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Thomas Paine

To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

17 September - Surfing Updates

Social SciencesSocial Sciences (Photo credit: Mark Sadowski)
Under the Surface of GUnder the Surface of G (Photo credit: GollyGforce)
GamesGames (Photo credit: Ian D)
Sexual Behavior in the HUMAN MALE (1948) ........Sexual Behavior in the HUMAN MALE (1948) .....item 2..ANSWERS -- SAT TEST CHEATING (October 27, 2011) .....item 3..Atomic Dog [Original Extended Version] - George Clinton (1982) ... (Photo credit: marsmet523)
Example screenshot of asking a question at the...Example screenshot of asking a question at the Reference desk. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Question answering system architecture Françai...Question answering system architecture Français : Architecture d'un système de question réponses (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Answered question with distribution valuesAnswered question with distribution values (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A diagram for asking a question at the referen...A diagram for asking a question at the reference desk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
"Science Friday" Recommendations"Science Friday" Recommendations (Photo credit: LollyKnit)
Italiano: Vada: AusterityItaliano: Vada: Austerity (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 Hat Tip Greg Mankiw's Blog


Research-based policy analysis and commentary from leading economists


The austerity question: ‘How’ is as important as ‘how much’

 the essential question is not 'how far' governments go but of 'how' they go far enough.

  • For instance, in general moving taxation towards the VAT and away from income taxes is preferable.
  • In some countries there is no way out without a substantial raise in retirement age and cuts in government employment.


Until this critical principle – ‘how’ is as important as ‘how much’ – is embraced, the austerity debate in Europe will continue to be completely out of whack with real economic consequences.
We are in for a big disappointment on the centrepiece of Eurozone austerity – the fiscal compact. The fiscal compact bears the seeds of its failure: 
  • The new fiscal compact that Europe has decided to impose upon itself through a treaty change makes no mention of the composition of fiscal packages.
  • European economies will remain stagnant – if not further fall into recession – if adjustments will be made mostly on the tax side and debt ratios will not come down.
And in the end, as was the case with the Growth and Stability Pact, the rules will be abandoned.

On Market Timing

How the Left and Right differ
The left sees government as the main institution that can counterbalance the effects of the all-too-powerful marketplace
( Which is why I say there is virtually no 'Left' at all in mainstream politics - a vital moderating of authoritarianism that is painted as terrorism by reigning robber barons, con men and thieves e.g.  land 'owners'

Should governments teach self-control?

Martin Kocher, Daniela Rützler, Matthias Sutter, Stefan Trautmann, 16 April 2012
According to recent research, children’s self-control is critical for their development. This column explores whether self-control can be taught – and whether governments should do the teaching.
( The government is - by its own metrics -  a terrible example for parenting and control. A major difficulty is that it is not its own master, but subject to payola and perversion leading to abdication of responsibilities to profiteers and slavers of various incarnations. The hypocrisy  of taking control away from families and social groups in the name of humanitarianism is best illustrated by remembering governments' major preoccupations - war and punishment . )

Blog Against Theocracy 2012

Stop Financing Child Sex Trafficking


Mom, get off Twitter!


Our Big Problem — Our Shame.

 Blacks have suffered constant violence, degradation and humiliation at the hands of whites in America.

Abdulelah Haider Shaye, Barack Obama, Administration Transparency, and Moral Cowardice

Nobel Peace Prize-winning Barack H. Obama, the man who promised the most transparent administration in the history of Washington, the man who ordered drone strikes in Yemen, drone strikes in Pakistan, drone strikes in Somalia and drone strikes in Afghanistan (not to mention Iraq and Libya) that have killed innocent women and children — the President of Transparency — supports the continued imprisonment of Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye.  He has been instrumental in keeping  Abdulelah Haider Shaye behind bars, and even stopped Abdulelah Haider Shaye's release by the Yemeni government:

... Abdulelah Haider Shaye is no terrorist, and you knew he was no terrorist when you made the phone call that keeps this innocent man in jail.  Abdulelah Haider Shaye's crime is that he printed things you don't like and find inconvenient in your world wide war against "terrorism."  Abdulelah Haider Shaye told us about United States attack on the Yemeni village of al Majala that killed innocent people.   The attack killed twenty-one children and fourteen women.  Abdulelah Haider Shaye showed us pictures of the remnants of the cluster munitions delivered by U.S. Tomahawk missiles. 

