Links 1/30/16

Rescued Piglet And Kitten Find Peace In One Another The Dodo (furzy)

The Great Lakes and a High-Level Radioactive Nuke Waste Dump Don’t Mix EcoWatch (Glenn F)

Math whizzes of ancient Babylon figured out forerunner of calculus Science (Chuck L)

Go, Marvin Minsky, and the Chasm that AI Hasn’t Yet Crossed Medium (guurst)

10 Publishers Account For Half Of All Online News MediaPost (resilc)

Facebook Moves to Ban Private Gun Sales on Its Site and Instagram New York Times

A new drug could offer a remedy to antibiotic resistance Business Insider (David L)

Genetically modified mosquitoes released in Brazil in 2015 linked to the current Zika epidemic? Reddit. Chuck L: “Be sure to click on the two map links just below the opening quote from and link to the Oxitec press release.”

Malaysia 1MDB scandal: Investigators say about $4bn may be missing from fund BBC


PBOC Cash Injection Hits Weekly Record Wall Street Journal

China rewrites the global rules Le Monde Diplomatique (Sid S)

China’s capitalist crisis threats world economy Green Left (furzy). A good 50,000 foot overview.

Is China’s slowdown really so hard to understand? Andrew Batson (resilc)

U.S. Warship Sails Near Island Claimed By China Wall Street Journal

Bill Gates sold rights to the Tiananmen 1989 pictures to a Chinese company Boing Boing (resilc)

US blasts Brussels over tax probe bias Financial Times. Subhead: “EU accused of targeting funds owed to American Treasury.” Wow, this is sophistry. The US is the only major economy that taxes companies and individuals on worldwide incomes. Since when do US laws apply in foreign jurisdictions? We have a conflict of laws issue here, which the US is using to play the victim card. Help me.

Justin Trudeau to talk over troubled trade deal with European Parliament head CBC. Chuck L: “So much for the recent Canadian elections. Change you can’t believe in.”

Sanders, Corbyn and the financial crisis Simon Wren-Lewis (Sid S). Calls out elites but nevertheless heads to fainting couch re Sanders and Corbyn.


Nazi Roots of Ukraine’s Conflict Consortiumnews (furzy)

Is America about to sleepwalk into a war in Libya? We need a debate now Guardian


Is America about to sleepwalk into a war in Libya? We need a debate now Guardian (resilc)

The Pied Piper of Zion Counterpunch (Chuck L). A must read.

If Ramadi Is What ‘Victory’ Against ISIS Looks Like, We’re in Trouble FPIF

How hot will the Saudi-Iran conflict get? Reuters (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Docs Reveal US Used Denmark for Rendition Flight Waiting to Kidnap Snowden Common Dreams

Imperial Collapse Watch

The U.S. May Build 500 Jets Before Finding Out If the F-35 Works Bloomberg (resilc)

UK’s £1bn destroyers need refit after engine trouble Financial Times (guurst)

Endless war will destroy us all: The U.S. military is the imperial hammer that sees every problem as a nail Salon. (resilc)


Why the Iowa caucuses are horribly undemocratic MSNBC

Will the 2016 Primaries Be Electronically Rigged? Truthout (furzy)

Rhetorical Terror: GOP Candidates Pledge War Crimes, Carpet-Bombing, Asian Land Wars Juan Cole (resilc)

Republican presidential candidates are shockingly uninformed about foreign policy. Slate. Resilc: “Add Clintoon to the endless war mix too.”

Donald Trump’s Twitter Insults: The Complete List (So Far) New York Times

Is Donald Trump a winner? Gillian Tett, Financial Times. She’s right about attacking his business record, and it’s puzzling none of his opponents have gone after that.

What Would The Republican Race Look Like Without Trump? FiveThirtyEight (resilc). Has someone put out a contract on him?

Donald Trump Is Shocking, Vulgar and Right CNN. Resilc: ” know it is by TC, but interesting.”

Celebrities Reveal Where They’ll Move If Donald Trump Becomes President Vanity Fair (furzy)

Ted Cruz Can’t Take the Heat New Republic (resilc)

Jeb! Campaign Pulls The Plug On Itself Daily Kos

US Declares 22 Clinton Emails ‘Top Secret’ Associated Press (Chuck L)

dn Clinton: Sanders’ health care plan ‘will never, ever come to pass’ CNN. As Elliot points out, she is now actively campaigning against Medicare for all. Plus OMG, listen to the video with her BS on the video on her patter about her desire to have more debates. You can hear that she’s lying from the flat tone of her voice. And the arrogance is apparent too.

Want to reverse sky-high inequality? Bernie Sanders is the pragmatic choice Robert Reich, Guardian (resilc)

I worked on Wall Street. I am skeptical Hillary Clinton will rein it in Guardian (Abigail Field, Chuck L)

The 2016 Campaign Is a Mess. Elizabeth Warren Is Playing This Thing Just Right. Charles Pierce, Esquire

A Step Toward Election Transparency Bill Moyers (RR)

How Planned Parenthood’s accusers became the accused in Texas case Reuters (EM)


Flint Officials Reportedly Knew of Polluted Water Over One Year Ago Esquire (resilc)

Flint Now Has an Empty-Water-Bottle Problem New York Magazine

The Next Flint Slate (resilc). Not one but many.

Williamsburg’s Angry Town Hall Meetings Are the Future of Failing Infrastructure Motherboard (resilc)

Drug Shortages Forcing Hard Decisions on Rationing Treatments New York Times (Fred A). The story is disappointing in dumping a lot of causes together. Much of this is cutting back on cheap off patent drugs to force the use of pricier, often no better and sometimes worse substitutes. Drug companies get massive R&D subsidies. They ought to be nationalized for pulling this crap, or alternatively, have all their licenses of government IP suspended until they start making old drugs in the needed quantities.

Pragmatism in Pursuit of What? On Financial Reform, Differences in Goals Former Rep. Brad Miller, Huffington Post

Leaders Deny Strife Caused Departures From Politico New York Times. Schadenfraude alert. Politico is a big recipient of Wall Street advertising, and its coverage reflects that. Huffington Post broke the story, and the details are juicy.

How Much Debt Is Too Much? Robert Skidelsky, Project Syndicate

NY’s top prosecutor targets NFL in antitrust probe: source Reuters (EM)

How relying on the bus opened up my world Seattle Times (roger s)

Class Warfare

Walmart Ordered To Pay $31 Million For Retaliating Against Pharmacist Whistleblower Consumerist (ldenise). I assume most NC readers avoid partronizing Walmart, but be sure to circulate this article to anyone you know who might go there, to tell them not to use its pharmacy. The odds favor that the sort of practices that the whistleblower reported (replacing experienced staff with rookies who made mistakes) is widespread.

How Stan Grant delivered Australia’s ‘greatest anti-racism speech’ off-the-cuff Sydney Morning Herald (guurst)

UN Experts Catalog Seemingly Endless List of Racial Discrimination in US Common Dreams

US companies forced to disclose pay gap Financial Times

Case Sheds Light on Goldman’s Role as Lender in Short Sales Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times. Headline buries the lede: Goldman not only broke an SEC rule, but cheated customers….but the SEC is not providing enough information to let customers know if they were done a dirty.

College application questions about police contact under scrutiny Reuters (EM)

Ed Miliband · The Inequality Problem London Review of Books (resilc)

Antidote du jour (Rajesh):

birds reflection links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. DakotabornKansan

    A tip of the hat to grayslady (yesterday’s 2:00 pm-water-cooler) for the excellent sleuthing on Kenneth Thorpe, whose “breaking the bank” analysis of Bernie Sanders’ single-payer reform plan was cited by Paul Krugman.

    As Don McCanne, commenting on Himmelstein and Woolhandler take down of Thorpe’s analysis, @ PNHP writes, “There is only one truth and that is that a well designed single payer system would bring comprehensive health care to everyone, while removing financial barriers to care and making our national health expenditures sustainable well into the future.”

    Krugman yesterday:

    “One reason the right has gone so berserk is that the Obama years have in fact been marked by significant if incomplete progressive victories, on health policy, taxes, financial reform and the environment. And isn’t there something noble, even inspiring, about fighting the good fight, year after year, and gradually making things better?”

    Gradually making things better? Noble? Inspiring?

    “Our system is one of detachment: to keep silenced people from asking questions, to keep the judged from judging, to keep solitary people from joining together, and the soul from putting together its pieces.” – Eduardo Galeano

    According to Krugman, while Obamacare is “more expensive than it should be and will probably always cause a significant number of people to fall through the cracks,” progressives should seek “incremental change on health care and focus their main efforts on other issues.”

    Quietly endure, silently suffer and patiently wait.

    “The nobodies: nobody’s children, owners of nothing. The nobodies: the no ones, the nobodies, running like rabbits, dying through life, screwed every which way.” – Eduardo Galeano, “The Nobodies”

    27 million will still be left uninsured when Obamacare is fully implemented.

    “Medical statistics will be our standard of measurement: we will weigh life for life and see where the dead lie thicker, among the workers or among the privileged.”- Rudolf Virchow

    “Justice too long delayed is justice denied.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

    There is nothing noble nor inspiring about gradually making things better.

    “Rise up with me against the organization of misery.” – Pablo Neruda

  2. BillK

    No point in referring to Financial Times articles – they are behind a paywall.
    A similar article could be found in a readable source.
    (This probably applies to some other papers as well).

    1. joe ashenbrucker

      If you type the exact headline into a search and click from there you can avoid the wall

    2. Tom Allen

      You can get to them by googling their titles and clicking the link from the search results. (Though I don’t usually go to the extra effort unless I really, really want to read the article.)

    3. Derek

      Just copy and paste the title into Google. Article links to the FT coming from Google searches are not paywalled.

    4. BillK

      Thanks for the tip! :) I’ll remember that!

      But as Tom says, I would have to really want to read it to make the effort.
      Also this trick doesn’t work for Startpage, DuckDuckGo, Ixquick, etc, that I usually use to bypass Google tracking.

    5. KFritz

      I can’t speak to any of the above techniques, but here’s what works for my 64 bit HP tower in Windows 7 or Ubuntu 14.04 LTR. (Note I have all sorts of script control, permissions, and ad-blocking for Firefox, Chrome, and Chromium browsers, with the ad-blocking turned off for NC and a few other worthy websites.)

      1) Copy the exact title of the article. 2) Open an incognito window in Chrome or Chromium. 3) Go to Google News. 4) Paste the title into the browser search line–not the web address line. 5) E voila!

    6. jgordon

      I completely agree. I hate accidentally clicking on links to paywalled sites. It’s super annoying and a waste of time. And no, I’m not going to sign up to any stupid site just to read an article–ever.

