Links 7/23/14

Rare Pallas Cat discovers camera, investigates Democratic Underground (EM). Richard Smith sent another clip of the same cat quite a while back, but it didn’t include him coming out of his little cave. What an intriguing looking creature!

New Anti-Abortion Legislation Requires Doctors To Scale 18-Foot Wall Surrounding Clinic Onion

Energy From Biofuels Can Match Crude Oil Levels OilPrice

Chinese city sealed off after bubonic plague death Guardian (furzy mouse)

Western economists see Chinese mortgage gusher MacroBusiness

China bank regulator warns on realty risks

Ethiopia Becomes China’s China in Search for Cheap Labor Bloomberg

A first look at Thailand’s new interim constitution Asian Correspondent. Lambert: “Article 44 = military dictatorship.”

The big issue: If not 30 baht, how much? Bangkok Post. Lambert: “Shockingly inhumane junta proposal on health care.”

Spain Arrests Freed Gitmo Captive Running Jihadist Recruitment Network Judicial Watch (furzy mouse)

Obama’s Foreign Policy and the Future of the Middle East Chas Freeman (Chuck L)

Debt deal is impossible, says Argentina Financial Times

Argentina: The RUFO Crazy Anna Gelpern, Credit Slip

Gaza

Wall Street Journal Argument that Gazan Civilians Aren’t Innocent Is the Exact Same One Bin Laden Used To Justify 9/11 George Washington.

Israel to pay students to defend it online USA Today. Lambert sent this reminder..

Hamas Gambled on War as Its Woes Grew in Gaza New York Times. The mighty Wurlitzer….

Hamas Win Leaves Netanyahoo and U.S. Position In Shambles Moon of Alabama

Netanyahu’s ‘Telegenically Dead’ Comment Is Grotesque but Not Original Glenn Greenwald, Intercept

Ukraine

EU rifts scupper new Russia sanctions Financial Times

Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: An audience with Alexander Borodai the man whose fighters are accused of downing the plane Independent

“No Perry Mason Moment”: US Intelligence Admits “No Direct Evidence Linking Russia to MH17″ Michael Shedlock (furzy mouse)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Forensic scientist identifies suspicious ‘back doors’ running on every iOS device ZDNet (furzy mouse). Stupid phones rule!

Italy gives Google 18 months to comply with European privacy regulations Guardian

After 13-year struggle, U.S. faces counter-terror fatigue: panel Reuters (EM)

Obamacare

New Questions on Health Law as Rulings on Subsidies Differ New York Times

Hillary Clinton has made $12 million since leaving the State Department Daily Mail (Li)

Top lawmaker wants corporate tax loophole ‘plugged now’ Reuters

Calif. OKs $500 fines for wasting water USA Today

Editorial: Perry’s plan to add troops to border won’t ease this crisis and Border sheriffs pan Perry’s plan to send National Guardsmen Dallas Morning News (furzy mouse)

Race for North Dakota’s agriculture commissioner is all about oil Reuters (EM)

Border Patrol agents hold Iowa Boy Scouts at gunpoint for taking a picture of them Raw Story (furzy mouse)

Deutsche Bank’s U.S. Operation Has Deep Reporting Flaws, Exam Finds Wall Street Journal. We have repeatedly pointed out that the former general counsel of Deutsche for the Americas from 2004 to 2009, Robert Khuzami, was later head of enforcement at the SEC. The problems that the NY Fed cites were clearly longstanding. The language on the bank’s financial reports is simply damning: “low quality, inaccurate and unreliable. The size and breadth of errors strongly suggest that the firm’s entire U.S. regulatory reporting structure requires wide-ranging remedial action.” And these errors are big enough to render Deutsche’s public filings inaccurate, something which would be on the SEC’s beat.

Why you may be paying for someone else’s mortgage relief Washington Post

Class Warfare

Republicans reach out via Silicon Valley Financial Times. Consistent with Mark Ames’ reporting.

Detroit, Other Cash-Strapped US Cities, States Slashing Pension Benefits While Subsidizing Professional Sports Stadiums David Sirota, International Business Times

Sharecropper journalism at Forbes Columbia Journalism Review

Some small thoughts before I go Golem XIV (Li)

Jonathan Schell, “The Path to a New 1914? How America Chose War After 9/11” TomDispatch

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):

oin-21

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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175 comments

  1. Chris Maukonen

    “No Perry Mason Moment”: US Intelligence Admits “No Direct Evidence Linking Russia to MH17″

    Imagine my [lack of] surprise. And the US so wanted it to be Russia, too.

      1. fresno dan

        Brindle
        July 23, 2014 at 8:54 am

        Hmmmmm. I am not going to question Mr. Burger’s competence, though one must wonder after how many trials of getting the wrong man, and not figuring out that each and every one defended by Perry Mason is innocent, how the man kept his job. Probably went on to work in US intelligence…..
        Of course, the judge was just as bad. Not once did a judge say, “You know what? If Berger is involved, its just a waste of taxpayer money. Mistrial!”

        1. Brindle

          In a new Perry Mason Show I could see John Kerry in the Hamilton Burger role—over confident and never gets it right.

  2. Jim Haygood

    If the D.C. appeals court ruling striking down Obamacare subsidies in states with federal exchanges sticks, henceforth we will celebrate the splendid date of July 22nd as V-O Day [Victory over Obamacare].

    Last night (unaware of the conflicting Fourth Circuit ruling) I was planning to go out, fire a celebratory rounds into the air, then topple a statue of Nancy Pelosi. But there aren’t any. Maybe we’ll have to settle for an effigy of her polymathic lookalike, Betty Boop.

    1. James Levy

      How many people will suffer, die, or go bankrupt because of your victory? Answer, don’t evade.

      Obamacare sucks but punishing the few people it helps to get at Obama is pure Republican-style bullshit. Until every person who is getting some relief from this program can be taken care of, yanking it is just an exercise in cruel spite, not a legitimate reform of a rotten structure.

      1. susan the other

        I do agree. But the sooner we get true single payer the better. Yesterday would be good. Instead we have to go through all this absurd twisting and turning.

      2. trish

        I disagree. I think anything that extends obamacare further entrenches the insurance companies, and makes harder to ever achieve a single payer system.
        even if that means being aligned with the far, far, far right republicans over the not quite as far right republicans like Obama.

        1. Chief Bromden

          Has LizFowlercare saved anyone from medical bankruptcy or is it making it a permanent feature of the insurance industry bailout bill?

        2. hunkerdown

          Sounds like the intelligence community: separate the long-termist goats from the short-termist sheep, and *watch all the goats closely*.

          Boundaries? What are those?

        3. Carla

          You are right, trish. In Obamacare, insurance companies are people with constitutional rights. And people are just victims. Oh, some might say, but people have constitutional rights, too. Yeah, but corporations have unlimited LAWYERS and victims, uhm, people, don’t.

          I worked for YEARS for single-payer. As soon as Obama made it clear — crystal clear — that he had sold the show to the insurance industry, I turned in the only direction possible (short of suicide) — to http://www.movetoamend.org: Corporations are not people; money is not speech.

          Hope you will join us there.

