Links 7/24/14

[VIDEO] Mountain lion caught on video fishing the Blackfoot Independent Record (diptherio)

Seals discover offshore wind farms are all-you-can-eat seafood buffets Grist

In pictures: Red Bull pilot Péter Besenyei flies through the narrow Corinth Canal Telegraph (furzy mouse)

Prototype Display Lets You Say Goodbye to Reading Glasses MIT Technology Review (David L)

Verizon and the Mystery of the Zombie Phone Lines Josh Marshall, TPM. Crapification or fraud?

Man ejected from Southwest flight for tweeting that a gate agent was rude ars technica. General rule: when the agent said, “call the cops” you can be sure she meant call the airport security guards, who are not real cops. Any time airport ground staff make threats, call 911 immediately and tell them you are being physically threatened and are concerned about your safety. I’m told by someone who was forced to resort to this device twice (for refusing to back down over inexcusable airline screw ups) that this works. Of course, he could have gotten on the plane first and then tweeted….

Americans Are Eating Fewer Salads Than in Decades Bloomberg. Includes promo of salad chain, but you can read past that.

Global value chains offer opportunities for growth, jobs and development, but more must be done so all countries and firms can participate equally, according to a new OECD-WTO-World Bank Group report OECD (Lambert). Have not read the report, but the summary has way too much consultant doublespeak and too many calls for more more openness in services for me to trust it as far as I can throw it. Looks like a justification for TPP, the TTIP, and TISA. Ugh.

BRICS: Progressive Rhetoric, Neoliberal Practice Triple Crisis

The Chinese overbuild is massive MacroBusiness

Thailand: Revolution by Motorcycle? New York Review of Books (Lambert)

Luxembourg fights for its low-tax regime Financial Times


Qatar’s Purchase Of Billions Of US Weaponry — And Support For Hamas — Shows How Awkward Foreign Policy Can Be Business Insider

US lifts ban on flights to Tel Aviv Financial Times


2 Ukraine Fighter Jets Shot Down as Fighting Intensifies New York Times. EM:

This piece is notable because it appears to catch the Ukrainian government spokesman in a clear lie, though the article does not point out the discrepancy, despite the fact that it is provided by the reporters-on-the-ground themselves.

First off, of the two conflicting accounts of how high the jets were flying (eyewitness vs Ukrainian government spokesman), only the one made by the “paid liar” invokes SAMs in this latest downing.

Most notably, the NYT reporters in fact — boldface is mine — confirm the “flying low” aspect in real time – “buzzed overhead” is not the way one would describe a high-flying jet aircraft:

At a small checkpoint by a cornfield about six miles away, a rebel fighter who identified himself as a 41-year-old coal miner said he saw the two planes come down about noon. He said the fighter jets had been flying low, apparently to drop a payload, when they were hit and the pilots bailed out. The man said rebel fighters were searching for the pilots in the surrounding fields.

“It is a hunt,” he said, looking to the east toward the site. “They’re lying in the corn. It could take all night.” As he spoke, more fighter jets buzzed overhead, but they did not drop any bombs.

By contrast, Mr. Lysenko, the Ukrainian military spokesman, said the two fighters that were brought down Wednesday were flying at an altitude of 5,200 meters, or more than 17,000 feet, putting them beyond the typical range of shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles.

Ukraine Rebel Commander Admits Having BUK Missiles; Damning Contradictions? Michael Shedlock

France’s #1 Zionist bashes Putin and Europe in the NYT Vineyard of the Saker

Khodakovsky, Reuters, and the Magic BUK Political Reality Blog

EU to weigh extensive sanctions on Russia Financial Times

EU Falters on Russia Sanctions Boston Globe

Putin’s Ukraine Woes Compounded by $103 Billion Yukos Claim Bloomberg

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Blacklisted: The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist Jeremy Scahill and Ryan Devereaux, Intercept (M17, John C)

Javascript Cryptography Considered Harmful matasano (Lambert)

U.S. Faces Growing Threats, 9/11 Commission Cautions Wall Street Journal (furzy mouse). Of course they would say that.

Report: All But Four Of The High-Profile Domestic Terrorism Plots In The Last Decade Were Crafted From The Ground Up By The FBI Techdirt (Chuck L)

Obamacare Launch

Health Reform and Changes in Health Insurance Coverage in 2014 NEJM. Lambert: “As if rental extraction were the solution instead of the problem.”

17 Percent Now Oppose Obamacare for Not Being Liberal Enough Jon Walker, Firedoglake

Bill Clinton ‘could sabotage’ Hillary’s run for President as he is ‘deeply conflicted’ about being ‘trapped and leashed’ as America’s First Gentleman, bombshell book claims Daily Mail (Li)

Stunning New York Times story: U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara just put a wrench in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s political plans Daily Kos. My e-mail to a plugged-in colleague: This is great, but why is this happening?” The reply: “Hillary.” Nevertheless, if Hillary allies in the DoJ bring Cuomo down a few notches, this will be one clear positive outcome of her candidacy. Update: Stress that I wrote “Hillary allies”. There’s no reason to think the Clintons have any personal hand in this; in fact, I am told that the Clintons and Cuomo are close.

Buffalo Teachers Federation Backs Zephyr Teachout for Governor Buffalo News (DCBlogger)

Ryan to propose deficit-neutral anti-poverty plan Washington Post

Control of Senate May Hinge on Georgia Race New York Times

Texas-Mexico Oil Pipelines Offer Cover for Smugglers’ Violence Businessweek

AG Schneiderman Serves Notice of Intent to Sue Long Island Companies and Their Principal in Joint Federal-State Mortgage Rescue Fraud Sweep Long Island News (Max). Better than not going after them, but still small fry.

FedEx Indicted for Shipping Drugs for Online Pharmacies BusinessWeek (furzy mouse)

The Fed may have scope to keep interest rates low past mid-2015, IMF says Bloomberg

Some Money Market Funds Will Have to Be Honest With You Matt Levine, Bloomberg. This is typical Levine, clever, easy-breezy, but manages to finesse the issue, which drove Paul Volcker nuts: which is that society already has a place where you put money you don’t want to lose. It’s called a bank deposit. It has a guarantee up to a number which is plenty high enough for normal people. Banks have to buy deposit insurance and are regulated. Money market funds have gotten people to think they are as safe as bank deposits, except they aren’t (well except they are because they were bailed out). The SEC’s efforts at “split the difference” solution were clearly the result of industry lobbying, and don’t go far enough to address the issue of people taking risks that they don’t think they are taking. If the industry wants to continue to have $1 net asset values for retail investors, have them buy deposit insurance too or be govvie only funds.

Providence Journal loses bid for hedge fund records related to state pension system Providence Journal. Peter K:

What makes this story particularly fun is one of the arguments the Treasurer’s office made for not considering these documents public records. On page 12 of the Attorney General’s office ruling they reference that the Treasurer’s attorney argued that in a broad sense, refusal to release compensation information for hedge fund managers is justifiable because:

Fund managers keep this information confidential to help preserve the productivity of their staff and to minimize attention around their own compensation. Such attention led to the kidnapping of prominent hedge fund manager Eddie Lampert in 2003.

Nice to see Treasury staffers so comfortably parroting industry talking points, huh?

Class Warfare:

Violent Attacks on Homeless in Albuquerque Expose City’s Ills New York Times

Nearly one quarter of US children in poverty WSWS (Tyler)

Who Bled Detroit Dry? Vice

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):

links sleeping cats

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. Banger

      NR may be moving towards a more libertarian slant and this is one of the most interesting phenomena to observe–the movement of the American right away from fascism to somewhere totally new–the old right with its ethnic hatreds, racism, worship of violence and war is beginning to fade. The normal attitude for them was anyone killed or beaten by police deserves what they got otherwise they wouldn’t have gotten into trouble with the police in the first place may be fading. Maybe brutality, fear and hatred are not as important to them and perhaps they may even harbor an interest in living in a convivial society.

      Like an increasing number of institutions at all levels of government cops have managed to escape accountability and can, really, do anything they want to us and they know it and they act, often, like they know it.

      1. pretzelattack

        i suspect it has something to do with police unions (not that i am a reflexive police supporter-say the article on the beaten albuquerque homeless who were afraid to report the attacks on police).

        1. nobody

          I know a guy who’s been on the streets for decades, and because he has family in the area regularly spends time living on the streets of Albuquerque. He’s a pretty reliable and credible guy, and he told me that the cops there beat homeless people up all the time (not uncommonly to death). Those three teenagers didn’t physically assault “three in five of the 1,300 respondents” who were surveyed by Heading Home. The quote from Megan McCormick — “There’s a fear of retaliation, a sense that the police sometimes can re-victimize them” — is ridiculous, when the reality is that the police are regularly the initial victimizers in the first place. Officer Simon Drobik of the Albuquerque Police Department ought to also be combing through reports of assaults on homeless people to see any may be linked to conduct by his colleagues.

          1. pretzelattack

            yeah the cops all over seem to be getting worse; albuquerque is the current poster child of bad policing.

      2. griffen

        To wit – here in Texas, a man sat on death row sentenced in the early 1990s only to discover that over-zealous prosecution withheld notes and evidence that eventually cleared this man. He had never killed his wife, and the locals ignored reasonable evidence that a drifter had done the deed.

        The county assistant DA who oversaw the case was eventually disbarred. 20 years too late, but never say never.

        1. hunkerdown

          So is this person now divorced enough from the state that spitting at them in the street wouldn’t be considered domestic terrorism?

      3. Carla

        Police are militarized now. They know they have Homeland Security and the Fusion Centers behind them.

        1. trish

          and I don’t totally get this. cops working against their own interests, doing the dirty work of the corporate elite.

          1. neo-realist

            Many cops were bullies when they were kids. The militarization and state support just gives them more opportunities to carry out the brutality they’ve always liked to indulge in.

          2. Banger

            Actually they do fairly well with cushy moonlighting jobs and other scams and shakedowns well as the usual payoffs from organized crime, politicians, prostitutes and oligarchs. Not all cops but that has been the trend–many are honest and it depends on the PD–where I live they are OK, more or less.

            Cops know that being a cop can be a stepping stone to other more lucrative security jobs–they know the elites can’t live without them–muscle never goes out of style.

          3. different clue

            If the job of police departments is now to do the dirty work for the corporate elite, and a cop’s keeping his/her job is dependent on doing the corporate elite’s dirty work; then that cop is acting in his/her own survival interest by doing the corporate elite’s dirty work. If no money = you die, and no job = no money, then no job = you die. So cops are not acting against their interest when they do the corporate elite dirty work which keeping their jobs depends upon them doing.

