Links 3/19/14

The Most Important Economic Chart House of Debt. Can’t be said enough. In fact, I have before, right here, last August!

The Plummeting Labor Market Fortunes of Teens and Young Adults Brookings

Inside Low-wage Workers’ Plan to Sue McDonald’s — and Win Portside

States looking at $0 community college tuition AP

The rich strike back Politico. “You don’t survive as a society if you encourage and thrive on envy or jealousy… if you go back to 1933, with different words, this is what Hitler was saying in Germany.” Ken Langone, ladies and gentlemen.

Revealed: Inside the Senate report on CIA interrogations Al Jazeera America

100 serial rapists identified after Detroit finally processes untested rape kits Feministing

Ukraine:

The War Nerd: Everything you know about Crimea is wrong(-er) PandoDaily

Putin signs treaty for Crimea to join Russia AP

Ukraine will never accept Crimea’s annexation to Russia, official says LA Times

Ukrainian serviceman reportedly shot in Crimea Washington Post

VP Biden: US weighs rotating forces to Baltics AP

Transdnestr Asks to Be Included in Annexation Legislation Moscow Times

Crimea Could Weaken Russia’s Pacific Fleet The Diplomat

Dependence on Russia Is Likely to Leave Region’s Economy in a Precarious State NYT

Well that’s all fairly horrifying.

Introducing ‘AnonyWatch’: Tracking Nameless Quotations in The Times Public Editor, NYT. Good idea, though using the first opportunity to defend Andrew Cuomo from an anonymous smear is a little grating.

3 reasons to tap home equity to buy stocks MSN Money. I’m assuming this is just some test of P.T. Barnum’s “sucker born every minute” proposition.

Did Social Security Cost Democrats a Seat In Florida? NationalJournal.com

Big Brother is Watching You Watch:

US labeled ‘enemy of Internet’ The Hill

NSA surveillance program reaches ‘into the past’ to retrieve, replay phone calls Washington Post

Fifth financial executive with ties to JPMorgan found dead Housing Wire

CFTC May Delay Some Overseas Trade Restrictions WSJ

Schneiderman Dislikes High-Speed Traders All Over Jonathan Weil, Bloomberg View

Alibaba IPO offers $400m feast to banks Financial Times

Sunoco oil pipeline leaks in Ohio nature preserve Reuters

Voracious Worm Evolves to Eat Biotech Corn Engineered to Kill It Wired Science

Antidote du jour:

veliger

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About David Dayen

David is a contributing writer to Salon.com. He has been writing about politics since 2004. He spent three years writing for the FireDogLake News Desk; he’s also written for The New Republic, The American Prospect, The Guardian (UK), The Huffington Post, The Washington Monthly, Alternet, Democracy Journal and Pacific Standard, as well as multiple well-trafficked progressive blogs and websites. His has been a guest on MSNBC, CNN, Aljazeera, Russia Today, NPR, Pacifica Radio and Air America Radio. He has contributed to two anthology books, one about the Wisconsin labor uprising and another on the fight against the Stop Online Piracy Act in Congress. Prior to writing about politics he worked for two decades as a television producer and editor. You can follow him on Twitter at @ddayen.

171 comments

    1. diptherio

      Apparently not everyone at MSN is suffering from rectal-cranial inversion.

      Be sure to watch for next weeks’ article: 3 Reasons to Take Your Life Savings to the Keno Parlor.

      1. huxley

        A fool and his money are soon parted. But you have to wonder how they got together in the first place.

        1. ChrisPacific

          After reading it I was left with the strong impression that the author should not be permitted to handle large sums of money, heavy machinery, or sharp objects. (That or he is a Judas goat).

  1. Hugh

    It is important to understand that post-USSR Russia is a racist construct. Great Russians in the USSR were poised to lose their majority status. The idea was to cut especially the Central Asian republics loose restoring ethnic Great Russians to majority status within the Russian republic while keeping the other former SSRs minus the Baltics dependent on Russia and in a de facto colonial relationship with it. Scattered Russian populations in the former SSRs also have turned into a ready made excuse for Russian interventionism and adventurism in these republics. Ukraine did not fit well into this pattern. Yeltsin was criticized for ever letting Ukraine become independent. And attempts like the one with Yanukovych to bring Ukraine back into the fold need to be seen in this light. That one blew up rather spectacularly. So Putin has moved on to Plan B, the Russian version of Anschluss in the Crimea.

    This action is deeply hypocritical in that Russia fought two bitter wars in Chechnya to prevent a national minority from breaking away from Russia and establishing its own state. Two countervailing tendencies have to be understood here. Russia has a lot of national minorities. Many of these minorities distrust each other and would prefer (at least for the time being) to be part of a larger state (even if a Russian dominated one) to keep historic ethnic enemies at bay. On the other hand, there are groups within Russia (especially in Siberia) that like the Chechens would prefer independence. The Russian fear was that Chechenitis might spread to other regions.

    The way to reconcile Russia’s and Putin’s diametrically opposed approach to Chechnya and Crimea is to understand both as a function of Russian neo-imperialism, that is Russian imperialism in the post-Soviet era.

    1. dearieme

      “It is important to understand that post-USSR Russia is a racist construct.”

      American foreign policy since President Wilson has been a racist construct too, hasn’t it?

      1. Jim Haygood

        As Mark Twain wrote in 1906 of U.S. rule in the Philippines:

        A tribe of Moros, dark-skinned savages, had fortified themselves in the bowl of an extinct crater not many miles from Jolo; and as they were hostiles, and bitter against us because we have been trying for eight years to take their liberties away from them, their presence in that position was a menace.

        http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/clemensmoromassacre.html

        1. diptherio

          Harvey said he believed that the shock and shame of this episode would eat down deeper and deeper into the hearts of the nation and fester there and produce results. He believed it would destroy the Republican party and President Roosevelt. I cannot believe that the prediction will come true, for the reason that prophecies which promise valuable things, desirable things, good things, worthy things, never come true. Prophecies of this kind are like wars fought in a good cause—they are so rare that they don’t count.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      It is important to understand that post-USSR Russia is a racist construct.

      Why, Hugh?

      Why is it important for Americans to understand the political/population dynamics of “post-USSR” Russia?

      If the US were an island of racial harmony, free from oligarchic predation and state-sanctioned repression, I could understand and believe that Americans were committed to such a perfectly peaceful existence for all people on the planet. And knew how to achieve it.

      But we are not. Nowhere near.

      I will gladly accept whatever label you choose to place on me when I say that I am far less concerned about Chechnya and Crimea than I am about Detroit and Chicago.

      So please, Hugh, enlighten me. Why is an understanding of what is going on in RUSSIA so important? Could it be so that I don’t need to consider the tremendous and growing dysfunction in my own backyard?

      1. optimader

        Katniss,
        “It is important to understand that post-USSR Russia is a racist construct.”

        A more full observation would be it’s important to realize most societies (I can think of) are racist, some more than others. the information is useful in so far as you can make your best decisions with the most complete and accurate information to best understand underlying motivations/dynamics.

        How Russia being racist differentiates Russia is this case is a reasonable question to explore.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          I take your point, Opti, and it is a valid one.

          I guess my objection to the endless scholarly analyses of the situation (and not just from Hugh or vlade), is that here they culminate in the use of the word “racism.” This word has a particularly distinct and bitter flavor when used in America.

          It’s as if the search is on for an emotional hot button, and all the buttons are being tried in an attempt to light a fire. Imperialism, nationalism, nuclear capability and finally racism.

          In short, I’m feeling manipulated and propagandized.

          Despite the accuracy of all of the analyses, and I have no way of judging that, I suspect there is only one true purpose–to rekindle the “terror” of Cold War emotion and re-establish the credentials and control of the neocons and the MIC.

          GWOT has, apparently, lost its luster.

          Case in point–Z. Brzezinski, a man whose influence and obsession almost single-handedly created the Taliban and our one of our current, ongoing disasters, is RELEVANT again. Depending on whom you talk to.

          1. optimader

            We’re on the same page.

            IMO a high level valid debate point is how is ( the relationship of Ukraine/Russia) it ANY of our business. Opinions over the cracker barrel are great, once opinions become actionable, maybe not so great as it becomes a deer path in the Woods of Unintended Consequences..
            I agree with the spirit of B.Fanklin’s notions about foreign entanglements, and his excellent point about influencing people with a successful societal example, which of course is the most difficult, high time preference approach.

            1. optimader

              Meant low time preference of course ….
              “..is the most difficult, high time preference approach..”

        2. hunkerdown

          Most societies, at least out of those extant today, cannot function without a spittoon class into which to pour their psychic and physical poisons.

    3. EmilianoZ

      So Putin has moved on to Plan B

      I was under the impression that it was American neocons who moved him to Plan B.

      1. Doug Terpstra

        Indeed, they did Putin a huge favor, creating the perfect justification for the reunification of Crimea with Russia. Putin played NED, the neocons, and Obama like cheap fiddles. Their machinations backfired big time. As I wrote yesterday about the Pando link:

        ” Obama and the Neocons couldn’t have fumbled a Great Game powerplay any more spectacularly if they’d choreographed and rehearsed it (one wonders). Beats Putin’s Obama takedown in Syria by a long shot. What a boomerang … sweet!”

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          NED, the neocons and Obama ARE “cheap fiddles.”

          Cesar 911 is a new dog training show on NatGeoWild channel. “Dog Whisperer” Cesar specializes in “aggressive” dogs. His theory is that aggressive dogs are “insecure.”

          His advice? Stand your ground–don’t back up–until the dog “lowers” himself, even just a little. Then advance toward him and stand your ground again.

          Repeat, as necessary.

          Hmmmmm…………….

          1. Vatch

            So the Ukrainians should stand their ground against Putin and the Russians? I don’t think their military is powerful enough for this challenge.

            1. psychohistorian

              Some analogies just don’t scale.

              I think in this case we are talking about the windshield and bug analogy with the Ukraine stuck in bug mode.

              1. Vatch

                A lot depends on terrain and vegetation. Ukraine was overrun by the Germans in World War I, by the Soviets in the civil war circa 1920, and by the Nazis in World War II.

                1. hunkerdown

                  Yet Afghanistan, the anvil on which empires are broken, remains Afghan, perhaps with thanks to terrain that favors intimacy over remote sensing.

