Links 7/21/14

Australia drying caused by greenhouse gases, study shows Science Daily

SAY CHEESE: Japan’s Most Famous ‘Schoolgirl’ Is A Man HuffPo

The Most Terrifying Thought Experiment of All Time Slate. Our wacky squillionaires, or more precisely, their loony servicers.

AutoNation’s Jackson warns of excessive inventory levels in 2014 Automotive News

In a Subprime Bubble for Used Cars, Borrowers Pay Sky-High Rates Dealbook, Times. Nobody went to jail the last time, so why wouldn’t they run the same scam again? Still, houses last time, used (!) cars  this time. So what next, after this time isn’t different? Second-hand clothing in thrift shops?

Insurers ‘dispute half of business claims’ FT

Alibaba’s I.P.O. Could Be a Bonanza for the Scions of Chinese Leaders Times

Detroit’s Water War: a tap shut-off that could impact 300,000 people Guardian. If you want water, head for the golf course!

Right-wing obstruction could have been fought: An ineffective and gutless presidency’s legacy is failure Salon. I suggest Democrats build the Obama Museum next to The Vaults Where the Dry Powder Is Stored (2007). That said, beware of narratives of Democratic weakness; that’s their schtick. It couldn’t be more clear that Obama’s presidency has been a massive success. The bailouts were the largest upward transfer of wealth in world history. Not  single bankster executive has been prosecuted, let alone jailed, and the banks are bigger than ever. Unemployment has been kept high and hysteresis has set in. Occupy was smashed. The President can now execute US citizens without due process. The government has openly became a surveillance state, on the scale of the Stasi. And lots of faraway brown people got blown to pink mist. Now, to be fair, Obama built on the solid foundations Bush laid. But what’s not to like?

What we learned from liberals at Netroots Nation Politico

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Edward Snowden interview – the edited transcript Guardian

Exclusive: High-Level NSA Whistleblower Says Blackmail Is a Huge – Unreported – Part of Mass Surveillance George Washington’s Blog

Hondurans don’t need yet another neoliberal boondoggle Al Jazeera

Britain risks a ‘supply chain crisis’ FT. Slavery.

Modern Politics, the Slave Economy, and Geological Time Sociological Images


A Plague on One House Jacobin

Quashing Jewish Dissent on Israel Patheos

What Gaza and Ukraine have in common Al Jazeera


Exclusive: U.N. Security Council to vote Monday on Ukraine resolution Reuters

The Malaysia Airlines crash is the end of Russia’s fairy tale WaPo. “If it has done nothing else, the crash of Flight 17 has just put an end to the ‘it’s not a real war’ fairy tale, both for the Russians and for the West.” Less slavering, please.

Brzezinski: Europe Risks Becoming A ‘Satellite’ Of Russia If It Doesn’t Stand Up To Putin HuffPo. Winter is coming. Europe needs Russian gas.

Airline Horror Spurs New Rush to Judgment Consortium News

MH17 crash: Evidence mounts on how plane was downed FT. Ukraine’s dossier. Note the (partial) reliance on “open source” (i.e., digital) evidence.

Malaysian Air Data Boxes in Rebel Hands as Officials Seek Access Bloomberg. Read the story for qualifications not in the headline.

Red-yellow scrum moves beyond the border Japan Times

Imperial Collapse Watch

When Lockheed Gives You Lemons The Baffler

Smile For The Aliens The Archdruid Report

Class Warfare

NYC gives the green light to the building of apartments with a ‘poor door’ for tenants living in affordable housing Daily Mail

Tyler Cowen on global inequality Understanding Society

Why not worker control? Stumbling and Mumbling

Policy Challenges for the Next 50 Years OECD and OECD predicts collapse of capitalism Boing Boing

Antidote du jour:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post, Links on by .

About Lambert Strether

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


    1. abynormal

      i need to refresh tabs faster’)

      “We are deeply disappointed with this reduced outlook for our company. This level of earnings and cash generation is unacceptable for Lockheed Martin.”
      Vance Coffman (how timely…lawd help us)

  1. abynormal

    Lockheed link jumped…try this

    “What the company has done is incorporate subcontractors all over America (across forty-five states, in fact) into the process of manufacturing the F-35, keeping Congress more invested in funneling tax payer dollars to certain favored constituents than in offering said taxpayers a functioning plane. As former Pentagon acquisitions official Thomas Christie told Foreign Policy earlier this month, “An upfront question with any program is: How many congressional districts is it in?””…how many you got? 435.

    btw, that STOVL (short-takeoff / vertical landing) jet to go supersonic is a requisite for lily pads

    1. optimader

      The Congressional MIC corporate welfare jobs program isn’t a news flash, but I guess Lockheed deserves honorable mention for being so good at it. They bring dimension to the old contractor saying> ” It may be way off schedule and not perform to specification, but at least it’s cost overruns couldn’t be more fantastic”
      It’s legion defects are pretty well documented, interestingly to no effect because I think it has ascended to the status of too big fail.

      What I don’t see trotted out in the media, so I’ll put it out there, is that it’s conceptual and as executed flaws aren’t even attributable to being a bold new design concept because the design is riffed from a the Russian YAK design bureau (YAK-141 -41) that Lockeheed partnered on after the SU collapse in the 90’s and basically kept secret or at least wasn’t apparently to proud of, and they are confronted with mowstly the same problems AGAIN. Too heavy, weight and balance issues, thermal management problems, software problems, landing gear problems range problems, stealth problems etc etc., much of which IIMO are not exactly just “design teething” issues.

      1. skippy

        Code pack 4 some time scheduled in 2020+. Now how much money would the CEO of Lockheed like to put down on that estimate holding true, all his bonus tied to this project maybe?

        1. optimader

          The Russian and Indian coders are on it as we speak.
          Still working on the natty problem of burning a hole through the landing surface and smoking the plane if it takes a realistic time to make a VTOL landing under moderate conditions.

          “…bonus tied to this project maybe…”
          Hewson will have punched out/been forced out by then so no problems, make whole 2020 CEO compensation package double or nothing on a on-time and on-budget projeect execution!

          Why risk today what you can defer to someone else tomorrow?

    2. ex-PFC Chuck

      The process you describe is what was dubbed “Political Engineering” over 30 years ago by the someone in the military reform movement that flowered briefly in the early 80s. PE was first tried on the B-1 program which was launched around 1970 during the depths of the military’s popularity after the Vietnam war was generally recognized as having gone south. The North American Rockwell (the contractor) and the USAF procurement brass set an objective of spreading the subcontracts around among as many states and congressional districts as possible. IIRC the minimum objectives were on the order of 35 of the former and 250 of the latter. Expertise in any industry tends to cluster in a handful of geographic areas (think lower Michigan for autos, south bay California for semiconductors, etc), and the military aircraft business is no different. Some industry-experienced subs relocated or set up satellite operations in new locations, but subcontracts were also let to a lot of existing firms that didn’t have previous industry experience. This is believed to have been a significant factor in the program outcome, namely a budget-busting turkey. Based on a financial analysis conducted mostly during the Ford administration led by John Boyd and friends (see Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War) the program was killed after the first four contracted prototypes (the B-1A) were built. The original unit cost was projected to be $25M but it came in at several times that figure, after the development cost had also exceeded the original estimate by over 100%.

