Links 6/3/13

Lambert: Sorry for excessive links. People kept sending them!

AP. Didn’t Monsanto just patent vinegar?

Yahoo. Comments are a little more realistic.

BBC

emptywheel (Bunk McNulty)

FT

Marginal Revolution

Wolfgang Münchau, FT

CNN

Gretchen Morgenson, Times

Reuters

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Bernie Sanders, Guardian

Tampa Bay Times (Lisa Epstein)

Online WSJ (SW). From the Department of Schadenfreude.

Edward Luce, FT

Another Word for It

Bloomberg (video). Dead-eyed now-former National Security spokeshole Tommy Vietor cashes in.

Testosterone Pit

Der Speigel

London Review of Books. Election year mood.

Turkey

Business Week

Jadaliyya

Guardian

Hurriyet Daily News. Soccer fans.

London Review of Books. Syria.

Reuters

Big Picture

All Things D

mathbabe

FT (RS)

The Chronicle of Higher Education’

Crooked Timber. Video with Richard Hughes.

Health After Oil (danb)

Truth-Out (KF)

New York Review of Books

Antidote du jour (NZ friend of Yves):

happy_penguins

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About Lambert Strether

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

87 comments

  1. gonzomarx

    its that time of year again…

    Bilderberg 2013 comes to … the Grove hotel, Watford

    1. AbyNormal

      ah yes, Satan’s Favorite Charity

      “The conference is, after all, run as a charity…the Bilderberg Association (charity number 272706).”

      1. Paul Tioxon

        Will the libtards please stop targeting conservative groups creating a chilling, freedom killing environment of Stalinist Gestapo tactics? Can’t a few kings, billionaires and ministers of war just have a friendly get together without yr filthy gutter minds soiling the event?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Successful billionaires don’t ask whether they are making their money off conservatives or liberals.

        2. AbyNormal

          heheheheeee PaulT’s a hoot…who nu!

          Theme Song for this particular ‘Charity’

      2. gonzomarx

        The Bilderberg Association, BP and Goldman Sachs.
        PDFs of Bilderberg Association accounts:

  2. Chris Engel

    Kevin Gosztola interviews Jeremy Scahill on his book/film Dirty Wars:

    Most interesting I found was Scahill mentioning that his computer was hacked (presumably by the Deep State) in the process of his reporting on the drones.

    And related: Bradley Manning’s trial begins today.

    I’m unsure of the reasoning behind manning’s choice to have his case reviewed by a judge instead of a jury.

    1. Philly Dix

      It’s important to realize killing civilians is not the exception but the rule when the US is at war. It’s also a rule for the press to mostly obscure this great truth. We haven’t prosecuted one son of bitch for the Iraq war, and they need to make examples out of dissenters.

  3. Working Class Nero

    There is no Turkish Spring occurring in Anatolia. It’s more like the wispy last gasp of breath from the old guard. Although many of the protesters may be relatively young age-wise; in political and ideological terms they are indeed the ancien régime, the Old Turks.

    The Arab Spring was and is about undemocratic secular dictators being replaced by popular Islamist tyrants. These regime changes have the full backing of the US and her allies. They help resolve a long-standing contradiction in the Western approach to Muslim countries. While the West preaches democracy, generally it was thought to be a bad idea to let underling nations have it since they might elect governments hostile to US interests. In 1992 elections in Algeria were halted with the backing of the French and ultimately the US, in order to avoid an Islamist party coming to power. The obvious truth is that in most Muslim countries there exists a solid majority (mostly rural peasants) who would support a Sharia-imposing Islamist government if they were allowed to vote for one. But from an imperial point of view, a universalist ideology such as Islam fits in much better than particularist blood and soil nationalism that Muslim elites used to espoused after pan-Arabism collapsed.

    So the key, with the help of Saudi Arabia, was to confection pro-American Islamist parties, or to simply make it a condition of power for existing, America-phobic Islamist parties to adjust their attitude towards Uncle Sam..

