Links 8/17/13

Dear patient readers,

We were down longer than I’d like (even a few minute outage is frustrating, but Friday’s offline event was more like an hour and a half). The site was under attack from what looked like China (over 1000 different IP addresses). Our host had to do a lot of brute force blocking to get things under control.

Want to Know Business? These are the Only People You Need to Follow Wired. Wow, NC made a very short list! Hooray!

Area 51 ‘declassified’ in U-2 spy plane history BBC (Chuck L)

A Song of Flood and Fire: One Million Square Kilometers of Burning Siberia Doused by Immense Deluge Robert Scribbler (Mark)

New approach assembles big structures from small interlocking pieces Science Daily (Chuck L)

The Business Habits of Highly Effective Terrorists Foreign Affairs (Lambert). When is he giving his TED talk? I’m really holding out for “The Leadership Secrets of Jamie Lannister”. Notice the comparisons to WalMart. Might not be wise to give those WalMart supervisors bright ideas about career options.

What’s the difference between big data and business analytics? mathbabe

Obama and Romney big data experts continue the battle as businesses ComputerWorld. Cory Booker is their fault.

Girls escape forced marriage by concealing spoons in clothing to set off metal detectors at the airport Independent (Chuck L). A positive use of backscatter machines

Living to work or working to live? MacroBusiness. Another proof of the how just about everything is better than Oz. Clearly behind the US in one of the worst developments of the modern era, and bold enough to finger the perps.

Merkel 3.0: Stasis You Can Believe In Der Spiegel. Who says Germans don’t have a sense of humor?

Greece ticket inspection death prompts protest Associated Press (Lambert)

Egypt Erupts:

Tense stand-off at Egypt mosque BBC

Hi, I’m your new Axis of Evil Pepe Escobar. And on his “bloodbath that is not a bloodbath” refrain, see the related Asia Times piece: Pharaoh al-Sisi sits tight

Egypt: Chaos But Brotherhood Lacks Support For Escalation Moon of Alabama

Egyptian Military Creating Conditions for Dictatorship Real News Network

Blood and Chaos Prevail in Egypt, Testing Control New York Times

Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks Highlight Israel’s Desperate Need for Legitimacy In Face of Growing International Criticism Real News Network. Brace yourself for a big rise in hasbara:

….the breaking news from this week, is that the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has signed an agreement with the Israeli student union, which represents most but not all students in Israel, so that students will work for the government and be paid public money to work as paid commentators, and they would work anonymously to promote Israeli propaganda in the world and social media.

CACI Wants Abu Ghraib Prisoners to Pay Company’s Legal Bills DSWright, Firedoglake (Carol B)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch:

NSA revelations of privacy breaches ‘the tip of the iceberg’ – Senate duo Guardian. Throwing down a gauntlet to the Clapper Committee.

Whistleblowing is the new Civil Disobedience: Why Snowden matters Gaius Publius

Thomas Drake On Government Overreach, Obsessive Secrecy, and Constitutional Abuses Jesse (JCC, rich)

BFP Exclusive- Bruce Fein: A Bad Penny That Is Always Turning Up Boiling Frogs (Deontos). Holy moley. I had no idea of the Bruce Fein backstory. The writing style of the letter he wrote on behalf of Snowden pere screamed “grandiose manipulative creep”.

You Won’t BELIEVE What’s Going On with Government Spying on Americans George Washington. Good summary for people who are behind on this story

British cat DNA database helps convict killer Associated Press. We have efforts to justify databases of pet DNA? Help me. Now I’m afraid to bring my cats to the vet.

Barack Obama’s lost youth Guardian. Smart Dems had better start abandoning the rapidly sinking Obama.

Obama Gives Support To Osprey: The Military Boondoggle That Just Won’t Die DSWright, Firedoglake (Carol B)

Almost Nobody Shows Up for Steve King’s Anti-Immigration Rally in VA Daily Kos (furzy mouse)

Obama Patron Warren Buffett Buys Over $500 Million of Suncor Tar Sands Stock Steve Horn, Firedoglake (Carol B)

Seeing threats, feds target instructors of polygraph-beating methods McClatchy Polygraphs are a lousy test (low accuracy rate, lots of false positives). Per Lambert: “This is meta-nuts”.

Illogical Economics – Guest post by Hawkeye Golem XIV

US consumer confidence in surprising fall from six-year high Guardian. Notice the porcine maquillage.

DOJ Compounds Stat Screwup by Whitewashing Old Eric Holder Speech Matt Taibbi

Urgent debt lessons from a forgotten framework Steve Keen

Airport that hosts Walmart’s 19 corporate jets gets a special tax subsidy Daily Kos (Carol B)

The Many, Many Jobs That Won’t Earn Enough Atlantic. Carol B also sends me local job ads. The insistent chipperness of the text (“Great Opportunity! Rapidly Growing Organization Seeks Self Starter to Clean Toilets on Part Time Night Shift for $7.25/hour. Possible Promotion to Full Time. Background Check Required”) is always a demeaning contrast to the content of the posting

Ripping Off Young America: The College-Loan Scandal Matt Taibbi (mookie)

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):


And a bonus from Carol B, via the story Nepali Ranger Strives for Another Year of Zero Poaching:


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  1. Joe

    I can hardly wrap my head around this. Behold the cold calculus of the ruling class in all of its glory. Here is everything you need to know about the Obama administration in one article:

    Ties With Egypt Army Constrain Washington

    Here is the excuse for letting the Egyptian military murder thousands of civilians :

    “We need them for the Suez Canal, we need them for the peace treaty with Israel, we need them for the overflights, and we need them for the continued fight against violent extremists who are as much of a threat to Egypt’s transition to democracy as they are to American interests,” said Gen. James N. Mattis, who retired this year as head of the military’s Central Command.”

    1. aet

      Surely the wise General meant Egypt, the sovereing nation, when he says “We need them…” – and not just the current personnel constituting the present Command of the Egyptian Armed Forces?

