Links 7/17/14

Police Department Reduces Costs By Using Same Evidence For Every Investigation Onion (Chuck L)

The Shadow Universe Revealed New York Times (furzy mouse)

This Floating Platform Could Filter The Plastic From Our Polluted Oceans Business Insider (David L)

One injection stops diabetes in its tracks: Treatment reverses symptoms of type 2 diabetes in mice without side effects ScienceDaily (Chuck L)

Act Immediately to Stop Congress’s Sneaky Move to Shut Down Broadband Competition EFF (LucyLulu). Vatch provided these links:

To contact your Senators:

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

To contact your Representative in the House of Representatives:

http://www.house.gov/representatives/

A Former Comcast Employee Explains That Horrifying Customer Service Call Slate (Vatch)

Jibo the Family Robot Might be Oddly Charming, or Just Plain Odd MIT Technology Review (David L)

Getting Globalization Right Project Syndicate (David L). More important and less cheery than the anodyne headline would have you believe.

BRICS: To Dismiss or Not to Dismiss? Council on Foreign Relations

What to Fear If China Crashes Bloomberg

PBoC follows other central banks in suppressing volatility Walter Kurtz

Germany and China have an emerging ‘special relationship’ which has the potential to go far beyond trade EUROPP

Why Juncker’s industrial goals are unlikely to be achieved Bruegel

Holdout investors tell Argentina: ‘Time is running out’ for deal Reuters

If Argentina Settles Debt Dispute, More Claims Could Come Wall Street Journal

Ukraine

Obama: U.S. to Expand Sanctions Against Russia Gawker

Russian shares fall after US targets companies in fresh sanctions Financial Times

The Losers From U.S. Sanctions: AMERICAN Businesses George Washington

Russia ‘shot down Ukraine jet’ BBC. Note Ukraine has every reason to make charges like this. Let’s see what the evidence looks like.

Gaza

Mortars ‘hit Israel during truce’ BBC

Israeli official expects ‘very high possibility’ of invasion of Gaza; airstrikes escalate Washington Post

July 16 Gaza News – “At least they wont breed” Moon of Alabama

Sderot Cinema- Israeli’s enjoying the mass killings of Palestinians Penny for your thoughts (Chuck L)

Iraq

“Iraq Has Already Disintegrated”: ISIS Expands Stronghold as Leaks Expose US Doubts on Iraqi Forces Democracy Now. Note the extreme contrast with War Nerd yesterday.

Revisiting Kurdistan: ‘If there is a success story in Iraq, it’s here’ Guardian

Vocativ’s ridiculous I.S.I.S. story fails to mention the company’s deep links to Israeli intelligence Gary Brecher, Pando

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Facial-Recognition Cat Feeding Machine Launched Sky (Chuck L). Just wait for this to be repurposed for children.

NSA picks 5 universities to train future cyberspies CBS

Immigration Surges to Number One Issue With Americans Jon Walker, Firedoglake. Lordie.

Treasury Urges End to Foreign Tax Flights, Though Congress Is Unlikely to Act Soon New York Times

Employers are Discriminating Against Republicans Global Economic Intersection

As Fracking Expands, So Does Opposition – Even In Texas OilPrice

L.A. leaders are crafting new plan to help homeless on skid row Los Angeles (Nikki). OMG, enlightened policing…from the LAPD?

A new paper suggests bond investors need to be careful reaching for yield Pieria. Quelle surprise!

Yellen Says Restraining the Fed’s Oversight Would Be a ‘Grave Mistake’ New York Times. Of course she would say that.

Yellen Yap: Silliness, Outright Lies, and Some Refreshingly Accurate Reporting Michael Shedlock

Monthly GDP Menzie Chinn, Econbrowser

What’s missing in mortgage settlements? Housing Wire. The fact that an article like this is appearing in an industry publication like Housing Wire tells you how bad the settlements are.

Who’s Watching the Watchmen? RMBS Trustees Come Under Fire as Investors Launch Next Wave of Lawsuits Subprime Shakeout (Chuck L)

Class Warfare

Creative Destruction at Work Project Syndicate (David L)

Can York’s bid to become a poverty-free city succeed? HITC

We haven’t yet tackled inequality; here are five ways to reduce it New Statesman

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):

links sleeping birds

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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212 comments

  1. vidimi

    this latest round of sanctions are the most serious yet but have nothing to do with ukraine. the real reason for them is retaliation for the following offenses (in no particular order):
    1 – russia’s forgiveness of cuba’s debt
    2 – russia’s plan to reopen a spy base in cuba
    3 – russia’s role in setting up a BRICS bank to counter the IMF

    another possible factor is russia’s intention of providing security for china’s canal across nicaragua.

    putin has taken to the counteroffensive strongly entering america’s back yard and this has angered the empire.

    1. Brindle

      In comparison to Putin, Obama looks like a bloviating carnival barker. The Eastern Ukraine rebels are holding their own against the U.S backed Kiev forces, with little help from Russia.
      Obama is to the right of Kissinger on Ukraine—telling.

    2. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      A canal across Nicaragua will never work. I offer the following as proof:

      a man a plan a canal nicaragua!

      See?

  2. diptherio

    Janet L. Yellen of the Fed said a proposed bill would impair its ability to manage the economy.

    Um…I think its the economy that’s impairing their ability to manage the economy…

  3. Johann Sebastian Schminson

    Immigration is NOW the most important issue with Americans?

    I have witnessed a marked decrease in the number of obvious immigrants in the DC area over the past 5 or 6 years. Many immigrants apparently headed home when the housing bust and related spending reductions pushed them off the bottom rung of the ladder. (Anecdotally, I did hear two Canadians, in Canada, discussing all of the “Mexicans” coming into Canada from the US, a few years back. What a freekin’ hoot!).

    The answer is, and always has been, to aggressively prosecute those hiring these folks, and raise the wage for cleaning toilets, mowing grass, and working at the drive-through or as a bus boy to $15/hr., minimum.

    According to the article at the link (questionable, if the source of the poll is considered), the media is responsible for dragging this issue front and center. If that’s the case, we’ve achieved the mathematically impossible with more than half of our population being of below average intelligence. Maybe the math only works if the entire population of the world is included in the sample. Maybe we’re just a cluster F, on the global chart.

    1. PQS

      The immigration hysteria isnt based on fact. Anyone working in construction or agriculture could tell you labor is tight because so many migrants left during the downturn and they haven’t come back yet. In the northwest there isnt enough labor to staff the projects that are underway now, much less next year.
      Of course the people who rule us have no idea and wonder why costs are rising so fast…must be the fault of either the poors or the unions….better punish em both.

      1. Working Class Nero

        And so salaries and the labor participation rate are skyrocketing so quickly that we have to flood the country with cheap labor to stop a horrible epidemic of inflation?

        Uh, no, salaries and labor participation are hardly moving and so working class people have every right to be concerned with the next flood of cheap labor. The wealthy bourgeoisie of course are equally concerned that if they don’t manufacture a new flood of cheap labor they will have to pay the despised working classes an honest wage. So whose side are you on?

        1. mellon

          I get into that argument with boosters of the FTAs over TiSA fairly often. Their argument is that the people from the poor countries deserve something from globalization and why not have it be US jobs?

          They have no consciouness of how disruptive this would be for millions of Americans. They are completely amoral. They really do want to see the “overpaid” (as they see it) teachers, nurses, construction workers, etc. displaced from their jobs.

          They wont give reasons except the ludicrous one that “everyone deserves a chance to succeed” etc. (kind of like the racism argument when anybody criticizes Obama)

          However, I think their goal is to preserve the FTA system in a way which preserves corporate dominance over it, in a one sided manner. There is a (and its right) perception in many developing countries that the wealthy countries have gotten almost all of the benefits from globalization. People in other countries also assume that Americans all know about everything our government does! They wont buy it of Americans say we didn’t know, Its our responsibility to know what’s done in our names!

          TiSA will allow for-profit companies that specialize in a certain area (like education, for example) take over the management of US schools, medical services companies, to take over the running of US hospitals. I suspect that this is in part what Obamacare is supposed to manufacture a crisis to force. (I say that because single payer would save so much money that none of it could be justified as necessary. The problem though as they see it is that single payer is literally too efficient, it fails to be hierarchical, keeping the poor as healthy as the rich, and they perhaps see it as stealing from the rich for that reason. They are mean spirited people who literally do want to see the poor suffer.

          So to return to TiSA, in order to be the low bidders and still make a hefty profit these companies will probably house their workers in dormitory like settings, and keep them on a very short leash, with a large portion of their pay withheld and only paid upon the completion of their several year stint here, when they go home.

          Similar arrangements may occur with energy industry (fracking) IT workers (especially in quasi-public service- because of new procurement rules) and financial industry workers (banks) as well. Companies in the developed countries may also send their workers overseas, probably to train workers elsewhere to work here.

          TiSA is being represented by some as just financial services but financial services is just a small part of its scope. basically it targets all service jobs, no matter how small, by various mechanisms.
          Objections need to be made known, now.
          Otherwise, by default, like in the “Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services” (the US promoted, most radical annex to GATS, which only a few other countries signed) they are included by default. (the so called “negative list”) (Watch the video at the above link, its quite good.)

          The groups representing the various workers are not making the objections they should be! That is why they have made TiSA secret. Don’t let them get away with excluding the public!

          PSI Report: TiSA vs. Public Services

          Also, I saw this yesterday- from the UK, on TTIP and the NHS.
          “On TTIP and the NHS, they are trying to bamboozle us”

          The UK government is shamelessly lying to the UK unions about the meaning and scope of basic FTA concepts. (for some background on the narrowness of the GATS exception being discussed, see here: GATS and Public Service Systems and here: Putting Health First)

          The mis-framing they are doing is repeating known to be bad arguments which have been repeatedly disproven in investor-state lawsuits which are consistently lost by governments. Also, it should be known that lacking an explicit carve out in the agreement, words by government officials who do not have standing to make such guarantees is utterly meaningless. The right to sue is enjoyed by corporations against governments. Its a bit like Obama saying “you can keep your doctor” under privatized ACA plans, when the fact is, the government has no say over 99% of what a private company does in a private plan- he had no authority to say such things. Private for profit is private. The only guarantee is that it will cost money. More and more money with no escape back into public health care possible. And jobs as we knew them in the 20th century are going away without large investments by our governments in education. Simply by committing to the privatization path – the FTAs trigger a process of tightening, like a noose, a one way process which is designed to irreversible “to protect investors”. The world has never seen this kind of law before. Its a mistake.

