Links 5/19/14

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A dozen baby birds get help from St. Paul neighborhood – again TwinCities (Chuck L)

Dog rescuing a cat from a flood in Bosnia Planet Earth (Lambert)

People Are Saying This Is The Best Joke Ever Told Sunny Skyz. Dunno about best, but Lambert really likes it.

Genocide in Indonesian Zoo CounterPunch (OIFVet). Not for the fainthearted.

How To Redress The Planet’s Energy Balance Ilargi

Regulate food ‘like cigarettes’ BBC

Canines’ Cancer-Sniffing Snouts Showing 90%-Plus Accuracy Bloomberg (John L)

Health craze whips up egg whites Financial Times


China steps up speed of oil stockpiling as tensions mount in Asia Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

ASEAN unites to condemn rising South China Sea tensions Myanmar Times

China’s housing bust charted MacroBusiness

Building Deal in China Highlights Debt Concerns Wall Street Journal

Thailand’s Unrest Wreaks Greater Damage Than Forecast: Economy Bloomberg

Depardieu hits Cannes to bless and bare all in the ‘DSK movie” Financial Times

The eurozone’s problems have not gone away, and elections won’t change much Guardian

Buyout frenzy pushes prices to new highs Financial Times

Italy, the euro zone’s pouting mistress, threatens financial havoc Globe and Mail

Swiss Voters Defeat $24.65 Minimum Wage by a Wide Margin New York Times

No Clear Winner in First Round of Greek Local Elections Bloomberg


Ballots or barricades for Ukraine voters? DW

Ukraine crisis: Putin orders troops back from border BBC

The unfolding Ukraine crisis signals a new world order Guardian

Nulandistan update RT (Madonna). The intro overeggs the Russian point of view, but the balance of the show is worthwhile.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Cisco boss calls on Obama to rein in surveillance Financial Times. This is now finally getting interesting.

A Deep Dive into the House’s Version of Narrow NSA Reform: The New USA Freedom Act EFF

Everyone should know just how much the government lied to defend the NSA Guardian (furzy mouse)

One of the above: Obama’s bet on gas throws caution to the wind Edward Luce, Financial Times

Keep politics out of the courthouse Washington Post

Todashev’s Killer: No Wonder His Identity Was Secret WhoWhatWhy


New York Times’ New Executive Editor Has History of Steering Clear of Controversial Reporting Kevin Gosztola, Firedoglake (Nikki)

Geithner Pants on Fire

The Case Against the Bernanke-Obama Financial Rescue New York Times

Geithner Omits Cost of Success Bloomberg. “Success” should be in quotes.

What Tim Geithner doesn’t know about Social Security is … shocking Los Angeles Times (fresno dan)

We the Owners: Employees Expanding the American Dream PBS (diptherio)

Antidote du jour (Lance N):


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. taunger

    The Illargi article presents an important contrast at a high level, but does not accurately reflect the reality of energy. We have steadily been moving toward renewable resources. Vast hydroelectric resources exist that did not in the Paris 1900 and Chicago 1950 cited in the article. Distributed solar continues to expand its footprint. And the potential for vast off-shore wind resources still tempts the ingenuity of many. Energy efficiency for buildings and applicances continues apace.

    More detail, into the military, “just-in-time” transportation model, and settlement development shows huge breakdowns. But, believe it or not, each of these sectors tends to be organized enough (either by state or the common economic interest help by a small portion of capital) that they might be able to make about face at some reasonable point in time – for some small priviliged portion of society that is. But I do not doubt that after the population collapse, whether in 50, 500, or 5000 years, there will remain an organized, advanced society for longer than we would have imagined.

    1. Oregoncharles

      what I noticed was that it doesn’t suggest any way to “redress the planet’s energy balance,” other than dying off.
      It’s something I try to avoid thinking about too much, but I’m afraid we’re going to have to. I don’t think you really addressed it.
      Those, too, depend on “extra-somatic energy.”

  2. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Health craze whips up egg whites


    The article then goes on to discuss McDonald’s, Jack in the Box, 7-Eleven and Dunkin’ Donuts, Cargill (“agribusiness giant”), and Goldman Sachs. ( Cargill INVENTED the egg white delight!!!! It’s GENIUS!!!)

    The article uses words/phrases like “processed eggs,” “egg white delight,” “egg ‘products’,” and “dried egg whites.”

    Question for next year’s reading comprehension section of the SAT: Which of these accurately describes the passage? a) WTF b) OMG c) Bizarro World d) It depends on what the definition of “health” (or “food”) is e) ALL OF THE ABOVE.

    Answer: e) ALL OF THE ABOVE

    Years ago, when margarine was “invented,” there used to be a commercial that said, “It’s not NICE to fool Mother Nature.” Turns out, it can’t be done.

    1. craazyboy

      The body builder supplement market is presently going thru an education phase on “digestible” protein (the good kind). Seems heat makes protein much less digestible, and our whey protein has gone thru a high temp process on the way to our muscles.

      “New” products are here – low temp whey protein (at 3X the price), hemp protein and pea protein concentrates.

      I’m still trying to find info on how much and how long heat applied to our foods – whether meat, dairy or plant – causes this this problem for our proteins.

      Till then – bromelain is a protein digestive enzyme you can take with your happy or otherwise meals. It’s a pineapple extract.

      1. optimader

        As I was adroitly informed by a neurosurgeon ~35 years ago or so at breakfast..
        “Boys, this fantastically designed chicken egg contains all the requirements for life”
        Who can argue with that?
        I eat two a day soft boiled for breakfast w/ a serious tablespoon equiv. of Sriracha sauce. The Breakfast of Champions

    2. jrs

      Oh I don’t bother with any of those egg white products or the companies that sell them. Not since I decided to subsist entirely on Soylent. We will have better living through chemistry people, we will!


  3. rich

    Workers at N.Y.U.’s Abu Dhabi Site Faced Harsh Conditions

    ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — The strike had entered its second day when construction workers at Labor Camp 42 got word that their bosses from the BK Gulf corporation had come to negotiate. Mohammed Amir Waheed Sirkar, an electrician from Bangladesh, scrambled down the stairs to meet them. But when he got to the courtyard, he saw the truth: It wasn’t the bosses who had come. It was the police.

    “They beat me up,” he said through an Urdu interpreter, “asking me to confess I was involved in starting the strike.” Others were slapped, kicked, or beaten with shoes, a special indignity in Arab culture.

    The forceful response was typical for the United Arab Emirates, where strikes are illegal and labor conditions grim, but most of the men who went on strike last October were working on a project that originated in America: a large new campus for New York University.

    Facing criticism for venturing into a country where dissent is not tolerated and labor can resemble indentured servitude, N.Y.U. in 2009 issued a “statement of labor values” that it said would guarantee fair treatment of workers. But interviews by The New York Times with dozens of workers who built N.Y.U.’s recently completed campus found that conditions on the project were often starkly different from the ideal.

