Links 5/11/13

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Carbon dioxide passes symbolic mark BBC

Yasunizing the World Triplecrisis

Hanford Nuclear Waste Cleanup Plant May Be Too Dangerous Scientific American (Chuck L)

G7: US warns Japan to stick to rules on currency Telegraph

The first world war is still relevant today Financial Times

Parenthood for Sale: Spain in Crisis Becomes Fertility Destination Der Spiegel

Tax evasion still crippling Africa Guardian

Hosni Mubarak retrial due to begin BBC


U.S. Currently Fighting 74 Different Wars … That It Will Publicly Admit George Washington

Fed Maps Exit From Stimulus Wall Street Journal

Gun virilence Michael Smith (Carol B)

At Least 71 Kids Have Been Killed by Guns Since Newtown Mother Jones (furzy mouse)

After Plant Explosion, Texas Remains Wary of Regulation New York Times (furzy mouse)

‘Purity’ culture: bad for women, worse for survivors of sexual assault Jill Filipovic, Guardian (Chuck L)

America, the WTF Nation CounterPunch (Carol B)

The news media is even worse than you think MarketWatch

The minimum wage is lower right across the street, but this McDonald’s is staying put Daily Kos (Carol B)

Bloomberg accused of privacy breach Guardian

Amid Vote, Dimon Has Considered Departure Wall Street Journal. Translation: Dimon has temper tantrum over the prospect of being made accountable.

48 Damning Pieces of Evidence From the JPMorgan Whale Trade Investigation Motley Fool (Triple Crisis)

No Lehman Moments as Biggest Banks Deemed Too Big to Fail Bloomberg

The Case for Megabanks Fails Simon Johnson, New York Times

BofA: Schneiderman Has No Rights to Sue WSJ MoneyBeat (Max)

Nearly a third of county foreclosures three years old or older Palm Beach Post. Lisa Epstein flags this amazing factoid: Banks resetting or cancelling sales almost as fast as they are filing new cases.

Student Debt Slows Growth as Young Spend Less New York Times. Quelle surprise!

In the long run we are NOT all dead Naked Keynesian

Antidote du jour (martha r):


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  1. D. Mathews

    You missed an important news item:
    The Latin Americanist: Former Guatemalan strongman Efraín Ríos Montt was sentenced on Friday to eighty years in prison after a court convicted him of genocide. The 86-year-old ex-general thus becomes the first former Latin American leader ever found guilty of such a charge.

    And let us not forget this, and the following:
    Known as “Brother Efraín,” a fundamentalist convert of the California-based “Church of the Word” (Verbo), Rios Montt thanked his God in heaven for anointing him as Guatemala’s president, but on earth he thanked Israel for establishing his March 1982 military coup. Israeli press reported that 300 Israeli advisors helped execute the coup, which succeeded so smoothly, Brother Efraín told an ABC News reporter, “because many of our soldiers were trained by Israelis.”

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I appreciate adding links to the thread, but the “you missed” implied some sort of obligation or intent to provide a comprehensive news summary. The daily Links has never been about that.

      This is a finance and economics blog. Both the items you picked up are general news. I don’t pretend to be nor aspire to be comprehensive even in finance and economics, and the non-finance items I pick up are ones that I happen to see and strike me as interesting. I don’t have time plus the resulting list of links would be overwhelming (in other words, Bloomberg is over there).

      1. Kurt Sperry

        The problem with making this distinction is of course that finance and economics tie directly into every policy field and trying to cordon off finance and economics discussion from “general news” is substantially at odds with that reality.

        It is also why I love reading NC–unlike most finance and economics discussion, it generally doesn’t fear acknowledging the falsity of the distinction. Finance and economics are at the very heart of and thus practically inseparable from all public policy.

  2. LucyLulu

    Re: Foreclosures being held off in Palm Beach County

    This is anecdotal but I was just talking to my sister in Broward County, one county south (Ft. Lauderdale). She was telling me the real estate market there is hot, hot, hot, especially for high end homes. Homes are being sold as fast as they are listed.

    1. ohmyheck

      Same thing in Ski counties, lands of second homes. Except it is more of the middle-range homes. The pricey ones are still languishing.
      A friend of mine just bought a house. He made an offer on the spot. He said that house prices were going up and so he’d “better buy something now” or he’d be paying even more later.

      I would call that belief daft, but he is paying cash…no mortgage for a big bank to fraudulently foreclose on.

      1. AbyNormal

        maintenance, taxes, mandatory healthcare and rising commodities will show many the feeling that cat experienced after it bounced

        1. ohmyheck

          For sure. But I have given up on giving my opinion to people who have their own set ideology and no open mind.

          “Too each his own.” and “Let the chips fall where they may.” ;-)

      2. Antifa

        When did not having a mortgage on a fully paid for house ever stop a bank from foreclosing? It happens all over the country.

  3. Klassy!

    From the NYT article on student debt:
    On the other side of the equation, many college graduates now in their 20s and early 30s should eventually be able to make up for lost ground. Students who take on debt to pay for higher education commit themselves to paying off huge sums, but they usually lift their lifetime earnings by substantial amounts. And they are in a better position to insulate themselves against economic bad times, given the profound rewards the job market provides to the college-educated.

    Indeed, the economy is far more punishing to workers without a college degree.

    How exactly do we know that many college graduates should eventually be able to make up for lost ground? We’re in unchartered territory.
    But, even more importantly why do we simply accept the fact that it is OK for the economy to be far more punishing to workers without a college degree? When we achieve this dream of a society where everyone has a college credential education, we’ll have no need for home health aides or convenience store clerks?
    The NYT simply cannot resist editorializing for the value of a college degree.

