Links 7/19/14

The New Rockstar Life Of Kama The Surfing Pig Huffington Post (David L)

Toxoplasma gondii can stop cancer in its tracks as a vaccine MedicalXpress (Chuck L). Badly written but interesting.

Meet the electric life forms that live on pure energy – life New Scientist

Protect Society from Our Inventions, Say Genome-Editing Scientists MIT Technology Review (Chuck L)

Homophobia, racism and the Kochs: San Francisco’s tech-libertarian “Reboot” conference is a cesspool Mark Ames, Pando

A peek into the IMF machine Gillian Tett, Financial Times

China vs. Japan Debt Capacity; Impact of Debt on Chinese Growth; Chinese Recovery On Paper Michael Shedlock

Taking Back America: Here, Finally, Is A Chinese Mega-Blooper — And A Chance For The U.S. To Turn The Tables Forbes (Bob H). The headline is awful and jingoistic, but the story nevertheless flags a Chinese infiltration of sorts.

Will Indonesia’s presidential election be stolen? Washington Post

Lost US extraordinary rendition files have ‘dried out’, Foreign Office says Telegraph (YY). The dog threw up the homework?

Needing Skilled Workers, a Booming Germany Woos Immigrants New York Times

The NHS is being taken over by Wall Street. And Cameron won’t stop it Guardian (Harry Shearer)

U.S. sanctions on Russia are financial warfare Frances Coppola

Putin’s Approval in Russia Soars to Record, America’s Plunges to Near Zero Wolf Richter

Iran, West Agree to Extend Nuclear Talks Until November Wall Street Journal

China lends Argentina $7.5 billion for power, rail projects Reuters


NBC News Pulls Veteran Reporter from Gaza After Witnessing Israeli Attack on Children (with update) Intercept (Nikki)

Glenn Greenwald: Why Did NBC Pull Veteran Reporter After He Witnessed Israeli Killing of Gaza Kids? Democracy Now

Israeli police ransack Tariq Abu Khdeir family home and arrest relatives in apparent revenge raid Mondoweiss

Incremental Genocide: An Interview with Ilan Pappe Jadaliyya (Nikki)

Gaza needs more than condemnation Electronic Intifada (Nikki)


Evidence Continues to Emerge #MH17 Is a False Flag Operation Vineyard of the Saker

Take it from someone who helped trigger one: Beware of conspiracy theories on downed planes Quartz

Accusations and speculation about MH17 abound DW

US points finger over fate of Flight MH17 Financial Times. A raft of stories at the FT of this ilk.

More Sanctions On Russia After Ukrainian Forces Defeated Moon of Alabama. An important piece of the equation.

Downed Malaysian Jet Intensifies Russia Bashing George Washington


Islamic State overwhelms Iraqi forces at Tikrit in major defeat McClatchy (furzy mouse)

Iran balks at Kurdish statehood threats Asia Times

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Edward Snowden urges professionals to encrypt client communications Guardian. Aargh, due to Gaza and Ukraine, a day late on this. Watch the interview here.

The Growing Threat Of Network-Based Steganography MIT Technology Review

BNSF, labor union reach tentative deal to allow train operations with 1 employee McClatchy. Chuck L: “As Lambert would put it, ‘What could go wrong?'”

Study shows state legislators in favor of voter ID laws are motivated by racial bias PhysOrg (Chuck L). Quelle surprise!

Thousands March in Detroit Against ‘Heartless’ Water Shut-Offs Common Dream (Nikki)

Americans feeling more confident about finding better-paying jobs Los Angeles Times

CFPB: Let Consumers Make Their Complaints Public; All Rejoice Dalié Jiménez, Credit Slips

CalPERS Private Equity Returns: Good, But Not Good Enough CEPR. So much for private equity’s great returns. PE returns lagged public equity by nearly 5% at CalPERS.

Yuba jury awards $16 million in mortgage case Sacramento Bee (Deontos)

Class Warfare

Market Basket Employees Rally for CEO’s Reinstatement Boston Globe

Part-Time Schedules, Full-Time Headaches New York Times

Antidote du jour. Lance N: “Dog not quite understanding a hammock”:


And a bonus antidote, albeit not of the usual sort:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. abynormal

    the Antidote is Hilarious…but i know that look! the pooch is going thru a checklist for what he may have done to get that particular punishment. ive had the blessing of 4 different canine breeds and here’s a short list from my personal history:
    *i’m sorry you brought a date to the door and i had dug out all your dirty underwear and shoved them against the door.
    *i’m sorry i greeted the 3 young female neighbors (all menstruating at the same time) on their way to work and got myself put in jail.
    *i’m sorry i ate all the meat off the grill when the in-laws came over
    *i’m sorry i dragged in what i thought was an old dried up hornets nest
    *i’m sorry i drank that pitcher of daiquiri’s and ate the plugged watermelon that 4th of july
    *i’m sorry i pooped in your bike helmet and you didn’t realize it for about a mile down the trail
    (i miss my dogs but cats have been so much simpler…and less costly)

      1. Mel

        “Yeah. I see them down here. They’ve definitely poked through. I think that’s your problem.”

          1. Les

            I wasn’t mad about it, just correcting. The site decided to post a dual answer, moderation is not always a good thing.
            But I am a Vizsla breed snob.

  2. abynormal

    “We are so sad to hear the news that our friend Johnny Winter passed away yesterday in Zurich, Switzerland. He will always be remembered as one of the finest blues guitarists to ever grace the stage. Our deepest and most sincere condolences go out to his family and friends. Rest peacefully, Johnny” Buddy Guy (me too Buddy)

  3. Brindle

    re: Ukraine/MH17..

    I have found the MSM media—both print and TV to be unwatchable/readable. The level of uncritical projection is astounding. No consideration of the basic concept of “cui bono”. Thanks for including the link to “Vineyard of the Saker”—one of the few sites where you can get a view not slanted towards the U.S. construct of reality.

    1. John Zelnicker

      Also, Moon of Alabama – linked here frequently – seems to have excellent sources and pulls no punches in its analysis of events in Ukraine, Gaza, Iraq, etc. “b” is always quick to call out politicians and foreign policy experts on their lies and dissembling. Highly recommended.

      1. Carolinian

        Moon of Alabama started when the commenters for the onetime Billmon blog wanted to go on commenting after Billmon quit blogging to devote more time to RL. B lives in Germany I think. He’s great….the commenters now a mixed bag.

      2. Ned Ludd

        The Moon of Alabama post, which is in today’s links, was published a few hours before news of the plane crash.

        The Ukrainian troops have now themselves been surrounded and are cut off from their resupplies. Their attempts to break out of the encirclement failed and they can now either flee to Russia or surrender to the federalists. […]

        The military situation as well as the propaganda tide has turned against the U.S. supported coup government in Kiev. Now even the BBC admits that many coup supporters and the “National Guard” forces are Nazis including foreign ones.

        As the author wrote, “The Ukrainian troops seem to be desperate with little left to better their situation.” After the plane crash, the U.S. government sees an opportunity to arm and rally support for the Kiev government.

        “Some people thought Ukraine didn’t have anything to do with them. They are now discovering their error,” one senior US official said, adding that this could shatter the view in some European capitals that the conflict was largely contained. […]

        “This will undermine the case of those who have been reluctant,” the U.S. official said.

        Obama will also be under growing pressure from Capitol Hill – and from the Ukrainian government – for more military training and an increase in shipments of advanced arms to Ukraine’s fledgling security forces, something the White House has been reluctant to offer for fear of escalating the conflict.

        The airliner tragedy could also lead to a new push in Europe to rescind arms embargoes that were implemented in the dying days of Ukraine’s former pro-Russian Ukrainian government that fell last year, U.S. government sources said.

    2. ex-PFC Chuck

      Add to the list Sic Semper Tyrannis, retired Col. Pat Lang’s blog. He’s deeply concerned that the Neocon/R2P cabal has no clue regarding the kind of fire they’re playing with. In his post yesterday entitled “Dr. Strangelove Is Back” he includes a link to a six year old piece in his archives on the projected consequences of nuclear war with Russia, which he wrote in response to Sarah Palin’s sabre rattling during the campaign.

      1. Jagger

        Just visited Sic Semper Tyrannis. Best way to test for a quality website? A quick check to see if the comment section is full of thoughful, quality comments or a buzzsaw of acrimonious potshots. Sic Semper Tyrannis looks like it should be a good one.

        1. ex-PFC Chuck

          Quite a few of the regular commenters at SST are retired US military like their host. Some are former military from Europe and elsewhere, for example Pakistan. And others are or were civilian DoD employees. And a few journalists. Lang moderates all comments for focus on the topic and civility. He does not, as far as I can tell, censor for opposition to his views as long as the argument is more or less consistent and based on facts.

          Up until the time of the invasion of Iraq Col. Lang appeared frequently on some cable news channels and PBS. But when the PTB began to realize that his assessments of events on those outlets diverged considerably from the desired stenography he was no longer invited to the Pentagon briefings for influential retired officers nor by the networks, including PBS.

    3. Jagger

      I would really like to know the specifics of how these newsrooms, in print and media, shape this one sided view of Israel/Palestine conflict. What specifically happens when some young newsperson says wait, look, this is what is really happening, this is news, we need to report accurately what is happening. Who says no, you are wrong and I make the decisions. Right up the chain of management, right up to ownership these decisions are made across all US mainstream media. How can all US mainstream media reach the same conclusion to present pro-Israel stories to all of America???? It is insane but I would like just once to follow the decision chain all the way up an organization and understand how it happens everywhere in mainstream media.

      I remember reading William Shirers book about the Third Reich. He was an American reporter based in Germany in the 30s as Hitler transformed Germany. After one trip out of Germany, when he visited several western European nations, he was struck by the difference in the reporting of events between German newspapers and radio and the rest of European media. It was as if media was reporting on two totally different worlds with completely different realities. There was a complete disconnect of the description of world events as reported by German vs the rest of Europes media. I suspect our media has reached the same detachment from reality as German media in the 30s. IMO, it is very dangerous for US society to have such a monolithic mass media with such little interest in truth or justice.

      1. Carolinian

        The diff being that U.K. and Euro media often ape the U.S. media party line these days. After all the ruling class has become globalized. Often the BBC seems even more jingoistic than our own television.

        There is the web, but few resources for newsgathering compared to the mainstream.

        Shirer’s book is great.

        1. Synopticist

          The BBC’s coverage of foreign affairs is utterly appalling these days. It’s completelly pro-nato/the west in it’s bias. It actually used to be fairly oppositional and confrontational only a few years back.
          There’s been a very sudden shift towards outright propaganda.

      2. Banger

        This is a very important question because most people have no idea how a mainstream media shop works. First, throw out all the TV or movie crap–it’s mainly fantasy. Second, understand it is, mainly, a political institution and, also, a profession that is highly competitive. So we have individual institutions who are under pressure to make money, fulfill the publisher’s political agendas, and provide lucrative work for professionals and it all has little to do with providing the public with an accurate account of anything. Reporters don’t even think about what they have to say when reporting about Israel/Palestine, the Narrative on that issue has been cast in stone over generations.

