Sunday, October 30, 2011

30 October 2011

2 from CNN:"meet the 99%"(photo essay)

"Iraq project not worth the millions spent"
(note the original title, per the url, seems to be: "Report deems major Iraq project not worth investment or lost lives")

Two from Ian Welsh: “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.

In our current age the word demand has been debased. A day does not go by without some person or organization “demanding” an apology or retraction or that someone do something. These are not demands as a prior generation would have understood them.


Education and retaliation in OWS

Naked Capitalism, "The Natural Chaos of markets"(also here)

Prominent skeptic says he now believes in global warming
(also here and here)

Evidently this study cost about 600,000 bucks and a quarter of the funding came from a Koch brother, which is apparently supposed to be a big deal. Is it? I'm reminded of the recent news that Goldman Sachs gave 5 grand to a credit union in NYC then demanded it back when the CU had dealings with the OWS people. Climate change is not a religious tenet, or at least it shouldn't be. Koch pays for goodwill like any other corporate entity, whether it's sponsoring a show on PBS or a study. Speaking of Goldman Sachs, it seems the sponsor "" including "the art of overcoming poverty" which has people and images but I'm not sure what it's supposed to tell the viewer about overcoming poverty, the title notwithstanding. They also include some Buñuel and some anti-Islamic agitprop.

Republican lawmakers spin funding tall tales(also here)

see also
The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature site.

Lisa Margonelli| Slate: Alms for the Rich How policies meant to promote alternative energies are actually hurting the middle class.
Christian Science Monitor, Jared Bernstein, Guest blogger / October 27, 2011 "Republican tax plans will make inequality worse"

Jason Linkins, Huffington Post, Occupy Wall Street: Not Here To Destroy Capitalism, But To Remind Us Who Saved It (via Jack Crow, "Safe For Business")
Both reference a recent NYT op-ed by Nicholas Kristof regarding OWS. Jack Crow's commentary seems more useful, and Linkins essentially rehashes Kristof, both reassuring presumed squeamishly bourgeois readers that OWS represents nothing that should frighten them. Perhaps the co-op op-ed will soon be recognized as a new genre.

As I mentioned before, Jodi Dean of I Cite has been closely keeping up with goings on at OWS, and has offered a lot of interesting recent commentary.

Dmitry Orlov, Stages of Collapse Revised: “Joined at the Wallet”

I thought that government interventions in private finance would prolong the agony somewhat; what I didn't think was that they would prolong it even onto the death of the governments themselves! The effect of the interventions since then, in the US and in Europe, have been to knock down every firewall between public and private finance, to the point that now we are faced with two monstrous, and monstrously sick, conjoined twins, and the death any one of them is sure to spell the death of the other. Trying to separate them with a cleaver will be of no use: they will simply hemorrhage red ink and die sooner than they would otherwise.

Perhaps their early demise would be useful. Now that economic growth is pretty much over and done with, big finance and big government stand directly in the path of an orderly shriveling-up of the global economy. What I mean when I say “an orderly shriveling-up” is a process by which the economy shrinks at a healthy rate, corresponding to rates that were once considered to be a healthy growth rate, but in a way that allows most people to survive by providing a few essentials, such as food, shelter, security, access to medical care, ability to raise children and so on.
I wished for an orderly cascade of collapsing institutions, with enough of a gap between them for public psychology and behavior to adjust to the new reality. But almost four lost years of both government and finance betting on a future that cannot exist, doubling down every time they lose again, has dashed those hopes. The effect, I think, will be to compress collapse into a single chaotic episode. Global commerce will not be far behind, because it is dependent on global finance, and if international credit locks up then the tankers and the container ships don't sail. Shortly thereafter it's lights out.

He references his earlier article from February of 2008, "The five stages of collapse"[see also PDF link]

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At November 01, 2011 11:15 AM, Blogger micah holmquist said...


Good catch about the URL, but that would be a strange headline since the actual report from the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction does not mention anything about the carnage. Or at least, I don't believe it does. I didn't read the whole thing - just the summary- although I did do some text searching. You can read the 166 page document at

By the way, Jodi Dean is a very interesting writer of political philosophy. While I haven't read all of her books, I recommend her work highly.

At November 01, 2011 7:31 PM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

Hi Micah,
Thanks for the link(to the link). I agree with you re Jodi Dean. I mean to at least read her book on Zizek; it's the least I could do if she read him so the rest of us wouldn't have to.


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