Author Topic: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System  (Read 58224 times)

Wolfgang Absolutus

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #45 on: February 25, 2012, 05:06:56 am »
I'm still kind of an anarchist at heart but I will agree that if we want to do the whole reform song and dance, this: "paying any government official minimum wage and making them live in accommodation comparable to the average in their constituency" seems like its not the worst idea in the world.

Great.  Get that through congress/parliament, and we'll talk.
I never called his idea realistic.
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Doktor Howl

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #46 on: February 25, 2012, 05:11:37 am »
I'm still kind of an anarchist at heart but I will agree that if we want to do the whole reform song and dance, this: "paying any government official minimum wage and making them live in accommodation comparable to the average in their constituency" seems like its not the worst idea in the world.

Great.  Get that through congress/parliament, and we'll talk.
I never called his idea realistic.

Oh, I thought we were talking about the real world.

My bad, carry on.

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #47 on: February 25, 2012, 04:22:57 pm »
I'm still kind of an anarchist at heart but I will agree that if we want to do the whole reform song and dance, this: "paying any government official minimum wage and making them live in accommodation comparable to the average in their constituency" seems like its not the worst idea in the world.

Great.  Get that through congress/parliament, and we'll talk.
I never called his idea realistic.

Oh, I thought we were talking about the real world.

My bad, carry on.

 :lulz: Idealists, Dok, are why we can't have nice things.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


Junkenstein

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #48 on: February 26, 2012, 12:51:21 am »
To briefly clarify this as it may have caused some confusion.

"Eventually people will begin to see the sense in paying any government official minimum wage and making them live in accommodation comparable to the average in their constituency"

I do not believe this is currently being pushed for in any country, anywhere. The notion derives from my own feeling that those who seek power are often the least qualified and adept to wield it. To my mind it seems logical to make power a burden, not a privilege.

Yes, yes, there are more problems than solutions, least of which is that it would require current law makers to essentially put themselves in the poor house, at least in the future.

I just like the idea of the world leaders earning minimum wage and living in the ghetto. Combine that with a Maximum wage initiative and I suspect the world would be a better place within a generation or two.

It can be nice to examine the ideal from time to time. The real tends to be pretty constant, the ideal invariably changes.
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Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #49 on: February 26, 2012, 01:20:02 am »
To briefly clarify this as it may have caused some confusion.

"Eventually people will begin to see the sense in paying any government official minimum wage and making them live in accommodation comparable to the average in their constituency"

I do not believe this is currently being pushed for in any country, anywhere. The notion derives from my own feeling that those who seek power are often the least qualified and adept to wield it. To my mind it seems logical to make power a burden, not a privilege.

Yes, yes, there are more problems than solutions, least of which is that it would require current law makers to essentially put themselves in the poor house, at least in the future.

I just like the idea of the world leaders earning minimum wage and living in the ghetto. Combine that with a Maximum wage initiative and I suspect the world would be a better place within a generation or two.

It can be nice to examine the ideal from time to time. The real tends to be pretty constant, the ideal invariably changes.

IN REALITY, though, what happens when you don't pay your public leaders well is that the only people who become public leaders are those who have the independent wealth to do so, or those who are susceptible to bribery.

“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


Junkenstein

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #50 on: February 26, 2012, 01:35:36 am »
That's another problem too.

However, the situation we have at the moment includes most "leaders" already being independently wealthy and rather open to bribery. So very little would actually change really.

Fuck, back to the big board of plans.
Nine naked Men just walking down the road will cause a heap of trouble for all concerned.

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #51 on: February 26, 2012, 01:55:18 am »
That's another problem too.

However, the situation we have at the moment includes most "leaders" already being independently wealthy and rather open to bribery. So very little would actually change really.

Fuck, back to the big board of plans.

