Links 8/12/13

Fossils throw mammalian family tree into disarray Nature

Greenland Ice Is Melting — Even from Below: Heat Flow from the Mantle Contributes to the Ice Melt Science Daily

Chinese cargo ship sets sail for Arctic short-cut FT

Obama Begins Vacation Golfing With Wall Street Supporter Wolf Bloomberg

With eye on 2016, Hillary Rodham Clinton spreads theme of women breaking barriers WaPo. Three years is a long time in politics.

Why I Wouldn’t Vote For Cory Booker Charles Pierce, Esquire. “Fool me twice…”

Newark Mayor Cory Booker pocketed ‘confidential’ annual payouts from law firm while in office New York Post. And the law firm rakedin $2 million in fees.

Charges prepared against ‘whale’ traders FT

Analysis: Financials near to regaining S&P 500’s top spot Reuters

Detroit’s emergency manager sure loves the media Reuters

Big Brother Is Watching Watch

Michael Hayden, Former NSA Chief: After A Major Attack, U.S. Likely To Seize More Surveillance Powers HuffPo. Hayden on Face the Nation: FT, The Hill.

The NSA is turning the internet into a total surveillance system Guardian

Lawmakers say obstacles limited oversight of NSA’s telephone surveillance program WaPo

Obama: Please Be Nice to Me as I Fail to Deal with This Awful Mess I Created! Brad DeLong. “This does not pass the bullshit test.” Well, he’s only been President five years. Give him a chance!

Russian, Snowden and International Law MWC News

NSA revelations remind me of Cold War Romania: Column USA Today

Lavabit and End-point Security Cryptome. Note especially #5, Tricky Dick fans!

Snowden’s father gets visa to visit son in Russia Miami Herald

Nixon’s Resignation & the Era of Lawless Presidencies

Political Corruption as Duplicitous Exclusion Political Science and Politics (Avedon)

Corruption in the Pipeline: A Timeline of Keystone XL Misinformation DeSmogBlog

A Texan tragedy: ample oil, no water Guardian

How The ‘World’s Dumbest Idea’ Killed The US Economic Recovery Forbes (CB)

“Privilege” and the rhetoric of austerity An und für sich

UK wages fall among sharpest in EU Guardian

The Middle Class Is Not for Itself FDL

The Turkish left LBR

The new model sharing economy FT

This Is Not the Deal The New Inquiry (BLCKDRGD). On fine print.

Sorry, AirSea Battle Is No Strategy The National Interest

The innocents caught under the drones: For fearful Yemenis the US and al-Qa’ida look very similar Independent

CARICOM Moves Forward with Reparations Committee NACLA

Not Written in the Stars The Archdruid Report

A Pound of Music Jacob Bacharach 

Repudiating scientism, rather than surrendering to it Pharyngula

Antidote du jour:


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post on by .

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. sd

    Archdruid Report is a long time must read. Best described as ice-cold-water-poured-down-your-back dose of reality.

    1. from Mexico

      That’s for sure.

      When the Christian God died that left the West mired in passive nihilism, so in place of the old God came the manufacture of its opposite myth — science — and instead of the wicked old fictions we now have a whole new outfit of equally misleading ones.

      The Modernist enterprise to “make man master and posessor of nature” with a universal science bifurcated from the get–go. There were the Realists who believed that human reason was the pathway to sure truth, and the empiricists who asserted that experience and evidence were the only key to unlocking the door to knowledge. When leading Counter-Enlightenment thinkers like Hume took a wrecking ball to the myth of human reason, a new pathway to sure truth appeared, culminating in Nietzsche’s “will to truth.” So in place of the conviction that an act of reason can transorm the world, we now had the conviction that an act of will can transform the world. This belief unleashed an era of positive nihilism and spawned two totalitarian regimes: one in Russia and the other in Germany. We see it manifested more recently in statements such as this one attributed to Karl Rove:

      The aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” … “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

      And more recently this one by Barak Obama:

      QUESTION: Can you understand, though, why some people might not trust what you’re saying right now about wanting to — THE PRESIDENT: No, I can’t”

      Anyway, commentaries like Greer’s are sure to have the New Atheist faithful like Christopher Hitchens spinning in his grave, and Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett spitting nails.

        1. from Mexico

          The Christian God was not usurped by science, but died because of concrete changes in the conditions of life in the 14th and 15th centures, along with self-inflicted wounds in the 15th and 16th centuries. These things happened well before the parturition of the God of Science in the 17th century.

          As Egidio of Viterbo summed up Pope Alexander’s Rome: “No law, no divinity; Gold, force and Venus rule.”

          Guicciardini wrote: “Reverence for the Papacy has been utterly lost in the hearts of men.”

          And Machiavelli charged in 1513 that there could be no greater proof of papal

          decadence than the fact that the nearer people are to the Roman Church, the head of their religion, the less religious they are. And whoever examines the principles on which that religion is founded, and sees how widely different from those principles its present practice and applications are, will judge that her ruin or chastisement is near at hand.

          1. charles sereno

            Thanks for the interesting quotes. It prompted a memory about the papacy. There was a 3M lady. The Mother, Mistress, and Murderess of Popes (Christopher Dawson?).

    2. JTFaraday

      Love it! Sounds like a business plan.

      I myself have been having a generally placid and modestly interesting Year of the Snake, (and, believe me, I was really worried about it given our tempestuous past).

  2. dearieme

    Once scientists are incentivised to advance their sciences by using their curiosity, intelligence and creativity more, and other people’s big bucks less, cheaper routes of advance will be found. There may be a delay until a generation of creative people discovers that science is interesting after all, and the apparatchiks, grant swingers, crafty operators and restrictive bureaucrats get shoved aside.

  3. Bill the Psychologist

    Beautiful antidote, the personification of the Hindu elephant God, Ganesha.

    Elephant is my totem…….after having had a dream during a very rough time in my late 20s, during which I was on a huge battlefield, beseiged (I know not by what or whom in the dream), and heard/saw elephants trumpeting and riding to my rescue, like the cavalry.

    When I was a kid, we lived across the street from the circus grounds. So when the circus came to town, we could stay home from school, and would run around the grounds (this was the early 50s), watching them hoist the tents with the elephants. Even at that age, I was drawn to them, fascinated and awed by their size and “presence”.

    Later, living in DC, I would feed Nancy, their oldest elephant, who was caged in such a way that people could feed her with peanuts sold their for that purpose.

    As an adult learning on PBS about elephants’ very advanced social order, then seeing them live in Kenya, I feel even more that they’re in many ways more advanced than we are, certainly more humane.

    1. real

      i am not allowed to say much about any religion….there are always restrictions.. but you are on right track…a good sign

    2. diptherio

      On a side note: the mythology of Ganesha (also Ganesh, Ganapati, Viniyak) shares a number of striking similarities to the Christ mythos.

      Ganesha was originally created in the form of a young man by his mother Parbati (the wife of Shiva). Parbati made Ganesha by using the saffron paste the eminates from her skin to sculpt a model of a young man, which she then en-souled (a virgin birth, as it were; note also the obvious parallels to the myth of Adam’s creation).

      Parbati made Ganesha because she wanted someone to guard the door to her chamber while she took a bath. Shiva was always barging in on her, and she also thought that it was unfair that her husband had armies of demi-gods at his command, while she had no one at her’s. Anyway, Parbati created Ganesha, stationed him outside the door to her chambers and told him not to let anyone in while she bathed.

      Shiva arrived home just then and, wanting to see his wife, made for her room. He was quite surprised to find some unknown boy barring him entrance in his own home and he quickly flew into a rage. Shiva and Ganesha battled for some time, with Ganesha holding his ground even after Shiva unleashed his whole army on him. Finally, with the help of the god Vishnu, Shiva managed to overcome Ganesha, decapitating him in the process (martyrdom).

      Right then, Parbati emerged in her bathrobe, saw that her son had been decapitated by her husband and flew into a rage of her own (and goddess-rages are orders of magnitude more frightening and dangerous than god-rages). When Shiva realized what had happened he quickly sent his mount, Nanda the bull, to find a new head for the boy. Shiva gave Nanda the sickle-moon (chandra) out of his hair and told him to cut off the head of the first creature he came across. That just so happened to be a sleeping elephant.

