Links 6/21/13

Most readers seem to be happy with the new mobile version of the site, but for those of you who hate it, Lambert describes how to have the desktop version display (and notice that you should get it on an ongoing basis when you visit).

Helping the World’s Smallest Porpoise World Wildlife (furzy mouse)

A tandem-horned rhino from the Late Miocene of China reveals origin of the unicorn elasmothere PhysOrg

The Red Queen Was Right: Life Must Continually Evolve to Avoid Extinction Science Daily (furzy mouse)

Study: 80% Of Waking Hours Spent Plotting Revenge Onion

A Homely Rodent May Hold Cancer-Fighting Clues New York Times (furzy mouse). The last time I saw naked mole rats get any attention was in the movie Fast, Cheap and Out of Control, which I recommend.

Scientists Create Long-Lasting Batteries from Wood OilPrice

Trapped in an Underwater Air Bubble for Three Days Slate (YY)

‘Paranoid’ Michael Hastings told WikiLeaks lawyer he was being investigated by the FBI only a few hours before deadly car crash Daily Mail (Chuck L)

Smog at Hazardous as Singapore, Jakarta Spar Over Fires Bloomberg

PBOC Said to Inject Cash After China Money Rates Jump Bloomberg. Or not: China moves to save its banks, or does it? MacroBusiness

Europe’s pain eases but… MacroBusiness

The Rise of the Fearmongers: Germany’s New Euroskeptic Elite Der Spiegel

EC Challenges Legality of Hungary’s Luncheon Voucher Monopoly WSJ Emerging Europe (Lysa)

Violent eviction of Gezi Park gives rise to “standing protesters” Real News Network

Big Brother is Watching You Watch:

Booz Allen, the World’s Most Profitable Spy Organization Bloomberg (furzy mouse)

Government Spying: Why You Can’t ‘Just Trust Us‘ Marcy Wheeler, Nation

A love letter to the NSA agent who is monitoring my online activity Happy Place (Lambert)

Icelandic businessman says plane ready to take Snowden to Iceland Reuters. Ah, but would he ever arrive?

NSA Whistleblower: NSA Spying On – and Blackmailing – Top Government Officials and Military Officers George Washington

Pentagon: Reading Salon makes you a threat! Salon

The kleptocracy begins its assault on churches Corrente

Prisons Full of Innocents David Swanson, Firedoglake (Bunk McNulty)

Immigration office tells atheist applicant to prove church membership Raw Story (YY)

Colorado: Fracking, Fracking Everywhere, But Not a Drop to Drink? Food & Water Watch

No Blues, but Lots of Green for St Louis Hospital System CEOs Health Care Renewal (Lysa)

Senators urge inclusion of food safety in Smithfield review Reuters

Student Debt Relief Companies Charge Excessive Fees For Free Programs: Report Huffington Post

The Fed’s Next Move New York Times. Editorial chides the Fed. But Tett approves.

Municipal Bond Market Rocked As Interest Rates Spike Reuters

Profits Without Production Paul Krugman, New York Times

Bank of America’s Foreclosure Frenzy Jonathan Weil, Bloomberg

What Periwinkle Looked Like New York Times (Lambert)

Antidote du jour. This is Fisher, who is one of Richard Smith’s cats (along with his sister Minsky). I can attest Fisher is a very smart, goodnatured klutz. Minksy is a bit more standoffish but warms up over time and is the sports star of the pair. Richard has trained both to do quite the array of tricks, and they lurk when trick time of day comes since they like the associated treats.

Fisher 2

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. dearieme

    Hugh Grant, the actor, claims that his father devoted hours to trying to teach cats to wink.

  2. Ned Ludd


    The link for the Slate article – “Trapped in an Underwater Air Bubble for Three Days” is broken. Looking at the source, it looks like there is an extra “http:” at the beginning of the link and some extra slashes at the end.

    1. Ned Ludd

      Also, the next article in the list – “‘Paranoid’ Michael Hastings told WikiLeaks lawyer he was being investigated by the FBI only a few hours before deadly car crash ” – links to the wrong article. The correct link is here.

  3. Ned Ludd

    Researchers at the University of Washington and UC San Diego found a way to maliciously gain control of a car and have the car “ignore driver input”. From their paper, “Experimental Security Analysis of a Modern Automobile”, which was presented at the 2010 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy:

    “Indeed, we have demonstrated the ability to systematically control a wide array of components including engine, brakes, heating and cooling, lights, instrument panel, radio, locks, and so on. Combining these we have been able to mount attacks that represent potentially significant threats to personal safety. For example, we are able to forcibly and completely disengage the brakes while driving, making it difficult for the driver to stop. Conversely, we are able to forcibly activate the brakes, lurching the driver forward and causing the car to stop suddenly.”

