Links 8/12/14

Wine regional ‘fingerprints’ found BBC. Science confirms terroir.

Techno-Archaeologists Used an Abandoned McDonald’s to Hijack a Satellite Vice

Robin Williams Found Dead From Apparent Suicide Gawker

New Wave of GMO Crops Poised for Approval Despite Public Outcry EcoWatch (furzy mouse)

The Science Behind Those Never-Melting Ice Cream Sandwiches Consumerist

At Heart of Ebola Outbreak, a Village Frozen by Fear and Death New York Times

Why it’s easier to rob bitcoins than banks MarketWatch

The truth about Australia’s unemployment rate ‘shocker’ Steve Keen

Loose policies from Beijing help pump the credit bubble Walter Kurtz

Italy slips again into recession: time for Renzi to re-focus his reform plans? Open Europe


The Gaza Carnage Must Stop Triple Crisis

Gaza homes ‘uninhabitable’ as tens of thousands come back to rubble Guardian


Up to 1Mln Ukrainian Refugees May Flee to Russia During Donetsk, Luhansk Assault Strategic Culture Foundation

Russian Intervention in Ukraine Is Likely, NATO Says New York Times. Um, they would say that.


Move against Nouri al-Maliki deepens Iraq crisis Financial Times

Belief Ian Welsh

Limits of Airstrikes Hinder U.S. Policy Wall Street Journal

It seems the Kurds had to retreat because they ran out of ammo Ian Welsh

US to Supply Kurds with Russian Arms via CIA Michael Shedlock (EM)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Irrational Fear of Risks Against Our Children Bruce Schneier

Surveillance Court Judge Criticized NSA ‘Overcollection’ of Data Wall Street Journal

Federal judge rules that U.S. can keep surveillance court orders secret Reuters

Obama Admits Arming Moderate Syrian Rebels Has ‘Always Been A Fantasy’ DSWright, Firedoglake

CIA’s Torture Pushback Gets More Artful Marcy Wheeler

Obama and the Revival of Wall Street CounterPunch (tongorad)

The Fire Sale of the Post Offices Consortium News (furzy mouse)

Higher Housing Costs Aren’t Likely to Fade Soon, Cleveland Fed Study Says WSJ Economics

JPMorgan to Sell 50% of Buyout Portfolio to Two Buyers Bloomberg

Exclusive: Standard Chartered To Scour Records For Money Laundering, With Penalty At Stake Reuters

The Wall Street Hype Machine Suddenly Breaks Down Wolf Richter

The battle over chat in finance Economist

Exclusive: Private Equity Seeks Assurances From U.S. Regulators Over Loans Reuters. Remarkably cheeky, but that should come as no surprise.

Hidden Financial Bombs: Margin Calls Hit Hedge Funds Speculating in Freddie/Fannie Bonds With High Repo Leverage David Stockman (furzy mouse). Not quite right on the structure, but the big issue is the denouement.

Markets enter the ‘Great Frustration’ phase Financial Times

Versailles Watch

Pritzker sells Gold Coast mansion for $7.4 million Chicago Tribune (optimader)

Class Warfare

Equality lacks relevance if the poor are growing richer Deirdre McCloskey, Financial Times. Uh, no. All sorts of data shows more unequal societies score worse on social wellbeing metrics, including shortening the lifespans of the wealthy.

Inequality – a key issue of economic research Frances Coppola, Pieria

Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s list of sins on one index card

Antidote du jour:

Links deer and skunks

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Doug Terpstra

    “That’s alright. He can call me flower if he wants to.” (From Bambi; nostalgic antidote.)

    1. susan the other

      It is a very sweet photo. Baby skunks are barely sniffable – and the faun is not put off. And baby skunks are also almost personable; they come up to you on the trail. Interesting. I’ll just never know why we do not love all these creatures like we love our crazy selves.

  2. Abe, NYC

    Is there a way out in Ukraine?

    The insurgents’ situation seems critical but Putin cannot afford to abandon them – this would doom his presidency at home. Nourishing the rebels is not sufficient anymore while direct military intervention would doom Russia, first by plunging its economy into a depression and then turning it into a pariah state.

    Ukraine’s situation is pretty bad too. They are faced with the prospect of heavy urban fighting, which inevitably leads to high casualties among the troops and massive casualties among the civilian population. The infamous Azov battalion is unlikely to care much about the civilians, and I doubt the government can effectively control it. Even if the operation is successful, the fighting will definitely not help Ukraine win the hearts and minds of the population, which likely means a guerilla or terror war against its presence in Donetsk and Luhansk.

    The only way out is a large peacekeeping mission under UN or OSCE auspices. There would be many points of contention but probably nothing irresolvable. Putin can keep his face by showing he “protected” Russian population, Ukraine can avoid the heavy casualties and keep some control over the rebel regions. With time, acceptable conditions for the withdrawal of the mission can be agreed, such as Ukraine staying out of NATO, legal protection of the Russian language, or even federalization of Ukraine.

    That’s the only benign resolution I can see. Anything else means tens or hundreds of thousands more deaths, most of them civilian, or perhaps a WW3.

    1. Antifa

      Western sanctions on Russia, and Russia suspending all Western food imports for a year, are preliminary acts of war. Cooperation and amiable relations are already behind us.

      This is ethnic fighting, Ukrainians versus Russians, and if no one interferes the Russian population will eventually be pushed out, and Putin will have a million or so Russian speaking Ukrainian citizens spilling over his border. Russia cannot accept that.

      Putin will try to prevent it by assisting that population in resisting ethnic cleansing, which will be seen as interference by the West, and so the West will assist the Ukrainians in regaining full national sovereignty. All such interference by any and all parties will only lead to more arms entering the country, and being used. Should Russia send troops into Ukraine, NATO will send troops. Once everyone has a pistol to everyone else’s head, proper negotiations can begin, while the fighting drags on. All the major powers want, after all, is to sell a lot of weapons and ammunition, and perhaps gain some ground on one another here or there. Chronic, low level warfare is good business all around.

      Except this really is ethnic war, and ethnic cleansing getting underway. So it is entirely possible that Russia will suddenly occupy a slice of Ukraine, draw a red line on the map and tell the whole world to get over it. “Not negotiable. Is done deal. No more shooting of Russian peoples. Fighting is over with. Go home.”

      The West is on such shaky financial footing that it would have little trouble talking itself out of world war, especially as there would immediately be a global depression to deal with.

      Which Russia can ride out as well as anyone. It will be worth it in the end if it kicks the scaffolding out from under the warmongers and austerians ruling Europe and America.

      To paraphrase Stalin, “How many divisions does Goldman Sachs have?”</I?

      1. zapster

        The mistake here is thinking that this has anything to do with “national sovereignty.” The government in Kiev doesn’t want the people. It wants the *land*, and it wants the people gone. This is a demolition job, already completed in Slavyansk, where Shell is already planting the drilling rigs that the *people* in Slavyansk had previously, successfully, resisted.

        Slavyansk has been eliminated, all vital infrastructure destroyed, the city is nearly empty. They’ve done the same with other cities, that had no defender presence at all. Pravy Sektor has not been at all secretive about it’s goals to eliminate ethnic Russians, Roma, and other groups, and they’re actively pursuing that goal.

        I really don’t see why this is so difficult to come to terms with. The US has routinely backed genocidal dictators for the last hundred years. There’s nothing new here. The oligarchs in Ukraine and Russia launder their loot through western banks and holding companies. The US wants a bigger bite of the EU gas market, on and on. People? What people?

        Western looting of the ukraine has begun

    2. Robert Dudek

      Who exactly will hate Russia if they intervene that doesn’t already hate them?

      It seems the US can undertake direct military action at the drop of a hat without it becoming a “pariah”, but Russia would just for protecting its ethnic kin?

      The part of the world that isn’t washed with pro-Western propaganda sees the situation in Ukraine a lot clearer that you imply.

          1. Abe, NYC

            You seem to be advocating a Russian invasion into Ukraine. This passes for US war-mongering?

            It seems the US can undertake direct military action at the drop of a hat without it becoming a “pariah”

            That is true, and probably has Putin foaming at the mouth, but is no justification for his own misdeeds.

            1. Robert Dudek

              If Russia stepping in is the only way to keep the Eastern Ukrainians safe and secure in their lands, then I am for it.

                1. Massinissa

                  Wait, so you think the people in Slaviansk were ‘not unsafe’ when the city was shelled to pieces? What makes you think Donetsk and Kharkhov will be any different? Theyre going to get the same artillery treatment Slaviansk did.

      1. Yonatan

        Maybe the Russians should supply the eastern militias with US arms, mirroring what the US is doing for the Kurds – using the CIA to supply them with Russian weapons

    3. Doug Terpstra

      So then, Putin is “doomed” if he does, and “doomed” if he doesn’t, according to Abe … unless a UN peacekeeping force can be mobilized.

      However, as Antifa notes, cooperation is dead. Been there, done that. In fact Putin already took your bright idea to the UN last week; Ukraine shot it down like MH17. Perhaps if you use your influence in Kiev … ?

      1. Abe, NYC

        Putin is “doomed” if he does, and “doomed” if he doesn’t, according to Abe

        This is a widespread view in independent Russian media. I translated and posted an article on that by a prominent Russian journalist.

        1. vidimi

          he really is at an impass.

          if he intervenes, as he probably should, he risks war.

          if he doesn’t, kiev takes all of eastern ukraine and will continue to amass troops for an end-of-year retaking of crimea.

          i know i wouldn’t want to be putin right now.

    4. Christopher Dale Rogers

      Your faux concern over what is happening in the Ukraine is admirable, however, lets be clear, those forces offering resistance to the Kiev Regime are “federalist forces” and mostly comprised of ethnic Russians, and the emphasis here is that a solution has been offered by Russia, which is a Federal one, hence by utilisation of the term “federalist”.

      If you are now implying what we are witnessing is an act of ethnic cleansing – a euphemism for genocide – then may I enquire why it is the West, namely the EU, NATO and USA that’s supporting those who are engaging in genocide, rather than supporting the actual victims of this policy?

      Maybe, as with ISIS, the West’s control over its favoured forces in power in Kiev is somewhat lacking shall we say. And still the West imposes sanctions on Russia – I really could not make this chain of events up if I tried.

      Suffice to say, either both the USA and EU are sabre rattling in the Ukraine to keep their electorates minds off the economic depression, or our neoconservative friends are trying to bait a trap so as to cause an international crisis and maybe open hostilities between the Western powers and Russia, and if that’s the case it will be interesting to see where China stands on all this, or will it do what the USA did in WWI, sit on the side lines and let the West and Russia bleed themselves to death economically speaking?

      1. Doug Terpstra

        Baiting a trap is exactly right. Full-spectrum dominance, baby, sweep it all up, things related and not. Ukraine is a tripwire pawn. First Russia, then China. Still, the world is not enough.

        1. Christopher Dale Rogers


          If there was gas and oil on Mars you can bet your bottom dollar they’d be mining and drilling the stuff by now. And if there were any Martians, well that’s just called “collateral damage” nowadays.

      2. Abe, NYC

        I haven’t seen evidence of ethnic cleansing by Ukrainians, please share if you’ve got that. Ethnic cleansing and atrocities against civilians are a specialty of the Russian army not Ukrainian, just google “War in Chechnya.”

        What I am saying, is that the situation in the Ukraine is a trap for all parties involved including the EU, Ukraine, Russia, and even the USA. The one way out I can see is a peacekeeping mission.

        1. Robert Dudek

          Bombing a civilian population and forcing most to leave or perish – that doesn’t quite cut it as ethnic cleansing for you? Okay then.

            1. hunkerdown

              I’ve heard reports about such as web designer “refugees” lounging on the beach in Crimea.

          1. Abe, NYC

            In that case, the insurgents are conducting their own ethnic cleansing on a massive scale, helped by Russian troops from across the border.

              1. Abe, NYC

                Sure thing! and your friends the insurgents are shelling the cities to save them first, and the thousands of refugees within Ukraine are just taking a tour of the country.

                  1. Yonatan

                    Don’t be too hard on Abe. He probably saw this infographic from Ukrainian TV showing how the militia managed to fire rockets into the city behind them, rather than at the enemy on the hills outside the city. They simply forgot to take the wind into account when aiming.

                    1. Doug Terpstra

                      They learned that from Netanyahu, who claimed Hamas bombed UN shelters and hospitals in Gaza — to kill as many “telegenic” kids as possible of course.

            1. zapster

              Since the defenders are all in their own homes, and no one has spotted any Russian troops at all, that statement is simply mendacious.
              Kiev is trucking it’s army across the entire country to attack them, while the defenders have not strayed from the Donbass at all. As disorganized and incompetent as the Ukraine army is (from years of being looted by western-backed oligarchs and money laundering in the UK), if Russia was in there, they’d have taken Kiev by now.

              The problem here isn’t Russia, it’s massive corruption from the west, and an innocent, gullible population that was suckered by Nuland and her neo-nazi buddies. They’re starting to catch on though, as can be seen by both the continuing Maidan protests and the number of soldiers defecting to Russia.

              Testimonies from both sides

              1. Abe, NYC

                There are claims, backed by evidence, of repeated shelling of Ukraine territory from inside Russian borders.

                1. zapster

                  There are claims, yes, and they may even be true, although the OSCE monitors have yet to catch them at it. However, OSCE *has* confirmed that the Ukraine army *is* shelling Russia. So if Russia isn’t lobbing shells back at them, they’re showing remarkable restraint. At this point, they have every right to.

                2. Clever Username

                  The allegation is that they’re shelling Ukrainian army positions, not civilians. Try again.

