Links 6/14/14

80-year-old agave nears once-in-a-lifetime bloom USA Today

The mobile that sends SMELLS: ‘oPhone’ receives and creates scents to make messages more memorable Daily Mail. First ringtones. Now this.

Earth may have underground ‘ocean’ three times that on surface Guardian

Remember the Problems With Mortgage Defaults? They’re Coming Back With Student Loans Times (David Dayen). They’ve fired up the robosigner again!

A Disappeared Book on Wall Street History Provides a Dead Serious Warning Wall Street on Parade

Citigroup Said to Face $10 Billion Request in U.S. Talks Bloomberg

Washington Comes to Goldman as Bank Steps Back Into Policy Arena WSJ. “Back”?

North Carolina is still suing Facebook, wants to pass law banning public from knowing what else it’s doing Pando Daily. Shocking, even for a Democratic official, especially in light of yesterday’s story on corruption in North Dakota.

Federal regulators cite contractors after worker’s death in Amazon warehouse Fortune

How Big Pharma (and others) began lobbying on the Trans-Pacific Partnership before you ever heard of it Sunlight Foundation (CL)

Exclusive: Complaint about shutting off Camaro with knee dates back a year Reuters

‘Unprecedented’ disappearance of aircraft from radar screens in Europe Independent

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

EXCLUSIVE: Senior NSA Executive: OF COURSE They’re Collecting Everyone’s Content, As Well As Metadata Washington’s Blog

US pushing local cops to stay mum on surveillance  AP

Mother-of-four, 31, stripped naked by police pepper-sprayed and left for hours in a cell over a misdemeanor Daily Mail

The Troubling Case of Chris Hedges TNR

The New Republic Publishes Hit Piece on Chris Hedges After the American Prospect and Salon Pass FDL

Chelsea Clinton paid $600K by NBC Politico. Nice work if you can get it.

The single most important fact about American politics Ezra Klein, Vox. No,  not voter turnout.

Cantor’s demise brings huge lesson: Here’s why the Tea Party is so coddled Salon. “Rather than laughing in the wake of Cantor’s defeat, base Democrats should take a long look at what the Tea Party was able to accomplish. They’re a long way behind.”

I’m a Democrat and I helped the tea party unseat Eric Cantor WaPo


Obama to take several days to decide how to help fight Iraq insurgency ABC

Obama’s standard for aiding Iraq may be impossible for quarreling politicians to meet McClatchy

GOP senators call for Iraq air strikes Politico. Film at 11.

Iraq’s implosion reflects Syria’s lost national narrative FT

Exclusive: Alarmed by Iraq, Iran open to shared role with U.S. – Iran official Reuters

Iraq crisis: Shia volunteers confront Sunni insurgents in Samarra Guardian

Iraq crisis: ISIS militants push towards Baghdad – live Daily Telegraph

The war between ISIS and the Iraqi government Vox. Nice “story stream.”

Where is Iraq’s oil? CNN. Handy map.

Is this the end of Iraq? BBC. Despite headline, explainer.

Iraqi crisis is unexpected prize for Kurds Haaretz


U.S. Says Ukraine Got Tanks From Russia WSJ

Ukrainian forces reclaim port city from rebels Reuters

‘Point of no return’: Resolve builds among Ukraine rebels with each death Al Jazeera America

Class Warfare

A portrait of Europe’s white working class FT

In search of lost time The Economist

No Shortcuts Jacobin (TF)

Is Sharewashing the new Greenwashing? P2P Foundation

Does the advertising business that built Google actually work? Quartz

With the Americas running out of IPv4, it’s official: The Internet is full Ars Technica

The Nightmare on Connected Home Street Wired. The Internet of Creepy, Buggy Things.

We Need to Get Better at Coding Vice

Why boarding schools produce bad leaders Guardian. And frats?

Antidote du jour:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Jim Haygood

    ‘What makes the disappearance of The Lords of Creation particularly suspicious is that [author Frederick Lewis] Allen was born in 1890.’ — Pam Martens

    What is this, direct mail marketing copy? Yeah, 1890, that’s a well-known illuminati year! But a WorldCat search shows copies of Lords of Creation at half a dozen NYC academic libraries:

    Stripped of all the heavy breathing, the factual content of Martens’ post is that the 1935 book is going back into print. Frederick Lewis Allen is better known for Only Yesterday, a retrospective on the 1929 bubble which brings vividly to life how the grim the developing Depression looked in 1931, when it was still a year or two away from hitting bottom. This work by Allen is widely available in public libraries.

    1. Carolinian

      Pam Martens has been doing great work as a citizen journalist, both on her own site and before that on Counterpunch. She once worked on “the Street” and knows where the bodies are buried. I’d say she can be forgiven a little hyperbole.

    2. neo-realist

      The book is not in the catalog of the Seattle Public Library:(. I look forward to its release.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Quite a few pages of the 2014 reprint are excerpted online at Google Books. The typesetting is scandalously ugly, making the 1935 original preferable if it can be found. But the style and scope of inquiry (starting at the turn of the century) are unmistakably Allen’s.

    3. flora

      A good counterpart to the book is an old PBS documentary “The Great Depression”. It is 5 one-hour episodes, now on YouTube. Episode 2 covers the grinding need in the agricultural midwest, the rise in bank robberies, the bonus march (similar to OWS), and Hoover’s belief in trickle-down-economics (his term), deference to Wall St., balancing the budget and avoiding govt debt would cure the economy by restoring confidence to business.
      Episode 2 link:

  2. judabomber

    Great presentation by Steven Kopits of Douglas-Westwood from a few months ago on the state of the global crude petroleum market (the first 20 minutes or so is a look at supply vs demand constrained models)…and of course the forecasts presented were prior to things beginning to fall apart in Iraq:

  3. William

    Mother-of-4 stripped and pepper sprayed: Her laywer said, “This is not Abu Ghraib.”

    But he is wrong. This IS Abu Ghraib. Our sickness was only allowed to be unleased there. Then it came to us strengthened and unfettered, to every corner of this good ol’ US of A.

  4. Swedish Lex

    On Chris Hedges.

    Hedges may have – or not – many qaulities as a journalist and a writer, but I cannot stand watching the guy. He is always so über-pompous and full of himself that he risks bursting by the seams every time he opens his mouth.

    Hedges should watch Yves and learn.

    1. Banger

      How about reading his books? Yes, I agree he is pompous and I tend to be arrogant and we each have our major faults because, frankly, we live in an alienated and dysfunctional society–it’s not just the political economy. Put it another way–Hedges is dealing with major themes that effect us and he’s been out there putting his ass on the line both in physical terms and in psychic terms and came to some really interesting conclusions and observations in War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning that should inform us all when we look at war and violence. I heard Hunter Thompson was real jerk–so that does invalidate his writing. I hear George Bush the Elder was a nice guy in person from one of my best friends who was his neighbor (and who was solidly on the left). So what? Picasso was by almost unanimous consent a cad of the highest or lowest order depending on your POV. So what? Does that make his art bad? Many musicians are heroin addicts or like kinky sex or twitch–does that invalidate their work?

      1. diptherio

        His delivery reminds me of a protestant minister on Sunday morning. Not particularly pompous, just trying to convey a serious message in what he takes to be a serious manner.