        Israeli intelligence long ago created (before the internet) phone networks of American Jews who would relentlessly call reporters and editors and cajole and sometimes threaten staff should they even mildly criticize the Israeli state–it was, some have said, so overwhelming that stories, over the years became much more circumspect and, besides, the media and entertainment industries are dominated by Jews in the U.S. (though many Jews are not pro-Israel) and they naturally network with each other and mutually help each other keep positions “in the family” much as construction is dominated by Italians in the Northeast or the CIA by Yalies or whatever. Human beings are tribal first and members of nation states second at least in multi-ethnic societies.

        Senior staff sets editorial standards about various issues–usually these positions are established across the media through social contacts often at parties or conferences where senior public officials interact with reporters and editors (often intel officers) and give the various lines of the power elite. Outside of that consensus there is no reality. Ultimately, everyone knows if you deviate you will never work again anywhere in the industry even if you are a lifer and have won the Pulitzer–none of that matters in the least if you deviate from the official line and no reporter who has an interest in being in the mainstream and have a nice steady gig deviates from the official line set somewhat informally at Central Committee Headquarters. That’s why the news is mainly the same–Fox is different because Murdoch is a major world power himself so he can deviate all he wants.

        1. Carolinian

          For what it’s worth Phil Weiss of estimates that roughly half the staff of most national print and tv news outlets are Jewish. He has worked for some of them and is plugged into the NYC scene. His beat is Israel/Palestine and he believes the MSM has at least a sympathy toward Israel that skews their coverage

          It is an important question: why our national media are what they are. Some of us still mourn the passing of web pioneer Mediawhoresonline which died after 9/11. Japing at big media cheeses does get their attention (they can dish it out but not take it). Look at the reaction to the book This Town.

          However I’d say the career oriented reporters and editors at these admittedly under siege institutions have more of an “establishment bias”–not wishing to deviate from what the people in power want to believe and read. And the truth is that congress at least is very much under the thumb of AIPAC as seen by the unanimous vote just taken in support of Israel.

          On the executive level that may not hold but a different pressure–from large donors–comes into play. This was true even in 1948 when Truman was initially opposed to the creation of Israel but gave into the pressure from campaign contributors who helped him squeak through to win that election.

          Anyhow, worth a lot more discussion…perhaps one of the most important thing blogs should be discussing. For a barely paying attention public the big media have tremendous power to control opinion.

          1. Glenn Condell

            ‘For what it’s worth Phil Weiss of estimates that roughly half the staff of most national print and tv news outlets are Jewish… he believes the MSM has at least a sympathy toward Israel that skews their coverage’

            Only Jews – like Phil Weiss – are able to safely make such a commonsense but dangerous observation, and even he cops it big-time from many of his co-religionists and those they have either bought or intimidated. Woe betide anyone else… though both of you Banger and Carolinian seem to have gotten off lightly so far re your comments on the media and Congress (with which I concur).

            ‘Anyhow, worth a lot more discussion…perhaps one of the most important thing blogs should be discussing’


            ‘That’s why the news is mainly the same–Fox is different because Murdoch is a major world power himself so he can deviate all he wants.’

            Fox is different? Murdoch doesn’t deviate, not on the basics. He knows where power lies and either evades it or tickles its tummy. There is not the ghost of a skerrick of a chance he will suddenly begin supporting Palestinian rights.

            Reading between the lines on NBC’s Ayman backtrack via Greenwald’s thoughts, could it be that a critical mass of NBC journos and execs (which may and probably did include an element of non-Zionazi Jews) decided en masse to force that embarrassing volte-face? Is it possible that this awful story acted as a lightning rod which concentrated the forces of decency in that organisation sufficient for them to outweigh the organised Zionist faux-outrage and intimidation?

            That might qualify a silver lining.

            And yes I too miss MWO. And Billmon. Also the 800 lb Gorilla in the Room.

          2. Paul Niemi

            Harry Truman’s support for a Jewish homeland dated from the beginning of his presidency. It is wrong to say that in 1948, “he gave into the pressure from campaign contributors who helped him squeak through to win that election.” President Truman made it quite clear from the very beginning of his presidency that he supported the Balfour Declaration and Woodrow Wilson’s concept of “self-determination” for the Jews. From the beginning, Harry Truman initiated studies on the question of a Jewish homeland, because he felt that as a result of the Holocaust the Jews needed a homeland of their own. This stuff is all in the archives, and if memory serves I think Truman discussed some of these ideas with Winston Churchill at Potsdam, who self-identified as a Zionist to Truman. Further reason that the above statement is mistaken is in the coordinated announcement of Israeli Nationhood. When Israel was declared on May 14, 1948, Harry Truman recognized the new nation the same day. He was the first leader to do so. That was his intent, his idea, and many agree that is the most important reason American Jews have voted for the Democratic party strongly ever since. They have felt a debt of gratitude to Harry Truman personally, and by extension to the Democratic party. If Truman had campaign contributors who were pro-Israel, that is not surprising. He was pro-Israel. But if the intent is to imply that Truman was so venal as to be conforming to the wishes of big donors and not following his own lights in his Israeli policy, then I would ask for the benefit of the doubt and to see some evidence of that.

          1. Banger

            In my experience American Jewish opinion is all over the place even on Israel so I’m not sure what you mean. However those that are very pro-Israel are very tribal and are very driven and sometimes fanatical in their support–I’m thinking of a friend of mine so I’ve seen it close up.

        2. Cynthia

          Corporate America has done what was predicted in the book 1984: up is down, left is right, black is white, right is wrong on any given day because Big Brother says so and a carefully controlled media echo chambers makes it appear as though American people speaks in one solid, loud voice of approval for whatever Big Brother and his boot-licking Congress deems fit. Echoing the sentiments and aims of corporate America so their anti-democratic and colonial agenda seems legitimate and anyone who speaks out against the “prevailing wisdom” is marginalized and ignored. Noam Chomsky called it “Manufacturing Consent.”

      3. Klassy

        I will say that I had been surprised by the tenor of the coverage of the conflict on NBC surprised me. For instance, they led off the other night with the casualty numbers in big print– 197 for Palestine, 1 for Israel. That was a statement. They have emphasized the relative safety of Israeli citizens compared to those living in Gaza and Brian Williams, when speaking of Iron Dome’s cost, even noted it was paid for by the US. They seem to have spent more time covering the casualties in Gaza which is as it should be, of course. I know none of this should be revolutionary, but it is still surprising. Now I see that Mohyeldin was responsible for how the stories took shape. Will he be on a short leash when he comes back? (as the update stated.)

      4. tiger

        I would really like to know how people, of left-wing persuasion, that are neither Arab nor Jewish, and therefore have no actual incentive to desire ultimate peace in the region in the way we Arabs/Jews want to live in peace, reach the one sided conclusion that the good guys in this conflict are a bunch of people who:

        – equip donkeys with bombs to make suicide donkeys
        – discriminate against gays in their society
        – oppress women in their societies
        – take greenhouses that Jews gave them for free just to get started and turn them into weapons smuggling facilities
        – HAND OUT CANDIES ON THE STREET ON 9/11 when the U.S. is hit with 2,800 deaths
        – Continuously teach their kids that western civilization is bad and, on television, teach kids via children programming to hate Jews

        that the bad guys in this conflict are a bunch of people who:

        – have contributed disproportionately to science technology and the arts
        – allow gays (Arab gays, Jewish gays, any gays) to flourish freely
        – allow women to flourish, treat ARAB women better than any ARAB country
        – are always there when a random country has a natural disaster, including countries that vote against them in the UN
        – take virtually UNHEARD OF precautions to actually warm the enemy before a bombing
        – teach children peace. When I went to school we were taught PEACE. I’ve never heard of anyone teaching their kids war other than muslims.

        What explains this weird point of view of yours?
        Perhaps it is because it makes you feel better as an American because deep down you know that you are part of a disgusting nation that mistreat their own people, don’t know how to scan for terrorists, allow companies like monsanto and the big banks to rule people’s lives, bomb the CRAP out of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, wayyyyyyyyy more than anything that happens in Gaza.
        Or is it because your grandmother told you something about how Jews eat blood and steal everyone’s money? Granted, I too am ashamed that too many of my people have been part of this disgusting place called Wall Street, but one can’t even compare this to the many things that Jews brought the world, including the moral system that you purport to stand up for.

        1. Jim Haygood

          ‘HAND OUT CANDIES ON THE STREET ON 9/11 when the U.S. is hit with 2,800 deaths’

          Yeah, that is really over the top. Why can’t they just confine themselves to quiet enjoyment, like the ‘dancing Israelis’ who watched the towers burn from the NJ side?

          1. paul

            Be fair, those art students were just trying to contribute to western culture, through the medium of modern dance, in its hour of need.

          2. Glenn Condell

            Yes, or indeed the Israelis who sit and eat each night at Sderot with their families while watching Gaza burn.

            One day the shoe will be on the other foot, and it will require the moral fortitude of a saint not to quietly enjoy it.

        2. Milquetoast Honey

          Yes, Israeli society is very Western and enlightened, but modern Israel came about thorough an extended terrorist campaign and through the theft of Palestinian lands. And now, Israel has created a giant ghetto as bad or worse than the Warsaw ghetto in Gaza which is periodically invaded, bombed, etc.

          We should be critical of Israel, because Israeli policy has not and is not working, and it’s not because the Palestinians are treated like dogs and regularly called dogs via loudspeaker by the IDF. How does that square with that moral system that Jews contributed? It doesn’t.

          You measure the greateness of a society by how it treats the least among them, and the Gazans are the least among Israelis.

        3. paul

          Easy Tiger, It’s probably because the bad guys bomb the shit out of a defenceless,caged population every 5 years or so.

        4. Banger

          Naturally I feel more akin to Israeli society but your statement describes perfectly the problem for me with the Israeli state and it’s Jewish supporters. You are tribalists and see the world as “them and us.” In my case I prefer the truth, however it turns not faithfulness to a tribe–perhaps I’m wrong but it is the Western project that Jews were indeed deeply involved in. In terms of the Israeli state with its deeply chauvinistic ideology, particularly in recent years, it has manipulated, gamed infiltrated and managed to control U.S. ME policy and aided the National Security State which is the main enemy of the people of the U.S. Israel has managed to take taxpayer money to help to support what is, very nearly a neo-fascist state. Israel has an overwhelming military superiority in the region yet it rules over its subject peoples with an iron fist and acted in bad faith during the Oslo process by building settlements in the then Occupied Territories deliberately to scuttle the peace process and then allowed the radical right to kill the last real human being to occupy the office if PM in Israel. I know for a fact that most Palestinian prisoners were tortured in captivity and I also know from Israelis that most believe Arabs are “animals” and seem to have inherited the fascist ideologies that were floating around Europe in the thirties.

          Frankly for all its faults I believed in Israel and believed it had the capacity to make peace despite its ruthless behavior from its inception–one could well understand it the need for it. But Israel at the height of its power chose tension and war over humanitarianism in the 90s and that is difficult to forgive even more than Israeli meddling in our political and cultural institutions.