              2. Bill Smith

                Alas, a few of those Russian troops have been posting selfies and forgot to turn off the geotag data.

                1. zapster

                  Russian *troops* or Russian volunteers? There are many volunteers from every country in the neighborhood including Abkhazia, Chechnya, South Ossetia, and even Spain. The vast majority fighting on the defenders’ side are local, however. There haven’t been any units consisting of Russian regular troops shown in any source, or even verified individual regulars. There are a few fakes floated by Kiev around though.
                  Kiev’s fake picture scam

                  1. craazyboy


                    I’d think the fuzzy stovepipe Russian hat instead of a helmet would be the giveaway, but Kerry is the military man, not me.

                    However, for Britain’s safety and security, I think we should cross check his work so we don’t mistakenly bomb Britain when Kerry determines Russians have successfully laid siege to Her Majesty’s Royal Palace.


                    But I have worked with a few Russkies in the states here and they can be clever bunch (unless we stole all the best and brightest).

                    Knowing they may get caught on film, Russian soldiers may show up for work in a golf shirt and shorts. maybe.

            1. craazyboy

              This is getting difficult for me to follow.

              I made up the names Uks & Seps to try and keep it straight. Whenever I try and use the usual terms like “insurgents”, “Freedom Fighters”, Usurpers, or Legitimate Government, I can’t figure out on whom to pin the labels on.

              1. steviefinn

                The Neo-Cons have got it covered that’s for sure – Nuland went with Obama & hubby Kagan was adviser to Romney as backup. Here’s a quote from the great philospher lifted from an interview given to De Spiegel in 2008 :

                “The two rising powers, China and Russia, are autocracies. They are undoubtedly becoming more aggressive and nationalistic. They will shape the entire international system to suit their purposes, unless democratically minded nations join forces and demonstrate their own collective will to shape the world order”.

                If only the fat turd & his friends would go themselves – We could perhaps fit tank tracks to their armchairs.

                1. craazyboy

                  No wonder it’s complicated. The New World Order is scared of the New World Order. Besides Caliphate. holy bejebus!

                  1. hunkerdown

                    The New World Order, Western Division, is scared of The Alternative. Why? Second prize is a set of steak knives.

                2. Chauncey Gardiner

                  Thanks, steviefinn! … “Maybe we could fit tank tracks to their armchairs.”

                  Bingo!… Based on the comments by one of their spokespersons, the Neocons evidently believe that military action should not only be taken, but should publicly be enthusiastically embraced and savored by the president. Here is an extract from an Op-Ed by Jennifer Rubin in yesterday’s Washington Post about the president’s decision regarding air strikes:

                  … “His entire demeanor was that of a truculent teenager forced to perform some disagreeable chore. His lack of enthusiasm, verging on resentment for carrying out his obligations as commander in chief, is remarkable.”

                  They clearly want to replay Dubya’s “Mission Accomplished!” Moment into perpetuity. That these people have an ounce of credibility after losing and impairing thousands of lives and squandering trillions of dollars of our national wealth in failed military adventures defies belief.

                  Mr. Bezos might want to rethink the composition of his Op-Ed staff at the Washington Post.

              2. Ned Ludd

                • NAF – Novorossiya Armed Forces, a general term for the rebels’ military operation.
                • SDF – Self-defense forces, usually refers to local militias that operate semi-autonomously.

      3. Cocomaan

        The Chinese are now delivering food to Russia, and buying their gas. At the same time, they are continuing trade ties with the US.

        They’ll be the winners here.

      4. vidimi

        china doesn’t have the option of sitting by; only latin america and africa do, and of those countries, only brazil is really in a position to emerge victorious. china would severely weaken its position if it allowed russia to get trampled by the american empire. in an attack against russia, china would be obliged to strike out against japan and/or south korea to dilute american forces, but even then it risks being screwed. getting india on its side would be crucial: bric countries stand with each other in trade and politics, but india’s military is essentially sponsored by the americans. a conflict between india and china could easily become the deadliest in world history.

        if china’s economy was anything other than a house of cards, they could afford to patiently wait for america’s collapse and their turn as hegemon. but when their house of cards collapses, china knows it would face an unholy shitstorm and so it can’t afford to lose any allies.

        1. craazyboy

          Ya. Really be sumthin’ if we find out leadership worldwide is at the breaking point and we find all the major governments simultaneously deciding to do a Dr. Strangelove, then push the button or whatever, and head for the re-purposed coal mine to wait it out a hundred years and start over.

          Just kidding. I think.

        2. wbgonne

          Excellent analysis, vidimi.

          “if china’s economy was anything other than a house of cards, they could afford to patiently wait for america’s collapse and their turn as hegemon. but when their house of cards collapses, china knows it would face an unholy shitstorm and so it can’t afford to lose any allies.”

          One point. Unlike the U.S., China has no ideological commitment to capitalism or the neoliberal world order. That gives China far more flexibility when if and when it determines that it is under threat or when it sees an opportunity for aggrandizement. To some extent, this applies to Russia, too. In contrast, as an abject ideologue determined to support the status quo no matter what, the United States is severely hamstrung as it attempts to adapt to a rapidly changing world that is slipping more out of its control every day. Our military and financial might will carry the day for awhile but one can already feel the power draining. Interesting times.

        3. Abe, NYC


          I disagree on China. It has been the only real beneficiary of the recent conflict because Russia has no-one else to turn to to sell its raw commodities. It looks almost certain that Russia made large concessions on the price of natural gas to conclude the recent pipeline/supply deal that had been negotiated for years.

          And strategically, China is Russia’s most serious threat, so it only benefits further from Russia’s weakening. China has had its sights on Siberia for decades, and patience is one thing the Chinese have in abundance. Russians themselves have had no illusions on that point.

    5. Murky

      So far Russia has sent weapons, tanks and fighters across border into Eastern Ukraine. And produced death, destruction and despair. – Carl Bildt, Foreign Minister of Sweden since 2006

      1. OIFVet

        Same Carl Bildt who claimed Iraq had WMDs and supported Al Qaeda? You gave up on quoting Snyder and replaced him with Swedish neocon, no doubt banking on at least some still associating Sweden with the legacy of Olof Palme.

        1. hunkerdown

          Same Carl Bildt that endorsed the Wikileaks prosecution.

          Looks like we got “better shills”…

        2. Abe, NYC

          Funny how at the same time you have no qualms supporting same old Putin who killed tens of thousands people in Chechnya, gave the order to storm a school which resulted in the deaths of 300 child hostages, etc, etc.

          1. OIFVet

            Etc etc etc ad infinitum still does not come even close to the number killed on the direct orders of the Presidents of the US over the same time frame. Most of them innocent civilians, many of those women and children.

            1. hunkerdown

              OIFVet, didn’t mean to frag you with the “shill” label, sorry! It was intended for the parent comment. That said, Sweden was and perhaps is still a witting and loyal part of the torture-rendition railroad, and I seem to remember Bildt having his particular fingers in it somehow. In a just world, the Hague would condemn him to the same fate as O.

              1. OIFVet

                No worries, I knew where you were aiming. Truth be told, I had forgotten about Bildt’s involvement with the Wikileaks persecution. The guy’s quite the loyal servant of the neocon project so the list of his “accomplishments” is quite long. Suffice it to say, for Murky to have Bildt “testify” is the rhetorical equivalent of the 69.

      2. Christopher Dale Rogers

        Could you please supply the satellite imagery to support the outlandish claims you are making?
        Hate to break it to you old bean, but they have been unable to provide a qualified image of the alleged BUK system which supposedly downed the MAL flight, and that’s significantly bigger that a Russian tank or APC. Next you’ll be instructing us the “Federalist” airforce, which consists of one model remote control aircraft, has been dropping 1000KG bombs on innocent civilians in Kiev!

      3. Doug Terpstra

        Evidence? Got any infamous murky Pyatt pre-dated low-res aerials or Youtube vids to back that up … with arrows? Or Marie Harf saying, “trust me, we have the tweets”? Or Kerry saying “we know, we know, we know”? Maybe you could get Colin Powell out of retirement.

    6. Katniss Everdeen

      Good old Abe, NYC got started bright and early today. And from the looks of it, he intends to spend the day taking on all comers.

      Something about indefatigable Abe, who seems to have opinions on only ONE issue and limitless response time, smells fishy to me. No HRC, Gaza, ebola or NSA. All Putin, all the time. Almost like it was his JOB.

      Just sayin’.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        And, what do you know. Here comes Murky. Who else should be showing up? Vatch?

        I apologize in advance for mentioning Vatch if I’m “mis-remembering.”

        1. OIFVet

          I will actually think it is unfair to Vatch to lump him in with those two. For one, he is not a hate-filled Eastern European like the other two. For another, he really seems to have a hard time giving up on the idea of American Exceptionalism vs evil Russians that he grew up with, but to me at least he is at least trying to be objective. The same can not be said of the other two.

          1. ohmyheck

            Agreed not to include Vatch. but cue up Lexington, Leviathan and FederalismForever, or whatever he calls himself. Sure to be along shortly.

            I hope everyone understands that there comes a time when playing with the mouse gets old and the meme “stop feeding the trolls” gets some consideration.

            Then again, I have seen some old and new commenters show up since the warmongering “humanitarians” have arrived, so that’s a good thing.

          2. Vatch

            Well, thank you.

            Regarding American exceptionalism, though, I happen to think that the U.S. government has done many evil things over the decades. But Stalinism was worse than anything that the U.S. government did during the past century and a half. Modern Russia is clearly not Stalinist, but they haven’t given up imperialism. They just don’t have the financial resources at this time to support the level of imperialism that the U.S. is currently engaged in.

            1. OIFVet

              Right, hence US imperialism is needed to counterbalance the imperialism Russians lack the resources to launch. Imperialism to prevent imperialism, as it were. Do you even hear yourself? I know this is not how you meant it, but it is a justification of American imperialism as a tool of American exceptionalism.

              1. FederalismForever

                USA “imperialism” would not be justified to counter present-day Russian imperialism, but, in exceedingly rare circumstances (one hopes), when confronted with a truly evil expansionist power (e.g., Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, Soviet Union) a USA counter to the evil expansionist power is justifiable. There are circumstances in which an absolutist/pacifist approach actually leads to more death and more suffering.

                1. OIFVet

                  I have already explained to you why adjectives such as “evil” and “noble” make me wake up on cold sweat. Nothing the US has done in the past half century leads me to believe that it has any standing to be the self-appointed moral arbiter of the world.

                  1. FederalismForever

                    @OIFVet. You have, but you push that analysis so far that you seem to end up in a place where you are unable to distinguish between a lesser evil and a greater evil. Often, a relative/comparative analysis is called for, rather than an absolutist one. And I think this point holds regardless of how you or I may feel about USGovt foreign policy over the last 50 years.

                    1. OIFVet

                      Moral relativist analysis about greater vs lesser evil is quite pointless. It is what keeps people voting for the lesser evil here and then they wonder why their lives suck. You wanna deal with “evil”, I suggest you start with the one at home. Clean your own damned house before worrying about the neighbor’s house, otherwise you are nothing more than a glorified busybody, forever sticking your nose in other people’s business even as your own is going down for lack of attention and care.

                    2. FederalismForever

                      @OIFVet. “Moral relativist analysis about greater vs. lesser evil is quite pointless.” Thank heavens FDR didn’t share your view! There was plenty of “mess” to clean up in the US, circa 1939-1940, as it still had not emerged from the Great Depression. If FDR had adopted your policy the Third Reich likely would have conquered Europe.

                    3. OIFVet

                      If memory serves, Germany declared war on the US in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor. It’s not like FDR went on a preemptive war spree, like we did based on the Domino Theory and after 9/11.

                    4. hunkerdown

                      Of course you’d thank your heavens for FDR. He saved aristocracy from itself. Had he not interfered, a few overpriced, arrogant bloodlines might have been ended in the 1930s and we wouldn’t be having these problems.

                    5. FederalismForever

                      @OIFVet. Let’s just agree to disagree for now. Too much talk about the Nazi threat in WWII makes it seem as if I think our current-day “threats” manufactured by present-day USGovt are in some way comparable to the Nazi threat, which I certainly do not think (and I feel sure you don’t either).

                2. Christopher Dale Rogers


                  You need to be a bit more careful, may I suggest you examine in detail the origins of the war in the Pacific starting with the Treaty of Versailles right up to the Japanese decision to take out the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbour, and by the way, Hawaii is a bit of Imperialism action by your Federalist friends if you have not recognised it.

                  Again, having studied and taught this period of history, lets just say neither Japan or the USA come out of any unbiased analysis smelling of roses, further, may I remind you that the UK was a firm ally of Japan in the 1920s, a relationship which was undermined by the USA and a naval arms embargo – Japan needed resources to feed its industrialisation, the USA denied said resources via statecraft, and this resulted in the militarism you speak about. The Japanese war aims were quite straightforward, knockout the US Pacific Fleet and seek an armistice and Treaty with favourable terms for Japan to access resources in the Pacific, notably oil in the Dutch East Indies – its incursion into China was a big mistake, make no doubt about that, but it was not the militarised, blood thirsty nation you are making it out to be and US Imperialism in the Pacific is very much at the heart of US-Japan disputes in the 20s and 30s.

                  Now, its been a while since I taught, and all my books are in the UK, but a quick Google search will bring up a host of academic studies and papers on the economic causes of the War in the Pacific, and notice my emphasis on the “economic”.

