Links 7/25/14

Guy Walks Into a Bar New Yorker (Lambert). Trust me, you have to read this.

The annual golden retriever migration has begun @TechnicallyRon

The Nation, the Global Game and the Weight of it All The Junto. Lambert: “A good World Cup wrap up.”

Sierra Leone’s chief Ebola doctor contracts the virus Reuters (EM) :-(

Globe-Trotting Virus Hides Inside People’s Gut Bacteria NPR (David L)

Antarctica’s Point of No Return Project Syndicate (David L)

The IOT Meets the Endangered Species Act IoT World (David L)

The Server Needs To Die To Save The Internet TechCrunch (David L)

Signs of things to come Economist

Algorithms, games, and evolution Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

I.M.F. Reduces Its Forecast For Global Growth in 2014 Associated Press

IMF fears ultra-low rates are fuelling asset bubbles Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Xi bolsters Latin America ties with string of lucrative deals Asian Correspondent

China’s Detour on Highway to Default William Pesek, Bloomberg

McDonald’s Hong Kong pulls chicken nuggets over supplies from ‘rotten food’ plant South China Morning Post

Dutchman, Thai in ‘global drug network’ Bangkok Post

A Secret in Cyprus Bank Bailout Stirs Resentment New York Times. Anotonis: “So frustrating that PIMCO/CBC gifted 20% of Cyprus GDP to the Greek banking system.”


Gaza crisis: UN claims Israel did not allow evacuation from shelter before strikes – as it happened Guardian

The Gaza war has done terrible things to Israeli society Globe and Mail (James S). Important.

Manifest Destiny — A Reprise by WP Sic Semper Tyrannis (Chuck L)

America Is the Only Country with a Favorable View of Israel George Washington

Media Coverup: US Played A Decisive “Behind the Scenes Role” in Israel’s Attack on Gaza Global Research (Chuck L)


Ukraine crisis: PM Arseny Yatseniuk resigns over his country’s precarious energy situation The Independent. Chuck L: “According to Paul Craig Roberts at about 10:00 pm CDT, neither the American MSM nor BBC have reported this as yet.”

US says Russia fired artillery at Ukraine Financial Times

Western powers largely alone in condemnation of Russia Globe and Mail

How long can Russia go without selling bonds? CNBC

Netherlands Despairs Justice for Dead as Russia Trade Takes Precedence Bloomberg

Study: Americans hate Russian aggression, but they don’t want war, either Washington Post

Looting Ukraine: How East and West Teamed up to Steal a Country Foreign Policy (Richard Smith)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Families of Jean Charles de Menezes, Stephen Lawrence and Ricky Reel spied on by undercover police officers Independent. Lambert: “Mealy mouthed non-apology apology.”


Halbig Decision Puts Obamacare Back on the Front Burner and Will Give Republicans a Huge Political Headache Health Care Policy and Marketplace Review

VT’s Shumlin hires Jonathon Gruber to vet single payer funding proposals, for $400K Corrente. Lambert “This is very unlikely to be good.”

U.S. Considering Refugee Status for Hondurans New York Times

Fun and games with transfer pricing Middle Class Political Economist. Kenneth Thomas:

Further follow-up on the AbbVie inversion. It turns out that the company is declaring 90-95% of its profits to be “foreign” even though over half of its sales are in the US and its big drug, Humira, was developed in the US. Looks like the typical Irish patent transfer scandal.

Obama Seeks to Close Loophole That Firms Use to Shield Profits Abroad New York Times (furzy mouse)

Yup. Confirmed. Andrew Cuomo is one corrupt bastard Daily Kos. Lead story on their daily e-mail (I did not sign up for it!!!) and # is an insistent piece that Warren is not running. Kos is an amplifier of Democratic Party messaging, and has for a while been loud and explicit on “Hillary is inevitable.”

Teachout calls on Cuomo to answer Moreland questions Capital New York (Lambert). Who’d have thunk it? The NY governor race might turn out to be interesting and even important.

SCOOP: Koch-backed Reason magazine’s 1976 Holocaust denier “special issue” Mark Ames, Pando

The Existential Battle for the Soul of the GOP National Journal (fresno dan)

Rand Paul: ‘I wouldn’t question’ Israel POLITICO

Army War College Starts Plagiarism Inquiry of Senator John Walsh’s Thesis New York Times (furzy mouse)

Norfolk Southern sues to block disclosure of crude oil shipments McClatchy

Another Export Route for Oil Sands Blocked OilPrice. A second article on the South Portland, Maine move, underscoring how serious the implications are for the industry.

Drought drains critical US water supply Financial Times. Subhead: “Researchers shocked by depletion of Colorado River Basin.”

Struggling Life Insurers Look to Middle-Class Wall Street Journal. There are any members left to find?

Record Student-Loan Debt Prompts Treasury Push to Stem Defaults Bloomberg

The Good Germans: Inside the Resistance to the Nazis Foreign Affairs (Lambert)

Discharged London Review of Books (Lambert). An American Good German of sorts writes.

The Gray Light of Morning Archdruid. Today’s must read.

Antidote du jour:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. Doug Terpstra

      No, but they have better foresight than the “Fed”. They occasionally do happen to stumble over the precipice and even catch a glimpse of the blindingly obvious onrushing ground of reality just prior to impact, as in the next link: “IMF fears ultra-low rates are fuelling asset bubbles “

      1. susan the other

        The Fed isn’t at fault. The congress and the administration are. There are bubbles in stocks right now because there is no other choice for investors. Think of the gold rush to new initiatives, funded by the government, as if it were mobilized for war against global warming, etc, that would bring investors pouring into new technology. An industry that could grow. Yes groaf. Because it is so desperately needed.

        1. Doug Terpstra

          For sure Congress shares blame, but we can’t excuse the “Fed”. Both are wall street captuves after all, but the “Fed” is the primary regulator of banks and banking, sets interest rates (ZIRP for five years straight!), and “prints” money for the bonds and mortgages that have ballooned its vaults five-fold beyond normal since the crisis. As for bubble-blindness, read Stockman’s latest on Greenspan’s Alfred Newman act.

    2. Banger

      Sort of–in the sense of self fulfilling prophesies. Right after the 2008 crash the IMF came out with a big report that we are entering an era where austerity should be the policy all major industrialized countries ought t and, sure enough, Europe marched to that drum for some time as did the U.S. which did not respond with a vigorous stimulative regime it might have otherwise.

    3. Abe, NYC

      In February 2008, UN presented its own economic forecast (World Economic Situation and Prospects). They invited Nouriel “Eeyore” Roubini because their forecast was quite dark, very much in line with Roubini’s.

      What was really interesting was the delegates’ reactions (this event was attended by diplomats from country missions at the UN). The American delegate basically said the forecast was nonsense designed to instill baseless fear; that the economy was doing fine as evidenced by forecasts of other national and international agencies; and that he didn’t understand why the UN was doing an economic forecast in the first place when it was part of Bretton-Woods institutions’ mandate and they were doing a great job. We know how that played out. There should still be a video of this event somewhere.

      I don’t know if there exists any comparative analysis of economic forecast accuracy. Seems to me like a fantastic topic for a PhD thesis.

  1. Ned Ludd

    The BBC Russian Service published this report, but they later erased it from their website. Valentina Lisitsa, a Ukrainian-born pianist, copied the BBC video and linked to an English translation.

    Disaster flight MH17: BBC in search of “Buk” (archive)

    Olga Ivshina, BBC: The inhabitants of the nearby villages are certain that they saw military aircraft in the sky shortly prior to the catastrophe. According to them, it actually was the jet fighters that brought down the Boeing.


    Olga Ivshina: The Ukrainian Security Service has published photographs and a video, which, in its opinion, prove that the Boeing was shot down with a “Buk” missile. We attempted to verify these photographs and information at the location.

    The original BBC report is currently also in Google’s web cache.

    1. Park Nihrs

      Ukraine 2014-07-25 NPR
      NPR reported that someone on the OSCE team (or an Australian? I was not listening closely) saw previously undiscovered pieces of fuselage in a forested area. Some of the fuselage looked like shrapnel, or like it had been shot at – holes in the metal that could be from machine gun fire.
      An SU-25 was earlier reported – by novorussian fighters “aka “rebels”– to have been near the MH-17 flight path (whichwas following a course set by Kiev Air Traffic Control, north of the routes taken by previous ten flights).
      The story aired about 8:15 Eastern, following a story on Gaza/Hamas/Israel. It should repeat 15 minutes past some hour probably 10:15 EDT if anyone has time to listen for it.
      It would be interesting if the part about appearance of machine gun fire is left out.