    1. AbyNormal

      the structure of these loans also include compounding servicing cost etc…will their wages ‘compound’?
      as the numbers are realistically and individually crunched…the hopelessness will be overwhelming and at a time we’re desperate for their contribution(s)to the betterment of the future.

      A man devoid of hope and conscious of being so has ceased to belong to the future. camus

      1. Inverness

        I love the Camus quotation. I guess the service workers are supposed to be non-persons. Actually, the immigrants and minimum-wage earners essentially are, since few Americans can really live decently on such earnings. They stay poor, so others can get rich (paraphrase of the great Barbara Ehrenreich, who called service workers the philanthropists of our time).

        What’s especially troubling is that these blue-collar workers are seriously capable — to be able to care for the elderly, build, paint, plumb, serve and cook, grow and gather…these are real services. I suspect a fair amount of these white-collar managerial positions are mere luft geshaeft (business out of thin air) bullshit-apparatchik jobs that well-connected people get and convince the rest of us we just aren’t smart enough to handle.

        1. Walter Map

          A nation of debt slaves will not much trouble their masters, who believe the class war goes very well, even though the mopping up operations are still too slow.

        2. Klassy!

          Apparatchik yes– read something the other day where individual identified himself as “employee experience manager”. I’m sure a college degree was needed for this position. I assume the main requirement is convincing the wage slaves that they’re having so much fun at work they don’t need more money or time off.

      2. Paul P

        Free tuition through graduate and professional education.
        That would eliminate student debt drag on the economy and end the new debt servitude for students.

        Lots of information on student debt around, but no obvious information on total cost to society of free intuition. I did a quick search for a how much fee tuition would cost and couldn’t find any work up of the cost. How much? What percentage of the GDP? Where would the money come from? (repatriation of untaxed offshore profits is one source).

        Occupy’s student debt handbook did not present “free tuition” as a solution to student debt.

        The neoliberal project must be made to confront clear, unambiguous, class based demands. When goals become tied to wonky analysis, the political impact is lost.

        1. Roland

          Free tuition might just lead to more of the “credentials inflation” we’ve already seen in the past few decades.

          The richer kids still end up ahead in the Great Credentials Arms Race, since they can always pile on a few more than their working-class rivals, free tuition or not.

          Meanwhile, in a job market saturated with credentialled participants, the level of credentials required to OBTAIN any given job keeps increasing, utterly unrelated to how much education might be really needed to PERFORM that job.

          We’ve already seen enough of this movie. We have a bigger percentage of the workforce equipped with way more credentials than ever before, but real wages have stagnated. Free tuition will not liberate the working class.

          The working class does not need to get more credentials. The working class needs to get more control of the means of production.

          Historically speaking, it was quite understandable that in the post-WWII period that the reformist welfare states of the Western world would boost expenditure on higher education, and would utilize the existing traditional collegiate structure as the channel for that vastly increased expenditure. Many good things in the Western countries resulted from such policy.

          However, in retrospect, we can do some effective criticism of that “quick-and-dirty” method. We can see the perverse effects upon the working class of the long-run credentials inflation that resulted from pumping more resources into what had been a traditional elitist higher education system.

          One does not advance the interests of the working class by trying to make sure everyone can obtain an honorary petty bourgeois status.

          I admit I don’t know what a more rational system of higher education would look like. Obviously higher education is good. Obviously working class people need to be able to get higher education. But is it obvious that we need to keep on expanding upon existing lines an aristo-bourgeois education system which has already massively expanded in our time?

          1. J Sterling

            I agree that free education won’t bring equality, but that doesn’t mean education shouldn’t be free. Free health care won’t bring equality either.

            We want free education, not because we want to be better educated workers, but because we want to be better educated. Just as we want free health care, not because we want to be healthier workers, but because we want to be healthier.

          2. Working Class Nero

            Great comment, it’s nice to see people war-gaming from a working class point of view.

            The question of higher education seen from a working class point of view is fraught with paradoxes. For example social mobility, the ability for working class people to have access to elite credentials and bourgeois employment, on the surface seems to be a worthy goal. But on the other hand, in this case the elite classes are basically using the lower classes as a farm system and promoting the best and brightest of the lower classes and then redeploying them against the lower classes as soldiers in the continuing class war. In other words taking a few “Field” proles and turning them into “House” proles, to borrow a metaphor from Malcolm X. I know firsthand about this all about this as I, along with several friends, made this journey and I know how we loved returning back to the hood and lording it over our field prole friends — tsk tsking whenever someone said “hella” or used the n-word. Of course a few years later our “racist” field prole friends were using the n-word freely with their new black friends (similar to using the familiar tu form in French) while us newbie urban hipsters rarely if ever interacted with black people in our totally segregated bourgeois urban paradises, but we were the “non-racists”.

            The lack of class mobility tends to keep the best and brightest working class people in the working classes to help fight the upper classes. On the other hand it is profoundly unjust.

            The only “fair” way to control access to higher education should be by ability, which is a combination of intelligence and study habits. In Belgium for example most degrees tracks are open to everyone with a secondary school education. Yes, medical school is open to everyone. The slight problem of course is that there is a ruthless intellectual Darwinism that follows where 50% of the students are weeded out in the first year and a further 30% the next. Of course upper class people have an inbuilt advantage in this system as well, they always will in this domain, but society does have an interest in having the actual best and brightest running things.

