Links 3/14/14

Tony Benn dies, aged 88 Telegraph. The Telegraph has made the death of this great Socialist its lead story, while it is below the fold at the Guardian.

Success mainly down to having a loud voice Daily Mash

Beautiful Games: a complete illustrated history of football Guardian. Lambert: “That is, soccer.”

Dozens of Planes Have Vanished in Post-WWII Era Bloomberg

I am Tim Berners-Lee. I invented the WWW 25 years ago and I am concerned and excited about its future. Reddit (Richard Smith)

Silicon Valley is turning our lives into an asset class Financial Times (David L)

Bitcoin’s Evolution toward Self-Destruction Dan Kervick, New Economic Perspectives

Troubled waters: Nuclear radiation found in B.C. may pose health concerns Vancouver Sun (David L)

Desperately seeking (Chinese) stimulus MacroBusiness

Fresh corporate default tests China’s resolve Financial Times

Markets fall on weak Chinese data, Fed worries and Ukraine fears – as it happened Guardian. Notice Chinese data was so bad that the Guardian went into live blog mode.

When Should Government Officials Be Criminally Liable for Failure to Prevent Corruption? Reflections on Thailand, and Beyond Global Atlantic Corruption Blog

Prince Charles letters: attorney general acted unlawfully, say senior judges Guardian (Richard Smith)

Washington’s Back-to-the-Future Military Policies in Africa, America’s New Model for Expeditionary Warfare Nick Turse, Tom Engelhardt

Former Egyptian General Calls Promise of Free Elections a ‘Farce’ New York Times


Russian Troops Mass at Border With Ukraine New York Times

Russia holds the cards in Crimea DW

Ukraine crisis: John Kerry and Sergey Lavrov to meet in London for talks Guardian. This is a climbdown by the US. Kerry had attached conditions to a meeting and has been forced to drop them.

US Using Oil to Fight Russian Gas Politics in Ukraine? OilPrice

Kiev’s protesters: Ukraine uprising was no neo-Nazi power-grab Guardian. Lambert: ” Fascist iconography is never accidental. While the headline is IMNSHO technically correct, it’s what comes next that is the issue, right?”

Ukraine: EU Parliament Warns Of Association With Svoboda Party Moon of Alabama

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

In 1975, the CIA Director Told Congress That Enemies of America Could Destroy the CIA with Freedom of Information Act Requests Matt Stoller

Facebook CEO Calls Obama Regarding Out of Control NSA; Change You Can’t Believe In Michael Shedlock. Godzilla v. Mothra.

Late Night: Ass Forward cocktailhag, Firedoglake (Carol B)

SASC Hearing: Dunford Advocates for Forever War in Afghanistan Marcy Wheeler

Sen. Elizabeth Warren Takes FDA Chief To Task On Weak Antibiotics Guidance Consumerist

Study Proves Campaign Donations Buy Access DSWright, Firedoglake (Carol B)

Watchdog group says review identified 303 deaths in GM cars with undeployed air-bags Washington Post

Telecoms take HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS for national broadband, but don’t want to deliver Daily Kos (Carol B)

HORROR: Five Cops Beat Innocent, Unarmed Father to Death Outside Cinemas Alternet

U.S. Criticized for Lack of Action on Mortgage Fraud New York Times. I wish I felt more excited about this. But all this means is the critics of the DoJ have been vindicated. It does nothing for borrowers, particularly since the statute of limitations for the best legal theories for going after the perps have expired. And so what if Holder et al get hauled up before the Senate and roughed up? The fact that they’d do so little to address a problem of this magnitude means they are beyond shame.

Lawsky Prepared to Name Individuals at BNP in Crackdown Bloomberg (Richard D)


Countdown to taper mark III MacroBusiness

Why all the pessimism in the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index? Walter Kurtz

all Street Bonuses Are Bouncing Back, While Everyone Else’s Wages Are… Meh Business Insider

Far from the Wolf of Wall Street: how did young people become so risk averse? New Statesman (Chuck L)

The Surprisingly Large Cost of Telling Small Lies New York Times (Lambert)

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):


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  1. rjs

    “Chinese data was so bad that the Guardian went into live blog mode”
    notice what the bad data was: “China’s industrial production rose 8.6% in the first two months from a year earlier…Consumer spending also appears to be running out of steam. Growth in retail sales was up 11.8% in January and February from a year earlier

    we should have it so bad..

