Links 8/2/13

Japanese passengers move 32-tonne train to rescue trapped woman Guardian (YY). Last week, still noteworthy.

Our Hotter, Wetter, More Violent Future Bloomberg

Camping Helps Set Circadian Clocks Straight CounselHeal. Will somebody send me to summer camp? Except I was never big on campfires or sleeping bags…

Man Repays $500,000 in Insurance Money With 4 Tons of Quarters Gawker

Swedish serial killer who raped and ate his victims to be freed – because he made it all up Independent (YY)

National Geographic: 2013 Travel Photo Contest winners Telegraph

Powerful Tech: New Innovations to Fight Rape, Murder, and Atrocities Dowser

How Buck McKeon created a global drone enterprise BBC (Lambert)

Australian Parliament urges citizens to bypass geo-locks on software ars technica (Carol B). Hahahaha.

FDA Cracks Down on Diabetes Drug Claims Patient Safety Blog

CO2 Breakthrough? New Gas Apparently Eliminates All Carbon Emissions OilPrice. No idea if this is real or hype….

Canada oil pipeline plan unveiled BBC

The Dark Side Of The Guys Who Run Japan Oozes To The Surface Wolf Richter

Crisis of Faith: Doubts Grow Over Spanish Government Reforms Der Spiegel

Greece should defy the gunboat creditors Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

Syria’s Assad says he certain to defeat rebels Reuters

Big Brother is Watching You Watch:

Surveillance critics face Obama in Oval Office Associated Press (Lambert)

Obama’s Fall Moscow Trip Is Even More in Doubt New York Times

New York woman visited by police after researching pressure cookers online Guardian (BondsOfSteel) and Have 1,485 Innocent Americans Been Investigated for Researching Pressure Cookers? Marcy Wheeler. Now this poses a dilemma. I’ve posted repeatedly that when the cops come calling and they don’t have a warrant, you should politely send them on their way. Wonder how THAT would have gone over. Real live defense attorneys please opine.

But then we have this report: true or surveillance state cover story? Ex-Employer, Not Secret Spying, Triggered Police Inquiry of ‘Pressure Cooker’ Search Wired (Deontos). We can all test this by engaging in large scale surveillance state civil disobedience right before our summer holidays: if we can get 10,000 minimum people to play ball, and search for “pressure cookers” and backpacks about an hour before departing for vacation. Better yet if you are driving so it won’t be obvious where you are headed.

Where Do You Draw the Line? letsgetitdone, Corrente

Governments, Led by U.S., Seek More Data About Twitter Users New York Times

NSA’s Internet taps can find systems to hack, track VPNs and Word docs ars technica (Chuck L)

Drew Johnson, Chattanooga Editor, Fired Over Anti-Obama Headline Huffington Post (Carol B)

Centro bus video shows Syracuse police tasering disabled man (bob)

Jury finds Tourre defrauded investors Financial Times. I’m surprised the SEC won, given that the jury seemed bored by the testimony and Pelligrini (Paulson’s CDO architect) clearly lied. It may be more accurate to say that Tourre’s lawyers lost than the SEC won, since their failure to call any witnesses was a real surprise. But the SEC apparently did clearly present that Tourre had duties via his SEC registrations to uphold SEC regs (as in the “I was just an employee” didn’t save him from liability). The most important bit is this may help the SEC (awfully late in the game) start to gain confidence in pursuing cases beyond insider trading. Key FT comment: Thursday’s decision is likely to be a jarring one for Wall Street, however.” See Matt Levine as an example (warning, not recommended if you’ve just eaten).

What’s a Wall Street Billionaire Facing Indictment To Do? Party On, Of Course! Lynn Parramore, Alternet

New York Investigates Disqualification of Customers by Banks Schneiderman follows up on NYT article on the use of databases built on bank transaction info to deny applications for new accounts.

The Backyard Shock Doctrine Laura Gottesdiener, TomDispatch

The Access-to-Justice Myth Adam Levitin, Credit Slips

Private Capital Is Eating Public Capital masaccio, Firedoglake (Carol B)

Larry Summers and Financial Crises: Is He Being Graded on Attendance? Dean Baker, Firedoglake

Sex, Money and Gravitas Paul Krugman. Good for him.

Antidote du jour (Richard Smith):


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  1. NotSoSure

    The dark side of Japan’s LDP? I am not even sure it has a light side. If I recall correctly, LDP was founded using Yakuza money. It has always been very right wing which fits Uncle Sam during the cold war and one of the founders Yoshio Kodama worked for the CIA for a quite a long time and as such the party received a ton of money from Uncle Sam.

    The Yakuza naturally has pretty much zero respect on human decency and a lot of their income is derived from human trafficking/prostitution of women from South East Asian countries among others, so no surprises that LDP politicians (many of which are either appointed or supported by the Yakuza) have such a callous attitude towards women.

    The following I believe is one of/if not THE authoritative book on the Yakuza (their origin as well as how the LDP came about, again one can’t separate one from the other):

    1. Jim Haygood

      Karel van Wolferen, a dissident Dutch journalist who saw through the kabuki show of the Tokyo press pool, unveiled the dark origins of the LDP in his 1990 book The Enigma of Japanese Power.

      Through dated now, its postwar Japanese political history (as well as its end-of-Japanese-bubble perspective) remains valuable.

      1. Jessica

        “Karel van Wolferen, a dissident Dutch journalist who saw through the kabuki show of the Tokyo press pool, unveiled the dark origins of the LDP in his 1990 book The Enigma of Japanese Power.”

        This is not only the best book on Japanese politics, it is the best book I have ever read explaining in detail how a ruling class rules.
        If one wants the lighter version, the comedian Dave Barry wrote a book about his visit to Japan and he seemed to have read and understood the Karel van Wilferen book.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Thanks, I will try to read that book.

          Maybe I will find out what happened to the spirit of the 47 ronin.

        2. MyLessThaznPrimeBeef

          He also wrote a book called ‘Why can’t the Japanese love Japan?’

          Can’t get any info on that book, though it sounds intriguing.

        3. Carla

          Jessica, do you know the name of the book Dave Barry wrote about Japan? I am definitely ready for something lighter.

  2. Jim Haygood

    Wonderful news, comrades. Hard-working Congresscritters and their staffers are spared from paying full freight when they’re ‘sent to the exchanges’:

    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — The White House has approved a deal that will exempt members of Congress and their staff from some of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, Politico reported late Thursday.

    Under the law, popularly referred to as Obamacare, lawmakers and their aides were required to source health insurance “created” by the law or offered through one of its exchanges, and without the subsidies they currently enjoy, the members of Congress would have faced thousands of dollars in additional premium payments each year, the report said.

    However, the Office of Personnel Management now plans to rule that the government can continue to make a contribution to the health-care premiums of the lawmakers and their staff, it said, citing unnamed congressional sources and a White House official.

    Who cares what the ‘law’ says, when we can fix it with a custom-crafted, discretionary regulation? L’etat c’est moi … it’s good to be king! (Too bad about the little people.)

    1. katiebird

      Hmmm. Decision announced in the middle of a Thursday night on the 1st of August.

      When does Congress leave on vacation? With them back home, we should probably be stopping by their offices to complain in person.

      Does anyone else remember the decision last winter that if an employer offers an employee-only plan to employees that is 9.5% of employee income then that offering means that the entire family cannot purchase insurance from ObamaCare’s Exchanges/Marketplace — no matter HOW EXPENSIVE the plans that include children and/or spouses?

      There has been no clarification of THAT decision to say that OBVIOUSLY Congress didn’t mean to block families from access to health care.

      At the same time as they made this new regulation, they could have EASILY clarified that Employer-decision to say:

      Of course families can purchase insurance through the exchange (and qualify for subsidies) when plans provided by employers don’t meet the family affordability test (9.5% or less of income). ….

      And that for decency’s sake, the entire family (not spouse & children in a separate plan from employee) qualifies for the exchange and subsidies if policies offered by an employer don’t affordably (9.5% or less) cover the entire family.

      Also, how long ago was this regulation secretly in play? It seems pretty late in the game to make changes that must affect the code of the Website Marketplace.

      Will there be a special question asking if a person works for Congress? Or do they get their own special Website?

      1. Jim Haygood

        ‘When does Congress leave on vacation?’