            The key point is that no matter what system is chosen, most working class people will remain working class. That should not at all be considered a problem; we should be fighting to make sure the working classes today have the type of standard of living I grew up with. More and more in America people look down on working class people. As a society we have shifted from a communitarian Fordist economy where workers were paid a sufficient wage to be able to consume their company’s products. In other words production and consumption are closely linked. While this system was far from perfect it provided a very good life for working class people; I have absolutely no regrets about growing up working class in such a system.

            Now we have a neoliberal globalization system where thinking of the “community” is looked down upon as tribal and instead a global paradise is envisioned where consumption and production are separated. Working class people are no longer paid proper wages, are no longer respected at all, where low-skilled jobs are being shipped overseas, etc, etc. Soon a bill will pass allowing 30 million more mostly low-skill workers into America to further erode the working class standard of living.

            Only through a “retribalization”, a move back towards a nationalist, Fordist, community-first (but not ethnic / racial) ethic will things start to turn around for the endangered species known as the first world working classes.

    2. Expat

      Good points. And let’s not forget, as the NY Times did, the horrific scandal of for-profit colleges, which use the availability of US Dept of Ed loans to drive students into debt without prospect of employment. These enterprises are so profitable that they have bought politicians from both parties in order to ensure a steady stream of student loans. Clinton inherited a $2 billion education loan scandal (real money in those days), which his Secretary did nothing about (setting a precedent for Holder). We taxpayers and students are reaping the whirlwind.

      1. CB

        Been going on for decades. In the seventies, a woman in my apartment bldg worked at a “proprietary” school in Philadelphia and one evening I got an earful. It was a small operation with a reigning owner and he was constantly pushing to admit students, mostly foreign and with few laguage skills, who were government subsidized. It was about the money and the money was flowing. My neighbor was thoroughly disgusted, with the owner and the system. She didn’t understand why the government paid the (private profit) school to not educate students who barely understood elementary Eglish.

        What’s changed is the amount of money. The privatizing campaign has been around for at least decades, as well. My mother started teaching, in NJ, in the early 30s and she was long acquainted with the privatizers and voucherists. Had nothing but contempt for them because they were not, are not about education. They are about ruling class entrenchment and lower class servitude.

    3. jim

      I guess in today’s world Steve Jobs would be flipping burgers with the emphasis put on credentials by the large coorporations.

    4. David Lentini

      I would say propaganda instead of editorial. The reporter is just repeating the mantra that more education magically brings more income and job stability. That’s true, of course, until it doesn’t. I think the currrent market is terrible for all stripes of education, but don’t expect the reporters for the NYT to actually look past the dogma.

      1. Klassy!

        This is about as third (fourth?) hand as it gets. It is from Class Dismissed: Why we cannot teach or learn our way out of inequality He wraps up his book discussing Christopher Lasch’s review of Christopher Jencks’ Inequality.
        Lasch, in the review wrote:
        “Our school system neither levels nor educates. We could more easily accept its intellectual failures, though we could not forgive them if the system was an effective instrument of egalitarian social policy. Since it is not, the time has surely come to insist that the two objectives, egalaritarianism and intellect, be separated, and that schools be left to address themselves to intellectual concerns while the state attacks inequality more directly and effectively through policies designed to equalize income.” This was written in 1973. The time never has come.
        The author prefers more bargaining power for workers and simple transfer payments and expanded EITC.

    1. Klassy!

      Kind of reminds me how any fraud case I read about locally involves prosecuting entities that committed fraud against the banks.
      That’s all I ever see.

      1. Antifa

        That’s because banks have evolved into frauds. Fraud is their essence, and their only service to the community. How can fraud be a crime after we’ve made it perfectly legal, and above the law to boot?

    2. ex-PFC Chuck

      Great analogy in Bond Girl’s piece. She lists instance upon instance of malfeasance that went unmentioned in the charge and then:

      Perhaps the SEC thinks investors would not have made different decisions if they had known these things were taking place.

      Instead, the SEC is taking issue with the mayor’s State of the City address? And the SEC thinks speeches that are usually political fluff at any level of government might be taken to convey meaningful information to investors, as ersatz continuing disclosure? Really? Imagine if the police uncovered the corpses of Jeffrey Dahmer’s victims, and then accused him of violating the rules of the homeowner’s association for his neighborhood.

  4. Walter Map

    I haven’t seen this article mentioned or referenced on NC yet (not that I follow NC all that carefully), but I think it’s important:

    Degrowth, Anti-Consumerism and Peak Consumption

    Better rather than more: well-being is increased by everything that cannot be commoditized by a market economy or financialized by a cartel-state financial machine– friendship, family, community, self-cultivation–rather than by acquiring more . . .

    1. ohmyheck

      Thanks! Great link, although there is a diss at MMT-er’s. I hope that won’t take away from the rest of the article.

    1. AbyNormal

      i read this piece before sunrise…it was most distressing. Lindorff seems to have momentarily capitulated…its understandable but as a long time reader, im left wobbling with personifying how much i can take. hopefully it is momentary…ive witnessed it from other bloggers and writer over these ‘trying’ years and it doesn’t get easier…pondering an all out breaking point.

      It’s healthy to say uncle when your bone’s about to break.
      franzen, how to be alone

      1. Walter Map

        The sheeple have spoken, and they have said “Baa-aa”, although some of them don’t say anything at all.