    Virtually every one said he had to pay recruitment fees of up to a year’s wages to get his job and had never been reimbursed. N.Y.U.’s list of labor values said that contractors are supposed to pay back all such fees. Most of the men described having to work 11 or 12 hours a day, six or seven days a week, just to earn close to what they had originally been promised, despite a provision in the labor statement that overtime should be voluntary.

  4. sufferin' succotash

    Variations on the Drunk And The Lampost jokes are often quite amusing.

      1. Klassy

        I remember watching Norm McDonald on some roast and he came out in a raincoat holding a book of what seemed to be jokes from the 1920’s– very non roast like jokes. It was hilarious, but it seemed to make people uncomfortable.
        Okay, I just looked for a clip of it and my memory is playing tricks. No raincoat or bookIndex cards. I guess the roast was for Bob Saget.

          1. just me

            o/t to Lambert: Is there a Corrente update? Yesterday it said pending renewal, today it says do you want to buy.

            1. Lambert Strether

              Yes, it’s up again. If you still get an error, it’s probably the DNS cache on your machine. You can wait for the GoDaddy to repropagate the URL, or you can flush your DNS cache. #1 worked for me.

              1) Mac shell: dscacheutil -flushcache

              2) Windows command line: ipconfig /flushcache

  5. bob

    “Cisco boss calls on Obama to rein in surveillance Financial Times. This is now finally getting interesting.”

    It’s well known that cisco has a very close relationship with the NSA. This is PR. I also assume that GG, by selectively releasing a slide with a very clear picture of a cisco package on the table, allows cisco to then claim ignorance.

    It’s the only thing in that particular photo. “leaked”

    Is he selling outrage access now too? How many different ways can he monetize he snowden docs and protect big tech from their own chosen and paid for complicity?

    1. Ned Ludd

      The document release is now rebellion theater. The goal of Greenwald is to get rich. The goal of the tech companies is to protect their reputations by paying off the journalists† so the companies are portrayed as victims instead of collaborators. The U.S. government humors Greenwald, as long as he continues to consult the government before publishing, “explicitly disavows the goal of defending against the NSA“, and hides important information such as “which commercial crypto algorithms we can trust“.

      † via Omidyar, the right-wing libertarian whose company cut off funding to Wikileaks and subsequently pushed for punishment of the PayPal protesters.

      1. hunkerdown

        That he’s free on American soil does look all too much like the limited-hangout contingent was right, doesn’t it? Pretty disappointed now.

        Funny how Firefox is totally selling out now that Eich’s gone… it wouldn’t be at all out of character for the MPAA or any other insiders to gin up such a controversy, in order to get more authority-friendly leadership into the organization and sink the last free (speech) browser. There’s too much Enclosure activity around the Internet right now to dismiss any seeming coincidence at first glance.

      2. bob

        It’s product placement. What’s the rate? Transparency!

        How much is it for GG to dig though his private trove of secrets and dig out something that makes your company, or person, seem like a victim? Does GG or Pierre then coordinate the release of the outraged CEO letter?

        When do we all get the chance to look though the data, and prove we are all victims of GG, Booze Allen, Cisco, NSA…..

        Keep reading….

        1. Ned Ludd

          Wikileaks is finally casting a critical eye towards Glenn Greenwald and The Intercept:

          • We condemn Firstlook for following the Washington Post into censoring the mass interception of an entire nation PM – 19 May 2014

          • Firstlook’s argument for censoring name of entire nation recorded is the same as the argument Obama gave for censoring Abu Ghraib photos. – 1:22 PM – 19 May 2014

          • @ggreenwald The fact is Firstlook is acting like a bunch of racists who believe citizens of US dominated countries do not have rights. – 3:45 PM – 19 May 2014

          I disagree with a portion of one comment by Wikileaks: “@ggreenwald This propaganda harms us, harms Manning and harms your ongoing operations. Short term normalization strategy. Dangerous.” Glenn Greenwald’s ongoing operation is to make money for Glenn Greenwald. Consequently, he needs to redact or conceal any information that might jeopardize his movie deal with Sony.

          “I’m very happy to be working with Amy Pascal, Doug Belgrad and the team at Sony Pictures Entertainment, who have a successful track record of making thoughtful and nuanced true-life stories that audiences want to see,” said Greenwald of the same executives he had previously accused of producing “the ultimate hagiography of the most secretive arm of America’s National Security State” when they made Zero Dark Thirty, but now heartily endorses, because they’re giving him lots of money.

          1. jrs

            And the thing is even giving nice sounding PR statements like this about your business partners, he doesn’t have to brown nose with quite the passion he does. Goes the extra mile on kissing up.

      3. Andrew Watts

        “which commercial crypto algorithms we can trust“

        Why do you think NSA would maintain a complete list of algorithms they couldn’t break? That would be incredibly stupid. This isn’t the CIA we’re talking about. That’s still an easy question to answer. Absolutely none of them can be trusted.

        The NSA hires the best mathematicians this country has to offer. By US law that software will be breakable if the creators want to actually sell it. If they don’t the NSA will still be able to brute force it manually. Assuming they want to go through the effort. *cough* Heartbleed.

        The ultimate solution to the NSA: carrier pigeons. They’ll never see’em coming.

          1. Andrew Watts

            There is nothing to worry about until we hear the NSA is training hawks. Until then we only have to worry about people who think the pigeons are good eating.

            “Sometimes they come with notes attached to them. They’re like a fortune cookie with wings.”

        1. Ned Ludd

          To be safe, we should implement RFC 1149: “A Standard for the Transmission of IP Datagrams on Avian Carriers”.

          The IP datagram is printed, on a small scroll of paper, in hexadecimal, with each octet separated by whitestuff and blackstuff. The scroll of paper is wrapped around one leg of the avian carrier. A band of duct tape is used to secure the datagram’s edges. The bandwidth is limited to the leg length. […]

          Multiple types of service can be provided with a prioritized pecking order. An additional property is built-in worm detection and eradication. Because IP only guarantees best effort delivery, loss of a carrier can be tolerated. With time, the carriers are self-regenerating.

          Regarding the “complete list of algorithms”, Matthew Green, who teaches cryptography at Johns Hopkins, was joking (in a ha-ha-only-serious way) about how he and Andrea Shepard (among others) have been criticizing – since last year – all the redactions and omissions that intentionally hide information that reveals specifics about what has been compromised by the NSA.

          1. Andrew Watts

            The IP encryption proposal is beyond my level of competency. That doesn’t have anything to do with a master list of unbreakable algorithms that the NSA allegedly has in it’s possession. From the img you posted it looks like…

            a) They’re discussing automated intercept & decrypt. In other words they could still manually decipher whatever information they wanted after their initial interception.

            b) The chips might already be compromised. Basically the hardware intercept program we’ve heard about though none of the details. For obvious reasons the specifics aren’t being disclosed.

            c) If I had to guess these are details on their program for acquiring targeting metadata to drone somebody in Yemen or somewhere else with not a lot of civilian technology to filter. Quite unlike the United States and Europe.

