Links 7/30/14

Worldwide water shortage by 2040 Phys Org

McDonald’s Could Be Liable for Labor Practices AP. The NLRB labeled McDonald’s a “joint employer,” making it easier to go after large businesses with franchises over worker’s rights issues. Big deal.

Federal Court Blocks Closing of Sole Mississippi Abortion Clinic NYT

Spending Big to Fight Big Donors in Campaigns NYT. Update on Lessig’s MayDay PAC.

Senate passes highway bill, sends it back to House AP

The Border:

Detention: No Place for Children or Families First Focus

Immigrant Mothers Released From Holding Centers, but With Ankle Monitors NYT

GOP Plans $659M Border Bill The Hill

Obama Weighs Fewer Deportations WSJ. This is likely to happen. As you may know, it’s an election year.

Orban Says He Seeks to End Liberal Democracy in Hungary Bloomberg

Bomber Kills Karzai Cousin Who Backed Recent Candidate for Afghan President NYT

Taliban In Pakistan Derail World Polio Eradication : Goats and Soda NPR. The actual headline should be “CIA Intelligence Gathering Derails World Polio Eradication”


Gaza official: At least 100 killed Tuesday in Gaza AP

David Frum Accuses NYT and Reuters of Staging Gaza Hospital Photos (GRAPHIC) BagNews Notes

Israel Broadens Targets in Gaza Barrage; Power Is Out NYT

Israeli attack knocks out Gaza’s only power plant Occupied Palestine

End the Gaza blockade to achieve peace Rep. Keith Ellison, Washington Post

Home-Price Growth Slows Sharply WSJ

IMF: Rising rates, emerging market slowdown could dampen global growth WaPo

Export-Import Bank to Win Renewal, With Changes, Republican Says Bloomberg

More Fun and Games With Export-Import Bank Dean Baker

Big Brother is Watching You Watch:

Leahy Introduces New Version of USA Freedom Act Broadcasting & Cable

NSA Spying Will Cost US Tech Titans Billions, and That’s Just the Start Vice

The NSA’s Cyber-King Goes Corporate Foreign Policy

How Much Does Keith Alexanders Patented Solution for Creating Fear Depend on CISA? Emptywheel

Putin Sets $110,000 Bounty for Cracking Tor as Anonymous Internet Usage in Russia Surges Bloomberg

Why Can’t the Banking Industry Solve Its Ethics Problems? Neil Irwin, NYT. I just can’t imagine.

Perhaps it’s Not Private Equity’s Image that’s the Problem CEPR Blog

‘Dark pool’ probes draw in UBS, Deutsche Financial Times

Regulator Wants Monitors in Deutsche Bank, Barclays U.S. Offices WSJ. Ben Lawsky strikes again. And look who’s back at Deutsche, our old friend Robert Khuzami, last seen doing absolutely nothing of value on enforcement at the SEC! Khuzami is now representing Deutsche in these negotiations, which is amusing, because he was general counsel for the bank during the time that they committed many of these crimes, in this case the foreign exchange rigging scandal.

Democrats want to ban government contracts for companies that leave the U.S. to avoid taxes WaPo

Pfizer refuses to rule out tax deals Financial Times

Banks Cash In on Inversion Deals Intended to Elude Taxes Dealbook

Class warfare:

A third of consumers with credit files had debts in collections last year WaPo. The Urban Institute report is here.

Hillary Clinton regrets saying she was ‘dead broke,’ feels blessed by success Fusion. Then she said the quote was “accurate,” and refused to divulge her net worth.

If minimum wages, why not maximum wages? mainly macro

Detroit water department placed in mayor’s hands WaPo. Actually quite a big deal, as it goes back under control of the voters rather than the emergency manager. Likely to mean a significant reduction in water shut-offs.

Nate Silver’s Embattled Climate Author Leaves FiveThirtyEight TPM

Father Hires In-Game “Hitmen” To Deter Son From Playing Kotaku

Teenager’s 60ft painting of penis on parents’ roof spotted in space The Guardian. Headline perfection.

Here is a clip of Richard Nixon discussing panda sex Washington Post

Antidote du jour:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About David Dayen

David is a contributing writer to He has been writing about politics since 2004. He spent three years writing for the FireDogLake News Desk; he’s also written for The New Republic, The American Prospect, The Guardian (UK), The Huffington Post, The Washington Monthly, Alternet, Democracy Journal and Pacific Standard, as well as multiple well-trafficked progressive blogs and websites. His has been a guest on MSNBC, CNN, Aljazeera, Russia Today, NPR, Pacifica Radio and Air America Radio. He has contributed to two anthology books, one about the Wisconsin labor uprising and another on the fight against the Stop Online Piracy Act in Congress. Prior to writing about politics he worked for two decades as a television producer and editor. You can follow him on Twitter at @ddayen.


      1. Cynthia

        Sanity and humanity gets thrown out the window when every politician in the US must be a friend of Israel and must pass the AIPAC sniff test.

        Not being a friend of Israel automatically disqualifies you from a career in American politics. You can give Israel the green light to bomb schools, hospitals, and kids playing on the beach and you’ll get off without so much as a slap on the wrist, but god forbid you give the Chosen Ones the cold shoulder. Your career in politics is finished.

        1. Doug Terpstra

          Yup, most are still in exceptional denial, but Israel mostly controls the USG. Bruce Dixon sees it clearly: “Cowardly, Hypocritical, Subservient Congressional Black Caucus Endorses Israeli Apartheid and Current War Crimes in Gaza.”

          “Only 2 of over 40 Congressional
          Black Caucus members voted
          against legitimizing the 2009 Israeli
          massacre of 1400 mostly civilians in
          Gaza, with seven CBC members
          abstaining. Last week, with the Gaza
          death toll climbing toward 1,000 not a
          single CBC member could be
          bothered to lift a voice against
          Israel’s genocidal assault of the
          moment or its ongoing apartheid
          state in general. Black America
          should hang our collective heads in

        2. ewmayer

          Re. the inane claims made by David Frum in his series of tweets, allow me suggest a plausible rationale behind his argument:

          The Palestinians, being Untermenschen and thus deserving of the ongoing ethnic cleansing in the name of Greater Israel, would never engage in a “civilized” practice such as washing of hands or face. (The alleged ritual ablutions by mosquegoers before prayers are pure Islamist propaganda, and should be ignored as such.)

          Ergo, the photo(s) of the so-called bereaved with clean faces and hands could not possibly be “from several hours later” – implying time for some basic hygiene for those who practice such, which is not the case here – and thus the “bloody photos” must have been staged by the antisemitic conspirators in the various media outlets accused of the fabrication.

          Have I got that roughly right, Mr. Frum?

    1. Banger

      Well, obviously, we don’t live in a sane and humane world, sorry. Find out why that is and you begin to work out what to do. Imagining that “leaders” are out there who are moral and humane will come to the rescue is not realistic. The world is ruled through the barrel of a gun for people holding the gun or paying for the gun. The Israeli right profits from conflict and stays in power through manipulating public fears–same as any other country that is part of the Empire.

      1. beans

        “The world is ruled through the barrel of a gun for people holding the gun or paying for the gun.”

        No doubt. I’m still working out what to do. Commenting on blogs is about the extent of my solution. Have you any other suggestions?

        1. Lambert Strether

          You will find that local politics quickly connects you to the machinations of global elites in all kinds of ways, especially if you are in a state that’s a target for resource extraction. So make real-world friends that you can trust and that know what they’re doing. Best investment of time possible. IMNSHO.

          1. Jake Mudrosti

            Since today’s links are credited to David Dayen — associated with — this question of “what to do” leads to another question: what channels of communication are there among Salon contributors?

            Salon prints a headline like this: “Yes, Julian Assange actually is a criminal”, here:

            To what extent can any one Salon contributor challenge or debate this behind the scenes? Extremely important to know the extent to which such things are debated internally, and the extent to which it represents consensus among contributors. Answers would be appreciated.