      IMHO the US would do best to “back” the side that will must eventually win – backing a current ‘winner’, only to see them later lose, would cause the US to utterly lose the support of the “them” who really count when the chips are down – that is, the 82.5 million people of Egypt…that’s what happened in Iran back in the 1970s, I guess, with the US support of the deposed Shah: but then again, the US didn’t need Iran as a staging area for military action in yet more distant arenas back then, either.

      1. from Mexico

        So the Egyptian military is one and the same as “the 82.5 million people of Egypt,” and the Egyptian military is merely carrying out the popular will of the Egyptian people?

        Maybe so.

        But witnessing the rapidity and conviction with which the US neocon and neoliberal faithful has circled the wagons around the Egyptian military belies your assertion, that is unless one believes the US neocons and neoliberals have the interests and popular will of the Egyptian people at heart. For me, however, that is just a bridge too far.

        1. from Mexico

          And by the way, isn’t the cheerleader squad that supported Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi not the same one we now see applauding and running interference for the Egyptican military?

        2. from Mexico

          Ah ha!

          And then there’s this from the Pepe Escobar link:

          Amid a thick fog of spin and competing agendas, a startling fact stands out. A poll only 10 days ago by the Egyptian Center for Media Studies and Public Opinion had already shown that 69% were against the July 3 military coup orchestrated by the Pinochet-esque Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

          So the bloodbath that is not a bloodbath cannot possibly be considered legitimate – unless for a privileged coterie of Mubarakists (the so-called fulool), a bunch of corrupt oligarchs and the military-controlled Egyptian “deep state”.

          I suppose that the Americans supporting the bloodbath fall under the category of “a bunch of corrupt oligarchs.”

          1. zygmuntFRAUDbernier

            I read the other day that Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait gave aid to Egypt post-coup:
            “In well-orchestrated moves, Saudi Arabia then stepped forward with a $5 billion package, of which a lump sum of $2 billion was drafted to Egypt’s state bank that day, followed by another $2 billion as a gift of Saudi gas, and a further $1 billion for propping up the sagging Egyptian currency.”

            1. from Mexico

              “Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE…have promised $12 billion financial support” to the Egyptian Military

              from article from Links, “Pharaoh al-Sisi sits tight”

                1. from Mexico


                  As the Amnesty International report indicates, the military and police are summarily executing hundreds of people, and this response is completely disproportionate to the offenses their victims have supposedly committed.

                  In addition to this, there are pro-military gangs of plain-clothes thugs roaming the streets terrorizing people. So it looks like a return to the bad old days of the Mubarak regime:


    2. from Mexico

      What comes through loud and clear to me is the rank hypocrisy.

      The Egyptian military is engaged in the same sort of actions that Syria’s president Assad is allegedly using. But whereas Assad gains a solid round of condemnation from the neocon faithful, those same militarists rush to the defense of Egypt’s praetorian guard, exculpating it with arguments that are nothing short of Orwellian.

      Sometimes the cognitive dissonance just gets to be too much.

      We have John Kerry “going out and basically calling the Egyptian miliatry an instrument of democracy” when he said: “In effect, they were restoring democracy.”

      And former Defense Secretary William Cohen asserts “you now have a conflict going between the pro-Morsi Brotherhood supporters and those who are supporting the military trying to bring about a stable country that moves to a democratic one.”

      Up is down. Black is white. War is Peace. Ignorance is Strength. Freedom is Slavery.

      Could it get any worse than this?

      1. Synopticist

        The bullsh*t is coming thick and fast from both sides. The MB know that getting the “chief victim” status here is overwhelmingly important for western perceptions of who the bad guys are as the crisis moves on.

        They’re no ingenues or blushing virgins when it comes to manipulating the international media, ( watch the weirdness starting 14 seconds in)

        and will always have al jazeera, the Qatari mouthpiece on their side. That influences the BBC staffers, who see al jazeera as their next, well paid tax-free gig.

        Plus the Guardian, who have been slavishly following the Qatari line in their middle eastern coverage in the past few years. Suspiciously so, frankly. It’s very f*cking suspicious to me, the way the multi-million loss making Guardian newspaper invariably give positive coverage to the guys the glitteringly wealthy, media owning Qataris are backing.

        1. from Mexico

          So you’re alleging that Al Jazeera, The Guardian and the BBC are all heavily biased in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood?


          Do you have any evidence to substantiate that?

          1. Synopticist

            There’s no question at all concerning al jazeera favouring the brotherhood. They got briefly booted out of Egypt following the coup, and they’ve been pro-MB since the arab spring kicked off. In contrast, Saudi Arabia has always been wary of the MB, because they rightly see it as a threat to monarchy as a whole.

            Qatar has been extremely active in the middle east in the last few years. In all the hotspots, Qatari Qatar has sent money, soldiers, arms or freindly media coverage. They sent special forces into Libya to fight alongside the rebels there, they finacially backed the Egyptian MB heavily, and they have spent billions arming the Syrian opposition. Al jazeera follows and expresses the Qatari line all the way.

            Al jazeera and Qatar have become extremely unpopular in the ME as a result of their bias and attempt to use money as a political lever, but then that’s what you’d expect if your foreign policy decision makers were hereditary princes lounging on silk cushions more interested in horse breeding and harems than anything else.

            There’s a revolving door between the BBC and Al jazeera. Most of their staff are ex-BBC or CNN i believe (CNN have also been accused of pro-MB bias). You’re not going to get a job with AJ if you attack the Qatari line, that’s not how rich Arab prices roll, and TV types understand that.

            As for the Guardian, it’s articles like this…

            …that make me suspicious. That article is as big a piece of pro-rebel propoganda as I’ve ever read, but remember, this is the f*ckin Guardian. Historically Anti-western, anti-Israeli, anti-Middle eastern intervention, anti-humanitarian intervention, pro-secular, anti-sectartian. They regularly used to print pro-Iranian pieces. The contrast between their coverage of the Iraq war and Syria is mind-blowing, and it goes against their own readers attitudes to boot, as you can see from reading the comments on the article I linked to.

            Now maybe this sounds conspiratorial, but the qataris know how to use money to get good media, and the guardian is losing millions. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there were hidden, secret subsidies floating around.