We can clearly see that Abdulelah Haider Shaye is 100% guilty of the crime of  Journalism Against the United States Interest.  Our constitutional law professor-Nobel laureate president Emperor Obama is having none of that.  A journalist can't go around blowing the cover off of murderous attacks on innocent people committed by the United States.  It just can't be tolerated! 

 First They Come for the Muslims

Another Muslim activist has gone to prison as a result of the government’s criminalization of what people say and believe. Tarek Mehanna, a U.S. citizen, was sentenced Thursday in Worcester, Mass., to 17½ years in prison. It was another of the tawdry show trials held against Muslim activists 
“People who have committed no crime are taken into custody, isolated without adequate recourse to legal advice, railroaded with fake or contrived charges, and ‘disappeared’ into prisons designed to isolate them”
Downs calls the process of condemning people before they have committed a crime “pre-emptive prosecution.” The concept of pre-emptive prosecution mocks domestic law as egregiously as pre-emptive war mocks the foundations of international law.
The government is destroying the legal framework of our country. They are twisting it out of recognition to make it appear as though what they’re doing is legal. I don’t remember that kind of a situation in the past. The opinions of the court are now only lame excuses as to why the courts can’t do justice.” 

Would legalization reduce CIA access to covert funding?...
How does one explain it?
The Eric Holder Department of Justice (DOJ) is faced with massive banking and Wall Street fraud that nearly brought the world's economic system to its knees, yet no bankers are prosecuted. It is confronted byenvironmental crimes that have poisoned our air, water and even the food we eat, yet, for the most part, those crimes go unpunished. It has its hands full fending off voter suppression laws concocted by abillionaire-funded, subversive organization, which is also responsible for deadly "stand your ground" laws and an assault on the right of citizens to engage in collective bargaining.
Yet, the DOJ and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) make it a priority to targetCalifornia medical marijuana dispensaries and to raid Oaksterdam University, a school founded by Richard Lee, a legalization activist who offers training in the cultivation and use of medical marijuana. It does so even though, in 1996, CA voters, by a wide margin, passed an initiative that "allows patients with a valid doctor's recommendation...to possess and cultivate marijuana for personal medical use." The raids were also made against the backdrop of polls showing that a majority of Americans support legalization of marijuana.
In this three-part series, we will advance the hypothesis that this seemingly irrational obsession with busting medicinal marijuana dispensaries and fending off legalization of even the most innocuous of drugs, Cannabis, can only be understood in the context of U.S. Empire and the economics of the Prison Industrial Complex.

Is decentralisation helping the poorest regions? Evidence from India

Ejaz Ghani, Lakshmi Iyer, Saurabh Mishra, 10 April 2012
What policies can narrow the huge gap between the rich and the poor within India and other South Asian countries? One way is to devolve power to local governments in the hope they can better target the poverty. This column argues that simply directing financial resources to poor regions is not enough and needs to be complemented with increases in capacity and accountability of the local authorities.

Spending cuts to improve confidence? No, the arithmetic goes the wrong way

J. Bradford DeLong, 6 April 2012
The Vox debate on austerity rages on. Here Brad DeLong draws on his recent research with Larry Summers to argue that unless long-term real borrowing costs in the Eurozone exceed 5%, the short-term contractionary effects of spending cuts are likely to erode rather than bolster the overall fiscal situation.

