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  • alabama commented on the blog post The Chambermaid’s Revenge: IMF Hacked

    2011-06-11 14:51:53View | Delete

    Why would we need “an entity sponsoring the hackers”? If the hackers are Greek, Portugese, Spanish or Irish, they’d have a lot to gain from publicizing the darker dealings of the Germans and such. And come to think of it, the German people themselves have a lot to gain from any daylight shed on the dealings of Deutsche Bank. This is a class war, and anyone being battered by the banks–in other words almost everyone–would benefit from any daylight whatsoever.

    This could well prefigure some European equivalent of the Arab spring. I think it can only embarrass the bad guys; I see no downside for the good guys here.

  • This, then, is what’s meant by the term “pump and dump” (I had a less exact understanding of the term, and I’m happy to have it corrected): the “success” of the offering is “over”, and those who bought into that offering learn, through the trial of its drop in value (thanks to the opportunistic sacrifice of “long term strength”), the error of their ways. The “success” of the stock is “short-term” because it doesn’t reflect the “long-term strength”, if any, of operation it funds (only its “long-term weakness”, so to speak). And, of course, we have prophetic insight into the inevitability of this, because we have diligently analyzed the intrinsic weakness of the thing offered.

    What’s happening here? We take a term (“pump and dump”) conventionally applied to a quick and dirty operation, and apply it to a “long-term” investment that may hold its value in the marketplace long enough to encourage a second, later offering. According to this logic, selling stock in Apple Computers would be a “pump and dump”. Is this what you mean? One could say, with a touch of good humor, that you’re engaging in a rhetorical “pump and dump”–in which the term itself loses its “terminological value” of descriminatory precision). Or is a rhetorical “bait and switch”?

    Of course I’m just kidding: there’s this thing called “evil”, and this other thing called “investment banking”, and the one is the instance of the other.

  • I take this to mean that yes, the IPO is a “pump-and-dump”, misleadingly oversold to its buyers, now stuck with a thing of far less value than they were lead to believe when they bought it, and that any success befalling GM’s next public offering will serve to prove the investor’s incompetence and/or negligence… This matters to me, because my pension fund is likely to invest in that offering, and there’s no escaping the damage that awaits me…

  • Would you still have us understand that the IPO is a “pump and dump”?

  • alabama commented on the blog post Marc Thiessen, You Are My Piñata

    2011-05-10 01:26:14View | Delete

    …a look AT …

  • alabama commented on the blog post Marc Thiessen, You Are My Piñata

    2011-05-10 01:25:17View | Delete

    And if you think the typos are bad, you should take a look my handwriting…

  • alabama commented on the blog post Marc Thiessen, You Are My Piñata

    2011-05-10 01:07:52View | Delete

    Good point, ottogrendel, but trusting “those in charge” of exactly what? The WaPo always tells us to trust someone or other in power, and this is not an incoherence on their part (certainly not a surprise). But the WaPo’s editors also expect our trust in their editorial judgment–always arguing, as in the first case, “from authority”. This is also hardly a surprise, but always a fragile move, since editorial credibility rests, if not on a positive image of clarity, on a negative image of seeming not to be clueless (no one can prove a negative).

    If the WaPo editors were really to want credibility, they would fire the hapless Thiessen right away, ordering up another, clear-headed, flack from the Hoover Institute. Since this surely won’t occur, I’ll have to assume at least one of the following points:

    (1.) that no such replacement can be found;

    (2.) that the editors themselves too are incoherent to understand the problem, even when pointed out;

    (3.) that the WaPo simply cannot afford to pay a fitter replacement;

    (4.) that Thiessen services the ownership of WaPo in other, indispensable ways…. And since I cannot yet believe the first three points, I’ll have to go with the fourth (Wonkette could be helpful here).

    It’s a confusion of categories are their part: we “expect the double-talk from the politicians, and clear interpretations, true or false, from the media). Woodward, for one, surely knows this, and I look forward someday to reading a racy best-seller entitled All The Publisher’s Men .