      4. fresno dan

        There is a real schizophrenia on the right – HATE, HATE, HATE all government and all government regulation…..AND all government employees are incompetent. And LIE. And are overpaid. Government needs to be much, much smaller. And their power needs to be curtailed.

        But the police are ALWAYS right, and never lie, and are perfectly competent, and we need many, many more police, and we should never in any way constrain the police, and the police deserve to retire at 50 after 20 years of service at half salary (often inflated due to unnecessary overtime) …

        But police are….government employees.
        But laws are….more or less regulations.
        But police enforce all sorts of laws which can also be called regulations, like wearing your seatbelt, checking your fishing license, performing background checks for gun registration, safety checks on your trailer hitches, if you keep your dog in your truck on a hot day (but apparently the police can shoot any dog anywhere), if you can sell fireworks, if you can buy fireworks, where you can use fireworks, even enforcing no smoking regulations. House foreclosed? Sherriff deputies or police typically come, serve notice, and make sure you leave the house.

        As the security state has greatly expanded, as well as rules/regulations/codes in general, a lot of middle class people are really having interaction for the first time with law enforcement, and discovering that a lot of these people are not like how they are portrayed on the TV – they’re rude, overbearing, often not too smart, their truthiness leaves a lot to be desired, and career ambitions are such that the reward for making an arrest is great, but there really is no downside to harassing the innocent.

        “Conservative” – what does it actually mean, what is the principal? If it means small, limited government, that is incompatible with an ever expanding police force, that has an ever expanding mandate for surveillance. All the conservative critiques of government employees, to the extent they are true, are an order of magnitude greater for the police. DMV bureaucrats can sure be annoying, but a cop can shoot you dead.

        As the situation in Nevada showed, the schism on the right over police power I think is going to be an interesting issue and make strange bedfellows – things can change quite a bit. After all, it wasn’t all that long ago that Ronald Reagan was for gun control

        1. barrisj

          Re: “conservatives” and the coppers…I remember well back in the 60’s the John Birch Society ran a campaign – complete with bumperstickers – about “Support Your Local Police”, which was in fact an endorsement of aggressive and usually violent acts by police against “hippies”, black people, especially of the Black Panther persuasion, and other “dregs of society”…the “thin blue line”, remember that?

        2. Jess

          “and the police deserve to retire at 50 after 20 years of service at half salary (often inflated due to unnecessary overtime) ”

          Or, in CA, after 30 years at 90% of their highest salary — inflated by overtime and unused vacation days being added to the base salary — PLUS COLA’s and they get to keep their state health care coverage up to age 65, after which it becomes their Medicare secondary coverage. And, oh yes, in some jurisdictions the employer entity also paid both the employer and employee share into SS. One analysis reported that in some jurisdictions the average law enforcement retiree took home 109% of his final salary. And no penalties if they go right back to work for another jurisdiction as a DA’s investigator, welfare fraud investigator, probation officer, etc.

        3. wbgonne

          Excellent analysis. It is beyond ironic that so many so-called Conservative anti-regulation zealots are so authoritarian, which is the ultimate state power. Prison and death are far more tyrannical than taxes and regulation (which, in theory at least, actually benefit the people). The inconguity is astonishing and It suggests that their positions are either disingenous or ill-thought. Or both.

  1. abynormal

    re: Violence Against the Homeless: “Someone directed the officers to a stucco house on the other end of the lot, where a 15-year-old boy came to the door wearing shorts splattered in blood.”

    “A veces el pasado no se queda tranquilo, ¿por qué, si no, estudia historia la gente?”
    Apt Pupil, Stephen King

    1. Jagger

      I remember in some college class way back when, a professor said writing is all about communication. If a person truly want to communicate to as many people as possible, never assume they know every language under the sun or every insider acronym popular at the moment-as I remember his words in so many words. And as I get older and my mind slower, I realize just how right he was.

      Of course, if a person wants to keep their message targeted at a select few, do exactly the opposite.

      1. abynormal

        i use a translator as often as a dictionary…please accept my apologies

        “Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional.”

      2. hunkerdown

        And if you can speak more than one language at the same time (“with forked tongue”, as the Natives called it), by all means do so.

  2. Dave

    Life imitating art.
    The Bharara, Cuomo-cum-Hillary is so House of Cards !

    Quelle suprise :)

        1. paul

          Dialogue is a bit of a problem as well, I shudder and panic when I hear that dread word ‘ concerned’ over something or other.
          My distress does not prevent its use daily.

  3. abynormal

    Don’t Tell Anybody About This Story on HFT Power Jump Trading
    “Jump has ascended the ranks of high-frequency traders during the past 15 years to become one of the top firms on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, where $925 TRILLION of derivatives changed hands last year. Its annual revenue has exceeded half a billion dollars. ”

    “This is the profitable business model- predation, and abuse of the rules and systems. Jump isn’t an Ivory Tower trying to out-think everyone- they are parasites.” ~Anon

    How can the wind with so many around me
    lost in the city
    Lost in their eyes as you hurry by
    Counting the broken ties they decide
    Heart of the Sunrise, Yes

    1. Paul Tioxon

      And people wonder why Piketty can say capital income growth is greater than GNP growth? Income is based on a meta-economy of fictitious capital trades, whose profits are then reported as income, if not actual production of goods or services back in the legacy economy. HAH! $925TRILLION WITH ONE FIRM?

      1. abynormal

        this is where i have to take a deep breath…apply patience towards folks in my social circles arguing jobs, immigration, American leadership in sciences & technology etc…
        when it comes down to it we create destruction which in turn slaves us to the American Financial System…no matter whether you carry a broom or drive around saving lives.
        try writing out 925T beginning with 1…remembering its nominal and ‘its not a party till the counter party shows up”.

        rumor is a couple days ago NY Fed tapped Deutsche on the should about 75 Trillion in Derivative risk, political muscle or whateva…im speechless.

        at some shaky point, the global derivative market will come to earth. it’ll make no difference what, who, where, why…we’ll be killing each other Before we can reset value(s).

        in the meantime: “Strive to engage in activities that require constant self-development. Nurture and develop the physical body, but also our spiritual nature. We exist for a purpose: to honor our spirituality. When we do, we cannot help but love others. Hurting others is easily recognized as a crime against ourselves. It’s no coincidence that all religions teach this at their core.” (author of Credit Derivatives and Synthetic Structures: A Guide to Instruments and Applications)

    2. fresno dan

      All I can think of is the first Superman movie (well, of the 1970’s) where Lois Lane falls from a skyscraper, superman catches her, and says, “Don’t worry – I’ve got you.” And Lois relies, “You got me!! Who’s got you!!!!!!”

  4. Bizarroworld

    Thanks for the Triple Crisis reference to the BRICS’ Fortaleza Declaration. It escaped this commenter’s notice in all the WAR WAR WAR commotion. Here it is from the horses mouth

    Packed with stuff we never ever hear about from crap US media. It’s moot but it shows what people in sane countries think about. Paragraphs 24 on are foreign policy totally alien to the American Way where the answer to everything is blow shit up.

    Some features

    para 7, social indicators, that’s one contribution of Chavismo: to institutionalize pressure for progressive fulfilment of economic and social rights

    para 22 acknowledgement of UNCTAD is important because UNCTAD is the established alternative to Bretton Woods. The big question here is whether the new BRICS institutions will come into relation with the UN under Charter Articles 57 and 63.

    para 25 support for UN reform is important, but it comes in two flavors: invidious competition for influence, or changes that mitigate the inequity and impunity of P5 status and the veto. Big difference.

    1. wbgonne

      Interesting. The only real hope is a convergence of the people a la Occupy and that requires wholesale rejection of the kabuki partisanship that now passes for national debate. I see signs of the Left and Right forging alliances but it is still only beginning and the forces of power are prepared to counterattack. The corporatists have everything planned now, just as they did when installing Obama as the Manchurian Hope-and-Change Candidate. The corporatists will only lose if the people coalesce in opposition so the neoliberals’ primary political goal is to make people think partisan kabuki is reality and there is no alternative.

    2. fresno dan

      “In the early-to-mid-20th Century the Distributists—led by English authors G.K. Chesterton and Hillaire Belloc—took a dim view of both socialism and corporate capitalism.”

      To the extent I used to believe in free enterprise, capitalism, market solution, ad nauseum, it was because it was suppose to provide the highest standard of living for the most people with a peripheral benefit of being a meritocracy. Well, the evidence is now irrefutable IMHO – the people at the top do not want a fair game of the best supplier at the lowest price succeeds the most, nor a true meritocracy. They will do everything in their power to assure that doesn’t happen, using corruption and illegality to advance their schemes.
      And I’m tired of the “growth” mantra – its really worse than a religion. We have actually had some growth in the last 5 years, but the vast majority of the gains have gone to ONLY those at the top.
      The time has come to broach the subject of distribution. There is something profoundly wrong with how incentives work in this economy when the highest enumerated individuals in this country indisputably didn’t know what they were doing, were criminals, or were both, AND caused the greatest suffering to the greatest number of Americans in almost a century.

      1. MikeNY

        I’ll say it again: the ‘groaf’ mantra is a plutocrat protection device, a talisman, an incantation recited to keep people from eyeing the plutocrat hoards of pelf.

  5. Banger

    RE: Cuomo and corruption

    Interesting to read about this in DKOS which is a Democratic Party site that leans “left.” One of the comments stated that Mr. Cuomo was really a Republican (as if only Republicans are corrupt)–no he’s not, he is a typical Democrat. Cuomo has ties to different constituencies than the average GOP governor and a Democrat is more likely to spread the corruption around than, say, Christie but it comes to the same thing.

    The article in the NYT is fascinating and is an example of good investigative reporting which is very rare in the U.S. media these days it gives a clear idea of how the system works. What is going on in the state of NY is going on in most states with a different cast of characters and it is going on also at the federal level in an much more intricate way with much higher stakes.

    I think Yves comment that Hilary may be behind this is fascinating. The fact is that these sorts of investigations don’t go on unless they are backed by a member of the oligarchy so don’t count on this sort of investigation catching on anywhere else. Besides, this may look bad for Cuomo now but by election day it will probably be largely forgotten.

    1. wbgonne

      Kos hates Cuomo because Cuomo was mean to him. And since Daily Kos is now simply Kos’ personal authoritarian platform (he just decided that Daily Kos would boycott the the next NetRoots conference because it will be held in Arizona and, he says, as a Latino he doesn’t feel safe in AZ). Kos has no problem with Obama’s neoliberalism or Hillary’s — he is full-throatedly supporting Clinton (which is probably the real reason Kos doesn’t want to go to next years Netroots) — and he doesn’t actually care that Cuomo is “really a Republican,” since Cuomo is no different on policy than Obama and Clinton, who are also really Republicans by any sane measure.