      From The Catastrophe of #MH17: BBC in the Search of the “#BUK” – The Video Report Censored by BBC
      Translated from Russian by Gleb Bazov
      Note: Videos & a PDF of the Google Web-cache Have Been Preserved and Are Available Upon Request
      Transcript of the BBC Video Report:

      DPR Representative: Here it is.
      Olga Ivshina, BBC: The black boxes from the crashed Boeing are finally being transferred into the hands of the experts. However, how much can they tell us?
      The recorders logged the coordinates and the heading of the aircraft at the time of the incident and may have recorded the sound of the explosion. However, they will not tell us what exactly caused the explosion.
      The inhabitants of the nearby villages are certain that they saw military aircraft in the sky shortly prior to the catastrophe. According to them, it actually was the jet fighters that brought down the Boeing.

      Eyewitness #1: There were two explosions in the air. And this is how it broke apart. And [the fragments] blew apart like this, to the sides. And when …

      Eyewitness #2: … And there was another aircraft, a military one, beside it. Everybody saw it.

      Eyewitness #1: Yes, yes. It was flying under it, because it could be seen. It was proceeding underneath, below the civilian one.

      Eyewitness #3: There were sounds of an explosion. But they were in the sky. They came from the sky. Then this plane made a sharp turn-around like this. It changed its trajectory and headed in that direction [indicating the direction with her hands].

      Olga Ivshina, BBC: The Ukrainian government rejects this version of events. They believe that the Boeing was shot down using a missile from a “BUK” complex that came in from the direction of Russia.

    2. Ned Ludd

      Although the BBC deleted the web page, they did not yet delete the video file. You can download the video from the BBC web site at this URL.

      For now, a copy of the BBC video is also available on YouTube with English subtitles. Valentina Lisitsa helped with the subtitles.

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      Um, I hate to rain on this tidbit, but you can barely see airplanes on their approach to airports, when they have already deliberately lost altitude in order to land. The idea that people could see the plane at 33,000 feet, and recognize the difference between fighter planes and a passenger plane is a REAL stretch. Seeing missile fire at that height/distance is even less credible.

      1. Ned Ludd

        The allegation from June was that a military jet flew close to a passenger plane in order to hide, and then the jet dropped in altitude to attack targets on the ground.

        Terrible things are happening. For example, an incident that happened recently: passenger plane was flying by, and Ukrainian attack aircraft hid behind it. Then he lowered his altitude a bit and dropped bombs on residential sector of Semenovka town. Then he regained the altitude and hid behind the passenger plane again. Then he left.

        I think any sudden changes in altitude or direction would distinguish a military jet from a passenger plane, even if you could not see the plane clearly.

        Eyewitness #1: Yes, yes. It was flying under it, because it could be seen. It was proceeding underneath, below the civilian one.

        Eyewitness #3: There were sounds of an explosion. But they were in the sky. They came from the sky. Then this plane made a sharp turn-around like this.


        Sergey Godovanets, Commander of the Militia of the city of Snezhnoye: They use these civilian aircraft to hide behind them. It is only now that they stopped flying over us – but, usually, civilian aircraft would always fly above us. And they hide [behind them]. [The experience in] Slavyansk had demonstrated that they would fly out from behind a civilian aircraft, bomb away, and then hide, once again, behind the civilian aircraft and fly away.

        Of course, eyewitness accounts are unreliable and all that. But collecting eyewitness accounts is part of an investigation, and it was odd for the BBC to simply erase the report without giving a reason. If the BBC felt that the report was unreliable, it should have noted that at the top of the page or included a correction.

      2. YY

        The eyewitness claims are unclear enough, given the language difficulties, so how well the event was observed is open to question. But at the very least, an airliner at 10km altitude on a clear day can be seen. What should really be visible is a trail of surface to air missile firing. Still no reports of that.

        While there is a lot bleating in the press about bodies being moved (in same breath as criticizing being left to the elements), and theft of personal belongings, there is one aspect of the “theft” that may yield information. There was a report (video with translated captions) the origin of which I can’t place now, where the rebels were instructed to collect phones, cameras and media. There is probably a chance that parts of the event recorded as it occurred. The possibility of this existence should not be discounted by those who are trying to construct convenient narratives.

        The local volunteers (I can not see any reason believe otherwise) who carried on the task of collecting bodies and body parts, who are not the rebel fighters, surely can not continue to be brunt of criticism. There seems to be a situation of the initial fly-in inspectors not willing to handle body parts waiting of “professional ” reinforcements. In this context I find most of the media depictions abominable, and I also hope they get away from sending in reporters who’s only job is to use the wreck as a backdrop and recite the stories they had before even getting to the site, It would help if the reporters that are sent in speak the language or have good translators as they are otherwise useless. The content of the BBC Russia report that disappeared is also available in a different format of audio interview with the same reporter on an NPR station program. WBUR Here and Now of 21 July.

    1. jgordon

      I’m actually quite thrilled to see that the notion of societal collapse is being embraced more widely, and that inevitable “progress” through human knowledge and action is nothing but a delusion. And now that we’ve come to this recognition of reality, certain individuals have the opportunity to start squaring it with their various fanciful theories of economics and money.

      1. Ben Johannson

        So Archdruid stick-in-the-mud says something you like, therefore it must be true.

        Someone should tell his Archie-ness that no one has thought progress in the humam condition is inevitable since the end of the progressive era. Nor were we all blissfully unaware that cultures can fail. The guy has a serious issue with inflated self-opinion.

        1. diptherio

          So you don’t know anyone who’s still clinging to the “it’s different this time, technology will save us” mentality? Really? You’re lucky, I know quite a few. They get their news from NPR and BBC, love all their little gadgets and refuse to believe that we’re headed for peak anything. I’m the “doom-and-gloomer” for not playing along.

          I actually had one friend say to me, “look, you may be right, but what can I do about it?” He also told me that he wouldn’t want to live in a world without modern conveniences. And peak energy? Hell, he’s been hearing about that since the 70s and everything’s been fine so far…

          1. Ben Johannson

            The only people I know of are out-and-out technophiles, the Singularity/nano-immortality dingbats, but this druid fellow makes out that this is some form of mass delusion. The fact that you and I and many others show up here and across various media to discuss this very issue tells me people are far more aware than Druie seems to accept. Lots of commenters have good things to say on this, that’s one of the reasons I’ve visited NC for years.

        2. Ben Johannson

          Actually I’m going to triple down on my earlier comment.

          The Archdruid is a stupid ass, one who seems to believe they’ve reached enlightenment and is now fit to judge history. “Oh, how foolish the silly people are to think they can just ride it out and everything will get better.” As if miners and peasants and abolitionists just sat on their fat asses waiting for “progress” to do everything for them. Apparently, from the druid’s perspective, they did. They were dumb enough to fight for their freedoms mistakenly believing their lives might be improved; if only Archie had been there to tell them it was just an illusion, so go home.

          Martin Luther King was lying in bed expecting civil equality to manifest itself when he was shot; so much for losing his twenty pounds. Keynes didn’t devote all his powers of mind to improving quality of life, he just spent his time not making babies with his wife. Newton is best remembered for saying, “Who gives a sh*t? It’ll all work out, toots.”

          Dear Druid: everyone but you is well aware that improvement has come only with the greatest struggle, that whole generations have perished for the chance to lift their children a few inches out of the bloodsoaked and brutal earth on which they stood. The Buddha told us a few years ago that life is suffering, so you’re behind on that score as well.

          Perhaps you should druminate on that for awhile. You ain’t wiser than anyone else.

          1. toldjaso

            100/100! The Reply puts His High Druid A-Holiness in his place. He is NOT “the One” – contrary to his sly self-positioning as the GreatMind. His pretensions are insufferable. So nice to see the grandiosity bubble of this “philosophical” fool be skewered by an NC Commentator of keen discernment and deep commitment to humanity’s ability to persevere through the fog of fraud we are forced to encounter daily. Naked Capitalism is for critical thinking, Q.E.D.

            1. Ken

              “Naked Capitalism is for critical thinking, Q.E.D.”

              But apparently unable to come up with a coherent rebuttal to the context of the article without resorting to multiple strawmen and ad hominem attacks. #fail, as the kids these days say.

