Links 9/18/14

How This Clinical Trial Went Terribly Wrong Skeptoid (EM). A must read.

Ethical trap: robot paralysed by choice of who to save New Scientist (furzy mouse)

Adrian Peterson and what our fathers did to us: we have not turned out fine Guardian. Chuck L:

As you might well imagine the Adrian Peterson situation has grabbed the attention of people here in Minnesota even more than elsewhere in the country. In spite of him being by far the most important player on the home town team, the announcement Monday of his reinstatment to playing status was greeted here with such a firestorm of anger that the team and or the NFL was forced to rescind that decision. If any good can come out of this it will be if it begins a long overdue national discussion on the downside of corporal punishment and the intergenerational propagation thereof. The Guardian op ed piece linked above is a good start.

The Economics of Violence Project Syndicate

Mexico: Researcher Raises Alert About Environmental Dangers of Wind Farms TruthOut

World Bank official urges China to be vigilant over rising debt levels South China Morning Post

Europe has a larger Islamic problem than it thinks CDR Salamander (Chuck L)

Ontario facing $400-million bailout over pensions at U.S. Steel Canada Globe and Mail (frosty zoom)

Scotland. Note the financial press is overdosing on Scotland. In a few hours we will know the results, so the point for speculation seems to be past (unless, of course, you are a bookie or a financier, which are pretty much interchangeable these days).

Scottish referendum live-blog: The polls are now open British Politics and Policy

Such a Parcel of Rogues In a Nation – Alba Gu Bràt Jesse

Silent no more”: Watch Gordon Brown’s patriotic and passionate Scotland speech New Statesman. Lambert” Anaphora!”

Scotland can prosper whether Yes or No John Kay, Financial Times

Steve Forbes: Scottish Independence Will Lead to Terrorism Everywhere Gawker. Please be sure to invoke this prediction when you run into someone advocating a flat tax.

If Scotland votes ‘Yes’, we will likely see an immigration policy that is markedly different from the rest of the UK EUROPP

This map shows what Europe will look like if every separatist movement gets its own country Global Post

This map shows what Europe will look like if every separatist movement gets its own country Global Post

Ukraine

UKRAINE POLL RESULT – POROSHENKO GAINS IN DONBASS ON SUPPORT FOR PEACE, WAR PARTY LOSES ALL-UKRAINE VOTE John Helmer

Europe Takes Risk in Delaying Trade Deal With Ukraine Wall Street Journal

The Second Cold War Is Here CounterPunch

ISIS?Syria

Obama plans to tightly control strikes on Syria Wall Street Journal. He wasn’t getting enough jollies from his murder by drone list?

Confirmation Of Southern Damascus Attack Plans By Jabhat al-Nusra/CIA Moon of Alabama

Warning over Isis cyber threat Financial Times

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Irate NSA Staffer Doesn’t Like Being Filmed in Public, for Some Reason Intercept

Email Suggests Manufacturer of Stingray Surveillance Equipment May Have Lied to FCC Kevin Gosztola, Firedoglake (Chuck L)

U.S. attorney general urges changes to fight more Wall St. crime Reuters. EM: “I’m sure this is heartfelt (if only 5-6 years belated), and has nothing whatever to do with the upcoming midterm elections. Memo to Eric Wall-Street-Bag-Holder: if you want to really sucker the rubes, ya gotta use populist bombast like ‘We will follow these financial terrorists to the gates of heck.'”

US school districts given free machine guns and grenade launchers Associated Press (Swedish Lex)

Los Angeles schools police to return grenade launchers to U.S.: L.A. Times newspaper Reuters. EM: “But we’re keeping the tactical nukes.”

Why We Pay Federal Income Taxes David Stein (furzy mouse). A good primer.

The We Energies Rate Case Renew Wisconsin (SS). “We Energies has launched a wide-ranging assault on self-generation in its territory. It proposes radical changes to its distributed generation tariffs that would, if approved, wreak lasting damage to Wisconsin’s renewable energy industry.”

Remaking the Money Market Project Syndicate. This piece gives a great, accessible explanation of how the money markets, and in particular, repo, work. If you want to get up to speed or have colleagues who have expressed an interest in learning more about essential financial plumbing, this is a worthy read.

CalPERS Hedge Funds Backlash

CalPERS: Maybe Just Not That Good At Picking Hedge Funds? John Mauldin. In fairness, the post is more nuanced than the headline, but we debunked the fallacy of “surely you just need to choose better” here.

UK corporate pensions back hedge funds Financial Times. Gotta support your domestic champions…

CalPERS hedge exit may be the first of many CNBC

Whither Fed?

It’s Official: Federal Reserve Phraseology Is Devoid of Meaning Business Week. That’s a feature….

Economists React to the Fed: Dovish Statement, Hawkish Projections WSJ Economics

Class Warfare

BBC Pop Up explores Boulder’s affordable housing crisis BBC

Multinational Companies Court Lower-Income Consumers New York Times. While they crush wages…

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):

baby lizard links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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129 comments

  1. Doug

    From clinical trial article, I wonder if clinics have the same conflict of interest issues that credit rating agencies have.

    1. McMike

      Private for-profit contract clinical labs – along with university labs dependent on corporate grants – contracting directly with the drug companies who then decide which results to publish…. what could go wrong?

      “One meta-analysis found that clinical trials in which a drug manufacturer sponsors clinical trials or the investigators have financial relationships with manufacturers are 3.6 times more likely to find that the drug tested was effective compared to studies without such ties.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK22940/

      Nevertheless, despite the obvious conflicts of interest and increasing evidence of widespread fraud, I am certain that the vaccine system is immune to this sort of behavior. It’s different.

      1. JohnL

        I’d have my doubts about current vaccine programs, sure, but that’s not a basis for rejecting vaccines such as polio, diphtheria, measles which have saved millions of lives over the last 50+ years, and in the case of smallpox have eradicated the disease.

        1. McMIke

          Why not?

          What part of your mythical heroic history – even if true – means that those vaccines (and their makers and regulators) are immune from the contemporary corporate malfeasance that has infected every single other sector of economy, medicine, and industry?

          What mechanism has protected those products from succumbing to the institutionalized sickness that has captured and pervades everything, everything else?

          Please, please, someone explain to me why vaccines are different. Please tell me why while I cannot trust industry or government on anything else, I can trust them on this. Please explain that while I disregard government and industry on GMOs, pesticides, fracking, and a host of other issues, I can trust them on this. Please explain that here on this site where the chronicle of medical industry malfeasance, corruption, fraud, and bad ideas runs almost daily; vaccines are exempt.

          1. JohnL

            The first polio vaccine was developed by Jonas Salk in 1952 while working at the University of Pittsburg School of Medicine and was funded by the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. Nothing to do with Big Pharma.
            Now please explain to me why the current malfeasance of the big pharma means millions should die though not using those vaccines?

            1. McMike

              What happened in 1950 has little bearing with what is happening now – particularly the public health infrastructure. “Millions will die,” that’s all you’ve got? Let’s put you down for: “Because the 1950’s!!!”

              Again, is there anyone who can explain how the vaccines are exempt? Perhaps the vaccine departments at Big Pharma are fire-walled from the other sociopathic divisions, with their own CEOs even? Perhaps there are two FDAs, one that fast-tracks GMOs, and a different one that regulates vaccines? Maybe the contract labs that are in the news here only fudge results for asthma drug trials?

              1. McMike

                Actually, the meme pro-vacciners use is more like this: “Because Polio!”

                Here’s a proposal for the rest of you: if someone can resolve the following proposition with a bona fide detailed argument, and without rhetorical fallacy, I will do my best to never mention vaccines here again.

