Links 8/15/13

Inside America’s Deer-Industrial Complex Outside Online (Dr. Kevin). Gotta tell you, venison is delish, provided you know how to cook it. And the wild ones are lean so not too bad health-wise as red meat goes. I still feel bad about eating mammals, but deer hunting stuck me as not terrible, since the number of hunting permits handed out and the length of the hunting season (at least in Michigan and West Virginia) were functions of how many deer needed to be culled to keep them from starving to death in the winter.

Your encrypted files are ‘exponentially easier’ to crack, warn MIT boffins Register (subgenius)

Solar power to trump shale, helped by US military Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph. Gotta read this. This is one of the cheeriest bits of news I’ve seen in a long time. Wish someone would call off the frackers based on this.

Cisco cuts jobs amid unstable demand Financial Times

What’s going on with China’s bad banks? FT Alphaville

Day of bloodshed rocks Egypt’s streets Financial Times

European Recovery Means Little for Jobless Generation Bloomberg. GDP is up 0.3% for one quarter and now it’s a recovery? Spare me.

The Low Countries sinking lower: new economic data on the Netherlands Arjen polku

Scores dead after assault on pro-Morsi protesters Washington Post

Egypt: Repressing the Muslim Brotherhood Moon of Alabama

Brazil sues Samsung over work conditions Financial Times

Big Brother is Watching You Watch:

Intelligence committee urged to explain if they withheld crucial NSA document Guardian

Turns out that big Al Qaeda conference call that scared everyone was actually posts on a Jihadi forum Gawker

Administration’s OWN White Paper Backs Claim Mike Rogers Did Not Share Dragnet Notice Marcy Wheeler

There Is No Such Thing As NSA-Proof Email Mother Jones

Cyber Spies in London Recycle Bins Told to Move On Infosecurity (Carol B)

Political Economy Trumps Macroeconomics Duncan Weldon, TouchStone (Victoria)

Obama’s unconstitutional steps worse than Nixon’s George Will, Washington Post. Hahaha! We’ve been comparing Obama to Nixon unfavorably for a while! No one is yet willing to use the “i” word (as in suggesting Obama is engaging in impeachment-worthy behavior) but you can see Will come within a hair’s breadth of saying that. Any bets as to how long before someone seen as legit (that means a national political figure or an MSM pundit) says the magic word in connection with Obama?

Summers Storm (a lot of good stuff I managed to miss):

Tell President Obama to not appoint Larry Summers as Federal Reserve chair Daily Kos. Please, go sign NOW. Maybe someone can start an official White House petition too. It would be amusing to have Obama have to make an official response to a petition that got, say, 200,000 signatures saying that Summers sucked.

Larry Summers – Obama’s Fatal Attraction? Rugged Egalitarianism

White House said to be telling senators who don’t want Larry Summers as Fed chief to bug off Daily Kos (Carol B)

Why Is the Fed Chairman a Bank Regulator (or an Economist)? Adam Levitin, Credit Slips

Center For American Progress Says Larry Summers ‘Not A Wall Street Guy’ DSWright Firedoglake. Says more about the CAP than Summers

I Know What You Did Last, Summers: The Shady Deals That Will Hand Larry The Fed Mark Ames, NSFW

Expect “Massive Resistance” to Stop-and-Frisk Ruling Glen Ford (Carol B)

The Wishful Thinking Left CounterPunch (Butch in Washington)

Humanity Is Drowning In Washington’s Criminality Paul Craig Roberts (rich)

Booker’s Web Company, Struggling, Sought Buyer as Senate Drive Began New York Times (Carol B)

Cory Booker, the Next Black Corporate Presidential Contender Glen Ford (Carol B). Key statement: “The filthy rich have cultivated a true-blue believer in Cory Booker.”

UPS Jet Crashes in Alabama Wall Street Journal :-(

Central banks struggle to convince investors Financial Times

Ex-JPMorgan employees charged. Who else should be worried by the London Whale? MarketPlace

How One Employee And One Consulting Firm May Be Singlehandedly Responsible For The Stunning Pay Gap Between CEOs And Workers Clusterstock. McKinsey, natch. I have the book in galleys so I guess it is now fair game to write about it (it’s got an annoying level of minor errors and there’s some other stuff I need to verify with some other ‘Zoids, but I’m certain this story is accurate).

Two JP Morgan traders charged over ‘London Whale’ incident Guardian. I know I am supposed to be excited about this, but as I said earlier, 1. All the basic allegations were in the Levin hearings documents and 2. It looks like the DoJ strategically has decided to treat Martin-Artajo (who clearly had some de facto authority; he was trying to present himself as in charge of the CIO on important issues) as the equivalent of a rogue trader. But Levin also made clear the bank was involved (management was aware of the size of the positions, lied to the OCC, plus we’ve discussed repeatedly how deficient their controls were). So while getting the personnel most directly involved is important, heads higher up need to roll or at least be implicated.

Finance: Balance sheet battle Financial Times. This is noteworthy. Bank regulators are getting strict with bank on total leverage, something Sheila Bair pushed for keenly (and per her, was less successful than she would have liked). And you have to love this part: the regulators have started looking at the various ways banks calculate risk weightings, and the results are so wildly disparate that it’s led the authorities to see that something is indeed rotten in Denmark. Now the new toughmindedness is also no doubt that the banks are making so much money that there’s no good case for not insisting they bump up their capital levels.

Antidote du jour. What I should be doing:


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  1. Joe

    Good morning Nekked Capitalists. Lean on in and work for free. Via the Washington Post:

    Sheryl Sandberg ‘Leans In’ to another controversy.

    “Now a nonprofit seeking unpaid interns is not especially surprising. A nonprofit founded by a multimillionaire who is seeking unpaid labor is. Particularly when said multimillionaire earned more than $90 million in a stock sale shortly before her organization began asking for unpaid help.”

    I used to live in Detroit in the 1970’s. I loved to get up early on Saturday and go to The Detroit Institute of Arts as soon as they opened. I would have the place to myself for awhile. It was my church. The Diego Rivera mural is stunning to behold, up close and personal.

    If they fire sale the artwork to the rich, we all will be poorer for it :(

    Detroit mired in fresh controversy over sale of 60,000-piece art collection

    1. AbyNormal

      considering Picasso’s famous quote “Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth”, Detroit and others have much to cover up/destroy

      And now my bitter hands cradle broken glass of what was everything
      All the pictures have all been washed in black, tattooed everything…

  2. Duncan Weldon

    Appreciate the link to Political Economy Trumps Macroeconomics – but it’s from Duncan Weldon and the Touchstone Blog is run by the British TUC.

    1. diptherio

      Welcome to NC, Duncan, glad you could make it.

      Overall, I love the the fact that more economists are questioning the neo-classical synthesis, but I have to admit it’s a little frustrating that economic ideas don’t become acceptable on the mainstream left until Krugman endorses them. Plenty of economists were calling bull$#!t on the Samuelson model years before the crisis, but now that Krugman has expressed his doubts it’s suddenly ok to question what was, up until quite recently, “gospel truth” among liberal economists.

      It would be like astronomers continuing to look to the Pope for guidance on matters astronomical, even after he had been proven wrong on that whole planetary motion thing. Sure, it takes a big man to admit when he’s been wrong, but shouldn’t an economist that got it right before the crisis be given the bully pulpit of the NYT? And shouldn’t economists who correctly foresaw our current difficulties be the ones that other economists are now looking to for insight?

      There’s a reason why no one reads the Catholic Astronomical Review any more (well, maybe a few economists still do).

  3. NotSoSure

    Is there supposed to be a link associated with this:

    “How One Employee And One Consulting Firm May Be Singlehandedly Responsible For The Stunning Pay Gap Between CEOs And Workers Clusterstock. McKinsey, natch. I have the book in galleys so I guess it is now fair game to write about it (it’s got an annoying level of minor errors and there’s some other stuff I need to verify with some other ‘Zoids, but I’m certain this story is accurate)”

  4. grayslady

    Regarding Dutch economy, a friend, who was talking with friends of his in Rotterdam the other day, told me they are now driving all the way to Germany to buy food staples because they are cheaper there than in Holland.

    1. J Sterling

      When you say all the way, do you mean over the border? Lots of Americans drive further in an evening, and back again, just to get to a restaurant they like. And don’t forget the Netherlands and Germany are Schengen Agreement countries, so there’s no TSA hassle.

      It’s true Rotterdam’s on the “other side” of the country, but that’s still not much more than an hour.

  5. from Mexico

    @ Expect “Massive Resistance” to Stop-and-Frisk Ruling

    Eric Sterling recounts the history: the War on Drugs, even from the dawning of the 20th century, was always a war on black people.

    Nixon’s “Law and Order” crusade was a war on black people.

    Under Reagan, this changed somewhat, and the victim class of Law and Order crusading and the War on Drugs was refined to mean poor people, regardless of the color of their skin.

    1. diptherio

      The drug war is still directed mainly at non-white communities. A look at the prison population percentages by race will tell you that.

      Not that the authorities don’t have it out for us snowy-complected po’ folk, as well, but if they’ve got an option, they’re definitely “going black” (or Hispanic).

      John Oliver did a great bit on the obvious racism of Stop-and-Frisk the other night on the Daily Show:

      1. F. Beard

        “Why do they hate us, daddy?”

        “Because of what they’ve done to us, son.”

        What’s the use of destroying one’s own society and then being paranoid about one’s fellow citizens?

        “There’s no such thing as society.” Margaret Thatcher

        Yes, there is Maggie – a government-backed society of bankers who loot the rest of us legally. You should have started with socialism for the rich, don’t you know?

    2. Jim Haygood

      Let’s be explicit. During the anti-crack agitation of the Reagan years (helped along by the NYT running full-page ads from the Partnership For a Drug-Free America, advising that ‘your office colleague may be a junkie’), federal penalties for crack cocaine were set at one hundred times the severity (in terms of weight) of penalties for powdered cocaine.

      It was claimed that Congress was ‘confused’ by the metric system — all those grams and kilos, oy! But in fact, given that crack was seen as a ghetto drug, while Larry Kudlow preferred to powder his nose, the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 perfectly reflected the Nixon-Agnew agenda of whacking the N-words.

      Fast forward a quarter century to 2010: Barack the Merciful signed a corrective act to cut the sentencing disparity for crack cocaine to only 18 times as high.