          One of the saddest things to see is a regional superpower shooting fish in a barrel against a helpless population–whether they hate gays and women is irrelevant it is, from my perspective, dishonorable.

          1. Cynthia

            The solution to this problem is simple. Cut all aid to Israel off. In 1 week, they’ll be at the table having face to face talks with Hamas and Iran.

          2. Doug Terpstra

            Clear analysis, Banger. Too bad Tiger can’t be reached. His moral system is hermetically sealed off from humanity and history. It’s a deadly cult dynamic, perhaps the most dangerous the world faces today, very closely entwined with American exceptionalism.

        5. kareninca

          Give it up, tiger. Israel will never have the friendship or support of the American left. This will not change, other than to get worse. Why that is, I would prefer to not get into here.

          You need to get it into your head, the reality that the only (non Jewish) Americans who sincerely give a crap about Israel are evangelical Christians. And that is not going to change. So sorry that they are alien to you; so sorry that you likely see them as dumbasses. They actually “believe in” something; they are not radical relativist modernists; they see Jews as their “older brothers” and Israel as sacred and to be protected. They worry about and try to help their fellow Christians in Iraq and Egypt and other places where they are being murdered for being Christians. These are the sorts of people whom my American lefty friends despise. I have not asked my Israeli friends what they think of them; I am guessing they would despise them, too.

          Tell me the truth – doesn’t the thought of evangelical Christians make you want to barf??? I have read online some unbelievably contemptuous descriptions of Christianity (dead god on a stick; baseless invented daughter religion for peasant yahoos) by Jewish people who were feeling horribly attacked. If you want to have the help of your only friends, you need to get over that and value those who care about you.

          Well, I have no dog in this race. As an agnostic libertarian (aka old fashioned liberal), I want the U.S. out of the world’s crapholes (and Israel is a real craphole, albeit one that contains many fine people). But it never ceases to amaze me, that Israelis think that the American left will suddenly “see the light.” Sad delusion.

        6. LucyLulu

          Yes, and Viszlas were the hunting (bird) dogs of Hungarian aristocracy and are quite the snobs when it comes to other dogs. They would find being called a coonhound quite insulting. I’ve had two of them. Wonderful dogs, owners call them “velcro dogs”, but they need lots of open space to run everyday (miles) or they may become problem dogs. Mine would run the fence lines of our 25 acre pasture for hours while I played with the horses, and never got tired.

        7. Leo Cullen

          How can you expect to be taken seriously when you use the expression “bad guys”. Do you still do poo-poos? This site is visted mostly by educated adults so you must have read your tr@ll notes wrongly. I actually lolled at the suicide-donkeys thing. Do they get 70 virgin she-asses when they ascend to paradise? Plenty of cultures do not share our western values (plenty of westerners do not share our western values). Should we also murder their children? Let’s carpet bomb the South because they are intolerant of gays. Finally, and rather gratuitously, you are a simpleton.

    4. Ned Ludd

      CBS News reports that the plane deviated from its planned route.

      In the last two weeks, the plane flew roughly the same path 14 times, traversing the diagonal length of Ukraine to the Sea of Azov close to Crimea. But Thursday’s route deviated slightly. The Boeing 777 went farther north than typical. It’s unclear why.

      According to the AP’s Laura Mills, “Komsomolskaya Pravda says Ukrainian dispatchers redirected flight path of #MH17 over conflict zone.” A few people on Twitter, who I do not know nor follow, said CNN reported it was Polish air traffic controllers who changed the flight path, due to storms in Crimea (while others claimed that there were no storms in Crimea).

      Regardless, reporters should investigate who changed the flight path and why. According to the FlightAware map, the initial deviation occurred while flying over Poland.

        1. Lambert Strether

          I’ve dropped a stitch on this point. Can I get a solid link that the plane was diverted and who did the diverting? Adding, OK, I see the MH press release….

          1. OIFVet

            All I have seen is the flight path histories which show that flight 17 usually crossed over the Sea of Azov over Berdyansk. But I have not seen solid reports on why it went so far north on July17th. Suffice it to say, no pilot would disobey air traffic control, but at this point some media reports that it was the Poles who diverted it, other says it was the Ukies. It sure would be nice to hear it what the cockpit voice recorder captured. Sorry Lambert but it may be a while before we get a solid answer.

      1. Lambert Strether

        The plane deviated from its past route. That’s not the same as deviated from its planned route. Presumably there is a flight plan somewhere, and air traffic control chatter? (Sorry if I missed this through coming in late.)

          1. Lambert Strether

            Then there should be a copy of it… It seems reasonable, also, that a flight plan would be changed, “on the fly” as it were, from Air Traffic Control, presumably in the Ukraine. If that happened, when and why?

            1. OIFVet

              Lambert, what I know I know from being a closet Air Crash Investigations addict, so what I say is by no means an expert opinion. Just a disclaimer. Having said that, weather is the usual reason for a flight to deviate from the flight plan, with the permission of ATC of course. But we already established the weather was fine. Something happening on the ground that requires police or other craft to fly over the area might be a reason also, but with all the action going on in the east?

              1. MtnLife

                Doesn’t ATC everywhere keep a recording of all radio traffic so they can go back and review if a controller had done something incorrectly? Seems to me you’d only have to scan a few hours of logs.

                1. OIFVet

                  They do. According to Zero Hedge the Ukies have already confiscated the Kiev radio logs.

                    1. Lambert Strether

                      Super, thanks. So (1) Ukraine confiscated the ATC tapes (BBC). But (2) the black boxes went to Russia, from the “rebels” (and IIRC Russia may actually be the appropriate jurisdiction. (Thought that was on this thread but now I can’t find it.)

                      Do we know where the flight plan is?

                      (Note that both the US and the Russian intelligence services probably already the recordings and the flight plan already. We are the only ones who don’t know.

                    2. MtnLife

                      It’s the BBC link before.

                      15:29: Ukraine’s SBU security service has confiscated recordings of conversations between Ukrainian air traffic control officers and the crew of the doomed airliner, a source in Kiev has told Interfax news agency.

                    3. OIFVet

                      Moscow’s Interstate Aviation Committee has oversight authority over CIS states, though Ukraine has its own accident investigation resources and appears to be the proper jurisdiction for the investigation ( Also, Lavrov has stated that Moscow does not want the black boxes, and there has been too uch conflicting info on whether they have been found and if so whether they have been handed over to Russia. I Think the Russians already know the contents of ATC communications with the flight crew and also has a very detailed radar and satellite intel, as Pepe Escobar said. It is simply not possible that their many assets were not monitoring the situation in Ukraine 24/7. So they do not need the black boxes, or at least they want to appear to be indifferent to them.

                      As to the flight plan, it MUST be at Schiphol or in the possession of Dutch authorities. I don’t know whether it is now filed electronically or still on paper, but either way it must be approved by controllers at the departing airport before the plane can be cleared for take-off.

              1. Lambert Strether

                I don’t think all the factors that would have led to delay in the case of MH370 — for example, the possibility that the military was asleep at the wheel — apply to M17. But I could be wrong?

                1. OIFVet

                  Here is what Pepe Escobar has to say about release of information: “From now on, it all depends on Russian intelligence. They have been surveilling/tracking everything that happens in Ukraine 24/7. In the next 72 hours, after poring over a lot of tracking data, using telemetry, radar and satellite tracking, they will know which type of missile was launched, from where, and even produce communications from the battery that launched it. And they will have access to forensic evidence…If this was a terrible mistake by the Novorossiya rebels, Moscow will have to reluctantly admit it. If Kiev did it, the revelation will be instantaneous.”

                  I tend to agree with his assessment

                  1. MtnLife

                    From that same article: The MH17 tragedy happened two days after the BRICS announced an antidote to the IMF and the World Bank, bypassing the US dollar. And just as Israel ‘cautiously’ advances its new invasion/slow-motion-ethnic-cleansing of Gaza. Malaysia, by the way, is the seat of the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission, which has found Israel guilty of crimes against humanity.

                    Some seriously heavy chess moves being made. Seems anything with energy is up for regime change. Venezuela better sleep with one eye open lest they become a Syria, Libya, Iraq, or Crimea.

        1. Ned Ludd

          This is the first map that I saw that showed the deviation, which occurred while flying over Poland. I later came across the CBS News article, which remarked, “It’s unclear why.” Unfortunately, the press in NATO countries does not seem to be looking into this particular decision, who made it, and when it was made.

          1. Abe, NYC

            This map shows the flight path still over Donetsk oblast, just very slightly south of the actual crash site. Have you ever watched maps when you’re flying? This is totally normal.

            1. OIFVet

              Berdyansk is in Zaporozhie. It typically flew over Berdyansk or between Berdyansk and Mariopol. The fatal flight path was anything but normall given the recent flight history but good try.

      2. Abe, NYC

        The paths on 16th and 17th July are practically identical, in addition planes routinely fly within several hundreds km’s of their path to avoid thunderstorms, areas of turbulence, traffic, etc. The shortest path between Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur is right over the conflict zone.

            1. Ned Ludd

              Abe, is there a way to put you in charge of the investigation? You could probably wrap it up over the weekend, without having to ask any questions or talking to any of the people involved.

              1. OIFVet

                Great idea! No one can be as impartial as a native of a former Soviet republic. Well, perhaps a Pole.

              2. Abe, NYC

                You might be a better candidate, since you have apparently already concluded the investigation :)

                But seriously, if this is the best the Russians can come up with they are clutching at straws. I’m not a pilot but I fly a lot internationally and do watch maps all the time, often prefer it to the movies. The maps display projected and actual flight path. I’ve yet to be on a flight where the two perfectly coincided.

                  1. Abe, NYC

                    It’s far more serious than information channeled by Komsomolskaya Pravda, RT, Russian Chauvinist blogs, and any number of other sources cited here.

                    1. OIFVet

                      Didn’t know that Flight Radar and Flight Aware are in Putin’s pocket… and that your integrity and impartiality are beyond reproach. The things we learn every day, simply astonishing. Keep them gems coming.

                    2. Abe, NYC

                      Oh, FlightRadar is all right. It just doesn’t show anything abnormal with the flight, unfortunately for Putin and his henchmen.

                    3. OIFVet

                      Only because your definition of “abnormal” is abnormal. Bizarro normal, if you will.

                    4. Abe, NYC

                      Sigh. Dear Lambert, I assume you are implying I’m a paid agent of CIA, FBI, NSA, GOP, or something. But I have donated to your blog because I like a lot of your writing (unrelated to Russia), and received an email from you. So I hate to say it but you are assuming you have been financed by CIA, FBI, NSA, GOP, or something. Does it makes your life easier?

                      I hoped to see you at the get-together in New York but was traveling on that date. I do take you seriously, and hope (or have hoped) to meet you in the future. This should be beneath you. In my humble opinion.

                      Please accept my apologies if I misread you and you didn’t imply I was a paid agent of CIA, FBI, NSA, GOP, or something.

                    5. Lambert Strether

                      I can’t imagine why you would think that contributing to my blog would be of relevance. I’m not a politician.