      2. AbyNormal

        what part of an R and an E are you confused with?
        many attach the link for reference conveniences

    2. JTFaraday

      Your nom de plume, in combination with that Counterpunch article, reminds me of this image of the “Angel of History,” as described by Walter Benjamin:

      “”Angelus Novus” shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The Angel would like to stay, awaken the dead and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistibly propels into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress.”

      I don’t know about progress, but it’s a mess alright.

  5. Schofield

    Got to laugh at the corrupt and pretentious Obama adminstration telling the Japanese off for currency manipulation whilst it willingly accepts campaign finance checks from those making good money from China’s long standing currency manipulation! Yobama Lives!

    1. Walter Map

      Official sanction and promotion of casual executions, destruction of evidence, and threats to the witnesses are all quite common in brutal military dictatorships.

    2. Propertius

      Yet you still think it’s a good idea that only LEOs be armed. Why is that, Lambert?

        1. Roland

          If you’ve been paying attention, you will be aware that our LE organs have all been going paramilitary, even while they face no imminent or credible threat from the citizenry.

          Let those who are most heavily armed disarm first and most.

          When our LE are like the London bobbies of old, then we can talk about disarming the people. Until then, please don’t waste our time!

          1. another newbie

            You guys who want to use your beloved guns to get in shooting matches with the the police are Darwin award candidates. But this is all empty posturing.

      1. hunkerdown

        Had she been streaming her video to the cloud for storage, it would have been much more difficult and time-consuming for the cops to destroy the evidence, as opposed to just the camera.

      2. Lambert Strether


        First, the trope that gun owners have guns to prevent tyranny is a hardy perennial, yet oft-debunked. I mean, Patriot Act, FISA reform, NDAA, “kill list”… if gun culture were going to do anything about tyranny, it would have already done it. In fact, gun culture is simply another example of consumer fetishism, on a moral par with model railroading, except that model railroaders don’t regularly go into schools and movie theatres and slaughter people with tiny locomotives.

        Second, I see little reason to make a bad situation worse. Because bad cops have guns is no reason to enable a five-year-old boy to slaughter his two-year-old sister with the gun somebody stupid and/or evil gave him as a birthday present.

        Third, you mistake my position. As I keep saying — not that gun culturists ever listen — you guys won. You won the culture war. The whole country is awash in guns. All I want gun culturists to do is own the externalities: One of the consequences of the exercises of their (alleged*) Second Amendment rights is the inevitable killing of a certain number of innocents. That’s all I want. Yves proposes one solution to minimize the externalities: Insurnace. I proposed another: Licensing, just as cars are licensed. You can fondle your guns all you want, so far as I care. Kill your kids by “accident,” if you want. Go to’t, pell mell!

        Finally, I believe in a prefigurative politics. Therefore, I’m an advocate of stragetic non-violence. I think the heavily armed nature of our wonderful police is a sign of weakness and lack of competence generally.

        NOTE I don’t regard any Supreme Court decisions after Bush v. Gore as legitimate, since Scalia clearly wrote his opinion to install a President who would pick his kind of justices on the court.

        UPDATE Tweaked.

        1. CB

          Scalia and Thomas should be/should have been impeached and removed, but it’s not going to happen in this environment so we can only hope Scalia’s corpulence and Thomas’ dyspepsia carry them off.

        2. Roland

          So I guess you did want the gun owners in the USA to start a civil war on your behalf already. But I don’t remember you ever exhorting them to do so.

          If voters don’t use voting rights the way you want, do you demand the end, or restriction, of their voting rights? So when the gun owners don’t use their right to own guns the way you would prefer them to do so, why do you demand the end or restriction of their right to bear arms?

          The Left is stupid to demand gun control. Instead, what the Left needs to do is to attack the right-wing notion that the people’s right to gun ownership is about individuals’ personal protection.

          The USA’s Second Amendment is not at all about one’s own individual personal protection. Instead, it talks about people owning guns so that they can form militias. Collective and civic good, not individual and personal good.

          Lambert, perhaps part of the reason why the gun owners of America have in our time proved so politically supine in the use of their constititutional right to bear arms, is that the political Left utterly failed to advocate for the collective and civic exercise of such a valuable right.

          The gun ownership discourse–and constitutional high ground–in the USA has been completely abandoned to the socially atomizing, and specious, “personal security” arguments of the right wing.

  6. anon y'mouse

    what, no joy?

    as for “when we are all college-edgmucated, who will be a home health aid”, a graduate student in one of my classes said her grams worked her ass off so that her daughter didn’t have to be a maid, and yet was now fearful that her granddaughter would be so employed.

    my thought, aside from the obvious racial component of this statement, was “well, someone has to be a maid!”

    why can’t everyone mentally capable have a college degree? would that make all of you who think you “worked for it” feel like your 80lb card stock with fancy printing was worthless? would it result in treating all people, regardless of the type of job they were in, more like human beings? anything to distinguish ourselves from others, eh?

    just pay people enough and treat them with respect. oh, and don’t create false “services” like healthcare, worker’s compensation, unemployment insurance, and public assistance programs that are so intentionally and ridiculously structured (against the person whom these services ostensibly benefit most) that one has to consult an astrologist before undertaking root canal surgery in order to make sure they won’t be haunted for the next ten years by debt collectors.