    According to the paper: “The attacker may leave the malicious component permanently attached to the car’s internal network or, as we show in this paper, they may use a brief period of connectivity to embed the malware within the car’s existing components and then disconnect.”

      1. Invient

        Buy older vehicles before computing became ubiquitous , use public transportation (hopefully the collateral damage is too high, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t)…or use transportation you know everything about, like bicycling (Probably not safe from a black suv or Lincoln pulling up and giving you a good whack) or a simple suv manufactured for third world markets (möbius motors)

    1. Brindle

      The technology is certainly there to cause a vehicle to suddenly accelerate without driver input.

      There are unexplained details about Michael Hastings death, but as now it is likely the case of a basic late night/early morning car crash without malevolent forces at work.

      1. neo-realist

        These accidents never seem to happen to the “establishmentarians”–the people in the media and public office who defend the policies and perspectives of TPTB, but rather to the muckrakers of elite crime and those who are on the verge of tattling on them in court and sub-committees. Coincidence?

      2. Bill

        Michael Hastings’ death was caused by US Military revenge for his bringing down the career of a prominent General (McChrystal).

        It might take some time for that to come out, but I’ll stand by my statement. They’ll count on anyone making that statement being called paranoid wacko….

      3. Pete

        You must be one of them thar “coincidence theorists”. Michael Pittman, Bloomberg reporter who sued the Fed and Matt Simmons, peak oil thorn in Big Oil’s side, both just up and died. Pittman was still a young cat and I think Simmons was hot-tubbing (must not be a strong swimmer). We are dealing with sociopaths who will stop at nothing folks. Hastings was likely put down.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        In an IQ test, it would not be smart to conclude the next question is ‘Who killed Roger Rabbit?’

  4. Klassy!

    Trapped in air bubble link doesn’t work– although you get the article whe nyou click on the Michael Hastings link.
    Also– meowsa! Fisher is handsome.

  5. F. Beard

    re The kleptocracy begins its assault on churches Corrente :

    1) The Truth does not need to be subsidized.
    2) Error should NOT be subsidized.

    Churches should be taxed at the same rate as country clubs, imo.

    1. David Lentini

      I think the wisdom of keeping churches tax-free was to keep them out of politics, with the hope of helping the public in trying to vote rationally and not under the pressure of their ministers. So, I took Huckabee’s declaration as a cry to bring religion into politics full-force.

      In a way it’s the complement to Citizen’s United: If the churches incoporate and pay taxes, I expect that they’ll argue they too must be given “person” status.

      One aspect of the Right’s strategy over the past 30+ years has been to appeal to both business and religion. While there is much common ground—hatred of federalism, a desire for minimal “moral” laws—there is also much antagonism: Business is essentially amoral, and as we’ve seen repeatedly will pander to any desire, while religions are in the business of enforcing moral codes. Of course the two play-off agaisnt each other nicely care of the liberals, who can always be counted on as the fall guys when there’s homosexual, pornographic, or violent content in the marketplace.

      Still, I’ve wondered how the endgame would look as the Right takes over the country. At some point, the corporate and religious branches of the Right will come into conflict as they jockey for power. The religions essentially a theocracy; the coroporations a corporatist-fascist government. (In my view, the libertarians—the third leg of the Right triad—are just useful idiots.) In that context, Huckabee’s call is the signal that the cohesion of the three major branches that have supported the Right for decades now (corporatism, theocracy, and libertarianism) is another sign of the collapse of the Right’s power base.

    2. from Mexico

      @ F. Beard

      I agree. It seems that loud noise we hear of churches sucking at the government teat is nothing more than a way to control the subversive, anarchic and revolutionary spirit of religion.

      As Hannah Arendt explains of the long tradition of religious subversiveness, in early and Reformation Christian philosophy

      The voice of conscience was the voice of God, and announced the Divine Law, before it became the lumen naturale that informed men of a higher law. As the voice of God, it gave positive prescriptions whose validity rested on the command “Obey God rather than men” — a command that was objectively binding without any reference to human institutions and that could be turned, as in the Reformation, even against what was alleged to be the divinely inspired institutions of the Church. To modern ears, this must sound like “self-certification,” which “borders on blasphemy” — the presumptuous pretension that one knows the will of God and is sure of his eventual justification. It did not sound that way to the believer in a creator God who has revealed Himself to the one creature He created in His own image. But the anarchic nature of divinely inspired consciences, so blatantly manifest in the beginnings of Christianity, cannot be denied.