    Since 1992, Western elites have slowly changed their minds and learned to love the Sharia. After all an ideology based on submission cannot be all bad from a ruling class point of view since the goal of any group of leaders is to cultivate obedience from their subjects. Islam turns the trick very well. Even in Europe the ruling class is learning this lesson. As they flood their countries with the “wrong kind of Muslims” (the rural peasant type instead of the liberal urban elite), their welfare states are imploding and their jails are bursting at the seams. In France around 70% of all jail inmates are Muslim. These former rural peasants are now crowded into urban ghettoes which fairly quickly become something close to autonomous regions. This is all fine long-term since one of the international elite’s goals with mass third world immigration is to destroy the societal cohesion that makes a welfare state possible. But in the short term the police or other emergency services are not welcome in these no-go zones. So in a modern day version of feudalism, effective control over these zones is quietly handed over to Imams who are then often able to impose discipline and order on their new subjects but at the cost of creeping Islamization in the urban centers of Europe. Muslim patrols replace state police patrols. So while gay marriage may now be legal in France as a nation, as Muslims reach majority status in neighbourhoods and cities, two men walking hand in hand will not be tolerated by your local Muslim patrol. And all this is not just accepted, but is actually celebrated by the urban elite, both left and right. Meanwhile it is the more conservative rural–types in Europe who are alarmed for now. Who knows, one day they may jettison their lefty urban brethren and realize they have quite a bit in common with the Islamists. But for the time being, the young European Islamists don’t don hippy clothing and go play Occupy for a while at a park. They occupy their neighbourhoods for keeps, just as their brethren back home are starting to occupy their nations.

    So the Arab Spring has consisted of placing some Islamist parties in power backed by a majority of the peasant vote. Where elections are not possible, insurgencies, back by Saudi Arabia and the US, are the preferred method of regime change, as in Syria and Libya.

    But Turkey has already gone through this transformation over the past decade – in fact they were one of the prototypes of a new pro-Aemerican Islamist regime. Before the secular military ensured that the Islamist-leaning majority were not really seen or heard. But in reaction, it was the Islamist political parties who became a politically “fashion-forward” movement, the “Young Turks”, anticipating the future, the progenitors of a long running Turkish Spring which has placed Islamists in power and may one day soon succeed in building a mall in Taksim Gezi Park. The US may put a little pressure on to calm things down, but Erdoğan is the leader the US wants in place there.

    In Turkey, the urban bourgeoisie are ideologically committed to democracy but unfortunately cannot gather anything near a majority. Even the military, which the urban elite hated due to their instinctual animus towards all things martial and nationalistic, used to have enough power to keep the nation safe from the Islamist hordes. But after years of purges of secular-leaning officers, it is an open question whether the Army has the wherewithal to halt the implacably slow but relentless Islamic creep in Turkey. Because while the Islamists may disdain democracy, after all the word of God is never to be compromised by a majority vote; it is a very useful tool for them, since there is no denying that they do have the rural masses on their side which gives them a majority in any election.

    The Turkish bourgeoisie have finally awakened but now it is way too late for them. They are attempting a counterrevolution, a Turkish Fall, an attempt to go back to a cosmopolitan secular society. I have several close friends there so I am rooting for them but the realist inside me says they are doomed because in the end they stand for nothing much more than an enlightened Western lifestyle but that’s not something they will get many peasants majority to vote for. And that’s conditioned on the rather naive assumption that the Army has enough secular officers to force the Islamists to relinquish power the day they do lose a vote. As things stand, why would military risk everything to save a few ungrateful Turkish Bourgeoisie? They might be better off just hunkering down and getting with the Islamist program.

    For several years I’ve worked alongside Turkish construction companies. In the early ‘00s Turkish companies were enthusiastically looking to break into the first world markets; often in association with German companies. In recent years, especially after their EU dreams were dashed, attention returned to more realistic second world goals, especially Russia, where they are very competitive. And in turn, politically they are dropping the liberal facade and are turning back to Putin-inspired second world authoritarianism as well.