    1. diptherio

      Does seem a little strange, until you consider that modern finance only seems to have a couple of settings: explosion and implosion. Once the explosion starts losing steam, everyone knows the implosion can’t be far behind.

      1. scraping_by

        That was actually one of the byproducts (main products?) of New Deal regulation. By restricting the financiers, it restricted the outcomes.

        Also, government providing and/or guaranteeing capital came with a host of restrictions that kept the effects limited. This is the ‘lack of freedom’ that rightist sock puppets spend their every waking hour moaning about.

    2. Eeyores enigma

      “we should have it so bad…”

      Yes because exponential growth in industrial production and consumer spending and all its concomitant waste stream is the solution to what ails the world in this day and age.

      I am beginning to believe that mankind is on par with yeast with regard to intelligence.

      1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

        In pretty much any closed biological system the most successful organism (the ultimate consumer — yeast being a great example), is destined to deplete its resources and/or to die in its own waste products.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The question is how long.

          We still can try to be responsible and aim to be sustainable.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I agree with you and MikeNY.

        And thank you for reminding us of that often.

        I think with GDP sharing, we will come closer to a ‘natural’ GDP, removing greed that drives the current exponential growth system.

        Choosing between another system with sharing as default, sprinkled with a bit of self-interest, and the present system with self-interest-default, sprinkled with a bit of sharing – the choice will reveal who we are as a species.

        We don’t have to be yeast-like.

        1. rjs

          all life on earth has a kinship with yeast…as a wise man once said, those not busy being born are busy dying…

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            That’s a good one and you’re right.

            We are ‘one among many’ who share this world with us.

          2. psychohistorian

            Bob Dylan in “Its Alright Ma” sang those words and I have tried to live that concept.

      3. different clue

        It is a mistake to confuse modern industrial mankind under Overclass control for “mankind” in general. The terraforming Indian Nations of the Amazon were also “mankind”.

    3. Ed S.

      we should have it so bad….

      My understanding of the Chinese economic model is pretty simplistic, but I think that the growth in industrial production (even if 8.6% is accurate) isn’t particularly relevant. China strives to be the workshop of the world — and producing more and more products that can’t be sold (or sold at a huge loss) isn’t necessarily a measure of success. Don’t know what’s included in “retail sales”, but I think that only 36% or so of the Chinese economy is consumer spending (as opposed to 70%+ in the developed world).

      I suspect that capital investment reached negative returns years ago for China ago. Piling more on just digs the hole deeper

  2. Julia

    I think Tony Benn’s death is only below the fold on the US site, here in the UK it’s the number one story. Should be number one worldwide though, he was an amazing man.

      1. Christopher Dale Rogers

        The Demise of Tony Benn,

        Well, what can I say?

        Benn’s death at 88 signifies the last of the post-WWII titans to inhabit the left of British politics – born in 1965 and raised in a South Wales Railway community, obviously democratic socialism run through our veins – and certainly runs through my until this day, and, ultimately my own demise.

        The era I was born into was one of hope, but also decline for the UK; the great story unfolding of the day was the UK’s relationship with Europe, the near end of Empire and a desire for a global role, despite the economic exhaustion of nearly six years of fighting fascism and NAZISM in Europe, which impinged on our daily lives even some quarter a century after the Fall of Berlin.

        Giants emerged, and giants died, Nye Bevan was a Monmouthshire lad, an icon and one of the great beasts – Benn entered a Parliament full of leftwing giants, be they Michael Foot, Dennis Healey, Heffer, Short, Barbara Castle et al.

        So, to say its the end of an era fills me with great sadness, particularly given I was no supporter of Benn during the internal struggles following Jim Callahan’s defeat at the hands of Thatcher and her rightwing clique of “free market” fanatics and monetarist lunatics – if only all had buried the hatchet and stood shoulder to shoulder with Healey, one person Thatcher and the Tories feared and despaired off – not as if I’m knocking Michael Foot, who’s 1983 Manifesto was Europe’s, and indeed the World’s last best hope of turning back the tide of what is better known today as neoliberalism.

        So, yeh I’m “fucking” sad, sad for me, sad for my fellow man and sad for my daughter and future generations. If only; If only is all I seem to mutter nowadays, such is my grief and detestation of where we are today. And to make it worse, I studied politics and history for the best part of six years at Uni, as well as living through these momentous events, and witnessing real Titans, rather than then pygmies we have today claiming to be political leaders. Leaders my Arse!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      2. Christopher Dale Rogers


        What happened to my lament on the death of Tony Benn – it really signifies an end of an era, and as such, those who detest what’s happening globally should be mighty upset, particularly given the arse-wipes who have now replaced these political titans globally.

