Links 5/6/13

Minocycline, a microglial inhibitor, reduces ‘honey trap’ risk in human economic exchange Nature (KS)

Inside Guantánamo: An unprecedented rebellion leaves a notorious detention centre in crisis Independent

Reported Israeli airstrikes in Syria could accelerate U.S. decision process WaPo

Timeline: Israeli attacks on Syrian targets Al Jazeera

The Angry Arabs Will No Longer Fight Against Syria Moon of Alabama

Remote Control: Our drone delusion The New Yorker

German euro founder calls for ‘catastrophic’ currency to be broken up Telegraph

Europe’s jobs crisis comes into sharper relief Reuters

Greece’s privatization: New beginning or false dawn?  Ekathimerini

Live for life Beppe Grillo’s Blog

Kosovo organ trafficking scandal widens Independent. “… harvested their kidneys and sold them to wealthy recipients ….” I wonder if these wealthy recipients have names.

Warren Buffett sees ‘brutal’ damage for savers from central bank money printing Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

The Magic Lever London Review of Books. How the big banks get away with it.

Management, to the Barricades! Gretchen Morgenson, Times. Entrenchment.

N.Y. Plans Homeowner Enforcement Against Financial Firms Bloomberg. Oh, yeah, right.

Obama heads out on new jobs tour – first stop: Austin, Texas Reuters. Oh, yeah, right.

The fake jobseekers’ questionnaire reveals a new kind of nanny state Guardian. Nudge theory in the UK.

From Bad Jobs to Good Jobs Truthout. “The strongest payoff comes with socializing and universalizing health and retirement coverage.” Obama didn’t do the first, and is trying to bargain away the second.

To Save The Job Market, Reduce The Medicare Eligibility Age To 55 Bonddad 

What is a Job Guarantee? Bill Mitchell – billy blog 

Obama backs rise in US gas exports FT

Dispersants Make Oil Spills 52 Times more Toxic

Venezuela’s government condemns Obama’s comments Miami Herald

Maduro tells Spain to “stop sticking its nose” into Venezuela’s affairs El Pais

For India’s poor, a school under a railway bridge Asahi Shimbun

Life and Death Squads in the World’s Homicide Capital The Jacobin

GunFAIL XVI Daily Kos

How Education Generates Profits for the Canny Diane Ravitch

Have You Seen This Book? An O.E.D. Mystery Sasha Weiss

Pay in Blood: May Day and Modern Politics Empire Burlesque

So, why are we so loyal to a president who is not loyal to us? Guardian (and see also).

Walk Left, Stand Right Normative Signs. Note Sunstein reference.

The Economics of Social Status ribbon farm

Antidote du jour (JD):


Bonus video:

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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

    ‘Israeli airstrikes in Syria could accelerate U.S. decision process,’ says the WaPo. Nice euphemism for ‘the Lobby gave us a deadline.’

    Three KongressKlowns are quoted in the article. Two are concerned with the logistics of arming the rebels; the third thinks it should be done with a coalition. None, of course, opposes intervention, a potentially career-ending choice.

    With Ron Paul having left our dysfunctional parliament, no one is left to point out that Syria is entirely irrelevant to U.S. interests. So our pliable solons move on to the next war on behalf of the world’s last apartheid regime.

    1. Ned Ludd

      BBC news is reporting that the rebels in Syria used the nerve agent sarin. On the radio, the BBC reporter said that this complicated things for Obama, who called chemical weapons a red line, but assumed it would be the government who was using chemical weapons. Sarin “is classed as a weapon of mass destruction and is banned under international law.”

      Yesterday Glenn Greenwald linked to this short post at the Angry Arab News Service. “Think about it. After more than ten years since Sep. 11, the US is edging toward reconciliation with Taliban in Afghanistan, and is practically aligned with Al-Qa`idah in Syria. If only the American public knows.”

      While the near-alignment with Al-Qa`idah is not so well known, the report on sarin seems to be getting some major media coverage. It is the top story on the BBC and CNN websites. On HuffPost, it is the second story on the front page. Even NPR has it listed as a top story on their website, which includes this bullet point: “There has been ‘no indication at all that the government … [has] used chemical weapons.’”