    The only leverage the revolting urban bourgeoisie have in Turkey is their value to the economy. But in a second world society, obedience to ruling elites counts more than being able to create an internet start-up or writing an essay on feminist legal theory. So in the coming months many of the demonstrators will start to emigrate, especially as the internal security forces start examining Facebook and Twitter accounts. And as these left-leaning liberal Turkish professionals resettle in Europe’s glamorous cities, perhaps they will be able to warn their European co-Bourgeoisie about what is coming down the road in a decade or two in the old continent’s cities as well.

    1. jodi dean has been covering Occupy Gezi, including pictures and correspondence; here’s her june archive:

    2. from Mexico

      I certainly agree that the US neocons have been the biggest boosters of extremist, fundamentalist Islam. After all, a right needs a left, and a yin needs a yang, so that each can inflate its agenda into a chiliastic battle for the soul of mankind. Neocon and radical Islamist are now locked in a full-blown, mutually sustaining Folie à deux, and the only person each dislikes more than the other is the one who tells both to lighten up. This was the subtext of Adam Curtis’ The Power of Nightmares.

      But Adams very much sets himself apart from Working Class Nero in one very key aspect. For Adams argues that the Islamic street fully rejected radical, fundamentalist Islam. So when WCN says “Islam turns the trick very well,” bringing in its train “a modern day version of feudalism” and destroying “the societal cohesion that makes a welfare state possible,” when he warns of keeping “the nation safe from the Islamist hordes” and halting “the implacably slow but relentless Islamic creep in Turkey,” because the Islamists “disdain democracy,” he goes down a very different road than Adams did.

      Being gay, I’m used to this sort of tawdry, bigoted pseudo-scholarship. Here’s a great example from Free Republic:

      “Myth and Reality about Homosexuality–Sexual Orientation Section, Guide to Family Issues”

      And just a few days ago someone posted a link to a piece of pseudo-scholarship that is equally as tawdry and bigoted, except the goal is to paint Jews with the face of evil:

      “The machiavelian threefold game of the neoconservatives”
      by Laurent Guyénot

    3. from Mexico

      The other bone of contention I have with Working Class Nero is that he sets up a Manichean duality between man’s materiality and his spirituality.

      But as Martin Luther King was quick to point out, the best of Christianity deals with both the spiritual man and the material man. The two are inseparable.

      Azar Gat, in War in Human Civilization, also dwells extensively on this subject:

      Theory and mythology, natural and supernatural, science and magic are dichotomies shaped by later human reasoning….

      More bluntly, I suggest that a crude distinction between ‘infrastructure’ and ‘superstructure’ misses the point. Instead, all elements — ‘physical’ and ‘spiritual’ — of hunter-gatherers’ warfare in the evolution-shaped ‘human state of nature’ should be viewed as aspects of a comprehensive way of life, to which they were generally all tuned.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        And before that, when we were, say, Homo Erectus, were we spiritual?

        When did man become spiritual in his evolution as an ape?

        1. optimader

          “..When did man become spiritual in his evolution as an ape?”

          About one hour after eating Strophariaceae Psilocybe for the first time that was growing on the bison dung heap ?

          1. optimader

            “…Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.

            This planet has—or rather had—a problem, which was this: most of the people on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

            And so the problem remained; lots of the people were mean, and most of them were miserable, even the ones with digital watches…”
            ~D Adams

      2. Joe

        I wouldn’t put much stock in what Gat has to say about prehistoric warfare because he isn’t an anthropologist or an archeologist and he foolishly dismisses the importance of African hunter gatherers like the Hadza in his speculation upon how early Homo Sapiens Sapiens lived. The Hadza in particular are an excellent source of insight into how humans lived before the advent of agriculture because they have only been in with agropastoralists for two centuries at most. What’s more, they have inhabited the land surrounding Lake Eyasi for the last 10,000 years or so, just before the advent of agriculture, horticulture and pastoralism, which means that they weren’t pressured by peoples with radically different social structures to move to less hospitable lands as the proponents of encapsulation theory would have it. The ethnographic record dating back to the earliest sources is also consistent in its portrayal of their way of life, which indicates that their culture has changed very little in the intervening years.