          Also, since this is the “Links” thread- here are two MORE good resources I found yesterday.

          A primer on TTIP and ISDS by John Hilary, which makes a lot of good points about the double standard which these FTAs attempt to enforce.. (their inherent injustice!)

          …and this VERY useful “EDRI ISDS Answering Guide” meant for people writing to the European Commission, but it serves as a reference of sorts on many aspects of the ISDS issue. Very well written.

          1. gordon

            Thanks, great comment.

            In Australia, we have had huge disagreements about refugee intakes for years now. In 2001, the refugee question was credited with swinging the Federal election towards the (Rightist) Liberal/CP coalition. What we have never had is a proper debate about population, though the Australian Broadcasting Corporation has made several brave attempts to raise the issue in the media. In my opinion, the concentration on the narrow issue of refugees has poisoned the whole business. I don’t think we’ll ever have a sensible discussion about it until we realise that we need a population policy and only then will we be able to talk sensibly about refugees – and other migration issues like temporary workers.

            Of course, that doesn’t mean that we can’t make the obvious point that we wouldn’t have a refugee problem if conflicts in Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Horn of Africa had been resolved without massive bloodshed and displacement of populations, and if the Tamil revolt in Sri Lanka had been resolved without a vicious civil war. But that’s water under the bridge, isn’t it – until a wave of Ukrainian refugees arrives!

    2. Working Class Nero

      “we’ve achieved the mathematically impossible with more than half of our population being of below average intelligence”

      Really? I’m pretty sure it is only mathematically impossible for ALL our population to be below average intelligence. It seems mathematically very possible for one person to be way above average intelligence and for everyone else to be ever so slightly below average.

        1. Working Class Nero

          I’m not sure where this average intelligence stuff comes from but I suppose he missed th fact that a “plurality” of voters are concerned about illegal immigration. But this “plurality” is only 17%. So I suppose he looks at the tittle “Immigration Surges to Number One Issue With Americans” and mistakenly assumes that means more than 50% of Americans are concerned. And then I suppose what he is saying is that to be concerned about immigration = low intelligence and that since he has already mistakenly assumed that more than half of Americans are concerned about immigration, this means more than half of Americans are below average in intelligence, which he mistakenly believes is mathematically impossible.

          It poses the interesting question of whether people with below average intelligence are allowed to have an opinion. Perhaps he is indeed talking about a weighted average where less intelligent people’s votes count for less than the super intelligent voters selections. I suppose they could run IQ tests at the poll and then weigh the resulting vote accordingly.

          1. craazyman

            I mean weighted by the bathroom scale. Weighted by NASCAR fans eating a super-sized burger & fries. It’s a bad New Yawk elitist joke. I admit it. I see they’re running the Delete-It algorithm today. No worries. There are planets everywhere. haha

          2. Odysseus

            “It poses the interesting question of whether people with below average intelligence are allowed to have an opinion.”

            Of course they are, but that doesn’t mean that all opinions are equally well supported by reality. And when a given opinion is far enough from reality, it’s both worthwhile and important to ask just why that person is so deluded.

            1. Working Class Nero

              Is it a sign of delusion for a low-skill worker to prefer to keep the supply of competing low-skill workers as tight as possible?

    3. participant-observer-observed

      And these presumably are the same Americans who cannot abide birth control or gun trade restrictions, or overthrowing elected governments in central America, who then have nothing but contempt for children escaping violence showing up for refuge….but then MSM has a role to play in reinforcing the hallucinated neurotic machinations that attempt to go by the name “thinking.”

  4. scott

    Fracking…it’s too late for Denton, TX. I’ve flown over it. Almost every neighborhood and park has a fracking well next to it already. The parking lot of the University of North Texas football stadium has a fracking well in the middle of it. I’m glad Denton is downwind most of the year.
    By the time they vote and a ban takes effect, all of those wells will be dry anyway.

  5. Skeptic

    A Former Comcast Employee Explains That Horrifying Customer Service Call Slate (Vatch)

    There is a lot more to this “customer” manipulation than just cancelling a service.

    For instance, I have dealt with two major auto companies the last eight years in buying and servicing two new cars. It is my understanding that all transaction records are accessible to the auto manufacturers not only at the local level but at headquarters. So, if you have owned an auto and had it serviced at a dealership and never questioned any of the maintenance done, they have a profile of you that you are compliant. They can also install maintenance gimmicks in the mix to test your profile and resolve. After a while they can build a commercially usable profile on you and use it to extract more maintenance $$$ or new car $$$.

    Same thing with insurance companies. They have a lot of data on you and, if you have never questioned a premium raise or anything else, they know they have a live fish on the line and will act accordingly. No major Corporado today is going to miss the opportunity to rip off and exploit their “customers”.

    One strategy is to switch corporadoes often so they know you are not a Pushover. Another is to get out of their Loop and deal with small, independent businesses. For instance, have your car serviced by an independent, certified mechanic.

    As regards, the above, in the mid eighties, I worked “profiling” (sound familiar) Doctors for BIG PHARMA. In those days, the Profiles were then printed out for the PHARMA sales reps who then read the Profiles before going to pitch the Docs on their Snake Oils. Thirty years later, one can only imagine what those Profiles look like! I am amazed to see how long it has taken for this type of manipulation/deception/fraud to surface.

  6. David Lentini

    Don’t Hold Your Breath (or Water) Waiting for Silver Bullet for Diabetes

    I don’t mean to be too crticial, but I often wonder what criteria NC uses for posting “science” articles. Today’s offering is a great example. Having been involved with research in diabetes treatment at a large biopharma some years ago, I offer my experience to make the following observations:

    The report looks like a press release from the Salk Institute, not peer reviewed research.

    The work is done in a mouse model for a human disease. Talk to most senior pharmacologists, and you’ll learn that mouse models suck. We can cure just about any disease in a mouse model. The problem comes when we move to real diseases in real humans. The predictive ability of mouse models is very low, and many pharmas strongly discount positive mouse model results. The real point of using mouse models is to find glaring problems with toxicity, the ablitity of the drug to get into the mouse’s system (pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics), and the reponse of the mouse to clear the drug

    Protein-based drugs like FGF, are notoriously hard to make into useable pharmaceuticals. The body has many wonderful ways of destroying protein-based drugs because we’re so good at digesting proteins and recognizing foreign protein as antigens.

    Metabolic dieases like diabetes are hard to treat because they involve the highly coupled interactions of many key metabolic pathways. Toxicity often can appear late in clinical trials, because the interactions are so subtle.

    So, I’d wait before buying stock just yet.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Edifying comment. Cogent and concise. Thanks.

      I suspect that the absolute best way to deal with diabetes is to avoid getting it in the first place.

      1. MtnLife

        It’s much easier to avoid Type II diabetes since it is more heavily diet influenced. Type I is based on genetic predisposition that is triggered at some point in their life due to environmental conditions, often diet or viral infection. My friend’s son was born with it.

        1. OIFVet

          ” It’s much easier to avoid Type II diabetes since it is more heavily diet influence” Not necessarily, income is a factor. There is reason why the poor are more likely to be overweight.

          1. MtnLife

            I agree that the govt subsidizes crappy food and income levels severely affect ones diet and therefore health outcomes. However, I have still yet to hear an instance of someone being born with Type II diabetes, or having Type II triggered by viral infection, so until that happens my view is that Type II is more avoidable than Type I (aka juvenile diabetes, even though it can appear in adults).

            1. abynormal

              side note…i read sometime ago where Heinz Ketchup applies highly addictive properties and is the predominately condiment in schools but i can’t find the link.

              back to the Type 2 & Children:
              Type 2 Diabetes: Your Child’s Risk

              Type 2 diabetes runs in families. In part, this tendency is due to children learning bad habits — eating a poor diet, not exercising — from their parents. But there is also a genetic basis.

              In general, if you have type 2 diabetes, the risk of your child getting diabetes is 1 in 7 if you were diagnosed before age 50 and 1 in 13 if you were diagnosed after age 50.

              Some scientists believe that a child’s risk is greater when the parent with type 2 diabetes is the mother. If both you and your partner have type 2 diabetes, your child’s risk is about 1 in 2.

              People with certain rare types of type 2 diabetes have different risks. If you have the rare form called maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY), your child has almost a 1-in-2 chance of getting it, too. http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/genetics-of-diabetes.html

              1. mellon

                Resveratrol seems to help (prevent?) and reduce the symptoms of diabetes, it seems to me from what I’ve read, as well as dozens of other illnesses, and its cheap. Its also good for spinal/joint issues.. and glaucoma, as well as cardiovascular disease. It also seems to help prevent some forms of cancer. Its plentiful as its found in high quantities in Japanese knotweed, which is an invasive plant that grows profusely in many areas.

                Actually, I am aware of literally hundreds of apparently effective inexpensive interventions for illnesses which are essentially blocked out of the picture (seems to be by far the worst in the USA) – probably by the drug industry- perhaps because they are cheap and effective. They see them as competition?

                There are people who literally want other people to be sick.

    2. Brian

      Dr. Denise Faustman, Massachusetts General, Harvard Medical School. Treating Type 1 Diabetes, has a recombinant DNA product. There has been reversal in the mice, and human trials are underway.
      Note that no one in the pharma industry is helping to my latest knowledge.

    3. fresno dan

      they cure so many diseases in mice….I just wish they would do something for humans. I suspect BIG MOUSE is behind this…

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Very funny. Really. “….BIG MOUSE is behind this…..”

        On a more serious note, I understand that the stock has “surged” 200% after hours on a move by activist investor Carl Icahn to purchase a 101% stake in the company. It seems that everyone on Wall Street agrees. Icahn’s interest moves markets. The guy knows his sh*t.

