Links 9/21/13

US narrowly averted atomic disaster Guardian

Homeless Being Paid To Camp Out For iPhone 5C, 5S Associated Press

Three arrested after fist fight erupts outside California Apple store when homeless people hired to queue for HOURS to get new iPhone for other customers DIDN’T get paid Daily Mail

Contrast with: BlackBerry warns of near-$1bn loss Financial Times

How Close do You Live to America’s Dirtiest Power Plants? Bill Moyers

Is Colorado’s Fracking Industry at Threat from the Floods? OilPrice

House Extends Monsanto Protection Act Real News Network

Cat Paws Can Unlock the iPhone 5S Fingerprint Sensor Mashable. So is this going to revive the market for rabbits’ feet?

LinkedIn Customers Say Company Hacked Their E-Mail Contacts Bloomberg

Hacking U.S. Secrets, China Pushes for More Drones New York Times

The Crisis at Fukushima’s Unit 4 Demands a Global Take-Over Common Dreams (furzy mouse)

Norway abandons carbon capture plans BBC


Syria submits chemical weapons inventory Financial Times

Media Spins Syrian Chemical Disarmament Process Moon of Alabama

Is Capitalism to Blame for the Syrian War Drive? TruthOut (May S)

Bahrain arrests opposition leader; U.S. shrugs Washington Post (May S)

“Don’t Be Fooled, Says Israel, Bomb Iran Instead. Israeli official: ‘No more time for negotiations’ with Iran” Common Dreams (Doug Terpstra)

Greenpeace Ship Seized, Crew Taken Hostage by Russian Security Agents Common Dreams

Big Brother is Watching You Watch:

New Intel-Based PC’s Permanently Hackable Popular Resistance (Chuck L)

Brazil moves to shield data from US BBC

NSA Caught Illegally Spying on Americans and Keith Alexander’s Answer Is a Group Hug Marcy Wheeler

Volume stressed security firm’s clearance staff Washington Post

“Free Flow of Information Act” Targets Independent Journalism Activist Post (Devo)

The Crazy Party Paul Krugman. True only up to a point. First, crazy is a very good strategy. Kissinger promoted the idea of Nixon as crazy (before Watergate really did make him paranoid) to improve US bargaining leverage. What is more scary than a rabid crazy anti Commie with nukes? Second, when Obama had more power (as in was less lame-ducky) he used Republican craziness as his air cover for doing what he wanted to do. That rewarded and encouraged super extreme behavior.

White sororities admit black students at U. of Ala Associated Press. Wow, am I naive. I had no idea whites only sororities and fraternities still existed (I’m probably going to offend a lot of NC readers, but I don’t approve of them, which is one reason I generally don’t read news relating to them)

Cop Throws Family To Ground During Traffic Stop AOL Autos (Carol B)

Postal Service Makes Deals to Rescue New Deal-Era Murals Bloomberg

Study: Black People are Worse Off Financially Than Any Other Group in America Your Black World

Target to Hire 18,000 Fewer Seasonal Workers This Holiday Season; Expect Other Retailers to Do the Same Michael Shedlock (furzy mouse)

Cassidy: Will Anyone Hold Dimon Responsible for London Whale? New Yorker. Peter W: “I’d bet there’s not a lot of overlap between NC readership and the New Yorker. Interesting that attitudes like Cassidy’s seem to be working into the mainstream.”

Federal Reserve Program Is Socialism For The Rich DS Wright, Firedoglake (Carol B)

Senior Fed official weighs October taper if economic data improve Financial Times

White House rounding up support for Yellen to take reins at Fed Reuters

Yellen: Do men lack the aptitude for economics? New Yorker (Peter W)

The 1 weird thing you need to know about Janet Yellen Lambert. Ooh, Lambert brings his color coding to a new frontier!

Elites’ strange plot to take over the world Matt Stoller, Salon. Today’s must read. And Stoller is on a roll, see: The radical constitutional change everyone missed

Antidote du jour (Lance N):


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  1. kimyo

    “The development of full-scale carbon dioxide capture at Mongstad is discontinued,” Norway’s oil and energy ministry said.

    A report by Norway’s Auditor General this week criticized the Norwegian state’s total spending of 7.4 billion crowns on carbon capture and storage projects from 2007-12.

    The media attention on the Mongstad scandal in 1988 was enormous, and was front-page material almost daily. The tabloid newspapers battled fiercely in trying to visualise the, at the time, almost unimaginable size of NOK 6 billion. The sum was creatively recalculated in kindergarten places, retirement home places, fighter jets etc. For years the term one mong was used as a synonym for the number 6 billion.

    errrm – ‘another ~mong bites the dust?’?


    US President Barack Obama has unveiled a proposal to limit carbon emissions on new power plants built in the US.

    According to the plan outlined by Ms McCarthy, new gas-fired power plants would be limited to 1,000lb (450kg) of carbon dioxide emissions per megawatt hour. New coal-powered plans would be limited to 1,100lb.

    To meet the standard, coal plants would need to install new carbon capture technology.

    how will we know we’ve won the war on carbon? is there a metric? or is it just another un-ending, non-defined, ‘war on terror’?

    1. susan the other

      just another reason in a very long list of reasons why capital (assets, anticipated interest, cash flow, productivity gains, etc) are all nonsense compared to the problems we face…. think fukushima

    2. anon y'mouse

      they can’t keep oil from spilling when they suck it out, so why should they be able to keep gas from leaking when they pump it back in?

      this maneuver has always seemed a boondoggle to me.

    3. Crazy Horse

      Several years ago a high level conference entitled “Energy and our Future” was held at Jackson Hole. Then Wyoming governor Fruendenthal called for a 12 billion dollar per year “Manhattan Project” to develop carbon capture (and ensure that Wyoming’s coal industry would continue on to infinity). I asked him how long it would take for 50% of the US coal production to convert to carbon capture if his proposal were funded immediately.