            Further down they discuss shaping the marketplace to suit their needs. Which is something they’ve been doing quite well for some time. So if you think there is commercial cryptology the NSA can’t currently break I have a magical unicorn for sale.

            1. Ned Ludd

              “For obvious reasons the specifics aren’t being disclosed.”

              The surveillance state is a cesspool of opportunists, liars, sociopaths, and murderers. The U.S. government is the enforcement arm of corporations and the elite. The government funds mercenaries, overthrows governments, supports tyrannies and fascists, and aligns itself with terrorist organizations and death squads. These “obvious reasons” to protect the secrets of the state are not so obvious.

              • Then *tell us what the vulnerabilities are*…

              • [W]e need someone to leak the leaks so we can actually fight this thing.

              – Andrea Shepard, Tor developer

              1. Andrew Watts

                It cannot be emphasized enough that there isn’t a technical solution to what is a political problem. This isn’t something a hardcore techie like a TOR developer would necessarily accept. Most people don’t understand the particular details anyway. As for the bulk remainder of your reply…

                Agent 99: “Sometimes I wonder what it’s all for. All the destruction, killing, murdering.”

                Maxwell Smart: “…it’s a living.”

                1. Ned Ludd

                  To organize politically, in ways that effectively disrupt the current power structure, people need the technical ability to avoid government surveillance.

                  1. Andrew Watts

                    That isn’t true in a democratic system. Building political support from the general public requires disclosure. Snowden understood that.

                    He’s the only person who really has a right to complain about the extent of disclosure as he’s the only person who sacrificed anything for it to occur.

            2. ChrisPacific

              “Which commercial crypto algorithms can we trust” is an entirely different question from “which commercial crypto can we trust.” As Andrew points out, the answer to the second question is: none of them. Even if they say they are using an algorithm that’s mathematically secure, how do you know they are telling the truth? Have you seen their code? The US Government could get a FISA court order compelling them to introduce a flaw in their algorithm, and then lie to you about it. That’s very likely what happened to LavaMail when the founder shut it down on the grounds that he could not continue to provide the service advertised to customers (and never said why, the implication being that he was under a gag order).

              1. Andrew Watts

                Yup, that’s how the system works. It wasn’t a problem until the intelligence agencies went off the reservation. Although they’d probably deny that claim.

                In either case they’ve failed their front page exam.

  6. Andrea

    Strauss-Khan back in the news because of the movie “Welcome to New York.”

    The below emphasizes the interpenetration of French politics and Finance – the fact that the Socialist party is completely divorced from its electorate – that Hollande was elected as a ‘default’ candidate – and how the media transforms perceptions.

    Emblematic of ‘modern’ democratic Gvmts. An illustrative ex..sorry long but the devil is in the details…

    DSK could *never* have been elected Pres. of France – that his destiny and possibly the future of France and Europe were changed by a brief sordid encounter in a hotel room makes for thrilling narrative but is fantasy.

    – DKS was Director of the IMF ! (loathed by the left in France.)

    – He grew up in Morroco and Monaco. His father is (or was) a tax lawyer! When touted as a prez. hopeful he was living in Washington. Hmm?

    – He is Jewish, as is his now-ex wife. They were astoundingly rich (her fortune, not his.)

    – He was elected MP, and mayor iirc, in/from small areas, but basically his pol. career was thru ‘nominations’, the pop support was missing.

    – In the socialist primaries 2006 (party member vote) he lost against Royal, 60% to his 20% (remainder > 3rd candidate.)

    – DSK was a known as a sex-addict who mis-treated women. The stories of Tristane Banon and Peroska Nagui, previous accusers who made the media (the latter, an IMF employee, almost got him fired from the IMF but they kept him on, imho also because the facts would reflect badly on them) were well-known. Even without taking into account the ‘known but not spoken about’ reputation which was standard even amongst ‘ordinary’ ppl especially women. (Women’s magazines wrote about all this regularly.)

    – He was accused of financial corruption in two affairs. Elf-Aquitaine and the MNEF scandal (goog..) He resigned and went into pol. limbo but was acquitted and made some kind of come-back.

    – He failed the entrance exam to the top Admin school. (This counts for some ppl.)

    – His present ex-wife is his third ex-wife.

  7. Jim Haygood

    Pew finds that non-college educated households under 40, without student debt, have a median net worth of $10,900. College grads with student debt, though, have only $8,700 in net worth.

    So what’re you gonna do — major in art history, or become a plumbers apprentice? Home economics can help answer that question!

    As a fellow scholar in the doctoral program in motorcycle mechanics confided to me, I shoulda learned to play the guitar. I shoulda learned to play them drums.’

    1. rich

      Chilean Activist Burns $500 Million of Student Loan Documents in Protest Against Debt Serfdom

      Since the parasitic Central Bank driven financial system is more or less entrenched in every country on earth, every country on earth is experiencing increased concentrations of wealth into the pockets of a handful of oligarchs. Meanwhile, those nations which heretofore had a middle class are finding that this entire socio-economic class is disappearing into the dustbin of history via a variety of methods, not the least of which is criminal quantities of student loans. These loans are pushing an entire generation into inescapable serfdom, while many university administrators are enriching themselves at their expense.

      So it appears student loan based debt serfdom is also a major issue in Chile, and one activist, known as “Papas Fritas,” decided to take matters into his own hands. During a takeover at Universidad del Mar, he was able to get his hands on $500 million of student debt, which he subsequently torched.

      maybe soon, more will play with fire?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Rich, from your above quoted article about American schools expanding overseas, it is obvious the world needs more students.


        Well, let’s see…

        Oh, I got it. It’s positively genius and only smart rich people are capable of thinking of this creative scheme, unless they are not yet rich; in that case, they deserve to be.

        This is how it works, step-by-step.

        1. Call your factory a school.

        2. Your workers now become students.

        3. It follows that it’s homework and exercise, and not production.

        4. Being compassionate, the factory owner, that’s you, bestows ‘tuition jubilee’ upon those not able to pay off their student loans while attending the factory-university. How lucky the students are not having to pay the factory-university any money!!! Imagine, going to a factory university, get to do all the assigned homework and not having to pay factory-university money?!?!?!? The student-workers are truly blessed.

    2. Skeptic

      Since University records are computerized and IT folks like their gadgmoes and $$$$$, I find it hard to believe that some university transcripts are not altered or even created out of thin air. Years ago, I bought a clone PC from some University IT folks sans tax and at a rock bottom price. Wonder what those guys are up to now?

      I think University Transcript Fraud will hit the news one day.