              He’s not for everyone, I’ll give you and Ben that.

          2. hunkerdown

            As if miners and peasants and abolitionists just sat on their fat asses waiting for “progress” to do everything for them.

            They don’t, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that “being seen expending effort” has anything to do with outcomes. Is this what you’re proposing?

            Whigs are Tinkerbell trying to keep their voices from cracking.

            1. Jessica

              I appreciate the Archdruid’s perspective. I find him thoughtful and well-read, well-grounded in history.
              I think that the path he is describing is the one that we are on now and have been for some time.
              I disagree that staying on that path is inevitable. I think he neglects the role of cultural creation (including political struggle) and that he ignores technology fairly completely. Where he ascribes what progress even he would agree we have made since the Industrial Revolution to a free ride on (soon to disappear) fossil fuels, I think the role of human ingenuity and the accumulation of new knowledge are more important.
              Also, when he is more in “how to survive what is coming” mode, he encourages traditional craft skills and gives respect to people who learn them. I think that is a good counterbalance in a day when self-sufficiency is denigrated in favor of relying on the globalized neoliberal machine.

              1. hunkerdown

                I disagree that staying on that path is inevitable. I think he neglects the role of cultural creation (including political struggle) and that he ignores technology fairly completely. Where he ascribes what progress even he would agree we have made since the Industrial Revolution to a free ride on (soon to disappear) fossil fuels, I think the role of human ingenuity and the accumulation of new knowledge are more important.

                On what factual basis do you disagree? Brain power is only more useful than muscle power because we have these massive exogenous energy stocks and flows and the ability to manipulate tools to capture and direct them. Are there sufficient stocks and flows of net energy today to successfully effect a sustainable transition to satisfying substantially everyone’s basic needs by other sources of energy with today’s technology? The usual retort, one necessarily left partly unstated, is that today’s available energy would allow such an endeavor with tomorrow’s technology. That calls for time travel, which is incompatible with any likely physics, and is thus unworthy of much consideration at face value. (It does richly illustrate civilized society’s emotional attachment to the status quo, but (I digress) does little to explain it.)

                It is equally invalid to ask whether *tomorrow’s* available energy would succeed at the same endeavor with *tomorrow’s* technology, as tomorrow’s energy stocks cannot be known with much certainty, and tomorrow’s technology is not reliably predictable either. It is even worse to plan on such an endeavor succeeding, as (despite the cultural bias toward striving) success cannot be guaranteed by mere expenditure of effort, never mind human whimsy. Even if it did, a competitive culture would deny the benefits to most of humanity anyway, by whatever means necessary.

                That True Believers in Progress are incapable of considering, let alone answering, failure modes and responses for *any* of their schemes is a very strong indication that we are dealing not with reason, but a pervasive and severe addictive disorder.

                It might be worth asking, “when was the last opportunity we had to get off of our present trajectory with a strong chance of broad positive outcomes and an orderly, humane backup plan?” Maybe in the late 1990s, humans would have had the resources to put up a Dyson sphere of useful magnitude, but the question of whether I or others like me would have seen any benefit from it is far from affirmed.

                Generous thoughts don’t bring the harvest in.

                  1. optimader

                    It is an interesting scenario if the human’s fragile digital interface were wiped out in a mightily solar storm, who would cope with going back to 1975 and who wouldn’t? I still have a couple nice self winding watches, my old TI SR-50A scientific calculator, more primitive yet, several very nice slide rulers.
                    As for me, I’d have a tidy little business building biomass gasifier conversions for my neighbors in trade for their liquor caches.

      2. optimader

        “I’m actually quite thrilled to see that the notion of societal collapse is being embraced more widely”
        Why would this thrill you? Dare I ask, do you expect a better life in the event of “societal collapse”? You Expect better dental care?

        1. hunkerdown

          Why don’t you just come out and say “There Is No Alternative to consumerism in anything”?

          Not trying to vouchsafe you here, but do you see the mutual exclusivity between planning for Bigger and Better Forever, and (ahem) hunkering down for what’s more likely to come? Plug that into Pascal’s wager and see what it advises, if you like.

          Not having to trudge to an office farm and spend the majority of one’s better years acting out some ritual of service to society’s deadest weights that produces not one whit more than apes grooming one another and consumes one’s life in the process? You don’t actually *want* that?

          1. different clue

            If we could get rid of the apish grooming, the cubicle farming and the rat racing and still keep our dental care . . . we’d have a real winner.

            1. optimader

              HAHA,, indeed, that’s my perspective.
              Don’t need societal collapse for that to occur, more like societal evolution. Quite frankly there are alternatives to cubical farming and racing rats right now if one looks around. As for me I’m quite confident of my “hunkerability”, I’ve lived quite happily in “hunker mode” in the past and can go there again much the wiser.

    2. Chauncey Gardiner

      The article from The Archdruid Report reminded me of David Gelernter’s book “1939: The Lost World of the Fair”, and the implied promises of technology and corporations, such as GE, at the 1939 World’s Fair. I see the message of “Hope and Change” through technology and corporations that was so evident at that World’s Fair, which was held after the nation had experienced 10 years of the Great Depression of the 1930’s, as having many similarities to our own time. It is not insignificant that Edward Bernays also directed public relations of the Fair in 1939.

      Appreciated John Michael Greer’s suggestion that some of the answers at an individual level may lie in philosophy.

  2. Larry Headlund

    I must be missing something about Dutchman, Thai in ‘global drug network’ Bangkok Post. 100 million Baht is a little over US $3 million. This seems just a local story.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Their shop brought in $20-$40 million annually, and there are other assets, so the number isn’t quite as trivial as suggested.

      That said, I wonder what the Thai word for “kayfabe” is….

  3. Jim Haygood

    OMG … Latin looney tunes:

    “A stay (injunction) is necessary until next January to achieve total debt restructuring with bondholders.” Cabinet chief Jorge Capitanich insisted this morning on “the necessity of granting a stay, or suspension of execution of a judgment.”

    The judge just rejected a stay a few days ago. Despite Argentina’s idée fixe of obtaining a stay, nothing has happened to change his mind. NML draws the obvious conclusion:

    After meeting separately with the court-appointed mediator Daniel Pollack on Thursday, an NML spokesman said in a statement: “Today, Argentina’s government made clear that it will be choosing to default next week.”

    NML said it was prepared to negotiate with the government’s team and is “willing to be flexible in forging a solution. Argentina again refused to negotiate any aspect of the dispute. Instead, its representatives simply stated that no solution was possible.”

    Well, okey-dokey. Whatevah

    1. Klassy

      I don’t think his age is an issue. I’m sure there are some old judges out there whose retirement would be good for the plutocracy.
      Would you rather have a 77 year old William O. Douglas or a 64 year old Samuel Alito?
      Lets get away from using old age as a smear. It really does not tell us much about a person.

      1. Carolinian

        Did you read the Norris story I linked? It strongly suggests the judge doesn’t have a handle on the situation.

        1. Klassy

          I didn’t read the story. I was probably responding a bit too quickly.
          My response had more to do with feelings I have about age being invoked than anything you actually wrote. Sorry.

      2. Ed

        I think the 37 or so years Douglas spent on the Supreme Court is still the longevity record, but I’ve seen him cited as an example of a Justice who was plainly gaga in his last couple of years and his colleagues had to intervene to ease him off the court.

        Having a maximum age for judges is a good idea. Roosevelt’s late 1930s plan had that, but unfortunately the standard history myth has it as an unconstitutional sleazy idea to manipulate the court (it was not only constitutional but quite sensible, and something had to be done to get the Court out of the judicial and political cul-de-sac it had gotten into).

      3. Doug Terpstra

        Mandatory retirement age for commercial pilots is 65. That would be a good age in Alito’s case.

