Links 1/11/14

100,000 Bats Fall from the Sky in Australia Due to Extreme Heat Wave Alternet. I liked the bats when I lived in Sydney. They commuted along Macleay Street. But this sounds like the end of the movie Magnolia.

Des chauves-souris tombent du ciel, l’Australie ploie sous la chaleur Le Monde (EmilianoZ)

Amazing German Designed Cat Climbing Furniture hauspanther. Lambert: “Maybe this could be an alternative to the router.” By way of background: Gabriel, who got behind the bookcase, was in the process of destroying a VOIP router by sleeping on it (an older version of this, but with lots of small holes on the top for cooling, which meant the case wasn’t very sturdy). He managed to accelerate the procedure while I was away over Christmas. It looked like someone stepped on it.

It Looks Like A Crazy Guy Just Walking Around In The Snow. Then You Zoom Out And.. Whoa ViralNova

Maps and Monsters New York Review of Books

Throw off the high-tech bracelets and see through Google Glass Financial Times. The link is through Google, so I believe it will take you past the paywall. The article is unadulterated PR so I hope you’ll use this as “Where’s Waldo?” critical thinking exercise in comments.

A Group Of Miners Has Exposed One Of Bitcoin’s Fatal Flaws Business Insider

Thai insurgents extend their reach Asia Times

US withdraws diplomat from Delhi over Devyani Khobragade row Guardian

Europe Limps on in the Year Ahead American Prospect

Euro plummets after ECB warning Guardian

Mario Draghi: strap on your Pickelhaube and buy fistfuls of German Bunds Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Out of the Abyss: Looking for Lessons in Iceland’s Recovery Der Spiegel

On Iraq: ‘Was it a complete failure?’ Washington Post. Only now is it permitted to ask…

Iran and EU agree details in nuclear deal Financial Times

Al-Qaeda Fighters Pushed Out of Ramadi, Tribe Leader Says Bloomberg

S Sudan urged to release prisoners BBC

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

NSA in final push to retain powers Guardian

American and British Spy Agencies Have INTENTIONALLY Weakened Security for Many Decades George Washington

Obamacare Launch

Enrollees at Health Exchanges Face Struggle to Prove Coverage New York Times. We flagged this yesterday via Counterpunch.

Value-Based Insurance Gains Traction Patient Safety Blog

Administration will dump contractor Washington Post

Tech start-ups target digital healthcare Financial Times. And look at how the industry is selling vaporware to entice you to hand over data:

Some 84 per cent of people are willing to share personal healthcare information to lower costs to the system…according to a survey of 12,000 patients across eight countries by Intel.

West Virginia chemical spill triggers tap water ban Reuters

Chris Christie sued over New Jersey bridge scandal BBC

Docs show scramble over N.J. bridge flap Politico

Christie Says, “I Am Not a Bully.” Here Are 8 Videos of Him Yelling, Name-Calling, and Belittling People. Mother Jones

The long term economic impacts of reducing migration VoxEU

Boeing Goes to Pieces American Conservative (Bob H)

The Boeing kleptocracy Lambert

The ‘Wolf’ Is Still Bending the Truth, Prosecutors Say New York Times

Change Arriving Across the Curve. Jansen contends the new swaps execution facility will increase concentration.

Why Zions needs to bite the bullet and sell its CDOs Felix Salmon

Why DSGE is such a spectacularly useless waste of time Lars P. Syll

Obama’s Corporate Plantations Counterpunch (Carol B)

Antidote du jour:


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  1. Jose

    The American Prospect story on Europe is one of the weakest, lamest pieces I’ve ever seen linked to on NC.

    Fortunately, there is the interesting link on Iceland to compensate for that.

    And elsewhere Varoufakis points out the complicity of periphery elites (in this case, represented by a Greek minister, but it could have been a Portuguese, Spanish or Italian one) in the destruction of their countries’ economies at the hands of the euro system.