        The House wraps up its session and leaves on a five-week vacation this evening. The Senate finished up last night.

        If you’ve ever spent time on the Hill, you know that when The Honorable is away, every day is casual day for the staffers.

        Sure, write them an outraged note. Clad in cutoffs and sandals for the August heat, they’ll pop another brewski from The Honorable’s mini-fridge and laugh their heads off. Noblesse oblige!

        1. katiebird

          !!! My mistake!!!

          I meant, stop by their local offices…. And follow them around to their various events if you can get a schedule.

          Writing, phoning … those are useless methods.

          But, there are often public events during this month where voices could be heard.

          1. LucyLulu

            Some of our Congress critters, primarily those of the Republican type, are planning to hold Town Hall meetings on Obamacare. They’re trying to boost support for repealing the law, to be replaced with ??? Those meetings sound like a great place to bring up Congressional exemptions, and remind them how they promised they would have to comply with the same rules as everybody else.

            Irregardless of what Obama says and executive orders he may write, IIRC Congress must pass legislation to carve out any special treatment under Obamacare. Does anybody else who will be buying insurance on the exchanges have the option of mandating their employer make contributions to their plan? As a matter of fact, it appears that Heritage Organization is already all over this ……

            “1) Section 1312(d)(3)(D) of the PPACA stipulates that, as of January 1, 2014, the only health insurance plans that Members of Congress and their staff can be offered are plans “offered through an Exchange established under this Act.”

            2) Many in Congress are hoping that the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) will somehow find a way to legally pay their Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) contributions to exchange plans.

            3) OPM administers the FEHBP under Chapter 89 of Title 5 of the U.S. Code, but nowhere in the statute is OPM given authority to pay the government contribution to a plan that is not one of the FEHBP plans contracted for by OPM. ”


            It looks like Congress and their staff are trapped into the same program as us peasants unless they pass legislation carving out special rules that apply only to them.

            1. katiebird

              OMG. This is a fantastic article. Wonderful

              The only thing lacking from it is:

              A specifically spelled out statement that some people (most people?) think Congress should be forced to follow the same laws as the rest of us. For this and other legislation as well.

              Another statment pointing out that the fears & questions & ambiguities expressed in this article don’t affect only Congress. They affect all of us. For example, I live in Greater Kansas City. Do people here have to join an exchange in the state where they work? Or the state where they live?

      2. Carla

        katiebird, when you stop by your Congress Critter’s local office, be sure to ask the individual to sign on as a co-sponsor to HR676, Expanded and Improved Medicare for ALL.

        Economist Gerald Friedman, professor at the U. of Massachussetts at Amherst has just released a new study showing that IN THE FIRST YEAR, HR676 Medicare for All would save BILLIONS while covering EVERYONE. Take these facts with you when you go!

        1. katiebird

          That is a REALLY good idea — it’s always a good idea to have a specific alternative. Thank you.

  3. JeffC

    “CO2 Breakthrough? New Gas Apparently Eliminates All Carbon Emissions”

    My 38 years as an engineer, much at the PhD research level and some as a professor have honed my bullshit detectors bigtime, and I can tell you with absolutely zero doubt that this one does not pass even the most basic smell test. These guys should be selling overpriced gadgets on late-night TV for ONLY $19.95—but wait! You can get a second one absolutely free!(Your card will be billed for a small charge for shipping and “handling”!)

    1. Susan the other

      So is this HydroNanoGas technology just a giant water tank scrubber. Like a big bong? And suited only for ocean-going vessels and some electric utilities, coal among them? Coal is so filthy I doubt hydronanogas scrubbers will work, prolly make some byproduct akin to tar.

      1. optimader

        Hydrogen enrichment of fuel is no new newsflash.

        It will certainly increase the flame temperature and flame velocity of the Bunker fuel crap they burn on a ship. Higher temp/flame velocity will benefit enhanced combustion of unburned hydrocarbons (soot=very bad shit, a nasty carcinogen) and ozone reactive sulfur compounds ( S, SO ->H2SO4) aka sulfuric acid rain so that it is a scrubbable compound before emission.

        Unfortunately hotter and faster burning is also what encourages NOX formation. ;o(
        See the increased NO in their test: ) That’s why industry moved toward “staged combustion” with industrial burners (like the ships boiler)… Then was regulated to additionally include selective catalytic reduction system for NOX reduction (sprayed urea on a hot catalyst bed).

        On the other hand, the energetic value of H2 vs bunker oil is something like 61,000btu/lb vs 18,000btu/lb, or every pound of H2 is equivalent to ~3.4 lb of bunker oil. ANd of course there is an avoidance value to the reduced NOX/SOX crap you don’t have to deal with in the exhaust when burning yhdrogen ( H + O2–>H2O, mmmm.. I could drink that!)

        Sadly, the important bit..… HydroIfra Tech seems to have forgotten the Mass/Energy Balance for their HydroNanoMumbojumbo generator ….. Me thinks someone at JPL would have noodled this together at lunch time 30 years ago if it was more than Nanoblahblahflimflam.

        This is what they contemplate innovating around:

    2. Jane Doe

      I have to thank you.

      For a long time, I have been searching for a way to describe the difference in science between skepticism and assertions that look like it.

      Skepticism: I don’t know if works or not. Please prove it.

      Assertion: I can say without knowing anything about your idea that it doesn’t work.

      I’ve been reading a lot of science in the last few months, and the later has been irking me. Its no more substantive than saying “I don’t believe it” and I think its a major reason why ideas are not being advanced anymore. No one wants to question orthodoxy such as what fuels your statements

      For the record, I have no idea whether it works. I’m skeptical. I think its a good idea, however, to find out.

      1. Larry Barber

        When something violates as many laws of physics as this does, its safe to assume that it’s pure BS. Come on “exotic hydrogen”, what exactly is that, some kind of hydrogen that doesn’t show up on the periodic table. Their claim that they can split water molecules in such an energy efficient matter is also a complete crock. You could easily create a perpetual motion machine if this were true.

        While its possible that this is legit, nothing in science or experience is 100% certain, the odds are .99999999… against this being anything but a scam, and not even a very convincing one at that.

        1. willnadauld

          Hydrogen generators are standard equipment now on most tractors in Europe. increased fuel economy 60%. You can in fact build for yourself a device that will allow you to run a small diesel engine at a low rpm off of water and a small amount of any hydrocarbon you have around. I have seen it with my own eyes. It is indeed possible to build a perpetual motion machine. google up on hydrogen/plasma generators and discover the thousands of people;e who are tinkering and collaborating with this stuff. Check out Paul Pantone, read his story and then click through to all the people who are building viable stuff based on his discovery.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I agree we should ask them to prove this extraordinary claim.

        I am skeptical though.

        1. Kurt Sperry

          When applied, thermodynamics and conservation of energy are the ultimate BS detectors.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I usually apply the ‘there is no free lunch’ test before bringing out the heavy artillery.

        2. Jane Doe

          Oh, I am skeptical too. There’s a difference, however, between “prove it” and “I never believe no matter what”

          Like I said, let’s take something that’s none politically controversial- the idea of quantum computing. You have people swearing its impossible despite the evidence being offered re D wave computing.

          Or other areas of frontier science- the argument is not skepticism. Its denialism.

          I just wish people knew the difference. They don’t seem to anymore.

          Take the science related to homosexuality in nature- that was one of the areas where I found it really interesting how belief for abouth 100 years had scientists denying that the behaviors seen in nature are complicated, and that while it may or may not represent true same sex attraction, the behavior was at least at variance with the belief induced arguments that nature re sexual behavior is complicated, and much more so than our narrow belief systems will allow.

          So they dressed their denial up as skepticism rather than requiring experimentation, empiricism and reason.

          My point is that agenda can block good science regardless of who shapes the agenda.

      3. J Sterling

        Jane, the reason you have no idea whether it works is because you’re not a skeptic, except in the sense the word is used in “global warming skeptic”. You’re just someone who thinks science is magic and anything goes. Those of us who are skeptics who know science can see it’s utter unmitigated sheep droppings.

        Please feel free to come back in a year and mock me for having been wrong.