    2. Antifa

      On the chessboard we call the Middle East, our key “friends” are Israel and Saudi Arabia. Both receive our best military technology, business and funding. Oh, we have other client states in the region, but these two stand out — each for their relentless willingness to redraw the very nature of the region at any cost.

      The Saudis (Wahabists who hate Shiites) wish to contain and even crush Iran’s Shiite regime. To them, Shiites are not real Muslims. They deserve death for being infidels. So the Saudis are even willing to work with Israel against Iran, since in that part of the world the enemy of my enemy is my friend. For now.

      The Israelis have a hard core right wing element very much in charge of national policy, and they want Greater Israel. You know, the Biblical Israel of about 30 centuries ago, which means they want to expand into Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and even Egypt to reclaim their lost empire. They see it as God’s will that they do so, and there’s no indication that there can ever be enough Israel for them. May I mention that economic expansion in northern Israel completely depends on getting more water up there, which effectively means getting their hands on southern Lebanon’s Litani River. So that’s the priority area for initial expansion, up into Lebanon and into Syria.

      America’s interest in oil-client states in the region coincides nicely with the destabilization dreams of the Israelis and Saudis. All three parties would love to see a Middle East completely dominated by only themselves. The Saudis and Israelis could then turn to trying to push one another out of the Middle East, but that is all a chess game for another day.

      For these three powers, Iran is currently everyone’s only enemy. To get at the Iranians, the neocon plan was always to “take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” (General Wesley Clark)

      The Saudis and Israelis were privy to, and willing participants in this plan, and still are, even though blowback from pursuing it has been more than enough to persuade any sane person to rethink the whole thing. It has gone about as well as lighting your barbecue with a hand grenade. Iran is stronger than ever in the region, even with the most punishing sanctions.

      It’s nuts to continue the game at this point.

      Ah, but these are not rational actors. Greater Israel is a mad idea, rife with ethnic cleansing and human suffering in pursuit of an ideological utopia. So is a Shiite-free world, a thing more pleasing to Allah than any other accomplishment could be. Both utopias are completely insane goals that inherently involve ethnic cleansing on an incredible scale.

      But that’s the plan.

        1. Jim S

          Definitely an angle there given the recent Russian crackdown actions, however it is neither likely that Russia would be bought off so cheaply nor likely that it would feel the need to ask for US permission to handle internal Russian affairs. As some MoA commenters have discussed, it may be wise to treat Edmonds with circumspection.

          1. Pete

            “Ruslan Zaindi Tsarnaev, the Maryland-based uncle of suspected bombers Tamerlan and Dzokhar Dudayev, established the Congress of Chechen International Organizations, Incorporated, in Maryland on August 17, 1995 and in the District of Columbia on September 22, 1995. The Maryland entity’s status was forfeited and is not in good standing, likely because of delinquency in filing required fees and forms. The District of Columbia corporate entity was active for 17 years and seven months. Interestingly, the DC corporate status was revoked at around the time of the Boston Marathon bombings. Ruslan Tsarnaev, also known as Ruslan Tsarni, a graduate of Duke University Law School in North Carolina, worked for USAID in Kazakhstan and other countries in preparing them for vulture capitalist enterprises such as derivative financing and hedge funds.

            The Maryland address for the Congress of Chechen International Organizations is listed in Maryland corporate records as 11114 Whisperwood Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20852, which is the address for Graham E. Fuller.

            Fuller is a former Russian-speaking CIA official, including station chief in Kabul and vice-chair of the National Intelligence Council during the 1980s Iran-contra scandal, with which Fuller was heavily involved. Fuller has been active in events sponsored by the Jamestown Foundation, including keynoting an October 29, 2008 conference titled «Turkey & the Caucasus after Georgia».”


          2. Susan the other

            Interesting stuff here. But not surprising. Still, if the middle east did not have oil no one would bother redrawing that map. Even before WW1, as the Hapsburg Empire was disintegrating, the Germans were interested in a railway to deliver oil from the middle east to northern Europe and the proposed line ran through Aleppo. Gee what a coincidence. This is the eternal fight for the control of oil, now thinly disguised as ethnic rivalries.

