Links 4/5/14

These Dogs Are Totally Amused By FedEx Guy Chasing After His Runaway Truck Consumerist

China’s tiger parks under fire from conservationists, animal cruelty experts McClatchy (furzy mouse)

Cultural production of ignorance provides rich field for study Los Angeles Times. Readers discussed agnotology in comments yesterday, so this story from last month seemed germane.

Climate Deniers Intimidate Journal into Retracting Paper that Finds They Believe Conspiracy Theories Scientific American (Richard Smith)

Let’s get geeks into government Gillian Tett, Financial Times. I think I’d rather stick with the enemies I know.

Here’s Why Developers Keep Favoring Apple Over Android Slate

Most expensive aviation search: $53 million to find flight MH370 Sydney Morning Herald

‘Headless chickens’ wreak havoc on emerging markets Ian Fraser, QFinance

IP attitudes must adapt to a world without scarcity Bangkok Post. This shreds the argument for more stringent intellectual property protection, which is one of the things the Administration is determined to achieve through the pending trade deals.

US attacks Japan’s stance on Trans-Pacific Partnership Financial Times. We predicted the Japanese would not just slow-walk any agriculture reforms, but also not give the US what it wanted in terms of extent of liberalization. This is their way of preventing the deal from getting done, since they regard the TPP as overreaching and aren’t going to put up with the US’s bullying posture. Fromon’s remarks look to be designed for Congress (as in to shift blame for America’s overplaying its hand) but I can’t imagine it will make the Japanese more inclined to cooperate.

Worst may be over for Chinese economy Nikkei

Press Myanmar to protect the Rohingya Bangkok Post (furzy mouse)

How Europe is incubating an even bigger debt crisis by letting deflation take root Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Kerry hints Middle East talks are close to collapse Guardian

US lets Boeing sell parts to Iran BBC. Now I am really confused. Is this to weaken ties between Russian and Iran?

MIAMI: ‘Cuban Twitter’ raises question: Is it OK for US to help Cubans? McClatchy

Freedom Rider: Obama’s Imperialism Margeret Kimberly, Black Agenda Report


Ukraine PM says will stick to austerity despite Moscow pressure Reuters. Notice difference in emphasis on UK Reuters, as opposed to US: Russia raises gas prices for Ukraine by 80 percent

Putin’s Rejection of the West, in Writing Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg. Mark Ames: “Bershidsky is great, and this rings true. Putin is going Nixon Red State or Alexander III. He’s lost the urban youth and bourgeoisie in the main big cities, he’s going to double down on the Silent Majority, which is why the Crimea crisis is at least as good for him as for the Ukraine neofascists and neoliberals.”

The new Russian power bloc Open Democracy

U.S. Spy Agencies Can’t Get in Putin’s Head, Rogers Says Bloomberg

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Planned NSA reforms still leave journalists reason to worry Columbia Journalism Review

Searchable Database of NSA Documents Just Security Just Security. Their headline better than the ACLU’s.

Turns Out the NSA “May” Destroy Evidence of Crimes before 5 Years Elapse Marcy Wheeler

Obamacare Launch

The Legality of Delaying Key Elements of the ACA New England Journal of Medicine. Holy moley, the NEMJ says Obama acted beyond his authority.

Medicaid Enrollments Bring Obamacare Enrollment to More Than 10 Million Newsweek

Obama outpaces Bush on judges Politico. Almost certainly because his picks are conservative.


In Bid for Revote, Union Claims Tennessee Officials Frightened Workers New York Times

More HFT:

High Speed Trading and Slow-Witted Economic Policy Dean Baker. Note that quite a few commentators, including your humble blogger, said a small transaction tax would shut down HFT pronto.

Michael Lewis says the market’s rigged. But his ‘Flash Boys’ rigged themselves Guardian. This suggests that Lewis (again) missed the real story.

High drama in link between ETFs and HFT Financial Times

Wall Street’s Subsidy Safety Net Dave Dayen, American Prospect

Pre-paid Cards Enter the Credit Market, Thwarting the Primary Impetus for Using the Cards Credit Slips

Inequality and the Jobs Report John Cassidy, New Yorker

3 reasons to worry about March’s jobs report CNN

For long-time unemployed, full-time work is elusive MarketWatch

Abused and Exploited Temp Workers May Finally Get a Break Alternet

Stop adding up the wealth of the poor Felix Salmon

Antidote du jour

(Lee S). A young geep:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. BeezleyBub