                      Stop with the evidence-free deflection and you won’t get whacked. Simple as that. “Sigh,” forsooth.

                    6. Abe, NYC

                      Well, I can’t imagine why your reference to my “shift” would be of relevance. But you’re right, this whole discussion has been completely devoid of evidence, beginning with the Komsomolskaya Pravda article, and none of the participants including myself has any expertise in aviation.

                  2. Abe, NYC

                    In addition, when the pilots announced: “Dear passengers, we are going to make a turn to fly around an area of turbulence” – and I have heard dozens of such announcements over the years – I never had any reason to suspect that said pilot was employed by the CIA/FBI/NSO/Ukrainian Security Service, and somehow always landed intact.

                    1. MtnLife

                      This should be a simple enough theory to test. Did all the planes near the area in question divert? Commercial pilots don’t deviate all that much from the flight plan unless there is something serious ahead. They have a schedule to keep and limited fuel because the extra weight is extra cost.

                    2. Lambert Strether

                      It should be even simpler. What’s the flight plan and where are the Air Traffic Control transcripts? Since both the US and the USSR intelligence services both doubtless have the latter, in addition to the Ukrainians, presumably they will have already been released, so we don’t have to speculate about seatbacks, and so forth?

                    3. Abe, NYC

                      I did go and check FlightAware. Yes, it shows MH17 flights from 8 July flying further South than on the 17th.

                      Please return the favor, go and check They have better maps, go further back, and paint a somewhat different picture than FlightAware.

                      Just how pathetic all of this is when 298 people lost their lives.

                      And the truth will out anyway. Russians know it already, you believe so yourself. So do Americans. And it may yet turn out it was the Ukrainians who did it, although I think it unlikely. But just one short year ago it was simply unimaginable, unthinkable that this land would be at war. And now the war goes on, fueled from the outside, and planes are falling from the sky.

                    4. OIFVet

                      I did already. First, they both go ways back in the flight histories. Second, what makes FlightRadar24’s maps better (other than playing to Pravda on the Hudson’s narrative)? Flight Aware provides the info on whether each reported position during the flight was reported using data from the plane’s ADS-B or was estimated. Flight Radar does not. Neither does it provide a map of its ADS-B signal receivers, Flight Aware does. And guess what? There is one Flight Aware ADS-B receiver that just happens to cover the Sea of Azov and thus is in position to provide highly accurate location information from which FlightAware plots the airplanes’ course:

                      Care to link to the FlightRadar24’s ADS-B receiver which would have provided the location info for its “better maps” of the Flight 17 flight path? I tried to find it but the information does not exist on its website. Well, I know I will always trust the one that definitely has the coverage and proves it over the one that maybe has the coverage but does not provide a way to verify it. So off you go and I expect a report on your finding in the AM.

                    5. Abe, NYC

                      I can say from experience that planes often deviate slightly from their planned course to avoid weather, traffic, etc. This is common knowledge.

                      I can also read a map, whether on a Web site or onboard, and compare two flight paths. Any schoolboy can do that.

                      I have no expertise to evaluate the accuracy of a radar tracking system. So I’m not going into that discussion. If you do have the expertise, go ahead and do further analysis which everyone I’m sure will be interested to hear.

                1. Ned Ludd

                  The flight path should be investigated. If you have concluded that there should be no investigation into the flight path, then we are in disagreement.

                  1. Abe, NYC

                    I doubt that it will be investigated because common knowledge says there’s nothing unusual about it. But an expert will likely provide an explanation soon.

                    1. Ned Ludd

                      Do you think it was wise for air traffic control to divert the plane into the middle of a war zone? Do you think the plane would have been better off flying further south, closer to the route it had flown the previous two weeks?

                    2. Glenn Condell

                      Trust the experts eh? Depends on which team they support I guess. We may never know, feature not bug.

                      One thing that doesn’t seem to get mentioned is the fact that any plane can nowadays be remote controlled. This has been true since the late 90s I believe; does anyone else recall the initial truther focus on CFR/BoozAllen/BushCheney protege Dov Zakheim’s Systems Planning Corporation, which developed this technology pre-911? I mean we now have drones too… in other words the tech capability is there, isn’t it?

                      One wonders if it leaves a trace. If not, it looks like we have a whole new aviation ball game, with all flights becoming a bit more dangerous as a result – already true with the rise in SAMs everywhere, not to mention parlous aviation balance sheets leading to poor maintenance.

              3. Glenn Condell

                Could I suggest, as Earl Warren is unavailable, a certain H Kissinger to assist? He already has form on the board for inquiries into planes that deviate into history (not much form, to be sure, but he was first pick) and appears to be on the same secret indestructibility serum as Cheney.

                Failing that why not ask Obama himself? He doesn’t appear to be doing much else.

      1. bwilli123

        the best 36,000 foot view I’ve read recently
        and written on July 9th
        …”So all Putin has to do is sit-tight and he wins, mainly because the EU needs Moscow’s gas. If energy supplies are terminated or drastically reduced, prices will rise, the EU will slide back into recession, and Washington will take the blame. So Washington has a very small window to draw Putin into the fray, which is why we should expect another false flag incident on a much larger scale than the fire in Odessa. Washington is going to have to do something really big and make it look like it was Moscow’s doing. Otherwise, their pivot plan is going to hit a brick wall. “

  4. MB

    I hate to spoil the party but it is entirely possible and, in fact , likely, that the Malaysian airliner was shot down by trigger happy rebels. This thought apparently runs contrary to the party line that has taken hold of this website on this issue. Not one link to an article with a different point of view but then, everyone loves a good conspiracy theory

    1. Ned Ludd

      From Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University:

      There’s the possibility that the Russians aided and abetted them, possibly from Russian territory, but I rule that out because, in the end, when you don’t know who has committed a crime, the first question a professional investigator asks is, “Did anybody have a motive?” and the Russians certainly had no motive here.

      It may turn out to be an accident. But when investigating a crime – “the first question a professional investigator asks is, ‘Did anybody have a motive?’”

      1. LucyLulu

        Did the Ukrainians have a motive? Who would want to shoot down a passenger plane? All possibilities should be considered but an accident appears to be the most likely scenario.

        1. Ned Ludd

          The post that Yves calls “An important piece of the equation” was published just before reports of the plane crash:

          The Ukrainian troops seem to be desperate with little left to better their situation. […]

          The military situation as well as the propaganda tide has turned against the U.S. supported coup government in Kiev. Now even the BBC admits that many coup supporters and the ‘National Guard’ forces are Nazis including foreign ones.

          For the Obama Administration and the Ukrainian government, the downing of the plane is a “game-changer”:

          The United States predicts the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, likely by pro-Russian rebels, will fundamentally shift the relationship between Russia and the international community.

          “It is a game-changer,” one senior State Department official said.

          There is now “growing pressure from Capitol Hill – and from the Ukrainian government – for more military training and an increase in shipments of advanced arms to Ukraine’s fledgling security forces”.

    2. Banger

      In the U.S. It is forbidden to examine motive. Just as with the alleged Assad gas incident which occurred precisely at the point Assad was winning the struggle this happened precisely at the point the rebels were inflicting a defeat on the Western backed government in Kiev. So you understand why it might be hard to believe, as the propaganda organs spout that the Russians are responsible just because they are “bad guys.”

      Please, I challenge you, what reason would the Russians have to down a civil airliner? For fun? Also, most of us here have at least some knowledge of deep politics and thus the pattern the U.S. has used since WWII in situations in every region of the world including multiple times in our own country; if you don’t know that history I suggest you look into it.

    3. OIFVet

      I don’t know if you have been in combat, so let me tell you why no grunt gives a crap about the high flying planes: they pose no direct danger to anything but fixed targets. Low flying ground attack airplanes and helicopters, on the other hand, are very dangerous to a grunt in combat. They are fly low and slow, and pack quite the arsenal. Our moron Air Force brass hates the A-10 because it is not sexy stealth design, it is butt ugly and old. Yet American grunts love it because it is exceptionally good at killing the enemy and helping them get out of a bad spot. Same with Novorussians, the history shows that they have downed low flying planes and helis with manpads, the likes of the SU-25 and the Mi-24, or turboprop surveillance and cargo planes flying low. Those are the aircraft that are good at killing them so those are the craft that get targeted. It is that simple.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Yeah…but America is the good guys and the Russians are bad guys! Do you re member when Putin encouraged us not to invade Iraq? He sure looks like an idiot after we found those WMDs and W’s statue graces the city of Mosul.

        1. cwaltz

          Shhhhhhhhhhhh! Everything is black and white. When WE arm rebels or provide financial support to depose governments it’s because we’re the “good guys.” However, if Putin does it, it’s horrible, awful, and terrible.

          I personally think the US should keep it’s trap shut on this issue considering the number of people who’ve been killed by weapons we handed over to others. It’s sad that these people’s lives are being used to further an agenda, and a hypocritical one at that.

        1. OIFVet

          Probably not, granted. The difference would be that 21,000 feet is within range of many manpads. I haven’t looked into the transport shoot down,.but everything else they have shot down has been quite low. Having seen the aftermath of A-10 attacks, I would make it a priority to provide protection from attack aircraft if I was a Novorussian ground commander. It appears they have done that rather well a it.

            1. OIFVet

              Correct. It can do almost nothing when it comes to assuring air superiority, this is the bailiwick of fighters and the sophisticated SAMs like the “Buk”. It was quite telling that the tide in Afghanistan turned once the mujaheddin were supplied with Stingers to protect them from the Mi-24.

    4. Abe, NYC

      Absolutely. This is by far the likeliest possibility. Not only that, if you look into Russian-aligned sources almost all assume the plane was downed deliberately. This is entirely irrational seeing how difficult it is to conceal anything these days, and the risk of the fallout is such that it would spell the perpetrator’s defeat. Russian propaganda has been on par with 9/11 conspiracy theories.

      1. Ned Ludd

        “Only 1% of files leaked by former US intelligence analyst Edward Snowden have been published by the Guardian newspaper”. Maybe you could publish the rest of the files, or let security researchers know the names of the encryption chips that The Guardian refused to publish – “seeing how difficult it is to conceal anything these days”.

        1. Abe, NYC

          Say that to Poland’s Foreign Minister, or US Asst Secretary of State, or Mr. Girkin. With every radar and satellite aimed at the conflict zone, it’s only a matter of time until the exact launch site and weapon are identified. Russians and Americans almost certainly know it already. Even the rebels’ ongoing efforts to destroy the evidence are very unlikely to achieve much when said evidence is dispersed over 10 miles.

          1. Ned Ludd

            Maybe you have not seen the revelation in the memoir of a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff:

            “A high-ranking cabinet member suggests intentionally flying an American airplane on a low pass over Baghdad so as to guarantee it will be shot down, thus creating a natural excuse to retaliate and go to war.”

            This is why I think the flight’s path should be thoroughly investigated.

          2. OIFVet

            Poor Wladislaw, can you imagine how many literal blow jobs he had to give to his US handlers to make up for the figurative one he referred to? Bet poor Anne is jealous.