      1. Cynthia

        Israel occupies Palestine, including Jerusalem (“Al-Quds”) which contains sites holy to Islam, plus parts of Syria and Lebanon, in violation of UN Security Council resolutions and international law. Assad has supported occupation-resistance groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, as has Iran. Israel could end the occupations, thus making peace with the entire Arab/Muslim world. But Israel prefers all these wars, preferably fought by us, while it expands its illegal apartheid settlements.

    3. Cynthia

      Israel cannot be trusted.

      The USA should never again be manipulated into a war by Israel and its agents here in the USA. They have no concern whatsoever for the American people, or at least for those of us not eligible for Israeli passports, for our security or for our well-being. There is no reason to consider them an ally. They interfere in our internal politics continually and claim the right to do so, uniquely among all other countries. That is a hostile act, not a friendly one.

      Why do out tax dollars pay for their attacks and the weapons they use? That must stop.

    4. barrisj

      Remember “Anybody can go to Baghdad, real men go to Tehran”. The rallying cry of PNAC/neocons a short while ago…blow up Damascus and Assad whilst in transit, then join up with the Zionists and take it to the Iranians. Same-ol’-same-ol’.

  2. Ned Ludd

    ”[Obama] also said that reports indicate that basic principles of human rights, democracy, press freedom and freedom of assembly were not observed in Venezuela following the election.” The brutal crushing of the Occupy movement demonstrated what happens if you assemble in the U.S. for political purposes without getting the permission of the state, which gets veto power over every aspect of your “freedom of assembly”.

    There was resistance, and it was brutally and systematically put down. The students, the street-organising anti-cuts campaigners, the Occupy movement. When people speak about the Occupy camps and anti-austerity protests of 2010-12, it is with a tone of regret, as if somehow those grassroots movements just fizzled out because those involved didn’t know what they were doing. On the contrary: they were cleared out, arrested and beaten back by police, just like the students at Sussex.

  3. Inverness

    New Yorker profiles David Graeber! And big surprise — they find Graeber’s beliefs contradictory. Apparently because he beliefs in debt forgiveness, he shouldn’t also expect a sustainable future when people don’t live beyond their means. I guess access to health care, housing, and higher education are luxuries.

    According to author k. Sanneh: “Graeber wants to demonize modern debt without demonizing debtors. Yet the language of economic “austerity” finds a striking analogue in his vision of a post-debt society composed of people who have learned, at long last, to live within their means.” I didn’t realize their should be a kind of equivalence between debt — a concept, and debtors — actual human beings who need to survive.

    1. J Sterling

      Debtors enter into a debt arrangement because they’re evil. Creditors enter into a debt arrangement because they’re innocent victims. Like Goldman Sachs, Scrooge, and that nice Mr Potter from Bedford Falls.

      1. DolleyMadison

        Yeah in a letter to the editor this weekend, NC Senator Robert Pittenger blamed the the economic collapse on poor people who somehow duped the most powerful industry in the world into allowing them to buy “houses they couldn’t afford,” and who, despite multiple regulatory investigations, bank fines and hearings, recently claimed to have “never heard of” foreclosure fraud

  4. AbyNormal

    strange dayz indeed…a murdochite allows mention of bank bashers

    After Friday’s spectacular post-jobs run, markets are set to open to waves of vitriol and banker-bashing, with J.P. Morgan and its Chairman-cum-CEO Jamie Dimon returning to the hot seat.

    It isn’t just the recommendation from Institutional Shareholder Services, that investors clip Dimon’s wings and show the door to three other board members, that’s put the bank under the spotlight. Reports that power market regulators would pursue manipulation charges against the bank are drawing attention as well.

    ***“It’s been far too long in coming, but Jamie Dimon may finally be getting his comeuppance,” says a Naked Capitalism post.*** In a separate blog, Zero Hedge’s Tyler Durdendraws references to the bank’s own “Enron.”

    There will be no redemption because the men who run this place do not want redemption. They want to be as near to hell as they can. Whitehead, The Intuitionist

  5. docG

    Is it overly cynical to suggest that Israel’s provocation of a war with Syria is just what the doctor ordered for the Obama administration? If we intervene unilaterally in Syria we take on a wide spectrum of political risk. But if we support “our ally” Israel, which is, of course, “entitled to defend itself,” after an “unprovoked” attack from Syria, we are simply being a “responsible ally.” Shades of Tonkin Gulf!!!!