    ►In 2008, China’s banks were worth 10 Trillion Dollars.
    ►In 2013 China’s banks were worth 25 Trillion Dollars.
    ►In just 5 years it grew a magical 15 Trillion Dollars!
    ►The entire 15 Trillion Dollar U.S. Commercial Banking System took 100 years to get to that size.
    ►The entire 15 Trillion Dollar U.S. Annual Economy (GDP) took 100 years to get that big.
    ►The China Bubble is the BIGGEST and FASTEST financial bubble in all of recorded human history.
    ►All bubbles burst as they drive gas prices higher and price spikes poke pin pricks in the bubble.
    ►This collapse will happen around the super-critical 2015 Paris climate negotiations rendering them useless.
    Why Is This Important?
    ► 90% of Lions gone since 1993.
    ► 90% of Big Ocean Fish gone since 1950.
    ► 50% of Great Barrier Reef gone since 1985.
    ► 50% of Fresh Water Fish gone since 1987.
    ► 30% of Marine Birds gone since 1995.
    ► 28% of Land Animals gone since 1970.
    ► 28% of All Marine Animals gone since 1970.
    ► 50% of All Vertebrate Species gone by 2040.
    ► Extinctions are 1000 times faster than normal.
    ► Ocean acidification doubles by 2050.
    ► Ocean acidification triples by 2100.
    ► 90 elephants are killed every single day.
    ► 2-3 rhinos are killed every single day.
    Why Is This Important?
    MONEY = POWER = MONEY etc.
    Energy conservation or efficiency doesn’t really save energy, but instead spurs economic growth and accelerated energy consumption. Here is the future.
    ►1/100th watt = $1 of global economic activity.
    ►500 megawatts = 1 average power plant.
    ►600 megawatts = China’s increased coal use every 10 days for the next 10 years.
    ►500,000 megawatts = 500 planned new nuclear plants for China by 2050.
    ►25 billion megawatts = World power output in 2014.
    ► Each Day, C02 per megawatt of power increases.
    ► Every 4½ days, 1,000,000 new carbon users are born.
    ► How many windmills, solar panels and batteries will give us just today’s 25 billion megawatts?
    Why is This Important?
    ► Hadley Centre for Meteorological Research (2009): +4°C by 2060.
    ► United Nations Environment Programme (2010) up to: +5°C by 2050.
    Why Is This Important?
    All the world wants 2 things, jobs and a liveable planet. We can’t actually have both without building a new nuclear plant every day to the end, according to Tim Garrett of Utah U, a guy who is seriously into economic thermodynamics.
    We are on track to wipe out three-quarters of life on earth in 300 years ― at most. While solar and wind power are useful, we cannot afford the ecological cost of running all our mega cities on just that type of power. Too many heavy and rare-earth metals, along with conflict minerals, would be required. The smog from the graphite mines alone, used to make the rechargeable batteries, would choke the planet. Even liquid metal batteries are too big and unsustainable.
    i forgot hydrogen as gas batteries new lower production costs and safety.
    H-fuel cells double efficacy have fewer parts for urban transit, Hydrogen can now be made directly from sunlight. Hydrogen vehicles only produce water vapour tailpipe emissions.

    1. BondsOfSteel

      I have no faith in the 2015 Paris climate negotiations. Why should I? Every climate conference so far has failed (since Kyoto).

      Humanity has a choice to make in the next few years. You’re assuming the choice will be to choose a livable planet for all the people on it. I think our nature is much darker.

      A world with 3/4 as many people would expel about 3/4 as much carbon. That’s the real choice…

      1. different clue

        If those 3/4 of today’s people all lived like CanadiAmeriStralians, they would skydump even more carbon than today.

  2. Skeptic

    Cultural production of ignorance provides rich field for study Los Angeles Times.

    According to this article, mark me down as “ignorant” regarding vaccines. I do not want to have a Racketeer like Big Pharma Pfizer:

    sticking a needle in my arm:

    This is the same problem as FIRE, the criminals are unprosecuted and unpunished and people lose faith in the system. Start prosecuting big time and putting criminals out of business permanently and people may start to once again have some trust. Until then, we are on an accelerating downward trend of distrust and suspicion.

    1. heresy101

      Yesterday, I succumbed to the sirens of big Pharma at Kaiser. When going for my annual blood pressure check, they noted that I was due for a pneumonia and shingles vaccine.
      Since my mother got shingles and it was a very bad experience for her and many older people die of pneumonia, I let the Pharma companies make money. Obviously, Kaiser shouldn’t being paying as much as they are being charged but cost control will have to wait until we get single payer and get rid of the oligarchy.

    2. Garrett Pace

      “What has made the modern era so nurturing for ignorance and doubt is the decline of scientific credibility. Norton Wise, a historian of science at UCLA, says scientists deserve a good deal of the blame for that.”

      Is that a properly informed populace? Merely one that unquestioningly accepts the authority of the “right” scientists?

      By focusing on outcomes (believing what they think you should believe) rather than helping people learn how to learn, they are perpetuating the same shoddy game and are contributing to a mindless and easily hypnotized society.

      1. David Petraitis

        Re: the properly informed citizenry… read these collect of Thomas Jefferson quotes.

        Despite being a bigoted, spiteful (to his offspring from Sally Hemings – upon which subject a severe case of agnotology may be present) slaver, he also had very clear views on education, knowledge and the prospects of democracy under continual challenge from the forces that would usurp the right of the people to self government.
        The man and his thoughts how to rhyme them.

    3. Garrett Pace

      “In a recent study, a research team headed by Brendan Nyhan of Dartmouth College tried four methods to change the minds of parents who had decided not to immunize their children with the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine — a factual refutation of the vaccine-autism link; two different means of warning about the risks to children from contracting measles, mumps or rubella, including “a dramatic narrative about an infant who almost died of measles”; and horrific photos of children suffering from the diseases.”

      How about:

      In a recent study, a research team tried four methods to change the minds of parents who had DECIDED TO immunize their children with the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine — a factual description of the vaccine-autism link; two different means of warning about the risks to children from tainted vaccines, including “a dramatic narrative about an infant who died after receiving a vaccine”; and horrific photos of children suffering from tainted vaccines…

  3. notexactlyhuman

    If that Freedom Rider: Obama’s Imperialism bit isn’t sufficient enough evidence to prove to people that the Dems and Reps are conspiring to produce dramatic spectacle, nothing will.