      Shiva took the head, slapped it on the boys body, did his god-magic thing, and presto, elephant-headed Ganesh was born (resurrection).

      To recap, we have miraculous birth, unjust death and subsequent resurrection.

      Ganesha = Jesus QED

      1. craazyman

        dude. faaaaaaaak, If you want to searreeoussly educate yourself, read THE GOLDEN BOUGH by James Frazer. Reading books is mostly a waste of time because you’re just replacing your words with somebody elses, but this one is an exception. These insights aren’t something one would naturally channel up on the bus — unless they were really really good, like Shakespeare or somebody of that caliber. The names change but the myths and archetypes remain the same, almost the world over.

        1. diptherio

          I’ve actually read The Golden Bough, years ago. While Fraser did have some interesting insights, I was continually put-off by his “progressive” view of religion (i.e. that non-monotheistic religions were pre-rational and superstitious and evolved into contemporary monotheistic religions that are somehow objectively correct). His take on “magical” practice is also rather old-fashioned (not surprising, given when the book was written). I would contend that The World We Used to Live In by Vine Deloria, Jr. is a much more enlightening read, or at least a good counterbalance to Fraser.

          1. craazyman

            I’m too lazy to read it. What’s his thesis? In a brief few sentences if possible.

            I didn’t read Fraser for his religious politics. I couldn’t care less. Keep in mind it was quite shocking stuff for a Victorian gentleman to imply that the Jesus myth was hardly unique to Christianity and the last supper was a relic of human sacrifice. He does deserve credit for breaking down illusions.

            But you too get credit for having read it!

            I just was amazed by the weird sh*t people would do all over the world, and with many of the same legends and myths underlying it all. People are fakkkkkin crazy. Really.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              I believe there is a defect in the human genome that makes us what we are today…cut off from the rest of Nature.

              That defect causes us to worship.

              Thus we worship movie stars, gladiators, glib preachers, rock musicians, impenetrable authors, hedge fund managers, I-care politicians, beauty queens, etc.

              You don’t see that in, for example, tomatoes. No tomato would ever buy a Play-Tomato magazine to look at other naked tomatoes.

              Now, you know we are weird. We are beyond help, really.

              1. Emma

                “You don’t see that in, for example, tomatoes. No tomato would ever buy a Play-Tomato magazine to look at other naked tomatoes”.
                Of course not because he’s hanging out in the hothouse with a killer tomato!

              2. F. Beard

                Have you ever been in love? Such that your beloved could be stark naked and you’d never look except into her eyes?

                If not, I suggest you change religions.

                  1. F. Beard

                    Actually, reading it is probably more damaging than just looking at the pictures.

                    But I wasn’t talking about a magazine. I was talking about an experience with a real person.

                    If not, unless you’re not interested in such, your god ain’t delivering the goods.

                    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      It’s not about being in love with just one person, a real person, as much as being in love with every person in the world, when it comes to be spirituality, though it would not be normal to have been never been in love with at least one person.

            2. diptherio

              From Wikipedia:

              The Golden Bough attempts to define the shared elements of religious belief to scientific thought, discussing fertility rites, human sacrifice, the dying god, the scapegoat and many other symbols and practices whose influence has extended into twentieth-century culture.[2] Its thesis is that old religions were fertility cults that revolved around the worship and periodic sacrifice of a sacred king. Frazer proposed that mankind progresses from magic through religious belief to scientific thought.[3]

              As far as I could tell, Frazer pretty much put contemporary Christian practice on a par with scientific thought and denigrated non-Western traditions as being synonymous with superstition. But it’s been quite awhile since I waded through that tome, so my memory may be skewed. He was definitely hip for his time, no doubt (although I could have sworn he was a Christian).

              1. anon y'mouse

                such is memory, or my own idiocy, that I don’t remember such a judgemental tone guiding most of that book. it merely seemed to me interesting that the kernel of most religious practices have been dragged down through the generations into The Now.

                sounds like it’s about time to reread it, so I can denigrate an astounding work based upon its author holding the same superstition about progress in light of the past that most still carry today.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Shiva and Vishnu are a tag team.

        And if you’re like Pascal, and there were and are still many like him today, you worship both, not just one of the two, in order to better your wagering odds… thus the emergence of Hari-Hara.

        1. diptherio

          One of the things that my Nepali Hindu friends were at pains to make clear to me is that their religion is not polytheistic. Most everyone held that God is One but has many (infinite) aspects. Worshipers of Shiva and Narayan (Vishnu) generally agree that they only worship different aspects of the divine. The main source of disagreement seems to be over which deity is the original divine emanation from which all the others spring; Shiva, Vishnu, or Devi (the goddess). But no one really seems to get too hung up on which god/goddess a person chooses to worship.

          As there is no concept of getting sent to hell for worshiping the wrong deity in the Hindu tradition, the existance of such half-and-half deities as Hara-Hari is not the result of any type of Pascal’s wager, but rather a result of the Hindu penchant for endless variations and combinations. There are many such composite deities, such as Ardhanarisvara (half Shiva, half Parbati) and Lakshmi-Narayan (half Lakshmi, half Vishnu)

          Then there are even crazier deities, like the time Vishnu took on the form of a goddess, Mohini, who Shiva ended up impregnating (!), resulting in the birth of the god Ayyappa.

          I think Hindus, generally, are more concerned with making sure that everyone can find the deity that’s just right for them, rather than trying to hedge their bets on which is the ‘right’ one.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            That’s nice that the male and female are combined.

            That’s balance.

            And that’s what we need.

            Not anatomically correct females, but more feminine energy/spirit as we are too masculine, too rigid, too uncompromising, too unitary, too ‘one theory can explain everything,’ too ‘one guy is in charge here,’ etc.

          2. Tim Mason

            If you put ‘religions’ on a scale from 0 (atheism) to 10 (full-scale animism), Hinduism would (on average) rate at about 4/5, with Christianity, and Islam 3/4.

            I say ‘on average’ because there are variations between groups of adepts of any of the ‘religions’. While intellectual variants of Christianity or Hinduism do tend towards 2 on the scale, everyday get-on-with-it variants slip down to 7 or 8 – or even, in some places and at some times, 10.

            Some modern philosophers, such as Galen Strawson, lean towards 10 (they call it panpsychism – mind is everywhere – For what little it’s worth, I hop between that 10 and 0.

            BTW, I think Frazer was probably agnostic or perhaps an atheist, but he was quite cagey about it. You can read TGB without bothering much about his personal beliefs, or about the thesis of the book. It’s a great store of ‘religious’ lore, some of which has stood up to the test of time.

        1. diptherio

          Seek and ye shall find (also known as confirmation bias)…searching out surprising parallels between wildly different religious traditions is one of my hobbies. Like, did you know that reincarnation shows up in the Jewish tradition (specifically in the Hasidic tales)? Whodathunkit?

          I’m not super familiar with Egyptian mythology, but I seem to recall someone (Osiris?) getting ripped limb-from-limb and then repaired and re-animated by his mother/sister/lover (Nut?). It really is something how much the crazy stories of different religions mirror eachother…it’s almost as if they all have an underlying message that is simply being expressed in different ways…hmmmm

          Could they all be, as Saint Robert Anton Wilson put it, “profound wisdom disguised as utter bull$#!t”?

          1. optimader

            “Seek and ye shall find (also known as confirmation bias)…”
            HAHA!!. indeed. “Seek and ye shall find and discard as reqd”

            “…It really is something how much the crazy stories of different religions mirror eachother…it’s almost as if they all have an underlying…” response to altered brain chemistry.

        2. Roger Bigod

          In one version, Osiris was killed by Set, the hippopotamus god, and his body cut into many pieces and scattered to different sites. His son Horus the falcon gathered up the parts and re-assembled them, but Osiris was still dead. So Isis came down in the form of a dove and hovered over Osiris’s er lower body which caused him to um spring to life. But the rejuvenation was temporary and Osiris repeats the cycle every day by rising from the underworld in the morning and setting in the evening.

