Links 8/18/13

Dramatic Puppy Rescue in San Francisco Bay Yahoo

Scotland Yard examines new information on death of Diana, Princess of Wales Telegraph

Daddy’s Girl: How An African ‘Princess’ Banked $3 Billion In A Country Living On $2 A Day Forbes

On Martha’s Vineyard, a stark look at income inequality WaPo. But– but– Obama’s vacationing there! Seriously, another lame duck moment.

Tell President Obama to not appoint Larry Summers as Federal Reserve chair Kos petition, but 93K. White House petitions here and here.

Michigan survey and a small rant Warren Mosler

JPMorgan And Goldman Sachs Are Playing Whack-A-Mole With Everyone Suing Them Over Their Metal Warehousing Businesses Business Insider

Dodgy data may add $1 trillion to Chinese economy: Report CNBC

Divorce, a “fantastic charade”, and offshore finance FT Alphaville. Keen corporate diagram. Couldn’t “complex corporate structures” be generated by computer? And then just sold to the rest of us for, like, a hundred bucks — or maybe in “software as a service” form?

Egypt Erupts

Egypt Troops Storm Mosque as Brotherhood Closer to ‘Pariah’ Bloomberg

Egypt clashes: ‘Blood-stained stairs in a mosque’ BBC

It’s not about Democracy: Top Ten Reasons Washington is Reluctant to cut off Egypt Aid Informed Comment

Egyptian youth leader backs army in battle with Brotherhood Reuters

Palestinian Authority pledges support for Egyptian crackdown on protesters All Voices

Saudi King Abdullah declares support for Egypt against terrorism Al Arabiya. Saudi semi-official.

Egypt committing state terrorism, al-Sisi and al-Assad are same: Turkish PM Hurriyet Daily News

Interview: Gehad El-Haddad: “This is a police state back in full brute force” Egypt Daily News

Israel Seeks Increase in Annual US Aid Defense News

Big Brother Is Watching Watch

Thomas Drake On Government Overreach, Obsessive Secrecy, and Constitutional Abuses Jesse’s Café Américain 

The Cost of PRISM Will Be Larger Than ITIF Projects Forrester Research. “[A]s high as $180 billion or a 25% hit to overall IT service provider revenues.”

Breaking the Rules Thousands of Times at the N.S.A. The New Yorker. “This is a structural scandal, not a mistake.”

The NSA’s Alarming Misbehavior Editorial, Bloomberg

Switching To Gmail May Leave Reporters’ Sources At Risk NPR

A review of and rationale for Bitmessage Mon pays (FAQ)

Bitmessage’s Problem, or “How Network Effects Distort Competition in Email Privacy” Project Disco 

Oracle’s cheating won’t attract Cup fans San Francisco Chronicle. C’mon. Larry Ellison. Cheating??

Google goes down for a few minutes, web traffic drops 40 percent Wired UK

The problem with algorithms: magnifying misbehaviour Guardian

The More You Multitask, the Worse You Get at It Priceonomics

Merchants of Meth: How Big Pharma Keeps the Cooks in Business Mother Jones. Walter White isn’t anywhere near the C-suite class. Film at 11.

Coolhunting for the World’s Thought Leaders  Karin Frick, Detlef Guertler, Peter A. Gloor, Presented at COINs13 Conference, Chile, 2013 (

Yet More Evidence of Peak Car The Atlantic

How the March on Washington Flipped the Southern Vote Bruce Bartlett, Fiscal Times (part 1). I hate to lend Peter Peterson’s loathly organ credibility by linking to it, but this is an interesting read. Especially the last paragraph.

Vietnam and Historical Forgetting Crooked Timber

Smoke pot and test well as a kid? You’re more likely to be an entrepreneur WaPo

Epic launches, Politico goes deeper: Why longform is the new necessity Pando Daily. As ever, NC ahead of the curve!

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):


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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Jim Haygood

    Westbound on Route 80 yesterday, in Roxbury Twp. N.J. a banner was strung across an overpass:


    On the sidewalk above, a woman was waving a flag on a pole like Betsy Ross, giving it the full body English.

    I laid on the klaxon long and hard.

    Impeachment … f**k yeah!

    1. eeyores enigma

      “Impeachment … f**k yeah!”

      Yeah, I can’t wait until we get someone else to hate in office while the real underling issues are never addressed.

      1. Alexa

        I sure wish that I thought that PBO was a “lame duck,” but I don’t.

        And I understand your sentiment, but I don’t believe for a New York second that the Repubs would “allow” an impeachment proceeding to go forward.

        Especially now that a “Grand Bargain” (or “partial” GB) may be in sight.

        I heard Tony Fratto, former Treasury Dept Ass’t Secretary for Public Affairs (under GWB) and CNBC Contributor, suggest that a deal to “Demand The Implementation Of The Chained CPI, In Exchange for Raising Debt Ceiling” is in the works.

        I’ve also heard a couple of WH reporters substantiate that this is a very real possibility (this Fall).

        Here’s a link to a C-Span video clip that I posted a while back at Corrente. (If I can make it work, LOL!)

        We’re Going To Have A Grand Bargain In September

        I fear that whatever happens this Fall, it will be “small potatoes” compared to what this Administration will negotiate AFTER the midterm elections.

        [Hey, Lambert, if this link doesn’t work, please let me know what I “fouled up.” Thanks.]

    2. optimader

      I am just sitting at the edge of my seat, borderline incontinent w/ anticipation for Joe Biden to be POTUS

      Vote for Pedro

    3. Susan the other

      That all depends on what we impeach him for. I want to impeach him for racketeering with the big banks, colluding in securitization fraud and money laundering, and obstruction of justice. I want the impeachment to include Holder. But the other wing of the impeachment crowd would love to impeach him for “printing money” and trashing the dollar (as if the dollar has ever been anything but trash without a functioning economy behind it). I wish we could impeach the entire congress as well for dereliction of duty. The failure to create jobs and passing bills to favor kleptocrats. Congress has been more MIA than Obama, but both mandates are not to save people, just corporations. So by all means lets just impeach them all, and in the interim let’s boycott what is left of this tyranny we call an economy.

      1. neo-realist

        If we couldn’t impeach Bush for many of the same crimes that happened under his watch in addition to lying about the rationale for going to war in Iraq, how and why Obama?

        1. Antifa

          C’mon now. If Obama or any President were to face a real risk of impeachment, he/she would resign first. The new President would issue a full pardon. US Presidents became kings from the minute Gerald Ford pardoned Nixon. Now it’s just how we roll.

          Anything a Prez does is legal cuz the Prez did it, yo.

          1. neo-realist

            No disagreement, except that the real kings are in the shadows and the Presidents are merely sockpuppets promoting the interests of those kings.

    4. do the Yamashita jig

      Impeachment? Comin right up. Not the pointless American ritual of purging a figurehead to bleed off public outrage. This is impeachment in the authentic meaning of the term: to call integrity into question. The Obama faction’s public impeachment and 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.

      And wait till the Committee Against Torture gets a hold of him. Kerry can’t balk them forever. Obama’s running but he cannot hide. Obama’s going to find that the Yamashita Standard still applies.

      1. subgenius

        Cory Doctorow does freebies too, at…

        Little Brother, Homeland and Pirate Cinema all hit something of the zeitgeist, even if written more to target young adults. He does a nice job of weaving diy guides to privacy into the texts, too.

