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Link 7/30/13

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India Recognizes Dolphins as Non-Human Persons warp9, Firedoglake

Alzheimer’s blood test edges closer BBC

Scientists Seek to Rein In Diagnoses of Cancer New York Times

Finding Better Doctors by Tracking Prescribing Habits Patient Safety Blog

Apple investigates new claims of China factory staff mistreatment Guardian

What Happens When the Oil Runs Out? OilPrice

European Parliamentarians Call for Bradley Manning’s Freedom (David Swanson)

Manning verdict expected Tuesday Guardian

Japan suffers industrial output drop Financial Times

Serco: the company that is running Britain Guardian

Personality cult built around Egypt’s top general Associated Press

BANK OF CYPRUS DEPOSITORS LOSE 47.5 PCT OF SAVINGS Associated Press (martha r)

Jenkins on Barclays’ need for £12.8bn Robert Peston, BBC. Peston: “…the Prudential Regulation Authority is actually saying that the bank had been somewhat reckless?”

Big Brother is Watching You Watch:

My Life in Circles: Why Metadata is Incredibly Intimate ACLU (Deontos)

Feds Say It’s Classified Info To Say Who We’re At War With TechDirt (martha r)

Major opinion shifts, in the US and Congress, on NSA surveillance and privacy Glenn Greenwald

More on NSA surveillance programs to be declassified CNN (Deontos)

An Obamacare scorecard Columbia Journalism Review

Balko Stands His Ground Mark Ames, Yasha Levine NSFW

MOTOWN DOWN John Cassidy, New Yorker

Exclusive: GOP donor’s school grade changed Associated Press (martha r). Lambert: “Charters = Corruption. Film at 11.”

The Congressman Formerly Known as Crazy Slate. I managed to miss this….

Michael Hastings Crash Caught On Surveillance Camera – New Footage YouTube (Deontos)

BP warns Gulf spill costs will exceed $42.4bn Telegraph

U.S. Higher Education Enrollments, Falling Behind Mark Thoma

Mortgage Company Sued for Giving Bonuses to Employees who Steered Homeowners to Bad Deals AllGov (martha r)

Bank Revenues Surge on Trading Over What Fed Will Do Bloomberg

The Increasing Leverage of Daniel Tarullo American Banker (ALS)

Woman Awarded $18 Million In Credit Report Case Against Equifax digtriad. I love this result….but wait to see what happens on appeal. If it isn’t overturned and she’s left with upper six figures or more, this will lead to big and badly needed changes at the credit reporting agencies.

Colorado attorney turned whistle-blower alleges foreclosure abuses Denver Post (Harry Shearer). This confirms what this blog and others on the foreclosure beat have been saying for some time, and was confirmed by the Bank of America whistleblowers. But as much as the confirmation is useful, this all has a “too little, too late” feel to it in terms of practical outcomes.

Why Tom Friedman Is the Ayn Rand of Our Times Alternet

How we became what we are today. See some dark origins of the New America and The secret, simple tool that persuades Americans. That molds our opinions. Fabius Maximum (Chuck L)

FED STUDY: We Conservatively Estimate That The Financial Crisis Cost Us Up To $14 Trillion Clusterstock. Andrew Haldane did a back of the envelope calculation a few years ago, assuming output losses were permanent, and the low end of his range was 1x global GDP. This is a US only look, so Haldane is looking more and more right with every day. And the implication was that given the costs of these losses, there was no way you could tax banks enough to recoup the damage. You’d need to prohibit them from engaging in dangerous activities.

The Logical (and Coming) End to the US Empire Counterpunch (Chuck L). Be sure to read the para that starts, “Regarding the scarcity of resources issue”

Antidote du jour:

cute-piglet

And a bonus dog video (martha r)

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107 comments

  1. squasha

    How We Become What We Are Today; The Secret, Simple Tool That Persuades

    some seriously crap writing. Another bit of evidence that Godwin’s Law is actually a feature of a rhetorical firewall designed to preclude any lucid contemplation of fascism. Not unlike the game the cranky Right is currently playing with the word racism.

    1. David Lentini

      Agreed. Both pieces were really shallow. The problem is that Modernism, the intellectual and social culture that began in the mid-19th Centry, eliminated metaphysical thinking in favor of the sort of positivist-materialist philospophies that continue today and which are embodied in modern economics. In short, Modernism has led us to societies based on power, not justice. Nazi Germany was just one example of Modernist political and social organization, as were Fascist Spain and Italy.

      The US (and the UK) are heading down this road too, but in our own way. FM’s specious comparsions thus explain nothing. We aren’t becoming Nazis because we adapated technologies and infrastructure built by the Nazis. Sorry, FM, the Romans had great roads too; and appropriating technology doesn’t change your government. Oh, and you should read the history of the Swastika, the Nazi’s use of that symbol had nothing to do with American Indians.

      We’re becoming fascist, because we have abandoned the ideas that human life has an intrinsic value, that human actions have higher purposes than simply satiating our desires. These are the tenets of the Enlighentment, which was abandoned around 1800. No, we’re a thoroughly Modernist society now.

      1. diptherio

        The first article was not impressive, imo, but the second one is worth a read.

        For the record, the Swastika has been used all over the world, by many people, but the name itself is Sanskrit and it means, literally, health-mark (i.e. a good-luck sign). It is often associated with the Goddess Lakshmi. My first time in Nepal I was shocked to see painted on a temple wall, side by side, a six-pointed “star of David” and a swastika. My guide explained to me that they are both traditional Hindu symbols.

        1. Antifa

          The use of the svastika symbol as a mark of good fortune in Indian culture dates back 4500 years to the Harappan culture along the Indus river valley. It’s use spread to Buddhism when it arose, and thence to China and Japan. It’s found on American Indian artifacts and in ancient Mesopotamia as well.

          Note that the svastika’s arms turn to the right — clockwise.

          It’s opposite is the sausvatika, which has arms that turn to the left — counter-clockwise. It is considered, accordingly, a mark of ill fortune in Indian culture, and is particularly associated with the cult of Kali, the Destroyer Goddess, and with practices of Tantra and black magic.

          There is a more profound way to view the svastika in Hindu thought — as a two-sided object. If you lay a svastika and a sausvatika on top of each other, you have a combination symbol that spins in both directions, symbolizing the natural duality of nature and of all existence, creation and destruction working together at every instant to keep nature turning over in its eternal dance of death and birth.

          What goes up comes down. What goes around simultaneously comes around. Nobody gets to live under the rule of just the svastika alone, no matter how much we wish, pray or work magic to bring only positive things to pass.

          Life is a matter of coming and going at every moment.

      2. from Mexico

        • David Lentini said:

        The problem is that Modernism, the intellectual and social culture that began in the mid-19th Centry, eliminated metaphysical thinking in favor of the sort of positivist-materialist philospophies that continue today and which are embodied in modern economics.

        In rebuttal, I would invoke Stephen Toulmin, who in Cosmopolis: The Hidden Agenda of Modernity, stated that

        But, whatever else is or is not clear, the Modernity around which controversy rages today clearly started long before 1890. (emphasis his)

        [....]