                  1. FederalismForever

                    @CDR. With all due respect, I am somewhat disappointed by your post. I am familiar with the history you describe, and I’m beginning to notice a pattern in the way you analyze history. You simply throw out a list of atrocities committed by both sides (i.e., “neither side comes out smelling of roses”) but shy away from a more analytically rigorous examination of whether either side was worth fighting for, or “deserved” to win. Your methods don’t seem to be fine-grained enough to allow you to state plainly that Imperial Japan was a truly evil regime, and that its defeat at the hands of the US is something to be grateful for.

                    The only reason Japan’s atrocities are not more widely known is that they happened to occur at precisely the same time as an even more evil regime (Nazi Germany) was committing even greater atrocities. My god, Man! You must know that Japan had invaded and occupied roughly all of Manchuria, that it had occupied the Philippines and had treated the population so brutally that roughly 7% starved to death, etc. Japan even attacked Australia! I’m wondering whether your methodology is precise enough to really compare US vs. Japan in the Philippines. Or, compare how US would have fared under Japanese rule vs how Japan fared when it was governed by General MacArthur.

                    Are you familiar with the US grading scale – A, B, C, D and F, with A being best, and anything “below” C a failure? All I’m asking is: there is a difference between a D and an F – even though both are failing grades. If we say that both US and Japan were evil, and committed many atrocities, such that both get failing grades on the “test” of justice and morality, doesn’t the US still deserve a higher grade than Imperial Japan? If so, shouldn’t we be glad that US triumphed over Japan in WWII? It’s a relative/comparative analysis, not an absolutist one.

                    1. Christopher Dale Rogers


                      With due respect young man, please do not lecture me on matters you are not personally familiar with and your crud about the US Bloody A. Let me remind you young man that I’m getting a little long in the tooth myself, but am lucky enough to have all my faculties, I’ve also had the honour of working in Japan and speaking cordially and quite freely with senior business people and government officials about the War in the Pacific, further, in my youth I was lucky enough to associate with one of the British soldiers who campaigned in Burma against the Japanese, his opinions and honesty could be contrasted with another person who I worked with for two years who was a prisoner of war and forced to build a railway line in Thailand – the one campaigner had much respect for his Japanese adversaries and was known by his workmates, all steelworkers, as “Jim the Jap”. The other person had nothing but detestation for the Japanese and this was in the mid-1980s when Japanese companies were investing heavily in the area I lived – so, not only do I have the academic account of matters in the Far East, much of it informed by official papers emanating from Japan, the USA, Australia and the United Kingdom, I’m lucky enough to actually had living contact with two survivors of the War in the Far East, each with two different takes – the Japanese did some appalling things to POWs, and worse things in Mainland China – I happen to live in China – so would you also like to start poking around on that too moralising.

                      As someone who takes history seriously and international relations, I don’t usually refer to good and evil, although there is no doubt in my mind that the NAZIS was out and out evil, I will not conflate German militarism or extremist forms of nationalism with the Japanese, for one very good reason, their culture was and remains significantly different from that of Europe, and that catch-all statement includes your beloved USA.

                      Having lost one in-depth post on this thread detailing USA atrocities from March 1945 onwards, and here I’m referring too the firebombing of Tokyo between March 1945 through to late June 1945, not too mention the decision to test, and I repeat test, two nuclear devices on two military insignificant cities, with a resultant death toll alone above 300,000, these dropped on a nation deprived of food and hydrocarbons, and hence on its last feet, I cannot accept your lame US sanctimonious nonsense any longer.

                      May I remind you that since the end of WWII your nation alone in Asia has instigated death on a large scale in IndoChina (Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam), supported tyranny in Indonesia and the Philippines – thousands being killed and tortured, nearly lost a conflict in Korea, a conflict in which the commanding General wished to utilise atomic weapons and was subsequently relieved of his command, armed and supported Chinese Nationalist forces against the Communist/Nationalist forces in China – the list is endless. Now, whom do you wish to call evil, where do you draw the line between the cosy fiction your labour under and the harsh, stark reality that War is brutal, war is evil and warmongers are evil?

                      You have already irked me by making the reckless comment that because the good USA policeman has maintained alleged peace in Asia that this makes USA imperialism a lesser evil than any other imperialism, imperialism being imperialism, just go ask the Philippines – which I bloody well can as I’m actually married to one and further, able still to talk to those who were in the Philippines when it was invaded by Japan and the USA expelled – my wife’s family living close to Batan, that’s called living history, so please stop using the 7% figure you keep brandishing.

                      Now, if you wish to understand Asia Pacific history, specifically post-1870 history, its a broad topic area, my specialism has been the origins of conflict, be it the Japan-Russo conflict, Asia’s contribution to WWI, causes of the War in the Pacific (1941-1945), origins of the Korean conflict and origins of the Vietnam War, with a specific emphasis on the French re-occupation of IndoChina in the months after the Japanese surrender, which by the way, in Vietnam at least, the UK who took the Japanese forces surrender, had to then rearm some of its Japanese POWs to act as policemen to maintain the peace given the nationalist war against imperialism was well underway – you see, despite all the hatred, Realpolitik trumps many things.

                      Now please revert back to your Federalist Papers and the Triumph of the US Republic, Not. I happen to be one of those who believes the 1788/89 Convention and resultant US Federal Constitution stole democracy from the former 13 Colonies, and even have grave doubts as to the actual causes of the War of Independence, which differ greatly from what your lot are taught in high school.

                      Now please go and be “Exceptionalist elsewhere and propagandise elsewhere, for this old socialist has had enough.

                    2. FederalismForever

                      @CDR. Again, I’m disappointed in your response. All of your life experience and learning, and yet the historical methodology you employ leads to truly bizarre results, such as mentioning US support for tyranny in Indonesia and the Philippines but ENTIRELY IGNORING the massive support given to the murderous North Vietnamese and Cambodian Khmer Rouge by Soviet Russia and Mao’s China. Is that fair?

                      And, of course the US “alone” is responsible for more atrocities in Asia than any other superpower. That’s because the US has been the ONLY superpower in the region during the last 69 years! A fair methodology would draw on your historical expertise and knowledge of Japanese culture to estimate instead how many atrocities would have been committed in the same region if Imperial Japan had won the war and had remained the sole regional superpower over the same 69-year period. (One shudders at the thought!) This methodological foot fault is often made by those who criticize the US – they will compare atrocities committed by some non-US government in a region over a short time frame, with all atrocities supposedly committed (or sponsored) by the US over a much longer time frame.

                      The claim I made to you a while ago still stands: There have been no wars among two or more of China, Japan, Russia or the Koreas during the entire time the US has maintained a presence in the region – this can be said of no other 69-year period in the history of that region. But your methodology does not permit one to acknowledge that some imperial powers are better than others. You simply resort to a blanket condemnation of all imperial powers – an analysis utterly lacking in subtlety or nuance.

                      So, I guess we’ve come to an impasse. It’s been fun discussing this with you, and you have a truly unique voice among the regular commenters here. But I intend to take a break for a while from these large-scale historical arguments and try to focus on some of the more technical/financial threads here at NC (in which I am often utterly out of my depth). This is the area where NC really shines. Cheerio!

                    3. Yves Smith Post author


                      All you have done is prove that you are deeply invested in the myth of US benevolence and are not open to information that conflicts with your near-religious belief. CDR tells you that the US provoked Japan by undermining its alliances and restricting its access to resources, which as a materials-poor island that industrialized late was a particularly sensitive issue for the Japanese. You also airbrush out of the picture the brutality of hte later phases of the war (the firebombing of 67 cities) which if we are playing the moral calculus game, is vastly worse than what Japan did in its occupation of China. Oh, and how about the US use of naplam and Agent Orange in Vietnam, or DUI in Iraq, which has produced high levels of birth defects in combat areas, as well as pesisitent health problems in our vets?

                      And we did support Pol Pot:


                      You are out of your depth here, and relying on your popular US version of history won’t cut it.

                    4. Christopher Dale Rogers


                      In many of the posts you are making, you are trying to direct the outcome to comply with your own mindset, which if you tried to maintain that level of reason on an undergraduate course or post grad course in a decent history or politics department would result in a low pass mark at most or outright fail.

                      You seem determined to conflate pre-ante with post-ante and demonstrate a lack of knowledge in understanding the complex interactions and intersections necessary to get from A to B, which is why I have attempted quite reasonably to draw your attention away from what actually happened during the period of conflict – this usually being more on the strategic and military history side of the equation, and look at how we arrived at a conflict point to begin with, which I can assure you paints a picture wholly different from the son you have set in your mind.

                      By way of example, you making the sweeping claim that in the post-1945 period conflict between Japan, Korea, China and Russia has been forestalled by the USA acting as a “policemen” and that this alleged period of peace – your definition of peace being markedly different from my own – was purely because the USA presence and mediating hand in Asia. And, that this peace is in stark contrast to earlier periods in the regions recent historical past.

                      Whilst I certainly neither have the time or inclination to refute your analysis, which is the most simplistic claim I think I’ve seen on any forum, I will remind you to break the study period up into three geopolitical periods, these being 1868-1914, 1919-1941 and post 1945.

                      A look at the geopolitical map of our first period is illustrative of the number of European powers at play and established in the region, to then be followed by an ascendent Japan, an ascendent USA and an ascendent Germany, all new powers vying with the old European powers in the region, namely: Great Britain, Holland, Spain, Portugal, France, Russia. Complicated is it not!

                      May I also remind you that in this period relations between the US and UK were tense to say the least, something to do with Britain’s support for the Confederate States of America during your Civil War, we also have the “Great Game” being played out between Russian and Britain, a Spain in terminal decline and the “sick man of Asia”, China being forced to give trade concessions to all and sundry.

                      I’ll note that in this period of Imperialism on steroids the only major conflicts to emerge were that between the USA and Spain at the end of the 19th Century, Japan – China (1894-95) and the Russo-Japan conflict 1904-1905, which Japan scored a notably victory in, and all the more remarkable given that Japan did not begin its industrialisation process until 1868. Oh and lets not forget Japan’s annexation of Korea and the inclusion of Taiwan into its own area of influence.

                      Of note in this period is the cordial relations between the British Empire and Japan.

                      Lets now move to the post-Treaty of Versailles period, here we witness Japan supporting Britain getting German concessions in Asia Pac, we also witness a period of US Isolationism, although this only ever extended to Europe and not the Far East, growing Japanese nationalism and militarism, compounded by the fallout of the Great Tokyo earthquake, and essentially resource struggles epitomised by Japan’s incursion into China in 1931 and open war in 1937 with attendant atrocities, its also a period of growing nationalism within the colonies themselves and communism. Relations between Japan and Britain take a turn for the worse, instigated by the USA I may add, and Japan moves into a anti-communist orbit with Germany and Italy. A potent chemical brew shall we say. What’s of most significance is the closing down of access to resources to Japan by the USA, which ultimately contributes to Japan’s decision to knock out the USAs Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbour and seize the Philippines – lets not forget that Japan also replaced France in IndoChina after the fall of France. So lets just say lots of conflict and also ask where is Russia (the Soviet Union) during all this upheaval?

                      Now, shall we move on to the post-1945 period, the period you egregiously claim witnessed no huge conflagrations between Japan, Korea, China and the Soviet Union – which must come as a complete shock to those living in the region at the time, particularly IndoChina, the Malaysian peninsular, the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia and the Borneo), the Philippines, the Korean Peninsular, China and Taiwan. This is the Cold War period, its also the period of nationalism, which the USA erroneously conflated with Communism.

                      Now a few facts, after WWII Japan completely humiliated, occupied and pacified, so Japan is now out of the equation, we also witnessed in the months following Germany’s unconditional surrender in 1945 the Soviet Unions attention moving to the Far East and its annihilation of Japanese standing armies that stood in its way and the possible invasion of Japan by Russia as it swept all before it – this fact influenced heavily the USA decision to drop atomic weapons on a then defeated Japan, sending a clear message to Uncle Joe shall we say and drawing a line in the sand.

                      Now, please explain to me how a defeated and humiliated Japan after 1945, which is still occupied by US forces, how could they possibly flex their muscle?

                      In relation to the Soviet Union, well we have covert support for nationalistic and communist movements across the Asia Pacific, we have the consolidation of communist power on the Chinese mainland, we have North Korea trying to unify Korea, and we have the Vietnamese nationalists trying to unify Vietnam after France was defeated. This period was hardly peaceful, and during the period we have witnessed fallouts between the Soviet Union and China, China and Vietnam, China and India – now there’s a new name in the equation – and the Chinese Nationalist take over Taiwan, which after being occupied by Japan since 1910 was hardly welcome by the natives shall we say.

                      You have tried to claim that the USA as a policeman in the Far East has prevented major conflicts between the major Asian powers, and yet show a remarkable lack of insight into the actualities, namely Korea and Japan have hardly been in a position to flex any muscle, whilst the Soviet Union was kept in check by the principles of the Cold War in the region, these being you can render assistance via covert means, but not overt means, which would have resulted in a rather large war.

                      So, please do not simplify issues by making single sentence claims, claims which by the very facts alone are largely incorrect and way off the mark.

              2. Vatch

                That’s not even close to what I said. I object to U.S. imperialism, Russian imperialism, and Chinese imperialism. And I did not say that Russians lack the resources to be imperialistic. They lack the resources to be as imperialistic as the U.S. currently is. There’s a significant difference.

                1. OIFVet

                  The difference being something we can call “preemptive imperialism”. I don’t see you burning up the board condemning the naked resource grab represented by Lil Biden’s appointment to the board of Kolomoiski’s Burisma. It is the very essence of American Exceptionalism to insist that we are the only exceptional and indispensable nation, thus we are justified in seeking American hegemony. One gets to be a hegemon by not allowing anyone else to become a power. And this is what is driving the events in Ukraine. Whatever else you say about US imperialism, your endorsement of what has happened in Ukraine is a de facto endorsement of the imperialism that you are so opposed to. Do you really can’t see this?

