (Lambert)

Growth in Real Household Income by Quintile Michael Shedlock

Bloomberg Terminal Iceberg – Tortious Interference? Deadly Clear (Deontos). Seriously bad.

Ben Bernanke QE Documents Requested by House Committee Value Walk (j33)

Libor setting ‘still not clean’ despite scandal BBC (Richard Smith). Quelle surprise!

How Paul Krugman broke a Wikipedia page on economics Salon (Paul Tioxon)

Michael Moore: How My Friend and Current Oscar Nominee Was Held and Threatened with Deportation at LAX Alternet

Scale Implosion James Kunstler

Also, save the date! Lambert will be in NYC next weekend. He’ll be having dinner in Chinatown (details TDB) Friday March 1 with Correntians. If you want to join them, you are most welcome. More info to follow.

Antidote du jour:

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  1. Fíréan

    In response to the private prison sponsoring a football stadium article, and the profitability of the private prison system. I read earlier this week an article at Truthdig (website) on the same topic, detailing the extent of profits of the New York Stock Exchange traded corporations, eg. Corrections Corporation of America. CCA, and the amounts spent on lobbying to discourage prison reform or reduce detention for lesser crimes or any decrimilization of lesser defaults.

    Here’s a quote from the two page article, reflecting the profitability of incarceration:

    A March 2012 CCA investor presentation prospectus, quoted by the ACLU, tells potential investors that incarceration “creates predictable revenue streams.” The document cites demographic trends that the company says will continue to expand profits. These positive investment trends include, the prospectus reads, “high recidivism”—“about 45 percent of individuals released from prison in 1999 and more than 43 percent released from prison in 2004 were returned to prison within three years.” The prospectus invites investments by noting that one in every 100 U.S. adults is currently in prison or jail. And because the U.S. population is projected to grow by approximately 18.6 million from 2012 to 2017, “prison populations would grow by about 80,400 between 2012 and 2017, or by more than 13,000 additional per year, on average,” the CCA document says.

    The two largest private prison companies in 2010 received nearly $3 billion in revenue. The senior executives, according to the ACLU report, each received annual compensation packages worth well over $3 million. The for-profit prisons can charge the government up to $200 a day to house an inmate; they pay detention officers as little as $10 an hour. /unquote.

    1. Brindle

      Private prison industry influence one reason Obama admin going after states that legalize some marijuana use and dispensaries.

      1. Fíréan

        A culture of police perjury in the courts is of little surprise when if not only the police departments have financial gain but the whole system of detention is a highly profitable enterprise too.
        quote.Peter Keane, a former San Francisco Police commissioner, wrote an article in The San Francisco Chronicle decrying a police culture that treats lying as the norm: “Police officer perjury in court to justify illegal dope searches is commonplace. One of the dirty little not-so-secret secrets of the criminal justice system is undercover narcotics officers intentionally lying under oath. It is a perversion of the American justice system that strikes directly at the rule of law. Yet it is the routine way of doing business in courtrooms everywhere in America.”

        The School to Prison Pipeline system, which now has it’s own acronym, S.T.P.P. and is widely documents and reported on the net.

        Undercover police infiltrate political groups and encourage members to commit criminal acts, before having them arrested with possible forty year sentences, eg. three Occupy attendees in Chicago, May 16, 2012.

        And President Barack Obama signs the pre-emtive detention Act into law, Section 1021(b)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

        One only need have the characteristics of a potential “criminal” to be detained, and i guess that more people and activities or ideologies will be deemed “criminal”.

        I really fear for the way that the U.S.A is heading and the deepths already attained.

        1. alex

          “Peter Keane, a former San Francisco Police commissioner, wrote an article in The San Francisco Chronicle decrying a police culture that treats lying as the norm.”

          What do you expect from a screaming anarchist radical like a former police commissioner?

    2. Aldous

      Locking everyone up is a sure fire way to provide everyone with jawbs and repair the nation’s deteriorating infrastructure with those said jawbs.