          There’s a relief showing the climactic moment in the Temple at Dendera. Somehow it escaped defacement by the Christians and the Moslems.

          My Egyptian tour group was delayed at an airport by a dust storm on the day before Easter, so the tour guide used the idle time to recount the Osiran story to some of us. I couldn’t stop myself from noting that the event would be observed the next day, but under different management.

          1. diptherio

            “So Isis came down in the form of a dove and hovered over Osiris’s er lower body…”

            hehe, so you’re saying she f#@ked the life back into him? Now that’s a religion I can get behind (so to speak).

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Cute and compassionate.

        Both hands in varada mudra…very rare indeed. Usually, it’s just the right hand.

    3. Vesta

      Also, today happens to be World Elephant Day, a day of recognition of the beauty, intelligence and gentleness of the elephant, and to reflect on the great harm being done to their species. Every 15 minutes in Africa, an elephant is slaughtered for their tusks to feed the brutal ivory trade. At this rate, there will none left in about 10 years. (the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, I have no affiliation with this organization).

    4. mytwosenseworth

      I’m positive that is (was) from Disneyland (Anaheim, CA). I remember having seen it back in the 1960s, from a View-Master reel on the park; there were several more elephants under the cascading falls.

  4. diptherio

    Re: The Middle Class Is Not For Itself–FDL

    “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I?”

    ~Rabbi Hillel

    1. rich

      Barack Obama decamps to Martha’s Vineyard and thumbs his nose again at America’s middle class

      Bo, the president’s Portuguese Water Dog, arrived separately on one of two MV-22 Ospreys, a hybrid aircraft which takes off like a helicopter but flies like a plane. It was the first time the Ospreys have been taken on holiday by a US president.

      …people eating dog food, dog flying first class….bow wow!…Madness in America, for sure.

      1. katiebird

        It’s taken me, I-don’t-know-how-many-years to realize that Obama named his dog after himself.

      2. deconstructingpoliticalspin

        I agree that it’s an “elitist” way to spend one’s vacation, but it sounds as though it’s been a Dem tradition . . .

        Rumor has it the Obama family will vacation in Martha’s Vineyard next month, but they aren’t the first members of American royalty to set foot on the area’s windswept sand. The Clintons have also been seen around town eating ice cream, jogging, and working on their golf swings. And for decades, the Kennedy family has retreated to its compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, on the nearby peninsula of Cape Cod.

        We’ve assembled an album of the Clintons’ and Kennedys’ best photos from their summer holidays to show the Obamas what’s in store — and to let you know what you’re missing out on!


        Seriously, if this Administration would be a good steward of the economy, I wouldn’t give a whit where the First Family vacations.

        But that’s the rub, isn’t it?

  5. Brindle

    Re: “Nixon’s Resignation….”

    Obama essentially plays the Gerald Ford role concerning the crimes of Bush/Cheney—as Obama creates his own legacy of criminal acts.

    —“Ford’s pardon of Nixon set a precedent of absolute immunity for the president for all crimes committed in office. Ford’s pardon proclaimed a new doctrine in American law and politics — that one president can absolve another president of all his crimes and all his killings. His pardon signaled the formal end of the rule of law in America.

    The lesson that Ford’s top advisors seemed to draw from the pardon is that the government can break the law with impunity. Ford’s former chief of staff, Dick Cheney, brought this doctrine into the Bush administration, where it helped unleash torture around the world.”—

    1. shutter

      Ford Pardons Nixon for everything under the sun, now and forever more..

      …”Ford’s former chief of staff, Dick Cheney…”

      Gee, guess who pushed Ford into THAT decision!

    1. colinc

      Thank you. I thoroughly enjoyed(?) reading a more eloquent version of perspectives I’ve been trying to communicate for more than a decade… usually to a willingly deaf audience. Alas, it is this latter “feature” that will preclude Dr. Giroux’s perspectives being available to those who most need them. I’ve often quoted J. Krishnamurti’s one-liner, “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society”, as a more succinct form of the CounterPunch article and no one, not a single person of dozens, has even contemplated for a micro-second how utterly assimilated they, themselves, are. I cannot see this situation resolving itself in any “good” way and am certain that resolution will be quite soon.

      1. Klassy!

        Yes, it remind me of studies of resilient children. While I suppose it is useful to know why some children flourish despite the odds (and this actually supposes that the studies will a) find out why this happens and b) actually provide information that will be of use in the real world) it all seems kind of sick to me.

      1. Klassy!

        Yes, it was a good essay. Times are calling out for the language and vision of MLK. We get Cass Sunstein.

  6. real

    regarding article about hillary clinton in wapo:
    Hillary is hardly self made politician..she rode on tails of her husband…her own record as senator and secretary of state is not much impressive..but that is hardly an impediment
    I don’t think electing a woman or man at top makes much difference in corporate-media-bank-lawyers-bureaucrat-military-security apparatus controlled government…
    It is the people who surround president makes a govt work
    There were many women presidents and prime ministers in other parts of world…
    i will just give gist in few sentences:
    Indira power because her father was prime minister and converted india into communist heaven with help of russia..almost imposed communist dictatorship…every problem we face started in her era…
    Then there is darling of west:benzir bhutto..a murderous and cunning politician who got her brother killed…who started backing taliban in afghanistan…corruption in her regime reached new heights…USA,like idiot they are promoted her as liberal candidate in could her former taliban supporter support her 180 deg turn?I know americans think benzir bhutto as some sort divine goddess who came to liberate pakistan from theocracy..
    then there were two begums in bangladesh,bandarnaike in sri lanka…the thaksin lady in thailand..etc etc…

    1. MyLeszsThanPrimeBeef

      People take to Hillary because she has got a lot of Yang/Male energy to succeed in a Yang/Masculine world.

      But what we need is to make the world, its structure and the institutions in it, more Yin/Feminine. You see it in all the mythologies of the world…just read Campbell or the Golden Bough.

      These are 2 completely different things.

      Hillary simply perpetuates the out-of-balance path we are currently on…but with better packaging. Where have we heard that before about neoliberalism? Fool me twice before the cock crow…

  7. rich


    13 signs the Big Bank Conspiracy is a moral threat
    Commentary: Goldman’s ‘soul sick’ pathology is spreading

    Do you? Yes, Big Banks are morally blind, do not care what taxpayers, investors and politicians think … Huffington Post says eight agencies are investigating J.P. Morgan for fraud, while CEO Jamie Dimon yawns … billionaires are saving three times what they did in 2007, they see the crash coming … Bill Gross says the 30-year bull in our $32 trillion bond market is over, “you’re going to lose money investing” … Economist Robert Gordon warns that America’s GDP growth will be less than 1% by 2100.

    But Big Banks have short-term brains. They only see the one rule of capitalism: Make profits. What about public interest? Not part of a corporation agenda. Not with CEOs like Dimon and Goldman Sachs’s Lloyd Blankfein, traders, executives and vice presidents who expect huge bonuses. Short-term profits always trump long-term public interests. Always.
    Has Goldman’s moral pathology infected a Big Banks Conspiracy?

    Let me remind you again of John C. Bogle’s great classic, “The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism: How the Financial System Undermined Social Ideals, Damaged Trust in the Markets, Robbed Investors of Trillions.” That was 2005, Vanguard’s founder warned us Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” was no longer driving “capitalism in a healthy, positive direction.”

    Bogle saw a “happy conspiracy” of Wall Street, Washington and Corporate America was spreading a “pathological mutation of capitalism” driven by the new “invisible hands” of this conspiracy pushing their selfish agenda in a war to control American democracy and capitalism. Goldman Sachs had a winning hand, and the competition wanted one too.

    They won: Democracy is dead. Capitalism is dead. Our moral compass is broken. More proof? See for yourself the 13 signs of the “pathological mutation of capitalism” that Bogle fears. How it’s metasticized right under our noses. How Goldman’s pathogens spread so rapidly since the 2008 crash they are infecting every other Wall Street bank, plus the global Big Banks Conspiracy, the world’s top hundred banks?

