Links 4/22/13

Awesome! New image of Horsehead Nebula in infrared Earthsky (FM)

There’s no need for all this economic sadomasochism David Graeber, Guardian. Shout-outs, Philip Pilkington and Warren Mosler.

Boston Marathon Bombing

Boat where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev hid ‘looked like Swiss cheese’ after shootout Guardian

The Shut-Down Question Emptywheel

Did Watertown’s top cop tell a big, big lie? Cannonfire

Badly wounded Boston Marathon bombing suspect responding to questions NBC

Official: Boston suspect possibly shot himself in neck USA Today

Researchers urge brain autopsy of bombing suspect Boston Globe

Suspects Hoped to Attack Again, Authorities Say Times

How will the Boston shutdown affect workers? Salon. Hazard pay for Dunkin Donuts workers?

The Tsarnaevs and me Salon

EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS: Suspected Boston Marathon bombers lived in squalid, ramshackle apartment NY Daily News

Boston becomes issue in terror insurance debate Politico

The social media tail mustn’t wag the MSM dog Felix Salmon, Reuters. A rare weekend appearance!

R-R Schadenfreude

Perils of placing faith in a thin theory Wolfgang Münchau, FT 

Yet More Fun With Reinhart and Rogoff CEPR. And it is! It is!

Destructive Creativity Paul Krugman, Times

Reinhart/Rogoff-gate isn’t the first time austerians have used bad data Mike Konczal, WaPo

Affidavit: Maine hermit accused of burglaries had bacon, a watch, $395 on him when arrested WaPo

Republican Party of Benton County Newsletter (via) “The 2nd amendment means nothing unless those in power believe you would have no problem simply walking up and shooting them if they got too far out of line and stopped responding as representatives.” Because well regulated.

King George II Beppe Grillo’s Blog

IMF boss turns on the Chancellor to hide her own sins Daily Mail

Here Comes the Next Hot Emerging Market: the U.S. WSJ

Data shift to lift US economy 3% FT. One hates to be cynical…

Great Recession and Not-So-Great Recovery Gavyn Davies, FT

The Latest Economic Data Has Returned To Being Lukewarm Positive Business Insider

Environment 1, Economy 0 Frieddogleg 

Exclusive: EBay recruits users in push against sales tax legislation Reuters

One Good Reason Why Space Travel Will Happen In Your Lifetime Gadling. There’s beat sweetening, and then there’s beat saccharine. 

Modeling Agents Recruit Outside Swedish Eating Disorder Clinic  Policymic

The Left’s Top 25 Journalists Daily Beast. #5: Fred Hiatt. Oh, Tina?

Is American Nonviolence Possible? Opinionator, Times

Valedictatorian Blogarach ~ Who Was IOZ? Educational testing as control fraud.

God Bless Benno Schmidt Crooked Timber. “Craft a special package.”

Maine farmers speak out against local food sovereignty movement Bangor Daily News

Anti-frackers score victory on upstate NY home front… Town of Sanford board forced to repeal fracking gag law Tom Wilber

Tim DeChristopher, Imprisoned For Nearly Two Years, To Be Released On Earth Day DeSmogBlog

What We Talked About At ISA: Cognitive Assemblages The Disorder of Things. Not an easy read. But very interesting.

Creativity, Capital and Commons in the Contemporary City: The Eastside Island, Pt. 2 the shape of utopia to come. Land use and the creative class.

Antidote du jour:


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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Jim Haygood

    As cries continue for stricter background checks for individual gun buyers, Obama peddles a vast quantity of far more lethal munitions to two of the world’s most patently unqualified buyers:

    The United States is to equip Israel with a range of advanced missiles and fighter jets, new defence chief Chuck Hagel has said on a visit to Jerusalem. The deal is part of a US $10bn arms package involving Israel, the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

    Mr Hagel said the weapons would allow Israel to maintain its qualitative military edge over its neighbours. This includes anti-radiation missiles designed to destroy enemy air defences, advanced radars for its fleet of fighter jets, KC135 refuelling aircraft and Osprey V22 transport aircraft.

    The KC135 are capable of being used in a long-range operation by Israel against Iran. The sale of V22 would also mark the first time the planes have been released to any country outside America.

    Saudi Arabia is a dictatorial kleptocracy which certainly will use its new weapons to stifle its own people, who in retaliation have been prominent players in terror attacks on the U.S.

    Israel has an ugly record of disproportionately aggressive attacks on neighbors — Lebanon, Gaza — and now wants to up the stakes dramatically by smashing Iran.

    A rake’s progress, as it were — spineless, soulless Obama advances from drone assassin to pimping miltary hardware to some of the world’s nastiest regimes. Maybe he can get a job with Raytheon when he grows up and moves out of the White House basement.

    1. landanna

      Jobs are for losers. Why bother with a job when you can phone in 7 figure appearance fees and get right back to the links or the b-ball court?

    2. Henry

      Meanwhile DHS has ordered BILLIONS of hollow point bullets that are used to kill people. DHS works only within the U.S.
      They also bought thousands of assault rifles too.

      I suggest anyone who is interested in the constitution, the second amendment, gun rights, gun control laws, politicians and the growing police state read “Unintended Consequences”.

      It’s the saga of varous men and women: a veteran of WWII, a survivor of the Warsay Ghetto and others and their long term relationship with gun culture and politicians. A damn good read.



    3. Binky Bear

      which makes Obama identical to every other president in American history.
      Since the first one.

      I hope it was an ecofriendly hybrid turnip truck at least.

      1. Nathanael

        Actually, the system of using the US government as a promoter for weapons manufacturers, while selling weapons in large quantities to countries which will sooner or later happily attack the US with them (such as Saudi Arabia) — this system dates only to World War II. Before that, the US didn’t do this. The US also wasn’t “gun manufacturer to the world”.

    4. Nathanael

      Thankfully the lunactics running Israel have been smart enough, so far, to avoid attacking Iran.

      If they did, the geopolitical fallout would destroy the State of Israel, probably within a couple of weeks.

