Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Books, Bankers Wall Street Brains Folly of Fools NYT New Editor FT Economy Healthcare, Debt Forgiveness

Tags: Books, Bankers Wall Street Brains Folly of Fools NYT New Editor FT Economy Healthcare, Debt Forgiveness

Our thinking about events are shaped by what the corporate press and media tell us and what they do not tell us. Remember they want to entertain us. The only exceptions are primarily the evening segment of MSNBC and especially Rachel Maddow http://maddowblog.msnbc.com and Ed Schultz http://ed.msnbc.com Lawrence O’Donnell was on Homeland on Showtime on Sunday playing himself.

Ed Schultz and Dylan Ratigan Harsh Words Video

I have stopped watching Ratigan because he tends to criticize Obama for not being liberal enough on every show, and refuses to discuss why Obama needs to do this.

I love Ed Schultz http://ed.msnbc.msn.com/ because he has mucho passion and presents everything clearly. Rachel often recommends her listeners to not miss the best of Ed’s programs. The Right Wing has been attacking Ed Schultz so he must be effective since both CNN and FOX have been criticizing him.


HuffingtonPost.com, Oct 06, 2011, Ed Schultz and fellow MSNBC host Dylan Ratigan had a very angry exchange on Thursday afternoon.

The two were part of an MSNBC panel analyzing President Obama's Thursday morning press conference. Host Thomas Roberts asked Schultz what he thought of the conference. Schultz was positively giddy, calling it a "home run" for Obama and praising his American Jobs Act. "It's about jobs, it's about jobs right now," he said.

Ratigan was much more downbeat. "Ed, can I ask you a couple of questions?" he said. While Schultz listened, Ratigan said that he didn't think the jobs bill went nearly far enough to solve the unemployment crisis in America. He lamented that Washington could not seem to come up with a bigger solution.

"Don't I and the rest of America have a right to be frustrated with this entire apparatus?" he asked Schultz.

"You're not gonna do this overnight," Schultz said, adding that Obama had been honest about this and that Ratigan seemed to want to wave a "magic wand." Ratigan tried to cut in, causing Schultz to angrily push back. … http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/06/ed-schultz-dylan-ratigan-obama_n_998596.html


The Art and Science of Self-Deception “The Folly of Fools: The Logic of Deceit and Self-Deception in Human Life” Robert Trivers, Harvard Biologist “The problem of why natural selection favors dishonesty to oneself is as poorly understood as it is riveting. … Richard Wrangham Harvard

The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement For complex analysis, nothing better than unconscious brain. Financial analysts often fail because they just think logically about what comes to mind then.

How Patients Think, and How They Should


Published: October 7, 2011

Debt: The First 5,000 Years, by David Graeber, UK

Anthropologists already know that barter was not very significant going back 5,000 years. Jesus trashed the temple because the loans’ interest rate too high.

This was very similar to what our Banks have done to Americans in high interest rates for student lending policies, credit cards, and housing.

Bush Republicans passed the Bankruptcy law that prevented education loans and credit card debt mostly due to medical expenses from declaring bankruptcy.

Our dear IMF is closest to the loan shark Mafia which has impoverished the Third World, and possibly the euro zone by charging increasingly higher interest rates, keeping the money in American banks, and forcing the countries to sell their public assets to corporations.

Argentina is an example of the IMF trashing them when they defaulted on their loans by getting American banks to move all their dollars out in a convoy of armored trucks. Luckily South America had President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela lent them money at reasonable interest rates and saved many countries to get off the yoke of the IMF essentially destroying the influence of the IMF there.

Throughout the ages when debts got too high, much of that was forgiven so the economy would not crash. Our policies and those of Europe makes the economy in recession with high unemployment without adequate safeguards as they have in Europe.

Democracy For The Few, 9th edition, 2011, by Michael Parenti is a book all Americans need to read. Pages 286 Marvelous, clear, writer of this text book for colleges and some high schools. This edition is expensive, but look for the 8th edition which costs less. It explains why we need the bottom 99% demonstrations. His recent book God and His Demons is filled with sparkling insights, sly wit, and beautiful writing of a kind we have come to expect from Michael Parenti. He strips away the virtuous pretenses of self-proclaimed religionists throughout the world, and he does it with evidence and arguments that are historically and biblically informed. A riveting read that I RECOMMEND TO ALL.” Julia Scheeres author of Jesus Land.