      Son, we’re locking your father up so he can go to work.

  2. Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter

    Well, here is an Irish Poem I wrote about the Wal Mart news that their shoppers are adjusting (i.e. spending less) due to higher gas prices and higher payroll taxes:


    There once was a Wal-Mart door greeter.

    Who traveled to work in his beater.

    With joy he did jump,

    At three bucks at the pump,

    Oh wait! OH CRAP!!! That’s per liter. . .

    Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter

  3. Brindle

    Re: “Major Football Stadium & Private Prison Co.

    Looks like they are expanding footprint to increase prisoner market share. Lots of money to be made by incarcerating humans.

    —“The Boca Raton, Florida-based company’s revenue has almost tripled in the last ten years as their share of inmate populations increased. They also have contracts to detain hundreds of thousands of immigrants caught by the federal government.”—

    1. anyone

      I wonder, if they’re naming stadiums now, how long until they follow through and start fielding teams too? As the NFL continues to get more concerned with player safety, I can easily imagine an alternative, no holds barred, ultra violent prison league being immediately competitive. One step closer to the gladiator games.

      1. direction

        and if a few more of our superatheletes kill their girlfriends/wives, we could field an allstar team.

        It’d be a pity not to have OJ as the runningback though. Wait! Maybe we could jail him for libel (or worse, see link: and still have a chance of getting him on the team.

        Any suggestions for the team name or mascot?

    2. jrs

      Slavery by any other name. What if there had been football stadiums back in the day, named after the major slaveowning families?

  4. Exile

    David Swanson’s review of Sunday’s climate change rally in Washington captures the underlying hopelessness of the current political makeup. To add to the pessimism, I offer
    “Enbridge Inc. has a new scheme for getting around North American oil pipeline snarls, with plans to transport Canadian and North Dakota crude to the large east Gulf Coast refining area with a $3.4-billion conversion of a natural-gas pipeline system.”

    So even if Obama does limit or — heaven forfend — cancel the Keystone pipeline, tar sands are going to the Gulf and China. If the oil companies have their way, that is.

    Where is the strategic thinking among the climate change activists? No wonder millions of people under 30 have no idea that government can work on their behalf. The only significant accomplishments of progressive activists since Reagan took office in 1981 were AIDs funding and gay marriage.

    Climate change leaders could learn a few things from our successful comrades.

    1. taunger

      But all those leaders are gone – the big boys, MLK, RFK,were silenced long ago. Nader has been ostracized, and you’re right, the current “leadership” is (largely) a bunch of tepid egoists concerned about their next round of grant funding.

      1. different clue

        Well . . . Nader was ostracised for doing his pitiful and probably not-very-effective best to add to the forces defeating a potential global-dewarming President in order to get Bush elected instead.
        Bush likely woulda happened without Nader anyway. But Bush is exactly what Nader wanted, which is exactly why Nader ran. And that is why Nader is ostracised.

        1. Linda J

          Baloney! Nader was ostracized because he had integrity and ran on the issues, not some phony party platform thrown in a drawer and never looked at again.

          Dembots just cannot take the truth!

        2. Everythings Jake

          Can we finally put this blame Nader for the actions of the military-industial-finance complex to bed? One, didn’t Gore actually win and how did Nader cause supreme court justices to steal the election? Two, it rests on the pretense that Al Gore would have delivered substantively better outcomes. Since much of the mess we find ourselves in today was greatly accelerated by the policies of Bill Clinton, who I guess was better because “he felt the pain” he was so devoted to causing, one might at best be skeptical.

          1. tawal

            Gore couldn’t even win his own state! Besides no real difference between Lieberman and Cheney. So who cares.

        3. Lambert Strether

          Gore lost FL and the Presidency because:

          1. He followed Beltway conventional wisdom and ran away from Clinton’s record even though Clinton’s polling was very high;

          2. Jeb Bush gamed the voter rolls (and the Democrats didn’t stop him, naturallement).

          3. 308,000 FL Democrats voted for Bush.