                  1. Vatch

                    I haven’t endorsed anything. I have tried to explain why the Ukrainians distrust the Russians, which is not the same as an endorsement. As for Biden Junior, I don’t have time to express an opinion about every event that is discussed here. I object to fracking, period. It pollutes water supplies, and it increases the risk of earthquakes. Since Biden’s involvement in Ukraine is with a fracking company, I most definitely object to what he is doing.

                    A few weeks ago, Banger and I briefly discussed exceptionalism. There are many varieties, such as Han Chinese exceptionalism, Japanese exceptionalism, higher caste Hindu Indian exceptionalism, Russophile exceptionalism, numerous forms of religious exceptionalism, and, yes, American exceptionalism.

                    A devotee of American exceptionalism would not have said “I happen to think that the U.S. government has done many evil things over the decades” as I did earlier today.

                    1. OIFVet

                      Funny, could have sworn you are endorsing. At times you sound as any State Department spokesman. Here is an idea: let the Russians and Ukrainians sort out their own issues, and let us not endorse what is in fact an ethnic cleansing campaign and threaten consequences if Russia steps in to stop it. But we won’t, it is not in our MIC and Elites interests for us to keep out. And since the US was born and expanded by ethnically cleansing the Native Americans, some find it perfectly reasonable for others to do the same. Creating a new Ukraine where there never was an Ukraine, save by Khruschev gifting it some territory at Russia’s expense.

                2. Abe, NYC


                  US imperialism has traditionally taken the form of installing friendly governments in countries close and remote, to advance US commercial interests – basically to plunder the countries. Wallerstein put it best.

                  Russian imperialism, however, has always concentrated on territorial expansion by military conquest on its borders. Hence multiple wars in what is now European Russia, Caucasus, Turkestan, the Far East, and Eastern Europe in the 18th – 20th centuries.

                  So Russia is back at its game, and it is still the dominant power along most of its borders (except China). Its former colonies know its ways only too well, and have very good reasons to seek NATO protection.

                  China I don’t know that well, I think it has traditionally been inward-oriented. In the last 20 years though, they have offered help and assistance to lots and lots of commodity producers in exchange for various commercial privileges, I’ve seen it in many African countries. It probably still qualifies as imperialism but I’m not sure.

                  1. FederalismForever

                    China invaded and annexed two countries – Tibet and Turkestan – in the 1950s, and has plainly stated that it wants to invade Taiwan. Jiang Zemin and Hu Jingtao both threatened to nuke Taiwan if it tries to secure independence. China has also annexed and demolished the democracy of Hong Kong, whose population has recently been demonstrating against China’s clamping down on free speech, etc. All in all, China is currently repressing or oppressing about 80 million people – making it easily the most oppressive government on earth. China also routinely sides with Sudan and North Korea.

          3. Vatch

            Regarding “hate-filled Eastern European[s]”: I’m not convinced that the people to whom you refer are hate-filled, though they clearly distrust Russia very strongly. People from Poland, Ukraine, the Baltic countries, and Finland often have a different attitude towards Russia than people from more southern nations such as Serbia or Bulgaria. Why? Because southern Slavs such as the Serbs and Bulgarians were dominated and exploited for many centuries by the Ottoman Turks. The southern Slavs are more likely to see Russia as a helpful counterbalance to the Turks, whereas the northeastern Europeans see Russia as a nation of conquering oppressors. Yes, I know this is an oversimplification, but there is a fair amount of historical truth in this.

            1. OIFVet

              Nothing so dangerous as oversimplified truths. Spend some time in expat communities and the hate I speak of will become evident. Then there is Soros’ Open Society which finances the media hate campaigns in the Old Countries, finances neoliberal and neocon think tanks there to spew brainwashing propaganda, and educational grants groom the future US agents to assume power in the Eastern Colonies. Sikorski and former BG finance minister Simeon Djankov are prime examples. You think imaginary Russian imperialism scares me when I see what US/EU/1% imperialism has done to my motherland? It has destroyed her industry and agriculture, the Canadians are destroying her environment with their gold concessions, and it has brainwashed her to the point of begging NATO to station troops on her territory, something the Soviets never did. Cry me a river about Russian imperial ambitions, the US has already fucked her shit up.

              1. Vatch

                The problems in your native Bulgaria are only partly caused by the oligarchs of Europe and the U.S. The Warsaw Pact nations all had severe problems due to many decades of Soviet dominance. Tragically, after 1989, the business and political leaders of the West chose to continue the exploitation that the Soviets had practiced for a couple of generations

                1. OIFVet

                  Funny way Bulgaria was exploited by the Soviets: they invested in the creation of industries and provided heavy energy subsidies. If this constitutes exploitation then I do not object to being exploited. It was quite good enough for Russian and Ukrainian women to seek marriages in Bulgaria since life there was actually high quality. In contrast, the EU and the IMF destroyed even the agriculture, and now Bulgarians are the fucking Mexicans of Europe, picking French, Dutch, and British produce. The population has gone from 9 million in 1989 to 7.2 million today, same as in the aftermath of WW2. The birthrate rivals the Baltics for the lowest in Europe. The once outstanding educational system is a disgrace. See the pattern there, Vatch? It is an economic and social genocide, and the same thing awaits Ukraine. So again, tell me why should I be scared of Russian imperialism?

                  1. Vatch

                    I’ll never know as much about Bulgaria as you do, so I have to concede that I might be wrong. However, please forgive me if I remain skeptical. A quick internet search turned up this:


                    This shows the per capita income in several European nations in 1938 and 1990. All countries showed an increase. The Soviet bloc countries doubled or tripled their per capita income, but the listed non-Soviet countries increased by six to ten times. Something was holding back the Soviet bloc countries….

                    1. OIFVet

                      Per capita implies average, non? If you factor in inequality, you will perhaps find that the numbers were quite close. Then factor in the welfare state that meant we did not have a bunch of rent extractors digging into our pocketbooks, the universal health and child care, universal access to paid vacation, and the picture becomes quite different. We were not rich but we were secure in having the basics and enough left over for leisure. There was no homelessness, no pensioners digging through garbage cans for food like we see now. This is not progress, this is the return of the bad old days. Bulgaria was completely destroyed after two Balkan and two World Wars, and we went from misery to security. What my grandparents and parents built was stolen from us, pure and simple.

                    2. Vatch

                      Finland, Italy, and Austria suffered badly from WWII, as well. I doubt the difference can be attributed purely to inequality. I think your nostalgia is making you remember things as being better than they really were.

                    3. OIFVet

                      Sure, nostalgia. Leave that to the Bulgarian pensioners who haven’t gone anywhere else to compare life before and after 1989. You will not find many fans of the changes. Me, I live in the US. What I see here is that the same process we were subjected to in the 1990’s is now being implemented here, though much refined after the application of the lessons learned in Eastern Europe. It is not nostalgia but a bad flashback in my case. Again, we had the basics. We were referred to by our government as citizens, not consumers. We were not consumers of disposable, engineered to become obsolescent products, that much is true. But we had the basics covered, something that many here in the US did not and do not. To paraphrase Vonnegut, “we had something that consumer societies can never have: the knowledge that we have enough”.

                  2. Christopher Dale Rogers


                    In EU economic parlance, that’s known as a success, the neo-liberals talk about the success of their policy prescriptions in the former Baltic States, regrettably, like Ireland in the 1840s-1980s, they have had a population exodus – just look at the number of Baltic Prostitutes plying their trade in numerous Western European Cities, here in Hong Kong and Macao. Some success, the pretty girls get to service the rich with sexual favours and the rest pick fruit and veg for below minimum wage pay, and are often ripped off by their handlers. So much for the myth about the EU as a guarantor of peace and economic recovery – where’s the bloody recovery please?

                    1. OIFVet

                      CDR, quite right. It is the slightly more civilized version of the kefala system. The BG migrant workers also pay an agency to get the work in the West, but often times get ripped off, either by the agency or by the employer. Sometimes women recruited for domestic or hotel work get forced into prostitution, their passports taken, beaten. This is the fucking European/US civilization of modern day slavery. And some are shocked, shocked that ethnic Russians in Ukraine don’t want to become the next pool of slaves.

            2. Abe, NYC


              Regarding “hate-filled Eastern European[s]“: I’m not convinced that the people to whom you refer are hate-filled, though they clearly distrust Russia very strongly

              That mistrust is backed by centuries of first-hand experience. More recently, a country named Ukraine returned its nukes to Russia in exchange for guarantees of territorial integrity, and learned the hard way what trusting Russia really means.

              1. OIFVet

                And good thing the nukes were taken away, fascists with nukes is a terrible combination. And about territorial integrity: if the Ukie fascists had not organized an armed coup of the democratically elected government, and then offered to become Airstrip One staging area for the NATO forces of doom, Crimea and Novorussia would not have exercised their basic human right to self-determination. Get it through your thick head Saakashvili, going to bed with the Empire of Chaos makes you nothing more a cheap one night stand, and you will get treated as such by all. You wanted to kill Russians, well, good luck with that.

          4. Abe, NYC


            Just reading comments it is obvious that the only hate-filled Eastern European here, is the one you see in the mirror.

                1. OIFVet

                  Poor Abe, when will you learn to fight your own fights? Until you do, you and yours will forever be someone’s cheap bitch. Whether that be Russia’s bitch or the Empire of Chaos’ bitch, does it really matter?

      2. Murky

        At least Abe doesn’t use defamatory language, calling Ukrainians ‘nazis’ and ‘fascists’ like you do. The Nazis are in your brain, not in Ukraine.

        1. Christopher Dale Rogers


          So Svoboda, its members and supporters are not fascist or openly neo-nazis then, a quick Google search will discount that view, and whilst its correct that Russia’s media have utilised these allegedly derogatory terms, they should now something about it having lost millions to German invaders and their Ukrainian supporters. Also, please check-out what happened to the Jews in the Ukraine caught in the Waffen SS sweep of cleansing Communists and Jews, assisted by the way by Ukrainian nationalists – so it’s not as if they don’t have history on their side, never mind the fact that that Svoboda is acknowledged by political scientists teaching in universities as an openly fascist, if not outright neo-nazis force.

          Still, if these are the people you, the EU, NATO and US leadership wish to get into bed with, well who am I to tell you what to think or do?

          1. Murky

            Right. All Ukrainians are fascists or nazis. Not possible that Svoboda is a tiny minority of extremists in Ukraine. They MUST be running all of Ukraine. Not relevant that extreme nationalists in Ukraine polled under 4 percent in the recent presidential election. Because we don’t need the facts about Ukraine and the current conflict. Facts can be fabricated. And the Russians can’t possibly have done anything wrong in this conflict. Seizing large portions of Ukrainian territory in Crimea and East Ukraine is okay! Because Putin is doing God’s work protecting Russians from them Ukrainian Nazi’s. Shooting down passenger aircraft is okay! Could have been Ukrainian nazis in that aircraft. The Russian media blitz defaming Ukrainians as nazis is okay! Because Ukrainians deserve to be hated. And looking back across decades, when has Russia ever aggressed against it’s neighbors? Don’t believe the propaganda about brutal military suppressions in Hungary 1956, Czechoslovakia 1967, and in Poland in the early 1980s. Pure Western propaganda fabricated by the CIA. Turning the clock back even farther, Stalin never starved to death millions of Ukrainians in 1932-1933. Never happened. Don’t believe a single word of the Wikipedia article on the ‘holodomor’. Pure anti-Russian propaganda. Nor has Moscow ever abused its own people. Them gulag prison camps are and were a CIA fantasy. It’s not true that millions of innocent lives were extinguished in those camps. Solzhenitsyn lied! Well, Christopher, I’m eager for you to tell me more about them Ukrainian Nazis. They’ve got to be the sole evil in this current conflict. I just want to make sure we know who to properly hate and defame. Speak, man!

            1. OIFVet

              Are OK Murky? You seem to be teetering on the edge of hysteria, you didn’t use to be nearly so shrill and foamy. Wanna talk about it?

              1. Katniss Everdeen

                It would appear that Abe, NYC has taken a powder.

                Leaving the team of Murky and Vatch busier that one-legged men in an ass-kicking game.

                Metaphorically, of course.

            2. hunkerdown

              How much are you being paid to reinterpret every slur at the Ukrainian-Western government as a slur against the Ukrainiam people? Stop using the people as human shields for your shale futures, please.

            3. Christopher Dale Rogers

              Murky old bean,

              Funnily enough I do speak, I post under my real name and have nothing against the People’s of the Ukraine or Russia, quite the reverse, where I live I have Russian and Ukrainian friends and given we all live on a small Island in Asia, we have to get along with each other – further, one of my daughter’s best playing friends is Ukrainian and at my home each day – thank God she’s lucky enough not to presently live in the Ukraine.

              Now, I realise you may harbour fears about Russia and Putin, which may or may not be irrational, but I can assure you if you think getting into bed with the EU/NATO/USA is a great idea, please think again, as with any country, these oligarchs affiliated to the West are only interested in extracting your wealth, they have zero interest in your economic wellbeing I can assure you.

              Lets look at the facts and do the maths, you had a young democracy and its government was run by thieves and spivs, or more politely speaking oligarchs, had you country and its electorate followed the judicial trajectory, namely the democratic election process, those you hated in government would have been removed by the ballot box in 2015 – now all you have done is create havoc for both Ukrainians and ethnic Russian-Ukranians – this is what happens when you support unconstitutional means to overthrow a legitimate and democratically elected process. Democracy ain’t cheap, it does not just arrive, you have to fight for it and accept compromise.