      The War on Drugs is like a government-run version of the Ku Klux Klan, with badges instead of pointy hats.

  6. from Mexico

    @ “The Wishful Thinking Left”

    Jean Bricmont says:

    Incidentally, a non-interventionist policy is advocated by the libertarians and by the paleoconservative Right. This fact, plus invocation of pre-World War II history (the Spanish civil war, the Munich agreements), is constantly used by the Left to give anti-interventionism a bad name. But this is silly: Hitler is not really being constantly resurrected, and there are no serious military threats faced by the West. In the present situation, it is a perfectly legitimate concern of American citizens to cut back the costs of Empire.

    Dear Lord,
    Forgive us of our ideological tribalism
    and help us to see that everyone who wraps themselves in the American flag,
    Or Marx’s Das Capital
    Is not doing God’s work,
    Any more than those who wrap themselves in the Bible.

    1. from Mexico

      Jean Bricmont also said:

      The latest example of these tactics is the attempt by Western governments to use the LGBT community as ideological storm troopers against Russia and the Winter Olympics, in a transparent effort to deflect public attention from the embarrassing fact that, in the Snowden affair, it is Russia and not the U.S. that is on the side of freedom. It is to be feared that the humanitarian interventionist Left will jump on the bandwagon of this new crusade. Yet, as Gilad Atzmon has pointed out, with his usual slightly provocative style, it is unlikely that this will do any good to the LGBT community in Russia, since this sort of support allows their opponents to brand them as bearers of foreign influence. It is not a good idea for any minority, anywhere in the world, to be seen as agents of a foreign power, and least of all, of a government so hated for its arrogance and its interventionism as the present U.S. administration. And incidentally, the people who call for boycott of the Winter games in Russia had no objection to holding the Olympic games in London, which implies that, in their eyes, taking anti-gay measures is a serious crime, whereas wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are mere peccadillos.

      As a gay person, I am actually thankful for this. It just goes to show that the LGBT population has just as great a percentage of stupid and immoral people as any other population. We’re just people, no better and no worse, than any other random human population.

    2. Expat

      You would think that there would be a sizeable constituency for American non-interventionism within the US voting public since inasmuch as the US leadership has lost one war after another since it lost in Viet Nam, and the ever-expanding war budget diverts resources from common sense uses. However, if William Arkin’s estimates are correct,* 60 million Americans and their households depend on the military state. These people cannot afford to be non-interventionist even as they plunge off decayed bridges, send their kids to asbestos-ridden schools and drink contaminated water.

      *author of “American Coup: How a Terrified Government is Destroying the Constitution”. Interview found at for August 13.

      1. from Mexico

        So what you’re saying is that it’s not so much stupidity and immorality that motivates a great many people, but rational self-interest? Maybe so.

        LGBTs have struggled mightily to “get in,” and most especially into the US military. But at some point they have to step back and ask, “Into what?” This is the conumdrum I think the Rev. Martin Luther King found himself confronted with towards the end of his life, the sentiment expressed in his sermon, “Why I am opposed to the war in Vietnam”

        What Arkin is describing sounds kinda like the “ownership society.” As a Heritage Foundation economist explained, “expansion of the 401(k) ownership universe would breathe new life into his [Bush Jr.’s] plan to turn working-class investors into conservative tax-cut voters.”

        Which takes us full circle back to something Michael Hudson said on his post here on NC a couple of days ago:

        Class: Classical political economy defined classes by their relationship to the means of production – land, labor and capital. Landlords charged rent, workers earned wages, and capitalists employed wage-labor to produce commodities to sell at a profit. The implication was that each form of income was a payment to a factor of production, without paying much attention to taxes or interest payments to the government and to creditors. All classes tend to be taxpayers and also to be debtors and creditors simultaneously.

        A class approach thus relates only to one part of the overall economy. The American protectionist Simon Patten suggested that public improvements (such as the Erie Canal, roads and communications) were a fourth factor of production. Governments levy taxes to support a royal or civil bureaucracy (see Milovan Djilas, The New Class for a study of a Soviet-style government class), and to wage wars. Meanwhile, creditors supply money in exchange for interest; but money is not a means of production. One cannot really speak of a “saver” or “creditor” class as such, because all classes are savers, and most also are debtors.


        1. Expat

          “it’s not so much stupidity and immorality that motivates a great many people, but rational self-interest?”

          First of all, as I am sure you would agree, these categories are not mutually exclusive. Moreover, on the part of the employees (not the entrepreneur-architects) of the military state, it’s a matter of survival albeit more like prostitution than living off the grid in the wilderness.

          I totally agree with your comparison with the “ownership state” fraud, which, like the rest of neoliberalism, ropes people into “investments” such as 401ks which go up in “value” in direct proportion to the amount of well-being extracted from their persons, their future and their quality of life. In the same way, the jobs of the military state, scarce as they seem to be, are solely those necessary to perpetuate the state. A base of meaningful dissent would be catastrophic.

          The correct term for this state is well known on this site, “kleptocracy.”

          Arkin’s contribution, which may not even include the prison sector, shows the extremely high cost of maintaining a bunch of billionaires in the style to which they have been allowed to become accustomed.

        2. jrs

          I don’t deny self-interest as a motivation, seeking to deny that seems to me to be seeking to be more than human, when I’m oh too human – which ocassionally allows me to be moral and principled to the extreme – because human decency is in my self-interest.

          And with that, I don’t think being on the capitalists side is in almost any employees *RATIONAL* self-interest, whatever that is it’s not rational. Fact: they will work most of their adulthood (even if they eventually retire which will be more due to SS than thier 401ks), their children will likely work most of their adulthood -> thier interest is with the working class. Even a high paid workers interest is with the Walmart strikers. 1) because their high paid status is by no means guaranteed they could join them at any time 2) because workers ability to fight back against management and ownership means that they are less able to completely dominate the workers life even of high paid workers.

          So let workers take over the means of production (workers not the state) and my 401k go up in flames! :) I feel such a world is in my self-interest, but I may be bit of a dreamer.

      2. ex-PFC Chuck

        As a weapons system the B1 bomber was somewhere between a fiasco and a joke. The unit costs of the initial batch were several times the original projection, as were the development costs, and the performance felt far short on virtually every important aspect of the specifications. But it was one of the most influential weapons procurements and history because it proved the effectiveness of the concept of Political Engineering.
        The original procurement was made about 1970, during the depths of the Vietnam war when the military services were not in good standing with the people. The prime contractor, North American aviation, and senior Air Force personnel wanted to find some way to make it less likely that the program would be canceled as Pentagon budgets were being cut, and they decided that instead of using ‘the usual suspects’ as subcontractors, who were concentrated in a small number metropolitan areas, they would spread the subcontracts among firms located in as many states and congressional districts as they could. Specific targets were set and, IIRC, they were on the order of 35 of the former and 250 of the latter.
        After the late delivery of the four units of that original contract, the program was canceled in the mid 1970s. Publicly the Air Force bureaucracy blamed the incoming Carter administration, but in reality the Air Force brass was forced to accept the honest cost analysis done by Col. John Boyd’s group of reformers inside the Pentagon. But the political engineering done in the early 70s proved its worth a decade later when the Reagan Administration had no trouble getting congressional support to restart the program in spite of its glaring deficiencies. if I recall correctly the B-1 was never used in the Gulf War of 1991, and only used in the war in Iraq 12 years later after the entire Iraqi air defense capability had been destroyed by, among other weapons systems, the B-52s which the B-1 was originally intended to replace. Details can be found here:

        1. Lambert Strether

          Thanks for the history. I guess this is a “self-licking ice cream cone” — with mixins.

          * * *

          I think in Maine we are blessed by an absence of hydrocarbons and an absence of military contracting (except for Bath Iron Works). Maybe that’s one reason we’re poor, but we don’t have the booms and the busts either.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Not just 35 states and 250 congressional districts, if the government has more money to spend…like printing as much as it wants.

    3. jrs

      Maybe it’s better to just be dumb, a dumb American. Because I don’t actually claim to know what is going on in countries very distant culturally and geographically from my own. Syria, what do I know, that the U.S. is arming the opposition, and that the opposition groups supposedly include Al Queda. This proves my own countries war on terror a hypocrisy, but that’s nothing new. And I’d be skeptical of anyone the U.S. arms, although even a stopped clock is right twice a day. But overall the great soft totalitarian police state can not be counted on to be on the side of any future worth having IMO. The Egyptian situation is even more confusing to me than the Syrian.

      Solidarity, what does that mean? It’s orginally supposed to be solidarity with the working class. There are not many workers on strike against capitalist employers I wouldn’t support. But solidarity not with a worker fighting to get a larger share of the economic pie but with some rebel group fighting a govt. somewhere with major intenational involvement? It all gets so complex, it’s no longer some automatic “solidarity” thing.

  7. AbyNormal

    The story of the twenty first century has truly been one for the ages, and those corporate persons who have come through it all relatively unscathed are truly blessed. When I think back on the primitive pre-corporate lives my grandparents – my grandparents for the Cosmic CEO’s sake! – I’m at once appalled and amazed at the progress we’ve made in the few short decades that have passed since then. Hard as it is to remember all now, perhaps I should start from the beginning…

    1. skippy

      With the IMF as inter sanctum of some deity and all the CB cabal priests, which store their offerings of servitude, in their regional primary dealers silos.

      skippy… silos filled with electrons of future promises price.

      PS. whats the going timeline on a M&M jumbo deal, 3 years[?], how far is time travel possible… is hope a stupefying hypno drug… nighty night… aby normal

      1. AbyNormal

        hey you! why isn’t your blog accepting comments?
        or is it just that Aby thinggy ‘ )

        don’t go gently into the knight comrade

  8. from Mexico

    @ “Humanity Is Drowning In Washington’s Criminality”

    When Paul Craig Roberts says the following, he’s singing my tune. This is my kinda guy:

    National Intelligence Director James R. Clapper blatantly lied to Congress and remains in office. Keith B. Alexander, Director of the National Security Agency, has also misled Congress, and he remains in office. Attorney General Holder avoids telling Congress the truth on just about every subject, and he also remains in office. The same can be said for President Obama, one of the great deceivers of our time, who is so adverse to truth that truth seldom finds its way out of his mouth.