      1. jrs

        Probably in many cases still more realistic choices for women than the trades, sad to say :(

        1. ambrit

          Women actually make excellent plumbers. I have known a few, and no, they were not dykes. (They are superior in general with organizational skills, at least the ones I had dealings with. Ever wonder why the secretary is the only one at headquarters who can get you the nuts and bolts level information for you on a Friday afternoon? [I just realized that I said secretary and assumed female gender. My bad.])

  8. McMike

    Chronicles of the police state:
    In this cut and dried case, bad guy shoots cop, whose partner kills bad guy. it was over in a couple minutes. Cop transported to hospital, bad guy transported to morgue. Yet the cops kept a major interstate highway closed, IN BOTH DIRECTIONS, for five hours in the opposite lanes, and ten hours in the same lanes. WTF did they need to do for ten hours that required shutting down a major interstate? Answer: because they can.
    Back in 2012, cops were chasing a bank robbery suspect and were led by GPS tracker to an intersection. So, they took down every single car at the intersection by gunpoint, handcuffed, and held them all – men women and children – for two hours to find the robber. The robber probably had somewhere around $3,000 from the bank. The zeal that law enforcement pursues this crime, and disregard for collateral damage, is astounding, particularly given its absolute deference to Wall Street bank robbers, and hand wringing about concerns of inconveniencing them or disrupting their activities in an investigation.

  9. McMike

    Re Sunnyskyz.

    Thank you. I noticed that all my bookmarks were politics/news blogs, and the politics and news are generally not good. I had been looking for a site that was not about any of that.
    I know it’s link bait, but still, cheers.

  10. craazyboy

    “Canines’ Cancer-Sniffing Snouts Showing 90%-Plus Accuracy”

    Haven’t read the article yet, but is this all forms of cancer or just colon cancer?

    1. McMike

      omg. I did not read the article yet either, but this post begs for a dog-sniffing-butts joke.

  11. fresno dan

    Todashev’s Killer: No Wonder His Identity Was Secret WhoWhatWhy

    “McFarlane retired from the Oakland Police Department in 2004 on medical disability after repeatedly injuring his leg and breaking his ankle, securing a lifetime $52,000-a-year pension. Four years later he joined the FBI, raising questions about how he passed both the rigorous background check and the FBI’s physical requirements. ”

    Minor point out of the plethora of illegality in that post, as well as others on nefarious government action. But isn’t there a law about double dipping? And maybe…just maybe, should you be getting lifetime disability if…your not disabled so much that you can carry a gun for he FBI??? Of course, laws are only for the “citizens” – our overseeers are exempt….

      1. ambrit

        Short form; he was close to Todashev and probably knew too much about the FBIs involvement with the Boston Marathon bombing. [The best guess is that the FBI was grooming Todashev, through an agent or snitch to set up the bombing and get caught at the “last moment.” The FBI has a seamy history of such agents provocateur scheming. Unfortunately, Todashev and his younger brother managed to pull it off. If FBI complicity can be proven, the agency would have to at the very least be put under some sort of conservatorship in the ensuing public outrage. I give very short odds for Todashevs brothers chances of living to testify at his trial.]

  12. Doug Terpstra

    The Guardian takes a timid departure from MSM agitprop on Ukraine, but still presupposes that the US actually wants resolution and stability there. Wrong! Conflict, instability and failed states are the prime directives wherever we meddle. Whether in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Egypt, Iran, Georgia, Venezuela, or now, Nulandistan, chronic chaos and mayhem are key objectives on the road to full-spectrum dominance, the Neocons’ New American Century. Keeping everyone else off balance and factional was Bush’s and now Obama’ s “strategery”. That now includes Russia and China and of course the American people. Mission accomplished.

    Margaret Kimberly of the Black Agenda Report gets it.

    1. bob

      It’s in the interest of both Russia and the US for Ukraine to turn back to the stoneage. Follow the news on the space race lately? Ukraine was the odd man out. They were capable of building, selling and launching rockets. Capitalism hates competition.

      Bonus! Putin gets his silent majority moving. US (cargill) gets to buy a ton of food to sell back to Ukraine, if they can afford it. If not? Black sea port to get it outta there.

      Win, win.

    2. Abe, NYC

      Conflict, instability and failed states are the prime directives wherever we meddle. Whether in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Egypt, Iran, Georgia, Venezuela, or now, Nulandistan, chronic chaos and mayhem are key objectives on the road to full-spectrum dominance

      How did instability in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Pakistan foster full-spectrum US dominance? Granted, it padded nicely the pockets of “defense” industries. But the US is about as far from dominating these countries as it was back in 2000. I would, by contrast, agree on Venezuela (or obviously Cuba), where the US has been actively promoting instability in the hope of regaining dominance.

      Just like Putin has been stoking unrest in the Ukraine as a way of controlling the country. It’s his backyard, and Russia has treated it much worse than the US did its own.

      1. OIFVet

        “Just like Putin has been stoking unrest in the Ukraine as a way of controlling the country. It’s his backyard, and Russia has treated it much worse than the US did its own.”

        I guess I must have missed Russia’s sponsorship of an Ukrainian Pinochet or a murderous Argentinian military junta, or death squads, or a genocidal Suharto, etc. I must have missed all the overthrows of democratically-elected Ukrainian Allendes and their replcement with un-elected despots. Oh wait, these were all things the CIA did in South and Central America and in Indonesia, and now uses the same playbook again in Ukraine. Love the smell of freshly burned-alive Russkies in Odessa, huh? Your Russophobia makes you say some very silly things Abe, and in light of what has happened it really tests my ability to maintain a civil discourse.

        1. Abe, NYC

          Russia’s sponsorship of an Ukrainian Pinochet

          Ethiopia 1974-1991, 2 million dead

          murderous Argentinian military junta

          Hungary 1956, 3,000 dead.

          or death squads

          Chechnya, 2000 – present

          genocidal Suharto

          Ukraine 1932-33, 3-7 million dead

          overthrows of democratically-elected Ukrainian Allendes and their replcement with un-elected despots

          Czechoslovakia 1968 (Dubcek was not quite democratically elected, but a respected and popular leader he was)
          The above is a very incomplete list of Russia’s exciting adventures in the 20th century.

          Your Russophobia makes you say some very silly things Abe

          I speak Russian as my mother tongue, come from the region and am well familiar with its history. Please, please do not blind yourself to the murderous history of Russian state, which killed more people in the 20th century than any other and continues pretty much as before.

          And what’s shocking is that far from drawing the line under the Soviet Union, Putin’s Russia has firmly embraced its legacy. Germany was terrified by its crimes against humanity but found the strength to repent, apologize, and move on. In Russia, by contrast, there was no reflection, precious little apology to peoples who lost generations – or indeed, to its own people. What attempts there were in 1980s and 90s, have largely been stifled by now. A law is being passed which is going to make it a crime to question official history of WW2 – history is once again being rewritten, unpleasant pages thrown away.

