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Read It and Meep

November 17, 2009

The culture wars rage on. A high school in Danvers Massachusetts is awash in blue language and students refuse to clean up their acts so the intrepid principal Thomas Murray has decided that something must be done to curb the ribaldry run amok. What exactly was it that these salacious scholars were saying that has their principal in a state of high dudgeon? Some combination of the Forbidden Seven? Shit? Piss? Fuck, cunt, cocksucker or motherfucker? Or heaven forbid, TITS?

No, the word which has the administration of this Massachusetts high school longing for the days of their Puritan forbears is *meep*.

It’s no surprise that using bad language in school can get you into hot water. But “meep”?

Danvers High parents recently got an automated call from the principal warning them that if students say or display the word “meep” at school, they could face suspension.

Meep doesn’t mean much, unless you are Beaker — the hapless, orange-haired assistant to Dr. Bunsen Honeydew on “The Muppet Show.”

While meep may be nonsense, what it represented was no laughing matter to the high school’s administration. High school Principal Thomas Murray said students were using it and other words to disrupt school in a particular part of the building on Cabot Road. The term later became part of a disruption some students were planning online.

“It’s really not about the word in particular,” Murray said. “The reason for the message (was) a group of students were instructed to refrain from that language and other language in a particular part of the building.”

Murray gave students “a reasonable request” not to use the word to disrupt school in a hallway, and to stop other behaviors, but they did not listen, Murray said.

And if that warning doesn’t work, Principal Murray is prepared to call on Danvers’ finest to restore order.

Murray called every student’s home with an automated message and sent out a mass email banning the word from school.

“Please be advised that any student who has the letters ‘meep’ on their clothing or uses the words verbally will face suspension from school…the police are monitoring this situation as well.”

It is still unclear exactly why the students took to their incessant meeping, but if the goal was to make their principal look like a insufferable nooge, well then mission accomplished. C’mon Principal Murray, stop being suck a killjoy and hum a little Ode to Joy with Beaker instead. It might make you smile.

No word yet from Danvers High on the status of mana-mana.

All I know is that somewhere George Carlin is laughing his motherfucking ass off.

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39 Comments leave one →
  1. cometman permalink*
    November 17, 2009 8:34 am

    Hmmmm. Just checked the possibly related posts above and it appears that Jonathan Turley among others is stealing my ideas :P His and another of the posts up there use the same Beaker video.

    Well, none of them used this one. For insufferable noodges everywhere – enjoy!

  2. cometman permalink*
    November 17, 2009 9:58 am

    Breaking news! Sky still blue, water still wet, teabaggers still number than a pounded thumb!

    Check out this guy who managed to sneak onto the stage at an anti-immigrant rally in Minnesota.

    Columbus go home! Hahaha!!!

  3. cometman permalink*
    November 17, 2009 10:12 am

    Good post from Simon Johnson discussing a paper on the boom-bust-bailout cycle.

    Haldane and Alessandri offer a tough, perhaps bleak assessment. Our boom-bust-bailout cycle is, in their view, a “doom loop”. Banks have an incentive to take excessive risk and every time they and their creditors are bailed out, we create the conditions for the next crisis.

    Any banker who denies this is the case lacks self-awareness or any sense of history, or perhaps just wants to do it again.

    ~snip~

    The overall conclusion of the paper follows uneasily from the main analytical thrust. How can we believe that for the regulators, “next time is different“? Most likely, next time will be exactly the same, with different terminology: the financial sector “innovates”, regulators buy their story that risks are now properly managed, and the ensuing bailout (again) breaks all records.

    It’s all politics. Unless and until you break the political power of our largest banks, broadly construed, we are going nowhere (or, rather, we are looping around the same doom).

  4. cometman permalink*
    November 17, 2009 10:24 am

    Good one from Naked Capitalism on the Fed decision to pay out 100% to the banks AIG owed for the failed credit default swaps.

    That Turbo Timmy and the Fed were “played” is the most charitable interpretation possible of this sorry turn of events. This was criminal. It may merely have been criminally incompetent, but this needs to be treated as a very serious lapse. Yes, I’m sure a very high percent of the CDS contracts needed to be paid out to prevent Very Bad Stuff from happening, but that should have been bifurcated, with the percentage that reflected fair payout as the CDS compensation, the balance as an equity infusion.

