Links 8/15/14

Scientists develop angst battery Daily Mash

California could become the second state to require a cell phone ‘kill switch’ Washington Post (furzy mouse)

Suicide, a Crime of Loneliness New Yorker

Enugu, Nigeria News: Ebola Virus Spreads From Lagos to Enugu, 21 Quarantined Epoch Times (Deontos)

A Chinese Internet Giant Starts to Dream MIT Technology Review (David L)

Commercial surrogacy services to be banned ThaiVisa (furzy mouse)

Euro Zone’s Economy Fails to Grow Wall Street Journal

Europe’s Greater Depression is worse than the 1930s Washington Post

Eurozone banks hold record amounts of sovereign paper Walter Kurtz

France rebels against austerity as Europe’s recovery collapses Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Argentina Defaulted on Bonds No One Can Even Find Matt Levine, Bloomberg

US judge allows Œvultures¹ to go after Báez BuenosAiresHerald (Michael Hudson)

Brazil shaken by candidate’s death Financial Times

With or without headscarf? Iran press divided over maths prize winner France24 (Nikki)


Quiz: Who Said This? Hillary Clinton or Benjamin Netanyahu? Intercept (EM)



Russian military vehicles enter Ukraine as aid convoy stops short of border Guardian (craazyboy)

The New Cold War and the Necessity of Patriotic Heresy Nation (YY)

Putin’s Pipeline Bypassing Ukraine Is at Risk Amid Conflict Bloomberg (furzy mouse)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Edward Snowden: The Untold Story Wired (Carolinian)

The FBI Has Significant Problems Counting Its National Security Letters Marcy Wheeler

Security as Interface Guarantees Bruce Schneier


The costs of complexity in health reform just keep rising Bangor Daily News

ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Be sure to record EVERYTHING when you talk to your insurance company rep AND your ACA marketplace rep Corrente. You have to wait for a year for a root canal?!? No one can wait a year for a root canal (or for most extractions, which is also “oral surgery” and not terribly expensive).

Washington Chokes Truth With Lies Paul Craig Roberts (Bob V)

Net Neutrality: FCC May Regulate Internet Like Phones US News (furzy mouse)

Pharmacies Turn Drugs Into Profits, Pitting Insurers vs. Compounders New York Times

PrisonMaggots PRWatch

Lawmakers in drought-hit California finally agree on water plan Reuters (EM)

New Jersey to hold summit to rescue Atlantic City Reuters (EM)


Video of Ferguson police gassing news crew YouTube (furzy mouse)

Palestinians Are Sharing Advice With Protesters In Ferguson, Missouri Business Insider (David L)

What Happens to #Ferguson Affects Ferguson Medium (furzy mouse)

What the wife of the #ferguson chief of police has to say on her Facebook Anonymous (Inside the Mukhabarat). This looks like the real deal.

No one is in charge of soldier-cops in Ferguson Daily Kos

Missouri Governor Puts State Highway Patrol in Charge of Ferguson Security Wall Street Journal. This story broke in the late afternoon.

Military vets see flawed response in Ferguson Stars and Stripes (Jagger)

Seattle’s former police chief speaks out on Ferguson and police militarization Vox (Melody)

War Comes Home: The Excessive Militarization of American Policing ACLU (furzy mouse)

How Police Departments Became Armies Jalopnik (optimader)

In Wake of Clashes, Calls to Demilitarize Police New York Times. While this is a good start, rest assured the officialdom hopes this sentiment will die down, or perhaps more accurately, “possession is 90% of the law” and in this case “possession” is police ownership of all those war toys.

Police Fatally Shoot Man in South L.A.; Family Members Say He Was Lying Down When Shot KTLA

The Forever Slump Paul Krugman, New York Times. Aargh, he is calling for more failed monetary stimulus!

Leaky repo deals present new concerns Financial Times

Heterogeneity in the value of life VoxEU. OMG, readers will have a field day with this. I spend a lot of time and money on physical maintenance, and I don’t see it as an exercise in mortality reduction. I could still be hit by a truck tomorrow. I see it as improving the quality of whatever life I do have.

The Perils of Economic Consensus Dani Rodrik, Project Syndicate (EM)

Class Warfare

‘Excellent Sheep,’ William Deresiewicz’s Manifesto New York Times

20 Percent in 20 Years: Middle Class Wealth Is Evaporating Wall Street Cheat Sheet

The Coming Robot Apocalypse Looks Like a Bunch of Spreadsheets, Not Killer Drones Vice

Wal-Mart’s Sales Stagnation Reignites Concern About Economy Bloomberg

City clears homeless from under Pontchartrain Expressway New Orleans Advocate (Will T)

Fed: Typical American family doesn’t have $400 on hand WWL

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. scott

    Tiny Sturgeon Bay, WI, pop 9500, got an MRAP a few months ago. This is a town where people still don’t lock their doors and at a sidewalk sale downtown the department store moved loads of merchandise outside with only a few employees running remote checkouts and nothing was stolen. In fact, I never saw a cop that whole day.
    But, there was a standoff at a meth lab a few years ago so now the cops feel they have to be ready for war.

    1. Ned Ludd

      A high school friend of mine joined the Air Force. He told me that he looked forward to actual combat, so he could test out all the skills they practice.

      So you might keep an eye on the cops in Sturgeon Bay. Once they start practicing assault tactics with their new armored fighting vehicle, they may jump at any opportunity to try it out for real.

      1. Whine Country

        A member of the Air Force who might engage in ground combat? – no pun intended, but that’s a very rare bird. The closest I came to spotting one was at Tan Son Nhut Air Base where I happened to be one day at the time of one of the daily rocket attacks. (I was an Army infantryman) All the airmen I saw ran quickly to get their steel pots (helmets) and their cameras. None were armed. No offense to the Air Force, my two sons are pilots for AF Air. But it is extremely rare that one of them would engage in ground combat. One last point: While airmen who engage in ground combat are rare, I have yet to meet anyone from any of the armed services who looked forward to combat. Your friend is rarer than rare. You might think of him as a black swan.

        1. Jagger

          I remember reading that quite a few Air Force personnel were used for convoy escorts due to manpower shortages during the second Iraqi War. And not just MPs used, many were just rear echelon types. Escorting convoys was fairly dangerous duty with the roadside bombs during that time. I also believe some rear echelon Navy types were shanghaied into escort duty. Although that was a pretty unusual situation for Air Force or Navy types. By far, the mass majority of AF types are not in combat situations. if you have a kid that must go military, the AF is probably the least dangerous option.