        If the central topics of the debate about Modernity are the political claims of the modern nation-state, so that the end of Modernity is linked with the eclipse of national sovereignty, we must look for the beginning of that era in the 16th and 17th centuries. On this measure, the modern era began with the creation of separate, independent sovereign states, each of them organized around a particular nation, with its own language and culture, maintaining a government that was legitimated as expressing the national will, or national traditions, or interests… Before the mid-16th century, the organization of states around nations was the exception, not the rule: before 1550, the general foundation of political obligation was still feudal fealty, not national loyalty. In this sense, the starting date for Modernity belongs where many historians already put it: somewhere in the period from 1600 to 1650.

        • David Lentini said:

        We’re becoming fascist, because we have abandoned the ideas that human life has an intrinsic value, that human actions have higher purposes than simply satiating our desires. These are the tenets of the Enlightenment, which was abandoned around 1800. No, we’re a thoroughly Modernist society now.

        In rebuttal, I would invoke John Gray, who in Al Qaeda and What It Means to Be Modern wrote:

        The intellectual roots of radical Islam are in the European Counter-Enlightenment. In this current of thought, which began to take shape in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the rational skepticism of Enlightenment thinkers such as David Hume led to rejection of reason itself. J.G. Hamman rejected rational inquiry in favour of religious revelation. Kierkegaard defended religious faith in terms of subjective experience. J.G. Herder rejected the Enlightenment ideal of a universal civilization, believing there are many cultures, each in some ways unique. Later in the nineteenth century, thinkers such as Fichte and Nietzsche glorified will over reason….

        The Romantic belief that the world can be reshaped by an act of will is as much a part of the modern world as the Enlightenment ideal of a universal civilization based on reason. The one arose as a reaction against the other. Both are myths.

        1. David Lentini

          Well, Mexico, if Stephen Tolumin and John Gray wrote it, then it must be true. ;-)

          Just because Tolumin links “modernity” with the rise of the nation-state, doesn’t make it synonymous with the cultural movement called Modernism. I think these are two separate questions.

          Peter Gay, in his book about the cultural history of Modernism (Modernism) makes a strong argument that the modernist movement began with Baudelaire in the mid-19th Century and the assault on the traditional Anglo-European cultural strictures of Christianity and the rise of individualism.

          Eventually the move away from traditional notions of morality led to the rise of fascism as personalities merged with the definition of the state as part of the romanticism of the übermensch.

          I don’t see how Gray’s point is relevant to my argument, nor do I accept that radical Islamists are devotees of Hume, Kirekegaard, and Hamman[n]. Rather I think Gray has fallen into the trap of making associations based on the most generalized characterizations of different people and events. Just because radical Islamists reject rationalism, doesn’t make them students of Hume or any other Enlightenment European thinker.

          And Gray’s conclusion:

          The Romantic belief that the world can be reshaped by an act of will is as much a part of the modern world as the Enlightenment ideal of a universal civilization based on reason. The one arose as a reaction against the other. Both are myths.

          Refers to the two views of the world shaped by the will and the world shaped by reason as both myths. But neither of these was my point. In fact, the world shaped by reason is not part of the Enlightenment. As Bertrand Russell argued, the idea of a world shaped by rational thought was key to Marx’s ideas, and Marx was not part of the Enlightenment.

          Rather, as Gay describes and as you can see if you read the “Jefferson Bible”, the Enlighenment sought to retain the central ethical values of humanity found in Christianity while purging the myth and superstition. You and Gray seem to forget that the Enlightenment thinkers generally approved of the idea of Natural Law as a basis for ethical behavior and cultural standards of action between persons. This is a far cry from the romantic and rational schools that rely on positivism and materialism.

          1. from Mexico

            David Lentini said:

            In fact, the world shaped by reason is not part of the Enlightenment. As Bertrand Russell argued, the idea of a world shaped by rational thought was key to Marx’s ideas, and Marx was not part of the Enlightenment.

            Well that’s certainly a new one on me:

            The Age of Enlightenment (or simply the Enlightenment or Age of Reason) was a cultural movement of intellectuals in the 17th and 18th centuries, which began first in Europe and later in the American colonies. Its purpose was to reform society using reason, challenge ideas grounded in tradition and faith, and advance knowledge through the scientific method. It promoted scientific thought, skepticism and intellectual interchange and opposed superstition,[1] intolerance and some abuses of power by the church and the state. The ideas of the Enlightenment have had a major impact on the culture, politics, and governments of the Western world.

            Originating about 1650 to 1700, it was sparked by philosophers Baruch Spinoza (1632–1677), John Locke (1632–1704), Pierre Bayle (1647–1706), Voltaire (1694–1778) and physicist Isaac Newton (1643–1727).[2] Ruling princes often endorsed and fostered figures and even attempted to apply their ideas of government in what was known as enlightened absolutism. The Scientific Revolution is closely tied to the Enlightenment, as its discoveries overturned many traditional concepts and introduced new perspectives on nature and man’s place within it. The Enlightenment flourished until about 1790–1800, after which the emphasis on reason gave way to Romanticism’s emphasis on emotion, and a Counter-Enlightenment gained force.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Enlightenment

            And John Gray certainly has not “fallen into the trap of making associations based on the most generalized characterizations of different people and events.” If one reads Gray’s book, he recounts the history of how Modernism came to inform radical Islamic ideology.

            Radical Islamic ideology has a Western pedigree, not a traditional Islamic one.

      3. Fabius Maximus

        David L:

        I often wonder if people read the post before writing rebuttals.

        “The US (and the UK) are heading down this road too, but in our own way. FM’s specious comparsions thus explain nothing. We aren’t becoming Nazis because we adapated technologies and infrastructure built by the Nazis.”

        This is missing the point in a big way. Those were examples showing the Godwin’s Law is too broad as a normative law. Showing NAZI influences in these things should be acceptable.

        ” Sorry, FM, the Romans had great roads too”

        And your point is what?

        ” appropriating technology doesn’t change your government.”

        Did someone say it did?

        “Oh, and you should read the history of the Swastika, the Nazi’s use of that symbol had nothing to do with”

        I said the NAZIs poisoned use of the swastika, not that invented it.

        These comments are by intelligent, well-educated people. So why these gross reading FAILS. My guess is that they show the emotional rejection of a painful insight. That’s why we have Godwin’s Law, after all.

      4. Fabius Maximus

        David Lentini,

        Great point:

        “In short, Modernism has led us to societies based on power, not justice. Nazi Germany was just one example of Modernist political and social organization, as were Fascist Spain and Italy.”

        I looked for origins in the past (“The NAZIs didn’t emerge from a crack in the Earth; they evolved from the main current of western philosophy.”) , going back to Nietzsche. You’ve gone deeper.

    2. from Mexico

      @ squasha

      Am I misisng something here?

      Even though I completley agree with your assertions that “Godwin’s Law is actually a feature of a rhetorical firewall designed to preclude any lucid contemplation of fascism” and that this is “Not unlike the game the cranky Right [and to that I would very much add the cranky Left] is currently playing with the word racism,” when Fabius Maximus asserts that “most discussions of America should touch on NAZI Germany” (emphasis his) isn’t he saying the same thing you are?