  5. Banger

    Still very little on the Malaysian crash–the Mighty Wurlitzer is creakily sounding its usual tunes. I’m always struck by the sheer irrationality of the propaganda organs and their rhetoric. No one ever seems to ask or answer the cui bono question over controversial events–it’s a question that seems to be forbidden. I don’t have the heart to read many of the articles in the mainstream or listen to cable chatter so if anyone has heard an argument about why Russia or the rebels would see it as beneficial to their cause to bring down a civilian airliner I would like to hear or read that argument.

    Saker presents something that the other propaganda organs don’t–a compendium of interesting and sometimes contradictory accounts but pointing in the direction of false-flag. Saker is an ardent partisan in the struggle against the Kiev government for what some call the Federalist cause and others the pro-Russian cause. But his stories have turned out to have more validity than the mainstream during the crisis in Ukraine and, lately in Iraq. One of his arguments is that the plane, based on an analysis of where the remnants of the plane landed, had to have been shot down over territory controlled by Kiev–what strikes me is that, in my initial perusal of the mainstream those kind of analyses were not made. The other comes from how the missile actually works–the explosion occurs before the missile hits the target and numerous projectiles are fired into the target plane. The analysis on Saker’s site states that the missiles are designed to bring down fighters not airliners and the damage caused would not have torn the plane apart as it must have done–therefore, the argument goes, the flight was probably shot down by a fighter plane. I hope, at some point, someone can present an analysis like we find on Saker’s site from the mainstream that points in the other direction.

    Because the U.S. was very quick to blame the rebels or Russians without evidence one way or the other or without time to analyze the evidence, I suggest to you this, in itself, is suspicious. Because of the internet and social media, it may be hard for the administration to keep a lid on all this if their accusations turn out to be premature or wrong.

    Whatever it is, this event, along with the other crises shows we are in for a bumpy ride because if this is something deliberate and not an accident, well….

  6. James Levy

    Question: What is the value of the information here? I don’t mean this disrespectfully, and I don’t mean it for me (I want to know what’s going on), but in general, does information matter?

    I’m just old enough (49) to remember that when it became plain that Nixon had paid off the Watergate burglars and lied about it, those facts were a really big thing. That information seemed to matter, at least among educated people and the political elite.

    Could it be that we have so much random “information” today that some analog to inflation is taking place: with more information, each piece is that much less valuable, that less convincing, that less noteworthy? We seem to have three related items flooding all media today: facts (those things that can be verified), data (those bits of information that are supposed to represent things in the material world that could be verified), and opinion (what people think and feel). Media of all types seem to be very bad at differentiating these three types of information.

    We know a Malaysian airliner went down over Ukraine the other day. That is a fact. It very likely was shot down by a missile (data). The Russians could have done it (opinion), the Ukrainians (opinion), or the Separatists (opinion). If we had some hard evidence, we could move the opinions into the data category, and if we had excellent conclusive data that could pass third party inspection, we’d have a fact. That’s a nice way of looking at it, but it seems to me to be almost completely irrelevant to how people think about and come to believe things. People like me trained by old fashioned empiricists (my dissertation mentor was a wonderful old archive-digger) have been convinced to see the world in a way that simply doesn’t conform to the way that most media people, politicians, and ordinary citizens do. They are interested in a narrative line that preserves and confirms that which they already believe. So how do people like me (and I would argue Yves and Lambert) present information in a way that gets beyond/through this conundrum.

    1. Banger

      We need to understand that information is a tool used by those seeking power. I suggest to you that like major league sports the contestants are many and the prizes are ever larger. In this situation data is often unreliable and you need to vet solid data not controlled by one or another faction. One important way to look at information is to look for patterns and look for who benefits. In the case of the airliner who benefits is, like in any murder inquiry, one of the first questions you ask and you proceed to establish prime suspects until you, as an investigator, can eliminate that suspect. The U.S. has a long history of dirty tricks, false-flag operations, assassinations, mass killings and so on that should always be kept in mind seeing as the National Security State has stated that its goal is world domination–thus one would expect that Russia would be a target since it is not, like the EU or the Gulf States, subject to imperial edicts. Thus I assume the Ukraine govt in cooperation with U.S. operatives to be the most likely culprits since we know next to nothing about evidence we can trust. But I concede that it could be the Russians–perhaps a faction that wants to undermine Putin–that would be a less likely but possible culprit.

      Right now all I see on from the propaganda organs is propaganda I’ve seen after every major event that has come down the pike for the past 50 years and more. The American mainstream has proven time after time after time to be strictly propaganda outlets that never ask the real questions.

    2. Jim

      Aren’t we all most interested in a narrative line the preserves and confirms to that which we already believe?

      Aren’t all of our logics of analysis finally circular in nature (tending to build our conclusions into our assumptions), and isn’t the primary competitive struggle among intellectuals to make it appear that this is not the care for their favorite narrative (ie, for example, your bias towards old-fashioned empiricists)?

      Isn’t a significant part of intellectual rivalry about the possession of the correct social diagnosis?

      And isn’t this type of competition finally about our respective desires for power and recognition?

      1. James Levy

        No, that’s the easy postmodern way out. If my plumbing doesn’t work, if my car won’t start, if my is leg cut open and bleeding, I don’t worry about social crap or circular reasoning–I get someone to help me fix it who knows a lot more than me about fixing it. As I used to say to the vitriolic annoyance of the cognoscenti, when Foucault got sick, he didn’t worry about his disease being a manifestation of, or inscribed in, language, he went to the fucking hospital.

        There’s a world out there, a world of facts. The climate is or is not changing, and people are or are not contributing to that change. Ebola is real, and is killing people in Africa. This shit has to be dealt with by looking reality in the face. But instead we blather like you do pretending it’s all about discourse or power or consciousness or some-such baloney.

        I guess the only way to reestablish the blunt force trauma of reality is to throw us back into survival mode. When its eat or be eaten, kill or be killed, it’ll be too late for us to work together to solve our problems, but we will no longer be able to bullshit about “bias” and our “desires”, because what we want will no longer mean anything, only what we are forced to do.

          1. kareninca

            Post-modern “thought” is garbage-gibber for people who are too lazy to learn how to reason. It has been a very destructive force. It appeals to the sophomoric inclination to listen to own’s own voice, rather than learn anything. I have never known a “post-modern thought” person who had any real knowledge of history, literature or philosophy. But they sure should could talk about the topics, nonstop. Real human knowledge is being lost, because it is crowded out by this crap.

            It has been especially pernicious politically, if you are leftwing. In the old days, liberals would reason and debate with each other; they would even reason with non-liberals. Post-modern “thought” takes reasoning as passe; just one more colonial imposition. So many, many lefties just gibber at each other, in a twitter of self-righeousness (less here at NC than most liberal sites, fortunately). I suppose as a libertarian (aka old fashioned liberal), I should just be amused, since I should be glad that idiots thereby less power or influence. Unfortunately I am not at all thrilled by the right, either. And the right has continued to reason – maybe wrongly, maybe from incorrect premises – but at least they are managing to communicate with one another in clear prose. That is a position of strength.

            1. Jim

              But what if post-modern thought helps to point out that any phenomena one is concerned to explore and elucidate are susceptible to multiple and even contradictory conceptual encasements?

              What if the everyday world is not populated by hard, objectively given entities but by entities that tend to be more tissues of possibilities as a result of certain cultural or historical turns?

              What if the search for foundational premises in any sphere of human life only makes us more aware of the partiality and incompleteness of our starting points?

              What if all of us can only proceed by artificially privileging certain premises?

              1. kareninca

                None of those are new issues. The ancient Greeks addressed them – however they did so lucidly, and not in the language of gibber. But the post-modern thought crowd doesn’t read anything other than one another’s drivel, so they don’t realize that they are rehashing old ideas. It is really quite striking that they think that they have discovered a route to human knowledge, that wasn’t considered by anyone in history before them.

                Ah, the arrogance of sheer ignorance. I suppose that it is very enjoyable to some people to avoid learning about the history of human thought, so that they can feel as if they have figured out something wondrously new. It is embarrassing to watch, however.

                1. h_rostam

                  postmodernism or poststructuralism are mostly terms applied retroactively by anglo-american scholars, shorthand for “all that french stuff.” People like Foucault et al rarely aligned themselves with one or another group.

                  no doubt youve overheard some annoying conversations, however…

                  You first say that “they” are harmful because “they” cant reason, and then go on to say that “they” are rehashing old ideas and are unoriginal. Seems to me you need to pick one or the other, unless being unoriginal is also illogical?

                  1. kareninca

                    “Seems to me you need to pick one or the other, unless being unoriginal is also illogical?”

                    Um, you haven’t studied logic, have you.
                    Both can be true, without it being the case that the two are the same thing.

                    Let’s work this out. Are being unoriginal and being illogical the same thing? No, we can dismiss that possibility. So you say that as a consequence, I have to choose between the two: that modern thought has to be one or the other. No, that is not the case; it is patently possible for someone to rehash old ideas, in an illogical manner; high school students and newbie religionists and modern thought-ists do it every day.

                    Oh, don’t worry, I’m sure your approach will “win.” Reasoning is hard; humans are lazy and love attention and excitement.

        1. JTFaraday

          “when Foucault got sick, he didn’t worry about his disease being a manifestation of, or inscribed in, language”

          Actually, I very much doubt that.

          1. h_rostam

            yeah, to say Aids or cancer or obesity or whathaveyou dont also have linguistic (political) consequences is a little shortsited, such as when we talk about what research programs get funded, what social groups are more succeptable to what illnesses, not to mention paying for treatment and the mess with ACA in the US. Science can only do its thing if the money and the power and the word games align with it

  7. Ned Ludd

    General Hugh Shelton, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote a memoir that was released in 2010.

    Clinton Official Suggested Letting U.S. Plane Be Shot Down To Provoke War With Iraq

    In the publicity sheet that St. Martin’s Press has been sending out to spur interest in General Hugh Shelton’s new memoir, Without Hesitation: The Odyssey of an American Warrior, the last highlight is a doozy: “A high-ranking cabinet member suggests intentionally flying an American airplane on a low pass over Baghdad so as to guarantee it will be shot down, thus creating a natural excuse to retaliate and go to war.”

    Justin Elliott, who now writes for ProPublica, quoted an excerpt from the memoir over at Salon:

    At one of my very first breakfasts, while Berger and Cohen were engaged in a sidebar discussion down at one end of the table and Tenet and Richardson were preoccupied in another, one of the Cabinet members present leaned over to me and said, “Hugh, I know I shouldn’t even be asking you this, but what we really need in order to go in and take out Saddam is a precipitous event — something that would make us look good in the eyes of the world. Could you have one of our U-2s fly low enough — and slow enough — so as to guarantee that Saddam could shoot it down?”

    1. nycTerrierist

      Samantha Power’s tweet about the Malaysian plane incident comes to mind.
      Playing the ‘9/11’ card for the rubes:

      Samantha PowerVerified account ‏@AmbassadorPower

      Scale of #MH17 disaster is horrific for people of Netherlands: Number of victims relative to total population is same as 9/11 for U.S.