  7. Jim Haygood

    ‘For years Argentina shunned talks with the holdouts, that it portrayed as “vultures” picking on the bones of its default. But the government has exhausted its legal options to get around a 2012 ruling by U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa that it pay holdouts $1.33 billion, plus accrued interest.’ — Reuters

    Argentina is still shunning talks with the holdouts. In recent weeks, two meetings with the special master appointed by the judge were held in New York, with both litigants present in the building. But the special master’s shuttle diplomacy never produced a face-to-face encounter.

    Argentina’s current strategy is to relitigate a case that already went to the Supreme Court. As soon as the Supreme Court denied certiorari, Judge Griesa promptly lifted a stay of his original order. Now Argentina has asked him to issue yet another stay, simply for its convenience. Obviously, with Argentina not cooperating with his request to negotiate with the plaintiffs (and bashing him in the NYT as ‘biased’), Judge Griesa has no basis to issue another stay.

    For sure, Argentina has a serious problem with the RUFO clause in the settled bonds, which guarantees pari passu treatment for those who accepted 30 cents on the dollar. Most of the ideas for getting round it seem like shaky subterfuges, potentially subject to legal attack.

    Nevertheless, Argentina’s ‘no negotiations’ strategy is a de facto decision to default on July 30th. Its request for another stay — a mantra repeated so often that Argentine newspapers now use the English word ‘stay’ in headlines — is a fantasy that will evaporate like dreams of winning the World Cup.

    1. Banger

      So what do you believe is the Argentine strategy here–clearly they have made some rational decision on the matter and aren’t just a bunch of four-year olds stamping their feet.

      I don’t know much about the underlying issues but I do know that the finance oligarchs are, second to the MSM, my enemy and anything no matter how irrational that harms their interests has a silver lining to it as far as I’m concerned. The same is true of the U.S. courts which I believe are fundamentally corrupt with a few bright lights here and there.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Probably Argentina decided to punt until the end of the year, when the RUFO clause in the exchanged debt expires. Then they can settle with the holdouts, without re-opening the 93% of bonds that were exchanged years ago at 30 cents on the dollar.

        Strange that they didn’t present this argument — ‘sorry, we’re stuck in a force majeure checkmate beyond our control’ — to the plaintiffs, rather than making the transparently untrue claim that the plaintiffs are unwilling to negotiate.

        Unnecessarily incurring the wrath of the judge can’t possibly help Argentina’s situation. My guess is that next week, he will order BNY to return the blocked $539 million payment to Argentina.

        1. Luciano Moffatt

          Jim,
          you have been consistently signaling Argentina’s lack of willing to negotiate with the vulture funds. That attitude is a rational and moral decision. Moral because Argentina does not want to reward funds that have not invested a single penny on Argentina, but just bought at fire sale prices defaulted bonds for the sole purpose of litigating for the full price and therefore jeopardizing the whole debt restructuring. Punishing the weak is not a way to build a civilized world, just the contrary is a way to build a very unpleasant planet. And it is also a rational decision. It is rational because if Argentina start negotiating willingly with the vulture funds before RUFUS clause ends, the door for future litigations with the rest of the bond holders. So start negotiating with the vultures funds without care is something that cannot be done so easily.

  8. MtnLife

    Japan gives green light to restart pair of nuclear reactors

    Sakurajima, an active volcano, is about 30 miles from the Sendai plant. It carries a Level 3 warning from the Japan Meteorological Agency, meaning that people are advised against going near the volcano.

    One would guess the still unresolved issue at Fukushima is long out of their memory because otherwise they wouldn’t open one near an ACTIVE volcano would they? And they haven’t had any earthquakes recently, right? Well, except for this one 5 DAYS AGO.

    1. James Levy

      This is a manifestation of the way capitalism centralizes and concentrates power and wealth. As money and power congeal in fewer and fewer pockets, its influence grows to the point where the needs, even desires and whims, of a few thousand people outweighs the lives, health, and safety of millions. Energy costs for some group of hyper-powerful interests are too high, so the plants get turned on, and to hell with the risk.

    2. Vatch

      Hey! Maybe the nuclear power plants near Sakurajima can double as geothermal power plants if there’s a severe eruption! Because Sakurajima is very busy these days.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sakurajima#Current_activity

      On 18 August 2013, the volcano erupted from Showa crater and produced its highest recorded plume of ash since 2006, rising 5,000 metres high and causing darkness and significant ash falls on the central part of Kagoshima city. The eruption occurred at 16:31 and was the 500th eruption of the year.

      1. mellon

        The events just described sounds like the beginning of a movie plot. Except.. real.

        The fact is, the government of Japan right now is an extreme right wing government that in many areas puts ideology above all else. I have not spoken with a single Japanese person who admits voting for them. I think the election there was fixed.

        Also, do people realize a new law there muzzles the press on everything having to do with the environment, nuclear power, Fukushima, medical effects of it, etc? Google “Japanese gag law”.

        So, be aware, many things that happen there are no longer reported in the media. I think that even blogs are muzzled.

        1. Vatch

          Yikes! Quite ugly. By the way, don’t use quotes for this particular Google search. Here’s one of the articles that came up in the search:

          http://truthfrequencyradio.com/japans-state-secrets-law-hailed-by-us-gags-reporters-and-whistleblowers/

          The most amusing part of a not very amusing article:

          Last month, Caroline Kennedy, in one of her first public statements as U.S. ambassador to Japan, added her endorsement for a Japanese secrets law.

          “We support the evolution of Japan’s security policies, as they create a new national security strategy, establish a National Security Council, and take steps to protect national security secrets,” she said.

      1. Keith Ackermann

        Want to know why there are Israel haters?

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ey_oP2Goef4

        His beliefs can be seen as an existential threat to the rest of the world. The guy’s brain is so far cooked that he should be put to sleep. The best I can tell, he’s not alone in his beliefs amongst the settlers. I ask you, what possible good can he be to the world?

        1. RP 3

          I agree the guy in the video is a total whack job and 99% of israelis would agree with me.
          However, unlike Hamas he does not run Gaza or Israel for that matter. You should have a read of the Hamas Charter, they are even worse than him.

  9. diptherio

    Re: Getting Globalization Right

    The crux of the situation [emphasis mine]:

    In this context, it is not surprising that ordinary citizens feel uncertain about the future and frustrated with their governments, which have so far failed to protect them from globalization’s fallout. But wresting power back from regional and international institutions – however shadowy and distant they may seem – would only compound the problem, for it would reduce the ability to guide the supranational trends that are shaping the world’s future. More, not less, cooperation is necessary to manage growing complexity and integration.

    It is time for our leaders to recognize new systemic risks and work together to mitigate them. Otherwise, the recent past will be prologue, with those risks likely to get the better of the global economy.

    Clearer and less naive thinking is called for here. These regional and international institutions, as Goldin points out, can be used to stabalize the system and promote the public good…however, the institutions by themselves have no agency and require actual human beings to give them life. At present, those who have gained control of the institutions have no interest in nor incentive to improve the system. The options for progress at this point, then, are two: wresting power from the current crop of humans who are running these institutions and putting “good” people in their place; or wresting power from the institutions themselves.

    Given that what we are facing is a large-scale version of a control fraud, where unscrupulous actors (literally, actors…as in acting, pretending, deceiving) have seized control of the oversight mechanisms of our society, and given that the problem is not with “a few bad apples” but with a web of “flexians,” it seems unclear to me how, exactly, we would go about wresting control of these institutions from the humans currently in charge of them. They are firmly entrenched and have used their privileged positions to further entrench themselves. In this situation, wresting power back from the institutions themselves seems to be the only reasonable way forward (although that wresting may happen indirectly, through the creation of alternative systems, rather than through direct confrontation).

    Suggesting, as Goldin does, that our leaders just need to pull their heads out of their collective rectums and play nice with each other and the rest of us for the good of all, is laughable. Where the f— has this guy been for the last thirty years? What is it, exactly, that leads Goldin to assume that our “leaders” give two hoots for the well-being of the masses, or that they will be able to somehow miraculously overcome their inherent greed and venality to actually act on behalf of larger group interests? Does he spend all of his time living in a fairy tale? sigh…

    He’s right about the problems we face and he’s right that we need more cooperation to overcome them. He’s dead wrong, however, in suggesting that we just need to get our “leaders” to act more like adults. When it comes to actual solutions, I’d rather listen to what Andres Toledo has to say:

    “Together is the only way we’re going to solve it.”

    1. James Levy

      You strike at the heart of the problem. The “localizers” seem to imagine that if we break everything up (with what boundaries? with what rules for coming and going? with what agreements to maintain infrastructure than crosses these new localizing boundaries?) we will live in peace and health in our new communities. In some areas, and with some groups, this might work. But what about those of us who are ill suited or incapable of being effective farmers and artisans? What are we going to do about the cities? And how do these idyllic localities deal with the three big emergent problems of our time: climate change, peak oil, and pandemic disease? Local always means limited. The resource base of any locally based political economy is by definition small. And some of our problems are large. Breaking the US up into dozens or hundreds of these happy localities would make life pretty grim for those dependent on only their own resources who have to endure an earthquake or a hurricane. And what happens if you get a situation like in Africa now with an Ebola outbreak, or in Colorado with the plague, and their is no CDC, no national data bases, no national laboratories, just the local doctors and maybe a local hospital or two? If everyone doesn’t want to pitch in and solve or collective problems today when we all share a common nationality, what are the chances people will be more altruistic towards others if they all have their own independent localities to look after?

      We need to united people, not divide them, if we are to survive the difficulties ahead.

      1. lambert strether

        This may be an odd angle to come at this from… But I am a railroad fan. And if you go back even to the 1930s, you can see city-sized canneries, breweries, bakeries, and manufacturing plants of all sorts everywhere, and most of an average city’s food was produced within a fairly small radius (and certainly wasn’t flown or trucked from thousands of miles away).

        But that is orders of magnitude more localized than what we have today. I think there’s a happy medium between today’s globalized supply chain and growing all our own food on our own land.