    2. fresno dan

      July 25, 2014 at 8:18 am

      Bearing in mind I don’t know that much about it, although I never quite understand the obsession of government in protecting bond holders (no body ever made anyone buy a bond – isn’t it a part of reality that bonds default???) 2 thoughts come to mind:
      1. Floyd Norris really doesn’t like the judge:
      Thomas Poole Griesa has been a federal judge for 42 years. He has been grappling with Argentina’s debt default for a decade.
      Only now is he learning how complicated life can be for a judge seeking to control actions by a sovereign government and issuing orders that are supposed to be binding on those who would ordinarily never be within the jurisdiction of an American court.
      But he could have been referring to the process he unleashed with rulings that were meant to accomplish one thing — force Argentina to live up to what he repeatedly called its “obligations” — but failed to take into account just how complex the situation is. This week’s hearing made clear that he had not completely understood the bond transactions that he had been ruling on for years.
      Other judges had ruled that Argentina owed the money, but those rulings were, in practice, unenforceable against a sovereign state. Judge Griesa came up with a legal interpretation to put teeth in the rulings. He held that Argentina must pay the old bonds in full at the same time it made the next semiannual interest payment to holders of the new bonds. And if it did not do so, any bank that helped Argentina pay interest on the new bonds would be violating the order.
      (((COMMENT – really, there seems to be an American obsession with just injecting ourselves in foreign adventures. If you want bonds under American law so damn bad, buy American bonds. Also, it seems overly solicitous of American hedge funds )))
      And that is where the complexities arose that Judge Griesa seems not to have understood.
      It turned out that he (((the judge)))) did not know much about those Argentine-law bonds. He said his June order provided “a rather minute exception” to his original ruling, and told the hedge funds’ lawyer, Edward A. Friedman of Friedman Kaplan Seiler & Adelman, “It is my understanding that the bonds being talked about in your motion are not part of the exchange.”
      Told that the bonds in question were exchange bonds, and that they accounted for nearly a quarter of all the exchange bonds, he said he had not realized that and reversed course.
      It was not bad theater, but it hardly inspired confidence in the American legal system.
      It is not as if no one had pointed out the issues in the many legal briefs and arguments filed in this case, both before Judge Griesa and before appeals courts. But those arguments seem not to have registered. “For this to come out after this has gone through so much legal process, in the most sophisticated financial jurisdiction in America,” Ms. Gelpern said, “has to be astounding.”
      You know, there is much, much more, but I would be pretty much just be copying the whole article. WELL, JUST ONE MORE ZINGER
      “As Wednesday approaches, the judge has a lot to think about. It would be better if he had done some of that thinking before he issued his order, or if the appeals court or the Supreme Court had forced him to do so.”

      2. This just seems to me akin to the whole Indispensable nation thing – no matter where something occurs on Earth, America must get involved somehow. So now we have something that really looks to me like unprecedented judicial activism, (ruling are made – they get ignored – whatcha gonna do???? But this judge decides, on his own, to do a new and novel way to compel obedience that affects innocent third parties) and its opened a whole can of worms. For some reason, this just brings to my mind US trying to support the Syrian rebels, but only the more moderate rebels…..which is like deciding after you poured your marinara with garlic sauce all over your spaghetti that you don’t want garlic after all, and your gonna find and pick out every little teeny weeny piece of garlic.

        1. fresno dan

          Lou Todd and Andy Pipkin are fictional characters from the cult BBC TV and radio show Little Britain, played by David Walliams and Matt Lucas respectively. Andy’s catchphrases include, “Yeah I know”, “Want that one” and “(I) Don’t like it”, while Lou’s catchphrase is “What a kerfuffle!”

          I thought “I don’t like it” came from Christopher Walken…..

    1. bob

      The Moreland Omission need a lot more attention. Filthy move by filthy people. “we’re going to investigate corruption until we have enough dirt to keep ourselves clean, then we’ll wrap it all up and call it a commission”

      Comission Accomplished!

  4. ReddestGreen

    Can we stop giving Zephyr Teachout, who is a shill for sad Working Families Party people who didn’t get what they wanted, airtime? She and the MSM are once again blocking discussion of Howie Hawkins’ Green Party run amd acting as left gatekeepers. Howie has called for a criminal investigation of Cuomo and a full break with he Democratic Party. He’s also polling at 6% as a Green candidate in July. Please at least post his response if we’re ry serious about an alternative to Cuomo:

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Might help to get your facts right. You aren’t helping your candidate or your personal cred by making stuff up.

      She’s not a shill for the WFP. If she were, she wouldn’t be running against de Blasio’s wishes (he’s furious). More to the point, why the hostility? She’s running in the Democratic primary for the Democratic nomination. She’s a Democrat. Hawkins is running as a Green in the general. It’s not the same election. If I were in NY I’d vote for Zephyr in the primary and if she loses, Hawkins in the general. But if you care about candidates being ignored, please explain why is Hawkins calling for a debate among Cuomo, Astorino, and him? Why not all four?

      Zephyr is running as a populist Democrat. She has a clear agenda based on anti-corruption, antitrust enforcement, infrastructure investment, and labor rights. Does Hawkins disagree with any of that? If so, make that clear. If not, why are you so mad? They aren’t even running against each other.

      1. Oregoncharles

        He’s upset because he wants equal time for Hawkins (yeah, partisan).
        What are Teachout’s actual chances? From this distance, they look just as minuscule as Hawkins’ in the general.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Teachout is pretty realistic about her odds, but one of her points is that if her candidacy gets any profile, that will be seen as tantamount to denting Cuomo for his corruption. Plus Cuomo has tons of enemies. She’s already raised $250,000, which is a lot for a dark horse in a race like this. So while she is unlikely to win, she might make enough noise and get enough votes to tarnish Cuomo’s chances for a national post later.

    2. bob

      If the green’s want people to take them seriously, something I think is past possible, they have to stop running guys like Hawkins. He’s straight out of a cheech and chong movie, without any funny.

      On the cuomo/corruption front, I agree completely, but I certainly wouldn’t send a golden retriever like hawkins into the ring with a mastif like king cuomo.

      1. habenicht

        Personally I find it refreshing to see candidates running for office who are not slick, polished, upper crust, career politicians.

  5. Johann Sebastian Schminson

    “Western powers largely alone in condemnation of Russia”

    Who else would care? China? Chile? Burkina Faso? (I hear that the power elite in Ouagadougou are gearing-up for a response).

    “The Existential Battle for the Soul of the GOP”

    As with corporations, political parties don’t have souls. Especially the GOP. They’re the walking dead (not that the Dems don’t deserve a wooden stake through the heart).


    “Researchers shocked by depletion of Colorado River Basin.”

    Guess what — water ain’t created by fiat. Our resources are finite. You gonna’ drink that?


    “I.M.F. Reduces Its Forecast For Global Growth in 2014”

    They also adjusted their expectations and guidance for 1980 through 2013.


    If you’re in the mid-Atlantic this weekend, please get outside and suck this weather up!

    1. Eeyores enigma

      “Our resources are finite”… and our ability to create future claims on those resources….infinite.

      The only problem is that it is only 1% of the population who will be able to afford to buy them as they become scarce.

      Darwinism needs to be updated to “Survival of the richest”.

      Actually this has been true and well understood for a very long time which is why “GREED IS GOOD”.

      1. optimader

        “Our resources are finite”… and our ability to create future claims on those resources….infinite.

        The only problem is that it is only 1% of the population who will be able to afford to buy them as they become scarce.”

        Squishy thought

        The ability to muster the infrastructure to economically exploit “those resources” would surely end before only 1% of the population could afford to buy them, no?

    2. OIFVet

      “Western powers largely alone in condemnation of Russia”. Yet some here would have you think that Russia has been universally relegated to pariah status, save for a few friends like Cuba, Venezuela, and (gasp!) North Korea. It’s the Axis of Evil Redux. I wonder how they missed Iran. Seems to me that the small fry are increasingly weary of US belligerence. Meanwhile the US is desperate to create a worthy enemy do distract the “consumers'”attention away from the increasing elite looting here at home and their empty wallets. “Sure would be nice to have butter but we need guns, more guns. Because Putin”.

      1. hunkerdown

        Iran’s working their way inside. Why, Rouhani’s behaving with the sort of unseemly ardor toward Western economics about which one generally doesn’t want one’s mother to hear word. Did you miss the cranky kvetching from Israel when the US started talking about establishing economic ties with Iran? It’s the same as the kvetchy cranking from Yuriko Koike, Japan’s Minister of Defense for all of two months and now shilling for neoliberalism.

  6. MtnLife

    Re: VT single payer
    Shumlin has been looking for a back door way to torpedo his own project ever since it was passed (multiple studies that make him sound depressed when they come back positive). He came in very Obama hopey-changey promising to do what Vermonters actually wanted but the past year or two has been quick to sell out “compromise”. Not so much between parties as Vermont Republicans more closely resemble national Democrats but between government and business/industry. He’s had a very hands-off policy towards our wealthiest and has pushed a seemingly progressive agenda while leaving business to do its thing unmolested. He came in with a massive populist mandate to make major changes, started getting them, and then decided baby steps was better. The only good thing here is with our low population our representatives are VERY available, they listen, and will hold the governor accountable because of their community connection (or they’ll be replaced pronto, votes actually count here!).