    You decide. See for yourself: Here are earlier news reports paraphrasing the 13 symptoms of a “soul sickness” pandemic spreading from Goldman Sachs’s pathology:

  8. Jim Haygood

    ‘[Hillary] these days talks freely about … women’s empowerment throughout almost all of her public remarks in the seven months since she stepped down as secretary of state.’

    Well, that’s a nice positive spin. Nobody’s against women’s empowerment. But, empowerment for what? Clyde Wilson sees Hillary rather differently:

    Hillary Rodham Clinton, raised a Northern Methodist in Chicago, is a museum-quality specimen of the Yankee — self-righteous, ruthless, and self-aggrandizing. The Yankee temperament, it should be noted, makes a neat fit with the Stalinism that was brought into the Deep North by later immigrants.

    One is surprised, given Wilson’s academic background, that he didn’t invoke the universal nemesis of 1960s college professors (the ones with the pipe and leather elbow patches on their tweed jackets): the ‘castrating bitch.’

    Hillary’s gynocratical dystopia likely would resemble an inverted version of Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale, with most men rendered eunuchs by obligatory HillaryCare orchidectomies, but with a few preserved ‘intact’ for the grim breeding procedure that Atwood so memorably described.

    ‘Women’s empowerment,’ Hillary style:

  9. from Mexico

    @ “Repudiating scientism, rather than surrendering to it”

    Stephen Pinker looks to be fighting for his place at the New Atheist Vatican. Maybe the princes of the church will reward him for his strict adherence to the one true faith by elevating him to the place vacated by Christopher Hitchens.

    John Michael Greer hit the nail firmly on the head when he noted, “Like their theist cousins, civil religions fairly often respond to challenges to their core beliefs by moving toward the extremes and looking for somebody to blame.”

    1. anon y'mouse

      in this article, Myers points out exactly the struggle being made in the university as I’ve witnessed it. and it isn’t just happening there. there is a lot of public chatter that attending university is to be made purely on a cost/benefit analysis of how much money your degree will get you. the common wisdom is “sure, i’d like to send you to study art. but if i’m helping you to the tune of $20k/year, that’s a fantasy that won’t get you a job in the end.” I’ve overheard this conversation on the bus, and everywhere else. as if the only use for education is to install technical knowledge that will aid in “development” and, therefore, income.

      this is the new version of becoming a slave. you don’t necessarily learn how to be a full human being. you learn something that makes you a better instrument of someone else’s designs, and thereby earn a good paycheck in the process. I don’t think you learn to question WHY such paths or methods should be undertaken, and for whose benefit they primarily are. also, once you stick with such a subject and internalize its values, you can’t help but be trapped in the desire for Progress at all costs as well.

      during my time in university, it became clear that the humanities are the unwanted stepchildren, or the poor relations at the feast. they have to justify themselves. meanwhile, money is rushing to build entire new wings for the Center for Sustainable Solutions (not that we don’t need them, but still). what if the most sustainable solution is to tell people that the best method of personal transport is the bicycle (invented in 1817), and the second most sustainable is the horse?

      1. from Mexico

        In his 1986 presidential address to the Public Choice Society, Dennis Mueller stated: “And, I submit, the only assumption essential to a descriptive and predictive science of human behavior is egoism.”

        And so it was. Throughout the sciences, it was full court press to peddle the self-interest axiom. Such mass insanity had not pervaded the sciences since the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries, when eugenics, social Darwinism and anthropo-sociology were the scientific rage. For the reduction and debunking of moral behavior was not limited to neoclassical economists (e.g. Milton Friedman, James Buchanan, Mancur Olson, Gordon Tullock, Anthony Downs, Dennis Mueller, etc.). It is a theme shared by a number of major psychological theories (Michael A. and Lise Wallach, Psychology’s Sanction for Selfishness). “In anthropology, cultural materialism stresses people’s desire to improve their material lot as the basis of human motivation” (Azar Gat, War in Human Civilization). And

        Ironically, human biology has settled in the same place as economic theory… Richard Dawkins, for instance, struck a responsive chord among economists when, in The Selfish Gene (1989[1976], v.), he confidently asserted ‘‘We are survival machines— robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes. . . . This gene selfishness will usually give rise to selfishness in individual behavior.’’ Reflecting the intellectual mood of the times, in his The Biology of Moral Systems, R. D. Alexander asserted, ‘‘Ethics, morality, human conduct, and the human psyche are to be understood only if societies are seen as collections of individuals seeking their own self-interest. . . .’’ (1987, 3).

        And, as Amitai Etzioni notes in The Moral Dimension, neoclassical economists and their fellow travelers “tend to design institutions for knaves.”

        But now, these scientists are being hoisted on their own pitard, as John Michael Greer explains:

        Not long ago, when a qualified scientist got up in front of the public and spoke about some matter of scientific fact, most Americans took him at his word. Nowadays? One of the core reasons for the failure of climate activism in the US is that a great many Americans know that an expert opinion from a distinguished researcher can be bought for the price of a research grant.

        Human behavior is complex, and Greer enumerates a number of other causes for “the collapse in the prestige of science,” but the triumph of the self-interest axiom certainly plays a prominent role.

        For me, one of the great losses of the triumph of the the self-interest crusaderers is everything that was good, decent and beautiful about science. As Myers put it: “Heart, soul, poetry, beauty are not grist for the analytical mill of science, but they really are the core, and if you don’t appreciate that, the breadth of your education is lacking.”

        Myers echoes something Einstein wrote almost a century earlier:

        I maintain that the cosmic religious feeling is the strongest and noblest motive for scientific research. Only those who realize the immense efforts and, above all, the devotion without which pioneer work in theoretical science cannot be achieved are able to grasp the strength of the emotion out of which alone such work, remote as it is from the immediate realities of life, can issue. What a deep conviction of the rationality of the universe and what a yearning to understand, were it but a feeble reflection of the mind revealed in this world, Kepler and Newton must have had to enable them to spend years of solitary labor in disentangling the principles of celestial mechanics! Those whose acquaintance with scientific research is derived chiefly from its practical results easily develop a completely false notion of the mentality of the men who, surrounded by a skeptical world, have shown the way to kindred spirits scattered wide through the world and through the centuries. Only one who has devoted his life to similar ends can have a vivid realization of what has inspired these men and given them the strength to remain true to their purpose in spite of countless failures. It is cosmic religious feeling that gives a man such strength. A contemporary has said, not unjustly, that in this materialistic age of ours the serious scientific workers are the only profoundly religious people.

    1. Klassy!

      It is too bad that none of these stories is going to make a bit of a difference in the primary election.
      And it is truly a shame that Cory may not be able to devote himself fully to Waywire because everyone knows we simply do not have enough video sharing platforms. Or ways to curate these videos. Fix that problem and it’s smooth sailing for democracy from here on out.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Jeebus, the Wall Street funding is bad enough. Sucking up to Michelle Rhee is worse. But Dominionists? That’s nasty. Makes me long for the days of Jon Corzine, a creature of (comparative) integrity.

        1. Klassy!

          I thought he was one of those Christian Zionist nuts. Doesn’t matter though– whatever loathsome tag you put on Cory now is just gravy.

          1. Patricia

            Dominionists are generally also Christian Zionists. They do not understand the different between metaphor and reality, having had no art training, and being both deeply legalistic as well as power-hungry.

            They are the most wretched of idealists. IMO.

        2. F. Beard

          Yep. The Dominionists do intend to bring you heathen into subjection with a government-enforced gold standard and usury because you guys ARE foreign to them and usury from foreigners is allowed in Deuteronomy 23:19-20.

          But I don’t believe in stealing from the heathen since there is no warrant for that in Scripture or for theft from anyone outside warfare where it is called “despoiling”, iirc. Instead we are commanded to love you guys. And a lot of us have been heathens ourselves.

          I would think that as Americans; Christians, Jews and heathen alike would agree on “Thou shall not steal.” Ya know, fair play and all that?

  10. rich

    U.S. Probes Use of Antipsychotic Drugs on Children

    Federal health officials are reviewing antipsychotic drug use on children in the Medicaid system. Federal health officials have launched a probe into the use of antipsychotic drugs on children in the Medicaid system, amid concern that the medications are being prescribed too often to treat behavioral problems in the very young.