  2. taunger has a story up that obfuscates the method used to find Dzhokar. Well reported up until now that the boatowner provided a tip; story implies police using thermal imaging found Dzhokhar. ttp://
    I have to say, this story really boggles my mind. Probably the most brazen disinformation I’ve seen during this whole episode, assuming our suspects are, in fact, responsible.

    1. lolcats

      All kinds of helpful new friends have been coming here saying, give it a rest, knock it off with your amateur sleuthing. By golly, I agree.

      I don’t want to be a little Nancy Drew solving mysteries. What I want is what Elizabeth Holtzman wants (remember her?). She wants a Special Prosecutor for violations of the War Crimes Act of 1996 – which of necessity include US government complicity in armed attacks on the US civilian population.

      Spare me the grubby boring details. That taped conversation of Emad Salem talking to FBI Special Agent John Anticev about US government supervision of the WTC bombing? I don’t give a crap. Leave it to the Special Prosecutor.

      ATF acknowledges under oath that Carol Howe identified the site of the OKC bombing in advance, and it happened anyway? Incompetence or war crime, Who am I to say? I don’t give a rat’s ass, leave it to the Special Prosecutor.

      FBI agent Marion Bowman shields Zacarias Moussaoui from investigation and acquiesces in destruction of illegal US government biological weapons implicated in the anthrax murders? Richard Blee shields two more 9/11 hijackers from government scrutiny? Zzzzz zz. Leave it to the Special Prosecutor.

      Dzhokar Szchmokar, leave it to the Special Prosecutor.

      1. taunger

        I’m not into solving mysteries either. And there is much mysterious in this episode. Here I see a clear intention of misinformation, that police tech is the solution, rather than active citizenship. Perhaps it’s not as clear as I think.

          1. taunger

            Thanks, lambert. Couldn’t tell if bad editor or intention. I guess its also part of, I think it is so weird that the media puts all this stuff out there. One bad headline and squib with a pic doesn’t seem like worthwhile news to me, so there must be some alterior motive. Nope, just stupid. Makes sense.

      2. MacCruiskeen

        I guess a domain-squatter picked up, but I’d guess if you act quick you might still be able to get

      3. Fíréan

        In reply to lolcats posting : if there were to be a Special Prosecutor assigned, by the government, to investigate all the financial fraud, mortgage fraud cases etc., the likes of which are reported on this blog site on a daily basis, would you unreservedly accept the final judgement and expect all free thinking intelligent persons to not do their own due diligience or investigation ?

        Equally, is Felix Salmon’s criticism of the non mainstream media reportage applicable only in reference to events such as a “terrorist” attack, or is also he implying that in all matters we should leave the job of journalistic investigation and reporting to, and to only believe, the main stream media ?
        Is the implication here that we ought only have access to and accept first hand reports or observations from members of the public of any incident (or crime) after the first hand report has been analysed and approved of by an intermediatory such as the main stream media ? Rather than if the first hand information is first posted to a social media outlet or blog.

        1. Nathanael

          I’d like a special grand jury, actually. One independent of the existing system of corrupt prosecutors.

          Let them hire their own special prosecutor. Or multiple special prosecutors.

      4. lolcats rool

        I’m happy to check their work but I don’t want all the drudgery of crime-fighting to be on me. I want entertainment, dammit. Think of each of these government-coordinated bombings as a blowjob, only with more squirting of bodily fluids. Think what a dick like Ken Starr could do with 59 Stat. 1544-1589, 6 F.R.D. 69 (1946), and Article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice. He could nail Clinton, he could nail Obama, he could nail Brennan, lock up 100 FBI and ATF goons, and all the junior spy cadets and SWAT apes kissing CIA ass at the BPD. The lawns at Butner would be like putting greens from all the tender loving care of bent G-men.

  3. diptherio

    Hey Benno, I’s got yer “special package” right here [insert lewd gesture]!

    It is astounding how utterly shameless and clueless some people can be. Then again, this sort of shamelessness is rarely punished and often rewarded, so I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised.

    1. dearieme

      “I don’t condone stealing bacon”: oh, come on; it was just their subtle way of implying that the guy isn’t a … Chechen.

  4. fresno dan

    Affidavit: Maine hermit accused of burglaries had bacon, a watch, $395 on him when arrested WaPo

    They say it as if there is something wrong with carrying bacon.
    Now, I don’t condone stealing bacon, I really don’t understand how they can imply carrying bacon is anything other than normal, typical, human behavior…

    1. Fíréan

      The presence of bacon at the gentleman’s camp would imply that he is neither of the Jewish nor the Muslim faith (nor vegetarian or vegan) as these people do not use pork for their own consumption.

    2. Murky

      Please consider the real costs of incarcerating this guy, the Maine woods hermit. Every day in a jail or prison cost vastly more than the goods he was pilfering from a local youth camp. The real-world cost of the cops, jails, judges, and lawyers in this case is the real problem. It’s a big money drain at tax payers’ expense. Nor would putting the hermit on welfare or food stamps be a fiscally viable alternative; still too expensive. The right thing to do is to send the hermit back to his former life, and have US tax payers reimburse the youth camp for all future goods that this guy pilfers. This is the lowest cost solution, and will save thousands of tax dollars in the long run. Better to tolerate a pilfering hermit than to let the US legal or welfare systems drain taxpayer dollars.

  5. dearieme

    “Reinhart/Rogoff-gate isn’t the first time austerians have used bad data”. In macroeconomics that’s the only sort of data available.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      True dat.

      I would add that in any field, to make really big errors, you start with your assumptions.

      Like, taxation gives value to your currency.

        1. Procopius

          I think Arianna Huffingon is pretty conservative, except for her kooky alternative medicine theories, which aren’t really liberal. In fact I thought at least half of them were reliably center-right. Or has the Overton Window really moved that far since I was young? Of course half of them I didn’t recognize at all — where do they post their stuff?