        The reason all of this is important is because they have a very low rate of homocides even after adjusting for population size. The adult and juvenile mortality rate is also low, though the infant mortality rate is high. Hostilities between individuals aren’t resolved violently because they can simply move away from troublesome or unpleasant people when they are fed up with them. Conflict avoidance and a marked disdain for violence are more characteristic of their behavior than the bellicosity that Gat notes in Australian Aboriginal populations. These traits problematize Gat’s portrayal of the “state of nature” as one giving rise to endemic violence as a result of resource scarcity and competition for mates.

        The Hadza live in a harsh environment that is nevertheless rich in game animals and tubers, with a cornucopia of berries, eggs, and honey available on a seasonal basis. Food that is difficult to obtain like honey and meat from large game animals is shared communally, though young children, pregnant and nursing women, and the elderly get the choicest cuts. Individuals typically consume food that is more readily available shortly after they get it. Starvation is rare because anyone who needs food can request some from anyone who has any without any duty to reciprocate in kind. No one is indebted to anyone else because such obligations would limit the other person’s autonomy, which the Hadza prize above all else.

        Despite the slight preference that prospective parents have for males, the Hadza enjoy a higher degree of gender equality than just about any other society. Their kinship system is bilateral and cognatic, and Hadza women can divorce their husbands at any time without having to state their rationale. Males are expected to care for their stepchildren with the same level of commitment that they display for their own children, though this expectation isn’t quite fulfilled in practice. Women contribute just as enthusiasitically to the band level decision making process as men do, and their input is regarded with the same level of respect. Domestic violence amongst the Hadza still engaged in foraging is virtually nonexistent, though it occurs frequently amongst those who have taken agropastoralism.

        The contrasts with Gat’s model of “the state of nature” couldn’t be more stark. Resources are distributed equitably, women are free from male coersion to an extent unrivaled by almost any sedentary society (the Buhid and Semai also boast these qualities), and warfare is inconceivable. While the few cases of homocide found in the ethnographic record were motivated by sexual jealousy, even this is typically nipped in the bud by the eagerness of the band to try to talk the individual out of any violent act, or the ability of any individual, family, or even band to move away from any belligerent individual. The solutions employed by the Hadza to the problems identified by Gat are much out of keeping with those he predicts, which further delegitimizes his argument that behaviorally modern humans evolved in an environment that gave rise to sustained conflict over mates and resources. If the Hadza are representative of how human societies operated before the advent of agriculture, it would seem that just the opposite was the case.

        If you’d like to learn more, consult Frank Marlowe’s wonderful ethnography “The Hadza: Hunter-Gatherers of Tanzania”, published in 2010.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Interesting comment, Joe.

          I suspect it’s a little bit of everything. You got warring chimps and you got ‘let’s-make-love-after-an-argument’ Bonobo apes.

    4. RanDomino

      “they are doomed because in the end they stand for nothing much more than an enlightened Western lifestyle but that’s not something they will get many peasants majority to vote for. And that’s conditioned on the rather naive assumption that the Army has enough secular officers to force the Islamists to relinquish power the day they do lose a vote.”

      This is one more reason why successful revolutionary strategies eschew voting. If the Turkish Spring movement manages to make it to the point where the government is seriously destabilized, they had better learn the lesson from Egypt- and they might, since they are probably not blind and stupid.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Revolutions are highly visible; lasting changes, often, are barely visible, at least not for a while.

    5. goat_farmers_of_the_CIA

      Someone called “Jan” crossposted – as a comment – in moonofalabama.org Working Class Nero’s insiduous neocon propaganda. Moonofalabama’s admin, b, replied, correcting his patent misinformation:

      “this sentence in 10 is terribly stupid: “So while gay marriage may now be legal in France as a nation, as Muslims reach majority status in neighbourhoods and cities, two men walking hand in hand will not be tolerated by your local Muslim patrol.”