        1. ambrit

          So? A ton of todays ‘cancers’ are results of industrial age life. (When the Surgeon General determined that tobacco causes cancers of the lungs, the tobacco peddlers tried mightily to obscure that fact. Tons of money is now spent to try and find ‘cures’ for cancers. How much for simpler prevention regimes? [Follow the money.])

          1. hunkerdown

            My point was that the ACA is unadulterated quackery, and if it weren’t so close to a very expensive, impure placebo already, I’d suggest passing out inert pills would be a more effective use of our national treasure.

            But you are unquestionably correct. Empire kills inside as well as out.

            1. ambrit

              Sorry for being so dense today. (BTW, I knew in passing a man with serious cancer who went down to Mexico to try the laetrile treatment. He mentioned to me that, “when things get so bad, you’ll try anything.” He died soon after I last spoke to him.)

          2. Carla

            Many–too many–of today’s cancer deaths are caused by “early detection” and subsequent treatment of cancers that the body would have eliminated had it been left alone. But the medical/industrial complex makes a ton of money finding and treating these cancers, because it can’t tell the difference between those that will kill the host, and those that the host body will take care of on its own. No financial incentive to do that. Much more profitable to administer very expensive, toxic treatments that torture and maim people until they die. Just sayin’

            Take aspirin, BTW. Cancer is an inflammatory disease and aspirin is the best, safest, cheapest anti-inflammatory. Prevents many different cancers, including lung cancer in smokers. (I quit a long time ago–smoking, not aspirin.)

            1. Vatch

              Also eat broccoli, various types of beans, tomatoes, and the spice turmeric. Turmeric supposedly is better absorbed by the body when mixed with some black pepper.

    2. MtnLife

      If it does stick, what sort of victory is it? The mandate is still in place.This decision will just mean less people can afford it (not that they can afford to pay the deductible anyways). Or are you viewing it as a King’s Mountain type any-sort-of-victory turning point?

      1. Jim Haygood

        CNBC stated that ‘about 4.7 million people, or 86 percent of all HealthCare.gov enrollees, qualified for a subsidy.’

        Using Healthcare.gov to sell market-priced coverage to the 14 percent who can afford it would be seen as a total failure.

        1. James Levy

          Ah, you don’t give a shit how many people it hurts, just so long as the evil of Obamacare is smitten. I guess they are just collateral damage in your campaign.

          1. Jim Haygood

            Entrenching unsustainable U.S. health care costs (a total outlier compared to every other nation on the planet), via a law drafted by an industry lobbyist, hurts everyone.

            Repealing the helium storage program after 70 years hurt some good folks too. Let your human shields go, James. Then we can negotiate.

            1. James Levy

              They are not human shields, they are human beings. You endlessly show a depraved indifference to any suffering your policy choices foist on the poor, the old, and the sick. My only insistence is that if people want to scrap Obamacare, then make sure their is no collateral damage. Is that all that much to ask?

          2. lambert strether

            Come on. ObamaCare has never been about gettting all US citizens equal access to health care. So you’re just arguing about which classes of people it’s preferable to throw under the bus. I don’t see a moral high horse to get up on, here.

    3. different clue

      If this case reaches the Roberts court, Roberts will uphold subsidies in all 50 states for the same reason that he upheld the Forced Mandate to begin with. That is my prediction.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Unfortunately, you are probably right. If the crucial terms ‘state’ and ‘federal’ are interchangeable in the ACA, then they’re interchangeable in the constitutional as well. And it’s gone …

  3. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Wall Street Journal Argument that Gazan Civilians Aren’t Innocent Is the Exact Same One Bin Laden Used To Justify 9/11 George Washington.

    A snip from the most recent “comment” to this article at the time of my reading:

    “Even if one dismisses the spiritual aspects, nations have a moral duty and obligation to defend it’s borders, and when a belligerent actor reaches across your border to do harm to your citizens, then a measured response is required.

    The world would not condone the obliteration of Gaza and it’s 1.9 million inhabitants, and genocide should not be required, but the removal of all military age males may be necessary, and if the women fight, that much more may be required. It will not be Israel who will be responsible, but the belligerents. It’s a simple matter of one or the other, when it’s clear they will not give up until the last of them is silenced.

    Israel has that responsibility, in the name of peace.”

    It would appear that the Israeli junior IDF internet propagandists decided to get right to work. Nose to the grindstone, shoulder to the wheel and all that.

    PS. I was glad to see that George mentioned Ward Churchill. He was the first person I thought of.

    1. vidimi

      that has long been israel’s idea of peace: it can only be achieved once there are no more palestinians

    2. hunkerdown

      Yet the professional “left” will champion the rationalization that “her burqa was too short”.

      Consumers are idiots — and consumer politics makes that doubly so.

  4. trish

    re Detroit subsidizing sports stadium

    ” …researchers found that “sports subsidies cannot be justified on the grounds of local economic development.”

    Well, they can and they will. Facts don’t matter here, and Detroit’s “leaders” know this, same as Emanuel, Bloomberg, Christie, etc., and they’ll continue to push these lies, use these so-obvious tactics, to facilitate their neoliberal agenda.
    And our “watchdog press” will perhaps mention in passing these lucrative corporate welfare giveaways somewhere, buried, within their overall rah-rah pieces, but never, never harp on.
    I just hope none of the subsidy gets diverted from the Ilitch family’s pockets to their probably-delinquent water bill.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      And now, if you believe all the insane hype of the past month or so, we have a whole new “professional” sports circus in need of its own, currently non-existent, stadiums. Soccer.

      Orlando is jumping onto the bandwagon HARD. New soccer stadium just as David Beckham and family requested. Courtesy of the taxpayers, as if they don’t have enough immigrant billionaires to support already.

      And, as if this area needs another ticket-taking or popcorn peddling “job.”

      1. OIFVet

        Leave no billionaire behind: Tax Increment Financing (TIF) takes money from property taxes meant for public education to subsidize rich developers developing properties for the fellow rich. And Penny Pritzker too: http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2012/08/10/hyde-park-hotel-construction-draws-protests. Emanuel gave my tax money to the UofC and a connected developer to drop Pritzker’s turd on what used to be a lovely street. And this is only one example of TIFs being used to subsidize development in already well-off parts of town, with the subsidies coming out of the schools budgets. What’s more, TIFs are opaque, and Emanuel resists any and all efforts to provide accounting for how and why the money is disbursed. It is perfect class warfare: taking money from the poor and the middle classes to give to the rich. It is a rather interesting topic for our hosts to delve into if they get the chance.

      2. trish

        ah, but the billionaires…those guys are entrepreneurs, earned every cent with hard work and smarts!

        Perhaps some of those lazy other people, if they’d just get off their duffs, might help build these super economy-boosting stadiums and line up to fill all those great economy-boosting ticket-taker, concession stand jobs, and quit sucking us dry lazing around on welfare. And maybe some public housing can be bulldozed for the stadiums…

        1. Carla

          The billionaires — the Job Creators! What would we ever do without them?

          Let’s find out.