      1. Carolinian

        Kos is “really a Republican,” or he was at one time. He says he switched after first Gulf war. Another onetime Republican: Hillary Clinton.

        1. abynormal

          you almost lost me till you mentioned Hillary…your speaking of the huge Opportunist Party

          “We don’t have professional burglars here. We have opportunists.”
          Gerald Cvetko

    2. Lambert Strether

      From what I understand, it’s not a matter of Hillary picking up the phone and ordering a hit. Rather, it’s a matter of Hillary-leaning Democrats at Justice tripping up a potential opponent (and competitor for funding) in Hillary’s New York backyard; no direct order needed, it’s so obvious. I believe in 30s Germany (no Hitlery jokes please) this was called “working toward the Fuhrer,” but I think it’s a universal human tendency, and especially likely to play out in large bureaucracies like Justice.

    3. toldjaso

      It’s more like “Dem BSD’s Dress Left” – Isn’t that how they’d say it it in H.M MI5-6’s Saville Row HQ?
      (ref: film “The Good Shepherd” directed by Robert DeNiro to get the gag

  6. McMike

    I was surprised by the rant against money market funds.

    Sure, there’s an expectation of low risk. But in exchange there’s the fact of low returns. So it’s not like we are seeking something for nothing.

    Also, I don’t see how one (two)? fund bail outs in several decades comprises a major problem. And when the funds do struggle, they tend to risk losing maybe just a few percent, that sort of fluctuation doesn’t make people blink in other markets.

    There is a liquidity problem in runs, true enough. And so yes, they were guaranteed to prevent a run, just like everything else, including CD’s, which saw their guarantee increase 250% overnight retroactively.

    But what really caught me by surprise is that you don;t seem to understand that by using money market funds one can opt out of giving their money directly to banks, and also from putting their money into the guaranteed rip offs of fixed stock markets and high fees for management.

    Once you are herded into retirement investment by the tax breaks, you have very limited options. Money market funds, if you want to opt out of the bank’s casino and fees, are the only least bad choice.

    They remain one of the few straightforward schemes you can invest in, and reduce your chance of getting nasty surprises after the fact, finding out they took all sorts of arcane gambles in your name. The risks are straight forward and easy to understand. (Yes, some funds are trying to crapify that).

    Further, the government does not allow people to directly invest in treasury securities for their investment accounts.

    The money market funds are not a target because of free riding guaranteed investors, they are a target because they are an alternative to the banks CDs and the high fee mutual funds. and the roller coaster of fixed markets and rigged bond deals.

    It really surprised me to see the idea here endorsed of giving your money to a bank for safekeeping.

    1. griffen

      Credit unions are also a plausible alternate solution, not just banks in general. Low cost index funds, or ultra short-duration bond funds, these may also be alternatives.

      Not all mutual funds carry high expense ratios or front-load fees anymore.

      1. McMike

        Credit unions are hit or miss.

        Even short bond funds are much more volatile, and more likely to get into opaque and risky leverage messes.

        Index funds may be low fee, but you are still putting yourself at the mercy of HFT market rigging and the array of insider perks given out by stock mutual funds to their favored clients.

        1. griffen

          I say “malarkey” on bond funds. Yes, there have been a few that got into a mess, and their assets under management will fall because of it. There are indeed reputable managers around who know how, why and what they do. TCW/MetWest, Payden are just 2 bond fund managers I currently use based on their profile for managing bond funds. But, that’s just one person’s opinion.

          IT isn’t just the Blackrock or Pimco that you have to choose. My commentary on index funds is more of a “balanced portfolio” thought, unless any person has chosen to remain in CASH or short-term in the previous 5-7 years (for good reasons, I’m sure).

          1. McMike

            Remember, I am coming from the 401k perspective: major limited fund choices.

            Yes, if you want to get into stocks, then index funds such as at vanguard are great to reduce your fees. Short bonds are fine, but they are indeed volatile, and can lose 20%.

            My point is, some of us want to put money into money market accounts for the reasons stated elsewhere. And that choice is being eroded.

            They are boring and relatively low margin to Wall Street, so they are being killed.

    2. Jim Haygood


      Things have changed:

      ‘TreasuryDirect is our primary retail system for selling our securities. This system allows us to establish direct relationships with you as an investor, enabling you to do business with us electronically using the Internet and conduct transactions without personal assistance from us.

      ‘In TreasuryDirect, you can purchase and hold Treasury bills, notes, bonds, Floating Rate Notes, and inflation-protected securities (TIPS) as well as savings bonds, and manage your holdings online in a secure environment.’

        1. Jim Haygood

          Obama heard your plea, my son:

          Treasury will develop the myRA program to offer a new retirement savings account to help people looking for a simple, safe, and affordable way to start saving—especially new savers. This account will hold a new “add on” Treasury security in an individual retirement account (an IRA) so savers will add to the value of a single security with each contribution they make, rather than buying additional securities.

          The retirement savings account will be a Roth IRA and have the same tax treatment and follow the rules of Roth IRAs. Treasury will begin rolling out myRA in late 2014.


          Rejoice! Your prayers are answered.

          1. toldjaso

            Maybe the BRICS will provide Yanks with an alternative. NWO is global, innit? Fair’s fair.

    3. Whine Country

      “But what really caught me by surprise is that you don;t seem to understand that by using money market funds one can opt out of giving their money directly to banks”.
      No I don’t understand how my not putting my money directly into a bank, but having a MM fund do it for me makes a lot of difference.

      “Also, I don’t see how one (two)? fund bail outs in several decades comprises a major problem.”
      The fund bailout(s) provided an implicit government guarantee of the funds ala FDIC, but with no cost to the MM funds. Were the MMs allowed to fail, they would have been conceptually destroyed and the door would have opened for another “bank” alternative that was not a freeloading scheme to obtain free FDIC insurance. Also, though some would argue that it is a distinction without a difference, MMs have no FDIC (or other) supervision.

      Bankers (banksters) have not changed since the beginning of time. Their shtick is to make things appear to be less risky and misprice them in order to pocket the vig for themselves. What the GFC taught us is that, not only the average person (99?%) are foolish to fall for the scheme, but that people that we consider to be very sophisticated players fall for the con too. The solution is to get rid of the con. A con is a crime and is punishable by jail time. Jail time is the solution. Let’s cut the shit!

      1. McMike

        Interesting hostility against money market funds; where’s this coming from? Are you a banking industry sock puppet?

        The idea of crowding all my money into a single instrument at a single bank is not attractive. Have you heard the term “bail in”? If a bank flops, there can be months of delays to get at your money, and no guarantee there won’t be haircuts imposed in the future.

        Singling the money market funds out for their emergency guarantee at a time when EVERYTHING financial was getting bailed out and guaranteed is downright silly. It cost us effectively NOTHING to guarantee those funds, the storm passed, the funds did not collapse, short term financing continued, and the guarantee has since expired. That is how emergency guarantees are supposed to work. It was not really the money funds that got bailed out anyway, by the way, it was the commercial paper market – a still meaningful financing mechanism that is still tied to actual economic activity.

        One stinking fund had to be bailed out, at what, 5% or 10% of its face value? wow. Meanwhile, banks flop left and right, catastrophically failing and cratering in far excess of their assets.

        When I buy a money market fund, I know where the money goes. When I buy a CD, I do not.

        Sorry pal, but for anyone who has watched the banks/elite operate can tell when they are simply trying to raid one of the last pots of money around over which they have not gotten their grubby venal hands. It drives them nuts, so they either raid it or kill it. Standard playbook by now.

        Money market funds are, by comparison to the alternatives, simple, straightforward, low cost, transparent, low risk, very proletarian investments – and still largely connected to actual Main Street activity. And for this they must die.

        1. bob

          MM funds were the major reason for the bailouts in 2008. Yes, you might be getting another 0.4% now, but it’ll cost the country trillions next time the “industry” decides to panic.

          Sort of amazed that anyone who reads this blog doesn’t know the history of this problem.

        2. financial matters

          Money market funds are major participants in tri-party repo where they lend money to help facilitate various financial transactions overseen by the likes of JP Morgan. If all goes well they make a small amount of interest. If not JP Morgan can keep the money. Think Lehman and MF Global. Hardly risk free.

        3. Yves Smith Post author

          I don’t get why you don’t get that the $1 net asset value promise is a fraud that goes uncorrected by the SEC as far as retail investors are concerned.

          Money market funds are major investors in repo, which in turn is how banks raise money to support their derivatives books. That’s why they were bailed out in 2008.

          Money market funds were treated as TBTF and subjected to even fewer reforms than the banks. Citi was actually forced to downsize to a significant degree, so it has borne some, even though not enough in the way of consequences.

          Money market funds are you getting your extra 0.4% return with the risk socialized. I want no part of that. As least with banks, there are some weak efforts to address the problem, and economists and people like Elizabeth Warren keep hammering on the fact that it has not been fixed. But you as a greedy consumer is willing to insist on your right to an additional 0.4% because the rest of us will eat your risk if we have another Big Problem. And the SEC’s inadequate remedy is all we are going to get on that front.

  7. Banger

    The article on Qatar and its funding of Hamas is interesting because mainstream outlets don’t like to mention who funds Hamas, ISIS or any other group. But here’s the most interesting part of this–everyone knows who funds these groups including AIPAC which, I think, we can all agree more or less runs U.S. policy on Israel/Palestine. Why isn’t this group up in arms about the Turks or the Gulf States who fund Hamas? They aren’t usually shy about attacking people or groups they see as hostile to Israel–why not the supporters of Hamas?

    I will answer that question–Israel, or at least the right-wing government, wants the conflict in the region to continue in order to maintain power indefinitely. They stir up the bees nest and then act shocked if missiles come pouring out of Gaza–of course they are intercepted which both sides know all about. We need a lot more stories on following the money.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Under former head Stuart Levey, the US Treasury’s office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence coordinated an international boycott of wire transfers to Gaza, and prosecuted a number of U.S. residents for donations to what they thought were Muslim charities.

      However, TFI makes no effort to interfere with U.S.-sourced donations to Israeli settler groups, whose activities in the West Bank directly contravene U.S. policy and undermine U.S. peace efforts.

      Clearly, TFI’s selectivity enables a desired result: let Israel keep grabbing land, while talking up a pie-in-the-sky ‘two-state solution’ until there’s nowhere left to put a future Palestinian state, except across the river in Jordan.

      1. toldjaso

        Their A-Holinesses, whether spelled “Levi, Levy, Levey, Levay, Leuwen, Leow, Li, Liu, Lewis, or Lew” expect their “levy” to be extracted from muppets now as ever.