    Or to put it another way (also cynical): is Israel deliberately provoking a war with Syria at the behest of the Obama administration, so it can intervene indirectly by supporting a close ally?

    1. Jim Haygood

      One clue as to who’s calling the shots here: as usual, America’s soi disant ‘ally’ snubs it with carefully calibrated contempt:

      The United States was not given any warning before air strikes in Syria, a U.S. intelligence official said on Sunday.

      Without confirming that Israel was behind the attacks, the intelligence official said that the United States was essentially told of the air raids “after the fact” and was notified as the bombs went off.

      Israel typically does not feel it has to ask for a green light from Washington for such attacks. Officials have indicated in the past that Israel sees a need only to inform the United States once such a mission is under way.

      Asked for comment, ‘Commander in Chief’ Obama replied cryptically, ‘I swallow.’

    2. Susan the other

      docG; I agree fully with this analysis. Moon Over Alabama was interesting pointing out that the fighting in Syria was not goin’ so good for the “rebels” because they were on to the scam of pitting ethnics against each other. So John the Virtuous Kerry sent them more aid and when that didn’t help Israel was ready like an emergency service to bomb the crap out of Syria. Nobody who looks at what is happening can blame Israel for being rogue. Their timing is just too perfect.

  6. Brindle

    Re” “Obama Heads Out On Jobs Tour…”

    —“In February, Obama said he wanted to invest in manufacturing “hubs” around the country, spend $50 billion on roads, bridges and other infrastructure, and raise the minimum wage to $9 per hour from the current $7.25.”—

    $500 billion would be more like it if he was serious.

    Obama will engage in some moderate Kayfabe with GOP on increasing the minimum wage, the GOP and Obama will agree on the [ Camel Clutch] with the GOP “winning” but Obama’s “defeat” will allow Dems excellent fundraising fodder.

  7. Garrett Pace

    Economics of Social Stability

    I found this thought provoking:

    “No one plays status games in Heaven. Why bother? Souls have no want for food, sex, or smartphones — and thanks to His omnipresence, God even takes the fun out competing for an audience with Him.”

    I agree that atmosphere has a lot to do with the development of social systems, however I think status seekers continue as status seekers regardless of where they are. When one standard no longer serves to distinguish between people, it is abandoned for one that will. When there are fewer physical needs, people start to judge each other more on the ephemera.

    1. Susan the other

      Yes. And this is an insight into our current fight against Rummy’s “Old Europe” because it looks like a fight against the hard fought sensibilities of the Reformation-Counter Reformation and laissez faire capitalism – the secular religion, which fight went one battle too far.

  8. Bam_Man

    A pet mountain lion (and a cat) in what looks like an apartment. What a great idea!

  9. the blamee

    Thank you for the “bonus” animal cutesiness. I see my attempt to have you stop, or at least control, had absolutely no effect what-so-ever.

    When you get a chance, please turn to “MSN News Edition”. It’s that homepage your computer automatically defaults to if you don’t want Google’s homepage . . . the one that has all these sick algorithms to search out every aspect of your life and then send you unceasingly intrusive creepy things based soley on preference you must have since their research indicates you are a diabetic or a nymphomaniac. Just for the record, you are neither, but the truth doesn’t count worth a damn anymore so, like deal.

    First and foremost on the MSN homepage, beyond ad nauseum, are sections about animals and cutsiness. We are told that these animal parts are supposed to mitigate against the effects of a rather depressing world.

    What depressing world. MSN is no more concerned about responsible reporting than Google is with spying accurately upon your life. Maybe the presense of cutesy animal on these homepages is just a ploy, covering up the real fact that 90-percent of what you will find will be mainstream meadia propaganda, published mainly by likes of NBC, or the NBCs of the world, those serving the needs of the corporate oligarchs to which they are wholey owned to, the mononied elites, the criminal shyster politicians and banksters.

    But I lament. So when I come to your site I am expecting, I am seeking that thing called a differing opinion. Perhaps not as polshed as mainstream media but not just your usual marketing to money making through other means.

    I would be really interested to see how mainstream media (yourself included in that group of professional liars), would function if a worldwide virus struck and killed off all the cutesy animals. Imagine giving gifts without being able to have them all wrapping up in fancy paper and bows. Imagine the pill without the sugar coating.