      In the Middle East (including Turkey) you will see men walking hand in hand all the time. It is NOT an expression of being gay, just of being friends. That the author asserts different (and hypes Islamophobia) disqualifies the comment.

      Posted by: b | Jun 3, 2013 3:21:20 PM | 16″

      Ever since WCN posted yet another long-winded, risible comment predicting that the US would come to dominate the world in the end, I have suspected the guy of being just a more intelligent troll.

      1. goat_farmers_of_the_CIA

        A more direct and humorous reply to WCN’s ignorant gay bashing from another commenter in moonofalabama.org:

        “two men walking hand in hand will not be tolerated by your local Muslim patrol

        hah! (scroll down for images):

        Posted by: somebody | Jun 3, 2013 3:15:56 PM | 15 “

        1. Working Class Nero

          Sure, two recognizably Arab men in traditional clothing holding hands in the no-go zones would not be an issue.

          But I was obviously referring to men native to that country holding hands. In Paris two native gay men recently tried their luck walking through a no-go zone “arm in arm”. It didn’t turn out too well.

          But sure, it’s just an anecdote.

  4. Jim Haygood

    Windows RT’s slow fade to oblivion:

    Microsoft is cutting the price of its Windows RT software for small tablets, seeking to shore up foundering efforts to combat Apple in the mobile-computing market, people with knowledge of the matter said.

    A year after unveiling the first Windows RT machines aimed at eroding Apple and Google’s lead in the $64 billion tablet market, Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft is struggling.

    Global device makers such as Hewlett-Packard and HTC are shunning the system, leaving a dearth of RT machines in stores and giving Windows RT less than a percentage point of market share in the first quarter, compared with 40 percent for Apple, according to IDC.

    With less than 1 percent market share, price cuts ain’t gonna work. Actually MSFT would have to subsidize Windows RT to gain any market share.

    After thirty years in business, MSFT still regularly lays eggs like Windows RT and Windows 8 with no start button. Apparently when the vision (or lack thereof) in the CEO’s office is set by philistines like Gates and Ballmer, no amount of expensive IT talent can repair the damage.

    1. Procopius

      I don’t think you can blame Gates for the disastrous design decisions. And is Ballmer still there? I thought he retired long ago (along with Gates). But Ballmer was never about design, he was about destroying/preventing competition. You gotta remember that MS actually came out with a terrific design with Windows 95 when Gates was still very much in charge. Windows 98 was (in my opinion) even better, I really hated to give it up. Windows XP Pro was maybe the best; lots of companies are still using it even though MS has stopped supporting it and they undid or overcame all the terrible mistakes that went into Windows NT. I don’t know much about Win 7 and I never hear anything good about Win 8. I use Linux now, although I wouldn’t mind going back to Win XP Pro.

  5. Haven’t seen either of these linked to yet:

    ~NYT Dealbook [that’s my headline, not theirs]

    And Bill Black’s refutation of both the above piece and NPR’s cowardly retraction of his statements regarding Treasury’s role in the HSBC decision:

    ~B. Black, New Economic Perspectives

  6. subgenius

    RE, mathbabe on hackathons…

    Ms., you need to get out more. Hackathons are turning into barnraisings.

    Also, .

    (Aside…if you have an android device, pootle about on that site and find the RedPhone juciness…)

    1. Klassy!

      Alexander Cockburn describing Sanders in 1999: ..that brass lunged fraud from Vermont Bernard Sanders, ‘socialist progressive”, who has endorsed Clinton’s bombs.” (in Serbia)

      1. subgenius

        I stand by my original comment…though it was somewhat neutered for a N.American audience…

  7. Kurt Sperry

    Today’s links moneyquote–

    And the internal thought process of a participant in a White House-sponsored hackathon:

    I realized, especially in the wake of the White House murdering Aaron Swartz, persecuting/torturing Bradley Manning and threatening Jeremy Hammond with decades behind bars for pursuit of open information and government/corporate accountability that really, no-one who calls her or himself a “hacker” has any business partnering with an entity as authoritarian, secretive and tyrannical as the White House– unless of course you’re just a piece-of-shit money-grubbing disingenuous bootlicker who uses the mantle of “hackerdom” to add a thrilling and unjustified outlaw sheen to your dull life of careerist keyboard-poking for the status quo.

