Links 7/18/14

This amazing rainbow insect is actually a wasp Gizmodo. An anti-antidote, from Lambert for a change.

Research supports the notion of the ‘hot hand’; baseball players always believed in it Washington Post

Why the modern bathroom is a wasteful, unhealthy design Guardian

Why the Myers-Briggs test is totally meaningless Vox

Giant hole appears at ‘the end of the world’ in Siberia Independent (Chuck L)

Opinions divided over mysterious 80-metre wide crater in northern Siberia Sydney Morning Herald

Who Are The World’s Richest Oil Barons? OilPrice

First-of-its-Kind Map Details Extent of Plastic in Five Ocean Gyres EcoWatch

Microsoft To Cut Workforce By 18,000 This Year, ‘Moving Now’ To Cut First 13,000 Tech Crunch. Cuts falling heavily on Nokia staff, which is producing ire in Finland

China Home Prices Fall in Record Number of Cities on Price Cuts Bloomberg (EM)

China Traders Jittery Over Huatong Bond Default Warning Wall Street Journal

Thailand’s Crisis and the 1932 Revolution Diplomat

War climate in Crete as Syrian chemicals approaching its shores! failed evolution


Israel may widen Gaza offensive – PM BBC

We single Israel out because we in the west are shamefully complicit in its crimes New Statesman (Nikki)

How the West Chose War in Gaza New York Times

The Whys Behind Israel’s Gaza Slaughter (interview with Vijay Prashad) Consortium News (Nikki)

Israel Firing Experimental Weapons at Gaza’s Civilians, Say Doctors Blacklisted News (John C)

Everyone In Middle East Given Own Country In 317,000,000-State Solution Onion

Israel: In 1967 Blockades Were Acts of War, in 2014 They’re Totally Awesome Jon Schwartz


Malaysian Passenger Plane Crashes in Ukraine Near Russian Border Wire. Has a detailed timeline.

Malaysia Airlines crash: Rescuers recover second black box Financial Times

It was just a matter of time before a civil plane was shot down in Ukraine’s SAM-infested airspace Aviationist

Malaysia plane crashes: Amateur footage believed to show crashed Malaysian Airlines Telegraph (Chuck L)

Readout of President Obama’s call with Russian President Putin ABC

The Risk of Tougher Sanctions on Russia Real Clear Politics

Kiev deployed powerful anti-air systems to E. Ukraine ahead of the Malaysian plane crash — RT. Lambert: The Russian side of “he said/she said.”


A List of People Who Supported the War in Iraq Rogue Nation. A cheat sheet for discourse on Gaza, Ukraine, and of course Iraq (for the record, Stoller recanted)

If Iraq Were in Central America David Swanson, Firedoglake

Imperial Collapse Watch

World Cup chants reveal true state of U.S.-German relations Reuters

The Anglo-American Data Empire Marcy Wheeler

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

This Guy Is Cyberstalking the World’s Cats in the Name of Privacy Vice

Peeling the onion: Almost everyone involved in developing Tor was (or is) funded by the US government Yasha Levine, Pando (bob)

Another Right To Be Forgotten Request Backfires Completely TechDirt

Snowden: NSA employees routinely pass around intercepted nude photos ars technica (Nikki)

The deep state: data surveillance is about power, not safety New Statesman

Lawmakers challenge spending billions more on wars McClatchy

Democrats far outspending Republicans in 10 key Senate races, figures show Guardian

Amend HJR 119 To Abolish Corporate Constitutional Rights! Move to Amend (Carla)

The gas company that says it can take your backyard Aljazeera

SFO’s alleged fake screener is a high-powered financier SF Gate. EM: “Another victim of Dominique Strauss-Kahnitis, apparently.”

MA mayor: City to donate $5 for every angry, anti-LGBT caller Glenn Beck sends after us Raw Story (furzy mouse)

Fed kicks off global dollar squeeze as Janet Yellen turns hawkish Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph. Important. And we warned readers in our Yellen post that she was the most hawkish member of the Administration in the 1990s, and was more of a monetarist than she pretended to be in her New Yorker interview (notice her fixation on NAIRU).

The Fed’s Bully Pulpit on Wall Street New York Times

Senator Warren Lets Yellen Know She’s Had It With the Fed’s Charade About Too Big to Fail Pam Martens (Chuck L). Be sure to read the part about Stanley Fischer.

Young adults drive record U.S. trend of multi-generational homes Reuters. EM: “I’m sure the spinmeisters at the NAR will manage to cast this as ‘bullish for housing’.”

Class Warfare

Real inequality: why things are better than they seem and will almost surely get worse PBS. A reader critical thinking exercise! A starter issue: notice the focus on costs and not on greater work force instability and the rise of part-time jobs?

Billionaire’s bid to block beach goes to judge Associated Press. In Australia, there is no such thing as private beaches.

Reflections on an Unforgiving Day Stratfor. Paul Tioxon:

On days like this, it is not the meltdown on Wall St or some other critical financial exchange that stops the world. It is that very old power of the warrior society within society that stops the world in its tracks and demands attention. The Stratfor piece is remarkable in its lack of speculation, lack of a rush to judgement, and a revealing pause to empathize with those people in other parts of the world who now know what it is like when violence, military violence of the most devastating order reaches out grabs and you by the throat. And even if you survive, you never forget the choking sense of death, your death, can happen on any ordinary day. And on a scale that includes your family, your community and your whole country. And we have witnessed such a day where the military power of nations is unleashed on civil society, for whatever reason, in several places, in escalating scope.

Antidote du jour:

links sleeping cats

And a bonus video of a very cute platypus (Lance N):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. craazyman

    Myers Briggs nonsense smack-down! Truth lives! I still remember getting that test once and thinking “This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen. Who can believe this crap? Are they insane? They must be.” How many bureaucrats have made their paychecks foisting that monstrosity on innoncents. Another triumph for the behavioral sciences! How much nonsense does a man have to climb through to see the truth of the world? You need ropes and pitons. It’s not so much a matter of enlightenment as getting humanity’s sh(t out of your face so you can see naturally.

    1. vlade

      Indeed – especially since there’s few ways how you can detect cheating (in this context meaning giving the test giver the answers they want).

    2. Banger

      Partly agree–certainly when used by HR departments the test makes little sense unless there’s a beef between two people and there it could sometimes make sense. The article you cite goes on to attack Jung and that bothers me quite a lot. The article comes from the stunningly simplistic reductionist “scientism” approach that if you can’t put it in a test tube it doesn’t exist. When dealing with the subtleties of the human psychology laboratory methods are limited and I say that as someone who comes from a social science background and believe the field has done a lot of great work. For “depth psychology”, counselling and so on Myers-Briggs classifications make a lot of sense but it cannot be applied in a cookie cutter industrial way. Since most jobs in the conventional economy are basically modeled on the industrial model it’s obvious that Myers-Briggs or Jungian psychology makes no sense since everything in the work world requires radical materialism and shallow psychology consisting of various carrots and sticks (usually sticks). The more subtle aspects of human beings rarely have much of a place in the contemporary workplace unless the workers have been working together for ages–even then most people like to keep their psychology and deeper feelings for their private lives.

      1. YankeeFrank

        Well said. I too disliked the article and thought it was silly to promote its supposed “superior” five factor test because those five factors are spectrum characteristics, as if the MB factors are not. Where I agreed is where you did – that MB should not be used in the way it is, and that the ‘institute’ behind it promotes it for that purpose and makes a mint from it.

      2. toldjaso

        And the “carrot/stick” paradigm is enforced through TINA to *working on commission* — which is just “piece work” for MasterRace profit, by another name. The starting point is to eliminate “working on commission” and other piece work (esp. by M-I “contractors”), and by eliminating the Anglo-Saxon model of the “tip” system whereby the receiver of “paid service” is obliged to contribute liquid capital to the funding of “employment” of a slavie/serf by a MasterRacRacketeer. The System Sucks, just like the usury that keeps the MasterRace’s Outsider Debt Hell and Piece Work By Any Name in place.

      3. montanamaven

        I’m with you,Banger. I tried to find out this guy’s qualifications to call Carl Jung an “outdated analytical psychologist”. The effort to keep Jung in his place as some sort of quack (pot calling the kettle black) reminds me of the orthodox free market Chicago Boys economists who won’t let the heterodox /Marxist/socialist/anarchist economists publish in the mainstream journals.

        I switched majors in college from psychology to theater and film. Nobody taught Jung and only Freud. 25 years later I discovered Jung first through Joseph Campbell’s “The Power of Myth” and then taking the Myers/Briggs and really studying it. I find it very useful as a tool in dealing with different clients who saw things in a different way. If you read Isabel Myer’s original book “Gifts Differing”, it’s a positive way of approaching differences in the way people relate to each other and the outside world and to the inner world which is more spiritual. “We are all of one body, but with gifts differing” is from “Romans”. It is much more “we” oriented which is another reason the “me” “scientists” don’t like it. Somebody said (don’t remember who) that the 20th Century had been the century of Freud (the me century- Adam Curtis calls it the “Century of Self”) and with any luck, the 21st century would be the century of Jung (the we century).