      That wasn’t the end of the story, however. Five years later the B-1 was raised from the dead during the Reagan defense buildup. Significant changes were made to address some of the many technical deficiencies but the end product still retained many of the feathers of its immediate ancestor. This time the unit cost came in at $283M as noted in Wikipedia, an order of magnitude (not factoring in inflation) over the circa 1970 estimate, and the US of A bought 100 of the B-1B. As for the capability of the product, it is no doubt significant that the B1-B was not used at all during Desert Storm, and was not used in the 2003 adventure until the Iraqi air defense capabilities had been completely destroyed.

      1. abynormal

        ” but subcontracts were also let to a lot of existing firms that didn’t have previous industry experience.” (makes horrible sense) Appreciate the heavy lift Chuck

  2. Carolinian

    From Pat Lang blog on the media/propaganda complex:

    Some recent discussion about media bias but it’s surely true that the current news biz is above all biased toward telling stories and preferably ones with simple, easy to digest plots. Which is to say the frog is being boiled in a container full of infotainment.

    And this is hardly new–was the subject of the movie Network back in the mid 1970s. In truth Paddy Chayefsky was ahead of his time. It’s not improbable that one reason our media barons like war so much is that war, as in Hearst’s time, sells newspapers, gooses ratings, boosts page views.

  3. Brindle

    re: “Right Wing Obstruction ….” (Obama legacy)

    Agree that the Obama has accomplished pretty much what he wanted to. He was never concerned with liberal Dem party ( Wellstone /Harkin) aims. He probably has been the most corporate/Wall St friendly president ever, or at least in modern times. So many liberal Dem voters like him for his cultural persona: he can play basketball and trade trash talk with Kobe Bryant, he is articulate and urbane.

    Obama has done his service for the 2,000-5,000 families (a figure off the top of my head) that more or less own America, and he will be very, very well compensated when he leaves office.

    1. Massinissa

      Curious,who was more corporate friendly, Bill Clinton or Barack Obama? Because its a tight race, im sure.

      1. Ed

        What Obama did was to confirm that the Clinton era was no aberration. Both administration’s were more corporate friendly than Dubya’s. Its a tight race, but throw in Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee has been more corporate friendly than the Republican in four out of the last five presidential elections, the Republicans had to nominate Romney in an attempt to get back their cred.

  4. Larry Headlund

    About the Slate article on Roko’s Basilisk:

    1. It is all predicated on our ability to predict the behavior of an entity which is, by definition, above and beyond our understanding.
    2. For millennia billions of people have believed in an all powerful, super intelligent being who could torture you for eternity if you didn’t obey his commands. They didn’t obey.

    1. JohnB

      If people really have deluded themselves into think RB is a valid thought experiment, applicable to reality, that’s kind of hilarious really.

      Seems pretty easy to disprove any kind of ‘superintelligent omniscience’, just by making your decision through flipping a coin – enough people do that, and the AI’s prediction will be proven wrong pretty quickly.

  5. rich

    Obama’s Infrastructure Weekend
    President Obama said he would open public infrastructure projects to private investments in roads, bridges and ports.

    The focus on private money for road projects marks a shift for the administration, which had previously resisted efforts to seek commercial resources for highways and other pieces of the country’s transportation system. The result may be more tolls for drivers as companies look to make profits by operating roads and bridges.

    President Obama continues his Bush imitation on public infrastructure and energy exploration. Bush’s Transportation Secretary Tyler Duvall supported the move.

    “It’s exactly what these long-term investors have wanted for years.” Duvall cited access to credit, the demographics of the U.S. and a stable economy and legal environment.

    Long term investors are private equity firms. They love predictable government guaranteed revenue streams and government enforced franchises. Credit is cheap federal credit.

    Ironically, Obama went from announcements to meeting with high dollar donors, the kind that have billions on the sidelines ready to put to work.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      So, just extrapolating from the Lockheed link where billions are being spent on a jet that “doesn’t work,” I’m wondering what a road that “doesn’t work” looks like. Because I’m sure that’s what we’ll get.

      Does it “go nowhere?” (Sarah Palin, ahead of her time.) Or does it just end at a cliff, Wile E. Coyote style?

      Or just endless traffic jams due to perpetual road contruction? In all 435 congressional districts, of course, and fiercely supported by the “Highway Construction in Perpetuity Caucus?”

      1. optimader

        “I’m wondering what a road that “doesn’t work” looks like”
        It’s “stealthly”, you wont see it.

        1. trinity river

          Oh, we have had roads that don’t work for a very long time. We built expressways many years ago that had no shoulders on them, so that 3 of 4 lanes have to be shut down when there is an accident. Only now getting around to correcting a 10 year problem. The way we are correcting it is to put in very expensive toll roads so the elite won’t be slowed down by the riff raff.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          Try Route 95 in Maine. Slowly deteriorating. Wear on the shocks, wear on the transmission, more accidents, lane closings. At some point, two-line sections begin be introduced and get longer. One the little used portions you get ferries when the bridges fail….

    2. Benedict@Large

      Private investment in public projects? Wake up people, this is fascism.

      Think about it. Even the wording is wrong. It’s public investment in private projects. You don’t think an investor is going to put down money without coming away with ownership, do you? What you have is a project that isn’t by itself sufficiently profitable for private investment. So you figure out what investment would produce the profit, and any price over that is picked up by the taxpayer. Who gets NOTHING from it except the right to pay whatever fees, tolls, etc. the private investor is allowed to charge.

      And then don’t forget that EVERY ONE OF THESE PROJECTS comes with a guaranteed profit clause. Not enough toll money coming in? No problem. Bill the public treasury the difference.

      All this is is one big scam to hide the fact that your tax dollars are being turned into a guaranteed payment bond for Wall Street to peddle off.

      1. Carla

        Check out the Guardian coverage of the Detroit water fiasco in today’s links. THANK YOU, Lambert, for including this great piece. It takes a UK paper to cover an American bankster-made disaster.

        NYT and WaPo reported there were 300 people at the protest against the Detroit water shut-offs last Friday. I was there, with well over 1,000 and maybe more than 1,500 others.

    3. toldjaso

      For Rent Extraction from the People by co-consprofiteers for topdog dynasts. (Michael Hudson nails it.)

    1. abynormal

      right-wing Democrats…they’d be wearing the orange t-shirts, right?

      Thanks Lambert for the Red-Yellow Scrum read.

      1. ambrit

        Dear abynormal;
        “..the orange tee shirts, right?”
        Did I miss a cultural reference here?
        Shouldn’t that read, “..the orange jump suits..” right?

          1. ambrit

            Oh, now I get it.
            Red plus Yellow equals Orange! (It’s not some sort of Netherlands joke. That I get.)
            The subversive subtext, that Americas Republicans are really Crypto Monarchists, (the American Yellow shirts,) I do like. Reminds me of an old article about Bill Buckley and his gang written along the line of Olde Neuie Yorke and Its’ New Aristocracy. It had a good illustration of Bill and the National Review staff riding through Central Park with hawks on their wrists.

            1. toldjaso

              Study the *House of Orange* DNA and follow it to its “logical conclusions” at wikipedia. “Empire” is dynasty rule & reign in a Masquerade.

      2. Benedict@Large

        The orange T-shirts? Those are the ones that the pre-trial cons had to wear. Us trustees got the nice khakis for ourselves.

