Links 6/20/14

‘Game of Thrones’ scenario seen in Neandertal ancestors PhysOrg

East Africa’s elegant antelope on the verge of bowing out Christian Science Monitor

Doctors Aren’t Sure How To Stop Africa’s Deadliest Ebola Outbreak NPR (Deontos)

We Truly Have No Idea If Online Ads Work Business Insider (David L).

I Was a Digital Best Seller! New York Times

Online publishers still aren’t usually liable for user-generated content Columbia Journalism Review

What Green Revolution? Coal Use Highest In 44 Years OilPrice

A pride that still dare not speak its name in business Gillian Tett, Financial Times.

Fiji slams “selfish” Australia for letting it sink MacroBusiness :-(

China Property Failures Seen as $33 Billion in Trusts Due Bloomberg

The European single currency system spirals further out of control Philip Pilkington, Aljazeera

These Guys Faked a Wedding to Smuggle Syrian Refugees and Filmed It Vice (Swedish Lex)

What Will Argentina Do With Its Vultures? Matt Levine, Bloomberg


Obama to send 300 ‘military advisers’ to Iraq Financial Times

Obama sends U.S. military advisers to Iraq as battle rages over refinery Reuters

The Democratic Push to Bomb Iraq Again David Swansonm Firedoglake

Architects of Iraq Invasion Return to Blame Obama Bloomberg

Who Won Iraq? Lost Dreams, Lost Armies, Jihadi States, and the Arc of Instability Tom Engelhardt

Absurdities, Blatant Lies, Chutzpah, Political Expediency, Odd Couples Michael Shedlock

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

How Secret Partners Expand NSA’s Surveillance Dragnet Intercept

Partial Disclosure New York Review of Books

Obamacare Launch

Most Obamacare enrollees like coverage but not cost, poll suggests Christian Science Monitor

3,137-County Analysis: Obamacare Increased 2014 Individual-Market Premiums By Average Of 49% Forbes

​Millions paying less than $100 per month for Obamacare CBS. No mention of the deductibles.

Regulatory Scrutiny Transforms Washington’s Political-Intelligence Business Wall Street Journal

New York State Wants To Hear From You About Comcast-Time Warner Merger Consumerist

Quelle Surprise, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker Accused ??? Angry Bear

Housing Falters as Forecasters See U.S. Sales Dropping Bloomberg

How to Lose a Billion Dollars in Hedge Funds Barry Ritholtz

Federal Reserve

The perils of returning a central bank balance sheet to ‘normal’ Financial Times. Scary.

Thoughts on Robert Skidelsky’s Manifesto for the Reform of the Anglo-Saxon Economics Curriculum Brad DeLong, Washington Center for Equitable Growth (gordon). Important despite verbose title. Reminds readers of the ten conditions for neoclassical economics to operate.

Class Warfare

The Highest-Paid CEOs Are The Worst Performers, New Study Says Forbes (Alex E)

Inequality in the long run Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, Science

The open source revolution is coming and it will conquer the 1% – ex CIA spy Guardian (HW). Today’s must read.

Antidote du jour. Scott D: Arnold is a 22 lb cat we rescued 7 years ago from the city pound on the day he was to be put down. Best dog I ever owned.


And a bonus video:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. dearieme

    “Most Obamacare enrollees like coverage but not cost”: well, yes – people like other people to pay.

    1. Cynthia

      We’ve let “health care” become the defining property of our economy. Let’s say you work for 30 years making lattes at Starbucks for $30K a year. You would have made $900K, but taxes probably would have taken $400K of it, so your life had a $500K benefit to society.

      Then you get sick, hopefully you are older than 65, and you get a bypass and spend a couple weeks in the ICU. You just cost society more than you made in your lifetime! That’s the bitter equation. Most people will consume more in health care costs than they produce in their lifetime, let alone AOL’s “distressed babies.”

      Your leaders consider you worth more dead than alive, unless you’re serving in the military, and you see how well those promised benefits are working out.

      1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

        You din’t “cost society” more than you contributed — you were gouged for more than you ever made.

        I’d like to see the “cost” of healthcare accurately audited and accounted for.

      2. McMike

        44% effective tax rate for someone earning 30k per year seems more than a little high, and the benefit calculation ignores the time value of money.

        In any case, the cost of that bypass owes to some other factors than under-contributing old people.

        1. Cynthia

          What bothers me most about our healthcare system is that it is overly motivated by profits. We could all have healthcare, not just at any price, but at an affordable price, and regardless of income, if we were to just simply take the profit motive out of our healthcare system. That includes non-profit providers, and that’s what bothers me the most.

          How in the world can hospitals get away with calling themselves non-profit providers when their top administrators are making over a million a year? Why in the world are healthcare companies in general allowed to pay their CEOs multimillion dollar salaries when a very large portion of their company earnings come from the taxpayer?

          People would be up in arms if their taxes were being used to hand out multimillion dollar salaries to school administrators; so using the same logic, they should also be up in arm just knowing that their taxes are being used to hand out multimillion dollar salaries to hospital administrators, but for some strange reason they’re not. People don’t seem to be the least bit troubled by this. Maybe if they thought of hospital administrators as government employees, which in a truly significant sense they are, they would be up in arms over this.

          I’m not suggesting that we nationalize our hospitals, or our healthcare system as a whole. Nor am I suggesting that we remove all healthcare companies from the stock exchanges. But if our goal is to have quality healthcare at an affordable price, then I suggest that we first reclassify all healthcare companies as slow growth utility companies. They should be profitable enough to pay expenses and provide their CEOs with upper-middle class salaries, but not profitable enough to make them filthy rich. Marilyn B. Tavenner, the head of CMS, and Kathleen Sebelius, the head of HHS, both make about $200,000 a year, so that’s about what all healthcare CEOs should make a year.

          Healthcare costs are destroying our competitiveness in the world and are bankrupting us as a nation. Taking the profit motive out of healthcare is the best and perhaps only way to reverse these two ominous trends.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            “I’m not suggesting that we nationalize our hospitals, or our healthcare system as a whole. Nor am I suggesting that we remove all healthcare companies from the stock exchanges.

            Well, maybe you SHOULD be. That would be called single-payer.

          2. McMike

            Can’t really argue with that.

            Slow growth utility. Interesting idea. Would require a major revolution to implement, since ti basically flies in the face of global economic/political trends – which is busy privatizing utilities and granting rent-seeking letters of marquee to essential industries.

          3. Banger

            There are many good models for HC as a utility all over the world. But the American mainstream media will not and did not report on such things or, really, anything that had the smell of facts around it. This is precisely why we have the system we have–all institutions conspire together to create a rentier-system. A class of aristocrats exists that hold out its hands and takes our money–we think, because this is what the media reports, that they are providing value–they aren’t providing any value at all.

            If you start talking about the HC system you are really talking about the whole bundle of interlinked systems. The managers of those systems know very well that if you start to deconstruct one they will all fall down so they maintain the most extraordinary set of fictions about almost everything. The average American knows almost nothing about the real world–only the world of movies and propaganda even the majority on the left who seem to get their news from Comedy Central, NPR and MSNBC all propaganda outlets engineered to meet the needs of various tribal “progressives.”

            1. scott

              Hey Cynthia, that comment about being worth more dead than alive was MINE from Zerohedge (I’m “Duo” from Zerohedge).
              Credit where credit is due.

              1. Cynthia

                I recall reading a comment somewhere on ZeroHedge about Starbucks workers making 30k a year and potentially needing an expensive coronary artery bypass sometime later in their life. But I could not find what was exactly written and who exactly wrote it. It didn’t help that I was drinking a latte at the time. The credit is all yours, Scott, and I give you my utmost thanks for a great comment!

                1. scott

                  I went back 40 pages on Zerohedge and couldn’t find the article with that comment. Was it the one about the Starbucks CEO? I know it was at least two weeks ago.

                  1. Cynthia

                    Sorry, Scott, I can’t help you out. The way I store and retrieve information from my head has no rhyme or reason to it. Oftentimes I struggle just to remember a single word from a paragraph, but occasionally I remember an entire paragraph, rarely do I remember it verbatim. If I do, it’s because it’s good, really good. Even if I didn’t remember your comment verbatim, it’s still very good.

                    I blame all of this on the latte. Actually, I should blame it on Discover. The only reason I was at a Starbucks drinking a latte is because Discover sent me a coupon for a free latte in the mail. I suppose this is my reward for being such a good customer, but it will never make me a good Starbucks’ customer. I’m too frugal to consume overpriced coffee.

                    Once again, your comment is great , and it’s all yours — every bit of it. I was merely a storage bin for it. Let’s leave it at that, though you could offer me some pointers on how to write a good comment that grabs the attention. Stuff like that doesn’t come natural to me.

                    1. spooz

                      Little late here, just catching up on older posts.
                      Found scott’s ZH comment (as Duo) that he claims you borrowed from was from May 31.
                      It looks like a word for word cut-and-paste to me. I am not opposed to cutting and pasting quotes with proper attribution, like “here’s what commenter “duo” said on ZH the other day”. I just don’t understand why you would claim his words as your own, even after being called out for it. Nobody’s memory is that good.


                      ,As a nurse, you should have a unique perspective to offer, reflecting your experiences in health care, which can add to the conversation. No need to borrow others words.

              2. Jagger

                Wait a second. You might be worth more in prison than dead. I am sure that is good news. Lots of profit in prisoners for the prison industry and gives .

            2. Cynthia

              From my perspective as a nurse, I have witnessed an explosion of hospital administrators in the course of my 20 year career and am in favor of a single payer system.

              However, those championing the “Medicare for All” mantra, don’t think for a moment that this will significantly decrease the administrative burden on the health care system. In the course of my career, I have also witnessed an explosion of health care laws, rules, regulations, policies, incentives, audits, certifications, accreditations, etc. that are mostly generated by The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and require a thick layer of administrative staff to interpret, redefine, and implement.

              You can get rid of the insurance companies, but the administrators won’t go away. They seem to multiply like cockroaches every year.

              1. EmilianoZ

                the administrators won’t go away. They seem to multiply like cockroaches every year.

                Same thing at universities, which goes a long way explaining the exorbitant tuition fees. Why do they always win?