    Anyway, when I see cutsey animals in media (all media) I really do think of you. Welcome to the club of the lying, cheating, two-timing, cold-hearted, mean-spirited, home-wrecking propagandists. Welcome to the club. The one that mainly refuses to listen.

    1. scraping_by

      No, no, no…

      The hallmark of right wing brain sludge isn’t perky, cute critter photos. It’s pretty women with large breasts. Usually actresses, often acting badly, dressed in their best undress, normally staring into the camera lens with winsome longing. Often surrounded by stories of what happens in their bedrooms, or the back seats of limos, or divorce courts or their nurseries. In other words, window-peeping.

      Our esteemed hostess has never posted photos of herself or any other lady with a shirt front at her belt buckle. I don’t know that kittens and puppies have the same expectation of privacy the rest of us have, but until the site has a window-peeping section, we’ll assume it’s avoided the big money sellout.

      1. Susan the other

        Which brings us to today’s Nature link about Minocycline inhibiting microglial activity. Monoglial activity is the reaction to a stimulus in the amygdala and even in the higher regions of your brain. Say to beautiful women. My first guess is that this is Japanese humor. Either that or all work and no play makes Soshi a dull boy. Science didn’t come full circle back to Adam and Eve already did it? Actually an equally important research, perhaps to verify or falsify these results, might be to substitute salmonella and/or e-coli for Minocycline. After all Monocycline is just another product that will be pushed by the pharmaceutical industry.

        1. scraping_by

          Sort of the neosaltpetre.

          “In an economic exchange, attractiveness in a female increases sexual arousal in a male that automatically (without careful evaluation of her trustworthiness) facilitates trusting behaviour. ”

          On the one hand, behavioral studies are usually all over the place. On the other, house hunting and an evening at Hooters often seem strangely similar.

          Actually, the tease is well entrenched in entertainment, and when someone wants to take information and make it into infotainment, we go from PhD. to T&A pretty darn quick.

        1. DolleyMadison

          HAH! So appropriate today as lawyer NUMBER TWELVE gives me the finger….

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Can you turn off images in your browser? That might help. Otherwise, readers like the Antidotes and they’ve been shown to reduce stress, if I recall the study right. It’s a big Internet.

      1. wes

        of course, there are *political* implications to reduction of stress. *should* we seek to reduce stress from troubling news stories? is it admirable to be able to better cope with the status quo, or is it merely just another unintentional mechanism for maintaining that status quo?

    3. Susan the other

      I’d just like to say this about that cute little jumping cat. If he trained for another day he could reach 7 feet. And how big is he? This goes a long way toward explaining that cute tiger who jumped the fence at the San Diego Zoo and ate an obnoxious tourist. Mmmm. Cute.

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Maybe he’s got a point.

      I have always said, we need more cute vegetables.

      But, alas, I am just an island. No one is interested in this road.

    5. Klassy!

      I like kitties.
      Thank you for providing me with that opportunity. I have always wanted to post this statement in a totally non sequitur like way.
      It was only half non sequitur, but that will do.

    6. hondje

      Dude the whole reason we need an antidote is because the world is full of people like you.

  10. rich

    The Reverse Revolving Door: How Corporate Insiders Are Rewarded Upon Leaving Firms For Congress

    Disclosures reveal that corporations and lobbying firms award six-figure bonuses to staff who leave to take powerful positions on Capitol Hill.

    Recent disclosures and employment agreements reviewed by The Nation show that current leadership staff to both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have received six figure bonuses and other incentive pay from corporate firms shortly before taking jobs in Congress. In many cases, these staffers are well positioned to influence multi-billion dollar legislation on issues ranging from tax policy to defense, and which impact their previous employers. If government officials-turned lobbyists reflect a well-known “revolving door,” paying corporate employees big bucks to leave lucrative posts to take jobs in government reflect a “reverse revolving door.”

    Robert Walker, an attorney and former chief counsel to both the House and Senate ethics committees, told The Nation that ethics rules authorize congressional staffers to receive bonuses from prior employers as long as the money is being paid for work previously performed. Such bonuses and other financial awards are ostensibly allowed so long as they have “not been enhanced because of the individual’s congressional employment.”