                2. optimader

                  “A lot depends on terrain and vegetation. ”
                  The only thing that depends on terrain is strategy.

                  “Ukraine was overrun by the Germans in World War I, by the Soviets in the civil war circa 1920, and by the Nazis in World War II.”

                  Overrunning is a different kettle of fish than occupation. Occupation is very much different than forcing the long term acquiescence and integration of indigenous population.

                  1. Vatch

                    The mountains of Switzerland have protected them for many centuries, and as hunkerdown reminded us, mountainous Afghanistan is the graveyard of empires. The mountainous areas of Spain caused a lot of trouble for Napoleon.

                    Mountains affect more than strategy. They affect culture by isolating communities, thereby making them prone to be suspicious of outsiders.

                    As for Ukraine, that nation was effectively occupied by the Russians for centuries.

                    1. Optimader

                      The Ukraine was not “occupied” by the Russian Empire, the portion that was assimilated voted to become part of it.

                      The point is wether mountainous terrain, jungle or desert the indiginous population is either with the program or it fails ultimately.

                      “… According to a popular and well established theory, the medieval state of Kievan Rus was established by the Varangians in the 9th century as the first historically recorded East Slavic state. It emerged as a powerful nation in the Middle Ages but disintegrated in the 12th century. By the middle of the 14th century, present Ukrainian territories were under the rule of three external powers: the Golden Horde, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and the Kingdom of Poland, during the 15th century these lands came under the rule of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland, Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth (since 1569), and Crimean Khanate.[5] In 1653 the greater portion of the population rebelled against dominantly Polish Catholic rule and in January 1654 an assembly of the people (rada) voted at Pereyaslav to turn to Moscow, effectively joining the southeastern portion of the Polish-Lithuanian empire east of the Dnieper River to Russia.[6] After the Partitions of Poland (1772–1795) and conquest of Crimean Khanate, Ukraine was divided between Russia and Austria, thus the largest part of Ukraine was integrated into the Russian Empire, with the rest under Austrian (known as Austro-Hungarian since 1849) control.”

            2. Katniss Everdeen

              Actually, I was talking about Russia vs. US. (Or, Putin vs. well, anybody.)

              Forgive me for not having been clear. I was under the “mis-impression” that the “cheap fiddles” reference was self-explanatory.

              I’ll not “mis-underestimate” my audience again.

              I apologize.

              1. Vatch

                Hi Katnip. I knew what you meant. My point is that the aggressive beast can be either Russia or the United States.

        2. Synopticist

          Yup, Nuland et all’s cack-handed powerplay handed Putin an easy win, and there’s nothing they can do about it.

    4. Banger

      The same could be said for any country with imperial roots and/or ambitions. I view the crisis there through the eyes of realpolitik and the interests of the American people. Russia is what it is as is China (another racist country) they are entitled to their spheres of influence. You, although you don’t say so, may favor U.S. imperialism but I see it as ultimately destructive to my country (the U.S.) and those currently in power are far, far, far, more dangerous to me and people I know than Putin.

      Russia reacted to a U.S./Nato operation to expand their power–certainly the Western Ukraine favors Europe but their street toughs staged a coup supported and funded by the U.S. and other forces and that was an act of aggression–remember the gov’t was freely elected and replaced a corrupt gov’t–it itself was corrupt as will any future government–only it will be subject no to Russia but to the IMF. Pick your poison–both choices are bad.

      1. Vatch

        …they are entitled to their spheres of influence.

        Are they entitled? Is the United States entitled to a sphere of influence? If so, Cuba is certainly within that sphere of influence. Should the U.S. government do something about that? What about the smaller, less powerful countries that are subject to the U.S., Russian, and Chinese entitlements to spheres of influence? Are they entitled to anything?

        Pick your poison–both choices are bad.

        Yes! I agree.

        1. Banger

          There was an attempt at an invasion and attempts to invade Cuba. An agreement was reached about Cuba with the Russians back in the day that defused the situation after the Cuban Missile Crisis. Since then there has been a punishing embargo against Cuba but no military action–all due to an agreement with the USSR. But other countries in Latin America were ruthlessly brought to heel over many decades. Plus, look at the population of Cuba and its raw materials and capabilities then look at Cuba–are you serious in comparing the two?

          Cuba is a tiny island and not important or a threat to the U.S. The Ukraine is a threat to Russia because the coup is part of a long-standing policy to undermine Russian power and surround Russian with NATO bases. It’s pure power-politics. Russia allowed the Baltic states to leave the Russian sphere with minimal complaint despite the fact that the USG promised to not expand NATO. The U.S. broke its agreement.

          I’m a realist and believe that change needs to come slowly in international relations–sudden moves can spiral out of control.

          1. Vatch

            I know the U.S. has exploited Latin America and has taken multiple actions against Cuba. My point is that these are the actions of a nation that feels entitled to a sphere of influence. I question whether any nation is entitled to a sphere of influence. Yes, in the real world, nations will do what they can get away with, but not because they are entitled to do so.

            As you said, the U.S. and NATO violated an agreement with Russia about admitting former Soviet republics into NATO. However, it is also my understanding that Russia agreed to respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine in return for which the Ukrainians gave up their nuclear weapons. If this is true, then Russia had no right to occupy Crimea, especially since Ukraine has not been admitted to NATO. Even if Ukraine had been admitted to NATO, it is questionable that Russia would have rights against Ukraine. In that case, their grievance would probably be primarily against the U.S. Russia would have a grievance against Ukraine if the Ukrainians tried to develop or acquire nuclear weapons.

            I’m uncertain about the details of these treaties. I think that some of them are part of the 1994 Kremlin Accords, but I haven’t been able to find reliable details about this. Can anyone shed some light on this?

            Thanks.

            1. OIFVet

              I am getting tired of hearing about the Ukraine giving up “its” nuclear weapons. These weapons were not Ukrainian, they were Soviet weapons deployed on the territory of the Soviet republic of Ukraine. And the Soviet Union was Russia, the weapons were Russian. The Ukrainians simply gave up weapons that were not theirs and that they had no capacity to maintain and secure properly. Can you imagine these clowns with nukes? Yeah, me neither.

              Also, Crimea was Russian long before the Ukrainian Khrushchev gave it to the Ukraine. The majority of its population is Russian and clearly wants no part of a puppet Ukraine. They have the same right to self-determination as the Kosovars, whose rights we so ardently supported by bombing Serbia. Finally, the Russian forces are in Crimea as is their right under a bilateral treaty; to call their presence in Crimea an “occupation” is to buy the party line from the same people who sold you the “Saddam was responsible for 9/11” fiction.

              1. Vatch

                Hugh pointed out:

                This action is deeply hypocritical in that Russia fought two bitter wars in Chechnya to prevent a national minority from breaking away from Russia and establishing its own state.

                Putin’s behavior towards the Chechens proves that he doesn’t care about self determination.

                As for the bilateral treaty that gives the Russians the right to be in Crimea, I would love to see a translation of that treaty. Does it give the Russian soldiers the right to seize Ukrainian government offices and transportation centers? I strongly doubt it.

                I wouldn’t want the Ukrainians to have nukes, either. The Soviet Union was dominated by Russians, but it was more than just a Russian country. The Soviets/Russians put nukes in Ukraine, and they had to live with the consequences of that by making some concessions to the Ukrainians. And now the Russians appear to be in gross violation of their agreement to respect the Ukrainian national boundaries. I say that they “appear to be in gross violation” because I don’t know precisely what that treaty says. I would love it if someone could point me to some reliable facts about this, such as the text of the treaty.

                The Russian attitude towards their agreements with the Ukrainians is reminiscent of the disgraceful way that the U.S. government routinely violated treaties with the American Indians.

                1. OIFVet

                  And I am yet to hear anyone here defending Putin’s actions in Chechnya so I fail to see your and Hugh’s point. Are you saying that because of Chechnya Crimea should be forced to stay under the rule of a country it does not want to be a part of? I believe that’s called colonialism.

                  Is there any part of the Ukrainian Constitution that stipulates the right of neo-nazi thugs to seize government buildings and overthrow the elected government? And do you have any proof that Russian troops rather than local Crimean self-defense militias seized those buildings and hubs you spoke of?

                  Nukes: based on the argument you put forth, do you suppose the US would “live with the consequences” if say Montana with its nuclear bases broke away? Would the US government be obliged to offer concessions to Montana to get its nukes back? I doubt it, but then again we in the US love our double standards because American Exceptionalism.
                  Lastly, what part of “Crimea was Russian long before the Ukrainian Khruschev gave it to the Ukrainian SSR” don’t you understand? Am I to understand that in doing so he respected the borders and integrity of the Russian SSR?

                  1. Vatch

                    Regarding Chechnya: you’re the one who mentioned self determination. I was pointing out that Putin’s actions aren’t about anyone’s self determination.

                    Do I have proof that Russian soldiers were committing acts of aggression? No, they weren’t wearing their military insignias, so we really can’t be certain who they were. Do you have proof that Russians did not commit acts of aggression?

                    The point about the nukes isn’t that I or anyone here wants the Ukrainians to have them. It’s that the Russians broke their agreement, just as the U.S. government has broken agreements.

                    I honestly don’t know what the ethnic distribution has been in Crimea over the past few hundred years. Do you? I would love to see some references with such information. Perhaps it now has a majority of ethnic Russians because the Soviets committed genocide against Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars during the first half of the 20th century.

                    1. OIFVet

                      Chechnya: So your argument boils down to punishing Crimea for the sins of Putin. Nice.

                      Russian soldiers: so if you have no proof then why do you offer their involvement as a fact? That’s simply not a nice way to engage in a debate.

                      Nukes: “Agreements” viewed outside their historical contexts are useless. Here is the historical context for you on this “agreement” Russia entered to get its own nukes back: its the early 90’s and Russia is broke and weak, undergoing Jeffrey Sach’s and IMF’s shock therapy. Western-approved “reformers” around Yeltsin such as Chubais and Gaidar are making the effects of the shock therapy even worse by their corrupt selling off of state assets for pennies on the dollar. Russia does not have the wherewithal and its leaders are too beholden to the IMF to mount a vigorous defense of its interests, so it enters into an “agreement” at the point of a financial gun. Being forced into concessions to get its nukes back is hardly what I will call an “agreement”. Context Vatch, context.