            (Bonus: if possible, please also explain why the Salon headlines in the past year are so often a self-parody. Here’s one off the top of my head that would fit right among them: “7 mind-blowing reasons wingnut GOPers are crazier than you already knew.” It’d seem that this stems from some sort of inward-burrowing group narcissism — — but please shed light on the Salon choices if you can.)

            1. Banger

              Only editors really have any say on content — unless Dayen so an editor, his concerns will be ignored or he can quit. Pubs are never democratic not even remotely.

              1. hunkerdown

                It wouldn’t hurt to critically analyze the other institutions that have been sold to us since childhood as indispensable components of a “democratic” society. The shrillness of those sales pitches seems to directly correlate with how irreversibly compromised are the institutions so being sold.

              1. Jake Mudrosti

                Yes, a response to the one portion “real-world friends that you can trust” which leads to Dayen, and from there to the Salon article “Yes, Julian Assange actually is a criminal.” & the Salon editorial decisions in general. Just a genuine interest in knowing how much productive communication exists between Salon contributors/editors with regard to tone, emphasis, content.

            2. Oregoncharles

              I’ve wondered the same thing, but I doubt that Dayen, really a free-lancer (right?) knows much about it. I’m a frequent reader and commenter there because there is still a debate, unlike CD or nc, already dominated by real lefties. Bear in mind that Salon, though much bigger, is a private, closely-held site – like nc, for that matter. But the owners’ names and work aren’t visible, as they are here. We can deduce their opinions, because they always have a number of pet dembots who are on staff and produce Democratic Party propaganda every day – Joan Walsh is the best known.

              But there must be a mole or two among the editors, because they also regularly post material that is highly critical of the DP. Thomas Frank and a recent piece by Richard Curry (in the links here a couple of days ago, I think) are good examples. Mind, they NEVER suggest going off the reservation, but they do make the case for it. Personally, I find these authors especially infuriating, and I reacted bad-temperedly to Curry’s piece. I have a little list…

              Of course, we’re just speculating about the thinking of people we don’t even know – but their results are public, and I assume fairly important. I don’t know what readership Salon has, but it appears to be quite large. I wish nc had as much exposure (and so does Yves, I’m sure), but of course there’s more pressure then.

              1. Christopher Dale Rogers


                It’s a bit of a sweeping comment to claim that NC is overflowing with “lefties” is it not?

                Whilst many of us certainly have leftwing opinions, and whilst I wear my political baggage as a badge of honour quite openly, other on this site certainly are not of the left – your preposition would also seem to suggest, as with Communism, that the “left” is some kind of monolithic entity, which it’s actually not – a plurality of opinion exists on the left of the political spectrum. The reality being, when many of us try and get our opinions heard on more mainstream forums, we are not only ignored, but usually censored, and the Guardian is a classic exemplar of this fact and an exemplar of the rightward drift that has occurred in our elites since the early 1990s – the Third Way being a classic example of this BS.

          2. Lambert Strether

            Je repete. Going meta is absolutely what not to do. Zoning boards, school committees, land use committees, muncipal water supplies…. Local politics is all about property; who owns it, what can be done with it, what resources can be extracted from it, how to protect it. Any issue will have perhaps a maximum of three or four degrees of separation (see again “scale free network”) from the 0.01% squillionaires running the world, via ownership and/or advocacy structures. The squillionaires seem very far away, because they would like to be. In fact, they are very close, and working their class interests strongly.

            1. Oregoncharles

              To illustrate: recent campaigns, at the county level, to assert local control over farming – anti-GMO, primarily – have produced an outpouring of national money and a move by the state to preempt those campaigns. That was a really major betrayal by our supposedly blue state legislature and, especially, Gov. Kitzhaber.

        2. Banger

          I think “what to do” is an interesting question but a little backward. I think we, ultimately, create our reality and changing our level of consciousness and beliefs is the first step. Therefore I recommend a general project of freeing your imagination in every way possible and from that new possibilities will emerge. I have definitely moved from pessimism to being fairly optimistic because it is now clear to me that the system is moving towards an almost cartoonish level of nasty that will and is being resisted even by people you’d never think would resist. So the answer is the incredibly simple one of “just be yourself” and “follow your bliss”–I was a bit skeptical about that when I heard J. Campbell utter that but as time has passed I’m convinced that is the ultimate piece of advice.

        3. trish

          I feel limited on what I can do, as well.
          What little – and it admittedly is little- I do consists of sending links to the real journalists out there such as this site to friends to counter the propaganda they get and often regurgitate from the MSM. I “rant” and argue about these issues to my friends as much as they’ll tolerate.
          I educate my kids and send links to my eldest ones (in their late teens), and encourage them to fight what’s happening in their own way in their lives.
          I have taken them to protests, such as the Moral Monday events near us. At my peon job at the local library I talk about, criticize non-fiction books patrons return or check out, or refer to good reading. Little things, yes, but it is what I can do now.

            1. trish

              late to reply…but many full-time jobs when they become available (a full timer non-“manager”/librarian retires) are split into part-time, no benefits… and I make $10 an hour. that’s all I meant. And a good peon job in many ways…books, readers, interesting people.

            2. Christopher Dale Rogers


              Yes, public libraries are hugely important, however in our age of Austerity, particularly here in the UK our public libraries are being closed at an accelerating rate, which means both knowledge and democracy itself are being undermined. As much as I love the internet, a really liberating force if left alone, its still a fact that the majority of written literature is not available freely on the internet – nothing beats a University library in my opinion and we all know what’s happening to our once great universities in many Western nations, namely, they are being privatised and financialised at an alarming rate.

          1. EmilianoZ

            I personally stopped arguing with people who have not seen the light yet. It’s something you have to discover for yourself. No amount of reason, logic can help us convince someone who still see the world through the mainstream lens. I still dont know why some people finally take the red pill and why some never do. It’s pretty mysterious. At first I thought I had noticed a pattern: that people who reject the mainstream propaganda were in some way marginal. But now, pretty much everybody is economically marginal and still, we at NC would pretty much be seen as “extreme” by most (if they knew about us).

            1. hunkerdown

              It’s not too surprising that an economically marginalized precariat, or one who adopts the airs of such, would circle the wagons and protect the esprit de charm bracelet of identity politics.

        4. Oregoncharles

          OK, I’m an outreach person, so I’m obliged to answer this:
          One option is direct political organizing. You can contact the Green Party at – they should be able to connect you with Greens in your area. And yes, as Lambert recommends, the bulk of our work is local. Around here, we have mostly city council members and similar posts in office.

      2. John Merryman

        I’ve been making the observation that since absolute is basis, not apex, a spiritual absolute would be the essence of consciousness from which we rise, not a moral, intellectual and judgmental ideal form from which we fell. So good and bad are not some cosmic dual between the forces of righteousness and evil, but the basic biological binary code of attraction to the beneficial and repulsion of the detrimental. To wit, what is good for the fox, is bad for the chicken and there is no clear line where the chicken ends and the fox begins. What can be good in the particular, such as go forth and multiply, can equally be bad in the cumulative, as in reaching the limits of the container. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
        On the intellectual level, this means perception is fundamentally a function of perspective and so there is no such thing as a universal frame of reference, ie. no God’s eye view. It is all bottom up. The only universal state is equilibrium/absolute/zero/big flatline on the heart monitor. So different sides in an argument are simply using different coordinates and narratives to define the same space and dynamic. There is no ultimate ideal which will satisfy all, only what emerges after conflicting energies are spent.
        The point being is that eventually they will destroy any reason people have for believing in monotheism. Which would make their respective religions to be tribal fables. Nothing more and nothing less, with no legitimate claims to universal divinity, just group hubris. Then they can just go back to being desert tribes and leave the rest of the world alone.