          1. Massinissa

            What about the navy?

            Assuming we dont go to war with russia, china or Iran, in which case I pity every single person in the navy, ESPECIALLY the ones on aircraft carriers.

        2. Howard

          Niece’s husband was in air force and definitely was in firefights on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan back in mid-00s.

      2. curlydan

        This is the problem when “boys get toys”…or men get “tools”–in this case weapons. They want to try them out and use them. All these weapons should at worst be funneled to National Guard, and at best be scrapped. This is why military spending is so inefficient. It takes capital, creates something that can be used pretty much only out of the country, is quickly used and either expired or becomes obsolete, then it’s gone…total crap ROI.

        1. lakewoebegoner

          my brother is a police officer (fortunately in a well-run department) and the problem is this….

          lots of municipalities don’t want to pay the salaries/benefits for ordinary beat cops (nevermind chief salaries, obviously cuz of constrained budgets). But when the Army hands out MRAPs for $1? Sign them up!

          So you have money diverted from pay going to servicing these “toys,” which obviously affects the day-to-day operations of a force. And lower pay for cops doesn’t attract the top of the talent pool as you’d rather work for the feds or state police or a better-paying town.

          PS, my brother also is a reservist and his rules of engagement in Iraq (outside of the wire) were infinitely more disciplined than what the Ferguson/St Louis County PD had.

          People at DoD/DoJ/in Congress should be ashamed at what’s going on.

    2. sleepy

      My low-crime Iowa town of 27,000 got one recently as well. It’s free, sure, but I wonder what the maintenance costs are.

      Hope to see it rusting out in some cornfield next spring.

        1. bob

          Their use is for a background. Got a bunch of m-16 wielding cops in full camo combat gear? Too many people complaining?

          Get an MRAP, problem solved. No one will even notice the cops anymore.

      1. Rostale

        I worked at the factory that produced the Caiman MRAP, most of the mechanical components are off the shelf commercial, so maintenance may not be that high. Unless you break a window, the windows are bulletproof, but it is surprisingly easy to break the outer glass layer, and those are reaallly expensive to replace.

        Amusing story, one time they didn’t properly tie down an armored body they were shipping, and it fell off the truck a mile down the road in the middle of the night, they sent out a forklift to go and get it before anyone figured out who was responsible for the huge divot in the road. Gotta love those government contractors. (Though you have to give them some credit, the body that fell off the truck needed little more than some touch up paint)

    3. Screwball

      Another here. I live in a town of ~17,000 in the middle of nowhere – Cornhole, Ohio pretty much fits. We got a armored vehicle this spring – for a buck. It was big news. The best part was the justification from the town’s mayor – because the next closest one is 40 miles away. I doubt we have a place in town who can service it. We have ramming bumpers on the cop cars now too. I remember when the cops were like Andy Griffith, now they are arrogant, pushy, nosey pricks.

      I’m glad I’m old.

        1. hunkerdown

          The accumulation of Free Staters makes it understandable, but no less ridiculous. Because feeding parking meters for others is terrorism.

      1. Ned Ludd

        I think there is a lot of territory in dispute, with each side claiming it as their own. If NAF holds one hill, and the Ukrainian army holds another, who holds the land inbetween?

        1. Antifa

          Historically, the land between two armies is, by default, Norman’s land.

          So, can anyone find Norman? Or Emily Litella?

        2. zapster

          Well, that and Poroshenko has yet to issue a statement that bore any relation to reality.
          For instance:

          Ukrainian artillery destroyed a “significant” part of a Russian armoured column that crossed into Ukraine during the night, President Petro Poroshenko told British Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday, according to the presidential website. –Reuters

          In reality, the convoy is still parked in Russia waiting for approval from Kiev, the OSCE, the Red Cross and the UN. And this just turned up: Captured Ukrainian team planned attack on Russian humanitarian aid convoy — militia

          1. peteybee

            I think that was the convoy of military APC’s and trucks that a reporter saw and photographed allegedly crossing the border. Could be, who knows.

  2. zapster

    The Guardian report on the so-called military crossing the border story is highly suspect. The one photo is completely free of any landmarks or signs (they’re learning, it seems.)
    To date, the defenders themselves have been complaining bitterly about the lack of Russian participation. Frankly, since the Ukrainian army started shelling Russia, I’ve been expecting open retaliation–they really don’t need to sneak across at this point. They’ve got every right to rescue their people and stop the invasion of Russia that is clearly in the cards.

    1. Christopher Dale Rogers

      I have commentated heavily on this in the “Is the West Risking Financial Blowback From Sanctions on Russia? ” thread -m please jump in and comment on my opinion and that provided by Yves – its just not the Guardian that’s reporting this in the UK media though.

      1. zapster

        Sure, hadn’t got to the comments yet there. Ever since the egregiously-faked Reuters “interview”, it’s been clear that they all pick a story and run with it, whether the evidence holds up or not. I’ll believe it when the defenders start cheering.

    2. James Levy

      Although I have the most angry and cynical attitude towards the actions of Washington in Ukraine, no invasion of Russia is planned or even contemplated, no less in the works. The Americans and whatever NATO states that have been reduced to such puppet status that they’d tag along in such a misadventure would not be able to inject forces into that theatre fast enough to avoid a swift early defeat on the ground. In Western armies the logistics tails have been gutted or privatized, and they are not on a par with what they were in the first half of the 20th century. A proxy war with airstrikes at the far end of policy choices is where we are and where we are likely to stay.

    3. Brindle

      The Guardian reporter, Shaun Walker is not one t be trusted. I have followed his columns and tweetings for some months now and he has a very “Judith Miller” approach to facts. The Guardian is very good for many things, but with foreign policy they quite often toe the WaPo/NYT line.

      1. steviefinn

        I am a one man boycott of the Guardian due to it’s repeat of it’s earlier war mongering in Iraq & elsewhere.

        For the same reasons Yves mentioned & the fact that at age 56 I had started to creak in various departments, I started an intermittent fasting regimen which included about 30 mins daily vigorous physical exercise & a much improved diet about 3 mths ago – Have lost 14lbs ( 8.5% of my body weight ) & am feeling great. Here’s a link to a Dr. Michael Mosley film on the subject if anyone is interested, which explains the science. I chose a different version myself of a daily 8hr feed with 16 hrs fast which has provided me with many benefits – There is lots of info out there on the web also.