    If an American citizen lies to a federal investigator, even if not under oath, the citizen can be arrested, prosecuted, and sent to prison. Yet, these same federal personnel can lie to Congress and to citizens with impunity. Whatever the American political system is, it has nothing whatsoever to do with accountable government. In Amerika no one is accountable but citizens, who are accountable not only to law but also to unaccountable charges for which no evidence is required.

    Until Clinton, Bush Jr. and Obama are dressed up in bright orange jump suits, shackled and frog marched off to prison, to look at the world from behind bars — forever! — nothing will change in America.

    However, I think Roberts goes off tune when he asserts the following:

    American conservatives regard civil liberties as mere excuses for liberal judges to coddle criminals and terrorists. Never expect a conservative Republican, or more than two or three of them, to defend your civil liberty. Republicans simply do not believe in civil liberty. Democrats cannot conceive that Obama–the first black president in office, a member of an oppressed minority–would not defend civil liberty.

    These are broad, sweeping generalizations that are, empirically speaking, simply not true, and are debilitating and self-defeating to the extreme. The counsel Jean Bricmont gives in “The Wishful Thinking Left” is much closer to the truth, is not nearly so bogged down in negativism, and reflects greater wisdom:

    In fact, it would be perfectly possible to set up a broad Left-Right coalition of people opposed to militarism and interventionism. Of course, within that coalition, people might still disagree on Gay marriage but, important as this issue may be, it should perhaps not prevent us from working together on issues that might also seem important to some people, such as World peace, the defense of the U.N. and of international law, and the dismantling of the U.S. empire of bases. Besides, it is not unlikely that a majority of the American public could be gained to such positions if sustained and well organized campaigns were set up to persuade them.

    1. Montanamaven

      I made a handshake deal with a conservative the other night. I’ll support the 2nd Amendment if he will support the 4th. “2nd and 4th” is our motto. However he’s rifle manufacturer so I have to work on the non-interventionist deal.

    2. docg

      May I remind you that it is Obama who got us out of Iraq, who is getting us out of Afghanistan, and who has refused to join in the chorus of those urging attacks on Iran?

      1. Joe

        “According to the most recent quarterly contractor census report issued by the U.S. Central Command, which includes both Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as 18 other countries stretching from Egypt to Kazakhstan, there were approximately 137,000 contractors working for the Pentagon in its region. There were 113,376 in Afghanistan and 7,336 in Iraq. Of that total, 40,110 were U.S. citizens, 50,560 were local hires, and 46,231 were from neither the U.S. not the country in which they were working.”

        Read more:

      2. Jess

        No, no, and maybe/not yet.

        No, Obama did not “get us out of Iraq”. We left Iraq only because the Iraqi government refused to sign a Status of Forces Agreement that would have allowed our military to stay without being subject to Iraqi law. Translation: Without the ability to gun down and blow up Iraqi civilians at willy-nilly at public intersections every time they was traffic conjestion.

        No, we are not leaving Afghanistan. We’ve announced we’re withdrawing in 2014…except that we’re also negotiating to stay beyond that, and even if we don’t “stay”, somehow 14,000 troops (and God knows however many military contractor mercenaries) will stay behind to “train” and “support” the Iraqi army.

        Yes, so far President Pinocchio has resisted the call to attack and/or invade Iran. But that doesn’t mean we won’t, it just means that Israel has not yet issued the “go” order.

        1. neo-realist

          I believe in the case of Iran, it’s not a matter of Israel not issuing the “go order”, but rather a case of the military and global economic elites not wanting to deal with a quagmire to top all quagmires in Iran with asymmetrical warfare that would be far to difficult to contain and damage and disruption to the global economic system that would take eons to repair.

      3. Hugh

        I agree with Jess. How quickly some forget. Obama could have had US troops out of Iraq by Christmas 2009. Instead he withdrew them following the timeline in Bush’s Status of Forces Agreement of December 2011 or two years later. And of course Obama tried to keep American troops in Iraq past this point, but the Haditha massacre verdicts that came down at this time, inflamed Iraqi public opinion, and doomed an agreement for immunity of American soldiers from Iraqi courts. So Obama’s plan fell through.

        As for Afghanistan, Obama was the author of the Afghanistan “surge”. More American troops were in Afghanistan at the end of his first term than when he took office. Here too Obama could have ended this pointless war, his support for the hopelessly corrupt Karzai government, and our dependence on a thoroughly duplicitous Pakistan years ago. Instead the plan is for a “withdrawal” by 2014 but the possibility of some forces staying in country until 2024.

      4. ohmyheck

        “Obama…has refused to join in the chorus of those urging attacks on Iran”, and I am supposed to applaud him for that?!

        Dear Leader, thank you for not going all batsh#t crazy with the rest of the Numbskull Neocons. Cuz like it must be so difficult for you to keep your legacy from being “The Guy Who Started World War 3”.

        Jeebus, The level of sacrifice is truly astonishing…

        1. Synopticist

          In fairness to Obama (which is not something I say every day), McCain would have started WW3 by now, and Romney, well, he’s f*cking Mitt Romney, you know?

          I don’t read the UK MSM, let alone the American, but sometimes reading blogs from De Long And Krugman, for example, I’m reminded of just how far to the extreme US right goes in the pursuit of oligarchic interest. Further even than Obama and his disgusting acolytes.

          1. rich

            The Obama Regime’s Fabricated “Terror Conspiracy” in Defense of the Police State


            The result of prolonged unpopular wars of aggression has been the massive built-up of a monstrous domestic police state, pervasive spying around the world and the commission of egregious violations of the US Constitution. This, in turn, has led to crudely concocted “terror plots” to cover-up the repeated foreign policy failures and to slander and persecute courageous whistle blowers and threaten other decent American patriots.

            The recent declaration of another vast ‘terror plot’, which served to justify the illegal activities of US spy agencies and ‘unify Congress’, produced hysteria lasting less than a week. Subsequently, reports began to trickle in, even in the obedient US mass media, discrediting the basis of the alleged global terror conspiracy. According to one report, the much-ballyhooed ‘Al Qaeda plot’ turned out to be a failed effort to blow-up an oil terminal and oil pipeline in Yemen . According to regional observers: “Pipelines are attacked nearly weekly in Yemen”[6] And so an unsuccessful jihadist attack against a pipeline in a marginal part of the poorest Arab state morphed into President Obama’s breathless announcement of a global terrorist threat!

            An outrageous joke has been played on the President, his Administration and his Congressional followers. But during this great orchestrated ‘joke’, Obama unleashed a dozen drone assassination attacks against human targets of his own choosing, killing dozens of Yemeni citizens, including many innocent bystanders.

            What is even less jocular is that Obama, the Master of Deceit, just moves on. His proposed “reforms” are aimed to retrench NSA activities; he insists on continuing the “bulk collection” (hundreds of millions) of US citizens’ telephone communications (FT 8/12/13 p2). He retains intact the massive police state spy apparatus, keeps his pro-Israel policymakers in strategic positions, reaffirms his policy of confrontation with Iran and escalates tensions with Russia , China and Venezuela . Obama embraces a new wave of military dictatorships, starting, but not ending, with Egypt .


    3. Bev

      Impeach back to Gore…for not taking his win, his office of Presidency. The only way for him to correct that would be to finally take office and undo all the horrible law all the way back to 2000 that has occurred under Bush and Obama. Also since he is so strongly attempting to save the earth from the dangers of climate change, he should be in office. He has the instinct for survival, for all of us and all of our families.

      This also has the benefit of keeping another disastrous Bush out of office in the next election.

      Sandra Day O’Conner should correct her politically motivated disservice/injustice/treason and testify in order to regain justice and rule of law which the following offers, if it truly is a serious attempt. If it is not a serious attempt, then Sandra Day O’Conner can lead a serious effort as a redemption:

      from article below:

      COMMENT of U.S. Supreme Court Reporter Jeffrey Toobin :-

      ” To know Justice O’Connor as I am privileged to do is to know that the word ‘regret’ never passes her lips,” Toobin said. ” Did she regret her vote in Bush v. Gore? Did she regret the Bush presidency? You bet she did, and you bet she does.” 20apr13

      Sandra Day O’Connor. ( Troy Harvey / AP )

      ”Maybe the court should have said, ‘we’re not going to take it, goodbye,”‘ O’Connor told the Chicago Tribune editorial board, in reference to the controversial Bush v. Gore decision resolving a dispute over the 2000 election in George W. Bush’s favor. “It turned out the election authorities in Florida hadn’t done a real job there and kind of messed it up. And probably the Supreme Court added to the problem at the end of the day.”

      IMPEACHMENT OF U.S. PRESIDENT ALBERT GORE, Jr._REF: U.S. Supreme Ct_Case No. 00-949

      Constitutional Grounds for the Impeachment and Fraud Upon the Supreme Court, et al…

      (Editor’s note:  Only when America’s legally elected president, Al Gore, is returned to office and subjected to required impeachment proceedings, can constitutional authority in the United States be re-established.  Toward that end, all actions of the Bush (43) presidency are to be declared “null and void,” all treaties abrogated, all executive actions declared unlawful and all actions including but not limited to the establishment of the United States as a criminal empire undone.   The subsequent election of Barak Obama as president thus has no legal standing.  Gordon Duff and Lee Wanta)

      Before the Supreme Court of the United States


      The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution for the U.S.A. [hereafter the U.S. Constitution, or Constitution] are jointly the contract of specific performance between the U.S. citizens as the parties on one side of the agreement, and the U.S. government, its officers, employees, agents, and subcontractors as the parties on the other side of the agreement.
      The duty to take care is affirmative. So is the duty faithfully to execute the office. A President must carry out the obligations of his office diligently and in good faith. The elective character and political role of a President make it difficult to define faithful exercise of his powers in the abstract. A President must make policy and exercise discretion. This discretion necessarily is broad, especially in emergency situations, but the constitutional duties of a President impose limitations on its exercise.
      The “take care” duty emphasizes the responsibilty of a President for the overall conduct of the executive branch, which the Constitution vests in him alone. He must take care that the executive is so organized and operated that this duty is preformed.
      The duty of a President to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution” to the best of his ability includes the duty not to abuse his powers or transgress their limits — not to violate the rights of citizens, such as those guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, and not to act in derogation of powers vested elsewhere by the Constitution.
      Please Note : – Each of the thirteen American impeachments involved charges of misconduct incompatible with the official position of the officeholder. This conduct falls into three broad categories:
      1. exceeding the constitutional bounds of the powers of the office in derogation of the powers of another branch of government;
      2. behaving in a manner grossly incompatible with the proper function and purpose of the office; and
      3. employing the power of the office for an improper purpose or for personal gain.

