Links 4/15/14

A bionic woman who can cha-cha Washington Post

‘Barn Drama’ Puts Riders on Their High Horses Wall Street Journal

Hungry Spouses Lash Out as Low Blood Sugar Spurs Anger Bloomberg. This is Bloomberg story? And even odder, it was made prominent on the site (bigger font, image too).

Scientists unmask a piece in the puzzle of how the inheritance of traumas is mediated MedicalXpress (Chuck L)

MH370: search may need new drone after first mission is aborted Guardian

Sub abandons search for black boxes when ocean proves too deep Christian Science Monitor

Saturn May Have Given Birth to a Baby Moon Discovery

Chinese steel traders at breaking point Nikkei

China engineers ‘Potemkin defaults’ to mask debt reality Financial Times

Housing Trouble Grows in China Wall Street Journal

School lauded for installing condom dispenser ThaiVisa (furzy mouse)

Greece’s Grand Decoupling, the Nuclear Option and an Alternative Strategy: A comment on Münchau Yanis Varoufakis

B-52s and MOPs for Israel? Sic Semper Tyrannis

Turkey’s Rogue Game in Syria CounterPunch


Ukraine crisis: Pro-Russian mob attack in Donetsk BBC

No sign of crackdown as Ukraine deadline passes CNN

With Ukraine Tensions Mounting, U.S. Weighs New Sanctions Against Russia New York Times

Russian jet passes near US warship Associated Press (OIFVet)

Obama, Putin Talk as Unrest Roils Ukraine Wall Street Journal

U.N. Security Council talks Ukraine Associated Press

Russia’s bond market is Achilles Heel as showdown with West escalates Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

An Economic Sanctions Menu Targeting Russia Menzie Chinn, Econbrowser. I don’t understand the logic here when America’s resupply routes for our troops in Afghanistan run though Russia (which heretofore has been cooperating) and Pakistan (which hasn’t been).

US sees ‘obvious Russian hand’ in Ukraine standoff Guardian

Comment: Russia doesn’t need to do another Crimea in east Ukraine. All it needs to do is sow chaos Telegraph

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

FBI Abruptly Walks Out On Senate Briefing After Being Asked How ‘Insider Threat’ Program Avoids Whistleblowers TechDirt (notexactlyhuman)

Scramble to fix Heartbleed could slow Web to a crawl Washington Post

‘Heartbleed’ steals social security and mums’ messages Financial Times

Hacker From China Wastes Little Time in Exploiting Heartbleed Bloomberg

Washington Post wins Pulitzer Prize for public service, shared with Guardian Washington Post. Note the WaPo won a second Pulitzer for a series on food stamps.

US Army denies clemency for WikiLeaks source Manning Voice of Russia

Passover Greetings from the Editor The Intercept (Deontos). A fair bit of hostility in the comments section.

Obamacare Launch

Healthcare law to cost less than thought Financial Times. Because people bought crappier policies than assumed:

The cut was mainly due to lower government subsidies for private insurance bought on the exchanges, because the insurance plans available were not as generous as the CBO had assumed.

Elizabeth O’Brien’s Retire Well: Will Obamacare help or hurt your business? MarketWatch

TurboTax Maker Linked to ‘Grassroots’ Campaign Against Free, Simple Tax Filing Alternet. Dear long suffering Americans: did you know that in most civilized countries, the government sends you a draft tax return based on what they think your income is, and you can either accept it or file a revised return?

The Hedge Fund Managers Tax Break: Because Wall Streeters Want Your Money Dean Baker, TruthOut

Social Security won’t collect old taxpayer debts Washington Post

10 States Most Dependent on the Federal Government Wall Street Cheat Sheet (Carol B)

In Many Cities, Rent Is Rising Out of Reach of Middle Class New York Times

I Was Racially Profiled in My Own Driveway Atlantic (optimader)

Christopher Whalen: The death of mortgage lending Housing Wire

Rising car sales in the US do not necessarily mean the economy is thriving Pieria

The planets are aligning against the Fed John Dizard, Financial Times

What Happens When ‘All Assets Have Become Too Expensive?’ Wolf Richter

Thomas Piketty and Millennial Marxists on the Scourge of Inequality Nation (furzy mouse)

Antidote du jour


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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      1. diptherio

        Thanks for pointing out the, uh…testosterone-heavy nature of the article. As a male myself, it had totally escaped me. I would be interested to hear a little more detailed critique if you care to offer it.

        1. Brindle

          The article was fine, I just noticed that all the writers-activists mentioned were male. The writing reminded me of how some 60-70’s activists related to the “proles” .

      2. McMike

        I agree that it is arcane leftist intellectual stuff that makes my brain hurt trying to follow in one read, while also failing to induce me to want to try twice.

        But I am not clear what is particularly male about it.

  1. dearieme

    “America’s resupply routes for our troops in Afghanistan”: since the US/NATO armies in Afghanistan have been trounced and are in the process of running away, does that matter?

    1. Jim Haygood

      From Ambrose E-P’s article on Russia:

      ‘The Swedish Defence Research Agency said Russia risks “military-strategic overstretch” if it tries to occupy Eastern Ukraine.’

      Ha, that’s rich! Russia is quite familiar with US/NATO’s crippling overstretch in Afghanistan, having been there themselves until being driven out by ‘cave-dwelling medievalists,’ as Commander in Chief George W. Bush used to call them.

      Maybe it happened before young Ambrose was born, but back in the paleolithic era of 1998, there was a ‘Russia/LTCM crisis,’ in which both Russia and a huge U.S. hedge fund hit the wall in the same summer. ‘Magoo,’ the U.S. central bankster, slashed rates and all was well: stocks launched on the final leg of the great Internet Bubble.

      Will history repeat? Doubtless the prudent course is to buy now before prices go up.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Actually, it does matter.

      Troop and equipment withdrawal from Afghanistan, you know those “coalition of the willing” troops that are all American, will need to be accomplished along those same routes.

      Pakistanis have made it clear that they will attack Americans attempting to retreat through their country.

      Apparently they are unhappy about the impunity with which America routinely attacks their citizens and violates their sovereignty.

      And it would appear that the American military may have something to fear, considering the carnage visited on retreating Iraqi troops in 1991 by American heroes George H.W. Bush, Colin Powell and Norman Schwarzkopf.

      Colin Powell, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the future Secretary of State, said the “shooting gallery” scenes carnage was the reason to end the Persian Gulf War hostilities after the Liberation of Kuwait campaign. Powell wrote later in his autobiography My American Journey that “the television coverage was starting to make it look as if we were engaged in slaughter for slaughter’s sake.”

      1. OIFVet

        Exactly. Armies retreating from Afghanistan have rather bad track records of survival, so Russia’s cooperation will be vital. If they refuse to help, then Kipling has already given an advice on what to do:

        ” When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
        And the women come out to cut up what remains,
        Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
        An’ go to your Gawd like a soldier.”

        That would not make for pretty viewing on CNN.

          1. OIFVet

            Well ok, it is a rather strong hyperbole but the fact is, without Russia’s cooperation our withdrawal will not be pretty.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Apparently, some ancient Greek soldiers (or maybe Roman soldiers) found it easier to go east…to China.