                      If you do not know, Google it. It has been heavily Russian since the early 19th century because of its obvious strategic significance as the only warm water port for the Russian navy. But if we are to go even further back, it was populated by Crimmerians, who were expelled by the Scythians who were expelled by the Greeks. So lets find them Crimmerians and give them Crimea, what do you say?

                    2. Vatch

                      I am honest enough to say that there isn’t conclusive proof that Russian soldiers are occupying Crimea. But there is extremely strong evidence for this. You can believe what you want — you seem to be very angry about this issue.

                      And no, my argument does not boil down to punishing Crimea for the sins of Putin. Does your argument boil down to punishing Ukraine for the sins of Obama and Bush? I won’t make that sort of unfair accusation, so why do you? Putin’s misbehavior simply reflects on his motives and credibility.

                      As for the nukes, they didn’t just belong to the Russians — they belonged to all of the Soviets. As the largest non-Russian republic, Ukraine was entitled to some concessions, and Russia has reneged on those concessions, just like the U.S. government reneged on treaty obligations to the American Indians.

                    3. OIFVet

                      Well yes, I am angry. I am a veteran and many of us are angry about the stupidity and avarice of our elites and media because the last time we saw this pattern we ended up going to Iraq to be blown to damned pieces physically and emotionally for no good reason, and indeed for obvious lies. So yes, I am angry about the double standard, hypocrisy, and unrelenting propaganda machine all working in tandem to get us into an ill advised cold war simply because our corrupt system depends on manufacturing enemies to keep the dough going to the military-industrial complex for weapons we do not need. And I am disappointed that there are otherwise well informed individuals who are falling for these lies and don’t even realize that they engage in their own perverse form of American Exceptionalism which insists that Russia behave in a way which is in direct conflict with their own security interests in the face of foreign power meddling at their front door. Remember when we threw a hissy fit over Soviet missiles bound for Cuba and came within minutes of a nuclear war over them? Well, Ukraine IS Russi’s Cuba and no rational thinking person would have failed to predict Russia’s response. We will not tolerate another power meddling in the affairs of our neighbors and moving to our borders, but you have taken the neocon position that Russia MUST tolerate NATO and the US encircling it because to do otherwise makes them a bad country. This is delusional insanity, this is freaking DANGEROUS.

                      Yet here you are going on about concessions Ukraine is somehow entitled to receive from Russia. Well, this is naive and pardon me for saying it, stupid. Again, you either lack or choose to disregard the context of this “agreement” you are going on about. I already mentioned part of it, here is the other part: a big part of that “agreement” was contingent on Bush Sr’s promise not to expand NATO eastward into former Warsaw pact countries and Soviet republics. We violated that agreement time and again and are now poised to move into Ukraine, which is basically a gateway to Russia’s interior. Putin is doing the cold hard realist thing, which is to protect his country from the threat of an obviously hostile power and its military alliance, and he is the bad guy for reacting to this obvious and ill-advised provocation?! Well Vatch, if you are going to point fingers then point them toward our own incompetent and delusional foreign policy elites, and toward the dumb and corrupt Ukrainian elites who failed to learn the lesson from Georgia in 2008. Your idealism is touching but laughably naive. And also understand this: whatever Putin’s faults are, at least he is infinitely more realistic and logical then our own leaders who have apparently lost their damned minds and are doing their best to drag us into a conflict no one can win. And also it was Putin who has saved us from ourselves, for the time being, in regards to Syria and Iran. Call him whatever you want, the fact remains that Putin and Russia have been much more instrumental in keeping us from costly quagmires then our morons in DC.

                    4. Jackrabbit

                      @OIFVet Truth to power!

                      As you mention, in many ways the Ukraine gambit makes no sense. However, maybe it keeps Putin busy while the neocons direct their focus elsewhere?

                    5. Vatch

                      I’m sorry you were cheated by the military and the government. The people who served in Iraq and Afghanistan were treated very badly. Our leaders considered them expendable, and that’s utterly shameful.

                      But back to the discussion at NC. You said to me:

                      you have taken the neocon position that Russia MUST tolerate NATO and the US encircling it because to do otherwise makes them a bad country.

                      Where and when did I say that? My position all along is that there is bad behavior on all sides in this fiasco. Normally, people who comment at NC are very suspicious of people in power, as they should be. But recently, there has been a flock of comments extolling the virtues of the dictatorial Vladimir Putin. I’m not a neo-con; I don’t defend Obama, Bush II, or the IMF, and any of the other plutocrats and oligarchs. But I don’t defend Putin, either.

                      The only place where I have said anything about NATO (until the current comment) is here:

                      http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/03/links-31914.html#comment-1925591

                      In that comment, I acknowledge that NATO and the U.S. violated a treaty with the Soviets/Russians. I mentioned that the Russians have violated their treaty with the Ukrainians, and then you angrily jumped in with a complaint about references to Ukrainian nuclear weapons. Well, those nukes did partially belong to the Ukrainians. The U.S. violated a treaty, and the Russians violated a treaty.

                      One huge difference between the situations in 2014 Ukraine and 1962 Cuba is that there are no nuclear weapons in Ukraine. Ukraine isn’t even in NATO, although because of Putin’s belligerence, the leaders of the West may now be more inclined to offer NATO membership to Ukraine. That would be very dangerous indeed.

                      I think you’re arguing with some people other than me.

                      I still would like to see the text of those treaties. If anyone knows where to find these on the internet, please let us know.

                    6. OIFVet

                      No, I am arguing with you. The way I see it, your refusal to acknowledge the very legitimate security concerns of Russia and its right to pursue its interests in the face of a neocon inspired belligerence and de facto aggression on its very border makes you and everyone who can’t see the forest from the trees a complicit collaborator to these nutcases. Nothing good will come of this, especially when you and yours demonize Putin for what amounts to self-defense in the face of a hostile power’s attempt to encircle his nation. The fact that there are no nukes in Ukraine does not matter, the comparison to Cuba holds. And where the hell have you been this past decade to have failed to notice the fact that it has been the neocon aim to add Ukraine to NATO at least since the Orange “revolution”? And to have completely missed the neocon-inspired fiasco in Georgia in 2008? Was Putin belligerent then, was he annexing what is in fact a Russian territory? Wake the hell up, all the troubles in Ukraine have been stirred up by the lunatic neocons long before Bush no longer trusted Putin’s soul. Your arguments amount to an apology for the necon policies and makes you an enabler. Can you honestly say that Putin would have done anything in Ukraine had we not precipitated the crisis? Preoccupy yourself with our own bad guys, they are a far more immediate danger to you and to world piece than Putin and Russia can be for the foreseeable future. You have clearly swallowed the propaganda and have obviously deeply internalized belief in the American Exceptionalism and you don’t even realize it.

                    7. OIFVet

                      PS I am sorry for the harsh language but I call it as I see it. Given my background, there is zero chance you have clearer view and understanding of that part of the world and its history than I do.

                    8. Jackrabbit

                      @vatch

                      Just a quick note:
                      In my admiration for OIFVet’s forthrightfulness, I didn’t meant to imply that YOU are wrong. You both make good points. But OIFVet has apparently suffered more from neocon meddling/adverturism and that is key to his sensitivity to what is happening in Ukraine/Crimea.

                      Whether you think Russia absorbing’ Crimea falls under ‘right of self-determination’ or an illegal annexation, the fact is it wouldn’t have happened without neocons/Nuland supporting a coup with $5 billion.

                      Neocons will yell and plead that they are helping to free the Ukrainian people but they are really helping themselves first. And the one’s that will pay the price are serviceman like OIFVet. taxpayers (American and EU), and the Ukrainian people.

                      Sure, lets keep an open mind, and lets not forget Putin’s boldness and his human rights abuses but lets not let the neocons drum up outrage so as to force a new cold or hot war.

                      We should ALSO remember that: a) it was the US/West that lost the peace as they imposed ‘shock therapy’ to grab Russia resources; b) it was US/West – prompted by neocons – that have alienated Russia and made a gambit that threatens a new cold war.

                      So by all means lets be reasonable, clear-sighted, and cool-headed about Putin and our own side. In doing so, it should be clear that at this point can do little to influence Putin/Russia. What we CAN do is understand the motives and actions of neocons and try to counter them.

                      As much as you may think “cooler heads will prevail”, you can bet that ideologues will work to force an outcome that they believe advantages their cause.

                    9. Vatch

                      Of course I agree that the neo-cons behaved despicably after the dissolution of the Soviet Union — I’ve read The Shock Doctrine. But it was well connected Russians who became the oligarchs during this period, and with rare exceptions (Mikhail Khodorkovsky is one of those exceptions), Putin has done nothing to restrict the extraordinary power of those oligarchs.

                      It may not be a proper motivation for people outside of Ukraine, but the Holodomor is certainly a huge factor in the Ukrainian people’s perception of Russia. What they suffered is comparable to what the Jews suffered in the Holocaust. Those of us outside of Ukraine need to be sensitive to this experience, just as people like me need to be sensitive to the effects that the war in Iraq had on so many people.

    5. Jackrabbit

      Hugh, I think your comments on kelptocracy and other subjects is fantastic. I think your observations on Russia, however, lack balance. So I made a list of some other things that are important.

      Its important to understand how the US/West ‘lost the peace’ after the end of the cold war.

      Its important to understand that neocons are ideologues for whom the ends justify the means.

      Its important to understand how our ingrained notions of ‘freedom’ and ‘free markets’ are used to manipulate us.

      Its important to understand the similarities in the world view of neocons and zionists (composed of BOTH fundamentalist christians and fundamentalist jews): Israel relies on an activist US and the NWO that it maintains for much of its security. And not to forget the MIC support.

      Its important to understand that neocons pushed for war against Saddam’s Iraq (which Israel viewed as a major threat) with trumped up evidence. This cost the US an estimated $1 Trillion dollars, about 5 thousand US dead and tens of thousands more injured plus killed, injured and displaced hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.

      Its important to understand that a resurgent Russia has blocked neocon action in Iran and Syria – which Israel views as major threats AND supports other regimes that WeDontLike(tm).