    Plus, there’s Evans-Pritchard’s appeal for the ECB to do QE.

    Well, I guess that makes it a three to one score today (on relevant stories about Europe) after all.

    1. diptherio

      Why do you assume that Yves agrees with every sentiment expressed in every link? Seems like a somewhat tenuous conclusion…

      If you disagree with something in the article, comment on what and why so that we can discuss your points and maybe all learn something. Just complaining in general terms that you thought the piece was weak is rather unhelpful and provides zero useful information to the rest of us.

      So…what don’t you agree with, specifically, in the American Prospect piece?

      1. David Lentini

        Agreed. I think Yves and Lambert frequently put these sorts of article on the list as a sort of indicator or example of the conventional wisdom and zeitgeist. Then let the NC commentariat feeding frenzy begin!

        1. Susan the other

          Well… my guess is that all the smokescreen of propaganda is masking a clear goal of the ECB/EU to create its own 7% solution,, aka 12 to 17% solution. And nevermind all the little skirmishes for democracy and equity. This raises the question, Why is the West doing this and doing it in secret lockstep? With the UK pretending it is its own drummer (not). In a world of 7 billion people central banks could print money 8/25/366 and never have enough. Then there is the unmentionable black hole for the 21st c. Fukushima. Right. When we go over budget fighting the death of the planet we are just gonna impose austerity. What clowns.

  2. scott

    If battlefield medicine had been at the 1960’s level, we’d have 50,000+ dead in Iraq already.
    Domino theory => Islamic caliphate (Al-Queda)
    B-52 carpet bombing => Drone strikes
    Vietnam part II.

    1. Synopticist

      The domino theory is correct.
      A political wind of change can sweep through a series of neigbouring countries, gaining momentum and influencing each place according to local conditions.
      We just witnessed the Arab spring after all. the late eighties democratisations were another example. Histrory works like that.

  3. Klassy

    Boeing and Plantations. So, over at The American Conservative, the cover story is about the sad devolution of Boeing into assembly plant and perhaps retailer. Fingleton is talking about our trade deficit. He cannot get Senator Sherrod Brown to comment or say anything about Boeing (related to Lambert’s post perhaps?).
    Obama, demonstrating just how effectively evil he is is hawking warmed over Milton Friedman ideas.

  4. Thomas Williams

    RE: VoxEU piece on migration
    This piece is transparently designed to give a cloak of legitimacy to driving wages down through importation of cheap labor.

    Anyone looking at the blue collar situation in the US in the last 40 years will spot this as a canard. With 33+ million illegals plus 10’s of millions legal immigrants running around the country, wages keep spiraling down and unemployment keeps rising.

    The extra bodies might cause GDP to rise but it sure as hell causes per-person share of GDP to fall.

    Shame on you for linking to it.

    1. Capo Regime

      Agreed. Somehow the neoliberals will use supply and demand to justify all manner of positions but somehow dramatically increasing the supply of workers will not affect demand but magically over the long run and when many factors are included viola benefits for all……..Interestingly, years ago it was Barbara Jordan who broke ranks with fellow democrats and plainly stated that increased immigration would hurt african americans and others working up from low-skills circumstances. Even for teens, anecdotal evidence shows that fewer teens are engaging in the former u.s. tradtion of summer jobs–they are taken by many of the 10’s of millions of immigrants.

      1. Synopticist

        Attitudes to mass immigration show the difference between being Left and being Liberal. One opposes, the other is in favour.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      You are out of line. No one is making you read this blog. The purpose of Links is not to pander to readers’ ideological preferences.

      That paper was about the UK, not the US, and it limited its conclusions to Europe, which has a lot of in-migration from Eastern Europe. The US has a birth rate which is hovering around replacement rate, a smidge below now thanks to the crisis. The UK’s is clearly below and birth rates on the Continent, even lower. The analysis showed that GDP per person was higher if the current UK immigration policy were continued (as contrasted with the Conservatives’ policy, which is to restrict it a ton). You need to deal with the paper, not your straw man of applying it to the US, which the authors never did and is a different case demographically.