    1. ohmyheck

      Found in the comments:

      “The research finds that children with low intelligence are more likely to hold prejudiced attitudes as adults. These findings point to a vicious cycle, according to lead researcher Gordon Hodson… (that) low-intelligence adults tend to gravitate toward socially conservative ideologies, the study found. Those ideologies, in turn, stress hierarchy and resistance to change, attitudes that can contribute to prejudice, Hodson wrote in an email to LiveScience.”

      1. nobody

        My research finds that this is funny because there’s a lot of truth in it:

        cf David Graeber:

        “What collegiality [for American scholars] means in practice is: ‘He knows how to operate appropriately within an extremely hierarchical environment.’ You never see anyone accused of lack of collegiality for abusing their inferiors. It means ‘not playing the game in what we say is the proper way.'”

        1. JTFaraday

          Oh, excellent. I’ve been wanting to read that article–and the comments–and figured I was going to have to sell my soul before I could do so.


      2. neo-realist

        Some of these schmucks actually grow up to become middle managers and HR personnel:/.

      3. CB

        How about arguing that prejudice lowers IQs? Predisposes one to certain kinds of conclusions, which could skew test answers.

    2. Klassy!

      I’m not quite sure what your point is here, and I may be misinterpreting you but what makes you think if someone says “we will still need home health aides” it implies that it is important for someone to feel better than someonewhat they really want is to feel better than someone.
      We will still need home health aides. I don’t feel that someone should be consigned to a life of insecurity because this is their job. And, because the job is so very necessary I don’t think it is good to have people that are able to stay with the work (and to look forward to an earlier retirement than those with less punishing jobs.)
      When it comes to having economic security, why is it that the only possible answer we have is for someone to obtain a college education. I think that is wrong.

        1. anon y'mouse

          not quite sure what you are saying.

          I take issue with people who think that the main, or only point of education (especially higher) is to increase one’s marketability. education is for improvement of self and society, and if that makes money–great, but that should not be its purpose. the fact that it is becoming so, especially now that the cost is increasing and parents/students expect a ‘payout’ at the end of their four years says a lot about our value system.

          I am in favor of treating everyone, regardless of the type of work they do, with respect and that includes paying them a decent, livable wage which does not require the discipline or denial of a mediaeval monk to live on and thrive.

          the problem with “education” presented as a solution to flagging productivity, outsourcing and insourcing of former middle-class jobs, etc. are to me similar to the parents who start asking questions about profitability of major rather than what that educational experience will do to make their kid a useful (to themselves, as well as others) human being. these appear to be “rational responses” to a society that has all of its underlying values out of whack.

          i’m all for maids having college degrees. another specious argument to this is “why don’t we just hand them out at birth and be done with it?” that is not what i’m saying, but if one is mentally capable of doing the school work, then whether they came from the proper social background (ie. family who can help them pay, or ensure that they don’t have to work too much during college time, since college IS full time work itself) should not hold anyone back. also, whether they are going to become an engineer, or as someone said yesterday, a French 16th century poetry major shouldn’t matter in the choice either. i’d rather have a maid that HAD whatever personal benefits are obtained from having that degree, than chastise them about “well, that was tuition wasted!” in either the sense that a) it provides no materially useful purpose (conceivably to any potential employer, as Science or Engineering would presumably have done) or b) maids are just mindless drones, and the education was a loss to society if THAT is how it will end up being used.

          in other words, I believe we need to stop treating education like a scarce resource, and stop treating it like its the marker of some kind of higher intelligence. the classes i’m taking now suggest that it is much more about socio-economic background than ability anyway. rather like those supposed “lower” Hispanic IQs.

          sorry, didn’t mean to go on so.

  7. JGordon

    Re: Tax Evasion Still Crippling Africa

    “They can either invest their natural resource revenue in people to generate jobs and opportunities for millions in present and future generations…”

    I think it’s pretty funny that people can say stuff like this without realizing how culturally offensive and narrow minded they’re being. Or they could know, perhaps is some tiny part of their brain, but not care, which is likely worse.

    From my perspective, “development” and “growth” are filthy code words for neoliberal exploitation, where indigenous peoples are forcibly removed from the sustainable and healthy cultural paradigm that they’ve lived with for millennia in exchange for menial, degrading labor in factories whose industry is raping the earth of irreplaceable natural resources and turning out cheap trash with the stuff that will end up in landfills in a year or two’s time.

    It’s not often that I get so enraged by an article I’ve read, but the casual disregard for human dignity and blithe ignorance of what industrialism has done to these people has pushed me over the edge for a bit. God I look forward to this insane system coming down.

    1. Plain Speaking

      Looking at the biometric data points I notice that the top of the head, the top of the ears, the distance from the lower lip to the nose, the height of the eyes and other things are measured. I and most people can change these distances through hair length, facial grimaces and other contortions.

      Therefore, I would encourage all freedom loving Americans to do this in a slight and unnoticed way whenever having their picture taken for a document. This is probably why they don’t let you smile in your passport pictures anymore.

      Don’t forget to degausss the back of your drivers license and mix up your social security number by a few digits whenever you give it in a non official capacity.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        I can see it now, people practicing squints and shoving up their lips before a mirror so as to fool the camera without looking hopelessly weird/deliberate. Or better yet, affecting a facial disorder so one side of your mouth drooped a ton. And for people who have a full head of hair, teasing the hair on the top of your head would make that look higher. Not hard to do.

        1. Susan the other

          Yes. In Utah we call that the “beehive effect.” It doesn’t matter if you are a mindless walking wrecking ball as long as your head looks proportional.