                1. Glenn Condell

                  Because they are appointed by representatives of (and are therefore themselves representatives of) the 1%, who pay them multiples of what they could earn as middling academics/health care professionals in return for the implementation of The Agenda. With unionism nearly dead, it’s money (and security) for jam.

                  ‘We wolves will refrain from devouring you, in return for your assistance in providing us with easy prey’

          4. Carla

            “How in the world can hospitals get away with calling themselves non-profit providers when their top administrators are making over a million a year?” — etc.

            Because kleptocracy and crapification.

        2. Lord Koos

          The 44% tax rate doesn’t seem that out of line if it includes not only income tax but all the myriad sales taxes, luxury taxes, licensing, energy, communications etc, all are taxed. Then of course if you own real estate there is that too.

        1. scott

          I assumed 2000 hours at $15 an hour. Maybe too much.
          Wow, a Zerohedge comment recycled and my cat used as an Antidote on the same day!

          1. Doug Terpstra

            “Worth more dead than alive” was your original thought? Wow, we all bow to your awesoneness! Hey, I’ll bet someone will be plagiarizing your patented “credit where credit is due” phrase too before long too :-)

            1. Cynthia

              I tend to use way too many cheesy cliches when I write comments, which is why I post very few of my comments. It’s like putting on a Dolly Parton wig and stepping outside. I couldn’t bear to do it, it’s just too embarrassing.

              1. Lambert Strether

                Bull Durham:

                Crash Davis: It’s time to work on your interviews.
                Ebby Calvin LaLoosh: My interviews? What do I gotta do?
                Crash Davis: You’re gonna have to learn your clichés. You’re gonna have to study them, you’re gonna have to know them. They’re your friends. Write this down: “We gotta play it one day at a time.”
                Ebby Calvin LaLoosh: Got to play… it’s pretty boring.
                Crash Davis: ‘Course it’s boring, that’s the point. Write it down.

                1. Kokuanani

                  I’ve always thought there’s a fortune waiting for someone who invents/produces a “Cliches Bingo.” Here’s the inventing part: bingo cards filled with sports, political or other cliches. [“gotta play one day at a time” etc.] Take out a card while watching a sports interview, political debate, and check away.

                  We do this at home with pencil & paper.

            2. JTFaraday

              Yeah, and I hope all those virtual “Burkean Parlors” out on the internets are paying Royalties to the Burkean estate– after all, thanks to them, the Freshman comp students are no longer renting A Grammar of Motives every semester at Amazon dot com.

              It’s just one outrage on top of another these days.

            1. scott

              Arnold is mostly muscle. The vet says his ideal weight would be 19-20. His rib cage is so big it takes three of my hands to go around it. And he climbs trees every morning to get out of the back yard.

        2. CB

          That was my thought. Who makes 30 grand a yr pulling shots at a Starbucks? Cynthia should get out more.

    2. MtnLife

      Did you skip the link immediately under it about premiums rising an avg of 49%? In the state by state comparison, my state age range avg premium went up by 135% – a major reason why I don’t have coverage. Have you also missed the fact that wages are stagnant and many people are still out of work? Where are you expecting people to pull all this money from for premiums? And the monstrous deductibles? As to your comment about people liking others to pay, yes, that is a common theme but people also like to get decent value on their purchases except the US currently spends the most per capita in the world and is nowhere near the top in health outcomes so what value are we getting?

      1. McMike

        That’s premiums on individual coverage. I didn’t read the article, did it say what happened to group premiums?

        The link of employment and insurance creates some major perversions.

        1. MtnLife

          No, it was individual market premiums only. While you could say their methodology (averaging the 5 least expensive plans before and after) is slightly flawed in that, in most cases, you will be comparing policies with different options, the part that doesn’t change is that the higher amount (in all but eight states, a few lowered), regardless of value or outcomes, wasn’t a mandatory part of the household budget before. This, coming at a time of economic distress for many, really isn’t feasible.

          1. McMike

            “isn’t feasible”….

            I am actually immensely interested in seeing how this turns out. Seems to me that this mess will indeed force a question:

            – Will ACA call the question and send us towards single payer? (trojan horse/eleven dimension chess argument)

            – Or will ACA get hung around the neck of socialism, and lead to a doubling down on the private system? (you break it you own it argument)

            It could go either way.

            Of course I have been calling for tipping points in a bunch of realms, and can’t seem to match even a stopped clock’s batting average.

            Could be this whole thing just gets stuffed into the s**t sandwich that America is eating and we muddle on for another decade as is.

            1. MtnLife

              While I’m hoping for the first option, the second is entirely possible as well as:

              – it’ll get continually “tweaked” in a manner to silence the loudest critics/let the industry gouge the consumer-patient to the max, with obvious exemptions for any monied interest who wants in, while keeping just enough satisfied with the new status quo and those with blind belief in their policies to stave off any serious attempts at positive change.

              – it adds more weight to the societal camel’s back where it waits silently, with the poor being swept under the rug as best as possible, until the whole thing falls apart.

        2. Cynthia

          Distortions are a better way to describe this, as well as most other ways healthcare is financed. The distortions with regards to healthcare finance have gotten so enormous that they are causing administrative costs to outstrip the cost of providing care. Wiping the slate clean and starting over again needs to be done now if not yesterday.

          1. My Info

            Twenty-five years ago I worked for a national reference medical laboratory company (where your doctor sends your blood for extensive testing, for example). The cost of billing and follow-through exceeded the actual cost of testing. Our large laboratory in Edmonton charged way less; they sent a billing tape and – voila- the check came.

      2. Cynthia

        If the premiums don’t break you, the deductibles will. If the deductibles don’t break you, drug costs will. That’s because ObamaCare has excluded drug costs from the maximum amount of out-of-pocket expenses you have to fork over to the healthcare industry. You have to search long and hard to find something about ObamaCare that’s beneficial to the consumer who doesn’t have health insurance through an employer, public or private.

        1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

          In the old system, pre-existing conditions would not only break you, they would consign you to a road that leads to bankruptcy and death — even after you paid your premiums, like a good little consumer.

          1. Cynthia

            True, ObamaCare has made it so that insurers can’t drop you or gouge you for having a pre-existing condition. But insurers are still off the hook for having to pay for your meds. That means that your chemotherapy meds to treat leukemia, or your immunosuppressive meds to treat MS, or your antiviral meds to treat hepatitis C will set you back tens of thousands of dollars a year in medical expenses. Oh sure, the insurer will pay for your meds as long as you are receiving them in the hospital. But who wants to stay in the hospital for 365 days out of the year? Anyway, your insurers won’t pay for your hospitalization and hence your expensive meds unless you’re septic or hemorrhaging or need several days of IV fluids for, say, renal failure or severe dehydration.

            ObamaCare has also made it so that insurers can no longer impose a lifetime limit on healthcare costs, though, once again, that won’t help you out much if your out-of-pocket drug expenses are as high as 60k to 100k a year. Sadly, this tells me that the financial security of those with a pre-existing condition isn’t much better than it was prior to ObamaCare.

            1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

              Hopefully, it’s a small step in the right direction. There is no amount of money some folks won’t spend to stay alive. OTOH, some can’t ever hope to earn enough to deal with their various maladies. That we allow an industry to capitalize on these facts paints us in a rather ghoulish and depraved light.

            2. Propertius

              True, ObamaCare has made it so that insurers can’t drop you or gouge you for having a pre-existing condition.

              Unless that pre-existing condition is age, of course.

          2. Lambert Strether

            People can drown in a shallow pool just as efficiently as they can drown in an ocean. $10K can break somebody just as easily as $100K.

    3. diptherio

      Two thumbs way down. People will pay for their Bronze plan and be happy with their $75/mo premium. Then they will go to the doctor and discover that their deductible is the same as their max yearly out-of-pocket ($6,000+ for an individual) which they cannot afford and will not be happy with.

      As for other people “paying” for this (unaffordable) health insurance, to the extent that people who don’t “benefit” from Obamacare are paying higher taxes and/or premiums to subsidize those who are, it is the fault of the politicians who designed the system, not the poor people trying to obtain healthcare. Please direct your ire at the proper people. Poor bashing ain’t gonna get us anywhere.

      1. MtnLife

        $75/month? Sign me up! My cheapest option was around $460/month with a $7500 deductible for just myself and I’m youngish and healthy.

        1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

          I don’t know which state you are in, but the most expensive option, for me (in Virginia), was 2/3 of the cost of your plan.

          1. MtnLife

            Vermont, which (last I remember seeing) is usually in the top 5 or so for costs due to a disproportionately large elderly population and a highly dispersed general population. The good news was if I added my wife it was only $200 more and the deductible only went to 10k. We’re waiting for single payer which is supposed to be implemented statewide in 2017. Still a big fight due to the difficulties in making a program out of nothing but I’m hopeful.

            1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

              Good luck. If it ends up being more than an economy car payment, it’s too much.
              BTW: Sanders/Warren or Warren/Sanders 2016!

          2. Lambert Strether

            That’s because ObamaCare costs are random with respect to jurisdiction, one of the many reasons it is a fundamentally unjust and unfair program.

        2. Invy

          My bronze plan was 185, but had to switch doctors. The plans that allowed me to keep my doctor either had bad coverage for my conditions or were too costly…

          If society was ran like the last article posted from the guardian I wouldn’t need health insurance. The coal industry causes up to a third of childhood asthma, yet it’s up to me to pay for their external costs.

  2. Carolinian

    Since Lambert is, I believe, an Archdruid fan I thought this latest post relevant to some recent discussions around here and might be worth a link. He’s talking about why the heartlanders are so suspicious of elite opinions and why they may have some cause.

    The below from Archdruid’s post:

    We don’t talk about the political dimensions of scientific authority in the modern industrial world. That’s what lies behind the convenient and inaccurate narrative I mentioned earlier, the one that claims that all you have to do to convince people is speak the truth. Question that story, and you have to deal with the mixed motives and tangled cultural politics inseparable from science as a human activity, and above all, you have to discuss the much-vexed relationship between the scientific community and a general public that has become increasingly suspicious of the rhetoric of expertise in contemporary life.

    That relationship has dimensions that I don’t think anyone in the scientific community these days has quite grasped. I’ve been told privately by several active online proponents of creationism, for example, that they don’t actually care that much about how the world’s current stock of life forms got there; it’s just that the spluttering Donald Duck frenzy that can reliably be elicited from your common or garden variety rationalist atheist by questioning Darwin’s theory is too entertaining to skip.