      1. Chris Rogers

        Excuse me for being a boring old leftwing British fart, but not one of the authors/journalists mentioned would be considered left-of-centred in the UK – most of them as fascists to say the least – I’m utilising the OED for ‘fascism’ by the way.

        Where’s mention of anyone from Counterpunch, or the numerous other progressive/ left-of-centre media outlets we find online.

        All I can say, its not April Fool’s day by any chance judging by this risible list of arse wipes!!!!

      1. Brindle

        On “kos”:
        —“Passionate, partisan, and a proud wingnut, his influence is that of the leader of a legion that has to be appeased.”–

        ….more like “leader of a legion that is easily misled”.

        1. Valissa

          “ADHERENT, n. A follower who has not yet obtained all that he expects to get.” — Ambrose Bierce

      2. Pepe

        As soon as I hit MattY, I stopped reading the list. I mean – if they’re not going to be serious …

    1. Charles LeSeau

      I’m wondering if they mistakenly forgot to put the word “Wealthiest” in that list.

      1. Valissa

        Yup, and other key words that were LEFT out are successful and ambitious. I keep hoping someday the Left-Right paradigm will meet it’s much needed death. I do not understand why people continue to proudly identify with such simplistic and ever more meaningless sides. How about front and back as the 2 sides… I’d choose the back of the bus.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          In a Non-Euclidean political world, the other side is not obvious.

          If you go right, you end up with the left; and if you go left, you end up with the right.

          In such a world, the two sides are the center (the 0.01%) and the periphery (the 99.99%); it’s a 0.01%-centric world.

          They make sure you revolve around them.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            It’s unfortunate people are still stuck the with the flat-earth political world view.

        2. Nathanael

          “I do not understand why people continue to proudly identify with such simplistic and ever more meaningless sides.”

          Because we have a two-party system, which is due to Duverger’s Law.

          If you wish to change this, work to get “proportional representation”, as it’s called, where each party gets seats in the legislature proportional to the number of votes it receives. Almost all democratic countries in the world use some form of proportional representation. I only know of four exceptions (US, Canada, UK, and France).

          1. Valissa

            There are many ways to work toward change. Wish you the best with your multi-party idea and I vote 3rd party when I can. The thing is, Nathanael, I no longer believe in political parties as a pathway to change. From my study of history and sociology change happens from many directions, from a confluence of trends, so we should each pick the trend that best suits who we are. One way that change happens in societies is when people start thinking in new ways about the world and start refusing to play the existing power games. More and more people are opting out of the duopoly and the tightly boxed thinking that goes with that.

  6. AbyNormal

    “I think by putting more power into the hands of human beings, whether that’s through community groups, whether that’s through local politics, whatever that may be, I think shifting that power structure will put more power in the hands of people, that is going to make [the transition away from a dependency on fossil fuels] more humane… ***When people are less dependent on our industrial economy, they’re more liberated to stand up to the injustices of that industrial economy and create their own power.*** When people are providing for more of their own needs, whether it’s energy or transportation or food and water, the more that people are providing for their own needs the more liberated they are to challenge existing power structures because they’re not dependent on them anymore.”
    Tim DeChristopher

    In a room where
    people unanimously maintain
    a conspiracy of silence,
    one word of truth
    sounds like a pistol shot.
    Czesław Miłosz

    1. jrs

      It’s what I subscribe to as an ideal as well. Problem is, when trying to implement it in the world you keep bumping into oligarchs, metaphorically speaking. Grow your own food, well you may have a plot, but they’ve bought up most of the farmland. Take care of yourself, but how to take care of oneself if one really needs medical care? Etc.

      1. AbyNormal

        roughly…as demands for necessities grow, communities form to fill the gaps. of course the overlapping and eventual squeeze from the present system will be a struggle…but wouldn’t the community strengthen from this? the more the system withholds the more demand is filled by and for communal needs. just a ponder that needs more work…thanks for the push jrs.

  7. Ms G

    Adding an important note/link on the Boston story.

    Gov. Patrick and Mayor Menino publicly state that threat to public safety is over and that the 2 brothers acted alone. No more “public safety” exception possible. Assuming Dzhokar will ever be able to speak again.

    Gov. Deval Patrick — Asked about any further threat to the public, Governor Deval Patrick, also appearing on “Face the Nation,’’ said “all of law enforcement feels it is over. … You can feel the relief here at home.”

    Mayor Menino — “All of the information I have is they acted alone, these two individuals, the brothers,’’ Mayor Thomas M. Menino said on ABC’s “This Week.’’

  8. Paul Walker

    Tragic that Felix the salmon swallowed the wrong food while migrating on a Fukushima plume. No wonder he spawned a blank this past spring weekend behind that curtain he wants so desperately to keep closed.

  9. diptherio

    Re: What We Talked About At ISA: Cognitive Assemblages

    With respect to responsibility in (largely-automated) assemblages I think the answer, in a nutshell, is to make responsibility system-wide, i.e. make every individual involved in the assemblage accountable in some way. In the example given, for instance, I would hold the arresting officers accountable for not confirming the algorithim’s prediction before executing the arrest; the institutional desicion-makers for signing off on the policy of having people automatically arrested on the basis of an algorithmic output; the programmers and the company for not making sure that the non-technical bureaucrats understood the limitations of the software. If accountability is legally concentrated in one, or a few, individuals (or worse, in no particular individual), abuses will occur and mistakes will proliferate on the “it’s not my problem”/”that’s above my pay-grade” principal.

    We might make a connection here to the Nuremburg trials and their rejection of the “I was ordered by a superior” defense made by soldiers involved in “war crimes” (all war is a crime, but I digress…). The basic idea seems to be this: the system is one thing, but when it comes down to it, we all have a responsibility to act humanely, regardless of the dictates of the system. I would have this principal applied across all aspects of social life, not just behavior during times of war.