    2. David Lentini

      I’m not sure “naïve” is the best word here. Given this guy’s title, I think he’s either a true believer or a charlatan. Clearly, he supports his own arguments with his facts. Much of what he wrote can be disproven outright or at least heavily qualified. But instead he wants to give everyone the bum’s rush by shouting TINA, as if “globalization” is some sort of natural gravitational force that can’t be changed. And so, like rock slides, floods, hurricanes, and the like, we have to just get our acts together to weather the storms and clean up the messes.

      These sorts of pseudo-scientific arguments are often given to support the worst crypto-fascist postions, because they subtly undermine resistance to the economically and politically powerful. When you pull back the curtain, you realize that the great mass of people have plenty of power—If only they would get organized and make decisions. But that’s hard to do when you think your trying outlaw gravity.

      1. David Lentini

        Just a bit farther to my point above, I meant to point out that this sort of pseudo-science is crypto-fascist because it subtly equates economic and power, which are the results of human decisions and values, with natural forces that can’t be controlled. See throught the smoke and mirrors, and then you’ll start making your own decisions and rich don’t want that.

    3. Banger

      You know, diptherio, you come up with consistently cogent analyses that get to the heart of the matter. Your point here is central and it is one we need to think long and hard about here.

      The vanguard of the left is now up for grabs because its leading lights (with some exceptions) is still stuck in the “progressive” mind-set that favors reform, radical reform but reform nonetheless. In the past as Chris Hedges has pointed out in The Death of the Liberal Class the more radical left acted exactly as a vanguard, leftist ideas like 40 your work week, ending segregation and apartheid laws, anti-war movements and so on were eventually taken up by liberal politicians, academics and professionals who worked within the system to gradually create reforms like the Civil Rights Act and so on. But that era is over and, as Hedges says, all we have left is resistance–now I happen to disagree with Hedges because he does not wish to look into deep politics but that does not change his basic insight–nor do I agree with his despairing attitude.

      While I appreciate civil society I see that the greatest threat to that society is coming from the corrupt oligarchical structures and system of Catch-22s that dominate our political landscape. We need a revolutionary mind-set but with a difference–I believe that, due to the internet, we can create a relatively peaceful revolution through a multi-pronged approach. But this approach has to start with making alliances with a diverse group of people.

      1. diptherio

        Thanks for the compliment, but I can’t really take credit–just expressing what seems to be in the aether lately, so to speak.

        Your last comment, about diverse alliances, is another thing that’s in the aether right now. The “Solidarity Economy” meme, in fact, is largely focused on this. Metaphors of rainforests and ecosystems are thick at the moment. We’re all realizing that we need a new system to replace the captured one we’ve got, and most of us realize that no one movement or idea is going to be adequate to address the situation. Those that don’t seem to realize that, unsurprisingly, seem to come out of ivory towers or think tanks, but the people on the ground, by and large, get it.
        It takes an Ecosystem: The Rise of Worker Cooperatives in the US ~Nina Ignaczak, Shareable

        1. susan the other

          Steele of The Open Source Everything Book has suggested “panarchy.” No it’s not anything like anarachy, he says. It is the opposite. Since we now have the technology to be connected instantly we can keep a conversation going on what kind of progress we want. It sounds like a global referendum. I’ve always liked referendum decision making, but not always the decisions. I’m thinking about California’s tax moratorium. Say… we applied panarchy to decisions on how best to handle trade relations and just scuttle secret agreements altogether?

          1. hunkerdown

            Majoritarianism, i.e. the concept that you can regularly tell up to 50%-1 of people to go pound sand and maintain a convivial society, needs to be laughed into the dirt and its proponents hounded until they cry like little babies and seriously contemplate never being seen in public again. There certainly is a happy medium between there and the Occupy “Senator’s hold” — the 3/4 or 4/5 supermajority, which somehow seems to be enough for legislative chambers to handle but somehow not the peanut gallery in the sawdust-bread-and-clown-circuses we call elections.

            Now, if only we could agree on starting conditions.

    4. mellon

      That was the problem with Obama, going all the way back to his slumlord lawyer/community organizer days in Chicago, he wants to “cooperate” in such a way that the little people – who have little, less and less all the time, are always the ones asked to make each and every sacrifice. (See Fitch on Obama)

      With “friends” like these, who needs enemies?

      1. hunkerdown

        With the party, you mean. Bill Clinton was known to call for “sacrifice” to the “common” good at his first inauguration, and Hillary’s new book title seems tailored to shape a “new normal” too.

        Watch for the Aztec priest inside every Democratic appointee going forward.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      “Listen lady, are you sane, adequate person?”

      You’re right. It’s hilarious.

      1. fresno dan

        Only one reply will do….in my case, it is also the truth, “I am insane, inadequate person” (you can add that’s why I do business with you)

  10. Garrett Pace

    Horrifying Comcast Customer Service Call

    Most of the article is just a post from reddit, and the author added precious little himself. There’s 21st Century journalism – lurking social media to find people saying interesting things.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      The lesson here is that if you’re frustrated navigating the automated customer service call systems and just want to speak to a live person, choose the option that says you want to cancel your service.

      It works every time.

      1. MtnLife

        Those automated systems also use software that detects the level of anger/hostility in your voice, including volume, to not let angry people stew even longer. If you want to talk to a real person quickly then angrily shout obscenities, you will get sent to a human and often moved to the head of the line, occasionally over basic support staff to experienced customer service staff.

    2. curlydan

      The article tends to state the obvious–people aren’t generally a-holes in a person-to-person setting unless money is involved. It was clear when reading the call’s transcript that this guy’s pay depended on “retaining” the customer. He spent the time because he knew the payoff could be big–a wonderful example for an economist wanting showing a “rational actor”. Probably just getting the client to hang up would have resulted in a bonus. The only reason the rep probably relented was his average handle time (AHT) was getting too high.

    3. lambert strether

      If you want to make these customer service guys a lot less stressed and take money out of Comcast’s pocket, try making a fake cancellation call, and let them “convince” you to keep your service.. The customer service guy gets a bonus, and Comcast take the hit!

  11. Jim Haygood

    Bush’s blonde pinch-hitter:

    Former President George W. Bush was supposed to give a speech to Ameriprise Financial conference in Boston next week but had to bow out because he’s recovering from surgery on a bum knee. But the finance services firm was able to secure a prominent substitute speaker: Hillary Clinton.

    Bush had to drop out after he had a second partial knee replacement surgery last weekend in Chicago. So Clinton was tapped as the replacement. The precise date of her speech wasn’t immediately clear, but the conference is July 23-27.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2014/07/george-w-bush-hillary-clinton-substitute-speaker-109010.html#ixzz37jZ1acvm

    ————

    Neocons: they all look the same, don’t they?

    1. fresno dan

      The fact that politicians and government officials get paid these sums for their anodyne speeches, demonstrates something is not working right.
      1. Considering these are public officials, what information could they possibly convey that is not already in the public realm – why would a profit maximizing entity pay for it?
      2. It is a payoff for past and/or future special favors (or more like an insurance premium – no particular event, you just keeping paying to assure nothing bad happens). Doesn’t say to much for the intellects of the demos as this “hide in plain sight” bribery occurs right out in the open.

      And I note again that the two parties “oppose” each other to the same extent as professional wrestlers – all for show. As both Bush and (past) Clinton had treasury secretaries from Wall street (and future Clinton will too) it only makes sense that the dem and repub are interchangeable to make the “insurance” payments to.

      1. Ed

        I’ve heard Very Important People speak, and my impression has been that they don’t say anything in public that they haven’t already said in public. Really not worth showing up for.

        So yes, these ridiculous “speaker fees” are pretty obvious bribes.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      “Bush’s blonde pinch-hitter”

      WTF? The word “blonde” appears nowhere in the article.

      Your slip is showing, Haygood. Er, I mean, your fly is open.

      Tactical error. It’s too soon to call out the misogyny reinforcements.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          “Photo above the words”????

          Title of the article: “Bush’s substitute speaker: Hillary Clinton”

          Photo caption: “Bush was anticipated as the main attraction at the event, but Clinton will go in his stead.”

          Six photos pitching other stories–5 men and Detroit.

          I used your link. Maybe this is some sort of Facebook style “experiment.”

  12. jfleni

    RE: The Losers From U.S. Sanctions: AMERICAN Businesses

    When are “hard-headed” US business interests going to realize that DogPatch-DC and its posse of necon nuts (fanatically pro-Israel and just as fanatically anti-Russian) are just a crazy exercise in “self-castration”?

    Let’s hear NAM, Chamber of Commerce, and the other “hard-heads” explain that!

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      I, for one, hope they stay asleep at least long enough for Monsanto, JPM and Goldman Sachs to catch a little of that “self-castration” action.

  13. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Vocativ’s ridiculous I.S.I.S. story fails to mention the company’s deep links to Israeli intelligence Gary Brecher, Pando

    So this is “The War Nerd.” He seems to be getting quite well-known lately.

    The piece contains important information on Vocativ’s israeli IDF connections. Psy-ops. Who could’ve known?

    But just a few observations on style. You can’t “out-Taibbi” Matt Taibbi, War Nerd. Don’t try.

    Too much “g” droppin’ and apostrophe love can be distracting. And it makes your audience feel like it’s getting played. Take a lesson from Barack Obama. His “g’ droppin’ “just folks” shtick lost its potency several years ago. And he only resorts to it when he’s peddling obvious crap to people who are susceptible to obvious crap. If you’ve got some good information for me, just tell me. Don’t obfuscate with schlock rhetorical devices.

    And your embrace of the “f” word, in all of its iterations, strikes me as a blatant Taibbi ripoff. You don’t automatically get Taibbi’s credibility by appropriating and OVERDOING his style.

    So, for anyone interested in similar information presented in a more “Dragnet,” “Just the facts, ma’am” sort of way, here’s some:

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/justified-vengeance-the-pretext-for-bombing-gaza-was-the-netanyahu-government-behind-the-killings-of-the-three-israeli-teenagers/5391093

    It comes courtesy of the comments to the Moon of Alabama link.

    1. Carolinian

      Actually blame it all on Hunter Thompson. Gonzo never died, especially at Pando.

      Worth pointing out that Taibbi mostly worked at Rolling Stone. There’s a legacy.