      And I don’t bother with the google trick either even though I know about it. Any site that makes me jump through hoops to view content isn’t worth looking at.

  3. JTMcPhee

    Pied Piper of Zion original source? Link didn’t work. CounterPunch

    Never Forget! that the Israelites have somewhere between 200 and 600 nuclear warheads, and are flouting “international law” on many scores not just re the Palestinians and fomenting chaos in their environs and “distortion” of US political and military policies and practices and maltreating even unarguable Israeli Jewish citizens who don’t cotton to the Masada mindset…

    1. GlobalMisanthrope

      Never forget! that the ancient Israelites are today’s Jews. It isn’t the Jews who have nuclear weapons and are flouting international law. It’s the state of Israel. Saying Jews when you mean the state of Israel is like saying Christians when you mean the U.S. Plus offensive.

      1. MikeNY


        The state of Israel is an oppressive, unjust state and should be resisted from without and from within by all people of conscience.

      2. JTMcPhee

        Jews are not a monolithic bloc. Any more than Christians, Muslims, Hindus…. Follow Ha’aretz and Mondoweiss and all the other Jewish-published outlets that know where what I call the Israelites are driving them, because the behaviors of “the State of Israel” (owned and run by, I understand, some of the Jews) are reminiscent and redolent of the murderous bits of the Old Testament.

        SOME Jews, operating through the State of Israel, ARE doing all that stuff, apartheid and asymmetric warfare on Arab-Muslim populations. Agency, that favored word here, is in the hands of fraction of the Jewish people who run the State of Israel. And a lot of Israelis, Jewish and Arab and a few Christian, are suffering for it,, and worldwide, the Diaspora Jews are hardly monolithic in support and solidarity with The State of Israel. Which set of “agents” is in fact flouting “international law,” and holds the power to unleash nuclear hell, along with all the other deformations and deviances they induce in the US and amongst their neighbors in furthering what many Jews see as a threat to induce another attack on ALL Jews everywhere.

        And of course the Israelites are playing footsie with a whole cadre of “Christians” who believe, or pretend to, that Armageddon, ala their sick Revelation visions, is just around the corner, and needs just a little nudge to trigger it.

        I personally find threats to the survival of our species and particularly my grandchildren to be “offensive.” The activities of The State of Israel and its owners and agents seem to me to be one of the more hypocritical and imminent of such threats.

        1. Pavel

          Mondoweiss +++
          A great resource, and desperately needed balance to the largely pro-Israel-regardless-of-what-they-do mainstream US media.

      3. Oregoncharles

        @Global Misanthrope: I understand your point, but disagree with your linguistics. Israelite seem to me a reasonable if unusual term for citizen of Israel. Yes, it evokes ancient Israel,but the contemporary meaning was clear enough.

        And a footnote: not only is it by no means certain that modern Jews are all descended from the ancient Israelites, it’s very likely that modern Palestinians mostly are. This point actually comes from an Israeli professor: the Romans didn’t remove everybody, mostly just the trouble makers. Much of the Hebrew population remained; they adopted Arabic, and in many cases Islam, after the Arab conquests in the 8th Century. There’ve been Jews in the Holy Land all along – the Crusaders slaughtered quite a few of them.

      4. hidflect

        I get tired of the 3 legged stool trotted out every time to distract from the argument. The hop-scotching between Jewish/Israeli/Zionist and back again in an attempt to make the discussion look sinister and racist. It’s a device well known to lawyers and debaters. Obfuscate the initial terms and definitions and you destroy the validity of the point being made.

  4. allan

    The U.S. May Build 500 Jets Before Finding Out If the F-35 Works: shouldn’t we as taxpayers be celebrating that they will be obtaining a statistically valid sample size? No junk science at DOD!

    BTW, the URL has an `a’ at the start that needs to be removed.

  5. Pavel

    God, I can’t stand that woman’s voice [Hillary, in the video re debates].

    Lest I seem misogynistic, she’s merely joining George W. and Obama in the queue. The Hall of Shame.

    But honestly, she seems the least adept at smooth talking. Does anyone fall for her schtick?

    1. GlobalMisanthrope

      I’m always worried that I come off as sexist saying so, but she does have a very grating tone and cadence. Plus she reeks of arrogance and disingenuity.

      I have never, ever understood her appeal. But then there’s Trump…

    2. Don Pelton

      I believe she has cultivated a more steely testosteronized voice over the years. It has annoyed me for as long as I can remember, primarily because I believe she’s cultivated it as a political tactic.

      1. Lord Koos

        In fairness, I’m sure some of that was due to having to keep up with all the macho vibes in the state dept.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      The real problem is the word salad, mindless platitudes, and pandering. Since Hillary is predictable, her voice is a warning to what is about to emanate. There is a similar phenomenon with Obama on a smaller scale.

        1. Pavel

          Great orator in style, but as we all know by now his “hope and change” speeches of 2008 were all platitudes without any real follow-through. Just the opposite (e.g. of course absolving Bush Co for torture and Wall St for financial crimes).

          When he doesn’t have a prepared script, Obama is pretty hopeless. I saw somewhere Putin at a round table with a half dozen Russian journalists asking him questions for an hour or two — I only read the subtitles (alas my Russian is a bit rusty :) but he seemed very articulate indeed, and knowledgeable. I’d like to see him in a debate with Trump, Cruz, Hillary and Sanders!

          1. PlutoniumKun

            I think there is a bit difference in content and style between US and European politics. In Europe there is much more of a robust ‘gotcha’ type approach (even in quasi-democratic states like Russia), so politicians get very good at the cut and trust of questioning. The best are very good at seeming to answer without really answering. In the US I think the tradition is much more rhetorical – good politicians are seen as good public speakers, and even debates and interviews have a more ‘staged’ element (everyone knows what everyone else is going to ask/say, and interviewers never seem to drill down and interrogate).

            So in comparison, European politicians seem very inept orators in comparison to even very average US politicians, but tend to be much faster on their feet in robust interviews. I’ve often wondered what would happen if Obama was interviewed by a Jeremy Paxman type – I suspect Paxman would destroy Obama completely, just for fun. Which is why of course, Obama’s people would never let it happen.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Have you seen or read about Putin’s marathon, semi-annual town hall? Style is an excuse. Those are tough questions which are not gotcha questions. Obama couldn’t last an hour with that kind of scrutiny.

    4. Katniss Everdeen

      Fingernails on a chalkboard. And then there is that laugh, which would sound forced even if she were listening to George Carlin.

    5. JaaaaayCeeeee

      NYTimes endorsed Clinton today. One reason was because Clinton opposed TPP, then can be expected to implement TPP with more crumbs for displaced workers than any leading Republican contender.

      Although noting that Clinton’s hawkishness and use of a private email server deserve better answers from Clinton, the rest of their long list of reasons for endorsing Clinton argue that her donor-driven policy choices mean she more realistically cares for the voters she briefly needs, than Bernie Sanders.

      1. allan

        The names of Honduras, Libya and Ukraine are strangely absent from the editorial’s
        list of her impressive achievements as SoS. Surely an innocent oversight.

      2. sd

        TPP is her baby. As Secretary of State, she travelled around the world ginning up support for the damn thing.

      3. grayslady

        The New York Times endorses Hillary every day. This is simply the first time the paper has acknowledged it publicly.

      4. Left in Wisconsin

        There will be no crumbs for displaced workers. There never are. Retraining programs are not crumbs for displaced workers. They are bribes to the privatized consultants who provide them. There are no good jobs waiting for workers who go through them.

    6. flora

      The proposed NH debate has to be sanctioned by the DNC (?) first. According to the DNC rules if any candidate engages in an unsanctioned debate the candidate can be barred from inclusion in any future debates. The suddenly proposed MSNBC ‘debate’ (unsanctioned as of now?) could be a gotcha for unwary candidates.
      Interesting that when Clinton was ‘inevitable’ DWS and the DNC did everything possible to limit debates and host them at the worst times. I would like to see moderators ask her some tough questions, but no candidate should agree to enter an unsanctioned debate.

    7. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      In a lesser of two weevils contest, if she is the lesser one, all will be forgiven.

      Let’s not play all our cards right now.

      1. Lord Koos

        I’ve been voting for the lesser of two evils since 1972 (with the exception of George McGovern), only to see things continue to become more evil.

  6. petal

    Another article about the trouble in Malaysia.

    Heard a radio ad last night from Jeb!’s front group, Right to Rise, targeting Marco Rubio. It talked about the $22000 in personal buys put on the credit card, nuts and something else I can’t remember. Jeb’s group seem to be going after the other fish-except Trump. I haven’t yet heard any anti-Trump ads. If I hear the ad again today I will update. Sorry, am super tired-last night I even forgot where I parked my car at work. Thought for sure I would remember things. Also heard a Carly Fiorina ad that said how she fought and beat cancer(I found this particularly offensive), turned around a failing company, how she has been successful at everything, etc. It was very nauseating. And as far as the thing about Hillary lying/ her voice is flat, etc, I think I heard that on an NPR clip as well. Could easily tell. Her voice was flat and dead, then they played a clip by Sanders and there was so much enthusiasm there-no contest.

    Have a good weekend, friends.

    1. fresno dan

      Thanks for taking those ads so we don’t have to!

      “He’s in an asylum now – he was a good friend – but the 2016 presidential primary commercials completely fried the neural circuits in his brain….”

      1. petal

        That will be me, but instead of being in an asylum I’ll be permanently wandering around the various parking lots muttering tag lines and looking for my car! Hopefully I can hold on for one more week. Thank you for watching the debate the other night! Good man, fresno dan!

        1. Oregoncharles

          That forgetting where you parked is a royal pain.

          And it’s an old story with me: I went to a college with 3 completely separate entrances and parking areas. By the end of the day, I could never remember which one I was in, and they weren’t that close together.

    1. Paul Tioxon

      Sonic booms scared the daylights out of S Jersey shore residents this week, causing police departments 911 call centers to blow up with reports of earthquakes, explosions and who knows what. US Military takes responsibility by explaining that coastal area is a test track for F-35c trial runs. Coastal S Carolina also subject to sonic boom reports. Jets would flying faster than approx 800/mph to achieve booms with speeds up to 1200/mph.

        1. craazyboy

          I was pleasantly surprised. If they ever come up against a Soviet fighter, maybe they can retreat and we’ll save a few bucks?