          So Putin is not saying “that was Soviet Union, we are different now”, he is saying “Soviet Union IS Russia.” Much as I detest the crimes committed by the US (the biggest of them all, Vietnam and Cambodia, you didn’t even mention), it doesn’t even begin to compare with Russia’s.

          1. Murky


            You are not likely to get any well balanceed discussion about Ukraine here. You will be shouted down. I won’t say by who, but just look at the responses to your post. Vatch is one of the few people who regularly bring any balance to the discussion about Ukraine, and he does so against a strong tide. I’ve been shouted down a dozen times here, I’ve been called names, I was accused of being Ukrainian, and I was told I deserved a bullet to the head (thanks for that OFTVet). Black propaganda about Ukrainians gets full amplification here. The standard rant is easy to summarize: There was no popular revolution in Kiev, it was a ‘coup’. A coup organized by the evil American intelligence establishment. And the current government in Kiev is ‘neo-nazi’. Ukraine is simply a country in complete anarchy overrun by fascist thugs. And it’s the poor Russians who are the oppressed minorities. Putin’s regime had nothing to do with the annexation of Crimea or the ongoing annexation of Donetsk. These were oppressed regions, they held legitimate referendums, and they chose allegiance to Russia! Yada yada yada. The reality is that almost nobody here has real depth in the history of Russia or Ukraine. Almost nobody here speaks Russian or Ukrainian. Yet dozens here frequently voice loud opinions about Ukraine. And the chosen links definitely add to a one-sided view. You will never see content here by Timothy Snyder or Anne Applebaum, two distinguished historians of Ukraine and Russia, because their views do not fit the RT mold. Forget about Russia’s past. The Gulag? The Holodomor? Mass deportations? Millions murdered? But that was decades ago! Or it never happened. In any case, Russia’s not like that any more! Really. Russia is a gentle, clean, and oppressed nation, deserving our full support. Ukraine is the problem.

            Best of luck trying to fight the tide here Abe.

            1. OIFVet

              “You will never see content here by Timothy Snyder or Anne SIKORSKI, two distinguished PROPAGANDISTS of Ukraine and Russia” There, fixed it for you. You know Murky, playing the role of the innocent victim of bullying is just as silly of you as your attempt at concern trolling. You may or may not be an Ukrainian, but you are a proven troll and a nazi apologist. Go drink some kvas and relax.

              1. Murky

                Historians working at distinguished universities have credibility. What you post here is quite different, OIFVet. Your words have no credibility. Because you rely on ‘name-calling’. You call distinguished historians ‘propagandists’. You call me a ‘troll’. You call me a ‘nazi apologist’. And you don’t offer any coherent argument to support your views at all. Only name calling. And aggression.

                Can you be civil with people you disagree with? I don’t think so. Prove me wrong.

                1. OIFVet

                  I don’t have to prove a thing to you, you have long ago been exposed as a troll. If pointing out the truth is name calling then so be it.

                  As far as the “credibility” conferred by a job title and a place on the faculty of a distinguished institution of higher miseducation, you might want to reconsider using this logical fallacy as a crutch. Snyder lost credibility by tweaking facts easily verifiable by anyone with access to the intertubes. And moreover, he is not the first nor will he be the last shill using his miseducational job title to spread lies and propaganda aimed at supporting the special interests which ultimately pay his salary. Just one look at the professor-creatures in most any economics department is proof enough of that fact. In Snyder’s case, his blatant Ukie nazi apologia and parroting of the same as coming from the revisionists in Kiev and DC clashes with well-established facts about Ukie nazism and their modern-day progeny, and is revolting in its shamelessness. So go crawl back into whatever cesspit you crawled out of, and don’t forget to sniff Snyder’s butt like the good servile errand boy that you are.

                  1. Yves Smith Post author

                    Agreed, the Snyder piece was an embarrassing piece of blatant propaganda. OIFVet, your invective is de trop and does not help your argument, but the underlying point is correct.

                  2. Murky

                    You comments are exactly as I predicted. Lacking any civility. And topped off with some really nasty comment there at the end.

                    Well, I’m not going to reciprocate with like-minded abusive comment. Instead, I’ll just duck out of this thread. Good night.

            2. Abe, NYC

              Best of luck trying to fight the tide here Abe.

              I take my inspiration from a blog named Naked Capitalism, you might have heard of that :)

          2. OIFVet

            “Much as I detest the crimes committed by the US (the biggest of them all, Vietnam and Cambodia, you didn’t even mention), it doesn’t even begin to compare with Russia’s” Embracing one murderous regime over another is like choosing which executioner you want to conduct your execution. And for the record, the anti-human corporate fascism of the US is killing millions EVERY single fucking year, be it by drone strikes, by direct military action, by proxy of local US-propped tyrants, or neoliberalism-imposed poverty and human debasement. Millions of those WERE RUSSIANS, as Ames and Taibbi documented in the 1990’s, as western neoliberals and their Russian flunkies unleashed an orgy of economic warfare and theft which caused Russian standard of living and life expectancy to collapse while crime skyrocketed. Now that is a proper economic genocide, compared to which the Golodomor is nothing.

            Rather a short list compared to the regime changes the US has perpetrated in one form or another. But still, you listed Soviet-era events. Where exactly has post-Soviet Russia or Putin’s Russia in particular engaged in regime changes and outright murder? Separatist Chechnya? Where is your proof that “Putin has been stoking unrest in the Ukraine”? A discredited and retracted Pravda on the Hudson story?

            And check the numbers of people nazi Germany and imperial Japan killed before you go making wild claims who killed how many people. With name such as Abe you must be jewish, and frankly your support by omission of nazis and neo-nazis is puzzling to me. A jewish Russophobe, that is nothing new, but a jewish nazi-apologist is a bit of a novelty. What, did a russkie beat you up and steal your lunch koppecks once upon a time?

            1. Abe, NYC

              With name such as Abe you must be jewish

              Sorry to disappoint but you’re wrong about that, just as you are about most things Russia.

              compared to which the Golodomor is nothing.

              Whatever you say pal. If your mom cooked your little bro and fed his flesh to her other children to keep them alive – a usual occurrence during the Holodomor – that might have made you a little more open-minded. Short of that nothing would, not even Russian re-occupation of Eastern Europe.

              1. OIFVet

                Wrong about you being jewish, still correct about your nazi apologia. And nice try at fearmongering, you are definitely a worthy neocon wannabe, but it is quite obvious that the aggression is entirely coming from the west. The death throes of the declining empire, but as they say that’s when it is at its most dangerous.

                I used to be you you know, an eastern European immigrant russophobe and imperial aggression apologist. I grew out of it, fighting in an imperial war can do that to a guy. I rather feel sorry for you, up to a point. I was brainwashed with the best of them by my institution of higher miseducation, the viper nest of neoconservatism and neoliberalism called University of Chicago. But I managed to overcome this handicap, with a little help. Hope one day you will too.