              As your fellow countrymen are now learning, the Maiden Revolution has not ushered in a Utopia, its ushered in a civil war. May I suggest that you read Edmund Burke’s “Reflections on the French Revolution” and learn what “judicial” and “extra-judicial” stand for. And, please remember, none of us posting are anti-Ukraine or anti-Ukrainians, quite the revese, had you followed the democratic and judicial line, you’d no dobt as a nation have associate membership of the EU, pending full membership, all Putin required in return was an actual Treaty detailing that the UKraine would never be sanctioned to join NATO – Russia is opposed to “containment” by NATO, and NATO needs to understand that it was “Containment” fears expressed by Germany that contributed to WWI – history may not repeat itself exactly, but you can learn a lot from it, and one of the key lessons to learn is that a stable democratic tradition takes time, which our friends in Spain understand fully.

              1. FederalismForever

                @CDR. Very interesting and informative. I’m sure you are aware that the late US diplomat and historian George Kennan said (in 1996) that NATO’s expansion into former Soviet territories was “a strategic blunder of potentially epic proportions.” Why can’t the US produce diplomats of Kennan’s caliber anymore?

                1. Christopher Dale Rogers


                  I had to study George Kennan, as well as Kissinger, as well as Dean Acheson, who of course was influenced by Kennan’s “X” memorandum – you can’t get away from these folk if you study the origins of the Cold War, US Involvement in Vietnam, the creation of NATO or Marshall Aid, and you may also be surprised to learn that between 1944-late 1946 it was the British who had the greatest fear of the Soviet Union and Soviet Expansionism, particularly in MittelEurope and the Far East. Indeed, as the UK’s Foreign Office Papers show, and US State Department Papers, the USA and Soviet Union had quite cordial relations for an 18 month period, which the UK was bitterly opposed too – this by the way was one of the drivers that caused the UK to develop a nuclear programme, this and the US arbitrary decision not to continue the sharing of nuclear capabilities – please also remember, without UK involvement, the USA could never have developed an atomic bomb in time to drop on Japan before its surrender, the Manhatten project being an extension of a Programme the British had been running since 1939 – all detailed in Walter Isaacson’s memorable study on the history of the atomic bomb.

            4. Abe, NYC

              Of course you’re right, but I learned not to expect a reasoned response. Most people simply brush inconvenient facts aside.

        2. Katniss Everdeen

          You’re quite the wordsmith, Murky.

          So here’s a word you may want to consider familiarizing yourself with: “fact.”

      3. Abe, NYC

        @Katniss Everdeen

        Something about indefatigable Abe, who seems to have opinions on only ONE issue and limitless response time, smells fishy to me. No HRC, Gaza, ebola or NSA. All Putin, all the time. Almost like it was his JOB.

        Another accusation of being a paid agent of some evil force! I think it’s #4 in less than two days.

        As it happens though, just yesterday I posted on Ebola, and US role in the Middle East, and Israel.

    7. FederalismForever

      @Abe, NYC. In your view, what are the chances that Germany could step up and broker some kind of peace deal? Sort of like Teddy Roosevelt did with Russian and Japan in 1905? It seems to me Germany is the best candidate for something like this, at least if we focus on individual countries. Or maybe Germany could take the lead in the UN? Angela Merkel could get a Nobel Peace Prize!

      1. Christopher Dale Rogers


        I think you need to go and read Wallerstein on the breach in US-German relations – US policy is quite simple, to stop a rapprochement between Russia and Germany, or, and more precisely, a more inclusive EU with very close relations with Russia.

        Whilst this would be frowned upon in the UK, given that the USA and UK are joined by the greed umbilical cord referred too as Wall Street and the City of London, it would make absolute sense to France and Germany. Here’s Wallerstein and branch out from there:

        1. steviefinn

          The pointless argument is at least more sophisticated here – Makes a change from the go f**k off & live with Putin if you think he is so great sort of comments I have received from people who cite evidence taken from the Daily Mail.

        2. craazyboy

          Ya, if Merkel whores around with the wrong boyfriends, we might find out Deutsche Bank did sumthin’ illegal back when we had that little banking accident a few years ago. As Deutsche Bank goes, so goes Germany, so I wouldn’t underestimate the importance, to Germany, of a healthy worlds’ largest bank.

          1. steviefinn

            Yes it must be tough living in the shadow of the world’s largest derivative mountain which is only kept stable through feeding it the life blood of other members of the European dysfunctional family – She needs to be master of her domain, unlike some guy named George.

          2. Mark P.

            ‘As Deutsche Bank goes, so goes Germany, so I wouldn’t underestimate the importance, to Germany, of a healthy worlds’ largest bank.’


        3. FederalismForever

          @CDR. Thank you. Wallerstein has published many fine articles in the New Left Review – a journal I subscribed to and read avidly for many years. If anything, the piece you linked to supports my hypothesis that Merkel should take the initiative and broker a peace deal of some sort. I think this would be a great move on Germany’s part. Don’t you agree?

          1. Vatch

            Whether he’s correct or not, Immanuel Wallerstein’s opinions are well worth studying. His multi-volume The Modern World-System is on my to-read list. Someday, when I have some more free time….

          2. Christopher Dale Rogers


            With the US economically seemingly in a death spiral, I’d like to see France, the Uk and Germany grow a pair of testicles shall we say, and acting as a Troika sort out matters peaceably with Russia – given all nations have been at each others throats for quite a number of centuries, a rapprochement with Russia is in Europe’s interests, particularly if you favour a multipolar world.

            The problem with this is that it would be against US interests and could also be construed as an anti-Islamist or anti-China front – which actually is not a good idea given we all share the same Eurasian land mass. You can see elements of this line of thinking stretching back to the Abbé de Saint-Pierre in the 17th Century or Rousseau in the 18th Century – usually associated with a “Fortress Europe”, rather than the EU structure we say today. Not being a Euro-Federalist, I’d not be impressed if this were open to scrutiny by 28 EU-nations, particularly given that two of my three Western European nations have nuclear arms, which would essentially have to come under a unified umbrella to act as a credible deterrent. Again, such a move would be most unwelcome in DC Im afraid, and would cause controversy in both the EU and Europe, but its better than WWIII and the EU associated with Russia is a massive market, it would also diffuse many of the “containment” fears Russia has and put at ease those states adjacent to Russian boarders who fear Russian expansionism.

            1. FederalismForever

              @CDR. Candidly, I’m not familiar with the de Saint-Pierre/Rousseau line of thinking you refer to. A UK/France/Germany Troika is interesting to think about – have these three ever lined up together on anything before? To me, just getting France and Germany to agree on anything (without US pressure) would be an achievement. I think a Germany-Russia union is more realistic. Paul Craig Roberts has written about this.

              France is always a wild card. I’m mystified why it it still one of the five permanent UN Security Council members, whereas India is not. And I never can predict how the French populace will react to anything. Remember all of those massive protests in Paris when George W. Bush went before the UN to try and convince everyone to join his Iraq adventure? Where did all these French protesters disappear to when France (i) bombed Libya and killed its dictator, (ii) supplied weapons to overthrow Assad, and (iii) invaded Mali (without even trying to get UN permission!) to expel the Islamists who had conquered part of that country?

              1. Christopher Dale Rogers

                The Abbie de Saint Pierre was an advocate of a Fortress Europe and obviously feared Islam and the Ottoman Empire which was making big inroads in Europe at the time – Rousseau expanded on his ideas a century later, you can also look at Kant – these three scholars/philosophers are central to understanding international relations at a University and above level.

                As for a UK/France/German troika, well I’m afraid I’m not running the UK’s foreign policy, but the sad fact is, even after 50 years the UK has been unable to get over the loss of Empire and its diminished role globally, which is funny, for most of our post 17th century history, England at least was always recognised as a major European player/force, and remains so until this day. You also need to remember that under the Catholic Church and Hold Roman Empire, up until the reign of Henry VIII, Europe was quite unified, if only by religion – all wars being dynastic, this changed with the Reformation and subsequent religious wars, ended by the Peace of Westphalia in the 1660s, which effectively banned religious warfare, this was only breached in reality by the civil strife in what was Yugoslavia starting at the end of the 1980s – so, you see, the Europeans can get along with each other and agree on matters, if it’s only on matters of religious war!

      2. Abe, NYC


        A peace deal could indeed be brokered by Germany, which has been on good terms with both countries. The big question is, how does Putin get out from the corner he’s painted himself into. Russian war-mongering is almost as hysterical in Russia as on this thread, a Ukraine victory would be a massive loss of face for Putin – much greater than for Nicholas II in the aftermath of the Russo-Japan war. That would destroy his 87% approval and fatally undermine his grip on power.

        With Ukraine’s army remaining in the region, there is no way Putin can claim he has guaranteed the rights of the people he purports to protect. And there’s no way the insurgents will stop fighting and disarm, and for Ukraine nothing less would be acceptable. A peacekeeping force, separating the warring parties, might just achieve a truce in the short term, and in the longer term, a political normalization and mutually acceptable conditions for disarmament.

    8. Kurt Sperry

      It appears that many of the best, hardest, most effective front line Ukrainian troops are quite unapologetically neo-nazi.

      Mr Biletsky, a muscular man in a black T-shirt and camouflage trousers, said the battalion was a light infantry unit, ideal for the urban warfare needed to take cities like Donetsk.
      The 35-year old commander began creating the [Azov] battalion after he was released from pre-trial detention in February in the wake of pro-western protests in Kiev. He had denied a charge of attempted murder, claiming it was politically motivated.
      A former history student and amateur boxer, Mr Biletsky is also head of an extremist Ukrainian group called the Social National Assembly. “The historic mission of our nation in this critical moment is to lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade for their survival,” he wrote in a recent commentary. “A crusade against the Semite-led Untermenschen.”


      “The Azov Battalion (Ukrainian: Батальйон «Азов») is a special unit for the protection of public order – the battalion of patrol special police, subordinate to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine. The battalion is based in Mariupol in the Azov Sea coastal region.[3] The battalion’s commander is Andriy Biletsky (Ukrainian: Андрій Білецький), the head of the nationalist political groups Social-National Assembly and Patriots of Ukraine.[1] The Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs special police company is led by Volodymyr Shpara (Ukrainian: Володимир Шпара), the leader of both the Vasylkiv’s “Patriot of Ukraine” and the Vasylkiv’s “Right Sector” organizations in the Kiev region.[4][5][6] The battalion is also referred to as the “Men in Black,” and is one of a series of paramilitary forces that operate in Ukraine”

      These aren’t rogue forces or “militias”, these “battalions” are under the direct control of the Ukrainian government.

      People that are sane and not bloodthirsty fanatics are unlikely to volunteer to be sent into hostile territory to face fire. That’s why crazy extreme right wing racists are useful in such situations. Which is probably why such groups are groomed, tolerated and incorporated into societies that want to project force. It is why psychopaths like Custer, MacArthur and Westmoreland have always had a place in the US military and why the IDF in Israel or Islamic groups like ISIS are infected with similar types who can see the “enemy” not as human beings but animals–vermin to be exterminated. Sane, well balanced psyches may defend their hometowns from direct attack but you need outright psychopaths to reliably perform as your dogs of war and kill with lustful glee when let slip and turned loose on a population. If war is hell, and it is probably as close as we can have to hell here on Earth, you need people who are comfortable operating in hell to conduct the slaughter at ground level. Sane men might consent or be persuaded to operate aircraft to drop bombs or operate artillery at stand off range, but for close quarter high intensity combat you need men who won’t get squeamish when the blood begins running in rivers around them or balk at killing civilians en masse when so ordered if they become inconvenient to the military objective.

      War is evil, full stop. And without morally unconstrained pawns to play it, you will not see results. All the bloodthirsty neocons and “R2P” interventionists who deride pacifism as isolationist desperately need to pretend there are “good wars” where “good men” fight for “good causes” when such is seldom–almost never–the case. War is just industrial scale murder, there is nothing glorious or patriotic or noble or heroic in it 99% of the time. On the ground at close range it’s just mindless slaughter, bodies being grotesquely rent apart and innocents getting killed indiscriminately. You need evil men to conduct this hellish business, good men cannot be trusted to perform as required.

      Those who cheerlead, enable or attempt to glorify this satanic exercise in unrestrained evil as noble are little better than those bloodthirsty berserkers who do the actual slaughter. Maybe worse, in fact. At least the murderers on the ground must directly face the reality of what they do.

      1. hunkerdown

        Oh yes. That’s why only right-wingers are allowed to have guns according to Western norms: to ensure the correct outcome at a structural level.

      2. FederalismForever

        @Kurt Sperry. Outstanding post – the last two paragraphs in particular. Your point that you need evil men to conduct war is often overlooked. Even in the Civil War (thought by many to be a “good war”) Seward had to put ads in European periodicals to entice “mercenary types” to come to the US and enlist on the Union side.

      3. steviefinn

        @ Kurt Sperry – I couldn’t agree more. These lunatics are the equivalent of Hitler’s SS shock troops who had foreign volunteers as a large component of their force. Responsible for atrocities in occupied Russia ( Belarus in particular ), not to mention the murder of many American troops during the battle of the Bulge, & the list goes on & on.

    9. Gaianne

      Putting NATO in the Ukraine is a key US strategic goal. This is why global war, nuclear or otherwise, is inevitable. Time is on the side of Russia and China, which is why they are trying to delay it, even as they prepare for it.

      Time is not on the side of the US, which is now in irreversible decline. Peace is always possible, but the US does not want peace. Neither peace nor war will stop the decline, but in decline elites always find war preferable to peace (it enhances their power)–even though war accelerates the collapse.