    The effort applies to a newer class of antipsychotic drugs known as “atypicals,” which include Abilify, the nation’s No. 1 prescription drug by sales. The drugs were originally developed to treat psychoses such as schizophrenia, but some now have Food and Drug Administration approval for treatment of children with conditions such as bipolar disorder and irritability associated with autism.

    In 2008, the most recent year for which complete data are available, Medicaid, the government health program for the poor, spent $3.6 billion on antipsychotic medications, up from $1.65 billion in 1999, according to Mathematica Policy Research, a Washington firm that crunches Medicaid data for HHS. The growth came even as pharmacy benefits for millions of Medicaid recipients shifted to Medicare in 2006.

    Medicaid spends more on antipsychotics than on any other class of drugs. Abilify, made by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., appears on lists of the top 10 drugs paid for by Medicaid in various states.

    Mark Duggan, a professor and health-policy expert at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, says his analysis of 2010 data on five leading antipsychotics suggests that more than 70% of the cost of these drugs was paid for by Medicaid and other government programs.

    they know how to fund and make drugs available when they want to…..wonder what the long term effects on these children will be….?

    1. Klassy!

      Thanks for the summary. I cannot get behind WSJ’s paywall. Interesting, but not entirely unexpected. Well, especially since I know a teen on abilify. She’s medicaid.

    2. deconstructingpoliticalspin

      Your two “blurbs” about the US HHS Dept’s concern about precription drug “usage,” concern me somewhat.

      It wasn’t that long ago that Dem Senators led the charge to reclassify a couple of painkillers, obstensibly out of concern for Medicaid patients.

      Now, another couple of stories.

      Why I object to the reclassification of the painkillers is because some Medicaid beneficiaries may be forced to “go in pain,” due to the increased hoops that they will now be forced to jump through.

      Many (if not all) states now require their Medicaid beneficiaries to pay co-pays for doctors visits, prescription drugs, etc.

      These extra co-pays for physicians’ visits and RX refills may be prohibitive for some of the poorest Medicaid patients.

      According to the MMMA,

      The new law regarding “Hydrocodone” will:

      “reclassify painkillers like Vicodin and Lortab as Schedule II drugs, which also affects how they are to be stored and prescribed.

      [For instance, patients would need an original prescription for refills, . . . ]

      Unfortunately, many very old, poor, and chronically ill and in pain Medicaid patients may not be able to return to their physician as frequently as needed to get their refills.

      And last, but not least,

      Rockefeller also offered an amendment to help support state prescription drug monitoring programs.

      I just hope that this isn’t simply a “backdoor cost-cutting, austerity measure,” aimed at our poorest and most vulnerable American citizens.

      It would seem more sensible to have put in place better “screening measures” for addiction, than putting up roadblocks to obtaining prescription drugs for nonabusing Medicaid patients.

      Considering that an ultra conversative Dem–and No Labeler–like Joe Manchin (WV) initiated this law, I am somewhat suspect (rightfully or wrongfully, LOL!).

    3. deconstructingpoliticalspin

      Just hope this isn’t mainly an economic measure.

      I am concerned that the recent reclassification of some painkillers (Vicodin and Lortab) as Schedule II (instead of Schedule III) drugs, will particularly hurt poor Medicaid recipients with chronic illness and pain, since they will now be required a doctor’s visit for every refill.

  11. Walter Map

    This is making me depressed, so I’m going to give it up for a while. Ruination is not for the faint of heart, I guess.

  12. pretzelattack

    i’m not sure what “scare stories” the archdruid is referring to with regard to global warming, and the relevance to scientism.

    1. from Mexico

      Greer didn’t specify, but maybe he’s talking about folks like Hans von Storch.

      Storch is not an AGW denier or skeptic. However, his criticism is that some climate scientists, which he calls “alarmists,” have not been as rigorous in their science as they should be. Instead the alarmists tend to sensationalize and oversell climate change, making errors which will come back to haunt climate scientists, prove helpful to the AGW deniers, and damage the credibility of climate scientists.

      I remember reading somewhere along the way that thoughful people don’t make good advocates. But I think the converse is also true, advocates don’t make good scientists.

      Storch is not along in this belief:

      Watts’s public experiments provide an example of one more area in which sceptics seek to uphold standards, through transparent and auditable scientific practice. One of the most contentious issues arising from Climategate was the effort to withhold from publication data subjected to freedom of information requests. When physicist Phil Moriarty challenged these practices as being outside of accepted scientific standards, he was lauded by numerous commenters on the Bishop Hill sceptic blog as a “real scientist”.

      While this may mark a new era of extended and unforgiving online peer review, is it also a convenient modus operandi for politically motivated sceptics who can utilise doubt as a weapon against effective implementation of climate policy. Those who favour free market policies over regulation certainly have ample motivation to chip away at climate science if they think it will cast aspersions on the basis for policy. However, how can criticisms of sceptics as politically motivated be squared with science’s commitment to findings always being provisional and open to challenge? At what point can we judge that a scientific question moves from a position of “doubt” to being “settled”?

      Both climate change sceptics and advocates of climate policy see this question as important; sharing a faith that scientific evidence is the basis for public policy. However, such a faith omits the possibility that science is not suited to such a role, and that “solving” climate change does not flow linearly from agreement on the science. The attentions of sceptics may or may not be improving the practice and knowledge of climate science. However, if sceptics’ never-ending audit is really damaging policy, that may be more a reflection of an overly scientised policy process than a basis for denying them a voice in debate.

  13. rich

    That’s a lot of filled prescriptions………….

    OxyContin maker closely guards its list of suspect doctors

    Purdue Pharma has privately identified about 1,800 doctors who may have recklessly prescribed the painkiller to addicts and dealers, yet it has done little to alert authorities.

    Over the last decade, the maker of the potent painkiller OxyContin has compiled a database of hundreds of doctors suspected of recklessly prescribing its pills to addicts and drug dealers, but has done little to alert law enforcement or medical authorities.

    Despite its suspicions, Purdue Pharma continued to profit from prescriptions written by these physicians, many of whom were prolific prescribers of OxyContin. The company has sold more than $27 billion worth of the drug since its introduction in 1996.

    Purdue has promoted the idea that the country’s epidemic of prescription drug deaths was fueled largely by pharmacy robberies, doctor-shopping patients and teens raiding home medicine cabinets. The database suggests that Purdue has long known that physicians also play a significant role in the crisis.

    Purdue’s database, which contains the names of more than 1,800 doctors, could provide leads for investigators at a time when they are increasingly looking at how reckless prescribing of painkillers contributes to addiction and death.

    Purdue has said little about the list since it began identifying doctors in 2002. A company scientist offered a glimpse into the database at a June drug dependency conference in San Diego, noting it was the first time the program had been discussed in public.

    In a series of interviews with The Times, Purdue attorney Robin Abrams said the company created the database to steer its sales representatives away from risky doctors. Policing physicians, she said, was not Purdue’s responsibility.

    “We don’t have the ability to take the prescription pad out of their hand,” she said.,0,5485540,full.story

    1. Kurt Sperry

      Pharmaceuticals should not have “sales reps” pushing them. In fact, researching and developing medicines should be the exclusively done within the public domain and the resulting formulations should be generic from day one and manufactured by private tightly regulated private companies in a competitive marketplace. Profit and health care are in fact wholly incompatible concepts.

    2. F. Beard

      Heaven forbid that people not be in pain!

      And that’s why people hate liberals and Progressives – their meddling. The real God is more sympathetic:

      Give strong drink to him who is perishing,
      And wine to him whose life is bitter.
      Let him drink and forget his poverty
      And remember his trouble no more.
      Open your mouth for the mute,
      For the rights of all the unfortunate.
      Open your mouth, judge righteously,
      And defend the rights of the afflicted and needy.
      Proverbs 31:6-9 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

      And how convenient. The bankers throw people out their homes and the Progressives are there to foreclose any relief from the misery.

        1. F. Beard

          I forgot that sarcasm does not carry well on the Internet. My apologizes.

          Correction: Heaven forbid that people not be in pain! /sarc

        2. F. Beard

          And btw, public purpose should include justice – not a government-backed banking cartel for the sake of the so-called creditworthy (which in times past did not include those who lived in black neighbors – see “redlining”).