      1. Tim Mason

        While it may be useful to draw attention to the similarities in policies between the Nazi government in Germany and policies in the USA (and elsewhere), the author of the blog falls into the trap of seeing the German régime as the originator of a number of tactics and strategies that were items in a far more generally available tool box. Take strategic bombing of civilian targets; as Sven Lindqvist’s admirable little book, ‘A History of Bombing’, makes clear, this was by no means a Nazi invention. He talks about it here : http://www.lse.ac.uk/newsAndMedia/videoAndAudio/channels/publicLecturesAndEvents/player.aspx?id=1245
        It is arguable that the real innovation of the Nazis was to use techniques developed on non-European populations upon their own people. Even that, however, might be debated: European govts throughout the 19thC showed themselves to be fully capable of unleashing considerable targeted violence on their ‘internal enemies’.

        As to road building – this was but an extension of Haussmann’s work on Paris. See David Harvey for an account.

        1. Fabius Maximus

          Tim Mason,

          “the author of the blog falls into the trap of seeing the German régime as the originator of a number of tactics and strategies that were items in a far more generally available tool box. Take strategic bombing…”

          The post does not say the NAZIs were “originators” of anything. For example, it says they were “pioneers” of strategic bombing. A pioneer is not necessarily the first, in terms of invention or exploration. Lots of people were “pioneers” of aviation, not just the Wright brothers.

          1. Tim Mason

            Let us leave aside for the moment the question of whether the use of air power to bomb civilians represents much of an innovation or not: terrorizing “civilians” is as old as war itself, and the bomb is of ancient vintage. Using airplanes, rather than some other platform, to do it began almost as soon as the new technology was available, and if you want to find pioneers, then you can look to Britain, Italy, and the USA, who were all keen to get in on the game, and did so. To single out the Nazis, as you did, is convenient, and encourages the national amnesias that it should be the task of the social scientist to challenge. The USA and the UK did not pick up techniques from the Nazis: they were in on their development from the get-go, and were far more thorough in their implementation – Dresden & Hamburg, the Japanese cities ( http://www.theatlanticcities.com/politics/2012/05/mapping-urbicide-world-war-ii/2121/ ). Have a look at Lindqvist, or read Derek Gregory’s site ( http://geographicalimaginations.com/?s=bombing ).

            The Nazi state may conceivably be seen as a rather unusually knobbly piece in the general historical jigsaw of European polities, but it is fully a part of that jigsaw, and if we want to understand it, and to understand our own states, then it should not be treated as an exception. From concentration camps, through public works, to the use of flashy logos, it partakes of the history and sociology of the modern state.

            (BTW, I owe a great debt of gratitude to whoever it was that linked to Gregory’s site, which is rich and insightful.

            1. Fabius Maximus

              Tim Mason,

              You are of course correct that there were antecedents to the German’s use of strategic bombing. This rebuttal is ubiquitous in discussions of history, since almost nothing — in fact, perhaps nothing — is “new” from a broad perspective.

              But when taken to such an extreme history becomes a vanilla pudding from which we can draw no conclusions.

              “The Nazi state may conceivably be seen as a rather unusually knobbly piece in the general historical jigsaw of European polities, but it is fully a part of that jigsaw”

              I believe I said something similar: “The NAZIs didn’t emerge from a crack in the Earth; they evolved from the main current of western philosophy.”

              As for your point that the US did not follow the NAZI’s in strategic bombing: the Atlantic article you cite does not support that (in fact, US doctrine condemned strategic bombing as wrong, even criminal until roughly Dec 1941):

              “Shortly after the attacks on Pearl Harbor, the American military mobilized several units of mapmakers that ultimately played a central role in the planning of air assaults on Japanese cities.”

      2. squasha

        Salutations! Now I’m the cranky one since I’ve now slogged through that thing twice.

        He does argue as you say that discussions of America should touch on Nazi Germany, and then goes on to do just that, touch on a bulleted list of features, some of them superficial, some spurious or at the very least performing embarrassingly great leaps of logic.

        By all means, fascism, genocide & totalitarianism ought to be contemplated & discussed, hard questions ought to be asked.

        I don’t think it’s a crap article because I disagree with his general premise, rather I think it’s a crap article because it’s poorly thought out and focuses too much on trivia, and this is unsurprising given at least a decade of what I would argue is an intentional erasure of the meaning of fascism via repetition and hyperbolic misallocation.

        You’ve obviously given the matter serious thought and deep study, would you say the highway system, Hugo Boss or the swastika are the important bits? Perhaps Arendt should have written a follow-up tract: The Inanity of Evil.

          1. Fabius Maximus

            Joe Millard,

            “The fact that he’s a climate denialist also doesn’t do much for his case.”

            My posts all rely on (and quote from) statements by the IPCC and major climate agencies. That you call this being a “denialist” is a fine example of the anti-intellectualism that has spread so widely on the Left and Right in America.

            It’s become a serious problem, for discussion on another day.

              1. Fabius Maximus

                Reslez,

                I don’t understand your reply.

                I said “My posts all rely on (and quote from) statements by the IPCC and major climate agencies.”

                How is this “nitpicking”?

                What do you suggest people should rely on and quote?

                1. Joe Miller

                  Your comments imply that the scientific consensus on climate change somehow informs policy when it obviously doesn’t. All one has to do to confirm this is note the government’s support of fracking and offshore drilling. The perspective espoused by the Koch Brothers and their ilk is the one underpinning the status quo.

                  1. Fabius Maximus

                    Joe,

                    “the scientific consensus on climate has no discernible effect on {public} policy”

                    I agree. It’s worth quite a bit of thought to consider why that is so. Also, it is not just a problem of climate policy, but a broad spectrum of issues.

                    For example, see the new Report Card on Infrastructure by the Assoc of Civil Engineers. It is IMO insane that we did not use fiscal policy (borrowing at low rates) to rebuild during the long downturn.

                    “Your comments imply that”

                    Please provide a quote to support that assertion. I doubt I have said anything so daft. Certainly not in these comments on NC!

                    Most of the rebuttals in this thread to my post and comments have been … odd. A large fraction have been rebuttals to things I did not say; some of those are rebuttals to the opposite of what I said. Is it Opposites Day? Are we playing CalvinBall?

          2. Yves Smith Post author

            Joe,

            Ad hominem and irrelevant. Krugman is wrong and/or carrying Dem water about 25% of the time. By your logic, that means everything he says is worthless. I can apply the same ratio to a ton of people who frequently say interesting and even insightful stuff.

            1. Joe Miller

              Not necessarily – it only means that his claims need to be taken with a grain of salt.

        1. from Mexico

          @ squasha

          Now I had to go back and re-read the two posts.

          I must admit that FM says some things that I agree with. There’s this, for instance:

          We pretend that Hitler and the Third Reich were sui generis instead of a pathological growth of deeply rooted themes in western society (to state two obvious example, antisemitism and eugenics).

          And this:

          The NAZIs didn’t emerge from a crack in the Earth; they evolved from the main current of western philosophy…

          So as FM says, “we have the infection.” We must remain ever vigilant that the infection doesn’t grow into the totalitarian disease.

          Where I strongly disagree with FM, however, is when he includes the following in his list of “big lies that have had such great effects since WW2”:

          8. The “science is settled” about climate change (not according to the IPCC, which describes a small area of confidence surrounded by uncertainty).