      His answer: “I have no idea!” Imagine that. An honest politician!

  2. from Mexico

    @ “Is Capitalism to Blame for the Syrian War Drive?”

    That is a stellar article, written by someone who understands how captialism, empire, and realpolitic actually work, and isn’t falling-down drunk on the Adam Smith KoolAid.

    1. Whistling in the Dark

      It’s great, but it would be much better with more specifics. E.g.: “This pipeline” or “that oil field” versus “capitalism.”

  3. Ned Ludd

    “Because of fear of detention, @ggreenwald & @laurapoitras cannot be here in US to accept Pioneer awards given to them by @eff tonight.”” – – Xeni Jardin, co-editor of Boing Boing.

    The U.S. government has long targeted radicals; Greenwald, though, is far –from a radical. He is basically an old-fashioned muckraking journalist and a principled liberal reformer (which are hard to find nowadays). He is not advocating an end to capitalism or even a dismantling of the NSA and the other intelligence services. If anything, he is protective of NSA covert agents.

    Glenn Greenwald: Should we dump stuff with covert agents & informants? Stuff that lets other govts spy better?

    Andrea Shepard: Why blanket protect their covert agents? They aren’t all in danger of their lives.

    Andrea Shepard: All those people they have in NIST or IETF are just going to be justifiably never trusted again if outed.

    The fact that journalists, with what appear to be extraordinarily mild reformist goals, have to stay out of the U.S., for fear of detention, is really, really scary. I am not sure if the “slow motion military coup†” that Yves has referred to is so much underway, as it is fait accompli.

    † Or national security state coup.

      1. Whistling in the Dark

        I mean, the specifics, which are admittedly harder to come by — the full story itself — is what I would like. Now, the only way to get there may be extrapolation from what is known. And perhaps general discussions of that sort could help get one there. For instance, what do you suppose “capitalism” means to the capitalists. I posit, as a starting place, “Greed is good.” Now, I would need to marshal some evidence…

        1. Whistling in the Dark

          But, really, my cry is for a very specfic and researched history or biography of current events. Hey, throw in the future, while you’re at it. Or you know, various hypotheses, contingencies. Just dreamin’ over here. … Total information awareness would be nice. Er, really, I guess I feel that it’s nice reading an article which echoes my own sense of things, but I am yearning for some harder stuff which will serve to convince others — or at least inform them!!

    1. Schofield

      Food adulteration now enshrined in law by Congress? Corruption of the governmental system can’t get more basic than that!

  4. craazyman

    “I’m probably going to offend a lot of NC readers, but I don’t approve of them . . .” -Yves Smith

    Well then, it’s a good thing we’re not ultra-sensitive.

    1. David Lentini

      I never thought of NC readers being inclined to frats and sororities myself, so I was surprised by Yves’s comment. So too about the New Yorker. I’ve been a subscriber for many years, and I read NC every day. Agreed that the quality of the magazine is deteriorating, but it still comes up with good reporting I find consistent with NC.

      1. PQS

        That comment grabbed me as well.
        I must be in the wrong neighborhood if Yves’ readers think segregated Greeks are A-OK. But I’ve never seen such an inclination amongst the commenters. Whew.

      2. PQS

        OK, now I reread her comment. Makes more sense. Not segregated, but Greeks in general.

        Hoookay. It’s early on the west coast.

    2. Paul Tioxon

      Yea, well I’m sensitive, how dare you flush up memories from my halcyon days at ole Tappa Keg! Ah yes, and the girls from Felta Thi, good times… good times.

      1. anon y'mouse

        they always sounded like “instant friends, just add hazing” to me. forming an artificial network for –need to belong– reasons rather than natural affinity and real relationships.

        but heck, NETWORKING!! *barf

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Yes, that was a one of the few places where my copy editor for ECONNED did something really important. I’m super sloppy about reference with pronouns, as your catch demonstrates!

  5. Skeptic

    Elites’ strange plot to take over the world Matt Stoller, Salon.

    From that article:

    “…global free trade agreements that subordinate national court systems…”

    National court systems are increasingly recognizing each others’ judgements even though they are made in different countries. In Canada, for instance:

    “Americans can go to Ontario’s courts and successfully enforce judgments obtained in the USA. In Canada, Ontario courts recognize an American court’s jurisdiction over an Ontario defendant and enforce foreign judgments against that defendant if there is a “REAL AND SUBSTANTIAL CONNECTION” between the Ontario defendant and the American jurisdiction in which judgment has been obtained. ”

    So, for example, if you Buck Canuck, get in a beef in Florida with a well connected Bubba who gets a judgement against you from a Bubba Court, you are on the hook! Just another reason to be careful and limit your transactions when in Dodge.

    As we go down the Diminished Rule Of Law Road, this can only get worse. Simply put, you only need to corrupt one national court not all of them. Much more efficient and less expensive.

      1. susan the other

        It was a really good article by Matt Stoller. Yes we have been under the influence of the Atlanticists for almost a century. I didn’t object too much to the whole idea until Sarkozy sent the French jets to bomb Libya while holding a press conference extolling the virtues of the non-conflict society. Really Sarko? Just what the hell are you talking about? Well, so the whole idea foundered. It will take an act of god, a true fiat, to bring it into reality. Peter Dale Scott was the first person I read who referred to the Deep State and he implied it was NATO. Makes sense. But clearly if it was NATO, then LBJ’s decision to go into Vietnam would indicate that he was pro the Atlantic Alliance – so did he pretend he was not?

        1. Antifa

          If only some divinity were involved, but no. It will not take an act of God to start war in Syria. It’s perfectly clear now that it will take an act of Israel — the bombing of Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities.

          Israel took out Iraq’s reactor in the Eighties, and took out Syria’s reactor a couple years back, because Israel fears dirty bombs will be their reward for tolerating Muslim reactors. Israel has made it more than clear that they will not permit Iran or any other Muslim nation in the Middle East to enrich uranium or to run reactors.