    Who was the Fed representing? Here we get into the usual debate of was the Fed operating as a government entity (as it likes to pretend when convenient, which is most of the time) or a private bank favoring entity? It most certainly appears to have behaved like the latter. It acted only from the vantage of what was best for the financiers, and gave nary a thought as to whether that might conflict with the interests of other constituencies.

  5. cometman permalink*
    November 17, 2009 12:02 pm

    Gretchen Morgensen reads the small print on the recent Worker, Homeownership and Business Assistance Act of 2009 and surprise surprise!!, she finds out that the largest beneficiaries of this act aren’t workers, homeowners or small businesses but the large companies who fueled the credit meltdown by overbuilding homes and who don’t really need the cash anyway.

    But tucked inside the law was another prize: a tax break that lets big companies offset losses incurred in 2008 and 2009 against profits booked as far back as 2004. The tax cuts will generate corporate refunds or relief worth about $33 billion, according to an administration estimate.

    ~snip~

    When Mr. Obama signed the law, his administration said the tax break would help “struggling businesses.” But as Ms. Zelman pointed out, many large home builders are sitting atop mountains of cash. Pulte Homes, which will receive refunds exceeding $450 million under the new law, has $1.5 billion in cash and cash equivalents on its balance sheet, according to its most recent financial statement.

    Hovnanian Enterprises is another big beneficiary of the tax break. It anticipates a refund of $250 million to $275 million next year. It had $550 million in cash in its most recent quarter.

    Smaller recipients include Standard Pacific, which is poised to reap cash refunds of $80 million under the new tax break. According to its most recent financial filing, Standard Pacific held $523 million in cash and cash equivalents.

    Finally, Beazer Homes told investors that it expects to receive a refund of $50 million. The company reported cash and equivalents of $557 million at the end of September.

    It would be an interesting experiment to find out how many pieces of legislation signed into law in the last 20 years or so do not contain some big giveaway to some corporate interest or another. My guess is not many, if any at all. And yet the corporate world still tries to claim we have a “free market”, even as their lobbyists bribe Congress on a daily basis to rig the system in their favor.

    • Stemella permalink*
      November 17, 2009 6:54 pm

      Sadly it goes back a lot farther than 20 yrs. The bribery, that is.

      In the United States, prohibitions on bribery date to the earliest days of the Republic. Bribery is one of two crimes (the other being treason) for which the United States Constitution (Article 2, section 4) specifically prescribes impeachment of public officeholders. Under earlier law, separate provisions applied to various categories of officeholder, such as members of Congress, judges, and administrative agency employees. In 1962 these provisions were consolidated into a single statute, the Bribery Act (P.L. 87-849, 76 Stat. 1119. source

      It’s a wonder there is anyone left in Congress at all these days. Oh yeah, Law. It’s a quaint thing for the history students, I guess. Like the Geneva Conventions.

  6. cometman permalink*
    November 17, 2009 12:15 pm

    Remember the guy who made headlines by bidding on oil and gas leases at a government auction that he had no intention of paying for? Well he is still facing criminal penalties and a judge has refused to allow him to argue his actions we justified due to the threat of global warming.

    A federal judge said Monday that Tim DeChristopher won’t be allowed to argue that global warming posed an imminent threat that justified placing bogus bids to derail a Bureau of Land Management oil and gas lease auction last year.

    “The court finds that DeChristopher’s necessity defense fails because there were reasonable, legal alternatives open to DeChristopher other than his alleged criminal acts,” U.S. District Judge Dee Benson wrote in his nine-page ruling.

    Really? What alternatives? Doesn’t say if this judge listed any of the other alternatives DeChristopher could have sought to use or if they had ever proven useful. Pretty clear that the US government is doing all it can to simply kick this can down the road and hope for the best despite all scientific evidence that this is an imminent danger. It would be great if sanity prevailed in this case but somehow I doubt it will. Here’s what DeChristopher is facing for merely raising his hand in a show of civil disobedience:

    DeChristopher faces up to 10 years in prison and up to $750,000 in fines if he is convicted, although Tolman has said that, because the defendant has no criminal record, he likely would receive less than five years.