          1. Plenue

            Considering the F-35 has such a heat plume from its engine that it can be targeted from the front, I doubt many would ever even live long enough for running away to be an option.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              It’s the perfect emblem of a completely supine nation as they happily accelerate their own demise. Once upon a time an $800 Pentagon toilet aroused something above a flatline response from the plebs, this time around an utter disaster of a program whose cost exceeds the total military spending of any other nation does not even get a mention, let alone a yawn.
              Last one out please turn off the lights.

              1. Pavel

                One of the best comments ever.

                I recall reading Alex Cockburn (RIP) in Counterpunch way back during the GWB years… he said he didn’t really mind W’s “election” (more like “selection”) as it would only hasten the end of the US empire. Not much has changed since Obama took over.

                I’m old enough to remember marching in NY with my parents against the Vietnam War, and making phone calls for McGovern in ’72 as a high school student. The US is now aiding the Saudi genocide in Yemen and there is not a peep of protest. The US “defence” budget is greater than the rest of the world combined, and all we hear is that it needs to be further increased. I believe Obama (Mr Peace Prize Prez) just signed the highest-ever military budget. Where’s the outrage?

                Even Bernie doesn’t mention the military spending. He could easily pay for all the free tuition and single payer if we cut the Pentagon budget in half. Or if we just cancelled the F-35.

                This is completely MIA in the political discussion this year. Only Rand Paul I suppose comes close to reducing the empire.

                1. Skippy

                  “Ron and Rand Paul’s top campaign aides, led by the husband of Ron Paul’s granddaughter, bribing and extorting a crooked Tea Party Iowa politician to endorse the “Ron Paul rEVOLution”—which turns out to have been little more than a mirage built on fraud, oligarch cash, and the credulous fantasies of a few thousand pimply college-aged waffendweebs” [Mark Ames (but then you knew that), Pando Daily]. Unlocked for 48 hours.


                  Skippy… libertarians and their religious prophets…

  7. allan

    An Amber alert for honest government: FBI using billboards in fight against Albany corruption

    Authorities have turned to using digital billboards along the interstate to urge citizens to report crooked politicians, dirty bureaucrats and other bad actors, the latest indication of just how big a problem political corruption has become in Albany.

    The signs, which went up earlier this year, are emblazoned with the words “REPORT CORRUPTION,” all in capital letters, above the number for a telephone tip line and FBI website. They went up only weeks after the Legislature’s two top leaders were convicted of trying to cash in on their positions.

    Why they aren’t putting them up around the Beltway is unknown.

    1. perpetualWAR

      Question is: will the FBI actually DO anything?

      If so, please investigate Senator Hobbs in Washington State.

      1. hunkerdown

        As the defenders of authoritarianism, the FBI might just pipe the caller ID to their list of Special Selectors and ignore the content of the call entirely.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We are not the USSR, where they ran sting operations like this one in Albany all the time.

      In that, we are very fortunate.

      The accusing soviet comrade became the accused soviet comrade, not just in unusual Texas case.

  8. Watt4Bob

    Before we had asymmetrical warfare we had asymmetrical access to the press.

    **I’m sorry, this is a cross-post from FDL, I wrote this in 2009, but it’s very relevant today.
    I discovered this morning that I can no longer find this post by Googling the above title, which I’ve been able to for years, even when including my nom-de-plume. So I’ve included the whole post **

    When I was researching the seeming impossibility of understanding the lack of progress toward a peaceful solution to the conflict in Palestine, I was surprised to find some scholarly work that focused on exactly this issue. For our purposes here, it’s enough to say his book investigated the parallels between the Irish/English, Palestinian/Israeli and the South African/Anti-Apartheid situations.

    Much of the difficulty IMHO, and the author makes this clear in this analysis also, is that the power of the occupier is such that they control the way the world sees the issues framed, and of course it is in their interest to make sure that from the perspective of someone ‘outside‘ the conflict, everything appears to based in ‘mindless hatred’ and ‘centuries old tribal warfare’ or ‘deep religious divisions’.

    The occupied are not only fighting the occupiers, but also the collective mis-understanding of the whole world, that insists it ‘knows‘ that the ‘problem‘ cannot be fixed because the ‘bad guys’, (read IRA, PLO, or ANC) are irrational players who refuse to ‘get with the program‘ ‘be reasonable’ or ‘civilized‘ or what ever false reason is being foisted on the consumers of the co-opted press who after all have no real stake in the conflict itself but none the less feel very strongly that they ‘know what is going on’.

    What they inevitably think they know, is that the occupied and their leadership are irrational people with unrealistic demands, and it’s obviously impossible to ‘make them happy’. The other side of the false narrative is that the occupiers are civilized people with reasonable expectations who face extermination if they are not allowed to deal in a pragmatic manner with the imminent threat.

    It’s become clear after the fact, that allowing the Irish Catholics to share power in Northern Ireland has not resulted in mass emigration of Protestants, and the political inclusion of black Africans in South Africa has not resulted in the extermination of white South Africans, and so I believe that at some distant time, Palestinians and Israelis will probably live together in peace.

    This will not come about because the world decides it’s important to understand the truth about the roots of the conflict before voicing strong opinions. The co-opted press will continue to spread dis-information right up until the peace-treaty papers are signed, and the killing ends. At that point, all the folks who right now firmly believe that there is no way to make peace with the Palestinians will suddenly be greatly surprised, and will forever after deny that their collective ignorance had anything to do with the fact that peace took so long in coming.

    When peace finally comes to the Middle East, all the dopes in the world will think it’s because the Palestinians suddenly decided to be reasonable.

    1. JTMcPhee

      In the meantime, the thugs and corruptniks that are getting rich and getting their jollies from re-playing the Pentateuch with more modetn swords and torches keep on keeping on… Same category as the creatures that have come to rule everywhere… And how many of us, given a chance, would join in the looting?

  9. Nick

    Re: Genetically modified mosquitoes

    No standing to comment on the genetics, epidemiology, or political economy at play, but I can say those maps do not convincingly suggest any kind of relationship between release of Oxitec mosquitoes and Zika, let along a causal one. Would have to at least see the timing of cases, as well as rates of microencephaly not just cases.

    1. GlennF

      Here is a little more information about possible “causes” of the birth defects:
      –Pesticide use in Brazil
      –The TdaP vaccine
      –Genetically engineered mosquitoes that have already been released in Brazil to “combat” dengue fever—a project implemented by Oxitec, a company supplied with grant money from Bill Gates
      –Pesticide manufacturing in Brazil

      Here is the link:

    2. lyman alpha blob

      I am certainly not an expert here either but if the info on that second map is accurate, what we seem to have is an outbreak of a disease transmitted by mosquitoes in an area where genetically modified mosquitoes were recently released by the millions. That suggests some kind of relationship to me and it sounds like cause for a much greater inquiry.

      Whether or not the outbreak is related to the GMO mosquitoes, I still find it unfathomable that these researchers were allowed to do what they did. All these GMO types who want to force experiments on entire populations ought to be willing to test these things on themselves first just to be sure of the harmlessness of it all, don’t you think?

      1. tegnost

        I agree completely. Typical that the first I’ve heard of these monstrous mosquitos is when there’s a problem. Better move heaven and earth and fund massive amounts of corporate welfare in order to contain the problem. The GMO people seem to have a god complex.

      2. Nick

        Yeah I don’t like this Jurassic Park idiocy either. Could indeed turn out to be the cause. But I actually am an expert in spatial analysis and those two maps don’t present a strong argument for the thesis. A lot of unrelated things happen “close” to one another.

    3. GlobalMisanthrope

      That’s right. All that and much more would need to be known to even begin to look at whether there’s a link.

      A quick look around turned up the following:

      Although the Oxitec website says there have been trials using this mosquito “around the world since 2009,” Mosquito Control Magazine (!) reported last summer that Oxitec has “tested its genetically modified mosquito in Brazil, Panama and the Cayman Islands.”

      Interestingly, the CDC map of zika-affected areas shows a huge piece of Central and South America, the Caribbean and Cape Verde.

      I guess we’ll find out with Oxitec’s upcoming Florida Keys Project trials.

    4. quixote

      Agree with Nick (and I have some knowledge of the genetics and epidemiology involved). The virus was first identified in Uganda in the late 1940s, and later mainly in SE Asia. Isolated transmission occurred to the Pacific islands and US, and elsewhere?, but didn’t result in sustained transmission.

      The corner of Brazil where it took off this time (i.e. this time we did get sustained transmission) is, as far as I remember, one of the poorer parts of the country with all the usual implications (poorer health care, people more exposed to mosquitoes, etc.).

      As to why the microcephaly wasn’t noticed earlier, it occurs in a very small percentage of cases. You need a *lot* of cases before the pattern becomes clear. Same for the Guillan-Barré sydrome which is also apparently associated. The outbreak in the Americas is large and spreading fast because it’s a new virus for us and the population has no immunity. That’s why the devastating effects on a small proportion of patients is becoming obvious.

      The genetic engineering of the mosquitoes released in Brazil has zero, zip, nada, nothing, bupkis to do with being a vector for the virus. The mosquitoes don’t get sick from the virus. It does nothing to them. So larvae who manage to mutate away from dependence on tetracycline grow into adults who can carry the virus same as ordinary mosquitoes. This isn’t even a correlation, to say nothing of causation. This is just plain BS. If genetically engineered mozzies had that much to do with it, the infections would not have spread beyond the range of the franken-mosquitoes.

    5. Buzz

      Not to mention seeing the location of mosquito sampling sites where neither Zika carriers or GM skeeters were found. I suspect the maps are mostly a reflection of where someone looked.

      Also, speaking as someone with quite a bit of experience in genetics, I find it highly unlikely that a man-made strain of any organism would have a selective advantage over an almost infinite number of alternative competitors in the wild. Fear of GMO propagation without any selection pressure is simply misplaced, as man-made variants tend to get “diluted” out of populations over short periods of time.

      These are one-and-done bugs, and any genetic “leakiness” would result in those individuals entering into evolutionary competition with wild bugs that at every generation have competed for resources in a given habitat. Lab strains are at a huge disadvantage here, because they are bred under ideal conditions, and their genomes are thus not optimized for survival in “the real world” into which they are released.

    6. YY

      Prior to finding the possible connection to microcephaly cases, zico would have appeared to be almost a perfect sales promotion tool for mosquito busters given the relatively benign effects compared to say dengue. How did zico endup in South America before going to Mediterranean Europe anyway? I do not have a hell of lot of trust in business models that entail breeding mutant mosquitoes and would not put it past them that they would either inadvertently or purposefully be part of the problem that they claim to solve.

  10. Steve H.

    How did you find that Reddit link? It only has 154 upvotes. You are being an epistodemiological vector.

