Saturday Reads Around The Internets - Ideas For Sale

Welcome to the weekly roundup of great articles, facts and figures. These are the weekly finds that made our eyes pop.


Ideas for Sale

Did you know Charles Koch, the infamous founder of various think tanks who spew economic fiction daily in order to destroy the U.S. middle class and social safety nets, promised Friedrich Hayek U.S. social security benefits in order to visit the United States and craft policy to destroy social security?   We kid you not.   Dylan Ratigan covered the story in the below video clip:



The Study That Brought Rick Perry Down

We all know Rick Perry has dropped in the polls after his positions on foreign guest workers and illegal immigrants came to light. Read the Center for Immigration Studies report on Texas job growth which brought Perry down.

Of newly arrived immigrants who took jobs in Texas since 2007, we estimate that 50 percent (113,000) were illegal immigrants. Thus, about 40 percent of all the job growth in Texas since 2007 went to newly arrived illegal immigrants and 40 percent went to newly arrived legal immigrants.

While the conservative rags jumped on this report, more interesting, so did the left. Why is the Center for Immigration Studies research just fine and dandy when their results are bringing down a GOP candidate, but when CIS points out jobs are being taken by illegals nationwide, they are dismissed as a bunch of racist xenophobes. We've checked CIS's data and methods and so far, have not found an egregious error or assumption.


Illegals Flee Alabama

Who could forget CA representative Zoe Lofgren claiming illegals just didn't know they were committing ID theft, yet the day Alabama's draconian illegal immigration law goes into effect, illegals flee the state?

Hispanic students have started vanishing from Alabama public schools in the wake of a court ruling that upheld the state's tough new law cracking down on illegal immigration.

Education officials say scores of immigrant families have withdrawn their children from classes or kept them home this week, afraid that sending the kids to school would draw attention from authorities.


Insult to Injury, Banks suing Homeowners Who Were Foreclosed On

Lose your house, lose your credit, now banks are coming after you anyway:

Joseph Reilly lost his vacation home here last year when he was out of work and stopped paying his mortgage. The bank took the house and sold it. Mr. Reilly thought that was the end of it.

In June, he learned otherwise. A phone call informed him of a court judgment against him for $192,576.71.

It turned out that at a foreclosure sale, his former house fetched less than a quarter of what Mr. Reilly owed on it. His bank sued him for the rest.


More Firing of Whistle Blowers

Isn't this just the new corporate way, say anything about anything and lose your job? This one is about Countrywide (acquired by BoA.

The investigators were able to uncover what they believed was evidence that branch employees had used scissors, tape and Wite-Out to create fake bank statements, inflated property appraisals and other phony paperwork. Inside the heaps of paper, for example, they found mock-ups that indicated to investigators that workers had, as a matter of routine, literally cut and pasted the address for one home onto an appraisal for a completely different piece of property.


Karl Marx Was Right

Ah, the mere mention of Karl Marx usually throws conservatives into a tizzy like a Pavlovian dog. Let's see what the bell rings up with this one:

Karl Marx may have been wrong about communism but he was right about much of capitalism.


Dr. Doom Has Been Usurped

Everyone is talking about the ECRI double dip recession assessment. The analysis is so bleak they have usurped Nouriel Roubini as Dr. Doom.


If the United States continues to allow jobs to be offshore outsourced, doesn't confront China on currency manipulation, doesn't enact a direct jobs program and a host of other issues, the analysis maybe true. Yes folks, after a while, destruction of the middle classes will bring down a national economy.


More Food Stamp Factoids

The Wall Street Journal has some more statistics on food stamps. This one I found most interesting:

Just 6.7% of households who received food stamps were getting jobless benefits

Here are some posts on food stamps and poverty. Remember, behind every number is a human being.


Glimmer of Hope on Stopping Bad Trade Deals

The Hill is reporting both Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid don't want more bad trade deals:

Reid has vowed to vote against all three deals when they arrive on the Senate floor, possibly as early as next month.

"I am not a big fan of free-trade agreements," Reid said on the Senate floor in June. "My voting record is in accordance with that."

Don't hold your breath (although write your representatives). The fact these bad trade deals are being brought to the floor at all for a vote says everything. Reid, as Senate Majority Leader could block them from even coming up to the Senate floor.



AFL-CIO asking people to write their representatives, stop FTAs

The AFL-CIO as well as many other groups are asking people to FAX, call their representatives to stop the Panama, Columbia and South Korea trade deals. We've written volumes on how these will lose jobs, are based on NAFTA style agreements and Panama, is just beyond belief in terms of putting tax havens legally out of reach.