                Proposed: Although nearly every aspect of our economic, corporate, and political spheres (including medicine and regulation) are broken, corrupt, self-serving, out of control, captured, pathological, unethical, and crapified – to the point that nearly every official or corporate action is a crime and every statement a lie, and nearly every single aspect of all of it is suspect – the vaccine industry is exempt from this behavior because _______

                  1. McMike

                    Ok.

                    Not does Goldman Sachs make banking a bad idea.

                    But for the time being, the sociopaths are running the show in both realms.

            2. Gaianne

              We can agree on the history of these vaccines as effective and safe, and yet wonder if they are effective and safe still.

              We are familiar with how industry cuts corners on quality and safety.

              The likelihood that vaccines today meet the standards that were set when they were developed is small.

              These days one constantly reads episodes of vaccines associated with clusters of crippling injuries or diseases, episodes that are then de-investigated and forgotten.

              If we want to save vaccines, we need to re-establish their safety and effectiveness, not falsely presume it.

              –Gaianne

                1. afisher

                  And now you have gone to crazy-land. Vaccines are developed and then not put on a shelf and ignored. They are monitored in laboratories and tested for purity and potency.

                  A really simple KISS analogy would be sour-dough proof – in which it is maintained and fed to be kept alive.

                  If you are really trying to sell the idea that there has been NO Testing since their development – you haven’t much of a clue about the actual science.
                  Whining about all a myriad of other topics is a waste of time – mine of course, because I actually read it – for which I am very very sorry.

                  1. McMike

                    Unless you are a drive-by puppet on this site, then you will be familiar with the term crapified.

                    You got the point precisely wrong. The point was that while vaccines were initially beneficial, they have been crapified by drug companies to the point that they now constitute a health threat in their own right.

                    This thread was in fact inspired by a link above which cast doubt on the virtue of the labs where this purity testing is done.

                    I won’t ask you to look up the term simulacra.

            3. Ernesto Lyon

              The polio vaccine was invented in 1952 and went through trials for several years. It was not officially released until 1956. By this time polio was already in steady decline.

              Questioning the efficacy of the polio vaccine in the 50’s is a reasonable question.

              1. Otter

                I, and probably every kid in my town, received Salk vaccine in 1953. It appears we participated in the field trials.

                It is true that polio was in precipitous decline by 1956. The first mass innoculation (not counting the field trials) in US occured in 1955. Paid for by a rabidly pinko Eisenhower government.

          2. Vatch

            Hi McMike. JohnL did not say that vaccine programs are exempt from error or fraud; in fact, he said that he has doubts about current vaccine programs.

            Have you ever known a person who had polio? I have. He spent his life in a wheel chair, with limited use of his arms and one leg. Needless to say, using the toilet was an adventure. I am very glad that I was vaccinated against polio and smallpox as a child.

            The main concern about many childhood vaccines is the use of the mercury containing compound thimerosal/thiomersal/Merthiolate as a preservative. This is no longer used in childhood vaccines in the U.S. and many European countries. Refrigeration has reduced the need for this preservative. However, the preservative is still used in third world countries, and if a vaccine is ever developed for Ebola, I suspect there are millions of Africans who won’t mind a little preservative in their vaccine.

            Having said all this, I agree that vaccine programs need to be more closely regulated. I have no faith in the ethics of Big Pharma.

            1. McMike

              His first post is negated by his second post.

              You do understand that citing the fact that polio was a dread disease six decades ago is a lousy argument for continuing the exact same thinking and treatments for it now. That commits at least three if not four rhetorical fallacies in one sentence.

              By the way:
              – There is legitimate doubt about the allegedly singular role vaccines played in some of these diseases, since the vaccine was often developed in concert with other public health developments, like hand washing, public health & nutrition programs, and indoor plumbing.
              – Thimerosal is in fact still used in some vaccines.
              – There are many other preservatives, adjuncts, toxic ingredients, nano particles, and GMO ingredients in vaccines besides Thimerosal.
              – Thimerosal is not the only concern, it is not even the leading concern. Other concerns include the unknown impact these vaccines have over the long term on our developing immune/neuro systems, particularly in conjunction with multiple vaccines and other environmental toxins.
              – Vaccines result in thousands of major adverse side effects every year (paralysis, encephalitis, catatonia, death), and uncounted millions of lesser adverse side effects (shaking, crying, high fever). Vaccines are neither safe nor risk free, in any absolute sense.

              I have asked sincerely many times in may forums for someone to explain how the vaccine industry is exempt from the corruption, conflicts of interest, and misuse that pervades the exact same companies and regulators who exhibit those traits daily in many other aspects of medical industry. I have never gotten a single reply.

              I am left wondering why I should grant vaccines an exemption. I eat organics even though officials assure me I am wasting my money; I avoid preemptive medical procedures and most medications even though doctors insist I am taking an unnecessary risk; I oppose fracking despite official assurances, I oppose GMO foods despite official assurances; and on and on.

              No one has ever given me a single reason to believe vaccines are different, except Because Polio.

                1. Vatch

                  The article says that it’s in multi-dose vials, but not in single does vials. I recommend that anyone considering a flu vaccine should insist on a single dose vial. If one isn’t available at your pharmacy or doctor’s office, then go somewhere else.

                  1. McMike

                    Well sure, if you can find single dose, the point is, there is a meme out there that thimerosal is not in vaccines anymore, which you reiterated. and it’s not true.

                    What other ingredients should we try and avoid?

                    What other oft-repeated vaccine memes are not actually true?

                    Hint: safe and effective.

                    1. Vatch

                      I said that thimerosal isn’t used in childhood vaccines in the U.S. and parts of Europe. That may not be entirely true — it’s possible that it’s just not in the vaccines for children below age 6. But if this preservative is a cause of autism, it’s likely that the damage occurs well before age 6.

              1. Vatch

                Polio is an excellent example. If we stop vaccinating people against polio, the disease will recur in the population and the consequences will be tragic. The concern about the preservative is not valid, because the preservative is not used in this vaccine.

                Your snark about “Because Polio” is meaningless. Polio is horrible, and anyone who does not fear it is being foolish.

                Neither JohnL nor I have denied that the vaccine industry is exempt from corruption, and nothing in his second message contradicts his first. His second message even refers to malfeasance of big pharma!

                1. McMike

                  A 1920’s recollection of polio is hardly adequate justification to blindly take the shots now. And in fact, the OPV method was the largest spreader of polio for a period, and continues to do so where it is still used.

                  You still fail to account for other factors, like changes in public health practices since 1930. Do you note how our officials assure us that Ebola would be different here? Why? Because we are not an impoverished, poorly fed nation with little or no public health infrastructure. That’s the US in 1930.

                  If you truly by your own admission distrust big pharma, then what rational do you have for ignoring your own beliefs, besides the fact that it was severe for about 5% of its sufferers several decades ago? The only justification you offer to ignore your own skepticism is a fifty year old largely anecdotally perpetuated fear- aka Because Polio.

                  For some people, taking the polio shot leads to major adverse consequences – including paralysis and death. Where do they fit in your calculus?