        1. Banger

          Well, there is certain philosophical basis for what you are saying but I don’t quite buy it. First, there is no such thing as objective reality only stories. The only thing we know for certain as essential is being, i.e. “the Observer” and as a more sophisticated and consistent school of philosophy (compared to the Western system) states, “the Atman is Brahman” or the individual soul is the cosmic soul, echoed by Jesus “I and the Father are one” or when Moses asked god what he wanted to be called God answered “I am that I am.” Now, good and bad are what then? Whatever provides succor to being is good and whatever doesn’t is bad. For me, like C.S. Lewis, evil is separation and fragmentation–in Yogic terms it means attachment to the ego which sees itself as not one with Brahman and therefore connected to all beings which results in alienation, i. e. the fundamental project of capitalism. Good is that which brings to consciousness of at-one-ment.

          1. fosforos

            “there is no such thing as objective reality only stories” This is anthropocentric stupidity. Only humans deal in stories, generally to their own harm. Every other creature on this planet is immersed in objective reality without benefit of stories, and they generally function in their objective physical environments much better than we do in ours. Why? Because they are never misled by false stories, unlike the multitude of humans. And what is a false story, what makes it false? As Plato proved in “The Sophist,” falsity consists precisely in lack of correspondence with objective reality!

          2. John Merryman

            Not to say lots of issues don’t arise.
            For one thing, there is the tendency to equate oneness/unity, with one/unit. Necessarily the first is a state and the other is a distinction, as in part of the one faith and not part of the it. Monotheistic religions start with some cosmic sense of oneness, but eventually coalesce/congeal into ‘the one.’
            Now that doesn’t mean definition, ie. distinction/separation is bad, just that it is subjective. To limit is to define and to define is to limit. If you truly have that universal state of oneness, all features/energies cancel out to neutral equilibrium. What is the useful takeaway is the premise of the network, the connectivity of all the nodes. That both observer and observed are both necessary for observation. The connection gives meaning to both. Otherwise that spiritual absolute isn’t some all-knowing, all powerful being, but the most nebulous sense of being. That essence from which we rise, not the ideal of strength, knowledge and goodness to which we constantly aspire, or are instructed to.
            The dynamic is a wave action of expansion/rise and consolidation/fall. Rinse and repeat.
            The goal of capitalism, as the atomization of society, is that it then steps in to provide the network, the social connectivity in the form of money, in order to tax it. Which goes to why money should be treated as the social contract it seeks to replace, rather than the digitized commodity it is assumed to be. So since it has risen to encompass the world, we should consider how its fall will be managed.

      1. Banger

        After many, many years it finally appears that it is possible at least with that particular issue because there is simply no justification for the actions Israel is taking and unless there is some kind of “final solution” here Israel is in trouble long term. Once the media picture changes the bribery and threats will no longer work as they have on the average little weasel in Congress–and despite the 100% editorial support the Israeli right gets in the MSM once the cracks show up it could change very fast.

    2. Cynthia

      Strange how the world forgets that the settlements continue to expand and Palestinians are forced out of their homes and kicked off their land. Even if Hamas fired first (any assault against innocent people is wrong regardless of who does it), there is something else that happened before that and that’s the expansion of settlements and the continued illegal occupation by Israel.

        1. Cynthia

          You misread my comment, or maybe I miswrote it. Either way, I totally agree with you.

          1. Doug Terpstra

            I think I understood it. I was attempting to underscore it with another frame. Militant squatters can’t claim civilian status in my opinion. While it may sound extreme to many, and the law may not agree, I see blatantly illegal “settlements” as armed outposts of colonial occupation, and hence legitimate military targets.

          2. Doug Terpstra

            In other words, Israel is using squatters as human shields, the very tactic they falsely accuse Palestinians of using, in a srategy to expand Eretz Israel. They use any incident of violence against the squatters as a pretext for illegitimate military aggression, grotesquely disproportionate collective punishment, and ethnic cleansing, which certainly appears to be a prelude to genocide.

    1. trish

      and important re water scarcity is the concurrent global privatization push.

      a citigroup top economist in 2012: “Water as an asset class will, in my view, become eventually the single most important physical-commodity based asset class, dwarfing oil, copper, agricultural commodities and precious metals.”

      This is all very very important. People throughout the world need to be made aware of and resist attempts to privatize their water.

      1. abynormal

        ever wonder how privatization beats down protesters before they pickup a sign?…think derivatives:

        “Snow is only a small portion of that, perhaps a few hundred million. But it’s growing. The number of snow contracts traded at the CME rose **55% to 510%** in 2011.”
        Thai Floods May Prompt Water Derivatives Trading
        Tradeable water rights excluded from “derivatives” regulation

        1. trish

          breathtaking it is.
          as cynical as I’ve become I still find I am stunned occasionally (maybe not so occasionally) when I read of some new deep dark cavity of society these greedy people have wormed their tentacle fingers into to extract profit.

          1. pretzelattack

            and they say the .1 percent isn’t doing anything about climate change! it’s so unfair, because they are cornering the water market! making lemonade out of our lemons, and charging us for the water to do it.

        1. fresno dan

          Johann Sebastian Schminson
          July 30, 2014 at 9:21 am

          You provide very interesting and profound links – Thanks!!!

        2. psychohistorian

          This is why I say like a broken record that ongoing inheritance needs to be neutered if we are to wrest control from the .01%

          End ongoing inheritance and you change the fundamental incentives of our society……for the better, IMO.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      The Nation link is excellent. Having published this, I suspect that Katrina vanden Heuvel will be MIA from her media gigs for the foreseeable future. Not that she could be counted on to spill any un-partyline beans in actual public.

      1. Banger

        Katrina, being an insider, probably senses a shift in the Force otherwise she wouldn’t go there.

  1. craazyman

    It Makes No Sense — July 30 Edition

    If you have no ethics at all, how can you have an ethics problem?
    How can there be a shortage of water on earth when there’s no way for water to escape into outer space?
    Why would somebody in outer space be looking for drawings of penises on rooftops?
    How can the export-import bank be a source of “fun and games”? That’s really unbelievable from almost every perspective.
    What if Sophocles’ dad hired a literary hit man to keep him from writing Oedipus Rex?
    If McDonald’s wasn’t a joint employer you’d never make it through your 8 hour shift and nobody would get served.
    Richard Nixon never discussed panda sex. It’s a hoax. He just thought about it.
    If banks cash in on inversion deals it’s not tax eludence, it’s raising capital.
    If monitors go into Deutchbank and Barclays, who would even talk to them?
    $110,000 bounty? Oh man, what is this? The minimum wage for bounty hunters?

    1. MtnLife

      The Even Craazier Explanation: My bank account has no money and that is a real money problem. This wouldn’t have happened if I’d been correct on shorting my Water Default Swaps but now I’m locked in and have to deal with the water causing me a real liquidity issue. My subsequent employment, as a penis graffiti artist of some note and pharmaceutical entrepreneur keeping McDonald’s employees “double jointed”, did more to whip me into shape running from the cops than it did paying the bills. I took advantage of my new found superb conditioning to take a job as a bounty hunter (High Wage Hitmen, LLC) hunting down squillionaires that violated the maximum wage law. With the current populist atmosphere I figured I could make a killing (pun intended) parlaying my daily life into a TV show. I didn’t want the gubmint taking all my hard earned money so I inverted by forming Hitmen Media Group, Inc in Ireland which, in turn, was held by Hitmen Holdings, Inc located in the Caymens. Hitmen Media Group was also contracted by Richard Nixon to help out with the pandas. It seems Mrs. Panda was looking to increase capital for her baby panda exports and needed to find a way to increase such imports from Mr. Panda but no one around could speak panda. It turned out that Barclay’s and DB had monitors that were linked directly to areas at Chinese zoos where the “magic happened” and Mrs. Panda was able to increase GDPP (Gross Domestic Panda Production) in no time.

