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Get Back in Line

March 25, 2011

Reading through the financial sites today and it’s one article after another about how regulators just can’t figure out how to keep the bankers in line. Here’s a fucking hint to the do-nothing apparatchiks of the financial bureaucracy: you are the fucking law and the bankers will do whatever you tell them to and if they don’t like it they can spend their retirements in the fucking slammer with Bernie Madoff. Period. It isn’t about trying to keep the criminals happy.

Jeebus knew how to handle the moneychangers. A couple millennia later so does Lemmy (even though he does take a shot or two at Mr. H Xrist in the above song). And if the government continues to coddle these assholes, I suspect more people will begin following Lemmy’s lead.

So much to love in that video but I particularly enjoyed Lemmy playing the “Fuck the Establishment” card near the end. 35 years of butt rock and the man hasn’t lost his touch.

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27 Comments leave one →
  1. cometman permalink*
    March 25, 2011 2:05 pm

    Speaking of ratfucker bankers, the FDIC is going after former WAMU CEO Kerry Killinger, suing him for negligence and fraud among other things. Seems Mr. Killinger knew the real estate market was on shaky ground but proceeded full speed ahead anyway.

    Having personally waited on Mr. Killinger several times while working at the WAMU building in Seattle for paltry wages at the same time Killinger was robbing people blind, I have to say it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

  2. cometman permalink*
    March 25, 2011 2:12 pm

    Some levity heading into the weekend. Caught the second half of Ferrets: The Pursuit of Excellence and I could not stop laughing. Funniest thing I’ve seen in quite a while. Just about out of breath during one segment near the end when they interviewed ferret show participants who had been clawed to shit by their pets.

    A couple samples for your enjoyment –

    Now a big fan of the filmmaker Mark Lewis after finding out that he also has a movie about cephaloblog favorite the cane toad.

    • artemis54 permalink
      March 28, 2011 1:31 pm

      I once had a ferret. She liked some people, but those she disliked were well advised to just leave alone. She lived in a narrow run between two buildings that I walled off. It had a door in one end and people could come in. I repeatedly told my one neighbor not to pick her up – she only wanted a couple people to pick her up – but she did anyway on a day when she was wearing a merry widow top. The ferret went after her, sinking her choppers deep into one tit and then another until there were eight holes spouting blood.

      Hilarious.

  3. cometman permalink*
    March 28, 2011 9:46 am

    Bad news for dolphins. Lots of them have been washing up dead in the Gulf and the government doesn’t want you to know why

    Wildlife biologists contracted by the National Marine Fisheries Service to document spikes in dolphin mortality and to collect specimens and tissue samples for the agency were quietly ordered late last month to keep their findings confidential.

    The gag order was contained in an agency letter informing outside scientists that its review of the dolphin die-off, classified as an “unusual mortality event (UME),” had been folded into a federal criminal investigation launched last summer into the oil spill.

    The old “ongoing investigation” excuse. If you’re going to obfuscate, is it really that hard to think of something original?

    A little good news for tigers – numbers are up somewhat in India over the last few years, but still down from what they were a decade ago.

    • artemis54 permalink
      March 28, 2011 1:22 pm

      My only problem is that those tiger numbers are from the Indian government, which has lied through its teeth so many times that it is simply not credible.

      • cometman permalink*
        March 29, 2011 6:41 am

        Yeah. “More thorough counting” could describe a lot of things. It’s not as if they’re stopping the tigers and asking their name and address.

  4. cometman permalink*
    March 28, 2011 9:55 am

    Very interesting tidbit from Dennis Kucinich regarding the recent attack on Libya in this article

    On November 2, 2010 France and Great Britain signed a mutual defence treaty , which included joint participation in “Southern Mistral” (www.southern-mistral.cdaoa.fr), a series of war games outlined in the bilateral agreement. Southern Mistral involved a long-range conventional air attack, called Southern Storm, against a dictatorship in a fictitious southern country called Southland. The joint military air strike was authorised by a pretend United Nations Security Council Resolution. The “Composite Air Operations” were planned for the period of 21-25 March, 2011. On 20 March, 2011, the United States joined France and Great Britain in an air attack against Gaddafi’s Libya, pursuant to UN Security Council resolution 1973.