      1. F. Beard

        That’s Bathsheba speaking, btw, Solomon’s mother. David had excellent taste in another man’s wife, I’d say, though that does not excuse the adultery nor his murder of Uriah the Hittite, her husband, a most excellent man. I wept (and who wouldn’t?) to read that Uriah was one of David’s top 37 men.

  14. deconstructingpoliticalspin

    “Separation of Church and State” needs to be a major policy plank for the Dem Party in 2016. Unfortunately, since at least President Carter’s term, it hasn’t seemed to be.

    And in the 1990’s, according to RELIGION IN THE NEWS:

    Former President Clinton “signed into law the first legislative version of the faith-based initiative—the “charitable choice” provision introduced into the 1996 welfare reform bill by then-senator John Ashcroft of Missouri.”

    I hope that the progressive community will unite against further blurring of government and “the Church,” before the 2016 Presidential election cycle begins in earnest.

    This is simply unacceptable.

    Recently heard CFR Prez Richard Haass boast of his “partnership” with the faith-based community to spread his malicious foreign and domestic policy propaganda. (My characterization, of course–not his.)

    That was the ultimate goal of establishing this “monied” relationship with the Churches and the ministers–resulting in the pumping of billions of dollars into church coffers.

    We’ve all recently seen a sterling example of this. Most notably, many in the black Church leadership were obviously able to persuade many of their parishioners to continue to support this Administration, in spite of its failure to implement economic policies which would help lift up its community.

    I hope that progressive activists demand a change in this policy of funnelling money into Churces, in exchange for political favors. (After all, we know that conservative politicians won’t lift a finger to stop this practice.)

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I hope it’s not true that every Swedish coin has ‘In Thor We Trust,’ every Israeli coin has ‘In Yahweh We Trust,’ and every Indian coin has ‘In Brahma We Trust’ on it.

      The only real choice should be ‘In Mammon We Trust.’

  15. Jeremy Grimm

    The Air, Sea, Battle ‘strategy’ versus the Offshore Control ‘strategy for dealing with a conflict with China was very disturbing. I couldn’t get past the first two pages. One intension of the Offshore Control strategy is interdicting trade with China as a tactic to wear them down and compel a resolution of the conflict. Not only do almost all of our currently available consumer products come from China, but so do a large proportion of the basic inputs that our domestic industries rely upon, what remains of them. The article, “A Glitch in the Matrix, Why the Pivot in Asia Has No Clothes”, by Barry Lynn of the New America Foundation, []. Who would yell “Uncle” first if the U.S. blocked trade with China?

    Another problem is assuming U.S. Naval superiority in the scenario presented: “In short, Offshore Control makes use of U.S. superiority in undersea warfare and integrated air defenses to destroy any Chinese assets that venture away from her shores.” Not only would the Chinese feel less pain than we would from cutting off U.S. – China trade, but this assumption of Naval superiority overestimates the capabilities of the long-range defense perimeter around our large ships, such as aircraft carriers: “… force China to use its few long-range assets to penetrate combined air-and-sea defensive networks at extreme range.” Recall the Millennium Challenge war games [], and the initial victory by retired Marine Corps General Ripper, achieved by firing a bank of cruise missiles against the attacking forces []. A more recent paper “How the United States Lost the Naval War of 2015”, by James Kraska, [], suggests how the demonstrated capability of Song class Chinese Diesel submarines to penetrate the long-range defense perimeter around large U.S. ships might be used to achieve a quick relatively painless Chinese victory in a conflict at sea. “In one incident in October 2006, one of the ultra-quiet Song submarines surfaced inside the protective screen of the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk.”

    Perhaps these concerns are addressed more fully later in the article – I couldn’t read any further.

  16. Antifa

    America’s ability to project air sea power anywhere in the world is hollow. Like the battleships of WWII, aircraft carriers nowadays are lumbering white elephants, and have been since the late Eighties when the Russians built the first Sunburn anti-ship missiles, and started selling them to their allies. Like China. And Iran.

    A Sunburn missile travels at about 2300 mph, a few feet above the water, and one missile can take out an aircraft carrier with about 30 seconds warning. There is no effective defense against something that fast. Even our Aegis Combat System is believed only capable of stopping the occasional Sunburn missile.

    And in a shooting war these missiles won’t be fired at us occasionally. They’ll come in volleys until our fleet is on the bottom.

    So the idea of our aircraft carriers — in any number — controlling the oceans anywhere near China or territories it defends is hubris. Any carriers we put into harm’s way there will be gone a few minutes after the shooting starts. Same for the Persian Gulf. The Russians have supplied the Iranians with Sunburn missiles for some time now.

    The only real deterrent our carriers still possess is that sinking one of them guarantees an immediate escalation to nuclear war. So nobody wants to sink one, easy as it would be. Things would get nuclear real fast. It’s only on this basis that our white elephant carrier fleet is allowed to sail to and fro, blustering to the world about air supremacy. It’s a hollow boast.

    Curiously, the Sunburn missile has a strategic weakness when used against American ships. There being no defense against it, launching one is more like executing an American vessel than defeating it in a “fair fight.” It’s more like a mafia hit, or a sniper silently taking you out. Whack, and you’re gone. So using a Sunburn missile to put down an American aircraft carrier will be taken by the American public as a sneak attack, a dirty deed, another Pearl Harbor, an assassination of several thousand helpless American sailors who were just washing their socks only thirty seconds ago and now they’re all sleeping with the fishes. The response will be immediate and nuclear. So nobody wants to sink an American carrier, easy as it would be.

    The Sunburn missile is probably the single most influential reason that war with Iran hasn’t happened yet. Israel is happy to push us to make war on Iran. Israel has no carrier fleet to risk in the Gulf or the Mediterranean. We do. And we have little interest in launching nukes against an ally of Russia and of China, which is what war on Iran would become in a matter of minutes. Our admirals know very well how briefly our fleet will remain afloat in a shooting war with Iran. Within half an hour any of our ships in the Gulf will be gone and our ICBM’s will be enroute.

    So we don’t want a shooting war with Iran, easy as it would be to start one. It would all get nuclear before you could finish a cup of coffee.

    Which is why there’s a school of thought in the Pentagon that says, “Since it’s bound to go nuclear let’s just start nuclear. Turn Iran into a sheet of glass before we send the fleet into harm’s way.” Let’s hope cooler heads prevail indefinitely.

    1. F. Beard

      Let’s hope cooler heads prevail indefinitely. Antifa

      One should hedge too. The Bible predicts the End Times will include Iran (Magog, iirc). And one should always be ready to meet one’s Maker anyway.

      I’d say a Miracle is probably required to forestall The End.
      I’ll point out that Jerusalem could have avoided destruction by the Babylonians IF the king and people had NOT reneged on a solemn pledge to release their illegally held debt-slaves. See Jerimiah 34:6-22 for the details. Perhaps we should try something similar (but not renege)?

      Btw, a lot of the boomers were Jesus freaks and are now the PTB. Yet it is NOT godly to long for the Day of the Lord according to Amos 5:18-24. Instead, we are to work for justice and righteousness.

        1. F. Beard

          I was talking about hedging one’s physical survival with one’s spiritual survival which one should do anyway since we’re all (except those who get Raptured) gonna die anyway.

          But I doubt it’ll be a honor for that generation which sees THE END since they’ll probably be responsible for bringing it on.

          Come on, boomers! Your honor maybe at stake!

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      QUESION TO ADMIRAL: How will we know the aircraft carrier is obsolete?

      ADMIRAL’S ANSWER: When it fails in war.

      * * *

      Now Google “Millenium Challenge.”

      1. Emma

        Van Riper for President please.
        Red devils rule!

        Seriously the MCO2 fiasco sounds like the PNAC thinktank producing fire-like excrement.