    2. Eureka Springs

      As a recovering prog/demo (never again, not even for dog catcher!), I’ve come a long way. I had no idea netrooz was happening or where this year. And though I rarely click on politico I was happy to read their coverage of the event. Funny how politico and wsws articles basically leave a reader with the same impression. At least there were only 3k Americans feeling a need to fly into Detroit for more dem/prog self-sabatoge this year. Hell, the long dead OWS could have garnered that many…and at least some of them would have demonstrated over the water situation…and a few “anarchists” would have probably tried or at least suggested someone should consider shutting off the golf course water supply.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      Saw some coverage this weekend of Netroots on Steve Kornacki–interviews with some attendees.

      Comment by a self-described Hillary “supporter:” “I don’t hate her.”

      Ringing. Endorsement.

      1. Massinissa

        I dont hate ANYONE, but that doesnt mean im going to goddamn vote for Hillary Clinton!

        1. trinity river

          The one thing that keeps me from saying the same thing is the U.S. president’s ability to select a supreme court judge. Who-e-v-e-r m-i-g-h-t select a judge like Sotomayor will get my vote in the end.

      2. Brindle

        Interesting take on NN14:
        “It seemed more like a jobs fair for the professional left than anything else. The interesting panels on actual issues were passing rare; there was an appalling lack of attention paid to environmental concerns. There was more apparent interest in Building Your Brand than there was even in our old pal, the Keystone XL pipeline”

  6. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Brzezinski: Europe Risks Becoming A ‘Satellite’ Of Russia If It Doesn’t Stand Up To Putin HuffPo.

    So much for being “a nation of immigrants.”

    How does this immigrant come to America and get instantly catapulted into the upper echelons of American politics where he is able to twist AMERICAN foreign policy for decades to serve his demented hatred of Russia? A hatred he developed thousands of miles away from the country he now claims as “his own?”

    Ever since he somehow became Carter’s national “security” adviser, Americans have been force-fed his deranged obsession with Russia, overtly and covertly. We are suffering the consequences of his and Carter’s support for Afghan “freedom fighters” against the Russians TO THIS DAY. And so, by the way, are the Afghans.

    And still, apparently, neither we nor they have done enough, lost enough, spent enough.

    And it never ends. One of his sons is an AMBASSADOR and the other a republican party operative, for Chrissakes! And his dim-witted daughter, of course, “opines” for 15 hours a week on that bastion of veracity MSNBC. When she is not chit-chatting with “dad” about Polish Thanksgiving “traditions” or how the “Soviets” should be wiped from the face of the earth.

    Enough is enough with this guy, already. If he is so concerned about Europe’s relationship with Russia, go to Europe and convince THEM. Go live THERE. Go become THEIR national “security” adviser. We, here in America, have been your donkey long enough.

    (None of this rant should be remotely confused with sarcasm.)

    1. Carolinan

      Don’t forget he can also be blamed for 9/11 (hatched the scheme of defeating the Soviets in Afghanistan using Islamists who later turned into Al-Qaeda).

      1. Ned Ludd

        How Jimmy Carter and I Started the Mujahideen

        Q: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn’t believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don’t regret anything today?

        Brzezinski: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.

        Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic [integrisme], having given arms and advice to future terrorists?

        Brzezinski: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?

        1. OIFVet

          “liberation of Central Europe” The way I look at it we had imperial master replaced with another. I don’t think my country has been liberated at all, as a matter of fact its people have been enslaved by the destruction of the modest but certainly superior (compared to America’s) safety net that we had .

          1. Ned Ludd

            “Liberation” can also be a euphemism for theft. For example: “liberating” books from the bookstore. “Liberating” Central Europe from the “Soviet empire”.

    2. fresno dan

      The guy is like a Studebaker expert, once that auto manufacturer went belly up – how do he spent his time??? He wouldn’t get on the TV if Russia isn’t a big deal, and he would have nothing to do in his dotage…

    3. toldjaso

      The “sex-drama” in the “Rainbow” (“Under the Rainbow”) costume shop( set) in Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut” unspools in metaphor the sordid story of Brzezinski’s pimping out his daughter to Chinese dignitaries. She’s still captive. Free Mica and arrest/detain/prosecute ZeeBig for child prostitution, probable incest, and breach of trust. Read Alice Miller’s works to see how common incest, pederasty, and child prostitution by parents and “guardians” has been in Old Europe for a long, long, long time. He’s a criminal pervert, right up there with KissDeath. This is why his DNA is in privileged positions within USA!USA! He’s the “enemy within.
      DEAL with it.

      1. toldjaso

        And be sure to listen with full attention to the reports of Kay Griggs on YT (maybe still there unedited), for How It Works for “boys-to-men” who aspire to be admitted into the Big Club.
        Comprehend the MEANING of Noah’s curse on Canaan and the sordid morality play “Sodom and Gomorrah” in the GENESIS (Noah+Ham>Canaan Ch. 9; Abram+Lot+angels re: Sodom and Gomorrah Ch. 14, 18,19).
        Study “Myth and Meaning in the Old Testament” by Brevard S. Childs (1960) to comprehend the conversion and perversion of myth into “reality” for continual DNA advantage and dominance “justified”.
        And don’t forget the dire warning of a modern saint:
        “They don’t CARE about you, at all, at ALL, at all.” (George Carlin, of blessed memory).
        They don’t. They.don’ See Ted Gunderson for further confirmation.

        1. hunkerdown

          “They don’t care about you / They don’t care about you and your crew / Your family, neighborhood and plus, heh / They don’t give a damn about us” – Public Enemy, “Swindler’s Lust”, an early and celebrated online single release

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        WOW! Thanks for the link. I was feeling a little remorseful about calling her dim-witted.

        No more.

        And where has Russell Brand been all my life?

  7. JCC

    The article on “Quashing Jewish Dissent on Israel” at Patheos by Shalom Goldman is excellent. How many have not noticed an article at a public news site where, if there is any criticism of the State of Israel, the commenters come out of the woodwork accusing the author or the site of being anti-Semitic, or worse? Either that or they troll like mad, changing the discourse as much as possible towards emotional hot-button themes that have nothing to do with the gist of the article.

    The propaganda, and money, is huge, and I believe the backlash against this attitude and influence is growing, or at least I hope it is.

  8. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: In a Subprime Bubble for Used Cars, Borrowers Pay Sky-High Rates Dealbook, Times.

    At what point does this crap begin to make the concept of a “credit score” irrelevant except as an excuse for circumventing usury “laws?” Are there any of those left?

    I wonder if Reinhart and Rogoff et al. have done any studies on how high interest rates can go before the borrower notices that they’re not BUYING anything, just renting for a few months.

    And it’s getting to be about time to retire the “tarnished” credit reference. It doesn’t really capture the “essence” of the situation–too soft. May I suggest a switch from the metal to the military frame. Something like “palestinianed” credit would seem to be more on point. Or maybe “gaza-ed.”

    1. fresno dan

      Also, I wish there was an awareness that credit scores have nothing to do with how reliable a borrower is with regard to paying back a loan. They are used by banks as to how PROFITABLE a borrower is…
      “Without knowing it, we were all being trained to spend most of our paychecks on interest payments (i.e. home mortgage loans, credit card debt, auto loans, etc.).

      As I learned more about the various types of credit scoring models and how credit score are calculated, I realized they were designed to reward you for having credit, using it, and making your payments on time, but never paying the balances in full.

      The more you do this the more your credit scores increase. In other words, I discovered the real purpose for credit scores is to get you to use credit to buy more, to incur more debt, to continue to pay more interest.”