    2. Skeptic

      Detroit, Other Cash-Strapped US Cities, States Slashing Pension Benefits While Subsidizing Professional Sports Stadiums David Sirota, International Business Times

      More on the SPORTZ INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX:
      There will now be beer machines at publicly paid for parks which will use pre-(excuse the expression)LOADED cards. “The machine allows a customer to use the card to pour up to 48 ounces of beer every 15 minutes.” Even a stone cold alcy would marvel at that rate of consumption.

      http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/11185913/mlb-all-star-game-feature-self-serve-beer-machines

      Then the NY Jets (other sure to follow) have instituted a Loyalty Card. Don’t know if this can operate the booze machine:

      http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/jets/jets-loyalty-rewards-program-season-ticket-holders-article-1.1876482

      So with a diminishing retail dollar, these 1% SPORTZ will be sucking up much of that loot.

      Whatz your favorite team? Rah, rah, my town, university, city, state team is so great! GO SHEEPS!

    1. fresno dan

      Is that a trout? I love trout….but try and get one at a restaurant….salmon, salmon, salmon.

      1. diptherio

        Some type of trout most likely, it being in the Blackfoot river. No salmon there. Brown trout, Rainbow trout, Cutthroat trout…take your pick.

    1. OIFVet

      But Bill doth care: he is right there with the Waltons in pushing “free market” reforms of education. Children as profit centers, what’s not to like?

      1. cwaltz

        He’s worse than the Waltons. How much money do you figure ol Bill Gates stands to gain if he gets his crap in classrooms instead of the competition?

    2. neo-realist

      What I will credit Gates with is he supported an initiative to tax the wealthiest residents in the state of WA, which would have helped fund education and health care. Unfortunately some of the other local lords of software and richie richs opposed it and massively funded a campaign to defeat the proposal—Ballmer, Bezos, McCaw. They sold it as a tax that would eventually go after middle and working class people, who unfortunately bought into that narrative which helped sink the initiative.

      1. Lord Koos

        Washington voters have repeatedly resisted a state income tax, apparently they prefer the regressive current sales tax of 10%.

  5. diptherio

    Re: You May Be Paying for Someone Else’s Mortgage Relief

    Oh, this is rich:

    David H. Stevens, head of the Mortgage Bankers Association, said that investing comes with risks, and just about anyone with a financial stake in the housing sector got hit with unprecedented risks once the housing market tanked and the government rushed to its rescue. No one escaped unscathed, he said.

    Yes, investing comes with risks, especially if you’re a pensioner who’s trusted their next egg to a mutual fund that bought a bunch of AAA-rated crapola from a criminal banking enterprise. And yes, Mr. Stevens, some did emerge “unscathed” from the crisis. Dimon, Blankfein, Stampf, etc. all got to keep their bonuses that were based on the fraudulent dealing they encouraged and engaged in and haven’t seen so much as an hour in the pokey…I’d say that’s unscathed.

    1. fresno dan

      diptherio
      July 23, 2014 at 9:00 am

      Whats that they say – the future is already here, its just not evenly distributed.
      Fresno dan’s corollary: the new capitalism’s risks are evenly distributed, but the rewards are not….
      Oh, and don’t forget old Angelo Mozilo (of course, there are a zillion of ’em, but Angelo is especially egregious)

    2. Whine Country

      “No one escaped unscathed” I thought he was referring to those in his group, the Mortgage Bankers Association. Not sure what he meant by being “hit with unprecedented risks” though. Risk is only an issue when you are adversely affected by it. The only negative effect on Bankers has been our demonizing them for being the assholes that they are, which was not caused by risk but for their doing the crime and getting the rest of us to do the time.

      1. trish

        “The only negative effect on Bankers has been our demonizing them for being the assholes that they are”

        And that wasn’t really a negative as it spawned a number of fawning oh-poor-them vicims of “class war” beltway hand-wringing pieces in the MSM. And less focus, too, on the enabling/empowering of and complicity with the assholes by our very own public servants.

    1. ewmayer

      The Santa Claus – or perhaps Santa Claws? – beard thing occurred to me too, but led to cognitive dissonance due to the very Grinch-like yellow eyes.

      LOL@ EmilianoZ, “fake beard”.

      Fascinating critter – love the cold-climate adaptations of the Pallas Cat — stocky build, shortened face and low-set ears, bushy beard, etc. It wasn’t clear from the video (nor does the Wikipage show this) but I expect they also have big fuzzy paws and very bushy tails. Being so small and hunting in low-to-the-ground mode they need not be fast nor have extra-long-tails-for-balance, as does the snow leopard.

      1. ewmayer

        Brain fart — it only now occurs to me who is behind the visceral “whose face does that remind of of” sense I had when first seeing the video: It’s the Grinch when he’s wearing his fake Santa beard! Those devious yellow eyes are a dead giveaway.

  6. Jim Haygood

    The melodramatic Paul Farrell affirms that he, too, condemns J-Yelzebub:

    Sometime after the Great Crash of 2016, Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen will be testifying before Congress, just like Alan Greenspan was forced to do in 2008. She will be explaining why America has already had three megacrashes in the 21st Century, each draining roughly $10 trillion, each a direct result of Federal Reserve policy failures. She will be forced to explain why the Great Crash of 2016 was a clone of the bank credit crash of 2008 and the 2000 excesses.

    But we already know exactly what Yellen will be forced to admit: That she is a clone of Alan Greenspan, who was a perfect clone of capitalism’s patron saints, Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand, going back decades. To fully understand this self-destructive lineage, simply focus your laser on the one admission Greenspan made to Congress in 2008, eight words that explain why Greenspan’s bizarre capitalism failed and why it will happen again and again under Yellen … “I really didn’t get it until very late.”

    http://www.creditslips.org/creditslips/2014/07/argentina-the-rufo-crazy.html

    1. susan the other

      Or his other classic, “Oops, I found an error in one of my models.” If error is the Achilles heel of our existence’ then why not use it? It’s not a liquidity trap (as Krugman knows) if it is maintained long enough. It is the new normal. And I’m not being sarcastic. How else do you establish a ceiling on profits that destroy economies? As Ronnie used to say, I know this pile of horse shit balances itself out in the end.

  7. fresno dan

    http://dailycaller.com/2014/07/12/pat-buchanan-america-is-rejecting-the-gops-big-business-wing/

    “You’re not going to get back the middle class when you’re constantly appeasing big business — when folks are losing their jobs because of these trade deals, these masses of imports, these open borders, and the wars we’ve gotten into. I think the whole country is rejecting that,” Buchanan told TheDC.

    Buchanan strongly rebuked policies that have favored opening up America’s market to foreign goods and have encouraged businesses to outsource jobs to other countries and recruit low-skilled immigrant workers to come to the United States — policies that have been favored by the big business-wing of the party.

    “In the first decade of the 21st century, we lost six million manufacturing jobs and 55,000 factories,” Buchanan listed off as the damage he says have been done by these policies. “Do any of these people have an idea why that’s happening?”

    ———————————-
    I hope he’s right (its been his position for years), but I doubt the republican party will even make a smokescreen attempt at outrage at bankers (and what would we get – kinder, gentler TALKING republicans, i.e., democrats….and treasury secretaries from Goldman Sachs versus….uh….er….um…..Goldman Sachs). I simply do not think that the plutocracy can in any way be curtailed by our present political system.