          1. jrs

            Yes I read that article, it’s one of the most cynical (no that’s not even the word: more like nihilistic) articles I’ve ever read.

            And sarcastic toward the whistleblowers as well. And precludes all hope of any possibilities of any attempt at reform suceeding. Hey, we just live in a state run entirely by spy agencies, that’s all there is.

            Just such a bleak world view of how the world works and such inevitable. And so much detached bitter observer in one article (I prefer my bitter observers non-detached – enraged or saddened). Although there is the last hopeful line, he seems to think more whistleblowers are inevitable. Let’s hope.

  2. Joe

    From the NYT:

    Is Big Data an Economic Big Dud?

    “What is sometimes referred to as the Internet’s first wave — say, from the 1990s until around 2005 — brought completely new services like e-mail, the Web, online search and eventually broadband. For its next act, the industry has pinned its hopes, and its colossal public relations machine, on the power of Big Data itself to supercharge the economy.

    There is just one tiny problem: the economy is, at best, in the doldrums and has stayed there during the latest surge in Web traffic. The rate of productivity growth, whose steady rise from the 1970s well into the 2000s has been credited to earlier phases in the computer and Internet revolutions, has actually fallen. The overall economic trends are complex, but an argument could be made that the slowdown began around 2005 — just when Big Data began to make its appearance.”

    1. David Lentini

      I see two big problems with the “Big Data” hypothesis:

      1. Data analysis techniques do not create demand, they only characterize what’s been recorded; when we’re all penniless (except for the Larry Ellisons of the planet) they’ll just report a lack of activity. In fact, as Mathbabe pointed out the other day (NC link 17 August), if anything Big Data will create another round of corporate downsizing.

      2. The so-called Dot-Com Boom was mostly Wall Street chicanery on a scale not seeen since the 1920s. The fact is that much of the “big money” was thrown at insipid, uselss companies that did nothing to improve the economy.

      Since the ’99–’00 crash, Wall Street and Silicon Valley have been trying to gin-up another bubble; today’s theme is “Big Data”. Expect either a Big Nothing or a Big Bust.

      1. ambrit

        Mr. Lentini;
        The ‘next round of corporate downsizing’ is on its’ way as we ‘speak.’
        In the DIY Boxxstore I labour mightily in, the rules have changed yet again. Last year, corp rolled out iPhones for each department. Expensive, glitch laden things; they can scan bar codes, pull up databases, take calls, originate calls, and now, guide floor level workers, (in this case, openers,) through the daily minutiae of running a store. Case in point; ‘openers’ now have to do the morning safety walk for their department that the ‘zone’ managers used to do.
        I view these iPhones as ‘big data’ servants. Now, the wetware units serve the iPhones! When I joked about how this development foreshadowed a round of mid level management ‘downsizing,’ I got a fleeting glimpse of raw fear in the eyes of one of our stores MODs. (Manager on duty, or Zone manager.) What’s really funny about all this is that it lays an extra strata of responsibility on the backs of an already stressed out floor worker cadre. People on ‘the floor’ are already scheming ways around this new task. The MODs are already having to ‘crack the whip’ a little to ensure that this task gets done properly. Cases of ‘drive by’ floor walks have already popped up. All this, mind you, with the tail end of the old school, more dedicated floor workers. Heaven help us when this all lands on the backs of the younger, much less engaged cohort! (As in, the 25 hour a week part time workers. They seem to know that the corporate suite is s——g them, and are generally returning the favour whenever possible.)
        I’m Alright Jack!

      2. Joe

        Good points, David.

        When I look at internet phenomena like Facebook and tumblr, I can’t help thinking CB Radio. The CB radio craze was overwhelmingly popular, for a while.

        I wonder how long the public will create the content that makes a handful of other people rich, for free? Will they catch on eventually?

        “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.”

        Will Rogers

      3. optimader

        1. Data analysis techniques do not create demand, they only characterize what’s been recorded;

        BD is merely a tool, a cost center. It’s certainly catalyzed wealth redistribution and rearranged deck chairs, but real value creation? Maybe not so much the way I see it.
        I guess that you can say it has contributed to the ability to Scale? But at what cost.
        I am old enough to have experienced the end of the WWII gen. professional workforce. The capital equipment employer was able to get business done w/ an original & two carbon copies supplemented w/a telex machine.
        Colleagues would wonder why I would just sit in the document archive and read. It was all so elegantly efficient and got the job done. And as a metric, far more BIG contracts were processed then when the “office automation” and labor saving methods were instituted. The introduction of unlimited use of the Xerox machine was a leading agent of constipation.

        1. Antifa

          The only honest ways Big Data can produce wealth is by increasing productivity, honing just-in-time manufacturing or JIT delivery, or by driving consumer sales.

          American consumers have no money to buy whatever gets made faster, delivered where it’s needed, or put on sale at any price. Americans are choosing between food and medicine at this point. Can’t always buy both.

          Big Rise In Minimum Wage is needed if Big Data is going to make anyone any money. Henry Ford had the sense to pay his workers enough to buy his product. It’s not rocket surgery.

  3. AbyNormal

    re,BigPharma Keeps the Cooks in Business…Please take the time to read. Lobbyist are changing their game and they’re winning. And when you consider the stakes:

    “Labs are concentrated in struggling towns where people do hard, physical work for low wages”…(nothing new unless one considers the momentous economic declines overtaking cities, towns & communities Everywhere)

    “it costs an average of nearly $230,000 to treat a meth lab victim—three times more than other burn patients—and that cost is most often borne by taxpayers. Meth use as a whole, according to a 2009 RAND Corporation study, costs the nation anywhere between $16 billion and $48 billion each year.”

    Johnson & Johnson Q2 Profit Up 172% Thanks To A Brutal 2012

    Pfizer (even w/lipitor decline) Net income was $3.3 billion, 43 cents a share, from $2.61 billion, 33 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding items related to acquisitions and other charges, Pfizer earned $4.7 billion, 62 cents a share. Analysts expected Pfizer to earn 54 cents a share.

    1. AbyNormal

      and Thanks Lambert for the link…i’d have missed it

      “Live all you can: it’s a mistake not to. It doesn’t matter what you do in particular, so long as you have had your life. If you haven’t had that, what have you had?”
      LS ‘))

      1. AbyNormal

        2012 Johnson & Johnson’s (NYSE: JNJ ) high-profile drug recalls and FDA scrutiny don’t suggest a particularly well-run company. However, CEO William Weldon still made $25.6 million in 2009, more than three times the S&P 500 CEO average pay, even while he cut 9,000 jobs from the company’s payroll.

        weldon: jobs are so yesterday…today we create addicts

    2. David Lentini

      Small point—Walter White’s genius (sorry, I’m an old chemist) was in devleoping a pharaceutical-grade meth that didn’t require cooking pseudoephedrine.

      And on that point, I have to say that I’m not sure how much making pseudo a prescription drug will help. Maine, like many states (actually, I think it’s federal law so it’s all states), requires registration and siging for pseudo-containing drugs, which are kept behind the pharmacist’s counter; you can only buy so much in a given period of time. So, in principle, the “Smurfs” can’t just buy up boxes like in the old days. Going to presecriptions may just create a lot of corrupt doctors and keep me from getting relief for my allergies. Just look at Oxycontin, another popular drug that people just steal outright or get by fake or illegal prescription.