          1. AbyNormal

            bhahahahaaha down south we still have The Claw…long curled bangs standing 4″ from forehead (nodoubt still attached to a mullet)

  8. barrisj

    Re: “US fighting 74 wars…” – do check out Jeremy Scahill’s recently published “Dirty Wars” for an in-depth exposition of the “global reach” of the US military. The question to ask is: “Are there any countries on the planet that the US military and/or covert paramilitary do NOT have a presence?”

    1. Eureka Springs

      Watched the show last night because Glenn was a guest. It took mere minutes for me to remember so clearly why I quit watching it years ago. Bill Maher and the female guest who’s name i don’t recall… their contempt for facts and reason reached exactly the level of both tea-baggers and religious myopics they think they are against. Bill’s contempt for Glenn was palpable.. I don’t think i’ve ever seen him so dismissive of a panelist in terms of working so hard to deny participation ever.

      And boy, oh boy, were these audience cheers for neoliberal Hillary bought and prepaid for or what?

      We are totally screwed. There is no left anymore than there is a place in the D party pungency for reason, self examination, facts or change.

      1. AbyNormal

        i always found him a pomp-ass but when he and his group went down on bended knee to beg Nader to drop out of the race…i despised his ignorant hypocritical mug. hope they’re all happy hipo-critters now.

        1. Inverness

          Bill Maher thinks his atheism makes him some kind of cutting-edge thinker. He lacks nuance, and he comes off as an islamophobe and knee-jerk supporter of, of all people, Benjamin Netanyahu. His smart moments are probably provided by scriptwriters, since his spontaneous commentary is so boilerplate and predictable. It’s rare for him to have someone as smart as Greenwald on the show, who is capable of seeing through Maher.

          And I agree about Nader — what kind of democracy can’t support a third-party candidate? Another low point.

          1. Klassy!

            “Bill Maher thinks his atheism makes him some kind of cutting-edge thinker.”
            Boy, you said it there.

  9. Jim Haygood

    Having grown up on a state line which produced some striking commercial differences, I was curious about the Daily Kos article ‘minimum wage is lower right across the street.’

    In fact, this is a clever lie, but the artful weasel wording is a masterpiece of innuendo and obfuscation, well worthy of study. Jessica Robinson writes:

    I visited Oldtown, Idaho, which sits on the border with Washington. In fact, the town of Newport, Wash., is literally just across the street. So, to go from a minimum wage of $7.25 to $9.19 is as easy as crossing the street.

    And on the Washington side, one of the very first businesses you see is a McDonald’s.

    So, just to be clear: This McDonalds is in the state with the higher minimum wage. And this busy intersection is so profitable that it didn’t occur to [owner] Skubitz to move, even when he tore down the old McDonald’s in 2011. He built a fancier new one in the same place instead of in the state right across the street with the lower minimum wage. Skibutz says wages are just one piece of a larger puzzle.

    On the Google map of Newport, WA, you can verify that the street which divides Washington and Idaho is State Street. Robinson leads the reader to believe that McDonald’s is on that street. But it isn’t.

    McDonald’s is located at 422 N. Newport Ave. … which isn’t on the state line. If you carefully parse the article, it’s the ‘town’ and the ‘state’ that are said to be ‘across the street’ from each other, not the McDonalds itself.

    In fact, U.S. Route 2 (which McDonald’s site is within 100 feet of), has only two commercial blocks on the Idaho side before it reaches the Pend Oreille River … and both are more distant from the center of Newport.

    Thus, the probable reasons that the McDonalds franchise owner stayed put are: (1) he owns a suitable site close to the center of Newport; (2) no equivalent site is available in the two more distant blocks on the Idaho side; and (3) assuming he lives in Washington, he and his employees pay no state income tax on their earnings; whereas Idaho’s state income tax is a harsh 7.4%.

    As an antidote to the Kos’s tendentious swill, here’s a site based on actual data, demonstrating that the nine income-tax-free states (including Washington state) are absolutely cleaning the clocks of the high-rate tax hells:

    Money walks, bullshit talks!

    1. reslez

      Too bad so many of the low tax states are absolutely terrible places to live. The remainder have extremely small populations.

      1. reslez

        I should qualify the phrase “absolutely terrible place to live”. There are many semi-objective measures of quality of life that support this statement, but it’s certainly true that opinions differ. For example, I value treating people with universal human dignity and support spending that helps fund this in my state. Others want zero income tax. I’m sure they value universal human dignity too, but when it comes down to it they prefer zero income tax.

    2. CB,Newport,+WA&gl=us&sa=X&ei=w8WOUbvtI-Li4APGhIHYAg&ved=0CJMBELYD

      Newport St is across the line from Idaho. In fact, if you zoom in on N Newport St, just above W Walnut St, you can see the McDonalds restaurant label. And even were McDonalds on S Newport, it would be close enough to make no never mind.

      Here is Travis H Brown on amazon:

      From the About the Author:

      “Travis H. Brown is the CEO and co-founder of Pelopidas, LLC, a St. Louis-based public affairs and advocacy firm. He is the president of Let Voters Decide, a coalition that supports state tax reform and the protection of voters’ rights. He is a contributor to and a blogger at YourTaxCode. Travis travels the nation giving engaging, localized presentations based on the research in How Money Walks. To order additional copies of How Money Walks or to book Travis for a speaking engagement, please visit.”