    Can’t comment further, must screen in porch. Spring is coming…

  11. JohnB

    Good critique of the modern New Atheist movement, which touches a lot, on how it exists partly to justify the current NeoLiberal orthodoxy, and how it ignores issues of economic justice (a very useful term, which it’d be good to see wider usage of):

    About half a year ago, he did this excellent recap of the Atheist movement’s history (with a strong focus on economic justice), how it was in the past, and how it transitioned into its current form:

    The Atheist movement, if transformed, could become a powerful focus for tying together issues of economic and social justice, as well as of popularizing the prioritization of tackling economic issues – something which seems fairly hard to get into the publics mind.

    1. Plenue

      There shouldn’t even be such a thing as an ‘atheist movement’. Secularism, humanism, fine. But atheism merely means not believing in a god. That’s it, beyond that there isn’t inherently any commonality between atheists. The whole New Atheist nonsense is really just another ideology, with all the problems that come with the territory. It has effectively acquired many of the traits it claims to despise in religion. It’s developed its own pantheon of sages (the ‘Four Horsemen’: a lifelong contrarian warmonger, a mediocre bigot neuroscientist, a fairly decent evolutionary biologist who has made a career out of a one-trick pony idea, and a philosopher I’ll admit I never cared enough to actually learn anything about) and a host of minor figures, most of them cringe-inducing YouTube ‘celebrities’. They claim to value skepticism and free-thought, and then spend most of their time circle-jerking each other and making ‘Hitchslap’ compilation videos.

      I say all this as an atheist; these people are obnoxious and display a variety of characteristics that Voltaire would most definitely not approve of.

      1. hunkerdown

        There is plenty of common interest among bourgeois professionals who were rejected by their mainstream in their formative years, much of which involves their sense of entitlement to having other people work out their alienation issues for them. The higher power to which movements must apparently appeal in order to move is, in this case, the definitionally perfect products out of their own foreheads.

  12. Carolinian

    Re the Politico Trump article: one hates to agree with Tucker Carlson but this is spot on. Just to share one bit

    Of all the dumb things that have been said about Trump by people who were too slow to get finance jobs and therefore wound up in journalism, perhaps the stupidest of all is the one you hear most: He’ll get killed in the general! This is a godsend for Democrats! Forty-state wipeout! And so it goes mindlessly on….

    But the main reason Trump could win is because he’s the only candidate hard enough to call Hillary’s bluff. Republicans will say almost anything about Hillary, but almost none challenge her basic competence. She may be evil, but she’s tough and accomplished. This we know, all of us.

    But do we? Or is this understanding of Hillary just another piety we repeat out of unthinking habit, the political equivalent of, “you can be whatever you want to be,” or “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”? Trump doesn’t think Hillary is impressive and strong. He sees her as brittle and afraid.

    He may be right, based on his exchange with her just before Christmas. During a speech in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Trump said Hillary had been “schlonged” by Obama in the 2008 race. In response, the Clinton campaign called Trump a sexist. It’s a charge Hillary has leveled against virtually every opponent she’s faced, but Trump responded differently. Instead of scrambling to donate to breast cancer research, he pointed out that Hillary spent years attacking the alleged victims of her husband’s sexual assaults. That ended the conversation almost immediately.

    It was the most effective possible response, though more obvious than brilliant. Why was Trump the only Republican to use it?

    When you lie all the time then the truth becomes a powerful weapon. It’s just possible that the secret of Trump’s popularity–still to be tested by voting–is this simple fact rather than that it’s all about racism or xenophobia. If the Democrat nominate someone who has made a career out of pretending to be something she’s not then they are at great peril.

    1. MikeNY

      Good points. HRC is such a horribly flawed and weak candidate that it would not surprise me at all to see Trump beat her in the general.

    2. fresno dan

      January 30, 2016 at 9:45 am
      I agree.

      First: Trump is a terrible, crass, crude, blowhard…..and much worse. He would be a terrible president.
      HOWEVER – if you have suffered as I have, and watched almost all the republican debates, the other candidates, with their smooth, soothing, supercilious, dishonest, untruthful, mendacious, insincere, disingenuous, unscrupulous, unprincipled, duplicitous, scheming, treacherous, spurious, fallacious, deceptive, and well designed and well crafted words (i.e., all lying, including “and” and “the”), advocate polices that are just as bad*, as well as many, many more that are MUCH, MUCH worse than anything Trump says. And the problem with electing any of them, is that you are saying that the status quo is fine. They would be able to accomplish much, much more evil than Trump.

      I put a link up about how Chicago, as well as every big US city, have police that as a matter of course do everything possible to circumvent just oversight. These cities are overwhelmingly run by democrats.

      It is obvious to me that repubs don’t care about the 90%. It is also obvious to me that dems don’t care about victims of police abuse (well, many dems don’t care about the 90% and almost no repub, except Paul, cares about police abuse). We just go along and pretend we have a liberalish party and a conservativeish party when in fact we just have all corruption.

      I think Trump would have great success when criticized by the repub establishment by using this rejoinder, “I am an American before I am a republican” He might also have some success if he pointed out to the people of Chicago that a good Hillary friend is in charge of the Chicago police…

      And I just have to add, for Hillary friends to use “overclassification” as a defense for actual US spy method asset secrets that are vital to real US security as opposed to the wrongdoing exposed by Manning and Snowden is despicable beyond words.

      Nixon was impeached because republicans came around to it – being an American was more important that being a republican. Nixon could have said that none of the people on his enemies actually were imprisoned (I am sure that is what Clinton would say in the same situation; no harm no foul – – were any of the Nixon enemies on the enemy list actually tried or audited? But the point is that government cannot be corrupted by such evil). But there was the concept of equal justice under law. In these partisan times, I wonder if a majority of “blues” will stand behind “equal justice under law” for Hillary. repubs also bear responsibility nowadays for making this country so tribal.

      * I had a comment where I pointed out that Bush had said, that unlike Trump, no American president would EVER bomb the family of terrorists. I pointed out the overwhelming data that drone strikes hit lots of innocent people near drone targets, many undoubtedly the relatives of the drone targets, and Bush was appalling ignorant, or more likely, incredibly duplicitous.

    3. knowbuddhau


      “When you lie all the time…” you make reality itself your own worst enemy. The problem thus becomes “perception management” in an “information war.”

      I remember Her Royal Clinton testifying to Congress about how horrible it was, that Al Jazeera was kicking our butts in an “information war” (that was her term), about how important it was that we, who excel in it, should prevail.

      It struck me then that Her Royal Clinton would dearly love it if DARPA could make for her a neuralizer (the “flashy thing” from Men In Black). Her first 100 days would include putting a ginormous one in orbit.

  13. fresno dan

    Why are so many police dashcam videos silent?

    Chicago Police Department officers stashed microphones in their squad car glove boxes. They pulled out batteries. Microphone antennas got busted or went missing. And sometimes, dashcam systems didn’t have any microphones at all, DNAinfo Chicago has learned.

    Police officials last month blamed the absence of audio in 80 percent of dashcam videos on officer error and “intentional destruction.”

    A DNAinfo Chicago review of more than 1,800 police maintenance logs sheds light on the no-sound syndrome plaguing Police Department videos — including its most notorious dashcam case.

    Maintenance records of the squad car used by Jason Van Dyke, who shot and killed Laquan McDonald, and his partner, Joseph Walsh, show monthslong delays for two dashcam repairs, including a long wait to fix “intentional damage.”
    The article goes on like that. This isn’t a few bad apples. It’s 80 percent. Why haven’t these officers been prosecuted? Several years ago, a woman named Tiawanda Moore tried to file a report of alleged sexual assault by a Chicago PD officer. When the internal affairs officers with whom she was trying to file the complaint began to intimidate her, Moore began recording the conversation with her cellphone. Under Illinois law at the time, it was a felony to record a police officer without his or her permission. That law has since been struck down, but Anita Alvarez, the state’s attorney for Cook County who had the power and discretion to decline to prosecute given the circumstances, pushed ahead and attempted to put Moore in prison. Her office did the same with Chicago artist Christopher Drew. Moore was eventually acquitted, in what was almost certainly an act of jury nullification.

    So where has Alvarez’s office been here? In December, Alvarez called the lack of audio in the Laquan McDonald video “frustrating” but added that “that’s something I believe the Police Department has to address.” For good measure, she said, “we would prefer to have the audio.”
    That toddling town…I actually have no idea what toddling is.
    80%…..But one thing is for sure – CORRUPT, CORRUPT, CORRUPT. The thing of it is, corrupt really doesn’t really encompass the injustice that people live under. CHICAGO GOVERNMENT aides, abets, condones, and promotes EVIL.
    Under the day to day slime of police union politics – one thing comes to mind, Hannah Arendt, and the banality of evil

  14. GlobalMisanthrope

    Re The Pied Piper of Zion

    Great article. I agree with him about the BDS movement. Like sanctions, it’s a strategy of immiseration that is very hard to square with calls for justice.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Well, what is an alternative? The State of Israel is running Gaza as an open-air prison, controlling the amount of food energy even which is held at near starvation levels, demolishing everything including power plants and water sources, and simply “taking land” away from people that the mostly Eastern European thugs that make up the so-called “settlers” are robbing and killing with the aid, comfort and encouragement of TSoI. TSoI adherents complain, wisely it seems, that BDS is one major driver that has a chance to change the behavior, “policies,” of TSoI. And the corporate interests that are affected by BDS seem much better targeted than eg “sanctions” on Iraq and Iran and everywhere else the Empire employs them. The Imperial government is sending TSoI billions in cash and tons of weapons including stuff like cluster bombs and deep penetrators, and our “agents” are all good with these TSoI “agents” just why, again? TSoI is regularly listed high among the most corrupt states and economies. And one keyhole into the behavior of many “agents” and people there is here: “Caution, Netanyahu Team: President Obama Knows Key Hebrew Negotiating Terms,”

      “Thou shalt not be a freier,” the eleventh TSoI commandment:

    2. hidflect

      The problem with the article is it presents Bibi as if he is the creator and instigator of the whole mess whereas in reality he would even be considered a moderate by many in the Israeli government.

      If he stepped aside he could easily be replaced by any number of xenophobic candidates perfectly at ease with the idea of displacing the Palestinians once and for all if they thought they could get away with it on the international stage.

      And an unacceptably large swathe of the people of Israel are in favour of current, inhumane policies. Any casual glance at videos of mobs in Israel chanting “ni33ers go home” shows the problem goes far beyond the idea of any “pied piper” leading a reluctant populace over a cliff. He’s more of an umbrella providing coverage than anything else.