  7. cometman permalink*
    November 17, 2009 12:24 pm

    Here’s a little more disobedience in school. Hooray for Will Phillips who refused to recite the pledge of allegiance at school because he felt there was not justice for all as long as gays weren’t allowed to marry.

    On Monday, Oct. 5, at an elementary school in Washington County, Ark., Will Phillips, a precocious 10-year-old who had been promoted from third to fifth grade, refused to join his class in standing and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. His parents have gay friends, and Will claimed that the denial of gay marriage means that the U.S. lacks “liberty and justice for all.” After refusing to recite the pledge for several days, the boy was sent to the principal’s office when he told his teacher, “With all due respect, ma’am, you can go jump off a bridge,” a sentiment shared by many 10-year-olds who are not political activists.

    Very good article which gives some history of the pledge (it was written by socialists!) and argues that it shouldn’t be recited at all by anyone. He gives several good reasons, but one he doesn’t mention I think is important. Namely, why do we make a bunch of children recite pledges which they don’t have the capacity to fully understand in the first place?

  8. cometman permalink*
    November 17, 2009 12:39 pm

    More on the clusterfuck in Honduras from The Nation. The US has failed miserably in trying to broker an agreement to restore Zelaya, but I suspect that is because the US didn’t really want him restored. If they did, we’d hear the corporate media actually covering this military coup which ousted a democratically elected leader, something the US supposedly claims to be against. Here’s one part of the article worth noting:

    It appears that whatever the fate of Zelaya, the coup leaders [“golpistas”] have provoked a unified national opposition movement which die not exist before the coup, and has not existed in Honduras for decades. The scale and intensity of the movement was not anticipated either by the golpistas or the United States, and is not likely to decline significantly during or after an election this month. Honduras may be in the process of irreversible, unpredictable change.

    Hopefully it will spread enough so that we might actually get some of that here.

  9. cometman permalink*
    November 17, 2009 1:08 pm

    More interesting reading on GoldmanSux. First, this zerohedge post which argues that Goldman is not staffed by financial wizards who somehow make money on every trade. Lots of technical stuff, but basically they argue that Goldman’s charitable fund lost big money in 2007-2008 and that loss is tied to the trades the parent company made during the same time period. So basically Goldman is making money not because they are smarter than everyone else, but because they have been handed huge amounts of taxpayer cash and continue to gouge clients with fees now that they have a lot less competition.

    Matt Taibbi discusses the article with less financialese:

    I don’t know enough about the specifics of Goldman’s charitable fund to know whether or not Tyler’s analysis of Goldman’s trading performance is warranted or not. I do know that it squares with everything I’ve been told by people in the business.

    Specifically, I’ve heard more than once from traders who tell me that Goldman makes all its money gouging its clients, who either don’t know any better or are reluctant to get on the wrong side of the bank, for obvious reasons. Also, the fact that not only Goldman but all the banks have made mountains of money this year by borrowing cheap from the government and lending dear to the rest of the world is also manifestly obvious (credit card interest rates went up more than 20 percent in the first six months of the year, despite vastly reduced borrowing costs for the banks issuing that credit).

  10. Stemella permalink*
    November 17, 2009 6:14 pm

    Gotta love a little bit of Ludwig Van, even by hyperactive puppets.

    Then there is this. This. This is so wrong.

    Here’s another for an antidote.

    • cometman permalink*
      November 17, 2009 8:45 pm

      Nice one! And the muppets were a good antidote too. Haven’t seen those yip yip guys in years.

  11. cometman permalink*
    November 18, 2009 6:21 am

    Remember that big eminent domain case a few years back, Kelo vs. New London, that went all the way to the Supreme court? The government wanted the land to clear the way for a new research facility for Pfizer. The government won and seized the property but now after getting a sweet deal Pfizer has reneged on their end of the bargain and are pulling out of town. Read about it here – Let Them Eat Zoloft.

    After the closure of a naval installation in the mid-1990s left New London in desperate economic straits, Pfizer swept in with promises to revitalize the city with a state-of-the-art R & D headquarters. To serve the company’s interests, the state government decided to use eminent domain to seize private property, uproot residents, and destroy a neighborhood in order to revamp the surrounding area. The state won the right to do so in a landmark Supreme Court case, Kelo vs. New London. But it built nothing on the vacated land. And now Pfizer, as the Wall Street Journal put it, has decided to “bug out.” One local resident told the New York Times, “They stole our home for economic development. It was all for Pfizer, and now they get up and walk away.”