      True story.

      1. craazyboy

        A little known fact: When Nixon went to China the Chinese government did present him with a gift – a XXX Panda sex tape. Later on, you will recall, everyone was after “The Nixon Tapes”, and that was one reason Richard refused to turn them over.

        Penises on rooftops are like crop circles, but for obvious reasons are used in urban areas. However, we still don’t even know why space aliens make crop circles. Somewhere there is at least one university researching this.

        1. craazyman

          I was amazed and delighted, CB, to hear Dr. Vallee, The Master, himself, on Foo-Foo Radio 2 nights ago. He continues to astonish me, with his insights and acumen. He has a whole bunch of experiments lined up that’ll blow the doors off everything we think we know about reality. it’s almost hilarious, how far into the future he is, right now. I’m not kidding. He’s like Copernicus or Newton or Einstein. I’m not sure why he hasn’t been abducted to magonia. It may be he’s a hoax himself or maybe he’s just swamp gas or ball lightening! just kidding about that last part, but not about the rest.

      2. fresno dan

        July 30, 2014 at 10:50 am

        Thing of it is, it makes more sense than most Federal Reserve economic analyses and everything said on CNBC

      3. craazyman

        Faaaaak. That’s a story I wouldn’t believe unless I read it with my own eyes! :-)

    2. susan the other

      “How can there be a shortage of water on earth when there’s no ay for water to escape into outer space?” Been thinkin’ that too.

      1. hunkerdown

        Many significant aquifers predate written history and won’t even nearly refill within seven generations. As for surface water, pollution, evaporation (localized warming, e.g. from thermal power plants or desertification, is sufficient to accelerate this effect), sea level rise salinating freshwater, etc. all levy their tolls on the water available for human or animal use.

      2. MtnLife

        Sorry, sometimes I ramble and forget to fully explain myself. The reason I went short on the Water Default Swaps (other than having been totally shafted by going long on the Penis Default Swaps – the derivative package offered by JPM for PENIS Co, Penile Erection Noncompliance Insurance Services. They off insurance to the adult industry for when male actors show up for work but don’t show up “ready” for work. I figured it was safe – the industry was aging – and then Viagra shows up and my bottom line gets hammered.) was that the leader of the freedom fighting/terrorist (depending on where you sit) organization SPEWS (Strong People Ending Water Slavery), Larry (Twitter) @Scrubman, had made major gains in water liberation after the issuance of FLOW, the Fatwa for Liberation of Oppressed Water. Scrubman and his associates had spirited away millions of enslaved gallons through the Underground Aqueduct to freedom which left suppliers unable to fulfill contracts – hence my shorting the WDSs. Unfortunately, after the water evaporates dies its molecules spirit floats up into the atmosphere only to be reborn, delivered by stork clouds into bondage somewhere else. So the struggle continues.

        Nixon never told me that in person but his aide (NSA agent?) called Hitmen Media Group asking if we had any footage of the pandas in compromising positions in case they ever ran for public office and needed to be blackmailed. The phallic chalk marking and crop circles actually mean the same thing – they mark the location of the best specimens for breeding. It seems aliens are the missing link in the evolution of corn into humans. To mate they play some weird form of genetic baccarat that involves a monocot (why those circles only appear in corn and wheat fields, never in potatoes) and a hominid. Any hominid works, Google Earth shows penises burned into the jungle canopy over troops of healthy silverback gorillas.

  2. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: End the Gaza blockade to achieve peace Rep. Keith Ellison, Washington Post

    For whom was this pile of garbage written? I mean, exactly how many third graders actually read the WaPo “opinion” page on any given day?

    1. craazyman

      try the sports page. The Nationals are in first place and the ‘Skins have a new head coach.

      “Man’s failures are in the front pages of the paper, his successes are in the back pages.”
      -Manny the doorman

      Manny was speaking of the New Yawk Post, where the spawts is in the back.

  3. Jim Haygood

    The joker turns up in New York; high drama ensues:

    [Argentine economic minister Axel Kicillof] traveled from Caracas to New York and joined the negotiations, which continued until midnight and recommence today; a group of banks would put up $250 million as a guarantee of payment to the holdouts.

    After midnight, the head of the Economic Ministry left the room, approached reporters and was terse: “I have little to communicate,” he said. “We had a meeting between the parties. The meeting is adjourned until tomorrow morning. I still don’t know when.”

    He insisted that if some movement is evident, it’s still possible avoid default.

    “I can’t say more about the results,” he added. “Thank you for waiting. We continue to work with the seriousness that the issue merits. We’re working hard.”

    Later Daniel Pollack, the mediator appointed by Judge Thomas Griesa, confirmed that it was the first time in history there was a face to face meeting with the NML hedge fund.


    Well, that’s progress. Suerte!

    1. susan the other

      We shouldn’t monetize luck. Ever. Nor should Argentina’s private banks come to the rescue and then immediately, or even later, socialize the losses. Especially for the vultures.

  4. Ulysses

    From the CEPR piece linked above: “Unfortunately for the private equity industry, it will have to change its behavior if it wants to fix its image problem.”

    Here’s what’s wrong with our hyper-financialized capitalist society in general, not just the PE industry. Nobody who benefits from looting wants to stop, or even reduce, their looting. They only want to fix their “image problem” by finding more creative ways to lie to the rest of us so that we don’t understand how they’re ripping us off.

    The impasse we’ve reached is that more and more people are recognizing the truth, and our “perceptions” can no longer be sufficiently “managed” to keep us acquiescent. The fear-mongers and propagandists are busy calling us to participate in two-minute hates against the enemy du jour, but less and less of us are accepting the invitation.

    So now we see our emergent police state flexing its muscles, locking down Boston, sending armored cars and even tanks to small towns, with SWAT teams throwing grenades into the wrong house and harming innocent children.

    Yet cowering at home will only make things worse! TPTB prefer to maintain the illusion that their misrule enjoys the consent of the ruled. We need strikes, boycotts, massive non-collaboration of all sorts to demonstrate that we don’t consent to any of this: unpunished criminal banksters, outsourced jobs, U.N. schools/shelters bombed in Gaza, the list goes on and on. Sternly worded letters aren’t getting it done– it’s time now for the guillotines to go up in the town square, and for 99.9% of us to stop being victims!

    1. Banger

      It has to start with our imaginations–we need to see that what keeps these evil f-cks in power is that we believe that their ethics, their values, their needs are inexorable. We don’t have to buy into it–each of us can turn away from their values and move in other directions then, and I honestly believe this, their power will dissolve. These people we have in power whether figureheads or those who are in the shadows rely on stage magic to get their way–they are ersatz leaders–real leaders are something quite different and we need to rediscover that within each of us. Those of us who post here are, at some level, leaders so let’s assert ourselves shall we.

      1. Whine Country

        Hey – Ulysses and Banger – did you guys skip over the section “Big Brother is Watching You” above. I can’t help but think that a couple of months from now someone will write in and ask “has anyone heard from Ulysses and Banger lately?”

        1. Jackrabbit

          I agree with Banger here, Whine. I don’t worry about myself as much as I do about my family, friends, colleagues, compatriots, and fellow citizens living in a hellish dystopia.

          TPTB will push as far as they can, as long as they can, for as much as they can get. I get the sense that they really believe that people are as dumb and pliable. They view silence as being either confirmation of this or consent. Yet people are slowly waking up to the fact that the neolibcon’s promised prosperity is illusory. We can see this disillusionment reflected in approval ratings for Congress (about 9%!) and the President (about 40%!). Only about half of eligible voters even bother to vote.