      Which brings me back to Walter, who as a trained, albeit exceptional, chemist bypassed the problem all together and was able to work from a GMP (FDA Good Manufacturing Practices standard) facility, because there was so much money at stake. This story reminds me of a BBC drama (I think the title was Traffic) about drug enforcement that concluded with the futility of trying to stop drug trafficing when some Walter White soon comes around to make another designer drug or avoid some legal road block.

      Perhpas the better way, as some drug enforcement offers have admitted, is to stop playing cat-and-mouse, which carries its own huge costs, and accept that we may have a public health nightmare for a generation before the public gets serious about self-control.

      1. AbyNormal

        thanks for making these points David. i watched traffic not too long ago (again) and national geo did a drug special that lasted most of last sunday. the angle you mention seems to always come down to money and who has the most to get in front of pharma/cartels…as mentioned in the movie and NG, no one has that kind of money and if when they find ‘some’ they always got a politician blocking the way.
        behind the counter with signature hasn’t been successful here in GA…family members will innocently go to walmart and do what the addict wants.

        no offense David but to bring up self control, when your world holds no future and your not sure if you can feed your children next week…well maybe the tipping point has already happened and my brain is just now catching up.

        im so upset David. in this economy, this nightmare’s aftermath won’t exist.

        1. F. Beard

          no offense David but to bring up self control, when your world holds no future …

          Yeah. That kinda trivializes the problem. And btw, before cocaine and heroin were made illegal, many Americans were addicted to one or the other yet continued to have jobs, raise children, etc. But the fear was that blacks would use cocaine and rape white women.

          I’d suggest that it is an unjust society that drives people to drugs and drink anyway. But what could be unjust about American society? Look no further than the government-backed banking cartel – the means by which the rich can have their cake and eat ours too.

          1. Susan the other

            Agree to Aby and Beard. I know you (Beard) are more conservative on legalizing drugs than I am. You say yes, legalize marijuana. I say legalize them all, and maybe invent some and legalize them too. Standardize them, price them withing reason for even unemployed people, just like alcohol, sell them over the counter – only heavy doze barbituates should be controlled, TAX them, and watch the change. It will humanize the ancient human urge to get blown away, it will decriminalize at least half of society, it will make taking drugs no worse a sin than drinking a bottle of wine AND it will create jobs, revenue and tax revenue. In fact we could have real “drug stores” dealing just in drugs, like liquor stores. This would get rid of all the black market profits that big corporations and banks now live on, like addicts.

            1. F. Beard

              I know you (Beard) are more conservative on legalizing drugs than I am. StO

              Where on Earth do you get that from? In general, adults should be allowed to ingest ANYTHING because normally they would not be so desperate as to not care if they harm themselves.

              But of course, people are NOT NORMAL because of the filthy money system so we should proceed with caution.

              But here’s a few things that should be OTC for adults:
              1) Amphetamines. This would kill meth use overnight.
              2) Codeine
              3) Marijuana
              4) anti-anxiety pills such as Xanax.
              5) Cocaine. Why should only bankers have it?

            2. David Lentini

              Guys and Gals, my point about “self-control” was just that people will eventually have to decide for themselves what they want to do without the government’s coercive police power. I don’t mean to trivialize at all; this would be a huge change, and as I mentioned, would likely take at least a generation of hard lession before people would treat drugs like meth as the powerful substances they are. But I see the current as not only a failure of deterrence, but a destroyer of honesty in governmental institutions and democracy.

              1. F. Beard

                and accept that we may have a public health nightmare for a generation before the public gets serious about self-control. David Lentini

                Or not because the excessive use of many drugs is self-punishing, such as with amphetamine, for example, WITHOUT significant risk of death in a healthy individual. And it’s laughable to assign any mortality risk to marijuana aside from DUI.

                One should honestly admit that the desire of the poor and other unfortunates to get HIGH, to escape their misery, is LEGITIMATE, according to God at least. Progressives should focus on the causes, such as a fundamentally unjust money system, instead of being part of the problem.

                1. AbyNormal

                  “One should honestly admit that the desire of the poor and other unfortunates to get HIGH, to escape their misery, is LEGITIMATE”

                  +1 and counting

      2. anon y'mouse

        i’ve seen more drugs and more drug users in my lifetime than as pictured in The Wire or Breaking Bad.

        your post is bullshit.

        the lack of jobs that have any meaning, dignity or pay plus general boredom, and knowing that the world has left you behind drives drug sellers. if the only job you can get is licking the ass of some petty tyrant or trading your dignity for minimum wage, being a minor kingpin on the corner starts to look rather attractive.

        knowing that the world has left you behind because of your race or class, dealing with the emotional problems of an everyday existence where you struggle to stay in the same place with no hope of getting ahead–these are what drives drug taking.

        then there’s the “party class”—working and/or upper class people who take drugs and engage in the lifestyle for “excitement” and yet don’t manage to suffer a reduction in social standing, and usually are not at risk of jail time.

        unless you’ve lived it, you’d best keep those opinions to yourself. i never lived it myself, but many in my family have and i’ve seen what goes on. i grew up in that culture, and know that although those people are destroying themselves, most of them felt that they had nothing to live for anyway.

        i didn’t manage to avoid living that way from any kind of vaunted Self Control–hell, i like being drunk. i avoided it because i didn’t want to end up dead. many who grow up the way i did reach the opposite conclusion, and i must say i know exactly why—hopelessness.

        1. Susan the other

          I agree too. And I believe that the best way to handle drugs is to standardize them and legalize them. Hopelessness has always been with us. Making drugs illegal just marginalizes people and makes hopelessness worse. Are we humane or not? Make standardized drugs as available as alcohol and pay everyone either a living wage or give them a living grant. Their job as consumers is as important as the jobs we triumph as “production.” We need a new vocabulary. One that deletes all our disgusting, imperialistic chauvinism.

  4. Brindle

    Re: “It’s Not About Democracy…”, Juan Cole usually has a good take on things:

    “10. Behind the scenes Egyptian military intelligence has helped the US track down Muslim extremists and in the Mubarak era ran black sites where they tortured suspected al-Qaeda for Washington. The US deep state would like to ramp that relationship back up.”

    Neoliberal militarist Kenneth Pollack on the bottom line…

    —“The Egyptian military has always been good to us,” said Kenneth Pollack, an analyst at the Brookings Institution.—

    1. from Mexico

      It sure looks like the bad old days of Mubarak are back.

      And even though it looks like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE were the primary cause of this, the US has certainly not comported itself well.

      It leaves me in a funk. There were such high hopes.

      The scariest part for me is that the arguments that al-Sisi and Mansour are trotting out — all the claims about fighting “terrorists” and how national security trumps everything, including human decency and morality, constitutional and human rights — in order to rationalize their mass murders, are the same ones Obama, Feinstein, King, Rogers, etc. use to justify the atrocities being committed by the US government.

      1. John Jones


        Could you tell us a bit or point us to something I can read
        about how Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE were the primary cause of what is happening in Egypt?

        1. from Mexico

          The Persian Gulf countries Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and UAE were of course on the scene from the get-go in 2011, working behind the scenes, doing everything they could to quell any aspirations of freedom and democracy in Egypt. Somebody linked an excellent article the other day which detailed a lot of their detailed actions in Egypt over the past couple of years, but I didn’t make note of it.