    Have the scheduled war games simply been postponed, or are they actually under way after months of planning, under the name of Operation Odyssey Dawn? Were opposition forces in Libya informed by the US, the UK or France about the existence of Southern Mistral/Southern Storm, which may have encouraged them to violence leading to greater repression and a humanitarian crisis? In short was this war against Gaddafi’s Libya planned or a spontaneous response to the great suffering which Gaddafi was visiting upon his opposition?

  5. cometman permalink*
    March 28, 2011 12:37 pm

    Austerity news –

    A quarter million people showed up in London over the weekend to protest UK austerity measures. The protest was interrupted once again by supposed “anarchists” intent on damaging property. Of course, much like “terrorists”, we never actually get to know exactly who these “anarchists” are and nobody can ever seem to arrest one or two of the people who are destroying property in broad daylight while hundreds of cops are in the area. Got to wonder how these people always seem to show up, making it convenient to discredit the vast majority as an unruly mob. Some people (like myself) might question whether these “anarchists” weren’t deliberately asked to attend this rally with the express purpose of discrediting legitimate protesters.

    Conspiracy theory on my part? Well, you don’t have to look very far to find similar shenanigans going on on this side of the pond. In fact, WI douchebag Scott Walker was recently asked by an Indiana prosecutor if he’d like to stage a “false flag” operation to discredit protesters in WI by sending in the goon squad to disrupt otherwise peaceful protests.

    Meanwhile, despite a court order barring implementation of Walker’s union busting legislation, WI republicans have published the law anyway and are trying to claim it will be implemented as planned.

    On to the knuckledraggers in the Federal government. House republicans are trying to push through a bill that would deny foodstamps for entire families if even one member was found to be joining a strike.

    If we’re back to punishing children for sins of the father, I really wish somebody would publish a list of where all the oligarchs kids go to school ’cause I’m sure there’s a spoiled snot nosed banker’s brat somewhere who could use a good ass-kicking.

  6. cometman permalink*
    March 28, 2011 12:45 pm

    Science catches up to the scifi writers – Debut of the First Practical ‘Artificial Leaf’.

  7. cometman permalink*
    March 28, 2011 12:51 pm

    Very sad note. Joe Bageant has passed away. Obituary from a friend posted at Bageant’s website – Bageant Moves On.

    Can’t remember being as saddened by the death of somebody I’d never met since Zappa died. He spoke for the people I grew up with. You’ll be sorely missed Joe.

    RIP.

    • artemis54 permalink
      March 28, 2011 1:20 pm

      Oh no. This is terrible.

      • cometman permalink*
        March 29, 2011 6:43 am

        Yeah. Really feels like he had a lot more to say somehow.

      • cometman permalink*
        March 29, 2011 11:30 am

        Maybe I posted this one already but here it is again. One of the best people nobody ever knew about –

        With a relative who worked harder (shoveling shit so other people could have good food to eat) before becoming of legal age than most of the management class does in their entire lives now facing a terminal disease with no insurance, Bageant speaks for my own.

        And yet I still hear from highly educated yet debt ridden people struggling to remain in the middle class by any means necessary that they owe their jobs to the wealthy who “created” them.

        Thanks Joe for shaking at least a few of us out of the Stockholm syndrome that seems to affect so many these days.

  8. cometman permalink*
    March 29, 2011 12:16 pm

    When we first started documenting the Empire’s decline about two years ago, I thought it might take at least a couple three decades for the whole thing to collapse. Starting to wonder whether the Colossus will make it through the summer.

    Via zerohedge, we find that stock market investors are levered to the hilt once again, betting with borrowed money. This on top of reports posted earlier that insiders are dumping shares en mass, home prices continue to slump, unemployment continues to stay at high levels for the indefinite future, food and gas prices continue to rise, etc. etc. And nobody in power is going to do jack shit to help people stay in their homes, or help them get a job, or redistribute some of the wealth that’s been stolen from them in any way.