  12. cometman permalink*
    November 18, 2009 6:23 am

    Another funny cartoon from Mark Fiore

    • Stemella permalink*
      November 18, 2009 7:19 am

      So much of that is true, at least in regards to Shitigroup and Skank of America. Dirty rotten banksters. Fiore is right on.

      • cometman permalink*
        November 18, 2009 8:02 am

        Just ran across this article which shows just how right he is – Push to curb credit card rates fades.

        Obama finds the behavior of credit-card lenders “outrageous’’ and “looks forward to reviewing additional legislation that caps interest rates,’’ but he has not taken a specific position, spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

        Their behavior is outrageous, but not outrageous enough for Status Quobama to actually do anything about it. This next part tells you about all you need to know about the chances of the Obama administration pushing any real reform.

        Vice President Joe Biden, whose home state of Delaware is headquarters to many credit-card companies, did not respond to requests for comment.

        ~snip~

        Biden, who served as Delaware’s US senator from 1973 until last January, has long been noted for his ties to the credit-card business. Biden’s top contributor has been MBNA Corp., a company based in Delaware that was a major credit-card issuer and was bought by Bank of America in 2005.

        Biden received $214,000 during his Senate career from MBNA-related donors, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics

        The article goes on to talk about Bernie Sanders’ attempts to cap interest at 15% which failed earlier this year, but Bernie is going to try again. This claim from an industry rep about why the companies need to charge such high rates is one of the most laughable things I’ve ever seen.

        The threat of another vote on Sanders’s proposal is prompting companies to make a renewed push against caps. Bill Himpler, executive vice president of the American Financial Services Association, an industry trade group, said it is easy “from a populist standpoint’’ to embrace a cap on interest rates. But he said many firms could continue to offer credit if the rate was capped at 15 to 18 percent, as some have suggested.

        “You lose money at 18 percent because it is a very labor-intensive business line to offer consumer credit,’’ he said. “Where you cap rates you end up having credit tightened and the cost of credit being greater for the consumer.’’

        Yes, very labor intensive because although it seems like the entire industry is automated from the point of purchase to having the bill emailed to you, there are actually little elves who run the receipts from the store to the headquarters in Delaware, and with tens of millions of purchases a day, well, that’s a lot of elves!

  13. cometman permalink*
    November 18, 2009 6:27 am

    Check out this sermon from Father Fucked-In-The-head. Just wow.

    • Stemella permalink*
      November 18, 2009 7:05 am

      Where is a big pride of hungry lions when you need them, I ask you?

      Meanwhile, this psychofreakofignorance will be in court today.
      link

      A Phoenix pastor who earlier this year claimed he was beaten by an Arizona Department of Public Safety officer and Border Patrol agents while at a checkpoint outside of Yuma will have a hearing later this month.

      Phoenix pastor Steven Anderson was on his way back to Phoenix from San Diego in April when he said a routine stop at an Interstate 8 checkpoint got way out of control.

      Anderson recorded and posted an almost 9-minute-long video on YouTube.com featuring his version of the events that happened.

      The state filed a motion for a change of judge for the case, which has been denied, said Yuma County Attorney Jon Smith.

      Maybe if he goes to jail he’ll be forced to pee sitting down among other prison related activities.

  14. Stemella permalink*
    November 18, 2009 6:58 am

    A few articles I want to get back to later –

    Climate Rage a new one by Naomi Kline

    Obama orders financial fraud task force beefed up I believe it when I see it.

    Pratap Chatterjee, Afghanistan as a Patronage Machine by Tom Englehardt

    • cometman permalink*
      November 18, 2009 8:57 am

      I read that first article a couple days ago and it was really good. Those in developing countries calling for reparations are right to do so.

      Climate debt is about who will pick up the bill. The grass-roots movement behind the proposal argues that all the costs associated with adapting to a more hostile ecology — everything from building stronger sea walls to switching to cleaner, more expensive technologies — are the responsibility of the countries that created the crisis. “What we need is not something we should be begging for but something that is owed to us, because we are dealing with a crisis not of our making,” says Lidy Nacpil, one of the coordinators of Jubilee South, an international organization that has staged demonstrations to promote climate reparations. “Climate debt is not a matter of charity.”