          4. The Democratic Campaign was filled with cheesy Quislings like Ed Rendell and Joe Lieberman, who called on Gore to concede despite the closeness of the vote.

          5. Democrats allowed the “bourgeois riot” (staged by Republican Hill staffers) to shut down the Miami recount

          6. The Gore Campaign only challenged the FL vote in counties they thought they could win, instead of for all FL, ceding any moral advantage and looking like cheesy pragmatists

          7. The Gore Campaign treated Bush v. Gore as legitimate.

          8. Al Gore, as Senate President, gavelled the Black Caucus into silence when they sought to provide evidence of election fraud in FL before forming the 2001 Congress.

          In fact, the Gore campaign was a massive #FAIL and they lost an election they should easily have won. Blaming Nader for their loss is like blaming the last pebble down the mountainside for the avalanche. The election shouldn’t even have been close.

          Here’s what “ZOMG!!!! Nader!!!!” really is: A big steaming cup of STFU for anybody who dates to think outside the bankrupt paradigm of the legacy two-party system. The STFU also plays into the main institutional psychosis of the Democrats, which is that everything is about blame-shifting to the other guy, and failure to be self-critical about anything, in the slightest degree, ever.

          1. different clue

            That’s all true, which is why I noted in my own comment that Bush likely woulda happened without Nader anyway. I was noting Nader’s desire and reason for running, which was the same exact reason the Greens ran McGaw with Republican donations against Wellstone in Minnesota. Nader is resented by many for his intention, which was to get Bush elected.

          2. neo-realist

            I resent the fact that Nader never really did anything after the 2000 election to nationally promote a so-called new brand of politics (Green or not Green) in opposition to the two parties, which lead me to believe his campaign was just about promoting Nader.

            And yes Gore was such a crap campaigner and a weeny that gave in to the reactionary forces in his own party that it allowed the table to be set for Jeb’s theft in FL.

    2. Montanamaven

      Another “Counterpunch” article on the climate protest.
      and this on the NOXIOUS NOXL signs printed out for the protesters. And we deride the Tea Party for what again?
      And then what about the “renewable” boondoggles?
      “His key assumption is that industrial wind power displaces the use of coal and oil, and therefore helps limit climate change. But since 2000, wind facilities with a total capacity equivalent to 350 coal-fired power plants have been installed worldwide, and today there are more – not fewer – coal-fired power plants operating. (In Vermont, the sale of Renewable Energy Credits to out-of-state utilities enables them to avoid mandates to reduce their fossil fuel dependency, meaning that there is no net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.) At best, industrial wind simply adds more energy to the global supply. And what for? More! More energy than the grid can carry, more idiotic water parks, more snowmaking, more electronic gadgets, more money for corporations.”
      Punked again.

    3. Butch in Waukegan

      What are the chances of getting a caddy to spill the beans on the Keystone conversation that took place on the links?

      Obama Golfed With Oil Men As Climate Protesters Descended On White House [HuffPo]

      On the same weekend that 40,000 people gathered on the Mall in Washington to protest construction of the Keystone Pipeline — to its critics, a monument to carbon-based folly — President Obama was golfing in Florida with a pair of Texans who are key oil, gas and pipeline players.


      But on his first “guys weekend” away since he was reelected, the president chose to spend his free time with Jim Crane and Milton Carroll, leading figures in the Texas oil and gas industry, along with other men who run companies that deal in the same kinds of carbon-based services that Keystone would enlarge. They hit the links at the Floridian Yacht and Golf Club, which is owned by Crane and located on the Treasure Coast in Palm City, Fla.

      Maybe it went something like this: “Hey Mr. President, that’s definitely another gimme.  Isn’t that right Milt? Getting back to that Keystone thing, Mr. President . . . “

    4. davidgmills

      Perhaps it is because they mix environmental issues with climate change issues. I wouldn’t want the pipleine, and the tar sands are absolutely awful for the environment, but I no longer buy into the AGW dogma. For most of these people it is all or nothing.

