Links 8/25/13

Wolves Howl Because They Care: Social Relationship Can Explain Variation in Vocal Production Science Daily

The Confidential Memo at the Heart of the Global Financial Crisis Vice (Juan Cole comments).

Mark Leibovich on Glitz and Greed in Washington Bill Moyers (“I Want Candy”).

Goldman Managing Director Charged in East Hampton Rape Bloomberg

Central banks told to cooperate on managing global liquidity Reuters. Jackson Hole.

Thousands march to Mall to mark ‘Dream’ anniversary WaPo

Claiming and teaching the 1963 March on Washington Facing South

A dream deferred FT (headline allusion).

The Black Mis-Leaders’ Love-Fest with Power on the Mall Black Agenda Report

Al Jazeera accuses AT&T of wrongly terminating contract Reuters

Feds: PA Cyber Charter School founder Trombetta schemed to steal $1 million Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Vanity and Venality LBR. On the EU.

Europe bounces as austerity fades Macrobusiness

Who Are the Long-Term Unemployed? Atlantic


MSF-backed hospitals treated Syria ‘chemical victims’ BBC 

Networks of Spies Aid Syria Gas Probe Online WSJ. If you find that reassuring, see here.

Experts Doubt Syrian Chemical Weapons Claims Washington’s Blog

Syria options weighed as U.S. forces move closer CBS. Awesome that the story quotes Powell, given his key role selling Iraq WMD.

Obama weighs possible military response after Syria chemical attack Reuters. So Obama takes out Assad with a drone strike. What then?

Syria warns U.S. not to intervene militarily USA Today

What Is The Sudden Issue With Syria? Moon of Alabama

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Manning Sentenced to 35 Years After Obama’s Broken Promise to Whistleblowers Bradblog. What a shame we no longer have public hangings, the amende honorable and so forth. 

NSA Officers Sometimes Spy on Love Interests Online WSJ. Since the source is official, this is obviously a modified limited hangout. The real message is that every motel in the Beltway is wired, and has been for years. “If these walls could speak,” especially the cheap ones.

Part 1: Obama Uses August 9 “Presser” To Put Points on the Board Against Snowden. His Real Purpose Should Be To Protect the Constitution Op-Ed News. Parts 2 and 3.

The Game of Spooks Cannonfire

A pocket guide to NSA sabotage Cryptome. Oldie but goodie.

Next Microsoft CEO faces rocky road in easing NSA-fueled privacy worries Network World

This autonomous quadcopter uses a smartphone to navigate Treehugger

World of Craft, 2 – Esteem-Based Transactions High Arka

In Deference to Great Men: Aaron Sorkin vs. the Occupy Movement  Truthout

The Dutch Accent: Elmore Leonard’s Talk The New Yorker. RIP. Best I could find. Wish I had a better.

Drawing Down: How To Roll Back Police Militarization In America HuffPo (CB)

Google buys wearable display patents from Foxconn FT

The reality show Aeon. “For an illness that is often characterised as a break with reality, psychosis keeps remarkably up to date.”

Looking to Genes for the Secret to Happiness The Well, Times

The Relational and the Non-Relational: Notes Towards an Immanent and Pluralist Theory of Meaning Larval Subjects. Turgid writing, interesting ideas.

Logistics and Opposition Metamute. More turgidity, interesting heads-up (related photos).

Socialize housing finance! LBO News from Doug Henwood

Antidote du jour:


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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. Lambert Strether Post author

          I clarified the parenthetical to say that Cole was commentary. However, the format is “link optional author, source” a la

          This Column Has a Title Gillian Tett, FT

          and not

          This Column Has a Title FT (Gillian Tett).

          There is no error.

  1. from Mexico

    @ “The Confidential Memo at the Heart of the Global Financial Crisis”


    In Culture of Complaint, Robert Huges charges that:

    For the fact is that Marxism lost its main bet at the outset. It wagered its entire claim to historical inevitability on the idea that humankind would divide along the lines of class, not nationality…. But the basic promise of Marxism, an internationale of workers joined as a transnational force by common interests, turned out to be a complete chimera. Nationalism survives.

    It appears, in round #1 at least, that the kleptocrat/sociopath class (read Larry Summers) has managed to overcome nationalism and form — what could we call it? — an internatonale of kleptocrats and psychopaths?

    Of course, church ain’t over till the fat lady sings, so it will be fascinating to see as this unfolds if 1) there is a resurgence of nationalism on the part of normal people who will demand that their respective nations withdraw from the internationale of kleptocrats and psychopaths, or 2) if normal people will be able to get their shit together and form an internationale to counter the internationale of kleptocrats and sociopaths, thus proving Huges wrong, or 3) the internationale of kleptocrats and sociopaths will disintegreate because of its own unwieldiness.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Drastically simplifying: Marx was right on the diagnosis, wrong on the cure.

        * * *

        Other issues are whether the way he was wrong on the cure indicts his diagnostic methodology, whether there are other diseases in the patient being diagnosed (he got the cancer, missed the stroke), treatment modalities, whether in fact a cure is even possible, and so on.

        1. Expat

          Richard Wolff, who has said on at least one occasion (on WBAI radio) that Marx was not a communist, points out that the extremely persuasive C. Manifesto was mostly written by Engels and Marx devoted precious little of his oeuvre to communism per se. Wolff has done a lot of his studies in Europe, especially in France, and bases his opinion on, inter alia, his research there. Having only read vol. 1 of Das Capital and a handful of Marx’s earlier writings in college, I am in no position to evaluate Wolff’s position, but I find Marx’s observations about capitalism and capitalists to be astonishingly insightful and indeed precient in that they explain much of today’s phenomena — without all the rubbishy mathematizing and other hocus pocus that marks mainstream economics today.

          1. Roland

            Well, the Communist Manifesto isn’t about communism, either.

            Almost the entirety of that short work concerns the nature of capitalism, the inevitable transition from feudalism to capitalism, and why capitalism must eventually transform into something else.

            The only part that deals directly with communism is a tentative programme proposal given at the end.

            This is not surprising. After all, how could a macro-historian such as Marx discuss the nature and history of Communism, when by his own terms such a society has yet to come about?

            Nobody yet knows what it will be like to live in a society in which the proletariat is the class which controls the means of production.