        1. Alexa

          Agree with diptherio regarding Hedges “style.” (Masters of Divinity, Harvard, IIRC) His Father was a Presbyterian minister, as well. I believe that it is part of his very serious (maybe dour) nature. But he has never struck me as pompous. For the most part, what Hedges talks about is simply very serious in nature.

          BTW, thanks NC, for the adorable baby tiger Antidote du Jour!

          Back to Hedges–mostly listen to him in debates, C-Span interviews, etc. And will continue to watch/listen to him in this venue.

          After all, if there is anything to him having the propensity to, shall we say, ‘lift ideas,’ he can be instantly challenged in this medium.

          IMHO, Chris Hedges forgot more than most so-called liberals ever knew, on many subjects.

          And I trust his instincts on “warring” (with his approximately 20 years reporting in war zones or conflicts, if I remember correctly) based upon his experience, and intimate knowledge of this subject.

          Not to mention that he’s not sold out to corporatist Democrats (or Republicans), or their Party machines.

          OTOH, if he has plagiarized, the least he can do is accept responsibility for having done so. And an apology, and a pledge to never engage again in this conduct would be in order.

          Certainly, considering the tremendous “baggage” that many of our politicians are saddled with, it would be unimaginable to me that Mr. Hedges would be considered to be “beyond redemption” if he takes responsibility for his actions, demonstrates contrition, and issues an apology.

        2. RanDomino

          I forgot who said this, and I think it was originally referring to someone else, but it works for Hedges: He’s a sherpa guiding middle-class white liberals on a purgative journey through guilt and back, so they can feel OK without actually doing anything.

      2. trish

        Exactly. Give me someone pompous and arrogant who tells it like it is with all the facts and doesn’t pull any punches anyday over some humble blatherer who doesn’t go deep enough, regurgitates the standard lines, and/or glosses over the evils of our corrupt corporate plutocracy, but keeps it “nice.” There’s too many of them.
        It’s journalists like Hedges who keep us truly informed about what’s going on. In the face of everything, they’ve earned their pomposity.

        1. abynormal

          here hear! obviously Chris needs to ramp it up… ‘we’ lean towards our 411 sugar coated with more more candied sprinkles and ice cream muzac for background.

          Monday, May 10, 2010
          Chris Hedges and his Critics
          My files indicate that the hard-core critics who want desperately to refute or,at least,discredit the writings of Chris Hedges are five different groups,motivated by different causes and hence categorized accordingly:

          (1) The Extreme Right Evangelical Christians: This group of critics hates the guts of Hedges because he has exposed their agenda for the U.S.the main point of which is to control the political structure of America and change it from secular type of government to a Christian one. Anyone who stood against their attempts to fulfill their agenda must be fought and marginalized.

          (2) The Israel’s Apologists or as some writers dubbed them,”The Israel’s Firsters”: Those Firsters also hate the guts of Hedges because more than once he has exposed in some of his columns,Israel’s inhuman atrocities being committed on daily basis against the Palestinian people. He wrote several column on this topic but one column would remain an outstanding one,entitled “Starving Gaza”. It can be found in Truthdig’s archive.

          (3)The Neoconservatives: It is well known that the neoconservatives were the ones who instigated the illegal and immoral war against Iraq,especially those who wrote and signed the “Project for the New American Century”,(PNAC) for short. The irony about those warmongering hawks is the fact that none of them has served in the military,and yet they are,indeed,warmongers to the hilt. Because of this fact,some writers dubbed them as the “Chicken Hawks” for sarcasm. Why they hate Chris Hedges? Because Hedges has been against the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. At the top of that,Hedges wrote several columns specifically against what was going on in Iraq,exposing and discrediting their unparalleled blunder in the entire history of the U.S. One especially effective column was entitled,”Beyond Disaster”. It can be found in Truthdig’s archive.

          (4) The Hard-Core Democrats: No need to elaborate on this group,since it is to be expected that they hate Hedges’s guts for being an exponent in criticizing President Obama. And from the very start of the election campaign,Hedges has supported Ralph Nader for the presidency. Thus,hating Hedges by them may be understandable but not necessarily correct or even legitimate.

          (5) The Show Off Critics: This group embodies a a variety of posters. Just to name a few,the following subgroups will give an idea of their various composites:
          A. Posters who likes to parade their phony “knowledge?”. Plagiarism cannot be
          ruled out.
          B. Bloggers who like to high jack the forums to express their ideology. They are
          usually rude and they have no courtesy for Hedges and his columns.
          C. The strong believers in the “Conspiracy Theory” in every major events,
          ranging from Kennedy assassination to the tragic event of 9/11.
          D. The silly posters who enjoy using sarcasm against Hedges and everyone else
          except their friends of bloggers who shower the m with complements. One
          blogger called those friends “The Boiler Room Club”.

          1. Banger

            Well I think you have the “conspiracy theorist” part wrong. If you go on YouTube you can find a very respectful interview of hedges by Alex Jones (there’s a guy that goes too far in the CT direction for sure). And I will use myself as an example–I would be called a CT by most people on the left because I never feared looking at the facts of, for example, the JFK and RFK assassinations which show without a shadow of a doubt at least a conspiracy to cover up important facts. The easiest to debunk, of course, is the RFK case wherein all estimates say that 12 to 14 shots (Sirhan had an eight shot revolver) were fired and, most damming, is the Coroner’s report which shows the shots that killed RFK were fired at point blank range for behind his head not from the front at 3 feet which is where the dazed Sirhan was. Therefore the official story is false no ifs, ands or maybes. The fact is that the moribund nature of the left is a direct result of massive cowardice or worse in confronting the assassination of one sitting POTUS and one who would have become POTUS. Hedges would not agree with me for reasons that you would have to ask him about–but I still admire Hedges for his clear analysis of our cultural and political moment.

            Sorry to pick on this but I’ve decided to take every opportunity to emphasize the CT issue when there’s an opening because I believe it I central to our plight. Otherwise I liked what you wrote.

            1. lambert strether

              “I’ve decided to take every opportunity to emphasize the CT issue” Illustrating rather neatly why CT is such an effective means of distraction and derailment.

              (I’m working on the idea that there are so many conspiracies that they cancel and/or aggregate. In other words, the sum total of conspiracies is class consciousness, especially ruling class consciousness. But it never works to focus on just one. “Reality is more cunning than any theory.”

                  1. John Mc

                    Most of us live in a perpetual world of incomplete information. In this vacuum, patterns emerge. We can offer explanations which support the status quo or ones that challenge it. I prefer to side with those who challenge power and thought as Robert Proctor’s work elucidates (there is much more ignorance in the world than knowledge). Attributing meaningful factors to coincidence seems much more of an error to me than finding patterns that do not exist at all. One denies, the other draws flies.

                    My guess, Lambert, is if you were to immerse yourself in the Kennedy and King assassinations, you might really question the context, power dynamics, and coincidences too.

                    I think the problem you draw out nicely is that all it takes is one conspiracy (buy-in) to see more of them (to a hammer, everything looks like a nail). I think there is some wisdom is skepticism albeit in conspiracy or coincidence. These were my major points – sorry for being trite earlier.