          9. Anthropogenic warming has been the dominate factor for a century or longer (only since WW2).

          10. The Earth’s atmosphere continues to warm, at an accelerating rate (not since roughly 2000).

          It seems like FM has some big lies of his own up his sleeve. And surely he is cognizant of the fact that the big lie works best, or perhaps only, when the masses are obsessed by a desire to escape from some unpleasant reality, like anthropogenic warming and its many consequences.

          1. Fabius Maximus

            From Mexico,

            Regarding your statement:

            “Where I strongly disagree with FM, however, is when he includes the following in his list of “big lies that have had such great effects since WW2”:

            8. The “science is settled” about climate change (not according to the IPCC, which describes a small area of confidence surrounded by uncertainty).

            9. Anthropogenic warming has been the dominate factor for a century or longer (only since WW2).

            10. The Earth’s atmosphere continues to warm, at an accelerating rate (not since roughly 2000).”

            ————–

            The first two are explicitly said by the IPCC and major climate agencies, drawing on a large body of peer-reviewed literature. They are mainstream consensus.

            The last (“pause”) appears in the IPCC’s draft AR5, in many reports by major climate agencies, and in many peer-reviewed articles. For example, see the report issued last week by the UK Met office discussing possible explanations for the pause.

            Links available on request.

            1. reslez

              IPCC predictions are routinely overrun by facts on the ground. Reality has shown the IPCC’s error lies in being too conservative, rather than the reverse.

              WW2 began 74 years ago. Pretty close to a century for most purposes. Anyway, who is the strawman you’re shadowboxing here?

              If the atmosphere has stopped warming (for now? as far as we can tell), while the ocean and various other indicators continue to show warming, I suppose your point technically stands, but…

              These seem like nitpicky points drawn from a poisoned well. Yet another technique of propaganda.

              1. Fabius Maximus

                I still don’t understand what you are attempting to say. It sounds like you attempting rebuttal of what I wrote without reading it.

                “WW2 began 74 years ago. Pretty close to a century for most purposes. Anyway, who is the strawman you’re shadowboxing here?”

                I gave a lengthy statement of what I believe, as context for the narrowly focused posts about climate science. It is not “rebuttal” of anything.

                “IPCC predictions are routinely overrun by facts on the ground. Reality has shown the IPCC’s error lies in being too conservative, rather than the reverse.”

                I said the “IPCC and major climate agencies”. They produce a stream of reliable information. Such as last week’s UK Met Office report on causes of the pause. I don’t see how you are providing any sort of meaningful rebuttal to what I said.

                Nor have you stated what you rely on, if not the IPCC and major climate agencies.

                “If the atmosphere has stopped warming”

                Do any climate scientists disagree?

                “(for now? as far as we can tell)”

                I suspect that is why climate scientists call it a “pause” not a stop.

                “I suppose your point technically stands, but…”

                Judging by the peer-reviewed literature, the pause is a major focus of climate science research. What is your point?

                “These seem like nitpicky points drawn from a poisoned well. Yet another technique of propaganda.”

                I do not understand on what basis you say this. I stated five basic points of climate science today. I do not see any specific objection in your comment.

                1. psychohistorian

                  Maybe today’s Astronomy Picture of the Day at the following link will speak to the unbelievers about the climate trend:

                  http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html

                  130 years of earth surface temperatures from 1000 weather stations combined with satellite data…..tell me what your lying eyes see, perhaps a pattern.

                  1. Fabius Maximus

                    Psychohistorian,

                    The problem with writing rebuttals to things you have not read is that you are grossly wrong.

                    “Maybe today’s Astronomy Picture of the Day at the following link will speak to the unbelievers about the climate trend:”

                    I said exactly the same thing:

                    “This is consistent with the larger firm conclusions of climate scientists: two centuries of warming, coming in pulses (ie, waves)…”

                    Hari Seldon sees your comment and weeps. He asks that you not use that handle unless you become more careful with facts.

                  1. Fabius Maximus

                    Lydia,

                    (1) why is saying that the arctic is warming a rebuttal to my saying that the world has been warming for 150 years?

                    (2) your yell about the North Pole is false, on several levels. See this explanation by the scientists at the operator of the cameras, the North Pole Enviromental Observatory. The cameras are not at the North Pole, but hundreds of miles south, the melt pools lie on top of the ice, e en at the pole ice often melts in the summer.

                    “The NPEO web cameras and summer melt ponds”
                    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/northpole/WebCams.html

                    (3). Polar ice melting is due not just to warming, but increased deposits of carbon black (largely from burning of that arch-pollutant, coal in China), and changing wind patterns. The IPCC reports spell this out in detail, as it is mainstream consensus science.

                    (4) The rebuttals I have seen on this resemble tribal shunning more than rational debate. In kind it is much like I have seen on right-wing blogs. While not surprising, I am disappointed.

                    This is perhaps why the Right is winning — same behaviors, lots more money. A much better game is needed, or in a few years we might be writing about more extensive similarities between 21st C America and fascism.

                    Sorry about any typos. I wanted to get this in fast, and have a tiny screen and bad connection.

                    1. skippy

                      IMO the Right is not Wining, the “Owners” are – enforcing – their legal rights.

                      skippy… Scientific data, observation or theory is not much more than legal dicta, where the rights of ownership are paramount… self evidential thingy.

                      PS.. BTW the Owners are using experienced ex military PSYWAR PsyOps individuals and SMC organizations to thwart any resistance and their prepared to defend their ownership rights…. including death.

                  2. Fabius Maximus

                    Lidia,

                    Andy Revkin gently debunked your story The North Pole is now a lake in an article at the New York Times’ Dot Earth column.

                    It’s sad that Lidia still believes this fable. Alarmists run from science like vampires from holy water.

                    I’ve written up this interesting case history (with additional links about the factors driving melting of the polar ice): The North Pole is now a lake! Are you afraid yet?. Lidia’s comment — and, more broadly, this thread — show why the plutocrats are successfully building a New America.

        2. from Mexico

          squasha says:

          You’ve obviously given the matter serious thought and deep study, would you say the highway system, Hugo Boss or the swastika are the important bits?

          Yes, symbolically speaking, they were extremely important and integral to Nazi ideology. One must remember that Hitler’s rise to power was largely due to the fact that the Great Powers had ground Germany’s economy and its spirit into the dirt after WWI. Here’s how Peter Adam, writing in Art of the Third Reich, explained the newfound sense of national pride that Nazism inspired. It had a great deal to do with the material success of Nazism:

          The motorways were another symbol of the glorious and relentless advancement of the National Socialist movement. It inspired such verses as:


          A ribbon of stone doth span our land,
          A people hath built with all its might,
          Stands ready now for a new fight.
          The Führer’s mind did think it out,
          A faithful people brought it about.
          A triumph of power, the work is done.
          The first battle has been won.
          A people free of want and shame,
          The future calls with higher aim.
          The Führer gives us faith again.