    “There’s not that much difference between my [Iraq] position and George Bush’s position at this stage. The difference, in my mind, is who’s in a position to execute.” – Barack Obama, 2004

    1. optimader

      Wrong perspective. Always try to influence to lesser evil, it at least is the best chance to buy wiggle room. The operational flaw, for me anyway. is identifying the lesser evil.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I think it depends.

        There are cases where neither is good for you.

        There are situations where you might have to make a compromise.

        And it also depends on the person facing the dilemma/trilemma/multilemma.

      2. Jackrabbit

        I think notexactlyhuman is right: Voting for the lesser evil as your agent legitimizes evil.

        A lesser-evil agent is inherently corrupt and will give in to evil on every important issue. In every subsequent election, the “lesser evil” will be more evil than the last, until evil prevails.

        Could there be an better example than Obama?

      3. notexactlyhuman

        That’s great, until your options devolve to a choice between Pol Pot and Hitler.

        1. optimader

          Yes well, emigration before the pot pot/hitler choice is a reasonable strategy to consider?

          In the context of a POTUS election I can easily debate that most every candidate, at least in modern history, can be framed as “evil” (well maybe not Geo. McGovern).

          Consequently if history is any indication about our society, the “pure” soul will likely never participate and you will never vote.

          Voting for a lesser evil, or more the way I prefer to think about it, voting against the more evil can be thought of as a strategy that marginally allows more opportunity for not-evil activists to develop a new improved political party w/a “Not-Evil”TM platform populated w/ altruistic candidates (should those two words be so close together?).
          The strategy of not voting and instead using one’s free time to offer sad lamentations on a blog comment thread is the formula for maximizing one’s own exploitation.

          1. Jackrabbit

            “The Strategy of not voting . . .”
            I’d rather cast a protest vote for a third party than the lesser evil.

            “. . . sad lamentations on a blog . . .”
            What’s sad is our corrupt political system. TPTB are more than happy to welcome anyone that will play along (similar to the ‘good Germans’ that supported Hitler). As far as I am concerned, anyone that objects to such a system (made worse by the recent Supreme Court decision) on a blog or elsewhere is a hero.

            For example, our ‘lesser evil’ leaders have done little against climate change that threatens billions of mostly poor people and have instead turned to climate change mitigation, which serves the interests of TPTB just fine. Pray tell, how will voting for the ‘lesser evil’ EVER change that?

                1. Jackrabbit

                  You know it doesn’t work that way.

                  “Lesser evil” is the cop-out given for voting for one of the two major parties – each of whom has been vetted by TPTB.

          2. notexactlyhuman

            I’m not against voting, it the “lesser of two evils” horseshit that needs to be scrubbed from the herds’ consciousness, including yours too, apparently.

          3. neo-realist

            Gary Hart, evil? Certainly of poor judgement–Donna Rice. However, I suspect that the Presidents that played well with TPTB could get away with their mistresses not being exposed.

          4. RanDomino

            It’s okay to vote for the lesser evil if and only if there is also a strategic effort to never have to support evil again. Giant Douche vs Turd Sandwich is a false dichotomy.

      4. Jeremy Grimm

        Lesser evil? What lesser evil? Obama cured me of that disease! Third party? Why not throw your vote into the wind? There are too many third parties and they seldom offer real change. They may have great candidates with great ideas, but they reside in the darkest realms of the body politic (Dark not as in evil. Dark as in obscure, as in unactionable.)

        Just vote “no” ! Vote! BUT, you don’t have to vote for anything when all we have to chose from is neoliberal max-gag-me to neoliberal lite. VOTE “no”!

        And DO NOT fall victim to the philosophy of “stop me before I vote again”. Not voting is interpreted as apathy. It’s like a vote saying “I don’t care.” VOTE “no”!. “no” says I care and care very much and I cannot in good conscience vote for any of the ‘two’ candiates offered, and I don’t believe that the present system allows for third parties in other than name.

        “no” must be counted in many (not all) of the counties in our county [NOTE: I indicate a write-in of “no” as an arbitrary least effort write-in which will be consistent and countable, contrasting with “No” or “NO” or “no!” or “No!” or “NO!” or any other imaginative combinations. That way “no’ means “no”.]

        If you think this is silly — consider the impacts. In Chile a “no” vote lead to a change in the government. It could happen here(?). [To better effect one might hope.]

      5. hunkerdown

        Why are you “buying” a faulty product, other than that you were brainwashed to believe that name-dropping and photo-ops constitute representation? Power cannot be changed by voting when your only options are two factions of aristocrats with millions of devoted serfs each, or a collective-action problem.

        If you’re looking to assuage your conscience and be ineffective, play the game. If you want to be effective, play the system. Even a five-year-old knows that much.

  4. abynormal

    hehehee, re: Worst may be over for Chinese Economy
    “Lu said market optimism in China may be because of comments made last week by Premier Li Keqiang. Li visited Liaoning Province and made a speech March 26 in front of local government executives. He mentioned the risk of downward pressure on the economy, and clearly stated that the government is ready to maintain economic growth through measures. The remarks clearly indicated that the government is willing to act if it perceives economic risk.”

    …did we sell them our Playbook?