            1. from Mexico

              For Pepe Escobar, in his article from today’s Links, Qatar became “unpopular” for a very different reason than you allege. Qatar’s mistake was that it supported Muslim subversives across the board, regardless of whether it squared with the geopolitical exigencies of Tel Aviv, Riyadh or Washington or not. With Tel Aviv, Riyadh and Washington, the support of Muslim extremists is an on-again off-again thing: they only support them when its in their geopolitical interests to do so. And with Tel Aviv and Riyadh there is no doubt where they stand when it comes to Egypt: they are solidly against the Muslim Brotherhood and behind the military’s takeover of Egypt:

              Tel Aviv is totally at ease with Sisi’s Army and the flush Saudi supporters of the military junta. The only thing that matters to Israel is that Sisi’s Army will uphold the Camp David agreements. The MB, on the other hand, might entertain other ideas in the near future.

              For the House of Saud…the MB in power in Egypt was anathema. In this fateful triangle – Washington, Tel Aviv and Riyadh – what remains to be established is who was been the most cunning in the wag the dog department.

              That’s where the Incredibly Disappearing Qatar act fits in. The rise and (sudden) fall of Qatar from the foreign policy limelight is strictly linked to the current leadership vacuum in the heart of the Pentagon’s self-defined “arc of instability”. Qatar was, at best, an extra in a blockbuster…

              Sheikh Hamad al-Thani, the emir who ended up deposing himself, clearly overreached not only in Syria but also in Iraq; he was financing not only MB outfits but also hardcore jihadis across the desert. There’s no conclusive proof because no one in either Doha or Washington is talking, but the emir was certainly “invited” to depose himself. And not by accident the Syrian “rebel” racket was entirely taken over by the House of Saud, via the spectacularly resurfaced Bandar Bush, aka Prince Bandar bin Sultan.

              1. Synopticist

                From what I can gather, the abdication of the older emir had been on the cards for a while, a few years.
                Biting off more than Qatar could chew certainly might have sped the process along a bit, but these are super-rich hereditary princes who supply the UK with half their gas, so they have a lot of influence themselves. They’re not just puppets any longer.

                1. from Mexico

                  The bottom line though is this: You alleged that Al Jazeera, The Guardian and the BBC are all heavily biased in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood, and I asked if you had any evidence to substantiate that.

                  What I meant by this is do you have any actual examples of news coverage by these where you can demonstrate bias in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt? And what you gave me instead were ad hominem attacks on Al Jazeera, The Guardian and the BBC, and not very well founded ad hominem at that.

          1. Synopticist

            I don’t want to watch, but not staged, no.

            I’m just saying there is an active media campaign on both sides, and getting the “victim” label is extremely important.

            1. allcoppedout

              So let’s have democracy for the fleeting days after we elect the Muslim Brotherhood, Nazis etc. Algeria Mark II. Spinoza summed up the problems of religious freedom – one needs a secular constitution and government. We have a similar, intractable problem in the UK in Northern Ireland with a longer history of education and “democracy”. Maybe world-wide under the American umbrella? There are tempting parts of Islam as a way of life in rhetoric and the American dream – neither makes any real sense to the non-Zealot.

              TV analysis is pathetic. Maybe we could invite the pundits and anchors into academic scrutiny and see what they really know? They are either incompetents or hold back – and most of them have been taught a journalistic notion of balance consigned to the waste bin by the rest of social science. At its most crass are the bimbettes rolling out cheering news of the stock market when clear charts on median incomes tell us much more on how the recession hits us etc. No mention of McJihad ever seems to come up.

              Steve Keen is on about private debt again – a few comments to the original post hit the ‘geeze Buddy, we know’ mark. Economics doesn’t provide decent earnings and living conditions for a sustainable population. Even a debt jubilee won’t – though such might teach us how to modularise economics and companies to bring back rule of law and start us off on an economics of being able to do things properly.

              The real detail is not considered in economics – the most obvious is our non-democratic foreign policy (a big topic either side of WW1 -imperialism), and then the small details of many unnecessarily miserable lives, work as a disutlity –
     – and the constant pressures on disabled and low-intellect poor, and the now at ‘bleeding obvious’ planet burning and other dumb environmental stuff like people with homes built in likely disaster areas. All this whilst most of us do dumb jobs including heterodox economic punditry and there is a vast wealth of talent and hard graft wasted.

              1. from Mexico

                I’m not defending the Muslim Brotherhood, nor the theocracy it is allegedly desirous of.

                However, lumping the Muslim Brotherhood together with the Nazis seems a bit overwrought (Can you point me to the mass murders of millions of innocent people the Muslim Brotherhood has committed?), and the rationales being invoked to justify the massacre of its members are lacking in proportionality, to say the least.

                1. from Mexico

                  And by the way, National Socialism was a secular phenomenon, not a religious phenomenon, at least not in any traditional sense of the word.

            2. Roland

              The Muslim Brothers are now indeed the main victims in Egypt. The fact is right in front of us, plain to see.

              One may contrast Morsi’s treatment of mass protests, with Sisi’s. Under Morsi there were no massacres, while under Sisi, massacres happen daily. The data are readily observable, for anyone who cares to gather data.

              1. Synopticist

                That video was demonstrates MB activists being giving media “victimhood” training, for which you need a sympathetic camera crew and photographers. It’s a political tactic.

                That isn’t the same as claiming the massacres in Cairo are staged, they’re obviously not.

                1. from Mexico

                  People can watch the video and come to their own conclusions, but what is shows is MB activists stage acting being hurt and wounded.

                    1. Synopticist

                      Seriously, watch that short vid.

                      It’s in Arabic, but some things don’t need any translation.

    3. danb

      This was the narrative on last night’s PBS’s Washington Week in Review. The surprising thing was that one of the panelist said Obama’s foreign policy is not working and rhetorically asked if the Obama administration is hypocritical re Egypt. This indicates, I think, as one of the links today also hints and Yves has been surmising, that the Washington press narrative is redefining Obama as a lame duck. Retuning to last night’s Washington Week, typically every panel member spins for and genuflects to the government PR line. Only one of the panelists defended Obama. last night.