      The article notes that the cost of reparations would be large, but the amount is still a lot smaller than what the US doled out to banks in the last year or so. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem like the US is willing to listen to this at all.

    • cometman permalink*
      November 18, 2009 9:13 am

      On that second article, I’ll believe it when I see it to. Things like this don’t inspire much faith that they’re really serious.

      “Unscrupulous executives, Ponzi scheme operators and common criminals alike have targeted the pocketbooks and retirement accounts of middle-class Americans, and in many cases, devastated entire families’ futures,” Holder said. “We will not allow these actions to go unpunished.”

      The announcement, however, came a week after a federal court jury in New York acquitted two former Bear Stearns hedge fund managers of fraud charges stemming from the collapse of their $1.6 billion fund tied to risky home mortgages. That left federal prosecutors with no convictions of Wall Street executives since last year’s meltdown, which occurred after big investment banks sold $2 trillion in securities tied to dicey mortgages, fueling a housing bubble that finally burst.

      Read a good article about regulatory capture the other day which I can’t seem to put my finger on, but this one by Thomas Frank discusses a similar point. Since government regulation of industry first came about, industry has realized that at first they might have to play by the rules, but after a little while they will be able to get their own people into regulatory positions and make the agency do the industry’s bidding.

      The first federal regulatory agency, the Interstate Commerce Commission, was set up to regulate railroad freight rates in the 1880s. Soon thereafter, Richard Olney, a prominent railroad lawyer, came to Washington to serve as Grover Cleveland’s attorney general. Olney’s former boss asked him if he would help kill off the hated ICC. Olney’s reply, handed down at the very dawn of Big Government, should be regarded as an urtext of the regulatory state:

      “The Commission . . . is, or can be made, of great use to the railroads. It satisfies the popular clamor for a government supervision of the railroads, at the same time that that supervision is almost entirely nominal. Further, the older such a commission gets to be, the more inclined it will be found to take the business and railroad view of things. . . . The part of wisdom is not to destroy the Commission, but to utilize it.”

      As it was and ever shall be….

  15. cometman permalink*
    November 18, 2009 8:19 am

    New developments in mathematics. Mathematicians have come up with the first 3-D representation of the Mandelbrot set – the Mandelbulb!

    There have been previous attempts at a 3D Mandelbrot image, but they do not display real fractal behaviour, says Daniel White, an amateur fractal image maker based in Bedford, UK.

    Spinning the 2D Mandelbrot fractal like wood on a lathe, raising and lowering certain points, or invoking higher-dimensional mathematics can all produce apparently three-dimensional Mandelbrots. Yet none of these techniques offer the detail and self-similar shapes that White believes represent a true 3D fractal image.

    Two years ago, he decided to find a “true” 3D version of the Mandelbrot.

    ~snip~

    The formula published by White gave good results, but still lacked true fractal detail. Collaborating with the members of Fractal Forums, a website for fractal admirers, he continued his search. It was another member, Paul Nylander, who eventually realised that raising White’s formula to a higher power – equivalent to increasing the number of rotations – would produce what they were looking for.

    White’s search isn’t over, though. He admits the Mandelbulb is not quite the “real” 3D Mandelbrot. “There are still ‘whipped cream’ sections, where there isn’t detail,” he explains. “If the real thing does exist – and I’m not saying 100 per cent that it does – one would expect even more variety than we are currently seeing.”

    Nice slide show here.

    Lots more eye candy at what I think is Daniel White’s website here.

    • Stemella permalink*
      November 18, 2009 6:52 pm

      Oh yes. This is an awesome development! I just spent an hour zoning out on 3d mandlebrots on youtube thanks to these links. Perfect antidote to a long day in the trenches. very nice.