    1. Carla

      You gotta love the Dems.

      US political system: the Republicans tell us they’re going to fuck us over, and then they fuck us over. The Democrats tell us they’re going to help us, and then they fuck us over.

      Thanks, MtnLife, for your insights re: Shumlin and also the advantages of smallness.

      1. Vatch

        I’ve had a similar thought. In their twisted way, the Republicans tend to be more honest than the Democrats.

        1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

          Methinks you might have mistaken blatant and rabid sociopathy for honesty.

        2. optimader

          This has long been my cynicism about the large D party.
          The large R party has it’s looney-toon characters but collectively they wear their particular notions about Avarice and Greed on their sleeves, the Ds seemingly are more duplicitous about it.
          File under case study: Hillary and Bill, Jessie Jackson Sr and Jr , BHO and Michelle, Joe Biden and Son etc etc..

      2. Johann Sebastian Schminson

        Honestly — at least the Dems leave some spare change on the nightstand and don’t soil the sheets as badly.

        1. different clue

          Obama soiled the sheets worse. He has made Bush’s sheet stains permanent, indelible, irreversible, irremovable and normalized. He made the Bush Tax Cuts permanent. With help from his Democratic officeholders. etc.

          1. lambert strether

            That, and he thinks you should love him, and wants you to think he respects you.


  7. James Levy

    China’s detour

    Yet another of the endless articles telling other nations to do what the US never does: guillotine too big to fail entities and let them die a natural death. Lecturing China about “a moral hazard economy” after TARP, AIG, GM, QE, and ZIRP is so mind-blowingly hypocritical that I don’t know how anyone with a brain and a conscience can commit such crap to paper. American hegemony seems based more an more on no carrots, a few sticks, and a whole load of moralizing and posturing. The people in Washington seem to think that “leadership” means a combination of threats and lectures, not doing what needs to be done and then convincing others to follow. This may be why we fetishize the military. At least there every officer understands that you don’t get people to risk their necks by lecturing or bullying them–you say, “I’m going forward; the men can follow me and the pussies can stay here in this ditch” then getting up and going forward. There are still men and women, at the junior levels, in the US military who lead by example. In every other walk of American life, this habit has largely disappeared. As a collectivity, it has vanished.

    1. susan the other

      I can’t help thinking that at some point around 1970 we used capitalism, aka “free market capitalism” to prevent China from a trajectory that would have overtaken us technologically. Distract them with bells and whistles. It was a pre-planned detour of their society so we could gear down our own and become a less frivolous nation and get back to the business of good science and technology. Which is really where we all need to be going.

      1. FederalismForever

        @susan the other. Please forgive my confusion, but how, pray tell, can the untold horrors of Mao’s Cultural Revolution (in effect from 1966 to 1976, coinciding with mass famines and millions dead) be explained by “our” use of “free market capitalism”? Given the comparative lack of mass famines and the sharp reduction in poverty that have occurred since Mao was replaced by Deng, shouldn’t we instead wonder where China might be today if it had avoided the disastrous Mao era altogether?

        Your first sentence could almost function as a reductio ad absurdum of the idea that all the world’s evils are the spawn of U.S. “free market capitalism.”

      2. optimader

        “I can’t help thinking that at some point around 1970 we used capitalism, aka “free market capitalism” to prevent China from a trajectory that would have overtaken us technologically.”

        Back to the thought editor on that one Susan. What would have been the alternative trajectory?

    2. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      OTOH, everybody could wise the F up and ask ‘why’ they’re being asked to follow some non-pussy on a killing/being killed political adventure. WMDs you say? Trust you, you say? I don’t think so, MF — it ain’t worth my life or legs, or yours.

      I want to know why passive civil disobedience has completely disappeared from the US middle class’ arsenal of economic and social weapons.

      1. pwndecaf

        Because “I see dead people…”

        The thugs in blue are no longer bound to human decency, if they ever were.

      2. hunkerdown

        Maybe their health insurance doesn’t cover anything secondary to political protest actions.

      3. different clue

        Because of NSA? Arranged/engineered character and legal assassinations? ( And physical assassinations if only they will do?) Because of the visible beatdown of OWS protests coordinated nationwide between NSA/FBI/Obama/the Democratic Mayors/ police coordinators, etc.?
        Well . . . there’s enough people to where those who still believe in civil disobedience can still try that and see what happens. And still leave enough people left over to try something called “uncivil obedience”. ” I obey but I do not comply”. Unplugging/deplugging. More and more people doing more and more within local barter/survival network economies and less and less within the mainstream hamsterwheel moneyconomy. And ignoring the all-or-nothing purity trolls who will accuse us of “still going to work”.

        Nobody owes the rich a living.
        I am not my keeper’s brother.
        Every dollar is a bullet on the field of economic combat.

  8. Jim Haygood

    From Ambrose E-P’s article about the IMF’s road to Damascus conversion to the BIS view that a bubble’s brewing:

    Ultra-low interest rates around the world are fuelling financial bubbles and pushing investors into overvalued assets, the International Monetary Fund has warned in a marked shift of policy.

    Olivier Blanchard, the IMF’s chief economist, said the fund is now watching financial markets “like a hawk” but said the world economy is still too fragile to withstand the introduction of tighter monetary policy.

    Standard central bankster purse-clutching and hand-wringing: keep handing out heroin-laced candy to children, then solemnly collect donations to pay for the little tykes’ funerals. ‘No one could have foreseen this tragedy,’ one intones, wiping away a tear.

  9. Doug Terpstra

    Nicely pegged! Though grade school heroine peddlers may demand an apology for the slur.

  10. Carolinian

    I just did a Google search and it still looks like that Yats’ resignation not covered by the NYT. They have a link to a Reuters video report instead. All the news that’s fit (for the party line) to print.

    1. OIFVet

      In all fairness, they did. I posted the link to NYT article in yesterday’s links. They actually did much better job than the Guardian.

      1. Carolinian

        Ok got it although by 12.24 am I was fast asleep and missed your comment. It’s still a Reuters story though so technically they haven’t weighed in. You’d think their news staff, heavy with opinion mongers, would have something to say.

        1. OIFVet

          Yes, there was a rather subdued tone to the coverage IMO. It’s like they don’t want to draw too much attention to the clown show they befriended. But like I said, this was the best coverage of the bunch. I only found out about that Yats threw a hissy fit about the failure of to deregulate the state pipelines from the Bulgarian media, and that’s when I started looking at western media coverage. No other western media I looked at mentioned this interesting tidbit. It is a rather toxic detail since it shows that the West really really wants to get its hands on Ukraine’s state assets, for bargain price if experience elsewhere is any guide. The Guardian actually used the term “energy sector regulation” to describe what is a deregulation. That’s “lefty” media for you.

          1. hunkerdown

            I read that by “reform” they meant opening 95% of the energy business to Western ownership. “New energy laws”? There’s a telling euphemism.

              1. gordon

                Well, at least they’ve got the Commies out of the Rada!

                “The Verkhovnaya Rada paved the way for the [Communist] party’s dissolution on Tuesday by amending its rules to vest the speaker of the house with power to dissolve the Communist Party. On Tuesday evening, President Petro Poroshenko signed a bill giving effect to the new regulations.”

                Now there’s streamlined procedure for you.


          2. gordon

            Though the forced destruction of some Guardian computer equipment supposedly containing Edward Snowden’s leaked information in August last year was widely dismissed as farcical or symbolic, I suspect it was only part of a general instruction to the Guardian to toe the line, and that the paper has and will continue to comply. They’re not all that brave, but would you be? Would I? Who knows?


    2. Synapsid

      Today’s BBC Online mentions it in an article on Ukraine’s government coming apart, giving the resignation some context.

    3. Abe, NYC

      The Independent article content strangely doesn’t match its title. The pipelines are mentioned in the first or second paragraph, and that’s it.

      Now it’s possible that this played a role. It’s also possible that Yatsenuk knows the country is up the shit creek and decided to escape before he’ll get most of the blame. But these are only theories. When the ruling coalition dissolves, all sorts of perturbations happen and Prime Minister’s resignation is not unusual to say the least.