    Such reflections lead in directions most Americans aren’t willing to go, because they can’t be discussed without raising deeply troubling issues about the conflict between the cult of expertise and what’s left of the traditions of American democracy, and about the social construction of what’s considered real in this as in every other human culture. It’s much easier, and much more comfortable, to insist that the people on the other side of the divide just mentioned are simply stupid and evil, and—as in the example I cited earlier—to force any attempt to talk about the faltering prestige of science in today’s America into a more familiar discourse about who’s right and who’s wrong.

    Equally, it’s much easier, and much more comfortable, to insist that the ongoing decline in standards of living here in America is either the fault of the poor or the fault of the rich. Either evasion makes it possible to ignore all the evidence that suggests that what most Americans think of as a normal standard of living is actually an absurd degree of extravagance, made possibly only briefly by the reckless squandering of the most lavish energy resource our species will ever know.

    1. Banger

      A word on science here. All movements eventually run into over-rigidity and science, while still pretty dynamic in many areas, has come to rely on orthodoxy rather than true investigation. For example, there are many forms of alternative ideas concerning spiritual reality, UFOs (and related phenomena) and anomalous events (for example, those featured in the work of Charles Fort) wherein if you have experiences (as I have) of things that aren’t under the basic orthodox view of reality you are simply crazy or deluded and no investigation or inquiry is required. One of those investigators who I find fascinating was John Mack who investigated abductions not unlike his Harvard predecessor William James studied spiritual experiences in a prior age in Varieties of Religious Experience. This orthodoxy has been copied by those who gatekeep political ideas like “conspiracy theories” which many believe are just crazy without investigating the facts. The reaction I get (here and elsewhere) when I produce unambiguous proof of conspiracy on, say the Kennedy assassinations, I am answered something like, “oh, you believe everything is a conspiracy” or various other kinds of misdirection. A piece of evidence that I might present is ignored–my favorite response is, of course, “even if it was true, I can’t believe it” actually goes to the heart of the matter here.

      Intellectuals, particularly in the U.S. require a certain framework where everything is explainable in a systemic way. Most American intellectuals hate the concept of the unconscious, for example, because it implies an agency that is not under are control and, frankly, can’t be under our control. Part of the appeal of Eastern philosophies is that they offer, through technical means of meditation and other practices “control” of the irrational unconscious. As someone who has spent a lifetime in that area I can assure you that there is no possibility of such “control” only the opposite which is surrender–but I don’t want to get off topic here. My point is that science and rationality has undermine itself by violating its own principles thus minimizing the spiritual dimensions of life, which most people know (from being alive) are real, and excluding increasing areas of inquiry from inquiry thus losing credibility bit by bit.

      Science is, today, doing great work and is blooming. The old paradigms are dead if we actually take the implication of many recent findings including the perception that intelligence is more distributed in all of nature than we used to think, i.e., non-living things are not necessarily non-living from an atomic and molecular level on up. Science has, from an institutional POV, become like the rest of this rotten system, i.e., materialistic, political, money and status focused and so on which has been the trend in the U.S. university system for some time. And it is sad that because of this and the tendency to obfuscate that experts (to maintain their status) feel they have engage in the American public is skeptical of those who should be skeptical of orthodoxy.

    2. David Lentini

      Definitely one of Archdruid’s better posts. Having spent the past 35 years or so studying science, learning how to do scientific research, and working with scientists as a patent attorney, I’ve come to some similar thoughts myself. In fact, looking at the various debates and occasional hysteria, I see the following:

      1. The vast majority of scientists, including those with doctorate and post-doctorate education and training, and even many famous names, are far more technicians than thinkers. That’s not to denigrate their genius, virtuosity, and accomplishments. But the sad fact is that most science is about executing accepted procedures to achieve a pre-determined result. The advances come in the forms of new techniques to replace or augment existing techniques to reach that result. Often the failure to reach the desired result, i.e., the failure to find a working technique, simply results in moving on to a new project and repeating the sequence. The underlying failure is rarely investigated as a point of scientific investigation.

      2. Scientists are enclosed in an intellectual bubble just like every other academic discipline. In fact, not unlike professional athletes, promising students in the sciences can count on financial support and move straight from college to graduate school to academia without any break to join the real world. The result is a that scientists become trapped in a very strong echo chamber that reveres “science”, although few really understand the philosophical basis for the science method and its limits. Thus, scientists learn to speak with a haughty self-assurance, forgetting that the vast majority of non-scientists don’t realize that scientific “knowledge” is highly contingent and can easily change with the next experiment. (Watch James Burke’s excellent BBC documentary The Day the Universe Changed if you can.) In fact a number of recent studies have demonstrated just how ignorant scientists are about the scientific method itself (see 1. above).

      3. The two points above, I believe, stem from the transformation of higher education in the Western world from one based on a holistic liberal arts curriculum and educational philosophy to one based on research. The rise of the “research university” occurred in the mid- to late 19th Century in Germany and was imported to the US around the turn of the century, pushed by funding of Robber Barons like Rockefeller, Ford, and Carnegie (none of whom was really educated), who wanted the philosophy of laissez faire economics brought into every sphere of life. The major change was to drop the vision of students obtaining a common intellectual foundation in favor of students choosing electives and the emphasis moving towards subjects that garnered outside financial research funding (i.e., earned their keep). Thus, the humanities has withered while science and engineering$mdash;read defense research—have flourished. The result is that we have lots of experts who are fools.

      4. The points above have led to a growing “scientism” in society, especially among those who have strong educations in science and technology, and which is fed by our faith in technology that has become a surrogate for scientific knowledge. Scientism is the unreasonable faith in the truth of statements that appear to be based on scientific research. Many scientists of earlier generations warned about this in the ’50s–’70s as the social sciences, and especially economics, unreasonably made their work look more like physics and mathematics. Richard Feynman gave a famous commencement address at Cal. Tech. in the early ’70s lamenting the rise of what he called “Cargo-Cult Science”.

      Like if or not, our education has become so fragmented that few can integrate the diverse ideas need to gain perspective on our lives on Earth. We thus become vulnerable to every scientific fad and prey to every charlatan and demagogue. We can change this, but I believe that will require making some real commitments to a more comprehensive education in Western philosophy since that is the root of our cultural decay.

      1. Ted Lowe

        David, this comment is right on the mark in my experience. I teach at a small liberal arts university and O can tell you that it is nigh impossible to find faculty capable lf teaching, or even willing to teach a broad introduction to intellectual inquiry and philosophical currents, even from the narrow confines of the West. Of course, within the humanities it is possible, but not in the sciences or most of the social sciences. Most PHDs are just not very intellectually curious, don’t read unless they have to for some research project, having been trained to focus narrowly on their own field of study. As a result, Scientism rules the roost for most. One final comment, this is a long standing problem in intellectual labor since the industrial revolution.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Ted, is it possible that the pursuit of knowledge has become so specialized, not intentionally done by humans, but merely reflecting the nature of knowledge pursuit itself, that simply trying o keep abreast in one’s own ever narrowing niche is all any one science practitioner could hope for?

          And that if we continue this pursuit, we might eventually be incapable of communicating with each other, making ourselves incomprehensive and incoherent as a whole?

          And that’s how knowledge defends itself from being totally unmasked, as we destroy ourselves in our pursuit of it??????

          1. David Lentini

            I think this is true if you take the position that everyone must be an expert on some matter; that’s largely how we’ve gotten into this mess. Providing an education built on a foundation of common study, as had up to the early 20th Century, helps reduce this problem.

          2. tiebie66

            It seems to me that it doesn’t matter how specialized the field of inquiry, a philospohical mindset is what distinguishes the true scientist from the skilled technician.

      2. Swedish Lex

        Much rings true, however;

        On the people having “faith” in “scientism”.

        Blindly following the latest results in science, which often is contradictory and often subsequently overturned by newer science, is clearly not very smart. One should therefore continue to rely on common sense (which inevitably will lead to différences of opinion).

        “Common sense”, in my view, cotains, among many other things, the collective scientific knowledge that has been accumulated over the past centuries and that has become pretty much undisputable (but not barred from being challenged, au contraire). Faith is not involved here.

        Some famous scientists, I am mainly thinking of Richard Dawkins, is often accused of being a fanatic, perhaps the Ayatollah, of scientism and blinded by his “faith” in science. However, Dawkins is merely stating that the scientific method is the best one available to understand what is going on and why and, also, that scientific results can and should be challenged. Defending the scientific method as the best tool to combat resistance to antibiotics seems pretty good.

        I however agree that most scientists probably are pure technicians and not thinkers and may, for instance, be badly suited to understand the wider implications of the results of their science, which can be quite narrow.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          If we go along with the fairly reasonable claim that the scientific method is the best one available to understand what is going on and why, it doesn’t in any way, shape or form validate the notion that we should then ‘apply’ that understanding at all, as we have no way of knowing negative consequences.

          The best one can claim, with clear conscience, is, then, that we should be content merely with ‘understanding,’ and nothing more than that.

      3. EmilianoZ

        As a patent attorney, you’ve probably been around more technologists and engineers than scientists. I’ve never heard of a theoretical physicist trying to patent some new unified field model or whatever.

        The consensus among engineers seems to be that patent attorneys understand about nothing of the inventions they write about.

        Some scientists (or people with strong scientific background who’ve branched out) I know find it either amusing or excruciating trying to have a serious discussion with non-scientists. In either case they’re amazed at the degree of incoherence and counterfactuality that the non-scientific brain can countenance.

        They’re a diverse bunch. Some will talk just about everything from politics and history to the best gear for mountaineering. Others are very narrow and seem forever obsessed with the intricate little details of the unspoken pecking order in their labs.

        1. petal

          Emiliano, I agree with your post. Am in an academic lab, and surrounded by both narrow people and those who are very well-rounded and can talk about/discuss anything. It’s like any other population. Yes, there are people who are narrow in how they approach things, but most of the ones I have worked with are indeed “thinkers”. It is also hard to explain to non-scientists what you’re working on even when you dumb it down because of the state of science education in this country(have had this discussion w/friends that teach science). It gets frustrating. Some people seem to not want to learn or think about something new, or the scientists were the kids they picked on in high school and the prejudices are still there, some people want instant gratification, I could go on. And please don’t use “technician” as a pejorative term- some of them are better than the PhDs.