              1. Banger

                Interesting but it makes no sense. The whole conspiracy issue is much simpler. The fact there are a lot of theories out there is sort of irrelevant to a particular situation. My investigations focused on the particular facts in particular cases. In the case of RFK, if Thomas Noguchi is correct then the official story is not correct and if the official story is not correct then that puts into question the other official stories. Now you tell me, Lambert, where the flaw in that reasoning is. I have yet to hear anyone directly address this because, as I maintain, most of the left (as per Chomsky) refuses to face any simple fact about these conspiracies. As far as I’m concerned–for this discussion, they all hang on Mr. Noguchi’s report. You would have to argue that he made up his examination to stay within the framework of the conventional view of the RFK assassination. And this is a challenge to you, Lambert–do you have the courage to look at this fully in the face? Did Noguchi lie?

                1. lambert strether

                  Banger writes:

                  [I]n the case of RFK, if Thomas Noguchi is correct then the official story is not correct and if the official story is not correct then that puts into question the other official stories. Now you tell me, Lambert, where the flaw in that reasoning is…. And this is a challenge to you, Lambert–do you have the courage to look at this fully in the face? Did Noguchi lie?

                  Your cheerful NC admins take a dim view of assignments (“you tell me”), potential trolling and derailing (how’d this grow out of a Hedges thread?), and ad homs (“courage”). Just saying.

                  That said, in my ten years of moderation, I’ve seen CT grow like kudzu over many threads on many boards and it never amounts to anything. It’s a big Internet, and there are plenty of other places to go for this content, should you wish to do so.

                  1. Banger

                    Ad hom? C’mon man.

                    Generally an ad hominem attack substitutes a bit of name calling for a rational argument (not all arguments need to be 100% rational nor not involve challenges). Do you deny that central to my little comment there was a rational argument? My argument was simple: was Noguchi lying yes or no? Now it’s possible to answer “maybe” I suppose and I would accept that. But to turn around and imply that I’m breaking the rules etc. sounds a like like the DKOS’ method of stifling discussions over there. In fact, all this reminds me of the legal profession–irrelevant and immaterial, your honor–this thread is about Hedges and so on.

                    1. Lambert Strether Post author

                      Don’t play dumb. If your argument is that I’m refusing to let you derail any future thread at will with a discussion of the CT du jour because I lack “courage,” that’s ad hominem. The door to [CT site of your choice] is that way.

          2. Trinity River

            I don’t think I fall into any of your categories, but I do care that he plagiarizes other’s work. Once he gives up his integrity, why would we trust him about anything? What does he have left? Even if he has done great work in the past, I think it is time to send him home.

          3. Roquentin

            I like Hedges. I really do. I don’t always agree with him and I don’t see eye to eye with him politically in a lot of ways, but he’s one of the best voices on the left currently publishing. I’ve read Death of the Liberal Class, but not any of his other books.

            All of the above said, after reading the article accusing him of plagiarism it looks pretty bad for Hedges. Reading that article in the New Republic, it’s clear that author doesn’t harbor much ill will towards him. It more conveys as sense of sadness and disappointment, as in, “I expected better from you.”

            Not only that, the supposed “rebuttal” on FDL states in the first paragraph that the author’s “Eyes glazed over” when reading it. That’s just another way of saying he stuck his head in the sand because he just doesn’t want to see it. I’d have respected the FDL essay more if the author was honest enough to just flat out say “I don’t give a shit if he plagiarizes or not, it’s Chris Hedges.”

            1. trish

              I agree it looks pretty bad for Hedges. but I hasten to add that I feel, with things so terribly bad/corrupt/evil today and reading something nearly every day that, despite my growing cynicism, still makes me feel chilled at the utter depravity of what the greedy corporatists and their allies in our government ( I guess that’s a bit redundant) will do to squeeze any bit of profit at the expense of everyone else on the planet, that plagerism is really, really small stuff.
              If you’re laboring to get the truth out and with so, so many issues that need covering thanks to the uselessness of our MSM, that’s frankly all I care about.

            2. lambert strether

              Yep. MEGO is another way of saying, “No, I’m not going to look at the actual evidence because that’s too much work” [whine]. And we wonder why the “left” has problems getting traction? Like, intellectual laziness could be a problem?

          4. Doug Terpstra

            Thanks, Aby. You put the New Republic piece in critical context. It’ll be interesting to see where this goes. Hedges is such a prolific and prodigious writer, and so influential, I imagine his detractors have a lot of opposition research to comb thru, and lots of think tank money to burn.

          5. lambert strether

            I’m not clear why motive matters, here. Did you actually read the TNR piece and look at the side by side comparisons?

    2. Eeyores enigma

      I have been reading and listening to Hedges for over 10, 15 years and I don’t think it is Pomposity at all. He has been witnessing and exposing the ills of society for so long while seeing no effect in any positive way what so ever, in fact everything he has been railing about is much worse. I believe what you are seeing in him is a combination of weariness, frustration, and cynicism yet he is still compelled to march on and fight for the good of humanity.

      I personally don’t know how he does it but I am willing to forgive all. Its not like he is out to make a quick buck and his message is one that transcends copyright, patent, property rights, and all that BS!

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The few times I saw him on TV, I felt a bit of what others have commented on here.

        Whenever I feel that way, I try to reflect on whether it is me and not that person. There is always things I can work on to improve myself.

          1. Luke Nolan

            Count me among those who couldn’t tolerate standing in the presence of Hedges–regardless of the fact I agree with much if not all he says–but what’s your point here?

            I’ve seen him debate Harris and it was certainly a poor showing, but never-the-less Hitchens was a middling intellectual who helped sell the Iraq war on the spurious premise that the West was engaged in an apocalyptic clash of cultures and Harris is himself a neocon and blatant apologist for Israel.

            Blast from the past: here’s Harris rationalizing the killing of the two Reuters journalists in Baghdad (as well as drone warfare in general) whilst condemning Wikileaks for releasing the footage because, of course, “certain secrets shouldn’t be released.”


            1. Swedish Lex

              1. Harris is not Hitchens. Should not mix the views of the two.
              2. Harris is a “neocon and a blatant apologist for Israel”? :) Where on earth did that come from? I suppose you are joking.
              3. Harris says that not all state secrets should be open source, i.e. there should be secrets within government, presumably with checks and balances. Writing from this side of the pond and coming from a small country that like other small countries in the same situation, has to rely on cleverness (including secrets) to avoid being invaded by the imperialists, I surely hope that the government has plenty of secrets that should remain secret. Common sense to me. That the U.S. is an empire wannabe run amok, is another story.
              4. The point I wanted to make by posting the two links is simple; Hedges uses his über-pompous bulldozing tactics to distort the views of his opponents. At least in this case.

    3. Everythings Jake

      It’s funny, I feel the same way about Swedish Lex, he might have useful contribution to make, but he’s just such a stuck up prig of a poster, it’s hard for me to digest anything he says and find merit in it. Swedish Lex is clearly responsible for my inability as a reader to approach his writings rationally. Oh, Sam Harris inevitably concludes that slaughtering Muslims is a solution to the problem he identifies (forgetting Juan Cole’s startling graph on deaths as a result of Christian vs. Muslim initiated violence), but that Mossad-sponsored failed stand-up comic, 40 year old graduate student doesn’t seem pompous (or fake) at all.