      The reviewers:

      “DEROY MURDOCK: Congress, pay attention: Taxpayers go where rates are low. Author Travis Brown demonstrates how Americans between 1995 and 2010 shifted some $2 trillion in wealth by abandoning California, Illinois, New Jersey and other high-tax states and unpacking in low-tax states such as Florida, Nevada and Texas. –NH Register

      “MIKE HUCKABEE: This book is terrific. I wish every governor and more importantly every state legislator in the country would read this. –The Mike Huckabee Show

      “DR. ARTHUR LAFFER: Brown’s How Money Walks should serve as a wake-up call for states imposing punishingly high tax rates on their citizens. –Arthur Laffer, former economic advisor to President Ronald Reagan”

      Someone in a DKos diary linked to this:

      Who’s writing tendentious swill? And who’s Jim Haygood?

      (BTW, if that Amazon link doesn’t work, google How Money Walks Amazon and you’ll get there.)

    3. Elliot

      First, the state line is not straight there, the towns/states curve together like an “S”. Both towns together would also fit inside a city block wherever most of NC posters live. so distance across town is tiny by anyone’s standards. And not an issue.

      Second, the Idaho soreheads (I can say that, I’m a native) in the biz community like to act like raising the minimum wage would kill us all…the same way extending workman’s comp to farm workers would destroy Ag here. Neither of course was true. But the state biz community is totally pwned by the Farm Bureau and Chamber of Commerce, and their propaganda against any civil good is astounding.

      And third, it is TRUE that the lower minimum wage here is NOT better for employment. Jobs enmasse did not rush over to ID when WA raised the minimum wage. In fact, the economy in Washington continues to be much better than ours here in Reactionary Land.

      We did finally get workers’ comp for farm workers after the family of a multiple amputee from an ag industry accident, bankrupted by his medical bills, wheeled him in his wheelchair onto the floor of the state senate during the 4th or 5th re-introduction of the bill, and shamed them into looking at what their industry-sucking votes do to humans….. so we might get a raise in the minimum wage in another 10 years or so.

      1. CB

        And then there’s that river, the Priest, I believe, just a little further to the east, which must have some part in the irreversible destruction raising the minimum wage would have on Idaho. You have to consider all the factors.

  10. Susan the other

    2 items:
    Yasunizing the World. Triiplecrisis. Thanks for this info. 2 new verbs to help define pure economix: ogonizar and yasunizar. What would be the equivalent in English? to conserve – but that is so general it is meaningless. Lost revenue would not be an issue if we ended banking as we know it. And took a hard look at calculating what the Earth is worth. What is the total earthly-worthly of planetary resources. Consider the worth of the negative resource of not exploiting anything. What a valuable item that will be. Lets buy some futures!

    And the frustrating story of Hanford and the glowing tri-citiess of western Washington. Scientific American asks is the cleanup price acceptable? Well Duh. A long saga boils down to one word: yes. But just wondering why, with this vitrification technology, is TEPCO paralyzed? Are they waiting until they have polluted the entire Pacific Ocean? Just to look clearly at the safety problem, it is going to take a lot of river water to create the necessary liquification of the sludge. But it is known that downriver Columbia water is already polluted. They should use in a big well-designed sluice and then purify it as much as possible afterward – and then they should build a pipeline (since Keystone was no problemo) and send enough of the Columbia to Nevada as is necessary to develop thermal energy for the US, Mexico and Canada. That way we can leave those fossil fuels in the ground, as Yasunizing suggests, for a good long time.

    And while we’re at it,why can’t we mine all that hydrogen splitting off the sludge? If you give me a choice between Bechtel and TEPCO it’s a no brainer. I’ll take Bechtel. As soon as they fix their safety issues.

  11. Antifa

    The engineers at Bechtel/Hanford aren’t thinking big enough. Their tunnel vision has them trapped in pursuit of a vain attempt to isolate the incredible pile of deadly waste they have on hand, and it will never happen in the time frame or budget they are willing to think with.

    There is a simple, straightforward solution and they already know how to do it with off the shelf components.

    Build a whole bunch of thorium reactors on the site, and feed the contaminated soil, rods, plutonium, cesium –everything into them. Thorium reactors eat all that stuff, safely and with no risk of meltdown. When a thorium reactor goes all kaflooey and all the red lights flash and the bells go off — it suddenly and uncontrollably cools down and stops. That’s it.

    When they run out of fuel from Hanford, they can just walk away and leave the thorium reactors to safely degrade, or recycle them into scrap. The only sensible thing to do with deadly radioactive waste is to digest it and get rid of it in a thorium reactor.

    What to do with all the excess electricity that dozens to scores to hundreds of thorium reactors will produce on site at Hanford? What can’t be sold, given away, or used to produce hydrogen can be used to power a gigantic network of CO2 scrubbers to suck carbon out of our atmosphere.

    Y’all realize we’re going to have to scrub our atmosphere at some point, right? If we want to be one of the species that survives what’s coming.

    1. reslez

      My hype detector is going crazy.

      Thorium reactors are commercially unproven, to say they “eat” contaminator soil is ridiculous, and in a world swimming with radioactive waste we already don’t know what to do with, the last thing we need is multiples more. You don’t “get rid” of radioactive waste with a thorium reactor. You still have the problem of disposal.

      1. PunchNRun

        Not to mention the fact that a core issue is how to transport the mixed sludge reliably and safely for the 40 years or more that the treatment system must be in operation, without maintenance and unapproachable by living creatures. Even the fantasized thorium reactor fails to answer the pressing issue.