      1. OIFVet

        Last time the US invoked 9/11 at the UN we invaded an innocent country. Watch out Venezuela, you are getting invaded fo shizzle. It is outrageous that they keep using Orwellian language in regards to 9/11 to justify their imperial agenda. How many people have died as result of our wars, how many more will die by that ultimate weapon of terror, the US drone? Even if we assume the Novorussians shot the plane down b mistake, why is that “terror” while our killing of innocent civilians is “war on terror”? Why do we have the right to “defend” ourselves (meaning our business interests) but the Novorussians defending themselves from our puppet junta in Kiev constitute “terrorism”? Eff you, Power. You and your bosses are the real terrorists, and you are making us regular Americans your unwilling accessory to terrorism.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Best 9/11 Malaysian airliner crash reference I’ve seen was in a comment on Zero Hedge.

          Something to the effect of:

          Isn’t it strange that when a Malaysian jet crashes in Ukraine, there are bodies and debris everywhere. When an American jet crashes into the Pentagon, everything completely vaporizes. H/T to the unknown commenter.

          Is the brilliant Ms. Power absolutely certain she wants to go the 9/11 route, particularly in such a bizarre fashion?

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Of course, they want to go the 9/11 route*. After a group of abandoned religious fighters funded by Saudi Arabia launched terrorist attacks against the U.S., we invaded Iraq for an insane reason with no evidence for our particular reasons for invasion.

            Despite our vast spying enterprise, our government messaging seems to blaming Russia because Obama has a feeling as opposed to any evidence. How else can Obama blame Putin for O’s general cruelty and incompetence when he is trying to organize his library?

    2. Ned Ludd

      According to Malaysia Airlines, “Upon entering Ukrainian airspace, MH17 was instructed by Ukrainian air traffic control to fly at 33,000ft,” 2,000 feet lower than their requested flight plan†. CBS News reports that the plane deviated from its planned route. From the map, it looks like it was diverted north, into the conflict zone.

      † Page through the press releases, and look for the one titled: “Friday, July 18, 08:20 PM GMT +0800 Media Statement 4 : MH17 Incident”, with the subtitle: “Media Statement 4: MH17 Incident”.

      1. OIFVet

        Supposedly the plane was diverted because of weather. The weather over southern Ukraine on the 17th was beautiful: sunny, hot, winds under 10mph.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I don’t follow airplanes, but I know package delivery operations have sophisticated systems such as reducing left hand turns over the course of the route. My subsequent question is how does weather in the approaches to Kuala Lumpur affect navigation at an earlier stop.

          Would it better to change course in the Ukraine if the weather in say India was diverting planes into different corridors?

          I use I-81 instead of I-95 to avoid traffic even though my starting and destination point are hours away from the beltway congestion.

          1. OIFVet

            I figure the shortest possible route around weather would be preferable. So the earlier the course change the better, but I think at least part of the equation involves the range of the airplane’s own radar.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              If they were on the ground, but planes use jet streams and avoid headwinds all the time. I guess I would want to know how well flights are coordinated or monitored by the airlines.

              Given the speed Kiev released the “intercepted transmissions between Russian terrists and KGB handlers,” I am surprised the recordings haven’t been released. The relative silence of Malaysia is interesting. My suspicion is the U.S. wasn’t particularly helpful during the search for the other plane.

            2. NotTimothyGeithner

              It looks like Malaysian Airlines said the course correction was unrelated to weather, and Kiev doesn’t want to put the matter to rest.

                1. NotTimothyGeithner

                  It’s a few comments down on this page. I’m not at a computer, so my technical ability on this tablet is limited, thus I won’t be providing a link.

                  1. OIFVet

                    Thanks, I found it at Ned Ludd’s comment. I hear you on the links from mobile devices, its a pain.

                    1. OIFVet

                      Well, I just find it hard to use the darned things. My fingers are rather gnarly from playing goalie through high school, and a home improvement accident with a miter saw. It is hard to copy and paste on touch screen with fingers like mine.

                  1. Lambert Strether

                    Thanks! If it’s an iPad, it’s almost like Apple wants to destroy the URL. Why on earth would they want to destroy a successful and highly interchangeable non-proprietary global addressing scheme? Gee, I can hardly imagine. Please ignore this off topic rant.

            3. optimader

              Beyond the aircrafts radar they are getting updates from the airlines own flight control services.
              A friend of mine who is a senior captain for **lines actually went into a shitstorm tirade with his airline on the day Fukushima lit off as he was NOT advised to divert around Fuku on his way into Tokyo. In any case the airline as a practice are continuously updating flightcrews for optimization of flights.

              1. optimader

                It’s also worth noting as a sidebar these big flying buses have severe maneuverability limitations when operating at cruising altitude. These aircraft wings are designed for utmost efficiency when trimmed out at altitude. Any aggressive maneuvering and they can stall.
                Unfortunately without a malfunction of the SAM, basically they were a cooked goose.

        1. Ned Ludd

          According to Malaysia Airlines director of operations Captain Izham Ismail, “MH17 planned to fly at 35,000 feet but according to the ATC [air traffic control], there was other traffic at that time, and the ATC ordered the doomed plane to fly at the next best altitude at 33,000 feet”. By causing the flight to fly lower, “Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was flying just 1,000 feet (300 metres) above restricted airspace when it was shot down, according to the European air traffic control body.”

          Regarding the weather, Izham said:

          Izham denied reports that MH17 had deviated from its flight path to avoid a hurricane.

          “There was no hurricane in that vicinity as confirmed by other flights which came later.

          Izham also said, “the MH17 path was 100km north from the restricted area”, by which he seems to mean the restricted area in Crimea. The Guardian reported, “Airlines were asked not to overfly Crimea, the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov due to the potential for conflicting air traffic control instructions between Ukrainian and Russian authorities.”

        2. JustAnObserver

          Not uncommon. I believe the usual reason is to avoid so-called “clear air turbulence” that’s been reported by a pilot ahead. Hot dry unstable conditions can give rise to a lot of thermally induced CAT (*). I’ve been on a couple of flights where, after a fairly sharp descent, the pilot’s come on the intercom to say ATC had told them to descend to avoid turbulence.

          Personally I’d suspect the culprit was some trigger happy f**kwit desperate to get “I shot down an AN26” bragging rights before this civil war’s over. That psycho waving the child’s stuffed toy at the assembled journos tells us all we need to know about this lot. It doesn’t matter who was responsible it was just cruel & heartless. No one with a nanogram of soul remaining does that, ever. Between them and the Bandera loving fascists I’d say an attitude of “a plague on both your houses” is the only one worth having.

          On a side note: The EU had no idea how lucky they were when Russia (nearly) saved them from from having to absorb yet another corrupt slice of E. European kleptocracy along with a tasty dollop of neo-fascism … or maybe they did and that’s what got Nuland-the-neocon so pissed off that she stopped thinking about who might be listening in.

        1. optimader

          ATC directs traffic, the PIC (pilot in command) is in command of the aircraft. In the case of weather typically the PIC will request a diversion and ATC will provide instruction for a clear airspace to operate in.
          Instrument flight requires a flight plan and the aircraft is passed from one ATC center to the next

          1. Ned Ludd

            In the article at The Star, Malaysia Airlines director of operations Captain Izham Ismail seems to be saying that the pilot did not request a diversion due to weather.

            Izham denied reports that MH17 had deviated from its flight path to avoid a hurricane.

            “There was no hurricane in that vicinity as confirmed by other flights which came later.

            “We are aware of the tweets and status on the social media with regards to pilots reporting they reverted to us regarding the route changes…it is false. There was no report from our pilot,” he said.

  8. petal

    I will try to find a better article/write-up about the Toxo work. Dr. Bzik is in my dept. If anyone has any questions, I can either try to answer them or point folks in a direction to help.

    1. petal

      Here’s the abstract of a paper (you can read the whole paper for free if you want) published a couple of years ago but is a little more detailed and explanatory than the original article ( that was put out for public consumption. There is a recent Cell review article, but it’s behind a pay wall. Again, if anyone has any questions, please ask. Exciting times in Immunology these days. Cheers.

      1. sd

        That’s fascinating. Many many years ago, my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer and treated at Mary Hitchcock under an experimental program with the medical school. She was essentially a human guinea pig. She was given 6 months to live. 17 years later, she passed away. Credit to those at Dartmouth Medical School for the success of her treatments.

    1. Paul Tioxon

      At a meeting of Ecology Food Coop, at 201 N 36th Phila. PA 19104, in the late 1970s, a committee meeting was attended, as usual, by members, directors and the paid staff of the food coop. In the middle of the meeting, some administrative details were attended to and out came the legal entity which the business we operated under the name of a food coop was discussed. We were incorporated, under the Washington DC laws for consumer cooperatives, because there were no provisions in the state of PA for consumer coops. The PA laws were developed for rural communities and their needs. Nothing wrong with that, we looked elsewhere and found an acceptable format which we used to incorporate as a consumer coop in order to conduct business.
      At this point, a standard issue space cadet exclaimed ewwwwwwwwwwwwww, we’re a corporation!!!!!!!!!!!
      Yeah, that’s exactly what we were and so are all other coops. The difference is when you incorporate, the key element to prevent the commodification of ownership shares is to designate the coop as a “limited equity” coop. There are limits placed on shares, so that they are regulated and NEVER traded in a market or amassed to acquire policy and operational control of the business. Articles of incorporation can contain other provision to structure the business to be not for profit or non-profit. Court cases have established in the past that consumer coops can not be organized under 501(c3) status as non profit organizations. The court rulings indicate that there is an imputed pecuniary benefit to membership provided by buying goods and services at market price less than could be obtained from a for profit company. By setting up the coop and running at cost to operate the business, the prices resulted in savings that materially affected the consumer members to their pecuniary benefit, and the profits accrued to the membership that would have otherwise been re-distributed in the market to for-profit sellers.

      Now, this is a small lesson in understanding that business activity in the form of a coop will use the existing legal system to provide corporate entities for the purpose of setting up business for communities, producer or consumer, to their benefit. Only the more high minded cooperatives which follow in the traditions of founding cooperative movement ideals will incorporate the key feature of limit equity, shares are only redeemed by the coop and not to traded or transferred, as well as other democratic decision making mechanism for the membership to vote for directors, as well as other issues, so corporate control is not ceded to paid management.

      This article describes large scale multi $Billion coops that are used to facilitate business of many smaller businesses, saving them money, and making them more powerful actors in the market than they would be by themselves. But the benefits to society are limited to the producers in this case, whose interests are not going to the same as the general welfare of the nation. Producers will still want to keep labor in line, taxes low, prices high and profits gushing, no matter the cost to others. The instrument for their benefit just happens to be A cooperative business structure that only cooperates within the narrowly defined set of business owners who join. They aren’t joining to make friends and promote idealistic causes, they are enhancing their position in the market place.