  5. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Obama’s Corporate Plantations

    Five states: Texas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and California

    What is the significance of choosing these 5 states? I really have no idea, but Texas, at least, is supposed to be experiencing a miraculous economic boom.

    And The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma? Desperately poor, I know, but so are ALL the reservations.

    Are there some hidden political machinations at work here?

    1. Klassy

      Yes, glad to see they’re going to cut through the red tape in Texas, aka “The Finland of the U.S.”.

    2. Jerome Armstrong

      You have to think of it as corporate priorities with identity-based political decisions mixed in to keep the liberals happy:

      San Antonio– Latino
      Philadelphia– Black
      Los Angeles– Asian
      southeastern Kentucky– White
      Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma– Native American

      1. scraping_by

        I thought race-based divide-and-conquer was a right wing specialty. The Revolt of the Elites as a primer for that idea.

        Throw in some lifestyle wedge issues and people no longer pay attention to the economics. The myth that regulation kills economics escape serious study.

        There’s just so much of the last 30 years that doesn’t fit that mythology. That’s why the right-wing has to keep doing the same thing over and over – to get a different result.

  6. Jim Haygood

    From the NYT’s ‘Struggle to prove coverage’ exposé:

    The office manager for Mr. Donahue’s doctor in Fort Worth said she spent “well over an hour” on the telephone verifying that the Donahues were insured. The doctor has been seeing an average of five patients a day insured through the exchange, and the verification “takes forever,” she said.

    Despite the problems, Mr. Donahue, 58, a retired software engineer, is delighted with his new coverage from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas. The monthly premium for him and his wife is $1,062, but the federal government pays a subsidy of $903. The couple pay the remainder, $159 a month.

    “It’s a superb deal,” Mr. Donahue said.


    Doubtless we’re all delighted about Mr. Donahue’s improbable good fortune. But when his health coverage costs about 20 percent of median income, and 85 percent subsidies are handed out to non-indigent beneficiaries, how is this gonna scale up to a nation of 310 million?

    Seems like it was just 20 years ago that Hillary was haranguing us about simple, standardized e-forms. Since then Usgov has pumped tens of billions into incentivizing electronic health records. But doctors’ staffers still have to spend ‘hours’ on the phone to resolve the butt-simple question, ‘Covered (Y/N)?,’ for the feds’ own system. Pathétique, non?

    If it takes the doctor’s office an hour, how long ya reckon it’s gonna take the friendly, service-oriented IRS to confirm you’re covered? Sh*t, I’d rather just pay the refusenik penalty.

    1. Dave of Maryland

      Make him ten cents poorer and he will get, not a yummy subsidy, but Medicaid, where whatever the government pays on his behalf will be taken from his estate after he dies. Dollar for dollar. This is so evil I want no part of it.

    2. Skeptic

      “It’s a superb deal,” Mr. Donahue said.

      Perfect illustration of the problem. Folks think you can just buy “health”. Not so. All you have bought is the right to see someone calling themselves a doctor. All doctors are not educated equal. So, Mr. Donahue, just as an example, if you get heart disease and your doctor refers you to a cardiologist and they angiogram, and angioplasty and drug stent you to no good purpose, it may not have been a “superb deal”, cheapness aside.

  7. craazyman

    Get the Xanax Out ’cause this is Bad

    Flying humanoids have been seen in the skies of Mexico. Just floating in the air with their legs hanging down. There was even a flying witch. This astounding video, from Mexican TV with police testimony, proves it’s not a hoax.

    If “From Mexico” can take a break from his attempted decapitation of Professor Wray and provide an on location report it would be helpful indeed. Can you just look out the kitchen window and see these things? or do they only show up from time to time, at their pleasure? It’s frightening just to think about something like this, but being there on the ground looking up must be absolutely shocking.