        1. Christopher Dale Rogers

          As a more than 30 year veteran of reading the Guardian, I can say without any hesitation that Alan Rusbridger has been an unmitigated disaster at the helm go the Guardian Media Group, particularly onerous was his decision to dismantle the Scott Trust, which had guaranteed the papers independent status for years – I very rarely now pick up a copy of the physical Guardian, and having been banned from CIF on more than 10 occasions – only one deserved question its impartiality, never mind upholding the “Facts are Sacred” CP Scott masthead statement.

          Having first started reading the Guardian regularly at 18, my parents being Daily Mirror subscribers, it was once a great educational tool, as was the Observer. Now, its just seem’s like another MSM propaganda organ on behalf of neoliberals and warmongers, what few independently minded journalists it still has, are kept on a short leash. I’ll never forgive it for the hatchet job on Gordon Brown by Andrew Rawnsley and its support for the Liberal Democrats, and by extension the Conservative Party – this being a paper that was in a minority in its condemnation of Margaret Thatcher, and a paper that even supported Labour in the 1983 GE when it was led by Michael Foot.

          Thankfully the internet has opened up other venues for us to visit and read some actual well thought out facts and analysis, if it were not for this fact, I’d probably be as propagandised as many of my peers.

          1. steviefinn

            Thank you for the Why of the Guardians rectal slippage into what it has become. Another one of my failings was to be politically celibate until the real world in 2008 wiped me out. I wasn’t satisfied with the MSM’s version of events, so I set out on a search by way of the web & after wading through a swamp of lizards, Rothschild, Bilderberg pond life etc I finally landed on David Malone’s blog, where I was educated in regard to the real state of affairs. . I looked to the aforementioned newspaper for more insight but at the point when they put the sub-editor Kettle on supporting austerity, that was when I started to have my doubts. Their stance on Ukraine & the fact that I & many others were accused of being paid Kremlin trolls, simply because we trounced the Putin is Dr. Evil & the West is Care bear land supporters in the comments section, was for me the final straw.

            1. Glenn Condell

              I was banned from CiF once a while ago (I/P of course) but wouldn’t bother now anyway, it is just so obviously trollsville. I guess the hasbaristas and imperial America-firsters and bank apologists, paid or otherwise, know that it is ground zero of Western liberal opinion and must be occupied territory. Got the boot from Huff Post years ago too, but again the occasional visit confirms I’m better out than in.

              I agree Golem is one of the best there is – he asks questions, pointed questions, and he is not satisfied with pat answers and teases out the implications in ways that make me fear for his personal safety. His long hiatuses encourage that worry.

        2. JEHR

          Because I was endeavoring to keep my teeth healthy, I began to eat two meals a day, one at about 10 am (after walking for an hour and a half) and the other at 5:30 pm. I do not eat between meals at all and I do not restrict how much I eat although I try to eat as healthily as possible but I also have desserts. I went from 220 lbs to 191 lbs in less than a year. However, I have not lost much since then but I have maintained my weight loss. I have added strength exercises using a bench and dumbbells to increase my muscle mass. I feel good and I think over time the fasting and the exercise will pay dividends. I am 74 years old.

          1. steviefinn

            Fair play to you sir & in my case it’s actually saved me money & no food is ever wasted which is very good.

          2. optimader

            Yes, well I do try and eat like a bird.. or at least my body weight every day. But I’ve been laying off the gastroliths, they’re pretty rough coming out.

            more seriously.. the free weights are a wise choice, good for balance, muscle mass and as importantly bone density.

            Back onto the subject of teeth..
            Sensitivity is not an issue for me, but I do try and take an active strategy to combat demineralization:
            Bioactive glass: Sensodyne contains calcium sodium phosphosilicate (Brand name Novamin) which some studies have shown to reduce tooth sensitivity and cause remineralisation.[4]

          1. EmilianoZ

            It is actually less revolutionary than it looks. In the days of pre-modern medicine fasting was already known as therapeutic. But it’s good to see that our modern molecular medicine confirms what our ancestors knew empirically. It looks like modern medicine pooh poohed its predecessor unjustly and is now rediscovering old empirical wisdom.

            Intermittent fasting seems very doable to me. An additional bonus will be saving on grocery bills.

      2. Banger

        Perhaps one of the most underreported stories of our time is the infiltration of the media by the intelligence community. If you stop and give it careful thought and you were in charge of the State security apparatus you would try to control the “news” wouldn’t you? I suggest to you that manipulating the media is the chief job of the security services and everything else is a secondary issue.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Hi Banger, I note the link above about Ebola from Epoch Times.

          Is Falun Gong’s Epoch Times funded by the CIA?

      3. BobJohnson

        Shaun Walker and Roger Oliphant tweeted that they were witnessing the same event, but it’s interesting to see how each reported on it:

        Shaun Walker, Guardian: “After pausing by the side of the road until nightfall, the convoy crossed into Ukrainian territory, using a rough dirt track and clearly crossing through a gap in a barbed wire fence that demarcates the border. Armed men were visible in the gloom by the border fence as the column moved into Ukraine.”

        Roland Oliphant, The Telegraph: “The convoy, which included at least 23 vehicles, appeared to be waiting until sunset near a refugee camp just outside Donetsk, before moving towards the crossing without turning off headlights or making any other attempt to conceal itself. While it was not immediately clear whether all of that convoy crossed the border, The Telegraph did see a substantial number of vehicles pass through check point manned by gunmen after shadowing the convoy down narrow country lanes near the frontier. ”

        Shaun Walker saw a convoy slip through a barbed wire fence. Roland Oliphant saw a convoy crossing a manned check point. Both stories could technically be true, but they certainly paint different pictures.

    4. billsmith

      The photo says

      “Armoured personnel carriers with Russian military plates move towards the Ukraine border”

      The photo itself says nothing about where it was taken.

    5. billsmith

      The photo says

      “Armoured personnel carriers with Russian military plates move towards the Ukraine border”

      The photo itself says nothing about where it was taken or when.

    6. craazyboy

      Agreed the article is not that well written and has a click bait headline.

      One part of the article I found interested was the reporter described this military convoy as sort of a rag tag expedition of 2nd tier troops – I thought the line describing these Russian soldiers as ” short roundish brown people” was funny.

      So that would be consistent with providing an armed escort to get the real humanitarian convey safely to its destination.

      But as usual, we need to watch for confirming sources today, and of course if there is any hyperbolic response in our media here.

        1. OIFVet

          Now some information from the reality-based community: “Representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) began accepting humanitarian aid for Ukraine in the city of Starobelsk, in the Luhansk region, Kiev’s commissioner for a peaceful settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine said Friday.