There are some major factors contributing to that, including:

A. Public officials are not paid well compared to other jobs which require similar levels of education and responsibility,
B. It has become incredibly costly to run an election campaign,
C. Special-interest contributions are not really functionally limited,
D. There are no restrictions on going from working for a major corporation to working for government, or from working for government to working for a major corporation whose interests you represented while in government.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Triple Zero

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #53 on: February 26, 2012, 02:12:36 pm »
Good, I didn't want to be US-centric in this examination.


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-20/icelandic-anger-brings-record-debt-relief-in-best-crisis-recovery-story.html

This is amazing:

---
Iceland’s special prosecutor has said it may indict as many as 90 people, while more than 200, including the former chief executives at the three biggest banks, face criminal charges.

Larus Welding, the former CEO of Glitnir Bank hf, once Iceland’s second biggest, was indicted in December for granting illegal loans and is now waiting to stand trial. The former CEO of Landsbanki Islands hf, Sigurjon Arnason, has endured stints of solitary confinement as his criminal investigation continues according to Icelandic tradition, by gutting and beheading the shark and placing it in a shallow hole dug in gravelly-sand, with the now-cleaned cavity resting on a slight hill. The shark is then covered with sand and gravel, and stones are then placed on top of the sand in order to press the shark. The fluids from the shark are in this way pressed out of the body. The shark ferments in this fashion for 6–12 weeks depending on the season.

Following this curing period, the shark is then cut into strips and hung to dry for several months. During this drying period a brown crust will develop, which is removed prior to cutting the shark into small pieces and serving.
---

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e-prime disclaimer: let it seem fairly unclear I understand the apparent subjectivity of the above statements. maybe.

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Don Coyote

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #54 on: February 26, 2012, 02:15:35 pm »
Good, I didn't want to be US-centric in this examination.


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-20/icelandic-anger-brings-record-debt-relief-in-best-crisis-recovery-story.html

This is amazing:

---
Iceland’s special prosecutor has said it may indict as many as 90 people, while more than 200, including the former chief executives at the three biggest banks, face criminal charges.

Larus Welding, the former CEO of Glitnir Bank hf, once Iceland’s second biggest, was indicted in December for granting illegal loans and is now waiting to stand trial. The former CEO of Landsbanki Islands hf, Sigurjon Arnason, has endured stints of solitary confinement as his criminal investigation continues according to Icelandic tradition, by gutting and beheading the shark and placing it in a shallow hole dug in gravelly-sand, with the now-cleaned cavity resting on a slight hill. The shark is then covered with sand and gravel, and stones are then placed on top of the sand in order to press the shark. The fluids from the shark are in this way pressed out of the body. The shark ferments in this fashion for 6–12 weeks depending on the season.

Following this curing period, the shark is then cut into strips and hung to dry for several months. During this drying period a brown crust will develop, which is removed prior to cutting the shark into small pieces and serving.
---

I might be a little out of it but that made no sense at all.

Triple Zero

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #55 on: February 26, 2012, 02:23:03 pm »
It's what Icelanders traditionally do to sharks.
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Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #56 on: February 26, 2012, 06:33:20 pm »
Good, I didn't want to be US-centric in this examination.


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-20/icelandic-anger-brings-record-debt-relief-in-best-crisis-recovery-story.html

This is amazing:

---
Iceland’s special prosecutor has said it may indict as many as 90 people, while more than 200, including the former chief executives at the three biggest banks, face criminal charges.

Larus Welding, the former CEO of Glitnir Bank hf, once Iceland’s second biggest, was indicted in December for granting illegal loans and is now waiting to stand trial. The former CEO of Landsbanki Islands hf, Sigurjon Arnason, has endured stints of solitary confinement as his criminal investigation continues according to Icelandic tradition, by gutting and beheading the shark and placing it in a shallow hole dug in gravelly-sand, with the now-cleaned cavity resting on a slight hill. The shark is then covered with sand and gravel, and stones are then placed on top of the sand in order to press the shark. The fluids from the shark are in this way pressed out of the body. The shark ferments in this fashion for 6–12 weeks depending on the season.