    2. Working Class Nero

      The War Nerd began writing a column in The Exile in 2002. Matt Taibbi left about the same time the War Nerd started writing there so I suppose it is not so surprising that they have similar styles. In any case the War Nerd has been famous among war nerds like myself for more than a decade.

      Below is a link to his first column. It is exceedingly politically incorrect and hilarious for those not easily offended. Over time he seems to have lost the political incorrectness and replaced it with more hip style.

      http://www.exile.ru/articles/detail.php?ARTICLE_ID=6497&IBLOCK_ID=35&PAGE=3

      1. Mark P.

        Yeah. I liked him a lot back then — more original insights in the context of a simpler time, and also less inclined to believe his own cr*p.

        Now, it kind of feels like he’s past his sell-by date. It doesn’t help, either, that it’s 2014 and the world has moved on, and WWIII, if it happens, will almost certainly be between the U.S. and China, and start where regular folks can’t see it.

        Arguably, it’s already started, actually. We’re in a sensitive area here, so here’s a sanitized, arms-control lite version of the situation —

        ‘Anti-satellite Weapons, Deterrence and Sino-American Space Relations’
        http://www.stimson.org/images/uploads/Anti-satellite_Weapons.pdf

    1. fresno dan

      the power to tax is the power to prevent jiggling….
      Must we have a specific amendment to expressly allow jiggling? I say the penumbra of amendments allows the freedom to jiggle….
      I appreciate modern dance, and would be appalled at anything that would curtail artistic expression….

      1. hunkerdown

        Maybe, but twerking really ought to require a license. Some very high-profile cases of offenses against public beauty have been committed by certain people driving without a motor in the back of their Honda.

        1. fresno dan

          lol
          Right, there should be a license or permit – only if you meet minimum, and I would argue, roundness requirements, can you twerk.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I need to write about this. The plaintiffs have a huge statute of limitations problem. Also $250 billion is face amount. It was $424 billion in face amount of bonds that was at issue in the $8.5 BofA settlement over the same issue.

  14. Banger

    Patrick Cockburn has been reporting on ISIS/ISIL recently at Counterpunch–I recommend looking up his articles there. His latest article discusses the fact ISIS back into Syria to mop up other rebel groups and attack Syrian Kurds with its new American equipment and money robbed from banks in the area it conquered. What Cockburn did not say, and has no need to say, is that this arming of this Saudi-financed army created to fight Shia Islam (which Cockburn wrote in a previous article) by fanatic Wahabbis who have been supported by the West since the days of T.H. Lawrence not so much to destroy the Shia but to make sure that the Arab world never enters the modern world. The alliance now current in the region involves the U.S. and its minions in Europe, Israel, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States, Turkey, and not so distant Pakistan. Ironically, Turkey and other states are the chief supporters of Hamas that continues to be the gift that keeps on giving to the radical right-wing Israeli government. We live in a deeply Machiavellian world that the mainstream media is forbidden to report on–a few reporters like Cockburn give us some realistic pictures of what is going on here. The alliance I mentioned, for example is filled with internal conspiracies and power-plays so who knows in what interests any of them are acting–we certainly know for sure that the U.S. and NATO is most definitely not acting in the interest of Europeans or North Americans.

    In contrast to Cockburn is a rather silly article in Pando (in the links above) that claims that Israel supports ISIS not because it is strong but because ISIS is weak. They have it right that Israel supports ISIS but very wrong that ISIS is weak. Real reporters know that ISIS is real, ruthless, staffed with professional soldiers from around the world who know how to use modern weapons and have studied military strategy and know they have the support of the major powers. The question is, of course, has this army an agenda of their own and will it turn on their benefactors? I doubt it, at this point–at some future date, maybe.

    1. Andrew Watts

      The War Nerd is also very wrong about ISIS not being able to operate in non-Sunni areas. The latest Cockburn article mentions the fact that IS is expanding into the Kurdish areas of Syria. In terms of Iraqi Kurdistan the Sunni will never allow the Kurds to maintain control over Kirkuk for any long period of time. Once the Kurds lose control over the oil nobody will have any further use for them.

          1. Synapsid

            Andrew Watts,

            I’m confused about the Kurds not being considered Sunni. By whom, and why?

            1. Andrew Watts

              By their fellow Sunni. As for why it’s mostly an issue of Arab tribalism/nationalism which implicitly excludes the Kurds from belonging.

      1. Synopticist

        I can’t stand that “ISIS isn’t a big problem” line of analysis. They’re not a big problem AS LONG AS THEY DON’T CONTROL A STATE. Which they’re now well on the way to doing.

        Once they control what amounts to a country, they have huge, massive resources to exploit. Not just the oil, but a tax base, a population to draft soldiers from, technological expertise from it’s inhabitants, the natural propensity for people to side with their own rulers against others, all that stuff you get when you take power in a large place.

        It’s a serious problem now. Moronic blowback from a pro-jihadi policy we’ve persued in Syria.

    2. Working Class Nero

      What the War Nerd missed is that Israel is exaggerating the ISIS “threat” on purpose in order to justify the reality that soon Hamas will be left in power. The argument will be that if Israel removes Hamas it will leave a vacuum for ISIS to move into. The reality is that Hamas in power in Gaza ensures both that the Palestinians are split and that Israel can refuse to negotiate with terrorists (Hamas) and can therefore continue the apartheid status quo situation in the West Bank.

    3. Cynthia

      Banger,

      Given that the Palestinians are losing ground so quickly and so easily without so much as a minor show of force, other than the occasional Palestinian teen throwing hand-held rocks at Israeli police or firing homemade bottle rockets into Israeli territory, I’m beginning to think that Hamas is working for Israel. Lately this sort of thing can often be seen happening in so-called unionized workplaces across the US. Despite having the backing of a union and all the advantages that go along with it, workers are losing their pay, pensions and health benefits at an alarming rate.

      My theory is that Hamas leadership has sold out to Israel, just as union bosses have sold out to Corporate America. The increasing lopsidedness of this conflict in the Middle East, as though it has been manufactured from the top on both sides, deserves an explanation, and such a theory of mine, far-fetched though it is, may indeed lead to some sort of explanation for this. It’s well worth a look, IMO. I’d like to hear your thoughts on this.

      1. Banger

        Who knows? The rockets however are more than bottle rockets. Interestingly aid is coming chiefly from Turkey (Turkish intel has been hand and glove with the Mossad for decades) and the Gulf States which is why Gaza can quickly rebuild. Please note that all these are U.S./NATO allies. I think it is now conventional wisdom that Israel did help fund Hamas to be a thorn in the side of Arafat–whether that relation continued or not I don’t know but it would make sense.

        The more important point is nothing in that region and, increasingly, in the rest of the world is as it seems. The mainstream media is probably misinforming us more radically than they did in the days of Operation Mockingbird.

        1. Synopticist

          “The mainstream media is probably misinforming us more radically than they did in the days of Operation Mockingbird.”

          Damn right.

  15. diptherio

    Here’s 5, count ’em, 5 whole hours of video from the recent NYC Worker Cooperatives Conference. There’s some pretty high-level conversation here, as Yves would say, for anyone interested in forming or supporting worker cooperatives. The second and third videos are especially informative, imo. The second is a panel discussion with several worker-owners on the in-and-outs of running a co-op, the third focuses on the cooperative movement and it’s connections with social justice.

    NYC Worker Cooperative Conference 2014

    1. lambert strether

      I don’t want to see cranky, but I can’t listen to 5 hours of video. Are there transcripts?

  16. fresno dan

    Facial-Recognition Cat Feeding Machine Launched Sky (Chuck L). Just wait for this to be repurposed for children.

    Is this like when you get your drivers license or passport and you can’t smile??? My cats aren’t always smiling (they scowl all the time – the TBTF banks drove them frantic), but they’re pretty contrary (they say they get it from me – I reply that’s unpossible). So telling them not to smile when they’re eating is gonna just make they smile out of spite – unless I feed they dry food – and they won’t eat that…

    1. BartFargo

      According to Interfax via Reuters, a Ukrainian interior ministry spokesman is claiming the plane was shot down at an altitude of 33,000 ft by a Buk missile fired by Ukrainian separatists.

      1. montanamaven

        Ukrainian Federalists are saying that they don’t have anything that could shoot a plane down at 33,000 feet.
        Some of us paying attention to Ukraine have urged people to pay attention to this terrible mess our government has got us into. Obama is no Kennedy.

    2. Jim Haygood

      MH17, a Boeing 777, down on 7/17, the 18th anniversary of the TWA 800 crash on 17 July 1996.

      Coincidence … or a Masonic fascination with numerology at work?

      1. ewmayer

        Re. TWA 800 — I knew someone on that flight – graduate secretary in my then-academic department at Uni. in Cleveland. She and her mother (a French teacher in a local HS) were flying to France for a 2-week vacation. Recall her mentioning looking forward to it when we chatted the week before about our respective upcoming European trips, but was myself in Europe at the time of the crash, and as I only knew of her general plans, not flight specifics, I utterly failed to put 2 and 2 together (in the at-least-make-inquiries sense) until my return to the US a week afterward. Numb, just numb, on hearing the news.

        RIP all those who perished that day, and this.

        1. ogee

          Flight 800
          Before the 9-11 event….
          there were things like flight 800. Shot down by a missle, of some kind.
          was it an accidental shooting down by a navy ship? was it a shoulder fired rocket of some sort?. There were some 50 odd witnesses of the missle going up., A reporter who slipped into the warehouse where the wreckage was being re-constructed on long island, wrote an interesting book called “into the buzzsaw,the myth of a free press”, when she

          (kristin borjesson?). a former producer for 60 minuites, was “blacklisted from the industry, for investigating the evidence of that plane being shot sown.” As well as other journalists who ran afoul of the “accepted stories” in relation to cia drug running ,hundreds of tons of cocaine to the bloods and crips in the eighties,(flying in on c-130’s into an Arkansas air force base… during the years of Clinton’s governership), paying for dark ops in central America(remember the crack years), and other stories of weight… most people never heard of to this day. The book was one that is the story of today.. all the things we never were told, but should have been to not have what we have had for the last 15 years.