          So one fine morning when the weather’s good, Israel will up and bomb Iran’s facilities. Iran will shoot back, Hezbollah will flood northern Israel with missiles, Israel will shoot back and we will get pulled in, then away we go with war raging across the Middle East with Syria will just be an afterthought thrown into the mix.

          1. Roland

            Iran’s too far away. The Israeli attack aircraft might be stealthy but the tankers they need for refuelling are not stealthy. The Iranians would get early warning.

            Iran’s nuclear facilities are dispersed and some of them are well-fortified. The Israelis cannot make a surprise attack on a sufficient scale to destroy Iran’s nuclear programme. In the absence of surprise, the Israelis don’t have a big enough air force to sustain the sort of prolonged aerial bombing campaign that would be necessary. Short form: impracticable.

            Iranian counter-intelligence has so far been reasonably successful in denying the Israelis the sort of information they need to do proper target selection. The Israelis don’t have the network on the ground in Iran that they would need to evaluate the success of their strikes.

            Contrast the situation Israel enjoyed when attacking the Iraqi nuclear programme: that time, not only did the Israelis turn one of the lead Iraqi scientists, the Israelis also got detailed plans from French contractors working on the project. The Israelis were also able to infiltrate a ground team to help attacking aircraft achieve accurcy.

            Evidently none of those things apply in Iran.

            Have you ever known the Israelis to hesitate in bombing anybody? Have you even known the Israelis to make such loud protestations?

            The reason the Israelis are bitching so much about Iran is that it would be too risky and too costly for Israel to attack Iran. The Israelis need the USA to attack the Iranians on their behalf. Hence all the whingeing.

            In the event of an American war with Iran, the Israeli intention is merely to attack southern Lebanon again. That’s a country closer, smaller, cheaper and tastier for the Israelis.

  6. Wyndtunnel

    I don’t recall reading that RIMM was in cahoots with the NSA. Could this be partly responsible for their failure? You’d think they could leverage their NSA free network to people and businesses that would rather not be surveilled.

  7. Swedish Lex

    On the “Elites’ plot to take over the world”
    The U.S. had won WWII and effectively dominated the word. Inadvertedly, mostly, the US had already become world leader. Therefore there was no need for a plot, as the title suggests. Merely a need to organise the post-war world. According to national interest, of course. Perfectly normal for the victor in a conflict.

    Unless “the West” had organised to dominate as best it could, the top dog position had been taken by someone else. By the Soviet empire. Now, the Chinese are back and have an inherent need for expansion and domination that automatically follows with size and power. The Roman Empire all over again. The Romans did not set out to dominate the world, as the Brits did not. But the virus of Empire infects all those that have managed to breed enough conquests and domination. It snowballs.

    “The West” now has a choice. Status quo, i.e. gradually hand over the top dog position to the Chinese (and embark on crazy things like wars in Iraq and Afghanistan), or team up again.

    I am not saying that anything of this is good or desirable. But until there is world governance by a force that is more benevolent than not, these feuds for domination will continue.

    Or move to Switzerland.

    1. from Mexico

      • Swedish Lex says:

      The U.S. had won WWII and effectively dominated the word…. Therefore there was no need for a plot, as the title suggests. Merely a need to organise the post-war world. According to national interest, of course. Perfectly normal for the victor in a conflict.

      I could not disagree more vehemently.

      The rentier-oligarchs who have gained a near-monopoly of political power in the United States don’t give a rat’s ass about the national interest. The only interest they care about is their own.

      And they believe, rightly or wrongly, that the best way to further their own self-interest is in an alliance with other rentier-oligarchs from other countries, in a global alliance.

      • Swedish Lex says:

      Unless “the West” had organised to dominate as best it could, the top dog position had been taken by someone else. By the Soviet empire.

      I don’t disagree with this statement as vehemently as I do with the first, but I tend to gravitate toward the position Scott Noble elaborated in his latest video documentary, The Power Principle:

      #1. The Cold War was not just a struggle between the Soviet Union and the United States; the real struggle was between American corporations and the Third World.

      #2. Top policy planners in the US and other Western nations were acutely aware that the Soviet Union had a conservative foreign policy. You can see this in numerous declassified documents. Nevertheless, the American government engaged in what can only be described as a campaign of terrorism against the American people, constantly invoking the “Soviet Menace” to justify military spending and war.

      Obviously I’m conflicted on this point, and get caught up between the competing positions of Noble and Reinhold Neibuhr, who believed the Soviet Union did constitute an existential threat to the US.

      • Swedish Lex says:

      Now, the Chinese are back and have an inherent need for expansion and domination that automatically follows with size and power. The Roman Empire all over again. The Romans did not set out to dominate the world, as the Brits did not. But the virus of Empire infects all those that have managed to breed enough conquests and domination. It snowballs.

      “The West” now has a choice. Status quo, i.e. gradually hand over the top dog position to the Chinese (and embark on crazy things like wars in Iraq and Afghanistan), or team up again.

      Well again, we have to ask: “Would the true aggressor please stand up?” Andreas von Bülow has a very different response to that question than you:

      The agenda follows the line laid out in the Project New American Century formula for aggressive American policy. It aims at securing the military, financial, economic, cultural, cyberspace superiority in and above all continents. It calls for not for less but for more troops to unleash pre-emptive wars where threats might be found behind horizons. We have the anathema for any thinking of a balance of forces.

      When President Eisenhower denounced the military industrial complex as the destroyer of democracy in the United States he argued about the beginning of a dangerous process. It has never been stopped and it is probably entering its final stage. The Romans couldn’t sustain the burden. How long will it take for the US? _Without any rebellion from within the American political system there seems no fast track to change the course of the Hegemon.

      • Swedish Lex says:

      I am not saying that anything of this is good or desirable. But until there is world governance by a force that is more benevolent than not, these feuds for domination will continue.