          “One-third of the trucks are already unloaded. The Red Cross is beginning to accept the cargo consistent with its manifest and fulfill its aid transfer schedule,” Irina Gerashchenko wrote on her Facebook page.”

          Cargo consistent with its manifest and will shortly be distributed to the people in need. No doubt Murky will be here shortly to explain how baby formula is a weapon of war, what with it providing nourishment for Russkie babies/future Putins.

              1. craazyboy

                Not necessarily. The H convoy was still at the border. So the Rooskies sent in their short roundish brown people as a false flag and got them killed off by the Uks. Propaganda score point awarded to Putin. Extra point for brown Rooskies.

                Never kill off a plot line ’till you’ve milked it for all it’s worth.

                1. OIFVet

                  How is this for a plot line: EU states it is ready to review Russia sanctions (that was FAST!) and that no new sanctions are in the offing. Several hours later, Ukies state they destroyed Russian armored column, the US war is back on schedule.

        2. Bill Smith

          Now there are reports that the Ukraine has destroyed part of that convoy that didn’t cross the border…. If the Russians say they didn’t take any losses… does that mean it didn’t happen?

          1. OIFVet

            Which convoy, the APC one that Avakov says doesn’t exist, or the white painted one we know for sure exists? 23 BTR-80s as invasion force is Ukie wishful thinking, any Russian invasion will begin with fighter jets and the Su-34s destroying Ukie arty positions and armored formations, clearing the way for armored columns and mechanized infantry. No, I am afraid there are white trucks burning up, and if so there will be hell to pay.

            1. Christopher Dale Rogers

              It would seem the UK print media, specifically the Daily Telegraph and The Guardian, are now officially organs of either the US State Department, CIA, US Department of Defence, MI6/GCHQ or the Ukrainian post coup illegitimate government, which allegedly is now legally legitimate in the eyes of the EU and NATO.

              Its now reported as of 5.00 PM GMT that the UK’s Prime Minister and Ukraine’s President have exchanged pleasantries over the phone, in this chat the Ukrainian President is claimed to have told our Prime Minster that a column of Russian armoured personnel carriers have been engaged on Ukrainian sovereign soil and that it has either been destroyed, or forced to retreat – the number of vehicles has not been released, nor any reason as to why they may have been on Ukraine territory.

              The UK’s PM has summoned Russia’s envoy to explain the provocation by Russian troops and personnel in the Ukraine – its claimed all this confirms earlier reports in the Guardian and Telegraph of a Russian incursion, no doubt led by Putin, as he’s want to lead from the front.

              I and the World demand answers and desire to know when Russia will stop its military actions on Ukrainian sovereign territory – which as of 12.00AM Friday was somehow moved 40 kilometres into what was once Russian territory without the USA or much of the world realising this, apart from our UK journalist propagandists on the ground – they do not say where on the ground they are, so I’m guessing its in a Ale House in London quaffing fine doubles and triples courtesy of their paymasters – no evidence whatsoever has been forthcoming about these claims, despite massive US Satellite imagery being available to picture anything as large as an APC cross international demarcation lines.
              What next is all I can say, but judging by the public comments under these stories the UK public is now baying for confrontation with the most evil of evils, one Putin and his legion of devil worshippers – I’m ashamed to carry a British Passport is all I can add, is it little wonder I yearn for my own small country to be free from the barbarians in Westminster and the City of London.

              1. Doug Terpstra

                That was some head-spinning, side-splitting reporting from the Russophobe pub. I do believe I’m ready for a pint of stout myself, preferably Guiness, even though it’s morning here and I don’t drink.

                With such maddening restraint, Putin has the neocons and their Euro-poodles worked up into a rabid lather. He simply will not be baited no matter how shrill the yapping. I find it quite exasperating myself, the implacable restraint and the yapping both. I certainly wouldn’t want to play chess with the man.

                1. OIFVet

                  The Western media is a megaphone for disinformation. All of tem are reporting the alleged “incursion” and “destruction” of Russian APCs as fact based on nothing more than Porkoshenko’s say so. No proof required, how could our Junta possibly lie? Like lemmings they just parrot the party line, the British now have their “confirmation” and summon the Russian Ambassador to explain himself, the stern principal that Britain is, and lo and behold, the western people just know that the Russkies invaded Ukraine and were summarily repelled by the Bandera “heroes”. This reminds me more and more of the build up to Iraq, the tactics are the same, the media is in line, the public has been “informed” and whipped up into frenzy.

                  1. Doug Terpstra

                    Ilargi has a piece on the Goebbelesque pitch for war. Soon enough I think Putin will be revealed as a cannibal, pulling babies out of incubators and eating them raw in rape-room missle silos, from which Russkies shell defenseless peace-loving Ukrainian Quakers using widows and orphans as human shields. And exceptional Americans will lap up the bloodlust.

                    What a country. Glad we went for that hopey-dopey-changey guy.

                    1. MikeNY

                      It is well known that it is only by virtue of a steady diet of babies’ blood that Dick Cheney still walks this earth.

                    2. Crazy Horse

                      Spot on , Mike.

                      And Cheney buys hearts wholesale from Eastern European sources that rip them from lusty Arian involuntary donors. Too bad the man was born without a heart of his own.

              2. OIFVet

                I feel your pain. I hate the fact that my native land is a flunky to the EU flunkies, its elites parroting the US/EU/NATO masters, to the detriment of the interest of the country and its people.

              3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Yearning for a small country…

                It seems that big government works with small countries (Denmark, Singapore, etc.).

                Big country+ big government = ? empire ?

                Maybe the way to go about it is:

                1 break up big country into many small countries
                2.put in big government in small countries.

                1. MikeNY

                  Word. The best thing we could do is break up this country. It’s a menace to itself and everyone else.

                2. Christopher Dale Rogers

                  Wales, my homeland, has a population of 3 Million, whilst Hong Kong where I’m stuck has a population of nearly 7.5 million, but is 1/18th the size of Wales, hence Wales is not too densely populated by landmass terms, but more densely populated than Scotland – England has double the population density of Wales and million’s of English rely on Welsh water – also, most of the UK’s petrochemical supplies, among them petrol have to be transported via Wales to the cesspit of South East England – its one of the UK’s weak spots, break the link and the country is on its knees rapidly as Tony Blair found out.

                  It’s a nice country, with many castles, nice and hilly with some decent lowlands for cereal production and the hills are good for grazing of sheep – we have too many of them I’m afraid. As a small state its possible to both have a decent central government and good local governance. Economic and political nationalists like me are a minority though, but a few more neoliberal years of rule from London may change that – austerity is real, poverty is real and inequality is not as high as over the border – essentially it can be self sufficient in food, energy and of course water – we still have a load of the highest quality anthracite coal in the world left, which could be used to make chemicals from, much as the Germans were forced to do circa 1940-45 – what’s not too like!