      1. Jim Haygood

        It’s 2007? Don’t know why I keep seeing these 2014 products … hats, calendars and such.

        Must be some new show about the future that I missed out on.

      2. craazyman

        It might come back! With something this shocking, it hardly matters if it wasn’t yesterday. Maybe Mexico can tear himself away from the Azetc pyramid, upon which he’s decapitating Professor Wray, and look out the window. Just in case. There was more than this witch, too. There were flying humanoids over Mexico City. They looked like men in suits. It’s on the internet if you don’t believe me.

        1. lambert strether

          Craazyman: I’ll have to look in, but I expected Professor Wray is fully capable of handling the matter by himself….

          1. craazyman

            He probably doesn’t even realize he was decapitated. He’ll probably never even know. I bet he’s way to busy, walking around campus from class to class with papers and books under his arm and his head full of ideas. Why would he care? He may pay attention to you and Yves but the peanut gallery? haha hahaha hahaha. I mean really. Fat chance. However, I was quite shocked when Professor Kelton descended into the lower reaches of the gallery and actually talked to me and craazyboy when we were doing bong hits one day. That was incredible! I just don’t see Professor Wray doing something like that though. He probably thinks we’re completely inconsequential, just human noise, if he even thinks about us, which I doubt he even does. That’s the way it is when serious people encounter trivia. It’s like encountering a roach on the floor of a laundry room. You don’t even step on it. You just ignore it.

            1. Jim S

              He may not notice, but perhaps someone will: “Wait a minute… their head, it’s already been crushed!”

            2. Lambert Strether

              Okay, guys. Let’s have a good clean fight here. No holding, no low punches, no biting, gouging or rabbit punches. You’ll break when I say break. And if you’re decked, you’ll get a count of ten to get back on your feet.

            3. Yves Smith Post author

              Agree with Lambert. Straw manning and getting strident does not equal winning an argument.

            4. from Mexico

              craazyman, I’m sure you’re right about that.

              In Coming to Public Judgment, Daniel Yankelovich charges that the apostles of “scientific” management operate in what he calls a “culture of technical control”:

              “American leadership is recruited from the specialized worlds of the legal profession, business management, finance, the foreign policy community, the higher ranks of civil service, academia, the sciences, the church, journalism, and so on. Their knowledge and interests are specialized. Their day-to-day contact with the general public is meager. They belong to distinct subcultures, each with its own outlook. Often they are graduates of elite colleges and universities, which indoctrinates them with a noneradicable feeling of superiority to the general public. Without quesitoning the depth of their attachment to democracy, in their personal lives many have adopted the outlook of a ruling social class, and though their attitudes may be benign, their life-styles create a vast social distance between themselves and average Americans….

              They assume that they have much of value to communicate to the public, without imagining that the public has much of value to impart to them….

              [T]hose in leadership do not know what the public’s point of departure is and how it differs from their own.”

    1. from Mexico

      Well craazyman, it looks like the mysterious invaders have discovered Gringolandia too, because there’s been a whole rash of similar sightings in the U.S., and you don’t even have to scour YouTube archives from half a decade ago to find them.

      These astounding videos, from various U.S. TV stations, prove they’re not a hoax.


      “UFO Sightings of 2014 (January) Part 2”

      And I’d love to take credit for decapitating Wray. That would be a heady fanasy! But reality says something very different, and that is that Wray did it to himself.

        1. from Mexico

          Your accusation has a fatal flaw, Lambert, and that is that I didn’t misquote Wray.

          I’ve already responded to your allegation. Here’s the link, so if anybody’s interested they can go judge for themselves:

          And like I said above, there’s no triumph dance. Wray is doing a magnificent job of decapitating himself. He stuck his head in the guillotine and dropped the blade himself. I must admit though that I’m just gobsmacked that anyone could be so detached from reality as Wray and the other high priests of MMT.