      Definition :  Political – Pertaining or relating to the policy or the administration of government, state or national …. As political theories … seek to determine or control its public policy …
      (Black’s Law  6th Ed.)

      Considerations and Background :

      “ The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

      Title 18 USC  3 : Accessory after the fact  Whoever, knowing that an offense against the United States has been committed, receives, relieves, comforts or assists the offender in order to hinder or prevent his apprehension, trial or punishment, is an accessory after the fact.

      Title 18 USC 241 : Conspiracy Against Rights

      Title 18 USC 242 : Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law

      Title 18 USC 1951 : – Interference with commerce by threats or violence

      (2) The term “extortion” means the obtaining of property (our Civil Rights including our time and our right of Due Process of Law is our Property) from another, with his consent, induced by wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence, or fear, or under of official right.

      Title 42 USC 1986 : Action for Neglect to Prevent

      Justice Joseph Story wrote :

      ” Not but that crimes of a strictly legal character fall within the scope …; but that it has a more enlarged operation, and reaches, what are aptly termed political offenses, growing out of personal misconduct, or gross neglect, or usurpation, or habitual disregard of the interest in the discharge of the duties of political office. These are so various in their character, and so indefinable in their actual involutions, that it is almost impossible to provide systematically for them by positive law. They must be examined upon very broad and comprehensive principles of diplomacy of public policy and duty.
      They must be judged of by the habits, and rules, and principles of diplomacy, or departmental operations and arrangements, or parliamentary practice, of executive customs and negotiations, of foreign, as well as domestic political movements; and in short, by a great variety of circumstances, as well those, which aggravate, as those, which extenuate, or justify the offensive acts, which do not properly belong to the judicial character in the ordinary administration of justice, and are far removed from the reach fo municipal jurisprudence.”

      If the public official refuses to provide the contracted public service (e.g., justice) in compliance with the U.S. Constitution, then he/she must be imprisoned. Otherwise, the public service is undermined and rendered ineffective.  [ MLR-C4]

      COMMENT of U.S. Supreme Court Reporter Jeffrey Toobin :-

      ” To know Justice O’Connor as I am privileged to do is to know that the word ‘regret’ never passes her lips,” Toobin said. ” Did she regret her vote in Bush v. Gore? Did she regret the Bush presidency? You bet she did, and you bet she does.” 20apr13

      Sandra Day O’Connor. ( Troy Harvey / AP )

       ”Maybe the court should have said, ‘ we’re not going to take it, goodbye,”‘ O’Connor told the Chicago Tribune editorial board, in reference to the controversial Bush v. Gore decision resolving a dispute over the 2000 election in George W. Bush’s favor. “It turned out the election authorities in Florida hadn’t done a real job there and kind of messed it up. And probably the Supreme Court added to the problem at the end of the day.” 

      “…those offences which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust. They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated POLITICAL, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.”

      “It has too often happened that powers delegated for the purpose of promoting the happiness of a community have been perverted to the advancement of the personal emoluments of the agents of the people; but the powers of the President are to well guarded and checked to warrant this liberal aspersion.”

      Ambassador Leo E Wanta  / Designate Chairman – S.D.R. Central Banque / Mogadishu
      USA (202) 379 2904 ext. 001


      Obama has not restored truth, justice and a humane law, because he is afraid:


      Obama didn’t prosecute Bush/Cheney out of fear he’d end up like Paul Wellstone

      The White House Fears An Attempt On Obama’s Life If He Tries To Hold Bush-Era Criminals Accountable


      The White House Fears An Attempt On Obama’s Life If He Tries To Hold Bush-Era Criminals Accountable

      President Obama fears an assassination attempt if his administration tries to prosecute apparent crimes from the George W. Bush terms, according to a new book by a veteran Washington, D.C., lawyer and journalist.

      In fact, the president’s security plan has been significantly enhanced for 2013, reports Andrew Kreig in Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney, and Their Masters. Obama’s dismal performance in the first presidential debate against Republican nominee Mitt Romney might have been driven in part, Kreig writes, by a report from military aides earlier that day of a plot against the president.

      Released in paperback on July 26, Presidential Puppetry is the first book to encompass the Obama second term and one of the first to examine the 2012 elections.

      Kreig’s primary thesis is that elites from both political parties have failed everyday Americans on the economy, privacy, civil rights, national security, and a host of other fundamental issues that are supposed to under gird our democracy. Kreig reports that voting machines controlled by private entities put our election integrity at risk. And he shows that neither party has the fortitude to fix a justice system that has gone wildly off track, perhaps most famously in the political prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman.

      Concerns about Obama’s safety first made national news in fall 2011 when top advisor Christopher Edley Jr. said the transition team preparing the Obama administration in 2009 feared a “revolt” if they tried to prosecute Bush-era law breaking. Edley, dean of the University of California law school, did not state what form a revolt might take. But Kreig writes in Presidential Puppetry:

      The context of his comments suggested their fear that senior defense and national security officials and their outside patrons might undertake violent reprisal in some fashion.



      Obama didn’t prosecute Bush/Cheney out of fear he’d end up like Martin Luther King, Jr.:

      NSA Whistleblower: NSA Spying On – and Blackmailing – Top Government Officials and Military Officers
      Posted on June 20, 2013 by WashingtonsBlog

      Whistleblower Says Spy Agency Targeting Top American Leaders

      NSA whistleblower Russel Tice – a key source in the 2005 New York Times report that blew the lid off the Bush administration’s use of warrantless wiretapping – told Peter B. Collins on Boiling Frogs Post (the website of FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds) :

      Tice: Okay. They went after–and I know this because I had my hands literally on the paperwork for these sort of things–they went after high-ranking military officers; they went after members of Congress, both Senate and the House, especially on the intelligence committees and on the armed services committees and some of the–and judicial. But they went after other ones, too. They went after lawyers and law firms. All kinds of–heaps of lawyers and law firms. They went after judges. One of the judges is now sitting on the Supreme Court that I had his wiretap information in my hand. Two are former FISA court judges. They went after State Department officials. They went after people in the executive service that were part of the White House–their own people. They went after antiwar groups. They went after U.S. international–U.S. companies that that do international business, you know, business around the world. They went after U.S. banking firms and financial firms that do international business. They went after NGOs that–like the Red Cross, people like that that go overseas and do humanitarian work. They went after a few antiwar civil rights groups. So, you know, don’t tell me that there’s no abuse, because I’ve had this stuff in my hand and looked at it. And in some cases, I literally was involved in the technology that was going after this stuff.


      McGovern also said:

      In a speech on March 21, second-term Obama gave us a big clue regarding his concept of leadership – one that is marked primarily by political risk-avoidance and a penchant for “leading from behind”: “Speaking as a politician, I can promise you this: political leaders will not take risks if the people do not demand that they do. You must create the change that you want to see.”

      John Kennedy was willing to take huge risks in reaching out to the USSR and ending the war in Vietnam. That willingness to take risks may have gotten him assassinated, as James Douglass argues in his masterful JFK and the Unspeakable.

      Martin Luther King, Jr., also took great risks and met the same end. There is more than just surmise that this weighs heavily on Barack Obama’s mind. Last year, pressed by progressive donors at a dinner party to act more like the progressive they thought he was, Obama responded sharply, “Don’t you remember what happened to Dr. King?”


      Wellstone and King did not have the power that Obama has. To be equivalent, he should have named John F. Kennedy. And, then Obama should release Kennedy’s remaining documents for the world to know.

      January 04, 2013

      Magic Bullet, My Ass!

      by Len Hart, the Existentialist Cowboy

      I once spent several hours with a famous witness to the murder of JFK —Rosemary Willis, often called the little girl in the red dress. She is easy to spot in the Zapruder films, running along the south side of Elm street just ahead of her father, Phil Willis. Phil Willis was taking 35mm slide films of the motorcade. Rosemary is seen running ahead and, suddenly, stopping! Rosemary showed me her father’s slides and a double-page center-spread from one of the Willis photos depicting the Grassy Knoll.

      Her father’s photos had appeared in Look Magazine. One of the photos became a double-page spread. Rosemary and I placed the spread on a light table beside the original photo which had only recently been released by the FBI. Interestingly, those photos were seized AFTER Look had published.

      “Do you notice anything unusual’, she asked me.

      I looked again! It hit me like a brick! In the original slide there was NO train visible between the columns of the pergola.

      But the train was CLEARLY visible in the Look magazine spread. Why? Rosemary explained that AFTER Look had published its piece the FBI came calling. They SEIZED all of Willis’ original photos. When she showed those photos to me, they had only recently been released, having been in FBI possession for years. The FBI –playing the role of ‘Big Bro’ –did not want people to verify that there had, indeed, been a train on the tracks at the very time that the fatal bullets were being fired.

      But why?

      Then I recalled the ‘tramps’ who had been rousted earlier while hanging out in box cars behind the Grassy Knoll. Those tramps, as you recall, included Frank Sturgis and, the man whom I believe lead a team of assassins –E. Howard Hunt. As a result of my time spent discussing this with Rosemary, I became increasingly convinced that a team of shooters had targeted JFK; the box cars, the area behind the picket fence became a secured staging area.


      Incidentally, just prior to the shooting George H.W. Bush was photographed with his hands in his pocket ‘hanging around’ the front entrance of the TSBD.


      AA Exposes Bush’s ‘Big Lie’: Flight 11 DID NOT FLY on 911!

      by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

      American Airlines is the source for information that AA Flights 11 (North Tower) and 77 (Pentagon) did not fly on 911. If neither flew on 911, the Bush ‘theory’ is a lie. If the Bush ‘theory’ is a lie, there remains only one explanation and that is: 911 was an inside job given a green-light by Bush himself.

      These flights are critical to the the government’s crumbling cover up! Conan Doyle, the brilliant creator of the character Sherlock Holmes, said: “When you have eliminated the impossible whatever remains however implausible must be the truth!” Bush’s official conspiracy theory of 911 is not only impossible, it’s absurd and insulting to intelligent people!

      The Bush Conspiracy Theory is impossible! And it’s a Lie.



      Or, let’s get Al Gore to save the day…and the rule of law…and the planet…and us.