        1. Jane Doe

          You have no idea what I think on anything, including climate change (which I happened to believe the science data which demonstrates its human made by the way), but your ideological b.s. underscores my point about how denialism is confused with skepticism. I wish people were smarter than they are, but its all politics, all the time. So much so that even people pretending to be skeptics are actually just ideologues. Its hard to read scientific inquiry on controversial matters because often times you have the ideologues trying to influence the debate rather than letting research say what needs to be said. The difference between you and I is that I don’t have an agenda. That’s how I can believe what the research says about climate change- because the evidence says so. While you need to attack anyone who questions denial o an argument simply b

    3. BondsOfSteel

      Yea, I laughed when I found out HNG was Hydrogen “Nano” Gas. Um. Gas is not a solid. Each molecule is separate. Almost all gas molecules are nano sized or smaller. H2, Hydrogen Gas, is actually over 100 times smaller than a nanometer.

  4. RTFM

    Disclosures are only for wrongdoing: Wrong.

    The world has already answered the question ‘Where do you draw the line?’ Instruments and a special procedure on human rights defenders establish the principle that you may not be prosecuted solely for defending human rights. So any person who defends the human right to seek and obtain information must have the full legal and institutional protection of the established international consensus on rights defenders.

    Intellectuals here in the hermit kingdom always try and think stuff up for themselves without ever checking to see if the outside world has put any thought into it. The result is invariably the kind of statist straitjacket that US culture’s built on. It’s a triumph of immersive propaganda for this predator state.

    So before you knock yourself out bending spoons with the sheer raw power of your mind, take a little time to RTFM, you know? Chomsky built an international reputation by reading UN documents to Americans who never think to look at them.

  5. diptherio

    Re: Jury finds Tourre defrauded investors

    I’m surprised the SEC won, given that the jury seemed bored by the testimony…

    Maybe they were bored because they already knew he was guilty and were like, “yeah, yeah, he’s a douche, we get the picture.” If I were on a jury in a case like this I would be bored too, during the trial. I’d just want to hurry up and get to the part where we get to declare a bankster guilty.

      1. Lambert Strether

        That’s “Obaaaaama.” Fixed it for ya.

        * * *

        Even though I deprecate the sheeple concept, because I think it lets the left off the hook for failing to break through TINA successfully.

    1. AbyNormal

      man’s first best friend
      Thousands of sheep, soft-footed, black-nosed sheep–
      one by one going up the hill and over the fence–one by
      one four-footed pattering up and over–one by one wiggling
      their stub tails as they take the short jump and go
      over–one by one silently unless for the multitudinous
      drumming of their hoofs as they move on and go over–
      thousands and thousands of them in the grey haze of
      evening just after sundown–one by one slanting in a
      long line to pass over the hill–

      I am the slow, long-legged Sleepyman and I love you
      sheep in Persia, California, Argentine, Australia, or
      Spain–you are the thoughts that help me when I, the
      Sleepyman, lay my hands on the eyelids of the children
      of the world at eight o’clock every night–you thousands
      and thousands of sheep in a procession of dusk making
      an endless multitudinous drumming on the hills with
      your hoofs.
      Carl Sandburg

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s not a dog is a man’s best friend?

        Roughly the timeline is like this:

        dog 11,000 bc
        goat 8,500 bc
        sheep 7,500 bc
        cattle 7,000 bc
        cat 7,000 bc

        I note that the animal size increases as it get nearer to the present, implying that larger animals were harder to domesticate.

        Until, we get to the cat – it might be smaller than the first 4, but it’s got a more fierce independent spirit, I guess, or just might have been harder to fool, to enslave…

        But we did! Or at least we think we did it.

        1. AbyNormal

          too long ago, i read a book about a group of archeologist time-lining dogs remains nearing humans remains…dogs didn’t start out anywhere near us for a long time.

          fortunately when i went looking for book and/or facts i fell down a worm hole and found this:

          Polish archaeologists working in Sudan have found remains of human settlements that appear to date back as far as 70,000 years. (wow, can’t believe i missed this 411′ )

          i will continue searching the dog tells ‘ ))

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Again, the secret that is staring at us is this: the horse was domesticated in 4,000 BC (or so they say) and humans (Ok, some humans) became ‘un-settled’ again.

            Why did they become ‘un-settled’ again?

    2. evodevo

      OMG somebody shear that poor sheep quick ! Where are the investment counselors when you need them?

  6. from Mexico

    @ “Surveillance critics face Obama in Oval Office”

    Debate over the line between counterterrorism and invasion of privacy has been heating up since former government contract systems analyst Edward Snowden leaked classified documents exposing the NSA’s monumental capability to sweep up data about phone and Internet use, including programs that store years of phone records on virtually every American.

    [S]aid White House spokesman Jay Carney. “But I don’t think that we can sensibly say that programs designed to protect us from terrorist attack are not necessary in this day and age.”

    I think anyone with two working brain cells by now knows that the United States’ hallowed security and surveillance state (SSI) has nothing to do with “counterterrorism” or “protect[ing] us from terrorist attack.” So if it doesn’t have to do with counterterrorism, this raises an interesting question: What does it have to do with?

    Two theories were raised on yesterday’s Snowden thread.

    One is this articulated by Code Name D:

    This is NOT a security operation, but something else entirely. I have argued on my own blog that NSA is more like a deep-data broker. GE has gone on a media blitz promoting deep-data as the next big thing, and GE apparently has significant connections to NSA. I don’t think it’s a coincidence.

    In other words, this is more a market agenda, rather than a security agenda. And the data being collected by NSA is not really intended for security, which is likely why they believe NSA is not violating the law. But rather they are collecting information with the intent of giving corporations the privilege of data-mining the data-stores for what ever agenda they wish to bring. It has accord to me that this may be just another approach to selling role-on deodorant.

    The other was this one articulate by Hugo Stiglitz:

    I think the profits from front running various markets would dwarf anything they could get from high risk drug trafficking.

    Both of these theories are extremely popular in Mexico. The purpose of the SSI is to gain insider information to front run the markets in order to 1) bolster the profits of “The public/private partnerships that Obama touts at work,” as LucyLulu puts it, or 2) earn the money necessary for the US deep state to fund its highly immoral and illegal activities that it can’t go to the public state (the Congress) for.

    However, there is a third theory that has a little bit different twist. It was articulated in one of the major Mexico City dailies just a couple of days ago:

    The article is entitled “The New Stockholm Syndrome.”
    “The massive espionage being realized by the US secret services is being carried out against its nearest allies, like the European Union and Mexico,” the article’s author, Pierre Charasse, begins.

    To what end? Charasse then goes on to explain that the 28 member countries of the EU delegated their negotiating authority for the new transatlantic trade agreement to the European Commission. However, in doing so they crafted a secret agreement between themselves that established the ultimate concessions which the European Commission could grant the United States during negotiations.

    “The irony,” continues Charasse, “is that the agreement (between EU members) is secret, but the US, having eyes and ears everywhere in all the offices of the European Union, knows in detail what is the margin of the Europeans and their ‘fall back positions,’ or the ultimate concessions that the European Commission can grant in the face of the US demands to conclude the agreement in 2015.”

    “It is a treaty of strategic importance,” Charasse goes on to explain, “because if they accept the demands of Washington, the EU will have to renounce many of its policies, and this can provoke the ire of many European citizens.” “The negotiators prefer,” he adds, “just as with the Mexican government when it refers to the Transatlantic Partnership, to omit the tremendous concessions they had to make and which affect entire sectors of the economy.”

    “In the case of the EU we’re talking about not less nor more than transforming the euro-Atlantic zone into a vast NAFTA of the Mexico-US variety, obligating the EU to renounce its original political and social project,” Charasse claims. “Up until now Washington has never accepted the idea of a multi-polar world in which Europe would have had a certain amount of political automony.”

    In the second part of the article, Charasse explores why Mexico and the EU, without so much as a whimper of protest, bend over and take it up the ass from the United States. “The Europeans minimize the assault and ask ‘por la forme’ explanations from the United States, when in reality they know perfectly well the capacity of the US secret services to listen to whatever message, whether telephonic or electronic, that circulates in the world.”