  8. Ep3

    Yves, regarding the article in value based insurance.
    Um, if I goto the doctor complaining about a back injury, isn’t the doctor supposed to evaluate me & then say “here is what I recommend”? I generally don’t go to the doctor & tell them the solution to my problem. Isn’t that the point of going to a doctor? He is the health expert. He is supposed to be able to know if I need surgery or need Tylenol. So if my car needs an oil change, do I tell the mechanic “no, I want you to change the engine, for the same price as an oil change”? This just sounds like continued propaganda to brainwash me into thinking “gee, I am spitting up blood, I don’t need to goto the doctor”. That way I wait until things are so bad that I get an ambulance bill, an ER bill, as well as expensive treatments & care for having waited in something that could have been solved months ago at a cheaper cost. Plus, the insurance company can then decide not to cover all this exotic care I had.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      The idea is sadly a reflection that doctors overtreat.

      And of all specialities, orthopedists are one of the worst in wanting to operate when it isn’t warranted or the procedures have low success rates.

      And they also overtest like mad. I’m good at telling doctors no, but I can give you over a dozen examples of overtesting (some very costly) and having prescriptions recommended that weren’t even remotely justified (as in no diagnosis!!!)

  9. Crazy Horse

    re Bitcoin Mining consortium exposes fatal flaw in the Bit coin verification system—-

    And exactly who has the largest arsenal of computer power in the world? And is on the verge of deploying a quantum based computer with magnitudes greater speed and power? As I’ve long argued, as soon as Bitcoin reaches the point of growth where it poses a threat to fiat currencies the Man will use the NSA to destroy it.

    With access to unlimited FED money printing, creating an adequate number of false front “independent” bitcoin wallets and mining operations and thus gaining control of pricing and of verification is fairly trivial for an agency with the power of the NSA.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I assume the NSA spies on the president (making sure no one has switched a Chinese-made clone).

      And also on the Fed.

      These VIP’s are all Too Big To Be Impersonated (TBTBI).

      1. Susan the other

        Bitcoin Miners can go in and highgrade the US Treasury just as easily as the banks/shadow banks.

  10. Ep3

    Yves, I have another health insurance question.
    I have attempted to price shop on the exchange. One of the first questions is “does my employer provide insurance?”. Which they do. And then it tells me the exchange is not for those with employer provided insurance. But my employer makes me pay for my premiums. So I can’t afford their premiums (which cost about the same as the premiums on the exchange, yet with my employer I have somewhat of a guarantee of coverage). Has the exchange changed this? How am I supposed to get coverage if I can’t afford it?

    1. Tom Bradford

      Seems to me that your employer isn’t ‘providing’ insurance, merely facilitating it. So the correct answer to the question is ‘no’.

    2. Lambert Strether

      I believe that if your premium is a certain percentage of your income, it’s deemed “unaffordable,” and you are then eligible to go on the Exchange. More detail I cannot give, since I’m occupied cleansing the threads of flamage.

  11. diptherio

    The recent bankruptcy of Fagor Electrodomesticos (the oldest member of the Mondragon group of Worker-Coops) has been the occasion of much soul-searching in the Co-op community. GEO newletter is hosting a ‘conversation’ on their site, for discussion of what Gar Alperovitz and Thomas M. Hanna (of the Democracy Collaborative) have dubbed “the System Problem.” For anyone interested in the Coop movement, these are a thought provoking group of essays.

    Cooperators Confront the “System Problem”: How to Scale-Up the Cooperative Movement Without Sacrificing Cooperative Autonomy ~GEO: essays by Gar Alperovitz, Thomas Hanna, Andrew McLeod (, Len Krimerman, and Michael Peck (Mondragon-US).

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think if we organize a whole nation as a co-op, it can not go bankrupt, to borrow an idea from our state-power worshipping MMTer friends.