          This would be disheartening if not for the fact that this corrupt system is unsustainable. Oh, the ‘system’ will resist a few bloggers or a bunch of protests but it will fall from its own internal contradictions anyway. The only question is how long and how destructive is the fall. We have already lost or will lose trillions of dollars from:

          mal-investment (leading to GFC of 2008, and on-going)

          inadequate policy responses

          . . . to GFC (austerity, bail-outs),
          . . . to global warming (trillions of dollars of unecessary construction like sea-walls, plus damage to property and crops)

          an arrogant foreign policy

          . . . loss of tech and financial markets as the world builds alternatives
          . . . buildup of police state (to guard against blow-back)


          And that is just the major one's that I can think of (there's so much more: like oil spill cleanups, Obamacare's non-solution to outrageous health costs, and our still-failing educational system). If we 'invested' in alternative energy and energy efficient lifestyles rather than sub-prime financed suburban mcmansions, gold-plated weapons systems and foreign adventures, and sea walls, then we would all be better off. Instead, TPTB ply us with fantasies of that everything is fixed and that our exceptional! arrogance is justified.
          H O P

        2. Banger

          No, because I got my Mojo working, to be perfectly blunt. Besides we would be warned way ahead of anything like that happening and it is simply not going to happen. In the short and even medium term things are stable and that is the goal of the system. None of us pose any danger to the system. Our “danger” comes from our long-term threat which is the area of culture. The authorities don’t really think about that very much these days because the system is corrupt and every node is looking after it’s own interests and often working at cross-purposes to other elements of the system. Witness the conduct of the Iraq War with a dozen agendas all going on at the same time.

          1. John Merryman

            Exactly. Is some nsa drone going to take this to his boss? Just like everything else, only the tactical details of the moment and getting the paycheck are all that matters.

      2. John Merryman

        You’ve got it all backwards. What will sink their boat is that so many middlebrow sociopaths want to join their club that they will cook the golden goose and society will finally have to do something. Even parasites need a healthy host.

      3. Carla

        Well, obviously on some level, WE keep these evil f-cks in power. I’m at the airport, where I sailed through security because I’ve been designated “TSA Pre.” I figure this means they know exactly who I am and what “subversive” groups I belong to, even though I have a sticker over the camera on my laptop. Of course, commenting here is a Dead Giveaway.

        1. different clue

          Their view is probably that barking dogs don’t bite. Comment all we want. Let off steam. The most they (or their hired drudge-drone readers) will do is laugh. If one of us ever stops commenting, then they will sit up and wonder why. And look into the matter.
          And for now, that thinking is probably correct in both directions. Not for ever, but for now . . .

    2. fresno dan

      July 30, 2014 at 8:14 am

      Let’s analyze this.
      According to Phonesavanh, authorities reassured her that everything was fine, “‘He’s okay, he’s just fine, there’s nothing wrong with him,’” she recalled through tears.

      “They lied to me. They kept telling me my son was okay,” she said. “When I saw his playpen I just about threw up. I got really sick, I was so scared.”
      So….grenade first and ask questions later. The alternative is that you KNEW you were throwing a grenade into a crib……
      I would imagine very shortly there after you would be able to figure out that your grenade landed in a crib THAT HAD A BABY IN IT. So the lying is…a narrative to prevent civil suits? Losing your job? Setting up a scenario of child abuse to cover your own wrong doing??? Why not all three?
      Habersham County Sheriff Joey Terrell told ABC News, “It felt like somebody just hit me in the gut with a sledgehammer when I heard. I got the call at about 2:25 a.m. and I just didn’t sleep no more the rest of the night.”

      “That’s pretty much how the rest of the guys on our team felt… it brings tears quite regularly these days, and I’m not ashamed to admit it,” Terrell said.
      Well, considering how many reprehensible things the police have been caught doing and than making excuses and rationalizations, owning up to it is better. But excuse me if I think its only because this is so outrageous that the only defense is that mistakes were made and we are so sorry.
      The SRT is taught to insert the “flash and bang” three to five inches inside the door. “Unfortunately there was a pack and play there,” Terrell said. “It does get hot. It uses gun powder to flash… it’s used as a distraction device,” Terrell said.

      An SRT member took over the care of the child as soon as he realized what happened as the child started screaming and yelling, the sheriff said.
      So, the crib is right next to the door…..grenade is tossed into the crib. Well, the police came in thru the door – – right? Didn’t see the crib? Didn’t hear the baby? So why are they telling the mother the baby is fine???
      Authorities did not make any arrests, nor did they find anything at the house during the raid. The Phonesavanhs’s nephew, Wanis Thonetheva, 30, was arrested later that day and charged with knowingly and willfully distributing methamphetamine
      Somebody on the police team forgot to bring the spare meth just for such contingencies…..
      “They can’t tell me there was no signs of kids,” Phonesavanh said. “My van sits right next to the door that they busted into. My van has family stickers on it, four car seats inside, right next to the door that they kicked in,” Phonesavanh said.

      Terrell defended his officers.

      “Based on the informant information, prior arrests, and weapons charge, they did everything given the information they had,” Terrell said. “Nobody in their right mind would ever dream of anything like this.”

      “We would have picked a different door to go in the house, picked a different scenario on how we approach the residence,” Terrell said.
      Yup. Maybe the police and our whole society need some perspective. Selling meth isn’t a good thing. But its not like a guy was killing hostages every minute. Maybe if you don’t know who is in the house, using violence in the middle of the night should not be your first option to arrest a meth dealer.
      Second, examine what the police chief said – they knew who was supposedly dealing. They couldn’t have arrested him as he was getting into his car? For those who might say the police didn’t want him to evade capture, the police sure as hell were able to find him forthwith when they wanted to….

      But just as in the Dormer case where the police shot at innocent women (and hit one) when looking for A MAN of a different race, I suspect no actual sanctions against any police officer. Just rewrite some procedures…..kinda reminds me of the TBTF banks, but that’s just how we roll in the USA.,,

      1. Banger

        All drugs should be legal with some regulations. The drug war is, in my view, a way for cops to get their kicks. Even if you think drugs shouldn’t be available it’s still an insult to human dignity to tell me what I can and cannot put in my body whether it’s diet soda or meth–FYI, a similar drug called Aderol is forced down children’s throats every day–why is that legal?

  5. Eureka Springs


    Child or no child, dropping explosives in a house upon any human being should be closer to a capitol offense. No doubt someone will get leave with pay while an internal investigation buries everything…. and perhaps a budget for better explosives for the department.

    We are all Gaza fodder now.

    1. Banger

      The reason for such actions is that the State has had a long-term project to valorize state violence starting with movies and TV shows and proceeding to create tactics meant to intimidate the citizenry while pretending to keep it “safe.” The main feature of the current regime is to create in almost every detail an Orwellian state. Orwell took the logic of Statism to its logical conclusion with the very limited technology and propaganda techniques known to him when he wrote 1984. He did not fully appreciate the seductive power of the State that Huxley understood but his understanding of the Iron Fist of the state was extraordinary.

      We aren’t even close yet to the full-Orwellian regime and I think the project will collapse and is, anyway, unsustainable–but that is the goal of the State and the intention behind almost every policy we see implemented at almost all levels of government. We have time to resist–but we must resist and do so first in our minds and imaginations.

  6. Tyler

    Worldwide water shortage by 2040. I find this terrifying. Water wars, just as Anthony Zinni predicted.

    1. abynormal

      prepare for a sticker shock like no other…
      It takes an estimated 39,090 gallons of water to make a car. It’s unclear if that includes the more 2,000 gallons used to make its tires–each tire takes 518 gallons to make. [1]

      Pair of Jeans
      It takes around 1,800 gallons of water to grow enough cotton to produce just one pair of regular ol’ blue jeans. [2]

      Cotton T-Shirt
      Not as bad as jeans, it still takes a whopping 400 gallons of water to grow the cotton required for an ordinary cotton shirt.