    “This servile attitude of the Europeans looks a lot like what is known as ‘The Stockholm Syndrome’,” Charasse continues. “There is something of this attitude in the Europeans. What is clear is that there is no need waiting around to hear from the EU the slightest criticism of the hyper-power for Guantanamo, the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan, the deadly drones, the massive espionage, the treatment of Evo Morales and many more infamies. All the governments and medias of the West consider that their ‘American friends’ are the primary defenders in the world of democracy and human rights, and that the interests of the Western block and solidarity within it leaves no space for criticism. All is forgiven.”

    “The European Union has closed the window of opportunity it had since 20 years ago, in association with many non-Western countries, to construct a more balanced multi-polar world and a new international architecture that had been liberated from the Cold War bipolar world,” Charasse concludes. “Now it is from Latin America that we hear the message of dignity and independence. Brazil, Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua are the ones who dare to defy the giant of the north and its European allies.”

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Yeah, Carney’s declaration is a worthy of a carnie. Of course NSA’s crime is all about full-spectrum political and economic dominance, international and domestic. In his most demented, drool-inducing fantasies, transvestite J Edgar Hoover, a creepy momma’s boy, could never have imagined such power.

      I can’t wait to see what dirt Snowden has on Obama.

      1. Tokai Tuna

        Wouldn’t it be stunning to find out the NSA provided key assistance in what developed into the financial crisis?
        I just wrote Al Franken to see if the NSA is being used as a scapegoat. Not sure if he has that same address from the SNL days.

    2. Lambert Strether

      Grist for the NSA-as-profit-making-entity mill:
      Via Susie Madrak, quoting Joel Brenner, former NSA IG now of the Chertoff Group:

      JUDY WOODRUFF: Brenner claims that oversight of information gathering has actually improved.

      JOEL BRENNER: We have turned intelligence into a regulated industry in a way that none of our allies, even in Europe, have done.

      Regulated industry“?! Do tell.

      First, “regulated.” Like the banks? What could go wrong?

      Second, “industry.” Oh, OK. So there’s profit. Cui bono?

    3. allcoppedout

      Impossible to knock the spirit of the message Mexico. There might be some hope for us if we could get big data approaches working for all of us. Currently understanding of them is stuck in old intuitive approaches in which we used to seek correlation and work with averages and aggregates (Adam Smith and Marx on markets and class if you like)and hence 70 – 80% of conclusions reached are wrong. In big data approaches pretty much everything correlates and the idea is to work from the reality (individuals exchanging and so on)not the averaging. This is an intuitive leap most aren’t making, including the techies.

      One or two articles here get to this somewhat: – but I’m yet to find much that would fit with a radical politics, though one or two have noticed Orwell’s Big Brother might be a rather puny vision if we get it wrong.

      The ‘big white hope’ is put as this:
      With Big Data we can now begin to actually look at the details of social interaction and how those play out, and are no longer limited to averages like market indices or election results. This is an astounding change. The ability to see the details of the market, of political revolutions, and to be able to predict and control them is definitely a case of Promethean fire—it could be used for good or for ill, and so Big data brings us to interesting times. We’re going to end up reinventing what it means to have a human society.

      Currently the ‘machine’ could be designed to do things like track ‘money’ from QE via hypothecations to the buy out by a bank of commodity storage-distribution through to each person who paid $12 more for a car and the rest. It could also track the whole network of control fraud involved.

      Of course, one suspects it is more likely to know about you or me incorrectly.

  7. Klassy!

    The Backyard Shock Doctrine: This is a book that has been crying out to be written. This is the antidote to the proclamations of cities as “laboratories of democracy” as Tom Friedman wrote. Democracy for whom? Or the hype about the safety of cities. Safe for whom? Yes, I am aware of the statistics, but I go into neighborhoods and if you ask the residents you would be hard pressed to find anyone who would affirm “why yes, things are much better now!”. When the neighborhood is studded with abandoned houses it’s a magnet for crime. This is not the same thing as saying a “culture of poverty” is responsible for the crime.
    My city, which has always been more white collar has still seen the consequences of deindustrialization. (Off the top of my head)on the sites of former manufacturing concerns we now have a casino, a shopping center, and two condominium complexes. We have a food manufacturer using only the finest locally sourced ingredients that is celebrated as a successful and sustainable business. Jobs at their facility are seasonal, “flexible”, and pay 9 dollars an hour. How do you think that compares to the Interstate Bakeries plant that shut down and took union jobs with it? Deindustrialization set the stage and the predators swooped in. Now it appears they have latter day Pinkertons to enforce their will. Except we’re paying their salary.
    The term “sacrifice zones” is correct. When I hear where the city wants to put its money, the goal always seems to be attracting young professionals. It is as if we can just will whole segments of the population away.

  8. RTFM

    The world has already answered the question ‘Where do you draw the line?’ Instruments and a special procedure on human rights defenders establish the principle that you may not be prosecuted solely for defending human rights. So any person who defends the human right to seek and obtain information must have the full legal and institutional protection of the established international consensus on rights defenders. Not just for wrongdoing but for information.

    Intellectuals here in the hermit kingdom always try and think stuff up for themselves. Nobody ever checks to see if the outside world has put any thought into it. The result is usually some variant of the kind of statist straitjacket that US culture’s built on. It’s a triumph of immersive propaganda for this predator state.

    So please, people, before you knock yourself out bending spoons with the sheer raw power of your mind, take a minute to RTFM, you know? It’s easy & fun! Chomsky built an international reputation by reading UN documents to Americans who never think to look at them.

    1. Larry Barber

      Yes, it was on NPR, as well. At least for Sunday (a work day in the Middle East), and maybe longer for some locations.

      1. mad as hell.

        It seems like now would be a good time to cry WOLF! Congress going on vacation. Obama’s popularity sinking. Snowden Free and Manning about to get 50,000 years.

        Let’s put some fear and present dangers into the American populace.

        Not a problem.

        1. Tokai Tuna

          The global alert that the US is arming Al Qeada, in Syria?
          I think I read that earlier today online somewhere.

    1. from Mexico

      I find it difficult to get excited about partisan showdowns. Partisanship is just one of the many forms of tribalism that TPTB use to divide and manipulate us.

      However, if this is indicative that Americans are capable of breaking out of their partisan straight-jackets (overcoming their tribalism), this is indeed good news.

    2. Massinissa

      As with Mexico, I cant really get exited about a Demublican overtaking a Republicrat or whatever.

      But we can hardly do worse than Mitch McConnel. Him leaving wont be anything to jump for joy over, but it wouldnt be unpleasant to see him leave.

    3. Doug Terpstra

      “Our democracy is but a name. We vote? What does that mean? It means that we choose between two bodies of real, though not avowed, autocrats. We choose between Tweedledum and Tweedledee.” —Helen Keller

  9. Emma

    The Japanese passengers story is inspiring.
    If only we could all emulate them and rally round to rescue our planet from a hotter, wetter, more violent future.

  10. Brindle

    I grew up on CSN&Y, Allman Bros etc., but I like to hear new bands- new music.
    The band “Haim”, made up of the three twentysomething Haim sisters, is putting out good stuff.
    They have been touring with Mumford & Sons recently.

    Live cut “Falling” at SXSW in Austin last march, enjoy:

      1. Brindle

        Yeah, “Falling” has great lyrics:

        —“And if it gets rough, it’s time to get rough”…

    1. Naked Press

      Brilliant NBC-Comcast. It is much more expensive to be poor, – period, fact. Yet we have “articles” that conclude the obvious from time to time, year over year, but not to arouse much desire to change the status quo. There is very little good info from coporate news, very little reporting, almost nothing that can called investigative journalism, that isn’t designed more to titlate, sell, waste your time and steal your ideas.

  11. diptherio

    A–hole Awarded For A–hole Behavior By Business Community Leaders ~The Onion

    Thorton, who is regularly featured in Forbes magazine’s list of the nation’s top 20 heartless f—s, has spent nearly 30 years at the forefront of the a–hole game. His legacy includes such accomplishments as ruining the lives of countless honest individuals, exploiting legal gray areas for personal gain, and systematically f—ing over anyone who has placed the slightest semblance of trust in him, all of which, ceremony organizers noted, made him the overwhelming choice for recognition as this year’s biggest pr–k.

  12. DWD

    This is just being published by the Detroit Free Press. I thought it might be interesting to some.

    The battle over the health of the City of Detroit pension funds flared again Friday when the Bond Buyer, a Wall Street publication, reported on a new analysis showing that the pension funds’ optimistic assessments “fall mostly within accepted industry standards.”