    My theory is that Buchanan represents the real FOX viewer – not really a supporter of the republicans, or for that matter the 0.1%, but only supports them because republicans seem patriotic (they have little American flags on their lapels!!!!) and propaganda….I mean, good ole advertizing. But they watch FOX because that’s the only angry channel, and they are bearing more than 30 years of stagnant wages and declining prospects (MSNBC is in the difficult position of defending the president and blaming the republicans for everything…which may be true enough (on the security state, getting into more wars, bailing out bankers, is there really any daylight between Obama and the republicans? a true blue believer dare not ask) but begs the question, “what good is voting for a president?”)

      1. fresno dan

        Vatch
        July 23, 2014 at 10:15 am

        Right on. If I have said it once, I have said it a thousand times. When people tell me that voting for a third party is just throwing my vote away, I always reply, “and voting for a democrat or republican isn’t???”

        1. abynormal

          democracy can handle multiple party competition…just not our kind of ‘democracy’

          “Now you’re not naive enough to think we’re living in a democracy, are you, Buddy? It’s the free market, and you’re part of it. Yeah, you got that killer instinct. Stick around pal, I still got a lot to teach you. The richest one percent of this country owns half our country’s wealth, five trillion dollars. One third of that comes from hard work, two thirds comes from inheritance, interest on interest accumulating to widows and idiot sons; And what I do, stock and real estate speculation. It’s bullshit. You got ninety percent of the American public out there with little or no net worth. I create nothing. I own.” gordon gekko

        2. hunkerdown

          And what good is voting to ratify a broken system and its products? Which is precisely what you’re doing if you vote. Sit down and be counted!

          1. Vatch

            If a person votes for candidates of the dominant parties (Dems and Reps), then he or she is ratifying the broken system. But if a person votes for third party candidates, then she or he is actively fighting the broken system.

            If you don’t vote, then the broken system will continue as before. Incumbent office holders usually benefit from low voter turnouts.

      2. Bene

        All ballots should come with the instructions:

        Do not vote for the lesser of two evils. If you don’t like either candidate, leave the choice blank.

        Any guesses on what the percentage of blank ballots would be?

        1. Vatch

          That’s why it’s so very important to vote for third party candidates. Few of them have a chance of winning, but if they get a certain percentage of the vote, it will be easier for their candidates to get on the ballot in the subsequent election.

    1. Banger

      Buchanan is part of a gradual move within the right that is anti-war, anti-authoritarian, anti-NSA, but culturally conservative. The left must cooperate and connect with these people if there is any hope for positive change not only in this country but the world. Go The American Conservative Magazine website and be conversant with their POV, compare and contrast with the Democratic Party orthodoxy.

      1. Carolinian

        This is the subject of today’s Raimondo column.

        http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2014/07/22/the-new-meaning-of-isolationism/

        However he is pushing Rand Paul since Raimondo is a libertarian. With the libertarians you can even stop worrying about the “culturally conservative” (but add in the Ayn Rand).

        I think there’s much in what you say Banger. Some new political alliances are needed,. Raimondo says that the Repub rank and file is actually a lot more antiwar than the Dems these days. It’s the Republican leaders who are the hawks, not their voters.

      2. hunkerdown

        Are they anti-authoritarian, or just “right-sized” authoritarian? Bet they still love themselves some “Arbeit macht Frei”, and still believe that public rights end at the castle door. The test seems to be whether they’re on board with basic income guarantees. If not, they’re Hobbesians at heart and toxic partners for any left-leaning alliance.

        Culture is a common pool resource, at least whenever the neoliberals aren’t wearing them as costumes.

        1. Banger

          Well, by “anti-authoritarian” I mean anti-state authoritarian. In their private lives, their religious lives, they may be authoritarian, I don’t know. The point is that you get nowhere living in the ghetto and when you dialogue with others there’s more chance of change and synthesis.

          The biggest problems we have are the Imperial Project and the Crony-Capitalist system where insiders always thrive no matter what–paleos and libertarian conservatives are opposed to both. We differ on social and economic issues so let’s talk instead of glaring at each other and letting the fascists and imperialists win.

          1. hunkerdown

            I’ve observed that people tend to find themselves a position in the order, and defend it fiercely for no better reason than because it’s theirs. The closer one gets to questioning that position, whether for better or for worse, the more likely one is to inadvertently question their reality or their identity and step on a defense mechanism that stops all thought and gets them reacting to you instead of your ideas.

            I don’t disagree in the least that people need to start talking, and especially comparing notes, and I’m 1000% behind syntheses. Libertarians and socialists in particular especially ought to be doing so, and the increasing prevalence of the seeming oxymoron “libertarian socialism” in the literature peaking in the 1970s, around the time the Libertarian Party came to be, suggests that in fact they might be doing just that. But even then, owning the means of production in common leaves plenty of room for exploitative mischief in distribution. The philosophical construct of desert, and one’s ideals related to how desert should be allocated, strongly interacts in both directions with one’s social identity in relation to others, and something in the water or the language or the media or something makes USians unusually obsessed with comparing themselves with others and defining their identities in terms of (usually differences, but occasionally similarities between) themselves and other people. I’m not saying it’s a bad idea to start talking, by any means. I’m just skeptical that the politics are all there is to it, and of just how much diversity can be bridged by means other than ruthless marketeerism, bread-and-circuses, Grand Projects or subdivision and devolution.

    2. griffen

      Every so often Buchanan surprises me with his candor, this time in a good way. Repubs can’t keep hawking this notion of austerity or sequester (but hands off the military purses!) or restrained spending but only the items they don’t care for or pretend to care for.

      Big business is big banks, big conglomerates, big investment firms, and big (really big) defense & industrial defense corps. Not people, corporations.

  8. fresno dan

    http://econbrowser.com/archives/2014/07/keeping-oil-production-from-falling

    That downward trend was dramatically reversed over the last few years with the advent of horizontal drilling and fracturing to get oil out of tighter geologic formations, as seen in the green region in the graph above. If success with tight oil formations continues, we may yet see the historical peak production of many of the states above eventually exceeded, and indeed perhaps even for the United States as a whole.

    “But it’s also worth noting that as we moved through the succession of colors in the graph above we have been turning to increasingly more expensive sources of oil. Today’s frackers would all be put out of business if we were to return to the oil prices of a decade ago.

    And even if prices remain high or go higher, eventually that green curve is going to turn around and start falling with the others.”
    ———————————–
    I probably won’t be around when world oil supply unequivocally declines – that will probably be a blessing, but I will miss getting to see economists admit that there are things for which there are no substitutes. And just maybe, there isn’t infinite growth either.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Buying a $4.25 million house on a $400,000 annual salary?

      Try submitting a jumbo mortgage app with those numbers, and tell me what happens.

        1. MtnLife

          No, they just looked at probable future income by looking at Bill and Hillary. They made, what, $10+ million a year after leaving the White House? He’ll have that thing paid off the first year.

        2. Jim Haygood

          I’m thinking Bebe Rebozo cosigned. Oh wait, wrong president!

          Amazing how the nomenklatura have no problem accumulating millions of rubles to buy dachas priced at ten times their public salaries.

          What’s wrong with this picture, comrades?