        There is so much wrong with this article that I don’t know where to begin. It’s not a personality test. It’s a type indicator. It indicates your preferences. And you decide if it seems like an apt description of yourself. You prefer extroversion, but you can sit by yourself and find solace in just being alone. You prefer to make a decision based on logic and fairness( Thinking), but try to remind yourself to take others into consideration when making a decision (Feeling).
        Jung understood how these preferences would then be influenced by your environment, your parents, your peers. He explained the change a healthy person makes by a process he called individuation. He said that in your early years into your twenties you should lead with your strengths or preferences. But to be a mature healthy adult you would need to try to put yourself in others’ shoes; to try to understand introverts if you were an extravert and try to understand empathy if you were more inclined to logic which might appear cold.
        Isabel Myers said that “judging” should be limited to your self; whereas perceiving should be used with others because it is kinder. Ian Welsh wrote a piece once called “Default to Kindness”.
        Oh if we all would do that, we would not be shooting planes out of the air and spreading misery around the world.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          I have found Myers Briggs useful in dealing with people at my clients whose behavior and priorities made no sense to me. And I do find some of the ideas useful, like the perceiving/judging distinction and how people on one side of that divide drive people on the other side crazy.

          But using personality tests to screen for jobs is nuts, if nothing else for the obvious reason that candidates can game them.

      4. craazyman

        I wouldn’t put Jung down. I admit I didn’t read it all. Just jumped around it & inhaled the sentences about the test for a hit of bias confirmation.

        The test is a spectacular exercise in reductive distortion.

        Here’s how it really works:
        “Begin with an individual, and before you know it you find that you have created a type; begin with a type, and you find that you have created–nothing.”

        -F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The Rich Boy”

        1. Paul Niemi

          Carl Jung gave his patients easel, canvas, and paint. He had them paint pictures of images they saw in their dreams. What a different time and place that was. But here is how he explained a trait: Two friends are walking in the woods and come to a stream. One leaps right across, without hesitation. The other hesitates a moment, then he walks down to where he can cross using some stepping stones. Do these two show a difference in personality? Jung said one showed extraversion and the other introversion, words he invented. Many behaviorists complained that Jung’s insights were mainly derived from his analyzing of himself, and that was how he reasoned the existence of the archetypes and the collective unconscious. One summer I read most of his books. He was a remarkably good writer.

          1. craazyman

            He’s the Woo-Woo King of the World. These crazy women nowdays who channel the Pleidians and the Zeta-Riticuli space brothers — Carl Jung hovers like a diety over their auras. They wouldn’t exist without Carl Jung. They’d be locked up someplace or they’d uv had to channel (no pun intended) their imaginative fertility around gardening or something like ceramics. No enabling confirmation by the books that load the shelves at Barnes & Nobels’ new age section. Freud would have none of it, of course, but then anybody who builds a theory of mind around a man screwing his own mother isn’t one to criticize, is he? haha. The two of them, what a pair of old balls they are.

            1. Paul Niemi

              It’s just craazy. Freud was afraid of Jung. Jung began to think that Freud was dishonest (he was), and in 1909 Jung became so upset with his friend that he told him something was going to snap. Then, feeling a sudden burning sensation, Jung telekinetically cracked Freud’s bookcase in half, with a loud report like a gunshot. It wasn’t the first time furniture had cracked apart in Jung’s presence; he had once snapped a large, round walnut table down the middle by what he thought was force of mind, so he went on to investigate paranormal things like “synchronicity.”

  2. Carla

    Many thanks to Yves for posting the link to send a message to the sponsors of HJR 119. Here’s the relevant information re: HJR 119 and SJR 19, taken from an email sent out by Move to Amend, regarding the charade taking place in Congress:

    “Yesterday HJR 119 was introduced in the House of Representatives. This is the companion bill to SJR 19 in the Senate. While these bills propose a Constitutional Amendment, they don’t address corporate constitutional rights!

    If you’re confused, that would make sense, because some DC-based groups have been writing you saying otherwise — but let us be clear: this amendment will NOT remove constitutional rights from corporations!

    The amendment must match the demand of our movement: “A Corporation is Not a Person! Money is Not Free Speech!”

    Write to the co-sponsors of HJR 119: thanks for raising this issue, but we need you to address the core problems!

    Move to Amend has vowed that we will not support halfway measures that don’t amend the Constitution in two necessary ways:

    1) Make clear that only human beings, not corporations, have Constitutional rights;

    2) Make clear that money is not speech and campaign spending can be regulated.

    Tens of thousands of volunteers across the nation have been building a grassroots movement over the past four years from the bottom up. This movement didn’t come from Washington D.C. or political opportunists paying lip service to get your vote in an election year.

    This movement came from everyday people taking this issue to their city governments, to town meeting debates, to candidate forums, to newspaper opinion pages, and to the ballot box directly. Nearly 600 cities and towns have now passed amendment resolutions.

    Polling shows 80% of the American public believes that corporations should not have the same rights as people. State legislatures have been pressured to stand up as well, with 16 states passing resolutions calling for an amendment. “Ending Corporate Personhood” was a major theme in the demands that came from Occupy encampments across the country.

    Now is NOT the time to settle for less than is needed to make real the promise of American democracy!

    We can’t stop there. There’s a reason the Movement to Amend has been focusing most of our resources on a grassroots movement directed at the American people rather than at Washington D.C.

    We need to build power and capacity so the real amendment necessary — the “We the People Amendment” that ends corporate personhood and money as speech — is what passes. Halfway measures, whether fueled by co-optation or lack of vision, threaten to take the focus away from movement building.

    Let’s not let that happen.

    Send a message to the co-sponsors of HJR 119… and then get involved with the local Move to Amend group near you, or start one up yourself!”

  3. abynormal

    Déjà vu, NSA pass around nudies…wonder if too many of them were also alter boys together

      1. abynormal

        actually…Falcon & the Snowman but Hoover works also
        can’t go around makin this stuff up now

    1. fresno dan

      I’m not going to say I told you so……because that would be ungracious…maybe the moral equivalent of I told you so, but not technically in so many words…..

      Reply ↓

      fresno dan

      May 27, 2014 at 10:32 am

      Glenn Greenwald to publish list of U.S. citizens that NSA spied on Washington Times

      There is this genuinely menacing [spy] system and at the same time, [they] are really inept about how they operate it,” he said, Newsmax reported. “Not only was he out there under their noses downloading huge amounts of documents without being detected, but to this day, they’re incapable of finding out what he took.”

      They don’t know what he took because NSA doesn’t know what they have. When I was in the Air Force I worked at NSA, and what the people running the machines do with them versus what they are suppose to do are two different things. I suspect their are terrabytes of drone videos of Hollywood starlets nude sunbathing….

  4. JM Hatch

    “And yes, we would grieve for our countrymen before others, much as Russians, Ukrainians, Israelis and Palestinians grieve for their own. We are no better. But we live in a stronger and safer country for which we are grateful. It allows us to give advice and means we don’t have to experience our misjudgments, even on a long sad day.” “Reflections on an Unforgiving Day is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

    Sounds very Henry K! A real politic explanation of why we’ve had to (and must continue to) butcher so much of South & Central America, along with over half the rest of the globe, so we….”don’t have to experience our misjudgments, even on a long sad day.” that is until we start deporting bus loads of children, or surrender our freedom to TSA & the NSA.

    I can never quite forget Stratfor is in the business of selling access to State secrets, lobbying to keep the fires of the military industry glowing, and all that sort of wholesome goodness, so I take their stand on any issue with a jaundice view

    1. Jagger

      ——-What ties Ukraine, Russia, Israel and Gaza together is that they are all fighting for their lives, or interests that are so fundamentally important to them that they cannot live without them.—–

      Equivalency or false equivalency? Which of the 4 parties listed above does not own a single tank, a single combat aircraft or a single navy warship? Which of the 4 parties listed above is not a country? Which of the 4 parties listed above keeps acquiring new territory decade after decade for the last 60-70 years? Which of the 4 parties above is the US providing billions of military war material ever year for decades?

      Stratfor is a big believer in Might makes Right even though sometimes they must shed crocodile tears.

      1. Jagger

        ——And therefore, an endless and pointless debate rages as to who is right and who started the war in an infinite regression that goes back to times before any living Jew or Palestinian.——

        And nobody to blame here. I wonder who wrote this. It sounds straight out of the Israeli talking points.

        1. Doug Terpstra

          That’s the crux of it. It’s the way of the world as it is; no one is to blame. Presenting a dispute among equals, Stratfor repeatedly references Western “advice”, like this:

          ” it is their fight … it will be settled by steel and not by kindly advice or understanding.”

          … as if all the US is supplying to Israel and neo-Nazis in Kiev is kindly advice, not deadly weapons. Nice hand-washing there.