              Their descendants will happily and proudly tell that to all visitors today..

              1. Emma

                Y, without Russian support it’s Trench Warfare à la Dix in Hell with ‘Pakisatan’.
                Nebel des Krieges just as Von Clausewitz defined it. And Jim Haygood is right – it’s always great news for market value, and bad news for human value(s). It’s not military genius, but monetary genius. Black-bags or money bags. Love it or leave it if you can if you’re the right class of people…..

  2. John Jones
    I haven’t listened to the interview but it is were I found the link to Seymour Hersh: the backlash article so I will just post it.
    I am not sure if the backlash is justified so I thought I would post this here to see what others who know more about Seymour Hersh’s work on here say.

    also found

    1. Jackrabbit

      I remember seeing something on the internet (sorry, I don’t have links – I’ll try to do some searches if I have time later) that showed pics of casualties from the attack with Rebels / rebel sympathizers as casualties. The claim was that casualty numbers were exaggerated and/or casualty pics were falsified to for propaganda purposes.

      Debunkers also claimed that pics from affected areas showed people searching for casualties with out protective gear (which couldn’t / wouldn’t happen if it was a real attack).

      There were also youtube videos of rebels firing missles (to prove that they had that capability).

    2. Jackrabbit

      I am suspicious of some of what Hirsh says, but I don’t know nearly enough to complain much.

      1) He makes it seem that the lab work and refusal of military to attack shows that the US/West will ‘do the right thing’.

      2) His focus on Turkey ignores other bad actors.

      3) His story may be incomplete. Similar stories that I’ve seen on the Internet which have talked of the Benghazi attack and ‘rat-line’ arms smuggling (which to me were just hearsay until the Hirsh reporting brought it front and center) have claimed that the Benghazi attack was prompted by cia grabbing and holding prisoners (at the ‘cia annex’). The attackers, they say, knew about the diplomatic compound but didn’t know where the cia annex was.

      This could be important now because the Obama Administration is withholding rendition and torture documents from Congress.

    3. Banger

      Sy hersh has a history of telling the truth and the USG official pronouncements are nearly always misleading and full of misdirection or lies and some of them very big lies–the more important the issue, the bigger the lie. By “USG” I include the courtiers who present themselves as journalists but are most certainly nothing of the sort. Hersh is the guy dissident military, intel, and diplomatic people go to when they see the USG going down a dangerous path to major war. The same thing happened, with Hersh, during the lead up to a war with Iran some years ago–Hersh was then the conduit for these dissident officials. The USG pressured the New Yorker and any other mainstream media outlet that they would not tolerate anything from Hersh to be published in the U.S. and they have the power to do so. The U.S. Media, even when they want to be, cannot defy the national security state for obvious reasons.

      The only mild criticism one can have on Hersh is that he writes stories that are limited hangouts because the senior officials that trust him also know he will cover their asses which he is, in my view, right in doing. He may not be meticulous in his fact-checking because he doesn’t have a whole department of fact-checkers behind him.

      Again look at the record on who to trust. I’ve been following political events closely for almost a half century and. I know The Washington milieu pretty well and know, by now, who the liars and truth-tellers are.

    4. Synopticist

      Those “human rights” NGOs have totally abandoned any pretence at objectivity when it comes to the middle east these days. They’re nakedly pro-NATO, although some are still allowed a little potemkin resistence when it comes to Israel.

      This is “soft power” in action folks. Get supposedly credible third parties to do your PR for you after funding them and filling their senior positions with establishment insiders. It works for a while, but destroys their reputation in the long term.

      In fact, I would say soft power the very epitome of Obamaism. It’s all about messaging rather than policy, it benefits only the elites of the organisations concerned, and it involves getting your base to do your PR job for you, while simultaneusly undermining their own interests.
      However, by the time the policy collapses, the people at the top will be working for Goldman or Harvard or in some cushy establishment niche, while the people who actually have to do the hard work get the sh*tty end, because no-one likes them any more.

  3. Working Class Nero

    The racial profiling article reeks of unrequited upper class entitlement. How could a mere policeman mistake an Ivy Leaguer, who is married to another Ivy Leaguer for a mere working class peon?

    First of all the story makes no sense. Doug Glanville lives in racially diverse Hartford. No one would be surprised that a black man owns a home there (they might wonder a little if they saw a white homeowner though). The policeman was from posh West Hartford where they are indeed very few black homeowners.

    Apparently the police got a call that a black man was going door-to-door offering to shovel snow in West Hartford. In many posh towns this just isn’t allowed (the door-to-door solicitation part). So the West Hartford police went looking for this guy and naturally crossed over the border to where the black people come from (Hartford). He quickly saw a black guy shoveling snow and pulled over.

    We have to remember that most homeowners are lazy and have snowblowers.

    So given the combination of a call about a black guy soliciting snow shoveling, the policeman finding a black guy shoveling snow in the afternoon, he took a guess and approached the guy. Most likely his intention was to inform him that it was illegal to solicit door-to-door in West Hartford. When confronted with his mistake it seems the policeman turned around embarrassed and scampered out of there when he realized his mistake. I remember once I absent mindedly said “merci monsieur” and a second later my horrified son informed me it was a woman behind the counter. So I can image how the policeman felt.

    But since he constantly reminds us of his social economic status, what seems to burn even more than the racial side are the class implications of having a prole policeman committing a major case of lèse-majesté on an upper class Ivy Leaguer by mistaking him for a mere laborer. But playing the class card isn’t going to gain much sympathy so he was stuck with using the race card instead.

    My best friend back in California is of Mexican descent (his mom worked with Cesar Chavez), and he and his very pasty skinned redhead wife live in a posh suburb of Sa Francisco. One day a delivery man came was confronted with the incongruity of the package with my buddy’s Hispanic surname on the one hand and the white-bread look of his wife on the other, resolved it with, “we have a delivery for your gardener”. My friend loves to tell this story and he is kind of proud it happened (we are both from a rough working class hood). Couldn’t Glanville have used a little humor in this situation and only gone full racial if the cop had actually been rude or continued to harass him?

    1. BondsOfSteel

      I agree it’s not overt white pointy hat racism. It’s just more like day to day racism.

      It’s crazy that the cop would go door to door rousting people over the “crime” of soliciting snow shoveling. If the report said there was a white guy soliciting, would he have confronted all the white people shoveling snow in the same aggressive presumptive of guilt way? I’m guessing he wouldn’t have bothered… or would have simply asked if they had seen someone soliciting.

      1. Working Class Nero

        Even Glanville didn’t say the cop was rude. He started by asking Glanville if he was working to earn extra money; hardly an insult unless you are a posh Ivy Leaguer. Of course the cop didn’t apologize; all he did was ask Glanville if he was the guy going door-to-door. The cop doesn’t write the stupid laws; and I am sure every day he himself faces class-based insults and putdowns from his rich taxpayer / clients. And it is pure projection to say he would have approached a white door-to-door solicitor any differently. I’m sure they have to run the odd Mormon in white short-sleeve shirts out of there from time to time as well.