    3. Bart Fargo

      Ukrainian separatists apparently claimed earlier today that they had downed another An-26 over Donetsk.

      http://itar-tass.Com/mezhdunarodnaya-panorama/1325017

      Google translation:
      Donetsk, July 17. / ITAR-TASS /. Militias proclaimed the People’s Republic of Donetsk (DNI) near the town of Torez downed military transport aircraft An-26 Ukrainian Air Force. This is reported by witnesses from the scene.

      According to them, the plane was hit by a missile, and then began to lose altitude, crashed to the ground and burned.

      Downed An-26 in the Luhansk region

      July 14 militia proclaimed the People’s Republic of Lugansk (LC) also knocked Ukrainian An-26 Air Force. As the press service of the LC said that five crew members of the downed plane captured (this on board were eight people). Speaker power operation while Vladislav Seleznev said that prisoners were “two members of the crew.”

      1. Banger

        That’s what blew my mind–what is wrong with Malaysia to not see that area as dangerous-it’s almost suspicious.

        1. Christopher Dale Rogers

          Airlines routinely fly over conflict zones at 33,000 feet according to the industry itself and it would need to be a big SAM to hit a target flying five miles high – certainly no shoulder launched missile.

          This has all the hallmarks of a “Red Flag” operation to discredit the Russians and Putin – seems most similar to the shooting down of the Korean Airlines flight during the tail end of the Cold War with Reagan calling the USSR the “Evil Empire”.

          I do not believe the Russians would knock a civilian airline out of the air in this day and age, particularly given Holland is a member of NATO and this was a code sharing flight – perhaps something to take the heat off our Zionist friends practicing genocide against the Palestinians, which was hogging all the news band and newsprint. Suffice to say I smell a big rat here with butters really intent on causing a face-off between Russia and NATO, and for what?

          The bloody Ukraine – surely not!!!!!!!

          1. Carolinian

            “Airlines routinely fly over conflict zones at 33,000 feet according to the industry itself”

            I’ll take your word for that but perhaps you could supply a supporting link. Obviously the Russians do have missiles that could shoot down such a plane and the Ukrainians probably do as well. The news reports are now saying that other airlines were routing around the combat area. I do know that lower altitude small aircraft can be banned from flying across “conflict zones.”

            Doubtless it’s premature to speculate but that doesn’t seem to be stopping the usual suspects who are already blaming Russia.

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              It’s not “obviously the Russians”.

              Even the Wall Street Journal said:

              U.S. intelligence agencies said a surface-to-air missile hit a Malaysia Airlines plane carrying 295 passengers and crew before it crashed in Ukraine.

              The intelligence sources didn’t say whether the missile was fired by Ukrainian forces or pro-Russia separatist rebels.

              1. Carolinian

                “Obviously the Russians do have such missiles” meaning such missiles do exist and therefore could be in possession of the rebels as well as Ukraine and any airliner would be foolish to fly near them.

                You misconstrue my meaning.

                However if the rebels did shoot the plane down then the Russians will undoubtedly be blamed for giving the rebels the missiles whether they did so or not.

                The thrust of my comment is that the airline was foolish to fly within range of an active war zone and the (Ukrainian?) ATC foolish to allow them to do so. There are strict international rules about airspace…many places where airplanes are not allowed to fly.

                1. Banger

                  Supposedly the rebels captured such a unit–no one knows for sure. Saker has an interesting take well worth reading.

        2. Paul Niemi

          We must wait to hear if MH17 was on its intended flight path when it flew over the area in question. If not, if it had strayed into the range of its doom, then that is suggestive and it raises even more questions about the MH370 crash previously. No sense drawing inferences that will win a tinfoil hat until more information is available.

          1. Banger

            Paul, I agree–however, it is clear to me that whatever happened there is no reliable source for truth so, in fact if you don’t have a tinfoil hat on permanently you are going to be subject to one kind of a con or another. It is deeply ironic that in an age of information what we actually have is mass confusion. For example, if the Ukranian government is correct and it was rebels who shot down the airliner–what would be their motivation? These sorts of questions are never answered in the Western media which has become 100% propaganda. Of course it may well be that Russian elements did attack the plane in order to undermine Putin–who knows?

            1. Paul Niemi

              One commenter elsewhere is saying Putin’s airplane was on a similar flight path within an hour of MH17, so they might have been trying to shoot him down and got the wrong plane, which looks similar. I was just thinking, along the lines of your reasoning, that events occurring today could have been sufficient to start WWI a couple dozen times over if 100 years ago was as disordered. Actually I do think we are in a war and don’t know what to call it because it is economic and fought with subtle means and forces.

              1. OIFVet

                Wouldn’t surprise me one bit. The link to Putin’s flight path story: http://rt.com/news/173672-malaysia-plane-crash-putin/. Equador’s president Aguilera died in a very suspicious plane crash also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaime_Rold%C3%B3s_Aguilera. Now we have McCain bellicosity to deal with: “people [should] be held responsible and not only be people directly responsible, but indirectly,” McCain said, according to Roll Call. “And if these are … separatists, which are also Russian, Vladimir Putin should be paying a heavy price.” (http://politics.suntimes.com/article/washington/mccain-plane-crash-theres-going-be-hell-pay/thu-07172014-1132am). This comes dangerously close to advocating the murder of a head of state. I wonder whether McCain felt that there should be “hell to pay” when the USS Vincennes downed Iranian Flight 655?

                1. hunkerdown

                  Well, good. Let the besuited sots all kill each other and leave us out of it. Wouldn’t that be a nice change of trajectory of the Holy Bourgeois Forward Arrow of History!

                  1. OIFVet

                    It is not that simple though. The bourgeois start the crap but it splatters over us little people when it hits the fan. Always has, always will.

              2. Carolinian

                I have a comment awaiting moderation–perhaps too wordy a link– but I suspect we’ll be hearing more about this flight path question. A commercial airliner should never have been over a combat zone where planes are being shot down regularly.

                1. Paul Niemi

                  I just looked at a Reuters map of the flight path, and the dotted line showing the intended route was south of the war zone and a couple hundred miles south of where the plane was shot down. In cases like these, save the early news reports, because they will be taken down and replaced with the consensus later.

              3. Banger

                McCain is always an interesting figure to track–I just read that he’s already on the warpath and urging some kind o retaliation against Russia–he appears to be the spokesperson and important operative of those within the Deep State who are tirelessly trying to start WWIII. At any rate, we will have much to discuss tomorrow.

                As for Putin being the target that’s an interesting idea. Whatever it is we are seeing we are getting ever closer to serious war. I am convinced that a very serious faction within the ruling elite is bent on some kind of major war with Russia.

                1. MikeNY

                  This incident has likely given McCain something he can’t recall having in many years: a hard-on. Senator LIndsey Graham is surely lurking somewhere proximate, to give McCain a hand with it.

                  1. Paul Niemi

                    The nice thing about using a cliche is that everyone understands just what you mean. No disambiguation is necessary, and it gets the point across in just a few potent words.

          2. Carolinian

            Well I do know something about it and airliners are supposed to strictly obey air traffic control unless over major oceans where out of range. This is, among other things, so they don’t run into each other. The reports say the plane had previously followed exactly the same course.

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/07/17/the-malaysian-flight-that-crashed-in-ukraine-was-on-the-same-route-it-flew-every-day/

            But if allowed to fly over a combat zone, even at high altitude, then that surely puts some onus on the ground controllers.

            1. OIFVet

              WaPo says the route did not differ in “significant” way, not that it was “exactly the same” route. And according to the FlightAware path data they published, today’s flight flew further to the north compared to yesterday’s flight and the one from week ago. Too pressed for time to check myself for the other days this week. The question is, why? Was it weather related route? Or something else? Will we get to see the flight plan filed by the flight crew at the departing airport? The fact is, the route is significantly different. The previous routes took the flight over the Azov Sea somewhere in the vicinity of Berdyansk and Mariopol, area not under separatist control. Today’s route flew further north over areas under separatist control. Why? I know I have my tinfoil hat on in this instance.

              1. Paul Niemi

                I’m not sure, but I think Boeing bragged that these airplanes could fly themselves, take off and land themselves, given the computers. If that is true, can it be said with 100 percent certainty that the computers can not be hacked? So, if MH17 strayed north from its intended flight path, then that is significant. Maybe it was the computers finding the most fuel efficient route to Kuala Lumpur, but it raises in my mind the question whether MH370 was a dummy run? Can a 777 be electronically commandeered for catastrophe? If this happens, will the instruments all read normal, no one the wiser, until someone looks out the window and sees they are over Kiev? It makes me want to know if all that conjecture is impossible and untrue. Could a plane like that be programmed to suddenly render everyone aboard unconscious in a matter of seconds, for example? Quite a while ago, I used to refuse to fly on DC-10s, I’d find some other connection. There was something about the way the bulkheads shook, and it gave me the willies, no tin hat necessary.

                1. Carolinian

                  They can be flown by autopilot and even autoland (but not, I think, auto takeoff). However takeoffs and landings are always done with a pilot at the controls in case something unexpected happens. Computers do have their limits.

                  The problem with the electronic hijack scenario is that the pilots (or at least one of them) are sitting there and would notice something out of the ordinary. If you’ve ever seen any pilot videos they are actually quite busy despite the automation (which they must program). They aren’t taking naps.

                  One thing they do a lot is talk to the ground to gain approval for course or altitude changes. Very unlikely that the plane wasn’t flying exactly where someone told it to fly.

                  I saw one report tonight that said the plane was flying in unrestricted airspace but that the area over the combat zone has now been “embargoed”–declared off limits. If accurate then very curious that this wasn’t already true.

                  Obviously more will soon be known. This won’t be like that other Malaysian plane.

            2. OIFVet

              Facepalm alert: MSNBC is really bad at geography. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2014/07/17/malaysia-airlines-crash-the-towering-incompetence-of-msnbc/?tid=recommended_strip_1: “Ball: Let’s turn now to an MSNBC exclusive. U.S. Staff Sgt. Michael Boyd is at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine and says that he saw a missile in the air hit the plane. He is on the phone with us. Sergeant, are you there?”

              Kiev, where the US Embassy is located, is about a 10 hour drive from where the plane went down. I doubt we will be getting the real facts on this tragedy from the mainstream propaganda media.