      2. Jim Haygood

        Proud of Israel’s smackdown of defenseless Gaza? Think how Hillary feels. In this slickly-produced video, she receives four — count ’em, four — endorsements from Israeli politicians:

        Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister: “I’ve just had the opportunity to work with her to achieve a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. Hillary Clinton is a strong and determined leader, she’s principled and pragmatic. She knows how to get the job done. … As someone who knows a thing or two about political comebacks, I can tell you that I don’t think we’ve heard the last of Hillary Clinton.”

        Hillary, comrades: peace through strength.

        1. Doug Terpstra

          A divine anointing, followed by a gusher of campaign bribes and weapons. The anointment ceremony, naturally, lasted longer than the cease fire.

      3. Tim Mason

        Avi Shlaim reviews Ahron Bregman’s “Cursed Victory” in the Guardian.

        Ahron Bregman is an Israeli scholar with impeccable liberal credentials who teaches in the department of war studies at King’s College London. He served in the Israeli army for six years, but left Israel because of the occupation and because of the military’s violent suppression of the first intifada. He is the author of four books on Israel and its conflict with the Arabs. Two of these – The Fifty Years War and Elusive Peace – accompanied BBC television series that drew on in-depth and remarkably candid interviews with key players from Israel, the Arab world and the US. Full use is made of that earlier oral history in the present book; it is supplemented by additional interviews.

      4. David Lentini

        “Stratfor is a big believer in Might makes Right even though sometimes they must shed crocodile tears.”

        Realpolitik, which is Stratfor’s credo, is another of those great Social Science concepts both anti-social and anti-scientific. Political Science has destroyed polity the way Economics has destroyed work and Sociology has destroyed civility. Each of these has done little more for mankind than justify bullying and slavery through pseudo-science and lies.

        To provide such a pat, almost patronizing, lamentation of such killing and destruction while justifying all aggression is sickening. I’d love to read Stratfor’s take on the Holocaust and Armenian genocide.

      1. JM Hatch

        Nice link, Trish. I’ll add it to the folder where I’ve got a few others, such as Stratfor email to clients about the disposition of Bin Laden’s body, made before the DOD’s informing the White House. Their immunity vs. the heavy hand on whistle blowers proves our nation is pure capitalist; anything done without commercial gain a crime, treason forgiven if it is profitable to a corporation.

    1. MikeNY

      That is a spectacular beastie.

      I spose it’s the parasite nature of it that makes it anti antidote, like the cuckoo and the cowbird. I like cuckoos (heard them in the wild in Italy a few years back, it was a thrill), but cowbirds are thoroughly unpleasant creatures: horrible, rasping call, hidjus plumage, and a nasty disposition. They terrorize my phoebes!

      I’m stung (with admiration) by that wasp, however.

      1. trish

        I love cowbirds. and grackles, all the blackbirds…I love the way they chatter with each other in the trees and saunter across lawns eating insects, croaking out their interesting talk…
        And unfortunately some people who despise them- with apparently their own nasty dispositions to rival the cowbird’s supposed one – poison them.

        1. MikeNY

          I don’t like them, but I would never poison them. Not even when the destroy — yes, destroy — the nests of my beloved phoebes who spurned the cowbird’s interloping eggs…

    2. fresno dan

      glad you got the correct link.
      Its like that Norwegian frog from a few days back, the coloring is so incredible its hard to believe its real – the bright, iridescent, bands of different colors. So many critters out there, and you wonder how many we are eliminating unthinkingly…..

    3. trish

      cuckoo wasps, mud daubers, potter wasps (they construct beautiful little pots for their eggs/larva), spider wasps…there are so many interesting, beautiful wasps out there. My youngest son has autism and his primary focus/obsession is myrmecology…I have gratefully learned so much. fascinating.

  5. optimader
    No one wants ownership of this one. This shit is an inevitability of what happens when you release the dogs of war, it really doesn’t matter who pressed then button. Civilians loose, fill in the blank why.
    I wouldn’t want to be Malaysian Airs insurance underwriter. If they didn’t have bas luck, they would have no luck at all.

    1. Jagger

      I don’t hardly pay any attention any longer but I do wonder why was a civilian airliner flying over a warzone in which planes and helicopters are getting shot down on a regular basis.

      1. Banger

        Many airplanes were in the area, interestingly. The reason I’ve heard is simple: money! The route over the area was the most direct route and therefore saved money and money, as some of us have heard, makes the world go-round. I would check to see, when flying, where you are flying over in the future. Now, much depends on how insurance companies react to this situation.

        1. Carolinian

          Fans of Microsoft Flight Simulator (me) can actually check the standard jetway route between any two cities. Between Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur the route is to the south of the rebel contolled territory, passing over the Sea of Azov. The Washington Post this morning says the plane was routed 200 miles to the north due to weather.

          And yes these routes are all based on the shortest great circle route in order to save jet fuel. However there are forbidden zones that planes do have to avoid.

          1. OIFVet

            Yesterday’s WaPo said the route wasn’t significantly different. Today it is. Will have to check the weather records along the usual route. Mistakes do happen, the timing and circumstances give me pause though.

            1. Carolinian

              washpost story

              The only variation — and Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 flew about 200 miles north of its normal path Thursday — would be if the pilot encounters bad weather, he said.

              Of course the Post makes this course change sound trivial but it was anything but.

      2. Yonatan

        Even more interesting is why the MH17 flight route on the 17th deviated 200 km northeast of the routes flown previously. All the other flights passed over the southern half of the Sea of Azov or over Crimea. MH17 was the only flight to deviate 200 km northeast taking to wards the land Ukraine/Russia border in the region of Donetsk. Ukraine has declared this a no fly zone for civil aircraft several days earlier. The deviation started in eastern Ukraine shortly after the way-point at Kovel. Why did the Ukrainian authorities allow it to fly towards an area they themselves regarded as dangerous? An air traffic controller reported radar showing that two military fighter aircraft approached the airliner about 3 minutes before the crash. Is this the case? If so, did they communicate with the MH17 pilots? Did the shoot down the airliner using air-to-air missiles?

        Cui bono?

        The Ukrainian military – which is suffering a massive defeat in the south east. This tragedy would deflect attention from that. A ceasefire would possibly allow the trapped troops to be re-supplied and regrouped into better positions. It may also lead to NATO involvement / war which would allow the Ukrainian government to blame others for the effects of the oncoming IMF austerity package and Russian gas shortage.
        The US – an opportunity to isolate Russia further and impose crippling sanctions, which they hope will lead to armed conflict in Europe. It would also be payback for Russian’s actions in the Syrian chemical weapon fiasco which made Obama look like a @?:*&%^$£&. Obama also needs to be seen being tough on someone somewhere as part of normal domestic US politics.
        NATO – an excuse for expanding forces into Ukraine justified as a means of protecting Ukrainian airspace from supposed Russian aggression.
        Russia – everything is very negative or neutral at best, unless this proves to be a desperate false flag attack run by the Ukrainians with/without US approval.
        Novorossia militia – everything is very negative or neutral at best, unless this proves to be a desperate false flag attack run by the Ukrainians with/without US approval.

        This all fits in very closely with the outcomes for the Syrian chemical weapon false flag attack blamed on Assad. The massive downside in Western MSM / politics is readily apparent. So why on earth would he do it? What would be the gain?

    1. diptherio

      Nope. I’m guessing he shook the dust of this website from off his sandals and moved on to other pastures, less crowded with unbelievers, to continue his mission of spreading the good news about Jesus and stock-money.

  6. grayslady

    The article by John Nye has so many factual holes in it, I won’t even try to address what a silly piece of propaganda it is, other than to say that it sounds exactly what I would expect a Koch brothers-sponsored think tank to peddle. Can’t believe PBS allows this without all sorts of disclosures. Apparently, the P in PBS now stands for payoff.

    1. diptherio

      I can’t even get through the editor’s note without screaming at my computer.

      The more we try to chip away at income inequality, he explains, the more we’ll open the floodgates to other, more pernicious forms of inequality, like social or political connections, that aren’t so easily taxed away.

      WHAT?!? So he doesn’t think that income inequality itself leads to other forms of inequality? Was he laughing maniacally when he wrote this? O…M…G!

      1. diptherio

        Now pretend that a magical box is invented so that for pennies, either family can produce any material item they desire of any arbitrary quality.

        Whenever an economist has use a “magical box” to make their point, watch out!

        Not to Nye: one thing that the super-wealthy can buy that the rest of us can’t is LOBBYISTS! dumb@ss….

        1. diptherio

          Without early adopters who first fought to get Blackberries, and then iPhones, would the mobile market be as well developed?

          “Fought?” Like, in line at the Apple store? WTF is he talking about, “fought”? Does he know what the word “fight” even means? If I ever happen to run into him, I’ll have to give him a little English lesson, if ya’ know what I mean.

          1. fresno dan

            Wearing my double extra Reynolds aluminum hat, I might possibly speculate that electronic devices are way overpriced to begin with so that the price can be reduced to make the inflation rate look benign…..(or make people think they’re getting a bargain).
            But that would imply some super secret FED financial industry cabal (with a side conspiracy of Persian rug dealers who go out of business daily for years….) engaged to manipulate markets. And that’s just unpossible….