Following this curing period, the shark is then cut into strips and hung to dry for several months. During this drying period a brown crust will develop, which is removed prior to cutting the shark into small pieces and serving.
---

This IS amazing. What. The. Shit.

?

 :lol: We need a laughy-guy with question marks over his head.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


Roly Poly Oly-Garch

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #57 on: February 27, 2012, 07:59:47 pm »
http://www.salon.com/2012/01/30/leon_panettas_explicitly_authoritarian_decree/

Defense Secretary and former CIA chief Leon Panetta, defending Obama's use of CIA-assassination on a U.S. Citizen without due process (also note the opening to the article, where the same journalists poses these questions to Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, and Michele Bachmann... all of whom applauded the action).

I couldn't even finish the article. Sick.

Thomas Jefferson was pretty clear that the second we start thinking rights come from the Constitution, we ain't got 'em anymore. If it's not a right that is worth considering when dealing with an Afghani, no surprise when it's not a right at all for anybody anymore. I'm waiting for the first NDAA actions to start coming up. There's quite a few open questions about "citizens". Dollars to donuts "citizen" ain't gonna mean nothing "enemy" doesn't when they're tried ("tried", I mean).
Back to the fecal matter in the pool

Cain

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #58 on: February 28, 2012, 10:56:07 am »
I'm still kind of an anarchist at heart but I will agree that if we want to do the whole reform song and dance, this: "paying any government official minimum wage and making them live in accommodation comparable to the average in their constituency" seems like its not the worst idea in the world.

This is a terrible idea.  Giving people lots of power but little cash massively improves the incentives for corruption.  In the UK, MPs used to be unpaid.  This meant the only people who could be MPs or wanted to be were those with other forms of income, in other words, the ruling classes.  If you want only the likes of Mitt Romney running for public office, then it makes sense, but its a terrible idea otherwise.

If you want to stamp out corruption, you'll pay government officials on a par with CEOs, with massive penalties for any form of corruption whatsoever (removed from office, barred from public office for life, fined and imprisoned).  It works for Singapore.

Cain

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #59 on: February 28, 2012, 10:58:37 am »
The Oil End-game

Quote
The end game is about to begin. On the one hand you have the noise and rhetoric. Greedy speculators gouging gasoline prices; mad mullahs preparing to wipe Israel off the map; bunker buster bombs and fleets being positioned; huge demand for oil from the BRIC countries; China’s insatiable thirst for oil; the oil price will head for $200 a barrel and will never again fall below $130 …

On the other hand you have the reality.

Oil Markets

The oil markets are completely manipulated and orchestrated, and the conductors of the orchestra have the benefit of having already held a rehearsal in 2008.

History never repeats itself, but it does rhyme. This time around it is not demand from the United States that is collapsing, but European Union and United Kingdom demand, as oil prices in euros and pounds sterling have never been higher. In the meantime, the US is awash in oil as domestic production quietly increases, flushed out by the high prices.

As I have outlined in previous articles, the culprit for the high oil prices between 2009 and 2012 – with the exception of the speculative “spike” between March 2011 and June 2011 driven by Fukushima and Libyan price shocks – has been passive investment by risk-averse investors, which enabled producers to support oil prices at high levels.

Much of this passive money underpinning the market and enabling producers to monetize inventory pulled out of the market in September 2011, and another wave pulled out in December 2011.

What is now happening is the end game: an orchestrated wave of noise that is drawing in speculative money. This is enabling the producers who are actually in the know to hedge by selling production forward during what they confidently expect will be a temporary – and pre-planned – managed fall in the oil price.

The Game Plan

The smartest kids on the block knows that gasoline prices much over US$4 per gallon will be both deflationary and lethal to President Barack Obama’s re-election chances. So that won’t happen other than briefly.