  • alabama commented on the blog post Marc Thiessen, You Are My Piñata

    2011-05-09 13:37:33View | Delete

    I just tried to read–tried to follow, to make sense of–Thiessen’s account of things and his argument (at WaPo). I tried three times and I failed. This is bizarre, because everything posted on this thread is perfectly clear… So how can anyone come up with a clear take on an incoherent, illiterate piece of writing? Infrared goggles, maybe?

  • alabama commented on the blog post Condi Claims US Was at War When She Ignored August 6, 2001 PDB

    2011-05-09 10:25:36View | Delete

    Revisionist history is exactly what it is, MadDog. The Bush people know that the victor writes the history… They also know that Obama has a way of making the Bush regime look like losers, and, to make things worse, the man actually wins a few things that got away… We might start to look funny and old, what with that tornado tour and that birth certificate thing… And where in the hell is the press? Why do they have to be reminded of better days? Loyal lapdogs all from 2001 to 2009, how far will they let him take this amnesia thing (his revisionist history)? They laugh when he beats up on Trump! They just sit there, watching him swing from “Obama-the-wimp” to “Obama-the bad”.

    It’s not much fun, fighting a propaganda machine in the hands of a clever usurper…And what’s with this torture thing? Can’t they see that Obama gets his kicks from torturing us, who gave up a decade of our lives to bask in immortality?

  • If questions concerning “Bush” and “torture” are posed directly and clearly, they can be answered directly and clearly. If the day ever comes when they are, they can only lead to questions of Bush’s “agency”–what acts he took in his own name and when he did so.

    There’s nothing wrong with Gonzo’s command of English, and he knows the law very well. He was close to Bush when torture was taking place, and so he also knows the answers to the kinds of questions mentioned above. He could, if he chose, furnish a direct and clear reply that would count as an informative response. And if Gonzo could do it, twenty or thirty others could surely do the same.

    What I mean is this: no one, not even Gonzo, takes enough pride in Bush’s actions to speak to the matter at all. It’s a dirty secret that they all have to live with. They have to keep it secret, which means that they can’t talk about it or write about it, even amongst themselves. This is a whole other area of torture, of self-torture–living with an endless command from Bush that other shall lie on his behalf about the actions he took (dthey being weak enough to comply, and maybe to find it thrilling at the time). They are doomed, everyone, to an apparently endless regime of paralytic shame, their very own (high-end) Guantanamo Bay.

    Someone will break. But who will break, and when (or can they, perhaps, protect themselves by emulating those of their victims who didn’t break)? I look on, from time to time, with curiosity tempered by patience. Or humor. My inner torturer leers.

  • alabama commented on the blog post GM Squanders What Tax Payers Gave It

    2011-03-23 11:17:53View | Delete

    Good question. I mean, if this were a pump and dump, would the stock be selling at $31 at this late date? And might we not suppose that the world’s largest IPO has been studied with some care by the big spenders out there?…

  • alabama commented on the blog post GM Squanders What Tax Payers Gave It

    2011-03-23 09:09:11View | Delete

    If you applaud the IPO, then why not applaud Daniel Ammann? I mean, didn’t he put the deal together, along with some colleagues at Morgan Stanley?

  • Life is unfair, lysias: support apartheid, and you’re denounced as a racist; oppose the settlements on the West Bank, and you’re denounced as an anti-semite. Israeli racism, unlike South African racism, is a taboo that cannot be addressed or amended, and hence the despair of my Israeli friends, as mentioned above.

  • Boxturtle, I know at least a few Israelis who’d say that their country can’t do it any other way–that it lost its vision and imagination several decades ago. Surprises happen in places like Tunisia, not Israel.

  • Is this really a matter of “intelligence”? Are there any secrets to be learned? All protest movements are always infiltrated, we know this for sure. And we also know that when something really happens, the intelligence people will be the last to know. Because it happens without warning, and these folks can’t think without being “warned” ahead of time (in other words they can’t think).