      Its important to understand that US and European citizens were adamantly opposed to action against Syria and that even US troops were speaking out against it (they were opposed to helping alQueda). This is a direct threat to neocon adventurism. Would a more menacing enemy (Putin the dictator) and a more important cause (‘freedom!’) be more likely to win over the public?

      1. Jackrabbit

        I wrote the above comment before I read this: How Cold War Hungry Neocons Stage Managed Liz Wahls Resignation (ht notexactlyhuman and diptherio):

        In 2010, when FPI rose from the ashes of PNAC, whose name had become synonymous with warmongering, mendacity and strategic blundering, it pivoted away from Iraq toward “rising resurgent powers, including China and Russia,” according to its mission statement. Through a series of letters and manifestos urging President Barack Obama to take a more confrontational stance toward Russia, FPI has assiduously sought to establish the groundwork for a new Cold War.

        On March 14, in The Weekly Standard, Kristol laid out FPI’s goals, writing that recent geopolitical crises could be exploited to reverse America’s “war-weary” post-Iraq attitude and prevent further cuts to defense spending.

        “All that’s needed is the rallying,” he insisted. “And the turnaround can be fast.”

        Also:
        Its important to understand that Nuland has admitted that $5 billion was raised to support groups in Ukraine in the leadup to what was essentially a coup and that she was caught hand-picking Yats in her “F@#k the EU” phone call.

        Its important to understand how foul was the neocon blunder in Ukraine. Russia was never going to accept a virulently anti-russian regime in Ukraine (similar to Russians supporting an anti-America coup in Mexico or Quebec). Putin has been handed a huge victory.

        its important to understand that being critical of neocon machinations does not meant that one is unpatriotic.

        1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

          Being critical of the neocons is a demonstration of a value system that extends far beyond rank patriotism.

        2. OIFVet

          Those who invoke “patriotism” to stifle dissent are the scoundrels Samuel Johnson spoke of.

  2. vlade

    I like Warnerd’s article – it’s probably the best write-up on the whole thing I read. Still misses a few points.
    Ukraine wants into EU precisely becuase it’s the place it is right now, and Ukrainians believe they would be better off in EU. Can’t blame them, hope springs eternal, and in all fairness their probably would be marginally better of than today (if nothing else, they could emigrate to the rest of the EU, which they do now but mostly as illegal workers).
    Crimea is a beautiful country (I was there), but that doesn’t make it rich – just look at Greece. It’s still pretty poor. Sevastopol is well of serving the navy base (surprise surprise), so of course they want to keep it there!
    But most importantly, look at how Southern Ossetia did since Russia “liberated” them – it’s poorer than it was when it was part of Georgia. That’s not a great track record. One of the reasons for that is that most of the money Russia put there (and to their credit they did put millions there) was stolen. Something like 80%. There are no reasons to expect Crimea will fare much better, but I guess they will have to find for themselves. To an extent, I actually hope I’m wrong and that Crimea will prosper under Russia, that there will be no nationalistic problems and all will end well. But I’d not be betting on it.

    My main point though remains – I believe that Russia could have achieved that w/o sending troops into Crimea as a first move. And I very much doubt Crimea is the main prize – I still believe that the main prize is for Ukraine to remain a Russian satellite. Russian Crimea with NATO Ukraine is for Russia far worse than neutral Ukraine that still has Crimea. And Ukraine now has a good reason to try to get itself into NATO (and it would be hard for NATO not to accept given the recent rethorics), since it’s clear that Budapest treaty has been torn up.

    1. lolcar

      Surely, the prize for Russia is a Czechoslavakia-style partition, where the entire south and east rejoins Russia. That gets them Donetsk, Kharkov, perhaps Dnipropetrovsk – i.e. most of the heavy industry. The Black Sea coastline gets them most of the gas and oil. Look at the last presidential elections – the results are entirely segregated by geography. Yanushenko, the pro-Russian candidate, won the entire east and south, with over 90% of the vote in the far east. Yushchenko, won the entire north and west, again with over 90% of the vote in the far west. There’s barely a province in the country that saw a spread of less than 20 points between the two candidates. That’s the electoral map of a fundamentally divided nation. If the west insists on supporting hard-line Ukrainian nationalists and neo-fascists in Kiev, Eastern and Southern Ukraine might be lining up to hold succession referenda in a year or two.

      1. lolcar

        Whoops! Damn Ukrainian names. Yanushenko/Yushchenko was the election before last. Yanukovych/Tymoshenko were the names I was looking for. The point still stands – a landslide for Yanukovych in the east and vice-versa in the west.

      2. Jagger

        I agree. My understanding is everything west of the Dnieper has strong ties to Russia. So I would be surprised if those regions would be willing to accept agressive, right wing, nationalist Ukrianian rule anymore than the Crimea-especially with Russia/Putin right next door. I suspect they will follow the Crimea back to Russia at some point.

  3. Skeptic

    Voracious Worm Evolves to Eat Biotech Corn Engineered to Kill It Wired Science

    I love how this fractional farming is similar to fractional Bankstering:

    “But the scientists’ own recommendations — an advisory panel convened in 2002 by the EPA suggested that a full 50 percent of each corn farmer’s fields be devoted to these non-Bt refuges — were resisted by seed companies and eventually the EPA itself, which set voluntary refuge guidelines at between 5 and 20 percent. Many farmers didn’t even follow those recommendations.” As a result of not enforcing these reserve requirements, the insects make a comeback and threaten this form of farming.

    As we know the reserve requirements of Bankstering have been loosened to the point where many liabilities are just off the books. So, financial tech farming may destroy itself just like biotech farming.

    Maybe there is a Tech Common Denominator to most of the problems of Modernity.

    1. Brian

      Perhaps an inablility to extrapolate potential outcomes when your job requires immediate conclusions for shareholders.

    2. different clue

      Selecting for Bt-immune insects was the whole long-range point of engineering Bt into corn to begin with. Insects immune to Bt-toxin in corn will also be immune to the Bt bacteria spores used as a powder by organic farmers for spot infestations. One point was to destroy the Bt tool for organic farmers. The other point is to drive Bt corngrowers back to the pesticides which the same companies also make.

  4. Hugh

    Re the Most Important Chart, a great deal of the history of kleptocracy in the last 40 years is encapsulated in it. I would just note that it is the median family income which went flat around 1980 onwards. What is folded into this is that two or more income households are now needed to remain at the level of what a single “breadwinner” was able to earn.

    1. allcoppedout

      If productivity has quadrupled I’d expect us to be doing only 25% of the job-work of 1947 by now. In fact, we are massively more inefficient than in 1947. Economics is dumb. Or have I forgotten whose interests it is written in. It is the modern history of the sycophants around Julius Caesar.

      1. preston

        If you pay people 1/4 of what they used to earn for the same work, you quadruple productivity. Your dollar spent on labor suddenly goes four times further.

    1. diptherio

      Thanks for that link (here’s the link for non-mobile readers). I thought something seemed weird about Wahl. Despite watching a good bit of RT programming, I’d never heard of her until she quit. I was aware of Abby Martin’s forceful denunciation of Russia’s military maneuvering on her show, with no apparent negative fall-out from the network, so Wahl’s resignation struck me as a little over-the-top. I saw her interview on Colbert and was rather unimpressed with her “America #1!” attitude. Unsurprising to find out the event was staged at the prodding of PNAC…er, I mean FPI. Now it all makes perfect sense.

      From the article:

      In the final segment of a March 3 broadcast of her show, [Abby] Martin lashed out at the invasion: “I can’t stress how strongly I am against any state intervention in any sovereign nation’s affairs. What Russia did is wrong… I will not sit here and defend military aggression.”

      She continued: “My heart goes out to the Ukrainian people who are wedged as pawns in a global power chess game. They’re the real losers here. All we can do is hope for a peaceful resolution and prevent another Cold War between multiple superpowers.”

      But Martin did not resign. Instead, she appeared in the coming days on American cable news networks chiding mainstream hosts for their own self-censorship around US military interventionism and blasted the six corporations that control 90 percent of the US media. “You guys are beholden to advertisers that you cannot criticize,” she told CNN’s Piers Morgan. “And that’s why I work for a station I can criticize.”

      Martin would not be a useful tool for American interventionists, nor would she accept RT’s offer to travel to Crimea.

      Martin’s minute-long commentary put Wahl on the spot. Two days later, Wahl decided it was time to pull the string on her parachute and hope for a safe landing. She cited RT’s alleged censorship of an interview she conducted with former Republican Rep. Ron Paul as her final straw, however, Paul insisted that “what [RT] reported was exactly what I said.”

      When Wahl made the media rounds in the days after she quit, she struck an uncharacteristic tone that echoed the cold warrior themes familiar to neoconservatives like Kirchick. “I have been thinking about it for a while especially in the wake of the anti-gay laws that were happening there [in Russia]; been thinking about it and decided that now is the time as we are approaching possibly another Cold War,” she explained to MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell on March 5.

      A day later, Wahl told Fox News host Neil Cavuto, “Right now as we’re approaching a possible Cold War…this war of words is part of [Putin’s] strategy.”

      As Wahl’s 15 minutes neared its expiration, Kirchick gave an interview to Channel News Asia, a satellite channel funded by the autocratic government of Singapore. Asked about Russian machinations in Crimea, Kirchick called for “troop deployments in neighboring NATO states…just [as] a way to show the Russians that we mean business.”

      “The rallying,” as FPI’s Kristol put it, had only begun.

      1. notexactlyhuman

        Me too. Anymore I view anyone who goes on parade around the msm circuit as someone with something to sell, not to tell. Finding the War Nerd entry particularly tasty right now, too. Didn’t know he went to Pando too.

      2. Banger

        I found Wahl’s appearance on Colbert kind of nauseating but not unexpected. I don’t doubt that she was uncomfortable with RTs stance–but it’s obvious, if you watch, that the view expressed there are not censored–yes, those views tend to be Russia-centric but it is RT. Compared to Comedy Central which is a more amusing but even more narrow version of MSNBC it is fairly diverse.

        As for Martin–she goes in all kinds of directions that no one on cable ever goes through–I don’t care for her personality but her views are refreshing.

      3. Brian

        If you substitute “actor” for any other title claimed or given to everyone on TV, it becomes clear.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      This reminds me of the absurdly choreographed theater that brought down ACORN.