      Or move to Switzerland.

      Well again, von Bülow posits a very different solution to the dilemma than you do:

      Now would some people suggest, that it is necessary and even wise to have only one global policeman with a bigger stick than all other policemen? And this should be the respective administration in Washington?. Perhaps it might be wise to think about it. But after 9/11 we have a policeman, who is not restrained any longer by law, national or international, who is allowed to torture, torture witnesses to get largely false confessions. We observe a policeman acting on the basis of biased, interested if not corrupted information. And not willing to consult with other nations. So the answer must be: No to a monopolized policeman. A policeman being the biggest military, financial and economic power on Earth with overwhelming interests to use its law enforcement as cover for enforcing new military bases on all continents and the aim to secure for its industrial and financial conglomerates the resources wherever they are found is not what we all are aiming at.

      Most of our industrialized nations rely on the free market forces to gain access to energy and other resources. There is no need to occupy these resources and watch the access by a military apparatus with a price tag of 430 billion dollars a year. This is the dream of the military industrial complex and the Bush-Administration as they brush aside the most stringent emergencies of the poorest quarter of the American people.

      To organize peace we have to peacefully engineer a new global balance mostly on other fields than military. To challenge the Hegemon by initiating new arms races will lead nowhere. China and perhaps Russia may go this way up to the limits of their economic strength and realizing that the extension of territory as well as huge populations are a force per se.

      But in the field of information, finances, trade, technology, culture and law the offending unilateralism will lead to more and more isolation. The change of the public attitude against the Bush administration is running deep in Europe, notwithstanding a normally very sympathetic feeling to the American people in general.

      Brzezinski is right in observing the unsurpassed influence of the United States in economics, finances, military, culture etc.. It would be so easy to use this influence together with allies around the globe in a wise and outbalanced way. The Bush-Cheney crew has decided otherwise.

        1. Swedish Lex

          At least there seems to be no dispute on the “or move to Switzerland” part :)

          The starting point was whether there was a “plot”, or a conspiracy, to take over the world. Sometimes conspiracies for coup d’états do actually occur, but when it comes to the post WWII, and later the world of the Cold War, those historic periods are so enormously complex that it is almost impossible to frame them without over-simplification or categorizations that leave out too much to provide a basis for a more comprehensive understanding.

          Yes, one can say that the post WWII world was designed by the “rentier-oligarchs” working together in an organised, globalised, fashion. I would prefer the term “elites”, however, since most, if not all, societies are governed by the elites with or without some kind and degree of accountability. But the “elite” or “East/West” perspectives do not suffice. Europe then and now is marked along ethnic visible or invisible borders too. The various brands of religion also play a role, as do other factors such as access to natural resources, etc.

          One leading force all through history is, I believe, the inherent quest of and between communities/groups/tribes/ethnicities/nations/ideologies/religions for domination. Domination as a reflex and not necessarily as a thought trough strategy, in order to have the best chances to persevere, perhaps or probably at the expense of the dominated. The Romans kept on expanding their empire to satisfy their need for slaves, taxes and natural resources. Inside the Empire, there was a modern economic and legal system that allowed the elites to thrive. Once the empire stopped expanding, it began to fall together.

          The different forms in which a country (or whatever unit you are looking at) defines its method for domination, or at least for avoiding being dominated, is the national interest.

          The Vatican is probably the most successful multinational service corporation in history. What a brand and what a business model; Eternal Bliss! The modern multinational corporation is merely the most recent expression of what has been around for a long time. The Soviet Communist Party was another multinational and there is no doubt in my mind that if the Soviets had believed that they could have managed world domination, without nuclear risking annihilation, they would have gone for it. The same way that Sweden would have loved to destroy Peter the Great’s army in order to dominate the region, but failed to do.

          Must stop here. Have to go. /Lex

      1. craazyboy

        Update: defense budget is now $600B+

        Also, the US is guaranteed to lose the arms race. Already an Indian-Russian partnership is building a cruise missile 4X faster than Tomahawk and the latest Chinese fighter plane may rival anything the US has. When Asia goes into mass production on arms for the export market, the only thing the US is guaranteed of is we will have the most EXPENSIVE military in the world.

        1. Roland

          Do not underestimate the margin of military superiority enjoyed by the USA. That margin of superiority is not only very wide, but there are entire categories of operations which are feasible for the USA, but which Russia, China, or India dare not attempt.

          Only one power in the world has global military projection capability whether on sea, on land, or in the air: USA.

          Only one power in the world has practical capacity to wage anti-satellite warfare: USA.

          Only one power in the world has been intensively developing anti-ballistic missile technology for over 30 years: USA. Regarding BMD, I know that most news reports and most pundits usually talk about failed tests. But ask yourself if such reports are genuine, or planted in the media. Ask yourself why five presidents, from both parties, have continued developments unabated through three decades.

          Only one power has had a recent decade of constant combat experience: USA.

          From the standpoint of the globalist bourgeoisie, the USA is a proven enforcer of last resort. No other country’s armed forces have such a track record of crushing people, anywhere on the planet, who dare oppose or obstruct the designs of global capital.

          The USA is a high-cost proivider of Global Enforcement Services, but they are a well-proven provider. The entry cost threshold to the marketplace of Global Enforcement Services is very high. The lead times to enter that market are very long (i.e. over 20 years for most weapons systems, from specification to deployment). It takes time to develop reputation and credibility–the “branding,” as it were–which are important to the globalist bourgeois customers of Global Enforcement Services.

          The main thing that would undermine the USA’s near-monopoly status in the Global Enforcement Services market would be a falling out among different elements of the globalist bourgeoisie.

          Some of the world’s bourgeois might suspect that the USA will abuse its Enforcement Services monopoly to deprive some elements of the global bourgeoise of their precious class status, reducing them to pathetic compradores. Fearing this loss of status, some national bourgeoisies may be driven to find innovative, cost-effective solutions to their Enforcement Services problems.