    “When enough insane people scream in harmony that they really are healthy, they can actually start to believe themselves. Or put even more simply: people with overlapping delusions get along wonderfully.”
    Daniel Mackler, Toward truth: A psychological guide to enlightenment

    as for the US: “Will you explain to me why people encourage delusional behavior in children, and medicate it in adults?”
    Kingsolver, Flight Behavior

    1. Paul Niemi

      I think I knew something was fishy when the lobbyists started pushing the Cherry Point coal terminal. They wanted to sell China 50 million tons of coal from Wyoming every year, and the trains needed a place to unload onto the ships. Then I read somewhere that two or three ships full of coal got halfway across the Pacific, and then the check for the coal bounced. Haven’t heard a lot about that or Cherry Point since then. Now I’m reading about how methods like “overinvoicing” have been used to get hot money into that country. Good luck getting that money back out, I’m thinking.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Downward pressure on the economy…

      Elites’ money fleeing the country (to use their corrupt money to buy citizenships and investment properties to generate a small number of American, Canadian or European jobs)…

      But nothing about wealth inequality in China…only GDP growth.

      This is the same obfuscation in the Middle Kingdom as elsewhere…nothing Exceptional over there.

      Economic growth is good for you, as Mao’s Red Book, scream today’s faithfully brainwashed GDP Red Guards, the most loyal comrades of Neo-Marxist Neoliberal, never mind wealth inequality.

      And, just as their Red predecessors went about wreck every cultural relic (yet, ironically, two of the most ancient traditions persist today – greed and confusion…where are you, Confucius, Mencius?) they could lay their hands on, this new generation of GDP Red Guards goes about polluting every clean air and clean water source they can find.

  5. Carolinian

    Putin/Russia: Here’s a somewhat similar but much more extensive analysis (the “AngloZionist Empire” stuff may be a bit much but he elaborates).

    And the followup:

    Whatever one thinks of Putin–and there’s this golden oldie…perhaps more in the nature of a tall tale –it’s somewhat refreshing to see someone thumb their nose at the vast groupthink that currently engulfs our planet’s elites. Of course from the West’s perspective this is exactly what must be stamped out.

  6. rkka

    Re: “U.S. Spy Agencies Can’t Get in Putin’s Head, Rogers Says”

    I’ll help confuzzled US Intel weenies:

    “You work for politicians who swindled Gorbachev on NATO expansion, sat by and gave nothing but catastrophic economic advice to Russia in the ’90s:

    And then your employers did nothing but vituperate Putin as he tamed the Oligarchs bleeding Russia dry, which pulled Russia out of the financial hole your employers dug for Russia to permanently weaken Russia. And your employers almost brought it off. The year Putin took office, deaths in Russia exceeded births by almost a million. Under PutVedev’s governance, 2013 saw births in Russia exceeding deaths for the first time since 1991, something the US Census Bureau and the various 3-letter agencies you work for never believed possible.

    To summarize: Putin places no faith in the word of your employers, so he’s put them on ‘Ignore’ and does what he thinks best for Russia.

    1. Banger

      The CIA knows very well what Putin in thinking, more or less. We have to remember that the CIA regards its talking to the media as an intel operation. Officers in the operations and military division of the CIA are “people of the lie” their lives are lies from start to finish and they have no other option but to continue. Reporters love these guys and take what they say at face value–reporters think CIA operatives are like film stars, exotic, mysterious and so on.

      Putin is acting as any authoritarian Russian head-of-state would act. He is motivated to protect the Russian state and Russian culture. An American intrusion into Ukraine through a staged coup d’etat of a constitutional democracy replaced by a stooge who is trying to keep in check radical fascists and nativists had to be answered in the strongest possible terms. The CIA, which is one of the main influences of all U.S. reporting on national security issues, wants everyone to believe that Putin is an evil Hitler with insane nationalists ambitions. Reporters won’t report that the U.S. was fine about Putin’s brutal repression of Chechens (they’re Muslims) but objects to Washington’s new project to surround Russia with bases and actively undermine the Russian state through funding, supporting various “pro-democracy” activists in Russia and wherever it can and attempt to make ex-Soviet states U.S. puppets.

      1. optimader

        “Putin is acting as any authoritarian Russian head-of-state would act.”
        You can strike Russian for the more general case.

        Maybe Vlad is just frustrated and wants someone to pay attention to him?
        Heck, his wife ditched him on TV, one daughter married a Korean kid that attended Uof I Champaign-Urbana and the other one is living w/ a Dutch kid, and is probably learning how to drink tons of good beer and how to put mayonnaise on everything before eating it.

        1. Banger

          He’s defending his country against the neoconservative cult in Washington which illegally helped overthrow a country with a constitutions who had elected a government through elections that were deemed fair by international observers. There is no ambiguity here–this was U.S./Nato aggression using fascists and right-wing thugs to push the government out and then hang around the parliament with sticks to make sure the rump parliament put the government that the U.S. wanted in power.

          1. Fíréan

            ” living w/ a Dutch kid, and is probably learning how to drink tons of good beer . . . ”
            Then that would have to be imported beer, because with regards to Dutch beer they serve better beer in hell.

      2. vidimi

        wasn’t most of the Chechen repression conducted under yeltsin? I think by the time putin took over, the worst was already in the past. would have made it difficult for anyone to criticize putin for what the previous stooge did.

    2. Christopher D. Rogers

      I take solace in the fact that a single nation led by someone I’m not particularly keen on, nevertheless stymies the total global triumph of neoliberal economic orthodoxy and the Washington Consensus – so I take my hat off to one Mr. Putin.

      Indeed, as a firm supporter of the sovereignty of the Nation State, and the sovereignty of its people therein, I only wish UK politicians had the guts to stand up to the global oligarchy that conspires to make slaves of us all, or debt slave being a more appropriate word.

      Having watched the cretin Nick Clegg, the UK supposed deputy Prime Minster and leader of the Conservative butcher enabling Liberal Democrats, debate with one Nigel Farage on You Tube, whilst I may dislike him personally, at least he wiped the floor with the neoliberal “Orange Book” neoliberal scumbag that Clegg is.