      1. diptherio

        Personally, I wouldn’t want one big Co-op (which is an issue discussed in the articles, btw), but rather lots of small co-ops linked together by overarching support structures, a little like the UUFM structure. In that org, individual congregations can pretty much do as they please, the national org mostly does support for congregations and advertising for the denomination (so far as I can tell). It’s a bottom-up structure, rather than a top-down one.

        This all gets into the “system problem” which is the focus of the series. How can we design structures of organization that advance our shared interests while ensuring they maintain their cooperative nature. The Fagor bankruptcy highlights this concern since some have claimed that Mondragon’s decision making processes were not sufficiently cooperative and did not provide Fagor’s worker-owners adequate say in decisions affecting the fate of their firm. It’s not often you see co-op members protesting outside their own co-op, protesting it’s decisions.

        See also the fate of Co-op Bank in the UK. Increasing the size and scope of a single co-op may well have negative effects on information flow within the organization and diminish the ability of firms to make decisions in a truly collective manner.

        Diversity and inter-connection is the way forward, imho, not monolithic entities, whatever their ownership structure.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Good points.

          I will change it to ‘a whole nation organized under the co-op principle, with many local co-ops’

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            And also in conjunction with GDP sharing; otherwise, we still get ‘stronger sectors preying on weaker sectors,’ with roaming bankster co-ops making new victims wherever they go.

      2. Lambert Strether

        In what sense, exactly, if is “worshiping” state power to point out actual powers that the state exhibits in its daily operations? If I say the US Post Office print postage stamps, is that worshiping the Post Office? Silly, useless vituperation.

  12. Crazy Horse

    re the fox and the little chick
    Isn’t that Jamie Dimon on the left ? So Mr. Fox, what happens if there are ten thousand hungry little birds with no corn in the feeder?

    Eat the Rich.

  13. notexactlyhuman

    Boeing’s circling the crapper. Meanwhile, back at John Kerry pimped Lockheed Martin, death and flight couldn’t be more profitable.

    1. Eclair

      Yeah. Even worse than flying with pissed-off pilots at the helm (never fly on an airline engaged in compensation negotiations with the pilots’ union), is flying in planes that have been assembled by workers recently shafted by their employer. Hope that the quality control people are on the job.

      1. Crazy Horse

        My nephew went through a rotation as a quality control engineer as part of his work as a junior engineer at Boeing. One of his jobs was to crawl back into the wings and wake up the rivet backers who had gone to sleep while the riveters continued to pound in rivets from the outside.

        ps. To this day he refuses to fly on a Boeing plane.

    2. neo-realist

      The Seattle area workers may be circling the food bank in another 10 years or so when Boeing moves more of its manufacturing to the right to work states, e.g., SC, but the suits are doing just fine in profits and bonuses.

  14. David Lentini

    Viet Nam II is well put. Once again, we talked up a war based on a phony domino-theory and high-tech-hubris. Of course we forgot the prime directive of Clausewitz—War is another form of politics—and had no plans for what to do after we won the battles (i.e., did the most killing and destruction). And surprise! The war never really ended, because there was no coherent political objective or strategy. Now the side that has been able to actually stay the longest is winning.

    This is the true “Viet Nam Syndrome”. We still haven’t even accepted the diagnosis.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Another forgotten lesson – war on only one front.

      Instead, we have foreign wars and domestic wars (War on the Poor, War on the Young, Health and Uninsured, for example) going simultaneously.

      1. F. Beard

        Which is why I limit my war to banking, the root cause of many, if not most, if not nearly all of our social problems.

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Prosecutors…bending the truth, Wolf.

    It has been proven in numerous life-experiments that a heavy concentration of desire for wealth-matter will bend truth.

    And this is not some exotic idea from the early 20th century. This was known as early as the beginning of ‘civilization.’

  16. Cal

    About the economic effects of immigration.
    Immigrants send up to $100 billion a year out of our local American economies.
    Think of the loss of the multiplier effect from that.