          1. craazyboy

            Thanks for the update Captain America.

            Do you have the financial data – income statement and balance sheet – for this Global Enforcement Services corporation? Are you sure they operate in Asia? (ex-japan, I mean)

            I think I’d like to buy stock in the place. Do they pay a dividend? How’s growth been so far? Do they have any competition in the US market?

  8. psychohistorian

    I read both of the pieces from Matt Stoller and came away nonplussed by his contextualization of many things.

    In one of the articles he writes about how the allies defeated the fascists in WWII. If the Bush family sold stuff to Hitler then did we really defeat the fascists?…..and isn’t that what we really have today, so WTF point is being made here or is it more obfuscation to hide the class system in the “Western” world countries and ongoing and unfettered inheritance that enables it to continue?

    Where is the screed that historically puts global inherited plutocracy at its core and describes what has transpired from that context?….oh, that’s right, anyone attempting that effort probably would not live to complete the work, if they could sus out the details and players.

    Please, please, please let there be a Snowden that has captured and shares the machinations of the global plutocrats/families that continue to rule our world.

    1. from Mexico

      Stoller was once on the inside as a congressional aid. Is he still?

      If so, or if he still has those sorts of aspirations, that may explain why he is pulling his punches.

      But that’s why folks like you exist, to stake out a more subversive position and try to move the center in a more positive direction.

      1. psychohistorian


        If it is a subversive person I am, then I am proud of it….but I think there is a bit of Overton window in your use of that term.

        I would proudly be a martyr to the cause of structurally changing the global inheritance rules….to the benefit of the 99%.

        I have meaning to my life now instead of my bike saddle invention and the breath exercise I have recently innovated to heal from PTSD…….LOL!

        Onward, into the breech!

      2. Otter

        We don’t need to wonder about Stoller’s aspirations.

        That he was a congressional aid (which is not all that much “inside”) says a lot about his initial world view and knowledgebase. We can probably guess about what he learned there.

        Would he learn… be allowed to discover… american realpolitik? Would the people he worked for know?

  9. psychohistorian


    I beg of you for entertainment sake to speak to the latest rantings by our leader in chief about how the US is NOT a banana republic….grin

    Methinks he doth protest too much, eh? Why, I can see the US dollar bubble growing from my back porch….

  10. tyler

    House Extends Monsanto Protection Act. In related news, the sun rose this morning.

    Naw, but seriously, what is wrong with our country? What are we going to do to prevent a 2016 matchup of Hillary vs. Paul Ryan? We have got to do better than this, but it seems the only people who can afford to run as an independent are billionaires. Perhaps we should recruit Jon Huntsman? I think he’d be a conciliatory president, which would be great.

  11. kj1313

    From now on Lambert must color code every article he posts :) . It actually makes it easier to explain to others all the nefarious BS that is currently polluting our politics

    1. Otter

      No worries!

      Except for a few which the Russians will make for themselves somewhere in the Urals, they will all be made in one megafactory in China. The Red Army will pay $2 each. The Pentagon will pay $2 + shipping + $1000000 each.

      They will even change their colors when they turn their coats.

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Socialsm for the Rich – Firedoglake.

    Why can’t we be more straightforward – it’s called droit de seigneur.

    The rich get ‘virgin’ new money from the Fed…always. We get what they throw away.

    1. F. Beard

      The rich get ‘virgin’ new money from the Fed…always. We get what they throw away. Beffy

      But don’t you oppose a universal bailout of the rest of us with new fiat? Because like any good conservative you oppose “money printing?”

        1. subgenius

          He may be a great physicist, but he knows bollox about the brain.

          “I think the brain is like a programme in the mind, which is like a computer, so it’s theoretically possible to copy the brain on to a computer and so provide a form of life after death.

          “However, this is way beyond out present capabilities. I think the conventional afterlife is a fairy tale for people afraid of the dark.”


          This is from a physicist…but even biologists cannot understand the brain (I know, I studied postgrad neuroscience etc…once upon a not-that-long-ago…as a prelude to postgrad AI).

          “Computer program”? here’s a “thought-experiment”…if you code a computer to “understand” water…what is it’s terms of reference? Answer: random bits with no more “meaning” than any other…otoh, how do YOU (or any living entity on planet earth) understand water? Answer: direct experience of it’s qualities…you die if you dehydrate too much, you drown if submerged long enough, it feels wet, etc etc etc…

          It’s yet another case of VERY subject-specific knowledge apparently giving the right to pontificate on shit you know little/nothing about…

          And that’s ignoring the issues with non-computationally tractable problems, which are abundant in the real world…

        2. F. Beard

          Hawking once asserted that time would run backwards if the universe ever contracted.

          Plausible but wrong as he later admitted.

          Please psycho, you’re out of your league with this topic because I’m a Christian who finds the movie “AI” plausible (Because consciousness is inherent in matter? So we really are dust even wrt to our mind?)

          “AI” is a dang fine tear-jerker too including the ending and any one who disagrees I pity.

          What were we talking about?

  13. Ron

    Brazil moves to shield data from US:

    read this article the other day on another site, shows the concern other Nations have with U.S. spying activities probably driven more from there elite’s who are involved in world wide trade and want to protect there financial interests but its does show a direction that may gain influence to shield countries from U.S.

  14. ambrit

    Re. the Post Office Murals piece: I remember seeing one of those in a front room of the St Tammany Parish Louisiana School Board offices on New Hampshire Street in Covington La. Quite a nice example of Social Realism Art from the Thirties. I remember being the only person in the building who was at all interested in the mural. For all I know it’s still there, gracing the wall of someones’ office. Now that’s a perk!

  15. ambrit

    I just read the Guardian piece about the Goldsboro Atom Bomb Fall Out and noticed the author, Ed Pilkington. Any relation to the often read here Philip Pilkington? Somehow, I wouldn’t be surprised.