  16. cometman permalink*
    November 18, 2009 11:31 am

    Here’s a really interesting discussion about why the universe looks the way it does – well, interesting if you’re a big nerdbox who likes physics. Good video discussion and transcript from theoretical physicist Sean Carroll touching on entropy, the anthropic principle and other concepts which have been bugging me. Here’s a part about entropy from the beginning of the article:

    According to what we were taught in the 19th century about statistical mechanics by Boltzmann and Maxwell and Gibbs and giants like that, what you would expect in a natural configuration is for something to be high entropy, for something to be very, very disordered. Entropy is telling us the number of ways you could rearrange the constituents of something so that it looks the same. In air filling the room, there are a lot of ways you could rearrange the air so that you wouldn’t notice. If all the air in the room were squeezed into one tiny corner, there are only a few ways you could rearrange it. If air is squeezed into a corner, it’s low entropy. If it fills the room, it’s high entropy. It’s very natural that physical systems go from low entropy, if they are low entropy, to being high entropy. There are just a lot more ways to be high entropy.

    Makes sense to me, except for the part I italicized. You might not notice the difference if the air molecules were rearranged , but that doesn’t necessarily rule out that something is fundamentally different. Maybe it is and we just can’t sense it with the sensory organs we’ve managed to evolve.

    This part near the end is where some doubt comes in about entropy.

    Then I read papers by Huw Price, who is a philosopher in Australia and who made basically the same point. He said that cosmologists are completely fooling themselves about the entropy of the universe. They are letting their models assume that the early universe had a low entropy, the late universe has a very high entropy. But there is no such asymmetry built into the laws of physics. The laws of physics at a deep level treat the past and the future the same. But the universe doesn’t treat the past and the future the same. One way of thinking about it is, if you were out in space floating around, there would be no preferred notion of up or down, left or right. There is no preferred direction in space. Here on earth, there is a preferred notion of up or down because there is the earth beneath us. There is this dramatic physical object that creates a directionality to space, up versus down. Likewise, if you were in a completely empty universe, there would be no notion of past and future. There would be no difference between one direction of time or the other.

    The reason we find a direction in time here in this room or in the kitchen when you scramble an egg or mix milk into coffee is not because we live in the physical vicinity of some important object, but because we live in the aftermath of some influential event, and that event is the Big Bang. The Big Bang set all of the clocks in the world. When we go down to how we evolve, why we are born and then die, and never in the opposite order, why we remember what happened yesterday and we don’t remember what is going to happen tomorrow, all of these manifestations of the difference between the past and the future are all coming from the same source. That source is the low entropy of the Big Bang.

    So if you take it as a given that the Big Bang was a low entropy event, how we observe the universe operating seems to make sense. However the insinuation seems to be that there could have been other states of varying degrees of entropy before the Big Bang. At least that’s what I’ve insinuated from it.

    Evidently I’m not the only one having a hard time wrapping my head around this whole “arrow of time” idea. More discussion of the concept from Carroll at this Cosmic Variance post.

    • artemis54 permalink
      November 18, 2009 12:06 pm

      As always, I take refuge in Julian Barbour‘s refutation of the existence of time.

      • cometman permalink*
        November 18, 2009 1:38 pm

        Thanks for that melvin. Barbour really gets into some of the concepts I’ve always had a tough time with. Back when I used to be a physics major for a year or so, the instructors talked about forces and time, etc and how they operated in relation to each other but I never really understood what a “force” or “time” is at a fundamental level. I always assumed the instructors did understand these things and I was just missing something which is one of the reasons I switched majors.

        Now that I’ve read a lot more about this stuff on my own, I realize that even the biggest brains don’t necessarily understand these concepts either. I wish I had grasped that a little better at the time. Makes me feel a little smarter now that I realize it :)

  17. artemis54 permalink
    November 18, 2009 11:32 am

    Does anyone know about deleting posts on WP? I deleted one, or moved to trash as it is now called, and can’t get at it in anyway, but it still appears in “Top Posts”. It seems like the trash needs to be emptied or something, but where and how is beyond me.

    • cometman permalink*
      November 18, 2009 11:49 am

      A couple days ago I posted this post before I wanted to and then moved it to trash to delete it like you said. That worked and I saved it as a draft before sending to trash, and then reposted it the next day. I just looked through the admin section and if you go to the section on the left labeled “Posts” and click on it, at the top of the page you’ll see “Edit Posts” and right underneath that it lists “All” ,”Published” etc with the last category being “trash”. Click on that and the option to “empty trash” shows up. That’s probably what you need.

      • artemis54 permalink
        November 18, 2009 11:57 am

        Okay. It finally showed up there. (Had looked before.) Did like you say and it deleted, thanks! Althouth title still shows up in “Top Posts” is doesn’t link to anything.