                1. LucyLulu

                  Did the University of Chicago also teach you to use offensive and abusive bully tactics as a substitute for cogent arguments? This may be harsh but apparently Yves’ more tactful approach didn’t register.

                  I don’t have a dog in this Ukrainian fight but I have a hard time reading your adolescent verbal emesis of derogatory name-calling, Vet. Your apparent passion is admirable, and I suspect you are well-prepared to back your position, if you changed your presentation.

                  JMO, take it or leave it, but I didn’t wake up this morning wanting to piss somebody off today………and would’ve preferred somebody else said something besides me.

                  1. OIFVet

                    Lambert and LucyLulu, I apologize and will take a break to cool off. I am sorry to have upset you and will do my best not to in the future.

          3. Doug Terpstra

            The USSR has an atrocious Cold War history, much of it reactive, but your dated inks simply do not support your current claim that Putin is stoking unrest in Ukraine today. That’s what I meant by credible evidence. There is overwhelming objective evidence, however, of active CIA and Blackwater stoking.

            1. Abe, NYC

              The USSR has an atrocious Cold War history

              That’s not what OIFVet said in the post I was responding to. According to that, the atrocities were all American.

              your dated inks simply do not support your current claim that Putin is stoking unrest in Ukraine today

              The links may be dated but the facts are indisputable. And Kadyrov’s death squads still roam Chechnya, so not all of it is dated after all.

              Regarding the claim that Putin is stoking unrest, few facts are currently not in dispute so you are perfectly free to chose what you want to believe. I personally think that you’ve got to be extremely adept at doublethink to believe Putin is not meddling in the Ukraine.

              1. OIFVet

                Nice try, but my post distinctly says “Russia”, not “Soviet Union”. Smells of desperation to me. Second, it is generally accepted principle that the ones stocking the unrest are those who overthrew the legitimately elected government. I personally think that you’ve got to be extremely adept at doublethink to start this trouble and then bitch and moan about the predictable blowback of your actions.

      2. Doug Terpstra

        Putin didn’t instigate any of this (ditto Georgia in 08), and there’s no credible evidence that he’s stoking unrest. The CIA’s neo-con-nazis are doing it all. Read the BAR link.

        Also, dominance doesn’t have to mean stability; dominance over chaos and civil war works nicely for hegemonic merchants of death. Granted, in the long run, they’ll cross the Rubicon, overreach and expire as all empires do. I didn’t say it was smart “strategery”, but the pattern is undeniable worldwide over many decades. Instability itself is the objective, not conquest in the old world world order, and certainly not justice or humanitarian goals. US leaders are criminally insane.

        1. Abe, NYC

          Russia’s involvement in the crisis is beyond any doubt, readily available on non-Russian government controlled sources (including the few remaining Russian media outlets). The same people were photographed in Crimea then East Ukraine, some of them known military intelligence operatives. Russian detachments were photographed in East Ukraine until late April (apparently gone by now). Chiefs of the “People’s Republic Of Donetsk” have Russian military background, etc. There is plenty of other evidence.

          The CIA’s neo-con-nazis are doing it all

          That’s what Russians would like you to believe. But even if it were true, their efforts would be hopeless. This is Russia’s home turf.

          Granted, in the long run, they’ll cross the Rubicon, overreach and expire as all empires do

          They’ve done it twice in the last century, and are well on the way for a third time. The far more interesting question is, will the US be any different? Things don’t look good, but unlike all other empires the US has a tradition of democratic rule. It’s eroding fast but some is still in place… which gives some hope.

          1. OIFVet

            “The same people were photographed in Crimea then East Ukraine, some of them known military intelligence operatives. ” Discredited by about a bazillion non-Russian govt. and non-US govt. controlled news outlets. But that’s what happens when Russophobia is reinforced by religious reading of the state propaganda organ, the Pravda on the Hudson.

            “Chiefs of the “People’s Republic Of Donetsk” have Russian military background, etc” So did the Right Sector’s Muzichko before someone capped his fat ass. So what is your point, that Soviet vets are taking up arms gain for both sides?

            “That’s what Russians would like you to believe” This is the objective truth, plain to see for all non-Russophobes and non-Pravda on the Hudson brainwashed observers.

            “But even if it were true, their efforts would be hopeless. This is Russia’s home turf” So what is it that you are complaining about? Calling out neo-nazis for what they are and calling out US govt’s backing of these scum?

            ” but unlike all other empires the US has a tradition of democratic rule” A Potemkin village by any other name… As a former Russkie you should know a Potemkin village when you see one. Behind that facade is the dark reality of American fascism.

            “It’s eroding fast but some is still in place… which gives some hope.” Yes, they have cut back the budget for paint, aka infrastructure, so the Potemkin facade is a bit faded. But hope? The only hope is to smash this fascist system before it smashes us.

            1. Abe, NYC

              Discredited by about a bazillion non-Russian govt. and non-US govt. controlled news outlets

              And reconfirmed by a gazillion other outlets… that’s why I didn’t provide any links to this post, it’s pointless.

              Calling out neo-nazis for what they are and calling out US govt’s backing of these scum?

              Don’t want to go in there for the same reason as above, but in short every epithet you apply to Ukrainian fascists can be equally applied to the Kremlin bunch. As for the CIA & Co, there is no doubt they operate in the Ukraine and there is no doubt either they are far outnumbered and outmatched by the FSB and GRU.

              As a former Russkie you should know a Potemkin village when you see one.

              I do, and I know what I’m talking about. Whatever imperfect democracy the USA has had in the last 200+ years, Russia has never had in its history. I lived through it, I’m old enough to remember Brezhnev on every wall and live TV, as well as the “Congress of People’s Deputies.” I was 9 or 10, and asking myself: if everyone always votes yes anyway, why bring all these people together? Now it’s pretty much back to good old 1980s: only one deputy of the Duma voted against the annexation of Crimea, and he’s being fried in the state-controlled media. The State is one monolith, there is only one power, which controls all branches including the 4th estate. And if you believe that power is not massively abused – say, heard of Brooklyn Bridge? It can be yours quite cheaply, just drop me a line, you can then install a tollbooth, and grab that cash with both hands and make a stash.

              In the USA, there are still relatively independent courts. When a scandal breaks out like Snowden’s, the government must react. There are still politicians like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. States like Vermont can pursue progressive policies. You’ll know the value of all that when it’s gone, which I hope will never happen.

              1. OIFVet

                “And reconfirmed by a gazillion other outlets… that’s why I didn’t provide any links to this post, it’s pointless.” Oh, it is? Do tell, then, why did the Pravda on the Hudson issue a retraction of the story after the photographer whose photos it used called the story a complete and utter BS? That to you is pointless? You just lost whatever little credibility you did have on the Ukraine issue.

