Links 8/5/13

What do you get when you cross a lion with a tiger? A liger! And these cute cubs will grow into the biggest felines on the planet Daily Mail

Archaeology: The milk revolution Nature

The Fed & Big Banking at the Crossroads Paul Volcker, New York Review of Books

Hedge funds copy Soros’s regulatory sidestep FT. Family values.

Here’s a fat cat bragging about rigging IL bond ratings to kill pensions Suburban Guerrilla

Growth in Services Probably Picked Up: U.S. Economy Preview Bloomberg

Big Brother Is Watching Watch

Members of Congress denied access to basic information about NSA Glenn Greenwald, Guardian

Embassy, consulate closures applauded on both sides of the aisle WaPo

Senior U.S. senator says Putin acting like ‘schoolyard bully’ Reuters

Edward Snowden’s Life Just Flat-Out Fun And Exciting America’s Finest News Source (mofu)

More Sinned Against than Manning Jacob Bacharach

Palm Beach International airport cleared and shut down for nearly three hours after a bag started beeping… until it turned out to be an ALARM CLOCK Daily Mail

Snapping Tina’s Wedding: Paparazzi Turn to Drones SUAS News

Obama Administration Seeks to Keep Tens of Thousands Imprisoned Under Unfair Crack VS Powder Cocaine Penalties Black Agenda Report

What’s next for Moral Mondays? Facing South

Tony Bennett’s Day of Reckoning Has Come: Is Corporate Reform Far Behind? Education Week. Charters = corruption.

A Story About Michelle Rhee That No One Will Print Taking Note. Charters = corruption.

The $4 Million Teacher  Online WSJ. Hagiography with a buried lead: “are students actually learning more in hagwons  [Korean private private, after-school tutoring academies]? That is a surprisingly hard question to answer.”

New TransCanada Pipeline Plan Dwarfs Keystone XL DeSmog Blog

A way of life on the brink of extinction in the Louisiana bayous Independent (CL)

Controversy Follows Death of Prominent Haitian Judge NACLA

Merkel Challenger Says Alienated Voters Are Key to Unseating Her Bloomberg

Egypt Warns on Standoff Over Sit-Ins Online WSJ

Governor Fiasco Hasn’t Hurt Bank of Israel, Policy Maker Says Bloomberg

You needn’t be wrong to be called delusional Guardian

Science and Social Control: Political Paralysis and the Genetics Agenda Independent Science News

Militarized vision Geographical Imaginations

Friday Puzzler: Sexual Assault and the US Military Political Violence at a Glance

The Art of the Phony New York Review of Books

A much-maligned engine of innovation Martin Wolf, FT. “The entity that takes the boldest risks and achieves the biggest breakthroughs is not the private sector; it is the much-maligned state.”

Hard Rain: The Progressive Principle of Collective Punishment Empire Burlesque

Bin Laden’s insights and the Egyptian Coup Ian Welsh. Must read.

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. Ms G

    “Senior U.S. senator says Putin acting like ‘schoolyard bully’” Reuters

    This headline — even without the story — is priceless. The Pot and Kettle issues in this statement are worthy of inclusion in a Sunday School curriculum.

    1. AbyNormal

      couldn’t agree more! my immediate thought was Currency or Commodity trades/threats with Asia, SA etc…

      Arrogance makes you stronger from outside, but even more weaker from inside.
      Ujas Soni

    2. Francois T

      Hell yes! It’s not like the US would refuse to immediately turn over a Russian spy seeking asylum here, huh? huh?

      This senior senator is suffering from a dreaded condition associated with his “seniority”.

      1. Ms G

        Yes, or, say, order a bunch of european governments to deny passage and/or ground a head of state’s plane on a fake story that maybe that plane has Snowden in it (in regards to whom Obama had said flippantly that he “wasn’t going to scramble US jets to get him” or anything).

        1. Synopticist

          I can’t help thinking that was a deliberate ploy by Russian intelligence, a move designed to show how bad the west could be.
          The FSB only needed to pass the false tip off to some journalist or other who they knew was a shill, and it would get to the CIA in no time. And they would demonstrate to the world their arrogance, how badly they wanted Snowden, and just how weak the Europeans truly are.

          If it was an FSB trick, it succeeded admirably.

          1. Ms G

            Whoever initiated the “ploy” — assuming it was a Russian or other non-US move — Obama (and Obama alone) owns the orders to sovereign nations to deny passage and then to ground a sovereign president’s plane.

        2. Massinissa

          “I wont scramble any jets. I will just have my puppets forcibly ground his plane.

          Am I not merciful?”

    3. craazyman

      never thought I’d see the day an American president makes a Russian strongman look like a defender of human rights — but here we are! faaaakanAAAA

      I wonder if this is change we can believe in? It looks to me like a “dizzyingly deranged chiarascuro”. But it’s hard to deny.

      I don’t know what to believe at this point, except stuff right in front of me.

      Here’s one for you AbyNormal:

      “People say believe half of what you see,
      Son, and none of what you hear.
      I can’t help bein’ confused
      If it’s true please tell me dear.”

      -Marvin Gaye, “Eye Hoid it Tru Da Grapevine”

      1. nobody

        “Mercy, mercy me / Marvin Gaye, he was shot by his father / O, my Father / Have mercy on me”

        — Violent Femmes, “See my ships”

  2. from Mexico

    @ “Bin Laden’s insights and the Egyptian Coup” Ian Welsh

    I’m sure glad that commenter markfromireland called out Ian Welsh on Welsh’s comment thread, and by marshalling such a great deal of evidence to do so. Welsh’s offending claim?

    Let’s start with relation to Egypt. A lot of people in Egypt and elsewhere see the Egyptian coup (it was a coup, don’t tell me otherwise) as being US backed. Add to this the fact that they see the defeat of the Muslim brotherhood in the past as being aided by the US, they believe that Egypt is ruled by its current oligarchy (an extension of the Mubarak era oligarchy, and again, don’t even try and lie and say otherwise), because of the US.

    Here in Mexico, I believe it is almost universally believed in leftist circles that Morsi was the US/Europe’s man in Egypt, that the US and Europe had signed a pact with the devil (Islamic theocrats) and that the June 30 revolution was a popular uprising of leftist, nationalist, and secular forces, as posited by this article written by Immanuel Wallerstein:

    As markfromireland goes on to point out, none of this distracts from Welsh’s subtext, which both he and I are in agreement with.

    Maybe we paint with too big of a brush. It’s really not possible to lump Al Qaeda in with the Muslim Brotherhood, as if all were members of some monolith we call “Islamic extremists.” As John Gray points out in Al Qaeda and What It Means to Be Modern, the Al Qaeda ideology does not have a traditional Islamic pedigree, but a Western pedigree, forged out of Modernist thinking. So ideologically speaking, how much does Al Qaeda have in common with the traditional Islamic theocrats of the Muslim Brotherhood?