          More recently, there’s this from links a couple of days ago that gives sort of an overview of what the lay of the land currently looks like in the region:

          First of all, the UAE has been one of the handful of countries that fully back the Egyptian junta by insisting that what is happening in Cairo is a law and order issue. The foreign ministry in Abu Dhabi issued a statement on Thursday to declare support for the junta:
          The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs re-affirms its understanding of the sovereign measures taken by the Egyptian government after having exercised maximum self-control.

          What is regretful is that political extremist groups have insisted on the rhetoric of violence, incitement, disruption of public interests and undermining of the Egyptian economy, which has led to the regretful events.
          The UAE has so far offered the Egyptian junta aid worth $3 billion and has been second only to Saudi Arabia in bankrolling the military coup in Cairo. Paradoxically, the generous help from the petrodollar oligarchies of the Persian Gulf (which are terrified of the regional appeal of the Muslim Brotherhood) is enabling the Egyptian generals to withstand whatever pressure from Washington.

          Conversely, it will be of immense interest to Moscow if the divergence of interests accentuates in the coming period between the US and its oil-rich Gulf Cooperation Council allies over the ticklish issue of extending support to the military junta in Cairo. The point is, any such divergence will be, quintessentially speaking, over the future directions of the Arab Spring and in turn it is bound to cast shadows on the conflict in Syria, where Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been among the most ardent backers of the rebel fighters.

          It is in Moscow’s interests to keep lines of communication open to Saudi Arabia and the UAE over the Syrian developments at a time when the Western powers are more or less disengaging from any sort of significant military involvement in the conflict. Moscow will be pleasantly surprised that the developments in Egypt, which are of vital interest and core concern to the petrodollar oligarchies of the Persian Gulf region, find Russia, Saudi Arabia and the UAE increasingly on the same page.

          All three find the Brotherhood to be a toxic substance in the body politic of the Middle East and all three find it abhorrent that political Islam has been gaining ascendancy as the life force of the new Middle East. Russia has proscribed the Muslim Brotherhood as a subversive organization.

          Besides, Russia has happy memories of dealings with the officer corps of the Egyptian military in the Soviet era and will be inclined to see them as a “secular” bulwark against the deluge of “Islamism”. It does not seem particularly perturbed about the possibility that into the void created by any retreat of the moderate Brotherhood in Egypt, the Salafists, who are the kindred souls of the forces it battles in the North Caucasus (and whom the Saudis nurture as instruments of regional policy in the Greater Middle East) might enter as the vanguard of “Islamism”.

          But what really counts today for Moscow is not the fate of Islamism, but geopolitics. Any alienation between the Pentagon and the Egyptian military can dramatically pitchfork Moscow as the mentor of the generals in command in Cairo. Egypt is the epicenter of Middle Eastern politics, and a revival of influence in Cairo can boost Russia’s regional influence as a whole on a variety of fronts and holds the potential to project it as an arbiter of peace and stability.

          The spin-off in terms of arms exports and other economic benefits is equally self-evident. Naturally, the Kremlin is keenly watching how Obama wriggles out of his Egyptian predicament.

          From current trends, Moscow will be gratified to see that the US president is steadily failing to have any meaningful impact on the behavior of the Egyptian generals, who are convinced that they have an existential struggle in hand and who are not inclined to turn back mid-stream to accommodate the Brotherhood in an “inclusive” democracy.

          The Egyptian generals will be pleased that US aid continues, but while American assistance is desirable, it is not an absolute pre-requisite of survival if it comes at an unacceptable political price. This is where benefactors such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE, which have promised $12 billion financial support – and potentially, Russia, which is a major arms supplier – could come in handy for the Egyptian junta.

          Suffice to say, after a gap of some 42 years, a window of opportunity is opening for Russia to stage a political comeback in the corridors of power in Cairo as a big-time player. It was on July 18, 1972, that then Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat summarily announced the expulsion of around 5,000 Soviet military advisors and 15,000 air force personnel in Egypt.

          Having said that, Washington can be expected to do everything possible, no matter what it takes, to see that that the window on the Nile banks doesn’t open enough for a bear to squeeze through, and indeed the US still has vast residual powers to read the riot act to erring generals and rowdyish Persian Gulf autocrats. In the present climate of US-Russia relations, the Obama administration is certainly not going to roll over and make space for Russia in the Middle East.

          The stalemate at the UN Security Council on Thursday is a fairly accurate reflection of the absorbing battle of wits between the big powers vying for influence in Cairo. Of course, the winner is Sisi, the new pharaoh on the Nile – for the time being at least.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        The left didn’t go the distance, didn’t even have a notion of what the distance might be. Not to say that A6M etc. didn’t do stellar work getting rid of Mubarak, but the day after counts too. They also didn’t unify around a candidate in the elections.

  5. frosty zoom

    re: NSA surveillance:

    “Oh, the jobs people work at! Out west near Hawtch-Hawtch there’s a Hawtch-Hawtcher bee watcher, his job is to watch. Is to keep both his eyes on the lazy town bee, a bee that is watched will work harder you see. So he watched and he watched, but in spite of his watch that bee didn’t work any harder not mawtch. So then somebody said “Our old bee-watching man just isn’t bee watching as hard as he can, he ought to be watched by another Hawtch-Hawtcher! The thing that we need is a bee-watcher-watcher!”. Well, the bee-watcher-watcher watched the bee-watcher. He didn’t watch well so another Hawtch-Hawtcher had to come in as a watch-watcher-watcher! And now all the Hawtchers who live in Hawtch-Hawtch are watching on watch watcher watchering watch, watch watching the watcher who’s watching that bee. You’re not a Hawtch-Watcher you’re lucky you see!”

    ted geisel

  6. diptherio

    Is it just me or is the rot in Bill Gates’ soul starting to show through on his face? That photo topping the WaPo ‘smoke pot, become an entrepreneur’ article is hideous. You would think a man of his wealth and obvious self-regard would at least hire a make-up artist before going out to speak in public. In a few more years, ol’ Billy boy is going to end up looking like Emperor Palpatine.

    1. Joe

      Facelifts are for the little people, the strivers, the wannabes. Take a look at Mudoch. It’s the master of the universe, who gives a shit look.

      1. F. Beard

        Or like what’s his face in Dune, Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, they think ugly is attractive?

        Or maybe, since plastic surgery can fail, they are afraid of failure written all over their face?

        Or maybe their ugliness goes all the way to the bone and could not be fixed with surgery anyway?

        Me, I want to be irresistible to one and only one girl and easily ignored by all others.

        1. optimader

          A neurosurgeon I know would say the body is merely an inconvenience to carry your brain around, Truth in that.

    2. jrs

      I tested well but didn’t smoke pot. So hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to monotonous soul sucking job I go. Darn, if only I had known.

  7. diptherio

    Re: longform news

    On Friday, we reported that people are spending considerably more time in mobile news apps than in other apps in general – 4.2 minutes per day

    I experienced a glimmer of hope upon reading the headline, which was immediately smothered when I read the above. 4.2 minutes?!? Per day?!? What long-form news story can be read in 4.2 minutes? I don’t think I’m that slow of a reader and I’m pretty sure it takes me more than five minutes to get through (say) the average Bill Black post.

    Which begs the question, doesn’t it? What exactly is considered long-form nowadays? Anything that takes more than 3 minutes to read? It’s great that more long-form journalism is being produced, but is anyone taking the time to actually read it?

    And that 4.2 minutes is the time spent in the news app, not just on reading one story….