    1. subgenius

      +18,446,744,073,709,551,615

      also…see above link for nonconformist genius that would never work for the system (and has stories about unwarranted intrusions on his life – tho since selling some IP to for a handful of mil. a year-ish ago, he can afford a better defense!

  8. Kurt Sperry

    Re: Slash: Not Just a Punctuation Mark Anymore

    Is it just me or has this been around in common usage for literally decades?

    1. efschumacher

      On Slash:

      As with many things the use of slash as an all-purpose slash overloaded conjunctive was pre-saged by Samuel Johnson, who noted that “the most heterogeneous ideas are yoked by violence together”. So he gave the best 250 year old description of the modern use of slash.

      1. Kurt Sperry

        No, as a conjuctive. Question in L.A., circa 1965, “What’s her bag, man?” “Oh you know, actress slash model slash whatever.”

  9. optimader

    I like the body surfing dinosaurs.. resilient little buggers.

    1. ) A friend passed along this link to me: those in the northern latitudes can watch a good display

    2.) Spent the 2012 scientific season on the Pine Island Glacier (PIG) Expedition –Will be some interesting times when the PIG breaks free and unplugs the western Antarctic ice sheet. Surely wil make for some breathless “Late Breaking News” banner matl.

    3.) a documentary he is working on about Sidney Has No Horses, one of the last Lakota Medicine men. What’s not to love here?

    OT: Lakota genocide lawsuit

    1. optimader

      wrong linky on
      3.)
      Sydney Has No Horses: Oglala Lakota Medicine Man – Trailer

  10. charles sereno

    Musings on Krugman spat with R&R:
    Ignobel Prize-winning journo Zakaria interviews Nobel Prize-winning economist Krugman. Krugman says Rogoff is a magnificent economist; who should care about anyone’s personal feelings anyway; it’s the substantive issues, stupid. I propose a debate of the century — Fareed, the moderator; Paul; Ken and Carmen if she’d like; Steve Keen; and the whatchamacall grad student from U Mass.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Is there room for anyone who believes

      A. 1 ≠ 1, but 1 = 0

      B. ∞ divided by a finite number is still ∞

    1. subgenius

      Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority, “taking and analyzing a cheek swab of the arrestee’s D.N.A. is, like fingerprinting and photographing, a legitimate police booking procedure that is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment.”

  11. dearieme

    “Ibragim Todashev Homicide”: it has an air of Ruby Ridge about it, in that the killing was much more precise than the bonfire at Waco.

  12. Chris Rogers

    “Deciphering Detropia: The Power of Degrowth, the Destructiveness of Neoliberalism” by Dan Bednarz
    @DanD
    I must say the aforementioned post was a great mental lift and offers hope in our present mad, bad neoliberal intoxicated global economy.

    Hailing from another region that has suffered much like Detroit – South Wales, Wales in the UK, this post felt like a description of my own region, a region built on coal, iron and the railways that was devastated by the deindustrialisation policies pushed by one Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Tony Blair.

    With no major employers left so to speak of, apart from government sponsored, many parts of South Wales resemble Detroit – barren wastelands inhabited by persons still coming to grips with no jobs, no growth and chastisements from those in power to make further cuts or leave the home of their fathers – which many have done.

    The nation itself, at approx. 3.5 million persons, could be so much more – perhaps not as wealthy as neighbours across the border in England or in Europe, but wealthy in spirit, community and living at one within its means, i.e., a move back to a more rustic existence based on cooperation and mutuality.