      I’m not sure what’s more disturbing–that very influential people are thinking these things up and using their connections in the highest places to pull them off, or that they WORK.

      PS. I’ve been suspicious of Buzzfeed since that punk Ben Smith first showed up pimping it. Too close to BuzzFlash, I guess.

    3. Banger

      Just a note on what is going on in Washington. Though I no longer live inside the Beltway I have lived there most of my life. It has always been full of plots and counter-plots with multiple interest groups all angling for influence, money and power. It is exactly what you would expect the capital of what is one of the most powerful empires in history.

      People miss the fact that the stakes in these power games are unprecedented. The power-game is played very hard and very fast and ruthlessly. There are periods of calm when the plots and the factions are in balance, there are times when one group dominates and then falls. Currently the neoconservatives are back on top in Washington. Do they have popular support? No they don’t but they don’t need that–they hold the narrative and much of the media. Who are these guys? Political parties have nothing whatever to do with anything. These people are just more likely to be social liberals, agnostic or atheist than cultural conservatives. They do prefer that others are culturally conservative because they know and have articulated the fact that too loose a society will result in too much free-thinking and independent thought.

      Currently the neocons are locked in a struggle with realists who don’t believe the U.S. is all-powerful or all-wise in its action–these are men and women who believe in moderation and a conservative (in the original meaning of the word) and careful approach to foreign policy–imperial ambitions and hubris are things to be avoided. This group is at a disadvantage because they tend to be skeptical of true-believers, narcissists (most neocons are narcissistic) and idealism which they believe always leads to foolishness and authoritarianism and Americans tend to be caught up in enthusiasms and heroic visions of themselves.

      1. notexactlyhuman

        Excellent bit of reasoning.

        What do equal rights for LGBTs, a woman’s right to abortion procedures, and prayer in school mean relative to the establishment’s pursuit of global dominance? Nothing. The establishment can flip those switches either way at any time depending on which will keep the public sufficiently distracted and divided most of the time. If Putin had a majority liberal constituency instead of a popular Orthodox Christian constituency, he would lean counter to how he does now on gay rights. Charades. But, I digress.

        1. Banger

          Good points. Don’t disagree at all. BTW, they are all monsters roaring at each other–one hopes for a balance of power so that those of us who live between the cracks can survive.

        2. hunkerdown

          Ever imagine that the back-and-forth on abortion policy might actually be tuning for some KPI?

    4. JTFaraday

      “You’re going to want to read this one all the way to the end.”

      Yeah, it’s going to be a disaster.

      Note also the injunction not to say anything opposed to the state, lest public distrust of the state interfere with their ability to use the state in pursuit of their undemocratically determined factional agenda, pursued through bureaucratic back channels– until it’s declared “too late” to change course:

      “His target was US Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning. Accusing Manning of treason, Kirchick argued that Manning should have been executed, and that his supporters were consumed by “a vengeful, anti-state dogma directed mostly at one state: the United States.” Later that year, in a breathless, 10,674-word essay for right-wing Commentary, Kirchick branded Edward Snowden a traitor and suggested the label might apply to journalists Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill as well—“far more than a drop of treason runs through their veins,” he wrote.”

      No worries. We trust you.

    5. jrs

      “It is the story, according to former colleagues, of an apolitical, deeply disgruntled employee seeking an exit strategy from a job where, sources say, she was disciplined for unprofessional behavior and had been demoted.”

      Just another reason we need a guaranteed income, people wouldn’t have to unproductive propaganda vehicles just to leave a bad work situation.

  5. dearieme

    “Voracious Worm Evolves to Eat Biotech Corn Engineered to Kill It”: just recently I saw a blog comment to the effect that it made no difference in everyday life whether you believe in evolution or not. ‘Only in America’, eh?

    1. allcoppedout

      I’m not sure, even as a biologist, that this worm is eating our corn. Out walking the dog at dawn, I regularly see people stashing large sacks of it in the boots of prestige cars. When challenged they say they are allowed to do this with other people’s money and are just hedging against commodity inflation and encouraging scarcity to keep the prices up.

    2. optimader

      dearieme
      “just recently I saw a blog comment to the effect that it made no difference in everyday life whether you believe in evolution or not. ‘Only in America’, eh?”

      Participation in reality is still (mostly) elective behavior, as well a good indication of residual affluence.

  6. John Mc

    Boy, the news is glorious today.

    Plummeting Labor Force for Teens & Young Adults
    Rich Pricks – Langone’s Bait & Switch Strategy Applied to Historical Analysis
    Serial Rapists & Untested Rape Kits
    Courtney Love goes inspector gadget on Disappearing Malaysian Flight
    Finance & Banking Executive Suicide Counts
    Another Oil Spill – Ohio & Sunoco
    A voracious worm (presumably not engineered by Frank Herbert)
    And the usual Big Brother & Ukraine memes

    Nothing like the smell of societal decay in the morning.

    1. allcoppedout

      If only you were British John – you’d know all this just isn’t true once you switched on our live budget commentary. It’s all hunky-dory here mate. We are now funding our armies via Libor fines. Something called austerity is going to build 200,000 new homes, fill in pot-holes, allow us to continue leading the world in science and engineering and out compete and outsmart the rest of the world. We have pardoned Alan Turing, the man who did more than any other to win WW2 for being a homosexual 60 years ago, and will now lead the world in big data through an institute that will bear his name. He’s promising 5 million new US manufacturing jobs too. Whether this comes before or after our Libor-funded troops reclaim the colony he wasn’t too clear on. Seriously though, it’s so good here, I can neither understand why you chaps won’t just peacefully accept our new colonisation and share in our wealth, or why it is I’m having to consider selling the dog so I can go and celebrate all this joy down the pub. It’s a penny off a pint for the second year running.

      1. OIFVet

        Oh come on! The dog?! A man’s best friend?! For a penny off pints?! I may be a cat person myself but I will gladly chip in toward a pint or three plus the fish and chips so that Fido could stay. As to the rest of your post, it sounds just like what my Mayor Rahm is doing in Chicago. He is investing heavily in bike lanes to attract the “creative elites” to the newly announced “Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute.” Meanwhile us regular Joes navigate streets rivaling the IED pockmarked roads I saw in Iraq and bridges that were built in the 1940’s. Just replaced two brand new tires and shocks because of a pothole, I consider the money I spent my own contribution toward stimulating the economy.

      2. Lambert Strether

        Let’s look on the bright side. Your economy is still functioning! Because otherwise, you’d be cooking the dog instead of selling it on the glorious free market, eh?

  7. allcoppedout

    The youth unemployment-underemployment link is fascinating. Underlying this situation are the massive claims and assumptions about education and higher education. Can anyone say we do not have “ejukation” in huge supply compared with 60 years ago? And with our kids in crapified jobs if they are lucky can anyone explain how anyone can make claims, as they regularly do, that more and more education is the economic answer?

    There is no advanced economy growing faster than the UK today. Really, our Chancellor says it’s so. I beat him hands down on education. He can’t utter a line delivering ‘his’ budget I can’t pull apart. The man is typical of data we ignore. Born into and staying in privilege.

    1. paul

      It’s really very simple.
      In the past those who had free tertiary education generally earned more than those who did not. Therefore if everyone has access to tertiary education, then they will generally earn more.
      This is the siren song that leads the youth to the morlock’s grotto that the academy has become.

      1. optimader

        Many in-demand skilled jobs in this country have divergent skillsets from that provided by the secondary and tertiary educations purchased in this country.

        1. optimader

          Can you read a basic engineering drawing? Know how to read a tape measure, basic math skills (add/subtract/divide)? Have basic welding skills and want to be a code welder? Basic metal fabrication skills? Basic mason skills? Can you read ladder logic, electrical control wiring diagrams? Any troubleshooting skills?
          Know how to show up to work on time 5 days a week? Know how to appropriately (in a work environment) interact and communicate in proper English?
          Jobs begging:
          http://www.abilityengineering.com/
          http://armilcfs.com/

      2. optimader

        Great J.C. culinary arts program, really, really great student restaurant, and I mean anks w/the best dining in Chicago, certainly the best value when you factor in what ends up being 3-4 glasses of (excellent) wine included
        https://www.cod.edu/programs/culinary/culinary.aspx
        I meet quite a few adults students in the program that are CNTRL-ALT-DELing their previous careers when I dine here. I think they have a nearly 100% job placement, people come from other States to enter this program.

        Skills you can use.

  8. Jim Haygood

    Maduronomics, comrades:

    In the [Caracas] slum of Antimano, women are standing in line in front of a shop. They say they don’t know what’s on offer, but they are queuing anyway, a sign of how worried people are that they won’t get what they need.

    Inside the market, the manager, Roger Escorihuela, takes me around and points out that the shelves are not bare. There are cereals, eggs and pastas and fancy jams, but the staples that are subject to price controls — black beans, butter, corn meal, the list goes on — are missing, he says.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2014/03/16/290516431/venezuela-in-turmoil-for-lack-of-flour-milk-and-diapers

    ————

    Econ 101: goods sold below fair market value will be in perpetual shortage.

    As the old folk song goes, When will they ever learn?

    1. diptherio

      Ok, granted that piece of conventional economic “wisdom,” doesn’t it just beg the question of why and how these shortages develop (and also what we mean by a shortage)? The price of staple goods like flour and diapers declining doesn’t increase anyone’s actual need for these goods. Of course, some of the very poor may now be able to afford adequate supplies of these goods, whereas before they could not, but apart from that it seems that demand for these goods should be determined by aspects of the physical world; i.e. how many people there are and what the standard diet/lifestyle requires.

      If lowering prices of staple goods leads to hoarding, as people try to stock up and the first-movers end up with much more than they can use at the expense of others not being able to get enough, then perhaps rationing of some sort might be in line (or other measures to stop anti-social hoarding behavior), as well as a good talking to. Whaddya need all this stuff for? Who do you think you are, taking more than your share? Grow up, will ya?

      If, on the other hand, the shortages are being caused by suppliers pulling out of the market in order to seek higher prices for their wares elsewhere, then it seems that the gov’t would be well advised to use some of its foreign reserves to buy those things and make them available to the populace, while immediately beginning to build the domestic capacity to provide those goods.