      There was an article in the WSJ a while back about credit scores by the typical industry shill. In the comments, a man who had worked for the credit industry totally demolished the baloney that credit scores have anything to do with helping the consumer, or with how reliable the borrower is – its all about how profitable a credit user can be. Unfortunately, the link has expired or something.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        You had to know there was something fishy going on when people who paid all their bills ON TIME and IN CASH–water, electric, rent, groceries– HAD NO CREDIT SCORE.

        If reporting on bill-paying reliability was really the goal, these people should have had straight 800’s or whatever the top score is. Instead, it was as if they didn’t even exist.

        And I love the way protecting your credit score is used as a baseball bat when trying to collect a “debt,” (legitimate or not) while it is virtually impossible to correct mistakes made by the “scorers.”

        If you don’t like my credit “score,” don’t give me a “loan.” Like that’s ever going to happen. I’ve a friend who has a terrible credit score, not that we’ve ever checked, and Capital One wants him BAD, judging by the mail solicitations they send.

        On a different note though, I have a daughter who probably has the worst credit score on the planet. I used to take comfort in that fact figuring she’d never get a credit card or car loan unless I gave it to her. So this story scares me sh*tless. Now it appears that they’ll hand her a shovel so she can dig her own credit grave. But they always tell her she could do better if I cosigned.

        Cosigned. Jeeeeezus!

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Oh, and now they’re making EMPLOYMENT conditional on a “good” credit score.

          Talk about lower lows. This must have something to do with redefining “unemployed.” The BLS, you know.

        2. ambrit

          Dear Katniss;
          Take our word for it. Do not co-sign for anything unless you have loss reserves in the bank. We learned the hard way.
          The question just popped up in my reptilian little brain: If one were to co-sign for something and it all went South, would the co-signees also take a credit score hit? Hmmm…

          1. Larry Barber

            Yes, your score would get trashed, too. Not to mention you would have the bill collectors and other low-lifes coming after you,.

        3. Synopticist

          I was offered a mortgage back in 2007. Since then I’ve paid off nearly all my debts, and I earn at least twice as much, but I asked for a 200 pound overdraft the other day, and it got refused.

          1. JCC

            That’s funny :) I went through kinda the same thing. I have one credit card, rarely use it although I intentionally keep a small balance, just to keep my credit score “high” (the cost is very low for me). Anyway, when I got the card I was offered a $10K limit, I said, “Nah, I don’t need anywhere near that much, it’s a emergency use only card. $5K is fine.” Granted.

            A few years later, long after completely wiping out every debt I had including mortgage, and a substantial raise in a new job, and a score near 800 (even though I paid all my debts on time with a check or cash), I requested the the limit on the card, that was always paid off on time, to be upped to $10K.

            I was denied… by the bank I had done business with since 1983 and that had originally offered me the $10K limit. I just laughed.

  9. Abe, NYC


    Can you go back and compare recent MH17 flight paths on FlightAware and FlightRadar24? I’m a bit puzzled because there was a difference between them which is not there now. FlightAware seems to have revised their maps.

    1. Ned Ludd

      The MH17 flight paths for July 14ᵗʰ, 15ᵗʰ, and 16ᵗʰ have been changed; the new paths are nearly identical to the flight path for July 17ᵗʰ. Here is a map compiled from the earlier FlightAware maps. It lines up the the map from this CBS News story. It is also consistent with the article in The Telegraph, which quoted Robert Mark, a commercial pilot who edits Aviation International News Safety magazine.

      Records of recent MH17 flights on the FlightAware appear to bear out Mr Mark’s claim, with earlier flights significantly further south than the flight that crashed.

      1. hunkerdown

        Oh my. No wonder the W3C wants to break “Save As…” with this Encrypted Media Extensions nonsense.

            1. hunkerdown

              I was leading the target; sorry for the hyperbole. EME is only currently specified for audio and video, since at the moment the use case is to provide an unthreatening new user experience for Netflix et al. Still, Google having partnerships with the content cartel, an author in the mix, and so much inconvenient citizen reportage from Ukraine etc. on YouTube to take down, I’d lay even odds they’d be motivated to “deliver the content you want on any device, ‘without’ plugins” a bit sooner than later.

              1. hunkerdown

                Not counting others who would have a strong interest in stopping pass-along usage and would celebrate the democratization of DRM: the song lyrics sites, high-priced newsletters, academic journals, and of course the intelligence community.

                That’s a lot of groaf right there. Almost certainly there will be working groups convened on the matter within three years.

  10. Abe, NYC

    To OIFVet:

    Could you go back to FlightAware and FlightRadar24 and compare the recent flight paths of MH17? I’m a bit puzzled since the difference between the two seems to have disappeared. Looks like FlightAware has revised their maps.

    1. Working Class Nero

      I’m glad you mentioned that because I thought I was going a bit mad. Last night I checked the fight paths of MH17 for the days before the 17th and they were all much further south (over the Sea of Azov) than on the 17th. Today I checked similar flights from Frankfurt, London, Paris, to Kuala Lumpur and I was disappointed to see that on the days leading up to the 17th many of these flights flew exactly over the spot MH17 was shot down. But then I rechecked MH17 and was shocked to see that now they were showing many of the previous flight paths also going over the spot MH17 was shot down! I didn’t want to get all tin foil hatty but I am glad to see that you have also noticed a change.

      1. Another Gordon

        I just tried to post a link to where the original flight paths can be found but it’s disappeared without trace – twice! It may be time for a tin foil hat after all.

        Try Zero Hedge on 17/17/2014.

            1. Doug Terpstra

              Great link with very credible evidence (satellite tracking and aerial photos) and extremely embarrassing/damning questions for Ukraine and US sponsors.

              Why has Ukraine not produced traffic-control recordings, flight plan and radar data on MH-17?

              Why has Ukraine not enabled/permitted an independent international review of air traffic data?

              Why was MH-17 routed over a combat zone where was no solid field of radar navigation, when Kiev had exclusive air-traffic jurisdiction? And why was there a mid-course deviation of the aircraft to the north side of the “anti-terrorist operation zone” near the strike point?

              Will Kiev report all the details of its many [BUKs] in the war zone? Most importantly -why are these systems are deployed there, as the militia has no aircraft?

              Will Kiev comment on reports by Spanish air traffic controllers working in Ukraine that MH-17 was accompanied by two Ukrainian military aircraft?

              By contrast, Western propaganda is insultingly clumsy with glaring self-contradictions. It begins with snap condemnation without plausible motive, a shred of actual evidence or even a preliminary independent investigation. This is all too familiar. It’s exactly how it was perpetrated with Syria, Iraqi WMDs, and the recent Israeli kidnappings — just shrill, strident saber-rattling on all channels 24-7, priming for war. The USG makes the mafia look civil and respectable.

      2. toldjaso

        Reply, and SCOOP TO LAMBERT, who has delved into this topic as a labor of love for the benefit of humanity at NC: “There is a TELL” (“There is a willow…”) in common, not in the path but in the sudden change in altitude — “the “very fast rate of climb” described below by an Air Traffic Controller NY Center in 2001, which we may now see as the “debut” of the product of a dynastic chosen sole-source provider: You can be sure that “sports betting” by TopDog agents is involved, served “neat” or sliceddiced in hedges. It’s a Big Game for Dynastic profit, folks, because “They don’t care about you at all, at ALL, at all.” (the late great George Carlin). Revisit the mystery of first Dutch Malaysian “downer” disappeared recently, on which a certain Dynasty came into “sudden wealth” as disposable techies died. In 2001, the dynastic monopolist mask was that of Dov Zackheim.