        See, you are more expert than you claim to be.

        • cometman permalink*
          November 18, 2009 1:05 pm

          Glad it worked. I’d never deleted anything from here until a couple days ago so I didn’t even know that stuff was there until you mentioned it. Lots of bells and whistles to get the hang of.

  18. Stemella permalink*
    November 18, 2009 6:59 pm

    From the mouth of one of my favoritist Congresscritters to my and everyone’s ears, especially the giant flapping ears of Squobama. Can you hear us yet?

    Fire Geithner and Summers!!!!!!!

    President Barack Obama “is being failed by his economic team” and should replace Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and White House economic policy director Larry Summers, says US House Rep. Peter DeFazio.

  19. Stemella permalink*
    November 19, 2009 7:28 am

    NY Times summarizes what we already know about the banksters, for posterity.
    Post-Mortems Reveal Obvious Risk at Banks

    At bank after bank, the examiners are discovering that state and federal regulators knew lenders were engaging in hazardous business practices but failed to act until it was too late. At Haven Trust, for instance, regulators raised alarms about lax lending standards, poor risk controls and a buildup of potentially dangerous loans to the boom-and-bust building industry. Despite the warnings — made as far back as 2002 — neither the bank’s management nor the regulators took action. Similar stories played out at small and midsize lenders from Maryland to California.

    What went wrong? In many instances, the financial overseers failed to act quickly and forcefully to rein in runaway banks, according to reports compiled by the inspectors general of the four major federal banking regulators. Together, they have completed 41 inquests and have 75 more in the works.

    Current and former banking regulators acknowledge that they should have been more vigilant.

    You know? In my experience as both a boss and an employee over the years, this kind of failure on the job would mean job termination. The whole concept of labor in this country is topsy turvy fucked up and screwed. Its ok if you are a money handler or a republican or democrat with money handling friends and associates.

    Some days it is so discouraging to have to go along with the grinding game we are being forced to play as slave laborers. But ya gotta get those $ to take care of self and loved ones. Gotta do the right and responsible and ethical things.

    How can a country function when less than half the population abides by ethics and laws and those at the top are freaking criminals and thieves?

    Grrrr. Off to work for me.

    • cometman permalink*
      November 19, 2009 8:15 am

      You are of course 100% correct about the two tiered system we see where it’s OK for those at the top to fuck up monumentally while those at the bottom often get canned just for asking questions and not being good little sycophants. As we were handed new W-4s at work yesterday I was sorely tempted to claim 10 dependents or so and stop paying taxes altogether. But then I remembered those pesky ethics and responsibilities, gritted my teeth and filled it out properly. With all these fucked up corporations who should have gone under bribing Congress for bailouts and big tax breaks, I’m still not sure whether that makes me a good guy or a huge sucker.

      Have a good day at the old grind.

      • Stemella permalink*
        November 19, 2009 5:33 pm

        Thanks. Decompression this evening has included turning Larry and Timmy into turkeys! Now if I could only send them off into the never ending folds of a 3D Mandlebrot.

  20. cometman permalink*
    November 19, 2009 8:25 am

    Obama has appointed a new member to the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the group which oversees all international US government broadcasting (also known as propaganda). Guess who he picked? Former Bush press secretary and current Fox News fuckwit Dana Perino. Guess he wanted someone with a proven track record of lying through their teeth. Meet the new boss….

    • triv33 permalink
      November 19, 2009 9:16 am

      Oh, for fuck’s sake! What were you just saying about ethics?

      • cometman permalink*
        November 19, 2009 10:13 am

        Yup, those pesky ethics. Evidently those in DC have developed a serious allergy and can no longer tolerate them.

  21. cometman permalink*
    November 19, 2009 8:43 am

    Just read this op-ed about breaking up the banks which pointed to a new website called BanksterUSA.org. Lots of good stuff there and many familiar faces on their blogroll. For some reason the site looks familiar – maybe one of us already linked to it? I remember pulling a video from a similar looking site a while back, so apologies if this is the same one.

    • Stemella permalink*
      November 19, 2009 5:34 pm

      If I remember correctly, I linked to that site with some of the info on that bank protest in Chicago.

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