          Autobahns were the best means of giving people work and of getting the economy going. But most of all they were seen as yet another achievement to boost the confidence of the nation, elevating it into a powerful symbol. “The new German autobahn network is not only in its concept the most powerful in the world but also the most exemplary. It will help more than anything else to bind the areas and the states and force them into a unity.” The documentary film in which Hitler made this statement brought the message home. In it workers proudly proclaimed to the interviewing reporter: “Tell the people at home that we are building bridges unlike any that existed before, and that we all work together, and that we know what is at stake.”

          As Adam goes on to explain: “It is hard for us nowadays, used to cars and motorways, to understand the enthusiasm that greeted each new bridge with its four-lane highway.” Nevertheless, “Even today much of the Hitler myth is based on his ‘achievement’ with the motorways.” They are a “powerful symbol of political strength, willpower, and achievement.”

          1. Lidia

            Indeed. With Mussolini, it was famously the trains. Then Eisenhower went and built the network of interstates. The ideology is one of expressing and extending power. No more, no less. In the 1950s and ’60s, Americans were experimenting with patients on mental institutions and sanitariums, castrating the poor and so forth… Tuskegee… Like NAZI ideology, American “ideology”. if you can call it that, is just boils down to power and control, as we see becoming ever clearer. In desperation, it will express itself in increasingly unpleasant ways, some of which no one has yet thought of.

            Infrastructures are absolutely both symptoms and re-infectious vehicles for the same disease. They project wishes for a certain type of world at the same time they impose it, the imposition leading to perhaps-unintended consequences. Eg., we have all grown up in the private-car era, and are now incapable of re-programming ourselves and our built enviroment in order to live differently,

    3. Charles LeSeau

      Godwin’s Law is indeed one of the most ridiculous e-phenomena I’ve ever seen, even more so because people treat it like some ace argument snuffer when it’s not even an argument at all.

      Another disturbing argument tamp these days is “conspiracy theory/tinfoil hat,” which in Americanese means “not allowed to propose or discuss anything that might indicate or suggest behind-the-scenes collusion, which we all know never happens anywhere ever.”

      1. Fabius Maximus

        LeSeau,

        Great point!

        Imagine traveling back to 1961 and telling those people what we know now about their government’s deeds. We’d be denounced as crazy people.

        I wonder if our great-grandchildren will say the same about us.

    4. Fabius Maximus

      Squasha,

      Like From Mexico, I don’t understand how you say this in rebuttal:

      “some seriously crap writing. Another bit of evidence that Godwin’s Law is actually a feature of a rhetorical firewall designed to preclude any lucid contemplation of fascism.”

      That is the point of the post. Although I don’t believe “rhetorical firewall” is quite right. That suggests insincerity. I suspect Godwin’s Law as a normative statement reflects our sincere unwillingness to see our rightward drift.

      I think the emotional response in these comments shows this as well. It’s a hot button for us, rightly so.

  2. Jim Haygood

    ‘[An] empire based on using resources in massive amounts to control the resources [it needs] for control must end when it runs headlong into resource scarcity or natural-logical contradictions involving its own internal (economic and resource) limitations.’ — Dr. Robert Abele, Counterpunch article

    Abele’s assertion is probably the largest, longest-enduring macroeconomic policy issue facing the U.S. economy, with existential implications.

    Essentially, the U.S. never demobilized from WW II when hostilities ended 68 years ago. U.S. occupation troops remain in now-wealthy Europe and Japan; the wartime intelligence agencies were made permanent, now commanding enormous black budgets and spying on their own citizens.

    The U.S. defense establishment commands nearly 5 percent of GDP, but malinvests the bulk of it at negative rates of return. Compounded over decades, the result is that Americans have gone from wondering in the 1960s about what to do with all their leisure time, to wondering today where to get a part-time job to buy food.

    Like the former Soviet economy, the U.S. bristles with military might, while its domestic infrastructure rots and its living standards sink to Third World levels.

    History offers no example of an empire that has endured. The U.S. empire hit its apogee about fifty years ago, and is now in an accelerating descent that’s known in the aviation industry as ‘controlled flight into terrain.‘ But, hey, maybe ‘we’ can make a difference in Syria. F**k yeah!

    1. Walter Map

      The U.S. defense establishment commands nearly 5 percent of GDP . . .

      It’s actually at least double that, if you include military expenditures buried in the budgets of departments other than DOD.

      but malinvests the bulk of it at negative rates of return.

      Extremely negative. Properly speaking, military spending constitutes an expense, and not an investment, which is why we speak of military expenditures, and not military investment. And that’s if the military does not actually use its materiel. After all, the purpose of war is to destroy, not build. The U.S. would be better served by simply burning mountains of tax receipts on the Mall and not using it to wipe out real investment. Then there’s the incalculable loss of human capital and the permanent loss of future production. It all adds up.

      The MIC has never been audited and it has no good idea what it does with all that money. ‘”According to some estimates we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions,” Rumsfeld admitted.’ A trillion here, a trillion there – pretty soon you’re talking about real money.

      The MIC is perfectly aware that its activities are wildly unsustainable, which is why it is gearing up for nuclear war as the only option it has left to preserve U.S. global military and economic domination. The effort will probably be counterproductive, but they figure it’s worth a try.

      It’s one thing to anticipate the severe decline of civilization which must result from the deliberate failure to prevent economic and ecological collapse. But it’s quite another thing to know that current policy has been formulated to nuke rather a lot of it right off the planet. Now there’s a negative investment.

      After that, you can expect that things will start to turn ugly.

      “We’re not going to make it, are we? People, I mean.”
      “It is in your nature to destroy yourselves,” said The Machine.

      Amerika, bleiche Mutter!
      Wie haben deine Söhne dich zugerichtet
      Daß du unter den Völkern sitzest
      Ein Gespött oder eine Furcht!

    2. Brooklin Bridge

      ‘controlled flight into terrain.‘

      Flight into terrain, yes. Controlled, no.

  3. Ned Ludd

    Last week, Forbes columnist Andy Greenberg posted an article about car-hacking:

    Stomping on the brakes of a 3,500-pound Ford Escape that refuses to stop–or even slow down–produces a unique feeling of anxiety. In this case it also produces a deep groaning sound, like an angry water buffalo bellowing somewhere under the SUV’s chassis. The more I pound the pedal, the louder the groan gets–along with the delighted cackling of the two hackers sitting behind me in the backseat. […]

    They sent commands from their laptops that killed power steering, spoofed the GPS and made pathological liars out of speedometers and odometers. Finally they directed me out to a country road, where Valasek showed that he could violently jerk the Prius’ steering at any speed, threatening to send us into a cornfield or a head-on collision.

    The funding for this research came from “the mad-scientist research arm of the Pentagon known as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency”. The article points out that earlier research has shown how to penetrate a car’s computer system remotely.

    A team of researchers at the University of Washington and the University of California, San Diego, experimenting on a sedan from an unnamed company in 2010, found that they could wirelessly penetrate the same critical systems Miller and Valasek targeted using the car’s OnStar-like cellular connection, Bluetooth bugs, a rogue Android app that synched with the car’s network from the driver’s smartphone or even a malicious audio file on a CD in the car’s stereo system. “Academics have shown you can get remote code execution,” says Valasek, using hacker jargon for the ability to start running commands on a system. “We showed you can do a lot of crazy things once you’re inside.”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      When cars become biped, that monumental event could just mean the start of the end of us humans as masters of the universe.