      The US oligarchs do not see it that way. They see the war as an opportunity to grab Russian resources–a return to the Yeltsin years. This is an exceedingly unlikely outcome. From hard experience the Russians have done with the idea of globalization, and will fight for their national survival. As a regional power, Russia is much better conventionally armed than NATO, while if the war goes nuclear, their nuclear arsenal is better maintained. The art from the Russian side is to prepare to use as much force as necessary, but avoid nuclear. Not easy, as it is more likely that the US will choose first-use of nuclear weapons. In other words it is the US–not Russia–that will make the nuclear choice.

      American psychology is part of the problem here. Like the German Nazis in their last days, Americans are nihilistic: Mass murder and mass suicide is preferred to giving up global dominance. If this seems insane that is because it is. The world now depends on the few obscure level-headed people left in the US government who at the critical moments can forestall the deathmarch. They exist, so fate is not sealed.

      The best outcome is a sharp conventional defeat that throws the Empire back on itself with no plausible “tactical nuke” escalation. As in the Georgian War of 2008, Russia will not reach beyond its stated goals, and in that pause the chance to avoid “strategic nukes” shall be realized.

      In all scenerios but one, Europe is destroyed. To avoid destruction Europe must put an end to NATO, which currently serves as nothing but a tool to American imperial policy. It might be sufficient for Germany to pull out; both Germany and France together would be decisive. The Europeans seem clueless, and yet they may still wake up–the sanctions have revealed for all to see that the US considers Europe expendable–and is planning to sacrifice them in the global chess game. If the US does not launch the global war by this fall, Europe has the better part of a year to save itself.


      1. Jim Haygood

        ‘To avoid destruction Europe must put an end to NATO, which currently serves as nothing but a tool to American imperial policy.’

        Quite right. Nearly seventy years of occupation is enough. Let’s demobilize from WW II!

  3. trish

    re New Wave of GMO Crops Poised for Approval Despite Public Outcry

    the power of public outcry seems to be shrinking more and more and faster (I know there are pockets of successful resistance, protest, but in the balance).
    Of course, no surprise really as the corporate plutocracy cements its power, bulldozes over more and more rights, territory, peoples, ratchets up the surveillance state (anyone disputes, dissents is a “terrorist”), worms its gazillion tentacles (you can’t squash these things) into every little crevice and cranny of our very existence to squeeze profit…
    and there is of course no sufficient amplification of public outcry by our “watchdogs” in the MSM.

    can feel so overwhelming at times.

  4. scott

    Google “Dow Milestone compost” and see how these herbicides are working out. Seems that the stuff doesn’t really break down (why it doesn’t hurt horses or cows that eat grass treated with it), but Milestone passes through the animals and contaminates the soil wherever they roam. All well and good until the manure or grass clippings end up in your compost. Suddenly you won’t be able to grow anything in your garden for two years.
    This happened in New England, leading to a restrictions on Milestone use, which the MSM has buried or ignored.

  5. dearieme

    ‘Even now, the president said, the administration has difficulty finding, training and arming a sufficient cadre of secular Syrian rebels: “There’s not as much capacity as you would hope.”’

    Has this dope awoken from a long sleep? It’s just like a fairy-tale.

    1. b

      Just smoke and mirrors. Last week a second large delivery of TOW anti-tank missiles arrived in south Syria and is now killing Syrian soldiers and civilians. The first large load came through Turkey four weeks ago.

      These are “moderate” Islamists the Obama administration is arming. Many of those TOW will end up in the hand of ISIS and will likely be used against other U.S. or allied forces.

  6. vidimi

    i don’t buy the narrative about ISIS using US weapons because they picked them up from retreating Iraqi troops. I mean, sure, they must have picked up some that way, but I don’t buy for one second that the US weren’t arming ISIS clandestinely while the latter was engaged against solely against Al Assad. Come to think of it, having Maliki’s government fall doesn’t seem like that bad an outcome for the US, and is certainly a blow to Iran, so I wouldn’t put it past them that what we are currently seeing in Iraq is not deliberate policy.

    1. James Levy

      I find it interesting that despite ISIS’s incredibly inflammatory rhetoric, Israel hasn’t dropped a single bomb on ISIS, but has blamed the Syrian government for any cross-border issues and bombed them. Why does Israel yawn at a military force 100 times more formidable than Hamas? Why does the US do nothing to interdict their supply of weapons and money by leaning on the Saudis and the Gulf States? It’s all very fishy.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Lebanon’s foreign minister Gebran Bassil is thinking along the same lines:

        Bassil said that Israeli policies are nourishing state and Takfiri terrorism, arguing that ISIS’s aims fall in line with an Israeli desire to turn the region into a cluster of small states fighting each other.

        “Is there any doubt of a link or common interest between what Israel is doing in Gaza and what ISIS is doing in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon?” Bassil asked.

      2. lulu

        How does the Sunni/Shia schism fit in here? Hezzbollah is a Shiite organization, and Iran is a Shiite country, both enemies of Israel and targets for the apparently rabid Sunni fundamentalism of ISIS. The old “enemy of my enemy” deal in play here?

        1. craazyboy

          Just keeps getting better. ISIS describes the current tribe they are slaughtering as heretic Muslim devil worshipers – so they aren’t even killing Shiites this time!!!

          Plus there are a bunch of Christians in the mix, and I saw a news report from a Church outpost, vying for some media bandwidth, saying they are goners too.

      3. ohmyheck

        “Iraqi Army Seizes Israeli-Made Weapons from ISIS Terrorist”

        According to reports, the Iraqi army seized a cache of weapons, including Israeli-made LAV missiles, during an operation near Tikrit.

        Reports say that the army found the hideout with the help of people and their reports and seized large quantities of homemade bombs, RPG rockets, mortars, roadside bombs, rocket launchers, and maps.

        The Iraqi army destroyed large caches of weapons and ammunition used by the ISIS militants in the region, the source added…

      4. Jackrabbit

        I’ve posted these at NC many times in the last 2 months:

        The Redirection

        The Red Line and the Rat Line

        These Hersh articles are a must read. Ask yourself: how could Hersh have gotten so much right in 2007!? To answer your question:

        – Israel and Saudis see the ‘real’ as enemy Iran-Syria-Hezoblla.

        – America’s Iraqi fiasco broke USA ability to war in ME so a new strategy was devised. Running guns to Syrian rebels was a first step (you didn’t think they’d stop at Syria did you?)

        – Also: Proxy armies of fanatics don’t have to worry about public opinion.

        Bonus: consider Russia and China’s support for Iran/Syria.


        PS This is why I started the ‘HOP’ – because the same issues were coming up again an again so the answers were just repetitive.

        H O P

  7. trish

    re Irrational Fear of Risks Against Our Children Bruce Schneier

    That fear has been cultivated by the media industry.
    So rather than let kids go out and play, run the neighborhood, THINK…stick em in front of a computer or TV. Helps the corporate food industry, too.

    And there are the lucky kids of the “groovy” well-off moms who have the means to stay home and read-to-&-do- crafts-&-cultural-exploration-&-learn language-&-feed-organic-&-travel (while reading multiple parenting books and doing pilates or whatever is the trend), etc

    contrast this to the kids in do live in violent impoverished places who may indeed not be safe from, like, guns.
    or are young and left alone all day without any nurturing, care, because the parent is struggling to work and can’t afford any care and then we go after these often-desperate people when somethings gone wrong…
    because we don’t give a sh*t about these kids (or their parents), the complicated roots of their poverty, etc.
    (and wasn’t it the hack Gladwell who said these kids have an edge because poor and discriminated against helps you succeed? The groovy moms/dads read gladwell too but they don’t buy that part).

    Anyway, these poor kids are fodder for the corporate prison system, cheap labor, and fear-mongering.

    1. abynormal

      “She felt by working independently children could reach new levels of autonomy and become self-motivated to reach new levels of understanding. Montessori also came to believe that acknowledging all children as individuals and treating them as such would yield better learning and fulfilled potential in each particular child.[32] She continued to adapt and refine the materials she had developed earlier, altering or removing exercises which were chosen less frequently by the children. Also based on her observations, Montessori experimented with allowing children free choice of the materials, uninterrupted work, and freedom of movement and activity within the limits set by the environment. **She began to see independence as the aim of education, and the role of the teacher as an observer and director of children’s innate psychological development.[31]
      Marie was not only educated in disabled children, she was appalled at children crawling in the streets unattended by unfortunate parents working 15 or more hour days…slavery industrialization.
      a force to be reckoned with: “1890, she enrolled in the University of Rome in a degree course in natural sciences, passing examinations in botany, zoology, experimental physics, histology, anatomy, and general and organic chemistry, and earning her diploma di licenza in 1892. This degree, along with additional studies in Italian and Latin, qualified her for entrance into the medical program at the University in 1893.[9]
      charter schools today would have her locked away…majority of parents would throw away the key

      1. trish

        Montessori schools are popular with- and only available to, generally- families with means. often the “groovy” ones mentioned (contrast with the elite who think education = all a drive to Ivy).

        I know when my kids were very young the schools were way beyond our means (my ex a teacher). we just parented in ways like that…

        and yes, the corporate PR for what’s “important” in education has been very effective, right down to the families most harmed.

        1. abynormal

          Montessori schools today are watered/flooded down…i know i TA’d a few.
          Parents & grandparents love ideas i offer for ‘spirited’ kids…that is until they hear the name Montessori. one parent told me… ‘its a worthless means for ‘scaling’ a child’s progress and without a grading system any idiot could surpass their child’. (i gave her the ‘they already have’ aby smile)

          1. Christopher Dale Rogers


            Thanks for the posts on teaching of children, and as a parent myself of a young daughter would like your opinion. I’ve been around my child 100% since she turned one, so she knows who her father is shall we say, further, and not too sure whether I’m one of the lazy parents, I equipped my daughter with an iTouch when she was three, she had an iPad when five and also an Xbox 360, which she began playing not too long ago, but is an addict if you get my drift.

            At this juncture I ask, should I be concerned as far as educational learning is concerned, particularly given her iToys were loaded with both educational learning games and regular games. Having just turned seven i can say my daughter has greater reading and writing skills that i ever had at her age – she’s lucky in going to a mixed state school where she’s exposed to two languages – English and Cantonese, together with Mandarin, although she prefers English.

            Presetly my daughter is ahead of me on utilising the iToys and Xbox, she also text messages numerous friends on Xbox, and on her iToy’s and Xbox is a dab hand at reading – now the reason I got her the digital tools is quite simple, at teacher training college we taught to be facilitators rather than instructors. Now I’ve facilitated in getting her the tools and without force-feeding her – quite the reverse, I’m too liberal a parent the fact be told, she’s managed to learn the importance of being able to read and write to achieve those tasks she sets herself – obviously, when she’s stuck I’m the first person who’s called upon, apart from that, she’s remarkably independently minded. As a quick reminder, daughter is an only child and our house is open for her and her group of friends to hang out in – obviously, I’m now just a boring old fart until she requires something, but this seems most normal for that age group, which is not one I’m qualified to teach myself, given my qualifications are for post-16 and adult learning.

            1. abynormal

              bowed head & humbled. Montessori theory is based on ‘the absorbent mind’ (one of her famous books), but i have found the absorbent mind begins with ours…the parent. everything you need is right in front of you…your child is already most fortunate. relax and practice observing…your daughter will show you the way.

              How To Raise An Amazing Child the Montessori Way
              by Tim Seldin…this will help gear your mind toward spotting that ‘light’ every human possess. (less formalities/technicalities’)

              Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius
              by Angeline Stoll Lillard “parents and teachers alike will develop a clear understanding of what happens in a Montessori classroom and, more important, why it happens and why it works. Lillard, however, does much more than explain the scientific basis for Montessori’s system: Amid the clamor for evidence-based education, she presents the studies that show how children learn best, makes clear why many traditional practices come up short, and describes an ingenious alternative that works.”

              “The teacher must derive not only the capacity, but the desire, to observe natural phenomena. The teacher must understand and feel her position of observer: the activity must lie in the phenomenon.” Maria Montessori

              Congratulations Christopher…your daughter is blessed.

              1. trishf

                “your daughter will show you the way.”

                yes…follow your child’s interests, curiosities. so important.

                I always think, oh, if all young children could be nurtured in this way, if our society made this possible…

              2. Christopher Dale Rogers


                Thanks for the book details, obviously my child’s education and welfare mean a lot too me, and sometimes I think I’m not doing enough, not in the fashionable way though, I mean doing enough to try an effect change on this immoral system we live within, its perhaps one of the reasons I’m bucking the trend and moving further to the left the closer I get to 50, and that means taking an interest in our economic system and governance. All life is precious, which is why I find it so hard to comprehend all the killing going on around us, the lack of concern for those in poverty, even the diseases causing death that can be avoided. It really is a mad world and sometimes many of us feel impotent, which is not the way to go shall I say.

                1. abynormal

                  children have been reared through eons of hard times, remember they take their ques from us. (go easy on yourself)
                  just emailed to me from an nc reader that doesn’t comment: ” ipads, xbox’s are learning tools just as much as the Montessori tie/button boards, graduated puzzle blocks and measuring cups.
                  the trick is how you intertwine the usage of all available learning tools into the child’s development while encouraging the child to challenge themselves to explore and stretch themselves continually.”

                  when my daughter was young i taught her to crochet…we must’ve made 100’s of scarfs together. one day my daughter suggested we wrap them and hand them out to homeless folks we crossed paths with. blew my mind. took us awhile to unload them and afterwards my daughter asked what we could do next. she’s my favorite teacher.

              3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                An education golden rule:

                Teach unto your students as you would have them teach unto you.

                And it applies to gurus as well.