        1. Christopher Dale Rogers

          Opened my mouth too soon, thought I’d be censored or treated as spam!

          So, an apology.

    1. ginnie nyc

      Thank you, Yves, for leading the links with the Tony Benn obituary. I have been a Bennite since my late teens, and am terribly sad today. He was a man of principle, a tremendous public speaker, and an inspiration to many to become politically active over the years.
      I only met him once, in person, in Philadelphia, of all places-he was leaving a venue, but stopped to talk with me for several minutes. A great man, and I am so sorry he never had the chance to run for PM.

  3. Hugh

    I remember writing on the broadband story a few years ago and I was by no means anywhere near the first to write on it. Telecom customers had charges added to their bills for years, the money supposed to go to building a national broadband network. They collected the money to the tune of a hundred billion and never built it. It was a remarkable theft even for a kleptocracy because it was so big, happened in the open, yet went essentially unnoticed.

    As I said at the beginning of this crisis, the West never considered the Ukraine as that important. The US and Europe had more than 20 years to put Ukraine on a course to membership in the EU. Ukraine was so far down the list of their priorities that they pretty much let it just sit there and stew in its own toxic oligarchic politically corrupt juices. We have to keep this in mind when people start talking about Yanukovych being legitimately elected President. In Ukraine, legitimacy is an exceedingly rare commodity. In any case, Putin fresh off the nationalistic success of the winter Olympics has decided to use the political instability in Ukraine as an excuse to pursue his imperial ambitions. This puts the US and the EU in a bind. They don’t really care to do anything significant about what has been a Russian occupation of the Crimea but they feel they need to go through the motions. You see if Ukraine was important to them, they would be acting, not talking. Instead we see a lot of special interest whining, German manufacturers don’t want their export market to Russia touched. English bankers in the City of London don’t want their role (and profits) as money launderer to the oligarchic world compromised by financial sanctions. European governments do not want to deal with any crimping in the flow of natural gas. And so it goes.

    I should note that the US doesn’t really care either. Obama could through the Fed, the de facto central bank to the world, strong arm the European banks and squeeze Russian access to the international banking system. That could throw Russia into chaos. But since Western kleptocracy trumps Western imperialism, this is unlikely to happen. Instead Obama has deployed Secretary of State Kerry in an apparent effort to bore the Russians to death.

    This is not to say that Putin will get out of this unscathed. Rather than a neutral state on his door step, he will have a hostile one. If he moves much beyond the Crimea, he will run the risk of insurgencies/terrorism developing in the territories he occupies. These occupations will be expensive and a drain on the Russian economy. And with each step he takes there is the risk of miscalculation. If Ukrainians start to die in any numbers, then he could provoke a response from the US and Europe which neither they nor Putin really want.

    As for the Ukrainians who have been largely forgotten in all this, the loss of Crimea and the Russian naval base there would remove an important obstacle to their membership in NATO. They could use, but probably won’t, the crisis as a means to accelerate their accession into the EU. Again none of this is likely to happen because of Western hypocrisy. The West expresses outrage but is unwilling to back this with what would be the two principal avenues which would help Ukraine and guarantee its security. As always, kleptocracy trumps everything. And as I wrote some time ago, the bottomline in Ukraine is how the country will be divided between Russian, European, American, and local kleptocrats.

    1. Jackrabbit

      With the referendum coming on Sunday, I guess now is a good time to reflect on how we got here.

      Its almost a truism to say: no one cares about Ukraine, the oligarchs are the only winners, etc. But the larger picture is very disturbing: 1) After losing the peace, the US/West now presses forward; 2) Aren’t we are ALL pawns to the oligarchs/TPTB?

      Jackrabbit recoup linkfest:

      Little possibility of war? East-West Oligarch collusion?

      Neocon/neolibs pray on established notions of freedom and free markets

      Circle-jerking Oligarchs

      The lame response by the West

      Obama and the neocons – 2

      Obama and the neocons -1

      The cost of Ukraine: OPM (Other People’s Money)


      EU Neglect of Ukraine?