      Price controls lead to shortages: it’s something my neo-con profs repeated like a mantra, but what is actually going on: why should price reductions lead to more use of staple products? You would think spending more on luxury products while buying the same amount of staples would be the normal consumer response to price controls on staple goods, no?

      1. lolcar

        Child malnutrition has apparently been reduced by more than half since Chavez introduced government shops selling food at subsidised prices. So some substantial portion of the population is getting more food than they ever did before. Unfortunately the shelves in such shops are often empty. Ergo, they must be shut down and food sold at its market price. Of course if afterwards people can’t afford to buy as much food for their children and malnutrition increases again, it doesn’t count as a “shortage”, it’s just the invisible hand.

      2. optimader

        “..The price of staple goods like flour and diapers declining doesn’t increase anyone’s actual need for these goods…”

        It can certainly cause a reallocation. When flour gets cheap enough the enterprising home economist will buy flour instead of bread.

  9. preston

    re: NSA surveillance program reaches ‘into the past’ to retrieve, replay phone calls

    “At the request of U.S. officials, The Washington Post is withholding details that could be used to identify the country where the system is being employed or other countries where its use was envisioned. ”

    Greenwald revealed last week that the NSA was expanding its ability to infect computers with viruses from hundreds of thousands to millions.
    https://firstlook.org/theintercept/article/2014/03/12/nsa-plans-infect-millions-computers-malware/

  10. TimR

    Fifth financial executive with ties to JPMorgan found dead Housing Wire

    Does anyone want to engage in wild speculation about this trend? I’d like to hear especially from people who have worked in and around those banks, what specifically do they think this signifies?
    Or does anyone have links to sites with informed (but wild) speculation?

    1. psychohistorian

      The phrase, casting the entrails of owls, comes to mind with your question. That is a form of divination called sortilege or cleromancy. But what I believe you are really asking for is the type of divination referred to as omens. So far I have only seen the omen type of listing of “important events” and that is found at ZH.

      From my perspective I see these events as of two types.

      1. Dead bodies don’t talk. Certainly most recently Mr. Snowden has shown that drawing the curtain back on sausage making is unseemly and must be avoided at all costs.

      2. Revelations. In these cases, instead of folks finding their true calling, or Gawd, the opposite seems to be occurring. They seem to be discovering that their Gawd is not what they thought it was and the cognitive dissonance is too much for them.

      Perhaps others here have more clearer divinations than mine and I would encourage them to share their “seeing”.

      1. psychohistorian

        Having just read the Aljazeera link about the “enhanced interrogation techniques” our “enlightened” government uses, I think I can safely predict more “curious” and omen types of deaths among government workers….both within the CIA and Senate staffers.

      2. optimader

        3.) Invoking ZHedges “on a long enough timeline the survival rate is zero… I like this unimpeachable truism, and use it occasionally when I hear someone connecting dots.

      3. TimR

        Yeah, my assumption was something like #1, which I guess is the most obvious suspicion. That underlings who can’t be trusted to cover up, or protect their bosses, might need to be “eliminated” (insert your own gangster slang.)
        And/or, maybe they are meant as examples to others who might be thinking of being honest with investigators?
        If this sort of thing is going on, I would think that many of the “investigators” are probably out and out bank stooges as well, so even if somebody wanted to cooperate, they might just be outing themselves as somebody who needs to be dealt with.
        Or am I out on a limb here? Does anyone think that some or most or all of these incidents have innocent explanations?
        If it is sinister (and well-to-do people killing themselves with nail-guns, or jumping off overpasses and buildings from points that are difficult to access does little to reassure one), I wonder how close the degrees of separation are, between the high level execs ordering this and the literal gangsters carrying out the orders? Or do the high level types keep their hands clean by just issuing vague “Make it so” decrees to sub-high level execs, who contact their contacts who know people who know people. (I just throw out my uninformed speculation really in hopes it prompts the better informed to speculate.)

    2. notexactlyhuman

      My only question is when will JPM beginning fitting new hires with remote detonating cyanide capsules. Much less messy.

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Jealousy and envy.

    Society surviving…

    Sometimes, you can’t help but envy those who can get away with bailouts, buying off politicians and many other perfect crimes of passion (for money).

    I guess if only we are not jealous (of their special privileges), then the (high) society can survive.

    1. psychohistorian

      Jealousy and envy are so last century…

      Its fear and loathing now.

      Ah, if only we had the neutering of inheritance, we could move forward as a species.

  12. Katniss Everdeen

    What, no Obamacare today????

    I can help.

    http://omidmalekan.com/what-president-obamas-hilarious-appearance-on-between-two-ferns-teaches-us-about-obamacare/

    In the interest of brevity, I will provide a synopsis:

    “To summarize the problem in the same lingo that the President and Galifianakis bantered in, lets say you are the kind of person that always takes beers to a party. Lets also say that a bunch of people really want you to go to a specific party, but you find out that the only reason they invited you in the first place is because you bring more beer than you drink, and if you don’t show up the guys that drink lots of beer but don’t bring any won’t have as much fun. Might you then decide not to go to this party, and just stay home and watch Funny or Die videos by your favorite comedian?”

    Young invincibles, your government hails you. Just “sign-up.”

  13. diptherio

    Since I had to work yesterday, I missed the scintillating conversation re: flushable wipes. Just gotta add my two cents:

    Best heiny-cleaning system I’ve come across was in Thailand. They had a sprayer, like the kind you’d have on your kitchen sink, coming out of the wall next to the john. Brilliant! It’s like a low-rent bidet. If I ever own a house, I’m soooo getting one installed.

    In the interim, I go with the Nepali/Indian system of having a pitcher of water with me. Pour down yer crack and use yer hand (left, traditionally). Not nearly as gross as you would think, and far easier on your sensitive tissues than a dry piece of paper. Just make sure to wash up afterwards (which you should be doing anyway).

  14. fresno dan

    The Most Important Economic Chart House of Debt. Can’t be said enough. In fact, I have before, right here, last August!

    I agree – its outrageous how financial legerdemain is robbing most people of their share of society’s productivity gains.

  15. bob

    RE- The Plummeting Labor Market Fortunes of Teens and Young Adults Brookings

    “Recommendations-

    1 Integrate work-based learning opportunities into high school and college and expand apprenticeships.

    2 Link high school to post-secondary educational credentials.

    3 Provide more directed assistance to help young people find employment — especially non-college bound high school graduates — through strengthened career and technical education, career counseling, and job development/placement.

    4 Expand opportunities for high school dropouts to earn a diploma or GED, coupled with access to post-secondary credentials/occupational skills training.

    5 Orient career-focused education and training to the regional labor market.

    6 To address weak demand for labor, create transitional subsidized jobs programs for young people to help them support themselves, develop work experience, and gain a foothold in the labor market.

    7 Increase financial incentives for employment through an expanded Earned Income Tax Credit, specifically targeting younger workers without children.”

    It took them til #6 to actually speak about labor demand? How do any of the other “recommendations” do anything, or change anything that might be good for people who are looking for a job?

  16. kevinearick

    Expert Egocentric Systems: PeerReview, PsychoPaths & NonPersons

    Peer pressure job certification and employment credit compliance checks, with prosecution of the individual for system error, guarantees corruption, which is what you see everywhere in the system, normalization of extortion as a jobs program.

    Economic mobility is zero, all the Fed can do is print RE inflation, and all Congress can do is feed it with make-work jobs, which is why the so-subsidized consumers are experiencing a dramatic loss of purchasing power; their bills are going up faster than their paychecks, pensions, and property income. Executive Order is no accident.

    Imprisoned in its own gravity, the middle class can only replace itself now, from the bottom up, with software automation, and proprietary software is the more tyrannical of the two, because it has no conscience. The consuming majority always clamors for equal rights, without the responsibility, something for nothing, and seeks a scapegoat for the outcome, which can only be the producer.

    The majority, consumed by itself, cannot rear children, the future, which is why it commandeers those from producers, choking itself on the resulting misallocation of resources, debt as GDP.

    I don’t take this nonsense personally, and neither should you. Constitutions are designed to protect the majorities from themselves, and they always short-circuit the process, with a best as enemy of better mentality, addition by subtraction, driving production out of the economy on a scale of diminishing return, and replacing it with a make-work productivity measure.

    A public education system that cuts the top end off and places it the bottom for non-compliance with a Bell Curve, to cut it off again, replicated by bankrupt public, private and non-profit corporations to maintain the status quo is the problem. The ability of accrual accounting to hide actuarial reality has hit the wall because the 35 and under crowd has stopped having children, viewing them as a liability. The drums of war are just a symptom.

    Do you ever wonder why people in cars run over motorcycles like they don’t even exist? Under majority rule, no one in the majority is responsible because its behavior is considered normal.

    That governments are cathouses should be of no surprise, “I’m not one of those as can see the cat in the dairy, and wonder what she’s come after.” “No matter how much the cats fight, there always seems to be plenty of kittens.” The Global City Imperative, exchanging natural resources for empty promises, economic slavery as best business practice, is a one-way migration to the graveyard of empire.

    If you have a choice between 20 experts in a room, or embedded in a software program, or a child, you are better off listening to the child. Public Education talks and does nothing, until it’s too late, when it forms a consensus around an expert opinion, built upon a foundation of false assumptions, from the past.

    Given the quantum distribution of dimensions, what is the false assumption embedded in the speed of light as a limit? If GDP is debt, what does the debt to GDP metric measure? What is asymmetric war? Why is Boeing, and all the rest of the crap control technology, an ‘accident’ waiting to happen?

    You might want to think, about who is being set up to lose, before you run off to war, I mean work. The majority bemoans the media producer, but shoots at the economic producer, believing its own lie, that make-work is work, rebuilding the bankrupt city over and over again, pretending it’s a community.

    That we are all best served if children are nourished, in mind, body and spirit, should not require a PhD certification process. You might want to re-think education, before you find yourself at war, looking at yourself in a mirror placed there by the media for the purpose. Another manufactured crisis is not the answer.

    Family Law is a declaration of war, and the majority lost a long time ago. If you care to look, you will see that Family Law jurisprudence already allows you to retire the debt necessary to reboot the economy, and you can accelerate the process by pulling down peer pressure certification. And you have a purely community interest in doing so.

    Do what you want to do instead of what you need to do, but don’t expect labor to show up. The proof is in the pudding. Labor is not mathematically challenged by emotion. Dividing and conquering itself with exponential growth of arbitrary specialization is a peer pressure prerogative.