Good idea,

as soon as we get some representatives that just might work.


gotta try anyway, look at the Wall Street Protests

The Wall Street Protests are hitting nationwide. It helps to get over 700 people arrested trying to take the Brooklyn Bridge. To me there is no clear message, i.e. these are the solutions we want right now, very specific, but regardless, people are desperate, broke and most of the screw jobs has been inflicted by corporations running the United States (into the ground), Banksters and so on.

I'm more surprised why it has taken this long for people to hit the streets and have wondered why the U.S. isn't more like Greece, with social unrest, chaos.

That's the plan by these people, to do an Egypt. Can't argue, while we're getting shafted and screwed at every our supposed representatives, the press and government cover Egypt like it's this great thing, Democracy in action, meanwhile we have the same failed banks writing legislation, getting whatever they want and G.E. literally in the White House and more bad trade agreements which have been analyzed already to show they will lose U.S. jobs in droves.

So, bottom line, you've got to try something, even if you know your FAX goes into the trash.

There are some issues where Congress doees seem to at least pause and that is when the protests shut down the Congressional phone and fax system and crash their servers.

Pause, true, they just go ahead and vote in crap that no one wants anyway, but it does at least cause a pause.

"crash their servers"

Anonymous claims to support the protests - and if they actually do they need to start using their talents to help out. Publish encrypted emails from congressional "representatives," executives at the big banks, and anyone in between that sheds light on unethical collaborations. DoS attacks could help, directed toward appropriate systems (disrupting derivatives trading could be a start). I've long wished that hacker networks would do something worthwhile for once.

no no no, do not promote DDoS please

That's not only probably against the law, frankly it's really irritating to tech people to suggest something like that.

You want to be able to communicate to your representatives. Crashing servers disables that ability and is also a huge pain, waste of money.

Hackers could basically make sure information that corporations want to keep secret, such as how many jobs they created offshore and how many Americans they fired each month and moved projects offshore...

now *that* would be useful information and frankly since corporations are publicly traded, I don't see how they are allowed to keep that information secret, but they do.

Come on now

I was trying to advocate the exposition of political corruption rather than destroying constituents' mechanisms of communication with their representatives. As for DDoS, I still feel that it has its place, though I'm not promoting the Sony type BS by any means. I'm admittedly no expert, but there's power in those attacks that can be deployed effectively and, if appropriately considered, I believe towards a positive end. No specific admonitions, only musings, naive and irritating as they may be to tech people.


But this site makes a point to not advocate anything illegal, malicious, criminal or violent. Primarily EP is a news source and news with opinion site. You know who loves dDoS? China. dDoS is the type of technique that amounts to cyberwar. I imagine, someday, it would be classified as an act of violence, similar to walking into a power plant and destroying transformers, cutting wires and shorting out generators.

You are saying it, it's a basic weapon and that's very true. I think people using social media and organizing Occupy Wall Street have the right idea here, non-violent protest is the way to go to push for change.

This site was started out of frustration few understood, paid attention to, economics for main street, so I hear the frustration and anger than nothing changes here.

It's even more frustrating when "war", aka cyberwar is under the purview of governments yet we have government that pretty much doesn't represent us economically assuredly.

speaking of anonymous hacking, this one is too good!

OMG, the group of hackers, known as anonymous, just went and exposed a Chinese AG company of fraud, lying to investors. I kid you not.

Business Insider has all of the links to their findings.

Now, exposure of corporations who are publicly traded yet are lying, bribing, manipulating, well, who can argue against a group exposing what should be in the public domain anyway.

For example, corporations refuse to reveal how many jobs they offshore outsourced, how many firings of Americans, how many firings of older Americans, and how many jobs they just created in India and China.

In other words, they hide their global labor arbitrage like it is Fort Knox Gold.

Getting real statistics out of China is not easy either.

Maybe this is what you are referring to, but this isn't dDoS, this is hacking for information and exposure sake. i.e. breaking through servers, firewalls, hunting for data, memos and internal accounting records.

(if that's how they obtained this info).

Fires of the Arab Spring will come to these shores

There are reasons to believe the Arab Spring hits these shores. We went through the drill 4 years back
to show why social revolution was coming. The reasons
- Viral nature of internet (once called Treason of the Intellectuals)
- Military Misadventures of the Empire
- Enduring Economic Crisis
- Failure of reform Movements
- Spark or the Symbolic incident

We are familiar with the spark incidents in the Arab Spring. In the past 400 hundred years of social revolution, the list includes, the Winter Palace, Bastille, Lexington-Concorde, the massacre of the Protestants by Charles II.

We have textbook failure of reform in the case of Obama and the Dems. Failures by great reformers have
include Kerinsky (Moscow 1917), Neccar (Paris 1789), William Pitt (London 1775), and the non-Puritan
Protestants of 1640s. Failed reform in the midst of a great crisis like this one is a very big deal. One happy ending was King Christian V of Denmark, who created Danish democracy in 1848.

The Storm is coming.

Burton Leed