      Come on Sandra Day O’Conner.

        1. Bev

          A Journalistic, Legal, Non-fiction Book hangout to hear Andrew Kreig talk about his book, “Presidential Puppetry”:

          Kreig is scheduled to discuss Presidential Puppetry at events in Alabama on August 22.

          In comments:

          legalschnauzer said…

          My understanding is that Andrew is scheduled to speak at an event in Huntsville on that evening, hosted by Pam Miles. I believe he might schedule a Birmingham event on that date, but it’s uncertain. Also, hopeful he will appear at Alabama bookstores eventually, but that probably will come later. Will keep you posted.
          August 12, 2013 at 12:04 PM


          Andrew Kreig said…

          Thanks for the comments and interest. Kindly let me respond to a couple points and offer five free books to those who’d like to research further. Regarding Prof. Judy’s question, the fear by the president-elect’s transition team was of a “revolt” by unspecified authorities without a specific threat. The gist is that top executives are more vulnerable than widely perceived to a variety of threats and not simply the crazed lone gunman most often feared. The greatest fear involved the potential reaction by security forces if prosecutions were undertaken regarding torture. I’d like to make this research easier to access for those most interested. The first two readers here to write can obtain a free print copy of the book. The next three may obtain an electronic copy for free. Kindly write me at for the contest, or with any additional questions. I’d appreciate any other speaker gatherings that I can coordinate around what I hope will be a visit to Madison the evening of Aug. 22. — Andrew
          August 12, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    4. nonclassical

      ..this is utterly ridiculous-the (neocon) rightwing absolutely HATES the U.N.=international law-the right is a proponent of “MANIFEST DESTINY”, and are entrenched in D.C. Most of the Bush administration would languish in jail forever, given application of “international law”. (Obama would join them) Of course most are unaware=read:

      “The Family-Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power”, Jeff Sharlett

      $3.97 delivered free to your front door

  9. AbyNormal

    given the major data day, earnings for lords of balance sheets wmt to dang and the 10yr drive from 2.681 to 2.81 just this am…id say a golden whiz by cross-eyed ben will cover it all nicely. i refuse to go numb from the audacity of it all…whats crazy’s word? oh yeah FAAAAAAAAAK

    Aug 15 8:30 AM Initial Claims 08/10 320K 339K 335K
    Aug 15 8:30 AM Continuing Claims 08/03 2969K 3000K 3023K
    Aug 15 8:30 AM CPI Jul 0.2% 0.2% 0.5%
    Aug 15 8:30 AM Core CPI Jul 0.2% 0.2% 0.2%
    Aug 15 8:30 AM Empire Manufacturing Aug 8.6 6.0 9.46
    Aug 15 9:00 AM Net Long-Term TIC Flows Jun – NA -$27.2B
    Aug 15 9:15 AM Industrial Production Jul – 0.4% 0.3%
    Aug 15 9:15 AM Capacity Utilization Jul – 78.0% 77.8%
    Aug 15 10:00 AM Philadelphia Fed Aug – 10.0 19.8
    Aug 15 10:00 AM NAHB Housing Market Index Aug – 57 57
    Aug 15 10:30 AM Natural Gas Inventories 08/10 – NA 96 bcf

    1. craazyman

      what’s your best idea that can double from here by year-end?

      I need something I can put all my money into and have it go straight up while I watch.

      Why else do you read macroeconomics unless you wanna get rich quick? I do. I’m not shy about admitting it.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Become an Obamacare entrepreneur. Get in on the ground floor, C-man. Everybody’s doing it:

        “There are fake exchanges already up and running on the Internet,” said Monica Lindeen, Montana’s Commissioner of Securities and Insurance. “If you do a search and type in ‘exchange,’ you’ll find all sorts of websites that claim to be in the exchange when they are not.”

        With hot nurse pics, free Viagra and E-Z payment plans on my exchange, I’m gonna have more business than I can handle … yowza!

        Sign up for 12 months of coverage, get the 13th month FREE!

        1. craazyman

          Jim as long as you don’t have to do anything except withdraw funds people send you, that sounds good to me. If you actually have to do some kind of work, oh man, it’s already exhausting just thinking about it.

      2. AbyNormal

        and im not shy about admitting my loss of $ite (i even left an ‘a’ out of your name’). i use to could feel a run within 3 to 8 days but now all i see going skyward are the clouds n trees i paint. i notice where brazilian tv dinners & frozen pizza’s are makin mula, holder hoarded all the market weed and frackers infiltrated all pension accounts…i’ll stick to painting but keep an eye on the mayhem, for family & friends with so few choices.

        i can read more in bark than a us chart :-/

        1. craazyman

          wow, how many trees did you cut up with a chain saw before you sliced one through just right so it looked good enough to paint?

          just kidding.

          those are very nice. Sort of ‘Germanic’ in that sturm-and-drung way they had. I studied artistic anatomy and life drawing for a while, but then had to focus on making a living.

          It’s amazing what training it takes to do it well and to understand just what it’s all about. Edward Hopper for example, in school for 5 full-time years. One huge thing I lerned though is what ‘form’ is. It was a revelation to see how to see. It has influenced my perception of reality as profoundly as the Pythagorean theorem shaped mathematics.

          Art is long, life is short. – old roman proverb

          1. AbyNormal

            oh gawb craazy…those aren’t my paintings
            i do draw bark and crumbled paper for kicks to the head
            taking the proverb with me, thanks!

            “One of the strangest things is the act of creation.

            You are faced with a blank slate—a page, a canvas, a block of stone or wood, a silent musical instrument.

            You then look inside yourself. You pull and tug and squeeze and fish around for slippery raw shapeless things that swim like fish made of cloud vapor and fill you with living clamor. You latch onto something. And you bring it forth out of your head like Zeus giving birth to Athena.

            And as it comes out, it takes shape and tangible form.

            It drips on the canvas, and slides through your pen, it springs forth and resonates into the musical strings, and slips along the edge of the sculptor’s tool onto the surface of the wood or marble.

            You have given it cohesion. You have brought forth something ordered and beautiful out of nothing.

            You have glimpsed the divine.”
            Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

  10. docg

    Paul Craig Roberts is wrong. Humanity is NOT drowning in Washington’s criminality. At least not the “criminality” he has in mind. What’s criminal in Washington is the manner in which campaigns are financed, which has influenced the manner in which congress addresses (fails to address) gross inequality and the inordinate power of the oligarchs. But THAT central issue is now being tabled in favor of a non-issue that has suddenly drawn the worst of the right wing together with the most gullible of the left wing into a self destructive orgy of purely rhetorical overkill that will ultimately change NOTHING of any real significance. (After applying a band aid or two, our government will continue to spy more or less as before.)

    First of all, in order to establish criminality one must establish criminal intent. But the best Roberts can do in this regard is formulate a question:

    “The question demanding to be asked is: What is the purpose of the domestic surveillance of all Americans? This is surveillance out of all proportion to the alleged terrorist threat. The US Constitution is being ignored and domestic law violated. Why? Does the US government have an undeclared agenda for which the “terrorist threat” is a cover?”

    Well, if he thinks our govt. has such an agenda then we have every right to turn his question back on HIM. Why? Why does he think that? What reasons does he have for assuming such a hidden agenda? And what exactly is that agenda? Because as far as I can see, if there were some agenda to establish a police state in this country then why aren’t all those attacking the govt. so viciously on the Internet quaking in fear of those jack booted thugs knocking at their door to take away their civil liberties along with their guns?

    I’ve been extremely critical, very publicly, of our govt. and our president, but I’m sorry, I have no reason to fear retribution and I have no such fear. I see no reason to assume we are headed for a police state. What I do see is a populace totally unstrung by the 9/11 attacks to the point that paranoia has for a great many of us become the new normal. And that goes for both the bloggers AND the government officials, both of whom, each in his own way, is over-reacting to a, nevertheless, very real threat.

    The problem is NOT some hidden agenda leading to a police state. The problem is a bunch of govt. officials saddled with the responsibility of keeping us safe from a terrorist attack who actually have only the foggiest idea of how to do that effectively. With the result that we now have many thousands of junior G men running around like chickens with their heads cut off trying desperately to keep track of literally billions of communications per day. The problem is not a coming police state, but an ever present Keystone Kop state that’s become a public embarrassment.

    1. from Mexico

      • docg says:

      First of all, in order to establish criminality one must establish criminal intent.

      This statement is empirically and demonstrably false, and has become increasingly so as time has gone by, as STEPHEN F. SMITH explains in THE JOURNAL OF CRIMINAL LAW & CRIMINOLOGY:

      In addition to the ever-expanding number of criminal statutes, standard critiques of overcriminalization also bemoan the broad scope of modern criminal codes. Contemporary criminal codes reach conduct that, in previous generations, would not have been subject to punishment. The classic example is so-called regulatory offenses. These offenses punish conduct that is mala prohibita, or wrongful only because it is illegal, and may allow punishment where “consciousness of wrongdoing be totally wanting.”5

      • docg says:

      The problem is not a coming police state, but an ever present Keystone Kop state that’s become a public embarrassment.

      Then how do you explain this?

      How do you explain the fact that the US has the highest incarceration rate in the world, over and above that of some preety bad actors?

      The consequences are entirely too grave, and the phenomenon entirely too long-lasting and entrenched, to brush it off as mere incompetence.

      And by the way, the reasons for the creeping police state are manifold and complex, and have been discussed at great length here on NC.

    2. Massinissa

      Im sorry, but I have to agree with Mexico. A country cant incarcerate more people than the goddamn USSR did and not be a police state.

      5% of the worlds population: 20% of the worlds prisoners.

      Doesnt that seem sort of OFF to you?

      1. docg

        The incarceration rate is deplorable, but it is due largely to 3 strikes and you’re out laws, initiated in a previous administration, run by conservative Republicans. The Obama administration reacted far too slowly to these laws, but now finally IS reacting.

        I’m not saying Obama is some sort of left wing Messiah. He most certainly is NOT. But he’s not a monstrous would-be dictator either. If that were the case he’d be campaigning now for a third term, which clearly is not happening.

        1. zephyrum

          But he’s not a monstrous would-be dictator either.

          Actually that’s precisely what he is, and he considers the world his domain.

          1. Jess


            Obama is the most monstrous deception ever in American politics. No one has ever combined his personal charisma and oratorical skills with such a completely sociopathic personality totally devoid of courage, morals, or principles.