          1. ambrit

            Dear Jim;
            And what about all those low paid “law enforcement” people driving around in new SUVs? (My favourite was the top football players at university driving around in new sports cars courtesy of the Alumni Association.)

          2. Carolinian

            Nixon came up on last night’s PBS History Detectives. They played a tape where he said he could get $1 million in untraceable cash, no problem. It warmed the cockles to be back in the oval with our Tricky Dick.

            No mention of Bebe Rebozo though.

      1. fresno dan

        Jim Haygood
        July 23, 2014 at 10:17 am

        Aren’t you forgetting the bribes???
        EXCUSE me!!!!!! I did NOT write that!!! NSA, somebody hacked this account….some really, really jaded cynical person. Not me. I love our glorious leader!!!!! American exceptionalism!!!!!!!!!!
        I am singing the Star Spangled Banner, American the Beautiful, and Stars and Stripes Forever – SIMULTANEOUSLY.
        The president )and his family) can supplement his salary with speaking engagements, writings, consultations, nutrition endorsements, and dog food commercials.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        It’s one of those mortgage loans like Jack Lew got from, NYU, wasn’t it?

        The “all is forgiven after a few months of making token interest payments” kind.

        They write them in “disappearing” ink.

    2. optimader

      OIF,
      I would LOVE for him to go live there, would you prefer he be in Chicago?
      I am just hoping against all hope that the prez lieberry ends up on an island out in the Pacific Ocean.

      1. OIFVet

        No, I am with you. California or better yet Hawaii are welcome to have him. As a Hyde Park resident I am already fed up with the disruptions on the rare occasions he is in town and in the neighborhood. Obama full time in Chicago post-presidency is a thought that gives me heartburn. Plus, he should take his presidential library with him some place else. The UofC is pushing very hard to place it just south of Midway in Woodlawn. It will be the ultimate irony, though quite fitting given his shady real estate associates, that the library of the first half-black president would gentrify a largely black neighborhood and push poor black people out. The UofC has had its eye on that real estate in Woodlawn since Urban Renewal, but could not overcome the Black Panthers and The Woodlawn Organization. The former no longer exists, and the latter is now captured by cronies of the Democratic Machine. More obnoxious yuppies and “creative” types is not what I want nearby, I like my hood as it is.

  9. Tyler

    Employers are having more trouble filling jobs: in May 3.2% of all jobs went vacant, close to a seven-year high, suggesting the jobless lack the skills that employers need.

    1. abynormal

      are they having trouble filling jobs with skilled workers or Soaking Up the Subsidies…hang a for hire sign in the window with NO intention of hiring. ive seen this throughout large & small retail…we know too well what the big guys do.
      http://l.barackobama.com/small-business/

      cost first, my friend

    2. abynormal

      tell ya what…i’ll work for free and my skills won’t come into the equation

      “The stuff of nightmare is their plain bread. They butter it with pain. They set their clocks by deathwatch beetles, and thrive the centuries. They were the men with the leather-ribbon whips who sweated up the Pyramids seasoning it with other people’s salt and other people’s cracked hearts. They coursed Europe on the White Horses of the Plague. They whispered to Caesar that he was mortal, then sold daggers at half-price in the grand March sale. Some must have been lazing clowns, foot props for emperors, princes, and epileptic popes. Then out on the road, Gypsies in time, their populations grew as the world grew, spread, and there was more delicious variety of pain to thrive on. The train put wheels under them and here they run down the log road out of the Gothic and baroque; look at their wagons and coaches, the carving like medieval shrines, all of it stuff once drawn by horses, mules, or, maybe, men.”
      Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes

    3. OIFVet

      Or perhaps, and far more likely, the employers’ job qualifications are overdone? “Barista needed, must have MBA, 25 years of experience with french press, and 800+ FICO”?

      1. Whine Country

        I know several who would not only qualify but find the job interesting. It’s the $10 per hour (and, of course no benefits!) that is holding them up.

          1. OIFVet

            Yes, wages are a factor, but so are ridiculous qualifications requirements. It is rather old fashioned way to think of it, but in in reality most jobs require skills that are learned on the job. It leads to a situation where job candidates without the experience but with high capability to acquire the skills are rejected. Getting one’s foot in the door is becoming impossible for most, so how does one acquire the experience and qualifications? Oh right, it is about driving down wages. Complain about the lack of skilled US labor and demand more B-1 visas to drive down labor costs ever lower.

    4. diptherio

      Or suggesting that employers aren’t offering enough in the way of wages to make it worth anyone’s while. Go check out some of those job openings and see if you’d take ’em…I have, and I wouldn’t. It’s this thing I’ve got with self-respect.

      1. fresno dan

        diptherio
        July 23, 2014 at 11:51 am
        Its funny how it works (no its not). The CEO is paid a fortune, stock options, golden parachutes, bonuses for regular bowel movements, and gets to hire at stockholder expense consultants who say…..we need to pay the CEO much, much more to incentivize him, and to ensure we attract top men….but this idea of increasing wages to attract wage earners…for these “free market capitalists” its like communism or something. Kinda like how markets work – profits are for investors who are rich, losses are for taxpayers.

        1. cwaltz

          The whole system is a good ol boy networking thing. The Board of Directors are usually interchangeable CEOs who vote for these packages because that way they can insist the market demands it when it’s their turn to be asked to head up a company.

          It’s a rigged game and nothing says that clearer than CEOs that tank companies but still manage to command million dollar paychecks.

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        There was a raft of stories like that about 18 months ago, employers saying they couldn’t fill jobs but they were offering $5-$10 an hour less than people who had the skills were willing to take.

        Flip side is I hear there is a bubble in journalists right now. Go figure.

    5. Katniss Everdeen

      To Tyler–

      “suggesting the AMERICAN jobless lack the skills that employers need.”

      Those H-B1 visa holders that are so important to the US economy have got ALL that skill thing goin’ on.

      1. abynormal

        who’ll consume the markup of products, while backstopping our ever hungry financial system

    6. cwaltz

      or it suggests that desperation has a “floor.” More often than not when the job creators are bellowing they can’t find skilled labor what they really mean is they can’t find skilled labor at the conditions they’ve set. Once upon a time businesses were required to pay for the skills they needed. Nowadays they want you to pay upfront without any guarantee that once you acquire the skills that you won’t need to struggle to cover the costs because the employer is being cheap and keeping labor costs low because shareholders want a quick buck.

  10. Eeyores enigma

    “Energy From Biofuels Can Match Crude Oil Levels”

    This title is a bit misleading. Barrel for barrel this might be possible although biofuel will always be more expensive at least until crude becomes even more scarce.

    Biofuel production can never come close to the 20 million or so barrels a day the US uses. Even just 2 million barrels a day would require so much biomass that we would have to strip half the country bare of all vegetation.

    1. Howard Beale IV

      Biodeisel just may put the shiv to diesel cars in the US. Like E15, there isn’t enough time in the field to know if nodes wreaks havoc with the fuel system, especially the injectors.

  11. fresno dan

    OK, I’m overdoing it today, but I find this an example of the lamestream media
    http://www.vox.com/2014/7/23/5926561/6-times-videos-have-helped-hold-police-accountable

    “When Eric Garner died last week after being put in a chokehold by a New York cop, it sparked a national conversation about the use of force by police officers.