        The Big Game for sporting bets and dynastic profit includes such gambits as “Jack the Ripper”. Do you think this is why the name of the psychocolonel in Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove” is named “Jack Ripper”?
        The TELL:
        “September 11 — The New Pearl Harbor (FULL)” [AJ MacDonald Jr – Pub Jan 11, 2014]
        (Air Traffic Controller NY Center speaks 59:54-1:00:04/4:53:41)

        “Now as I’m watching, flight 175 makes a hard left-hand turn and starts climbing. Not only did he make a sharp turn, but he also climbed 3,000 feet in a matter of approximately one minute, which is a very fast rate of climb. This is something that we have never seen before. …”
        (Precipitous descent followed.)

        Gottit? They WILL not stop. They must be stopped by the sane in community.

        1. ambrit

          Did you notice just how much the caricature of Oncle Vlad looks like the versions of Lyndon Johnson back in the day?

          1. Murky

            Now that you mention it, I can see the resemblance with LBJ. Speaking of LBJ, have you been to the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas? The exhibits are really good, including an exact recreation of the Oval Office as it was during LBJ’s presidential term. Somehow they also got the presidential limousine up onto the top floor of the building.

            My favorite LBJ photo:


            As for Putin’s looks, here is how Oxford University historian Timothy Garton Ash describes Putin: ‘rat-like face’.


    2. susan the other

      Does FlightAware originate in the Netherlands? Let us not forget that Lockerbee originated in Amsterdam where at the last minute the relatives of diplomats were hastily removed from the plane. Which then shortly thereafter turned to shreds over Scotland. It is interesting that the right-wing Dutch press is accusing Putin of the atrocity without any evidence; in fact they are denying the clear evidence by the Russians that the Ukranian government (or someone co-opting them) was responsible for the whole thing; and other evidence which clearly indicates it was all planned well in advance. Much like Lockerbee. Fuck the Dutch.

    3. Ned Ludd

      A compilation of the flight paths that were previously posted on FlightAware is here. The previous paths are referenced in the Telegraph story from last week.

      Crashed MH17 flight ‘was 300 miles off typical course’

      Robert Mark, a commercial pilot who edits Aviation International News Safety magazine, said that most Malaysia Airlines flights from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur normally travelled along a route significantly further south than the plane which crashed. […]

      “I went into the FlightAware system, which we all use these days to see where airplanes started and where they tracked, and I looked back at the last two weeks’ worth of MH17 flights, which was this one.

      “And the flight today tracked very, very much further north into the Ukraine than the other previous flights did … there were MH17 versions that were 300 miles south of where this one was.”

      Records of recent MH17 flights on the FlightAware appear to bear out Mr Mark’s claim, with earlier flights significantly further south than the flight that crashed.

      It looks like FlightAware changed some of the paths, so the path on the day of the crash is no longer a deviation from previous days.

      1. Ned Ludd

        CBS News also wrote about the deviation:

        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.

        If you look at the CBS News graphic, the deviation they show is the same as the one that was reflected in the earlier FlightAware data; data which has now been changed.

      2. Bill Smith

        Don’t trust FlightAware’s data to be anywhere near perfect. Been flying for 28 years, long before FlightAware and have looked at my tracks numerous times. I like it when they show me in the air when I was in fact delayed on the ground. FlightAware can show the proposed track and generally updates it with the real flight track. They also, sometimes, just don’t have non-hidden flights show up at all.

    4. OIFVet

      And that tells me what? Did they give a reason for the changes? Absent an explanation for the rather drastic change this tells me nothing, though it does raise even more questions.

      1. Abe, NYC

        Were you replying to me? I was simply asking you to confirm my observations. Many thanks.

        1. OIFVet

          It was posted under your comment, so I suppose you are the recipient of the reply. BTW, how about that video of the “terrosrist” Buk that has now been debunked, and how about them Russkies releasing photos and radar data that puts the junta in a bit of a tight spot?

          1. Abe, NYC

            The thread spans several pages, and I wasn’t sure you were replying to me. Can’t resist to see a conspiracy now, can we?

            As for your second question, I’ve been trying to post a long comment but something’s been wrong since the morning and I may end up posting it twice, like the one above.

            1. OIFVet

              If it is a conspiracy then it is a conspiracy of fools. Which is apt description for most of our “betters” and certainly the junta figureheads. And I can already guess the contents and lack therefore of your comment, but I look forward to reading it nonetheless.

              1. Abe, NYC

                I think you might be surprised. The comment – I suppose – is in moderation queue, but it might have been lost so I’ll wait a while before trying to post for the third time.

                1. Lambert Strether Post author

                  [Extremely irritated comment removed; I’ve had tooth-grindingly bad router problems all day.]

                  Please minimize multiple duplicate comments. Please do not announce you are posting duplicates because they create real problems for time-stressed moderators, and the practice should not be encouraged.

                  Comments with many links tend to be considered spam by Akismet. We can’t do anything about that. Consider breaking such comments up into parts.

      2. Ned Ludd

        Here is a post about the change. Basically, the old flight paths were guesses because of a coverage gap, and now they are calculating their guesses differently.

        1. When there’s a coverage gap, we now draw the track gap in white, not green, so it’s clear which part was out of range.
        2. When we draw the coverage gap, we no longer draw a flat, straight line on the image; we now project the great circle route that takes into account the curvature of the earth and the route an airplane will fly. […]

        Of course, it’s still important to understand that the white line reflects a lack of data and you can’t draw any conclusions from it, since it may suggest that, for example, a flight flew through a country that it really deviated around.

        They don’t specify how they know “the route an airplane will fly” nor reveal the formula they use for calculating the new guesstimates.

        RT’s site is currently unresponsive, but in this archive from this article, the Russia’s Defense Ministry says that “At the moment of the MH17 crash an American satellite was flying over the area of eastern Ukraine.” The defense ministry “urged the US to publish the space photos and data captured by it.”

        1. Abe, NYC

          This is exactly what I suspected. FlightAware flight paths are very smooth, which indicates much of it is estimated not actual. By contrast, FlightRadar24 maps are more detailed, their flight paths look a lot more realistic (showing minor deviations, etc), and they clearly indicate the parts where the path is estimated not actual.

    5. OIFVet

      Uh, why is the junta presenting its Buks as “terrorist” Buks? That video has now been debunked:

      And the revelations are now beginning to come in: “RUSSIA HAS IMAGES OF UKRAINE DEPLOYING BUK ROCKETS IN EAST: IFX

      Darn it, I spent the day flying to Minneapolis and back and I haven’t even seen half the revelations yet!!!

      1. Abe, NYC

        And the debunking has since been debunked (not yet available in English). Most relevant, in the video one can see overhead trolley wires, which Krasnoarmeysk doesn’t have.

        In any case, the veracity of these video and audio recordings is extremely difficult to establish. It’s one thing when someone posts a statement, then deletes it but never disputes the fact the post was made. Or, for that matter, when a US official telephone conversation is published which she doesn’t deny took place. No reason to doubt either fact.

        It’s quite a different story when a grainy video or out-of-context audio is published, which are almost impossible to validate without extensive research on the ground or special equipment like voice identification.