    ISTM that as our society has become more technologically advanced there has been concomitant, and largely undiscussed, move towards the (attempted) mathematization of human behavior as a matter of course. This goes back at least to the dawn of the industrial revolution and the advent of mechanized time keeping, along with it’s industrial application in the form of time-card devices that can record workers comings and goings down to the second. However, as behavioral economics has shown, human beings are not readily suseptible to mathematical description (much less prediction). We need to recognize this fact and ensure that there are human checks at every level of the mathematized systems that we rely on in modern life (and that, of course, implies humans who are individually responsible for checking that the outcomes generated by the system are humane). In short, we need to build some “human flex” into our systems.

    Unfortunately, the overall social dynamic, at the moment, seems to be away from both human accountability for the outcomes of our social assemblages, as well as away from allowing for “flex” in our systems. In the corporate world, human checks are expensive, so mathematizing and automating are seen as the “efficient” things to do (High Frequency Trading is an obvious example, as is Wells Fargo’s perverse accounting system). On the government side, President Obama seems determined to make life hell for anyone who dares point out the abuses or failings of our beauracratic system while the Justice department declares HSBC ‘too big to jail’ and Wall Street con-artists (CEOs) claim ignorance about how their institutions operate, while lining their own pockets, etc., etc.

  10. Valissa

    More scientists gone wild…

    Zoologger: Picture-winged fly quenches thirst on sperm

    Animal chiropractors adjust elephants, guinea pigs — even snakes

    Survival of the Funniest: Celebrating Bad Evolutionary Theory
    The first-ever BAH! (Festival of Bad Ad Hoc Hypotheses) will treat an audience at MIT to seven lectures on internally coherent, even convincing — but ultimately hilariously absurd — explanations of evolutionary adaptation.

    The event was inspired by a joke in the science-obsessed Web comic “Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal” (SMBC), which is co-sponsoring the festival, along with the comic’s publisher Breadpig (also behind the science-geek comic XKCD), and the MIT Lecture Series. In the comic, a scientist imagines a prehistoric advantage to punting newborns into neighboring villages.

    The ridiculous argument, made in absolute sincerity by the illustrated scientist, posits that infants are hairless to minimize drag, “football-shaped” to maximize puntability, and filled with soft bones to cushion the impact. Airmailing infants would have allowed early humans to spread their genes, the scientist argues to great applause, earning her a trophy of “Darwin looking doubtful.”

  11. Brindle

    Re: “Maine farmers speak out against…..”

    Enjoyed reading the article. Good reporting on an issue that is not clear-cut eithe rway.

    —““It is dangerous to assume small farmers and custom meat processors are more trustworthy than the average person,” she wrote. ”Licensing and annual inspection provide a measure of accountability that helps to ensure food processors provide food that is safe for consumers.”

    Hickman said the dire predictions of unsafe food are “too doomsday-ish.” People should be empowered to make their own decisions about what they eat, he said. And buying directly from a farmer, there is plenty of opportunity to determine whether food is safe.

    “People have senses,” he said. “We can see things. We know if something is good or bad when we smell it; when we cook it we can see that it still tastes off or smells bad. People are informed, but we don’t give ourselves enough credit.”—

    1. AbyNormal

      agree…worth following
      “Common sense tells people that food should be inspected,” he said. “I want to see people continue to buy local food, but it’s only common sense to realize that somewhere down the line, something is going to happen. When it does, and people realize that nothing’s being inspected, it’s going to ruin the local food thing.”

      “As a consumer, my question is, how do I know I’m being protected, that my health isn’t being put at risk?” she said Tuesday. If not managed properly, she said, raw milk can carry salmonella, tuberculosis and harmful bacteria especially dangerous to children and the elderly. She said that without lab testing, unsafe milk can look, smell and taste the same as safe milk.”

      of course the inspectors & the processes are beyond tainted…let alone our judiciary system of no accountability, leaving us to gamble our health on the strength of our broken healthcare system. Yum, Im Hungry.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        To fully discharge the duties of being a citizen, one needs at least 8 hours a day, if not more, to stay informed and keep up with the latest 0.01% schemes.

        To make sure what you eat is healthy, nutritional and safe, one needs another 8 hours a day.

        Basically, you have to decide how to split the remaining 8 hours between sleeping and working.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


            Nothing is better than something, when one’s struggling to empty one’s mind.

            I only learned recently that only the abbey could rake the Zen garden. It’s considered a privilege.

            I imagine it’s the same in a Zen kitchen – only the executive zen chef can wash dishes.

            And in a Zen government, only the leader can clean stables.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            That reminds me that I was thinking the other day that I hoped I had only grown stronger through life’s trials and tribulations.

    2. Sufferin'Succotash

      “People have senses,” he said. “We can see things. We know if something is good or bad when we smell it; when we cook it we can see that it still tastes off or smells bad.”

      People also have X-ray vision so they can spot all those ptomaine, botulism, or brucellosis germs.
      /bangs head against desk…

      1. jrs

        Don’t know about the rest but botulism generally only survives in very specific confined conditions. So yes a risk with canning low acid produce, but not a general risk in most foods.

      2. AbyNormal

        we’ll be Sufferin soon enough

        The EWG analyzed tests recently released from the federal government, and what they found was that a great deal of American meat is contaminated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. More specifically, the EWG found the following contamination levels:

        81% of raw ground turkey
        69% of pork chops
        55% of raw ground beef
        39% of raw chicken

    3. RanDomino

      “In April 2012, Poland faced off against activists in the local food sovereignty movement who tried to convince the Blue Hill Co-Op to stop carrying his pork products because he had called the state to report area farmers he thought were violating state law.”

      Well then that makes you a scab, Kevin, and you deserve all that you’re getting.

    1. Brindle

      Zooey Deschanel was a possibility for the role of “Tiffany” in the Silver Linings Playbook movie till Jennifer Lawrence became interested.
      I think the film would have bombed with Zooey playing the lead.

  12. docG

    I’m still waiting for clarification of the following issues related to the Boston Marathon bombings:

    1. The Mayor reported the existence of surveillance footage showing Dzhokhar placing his backpack on the ground and leaving. He says he hasn’t seen the footage, but that’s what he’s been told. So WHY hasn’t he seen that footage and WHY hasn’t it been made public?