            1. hunkerdown

              Don’t underestimate the labor that goes into software. The better part of that mobile device is exactly that. Even the CPU, and no few of its peripherals, were written in a programming language then rendered into masks which form transistors.

              No conspiracy, just amortization. It just happens to work out well for the fake economy.

        2. Lambert Strether

          “a magical box is invented so that for pennies, either family can produce any material item they desire of any arbitrary quality”

          Yes. That box is called “the means or production.” Finance people think it’s all about magic because they are M-M’ people, not C-M-C’ people. Just saying….

    2. Banger

      PBS NPR and so on should never be supported–they are no longer “public” except in their name. Their programming is, generally, pro-government, pro-corporate, pro-NWO. They are along with the other major networks, part of of a highly sophisticated propaganda system controlled by the Corporate State (aka Deep State and so on). There are, mind you, excellent programs from time to time but there are specific lines they cannot cross.

    3. Mel

      I confess, I read the first couple of paragraphs, and I said “Food Stamps”, and I moved on. When the employees of your major business can only survive to come in to work because the government feeds them, then it doesn’t matter how easy it is to get a TV.

  7. abynormal

    isn’t it marvelous how Aljazeera does a bang up job on ‘our’ imminent domain and big oil. they nailed down the local government puppets and followed the money but i would’ve ended the piece with the larger picture:

    “Brady was trying to get Carlyle help from the administration on EPA permits, but the White House was uneasy about being seen as helping a private-equity firm while the Obama campaign was busy lambasting Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital. Brady contacted Vice President Biden and spoke by phone with Sperling, who said he talked to Obama.”

    …reminding us that protest or not the deck is always stacked : ((

    1. fresno dan

      And I’m sure that our president told him when he stopped the briefing on Ukraine and/or Iraq, to talk to a citizen and campaign contributor, that the laws of the United States are enforced impartially and objectively, without regard to the status, wealth, or political connections of the petitioner. All citizens have equal access and equal standing before the president…

      OW!!!! I hurt myself laughing….I MEAN it this time – I often say that, but this time its for real!!! I really can’t afford the copays and deductibles. Aspirin and whiskey…..

  8. Jim Haygood

    FedEx accused of drug dealing:

    FedEx Corp. was accused in a federal indictment of delivering prescription pain pills, sedatives, anti-anxiety drugs and other controlled substances for illegal Internet pharmacies. A conviction could be “material,” the company said today in a regulatory filing.

    The company was indicted on 15 counts of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and misbranded drugs and drug trafficking that carry a potential fine of twice the gains from the illegal conduct, alleged to be at least $820 million for it and co-conspirators. FedEx delivered drugs to Internet pharmacies that supplied pills to customers who filled out online questionnaires and were never examined by doctors, knowing these practices violated federal and state drug laws, according to the federal indictment.

    The company vowed to fight the charges, saying it can’t be responsible for the contents of the 10 million packages it transports daily and that policing customers would violate their privacy.


    What goes discreetly unmentioned in this article is that the government-franchised USPS is by far the most popular delivery vehicle for internet pharmacies. Is Usgov going to indict a creature of its own making? Why, no!

    Internet pharmacies perform a valuable service to help ordinary folks end-run the Big Pharma and medical gatekeeper cartels. Meanwhile, the predatory fedgov escalates its attacks on legitimate businesses, insisting that businesses ranging from banks to car dealers to common carriers act as stoolies to police victimless crimes ranging from ‘money laundering’ (an offense created out of whole cloth in 1986) to drug distribution.

    Have you snitched today, comrades?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Ever see The Third Man? Internet pharmacies are also in the Harry Lime business, of selling drugs as being higher dosage then they really are, past their sell by date, etc. Some of that even happens in the legit pharmacy distribution network, but it is vastly worse with Internet pharmacies.

  9. The Dope Report

    That’s a funny anecdote, “NSA! NSA! NSA!,” but the rest of the article is bullshit of the lamest sort, propaganda for morons.

    Germany and America see eye to eye? In terms of human rights and rule of law? A German judge would shit a brick if he saw the coerced confessions of the US plea “bargaining” system. Germany has a human rights court and complies with it; the US has jack shit. Germany aligns its privacy law with the European Convention; the US blows off the American Convention and ignores the Inter-American Commission.

    Questioning U.S. security guarantees, as well as Washington’s willingness to spend military (?!) capital on foreign policy? Where was this guy when Germany abstained on the Libya invasion resolution? No really, was he floating around in the womb? Where was he when Germany made the US “make its case” for war on Iraq?

    Do Eurasia Group’s clients pay for crap like that?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      The fact that it even admits the degree of public antipathy and then tries (not convincingly) to debunk it is what I found telling. I did put it in the “Imperial Collapse Watch” section.

  10. diptherio

    Re: Myers-Briggs

    There are two types of people in this world: those who think all the world’s people can be divided into two types, and those who do not. I am of the latter variety.

    1. Carolinian

      How about only one type? As you get older you start to realize people are a lot more alike than they are different. The Israel situation might be one example. The historic victims become the victimizers with a change in circumstances. Which isn’t an excuse. But it’s war itself that we should hate and try to prevent. A start might be an admission that our opponents are a lot more like us than we care to admit.

      Crazy stuff I know and the reverse of current U.S. foreign policy….

      1. Inverness

        Well put! We must recognize ourselves in others. Even when those others espouse deeply troubling views. This universalist approach allows us to understand suffering in a deeper way. Unless we can try to understand the others’ perspective, we’re doomed to failed negotiations.

        1. hunkerdown

          Oh, yes, the privileged special snowflakes need to be discouraged. I do what I can: I cut off luxury SUVs and get in front of speeding sports cars on the Interstate whenever I can.

    2. griffen

      Judge Smails – Danny, do you want to be for goodness, or for badness ?

      Danny Noonan – I want to be good, I want to try for it.

      Judge Smails – that’s very good Danny. Say, let’s have a Fresca.

  11. Banger

    Just a word on the Malaysian airline situation. The main issue here was whether this downing was accidental or intentional. A brief perusal of the media on this is that the propaganda organs are mainly posturing to blame Russia if there’s a slight chance that they can. What is interesting is that, from what I’ve seen, no one is giving any reason why Russia would deliberately shoot down an airliner or why they are the prime suspects. On the one hand we have a perennial unstable country trying to meld two parts of the country through force on the other hand a relatively stable country why is Russia the main suspect. Both countries have the capability to shoot down aircraft of that type.

    I certainly would not be surprised if the rebels shot it down accidentally–they may have acquired the missiles and just not known how to properly target it–I don’t know, but I can’t see that side deliberately shooting down a civilian airliner and the fact most of the media thinks that they have without giving any motivation is interesting. The usual media line is that Russians are, obviously, evil as we all know from the movies.

    Only the Kiev regime has a clear motivation to shoot it down–I refer to the famous Operation Northwoods document for reference. Interestingly the event happened just as Kiev was losing ground from a military POV.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Perhaps Mish can shed some light on why all eyes are being directed at Russia. According to him, the “rebels” have only one missile launcher unit and, according to both the rebels and Kiev, it doesn’t work.

      It certainly would be embarrassing if the US managed to convince everyone it was the rebels and it turned out later that they didn’t even have a rocket launcher.

      It worked once–WMD, yellow cake in a vial and all–but I’m thinking they might not want to try it again. There’s nowhere near as much credibility left to squander now as there was then. Sarin gas in Syria wasn’t even compelling enough to bring the mountain to Mohammed.

    2. Paul Niemi

      I’m bitter about what happened and don’t really care which side is more to blame. So I’ll say this: Civil sin is an evil act, perhaps legal, but leading to the breakdown of the norms of civil society. That’s what giving arms to Ukrainian militias is, a civil sin. It is what giving lethal arms to any group anywhere is, no matter if they pray correctly or live on top of oil fields or just accidentally happen to be in the middle of things.

      I looked at the site of the airplane wreckage in Ukraine. Why was this once fertile field uncultivated or not pastured? Then I realized it could have been because the men were all down at the local tavern being a militia. Just form a paramilitary group or militia, and Russia and the United States line up to offer you free rocket launchers, tanks, cannon, grenades, etc. Can’t afford uniforms? Simple, we know a few billionaires who will gladly pay to watch you march around. Then they will brag about it at the next fancy Palm Beach cocktail hour. Who really cares about grazing cows, growing corn, fixing roofs, delivering groceries, or hauling away the refuse? That’s all too mundane for our local heros. Don’t need to dress in camouflage to do those two-bit jobs.

      Civil sin is not actually defined. I made it up. But the concept fits what I see going on. It is a complete lack of respect for people’s basic needs. It eschews common decency and restraint with a proclivity to encourage strife. We have a civil contract that predates religion. People have a right to be safe in their homes and in their persons. They have a right to eat, drink, breathe, and take out the trash. Persons and groups who can’t respect that by interfering and meddling are rascals.

      1. Lambert Strether

        “Why was this once fertile field uncultivated” Very good observation and question! If there’s one characteristic shared by all the photos I’ve seen on this story (granted, very selective) it’s a desolate countryside. Meaning there’s more money to be made elsewhere. However made….