    1. zygmuntFRAUDbernier

      For me, most or many articles in the New Yorker certainly count as long form. I think 500 to 1000 words is in the right range, if it has depth, some breadth, references (preferably), avoids banalities, and strives for conciseness and clear prose.

      1. diptherio

        Well, the first article linked to on the site is a New Yorker piece by Joan Didion that clocks in at 4,830 words. I, personally, cannot read 1,000+ words per minute.

        But in an era where messages are delivered 140 characters at a time, I guess 500 words seems long. Maybe I’m just old-fashioned…

        1. zygmuntFRAUDbernier

          I read the New Yorker blog post “Breaking the Rules Thousands of Times at the N.S.A.” , by Amy Davidson, and using computer tricks counted 987 words. It’s enough for a well-thought-out “critical analysis” of errors and so forth by NSA analysts, as reported by NSA. The story since Snowden is about 2 months old, so it’s not like the plot in The Brothers Karamazov.

  8. David Lentini

    On Algorithms

    The real problem (having spent years working with computers), which is rearely if ever mentioned, is that computers don’t think; they only execute programming instructions that, in the cases mentioend in the Guardian article, are based on statistical models that show correlative behavior with human observations. But the mathematicians, scientists, programmers, and users lose sight of this, perhaps because computers appear to perform what most consider the high form of human intellectual activity—mathematical reasoning.

    When we now add the profit-obsessed business mindset, this lack of perspective becomes almost impossible to break. The more we delude ourselves that computers can replace human judgment, the worse things will get and the greater the risks to democratic government.

  9. bob


    Is the “hazardous waste” issue still valid? Do they need the guys in white suits?

    I don’t believe that this could happen if it were true-

    “four legislators went out and bought 22 boxes of Sudafed and Tylenol Cold. They brought their loot back to the Legislature, where Bovett walked lawmakers through the process of turning the medicine into meth with a handful of household products. Without exceeding the legal sales limit, they had all the ingredients needed to make about 180 hits. The bill passed overwhelmingly.”

    Historically, under different “manufacturing” techniques, with different chemicals, it may have been necessary for a clean up crew. Now it seems more and more like another money grab.

    “Guys in white suits! It must be serious!”

    1. AbyNormal

      blue suits to the rescue…

      FDA Approves New Big Pharma Pill Solution for Prescription Drug Addiction 7/2013

      Orexo says their drug is needed because opioid addiction affects around 5 million people in the U.S. Also, they say, only about 20 percent of those addicts receive treatment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that 100 people die every day in the U.S. from drug overdose, with prescription painkiller use being a serious offender. They are hoping for upwards of $500 million in sales.

      The prescription addiction epidemic has led to the creation of mass prescription databases, where your pharmaceutical habits are tracked by doctors and pharmacists alike in many states. The legal crack-down has made it difficult for many to obtain the drugs they are addicted to. In an effort to lessen the wave of prescription opiate addiction, the legal system has pushed many already-addicted people to a cheaper, easier to score opiate high—heroin.

      Make no mistake, this drug problem is one created and sustained by Big Pharma. So, it only makes sense—in a world where health is seen as something you get from a pill—that you should treat addiction to pharmaceuticals with pharmaceuticals.

      “I think if you were Satan and you were settin around tryin to think up somethin that would just bring the human race to its knees what you would probably come up with is narcotics.”
      No Country for Old Men

      1. diptherio

        Meanwhile, Ibogaine, a psychoactive chemical found in the African plant iboga, has been found to totally eliminate the effects of opiate withdrawal and is being used successfully in a therapeutic setting in Mexico and Costa Rica (and probably other places).

        Ibogaine can get a person clean without the life-threatening withdrawal symptoms of opiate addiction, but if they go right back to the same environment, chances of relapse are high. The same, of course, will be true for any pharmaceutical concoction, even if it does prove effective. A safe ‘cure’ for opiate addiction is already available, it is the social precursors that we really need to deal with, imho. –ibogaine therapy session

        1. susan the other

          Some people get loaded on religion. Some on war. Some on money. Lots of people get loaded on refined sugar. Or sex. Most people get loaded on their personal obsessions, maybe some kind of irrational hoarding. Every runner gets a runner’s high. It is the nature of existence. It is probably so ubiquitous because it is a good survival tactic. Depression is not. Why doesn’t somebody besides Minsky look at this? Get high and then crash. Then get high all over again. So if this pattern is indeed biological, lets deal with it rationally.

          1. Emma

            Disagree….sort of.
            Most people today are simply loaded on Mary Jane, Fuckbook and Twatter. When you have non-stop shit coming your way, you simply don’t want to catch the falling knife. Rather, you put down your arms, move aside, and self-dissipate by pointing the finger at the knife as opposed to taking up arms. It is unenlightened self-interest over enlightened self-interest just the way noblesse oblige.

          2. Emma

            Disagree….sort of.
            Most people today are simply loaded on Mary Jane, Fxckbook and Twatter. When you have non-stop crap coming your way, you simply don’t want to catch the falling knife. Rather, you put down your arms, move aside, and self-dissipate by pointing the finger at the knife as opposed to taking up arms. It is unenlightened self-interest over enlightened self-interest just the way “noblesse oblige” (ie. our noble rulers).

      2. LucyLulu

        Strange article. Buprenorpine/naloxone has been on the market for 10 years or so, by a different manufacturer. It goes by the name Suboxone, which the article even mentions, so I’m not sure why this article says the Scandinavian drug is a new product.

        It involves merely substituting one addiction for another, and suboxone, hence this new drug as well, is no picnic to withdraw from. The advantage is having minimal psychoactive properties, blocking the high if opiates are used, and being able to get a valid prescription. It’s similar to using methadone (which is also addictive, with a more severe and prolonged withdrawal than other opiates), but without the same risk of a lethal overdose as methadone.

        There are no easy paths to sobriety.

  10. Bill the Psychologist

    “I hate to lend Peter Peterson’s loathely organ”

    Lambert or Yves, I hope “loathely” was a brain cramp creation when you couldn’t immediately think of “loathsome”……..?

    and not another loathesome fracture of a perfectly good language ?

    /grammer nazi rant

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        I meant “loathly” (a typo now fixed) as in Tolkien: “… the most loathly shape that he had ever beheld, horrible beyond the horror of an evil dream …”

      1. financial matters

        I just watched Jeremy Ville give an interview and enjoyed seeing a lot of young artists/entrepreneurs resonate with his work.

          1. jrs

            Ah yea them, military recruitment offices strategically right across from the community college here, here is probably everywhere.

  11. Lambert Strether Post author

    On Bitmessage, I installed it and it sends and recieves. It’s a pig to install on OS X, but there aren’t any outlandish dependencies. I believe there’s a compiled version for Windows. The interface could be a little snazzier…

    1. MacCruiskeen

      Re: network effects. This is true, but it was once also true of email. I can recall a time (c. 1980) having an email address and knowing virtually no one to send an email to. And there were other communications protocols (telephone, paper mail) with nearly universal adoption available. Network effects are significant, but not insurmountable. The real question is whether email seems to most people to be the “good enough” solution and that bitmessage’s improvements aren’t worth it.

  12. optimader

    Princess D.

    Died resulted from pulling too many G (and having major blood vessels torn)due to not having a seatbelt on. Would have been a survivable collision otherwise. Full Stop

    1. anon y'mouse

      now that we’ve cleared up THAT mystery–

      Marilyn Monroe: death by misadventure.

      yes, there was a panic over “who would be blamed”, but it was just a standard OD with much doctor enabling involved, necessitating a small cover-up.