                  1. juliania

                    Ah, we have a tad in common! (I’m happy at that since I much enjoy your comments, and this thread had me belly laughing, which felt mighty good.)

                    My maternal grandfather left Wales to assay in the Klondike, then ended up assaying kauri gum in New Zealand where he married my part-maori, dropdead gorgeous grandmother. Does sound as though those two countries have many similarities – and I’m always happy that Yves keeps her third eye on matters Down Under.

                    Thanks mightily for the humour.

                3. Crazy Horse

                  You will be welcome in Cascadia after we expel the last Californicator and establish Bluegene as the new nation’s capital.

        3. Lexington

          You mean straight from RIA Novosti’s mouth, which is literally an arm of the Russian government. Haven’t seen confirmation in other media outlets.

          Btw Avakov was supposedly responding to reports in the Ukrainian media, not the British press.

          Also, isn’t it interesting how Western press reports are met with the greatest skepticism but information disseminated through Russian outlets that are basically in the business of schilling 24/7 for Putin are treated like the word of God? The Russian media has committed every sin posters here attribute to the Western MSM – and plenty more besides – but they get a pass because RT’s version of reality happens to be congenial to their prejudices.

          1. OIFVet

            Not my fault that RT mentions the truth more often than the Western MSM, which is at this point nothing more than a megaphone for the neocon warmongers. Also it is not my fault that the template used to propagandize for war matches the one used to justify the Iraq war. Remember Judith Miller? Her partner in presenting fabricated US intelligence, Michael Gordon, is still at it. Most recently his “proof” of Russian special forces in Ukraine was revealed to be a State Department propaganda. It took that story less than a full day to be debunked. And why the hell is MH17 off the news cycle now? So by all means, let us march to the warmongering drumbeat of Western MSM. They are Western so that is automatic proof of their complete honesty.

            Now, if you happen to have the proof of the Russkie invasion and its subsequent defeat by Porky’s glorious Ukies please share, don’t hold out. Anders Fogh Rassmussen will thank you, too.

            1. Lexington

              Do you even listen to yourself? ‘Pravda is truth, everything in the Western media is lies”. “Michael Gordon is a fascist pig, proving all Western journalists are part of the conspiracy”. “Our glorious leader Putin -all hail Putin!- will bring victory”.

              You sound only slightly more doctrinaire than a 1930s political commissar in the glory days of Stalinism.

              In reading a lot of these comments I am reminded of Theodor W. Adorno: “Intolerance of ambiguity is the hallmark of an authoritarian personality”.

              1. OIFVet

                Again, it is not my fault that we have imperial courtiers who traded in their journalistic badges in return for proximity to power. The ambiguity you accuse me and others of being intolerant to is nowhere to be found in our courtier press. It is to be found in places like NC, where debate actually exists, and people express nuanced views. In the courtier press the only nuance is whether Putin is Hitler or Stalin, and whether America is Exceptional or merely the best. If you actually bother to read the opinions that I and others here have expressed with regards to Putin, Russia, and the Ukraine you will find truly ambivalent attitude about them. But why the fuck bother when one’s mind is made up and incapable of processing anything other than the black-and-white, we good them bad narrative of our courtier press. It is so much easier to talk shit rather than to engage in a substantive conversation and defend your position on its merits and established facts instead of the imperial hasbara you consumed from the Pravda-on-the-Hudson.

                1. Lexington

                  Hey, I call ’em like I see ’em.

                  So there’s this:

                  The ambiguity you accuse me and others of being intolerant to is nowhere to be found in our courtier press. It is to be found in places like NC, where debate actually exists, and people express nuanced views.

                  I’m sorry, but the “nuanced views” is exactly what is absent. The NC editorial position and that of most posters including yourself, following Saker and Bernhard, is that Ukrainian nationalism is fascism, that the Ukraine has no legitimate right to defend its territorial integrity, that the Russian version of events is always truthful and the Western one always propaganda, and that the interests and opinions of actual Ukrainians is irrelevant next to our need to vilify neoliberalism.

                  If you actually bother to read the opinions that I and others here have expressed with regards to Putin, Russia, and the Ukraine you will find truly ambivalent attitude about them.

                  But I have, and I have not seen any such ambivalence.

                  No doubt you could provide a link or two to illustrate your point…

                  But why the fuck bother when one’s mind is made up and incapable of processing anything other than the black-and-white, we good them bad narrative of our courtier press.

                  I’m sorry, but are you denying that the views you and most others have presented here are anything but “black and white”? If that’s the case why don’t you hold forth on some of the aspects of the current crisis in which you think the Ukrainians (“Ukes”) have a stronger case than the Russians?

                  Inquiring minds want to know.

                  It is so much easier to talk shit rather than to engage in a substantive conversation and defend your position on its merits and established facts instead of the imperial hasbara you consumed from the Pravda-on-the-Hudson.

                  No one is more desirous of “substantive conversation” than me. Unfortunately what I’m mostly getting is “Russia right or wrong”. I’ve written a fair number of posts on this topic so you should have no trouble citing examples of me quoting “Pravda-on-the-Hudson” instead of merits or established facts.

                  Have at her.

                    1. Christopher Dale Rogers


                      Quite a sweeping statement you have made on these threads, however no one here denies you the right to your opinion or right to articulate your opinion. However, if you read the “About Us” generously provided by Yves, it clearly states that the site is about challenging false narratives, many of which hail from the government, academia and the mainstream media, and counter these false narratives by essentially “deconstructing” them to access a semblance of truth or reality.

                      In relation to on going events in the Ukraine, and for that matter elsewhere, many of those posting are trying to establish something that resembles the truth by articulating opinion that runs counter to that being presented in most mainstream media outlets, which of course includes the internet.

                      Not one poster in my humble opinion has propagandised on behalf of Russia, its President and its government – quite the reverse, there’s a lot to dislike about Putin and Russia today, but that dislike pales into oblivion once we compare and contrast what’s happening in the West, and particularly what’s happening in the USA – hence many dislike the myths that are sold to us on a daily basis about US exceptionalism, US benevolence in it’s overseas policy and the emphasis on “individualism’, rather than the collectivist fact.