    Public interest in the incident was enhanced because the incident was captured on video. The spread of consumer video cameras over the last quarter century has made this kind of documentation increasingly common. Today, it’s easier than ever for ordinary citizens to record how police officers interact with the public.

    Below are six notable cases of alleged police misconduct caught on video. Five videos were taken by bystanders at the scene. The sixth came from surveillance cameras inside a police station. In all cases, the graphic images in the videos helped to boost public interest and inform the debate.

    These videos underscore the importance of recent court rulings that Americans have a First Amendment right to record the actions of police in public places (though some cops have been known to interfere with people exercising this right). Ubiquitous surveillance of the actions of police officers doesn’t just help us to catch and discipline bad cops. It can also protect good cops against false or inflated accusations of misconduct.”
    =========================
    So Vox gives these 6 examples, and in 3 of the examples, nothing apparently happens at all. In another example, a cop who basically murdered someone serves a year. In the latest case of Eric Garner, its not been decided yet, but I would bet good money on no prosecution, and a smaller amount the cops won’t even get fired.
    I’m afraid that the lesson I get from it is that police misconduct is pervasive and highly likely to go unpunished, and that to the extent it is know about at all, it is because of video recordings – not because there is ANY real oversight of police conduct. Now, I don’t think there started being police misconduct because video recording was invented – it just shows you how it was not investigated prior to the invention of that technology.

    https://secure.accountableauthority.com/
    Not the above site will make you run around like your hair is on fire. It may be naïve of me, but I find it truly shocking the level of police misconduct condoned. Americans go on and on about our freedoms, but they seem not to understand that free people are not under the thumb of the authorities all the time who are immune from the consequences of illegal acts. Unlike VOX’s rosy scenario, this shows that the system DOESN’T work.

    1. Ulysses

      The system works alright, just not for the vast majority of the people. Golem XIV, in today’s linked post, sums it up nicely:

      “The State is not there to serve the people. Those who currently control the state have come to believe the role of the state is to ‘help’ the ‘wealth creators’. The wealth creators are the 1%, the global overclass who have declared that they are the ones, the only ones who can create wealth. WIthout them we would all starve because we do not know how to create wealth. We, according to them, only know how to reach for hand-outs. And unless we are controlled by the state that is all we would do.

      So the new job of the State according to the Wealth Creators, who just happen to be the 5% who own most of the financial assets of the world – the very same assets that were nearly wiped out in the crash but which were saved when we bailed them out resulting in their wealth increasing hugely while we were told we had to tighten our belts – is to manage the expectations of the public should they get restive about bailing out the banks or start to question why banks who launder money avoid taxes are too big to fail and too big to prosecute – and if that fails then manage their actions (with water cannon if necessary).

      Finance is politics. Economics is war. Peace is imposed. Thought is monitored. And freedom ? Well freedom has gone underground.”

      1. fresno dan

        Ulysses
        July 23, 2014 at 12:19 pm
        I agree – the “top people” have to keep us riff raff in line…because we’re so riff raffy.
        And freedom is just another word for noting left to lose….which the top people are trying so hard to ensure for us….pretty soon, we’ll all be free enough to live under the overpass.

        I go to left sites and there are videos of police abuse. I go to right sites and there are links to videos of police abuse. Judge for yourself – brave police officer fending off blows to his fists, or police abuse. Of course, the story changes once they know someone filmed it…..
        https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140717/08542227915/california-highway-patrol-seizes-medical-records-woman-officer-was-caught-tape-beating.shtml

        1. OIFVet

          “we’ll all be free enough to live under the overpass.” Don’t be so sure about that: “In Chicago, the city erected fences to close off a public area on Lower Wacker Drive. This area was a common place for homeless people to congregate and live. The city now issues permits that allow entrance into the fenced area to the businesses located there. The effect of this city policy is to exclude homeless people from the area and to allow the businesses to control entry into this public space.”http://www.nhi.org/online/issues/106/brown.html. In other popular overpasses fences have been erected to keep the homeless out, and police routinely chases the homeless away. Still, Chicago is comparatively enlightened, in some other cities one can get arrested for being homeless. The criminalization of homelessness is well underway, so we are no longer free to be poor and homeless either.

          1. ambrit

            This is exactly like the case of the London poor at the turn of the nineteenth century. See Jack Londons reporting about being “On the Tramp.” The return to Robber Baron days proceeds apace.

            1. OIFVet

              Plus, remember the story about the proliferation of spikes in London to keep the homeless away? It was a couple of weeks ago, I think. And then there is the movement in developer circles to bring the future of class-based “separate but equal” approach to housing. “Locals Outraged That UWS Luxury Condo Will Have Separate Entrance For Poor People. The 33-floor condo building is slated for construction at 40 Riverside Boulevard between 61st and 62nd Streets. The building will include five floors of affordable housing (55 out of 274 units) for people who are making 60% or less of area median income to rent. But there’ll also be separate entrances and elevators for those residents: “This ‘separate but equal’ arrangement is abominable and has no place in the 21st century, let alone on the Upper West Side,” Assembly member Linda B. Rosenthal told West Side Rag.” http://gothamist.com/2013/08/18/locals_outraged_that_uws_luxury_con.php

              America, the land where the future is the past is the future.

              1. ambrit

                Separate But Equal, a great piece of Robber Baron social engineering.
                I remember my sister, who lives in South Florida, telling me over the telephone several years ago about how the Dade County politicos solved the homeless problem just before one of the Super Bowls. The impoverished were put on busses and trucked to the Broward County line, (the northern edge of Dade county,) and kicked off ‘over the line’ and told to not show their scraggly homeless faces on the streets of Miami again. Shades of Tom Joad.

      2. susan the other

        I’m impressed by Golem 14’s summary of our politics and economics too. In addition to your points, I found most interesting his implication that derivatives are a new commodity. Or soon will be. Why not? That explains why they are not illegal. The explanation Mary Jo White can never mention. Nor the OCC. Can’t make currency illegal! And in a brave new world currency, commodities and insurance meld. Even if they are completely synthetic. Because they are a representation of our economy. Strange as it is.

      3. Banger

        Which is precisely why you cannot be a social-democrat, progressive or liberal in the USA of today. Reform is impossible at present using traditional political means that were once available–electoral politics or social movements. With 24/7 surveillance and laws that allow for indefinite detention and even murder/torture of Americans our choices are limited.

    2. Banger

      The general attitude of the American middle-class is that the police the only force that keeps hordes of barbarians from people’s well-manicured lawns–if they have to kill these undesirables that’s just fine by them–they won’t admit to it usually but that is what they, on average, think.

      1. ambrit

        Agreed so far. But wait for it when they finally begin to wake up to the fact that the bar to admittance into the “Middle Class” has been raised so far, most of them will never get in. Any dog will be your friend if you feed it . It’s when you start kicking that dog before you feed it that the Lap Dogs separate from the Wolves.