      So those of us who consider ourselves to be environmentalists but have lost all faith (some never had it to begin with) in the religion that man made CO2 will kill us all in the next century, find ourselves out in the cold.

      We may all be out in the cold if the astrophysicists who are predicting a mini-ice age this century, due to the sun’s magnetic funk, turn out to be right.

      1. different clue

        If your view, that the rising levels of airborne CO2, CH4, and NOXs have nothing to do with the rise in planet-surface heat-buildup that has been rising at the same time as these IR re-reflecting gases have been building up in the atmosphere, is correct . . . then the coming solar magnetic field alteration you referrence may well re-cool the earth’s surface. If you believe that, you are presented with a wonderful contrarian investment opportunity. And as an attorney, you probably have the money ( or access to credit) to take advantage of that opportunity.
        What is this opportunity? Investing in the things which won’t happen as the global stops warming and then stops re-cooling. For example, if the global starts dewarming, then
        the glacier and icecap-edges meltoff will reverse and the glaciers will grow back. That means the ocean will not rise. That means that current seaside property which people are beginning to flee and/or avoid will stay above water and will be revealed to be the good investment it always was. Now is your big chance to buy up modestly huge amounts of distressed land and properties along the Jersey Shore and Barrier Islands or along the Louisiana Gulf Coast
        or the Florida Panhandle Coast or the South Florida Coast or etc. You will sow the seeds of future family fortune.

  5. AbyNormal

    SaD & SicKening the chimpanzee are retiring on the Haynesville Shale
    Water Resources at Stake: Red River, Toledo Bend Reservoir, Caddo Lake, Lake Bistineau

    Fracking in the 11,000-feet-deep Haynesville Shale in Louisiana started in northwest Louisiana in 2008. Since then, more than 1,060 wells have been fracked and another 930 have been permitted and are at different stages of drilling. The Haynesville shale has been billed as the nation’s most productive gas field. But this boom has not found its way to the state’s coffers thanks to generous tax breaks the state has doled out to gas producers.

  6. jjmacjohnson

    While I agree with many things James Kunstler says he is a bit of a fear monger. He has been wrong so many times too.


    He seems to keep fear has his momentum to keep his career going and book sales up.

    What about the end of his book that claims music will disappear. What a load of junk.

    1. taunger

      His heart has generally been in the right place, but yes, he gets lots wrong. Avid NC readers will quickly note that Kunstler failed to recognize the difference in quality between the implosion of Wal-mart and the expansion of new industries scaled beyond sustainability – such as privite equity rental investment. Those kids in his hometown don’t stand a chance at spurring recovery unless they lack debt (unlikely) or they have the good fortune of parents with assets willing to share.

    2. Ron

      He has an interesting idea that “over sized” corporate consumer driven companies are finding it rough going as the lower and middle class income levels fade. These companies are built on volume and can only sell themselves as growth companies to the equity market with new store expansion.

    3. from Mexico

      While I’ve been a past critic of Kunstler for his all too consistent doom and gloom prognostications, I don’t think this article fits that pattern. The storm clouds have a silver lining. There’s this, for instance:

      But the coming implosion of big box retail implies tremendous opportunities for young people to make a livelihood in the imperative rebuilding of local economies.

      There’s an amazing video that shows how Cuba, in the wake of the implosion of the Soviet Union and the imposition of US trade restrictions, reduced its petroleum and natural gas consumption by something between 2/3 and 3/4, while arguably improving the quality of life of its citizens. Large-scale corporate farming, which was mostly conducted for the export market, was all but wiped out. It was replaced by local, small-scale organic food production. The result? Much better diets, with people eating far more fruits and vegetables, all locally orgnaically grown. Despite the fact that Cuba’s per capita use of petroleum is 1/8 that of the US, it bests the US in important quality of life measures, such as the universal provison of healthcare and life expectancy.