    1. Susan the other

      I had trouble with Ian Welsh too. He tried to paint the picture of our propaganda du jour. When in fact we always take all sides and wait for a disaster where we can prevail – it’s the capitalist way. I was not bothered by his analysis of Bin Laden’s philosophy because we used him from the getgo. I was bothered when he called Shrub the second-greatest man of this century. So does that make Cheney and Rummy great men too? Excuse me while I vomit. It seems plalusible to me that we used Bin Laden just to get into the Middle East and once there we set about our goal of taking over the oil market. It was audacious. Nobody ever said Little George was not audacious. I did like Welsh’s point that we should have seen to our own economy in 2002 instead of creating a housing bubble to essentially fund the war – and when the bubble popped it was a yawn, just another day on Wall Street. Nothing to see here. He implied the economy should have been dealt with 10 years ago and that I agree with. But hey, relatively speaking the US economy is more dynamic than any other. Then… that means if we are completely bankrupt and dysfunctional, the rest of the world is worse. The problem is now gigantic.

      1. optimader

        great is a poor choice of words as it fails on several counts.
        I would substitute the word “influential”, then delete the speculative framing of who was the “most”, “second most” etc from the narrative as these comparisons always end up being deerpaths in the woods. Suffice it to say bin Laden was influential as was the guy he played like a fiddle.

        Now if we want to philosophically consider the hierarchy of “influence” theme at larger scale, who had the final signature on the fuckyoushima nuke construction /operating permits? One could debate these decisions and the consequences will continue giving fruit long after thoughts of OBL/GWB are “swept away by the sands of time” (paraphrasing a “great” figure of speech).

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        There is surely more than a touch of irony in “great man.” Welsh surely does not subscribe to the “Great Man” theory of history. I agree on Bush; Bush made the breakthroughs that Obama rationalized and consolidated and bureaucratized.

      1. ex-PFC Chuck

        I do agree with Welsh’s fundamental, if implicit, assertion: that a century or so from now bin Laden will likely be regarded as the author of one of the greatest feats of strategic jiu jitsu in history: namely that with the one-day operation on September 11, 2001, he managed to induce the United States to launch itself onto a path of self-destruction. He correctly notes that George W. Bush was his critical, if inadvertent ally in this, but I think he underestimates the importance of the complicity of Obama. The audacity of which he spoke in 2008 turned out to be the scam he was pulling on the American people as he said it.

        1. Expat

          I disagree, because most of the facts related to Bin Laden and the enterprise he was part of are secret, really secret, and our personal experience of the events of the past decade-plus is too minimal for us to draw any meaningful conclusions.

          For example, it’s a fact that the FBI had OSB on the “Most Wanted” list, but not for any activity within the US, just incidents in Africa and Asia involving US interests. Let me hasten to say that this “fact” does not mean that the FBI did not believe/know that OSB was involved within the borders of the US, merely that he was not linked to those events on the FBI’s website. We can speculate all we want about that particular fact, but until we learn more, it is meaningless.

          Moreover, most of the spectacle of 9/11, the Iraq War, the Afghanistan War amd the whole war on terrorism or whatever it’s called these days is meaningless EXCEPT that it has radically changed our lives (I just returned from a trip to DC and was astonished at the effect of investing a trillion dollars in national security on housing, on shopping, on road-building. Stimulus indeed.).

          The who, what, why questions may have been asked, but they have never been answered.

          What should have happened after Bush tottered off to Texas was that the incoming administration collected every single document and email (including those illegally handled through the Republican Party and its operatives) and debriefed every single Bush administration employee debriefed. Then the whole lot could be hidden away for 25 or maybe even 70 years.

          The point being that you and I, we’re still around, we lived through it (whatever it was/is) and in the great scheme of things we don’t need to know. But the country needs to know, is entitled to know. How did a country that was among the most free and richest ever deteriorate in less than a lifetime into an ordinary oligarchy? My only regret about living now is that too much is still secret so there won’t be any PhDs on the topic for at least a generation. I’m not saying that I’m not pretty confident about what happened, just that we can’t be sure.

          1. Funes the Memorious

            Oh what stuff & nonsense you write about Bin Laden & the FBI, pre-9/11….

            The US already had Bin Laden on public trial in early 2001.

            Documents here:


            That the guy was a dangerous & wanted no-goodnik was public knowledge long before the events of 9-11 – since 1994 at least; there wasn’t any kind of “secret” nor “mystery” at all about the guy being a dangerous nutter, and his being wanted by the U.S. authorities – and other authorities too, IIRC.

        2. Doug Terpstra

          Agreed. Obama is arguably the linchpin of the kleptocracy’s coup in the US, now marching toward full spectrum dominance of the globe — military, economic, and political. Where Bush bombed in almost all respects, Obama has excelled, nearly turned the US and the world into a metaphorical Jonestown, Guyana. Obama is the greatest — the most beguiling, charismatic charlatan ever spawned.

          1. Ms G

            Obama is ” … the most beguiling, charismatic charlatan ever spawned.”

            Hmm. I see him as Pusher Man — the first to become a US President.

            I think it would be easy to take Curtis Mayfield’s lyrics to that monumental song of the Blaxploitation genre and “update” them for Pusherman Obama.

            1. Glenn Condell

              ‘Obama is ” … the most beguiling, charismatic charlatan ever spawned.”’

              He could take lessons from William Jefferson Clinton.

              Perhaps he did.

      2. Glenn Condell

        Wallerstein is great, he was from memory one of the first out of the blocks after 911 to make sense, placing him high above the general ruck of reaction. However, he in the end succumbs to wishful thinking:

        ‘The alternative to this self-disabling of the left is to engage in more open and comradely debate within the left.’

        World peace is a good idea too, but perhaps that observation isn’t comradely enough. Manners are desirable, even important, but they will not do the job Wallerstein gives them. It’s like imagining that hope is a strategy.

        ‘This debate about the priority enemy is a large part of what explains the relative weakness of left forces in these struggles. They are divided in their analyses.’

        This division is part of what constitutes the left, it isn’t an unfortunate, temporal bug, it’s a feature. The capacity for dissent is really what, in these times, separates the left from the right, generally a hotbed of narrow conformity. Compare the length of comments and threads on right and left blogs. Dittoheads want to be dittoheads, or at least cannot conceive or be capable of the independent thought that would rule out being a dittohead.

        Left leaners are science to the right’s religion. Science requires doubt, religion certitude. The right needs its animating imperatives to be ‘right’, the left needs theirs to be ‘true’. Richard Feynman said that doubt is the engine of scientific progress, certainty the enemy.