                  Contraindications
                  4.1 Hypersensitivity 63
                  A severe allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) after a previous dose of any diphtheria 64 toxoid-, tetanus toxoid-, pertussis antigen-, hepatitis B-, or poliovirus-containing vaccine or any 65 component of this vaccine, including yeast, neomycin, and polymyxin B, is a contraindication to 66 administration of PEDIARIX [see Description (11)]. 67
                  4.2 Encephalopathy 68
                  Encephalopathy (e.g., coma, decreased level of consciousness, prolonged seizures) within 69 7 days of administration of a previous dose of a pertussis-containing vaccine that is not 70 attributable to another identifiable cause is a contraindication to administration of any pertussis-71 containing vaccine, including PEDIARIX. 72
                  4.3 Progressive Neurologic Disorder 73
                  Progressive neurologic disorder, including infantile spasms, uncontrolled epilepsy, or 74 progressive encephalopathy is a contraindication to administration of any pertussis-containing 75
                  4
                  vaccine, including PEDIARIX. PEDIARIX should not be administered to individuals with such 76 conditions until the neurologic status is clarified and stabilized. 77
                  5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS 78
                  5.1 Fever 79
                  In clinical trials, administration of PEDIARIX in infants was associated with higher rates 80 of fever, relative to separately administered vaccines [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)]. 81
                  5.2 Guillain-Barré Syndrome 82
                  If Guillain-Barré syndrome occurs within 6 weeks of receipt of a prior vaccine containing 83 tetanus toxoid, the decision to give PEDIARIX or any vaccine containing tetanus toxoid should 84 be based on careful consideration of the potential benefits and possible risks. 85
                  5.3 Latex 86
                  The tip caps of the prefilled syringes may contain natural rubber latex which may cause 87 allergic reactions in latex-sensitive individuals. 88
                  5.4 Syncope 89
                  Syncope (fainting) can occur in association with administration of injectable vaccines, 90 including PEDIARIX. Syncope can be accompanied by transient neurological signs such as 91 visual disturbance, paresthesia, and tonic-clonic limb movements. Procedures should be in place 92 to avoid falling injury and to restore cerebral perfusion following syncope. 93
                  5.5 Adverse Events Following Prior Pertussis Vaccination 94
                  If any of the following events occur in temporal relation to receipt of a vaccine 95 containing a pertussis component, the decision to give any pertussis-containing vaccine, 96 including PEDIARIX, should be based on careful consideration of the potential benefits and 97 possible risks: 98
                  • Temperature of ≥40.5oC (105oF) within 48 hours not due to another identifiable cause; 99
                  • Collapse or shock-like state (hypotonic-hyporesponsive episode) within 48 hours; 100
                  • Persistent, inconsolable crying lasting ≥3 hours, occurring within 48 hours; 101
                  • Seizures with or without fever occurring within 3 days. 102
                  5.6 Children at Risk for Seizures 103
                  For children at higher risk for seizures than the general population, an appropriate 104 antipyretic may be administered at the time of vaccination with a vaccine containing a pertussis 105 component, including PEDIARIX, and for the ensuing 24 hours to reduce the possibility of 106 post-vaccination fever. 107
                  5.7 Apnea in Premature Infants 108
                  Apnea following intramuscular vaccination has been observed in some infants born 109 prematurely. Decisions about when to administer an intramuscular vaccine, including 110 PEDIARIX, to infants born prematurely should be based on consideration of the individual 111 infant’s medical status, and the potential benefits and possible risks of vaccination. 112
                  5.8 Preventing and Managing Allergic Vaccine Reactions 113
                  Prior to administration, the healthcare provider should review the immunization history 114
                  5
                  for possible vaccine sensitivity and previous vaccination-related adverse reactions to allow an 115 assessment of benefits and risks. Epinephrine and other appropriate agents used for the control of 116 immediate allergic reactions must be immediately available should an acute anaphylactic 117 reaction occur.

                  1. Ernesto Lyon

                    Polio is spread by fecal contamination. You don’t catch it from someone coughing on you. In 90% of cases it is symptomless. In about 8-9% of cases it is a temporary illness with no lasting impacts. In the remaining 1-2% hospitalization and even death (very rare) occur.

                    Given modern civil engineering in the US the chance that you’re going to consume polio infected fecal contaminated food or water is ridiculously tiny. Let’s say 1% , to be generous to the vaccine supporters.

                    The chance that you are exposed to polio and then get seriously sick is 2% * 0.1% in this scenario = 0.02%.

                    Subtract that from 100% and you get your odds of not suffering any ill effect from polio = 99.98%.

                    How much do you worry about something that isn’t going to affect you 99.98% of the time? And remember, this began with the very liberal estimate of a 1% chance of polio exposure. The real exposure likelihood in a nation with a modern water system is much lower.

                2. McMike

                  A 1920’s recollection of polio is an adequate justification to blindly take the shots now. And in fact, the OPV method was the largest spreader of polio for a period, and continues to do so where it is still used.

                  You have not account for other factors in previous polio outbreaks, like changes in public health practices since 1930. Have you notice how our officials assure us that Ebola would be different here? Why? Because we are not an impoverished, poorly fed nation with little or no public health infrastructure. That’s the US in 1930.

                  If you truly by your own admission distrust big pharma, then what rational do you have for ignoring your own beliefs, besides the fact that it was severe for about 5% of its sufferers several decades ago? The only justification you’ve offer to ignore your own skepticism is a fifty year old largely anecdotally perpetuated fear- aka Because Polio.

                  For some people, taking the polio shot leads to major adverse consequences – including paralysis and death. Where do they fit in this calculus?
                  See here: Contraindications (line 62) http://www.fda.gov/downloads/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/ApprovedProducts/UCM241874.pdf

                  You have acknowledged the likelihood of fraud within the industry. Thanks, that’s a start. Consider now the possibility that the cure is in danger of being worse than the disease, and that everything you think you know about these diseases and vaccines may not be entirely true.

                  1. Vatch

                    For me, the horror of polio isn’t anecdotal, because I’ve seen it with my own eyes. And if a person survives the initial infection, that’s not the end of it. 15 to 30 years later, some of the symptoms can return or worsen:

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-polio_syndrome

                    You’re going to have to provide detailed evidence that the prevention/cure is worse than the disease. A few warnings about rare side effects aren’t enough. The dangers of avoiding the polio vaccine are undoubtedly far more severe than the dangers of the vaccine itself.

                    1. JohnL

                      Agreed. I was born in 51. Grew up with kids in leg irons or wheelchairs, and families with children in institutions in a iron lung. And those with damaged eyesight or hearing after measles. Children of mothers who had rubella during pregnancy.

                    2. McMike

                      That is the definition of anecdotal.

                      By your logic, everyone who knows someone who has been harmed by vaccines should therefore avoid vaccines.

                    3. McMike

                      I did not say the polio vaccine was worse than the disease: I said to consider the possibility.

                      I have no medical lab. I have no access to secret drug company records of unpublished trials. I have no God-like ability to track every adverse reaction. Neither of us has any idea what polio would look like in our modern society. And no one except God knows what the long term ramifications of all these vaccines and toxins are.

                      What I do have evidence of, and do stand by, is that our corporate health care and regulatory system is broken and corrupt. And that’s it’s assurances are not to be trusted.

                      I am looking for evidence that contradicts this analysis with respect to vaccines, and have found none, except: Because Polio.

                    4. Vatch

                      No, not just “Because Polio”. Also smallpox, measles, rubella, tetanus, and influenza.

                      Recently there was some discussion of crimes in the 18th and 19th century in which blankets used by smallpox victims were sent to American Indians. They would have benefited from vaccination.

                    5. Oregoncharles

                      Hasn’t polio, like smallpox, which is mentioned below, been eliminated in the US? Indeed, I gather that the live vaccine – which has advantages because it’s contagious – is now the chief cause of the rare cases here. That means anyone getting the vaccine is taking a risk with no benefit (if you’re going to, I’d recommend the Salk/killed vaccine, if it’s available. The immunity is fugitive, though.)

                      In general, vaccines are one of the great ideas of modern medicine; along with hygiene, they’re the main reason for our longer lifespans. But that doesn’t mean they’re without problems. It’s important to maintain some critical thought.

                      For instance: Aside from autism, one of our big, increasing problems is auto-immune diseases. No one has any idea what’s causing them. (My son nearly died from one, so I’m up on the subject.) Could this have anything to do with the rather violent manipulation of babies’ immune systems? For instance, is it really a good idea to give them so many vaccines in a very short time? Has anyone even tried to find out?