    4. from Mexico

      CNN published an opinión piece by David Rothkopf, CEO and editor-at-large of the FP Group, publishers of Foreign Policy magazine, and a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for (¡¡¡Orwellian Alert!!!) International Peace.

      It offers a compendium of many of the neocon talking points, so I believe is worth the read to see how the neocon faithful is spinning the Egyptian situation.

      • DAVID ROTHKOPF NEOCON TALKING POINT #1: “Some argue the United States should suspend the delivery of some or all the $1.3 billion in annual aid it sends to the Egyptian government. But this would only further reduce the limited influence we have over the Egyptian military.”

      SUBTEXT: There are no sacred moral principles at work and instrumental rationality — real politic — trumps everything.

      • DAVID ROTHKOPF NEOCON TALKING POINT #2: “It is important to remember that after Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy’s overthrow, governments from the Persian Gulf in a matter of days offered the new Egyptian government 10 times the amount the United States gives each year. Not only did this shift the balance of influence away from the United States, but it also raises the possibility that they might well have replaced any funds we withdrew, blunting the impact of our actions.”

      SUBTEXT: If we don’t f-ck over the people of Egypt by funding the Egyptian military, somebody else will. This therefore makes it OK.

      Also note the cognitive dissonance between Talking Point #1 and Talking Point #2, #1 arguing we still have influence and maintaining the military funding is important, and #2 arguing we have no influence and withdrawing the military funding would have no effect.

      • DAVID ROTHKOPF NEOCON TALKING POINT #3: “It is also important to remember that the situation in Egypt is not black and white. While there is no excuse for the kind of massacres that took place this week, the Muslim Brotherhood also has a share of responsibility for the situation on the ground. The Morsy government regularly abused its authority, trampled on basic human rights and was so widely reviled in Egypt that its overthrow was welcomed by tens of millions of citizens.

      “Indeed, if you are looking for a place to fault the U.S. response, look to our relative tolerance of Morsy’s abuses and our failure to strongly and effectively call him out as his government crushed personal freedoms, suppressed the press, threw opponents in jail and stood by as the Muslim Brotherhood actively sought to sow discord throughout the Middle East.”

      SUBTEXT: The massively armed military with their tanks and machine guns, gunning down hundreds if not thousands of unarmed protesters, is the moral equivalent of what Morsy is alleged to have done.

      • DAVID ROTHKOPF NEOCON TALKING POINT #4: “This last overall point contains the secret to effective U.S. leverage over Egypt and many countries these days. The United States cannot have much impact acting alone. Unless–in an instance like this– it can speak for a broad cross section of aid-giving countries and institutions, the impact of any conditions it sets is likely to be limited.”

      SUBTEXT: The US must join with other freedom-loving and democracy-loving regimes in the Middle East, like those from the Persian Gulf countries Saudia Arabia and Qatar, as well as those freedom-loving and democracy-loving regimes in NATO, in order to be effective.

      • DAVID ROTHKOPF NEOCON TALKING POINT #5: “Impact requires purposeful, active political and economic diplomacy at the highest level—including the willingness to pressure friends. It also requires having a clear plan. Finally, those with whom the United States is interacting, be they friends or adversaries, have to believe that it has the resolve to follow through — and the willingness to take materially positive action if things go the way America wants.

      “But a United States that is post-Iraq and post-Afghanistan is correctly seen in the Middle East and elsewhere as ‘leaning back’.”

      SUBTEXT: This is pure Norman Podhoretz — the seminal neocon — who saw the Vietnam War in the same light Rothkopf sees Iraq and Afghanistan. For evil to prevail requires only one thing: for those confronted by it to flinch from duty. We should have escalated the Vietnam War, not withdrawn from it.

      • DAVID ROTHKOPF NEOCON TALKING POINT #6: “The huge costs and damage of our misadventures in the region have left us disinclined to further commit major resources or incur further risks. Our domestic economic problems have led us to turn inward and question how we allocate our resources. And the polarization in U.S. politics has both produced divisions that make action hard and empowered the extreme wings of both parties, groups that for all their divisions happen to share a taste for isolationism.

      “American inaction in Syria, the growing violence in Iraq, our apparent inclination to get out of Afghanistan at any cost, and our relative silence on the decaying situation elsewhere in North Africa all contribute to the unhelpful perception that we are not going to put our shoulder into much in the region (or elsewhere for that matter).

      “It’s not that we’ll be absent. Not that we won’t issue statements. Not that we won’t take some modest actions. It’s just that we will do less where we can do less. We will hesitate more. And with each illustration of this—whether our restraint is soundly based or not—we lose credibility and thus leverage.”

      SUBTEXT: Again, this is vintage Norman Podhoretz. For critics of the Left, Vietnam’s unhappy denouement testified to a wholesale collapse of American nerve. It is the absence of American power and will that invited catastrophe in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. (see Andrew J. Bacevich, The New American Militarism: How Americans are Seduced by War)

      • DAVID ROTHKOPF NEOCON TALKING POINT #7: “But the lesson of Iraq was not to never intervene again. It was to never do so rashly, recklessly or for the wrong reasons. It was to resist the temptation to act alone, to step up to the hard work of real diplomacy, to keep our eye on our nation’s need to be a more effective leader in the international community, rather than simply the bullying hyperpower. It was to understand that the trick of leadership is actually getting others to follow, building coalitions, leveraging our power with that of others.”

      SUBTEXT: This time is different.

      1. Jess

        Masterful surgical takedown. Well done!

        Of course, all this goes back to Hugh’s post a few days ago about the importance of getting revolutions done correctly the first time, and how if that doesn’t occur it merely sets the stage for serial bloodletting.

    5. Francois T

      and we need them for the continued fight against violent extremists

      Well my dear general! How many new “violent extremists” will this repression generate? Hmmm?

  2. aet

    What with all the nasty news out of Egypt, here’s a reminder that the ever-sophisticated Egyptians have a marvellous sense of humour, evidenced here by a selection of Egyptian TV ads for Panda-brand cheese:

    …and I have to thank the DVD Savant for the heads-up on those!