      1. Jim Haygood

        A bipedal car is called a motorcycle.

        Well, I don’t want a pickle
        Just wanna ride my motorsickle
        Well, I don’t want to die
        Just wanna ride my motorcy …

    2. curlydan

      As I watched the security cam video, it seemed to me that the only thing that would make car begin to swerve into the median would be either hitting the breaks quickly and releasing them (which at 80mph can start a spin–I’ve done it once when trying of all things to avoid a squirrel) or driver that wants to die.

      Since there are so many ways to die and be assured to not end up paralyzed for years, I’m leaning toward my first explanation.

    3. Bev

      Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now http://www.democracynow.org/2013/7/11/jailed_journalist_barrett_brown_faces_105 and others are reporting on this. Look at her last sentence:

      AMY GOODMAN: Well, we’ll certainly follow this case, Peter Ludlow, professor of philosophy at Northwestern University. He’s written extensively on hacktivist actions against private intelligence firms and the surveillance state. His most recent piece is in The Nation; it’s called “The Strange Case of Barrett Brown.” We will link to it at democracynow.org.

      http://www.thenation.com/article/174851/strange-case-barrett-brown#axzz2Z29RmkGD

      The Strange Case of Barrett Brown

      Amid the outrage over the NSA’s spying program, the jailing of journalist Barrett Brown points to a deeper and very troubling problem.

      Read more: The Strange Case of Barrett Brown | The Nation http://www.thenation.com/article/174851/strange-case-barrett-brown#ixzz2Z29Znk2R

      Read more at http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/07/links-71413.html#eEJQsEp5Fbs8RKgs.99

      ……

      Other real journalists are reporting. I find it powerful that a Republican whistle-blower (on the GOP political imprisonment of Democratic Gov. Don Siegleman) has teamed up with an Election Integrity whistle-blower from BBV (Bev Harris’ http://www.blackboxvoting.org/ ) and found a link to Brown and what he was reporting on:

      from:
      http://legalschnauzer.blogspot.com/2013/07/was-fiery-death-of-journalist-michael.html

      July 1, 2013

      Was The Fiery Death Of Journalist Michael Hastings Connected To Atlanta Security Firm Called Endgame?

      At the time of his death in a fiery car crash on June 18, journalist Michael Hastings was working on a story about alleged Anonymous leader Barrett Brown. Currently under federal indictment on charges related to computer hacking, Brown is the journalist who first reported on a shadowy private security firm in Atlanta called Endgame.

      The Web site freebarrettbrown.org reports that Hastings was planning to interview Brown in late June and had announced to his followers, “Get ready for your mind to be blown.”

      A Hastings/Brown interview almost certainly would have included questions about Brown’s research on “black hat” private security firms that work with the official U.S. intelligence community. Some of these outfits also have powerful ties to corporate America via the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Primary among such firms is Endgame, which is based on the seventh floor of the former Biltmore Hotel building in Atlanta.

      Before the interview could take place, Hastings was killed when his car exploded, with the engine blown some sixty feet from the wreckage on a Los Angeles street. Were individuals connected to Endgame and the U.S.Chamber–fearing possible exposure in government-sponsored wrongdoing–involved in Michael Hastings’ death?

      We don’t have a solid answer to that question? But a report last week from Alabama attorney Jill Simpson and election-integrity specialist Jim March presents perhaps the most disturbing revelations yet about Endgame and similar private security firms. The report, dated June 24, 2013, is titled “Black Hat Versus White Hat: The Other Side of the Snowden/Hastings/Barrett Brown Cases.”

      Here is how March summarizes the report in a piece at OpEd News:

      This is a look into the world of the private contractors that work in alliance with the official US intelligence community and appear to be state-sanctioned to commit crimes. We focus on one of these shady contractors, Endgame–an Atlanta GA corporation that both Barrett Brown and Michael Hastings were looking at. We show who they are, what they do, what their founders did before, who funds them and who they are connected to. We even filmed and photographed their building and lobby.

      Simpson is best known as a former Republican operative who became a whistleblower in the political prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman. March is on the board of directors of blackboxvoting.org and is a former board member for the Southern Arizona chapter of the ACLU.

      They note the ominous meanings behind the term “Endgame” and provide background on the firm’s early days.

      snip

      The final moves in a chess game are called the “endgame.” It has come to the attention of American whistleblowers and election integrity specialists that the CIA, NSA and White House have designed the ultimate final “endgame” for the free world as we know it–with a group of computer “security specialists.”

      snip

      In November 2010, Hunton and Williams organized a number of private intelligence, technology development and security contractors—HBGary, plus Palantir Technologies, Berico Technologies and, according to Brown, a secretive corporation with the ominous name Endgame Systems—to form “Team Themis”—‘themis’ being a Greek word meaning “divine law.” Its main objective was to discredit critics of the Chamber of Commerce, like Chamber Watch, using such tactics as creating a “false document, perhaps highlighting periodical financial information,” giving it to a progressive group opposing the Chamber, and then subsequently exposing the document as a fake to “prove that US Chamber Watch cannot be trusted with information and/or tell the truth.”

      The bottom line? Barrett Brown helped expose Endgame’s role in a disinformation campaign that was designed to protect the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Michael Hastings was set to interview Brown, and that almost certainly would have yielded damaging information about both Endgame and the U.S. Chamber.

      Before that interview took place, Michael Hastings’ car exploded.

      ……………….

      http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/06/nsa-whistleblower-nsa-spying-on-and-blackmailing-high-level-government-officials-and-military-officers.html

      NSA Whistleblower: NSA Spying On – and Blackmailing – Top Government Officials and Military Officers
      WashingtonsBlog

      Whistleblower Says Spy Agency Targeting Top American Leaders

      NSA whistleblower Russel Tice – a key source in the 2005 New York Times report that blew the lid off the Bush administration’s use of warrantless wiretapping – told Peter B. Collins on Boiling Frogs Post (the website of FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds):

      Tice: Okay. They went after–and I know this because I had my hands literally on the paperwork for these sort of things–they went after high-ranking military officers; they went after members of Congress, both Senate and the House, especially on the intelligence committees and on the armed services committees and some of the–and judicial. But they went after other ones, too. They went after lawyers and law firms. All kinds of–heaps of lawyers and law firms. They went after judges. One of the judges is now sitting on the Supreme Court that I had his wiretap information in my hand. Two are former FISA court judges. They went after State Department officials. They went after people in the executive service that were part of the White House–their own people. They went after antiwar groups. They went after U.S. international–U.S. companies that that do international business, you know, business around the world. They went after U.S. banking firms and financial firms that do international business. They went after NGOs that–like the Red Cross, people like that that go overseas and do humanitarian work. They went after a few antiwar civil rights groups. So, you know, don’t tell me that there’s no abuse, because I’ve had this stuff in my hand and looked at it. And in some cases, I literally was involved in the technology that was going after this stuff.

      ……………

      So, I think the entire political, economic spectrum can get behind the following bill:

      http://firedoglake.com/2013/07/06/come-saturday-morning-reclaiming-our-libert-e/

      Come Saturday Morning: Reclaiming Our LIBERT-E

      Democratic United States Representative John Conyers and his Republican colleague Justin Amash don’t agree on a lot of things. But they are, like most of us, united in being aghast at all the government snooping being done to us, for us, against us, and on everyone else in the world. Unlike most of us, they’re in a position to do something about it — or at the very least shame those Beltway officials who would perpetuate this snooping.