        Living close to this leftover from the days of Stalin and Roosevelt, I am disposed to encourage the continuance of efforts by the feds to work long and hard on this issue. $4B is suddenly $14B? Feh, I don’t care if it grows to $140B, it seems the powers that be thought nothing of blowing $1000B playing soldier in the middle east. What are we, chopped liver? Cheap out and the question is going to be “how do you want your salmon, with Cesium or Strontium? Would you like a little Plutonium on the side?”

  12. diane

    I should have posted the following link, when it was first posted, I prepared a post, then chickened out, as I was very afraid to, already being thoroughly under the U$/Ju$t U$, $teelToed boot of Capitali$sm myself.

    supposedly though, it is never too late to attempt …. to attempt to be strong in supporting something humane, and life giving:

    Freedom Rider: Support Assata Shakur, At Your Own Risk

    1. diane

      The announcement that the FBI added Assat Shakur to the list of most wanted terrorists was initially mystifying, a real life example of the shock doctrine. Shakur has been a fugitive ever since 1979 and was granted asylum by Cuba in 1984. It seemed inexplicable that the government would reinitiate searching for a 65-year old woman who had already been at large for more than thirty years. Yet the FBI made a grand show of the announcement, complete with a black agent at the podium and a phalanx of New Jersey state troopers. Not only was Shaukur added to the most wanted terrorist list but the government added $1 million to the $1 million bounty already in place.

      Because of Barack Obama, Assata Shakur now faces the possibility of being kidnapped or murdered by the United States government. She may be held indefinitely without being charged or tried. Not only is she in danger, but because of Obama anyone who does as little as publicly defend her may potentially face the same fate.

      It is the terrorist label which puts her and her supporters at greatest risk. The Patriot Act made giving “material support to terror” a federal offense which not only is punished very harshly, but is so amorphous as to mean anything the government chooses it to mean. In the Supreme Court decision which began the material support onslaught, a group attempting to teach peaceful activism was found nonetheless guilty because they had contact with the group designated as terrorist. The justices ruled that their intentions were of no consequence.

      (link to more.)

      1. anon y'mouse

        why does this whole “terrorism” thing strike me as just another witch trial, consorting-with-the-devil thing?

        everytime I see “terrorism” it turns into “heresy!”

        1. diane

          perhaps, … because it is, ..yet another deadly witch trial, …. replete with a paid off, ‘hanging jury’ …?

          1. diane

            …hound dogs, …on my trail … children, ….sittin’ in jail …..

            By Nina Simone, “aka”, …… Eunice Waymon ………. ♥

      1. neo-realist

        Of course not. Besides, broken glass, dog poop and piss have been totally ineffective soil fertilizers for us:).

  13. rich

    Who Is Profiting From Charters? The Big Bucks Behind Charter School Secrecy, Financial Scandal and Corruption
    What we know about the financial incentives offered by charter schools.

    But they do provide wealthy investors with a 39 percent tax credit that more than doubles returns on these investments within just seven years. As NY Daily News reporter Juan Gonzalez reported for Democracy Now!, “this is a tax credit on money that they’re lending, so they’re collecting interest on the loans, as well as getting the 39 percent tax credit.” And that’s not all. As Gonzalez explained, the federal government “piggyback[s] the tax credit on other kinds of federal tax credits, like historic preservation or job creation or Brownfield’s credits. The result is, you can put in $10 million and in seven years double your money.” So, if you put in a couple million dollars, you’ll have double that amount within just seven years.

    Until recently, most of this money has been filtered through large non-profit organizations like the Gates Foundation, but it can also be done through for-profit companies. In order for donors to be eligible for the tax breaks, they must give to something classified as a Community Development Entity. The federal website explains this can be either a “domestic corporation or partnership.” And it must have “a primary mission of serving LICs [Low Income Communities].”

    Maybe this helps explain why, in 2011, former tennis champion Andre Agassi helped set up a $500 million startup fund for his Canyon-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund, the first for-profit organization of its kind.

    1. Chris A

      Re: The News Media Is Even Worse Than You Think

      Outstanding article, I thought, for the most part. A lot of the analysis probably sounds old-hat to many NC readers, but I felt it was the kind of terrific piece I’d share with anybody who’d be willing to read it.

      Until I got to the end. The section on “narratives,” which might instead be called “confirmation bias,” or something similar, was generally on the mark as well. Yet after talking about how right-wing news outlets told the (largely counterfactual) story about the financial crisis that their readers wanted to hear, he continued:

      “People on the left are just as bad. They are just as apt to believe all stories about the wonderful, beneficent effects of government spending, about the evils of any private-sector enterprise, and about universal racism, sexism and so forth.”

      Sure, confirmation bias exists on the left as well, I’ll readily agree. But this is the kind of false-equivalency argument that one encounters all the time, with the silly implication that only sound, upright centrists, unmuddled and free of ideological biases, are capable of arriving at something resembling the truth. One sees so many examples of journalists or pundits dismissing both right and left arguments only to arrive at something they feel is free of bias but is in fact more confused or compromised, and every bit as muddle-headed as the right and left positions they have just attempted to debunk.

      Furthermore, it’s ridiculous to suggest that people on the left have never met a government program that they don’t like and spend their days decrying racism and sexism. That’s what I call setting up a straw man just to be able to knock it down.

      I think Arends’ piece was completely undone by this conclusion.

  14. Lavada

    With havin so much content do you ever run into any
    problems of plagorism or copyright violation? My blog has a lot of completely
    unique content I’ve either written myself or outsourced but it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my agreement. Do you know any ways to help prevent content from being ripped off? I’d really appreciate it.

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