    1. nycTerrierist

      “It appears, in round #1 at least, that the kleptocrat/sociopath class (read Larry Summers) has managed to overcome nationalism and form — what could we call it? — an internatonale of kleptocrats and psychopaths?”

      Seems the TPP (Trans-Pacific Pact) that Obama is trying
      to ‘fast-track’ through Congress in secrecy — is designed to consolidate this internationale of kleptos and psychopaths.

      1. susan the other

        Since TAFTA has been so secretive, except for Cameron pushing it frantically because the UK no longer has an economy at all and they want to dilute their bankruptcy by some kind of trade trickery before it becomes obvious, it has probably already been signed. Last nite on the BBC there was a report on how to unwind QE without international disruptions. The moderator either made a mistake or let slip the statement that the trade agreement “had been signed.” Curiously, Britain has nothing to trade because they have no functioning economy, they manufacture very little; they also have a dying consumer; there is no investment; there is no income; only debt. The banks are being bailed out and social services are being eliminated. The clause in TAFTA that deals with international banking will probably be redacted so no one will understand the magnitude of the heist.

    2. sd

      I wish Palast had posted a photo of the entire memo. Not posting the entire memo leaves room for a sliver of doubt.

      1. Short Plank

        Re Oceania I’d certainly disagree with Palast’s statement that; “Brazil …, alone among Western nations, survived and thrived during the 2007-9 bank crisis.”

        Australia certainly survived, and even thrived on its commodity exports to China. New Zealand, too, survived and would have thrived had not the NZ$ become grossly overvalued as a result of the fall of the US$.

        Or are these not “Western” nations by Palast’s definition?

      1. jrs

        Yes, that’s my read on it too (ugh, do you ever get tired of the endlessly dense language you have to wade through on these things?). But anyway, all the memo says: geitner to summers: call bank ceos – regarding “barriers to be addressed”.

        So it’s the last link in a long chain if all you are looking for is bankers and government working together to some degree on WTO trade negotiations (in other words if that had been the missing link in one’s theories). Of course we’re all cynics now and so.

    3. Doug Terpstra

      Classic Palast: “If the confidential memo is authentic, then Summers shouldn’t be serving on the Fed, he should be serving hard time in some dungeon reserved for the criminally insane of the finance world.

      “The memo is authentic.”

      Summers, of course, is a lock, not for prison but for “Fed” Chair.

      1. dearieme

        I thought the Palast thing interesting until I saw “The film of my meeting with WTO chief Lamy was originally created for Ring of Fire, hosted by Mike Papantonio and Robert F. Kennedy Jr.” To me, any Kennedy implies (i) Democratic infighting, and (ii) no need to believe this.

  2. XO

    The Juan Cole article:

    Not at all shocking that Summers was involved.

    We need to build some gibbets on the National Mall as well as on Wall Street.

    But we won’t.

    As for the end game, things like this have a way of going in directions never anticipated — kind of like tracking the path of a hurricane.

    The middle class should be smart enough to counter the banker class that if we go down, we take them with us. Mutually assured destruction is a very effective tool for keeping enemies in check.

    1. jrs

      “The middle class should be smart enough to counter the banker class that if we go down, we take them with us. Mutually assured destruction is a very effective tool for keeping enemies in check.”

      I like the thinking, but how I haven’t the slightest. I think it involves not just fighting for the middle class but recognizing solidarity with all who work for a living. Of course on small scale things it would be enough to get the middle class in solidarity with ITSELF!

    1. AbyNormal

      “I’m very much aware in the writing of dialogue, or even in the narrative too, of a rhythm. There has to be a rhythm with it … Interviewers have said, you like jazz, don’t you? Because we can hear it in your writing. And I thought that was a compliment.” RIP EL

    2. efschumacher

      Leonard: ‘A Albanian’ . . . . Dickens: ‘a oyster’
      “a oyster’ can only be vocalized in two ways: with an ‘h’ – ‘a hoyster’ (the usual caricature), or the way your actual Estuarine waterman would say it, with a glottal ‘a oyster’. Too bad we don’t have a convenient orthographic device for representing the glottal (or, gloow).

      ‘A Albanian’: this being America, would be managed with a heavy stress on the ‘Al’. That requires an unvocalized glottal.

      1. efschumacher

        Too bad the left and right angle brackets didn’t make it. Of course it should be: “a <>oyster” and “a glottal (or glo<>ow)”.

  3. DP

    Aaron Sorkin wrote what was called yesterday on this blog the “greatest 3 minutes in TV history”. Today there is a link to Truthout calling out the same Sorkin show for misrepresenting and trivializing Occupy Wall Street. I’m with Truthout. I’ve never been able to stomach more than a few minutes of The West Wing or The Newsroom and thought his movie “The American President” sucked. I don’t find snarky little policy wonks firing strings of political talking points off machine gun style back and forth at each other to be entertaining or enlightening, and as the Truthout article notes, Sorkin tends to be pretty heavy handed about who the good guys and bad guys are.

    1. petridish

      “snarky little policy wonks firing strings of political talking points off machine gun style back and forth at each other”

      Although I do enjoy some of Sorkin’s work (A Few Good Men” is one of my favorite movies,) this is an excellent and accurate description of some of his more annoying tendencies as a dialogue writer.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      I see you read as far as the title; did you read the rest of the post? The title of the post is in quotes because it’s the title of the YouTube, as explained when the YT is cited. “This blog” may have called that YT many things, but not that.

  4. ohmyheck

    Oh, this is good. “As a Democrat, I am disgusted with President Obama”

    “No, I think it is this: secrecy corrupts. Absolute secrecy corrupts absolutely. You have been seduced by the idea that your authority rests in your secrets and your power to hold them. Every attack on that power, every questioning of it only makes you draw in tighter, receding into your vault with the key you think your office grants you. You are descending into a dark hole of your own digging.”

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Well, it’s interesting to see a journalism professor turn. But “You could. Will you?” is a question it’s a little late to ask, and was basically answered in 2008 with Obama’s vote on FISA reform, and his whipping for the bailouts.

    2. rich

      Why Manning and Not Cheney?;

      We begin with the 35 year sentence that Bradley Manning received and speak with Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s former Chief of Staff who went public in 2005 with his knowledge that Vice President Dick Cheney provided the “guidance” that led to America’s torture disgrace. We discuss how much Manning hurt the United States compared to Cheney and why others convicted of spying for the Soviet Union, Cuba and Russia received much lesser sentences.

      keep believing….