        To quote myself from 2002 or 3: ‘It’s healthier in the long run to encourage debate, to foster if not reconciliation, then at least mutual acceptance of divergent views; but in the short run it’s electoral suicide. 9/11 and it’s afterburn affected the left in two intersecting ways; it simultaneously provoked intellectually valid, but electorally suicidal rifts, just as it provided their opponents a climate of fear that they simply could not have bettered with the services of a genie.’

        This is not to say that this clean division is eternal or even all that thoroughgoing now – exceptions abound but not enough to invalidate the notion. It depends on the citrcumstances of the time.

        Me again: ‘For much of the last century though, the roles were reversed and it was the left exhorting us to ‘get with the program’ and the right exhibiting a Burkean concern for the value of continuity and tradition and grave doubts about both the motives for and possible effects of the ‘program’, not to mention a sensitivity to the law of unintended consequences. This valid concern though, eventually curdled into paranoia and intolerance. This is the kernel of the neocon story. From this fetid swamp emerged several species of zealotry and greed, ossifying the animating spirit of doubt that had sparked the movement. Socialism’s journey from a ferment of discussions in the coffee houses of Europe to it’s doctrinaire decline decscribes a similar arc. From flexibility to rigor mortis. From skepticism to belief. From doubt to faith. Or if not faith, then an invincible cynicism.’

        I guess I am in that last camp. Wallerstein isn’t (yet) – good for him.

        ‘They are therefore divided in their short-term and even middle-term objectives. And worse still, many left individuals and groups seem aware of this, which leads to a creeping pessimism and therefore a creeping withdrawal from militant politics.’


        1. Glenn Condell

          I should add that I don’t see Kos, Yglesias, Obamabots, national security bluedogs etc as ‘left’ – they are inside the tent pissing out, part of the right really. I mean genuine oppositionists.

          I should also say that despite my own regular transgressions I think the terms right and left no longer have any agreed meaning, and therefore utility.

    2. Ian Welsh

      You may wish to ask Mark From Ireland about that, actually. Feel free to do so in the thread, MFI is a regular commenter who pops by often. There are definitely many in Egypt and the wider Muslim world who feel as I wrote, and there are those who feel as MFI wrote. Mark, in his comment, wrote:

      “Yes to everything you’ve said. But you might like to think a bit about the converse to this:”

      ie. both points exist.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        I’m with Susan the Other, who writes:

        [W]e always take all sides and wait for a disaster where we can prevail – it’s the capitalist way

        My picture is that we have a portfolio of options and that policy outcomes (portfolio choices) are determined by factional infighting within the political class. Take all sides, play both ends against the middle, say one thing from State, another from the CIA, another from the military, and as long as the outcome is some client, I’m not sure it matters all that much to us who the client is, especially when we play them the tapes. And you know we have tapes. Which rules out the left, but then you knew that.

        1. optimader

          [W]e always take all sides and wait for a disaster where we can prevail – it’s the capitalist way

          Indeed.. Our bureaucracy is the geopolitical “market maker”

        2. Ian Welsh

          In fact you don’t, as is shows in Venezuela, Iran, Afghanistan pre-invasion, Argentina, Palestine (Hamas) and so on. This is simply wrong.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            You’re right. I should have ruled out the countries that are out of “the game.”

            Adding… I’m not married to the factional infighting model, so if you have a better one, do propose it.

            1. Dikaios Logos

              Maybe I’m not following you,BUT I think you and Susan are assuming the same paradigm always applies. I think this is because often the various factions are in a position to fight over the carcasses they recover. That isn’t the case here.

              The issues around OBL and co. are potentially fatal to all those factions in the U.S. at once. They have incentive to cooperate to keep the big blow up from happening. And believe me they do: this is a very narrow group of people who direct this at the high levels. There is certainly a lot of ‘how’ debate, but almost no ‘what’ debate.

    3. Eureka Springs

      Whether managed chaos or damage control the features of the U.S. and its best friends (Saudi, Israel, Qatar) involved in Egypt is to make sure there is no left in the best meaning of the word left – Neoliberalism must prevail. Follow the money of course – IMF, MIC, Saudi, Qatar to name a few. This is just seemingly endless Shock Doctrine.

      I would also recommend this excellent article posted in links recently.

      1. from Mexico

        Very interesting and informative.

        While the behavior of the US was certainly less than honorable, it nevertheless seems an exaggeration, based on the information provided by the article, to say that the US engineered Morsi’s overthrow.

        It sounds like Egypt is home to some extremely shark-infested waters, and even though Morsi was a political neophyte, one wonders if even the most astute and seasoned of politicians could have survived in similar circumstances.

        1. How Now

          A “political neophyte”?!

          This guy – Mr. Morsi – was the actual President of Egypt for some period of time; that fact, standing alone, argues quite strongly against the fellow being a “political neophyte”, whatever else he may be.

  3. Leeskyblue

    True that when you cross a male lion with a tiger, you get a “liger”

    What do you get when you cross a male tiger with a lion?
    — a “tigon” (sorry, I didn’t invent sexist taxonomy)

    What do you get when you cross a cow with a duck?
    — milk and cwackers.

    1. optimader

      Great film, F is for Fake ~Orson Welles and great that its online, that must be a new development?
      I remember watching some years ago and I believe it was the conclusion that a huge fraction of fine art(oil paintings) something like 40-50% are forgeries.

      They are also a currency of choice of oligarchs and other high net worth elements of the criminal class. You can roll them up, put in a tube, and inconspicuously move them internationally on private jets, unlike, say, pallets of gold bars.

      Amusing, the thought that much of it fake -makes me think of the old Monty Python Dennis Moore/lupines sketch. Everyone in the fine art food chain private collectors/museums/auction houses/professional art “appraisers” presumably aren’t too anxious to know the truth.

  4. Tyler

    Re: Obama Administration Seeks to Keep Tens of Thousands Imprisoned Under Unfair Crack VS Powder Cocaine Penalties

    I will now regard President Obama as a white man. In fact, you could argue he’s been white since at least mid-2009.

      1. Ms G

        Yep. BAR has been on it since way way long ago.

        On a related note, thinking ahead, I wonder how much money Cory Booker is taking in from Corrections Corporation of America and other “private” corporations with vested financial interests in keeping as many people in prison as possible — by whatever means, including the “crack” v. “powder” formula.

          1. Ms G

            Kemosabe. I was just free-associating. Shouldn’t be too hard to find out unless CCA money is stuffed inside some Matrioshka Doll of bundling opacity. I’ll see what I can find at NJ election finance sites (if they have any … not sure Corzine or Christie would have encouraged such transparency during their respective tenures.)

          2. Ms G

            Kemosabe. I was just free-associating. Shouldn’t be too hard to find out unless CCA money is stuffed inside some Matrioshka Doll of bundling opacity. I’ll see what I can find at NJ election finance sites (if they have any … not sure Corzine or Christie would have encouraged such transparency during their respective tenures.)