    2. neo-realist

      “The racial profiling article reeks of unrequited upper class entitlement. How could a mere policeman mistake an Ivy Leaguer, who is married to another Ivy Leaguer for a mere working class peon?”

      I hope that was facetious.

      You should know by now that in the eyes of some white people, a black person regardless of status is in some cases just another “n****r. Young educated black males can’t use legitimate credit cards without being suspected as making fraudulent purchases; Even Denzel Washington and former Mayor David Dinkins are hard pressed to find cabs that will pick them up. A black uncle of mine who is a dentist got harrased by the NJ state cops on the highway. Racism, as American as apple pie.

      1. Working Class Nero

        If we distill your comment down to its essence we get “some whites are racists towards blacks therefore this incident is an example of racism.” Hopefully you can see on a logical level this type of thinking is somewhat lacking.

        1. neo-realist

          The Glanville example is the kind of incident that happens to people of color all the time with respect to having their legitimacy questioned by cops or white neighbors, and you have to stand in those shoes of color 24/7 to know where it’s at.

          1. Tom W Harris

            Pssttt…Nero is afflicted by white guy socialism syndrome. You’ll have to forgive him. Or not.

          2. cwaltz

            Actually you don’t have to be a person of color at all to have your legitimacy questioned. I’ve had it happen to the point that my spouse and I had a sit down with the neighboring police department. And I’m white.

            I just so happen to walk and I live in an area that isn’t remotely affluent. It’s gotten to the point where my response to the police asking for my ID and itinerary is to tell them no and explain the Terry laws here.

            It’s racist to assume that a white person couldn’t possibly understand what its like to have their intentions questioned.

            1. neo-realist

              I don’t doubt that you’ve had your legitimacy questioned. However, the degree to which you suffer such indignity pales enormously to that of a person of color, and I would bet more than a few people of color would gladly trade places with you if given the opportunity.

              1. cwaltz

                You’re making a whole lot of assumptions about my life experience. Are you saying a whole lot of AA people would love growing up in a home where their father was a schizophrenic alcoholic who molested them and who would enter prison by their teen years leaving their family reliant on food pantries? Or where the sibling they entered the world with was in so much pain that he took his life? Or perhaps they’d love to experience losing a child to SIDS or losing their homes to bankruptcy? I can assure you that despite my whiteness I’ve had quite my share of adversity, enough of it to know most people would not happily take on the pain even if it meant their skin could be lighter.

                I’m not doubting that there are many people of color who’ve had very difficult lives. However, it not unique to African Americans and no one does anyone any favors by making it into a contest. The way to combat racism isn’t to suggest that every white person has it better than every black person. As a matter of fact that pretty much promotes the perpetuity of racism. The way to combat racism is to understand that the prism through which we view the world and our experiences aren’t limited only by the color of our skin and to promote fairness.

                For the record, my sister’s significant other is AA as are 2 of my nephews. Racism isn’t limited to how whites view blacks. Any viewpoint that insists that color determines how you are viewed can be construed as racism. So YES it’s pretty racist of you to suggest that because I’m white I’ve had less adversity in my life than the average black person and that the average black person would welcome trading with me. I’m pretty sure my white brother also would have begged to differ with you. Oh wait……he’s dead. I guess being white didn’t work out being such a boon to him.

    3. Paul P

      America’s apple pie racism is in its mass incarceration, systematic torture in prisons, indifference to unemployment exhibited by the failure to guarantee a job, and its low wage workers whose minimum wage is not indexed to inflation.
      When I see vendors selling wares on the street, I think that their work is low paid and without heath care, sick leave, or pensions. The Atlantic did a terrific job with this story, but the lack of outrage over the systemic race and class abuses embedded in the economy is a story that has not reached the heart of our society.
      Would Doug Glanville’s father have been able to enroll in college today?

  4. vidimi

    that “Russian jet passes by US warship” story is brilliant. all the western media are reporting it as an unprovoked act of Russian aggression. the poor uss cook was minding its own business in international waters east of Romania in the black sea. that just happens to be within striking distance of Russian military installations in crimea, but they don’t give you that part of the story.

    1. barrisj

      And, no surprise here, the NYT has been busily reporting on the actions of – wait for it – “pro-Russian extremists” in the Donetsk region. Of course, back in February, in Kiev, the rioters and street toughs were referred to as “pro-EU protestors. More Orwellian abuse of the language in furtherance of propaganda.

      1. Synopticist

        Aye, and the “pro Russian mob” in the BBC link…
        I saw another BBC description of them as “militants” the other day. That obviously means “enemy”.

      2. JerseyJeffersonian

        Why, yes, exactly so. In fact over at Moon of Alabama a similar instance of reportorial malfeasance was highlighted recently:

        I sent a little note to NPR about this:

        “So, in December NPR characterized a mass of people forcefully taking over and occupying government buildings in Kiev as “protesters”.

        But now, a mass of people forcefully taking over and occupying government buildings in Donetsk is a “mob”.

        The “mob” in Donetsk may just have been energized by having one of the first actions of the Kiev putsch be to vote to strike the Russian language as an officially-recognized state language. This despite this being the mother tongue of most of Eastern Ukraine, and unsurprisingly so as that region is largely comprised of provinces originally part of Russia. And then the putsch has resisted the idea that a strong federalism might serve to reassure these areas enough that they would feel safe continuing as part of Ukraine. So when the people of current Eastern Ukraine are confronted with an intransigent coup regime, dominated by violent ethnic extremists and neo-nazis, abominating their language and culture, and then further refusing to make any effort to accommodate their apprehensions, it comes as no surprise that they will “protest”, even vigorously so.

        Your craven submission to the propaganda line of the Washington Consensus is clearly telegraphed in your choice of words to characterize the actions of the fearful citizens of current Eastern Ukraine versus those which you chose to apply to the partisans of the putsch in Kiev. You have thereby abandoned any pretense to journalistic objectivity.

        NPR, because of this transparent “vaulting of the propaganda”, a phrase from the lips of George W. Bush, you are now officially and finally dead to me.”

        Well, I got an acknowledgement from NPR that they had received my little screed, but strangely enough, I heard nothing further.

  5. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: MH 370

    So, having heard some noises that “might” be the plane’s black boxes, a depth-dependent drone is deployed to search an area of the ocean where the plane “might” be, the depth of which is apparently undetermined.

    Can anyone say masturbation?

    I don’t believe a word of this story.

    1. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

      Definitely a wank. Some great power (gee…I can’t imagine which!) was behind this plane disappearing. I’d start looking at Diego Garcia.

  6. E.L. Beck

    Re: “Hungry Spouses Lash Out as Low Blood Sugar Spurs Anger.”

    Research and PR paid behind the scenes (unknown to assigned reporter) by the sugar cartel.

    What I’ve always wanted to know is, if sugar is addictive, do we truly suffer from bouts of low blood sugar levels? Or do we suffer drops relative to already high levels of blood sugar? Are the shakes nothing more than early withdrawal symptoms?