    2. Synopticist

      I think you missed out the first stage in the Ukrainian crisis, which was the US and it’s allies deciding they were going to cause some sh*t for Putin because of his intransigence over Syria. So what would have been some short term and temporary demos in Kiev became a revolution partly funded and organised by western NGOs set up for just this sort of purpose. When Clinton, at a “friends of Syria” meeting declared Putin would “pay a price” for his policies, this is the type of thing she had in mind.
      In Russian eyes (and in mine as well), the crisis in Ukraine was all about pay-back for Syria.

      And furthermore, with Syria in mind, I have to laugh at the western MSM’s repeated claims of Russian propaganda. The blizzard of one sided reporting about Syria from the entire corporate media and shilling NGOs, which has lasted 3 years and is still unabating, has now come home to roost. In the eyes of people who pay proper attention to foreign affairs, there’s not that much difference anymore between the reliability of the likes of the BBC or WAPO or NYT, and Russian state television or alternative news blogs.

      1. Andrew Watts

        It could be payback for the humiliating outcome of the Russo-Georgian war too. Or Edward Snowden. Putin has a gift at making our leaders look stupid.

        That’s pretty much the only thing I like about him.

        1. Synopticist

          Yes, he has that gift, but maybe that’s because they ARE stupid? I mean, forcing down Morales’ jet when snowden wasn’t even on board. How dumb? Is Snowden harder for the CIA to get hold of in the hands of the Russian FSB, or in some latin American banana republic? Hmmm, toughie. Lets provoke a diplomatic incident anyways.

          I’m surprised at the inanity of western decision making these days. You expected from the cavemen around Bush, but at least the brits were trying to temper some of their worst stupidity. Now the Obamabots and R2P crowd are just as ignorant, and we brits aren’t even deviating an inch from them.

          It seems like the only lessons those people learn’t from Iraq are 1. Republicans booooooo, hurray for democrats, and 2. Get tame NGOs to help with PR.

            1. Synopticist

              “Responsibility to Protect”.
              In other words, intervening in other countries, like eg Syria, without the requisite UN authorisation.

      2. Doug Terpstra

        Yes, the West is the clearly the prime instigator in Ukraine, albeit within fertile ferment. And this is quite clearly neocon payback for Syria, for the simple reason that it was Putin who almost single-handedly thwarted their machinations there, not democracy, contrary to the wishful thinking of many (our own regime has no more legitimacy than Ukraine’s IMO).

        But according to Paul Craig Roberts, Mike Whitney, and others, it’s much more than that. Ukraine is indeed important to the West, critical in fact. It’s the linchpin in the breakup of Russia, the encirclement of China, and the final consolidation of global empire — one world government. This is consistent with the US’ aggressive militarism and disaster capitalism.

        The Road to World War 3: Ukraine, Russia and American Imperialism

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      You’ve pretty much gone through the looking glass here, Hugh.

      Are you seriously suggesting that it is PUTIN who has “imperial ambitions,” and has been emboldened to unleash them as a result of the OLYMPICS????

      Or that Ukraine as an EU/NATO member would be a NEUTRAL state????

      As for “oligarchic politically corrupt juices” and expensive, economy-draining occupations, well, we here in the US know a little about that. And they ARE expensive. And they DO destroy an economy. And we’ve been doing it for decades.

      And UKRAINE has a problem with “legitimacy” being “an exceedingly rare commodity”??? Have you already forgotten the succession of unelected IMF technocrats who have been installed as heads of state in several European countries? Or our own beloved George W. Bush who ruled for eight years thanks to our “SUPREME” Court deciding that “votes” do not need to be counted?

      In case you haven’t noticed, China, the country to which we have gifted virtually our entire industrial base, IS NOT ON OUR SIDE. And China, along with the rest of the BRICS, have been making noises about ending the dollar hegemony. And the Fed can’t return Germany’s gold for SEVEN YEARS because they sold it all to China to keep the price down.

      So come back from bizarro world, Hugh. And tell Zbigniew Brzezinski to go home. You shouldn’t be playing with people like that.

      1. Hugh

        These lacunae on the left puzzle me. Because the US has imperial ambitions, Russia can’t? I don’t get it. Putin’s actions since he first came to office have been nationalist at home and imperialist abroad within the domain of the old USSR. I don’t understand the left’s amnesia over this, other than it serves a rather simplistic narrative of US bad therefore Russia good scenario. The Ukraine is a big deal for this imperial project of Putin just as Ukraine is not and has not been a big deal for the West over the last 20 years.

        I do not disagree that illegitimacy is a feature of the world’s governments. I have often written that these governments are all variations on the theme of kleptocracy. But it is reductionist and simplistic to say that they are all the same and that there are no degrees of difference between them.