      Labor unions have correctly identified other compromising features in the consumer cooperative business structure in the motive to drive down prices for the membership. In the food coop movement this was called cheap cheese. While many food coops in the 1970s were born out of idealistic social activism to control the dollars we spend, and keep them circulating in the community as much as possible, provide for a decent paying job, with health benefits, as coop membership expanded, many people realized just how much food markups were for some of their favorite foods and delicacies. When memberships were debating just how true to cooperative principals they could live with, such as mandatory work requirements to get the best price, prohibiting or allowing non-members to shop at a higher markup, etc many people would voice their opinion that they were there for the good prices, the cheap cheese and that was it. The minute this type of member saw no worthwhile price differences, they were out of there. That is why labor never got to strongly behind many consumer coops, except credit unions. One of the chief ways to keep the cheese cheap was to keep the wages and benefits down. Increasing productivity was usually an occasion for surplus funds at the end of the year to be returned to the membership.

      Cooperation is not mutually exclusive with capitalism. As the co-option of coops in the article explains, it should not surprise anyone that capitalism sees a silver lining in coops to their distinct advantage. Cooperation as a principle helps smaller businesses to compete against larger Fortune 500 behemoths by banding together to buy in bulk the same way one large business does all by itself. ACE Hardware is coop, Wakefern is the largest retailer coop in the US and the largest employer in NJ. Shop Rite supermarkets are supplied and owner operators of those stores are the owners of Wakefern. Cooperation in this instance creates better competition. Even Subway Sandwich franchise owners have banded together to form a purchasing coop to get better prices for meats and cheese, again with the cheap cheese!

      Collective active in the business world reaps lower costs, due to scale and negotiating strength from that scale. But cooperatives, even though they are a corporate form of business, have a long standing meaning as a social movement, not just a common sense thing to do in order to drive down business costs. The coop movement with the traditional Rochdale Principles from 1844 has been update slightly:

      Original version (1844)

      Open membership.
      Democratic control (one person, one vote).
      Distribution of surplus in proportion to trade.
      Payment of limited interest on capital.
      Political and religious neutrality.
      Cash trading (no credit extended).
      Promotion of education.

      ICA revision (1966)

      Open, voluntary membership.
      Democratic governance.
      Limited return on equity.
      Surplus belongs to members.
      Education of members and public in cooperative principles.
      Cooperation between cooperatives.

      People who have participated in founding whatever kind of community based coop around the world, whether for housing, food, fuel or electricity, or water, have always been exposed to and frequently were inspired with the political meaning of the cooperative as a social movement. Big Business, Global 2000 or Fortune 500 corporate entities have no such regard for the social movements or interest in seeing it spread one little bit. It is only seen as nuisance competitive threat to siphon off business that should be theirs alone!

  9. craazyman

    that’s a work of dog conceptual performance art titled “Standing Still”. It’s sure to be in the next Whitney Biennial, unless some rich dude buys it and puts it in his backyard. Then yoiu’ll have to look at it from over a fence.

    what if somebody owes you 100 million dollars and the Fed buys it from you so you’re made whole then tells the person “Don’t worry about paying it back. We can just print the money ourselves. What’s the difference anyway?”

    What is the difference? There’s a question for the Space Brothers.. If I channel them they just start laughing at me. It should be obvious, they say. I don’t get pissed off at them since I see it for what it is; tough love at my intellectual laziness. There’s a little difference but it’s not what people think. It’s not Newtonian and it never was, that’s the key.

    1. optimader

      Avnery can recognize a sociopathic murderer when he sees one, and consequently presents as a compassionate, even minded guy. Nonetheless he is still an unabashed Zionist, just the leftwing flavor, committed to a “two state solution”, Zionism is Apartheid is Racism by any other name.

      1. Carolinian

        I don’t believe you’re being fair. Avnery is of course a Zionist since he helped fight for the creation of the state of Israel. But Zionism looked somewhat different back then to those coming from Germany (as Avnery did). I only know him from what he writes and his consistent bias is for peace. I wouldn’t be so sure he’d oppose a single state if peace could be assured.

        More on Avnery

        1. optimader

          I know Avnery’s history better than most, and you need to read up on the History of Zionism. Israel is fruit of the poison tree. The original Zionist founders had the same objectives as their contemporaries, just a smaller budget.
          I’m sure Avnery is a charismatic guy and might be interesting to have dinner with but he still supports a racist political construct.

          1. Carolinian

            The country Christians I grew up around have a pretty good expression: “hate the sin, love the sinner.” Presumably everyone with an Israeli passport is technically a Zionist. Since they are, by your reckoning, therefore tainted just what exactly is the plan? March them all off to Jordan instead of the Palestinians? You must know that’s not going to happen.

            And btw your roster of the tainted includes such figures as Daniel Barenboim and Noam Chomsky (once lived on a kibbutz). I really don’t see the point of this sort of absolutism.

            1. Optimader

              Again i would urge you to read about the history of Zionism, im not going to go into a derge on the subject. A decent as any place to start.

              Your making a arguement from a false premise, no not all jews in israel (palestine) are zionist. Zionism is only a 100 yo racist political affiliation. many jews in isreal (Palestine) would prefer to live in peace in a nonracist society but they are verymuch drowned out in the media bandwidth
              The irorny in play here is that Zionism is essentally opposed to traditional Judaism.

      2. James Levy

        I think this representation is unfair. Unless you are seriously suggesting the impossible–that the Jews in Israel pack up and leave for points unknown–then a two-state solution is all you’ve got. Nobody who has a state gives it away. Certainly no group that has been as systematically overbearing and indifferent to the lives and well-being of those they occupy will just give up and let themselves be ruled over by their former victims (especially a people who have reified the trauma of the Holocaust and turned it into the central tenant of their identity). Most Israelis and many Diaspora Jews can hardly make themselves see Palestinians as fellow human beings of roughly equal stature and value as themselves. So accepting them as rulers in the land is an impossibility. Netanyahu would rather see the whole region go up in radioactive flames than allow that. And I’d lay odds that a majority of his fellow countrymen, in the best Masada tradition, are on board with that. So don’t dismiss the man who really wants a decent two-state solution as just another “Zionist.” Men and women like him are all that stands in the way of this going to the brink.

        1. Tim Mason

          I have often read Avnery on Counterpunch, and have found him interesting. However, over the last few years Ilan Pappe has seemed to be an excellent guide to the history of Palestine. I note that he believes that the two-state solution is dead.

        2. optimader

          “Unless you are seriously suggesting the impossible–that the Jews in Israel pack up and leave for points unknown–then a two-state solution is all you’ve got. ”

          Argument from a false premise. A two state solution will never be fair, therefore it is a Chimera.
          The solution is multigenerational, one state, equal representation, equal opportunity,

        3. Jim Haygood

          ‘Most Israelis and many Diaspora Jews can hardly make themselves see Palestinians as fellow human beings of roughly equal stature and value as themselves. So accepting them as rulers in the land is an impossibility.’

          A century ago, mainstream American discourse described Negroes (to employ the terminology of the day) in exactly these terms. Someone who predicted that a black president would be elected would have been laughed out of town.

          The view you’re accurately describing is a prejudice. Both the U.S. and South African experiences show that prejudices can be overcome, even when they have been enshrined in local law.

          1. James Levy

            Nobody in their right mind thought that Obama’s election meant that “the blacks” were taking real power here. That’s just a bullshit comment. And American whites are not haunted by an incredible fear of powerlessness and being wiped out (it doesn’t matter that the Holocaust happened a long time ago, etc., the Jews believe that they must NEVER be under the control of goyim again–it is as real to most Israelis as the sun coming up in the morning).

            The Jews have maintained their identity as a people for 3500 years not in spite of their prejudice against outsiders, but because of it. It is inscribed in the notion of being the Chosen People of the One True God. To cease thinking that way would be for the Israelis to cease being Jews. It would be like getting Americans to not think that they are the Greatest Nation Ever and the Most Powerful Leaders of the Earth. American elites showed very clearly in the Cold War that they would have happily ended sapient life on Earth to prevent that from happening. And the H-bombs were never retired. If our elites were going down, they’d take the world with them. Do you doubt that? So why is it so strange to think that the Israelis are as nuts as the people here?

        4. Banger

          The two state solutions is probably impossible thanks to the deliberate sabotage of the Oslo process by Israel with its settlement policy and Clinton’s weakness on the issue. Even then there was hope until the assassination of Rabin. I just see more of the same as the Israeli elites use outside threats for the permanent state of war that it, like its American ally, seems to want above all other things.

        5. Working Class Nero

          Below is a pitch to Israelis for a one-state solution from an earnest American Jew (Spengler) and it is obviously framed assuming Jewish ethnocentric dominance of an eventual Greater Israel. I have been struggling recently with the problems of settler colonialism and he gets into this a bit as well. He argues that the Jewish birthrate is now surpassing the surrounding Muslim rates. What he fails to mention is that much of the increase is fueled by the Haredim, who are basically welfare-soaking Talmud-trash. It is written from a very naïve point of view concerning the Machiavellian aspects of Israeli/American foreign policy.

          In any case he is wrong about much (the Kurds for example) but it is a fascinating article to read nonetheless.

          On the other hand the best solution would be, once the current Israel fails, for global Jewish oligarchs to pool their money and just buy up Baja California to be the future Jewish homeland.

            1. Working Class Nero

              I was trying to play off the Trailer Trash meme. The Haredim have a separate education system that refuses to teach subjects like math, science, English, etc.but they do come out of school totally mastering the Talmud. There are concerns in Israel among the more secular oriented that all these fundamentalists are not exactly going to contribute much to a dynamic 21st century economy in Israel.

            1. Working Class Nero

              The Kurds have 3.3 children per female versus only 1.8 for ethnic Turks, demographer Nicholas Eberstadt estimates, which means that within a generation, half the recruits to the Turkish army will come from Kurdish-speaking homes.

              Right now there are around 12 million Kurds and 68 million ethnic Turks. This projection seems wildly optimistic towards the Kurdish side.

      3. Tom W Harris

        “Zionism is Apartheid is Racism by any other name.”

        That’s a blatant lie, and everybody goddamn well knows it.

        1. optimader

          take your pick, a target rich environment

          Mondoweiss is a news website devoted to covering American foreign policy in the Middle East, chiefly from a progressive Jewish perspective.

          It has four principal aims:
          1.To publish important developments touching on Israel/Palestine, the American Jewish community and the shifting debate over US foreign policy in a timely fashion.
          2.To publish a diversity of voices to promote dialogue on these important issues.
          3.To foster the movement for greater fairness and justice for Palestinians in American foreign policy.
          4.To offer alternatives to pro-Zionist ideology as a basis for American Jewish identity.

        2. optimader

          take some time to read outside your affirmation comfort zone

          The trojan horse of liberal Zionism

          Mich Levy on July 16, 2014
          … the history of the state of Israel is loaded with examples of how the Zionist left and its liberal counterparts around the world (most significantly the U.S. government) have informed and shaped unjust Israeli policies by playing this role of the Trojan horse. I will mention only two of the most recent and significant. …
          The second example of Zionist left policies advancing Israeli violence and suppression is Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza strip. In the wake of the first intifada, during the “peace” of the Oslo Accords, Gaza was completely enclosed and became the outdoor prison (and most densely populated place in the world) that it is today. Israel’s unilateral withdrawal, promoted as a way to support Palestinian autonomy, was eagerly supported by the Zionist left. What it did, however, was to create an isolated Palestinian enclave that could be blockaded, attacked with white phosphorus, and starved of food, water and electricity. It created a testing ground for control and occupation by armed drones which now provide the lucrative export of goods and services for Israel’s arms industry. And it created the enclosed space in which 1.7 million people are entrapped, terrorized and killed by 160 airstrikes in just one night of Israel’s current assault.