    1. CB

      My reading, admittedly from yrs ago, says that baring something like diabetes, the body’s ability to keep blood sugar levels within safe bounds is remarkable. It can mediate wide swings in intake. The process has been studied and blood sugar “spikes” don’t happen for unimpaired people.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        All bets are off when the word “sugar” refers to the GMO-corn-derived artificial chemical concoction known as HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, which it does, more often that not these days.

        1. Erk

          Not so sure. Whereas table sugar is 50/50 fructose/glucose, HFCS is typically 55/45 fructose/glucose. Not a substantial difference, however, an excess of fructose is really bad and it doesn’t take much before you get “too much”*.

          Fructose is shunted directly from the small intestine to the liver. The liver gets to producing tri-glycerides and the TGs get crammed into LDL particles and sent out into the bloodstream. No direct impact on blood sugar.

          I haven’t seen any research on herbicide/pesticide concentrations in GMO derived HFCS but I can’t imagine it is great. There is likely no difference, though, between metabolism of GMO derived vs conventionally derived fructose.

          *Any more fructose than a couple pieces of fruit is bad news. A can of federally subsidized sugar water? Don’t even think about it. A juice fast? Christ, not much different than a mountain dew and multi-vitamin fast?

          1. neo-realist

            The chemical measurements may not be all that different between table (real?) sugar and HFCS, but the taste difference, e.g., between the fresh liquid consistency of Mexican Coke with real sugar vs. the sludgy syrupy consistency of the HFCS U.S. Coke is huge.

    2. McMike

      My amateur understanding is that the issue is really the “roller coaster” of uneven blood sugar: a binge on sugar drives glucose up, then you produce insulin, which drives it down. In roller coaster mode, you overshoot to the low side, which in its extreme form is a coma.

      Our modern diet creates imbalanced sugar loads (too much straight sugar and fast burning carbs, not enough protein to even it out) and taken in too short a time period with long gaps in between. When we start to crash (get hypoglycemic), we overcompensate by taking in yet more sugar: shampoo, rinse, repeat.

      The ideal is several small balanced meals across the day, for a nice even burn.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


        That makes sense – it’s not just what you eat, but how you eat it.

      2. Pete

        Most people who are increasing frequency of meals are going for a speedier metabolism- for which there appears to be little evidence to support. Unfortunately many of them are still noshing on refined carbs which ain’t no good for no one.

        A bit of personal testimony about becoming “fat-adapted”. After eliminating refined carbs/grains and reducing daily fructose to about 15 grams (tougher than one would think), I can now run efficiently on 2 meals a day. One at lunch around noon, and one at dinner- mostly grass-finished/pastured meats, farm eggs, and lots of vegetables. My body uses fat for fuel instead of carbs. There’s no fat storage that grain-eating causes, no fatigue/crashes, no hunger cravings… the fasting from the night before keeps the metabolism operating at a high level. I reckon working on a sustainable farm and having access to the right nutrients is quite helpful too.

        Sugar is as, if not more, addictive than cocaine. Eat a little fresh fruit sparingly and be on your way….

      3. Robert Dudek

        The ideal is relatively few and lengthy meals, around the same time each day, without excessive carbs and lots of fiber to slow the release of carbs into the blood. If you eat many small meals high in carbs you will have multiple blood sugar spikes. What you eat is more important than how much.

  7. Anon

    RE: Passover Greetings from the Editor

    That commenting system is so fragmented with no option to organize the posts from what I could tell, but the gist of it seems to be any one of the following:

    -Pierre Omidyar’s possible connection to the Ukraine crisis
    -The new Editor in Chief mentioning that their hiring requirements are for someone “not white & not male”
    I’m sure that there’s more, but due to that disorganized commenting system, it was what I was able to glean from the few comments I went over. I figured that I’d save the people who bothered to click on that article some time.

  8. down2long

    Tax Day: A Good Day to Look at where your Fed Taxes do (and don’t) go. Out of every dollar: 27 cents to military, 13.9 cents to interest on debt (Hi Slimin’!), and sadly, 2 cents to education, and 1.1 cents to science. You can also get your itemized personal tax receipt of how much of your tax bill went where, if you can bear it.

    1. Stephen V.

      Re: Income Tax / Intuit et al. It does no good to rail against the idea of the gov. sending you a ‘draft return’ which targets poor people, etc. The IRS, in effect, ALREADY DOES THIS with their document matching CP2000 program. Clearly it is far cheaper to let the Machine do audits than the humans and I suspect therr are far more people that get sucked up by the former rather than the latter.
      If this is not enough, if you really want to be a deadbeat & not file (but you have employers, etc. sending paper about your earnings to the IRS) IRS can then create a return for you which if the taxpayer ignores can then feed the collection & then the lien, levy, seizure machinery.
      After 25 years in the tax prep. bus., it seems that la Systema is as much about social control as collecting money per se.

  9. Furzy Mouse

    Here is what I just posted on the miserable Intercept (which has yet to officially appear on the site…in fact, the site may have just crashed from all the comments…):

    “So for a mere quarter mil, Omidyar has snookered Greenwald into silence…I am so sorry for Snowden, for trusting this yet another greedy sycophant….now we may never know what Snowden’s dearly paid-for NSA files reveal…absolute power over these files has absolutely corrupted all of Intercept’s staff….no doubt to the NSA’s delight….”

    Who knows what Greenwald is doing with the files? Where is Poitras in all this?

    1. Jess

      First, that quote is inaccurate. It’s a quarter bil, not mil.
      Second, from the very beginning Greenwald said that the announcement of the venture, and its initial launch, were premature because word leaked out before they were ready to hit the ground running.
      Third, some people, esp. Mark Ames, seem to have a personal vendetta or other problem with Greenwald. Others are, naturally, suspicious of any new venture which is wholly or partly funded by anyone insanely rich. (Which ironically puts Ames in the cross-hairs as well.)
      My position is: wait and see. Glenzilla certainly has a pretty much unrivaled background for going after the sins of the US government, esp. on civil liberties and foreign entanglements/empire. Matt Taibbi is pretty much Greenwald’s equivalent on financial sector muckraking. (Not that NC, my first stop for news and commentary, isn’t right up there with him.) Scahill, Poitras, etc., are also proven truth tellers (at least IMO).

      1. Furzy Mouse

        Thank you Jesse, I stand corrected about the monies. Still doesn’t pass the smell test for me…”everybody has his/her price”?…why all the delays and excuses? Just publish the stuff already, that’s certainly what Snowden would wish….at least they could dribble out a couple of docs from day to day….they don’t even have to write them!! Either grandiosity or connivance, at this point, is inexcusable…

      2. notexactlyhuman

        Ames has a hard-on for any journalist that he thinks is getting more exposure or is seen as more successful than himself. He’s quite petty in that regard, though brilliant when his ire is aimed appropriately.

        1. bob

          That concludes this meeting of the Glen Greenwald debate. Both side have been heard- Great American, or the greatest American?

    2. Banger

      Who knows what is going on? I do know that Snowden and the people around him have been in the process of negotiating with the Deep State. We should not forget that the Deep State will kill anyone that gets in their way. So far the Snowden revelations have, at worst, been an embarrassment for the USG but has changed nothing. Greenwald knows he can be killed at any time so I’m sure he’s made a series of arrangements that enable a limited hang-out but nothing significant. It is a big mistake to criticize him for this. We ought to know by now that unless the American people and more senior members of the oligarch object to the emergent police state there is no hope that any of the darker activities of the Deep State will ever emerge from the press.