      Single Board of Lumber
      5.4 gallons of water are used to grow enough wood for one lumber board. [3]

      Barrel of Beer
      In order to process a single barrel of beer (32 gallons of booze), 1,500 gallons of water are sucked down. [3]

      To-Go Latte
      It takes 53 gallons to make every latte, as I’ve noted before:

      That sugar, doesn’t that have to be grown as cane first? Hm. And then there’s that plastic lid, which has to be created and distributed over hundreds of miles. And doesn’t plastic require a pretty vast amount of water and oil to produce? Come to think of it, there’s the sleeve and the cup itself too . . .

      Gallon of Paint
      Takes 13 gallons of water to make.

      Individual Bottled Water
      This irony shouldn’t be lost on anyone: it takes 1.85 gallons of water to manufacture the plastic for the bottle in the average commercial bottle of water.

      One Ton of . . .
      Steel: 62,000 gallons of water
      Cement: 1,360 gallons

      One Pound of . . .
      Wool: 101 gallons of water
      Cotton: 101 gallons
      Plastic: 24 gallons

      for your viewing pleasure FLOW
      Synthetic Rubber: 55 gallons

      1. craazyboy

        As an accomplished home brewer of quality craft beer, I can do 5 gallons of beer for about 10 gallons of water, including water for equipment cleaning. I think that’s what I’ll be doing in 2040. F*ck cars and clothing. Got Beer. Got Tunes. Also got a stainless steel gravity water filtration unit w/ ceramic filters. I can make beer with swamp water, or just drink the purified swamp water straight.

        But I’ll have to find somewhere that has water, and barley malt.

        1. abynormal

          you might consider the Andes Terra fria areas…then you can slap an import on it and sell it back to our ever indulgent wall st.’)

          “Never underestimate how much assistance, how much satisfaction, how much comfort, how much soul and transcendence there might be in a well-made taco and a cold bottle of beer.”
          Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume

        2. Christopher Dale Rogers

          How about my home country, Wales?

          We have plenty of water, and whilst global warming and sea level rises will impact our present coastal towns and cities, given our country is quite mountainous, much of our land is actually well above the anticipated rise in sea levels – we can also learn from the Dutch and build dykes powered by windmills.

          We have some fine “real ales” brewed in Wales and the South West of England with plenty of malt and barley, we also have a good cider and perry industry and lots of apple and pear trees.

    2. Lambert Strether

      Sheet mulch. I haven’t watered the garden for the month of July. In fact, I can’t remember when I last had to. And I don’t like watering the garden; it’s work.

    3. curlydan

      OK, this is my really dumb science, but with the “water cycle”, will there (or can there) be less water in 2040 than today? Is the main issue that water then is being extracted from underground sources such as aquifers and those aquifers not recharged while other sources of surface water are being contaminated from fracking and public sources of water of being privatized? I’ve occasionally read that we’re basically drinking the same water as the dinosaurs, but I have no idea if that’s correct.

      1. abynormal

        i think the cycle your speaking of is broken by droughts & pollution. if there is a ‘safe’ environment or formula/technique for frack water they aren’t investing in it. i saw a documentary where scientist pull history cylinders from glaciers in Chile etc…there have been ‘super’ climate changes and the earth corrected (so to spk) but they were pre-humankind. when i discuss climate change i use the words ‘Man Made’ climate change to differentiate past cycles.

  7. Paul Niemi

    Is Keith Alexander worth one million dollars a month for consulting? Yes, thanks to Edward Snowden. Let me back up and explain, and this is a doozy, but, if Edward Snowden didn’t exist, he would have to be invented, because it’s about spending and not secrets. Still not following? I would point to the tech bubble in 1999. I would argue money poured into tech because of Y2K. Because of the Y2K scare, every governmental entity in the country had an excuse to spend hundreds of billions replacing, upgrading, and proofing their computer systems and a convenient deadline. I remember it clearly, and the money involved was enormous. It wasn’t just computers. Governments were buying enormous emergency generators and erecting buildings for them, for example, it was a buying binge that touched all parts of the economy. People who were positioned to profit from the spending made fortunes. Now, here we have Snowden. He is the next Y2K. Why? Because now that he has leaked the NSA’s most sensitive secrets, all the governments in the country have an excuse to once again spend untold billions of dollars making sure their secrets are safe, data secure, and putting in place systems designed to prevent another Snowden from ever happening again. All that remains to be done is to document the need for the spending on a case by case basis. It could be a stampede. The million a month Keith Alexander is getting to tell people what they need to spend is just the beginning. This is how government works, so happy taxpaying, folks.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      It seems like I’ve heard something like this before. Where could it have been?

      Oh, I know. Michael Chertoff, former Secretary of Homeland “Security” and co-author of the “patriot” act.

      And executive chairman and co-founder of the Chertoff Group. ” As Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from 2005 to 2009, Michael Chertoff led the country in blocking would-be terrorists from crossing our borders or implementing their plans if they were already in the country. He also transformed FEMA into an effective organization following Hurricane Katrina. His greatest successes have earned few headlines – because the important news is what didn’t happen.”

      Good thing he “co-authored” that “patriot act,” or we might never have known how badly we need him. And Keith “Chewbacca” Alexander.

      1. Paul Niemi

        “–because the important news is what didn’t happen.” One can never be too safe or too secure, can one? Therefore, one can not arbitrarily limit the amount to be spent on either, nor thank enough the experts who anticipate our needs.

      2. Skeptic

        A la Keith “Chewbacca” Alexander.

        Chertoff, the model picture of an Undertaker was an opportunity sadly missed by all the chirping dissidents. Spell it Shirtoff, please, as in “off your back.”

    2. Paul Niemi

      To verify the above prediction, that a stampede of spending on information security is on the way, I did a web search for data security consulting jobs. Yep, for example, in the past week there were 161 information security analyst or consultant jobs available in Charlotte, NC alone. That’s just a sample, because these jobs are proliferating. The thing is, they have to document the need to spend, so the first thing that happens is the hiring of consultants or analysts to do that. Well, we’ve all been somewhat concerned with the lack of fiscal stimulus. Now we can be reasonably sure it’s on the way, and we start to predict the next bubble, after this one expires.

      1. abynormal

        jeeze Paul…4,678 openings here

        but of course: Today, more banking resources ($2.3 trillion) are headquartered in Charlotte than all but one other U.S. city. Enhancing Charlotte’s position as a financial center is a branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and a U.S. Postal Service State Distribution Mail Facility. Nearly 55,000 people are employed in the region within the finance and insurance industry. Charlotte’s banks were in the forefront of developing strong national and regional networks. They lead the development of interstate banking. Today, Charlotte’s headquartered banks operate in 32 states plus the District of Columbia. This interconnectivity allows companies to operate in multiple states with uniform and simplified financial support.
        Charlotte banking is highly competitive with 24 banks having 226 banking offices throughout the city and county. Charlotte enjoys one of the highest ratios of bank branches to population in the nation. No point in the city is more than two miles from a branch.

        1. Paul Niemi

          All right, the 161 in Charlotte jumped out at me. If that is normal for Information Security Analysts there, then that fact won’t support my argument. Sometimes I don’t apply enough perspiration to the inspiration, I’ll admit.

            1. lambert strether

              So now we’re going to retrofit crappy IT with totally non-productive “information security guards” all thanks to Edward Snowden! All things work together for good, I suppose.

              Oh, and the 2014 Democratic National Convention was, handily enough, in Charlotte, NC. “I pledge allegiance / to the banks…..”

              1. Paul Niemi

                The timing of the big spending on cyber-security should be considered. It’s the election in 2016 that matters most, so the peak spending will need to have the economy pumped up and humming by that fall. If that’s the case, getting the consultants on board now supports that schedule.

              2. hunkerdown

                General Dynamics recently open-sourced their version of the L4 microkernel (radio chips in smartphones and feature phones probably run this). The big deal is that its code has been formally proven to conform to the spec and verified free of implementation errors, and that it implements a simple but fine-grained permissions system. IOW, exactly as unbreakable as the app you put on it.