    Then last night, some asshole tried to win public support for a war he’d already started at great public expense. And from what I can gather, the only reason was that somebody somewhere thought something ought to be done and Barry offered to blow some shit up if it would make some rich people like him better.

    If this was all fiction, I’d be laughing my ass off. As it is, I’d much rather kick some rich bastard squarely in theirs.

    • cometman permalink*
      March 29, 2011 12:27 pm

      On the positive side, there are some who are trying to make a better world. If there is any silver lining to the ongoing nuclear disaster in Japan (and I’m not sure there is), it seems to be the catalyst that that propelled the Greens to victory in one German state, defeating Merkel’s party.

      The Fukushima disaster has had, and will have, many consequences around the world. One of the more unlikely, however, appears to be the results of Sunday’s election in the southwestern German state of Baden-Württemberg, where skepticism about nuclear power helped propel the Green Party to a historic victory over Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

      The Greens doubled their share of the vote to 24.2 percent, according to preliminary results released by the state electoral commission. They are now likely to govern the state in a coalition with the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), which secured 23.1 percent of the vote, down 2 percent from the last election in 2006. In what would be a first for Germany, the Greens, as the senior partner in the coalition, will likely appoint the state governor.

      More from the FT – Germany: The lights go out.

      Be nice if that would catch on on this side of the pond. One guy is trying, namely Ian Murphy from the Buffalo Beast, the guy who made a fool of Scott Walker (admittedly not hard to do) a few weeks ago. He running to replace shirtless Congressman Chris Lee in NY’s 26th Congressional district. Ha!

      More at Murphy’s new website, Murphy can has Congress.

    • cometman permalink*
      March 29, 2011 12:35 pm

      While Germany has put their anti-nuclear Greens into office, here in the US we’re still putting them in prison. Disgraceful –Prison for Peacemakers in Tacoma, Washington: Two Grandmothers, Two Priests and a Nun Go onto a Nuclear Base

      Two grandmothers, two priests and a nun were sentenced in federal court in Tacoma, WA Monday March 28, 2011, for confronting hundreds of US nuclear weapons stockpiled for use by the deadly Trident submarines.

      Sentenced were: Sr. Anne Montgomery, 83, a Sacred Heart sister from New York, who was ordered to serve 2 months in federal prison and 4 months electronic home confinement; Fr. Bill Bischel, 81, a Jesuit priest from Tacoma Washington, ordered to serve 3 months in prison and 6 months electronic home confinement; Susan Crane, 67, a member of the Jonah House community in Baltimore, Maryland, ordered to serve 15 months in federal prison; Lynne Greenwald, 60, a nurse from Bremerton Washington, ordered to serve 6 months in federal prison; and Fr. Steve Kelly, 60, a Jesuit priest from Oakland California, ordered to serve 15 months in federal prison. They were also ordered to pay $5300 each and serve an additional year in supervised probation. Bischel and Greenwald are active members of the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, a community resisting Trident nuclear weapons since 1977.

      Sounds like they weren’t really even allowed to defend themselves –

      …before the trial began the court told the defendants what they could and could not do in court. Evidence of the medical consequences of nuclear weapons? Not allowed. Evidence that first strike nuclear weapons are illegal under US and international law? Not allowed. Evidence that there were massive international nonviolent action campaigns against Trident missiles where juries acquitted protestors? Not allowed. The defense of necessity where violating a small law, like breaking down a door, is allowed where the actions are taken to prevent a greater harm, like saving a child trapped in a burning building? Not allowed.

      Much more at the Disarm Now Plowshares blog.

  9. artemis54 permalink
    March 29, 2011 2:13 pm

    I find it absolutely astonishing that no one in what passes for our government or media is willing to point out the glaringly obvious: European intervention in Libya is largely motivated by the specter of a million refugees washing up on the beaches of Italy and France.