  3. Klassy!

    More antidote (from alink in a NYT articla about cats of The Hermitage). The kitties are very dashing in their portraits (but how did they get them to pose?).

  4. petridish

    Just out of curiosity, Yves, what makes you think it’s the Chinese who want to screw up your site? Take a look at your first link. Neither you nor your readers/commenters exactly toe the party line. Maybe there’s a connection?

    1. AbyNormal

      im not sure about that either.
      china has less face to protect on nc chopping block than u.s
      i wouldn’t be at all surprised if we/u.s aren’t the spoofers

      “Winston Smith: Does Big Brother exist?
      O’Brien: Of course he exists.
      Winston Smith: Does he exist like you or me?
      O’Brien: You do not exist.”

    2. subgenius

      denial of service attacks can use spoofed ips…they don’t actually WANT the data they are requesting…

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      The IPs register as China and my webhost has advocated blocking all Chinese IPs. They may well be spoofed but blocking all “Chinese” IPs would choke off this channel. But I’m loath to do that.

      1. Synopticist

        Is it to do with this blog in particular do you think, or is it just a industrialised spamming thing targeting popular sites?

        1. Emma

          The Chinese are dedicated to go after any site with the word “capitalism” in it. Rather like a single-celled organism lashing out bacteria-fueled flagella.

  5. Howard Beale IV

    Wow-a self-starter to clean toilets for $7.25 an hour with possible fulltime. So on his 5 years anniversary, does the cleaner gets a brush?

    1. AbyNormal

      I’ll let you see the door is open, so you know I’m open to the idea that you can leave anytime you want. So long as you are able to pick the lock on your handcuffs while you are blindfolded. kintz

    2. craazyman

      You have to bring your own brush, but you get a fork supplied by management.

      An on-the-job benefit is all the shit you can eat.

  6. Klassy!

    They had PR piece for the Osprey in the guise of a news story (from the AP) in my paper. I was horrified to learn they’re being used to transport the White House press corps to Martha’s Vineyard. Why go through all that expense when all tJay Carney has to do is send out the administration talking points and the White House reporters can just recite/type them back to us?

    1. petridish

      I’d imagine there’s a first class seat permanently reserved for Glenn Greenwald on one of those “press ospreys” and he won’t have to choose between steak and chicken–they’ll promise him BOTH!!

      Yep, that oughta work.

      The German economy can’t take another inexplicably exploding Mercedes right now.

    1. Stephen Gardner

      Yes, that Foreign Policy article was a very stupid article. And I think it completely gets it wrong. Al qa’eda isn’t a bureaucracy. It’s a loosely affiliated set of cells that share a general ideology. And I don’t believe for a minute that al zawahiri was overheard talking to his lieutenants. If that had happened al zawahiri would have been on the sharp end of a hellfire missile in a heartbeat.

      I think it was just another very clumsy attempt to justify the NSA in a roundabout way.

    1. rich

      Switching To Gmail May Leave Reporters’ Sources At Risk

      It’s in this context that The New York Times decided to outsource its email to Google. This summer, the paper moved all of its reporters onto corporate Gmail accounts. Before the switch, Times emails were stored on servers it owned; now those messages are in Google’s digital filing cabinet.

      ‘A Sense Of Nervousness’

      Unlike the free Gmail used by millions of consumers, corporate Gmail accounts cost money and offer greater privacy protections. But that protection is not complete, and the move could leave Times reporters and their sources with fewer legal protections if they are the subject of a government investigation.

      Angwin says one of the reasons that so many journalists have been unable to protect their sources is that records about whom they are talking to are collected by third parties. Last year, when the Department of Justice was investigating a leak about a foiled terrorism plot in Yemen, it didn’t subpoena reporters at the Associated Press. Instead, it went to Verizon and asked for the records of calls going into and out of the AP’s bureaus.

  7. diptherio

    Congrats on making the Wired shortlist for business and econ reporting! I was a little confused, however, to see you wedged in between Matt “Never-had-a-real-Job” Yglesias and NPR’s Wall Street-fellating Planet Money (?!?). WTF, Wired? Got cognitive dissonance much?

    As Wired puts it, NC “offers a piercing look at the ethical and legal missteps of the global financial industry.” Well guess what, both Yglesias and Planet Money are part of the effort to whitewash those “missteps” (also known as crimes). But Wired’s business editors obviously can’t tell the difference between the propaganda (Planet Money), the utter BS (Yglesias) and the straight-up truth (NC).


    1. dcblogger

      At least Yglesias understands Modern Monetary Theory and is putting it out in the mainstream. So, he is not without social redeeming value.

      1. diptherio

        In my opinion, Yglesias’ understanding of our monetary system is out-weighed by his obvious disdain for the poor, his lack of compassion for the problems of poverty, and his oh-so-unhelpful refusal to see the connection between great wealth and great poverty.

        He may get MMT, but he seems like just another status-quo apologist to me. I swear, every time I read the guy I end up getting pissed off. He thinks his abstractions have some bearing on reality, but they do not. He has said things that, from the perspective of the working poor, can only sound absurd. His whole working career has been in academia and it has warped his sense of what is real and what is just the imaginings of economists. It’s a common trait in academic economists who, ironically, have themselves been spared the tender mercies of the labor market by their cushy ivory-tower posts. Check out his Wikipedia page and see what I mean.

        He’s the perfect example of the problem of perspective in academic economics (imho, natch).

        [Disclaimer: I’m sure he is an essentially good person, I just don’t find his ‘journalism’ all that enlightening, definitely not on par with Yves’.]

        1. John Jones

          This is the same guy that said Cyprus should sell its rights of Northern Cyprus to Turkey and that it wont happen because its a good idea.

    2. AbyNormal

      point taken diptherio, but im not so sure we want any spotlight on Yves. yesterday’s outage gave me pause with painful heartburn. i was following the much read and appreciated ‘A Disturbance in the Force’…(again Yves’ instinct in top form) and the hour or so blackout was take inventory time. This is a War we’re unprepared for.