“Your Medical Mind,” a kind of sequel to Groopman’s 2007 best seller, “How Doctors Think,” aims to empower patients to become active participants, indeed negotiators, in decisions about their health care. “The path to maintaining or regaining health is not the same for everyone,” Groopman and Hartzband write. “Medicine involves nuanced and personalized decision making by both the patient and the doctor.” I suspect insurance companies, H.M.O.’s and more than a few doctors are going to hate this book. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/09/books/review/your-medical-mind-by-jerome-groopman-and-pamela-hartzband-book-review.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=Groopman%20book&st=cse

October 17, 2011


Posted by John Cassidy

Read more http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/johncassidy/2011/10/top-ten-unlikely-occupy-wall-street-supporters.html#ixzz1b4iHnmNb


Changing Times

Jill Abramson takes charge of the Gray Lady.

by Ken Auletta

Read more http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/10/24/111024fa_fact_auletta#ixzz1b4iXqQwX

Financial Times,

Shannon Bond, Oct 18, 2011 US Producer Prices Rise Sharply, Rising oil costs main factor increasing prices. A 10% rise in the cost of vegetables accounted for 80% of an increase in food prices. Corn prices went up today. Auto sales are having a good year with lean inventories.

Jamil Anderlini in Beijing reports that growth has gone down to 9.1%. Further growth depends strongly on the world economy with inflationary increases of 6% down from about 10% cutting internal Chinese purchases. Of course government supported industries make up most of the firms that are doing well, but continued growth depends strongly on the world economy.

Rahul Jacob in Dongguan and Simon Rabinovitch in Beijing Small and Medium size companies that mentioned about a month ago still relies on loan sharks to build their business. About half are near bankruptcy. It is not known how many have gone this route, but it is estimated to be about 8 percent.

CFTC approves new caps on speculators, Gregory Meyer, Oct 18, 2011 Sweeping new caps on speculation in food, energy, and metals which limits the size of positions in futures and swaps will curb the ability of banks and investment funds ability to trade commodities although some loop holes may have been inserted due to Wall Street pressure.

S&P downgrades Italian debt.

Tom Braithwaite, Goldman Sachs Loss Questions Future, Stock went up sharply today.

Wall Street Occupation This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: It’s all about Occupy Wall Street, which Pulitzer Prize winner and guest David Cay Johnston says is unlike any movement he’s covered. Also: voices from Occupy L.A., Nomi Prins, Other People’s Money: The Corporate Mugging of America, 2004 (Correct date, formerly at Goldman Sachs), Scott Tucker and the NYPD arrests journalists.

Listen to the show:


CHART: Thanks To The 99 Percent Movement, Media Finally Covering Jobs Crisis And Marginalizing Deficit Hysteria

By Zaid Jilani on Oct 18, 2011 at 2:30 pm


Raucous protests across the country are refocusing media attention.

Part of the reason economic policymakers have failed to properly address the poor economy is because the nation’s news media has not properly covered the unemployment crisis. For example, at the beginning of August, when Washington, DC was debating the debt ceiling crisis, the national debt dominated the airwaves. While it was appropriate for the media then to be covering the deficit due to the debt ceiling debate at the time, there was a stunning lack of coverage of the jobs crisis. A ThinkProgress review of the media coverage of the last week of July found that the word “debt” was mentioned more than 7,000 times on MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News, and “unemployed” was only mentioned 75 times: http://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/unem.png

Richard Wrangham, Harvard Primatologist

Birth Defects from Monsanto Roundup Weed Killer for Home and GMO Corn, Soybean, Beet Sugar, Canola Oil, etc. Concerns about Monsanto's herbicide, Roundup, are at an all-time high. But according to a new report by Earth Open Source, one of the biggest concerns may be something that you're totally in the dark about, namely birth defects.

Research published last year shows that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, causes birth defects in frogs and chicken embryos at far lower levels than used in agricultural and garden applications.

The malformations primarily affected the:

Is the Brain Good at What It Does?


Published: October 14, 2011

The human brain gets a lot of press these days, but not all the publicity has been good. Its reviews are reminiscent of Barack Obama’s during the 2008 presidential campaign, when one side said he was a socialist Muslim foreigner and the other thought he was a savior from on high. To its detractors, the brain is a kludge, a hacked-up device beset with bugs, biases and self-­deceptions that undermine our decision making and well-being at every turn. To its admirers, it contains vast potential we can all unlock to improve our lives, thanks to “neural plasticity” that enables the adult nervous system to change in more dramatic ways than previously thought. Lately, a growing army of Chicken Littles retorts that this very plasticity has been hijacked by the Internet and other forms of technological crack that are rewiring our brains into a state of continual distraction and intellectual torpor. … http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/16/books/review/is-the-brain-good-at-what-it-does.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all


How the Brain’s Flaws Shape Our Lives

By Dean Buonomano

Illustrated. 310 pp. W. W. Norton & Company. $25.95.