      2. fresno dan

        Jim Haygood
        July 24, 2014 at 10:06 am

        Well, certainly our US Treasury’s office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence is looking into
        Banger July 24, 2014 at 9:38 am assertion that Turkey and gulf states are funding Hamas? And will take swift, consistent, and decisive action if this it true???

        OUCH!!!!!!! I hurt myself laughing…..

      3. Antifa

        And when all Palestinians are in Jordan or Egypt or elsewhere, let no one be surprised that Israel’s security and continued existence will not be secure. Israel will let it be known that the Golan Heights, and the southern half of Lebanon up and including the Litani River, are actually original Jewish homelands. As in, there was a time when Judaism flourished in these places, so they should be returned to Jewish control. And when these territories and resources are eventually acquired, don’t be surprised if even more living space is found to be necessary.

        People talk of a Caliphate being created by ISIS. Ha! Meanwhile Israel is creating a larger and larger Jewish state by ethnic cleansing. A goal of creating a Greater Israel has always been the goal of the Israeli right, and they are getting their way in Gaza, the West Bank, and the US Congress.

        The two-state solution has been a diplomatic position (a known lie) since 1948. The only truth to be found in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is that “this will never end.” The reason it will never end is that Israel is bent upon expanding its borders. Palestine will not be enough. Not one of Israel’s neighbor states is safe from Israel’s intention to take more territory.

    2. Jagger

      ——-I will answer that question–Israel, or at least the right-wing government, wants the conflict in the region to continue in order to maintain power indefinitely. They stir up the bees nest and then act shocked if missiles come pouring out of Gaza–of course they are intercepted which both sides know all about. We need a lot more stories on following the money.—–

      Of course. You cannot steal land if you have peace and the rule of law. You only want peace when you have taken every square inch of land you want to steal. Then you want the rule of law so no else can steal the land from you that you just stole.

      So no peace in the immediate next few decades unless the balance of power changes drastically for some reason.

      Listening to some commentator on FOX news this morning for a couple minutes…”Over 2000 missiles fired into Israel from Gaza and Israel is fighting back.” If there is any justice in this universe, there has to be a special hell reserved for propagandists.

      1. Jagger

        And you can’t do this if you have peace:

        Gaza crisis: Israeli strike on compound housing UN school kills at least 15
        •Hundreds sought shelter at compound; many wounded
        •Fourth report of strike on a UN facility since conflict began
        •Israel says it was responding to fire
        •More than 140,000 Gazans displaced, UN says
        •Hammond expresses concern about civilian casualties
        •Read the latest blog summary

      2. Banger

        I see what you are saying but don’t fully. Israel could have had peace had Rabin not been assassinated–he wanted peace and his successors haven’t wanted it. Some people believe that the radical right in Israel was fueled by American Jews who were obsessed with a Greater Israel policy and they were aided in this. Y the large influx of Jews from the old Soviet Union particularly members of organized crime which has been accused of supplying Hama with weapons and explosives.

  8. trish

    re blacklisted…

    “it’s a slippery slope…you can label anybody anything.”
    And indeed they already have been, already are. “Terrorism” any act that is “dangerous” to property and “intended to influence government policy through intimidation”…
    “dangerous?” “intimidation?” “‘damage’ to property?” loose definitions that can and will and have been used to nail anyone that threatens the corporate plutocracy.
    Perfect for protesters. How many protesters, environmentalists, hacktivists, those fighting extreme animal cruelty, any kind of corporate criminality…not to mention the overall sweep of anyone suspected of being with anyone suspected of being suspected, have/can/will be ensnared in this net with barely a ripple in our “freedom” loving” “democracy?”
    There’s nothing really surprising, new in this piece but the public needs to wake the hell up, look away from their circuses and let this sink in (they won’t, not yet).

    And, “The nomination system appears to lack meaningful checks and balances.” Our whole f—cked system lacks meaningful checks and balances.

    1. fresno dan

      So….if I say I am not going to vote for a candidate unless they force DoJ to start prosecuting banksters…….I’m a terrorist? I mean, that is an intimating statement, is it not? And I am trying to influence the government?
      Sounds like the law was well crafted and designed to do just what it was intended to do….keep America safe for the 0,01%

    1. abynormal

      “token” is the correct word…we’re going to be creamed by the Obamacare Derivative (already unhinging).

      1. diptherio

        I’m waiting for a news report from some state that didn’t expand medicaid but raises the minimum wage and thereby throws a bunch of po’ folk into the O-care doughnut hole…

  9. Jim Haygood

    Bloomberg News, owned by a billionaire who’s helping Israel’s tourism promotions (‘I flew here to show solidarity with the Israeli people, who have come under attack from Hamas, and to show that it’s safe to fly in and out of Israel’), begins building the case for extending Israel’s siege:

    To rebuild after its war with Israel, Gaza is going to need tons of cement. But Hamas has a history of using cement for military rather than civilian purposes, and importation of the vital building material is likely to be even more tightly controlled once hostilities end than it has been in the past.

    So big swaths of Gaza that have been devastated by Israeli bombardment will likely not be rebuilt for many years to come. The bottom line: Visible scars from this war will last a long time.


    No mention that Israel’s long-running economic siege of Gaza is itself an act of war. What, you expected objectivity from a guy who just clinked glasses with Netanyahu last night?

  10. optimader

    “Man ejected from Southwest flight for tweeting that a gate agent was rude”

    Poorly handled by the peon gate attendant who should have just said:
    “Thank you for tweeting, we are proud of our “preboarding” policy here at SWA. Of course your traveling companions are not ticketed to “preboard” so you may wait with them for their assigned boarding or we welcome you to “preboard”. Either way, I assure you, we will all be departing at same time”

    The passenger was just another inconsiderate airtravel A-hole with that venial sense of entitlement over all the other shlubs trying to get to their intended destination. “Yes I know there is an organized boarding protocol that’s been kicked to death to get this cigartube w/ wings off the ground as efficiently as possible, but don’t you understand, my familyy w/ all their carryon crap and I are special”
    Depending on what one’s objective ultimately is (getting to location “B”?), calling 911 would be the last thing I would advocate.

    “Southwest apologized in an e-mail to Watson, gifting him and his two children $50 vouchers. Watson tells CBS he won’t be flying on Southwest again.”

    This just confirms Mr. Watson’s A-holiness. A SWA frequent flyer who won’t fly again (until his next trip). It would be great if there was a way SWA could take Mr. Watson up on that and not ticket him for the next year or so.

    Airlines fckup all the time, this is a case of “When you wrestle with pigs..”, in this case the Mr. Watson was the pig.

    1. toldjaso

      Thanks. Good coining of useful currency. Imagine: “*His A-Holiness* will be stepping onto the red carpet soon.”

    2. Whine Country

      SWA boarding has always been a gimmick that most travelers accept in consideration for a good cheap flight to their destination. What SWA has done is to move more towards the legacy airlines and they now have a horse designed by a committee. My two sons are AF (Reserve and NG) pilots who, although ready and willing since literally 9/10/2011) have not yet met the moving target that would qualify them to get a job in the private sector. Both have for several years had SWA at the top of their list of employers. Old dad has counseled them to expand their list because too often airlines come and go, and will do so forever. (Flying high in April and shot down in May?) SWA will not escape that reality and, IMHO is already almost there. Long ago, SWA was the first, and only, place I looked to book a flight. Now, it is indeed a rare occasion in which I will even look there. The list of reasons is long and includes pre-boarding (I remember when someone would pre-board and then end up in the emergency exit rows which is illegal, but we just moved on instead of “wrestling” with anyone) In my case a death spiral began when they cancelled all of the free drink coupons I had accumulated so that they could goose their earnings for Wall Street. Fortunately I am not a pig, I don’ know how to tweet and I’m not sure wrestling would accomplish anything, so they just lost me .

    3. hunkerdown

      Because everyone is entitled to exactly the social media presence they paid for?

      Screw that. Kimberly S needs to spend the rest of her natural life in fast food purgatory, PRECISELY BECAUSE she’s sticking up for her masters.

      1. hunkerdown

        This is the sort of behavior that we, as a society, need to STRONGLY discourage, in our interactions with such people. Submission needs to become unfashionable, 50 Shades be damned.

    4. Yves Smith Post author

      You are missing the point. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

      If the guy had put up his stupid tweet, it would have been ignored or if he has a following, hooted down due to his wanting service that SW does not offer.

      Instead, we have a jerk met by a gate agent acting like a petty bureaucrat. The guy had valid ticket and unless he made a physical threat against the staff or was disobeying orders of the personnel, he was no safety threat and there was no basis for keeping him off the plane.

      I’ve been on the wrong side of gate agents refusing to let me on a plane when reservations personnel repeatedly said I had the right to do so with no upcharge, which the ground staff was insisting I pay, and then the ground staff lying to my face and saying the reservations personnel had told them the reverse of what they had told me on the phone (3 separate agents, at length).

  11. Carolinian

    Re Saker and Henri-Levi: Awhile back I checked out one of Henri-Levi’s books that consisted of nothing more than his replies to letters to the editors complaining about his articles. So knowing nothing about him at the time my reaction was: “what an ass.” However intellectual vanity is very French. Some say they’ve never quite gotten over America becoming the center of the cultural universe (not that that’s a good thing).

    At any rate there do seem to be some so called intellectuals–Stephen Fry in England would be another–egging on this Russia hate.

      1. Martin Finnucane

        Following the links, I read BHL’s russophobe thing at the NYT – what a load of unclean leavings, finished off with the obligatory Neville Chamberlain reference. It’s not like a person even wrote that – rather, software of some sort. Call it Hack-o-Matic. Or maybe ClicheNet. Who reads this junk and thinks “yea, that about sizes things up”? Are our Obamabots really that desperate to believe?

        1. toldjaso

          Essays lately have exposed High A-Holiness ZionaziGovernance in La Laide France. (at + among others). BHL is the poster convert from commie to zionazi.

      1. hunkerdown

        Merci beaucoup for that link. How many of those have been a la Taibbi, i.e. du cheval?