            In New Jersey, CCA runs the Newark Detention Center (Immigration Jail Hell Hole – I had a client there once) — at least since the early oughts. The contract for that gig is between ICE (federal) and CCA. See excerpts of the contract and certain renewals from 2005-2007.

            So if ICE is CCA’s money pipeline, CCA wouldn’t be worrying too much about Booker (as mayor or state senator). Different story if Cory is aiming for federal Senate. I’ll do some scratching around on direct funding by CCA to Booker’s campaign. Obvious google searches (5) didn’t turn anything up.

            That said, the number of jobs that CCA controls through just the Newark facility must be quite large as a proportion of New Jersey jobs.

      2. optimader

        I’m white, so what?
        Whether BHO is Black, White, Mulatto, Freckled, Red, Blue, Green is not the issue. What is the issue is what is going in inside his head.

        1. F. Beard

          I used to speculate that having fair features, especially with blue or green eyes, was “The Mark of Cain” since “Daddy, don’t kill him! He’s so pretty!”

          Sneaking up on us

          1. optimader

            Good movie, that
            …used to speculate that having fair features, especially with blue or green eyes, was “The Mark of Cain” since “Daddy, don’t kill him! He’s so pretty!”….

            My friend Sal is producing a indie documentary on one of the last Oglala Lakota Medicine Man(s?) The posterchild for a beaten up demographic. They were just here minding their own business..


            Iris color and cataract: the Blue Mountains Eye Study.

      1. Kurt Sperry

        Racist whites (for obvious reasons) and African-Americans wanting to maximize their constituency have both embraced this strange and illogical theory.

        1. Yves Smith

          Don’t think it does those racist whites much good. Anyone who has ancestors that got to America early probably has some black genes in there.

  5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


    As I have being warning people, if you don’t want any accidental mancat/womancat or catman/catwoman, do not let your cat sleep in your bed.

  6. petridish

    RE: Friday Puzzler/Sexual Assault in the Military

    “… why has the US military done such a poor job preventing this abuse?”

    The only puzzle here is how this ridiculous FEMALE author can pose this question with a straight face.

    The US is a fundamentally misogynistic country, so in thrall to testosterone that “low-T” is a “health” issue alleviated by applying the already overabundant hormone daily like it was deodorant! Like the planet needs more testosterone.

    And the military is the most testosterone-besotted of our cultural institutions. Uniforms, big guns, big vehicles and lots and lots of BOMBS. It’s purpose is to destroy, kill, conquer. When this activity is so relentlessly endorsed and worshiped, why get whipped up over a little sexual abuse–of females or males? After all, the victims didn’t DIE.

    I don’t think the military is interested in preventing anything. I don’t think they consider this behavior abuse. These females are crashing THEIR party–their testosterone fueled orgy of unrestricted, celebrated violence. No one forced the women to be there–participation is voluntary.

    The women (and weakling men) asked for it, and, by god, the almighty American military is going to give it to them. In spades.

    1. F. Beard

      I have a sex-drive as strong as most male’s (if not stronger) but I’ve never raped or taken advantage of a female unless a 2-3 year sexless seduction preceding counts as “taking advantage” (I’m not saying it doesn’t necessarily).

      So screw that testosterone excuse and hang em, we won’t miss em.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      You left out the sentence before the question:

      Anecdotal evidence suggests that the sexual abuse of female soldiers is worse in the US than in other militaries that include women.

      It’s a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Got any?

      1. petridish

        Fair enough. I retract my rant. As long as all Western armies that allow women sexually abuse female soldiers with the same frequency, there is nothing to see here and I will just move along.

        One certainly cannot expect the warrior chieftains of the American military to concern themselves with a rate of female sexual abuse that is average.

        1. F. Beard

          Warriors?! You give the slime balls too much credit. Isn’t it cowards who prey on women?

          The military should be happy to get rid of them.

          But the danger with women in the military is that men will naturally and nobly sacrifice themselves to protect them. Sacrifice is fine and all that but unnecessary sacrifice is a waste.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          I’m not entirely certain that encouraging two genders to practice mass slaughter, instead of one, is a victory for civilization, but I’m also not asking the authors to write on that theme. “This book about penguins would be great if only it were about albatrosses.”

    3. Jess

      Spoken like somebody who has no clue about low testosterone. As someone who suffers from Low T but has never had any sexual performance or libido problems, I can tell you why I take a testosterone supplement. No, better yet, I’ll let WebMD tell you what problems low-T can lead to:

      • Decreases in bone density, which can lead to osteoporosis
      • Diminishing ability to concentrate, as well as irritability and depression
      • Increases in body fat, particularly in the midsection where the buildup puts them at heightened risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers.

      And BTW, low-T led to me being diagnosed as pre-diabetic. (That’s despite 40+ years of not drinking or using drugs and working out four-six days a week in my own home gym.)

        1. Jess

          And forgive me for forgetting that there are morons on the web and that I only went to WebMD to get that info because unfortunately my doctor — who counseled me on this matter — doesn’t appear as a link on the web! And before you accuse her of prescribing testosterone for a kickback or because she’s unduly prone to prescriptions as a cure-all, you should know that she withheld prescribing it for years until I began to show symptoms, like my pre-diabetic condition and a sudden dramatic drop in energy level. Prior to that, as long as I was fit and healthy in other respects, we agreed that no prescription was necessary.

        2. Yves Smith

          I have to tell you, you need to do better than Mercola. He’s not reputable. And I say that as someone who uses a fair bit of alternative medicine and is skeptical of a lot of conventional medicine. He’s run affirmatively bogus research. He doesn’t know how to read studies and/or doesn’t bother to. You give me Mercola v. Web MD, blind, and I’ll take Web MD any day.

  7. rich

    Feds are Suspects in New Malware That Attacks Tor Anonymity

    Security researchers tonight are poring over a piece of malicious software that takes advantage of a Firefox security vulnerability to identify some users of the privacy-protecting Tor anonymity network.

    The malware showed up Sunday morning on multiple websites hosted by the anonymous hosting company Freedom Hosting. That would normally be considered a blatantly criminal “drive-by” hack attack, but nobody’s calling in the FBI this time. The FBI is the prime suspect.

    “It just sends identifying information to some IP in Reston, Virginia,” says reverse-engineer Vlad Tsrklevich. “It’s pretty clear that it’s FBI or it’s some other law enforcement agency that’s U.S.-based.”

    If Tsrklevich and other researchers are right, the code is likely the first sample captured in the wild of the FBI’s “computer and internet protocol address verifier,” or CIPAV, the law enforcement spyware first reported by WIRED in 2007.

    Court documents and FBI files released under the FOIA have described the CIPAV as software the FBI can deliver through a browser exploit to gathers information from the target’s machine and send it to an FBI server in Virginia. The FBI has been using the CIPAV since 2002 against hackers, online sexual predator, extortionists and others, primarily to identify suspects who are disguising their location using proxy servers or anonymity services, like Tor.