      1. Swedish Lex

        Please proivde the reference to where Sam Harris has “concluded that slaughtering muslims is a solution to the problem he identifies”, as you claim.

    4. Furzy Mouse

      After a close reading of the TNR expose, it seemed very clear to me that Hedges is an egregious plagiarist…the FDL turns out to be a puff piece poo-pooing the TNR article…I guess they want to curry favor with the Hedgies., banksters thinking they can rewrite or ignore the laws, it seems like Hedges feels he can revise the rules of accurate journalism.

      1. lambert strether

        I think most people who actually read the TNR article come away with that conclusion.

    5. Spring Texan

      I haven’t watched him but though I liked War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, I have come to dislike his writing very much because something just seems off about it. He’s so heavy on the despair and it’s a case of he may be someone I sometimes agree with but if anything that makes me question my own beliefs. I thought the story of his reaction and defensiveness (of course he’s defensive as he’s obviously made this a practice) was sad but confirmed my feeling that something is untrustworthy about him.

  5. William

    Hedges: I was astounded that most of the commenters at FDL admitted that basically “I didn’t read the article, but it’s totally BS.” Hamsher writes that the article provides no evidence, yet she claims to have read the whole thing. Yet the article clearly shows that the evidence for plaigerism is overwhelming and quite damning.

    1. diptherio

      It does seem pretty damning. Just another example of why we must focus on the issues rather than the personalities who happen to be giving voice to those issues. He may well be a plagarist, but that doesn’t invalidate poverty in Camden or the horrors or war. And even occasional plagiarists can serve a public education purpose. Only those who have placed Hedges on a pedestal need be overly disturbed by these accusations.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I agree.

        It’s time we separate issues or ideas from ownership of them.

        We can think of it as idea-ownership sharing, in the realm of abstractions, just like GDP sharing in the realm of tangibles.

        It’s about the ideas themselves and not personalities, like, ay, Hayak or Libertarians, etc.

        Do ideas exist in a different world? Do they exist without humans to express them? I believe so. ‘One plus one equals two’ has always been there before we came into the world.

        1. Emma

          Agreed MLTPB.
          Ideas are slippery concepts that have bedeviled us for centuries. Like the satanic magic of witch-crazed witch-finders chasing witch-doctors and witch-words. Reality is recycled to become a tawdry witch-hunt of great men like Dr Martin Luther King who was posthumously burnt at the stake.

          Now that’s the real web of evil power with words; a dark reinterpretation from the chasmed ass of the underworld. Sharp horny claws with pus-frothing fangs and a whip of the tail. Orgasmic firesticks persecuting social goodness for social ill. Caveman versus nature for a fur coat, and sadly, no drawers to put it in when things get heated.

          As for Hedges, with a BA in English Lit and both a career in Journalism and academia, publishing work he gets paid for, and winning prizes etc. etc., ummm….are his literary agency and publishers living in the ice-age? The rest of us live in a software-savvy century which is awe-inspiringly algorithmic.

          Thankfully, because of Jefferson and his candle, most of us are rational bleary-eyed wizards without firesticks, let alone broomsticks, focused on the ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ mash-up between darkness and light. Unlike 24/7 news stations and newspapers who both have space to fill, we don’t ultimately give a flyng f*** about Hedges, Biden/Kennedy/Walinsky, Orwell/Huxley/Jerome/Zamyatin, Marc Jcobs/Angel Barta, Einstein/Maxwell, Watt/Newcomen, Led Zepplin/Spirit, US Government/Xerox/Apple, etc. etc.
          It’s the useful light-bulb over Edison and we’re sadly insufficiently concerned about the big picture in mass hierarchical systems.

          Workers aren’t independent minds producing magic because of their unequal position in the system; the credit lines the pockets of elite leaders. Literally. That’s standard procedure. The corporate world is more an expert than government on the matter. Look, Apple copied US Government-lead innovation, but made it sexy to sell. Google guards newly acquired proprietary ideas from start-up acquisitions and won’t share. Unlike Tesla or Wikipedia. Yet, Google ‘organize the world’s information to make it universally accessible and useful’, don’t they? ‘Don’t be evil’. BS! Just like pharmaceutical and chemical companies saving lives patenting every bit of genetic material found in plants and animals within the developing world. Now the 3rd world pays for its’ own seed we sell back to them to save their lives. LOL.

          Property rights which truly count come with a protectionist IP system dictating GATT. Such are the wonders of free market principals and that is what we should really be attacking, surely?

          1. abynormal

            2nd read and my smile is still widening…Take a Bow Emma.
            (no idea where to file this one…but you’ll get the full credit!’)

            1. Emma

              Thanks, but real credit rests with you abynormal, and other genuine hardcore naked capitalists of this inspirational site!
              ps. on an entirely different matter, does anyone know who was behind that 90s hit “Faster, Harder, Mighty Evil One”?

      2. lambert strether

        No, Camden poverty is what it is. But on the left we still have to come from a place of, well, not making shit up (including not making shit up like “I wrote these words” when in fact I didn’t). Because otherwise what do we have? We’re not funded well enough to maintain an apparatus of bullshit. Truth is all that we can afford.

        1. trinity river

          Lambert, I am puzzled that so many people excuse Hedges behavior. Those of us in the center and left of center always criticize those on the right who don’t seem to notice their sleazy brethren. Now the ball’s in our court.

    2. RanDomino

      Who needs the article? The “Cancer on Occupy” article should have been the end of his career- not because of the opinion he takes, but because of the “research” he did for it. Literally all he did was listen to a couple of John Zerzan podcasts from like the 90s and interview Derrick Jensen, who has a grudge against Zerzan and Anarchists.

  6. Jim Haygood

    ‘Hundreds of Americans lost their lives battling for control of parts of Iraq that are falling to militants,’ laments the NYT.

    Supposedly that lesson was learned in Vietnam. But the neocons’ endless warfare agenda never goes away.

    Next time some Ivy League toff like George W. Bush or Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton says your kids (not theirs, of course) should go fight in some distant sh*thole, tell ’em to stick it where the sun don’t shine.

    1. MikeNY

      Further to that thought, I’ll listen to Lindsay Graham on warfare the moment he shows up to enlist wearing his assless leather chaps.

    2. Banger

      The lesson learned in Vietnam was that it was easy to flim-flam the American public with rhetoric and misdirection to spend trillions on wars that accomplish nothing and, IMHO, are meant to accomplish nothing but death for some, wild riches for a few and great careers in the military or journatlism for yet others.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        If they ever borrowed to finance that trillion dollar Vietnam and other adventures, they were probably illegitimate and should be torn up.

        1. Jim Haygood

          It was Vietnam-era borrowing and spending that broke the dollar’s link to gold in 1971, ushering in the first oil shock in 1973. A full accounting of the costs of those disasters goes well beyond the direct war costs.

          And since the government fiercely resists auditing the gold stock, we can’t even be sure it was there in the first place … then or now. If they openly lied about the war (cf. The Pentagon Papers), would they lie about the gold stock too?