    3. jrs

      What he never states in that piece: whether he voted for Obama the *SECOND* time. He deliberately seems to obscure that talking only about 2008 (guilty conscience much?). By 2012 we knew about NDAA, and the lawsuit over it etc. – we knew for a fact Obama destroys rights that have existed since the Magna Carta.

      But all this talk of surveilence. Look we are fighting a rear guard action here. We need to be talking TPP. Why? Because surveilence is entrenched, the TPP isn’t. Use the anger at the government to derail the trade agreements (really anti-soverienty agreements) NOW – never was a better opportunity handed to TPP opponents than Edward Snowden. Use the distrust, the rage, at the government, it’s near total illegitimacy, to prevent us being sold into corporate slavery. Because they will eliminate what little power we have over govt, say at the local level, even that will be gone.

      It’s not the case if the TPP doesn’t pass that all will be hunky dory in this spook ruled police state. Obviously it won’t. Obviously opaque government and transparent citizens is a disaster. Obviously it’s not democracy. But that’s a LONG fight. I think it’s delusion to think reforming the NSA is a quick fight but if so it’s a very popular delusion (look I want it too but I”m less optimistic). Derailing things on the other hand is easier than turning around entrenched systems.

  5. from Mexico

    @ “The Black Mis-Leaders’ Love-Fest with Power on the Mall”

    Superb analysis by Glen Ford.

    I especially liked this link he furnished, a commentary by Harry Belafonte:

    Midway through the Civil Rights movement, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. realized that the struggle for integration would ultimately become a struggle for economic rights. I remember the last time we were together, at my home, shortly before he was murdered. He seemed quite agitated and preoccupied, and I asked him what the problem was. “I’ve come upon something that disturbs me deeply,” he said. “We have fought hard and long for integration, as I believe we should have, and I know that we will win. But I’ve come to believe we’re integrating into a burning house.”

    That statement took me aback. It was the last thing I would have expected to hear, considering the nature of our struggle, and I asked him what he meant. “I’m afraid that America may be losing what moral vision she may have had,” he answered. “And I’m afraid that even as we integrate, we are walking into a place that does not understand that this nation needs to be deeply concerned with the plight of the poor and disenfranchised. Until we commit ourselves to ensuring that the underclass is given justice and opportunity, we will continue to perpetuate the anger and violence that tears at the soul of this nation.”

    Notwithstanding the fact that Martin Luther King and Malcolm X made a very effective good-cop bad-cop team during their heyday, I remember having read somewhere along the way that towards the ends of their lives the assimilationist King and the separatist Malcom X came much closer together in their beliefs. King, as Belafonte’s note above indicates, became much more skeptical of the America he had fought so hard to assimilate into. Malcolm X, on the other hand, after he went to the Middle East and was exposed to a different brand of Islam than that of Elijah Muhammad, mellowed out and became much less belligerent.

    I’m reminded of something the gay black writer, James Baldwin, wrote in The Fire Next Time. It seems more prescient now than it did 50 years ago when it was first commited to paper:

    But, in the end, it is the threat of universal extinction hanging over all the world today that changes, totally and forever, the nature of reality and brings into devastating question the true meaning of man’s history. We human beings now have the power to exterminate ourselves; this seems to be the entire sum of our achievement. We have taken this journey and arrived at this place in God’s name. This, then, is the best that God (the white God) can do. If that is so, then it is time to replace Him – replace Him with what? And this void, this despair, this torment is felt everywhere in the West, from the streets of Stockholm to the churches of New Orleans and the sidewalks of Harlem.

    For the black separatists like Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X, “who is considered the movement’s second-in-command, and heir apparent,” the solution was to proclaim that

    God is black. All black men belong to Islam; they have been chosen. And Islam shall rule the world. The dream, the sentiment is old; only the color is new. And it is this dream, this sweet possibility, that thousands of oppressed black men and women in this country now carry away with them after the Muslim minister has spoken, through the dark, noisome ghetto streets, into the hovels where so many have perished. The white God has not delivered them; perhaps the Black God will.

    Obama is living proof that the Black God will not deliver them either.

    As to the separatists vs. integrationists, Baldwin then goes on to explain that

    The word “independence” in Africa and the word “integration” here are almost equally meaningless; that is, Europe has not yet left Africa, and black men here are not yet free. And both of these last statements are undeniable facts, related facts, containing the gravest implications for us all. The Negroes of this country may never be able to rise to power, but they are very well placed indeed to precipitate chaos and ring down the curtain on the American dream.

    This has everything to do, of course, with the nature of that dream and with the fact that we Americans, of whatever color, do not dare examine it…. We are controlled here by our confusion, far more than we know, and the American dream has therefore become something much more closely resembling a nightmare, on the private, domestic, and international levels. Privately, we cannot stand our lives and dare not examine them; domestically, we take no responsibility (and no pride in) what goes on in our country; and, internationally, for many maillions of people, we are an unmitigated disaster.

    1. nobody

      To go with Glen Ford’s piece, here is one by Ajamu Baraka on how “[s]urrendering to Barack Obama the podium that King stood before…brings a clear message, even though it is not acknowledged on a conscious level, that the highest aspiration and possible achievement for an African American is to be able to serve white power – to be a servant.”

      There’s a comment underneath the article (posting by somebody using a handle I think I recognize from here) with a pretty good idea for Obama’s defilement of the ancestral sanctum on Wednesday:

      “While boycotting a March with Obama in attendance is certainly an option, attending such a march and then standing up with one’s back turned to Obama for the duration of Obama’s speech might be another option. It might be more telegenic.

      “If everyone who rejects Obama’s negation of Dr. King’s work simply boycotts, they will passively “not be seen” on TV views of the audience. Whereas if everyone who rejects Obama’s negation of Dr. King’s work makes a point of attending and recruiting as many like-minded attendees as possible, and they all sprinkle themselves strategically throughout the audience, they cannot be missed by the TV cameras panning over the audience as [they] all turn their backs on Obama in unison.

      “And when the audience-at-large begins wildly applauding, the back-turners can stay standing with their backs turned and clap at [one] clap per two seconds to convey obvious sarcasm. The TV cameras might catch that too.”