  12. Brooklinite

    Morning Every one,
    Its funny how the cloud is forming on Deutsche bank. US is trying to get to germany in an unprecedented way. Its going back to 2004. Seriously this is the best we got on Deutsche bank? Germany is not going to be complacent and ask for forgiveness, I like this fight. Bring it on. In the mean time the BRICS are getting ahead chipping things one at a time. I would really love to see the world without the Dollar and America without the rest of the world. I am not a rocket scieonomist, But I see america imposing their will and power at its disposal. Its a matter of time people stand up to realize and act upon “pride is bigger than greed” phrase.
    I can’t help to think that China is helping Argentina by lending while America wants to leech by lending at the same time. Argentina must choose sides now. Its either the mighty dollar or the BRICS Gollency, Gold backed currency. Any comments?

      1. psychohistorian

        I think the new quip should be: As goes German finance, so goes the EU.

        Yes, we have Germany’s gold because we need to pressure them to stay part of the US empire and not side with the new BRICS coalition. The battle for Germany is in full swing.

        Very interesting, this economic/rich folk/class warfare.

    1. Mark P.

      ‘Seriously this is the best we got on Deutsche bank?’

      I doubt it. These U.S. moves look intended merely to rattle the cages of Deutsche Bank and Berlin, generally.

      Preserving the German banks’ balance sheets — and Deutsche Bank’s, above all — is the main reason Merkel and Germany’s elites are so adamant that austerity and immiseration be imposed on Greece and the EU’s peripheral nations. The German banks — and, again, particularly Deutsche Bank — engaged in most of the same corrupt games as the Anglosphere’s banks and face the same notional risks of bankruptcy should the mountains of questionable debt they’re now sitting on be marked to market and otherwise properly accounted for.

      And the German banks — and, again, particularly Deutsche Bank — are both the instruments and ultimate expressions of Germany’s status as hegemon within Europe. Despite Germany’s magnificent manufacturing economy, if the German banks are toppled, so is the German project — at least, for a while.

      If economic warfare broke out, Germany does not have the global reserve currency and all the rest of the apparatus that the U.S. can bring into play. Remember that one large part of the justification that the weaselish Tim Geithner gave to the Washington pols for why they should bail out the U.S. TBTF banks was that such big banks are the instruments and expression of American global power in the 21st century. That was true enough.

  13. JM Hatch

    Hillary & Her 12 Million

    What won’t show up in those numbers is how much extra cream Bill made because of Hillary’s position. Bill made several swings through China, well paid swings.

    1. hunkerdown

      And yet again, in the West, “intelligent” is just a sophistic way of saying “like us”.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Not my cats. I have two unrelated males, and the younger male, who thinks he’s the alpha (long story as to why) mercilessly attacks the older and much nicer cat if he gets near me when I am working, which of course is most of the time. The younger cat insists on having the exclusive right to undermine my productivity.

      1. cwaltz

        Mine too. They aren’t fond of sharing and have been known to swat each other from time to time when they think I’m not paying attention to their shenanigans. I have to put one of my males in timeout for beating up the smaller one who usually hangs out near me for “protection.”

  14. Kurt Sperry

    I would suggest that the so-called moral high ground Israel claims to inhabit by citing Hamas’ rockets indiscriminate “targeting” is merely an artifact of the relative asymmetricality of resources and technology between the parties. Would the Palestinians occupy equal “moral high ground” if they were given the means to make effective pinpoint strikes on Israeli military installations and assets and then did so in lieu of targeting broad areas? Then would not Israel be morally complicit in the lack of discrimination of Hamas rockets by denying Hamas the capability of fighting conventionally? Shouldn’t someone then by the given moral reasoning give the Palestinians a “hand up” to higher moral ground by supplying them with the means to make effective discriminate attacks on Israeli military assets so as to best avoid civilian “collateral damage”?

    It seems the ad hoc moral high ground, much like the classical military high ground, is most useful for effectively delivering violence and exerting control. Moral topography moves in mysterious ways.

    1. Mark P.

      Nothing mysterious about it.

      ‘Whatever happens, we have got
      The Maxim Gun, and they have not.’

      – Hilaire Belloc

    2. Keith Ackermann

      What I find interesting is the suspension of flights into Israel. Hamas’ rockets are not militarily effective, but they may prove to be economically effective. I bet the Israeli government is seething at that one.

      The fact is, Abbas is the best partner Israel could want if they were serious about peace, but we know the last thing they want is peace. You don’t purposefully target civilians if you want to make peace. Every time there is movement in peace talks, Israel announces new settlements to scuttle the talks.

      If a nation has a mind, then Israel is sick in the head. Everything they do is aimed at humiliation and degradation, whether it’s killing unarmed people delivering humanitarian aid by boat, humiliating ambassadors who speak out against Israel, collective punishment and blockades, playing the anti-Semitic card when their morally bankrupt arguments fall short… whatever.

      Abbas is correct to pursue an independent path to recognition. The fact that Israel is rabidly opposed to the idea, and have the most despicable, ugly reactions to the Palestinians having a seat for representation says all that needs to be said. For whatever sick, twisted reason, they have no desire for peace. Their future looks grim, and I could care less at this point.

  15. Oregoncharles

    From the Charles Freeman article: ” Israel makes its own decisions without regard to American interests, values, or advice. It would make better decisions if it were not shielded from their consequences or had to pay for them itself. America should cut the umbilicus and let Israel be Israel.”
    Yes, of course; at the very least, we’d no longer be responsible for their crimes against humanity. But there is a hair-raising danger here: it could easily, very likely, lead to a nuclear war in the Middle East (I’m still haunted by a Marge Piercy novel that forecast exactly that). Cornered rats bite, and Israel has about 200 nukes, putting them in a league with major powers. Thanks at least party to American aid. This is precisely why we and they are so passionate about fictional Iranian nukes: they would serve to deter Israel. I rather wish Iran DID have them. I suppose reducing the ME to a smoking wasteland would end a lot of problems, but at what a price!
    Unfortunately, I’ve no idea what to do about this, unless the US is in a position to snatch the nukes as it withdraws its support, which I very much doubt. It’s possible Israel behaves so arrogantly precisely because it has the tiger’s balls in a vice.

    1. Mark P.

      In the words of the eminent Israeli military historian Martin van Creveld —

      “We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets of our air force … We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that this will happen before Israel goes under.”

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

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

      1. optimader

        “We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions,…”
        So did the S.U.

        Israel is already a failed state, Martin just hasn’t caught on. Launching nukes ultimately comes down to an individuals judgment, Hopefully when that order comes down, whatever nuke enabled country, there are two people at the switches that are not insane.

      2. Keith Ackermann

        then that would make them an existential threat to the world. Maybe that should be discussed.

          1. hunkerdown

            van Creveld’s, I mean. Man, sorry about the double posts. Someone must’ve slipped me some decaf.

            1. James Levy

              Good thing van Creveld is Jewish because if he were an Arab and said something like that, it wouldn’t remain buried in a book–it would be a Zionist talking point 24/7/365. I mean, what the hell would be the point of nuking Rome, other than bloody-minded vandalism? If Abdul the Moslem made a claim like that, it would be “war of civilizations” time with endless chatter about “the West versus the barbarians.” I think it’s time for me to stop reading the news.

    2. optimader

      “Cornered rats bite…”
      Jews in Palestine (Israel) are not all Zionists wanting to maintain an apartheid state, unfortunately those that are best financially supported from external sources are.