    2. I recently read a quote from the local FBI chief saying both explosives had been contained in dark colored backpacks. Yet the backpack carried by Dzhokhar was clearly light-colored. No one in the media seems to have picked up on this contradiction.

    3. I’ve also read that the backpacks would have to have been very heavy to carry a pressure cooker plus all the explosives and shrapnel inside them, yet Dzhokhar is pictured with his backpack dangling lightly over his right shoulder only.

    4. If in fact Dzhokhar’s backpack did NOT contain any explosives, then we have at least one other suspect on the loose, but no one seems worried about that.

    5. The media is still reporting that the Tsarnaev brothers robbed a convenience store, but I’ve read reports suggesting the store was probably robbed by someone else. Which calls into question the story about them being the ones who shot the MIT police officer stationed nearby. So what gives with THAT???? What evidence do they have linking the brothers to either of these crimes?

    6. I just read a photo essay on the apt they’d been living in. NO sign of anything suspicious, no weapons found, apparently, no explosives, no materials used to manufacture bombs. At least nothing of that sort was mentioned. If it was there I’m sure it would have been. So what’s up with THAT????

    I still see no reason to assume some sort of grandiose “false flag” conspiracy, that makes no sense at all. But I’m wondering at the collosal unreliability of the media, and the apparent reluctance to acknowledge the existence of anomalies pertaining to this very important and disturbing case.

    1. Valissa

      Great list! I’ve noticed many contradictions as well, so I’m trying to stay in observation mode, keep my speculations simple and avoid the rush to judgment.

      On #2, my tentative theory is that the backpacks had black lining.

      on #5, I have heard numerous local media reports that someone else robbed the convenience store, and that the timing was coincidental.

      There’s an awful lot of crap info in the media reports, which is typical of events like this. It’s tough to “pick da corn outta da shit”.

      1. Brindle

        “stay in observation mode”…..about where I’m at also.

        As of today I do not think this involved more than the two brothers, but I’m curious about older bro’s travels etc.

      2. docG

        Thanks Valissa. I’m glad to learn that you too are puzzled over these issues. And also that you aren’t “rushing to judgement.” Neither am I.

        But I DO fancy myself as something of a sleuth, so I can’t help wondering: what would Sherlock think?

        As I see it (and maybe Sherlock would agree?), the lack of any sign of bombs or bomb making equipment in their apt, if in fact that report holds up, tells us two things:

        1. This was NOT a setup. If it was, then incriminating evidence would certainly have been planted.

        2. The weapons and bombs they had were most likely supplied to them by others — i.e., contrary to what law enforcement is now saying, they in all likelihood were NOT acting alone.

        You could be right about the dark linings of the backpacks, or the FBI guy could have gotten confused. I’ll feel more confident about the younger brother’s involvement when I see the surveillance footage that supposedly implicates him. As far as the older brother is concerned, he was apparently identified by an eye witness — AND his back pack was definitely dark.

        1. Valissa

          I have to admit to being a fan of the detective genre, but my style is more Miss Marple than Sherlock. She always paid a lot of attention to factors of human nature, personality type, and social patterns.

          I’m curious about the weapons end of things too. And the thing that’s most bugging my thoughts right now is the boat. Pictures of the boat show it full of bullet holes, yet in the final couple of hours when the cops were closing in on the boat, and I was glued to the tv, I don’t remember there being a blaze of gunfire at the end (unlike the earlier times of the day). Supposedly the homeowner said there was a pool of blood and that Tamerlan was hunkered down in there when he reported this to the cops. Also they keep saying something about a gunshot wound to the neck that was possibly self-inflicted. How does this jibe with all those bullet holes?

          1. docG

            Yes, the bullet holes are also puzzling. I do in fact recall hearing some bursts of gunfire associated with that situation. And at one point it got very intense. On the other hand, it was reported that the gunfire was coming from the boat and that the police had been instructed to hold their fire, as they wanted him captured alive. But it’s hard to accept that such intense gunfire could have emanated from a single weapon. Also if all the shooting came from inside the boat, it wouldn’t be “riddled” with bullet holes, would it?

            So what exactly had the police been instructed to do? It’s also hard to believe that after all that gunfire he would only have two wounds, one in the throat and the other in his leg. The throat wound is being described as self-inflicted. And if he had left “a trail of blood” then the other wound must have come from the earlier encounter. So what was all the shooting at the boat all about, and how could every bullet have missed?

            Yes, truth is stranger than fiction. But right now it’s hard to tell the difference.

          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            @Valissa “Human nature being what it is.” I wasn’t glued to the TV or the twitter, but I was followed the press closely, and the sequence that stuck in my mind (granted, of The Spectacle, and do correct) was:

            1. Curfew ends.

            2. Guy who is anal about his boat leaves the house to check it.

            3. Sees blood on the tarp, lifts it, sees Tsaraev.

            [Tsaraev doesn’t shoot him, or flee.]

            4. Guy calls 911.

            5. Boat is checked via thermal imagery from the air. (Don’t recall if they sent out a helicopter or scanned what they already had.)

            6. Thermal imagery checks out, cops dispatched. (Not sure how that works administratively with all the departments.(

            7. Cops try to talk Tsareav out of the boat, throw flash bangs.

            8. Cops get Tsareav out of the boat, i.e., he didn’t come out with his hands up or anything.

            9. Image of Tsareav flat on the street (cuffed?) with IIRC a bullet hole in his side (his shirt had been pulled up).

            I specifcally do NOT remember gunfire from the boat or at the boat (which they could have shot directly from the street, i.e. it wasn’t hidden behind the house in the back yard). Could have missed it! But in what I saw, gunfire at the boat wasn’t there.

            * * *

            Here is a link to an NC comment which in turn links to a video of unknown provenance and location, that claims to show event somewhere between #6 and #9. I don’t know enough about weaponry to distinguish between flash bangs and gunfire.


            * * *

            Adding, DocG, that’s a nasty twist of thought on 1 – 2 above. Kudos. I too noted the lack of materiel in their man cave, and I wondered if anyone else would.