            1. docg

              By all means enlighten us. When do you think the big Obama coup will take place? And how will he go about it, I wonder? Surely you don’t expect him to cede power to a successor? So what do you think he has in mind for 2016?

              1. psychohistorian

                I don’t think you understand that Hilliary will be the next president and it is not Obama’s choice but his puppet masters behind the curtain….who “own” both parties congress critters, judges, military leaders, etc.

                Follow the inherited money over centuries.

            2. alex morfesis

              worst ever ?? didnt the countdownman retire and move back to con-ecty-kut and start talking seriously about “sports”…

              worst ever…except maybe john adams, and his bratty son, and polk, filmore, pierce, buchanan, hayes(who stole the election with the help of florida and the NYTimes), taft, wilson, harding, hoover, truman, johnson, nixon, ford(do you believe in magic…bullets), carter, reagan, bush 1and 2…oh…i was gonna throw in madison since he was chastized for giving support to some small unitarian sect of muslims…the wheretheheckarewees…no, thats not it…hmm, oh yeah…the wahabeez…u know…the clowns that run saudi arabia…

              what u can say is that obama is a wimp…a disappointment…not the man most who voted for him were expecting…a failure in respects to handling matters in a non Ike-ish way…Ike at least laid down the foundation for a strong nation…he played stupid in the face of unbearable resistance from dixiecrats…but he sent in the troops when his…oops did I appoint those five liberal justices…(must have not read off the proper list…well you know me…clumsy ox that I am…) chose to work on a more perfect union…could anyone imagine Pres Obama standing up for much of anything that smells of justice…he backed down in his first few moments when he called that moronic cop “stupid” for arresting a man in his own home since some racist lunatic broad who forgot to take her prozac called them to arrest that black man who was in the home she had seen him enter dozens of times…he ended up having to drink beer with an obviously racist cop…

              yup…J. wellington maximus…worst ever…nope…wimpy wimpy wimpy….oh yeah…

    3. Pete

      The FBI released documents that “company X” (redacted) had actual assassination plans for “Occupy Leaders” if “things were to get out of hand” (I’m paraphrasing). I reckon if one is a system cog that has some “reformist” beefs, but aren’t actually out in the street making some real noise, you’re probably still safe…. unless you go googling “pressure cookers” too many times for your next potluck.

      What further evidence of a police state do we need to see than how Occupy was physically assaulted? How about our little martial law dry run in Boston? Couldn’t catch 2 kids that were red flags in the surveillance dragnet (likely because they weren’t meant to be caught), but the military state managed to “lock down” (prison reference) a major U.S. city looking for 2 (whoops, make that 1) kid, who up until that time, was only guilty of wearing a back pack to a marathon….

      Campaign finance is a symptom of a root cause disease that is the design of our money. No political group in the current system will legislate this away. It’s a built in feature, not a bug. Usury and the magic of compound interest= perpetual “growth” = artificial scarcity = the disconnected, separate self = fear/greed/power lust/heightened cut-throat competitiveness…. take a look around. Gotta change de money itself.

    4. Hugh

      “Because as far as I can see, if there were some agenda to establish a police state in this country then why aren’t all those attacking the govt. so viciously on the Internet quaking in fear of those jack booted thugs knocking at their door to take away their civil liberties along with their guns?”

      Apparently, you having been paying attention. They have already come for Aaron Swartz, Bradley Manning, Thomas Drake, John Kiriakou, and Edward Snowden.

      Intention is just defined as the decision to bring about a prohibited consequence. Elected officials like our Constitutional law professor in Chief and unelected ones, like former NSA head Michael Hayden, achieve and justify their positions because of their expert knowledge, that they know more and better than we do. So how is it then that Hayden didn’t know that probable cause was an essential element of the 4th Amendment or that Obama could simply forget about the 4th Amendment entirely? Whether deliberately, recklessly, or through wilful ignorance, they chose to bring about the prohibited consequence of violating the 4th Amendment.

      1. docg

        These folks actually broke the law, but maybe that doesn’t matter to you. Imo what they did was justified, but nevertheless they broke the law. Sorry, but I see NO evidence of a police state here in the USA – yet. But I do see a danger of fascism, especially when reading some of the comments posted here.

        1. Pete

          Which set of laws? The ones for the proles or the ones for the Kleptos?

          “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living in society, they create for themselves, in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.” ~ Frederic Bastiat

          For a good while now the empire has been exporting its police state and human rights violations via the global south and developing nations. Find a dictator you like, CIA train a military to oust anyone unwilling to play ball, send in the Chicago Boys to “open up the markets”, and round up all the dissidents who bother to raise any concerns (win win if you like pointing fingers at other nations)…well, we’re running out of places to turn into shanty towns. Permanent war can only keep the interest bearing debt perpetual motion scheme rolling along for so long…all the cheap fossil fuel low hanging fruit has been plucked so the PTB really can’t afford to keep a “middle class” around anymore. The police state has “come home to roost” to make sure nobody gets too uppity when reality sets in. The guns are pointed inward now. If you can’t feel it, see it, or smell it, you might just have too many layers of insulation yet. Give it some time.

    5. jrs

      Dude (dudette?) noone is going to go after you for posting on the internet (yet and I have no idea how closely they monitor dissent) mostly because it makes no @#$#ing difference!!!

      I like to develop my perspective and pursuade people, hope to be heard by a few, but I’m under no illusion I’m changing the world – it’s not challenging the system, it’s blabbering on the ‘net in a comments section. What you should read about is how people who REALLY DO challenge the system are treated – their groups are infiltrated (the U.S. tarsands protestors for instance), there was an article recently on how an ALEC protest turned into a police beating. If you pose a real challenge they go after you, not if you are a posting poser (of which I often am :)).

  11. Joe

    From Chris Floyd’s website Empire Burlesque:

    United We Fall: Our Egregious E Pluribus Unum

    “The Obama years have given us an America that looks something like a bad Kurt Russell movie from the 80s: a weird, garish dystopia, where the president runs a death squad out of the White House, wages robot wars in foreign lands, operates a techno-panopticon sucking up every message, musing and secret desire of the populace, and lets tens of millions of citizens sink into poverty and despair in their gutted communities and crumbling infrastructure while he doles out trillions of dollars to rapacious elites gleefully bleeding the country dry. Actually, if you tried to run this scenario past a few coked-up studio execs in those halcyon years, they would have rejected it out of hand as too unrealistic, even for a bad Kurt Russell movie. Yet this is our reality.”

  12. diptherio

    No mention in the Daily Kos article about Obama’s pre-existing promise to Summers to appoint him Fed Chair, as detailed in Mark Ames piece on NSFW.

    What Ames’ piece all but proves is that Obama is straight up lying when he claims to be considering “several people” for the position. No surprise there, of course, but no one seems to be really spelling out what is going on.

    The Daily Kos, unsurprisingly, nerfs it:

    There seems to be some confusion at the executive branch regarding the advise-and-consent role of senators in the confirmation of top officials.

    Uh…no. The executive branch and it’s leader (the constitutional lawyer) are well aware of the advise-and-consent role of the Senate, they just don’t give a damn about it.

    Obama, despite knowing that appointments to key positions are not his to decide alone, nonetheless agreed to appoint Summers years in advance of any possible advice from the Senate. Obama did not have the constitutional authority to make that agreement but he did anyway because making that agreement advanced his political interests. Whatever is expedient for the President is what he does, the Constitution (and the law generally) not withstanding: that is the take-away here.

    Our Constitutional Law professor doesn’t give a rip about the Constitution. Can we just have a little directness for once?

    1. Montanamaven

      Constitutional law lecturer is a more accurate description. Having said that, the US constitution was set up for elite rule and has quite a few glitches in it that allows for abuse.

      1. diptherio

        Granted. The book American Aurora provides plenty of evidence from source material that a goodly proportion of the founders were simply looking to create an American monarchy. As King George put it in a letter to (iirc) John Adams, “you have given yourselves a king and called him a president.” Adams approved of the sentiment predicted that the US would eventually be forced to return to the “safe harbor of monarchy”.

        1. Montanamaven

          Another good book is “Towards an American Revolution” by Jerry Fresia. I’m reading at the moment a wonderfully written book by Dimitry Orlov of It’s his new book “Five Stages of Collapse”. He has a terrific explanation of 19th and early 20th century anarchism as advocated by the natural scientist, Peter Kropotkin. Direct democracy works best but it needs to be in small areas with small populations. I have always thought that the U.S. is way too big and would be better broken up, at least into regions. Representative government as we practice it here is an utter failure.

  13. rich

    When Irish people do what their government won’t

    It has been clear for some time now that the ideal of equality before the law has been buried.

    The US. the Department of Justice made it clear a few months ago, after it had declined to press criminal charges against a string of banks (Citi, Wachovia and HSBC), that ‘Too Big To Fail’ meant while such institutions could be investigated and fined, they could not ever be found criminally guilty, because that would endanger their continued survival. Thus TBTF equals TBTP.

    The list of GSIFI’s (Globally Sysytemically Important Financial Institutions – both banks and Insurers) is therefore a list of those financial institutions that are now above the law. If it profits those institutions, and those who own and run them, to disregard the law, they can and will because all they face is a fine. A fine is just another marginal cost of doing business. A tax. And a small, discretionary one at that.

    In Europe we have had no similarly outright admission by the State that TBTF means TBTP. Instead the G-SIFI lists of banks and insurers have been published without anyone in government caring to make it clear that the State has taken it upon itself to raise the golden financial class above the law.

    Of course there is one loophole – just a tiny one and one that is easily ignored – but one nevertheless. And that is that if no Public Prosecutor will take a Bank to court then it is still possible for an ordinary citizen to do so (Of course how easy or impossible it is depends on the country). But In Ireland it is possible and one man, Michael Smith, has decided to try.

    In an open letter to the Irish DPP Mr SMith calls their bluff. Essentially he asks is the Irish state’s legal aparatus whoring for the banks or does it still have a single grain of honour left?

  14. rich

    Unreliable Guesswork in Valuing Murky Trades

    On Wall Street, bets worth hundreds of billions of dollars are valued using a considerable amount of guesswork. The dangers of that approach were revealed on Wednesday in the government’s criminal complaints against two former JPMorgan Chase traders.