      -HANNAH AREDNT, “Civil disobedience”

    3. from Mexico

      I’m reminded of Goebbels, who expressed his belief that it was not necessary to inflict bodily punishment on cultural dissenters, that selective subsidies to state approved cultural messengers was sufficient to drown out dissent. I’m also reminded of Alice Goldfarb Marquis’s Art Lessons, where she explores how government funding of the arts in the United States is used to control the message. The father of public arts funding, after all, was none other than Richard Nixon, the traditional conservative who never saw an expansion of government power he didn’t like. Avant-garde can only exist in the wild, not in a zoo, she warns.

      1. Propertius

        he father of public arts funding, after all, was none other than Richard Nixon

        How can this be, when the NEA was established in 1965 during the Johnson Administration – and what about all those artists who were funded by the WPA during the Depression?

        1. from Mexico

          It was Nixon’s trusted adviser, Leonard Garment, who was the architect of Nixon’s role of godfather of the arts. He advised the president that it was “politically wise” to build up the NEA. He recommended a whopping eightfold increase in the NEA’s budget. “Support for the arts is, increasingly, good politics,” he counseled. He reminded the president that arts boards “are made up, very largely, of business, corporate, and community interests.” Garment says Nixon went along because he “liked to surprise people….Like ‘Mr. No Taste’ becoming godfather to the arts.”

          Goldfarb explains that

          On December 10, 1969, Richard Nixon asked Congress to approve $40 million for arts and humanities for fiscal year 1971. Touching on the Cold War theme, he called culture a tool of democracy; while government must avoid forcing the arts into “some common denominator of official sanction,” the NEA had “the rare capacity to help heal divisions among our people and to vault some of the barriers that divide the world.” In contrast to Garment’s memo, which stressed the elite leadership in the arts, Nixon emphasized the broad audience reached by the agency’s clients: “from ghettos in Watts to the White House.”

          “Although the NEA council was to be an independent grantor of excellence in the arts,” she notes, “political arrangements had been part of its composition for the beginning.” The endowment’s panels “had strayed a considerable distance from their original purpose — reviewing grant applications for the chair — into political advocacy and artistic decrees.’

          When the historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., protested naked politics in council appointments, Livingston Biddle reportedly “smiled serenely and murmured, ‘Politics is one of the great humanities.’ ”

    4. Lambert Strether

      The post points out:

      The cathedrals and megachurches would survive, most of them, but the millions of little churches, the ones that minister to the needs or ordinary people would be wiped out.

      Churches are the last institution still in the hands of the middle class. Most of the meetings for single payer health care are held in Churches. During the Occupations here in DC Churches provided showers and laundry services for Occupiers. Churches also provided other logistical support.

      I would say that Error nets out the winner in this scenario.

      1. F. Beard

        There would be far less need for welfare in the first place if the churches had not abandoned the Old Testament’s commands against usury from one’s fellow countrymen and oppression of the poor. And where are the churches wrt to debt forgiveness and restitution for systematic theft by the banking cartel? And land reform ala Leviticus 25?

        As for small churches, they can rent space and carry on as usual.

    5. Massinissa

      Beard, Country clubs charge fees dont they? Theres sort of a difference between that and a small church.

      And I want to remind everyone, theres a difference between taxing church investments, which SHOULD be done IMO, and making churches pay expensive land taxes. That would squeeze the small churches to death and replace them with monopolistic megachurches.

      Everyone here can say what they will about organized religion, but we can all agree its harder to control the religious if theyre spread out at hundreds of small churches than if theyre all going to one or two megachurches. IMO this is all about the religious right trying to exercise greater control over religion.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        People who studied Gobekli Tepe (Potbelly Hill), which was a pre-agrarian sacred gathering place for nomads (as in not sedentary), were surprised to learn the lesson of ‘first came the temple, next the city.’

        So, perhaps it is appropriate, historically speaking, that the government should pay taxes to the church.

      2. F. Beard

        I believe ministers have special tax status wrt income. That should not be.

        We don’t need rich ministers nor crystal cathedrals.

        1. TomDor

          What – wait a minute…. you know that taxes are a method of suppressing an activity. Gosh, carrying this 100 pound load on my back is taxing. Hey, if you want more people unemployed or less actual wealth creating business – tax em. If you want more predatory capital and negative cosequences therefrom – un-tax em. Shoot we did that here and look what it did. You tax religion and you will take away it’s freedom – and really – how much have they stolen over what they have given – sheese. Now we want intrusions into our churches from the levy of taxes – a political/governmental activity?

          There seems to be a general agreement that religion in politics is wrong if it helps the other side.