    But it is almost impossible to discern the circumstances under which a lobbying firm or corporation gives bonuses to departing employees who take powerful political positions. Such information is closely guarded, and none of the employers The Nation spoke to were willing to share this type of information.

    “It strains common sense that when employers are giving employees who are about to enter government work these huge bonuses, that there isn’t a hope that there will be influence and access,” say Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, who compared the bonuses to how special interests seek access to politicians using campaign donations. “I think the main gist of the payment is the same,” notes Levinson. “It’s: ‘I hope when I’m pushing a piece of legislation, you’ll remember me with fondness.’”

  11. Segundo

    Deceptive headline: “Homeowner enforcement against financial firms”

    I thought it meant that people could use firearms to stop foreclosures and demand redress in bank and financial firm offices.

    Wall Street fears “a well regulated militia”, that’s why it’s imperative to disarm Americans before the economy implodes.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      After the so-called well-regulated militia talking big on tyranny and doing squat after the Patriot Act, FISA reform, NDAA, the “kill list,” and literally all digital communication being stored by the Stasi, Wall Street can be very confident that gun culture will do nothing to get in their way whatever. These days, guns are a consumer good. They convey no political power at all, contra Mao.

      1. Yonatan

        The NRA is nothing to do with ‘well-armed militias’ or any constitutional nonsense. In the past, it did have an association but now it exists purely to enrich the gun makers and gun lobbyists. All they have to do is spread a rumor – e.g. ‘the Libruls are gonna take your guns’ and bingo – another big sales rush. It’s like Christmas – every day.

      2. ambrit

        Dear Lambert;
        Allow me to play Devils’ Advocate for a moment.
        Your points are all valid, especially the “consumer goods” one. As I mentioned several months ago, the great fear among the Gun Nuts was the availability of ammunition for their fetishes. So far, that fear has been semi-realized. Ammo of all calibres is in very short supply, even the ubiquitous .22. The market state in action? Conspiracy theories abound!
        As for the political efficacy of small arms, well, those “rebels” in Syria aren’t doing all that well, even with covert arming from abroad. Any halfway decently run national armed force can stymie internal opposition, unless and until some outside influence starts sending the “REBELS” sophisticated large arms. Else why did the Israelis blow up that convoy of anti-aircraft missiles in the foothills of the Anti Lebanon? So, really now, just who would start shipping Stingers or SAM 17s to some local chapters of the NRA? Chechyns? Revolutionary Guard “Help Americans Become Free” cadres?
        Let me suggest that the real “value” of small arms to the American public is symbolic and psychological. As long as a certain segment of the American public has their guns, they can pretend to be self reliant and ‘free.’ That segment of the public is much larger than any of us, even myself, can imagine. As the public governing entities become more and more obviously corrupt, we can expect the hunger for guns to increase. The impulse may be irrational and psychological, but it is there, and it is powerful.
        As an added bonus, nutters being everywhere, the occasional killing spree undertaken by some disaffected loners will continue to add to the strength of the march towards the Police State. All tyrannies find strength in demonizing “others.” Unstable and locally dangerous gun nuts have their part to play in this.
        Finally, remember: “All politics is local.”

        1. alex

          ambrit: the real “value” of small arms to the American public is symbolic and psychological. As long as a certain segment of the American public has their guns, they can pretend to be self reliant and ‘free.’

          And that’s a dangerous delusion. I’m neither a gun nut nor an anti-gun nut, but I know that even in the 18th century, no revolt was ever won by small arms alone. If the Green Mountain Boys hadn’t captured the cannons at Fort Ticonderoga and brought them to Boston, the revolution would probably have been squashed there. It would have probably been squashed a little later if we hadn’t been able to get French assistance, including their navy.

          Moreover, there is the minor detail that it is, for a variety of reasons, better to nip things before it gets to the stage of a violent revolt.

      3. Roland

        So, Lambert, when did you want the USA’s gun owners to start an uprising?

        Should they have started a civil war after the PATRIOT Act, or should they have waited for the NDAA?

        Perhaps the USA’s gun owners should have started a civil war over the “dimpled chads” ?