        I think “civil sin” is an interesting idea. (It connects in my mind to the “boobytraps” comment I left above; “whosoever causes one of these little ones to fall into sin” (from memory).

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          I just saw video on MSNBC of “soldiers,” I guess, they were wearing camo, tramping through fields of sunflowers in full bloom, taller than the men were. They used both arms to sweep the stalks aside as they, ostensibly, made their way to the crash site.

          The story also said that the fields were full of Queen Anne’s Lace which obscured, gruesomely enough, one of the victim’s gray-haired head.

          “Uncultivated?” Not to my eye, although probably to Monsanto’s.

          1. Paul Niemi

            I saw the sunflowers and also saw fields not being farmed. Regarding the Queen Anne’s Lace, sometimes in no-till farming, a field may be planted to a root crop like radish just because the roots go straight down deep to loosen compacted soil. The next season a new crop is planted. I don’t know if wild carrot does the same thing or serves as a cover crop, however, the mix of plants I saw looked volunteer.

    3. Paul Tioxon

      The greatest fear of military planners following WWII and up until today is accidental war incidents. The hallmark of the military anywhere in the world is an iron fist command hierarchy. Having control of your forces is the standing order of military action without which no move, counter-move can have a chance of producing mission objectives. Loss of control is equivalent to losing a battle or the war. No command, no army, just a directionless, armed mob. There is a secondary reason for martial law within the military. Wars end, but armies do not. They come home and must train for war in times of peace amidst civil society, with all of its social problems. The greater freedom of society, and any problems resulting, is too easily solved by calling out the troops to deal with situation. The border control hysteria regularly hears elected officials calling for the National Guard, drone surveillance and the full force of the Pentagon to wage a war against drugs, immigrants, etc etc all at the expense of our open, civilian routines.

      Daniel Ellsberg writing in his bio, ‘SECRETS’, talks about one of his projects as top secret consultant to study the far flung military that the US had produced and maintained in the aftermath of WWII. He says during this pre internet, pre satellite communication era, there were naval ships far out at sea, beyond command of the White House with nuclear launch authority. It was vested in relatively speaking, low level commanders. At the instance of a US Naval 4star theater commander in the Pacific, presidential delegation to launch a nuclear war was imitated over and over, to a larger, indefinite series of commanders, without knowledge or authorization of the president. Eisenhower directly authorized theater commanders under specific circumstances, communication outages with DC or presidential incapacitation. Communication outages with DC were daily occurrences at that time with the too big to manage military deployed across the world. (p. 32)

      A breakdown in command and control over firing a surface to air missile would be even more probable than launching a nuke. Accidental warfare is on a par with pan-demics, climate change as an unknown variable that could appear out of nowhere. Man made but none the less, currently, uncertain and possibly completely beyond control. The only thing under control is the response. For that we have to fight to contain larger scale escalation of military in retaliation, whether to send a message, showing resolve. Under these circumstance the highest and best use of the military is to cut our losses to where they stand. Total war is no longer a policy, limited warfare is the uneasy compromise we live with. The accidental war is in a category of why we need to limit even limited, so called asymetrical use of force. We find ourselves under the rules of chance and probability, and not even all too human emotion or reasonable plans. Trying to figure out the motivation behind an accident is pointless.

        1. James Levy

          If I am an anti-aircraft missile battery commander from the Federalist/Separatist/whatever side, I am highly motivated to shoot down the planes that are bombing my towns and killing my neighbors. However, I may, in my highly motivated state, make an error and shoot down the wrong plane. Therefore, I think you can have motivation and accident both at the same time.

      1. Lambert Strether

        I think “accidental war” is fine, more than fine, with elites if it remains small. Very profitable to arms dealers, mercs, spooks, bent technicals, media people, and shady operators of all kinds. (That is, small, and hopefully long-lasting, wars provide financing to a significant subset of our political class that focuses on “national security,” by which in essence is meant its opposite.)

        The thing that would break everybody’s rice bowl (by “everybody” I mean everybody Serious) is a big war, by which I mean a nuclear war. Which is why I find the Obama administration’s policies in the Ukraine so bizarre. Factions within the administration — with Obama’s support — seem to be seeking to corner Putin, and so far as I can tell, for no “reason of state” at all. I mean, who cares? If Putin wanted that part of the Ukraine, he would already have taken it! And when they corner him, what then?

        I recently read The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914, and it changed my view that WWI was an “accident.” In fact, there were factions in every great power of the day — France, Russia, and England, and Austria, in addition to Germany — who wanted war, and viewed the Serbian crisis as an opportunity — lunatic mediocrities with masterful bureaucratic infighting skills, rather like the neocons, who got their way through a combination of being properly placed in the respective bureaucracies, the long European summer vacation, and the differing incentives of the great powers as powers. There’s a wonderful vignette (I hope I get the names right) where two French politicians, Messimy and Poincaré, are making the rounds of the European capitals that summer. And Messimy (IIRC) physically and mentally loses it, trembling and incoherent, when he sees that Poincaré actually is seeking war, and that he’s likely to be successful, because he (Messimy) has an idea of what the consequences will be; he sees the near future.

        For those who came in late:

        1. James Levy

          I’ve come to the conclusion that the deepest issue was Austria-Hungary not wanting to surrender her status as an independent Great Power. The insult from Serbia had to be avenged; no Great Power (certainly not the USA, ever) could allow such a thing to go unpunished. Everyone else more or less, consciously and unconsciously, piggy-backed on that impetus to action. Russia knew the Serbs were guilty, and backed them anyway. France backed Russia because she had no other reliable ally and was convinced the Russians would steamroller the Germans. Germany backed Austria because she had no other reliable allies and felt isolated. Britain jumped in because she feared that Germany would win (or France and Russia would win and emerge too strong and obstreperous to control–Britain wanted to contain the winners and the losers either way). What they all forgot was that this was not 1783 and the war could not be turned on and off at the Ministers’ and Monarchs’ whim.

      2. ex-PFC Chuck

        I recall reading within the past few months that President Kennedy was appalled when, shortly after his inauguration, he learned of the extensive delegation of nuclear launch authority that had taken place under Eisenhower, and that he ordered SecDef McNamara to reel it back in to the president. A bloody bureaucratic conflict ensued between JFK and RSM on the one hand and the JCS and especially the theater commanders on the other. Lauris Norstad, the USAF general who was then the supreme commander in Europe, was especially tenacious in striving to keep his finger close to the red button. The civilians finally “won” that battle but the brass got their revenge; they ordered that the lactivation and aunch codes for every nuclear weapon be set to the default value of all zeros, where they remained long after both the president and the SecDef were out of the picture. Unfortunately I don’t recall where I read this but it struck me at the time as being a credible source.

        1. Paul Tioxon

          Ellsberg references Kennedy and Johnson who he claims were informed by him that this went on. Ellsberg’s book, gives you a credible source of information on the highest level of US policy due to his position. He was a US Marine, present at the Suez Canal crisis. He went on to get his PhD from Harvard in Economics, decision science of game theory. He was brought onto Rand Corp in its Economic Research Department. The clearances he had were higher than most civilian elected officials, taking in source material from all points in the intelligence bureaucracy, CIA, DIA, State Department Research. He claims Kennedy was in office for several months before he informed him of the situation of delegated nuke authority, which he then claims was given Kennedy’s approval, but on a secretive basis. The same for LBJ. I think it is important to realize the times. By 1960, WWII had only concluded 14 years previous. These were are the living combatants of that war now in the commanding heights of the super power that the US was and its far flung military forces, that spanned the world without challenge. Russia was just beginning to recover from the physical devastation of the war, as was Britain. We were developed so far beyond anyone at that time simply by not suffering the direct destruction of the conflict. The management structure for a civilian controlled but still rapidly expanding military machine had hardly been able to keep pace. It was a known problem, one that Ellsberg was brought in to get a handle on.

          Accidental war does not mean oops, I made a mistake, it means starting a shooting war based on complete error and no decision making process at all. A complete accident. Whether this applies to the Ukraine today, WWI a long time ago, I don’t know, but it has happened where we were on several occasions close to starting a major war based on machine errors, or lack of information due to communication system breakdowns. Friendly fire, when you kill your own, is an accident of war, but not a start of a war. Accidental war is the eruption of a conflict where there was none. It involves no deliberation, no decision making process, no going from one level of threat to a higher level of threat, it is responding to no threat at all, as if there was one. That’s why it is accidental, machine error, or bad delegation of authority. It’s point of origination lies completely outside of decided upon policy.

    4. fresno dan

      Considering information is coming from the US media, I am surprised we have not seen an article like this:
      An airliner was destroyed by weapons of mass destruction, by middle eastern terrorists/al Qaeda, Chechen, Islamists, backed, commanded, funded, and given jammies and smores by evil Russian hard liners, intent on destroying USA prosperity, freedoms, and way of life, as well as causing us to lose the World Cup, because everybody know USA number 1 in EVERYTHING.

      did I leave anything out????