    1. John Jones


      Another round of criticism addresses Lévy’s reliance on his connections with the French literary and business circles to promote his works. Lévy had for years business ties with billionaire François Pinault, befriended Jean-Luc Lagardère, who owned Hachette Livre, the largest publisher in France, and Hachette Filipacchi Médias, the largest magazine publisher in the world. Lévy was even briefly related to Jean-Paul Enthoven, publisher of Grasset (a novel and essay division of Hachette Livre), when his daughter Justine Lévy was married to Enthoven’s son Raphaël. Lévy has been chairman of the supervisory board for French-German cultural TV channel Arte, was for years a columnist for French newspaper Le Monde and is currently a columnist for both news magazine Le Point (owned by François Pinault) and national daily newspaper Libération, in addition to being a shareholder and member of the supervisory board. In the essay Une imposture française, journalists Nicolas Beau and Olivier Toscer claim that Lévy uses his unique position as an influential member of both the literary and business establishments in France to be the go-between between the two worlds, which helps him to get positive reviews as marks of gratitude, while silencing dissenters.

      For instance, Beau and Toscer noted that most of the reviews published in France for Who Killed Daniel Pearl? didn’t mention strong denials about the book given by experts and Pearl’s own family including wife Marianne Pearl who called Lévy “a man whose intelligence is destroyed by his own ego”.

  12. nycTerrierist

    Agreed. This is a gravely important issue and galling.
    “Protecting our freedoms” — ha. (but it’s not funny, it’s horrifying).

    1. nycTerrierist

      comment meant as reply to trish re: blacklisting.

      Great book on the topic as it relates to environmental and animal activists:
      Green is the New Black by William Potter.

        1. different clue

          In an “Ag-Gag” world, those ethical food growers with nothing to hide might want to become Full Disclosure farmers. As in “videographers welcome here”. Once that concept becomes known and understood, the ethical foodgrowers/processors can call it Full Disclosure Fooding. (We could define “fooding” to include food growing AND processing AND cooking, etc.)
          Once “Full Disclosure” in agriculture is widely understood as a concept, the Full Disclosers can figure out how to be inspected and certified as being Full Disclosure. Then they can call themselves Certified Full Disclosure. At some point they will be able to say . . . ” If it doesn’t say Certified Full Disclosure, it isn’t.” At some point after that, Ag-Gagging will backfire on the Ag-Gaggers. Lack of Full Disclosure will suggest default Ag-Gagging which will hiding and coverupping.

          1. hunkerdown

            Oh dear, not that. “Responsible Disclosure Agriculture” won’t be far behind.

  13. optimader

    “US lifts ban on flights to Tel Aviv Financial Times”

    OkyDoky.. It’s safe now folks!
    It will be interesting to see how the insurance actuarials weigh risk against lost revenue w/ the focus on commercial aircraft in “war zones”. Maybe this is an incentive to make a connection between war and carnage, even if for only the average disconnected airtravel consumer?

  14. trish

    re 17 Percent Now Oppose Obamacare for Not Being Liberal Enough.

    a mere 17% find obamacare not liberal enough…”highest it has ever been.”

    wow. ignorance cultured and fueled by the media, the right wing noise machine, and a wonderfully effective “progressive” face (obama) fronting…

    and, little “practical flaws” in rental extraction as solution?

    1. Doug Terpstra

      It’s a shockingly low number for the forced privatization of healthcare. It’s a perplexing propaganda triumph that so many see O-care as socialized medicine.

      1. mellon

        Obamacare is quite the opposite, its forced privatization. Its that way because of the horrible free trade agreements which basically take away our national right to determine our own healthcare policy and give entitlements to the market – at enormous cost to the American people, to corporations – for nothing.

        We need explicit carve outs for health care inserted into TTIP, TiSA and TPP, now. This urgent need is probably one of the biggest reasons they have been kept secret.

      1. different clue

        I have considered it to be so for several years at least now. For example, every time an NPR spokesmouth mentions Social Security, it is to spread the Simpson-Bowles-Obama lie about SS going bankrupt, causing deficits, needing cutting to save it, etc.
        NPR is basically pleasant background ear-candy and a guide to what the Insider Propagandists want to keep the self-proud limousine-liberal audience knowing and believing.

    1. Eclair

      Me too, Fresno Dan. We always cite the German concentration camp guards as examples of people doing horrible things by ‘just following orders.’ But lately I’ve been thinking about the Germans who built the camps: the architects and engineers who designed the gas ovens, the bureaucrats who ordered and arranged shipping of the bricks and wood and bags of mortar, the construction workers who put in months of labor building barracks and fences and guard towers and ovens. And the layers of railroad track that would, oh so efficiently, enable the freight cars to ferry in the victims. Was it Jobsjobsjobs?

      The construction workers who are running the heavy equipment that’s stripping off the top layer of life on Utah’s Tavaputs Plateau, are they unaware of the deadly effects of the tar sands mining operations for which they are preparing? The road builders paving the highway that will carry the massive water and chemical tankers in to the extraction area, don’t they realize they bringing in death? The engineers who are designing the massive pumping and compressor and processing plants, do they not know that they are complicit in consigning millions of creatures to extinction through the poisoning of air and water?

      It is so easy to focus on the day-to-day simple duties of devotion to a job of work that puts a roof over our families’ heads and food on their tables. But, one day, as there was in Nazi Germany, there will be an awakening to the horrible results of this misplaced dedication. One can only hope it will be in time to effect some remedies.

      1. Skeptic

        The last three jobs I had in the GDP March were predatory in one fashion or another. One, at least, immoral and unethical. As for an awakening, for some it will come too late. There is a story in One Straw Revolution by
        Masanobu Fukuoka, Japanese farmer and philosopher that is to your point. A bureaucrat who had risen to the heights of the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture while implementing industrial/chemical Western agriculture finally realized it was all for naught, that his work had been destructive. A sad comment on anyone’s life.

        One of the problems we face is that most who have jobs must mentally turn away from the evil aspects of them.
        This is particularly true of so-called professionals who would be quickly blacklisted if they spoke out.

  15. abynormal

    The Art of Fermentation
    “In The Energy Cost of Food I note that household energy use associated with food sourcing, preservation, processing and preparation represents about a quarter of total food system energy use. Since consumers have the most control over energy used in their homes it makes sense to ponder how to reduce it, if for no other reason than to save money on utility bills and to create a buffer against the agonies associated with power outages. One way to reduce household energy use associated with food is to adopt fermentation as a primary means of food preservation.”

    1. optimader

      Sauerkraut.. yea!
      KimChii —Yea!
      Fermented Eggs —-YEAEeerrr. backing away, averted eyes…

        1. optimader

          More garlic –add a tablespoon of honey, currant jam or the like and some celantro.
          I have a massive bumper crop of Basil this year. My plan is to cut the plants back 50% this weekend so it can regrow, make a giant batch of pesto and freeze it.
          Skip the jars, What works best for me is to put it in sandwich size ziplock bags and squeeze all the air out and freeze. They stack nicely

          1. OIFVet

            Opti, something is eating my purple basil this year (but not the green basil) , and I can not figure out what it could possibly be. Any guesses?

            1. optimader

              that’s tragic news, not sure , mine is very happy w the weather we’ve had in Chicago, most of mine has bright S exposure and good drainage. Heavily weighted to the purple basil, 70/30 w/ several varieties of green . Some of the tomato plants are a bit haggard looking, dill is going best ever.

              1. OIFVet

                It was worth the try. I also have a bit of a problem with one of my Black Krims, but the rest are compensating rather well, and all the cherry varieties are going nuts. Peppers are great, some of the eggplants victimized by squirrels. I wish they would try the jalapenos instead, but the little fuckers are apparently too smart for that. Lots of humming birds this year, I can’t believe my luck. Much better year for me than last, that’s for sure.

              1. optimader

                I’ll concede basil a monkey on my back. The big disappointment so far is the garlic I planted last fall. It was going great guns but too cold and wet I guess. Taking a beating.

                tomato/mozzarella/basil/tomato/mozzarella/basil/tomato/mozzarella/basil/drizzled w/ balsamic, and a Mwaved sweet potato coated in olive oil and sea salt(I eat the skin) filled with w/ yogurt and garlic… all washed down w a bottle of Prosecco. Life is good on balance.

  16. Kurt Sperry

    The idea that the Palestinians are capable of targeting specific pinpoint targets but choose to target civilians instead of is both ludicrous and profoundly racist. The Palestinian’s rockets are so crude they can’t be targeted except against large areas. Targeting military assets isn’t even a possibility, so criticizing them for not doing so only reveals the ignorance of the person doing the critique. Which isn’t to say that attempting to dehumanize the putative “enemy” isn’t standard boilerplate for manufacturing consent for war aka mass murder. When you hear so-called leaders describe an enemy as “monsters”, “sub-human”, “animals”, and such you know you are being played for a chump in order to initiate a mass murder in your name. Every time we meet and acquaint ourselves with the ordinary folk being portrayed as “monsters” or “sub-humans”, it turns out they are just ordinary people mostly the same as you and I. People are people–there are no subhuman races, no morally perverted civilizations, just people like ourselves that contain the gamut from psychopaths to saints in more or less the usual proportions.

    Enough with the “those Palestinians/Israelis/Russians/Iranians/Americans” whatever, are horrible horrible people and thus we can kill them–nay *must* kill them c#$%. How do we keep falling for this b!@$$%^&*? Seriously. There are obviously some evil people within any group, and people without moral constraints are often hugely advantaged when it comes to acquiring money and power so tend to become leaders, but the painting of entire populations as lacking humanity or virtue is frankly just the MO of criminals who want to conduct genocides. Evil really does exist, but you might be surprised to find it’s your own leaders who fit the bill far more than whomever they are trying to dehumanize to obtain your consent and cooperation to slaughter.

    It’s not even a clever or original ploy, why the f#$% do we keep falling for it?

    1. HotFlash

      I have thought and thought about that. I think it has a lot to do with our being herd animals, which wires us to follow the alpha beast. It’s not beyond reason, it’s below it, so to speak. Important note to self: better alphas.

      1. hunkerdown

        “We’re herd animals” is performative speech. Stop it.

        Note to self: never let alphas breed.

          1. hunkerdown

            As if eugenics were not lurking close behind every bit of celebrity journalism. Nah, this is about behaviors — alpha status is, like any status, self-reinforcing but not immune to change. Something like an ongoing taboo akin to the Lysistrata arrangement might suffice.

            1. optimader

              ‘..lurking close behind every bit of celebrity journalism…”
              wouldn’t know that, we move in different circles?

            2. optimader

              “alpha status is, like any status, self-reinforcing but not immune to change”.
              In my experience it is an incredibly embedded behavior virtually immune to feedback.

    2. toldjaso

      Because We the People everywhere are the prey – the “monsters” + “subhumans”- in the Eye of the MasterRace, but we won’t know it in time.
      “Its a secret.” (John Forbes Kerry)

  17. Yan

    About those Su 25s flying at 5200 m…: “Loaded with missiles and bombs, [the Su-25’s] maximum altitude is five kilometers,” says David Gleave, an aviation and safety researcher at Loughborough University.” The plane itself is designed for low altitude, low speed ground support missions (kind of like an A-10). It is stupid to fly them at that altitude as they are useless. On the same note, it is highly unlikely that an Su 25 would have taken down the malaysian airplane.