    Kevyn Orr, the city’s emergency manager, has estimated the underfunding of the city’s two pension funds at $3.5 billion. The pension fund managers disagree, saying the funds are more than 90% funded, meaning that there are adequate resources to pay almost all future liabilities.

    The Bond Buyer reported Friday that Morningstar, a major investment adviser, found that the actuarial assumptions made by the two pension funds to come up with their more optimistic assessment were in line with industry practice.

    1. Brindle

      I tend to avoid Ezra Klein but he points out the obvious here:

      —“At the beginning of 2007, the employment rate was 63.3 percent, and the unemployment rate was 4.7 percent. By the end of 2009 — so, after the worst of the recession — it had fallen to 58.3 percent, and unemployment was up to 9.9 percent.

      Today, it’s 58.7 percent, even though unemployment has fallen to 7.6 percent. That means a lot of the people who’ve left the rolls of the unemployed haven’t gotten a new job. They’ve just left the labor force altogether.”—

      1. Lambert Strether

        That’s not a bug. It’s a feature. One of the many lovely features of income validation under ObamaCare is that it’s going to bring all the System D maneuvering the disemployed have, of necessity, been doing, back under social control. Yay!

        1. anon y'mouse

          meant to thank you for that exposition on System D. it was quite the lesson. but I figured that, by the time I saw it, you’d moved on to bigger, better things.

          so, thanks Prof!

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              You think this is all part of OhBabaMamaDon’tCare’s plan to shatter le Grande Illusion of the people, by making them more miserable in order that they will rise up and demand ‘change?’

  13. lambert strether

    Japanese PM Abe, from tne Testestorone Pit article:

    “We should proceed quietly,” he said according to transcripts of his speech. “One day, people realized that the Weimar constitution had changed into the Nazi constitution. No one had noticed. Why don’t we learn from that technique?”

    Seems that the “state of the exception” is on the minds of a lot of people in ruling class circles these days. Angela?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I can’t bring myself to trust Abe-san enough to say he should be able to print as much money as his government desires.

  14. rich

    “We Are Slowly Dying”: Fast-Food Workers Launch Strike for Living Wage and Right to Unionize

    A national strike for a living wage and the right to unionize in the fast-food and retail sectors has spread across seven cities. Hundreds of workers walked off the job Thursday in Milwaukee, and before that in Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, Detroit, Flint and New York City. “What else do we have to lose? We are already slowly dying in our day-to-day lives,” says our guest Terrance Wise, who works at both Burger King and Pizza Hut and is a member of the Stand Up Kansas City campaign. “So why not speak up, and stand up, and let the nation know that we are suffering? This is really a cry for help. This great nation should not turn its back on working-class people that need help.” We also speak with Josh Eidelson, who covers labor issues for The Nation and is also a contributing writer for His latest article is “Fast Food Strikes Intensify in Seven Cities.”

    job growth(less)….

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I thought about calling for boycotting fast food in general. Normally this will hurt the workers as well. And that’s the paradox inherent in a non-GDP-sharing universe.

      But with them on strike, maybe it’s not too self-wounding to call for boycotting fast food.

      1. optimader

        I just had my fast food..

        Thinly sliced pork tenderloin on dark Russian rye with romaine lettuce and a heirloom purple tomato from the garden, safely filed away into a snap-lid plastic container.

        It took a solid ~2 min to prepare this morning, I actually had to slice my bread, jeeze I almost didn’t make it out of the house!

        ok.. allocate another ~1 minute to the sandwich.. I spent a solid 10 min last night slathering the brined the tenderloin w/a mix of hunan sauce/currant jam/garden garlic/garden tarragon/olive oil, then broiled it. It was murder cooking it tho, I had to actually flip it once!

        I’ll bet I had at least, what ~$1.00 into that lunch, not that I’m counting.

        So why oh why do people eat that other Frakenfood crap?? I just don’t get it.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I will trade my naked salad (as in no dressing…completely nude) for your lunch.

          1. optimader


            Its been fully depreciated now, I’m sure you wouldn’t want to trade.

            But Sweet Jesus girl! balsamic vinegar/olive oil/sliced garlic clove/blackpepper on that salad, are you a communist or something??!

            It’s fresh garlic-basil-tomato-cilantro genocide time in my yard right now.

            In a fleeting wisp of good judgment this spring, I planted purple and green basil instead of most the flowers this year. Threw seeds over my shoulder.

            A balsamic vinegar reduction on mozzarella on basil on chilled pork tenderloin scallops is in my future… w/ a side of pesto and tomatos of course, washed down w/ a medicinal Belgian ale…

            Alas, the scourge of more fast food :o/
            How I suffer, let me count the ways..

              1. optimader

                For said application I use a balsamic of modena, add a bit of Port and a bit of currant syrup or black cherry syrup (Cracovia) or honey/maplesyrup… or a fructose/sucrose of choice.. and reduce 50% on loooow loooow heat..

                Use the BV sold at Costco, for the less than~$200/bttl. I’ll put money on a blind A-B-C taste test

                1. optimader

                  ..I’ll put money on a blind A-B-C taste test..

                  on the my reduction vs a Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di from someone’s attic in Italy that is.

      2. Back Stroke

        Do an Occupy manouver. The rentiers generally aren’t wrapping the burritos at the retail outlet. A sit down strike, is not a boycott. Kids today have no idea what it takes, and it is effort. Workers in the past broke the machines, literally, that management considered were more valuable than the people that ran them. That’s what it took to break the bastards. They’ll call it terror, they’ll call the goons, but if the public isn’t getting their proportioned fatty meats and sugary crappuatos, they’ll be sympathetic. Pour your heart into your work, stand up!

        1. JTFaraday

          “they’ll be sympathetic”

          Is this the same public that tramples Walmart greeters to death on (the appropriately named) Black Friday?

    2. reslez

      The most effective way to retaliate against this sort of labor uppitiness is a blacklist. Just another secret database for employers to check before you’re hired. Easily turn an $8/hr job into the good old days.

      (You know employers would love to do this. You know they will. You only have to wait for them to figure out how. Watch for it.)

      Also, be sure to do what Walmart does — wait 6 months to fire your troublemakers. All the sweeter when you know they’ll never get hired anywhere else again.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Nature does not care.

      Even if selfish traits are favored by evolution, we can still say no to them.

      Most likely though, sometimes, in some situations, one needs to be selfish and other times, we need to cooperate, be more like those oil cartel members, for example – they cooperate often enough to make a lot of money, or those oligarchic 0.01%.

  15. diane

    Swaps Probe Finds Banks Manipulated Rate at Expense of Retirees

    Recorded telephone calls and e-mails reviewed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission show that traders at Wall Street banks instructed ICAP Plc brokers in Jersey City, New Jersey, to buy or sell as many interest-rate swaps as necessary to move the benchmark rate, known as ISDAfix, to a predetermined level, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

    By rigging the measure, the banks stood to profit on separate derivatives trades they had with clients who were seeking to hedge against moves in interest rates. Banks sought to change the value of the swaps because the ISDAfix rate sets prices for the other derivatives, which are used by firms from the California Public Employees’ Retirement System to Pacific Investment Management Co., said the person, who asked not to be identified because the details aren’t public.

    Libor rigging the “tip of the iceberg”:

    The revelations show the manipulation of the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, a benchmark for $300 trillion of securities, may be the tip of the iceberg. The Libor probe has so far led to fines of about $2.5 billion against Barclays Plc (BARC), UBS AG (UBSN) and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc. (RBS)

    While the indexes under scrutiny are little known to the public, their influence extends to trillions of dollars in securities and derivatives. ….

    Being investigated:

    The contributors to ISDAfix being investigated by the CFTC are Bank of America Corp. (BAC), Barclays, BNP Paribas SA, Citigroup, Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN), Deutsche Bank AG (DBK), Goldman Sachs Group Inc., HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Mizuho Financial Group Inc. (8411), Morgan Stanley (MS), Nomura Holdings Inc. (8604), Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS and Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC)

    (bolding mine)

  16. barrisj

    After years of dodging indictments and court cases, thanks to the efforts of his parliamentary cronies from Forzia Italia and the PdL writing all sorts of immunity legislation protecting him, Il Cavaliere, Sr Bunga-Bunga, has at long last tasted justice, and has had his tax fraud conviction upheld by the Corte Suprema di Cassazione, and is now officially a convicted criminal. There remains the conviction for “underage sex”, which S. Berlusconi is currently appealing; all in, this could finally result in the POS departing Italian public life…adesso basta, coglione! Vafanculo!
    Small victory, but in today’s late-capitalism world, justice is where you can find it.