                      Science is about asking questions.

                    6. JohnL

                      And that means keeping an open mind and a healthy curiosity to benefits, risks, and abuses, as in most other human endeavors.

                    7. McMike

                      Thanks you OC,

                      Very sorry to hear of your son’s troubles.

                      You have hit on the main reason I am skeptical of vaccines, aside that I do not trust the players, we don’t know the long term effect. No one knows, and it may be unknowable, what is the cumulative and interactive effect of all of this chemical intervention (along with a host of other toxins and fake food).

                      Then add in that I am personally philosophically opposed to the notion that we can outwit nature without paying a price somewhere along the line.

                      We are seeing blowback and diminishing returns to our technological arrogance across the spectrum.

                    8. Vatch

                      My (admittedly limited) understanding is that one’s first polio vaccination should always be the killed virus. Only the booster vaccination should be the live virus. But I really don’t know what the standard practice is.

                      I think it’s correct that “wild” polio has been eliminated in the U.S. Now, if we can just prevent people from traveling to and from countries where it hasn’t been eliminated….

  2. abynormal

    re, The Economics of Violence “domestic violence against women and children imposes a social cost of $8 trillion each year, making it a huge – and vastly underreported – global issue.

    “Extreme violence has a way of preventing us from seeing the interests it serves.”
    Klein, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

    (“See, people with power understand exactly one thing: violence.” Chomsky)

    1. Jim Haygood

      ‘domestic violence against women and children’

      This phrase from the article is a tendentious formulation which implies that the perps are always male and the victims always female. It also appears in the title of a federal statute, VAWA (Violence Against Women Act).

      Pejorative assumptions incorporated into the text of laws create legal gender bias, of the same sort that prevailed in the opposite direction (favoring male privilege) a half century ago.

      1. armchair

        Jim Haygood wants to talk about unicorns! Let’s focus on unicorns.

        I learned something interesting. Since WOMEN have been given a path out of abusive relationships through help-lines, shelters and raised awareness, the murder rate of abusive men has declined. So, there’s that.

      2. abynormal

        “(favoring male privilege) a half century ago”…typical of you Jim to skip the blowback of ‘a half century ago’!

        “Often, to keep the family together, the woman will accept repeated beatings and rapes, emotional battering and verbal degredation; she will be debased and ashamed but she will stick it out, or when she runs he will kill her. Ask the politicians who exude delight when they advocate for the so-called traditional family how many women are beaten and children raped when there is no man in the family. Zero is such a perfect and encouraging number, but who, among politicians in male-supremacist cultures, can count that high?”
        Dworkin

        “There certainly are some women who treat their male partners badly, berating them, calling them names, attempting to control them. The negative impact on these men’s lives can be considerable. But do we see men whose self-esteem is gradually destroyed through this process? Do we see men whose progress in school or in their careers grinds to a halt because of the constant criticism and undermining? Where are the men whose partners are forcing them to have unwanted sex? Where are the men who are fleeing to shelters in fear for their lives? How about the ones who try to get to a phone to call for help, but the women block their way or cut the line? The reason we don’t generally see these men is simple: They’re rare.
        I don’t question how embarrassing it would be for a man to come forward and admit that a woman is abusing him. But don’t underestimate how humiliated a woman feels when she reveals abuse; women crave dignity just as much as men do. If shame stopped people from coming forward, no one would tell.”
        Bancroft

        “Learn this now and learn it well. Like a compass facing north, a man’s accusing finger always finds a woman. Always. You remember that, Mariam.”
        Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns (i thought he blew it out with Kite Runner…then he blew me away with Suns)

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          With you 1000% on “Suns,” aby. How DO you remember those quotes?

          With regard to Haygood, his comment is utter BS. The phrase neither implies nor assumes anything.

          More likely, the “tendentious” implications and “pejorative assumptions” are in the eye of a strangely defensive and combative beholder.

          Take a break, Jim, it’s not ALWAYS about you. It really isn’t.

          1. abynormal

            don’t kid yourself…i net hunt thru a foggy lifetime of reading

            I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognized wiser than oneself.
            Marlene Dietrich

            returning to the focus at hand: Without tenderness, a man is uninteresting. ‘ )
            Marlene Dietrich

  3. Jim Haygood

    We fixed Iraq. Now we’re gonna fix Syria. From the WaPo:

    The House on Wednesday approved President Obama’s plan to train and equip moderate Syrian rebels to counter the growing threat of the Islamic State organization. It put lawmakers on record approving U.S. engagement in the years-long Syrian civil war.

    Supporters included 159 Republicans and 114 Democrats, while 85 Democrats and 71 Republicans voted against the amendment. The Senate is expected to give the bill final approval Thursday.

    House GOP leaders sought to bolster support by making calls to several lawmakers. So did House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her lieutenants, although their efforts were “soft touches,” or informal outreach, according to aides.

    http://tinyurl.com/ozwnstx

    ————

    Nancy Pelosi, workin’ side by side with Republican leaders. A new war is way too important to get bogged down in partisanship.

    1. hardWorkingBee

      Assuming a republican congress next year, we can count on the resuming of budget cut fights. So it seems to me that the administration is preemptively trying to get the military engaged in as many tasks as possible (even fighting Ebola!) before then in order to justify protecting the military against budget cuts.

    2. Doug Terpstra

      Thank you for the heartwarming report on bipartisan collegiality and fellowship. It’s reassuring to know we can always come together in kumbaya cooperation over war and Israel, especially both together.

  4. trish

    re Adrian Peterson and what our fathers did to us: we have not turned out fine

    “the downside of corporal punishment”

    is there an upside?

    1. nony mouse

      that ‘might makes right’, which seems to be the guiding principle of most of our social, political and economic structures.

    2. James Levy

      The hoary response is: see your kid about to put her hand on the stove, you slap it away and tell them never, ever, to do that again (or, you deliberately let them burn their hand–lesson learned); your eight year old says something mean to an old person, so you slap them on the behind and tell them to never, ever, do that again. Do such strategies work? Honestly, I think they do. Not because they hurt the kid (they don’t) but because, if they are rare, shocking, and exemplary they drive the lesson home with real force (rather than watching yuppies pleading with their brats to please stop throwing food at the waitress).

      Now, beating or whipping a kid in a premeditated way sends only one real message–I have the power to hurt and terrorize you, so do what I say, irrespective of it making any sense. Peterson pretty obviously wanted his kid to do what he told him to do, not learn a lesson about why what the kid did was wrong. What’s almost as sickening as what he did was the knee-jerk reaction of cultural relativists who don’t want it said that black parenting strategies like taking a switch and sending a 4 year old to the hospital are barbaric and stupid, and those who want to defend a father’s “right” to send his 4 year old to the hospital because fear and awe of daddy are the lynch pins of a proper society. That both these types roam the Earth is a distinct marker of just how screwed up our culture is.

      1. abynormal

        “Shame is a soul eating emotion.” Jung

        “Once they know they’ve got a hold of your shame, they can shake it out and hold it up for the all world to see. And you become less than it. You become something disgusting.”
        Kirsty Eagar

      2. nony mouse

        anger displacement is common for every ‘race’ in our human race. why single out black people?

        the more ‘traditional’ childrearing practices are used, the more resort to physical punishment there tends to be.