                Another new hotness is the “unikernel” architecture, whereby a single-user OS kernel is statically linked to an application producing a single, sealed, unified image. The kernel interfaces on the app’s behalf with a hypervisor, much as small-to-medium embedded systems interface with the hardware. The hypervisor maintains inter-image isolation and adjudicates resource usage, well out of the app+kernels’ reach of influence.

                While some shlubs without a million bucks to spend may go the tick-list route, those with real trust problems (i.e. $billions to lose) do have some new and potentially formidable artillery here, and I can’t see them not becoming part of the process if they already aren’t. Wall Street can’t afford even one Jeremy Hammond, and Keith Alexander does know his compartmentation.

  8. Carla

    From the WaPo piece on restoration of water responsibility to the Detroit mayor:

    “When some Detroit residents don’t pay their bills, those bills have to be paid by other Detroiters,” Duggan said. “There is no outside funding from the suburbs, from the state, or from the feds.”

    Oh, Mayor Duggan, so you mean when the Detroit Red Wings or the municipal golf course are hundreds of thousands in arrears, the poor people of inner city Detroit have to pay the water bills for those and other organizations whose past-due water bills total $32 million?

    WaPo and NYT also reported that 300 people protested the water shut-offs in Detroit on July 17. You can see the protest march in the excellent Real News video below (specific water demo info starts around minute 6). Does that look like 300 protesters? More like 1,500, minimum. I know because I was there.

    1. Carla

      Link: “Detroit water department placed in mayor’s hands WaPo. Actually quite a big deal, as it goes back under control of the voters rather than the emergency manager. Likely to mean a significant reduction in water shut-offs.”

      Yes, you’re right. It is a big deal. Now let’s see how long it takes for Mayor Duggan to declare that the only way to provide water to Detroiters is to privatize the system.

      Hasn’t worked anywhere else, but coming soon to a city near you. Those of you who are not familiar with the Cochabamba water wars might want to watch “Even the Rain”:

    1. Paul Niemi

      Those look like sinkholes over underground rivers. There is dirt piled about the top maybe because it is splashed out as material falls into the hole. The round and smooth sides of the holes looks typical to pictures of sinkholes I have seen before.

    2. Gabriel

      Russian sinkholes –

      I think someone’s just aping the young guy who painted a male member on his parents’ rooftop.

      [BTW, there are plenty of flat or near flat rooftops around. Think of the possibilities – what other parts of the human figure can be displayed to keep Gogol busy?]

    3. susan the other

      I thought stg was odd about those pics of newly discovered “huge sink hole-craters.” The holes were lined with well formed rock – which must have been formed in some ancient eruption; or some other ancient event. Otherwise the sides of those “craters” would be dirt.

    4. Katniss Everdeen

      C’mon. Everyone knows they’re Hamas tunnels constructed to threaten israel–existentially.

      A bad sense of direction is a characteristic of sub-human Palestinian tunnel engineers. It’s why they need to be eliminated. Netanyahu will get to that on next week’s Sunday shows. They store rockets there and use the Siberians as human shields. No, really. it’s true.

      1. hunkerdown

        Had only they gotten their hands on some of that Kuwaiti directional drilling gear from the early nineties.

    1. zapster

      The VIPS piece is a truly righteous rant, and they let Obama have it with both barrels. I’m pleased that they also confirm what those of us watching the “wrong” side of this war have been seeing from the beginning. However, consider that in conjunction with this–the video is *extremely* important:
      Could Glazev Be Right? — Saker
      It’s very well-subtitled in English. Sergei Glazyev is a very influential and well-regarded Russian economist and adviser to Putin, and frankly, his analysis is frighteningly plausible.

      What Glazev doesn’t mention is the fact that Slavyansk, Donetsk and Lugansk are right on top of the gas fields leased to Royal Dutch Shell, with the stipulation that (roughly paraphrased from memory) “the government is responsible for removal of the citizens.” The people of the Donbass have been protesting against fracking for some time, so perhaps Poroshenko is taking “removal” literally. They have reduced Slavyansk to rubble so that no one will be able to live there for years, yet Shell is already putting in the gas wells.
      Beneath the Ukraine Crisis — Shale Gas>

      Between our well-known attitude that ‘all the oil your are belong to us’, neo-con megalomania and sheer hubris, our illustrious leaders do seem determined to drag Russia into WWIII.
      I don’t think Obama is being “deceived” at all.

  9. Jim Haygood

    Second quarter flash GDP comes in at 4 percent, reversing the first quarter drop. That’s what the leading indicators were telling us back when the bad 1Q number came out — one-time dip; no recession. Case closed:

    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The U.S. economy sprang back to life in second quarter and expanded at the fastest pace since last fall, fueled by a upturn in consumer spending on big-ticket items such as cars and trucks as well as a sharp rebound in business investment.

    Gross domestic product — the value of all goods and services produced by the U.S. — grew at a 4% annual clip in the second quarter, the government said Wednesday. Newly revised figures also show the economy contracted by a somewhat smaller 2.1% in the first quarter instead of 2.9%.

  10. Carolinian

    One word: beavers.

    The article also discusses how the hooved locusts (Abbey) have changed the West.

    Like the beavers they replaced, cows have reshaped the land — not, in their case, by creating habitat but by destroying it. The pioneers who first came upon southern Utah described the vast grasslands they found there. That grass is long gone. The soil blew away, too, and rusting fences now swing above gullies or are buried under dunes. When millions of cows and sheep were let loose on that fragile soil, massive erosion and the disappearance of that vast native grassland followed. It never came back. When Congress finally stepped in and passed grazing regulations in 1934, improvements followed.

    Conservationists claim that cows are today contributing to the die-off of the West’s beloved aspen groves by eating tree seedlings and short-circuiting forest succession. They also spread highly flammable cheat grass in their voluminous poop. But whatever damage cows do directly to public lands pales in comparison to the way the infrastructure necessary for the cattle business has captured western water sources and de-watered western lands.

    In my burg attempts to create a wetland in a local park largely failed until the beavers moved in and accomplished it for them.

    1. susan the other

      The methane from cattle operations is huge. An enormous CO2 source. I wish we had a thing called environmental accounting whereby all production could be accounted for in CO2 and other toxics as well as dollars, etc. Beef would get expensive unless you and your buddies raised your own.

      1. hunkerdown

        I seem to remember reading when I was a kid that hooking a sheep’s “exhaust” up to a pickup truck is sufficient methane for 40km or more of driving per day. I wonder whether one might get as much mileage out of the bovine.

      2. Optimader

        Cattle are not the issue, feedlot agrindustrial corn is as it is essentially transmutated hydrocarbon (natgas derived fertilizers and direct energy input planting/harvesting.

        Grass fed cattle are carbon net neutral to carbon negative as they eat grass, poop and fix carbon into the soil and vegitation. Shitting in their food bowl as it were in this case is a good thing

        1. Optimader

          Similarly, well-managed cattle can greatly enhance the growth and propagation of grasses. These grasses can sequester huge amounts of carbon annually, especially when grazing practices include high density, short-term exposure efforts with the cattle eating the grasses down and moving on to let the grasses grow back. This sustainable grazing technique causes some root shedding below the soil line, leaving lots of organic matter, and thus, carbon. On just one acre of biologically healthy grassland soil, there can be between 0.5 – 1.5 tons of carbon deposited in the soil annually. This is equivalent to taking up to 5.5 tons of CO2 out of the atmosphere and sinking it into an acre of soil.

      3. different clue

        I have read the methane from grain-fed cattle feedlot operations is far huger than the methane from pasture-and-range fed cattle on pasture and range.