      “We have lost all sense of other considerations, because they are artificial. Only the facts are real and important to us. And good boots are hard to come by.”
      All Quiet on the Western Front

      1. talk is cheap

        Nah, the real people pulling the strings don’t need to do such amateur hour stuff. My money isn’t that that post in general bothered anyone, it’s that the mention of Obummer’s conduct on the NSA = “So what are you going to do? Impeach me?” I could see Democratic party operatives, real or self-designated, having search terms set up to catch stuff like that.

        1. High crimes

          You want to see the only effective impeachment of criminal scumbag Barack Obama? You don’t have long to wait. The Obama administration’s public disgrace is scheduled for October but the charges are being leveled right now. Obama can’t bullshit his way out of this. Except for US citizens inside the hermit kingdom, the whole world will be watching him crawl and promise to do better.

    1. craazyman

      I wanna ride a horse north through Central Park with a Winchester 30-30 lever action rifle tied sideways on the saddle and flopping up and down. I’ll even chew on a piece of straw under the shadow of my hat, then squint.

      The problem is there’s no where to tie up the horse and pitch camp without getting arrested.

      1. Jess

        If you ever decide to turn this fantasy into reality, be sure to how someone video it for YouTube. Bet it would viral in a New York minute.

  8. AbyNormal

    as to the Antidote du jour…that one on the left resembles a bo my daughter dragged home. trust me, there ain’t enuff coffee in the world…

    There are two kinds of people in the world, my friend: Those with a rope around the neck, and the people who have the job of doing the cuttin.
    the good, the bad and the ugly

    1. craazyman

      That’s not an antidote, it’s like a sign in the sky. The disturbance in the force is changing universal consciousness vibrations and giving animals fully human awareness, which will make them totally psychotic. The look on the faces of those horses are a taste of what’s to come and it won’t be fun for humans. Can you imagine a human race with a saddle on your back and a horse with a whip in its teeth as you kick up dirt? We need to find a way to stop this now. Maybe burning some sage and chanting ohhhmmmmmm, ohhmmmmmm or drumming while channeling the Pleidians.

      1. optimader

        more like reducing animals to fully human awareness?

        As is well documented in the Hitchhikers Guide, humans are the third most intelligent species on earth, behind mice and dolphins.

    2. optimader

      trust me, there ain’t enuff coffee in the world

      Good one, logged and noted for future use.

  9. Chris Maukonen

    So we souldn’t be concernd that the majority of Americans still think the economy sucks.

    From the Marty Feldman school of positive spin. “Could be worse. Could be raining.”

  10. rich

    Britain is fast turning into a Banana Republic, wilfully blind to corruption

    August 17th, 2013

    You may remember that, back in November 2010, it emerged that a “cocky” Prince Andrew appeared to welcome and endorse bribery and corruption — or at least that he abhors those who would seek to get in its way, including anti-corruption regulators and investigative journalists (by the way, we only know this thanks to the efforts of the recently convicted U.S. army private Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks and The Guardian).

    In an October 2008 U.S. embassy cable Tatiana Gfoeller, the U.S. ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, revealed that during a 2008 engagement at a hotel in the central Asian republic’s capital, Bishkek, a “rude” Prince Andrew — who for some inexplicable reason is a UK trade representative — attacked the Serious Fraud Office for what he called “idiocy”.

    In the cable Gfoeller wrote: “Rude language à la British … [Andrew] turned to the general issue of promoting British economic interests abroad. He railed at British anticorruption investigators, who had had the ‘idiocy’ of almost scuttling the al-Yamama deal with Saudi Arabia.” The prince, she explained, “was referencing an investigation, subsequently closed, into alleged kickbacks a senior Saudi royal had received in exchange for the multi-year, lucrative BAE Systems contract to provide equipment and training to Saudi security forces”. The dispatch continued:

    “His mother’s subjects seated around the table roared their approval. He then went on to ‘these (expletive) journalists, especially from the National [sic] Guardian, who poke their noses everywhere’ and (presumably) make it harder for British businessmen to do business. The crowd practically clapped.”

    What I find disturbing is not just the behaviour of the oafish Andrew, it is that many of Britain’s regulators seem to share the Prince’s views. They either welcome corruption and collude with corrupt companies to help them cover up past wrongdoing, or are simply too lazy or frightened to bother tackling high-level fraud and corruption.

    This story was published on page five of the current issue of Private Eye (9 August – 22 August 2013):

  11. real

    First time ever,india’s MSM acknowledges CIA and india’s intelligence bureau lost plutonium powered batteries at foothills of nandadevi peak in 1962.
    The device contains 4 kilotons of nuclear material and river ganga flows from this peak.

    He talked about how the operation was planned, how Indian climbers — all intelligence people, as no civilians were to be involved — went to Alaska to train with the CIA’s climbers and experts, how the CIA first wanted to plant the device on Kanchenjunga and what it took him to persuade them that it would be impossible to reach that summit with so much load and to then be able to have the time and energy to fabricate the device from its components. “I told them I had attempted that summit and there was in any case only a one in four chance that you would succeed,” he says. The device, he says, had seven plutonium batteries, packing about half of the fissile material in the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. He suggested Nanda Kot instead. The CIA said it won’t be high enough and insisted on Nanda Devi. The climb began towards the tail-end of the season in 1965, and was hit by a blizzard just around the base camp. The team left the packages containing the pieces of the device and when they returned the next year, they had disappeared, maybe swept by a massive avalanche, never to be found again.

  12. ohmyheck

    The speech given by Thomas Drake is some of the best 22 minutes you will spend today. Dayum, is he eloquent and is he pis$sed! The USG made a big mistake when they decided to f*ck with him. my too sense…

    1. optimader

      In military speak merely a mission that was less than 100% successful by objective metrics.

      A more quaint story closer to home is the “complete weapon” H-bomb stuck in the mud off Tybee Island, GA.

      This is a memory hole story that has amazed since I first learned about in the early ’90’s when boating the intercostal w/ a friend that moved to Savannah. I remain dumbfounded they have never seen merit in recovering this contamination time bomb!