          1. fresno dan

            I don’t know if it was Marx, Karl or Groucho who said that history repeats first as tragedy, than as farce, and than farcical tragedy.
            Must we repeat the Vietnam argument that if we only had supported/supplied the South Vietnamese more, everything would be OK??? (oh right)
            And remember the South Vietnamese army complete dissipation in the event of contact with the enemy. Does the first thing the US army teach the forces that we are training is how to run away??? (maybe that’s not the army’s fault – who is picking losers as our allies????) And if we can’t pick the winners…..maybe that means just walk away from the roulette wheel.

            1. alex morfesis

              groucho is the one who knew something about economics…

              the other one was a moocher, and a cousin of the founders of Philips electronics

              yes that philips = Koninklijke Philips N.V.

  7. Wat Tyler diggin out

    Re Klein, naturally Democrats work harder and harder to vilify Republicans, and vice versa. Their common problem is that everybody with half a brain knows that neither of the two permitted state-run parties is worth shit. The five minutes hate gets more insistent as the staged conflict gets more pointless. This is a rigged electoral ceremony trying desperately to ward off civil society.

    Look at the propaganda poll underlying this piece. It’s Pew, Pew is what you say when you smell bullshit. Total questions about rights, rule of law, abuse of function, or trading in influence: 0. Total questions about government aggression or torture: 0. Total questions about government denial of the rights of fair trial: 0. Total questions about government interference in privacy: 0. Total questions about the government’s compliance with its acknowledged commitments and obligations: Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Bupkis. That circle you make with your finger and thumb.

    Polarization is one more weasel word used in state brainwashing. It makes the synthetic factions of electoral politics seems like some natural phenomenon. What we’re really talking about is divide et impera. Everybody hates this purulent pariah state we’re stuck in. But as long as the government parasites can dupe half of us into hating Republicans and half into hating Democrats, they are safe.

    1. Banger

      The canard that comes from political propagandists and media whores like Klein is that the left is moving more to the left and that is a lie and he knows it which is why he repeats it. The “polarization” is mainly cultural and much less political than most people believe. For example, many people are anti-environmental because people they believe as cultural enemies are for the environment so they automatically take that stance–and it works in the other direction as well.

    2. Doug Terpstra

      Very observant on a deliberately dysfunctional democracy — polarization by design, with crafty push-polling to prove it and a lame-stream stenographer to document it. Not a photon of daylight passes between the two corporate-military-AIPAC parties on substantive issues, but the slightest marginal differences are blown up bigger than life itself during partisan hate rallies. The Orwellian reference fits to a tee.

      When I read Klein’s title, couple of things first sprang to mind as the most important fact about US politics. At the top is open, blatant bribery, which is pretty much the root of all evils, including the MIC and mass-murder for profit, AIPAC’s control of foreign policy, corporate personhood without taxes, liability, or real legal risks, rigged trade instead of fair trade, a shredded constitution, captive DOJ, stacked judiciary, a scofflaw Stazi-intelligence regime, deregulation of everything, free money for high-stakes gamblers who control their very own ATM (aka the Criminal Reserve Bank) — yeah, pretty much all those changes we were deliberately duped into believing in. Polarization is a symptom of the underlying cancer, like pain, debilitating fatigue, poverty and desperation. Fear and loathing are a side effect of theatrically-orchestrated propaganda to mask, distract, and protect the klepto-predators from being summarily strung up without trial. Yes, Ezra, polarization is a problem, but certainly not the root problem. Get a mirror.

  8. David Lentini

    Is the Tea Party Coddled or Stroked?

    Salon analysis of Cantor’s defeat and the continued coddling of corporatist Democrat incumbents is yet another example of its sophomoric journalism-by-caricature. Instead of looking at the excellent reporting on all of the factor behind Bratt’s surprise win, and the fact, as reported in the Washington Post and linked here, that Democrat supporters helped bring out that surprise win, Salon just repeats the usual “the Tea Party is super-organized and engaged” while “Democrats don’t vote in off-year elections” and “the left shouldn’t abandon the Democrat Party when it won’t move left.” And somehow it’s all “because … the Sixties”. In short, Salon just repeats the same story that both Rs and Ds use to cover their coporatism under the guise of being “moderate”.

    Salon refuses to see the real story here. The real Tea Party has finally gotten fed-up with the corporate astroturf the MSM parades as “Tea Party”, and now they’re organizing and voting. The true grass roots of the TP understand they’ve been stroked for the past six years while one corporate sock puppet politician after another is used to “terrorize” the GOP and Democrats into moving further right; that is “right” as defined by lower taxes for the wealthy, less corporate (especially financial) regulation, and corrupt privatization of government functions while expanding government functions, militarism, and police power, and not smaller, less intrusive government. And our incumbents continue to collect their envelopes from the 1%.

    The real problem for the Democrats is the corporate press shuts out nearly any sustained criticism of the corporatist state and the connection of the Clinton-era Democrats to that state, while playing corporatist propaganda, fear mongering, and stoking selected social policy arguments (e.g., abortion and gay marriage) at full volume; and offering silly comic satires of the various clowns and absurdities of the right to the Democrats. Sadly, too many Democrats are happy to remain smug and comfortable knowing they’re doing “all they can” to stop the inexorable, maniacal TP march by voting for the incumbent Democrats who then “fold” to nearly every GOP ruse.

    So long as the rank-and-file Democrats prefer to remain smugly fat, dumb, and happy, the party will not change. The MSM has been masterful at keeping the rank-and-file Dems so frightened of the TP bogeyman, and so focused on preserving gay marriage and abortion rights, that the corruption will continue unchallenged.

    1. Banger

      It is so stunningly simple–it’s called “good cop/bad cop” routine. It always seems to work. MSNBC and Comedy Central are major players in that scam. BTW, my wife loves the Stewart and Colbert because of the sometimes clever comedy–when I complain she laughs at me–she doesn’t take it seriously neither them nor me–which is one of the many reasons I love her.

    2. Ron

      Republican’s have been promoting low voter turn out in off year elections as a method to gain seats both at the national and state level but in this case it backfired on the establishment Republican as only 12% came out to vote This is the basic lesson that low voter turn out is usually impacted by voters that have the strongest emotional attachment to one issue.

    3. Doug Terpstra

      Superb comment, David, like a hot knife thru butter. The veal-pen shtick is getting so rancid.

    1. sd

      Like her or not, Hilary has actually worked as both a Senator and Secretary of State. Other than get appointed to boards, what exactly has Chelsea done?

      Maybe NBC is grooming her to be the next Barbara Walters….

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Chelsea has worked as Hilary’s daughter for many long years.

        No many people have that on their resumes…actually, only one, matter of fact.

  9. dearieme

    “Ex-boarder leaders cannot conceive of communal solution … Angela Merkel has held multiple fragile coalitions together through difficult times by means of her skill in relationships and collaboration.” Um, Cameron has been in charge of a coalition government for four years, our first coalition since WWII.

    No doubt there are good arguments against boarding schools, but this ain’t the chap to advance them. Twit!

    1. Tim Mason

      Cameron’s way of working with the LibDems has been to squeeze the life out of them, reducing them to impotence. Typical boarding school, really – as I can vouch from experience.