                Teach unto your disciples as you would have your disciples teach unto you.

                I hope there are no gurus who only teach, where the relationship is rigid – even when you’re 80 years old, you’re still the disciple…there to learn. Once a disciple, always a disciple. You will never be the guru to your guru…not even once. But always the one seeking advice.

                1. optimader

                  “Teach unto your students as you would have them teach unto you.”
                  The universal motto for sex ed and drivers ed teachers across the land.

          2. hunkerdown

            Aha, so the “standardized testing” doesn’t really have anything to do with school excellence so much as establishing a pecking order.

            Dump the eagle and adopt the chicken as the national bird. It’s far more in line with the mainstream zeitgeist.

  8. trish

    re Surveillance Court Judge Criticized NSA ‘Overcollection’ of Data vs Federal judge rules that U.S. can keep surveillance court orders secret.

    so a few public baby steps back, hand-wringing, rehabilitation of a vast over-collection…BFD.
    the maintenance of the secrecy far more important for the corporate security state. The former can be used for effective PR. and as a cover for future encroachment.

  9. Christopher Dale Rogers

    Gotta give it to CounterPunch, but they don’t like Obama or the Dems, and their view of Republicans requires a health warning usually. Latest post on Obama, Wall Street and ACA is good, if not uneasy reading. In a nutshell, “single-payer” folks and handcuffs for Wall St.

  10. trish

    re Obama Admits Arming Moderate Syrian Rebels Has ‘Always Been A Fantasy’

    but these fantasies can be so useful.
    since when are the stated claims for war- or for that matter any of current policy (Free trade? feeding the world’s poor? Better schools?debt and austerity? Jobs?) ever true?
    Fronts all generally, for redistribution upward.
    The arms contractors love the “arm the moderate rebels” type fantasies. And if successful (or even if not so) corporations galore can love them too.

    1. trish

      and it doesn’t matter if later “he [whoever] admits” error, fantasy, etc.

      the damage and the profiteering are done. and these criminals are above the law.

  11. Bunk McNulty

    re: Wine fingerprints:
    I think what they meant to say was this: A laboratory might be able to tell you a lot about where a wine was made, and maybe even who made it, but still can not determine quality. That’s been the state of the art since the 1960s. Radioactive decay (especially since Chernobyl, which they left out) can identify vintage and origin of wine. That’s been state-of-the-art since the 1990s. Storing wine makes a difference on how well it ages. Our understanding of that dates to the invention of glass bottles. There may be indicators to counterfeit wines, especially if you open the bottle. No kidding!

  12. Robert Dudek

    re: Ukraine,

    I’ve long thought that the conflict in Ukraine bears remarkable similarity to Serbia’s actions in Kosovo, complete with de facto ethnic cleansing i.e. refugees flowing out of Eastern Ukraine due to months of aerial bombardment by Kiev forces.

    There are two possible end games: (1) for Russia to get involved and ensure the safety of Eastern Ukrainians in their lands (which is more or less the analog of the NATO intervention in Kosovo), or (2) have the region largely depopulated and occupied by central government forces.

  13. DakotabornKansan

    “I was an only child. I did have kind of like a lonely existence. The idea of being a character who is kind of isolated, I can relate to that.” – Robin Williams

    “The worst thing in life is not to end up all alone. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone.” – Robin Williams

    “Look to the living, love them, and hold on.” – Kay Redfield Jamison, Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide

    1. Christopher Dale Rogers

      Just goes to show money and success don’t buy you happiness – and he must have had some big demons to take his own life.

      Not too sure what to say, my own sister suffers with the demons, so well understand issues his close family members suffered.

      That said, Mork and Mindy was aired in the UK not too long after airing in the USA and I liked it as a young teenager, also watched Good Morning Vietnam in Orange County at a drive-in, I’d never experienced a drive-in before or since, so, like many others grew up with William’s, whom always seemed like one of the more genuine entertainers to emerge out of TV and Hollywood.

      Given all the death and destruction going on, not too sure what to say really, yes its sad he’s gone, but his is one death among thousands in this bloody world we’ve created. Be nice to give peace a chance and be happy, which would necessitate a different socioeconomic construct than the one we presently have.

      1. jrs

        Yea tired of progressive garbage about how now we need to have a conversation about depression and how it is stigmitized. I’m not sure depression as such IS stigmitized much AT ALL (although pessimism otoh). True mental health may be poorly funded. But failure is stigmatized. Robin Williams was of course no doubt by most social measures a great sucess, but he failed in overcoming addiction it seems.

        But yea if you want to vastly reduce (even if not necessarily eliminate) depression in society we need a different socioeconomic construct period. The world is all screwed up and boundlessly cruel, he was in his 60s and maybe only sees old age and physical decline in front of him (and heaven knows we don’t actually respect old people in this society, I don’t know if there are exceptions for much loved entertainers), and in addition he can’t rid himself of the monkey on his back. Now I don’t know why he did it anymore than most, but I can understand why it might not seem a bad choice.

        1. Klassy

          Thank you for this. I am worried about all the “national conversations” that we will be having now. I kind of see the mental health industry as complicit in keeping this whole rotten system going- the problem is you! Work on yourself!
          I don’t think Hollywood is a healthy place, period. It definitely is not a place where you can age. It seems to be a place where you must be constantly selling yourself (this has infected the rest of society of course.)

          1. MtnLife

            I’d take issue with your comment about the whole of the mental health industry being part of the problem. I’d say big Pharma is a large portion of it by pushing product for profit regardless of efficacy and perpetrating the idea that happiness (or whatever) is just a pill away. Ask your doctor! I also find a number of the newer additions to the official list of mental health disorders to be somewhat dubious. If you look through I’m sure you can find a “mental illness” to fit nearly every human being on the planet. More potential patients customers for them to “help”. Moving down the mental health care ladder I find it more difficult to agree that they are “complicit”. Doctors/shrinks are a complete crapshoot. Some are ridiculously inept to the point of being dangerous, some pushed whatever they were handed for kickbacks (actually complicit), while others are veritable walking saints. Mental health institutions and group homes tend to be overcrowded and underfunded, just like prisons (applies doubly to prison mental wards), and are often run in a similar manner by a clueless bureaucrat appointed through nepotism, not competence. The rest of the staffing at these institutions tends to be have the highest percentage of people who really are trying to do what’s best (not saying that’s a high number) while the rest are just filling out a uniform for a paycheck.

    2. abynormal

      ‘The why did she kill herself?’
      ‘Because she wasn’t afraid of death perhaps. Suicide isn’t always a negative, you know. In some cases it’s a positive statement of choice. I will die now and in this manner. “To be or not be.” For Mathilda “not to be” would have been a considered decision’.
      Minette Walters / The Scold’s Bridle
      (just a consideration)

      1. Skeptic

        Not a fan of Williams but One Hour Photo was very apropos to today. The Mal*Wartiness of the movie is creepy.

  14. Brindle

    Glenn Greenwald & Andrew Fishman expose NPR acting as stenographer for CIA talking points:

    —If one wants to argue that a government-mimicking report from a company that is funded by the CIA, and whose board is composed in part of its investment arm, and which centrally relies on research from another CIA partner is somehow newsworthy—fine, one can have that debate. But to pass it off as some sort of independent analysis without even mentioning those central ties is reckless and deceitful—especially when, as is true here, the reporter doing it clearly knows about those ties.—

    1. Jagger

      National Public Radio may not froth at the mouth like Fox News but the neocon news content is absolutely the same. Just a slightly higer brow tone when rabble rousing and putting out the approved propaganda.

      1. trish

        yes. NPR passes off as independent analysis a whole lot of corporate/government-speak without mentioning crucial ties.

        But hordes of “liberals” and “progressives” can pretend they’re getting the real hard-hitting journalism and doing a good thing by supporting.

        1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

          NPR wasn’t always as it is now. The change has been both subtle and gradual. If we were frogs, we’d be boiled, by now. But we’re not.

          1. MtnLife

            Agreed. I think one of the clear signs of devastation is the list of demons-in-corporate-clothing that are now listed among their major sponsors. Marketplace is a daily half hour sermon at the Altar of the Free Market. Anything that they pretend to show a balanced view on just means the neoliberal view and the neoconservative view, nothing else. This can pretty much be said of any of the national programming. As long as you steer clear of the “news” NPR is still very nice. Love Radio Lab, TED talk collections, Moth stories, and most of the newer programming. I am partial to VPRs local reporting. They don’t censor nearly as badly and give people of most political parties air time (not so much debate time), even socialists (the real kind) and libertarians.

            1. Jagger

              Listening to NPR a couple weeks back, the commentator mentioned that NPR had a study done to determine if their coverage was balanced. And surprise, surprise, the commentator stated with relief that NPR is balanced. Then the same commentator went on to present a one sided Israeli version of the Gaza conflict. Sometimes NPR is truly surreal.

        2. ewmayer

          The capture of NPR mirrors that of PBS, where we find the Koch Foundation now acting as major funder for NOVA, of all things.

          Frontline is the last remaining PBS show I even consider watching anymore.

  15. Jim Haygood

    ‘The concession Hamas wants most from Israel, officials from the group have told the Guardian, is the right to build a port and airport in Gaza – facilities promised to the Palestinians under the Oslo peace deal but currently ruled out by Israel as a potential security threat.’ — Guardian article

    Gaza has an airport near Rafah. It operated less than three years before Israel destroyed it:

    The construction of the airport was provided for in the Oslo II Agreement of 1995. The airport was built with funding from Japan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Spain, and Germany, and designed by Moroccan architects and engineers funded by Morocco’s King Hassan II. The total cost was $86 million.

    It opened on 24 November 1998. Attendees at the opening ceremony included Yasser Arafat and US President Bill Clinton. The radar station and control tower were destroyed by Israel Defense Forces aircraft on 4 December 2001, after the start of the al-Aqsa Intifada. [Israeli] bulldozers cut the runway apart on 10 January 2002.


    Oxfam reports that ‘Since January 2009, the government of Israel has restricted Palestinian fishing boats to three nautical miles from Gaza’s coast, blocking access to around 85 percent of Palestinian fishing water. Venturing further out in search of bigger fish is a risky business: the fishing limit is enforced by live fire.’

    Israel’s siege of Gaza is an ongoing act of war, subsidized by $3 billion a year in utterly unjustified US aid.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That three nautical miles rule sounds pretty good….if universally applied to all countries.

      People want bigger fish like tuna and salmon for their sashimi, but eating smaller fish like sardines and anchovies is the way to save our over-fished friends, instead of making fish meals out of them for salmon farming.

  16. fresno dan

    This is a read between the lines kinda thing:
    Misty Holt-Singh, whose 12-year-old daughter was waiting in her car when she was taken at gunpoint at a Stockton bank on July 16, was shot after she was used as a human shield by one of four suspects, said Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones.

    A preliminary ballistics report cited by Jones Monday showed that Holt-Singh “was shot about 10 times,” he said. The final report, likely detailing her injuries, he said, “will not be ready for some time.”
    Jaime Ramos, 19, the only surviving suspect in the Bank of the West takeover, was identified by police as the one who used the 41-year-old mother of two as a protective shield.

    So the police manage to hit the hostage 10 times, and the hostage taker….not once.
    So was it really necessary for the police to shoot at this time??? As there was a 51 mile chase, and they got (well, three bank robbers were killed) and the hostage taker was captured, it seems like all the gunfire by the police was unnecessary.
    “will not be ready for some time.”
    They left out the reason – the police have to make up excuses for why they managed to shoot the hostage more than the criminals. Like the Dorner* case, it appears the police gunfire is better at hitting the innocent than the criminals…..
    Maybe the NRA is right….we need guns for self protection…..against the police (sarc….maybe. We’ll see what the facts are in the Michael Brown case)

    *In two separate incidents during the manhunt, police shot at three civilians unrelated to Dorner, mistaking their pickup trucks for the vehicle being driven by Dorner. One of the civilians was hit by the police gunfire, another was wounded by shattered glass, and a third individual was injured when police rammed his vehicle and opened fire.[7][8]

    1. MtnLife

      In what may be the most egregious example of reckless police firepower yet, Florida, of course, takes the prize. Police Shooting Frenzy Raises Concerns

      “officers opened up – firing approximately 50 bullets at the car and the two unarmed men inside the vehicle. The two men inside the car survived that initial volley of gunfire, according to witnesses, who said they could see the men moving inside the Volvo. Everything went quiet for nearly two minutes before the officers opened up a second time – unleashing an unrelenting torrent of bullets that lasted almost 25 seconds”

      “a total of 23 officers fired a total of at least 377 rounds. Bullets were sprayed everywhere. They hit the Volvo, other cars in the lot, fence posts and neighboring businesses. They blasted holes in a townhouse where a 12-year-old dove to the ground for cover and a four month old slept in his crib.”

      “But Montesano and Valdes weren’t the only ones struck – two Miami Dade police officers were hit as well – caught in the crossfire. One officer was shot in the arm and the second was hit in the arm and grazed in the head. If the bullet had struck just a half an inch to the side the officer would have been killed. The sound of the gunfire was deafening – literally deafening. Two Miami police officers sustained ruptured ear drums from the cacophony of shots.”

      It’s a good thing those guys died or they would’ve probably gotten 2 counts of assaulting a police officer tacked on for making the police shoot them and deafen themselves.

  17. fresno dan

    Hidden Financial Bombs: Margin Calls Hit Hedge Funds Speculating in Freddie/Fannie Bonds With High Repo Leverage David Stockman (furzy mouse). Not quite right on the structure, but the big issue is the denouement.