        I understand your disappointment, Lambert, but your disappointment is not the measure of the value of a people’s constitutional right to bear arms. You cannot say, simply because the armed citizens have permitted obnoxious laws to be passed, that the citizens’ arms will never be of use against such obnoxious laws. Please do not pass sentence upon all the armed citizens of the future, because the present generation has faltered.

        It’s not easy to decide when to start trying to violently overthrow the government. People are understandably reluctant to get started. It’s not something that most people have experienced doing. It’s not the sort of the experience most people want.

        More and more people are aware that the government in the USA is more authoritarian today than in the past. Anyone who thinks about the matter knows that the trend is going the wrong way. Nobody knows if that trend is ever going to stop. When can we call it intolerable? Or do we start the war before it becomes intolerable? For my part, I could not do that, since war is hard enough to justify even when a situation is intolerable.

        But what is wrong with stockpiling arms, while you live in a country in which it is both legal and customary for citizens to do so? As the saying goes, keep your powder dry. Revolutions, if they happen, tend to catch even the professional activists by surprise. After all, you don’t have to start a revolution to take advantage of one, and when it comes to taking advantage, it always helps to have some weapons at hand for the occasion.

    2. Susan the other

      Give that twit Schneiderman 10 years and he’s going to be the very image of Mr. Magoo.

  12. down2long

    The only thing I can come up with in regard to the Orifice of Omaha when he has these Tourette-like bouts of guilt and says something truthful about the monetary regime that is turbocharging his wealth and facilitating his theft of the American commons is that he must be using itas a diversionary tactic.

    Let’s see: He owns more than 10 percent of Wells – a self-confessedmortgage fraudster. (See Judge Magner.) He’s now buying the Well’s foreclosures he caused at pennies on the dollar and bemoaningthat there aren’t more.Big loan to Goldman with insider knowledge FED would convert to commercial bank and backstop. Big buy6s of BofA stocks knowing Obummmer lapdogs OCC FDIC Treas DoJ wouldgivethem a pass. Now talking big about how BNSF can jump in if XL pipeline gets nixed PLUS there’s oil in them thereberms close to BNSF right of ways on land grant land from US gov. There will only bev justice when the Orifice expels his last load of feces. Nodoubt his Obomba love fest also politically expedient thu Obombahas lost hismagical touch at disinformation. Obama has pointed his accusing finger at other folks for his own b.s. too many times to betaken seriously. “Must Cut Social Security before Repubs do it!!”

  13. Susan the other

    One more thing. Beppe Grillo’s Blog about Dr. Valerio Gennaro and the Doctors for the Environment. Their finding is that we are living fewer years before disability sets in. 8 years. We are getting sicker sooner. Their goal is to retrieve the quality of life. A good goal. Doctors for the Environment.

    1. Expat

      Thanks for the link. What a wonderful snapshot of the middle class around the planet. A missing American shopping list would have been the all-organic West Coast family, who, in this off season, might be spending as much as the German family in the gallery.

  14. rjs

    tar sands documentary tonite:

    White Water, Black Gold is an investigative documentary that follows David Lavallee on a three-year journey across western Canada in search of answers about the Tar Sands of Alberta — the source of oil for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

    Rarely mentioned in the mainstream media is the devastating environmental and health costs of extracting the dirty oil that would flow through the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta’s Tar Sands. This film raises public awareness about these little-known costs associated with the Keystone XL pipeline.

    White Water, Black Gold is having its television premiere on Free Speech TV Monday, May 6th at 10pm ET.

    Watch the trailer and find additional showtimes here:

  15. Chauncey Gardiner

    Crocodile tears from Mr Buffett?… demonstrates awareness of QE-ZIRP policy effects. Wonder where Berkshire and fellow travelers would be without TARP, Treasury guarantees of Fannie & Freddie, QE-ZIRP, etc?

    Lots to Luv when you’re saving the status quo, funding huge acquisitions, and speculating in derivatives, no?

    There’s a penalty for taunting in some sports, sport. Oh, Btw, there really are some side effects from these policies that can turn people’s lives upside down:

    1. diane

      Thanks for that. That piece looks like it was based on the John Hopkins’ suicide report, which was quite obviously forbidden during the elections. ‘Funny’ they don’t mention that (as I’m positive that the AP was aware of it) in the AP piece.