      The UK actually requires a clean cut version of Putin, otherwise our population will fall prey further to the globalist parasites that feast upon our flesh on a daily basis.

      God I despair – so, if Putin is the enemy of my enemy, namely: neoliberalism, then evidently he’s an ally, and we need all the allies we can get currently to overturn the global corporatist coup that is being undertaken at breakneck speed.

      Time to smell the coffee everyone – the one Bloomberg article was appalling on Putin’s alleged invasion of Crimea, what invasion I ask myself!!!!!!!!!

      1. rkka

        “God I despair – so, if Putin is the enemy of my enemy, namely: neoliberalism, then evidently he’s an ally, and we need all the allies we can get currently to overturn the global corporatist coup that is being undertaken at breakneck speed.”

        Yup. Probably the worst thing Putin has done, from the perspective of the Anglosphere Foreign Policy Elite and Punditocracy (AFPE&P) has been to preside over steadily increasing living standards by setting a limit to oligarchic predation of the people.

        Imagine if that example were widely understood!

      2. Synopticist

        Yup, have to agree with that, and it’s becoming an increasingly common view I think.

  7. Banger

    Since the deliberate refusal by Bill Clinton to support the Oslo Accords in the 90s there has been no basis for negotiations. The Israelis made it perfectly clear they would not budge on settlements and the Greater Israel project that has been sometimes official, sometimes unofficial Israeli government policy. They want the West Bank as Israeli territory and Palestinians as Helots to the settlers Spartans. Israel has military superiority guaranteed by both the Executive and Legislative parts of the USG. As long as Israel controls ME policy in Washington there can be no negotiations. All the prior “peace process” attempts have been 100% PR and 0% serious intention. I’ve been saying that since the fall of the Oslo Agreements. Israel will continue to create “facts on the ground” and local Palestinians will be powerless to stop it. Any complaint by any member of Congress or President will be shot down within two seconds by every mainstream media outlet and every politician who expects to be elected again. It has happened time and time again.

    1. Synopticist

      Well, I reckon there’s been a bit of a change in the popular view of israel in the US lately. You do see some criticism of Israel in comment sections now, which you never did 5 years ago. As a Brit I was always surprised by the passion with which normal Americans defended Israeli policies, but it seems to be fading.

      1. Banger

        What you say is true enough with the general public but the tight hold that radical pro-Israel activists have on the politicians is completely unchanged. Also their hold on academia is still pretty strong. Mainstream media outlets also are, generally speaking, not allowed to criticize the Israeli state directly–they do so indirectly by reporting some news accurately. Lately there seems to have been a news blackout on what the Israelis are doing in the ME–are they supporting the Saudis as they used to? Are they still working hand-in-hand with Turkey? Who knows–I’ve seen little about that.

  8. JEHR

    The memories of citizens are very short. If people reflected back to the 1940s and 1950s when outbreaks of red measles, german measles, mumps, polio and whooping cough were endemic and caused deaths and heartache, they would not be so reluctant to take vaccines. As a child I had some of those diseases, and believe me, we were happy when polio vaccine became available to prevent that disease from causing more deaths and disabilities.

  9. Eureka Springs

    Via emptywheel:
    Unrelated, but Rosemary Collyer threw out the Awlaki wrongful death suit, meaning the government can kill its own citizens (including the innocent 16-year olds) with no due process with impunity. I’ll write about this ruling later.

    I do not love my country.

    1. arby

      Rosemary Collyer: the banality of evil occurs when ordinary individuals are put into corrupt institutions that encourage their conformity. A person as a judge who cannot stand her ground on behalf of the people on explicit guarantees in the world’s first written constitution. No doubt an accomplished, ordinary member of the elite. But banal and evil.

  10. Cal

    The Fedex guy was chasing his own truck. He owns it, or at least the debt to buy it, along with the uniform and all the other costs. So no worry about being fired.

    Ever wonder why the “Ex” in some Fedex trucks is green and in others it’s orange?

    Orange means it’s a company owned truck and the employee is paid and gets some benefits. Green means that they are “independent contractors” that have to pay for everything themselves and often have to buy their route and get paid per piece, hence fast careless driving, leaving brakes off and other amusing things as they race the hamster wheel of survival.

    Who needs a post office, Middle Class jobs or a Middle Class? Use Fedex and help promote the civic decay of America.
    We’ll continue to use the Post Office and unionized United Parcel Service that treats their employees like human beings, thank you.

    “While the company continues to maintain its position that route operators are properly classified as independent contractors because they are responsible for scheduling, gas and maintenance costs, and are required to either lease or buy their trucks, FedEx recognizes that any number of legal or legislative outcomes can impact its work force model.”

    1. Stan Musical

      Thanks for that info. I’ve preferred FedEx over UPS because I’ve generally gotten better service from the former: UPS has mis-delivered one package, to a completely different address (wtf?), kept my packages over the weekend because the driver couldn’t be bothered really looking for the rural house I was living in at the time, and been rude with me on the phone when I tried to sort the above out.

      But FedEx is obviously using the Walmart playbook, so I’ll use a different shipper next time.

      The unmentioned amazing thing in that video is that the truck passed right between a large tree and a house, hitting neither. Lucky dude.