  10. Banger

    Re: Hedges and Plagiarism

    This reminds me of the whole Clinton blow job fiasco. I’m not a supporter of Clinton but here he is dealing with matters of stunning importance and he has to deal with getting head from a bimbo–WTF? Hedges is dealing with large scale issues that half-wit bureaucrats who run The New Republic (basically an official organ of the hard-assed/careerist wing of the Democratic Party) won’t allow to even enter their private conversations for fear it might ruin their careers.

    Hedges forgot to attribute or cut and pasted something into his text, forgot about it or whatever–but he is being accursed of being a “serial plagiarist.” Never mind the assholes that TNR writers and staff hangs with who are responsible for deaths, torture, fraud and so on. Hedges’ passionate and very important book describing the psychic effect and attractions of war (War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning) is one of the more important books on war published in the modern era that echoes perfectly the conversations I’ve had with journos and friends who experience have experienced combat.

    Of course, I’m kind of the “wrong” person to write about this since I consider copyright law to be, at this point in history, largely counter-productive–for example, way back when I was doing sound collage I had a piece that started with a clip from the old TV show Lost in Space (that lasted maybe five seconds) that was banned from an early online compendium of MP3s. I believe in sharing, open-source, collectives, and so on because the world has radically shifted to a culture of narcissism and selfies that makes us unable to handle the actual problems that confront us as a civilization. Our response to climate change, an elite that deliberately starts war and conflict just to have krazee kaos so that hustlers can pick our pockets while we fall for the misdirection and lies that are a feature of TNR and other propaganda organs. But look at what I found at a certain Orange website:

    English and writing professors Sandra Jamieson and Rebecca Moore Howard have defined it as ‘restating a phrase, clause, or one or more sentences while staying close to the language or syntax of the source.’ Whether it happens intentionally, carelessly, or as an oversight, it’s a very serious matter.”

    It’s a very serious matter!?

    No it’s not! For me it changes nothing about what Hedges has said and reported since I always saw Hedges to be very flawed. I was never under the illusion that he had a special line on God and I have never admired people who live their lives who, like the Pharisees, go by the letter of the “law” but mist God or the Big Picture entirely.

    1. tomk

      I read the TNR article on Hedges yesterday, and just now read through the FDL thread, and the comments here. Banger is right, it’s not that important but on the other hand the article is quite damning and people who think it’s just a hit piece should read it. The FDL thread is downright embarrassing, with Jane and regular commenters making wild accusations while obviously having not bothered to read the article. It was not an attack on Hedges ideas, the author is clearly sympathetic to them. The evidence of plagiarism is extensive and significant, and Hedges response to being confronted is to mislead, make excuses, and tell people that they are not worthy enough to criticize him. Of course TNR is usually awful, and Hedges has done incredible work but this article offers solid evidence that Hedges is a serial plagiarist, and doesn’t want to admit it.

      1. Banger

        I have seen nothing out of Hedges on this matter other than second hand stuff in the TNR article. I’m not a FDL fan and haven’t read Hamsher on this but will check it out. As people have commented here, Hedges certainly is full of himself but I don’t see the evidence as that damming but, again, I don’t see plagiarism as anything particularly bad in itself–it’s a petty issue that certainly calls into question Hedges’ judgements but not his fundamental arguments which are much more important–aside from his books he stood up against his war-mongers editors and risked his career while I know where TNR stood.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          “Second hand stuff.” Huh? You mean the Harper’s fact checker who reviewed Hedge’s article? C’mon.

          * * *

          “I don’t see plagiarism as anything particularly bad in itself–it’s a petty issue”

          So, it’s OK with you then if Yves or I start putting our names on other people’s material without attribution? That’s good to know, because it’s a lot of work and stress to create original content seven days a week, and if you feel we don’t have to be doing that, then swell.

    2. David Lentini

      I see your point, Banger, and have much the same feeling. (Although copyright violation and plagarism are not the same thing, and Hedges, so far as I recall, was accused of the latter only.) I do say that I’m disappointed by the description of Hedges’s callous and arrogant response (if true).

      So the question for me is, why would this appear in the TNR and FDL? And given that Hedges has done so much for the battle against the corporatist onslaught, why did they make such a big deal out it? I suspect they too are on the short leash of the Democratic establishment, who want to see Hedges knocked down a few pegs by tarnishing his halo in time for Hillary 2016.

      1. Banger

        Other than the fact that TNR is part of “The Conspiracy” as the Church of the SubGenius would out it, I don’t think there’s a conspiracy to get Hedges. He’s clearly a high-strung prima Donna which I have no problem with as long as the give great performances.

      2. Working Class Nero

        FDL was somewhat foolishly trying to defend Hedges. TJR oops TNR on the other hand is a Lobby propaganda organ and so they do not like Hedges’ peacenik ways. I mean somebody’s children have to go out and die in order to make the world safe enough for Israel to never make any compromises, ever. But in any case, whether I disagree with their politics or not, they were totally correct in calling Hedges out.

        In reading the TNR article, it is clear that Hedges is lazy and arrogant. Yes he clearly plagiarized several passages and stupidly changed a word or two and then responded like a dick when called out on it. But does this mean all his writings and ideas fall down like a house of cards because of these serial bouts of laziness and stupidity? No of course not as Banger has pointed out. I mean after all, I still listen to Led Zeppelin even though I know they ripped off plenty of their songs and only under pressure gave credit where writing credits were due.

        Hedges should get over himself and come out and admit his laziness. On the other hand I don’t think his failings rise to the level of where he will be needing to go to rehab as is sometimes the case when famous people mess up!

        1. Doug Terpstra

          Thoughtful perspective. D’accord, with Banger too.

          It has to be a huge pressure cooker correlating and collating reams of research and citations without slips, but yes, humility covers many sins. This charge is what causes many authors to keep a strict policy to never review other writers work, for fear that phrases or plot lines or concepts might stick in one’s mind and come out inadvertently as photocopy in their own work. It’s a shame because the community loses. Defensive writing joins defensive medicine.

        2. JTFaraday

          “I don’t think his failings rise to the level of where he will be needing to go to rehab as is sometimes the case when famous people mess up!”

          Why not? They’re always trying to get me to go to rehab.

          I’m not going to say, paraphrasing notorious boozer Amy Winehouse, whether I actually go or not.

      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        Read the article. Salon, TAP, and FDL, as platforms* are part of the Democratic nomenklatura (though clearly its important to their branding to pretend they are not). TNR is not. Ergo, TNR would publish, and the others would not. (Not to say that TNR is better. Just part of a different faction in the politcal class.)

        NOTE * “Platforms” because not all the stories are outright shilling and some are good. But if push comes to shove, they go Democrat.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      If plagiarism is not serious:

      1) How would you feel if Yves or I passed off the work of others as our own?

      2) Would you recommend that academic institutions change their plagiarism policies to permit plagiarism?

      3) Would you recommend that media outlets change their plagiarism policies to permit plagiarism? In particular, would you recommend that NC permit plagiarism as a matter of policy? Why or why not?