              1. James Levy

                I don’t know why Obama is so obsessed with putting pressure on Russia. It may be an attempt to force other powers into making a choice: are you with the USA, or Russia? It may be simple spite, as he obviously hates Putin’s guts and can sense Putin’s contempt for him.

                Anyway, this thing is going to be played for all the propaganda value it’s worth. BTW, has anyone here every read Incident at Sakhalin about what happened the night that Korean 007 airliner was shot down? The Japanese press for 48 hours was reporting that a significant air battle took place that night between US and Soviet airplanes over Sakhalin Island and 007 was caught in the crossfire. Then the story was suppressed. I don’t know if that’s true, but I’d be curious if anyone had any insights.

              2. Fíréan

                150 Netherlands citizens died in the crash, so the reports state. If there is suspicion ( or claim) that a missile brought down the plane, from whatever source, will that be enough to give reason to put NATO troops et all into Ukraine ? Isn’t that what the USA wants ?

                1. OIFVet

                  23 Americans perished also. The possibility that the airliner was brought down on purpose in order to escalate the conflict is almost too disturbing to contemplate. Yet in a very perverse way, it would be better if it was a false flag operation provided that air defense radar and other data exist that prove that it was the Ukies who fired the missile. Otherwise we can find ourselves in a hot war in a heartbeat.

            3. lambert strether

              No, 33,000 feet should protect them. I dno’t think air traffic controllers treat war zones like thunderstorms.

    4. Abe, NYC

      Sigh.

      Every theory channeled by Russian propaganda, duly relayed and discussed. The one missing is the one to which all circumstantial evidence points: that the so-called “rebels” mistook the MH flight for a Ukrainian military plane, or perhaps were aiming for a Ukrainian plane and hit the Boeing instead.

      Actually, I realize I was wrong – There was one Russian theory which wasn’t discussed here: that it’s the lost MH370 plane, which Americans kept away for a while until they flew it over Ukraine to be shot.

      1. OIFVet

        Sigh, here comes the dude that spouts every canard brought fourth by the MSM and their Deparment of Colonial Administration masters. I will see your “circumstantial evidence” and raise you direct evidence that the Ukies possess lots of Buks, have moved them into theater recently, and were in fact the last military to shoot down a civilian airliner: Siberia Airlines Flight 1812. 1812 was a bad year for would-be Russia-destroyers too, as I recall.

      2. ewmayer

        Hey, Abe:

        Remember the “Russian propaganda” last year about their forensics indicating that the Syrian gas attack was not consistent with the chemical signatures of the government’s munitions?

        Funny thing about that – it proved to be true…

        With all these kinds of incidents now I follow a general rule: Wait 72 hours and let the “rampant speculation and blatant propaganda disguised as news” phase subside a bit and some actual verifiable *facts* come to light before offering any opinion. We need more signal, not more noise.

        1. Abe, NYC

          Well, you cannot fool all of the people, all of the time. Russians must allow some truth in their reporting. Just because on one occasion Russian government wanted you to believe something that is actually true, doesn’t mean its information is correct most of the time.

          In this particular case, I was quoting a leading Russian military analyst Pavel Felgengauer (he’s been on RT among other outlets). This video is in Russian, but you can run the title through Google translate: “all circumstantial evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by the ‘rebels.'” That’s the gist of his message.

          1. Abe, NYC

            I should clarify that Pavel Felgengauer has been on RT, but not in connection with this incident.

          2. OIFVet

            “Felgenhauer initially described retaking South Ossetia from Georgia as a Russian logistical nightmare, and claimed that Russia would face a prolonged and difficult war against Georgia’s “quite good military”.[3] After the Russian Army routed the Georgian Army in five days, Felgenhauer claimed that Russia’s invasion was pre-planned.[4] Felgenhauer’s view of the 2008 South Ossetia War was criticised by Gordon Hahn, a senior researcher at the Monterey Terrorism Research Monterey and Education Program, in a Russia related mailing list where he stated that “Pavel Felgenhauer’s conspiracy theory has several major holes [sic] in it.”[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavel_Felgenhauer. Any asshole on someone’s payroll can label themselves “a leading analyst” and vomit out an opinion based on “circumstantial evidence” and no doubt influenced by the source of his paycheck. It is also notable that Felgenhauer, together with Masha Gessen, is the US media’s favorite go to anti-Russkie Ruskie.

            1. Abe, NYC

              Take it easy buddy. The tone of your post alone is a sure sign of complete lack of substance. In case you didn’t notice yourself, whenever you go into a fit of spitting rage you’ve got nothing sensible to add. When you try to keep it down you do sometimes make sense.

              Next time, don’t restrict yourself to a Wikipedia article in the English language on an entirely unfamiliar subject. Do a bit more research. Then you’d know that Felgengauer is a high-profile analyst, frequently invited to provide coverage to numerous Russian and foreign outlets. I have no idea who writes his paycheck, I imagine he’s got many sources of income. However, the overwhelming majority of sources quoted here do get paid by the Russian government. That’s apparently kosher in your little Universe.

              Finally, what is remarkable – and what I was talking about – isn’t even what he or anyone else said or didn’t say, but that the likeliest theory was hardly even mentioned. Go back to Wikipedia, look up “Occam’s razor.” That’ll help.

              Peace.

              1. OIFVet

                Pot, kettle, etc. Surely you remember your “fit of spitting rage” about Pilger, completely devoid of substance and betraying the deep hatred of all things Russian that colors your judgement. Which is why your statements on Russia make no sense, even on your best days. You are a tool posing as some sort of “progressive”, thinking it masks your extreme prejudice and shilling on behalf of the neolibercon agenda. Little wonder then that the sources you consider credible, like Felgenhauer and his fellow liberals yearning for the weak Russia of the 90’s, are irrelevant in Russia and therefore beloved by the Western propaganda media.

                As to Occam’s Razor, perhaps you will care to explain how the separatists managed to acquire expertise in the “Buk” on such short order. It is not an AK, it is a sophisticated system that requires rather extensive training to use. The only personnel known to fit that description belongs to the Ukie army, and they have been setting up “Buks” all over the place. This is about as simple as it gets.

                Peace out blyad.

                1. Abe, NYC

                  I’m obviously doing something right, but I know what it is anyway: Reality has a well-known liberal bias.

                  1. OIFVet

                    The word “liberal” has a different meaning in Europe than it does in the US. In this case I used “liberal” as I would in Europe: the Russian liberals are a bunch of elitist, laissez-faire parasitic elites who hate the common Russian. As for American “liberals,” they are moving more and more into the tradition of European liberalism, so I have very little use for them or for those who still believe that “liberals” in the US stand for the common person. The Third Way liberals as represented by the likes of Obama, Emanuel, and the Clintons are simply neoliberals hiding behind the past reputation of American liberalism in order to advance their regressive agenda on behalf of their rich campaign donors. So no, reality no longer has a well-known liberal bias.

                  2. skippy

                    I strongly second OIFVet observations and as I not a liberal, must distort you canned observational bias a wee bit.

                    Skippy.. tho’ I can’t fault you for commitment… I can question your intelligence.

                    1. OIFVet

                      Truth be told, he is actually quite slick. He presents himself as a committed, though naturally “reasonable” progressive, all the while taking positions that are in line with the narrative of TPTB. He also presents himself as an expert on Russia, even giving the impression that he is at least part Russian: ” I speak Russian as my mother tongue, come from the region and am well familiar with its history.” ( http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/05/links-51914.html#comment-2148680). See what he did there? I actually didn’t read his comment very carefully and fell for it, until he said “… Ukraine, as well as my own country, has as a neighbor a nuke-armed Stalinist empire hell-bent on re-colonization.” ( http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/06/links-62514.html#comment-2259470). So there you have it, Abe is a native of a former Soviet republic, and though he presents Russian as his “mother tongue” (doubt it) to imply that he does have some Russian heritage so he must be an “expert” and his motivation is pure as the morning dew, driven by his concern for Russia’s well-being and wishing it nothing more than to become a “liberal” paradise like it was in the 90’s. In reality he has nothing but hatred for Russia, his comments establish this well enough. But he tried to hide all this behind a facade of expertise and “progressivism”. Slick, I will give him that much.

                      I am only too familiar with the former Soviet republic or Eastern block subject who harbors deep hatred for Russia and is reflexively anti-Russian no matter the evidence. I used to be one of them myself in the 90’s, before softening my stance a bit as I read The Exile back in the day, gradually going toward profound indifference toward Russia through the Aughts. Only with rise of the Maidan last fall and the western propaganda overkill in the run up to Sochi did I begin to actually relate to the Russian point of view, which culminated when Nuland’s tape was leaked out and Yanukovich was overthrown. People like Abe only deepen my mistrust of the Russophobic agenda of the neocons and their accolytes.

  17. TimR

    Act Immediately to Stop Congress’s Sneaky Move to Shut Down Broadband Competition EFF (LucyLulu). Vatch

    Nobody talking about this here on NC?
    I have not been paying close attention, but I will just throw out that my uninformed guess is that they are testing the resistance, testing the waters… They want to gauge the backlash, see if they’re pleasantly surprised or not. Then, if they fail now, they will regroup and plan how long it will take them to wear people down, propagandize their POV, muddy the waters, and eventually boil the frog (to mix several metaphors.)

    I hope this issue, at least, does galvanize people. Hopefully this hits people where they live.. maybe it’s one of the two or three things people will actually fight for.

    1. tawal

      Hi Tim,
      I made a comment when the comment period first started. I said that the Internet was a utility because if you want a job that pays a living wage, which most of us do, you HAVE to apply on line now a days.

      I believe that they responded that they had received my comment, and it was in consideration.

      Cheers,
      tawal

  18. Benedict@Large

    Police Department Reduces Costs By Using Same Evidence For Every Investigation (Onion)

    You might want to double check this. I think the headline actually belongs to a Housing Wire story on robosigning.

    1. Paul Tioxon

      You don’t understand, it’s not the same evidence over and over again, it’s the usual suspects over and over again!