How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn

By Cathy N. Davidson

342 pp. Viking. $27.95.


How Our Brains Make Fatty Foods, Orgasm, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity, Vodka, Learning, and Gambling Feel So Good

By David J. Linden

Illustrated. 230 pp. Viking. $26.95.


How Medicare Fails the Elderly


Published: October 15, 2011

Jane Gross is a former New York Times reporter and the author of “A Bittersweet Season: Caring for Our Aging Parents — and Ourselves.”

HERE is the dirty little secret of health care in America for the elderly, the one group we all assume has universal coverage thanks to the 1965 Medicare law: what Medicare paid for then is no longer what recipients need or want today. … http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/16/opinion/sunday/how-medicare-fails-the-elderly.html?pagewanted=all

Unconscious Racism at the University of California, Huffington Post, Bob Samuels, President University Council--AFT, March 9, 2010,

Currently, the University of California appears to be facing several unrelated problems that bring into focus the central issue facing all public universities: how can schools maintain access, affordability, and quality during a time of decreased public support. For many people inside and outside of higher education, the solution to this problem is to push states to increase their funding for higher education; however, this necessary correction is only part of the problem: universities need to not only campaign for more money, but they also have to show that they are using their funds in an effective and efficient manner. Moreover, public universities need to actively fight ethnic and racial conflicts that threaten to arise during times of economic downsizing. …

Racism in the Hidden Brain

In his book, The Hidden Brain, Shankar Vedantam reviews the latest studies of how racism works, and he documents some surprising findings. One of the more upsetting discoveries is that children as young as three-years-old will associate positive traits with white people and negative traits with black people regardless of the race of the child or the attitudes of the children's parents and teachers. As Vedantam stresses, these associations are learned through cultural experience and continue to exist in the unconscious of people even if these same individuals espouse tolerant and progressive stances on a conscious level. From this perspective, the only way to fight racism is to openly admit that we all harbor racist associations and that we need to become aware of our unconscious tendencies.

Another interesting finding that Vedantam analyzes is the notion that people equate blackness to crime and welfare on an unconscious level. In reviewing several psychological tests that are based on word and picture associations, we are confronted with the fact that even if politicians do not mention race when discussing crime and welfare, people draw associations between deviance and blackness in their hidden minds, and these associations often determine how people vote.

Racism and Pop Culture

While the election of Barack Obama might make us think that we have moved beyond these race-based prejudices, the recent events at the University of California, San Diego reveal how we cannot simply escape unconscious racism. For example, after a fraternity held a party dubbed the "Compton Cookout," which invited people to come dressed in stereotypical ghetto attire, the students who came up with this idea said that it was only a joke, and they meant no harm. Moreover, they added that they got their ideas from popular culture, and so they were only playing on stereotypes that black actors and rappers portray themselves.

As Vedantam's research shows, the first problem with these students' attempt to deny wrongdoing is that they fail to see how popular culture maintains and circulates racist stereotypes. In other words, from the perspective of the hidden, unconscious mind, there is no such thing as a joke, and, even if people do not consciously intend to offend, they are drawing from an unconscious reservoir of offensive associations. Here, we see how we cannot base personal responsibility solely on what people intend in a conscious way; rather, people must be held accountable for their unconscious associations.

Unconscious Racism

A week after the Compton Cookout created a stir, a noose was found in the main library at UCSD, and several events were held by the administration to address the growing sense of racial conflict. While these interventions were well intended, they failed to get to the root of the problem, which is how do we teach people not to act on their unconscious racist beliefs. This need for education was evident when the student who placed the noose in the library explained that she did not intend to do any harm, and she did not think about the racial significance of the noose.

Whether you accept or do not accept her explanation, it is important to examine how a university student could be unaware of the cultural association tying the noose to racism. On one level, we can blame her education, but on another level, we have to look at the fact that our stereotypes are both unconscious and social; in other words, we share a common language, but we don't even admit that this language exists. … http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-samuels/unconscious-racism-at-the_b_491817.html

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