    Manipulate supply and demand price all you like, with government ownership of debt booked as an asset, to inflate RE prices. Labor has better things to do.

  17. Hugh

    Looking upthread on the discussion on Russia and Crimea, I am much struck by the post-structural deconstructionist narcissism of the progressive left. The imperial Anschluss of Russia in Crimea can not be talked about in terms of an imperial Anschluss of Russia in Crimea but only as a commentary on US imperialism. Russian racism can not be discussed in terms of Russian racism but only in terms of American racism. Russian history does not exist outside the context of American history. As I said, the narcissism is dazzling and dazzlingly disappointing. It is American exceptionalism taken to an extreme that even the most rabid neocon would stand in awe of. The values are on the surface marginally different, but otherwise it is the same exceptionalist claptrap. The truth is you are both speaking the same language.

    There is no independent, coherent, approachable vision of foreign affairs on the progressive left. No wonder that the powers that be feel so unmenaced by you. You do such a bang up job of discrediting yourselves they have scarcely any need to criticize you. Russia invades Crimea and your take is it’s all about America. Go try to sell that one to 99% of Americans.

    I have seen these same self-destructive, suicidal tendencies again and again. MMT has some important things to say about money, but MMTers refuse to see its limitations or rather are grossly contradictory as to what those limitations are. They positively revel in its lack of approachability and the counterintuitive nature of its assertions that they would prefer it to remain marginal and for the chosen few rather than recasting it in terms ordinary people could understand, and more importantly care about.

    When I see the left’s discussion on Crimea, it is the same red shirt-blue shirt rah-rah I get from the neocons everyday. Same game, you’re just cheering different teams. You’ll never get anywhere at this rate, but then, as with the MMTers, I’m no longer sure you want to.

    1. EmilianoZ

      Rather than narcissism, I would say it’s a refreshingly new self-awareness from Americans, one acquired painfully after rejecting the ubiquitous, matrix-like propaganda surrounding everybody like a hermetic wall since birth.

        1. EmilianoZ

          You can’t have your cake and eat it. If you want an uncritical public, let’s all cheer Obamacare, austerity and our glorious banking system.

          1. Hugh

            A series of non sequiturs. Can no one on the left put together even something remotely like a coherent argument? What I am criticizing is precisely a lack of critical thinking about the Russian invasion. That is applying the same kind of standards and criteria to these events as would be applied in any other case. Instead I see the left lining up in their own version of the echo chamber, engaging in the same kinds of tribalism as the right, overlooking whatever does not accord with their preconceived views. You may find that refreshing. I find it repellent.

            1. Jackrabbit

              People here have acknowledged that Putin is a bad guy and that Russia has acted badly. But you want to turn the conversation – and ‘the left’ as a whole – toward a rejection of Putin for reasons of racial and sexual solidarity.

              You MUST know that that will undermine the criticism of neocons and the WH. Criticism of Russia’s human rights will be trumpeted, while criticism of the neocons and WH will be lost.

    2. Synopticist

      The fact is Hugh, American neo-cons provoked, paid and organised an unruly mob to overthrow an elected (and wildly corrupt) government, and it’s blown up in their face. Putin has been strengthened, the west is left looking impotent, and lots of Europeans and others are getting mightily pissed off with US meddling. We thought we’d seen the end of that with Bush.
      Putin might be a thug, and Russia might be a land empire, but the question remains. How the hell can anyone seriously object to the Crimea joining Russia? They had an overwhelming election result. It’s obviously what they wanted.

      This IS about America. It’s about the Washington getting it’s own back on Putin for not allowing the west to bomb Syria, which was seen as an outrageous assault our dignity. It’s about keeping the Europeans off balance so they don’t challenge US dominance and/or start identifying with Russia.

      1. Vatch

        They had an overwhelming election result. It’s obviously what they wanted.

        Probably true, but elections can be rigged. It’s happened in Chicago and Florida, and I betcha it can even happen outside the U.S.!

        1. OIFVet

          Let’s do the math: 60% of Crimeans are ethnic Russians. Out of hundred elections, how many times would would a 60% Crimean Russian majority vote to stay as part of Ukraine?

          Answer: Zero times. So the need for rigged elections is a propagandist red herring. Remember Occam’s Razor: the simplest explanations are almost always correct.

          1. Jackrabbit

            Plus the Tarters (I think they are 12% of the population) were said to have boycotted and many others that might side with remaining Ukrainian may have stayed home because they a) also wanted to boycott, or b) didn’t believe that voting would be worthwhile because the Russian majority was bound to win.

            1. OIFVet

              Because ethnic Ukrainians and the Tatars refused to participate in the election. Ballot stuffing is so much more convenient for your point of view though… I don’t understand what your problem with old William of Ockham is. And lest you argue that Ukrainians’ refusal to participate in the referendum de-legitimizes it, remember the Iraqi elections in February 2005: the Sunnis refused to participate but our government hailed these elections as a huge triumph for the democratic process in Iraq. I remember very well, I got off the airplane on my return from my deployment in Iraq to some general thanking me for my role in ensuring the success of the Iraqi elections earlier that day.

              1. Vatch

                I agree that the elections in Iraq were a travesty. Why can’t you see that both the U.S. and Russia are engaged in imperial activities?

                1. OIFVet

                  Why can’t you see that the US is engaged in imperial activity right at the doorstep to Russia’s interior? Do you want Russia to simply bend over and take it without even the benefit of some lube? And what did the ethnic Russian Crimeans ever did to you to deny them the right to rejoin the country they were taken away from by an Ukrainian?

                  1. Vatch

                    I guess I have to ask what the ethnic Ukrainians ever did to you that are so happy to see Putin crush them under his heel. Tell me, what has Putin done to improve the lot of the average Russian? Has he done anything to reduce inequality? I think he’s a lot like the U.S. billionaires and their political stooges.

                    1. OIFVet

                      So how about you and your merry band of ineffectual progressives concentrate on our own problems rather than meddling in other countries’ internal affairs? Is that too much to ask for or is the problem that the moment we stop looking for external enemies to divert attention from the problems at home the “left” will be exposed for the neoliberal demagogues that they are and the progressives will demonstrate just how impotent they are?

                      Since the dark years of shock therapy under Yeltsin and his western puppet masters the standard of living in Russia has substantially improved. The Russian economy, as crappy as it is, is still far better than the Ukrainian economy, and Russian pensions are far larger. A full 12% of the Ukraine GDP consists of money transfers from Ukrainians working in Russia. The proper question to ask is, what have the Ukrainians in Crimea (and Western Ukraine) done to deserve this financial lifeline?

                    2. Vatch

                      I’d be interested in your sources for the Russian economic data.

                      You rightly disapprove of meddling in other countries, yet that is exactly what Putin does.

                      The Ukrainians deserve an enormous amount of reparations from the Russians, since it was the Russian dominated Soviet Union that committed genocide in Ukraine in the early 1930s. The Russians haven’t even begun to repay the Ukrainians for what happened.

    3. different clue

      As I remember, all the Republic Leaders in the USSR would have wanted to keep it together.
      When the “hard liners” held their little coup and held Gorbachev detained for a while, Yeltsin decided the only way to bring down Communist Power was to bring down its USSR context by dividing the country. A couple other SSR leaders ( Belarus? Ukraine?) agreed and signed their breakup agreement. To break up the foundation under USSR Communist Party. Where is the racism in that?

      Clinton betrayed the Reagan-Bush promise to NOT extend NATO east beyond Germany. Bush 2 continued the Clinonite betrayal. When the Ukraine coup made clear to Putin that
      NATO/EU powers meant to put NATO on Russia’s border prep to coup-ing and dividing up
      Russia into regions as Brezhinski calls for, Putin invaded Crimea to keep NATO bases out.
      And hopefully out of Ukraine too. Where’s the racism in that?

      If everything is racist, then nothing is. It becomes a free-floating word of abuse.

    4. sufferin' succotash

      Orlando Figes’ history of the Crimean War provides a view of the Crimea from a Russian rather than an American perspective. A close reading might modify the “imperial anschluss” (when it doubt slip in a Nazi analogy, eh?) interpretation of recent events.

    5. JTFaraday

      I think Russia has an appalling history. But you also have to consider how that history will be used in the US. It seems pretty clear to me that “the neos” will use that appalling history as an excuse to cover themselves, and us, ever more in shit because that’s what their own agendas entail, while claiming they still smell like petunias.

      So long as there’s someone worse somewhere, they can do whatever they want.

      I’m sure we’ll also be treated to more rounds hand wringing over the “decent left,” just as there was the last time “the neos” got busy on their Mideast adventure, (during which they did not one of the thoroughly “decent” things they claimed they were there to do).

      Maybe it’s time to start reviewing the history of Bullsh*t?

      http://www.google.com/search?q=%22decent+left%22&btnG=Search&hl=en&gbv=2

    6. Jackrabbit

      We had a chance to influence Russia after the break up of the Soviet Union. Our leaders did not rise to the occasion. The left can rightfully blame TPTB for the lack of enlightened leadership.

      The US/West have broken agreements, engaged in torture and supported ruthless dictators, conducted an aggressive foreign policy, trashed the constitutions and human rights of their own citizens (including racism, sexism, etc.), and wielded human rights as a weapon against foreign governments (prompting a crackdown on NGOs by Putin). The US/West does not have the moral authority to lecture Russia on human rights. Far from it. The left can rightfully blame TPTB for the lack of principled leadership.

      So I’m not sure what you think you can accomplish by focusing on Putin’s human rights record or Russian hypocrisy. Your criticism of Russia is just a give to the neocons who have poisoned the atmosphere with Russia so that constructive engagement is impossible (perhaps once the neocons are purged?). If you think making brownie points with neocons will be in any way helpful to the left, you are sadly mistaken. All it does it undermine the left’s mojo. Strategic morality is no morality.

      1. Jackrabbit

        Just a quick note for clarity.

        By ‘left’ I mean the progressive left. The Institutional left of Democratic Party loyalties is just a group of special interests with little interest in anything other than “whats in it for me?”

        By ‘strategic morality’ I mean playing for some hoped-for benefit (essentially ‘go along to get along’). Neocons want to shine a bright light on Russian human rights abuses for propaganda purposes. Instead of providing support to such an effort, progressives help the world much more by turning that light on neocons.