      To that end, they’ve introduced H.R. 2399, the “Limiting Internet and Blanket Electronic Review of Telecommunications and Email Act,” or the LIBERT-E Act for short.

      Read more at http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/07/links-71413.html#eEJQsEp5Fbs8RKgs.99

  4. Brindle

    Re: ” The Congressman Formerly…(Grayson)”

    Hopefully there can be more instances of the libertarian GOP members and progressive Dems joining together to thwart the totalitarian centrists.

    —”The new strategy is simple. Grayson and his staff scan the bills that come out of the majority. They scan amendments that passed in previous Congresses but died at some point along the way.
    They resurrect or mold bills that can appeal to the libertarian streak in the GOP, and Grayson lobbies his colleagues personally. That’s how he attached a ban on funding for “unmanned aerial vehicles,” i.e. drones, to the homeland security bill.”—

  5. Strike Action

    Civil resistance at McDonalds. That smiling guy who handed you your Starbucks latte might be on his own mission, but if you’ve got rent to pay, your car broke down and a sprained ankle, it’s a crush management and their consultants completely ignored or hoped you wouldn’t think about. We need to get more so-called white collars to walk out. Part of “get Snowden” was that he had the gall to punch his mid levels right in the face, undoubtedly rippling up the chain. They can’t have that from their employees. (mother f#$%#^s)

  6. F. Beard

    And the implication was that given the costs of these losses, there was no way you could tax banks enough to recoup the damage. You’d need to prohibit them from engaging in dangerous activities.

    The government-backed banks steal our purchasing power and lend it for usury to the so-called creditworthy.

    1) It is still theft.
    2) Therefore no one is creditworthy,
    3) even if they do repay the loan of stolen purchasing power.
    4) Purchasing power can instead be issued ethically as shares in Equity.
    5) Therefore there is no excuse for government backing of the banks.

      1. F. Beard

        [Jesus speaking] You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. John 4:22 (New American Standard Bible)

        The Lord had to start somewhere and Abraham was a friend of His.

        But if one is jealous of the Jews on that account, he need only read how the Lord corrected the Jews. It’s truly a miracle that any have survived to this day.

          1. Imegitedly

            The bible pounders sometimes refer to something out of the old (more brutal) testament. Crusader Lutheran, that type of thing. Leviticus stands out for including imagery that would be noted by criminal psychiatrists as accompanying or immediately preceding murderous rage. As long as a nation is doin’ it, it’s ok, Travis Bickle, not ok.

            1. F. Beard

              The current age is one of Grace. I’d hop on board if I was you cause it won’t last forever and, in my opinion, not much longer either.

          2. F. Beard

            In your case, if I was a Hebrew and you were my slave, quite a lot but If I knocked a tooth out, I’d have to let you go free. :)

            1. Joe Miller

              You could also beat him continously unless and until he dropped dead within the next three days after the assault. You would be considered innocent if he died after that point.

              1. F. Beard

                “If a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod and he dies at his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, he survives a day or two, no vengeance shall be taken; for he is his property.” Exodus 21:20-22

                I don’t think the Hebrew judges would allow such as you describe SINCE they would have the rest of Moses’ teachings to guide them and, you know, COMMON SENSE?

                Hey, but enjoy your camel. Oops! You missed a gnat.

              2. F. Beard

                unless and until he dropped dead within the next three days after the assault. Joe Miller

                NOPE! Because the one or two day period would start after the LAST blow, not the FIRST!

  7. Ron

    Consumer Reports recently tagged Chev Impala as their Car of the Year or something to that effect. Looking at the MPG of the new Impala speaks volume’s about Americans auto culture.

    Gas Impala 6 cy auto
    City 18
    22
    Combined 22

    Highway 30

    E85 Impala flex-fuel
    City 13

    Combined 16

    Highway 22

    Reminder the Prius gets combined 50 MPG and has the same MSRP!

    1. Imegitedly

      When Putsch Junior was giving tax breaks to wealthy people to buy Hummers, he wasn’t worried about fuel efficiency. The owner ruler class has flunked Iraq 101. But these V6s make nice fleet cars for law enforcement, Gov’mint and upper class folk who want that oomph and a GM vibe, even though a good part of it ain’t made in ‘Murica.

  8. craazyman

    faaaaak I wonder if Indiayull recognize it’s women as human persons. If I was an Indian woman I’d rather marry a dolphin than some smelly dude whining over the dowry. faaak, most of the women are probly insane by now just living there.

    what a mess. Everything is insane. I bet they’ll find Bradley Manning guilty of something. some rigid monstrosity of a military mind thinking hard about eternal justice, no doubt. Guilty of aiding and abetting humanity. That shuld be good for a few hundred years behind bars. If not outright crucifixion by the legions.

    faaak, anybody who wants a personality cult around them is a madman. If they’re Egyptian general they must be an insane madman. Is that redundant. No. It’s a matter of amplitude and darkness. That’s why I started worrying about Obama, when I saw him on every magazine cover in teh suppermarket. Why would somebody do that unless they wanted a personality cult? Faaaaak, just get to work already. tell the cameras to stay home and point at the trees. I just want to by a head of lettuce in peace.

    Faaaak, The best news of the month is how congress is giving the butt-ream to the NSA. Makes you think there might be hope after all. If everybody knew what everybody was doing it might work out OK but then you’d never do anything except watch your neighbors watch you. That’s like a singles bar. Faaaak you can only do that once or twice a week and you need to drink. Everything eventually falls and gets real and it better be someplace you’d want to come home to, with no cults of personality or magic eyes or dolphins you have to fall back on in dread and disconsolation.

  9. Synopticist

    Balko Stands His Ground.

    Jeez, those Koch guys really are clever bast*rds, I have to hand it to them. The way they infiltrate economic hard-right libertarians into the “progressive” media sub-culture is genuinely impressive, if you’re a political nerd like me.

    They play a looooooong game those guys.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Libertarians…’progressive’…

      Communists make the richest capitalists.

      Capitalists make the most hardcore communists.

      Republicans make the best Democrats.

      Democrats make the best Republicans.

      1. Massinissa

        “Communists make the richest capitalists.”

        Case in point? Deng Xiaoping. Or Angela Merkel. Ultimately, self serving opportunists like those two go wherever the wind blows them.

    2. F. Beard

      Not so long. Hell lasts forever and they should be careful not to go there. Oppression of the poor is no way to get on the Lord’s good side.

      1. Walter Map

        It’s a foregone conclusion that TPTB have no fear of the gods whatsoever, and have no belief in an après-vie in any case.

        You’d think the gods would know when to give up, although from the state of things it looks like they already have.

        I myself am often concerned that my posts may not be sufficiently alarmist.

        1. F. Beard

          The Lord is long-suffering and would have spared Sodom if only 10 (or less?) righteous men were to be found in it.