  6. from Mexico

    DP says:

    …and as the Truthout article notes, Sorkin tends to be pretty heavy handed about who the good guys and bad guys are.

    Yep. And that ethos rapidly overcame the thread as piousness ensconced itself upon its mighty high horse to gaze down upon those mere mortals who dare like television.

    What could we call it? The new Puritanism?

    According to the moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt, eastern cultures, for better or worse (and I say this because I’m not convinced that judgmentalism is always bad, and in fact can work for good), do not worship at the altar of judgmentalism to the extent that American culture does. And in fact, their religions, unlike ours, attempt to ameliorate judgmentalism:

    In philosophy classes, I often came across the idea that the world is an illusion. I never really knew what that meant, although it sounded deep. But after two decades studying moral psychology, I think I finally get it. The antropologist Clifford Geertz wrote that “man is an animal suspended in webs of significance that he himself has spun.” That is, the world we live in is not really one made of rocks, trees, and physical objects; it is a world of insults, opportunities, status symbols, betrayals, saints and sinners. All of these are human creations which, though real in their own way, are not real in the way that rocks and trees are real. These human creations are like fairies in J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan: They exist only if you believe in them. They are like the Matrix (from the movie of that name): they are a consensual hallucination.

    The inner lawyer, the rose-colored mirror, naive realism, and the myth of pure evil — these mechanisms all conspire to weave for us a web of signficance upon which angels and demons fight it out. Our ever-judging minds then give us constant flashes of approval and disapproval, along with the certainty that we are on the side of the angels. From this vantage point it all seems so silly, all this moralism, righteousness, and hypocisy. It’s beyond silly: it’s tragic, for it suggests that human beings will never achieve a state of lasting peace and harmony. So what can be done about it?

    The first step is to see it as a game and stop taking it so seriously. The great lesson that comes out of ancient India is that life as we experience it is a game called “samsara.” It is a game in which each person plays out his “dharma,” his role or part in a giant play. In the game of samsara, good things happen to you, and you are happy. Then bad things happen, and you are sad or angry. And so it goes, until you die. Then you are reborn back into it, and it repeats. The message of the Bhagavad Gita (a central text of Hinduism) is that you can’t quit the game entirely; you have a role to play in the functioning of the universe, and you must play that role. But you should do it in the right way, without being attached to the “fruits” or outcomes of your action….

    Buddha went a step further. He, too, counseled indifference to the ups and downs of life, but he urged that we quit the game entirely. Buddhism is a set of practices for escaping samsara and the endless cycle of rebirth. Though divided on whether to retreat from the world or engage with it, Buddhists all agree on the importance of training the mind to stop its incessant judging….

    Judgmentalism is indeed a disease of the mind: it leads to anger, torment, and conflict. But it is also the mind’s normal condition — the elephant is always saying “Like it” or “Don’t like it.” So how can you change your automatic reactions? You know by now that you can’t simply resolve to stop judging others or to stop being a hypocrite. But, as Buddha taught, the rider can gradually learn to tame the elephant, and meditation is one way to do so. Meditation has been shown to make people calmer, less reactive to the ups and downs and petty provocations of life. Meditation is the Eastern way of training yourself to take things philosophically.

    -JONATHAN HAIDT, The Happiness Hypothesis

    1. peace

      Good quote. I am personally conflicted with how to integrate and reconcile morality with Buddhist and Taoist precepts and practices. My “working hypothesis” or current way of living is to: live as you would live but do not get upset or angry when you fail or are confronted with liars, cheats, thieves. Move on and keep on. Be a civil rights lawyer if that is your calling but do not be frustrated by failures or small wins. It is tough advice when PR or identity management specialists brand themselves and their clients as saints and the public buys it. Enjoy your profession/career/work for the day-to-day of it and have goals but “let go” (don’t get angry/frustrated/demoralized) in the face of no progress. Your effort may actually be preventing backsliding.

      Anyway, I still balk at advice to “just don’t worry” or “just be happy” because I find that advice difficult to reconcile with morality.

      1. AbyNormal

        consider expecting & accepting ‘the glass is already broken’…nothing clears a path faster’)

        A Beautiful Method to Find Peace of Mind

        How many times have you gotten upset because someone wasn’t doing their job, because your child isn’t behaving, because your partner or friend isn’t living up to his or her end of the bargain?

        How many times have you been irritated when someone doesn’t do things the way you’re used to? Or when you’ve planned something carefully and things didn’t go as you’d hoped?

        This kind of anger and irritation happens to all of us — it’s part of the human experience.

        One thing that irritates me is when people talk during a movie. Or cut me off in traffic. Or don’t wash their dishes after eating. Actually, I have a lot of these little annoyances — don’t we all?

        And it isn’t always easy to find peace when you’ve become upset or irritated.

        Let me let you in on a little secret to finding peace of mind: see the glass as already broken.

        See, the cause of our stress, anger and irritation is that things don’t go the way we like, the way we expect them to. Think of how many times this has been true for you.

        And so the solution is simple: expect things to go wrong, expect things to be different than we hoped or planned, expect the unexpected to happen. And accept it.

        One quick example: on our recent trip to Japan, I told my kids to expect things to go wrong — they always do on a trip. I told them, “See it as part of the adventure.”

        And this worked like a charm. When we inevitably took the wrong train on a foreign-language subway system, or when it rained on the day we went to Disney Sea, or when we took three trains and walked 10 blocks only to find the National Children’s Castle closed on Mondays … they said, “It’s part of the adventure!” And it was all OK — we didn’t get too bothered.

        So when the nice glass you bought inevitably falls and breaks, someday, you might get upset. But not if you see the glass as already broken, from the day you get it. You know it’ll break someday, so from the beginning, see it as already broken. Be a time-traveler, or someone with time-traveling vision, and see the future of this glass, from this moment until it inevitably breaks.

        And when it breaks, you won’t be upset or sad — because it was already broken, from the day you got it. And you’ll realize that every moment you have with it is precious.

        Expect your child to mess up — all children do. And don’t get so upset when they mess up, when they don’t do what they’re “supposed” to do … because they’re supposed to mess up.

        Expect your partner to be less than perfect.

        Expect your friend to not show up sometimes.

        Expect things to go not according to plan.

        Expect people to be rude sometimes.

        Expect coworkers not to come through sometimes.