    7. OIFVet

      Russia has legitimate security interests in Ukraine, the US does not; its only interest is a new cold war to justify huge defense budgets for the purchase of crap we do not need (better than investing in society ya know). It really is that simple Also, the majority of Crimeans clearly don’t want to be a part of a western puppet Ukraine. I can’t think of anything more progressive than supporting the right of self-determination. Or does that right extend only to the gays and to when it happens to fit the US interests (as in Kosovo)?

  18. nobody

    “There is no independent, coherent, approachable vision of foreign affairs on the progressive left.”

    Maybe that sentence needs editing:

    “There is no…progressive left.”

    Or perhaps with one further excision:

    “There is no…left.”

  19. The L word

    What amazes me is the perfect cone of silence regarding Putin’s specific legal arguments. It’s almost as though the press doesn’t dare draw attention to the letter of the law, which Putin talked about at length:

    “As it declared independence and decided to hold a referendum, the Supreme Council of Crimea referred to the United Nations Charter, which speaks of the right of nations to self-determination. Incidentally, I would like to remind you that when Ukraine seceded from the USSR it did exactly the same thing, almost word for word. Ukraine used this right, yet the residents of Crimea are denied it. Why is that?

    “Moreover, the Crimean authorities referred to the well-known Kosovo precedent – a precedent our western colleagues created with their own hands in a very similar situation, when they agreed that the unilateral separation of Kosovo from Serbia, exactly what Crimea is doing now, was legitimate and did not require any permission from the country’s central authorities. Pursuant to Article 2, Chapter 1 of the United Nations Charter, the UN International Court agreed with this approach and made the following comment in its ruling of July 22, 2010, and I quote: “No general prohibition may be inferred from the practice of the Security Council with regard to declarations of independence,” and “General international law contains no prohibition on declarations of independence.” Crystal clear, as they say.

    “I do not like to resort to quotes, but in this case, I cannot help it. Here is a quote from another official document: the Written Statement of the United States America of April 17, 2009, submitted to the same UN International Court in connection with the hearings on Kosovo. Again, I quote: “Declarations of independence may, and often do, violate domestic legislation. However, this does not make them violations of international law.” End of quote. They wrote this, disseminated it all over the world, had everyone agree and now they are outraged. Over what? The actions of Crimean people completely fit in with these instructions, as it were. For some reason, things that Kosovo Albanians (and we have full respect for them) were permitted to do, Russians, Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars in Crimea are not allowed. Again, one wonders why.

    After the dissolution of bipolarity on the planet, we no longer have stability. Key international institutions are not getting any stronger; on the contrary, in many cases, they are sadly degrading. Our western partners, led by the United States of America, prefer not to be guided by international law in their practical policies, but by the rule of the gun. They have come to believe in their exclusivity and exceptionalism, that they can decide the destinies of the world, that only they can ever be right. They act as they please: here and there, they use force against sovereign states, building coalitions based on the principle “If you are not with us, you are against us.” To make this aggression look legitimate, they force the necessary resolutions from international organisations, and if for some reason this does not work, they simply ignore the UN Security Council and the UN overall.

    This happened in Yugoslavia; we remember 1999 very well. It was hard to believe, even seeing it with my own eyes, that at the end of the 20th century, one of Europe’s capitals, Belgrade, was under missile attack for several weeks, and then came the real intervention. Was there a UN Security Council resolution on this matter, allowing for these actions? Nothing of the sort. And then, they hit Afghanistan, Iraq, and frankly violated the UN Security Council resolution on Libya, when instead of imposing the so-called no-fly zone over it they started bombing it too.”

    http://eng.kremlin.ru/news/6889

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Wow! That’s a must read, a true statesman’s definitive rebuttal to O and his Neocon imperialists. No wonder the US MSM is deaf mute.

    1. skippy

      Poor young thing has gone from bad to worse –

      Storm Clouds Gathering (http://stormcloudsgathering.com/): A sleekly designed website layered over a survivalist and crank-laden mess that makes the average Tea Party look sane. Where World War III and the impending collapse of the economy/nation/global civilization/etc. is just around the corner, with a good helping of NWO, 9/11 trutherism, and a kitchen sink of conspiracy propaganda. Warning: clicking the link may cause one to lose hope in humanity. That said, they don’t mince words when it comes to racists and neo-Nazis, so there’s at least one thing going for them.

      skippy… lmmao… at the end of the day someone is making a bit of coin off all this leave throwing and branch shaking. Like the “Python Meaning of Life Tree”… it only takes a couple and then the whole tree will voluntarily defoliate. Just saying…

      1. Kurt Sperry

        Wait a minute. You’re attacking this video because of one website’s with no apparent connection to the author of the video’s choice of embedding it in one of their pages? Do a web search for “VIMnIh10po0”, the youtube id for the video, and see how many pages have the video embedded. I get over a thousand results. What does peripheral content on random sites that embed a video thus enabled have to do with the video? Nothing, most probably.

        The video is well done overall. It gets draggy and cheesy in the ‘burn the tee’ scene and the last part after the cut might be better on the cutting room floor but a good solid amateur rant that echoes my own disillusionment process pretty well. I posted a link to the same video (youtube direct link) yesterday because I quite liked it.

        1. skippy

          Nothing like polished honesty, tho disavowing Obama still leaves the question where to next. As you denote the videos wanderings, its quite malleable to random ideological ownership, my rub above.

          skippy… everyone here should know by now my position on libertarian stuff, personal defect of mine.

          1. ohmyheck

            This video appeared here at naked capitalism on March 17, from it’s original youtube source. It was posted by Kurt Sperry.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIMnIh10po0

            Just a girl…sayin what she has to say. It isn’t her fault that it has been passed around to sites that don’t meet your approval.

            I don’t much care for Libertarians either, but come on….

            1. skippy

              Hence the need for a bit more clarity so one does not end up the tool of another…. or….

              Carey Wedler FBpage

              I have to thank ALL OF YOU for such overwhelming support for my last video and on this new FB page! I can’t wait to share my next two videos with you But TONIGHT, I’ll be on LMR at 7:10 PST, 10:10 EST! It should be fun, check it out! http://libertymovementradio.com/

              Libertymovementradio is brought to you by – The Journalistic Revolution is an open-source alternative media and research group. In addition to a live radio broadcast, JREV syndicates regular podcasts, videos, articles, and more on the topics of agorism, voluntarism, anarchy, and conspiracy.

              http://journalisticrevolution.com/

              Skippy… see is a Rothbardian – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYasD8srPIw

              1. Kurt Sperry

                Please, all you got is more attempted guilt by association (pretty bold after your earlier badly failed attempt)? And still after two strikes, the only actual substantive criticism you offer is to berate the author, who upon realizing a Obama is massive fraud, which by the way is an impressive bit of consciousness raising and a political epiphany most people are incapable of realizing, for not leading the audience by the hand to some prefabricated conclusion. Where exactly does that realization lead? Seriously, where? It seems an unresolved albeit interesting question even here.

                If the legions of O-bots could come even as far as realizing what the author here has, and further has had the courage to express–publicly not under cover of a pseudonym– we’d all be in a far better place politically, socially etc. etc..

                Are you willing to put yourself under scrutiny like she has? I call what she did courage, and that is in my opinion the vital missing ingredient standing between us and good change–the unwillingness of those who see through the whole rotten business to fearlessly call it out. Publicly. Proudly. Unambiguously, and damn the consequences.

                1. skippy

                  What part of the last link where she invokes Rothbardian libertarian jargon did you miss.

                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYasD8srPIw

                  Her mental slavery believing that the state is a force of good, victims of the state, I can blame public school, the illegitimacy of the state, saying everything is on the individual level, I almost died so now I see clearly… I read Rothbard shezz…. anarcho-capitalism much.

                  skippy… get your facts straight and resit the emotive pleas from cute but tragically underdeveloped young women.

                  PS. as a self confessed anarchist on this blog. have you taken the leap to the dark side of anarcho-capitalism? ” Kurt Sperry November 13, 2013 at 11:21 am ….. If I could characterize my basic political position it is that I am an anarchist “

                  1. Kurt Sperry

                    Skippy wrote-
                    “skippy… get your facts straight and resit the emotive pleas from cute but tragically underdeveloped young women.

                    PS. as a self confessed anarchist on this blog. have you taken the leap to the dark side of anarcho-capitalism? ” Kurt Sperry November 13, 2013 at 11:21 am ….. If I could characterize my basic political position it is that I am an anarchist “

                    Oh dear, your best shot is to completely misattribute a quote to me that I never wrote? It was actually Banger’s, see the actual quote in context here– http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/11/randy-wray-what-if-china-dumps-us-treasury-bonds-paul-krugman-inches-toward-mmt.html

                    How is it even possible to completely misattribute a quote in that manner when the author’s name is right above it?

                    Anyway, I’m more a socialist than a libertarian, but being skeptical of the state is an attitude pretty well grounded in current reality. Large parts of the USG in its current incarnation are pretty unambiguously evil. Or would you prefer to keep digging and argue that point?

                    1. skippy

                      You keep sidestepping the issue of the young gal i.e. is she or is she not a Mises et al media tool.

                      You do know what agorism, voluntarism, anarcho-capitalism etc. devolves into right?

                      Sorry about the mis-quotation, search malfunction, would not resort to inaccuracy’s to make a point.

                      Reiterating… her video is not out of context to the site originally linked, She was a guest on Liberty Radio e.g. she is a recruitment tool for young soft minds and marginalized citizens in a drive to enlist in the libertopian cult.

                      You know the same cult that has infected both your government and society at large, key ingredient to all the stuff you don’t like now, corporate backed psyop.

                      Skippy… hate the corporate infested government, become a libertopian cultist to support the corporations, bringing an end to government influence in my quest of individual happiness. No wonder heads are popping.

            2. notexactlyhuman

              Ha! I missed the vid when it was posted here. As for SCG, don’t know much about it. Suppose I shoulda linked direct to YouTube. Oh well.

              Libertarians. Yeah. Bill Maher has been praising Rand of late. Nauseating. Rand’s a coattail riding schmuck and a schill for the fossil fuels industries. Total fraud.

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