          Great antidote today. Arnold looks like a very happy kitty!

          1. Ben Johannson

            Out of curiosity, would you please provide an example of a research project or subject you’ve had difficulty explaining to non-scientists? What aspects do you find they have the most trouble with?

            I’d like to know whether science education isn’t advancing sufficiently to keep abreast with the state of the art, or people are so ignorant at a basic level they don’t know what an atom is.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It’s possible to enter Zen through the chaos of incoherence and counterfactuality .

        3. Jake Mudrosti

          Excellent points, all four, from David Lentini, plus spot-on remarks on “fragmented” education.

          What a silly jab, above, at patent attorneys.

          In fact, there’s been a real gutting over the past few decades, of undergraduate and graduate topics in theoretical physics — in curricula and in conferences. Anyone off the street could spend one day reading p 9-17 of Max Jammer’s The Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics, and outscore most physics professors in the U.S., on a Concept Inventory test targeting theory interpretation. I’d put big money on that bet.

          1. Jake Mudrosti

            And don’t just take my word for it. Here’s J. S. Bell quoting J. J. Sakurai in the foreword to Sakurai’s Modern Quantum Mechanics:
            “He [Sakurai] thought that much theoretical physics teaching was both too narrow and too remote from application: ‘…we see a number of sophisticated , yet uneducated, theoreticians who are conversant in the LSZ formalism of the Heisenberg field operators, but do not know why an excited atom radiates…'”

    3. trish

      re the relationship between the scientific community and a general public increasingly suspicious of of expertise…
      I think, one, the relentless corporate propoganda (abetted by the government, ,ie “more study needed” or because, Jobs) , together with a MSM eager to provide “balance” in coverage even if the evidence is clearly on one side, has played a HUGE role in this.
      It works for those at the top to fan this suspicion (including donald duck frenzy), thus it’s grown. ie creationism. It serves to distract and is tied (by belief, generally) to issues that serve the economic interests of the corporations (ie guns, global warming, military/security state).
      And, yes, easier to insist, and easier to believe. simplistic stuff generally is, especially if a easy bad guy is provided.

      1. James Levy

        I’m sorry, but this archdruid stuff is straw man material. There is a fundamental difference between evidence and opinion. There is no remote equivalence between young Earth Creationism and all the evidence that exists all around us. One is overwhelmingly backed by verifiable physical items that can be investigated and challenged, and the other is based on a fairy tale told by a bunch of Middle Eastern pastoralists 4000 years ago with no evidence to support it whatsoever. The archdruid is indulging in a metaphysical game of “wouldn’t it be nice if what I want to be true really is true.” Science, done properly, doesn’t give a shit about what we want things to be. It looks at what is. I would like it if we had “natural rights”, but as George Carlin so pointed stated, we made the idea of rights up. That doesn’t mean that we should not codify rights, respect and exercise them, but it means that although I would love it if some supernatural being was running the universe and endowing me with rights, there is no evidence of this at all. Rights are a normative thing. And there is a difference between a normative question and an empirical one. What we have to accept is that normative questions can only be answered collectively and consensually (well, they can be rammed down your throat, but I’d define that as tyranny) while empirical questions can be verified by recourse to evidence.

        1. David Lentini

          All statements are ultimately opinion. The question is the reliability of the opinion. Opinions supported by strong facts and evidence are usually more reliable than opinions that are assertions. This is the idea behind the scientific method. One problem today is that the problems facing scientists that also overlap with policy typically require the use of computer models and methods of data gathering, and cannot be tested by controlled experiment—the gold standard of scientific investigation—and so do not provide as strong a basis as expected. When scientists ignore that and make their pronouncements in their usual tones, they risk a comeuppance and public distrust.

          1. David Lentini

            Oops! Need to refine a sentence:

            One problem today is that the problems facing scientists that also overlap with policy typically require the use of computer models and very indirect methods of data gathering, and cannot be tested by controlled experiment—the gold standard of scientific investigation—and so do not provide as strong a basis as expected.

          2. James Levy

            Unless the sum total of everything we know is a lie, and that lie has been identical, systematic and perfect for 199 years, the Battle of Waterloo took place on June 18, 1815. That is not an opinion, it is a fact. What the battle signified, and why we should care about it, are matters of opinion, but the existence of the battle is not.

        2. Jim

          James Levy stated:
          “Science if done properly doesn’t give a shit about what we want things to be. It looks at what is.”

          But what if there is no scientific experiment in the world that can fully address the initial acts of conceptualization that yielded the hypothesis that is being tested?

          Isn’t it the case that Science (experimentation) can only adjudicate a claim that has been defined. But if defining a claim in a hypothesis is a function of closing theoretical indeterminacies that allow us to pinpoint what is being tested, then those tests cannot speak to or resolve those indeterminacies. And if these indeterminacies exist prior to the inauguration of the scientific enterprise and are not resolvable by it–and if they serve as a precondition for their being science altogether– then science understood in a crude, positivist sense it either after the fact or besides the point.

          It just may be that there is as much circularity in Science as there is in Religion or in your perspective on the nature of reality as in my perspective on the nature of reality.

          1. James Levy

            So all opinions are equal? So there is no sun? No air? No cancer? No Ebola virus killing people in Africa, because I can’t possibly know that there is an Africa, or people, or an Ebola virus?

            I don’t see all these indeterminacies that postmodernists always ramble on about in prolix, jargon-laden “discourses”. I think they are a fraud that only people who never had to kill to eat or make a fire in order not to freeze dream up because they are utterly cut off from material reality in their ivory towers. I would like every person who talks in that manner to spend a month homeless in New York some time between November and March, or go back and spend a month in the Ardennes Forest in the winter of 1944-5, then come back and tell me about their abstract theories of reality.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            You make a good point, Jim.

            Similarly, the brain is not capable of conceiving what it has been designed or has not evolved to conceive.

            That’s why a cat does not worry about tomorrow.

            And we don’t understand things that we will never understand.

            1. JTFaraday

              Notice how below at 2:27 pm, he either a). cleverly leads the witness starting with question two or b). unconsciously forecloses the question.

              Either way, he got the answer he could have predicted out of the subject by leading him along a well worn mental path.

              Someone will surely say this sort of thing is social science and not science itself, and therefore his “post-structuralist” point about how the human limitations of the researcher defines science is moot.

              Okay then.

  3. Banger

    I urge everyone to read today’s “must read” if you aren’t familiar with Steele’s work. Steele is a holistic thinker who sees the big picture and I agree with his basic ideas of an open source world based on sharing–sounds corny but it is also radically rational. According to Steele we are in a kind of pre-revolutionary situation in the West that is waiting for some catalytic moement.

    One of the beauties of this age is that, if we take the opportunity to look around, there are many people from radically different perspectives all coming up with excellent insights, analyses, and proposals that run directly counter to the direction society is heading in. We are faced with two basic paths–we can move towards opening up to new possibilities, new ideas, and a restructuring of human society based on humanistic and spiritual (meaning higher-order) conceptual frameworks; or, we can allow the system to manipulate our fears, status needs, compulsions, addictions, tribal hatreds and narcissism so we plug into the sleep of popular culture. If you go along with conventional thinking and seek security over morality, indulge in fear-based thinking then you are aiding the system that will manipulate you as you cocoon into the Matrix. The choice is, still, take the red pill or the blue pill and it is a choice we make every day.

    1. Carolinian

      But haven’t we been hearing the referenced article’s “knowledge is power” assertion since the internet began? Doesn’t seem to be working out so far. The internet is a great way for finding out things, but as a political instrument I’d say it’s been a flop. As Cersei says to her brother in Game of Thrones after having him seized, threatened and then released: “power is power.” Which is to say even the internet–which can be turned off–exists only at the sufferance of governments.

      1. Banger

        Note that the emphasis was not just as knowledge but the idea of “sharing” of open-source which is actually a very radical idea. The sharing of information and even the open-source movement hasn’t really worked to bring the major change it could bring because we are still stuck in a society based on force and coercion. The oligarchs have a neo-police-state to swim in guaranteeing them the opportunity to collect rents and tolls on everything we do and the right to kill us if that is their pleasure.

        It will take a spiritual revolution as JohnL notes to really make things change.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Haven’t you heard? Uber and airbnb are “sharing.” “Open source” is just plain old anti-capitalist, communist socialism that steals the “value” of people’s “labor.”

          People who are better and more worthy than you.

      2. diptherio

        The 5 Star Movement in Italy and the dude who just beat Eric Cantor would both disagree with you on the internet being a “political flop.” So would all the Occupiers, and the Arab Spring demonstrators…

        1. Carolinian

          In what way did the Occupy movement change the power relationships in this country? The powers that be picked a night, went in and busted heads.You could say they “did a Cersei.” And the Arab spring hasn’t been working out too well lately either. If you really want social change then you are going to need a mass movement–to enlist the masses–but those people don’t spend a lot of time reading about politics on their computers or phones. They can be reached through television, but you’ll note that the powers that be have that locked up fairly completely. They know where the power lies.

          And it’s news to me that Cantor lost because of the internet. Last I heard it had a lot more to do with talk radio.

          As for Steele’s manifesto, as far as I can see it’s just another cloud castle because it makes no allowance for actual human behavior. If we were all happy cooperators then the world would be bathed in socialism at this point. But we are in fact part of Nature and Nature’s not like that. A fundamental human instinct is to create societies based on hierarchies. And because of our nature, our instincts, then if you are going to try to change those hierarchies you are going to have to fight for it. Power is power.

      3. Bunk McNulty

        “Preconditions are not the same as precipitants. We are waiting for our Tunisian fruit seller.”

        VLADIMIR: Let us not waste our time in idle discourse! (Pause. Vehemently.) Let us do something, while we have the chance! It is not every day that we are needed. Not indeed that we personally are needed. Others would meet the case equally well, if not better. To all mankind they were addressed, those cries for help still ringing in our ears! But at this place, at this moment of time, all mankind is us, whether we like it or not. Let us make the most of it, before it is too late! Let us represent worthily for once the foul brood to which a cruel fate consigned us! What do you say? (Estragon says nothing.)