        Expect roommates not to wash their dishes or pick up their clothes, sometimes.

        Expect the glass to break.

        And accept it.

        You won’t change these inevitable facts — they will happen, eventually. And if you expect it to happen — even see it as already happening, before it happens — you won’t get so upset.

        You won’t overreact. You’ll respond appropriately, but not overreact. You can talk to the person about their behavior, and ask them kindly to consider your feelings when they do this … but you won’t get overly emotional and blow things out of proportion.

        You’ll smile, and think, “I expected that to happen. The glass was already broken. And I accept that.”

        You’ll have peace of mind. And that, my friends, is a welcome surprise.

        1. F. Beard

          Wow! What a shabby life? And why? Because there is no God in Zen! So yeah, get used to failure and loss because in the absence of God what else is there?

          Me? I count on God to make things work properly for me and they usually do. For my part, I must be kind and considerate of other people and do my duty but so what? Those things are often rewarding too.

          But if I am occasionally deprived or frustrated I know it’s for my own good because, unlike Zen, there is a caring God in my belief system.

          1. AbyNormal

            Good for You Beard…and i hope your belief system continues to assist you with your frustration(s).

            1. F. Beard

              Actually it would be the Creator, not my belief system per se, that would assist me.

              Errors are endless;
              Truths are One.
              Truth is endless;
              Error is none.

              Love can be painful;
              Indifference is not.
              Love is life;
              Indifference is not.

              Truth has a Name
              and so does Love.
              Things cannot save
              But He can and does.

              1. S M Tenneshaw

                In a different context, Winston Churchill said: “Are you quite sure? It would be a pity to be wrong.”

              2. AbyNormal

                The fact that a man who goes his own way ends in ruin means nothing…He must obey his own law, as if it were a demon whispering to him of new and wonderful paths…There are not a few who are called awake by the summons of the voice, whereupon they are at once set apart from the others, feeling themselves confronted with a problem about which the others know nothing. In most cases it is impossible to explain to the others what has happened, for any understanding is walled off by impenetrable prejudices. “You are no different from anybody else,” they will chorus or, “there’s no such thing,” and even if there is such a thing, it is immediately branded as “morbid”…He is at once set apart and isolated, as he has resolved to obey the law that commands him from within. “His own law!” everybody will cry. But he knows better: it is the law…The only meaningful life is a life that strives for the individual realization–absolute and unconditional–of its own particular law…To the extent that a man is untrue to the law of his being…he has failed to realize his own life’s meaning. The undiscovered vein within us is a living part of the psyche; classical Chinese philosophy names this interior way “Tao,” and likens it to a flow of water that moves irresistibly towards its goal. To rest in Tao means fulfillment, wholeness, one’s destination reached, one’s mission done; the beginning, end, and perfect realization of the meaning of existence innate in all things. Jung

                1. peace

                  Thanks Abynormal!

                  affirmation helps

                  and calm perseverence (not resignation) helps because my perseverence (on my “way” to my goal(s)) will be calm and my reactions to immorality will be calm. “Excuse me, but my experience indicates that what you are saying is not true.” or “Excuse me Enron, but you are lying to California when you tell power plants to all close the same day and force Cali into blackouts. We will sue you calmly now” (honestly, I perceive calmness as beneficial to confronting liars. It also may improve how others perceive your claims. PR


                  1. peace

                    clarification: calmness is related to self-esteem and confidence. While research (including my own) indicates that anger is respected, I also found that anger may have long term or broader implications/impacts that undermine its short term benefits.

                    calm confidence (not hubris) instead of anger

                    Thanks again

                2. F. Beard

                  “The fact that a man who goes his own way ends in ruin means nothing…”

                  Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

                  He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but he who walks wisely will be delivered. Proverbs 28:26

      2. Antifa

        It’s difficult, indeed. If we’re to get anything worthwhile done in the world, we need to deeply care about kindness, mercy, honesty and love between all souls on this planet. To move people in better directions, to change situations for the better, to work and fight for peace requires us to deeply care whether we succeed or fail. If we don’t deeply care, we don’t move anybody. We’re just hipsters, who know the problem well, but won’t lift a finger to solve it.

        Of course, faced with the myriad cultural, social, political, environmental struggles of today, with their overwhelming existential consequences for humanity and our planet, Buddha — well, Buddha would still just go sit under a tree — “What has Maya to do with me?”


        If I’m not going to go sit under a tree, the only way to be “in this world but not of it” is to remember Buddha’s advice about ahimsa and choosing a right livelihood, doing something that does only good and kind things for other souls.

        And to remember that even if I rise to the heights of Ozymandias in influence, wealth and power I’ll simply be forgotten in the dust in due course, just as he was, whoever he was.

        The only reward from this life that is real, that I will take into the next lifetime, is the improvements I make in connecting to my soul, which Buddha experienced as the only soul there is. As in, there is no second soul in this universe, only I and Maya.

        By this means I may come to sit under a tree some day.

        1. F. Beard

          Each of them will sit under his vine
          And under his fig tree,
          With no one to make them afraid,
          For the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.
          Micah 4:4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

          Of course Micah predates Buddha by about 300 years or so.

      3. from Mexico

        I certainly have nothing against judgmentalism per se. If I did, how could I condone statements like this, which the Rev. Martin Luther King made in a speech in 1958 at Berkely?

        Now we all should seek to live a well adjusted life in order to avoid neurotic and schizophrenic personalities. But there are some things within our social order to which I am proud to be maladjusted and to which I call upon you to be maladjusted. I never intend to adjust myself to segregation and discrimination. I never intend to adjust myself to mob rule. I never intend to adjust myself to the tragic effects of the methods of physical violence and to tragic militarism.

        Then again in his commencement address at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania in 1961:

        But I say to you, there are certain things within our social order to which I am proud to be maladjusted and to which I call upon all men of good will to be maladjusted.

        If you will allow the preacher in me to come out now, let me say to you that I never did intend to adjust to the evils of segregation and discrimination. I never did intend to adjust myself to religious bigotry. I never did intend to adjust myself to economic conditions that will take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few. I never did intend to adjust myself to the madness of militarism, and the self-defeating effects of physical violence. And I call upon all men of good will to be maladjusted because it may well be that the salvation of our world lies in the hands of the maladjusted.