        I had a relative once who, when her child was in the biting stage, grabbed his arm and bit him. she said calmly “now you know how that feels. it hurts, doesn’t it?” she was not a person prone to physical discipline, and her action in the context (she didn’t bite him that hard. no broken skin) seemed rational and actually worked. the toddler stopped biting people pretty much after that one interaction.

        but this is not the same thing as knowing that if you did wrong, your parent is going to whip your behind when they find out. in many ways, the dread and humiliation of that is probably worse than the actual punishment. especially if you have an authority figure who has invented a lot of rules that don’t seem to make sense to you, and which you are just supposed to absorb without reason.

        my mother was able to instill in all of her children the correct way to behave and the correct moral attitude, even while being an abused wife and drug addict. and she only smacked me once in my life, on the behind, and only because her abusive spouse told her that he’d give me worse if he had to do it. I didn’t obey her because I was afraid of her (or him, by proxy). I listened to her because she explained the proper reasons behind why you act nicely towards others, and how they might be feeling about the nasty thing that you said to them (perspective-taking, I think the psychs call it).

    3. Brindle

      The application of violence ends conversation—that communicating is subservient to the iron fist.

      From the Guardian piece:

      —But you can’t escape the knowledge that many of us – even the best of us – are only as good as the tools we’ve been given. And you know that the one you were given again and again is that violence ends the conversation,—

  5. mike

    Please start warning us when you put Lomborg articles up so we won’t accidentally click on them. Thank you in advance.

  6. John Jones

    Treating every independence movement like they are all the same is ignorant on the difference and legitimacy of each one.

  7. JM Hatcch

    Certainly windfarms have some negative environmental impacts, but it’s all relative. Compared to fossil fuel wind is far less damaging. I know of no power generation technology without it’s negatives. What is most odd about the article is the author spends most of his time moaning about the impact of global warming, which wind power is suppose to slow down** by reducing carbon emissions (compared to fossil fuel).

    How did that link get into this fine blog?
    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/26244-mexico-researcher-raises-alert-about-environmental-risks-in-region-with-highest-concentration-of-wind-farms-in-latin-america

    ** it could be argued nothing much (short of a massive net possitive return of carbon into the earth) now may slow down global warming now that increasing amounts of perma-frost is no longer permanent & the oceans have started degassing methane. However, it’s still early in the science to throw in the towel and write off existing ecosystems (& humans).

  8. McMike

    Re money market funds. I know that this site is no fan of money market funds, but the article’s bias was apparent. In its simplistic morality tale: good money market funds invest in treasuries, bad ones invest in mortgage backed securities *boo scary!*

    Despite concerns about the money market funds liquidity in downturns, I am not clear on how eliminating these and driving us into mainline bank’s other short term products will be a net win for the consumer. The banks’ track record on treatment of captive customers is a well understood story of exploitation and abuse. The FDIC may have created stability in the deposit sector, but it has not done much else to reduce pathology at banks.

    it is also worth remembering that only one money fund has required bailing out. And even when breaking the buck, we are talking about single digit losses. While the money funds nearly become victims of the panic (caused by the banks), and required a federal guarantee to quell panic, they have not as a class required nearly the sort of oxygen-sucking capital repair and subsidy hovered up by the banks.

    Under a lesser of two evils approach, I do not understand the hostility to money market funds, and do not understand the implicit advocacy to send those funds to management by the mainline banks.

    Although money funds may have issues, I don’t understand how this is not viewed as the bank’s effort to eliminate alternatives and to extend their monopoly control on all things monetary.

    Who do you fear more: Vanguard & Fidelity, or the JPM/Citi cabal?

  9. Jim Haygood

    From the NYT:

    Manhattan [has] the biggest dollar income gap of any county in the country, according to data from the Census Bureau.

    The top 5 percent of households earned $864,394, or 88 times as much as the poorest 20 percent, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, which is being released Thursday and covers the final year of the Bloomberg administration.

    The wealthiest New Yorkers are benefiting in part from the rise of the financial industry, including hedge funds and investment banks.

    http://tinyurl.com/ncqka7o

    ————

    Manhattan also has some of the most segregated schools in the country, with its public schools catering almost exclusively to minorities while [rich] white kids attend private schools.

    Strange that its inhabitants regard it as a bastion of liberal enlightenment, compared to the dismal redneck badlands between NY and LA.

    1. James Levy

      Jim, you are forgetting that NYC has been largely mayored by Republicans or Republican Lites (Koch) for over 30 years. What New Yorkers can say to their credit is they don’t want to criminalize gays or send them to reeducation camps as they would like to do in some parts of this country, and they are not, on the whole, crazed anti-Semites or bigoted towards blacks or Asians OF THEIR OWN CLASS. Most New Yorkers are no big fans of the drug war, either. What you are implying is that they love the system that makes them rich and don’t want to change it to the detriment of themselves or their children. Of this they are guilty, but strategies to level the playing field (and society) long ago stopped being part of the “liberal” playbook. There is, however, a difference between a jerk like Bloomberg and a jerk like Rick Perry, especially if you are gay, black, a woman, or an immigrant (which are, you know, the majority of the American people).

    1. abynormal

      ‘major oversights’ share a quality of convenience don’tchya thunk

      “Economic control is not merely control of a sector of human life which can be separated from the rest; it is the control of the means for all our ends. And whoever has sole control of the means must also determine which ends are to be served, which values are to be rated higher and which lower-in short, what men should believe and strive for.”
      Friedrich Hayek

        1. abynormal

          ah the good ole dayz….remember the meme ‘vote with your wallets’?
          ‘they’ got control of our wallets and politics fell into place.

          the cart is before the horse…how do we reverse this reality while the cart is at full speed?

          “Most horses don’t walk backwards voluntarily, because what they can’t see doesn’t exist.”
          T. Pratchett

  10. petal

    Thank you for the Guardian column about AP. Having lived through that until I moved out to go to college early and he died early (thankfully), the writer’s spot on. Sitting here tearing up.

    1. nony mouse

      from the article:
      “Sometimes it stops because you move out. Or because you realize that if both of you don’t grow up, one of you is going to die.”

      post-traumatic stress is no glory to live through. I am the second generation in our family (that I know of) to actively plot the death of the male parental figure in the household as a way of envisioning freedom from that kind of daily terror. if I had not had the fortune to move out at the age of 9 to live with extended family, it most certainly would have become a reality.

      the article does not (and should not, necessarily) mention the collateral effect of watching the same process enacted in front of your eyes on the abused spouse, your other parental figure. you learn rather quickly who has the power of life and death over everyone. in these circumstances, murder as a means of escape makes its appearance as one of the few possible solutions to the problem, and a likelier outcome the older one gets.

      1. abynormal

        ive followed your personal shares over the years and borrowed your strength during my own personal journey. Thank You…and thanks to luck & reading since i could carry a book, the ‘likelier outcome’ has so far escaped me.

      2. ex-PFC Chuck

        The question of why some people subjected to severe abuse in childhood go on to lives of vicious crime and others do not is the subject of a fascinating book by Richard Rhodes entitled Why They Kill: The Discoveries of a Maverick Criminologist. It is a biography of Lonnie Athens, a criminologist who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks in Baltimore under domination of a severely abusive father. As a result of a few encounters during childhood and adolescence with what Alice Miller calls “enlightened witnesses” who mentored him at pivotal times, Athens was able to gain enough self-insight to avoid following the path of his father. One of those witnesses, recognizing his intelligence, was able to help him get off of the not-fit-for-college sidetrack on which the school system had placed him. As he matured he became intrigued by the question of why many who came from family backgrounds similar to his went on to lives of ultra vicious crime, and this became his life’s work.

        Athens conducted in depth interviews with dozens of extremely violent, repeat offenders in the Iowa maximum security prison near Ft. Madison, and was able to get these guys to open up to him in ways that most academics, coming from more genteel backgrounds, could not. From these interviews he discerned that most of them had gone through a four step process that begins with powerlessly experiencing and observing violence in young childhood and culminates in an intoxicating experience of successfully becoming a perpetrator. Unfortunately, the same street savvy that enabled him to get his interviewees to open up did not go down well in the groves of academe. This, plus the fact that his qualitative methods were out of style in a sociology community that was increasingly enamored with quantitative positivism, made him an outsider.