    The code has been used sparingly in the past, which kept it from leaking out and being analyzed or added to anti-virus databases.

    1. AbyNormal

      i noticed a couple FF crashes this wknd (incld.this morning)
      thanx rich (no one adds to my ulcer like u do’)

      “I regret to say that we of the FBIteME are powerless to act in cases of oral-genital intimacy, unless it has in some way obstructed interstate commerce.” Hoover

      (we gota laff or…)

        1. AbyNormal

          been there done that but thanks
          im going to hang w/FF a bit…ive witnessed their hackers come out punching before

          The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn’t any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it’s right. If it disturbs you it’s wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed.

  8. rich

    Exclusive: U.S. directs agents to cover up program used to investigate Americans

    (Reuters) – A secretive U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration unit is funneling information from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records to authorities across the nation to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans.

    Although these cases rarely involve national security issues, documents reviewed by Reuters show that law enforcement agents have been directed to conceal how such investigations truly begin – not only from defense lawyers but also sometimes from prosecutors and judges.

    The undated documents show that federal agents are trained to “recreate” the investigative trail to effectively cover up where the information originated, a practice that some experts say violates a defendant’s Constitutional right to a fair trial. If defendants don’t know how an investigation began, they cannot know to ask to review potential sources of exculpatory evidence – information that could reveal entrapment, mistakes or biased witnesses.

    “I have never heard of anything like this at all,” said Nancy Gertner, a Harvard Law School professor who served as a federal judge from 1994 to 2011. Gertner and other legal experts said the program sounds more troubling than recent disclosures that the National Security Agency has been collecting domestic phone records. The NSA effort is geared toward stopping terrorists; the DEA program targets common criminals, primarily drug dealers.

    “It is one thing to create special rules for national security,” Gertner said. “Ordinary crime is entirely different. It sounds like they are phonying up investigations.”


    1. barrisj

      This is a very important article, as it gives the lie to assertions that NSA spying is “terrorism-specific”, when in fact – as many of us have argued – information is shared with other federal agencies pursuing, e.g., drug crimes, white-collar crimes, including tax evasion, violations of securities laws, etc., etc. One can make a persuasive case that investigations OTHER THAN terrorism comprises the bulk of usage of NSA surveillance data, and that such data-sharing is totally opaque to criminal defense lawyers attempting to find original sources for “tip-offs”. Yet again, “b” at Moon of Alabama has the details:

      NSA Snooping Used But Hidden By DEA, Others
      Just yesterday an NYT piece claimed that access to the enormous mounts of data the National Security Agency collects through its borderless spying activities is only rarely given to other agencies:

      The National Security Agency’s dominant role as the nation’s spy warehouse has spurred frequent tensions and turf fights with other federal intelligence agencies that want to use its surveillance tools for their own investigations, officials say.

      Agencies working to curb drug trafficking, cyberattacks, money laundering, counterfeiting and even copyright infringement complain that their attempts to exploit the security agency’s vast resources have often been turned down because their own investigations are not considered a high enough priority, current and former government officials say.

      Intelligence officials say they have been careful to limit the use of the security agency’s troves of data and eavesdropping spyware for fear they could be misused in ways that violate Americans’ privacy rights.

      Smaller intelligence units within the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Secret Service, the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security have sometimes been given access to the security agency’s surveillance tools for particular cases, intelligence officials say.

      But more often, their requests have been rejected because the links to terrorism or foreign intelligence, usually required by law or policy, are considered tenuous.

      [P]rivately, intelligence officials at the drug agency and elsewhere have complained that they feel shut out of the process by the N.S.A. and the F.B.I. from start to finish, with little input on what groups are targeted with surveillance and only sporadic access to the classified material that is ultimately collected.

      According to the piece that DEA and other agencies only get access to the NSA’s trove for “particular cases” and even for that the law requires “links to terrorism or foreign intelligence”.

      But a Reuters exclusive which just came out shows that the above is not the full truth. Agencies like the DEA seem to have automatic access to big parts of the NSA spying machine, use it to generate new domestic investigations and then lie to judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys to hide this fact:

      How do you think warrants are obtained after the fact for full-blown wire-taps, mail and electronic surveillance, etc., of “suspects” in a wide variety of alleged criminal activity? No agency needs to divulge the [true] source of “tips” when applying for a search warrant, as any bit of well-worn justification can be presented before a magistrate or judge in order to make the case for intrusive surveillance; benefit of the doubt always goes to “the authorities”, rather than an individual or group. Slippery slope, people, slippery slope.

      1. Rooter

        “It is one thing to create special rules for national security,” Gertner said. “Ordinary crime is entirely different. It sounds like they are phonying up investigations.” (Nancy Gertner, a Harvard Law School professor who served as a federal judge from 1994 to 2011 )

        Why is ordinary crime entirely different than the spooky-specious-muderous world of so called Nat’l Security?

        I’m always amazed at some of the things lawyers say. Stupid is a kind description.

        1. zygmuntFRAUDbernier

          Another reading of what she says: “Arguably, full disclosure to defense counsel isn’t a good idea in some national security cases. In common-a-garden drug violations, however, full disclosure to defense counsel of all material eveideance is mandatory (in my book). A fortiori, fabrication of evidence is tantamount to fraud on the court and “off-the-wall”.”

        2. cripes

          Because, Rooter, the entire justification for disposing of the constitution in “te**orism” investigations, has been that they originate outside the US where constitutional protections don’t apply.
          Then it became “we’ll collect it, but won’t look at it until we get a proper warrant” (read ham-sandwich), to “let’s share this huge trove of personal communications with every crappy little civil forfeiture-seeking, parasitic drug cop in the nation.”
          Because we haven’t poured enough money and destroyed lives into drug prohibition already?
          Finally, because hiding (potentially) exculpatory evidence is a fucking crime that has sent many innocent people to prison. Something you’ll appreciate better when sitting at the defendant’s table becuse of some bullshit internet search you did.

    2. Ms G

      ” … federal agents are trained to “recreate” the investigative trail to effectively cover up where the information originated … ”

      Wow. This is so off the charts illegal. I hope there’s pushback by the criminal defense bar and the judiciary. I wonder how many bogus and otherwise compromised convictions/guilty pleas have been generated by this CIA-style “policing.”

      One can’t help but notice the parallel in finance, with doctoring of mortgage and deed assignments in MERS land and its regulatory lackeys (and former draftsmen, no doubt … e.g., the Covington Burling crew). It’s the Government-Economy Fraud Complex. The Uber Vampire Squid.

      (By the way, there’s a bill in Congress to basically legalize MERS and thus have the Federal Government junk 100s of years of property/title common law.)