  11. JGordon

    I saw this and I thought it might be appropriate for links:

    Incidentally there is a tremendous different between external emitters and internal emitters, as far as radiation goes–in that if you consume or breath in a radioactive particle you are basically screwed, whereas simply being exposed to an external source of radiation may not be so bad off–which is a big reason why eating even “mildly” radioactive seaweed or fish has to suck. Honestly I can’t understand how anyone could consume seafood after Fukushima; ignorance or lack of options I suppose.

    There is also the matter of bio-accumulation concentrating radioactive isotopes up the food chain (think mercury and tuna–same with many radioactive isotopes), which is the reason that individuals who claim that Fukushima radiation is too diluted by the ocean to be that dangerous should be viewed as either extremely ignorant or paid plants–and in either case their opinion is demonstrably worthless.

    1. Stan Musical

      As a long-term resident* of Japan I’ve been following the FDI news intensively for three years now. What I’ve seen is that every article posted on the web educating us on the dangers of radiation (yes, especially internal exposure) invites a large number of pro-nuke commenters using any number of the worn-out counter-arguments and/or dubious rhetorical gambits like misdirection or going ad-hominem, to try discredit the writer. #1 in frequency would probably be “but it’s greenhouse-gas free and coal is dirtier and radioactive.” They also often have a somewhat bullying attitude to them that betrays the writers as likely mouthpieces/sock-puppets of the authoritarian, command/control-paradigm MIC.

      This is perhaps a positive sign that these trolls and those who hire them are feeling the pinch.
      Within Japan, the pressure to conform is so strong that it’s internalized to a great degree, even among foreign residents, who thus either dismiss the dangers, decide to ignore them (head-in-the-sand is SOP in modern Japan), or get emotional and irrational when confronted with the dire facts on the ground (for ex. gaijin, already a derogatory term, made more so by altering it to flyjin). So change in this sphere is not going to come without a lot of persistence.

      *I left after experiencing symptoms of radiation exposure, like a hacking cough and nosebleeds that persisted for nearly a year. I took zeolite powder daily for a few weeks, had an acute healing crisis, and the symptoms subsided and have not returned.

      1. Stan Musical

        I’ll add that despite having been in some pretty desperate and/or dangerous situations over the years–or deathly ill–I don’t think I’ve experienced anything more demoralizing than shopping for food, wandering the produce section in the local grocery store, wondering what food might be contaminated, or the water, or food ordered at a restaurant. Even Japanese friends would occasionally ask the waiter when we were eating out if the fish were safe–as if they’d get an informed answer!

        Living in, around, or near invisible, odorless, silent deadly material that may enter your system at any moment without your knowing it is an experience unlike any other I’ve ever had. To someone aware of the reality, it’s quietly (invisibly, odorlessly) terrifying.

  12. optimader

    These Dogs Are Totally Amused By FedEx Guy Chasing After His Runaway Truck Consumerist
    Fun Doggies, feel some sympathy for the frenzied FedEx guy. These guys are always banging hard to get the job done.
    I just wish the end of day FedEx Tractor-trailer guys would not linger in the left lane rushing back to the ORD hive because they have an unrealistic schedule requirements.

  13. fresno dan

    “How is it possible that a group of average citizens doing Google searches in their suburban town homes can outpredict members of the United States intelligence community with access to classified information?

    How can that be?”

    Well, its pretty simple really. I’ve worked for the USAF (at the NSA), a veterans hospital, the IRS (as a clerk for a year), and the FDA. My bosses did not want my opinion (not that it was so great) in a number of cases (when it was obvious what the decision management was going to make) – one could be a martyr, or one could keep their job (my private sector friends assure me its the same). Than of course, the government can say, “Hey, everybody agreed!!! EVERYBODY thought XYZ!)

    1. Banger

      Most people completely misunderstand what the CIA actually does. It is involved, along with other agencies, in information war–not only against alleged enemies but against the American people and this has been true since Operation Mockingbird, its precursors and the operation as it stands today. It’s job is to misinform and manipulate the U.S. public not to “protect” us but to provide a way for oligarchs to keep power and profit. Almost anything the CIA says is a lie and they will contradict themselves and lead the media into a hundred goose chases to keep them away from the truth.

      The real analysts, i.e., the professionals are pretty good–but they don’t make policy and are not allowed to tell their story.

  14. TarheelDem

    The interesting thing about the Obamacare delays is who has the motivation to demand that the schedule be reset to the original schedule? Only those who benefit or think they benefit from the original schedule. Not even the Republicans in Congress are on that list. Employers? Employees who receive benefits under employee-based healthcare? Only if Obamacare’s provisions for employee-based healthcare do indeed improve their situation.

    What is left is mere conformance to the words of the law. Only the judicial purists care. But there are more serious laws than these schedules for which there is a similar dynamic. The use of drones for assassination of US citizens, for example. CIA torture of captives. Fraud in the banking system and DOJ’s response. Where has been the pushback on those, the legal jeopardy, the OMG “high crimes and misdemeanors”?

    It will be hilarious to see the Chamber of Commerce pushing the schedule back to close to the original dates. Or for the right-wing lobbies to start telling people what they are missing by not getting employee-based healthcare conforming to Obamacare. Or to see Darrell Issa start to make a case for malfeasance. Or for John Boehner, after the 53rd repeal vote, to start impeachment over these delays.

    1. Splashoil

      Ah but the more effective evil. “Delays” of “Obamacare” are just marking time until GATS agreements are fully in place preventing Single Payer from removing the parasites from health care delivery.

    1. Banger

      Money talks–and now that is enshrined in our jurisprudence….