        Richard Rhodes also was a victim of serious abuse; he and his older brother were nearly starved to death by an archtypically evil stepmother, among other things. Like Athens, he has been obsessed with the origins of evil ever since; in one way or another it is the topic of most of his books. Among other accomplishments he wrote the go-to books for the lay audience on nuclear weapons.

        1. petal

          Thank you for that information-I’ll definitely check the books out. My brother took my father’s path and became just like him, I took the complete opposite. It’s fascinating psychologically.

          1. abynormal

            +1 for you too Petal. my sister is violent with anyone near and at 48 i seriously don’t know how she’s survived. im familiar with a few paying dearly from crossing her path.

            and Thank You Chuck for sharing Richards insights & research on this thread. its a read for any generation…b/c its never too late to recognize the cycles that need breaking.

        2. nony mouse

          thank you for sharing details of that book. it sounds very interesting, and I’ve always had an interest in crime and criminals.

          what you convey sounds like a sort of confused or demented process of empowerment, after coming from the depths of the lived experience of interpersonal tyranny. I imagine that the author has received his own form of empowerment by studying why people become that way (tyrants over others) in the first place.

          thank you for all of your messages, aby & petal. sympathy and empathy are always a welcome sentiments, as well as good wishes. I share these stories not as a method of gaining pity, but as a cautionary tale or example of what really occurs.

          as I’m sure you both know, unless someone has lived it, they really are oblivious and are often sadly even totally unaware of their own obliviousness. the phrase “why don’t you just ______?” comes to mind.

        3. fresnodan

          thanks for the reference. I am always interested in why we act as we do – we usually don’t know why, but there usually is a reason.

    2. tim s

      This issue of corporal punishment always brings out the stories of abuse. The problem is, corporal punishment is not the same as abuse. Considering them the same is simply wrong, and fails to take into account the MANY shades of grey between the sadist and a parent doing their best in a difficult situation (giving a little swat on the bum to get attention from a kid who will not pay attention). Sometimes a parent needs to get an immediate reaction from a child to let them know they are serious. Reasoning with a 4 year old is not as effective with some kids as with others. Many will ignore you altogether. Many situations are serious, and a child needs to know when a parent or guardian really means something based on their tone of voice.

      I grew up with corporal punishment, and do not look back upon it as abuse. It was not frequent, neither was it terribly harsh. Usually it was somewhat deserved but also due to them being human and not having a better idea at the time. I don’t hold it against my parents, and we are pretty close. I’d say our relationship is very good.

      The plural of anecdote is not data. For an honest discussion on this topic, we need significant data, and an analysis of this data that would be by no means easy. All I see are tearjerkers. For every case of abuse, there are likely hundreds of instances of physical discipline that don’t result in broken lives. Where is the data that shows a comparison of the adults and their mental well-being between those who received well-intentioned swats and those who were disciplined in other ways? I’d like to see it. I’m pragmatic, and am willing to change my mind when presented with solid evidence.

      I do see a fair number of parents who, when words have failed to what they wanted, threw up their hands saying “they just wont listen” and give up, or just yell and yell. Some of those kids are so poorly behaved I wont even have them in my house. Parenting is a very nuanced, complex skill that frequently needs to employ a variety of methods, which vary from child to child. Physical should be the last, and should never be the only one used. That being said, a parent that resorts to the physical on occasion should not necessarily be labeled an abuser.

      1. tim s

        I should clarify this sentence: “Many situations are serious, and a child needs to know when a parent or guardian really means something based on their tone of voice.”

        If a parent uses corporal punishment such as a swat on the bum (distinguished from an ass-beating), it should be preceded by a pretty harsh tone of voice unique to such a situation. Later, this tone of voice will get the immediate attention of the child without resorting to the swat. Pavlovian?- sure. Demeaning?- meh, we still share most of our DNA with chimps & bonobos. We are still basically creatures of the natural world and are conditioned in many different ways.

  11. Banger

    One of the big divides in the country lies between those who believe in corporal punishment and those who don’t. In my life I oppose it because I experienced “punishment” as abuse while others experienced it as punishment deserved. For what it’s worth the American Association of Pediatrics opposes corporal punishment but bringing that up to my Southern friends and my Southern wife gets precisely nowhere. I find that, interestingly, the advocacy of beating children has a lot to do with social class and race with beatings most prevalent in the African American community.

    1. cwaltz

      My biggest problem with corporal punishment is that it often appears to accompany anger and frustration. I don’t think teaching children that when they are angry and frustrated that hitting is the best course of action. My children did experience an old fashioned spanking or two but only after I had the opportunity to calm down and ponder if it was really the best course of action. 9 times out of 10 I felt it wasn’t. There were usually better ways to get my point across.

  12. Jim Haygood

    Latest 2013 household income estimates for 25 top metro areas show bigger disparities than one might have expected.

    Washington DC, with median income of $89,593, is miles ahead of No. 2 San Francisco ($75,779) and No. 3 Boston ($72,571).

    New York comes in at $64,936 (that’s 72.5% of Washington DC) , while the lowest-ranked of the 25 metro areas, Tampa, has barely half the income of the imperial capital.

    Note that these are median incomes (the income of the household in the exact middle of a top-to-bottom ranking), so they are not distorted by a few billionaires at the top, as mean incomes are in metro areas such as New York and San Francisco.

    https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2014/acs/acsbr13-02.pdf

    1. VietnamVet

      The complete omission of facts in the shoot down of MH-17 is astonishing. Apparently a high explosive projectile burst above and in front of the airplane instantaneously destroying the cockpit. The Cold War 2 started with the big lie that Vladimir Putin bears responsibility for the downing.

      My problem with the Russian Engineers report is that it favors the theory that a 30mm cannon fire destroyed of the cockpit. This is an impossible shot for a ground attack airplane like the SU-25 flying up from below. A SU-29 interceptor could have shot MH-17 down with cannon fire but it would have to have been flying in front of the flight path from Russia towards the 777. The Russian air defenses would have detected it and would have intercepted the fighter if it had crossed over their border as it circled around to get in front of the flight.

      The total lack of pictures or bystanders reports of seeing or hearing a ground to air missile is puzzling. Perhaps the SU-25 in the area from below fired a radar controlled air to air missile that took down the 777 but again no one saw it.

      America had satellite, radar and radio surveillance of Ukraine. The complete whitewash means that Ukraine and/or the USA were somehow involved. The US government dares not to tell the truth to American citizens.

  13. Paper Mac

    Re: Europe has a larger Islamic problem than it thinks

    “The wages of mass Muslim immigration dropped in to a non-assimilation, multi-cultural context. There you go.

    Multi-culturalism is national suicide. Assimilation is the only way to success.”

    In other words, Muslims are a homogenous, intrinsically violent foreign Other who must be forcibly made to behave like secular white westerners lest Der Kulturnation be infected and begin to decay from within. It sure is a good thing we have Americans to promulgate this brilliant Volkisch analysis to our wayward European brethren. Surely they will look at America, see the resounding success of the Melting Pot at dealing with racial, ethnic, religious, and national tensions, and switch the “Les Bruns” lever from “Multiculti” to “Assimilate”.

    1. kapala

      what exactly was the point of linking this article?
      to show us that vile racists exist?
      Is there anything at all in this article worth discussing?
      WTF??!!??

      1. Paper Mac

        “Is there anything at all in this article worth discussing?”