          “Laborers knowing that science and invention have increased enormously the power of labor, cannot understand why they do not receive more of the increased product, and accuse capital of withholding it. The employer, finding it increasingly difficult to make both ends meet, accuses labor of shirking. Thus suspicion is aroused, distrust follows, and soon both are angry and struggling for mastery.
          It is not the man who gives employment to labor that does harm. The mischief comes from the man who does not give employment. Every factory, every store, every building, every bit of wealth in any shape requires labor in its creation. The more wealth created the more labor employed, the higher wages and lower prices.
          But while some men employ labor and produce wealth, others speculate in lands and resources required for production, and without employing labor or producing wealth they secure a large part of the wealth others produce. What they get without producing, labor and capital produce without getting. That is why labor and capital quarrel. But the quarrel should not be between labor and capital, but between the non-producing speculator on the one hand and labor and capital on the other.
          Co-operation between employer and employee will lead to more friendly relations and a better understanding, and will hasten the day when they will see that their interests are mutual. As long as they stand apart and permit the non-producing, non-employing exploiter to make each think the other is his enemy, the speculator will prey upon both.
          Co-operating friends, when they fully realize the source of their troubles will find at hand a simple and effective cure: The removal of taxes from industry, and the taxing of privilege and monopoly. Remove the heavy burdens of government from those who employ labor and produce wealth, and lay them upon those who enrich themselves without employing labor or producing wealth.”
          Tax Facts – published in the 1920s

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            ‘I alone speak Godlish.’

            ‘Only I know what God meant.’

            It is interesting how many people believe that.

  6. F. Beard

    Also, it appears that true Christian worship does not require a lot of resources anyway:

    “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst. Matthew 18:19-20 New American Standard Bible (NASB) [emphasis added]

    1. craazyman

      Beard why do you insist on quoting the Lord in translation when the real voice of God is available on line, in the form of the King James Bible?

      That’s how God talks, with “ye”s and “be”s and “hath” and “eth” at the ends of lots of words, like “quoteth”. Although I just made that up for example.

      These newfangled translations are what the Bible sellers push from door to door with their skinny ties and $10 thrift store suits and short buzz cuts. They may be men in black for all we know. If they have a box of King James Bibles, you know they’re for real. Otherwise, they may just want some lemonade.

      It’s not dark yet, but it’s gettin there. I’m not doubting your sincerity or righteousness, I’m just trying to stick up for the “Word.”

      1. craazyman

        If these guys were selling Bibles in Mayberry Sherrif Taylor would probably have them brought in to the station for questioning. Although Deputy Fife would have bought 10. hahahah. That’s a long time ago. It may have been right after the Civil War.

      2. F. Beard

        It seems the Word of God really is ALIVE*. Many times I’ve thought I’ve had a verse memorized but when I look it up (especially when I want to thump someone with it), the verse has subtly changed! Not just online but in my hardcopy NASB!

        So I suspect that any translation is adequate if sufficiently read.

        For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12


        1. optimader

          None of the translations are literal anyway.
          God has a stutter and when she drinks it’s worse.

          I’ve been working with her on it, it has deep roots in her androgynous childhood when it was thought she was a he –narrow hips.

          Interestingly, the stutter completely disappears when she sashays.

          God moves in mysterious ways –it is written.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Translations from what?

            What language does God speak in?



            Who is qualified to translate that?

            Name one.

          2. optimader

            Translations from what?

            What language does God speak in? Godian?

            Oh, perhaps you’ve spoken to her as well I see.

            Who is qualified to translate that?


          3. AbyNormal

            BAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA you just replaced my last netbk…oh well

            Forgive, O Lord, my little jokes on Thee
            And I’ll forgive Thy great big one on me.

          4. Propertius

            What language does God speak in?


            And only Dr. Dee could translate it.

            Glad to clear that up for you.

        2. optimader

          ..and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

          the NSA is cramping god’s style

    2. from Mexico

      F. Beard says:

      Also, it appears that true Christian worship does not require a lot of resources anyway.

      That, however, is a rather one-eyed view of Christianity.

      As the poverty dispute revealed, Christianity has always been split between a rationalist, Aristotelian wing and a Franciscan, nominalist (Ockhamite) wing. As Michael Allen Gillespie notes in The Theological Origins of Modernity:

      John [Pope John XXII (1249-1334)] recognized that the doctrine of poverty not only threatened his power within the church but also threatened to transform Christianity as a whole. The medieval church understood itself as the embodiment of the Holy Spirit and thus as exercising God’s dominion or kingship on earth. Churchmen thus imagined that they should live in a manner befitting their status. The Franciscan doctrine of poverty challenged this view. Man, as Francis understood him, is not by nature an exalted being. His joy comes not from his place or possessions in the world but from his nearness to God. The Kingdom of God is thus not a literal kingdom here on earth represented by the church, but a spiritual kingdom in which individuals are related to one another only in and through God. Taken to the extreme, such a doctrine was thus not merely an attack on priestly wealth and power; it was also an attack on clerical hierarchy and on the church itself.