        One of the main problems with judgmentalism when it becomes too excessive is that it becomes petty. Could you imagine, for instance, King saying:

        If you will allow the preacher in me to come out now, let me say to you that I never intend to adjust to the evils of television. I never did intend to adjust myself to civil rights groups which are not hierarchical and do not have designated leaders. I never did intend to adjust myself to the madness of a civil rights leader who doesn’t have instant access to the halls of power, who cannot have lunch or tea with presidents and sentators whenever it’s convenient.

        The search for sin adds yet another coating of mandatory sanctimoy to a society that already has trouble talking about things frankly and honestly. It limits discussion; it makes people afraid to say what they think and feel; it presents dubious and cranky interpretations and analyses as self-evident, indisputable truths. It often operates, not through the usual means of civil discourse and persuasion, but via intimidation and intellectual decree. It sanctions a cultivation of an excessive, fussy sort of wariness that induces others to spout pieties.

        It is, quite simply, an attack on freedom and automony for people to be pressured, or required, to attend chapel and told what it is proper to think, to feel, and to believe. The whole point of the liberal revolution that gave rise to the 1960s was to free us from somebody else’s dogma, but now the very same people who fought for personal liberation a generation ago are striving to impose on others a secularized religion involving a set of values and codes that they believe in.

      1. PWC, Raleigh

        don’t need piety to understand television does not now (and never did) have my best interests anywhere in its raisons d’etre.

        wait, i used a french phrase — is that pious?

        btw, the whole aaron sorkin thing is nonsense about folderol. “on bullshit” by harry frankfurt will give you an accurate lens on aaron sorkin, his characters, his writing. television hasn’t been called the boob tube since 1957 without good reason.

      2. jrs

        On the one hand there’s something very innocent about it, about wanting to be entertained, to just watch silly stuff that isn’t all profound earthshaking thoughts and philosophy 24/7 (that isnt’ following politics or reading Hannah Arent – haha).

        OTOH is or is not t.v. designed to play a certain role in the system, pushing consumerism, corporate dominated, pushing a corporate agenda, pushing political passivitty (although mostly people are passive because they really are relatively powerless – but becoming more passive and powerless doesn’t help that any), pushing cr@ppy products that are not in people’s real interest etc..

        Is that not enough condemnation of this world, it uses our innocence against us.

    1. craazyboy

      My first thought was “That looks like Jesus. Or maybe even Elvis.”

      But the pic caption says this:

      According to Basiago, the head is of a Martian species known as Homo maris maris, believed to be the indigenous Martian humanoid species.

      So I guess if there is a known species already, then this could be it!

  7. Kurt Sperry

    Unexpected optimism from an old acquaintance in Cairo-

    “I have survived (just) the almost three years since the revolution in Egypt. So much has happened, and the situation on the ground is so very much more complex than you will read in the western media. And I am very much afraid to note that much of the western media is actually lying, about specific facts and events. And I cannot for the life of me figure out why.

    Strange as it may seem after all the violence, but I am actually quite optimistic for the future. There is one certainty, which is that things have changed, and things cannot go back, completely, to as they were before 25th January 2012. Events today are not as they seem, but one thing is clear: the Egyptian citizen has lost his fear of authority. After centuries, millennia even, of political passivity, today’s citizen is aware and partisan. Political discourse in the best sense of the word has awakened. What we lack today is that the youth, which has proven so effective at bringing down regimes, is shying away from participating in the re-construction of that which they have torn down. But don’t give up on the arab world’s drive towards pluralistic democracy such as we take for granted in the west. They have the will to get there, they just don’t yet have the means, or the experience in building the institutions of a democratic state.”

  8. peace

    Re: article about Happiness and genes

    Pros: interesting to see a biological connection between happiness and genes
    Cons: The study author mistakenly implies causality that gene expression is “driven by and evolutionary strategy of working for the common good.” The design of the study does not permit the interpretation of when expression occurs relative to eudemonic of hedonic behavior. Which occurs first? This study may not be able to address that causal relationship. Yes, I sound like a genetic heretic, but there have been recent studies indicating that habituated behaviors can lead to Lamarckian changes in one’s own DNA. I am not an evolutionary geneticist; however, recent work on neuro-plasticity and related research posit more individual control over our personalities and disease responses – instead of Darwinian genetic fatalism. Darwin himself was Lamarckian and skeptical on causality or the process of genetic change. I support further study and skepticism regarding either Darwinian or Lamarckian processes especially in (seemingly minor) genetic expression data as examined in this study.

    Good line of research though!

      1. peace

        respectfully, I am still searching for this, Lambert. I try to include links and I agree that a lack of citations is problematic. I need to use Endnote or some other citation program and be better organized (subjects, keywords, etc) when I save a bookmark or article. Time is the hinderance. Best regards, peace

    1. lee

      The heritability of acquired traits? I’m guessing you are referring to changes wrought in the epigenome by life experiences. Well,if so then maybe, however:

      “Epigenetic inheritance, like methylated bits of DNA, histone modifications, and the like, constitute temporary “inheritance” that may transcend one or two generations but don’t have the permanance to effect evolutionary change. (Methylated DNA, for instance, is demethylated and reset in every generation.) Further, much epigenetic change, like methylation of DNA, is really coded for in the DNA, so what we have is simply a normal alteration of the phenotype (in this case the “phenotype” is DNA) by garden variety nucleotide mutations in the DNA. There’s nothing new here—certainly no new paradigm. And when you map adaptive evolutionary change, and see where it resides in the genome, you invariably find that it rests on changes in DNA sequence, either structural-gene mutations or nucleotide changes in miRNAs or regulatory regions. I know of not a single good case where any evolutionary change was caused by non-DNA-based inheritance.

      Indeed. Moreover, epigenetic changes are not very stably heritable, rarely persisting anywhere near enough generations to be a major force in evolution.”

      1. allcoppedout

        Fairly standard reviews on epigenetics are here: and here

        Some relevant discussion on behavioural epigenetics here

        Fixed genomic variations explain only a fraction of the variability in the development, growth and later metabolic disease risk of human infants. However, there is increasing evidence suggesting an important role for perinatal environmental factors. For example, famine during pregnancy is associated with fetal and postnatal growth and with the
        risk of obesity in the adult offspring, and normal variations in maternal body composition relate to child’s later diposity. While understanding of the underlying mechanisms is limited, data from animal models suggest
        that epigenetic processes in non- imprinted genes are an important link between the early- life environment, for example maternal diet, and both altered early development and later body composition in adulthood.