      We have to understand clearly that we do not live in a Republic governed by a Constitution–we live in an oligarchy and soon to be neo-fuedal system. Rule of law only something for the lower orders.

  15. abynormal

    Girl Scouts Get A Badge In Intellectual Property Maximalism
    from the not-this-again dept
    Way back in 2006, we wrote about how the Los Angeles wing of the Boy Scouts of America had started offering an MPAA-supported patch in “respecting copyright,” in which “respecting copyright” was actually respecting the MPAA’s misleading maximalist view of copyright. It took some time, but it appears that the Girl Scouts are finally catching up. The Intellectual Property Owners Education Foundation has helped create a special new “IP patch” for the Girl Scouts.

    “Through earning the patch girls learn about the importance of the intellectual property system to their lives and to local and national economies. “As STEM fields become increasingly popular, it is important that we teach young people about the incentives and protections available to them through the patent system. IPO Education Foundation is excited about the opportunity to work with the GSCNC and the USPTO to bring the patent system to girls through the IP patch,” said IPOEF Executive Director Herb Wamsley.”

    Yes, so you have this biased, one-sided organization, whose entire mission statement is to push bogus propaganda, exaggerating the importance of “intellectual property” and intellectual property maximalism, and the Girl Scouts just say “no problem” without thinking that the organization run by corporate lobbyists might be just a little bit misleading? Even worse, is the idea that IP is somehow tied to “STEM” fields. Considering that many in all of those fields believe that intellectual property laws have been stifling efforts towards innovation and education, to pretend that the two are aligned is ridiculous.

    Even more ridiculous? The US government is now endorsing this sham propaganda campaign.

    “This morning a group of Girl Scouts in Washington, DC will be the first to receive the IP patch. The patch curriculum was developed jointly by IPO Education Foundation (IPOEF), U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and Girl Scout Counsel of the Nation’s Capital (GSCNC). Patches will be presented by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and USPTO Deputy Director Michelle Lee at a ceremony at the Langdon Education Campus”

    In trying to think of an equivalent, I wondered if the Girl Scouts would offer an “energy conservation” badge designed by an oil company… and then discovered that, well, yes, they do. Apparently, if you have a powerful enough industry, you can push propaganda on kids in the form of “merit badges.” Incredible!

    “Nothing sells tombstones like a Girl Scout in uniform.”
    Jacob M. Appel, Scouting for the Reaper

    1. Banger

      Great find, thanks. Almost every major organization governmental and NGO has become increasingly corrupt.

      1. hunkerdown

        There is thinking that marine life populations affect the steady-state oxygen and CO2 content of the air, and had in fact done so during the Permian extinction event. Modern society seems to have become likewise toxic to any organization partaking of public purpose.

        Sod the chimps. Save the bonobos.

  16. craazyman

    Channel Surfing

    Wildlife photography does not have to be “Flash Free”. A simple hand-held flash can do wonders to illuminate the subject! Well maybe it was an iPhone. Maybe you’re just walkkin along lost in thought and you look up and there 3 feet in front off you is a ____. I don’t know. What is that thing anyway? Looks like a sheep or a goat. Maybe it’s a pet in the back yard.

    Maybe it’s not even an animal. Maybe it’s just pretending to be an animal and it’ll shift itself into a tree or a rock after you walk by. How would you know? It occurred to me that animals get a long fine without money. How do they do that? Well, because they’re just intelligent beings pretending to be animals, like actors in a play, and they know their part.

    That got me thinking that money and law are two sides of the same phenomenon. you could have a society in which there is all law and no money. Everyone does their job because it’s the law. Bakers bake, doctors see patients, people make computers, people drive taxis and cook food in restaurants because it’s the law. Everyone is an actor playing a role with a gun to their heads. Some have better roles than others. There is no unemployment but nothing ever changes. Like animals.

    Then you could have a society where there are no laws and only money. People do whatever they want constrained only by money. Things are always changing as instinct power and imagination make people do new things and think new things. Of course you can saw there aren’t any laws but that’s just a word game. The law is the advantage of the stronger and that is called justice iin that society. There are no actors and no roles, there is only individual will and power.

    If you could get 1 million people to agree to act in a play on a large enough space of land with access to nature and perform jobs for 1 year, 2 years, 5 years — you could start a country and an economy from scratch with no money. Then you could introduce money, slowly, and let things change. It would be like building a skyscraper. You’d need to have a blueprint and engineering plans that everyone would agree to and then you just add brick by brick. not really bricks, but it’s an easier visualzattion. Plenty of societies have lived like that, but something became dissatisfying and rebellion occurred. They explain this in Dead Sea Scrolls Testament of Amram Manuscript B.

    The hardest part would be designing the plan that everybody would agree to. It wouldn’t work unless everyone performed quite skillflully, they wouldn’t have to be perfect but they’d have to stay in character during working hours. How much “capital” would it take to start a society like that? hah ahhahahah. Cracks me up just thinking about the number zero starting a 1 million person society. “conserving scarce capital” they always say in business. hahahah. Why is it scarce? That’s what they should think about in the economics department, but they won’t, because they’re just playing the role of “economist” in a play, with a gun to their heads they can’t see or won’t admit anyway. At least the animals are fun to watch.

  17. Jeremy Grimm

    => Climate Deniers Intimidate … I’m a conspiracy believer, but I’m not a climate denier. Removal of the cog-sci paper is extremely troubling. However in my opinion, belief or non-belief in conspiracy theories doesn’t get at the heart of climate denial. As a post from a few days ago suggested, sometimes a conspiracy theory isn’t a matter for tin hat-types. If there is evidence that a conspiracy exists, conspiracies are not uncommon. I think that how much someone can believe without evidence or contrary to the evidence probably comes a little closer to capturing the essense of what distinguishes a climate denier.