        I think you are seriously overstating the power of the BRIC and ignoring their vulnerabilities.

        Russians have not had a lot to feel good about for a long time. So yes, the Sochi Olympics were important to them and they came off them on a nationalist high. A high which could was fairly easy to redirect into a nationalist/imperialist adventure in Crimea.

        As for neutrality, my point was that Putin’s deal with Yanukovych pushed a weak, poor, peripheral somewhat Europe leaning but effectively neutral country into a hostile neighbor.

    4. Katniss Everdeen

      Putin ought to just let the EU have Ukraine and then make them pay the gas bill. With interest.

      I think that’s called a “Pyrrhic Victory.”

      PS. In your analysis, it’s PUTIN who has “imperial ambitions?”

      Guess again.

      1. Vatch

        There are multiple leaders with imperial ambitions, and Putin is one of them. He’s not the only one, and Hugh confirms this by referring to Western imperialism in his next paragraph. Let’s be thorough, and mention China, too. I’d say that there are also some Jihadists with long term imperial ambitions.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          “There are multiple leaders with imperial ambitions….”

          True that. But why do all of them either call the U.S. home or take their marching orders from those that do?

          1. Vatch

            A novel idea! I didn’t realize that Putin of Russia or the Chinese take their marching orders from American imperialist leaders!

              1. Vatch

                What do other NC readers think? Are Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin vassals of the United States ruling class?

                  1. Vatch

                    Ukraine owes money to Russia, and any financial aid to Ukraine will eventually go to Russia.

                    How does this either prove or disprove your assertion that Putin and Xi take their marching orders from Americans? What am I missing?

                    1. Fíréan

                      Here’s what your missing Vatch.

                      Vatcvh: “There are multiple leaders with imperial ambitions….”

                      Katniss Everdeen: True that. But why do all of them either call the U.S. home or take their marching orders from those that do?

                      The logic – Putin and Xi DON’T take their marching orders from Americans.
                      Putin and Xi aren’t included within “multiple leaders with imperial ambitions”.

                      ( I wouldn’t agree witht Xi not having imperial ambitions. But after defending Republic of South Ossetia from attack by Georgia forces, Russia allowed South Ossesia autonomy, returned to their home land and did not take the opportunity to occupy and expand.)

                    2. Vatch

                      Hi Firean, thanks for your response. I guess we disagree about Putin’s motives. His behavior on Syria is indicative of imperial ambitions, and of course the U.S. also has imperial ambitions related to Syria. He certainly has imperial ambitions vis a vis many of the former Soviet republics, such as Ukraine. His imperialism does not always manifest itself in military actions, a feature which he shares with U.S. imperialism. An empire can be rather nebulous, in that the imperial center may influence some portions of the empire economically, or by the implied threat of military action, rather than by outright occupation. And the existing vastness of Russia/Siberia is an empire that needs to be maintained.

                      But it’s okay for you to disagree. I might be wrong, so it’s good that I’m forced to re-evaluate my ideas. Thank you.

      2. Doug Terpstra

        Yes, Putin’s actions are clearly a reaction to Western provocation, a US-engineered coup. The imperialism and aggression inflicted on Ukraine are made in the USA, following a long and shameful tradition, not Russia. I think Hugh has a bit of a blind spot on this one.

  4. Brindle

    I don’t read Andrew Sullivan much, but he pegs Obama accurately here on complicity with torture.

    —“Because of his passivity and unseriousness with respect to the committee’s vital work, because of his elevation of John Brennan to the head of CIA (a man far more concerned with the agency’s reputation than with accounting for the torture he never protested or opposed at the time), and because of his continuing bullshit about what is truly delaying the report – he must now be considered an objective accomplice to the cover-up.—”

      1. Jim Haygood

        Last week I was wondering how Venezuela’s annual inflation could be only 56%, when its currency in circulation increased by 53% in just two months from October to December 2013. Here is one possible answer:

        “The prices in the economy are much, much higher than the controlled prices being used by the government,” [Johns Hopkins professor Steve] Hanke said. “The inflation rate is much higher than anyone is projecting. It’s in the triple digits.”

        According to the Cato Institute’s troubled currencies project, which estimates the inflation implied by a country’s black market prices, Venezuela’s rate was 330% as of last week, or nearly six times the official figure.,4/


        With 330% inflation, it’s hardly necessary to hire agents provocateurs. Peeps will just go out in las calles under their own volition to vent their rage.