        Relevant studies include social epidemiology (mass scale) and tiny scale experimentation. The consensus is that behaviour and environment play big roles. Bees can shift their ‘genetics’ to perform as nurses or foragers.

        We use techniques like methylated DNA immunoprecipitation-sequencing(meDIP-seq) which recently became available for large-scale DNA methylation analysis. Lab technology is moving discovery at a fast pace. Here’s an example of some of what you need to know to do a typical experiment:

        A honey bee colony is composed of a single reproductive
        queen, thousands of nearly sterile workers, and hundreds of
        haploid drones (Flanders 1960; Seeley 1989; Smith et al.
        2008). One fascinating phenomenon in the honey bee is
        caste differentiation, by which queen and workers exhibit
        striking differences in anatomy, physiology, and behavior,
        despite having an identical genome (Weaver 1957, 1966).
        The mechanism for this differentiation has been well studied. Higher juvenile hormone synthesis by the corpora allata results in reduced apoptosis and the expression of queen specific genes, resulting in the queen phenotype (Hartfelder et al. 1993). Queen larvae (QL) and worker larvae (WL)have different activated genes (Evans and Wheeler 2000;Hepperle and Hartfelder 2001) as well as protein profiles (Wu and Li 2010). A recent study revealed that a single protein in royal jelly, royalactin, plays a critical role in caste determination (Kamakura 2011). DNA methylation, one main way to induce epigenetic changes, has been shown to be closely associated with caste determination.

        There are no short-cuts to understanding science. Apply meDIP-seq to further our knowledge above.

        Epigenetics is still seeking a definition of what it is – scientists often work like that. We think we are finding ‘deeper’ explanations like ‘self-domestication’ in long-term species change. Debate and experiment are wide-ranging.

      2. peace

        Thank you lee.

        This is what I was thinking about and I had this wiki article bookmarked (but I am still searching for my original link for Lambert.)

        This hits my point. DNA is not a fatalistic predictor of disposition for an individual. Individual may change or influence their own genetic expression — this may not endure for future generations (maybe a couple, but who knows longer) but at least individuals should not forfeit their agency because “I am genetically predisposed to have temper tantrums because I am genetically non-responsive to the moderating effects of ACH.” That is the type of agency versus fatalism that I intended to convey.

  9. JEHR

    Re: Wolves howling because of status in the pack. I live where there are coyotes sometimes in the woods behind our house. There is evidence that the Eastern wolf has mated with these coyotes to make the coyotes a little more fierce. We hear them at night and the music they make is mesmerizing. You can distinguish the little ones learning to howl during these sessions. When the leader asks for silence after a performance, you will not hear a peep out of any of them and they move on quickly.

    Once I found the carcass of a coyote on a trail nearby. There was only a bit of blood on its muzzle and it looked like a very young coyote. I must admit that I have not walked up that trail since. Coyotes deserve respect.

  10. JEHR

    Here is something that I don’t get: When someone is praising an author for his writing, why does he feel it is necessary to bring another author down? Every writer has a style and that does not mean that one style should be favoured over another one. Both authors talking about Leonard feel the necessity to make that comparison, unnecessarily, in my humble opinion. Contrast maybe; but don’t choose one over the other.

  11. rich

    Private Gain to a Few Trumps Public Good for the Many

    But in a post-Cold War America distended by global capital, distorted by concentrated income and wealth, undermined by unlimited campaign donations, and rocked by a wave of new immigrants easily cast by demagogues as “them,” the notion of the public good has faded.

    Not even Democrats still use the phrase “the public good.” Public goods are now, at best, “public investments.” Public institutions have morphed into “public-private partnerships” or, for Republicans, simply “vouchers.”

    Outside of defense, domestic discretionary spending is down sharply as a percent of the economy. Add in declines in state and local spending, and total public spending on education, infrastructure and basic research has dropped dramatically over the past five years as a portion of GDP.

    America has, though, created a whopping entitlement for the biggest Wall Street banks and their top executives — who, unlike most of the rest of us, are no longer allowed to fail. They can also borrow from the Fed at almost no cost, then lend out the money at 3 percent to 6 percent.

    All told, Wall Street’s entitlement is the biggest offered by the federal government, even though it doesn’t show up in the budget. And it’s not even a public good. It’s just private gain.

    We’re losing public goods available to all, supported by the tax payments of all and especially the better-off. In its place we have private goods available to the very rich, supported by the rest of us.

  12. Doug Terpstra

    On “Syria options”, Colin Powell, without a trace of irony and no tongue in smirking cheek, declares “Syria’s Assad a ‘pathological liar'”. Straight from the WMD horse’s ass, without photos, this does little to bolster CBS’ claim of “growing evidence” attributing the chemical weapons attack to Assad. Up next: George Tenet proclaims it “a slam-dunk” and Dick Cheney insists “there can be no doubt”. Truly, these people are devoid of and utterly incapable of shame.

    Better liars, please, and better propaganda; this is insulting!

    1. Synopticist

      We’re all supposed to believe it was Assad based on assurances from MI6 and FSA “activists”.

      What a joke.

    2. Tom Denman

      It is at least as plausible that it was the Syrian rebels as Assad’s forces who used chemical weapons, if they were used at all, in Wednesday’s attack. If the rebels are proven responsible, logic and consistency suggests that William Hague in the UK and the chicken hawks in Washington should then call for military action against the Syrian rebels instead of the Assad regime. How likely would they be to do so?

      Military action by the United States will cost a lot of money, exacerbating the federal government’s supposedly egregious budget deficit. I want to know if people like Pete Peterson and Michael Bloomberg, who are so keen to “go big” on cutting government spending on social security and medicare, will either a) Publicly oppose U.S. military involvement in the Syrian civil war on fiscal grounds or, b) if they do favor U.S. military operations in Syria, would they be willing to pay for it out of their own pockets?

      I’m not holding my breath on any of these counts.

  13. Expat

    Thanks for the links to Bob Hager’s writing. I find his constitutional analysis very satisfying, and I like his characterization of Snowden as our generation’s Paul Revere. That analogy puts the lie to the idiotic plather that Snowden should have reported to the Redcoats (i.e., used official channels) rather than raise the Minutemen. Ah, “hardly a man is still alive who remembers that famous day and year.”