      John’s scholastic metaphysics understood God as the highest being and creation as a rational order of beings stretching up to God. Nominalism sought to tear the rationalistic veil from the face of God. It gave a new prominence to and justification of the human will. Humans were made in the image of God, and like God were principally willful rather than rational beings. It destroyed the order of the world that scholasticsm had imagined to mediate between God and man and replaced it with a chaos of radically individual beings. In the place of the old rationalist hierarchy of scholasticm came the idea of radical equality, since all animate and inanimate beings were equally the creatures and creations of God.

      John rejected the view of the Ockham and the Franciscans on the rationalist Law of Nature notion of the invariance of the ordained order of nature. Ockham and the Franciscans were horrified. They were convinced that God could not be bound by the “laws” of nature.

      John excommunicated Ockham and condemned and hunted down the most zealous Franciscans, the so-called Fraticelli. But, as Gillespie points out:

      The church attempted to suppress nominalism, but these efforts had little impact. Ockham’s thought was censured in 1326 and repeatedly condemned from 1339 to 1347, but his influence continued to grow, and in the one hundred and fifty years after his death nominalism became one of the most powerful intellectual movements in Europe.

      As Gillespie goes on to point out, humanism, another important intellectual movement of the 14th century, “grew alongside and also out of nominalism.” It also placed a focus on the individual and the human will that was unknown in the ancient world.

      1. optimader

        ..the Holy Spirit..
        I wonder if this is a brand TM held by a distillery? I’m going for it.

        ..Churchmen thus imagined that they should live in a manner befitting their status…

        don’t we all (status real or imagined).

      2. allcoppedout

        Wycliffe and the Lollards followed. One might say the banksters are now like the clergy then accused of misusing wealth.

  7. Jackrabbit

    1Did NSA snooping stop ‘dozens’ of terrorist attacks?

    On Thursday, Sens. Ron Wyden and Mark Udall, Democrats who both serve on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and have access to the nation’s most sensitive secrets, released a statement contradicting [General Alexander] …

    “Gen. Alexander’s testimony yesterday suggested that the NSA’s bulk phone records collection program helped thwart ‘dozens’ of terrorist attacks, but all of the plots that he mentioned appear to have been identified using other collection methods.”

    Indeed, a survey of court documents and media accounts of all the jihadist terrorist plots in the United States since 9/11 by the New America Foundation shows that traditional law enforcement methods have overwhelmingly played the most significant role in foiling terrorist attacks.

    This suggests that the NSA surveillance programs are wide-ranging fishing expeditions with little to show for them.


    Rep Alan Grayson:

    “The point is that we’re taking measures that are not correlated in any way with our safety; and even if they are they would be beneath our dignity as human beings. That’s what this is all about. Alright listen, you can always make people safer by taking extreme measures . If we lower the speed limit to 10 miles per hour, people would be safer; if we outlawed knives and forks, people would be safer; if we made everybody fly on the airlines naked, people would be safer. Non of those things corresponds to my sense of human dignity, and I think I’m not the only one who feels that way.”

  8. from Mexico

    @ “Immigration office tells atheist applicant to prove church membership”

    So what motivates a conscientious objector? Is it God’s law, as reformation Christianity would have us believe? Is it Man’s law, as humanism would have us believe? Or is it nature’s law, as scientism would have us believe?

    The folks at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration services office in Houston appear to be steeped in the ideology of reformation Christianity.

    1. Gareth

      Once again someone gets wrapped in red tape because they are unwilling to lie to the government. For crying out loud, just lie to the bastards and get on with your life.

      1. from Mexico

        What if Edward Snowden would have taken the easy way out?

        On a similar note, what would have happened if Snowden would have asserted belief in God as the reason he did what he did?

        Personally, I admire this woman for standing up for what her conscience tells her is right.

        Of course I must admit I’m not an unbiased observer here, because I am in agreement with her position.

        1. cwaltz

          Snowden DID take the easy way out(not that I blame him). If he’d have taken the official channel route and hard way then he’d likely have had much worse results. The powers that be don’t like anyone questioning their authori-tay.

          1. diane

            Actually, he took a route few would ever take, a route to likely misery, for the rest of his life; which could end up a very short one.

            (Sorry, but the word easy has no place in the description of the recent choice he made.)

  9. Bill Markle

    I am not sure of the reasons, but Naked Capitalism now seems to be blocked in China. The blocking is not absolute, as I am typing this comment now. Prior to a few days ago, it was reliably available all the time.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I hope they didn’t take offense at the ‘supersized North Korea’ comment.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      I think it has been blocked before. Sorry this is inconveniencing you.