                “Don’t want to go in there for the same reason as above” Keep digging the hole bud. If anyone knows nazis its the germans, and they are not afraid to call the Ukie nazis out. I guess for you residents of the Khaganate of Nulands the ends justify the means so such unsavory alliance is ok.

                “and there is no doubt either they are far outnumbered and outmatched by the FSB and GRU.” Source? Not that I doubt it, particularly the ‘outmatched’ part. Watching US intelligence operatives (a contradiction in terms) is like watching Larry, Curly, and Moe.

                “Whatever imperfect democracy the USA has had in the last 200+ years, Russia has never had in its history.” Thank your friendly neoliberals and the drunkard Yeltsin and the thief Chubais. The US pretty much ensured that democracy became a dirty word in Russia, and you are blaming the victim for the blowback of US misguided policies. BTW, “imperfect democracy” is the understatement of the century.

                “only one deputy of the Duma voted against the annexation of Crimea, and he’s being fried in the state-controlled media” And rightly so, Crimea is a Russian territory populated by Russians, given to the Ukraine by Khrushchev.

                “And if you believe that power is not massively abused – say, heard of Brooklyn Bridge? It can be yours quite cheaply, just drop me a line, you can then install a tollbooth, and grab that cash with both hands and make a stash.” Funneeee!!! Say, as a NYC resident shouldn’t you be far more worried about massive abuses of power far closer to home? Its a target-rich environment right under your nose, and here you are complaining about a country you no longer live in, in regards to a crisis it did not cause, all the while conveniently disregarding the very things you complain about in the country you live in, the same country which caused the crisis in the first place, and the best you can do is crack a lame, worn out joke? Color me unimpressed.

                “In the USA, there are still relatively independent courts” Are you trying to crack a joke again, or are you that dense? In the US one gets as much justice as one can afford to buy.

                “When a scandal breaks out like Snowden’s, the government must react” What, pray tell, was the reaction of the government, other than declaring Snowden a traitor? Where are the reforms by Mr. Constitutional Scholar in the Oval Office?

                “There are still politicians like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders” Tell me the last piece of legislation these two passed? Soft tyranny by any other name is still a tyranny. The fact that the corporate fascist system allows Bernie Sanders to mount the soapbox does jack shit to actually change the system, but it does help useful idiots to use his existence as proof that the US is some sort of “democracy”.

                “You’ll know the value of all that when it’s gone, which I hope will never happen.” OK then, you hope that the corporate fascist system and the “democratic” serfdom it creates will exist in perpetuity. Got it.

                Seriously Abe, assuming that you are not simply trolling you are simply the perfect useful idiot, eyes wide open and seeing absolutely nothing beyond the Potemkin facade painted by the propaganda. Lord save us from new Americans such as yourself, with all due respect.

    3. VietnamVet

      I agree there is a lot more going on than an incipient civil war in Europe. First the United States is in full war propaganda mode. I have not heard of one Democrat who has protested the American support of neo-nazi Right Sector’s rampage through Eastern Ukraine killing civilians.

      With a war next door and its energy supplies threaten, the EU lap dog hasn’t barked once let alone howled. Hunter Biden is on board the Ukraine gas company ready to exploit their shale gas. The USA and Russia are one invasion away from a shooting war that will lead to a nuclear holocaust. Russia will invade if the Ukraine civil war escalates and threatens its security.

      No one, not one politician of any color in America, has called for a negotiated settlement that would lead to a neutral Finlandized Ukraine which would bring peace to Europe other than the old goats, Kissinger or Brzezinski.

      For some reason it is full speed ahead towards global war and a likely nuclear exchange. This has to be due to the corporate cooks, who should be in jail, need for more resources to exploit. Also, more importantly, there is full blown fear that a BRICKS second world payment system will devastate western plutocrats’ wealth which is based on ill-gotten offshore dollars. A war that will kill millions of human beings is worth the risk if it saves their billions of dollars.

  13. Hugh

    Thank goodness for this month’s new world order because last month’s old new world order was so, well, last month.

    1. bob

      New World Order- There are quite a few very wealthy individuals who paid very good money for the “order” we have now.

      1. Hugh

        That’s the real world order. The others are just to distract the rubes or set them against each other.

  14. fresno dan

    How To Redress The Planet’s Energy Balance Ilargi

    I found the below post very insightful about energy:

    “The chemical potential energy available from the burning of things (e.g. wood) is rather astounding when compared with the energy which we supply our bodies in the form of food, and the fossil fuels of coal, oil, and natural gas burn even hotter while also being much easier to store and transport. We quickly learned that using some of this heat to perform work would transform what we could accomplish in massive ways. One barrel of oil, priced at just over $100 boasts 5,700,000 BTUs or work potential of 1700kWhs. At an average of .60 kWh per work day, to generate this amount of ‘labor’, an average human would have to work 2833 days, or 11 working years. At the average hourly US wage rate, this is almost $500,000 of labor can be substituted by the latent energy in one barrel of oil that costs us $100. Unbeknownst to most stock and bond researchers on Wall Street, this is the real ‘Trade’.

    The vast majority of our industrial processes and activities are the result of this ‘Trade’. We applied large amounts of extremely cheap fossil carbon to tasks humans used to do manually. And we invented many many more. Each time it was an extremely inefficient trade from the perspective of energy (much more energy used) but even more extremely profitable from the perspective of human society. For instance, depending on the boundaries, driving a car on a paved road uses 50-100 times the energy of a human walking, but gets us to where we are going 10 times faster. The ‘Trade’ is largely responsible for some combination of: higher wages, higher profits, lower priced goods and more people. The average american today consumes ~60 barrel of oil equivalents of fossil carbon annually, a ‘subsidy’ from ancient plants and geologic processes amounting to ~600 years of their own human labor, before conversion. Even with 7 billion people, each human kWh is supported by over 90kWh of fossil labor, and in OECD nations about 4-5 times this much.”

    When I was young (shortly after dinosaurs were being turned into oil), an hour of minimum wage work got you 8 gallons of gasoline. Today, it gets you about two.

  15. hunkerdown

    From the Swiss minimum-wage referendum defeat:

    “A majority of Swiss has always thought, and still seems to think, that liberal economic principles are the basis of their model of success.”

    So, “liberal” is the new propagandistic euphemism for “capitalism”, replacing the Koch’s favored “free enterprise” after a decades-long run. Now that the peanut butter is off the poison pill, those of us so inclined might use the term “socialist” again, and proudly — or shove off to lands where using the term favorably isn’t taken as an implied request for physical violence.

    On the other hand, one of the few nice things about the Great Gamification is that games are rather more plastic than institutions. When the old games stop satisfying and new ones evolve — which they do, even without “scrappy underdog” mobile devs to drive — institutions that fail to serve the new game are disadvantaged, perhaps even mortally so.

    1. hunkerdown

      The peanut butter in this case being the New Deal and the concept of actual social welfare rather than theoretical social welfare.