  19. toldjaso

    Alert! http://www.zerohedge.com – “Obama and Putin speak…”

    Is Obama on Air Force One, while Biden (ChatmCyPhR shadow monarch) is in the Bunker to ensure COG? Will the borders slam shut with the hollow-point bullets pointed at the “inmates”? Full-frontal Martial Order looms? OpGlad in the Homeland uber alles?

    1. toldjaso

      And why do you think those prisons are in “private” hands? For FullHegelDial, don’t you know their doors are set to open upon “regime change” command, as they did in the Schiffty “Russian” Revolution? and the Sitting Ducks forbidden to cross the border OUT, who might they be?

      Revisit Juri Lina’s “In the Shadow of Hermes” for “How It Works” time, and time, and time again.

  20. Jim Haygood

    Why oil can’t save the Bolivarian Workers Paradise (The Economist):

    In 2003 Venezuela’s then president, Hugo Chávez, fired more than 18,000 employees, almost half the workforce, of the state-run oil corporation, Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA). Their offence was to have taken part in a strike. At the stroke of a pen, Venezuela lost its oil intelligentsia.

    No country has benefited more from the Venezuelan exodus than the one next door. Colombia’s oil output was declining at the time of the purge, falling from 687,000 barrels a day (b/d) in 2000 to 526,000 five years later. Today, average daily production stands at around 1m b/d. Much of this renaissance is thanks to the Venezuelans.

    Prospects for enticing the diaspora back to Venezuela are poor. [Capital] investment is hampered by the government’s insistence on overvaluing the bolívar. Welders, electricians and machine workers reportedly make three times as much helping with the expansion of Ecopetrol’s refinery in Cartagena (Colombia) as they can in Venezuela, according to El Nacional, a Venezuelan daily.

    [Former PDVSA exec Pedro] Pereira says he is seeing a “second wave” of emigration that began a couple of years ago, of young professionals with five or six years’ experience. “As soon as they get some significant knowledge, they’re leaving,” he says. “The company, and the country, is heading for a disaster.”

    http://www.economist.com/news/americas/21607824-venezuelas-loss-thousands-oil-workers-has-been-other-countries-gain-brain-haemorrhage

    ————

    Earn 100,000 dollars in Colombia, change it to 7,800,000 bolivars on the black market. With access to Venezuela’s official exchange rate of 6.3 bolivars/dollar, you can then buy $1.24 million worth of cars, airline tickets, etc. (but probably not food or toilet paper). The magic of parallel exchange rates! Thank you, comrade Maduro.

    1. Rob 3

      Only an ignoramus who has not read the Hamas Charter would write such a stupid comment. Only a fool would claim that Gaza is occupied and blockaded when Hamas has been able to accumulate over 10,000 missiles and to construct a massive military infrastructure.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Lordie. Gaza is running out of water and you have to go through checkpoints to get in and out. You seriously expect us to buy tripe like this?

        1. RP 3

          Wow! Yves, I see that Naked Capitalism is in this case far from the bare truth. It appears that one sided condemnations of Israel is just part of its agenda. The situation here is not simple, but I would expect from you some attempts to hide your obvious biases. Hamas, because of its overwhelming hatred of Israel and its total willingness even eagerness to exploit the civilian populations of both Gaza and Israel as tools in its jihad, bears the majority of the responsibility for the situation in Gaza. By the way, I really would like to know if you have read the Hamas Charter or even the comments section of “Moon Over Alabama” which seems to be one of your favorite sources of informed Middle Eastern analysis. Both are indeed totally over the moon and totally anti-Semetic. Just sayin!

          1. sleepy

            Well, you could read the Likud Party charter which claims all of Palestine–*from the river to the sea”–as part of Israel.

          2. reprobate

            Anti Israel is not anti Semitic. Plenty of Jews are critics of Israel. But you Israels love trotting that one out to try to silence critics of your pogrom against Palestinians.

      2. Paul Tioxon

        Only a fool would proclaim that with greatest military forces and The North American Air Defense, The NSA, that 3rd world criminals could breach our borders and secretly deliver hundreds of tons of cocaine, heroin, marijuana on a regular basis. It’s absurd that with laws and The US Constitution, that these criminals could do anything at all. It’s just impossible. I mean, have you seen the back up at El Paso and San Dimas, no way they could bring anything in at all. It would take really committed smugglers with unbelievable incentives to risk such a move in the face of sure retaliation from the US. How could it happen? I mean, why would Mexico allow these gangster to operate? They have laws and police just like we do. It’s not like we built the Berlin Wall and put 10s of thousands of armed guards with dogs and drone surveillance up in the sky. We are not like that at all. We are Americans, the Exception!

      3. optimader

        “construct a massive military infrastructure”
        The Israeli military complex has allowed this to occur while instead bombing civilian targets?
        immoral or incompetent? you choose

      4. Doug Terpstra

        Rob, please link to this infamous Hamas charter to which you refer so ominously and yet obliquely while using it to club ignoramus goyim with such arrogant disdain. It must be truly terrifying to inspire Israelis to refer to Philistines as an infestation to be eradicated lest they breed, to maintain Gestapo-like concentration camp ghettos, to shell civilians indiscriminately, use children for target practice on the beach, and hold hilltop shock-and-awe celebrations. Really, if this is the justification for manifest war crimes, by all means, present the damning evidence.

  21. Leeskyblue

    ISRAEL and current events
    Before we call a whole race of people “psychopaths” (as the comments at one NC link did)
    please go back and look at photos and newsreels of President Anwar Sadat’s visit to Israel, opening the possibility of amicable and peaceful settlement for all.

    Hundreds of thousands of people packed the streets from the airport to the Knesset — a sea of cheering people with smiling welcoming faces, vigorously waving Egyptian flags that had to be hastily assembled by thousands of individual hands — For sensible security reasons as events proved, the visit was only announced a short time in advance. That attempt at peace soon cost Sadat his life — by Muslim extremists then, but he could easily have been murdered by Zionist extremists.
    As to what caused a change of attitude since then, you have to look at a spiral of disillusionment on BOTH sides that is infinitely more complicated than the latest news report. Right now, over there, you will find two groups of people very disillusioned and frightened of each other, cheering for what they hope is relief from ongoing threats upon their lives, and less “fair” if you will, about people whom they believe are their tormentors.
    What is the point of discussing this or any other issue unless we hope to make change? We are not going to intelligently assess what caused that downward spiral by being too quick to take sides.

  22. ex-PFC Chuck

    Pat Lang’s initial take on possible consequences of the Air Malaysia shoot-down:

    My personal view is that if Washington does not approach the investigation of this matter in a bipartisan cooperative manner with Russia, then we can assume that the Obama Administration contemplates bringing Ukraine under NATO protection with the associated risk of direct military confrontation with Russia. Will the tone of Whitehouse press releases tell us which course, for better or worse, the Administration has chosen?

    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2014/07/passenger-jet-shot-down-over-ukraine-by-walrus.html

    1. Banger

      This event will show us who is calling the shots in Washington–if we see the media continue to emphasize Kiev’s claims then we know that the war faction has taken over that particular propaganda organ. It looks like the same sort of routine that showed up with the Syrian gas crisis which has a lot of similarities. It is becoming clear that Ukraine cannot contain the rebellion in the East and that Russia has been playing a rather clever game, offering just enough help to the rebels without intervening directly–at any rate Russia has made it clear to the coup government that Russia will not relent so something had to happen.

  23. Jim

    These Project Syndicate articles are less than useless…both of them boiled down to “better government” and “better education”. Really?! In what? Big data? That’s hype. Did NC become the Heritage Foundation? That was a waste of links…no wonder Google is deprecating NC.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      These articles show what Serious Economists are acknowledging to be problems. The fact that a Serious Economist would dare say that extended supply chains, meaning globalization, creates systemic risk goes against the orthodoxy in a big way.

      Please read another site. The Web is a big place and I am sure you will find a site that is more to your liking. We don’t take well to efforts to censor our content.

    2. JTFaraday

      “Indeed, by 2011, former Nokia staff had created 220 such businesses, and Rovio, which has sold more than 12 million copies of its smartphone-based video game, “Angry Birds,” is crowded with former Nokia employees.”

      LOL.There’s an app for that!

    3. reprobate

      Heritage Foundation would not call for better government. It would call for less. So you are batting zero on your charges.

  24. Yuval 12,384,438

    Thank you, Rob 3, for the very useful and fair-minded context provided to the current events of the day. Your incisive and comprehensive contribution was a real contribution to the discourse here.

    I wonder if you could help me interpret the following,

    https://wikispooks.com/w/images/0/02/KL-IsraelWarCrimesJudgement.pdf

    generally but especially in regard to crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, genocide, and cumulative convictions. I’m not sure I fully understood the Legal Consequences part, and if anybody can help me figure it out, you can!

    Thanks for your specific interpretation of the evidence and legal reasoning.

    1. Lambert Strether
        Oooh, a tag team!

        Adding, another first-time poster. Couldn’t one of you guys tell your supervisor the signature is just a wee bit obvious? Maybe put in a few moles, now, so you’re set up for next time? Just a thought.

        1. optimader

          You’re a jamoke, but you should come back more often. The awkwardly vacuous advocacy rhetoric is amusing in an onionish kinda way.

    2. El Guapo

      You would think the paid Hasbarists would try and be a bit more subtle. How much training do these guys get? It isn’t enough.

  25. Yuval 12,384,439

    No really, it is a very sincere question because I myself do not quite understand where is the dividing line between Zionist genocide and Zionist crimes against humanity – or can a particular Zionist atrocity be both genocide and a crime against humanity? I was hoping maybe Rob 3 could explain to me the fine legal distinctions between various Zionist outrages and crimes as defined in the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal judgment against Israel above, because my friends in the IDF bulldozer corps don’t seem too interested in talking about legal stuff like that, I don’t know why.

  26. Rob 3

    Wow, what a distinguished list of of fair and impartial jurists. Does the phrase “kangaroo court” mean anything
    to you?

  27. optimader

    I lasted almost a solid 8 min watching Hillary Clinton on Charlie Rose, the Court flunky. Wow, what a sanctimonious intellectual train wreck. Amazingly bad. Who used her name in the same paragraph w/ the word gravitas? painful.

Comments are closed.