      1. ex-PFC Chuck

        Didn’t you get the memo from Ann Coulter that soccer, which is misnamed “football” in the rest of the world, is un-American? Thus upstanding American citizens don’t care about the World Cup! In fact, I’m going to call my Congressman right now and urge him to introduce a bill requiring the NSA to collect personal data on all American football soccer fans. Oh, wait . . .

  12. Jim Haygood

    ‘We can expect a blistering dollar rally, perhaps akin to the early 1980s or the mid-1990s. The dollar did not rally in the tightening cycle of 2004 to 2007 but that was an exception.’ — Ambrose E-P

    In other words, it didn’t work last time, but this time round it’s a sure thing.

    Fact is, central banksters are like a herd of very dim-witted buffalo. They all graze, and periodically stampede, together.

    In the last go-round (2008), the Bank of England kicked off the QE madness. The US and Japan gladly followed suit. Eventually even the ECB, despite its minority delegation of stern teutonic board members, grudgingly introduced OMT (Outright Moonbat Transactions). Observe, if you please, the results. Every one of them has doubled or tripled or quadrupled its balance sheet:

    When the great retarded buffalo herd finally gets spooked into ‘normalizing,’ they will do that together too. So it will have no particular implications for the USD. Indeed, maintaining the whole motley pack of irredeemable currencies at roughly stable parities to each other is the secret to keeping the global Bubble III afloat. Should one of the major currencies fall off the high wire, the whole deal goes down.

    1. susan the other

      I think this is amusing, but I’m not really certain. Then, if I were, it would not be amusing.

  13. JCC

    Regarding the list of Iraqi War supporters, I’m not sure what the point is considering that, like Stoller, a lot of them recanted. Unfortunately many believe and trust what those in authority tell them right out of the gate, even well educated lawyers and other supposed skilled “critical thinking” professions. Many on the list like, Greenwald and Franken, have said they learned their lesson and have publicly admitted their mistake.

    With that said it’s unfortunate that some, like Franken and his support of Monsanto’s anti-labeling stance, haven’t learned it very well.

    1. Banger

      I think it is really important to be reminded of those names. I believe most of those guys aren’t directly paid or run by the CIA or whatever but they displayed very poor judgement but it was poor judgement based on American Exceptionalism which is still and ideology that much of the left clings to. I will quote a comment made on the site in regards to someone who knows Mark Bowden:

      Rather, Mark held to that baklava-in-the-sky idea of how great it would be to have a second democracy in the Middle East, particularly an Arab democracy. Bowden bought into the Cheney-Bush sales marketing of a democratic domino theory: That once Saddam Hussein fell and democracy came to Iraq, all other dictatorships there would also fall, and it would be “Spring in Arabia.”

      This attitude shared by many of the people on the list is a result of the steady denialism at the heart of “progressive” political types in the U.S. They have not studied and refuse to admit the reality of “deep politics” as defined by Peter Dale Scott and others. Things are straightforward for them–if the government makes an assertion it is true–the government might make mistakes or maybe spin reality a bit but there is no such thing as sinister conspiracies in the United States–because most progressives do buy into the whole “end-of-history” nonsense the neocons put out. Suddenly, because of the United States of America became a country–the normal Shakespearian plots and power-struggles ceased and well-meaning Americans just happened to disagree and made mistakes and blah, blah. No, power is no different for us than anywhere else and that’s the fatal flaw that still exists with those people who now claim they were mistaken.

      And here is the great problem these guys must contend with and why none on the list should be trusted. The information was out there to cause serious doubt on the government’s assertions–Scott Ritter, who was airbrushed from history by the American mainstream, was the foremost American expert on WMDs in Iraq and his voice was ignored. In fact, he was the guy who fought the hardest to insure that the WMDs were accounted for while some of the others on his side were playing bureaucratic footsie with Saddam.

      I have found that media-types, really believe their own propaganda and the demonstrably false narrative they espouse on many matters. It’s stunning how uncurious these “reporters” are about the history of post WWII events from Greece, Italy, Iran, Guatamala in the decade following WWII to the current time–always the same pattern endlessly repeated because U.S. media people routinely ignore history or looking at anything beyond the depth of what government agents tell them. I think that is changing now–I think younger reporters are more cynical and aren’t so easily fooled–doesn’t change the fact they have to report the same kind of crap–because if they told the truth they would be fired and never work again in their field–that has not changed.

      1. JCC

        Banger, you’re correct. I guess I was just feeling a little sympathy for Greenwald being on this list. Scott Ritter, who I followed daily on the run up to the Iraq Fiasco, was treated horribly, to include major character assassinations, including attempts to formally charge him with trolling for underage girls on chat networks. I heard him speak at a local small college in Upstate NY and found him to be one of the honest, real, good guys and a true American Patriot.

      2. James Levy

        I think that culturally opposition to Roosevelt’s interventionism circa 1939-41 (and the ability of people then and later to paint all those people as fascist sympathizers) made it almost impossible for anyone to stand up to determined government efforts to intervene overseas before that intervention when south. Who wants to be the next Lindbergh (ruthlessly slandered by Roth in his historical fantasy)? I know my father, who graduated from Brooklyn Tech in 1940, said that he and most of the people he knew were completely against intervening in Europe’s war (they started it, they can fight it) and my dad had a Jewish father and was miles from a fascist. It takes a great deal of courage today to stand up before the guns start firing and say, “NO”. It is also likely to hurt your career much more than getting it wrong and walking away as the neocons die (people hate to be shown they were wrong more than they hate the results to doing something wrong–better to say “everybody thought that way” and excuse yourself then admit that some people saw it coming and got it right; a long parenthetical, but you see this in Economics; how many people who predicted 2008 got hired by Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, and how many who screwed up completely lost their endowed chairs? Yea, nobody on both counts).

      3. fresno dan

        I agree
        You must feel vindicated:
        The deep state: data surveillance is about power, not safety New Statesman

        We really have created a bureaucracy that is beyond oversight – although I suspect the people who ostensibly are designed to be the overseeers like it that way.
        There is a very unfortunate “optimistic, pragmatic” meme in the US that anybody who delves into the past is some kind of subversive Unamerican, which is very useful to the people who get it wrong. It is simply ASTOUNDING that Cheney is given a public forum.

        I know my naiveté with regard to the inherent “goodness” of democracy was dispelled when I learned about Bernays (from NC) as well as this quote:
        Göring: “Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.
        Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.
        Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”

      1. Lambert Strether

        Any blogger who was playing whack-a-mole on WMDs in 2002 (among them, moi), to which one can add the usual suspects in the peace community. (However, if you wanted the detail on the administration’s perfidy — sadly, we did not think then that “the administration” meant any administration — there really was no better vantage point than being a left blogger. You got to see what happens when The Times goes into action. I think part of our problem is that 12 years ago is, for some, a long time ago. )

        Adding, I wish I had an honor role of people who made the right call. For all I know, it exists and I’ve forgotten about it. 12 years is a long time….

        1. trinity river

          Lambert, I think we need to honor those people who spoke up during that time 12 years ago. I was working 12 hours a day, but yelling (silently) at the NYT to allow them on their pages. Everything looked and smelled the same to me as the Vietnam war. Bill Keller’s mea culpa, not withstanding.

        2. Jim Haygood

          In the October 2002 roll call vote on the AUMF,133 representatives got it right (with a ‘no’ vote); 23 in the Senate opposed it.

          297 House members and 77 senators (including Kerry, Clinton and Biden) fell for the absurd lies. Kerry, Clinton and Biden all got promoted to executive branch positions.

          1. Banger

            And all of them knew the WMD issue was utter BS as did most or all of the big shots in the MSM.

        3. ex-PFC Chuck

          The only two that I’m aware of who wore a uniform at the time were a USMC three-star (whose name I unfortunately don’t recall) who was the Deputy Chief of the JCS for Operations who resigned when the decision to invade was made, and USAF Lt. Col Karen Kwiatkowski who was assigned to Dougie Feith’s intelligence cooking and stove-piping operation in the Defense Dept. It was her last gig before retirement and before she left she began whistle blowing via the late David Hackworth‘s website Soldiers for the Truth.

          1. Glenn Condell

            ‘the only two that I’m aware of who wore a uniform at the time were a USMC three-star (whose name I unfortunately don’t recall) who was the Deputy Chief of the JCS for Operations who resigned when the decision to invade was made’

            Zinni? Odom? Clark?

  14. OIFVet

    Audio “Proof”of Ukrainian Rebel Responsibility for Malaysian flight downing is fake: The video creation date stamp shows that it was created on the 16th. Precog abilities only exist in movies, so this leaves us with two possibilities: the recording is a montage, or the Ukrainian SBU has the wrong system date on their computers. Also, I am not particularly confident in their capability to do a near real time surveillance, neither am I convinced that rebels and Russian handlers would be discussing sensitive matters on unencrypted lines. Simple frequency hopping radios with burst transmission are ubiquitous these days and are impossible to monitor unless one has the encryption key used to program the FH mode for the networked radios and synchronize their times. Even a small fraction of a second in time difference between two radios and they can not communicate. Every US Humvee is equipped with one or two FH SINCGARS, they are cheap and secure when properly programmed and synced. I have no doubt the Russians and the rebels are working together, I have serious doubts they would do so on open lines given the extreme sensitivity of the situation.