  16. Paul Tioxon

    Stoller’s piece of writing is one bolstered by a review of the US Congressional Record, which has much of our nation’s recent history just hiding in plain sight. Of course, not everyone naively reads the reading list in every class, silly me, how was I supposed to know? But, Matt sure does look at the record in black and white and unsurprising to the students of political and economic history finds an Elite plot. And for good reason. While I no longer see plots, conspiracy and wicked schemes, I do recognize the generational rediscovery of facts that appeal in way that received from previous generations can never compete with.

    I would like to add that there are, for simplicity’s sake, 2 strains of plot discovery in American politics that is not the result of paranoia, but observation. Let’s take a sample from the American New Left. “THE YANKEE COWBOY WAR: CONSPIRACIES FROM DALLAS TO WATERGATE” BY CARL OGLESBY

    He sees among the elites, a political faultline, that is real, and distinguishes itself as the NorthEastern Liberal Establishment, The Kennedys, The Rockefellers, aka Yankee and the South and SouthEastern up and comers, with the Koch Brothers and their father, the Cowboy. You could also call it Sunbelt vs Rustbelt, but again, this is for simplicities sake. Relevant to Stoller’s discussion is the Internationalist orientation of the NorthEasterners and the USA USA USAism of the pure bred All American. The differences can also, again for simplicities sake, be drawn between those whose wealth derives from a purely domestic power base of mineral, oil, gas and timber extraction and processing, and not export or trade and those that can expand their enterprises internationally, the best example being Wall St Banksters. Now, Haliburton has sailed from its moorings in the safe harbor of the continental US for Dubai. Which is why so many troops are in Qatar and Kuwait etc. But, the dawning of political awareness led to seeing the internationalist trend when analyzing domestic politics. But, this counter example comes decades after he first showed us the lay of the land.

    From the right, the John Birch society pushed the aptly title concept/book: “NONE DARE CALL IT CONSPIRACY” BY GARY ALLEN, INTER ALIA.

    The cooperation between the Soviets and the leaders of the Free World lead to the obvious conclusion that with more collusion than competition going, what was the Cold War all about then, if not a fight to the death with the commies? The ONE WORLDERS were thinly disguised commies, as was nearly everyone to one degree on another. Sen McCarthy told me so. But, the facts are there to see the internationalist movement boldly and openly expressing itself, or spitting in the face of freedom loving real Americans, depending on your politics.

    The World Federalist Movement has some important policy intersections with the current Obama Administration, that on the surface sound admirable. Submitted for your discussion, the brain child of the recently appointed Internationalist, American UN Representative, Samantha Powers. She is the chair of a real White House initiative which will help to decode the behavior of the foreign policy of the current administration.

    Tech Challenge for Atrocity Prevention

    In support of President Obama’s strategy for atrocity prevention, USAID and Humanity United launched the Tech Challenge for Atrocity Prevention to identify innovative applications of new and existing technologies to help prevent mass atrocities. Meet our second round winners!

    Obama Announces Atrocities Prevention Board: ‘Sovereignty Is Never A License To Slaughter Your Own People’


    Has Syria scuttled Samantha Power’s Atrocity Prevention Board?
    BY JOHN NORRIS | JULY 16, 2013

    With the confirmation hearings of Samantha Power to be the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations imminent, it is a good time to take a look at one of her signature projects from her tenure at the National Security Staff: the Atrocities Prevention Board.

    A little more than a year ago, President Barack Obama announced the creation of the Atrocities Prevention Board during an address at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, saying that this initiative would make the deterrence of genocide and mass atrocities “a core national security interest and core moral responsibility.”

    Both the president and Power seemed acutely aware of the challenges and risks of trying to develop an inter-agency atrocities prevention mechanism while the humanitarian tragedy continued to unfold in Syria — a conflict into which this administration has been reluctant to wade. Indeed, in many ways, the creation of the Atrocities Prevention Board, or APB, has felt a bit like trying to build a fire department in the middle of a three-alarm fire.

    The roots of the APB come from a bipartisan belief that the United States, in places like Rwanda and Bosnia, simply did not do enough to counter genocides and mass atrocities as they gathered force. The 2008 report from the Genocide Prevention Task Force, co-chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Secretary of Defense William Cohen, recommended the creation of a new high-level interagency body — what they called an Atrocities Prevention Committee — to improve U.S. government crisis-response systems and better equip Washington to mount coherent preventive responses.

    As Obama’s special advisor for multilateral affairs, an outspoken champion for human rights and genocide prevention, and the author of a Pulitzer Prize winning book on the U.S. government and genocide, Power was a natural fit to breathe life into the Genocide Prevention Task Force’s concept while at the National Security Staff (NSS)……….


    The use of International Courts for trying war criminals is a key aspect of World Federalism. Is American Soveignty up for negotiation? No, only a handful of nations have sovereignty, even your membership in NATO and Eurozone indicates otherwise. A nation recognized as such by other nations, and welcomed into the UN, does not make you a sovereign nation, not by right of the rule of law being thwarted, but by the fact that the social construct of national sovereignty was not for all, much like humanity was only a 3/5th proposition at best for African slaves in America. The high minded notions of this or that ideal were never meant for everyone, but for the elect, the royal, the aristocrat, the job creator and so on. These are awe inspiring ideals, but they don’t pay the rent or keep you employed long enough to hold onto your home and sanity. I would love to have the best and highest uses of civilization be of direct benefit to me and my family and surrounding community, but, alas, I know better, and that is not the case. Of course, that not being the case doesn’t mean that I do not continue to demand that it does and insist on acting by all means to extend as much of the high minded ideals into my life, along with as much of the benefit that I can extract in my lifetime.