      We have a post about China today saying it might not become a superpower and one the day before that if the central bank didn’t fix the money market squeeze, they could have bigger problems. Maybe the official censors punish sites that write about China and it’s less than fulminous praise.

  10. from Mexico

    I’m reminded of Goebbels, who expressed his belief that it was not necessary to inflict bodily punishment on cultural dissenters, that selective subsidies to state approved cultural messengers was sufficient to drown out dissent. I’m also reminded of Alice Goldfarb’s Art Lessons, where she explores how government funding of the arts in the United States is used to control the message. The father of public arts funding, after all, was none other than Richard Nixon, the traditional conservative who never saw a big government program he didn’t like. Avant-garde can only exist in the wild, not in a zoo, she warns.

    1. Massinissa

      Excuse me Mexico, but which article exactly reminded you of this? You dont mention it.

      1. from Mexico

        This comment got posted here in the wrong place. I re-posted it above in its proper place below the comment it responds to.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      …inflicting bodily punishment…

      The smart, intelligent (sorry, but not wise) ones corrupt you, instead of opposing you with physical violence.

      That’s why non-violence (physical) doesn’t mean that much.

      In fact, non-violence, such as medicine or food embargo, can kill a lot more and more often.

  11. JohnL

    “NSA Whistleblower: NSA Spying On – and Blackmailing – Top Government Officials and Military Officers George Washington”

    Petraeus? Who pulled the “kill switch” and on whose behalf? Let’s put it this way: There’s no way it wasn’t known that he was having an affair, and if it wasn’t known, what’s all this snooping for?

    “Study: 80% Of Waking Hours Spent Plotting Revenge” – should have been filed under NSA.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I believe some people spending their sleeping hours plotting revenge, in addition.

  12. JohnL

    “McLibel leaflet was co-written by undercover police officer Bob Lambert

    Exclusive: McDonald’s sued green activists in long-running David v Goliath legal battle, but police role only now exposed”

    An undercover police officer posing for years as an environmental activist co-wrote a libellous leaflet that was highly critical of McDonald’s, and which led to the longest civil trial in English history, costing the fast-food giant millions of pounds in fees.

    1. allcoppedout

      A great reminder of how our cops infiltrate groups most of us would see as protecting democracy and not the corporate-banksterists doing so much damage to it!

    2. punchnrun

      Was this but another example of the law of unintended consequences, or was this guy in truth double-double-crossing? Or perhaps it was not intended to be libelous in the first place, just another step in cementing an agent’s reputation with the penetrated organization. Oops? Did someone just say oops?!?

  13. EmilianoZ

    It’s Edward Snowden’s birthday today. What a way to turn 30!

    Happy birthday to him! May he outwit the mighty empire he chose to defy.

    If the republic can still be restored, it would be good that a day (why not today) be set as a national holiday to celebrate whistleblowers. We’re forever indebted to people like Manning, Snowden, Ellsberg and many others. Only incredible acts of courage and self-sacrifice can still shake us from apathy and cynicism.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      There are some people more interested (or just interested) in giving the government the ability to spend as much as it wants before the republic is restored.

        1. subgenius

          Oh how nice…they got him an espionage charge and want to give him a flight home too…

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Not only did the unicorn originate in China, as we now learn, but apparently so did the fairytale Cinderella, which was first told in the Tang dynasty as the Story of Ye Xian or Yeh Shen.

  15. barrisj

    Michael Hasting’s untimely death in a one-car collision reminds me of the death by “suicide” of the late San Jose Mercury writer Gary Webb, who exposed the CIA-crack cocaine link in regard to underwriting the activities of the infamous Nicaraguan Contras in the ’80s. After severe pressure from the usual suspects, the Mercury walked away from Webb’s series, and left him “slowly twisting in the wind”, to use a quote from the Watergate era. Any journo who tries to take down the US military or intelligence agencies risks being a victim of an “inexplicable accident”, it’s the way the game is played.

    1. diane

      Was thinking about Gary Webb when reading a quote attributed to Michael Hastings in the above linked piece Daily Mail piece:

      ‘There’s a more insidious response most of the time when you p*** off the powerful. They come after your career, … ‘

      1. AbyNormal

        i never bought into hunter’s suicide either

        It never got weird enough for me.

        1. diane

          Gary’s two shots to the head, were certainly stunningly hard to swallow.

          Even if one swallowed them, they would have to come to the conclusion that taking everything Gary loved from him, along with the ability to earn a livable wage, was certain MURDER.

          Either way one wants to see it, it was $tunning cowardice and MURDER.