  11. Katniss Everdeen

    The Sic Semper Tyrannis “manifest destiny” article and George Washington’s article, which discusses the derangement and exploitation of American “dispensationalism” for Israel’s benefit, are must-reads for anyone trying to comprehend the relentlessly murderous Israeli behavior in Palestine and the insanity of the US support.

    The motivation and behavior are, actually, as maniacal and “otherworldly” as they seem.

    Apparently asking “god” for help in alleviating the slaughter is pointless, “god” has mandated it.

    The reasoning is as sickening as it is bizarre.

    1. Paul Niemi

      So in the Ukraine/Russia mess, I noticed the lady answering the questions on all the news shows was on her book tour, and it was Hillary Clinton. The MSM was eagerly hanging on her every word, treating her like the authoritative source. I listened to her on a public radio station, and I what I heard was significant. She was asked about polls showing a majority of Americans as being against war and believing we should pull back and mind our own business in foreign affairs. I heard Hillary say that, “We can’t (pull back). We are the indispensable nation in foreign affairs. Anywhere in the world, we have to be involved, because our involvement is indispensable.” I think this revelation is significant because it is so radical. It implies the U.S. should always be involved in every conflict, no matter if we have a national security interest or not. To put it in perspective, it is only recently that some have made the argument that we should get involved in conflicts like Ukraine/Russia, where the outcome arguably has no bearing on our national security but carries the possibility of real harm to our peaceful relations with Russia. We used to be more restrained. In this, it would appear that Hillary is more in agreement with Sen. John McCain, about intervention and involvement in foreign conflicts. I think what is significant is Mrs. Clinton’s insensitivity to the views of the majority of people who are tired of war and want for us to pull back and mind our own business. She dismisses that viewpoint as being very dispensable.

      1. OIFVet

        I don’t know why you are so surprised about it, it’s not like American Exceptionalism came into existence only yesterday. We basically took over the ‘White Man’s Burden’ from the British Empire, except we use more PC language than Kipling did so that we comply with modern sensibilities. But if we don’t civilize the savages, who will?

        1. Paul Niemi

          Being indispensable goes beyond exceptionalism in my mind. Exceptionalism means we (Americans) essentially write the rules for ourselves by virtue of our awesomeness. Indispensability implies that we are the desideratum, omnipresent in all affairs. That kind of stuff is where the “Royal We” comes from. Anyway, the interviewer asked something silly, and HRC started cackling and cackled so hard that it was nearly maniacal. The interviewer was so alarmed, he cut it off there. I wanted to hear more about indispensability.

        2. James Levy

          But even Kipling and his ilk identified and accepted the legitimate spheres of influence of other major powers–the US simply does not . No British statesman believed for an instant that Britain could “rule the world.” What they wanted was a seat at every table and a preponderance of influence where it really counted for them. But at no time in the 19th century did they try, or even imagine they could try, to dictate to all the Great Powers how to act and what to do.

          And that’s why the US is so frickin’ dangerous. It’s aspirations seem boundless.

          1. Lambert Strether

            Kipling wrote “The White Man’s Burden” to urge us into war with the Philippines. Our first imperial war, which lasted for IIRC ten years, and vicious it was, too.

            1. hunkerdown

              And Sinclair Lewis wrote It Can’t Happen Here mainly to sink Huey Long’s Presidential ambitions, didn’t he? Why is it that the Names we hear dropped in literature are almost exclusively those of the quisling stenographers?

          2. toldjaso

            Tell it to the troops. There can be no doubt that the RothRhodesMilner Round Table had it in heart and mind to “rule the world” in their image. Carroll Quigley makes this perfectly clear in “The Anglo-American Establishment: From Rhodes to Cliveden” (and he shows how the BIS is central to the “civilized” approach toward this end in “Tragedy and Hope”). “Zionism” is the “religious” cover of this Heart of Darkness.

          3. OIFVet

            The US enjoyed a unipolar world for a few years following the fall of the Soviets and ended up believing in its own BS about manifest destiny. Its not that the US refuses to acknowledge other great powers, rather it believes it is the sole great power. Obama basically said that when he declared Russia a regional power. Though I am increasingly inclined to believe that his statement represented the wishful thinking among neocon circles, more of a mission statement than a statement of fact. And that is indeed dangerous.

        1. Paul Niemi

          Absolutely. It does imply a single point of failure, and being the U.S. as the indispensable nation, everything goes to hell in a hand basket without the U.S. From the standpoint of the U.S., however, it doesn’t matter if the system is not robust, because the other components are willing to sacrifice materially to preserve the presence of the essential U.S. But now turn it around: if the U.S. is the “indispensable nation,” then it follows that other nations are not. In fact, having this attitude implies that one believes other nations are indeed dispensable.

      2. fresno dan

        Paul Niemi
        July 25, 2014 at 1:05 pm

        I am pretty sure if you discussed your thoughts and opinions with Hillary, she would close her eyes, put her hands over her ears, and shout, “INDISPENSABLE NDISPENSABLE INDISPENSABLE NDISPENSABLE INDISPENSABLE NDISPENSABLE INDISPENSABLE NDISPENSABLE”
        I would have to give Ms. Clinton’s argument a great deal of weight, based on her vast experience and how her diplomacy has made the whole earth a bastion of peace and prosperity…..except for the fact that we live in the most dangerous times ever and we need someone of her intellect and stature to handle all these foreign crisis….which are not related at all to her service the last few years….

      3. OIFVet

        Paul Craig Roberts talks “indispensable” nation: “There are no references to Russian position papers and documents setting forth a Russian expansionist ideology or a belief declared by Moscow that Russians are “exceptional, indispensable people” with the right to exercise hegemony over the world. No evidence is presented that Russia has infiltrated the communication systems of the entire world for spy purposes. There is no evidence that Putin has Obama’s or Obama’s daughters’ private cell phone conversations or that Russia downloads US corporate secrets for the benefit of Russian businesses”.

        He also touches on a topic that I have mentioned: “Russia and China are disadvantaged in their conflict with Washington. Russia and China have emerged from tyranny. People in both countries were influenced by American cold war propaganda. Both countries have educated people who think that America has freedom, democracy, justice, civil liberty, economic well-being and is a welcoming friend of other countries that want the same thing.

        This is a dangerous delusion. Washington has an agenda. Washington has put in place a police state to suppress its own population, and Washington believes that history has conveyed the right to Washington to exercise hegemony over the world. Last year President Obama declared to the world that he sincerely believes that America is the exceptional nation on whose leadership the world depends.”

        He could have easily added the Eastern Europeans to that first paragraph. They have swallowed the cool-aide in even larger quantities. I have expressed my irritations with the Eastern Europeans blind faith in the inherent “goodness” of the US, in some ways they can be out-exceptionalize the US exceptionalists. I view this as a huge danger since it has demonstrably made the Eastern Europeans very pliable to the US imperial agenda, to the point where Poland, the Baltics, and Bulgaria actually REQUEST that NATO troops be stationed on their territories. At no point in the Cold War were Warsaw Pact or Soviet troops EVER stationed in Bulgaria, just to give you a perspective. Again, enlarging NATO with these countries was a huge mistake.

    2. toldjaso

      So will BigOforKochs “get it overwith” – and turn “Jerusalem” and Tel Aviv to glass forthwith? Then “Jesus” will walk down from the NukinGglCloud? If “All the world’s a stage” then why wait? ‘Instant ZioEvangelical Gratification” would deliver us from this Killer Strategy Of Tension. The “Deus ex Machina” enters Center Stage into the Sea of Glass (also depicted in “The Revelation to John”), and the “Conversion of the Jews” follows. Isn’t this the Whirlwind that Benzion and his son Bibi Netanyahu have reaped?

  12. Banger

    The Gaza conflict did not change Israeli society–it was set to go off and, I suggest, was programmed to go into a nationalistic/fascist Hell deliberately by the U.S. supported far-right in Israel. The mined the paranoia that always accompanies conflict for their own ends and have succeeded in a full transformation of Israeli society from where it was just a couple of decades ago when the right-wing killed Rabin to scuttle any chance of peace.

    As bad as the current situation is for the Palestinians the nationalist/chauvinistic tendencies of Israeli citizens has always been balanced by a sense of decency and humanism at the heart of, particularly, well-educated Israelis but that seems to be on the wane as Israel shows it’s bloody face to the world. Sadly, the U.S. policy in Israel is controlled by Israeli intelligence in cooperation with U.S. intel who sees the existence of a belligerent Israel as a perennial cause of Arab reaction which is always in the interests of the U.S. by perennially, manufacturing “enemies.”