    3. Ms G

      ” … federal agents are trained to “recreate” the investigative trail to effectively cover up where the information originated … ”

      Wow. This is so off the charts illegal. I hope there’s pushback by the criminal defense bar and the judiciary. I wonder how many bogus and otherwise compromised convictions/guilty pleas have been generated by this CIA-style “policing.”

      One can’t help but notice the parallel in finance, with doctoring of mortgage and deed assignments in MERS land and its regulatory lackeys (and former draftsmen, no doubt … e.g., the Covington Burling crew). It’s the Government-Economy Fraud Complex. The Uber Vampire Squid.

      (Note. There’s a bill in Congress to basically legalize MERS and thus have the Federal Government junk 100s of years of property/title common law.)

  9. Ben Johannson

    Regarding Ian Welsh’s post: Would buying The Al-Quaeda Reader be enough to land you on a watchlist?

    1. petridish

      Yes. Just like KNOWING that there WAS and Al-Quaeda Reader and telling everyone about it in a blog Comments section surely would.

  10. Susan the other

    About Michelle Rhee’s sterling reputation. Pretty strange nobody is publishing all her bad press. Her first mistake was thinking education is just a commodity and schools are warehouses. It’s funny that her big tool, teaching to the test, didn’t work and so she fudged the results. But not surprising. The best thing we can teach our children is how to learn, not how to memorize facts that mean very little to them. Rhee’s other tools were to intimidate teachers and principles and hire a bunch of ass-kissing administrators. Funny how that has turned out too. Clearly she’s got some serious PR protecting her if she can go around the country pretending like she is god’s gift to education. Bottom line here is that Rhee is a liar and a distraction. We should be looking at the real causes of the failure of our education system, especially the fact that it is so pointless for low income children.

    1. Synopticist

      Wholescale privatized education would be the greatest ching ching for the oligarchy. Oodles of taxpayer cash. Better than the military/industrial complex and the prison system put together.

      1. AbyNormal (80’s)
        Moreover, if the ideological assumptions associated with privatization are ignored, the long term implications to the character of the state and the social democratic institutions of this nation – beginning with the provision of public education – may not be recognized until we have lost or severely undermined an important national resource.(done)

        from 07

        an example fund:
        Investors in the fund include Intel Capital, Citigroup and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
        Agassi, who operates an award-winning charter school in a poor area of Las Vegas, has long been a champion of charter school education.

        Turner said the fund is designed to offer traditional investors a return on social projects that are normally associated with either public finance or philanthropy. “It’s a double bottom line,” said Turner, who is on the board of Pacific Charter School Development, a nonprofit developer of charter schools.

        The Canyon-Agassi fund will use investors’ money to build schools and lease them to charter organizations, which will later have an option to buy the buildings through low-interest, tax-exempt loans once the school becomes stabilized. (his 1st pillage 1994)

      2. fagins

        And many years in the making. Hedge fund guys of the consolidator sort were talking about for-profit education as the next big thing back in the early nineties.

    2. Faster Company

      Her role is to destroy, that’s it. Same with Rahm. Go to Zero Hedge, or stay here, the constant bellowing from the herd is that someone is gettin’ over free. Unfortunately, they never conclude their favorite corporations, hedgies, rigged casino owners are the ones getting over for free. It’s always poor people, their schools, unions, or some other 80s era accusation. Brilliance from Brown Shirts, and they are being paid to spread it.

    3. Inverness

      The reason many children fail in school is because they are poor, hungry, and/or mistreated. School systems cannot fix poverty.

  11. rich

    Less than Zero: Zero-hours contracts are just the latest means of eroding employee rights

    Thanks to twenty years of de-regulation, downward pay settlements, anti-union legislation the workforce has accepted the mantra of the ‘flexible market economy

    So, here we are in the Flexible Workforce Utopia that Thatcher, Major, Blair, Brown and Cameron have sold us as a panacea for all economic ills. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s (CIPD) report that more than a million workers are now on zero hours contracts is yet another nail in the coffin for job security and employer social responsibility. Thanks to the last twenty years of de-regulation, downward pay settlements, anti-union legislation the ‘flexible workforce’ has accepted the mantra of the small government fanatics.

    The so-called ‘benefit trap’ and the demonisation of those placed on disability benefits by successive governments camouflages the true level of unemployment. This concurrent rise of zero-hour contracts is no coincidence. The old model of employer/employee contracts, those pesky, Nanny State impositions such as sick pay, holiday pay, National Insurance contributions and pensions have gradually been erased from millions of contracts. From the point of view of unscrupulous employers, all that now holds them back is ‘red tape’, ‘health-and-safety-gone-mad’, European law and Human Rights ;.legislation.

    In a culture that worships the ‘entrepreneur’ from Branson to Sugar, the horrors of the Bangladesh factory collapse and the horsemeat lasagne scandal are a throw back to the good old days of Victorian economic values. Whether you are an Indian sweatshop workers, a Chilean farmer, a UK call centre clerk, an American hotel maid, a Chinese factory hand, you at totally at the mercy of the ‘flexible market’ economy. And if you don’t like it, then there are millions out there who will undercut you.

  12. Synopticist

    That’s a very clever and insightful analysis on the Arab left. They’re divided by who they think is the biggest danger -either the Islamists, the army, or the West. That disunity would make it almost impossible to come up with a coherent message that might truly resonate with the mass population.

    As for US policy, it smacks of naivity and over-simplification. The US decided, after the Arab spring, that the MUslim Brotherhood was the coming big thing in the Arab world, and decided to back it. Because, hey, it kinda worked in Turkey, right? Regardless of the fact that in each country it’s different. So they were happy with Morsi, who was going to be OK for them, like Erdogan, right? Because, you know, he’s from the MB. And we’ll back the Syrian armed insurection, because, hey, isn’t it a Brotherhood thing?

    So when Morsi leapt straight away at total power for his movement, unlike what transpired in Turkey and Tunisia, the US didn’t know what to do. They gave him weak, lame backing, tried to persuade the 15% of the population Christians not to join the demonstration, and were roundly ignored. When they realised the game was up for him, they gave a lukewarm assent to the coup. As a result they’ve managed to alienate all sides, the secularists and Christians think, rightly, they backed Morsi as much as they could, the MB think they were betrayed by them, and the new regime doesn’t know were they stand. A civil war is still not out of the question.

    It’s another shockingly inept diplomatic clusterf*ck in the ME.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Wallerstein’s bottom line:

        Of course there will be some, indeed many, who will argue that these are false choices. One can, and should be, simultaneously against the Islamists, the armies, and the United States. But in practice, there are often moments when one has to choose priorities. So the question remains total.

        This debate about the priority enemy is a large part of what explains the relative weakness of left forces in these struggles. They are divided in their analyses. They are therefore divided in their short-term and even middle-term objectives. And worse still, many left individuals and groups seem aware of this, which leads to a creeping pessimism and therefore a creeping withdrawal from militant politics.