    It is a sad reminder that despite having one of the World’s largest tidal estuaries on our door step, the Severn Estuary, little has been done to harness this sustainable power source – one able to generate anywhere between 5-10% of the UK’s total electricity requirement.

    The region is also blessed by strong winds and much rain, which means we have an abundance of clean water. Our rolling hills, home to much wildlife, have been over grazed by sheep – a matter easily remedied or abandoned – hill farming presently being hard work for little financial reward.

    With a reasonable education sector and university system much could be achieved if some seed capital was available – our emphasis should be on developing the sustainable future, which would require the learning of many old skills.

    Whilst we’d never attain financial wealth as present in the City of London, its nice to think we could be more in harmony with our environment and fellow countrymen – who needs globalisation based on finite resources that are fast depleting, when much that we require can be grown or manufactured within our own territory.

    One actually would have thought, given its Federal structure, that one or two states within the USA would have begun this journey already – some of your states having low population densities, good land and good local sustainable resources.

    Anyway, being usually a bit of a dystopian, its nice to see hope can prevail if we actively grab hold of it and say to the money men and those holding political sway, enough is enough.

    As I keep emphasising to many, I’d rather be poor and happy, than cash rich and life poor, i.e., what good is all this wealth the likes of Koch’s have if its derived from ultimately destroying the local environment and planet itself – does not really say much as to how they regard their own offspring, never mind those they screw on a daily basis to amass wealth and power that will ultimately lead to all our destruction.

    Still, reality and common sense never seems to inhabit these types of persons mindsets, the greedy who know the price of everything and value of nothing as Oscar Wilde memorably stated.

    Anyway, I recommend this as a ‘must read’ one that engenders hope for us bloggers and no doubt instills the fear of god into Wall Street and City of London types – I actually value my freedom and look forward to this de-growth mentality taking hold – it really offers hope, where there is none in neoliberalism and the globalism forced down our throats that benefits the 0.1% at our expense and personal happiness – obviously one’s have a go at our debt-based economy – thank God they can’t make derivatives out of this.

    1. AbyNormal

      SERIOUSLY! all sorts of blue gold problems on the immediate horizon…i miss his commentary!!

      if we think 4.00 a gallon of gas is steep…wait till t.boone & the others start their enron like wars

      1. optimader

        Costco
        Office Snax H2O 2go Bottled Spring Water 8oz 24ct 1-5 Case Pricing OFX 00023

        $11.99

        That would be rather expensive gas

        1. AbyNormal

          and im not forced to buy that bottled water…yet
          when i am you’ll see how cheap oil is

          children & elderly dehydrate before you can blink twice…these vulnerable groups living in deserts around t.boones monopoly, will experience an outcome no first world has ever witnessed.

          1. Optimader

            Clean fresh water is indeed the defining strategic resource ultimately. Push comes to shove, Im glad i know how to produce activated carbon on a commercial scale

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Waiting for the next crisis…

    It matters only that you are told before it happens.

    For that bit of good fortune, the masters of Guanxi (who probably invented it, for they are very ‘smart,’ if not wise) will tell you, connections are paramount.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Quantity over quality.

    Bank profits.

    Feeding people.

    Jobs.

    It’s the same delusion.

  15. Howard Beale IV

    Dominos’s UK tests the DomiCopter for pizza delivery:

    o/~ Oh, they’ll drone you when you’re walking along the streets…

    They’ll drone you when yer tryn ta keep yer seat..

    They’ll drone you when yer walking on the floor…

    They’ll drone you when yer walin’ to the door…

    But I would not Feel so all alone….

    EVERYBODY MUST GET DRONED!!!! o/~

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      These guys are smart.

      I thought I was the first to propose beating swords into plowshares and drones into pizza-delivering flying robots.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        When you’re rich, you can do anything you desire.

        I learned that and everything else I need to know in kindergarten.

        1. AbyNormal

          well I learned we all put our underwear on the same way
          :o)

          ps. my fav. #13 When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.