    “Estimates by the World Bank suggest that the figure is significantly higher, close to $100 billion per year, according to Dilip Ratha, an economist who leads the World Bank’s remittances program.”

  17. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The long term economic impacts of reducing migration.

    It’s arrogant to think we can take some living being and move it to another place, expecting it to thrive.

    It turns out that pandas, eagles, other animals and plants, etc are more complicated than that.

    And since we are part of the Life Continuum and not Anthropo-exceptionists, why should we be different?

    So, we should think twice about destroying someone’s homeland, be it Vietnam, China, America or Mexico, and expect the losers to migrate from home, sweet home.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      I’d imagine Jordanians (and the world) will have to wait until 2065 to recognize the economic benefits of the “migration” of hundreds of thousands Syrians into Jordan. That’s 52 years.

      If I remember correctly, a large number of Iraqis also “migrated” to Jordan. Would this be expected to produce the economic miracles of “migration” even sooner?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I should say ‘losers and winners to migrate from home, sweet home,’ because a lot of winners can’t live in their now polluted, destroyed home countries, nor survive the wrath of their fellow countrymen victims.

        1. scraping_by

          And remember those who profit from destroying society. Mostly thieves who grab what’s suddenly become loose and ‘leaders’ who insert themselves as advocates and bosses between the refugees and the existing government.

          There are Americans of Italian ancestry who still claim to Mafia served the helpless immigrants.

    1. skylark

      When my kids were young, we had 3 Nubian goats: Gladys, Alice, and Daisy. Gladys and Alice were sweet ladies -the best pets ever. Daisy, however, was a psychopath. Not only crazy eyes, but a crazy mind. She had come to us as a stablemate along with our lovely Pinto pony, Cricket. Daisy was always plotting mayhem and mischief, head-butting people, and forever breaking free and going on walkabout. She was the scourge of my neighbor’s gardens and the greens of a nearby golf course.

      1. ozajh

        “scourge of my neighbor’s gardens”

        Reminds me of a comment I made many decades ago in a high school science class about accidentally breeding for docile stupidity when animals such as sheep were first domesticated. “You show me the lamb smart enough to get out of the paddock and into the veggie garden, and I’ll show you the Sunday roast.”

  18. Walter Map

    RE: On Iraq: ‘Was it a complete failure?’

    Absurd. The conquest of Iraq was a complete success.

    The Military Industrial Complex made billions. The Financial Industrial Complex Made billions. The global oil cartel will be making billions for years to come. Genocidal maniacs, psychopathic killers, and assorted other sadists celebrate rape, murder, and torture as the New Normal. The perpetrators have feted themselves as Heroes, and no one of any consequence has been even slightly inconvenienced, much less frogmarched into trials for their Crimes Against Humanity.

    The corruption of TPTB has achieved its apotheosis. With these precedents they can now fleece and cull the herds with impunity and to their endless enrichment. Humanity’s darkest hours lie directly ahead, as the Masters of Mankind give civilization the bum rush to the abyss in prelude to their total, ruthless, brutal, and permanent planetary domination. They will flay humanity and feast on the carcass in perpetuity.

    What more could they ask for?

    Ugly, and then weird ugly. You know it’s coming.

    1. fresno dan

      “Could someone smart convince me that the black flag of al-Qaeda flying over Fallujah isn’t analogous to the fall of Saigon?” former Army captain Matt Gallagher asked on Twitter. “Because. Well.”

      Well, the very best that could happen would be Iraq morphing over the years to the equivalent of North Vietnam. I doubt we truly have any affect on such a possibility. Vietnam seems to me would have ended up where it is after France…or after us – we just delayed it a little.
      But I’m not sanguine – the communists, at least being atheists, had some logical thinking about what they wanted in their society. Fundamentalist religions just put you into a no compromise battle that can’t end until all the true believers are dead.