      1. AbyNormal

        if it wasn’t such a dam reality it’d be funnee
        a few snips (No this is Not a monty python sketch)

        “The search for this weapon was discontinued on 4-16-58 and the weapon is considered irretrievably lost. It is requested that one [phrase redacted] weapon be made available for release to the DOD as a replacement.”

        “But the wizards of Armageddon saw it less as a security, safety or ecological problem, than a potential public relations disaster that could turn an already paranoid population against their ambitious nuclear project. The Pentagon and the AEC tried to squelch media interest in the issue by a doling out a morsel of candor and a lot of misdirection. In a joint statement to the press, the Defense Department and the AEC admitted that radioactivity could be “scattered” by the detonation of the high explosives in the H-bombs. But the letter downplayed possibility of that ever happening: “The likelihood that a particular accident would involve a nuclear weapon is extremely limited.”

        “That’s where the matter stood for more than 42 years until a deep sea salvage company, run by former Air Force personnel and a CIA agent, disclosed the existence of the bomb and offered to locate it for a million dollars. Along with recently declassified documents, the disclosure prompted fear and outrage among coastal residents and calls for a congressional investigation into the incident itself and why the Pentagon had stopped looking for the missing bomb. “We’re horrified because some of that information has been covered up for years,” said Rep. Jack Kingston, a Georgia Republican.”

        “We’ve looked into this particular issue from all angles and we’re very comfortable,” said Major Gen. Franklin J. “Judd” Blaisdell, deputy chief of staff for air and space operations at Air Force headquarters in Washington. “Our biggest concern is that of localized heavy metal contamination.” :-/

        “a newly declassified 1966 congressional testimony of W.J. Howard, then assistant secretary of defense, describes the Tybee Island bomb as a “complete weapon, a bomb with a nuclear capsule.” Howard said that the Tybee Island bomb was one of two weapons lost up to that time that contained a plutonium trigger.

        Recently declassified documents show that the jettisoned bomb was an “Mk-15, Mod O” hydrogen bomb, weighing four tons and packing more than 100 times the explosive punch of the one that incinerated Hiroshima. This was the first thermonuclear weapon deployed by the Air Force and featured the relatively primitive design created by that evil genius Edward Teller.”

        “The bomb is also charged with 400 pounds of TNT, designed to cause the plutonium trigger to implode and thus start the nuclear explosion. As the years go by, those high explosives are becoming flaky, brittle and sensitive. The bomb is most likely now buried in 5 to 15 feet of sand and slowly leaking radioactivity into the rich crabbing grounds of the Warsaw Sound.”
        (how long were you visitin Opti?…we/ga orginals of course know better)

        “tomato fields near the craters were burned and buried. But there’s no question that due to strong winds and other factors much of the contaminated soil was simply left in the area. “The total extent of the spread will never be known,” concluded a 1975 report by the Defense Nuclear Agency.”

        . “Without neutrons, weapons grade plutonium won’t blow. However, there could be a fission or criticality event if the plutonium was somehow put in an incorrect configuration. There could be a major inferno if the high explosives went off and the lithium deuteride reacted as expected. Or there could just be an explosion that scattered uranium and plutonium all over hell.”
        (yall come back…hear)

        1. Optimader

          I like Savannah, i have a couple customers there. I friend from cape cod relocated there to an intercostal property so we would go crabbing and cruising around the intercoastals on the occasional long weekend. Very fun place with alot of cool history. The bomb… Less cool. :o/ object lesson for anyone that toys with the notion of trusting the military, for thAt matter, the gvmnt.

  13. optimader

    I perceive a very literal message from BHO to the WH propaganda scribes. It’s along the lines of having your intrinsic value likened to used tissue paper.
    No doubt there is a line of idiots in the Military to do any thing, but I am still quietly amazed anyone would willingly be flightcrew on one of these flawed POS.

  14. Jess

    Speaking of Cory Booker, if you want to wallow in excrement, check out bob Cesca’s latest HuffPo dump:

    Cory Booker Wins Senate Primary: The Far-Left Wins Nothing — Again
    Talk about a worthless sack of shit. Cesca moves to the top of the pile with this effort at telling us how much more important it is to “win” than to be ideologically committed, and how if we had supported Booker’s candidacy we could have been in position to pressure and influence his decisions. (Funny, I seem to recall that same tactic behind advised with respect to another prominent black politician. We all know how that worked out, don’t we?)

    1. Synopticist


      Even in democrat loyalist terms he’s talking rubbish, because Booker was the guy who undermined Obama when he was attacking Romney over Bain capital.

      Describing Obama’s single most effective, genuinely populist line as “nauseating” during the period when democrat strategists were trying to frame the narrative about Romney was panfully stupid and utterly disloyal. Criticising Bain was the most effective way to get over the message that is Romney really WAS a greedy, slimy, rich, parasitical dis-honest oligarchic bast*rd.

      Romney would have probably won the election if that early summer attack hadn’t been successful.

  15. Hugh

    Bruce Fein? That’s a blast from the past. The blogosphere used to be a lot smaller place. There was a move a few years ago for progressives and liberals to work with “principled conservatives”. The idea was to make common cause on specific issues. Glenn Greenwald bought into this, hence his connection to the American Enterprise Institute on topics like the opposition to the War on Drugs. He also hosted a book salon for Bruce Fein at firedoglake on Fein’s book “American Empire Before the Fall”:

    I remember this because Fein working as a lobbyist for various Turkish groups was an Armenian genocide denier. I tried to question Fein on this subject (how does one square “principled conservative” status with Armenian genocide denial) and had my comments deleted by a moderator who now blogs some over at Marcy Wheeler’s place. As I say, I remember this incident because I broke my connections with firedoglake over it.

    Part of this is just personal blogging history, part is to point out that Greenwald and Fein did have some history together, and part is to indicate the danger in making alliances with people with whom one shares only a few positions in common (and often for very different reasons). It invariably comes back to bite you.