    Consider Mohamad Bouazizi, a man well enough known to the local police, and for no particular reason (finally, the police know everyone). He was not an interesting person, and certainly not a secret; least of all was he a threat to any regime. Then came the moment when he’d had enough and set himself on fire. Suddenly the whole Arab world was on the march. No one expected this. Notwithstanding the trillions of dollars spent on “intelligence” over the decades, no one foresaw this development (and certainly no one noticed the spark that set it off in the first place).

    No, this intelligence thing is a matter of employment, of paying salaries for folks who can’t farm, fix cars, or do other useful things.

  • alabama commented on the blog post Rummy Lawyers Up … To Defend Ordering Death Threats?

    2011-02-28 01:19:51View | Delete

    Can the principle “unity of command” tie Rumsfeld to the torture chain, and if it can, why not Bush as well?

    I get the feeling that Bush himself is never out of the woods–not in the USA….Am I missing something?

  • alabama commented on the blog post Rummy Lawyers Up … To Defend Ordering Death Threats?

    2011-02-24 09:27:33View | Delete

    Thanks for this!

    I infer that Rummy and some others failed to provide the background establishing that they were talking about legal process….

    I like to believe that there have always been, within every branch of the executive, law-abiding citizens who fight back, and fight well. In the worst of times. As with the long, slow, unwinding of the Plame affair, a work of art accomplished by bureaucrats working under the radar, in concert, over a period of years. They outwitted the lawless, something we learn to admire (and dream about) by reading Hamlet. It certainly does take time: “the readiness is all”.

    Bush tells us that he’s left politics. He’s like an SS officer retiring to a ranch in Paraguay.

  • alabama commented on the blog post Rummy Lawyers Up … To Defend Ordering Death Threats?

    2011-02-24 04:30:21View | Delete

    Rich thread. I want to go back to the top.

    If I am an “court-officer” (any judge, lawyer, policeman of any court, any jurisdiction); if I merely threaten a given suspect (detainee, indictee), with an act of punishment specifically described by the penal code and reserved (as a sentence) for the court itself to pronounce in consequence of a verdict; if I (an official of the system) pronounce this threat on my own, quite apart from the processes entailed by the particular code, and promise to carry it out as a result of a verdict (my own: “I know you’re guilty and I’m going to kill you”), then I’m doing a singular thing: I’m not just “taking the law into my own hands,” I am, as an officer of the law, taking the law out of the hands of the law, and in the name of the law. I am robbing the law of the law, the tools of my theft (“trial”, “verdict”, “sentence”, “execution”, all enacted in the torture cell), being those reserved for me and my fellow “court-officers” within the prescriptions of the code.

    This happens all the time, and everywhere, of course, but when does it ever find itself being brought as a complaint, as an action, by the court itself, before the court itself, with the court having to repossess itself of its own jurisdiction through its own legal proceeding?

    I’m not a lawyer, and none of this may pertain, but if it does, then Rummy has to be tried, no matter how little the authorities wish to try him. He has to be brought to account, because he has put all of “justice” “out of business” in this case–DOJ included–and if DOJ can go out of business here, when could it ever really claim to be in business?

  • alabama commented on the blog post Rummy Lawyers Up … To Defend Ordering Death Threats?

    2011-02-23 00:47:14View | Delete

    This must be one of those rare moments where a profession–here, the legal profession–has to “profess” (“proffer”? “pronounce”?) its fundamental rule in order to survive.

    It would seem that death, any death, at the hands of the law, any law, can only be be pronounced and executed “legally” after a trial, any trial (with the trial itself bearing the threat of death). Apparently it’s okay to threaten and even inflict extreme discomfort before a trial, but you still have to let the legal code threaten the act of death itself. Were the DOJ not to acknowledge this point, it would, in a logical or “notional” sense, literally cease to exist. It would be committing institutional suicide.

  • alabama commented on the blog post $9 Million Per Sort-Of-Kind-Of Important Drone Strike

    2011-02-21 14:37:02View | Delete

    I wonder who builds those things–the parts of those things?–and where…. Factories in all fifty states? Any foreign outsourcing?

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