  19. F. Beard

    The story behind the antidote please? The look on the fox is more lust than love, imo, but perhaps he’s daunted by the innocent bravery of the chick?

    1. F. Beard

      On second look it’s not lust but intense interest and perhaps respect.

      Nature red in tooth and claw,
      but that’s not all?
      But that’s not all?

      We live.
      We suffer.
      We die.
      For no reason why?
      For no reason why?

  20. scraping_by

    RE: Christie the bully

    Christie’s schtick is Rush Limbaugh’s shouting down opposition schtick and taking it to the streets.

    It doesn’t work so well, that’s why all the YouTube videos are short snippets. It’s also a falsification, depending on tricks to even get that appearance. Limbaugh depends on controlling the volume of the callers and the off button when it’s going wrong. Christie depends on a gang of armed guards to shut up anyone who stands up to him.

    In both cases, this is what passes for strongmen among the Clueless Stooge segment of society.

    1. Glenn Condell

      I’d only ever seen head shots of Christie before, now I know why. Limbaugh used to be fat didn’t he? But was he ever the size of Christie in that Occupy clip? If he fell over he’d rock himself to sleep trying to get back up.

      That Occupy ‘slap down’ was tolerably sinister, not so much the text but the delivery and the obvious savour with which it was delivered.

      Romney…, then Christie? I mean, seriously.

      1. skippy

        Hay what about our theocratic in chief wanting to un-clutter education by only teaching western philosophy and ideas… its more efficient… barf.

  21. Foy

    A little off topic but this article on why this person decided to drop reading ebooks on Ipads and go back to the 100% proven technology of paper books is a good little read. Here’s a few of the reasons mentioned…

    “I don’t have to troubleshoot my paper books. It’s not often you hear someone say they had to call tech support because the book they were reading crashed, or the text on the page is not displaying properly. Some books won’t sync, some won’t open and so on.The paper book is completely 100% bug free.

    “Talking to people is great! It’s true. I was pleasantly surprised when I was out reading a book at a coffee shop when a couple people approached me and chatted about the book I was reading. It was a very nice experience” (Foy: I’ve also had this experience)

    “The touch of the book, seeing the words, hearing the page turn, smelling the paper, all add up to a complete sensory experience. The synthetic version we get with eBooks doesn’t equate.”

    And as he mentions on an Ipad etc you never actually own the book. I am 100% with him on this one, I love my real life bookcases filled with an ever growing number of my own real paper books!

    1. Garrett Pace

      Books occupy space and become a part of the furniture of the home. Children grow up seeing them and wonder what it contains that is so important for mom and dad to keep it for decades. On occasion, by their own volition they browse the stacks and pull away fresh finds for enrichment. At least that is how it went for me.

      The flickering lights of digital toys is constantly changing, demanding passive attention and pervaded with advertisements.

      Content is read and forgotten almost as fast as it is deleted from memory, and the device itself is superannuated in a few months.

      No brainer which to prefer.

    2. Garrett Pace

      And WHY is it considered more rude to read a book in public than it is to wander hypnotized by your electronic doodads?

      When I pull out a book in a public place I feel like a caveman.

    1. skippy

      Mounting or displaying a specimen brings on a whole new meaning!

      skippy… bucket list stuff… damn you~

      1. F. Beard

        Nah. Ugly! Genitalia are generally ugly and in the case of males (since I are one) ALWAYS!

        Btw, just as bald female heads are not attractive neither should the razor venture below.

  22. Brooklin Bridge

    Does anyone familiar with French current affairs have a take on the comedian Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala, and the efforts of some in the government, such as François Hollande, to ban him from speaking? There is an article about this on Counter Punch by Diana Johnstone, The Bête Noire of the French Establishment.

    A lot of people in France think this guy is a downright fascist, but this article makes an interesting case that he is anything but and that his exposure of government hypocrisy is making TPTB very uncomfortable. Or is it the case he is both a fascist AND making TPTB very uncomfortable?

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