        It’s a relatively common viewpoint in various quarters in the West, so it’s worth addressing why it’s idiotic and counterproductive if the objective is to reduce the attractiveness of radical kharijite Islam (which relies on the same essentialist dichotomy between West and Islam) rather than the establishment of internment and reeducation camps for Muslim Fifth Columnists.

    2. Banger

      Europeans aren’t used to the multi-cultural thing. It takes at least one generation to get assimilation. I had relatives, on my Italian side, in Philly who emigrated and never spoke English–they had in those days (50s and 60s) an Italian newspaper, Italian radio station, Italian lawyers and so on so never had to go out of South Philly. Their kids though began to assimilate and their grandchildren became completely “American.”

      Having said that, I know Europe is going through both a crisis in cultural identity as well as an economic and political crisis–no offence, Europe but you kind of deserve it after putting all your eggs in a “safe” and strictly materialistic way of life. Now you’ve decided you want to just be Washington’s bitch–whatever.

      1. Paper Mac

        The process you are describing with your Italian forebears (fondly referred to by white Americans as assimiliation or the melting pot) is the formation of a “white” European-descended American ethnic overclass to form a stable political counterbalance to an insurrectionary black underclass. It has no relevance to the contemporary European situation, since there is no chance of immigrant Muslims “assimilating” to the white Christian/liberal-secular European polity without collapsing that conceptual category and its political utility (which dates to Pope Urban’s first crusade and has been formed explicitly in opposition to the ostensible threat of the Muslim hordes across the Med and beyond the Urals).

        It’s also patently untrue to say that “Europeans aren’t used to the multi-cultural thing”- Muslims have been in Europe for a millenium, and large numbers of Arab and South Asian Muslims have been imported as a consequence of European colonial policy for generations now. The British fighters going to pull triggers for ISIS are almost laughably westernised- weed smoking rappers and football hooligans with no meaningful background in Islam outside their affective identity-driven commitment arising as a consequence of economic marginalisation. The problem is simply far more complex than the idiotic and ahistorical binary of “assimilation or multiculturalism”, which is usually just a dogwhistle used by eliminationist American white supremacists who see Muslims (or Mexicans, etc) as an infectious agent to be extirpated rather than as people with complex histories and motivations.

        1. Banger

          I don’t see it quite that way–while there have been “foreign groups” in Europe throughout the ages their numbers were not anywhere near the current number–I lived in Europe at times back in the day–in fact hung out mainly (spent a year in University there) with Iranian students–they had issues, sort-of, but worked sh*t out pretty well. The recent waves of immigration have been dramatic.

          Also, the scenario you describe is less a question of lack of assimilation in the contemporary Euro culture (your example of Britain in particular) but a result of the breakdown of common culture as a whole that has, ultimately little to do with immigration and everything to do with an “inner” bankruptucy with confused values and general lack of imagination–in the U.S., while we tend to be stupid, we are very much open to re-inventing ourselves and don’t linger as much as Euro people do in our own sh*t (IMHO) because our roots are relatively shallow. The people you describe have assimilated very well–into nihilism so they react, sensibly to that general feeling tone.

  14. barrisj

    Uh-oh, here’s the first country of “the West” who is claiming to interrupt an “ISIS plot to conduct a public beheading”…a charter member of “the Coalition of the Willing”:

    Islamic State extends reach? Australia thwarts alleged terror plot

    Some 800 Australian police conducted raids in Sydney and Brisbane to foil an alleged plot to abduct and publicly behead citizens there. Those charged are allegedly linked to the extremist group Islamic State.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Security-Watch/terrorism-security/2014/0918/Islamic-State-extends-reach-Australia-thwarts-alleged-terror-plot

    PM Tony Abbott has been pushing his “Team Australia” inititiative for months now, aimed at Australia’s Muslim community to force them to “stand up for Australia and her values” bollocks. There has been a concerted effort by OZ security agencies to infiltrate Muslim organisations, including mosques, in order to monitor “potential terrorist activitie”s, and to sign up informants. I suspect the latter was instrumental in creating the “conspiracy to commit a public beheading”, whatever. The tactics have worked well in the US and UK, so why not go for it Down Under, and with the added benefit of introducing the scare factor in OZ politics to ease the way for more military involvement by Australia on behalf of the US.

    1. Banger

      Since IS along with other groups are a product of a consortium of intel groups they may as well scare the Australian public as much as anyone else. This is all Orwellian theater–yes, many Muslims are interested in hurting the West that seems to be consistently at war with them–but in a world of ubiquitous surveillance and massive money being thrown at “anti-terror” measures I am pretty much certain that IS and others are, if not under direct orders of this aforementioned consortium, is at least fairly transparent in their actions.

      I’m wondering if anyone actually believes that any Western government wouldn’t use terrorism to inspire fear in the domestic population to control them and have them agree to become a police state. Australia is an interesting case of needing to finally put a spike of what is left of the left there–as it has worked so well in the U.S.–that is what this is all about, for the most part.

  15. barrisj

    An exceedingly import appellate court decision here concerning elements of the US military intelligence performing state-wide surveillance of private citizens’ computers while allegedly looking for “child porn viewers” on the Net:

    Child-porn conviction is tossed; Navy surveillance is blamed

    9th Circuit judges say Naval Criminal Investigative Service has routinely probed the computers of civilians in Washington and elsewhere looking for evidence of crimes in a violation so egregious that the court will let a convicted child pornographer go free to make its point

    Navy criminal investigators repeatedly and routinely peeked into the computers of private citizens in Washington state and elsewhere, a violation of the law so “massive” and egregious that an appeals court says it has no choice but to throw out the evidence against an Algona man sentenced to 18 years in prison for distribution of child pornography.

    The three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a decision handed down last week, said the 2012 prosecution of Michael Allan Dreyer by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle demonstrated Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) agents “routinely carry out broad surveillance activities that violate” the Posse Comitatus Act, a Reconstruction-era law that prohibits the military from enforcing civilian laws.

    The court called the violations “extraordinary” and said evidence presented in Dreyer’s prosecution appears to show that “it has become a routine practice for the Navy to conduct surveillance of all the civilian computers in an entire state to see whether any child pornography can be found on them, and then to turn over that information to civilian law enforcement when no military connection exists.”
    [more…]
    http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2024565988_navyporn1xml.html

    The NCIS is only but one of many US military intelligence agencies that have at their disposal NSA-like capability to conduct such unconstitutional searches, and without any FISA guidance, however bogus even that may be. As one of the defense attorneys proclaimed: This [ Levin said,] is the real militarization of police — when the military becomes the police.”

    1. Banger

      This ubiquitous surveillance and security vigilantism is fascinating. Let’s be clear here what is happening. As the financial institutions try to cheat, routinely break laws and trading rules, as universities suppress dissent and all private and public organizations of any size spend half their time gaming the system it is logical to expect the security agencies of stretching boundaries. Why wouldn’t the NSA, CIA, FBI and other agencies not use their power to spy on others, harass girl-friends or boy-friends, intimidate private enemies or go off on Hollywood inspired crusades against “evil” in the world and so on?

      The good thing in all this is that if everyone is cheating and gaming the system to try and accomplish private or organizational goals the whole political economy becomes more and more chaotic so that it allows flowers to bloom within the cracks. As such I recommend we become those flowers–stretch the limits a little and look for opportunities to counteract the martinets and cops and greedy a-holes who try an run our lives–eventually these disparate forces will start fighting among themselves–I already see that in a number of areas.

  16. zephyrum

    My favorite comment from the clinical trial article:

    John Wetherill says:
    Have any data? This is strictly anectodal.

    As in, the acolyte furiously polishes his idol to reinforce his faith.