      Here’s the video:

      The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil

      1. Susan the other

        If we really had a brain cell we would be surreptitiously planning to use KXL to bring down water, not oil glop, from Canada and to pump it back into the Ogalalla aquifer. Kill 4 birds: remove the water any developer would have to have to to do tar sands, buy the water from Canada at their profit, preserve the atmosphere and mitigate global warming and replenish our own water supply. Now that would be cool. The oil companies should expand into water.

        1. diptherio

          “Kill 4 birds”

          An animal-loving friend of mine prefers “feed two birds with one feeder” to “kill two birds with one stone.” I’ve adopted the idiom, and it seems especially appropriate in this context.

          Nice, outside the box thinking, btw.

          1. Roland

            Plenty of Canadian capitalists willing to do their duty for the Empire–and collect their commission for doing it.

        2. different clue

          I read a theory (can’t remember where) that your plan is part of what the Keystone XL pushers had in mind along with the dilbit itself. But with the minor detail difference that Enbridge planned eventually to legally steal vast amounts of water FROM the Oglalla Aquifer and sell it downstream. According to this theory, that’s part of why they initially wanted to route the pipeline over places where the Oglalla is so drillably and pumpably close to the surface.

    1. Valissa

      You rang?

      I came down with a severe case of “same old boring-depressing-annoying news syndrome”. Ennui is not for me! So I had to cut back on my internet time and spend more time in RL. But I’ve been doing some flybys here to skim headlines and comments and kinda keep up with y’all :)

      “Vulcan” has big lead in bid to name Pluto’s newly discovered moons

      You can vote on your 2 favorites here

      1. AbyNormal

        YeppiE …Glad to see your well Valissa

        as for the Moons
        Thing 1 & Thing 2
        (cause they’ll probably discredit them by the next century)

  7. bulfinch

    Kunstler: Starbucks = scrofula. Not entirely inaccurate.

    Thoughtful piece, but the thing is, most American’s I know came out of the chute wired for NEWNESS. They want new-in-the-wrapper dazzlement and they want it now and they want it cheap. They don’t care where it came from or how whether it will be worth a nickel come Christmas time. That just hasn’t changed. Caring about quality control went out the window decades ago. When was the last time measurably improved quality was the impetus for taking a product to the next level?

    On the flipside, I am witnessing a robust cottage industry movement which seems to be gaining some traction with younger folk, so that gives one hope. Everything from quality furniture to baseball bats to handmade electronic transformers. However, there’s a boutiqueness to much of these small-batch high-quality durables which, while nice, undermines the idea of them ever being affordable off-the-shelf standards.

    1. diptherio

      There’s a similar dynamic in the foodie world. Most all of the local organic foods are being marketed to (and priced for) the relatively affluent. I remember a Mother Earth News article about how to sell your free-range eggs for top-dollar, $5/dozen or more. Understandable, yet sad.

      1. bulfinch

        That’s exactly it — this is stuff that, back in the good old days were standard issue. Hell, organic food was all there was; some of the best durable goods (many of which serve as templates for todays boutique renditions) were off-the-shelf at Sears Roebuck. Their design and construction embraced a quality unrivaled in the rest of the world, and yet, were readily accessible to an enthusiastic American audience.

        1. Klassy!

          Part of that, however, is that you simply did not have as much stuff. Something such as a winter coat represented a major purchase. Somewhere we gave up quality for quantity.
          I’ve heard people describe Ikea in terms of providing some valuable service– furniture for those on a limited budget. Mostly it seems to be for people who want new and they want it all now. I’ve furnished my house almost entirely with secondhand stuff. My 60 year old sofa seems like an entirely different species than something produced by Ikea.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Quantity for quality.

            That was when Stalin and the West were busy pronouncing record harvests of wheat, never mind they were toxic.

            And now we occupy ourselves with hunger, which is a worsening problem, but being fed and being not hungry doesn’t not imply health – you could be loaded with fat and toxicity.

            The same with jobs. Again, it’s devastating to be unemployed, but we also overlook bad jobs, meaningless jobs, destructive (to oneself and/or to the world) jobs. I don’t think that qaulity issue is in any National Jobs program proposals

            (posted again, hopefully in the right place)

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I love secondhand stuff.