      1. McMike

        Good point. We seem to have a finely developed nose for betrayal/sell out or for when the fix is in .

        You raise the question of how far do we demand other people to stick out their necks without us backing them up? Were the State to decide to eliminate either (or more likely stick them in a deep hole in Cuba), how many of us would take to the street? How many Senators would decide to put it all on the line to call the State out?

        Snowden and Greenwald may have wisely decided that they are all on their own in the end. And who could blame them? Haven’t they done enough already?

        Snowden (and Assange) accepting a restricted life of de facto house arrest and staying away from windows. And Greenwald must have some serious stones to choose to live the life of the mouse that runs under the cat’s nose in broad daylight.

        We might only be happy when they get the bullet to the head (or its modern equivalent, unexplained, sudden, unattended death or suicide).

      2. allcoppedout

        Our treatment of whistle-blowers is miserable. Even at low-levels like nursing and police we allow them to be bullied and beaten. I’m not sure we kill people outside of supposed special cases like Northern Ireland, though we do have cops telling lies. The system is highly armoured and corrupt. I’m not sure on Snowden and Greenwald. Manning strikes me as having posted the more devastating material. We are almost at the point of needing to offer big payments for people to come out knowing they will be protected.

        The deep state is so well hidden it is allowed no role in economics and I’ve struggled to find it in history. We have world wars pinned on dreadful Germans, but little clue where Nazi finance came from or what a disaster taking part was for Britain, how much taking part led to the US empire. But we also drink Starwucks through money escaping tax in Amsterdam. The deep state is amongst us like a fungus. I’m sure it has hit men, yet feel these are not the real threat for most of us.

        1. Banger

          From an interview in VoltaireNet with Peter Dale Scott the inventor of the term “deep politics”:

          Peter Dale Scott: The term “Deep state” comes from Turkey. They invented it after the wreck of a speeding Mercedes in 1996 in which the passengers were a Member of Parliament, a beauty queen, a local senior police captain, and an important drug trafficker in Turkey who was also the head of a criminal paramilitary organization – the Grey Wolves – that went around killing people. And it became very obvious in Turkey that there were a covert relationship between the police who officially were looking for this man – even though a policeman was there with him in the car – and these people who committed crimes on behalf of the state. The state that you commit crimes for is not a state that can show its hand to the people, it’s a hidden state, a covert structure. In Turkey, they called it the Deep state, [1] and I had been talking about deep politics for a long time so I used the term in The Road to 9/11. This is why I have defined deep politics as all those political practices and arrangements, deliberate or not, which are usually repressed rather than acknowledged. So the term “Deep state” – coming from Turkey – is not mine.

          It refers to a parallel secret government, organized by the intelligence and security apparatus, financed by drugs, and engaging in illicit violence, to protect the status and interests of the military against threats from intellectuals, religious groups, and occasionally the constitutional government. In this book, I adapt the term somewhat to refer to the wider interface in America between the public, the constitutionally established state, and the deep forces behind it of wealth, power, and violence outside the government. You might call it the back door of the Public state, giving access to dark forces outside the law. The analogy with Turkey is not perfect, because what we see today in America is less a parallel structure than a wide zone or milieu of interaction between the public state and unseen dark forces, as I expound in my latest book The American War Machine. But this interaction is significant, and we need a name, such as Deep state, to describe it.

          1. allcoppedout

            I’m with that Banger. One only has to think of Good Queen Bess knighting Francis Drake aboard his ship and being rowed off with a boat load of his stolen gold. I reckon most of us could pull off being PM or President on the grounds the dark matter only needs a stooge to control. A really good mate of mine spent the last two years as a university vice chancellor and sounded just like all the duds I worked for. There’s a dark system in place in all organisations, already somehow running the show. Peter is describing something, but the dark is rarely subject to being written down by government bureaucrats or in memoirs (as he knows). We need an insider view, yet even this needs a public up to the scrutiny of real evidence. The dark has reached into us and made us poor scrutineers.

        2. McMike

          No, I don’t think our Deep State resorts to outright assassination that frequently (although I do wonder about those microbiologists)…

          But why kill someone when you can crush them? Make it impossible for them to undertake ordinary daily lives, to earn an income, to buy a house, to save for retirement, to use their own money, to travel, to drive a car, to get a job, to make and keep friends, drive them out of their old groups…. smear them constantly, harass them constantly, drag them in and out of court and in and out of jail, harass their friends and family constantly, leave them in a constant degree of fear, fatigue, and paranoia. Constantly harass them with agent provacatuers and honey traps, so they no longer know what is real.

          Being a whistle blower is a vow of poverty and a guarantee of misery. Lose your friends and coworkers, alienate your kids, lose your wife, lose your job, lose your home, and spend your life having everyone look at you differently, and everyone for better or worse want a piece of you.

          Then drag them off and out them in sensory deprivation of solitary. Or put them in the general population to be humiliated, raped and beaten. Stack the court system against them so they feel like they are a Kafka novel. Hit them with the full weight of the “justice” system.

          The suicide rate is high among people in the Deep State’s sights not just because some suicides are staged.

          1. allcoppedout

            We had the suspicious death of Dr David Kelly here (iraq scientist). I’d love the chance to pin that one on Bliar. In the main I think they operate on deeper levels of fear as McMike says. I’d add that victims and witnesses are generally treated as sub-human.

            1. Synopticist

              Kelly worked for MI6 and got stitched up by them and the media after lying in parliament. I’m no fan of Blair, but he had nothing to gain from Kelly’s death.

              The spooks were incredibly succesful in dumping ALL of the blame for the non-existent WMDs at Blairs door. They’ve managed to give the entire world the impression they knew all along, and were manipulated by the politicos. Which is bollocks. They were taken in by some opportunistic exiles and their own group-think.

          2. Wayne Reynolds

            You describe very well the “American” style structure of the Gulag Archipelago, a prison without bars.

            1. Emma

              For NC Observers of the ‘Deep State’: A short film (45 mins) called…..’Deep State’, by Karen Mirza and Brad Butler. The film takes its title from the actual Turkish term ‘Derin Devlet’ (state within the state) and portrays a “shadowy nexus of special interests and covert relationships where the place where real power is said to reside, and where fundamental decisions are made.”

    3. vidimi

      it’s completely unfair to suggest greenwald had betrayed snowden’s objectives. snowden has had ample opportunity to criticise the reporting of his leaks, often appearing at the same conferences with greenwald and not once had he suggested and not once had he expressed any concern with what gg was doing with them.

      also, I’m not sure what else you expect to find in them. I think the reporting so far has been brilliant: maximising public impact, minimising risk to the journalists and whistleblower (a plurality of the public views snowden as a hero not a traitor precisely because nothing that would compromise American security had been revealed – and public relations is a massively important battle to fight) and maximising exposure. the fact that the stories haven’t been dumped all at once is the main reason why people are still paying attention to them.

      anyone advocating a wikileaks-style dump as with the manning files should ask themselves why they think that would be a good idea. what is the legacy of manning’s leak? they have been mostly forgotten by the public and largely overshadowed by manning’s subsequent imprisonment, trial and name change.

      there’s a lot to be critical of the first look initiative. mainly that output on all matters has dropped off immensely. I used to love to read gg back when he was prolific on a range of human rights issues. he has now become a one-trick pony, so to speak. but their handling of the snowden material, I think, has been handled expertly.