  17. Brindle

    Seventeen year old in coma after being tasered by police.
    From Jonathan Turley’s blog:

    —We have previously discussed how police today seem to use tasers as a first response weapon to any resistance or in some cases the failure to follow their orders. We have seen various serious injuries causes by heart attacks or falls as a result of the use of tasers but some police officers continue to use the weapon relatively freely in encountering what they consider resistance.—

    http://jonathanturley.org/2014/09/18/seventeen-year-old-missouri-teen-in-coma-after-being-tasered-by-police/

    1. Banger

      Well, from their POV, why shouldn’t they? They are encouraged to be as brutal as possible–their doctrine, like the doctrine of the U.S. around the world is “shock and awe.” Overwhelm the victim with an extreme and unreasonable use of force.

      We have to remember that from a cultural POV, we love violence almost for its own sake. To expect cops to be restrained is a bit unrealistic. I always advise people that they should never have anything to do with cops even if they are victim of crimes unless they are familiar with their local police force–you never know when they’ll turn on you should they take a personal dislike to you for whatever reason. People who live in polices states like the U.S. need to know that the default setting for dealing with authorities and cops is to stay the fuck away cause almost anyone could end up inured or in prison as a result.

      1. vidimi

        given that america claims to be the world’s policeman, it’s ironically fitting that its police force has morphed into a perfect analogy of america’s role abroad: a mortal danger to the poor and people of colour.

          1. Lambert Strether

            Read an article in WaPo a few days ago that since veterans have been given priority in Federal hiring, there are culture clashes. So all the pieces are coming together into an emerging pattern…..

  18. Ulysses

    NC readers may find this news from yesterday of interest:
    “Justice for Jazz Artists took the fight to New York City Hall today.
    Supporters gathered this morning to testify before the Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations in support of City Council Resolution 207 A, a resolution sponsored by City Council members Jimmy Van Bramer, Laurie Cumbo and Corey Johnson supporting the Justice for Jazz Artists Campaign and its attempts to gain justice for jazz musicians in New York City.

    For many years, the top jazz artists in the world have lived and worked regularly in New York City, yet many older jazz musicians are forced to retire in poverty. Even those musicians who play frequently in the most prestigious and profitable jazz clubs are denied basic benefits and pensions. While musicians who play on Broadway and in symphony orchestras are protected by union contracts, jazz musicians are not. And though the top jazz clubs in New York City profit greatly from the musicians that bring in their customers, they have repeatedly refused to work with musicians to address pensions or any other work-related issues”

    http://justiceforjazzartists.org/2014/09/17/legendary-jazz-artists-and-nyc-city-council-members-speak-out-on-behalf-of-workplace-security-for-jazz-musicians/

    These people bring so much joy, it’s a crying shame that they are expected to end their lives in destitution!

  19. MikeNY

    Stever Forbes is under the delusion that his inherited millions make his every brainfart precious and ponderous.
    He is only exceeded in his misprision of himself by the Grand Poobah of Blowhard Asshattery, Donald Trump.

  20. Brian

    regarding robots; Asimov created a workable solution for ethics of robotics. It would not allow the army to use them as killers. Hence the best voice must be silenced after these 65 years. When will they burn the books?

    1. Banger

      I think they are being burned symbolically. If you look at the quality of our intellectual culture at this time you have to weep. Psychologists and doctors aiding and abetting torturers and engineers building killer drones and robots–all because the Ministry of Truth decrees that we are being threatened by “bad guys.”

    2. McMike

      “Any technology that can be used against people, will eventually be used against people”

      I am sure there’s an eponymous law about that.

  21. Scarecrow, I think I'll miss you most of all

    Tightly control, nyuk nyuk. The deep state is making sure everybody knows the buck stops with the puppet ruler. Evident USG nervousness about international law. They’re going to prop Obama up in front of the UN, a deliberative body where they’re not all bribed and blackmailed (though not for lack of trying.)

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/09/15/white-house-has-no-international-legal-justification-for-hitting-isis-in-syria.html

    Under the tutelage of international law specialist Vladimir Putin, Syria might be reminded about this case, with which Libya stopped US aggression cold:

    “the United States is under a legal obligation immediately to cease and desist from such breaches and from the use of any and all force or threats against Libya, including the threat of force against Libya, and from all violations of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the political independence of Libya. Libya will further request the Court in a separate document to indicate, as a master of urgency, interim measures of protection,” whereupon the US government backed down to avoid a judgment;

    Or this element of customary international law, on which the ICJ would naturally draw in judging US use of force in manifest breach of the United Nations Charter,

    Or this relevant bit of international criminal law.

  22. barrisj

    US airsrike “collateral damage”, or…


    Over 100 killed in Iraq airstrikes, clashes

    Baghdad: Over 100 people were killed and 79 others wounded in Iraq Thursday in US air strikes and clashes between the Iraqi security forces and insurgent militants, including those with the Islamic State(IS), officials and security sources said.

    In Iraq`s northern province of Nineveh, US airstrikes hit an IS training centre at the college of agriculture in Hamam al-Alil area, some 25 km south of Nineveh`s provincial capital Mosul, leaving 59 militants dead and some 70 others wounded, according to the head of the security committee of Nineveh`s provincial council.

    “Some of the dead and wounded were recruits who joined the militant group coming from several Arab countries, and were receiving basic military training at the site,” the official told Xinhua citing intelligence reports.
    [more…]

    http://zeenews.india.com/news/world/over-100-killed-in-iraq-airstrikes-clashes_1472346.html

    “Some of the dead and wounded were recruits…”. Right, then, and the others? As it was an agricultural college that was attacked, perhaps it was students who contributed to the bodycount?

  23. jrs

    So the L.A. school district has grenade launchers but they’re going to give them back.

    “The Los Angeles School Police Department, which serves the nation’s second-largest school system, would keep 61 rifles and an armored vehicle built to withstand roadside bombs, the newspaper said

    The Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, and the grenade launchers, would only have been used in “very specific circumstances,” he added, without elaborating..”

    And this is a school district. Many schools don’t have money for schools supplies (many a teacher buys them out of their own pockets for thier students) but they’ve got a tank! Meanwhile our social workers are potentially spying on anyone unfortunate enough to need their help as potential dissidents.

    So goes the social service aspect of government, and people wonder why people become libertarians. Because libertarians might be quite right about the dark side of state, when even the seemingly benigh parts (social work, education) are part and parcel of the fascism – that is of course this state, the u.s. right wing state with two right wing parties in this economic system (in a violent society sure, but there’s reasons it’s so violent). Or they wonder why people oppose more federal invovlement in education as if it doesn’t come with all the strings in the world from having military recruitment on campus (cannon fodder), to “teach to test”, to getting tanks. That Federal money is never free.

  24. afisher

    Is there something in the air – I rarely have read so much bs in one day here as today. People are ubber-critical – we can’t discuss Violence Against Women because it ignores men, we can’t talk about Equal Pay – because even Dems in WH have women who make less than men. Vaccines are bad because they are not 100% guaranteed to eliminate a disease.

    Seriously – have you all been given ALEC tea – in which everything is a failure if compliance or the topic doesn’t completely cover 100% of the aggrieved? What world are you folks living…or is it just a bad day? WOWZER.

    1. JohnL

      New study overturns 20 years of consensus on peak projection of 9bn and gradual decline
      Vaccines and drugs are working too well!

        1. Vatch

          You should be able to display &#060/sarc> by typing this:

          &amp&#035&#048&#54&#048/sarc>

          Of course, I won’t be sure that it works until after I’ve submitted this message. I can only hope that the preview screen works for special characters.

  25. Bene

    The Global Post map page is functionally USELESS, as it has way to much CRAP ads sucking the life out of it. Someone needs to tell these jerks that 10 minute load times with FROZEN pages because they can’t get their ad servers to response will not only not sell the products in those ads, it will make people stop using the sites that do this entirely.

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