    Their trading didn’t take place in a market where large numbers of transactions produced transparent and public prices through the day, like the stock market. Instead, the traders made bets with derivatives, financial contracts that often trade sporadically and in the shadows of Wall Street. They focused on so-called credit derivatives, which allow traders to bet on the perceived creditworthiness of companies. In particular, they took large positions in a credit derivatives product called CDX. NA. IG9, which represents a basket of companies.

    In its lawsuits, the government says that the traders deliberately valued such bets to make their losses look lower than they actually were in the early months of 2012.

    only the shadow knows….

  15. Lambert Strether

    More on Booker from Susie Madrak; this guy is a worse creep than Obama. I gotta say, though, my Obama-lovin’ nieces and nephews think he’s cool. Even if, let us remember, Booker is the guy who pronounced it “nauseating” in 2012 when Obama briefly flirted with populism by attacking Bain Capital. And we all know how much Yves likes private equity….

  16. Hugh

    The current cycle of revolution and counter-revolution in Egypt holds lessons for us and any future American revolution.

    1. The old institutions must be swept clean. This does not mean replacing everyone within them, but it does mean breaking up the elite cliques who ran them and placing them firmly in the control of the people. In Egypt, leaving the army, the mainstay of the old regime, unreformed kept people in place with an interest in fomenting counter-revolution, and with the power and organization to exploit any openings that came along or which they were successful in creating.

    2.&3. Know not just what you are against but what you are for. And make sure the revolutionary government believes in and is firmly committed to this. In Egypt, the revolution was effectively hijacked by the Muslim Brotherhood. They presented themselves as a moderate and democratic alternative to the old regime, but once in power they pursued their own agenda and did not deliver on the revolutionary demands of the people. In the process, they alienated large segments of the Egyptian public and created an opening for the counter-revolutionary military.

    4. Blood begets blood. The problem with not getting it right the first time, of not completing the revolution, is that you get these groups competing for ultimate power, all of them with some claim to power, none of which are particularly legitimate. Each death among them hardens their positions, makes it more about the competition among the groups, and takes the country further and further away from the goals of revolution, and closer and closer to chaos and civil war.

    1. charles sereno

      You got a lot of it right. However, the military (and their police thugs) and complicit booboisie (‘kleptocracy’) went sailing along without too many speed bumps. The Brotherhood didn’t “hijack” the revolution. They just took advantage of an opening. They long have represented a rural, traditional base. Given a chance for a (more or less honest) vote they jumped at it (cf, Hamas). Batman (US) and Robin (Israel) are still overseeing events.

      1. charles sereno

        I’m pretty much stuck on ’30’s comics and radio shows but weren’t these pairings classic? Kent Clark (Superman) and Lois Lane; Bruce Wayne (Batman) and Robin; Britt Reid (Green Hornet) and Kato; Lamont Cranston (Shadow) and Margo Lane; Tarzan and Jane: so many more. Help me out.

    2. ex-PFC Chuck

      What went down in Cairo the other day was no surprise to Col. Patrick Lang, who was expecting and had predicted it on his blog. He spent many years in the Middle East and closed out his active duty career as chief desk officer for the area at the Defense Intelligence Agency. Morsi had prematurely shown his hand while playing the Muslim Brotherhood’s game of One Man, One Vote, One Time. He forgot to decapitate the officer corps beforehand like whats-his-name in Turkey did.

      1. charles sereno

        Interesting, but the security state is not the problem. Do you know anyone eager to go visit the Pyramids and the Valley of the Kings? Even at cut-rates? The oligarchs have to keep their businesses running and that will be an increaselingly BIG problem.

        1. aet

          What has happened in Egypt could easily have happened in the USA at the time of their Constitutional Conventions of the 1700s – IF there had been a standing US Army then in existence (there wasn’t) and IF that Army had also then decided to throw their Arms onto the balance in favour of one or the other of those factions whose interests had divided those Conventions.

          Egypt has time enough – for who can rush Egypt? – and their democracy will take some time ( and possibly a rather impersonal length of time) to establish its own habits & coventions; but what Western democracy hasn’t? Many, perhaps most, of those have needed long & bloody decades, or even centuries, of recurrent conflict between competing groups, to get to where Egypt has tried to get to in five short years!

          To be truthful, I’m less worried about the present state of Egyptian political freedom, than I am about the near-future state of the Egyptian food supply – and I do hope that there may be some Egyptians who worry likewise, and are busy doing something about it.

          1. aet

            As to those who claim that Mr. Morsi was becoming an “dictator”…

            An exceptional sort of dictator… one who did not have the support or control of the Police/Security Forces, nor the Army!

            Those who claim that Mr. Morsi was any kind of “dictator” do violence to the English language.

        2. aet

          If you cover my expenses, I’d go tomorrow.

          Seriuosly, i’d like to see Luxor…

          The fact is, that just because Egyptians are fighting each other, does not mean that foreigners are therefore at risk…was that the case during the US Civil War? Foreigners or sojourners were not attacked by either side in the US Civil War just for being foreigners or sojourners.
          And for a good and simple reason: foreigners and sojourners were not the enemy of either side of the US Civil War, and were not treated as such by either side.

          Just so, WE are NOT the enemy of ANY Egyptian faction or ‘side”.

          So why do you assume that there would be ANY ill-will or hostility towards foreigners and tourists on the part of any Egyptian, whichever “side” they support in their civil conflict?

          Why are you afraid? Do you think that Egyptians are irrationally violent and/or hostile? If so, what proof of THAT do you have?

          WWhatever else, do not assume that others necessarily share your unfounded fears!

      2. Roland

        I am getting very sick and tired of reading that utterly stupid expression, “one man–one vote–one time,” used as a criticism of Islamic political parties.

        Look at the facts in Egypt today, and in Algeria in 1992.

        The Islamists decisively won free elections in both those countries, fair and square, on a democratic basis.

        It was not the Islamists’ fault that an election held only once in those countries.

        Looking at the facts, it was the so-called “secular” opponents of the Islamists who ensured that Egyptian or Algerian citizens got a free election on only a single occasion.

        Th expression “one man, one vote, one time” must only be used as a criticism of so-called “seculars” or so-called “liberals.”

        The expression cannot be used against the Islamists, at least until they match the ” seculars’ ” tendency to overturn elected governments, arrest the victors of said elections, and slaughter voters in the streets.

  17. JEHR

    Paul Craig Roberts is not afraid to say:

    “Attorney General Holder avoids telling Congress the truth on just about every subject, and he also remains in office. The same can be said for President Obama, one of the great deceivers of our time, who is so adverse to truth that truth seldom finds its way out of his mouth.”


  18. Jess

    Just in case anybody doubted that the fauxgressive Dems will line up behind the next Obama, yesterday I got an email from “Digby, John, and Howie” at Blue America telling me how important it was, now that the primary is over, to rally behind Booker because his GOP opponent is, like, you know, really awful. Or something.

    I don’t know if the return address on that email is real and responses are actually read by anyone, but mine contained several passages that started with F#*k and ended with You.

  19. BondsOfSteel

    There’s no such thing as secure email… yet.

    Encrypting the message body using PGP encryption is available today. The tools / user experience / installation issues suck. Improving this is what software development is about ;)

    Encrypting the message headers is not available today, but could easily be achieved by using an anonymous proxy. Place a server somewhere safe(?) where you send encrypted packages that are then unencrypted and mailed back to the recipients. (The message text would still be encrypted.)

    For this to work, there has to be large enough dataflow. Sorta like in the old days of Usenet when everyone posted with random keyword sigs to through off full text search. Make the haystack too big to search, giving individual messages more privacy.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I think with technology, the empire always strikes back.

        You have to rely on…close your eyes…the Force.

  20. Jim Haygood

    Just to add to what Hugh said, early in his first term Obama more than doubled the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, from 47,000 to a peak of 101,000.

    For ‘docg’ the Obot to credit Obama for ‘getting us out of Afghanistan’ is just like lionizing the ‘hero fireman’ who in fact set the blaze before calling in the alarm.

    Obama probably does deserve some credit for refusing to join the mad-dog Israelis in bombing Iran.

    As Barry (‘the most interesting president in the world’) said in his Dos Equis spot, ‘I don’t always do the right thing for America. But when I do, it’s entirely accidental!’

  21. Ed Wilson in heaven

    Thanks for curating the latest NSA bullshit: A double-dose of cryptologic resistance-is-futile plus ass-covering about Alexander’s latest panic attack.

    Then there’s the grim reality. There’s some smartasses, the Moslem equivalent of the kids who toilet-paper your expensive landscaping. They make up some chatter as a goof,

    “Hey guys, Whatta we do with these 400 Strela-2s we stole in Libya?
    “Down some jets!
    “Nah, get a US embassy.
    “Awesome! Where?
    “Sanaa, Kabul, Riaydh, Ougagdougou, Al Fadoo.
    “Great, let’s do it. Wednesday?”

    They send it around on i2pbote and see what happens.
    The NSA responds: zzzzzz. zzzzzzz.

    Then they send it around i2p on susimail, which is highly resistant to COMINT but somewhat less resistant to SIGINT.
    The NSA responds: zzzzzz. zzzzzzz.

    Then they send through the i2p gateway encrypted with PGP and a big key.
    The NSA responds: zzzzzz. zzzzzzz.

    By now they’re bored so they send it in cleartext.
    The NSA responds: Fap fap fap fappety fap fapfapfapfap (The NSA counterterror analysts are reviewing the Skype-sex highlights from Ramstein BOQ.)

    So then they put it up on a forum, having learned exactly what NSA can and cannot catch, and, AH-OOH-GA, AH-OOH-GA GENERAL QUARTERS! Ah-OOH-GA! and watch the imperial consuls run wee-wee-wee all the way home, with the supplemental comedy gold of them trying to contact the station at Al Fadoo, which Omar made up. Half the guys on the forum are Russians cryin laffin. They’re buddies with these punks cuz they have HUMINT.

    Then Alexander gets another medal.

  22. charles sereno

    Breaking (no pun) news: Taking a break from his vacation, President Obama announced a new policy of “constructive engagement” with Egypt. “Let’s all be friends and move forward” sums up the message along with assorted talking points about his heritage.

  23. KFritz

    Re: Deer Hunting

    The most irrational element of deer hunting policy is making BUCKS the primary target. Bucks can impregnate a large number of does, but only if the does exist. And a doe WILL find a buck during the mating season.