  10. Jackrabbit

    The Hedge Fund Managers Tax Break: Because Wall Streeters Want Your Money
    – Dean Baker, TruthOut

    While its nice to see someone raising issue of the carried interest tax break, Dean Baker pulls some punches here.

    1) He doesn’t mention that Obama vowed to end this tax break in his 2008 campaign. Another campaign pledge broken. (Obots: you can’t complain about the Republicans. Democrats had a majority in Congress after Obama was elected and Obama has shown no leadership – no use of bully pulpit – on this issue since taking office.)

    2) He could have described how market bubbles increase the benefit of this tax break. But this would’ve discredited Democratic Party hack economists like Summers and Krugman instead of the nameless ‘conservative economist’ that he cites.

    1. McMike

      I see nothing about Baker’s work that indicates he pulls his punches on the Democrats or Summers.

      1. Jackrabbit

        On the whole I like Dean Baker. He tries to insert some sanity into the public dialog. In this case, at least, I feel that he could’ve added the points that I mention.

        And its not just Baker. Many times I feel that those with enough credibility to get published fail to ‘connect the dots’. Maybe they feel that it is best to focus the argument for a public that is used to sound bites, or that they would lose credibility if they expand the complaint, or they try and it gets edited out.

        1. McMike

          I am sure those all happen: there’s not enough space; they are trying to keep it simple or single topic; they are trying to reach a broader audience by sanitizing it; they are trying to preempt non sequitur rebuttals; the editor whacks it…

          My guess is he skipped Obama’s promises because it is not really relevant now to the question at hand, and he skipped additional analysis in order to keep it under a word count limit.

          Also there is a strategic benefit when floating advocacy education pieces to keep it relatively nonpartisan if possible.

        2. Banger

          In American leftist circles connecting the dots is frowned upon and considered akin to “conspiracy theory–never mind that conspiracies are de rigeur in politics as they have been throughout recorded history. Why this fear of speculation seems to exist would force me to connect a lot of dots.

          1. McMike

            Can you please name some examples? Most of the leftist stuff I read is usually built on a core premise of wide conspiracies and systemic corruption.

            As for Baker, that’s not his beat. He focuses on pointing out bad math and bad economic reporting, usually on a case by case or issue by issue basis. He is generally hard on whoever is doing the bad reporting, be it Krugman, the NYT, WaPo, or the WSJ.

            Although he has done some advocacy for budget proposals where I suppose that he views have gotten short attention or misrepresentation in the press, most of his effort is directed to bad math as it comes out. That there are conspiracies to promulgate bad reporting and economic myths is a conclusion he leaves readers to draw for themselves from the evidence.

            1. Banger

              Well, the obvious one is the assassinations of the 60’s. These were really major historical events. A sitting President, a soon to be President and the most engaging leader of a social movement in the 20th century. This was no minor issue and the left refused to deal with this obvious issue.

              The evidence is overwhelming that the official stories are completely inaccurate. Let me take the easiest one to explain: the LA Coroners report (autopsy) said RFK was shot at point-blank range by someone shooting upward from behind RFK while Sirhan was never closer than two to four feet and he was in front of RFK. In addition, Sirhan’s gun only had eight shots–multiple witnesses said it sounded like firecrackers going off–not only is it impossible to fire a revolver that fast the sound analysis shows at least 13 or 14 shots fired (I don’t remember now exactly). That’s it–unless you are completely loopy it is obvious that there was more than one shooter and therefore a conspiracy. There is no alternative explanation. The other assassinations have similar issues.

              Conspiracies are common–in history–the reason why conspiracies are not accepted by almost the entire left is that they, like most Americans, believe in American Exceptionalism. Other countires have conspiracies but because, in America, everyone means well, no one deliberately does bad things–it’s usually “mistakes were made” or Iraq was a miscalculation or a mistake–it was nothing of the sort! The Bush administration had planned to invade Iraq before 9/11 if you believe former Chief of Staff of Colin Powell, Lawrence Wilkerson claim.

    1. just me

      Oh my gosh! I LOVE these people!

      When the financial crisis hit Spain, the banking and finance industry rushed to the government for bailouts, just like they did in the U.S. But Spain went further, abruptly amending its Constitution to make debt payments to these financiers the government’s “absolute priority” — higher than any other budget item — and to mandate austerity budgets that cut funding for social services.

      Meanwhile, Enric Durán carried out a daring bank robbery. He took out loans from 39 different Spanish banks, under false pretenses, and then fled with the money — nearly half a million euros. He put the bulk of it into a variety of anti-capitalist activist projects, and publicized the action as his attempt to fight back against the banking system’s hijacking of the Spanish economy.
      Derecho de Rebelion encourages the people of Spain to withdraw their allegiance from this delegitimized government and instead “declare ourselves citizens of the popular assemblies and the assemblies of post-capitalist projects in which we participate”:

      Maybe THAT’S where America is now! Since it’s not here anymore, I mean.

      …”delegitimized government”…

    2. Wayne Reynolds

      They have a very good advanced example of an alternative and successful economic, political, and corporate structure, it is called MONDRAGON.

  11. Jess

    Regarding the rent article: Classic case of inverting the lede. The problem isn’t rising rents, it’s the failure of incomes (outside the top 5-10%) to keep pace going back 30 years.

    1. just me

      maybe it’s the failure of the market algorithm

      still thinking about Uber’s magic algorithm from Matt Stoller’s post a few days ago — the computer told us what to charge and pay.

      Matt Stoller: How Uber Creates an Algorithmic Monopoly to Extract Rents

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        There is no money in algorithms to, say, match the hungry with excess (ready to be thrown away) food at restaurants and wholesale produce markets.

        ‘Watch it on your smartphone as you get closer and closer to the food that you are about to rescue from being thrown into a garbage dump.’

        More exciting than watching an approaching taxi!!!

  12. Banger

    Hersh’s piece on Syria/Turkey and the reactions to it are fascinating. The only mainstream pub that even mentioned, in passing, the Hersh article was the LA Times. This is further proof that the story is accurate–the usual technique is to ignore stories of this sort.

    This story I intimately linked the Ukraine story. Russia was the ultimate target in Syria and Russia was, along with dissident elements within the national security state, the cause of humiliation for the fanatics in the WH and State Dept. who wanted full scale genocidal war against Syria. Having failed they have put all their eggs into Ukraine where they hope to find war easier to start. As usual, they have now the mainstream media parroting press office talking points but, thankfully, with somewhat less enthusiasm.

    The question I have is why is the Administration so bent on War as a general policy? I have some ideas on that but am not sure about them.