          3. Nathanael

            Please note, Lambert, about the sequence of events: the curfew was USELESS and the fellow was caught because the curfew was LIFTED.

            I was proven right when I said that shutting down the city was pointless.

          4. docG

            Thanks, Lambert. Glad you noticed that too.

            Now I’m reading about the arsenal these brothers were carrying when they hijacked the Mercedes:


            1. An M4 carbine automatic or semi-automatic rifle.

            2. Two handguns.

            3. A BB gun (!!!!!?????)

            4. Yet another pressure cooker bomb.

            5. At least 5 pipe bombs, tossed at their pursuers.

            6. Another 6 pipe bombs found stashed in the trunk.

            7. Roughly 250 rounds of ammunition.

            Quite a pair of armfuls for two people to be carting with them while trying to hail the nearest carjack victim!!!! (I love the bit about the BB gun — guess they carried this along as insurance in case all else failed???)

            Incidentally, the younger brother’s girlfriend also owns a Mercedes. Excellent taste in cars these Chechens have!

          5. Valissa

            @Lambert, your list looks about right to me. I just watched Anderson Cooper interview the MBTA swat team that apprehended Tsarnaev and looked at their many photos throughout the news segment and I couldn’t see bullet holes in the boat in any of them (they had lots of infrared images of his position in the boat which were shown in the report). They talked about another group of police who had first tried to get him out of the boat using flash bangs, and even tear gas, but he had stayed put. They were very concerned about the possibility of explosives on the boat and about the suspect having a gun so they approached cautiously as a group, behind a kevlar shield. They said based on his behavior they were expecting his surrender, but apparently he took a little time with that. He spent some time sitting on the edge of the boat and occasionally putting one hand down into the boat (causing the swat team guys to wonder if he was going to throw a bomb at them each time) before he finally put both hands up and then they rushed him and tackled and arrested him. The team spoke about hustling Tsarnaev quickly away from the boat because they were still concerned there were rigged explosives in it. Given how concerned the swat team was with getting blown up, I have a hard time believing they shot the boat full of holes. OK, maybe it was the lighting or the angle of the shots or that it was dark out so they were practically invisible. But in that final photo of the story I still didn’t see any holes in the boat.

          6. Valissa

            @docg, that’s a lot of fire power to be carrying on the run. There have been news articles making it clear they did not have gun licenses/permits, so where/how did they get all their weaponry? Black market? Guns-n-Bombs R Us? Or were they provided by some yet unknown ‘handler’ using these Tsarnaev brothers as disposable tools?

          7. Fíréan

            In reply to post by DocG : don’t the all police vehicles have video cameras on board for recording of all pursuits ? Has video footage of the chase and disptch of the explosives been made available to the public ?
            Your list certainly seems to contain a heavy load for ltwo young persons on foot, neither of great build. Will the BB gun reference arrive again within future regulations, as per black powder ?

            I wished to reply directly to your post and yet there is no reply button after you post in that thread.Hence this reply may now be out of sequence

    2. Nathanael

      “But I’m wondering at the collosal unreliability of the media,”

      Well, TV news doesn’t have actual reporters any more, and daily for-profit newspapers have been going the same way: they have very few reporters either.

      Much easier to just parrot press releases. Or repeat rumors, if the press releases aren’t enough to fill the time or fill the pages.

      We’ve been watching this trend, the death of the traditional media in the US, for DECADES. This is why I get my news from the Internet now.

    3. Lidia

      This is from the wire story that appeared in our local paper this am:
      …the city’s police commissioner said the two suspects had such a large cache of weapons that they were probably planning other attacks.

      After the two brothers engaged in a gun battle with police early Friday, authorities surveying the scene of the shootout found it was loaded with unexploded homemade bombs. They also found more than 250 rounds of ammunition.

      Police Commissioner Ed Davis said the stockpile was “as dangerous as it gets in urban policing.”

      “We have reason to believe, based upon the evidence that was found at that scene — the explosions, the explosive ordnance that was unexploded and the firepower that they had — that they were going to attack other individuals. That’s my belief at this point.” Davis told CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

      On “Fox News Sunday,” he said authorities cannot be positive there aren’t more explosives that haven’t been found. But the people of Boston are safe, he insisted.

      1. AbyNormal

        “authorities cannot be positive there aren’t more explosives that haven’t been found. But the people of Boston are safe, he insisted” …as sick as the bombing itself

  13. barrisj

    Re: the Brothers Tsarnaev – feds rushing about frenetically searching for data that would implicate the bros in a “linked-to-radical-Islam” operation. Truth of the matter is that prosecutors -local, state, or federal, if they have made up their minds beforehand as to the nature of a crime (motive, execution, etc.) can always find “evidence” to fit the crime, exactly as Sir Richard Dearlove described the Cheney-Bush push to war with Iraq. Completely unrelated acts can be compiled into a dossier that describes a “matrix” of events that in retrospect could be portrayed as being preliminary to and included within a crime and/or criminal conspiracy. For example, someone can look through my hard-drive and find website visits that suggest I have “radical beliefs”, or check my travel records and correlate with a particular event at a certain locus that would suggest a possible “motive” or “action” for what can be deemed a future “criminal act”. And, of course, there is the “Six Degrees of Separation” formulation for establishing “links” – easily done by even a second-rate prosecutor. The “lone nut” theory is only in play, it seems, when there is clear evidence of right-wing extremism, or virulent anti-government ideology, or “mental illness” in order to establish a motive for bombings, shootings, etc. The bros absolutely will not be accorded the “lone nut(s)” treatment as such, believe it. The government needs for this to be seen as yet more “conclusive” evidence of a continuing conspiracy to commit terrorist acts directed by an internationally-based organisation or organisations “at war” with the US, thus giving ongoing momentum for extra-/unconstitutional actions to combat this “imminent danger”. The scenes in the greater Boston area last week do not inspire any degree of confidence in sober, procedurally correct approaches in dealing with this issue.