  11. p78
    Bank of England imposes seven-year bonus clawback on errant bankers
    “Miscreant bankers face having their bonuses clawed back for up to 7 years after their award under measures set out on Wednesday by the Bank of England(…) The Bank and the fellow regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) also proposed in a new consultation that senior managers face clawbacks of up to 10 years if they are being investigated.(…)
    The new seven-year clawback rule for all bankers will apply to bonuses made on or after Jan. 1, 2015 to all London-based staff of deposit-taking banks, EU banks and major non-EU banks such as Citi, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse.(…)
    Currently the non-cash part of bonus is paid over three to five years and the regulators want a longer time period of seven years for senior managers.(…) The deferred portion of a bonus for senior managers would only start to be paid out after three years, or one year for more junior staff, the regulators also proposed.”
    The article is not very clear on what was already “imposed” and what was only “proposed”.

  12. barrisj

    Amira Hass, writing in Ha’aretz, has covered events in the Palestinian Territories for several years now, and her pieces on Israel’s latest blitzkrieg in Gaza has resulted in a tsunami of hate mail from Israeli readers. This most recent article really got the Zionists going:

    Israel’s moral defeat will haunt us for years
    We have passed 1,000 dead Palestinians. How many more?
    By Amira Hass | 14:31 28.07.1

    If victory is measured in the number of dead, then Israel and its army are big winners. From the time I wrote these words on Saturday, and by the time you read them on Sunday, the number will no longer be 1,000 (70-80 percent civilians) but even more.
    If victory is measured by the success at causing lifelong trauma to 1.8 million people (and not for the first time) waiting to be executed any moment – then the victory is yours.

    These victories add up to our moral implosion, the ethical defeat of a society that now engages in no self-inspection, that wallows in self pity over postponed airline flights and burnishes itself with the pride of the enlightened.This is a society that mourns, naturally, its more than 40 soldiers who were killed, but at the same time hardens its heart and mind in the face of all the suffering and moral courage and heroism of the people we are attacking. A society that does not understand the extent to which the balance of forces is against it.

  13. barrisj

    A must-read article here as a guide to what end the Israelis are pursuing in what much of humanity is seeing as “irrational Israeli violence” in Gaza. In point of fact, the Israelis have a well-worn rationale in play here, that of the colonial occupier, who seeks to reduce the colonised masses into helpless, broken, and dependent people, completely unable to live an independent existence in land of their choosing. Why do you think the IDF is unloading hundreds of thousands of pounds/tons of explosives upon the Gazan infrastrucure, its housing stock, fishing fleets, orchards, etc? Palestinian civilian deaths get most of the notice, but the virtual razing of living space is the primary goal here by the IDF.

    The Logic of Israeli Violence
    Israeli violence isn’t senseless — it follows a colonial logic.

    One could be forgiven for understanding Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip as butchery for its own sake. That’s a plausible interpretation of the killing of 1,284 Palestinians, at least 75 percent of whom are civilians, and injuring another 7,100.

    Seeing Israel as engaging in senseless bloodletting might seem an even more reasonable conclusion in light of the massacre of sixty-three people in Shujaiya after “the extensive use of artillery fire on dozens of populated areas across the Gaza Strip” that left bodies “scattered on streets,” or the bombing of United Nations shelters for those fleeing the violence. That conclusion is also tempting based on reports out of Khuza’a, a hamlet in the hinterlands of the Strip that was the scene of another Israeli massacre.

    But describing such violence as aimless misses the underlying logic of Israel’s conduct throughout Operation Protective Edge and, indeed, for much of its history.

    As Darryl Li points out, “Since 2005, Israel has developed an unusual, and perhaps unprecedented, experiment in colonial management in the Gaza Strip,” seeking to “isolate Palestinians there from the outside world, render them utterly dependent on external benevolence,” and at the same time “absolve Israel of responsibility toward them.”

    This strategy, Li goes on to argue, is one way that Israel is working to maintain a Jewish majority in the territories it controls so that it can continue to deny equal rights for the rest of the population.
    What both Li and Abu-Manneh highlight is Israel’s concern with keeping Palestinians in a state of powerlessness. Driven by both its own settler-colonial agenda and by its function as an American partner in the geopolitical system, Israel strives to balance its desire to maximize the territory it controls against the imperative of minimizing the number of Palestinians living in the territories it seeks to use for its own purposes.
    The result is that Palestinians are not merely subject to extreme violence. Rather, their capacity to live autonomously in historic Palestine is being attacked. The destruction of infrastructure, as in the recent attack on the Gaza Strip’s lone power plant, is one index of that. Not only does the current Israeli onslaught end the physical existence of specific Palestinian individuals, it aims to obliterate Palestinians as a people with the capacity to live independently in their homeland.
    Preventing a people from providing for themselves is a way of sabotaging their ability to live autonomously. That is how we should understand Israel’s assaults on forty-six of Gaza’s fishing boats or its attacks on Day Sixteen of Protective Edge against agricultural sites in the Northern Gaza Strip, Gaza City, the Central Gaza Strip, Khan Yunis, and Rafah. That is how we should understand Israel rendering two-thirds of Gaza’s wheat mills inoperative and the need of 3,000 of Gaza’s herders for animal feed (to say nothing of the value of animal life itself). That is how we should understand this intensification of what Harvard’s Dr. Sara Roy describes as the long-running deliberate destruction and de-development of the Gaza Strip’s economy that, unless funding for UNRWA is increased, could cause mass starvation.

    The noted Middle East journalist Ramik Houri also touches upon this strategy of brutalised colonialism here:

    From Biblical Wars to Justice for All

    BEIRUT — A press report earlier this week said that an Israeli military task force that had studied the network of tunnels that Hamas has built in recent years to infiltrate their fighters into Israel was “stunned by the sophistication” of the extent and complexity of the tunnels system. In turn, I am stunned that the Israelis were stunned, because they seem unable to grasp the nature of the conflict they are engaged in against all Palestinians.

    Anyone who uses traditional political, diplomatic or military criteria to analyze the current conflict between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza will only become hopelessly lost, and miss the realities that drive both sides — as the stunned Israelis demonstrate. The intensity and savagery of the fighting, and the will to fight and die if necessary on both sides, takes this round of fighting well beyond all previous ones which ended with cease-fire agreements and a few years of calm, before a new round of fighting erupted.

    Things are different now because of the failure of two doctrines that have dominated Israeli-Palestinian relations during the past two decades: the Israeli military doctrine of “mowing the lawn” that requires a hard attack against Palestinian resistance groups and civilian infrastructure in Gaza every few years, and Fateh’s and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ negotiating endlessly with Israel without achieving a peace that results in two states living peacefully together.

    Both those approaches have failed to achieve their intended goals. The insincerity of Israel in negotiating a peace agreement was clarified by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week, when he stated that even in any peace agreement, Israeli would have to maintain permanent military control of much of the West Bank, which essentially rules out the birth of any viable Palestinian state.
    Consequently, the demise of peace talks and the futility of Israel’s repeated attacks against Gaza have shifted this conflict from the realm of the 20th Century Western, liberal, negotiated conflict resolution mode and thrown both sides back into a biblical-era existential battle that can end only in either survival or extinction. The third option that Israel seems to prefer is unworkable and inhuman, because it is essentially a perpetuation of 19th Century colonial rule: a pacified and demilitarized Gazan population that is savagely attacked every time it tries to resist Israeli subjugation, and Israeli military controls defining all other Palestinian borders.

    And the (deadly) beat goes on…

    1. Doug Terpstra

      The Gestapo is shocked by the defiance of the Gaza Ghetto uprising! The final solution is not working out as planned.

  14. hunkerdown

    Meanwhile, back in Ukraine, “Juan” claims that Russian technology stopped 4 of 4 ballistic missiles launched by the national forces. Rope-a-dope is quite an effective strategy in the right hands!

    Hope y’all are enjoying the drinkies out in the City! Someone take a shot of tequila for me?

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Spineless sycophants no longer have souls to sell, so they fall all over themselves to sell out humanity for their share of silver shekels. If they are never brought to the Hague to be tried as coconspirators, history will one day convict them for their mercenary perfidy.

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