      1. JTMcPhee

        What hidflect said. And all those “leaders” have their hands on some 200 to 600nuclear weapons and the manifold means to deliver them.

        1. JTMcPhee

          And all those leaders have their hands on 200 to 600 nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. And how many nukes does Iran have, again?

  15. wbgonne

    The 2016 Campaign Is a Mess. Elizabeth Warren Is Playing This Thing Just Right. Charles Pierce, Esquire

    Writes Pierce:

    This is an example of why she’s been smart to hold back on an endorsement in the presidential brawl. She has more clout as an independent actor with an independent agenda than she would as a glorified campaign surrogate.

    I’m sorry but this smacks of praising the time-dishonored Democratic practice of keeping one’s powder dry until after the war is over and almost invariably lost. I say “almost” because Sanders is holding his own and conceivably could best Clinton, an astonishing development. But what Pierce neglects is the simple fact that if Sanders cannot overcome Clinton, if Clinton becomes the president, then Warren will be a backbench legislator in a minority party, permanently on the outs with a vindictive neoliberal president who despises all that Warren espouses. Worse, because Clinton is such a horrid candidate, should she secure the Democratic nomination, she may well lose to Trump or Cruz or Rubio and then Warren’s position will be even less tenable. IOW: the best thing Elizabeth Warren can do for her worthy agenda is to move heaven and earth to ensure that Bernie Sanders is the Democratic nominee and the next president. I would like for Pierce to explain how Warren’s neutrality helps make that happen. IMNSHO, a Warren endorsement could prove vital for Sanders’ candidacy and I suspect Sanders feels the same way. Stand up and be counted, Senator Warren.

      1. Steven D.

        Warren risks becoming another Eric Scheiderman, the NY AG who caved to Obama, Geithner and Holder on the eve of the 2012 election and allowed the multistate slap-on-the-wrist mortgage fraud settlement to go forward. He’s never been heard from since. The time is now for Warren to take a stand.

        1. allan

          Concerning Warren I seem to be in the minority here, but think that her declining to endorse at this point makes perfect sense. Anybody who might be swayed by an endorsement is most likely already a Sanders supporter. And by dangling the possibility of an endorsement, she can drive the window further to the left. Warren has proven herself very astute operator in D.C. and I think has deserves some respect for her political instincts.

          All an endorsement of Sanders at this point would do is fuel a substance-free media `girl fight’ distraction. And if Hillary does win the nomination and election, well, the Clintons have very long memories.

          Finally: the comparison with Schneiderman is way off base. Warren has both accomplished a great deal, both within an administration that has been openly hostile to many of her goals and in a totally corrupt Congress.

          1. wbgonne

            All an endorsement of Sanders at this point would do is fuel a substance-free media `girl fight’ distraction.

            To to contrary, I think it may help loosen Hillary’s grip on the gender-based voters. Not to the extent Warren’s own candidacy would have, of course, but somewhat. And every bit helps.

            And if Hillary does win the nomination and election, well, the Clintons have very long memories.

            Yes, well, that’s hardly an endorsement of Warren’s non-endorsement. That sounds like cowardice.

          2. flora

            I agree. Warren attacking the DoJ and SEC’s coddling of Wall St. keeps that issue in front in a non-partisan way.

            1. wbgonne

              I’ve already said too much in this thread so this will be my last comment. You write:

              Warren attacking the DoJ and SEC’s coddling of Wall St. keeps that issue in front

              Not to put a fine point on it but … so what? This is a political election where one party or the other will secure power. By definition, it is partisan. The entire point of this enormous effort is to persuade the electorate that the Democratic Party and its candidate are the vehicle for achieving those admirable policy goals so they should be given that power, instead of the Republicans. Put otherwise, Sanders is battling Clinton for the soul of Democratic Party and it is a stupendously steep uphill battle for progressives. Warren sitting on the sidelines isn’t helping the effort. IMNSHO.

            1. allan

              The snigger quotes were there for a reason. Unwilling or incapable of covering substantial policy differences, the MSM will, sad to say, go for the narrative they think will attract the most readers, viewers or eyeballs.

            2. GlobalMisanthrope

              He’s not calling it a girl fight, he’s saying that’s how it would be portrayed in the media, trivializing them both. He’s right.

          3. Darthbobber

            I’m inclined to agree with the general thrust of what I think you’re saying, and I base that partly on the fact that it seems to me that these past couple of months she has “coincidentally” chosen to echo or amplify a key Sanders point at exactly the time when its being counterattacked. I think this is actually more effective without a formal endorsement.

    1. sd

      I don’t see how a Warren endorsement helps Sanders. Anyone who is a fan of Warren is already paying enough attention to be a fan of Sanders.

      1. perpetualWAR

        You are mistaken. Warren is now the face of the far left of the Democrats, yes. But she is also courted and used by the mainstream Democrats to obtain votes. Warren was trotted out to stump for the likes of Murray and Cantwell.

        1. efschumacher

          Elizabeth Warren knows that a President Sanders with a Republican Senate and House will be not a great deal more useful than a President Obama with the same. You can’t throw out all the pale blue Democrats in one cycle, but the aggregate of existing Democrats will produce better Bills for President Sanders to sign than the usual Republican collection of Post Office privatizing, abortion overturning, Social Security shafting Bills that he will have to reject.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            Oh, brother. THIS again!

            Why must some always be reminded that it was all democrat, all the time during the first two years of the obama administration and all we got was that crummy obamacare?

            Per Mark Twain: “It’s not the size of the dog in fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

            Which is commonly explained as: “Usually refering to a small dog attacking a larger animal, this means that fierceness is not necessarily a matter of physical size, but rather mental/psychological attitude.

            1. Steven D.

              The Democrats treated power like a hot potato they were relieved to be rid of. If you start out asking for a quarter loaf, you’re going to get an eighth of a loaf at best, yet this is what all the Hillary surrogates are talking about when they talk about practical politics. They’re afraid Bernie will actually overturn the apple cart from which they all feed, leaving the discarded cores for the people.

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                If I’m Jeff Bezos and Bernie wins, wouldn’t I wonder why I was paying Ezra Klein? He lacks predictive powers and is in the process of being rejected by the future of the Democratic party. With a Sanders victory, the Democratic pundit class will be exposed as worthless even as propaganda machines.

          2. hunkerdown

            You’re right, you can’t throw them all out in one cycle. Thing is, there’s a built-in Constitutional maximum rate established already — 1/3 every two years — so why go any slower?

            Don’t you think that an appreciable amount of the effort ordinarily spent on surveilling the manager’s office and “pressuring” right-wing Democratic players could, in the sole case of a Sanders Presidency, be freed up and redeployed toward making leftward advances, rather than slowing down the enemy within?

      2. wbgonne

        I think it gives legitimacy to Sanders’ candidacy, similar to how Ted Kennedy’s endorsement boosted Obama in 2007. Right now, it appears that Sanders is all alone and, while that isn’t an insurmountable burden it doesn’t help. Elizabeth Warren is the face of the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party and Bernie Sanders is running as the standard-bearer of that faction. The refusal of Warren to endorse Sanders undercuts him. It makes fence-sitters — both in the electorate and elected Dems — wonder whether there is something wrong with Sanders since he and Warren are so obviously aligned on policy. At some point, Sanders must begin gaining traction within the Democratic Party – as Trump is now doing in the GOP — and Warren’s endorsement will give cover to skittish pols and undecided voters. Plus, Warren would be a fabulous surrogate and booster on the campaign trail. Put otherwise, I fail to see the reasons for Warren not to endorse Sanders. Pierce’s reasoning seems specious to me, as I explained in my prior comment.

        1. FluffytheObeseCat

          Warren’s endorsement is not going to have much impact on primary results in either New Hampshire or Iowa. She will need to break for either Clinton or Sanders at some point, but this week? No. After the Nevada & Colorado caucuses results, perhaps.

          The greater concern to me is that Trump seems to have cinched the Republican nomination. Still we won’t have a real clue until the earliest primaries and caucuses are done.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Why is Trump a concern? Cruz, Rubio, Kasich, Christie (Maddow more or , essentially devoted Summer 2013 to what a monster he is), Jeb, Santorum, etc. are all lunatics. Trump isn’t as “polite,” but they are cut from the same cloth.

            Jeb wants to cut food stamps. His brother launched a crusade. These are awful people. Trump might be a concern to the establishment because he might decide only he should be at the trough, but for the 99%, it doesn’t matter who the gop puts up. The only issue is whether Team Blue is beyond redemption or not.

    2. cwaltz

      Personally, I am happy Warren hasn’t chosen to weigh in. I would prefer if the superdelegates were required to wait until after average voters had a chance to decide which candidates best represent them and their interests.

      If a candidate needs a superdelegates endorsement than they aren’t doing what they need to do to connect with voters and doing what they can to make them understand what their vision is(and I disagree that Sanders needs Warren’s endorsement I think he’s doing just fine connecting.)

      I like that Warren has remained issue oriented instead of character focused. It makes me admire her more.

      1. wbgonne

        I like that Warren has remained issue oriented instead of character focused. It makes me admire her more.

        It isn’t about Warren or her purity. It is about winning power for the Left via a progressive nominee and, hopefully, president. Please explain how Warren’s refusal to endorse Sanders helps make that happen. I don’t see it.

        1. Steven D.

          People make good points about Warren benefitting from neutrality. But Bernie has forced the issue of Wall Street and inequality and she can’t stay on the fence. If anything, Bernie is the leader now of Dean’s Democratic Wing and Warren needs to show if she’s with the Democratic Wing or not. If she sits this out, it will always count against her, win or lose for Bernie. So far, is not rising to the occasion presented her.

          Unless Warren has some eleventy-dimensional chess reason why staying out will result in triumph, she needs to do the right thing now.

          1. Brooklin Bridge

            Agreed, she should come out for Sanders or make it clear why not. Not doing so, when her position is so close to that of Sanders, suggests expedience.

        2. cwaltz

          It seems to me that people who are trying to force her to pick a candidate are the ones interested in purity and making this about Warren.

          Why should Warren be the one pulling the weight for the left(if they want political power it isn’t up to her to hand it to them)? The whole entire point of a Sanders campaign is about creating a movement that can push forward the change the country needs. Warren hasn’t refused to endorse anyone. She eventually will cast a vote for a candidate. At this point she’s remaining issue oriented and hopefully pushing BOTH candidates to try and win her vote by appealing to what she wants. In my opinion, everyone should be pushing both candidates as far left as they possibly can and worry about “endorsements” closer to the actual election.

          1. Brooklin Bridge

            Not sure I follow. Purity?