      2. optimader

        Adm. H. Rickover testified before Congress 50 plus years ago that the US carriers would last perhaps two days in a real war. These days? Probably a matter of hours.
        Frmr. Sec. Gates, who is not idiot, conceded the Aircraft Carrier task force is “an anachronism”

        As William Lind succinctly pointed out:

        “Today as throughout the Cold War, the U.S. Navy is building a fleet perfectly designed to fight the navy of Imperial Japan.
        If someone wants to contest control of the Pacific Ocean in a war between aircraft carrier task forces, we are ready. Unfortunately, no one does, absent that general Resurrection when Shokaku and Zuikaku, Soryu and Hiryu will rise from their watery graves.”

        Interestingly enoughthe US Navy resorted to leasing a Swedish Navy Gotland Class sub w/ crew circa ~2004 to attempt developing practical ASW countermeasures. An apparent spectacular failure if you consider they could never could find the damn thing when it was on patrol, that is until it popped up in the middle of a Naval task force war game after it shot some periscope pics, “virtually” sinking the USS Ronald Reagan.

        From a Swedish link
        The Gotland regularly uses its diesel engines only when entering or exiting port, going on two-week-plus “silent” patrols using its Stirling AIP engines exclusively.[8] As of March 2006, the U.S. Navy was reportedly in talks with Sweden on extending the lease for one to two more years.[8,10] Reportedly, during a Joint Task Force Exercise on December 6-16, 2005, with the USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group off the coast of Southern California, the Gotland managed to take several pictures of the Ronald Reagan from close quarters, indicating a “strike” on the aircraft carrier.[9] As Gotland’s Lieutenant Commander Jan Westas says, the U.S. ASW forces “have had a very difficult time finding us.”[8] To date, the exercises have been carried out in deep water. It is expected that exercises with the Gotland in coastal waters will prove even more challenging to U.S. ASW.[8]

        “U.S. ASW forces “have had a very difficult time finding us.””
        I think this is Swedish Navy speak for we owned it at our choosing

    3. Hugh

      The Sunburn or P-279 Moskit has a range of 75 miles. In a conflict with Iran, US carriers would probably operate from a few hundred miles out in the Arabian Sea. Except as a show of force or to act as a tripwire, US warships would operate at similar distances from the Chinese mainland.

      You are correct though that any large scale engagement of forces between China and the US could quickly go nuclear. It is also important to understand that a blockade is an act of war. AirSea Battle is just another example of the Pentagon in search of a mission to justify its big budgets.

      1. Antifa

        Indeed, they are throwing money and hope in the direction of upgraded electronic warfare capabilities to jam radar-guided missiles of all varieties, in the hope of saving our ships.

        As for operating hundreds of miles out to sea, that was always understood. That’s where carriers always prefer to be. But the newer Sunburn variants are launched from jets a hundred miles from the ships. Hard to provide a hundred mile air umbrella against hundreds of jets.

        But it is definitely a great jobs program for the defense contractors promising the Navy great things.

      2. optimader

        AC carriers are torpedo/missile magnets, nuclear weapons are an unnecessary escalation and everyone knows it. It’s all a very expensive charade.

  17. Andrew Watts

    RE: Nixon’s Resignation & the Era of Lawless Presidencies

    I don’t know why Americans feel the need to ritualistically trash Nixon’s memory. Although it’s nice to have somebody to scapegoat for the country’s decline. Let’s deal with these accusations against Nixon one at a time.

    (“Nixon, the man who chose him to be vice president after Spiro Agnew was forced to resign in disgrace”)

    Before Agnew’s disgraceful resignation, Nixon wanted to force him to resign due to his lack of intelligence concerning foreign affairs…. among other things.


    “Oval Office tapes reveal that in 1971, Nixon and his chief of staff, Bob Haldeman, discussed their desire to have Agnew resign from office before the following year’s campaign season. One plan to achieve this was to try to persuade conservative investors to purchase one of the television networks, and then invite Agnew to run it. Another was to see if Bob Hope would be willing to take Agnew on as his partner in his cable television investments. These and other plans never went beyond the talking stages. Nixon would have liked to replace Agnew on the Republican ticket in 1972 with John Connally, his chosen successor for 1976”

    (“Nixon was guilty of illegally invading a foreign country (Cambodia);”)

    The war in Cambodia began under the Johnson Administration. Even Wikipedia backs this up.

    “In December 1967 Washington Post journalist Stanley Karnow was told by Sihanouk that if the US wanted to bomb the Vietnamese communist sanctuaries, he would not object, unless Cambodians were killed.[30] The same message was conveyed to US President Johnson’s emissary Chester Bowles in January 1968.[31] Members of the government and army, who resented Sihanouk’s ruling style as well as his tilt away from the United States, did have such a motivation.”

    What would non-Cambodians be doing in the Cambodian part of the Golden Triangle? It’s a mystery!

    (“of perpetuating the war in Vietnam for political purposes and his 1972 reelection campaign;”)

    The only reason the North Vietnamese were at the peace talks in the first place was due to Soviet pressure. They were not eager to conclude a peace treaty. Wars often begin when you will, but they do not end when you please. Americans still haven’t learned this important lesson of history.

    If Nixon had successfully concluded a peace treaty, his reelection campaign would’ve solidified Republican political dominance for the foreseeable future. Vietnam wasn’t the first war in the post-WW2 era that a Democrat got the country into, only to be settled later under a Republican.

    Like, I don’t know, Korea?

    (“of violating the rights of tens of thousands of Americans with the illegal FBI COINTELPRO program;”)

    Nobody was safe from J. Edgar Hoover. That probably includes Congress and the Presidency.

    (“of sanctioning CIA violence and subversion around the globe;”)

    How can you personally blame Nixon for that? That’s what the CIA has been doing since it’s inception.

    In the interests of accuracy, I would exchange the word violence for espionage. Even though violence is occasionally the product of the espionage actions undertaken.

    (“and Watergate”)

    Okay, fair enough.

    (“Nixon also created Amtrak.”)

    Unforgivable. The horror!

    The author later goes on to conclusively assert that Nixon is the source of all our country’s present ills. But I wouldn’t trust this idiot to tell me when the War of 1812 started. It is painfully obvious historical accuracy is not one of his virtues.

    1. Hugh

      “I don’t know why Americans feel the need to ritualistically trash Nixon’s memory.”

      “Well, when the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.”

      Richard M. Nixon

    2. Joe

      Here is my favorite quote from the Hunter Thomson article:

      “If the right people had been in charge of Nixon’s funeral, his casket would have been launched into one of those open-sewage canals that empty into the ocean just south of Los Angeles. He was a swine of a man and a jabbering dupe of a president. Nixon was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning. Even his funeral was illegal. He was queer in the deepest way. His body should have been burned in a trash bin.

      These are harsh words for a man only recently canonized by President Clinton and my old friend George McGovern — but I have written worse things about Nixon, many times, and the record will show that I kicked him repeatedly long before he went down. I beat him like a mad dog with mange every time I got a chance, and I am proud of it. He was scum.”

    3. optimader

      Lesseee, I’ll take a crack at it.. Because he was an criminal that as a minimum never apologized?

  18. Bill

    Hillary Clinton…”independent”?

    The media created the Obama myth without any facts. Now it’s creating the Hillary myth by ignoring the facts.

    “Clinton’s speaking schedule illustrates her deep network of contacts across industries. She agreed to give a paid speech to the American Society for Clinical Pathology in Chicago this September in part, organizers said, because of the group’s work with the Clinton Global Initiative, her family’s charitable organization.

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D), a former aide to her husband, will introduce Clinton, and E. Blair Holladay, the group’s executive vice president, will ask her questions from the stage. Holladay said Clinton’s fee, which he would not disclose, will be covered by event sponsors, including some pharmaceutical companies.”

    “Generalissima Clinton Expanding the Empire
    Posted February 8, 2013

    By Ralph Nader

    Hillary Clinton has completed her four-year tenure as Secretary of State to the accolades of both Democratic and Republican Congressional champions of the budget-busting “military-industrial complex,” that President Eisenhower warned about in his farewell address. Behind the public relations sheen, the photo-opportunities with groups of poor people in the developing world, an ever more militarized State Department operated under Clinton’s leadership. ”

    1. jrs

      Really doesn’t it make everyone sick, we are now going to be marketed the first woman presidency, just like we were marketed Obama. Does what their policies are likely to be matter at all?