      *disclaimer–conjecture from known facts

      1. Emma

        The antidote could also be about cats in nature teaching us the advantage of delayed implantation in the artificial world of man…..

  13. petridish

    RE: Cooking Meth

    Stop the hand-wringing over this, I will solve the problem for you.

    Step 1. Create a serious new disease, preferably a mental one. List it in the DSM. Designate meth as the breakthrough, biotechnological, AMA-approved therapy.

    Step 2. Award a big pharma company the exclusive right to produce and market the “new” drug, under a less odious name, of course. Production in a pharma facility will remove the danger, destruction and cost of “home cooking.”

    One expensive problem solved.

    Step 3. Market heavily across all media outlets. Visuals would be particularly helpful here–desperate, dejected people miraculously morphed into happy hordes romping on the beach or something like that. Provide the first month’s supply for free.

    Step 4. Provide an army of “medical professionals” to tout the drug’s miraculous results, interpret ambiguous studies and generally remove any stigma associated with the condition or its treatment.

    Step 5. Require coverage through all insurance plans and, of course, Medicaid. Maximum ease of availability is key.

    Step 6. Encourage prescription by doctors. Establish its use as the standard of care. Reinforce prescribing habits with continuing medical education courses, medical journal articles and cash payments, if necessary. If reports of over prescribing by MDs or overselling by Walgreens occur, ignore them.

    The problem has been solved, and miscreants mainstreamed into the “patient population.” Chronic abuse has been replaced with “compliance.”

    For those of you who may think I am being flip or capricious, I would like to remind you that we now treat the “epidemic” of ADD or ADHD with the street drug formerly know as SPEED.

    1. F. Beard

      I would like to remind you that we now treat the “epidemic” of ADD or ADHD with the street drug formerly know as SPEED. Petridish

      And it works great too. And what do you mean by street drug? Amphetamine is a legitimate pharmaceutical long used to treat narcolepsy and can be used safely for 60 years or longer.

      What’s with Progressives? No pie in the sky when you die but let’s make sure you can’t ease your misery down here either? Because that’s an embarrassment to what Progressive policies have caused or at least not cured?

      1. petridish

        Nothing political here, Beard. Just trying to think inside the box. The box having produced such good results and all.

    2. anon y'mouse

      yes, deprive entrepreneurial street dealers a livelihood, and hand it over to big business. poor folks, with or without insurance, most likely won’t be able to afford it, so you’ve just changed the population of addicts to a more remunerative target. something else, or “knockoff” will drip down to the street, or stealing legal supplies will take the place of current illegal drug smuggling, so you get to hunt the same crew of criminals for a slightly different reason.

      there is the bonus of potential tax revenue, though.

      1. AbyNormal

        90% of the worlds heroin supply comes from Afghanistan.
        from wiki
        Afghanistan has been the greatest illicit opium producer in the entire world, ahead of Burma (Myanmar), the “Golden Triangle”, and Latin America since 1992, excluding the year 2001.[1] Afghanistan is the main producer of opium in the “Golden Crescent”. Opium production in Afghanistan has been on the rise since U.S. occupation started in 2001. Based on UNODC data, there has been more opium poppy cultivation in each of the past four growing seasons (2004–2007) than in any one year during Taliban rule.
        this is the reality/soul of our system…Capitalism

        the warriors don’t want it publicized but heroin is getting cheaper. an addict can buy enough to keep their pains at bay with 5.00…panhandling or collecting bottles/cans. National Geo showed people moving into Detroit where the living is free and the drugs are cheaply supplied. San Fransisco and plenty other major cities are setting up for the same fall.

        its understood once you go into these cities…you never come out alive. this booming situation is not aired on MSM.

          1. petridish

            As Zbigniew Brzezinski famously said, it’s easier to kill a million people than to manage them.

              1. AbyNormal

                i do not like to share what im about to because i can’t find supporting links (it might be on a drive ive got stashed somewhere)
                back around 2004 there was a ‘leak’ out the IMF…someone stated ‘We can afford to lose a generation’.

                i remember going batcrazy with anyone that would listen…educated people looked at me with no alarm.
                i worked myself into a frenzy looking for what specifics this statement could have been made from. (we we’re already at war…i scratched that consideration)

                some around me said it was just a hoax…but you know why i took it seriously? because its just like a power monger to not consider the generation before and after the specified lost generation. you can’t takeout Just 1 Generation.

                to this day i think they said it and meant it globally

          2. skippy

            “Unofficial euthanasia centers? How convenient. The victims do themselves in.” – beardo

            The victims do themselves in… victims or believers of some stripe[s

            CO2 is good for you!

            Europe’s forests nearing carbon saturation, study finds

            The ability of Europe’s aging forests to absorb carbon dioxide is heading towards saturation point, threatening one of the continent’s main defences against global warming, a study showed on Sunday.

            Forests from Spain to Sweden are getting older, packed with trees less good at soaking up the emissions blamed for rising world temperatures, mounting sea levels and increasing numbers of heatwaves and floods, experts said.

            Trees are being threatened by more fires, storms and insect attacks, said the study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

            Some parts of the continent have also started cutting down some forests, it added.

            That all meant Europe should no longer assume its forests would be able to continue absorbing carbon emissions from factories, power plants and cars, at the same rate, it added. Forests currently soak up about 10 per cent of Europe’s emissions.

            “These regrowing forests have shown to be a persistent carbon sink, projected to continue for decades, however, there are early signs of saturation. Forest policies and management strategies need revision if we want to sustain the sink,” the Nature Climate Change report said.

            Back-of-the-envelope calculations suggested saturation point could be reached by around 2030 unless governments took action, said Gert-Jan Nabuurs, of Wageningen University and Research in the Netherlands, who led the study with experts in Finland, Switzerland and Italy.

            Read more:

            skippy…. a bottle [drugs] in front of me or a frontal lobotomy… there has to be more choices~… eh.

            1. F. Beard

              Why shouldn’t we go to the brink with the bankers and see who blinks first? They have much more to lose down here than we do and it’s their cursed money system that requires exponential growth in the first place.

              Not that I see CO2 as a problem necessarily but I sure won’t be diverted from attacking the counterfeiting cartel, the source of enormous waste and environmental destruction.

              Me, I’d be happy on a family farm with my true love, a peaceful world, some nice farm machinery and a roughly equal share in the corporations that made it. And except for the counterfeiting cartel, that might be a typical living, instead of a dream.

              1. skippy

                “Why shouldn’t we go to the brink with the bankers and see who blinks first? They have much more to lose down here than we do” – beardo

                skip… and there you have it… the 2nd house syndrome.

                skippy… banks are corporations… they only exist to extract future potential… allocated to a few hierarchical… no matter the long term societal out comes… bid offer price mechanism moving to nano seconds… hows it working out???

                PS… forensic evidence provides giganticism’s out come…

                1. F. Beard

                  There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with corporations since their purpose is to democratically consolidate capital, which might easily include labor, for economies of scale.

                  Banks, otoh, rely on heavy government privilege to enable them to essentially counterfeit – for the benefit of the rich and themselves.