    1. Ms G

      That is good news on many levels, not least of which is that nothing that has been made publicly known about the young man’s circumstances indicates a connection to the Taliban or al Qaida, which are the minimum definitional requirements for an “enemy combatant” per the opinion of DOD’s General Counsel.

      See here: conference paper presented by DOD General Counsel (William Haynes, Esq) to the Council on Foreign Relations in December 2012 (4 months ago):


      “Enemy Combatant — An “enemy combatant” is an individual who, under the laws and customs of war, may be detained for the duration of an armed conflict. In the current conflict with al Qaida and the Taliban, the term includes a member, agent, or associate of al Qaida or the Taliban.”

      Classifying Dzhokhar as an “enemy combatant” at this juncture would have required a further expansion of the DOD’ own, currently near-limitless, definition.

    2. Valissa

      Hurray! When my husband and I were talking about this issue last night, we found ourselves comparing these brothers more to the Columbine incident than “regular terrorism” (sorry for the horrible phrasing). Full of anger, self destructive and with no exit plan.

        1. Brindle

          I was visiting in Denver during the Columbine massacre.

          When the shootings were actually going on I was up in the mountains an hour east of Denver skiing. I did not find out about it till listening to the radio while driving back into Denver during the late afternoon.

          I remember sharing a chair lift with a teacher from Denver Public Schools, he took the day off to get in a last day of skiing in before the resort closed, he and I were both unaware of the carnage taking place then as we both marveled at the beautiful day.

          A distinct memory I have is the morning after Columbine, being in a Starbucks that was six or seven miles from CHS, around 7:30 am or so.
          I was sitting with my coffee, the line of half a dozen or so people waiting to place their order was maybe twenty or thirty feet away.
          I noticed that everyone was doing what they normally did to start the work day commute and trying to act like this morning was not any different–but that morning was different.

          I remember seeing a woman in the line, I looked at her and consciously held my gaze long enough to communicate to her that this morning is not the same, we can’t pretend. After a moment she looked away, but not before I could see in her eyes the sadness and weary disbelief that most in Denver were feeling that morning.
          I cut short my visit to Denver that day and drove home to New Mexico.

    3. Yonatan

      That’s good, but to be charged with use of ‘a weapon of mass destruction’? They killed 3 people, far less than the number killed at any of the mass shootings in the US since 1982. Geez, words, like the US currency, have no meaning any more.

    4. Valissa

      Glenn Greenwald… Why is Boston ‘terrorism’ but not Aurora, Sandy Hook, Tucson and Columbine?

      Two very disparate commentators, Ali Abunimah and Alan Dershowitz, both raised serious questions over the weekend about a claim that has been made over and over about the bombing of the Boston Marathon: namely, that this was an act of terrorism. Dershowitz was on BBC Radio on Saturday and, citing the lack of knowledge about motive, said (at the 3:15 mark): “It’s not even clear under the federal terrorist statutes that it qualifies as an act of terrorism.” Abunimah wrote a superb analysis of whether the bombing fits the US government’s definition of “terrorism”, noting that “absolutely no evidence has emerged that the Boston bombing suspects acted ‘in furtherance of political or social objectives'” or that their alleged act was ‘intended to influence or instigate a course of action that furthers a political or social goal.'” Even a former CIA Deputy Director, Phillip Mudd, said on Fox News on Sunday that at this point the bombing seems more like a common crime than an act of terrorism.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Man oh man. Right out there in plain sight, too. Did you notice the charge? Something involving “Weapons of Mass Destruction”? For a pressure cooker bomb? Somebody (I think it was Jane Doe) pointed out we’ve had laws and a constitutional process to handle all of this for 200 years, so why are we tossing it away?

        1. barrisj

          See my earlier post on the “MLK Day bomber”, Kevin Marpham. Even though his back-pack bomb didn’t detonate, he was convicted of both a “hate crime” and “attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction”.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Is American nonviolence possible?

    Again, they can kill you with nonviolence.

    Cutting Medicare is nonviolence.

    People say they don’t just go superficial beauty.

    But what is superficial brutality and what is non-superficial violence?

    killing you physically
    killing your soul by making you think art is about collecting painting and artists, instead of fulfilling your own creative potential.

    killing you with a bullet instantly
    killing you by nagging over, say, 40 or 50 years

    killing you by food poisoning
    killing you by feeding your bad food over your life

    Physical violence you can see
    emotional or intellectual violence you don’t see

    I think we focus on the visible at the expense of the invisible through neglecting too often.

  15. Phil Hanson

    Your link to Frieddogleg is much appreciated, thank you. Blog traffic looks sort of like the freeway during rush hour and, so far, shows no signs of letting up. Best Earth Day ever, in my opinion, because no one showed up in a car.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I’ve seen the point you raise appear here briefly in comments, but I’d never seen it raised before in a post, and so I thought I’d highlight it. So thanks for doing that.

      Adding… I didn’t get the joke on the blog name ’til just now. Slow, inexcusably slow…

      1. Phil Hanson

        Yeah, Frieddogleg is a play on Firedoglake, which gets more traffic in a single day than I get all year (although after today, that’s probably no longer true). Still, it’s reasonably safe to say that Frieddogleg gets more visits from people looking for recipes . . ..

  16. diane

    Re: The Left’s Top 25 Journalists, Daily Beast.

    Yep, that was bleakly hilarious, guess that’s why they called themselves The Daily Beast.

    Marisa took down that (2010) list (their priors …. and 2011 predecessors) for breakfast snicker snacks. No doubt, if she were still posting, she’d have any 2012 list, for a pre-breakfast…snicker snack.

  17. Hugh

    Reinhart and Rogoff are simply more high profile charlatans in a discipline populated by charlatans.