        2. Optimader

          When someone who had a talent that they feel has irrevocably slipped away, and is in physiological pain –removing inhibition by self medicating with booze and having a dirth of guns laying around can be a tragic combination (file under: E Hemmingway)
          HST is missed

  16. ScottS

    Why Is Apple Inc. On Trial? For Good Behavior, It Turns Out Forbes

    Some classic howlers. For instance:

    Apple’s pursuit of growth and profits in the e-book industry deserved admiration, not legal persecution.

    Heavens! Poor Apple being persecuted by the mean federales!

    And this lovely chestnut:

    Over the past fifteen years, Google’s legendary search engine has attracted users en masse, leaving competitors like Bing and Yahoo! in the dust. Leveraging that popularity, Google chose to display its own services (like Google Maps, Shopping, and Travel) more prominently than results for its competitors. So what? Every businessman in America understands that you paint your own company’s name on the side of your truck, not your rival’s name.

    Of course they wouldn’t paint the name of a competitor on the side of their cars! Until people get too creeped out by their streetview cars spying on them, then they might paint them with Apple’s logo to redirect the anger.

    Antitrust has always worked this way. Go back to the late 1990s, when Microsoft was riding high on the phenomenal success of its Windows operating system. By adding a web browser (Internet Explorer) to every copy of Windows, Microsoft offered customers more value for the same price, leaving purchasers free to adopt competing browsers if they chose. By any rational business standard, Microsoft was pursuing a growth-oriented strategy whose success or failure should have been determined on a free market.

    What, Microsoft was abused too?! Poor, poor Microsoft. I’m sure the folks who used to work at Netscape were crying in their beers when they heard the DoJ was indicting hapless Microsoft. Nevermind Microsoft’s explicit goal of beating back the internet so they had complete control over computing. Innovation!

    … they belong in the same category as all the other growth-oriented, profit-driven strategies by which start-up firms survive, small firms become large, and large firms rise to new heights, flooding our economy with life-enhancing goods and services.

    Life-enhancing! Your life has been enhanced due to these multinational companies’ anti-competitive behavior, price-fixing, wage suppression through H1B manipulation and no poaching collusion, and use of third world labor that in no way resembles slavery!

    And then the capper:

    Thomas A. Bowden is an analyst at the Ayn Rand Institute.

    Please pardon my complete lack of surprise.

  17. mookie

    Gotta use some of my 10 monthly unlocks at nsfwcorp, and these are interesting:
    NSA Whistleblowers For Dummies, Part One Mark Ames, NSFW Corp
    NSA Whistleblowers For Dummies, Part TwoMark Ames, NSFW Corp
    Michael Hastings, Dead of GonzoJohn Dolan, NSFW Corp
    Jeremy Scahill Is Gutted Eileen Jones, NSFW Corp

    Note that Eileen Jones is a film critic so her focus is primarily on the presentation of the documentary. Anyone who enjoys intelligent, funny writing on film should check out her essay collection Filmsuck, USA.

      1. mookie

        I’m happy to share! I will say that it’s worth a $3/month subscription. I like that I’m supporting good writing. That’s why I also subscribe to naked capitalism.

    1. barrisj

      Jeremy Scahill had better watch his back, or it’s entirely probable that one fine day HE becomes a one-car collision “accident victim”. Or, maybe just vapourised by a JSOC hitman.

  18. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Trapped in a bubble for 3 days…

    The world has been trapped in a giant bubble for how many years now?

  19. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    No links on what is happening in Brazil?

    People say it’s superstitious to say an earthquake happens when Mother Earth is angry.

    What about peoplequakes?

    Does a peoplequake happen when people are fed up?

    It’s superstitious to say that about peoplequakes?

    Is there a scale for peoplequakes?

    What is the magnitude for what is happening in Brazil?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      When you get over 1 million people, I would give the peoplequake a wrathscale of 8.

      1. psychohistorian

        Protests of that size are game changing, IMO.

        Maybe the idea will catch on……….part of me wants the situation to worsen so the opportunity for structural change goes up when the situation eventually “resolves itself”.

        Interesting times indeed!

    1. ScottS

      One site put together for federal government employees and hosted by the Department of Agriculture is “a short course in Treason.”

      Those treasonous bastards in the Department of Agriculture! Communist subversives in every woodpile!

      1. diane

        I particularly liked the page on the psychology of those most likely to commit treason (bolding mine):

        A page on the psychology of spies suggests the two most common personality disorders individuals who commit espionage have are “antisocial personality disorder and narcissism.” These people are “usually manipulative, self-serving, and seek immediate gratification of their desires.

        Unfortunately, though a perfect mirror description, I guess that won’t mean anyone in DC will be charged with Treason.