        1. Ben Johannson

          1) Inflation is not a monetary phenomenon, which is why an increase in velocity can diverge from inflation.

          2) You referenced Cato, a PR firm devoted to electing Republicans and owned by those two old queens (everyone knows who I’m talking about). That’s like quoting ThinkProgress when mounting a defense of Democrats.

  5. Jerome Armstrong

    Do the “neo-nazi’s have taken over Ukraine” handwringers even realize that ‘what’s next’ is the election in May?

      1. Andrew Watts

        As if they’re all that interested in elections. They’ll do what they always do.

        “Militants not endowed with any legitimate police authority have arrogated emergency police powers to themselves, using axes and sticks to block central thoroughfares, halting cars to carry out inspections and verification of documents of passengers, and arresting people…

        Already on February 23 representatives of the new government announced the formation of the Ukrainian nation: they proclaim that anyone who uses the Russian language will be subjected to deprivation of their native-born status of Ukrainian ethnicity and will be discriminated against in civil and political rights.” -Natalia Vitrenko, Chairman of the Progressive Socialist Party

        Oops, it’s already started. It’s not a good time to be a Ukrainian socialist.

          1. Synopticist

            “Did the CIA really expect the student protesters to form a new government?”

            I’m not sure they even thought that far ahead. When the demonstrations first kicked off late last year, they thought “hey, here’s a great chance to weaken Putin, lets throw money and organisational know-how at them”.
            And that was it, I reckon.

            It was done on the hoof, an opportunistic and adventurist foreign policy gamble.

            1. Fíréan

              ” It was done on the hoof, . . . ”
              As like Egyt, Libya and Syria ?
              The $5 billion (according the Victoria Nuland) spent on the hoof ?
              The naivety of it all.

      1. Lambert Strether

        Readers will correct me, but IIRC Hitler did not outright win. He was appointed Chancellor by Hindenburg, and there was a good deal of Nazi thuggery in between the election and his appointment.

        Of course elections can be rigged. Or stolen, as in Florida 2000 in the US. But it would be nice to have a little evidence on scenarios for that in Ukraine.

        1. Vatch

          Lambert, you are correct about Hitler. He was not elected when the Nazis came to power. The Nazis never won a majority of the votes, although they did get 37% in July, 1932, and 33% in November 1932. So many Nazis were elected, but not Hitler, and if their opponents had been able to cooperate, history might have been radically different. In November, the Social Democrats and the Communists combined had more votes than the Nazis. More on this:

          November 1932 German Election

        2. scraping_by

          Hitler was appointed Chancellor, but after the Reichstag fire and the emergency laws they threw a plebiscite accompanied by the usual voter restrictions, propaganda campaigns, street thugs, and friendly vote counters. So, in form, he was elected.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Maybe we should have every “voter” dip their index fingers in purple dye. Yes, I’m sure that would work. Then, when the “news” media covers the momentous, birth-of-democracy event, they can take photos of those “voters” displaying those purple-dyed fingers for the cameras. With broad smiles.

      Those photos can then be tweeted, facebooked and instagramed around the world as proof-positive that the people have spoken. Enough said. Democracy at work.

      Definitively documenting democracy through technology. How did we ever survive without Facebook and Twitter?????

      1. Murky

        How do we survive now without a knowledge of history? Blog rant prevails. Those least informed seem to shout the loudest.

        1. Katniss Everdeen


          We have FACEBOOK. REAL time. HISTORY???? What the heck are “u” talking about?

          History is so ten minutes ago.

            1. Katniss Everdeen

              I keep forgetting the sarcasm tag. I guess I thought the “u” reference was enough.

              Please forgive me.

  6. charles 2

    Re :”Troubled waters: Nuclear radiation found in B.C. may pose health concerns ”

    So essentially, whales are not suitable for human consumption, meaning that instead of being hunted to extinction, with hunting methods that makes stage-hunting humane, they instead may die from some cancer far in the future. That is a bad thing ?

    1. psychohistorian

      My take away from the article is that in 30 years seafood on the West coast will have radiation levels exceeding current limits for human consumption. Since Fukushima is expected to continue spewing radiation onto the ocean for at least 100 years, this means to me that seafood from the Pacific ocean starting in 30 years (or less) and for an indeterminate period into the future will either be dead or unsafe for human consumption.

      And yes, I consider that to be a VERY BAD thing which ought to be getting much more public awareness than it is currently.