                      One could go on, but the fact remains many on these boards are opposed to US and European imperial adventurism, an adventurism that pays scant attention to the actual needs and requirements of each states citizens. Now we are propagandised against by the so called “free press” or fourth estate on a continually basis, to the extent that many of our nations are beginning to resemble the dystopian future outlined in George Orwell’s 1984. So the more dissent we have the better.

              2. OIFVet

                Hey Lexington, get a hold of this: “But perhaps the most damning evidence comes from none other than the White House itself, which according to CNN just admitted that while it accuses Moscow of “incursions” it can’t confirm the convoy was destroyed by Kiev.Perhaps for the simplest reason that there is no evidence to help with the confirmation process? Which is rather unpleasant, because as explained above, without confirmation of a destroyed convoy, the whole story falls apart as merely yet another unprecedented warmongering fabrication, one involving not only the Kiev regime, but NATO and the UK press as well!”

                So what say you Lexington, is the NSC spokeswoman Hayden a Putin lover too? Here is her statement in its entirety: Based on the weaselly wording of her statement, I will go out on a limb and guess that she is no Putin lover or 1930’s Bolshevik commissar. But you Lexi, you are… Well, I will not say what you really are, I don’t want to piss off our hosts. Besides, anyone else who reads this exchange is perfectly capable of figuring out what you are. So long, and till next time.

          2. Crazy Horse

            How about suspending the name calling for a minute and focus on just one incident in the recent past. The downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17.

            Within hours of the plane crashing the US mainstream press shouted in unison— “Putin’s Missile” , “Russian separatists/terrorists down airliner”, “Russia takes first step to rebuild the Soviet Union” “Russian aggression” — on and on with a constant unified theme.

            Second fact: The US had the most sophisticated spy ship in the world stationed within range and focused 24/7 on the Ukraine. And at the exact moment of the airliner being downed the area was overflown by an orbital spy satellite. If our multi-trillion dollar intelligence gathering apparatus is worth a damn, the US spy agencies know exactly how the airliner was destroyed.

            Soon after the crash Russian intelligence released documentation to the world where it could be independently analyzed and verified or refuted which, when combined with other emerging information, virtually eliminates the probability of Russian or separatist guilt..

            During several weeks of shrill condemnation the US provided absolutely nothing in the form of credible evidence, is spite of knowing exactly what had taken place— either through photo observation or because of direct participation of its clandestine agencies. Then having accomplished its apparent aim of initiating economic warfare (sanctions) against Russia, suddenly the entire Ukrainian conflict disappeared from the US press.

            So I ask you— does this look like the working of a free press, determined to report all the news, or that of a state propaganda apparatus much more sophisticated than the old Pravda of the Soviet era?

      1. zapster

        The trick is to watch both sides at once., Colonel Cassad (in English) and Saker’s Vineyard seem to be the best from the Novorossiyan side, unless you want to try to work out machine-translated russian and ukrainian. Then there are a number of liveleak blogs you can watch. Basically, if an event doesn’t turn up in some form on both sides, it didn’t happen. And even then, the details generally seem to be more accurate on the russian blogs, perhaps because they’re not CIA trained pros…

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        @ Brindle and grayslady below.

        Regarding the Guardian, I make an effort to note the dichotomy between domestic politics and foreign policy. Here, the Guardian, seemingly progressive on domestic affairs, acts downright imperialistic.

        It’s like our global reserve currency. Printing it for domestic purposes can often be imperialistic on our overseas provinces, as they scramble to adjust their rates and money supplies to match ours.

    7. grayslady

      The Guardian, like the rest of the paid-for Western media, has been making every attempt to front-page derogatory articles about Russia and Putin. I was immediately suspicious about this article when I noticed that no other major publication picked it up.

      1. Banger

        It is a traditional exchange–the power elite “allow” a vaguely leftist domestic agenda to be expressed in exchange for acceptance of the Imperial agenda.

  3. Fíréan

    Re. Ferguson.
    The USA mainstream media CBS website reports that “Rallies were held in at least 90 cities as part of a social media-organized National Moment of Silence to protest the death Saturday of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was shot by a white police officer. ” No “unrest” reported .

    Whilst the British msm The Guardian. us version, has photos of “Officers from the Missouri state highway patrol march(ing) with demonstrators in Ferguson after taking over from the St Louis county force in policing demonstrations.”
    Was it the tactics used against the main stream media and/or the responce of the state governor (or higher up), which has elicited this response ? hichever. whatever, glad to see a resort to some semblance of sanity.

    1. diptherio

      By the bye, the racist facebook post from the “Ferguson police chief’s wife” is bogus:

      In the inflammatory post, she accused an unnamed “they” of being “feral and violent,” murdering “white people”/”babies”/”each other” and living their lives “off the hard-earned tax dollars of other Americans.” While a fairly accurate (if overly judgmental) description of police, many believed the screed to refer to another, more melanin-rich “them.”

      Turns out she lives several hundred miles away. I think we need to run a fact-checking seminar for Anonymous…

      1. vidimi

        i thought her last name would have given it away. oh well, anonymous credibility = anonymous credibility – 1

        1. Doug Terpstra

          Except of course when separatist “terrorists” tweet about shooting down airliners. Then it’s gospel.

  4. DM

    The post about “this looks like the real deal is not true.” Debunked by politifact amongst others. A real person perhaps, but not related to the Ferguson context.

  5. financial matters

    Leaky repo deals present new concerns Financial Times

    “Lower credit ratings for repo dealer-banks since the financial crisis has made some central banks and sovereign wealth funds more particular about their repo counterparty. (fm: why is this a bad thing?)

    A solution may involve the US Treasury creating a lending facility where it could loan out securities to help reduce fails – a matter that was the subject of a 2006 discussion paper. Regulators have already introduced a penalty charge for failed trades.

    Wrightson Icap recently noted: “If more stringent private-sector balance sheet rules in the future raise the cost of short-covering to prohibitive levels, it would be in the Treasury’s interest to fill the void by launching its own securities lending programme.”

    I don’t think we want Treasuries to be backing/bailing out the repo dealer-banks. This just supports financialization. Seems similar to the Bank of Japan buying Japanese equity ETFs. These public funds should be used to back the real economy. Employment, healthcare, education, infrastructure, research.

  6. trish

    re California could become the second state to require a cell phone ‘kill switch’stop smartphone thieves

    More scary happenings in our security state. A kill-switch to help kill protest. In the name of stopping petty smartphone thieves (to give “power” to the consumer), lets the big criminals have the power to shut down phones during protest.

    1. zapster

      Yes, that was my first thought when I heard about the idea, as well. In SF, BART has been known to shut off cell phone service during police activities. I suppose they can use the kill switch in a more targeted fashion, going after whoever they consider to be ringleaders.