I am by no means the only commentator who has pointed out the complete counter-productivity of these oil sanctions. The smart kids are well aware that oil sanctions are completely useless, and simply enable China to fill its strategic reserves at a discount to the market price at the expense of Greece and Italy in particular.

But the US has been quite happy to let the EU – as useful idiots – take the economic hit. The high oil prices caused by all this noise and nonsense are actually a net benefit to Iran – which rattles its sabre loudly as elections approach.

The effect of a managed decline in oil prices to, and probably over-correcting well through, $60 a barrel – which is coming fairly soon – will be extremely beneficial to the US in two ways.

Firstly, it will be catastrophic in particular for Iran, Russia and Venezuela – not exactly on the White House party list – whose hugely oil-dependent revenues will collapse. The ensuing economic mayhem will open these countries up to regime change and to rescue plans which Wall Street will be dusting off.

Secondly, the US population will be laughing all the way to the gas station as gasoline prices fall – at least temporarily – below $2.50 a gallon and release purchasing power into the economy, thereby doing the president’s re-election chances no harm at all.

What will then happen is that members of the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries will panic and genuinely reduce their production. The Saudis/Gulf Cooperation Council will again orchestrate the inflation of the oil price – as they did in 2009 – comfortable in the knowledge that they have been able to hedge against this temporary fall in prices at the expense of the speculators currently pouring in to the market.

That’s the game plan as I see it of the smartest kids on the block. What could ever go wrong?

A Buyers’ Strike

Quite clearly, consumer nations, like everyone else, are in the dark in relation to what has been going on in the oil market and have swallowed the populist “greedy speculator” meme. They are simply unaware of the nature and cosmic scale of the oil market manipulation that has been taking place, and as a result have been happily overpaying for oil for years.

What happens if they simply refuse to pay these prices?

Possibly a “buyers’ strike” by China would be enough to crater the market. We’ve already seen the effect of that on Iran, which has clearly agreed new terms with China after the latter held back purchases earlier this year.

Or possibly speculative short selling of crude oil by hedge funds funded by Chinese investment? I pointed out at a rather spooky conference on “economic terrorism” a few years ago in Lausanne – which examined ways in which terrorists might make economic rather than physical attacks – that the only difference between an economic terrorist and a hedge fund is motive.

Click to read it all.

http://www.newdeal20.org/2012/02/27/wall-street-fixer-rodge-cohen-big-banks-key-to-american-global-dominance-72935/

Quote
It’s not often that the people in charge admit what is really going on: a global game for political dominance. I just saw an interview with Wall Street superlawyer Rodgin (“Rodge”) Cohen of Sullivan & Cromwell, the secret force behind (among other things) the expanded emergency lending power of the Federal Reserve through section 13(3). You know, that’s the law allowing the Fed to lend unlimited sums based on whatever it wants to lend, a section amended in 1991 at Cohen’s behest. He was involved in “more than 17 deals” during the crisis in 2008, including the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, the $85 billion AIG bailout deal, and the takeover of Fannie Mae by the federal government. He is, as Bill Black said, the fixer of Wall Street. Here’s his quote, at minute 3:39 of this Bloomberg interview:

Quote
Hopefully we will not see the major financial institutions in this country disappear because if we do we will also see a loss of ability to influence events not only financially but also politically throughout the world.

That’s pretty clear. It reminds me of this quote from an anonymous military officer while he was touring JP Morgan’s trading floor (emphasis added):

Quote
JPMorgan Chase yesterday hosted about 30 active duty military officers (across all branches and agencies) from the Marine Corps War College in Quantico, Va. The officers met with senior executives, toured the trading floor and participated in a trading simulation. They discussed recruitment, operations management, strategic communications and the economy. Aside from employees thanking them for their service as they passed by, they also received a standing ovation on the trading floor. Said one officer after a senior JPM exec thanked him for his service: “We promise to keep you safe if you keep this country strong.”

There are always conspiracy theories out there about a global linkage between large financial institutions and American empire. They don’t, however, usually come from the people running the place.