    7,000, mostly from Tunisia, have already landed on Lamedusa, an Italian island with a population under 6,000.

    • cometman permalink*
      March 29, 2011 2:24 pm

      Seems as if everybody has forgotten the platform Sarkozy ran on. He’s a real humanitarian, that one.

  10. artemis54 permalink
    March 29, 2011 3:40 pm

    With a little help, I’ve managed to get my dick caught in the wringer again.

  11. cometman permalink*
    March 30, 2011 12:48 pm

    Not much today that hasn’t been discussed here and everywhere else already.

    One thing worth noting though. I’ve long been a fan of municipalities that create their own public utilities for cable and internet service. Not too many have them yet, but the reports I’ve seen indicate that they generally provide good service that’s cheaper than the corporate alternatives. Which is why the media corporations would really like to make it illegal for municipalities to ever have them – North Carolina bill would prohibit cities from upgrading Internet access.

    The Republican-dominated North Carolina State Assembly this week approved a bill that would prohibit communities from upgrading their internet access, forcing individual municipalities into a private monopoly of managed broadband services by companies like Time Warner and Comcast.

    ~snip~

    The bill, which was heavily supported by telecom giant Time Warner, comes on the heels of several communities successfully launching their own fiber-optic broadband programs. One program in Wilson, North Carolina, called Greenlight, even features speeds up to 100 Megabits-per-second (Mbps) at a lower price than its corporate competitors.

    Boggles the mind that officials elected to serve the public could make it illegal for officials to serve the public.

  12. artemis54 permalink
    March 31, 2011 11:39 am

    Your buddy Zahi Hawass is baaaack at his old post as Minister of Antiquities.

    • cometman permalink*
      March 31, 2011 12:09 pm

      Hadn’t seen that. It’d be nice if he decided to share some of the responsibilities but I won’t be holding my breath waiting. He’ll probably just relegate those who criticized him during the turmoil to scouring potsherds as punishment.

  13. cometman permalink*
    March 31, 2011 12:18 pm

    More from WI –

    Good rundown on where things currently stand here – Wisconsin Governor Defies Court, Prepares for Coronation. The republicans have defied the courts already and promise to do it again because evidently the judiciary is composed of a bunch of not-real-Murican commies –

    On Wednesday, the GOP released the most unprofessional and childish attack on a judge that this state has ever seen, offering a fake apology for prior rudeness and attempting to smear her as a cocktail-drinking liberal.

    “The Republican Party of Dane County recognizes that Judge Sumi is a leftist living in Dane County. Her friends are leftists living in Dane County. Her son is a left wing activist in Dane County. She goes to cocktail parties held by leftists in Dane County. She shops at organic gourmet food shops run by leftists living in Dane County. If she were to enforce the law of Wisconsin and do what was in the best interest of the people of Wisconsin, she’d be exiled from her lifestyle,” the statement said.

    The GOP release set a new low in Wisconsin discourse and omits a key fact. Not only is Judge Maryanne Sumi a highly respected justice, she was appointed by former Republican Governor Tommy Thompson.

    Continuing with the tantrums, Walker is miffed that the NYT didn’t publish his op-ed explaining how “progressive” he’s acting.

    Perhaps somebody at the NYT agrees with Canada, where people have recently told Harper that bullshit “news” won’t be permitted

    Score one for honesty in journalism.

    After the public discovered that the Conservative Harper government was attempting to change the rules that prevented media outlets from broadcasting false or misleading news, their reaction was swift and decisive.

    No freaking way.

    If someone at the NYT did agree, they are not in the majority as the Grey Lady continues to publish all kinds of bullshit when it sees fit.

  14. cometman permalink*
    March 31, 2011 12:37 pm

    The assault by the financial industry on the already pretty much useless Dodd-Frank regulations continues.

    Jamie Dimon warns that any changes to business as usual will be the final “nail in the coffin” for big banks to which Yves Smith sardonically replies Hooray! –

    It really is a sign of how complete a victory that the banks have won over the rest of us that Jamie Dimon has the nerve to complain about banking regulations. Even worse, he is egging on a effort by Republican bank-owned Congresscritters to roll weak bank capital rules back.