  20. Montanamaven

    Michael Hastings was a wickedly funny and smart reporter. I don’t watch MSNBC much unless somebody like Hastings was going to be on the show. On May 25 he was a guest on “UP” with Steve Kornacki. He went to town on Obama’s drone speech. And he left most of the other guests speechless. These panel shows can be really really boring filled with hacks and shills spouting Democratic and Republican Party talking points. Then along comes Michael Hastings and it becomes a carnival of audacity and truth. I will miss him.
    and the full transcript:

  21. AbyNormal

    “If people can’t trust not only the executive branch, but also don’t trust Congress and don’t trust federal judges to make sure that we’re abiding by the Constitution, due process and rule of law, then we’re going to have some problems here.”
    Barack Obama

      1. AbyNormal

        hey you…gota joke for ya

        Three nuns are standing at the pearly gates waiting to get into heaven. St. Peter appears and says because you are nuns i must ask you a question before you can enter. He turns to the firs nun and asks “what was the name of the first man and woman?”Adam and Eve.”She answers, and the trumpets sound, the gates open, and the first nun enters.

        “Where did Adam and Eve live” St. Peter asks the second nun. “The Garden of Eden” She answers, and the trumpets sound, the gates open and the second nun enters. He turns to the third nun now as you are the mother superior your question will be more difficult. St Peter asks, “What was the first thing Eve said to Adam in the Garden?”

        The mother superior thinks and thinks, but can’t come up with an answer. “hmmm that’s a hard one,” she finally says. And the trumpets blow, the gates open, and the last nun enters heaven!
        vicar of dibley ‘ ))

        1. Optimader

          Ha!.. Indeed.. A classic double entendre. IMO some of the highest level of humor
          Clearly a cunning linguist at work

    1. skippy

      Mike Carlton stouch with ABC is indicative of its changed ideology, bet he weeps for the ABC he used to work at.

      CBA et al are finding it increasingly hard to coverup their major influence in loan origination scam… the Calculator Vs. the Agent from Perth with reams of documents~

      skippy… Gilly is no more than… and ever was… a corporate shrill.

  22. ScottS

    Re: Pentagon: Reading Salon makes you a threat! Salon

    Perhaps most troubling, the government has instructed employees and contractors to snoop and snitch on their colleagues, telling them to be on the lookout for “high-risk persons or behaviors.” Failing to report suspicious colleagues could lead to penalties — even criminal charges. And the guidelines require managers to revoke security clearances for even a single infraction, something that can kill a bureaucrat’s career.

    Remember, the Stasi weren’t the ones (necessarily) spying on every single East German. Neighbors were narcing on each other over petty grievances.

    1. ScottS

      Also, does the NSA not realize The Onion is satire? Or is The Onion publishing state secrets that read like satire?

  23. LaLaLady

    Re: NSA
    Do you think Exodus International President Alan Chambers was impenetrable to the NSA……?!

    From The Independent:

    ‘Gay cure’ Christian ministry closes down after its leader apologises and admits he’s attracted to men

    Exodus International president Alan Chambers says he is ‘deeply sorry’ for hurt caused to homosexual people

  24. Bridget

    Soooo, my name and email address are no longer autofilling in “Leave a Reply”. I haven’t changed my privacy settings, and it’s happening on all my devices. I continue to dutifully fill in the old information, even though I am fully aware that it will cause my comment to go into moderation and that filling in some other name and email address will enable my comment to post immediately.

    Just thought you might want to know that something is different.

  25. scraping_by

    RE: Taxing churches

    “Gov. Mike Huckabee — It’s time for churches to reject tax exempt status completely; freedom is more important than government financial favors”

    Sometimes I think right wingers are just stupid and mechanically take their slogans as far as they can. After conflating ‘private’ and ‘freedom’ so they can oppose it to ‘government’ and ‘restriction’, what else but take it to its ultimate end and literally leave nothing sacred?

    Someone noted that the current policy and atmosphere is to judge everything by Economics. Churches’ place in society would be pretty precarious. I’ve been to churches based on a profit model and I don’t go back.

    Up until now, Christianity has been kept on a leash by the televanglists, obvious hucksters obviously on the make. This is the model of Christianity the 1% understand and agree with. Any other ethic makes them nervous.

    The idea that a Church, and any other organization, has a social purpose that’s noneconomic, and therefore should be left out of the economic scale of things, makes them very nervous. That’s too close to human dignity and the worth of a human being and all of that other librul talk.

    In the end, I agree with DCBlogger. If done right, Christianity is the thing farthest from kleptocracy. It’s the farthest from the right wing, it’s the farthest from Fascism and other forms of Corporatism, it’s the furthest from the current powers that be. The Rev. Huckabee makes plain what he worships, and who.

Comments are closed.