      In terms of the claims themselves:

      1) When you examined the side-by-side examples in the TNR article, what did you think? (I would think if the examples were bad, it would be very easy for Hamsher to do a takedown, case by case. That she didn’t is … interesting. That others don’t is…. interesting.)

      * * *

      I don’t like TNR any more than anyone else, although that Salon and TAP passed on the story says more about the tribalism on display at FDL than anything else. I also don’t like giving aid and comfort to the black bloc types that Hedges (IMHSO correctly) took issue with.

      However, the sourcing for the TNR story is a Harper’s fact checker, and I respect Harper’s. I also checked with a professional editor before running the link.

      1. trinity river

        RE: Chris Hedges
        I cannot believe how many people excuse Hedges behavior. Those of us in the center and left of center always criticize those on the right who don’t seem to notice their sleazy brethren. Now the ball’s in our court.

        1. lambert strether

          Yep. Elsewhere on the thread, I’ve heard greater attention to CT advocated. So, couple that with a relaxed attitude toward plagiarism, and you’ve got a recipe for CT with rotten sourcing. Yikes!

      2. dannyc

        Early on Martin Luther King told his aids that he could no longer make “any small mistakes.” Meaning, not that he couldn’t afford to make any mistakes, but that the forces arrayed against him were so powerful, so dominant, that they could use any minor, innocent, or careless misstep of his to destroy the hopes of the entire movement.

        Unlike neocon journalists and news outlets since 9/11, Chris Hedges has been shouting fire in a theater that’s actually burning. He’s only been trying to alarm a confused and deliberately mislead public. And, the poor oppressed and neglected people of Camden, NJ get this tiny bit of national attention and what does TNR do, attack the messenger? How many times on the Sunday morning news shows do you hear every journalist, every expert, saying the same thing — word for word? There should be a hundred journalists writing the same story whenever there is an injustice as great as the life-time unemployment Camden!

        The NYT today is attaching the apocalyptic situation in Iraq to Obama, as something he can’t leave behind?! Whose “mistake” is that? Who’s responsible for the one and a half million Iraqi refugees that flooded into Syria 10 years ago? Who’s responsible for the 2 million internally displaced people? What’s the unemployment rate in Iraq?
        Why isn’t anyone holding Paul Bremer accountable for his macroeconomic policies?

        You can only lie if you’re an insider from Washington, Wall Street, or the Corporate Media.

        I’m gonna have to paraphrase Malcom X here; but he said something to the effect that the Media has the most power of all since it is they who can make the innocent guilty and the guilty innocent — and that’s power.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          The left has no funding, so therefore it cannot maintain a structure of bullshit and lies. Plagiarism is bullshit and lies. We can’t afford it, and shouldn’t do it. It really is that simple.

      3. Carolinian

        Just to answer your questions:
        1) It would depend both on intent and how important the copying was to the main idea or the unique facts presented. If the “plagiarism” was an inadvertent result of copy and paste then probably not serious depending on the other factor, the importance of what was copied. If someone is appropriating a unique idea or original research and passing it off as their own then that is bad, accidental or no.

        2)Relevant in this case? He’s not accused of cheating on a term paper.
        3)Media outlets–perhaps including this one–have legal considerations to worry about. Plagiarism is also a crime. So that one up to the state, not to me.

        As to this particular case think I’ll take a pass. Hedges is not important enough to me to argue about it. It should be said that his journalistic pedigree is not trivial. He was a NY Times foreign correspondent back when that meant something. If he is dismissive and even a bit arrogant that may be because he thinks he has nothing to prove about his legitimacy as a writer. He’s not Jason Blair.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          1) I (and I doublechecked with a professional editor) don’t regard the TNR side-by-side examples as inadvertant copy-and-paste.

          2) If plagiarism is not OK for a term paper, it is surely not OK in respected left publications that hope to influence policy outcomes. In any case, I’d like an answer.

          2) So forget the legal implications. Is it right?

          In my mind, Hedges is a good deal more important than Jason Blair. For one thing, Blair isn’t a moral exemplar for the left. Frankly, I’m shocked that any commenter on the putative left would say “Oh, no big deal. Plagiarism is fine.”

        2. hunkerdown

          “He’s not accused of cheating on a term paper.”

          There Is No Alternative to suburban American high schools as a model for society.

      4. EconCCX

        2) Would you recommend that academic institutions change their plagiarism policies to permit plagiarism?

        Those that did would not be rewarding skillful plagiarism. Thereby putting their brands at a disadvantage in the business world.

  11. diptherio

    Here’s one more link on the “sharing economy” that I forgot to add yesterday:

    Is the Sharing Economy Capitalism’s Last Stand? ~Ouishare

    It is quite normal that we are witnessing the beginning of a backlash towards the sharing economy: after all, it mostly consists of VC-backed startups, old-fashioned centralized ownership structures. When I was sitting on the bench at business school, I was told one thing: the purpose of any company is to maximize shareholder value. Employees and customers are but a mean to an end, and in general, a good way to maximize ROI is to get your customers to pay as much as possible (non-price competitiveness) and on the other side to pay your employees as little as possible (price competitiveness).

    Simply put, under a modern capitalist mindset, shareholders are not peers (from Latin par, “equal”), but overlords. And if your business model is based on your ability to sustain a community, it is not absurd to expect a contradiction between your duty to serve your investors a high return on investment and the egalitarian spirit of P2P services. In the end, you will have to choose one or the other.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The key is make the whole country a corporation, with everyone as an equal shareholder.

      Then you can serve the little people (who are investors) and the community (also the little people).

      With GDP sharing, we can all be equal ‘share’-holders, in the literal sense of ‘sharing.’

  12. Howard Beale IV

    “We need to Get Better at Coding” takes the wrong track. We need OS and application systems where security was baked into the design in the first place instead of being bolted on later, in addition to killing the ‘worse is better’ paradigm that runs through Unix and into Linux.

    Prime example: Buffer overruns. Just about every compiler on the planet can generate code that can stop that from happening, and in development, that is usually enabled. But when the code gets promoted to Acceptance testing, that checking gets ripped out when the code gets compiled-why? It slows the program down-all that bounds checking! So now the code goes into production and some hacker figures out how to exploit the lack of bounds checking and starts to have a field day.

    Too bad Multics is now a historical footnote-sadly, the lessons that Multics taught have been ignored.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Aromatic ‘oPhones.’

    The Safe and Secure Little People of the Patronizing State of Big Brother should note, the NSA is well-prepared to intercept and alter those digital odors.

    Do not be surprised if people start mating hunts, out of nowhere, to give one example, as Big Brother manipulates our biochemistry, with these fancy o-phones, to better manage the State for the benefits of all.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Unless we get the olfactory equivalent of White Noise Cancellation application, let’s call it White Odor Cancellation (WOC), we, ie. us hipsters with o-phones, can look forward to strange mood swings, though we can be certain that Big Brother can hack that little nothing protection.

      So, say, you are in some physical proximity to a 0.01% person of the opposite gender, just to give an example, and it doesn’t have to be this, due to some accident or serfdom duty necessity, odors will be emitted to ensure the wholesome platonic chastity of the above mentioned person.