A series of unfortunate events: Common sequencing patterns in financial crises

Carmen M Reinhart
Financial crises often unfold according to common patterns, but the post-2007 contraction is in fact different from other post-WWII crises in its unusual severity, says Carmen Reinhart in CEPR DP8742. But the patterns of past crises may still provide clues on the future of housing, labour, and international financial markets. This paper outlines what that future might look like.

( Not addressed is the question of deliberate provoking crisis )


Saturday, April 14, 2012 
2:00 pm Pacific
Torture and Brutality in Medieval Literature Negotiations of National Identity Chat with Larissa Tracy about her new book. Hosted by Jason Leopold.

Truth Wins Out - John Boehner Appoints Anti-LGBT Extremist to Religious Liberty Commission

 Guide to the Christian Right
( Make that fundamentally wrong. Jesus aka the Christ and Emmanuel was Biblically represented as being harassed,tortured, prosecuted and killed via Roman proxy in Occupied Judea by Scriptural literalists and agents of  theocracy...Temple lawyers and police )

What is Dominionism?
Dominionism is a trend in Protestant Christian evangelicalism and fundamentalism that encourages not just active political participation in civic society but also attempts to dominate the political process
 1970s as a series of small Christian movements that seek to establish a theocratic form of government. In the United States, a very doctrinaire version of Hard Dominionism is Christian Reconstructionism, a theonomic movement that seeks to replace the secular governance model, and subsequently the U.S. Constitution, creating a political and judicial system based on Old Testament Law, or Mosaic Law.
Critics of the theocratic versions of dominionism often lump all the variants together, and use the terms Dominionism, Dominion Theology, and Christian Reconstructionism almost interchangeably, but this is problematic. For example, all Christian Reconstructionists are Dominionists, but not all Dominionists are Christian Reconstructionists.
Dominionists often argue that the United States was originally envisioned as a society based on Biblical law.

With the increasing possibility of some kind of intervention in Syria looming, a University of Chicago panel was held to unpack how liberal thought and Western power politics often are used to mask the unsavory aspects of what many usually call "humanitarian intervention." The speakers mentioned the Arab Spring, the war in Libya and went into ... (more)

FDL Movie Night: Pray for Japan

As ice cap melts, militaries vie for Arctic edge

Hey, Barack! You Don't Know Frack

The White House announced the formation of a Gas Fracking Task Force made up of a panoply of federal agencies and industry kingpins. Its purpose is to streamline and alleviate those onerous regulations that now require frackers to prove that injecting millions of gallons of water and toxic chemicals into shale in order to extract natural gas is safe. This is a huge hint that the major fracking polluters will be allowed to regulate themselves, just as Wall Street is starting to police itself again, and e-Coli and salmonella-contaminated factory farms can now inspect themselves to help reduce bad government overreach. Corporations have long complained that rules and regulations designed to protect the public health and welfare make it too hard for them to make a buck. Obama appears to be listening.  

If Republicans were acting like the president, you can be sure there would be an outcry from what is left of the left. But when a Democrat acts like Dick Cheney, and colludes with energy corporations in their ongoing rape of the earth, there is nothing but silence. 

 People are already getting sick by drinking poisoned well water. The EPA is already being forced to deliverpotable drinking water to victims of fracking. This, of course, is being done at taxpayer expense. Polluters continue to enjoy our long sacred national tradition of never cleaning up their own messes. We have the SuperFund program for that.
As Dave Dayen of Firedoglake notes in a post today, not one independent outside environmental group has been invited to meet with the Frack Force. Nobody from the National Resources Defense Council, or the Sierra Club, or the Water Council. And most especially, not film-maker Josh Fox of "Gasland"fame. He might have documented the private discussions, or even offered President Obama a glass of fracky-brown Pennsyltucky well water to taste -- and we can't have that, can we? 

 ( And, since hundreds daily trundle through here on the way to who knows where, the index files  Energy and Water apply )

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