    2. JohnL

      Banger, it’s looking like a spiritual revolution that we need. I’m not sure if we just haven’t evolved enough as a species, or if TPTB have just become too adept at keeping us fat, dumb, and scared.

    3. Eeyores enigma

      Yes, I often wonder why the negroes never chose to evolve into a more humane existence.

      1. susan the other

        What a perceptive comment Eeyore. In spite of your sarcasm. The answer is probably that our particular “negro” underclass was prescient. Enough to ask themselves why they should waste their precious energy participating in an illogical system. Nixon once commented on his own racist observation that Africans were unable to form nations like the rest of the world. I consider that inability to be a genetic plus if there ever was one. Because contained in that refusal to join up and hand over personal responsibility is the salvation of what’s left when the whole thing falls apart. I like Robert Steele’s insights alot. It isn’t a complete analysis; it lacks depth. Nothing ever is. The big question in my mind is what will happen to currency. But it is just such good sense for the most part that it almost gives me a sense of the future.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


        Africans are those whose ancestors stayed behind at humans’ first home.

        The rest moved out, first the Arabian peninsula, then the Middle East and then the rest of the world.

        Wherever these wanderers went, their human-cousins/hosts, the Denisovans, The Hobbit Man, the Neanderthals, became extinct.

        Back at home, in Africa, our common ancestors evolved from something earlier. That something (what is its name?) also became extinct.

        For some reason, we are without close relatives…except distant ones, like apes.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Oh, Great Daddy Ancestor, why do we humans have no other close relatives?

          1. VietnamVet

            It gets even weirder. Our ancestors trace back to some caves on the South Africa coast. The oldest human burial is only 100,000 years ago. This is an instant in evolutionary time. We have been conscious of death for a very short time. Either we had an extraterrestrial intervention, or before then humans didn’t have culture and society as we know it now. Unless, we can stop the neoliberalcon rush to a global nuclear war, all we know will only exist just for a flash.

        2. Mark P.

          ‘Wherever these wanderers went, their human-cousins/hosts, the Denisovans, The Hobbit Man, the Neanderthals, became extinct.’

          Eh. Not wholly true. We absorbed the Neanderthals to some extent, since approx. 3 percent of modern human DNA — specifically, of those modern humans descended from populations that left Africa — is from Homo Neanderthalis.

          Some anthropologists and population geneticists believe that Neanderthals possibly were more evolutionarily inclined to cooperation than Homo Sap. Though stronger physically, their skeletal structures left them more vulnerable to structural, spine-breaking damage. Hence, for instance, Neanderthal hunting parties had to cooperate closely when taking on mammoths and such.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Mark, when we talk about endangered species, this is according to Wiki

            An endangered species is one which has been categorised by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as likely to become extinct.

            We don’t count what portion of their DNA will live through related species. To say it is not wholly true they become extinct if some portion of their DNA survives, then does it mean they are not wholly endangered???

            1. Mark P.

              ‘Then does it mean they are not wholly endangered???’

              In a couple of very real senses, sure. And I’m not trying to perversely argue a contrary POV to yours

              [1] Species — fish, plants, birds, human beings — are just receptacles that DNA pours itself into so as to move around and replicate itself. A genetically static species — one not transitioning into its successor species — is usually a dying species, cockroaches and sharks aside.

              Species-classifications are much more arbitrary divisions, and much more lateral gene-transfer (without the mechanism of species reproduction) has always taken place, than most non-life-scientists understand.


              [2] Additionally, de-extinction via synth-bio technology is much more possible — and probably coming much sooner — than people have yet realized.

              Sure, a recreated woolly mammoth will only be a genetically-altered elephant with modifications like, say, hair and enhanced hemoglobin production that permit it to survive in semi-Arctic conditions. And yet if it fills exactly the same space in its ecosystem and looks and behaves exactly as the mammoth did, what will the differences be?

              We will find out. Because this sort of thing is going to happen. There is an enormous schism in conservation biology over this right now, but this is where conservation biology is going.

    4. DakotabornKansan

      Václav Havel, The Power of the Powerless. One spark, one massive fire.

      At the time of Václav Havel’s funeral in 2011, posters of Havel with his back to the camera, walking toward the ocean went up all over Prague. On these posters was the following quotation expressing one of Havel’s most deeply held beliefs:

      “Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.”

      “Ideology is a specious way of relating to the world. It offers human beings the illusion of an identity, of dignity, and of morality while making it easier for them to part with them. As the repository of something suprapersonal and objective, it enables people to deceive their conscience and conceal their true position and their inglorious modus vivendi, both from the world and from themselves. It is a very pragmatic but, at the same time, an apparently dignified way of legitimizing what is above, below, and on either side. It is directed toward people and toward God. It is a veil behind which human beings can hide their own fallen existence, their trivialization, and their adaptation to the status quo. It is an excuse that everyone can use, from the greengrocer, who conceals his fear of losing his job behind an alleged interest in the unification of the workers of the world, to the highest functionary, whose interest in staying in power can be cloaked in phrases about service to the working class. The primary excusatory function of ideology, therefore, is to provide people, both as victims and pillars of the post-totalitarian system, with the illusion that the system is in harmony with the human order and the order of the universe. . .

      “Let us now imagine that one day something in our greengrocer snaps and he stops putting up the slogans merely to ingratiate himself. He stops voting in elections he knows are a farce. He begins to say what he really thinks at political meetings. And he even finds the strength in himself to express solidarity with those whom his conscience commands him to support. In this revolt the greengrocer steps out of living within the lie. He rejects the ritual and breaks the rules of the game. He discovers once more his suppressed identity and dignity. He gives his freedom a concrete significance. His revolt is an attempt to live within the truth. . .

      “The original and most important sphere of activity, one that predetermines all the others, is simply an attempt to create and support the independent life of society as an articulated expression of living within the truth. In other words, serving truth consistently, purposefully, and articulately, and organizing this service. This is only natural, after all: if living within the truth is an elementary starting point for every attempt made by people to oppose the alienating pressure of the system, if it is the only meaningful basis of any independent act of political import, and if, ultimately, it is also the most intrinsic existential source of the “dissident” attitude, then it is difficult to imagine that even manifest “dissent” could have any other basis than the service of truth, the truthful life, and the attempt to make room for the genuine aims of life.” – Václav Havel, The Power of the Powerless

      1. Mark P.

        “Ideology is a specious way of relating to the world.”

        Ideology is a crutch that relieves humans of the burdens of having to think. Always.

    5. William

      Agreed, a must-read on several levels. But the only way I can share his optimism is if open-source knowledge and learning preceed any revolution. This means deprogramming of a century of media and primary education and then open-source (open-mind) re-schooling everyone.

      1. Banger

        Indeed that should be our focus. Education is the key which is why I’m interested in education alternatives to public school and the accepted high school and university curriculum.

    6. Vatch

      I hope I’m wrong, but I seriously doubt that we’ll see an expansion of open source knowledge. Too many powerful people and institutions are standing in the way, and most other people don’t seem to care. A month ago, it wasn’t even possible to get 100,000 signatures in support of any of the White House petitions for Net Neutrality! Sure, we’ll have Open Source for anyone who is willing and able to pay for it.

      Mr. Steele thinks the major preconditions for revolution are present in the U.S. and the U.K. Has there ever been a significant period in history when the major preconditions for revolution weren’t present?

      1. Eureka Springs

        Indeed. Among so many things open source would require no ability by corporations government to meter, throttle or censor… as well as establishing truly high speed affordable fiber to every home.

        As for petition signing… when does that ever really work if the petition is at all challenging the ptb’s /status quo? And I’ve watched the definition of net neutrality metamorph deeper into feckless with each and every turn for many years running. Like the slaves I ain’t playing in a fixed game… one which by design never even asks the right questions…. much less puts those demands in a petition. (Net neutrality should begin with establishing highest fiber speed, affordable for all, imo).

        1. Vatch

          Hi Eureka Springs. You’re correct that petitions often accomplish nothing, but sometimes they do have a beneficial effect. They can warn the PTB to back off from some of their more extreme positions, which would be a partial success. The failure of the White House Net Neutrality petitions tells the PTB that the rest of us aren’t even powerful enough or committed enough to get a relatively small number of people to take a simple action on behalf of this issue. Fewer than 0.03% of the residents of the U.S. signed. This failure reminds everyone that we’re sheep eager to be shorn and turned into mutton.

          1. Gerard Pierce

            You could also consider the possibility that a large number of us who believe in Net Neutrality also believe that Obama has zero interest in what any of us believe.

            There is little point in putting your name on one more fundraising list when Obama has demonstrated that he and his Administration don’t give a damn.

            1. Vatch

              Of course Obama has no interest in what we think. The point is that if the signature goal is reached, someone on his staff will have to write a formal response, which will be posted on the web site. The response will either explicitly state that he doesn’t care about Net Neutrality, which could then be used against him, or it will lie that he does care. In the latter case, it could also be used against him, since it would contradict his behavior, such as his appointment of industry servant Tom Wheeler to be the chairman of the FCC.

              And my previous statement is still valid, that the ability or inability of people to muster 100,000 signatures is a meaningful sign of strength or weakness.

  4. yenwoda

    “3,137-County Analysis: Obamacare Increased 2014 Individual-Market Premiums By Average Of 49%”

    I won’t have time to read this until later but the byline (Avik Roy) makes me instantly skeptical of what we’re comparing to our apples, here.

  5. Swedish Lex

    On Philip Pilkinton and the death of the euro.
    Well, yes……..
    Although right now we are in printing mode so could take time.
    I guess that the non-existing plan consists of :
    1) Draghi managing or not to convince the Bundesbank and Berlin to let him print another trillion to see what happens, if anything.
    2) Hope that the new EU Commission President (whoever that is) will be less of a lame duck than Barrosso. Not excluded that the European Parliament during the confirmation hearings of the next Commission (July and onwards) will demand more action. Overall, not much to expect on this front.
    3) Berlin will decide as usual – after checking with the Bundesbank first. Whatever is perceived as Germany’s interests, seen through the weird glasses that the Berliners use (“follow the rules now matter how stupid”) will determine the fate of the euro. Political lightweights in other capitals – starting in Paris – will continue to follow the commands of the Kaiserinn.