    1. BillC

      Don’t count them chickens before they hatch!

      Around an hour ago all of the PdL representatives in Parliament put their letters of resignation in the hands of the party secretary. It appears that Berlusconi and his co-conspir … er, party officers will ask the President of the Republic for a pardon. Implicit (and probably serious) threat: the PdL/PD government (at least as problematic as a Dem+Repub alliance) will fall and new elections will ensue as soon as summer vacations are over (NO party in Italy would ever advocate working through August). After that … nobody knows.

      The only thing anyone can predict with reasonable certainty about Italian politics for the rest of the year: we won’t be bored.

    2. optimader

      this could finally result in the POS departing Italian public life

      No way, not short of a heart attack

      1. barrisj

        Well, hang on, he keeps hosting bunga-bunga parties, doing ficky-fick with 18year-olds, who knows?

  17. Chris Rogers

    I notice on this thread – links – that whilst you reference THe Guardian often, no one has yet drawn attention to the Conservative/Liberal Democrat Governments to win over overtly ‘racist voters’ to the actual Conservative, two concurrent campaigns are being run on the supposed grounds of encouraging Illegal Immigrants to hand themselves into the authorities to be deported – there are huge racist undertones in both campaigns, one I have dubbed “THE WAGONS OF HATE” and the other “TWITTER ACCOUNTS OF HATE.”

    Whats disturbing is that there are legitimate parallels with the Jewish hate campaigns in the early days of Hitler’s Germany, what Hannah Arendt referred too as the “Propagandising into complacency” or indeed active complicity in future events – basically people are being buttered up – given the ConDem government has already vilified certain sections of the UK population this far, i.e,. benefits scroungers, the sick, the elderly and legal immigrants from Eastern Europe – in an effort to reverse the racist vote going to the UK Independence Party, or the British National Party ( An actual fascist party by the way) they are setting a dangerous precedent, one not visited since the late 60’s and early 70’s.

    I find this most troubling and am very uncomfortable with these developments both politically speaking, and from a moral perspective – indeed, they seem intent on mirroring all that’s worst in US society – which is not to be encouraged.

    Anyway, it would be nice if some UK posters, or persons like @from Mexico could comment on these most troubling issues.

    1. Chris Rogers

      That should actually read:

      “I notice on this thread – Links – that whilst you reference The Guardian often, no one has yet drawn attention to the Conservative/Liberal Democrat Governments efforts to win over overtly ‘racist voters’ to the actual Conservative-side of the administration, two concurrent campaigns are currently being run on the supposed grounds of encouraging Illegal Immigrants to hand themselves over to the authorities to be deported – there are huge racist undertones in both campaigns, one I have dubbed “THE WAGONS OF HATE” and the other “TWITTER ACCOUNTS OF HATE.”

      May I apologise for typographical errors.

  18. Jim Haygood

    Whitewater II, comrades. There’s still time to get in on the ground floor for guaranteed returns!

    An electric-car company co-founded by Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe is under investigation by the SEC over its conduct in soliciting foreign investors. The SEC subpoenaed documents from GreenTech Automotive and a sister company, Gulf Coast Funds Management. The investigation is focused, at least in part, on alleged claims that the company “guarantees returns” to the investors, according to government documents.

    GreenTech has sought overseas investors through a federal program that allows foreigners to gain special visas if they contribute at least $500,000 to create U.S. jobs. Gulf Coast, which is run by Anthony Rodham, the brother of former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton, seeks investors for GreenTech and arranges the visas.

    McAuliffe’s close ties to the Clintons have fueled his political career — during the Clinton presidency he was often referred to as “first friend.” McAuliffe said last year he thought GreenTech could build 10,000 cars in 2013. Only a fraction of that number has been built, and McAuliffe rarely mentions the company on the campaign trail. WaPo link:

    Let’s just stipulate, for the record, that Green Tech possesses NO competitive technology, and hasn’t a hope in hell of being a player in electric vehicles. It’s a visa mill and a government loan scam, pure and simple.

    It’s been previously reported, months ago, that most of Green Tech’s foreign investors are Chinese. Believing that the U.S. is like China, where ‘guanxi’ (connections) are key, many have handed over their $500K on the strength of McAuliffe’s Clinton connections, without even being able to read the prospectus.

    Hillary watchers will recognize her business profile, which goes all the way back to Whitewater, when the McDougals were used as the cutouts. Just as Bill’s brother Roger served as the cutout for the $400,000 cash which Hillary collected from Marc Rich for his bribe-induced pardon, this time round it’s Hillary’s brother Anthony acting as the middleman.

    You’d think, having earned a reported $109 million in their first decade after leaving the White House, that the Clintons wouldn’t get involved in risky pump-and-dump schemes anymore. But you’d be wrong. They’ve been operating on the shady side of the street since their earliest days in Arkansas. And like their permanent campaign, it’s never gonna stop.

  19. rich


    Published on Aug 1, 2013
    This is my interview with Karen Hudes the Whistleblower from the World Bank. This is a wide ranging discussion covering her time at the World Bank and what led her to blow the whistle on the corruption she found there. In the process her view of the worldwide corruption widened to include governments and the overall monetary system.

  20. Klassy!

    The Backyard Shock Doctrine. This is a book that has been crying out to be written. There has not been nearly the amount of reporting about this crime against humanity that has taken place. I guess war on the middle class resonates more. Sacrifice zones is the right term. I think of my city where the thinking seems to be if we just attract more young professionals the people in the sacrifice zones will go away. major My city was never a hub of manufacturing, but in the time I’ve lived here I’ve still seen many manufacturing concerns shut down. In their place is a casino, several condo buildings, a shopping center (it took the name of the manufacturer it replaced), and some sort of arts space. Deindustrialization set the stage and then the predators from the banks swooped in.
    I kind of want to scream when I hear the statistics about cities being safer than ever. I know that some of the neighborhoods that I go into– well, the residents sure would not say “Why yes, you’re right! I do feel safer than I did 15 years ago.” Abandoned homes are magnets for crime. It’s a different world.

    1. diane

      There has not been nearly the amount of reporting about this crime against humanity that has taken place. I guess war on the middle class resonates more.

      Agree, wholeheartedly, the historically lower income, poor and downtrodden have been totally written off.

  21. diane

    A great – oh so deserved – response to Adrian Chen’s disgusting hit piece on Gawker yesterday regarding the family hideously harrased, frightened (and now mocked publically, to top it all off) over a quite normal curiosity about pressure cookers:

    Gawker: Relax Everyone, Google Didn’t Rat Out That Hysterical Woman to The Government. It Was Her Husband’s Boss.

    Now for any thoughtful person not inclined to stupidly trivialize the invasion of someone’s home by six gun-wielding anti-terrorists or to reflexively belittle anyone who doubts the essential benevolence of Google and the government, the takeaway is that the Suffolk County Police Department confirmed every factual claim Catalano made. Indeed, the only thing Catalano apparently got wrong was her theory about how authorities knew the family’s search habits, which she freely admitted was speculative:

    That’s how I imagine it played out, anyhow. Lots of bells and whistles and a crowd of task force workers huddled around a computer screen looking at our Google history.

    But for an asshole like Chen who, as we know, is the kind of dick that uncritically transcribes NYPD press releases linking activists to eight-year-old murder cases, the fact that the family internet searches were reviewed and reported not by NSA software but by her husband’s employer, weirdly changes everything. It renders Catalano ‘paranoid’ and the swarming of her house by armed anti-terrorists no big deal at all:

    The actually scary part of Catalano’s story—the creepy correlation of Google history in some distant control room—started, and ended, in her imagination.

    Really? That’s the scary part? How very interesting. See, I think everything about this is scary: the boss/snitch, the black SUVs, the cops swarming the yard before even introducing themselves, the interrogation of Catalano’s husband, the fact that a cowed, passive Catalano is ‘anxious’ instead of angry. I think it’s all very disquieting. The attempted smearing of Catalano by a sneering, careerist lickspittle would be scary too, if such smears hadn’t by now become so sickeningly routine.