      Links, yea I guess we should start gathering up the evidence about why Clinton will just more of the same, in the same way that Obama was more of the same W etc.. Even though we all know this, we’ve all absorbed enough, it’s all seeped in deep, but we need to try to convince the skeptics, to I don’t know, run a real primary challenger, vote for 3rd party? Anything but the whole same stupid spectacle again and again, as farce and farce and farce.

  19. Hugh

    General Michael Hayden as former head of the NSA and later the CIA is an example of the militarization of US intelligence. Think of the former DNI Mike McConnell and the current DNI Clapper, an admiral and a general, as well as Petraeus as DCI and Keith Alexander at NSA. And as McConnell and Hayden retiring into the corporate side of intelligence shows its corporatization.

    Anyway, when Hayden was still at NSA and shortly before he was nominated to be DCI, he spoke at the National Press Club where the following exchange took place, which I will quote from Sourcewatch:

    Knight Ridder reporter Jonathan Landay prefaced a question by noting that “the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution specifies that you must have probable cause to be able to do a search that does not violate an American’s right against unlawful searches and seizures.” Hayden responded: “No, actually–the Fourth Amendment actually protects all of us against unreasonable search and seizure…. That’s what it says.” When Landay continued, “But does it not say probable–” Hayden said: “No. The amendment says…unreasonable search and seizure.”

    In fact, the amendment refers to both “unreasonable searches and seizures” and “probable cause.”

    Later, responding to Landay’s question, Hayden stated:

    Just to be very clear–and believe me, if there’s any amendment to the Constitution that employees of the National Security Agency are familiar with, it’s the Fourth. And it is a reasonableness standard in the Fourth Amendment. And so what you’ve raised to me–and I’m not a lawyer, and don’t want to become one–what you’ve raised to me is, in terms of quoting the Fourth Amendment, is an issue of the Constitution. The constitutional standard is “reasonable.” And we believe–I am convinced that we are lawful because what it is we’re doing is reasonable.

    This is, of course, the text of the 4th Amendment.

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    This happened back at the end of 2005, but it just says so much that the head of our biggest and most secretive spying organization had never really read the 4th Amendment or knew what it said (and that this in no way barred his nomination shortly afterward to the post of DCI). It also says a lot that in the intervening 7 1/2 years, Hayden’s understanding has not evolved into greater conformity with the 4th Amendment but rather into a stance which looks forward to its total negation.

    1. optimader

      I think it is again worth pointing out that Hayden is trading DIRECLY on expertise and knowledge developed and ascertained while he was a privileged employee of the US Government. Of course he will claim it is ok because does not divulge any classified or proprietary information, to which I would respond if this we true strictly speaking he would have no worthwhile expertise to offer.

      Of course the gravy train he hopped on
      is the entity formed by Michael Chertoff, a guy with dual-citizenship (Israel), which remains for me a pretty breathtaking bullet-point to include on the CV of the Director of the State Security apparatchik. Chertoff is of course the guy shilling the x-ray bodyscanner cancer machines to the USG.
      Everyone’s gotta eat I guess?..

    2. Jeff W

      I am convinced that we are lawful because what it is we’re doing is reasonable

      And even the part General Hayden can cite he gets wrong. It doesn’t matter what he says is reasonable—leaving aside the obvious fact that whoever is doing a search always thinks it’s reasonable—it matters what the reasonable expectation of the person being subjected to the search is.

    3. skippy

      An “Article of Faith” espoused and supported by some Priestly Lawyers opines.

      R.E. “And we believe–I am convinced that we are lawful because what it is we’re doing is reasonable.”

      skippy… hay when the Judiciary is stocked like a favorite fishing pond… you catch what you like… eh.

    4. Pantysniffing comint cowards

      Hayden’s ROTC cannon fodder, ignorant even by the standards of the Vietnam-era cretins who signed up. Of course he doesn’t know what’s in the constitution. More importantly, he has no inkling about the real laws he broke, the laws states can’t break without cost. Hayden pissed away residual respect for the US long before Snowden made it public. Hayden’s too stupid to understand how. For big laffs, ask the old BMD commander how his agency put the US on the shit list of the world, what rules he broke. He never heard of any of this stuff.

      Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 12: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

      International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 17:
      1. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation.
      2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

      American Declaration Of The Rights And Duties Of Man:
      Article V. Every person has the right to the protection of the law against abusive attacks upon his honor, his reputation, and his private and family life.
      Article IX. Every person has the right to the inviolability of his home.
      Article X. Every person has the right to the inviolability and transmission of his correspondence.

      American Convention on Human Rights, Article 11: RIGHT TO PRIVACY
      1. Everyone has the right to have his honor respected and his dignity recognized.
      2. No one may be the object of arbitrary or abusive interference with his private life, his family, his home, or his correspondence, or of unlawful attacks on his honor or reputation.
      3. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

      Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Article 8 – Right to respect for private and family life
      1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.
      2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

    1. optimader

      I recall reading a school (law school more likely) acquaintance of BHO reflect, and I loosely paraphrase: “Barak could put together a dissertation describing yesterdays weather, and you would walk trying to put your finger on what you just listened to”.

      The most remarkable thing about BHO’s oratory skill is that he can fairly seamlessly string along his BS platitudes in stark contrast to our previous eight year horror experience watching GWB vapor lock like the four-way hit of windowpane acid he took an hour earlier was just kicking in.

      1. skippy

        Actually I see Abbott as the Colonel next door in American Beauty, he’s trying too hard to be a man thingy. SO that makes this gaffe a Freudian slip… evil snicker…

        skippy… was Bush a litmus test[?] to test the lower range of voter gullibility? Cocaine Cow Boys do prez stuff… as he said… only in America!!!

          1. skippy

            Bloodly tea bags always burning the ground against a foe.

            skippy… I fear a influx of hair implants and sextexting as a motivation tool… soon.

        1. Glenn Condell

          If Bush was coke, what’s Obama? Ice?

          They have progressed also with the teleprompter; you could see Bush’s like a hump on his back, but the O-bot’s is internal.

    1. F. Beard

      That’s sad. I don’t see much mention of sodomy in the Bible and as for abortion it should be legal until brainwaves are detectable. But you can be sure the Prophets would be taking the bankers to task.

      Here’s something interesting:

      The remnant of the sodomites who remained in the days of his father Asa, he expelled from the land 1 Kings 22:46

      What, they weren’t stoned?! No, because two or more witnesses would be required for that. But I guess a king in those days had certain prerogatives wrt expelling people.

      1. optimader

        “But you can be sure the Prophets would be taking the bankers to task.”

        missed that, good one. If there were ever a case for retroactive abortions….

        1. F. Beard

          Oops! I slipped up and advanced the “It’s not the system; it’s just bad actors in it” meme. My bad.

  20. Steve Finnell


    The Pharisees and scribes were experts at keeping man-made traditions.

    Mark 7:1-9 ……9 He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to hold to the tradition of men.”

    Do religious men today set aside God’s commandments in order to keep the traditions in their creed books, catechisms, and man-made statements of faith?

    Men say obedience to God is not essential to salvation because we are saved by grace alone.

    Hebrews 5:9 And having been made perfect, He became to all who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,

    Where is the Scripture that says we are saved by grace alone, therefore, obedience is not required for salvation?

    Men say water baptism is not essential for the forgiveness of sins.

    Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    Where is the Scripture that says water baptism is not for the forgiveness of sins? There is none.

    Men say the purpose of water baptism is simply an act of obedience and an example of faith given for others. Where is the Scriptures that state these doctrines? It is only found in the writings of men. God did not say it.

    Men say water baptism plays no part in salvation.

    1 Peter 3:21 Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    Where is the Scripture that says water baptism does not save you?

    Men say that mankind is saved by faith only. Where is the Scripture that say men are saved by faith only?

    Jesus said men shall be saved if they believe and are baptized. Men say that you are saved without being baptized in water.

    Mark 16:16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.

    Where is the Scripture that states men should be baptized because thy have already been saved?


    (All Scripture from: NEW AMERICAN STAND BIBLE)

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY CHRISTIAN BLOG. Google search>>>steve finnell a christian view

Comments are closed.