    1. James Levy

      I’ve been saying for several years that this is the ultimate destination for all Blood and Soil nationalisms. I was most shocked to see it in the work of Paul Berman, whose All that is Solid Melts into Air was one of the defining texts of my youth. But after his son died and he went all-in for Zionism, he swung further and further to the Right. This style of nationalism gives the atheist something transcendent to believe in and the religious something to concretize their faith in (in this case the Jewish nation-state). It subsumes the individual in something meaningful beyond the self. But it also dehumanized all those not of the Heimat. I think it’s a devil’s bargain, but go convince people on the inside of such a faith-based system of their folly–good luck.

    2. susan the other

      A blurb today on ZH that Iran is calling for a dissolution of the “zionist state of Israel” but not a pogrom on Jews. That’s a new twist. Always before it was a religious zeal for blanket genocide. Things have changed. So ISIS must be more or less a secular Islamist mentality. Would we unleash a genocide against Jews for any reason whatsoever?

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        No that is not true. The claims that Iran wanted genocide are generally pinned to an apparently deliberately mistranslation of a remark by Amadinejad (who let me stress is not a pretty figure, he is a Holocaust denier). The statement is widely quoted as Israel should be wiped off the map of the earth. His statement was actually in a conditional tense and a more accurate translation apparently would be more along the lines of “it would be better if Israel had never come into existence”.

        In addition, Amadinejad was basically a figurehead, with a stature something like the Vice President. People who know Iran depicted his remarks as having no consequence. How seriously would you take it in the US when Dan Quayle said something off beam, which was too often?

        I’m not saying that Iran is not an enemy of Israel. But its motives and interests have often been misrepresented in the Western media.

        1. optimader

          Juan Cole: Ahmadinejad’s statement should be translated as, “the Imam said that this regime occupying Jerusalem (een rezhim-e eshghalgar-e qods) must [vanish from] the page of time (bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad),” noting that there is no Persian idiom to wipe something off the map

          I agree w/ Ahmad. on this. actually. I’ll amplify , it was no threat, merely an observation that the Zionist political construct that is “Israel” is not sustainable.

          A great irony down the memory hole is that they were Allies not that long ago.

          “…This stands in stark contrast to Rabin’s view of Iran at the height of Iran’s export of Islamic fundamentalism in 1987, when he said “Iran is Israel’s best friend and we do not intend to change our position in relation to Tehran” (Agence France-presse, 28 October 1987)…”

          The shifting sands of time make for unpredictable bedfellows.. it is written

    3. Doug Terpstra

      A dark perspective, but accurate. I’d thought it unlikely that Jane Jacobs’ or Morris Berman’s coming Dark Age (essentially not-so-neo-feudalism) as highly unlikely in the info age, but now, as Archdruid also chronicles, I see it descending. It’s surreal, especially witnessing one’s own country and its controlling client Israel imposing it so relentlessly and inexorably like a nightmare of wakeful paralysis.

      The point is, what’s happening to Israeli society is happening here in tandem. Paul Findley makes the case succinctly that “In The Punishment of Gaza Washington is Complicit in Israel’s Crime”, as are Americans who don’t speak up against it.

      1. Oregoncharles

        A modern day Masada would be nuclear. Someone else in this thread was referencing Jerusalem as a sea of glass; it’s a real possibility. I’ve also seen documentation of (unofficial but authoritative) Israeli threats against Europe if they’re going down.
        The danger here is extreme. If Israel is truly as insane as they appear, those 200 nukes are in the hands of mad terrorists.
        We’re all downwind, and a lot of us are within range.
        I don’t know how to finesse this; I suspect no one does. We can’t keep letting Israel run rogue, but we can’t take a chance of setting off a nuclear war in the ME, either.

        1. Banger

          On the other hand, the fact is that, in some ways, Israel has not gone rogue. It has not ethnically cleansed the West Bank and Gaza despite its power to dos so. I think this is a good sign and that there are indeed controlled by some powerful forces.

      2. optimader

        I think if Israel ….

        Sadly, I suspect its a minority that are Zionists and it’s a lot of wackjobs in the USA that want it

  13. dearieme

    “Army War College Starts Plagiarism Inquiry of Senator John Walsh’s Thesis New York Times”

    It’s just a tip of the hat to JFK.

    1. toldjaso

      The real scandal is that a FOURTEEN PAGE thesis was deemed SUFFICIENT WRITTEN WORK to earn him a MASTERS degree (to top his earned credits for the Masters Degree) from the United States Army War College in Carlisle, PA. If “plagiarism” sufficient to question the “integrity” of the 14-page thesis is the ISSUE, what are the implications of this RIDICULOUS exercise?

      1. OIFVet

        It’s the Army for you. Most of the exams during my BOLC were multiple choice, OPEN book. Same for the NCOs PLDC. And some still fail the exams the first time…

      2. different clue

        That’s what I thought when I first heard the news. What? 14 pages is a masters thesis paper?

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          I think John Nash’s PhD dissertation on game theory was all of 7 pages, but in math, shorter is better, as in “elegant”.

          1. optimader

            Yes, in physics there is a historical cleave between theorists and experimentalists. The elegant theorists get it done on a bar napkin equivalent, the experimentalists need the spiral notebook.

            I have merely a primitive understanding of these:
            but each little symbol captures pages and pages of proof, requires boxes and boxes of experimental design. Feynman was one of the theoretical giants.

            As for an ARMY masters thesis, no doubt it takes reams of paper when it comes to new and clever paradigms and historical analysis for intentional destruction.

          2. different clue

            Fair enough, and good point. But I bet it would take thousands of words to explain each page of Nash’s thesis to mere layfolk like myself. I doubt that this Senator’s masters thesis was as thought-rich and dense page for page as Nash’s PhD.

  14. dearieme

    “Study: Americans hate Russian aggression, but they don’t want war, either.”
    I dare say that Russians hate American aggression, and they don’t want war, either.

    Reagan and Bush the Elder promised Russia no aggression: Clinton reneged on it. Another reason not to elect Hellary.

    1. Vatch

      Very sad. It’s probably even worse than the article describes, since the definition of “middle class” in much of the world is equivalent to destitute in the developed world. I suspect there are about 5 billion poor people in the world. Unfortunately, the article is also rather naive, and fails to recommend one of the best ways for poor families to improve their lot: stop having so may children.

      Yes, the world’s distribution of resources is severely unfair. But what’s the likelihood that the people with power will allow this to change? Instead, people can take some control over their own lives, and limit their number of children. It’s far easier for a poor family (or a middle class family) to support one or two children than it is to support three or more. Smaller families are very empowering.

  15. toldjaso

    Amazing how the Archdruid Greer ignores Aristotle and Aristotelians altogether.
    Beware! “The Gray Light of Morning” is deceptively “neat” — the “three” options, exclusively three, tied up in a the pat black bow of the “Sage” anointed. Akin to the “smell of Napalm in the morning” is the “odor of mendacity” pervading this piece of philosophoreligious calculation. This is the “mathematician’s” view from Pythagoras unto Plato unto the AngloFinanceCommonwealth’s WorldOrder shuffled into the mainstream by RothChurchill’s DruidCuldeeCabalist CabaleDeZion, now wreaking havoc from Ukraine unto Gaza for ZeeSingularity of Global Wizard Dominion.
    Caveat emptor.

    1. reslez

      > Amazing how the Archdruid Greer ignores Aristotle and Aristotelians altogether.

      Platonism should not be held up as any sort of example for adjusting to the failure of civilization. Western civilization spent a millennium puttering along in a useless Neo-Platonist cul-de-sac. Is human consciousness malleable, yes, and does it fail to correctly perceive reality, yes frequently. That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to wallow in masturbatory pseudo-intellectual nonsense for another ten centuries. Give me the Stoics any day. At least the Epicureans know how to enjoy life.

      1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

        “That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to wallow in masturbatory pseudo-intellectual nonsense for another ten centuries.”

        Uhhhhh . . . we’re almost there? Don’t stop now?

        After ten centuries, the world should probably start thinking about baseball.