    Changing directions — I must ask whether climate deniers aren’t more ‘truthful’ in some sense than those who definitely believe that climate change is real and poses great danger. [I would also suggest that agnotology has been most effective at placing the larger part of the America public into a ‘MugWump’ camp, concerned but waiting to hear more.] I believe an essay in the Nation from a couple of years ago comes closest to the truth [sorry — no I don’t have the URL for it #-] with the observation that people deny what they perceive changes their life in a way they can’t accept.

    Climate deniers don’t deny the evidence, they refuse to accept the consequence. How many of those who are whole-heartedly commited to responding to climate change have a good notion of how to respond and a good sense for what that response means in terms of the changes that must come in their lives — and I’m not talking about the changes that will come if nothing is done.

    Currently, the blog site has two threads of debate running. One thread, the Diogenes thread: “There’s no alternative to strict demand reduction, and you won’t see one alternative presented on these pages consistent with what the numbers tell us we need!”. Diogenes maintains that those who are concerned about and aware of climate change seem to embrace technical panaseas or seem intent on some kind of ur-natural return to a romanticized and mythical world before the Industrial age, while the reality of climate change and its impacts remain much more grimm (sic). The second thread thrashes around the public responsibities of climate scientists and the assignment of guilt for the present impotence of responses to cllimate change, and of course, portions of each thread intertwine.

    I believe the worst of these matters is that we don’t have a good analysis of just what must be done, and very very soon, to mitigate the climate change already in the works and to halt it’s worsening. I’m not ready to hug-a-tree but I don’t see technology waiting in the wings riding a white horse. Alternative energy, re-cycling (if it were actually done), some tree-hugging, driving a Prius address a part of the problems we face, but they leave so many problems unanswered that as a skeptic, I must suggest these ‘solutions’ offer little more than a salve for those who know that climate change has happened already, is happening and will get much much worse — even if we do something (what?????) about it, and who want to take action. We must take action as an aware and threatened species, as Humankind (I like the ‘kind’ part of this word!). This means defining actions that can be realized politically — actions I’ve not seen clearly stated anywhere — and no! carbon budgets et al which do little more than pay homage to neoliberal economic principles.

  18. morning self=criticism of the Songun pioneers

    The best part of the Bloomberg дезинформация was the second item that teaches you what phrases to parrot when thinking about torture.

    – “the agency exaggerated the effectiveness of torture techniques”
    – “a stain on our history that must never again be allowed to happen”

    They’re trying to talk over the discussion of US government torture that’s going on in open societies. The outside world is allowed to hear the Human Rights Committee, principal interpreters of the binding ICCPR treaty and a relevant interpretative source for many national courts. Here’s how the HRC talked about US government torture in its US review:

    “Accountability for past human rights violations
    5. The Committee is concerned at the limited number of investigations, prosecutions and convictions of members of the Armed Forces and other agents of the U.S. Government, including private contractors, for unlawful killings in its international operations and the use of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of detainees in U.S. custody, including outside its territory, as part of the so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” program. While welcoming the Presidential Executive Order 13491 of 22 January 2009 terminating the programme of secret detention and interrogation operated by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Committee notes with concern that all reported investigations into enforced disappearances, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment that had been committed in the context of the CIA secret rendition, interrogation and detention programmes were closed in 2012 leading only to a meagre number of criminal charges brought against low-level operatives. The Committee is concerned that many details of the CIA programme remain secret thereby creating barriers to accountability and redress for victims (arts. 2, 6, 7, 9, 10, and 14).

    “The State party should ensure that all cases of unlawful killing, torture or other ill-treatment, unlawful detention, or enforced disappearance are effectively, independently and impartially investigated, that perpetrators, including, in particular, persons in command positions, are prosecuted and sanctioned, and that victims are provided with effective remedies. The responsibility of those who provided legal pretexts for manifestly illegal behavior should also be established. The State party should also consider the full incorporation of the doctrine of ‘command responsibility’ in its criminal law and declassify and make public the report of the Senate Special Committee on Intelligence into the CIA secret detention programme.

    “Legislation prohibiting torture
    12. While noting that acts of torture may be prosecuted in a variety of ways at both the federal and state levels, the Committee is concerned about the lack of comprehensive legislation criminalizing all forms of torture, including mental torture, committed within the territory of the State party. The Committee is also concerned about the inability of torture victims to claim compensation from the State party and its officials due to the application of broad doctrines of legal privilege and immunity (arts. 2 and 7).

    “The State party should enact legislation to explicitly prohibit torture, including mental torture, wherever committed and ensure that the law provides for penalties commensurate with the gravity of such acts, whether committed by public officials or other persons acting on behalf of the State, or by private persons. The State party should ensure the availability of compensation to victims of torture.

  19. Jack Parsons

    Let’s get geeks into government Gillian Tett, Financial Times. I think I’d rather stick with the enemies I know.

    Heh- better people who know they’re sociopaths than people who don’t. The word ‘geek’ originally meant a bottom-of-the-gutter drunk who wallowed in his own filth and bit the heads off of chickens in a carnival sideshow to earn his keep. Carnivals have certainly been gentrified, haven’t they?

    Watch the opening and closing of “Nightmare Alley” to get the full picture of the geek. Awesome movie.

Comments are closed.