      Possibly the biggest challenge for the non-Zionists are Americans that for multiple agendas want to influence their domestic/foreign policy in a manner that perpetuates the conflict.

    3. Oregoncharles

      So as not to leave it hanging: the Marge Piercy novel is:
      “He, She and It”

      Winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award
      for Best Science Fiction in the United Kingdom

      The time is the middle of the twenty-first century.
      It’s a golem novel; the M.E. is part of the background. Very good, if you don’t mind being haunted by the prophecy.

  16. Banger

    Stunning story about border patrol agents and Boy Scouts!!!!!

    Just the visual of the whole thing blows my mind and shows me how far we’ve gone into Hell. Combine it with the steady dose of murder that is now routine in urban PDs and we go further down the rabbit hole. Hey but if I live in Colorado I can smoke weed–what a trade-off!

    Can anybody posting here tell me how reform is possible in this police state we live in? Is being a progressive or liberal even possible anymore unless your on opiates big-time?

  17. Johann Sebastian Schminson

    Jeez. Another day of NC links and comments confirms, once again, that we, as a global culture, are off the rails on the crazy train.

    Even with full awareness of how screwed we are, and on how many levels, we can’t seem to come to grips, personally — and certainly not as any kind of unified group — with what needs doing (I had to choose my words carefully, of course — every goddamned thing we do, say, write, or appear to think goes on our inexhaustible “permanent record”). The 99% can’t even mount a challenge to the 1%.

    I used to wonder how societies, historically, stood by and watched themselves self-destruct (if not actively pursuing their own end, as the Easter Islander’s did).

    Seems we go about our business, regardless of the bedlam, as if nothing is happening.

    1. hunkerdown

      That narrative has been called into question recently, suggesting syphilis in a non-monogamous culture had a significant role in the Rapa Nui’s decline. But Western cultures seem to have a reflex to hang the results of introducing their deadly diseases into unprepared populations on those populations’ being insufficiently bourgeois due to a lack or excess of will.

    1. optimader

      and yes, the headline is a bit ambiguous, the context is energy density/mass not total mass available as a fuel.

    2. Keith Ackermann

      http://edge.org/events/the-edge-master-class-2008-a-short-course-on-synthetic-genomics

      About a 1/4 way down the above link is a series of videos that will blow your mind. Two of the leading synthetic biologists (Craig Venter and George Church) gave a private talk at SpaceX to a handful of the most powerful and influential people in the world. They discuss the state of their art. The Venter institute has no need to raise money – it is pouring into them in unlimited amounts. They claim to already have engineered a microbe that secretes gasoline as waste, and that Exxon has given them $5 billion to figure out how to scale it.

      That’s just one thing they are doing. Forget computers. The really big revolution is just over the horizon.

      In case you don’t know, Craig Venter is the guy who beat out the government labs in mapping the human genome. He’s also the first guy to design a self-replicating organism using a minimal genome. The videos are severely wonkish, amazing, and at times, frightening.

  18. JTFaraday

    re: Rare Pallas Cat discovers camera, investigates Democratic Underground, (EM). “Richard Smith sent another clip of the same cat quite a while back, but it didn’t include him coming out of his little cave. What an intriguing looking creature!”

    Whoa.

    1. optimader

      Rare Pallas Cat discovers camera, investigates Democratic Underground….

      A paid appearance.. $75,000

  19. john

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-Market-Basket/136649323208808

    Barren supermarket shelves in New England as protesting customers and even vendors (reportedly) boycott Market Basket to protest Board of Directors’ decision to oust beloved owner and operator. Successful facebook action underway.

    Mr. Demoulas built this company on the basis of fair-play, and now his grown children are looking to reduce benefits, and perhaps sell off the company to competitors. This is big news in the N.E. working-class.

  20. VietnamVet

    RT referenced a Washington Times report that said that Obama ordered American military advisors to Ukraine. The USA is once again at war with Russia, just not declared. With the incompetent leadership, with end of days self-fulfillment, and especially with no concern for the peons, what could go wrong?

    Flight MH-17 was the first installment of the collateral damage that is inevitable from the cauldron of the new Eurasian War that will engulf the world unless stopped right now before it escalates out of control.

    1. OIFVet

      I hope that the Washington Times is full of its usual crap. If this is true we in for a disaster on a global scale.

        1. OIFVet

          Maybe it is about to get real. First there was a rather pointed language at the public portion of the Russian Security Council meeting. Then today Putin apparently recalled the Duma from vacation and appears the Russians are about to issue an ultimatum to the junta. See ZeroHedge’s “Putin Recalls State Duma From Vacation, “Planning Something” On Ukraine Situation”. It makes sense to demand that the junta negotiate with the Novorussians or else. Given that the propaganda campaign has succeeded admirably in getting the “MSM news consumers” to join the empire’s blame game, Russia can only run more risks of getting blamed for everything from the weather to the junta’s slaughter of civilians in Donetsk and Lugansk. Acting first gives them some advantage, and dares Obama to back up his talks with actions while forcing the Europeans to decide whether they want to be on the side of the crazy and the neo-nazis. Glen Ford today wrote “As Russia is learning, it is extremely difficult to avoid war when a great power insists on imposing it. ” Well, this might just be it. Will find out in a few hours, I suppose.

          1. Oregoncharles

            Mutual Assured Destruction saved us through worse times than this.
            I don’t believe for a moment that either side has the slightest intention of fomenting a war between nuclear powers.

          2. Abe, NYC

            It is more likely that he is frantically trying to find ways to disown the insurgents without losing face. His control over them is limited, they have successfully blackmailed him in recent months, and are now turning Russia into a pariah state.

    2. Abe, NYC

      There were reports a couple of months ago that Washington sent CIA and FBI agents to Ukraine to help with the planning of counterinsurgency. Quite appropriate, in my view.

      1. OIFVet

        Sure, because we all know how good we are at counterinsurgency. I thought we were trying to help Ukraine.

  21. bwilli123

    http://johnhelmer.net/?p=11177

    “The Russian and US intelligence versions now agree the missile shot was a mistake committed by men who thought they were in the middle of combat. The difference between the two versions remains who fired. The evidence available should be conclusive on this point. For the time being, the US intelligence officers say they aren’t sure.
    If the US withholds its satellite pictures of the missile launch, and if the Ukrainian authorities withhold the air control tapes of the radar tracks, radar screen shots, and cockpit communications, then the preponderance of the evidence shifts — and the probability grows that it was the Ukrainian military who fired. “

    1. cwaltz

      I was unaware that there were any idiots out there that thought either side was anxious to declare war on the civilians aboard Malaysian Air. Good God, I’m pretty sure both sides aren’t monsterous enough to want to pick off a group of civilians purposefully. Those poor people just got caught in the crossfire and bunch of disgusting people have utilized their deaths to argue that more most be spent to support the Euromerican oligarchs so that the evil, horrible Russian oligarchs can’t have Ukrainian spoils that we’ve(US) paid billions to control.

    1. Oregoncharles

      Too bad the Right has most of the guns.
      It does, however, demonstrate that we’re well into the authoritarian, throw-out-the-rules phase of fascism.

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