  10. Carla

    Re: Heartless Water Shut-offs in Detroit: A couple of us from Cleveland drove up to join the demonstration in solidarity with Detroit and when we got there, met up with some other activists from NE Ohio. We guesstimated there were 1,500 to 2,000 participating in the march and rally. The crowd was spirited and diverse in every respect: age, race, and socio-economic class. Unfortunately, there was no decent sound system. We later learned that the police had confiscated the sound system truck and arrested the driver.

    Also learned from a tiny item in the Cleveland Plain Dealer this morning that: “Detroit police Friday afternoon arrested nine protesters who were blocking an entrance used by city contractors who’ve been shutting off water to delinquent customers. Plastic restraints were used to handcuff the five men and four women who were loaded into a Detroit police bus at about 1:30 p.m.” (p. A6)

    Of course, we had no idea this was taking place (or maybe someone tried to tell us but we just couldn’t hear).
    I loved reading in the Common Dreams story that the Council of Canadians is going to send a water convoy to Detroit.

    Get ready, Americans. The privatizers are coming for your water, wherever you live.

    In Detroit, they’re just creating the working model. If you’re crazy enough to think water is a human right, get yourselves to Detroit for the next action, and the one after that. Fight the battle in Detroit, or by the time they get to your town, there will be no one left to fight for you.

    1. toldjaso

      Nestle North America HQ in Greenwich, CT for a long time. Long gone are the days when Abita Springs water was available to the People for free.

    2. Klassy

      Thank you for making the trip, Carla!

      The small article I read today said 1000, and that was barely mentioned–the article was about the protestors at contractor site that were arrested.

    3. JEHR

      The Council of Canadians is a great organization, one which I support. The leader, Maude Barlow, is doing very important work for us:

      “Maude Barlow is the National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians and chairs the board of Washington-based Food and Water Watch. She is a board member of the San Francisco–based International Forum on Globalization and a Councillor with the Hamburg-based World Future Council.

      Maude is the recipient of eleven honorary doctorates as well as many awards, including the 2005 Right Livelihood Award (known as the “Alternative Nobel”), the 2005 Lannan Foundation Cultural Freedom Fellowship Award, the Citation of Lifetime Achievement at the 2008 Canadian Environment Awards, the 2009 Earth Day Canada Outstanding Environmental Achievement Award, the 2009 Planet in Focus Eco Hero Award, and the 2011 EarthCare Award, the highest international honour of the Sierra Club (US).”


    4. Jim Haygood

      ‘The privatizers are coming for your water, wherever you live.’

      Maybe. But the water cutoffs you’re protesting are being implemented by a public water supply system.

      It’s worth noting that the worst sanction a private water company can impose is shutting off service and attempting to collect the bill. Whereas in many states, a municipal water company can foreclose your house for an unpaid water bill, in the same manner as for unpaid property taxes.

      Nice guys, huh?

      1. Lambert Strether

        A “public” water supply system under control of a representative of the banksters.

        On the brutality of foreclosing on your house for an unpaid water bill, I agree, not least because, impelled by similar social justice concerns, Argentina should tell the bottom-feeding hedgies who bought up its debt to take a flying **** at the moon.

        1. Jim Haygood

          From the WSJ:

          It isn’t just the $1.5 billion owed to hedge funds at stake. There are also hundreds of smaller funds and pensioners as far away as Europe, who are claiming much smaller amounts—and who also have stood their ground to recoup their investments in full.

          Norma Lavorato, 85, doesn’t see herself as a vulture. But she is among the 13 individual creditors, along with the hedge funds, whose U.S. lawsuit is subject to the judge’s ruling. That means if Argentina makes a payment to the hedge funds, Ms. Lavorato should get paid, too.

          A deal this month also could pave the way for subsequent settlements with hundreds more holdouts. Those include other Argentine citizens, as well as Italian and German pensioners who sunk their savings into Argentine bonds before the default.

          The scolding of holdouts vexes citizen bondholders like 57-year-old Horacio Vázquez. Mr. Vázquez, who started a group representing the individual holders, said they have been referred to as “little vultures” in the local press.

          A recent article on Mr. Vázquez by a pro-government news outlet, Tiempo, links to a Youtube video of a fluffy, vulture chick. The site also published a piece titled “These Are the Argentines Who Are on the Side of the Vulture Funds,” naming Ms. Lavorato and her 89-year-old sister, among others.


          Nice guys … bashing grannies as ‘little vultures.’

          1. Alejandro

            That’s pathetic PR, even by Singers’ “standards”. Even if Ms. Lavorato and Mr. Vázquez are real with legitimate claims (a big if, given the source), the idea of juxtaposing Singer as somehow their champion, pushes the envelope of absurdity beyond recognition.

  11. jfleni

    RE: Accusations and speculation about MH17 abound

    This of course is just a transparent charade by Barry and his Neocon lunatics to stick our oar into a a tragic disaster which really does not concern the USA at all.

    Why the airline ignored current and continuing military operations by both irregular and national forces in the area is a mystery, but not too surprising in view of the same company’s catastrophic failure to track its previously disappeared flight last month!

    Barry and the Necons can now happily beat the war drums; unhappily, none of those ridiculous clowns will ever have have to suffer the consequences. That falls to us, the hapless citizens of DogPatch-DC!

    1. Cynthia

      The US started this whole mess. So please fix it, O’Bomber, before we give you the boot.

  12. jfleni

    RE: BNSF, labor union reach tentative deal to allow train operations with 1 employee

    How much does Plutocrat Buffet (owner of BNSF) want? Everything!

    If the countryside is covered with explosive oil, after an accident, just write if off. Buttkisser Barry and his stumble-bum helpers will sing hymns to “free enterprise” (and political “contributions”), and everything will be just fine!

    1. Lambert Strether

      Lac Mégantic says this is a really bad idea. To be fair, a single engineer hasn’t been shown to be the cause — an the MMA railway was horribly managed from the CEO down. However, we can speculate that in this particular case, more brakes would have been set with a two-man crew. Frankly, the whole thing seems madness to me, driven by plutocrats who hate workers. Driving a train is a highly skilled occupation with centuries of culture around it, and railroads are very unforgiving. This isn’t featherbedding. They’re finally cutting into bone. A few miles of hydrocarbons, moving up and down grades, in all weather. Indeed, “What could go wrong?”

    2. cwaltz

      Meh,it doesn’t look like it’s been VOTED ON by union members. I wonder how much money BNSF will have to pay short term to get the actual union members to vote against their ong term own interests? My bet is A LOT. That IF RATIFIED, is a real big if.

  13. Eureka Springs

    For some odd reason (mac safari) the reply to comment button doesn’t seem to work today.

    @ tiger

    From this day forward I will always think of you as straw tiger. I believe you are a troll… better than most or you wouldn’t have been around NC so long.

  14. The Heretic

    I am a little saddened by the article in the Asia times, stating that the Kurdish political leaders may push for independence. According to the war nerd, the Kurds are the only region that is doing well, both economically and militarily. But the Kurds should step very carefully, because the big dog that they should be afraid of, the dog that also have a contemporary history of shooting Kurds, is Turkey, not Iran.

    Odd, how the article does not mention Turkey.

  15. Jim Haygood

    From La Nación in Buenos Aires:

    Former president of the Central Bank and leader of the Renewal Front party, Aldo Pignanelli, downplayed the bilateral agreements between Argentina and China. He said that “the yuan is not an internationally traded currency,” and “is not qualified like the dollar or the euro.” He asserted that the financial swap “can not even be counted as reserves.”

    Additionally, the economist warned that if the country goes into default “the Chinese agreement falls apart.” He remarked that these agreements “are not going to bring dollars to Argentina”, but rather “bring in products we’ll have to pay for.”

    “I would not be as optimistic as they are in the central bank, saying that swaps can be used as reserves. Maybe they’ll help us import more stuff from China, nothing more,” said the leader of the FR.

    On the other hand, he warned that if the country enters default by ceasing payments to its creditors, “the Chinese deal falls apart” because “the fine print in the contracts says that if either country goes into default or financial difficulty, the agreements end.”


    Hard to believe that these deals would be signed just 12 days before Argentina’s near-certain default, if that’s what the fine print really says. Maybe China sees it as low-risk PR.

    Argentina’s railroads, built by the British a century ago, are a shambles. Upgrading rail freight service from the interior to the coast to move soybeans would be a win-win for both countries.

    1. Martin Finnucane

      Besides being humorous in the ‘negro comedy’ vein (think Boondocks), I found it pretty smart.

  16. Yonatan

    Gaza needs more than condemnation – really? Surely it is Israel that needs more than condemnation.

  17. Keith Ackermann

    Thanks for posting that link on Market Basket. I worked there many years ago, and I can see why the loyalty… they were quite generous to long-time employees.

    However, the DeMoulas family who own the chain have a sordid past

    Their ongoing feud has taken on Bleak House proportions.

  18. NotSoSure

    Indonesia Jokowi: either we will see an Indonesian’s version of All the King’s Men, or perhaps a true wolf in sheep’s clothing. Living in interesting times indeed.

  19. JTFaraday

    re: “Part-Time Schedules, Full-Time Headaches,” New York Times

    …”A middle-aged New Yorker who lost his teaching job of two decades because of a budget squeeze in his school district said he had applied for retail jobs and was shocked by what he found.

    “You had to be available every minute of every day, knowing you would be scheduled for no more than 29 hours per week and knowing there would be no normalcy to your schedule,” he wrote. “I told the person I would like to be scheduled for the same days every week so I could try to get another job to try to make ends meet. She immediately said, ‘Well, that will end our conversation right here. You have to be available every day for us.’

    “I asked, ‘Even though I’m trying to get another job?’ ‘Yes.’ Then she just stared at me and asked me to leave. What kind of company does this? What kind of company will not even let you get another job?””

    Well, that’s not too ham-fisted.


    re: “Homophobia, racism and the Kochs: San Francisco’s tech-libertarian “Reboot” conference is a cesspool.” Mark Ames, Pando

    “Reboot 2014 will bring together technical talent and policy advocates to turn ideas into deliverables for liberty.”

    I know, I know. There’s an app for that.

  20. OIFVet

    Robinson Crusoe and the Hundred Cats:

    “The big rats that gnawed on his feet at night were still a problem, so he tempted wild kittens with goat meat until he had tamed a hundred cats. They slept in his hut with him at night, keeping the rats at bay. A few of the cats even followed him like dogs on his hunting expeditions.”

    Who says cats are useless? Now, if I can only find a way to have my cats protect my tomatoes from the blasted thieving squirrels…

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