  6. dadanada

    Today’s must read is the anti-thesis of the ownership society….it implies the end of intellectual property rights, patents, and copyrights…

    1. Eeyores enigma

      “…the end of intellectual property rights, patents, and copyrights…”

      Yes and our ability to rent those things to others in order to make a living. Not going to happen.

      1. Banger

        In a more trusting and convivial society this notion of “making” a living, i.e., provide some market-based product or service would diminish. I think the whole copyright thing was a net-positive to the development of our civilization and is now a net-negative, certainly as it stands today. I believe it stunts innovation, creativity and leads to the rich getting continually richer and the rest of us are caught in a unfriendly and alienated society where we have to often do obviously negative things to “make” a living. We are at a different stage of human evolution and we need to resurrect the old idea of a guaranteed annual income.

    2. McMike

      lol, he called the policy sector people stoopid.

      In any case, we can expect him to be found with child porn, or committed a note-less suicide soon enough.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s possible there exists an Idea-Realm where Idea-Beings live.

      Idea-Beings are immortal – they were not born and they don’t die.

      We humans can travel to the Idea-Realm and when we recount our trips, when they are told for the first time in this human realm, we so far mistakenly believe the adventure-story tellers to be ‘inventers,’ when they are just sharing some stories…’sharing’ being the key here – they don’t own the Idea-Beings in their stories. We simply share time with Idea-Beings and amongst ourselves.

      This, I think, is how I recall my journeys in the Idea-Realm. Thought I’d share it. I don’t ‘own’ this comment (though I am responsible for it, should it be malicious or inaccurate on my part).

      Anti-ownership of ideas extends beyond patents and intellectual property rights. It spares us from ever tedious attribution of authorship (a form of ownership, profitable if employed cunningly, leading to, for examples, tenures, publication or awards).

    4. Kurt Sperry

      Indeed. From the piece,

      “We have over 5 billion human brains that are the one infinite resource available to us going forward. Crowd-sourcing and cognitive surplus are two terms of art for the changing power dynamic between those at the top that are ignorant and corrupt, and those across the bottom that are attentive and ethical. The open source ecology is made up of a wide range of opens – open farm technology, open source software, open hardware, open networks, open money, open small business technology, open patents – to name just a few. The key point is that they must all develop together, otherwise the existing system will isolate them into ineffectiveness. Open data is largely worthless unless you have open hardware and open software. Open government demands open cloud and open spectrum, or money will dominate feeds and speeds.”

      How does one square that with a broad notion that ideas are monetizable individual “property” and require a huge aggressive state apparatus to punitively protect? One doesn’t I think.

      Maybe not an end of “intellectual property rights, patents, and copyrights…”, but a different approach to them. So-called intellectual property, like individual wealth, is almost invariably built within a social framework. Big money scholarship, research and patents are incubated in a public academia deliberately starved of resources so as to have to go to the very people who will profit for funding and the benefits are monetized by a very small group. This not only perverts the directions of research, but builds in incentive for fraud (see BigPharma ad nauseum) and steals the fruits of public education and research and withholds them for ransom from the commons where they rightly belong. The common good is ignored so a few people can make obscene wealth–pretty much a microcosm of the larger global social ecology.

      As for the theft of ideas, perhaps it should be categorically decriminalized. Let the wronged pursue civil remedies at their own expense should they desire, the government should only provide the court to argue in.

  7. Jim Haygood

    From Gallup:

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans’ confidence in Congress has sunk to a new low. Seven percent of Americans say they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in Congress as an American institution, down from the previous low of 10% in 2013. This confidence is starkly different from the 42% in 1973, the first year Gallup began asking the question.


    Hard to credit that seven percent of our peers still retain confidence in these 435 feckless clowns. But some folks will believe anything!

    1. Jim Haygood

      Sorry, 535. Forgot about the forgettable ‘Senate.’

      As they used to say when Kerry was there … ‘Hey, who brought in the talking horse?’

      Bwa ha ha haaaaa

  8. Luke Nolan

    Isis storms Saddam-era chemical weapons complex in Iraq

    Kenya al-Shabaab attack ‘was led by white man speaking fluent British English’

    US scientists may have been exposed to anthrax
    “FBI investigating after 75 workers may have come into contact with the live bacteria at a government facility”
    “The safety breach in the nation’s premier bioterror lab raises new doubts about security measures at the CDC, whose infection control protocols are held up as a model to the world.”

    Ukrainian forces attack eastern cities after giving rebels ultimatum
    “Kiev’s “anti-terrorist operation” to take back the Donetsk and Luhansk regions told rebels they had three hours in which to give up their arms, according to the spokesman Vladislav Seleznyov. They dropped leaflets on the city of Krasny Liman, which has seen heavy fighting in past weeks, offering rebels a “last chance” to save their lives by putting down their weapons.

    ‘You will all be destroyed! There will be no further warnings!’ the leaflets read, according to a copy published by InfoResist – a thinktank linked to Kiev authorities.”

    1. Luke Nolan

      UPDATE 1-First oil delivery from disputed Kurdish pipeline set for Israel
      “Iraqi Kurdistan looked set to unload its first cargo of disputed crude oil in Israel from its new pipeline after weeks of seeking an outlet as Iraq’s central government has threatened legal action against any buyer.

      The SCF Altai tanker was anchored near Israel’s Ashkelon port early on Friday morning, ship tracking and industry sources said. The tanker is expected to dock early on Saturday, local sources said.

      Securing the first sale of oil from its independent pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan is crucial for the Kurdish Regional Government as it seeks greater financial independence from war-torn Iraq.

      But the new export route to Turkey, built to bypass Baghdad’s federal pipeline system, has created a bitter dispute over oil sale rights between the central government and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG).”

      1. Doug Terpstra

        Mike Whitney in “It’s All for Israel” — “Obama is running a protection racket just like some two-bit Mafia shakedown-artist from the ‘hood. And I am not speaking metaphorically here.”

        Why? As I suggested yeterday, the first rule in understanding the Great Game in the ME is not “follow the money” but rather asking, “what’s Israel’s agenda?” It now appears almost certain that the al-Qaeda offshoot we spawned in Syria, trained in Jordan, is now serving the Scionist agenda in Iraq (perhaps as al-Qaeda served an agenda on 9/11/01?), to threaten an insufficiently servile al-Maliki.

        Whitney concludes “The only reason to
        dissolve Iraq, is Israel. Israel does not
        want a unified Iraq. Israel does not
        want an Iraq that can stand on its
        own two feet. Israel wants to make
        sure that Iraq never remerges as a
        regional power. And there’s only one
        way to achieve that goal, that is, to
        follow Yinon’s prescription of
        “breaking up Iraq …along ethnic/religious lines …so, three (or more)
        states will exist around the three
        major cities: Basra, Baghdad and

        “This is the blueprint the Obama
        administration is following. The US
        gains nothing from this plan. It’s all
        for Israel.”

    2. Luke Nolan

      Pelosi: US ‘must’ fight terrorism in Iraq, but not with Iran
      “Maliki has to be convinced that it’s in the greater interest of his country to retire,” Feinstein told Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel during a Senate hearing on defense spending.

      “What is the administration thinking … on that subject? Because that’s the one place where Iran can be of help, if they want to.”

      Pelosi didn’t hesitate in opposing that view.

      “I’m not one who’s interested in working with Iran on this. I think you have to be open to where you can get support for things, but I don’t have the confidence level that [they would help],” she said. “Right now we’re trying to stop Iran from having a nuclear weapon. That can’t happen.”

      1. Mark P.

        If Tehran truly had wanted nuclear weapons — in the way that the Kims and the DPKR did, despite the pitiful Norkean industrial base — Iran would have them by now. It’s that simple and Iran has first-class scientific talent.

        Sure, they want the strategic potential to be able to assemble a deterrent in a hurry if pushed to the threshold. Lots of countries, like Japan, have chosen that option.

        Short of that threshold, the Iranians are smart enough to know that nuclear deterrence is vastly overrated, enormously expensive, and inherently unstable.

  9. McMike

    Re web host & user content. Isn’t someone in jail for material posted on his web site under the terrorism regs?

    It would have been interesting for the author to make the connection between this case and that.

  10. dearieme

    “the CDC, whose infection control protocols are held up as a model to the world.” Especially by the CDC, I dare say.

  11. McMike

    Re online ads.

    Well; duh.

    effin’ with the magic indeed. Google and Facebook have inflated a bubble in a formerly sleepy-ish long term con job, and sooner or later it will pop. Hung by their own petards, the internet ad firms will provide the data to prove what their clients had long suspected: most of the the ads are less than worthless. (and, since it is a bubble in the crapified era, we will learn that a lot of the billable activity was sketchy or flat out fraudulent as well).

    Online ads are classic Gresham’s Dynamic at work. Everyone does it because everyone else does it.

    1. Mark P.

      No. You’re wrong.

      The article says ‘For a large, well-known brand, search ads are probably worthless.’ That might have truth.

      But I know too many small and medium-sized companies that have grown their business by multiples once they played Google’s game and got into SEO. Nor do those businesses like playing, and paying Google’s increasingly exorbitant Adword rates. They do it anyway, because they see the sales drop-offs that can happen when one doesn’t or even when Google simply (and unilaterally) decides to change the game.

      Facebook is a bad joke, of course, and the sooner it goes away the better.

      1. Synopticist

        I know a few guys who’ve built really succesful businesses from google, and also linkedin.
        No-one I’ve ever met in real life has had a single good word to say for Facebook advertising. A total con.

  12. GuyFawkesLives

    Uniform Law Commission is writing “Home Foreclosure Procedures Act” to make foreclosure crimes legal. And allow the banks to grab the houses faster. Please read:

    The 2014 draft of bill on the right side. Also read all the comment letters from NY Federal Reserve, Cleveland Federal Reserve, American Bankers Association, MERSCORP, Inc. and more banker influence!
    Making MERS legal. Making intentional destruction of promissory notes legal. Making good faith optional as violation of good faith not a cause of action. Allowing for a creditor to appoint anyone they want the authority to foreclose.

    IT IS SO HORRIBLE. Their national conference is happening July 11, 2014, in SEATTLE. Seattleites are rallying in protest against this Home Foreclosure Procedures Act, but we need some national attention to make this protest big enough to make a difference.

    JULY 11, 2014.
    NOON at Westlake
    Marching at 12:30 pm to The Westin where the conference is being held.