  14. Skeptic

    Martha’s Vinegaryard

    I’ve been to Martha’s Vineyard and would not go back. I remember going over there on an early ferry fifteen years ago and escaping the hordes of vacationers early in the afternoon. Now that the Elite and criminals have destroyed this place it’s time to call it Martha’s Vinegaryard. Poor Martha! Is nothing sacred, USA?

  15. Jeff W

    Two more (related) for the Big Brother is Watching Watch:

    Glenn Greenwald’s partner detained at Heathrow airport for nine hours

    Detaining my partner: a failed attempt at intimidation

    Glenn says a “security official at Heathrow Airport” [identifying himself only as #203654] telephoned him early this morning [6:30 AM Brazil time] to tell him that his partner David Miranda had been detained “under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act of 2000” which allows lawful detention for up to nine hours. (UK government documents, according to Glenn, show that over 97% of those detained are released in under an hour and only .06% of all people detained are kept for more than 6 hours.)

    In fact, Miranda was detained up until the last minute, the full nine hours, before being released—sans “his laptop, his cellphone, various video game consoles, DVDs, USB sticks, and other materials.” Glenn adds

    …the Guardian’s lawyer was able to speak with him [Miranda] immediately upon his release, and told me that, while a bit distressed from the ordeal, he was in very good spirits and quite defiant, and he asked the lawyer to convey that defiance to me. I already share it, as I’m certain US and UK authorities will soon see.

    [emphasis added]

    1. Patricia

      Reality has been reduced to a predictable novel, each new page only proving what we already thought, drudgery beyond the first chapter but plodded through because there is no choice.

      That to me is the worst of our current situation. The sheer lack of originality, the blasé derivative plot for all but the star characters (and even they appear cardboard), the rest of us tired bit players watching the perpetual staging.

      As Skippy or craaazyman or primebeef (?) says, faaaaawwwkkkk.

      I want reality back!

    2. BondOfSteel

      Wow. Now not only journalism == terrorism, merely association with a journalist can cause you to be detained under terrorism laws.

      This is _not_ the actions of a free society.

      1. jrs

        Seems he was doing some helping with the journalism himself, meeting with Laura Poitras. Mind you journalist should not be detained as terrorists. And we don’t live in a free society (though classifying the degree of it is hard).

        A really key point seems that he was detained *for questioning* and had no right to remain silent (and presumably lying would be illegal?). And no right to a lawyer at the time it seems. Ok so what questions were they trying to get out of Greenwald’s partner? Because it seems to me it might have been as much about that as the abitrary punishing, though that too.

    3. zygmuntFRAUDbernier

      Thanks for sharing. There’s a story about Pandora’s box, and then what happens after it’s opened. I forget how it goes …

  16. Hugh

    Nowadays most of us have a filter built-in that translates most of the stories and headlines we read. Misbehavior, for example, is what we used to call “blatantly criminal and/or socially destructive.”

    “Misstate” or “least untrue” is what we call “lies.”

    “Restoring democracy” is generally accepted parlance for a “coup.”

    “Saving or fixing” something, like Social Security, means “looting” it.

    “Being for the middle class” means “doing everything in your power to gut the middle class.”

    “The rule of law” means a Dickensian legal system for the many and Get Out of Jail Free cards, indeed complete immunity from the laws, for the few.

    Wars are always fought for the purpose of peace.

    “Enhanced interrogation”, a classic, is, of course, torture.

    “Kinetic” means “killing lots of people.”

    A “terrorist” is someone who uses violence to instill fear and terror in ways our government does not approve. An “ally” is a state or group of actors in the developing world who use violence to instill fear and terror in ways our government does approve.

    “Trickledown economics,” “Reaganomics,” “job creators,” the Fed mandate of “price stability” are all names for the transfer of wealth away from working America to rich rentiers.

    “Commander in Chief” means “chief criminal.”

    “Keeping Americans safe” means “stripping them of their Constitutional rights.”

    “National security” means the “security” of the powers that be.

    “Classified” means anything the government doesn’t want us, the American people, to know, that is anything they don’t tell us.

    “Journalist” means “general propagandist.”

    “Pundit” and “expert” mean “propagandist targetted to a specific audience.”

    “Newscaster” means a “really well-paid propagandist.”

    “Lobbyist” means “officially sanctioned briber.”

    “Corporation” means “criminal enterprise.”

    “Bank” means “financial criminal enterprise.”

    “Oversight” accords with its secondary meaning of “overlooking or not seeing” something.

    Similarly, “reform” doesn’t mean change or modify but redo what was just done, again.

    The “C” in “C class” (CEO, etc.) stands for “Criminal.”

    The “Department of Justice” is the “Department of Injustice.”

    The “Department of Defense” is the “Department of Offense.”

    The “Patriot Act” was the “Big Brother Act.”

    “Right to work” means the “right to work at sh*t wages, maybe.”

    “Representatives” mean “representatives of the few, rich, and well-connected.”

    “Free markets” mean “markets run by the rich for the rich.”

    “Free trade” ditto.

    “Democratic party” means “front for the kleptocrats.”

    “Republican party” ditto.

    There are a million of these. Everytime we read an article or hear a story we automatically begin to work through the lies and distortions. But the thing is, and what the powers that be, i.e. the rich and elites, count on, is that we seldom catch them all. So that no matter what some of their spin slips through and we begin to discuss their topics in their carefully chosen, and self-serving, terms.

  17. rich

    Upper West Side condo has separate entrances for rich and poor

    The poor will use a separate door under plans for a new Upper West Side luxury tower — where affordable housing will be segregated from ritzy waterfront condos despite being in the same building.

    Manhattan developer Extell is seeking millions in air rights and tax breaks for building 55 low-income units at 40 Riverside Boulevard, but the company is sequestering the cash-poor tenants who make the lucrative incentives possible.

    Five floors of affordable housing will face away from the Hudson River and have a separate entrance, elevator and maintenance company, while 219 market-rate condominiums will overlook the waterfront.

    “You know that show ‘Downton Abbey’? Where the servants have to come and go through separate entrances and bow their heads when they see a noble?” wrote the author behind the blog West Side Rag. “Well, there could soon be a version right here on the Upper West Side!”

    Extell declined to comment.

    A spokesman for the Department of Housing Preservation and Development said Extell’s application is still under review.

    Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, a Democrat who represents the Upper West Side, told The Post that Extell’s plans “smack of classism,” and feared they could set a dangerous precedent for other developers.

    “It’s a blatant attempt to segregate people,” fumed Rosenthal, who is demanding that HPD deny Extell’s request for tax breaks. “It’s just not a good thing for the city of New York to be supporting.”“I hate the visual of market-rate tenants going in one door and affordable tenants going in another, but that’s a visceral reaction,” Diller said.

    1. ginnie nyc

      I got news, Rich, this kind of separation is already in existence. Related Management, the largest builder/manager of apartments in NYC, built a condo/rental/hotel complex on West 42nd Street 2 years ago. I applied for it: the condo tower had a separate entrance, and all the fee-laden amenities in the rental tower were not available to subsidized tenants – unless they wanted to pay over $500 a month to access them. This included the lounge and outside garden, kitchen and games room, computers and conference room, gym and pool. Thus the recreational floors were sanizited by fee segregation.

      The funny thing is Related apparently couldn’t sell one damned condo, so the whole condo tower was also converted to rental apartments – but without the hoi polloi subsidized renters.

  18. rich

    everything’s clean now…..go back to work.

    TRENTON — When Julie Angarone met her husband Philip three years ago to talk about their impending divorce, she had no idea their cordial conversation would blow the lid off a secret that was kept hidden for years.