        The alternative to this self-disabling of the left is to engage in more open and comradely debate within the left. And this can only be done if the left realizes that the world right represents as large a panorama of forces and analyses as the world left. And once again, I say that this comradely debate has to be done within the framework of a world transition from a capitalist system to something else, yet to be determined. If the left loses the bigger battle, it will have first of all itself to blame.


        1. F. Beard

          And once again, I say that this comradely debate has to be done within the framework of a world transition from a capitalist system to something else, yet to be determined.

          Yeah, let’s chuck the baby with the bath water when the solution is to take “Equity” and “sharing” literally when it comes to private money creation. But since when has the Left had a problem with theft so long as they were in charge of it?

  13. Hate to Sounds Heartless

    Post constitutional America – does that include “investors” who are allowed to supercede human rights?

    1. RanDomino

      Why would you expect them to do more than “implore”? They and their readers are nothing but privileged-ass middle-class fucks. It doesn’t really matter to them what happens to the economy or government- they’ll be fine either way. So they’re perfectly free to pooh-pooh the violence and exploitation of the system, in order to maintain their moral cleanliness, even while being the beneficiaries of that violence and exploitation.

  14. brian

    Re: “Science and Social Control: Political Paralysis and the Genetics Agenda”

    This is an awful, awful article. The author, Latham, totally misrepresents the scientific paper he discusses, Rietveld et al. 2013.

    Briefly, your educational achievement is around 60% upbringing and 40% genes (showed using twin studies). The authors of the paper wanted to find some of the underlying genetic causes and they used a very new analysis technique. It is early days in these analyses and they are very difficult to perform.

    It actually worked and they found a few contributing genetic variants. But they only found a couple, and there are many more to discover.

    The fallacy of the linked article is that it claims that because the authors of the paper didnt find everything then there is nothing to find. This is dumb, absence of evidence does not mean evidence of absence.

    A quick google shows that the author “Latham” is not experienced in this new technique and probably just doesn’t understand his own error.

    1. LucyLulu

      Twin studies (raised in different families) have also demonstrated genetic links to alcoholism, depression and bipolar disorder, contrary to Latham’s claims. There are also quite a few physical ailments that run in families, not tied to similar environmental or psychosocial factors, e.g high cholesterol despite low to normal weight, sickle cell anemia, Tay-Sach’s, etc.

      Agreed that genetic factors are hardly the sole contributing factor, but they likely play a role. It’s premature to discount them completely just as it would be foolish to ignore factors such as economic status, family support, social and community resources, availability of mentors, luck, etc.

    2. diane

      The fallacy of the linked article is that it claims that because the authors of the paper didn’t find everything then there is nothing to find.

      It claims nothing of the sort. What Dr. Latham’s piece notes, is that – given there was not nearly enough scientific verification to even begin to make the ugly case being made by tho$e who stand to benefit from it, specifically – the ugly ca$e being made that:

      Variations in individual “educational attainment” (essentially, whether students complete high school or college) can… be attributed to inherited genetic differences.

      has not been proven in the least; and, that one can actually conclude that there was an ugly (and certainly historically popular) motivation going on as to how the results of that study were ‘framed’ and even the motivations for the study itself.

      I particularly appreciated the following:

      … that just brings the question back one stage further: why is the US government funding excessively genetic determinist projects such as this in the first place?

      The probable answer is that the US education system has many problems, which are exemplified by its low rankings on international scales. There is a danger that blame for these problems might be laid at the door of the secretary for education, the administration, or the President. This possibility could be neatly sidestepped, however, if educational attainment was genetically fated.

      Essentially the same political logic applies to any human disease or disorder, or even any social complaint. If the disorder, for example autism, can be shown (or even just suggested) to have a partial genetic origin then a barn door is opened for any accused vaccine maker, or polluter, or policymaker, to evade the blame–both legally and in the perception of the public.

      This opportunity within biology to make inequality (not just of wealth) look ‘natural’ has been recognized for a long time. Harvard Geneticist Richard Lewontin summed it up his 1992 book ‘The Doctrine of DNA: Biology as Ideology’:

      “The notion that the lower classes are biologically inferior to the upper classes…… meant to legitimate the structures of inequality in our society by putting a biological gloss on them”

      Extreme genetics

      Recognition that this reasoning aligns the interests of both corporations and governments has coincided with the extraordinary funding opportunities for scientists willing to apply DNA analysis and genomic approaches to vast areas of mental and physical health. Precise figures are not available, but over the last fifteen years close to half the budget of the NIH has gone to genetic analysis of human populations. That is likely in excess of $100 billion dollars in the US alone.

      The financial outlay is ongoing: the same SSGAC consortium is also researching the possibility of genetic factors in “subjective well-being” (happiness) and “fertility”. Furthermore, the scope of the search for genetic predispositions is widening. In 2004 science writer John Horgan noted that (unsuccessful) searches have been made for “genes for”

      “attention-deficit disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, manic depression, schizophrenia, autism, dyslexia, alcoholism, heroin addiction, high IQ, male homosexuality, sadness, extroversion, introversion, novelty seeking, impulsivity, violent aggression, anxiety, anorexia, seasonal affective disorder, and pathological gambling.”

      Since he compiled that list the field of “behavioral economics” has been added to the list of genetic searches considered worthy of public support. For example, a 2013 publication in the journal PLOS one (with 68 authors) goes by the title “The Molecular Genetic Architecture of Self-Employment” (van der Loos et al. 2013). Meanwhile, the US National Human Genome Research Institute last year put out a call for evidence asking geneticists to support a search for predispositions to “behavioral adherence” to expert advice (i.e. compliance).

      Thus there is operating within the disciplines of medicine, public health, social science, and now economics, a research framework that, if successful, would locate the causes of negative human outcomes internally. At fault will be genes and not circumstances. It is an officially sanctioned and scientific version of “blame the victim”.


      (bolding mine.)

      As to A quick google shows that the author “Latham” is not experienced in this new technique and probably just doesn’t understand his own error. Are you experienced in this new technique?Dr. Latham’s qualifications, what exactly are yours)

      1. diane

        Correction to the last paragraph (sighhhhhh …. , haste (NANOSECONDRY!!!!!!), does make waste …. it detracts from the significance of a point one might want to make):

        As to A quick google shows that the author “Latham” is not experienced in this new technique and probably just doesn’t understand his own error. Are you experienced in this new technique, Brian?

        What exactly are your qualifications, Brian – since you threw that spear at Dr. Latham – do you have a pony in the game?

      2. anon y'mouse

        his comments weren’t really relevant anyway. the man was not saying that there was nothing to find, just that the study they did (with the whole purpose of finding such correlation) found none, yet brushed up their results by highlighting the miniscule things that they did find which “might prove promising in the future”.

        he gave no critique of any substance to the main thrusts of the piece. he tried to tar it by saying the author was ignorant of some esoteric methodological issue. the larger questions should still concern everyone, as it is gov’t money being used to basically say that no one has any duty to anyone else for anything that goes wrong, since it’s all fated by birth.