      1. Jess

        30 years in the future? How about NOW? I live in a CA coastal community and I no longer eat saltwater fish from the Pacific. (Got any Atlantic salmon? Atlantic lobster. Okay, I’m good with that.)

        Read somewhere (FDL perhaps?) a while back that samples taken from 15 different tuna catches along the West Coast from B.C. to Mexico all showed elevated levels of radiation including Cesium 137. Also hearing about random water samples up and down the CA coast showing with radiation up to 16 times background.

        1. Jackrabbit

          My understanding is that the level of radiation may not even be a good indication of the danger. Radiation particles that are ingested or breathed in are very dangerous and may be present even when radiation measurements seem low.

          1. just_kate

            Yep, that’s my understanding as well. I’m in CA and we get air pollution from China so I don’t believe one word of the Soma-like messaging about Fukushima. Can’t do anything about the air and water and most of the local grown foodstuffs but we don’t eat Pacific seafood anymore – may be a fools errand but its something.

        2. psychohistorian

          I am seriously concerned but have read enough to believe that we are not at the level of accumulation yet in seafood that is injurious to human health.

          That said, it is criminal that the world leadership and/or UN is not calling for a total end to nuclear power plants. It definitely speaks volumes about the brainwashing capability of the MSM.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            “….we are not at the level of accumulation yet in seafood that is injurious to human health….”

            I’m sure someone is grateful that YOU’LL eat it. I’m certainly not going to.

          2. just_kate

            The problem is that by the time its tested/detected/reported to be dangerous its already been in the food supply and in the food chain (which is worse). I’m not overly freaked out about it but given my age it makes sense to minimize exposure.

            I think there is zero chance of any government agency making moves to protect citizens early enough once the food source becomes just ‘risky’ for consumption – when TPTB decide its dangerous it will be too late.

    1. Patricia

      Sorry I couldn’t contribute this time, Lambert, and very glad that you’ve got enough for the moment.

      It’s no fun to have to scrape together something as silly as money just to keep going.

    2. Massinissa

      University student, no income, cant donate. Maybe in 5 years. Sorry Lambert.

      But do know I am gladly thankful for all that Yves and you do.

  7. Massinissa

    “Kiev uprising was not Neo Nazi power grab”

    Reminds me of Richard Nixon saying “I am not a crook”.

  8. craazyman

    Lambert, I just tried to donate by credit card to your fundraiser using the link posted above yesterday’s Links and got a message:

    “The card you entered cannot be used for this payment. Please enter a different credit or debit card number.”

    So I called my credit card company and they said there’s no reason the card should be rejected. It should work, they said. They said it may be a problem with the website I’m trying to pay to. (I have Paypal but forgot my password, so tried to pay directly by credit card).

    Just a heads up in case others have the same kind of problem.

  9. F. Beard

    Re the Ukraine:

    The way to end the endless (till destruction anyway) oscillation between fascism/monarchism and socialism is to end the inherently crooked and thus inherently unstable money system known as central banking. Changing who is in charge of the thievery, the private sector or the State, is vain as history repeatedly informs.

  10. PhilJoMar

    Interesting photo today…Steve Keen looks terrible without his make-up on.
    It’s a reminder to us all that we need to look our best at all times….

    1. F. Beard

      I refrained from such a catty remark* because:

      1) Someone loves that old man.
      2) He looks frail but is still handsome.
      3) Depending on his age, he might look great.

      * Such as “Skippy after a bout with me? I should be kinder.”

      1. PhilJoMar

        I understand your sensitivity F. Beard but it was not meant to be ‘catty’ at all. I really like Steve Keen and wonder if my little ‘joke’ might have tickled him in his middle age should he have come across it.
        If it comes across as ‘brutal’ then I won’t be making such remarks in future. This kind of remark is commonplace in British humour (humor).

  11. Andrew Watts

    RE: Russian Troops Mass at Border With Ukraine

    Russia’s military chiefs are sending a defiant message. We’re probably closer to a Russian-Ukrainian war than anybody is letting on. The last time the Russian Parliament granted Putin the green light to use military force the Russians fought the Georgians and humiliated the neoconservative-backed ruler of Georgia over South Ossetia.

    I’m only sorry that the fools in Washington had to stop using their mean words. That was hilarious. You know things are really bad when Kissinger sounds reasonable.

    1. Synopticist

      Shared nostalgia for Kissinger, from a fellow lefty. Strange days indeed…
      Mind you, he won the nobel peace prize. If only we had a guy like that around now.