  16. Jeff W

    I commented on that NSA “tip of the iceberg” on yesterday’s links page before seeing it here—oops!

    The secret 2011 FISC opinion appears to be important. Barton Gelman, Glenn Greenwald, and (now) Senators Mark Udall and Ron Wyden have all been talking about it.

    According to Gelman, in that opinion, the FISC held the NSA’s practices under §702 of the 2008 FISA Amendments [allowing broad collection of foreign intelligence information through telecom and Internet providers, including content of communications] to be unconstitutional.

    1. Lambert Strether

      And we know there aren’t other secret opinions within secret opinions within secret opinions* … How exactly?

      NOTE * Cue the “peel another layer off the opinions” jokes…

      1. Jeff W

        And we know there aren’t other secret opinions within secret opinions within secret opinions* … How exactly?

        Well, since we’re talking about dynamic duo tip-toeing around the secret deliberations of the secretive intelligence committee regarding the secret holding, following secret hearings, of the secret FISC about the NSA’s secret interpretation justifying its secret surveillance practices—it might be best to regard even your question (much less the answer, if any, to it), and, perhaps, this response, as being…

  17. rich


    JPMorgan Chase: “Super Jamie” down from his pedestal

    It’s missing a halo Jamie the Magnificent to have built the largest U.S. bank by assets. But nobody wants to see the signs of his fall, yet noticeable since the crisis. It is true that between 2009 and 2011 the spotlight of media have been trained on issues of Goldman Sachs and the challenge to his chief, Lloyd Blankfein.

    First, the person does not take the measure of regulatory upheaval occurred since 2009. Judging “childish” and “anti-American” Volcker Rule prohibiting paris on equity, the CEO is not only the opinion the wrong way, but encourages operators to cross the red line. A start in the top two in London French trader Bruno Iksil the heart of the case called “The Whale” …

    In his mind became an untouchable icon, a demigod, this character brutal and full of himself constantly put sticks in the wheels of the police market. Moreover, the acquisition of Bear Stearns he discovered the world of hedge funds and trading ofcommodities . The creation of the Chief Investment Office (CIO), the Treasury Department responsible for the bank to grow excess liquidity, shows his new appetite for risk

      1. deconstructingpoliticalspin

        Yeah–2nd “Flash Mob” (Musical) Link In Madrid UE Office Works!

        Now, if I can only “remember” how to do it, LOL!

        Seriously, is there a particular correct “formula” for posting links at NC? And is the “method” for linking to newspaper articles, the same as for video?

        It is truly not my intention to litter up this blog with “dead links.”

        Any assistance (by anyone) would be much appreciated. ;-)

  18. bcf

    Beat a polygraph? The old school standard was to clench your butthole or to put a tack in your shoe. The other was to just think “drapery,” or “cabbage,” or some other non-offensive noun in your head as you answered questions. Thing was, most questions after the initial demographic test were supposed to be answered in the negative. But the current test? Just walk in angry. Like fighting mad, angry. You have to realize the test taker factors more into it than the machine.

    1. anon y'mouse

      take one of about a zillion prescription drugs.

      sit back & let them figure out what the heck happened.

      better yet, don’t allow polygraphs at all. call your lawyer.

  19. Vatch

    I’ve been reading Naked Capitalism for a few years, but I haven’t submitted any messages until now. Thanks for posting the White House petitions to block the nomination of Larry Summers on Aug. 16. Would it be possible to provide daily reminders about the petitions in your Links section until the Aug. 24 deadline?

    Thanks for all your fine work!

    1. psychohistorian

      May I humbly suggest that if this message is important for you to see in front of NC readers until the 24th you come back and add a comment to that end daily instead of expecting your host to do so for you.

      1. Vatch

        Thanks for the reasonable suggestion! I see that a reminder has already been included in the Aug. 18 links by Lambert, which is good, since as a NC newbie, I might embed the URLs incorrectly.

    1. AbyNormal

      bill gates is a genius :-/

      and why didn’t “My genius is in my nostrils” Nietzsche make that list?!?

      1. Synopticist

        And Queen Victoria, who was supposedly fond of a bit of Laudinum. You can’t beat opium mixed with whiskey. At least not if you’re an insomniac.

        1. LucyLulu

          Ah yes, Queen Victoria, an early advocate of equal rights for women. She was the first to receive anesthesia during childbirth, being administered ether. Previously, painful labor was considered woman’s necessary burden for her part in corrupting that poor naive young man in the garden. The queen told her doctors the hell with that noise, just give me the damn drugs! (Hell hath no fury like a woman in labor.)

            1. AbyNormal

              27hrs of childbirth labor would do wonders for you Beard

              “I’m not a humanitarian, I’m a hell-raiser. ”
              Mother Jones

              1. F. Beard

                Well, this should make you happy then:

                I broke two of my right leg bones, had to wait 16 hours for any treatment then two days after surgery was hauled off to a mental evaluation center where I spent another 16 or so hours without pain medication or even a place to lay down.

                And then there’s psychic pain such as a bad acid trip or two after having been raised Catholic.

                But the bright side is that a trip to my charming female dentist is now a pleasure.

                As for raising Hell, cleaning house does raise some dust.

  20. squasha

    Frau Möller at der Spiegel gives Merkel too much credit for shutting that whole nuclear thing down — she was human-chained to that position, not the visionary mover-shaker the article implies. Also, the financial reforms lauded are far from the consensus panacea implied, maybe around the horshoe-shaped table, but the average Herr Schmidt seems to find the whole Hartz reforms, 1 euro jobs and the like, rather less than estimable.

  21. JCC

    Regarding observations from the Disturbance in the Force article, it just never ends does it…


    “I could be arrested for this action,” Ladar Levison told NBC News about his decision to shut down his company, Lavabit LLC, in protest over a secret court order he had received from a federal court that is overseeing the investigation into Snowden.

    1. zygmuntFRAUDbernier

      Hypothetically, in some alternate faraway timeline of the multiverse, they’re could have been an administrative subpoena demanding stuff, with witch the alternate timeline “Lavabit founder” “failed to comply”.

Comments are closed.