      The pdf file of the report bleakly hilariously notes:


      Even after November 20th it never made the nooz, or the blawgz, though Bloomberg donated $350M shortly thereafter, in January, to John Hopkins.

  16. ScottS

    Bank of America and Wells Fargo to be sued by New York:

    New York’s attorney general says he plans to sue major lenders Bank of America and Wells Fargo for violating a $25bn (£16bn) mortgage settlement.

    What’s wrong, Schneiderman? Did Obama renege on his promise to make you his Attorney General pick?

  17. Brennan's Topo Gigio

    Yeah, right, and after he said that the red laser dot on his forehead went away.

    This sniveling CIA puppet who knuckled under to torturers thinks he can bullshit the people who watched him crawl and lick ass. They don’t even have to slice his dick – Obama performs for em! Obama is the CIA’s little rubber mouse.

  18. hunkerdown

    I seem to remember someone here was interested in those Prenda Law copyright privateers? At last, fit for the history books, the eagerly-awaited order issuing sanctions. When the judge starts his order off with a ST:TOS quote, you know you’re gonna need popcorn.

      1. ScottS

        Tasty morsels:

        Gibbs’s statement is a blatant lie. His statement resembles other statements given by Plaintiffs in this and their other cases: statements that sound reasonable but lack truth. Thus, the Court concludes that Gibbs, even in the face of sanctions, continued to make factual misrepresentions to the Court.

        Then there is the Alan Cooper forgery. Although a recipient of a copyright assignment need not sign the document, a forgery is still a forgery. And trying to pass that forged document by the Court smacks of fraud.

        Despite these findings, the Court deems these findings insufficient to support a large monetary sanction—a seven-digit sanction adequate to deter Plaintiffs from continuing their profitable enterprise. Even if the Court enters such a sanction, it is certain that Plaintiffs will transfer out their settlement proceeds and plead paucity. Yet Plaintiffs’ bad-faith conduct supports other more fitting sanctions.

        The mob boss-style org chart on page 9 is also priceless.

    1. skippy

      Love the comment section…

      Delusional? My gawd man, this clinging to the fantasy of a need for military “power” and presence is a joke. Do you not ever feel vulnerable that the likes of corrupt, lying, manipulative idiotic “leaders” have the power to kill us all dozens of times over? What about your kids and their kids? Is it simply “ok” for them to be born into and live in an environment where the threat of annihilation is constant? Change your tune instead of just dancing to one. Or can you not?
      It is time to extricate thinking from this primitive straight-jacket of violence before it is actually too late. For the love of humanity.
      Instead, readers are continually sunbmitted to foolish diatribe that excuses the inexcusable waste of resources and technology for nothing more than threat. Fear is the firey stranglehold and you lot have nothing better to offer than to just keep stoking it.” -snip


      “What armed citizenry would that be? This isnt america; I cant defend my home against a home invader, let alone against a wartime foe, because we arent allowed guns. I think this argument is not based on reality.
      Besides, what can 23 million do against an army as large as what China could put in the field? Of our 23 million, how many would actually be armed soldiers, acting in a coordinated fashion anyway? No, we are a middle power, and even that is probably a stretch, considering our navy isnt worth a damn, and our planes are about 20 years past their use-by date.” snip

      “Don’t be so pessimistic. Every Aussie household has at least one kitchen knife and a pair of BBQ tongs. They can have them when they pry them out of my cold dead hands.” – snip

      ‘armed citizenry’ – what rot. This is not the eighteenth century. – snip

      Skippy… Australia’s best defense has always been… bogans out in day light, drop bears, poisonous snakes, bird eating spiders, salty crocks, acidic whit, lack of fresh water save the coast, micro wave sun, and the ever popular – she’ll be right indifference to most political machinations – just let the pollies puff them selves out until they have to deal with reality.

      PS. we only have a small tribe of billionaires to sort out and were working on it…

  19. The Lone Gunman

    Former FBI Agent: All Your Communications are Recorded, Government Accessible

    Lets not forget about this either.

    Every single thing that you do or say is being recorded and cataloged and it will only get worse once facial recognition software becomes viable and cheap.

    It’s kind of demoralizing. We already live in 1984 and we didn’t even know it.

  20. Mesothelioma Symptoms

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