            Hopefully, they will be sales tax (double taxation) free one day.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          That’s progress!

          Any evaluation of science/tech should be balanced and if only one side of the story is presented all the time (science good, Luddites bad), it makes you wonder what they have to hide.

      2. different clue

        If I were to do the work involved in growing top quality nutri-dense eggs, I would expect to be paid for my work. I would price my eggs at a fair wage plus recovering all money spent on monetized costs to produce those eggs.
        On the other hand, it reminds me of a cartoon I saw in Akwesasne Notes several decades ago. The cartoon image of a trapper was grinning at me-the-reader and saying: “its getting to the point where only millionaires and trappers can afford a fur coat.” This may be what is driving more people to start keeping a few home-raised chickens for home-raised eggs.

  8. Steve Roberts

    Per Michal Moore’s friend, did he and his family have a Visa and was he entering in via the correct port of entry?

    Since it is Michael Moore and the truth is often difficult for him, I’d need far more information than what is provided in his article to get outraged. I find it difficult to believe Michael Moore’s word would get someone into this country if the police state was barring someone’s entry.

    1. Linda J

      Probably not. Palestinians get to waltz in and out of so many countries without their visas. I mean, the guy’s probably been to America just numerous numerous times. I’m sure he just forgot it!

      What a stupid question!

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Honestly, are you utterly nuts?

      You can’t get ON an airplane on an international flight at your port of embarkation unless you show you have a valid passport (and where relevant, a visa). This has been true as long as I’ve been flying (over 30 years).

      If you want to attack Moore, you have to do a lot better than that.

      And you need to wake up and smell the coffee. Flying while dark-skinned is now a hazard. Amartya Sen (70 year old Nobel Prize winning economist, not at all robust looking and rather small statured) was late to INET last year because he was held and strip searched in Heathrow. I don’t know why he didn’t raise holy hell about it after the fact.

      1. JTFaraday

        Insanity. And what if he was specifically targeted?

        I think they once stopped Naomi Klein from crossing the border into the US on a day when she was scheduled to give a speech somewhere.

  9. from Mexico

    @ Antidote du jour

    Why do people insist on seeing the world in living color, when everything is so black and white?

    1. AbyNormal

      i still ponder…is it black on white or white on black

      The eye should learn to listen before it looks.
      robert frank

  10. Hanssen, 1st among Equals

    Mom & Pop fought the commies and they thought they won and now these chickenshit parasite FBI cowards are your Cheka. Time for forcible overthrow and public disgrace of the crooked FBI scumbags hired to conceal state crimes.

    1. AbyNormal

      im not sure if your someone im not suppose to feed but im curious (an turtle slow)…how you located a numerical order in Equal and retained 1st?

      If you ignore the rules people will, half the time, quietly rewrite them so that they don’t apply to you. pratchett, equal rites

      1. diptherio

        Well, Aby started it, so I’ll say it’s a little weird that we’ve had TWO comments (that I’ve caught) encouraging armed revolt on NC today. That seems highly unusual for this joint, to say the least. Spooks about these digs, methinks, or someone running a smear campaign. {waves}

        1. direction

          He might be angry but he’s not a spook, just a disgruntled hacktivist. made more clear if you check his links; they are relevant to the discussions here.

          “From February 2011 until Barrett’s arrest in September 2012, ProjectPM had publicly identified the following revelations within the hacked e-mails:

          – A conspiracy by lobbying and cybersecurity firms to engage in a disinformation and sabotage campaign against critics of the Chamber of Commerce and Bank of America.” etc.

      2. Hanssen hero of TWA 800

        Advocacy of forcible overthrow is protected political speech, and entirely legal. Unlike FBI mainstays assassination, kidnapping, fraud, and obstruction of justice, which are crimes. Don’t overthink it. Univeral mistrust is an important goal of criminal states.