  11. fresno dan

    Nice information on the effect of the foreign exchange rate and owners equivalent rent with regard to inflation.
    Again, I would say the methodology is flawed if you don’t look at “craponics” in addition to hedonics – you won’t find what your not looking for (basically, how crappy things have become, e.g., non edible tomatoes – copyright* Fresno Dan) Seriously, you have a Panglossian view if you believe things only get better and better
    * joke – feel free to use craponics all you like

    1. ambrit

      Dear FD;
      A large part of the world has used “craponics” to grow wonderful, juicy tomatoes, and everything else vegetative, for millennia.
      Today though, since the advent of “health regulations” in the West, HS has been replaced with BS. Now ‘they’ don’t sell you the actual tomato, ‘they’ sell you futures based on the estimated crop yields. The further and further away from reality this progression goes, the more that tomato begins to taste like a…lemon.

      1. toldjaso

        Each dynastic fave gets a monopoly on a sole-source crop for export, like the” Mexican”unknown’s monopoly on avocados. It’s a Global Racket of Dynasts in a “Conspiracy” to “Rule the World” by engaging in “War Crimes” and “Crimes Against Humanity” (think water Detroit) by any and every means.

  12. fresno dan

    Smile For The Aliens The Archdruid Report
    Ah, always my favorite – there are so few really erudite pessimistic cynics.
    But nature doesn’t care if rats, or cockroaches, or microbes inherit the earth.

    “Yet that raises another question, one that’s going to bear down with increasing force in the years ahead of us: just how will people cope when some of their most cherished beliefs have to face a cage match with reality, and come out second best?”
    Uh, I imagine they will do what they always do – keep their beliefs and posit the opposite, e.g., as they’re sitting on their roofs amidst rising seawater, they will exclaim, “those damn people who prevented more CO2 caused this, cause everybody knows that CO2 prevents heat from the sun from reaching earth…”
    “The promises that framed the housing bubble, the student loan bubble, and the breathtaking cynicism of Obama’s campaign, after all, drew on the same logic and the same assumptions that guided all that grand and vaporous talk about the inevitability of cities on the Moon and commuting by jetpack. They all assumed that history is a one-way street that leads from worse to better, to more, bigger, louder, gaudier, and insisted that of course things would turn out that way. Things haven’t turned out that way, they aren’t turning out that way, and it’s becoming increasingly clear that things aren’t going to turn out that way any time this side of the twelfth of Never. I’ve noted here several times now that if you want to predict the future, paying attention to the reality of ongoing decline pretty reliably gives you better results than trusting that the decline won’t continue in its current course.”

    1. fresno dan

      and I find one of his previous posts even more interesting

      “I want to review here some of the reasons why I expect an era of crisis to arrive sooner rather than later. One of the most important of those reasons is the twilight of the late (and soon to be loudly lamented) fracking bubble. I’ve noted in previous posts here that the main product of the current fracking industry is neither oil nor gas, but the same sort of dubiously priced financial paper we all got to know and love in the aftermath of last decade’s real estate bubble. These days, the rickety fabric of American finance depends for its survival on a steady flow of hallucinatory wealth, since the production of mere goods and services no longer produces enough profit to support the Brobdingnagian superstructure of the financial industry and its swarm of attendant businesses. These days, too, an increasingly brittle global political order depends for its survival on the pretense that the United States is still the superpower it was decades ago, and all those strident and silly claims that the US is about to morph into a “Saudi America” flush with oil wealth are simply useful evasions that allow the day of reckoning, with its inevitable reshuffling of political and economic status, to be put off a little longer.

      Unfortunately for all those involved, the geological realities on which the fracking bubble depends are not showing any particular willingness to cooperate. The downgrading of the Monterey Shale not long ago was just the latest piece of writing on the wall: one more sign that we’re scraping the bottom of the oil barrel under the delusion that this proves the barrel is still full. The fact that most of the companies in the fracking industry are paying their bills by running up debt, since their expenses are considerably greater than their earnings, is another sign of trouble that ought to be very familiar to those of us who witnessed the housing bubble’s go through its cycle of boom and bust”

      1. toldjaso

        Now you know why the CarbonCreditsRacket was enacted (BCCI/Bush/EU)
        Brush up on your Shake Spear: “DarkRootsBrusselsEU”
        Get a clue.

    2. Myr

      “But nature doesn’t care if rats, or cockroaches, or microbes inherit the earth.”

      Nature may not “care” who inherits the earth, but it will most certainly repeatedly smash earth with giant rocks until a species develops that can stop those damn rocks.

      Are UFO’s only a reasonable topic of discussion if you’re a skeptic?

    3. toldjaso

      Still think Hurricane Katrina and the Great Flood of 2005 were “natural” events? If only we could talk to the bookies of the sports betters by any name in the Great Game (hilarity ensues). We are the prey. Gittit?

  13. Banger

    Still no motivation why Putin would wish to shoot down an airliner, indeed, the pattern of the 100% controlled US media is to never offer any logical evidence for their position. All this implies that Putin is just very, very bad and must be stopped so let’s make sure we have plenty of F-35s built to target Russia.

    The stampede towards general war failed to come about as a result of the false-flag Syrian gas attacks last year, why not keep trying now that the terrorism scam has run its course? Remember no real motivation was ever given for those gas attacks except Assad is just bad.

    I’m not saying the rebels or Putin weren’t responsible–we have no way of knowing without a formal and impartial investigation something the U.S. never engages in (except in fiction) and the Russians aren’t much better.

  14. fresno dan

    In a Subprime Bubble for Used Cars, Borrowers Pay Sky-High Rates Dealbook, Times. Nobody went to jail the last time, so why wouldn’t they run the same scam again? Still, houses last time, used (!) cars this time. So what next, after this time isn’t different? Second-hand clothing in thrift shops?

    Some people believe the universe is supported by a giant turtle. When people ask what supports that turtle, they replay another giant turtle. And that turtle is supported by…. – the reply is that it is turtles all the way down.
    So it is with the US economy – subprime all the way down.
    Ask yourself this – how many fracking sites could exist if not for financing? How many are actually making money…not in the new modern get a loan for free from the FED and earn 2% interest, but by actually producing a real, tangible, SOMETHING – like oil sold for MORE than it cost to extract????

  15. windsock

    Re: NYC gives the green light to the building of apartments with a ‘poor door’ for tenants living in affordable housing

    I live in such a property in London. It is social, rather than affordable, housing, meaning people who work as well as unemployed, disabled or chronically ill all live in it. I can tell you the standard of construction is considerably inferior to that of the neighbouring private apartments, and it’s been going on here for years. I’m not complaining – it’s central, comfortable, safe… but as with everything in life, don’t you get what you pay for? If you can’t afford the private housing, who cares if you’re seen entering through a “poor door” to what will still be a central New York newbuild? My disappointment would be there is not a higher proportion of affordable units, through any entrance.

    You’re only stigmatised if you accept that your value can only measured in what money other people think you have.

    1. toldjaso

      This is APARTHEID, no doubt. Arrest Mayor Bloomberg for War Crimes/Crimes Against Humanity.

        1. Jim Haygood

          Probably he meant Mayor of London. Bloomberg owns a palace there. Our loss, your gain … /sarc

  16. molten_tofu

    The JSF could have been pretty awesome, looks like not so much now (even forgetting the layer cake of bribes and funneled money inherent in the process).