      Looking at that map from the NYT article, the names jump right out at me, from my Great Patriotic War reading. Kursk, Belgorod, Voronezh, Rostov, Kharkov, Donetesk, and just a days drive to the east, the battlefields of what used to be Stalingrad. No way will Russia allow NATO forces near those places, their historical memory is too deep. It’s like inviting Chinese armies onto the Rio Grande or the Niagra Falls.

    1. Jess

      You heard something good on NPR?

      Are you sure it was good? Are you sure it was NPR? Probability of both happening is pretty low.

  12. jfleni

    RE: U.S. Criticized for Lack of Action on Mortgage Fraud

    Honorable Butt-kisser AG:
    Don’t you worry none, Jimbo, or you neither Loy, nobody going to jail! Just pay this little-bitty fine, and then have a nice day! And don’t forget me and Barry and all the rest of your good buddies!

  13. psychohistorian

    I like the straight forward nature of cocktailhag’s “Ass Forward” posting at FDL. I had dinner with him during Occupy time in Portland and while he indeed doesn’t have a Harvard degree, he is keenly insightful and literate.

    Glad to see him regularly linked to here, thanks.

  14. Klassy

    Telling lies: So, Ms. Campbell does not tell lies any more. Alrighty then. Her startup, Posse, is described as “the first social search engine” and is for helping people new to an area find a restaurant or whatever. Does she tell the users it is actually about collecting their data?
    Why does the NYT keep providing a platform for these holier than thou types who assure us they have the answer. A world without lies would not be the nirvana that she imagines.
    And if she really wanted to tell the truth, she would stop lying to herself and admit that the world was not screaming for “Posse” and it really isn’t very useful at all.

  15. Murky

    Yep, some posts are getting shuffled out of order. It’s been happening for a couple of days.

  16. huxley

    The crooks have been plundering the country hot and heavy for quite a long time now. How much could really be left to steal?

  17. Grant

    RE: DC MEETUP Reposting from the 3/12 links thread just to be sure:

    I just spoke to the manager of 14K and they will reserve some tables for us on Tuesday 3/18 at 6 pm, requesting a finer headcount than 15-30 closer to the event. So, is this meet up a go at this location and is there a way for people to reconfirm their plan to attend?

      1. Optimader

        I admire their persistence. I just was introduced to a new(to me) local beekeeper i buy local honey from. I like to support these stewards of nature and the honey is great.
        Some of the best pleasures are the simple ones

  18. ohmyheck

    On the DiFi business—-(don’t let the title fool you)
    “Some powerful “intelligence” scoundrels are now at each other’s throats, even while continuing to brandish daggers at the heart of democracy with their contempt for such ideals as a free press, privacy and due process”… lovin’ the imagery…. it also talks about how stomping on the 4th Amendment is OK until it effects the Elites.

    As a follow-up—“Is the Deep State Fracturing into Disunity? ”
    From his lips to Gawd’s Ear!

    Interesting times, indeed, if it’s true.

  19. dearieme

    I hope the bystander who interfered in a family squabble, summoning the police gorillas who went on to kill the father, is proud of himself.

  20. allcoppedout

    What always interests me about Nazis is how they went from 4 – 33& of the vote. The Dawes and Young plans on finance (reparations etc.) were ramped up as ‘enslaving Germany for generations’. Given what the banks have been doing to us all we don’t seem to have any popular movement seeking votes to do something about their similar enslavement techniques, Not that I want Nazis, but isn’t someone likely to try to cash in on finance excesses with a popular party? Do any of us have constitutions against voted in power seizure?

    Tony Benn died yesterday, perhaps the last UK ‘anti-bank’ politician. We were about to vote in quite a radical Labour government with a watered down version of his socialism, but instead organised a war against Argentina that led to Thatcher not being kicked out and financialisation sweeping through us. Since 1982 the US and UK have been embroiled in a number of wars. Just who is in power?

  21. affinis

    Re: Ukraine – Lambert: ”Fascist iconography is never accidental.”
    That’s true. Look at the many anti-Semitic and fascist signs associated with the Occupy movement.

    And OWS was endorsed (and actively supported) by the American Nazi Party! Clearly not accidental. Now one might argue that technically, OWS is not (entirely) neo-Nazi….but….

    [Of course the above is clearly a pile of bollocks. Regarding Ukraine, this letter is slightly dated, but worth a glance: ]

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