            1. AbyNormal

              at this point who cares Prime
              so long sweetie ‘)

              Fanatics have the look of people who do not masturbate but who think about it almost all time.
              gregory david roberts

              1. F. Beard

                No dear, not if you mean me. I’ve NEVER fantasized about masturbation. What would the point be? Sex is between two people, remember?

      2. Joe Miller

        You’ll stay permanently on his bad side if you blaspheme the Holy Spirit. He can forgive everything else so long as you don’t do that.

        1. F. Beard

          Those who consider themselves to be Christian should keep this in mind:

          A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits.

          “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:18-23 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

          1. Jack Bloomer

            NASB? That’s a Bank too, fat beard. Mortgage hustlin’ in all 50 states, btw.
            Incidentally, never trust a car salesman who has the Christian trinkets spread out across their desk. That’s the point of sale, it’s got contract law on it’s side and you’ll be strung up faster then a manic version of screaming gospel if you don’t curtail the epiphany and think like the predator. Banksters load up the fruit plates and beverages and the AC is set real nice – when you are in thar’ at settlement (sometimes to be bankrupted and screwed on the spot)
            Amen Commerce!

            1. Walter Map

              The evidence strongly suggests that God loves hyperrich rapacious psychopaths. Calvinist orthodoxy accepts this conclusion as well.

              The rich seem to be able to buy up religions as easily as they buy up politicians. The Christian God promises that the righteous poor will get their reward in a hypothetical heaven – but won’t promise them a blessed thing while they struggle to stay alive, except for pathetic platitudes about meekly accepting their enslavement. Meanwhile all earthly riches accrue to their wealthy masters – Christianity certainly works out conveniently well for them, doesn’t it? Honestly, God can be such a tool sometimes.

              1. MyLessThanPrimBeef

                I always wonder why He doesn’t just smash all the other gods.

                Is He just being polite? I would have taken out, for example, Tezcatlipoca, the god of smoke and mirrors, sorry, smoking mirror, a long, long time ago.

                1. F. Beard

                  Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you, reprove a wise man and he will love you. Proverbs 9:8

                  I guess y’all know which you are now?

        2. Lambert Strether

          Even a devout secularist can deprecate Beard-baiting, especially when it cluttters the threads.

          “Everybody has his own delusion assigned to him,” as Catullus says.

          1. F. Beard

            Why do they bother? This Bear[d] has claws and they ain’t getting duller from use.

            But I think I’ve made the point that my beliefs are defensible so I won’t bother to anymore:

            He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself, and he who reproves a wicked man gets insults for himself. Proverbs 9:7

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Antidote.

    ‘I hope that onager there finds me attractive. I am in the mood for hybrid pigonager today.’

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Finding better doctors by tracking prescribing habits.

    That’s a good start.

    Is there a database for tracking doctors who also majored in voodoo magic as undergraduates?

    1. davidgmills

      You can’t be serious. Big Pharma now owns medicine. Big Pharma controls the medical schools the same was as the banks control the economic departments of universities.

      Doctor’s can’t really prescribe anything anymore other than the latest patented pill, even if it doesn’t work half as well as a generic pill from 50 years ago.

      Modern medicine at its finest.

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    ‘Oh, my baba and my mama don’t care,’ cried many abandoned kids.’

    That’s a shame – their babamamadon’tcare.

    1. Colonel Hogan

      Another plot twist in imperial kangaroo court. They tortured, they locked up without charge, and the big threat is aimed right at the American people. Fascinating how Manning commanding offices weren’t locked up in solitary, stripped nude and medicated for allowing security breaches. Like other management, they aren’t held accountable for jack squat. So the example has been made,
      Aside from the well publicized video of a helicopter pilot blowing people away, there should be no confusion why this example is set. I haven’t read an author yet who dares suggest that American war is aimed specifically at civilians.
      In yesterday’s David Johnson posting, we read how the President maintains the lie of US involvement in Vietnam. We specifically targeted civilians and engaged in mass slaugter of innocents.

      1. Colonel Hogan

        ” I haven’t read an author yet who dares suggest that American war is aimed specifically at civilians.”
        Whoops! There are many, but it’s rare and is largely taboo for Media Inc.

        1. Klassy!

          Today there was a headline “Military takes aim at dissidents”. It was about Egypt. When I glanced at it, I thought it was the US “Oh, they’re being that open about it now”. I did not bat an eyelash.

  13. McWatt

    Just imagine if the British had metadata collection available to them 237 years ago. Would there even be an America?

    1. reslez

      Just imagine if the British had metadata collection available to them 237 years ago. Would there even be an America?

      No.

      1. Andrew Watts

        That’s ridiculous. If the British had a list of all the colonial revolutionaries they wouldn’t need any metadata at all. The question remains how would they identify any potential revolutionaries in the midst of all the noise? That is assuming that King George III and his cabinet would even bother with that effort when they had Tory informers amidst all of the conspiracies. It was despite those informers the American revolution marched to it’s inevitable conclusion.

        The same thing could be said about the Bolshevik revolution. One of the first things the Bolsheviks did upon taking power was burning the secret police archives. How curious! I wonder if Stalin was a little more sane then we give him credit for. Gotta drain a swamp that smells that badly.

        1. Chris Rogers

          One always wishes to break out in loud laughter each time I read numerous US-based bloggers discussing the War of Independence – independence from what is usually my first line of thought – and the insults hurled at one King George III, who for much of his life suffered crippling mental illness.

          Most who, correctly, articulate towards the ‘British’ are in my humble opinion more informed than those who seem under the impression that George III was an absolute Monarch – which is nonsense given the fact the UK in much of the eighteen century was a representative democracy, although that representation was of a highly restrictive nature and one that favoured the ruling establishment at the time, namely, the aristocracy and the wealthy – with wealth being measured in terms of both land ownership and access to large amounts of money.

          For what its worth, and having studied both the Seven Year War in-depth, origins of your war of independence and establishment of a Federal Republic a few years after the Declaration of Independence, one is amazed that we still hear nonsense about ‘no taxation without representation’, democracy and notions that somehow the British were complete and utter bastards – if Mel Gibson’s interpretation of your history is to believed.

          So, can all posters lay-off the myth that King George III was an absolute monarch, when in fact after both the English Civil War, and the Glorious Revolution of 1688, it was Parliament that held most of the reins of power, and this mean’t having control over the purse strings shall we say.

          Further, the Colonialists complaints about arbitrary rule by the UK, were actually mirrored themselves within the UK, and were not unique to North America at the time.

          I’m also amazed that many seem oblivious, or totally ignore the fact that after the Seven Years War the British enacted a comprehensive Treaty with the American Nations – the actual indigenous inhabitants of North America – which effectively prevented any further intrusions into what was determined as their territory, something that was comprehensively overturned by those with other craven desires who hijacked real concerns about British rule and utilised them for their own, non-democratic purposes – look no further than Pennsylvania on this issue.

          Anyway, lets not castigate George III, he was but head of a UK governing structure that Parliament itself had constructed, rather than the absolute despicable monarch many believe he was.

  14. Joe Miller

    More importantly, the scientific consensus on climate change has had no discernable effect on policy – quite the contrary. All one needs to do to verify this is to note the government’s support of fracking and offshore drilling. The perspective espoused by the Koch Brothers seems to be the one underpinning the status quo.

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