    Please help spread the word. Let’s not make grabbing homes easier, shall we?

    1. susan the other

      And don’t forget about the new federal title registry designed to replace MERS as the agent which facilitates buying and selling of titles without any need to record these transactions. Just the first and last ones, that’s all.

      1. GuyFawkesLives

        Susan, Thanks for paying attention. Very little of that happening at this point. What is interesting is that most homeowners wrongly believe that if they keep paying these criminals, they are not affected by these crimes. I have shown this to be absolutely false. In the final pay-off or reconveyance, the banks are eliminating the LIEN, not eliminating the DEBT. Big fucking difference.

        But, people just seem to think if you don’t pay your mortgage, you deserve what you get. F*** our stupid populace. Sheep. All of them leading the masses to slaughter.

  13. sufferin' succotash

    Kitty Thought Balloon: “Why can’t I get out of here and why are these people talking funny?”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      With my cat, what seems like an invitation to pet her tummy is but a trap to bite my hand :(

  14. cripes

    Re: Open Source…

    His thinking goes far beyond internet or computer-code open source, which is our first association with the term. It’s more of an integrated theory of resource allocation and sharing. Is it possible in this complex civilization to reverse five centuries of enclosing the commons? Maybe so. Some money-quotes below.

    Is this a crisis of capitalism, then? Does capitalism need to end for us to resolve these problems? And if so, how? “Predatory capitalism is based on the privatisation of profit and the externalisation of cost. It is an extension of the fencing of the commons, of enclosures, along with the criminalisation of prior common customs and rights. What we need is a system that fully accounts for all costs. Unfortunately, the gap between those with money and power and those who actually know what they are talking about has grown catastrophic. The rich are surrounded by sycophants and pretenders whose continued employment demands that they not question the premises. As Larry Summers lectured Elizabeth Warren, ‘insiders do not criticise insiders.'”

    1. JohnL

      Trying to get our HOA to give the board permission to buy a piece of property to prevent development on it from trashing our drinking water wells. Vote in a week and, despite being called a socialist by a couple of folks, it looks like we will prevail in effectively recreating a commons out of what is currently privately held land. An exciting thing.

      NC will be among the first to know!

  15. McMike

    Well, we (humans) have had revolts in the past. So this is not like a first time thing.

    Experience seems to show us that the revolutionaries tend to morph somewhere along the line into a new flavor of the same problem.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s hard to tell revolutionaries who want revolution to address injustice or simply to put themselves in charge.

      You might suspect that Stalin might have told himself that he wanted to get rid of a despotic autocracy but at the end, he was one himself.

      Similarly, many of the Hippie generation turned into yuppies.

      So it goes.

      New generations of idealistic youth…some truly idealistic and some, simply because they are not in power.

      It’s like that trick – never let a catastrophe go by without taking advantages of it.

      So, to help those at bottom, instead of new money (money creation) directly to them (as much as the people want), we ‘uncover’ the idea most people have not been aware of (except a few exceptional ones) – that the government can spend as much as it wants (of course, to help the needy and not for some imperial/security adventures. Why the doubt?) in order to trickle (some of it) down to the people.

    2. cripes

      So, since what replaces the old regime may carry legacy problems, we should just continue as we are? That may not be possible. BTW, i am nor fixated on the word revolution, that can carry a variery of meanings, besides Robbespiere’s terror. Maybe “sea change” suits you better? Epochal shift? Take your pick.

  16. JohnL

    I usually wake up pretty early, 4-5 am Pacific time, and one of my guilty pleasures is to read NC on my phone in bed while the rest of the household is sleeping. Well this morning my peace was shattered by that bonus video which woke up my wife, the cat, and both dogs, who promptly demanded tea, food, and a pee in the yard respectively. Any way to embed those things so they don’t go off like an alarm clock? My thanks in anticipation.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I have this happen with all sorts of videos when I visit sites. AllI can suggest is turning the sound down or plugging in earphones so the sound isn’t audible to third parties.

  17. Luke Nolan

    Missing Israeli teenagers: Jenin clashes follow arrests
    “Clashes erupted after 30 Palestinians were arrested in the investigation over the missing Jewish seminary students.

    The total number of Palestinians detained in the search is now 280.

    Israel says 200 of these were “operatives” of Hamas, who Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accused of abducting the students.”

    That the Israelis are even bothering with the pretense of being principally focused upon locating these teens is quaint. I’m reminded of this morose interview Norman Finkelstein did with the Melting Press back in February where he made some dire forecasts for the future of Palestine:

    Alternative Voices Ep. 2: Norman Finkelstein
    “Well first of all, the situation in Gaza is horrendous now. There was several, I think it was about a dozen human rights organisations put out a statement two or three days ago describing the situation in Gaza. It’s absolutely horrendous but nobody cares unfortunately. So in terms of Gaza itself the situation is certainly as bad as it was on the eve of the Israeli massacre in Gaza in December 2008. On the broader question I don’t really agree with you, I think there is a better than a 50/50 chance the Kerry juggernaut is going to succeed and the Palestine cause will be defeated. I think for reasons, for which you did in my opinion correctly allude. The Palestine question no longer occupies the political and moral salience that it once did. There are many reasons for that, obviously Syria and other places have a greater salience than the Palestine question. The fact that the Palestinian people have essentially given up, so there is no longer any significant civil resistance among the Palestinians. The fact that the Arab world has now broken down in internecine conflict and a number of countries which theoretically were publicly identified with the Palestinians, like Saudi Arabia, are now quietly and not so quietly aligning themselves with Israel against Iran, for all sorts of reasons. For the first time since the Palestine question emerged on the global scene which is basically the time of the Balfour Declaration, you could say roughly a century ago, for the first time in this century the Palestinian question has been reduced to its rather puny geographical limits, basically it’s a provincial struggle at this point. It’s been emptied of its moral and political, i don’t want to say content, it’s moral and political elan. It’s no longer symbolic of anything bigger, which the Palestine struggle was, say in the 1970s, it represented an idea, something bigger than itself so to speak. Now its not bigger than itself, now you might even say it’s smaller than itself. It’s chief representative is basically a mongoloid hunchback, Abbas, with his terrifyingly imbecilic side kick, Saeb Erekat, these people are not going to inspire the way say Che Guevara did.”

    “I think they’ll redraw the border, the border will be the wall that Israel has been building. The rest of the West bank, once the border has been redrawn. is clearly not viable, there’s nothing there. Once Israel appropriates East Jerusalem, appropriates the critical water resources, appropriates a lot of the best and most arable land, there’s nothing left. At some point there’ll be some kind of arrangement made with Jordan with maybe some local autonomy for the Palestinians.”

  18. cripes

    Another though on “Open Source”-even the preeminent crtics of capitalism on the left have fallen to the errors of industrialism, militarism, technocratic elitism, authoritarianism. By reproducing the structures of industrial capitalism, they end up reproducing the problems, including unhealthy concentrations of wealth and power. Steele’s proposal does bring elements of Occupy’s distributed leadership,Argentine Horizontalism, open source technology and more. We do have to think in terms of structural change that transcends great men, ism’s and ideologies.

    1. Glenn Condell

      ‘We do have to think in terms of structural change that transcends great men, ism’s and ideologies.’

      + 1000

      Open source politics is necessary, via a reversion to the Athenian practice of voting daily on issues of the day, rather than pissing in the ocean every four years. We are not made free but held captive by elections and parties and the great men and grand ideologies that profit from them.

      Only this time we let the slaves vote… especially the slaves, often referred to here as sheep. I understand the reaction which goes ‘first we need to deprogram from x hundred years of brainwashing’ or even ‘x thousand years of hierarchical behaviour’ but you have to start somewhere and I favour the deep end – democracy in real time on a citizen owned transparently open source internet platform. We may go under a while but if we can rise to the surface at least we will be able to breathe. We are beginning to suffocate right now.

      1. Kurt Sperry

        I quite agree. Direct democracy is for the first time technically feasible and it seems like the only answer. Representative democracy leaves too small a group that needs to be bribed or co opted to prevent corruption. Make them bribe us–all of us. It obviously won’t be perfect but it’s got to be done.

        The common people (as Steele explicitly notes) are frankly smarter and better qualified to make political decisions that affect them than any elite.

  19. Jim

    Banger stated above that “Part of the appeal of Eastern philosophies is that they offer technical means of meditation and other practices….”

    Banger, to the extent that our individual identities seem to consist of both the acting and thinking self it strikes me that such practices of various sorts (from formal mediation to physical exercises) are crucial to our cultural understanding.

    If such “practices” bring each of us deeper understanding how our passions operate within us, the extent to which we are controlled by habits, and the degree to which we grasp that our individual psyches are full of muddled ideas, then perhaps it is time to consider such practices as a key part of any cultural/political/economic revolution.

    A couple of weeks ago you raised another issue related to culture/habits which I think is extremely important.

    You stated something to the effect that our politics may still be stuck in some of the unresolved issues of the 1960s. Again I think you are on to something here which should be publicly discussed.

    I recently came across an article in the New Yorker by Susan Falludi which appeared, I believe, in the April 15, 2012 issue entitled “Death of a Revolutionary.” The article discusses the life and death of Shulamith Firestone, one of the founders of the radical wing of the feminist movement of the 1960s

    In essence, according to the article, Firestone, at one point, was essentially ex-communicated from the political movement she helped to create. Firestone had earlier suggested that women begin to get together separately and discuss their common experiences—which began extremely popular and became a technique of analysis which helped launch to idea that the personal is political.

    But Firestone was then attacked by a portion of her “sisters” as having “male hormones (ie. being overly dominant and elitist. This “trashing” over the nature of leadership in the growing feminist movements took place in the 1967-1970 period.

    The group of women who apparently won that debate was the “anti leader” faction—whose methodology of leadership was, perhaps, most recently on display in Occupy Wall Street.

    Is the personal political?

    Did women’s rage begin to masquerade as a pseudo-egalitarian radicalism which became more and more vicious?

    Would the institutionalization of additional practices of self-reflection have minimized the damage and allowed a more complete debate on the nature of leadership in political movements?

    1. JTFaraday

      Probably if, say, I ever started a blog, it would start out being a “Burkean Parlor” and end up being the “Shulamith Firestone Memorial Apartment.”