    1. Synopticist

      I think, as we have both previously suggested, that a policy of de-stabilisation and tension suits some Washington hard-liners because Europe has basically no military forces to speak of. Therefore the whole continent continues to rely on the US for security. It’s a way of ensuring the EU doesn’t seek to re-position itself closer to Russia, weakens the Russia position on its borders by creating instability, and provides breathing space in which to decide whether a pivot to Asia is desirable or neccesary.

      I kinda think they’re waiting to see whether the Chinese economy implodes, in which case a pivot isn’t needed.

      1. Banger

        Washington showed that it was one with Wall Street and the City of London in a coherent Imperial project. The Euro ruling elites saw little opposition inside the U.S. to both military adventures and an emergent police state so they could remain secure that the Empire was strong and would support all oligarchs who cooperated around the globe. The revived neocon project now joined with fanatical enthusiasm by the “humanitarian” interventionists from the Democratic Party and, significantly, all of the mainstream media, seem like the winning side at the moment at least from the POV of Euro ruling elites. Libya, Syria, now Ukraine are steps for the consolidation of Empire. In order to maintain credibility in the world and keep tensions high in the U.S. general war cold or hot will guarantee public compliance, or so these people think. We’ll see.

        1. Synopticist

          Yes, the democratic party humanitarian R2P crowd have managed to bring the noe-cons right back into the driving seat. Great work Samantha Power, you caring sharing genocide-expert human rights queen. And don’t get me started on the f*ckin MSM. The amount of whining the Guardian and the BBC did about the “illegal war in Iraq” in the previous decade, and now look at ’em.

          But there’s a lot of resistance outside the corporate bubble. They didn’t get their Syria bombing, and I don’t see much support for a hardline Ukraine policy in the real world.

      2. vidimi

        this is very much a myth. france and Britain round off the top 5 in global military spending. Italy has forces that are more than capable of self defense, as do most other countries. Europe has enough military might to defend itself but, france and Britain excepted, not enough to use aggressively, but that’s a good thing.

    2. Wayne Reynolds

      I am no fan of the soi dissant leftist Salon, but they did indeed site Hersh’s article, after all it is an election year and it is time to gather the renegades back into the Democraptic fold.

    3. Andrew Watts

      “The question I have is why is the Administration so bent on War as a general policy? I have some ideas on that but am not sure about them”

      Oceania will always be at war with Eurasia.

      The “New American Century” and the continuation of the American empire is wholly dependent on it’s domination of Eurasia. Every geopolitical move the United States has made since 9/11 has been to secure American interests in the region. The foremost goal of this imperial project is to forestall the emergence of another rival power or alliance of powers that would effectively serve as a deterrent that would contest American hegemony.
      There is virtually no difference between the neocons, realists, and/or pragmatists. The division that exists between the various groups is that first group doesn’t know when they’re beaten, the second group is emerging from it’s deeply seated denial, and the last group is wise enough to know when to throw in the towel. Overall they are dedicated to the maintenance of the American empire and it’s continued hegemony. These plans have hardly remained a secret as they’ve been openly discussed.

      If Russia has been endowed by history with a mission it is this: to stop the rise of any dominant power from ruling Europe or the world. Whether that was Napoleonic France, Brandenburg-Prussia, Nazi-Germany, and/or the United States. Perhaps it will oppose China one day. Putin kicked the US military out of the ‘Stans. Russia checked American power and the neo-Ottoman ambitions of the current Turkish administration in the Eastern Mediterranean over the Syrian issue. He has forged an unusual alliance with China. Behind the scenes Russia has enabled Iran to maintain it’s original nuclear deal even after the threat of an American military assault and economic sanctions. These self-defeating sanctions have only strengthen the domestic opposition in Iran to accommodation with the US/EU.

      The coup in Ukraine is merely a continuation of the failed policies of the Establishment. Whether it’s revenge on Russia/Putin, or the continuation of the attempted containment of Russia matters very little. It is not America’s problem. It is Washington’s and their hubris has fomented this political disaster. They’ve underestimated Putin every step of the way from the independence and re-unification of Crimea to the present events unfolding in Eastern Ukraine.

      Where is their belligerent rhetoric now?

  13. the Heretic

    Concerning the following article:
    ‘Scientists unmask a piece in the puzzle of how the inheritance of traumas is mediated’.
    Is the name of this field of study Epigenetics? I know they are studying the phenomena of how genes express themselves depending on the environment and our life experiences.

    This article makes an astonishing assertion, that trauma induced genetic expression in one generation can be passed through to the next generation via the reproduction system (some modification to the egg, sperm or gestation process); have these scientists accounted for different parenting behaviour of the traumatized mice? A study of rhesus monkeys shows that mothers of a certain DNA would have exaggerated responses to their children depending on the environment that they experience, hence the different behaviour of their children and corresponding expression of DNA as compared to children of more ‘typical’ rhesus monkeys. Perhaps it is no coincidence that rhesus monkeys are among the most adaptable species in the world…
    Read the abstract :

    But if it is partly transmitted through the reproductive system, that could imply that life experiences could possibly have a direct effect on the DNA of further generations. Concerning human society; if experiences can actually shape the expression of DNA in succeeding generations, then war, poverty, abuse and indignity may have to be viewed as not just a social ill but health issue affecting future generations, like pollution. Some astonishing implications..

    And this is something for Mr F. Beard to consider, this study might give some validity to the bible passage:
    ‘I shall visit upon your sins even to the third and fourth generation’.
    (all atheists and non-christians please relax, I am not in anyway advocating enforced Christianity on anyone)

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      What we have here is more likely this:

      ‘I shall visit upon your VICTIMHOOD even to the third and fourth generation’

      Here is when one goes from being religious and becomes spiritual, knowing Mother Nature can be without mercy and yet, the love for her (it’s a different kind of love) is unconditional, accepting Her the way She is and will always be.

      1. The Heretic

        I do believe that your word substitution of ‘Victimhood’ is more correct that the word ‘sin’ in the context of the applying the findings of the science article to the biblical statement. But there is still a possible causal chain of events that could cause the bibli statement to come true.. The sinful ruler traumatizes the people with austerity and violence. The traumatized parents and parents-to-be inadvertently raises the children in a way that may be adaptive; what we would typically view as maladaptive traits such as short term focused, short tempered and aggressive could be adaptive in a violent environment. The violent children are difficult to rule and rebel violently against the children of the sinful ruler.

    2. susan the other

      That bit of science was way interesting. The inheritance of trauma. Via sperm which can contain short sequences of RNA. I assume that after 3 generations the genome returns to the more conservative DNA for guidance – but no specifics on long term studies. It also might explain why we have our political skirmishes and then after 2 or three generations we revert to a more even tempered politics. Only to go at it all over again soon.

      1. allcoppedout

        On the science there are some simple explanations here –

        Epigenetics was being taught when I was an undergrad. Modern lab equipment has brought it on leaps and bounds. We can now almost see these processes in real-time in such as this:

        Attention is also turning to the hologenome, to include various creatures like bacteria we carry around with us. They influence our behaviour too.

    3. Jagger

      I wonder what impact epigenetics will have on the theory of darwinian evolution? Too early to say for now.