            Why should Warren be the one pulling the weight…. But she wouldn’t really be pulling the weight, would she? I mean an endorsement is simply that; a sort of heads up to others that you deem someone’s positions the most valid or closely aligned with your own. It doesn’t mean she assumes responsibility for everything or even anything Sanders does.

            1. cwaltz

              The question to ask yourself is what if she doesn’t endorse him?

              Does that mean she isn’t right on issues like finance and a real progressive or does it simply mean that she made a choice that you may not agree with? And if she endorses Clinton does that mean Clinton is better on finances?

              If you lean more towards the first then the second then it seems to me that you are leaning more towards purity than someone like myself who really isn’t overwhelmingly concerned with how she endorses. Quite frankly, if she were to endorse Clinton it wouldn’t change my mind. It also wouldn’t mean that on an economic issue standpoint that all of a sudden I’d consider Warren suspect. It’d mean I fundamentally disagree with her on who I feel best embodies where we need to go economically.

              The election is months away. I’m a strong proponent of people educating themselves on issues instead of relying on the superdelegates, even the ones who I tend to agree with.

      2. hunkerdown

        That seems to me like the exact worst time to force the supers to show their hands. That’s exactly what gives them control to manipulate the election toward the Democratic Party Inc.’s interests. If anything, forcing supers to vote early gives the ability to coordinate votes toward an outcome to US instead of them.

  16. Brooklin Bridge

    Will the 2016 Primaries Be Electronically Rigged? -Truthout

    Will water run down hill? A good article in spite of the somewhat obvious lead in. I’ve always assumed electronic fraud, especially as I’ve had the opportunity to speak to more than one CEO of a high tech computer company and have found all the capitalist bravado that enough CEOs actually go to great lengths to replace their brain with, to indicate many would corrupt their software at the drop of a hat to achieve results they (have fought all logic and reason with massive dosses of corporate LSD, or something, to) believe in.

    One item the article brings up that makes perfect sense in our great state of imperial collapse – and that I didn’t know about because the media buries it – is that a number of states have made manual means of voting fraud verification (counting chad?) illegal:

    While recent laws have limited essential hand-counting audits – in some cases making them actually illegal – in 18 states voting machines are used that produce no paper ballot at all, making verification of the results impossible.[emphasis mine]

    Another thought that occurred to me is just how complacent our political hacks are even when they are the recipients of this fraud. Kerry for instance. What’s his name 2000 for another, oh yea, Gore. All part of the team, the SAME team, the corporodemorats, all ready to go down without a murmur if that is what the machinery (a euphemism for TPTB) dictates. There is no electronic rigging, the machines do exactly what they are intended to do.

    Clearly, if Hillary or Debbie thinks they can get away with it for a minute, there will be another upset in New Hampshire this year, or maybe (more likely) it will be right off the bat in Iowa where too many citizens may have what adds up to a real problem with communication on Primary day which can be fixed faster than a car self adjusts to avoiding a fork in the road the driver -poor sod- thought he or she might like to explore.

    1. Kurt Sperry

      A caucus as in Iowa is such a transparent public event that it can be pretty effectively be audited in real time with even just well coordinated voice communications. In that respect caucuses are, I’d think, almost impossible to significantly rig the vote counts of.

      1. flora

        people with smart phones can take a picture of their local caucus final tallies. in case there is any question of the final statewide tally being garbled in transmission.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          In the olden days before picture taking phones just regular cell phones, serious campaigns kept an observer at every relevant site and Lawyers on hand with rested coordinators to run things.

          Sanders isn’t a dope. His campaign will have trusted people on hand to deal with results specifically.

  17. allan

    The NYS health exchange has developed not necessarily to our advantage:

    A new report questioned the long-term viability of New York’s health exchange as the deadline to enroll is Sunday. …

    Despite its success in enrolling uninsured New Yorkers, there are concerns about the solvency of the program, Standard and Poor’s, the credit agency, said in a report Tuesday. The agency said that 12 insurers in the exchange sustained losses of about $160 million for 2014.

    No problem – they can make it up on volume.

  18. DJG

    Babylonians and early forms of calculus. The article doesn’t know its math history. The Greeks and Babylonians were both great at geometry, which led to methods that are “pre-calculus.” Archimedes was working along similar lines at roughly the same time as the tablets featured in the article. Grabbing from Wiki:

    “From the age of Greek mathematics, Eudoxus (c. 408–355 BC) used the method of exhaustion, which foreshadows the concept of the limit, to calculate areas and volumes, while Archimedes (c. 287–212 BC) developed this idea further, inventing heuristics which resemble the methods of integral calculus.[5] The method of exhaustion was later reinvented in China by Liu Hui in the 3rd century AD in order to find the area of a circle.[6] In the 5th century AD, Zu Chongzhi established a method that would later be called Cavalieri’s principle to find the volume of a sphere.[7]”

    Eudoxus and Archimedes, like the Babylonians, would have relied on Greek astronomy, which was stellar, for data, too.

  19. DJG

    Using the bus to open one’s mind: Here in Chicago, the Clark 22 bus is mind-opening in that it runs in its own time zone, the Clark Bus Twilight Zone. Nevertheless, I use it because it is dependable transport from the Loop to the northern neighborhoods in the evening. It attracts a mixed crowd.

    Chicago’s Red Line also is mind-opening, and it has featured appearances from the naked goddess of transportation (a few summers back), the man with the parrot (in a sweater in winter), and inebriated Cubs fans (suburbanites on visits).

    I am reminded that Lambert is a fan of trains, as am I. Long-distance trains in the USA such as the California Zephyr and the Great Lakes Limited allow a kind of mixing of classes and ages that isn’t the case on airplanes. Air travel has always defined itself as an upper-middle-class service. The trains are more democratic. (Hence congressional disdain of Amtrak.)

  20. perpetualWAR

    Being from the PNW, the glaring article about demonic Gates selling the copyrights of the Tiennamen Square images to a Chinese corporation has me enraged! It is one thing for this asshole to f*ck up our city, but this shit that he did now with this possible future censorship is beyond evil. I am speechless.

  21. flora

    re: US blasts Brussels over tax probe bias – Financial Times

    TTIP looking better and better to the Brussels technocrats? /s

  22. efschumacher

    The L Train:

    So when they keep kicking down the road proper maintenance to the L tunnels, and the next big storm comes along and the tunnels collapse, how cut off is Williamsburg going to be then?

    No maintenance program is ‘convenient’. But broken infrastructure is even less so.

    1. B Tilles

      I would have posted this under “Gaia”. It’s about global warming, climate change and its effects. What we should be thinking about, which is difficult, is how will the city change if another “Sandy” happens next year, and every year or two thereafter. Rebuilding infrastructure, only to have it periodically destroyed by the natural forces that we’ve dranatically influenced, is not a great solution. Suggestion: maybe we need a ban on personal automobile use say between 6 am to 6 pm in Manhattan and implement extensive bus routes. After the inevitable hurricane the damaged streets can be rebuilt quickly. Subway tunnels, not so much. After two or three “Sandy’s” the subway system may ultimately be facing abandonment. Wouldn’t it be better to consider options before squandering billions?

  23. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Genetically modified mosquitoes released in Brazil in 2015 linked to the current Zika epidemic? Reddit.

    A post at Antimedia provides a bit more information on these genetically modified mosquitoes.

    “Those genetically-modified mosquitoes work to control wild, potentially disease-carrying populations in a very specific manner. Only the male modified Aedes mosquitoes are supposed to be released into the wild — as they will mate with their unaltered female counterparts. Once offspring are produced, the modified, scientific facet is supposed to ‘kick in’ and kill that larvae before it reaches breeding age — if tetracycline is not present during its development.”

    Tetracycline is one of the antibiotics used in animal feed for mass produced food animals. 75% of the tetracycline is excreted by the animals as waste and it is environmentally “persistent.” According to the article, “Brazil is third in the world for its use of tetracycline in its food animals.” I wonder who’s first?

    The genetic modification that produces larval lethality is specifically engineered to be late-stage onset, and can be disrupted by a change in environmental conditions. “As the WHO stated in its press release, “conditions associated with this year’s El Nino weather pattern are expected to increase mosquito populations greatly in many areas.”

    Increasing the population of genetically modified mosquitoes without concrete knowledge of how the mod affects the virus’ “behavior” within the host would seem to be “troubling.”

    There is much more information in the article. I urge you to google it .

    Then there are the olympics. The nyt lays out the “concerns:”

    It’s “interesting” to note that while WHO officials consider an olympic travel ban “very, very unlikely,” “Brazilian researchers say they believe that Zika, which has been linked to severe birth defects, came to their country during another major sports event — the 2014 World Cup — when hundreds of thousands of visitors flowed into Brazil.”

      1. JTMcPhee

        Thanks for negativing that advert for GMO mosquitoes that “have zip, Nada, nothing to do” with Zika, offered by another commenter. Amazing how pretty much any time one looks behind the simplistifications, one sees “problems” resulting from the liear “engineering” thinking. Add that to profit and bad faith and bad intent, and all us humans are infinitely VULNERABLE to the shit that a few of us can do. See nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and virtually every other “technology,” and of course FIRE! which fortuitously is the word the gunner utters to discharge his weapons…

  24. Carolinian

    From Pat Lang, not exactly a tinfoil hat guy.

    This disclosure AT THE STATE DEPARTMENT by John Kirby puts the Obama/Sanders meeting of a couple of days ago in an interesting light. It seems that Sanders was asked to come to the meeting on short notice. One wonders if the government provided the transportation for the trip from St. Paul, Minnesota 1500 miles away.

    IMO this is the crack of doom for the HC campaign. We are talking multiple felony charges here folks. Anyone who thinks the FBI will not continue to leak over this whole phenomenon is kidding himself.

    One of the things that puzzles me about this has to do with Bill Clinton. He had to know and he let her do this to herself?

    It seems likely that Bernie (Mr. Clean) Sanders will succeed to the nomination. pl

    1. fresno dan

      Like your previous e-mail
      January 30, 2016 at 9:45 am

      the whole notion that Hillary (and maybe Bill as well) are these brilliant, smart, wonks who know all the rules (abet scheming and duplicitous) characters maybe is just so much – conventional, uninformed, herd bullsh*t.
      It really strikes me as almost unbelievable that she would be trafficking around in SAP top secret material on a private server. WHOEVER allowed that or advised that it was OK really didn’t do her any favors.
      The only question I have – who would do that??? Are her minions just terrified of her?????
      You really wonder if there is a phalanx around her that doesn’t broach any “negative” advice reaching her?
      Does Hillary really have an imperious persona where she just says, “I am the secretary of state and I can read whatever I want wherever I want whenever I want” ??????