        1. diane

          Yeah, brian’s comments weren’t relevant hon, … I believe they were disingenuous, to say the very, very least.

          What outraged me though: …. “brian” made those comments appear to possibly be relevant for anyone who didn’t have the time to read the – very important and relevant as to subject matter – article he so viciously slammed.

  15. Government Snitch

    If one wants to work for Booze Allen, one needs a security clearance. The average bloke assumes that this is a careful process of evaluation, an important process of validation, undertaken by the Guv’mint. Sure it is, if we consider Booze the Guv’mint. We pretend to validate, when we forcibly exclude. In the old days the negros and homosexuals or vietnamese civilians were considered terrorists. Now it’s whether you can pay loan sharks back, in addition to your politics. Remember when someone suggested validating (lining ’em up to see how much money they have) homeowners to see whether they deserve housing? Yep, same thing. Where’s Fat Beard? It’s an old interpretation of the following:
    “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God”

  16. jjmacjohnson

    Author of the article “The Progressive Principle of Collective Punishment” does the same thing to progressive’s that Atkin’s does to Southerners.

  17. diane

    A ‘belated’ response to Bagehot by-the-Bay.rtf here; regarding calling the Law Industry when the Law threatens to break down the door to your home, …. your, quite humble, ‘abode.’

  18. Bunk McNulty

    Re: Embassy closings and credible threats:

    “Be afraid! Be very afraid! Be grateful that we have this important information even though we’re not going to tell you where we got it, and if it wasn’t for that damned Snowden fellow gumming up the works we wouldn’t have to create this crisis in the first place. Now quit being such a nosey-parker or we’ll come to your house and ask you about pressure cookers.”

  19. rich

    The “New Economy” Is The No Jobs Economy — Paul Craig Roberts

    I take a simpler approach. I look at where the reported jobs are alleged to be. In the 21st century, the jobs created by “the world’s largest economy” have been lowly-paid, non-tradable, domestic service third world jobs.
    I have made this point monthly for many years, and it has had no effect on economists, policymakers, money managers, or financial markets, all of which continue in their make-believe world of make-believe reality.

    Here we go, one more time. Of the 161,000 reported private sector jobs gained in July, 157,000 or 97.5 percent, are in non-tradable domestic services. A non-tradable service is a job that produces services that cannot be exported, such as waitresses, bartenders, hospital orderlies, retail clerks, warehousemen.

    Before we go to the next category, ask yourself if you believe that in an economy that has had no recovery, in which there are no new manufacturing or construction jobs, in which the labor force participation rate is down, in which shopping center parking lots are far from full, stores with such a poor sales outlook would hire so many people in July?

    As former executives of the “banks too big to fail” and their proteges run the US Treasury, the financial regulatory agencies, and the Federal Reserve, US economic policy has been focused on bailing out the excessively large banks created by mindless deregulation. The purpose of US economic policy is to save the large banks from their bad bets on poorly understood new financial instruments in the gambling casino created by deregulation.

    The architects of financial deregulation, such as former Senator Phil Graham and President Bill Clinton were rewarded for their service with fortunes of their own. The free market dupes, who aided and abetted Bill and Phil and misrepresented the repeal of financial stability as a new beginning for laissez faire capitalism, still pretend that the crisis resulted from Congress requiring banks to make mortgage loans to poor black people who could not pay.

    The lack of reality in America is extreme. I do not believe anything like it has ever existed in the modern world. Essentially, no one in government or out understands anything.

    The combination of the power of vested interests with ideological thinking remote from empirical reality is destroying the US economy and the economic prospects of the American people. The employment profile of the US economy is increasingly that of a third world country. Economic security, except for the rich, has disappeared.

    keep believing…..

    1. ScottS

      Maybe Bezos will offer his services as an expert layout editor.

      From here:

      Jeff Bezos is an infamous micro-manager. He micro-manages every single pixel of Amazon’s retail site. He hired Larry Tesler, Apple’s Chief Scientist and probably the very most famous and respected human-computer interaction expert in the entire world, and then ignored every goddamn thing Larry said for three years until Larry finally — wisely — left the company. Larry would do these big usability studies and demonstrate beyond any shred of doubt that nobody can understand that frigging website, but Bezos just couldn’t let go of those pixels, all those millions of semantics-packed pixels on the landing page. They were like millions of his own precious children. So they’re all still there, and Larry is not.

    1. barrisj

      With an exception of a very small handful of writers/reporters
      (Dana Priest, Bill Arkin, Bart Gellman), the Post has really gone into the terlet in the last decade or so. The Editorial Page is pure Beltway propaganda, retailing received wisdom tenaciously, and, frankly, the Post has been coasting post-Watergate – so to speak – for much too long. It has ceased to be a difference-maker, save for the ocassional original work by Priest and Arkin on the National Security State, as the US government is now known as. What Bezos has in mind, who knows? Maybe he just wants to be a media mogul, a playa like Rupert Murdoch or the Sulzbergers, installing “his people” in the Editorial room, and simply using the paper as his personal Facebook page. Time will tell, but it’s no big loss to the newspaper world; the WaPo was a money-loser for the Post Co., as virtually all profits came from its “educational” side. Woodward-Bernstein, “All the President’s Men”, Ben Bradlee…so 70’s.

      1. barrisj

        Right, Larry Ellison buys one of the Hawaiian islands, Jeff Bezos buys a newspaper…just the Billionaire Boys Club disposing of loose cash and feeding an ego. What’s next, Marky Mark buying the town of Menlo Park to create Facebook City?

    1. AbyNormal

      i’ve visited fracking blogs and for many these payouts are NOT being fulfilled…but i’ll just bet gag orders will stand

      “… the forces of power, particularly corporate power, are impatient with what is adequate for a coherent community. Because power gains so little from community in the short run, it does not hesitate to destroy community for the long run.”
      Wes Jackson, Becoming Native to This Place
      (this quote also explains the long history of education & healthcare destruction)

  20. Ms G


    What’s the date when everyone here should start doing Google searches for pressure cookers, Al Qaeda, home-made bombs, radical islamist sermons, etc.

    Even if people have different “going on vacation” dates, there could be a main date with clusters of activity fore and aft.

    Think we have 10,000 in the NC peanut gallery (vocal and otherwise)?

  21. tuco

    Liger cubs may be cute now and a freak-show revenue stream later, but they are still bred into a miserable life of captivity and degradation…

    1. F. Beard

      Well, not for much longer. You know how many folks dream of a depopulated Earth except for them? Well, the depopulation is coming except it’s likely to INCLUDE them but spare humble folk who would never be so arrogant or presumptuous.

Comments are closed.