    1. zapster

      Heh.. considering the amount of false information the Ukrainian army has *already* been busted for, the odds that they’re telling the truth on the altitude of those jets are.. zilch.

      The rebels have been shooting the things down regularly. They come in for the attack, and *pow*. For awhile the army was even *denying* they were losing any to the rebels even. Embarrassment I guess.

      As for being able to fly that high.. yes they can reach 10km for a short time, as has been pointed out by various military buffs and the Russian Defense Ministry. And, of course, they can shoot *up*. There was also a report some time back that the jets were using passenger planes to hide behind…

    2. hunkerdown

      That’s Su-25s, not Su-25M1s. Ukraine has at least one Su-25M1 (pressurized cabin version) and more on order as of 2010, not counting recent losses.

      1. Kurt Sperry

        Svoboda isn’t mentioned in the current version of the Guardian piece you linked to.

        1. Martin Finnucane

          More “web evidence”? The current Guardian article says:

          The president, Petro Poroshenko, welcomed the move [presumably, Yatseniuk’s resignation], which will lead to new elections, saying: “Society wants a full reset of state authorities.”

          What I read said that Svoboda and something called the Punch party had removed themselves from the ruling coalition, leading to Poroshenko’s praise for “full reset.” I googled this thing from Reuters that seems to corroborate my memory of what the Guardian had said.

          The “corrected” Guardian article also bowdlerizes the approach to the novorossiya parliamentarians, left unmentioned in the new version, but in the aforementioned Reuters version represented in the words of one politician as the purging of the “Moscow agents” from the parliament. I remember that too from the Guardian version, now gone.

          I expect that future histories will read that an internal coup took place, supported at least implicitly by western governments and their propaganda apparatus, by which kleptocratic neoliberal interests, using the fascist Ukrainian chauvinist element as a patsy or cat’s paw, took complete control of the state. I also expect that noone of import will care, since nobody gives a sheet about history nohow. We Huff post reading types only care about places like the Ukraine if our guy (Kerry?) squawks about it.

          1. Martin Finnucane

            And note to self: take screen shots. … something really needs to be done about the Guardian …

          2. OIFVet

            The LAT has the article that mentions UDAR and Svoboda’s withdrawal from the coalition: Also, Al-Jazeera quotes Yats thusly: “”The coalition has fallen apart, laws haven’t been voted on, soldiers can’t be paid, there’s no money to buy rifles, there’s no possibility to store up fuel,” Yatsenyuk told parliament. “What options do we have now?”” Yes comrade, winter is indeed coming, and when the Ukrainians discover that there is nothing else left to burn, they may decide to burn the junta, parliamentary elections or not.

    1. OIFVet

      It was the failure of the Rada to pass deregulation which would allow the privatization of the national pipelines to US and EU companies (Hi R.Hunter!) which got Yats’ panties in a bunch. “The usually mild-mannered Yatseniuk bellowed at politicians who had failed to pass a law to allow a liberalisation of control over Ukraine’s pipeline system….Yatseniuk said that by blocking legislation, like a bill to allow consortiums with European or U.S. companies to operate Ukraine’s ageing gas distribution system and storage facilities, parliament was putting Ukraine’s future at risk.”

  18. Thomas Lord

    The airline passenger who tweeted broadcast needlessly personally identifying information about the airline employee he was criticizing. That is not a reasonable complaint about bad service, it’s cyberstalking. Being removed from the flight should be the least of the problems he brought upon himself and his family.

    1. Kurt Sperry

      Um, no it isn’t “cyberstalking”. It isn’t anything like that in fact.

      “Stalking is a continuous process, consisting of a series of actions, each of which may be entirely legal in itself.”

      “[Stalking] is a form of mental assault, in which the perpetrator repeatedly, unwantedly, and disruptively breaks into the life-world of the victim, with whom he has no relationship (or no longer has), with motives that are directly or indirectly traceable to the affective sphere. Moreover, the separated acts that make up the intrusion cannot by themselves cause the mental abuse, but do taken together (cumulative effect).”

    2. optimader

      Beyond tweeting it, he had to make a deal that he was tweeting it, w/ her name, as a method of antagonism.

      I would have kicked him off too. As a matter of fact, GENERALLY speaking, people self-centric enough that they are compulsed to tweet are probably all idiots.

      Again, don’t like the way SWA organizes its biz, model, use an alternative. It’s a mutually consenting retail interaction. To me it’s like the dick that wants to cut in line in a restaurant queue w/ his peeps. Don’t like the restaurant queue, go to a different restaurant, don’t “tweet” the hostesses name while your whining about the injustice of it all.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        The guy was a jerk but kicking him off the plane for tweeting was stupid and wrong too.

        A better response would have been, “I’m sorry, but all you paid for was the right to get on the plane. You don’t have any more right to be on early than anyone else in this lounge who paid for a ticket with precisely the same rights as you. Your choice is to get in line with everyone else. If you attempt to disrupt the boarding of this flight, I will be forced to call airport security to deal with you and we will not board you.”

        Tell him what his rights and options are.

  19. Dikaios Logos

    In the “fucking awesome” category, is this screed in The New Republic about our elites’ warped views of education and their particular infatuation with the Ivy League and its zombie factory mentality. If you, like me, are shocked that The New Republic of all places features a long-form piece dumping on the Ivy League, this article is for you. And the length means that many related issues are covered well, including the pathologies that Ivy League-trained ‘leaders’ have visited on our society.

    Really, do read it! email

    1. shinola

      Thanks DL – a good read.

      It is rather amazing that the New Republic would publish an article like that. Is Hell freezing over?

    2. Carolinian

      This is a great article and touches on many of the things discussed by NC. A blockquote:

      The problem isn’t that there aren’t more qualified lower-income kids from which to choose. Elite private colleges will never allow their students’ economic profile to mirror that of society as a whole. They can’t afford to—they need a critical mass of full payers and they need to tend to their donor base—and it’s not even clear that they’d want to.

      And so it is hardly a coincidence that income inequality is higher than it has been since before the Great Depression, or that social mobility is lower in the United States than in almost every other developed country. Elite colleges are not just powerless to reverse the movement toward a more unequal society; their policies actively promote it.

      I remember once reading someone from England say that the difference between England and America is that in England you can be a failure and still have friends. In truth our society seems to be obsessed beyond all reason with success.

      But who knows….now that the banana republic is almost here perhaps we’ll develop a taste for some of that third world slackerdom. If nothing else it might inhibit us from so much meddling in every other country’s affairs.

    3. JTFaraday

      Oh, I knew I knew that name. Here’s another good one:

      I especially liked this part:

      “An elite education not only ushers you into the upper classes; it trains you for the life you will lead once you get there. I didn’t understand this until I began comparing my experience, and even more, my students’ experience, with the experience of a friend of mine who went to Cleveland State. There are due dates and attendance requirements at places like Yale, but no one takes them very seriously. Extensions are available for the asking; threats to deduct credit for missed classes are rarely, if ever, carried out. In other words, students at places like Yale get an endless string of second chances. Not so at places like Cleveland State. My friend once got a D in a class in which she’d been running an A because she was coming off a waitressing shift and had to hand in her term paper an hour late.

      That may be an extreme example, but it is unthinkable at an elite school. Just as unthinkably, she had no one to appeal to. Students at places like Cleveland State, unlike those at places like Yale, don’t have a platoon of advisers and tutors and deans to write out excuses for late work, give them extra help when they need it, pick them up when they fall down. They get their education wholesale, from an indifferent bureaucracy; it’s not handed to them in individually wrapped packages by smiling clerks…

      In short, the way students are treated in college trains them for the social position they will occupy once they get out. At schools like Cleveland State, they’re being trained for positions somewhere in the middle of the class system, in the depths of one bureaucracy or another. They’re being conditioned for lives with few second chances, no extensions, little support, narrow opportunity—lives of subordination, supervision, and control, lives of deadlines, not guidelines. At places like Yale, of course, it’s the reverse. The elite like to think of themselves as belonging to a meritocracy, but that’s true only up to a point. Getting through the gate is very difficult, but once you’re in, there’s almost nothing you can do to get kicked out. Not the most abject academic failure, not the most heinous act of plagiarism, not even threatening a fellow student with bodily harm—I’ve heard of all three—will get you expelled. The feeling is that, by gosh, it just wouldn’t be fair—in other words, the self-protectiveness of the old-boy network, even if it now includes girls. Elite schools nurture excellence, but they also nurture what a former Yale graduate student I know calls “entitled mediocrity.” A is the mark of excellence; A- is the mark of entitled mediocrity. It’s another one of those metaphors, not so much a grade as a promise. It means, don’t worry, we’ll take care of you. You may not be all that good, but you’re good enough.”

  20. Lambert Strether

    I’d trust a book on the Clintons by a Weekly Standard apparatchik as much as I’d trust, oh, Hard Choices. That is to say, not at all, though granted, this one isn’t from Regnery. And the game of planting oppo on Fleet Street so it propagates over here (“it’s become a story”) is a very old one and, surely, at this point, just a bit shopworn?

  21. guest

    The NYT doesnt ‘catch’ the Ukrainian spokesperson in a lie unless you want to desperately to believe it. Two Ukrainian jets were shot down, then Ukraine launched a search and rescue operation that involves low flying patrols by jets. When an attack-jet like the Su-25 makes a run it drops its payload and then it pulls up to its cruising multitude. But keep spinning for Putin, I am sure youll get invited back to RT any day now.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Is this the best you can do? Reading comprehension fail, including that the incensed commentary that you flagged came from reader EM, who happens to be located in Australia, where they aren’t as heavily propagandized as Americans.

      As for my media relations, I was asked a year plus ago to write weekly for Salon, two years ago to appear weekly on Real News Network, and at the inception of the RT Boom Bust show, more than 9 months ago, asked to appear weekly. That offer still stands and I have been asked regularly by their booking personnel to go on the show and turn them down. I don’t do anything but broad reach TV like Bill Moyers because I don’t have the time and don’t see the payoff. So take your slurs somewhere else. The fact that you resort to ad hominems shows you can’t muster a winning argument.