  14. zephyrum

    “We need to Get Better at Coding” reports a commonly-suggested remedy that will not help. Reliable software cannot be assured by setting a minimum threshold of competence for the individual coder/practitioner. Software development quality is far more dependent on process than on individual skills. Product management including requirements analysis plays a part. Group review of architectural decisions is very useful. Design oversight and QA are absolutely essential, as is version management and careful deployment control. Every team has a range of talent among its members; only good process will turn those teams into reliable developers of appropriate-quality software.

    1. Howard Beale IV

      Try stopping bugs from occurring in the first place by enabling subscript checking in the compilers-and don’t turn it off as the code moves up the pipeline.

  15. Jackrabbit

    Obama: Iraq in crisis!? [beats chest] I’ll get right on it. Just give me a few days . . .

    More Kabuki for anyone that believes Sy Hersh’s reporting from 2007. Gee, how did Hersh anticipate so well what has happening since then?


  16. fresno dan

    “It is not an accident that the Republican Party continues to move rightward even in the face of negative public polling on most issues, even as the Democratic Party seems unable and often unwilling to advance legislation that meets with approval among majorities of the public. It’s not just the corruption of money in politics. It’s the direct result of the difference between voter engagement on each side of the aisle.”

    I could say I told you so…..
    Well, I did tell you so.

  17. bob

    “The mobile that sends SMELLS: ‘oPhone’ receives and creates scents to make messages more memorable Daily Mail. First ringtones. Now this.”

    Just in time for election season. Which people can tell the difference between donkey and elephant dung?

  18. fresno dan

    “Now, like then, there are those who contend that things would have turned quite differently if only the United States had not withdrawn its troops so hastily from Southeast Asia/the Middle East; if only Washington had provided more military assistance to the regime in Saigon/Baghdad; if only the leader of South Vietnam/Iraq would not have been so corrupt and so incompetent; if only the government in Saigon/Baghdad was more democratic and inclusive; if only the American president had been able to mobilize more public support for “staying the course.” Or as the saying goes, “If my grandma had wheels, she was a motorcycle.”

    “McCain also believes that America could have won the Vietnam War. And who knows? If that would have happened, the United States and Vietnam could now be close trade partners and its government would have been establishing close military ties with Washington. But wait a minute. Isn’t that what is happening these days as the United States and Vietnam and other countries in Southeast Asia are looking towards Washington as a counter-balance to Chinese military and economic power in the region?”

    “In fact, contrary to the nightmare scenarios that followed the American evacuation of Saigon, the world-as-we-knew-it didn’t come to an end, the barbarians didn’t storm the gates, and the Reds didn’t take over Asia and the rest of the world…”

    NOTE the source – maybe when you can’t tell the difference in an argument from the right from the left, maybe it means that the “centrists” are the ones who want to split the baby in half…

  19. BobW

    A Disappeared Book – “Lords of Creation” on Amazon $9.99 for Kindle edition, $2,432.64 for used paperback. Yipes!

    1. dannyc

      Lords of Creation: I have a first edition for sale. It came out just a few months before the General Theory.

  20. Roland

    Re: Hedges.

    1. What matters most is the class struggle.

    2. Life is not an academic seminar.

    3. Can you plagiarize the truth?

    4. I think this controversy shows how deeply the bourgeois notion of property has soaked into the mentality of today’s intelligentsia. Under such a mentality, our tribunes veto each other over a few shared phrases. It also shows the defects intrinsic to a Western “left” which is closely connected to an academic milieux. Within the merit-hierarchy of academe, plagiarism invalidates argument. But is that true in reality?

    1. lambert strether

      Pro-plagiarists: I’ll ask again the question nobody wants to answer. Is it OK with you if Yves or I or other NC posters start using content other people created without attribution? Why or why not?

      * * *

      Perhaps we should regard content as a Common Pool Resource, like water or air. If so, I still think it’s wrong to appropriate without credit, because that is a disincentive to create new content, a public good.

      1. Tim Mason

        Lifting from Hemingway is of little consequence, although withholding attribution may be a little snobbish. Non-attributed literary quotation is a form of signaling among those who consider themselves educated. (Evelyn Waugh had a lot of fun with this in ‘The Loved One’)
        Lifting the work of a fellow journalist is a definite no-no. It’s a form of theft, pure and simple. And if you have a reputation and your source does not, it is bullying of the lowest kind. If this is what Hedges has done, there are no excuses whatsoever. Moreover it puts the rest of his work under a cloud.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Yes, I wasn’t especially impressed with the Hemingway; I thought it was piling on. And there was one other I wasn’t impressed with (too lazy to find it, now). However, the bill of particulars is long enough with those two knocked out. (And the “blame it on the blockquotes” thing is weak, because it means that the writer either (a) didn’t follow his work through to the point where the reader saw it, or (b) did so, and didn’t bother to get an editor to make the fix or issue a correction.)

          * * *

          I love “Non-attributed literary quotation is a form of signaling among those who consider themselves educated.” Have you ever read Dorothy Sayers? That’s her main riff!

    2. Will Shetterly

      I think it shows how you’ve accepted the bourgeois notion of property. Ideas are not property—they’re a person’s creation. Just as a socialist should not steal the jacket a person has made, you should not steal an idea and claim it as your own. I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure Marx and Engels both liked credit for their work.

      That said, I’m not going to damn Hedges. People inadvertently plagiarize in many ways, so what happened could be entirely forgivable.

  21. Roland

    @ Lambert,

    1. Plagiarism is not “fine.” Within academe, it will get you flunked or even expelled. In business, unauthorized use can get you sued. If what Hedges did took bread of somebody’s mouth, then he should get sued. If Hedges stole somebody’s thesis, then he should get flunked. But anything less would be a question of vanity. Let the bourgeoisie persecute each other over vanities.

    2. If you or Yves, or anyone else for that matter, wants to use what I write here, that’s fine with me. I write blog replies to share my opinions, not to claim ownership of them. There are cathedrals standing in Europe without anyone’s name fastened to the beauty of the work. If others gain a satisfaction from sticking their personal brand on something I wrote, then that is their foible, not my loss. I am more worried about someone wrongly attributing to me an opinion I do not hold, than I am of someone using my own words to agree with me!

    3. A number of years ago, I allowed the late Joe Bageant to borrow a few lines I wrote. It was very kind of him to ask first, but as far as I was concerned it was unnecessary. If I had found those lines of mine in his work without him ever having asked, I would felt no less recognized. So to you I write the same salutation he used to write, “Yours in life and labour.”

    4. It would be nice if Hedges apologized to the people he angered. From the TNR article it appears that he has already acknowledged a screwup. As I see it, it’s a matter of individual niceties, set against a gigantic scene of class struggle. In my own experience, I do find that the niceties are never nicer, than when found amidst general nastiness. But they remain niceties.

    5. I acknowledge your point about the Optics–that our tribunes must be free from the least suspicion of taint. However, in today’s surveillance society it will be impossible to reach the standard you expect. I think we need to concern ourselves with the truth of our statements more than about the state of our reputations, and the sooner we adopt such an attitude, the better we will protect ourselves against enemy slander.

    1. abynormal

      “As I see it, it’s a matter of individual niceties, set against a gigantic scene of class struggle.”
      “ding ding ding” ~Lambert

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