  16. susan the other

    The stunning report from Project Syndicate’s post of Levermann’s research (Potsdam U. Germany) that it is proven, and clearly observed, that the western Antarctic ice sheet is sliding into the ocean and the subsequent ocean rise is inevitable. We cannot stop it. And there is serious concern about the eastern ice sheet doing the same. (We could be talking several meters here.) This has happened much faster than we were led to believe. So it partially explains why our government has decided to mitigate disasters and not to bother with preventing them. Also a link at the bottom to a Jeffrey Sachs essay on why we really do need to get our shit together environmentally. In no uncertain terms. Anybody remember the totally paranoid book “Uncertain Trumpet” pushing the Vietnam war? We need such a paranoid attitude now, yesterday, to deal with global warming. Paranoia can serve a good purpose too.

  17. Carolinian

    You don’t see many Dean Baker links around here–he is a bit repetitive–but this one about how the AMA has engineered the “doctor shortage” is pretty good. For the AMA high medical costs are a feature, not a bug.

    Of course not all doctors are members of the AMA or support its policies. Still you don’t hear many of them complaining about it either.

    1. trish

      Dean is good on calling out the selective protectionism afforded the medical elite- while manufacturing jobs shipped overseas and fewer protective barriers to non-elite workers here – and patent protection for big pharma, etc. And he can be quite amusing. Repetitive, yes, but I think harping on these issues is important, even if not enough are listening.

      on obamacare, though, he’s disappointing, at best.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Sorry, there has been so much MSM news with Gaza and the Ukraine that I am looking at that I’ve been neglecting economics blogs.

      Thanks for the link.

  18. EmilianoZ

    So, where’s Beef? Did he mention he was going on holiday. I think it’s inconsiderate from regular commenters just to vanish without a word. Regular commenters should give each other notice when they intend to take some time off the blog.

    And Hugh? Where’s Hugh? I kinda miss his vituperations against the kleptocracy. Is he still sore at us on account of Ukraine?

    We seem to have lost a number of interesting commenters over the years. I think we lost Richard Kline over Syria. You cant please everybody.

    1. diptherio

      Oh christ-on-a-crutch! What, are we all dating, now?!?

      It’s summer time, people are out enjoying the weather…well, maybe Hugh got knocked off, but MLTPB is probably just out cavorting on a beach somewhere.

        1. diptherio

          I DID NOT FORGET! I had a meeting that I didn’t know about until too late. I apologized to her profusely, trust me. Fortunately, a new work gig has me back in NYC in Oct. so…

        2. abynormal

          OMG he didnt. thats ok….Dip’s good for it
          Optimader was missing awhile…he let it drop last night he was in Rome (smugglin his basil i bet’)
          i am concerned about Beef…wherefore art thou Beef???
          good to read new round of posters…plenty to squeeze into my peabrain (pass the vaseline)

  19. abynormal

    debt still real money?…NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — The selloff in Visa shares V -0.52% early Friday can be blamed for more than half of the Dow industrials’ triple-digit loss. Visa’s stock dropped $9.87, or 4.4%, to $212.87 after the credit-card company reported late Thursday fiscal third-quarter earnings that beat expectations, but provided a disappointing sales outlook. That decline was shaving about 63 points from the price of the Dow, which is a price-weighted index.

  20. Oregoncharles

    Maidsafe: expect the US and Britain to pull out all the stops to prevent this, probably call it terrorism.
    It might help if Scotland really does go independent, a real possibility of Cameron is still PM.
    Interesting – has anyone else here read Ken McLeod’s Sci-Fi novels, such as “Cassini Division” and “Stone Canal”? Intellectual fireworks, political speculation in high gear. I loved them. He’s Scottish, and gives Scotland a somewhat implausible importance in future history. Maybe he was right.

    1. flora

      @Oregoncharles re: Maidsafe.
      interesting article. you may be right about the US/Brit response. p2p is a great concept. the particular Maidsafe concept as described in the article, however, seems to combine the ideas of torrent downloaders, bitcoin crpytocurrency, and a “just trust us” approach. think I’ll pass.

    2. Carolinian

      It will be controversial in the same way bittorrent is controversial. For one thing it sounds like a perfect way to share pirated movies and more nefarious content. As long as law enforcement sees itself as having some role on the internet then there will be opposition to internet models that remove the role of governments.

      And they, governments, don’t have to shut down the internet. Broadband providers have already been known to use packet sniffers to throttle p2p. In the end if you want a free and open internet you are going to have to ensure it the old fashioned way….politically.

    3. hunkerdown

      Notice the repetition of the company name over and over and over and over again? Whoops, looks like TechCrunch went “native”.

      What’s this about micropayments to replace a web of trust? Is there any purer expression of the neoliberal end-game?

  21. optimader

    “Guy Walks Into a Bar New Yorker (Lambert). Trust me, you have to read this. ”

    WOW, thats a shaggy dog way to come out of the closet Lambert! HAHAHA!

  22. Johann Sebastian Schminson

    RE: The Societal collapse/Archdruid thread, from above (posting down here, ’cause I couldn’t tell where my comment would nest).

    We’ve had peak this, and peak that. 11Billion+ people in the world has sealed our fate.

    That said, there will be wars over limited resources, but the shit won’t REALLY hit the fan ’til we’re down to a few rolls of TP — THEN, the nukes will fly.

    Mark my words (I would have written “. . . mark my turds,” but Ms. Schminson says that to do so would be tasteless and vulgar, so I won’t).

  23. Robert Dudek

    Regarding USA being only country with favorable view of Israel… I was surprised Canada is so negative. FWIW tonight’s cBC news report about Gaza was all about the victims there.

    1. Banger

      Israel and it’s American supporters targeted the USG and the major media in the U.S. to attain as much control as possible by fair means or foul–and they have succeeded. Agents of Israel also were smart enough to work the Fundies.

  24. dagradix

    IDK if this is really significant or not, but I’m prone to speculate how neoliberals around Rubin (especially, including the Clintons) see translating this [below] into policy or agenda-setting. I don’t read WaPo; I came by this article through Steve Keen, Ann Pettifor, James Galbraith, and Michael Hudson’s organization, IDEA economics .

    Here is Rubin’s three point punchline:

  25. dagradix

    Robert Rubin: How Ignoring Climate Change Could Sink The Economy:

    “First, future federal spending to deal with climate change is likely to be enormous and should be included in fiscal projections, whether in existing estimates or in additional estimates that include climate change. If nothing is done to prevent climate-related crises, the federal government will be forced to deal with them later — from property losses to public health crises to emergency aid. These huge risks are not currently in official future estimates or federal budget plans.

    To cover those costs, we will have to increase the deficit; raise taxes; or significantly cut spending on defense, our social safety net, and public investment including infrastructure, education and basic research. Which means that, whatever your public policy views, whether you care about our national debt and deficits, our tax rates, or government investment in everything from national security to job creation, you should care about the costs of coping with climate-related damage. By forcing policymakers to recognize likely future expenditures — and the trade-offs required to make them — we may increase the political appetite for policy changes now.

    “Second, investors should demand that companies disclose their exposure to climate risks, including the impact that climate change could have on their businesses and assets, the value of their assets that could be stranded by climate change, and the costs they may someday incur to address their carbon emissions. Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, who was a co-chair of the “Risky Business” report, and former Securities and Exchange Commission chairwoman Mary Schapiro are leading an effort to encourage businesses to incorporate such reporting into their quarterly disclosures, but it is still considered optional by the SEC. I believe that such disclosures should be considered material and mandated by the SEC, not just requested by investors. If companies were required to highlight their exposure to climate-related risks, it would change investor behavior, which in turn would prod those companies to change their behavior.

    “Third, I believe that gross domestic product — the current standard measure of national economic health — is inadequate and misleading, because it fails to account for significant externalities, beginning with climate change. Others might think we should incorporate additional externalities beyond climate impacts, and that’s a good discussion to have. But we should start with a parallel GDP that incorporates the impact of greenhouse gas emissions. Without that, we are using an incomplete measure of economic output to inform policy decisions. Currently, GDP simply reflects the goods and services produced by our economy. However, it does not account for the present and future damage resulting from the emissions involved in producing those goods and services. And bad data leads to bad policy.

    “We do not face a choice between protecting our environment or protecting our economy. We face a choice between protecting our economy by protecting our environment — or allowing environmental havoc to create economic havoc. And a major step toward changing the debate is to change the way we measure the health of our economy, our fiscal conditions, and the health of individual companies and businesses to better reflect the world as it will be.”

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