  11. diptherio

    Re: Trade unions’ strike hits banking, transport services–Hindu BusinessLine

    For those not familiar with SE Asian political methods, the “bandh” referred to in the article is a general strike, historically one of the most popular methods of protest in India and Nepal. I’ve witnessed dozens.

    During a bandh, some group declares that all business activity will be suspended, including all motorized transport, for the duration of the bandh. Some bandh are local affairs, only affecting a few neighborhoods or villages, others are national in scope. Business owners who dare to ignore the bandh (which literally means “closed”) face violent reprisals. Vehicles that violate the bandh are often burned, their drivers beaten.

    The bandh has gotten a pretty bad wrap in the region, for obvious reasons. A small group of people can really make life difficult for a whole community, while justifying their actions as legitimate protest against injustices. The problem is that everyone feels justified in calling a bandh if they feel they have been harmed. The joke in Nepal is that if a husband beats his wife, the next day there will be bandh in protest, meaning that every personal dispute gets inflated into social disruption.

    This is why, I would imagine, the Unions seem to be at such great pains to label their actions as a “strike” and not as a “bandh,” while the Bosses are insistent on calling it a bandh. The Unions are trying to assure everyone that this is a different kind of strike/protest than the traditional one.

    CPI leader and AITUC General-Secretary Gurudas Dasgupta said the response to the strike was “unprecedented”, specifying that it was not a ‘bandh’.

    Meanwhile, industry chamber Assocham said the losses from the ‘bandh’ could go up to Rs 26,000 crore, as it had a ‘damaging effect’ on industrial activity and the services sector.

      1. kosh_kt

        Just a minor correction. According to Wikipedia,

        A crore is a unit in the South Asian numbering system equal to ten million (10,000,000; Scientific notation: 10^7), equal to a hundred lakh, written as 1,00,00,000.

  12. Susan the other

    Those pesky little details. From Deadlyclear. Re the R word: Remic. Bloomberg shut down his terminal when it became obvious it was being used to inform justice. The terminal is the search site everyone used to determine if the/their loan was actually in default, who owned it, who had standing, if the loan was actually in circulation being bought and sold, etc. So homeowners defending themselves against fraudulent foreclosure had to be stopped. Most home loans are probably already paid off either by tarp or insurance. And the IRS doesn’t care who paid it off as long as nobody is taking the deduction. Of course the government stopped the IRS from looking into REMICs re tax consequences for illegal behavior years ago. God, we can’t have that.

    So it is safe to conclude that shutting down this web site is an indication that the servicers/banks have no standing whatsoever to do any mods or foreclosures. Or even to collect mortgage payments. Let alone their stinking fees. Blah Blah Blah. This whole absurdity has been brought to us by MERS.

    MERS, the greatest obfuscator of them all. The agent’s agent’s agent. Alot like the Fed’s OCC’s Promontory. But take heart because Marcy Kaptor, a very down and dirty fighter, has introduced HR189: Transparency and Security in Mortgage Registration Act 2013 which prevents any GSE from owning or guaranteeing any mortgage that has been registered in MERS.

    Oh, gosh. That Marcy. She’s so hysterical about some little break in the title chain.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Quantity for quality.

    That was when Stalin and the West were busy pronouncing record harvests of wheat, never mind they were toxic.

    And now we occupy ourselves with hunger, which is a worsening problem, but being fed and being not hungry doesn’t not imply health – you could be loaded with fat and toxicity.

    The same with jobs. Again, it’s devastating to be unemployed, but we also overlook bad jobs, meaningless jobs, destructive (to oneself and/or to the world) jobs. I don’t think that qaulity issue is in any National Jobs program proposals.

  14. Hugh

    The Bloomberg Terminal article reflects points that Yves made years ago and that have lain behind the whole foreclosure mess from the beginning. Due to a whole variety of factors, there are almost no mortgages issued in the last dozen years that have the proper paperwork and reside in the proper hands to allow any foreclosure on them.