      1. YY

        On the issue of Ukraine, Australia is probably just as propagandized as the USA. It’s especially galling when the two public venues, the ABC and SBS appear to be as well on the same drum beat. I think the problem is that Putin draws automatic visceral negative reaction, so anything couched in terms of Putin such as Putin’s Olympics or Putin’s Russia end up becoming more than justifiably negative. Not all that different from painting entirety of Iraq as extension of Saddam justifying the longest (still going on) destruction/disruption of what used to be a fairly functional society. Just as well that the populace seem to be bit less gullible but the leadership, in the meantime, is just bonkers.
        Abbot has decided to send 50 Federal Police, now pre-deployed to London, to the Ukraine as part of a “five nation coalition of grieving” to secure the crash site. Apparently they are in discussion with Kiev to make this happen. I don’t know if you’ve seen the coverage of the movement of the casualties but the ceremonies were just slightly civilian enough to not appear as celebration of war.
        I believe if this is anything like the initial response where the responders cooled their heels in Kiev for 4 days, because Kiev would not pick up the phone, by the time the troops of the coalition of the grieving arrive there will be no site left to secure.

        1. gordon

          Yes, the anti-Putin and anti-Russian bias in the Australian media, including the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, is disgraceful. Where was all this hand-wringing and outrage when the USS Vincennes shot down an Iranian civilian airliner in 1988?

          1. John Jones

            What I can’t understand is how they go about accomplishing this in the ABC.
            How do they silence any dissenting journalists? I wonder if the Liberal party and its fans
            still think the ABC has a bias.

          1. YY

            Sorry meant to include link. Not clear who put the brand on it.
            I’d heard about the 50 Fed Cops last night and that was without context of 4 other participating countries, I have a sneaking suspicion this stuff is just made up on the fly.
            I just glance thru the SMH article and elected to avoid the video. But alas it does not appear that Abbott at least called it such on camera. SMH might be the guilty party.

            1. YY

              Incidental (?) but interesting is that Abbott has been ambulance chasing these events, first grand standing about MH370 and now MH17. Both involve a lot of TV face time and sending of military or quasi military resources. The problem is that he does not know how to be subtle..

              1. skippy

                Eyes and Ears on the enemy’s battleground in the guise of civil authoritarians protecting evidence.

                skippy…. The Joe and Phoney fracas is quite the show, yet Julie is a perky as a EKKA show Chook.

      2. ewmayer

        Small correction: Reader EM (that`s me, mate) is in fact based in the U.S. I think Yves may have been led astray by my frequent sending of links from the Aussie papers` business pages, where I like to poke around on some evenings to get a sense of whassup with the Asian markets.

        (Could also be that I prefer “Aussie accent” mode for my e-mails – crikey! :)

        And I wasn`t incensed – just wryly amused that the reporters` own on-the-ground dispatch put the lie to the “high-flying aircraft brought down by evil Russkie-supplied SAMs!” claims of the Ukrainian government spokestool. In the presence of such a direly low signal-to-nise ratio as we have with the Ukrainian conflict and the MH17 downing, it seems we must resort to such Perry-Masonesque tactics in order to ferret out the rare nugget of fact, or failing that, at least identify who is lying. “Goes to the credibility of the witness, your honor!”

        So perhaps it`s just me who`s not sufficiently propagandized, not doing my patriotic duty and guzzling the MSM kool-ade with the requisite gusto. It`s not that I have any particular love of the Russian government or believe Putin to be any less of an opportunistic liar than any other leader-of-powerful-nation/state. But after having fallen for the inane warmonger propaganda that led us into not one but two ME wars (Examples – Gulf War 1: “Premature babies ripped from incubators at Kuwaiti hospitals by evil Iraqi army thugs!” Gulf War 2: “WMDs! Yellow Cake!”), dozens of smaller “police actions” and a never-ending Holy Global War on Terror, I finally, belatedly seem to have developed some immunity from the Big Lie, whether it be in form of “economic recovery propaganda”, big lies about warrantless domestic surveillance, big lies about “hope and change”, big lies about the Syrian poison gas attack, and now possibly with respect to Ukraine. Actually, not `possibly` – in fact certainly – the only question is which factions are telling the whoppers. Perhaps all of them. But the key thing for me is that after the aforementioned litany of Big Lies, the “Home Team” no longer gets the benefit of the doubt from me.

        1. toldjaso

          Written by committee or by “writer software”? Again, does not pass the Turing test.

    2. abynormal

      dang, how did i miss your act?

      “For I, who hold sage Homer’s rule the best, Welcome the coming, speed the going guest”
      Alexander Pope

    3. optimader

      “When an attack-jet like the Su-25 makes a run it drops its payload and then it pulls up to its cruising multitude”
      Why, so he can loose airspeed up to it’s modest 22k ft ASL to get shot down? That exactly what you would not do. This is a subsonic jet optimized for lift and maneuverability at sea level The smart choice is stay low, go fast and get the fck outta theater.

    1. OIFVet

      ‘ NATO Poland base may be prepared for blitz against Russia’: ” NATO’s Europe commander advocates stockpiling a base in Poland with enough weapons, ammunition and other supplies to support a rapid deployment of thousands of troops against Russia, British media reported.
      General Philip Breedlove’s idea would be presented to members of the alliance at the upcoming NATO summit in Wales in September, according to The Times.”

      How many BJs (per Sikorski) has Poland given the US? Not that it wasn’t already obvious, but NATO expansion was a terrible idea. It was not about protecting former Soviet Block countries, it was about gaining pliable clients whose territory could be used as a staging ground against Russia. Just how does this make Poland more secure when there is no doubt that at least a few dozen nuclear warheads are now targeted at it?

      1. FederalismForever

        You might direct this question at Zbibniew Brzezinski and his protege Madeleine Albright, two of the foremost advocates of aggressive NATO expansion. (Brzezinski, of course, is Polish-American, and Albright is Czech-American. But to even question whether their ethnicities had any impact on their ability to objectively assess American interests (including any potential Russian threat) and to avoid any “dual-loyalty” is strictly forbidden under the Rules of Political Correctness which currently govern American political discourse.)

        1. Robert Dudek

          There is literally no way a Pole is Brzezinski’s generation can be objective where Russia is concerned.

          1. Abe, NYC

            I suppose you can find legitimate arguments to support this view (don’t get me started on Israel).

            But then, who *can* be objective where Russia is concerned? A Cuban? Venezuelan? North Korean? Russia has precious few friends left, and for a good reason.

            1. IFVet

              Axis of Evil: The Redux. Directed by Barack Hussein Obama. Seen the original, want my 15 months back. This ain’t looking too good either.

      2. Abe, NYC

        NATO expansion was a terrible idea. It was not about protecting former Soviet Block countries, it was about gaining pliable clients whose territory could be used as a staging ground against Russia.

        That’s one view. However, terrible or not those countries who did join NATO can now sleep well at night while Ukraine is being ripped apart.

        For a bit of context, at about the same time the US negotiated the transfer of Ukraine’s, Kazakhstan’s, and Belarus’s nuclear arsenals to Russia, in return for guarantees of territorial integrity. We know how well that worked for Ukraine.

        I think that the really bad mistake wasn’t expanding NATO into Eastern Europe, but keeping Russia out of it. Apparently Putin made overtures early in his first term, which were rebuffed. This was a terrible mistake not to have Russia inside the tent.

        1. OIFVet

          Ukraine was not being ripped apart until the US decided it wanted to move the staging area right next to Russia’s borders. And how well could you possibly sleep, knowing that making yourself a staging area for equipment, troops, and ABMs has made you a target for nuclear strike in the event of war? As to Russia in NATO, it was not a mistake but part of the plan. It shows what the US intentions toward Russia truly are. Thanks for demonstrating that NATO expansion is indeed US aggression.

    2. FederalismForever

      @Lambert Strether. I read one of the ECHR’s opinions – powerful stuff. President Obama deserves a wee bit of praise since part of the court’s reasoning relies on Obama’s 2009 decision to release a redacted version of the 2004 CIA Inspector General Report which confirmed that the two suspects had indeed been subject to “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

      Obama’s conversion from Alinsky follower and left-wing Constitutional law lecturer to neo-con warmonger is the most amazing aspect of his Presidency to me. Simply lumping him together with Bush is too easy. As his 2009 decision above illustrates (together with his 2009 Executive Orders re Guantanamo), he actually made some initial stabs at reforming Bush’s terrible excesses. I await the full story on how President Obama eventually got comfortable with, e.g., unilaterally ordering drone strikes in foreign countries, or signing off on killing Americans abroad without any semblance of due process. Obama must know that these decisions have established terrible precedents. And yet his Administration has for the most part only expanded Executive Power in these areas.

      1. Lambert Strether

        Obama was and is in no sense an Alinsky “follower” and I don’t see evidence that he was “left wing” at the University of Chicago. I don’t think it’s “lumping him together” with Bush to say Obama rationalized and consolidated Bush’s seizure of executive power; we see this very clearly on the surveillance issue. The “modified limited hangout” is a well-known tactic in such cases (along with “bad apples”). Eight years on, and apparently we are to get some sort of Senate report. We’ll see how it reads.

        1. wbgonne

          “Obama was and is in no sense an Alinsky “follower””

          That was part of the con. Scream that Obama is a socialist so loud and so long that it will take [6 years and counting] before people realize that Obama is a neoliberal ideologue and an authoritarian to boot. If I weren’t one of the millions of victims, I would applaud the brilliance of the scam.

      2. OIFVet

        To add to what Lambert said, Alinsky followers don’t get to be editors of Harvard Law Review. And anyone who is somewhat familiar with UofC Law will tell you that far left types among the faculty and the students are few and far between these days. What passes for the “left” there and in the UofC in general is the Third Way to which Obama rightfully belongs.

        As for Brzenzinski, the question of “dual loyalty” doesn’t seem to be warranted based on what I know. One can easily question his judgement though, and the consequences it has brought. If you have something that makes you question his loyalty post a link to it.

        1. FederalismForever

          An Alinsky follower could EASILY become editor of Harvard Law Review! I will admit, however, that UofC Law is probably the least left-wing of the “top ten” law schools.

          1. wbgonne

            Obama’s mentor at University Chicago was Cass Sunstein, Mr. Neoliberal himself, who Obama then hired to spend 4 years at OMB dismantling the regulatory state that protected American citizens against rapacious capitalism. See the FDA court ruling today linked above that lets Obama’s FDA ignore the horrors that antibiotics in food are visiting upon helpless and hapless citizens, who are eating nasty food and for whom antibiotics will no longer work when they get sick. Cha-ching!!