    It is important to remember that the Boston bombing was a victory for the American surveillance state in propaganda but not in real terms. Its vast apparatus did not prevent the attack. It was not its cameras but people with iphones and private security cameras that caught images of the Tsarnaevs. It was something as mundane as releasing photographs of the Tsarnaevs that panicked them, resulting in the carjacking, armed robbery, and subsequent shootout. That shootout by the way was a mess. Lots of shots fired everywhere. Yet the car the Tsarnaevs were driving was not incapacitated. Nor was the street adequately blocked off. So the younger Tsarnaev escapes. And though he is wounded, the police manage to lose him. They then after a certain amount of confusion and delay seal off 20 blocks and even shut down most of Boston for a day. Yet the younger Tsarnaev is still able to get outside the 20 block area. And it is not the police’s massive manhunt but a tip from a homeowner that reveals where he is. So Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is captured and just to top everything off, the officialdom, after all the overblown self-congratulation, announces that they will use his arrest to trash our 5th Amendment protections under Miranda.

    So compare all the media and offical hoopla to how the Tsarnaevs were actually caught.

    1. Iphones and private security cameras tie them to the bombing.

    2. Police release photos of them

    3. The Tsarnaevs panick and go on a high visibility crime spree that even under normal circumstances would manage to catch the attention of the police

    4. A tip from a homeowner.

    Not the NSA, the FBI, or the whole alphabet soup of federal, state, and local agencies. Not the fusion centers. Not the thousands of militarized police. Not the gutting of our Constitutional rights. The Tsarnaevs were caught as almost always happens by a combination of ordinary police work, mistakes made by the criminals themselves, and a certain amount of luck.

    Such a narrative is far less sexy and at odds with the desire to promote and build up the Surveillance State. So we will not hear much about it.

    1. Nathanael

      “1. Iphones and private security cameras tie them to the bombing.

      2. Police release photos of them

      3. The Tsarnaevs panick and go on a high visibility crime spree that even under normal circumstances would manage to catch the attention of the police

      4. A tip from a homeowner.

      Not the NSA, the FBI, or the whole alphabet soup of federal, state, and local agencies. Not the fusion centers. Not the thousands of militarized police. Not the gutting of our Constitutional rights. The Tsarnaevs were caught as almost always happens by a combination of ordinary police work, mistakes made by the criminals themselves, and a certain amount of luck. ”

      CORRECT. Luckily, I do hear some people promoting the actual story of how the Tsarnaevs were caught. Thanks for being one of them.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        #3 on the crime spree is a wee bit dubious. So far as I know, they didn’t rob the 7/11, we’ve heard only about the MIT guard from the press, and the carjacked guy has never been interviewed.

        And I’m never understood why they were hanging around Boston smoking weed and going to the gym for two days. And then they flee… via Watertown? Not 93, the Mass Pike, the bus to Boston? The idea is that in the videos of the scene, Tsarnaev walked away “calmly” after triggering the bomb, and that’s what drew their attention to him. So, 3 days later, he can’t drive away calmly?

        Maybe they were just really dumb. That could be! (Then again, Tschokar won a $2500 scholarship from the City of Cambridge. So he’s not dumb.) Maybe stress made them random; it does me! All this says nothing about guilt or innocence, of course. But it’s curious.

      2. Synopticist

        Very true.
        But they get the “City lockdown” precedent, and will no doubt try to argue they didn’t have the funds to keep track of the elder brother after getting the nod from the Russians.

        So clearly, the correct response to this attack is loads more CCTV, and bigger budgets for the feds.

  18. nd

    Nonviolence, hmph. Todd May, your heart is in the right place, but wistful rhetorical sighs will get you nowhere.

    Fortunately, the world is on it. They’re putting nonviolence down in black and white to give US supreme law some teeth. The teeth are everyone who hates this fckin crooked government.

    No more of this namby pamby sissy kumbaya circular-backrub shit. The effort is worldwide but the institutional impetus is coming from no-holds-barred, take-no-shit survivors: Cuba, Syria, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Belarus, China, Palestine, Sri Lanka, Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua. They know chemical biological weapons and nukes are OK as a deterrent, but if you really want to destroy the existing US junta you gotta go for the jugular. You know you’re on the right track when the USA casts the only vote against it in a feckless diplomatic tantrum.

  19. Lidia

    Huh. The “ramshackle apartment” looks like most of the housing stock in Cambridge (plus this is after the police were done with it, isn’t it?). Everyone I knew in Boston from age 17 on lived in an apartment like that.

    Those chairs look to be some pricey Crate & Barrel items, at least once upon a time.

  20. David Petraitis

    James Kwak on Baseline Scenario had a good review piece on why cosseted boards are bad for shareholders and activist shareholders good for returns.

    Liked this zinger:

    But this myth will no doubt persist. Why? One reason is that, in academia (legal academia, at least), there is a market for entirely theoretical models that are devoid of any empirical support. More important, the myth of board insulation benefits corporations’ current directors and executives by freeing them to pursue their own interests.

  21. Howard Beale IV

    MN Supreme Court o Freclosures: ‘Ya better have your papers in order”:

    “In a ruling out Wednesday, the state’s highest court decided unanimously that a foreclosing party must strictly comply with a state law requiring all the different banks and parties that have held a mortgage be clearly documented and filed before a foreclosure-by-advertisement can be initiated.

    The case involved Doris Ruiz, a woman whose south Minneapolis duplex was foreclosed on by 1st Fidelity Loan Servicing. The court voided her foreclosure because 1st Fidelity filed its paperwork on the same day that it began advertising for a sheriff’s foreclosure auction on her home.

    Her lawyer, Jonathan Drewes, said the decision sets a strict standard that could impact “hundreds” of potentially defective or illegal foreclosure sales in the state.

    “I anticipate that many more lawsuits will arise in Minnesota over the coming year,” Drewes said.”

    “Minneapolis lawyer Kevin Dunlevy, who filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of the Minnesota Bankers Association, the Minnesota Land Title Association and the Minnesota Association of Realtors, downplayed the decision.

    It’s narrow, he said, and only applies to potential errors in documenting mortgage holders. It simply means that foreclosure lawyers in Minnesota will have to be more vigilant about crossing t’s and dotting i’s, he said. He said he doesn’t think it will slow down the pace of foreclosures.”

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