    (bolding mine)

    1. diane

      a bit more (but, do read the whole post.)

      The saddest thing about this is that there is still a story here. Certainly the employer snitch is as interesting as Google’s potential complicity and as worrying, as is the way Chen and others reflexively write it off as inconsequential. I want to know more details about the family’s web searches and what the cops said that led Catalano to believe they were concerned ’solely with searches made from within [the] house’. I want some evidence that the Suffolk Police account is entirely true. If indeed it was the husband’s work searches that elicited the questions about pressure cooker bombs, were Catalano’s searches about pressure cookers just coincidental? We’ll likely not learn any of this, because Catalano seems content to accede to Chen’s gaslight-y insistence that there is no story here, and with creeps like him setting the tone for our increasingly awful discourse, I can’t really blame her.

      (bolding mine)

  22. Bagehot-by-the-Bay

    Re Big Brother (you invited comments):
    Most targets/victims have a natural impulse to cooperate and facilitate in the hope, oftentimes mistaken, that if they do, everything will just go away.

    It might, as it did for the quinoa couple, but outright appeasement or capitulation can be a very costly legal mistake. So, if you are ever raided by official-looking characters, be polite BUT: (1) Ask to see any and all paperwork the raiders are carrying; (2) make them cool their heels (outside, on the porch), while you read and try to understand it; (3) get your atty. on the phone ASAP and if necessary, make them wait for him/her to call back. (4) Your atty, in turn, has a perfect right to get a judge on the phone to explain what the f**k it’s all about. And put the judge on the phone with the raiders.
    Last, but not least, forget about what the neighbors might think. You don’t want to spend the the next 4-5 years of your life mired in the legal system just so Mrs. McGillicuddy won’t gossip. She will anyway. Come up with a plausible cover story for the neighbors (business dispute, etc.) and stick with it.

    1. diane

      Thanks for that, with the same event in mind, I posted one right before yours (comment #1320991, currently in spam) regarding a deserved post about an ugly, online hit piece yesterday about the New York Woman who posted about that ugly pressure cooker ‘event.’ Onehuge problem with that, though, is that most people don’t ‘have an attorney.’ Even if they do, or know of one:

      1. Those attorneys are generally not on the kind of close terms with them where they can contact them on a private line, or without waiting hours for a call back.

      2. That attorney likely knows nothing about Civil Rights Laws, and it is not easy to find one who does, I’ve looked for one.

      Further, though I have nothing but recollect to rely on, I’m betting those who aren’t in well to do financial circumstances (which generally are those who can afford to ‘have an attorney’), are the most likely to be receiving such outrageous visits from The Law.

      Do you have any suggestions for those who don’t have an attorney?

          1. diane

            I had one in spam for a short bit that I had commented about and I was noting that it was released so it wouldn’t be looked for. Looks like your comment above mine was in spam for a bit too.

      1. Bagehot by-the-Bay.rtf

        (1) On the ratting out by hubby’s employer: Unfortunately, it’s pretty much settled law that anything on your employer’s computer belongs to your employer. If I were working in The Office from Hell, I’d personally make a habit of erasing my browser history, cookies and personal email often, say once a week or every night before I left work. I’m sure there are sites with practical tips for specific operating systems and browsers. Thumb drives for your personal stuff are useful and can attach to a keychain.
        (2) There are search engines ( that do not track your search history å la Google. Consider them.
        (3) For ordinary folks without a lawyer, I’d say call any lawyer, even the one who closed your house deal, and try to get some rapido referrals and advice by phone. Also consider calling your Congressman or City Council member’s office for some names. Lawyers do like to talk. Those with retail clients are used to initial consultations that go nowhere. Fees come later.
        (4) Play this game to understand how the computers “think”: “Because you enjoyed ‘Monsoon Wedding’ and ‘The Battle of Algiers’ [fill in the blank].”

        1. diane

          No offense meant, but you should never offer advice as to situations you have never been in and successfully resolved according to your prescription to others, it will only embarrass you at the end of the day.

          Why do you suppose that Lawyers have never been Unionized? Why do you suppose the attrition rate among wanna have an ethical law office one day Lawyers (particularly females, and, most likely, minorities in general) is so astonishingly high, and that the rate of Drug/Alcohol addiction among Lawyers is so astonishingly high?

          Try being poor, single female, or, especially, dark skinned and tell that cop at the door that you’ll be right back and then successfully be able to contact an attorney (WHO UNDERSTANDS CIVIL RIGHTS ISSUES, ….. MOST ATTORNEYS KNOW ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT CIVIL RIGHTS LAW AND WILL REFUSE TO GET INVOLVED WITH IT AS A CONSEQUENCE) who doesn’t know you and isn’t paid by you, who will contact a judge who, 99.9999999999% of the time, was put in office by, and does dirty work for, scoundrels, and is not paid by you.

          And Whoooooooa COWBOY! …call your local Corrupted to the Bone REP? only to get stuck with their wannna be that corrupted $ocial Engineering Rep one day, 20 year old Intern who got that jawb through their connected Parent$, and hasn’t a clue as to what life has in store for those who question the powers that be as they have not lived on their own enough to realize how things actually work?

  23. RTFM

    ‘Where do you draw the line?’ As it happens, the civilized world has given that a bit of thought.

    Snowden’s universally-acknowledged right to freedom of expression is set out in black and white as Article 19 of the ICCPR, supreme law of the land equivalent to federal statute, with which US law at all levels must be brought into conformity, and Article 19 of the UDHR, federal common law and the common law of every state. In case that’s not entirely clear, principles governing interpretation of Snowden’s – and your – rights are set out in General Comment 34.

    Instruments and a special rapporteur on human rights defenders establish the principle that no one may be prosecuted for defending human rights. So when Snowden defends your human right to seek and obtain information, he must have the full legal and institutional protection of the established international consensus on rights defenders. Not just for information about wrongdoing. For information.

    Intellectuals here in the hermit kingdom feel obliged to try and think stuff up from scratch as if nobody ever thought about it before. The result is usually some variant of the kind of statist straitjacket that US culture’s built on. It’s a triumph of immersive propaganda for this predator state.

    So uh, people, before you knock yourself out bending spoons with the sheer raw power of your mind, take a minute to RTFM, you know?

  24. skippy

    If there is one underlying theme to humanity’s history…


    A rapidly growing body of research examines whether human conflict can be affected by climatic changes. Drawing from archaeology, criminology, economics, geography, history, political science, and psychology, we assemble and analyze the 60 most rigorous quantitative studies and document, for the first time, a remarkable convergence of results. We find strong causal evidence linking climatic events to human conflict across a range of spatial and temporal scales and across all major regions of the world. The magnitude of climate’s influence is substantial: for each 1 standard deviation (1σ) change in climate toward warmer temperatures or more extreme rainfall, median estimates indicate that the frequency of interpersonal violence rises 4% and the frequency of intergroup conflict rises 14%. Because locations throughout the inhabited world are expected to warm 2 to 4σ by 2050, amplified rates of human conflict could represent a large and critical impact of anthropogenic climate change.

    And for a more average palette…

    Biological root?

    Mr Burke said: “We want to be careful, you don’t want to attribute any single event to climate in particular, but there are some really interesting results.”

    Start Quote

    It is a major priority for future research to distinguish between what is going on in each particular situation”

    Marshall Burke University of California, Berkeley

    The researchers say they are now trying to understand why this causal relationship exists.

    “The literature offers a couple of different hints,” explained Mr Burke.

    “One of the main mechanisms that seems to be at play is changes in economic conditions. We know that climate affects economic conditions around the world, particularly agrarian parts of the world.

    “There is lots of evidence that changes in economic conditions affect people’s decisions about whether or not to join a rebellion, for example.”

    But he said there could also be a physiological basis, because some studies suggest that heat causes people to be prone to aggression.

    “It is a major priority for future research to distinguish between what is going on in each particular situation.”

    The scientists say that with the current projected levels of climate change the world is likely to become a more violent place.

    They estimate that a 2C (3.6F) rise in global temperature could see personal crimes increase by about 15%, and group conflicts rise by more than 50% in some regions.