      “Nullius in verba”

  20. Johann Sebastian Schminson

    When it comes to science vs. spirituality, we might figure out the ‘what’, but I doubt we’ll ever know the ‘why’ of it.

    Personally, I rely on Edwin Abbott’s ‘Flatland’ to better understand my inability to understand.

    No one, in my experience, comes closer to explaining limited perception than Abbott.

    The caterpillar cannot imagine being a moth, but it “dies” and becomes one. The moth looks back at it’s fear, as a caterpillar, of the unknown, and pities its former self.

    1. Banger

      Yes, Abbott really does offer one of the best guides to understand the multi-dimensional world of the spirit. But that world can be interacted with if you are patient–the whole project of analysis and conceptualizing, however, does not work–you have to give all that up in that realm.

    2. F. Beard

      The why is simple enough: Learning who can be trusted and to what extent.

      This life is thus a test.

      Remember: Lucifer was created PERFECT but STILL rebelled. God has/is going to a lot of trouble to prevent future troubles along those lines..

  21. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Who won Iraq? Lost dreams, lost armies…

    Not mentioned in the headline, but not forgotten – lost arms, lost legs, lost lives…

  22. Luke Nolan

    NYPD terror chief: New Yorkers among American Islamists in Middle East
    “New York City’s counter-terrorism chief has claimed that Muslim Americans from the city have travelled to Syria and Iraq to join jihadist groups such as Isis, and could return to attack the US.”

    “’I would be hyper-concerned about the people over there from New York City on the presumption they’re going to return to New York City,’ [John] Miller told the New York Daily News.

    But he added that he was equally concerned about jihadists from cities such as ‘Chicago, Minnesota, Portland, you name it’, and said: ‘If their mindset is to return to America and to engage in terrorist activities, they’re likely going to end up in New York anyway.’”

    Background information on John Miller:
    “John Miller is the Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence of the NYPD. He is the former Associate Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Analytic Transformation and Technology.[1] Prior to that, he was an Assistant Director of Public Affairs for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), where he was the bureau’s national spokesman. Miller is also a former ABC News reporter and anchorman, perhaps best known for conducting a May 1998 interview with Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan.[2][3]

    John Miller was named a senior correspondent for CBS News on Oct. 17, 2011. In this capacity, Miller reported for all CBS News platforms and broadcasts, including “CBS This Morning” and occasionally for “60 Minutes.”[4]”

    Please don’t take offense, Americans–I’m not laughing at you, I’m laughing with you.

    1. Luke Nolan

      ‘Inventing terrorists’: New study reveals FBI set up terrorism-related prosecutions
      “Nearly 95 per cent of terrorist arrests have been the result of FBI foiling its own entrapment plots as a part of the so-called post-9/11 War on Terror, a new study revealed.

      According to the report entitled ‘Inventing Terrorists: The Lawfare of Preemptive Prosecution’, the majority of arrests involved the unjust prosecution of targeted Muslim Americans.

      The 175-page study by Muslim advocacy group SALAM analyzes 399 individuals in cases included on the list of the US Department of Justice from 2001 to 2010.”

      Here’s the study itself (pdf):
      Inventing Terrorists: The Lawfare of Preemptive Prosecution

      1. rob

        It is all a façade.
        The reality is, the towers were blown up. The planes were cover.
        The smoking gun was tower 7.(my guess is that is what flight 93 was supposed to be crashed into, before the passengers regined control and was shot down over pennsylvannia.How does a plane crashing into the ground, have an engine found 8 miles away?)
        Look at the documentary put out in 2012, on Colorado’s PBS broadcasting of architects and engineer’s for 9/11 truth “explosive evidence-experts speak out” the AE911truth group with @1500 experts in architecture,engineering,metallurgy,chemistry,explosives,demolition,physics,etc…. All showing in an hour long video, that what happened on 9/11 was not the result alone of planes crashing into the towers.
        The tower 7 proves that the towers were imploded.There is no other logical alternative.

        What this means is that 9/11 was planned. Planned by people in our gov’t.The hijacking was a diversion to a military operation. That means America was attacked. And taken over from the inside.Since then.. we have had bubbles blown and burst, war profiteering, imperial aggression, occupations…
        look at the mess in Iraq today… that was caused by the contrived war/occupation in Iraq. The founders of this nation were very specific as to what constitutes a high crime. To falsely lead this nation into war.
        If anyone needs to be tortured, we should start with dick cheney.then don Rumsfeld, then condi rice,paul wolfowitz,etc….then bill Clinton, colin powell, tony blair…. and all the rest who have stolen this century so far from the American people. And been an affront to all good people around the world.

        As bad as these crimes of wall st. are, they pay for these new world warriors to play their games…. the big crimes are the atrocities their plans have wrought, and the losses of life, the suffering of the survivors, the emptiness of those who will always be separated.
        as an American , I am fucking pissed as hell that these bastards are still calling the shots…. and schmucks like dick cheney has the audacity to chide others for “their” roles in present day Iraq….

        There is no limit to hypocrisy.

        1. Glenn Condell

          ‘There is no limit to hypocrisy’

          Or to secrecy it seems, and getting away with the former relies to a large extent on the latter.

          But thanks to secrecy I guess we’ll never know.

      2. Banger

        My critique of Yoga and Buddhism is not concerned with the fundamental ideas which I found helpful in the past and now as well but it tends to be tinged with some notion that perfection is possible–it’s not.

        As for the women’s movement I take a somewhat jaundiced view of it because I saw feminism and black nationalism destroy the let movements of the time pure and simple. Yes, each group had its legit gripes but the way it actually worked is that power hungry characters took advantage of the mood of the time to garner their own particular ability to emphasize tribalism and resentment rather than actually caring to truly change society. This was not, for me, some abstract idea–I saw it with my own eyes.

      3. Banger

        Let me say straight out that while there are people who use terror to scare the bejesus out of people most of those are working for the national security state. The “terrorist” term is now and always has been misused by the state in order to justify repression. I will say, with considerable certainty, that the so called terrorist threat is mainly false and primarily a construction of the security services as part of a protection racket. Not to say there aren’t crazed people who go out and shoot schoolchildren and so on–but these mainly have nothing to do with AQ or Islamic radicals. We have to use our brains here–who actually benefits from terror attacks and also take a look at the history of U.S. And British involvement in aiding and helping fund Islamic fundamentalists particularly in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan/Afghanistan (remember it was the ISI that helped create the Taliban with cooperation and permission of the U.S.

      4. Doug Terpstra

        Al-Qaeda’s usefulness as our tool in Syria and now Iraq should give coincidence theorists some further doubts about their usefulness in the WTC attacks on 9/11, especially given the qerosion of US democracy following that event. It’s an “intriquing” connection at least.

  23. Ben Johannson

    Brad DeLong openly states something I’ve become increasingly convinced of over the past six years: economics should not be bringing mathematicians and physicists into the field. They’re too ignorant of history, psychology, sociology and anthropology to be of use for much more than mathematical abstractions. Economics is far too messy a field for the precision demanded by the hard sciences and does not conform to clearly defined laws. It is a social construct.

    1. Kurt Sperry

      The mathematical hocus pocus in economics is I am convinced just smoke to intimidate and convince the average mathphobic commoner there is some empirical rigor or even greater intelligence behind the curtain. To scare away the curious and to bestow putative authority to a corrupt process. It is there for the same reasons that masses were given in Latin centuries after the language was dead. It’s theater, misdirection, to lend authority and gloss to what is really just a pseudoscholarly pretense for theft, deception and exploitation.

  24. Keith Ackermann

    Has anyone noticed the little battle going on over at cryptome with Glenn Greenwald? They have quietly released his latest book online in protest over Greenwald’s not sharing his Snowden files.

    They have a point.

    They calculated that at the current rate of release, it will take 70 years to see the docs. If you look at what’s been released so far, it is truly scary stuff. GCHQ, in particular, are talking about the total collection of ALL data, especially social data on everyone. They talk about shaping reality and about the active circumvention of existing laws to continue their programs.

    Greenwald has admitted he’s not versed in this stuff. This stuff should be in more capable hands, such as Cryptome.

    I saw an oblique reference to the Intercept as an NSA partner.

    1. Carolinian

      Everybody wants a piece of the Greenwald. Funny how one person not complaining is Edward Snowden–who has said he does not want all the documents released. Clearly he’s the real shady character here. Or something.

      Guess “cryptome” will have to find some other way to draw attention to themselves.

      1. Keith Ackermann

        So you think Greenwald should be the arbiter on all this? I’m sure Cryptome would be as responsible in the release of the info as they have to be. Their experience and expertise in these matters dwarfs Greewald’s. Nothing against Glen – I just think this is much bigger than him. Read the docs.

      2. Keith Ackermann

        One more thing…

        There is no way this stuff is a secret from anybody but the public. If Snowden, one of thousands of sys analysts with his level of clearance (not even a HS diploma) can walk away with all these docs, then it’s inconceivable that the Russians or whoever don’t already have them.

        Reading the docs, I got the distinct impression the NSA etc really don’t care who knows what. They have the equipment and the access, and that’s all that’s important. These guys are bragging about circumventing the law. I don’t think we should wait 70 years to find out the rest.

        1. Kurt Sperry

          Thank you for pointing out the obvious I’ve been saying and saying since the whole Snowden thing broke and that is being studiously ignored by even the putative left and here– that any information thousands of people have access to isn’t secret in any real sense. One must assume the Russians, Chinese and any other state with a functioning intel operation that had access to hookers, blow and 100 dollar bills had at least one inside source and knew all this long before Snowden broke cover. If states–even “hostile” ones–discover this stuff, they keep quiet to protect their sources. No damage done there from the perspective of the security state. The real danger isn’t that other states will learn what is going on–they obviously already know if they care enough to find out–the real danger is that the American public finds this stuff out. A foreign state cannot existentially threaten the US security state (turn off the funding) in any case, the only possible real threat to the US security state is an informed and angry electorate.

          1. Keith Ackermann

            From what I’ve read so far, the danger is well founded. The systems these agencies are bringing online dwarf all other possible means of state control. Orwellian doesn’t even begin to describe the capabilities.

            Read the docs, folks. It’s not just reading mail. Just one of the capabilities they are developing is the ability to shape the information you see in realtime.

Comments are closed.