  15. direction

    It’s been fun tweeking the variables on the mosh pit simulator. I’m trying to figure out what technical feature might deliniate slam dancing from moshing. very entertaining.

    Unfortunately, most of the variables are set to render an optimal model at the start. changing something as simple as the size of the “box” (read: room) destroys the open pit metaphor quite handily.
    That brings me back to my first desire which was to immediately shred the article. I highly doubt gas molecules ever assemble themselves in the style of a pit dance. It’s nice that these students have found a fun mathmatical way to portray open pit moshing, but implying that there’s greater scientific meaning to this project is really annoying. They say this model is the first step toward finding models for crowd control and safety; that’s just ridiculous. Everyone in a mosh pit is there by desire. (well most everyone, but if you get pushed in you’ll get bounced back out just as quickly). There is no way to compare that to an earthquake induced riot. Just because moshing looks chaotic doesn’t make it relevant.

  16. Michael Moore is a Big Fat Hypocrite

    Re: Michael Mooore

    Hello Michael,

    I feel I owe you a reply after the considerable attention you lavished on me with emails at election time. But I must say that some of them made me worry about you, Mike. So I feel I really ought to say something.

    Most disturbing were three emails, one pre-election one post-election and one on Thanksgiving Day itself. Before the recent presidential contest, I received a missive from you urging me to vote for Barack Obama, even though you said you disagreed with him about virtually everything of importance that he had done in his first term. Right away that had me concerned, because, you see, those two things are contradictory.

    You seem to believe that Obomba will be different in his second term from his first. But this echoed the same arguments that many pwogwessive Democrats made in 2008. Then many pointed out that Obomba was “just saying” the awful things he was proposing – simply “to win the election.” The pwog Dems assured us that once in office he would change. Well that did not happen as you noted at length to in your pre-election email. Now you tell us that his second term will be different! Mike, remember what Bush tried to get straight: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on you.”

  17. davidgmills

    So BP is concerned about its reputation and being dragged through the mud. The government is suing BP for gross negligence and BP’s response is that it was not guilty of gross negligence just ordinary negligence. So this trial is going to hurt it s reputation if a jury gets to hear why it was grossly negligent.

    Of course if BP is found to be grossly negligent then it will be assessed punitive damages as well as actual damages.

    Cry me a river. Or maybe cry me a Gulf of Mexico.

  18. Roland

    That was a superb post from Shedlock, on how inflationary monetary policy, by default, tends to benefit the upper class more than anybody else. Unless that default tendency is overcome by strongly redistributionist fiscal policies, loose money does not benefit the working class.

    Of course, if you have politics that strongly favour the working class, then the monetary policy is a mere technicality. One could have a gold standard along with socialism, if for some reason one wanted things that way.

    A good example is found by comparing how the working class in the Western world fared under the Bretton Woods system, compared to the decades since.

    What have we come to, that Shedlock of all people is writing unambiguously about class issues? These interesting times just keep getting more and more interesting.

    1. wunsacon

      >> on how inflationary monetary policy, by default

      There is no “default”.

      If tax rates are highly progressive, the combination of inflation+taxes-on-nominal-gains basically taxes wealth.

      If tax rates are regressive — as they are now at 15% capital gains (half the rate of labor) — then inflation mainly cuts labor’s real compensation and bails out some borrowers.

      1. wunsacon

        A problem with many analyses is that they often fail to consider what the alternative was. (The “seen” versus the “unseen”, as Bastiat might say.)

        There is no “baseline” economy to compare against. Without the printing that — coupled with the current regressive tax rates — impoverishes labor, there’d either be more layoffs or salary cuts. Either way, labor takes a hit.

        And there aren’t enough bankruptcy courts to handle the case load were a heavily-levered society to face more layoffs and salary cuts. If Ben really didn’t print anything, there would be a real “come to Jesus” moment for most of society. A huge reset, more intense and longer what we saw in 2008.

        Not that that would be worse than we have now. The most egregious capital misallocation comes from corruption. And I do feel like these markets are giant Ponzi schemes.

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