        2. optimader

          “When you’re rich, you can do anything you desire.”

          Everyone has constraints ultimately..
          Steve Jobs’s digitized neural dump and Ted Williams’s frozen thawed and refrozen head are patiently waiting on the problematic solution for immortality

  16. gonzomarx

    in reading an interview with Ruby Wax about her new show on mental health called Black Dog and a few things leapt out at me.

    “People with stressful jobs who spend their weekend jumping off buildings to relax, or helicopter-skiing because the double black diamond trail isn’t enough, we should simply hold up a sign behind them that says “Psychopath.” That’s not what you do to relax. Actually, that should be a way to judge whether you invest in a company: if you ask what they do on the weekends and they all helicopter-ski, congratulations, you’ve found the next Enron.”

    and

    “Your memory goes down when stress goes up, then your cortisol goes up. So when you feel it, take a break. Hold up a white flag saying ‘meetings over I’m nuts right now’ let’s do this later; the higher your cortisol goes, the worse your memory gets, if you know that you’re ahead of the game.. If people only knew: you’re poisoning yourself. I focus a couple of minutes a day. People say, Oh, she’s a Buddhist now. But I don’t really follow the fat guy. For me, it wasn’t a religion, it was a psychology. I got into mindfulness because I didn’t want to pay for shrinks anymore. My last shrink was an analyst, and he tried to convince me all my troubles came from the fact that my father made sausages. He wouldn’t let it alone. I wanted to tell him, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. In my view if someone says everything’s fine, it signals you have a big problem.”

    Why aren’t we asking the big questions? A Q&A with Ruby Wax

    little by little it seems that the big phama style is being challenged

    1. Massinissa

      I agree with Scalia for once?!

      When a socialist like me agrees with Scalia…

      Its probably a sign that reality has flipped on its head.

  17. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    ISM manufacturing lowest in 4 years.

    Dow up 138.

    And now, for the ‘enigma inside a matrioshika doll’ question du jour, what do you call a recession inside a depression?

    Answer: Now.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      All great answers, which is why, when I took the SAT years ago, when in doubt, I always went with ‘All of the above’ (may explain why I never went to Harvard).

      Now, has the idea of creating a depression inside a recession already been patented?

  18. charles sereno

    I have an off topic suggestion which I expect is impractical. That NC Links should append a FORUM for off topic commenters. Some will be those who honestly haven’t had the time to peruse all the possible on-topic Links yet have an urge to comment on something that’s bothering them. (Such an appendix might also serve as a useful source for future Links.) While such a Forum may become very expansive, sophisticated readers would be free to ignore it as they choose. Me, I’ve always liked people that give examples. Here’s mine: “Who’s highest up there on Obama’s Enemies List? Bradley Manning?”

  19. You totally (probably) stole that Vietor video from Greenwald’s current events recap yesterday which deserves a link (although I don’t know why it’s still necessary given that everyone should be subscribed to Glenn via RSS by now or do Michael Moore does and check the site daily)

  20. AbyNormal

    Updated Pics & 411 on Frankfurt demonstrations

    In Greece, 62.5% of young people are out of work, in Spain it’s 56.4%, then Portugal with 42.5%, and then Italy with 40.5%.

    In contrast, the lowest rates were observed in Germany (7.5%), Austria (8.0%) and the Netherlands (10.6%).

    Leaders have pledged to agree a new strategy for youth unemployment at a summit in June, and many measures are lined up. But the scale of the problem is huge, and worsening.
    details of ‘strategy’

    *Hold memories of this yrs Bilderberg Bash near an dear muthafukers…NO amount of future meetings will tame the fires engulfing the globe.*

  21. toxymoron

    just out (in french, but anybody can read graphs).
    If you consider that e.g. J.P. Morgan has 1662B$ of derivatives outstanding, and not the reported 75B$ that remain after netting, and if you only keep ‘Tier 1’ capital, you get to leverage ratios of about .

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