    Randomly picked up the “unsafe to fly” thing though – think that deserves more discussion. Seems a bit unfair given there are at least several engine fighter planes that exist out there, including the F16 / Mirage 2000.

    Repeating the talking points of issue laundry lists turns into a game of telephone sometimes, and sometimes detracts from the overall point.

    I feel bad for the probably highly dedicated team of engineers and other skilled workers that wanted to make something really awesome (even if we were going to ultimately use it not for defense but jingoistic raids on other countries and the like).

    1. optimader

      “several engine fighter planes that exist out there”
      Not in the NAVY, but I guess that’s an issue for naval aviators to wrap arms around using a multiservice, has to do everything because it’s so expensive fighter jet platform that’s not really so much a fighter jet, more like a manned drone considering it’s modest depth of defensive capability and reported sluggish maneuverability.
      But at least it ‘s stealthy!… oh.. wait, what happens when they put those two lonely sidewinder missiles on the wingtips w/their nubbily little fins that stand proud like the radar reflectors on the masthead of a sailboat ?

      1. optimader

        presumably you meant: “..several (single) engine fighter planes that exist out there, including the F16 / Mirage 2000”

    2. OIFVet

      Swiss Army knives can do many things, and none particularly well compared to a dedicated tool for the different tasks. This is the essence of the F-35: an over-engineered swiss army knife. But much more expensive.

      1. hunkerdown

        Duck-tape a Swiss Army knife to a rifle and call it a bayonet?

        These are children playing make-believe with live ordnance. Where is the adult supervision, or have they gone half-Menendez on us?

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        I’ve never seen a Swiss Army knife catch on fire, so this is good data. Useful in the woods, though, I suppose. So much better than rubbing two sticks together!

  17. James Levy

    Tom Frank at Salon

    What’s amazing is the barrage of posts (over 1000 and rising) with literally hundreds of people arguing that Frank is full of it and that Obama’s presidency as been anything from a successful liberal holding action against the Republican barbarians to an actual success for liberal Democratic ideals like justice and peace, and that anyone who doubts this is an idiot who doesn’t live in “the real world.” I have no clue how to argue with such people. All attempts to point out the mandate he came into office with, the team he then put together, the two years he had control of both houses, and his endless quest for a Grand Bargain to sell out the old and the sick are met with evasions and vituperation. Not one of these people can answer the simple question, “if Bush could get what he wanted time after time, why couldn’t your guy?” (that is, of course, granting that their guy wanted what the ostensibly say they wanted, identifiably liberal democratic policies). It’s astonishing.

      1. El Guapo

        Bingo. I don’t think it is a case of paid shills either – it’s just true believers doing it for free. Which is much more sad and pathetic. DailyKos is the best (worst) place to see this sort of thing.

      2. Oregoncharles

        I really wished your response had been among those comments, so I posted it there, with due credit and a link.
        I’m on Salon quite a lot, because there is actually a debate there, and I’m convinced at least some of those accounts really are paid shills. Others are so dumb no one would pay for their work. But overall, I think you’re right: miost of them are just blind fans, and/or actually very conservative.

        1. Oregoncharles

          Correction: El Guapo was mostly right. I think Lambert is, too; I’ve seen cleanouts of duplicate accounts, not on Salon but on Alternet. They were mostly pro-Democrat posters.

  18. JohnDT

    What Gaza and Ukraine have in common:
    The Yale Professor writing for Al Jazeera is offering a factually problematic analysis, on multiple accounts:
    1. The author claims that “neither side has any reasonable plan for settling the dispute politically.”
    While the dispute is yet to be resolved, Israel and PLO have multiple agreements in place, a framework that is yet to culminate, while daily cooperation is going on.
    Hamas, on the other hand, has a charter (legal document) stating that no territorial compromise would be legitimate, no agreement with the other party or even negotiations should be honored, and a member of the community of nations should be destroyed using all means possible.
    2. While the author argues that Hamas cannot possibly aim well, many of the rockets Hamas uses and certainly the mortar shells and missiles shot directly across the border are military grade, smuggled by Iran and Syria through Sudan, often captured by the Egyptians and Israelis and displayed for the world to see.
    3. The truth is that using thousands of rockets and shells would have made inaccurate fire as deadly as accurate missiles, has it not been for Iran Dome and Israeli shelters. (15000 rockets and mortar shells fired since 2001, hundreds after Israel withdrew from Gaza and BEFORE the blockade was imposed by Egypt and Israel, 120 rockets while John Kerry was negotiating peace Jan-May 2014, 150 before the dead teenagers were found and Israel started its operations).
    Moreover, this shooting method is used to terrorize innocent civilians, force the Israeli villages outside gaza to build concrete ceilings over kindergartens, etc. The asymmetry is deliberate. In addition, Hamas is putting such weapons inside schools, on hospital roofs and in mosques, as noted by international organizations and reporters, not just the Israelis.
    Had the international community come together and said to Hamas – you will be allowed to travel, control humanitarian aid and join the Palestinian government ONLY IF you focus on state building, instead of banker building, and on peace marches to bring down the blockade, instead of sending death units into civilian centers, perhaps international law would have been more enforceable, the Israeli Left and Center would stand a chance in the coming elections, and the PLO would have regarded Hamas as a counterpart, not a bitter fundamentalist enemy.

    1. toldjaso

      (JohnDT is consistent. We know he/she is *hasbara* by his/her past comments. The Great Mask is slipping.

      1. JohnDT

        I am actually for a Palestinian State, mutual concessions, coexistence, normalization and liberalism.
        I also believe that lasting peace needs to be based on facts, rather than rhetoric.
        If this Yale Professor would argue for those, I would be cheering.
        This violence is bad for the Palestinians AND for Israel, and I want it to stop, for the future of innocent children and human rights.
        Please answer the points I raise, rather than blaming me for something I am not.

      2. tiger

        It’s disgusting that you are such a dirty coward, instead of addressing the person’s points, you demonize the poster, and make conspiracy theories, about the poster, and about Jews, in one sentence.

        1. hunkerdown

          Conspiracy theory?! Oh ho ho! You’ve completely blown your credibility and your cover. Most of us have read Husting, and we know what her research says about that cute little ad hominem you’re so fond of waving around. I hope Lambert outs your IP address soon.

    2. James Levy

      One Big Problem: Israel funded and pumped up Hamas as a counter to the PLO in their “brilliant” divide and conquer strategy of the 70s and 80s. Chickens came home to roost, just like on 9/11. If the Israelis hadn’t spent 40 years insisting “their are no Palestinians” and grabbing their land at will (notice the casualty figures in all this–how many Palestinians have died at the hands of the Israelis, and vice-versa, over the past 30 years?), then blockading them because they didn’t approve of whom they voted for (and then had the balls to turn around and say that Israel had a right to launch a preemptive war against her enemies in 1967 over the Eliat blockade but Hamas can’t do the same when Israel clamped a blockade on them) perhaps the Palestinians would want to give peace a chance.

    3. Jim Haygood

      Let’s rewrite your sentence:

      ‘Had the international community come together and said to Israel – Gazans will be allowed to travel, receive humanitarian aid and form the Palestinian government they elected in January 2006 so it can focus on state building — this violence would not be happening.’

      Israel nullified an internationally supervised election and arrested many legitimately elected parliamentarians. Now Israelis are shocked — shocked — that violence has broken out.