      We lost some high people at the FDA, and the rumor always was that lower echelon people did not perform or inform the higher ups of certain rules, polices, norms – so than they got ensnared doing something EXTREMELY against the culture.

      But still, Hillary started at the Watergate hearings – so she has a long, long history of dealing with confidential government information. I almost think it is a frame up, but if your caught with maryjane 22 times in your bags, you should have started packing them for yourself after the 2nd or 3rd time…

      1. Carolinian

        Does Hillary really have an imperious persona where she just says, “I am the secretary of state and I can read whatever I want wherever I want whenever I want” ??????

        Er, yes. Ever seen her lecture circuit contract? It’s not exactly a testament to humility. Hillary’s whole pitch is basically: vote for me because I’m smart. That didn’t work with Obama–who she harped on as “inexperienced”–and not likely to fly with any other politically skillful opponent. It’s an election, not a job interview. TINA is what she needs to succeed. The Dems, the DC press are trying to help her along.

        1. Vatch

          Is Hillary’s lecture circuit contract available for viewing? If so, I’d love a link. Or were you being rhetorical? If so, that’s okay, but it really would be fun to see the actual document…

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        I’ve heard stories about Bill Clinton and his campaign cronies from an old Democratic hand. Begala, Carville, Brazille, Stephanopoulos, and the list goes on are light weights totally dependent on Bill. C’mon Dick Morris! The old hand adored Bill and Hillary, but her contempt for the people around during the Clintons was shocking to me when I was much more naive.

        Needless to say, my own observations of Clinton people match these stories. The Clintons are being judged in relation to the Republicans and now Obama, not on their own merits. Whenever I hear that their staffs should have helped them, I’m just reminded of Carville.

        1. Carolinian

          There’s that whole thing where Secret Service agents had to hide behind the curtains when she walked down the hall because she didn’t like to see them around. Rumors of course, but I linked something here awhile back that said the SS really really doesn’t like Hillary.

          HBO’s Veep satirized this in a show where an agent reacts to one of Dreyfuss’ jokes and gets in trouble for violating his supposed invisibility.

      3. hidflect

        The guy who looked after her servers is Jake Sullivan who also wrote some nauseatingly sycophantic email about Hillary being a ROCKSTAR! (can’t find it atm). So yes, when you see this guy’s photo you quickly realise his balls are rolling around the bottom of Madame Clinton’s handbag.

  25. barrisj

    I’m surprised that there hasn’t been more response to the TomDispatch piece on the wholesale destruction of Ramadi (Iraq) in the guise of “liberation” from ISIS occupation. In fact, both in Syria (primarily Russian AF) and Iraq (US/Nato) “victory over ISIS” is simply turning ISIS-controlled villages up to large cities into moonscapes, mimicking the levelling of German cites by Allied bombers near the end of WWII. How any of this indiscriminant destruction on an apocalyptic scale can be hailed as “progress in the war against Islamic extremism” just beggars rational thought; worse yet, the US/Nato behemoth is threatening to take this “strategy” into Libya, as a way to reverse ISIS “gains” in major Libyan cities. Where in God’s name is the humanity in any of this? Yemen has already been obliterated by the Saudi AF (with US intel and logistics assistance), creating thousands of civilian deaths and tenfold-more refugees…who has given these countries with powerful militaries the untrammeled “right” to visit such horrific and criminal acts against helpless populations? The mind reels.

    1. JTMcPhee

      We do what we know how to do, what we are acculturated to, what we are trained and equipped to do… Oorah! Carpet bombing! Back to the Stone Age! Turn the whole place to glass! Kill them all, and let God sort them out! Drive the population we don’t kill outright into flight and despair and starvation! Chaos! Destabilization! Profit from reconstruction! (And of course make more “jihadis” to carpet bomb — self-licking indeed…

      Stupid evil Fokking humans… I was one of them, 1967-68… and of course am still part of the species…

    2. hidflect

      There’s the steady stream of accusations about Putin’s bombing of Syrian civilians here and there to mask the story.

  26. KFritz

    Re: low cost prescription drugs

    If cost is important, ANYONE can have their prescriptions filled at Costco. Membership is not necessary. Over the counter drugs and medicines are for members only.

    1. Kurt Sperry

      At least here in Washington State, non-members must be allowed to buy alcoholic beverages as well as prescription medicines. It’s often possible to get prescription pet medicines at a lower price as well.

  27. allan

    Why the Whitney is “Nervous” About Upcoming Laura Poitras Show

    Classified images leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden will figure as artworks at the Whitney Museum of American Art in its Laura Poitras solo exhibition, “Astro Noise,” opening next week. In an unprecedented sprint from headline to gallery wall, news of the covert intelligence program to which the works pertain will have scarcely broken — last night, in two stories on The Intercept — before the large-scale prints go on view to the public on February 5. …

    One reason for the Whitney’s concerns might be the World War I-era Espionage Act, the vehicle for prosecuting disclosures of information “relating to the national defense.” Called “singularly opaque” in the dissenting opinion of the 1971 Pentagon Papers case, the statutes neither draw distinctions between various security clearance levels — it was written well before our sophisticated state secrets apparatus today — nor does it carve out a safe haven for journalists or third parties receiving the leaked information.

    To be followed by an asset forfeiture case for the full value of the Whitney’s collection and real estate.

  28. fresno dan

    It is kinda of strange – after I got out of the Air Force and went back to Fresno and had a job at the IRS, I took the bus to work even though I had a car. plenty of free parking, although it was kind of a pain to get in and out of it. The bus wasn’t cheaper, it sure wasn’t faster. And the air conditioning and heating were problematic as well.
    I guess maybe I was doing it for the environment. But there actually were quite a few people who worked at the IRS who took that bus as well (well, there was only one bus route to the IRS – I lived a short walk away from the bus stop for that route).
    It was nice having people to talk to before work, as well as after. And on Fridays happy hour at Me’NEds (a Fresno pizza chain – I don’t know if that chain still exists…)

  29. JTMcPhee

    Anyone really believed that Trudeau was not more of the same? He was all for the TPP and other “trade agreements” in spite of Obama-style “hopescreen” lingo. As with Obama and Clinton, one has to “suspend belief” and read the words actually used (and bear in mind that lying in politics is hardly a sin in the catechism of Big Important People politics).

    “Keystone & TPP under question as Canada elects Liberal PM,”

    “Keystone & TPP under question as Canada elects Liberal PM”,

    “Liberals Say No Free Vote On Trans-Pacific Partnership”,
    OTTAWA — Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau will not allow his MPs a free vote on the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

    Asked about it Wednesday morning, Trudeau was cautious with his answer.

    “We’re a long way from that,” he told reporters.

    “We have a very clear policy on free votes that says elements that are in our platform, elements that go to the heart of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and elements that are confidence matters, that is, matters of budget, people would be expected to vote with the Liberal Party,” Trudeau went on to say.

    “On other issues, they would be expected to stand up for the interests of their constituents right across the country because that is what we elect people to do.”

    Moments earlier, when asked about his position on the trade deal during a campaign event in London, Trudeau said he was “pro-trade” but also “pro-Parliament.”…

    On Wednesday, however, the Liberal leader left little doubt of where he stood, on the general question of trade.

    “As a prime minister, [I] commit to making the case for trade, reminding Canadians that we are a nation based and built on trade. We have resources and goods to share with the world,” Trudeau said. “We have a small population. We have a geographic situation that gives us access across the Atlantic, south to our NAFTA partners, and across the Pacific to the growing markets of Asia.”

    Want to give him a piece of your mind? He’s set up an email orifice for you to insert comments: “Trudeau offers an email address to hear from you on the TPP,” :

    On Oct. 5, during this past federal election, Justin Trudeau issued a statement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) promising, “If the Liberal Party of Canada earns the honour of forming a government after October 19th, we will hold a full and open public debate in Parliament to ensure Canadians are consulted on this historic trade agreement.”

    The Council of Canadians has stated that this should mean a full public review including a comprehensive and independent analysis of the TPP text by the Parliamentary Budget Officer (that would assess the deal’s impact on human rights, health, employment, environment and democracy), public hearings in each province and territory, and separate and meaningful consultations with First Nations. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has highlighted that, “[Trudeau should also inform] TPP partner countries Canada cannot be bound by the agreement as negotiated, and that public input could result in Canadian demands for changes.”

    The Globe and Mail editorial board has additionally commented, “If [trade minister Chrystia] Freeland and her party are serious about making sure Canadians understand its implications, they will have to give Parliamentary committees the time and resources to go over it section by section and hear testimony from neutral experts. Parliament will have to report back to Canadians in plain language about what they are getting and what they are giving up. And then the government will have to make an argument for ratification, or demand further negotiations to protect Canada’s interests.”

    What we are getting so far from the Liberal government is quite different.

    A not-widely publicized Government of Canada web-page has posted the line, “Canadians are invited to visit this page frequently for consultations activities and regular updates. You can also send your comments at any time via email:”

    The “TPP consultations” noted on the website appear to only include the trade minister having met with 10 provincial and territorial governments, including B.C. Premier Christy Clark; government representatives from New Zealand, Mexico, Malaysia, Peru, Chile and Australia; industry groups including the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association, the Auto Parts Manufacturers Association, the “Canadian supply-managed sector” and “Canadian business leaders”; and from civil society, only the Canadian Labour Congress, Unifor, and “leaders from academia.”

    Non-governmental organizations and First Nations are conspicuously absent from the list of those being consulted.

    With respect to their promise to “ensure Canadians are consulted,” they have only provided the email address. And on that front, iPolitics writer BJ Siekierski notes, “The Global Affairs Canada website provides an email address and invites comments from the public on TPP, but doesn’t give a deadline or say what it plans to do with them.”

    He also comments, “One possibility would be for the Liberals to do something similar to what the European Commission did for their public consultation on investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) in their ongoing trade negotiations with the U.S. That consultation lasted between March 27 and July 13, 2014, attracted 150,000 responses, and resulted in a report summarizing the findings last January.” Siekierski suggests the results of that consultation were skewed by NGOs that mobilized the public presumably because 97 per cent of the respondents were opposed to the ISDS provision in the proposed agreement.

    In terms of a timeline, we know this: It is expected that the Trans-Pacific Partnership will be signed by all countries — including Canada — at a ceremony on February 4, 2016 in New Zealand. Canada’s trade minister has said that Canada will sign the agreement, but that does not necessarily mean it will ratify the deal. News reports from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit last month noted, “Leaders [from the 12 TPP countries] agreed on a two-year period for each country’s parliament to approve the deal, meaning it will likely come into force in 2018.”