  14. optimader

    RE: SU-24 Antique Aircraft Carrier Fleet Airshow
    “..Btw that’s the superior 5th gen Fencer-E aircraft…”
    Although it may be a E variant, referrign to it as a “5th generation is a bit misleading. In contemporary parlance 1 through 5 generation terminology applies to “fighter” aircraft, which the SU-24 is neither a fighter or 5th generation. It’s an attack/low level bomber –a cold war relic analogous to the Panavia Tornado and F-111. These are ancient aircraft, albeit tarted up a bit no doubt to keep it airworthy, still a stinkpot.

    None the less a gaggle SU-24 that survive long enough to launch a complement of air to ship cruise missiles combined w/however many stealthy diesel electric subs that may be sitting in mud w/ torpedos, would likely reveal a US Aircraft Carrier Task Force to be the obscenely expensive equivalent of last centuries HMS Hood.

    US Carrier Fleets are supremely well organized to fight the Imperial Japanese Navy should it ever arise from Davey Jones Locker, but otherwise are irrelevant for purpose other than inflicting pain on smaller countries, impressing Naval Aficionados that really like big-loud stuff and redistributing Congressional District Corporate Welfare.
    The Pentagon knows it’s a charade as do the Russians and the Chinese. And for that matter, also the Swedes who leased a Gotland class diesel electric sub ~ten years ago to the Pentagon, as it turns out to spank the USS Ronald Reagan during fleet exercises.. Don’t read too much about this in MSM. )

    So in the case of US Carrier based aircraft, if truly serious intentions were to ever acted on, the F-Whatever Pilots probably don’t have to worry about their AWAC and fuel support aircraft because the survivors would be re-catagorized as land based aircraft by default.

        1. optimader

          Yes and yes.. deathstar, aptly put.
          Our floating Dinosaurs in the land of the small rodents.

          Periscope pics of shame for the USN. Ya gotta love vernacular like “helps pac flt train” and “Continues to Play Important Role in Joint Training”
          Mortal sin in the military to frame anything self referential as even vaguely negative.
          Complete fail = Less than completely successful.
          The dirty secret is a “cheap” diesel electric sub can be absolutely quiet when it sits. Sophisticated ones (like Gotland Class) can be quieter than nukes even when under power.
          All so unfortunate, the how and why of our astronomical “defense” resource allocation.

    1. Synopticist

      Floating coffins.
      Carriers are huge city blocks of warm metal able to travel at thirty miles an hour in 2 dimensions. They might possibly survive for a while in the far depths of the ocean if they keep moving, but in any restricted area, like the Black sea, the Med, the Baltic or the Persian gulf, they’d last about 2 hours in a hot war. Missile tech is waaay too good for any other result.

    2. skippy


      The Aussie defense chat I linked said it all, its about weapons to platforms, not platforms to platforms.

      Yeah should have said 4th – 5th upgrade wrt Su-24, where the SU-27M/35 is for all intent a 5th gen under the skin.

      Funny thing is that the F – 111/SU – 24 type of platform can still surprise foes today. Before we got rid of ours, it did surprisingly well in tactical scenarios against more modern platforms from around the NATO block i.e. hard to catch coming in and absolutely gets out of dodge after releasing payloads. Interceptors are left watching them scoot off their screens.

      skippy… have no fear tho, the military MBA’s will certainly win the day…

      1. optimader


        Tongue in cheek Antique comments aside, personally I have no doubt a squadron of airworthy SU-24 could inflict mortal hurt, particularly if they used as the fast/low sacrificial standoff launch platforms that they are. Old isn’t necessarily bad, just challenging to maintain.

        Personally I think the Pentagon’s taken Mil aircraft into the weeds of insanely expensive, overly complex impractical multipurpose lumps (file under:F-35) which have become progressively remote to the mission of “defense” and more focused on supporting the congressional district defense contractor and Pentagon program directors foodchain. There is no future for officers in the Pentagon assigned to boring, albeit cost effective legacy programs.

        As I’m sure you are aware “stealth” is a way oversold theoretical feature that has resulted in sluggish, high wing loading, ponderous maneuvering dogs (compared to previous gen aircraft!) that due to extraordinary cost bloat will have to be amortized over extended service lives to bury the program cost.. Something like >US$200MM a piece for an F-35 and counting, while comparably inexpensive countermeasures most assuredly collect generations of evolution.

  15. optimader

    Re antidote

    So long and thanks for all the fish
    So sad that it should come to this
    We tried to warn you all but oh dear!
    You may not share our intellect
    Which might explain your disrespect
    For all the natural wonders that
    grow around you
    So long, so long and thanks
    for all the fish
    The world’s about to be destroyed
    There’s no point getting all annoyed
    Lie back and let the planet dissolve around you
    Despite those nets of tuna fleets
    We thought that most of you were sweet
    Especially tiny tots and your
    pregnant women
    So long, so long, so long, so long, so long
    So long, so long, so long, so long, so long
    So long, so long and thanks
    for all the fish
    If I had just one last wish
    I would like a tasty fish
    If we could just change one thing
    We would all have learned to sing
    Come one and all
    Man and mammal
    side by side, in life’s great gene pool.
    So long, so long, so long, so long, so long
    So long, so long, so long, so long, so long
    So long, so long and thanks
    for all the fish!

    Read more: Soundtrack Artists – So Long & Thanks For All The Fish Lyrics | MetroLyrics

  16. optimader

    Here you go Beef,
    as close as we can get..

    Sailed on the sloop John B
    My granddaddy and me
    ‘Round Nassau Town we did roam

    We’d been drinkin’ all night
    Well, I got into a fight
    Yeah and I feel so broke up
    I Wanda go home

    Hoist up the John B sail’s
    See how the mainsail sets
    Send for the captain ashore
    And let me go home

    I Wanda go home, I Wanda go home, yeah
    ‘Cause I feel so broke up, I Wanda go home
    Yes, I do
    (He’s so broke up, Lord, I Wanda go home)

    Well, captain’s a wicked man
    He gets drunk any time he can
    And he don’t give a damn for grand pappy

    No, nor me, he kicks us around
    And he knocks us about
    Well, I feel so broke up
    I, I Wanda go home

    Well, pull up the John B’s sails
    See how the mainsail sets
    Send for the captain ashore
    And let me go home

    I Wanda go home
    Well, I Wanda go home
    ‘Cause I feel so broke up
    (He’s so broke up)

    I Wanda go home
    (Yes, I do)
    I feel so broke up
    (He so broke up)
    Lord that I Wanda go home, home

    Van Morrison – I Wanda Go Home Lyrics

  17. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    From the link on Chinese Steel Traders.

    “Every day, I hear of debtors running off,” said one Shanghai steel trader from Shunde, Guangdong Province. Local media have reported steel traders fleeing overseas or committing suicide. “It’s the worst time I’ve seen,” said the trader.”

    Didn’t the same happen to lots of business persons in Wenzhou a few years back?

    “Analysts worry the troubles could spread as traders have borrowed against iron and copper holdings as well.”

    That’s what I was thinking when I was reading the article.

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