      1. Ned Ludd

        In the future, when the police kill someone, they can use something like stingray – an emulated cell tower – to disable all phones in the immediate area.

        1. Paul Niemi

          In the future, I predict authorities will be able to completely erase all electronic evidence that a person exists. They will be able to un-identify the person, wiping his history from existence.

          1. Massinissa

            Didnt that happen in Orwells 1984, without computers? They just burned lots of books and files and voila, no evidence person ever existed.

            Its just gotten easier and more high tech.

              1. different clue

                And any verifiable notarized affidavited hard-copies of such documentation as well. Physically harder to track all that down and destroy it. More overtly visible while being done.

    2. rusti

      It’s depressing because I really can see a legitimate reason for enabling this sort of functionality but it is ripe for abuse.

      There are a few ways to “brick” your phone remotely and protect your data but I don’t think petty thieves are typically the ones you have to worry about with your data in the US.

  7. MikeNY

    Re Krugman.

    I can no longer bear to witness his relentless pom-pomming for the Fed. He’s cheerleader in chief for wealth disparity.

    1. Massinissa

      Uh, wasnt he always? What do you think he was doing during the Clinton years? Supporting the growing Clintonite wealth disparity.

      No offense, but its not that he wasnt a cheerleader before, its that you didnt see it before.

      Congratulations, though. Better late than never.

        1. different clue

          You missed his academic-perjury-type support for NAFTA in particular and the International Free Trade Conspiracy in general.

    2. Lil'D

      I find it difficult to come down too hard on PK. He frequently does suggest fiscal measures, but it seems pretty obvious that any good fiscal activity is a political nonstarter. I’m willing to give Yellen the benefit of the doubt: that she cares more about getting employment up than worrying about inflation. The Fed is pretty limited in its toolset and nobody else can do anything much at all.

    3. Jackrabbit

      That’s why I have called Krugman a ‘quisling’. Essentially, he shills for oligarchs that have usurped our democracy. He’s not the only one, but he’s the most prominent. And this group is all-in for the neolib project. IMO, he doesn’t deserve to be in NC’s or any blogroll (except maybe one from a TBTF bank).

      H O P

      1. JerseyJeffersonian

        Perhaps a separate blogroll should be instituted in which Mr. Krugman’s (and similar) blog(s) could be listed; i.e., the Disinformational Blogroll, to which one resorts in order to be propagandized and mislead. Viewed more constructively, it could be seen as a way to up one’s game when confronted with half-truths and falsehoods, sort of like a vaccine, or a sparring partner.

        1. different clue

          Perhaps one could call it the Blogtroll, or the Blog Recoil, or some other eye-catching name.

  8. zapster

    Wal-Mart’s customer base is largely comprised of families with incomes of $40,000 or less, said Bernard Sosnick, an analyst at Gilford Securities in New York. That makes the retail chain dependent on a broad economic recovery.

    So, double the pay for all your employees and *make* one!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Europe needs inflation, and it needs it now. It would lower debt burdens, and make it easier for countries to regain competitiveness, both of which would increase growth.

      – From the Washington Post, Europe’s Depression…worse than the 1930’s.

      Assuming they mean by inflation, food and energy inflation, is inflation the only way or the ‘addressing the root cause’ way to the problem of debt burdens?

      How about, as rightly pointed out above, paying workers more? (That’s banksters’ inflation – wage inflation – and not the inflation of you and me, which would be higher food and energy prices).

      1. Mel

        Steve Keen’s Debunking Economics is good. He shows how the neoclassical school of economics has created a mindset in which “Europe needs inflation…” is about the only thing anyone can say given the situation Europe is in. Krugman’s calling for a 4% inflation target seems to come from the same place.
        We know that how a stimulus works depends on just who gets the fresh money, and what they do with it, but “details” like this are assumed away in neoclassical models. You could even read Keen’s book twice: now, and again after you’ve remembered some math.

  9. OIFVet

    ‘Russia, Ukraine Begin Customs Process on Humanitarian Aid at Russian Border’: “On August 15, at 10:00 a.m. local time [07:00 GMT] the process of customs was begun at the Donetsk border crossing in the Russian Federation. Ukraine has 59 specialists, of whom 41 represent Ukraine’s State Border Control and 18 employees from Ukraine’s Customs Service, involved in the process,” the center said.

    Earlier in the day, members of the press, including from the BBC, Bloomberg, Reuters, The Associated Press and Agence France-Presse, were allowed to inspect the content of the trucks, currently located near the city of Kamensk-Shakhtinsky in Rostov Region.
    The journalists randomly chose 20 trucks, the contents of which included bags of grain, infant food, drinking water and mobile diesel generators.”

    Well, so much for the breathless mouth foamers screeching about the contents of the convoy.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Maybe they’ll find the “defector” who used the nonfunctional separatist BUK missile launcher to shoot down MH17 with some launch codes in his backpack.

      1. Brindle

        Notice how the US State dept and semi-official organs like the NYT have gone silent on the downing of MH17? The UKR govt has still not released the Kiev ATC tapes.
        From the little evidence available the UKR affiliated forces are the number one suspect.

    2. ambrit

      I’m wondering just how much aid this region actually needs. One aid convoy does not a resolved crisis make.
      As for the “war” effort; the Ukies had better watch out. Russia has more than one option. One that pops into the mind is an amphibious landing on the Black Sea coast at Odessa, and on to Moldova comrades! A land locked rump Ukraine would be an interesting beastie, no?

      1. OIFVet

        Some humanitarian aid is better than no humanitarian aid, but the main purpose of the convoy is two-fold: internal politics to show the Russian people that something is being done for the cousins across the border, and propaganda campaign aimed at Western audiences to expose the Ukies and their Western handlers us ethnic cleansers. Really, the hysteria this convoy created played right into Russia’s purposes, and if the Ukies had blocked entry altogether it would have truly been a propaganda coup for Russia.

        On your second point, I just don’t see it unless the bloodshed really picks up. It creates more headaches than benefits. Putin is patient, and willing to sacrifice Novorussian blood to achieve Russia’s aims, and to also let the Junta bring itself down. General Winter is coming, just as IMF-imposed elimination of heating gas subsidies to the consumers kick in. The Maidan will be just as busy this winter as it was this last one, that much I am sure of.