    1. Carolinian

      Thanks for the info. You can already tell that certain parties are ready to go into propaganda overdrive on this. I think Putin made the most sensible statement–i.e no war in east Ukraine and no shootdown. The Kiev govt should have negotiated with rebels but many say the US is behind this resort to violence instead.

    2. OIFVet

      Zero Hedge summary of the Russian argument: Short: Russians tracked a Ukie Buk radar operating 30km south of Donetsk, datalink capability to transmit targeting data to widely dispersed mobile battery sites. Rebels do have Buk missiles but not targeting radar, without which shooting down high flying aircraft is impossible.

      I am extremely curious about radar data on the missile launch. This is key, and it is simply impossible the Russians don’t have the data which pinpoints the launch location. Sounds to me like they are biding their time, analyzing their data and building their case. I am convinced that the truth, whatever it is, will come out.

      1. hunkerdown

        “We don’t have the x” is bureaucratese for “We don’t want the x we have”.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        ” I am convinced that the truth, whatever it is, will come out.”

        I suspect you are correct, however, it may take awhile. “Remember the Maine.” I’m sure you know the story.

        And then, of course, there is the USS Liberty. I know you know the story.

        If history is any indication, the truth will be a long time coming. The consequences, however, are immediate.

      3. Carolinian

        For what it’s worth. Amidst this grab bag of speculation he does say the talked about missile launcher has a less effective onboard radar that can be used.

        But after watching some tv I’m beginning to think that we may not, in the end, get the truth of this incident. It’s already becoming obvious that the propaganda value is more important to the US govt than the truth and by the same token the rebels and Russians have to defend themselves from said onslaught even if they are accidentally (it’s hard to see any reason for it to be deliberate) guilty.

        Of course if the Ukrainians did it (those jet fighters) then we are guaranteed not to get the truth from the MSM.

  15. Jim Haygood

    ‘The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. increased 0.3 percent in June to 102.2 (2004 = 100), following a 0.7 percent increase in May, and a 0.3 percent increase in April.’

    Not a hint here that the first quarter GDP decline continued. Evidence keeps mounting that it was a one-off pause.

    1. MikeNY

      I think it is very possible that the wealth-effect engineered by the Fed’s QE has now become self-reinforcing and self-perpetuating. That is the only explanation I can think of for the construction booms in NYC and SF: you need someplace to house all those wealth advisers, lawyers, new tech billionaires, and high-end real estate developers. We have a bubble in billionaires right now. Of course, it has longer to play out that you think — bubbles always do.

  16. JCC

    On the PBS article and critical thinking (“notice the focus on costs and not on greater work force instability and the rise of part-time jobs?”), also notice the focus on costs instead of percentage of wages spent on necessities.

    “Moreover, even consumption, as measured by dollars spent, overstates inequality. Thus if I spent $400 a month on food and you spent $200 per month, my food consumption is double yours even if we bought exactly the same things at different prices.”

    I lived in downtown Hartford, CT., for a short time in a large apt. housing complex where few people owned cars, depended on public transportation, and were paid barely over minimum wage (it was a 4 square block Section 8 housing complex). Previously I had lived in a small town where even the poorest sections were close to large well-stocked and relatively inexpensive grocery stores.

    In the Hartford neighorhood I moved to, the nearest large grocery store was about two miles away, not on the bus line, and much too far to walk with both arms full of grocery bags. Plenty of franchised fast food joints dotted every block along with small bodegas on every corner where a loaf of Wonder Bread (the only bread these stores carried) would set you back $4.00, and that was 14 years ago! As a percentage of income, most of the residents in this area were generally screwed regarding immediate food purchases and paid large taxi cab fees to get to the cheaper food outlets.

    That was my wake-up call to the fact that this country was already past the beginning of a major downhill slide, and people like John Nye (whoever he is, until today I’ve never heard of this propagandist bonehead) getting space at places like PBS just reinforce the fact that A) lack of critical thinking skills is becoming a real problem in this country; B) income inequality is getting worse by the year; and C) PBS is no friend when it comes to an informed decision making process.

    As for the rest of Nye’s article, I found it disjointed and confusing, but then I was still on my first cup of coffee :)

    1. nony mouse

      I took it as deliberately badly written, to hide the gaps in logic that would be necessary to adduce that I am better off now than I was 10 years ago because I can purchase a different kind of TV (supposedly ‘better’ but in such minute ways that I don’t see a difference, really. so I can see cigarette smoke coming out of the actor’s nostrils in all its particulate glory) and a phone with a bunch of crap on it that would eat up all my time to learn how to use. this, even though food costs more, housing costs more, and transport costs more than before. in other words, all of the non-discretionary items cost more.

      in his hypotheticals, he does not ponder the time and money and resource wastage from living in the distant suburb for the ‘poorer’ folk. he doesn’t count having to commute long hours, which usually take time away from such vital things as food preparation and helping Johnny/Janey with homework. he doesn’t count the fact that even a trip to the local market to buy a half-gallon of milk in such places requires driving. he says that the differentials in lifespan are due to other health factors, even though I can see clearly that most of those other health factors are the result of not eating healthily nor getting good exercise, and probably most of all from being stressed out.

      so, I can be happy that I live in a distant suburb and commute in a crappy car hours out of my day everday for a crappy job, but my happiness depends upon having the same TV that rich people had 10 years ago. let us not mention the fact that the mass-produced crap of today–everything from a dust broom to a pair of underwear, is worse quality now than it was before.

      methinks this person has a difficulty with the concept of non-discretionary spending. they also have a problem with all that flows out of barely having enough to get by, and focus on total non-essential fluff items like having a Blackberry. Yeah, I can get one Blackberry that will last me a few years, but I can’t afford to BUY edible blackberries at the store anymore. that is a Mighty White article!

      1. fresno dan

        I’ll just add my hobby horse. Hedonics is not balanced by Craponics – Hedonics is the Panglossian view of the FED and its acolytes that it does a wonderful job…..despite 2 great depressions (the FED is a master of Bernays perception manipulation by calling this a “great recession”)
        Whether it is the inedible tomatoes, ever small airline seats, the inability to disconnect from either cheating cable or credit card companies, and on and on. we are not living in the best of all possible worlds

  17. Abe, NYC

    So I decided to prepare a little chronology of events as reported by Russia’s most famous news source.

    1. June 29th, 2014: Donetsk People’s Republic troops capture Buk surface-to-air missile system. “The Dome system can detect targets at a distance of up to 150 km, while the operating range of the Buk self-propelled missile system is around 20km.”

    2. July 17th, 2014: The fighters shoot down Antonov-26 in front of witnesses. “Another Ukraine Air Force transport airplane shot down by fighters over the town of Torez in Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast, witnesses report.”

    3. July 17th, 2014: Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 crashes at Snezhnoye settlement near Donetsk. “Another Malaysian Boeing-777 has crashed, but this time the location of the tragedy is known.”

    4. July 17th, 2014: Malaysian Boeing was shot at the altitude of 10km. Donetsk People’s Republic has no weapons capable of that.

    5. July 17th, 2014: Spanish air traffic controller reports on the source of the missile that shot down the Boeing. “Spanish air traffic controller, who uses nick Carlos Spainbuca and works at Kiev’s Borispol airport, reports that military air traffic controllers have informed the government in Kiev that the missile which shot down the Malaysian Boeing was not launched from rebel-controlled territory. He claims the airplane may have been shot by Ukrainian missiles.”

    6. July 17th, 2014: The Ukrainian missile may have been targeted at Russian “Flight One.” “A cofidential source in Rosaviatsiya stated that the target of the Ukrainian surface-to-air or air-to-air missile, might well have been the airplane of the President of Russia.”

    7. July 18th, 2014: Kiev’s attempts to lay responsibility for the crashed Boeing on Donetsk People’s Republic “ridiculous” – Kavtaradze. “RT reports: Kavtaradze explained that only sophisticated surface-to-air missile systems, which Donetsk People’s Republic does not have, are capable of hitting targets at such altitudes (the Boeing was flying at the altitude of 10.1km)”

    Although Pravda does not indicate time of day, the articles are listed in chronological order. You can use any other Russian government-aligned source for pretty much the same content. Many of them have deleted previous entries related to the acquisition of the Buk missile system and the supposed shooting down of Antonov-26 on July 17th, but they can still be found in Google archive.

    Draw your own conclusions, especially on how #1 and #2 tally with #4 and #7.

    1. ewmayer

      Mish details some of the apparent contradictions in several posts (here and here) today.

      The Antonov downing you mention is irrelevant to the “did rebels have a working Buk system?” question because that was a lower-altitude flight:

      To down a commercial plane flying at 10,000m requires a missile system of a sophistication until now regarded as well beyond the capabilities of pro-Russian separatists, raising the question of exactly what such a system might be, and more importantly, where it came from.