      How very tired we are of your crappy little country …

      1. Doug Terpstra

        Amen, Jim. The ongoing revisionism, fixing “facts” to fit the agenda, is quite tiresome indeed. The mass-slaughter of civilians is unforgivable.

      1. OIFVet

        Yes, the presentation was rather amateur hour. But Cenciotti is being disingenuous too: the SU-24 can fit the silhouette he claims to be the EF-111 just as well: Same shape, same variable geometry wings, etc. Cenciotti knows better than that, he is not a babe in the woods.

          1. OIFVet

            Dunno, I guess he might have been sarcastic but then the title should have been ‘EF-111 in Ukraine’. Anywho I am sorry to have made him shed a tear :)

  19. griffen

    Referring to the afore-mentioned NYT article on subprime auto lending – well, duh, of course the bonds (once loans are processed into the securitization) are magically rated as “delicious” at the Lucky Charms rating factory.

    Good to see those usual suspects at Moody’s or S&P or up to the same tricks again. And once again, if all goes south = constitutional free speech. They weren’t facts, just opinions after all.

  20. Jim Haygood

    Jeremy Grantham, who has studied, defined and quantified all the bubbles he can find since the tulip mania of 1634, takes up the cudgels against J-Yelzebub:

    In early July, Janet Yellen made an admirably clear statement that she is sticking faithfully to the Greenspan-Bernanke policy of extreme moral hazard.

    She will not use interest rates to head off or curtail any asset bubbles encouraged by extremely low rates that might appear. And history is clear: very low rates absolutely will encourage extreme speculation.

    But Yellen will, as did Greenspan and Bernanke before her, attempt to limit only the damage any breaking bubbles may cause. Well, it is a clear policy, and in my opinion clearly wrong.

    This affirmation of moral hazard — we will not move to stop bubbles, dear investors, but will help you out when things go badly wrong — should be of great encouragement to speculators and improve the odds of having a full-fledged equity bubble before this current episode ends.

  21. Oregoncharles

    Lambert: thanks for that commentary on Thomas Frank’s Salon article. I just posted it in the comments (going on 2000) there, with full credit and a link back to here.
    The best thing about the article is that it’s stirred an enormous discussion – as I said, over 1800 comments, not all bickering, an over 580 people still reading it a day later. Frank only goes halfway, but is still useful.

      1. hunkerdown

        Think of what kinda data mining could be done on a blog that’s just swarming with Democratic splainers in the comments. For Science™!

        Oh, by the way, Saker’s going “on vacation” for a month. Suspicious, but hey, there’s enough chips and punch for everyone, right?

  22. Abe, NYC

    I have commented a lot in support of what I think is by far the likeliest theory on MH17, which is that the jet was accidentally downed by the insurgents. Trying to consider all objective evidence, I will now list the inconsistencies and questions marks over Ukraine’s story based on evidence which I consider relatively credible. This may point in the direction of what I think is the second likeliest theory, which is that the plane was downed by the Ukrainians, whether accidentally or deliberately.

    1. When a Ukrainian An-26 was downed on July 14 from the altitude of 6.5km, Ukraine claimed it was shot from Russia since the rebels did not have the weapons capable of that (despite them having captured a Buk missile system 2 weeks earlier). On July 17, Ukraine quickly claimed the Boeing was downed by a Buk system supplied by Russia. This implies that within 2 days Russians supplied the missile system; rebels or Russians found a crew capable of operating that; then it was removed after the event. Not impossible but the evidence for all this is thin, much of what’s available is claimed to be fake. In addition, once Ukraine realized there were sophisticated anti-aircraft systems in the area, it should have closed the airspace in the conflict zone to all civilian aircraft.

    2. Ukrainians have said they had no reason to deploy anti-aircraft missiles since the rebels did not have military aircraft. But on July 15th, Ukrainians claimed that Russian combat aircraft were operating in the area in support of the rebels, so per their own words they did have a reason.

    3. In addition to #2, Russians report several Ukrainian anti-aircraft systems were deployed in the area on July 17th, and that activity of these systems dropped sharply from the next day on. (Ministry of Defence Press Conference,

    4. In addition to #3, Russians report a military aircraft was detected by their radar systems shortly after the MH17 crash. NOTE: Russians say they “suppose” the plane in question was a Su-25 but give no explanation why they suppose so, and my understanding is they have no good evidence it was indeed a Su-25. (Ministry of Defence Press Conference, This might have been a Ukrainian airplane targeted by the rebels, or a Russian airplane targeted by the Ukrainians.

    5. Ukrainains claimed they had no military aircraft in the area on July 17th. But then they reported that an IL-76 was near the MH17 at the time of the incident. IL-76 is a large non-combat plane often used as military transport (NB: and could easily have been mistaken for the Boeing 777). There were no further reports on it, and no information on whether it may have been the military plane that Russians detected on their radars.

    That is what I can come up with. I consider the diversion theory non-credible. In addition to what I’ve already written there were dozens overflights of the conflict zone by civilian airliners. Air India and Singapore Airline flights were in the area at the time of the crash and it’s unclear why anyone would target this specific aircraft. Other non-credible theories pushed by Russians include targeting Putin’s airplane and the downing of MH17 by Ukrainian jets reported by a Spanish air trafic controller, which has since been proven to be fake.

    Some of this I haven’t seen in English, some of this has largely been overlooked. Feel free to use this information against me in the comments.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Thanks for this comment, which did indeed go into the spam queue, for reasons known only to Akisment, but probably a combination of length and links

    2. OIFVet

      You are right, I am a bit surprised. Given the revelations of Ukie military aircraft actually having been in the vicinity of MH17, after the junta strenuously denied it, I have to ask: who is actually in charge there? Hint: them that has the guns has the power.

  23. Johann Sebastian Schminson

    I’m kind of with ‘shinola’, above.

    We should give a firm, one-month deadline for anyone who likes an intact ass to depart these troublesome “holy” places, and then simply obliterate them (the paces). If they are what their troubled devotees say they are, god will come down and set us straight. If not, we have done as any responsible parent would/should, and taken the bone of contention from the two squabbling children.

    But, of course, where’s the profit in that?

  24. Abe, NYC

    I would assign the probabilities to each theory as follows

    1. 60%: The insurgents did it by accident. It is likely there was a Ukrainian military airplane in the area and they may have targeted that.

    2. 25%: Ukrainians did it by accident. They claimed Russian military airplanes were operating in the area, which they may have targeted and downed the Boeing instead. They have a history of accidentally shooting down civilian aircraft. In addition, the unidentified military jet that Russians were referring to may have been Russian not Ukrainian.

    3. 5%: Russians did it by accident. They may have targeted a Ukrainian military airplane, but accidental downing is unlikely because this is was a busy airspace and they have the infrastructure and expertise to distinguish between military and civilian airplanes.

    4. 5%: all other theories including a deliberate act (far too risky) and a bomb on board.

    Russian Ministry of Defense acted appropriately in releasing the data they’ve got. I noticed several inconsistencies in their information but for now I’ll outsource their analysis to the Ukrainians.

    By contrast, Americans haven’t released any specific information after claiming the jet was brought down by a missile fired from the area controlled by insurgents. I highly doubt Obama & Co would have made that accusation without any data to back it up, but each passing day without a release of information increases the likelihood it was done by Ukrainians.

    1. Abe, NYC

      It’s 1.15 am, no wonder my probabilities do not add up to 100%. I assign 65% to the insurgents, not 60%.

Comments are closed.