    To control the population of deer, the harvest needs to shift to does, but that collides with “ten point buck” motivation for hunting, which drives a lot of the “Dear Industrial Complex.”

    An education program is in order.

    My mom made really delicious meatballs substituting ground venison for pork. They went well with a robust sauce.

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      “And a doe WILL find a buck during the mating season.”

      It’s always the fault of the horny females. ;)

    2. optimader

      Maybe the objective is not to collapse the population but to continuously cull it?

      I would take no pleasure out of blowing the brains out of a deer, but my inner carnivore surely is impressed w/ how good they taste.
      A tradesman I know, an avid bow hunter, gave me a venison “beer sausage” as a return for the favor of a bottle of hot sauce I made and gave him. I was not expecting much of it but it was just fantastic. Frankly I would buy it if I could.

      I did read somewhere, (maybe here) that Gen Whatever has take a shine to hunting , not necessarily as a philosophical/”sporting” endeavor, but as a pragmatic approach to acquiring good inexpensive “organic” meat alternative that hasn’t been fed Frakenfood and antibiotics.

    3. diptherio

      Hunting regulation is done state by state so it may be different elsewhere, but here in MT particular hunting districts only allow does or fawns to be taken, other areas allow only bucks, other places either-or. It depends on the local game population. I would hope that it’s the same all over the country.

  24. charles sereno

    What’s “whinging?”
    Here’s the Whinger-in-chief — “While Mohamed Morsi was elected president in a democratic election, his government was not inclusive and did not respect the views of all Egyptians. We know that many Egyptians, millions of Egyptians, perhaps even a majority of Egyptians, were calling for a change in course.”

    1. aet

      Egypt’s problems are not America’s problem, nor do Egyptians want them to be.

      And I dare say, neither do Americans.

      These troubles are truly Egypt’s problems, not America’s: just as America’s problems are America’s, and not China’s.
      (Strange that so obvious an observation even requires stating – but considering the comments I’ve read online blaming President Obama and the US Gov for what’s happening in Egypt, I think it bears repeating!)

      And therefore it follows that the only people worth listening to about Egypt’s problems, and as to what should or will happen next in Egypt are, naturally, the Egyptians themselves: but just as naturally, allowance must be made for the partisanship or interest of the Egyptian speaker when assessing the truth or otherwise of what is being said by that speaker.( And just between us, it wouldn’t hurt for some people to keep their own prejudices and preconceptions at bay, too, as they listen to what is being said.)

      As that precaution as to weighing the truth of statements in light of the speaker’s interest applies to ANY political observation made by ANY qualified observer and/or participant in ANY political contest and/or issue at ANY era in ANY country , it seems strange to have to explicitly note what I feel ought to be obvious: and once again, I find that I am prompted to do so by reading online all too many people, not Egyptians, nevertheless advancing very strong personal opinions apportioning all blame – but ALL of it – to either Morsi’s Party or to the Army for these tragic developments in Egyptian political life.

      If anybody is to play the “blame game” as to this tragedy, it’s for the Egyptians themselves to play it, if the Egyptians feel that it would help – and for no one else.

      That’s my opinion as to what’s happening in Egypt, and thank you for asking.

  25. diptherio

    Joe at the Disorder of Things blog has been hanging out with low-income residents of DC’s Shaw neighborhood as they try to stop the area’s gentrification and save their homes, and it’s got him thinking:

    [W]hether one is concerned with an ideal justification for the social order or understanding the reality of our order, political theory has tended to view the problem from the perspective of the already empowered or the newly empowered, rather than those systematically and intentionally disempowered and oppressed.
    We must start with the question of justice as it is faced by those who are intentionally disempowered, exploited and oppressed. They are not powerless – far from it – rather they are used by society, by the powerful especially, and they are ignored when they are no longer useful. The fundamental question of justice is, how can we reconstruct society so that this kind of exploitation is impossible. And that importantly involves the very practical question of how the exploited can do this work under the conditions they find themselves in, with the rules and structures balanced against them. How can they change the rules and structures of society, so that they have a public presence and voice.

    For academic political theory this means one of our most vital questions is one of solidarity, how can we assist in this struggle. Part of that assistance is to stop holding up the political theory of the empowered as a sacred cultural artefact. Another part of that is beginning from a new vantage point and asking new questions. I’m tempted to say we’d all do well to throw away our copies of the “canon” and spend more nights in church basements… I haven’t the time to consider this proposal very carefully, but for now that seems like a solid plan.

    1. optimader

      We “align ourselves with a set of principles: nonviolence, a respect for universal rights, and a process for political and economic reform.”

      He said ALIGN –to arrange in a line or so as to be parallel.

      Parallel not coincident or intersecting.

      Maybe after we have a National Conversation, someone will take on this initiative to move us in the direction of being coincident blah blah blah.. Obama speak ”

      It would be fun to just be a fly on the wall when someone asks him define what exactly “universal rights” means.

      Put this blsht flow of consciousness through the Babble Fish “universal interpreter” and what comes out is “Hey where the heck is lunch!?! That Tunafish sandwich BETTER not be light on Mayo this time or some one in the kitchen us up for an asswhoopin.”

      1. aet

        “Universal rights” are rights which are, or ought to be, enjoyed by all people without exception.

        That’s what the President meant, and that’s what the words “universal rights” denote.

        So….what’s the problem? That’s the exact definition.

        If you don’t belive the President, just say so; these words – “universal rights” – are not weasel words.

        1. Optimader

          They are when spoken by a weasel.

          Thank-you very much for the definition, very insightful–i’ll have to bone up on using those searchmotor thingies

          It’s 10:45, do you know where your universal rights are?

          1. aet

            I know where to find them when I wish to exercise them: otherwise, they are anybody’s to use – even yours.

  26. dentist

    Police fingering people’s privates in TX and Canadian police beating dentist in Alberta (with pictures):

    “the sheriff then began hitting her breasts… he pressed his knees into hers until they were bruised, and pushed his pelvis into her back… he smashed my head on the pavement on the road… Then he told me, ‘Now I’m going to walk all over you.’”

  27. rich

    NYU will cease loans to top employees for second homes

    New York University said on Wednesday that it would no longer lend money to top employees to buy vacation homes and would grant faculty members more participation in school decisions, part of a slate of changes designed to lower tensions between the university’s leaders and its rank-and-file professors. The university also announced that its president, John Sexton, who has been the subject of five no-confidence votes by the faculty this year, would step down once his term ends in 2016.

    The changes, which emerged from a series of meetings that a group of trustees held with faculty and staff members, administrators and students, are the first concessions by the trustees since the faculty rebellion began in March with a no-confidence vote in the College of Arts and Science, N.Y.U.’s largest school. Until now, N.Y.U.’s board had defended its loans for second homes and insisted that they were, like loans for primary residences, an indispensable tool for retaining top talent.

    “This is a matter of extreme importance to us,” Martin Lipton, the chairman of the board of trustees, said. “No university can prosper if there’s disruption, if there’s unhappiness in the family.”

  28. charles sereno

    News from Maine: Lady Justice gropes forward (she’s blind). The teapot set to boil months ago has yet to stir up a tempest. Yes, I’m talking about Zumbaport. It’s possible there’s one or two Little Johns of tabloid interest out there, but I wouldn’t bet on it unless you’re a kook who thinks Jamie Dimon will be criminally indicted or President Obama impeached.

    1. Optimader

      Counterintuitively what horridly bad, sexually repressed decisions might they have made if they werent getting layed? That wAs always in the back of my mind abt bill clinton…
      Anyhoo, neither of those wars had a win scenerio from the get go.

      Now if only GWB had an “intern”, what in edibly stupid and violent thing might he have reconsidered– we will never know….which makes me think of laura which makes me want to scratch my minds eye out :o/

      That’s two wars lost, one after the other. One can only wonder whether if Sinclair and the rest of the command structure had been able to keep it zipped — and I’m sure Sinclair and Petraeus are by no means the only top brass led around by their little stiffies — he and they might have been able to focus on their work, so we wouldn’t have lost those two wars. One after the other. For some definition of “we.”

  29. alex morfeis

    larry summers is being taken to that wonderful spot that chicago politicians take annoying pushy clowns who sometimes dont get it…he will be walked over a few spots with the manhole covers removed till he just poof…falls out of sight…lived through a decade of chicago, watched val jarrett and the first lady do their corporate carabinerri work for the chicago machine…obama does not invest this type of public capital…he is being too obvious…so that when larry(and the other candidates) get the hook, he can say, I tried really hard for you my friend…

    I would love to see a female run the fed…just not yelstin…i mean yellin…sheila would be an economic wet dream…but no way wall street lets her hold the sceptre…

    and on the venison front…tastes great less filling, less processing…less preservatives…yummy…miss land o lakes, wisconsin…calm waters of black oak lake…

  30. Optimader

    Could spend some time disassembling the solar article by AEP, instead i’ll say I hope his scatter gun optimism enjoys some fruition. If nothing else i hope the US mil soldiers on w/ it, but displacing $400gal petro is not exactly a reason to breakout the champagne. Frankly if the mil justifications had any real bearing in the private sector, public transportation would be by Osprey tiltrotor.

    A couple broad comments
    1. Advances w/ solar dont necessarily displace HC fuel application
    2. Intermittent power sources (nothing more intermittent than solar at night) do not offset the requirement for installed conventional electric utility generation due to the unsolved issue storage.
    3. It remains an impractical transportation fuel unless connected to a stationary source ( like electric rail)

    The low hanging fruit in the meantime is advancing fuel efficiency and displacing the use of hydrocarbon transportation fuel with ubiquitous public trans.

  31. subgenius

    An audit of the NSA’s activities shows it broke privacy rules, mostly to spy on Americans, thousands of times per year:

    The NSA’s response to all of this is almost comical:
    “We’re a human-run agency operating in a complex environment with a number of different regulatory regimes, so at times we find ourselves on the wrong side of the line,” a senior NSA official said in an interview, speaking with White House permission on the condition of anonymity

    LOL wut? THAT’S their argument? [techdirt]

    1. subgenius

      oh oh bouns post

      “The FISC is forced to rely upon the accuracy of the information that is provided to the Court,” its chief, U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton, said in a written statement to The Washington Post. “The FISC does not have the capacity to investigate issues of noncompliance, and in that respect the FISC is in the same position as any other court when it comes to enforcing [government] compliance with its orders.”

      also @ techdirt

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