      For weeks, the militia forces in the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk have been waging a highly successful ground-to-air missile campaign.

      At least 10 Ukrainian military aircraft including Mi-24 and Mi-8 “Hind” helicopters, An-30 and An-26 transport planes and, last month, an IL-76 military transport carrying 49 troops have all been shot down this year.

      So far, planes in eastern Ukraine have been hit with missiles launched from Manpad – shoulder-launched – systems, with a limited range of around 3,500m.

      On the flip “U.S. side propaganda” front: The local CBS affiliate last night ran a clip from the CBS news headquarters, which mentioned the 3 main local actors – Kiev, E.Uk. rebels, Russia. They mentioned that the downing might have been by Russia or the rebels, but apparently “forgot” the 3rd possibility.

      To me – while I still have 48 hours in my self-imposed “wait for some facts before venturing to form opinion” window for such possible false-flag news stories, 3 comments (one for each of the aforementioned actors) on the “motive and opportunity” sides of the question:

      [1] Russia has 0 motive to fire a Buk at a high-flying plane over E. Ukraine – that would be plain idiotic, and they are not idiots.

      [2] The rebels clearly have motive to shoot down planes flying over (or toward) their airspace. If they did capture a working Buk system (reporting has not been entirely consistent here), they have opportunity, as well, assuming they have someone who knows how to use such a system.

      [3] Kiev has no obvious motive to down such a plane, but they have done so before in the not-too-distant past. And they have lots of Buks, so all it takes is one trigger-happy battery commander.

      To me it seems overwhelmingly likely that the shoot-down was by one of the Ukrainian parties; Russia seems very imrobable to me. Thus I am baffled by the White House’s oh-so-quick finger-pointing at Russia, except that they tried a similar stunt with Syria last year, and there very definitely seems to be a concerted ongoing effort to restart the cold war by the neocons who seem to be calling the shots in much of the state dept and U.S. intelligence community.

      Update: Oh gawd, just heard the liar-in-chief on the evening news saying “A group of rebels can’t shoot down military transport flight without sophisticated equipment.” That is transparent BS because as noted above, the campaign so far (at least prior to yesterday) has been using manpads, which are not “sophisticated” in terms of hard-to-get-hold-of and needing lots of training to use.

      1. Abe, NYC

        Earlier in the week, a Ukrainian Antonov-26 was downed at 6.5km, impossible with a manpad. Back then, Ukrainians claimed the rebels did not have missile systems capable of that, and accused Russia of the downing. So it is incorrect to state that all the planes had been brought down with a manpad.

        On Thursday, the rebels boasted that they brought down yet another Antonov-26 (hence #2), Girkin is on Twitter saying “just downed yet another An-26… told them not to fly in our sky.” That was before they realized the plane in question was the airliner.

        I’m convinced the plane was downed in an accident. Russians almost certainly didn’t do it, they have the infrastructure to prevent such events. There is a small but significant probability that Ukrainians did it, although they had not used they air defense at all since the start of the conflict because there was no need. By far the likeliest possibility is that the rebels did it.

    1. fresno dan

      Soooo….to stop shootings at retirement communities in the future, the NRA motto will be:
      To stop an old coot with Alzheimer’s with a gun you need an old coot without Alzheimer’s with a gun?

      1. fresno dan

        by the way, I am a certified “old coot” so I am licensed to refer to old folks with derogatory terminology…and get off my lawn!

  18. bruno marr

    TOR article:

    I was giving the author the benefit of my doubt until the last paragraph. Anyone who is surprised that the Tor Network uses a vegetable symbol as a logo isn’t well read. (TOR is the acronym for “The Onion Router”).

    Sometimes a good narrative is simply just a story.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Your comment is a textbook example of a cognitive bias, the halo effect.

      Are you sufficiently well read to know what that is without Googling it?

  19. Oregoncharles

    About Fischer and Citigroup:
    To anyone my age, it comes as a shock that US governance would be driven by outright, financial corruption – bribery and its kin. We associate that stuff with the 3rd World. But it’s clear that that is, indeed, what drives most policy these days – and Pres. Obama in particular, going back at least to Clinton.
    They’re crooks, and they nominate crooks to high office.

    1. Oregoncharles

      Ironically, this might be less true of Republicans, since their ideology – admittedly driven by self-interest – is SUPPOSED to be pro-big-business.

      1. Mark P.

        Nah. They’re all crooks.

        But, yeah, Clinton and the Arkansas mafia coming to DC was a substantial turning point in the turn towards shameless criminality among Washington ‘elites.’

        1. Lambert Strether

          Huh? Nixon (Watergate, and much else) and Reagan (Iran-Contra) were both criminals, though Nixon, to his credit, was either self-destructive enough, or not sociopathic enough, to destroy the evidence. Obama would have destroyed the Watergate tapes without a second’s thought.

          1. Banger

            Russ Baker has a very interesting take on Watergate in his book Family of Secrets. Lots of footnotes makes it even more interesting.

  20. MikeNY

    BTW, that platypus is just adorable. Is that a female, does anyone know? Don’t the males have a poisonous spur on the hind leg?

  21. abynormal

    HeY fresno dan…what kinda whiskey you got there? im not a whiskey snob or nothin (being from the south) but could ya share some?…i need a boost figuring out how in the sam hill this guy tore into this horny cluster w/o one sting!

    A Man Picked Up A Cluster Of Bees Off The Ground. What He Found Inside Is Terrifying!
    (not so terrifying as pis’n off that handler on a hot day…no?)

    katniss…don’t even bother opening it (dan may not have enuff whiskey).

    1. fresno dan

      I was joking about the whiskey – I’m a beer and wine drinker (2 buck chuck, which I understand is now 3$ – and people say theres no inflation)
      Well, the guy said he did not get stung once (maybe a thousand stings???)….and he said that bee “balling” had nothing to do with sex (hmmmmm, a queen, a bunch of male bees all entwined – how do you know they’re not having gay bee sex….not that theres anything wrong with that). So, it took me a while to get through the video because a little advertisement video get popping up and screwing up the video. So I guess it was just a foreign queen – I can’t imagine why someone would label that as terrifying, other than as click bait.
      But apparently this guy raises bees (I wonder if he names them….) so he seems quite comfortable with handling bee balls……hmmmmm, maybe I should say balls of bees.

      1. abynormal

        a bee whisperer friend helped me out… this particular queen flew into a hive before dying. what got me was how the guy wasn’t stung…my friend explained, “they werent mad at him; they were mad at the queen who went into the wrong hive…” (mind blowing balls to the wall’)

        “Shrinking away from death is something unhealthy and abnormal which robs the second half of life of its purpose.” (our buddy Jung)

        PS…any hangover is an Irish hangover! no can do no mo

    1. OIFVet

      Karen Lewis and the CTU did create a genuine grassroots movement opposing Emanuel’s 1% agenda. It remains to be seen whether the popular anger in Chicago can be harnessed to overcome Emanuel’s huge campaign fund and the good old corrupt Democratic Machine. The article alludes to the corrupt leadership of the municipal unions donating heavily to Emanuel despite his outright hostility to unions and his continuing attempts to destroy them and privatize union jobs. Ward bosses are still very powerful in most of Chicago too, and those are in Emanuel’s pocket also. And of course, the Clintons and the Obamas will stump for Da Mare because he is one of them and represents their neoliberal agenda.

      I say all this is not to discourage but to point out the tremendous amount of work that is needed in order to overcome Chicago and Democrat corruption. Unlike the “progressives”, the CTU has proved that it is willing and able to go door to door, talk to people, and win them over. This is what allowed their strike to succeed and not stir up resentment. Let’s hope that they and other Chicagoans can repeat this performance. I know I will do my part.

  22. Keith Ackermann

    I’m not plugged into the world of psychology, but it must be having a field day with Israel’s behavior.

    There’s the incident the other day where some Israeli teens burned a Palestinian teen to death… a very ironic thing to do.
    Then there is the herding of Palestinians into the ghetto of Gaza, and sealing it off with a blockade, complete with calorie counting.
    Then, of course, there is the indiscriminate killing and collective punishment in the ghettos.

    There’s some psychology at work here, and I think I know what the next step is. I wonder if Halliburton is already negotiating contracts for the concentration camps.

  23. Abe, NYC

    Staten Island man dies after NYPD cop puts him in chokehold — SEE THE VIDEO

    It cannot be overestimated how important this whole thing is. A police force that is trusted by and is part of the community is a key difference between authoritarian and democratic states, I’ve seen both and can attest to that. Here in the US, the trend over the last 15 years has been for the police to become more and more militarized and drift further and further away from the community. This doesn’t bode well for democracy… as if anything did these days.

  24. Jay M

    glad to hear we will always have authorization to protect because we are exceptional
    tell that one to the indigenous folks

  25. Abe, NYC

    Re Who Are The World’s Richest Oil Barons

    Surprised there are no Arabs there. Did the wealth really fragment so much there isn’t even one in the top 5?

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