    Not quite right on the structure? Uh, is it actually simpler??? More straight forward? Not really as risky as it looks? (I joke) I would actually like to know how it really is designed to work – or is that even possible? Is the actual written documents so convoluted, undefined, and full of contradictions that it is really just all pretend?
    “So the financial engineers at Freddie Mac invented what should have been a completely unsaleable product. Namely, an unsecured bond of an agency that might be heading for legislative extinction that was based not on what real homeowners were obligated to pay on their mortgages, but on the theoretical possibility that they wouldn’t pay! Specifically, the fat yields being offered were to be derived from the default performance of a reference group of $30 billion of Freddie’s guaranteed mortgages.

    In other words, there was no real collateral at all and no real mortgage borrower cash interest to pay the alluring 700 basis point yields on the lower tranches of the offering. It was all synthetic——that is, computer generated waterfalls of digital money flowing down the tranches of something called “STACR” or Structured Agency Credit Risk bonds.”
    Back in my youth, I would have said, “so what” you pays your money, you takes your chances….
    “Speculators purchased newly invented and unseasoned securities from proven financial malefactors…..”
    So, the problem is – supposedly capitalism is “profit and loss” – most efficient and effective allocation of capital, – – rational economic man – – – blah, blah, blah…..
    Now, there is no way the theory of free markets and what is happening here makes sense….EXCEPT these speculators know something. OH, that’s right – the rich keep the profits, and the suckers (AKA US taxpayers) take the losses.
    I think we have reached a point where we are worse than the old Soviet Union at running an economy….

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Financial crimes are not violent…not directly anyway when, for example, they involve keystrokes.

      That is to say, something being non-violent does not guarantee it won’t do no harm.

    2. fresno dan

      Reading the article, there actually was a link to a thing called Reuters “hedgeworld”
      Who knew? Anyway, a real eyeopener. Apparently, the only way to make any real money in the world is to trade money. And like a perpetual motion machine, the money trading can just keep going, and going, and going…….

  18. craazyboy

    hahaha. western imperialist ally security fail. crap. but good way to brush up on speak russian-english. maybe other western imperialist google translate? shit. dunno.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Are there Ukrainians in Russia?

      Are Russians cleansing them now or leaving them alone?

      1. OIFVet

        A large part of the Ukie economy consists of money remittances from Ukrainians working in Russia to relatives back in Ukraine.

      2. craazyboy

        dunno. i’m already past my capacity for any additional sherlock holmes cases. proceeding in numb mode. over and out. if I start transmitting in morse code, please disregard anything I may type.

          1. craazyboy

            -.. . .- .-. / -.-. .- .-.. .. .–. …. .- – . –..– / -… . . -. / .- .– …. .. .-.. . / … .. -. -.-. . / .. .—-. …- . / .-. . .–. — .-. – . -.. / .-.. .- … –

  19. cripes

    The despicable Rachel Maddow last night delivered an epic war-mongering, screed oh her MSNBC “news” show which, white house mouthpiece that she is, deserves some attention.

    In brief, she painted a foul and false history of the rise of ISIS/ISIL, the aborted white house military campaign last year against Syria, and called for a cross-border military campaign to “degrade” ISIS. Because Libya turned out so well. In the course of this propaganda, she maliciously claimed that godhead Obama’s brilliant scheme to bomb Syria was flouted by an irresponsible congress, after he gallantly requested congressional authorization to wage war on yet another country and they failed to rubber stamp his crimes. How generous of the war president to ask congressional approval! And now the caliphate is the fault of the spineless congress!

    In the course of this abuse of history she failed to mention, even once, the false flag rocket-gas attacks used by Obama and Kerry to justify their plot, the massive opposition of the American people and around the world, and the spineless Obama’s political calculation that he could only proceed under cover of congressional military authorization. He lost, as he should have.

    She also deliberately pretends that the failure to bomb Assad’s secular government, in support of CIA jihadist proxies that were funded to effect regime change in Syria, has now resulted…drumroll…in the success of a jihadist military caliphate in that area. What?

    This is why the liberal, humanitarian war hawks are the more effective evil. There are people who listen to this drivel and think, “yeah, mean republicans stopped Obama from bombing Syria, therefore terrorism! Plus, the children!”

    “Rachel Maddow, fighting for the right of gay people to kill brown people.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Rachel is such a disappointment. She coulda’ been a contender if she hadn’t sold her soul to the democrat/MSNBC/Obama administration devil.

      She and the rest of the new crop of “news commentators” make me feel like I’m perpetually stuck at the lunchroom table obsessing over what a great prom queen the donkey would have been if the fat-ass elephants hadn’t gotten in the way. Whatevva!!!

      (Chris Hayes, of course, is the honorary nerd whom everyone eats lunch with but no one would ever go out with.)

      1. Doug Terpstra

        Nah, if Rachel hadn’t sold her soul to MSDNC, she’d be gone like Olbermann or Uygur, but not gone to hell.

    1. Christopher Dale Rogers


      You are quite right, although it was nice to get a discount on some decent books, don’t think it was actually worth the price of destroying the local book store – this crap happened in the UK well before Amazon came along once they de-regulated the selling of books in the UK – our closest bookstore used to be about 3 miles from where I lived, today you have to travel 18 miles to visit a book store.

      My advice, if its available to download by Bittorrent, then do so, but at least donate some cash to the author and publishing house if its small. Given I detest Rupert Murdoch, I’m more than happy to DL Fox Channel shows that are interesting and Twentieth Century Fox movie productions, so same applies with Amazon and books, but with some ethics applied.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      “Amazon said its proposal to Hachette is to give 35 percent of e-book revenue to authors, another 35 percent to the publisher and then keep the remaining 30 percent as its share.”

      Whoa, pretty uppity for a “salesman” who still can’t figure out how to sell at a profit. Time to trade this peddler in for one who knows his place.

      Either that, or Bezos ought to get to typin’.

    3. Jess

      Alas, Powell’s is not much of an improvement. Cousin who worked there for twenty years (and led the fight to unionize the workers there), recently got terminated for specious causes. In reality, what got him canned was that he was speaking out against the off-shoring of Powell’s DP work and its campaign to slowly rid itself of older workers with more seniority, higher wages, and, of course, a history of being too leftist (like my cousin.)

  20. tim s

    What happened to Banger? He was a daily commenter on most threads, but I haven’t seen anything from him in a week or two. Vacation maybe…I hope so.

    1. Christopher Dale Rogers

      He’s taken time out and will be probably be active again by the month’s end – shame DownMexico does not join the fraternity again and F Beard’s gone been quiet of late as well – just hope neither are dead shall we say!

    2. Massinissa

      He had a post about a week ago saying he would be gone for a month.

      Or was it two weeks ago.

      Something about being away from computer.

      If you look far back enough you could find it, maybe, but it would take lots of comment browsing.

      1. tim s

        Thanks y’all for the answer. I know I could have searched the archives, but admit to being too lazy to do that.

        1. abynormal

          hey, we got MyLessThanPrimeBeef back…we’re making headway : )

          The fundamental delusion of humanity is to suppose that I am here and you are out there ~ Yasutani Roshi

  21. mark

    The Reach of War
    LIVE webcast on the Syrian conflict

    Join Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) for an online discussion about the current situation in Syria and neighboring countries affected by the war. A panel of three experienced MSF aid workers recently returned from assignments with MSF’s emergency response to the crisis will share their views and experiences.

    Registration required

  22. Christopher Dale Rogers


    How come I’m caught in moderation, I’ve already lost one academic post, which took a while to compose as it contained both facts and analysis, which posters earlier today have been demanding – that was Hitler/Stalin and the USA, basically who’s killed more, now another post is stuck in purgatory, luckily not lost I hope.

    1. barrisj

      Uh-oh, have a care, sir, as you risk getting pummeled senseless for mentioning the “m”-word in a post.

      1. jrs

        Yea they’ve explained that moderation is a bot and it’s pretty arbitrary. But the Hitlers stuff could be why, some bots seem to screen on mentions of fascism and so on. Because a conversation about fascism couldn’t even be relevant if your talking about well … fascism.

    2. optimader

      IN these cases, certain words like Z**n*sm I think (I know) are automatic triggers for HAL the moderator algorithm. Best you compose elsewhere and cut&paste –but generally in my experience, a post we be undisappeared if it is legit and not just some flame spam.
      Although last night I had a reply vaporize for some reason that could not have been content related. Voyager bien dans l’éther ma chère poste.. sniff, sniff

      1. craazyboy

        I find all my naughty stuff goes thru fine, but lately I’ve had a few trip the trip wire too. Then they get dug out from purgatory and appear. I always suspect maybe I typo’d my email address, like dots and comas can get past the aging eye, so I’ve been double checking that closer lately.

        If you try posting twice, normally you get a message from wordpress to the effect “It looks like you said that already”. Then you know you are in purgatory.

        One time I got a “site down” page and reposted a couple times after waiting awhile and got the same site down message. I didn’t get the “It looks like you said that already” message, but then after I could finally get to the site again, all three posts were there!

        So I just assume that’s what the internet does when it wants to be playful, needs to go to the bathroom, wants food, or something like that.

        1. Paul Niemi

          Your naughty stuff goes through just fine? Mae West: “When I’m good, I’m very, very good; but when I’m bad, I’m better.” I think bad takes practice, and those who are good at it aren’t bad.

          1. abynormal

            In America, sex is an obsession, in other parts of the world it’s a fact.
            Marlene Dietrich

            1. Paul Niemi

              “If you want me just whistle. You know how to whistle don’t you? Just put your lips together and blow.” — Lauren Bacall

    3. cnchal

      You are better off composing lengthy posts in a text editor, and then copying and pasting into the comment window, like optimander says. Then you can also read the post and comments while writing.

      In the past I have had lengthy comments disappear into a black hole, but it hasn’t happened lately.

      By the way, I enjoy your comments. They make me think.

    4. craazyman

      sometimes you think something is good but it really sucks and you’re better off if it they “DELETE-IT”
      that’s what happens to me on a regular basis
      DELETE-IT is the “Drivel Entirely Lacking Edifyingly Thoughtful Elucidation – It’s Toast!” algorithm. It’s the literary conscience of the peanut gallery. Don’t let your vanity cloud your judgment. Even F. Scott Fitzgerald himself said you have to kill your darlings. Which means you have to realize not every utterance is a work of genius fit for posterity. My experience with the DELETE-IT algo is that it’s a pretty fine editor, actually. Sometimes I feel a sense of frustration and umbrage, but upon reflection, I realize it was right. Better to redouble your commitment to grace and lucidity than wallow in despair and anguish over mediocrity lost to humankind. it’s a hard teacher, but a good one.

  23. optimader

    “all three posts were there!”
    You Sir are a multi-posting Twat!
    Lets see if this gets by HAL the Moderator like a virtual Pachinko ball.

  24. abynormal

    we now have a No Fly Zone…suburb of St. Louis

    1. Jagger

      I imagine they don’t want any civilian aircraft colliding with their drones and helicopters. Full command of the air is always a first objective in a military operation.

      1. abynormal

        remember this: Military Rolls Tanks Onto St. Louis Streets…But Why?
        June 23rd, 2012
        “Add to the mix the reality that the DOD refuses to respond to any further inquiries by the press concerning details of the training, and you get yet another suspicious instance of behavior on the part of the establishment that seems preparatory for domestic action. I believe that the high frequency at which these activity reports have been coming in over the past year is certainly cause for alarm…” (all the way from Maryland)

  25. JGordon

    Regarding the irrational fears we have about letting our children go about unsurveiled:

    This is why I’m absolutely committed to never raising a child in the US. I can think of few things more damaging to a new human being than bringing them up in a society as deranged as the US society is.

  26. jrs

    Is the United States even a democracy

    Now one could get lost in that question and sputter out in 1000 directions (the money in politics, the two party system, the voting machines, the security state, etc.). All the more reason for a mostly (maybe not when it apologizes for actual totalitarianism, but mostly) focused essay that illustrates why the U.S. is not a democracy at an even more basic level, at the civics 101 level – the U.S. is not a democracy.

    1. abynormal

      a documentary about Tienanmen Square showed students rallying for Democracy. american journalist asked some students to define Democracy…they couldn’t. they just knew they wanted it. what grabbed my attention…the night tanks rolled towards students parents and elders blocked the roads into the square. that is where the blood bath ensued. is Democracy the never ending fight?

  27. Roland

    The Americans were instrumental in depriving Ukraine of its nuclear weapons. When the USSR broke up, Russia made little effort to take weapons away from Ukraine.

    Kuchma, leader of a country whose frontiers are almost indefensible in conventional terms, sold Ukraine’s deterrent for the sum, I seem to recall, of about $400 million. Talk about the proverbial “mess of pottage” ! Incredible. The typical central bank chairman dumps a bigger sum in the toilet every morning. Back in the 1990’s, Greenspan must have just made a quick little trip to the lavatory, and it was a done deal. Ukraine would never again be able to defend itself.

    Salvation of Ukraine, American style!

    The Americans may or may not want Ukraine to be stable or prosperous. Maybe, maybe not, it’s hard to tell. One thing for sure, though: the globalists who rule America don’t want Ukraine to ever be fully independent. They want a Ukraine that always fears Russia and must always come crawling to the West.

    The globalists don’t want any strong sovereign states in the world. They don’t want any countries to be able to defend themselves independently.

    Once Ukraine is “integrated” into the globalist system, it won’t be long before most of its lands and resources are effectively owned by Western financiers. The Ukrainians can live their lives out as tenants in what was once their own country, but I guess some of them will be happy as long as the landlords aren’t Russian. Or maybe like Latvia, a big chunk of the population can come to labour in the houses of their liberators. After all, they should be grateful, right?

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