    Commenting on the research, Dr Stephan Harrison from the University of Exeter said it was a “timely study”.

    “What they have found is entirely plausible… For example, we already know that hotter and drier weather causes an increase in urban violence. Likewise, during cooler and wetter weather people tend to stay indoors, and the threat diminishes.”

    skippy…. the orb is a life raft… duh~~~ Who ate all the stale fresh crackers[!!!].

    PS. amends for Dbl comment, incorrectly @ 8/1/13… opti and beefs food talking scrambling nuro emitters. BTW opti and beef its all about the starters eh, like yeast, it took me years to extract the right naturally occurring critter from the atmosphere. Millions of years old and free for those that wait…

    1. scraping_by

      Yeah, well…

      My current find in the remainder bin is Phillip de Souza’s The Ancient World at War. Besides the large typeface and the colorful illustrations, what attracted me was the introduction, where de Souza talks about ‘a time before war.’

      Apparently, the first hard evidence of organized violence was around 8000 BC in Northern Iraq. Before that, there’s no archeological site that has mass graves, skeletons riddled with arrow points or skulls smashed, or entire villages burnt to the ground.

      It’s an odd concept, a time before war, not only becuase school history is taught as battle to battle, or the martial propaganda begun by Wilson in the run up to WWI and carried on to our own day. It’s also because a peaceable matriarchy dedicated to agriculture and ritual was a foundational doctrine of the Lesbian Separatists active in the late 70’s. Serious guilt by association.

      The vast majority of Americans are war-weary. Nobody’s fooled that the WOT is about homeland safety or the hallowed dead. Saying ‘a world before war’ implies a world after war. The notion of a world after war is balm to the national soul. If we had a functioning democracy, it would grow into our national policy.

      The idea that we’re going to have to start shooting Mexicans across the Rio Grande is disenheartening.

    2. PublicPersona

      Late summer in Phx Metro is always interesting. It’s been too hot, for too long. Everyone is tired, on edge and armed.

      We walk and talk softly Aug through September.

  25. rich

    Friday, August 2, 2013
    Dodd-Frank at Three: More Lawless Capitalism


    More surprising, Rep. Frank issued a challenge regarding Too-Big-to-Fail (TBTF) (8:13). He claims Dodd-Frank makes every bailout of 2008 “impossible.” That is simply nonsense, as I posted on the day after the Dodd-Frank Act was signed. Specifically, the Dodd-Frank Act amends section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act in a way that paves the way for the Fed to bailout large banks so long as it does so pursuant to a program or facility that features “broad-based eligibility.” Indeed, the Act directs the Fed and the Treasury to create emergency lending programs and facilities “as soon as practicable.” The only limitations the Act imposes on this emergency lending power is that borrowers cannot already be in bankruptcy or receivership and the loan cannot be made with the “purpose of” assisting a “single and specific company.”

    New section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act empowers the Fed to provide for loan programs with “broad-based eligibility” for “the purpose of providing liquidity to the financial system.” It is hard to see how the new section would stop bailouts like the AIG Bailout or the Bear Stearns Bailout–both of which explicitly occurred under section 13(3).

    That is why both Treasury Secretary Lew and Fed Chair Bernanke now admit that TBTF has not been solved yet.


  26. WorldisMorphing

    [[Jury finds Tourre defrauded investors]]

    Fabrice Tourre holds a very special place in my psyche because he holds a very special place in what came to be my endless journey of reading and surfing the Net to further my understanding of the [S]ystem.
    I think it was the 10th or 16th of April of 2010, when I commented on an article in the Huffington Post about derivatives, writing the following comment describing my thoughts on the matter: [“Intellectual masturbation veiled in the aura of science to lend it legitimacy it doesn’t have nor deserves”].
    Truth be told, I was kinda’ proud of that remark , thought it distilled pretty well the feeling, the intuition that had grown in me so far in my investigation into what these instruments really were; and that sentence also gave me my first “Fan & Fav” and complimentary reply…
    To be Noted that that exact comment is no longer accessible online for some unknown reason (Huffington Post was sold to AOL, and the database of early posts\comments was deemed …unimportant, an unmanageabable burden…whatever…) But, sure enough, I’ve written a similar sentence a few times afterwards…

    Anyhow, when a post came out on HP a few days later about “Fabulous Fab Tourre’s” infamous Abacus deal comments, it completely changed my life (yes, I know how this sounds..).
    As I read the report of him referring to the instruments as “pure intellectual masturbation”


    “a ‘thing’ which has no purpose, which is absolutely conceptual and highly theoretical and which nobody knows how to price.”

    Read more:

    …in what(I think) was an email to his girlfriend, I recall immediately thinking:”Hey! Has my comment been read by an acquiescent wallstreet banker!?”. Of course, not necessarily, those two words had already been combined elsewhere as a web search confirms… Disappointed, I wondered if I had heard that expression before without remembering the source because I genuinely believed I was the first to come up with it… But I digress. The mere coincidence that we had both used the same analogy to describe a financial instrument gave me the feeling that a shark must get when he smells blood in the water…
    I had been on a quest, and I was finally on to something substantial.
    This being said, I have another intuition which I’d like to share. I’ll go straight to the point: I think that email years ago was ultimately what sealed his fate. I suspect those sorts of [leaked] candid remarks are of the kind that Goldman would wish to do without. I suspect his lawyers got the word that he was an expendable burden. + he’s French !!!
    It could explain their apparent lack of zeal.
    Naturally, I’m aware that it could also just be a deluded half-baked over-extrapolated diagnosis; as it doesn’t take into account what Fabulous Fab might do, should he get aware (and bitter) about an unscrupulous purge from Goldman Sachs.
    On a last side note, I’d like to confess the following: ‘Fabulous Fab Tourre’ is the catalyst in my endeavor to understand the [S]ystem. That event, for me is:
    –the reason why I went from being an unfocused news&info junkie to an [economics,capitalism and philosophy]focused news&info junkie.
    –the reason I read Michael Lewis’s “The Big Short”
    in which the synthetic CDO’s description oOh so! confirmed my suspicions…
    –the reason why I started reading Adam Smith
    –the reason I feel compelled to ‘favorite’, as to archive, all YouTube video’s which I deem worthy of being considered as furthering one’s understanding of the System.

    –And believe it or not Yves, the reason I’ve been an avid consumer of Naked Capitalism’s blog posts & links…
    P.S. Sorry for the long post, I think I somehow had to get this of my chest…

    1. scraping_by

      In German, we would say ‘Zeitgeist’. Dunno what it is in French. Americans don’t have a single word for the concept of something we all know well enough not to say, so we use the expression, ‘Good Common Sense!’ Exclamation point part of the phrase.

      You have all honors for touching the forward edge of the Zeitgeist. No /sarc.

    1. skippy


      Haplotypes consisting of alleles at a short tandem repeat polymorphism (STRP) and an Alu deletion polymorphism at the CD4 locus on chromosome 12 were analyzed in more than 1600 individuals sampled from 42 geographically dispersed populations (13 African, 2 Middle Eastern, 7 European, 9 Asian, 3 Pacific, and 8 Amerindian). Sub-Saharan African populations had more haplotypes and exhibited more variability in frequencies of haplotypes than the Northeast African or non-African populations. The Alu deletion was nearly always associated with a single STRP allele in non-African and Northeast African populations but was associated with a wide range of STRP alleles in the sub-Saharan African populations. This global pattern of haplotype variation and linkage disequilibrium suggests a common and recent African origin for all non-African human populations.

      skip here…

      Ignorant regurgitation of one stop information portals which “base” a *condensed article* on – on going – Scientific theory, observation, investigation, is not a application of critical thinking.

      “Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan Health System.”

      Where you should have researched the actual work, as I have linked above. Do you FEEL your conclusion is still valid?

      skippy… FYI – All Species – have a “founding pair” which in turn have genetic material from older founding pairs.

      PS. this may help…

  27. Tierra

    My husband & i separated In February 2011 there were nothing me or anyone can do about it i felt depressed confused sad and didn’t know what to do. until i contacted Dr.Zack Balo in January 2012 before i knew it my life felt Whole husband contacted me after 3 days that the spell was cast on him..”Dr.Zack Balo helped the Both of us now we are stronger then before, here is the email address to contact him for your own help

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