    The United States is a key country in the TPP agreement and while there had been speculation that the U.S. Congress could vote on the deal in the spring of 2016, it now appears that the ratification process will not begin until sometime in early 2017, after the November 2016 presidential election. It also appears that the Canadian government will not move to ratify TPP until the situation in the U.S. becomes clearer. Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton has already expressed her opposition to the TPP and it would make little sense for the Liberals to expend political capital on a deal with tepid public support in Canada only to see it rejected by the new U.S. president.

    While the Trudeau government’s consultation process hardly qualifies as a consultation process, please do send your comments on the Trans-Pacific Partnership to

    No indication that comments from Ted Cruz will be recognized, or those from others who are clearly US citizens… or that they will be summarily ignored. Copies to ministers, provincial representatives?

  30. alex morfesis

    Peas & carrotz in the middle east…the only way the children stop fighting is if you take the toy away…

    give yerosalyma to china or russia for 99 years and the children will have to play nice in the sandbox

    Hopefully in a century no one will remember why they wasted so much time and energy on fighting and praying over some former greek temples..

  31. fresno dan

    Rhetorical Terror: GOP Candidates Pledge War Crimes, Carpet-Bombing, Asian Land Wars Juan Cole (resilc)
    JEB! gave his own prescription:
    “The caliphate of ISIS has to be destroyed, which means we need to arm directly to Kurds, imbed our troops with the Iraqi military, re engage with the Sunni tribal leaders.”
    That sounds to me like exactly what Obama is doing. The US helped the Kurds take back Sinjar in Iraq. It helped them defend Kobane. It is embedding US troops with the Kurds in eastern Syria and has a command in Iraq. The US military and intelligence is reaching out to Syrian Sunnis in the northeast and getting them to fight alongside the Kurds. Sunni tribal levies helped retake Ramadi.
    JEB! is just advocating the current policy and pretending that he is saying something different. It is weird***.
    Then he said we should get the lawyers off the back of the US military. I take it he means by that we should toss overboard the Geneva Conventions, which were crafted to prohibit the kind of behavior that made the Nazis notorious during WW II.
    We’ve been trying to outlaw war crimes since then, but the US Republican Party seems to admire the tactics of the Axis and to regret their having fallen into disrepute.

    ***no, it is despicable. Back when dinosaurs roamed the land and I was young, there was the quaint notion that politics ended at the waters edge. But that is when we faced an enemy that could in fact obliterate us. Now we worry about people who kill once a decade half the number of people shot dead on an average day in the US. But it is done by people who will say anything to get elected. They are worse than Trump because they spend so much time working on and crafting their lies. And in advancing such idiotic policies, they make us less safe, expend American soldiers lives needlessly, and spend treasure carelessly.

    And again, it just showed the absolute cravenness if JEB!
    Bush was asked specifically about bombing terrorist families (see Washington Post January 19, 2016):
    “It happened again the next day in Hampstead, when a young boy asked: “Why would you want to be the president of a nation that would consider voting for Trump?” Bush replied, “I don’t think Trump’s a reflection of the American people.” That’s when a dude in a Trump T-shirt began heckling him, according to the Union Leader. The man wanted to know why Bush had said he would not target the families of terrorists. “No president would allow for the killing of innocents as a designed strategy of the United States, my friend,” Bush shot back. “I don’t care what Donald Trump says.”

    So at the repub debate Bush is all call off the lawyers and let the bombs fall. Rah, Rah go USA!!! There could be a modicum of respect if JEB! had said on that debate platform that we must be more careful to protect the lives of the people living there, which ostensibly is the reason we’re there…But of course not, those people are pawns, and we are pawns. No protection of their lives is owed, and no provision of the truth to us is owed….ANYTHING SAID, ANYTHING done to get elected.

    Than if he can stick it to Trump, Bush says the Trump proposed policy of bombing terrorist policy is something America would NEVER do. But what JEB! says is flat out false – it is documented beyond dispute that US drones hit innocents in the mid east all the time, undoubtedly some of which are related to the terrorist target (not to mention all the people mistaken as terrorists to begin with). Again, the subtle, crafted lying is worse than Trump, because it is always, ALWAYS accompanied by these candidates proclaiming what great courageous leaders they are. At least with Trump you know its just madison avenue self promotion. I find the the self righteousness of JEB! sickening.

  32. craazyboy

    “Go, Marvin Minsky, and the Chasm that AI Hasn’t Yet Crossed Medium (guurst)”

    I’m not convinced AI has reached it’s full potential yet until they hook up the chessplaying computer ‘bot to the BLS.

    Then the AI ‘bot can query the BLS for “Where is chessboard domain C4?”

    The BLS will reply, “On one hand, 2f parsecs forward and 1f parsec left. On the other hand, 2f parsecs back and 1f parsecs right.”

    Then we’ll know we can trust what they say.

  33. Og

    Schocken’s wise to call for international solidarity for Israeli reform. Peace and development won’t advance any other way.

    The same goes for the US. If US humanists could free up a moment from fixating on rigged electoral ceremony, they would see how much of the most efficacious reform pressure comes from treaty bodies, charter bodies, special procedures, and international civil society, irrespective of electoral outcomes. Statist media work hard fabricating domestic origins for reforms spurred by international pressure.

    More importantly, international review explodes the conventions of reverence that gag US discourse. Publicize the full range of international review and we get a clear picture of the US regime as prognathic knuckle-draggers in desperate need of acculturation and development. People can take a break from all the despondent hand-wringing about the weakness and lack of vision of the left. We don’t need a left dreaming shit up, we need people who demand the minimal standards of the civilized world. Get the state cleaned up and toilet-trained first or replace it with one that knows not to crap on the rug. Then we can decide what kind of nation we want.

  34. oliverks

    For years the water companies and the press have stressed how safe the drinking water is. We have been ridiculed for buying bottled water. However, it was always based on one obviously bad assumption.

    The water before it enters the distribution system might be fine, but when it comes out of your tap, who knows what the heck is in it. We see that in Flint. I can’t understand why this idea has taken so long for people to grasp and why the press was so blind to the problem. Here is California we have crappy pvc pipes which degrade quickly running through landfill (aka trash pits). How confident are you that your water is safe?

    The only surprising thing to me right now, is why the law suits aren’t flying yet.

  35. Pavel

    Just read the NYT editorial endorsing Hillary for Prez. They are getting slammed in the comments by the readers.

    This bit is just laughable — how can anyone take the authors seriously?

    Mr. Sanders has scored some rhetorical points against Mrs. Clinton for her longstanding ties to Wall Street, but she has responded well, and it would be comical to watch any of the Republican candidates try to make that case, given that they are all virtually tied to, or actually part of, the business establishment.

    Hillary has responded well? She’s either dissembled, deflected, or just given that damn laugh.

    1. Skippy

      “or just given that damn laugh.”

      You mean the condescending you – silly child – one – ????? – the one that puts the onus back on the questioners ignorance for not understanding how the “real world” works….

      1. Pavel

        I was thinking specifically of the one caught by The Intercept when she was asked if she would release her Goldman Sachs speeches. But she seems to use it to divert attention or perhaps while she’s trying to come up with some plausible excuse for her inexcusable actions.

        And of course there is the infamous, sociopathic “We came, we saw, he died” laugh regarding Qaddafi’s extra-judicial murder by rebel sadists. Charming sense of humour, non?

  36. fresno dan

    John Judis has an interesting piece in Vox on the success so far of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. They have garnered the support of large numbers of voters who are disaffected with the agenda pushed by the mainstream in both parties. Judis argues that this agenda, which he alternatively describes as “neo-liberal” or “free market,” has been responsible for the rising economic insecurity of the white middle class. This insecurity has led Republicans to embrace Trump’s nationalistic and often racist agenda as well as Sanders’ openly left-wing agenda of a radically expanded welfare state.

    There is an important point that Judis leaves out of his story. The policies that have led to so much upward redistribution were not simply “free market,” they were policies that were designed to redistribute income upward.

    Starting with trade, the agreements pushed by presidents from both parties did not subject all areas equally to international competition. They quite explicitly put less-educated workers in direct competition with low-paid workers in the developing world by making it as easy as possible to set up factories in Mexico, China, and elsewhere and ship the products without barriers back to the United States. The predicted and actual effect of this sort of trade is to reduce the number of jobs and wages for manufacturing workers. And, by denying workers opportunities in manufacturing, this also puts downward pressure on the wages in the service sectors where former manufacturing workers then looked for jobs.

    Real free trade agreements would have made it easier for people in India, China, and elsewhere to train to U.S. standards and then work as doctors, dentists, lawyers and in other highly paid professions in the United States. Instead, the barriers in these professions were largely left in place or even increased.

    Driving down the wages of these high-end professionals would have reduced the cost of health care, dental care, and legal services. This raises the real wages of other workers. If the wages of doctors in the United States were reduced to the level of doctors in Europe, it would reduce what we pay our doctors by roughly $100 billion a year. This would be sufficient to add almost $1,000 a year to the paycheck of every worker in the bottom 70 percent of the workforce.

    All those lobbyists on K street in Washington get paid to make sure those with money get MORE money.

  37. ballard

    Banksters say: “Welcome Refugees”

    According to the Swiss bank UBS (Jan. 2016): Europe must double the number of migrants

    “.. in order to maintain economic growth.
    To align the European growth rate on US employment, EU requirements will be 1.8 million additional immigrants (working age) per year over the next 10 years..”

    In August, 2015, Bernie Sanders responded to Ezra Klein’s argument for open borders that the idea is “a Koch Brothers proposal,” a “right-wing proposal” (he presumably felt that Klein, a former Democratic blogger, was not a right-winger), and added that

    “It would make everybody in America poorer — you’re doing away with the concept of a nation state…

    “What right-wing people in this country would love is an open-border policy. Bring in all kinds of people, work for $2 or $3 an hour, that would be great for them…”

  38. Gio Bruno

    RE: The Next Flint

    The infrastructure of older areas like Yeadon is burdened heavily by exurban development, which is often located upstream from the cities and the inner-ring suburbs. These newer and less densely populated communities create far more runoff than undeveloped land would, especially if they rely on septic systems instead of sewers, multiplying costs for the downstream communities that must treat their water more heavily.

    This applies to both sewer flow AND stormwater runoff. Creating more homes (impervious surface) along a watershed create more runoff which requires expensive expansion of the storm runoff system. In my town that has involved a DECADES long series of bridge replacements that have cost 100’s of millions of dollars.

    New exurb development requires existing citizens to pay for services/infrastructure expansion created by newer citizens. (Can you say “subsidy” to developers?)

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