    His position is pure, simple, unadulterated bank propaganda: what is good for banks is good for America, when the converse is true.

    ~snip~

    And the officialdom is enabling this view in a bizarre, ongoing display of cognitive dissonance, pretending that unworkable measures like the Dodd Frank special resolution authority are viable (see the testimony by Josh Rosner for details), yet also aggressively promoting policies that would increase costly bank welfare programs (the most appalling was a New York Fed paper recommending that all asset backed securities be government guaranteed. In the rest of the world people have a right to health care; instead, we seem to be working on a plan to guarantee debt slavery via heavily subsidized credit).

    Dean Baker discusses another reform the banksters are wailing about (also one of my biggest pet peeves of all time) –The Debit Card No Brainer

    One of the provisions of the Dodd-Frank bill passed last year instructed the Federal Reserve Board to determine the actual cost of carrying through a debit card transfer and to regulate fees accordingly. The Fed determined that a fee of 10-12 cents per transaction should be sufficient to cover the industry’s costs and provide a normal profit. The Fed plans to limit the amount that the credit card companies can charge retailers to this level.

    This would save retailers approximately $12 billion a year, at the expense of the credit card companies and the banks that are part of their networks. The prospect of losing $12 billion in annual profits has sent the industry lobbyists into high gear. They have developed a range of bad things that will happen if the regulated fee structure takes effect and also argued that big retailers would be the only ones benefiting.

    With all the automation involved allowing the banks to rake in the cash from other people’s work without lifting a finger, I’d say .10 -.12 sounds about right. Why in the hell should these parasites be allowed to rake in 2-3% off every credit or debit card charge no matter how big the amount???? Galls me to no end to run a $10,000 transaction realizing that my business will have to send $300 to the credit card companies for doing pretty much nothing. But Barry will probably cave to their demands as per usual.

    And the Fed has finally been forced to release the info about who got funds from the Fed discount window back when the banks were screaming that the sky would fall if they didn’t get billions immediately. Of course Dimon is whining about that too –

    “I think it will make it harder for people to use the discount window in the future,” Jamie Dimon, chairman and chief executive of New York-based JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), the second- biggest U.S. bank by assets, told reporters yesterday after a speech in Washington. “We never intend to use the discount window.”

    Guess we’ll find out soon just how much he did use it once people have time to peruse the details.

  15. cometman permalink*
    March 31, 2011 12:47 pm

    Couple of notes –

    Want to live forever? Start eating Indian food laced with Yellow #1.

    And a little history lesson worth reading and watching in full from the guy who made The Century of the Self which Stemella turned me on to a while back. Adam Curtis discusses where the penchant for liberals to support “humanitarian” wars comes from and how it relates to the current Libyan “intervention”- Goodies and Baddies. A sample –

    It is the story of a generation who became disenchanted with traditional power politics. They thought they could leap over the old corrupt structures of power and connect directly with the innocent victims of war around the world.

    It was a grand utopian project that began in the mid-60s in Africa and flourished and spread across the world. But in the 1990s it became corrupted by the very thing it was supposed to have transcended – western power politics.

    And the idea seemed to have died in horror in a bombing of a hotel in Baghdad in 2003.

    What we now see is the return of that dream in a ghostly, half-hearted form – where the confidence and hopes have been replaced by a nervous anxiety.

    Not surprisingly, Zionist and Arab hater Bernard Henri Levy is right in the mix.

    Sounds pretty similar to the way environmental groups who started with good intentions have been corrupted over the years (or how pretty much any organization gets corrupt over time).

  16. artemis54 permalink
    March 31, 2011 4:52 pm

    A Rocha Peru:

    They are not alone in this concern.

    There is a serious argument that destruction of the huarango may have been a contributing factor in the collapse of the Nasca civilization.

    • cometman permalink*
      April 1, 2011 1:39 pm

      Thanks for that one.

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