    The cultural integration parallels the economic,financial and military integration with the sovereignty of the UK being beyond question. Witness a European power invading the Americas, fighting a war with Argentina, getting a free pass from the US Reagan Administration, all the while we swoon over princess Di, prince Charles and the queen mum’s stupid fucking hats! Who decided that we as a nation are so in love with British Royals. Why not the Spanish Royals, they are much hotter looking!

  17. Tim

    Why would Yves think she might offend NC readers by disapproving of whites-only policies?

    I can think of two honest reasons to exclude people by race:

    – You’re working on treatments for inherited diseases
    – You’re looking for actors to cast in a particular role

    Social organizations don’t seem to qualify, so if you’re excluding people by race for THAT, you’re probably just a jackass.

      1. lambert strether

        I’m sure she was. Adding, for myself: Fraternities and sororities are not really an INTJ thing…

    1. skippy

      @Tim… can we desist with Race nomenclature, as its utterance poisons the conversation – from its application – in the thought process.

      Ethnic origin is the apt word.

      skippy… just saying.

  18. rich

    Forbes Calls Goldman CEO Holier Than Mother Teresa

    I got a lot of letters from folks this week about an online column for Forbes written by a self-proclaimed Ayn Rand devotee named Harry Binswanger (if that’s a nom de plume, it’s not bad, although I might have gone for “Harry Kingbanger” or “Harry Wandwanker”). The piece had the entertainingly provocative title, “Give Back? Yes, It’s Time for the 99% to Give Back to the 1%” and contained a number of innovatively slavish proposals to aid the beleaguered and misunderstood rich, including a not-kidding-at-all plan to exempt anyone who makes over a million dollars from income taxes.

    This article is so ridiculous that normally it would be beneath commentary, but there’s a passage in there I just couldn’t let go:

    Imagine the effect on our culture, particularly on the young, if the kind of fame and adulation bathing Lady Gaga attached to the more notable achievements of say, Warren Buffett. Or if the moral praise showered on Mother Teresa went to someone like Lloyd Blankfein, who, in guiding Goldman Sachs toward billions in profits, has done infinitely more for mankind. (Since profit is the market value of the product minus the market value of factors used, profit represents the value created.)

    Instead, we live in a culture where Goldman Sachs is smeared as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity. . .”

    What a world we live in, where Mother Teresa wins more moral praise than Lloyd Blankfein! Who can bear living in a society where such a thing is possible? Quel horreur!

    It reads like an Onion piece, just hilarious stuff. I mean, Jesus, even Lloyd Blankfein himself didn’t go so far as to take the “God’s work” thing 100% seriously, and here’s this jackass saying, without irony, that the Goldman CEO literally out-God-slaps Mother Teresa.

    Read more:

    1. psychohistorian

      Wow, just Wow!

      I suspect, for a price, Rome could be encouraged to fast track sainthood for any and all GS leadership. If the price were really good they wouldn’t even have to die before getting sainthood.

      And Obama should get sainthood immediately for his “humanistic” drone program.

      That would quiet all those True believers……..

      1. craazyboy

        That is some exceptional piece of advertiser base butt kissing. The circulation of Forbes must be down to 2000 subscribers. Actually, I suspect most billionaires on the Forbes 400 list would puke after reading that, starting with Warren Buffet. Warren woulda never manhandled Mother Teresa like he did LLoyd Blankwanger.

        Besides, I think LLoyd looks more like the Penguin than Mother Teresa. On the other hand, The Vatican does look around for a Pope now and then.They have those catacombs where the Penqie would feel right at home.

    2. skippy

      The Mother Teresa – Loyd Lloyd Blankfein comparison is quite apt IMO. All the M/millions donated in the cause for kids went straight to the RCC coffers, whilst the kids didn’t even get an amount equal to the ROI on that sum.

      SO yes under that metric Loyd should become a Saint, he’s *Earned* it.

      skippy… Mother Teresa has be quoted, para phrasing, as saying the suffering was good for their little souls.

      1. F. Beard

        as saying the suffering was good for their little souls. skippy

        But not good for hers if she could have prevented it but didn’t! (cf. Lazarus and the rich man – Luke 16:19-31)

        1. skippy

          Your cognitive inability to perceive, after so much discussion and evidence, where myself stands on ex nihilo foundation myths – is – another pathological indicator.

          In addition your use of probability tools, trying to justify your personal views, is another sign ie. extractions within vacuums.

          Go fix the arsenic poison suffers in India after those thousands of wells were bored, go fix up all the stuff and then get back to me.

          Skippy… Until then – Fob Off – with your cheap words.

          1. F. Beard

            What? Did you wait till you thought I was vulnerable before lobbying that “FoB” at me? I extend a hand and you cut it off ala Tarus Bulba?

            I did not cause the suffering in India but how many widows and orphans have you created? Tending to them, are you?

          2. F. Beard

            Your cognitive inability to perceive, after so much discussion and evidence, where myself stands on ex nihilo foundation myths – is – another pathological indicator. skippy

            I was pointing out that Sister T’s theology is not consistent with the Bible so any attempt to broad-brush all Christians with her flawed theology is ignorant.

          3. F. Beard

            where myself stands on ex nihilo foundation myths skippy

            You do realize that our universe was once smaller than a proton? Or smaller? How much closer to ex nihilo do you need?

            1. skippy

              Looks like only bluntness will suffice…

              Those that weld tombs that validate child slavery, sex slavery, pits a husband love for his family into slavery, see non believers as heathens/foreigners and a hole cavalcade of other horrors, on going IMO, is the last damn place to reference in ones seeking of a better world.

              India is just one place, the wreckage is actuality global, but, as always, grasp claim to victory and dismiss – don’t claim the failures.

              skippy… I never asked for your hand… but nice plea to sympathy.

              PS. Humans don’t need affiliation with cults to live peaceable lives, you just do it.

              1. F. Beard

                Bluntness? India is not a Christian country. It’s a Hindu/Muslem country.