  16. rich

    Prices Skyrocket In East End Real Estate

    Is $50 million the new $20 million?

    Recent reports of the highest residential real estate sale in the country—$147 million for a 16-acre Further Lane property on the ocean in East Hampton—have jaws dropping. That number blows away the earlier record for the Hamptons, which was $109 million for 40 acres, also on Further Lane, back in 2007. Are ultra-high-priced sales random isolated events? Or is this a trend following what’s going on in Manhattan and London, where high-end buyers are dropping huge sums on properties in the quest for a safe investment for cash?

    I checked in with a few top brokers to get their take on the Further Lane sale as well as the state of the ultra-high-end market in general.

    Peter Turino, broker and principal of Brown Harris Stevens of the Hamptons, said: “The Further Lane sale is remarkable and sets a new price point for the top-echelon real estate. I sold this property to Chris Browne in 1996 for $13.385 million. It does not surprise me that it traded 18 years later for 11 times that amount. Anyone familiar with the three-lot compound knows it is without equal.”

    “Since we have had several megawatt sales over the last five to six months, it’s inevitable that if economic conditions remain strong we are going to see other benchmark sales,” Mr. DePersia said. “We seem to be in that zone right now, where deals are happening at astonishing prices in all sectors of the market.”

    He described bidding wars on many of his listings, including some that had just hit the market. One buyer even agreed to wait until after the summer to close, which is unusual, as most people looking in spring want to be in by Memorial Day, and giving up the summer months would normally be a deal-breaker.

    “The high-end market is the strongest I have seen in the 24 years I have been a broker in the Hamptons!” said Susan Breitenbach, also a top broker with the Corcoran Group. “High-end rentals are very strong as well as sales.”
    the sky is not the limit…it’s a new destination….what prices….what economic policies…………….everything is beautiful!

    1. bob

      More often than not I think high priced RE deals, as well as art and other such hard to value things are just window dressing for a pay off. How can I give that guy the 100 million he wants? I’ll buy his 20 million dollar house for 120 million.

      Scalpers of tickets at concerts, when it was illegal to scalp tickets, used to sell you a $500 t-shirt and then ‘give’ you a ticket.

      Same principle. Money laundering.

      1. Lambert Strether

        Many more questions than that, and the answer to that question may not be available soon, and may even depend on current leadership. More than that I cannot/should not say. Gotta run.

        1. Lambert Strether

          We’ll see. There’s a meeting of the Army with the heads of departments in a little under an hour. However, the PM has not been spotted anywhere, which seems odd. Interestingly, Army head Prayuth made a point of being photographed casting a ballot in the February election. PR, of course, but that PR.

          We shall see…. Anyhow, there’s a mass of detail

      2. Lambert Strether

        You’ll remember the post on bad decisions made by those with no sleep late at night. The Army made the call, we read, at 3AM. Of course, the planning had been already done.

        1. optimader

          Also the best time to mount a strategic ambush…People on a “normal” daylight schedule are in deepest REM sleep

          1. Lambert Strether

            So, we get the best both worlds! An assault by people who can’t think straight! (The whole thing seemed to me to be collapsing and starting to get very ugly in the late afternoon, when I’m guessing the decision makers who were up at night 12 hours before started running out of adrenalin. We’ll see. I just hope Obama, the reverse Midas, doesn’t get involved in any way….)

    1. hunkerdown

      Well, well, well! If it ain’t Occupy mole and New Reactionary Justine Tunney! I thought I knew that name from somewhere. Also appears she was involved in ousting Brendan Eich, allowing the Mozilla organization to decide who it works for (spoiler: Google and Adobe).

      Sadly, what I think we’re seeing here is a successful prototype of a cynically unassailable identity behind which almost any sadistic enterprise can be masked. I can only hope she burns out quickly and hard.

  17. craazyman

    Holy Smokes. This is one for the Links if people think they can take it. This isn’t some trivial political formulation or woo-woo-foo-foo nonsense about alien space ships from Andromeda landing in the woods behind somebody’s house — although that would certainly be of interest to me, personally, since those things happen more often that you’d think — though I digress, this is so amazing I have no words for it:

    I just wonder, once they make convert light into positrons and electrons, what they’ll do with them. It doesn’t seem obvious.

    Also, how horribly sexist can a headline be? Italy as a Pouting Mistress? Holy Cannoli That’s so un-PC it’s CP — Churlish Pettifoggery. Well, you could say Italy is being screwed, I suppose, by the failure of darkness to appreciate light. If I were Italy, I wouldn’t want to marry That Guy anyway. Isn’t it so over by now? He just doesn’t realize it yet. ahahahahah

    1. Jake Mudrosti

      You may be interested in this 1992 paper, which shows that the basis of two-photon physics is actually old news.(referred to as “gamma gamma collisions”):

      Here is the SLAC page for that experiment:
      Note the 1997 cartoon appearing there: “Boom! From Light Comes Matter”

      In particular, planning for the International Linear Collider wouldn’t have reached its current stage if the basis of two-photon physics were still untested in the year 2014.

      I hate to dampen enthusiasm for new work. But unfortunately, if there’s a real “story” here, I think it’s mainly the strange way in which so many of today’s scientists do a couple of related things:
      1) overstate their achievements in an embarrassingly desperate grab for funding
      2) steer journalists to exaggerate the novelty or applications of their work
      3) join research collaborations without knowledge of relevant research or science history in general.

  18. allcoppedout

    First done in Stanford in 1997 – Grauniad science correspondent not working at speed of light. I’m no expert, but don’t plants convert light into matter? I’m not keen on this. If the banks get hold of the process they’ll steal all our light and then charge us to give it back. The plants won’t be happy either. When positrons and electrons collide they convert into – er – light. Trust me, life won’t be worth the candle. I suggest we ally with the Neutrons and hide out with them in the mirror world …

    1. optimader

      ” but don’t plants convert light into matter?” yessiree
      ..and you can roll them up and convert them back into light…and smoke grasshopper

    2. LucyLulu

      “but don’t plants convert light into matter?”

      Not quite. Plants convert CO2 and water into carbohydrates using light as the energy source.
      Oxygen is released as a byproduct.

  19. Old Hickory

    Re: Bloomberg article about Timmy. The author swallows the lie I’ve read now three times today, that the bailouts didn’t cost the government anything. The other two were Charles Krauthammer in the WaPo and Krugman. It seems important to the MSM to keep repeating this. It’s now one of the most disingenuous and damaging parts of the official narrative.

    1. ambrit

      Much less the lost opportunities for social programs that would help the population of the nation. The basic misdirection inherent in the bailouts guarantees a bad outcome for ordinary people. The other evil hidden assumption in this is the confusing of the government with the polis. One is supposed to work for the other, not both for the elites.
      If I were Krugman, I’d be very leery of any situation where I was associated in the publics mind with Krauthammer. This is not a case of great minds thinking alike.

Comments are closed.