            1. abynormal

              Cass Is a Plague: In this 2008 paper, then, Sunstein advocated, in essence, exactly what the Obama administration has been doing all year with Gruber: covertly paying people who can be falsely held up as “independent” analysts in order to more credibly promote the Government line. Most Democrats agreed this was a deceitful and dangerous act when Bush did it, but with Obama and some of his supporters, undisclosed arrangements of this sort seem to be different. Why? Because, as Sunstein puts it: we have “a well-motivated government” doing this so that “social welfare is improved.” Thus, just like state secrets, indefinite detention, military commissions and covert, unauthorized wars, what was once deemed so pernicious during the Bush years — coordinated government/media propaganda — is instantaneously transformed into something Good.”

              1. wbgonne

                Ironic that Sunstein is married to Samantha Powers who famously called Hillary Clinton “a monster” in 2007. Well, now Powers is married to her very own monster. One other point: American law schools are anything but Left Wing today. Sunstein is now at Harvard, and John Yoo is at UC Berkley. Makes you want to vomit, huh?

                1. paul

                  They indeed are the worst,most poisonous exemplars of the flunkey class.
                  They will think,say and do what will please their indulgers.
                  Their staus/position is dependent on the highly compressed corpses of their sponsors.

                  1. nycTerrierist

                    The flunky class Indeed. Careerism uber alles.
                    I’ve seen it up close. Even supposedly intelligent
                    people can’t resist ‘managing up’.

              2. Martin Finnucane

                Completely correct and well stated. What makes O the worse evil, in BAR’s deathless phrase, is not particularly how bad he is (and he is indeed awful) but how he is positioned to seduce people who should know better into accepting and even praising his badness. Hence, for instance, HuffPost cheerleading for the State Dept’s and the Pentagon’s increasingly strained claims regarding the situation in Ukraine.

          1. OIFVet

            And that benefits Poland because…? I always found Chomsky’s take on the commission to be far more accurate than that of the “one world government” types, unless the one world government refers to the government of the US.

    3. toldjaso

      “where they are now” – Fully *traumabonded* for killing and *omerta* for Daddy/Poppy in UkraiNATO?

    1. abynormal

      OMG…i couldn’t wait till after 5 (i seldom follow rules) an glad i didn’t!
      is that a dwarf rabbit? is that socially correct…tennie tinnee maybe

      1. hunkerdown

        Alls I know is it’s a cute rabbit. But I think you should leave your car keys with me for safekeeping, all the same.

  22. fresno dan

    “One of the most vivid arithmetic failings displayed by Americans occurred in the early 1980s, when the A&W restaurant chain released a new hamburger to rival the McDonald’s Quarter Pounder. With a third-pound of beef, the A&W burger had more meat than the Quarter Pounder; in taste tests, customers preferred A&W’s burger. And it was less expensive. A lavish A&W television and radio marketing campaign cited these benefits. Yet instead of leaping at the great value, customers snubbed it.

    Only when the company held customer focus groups did it become clear why. The Third Pounder presented the American public with a test in fractions. And we failed. Misunderstanding the value of one-third, customers believed they were being overcharged. Why, they asked the researchers, should they pay the same amount for a third of a pound of meat as they did for a quarter-pound of meat at McDonald’s. The “4” in “¼,” larger than the “3” in “⅓,” led them astray.”

    Hopefully, somebody can debunk this…..on the other hand, it does explain a lot.

    1. abynormal

      now i hurt myself laffin!
      coulda been worse…request the group spell A&W
      majority days you n Hunker crack me up, Thanks.

    2. OIFVet

      Someone at McD’s should have proposed the 1/8 pounder to take advantage. I seriously doubt that it’s too late for that.

  23. hunkerdown

    Matasano Security in a nutshell: “95 percent of its revenue is derived from the provision of services to the software, information technology, internet, banking and insurance sectors.”

    Matasano: “Why would you run your own crypto over SSL?” Because you don’t trust the oligarchy they work for, perhaps? As always, take “considered harmful” articles as the nerd fatwas they are.

  24. Jake Mudrosti

    S.O. jabs her finger at the credit card charge: “PAYPAL – NAKED CAP”
    An explanation is given. Five minutes of laughter.

  25. hunkerdown

    But just a few years ago US News insinuated by way of faint praise that OWS resembled dangerous mobs. You don’t suppose they’re being *partial*?

  26. abynormal

    INSANE: Gardening & Sustainability Discouraged in Missouri Town. Violators Face Fines & Imprisonment.
    The newest proposed ordinance would limit gardening to 10% of a backyard. Also under the proposed ban would be the growing of any vegetables, fruits, and herbs in any kind of containers, such as pots.
    Resident Juliah Tiedemann is not happy that the city is threatening her wonderfully edible backyard.
    “We enjoy doing this as a family,” she said.
    “Not only have we spent a lot of time on this, we have spent a lot of money on this, too…this is what we like to do..and we don’t want a government entity or the city to really be able to tell us what we can do in our own backyard and what we can do as a family,” Tiedermann explained.
    “You just do not know where this is going to end. And I think that should be a concern for every citizen”juliah garden 3
    What Does The City Have to Say?
    “Landscaping is really one of the things we like to see everyone improve their property. Certainly you want to have some sort of controls,” Mayor Tom Tobin reasoned.
    OK, so the government wants some control on the property you own and pay taxes on. So how much control is too much control?
    “I don’t want to necessarily tell somebody what species of flower to plant, but uh- I do want to make sure that they do keep their property up to the standard that uh- I keep mine up,” Mayor Tobin told KY3.(ii)
    Obviously the mayor isn’t much of a gardener, but is that any reason that his fellow citizens shouldn’t be able to sustainably provide for themselves?
    Let’s take a look at some clauses on the lengthy list of ordinances that if violated are punishable by, “[A] fine not exceeding $500 and costs or by imprisonment in the County Jail not exceeding 90 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment…”(i)
    Water Wells:
    Don’t even think about it! The official city website states, “Drilling of individual or shared water wells in the City of Fremont Hills poses a substantial risk to water quality; therefore, the drilling of individual or shared wells for the purpose of providing water is prohibited. [emphasis added]“(i)
    You’ve got a few acres of land and somewhere on your private back lot you would like to recycle your dead leaves, sticks, weeds, etc. into compost that you can use to fertilize vegetables and flowers.
    That shouldn’t be a problem right? Wrong.
    The city will fine you, “$200 for the first violation; $300 for the second violation; and $500 for each subsequent violation.” Any piles of, “yard waste, leaves, sticks, limbs, dirt [that]…remain on a lot (developed or undeveloped) located within the City for more than ten days,” are illegal!(i)
    The city wants to prevent families from growing their own food supply while mandating an extremely wasteful amount of water on lawns: “An irrigation system is mandatory in the front yard, side yards and back yard.”(i)
    “It shall be unlawful for the owner, lessee or agent of a developed lot in the City of Fremont Hills to allow grass to attain a height greater than 8 inches.”
    Is this a glimpse into the future for the entire country?

    1. OIFVet

      I googled Fremont Hills, MO to find out its location. It is right next to Lambert’s Cafe. Kid you not. Anyway, this being Missouri, the home of Monsanto, it is only fitting. And the town is in the conservative heart of the state, so whatever happened to less government interference with people’s lives? I guess it is the sustainability part that really put a burr under the mayor’s saddle, he also has a beef with solar panels. What a freaking nightmare of a town this must be for anyone who values the simple pleasure of gardening. But this is Missouri’s Ozarks for you, beautiful country and ugly conservatism. I spent a few months in nearby Ft. Leonard Wood and it was a culture shock.

      1. abynormal

        thanks…im looking around too. not finding much action around the city council but the Senator is pretty typical: Blunt received a 97 percent tiles rating from the United States Chamber of Commerce indicating a pro-business voting record. He supported efforts to overhaul U.S. bankruptcy laws, requiring consumers who seek bankruptcy protection to repay more of their debts.[13]

        Blunt is a staunch advocate of a federal prohibitions of online poker. In 2006, he cosponsored H.R. 4411, the Goodlatte-Leach Internet Gambling Prohibition Act[14] and H.R. 4777, the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act.[15]

        Blunt opposes the federal cap and trade legislation and supports drilling for oil on the U.S. coastline. Blunt does not believe in man-made global warming, stating: “There isn’t any real science to say we are altering the climate or path of the Earth.”[16]
        Blunt, who chairs the House Republican Health Care Solutions Group,[19] has opposed plans for health care reform supported by Democrats, including proposals that include a “public option” of medical insurance offered by the government. In July 2009 he suggested that the government should not have created Medicare and Medicaid,[20] saying:

        “The government did get into the health care business in a big way in 1965 with Medicare and later with Medicaid. And government already distorts the marketplace. A government competitor would drive all of the other competitors away. What we should be doing is creating more competition.”[21]

        In August 2009, Blunt stated in two separate newspaper interviews that, because he was 59 years old, “In either Canada or Great Britain, if I broke my hip, I couldn’t get it replaced.”[19] Blunt stated that he had heard the statement in Congressional testimony by “some people who are supposed to be experts on Canadian health care.”[19] The PolitiFact service of the St. Petersburg Times reported that it could not find any such testimony.[22]

  27. JTFaraday

    re: “Ryan to propose deficit-neutral anti-poverty plan,” Washington Post

    “What’s sad about Ryan and really the conservative take on these things more generally is that it is clear they honestly don’t understand poverty. And I don’t mean that in the squishy sentimental way. I mean they really are not good with the figures and tend to construct their policies based upon weird stereotypes of the poor rather than poverty as it actually exists. Around half of all adults spend at least one year in poverty and people move in and out of it very frequently. Market capitalism is an extremely volatile system that unemploys people constantly, fails to address the specific distributive needs of parents and young workers (who are generally the same people), and so on.

    Market institutions are not stable enough to create a patterned distribution of market income that ensures everyone has enough disposable income to be above poverty. Education doesn’t fix it: Finland has one of the best educational systems in the world, but higher market income poverty than the US. Exhortations don’t fix it. It is a constant feature of market capitalist systems.

    The cause of poverty is singular: lack of disposable income. And its solution is singular as well: more disposable income. You can target disposable income boosts to help particular people get through the rough patches when the market fails them, as it often does for so many people. Or you can target them more broadly, increasing the social wage, to smooth over material insecurity more systematically (e.g. the Child Allowance). But if your goal is to somehow get the market to shoot out the national income in a way such that everyone gets what they need, you will fail. The market is not designed to meet people’s particular income needs and it won’t ever.”

    I might also question the idea that if people have a barely living wage job and are living hand to mouth, then they are somehow not poor, but it’s a step in the right direction.

    Or maybe, Ryan et al do understand this, and this is why so many of them have effectively gone rogue, taking everything that isn’t nailed down while moralizing and penalizing the masses.

    Anyway, yecch.

  28. gaddeswarup

    At last a definition of poverty (from the article on Thailand):
    Thaksin “rephrased poverty as a lack of state support.”

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