                But ultimately it’s about fruit. The West has put men on the Moon and reduced very much human misery. The slavery and child labor were givens before Christian (I won’t say Roman Catholic) missionaries arrived. Btw, it was Christians behind the abolition of slavery. Gee wiz! How could they ever do something so un-Biblical? Because it isn’t un-Biblical to an honest reader of Scripture, not someone like you who hasn’t the imagination or flexibility of mind to take things in context or reconcile apparent contradictions.

                The only real problem the West has is it’s money system which isn’t Biblical to begin with! And once that is rectified, assuming it won’t result in The End Times first which I seriously doubt now, the West will once again cause the world to marvel.

                Humans don’t need affiliation with cults to live peaceable lives, … skippy

                No. It’s only Western science, itself an off-shoot of Christianity, that allows you the fig-leaf of plausible atheism. Even the Romans were suffused with cults. Still, and this you should make you fear, there were a few atheists DESPITE any plausible reason to deny a Creator! Humans can be that stupid/rebellious!

    3. Whistling in the Dark

      This is what enables him to believe such a thing:

      “(Since profit is the market value of the product minus the market value of factors used, profit represents the value created.)”
      And, seriously, who can refute him? Do it! I don’t care if coffee shot out of your nose when you read it: the stains on your shirt do a fine job at refutation, but, alas, they cannot speak beyond their context very well.

      Hell.. mother teresa? They’re better than God, apparently: they create value ex nihilo, don’t they?

      Do you hear him? He is saying that profit is a measurement of an incremental betterment brought to the world — after all, the profiteers would not be awarded with such if the other end of the transaction didn’t find Goldman’s contributions worth buying. And, so, we have soon bridged the gap between the “goods” and “the good.” And who will rescue us from this position? Who will articulate some other notion of “the good” which would compel the present subscribers to the position “greed is good” to that of a new offer, some new slogan… Even if there isn’t a free marketplace in anything else, perhaps there is still one of ideas; of course, if thinking is a luxury for some people, and it is only the idle rich who are afforded the opportunity to innovate in this area…

      Look, how else are we to get to a point where “the world” is afforded the comfort and ability to thrive afforded to those who presently afford it, if folks like Goldman aren’t out there trying to furiously manufacture all the goodies and things which will one day make — maybe not equality but general quality — a tolerable reality for those who today would find a reorganization along these lines rather painful and who, at the same time, are always in grateful acknoweledgment of people like Mother Teresa, who are willing to endure a bit of pain alongside those unfortunate others, who there, despite the grace of God, go they.

      That is to say: do you have a better or more daring notion of the “good,” which isn’t simply a variant on “more stuff, but less of the bad kind”? Because, hey, until the dawn of the Age of Aquarius… well, as long as Goldman stays profitable, the people will have spoken: “Oh, more of the good stuff, less of the bad? Sorry, just bought from Goldman, yesterday. Best of luck to you out there on the highway.” But, hey, at least it wasn’t: “Get your tweedy ass off my property.”

      1. Roland

        The capitalist Western and Westernized world is a lot less secular than most Westerners think.

        You can always tell a people’s religion by taking one quick look at their cities, to see the collection of large and magnificent buildings, staffed by a numerous and well-fed priesthood. It might be a bunch of ziggurats, or a flamboyant cathedral, or whatever.

        With our civilization: banks. Mammon is our One True God.

        There are some major metaphysics involved in our capitalism today. There is a fundamental and untestable belief that everyone pursuing self-interest ultimately creates good.

        Our fiat currencies are presided over by a conclave of priests more cryptic than the pagan oracles of old, whose prophecies we all avidly receive and study.

        Our priests have glass-walled offices, and compose their Vision Statements and Values Statements, while the lesser clerks toil in windowless cubicles.

        One may object that capitalist banks do actually perform management and allocation services in the economy. But Babylonian temples were granaries, and Greek temples were treasuries.

        1. Roland

          Another thing: just as there is a good deal of consistency of style among Corinthian-order temples or Gothic cathedrals, there is a remarkable consistency in style of our bank temples in the acropoles of today’s cities.

          Future archaeologists will recognize this.

        2. Whistling in the Dark

          An interesting description of the situation. But you leave at best implied … whether some sort of iconoclasty is called for, to use a cautious, passive tense.

  19. Hugh

    “Is Capitalism to Blame for the Syrian War Drive?” The kleptocratic classes drive empire and the dictates of empire drive the push for war with Syria.

  20. rich

    Bribery is supposed to be illegal….

    Published on Sep 20, 2013
    On Thursday, a Texas appeals court overturned the 2010 conviction of former House of Representatives Majority Leader Tom Delay (R-Texas). He was convicted of money laundering and conspiracy, and, according to the court, the evidence against the Republican leader was insufficient. Now, the Travis County District Attorney’s office plans to appeal the motion and Mark Levine, former congressional attorney, joins RT’s Ameera David to discuss.

  21. molten_tofu

    You’ve got to stop publishing these remote-management-services-as-hacks links, they miss the boat pretty badly. The point is these services can *actually* be super useful (and are usually touted as a feature) in large IT environments. They can present additional vulnerabilites, though, like any other service on your computer which can be accessed remotely (e.g., your web browser, flash) and precautions should be taken (e.g., disable if not needed).

    And yes Virginia, some are hardware based services, such as vPro, which is a fairly specific application. And yes that article is claiming everything after Sandy Bridge has an on-die radio, and yes I’m sure CPUs with on-die radios already exist, and yes I’m pretty sure you could still disable these services via software or at least from bios, and no they aren’t making you buy one of them (yet).

  22. KFritz

    Re: Fukushima

    Are there any nucular physicists, other physicists, or other nucular policy wonks out there among NC readers & commenters? If so, would they care to comment on whether Harvey Wasserman’s article is a ‘Chicken Little’ piece? It it’s not, it looks like something very nasty hiding out in plain sight.

Comments are closed.