    Suspicious because her husband had asked to meet in a public place, wondering if she could trust what he said about his real income, Julie Angarone secretly recorded the meeting.

    What she heard floored her — and would soon floor the entire state.

    With the tape rolling, Philip Angarone said he was making illegal campaign donations for his company, Birdsall Services Group, as part of a wide-ranging scheme to curry favor with politicians handing out contracts.

    Three months later, Julie Angarone shared that admission with state authorities, touching off an investigation into one of the largest pay-to-play scandals in New Jersey history. It would lead to criminal charges against her husband and eight others and bring down one of the state’s biggest engineering firms.

    Over at least six years, the company ran a massive scheme to circumvent laws designed to prevent contractors from essentially buying lucrative public contracts with political donations to elected officials.

    Unable to give more than $300 to campaigns, Birdsall instead had its employees write personal checks for that amount or less, bundled them together and sent them to Republicans and Democrats across the state.

  19. skippy

    Disturbed force thingy

    Btw the largest – strongest influence in the said force, by my sampling of investor grade humans, educated – well traveled internationally, is America.

    skippy… People are openly saying in – public conversations – with out blinking an eye… its going to implode financially and socially… the Sovereign Gawd of walking contradictions… sigh… what could have been.

    BOunus vid:

    When petroleum giant BP spilled millions of litres of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico three years ago, it was the worst ever offshore oil disaster.

    To try and break up that massive slick, vast quantities of chemical dispersant was sprayed on the spill.

    It seemed to work: the oil disappeared.

    But people started getting sick and then people started dying.

    Now, this environmental disaster has become a health catastrophe.

    The dispersant, when mixed with the oil, increases in toxicity by 52 times. This sickly, invisible toxin, still lurks in the water and absorbs straight into peoples’ skin.

    In this special 60 Minutes investigation, we reveal the same chemical dispersants have been sprayed on the Great Barrier Reef and off the north west coast of Australia.

    They’re still approved for use and our authorities are clueless as to how deadly they are.

    PS. as denoted in the gulf vid by that feisty lass that publicly challenged the narrative spun by both DC and BP… when they come… MOVE… JUST MOVE AWAY… AS THEY BRING DEATH.

    Reminds me of the Bucky Balls in Kings “The Tommy Knockers”… your out in front or dead.

    1. kimyo

      drought? or corexit?

      TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Nearly a year after the state first asked for help, federal officials are declaring a fishery disaster for Florida’s oyster industry in the Gulf of Mexico.

      The collapse of the oyster industry last year came after a drought reduced freshwater flowing into Apalachicola Bay.

      video gallery of bp deepwater horizon oil washing up on shore in apalachicola:

      apalachicola times article on corexit application in the bay (quoted elsewhere, original no longer available):

      Taunya James, president of the Franklin County Seafood Workers’ Association (FCSWA), repeatedly insisted dispersant was being applied to the bay daily by helicopters described as black or camouflage in color. She and other seafood workers claimed to be aware of serious local contamination.

      1. skippy

        The BP Oil Spill – 3 Years Later

        Published on Apr 20, 2013

        On the three year memorial of the BP Oil Spill disaster I wanted to share with you one very important fact. BP has been lying to you! Due to decades of abuse by the oil and gas industry and a willingness by state and federal government officials, the Gulf of Mexico was already a compromised ecosystem. But in the wake of this tragedy, the oil and the chemical dispersant Corexit has wreaked havoc in ways that can been seen clearly, such as oil on Elmer’s Island near Grand Isle three years later. But it has had effects in ways much harder to measure such as in the health of local residents. deformities in the seafood commonly seen in certain parts of the Gulf and coastal land loss.

        The island shown in this clip was full of life, but now is completely dead. We got a chance to visit another island close to this which was still holding on, but for how long? Much of the beauty of the Gulf cannot be seen from the comfort of a sandy beach, yet it is these island that give sanctuary for wildlife that can be seen all throughout the region. We need to act now to save the few remaining habitats.

        Compromised seafood is being sent throughout the country around the world from the Gulf and what has been instituted is a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Local shrimper don’t know what this blackening in the gills of the shrimp is every time a questions gets raised definitive answers don’t follow. This is maddening! With all the money being spent in the region nothing is being done illuminate what is happening to the seafood that is being harvested, consumed and distributed from the Gulf. Would you feed something that was questionable to your kids? I hope not.

        PLEASE HELP ME! EVEN IF IT IS JUST FOR TODAY! Share this video. Post it everywhere you think someone might see it and maybe if we all pull together we can make enough noise that will get the attention of the national media. Thank you!

        Music by: Max Richter – On The Nature Of Daylight

        BP Oil Spill – 3 Years Later

        Dirty Energy (Feature Documentary)!watch/447852

        In-Depth Look at Gulf Shrimp

        Dirty Beach (Elmer’s Island)

        BP Aperitif

        skippy… berados common stock would fix it all up… !!!

  20. skippy

    We are an oligopoly economy: Robb

    From: The Australian
    August 19, 2013 12:00AM

    OPPOSITION finance spokesman Andrew Robb says Australians should not be opposed to creating national champions in key industries provided they comply with competition laws, claiming Australians need to accept that the nation is an “oligopoly economy”.

    Mr Robb — an ex-Liberal Party director who had significant roles in the private sector, including working for the Packer family, before returning to politics — said it was important that Australian companies were allowed to expand to achieve “critical mass”.

    “We are an oligopoly community. We shouldn’t fight it. We should make the most of it. It does provide us with the critical mass and the size and innovation and for that ability to compete with overseas countries,” he told the latest high-powered gathering of food industry executives and interest group leaders in Sydney as part of the The Australian and The Wall Street Journal’s Global Food Forum series.

    “But governments of the day need to make sure that oligopoly power is not abused. So competition policy needs to be continually reviewed to ensure we are getting the best of both worlds.”

    His comments will be welcomed by many in the business community, but highlight the potential disquiet in the Coalition. The Nationals have been particularly outspoken in the stoush over the power of the giant supermarkets versus their suppliers.

    skippy… what can I say…

    1. AbyNormal

      “important that Australian companies were allowed to expand to achieve “critical mass”

      where have i heard that b4? o yeah! look out skippy, your probably looking at another fracking boom…probably near a heavily pop. area with new families

      “In America, as in Australia, fracking is all the rage. Vast areas are being drilled and probed in the search for natural gas. The US Energy Information Administration predicts that shale gas will contribute more than half of the USA’s total gas supply by 2030.
      However the international politics play out into the future, one thing is certain: Australia, with our sunny skies and luxurious amount of space, is well placed to be energy independent and therefore politically impartial to the power struggles unfolding around the world”

      lawd that sara phillips must have a Large Environmental Portal

    2. Emma

      Sounds like the dense oily feathers covering the down and blubber of the penguin will be insufficient against the dense oily feathers covering the fat of the oil industry…..

  21. ChrisPacific

    I had to laugh at one of the comments on the Americas Cup story:

    The America’s Cup has lost sight of the original intent of the race. It’s supposed to be a friendly race between nations, not a business and marketing venture for a bunch of elitist billionaires.

    Somebody clearly doesn’t know their Americas Cup history very well. Elitist billionaires have been a feature of the competition since its inception (except that back then they were millionaires). So has cheating – at least one previous competition was decided in the courts.

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