    1. psychohistorian

      I find it interesting that the Western media has said nothing about China and Russia just completing multiple weeks of joint military activities.

      I wonder what China thinks about what is going on in Syria?

      One would think that the US would consider twice or more about taking on both Russia and China…..but we are in end game land, aren’t we?

    1. Ms G

      Quelle Surprise! The fellow sounds like a perfect candidate to be seated in Rahm’s “education reform” committee. He’s very experienced in looting and corruption.

  14. rich

    I don’t think anyone watched Bill Moyers this weekend….

    Bon Jovi To Play At Sagaponack Fundraiser For Cuomo Sunday Night

    New Jersey rock star Jon Bon Jovi is scheduled to perform an acoustic concert during a political fundraiser for New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo at a Sagaponack home Sunday night.

    Tickets for the fundraiser at the Gibson Lane home of Caryn and Craig Effron range from $5,000 for priority seats to $25,000 at the “Chair” level, according to a copy of an invitation to the event.
    Mr. Effron was a co-founder of the billion-dollar hedge fund Scoggin Capital Management, LLC., and serves as secretary of The Jewish Museum of New York.

    Area residents were not invited to the fundraiser—expected to be attended by Bill and Hillary Clinton, who have been vacationing in Sagaponack—and concerned that the party would be disruptive.

    I guess you can’t regulate the hands that feed you….

  15. rich

    Yesterday, a link to a story in the WP on the NSA.

    This video in following link questions Sunstein on his paper.

    video…Obama Picks Cass Sunstein, America’s Joseph Goebbles, to Serve on the NSA Oversight Panel

    This is a great time to watch one of my favorite We are Change videos. The one where Luke Rudkowski corners Sunstein and he squirms away. Enjoy!

  16. rich

    New Jobs! If Only It Were True

    For example, the United States Department of Agriculture has called its $1.6 billion business and industry loan program a rousing success. Not surprisingly, the department often trumpets the number of jobs that are expected to result from these loans — figures that it gets from the borrowers themselves. Whether these jobs are actually created, however, is another story.

    The loan guarantee program is overseen by the Rural Development unit of the Agriculture Department and is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Rural Development provides loan guarantees of as much as 90 percent to banks or other approved lenders that finance the improvement or development of businesses in rural and high-unemployment areas.

    How many jobs were added or saved through the loans is also a crucial measure of the program’s success or failure.

    A current success story on the agency’s Web site is that of Carolina AAC, a company that received $10.4 million in late 2010 to build a concrete manufacturing plant in Bennettsville, S.C.

    “This project will create approximately 197 new jobs in Marlboro County,” the Agriculture Department’s Web site says. Such a figure would make Carolina AAC the program’s third-largest borrower in terms of jobs created.

    But Carolina AAC said in a January 2011 news release that only 36 jobs would be created at the project. And even that has not come to pass. Currently, 10 people work at the company, according to Charles Paterno, its managing member. Troubling for taxpayers is that the government backs 90 percent of the loans and they are in liquidation.

  17. Montanamaven

    Excellent critique of the “March on Washington” yesterday by Dave Zirin “Edge of Sports”. He’s one of our young voices like Matt Taibbi with lots of Pzazz and humor. He pulls few punches. Didn’t think Martin Luther King, Jr would have been invited to speak. I can’t believe they had Nancy Pelosi speak. And Cory Booker got 30 minutes while they yanked Julian Bond of the stage after 2 minutes. Who were the organizers? No Labels?

    1. jrs

      “Support the troops”

      what conservatives/war champions here in this phrase: our troops are great and heroic doing a noble duty, some of the most admirable people in our society, with highly admirable jobs, serving the great United States of America.

      What war opponents hear in this phrase: although they may play their part in them, don’t *blame* the troops for these aweful unjust wars. The war opponent nods in assent, what good would blaming them do, ex-military sometimes become some of the strongest war critics out there, great allies. Besides an aweful lot of the country has been in or knows people in the military, portraying them all as evil does what – sure call half the country complicit … and the wars continue or get reinforced.

      So the phrase becomes popular. It means whatever you want it to. The only critics are radicals who are fully prepared to condemn people taking part in a ritual that has consumed the whole society for decades.

      1. Jeff W

        Agreed. There’s definitely some double-messaging going on.

        I think the whole “support the troops” meme occurred directly, if unconsciously, as a “corrective” response to the myth of antiwar activists spitting on Vietnam vets, that is, as a sort of defensive reaction—or overreaction—to an urban myth encapsulating disparagement of those who opposed the Vietnam War and victimization of those who supported it, and, as such, it validates the myth and whatever underlies it. That alone, aside from its status as an enforced piety, supports the idea to stop saying it.

  18. zygmuntFRAUDbernier

    It strikes me that US officials use the locution “Make no mistake.” (blah-blah-blah). So, that the non-expert proles can make mistakes is “packaged-in” with the infamous “message”. What if you addressed a Cabinet-rank Offial: Secretary […], make no mistake: we’re putting everything you say in our massive file cabinets and we’re not all dumb.” How would that play out? Also, the Party Line is that “failures” happen. Mistakes? by the US Government? the professional myth-makers and PR gang seem to be on top of that, meaning “mistakes” aren’t part of the Official narrative. At least, that’s how it looks to me …

  19. zygmuntFRAUDbernier

    On Sunday, I went to old Quebec City near the Customs place where cruise ships accost. The defenses are good here: “cliffs of Quebec City”. [or they were for 1785]. On rue de la Forteresse (or close to that) the metal plate with the name of the street has a small “footnote” in French only. Translated, it says: “The (revolutionary) Americans arrived here December 31, 1785 seeking to take Quebec City. They did not accomplish their mission. Quite the opposite, their ships got blasted with cannon balls and they gave up, and went home.” In 1785, the British ruled Quebec City, after the Brits captured Quebec from the French in 1759. In a treaty of 1763, almost all New France was transferred to the Brits, except St-Pierre et Miquelon off of Newfoundland. To the propaganda “Manifest Destiny”, I put the counter-propaganda “Manifest Psychosis”. I’m not sure which of the two descriptions is more accurate.

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