        1. ambrit

          Yes, the propaganda value is high. What bothers me is the nagging feeling that the “West” really doesn’t care about international opinion any more. Hubris writ large. We all know how that ends. To mangle an old adage: “A People the Gods would destroy, they first make an Empire.”
          Secondly, I must agree, as a long time graduate of the old Soviet political system, Putin is a shrewd customer. So far, he has played this Ukie thing well. He would indeed need a major provocation from the “West” to initiate offensive actions of any sort. A proxy war suits his needs for now. Still, on the Black Sea Inchon front, perhaps the mere posting of some sea mobile troops to the Crimea would get the message across. “Tass announced yesterday that the 21st Regiment of the Third Guards Light Infantry had been ordered to Crimea for training exercises.” Something like that would get Whitehall and the Pentagon all abuzz.
          If people weren’t being killed and damaged it would be a fascinating exercise. Which is just where the so called “Leaders” fall down on their responsibilities to humanity.
          By the way, any information on the public and “official” views on all this from the surrounding countries: Belarus, Romania, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary?

          1. Massinissa

            Problem with that adage:

            The United Kingdom became an empire and the people and nation are still there, sans empire.

            Same with France. I guess you could even count Turkey. Theyre a far cry from the Ottomans but theyre still here and still have Istanbul.

          2. OIFVet

            Hungary and Slovakia are making anti-sanctions, anti-NATO statements. This is not a recent development, Orban of Hungary has been vociferous critic of the West’s policies on Russia and has made himself heard loud and clear. As has Fico of Slovakia, who rejected any suggestion of accepting NATO troops and wants the EU to lift Russia sanctions. Czech wants no NATO forces either. Poland is Poland, Sikorski is Cameron pal from their Oxbridge days and is a puppet. Belarus is Russian client. Romania is taking NATO troops and accepting the basing of ABM shield components on their territory. They are corrupt, and they want Bessarabia from Ukraine. Good luck with that, it is mostly ethnic Bulgarian (read pro-Russia).

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              OIFVet, about Romania, as the name says it, it was settled a long time ago by Romans. Do you know if it’s mostly Slavic or are there lots of Roman descendants there still today?

              1. OIFVet

                There are competing theories on that, see To be sure, there are some Slavs there, plus a sizable Hungarian minority and liturgy is performed in Old Church Slavonic. Personally, I think modern Romanians are mixture of Romans, Slavs, and whoever else passed through over the ages. All of us in the Balkans are mixed more or less.

                  1. OIFVet

                    That could just as easily be entitled “Strategic Hate Management in Former Ottoman Vilayets.” See Iraq, Palestine, Syria, etc.

            2. Robert Dudek

              There is no more anti-Russian country in the world than the land of my ancestors (Poland).

              1. OIFVet

                True, but I still don’t understand why they are so hellbent on cutting off their nose to spite Putin. It’s some sort of near-universal collective delusion in there. I recently came across something from Lech Biegalski, one of the early Solidarity activists, basically accusing the Polish governments of having sold the country and its sovereignty, and of having betrayed the “Message to working people of Eastern Europe” from 1981, in which Solidarity called for the right of people to independence and self-determination, in regards to Polish government’s support of the Kiev Junta and its ethnic cleansing campaign in Novorussia. In a very vociferous tone too, I might add. So it is not all Poles, thankfully.

                1. Robert Dudek

                  It can never be all Poles, just as there are many peace-loving Americans despite their governments’ impressive record of blood thirst.

          3. Robert Dudek

            Chess metaphor…

            Putin snatched a pawn (Crimea), then set up a robust defensive position, knowing that his opponent, now angered, would launch a reckless assault. He blunts the attack, and wins the game after the opponent’s pieces are in disarray.

            1. BobW

              I recall reading somewhere some time ago that Russians play chess and Americans play poker, explaining a lot of foreign policy… bluff, anyone?

      1. OIFVet

        The trucks themselves are the weapons. Of propaganda. Or, Fogh of War is a Transformers fan who has a hard time distinguishing reality from his rich inner life. Or my personal hope, the trucks are like the one from that Cheech and Chong movie, made of weapon-grade Mary Jane. Make love, not war.

  10. toldjaso

    Is this the EU tat for the DC.City tit? Old Europe’s quid pro quo? ShellBP colonizes the States become *territory*? BIS “Governance” (*foreign power*) overthrew our Government for cause.
    Can you see the Globalist1%DaisyChain ForProfit to Them with Loss to Us? New world order same as the Old world order of Dynastic Monarchs, Nobles, Knights, and Paesants?
    The momentum for naked aggression in the War for Spoils in the *Homeland* is quickening. It’s all about Resources and 1% Lebensraum “right here in River City.” RockBatonRouge puts it in your face, showing Shell and Blackstone doing the Daisy Chain in Louisiana through Wyoming and beyond.
    Who — like Bro. Kerensky in Russia doing “Communism” conjured by *foreign agents* — will simply “open the prison doors”? Ferguson MO is but a preview. The United States becomes Iraq. Now do you gittit?

  11. diptherio

    The “Heterogeneity in the Value of Life” article is stomach-turning. I couldn’t get much past the abstract without wanting to vomit. How is it that Harvard has such utter imbeciles for professors?

    There is heterogeneity over the life-cycle, as well as prominent ‘black-white’ and ‘female-male’ gaps in the value of life, driven by differences in the labour income across these groups. [emphasis added]

    Got that? You’re worth whatever your paycheck is–because, obviously, Jamie Dimon’s life is worth 100s of times more than a kindergarten teacher. All those digits in his bank account prove it.

    The findings suggest that one-size-fits-all policies would not correctly reflect the individual willingness to pay to reduce mortality risk.

    As Kahneman and Tversky pointed out long ago, willingness to pay is dependent on all sorts of things, like question framing and amount of wealth, for instance. Why the f— would we think that someone’s ability, or lack thereof, to pay for a gym membership or preventive health check-ups somehow reflects how much they value their life? If they’re not doing that stuff, maybe it reflects their shitty paycheck…but of course, that shitty paycheck means that they’re not worth as much as other people anyway, so maybe it doesn’t matter.

    You don’t have to have your soul removed to teach neo-classical economics, but it sure helps.

    1. Christopher Dale Rogers

      That’s true, but it does seem you require a full lobotomy to practice the fine art of Economics we find in all kinds of places nowadays.

  12. Christopher Dale Rogers

    Despite crawling over PCR’s website today, had not noticed his latest post:”Washington Chokes Truth With Lies Paul Craig Roberts (Bob V)”. He’s positively “foaming” at DC and the muppets in the EU, and none too kind to much of the US public.

    Would it perhaps not be a wise move for once by the OBOT to replace “Heinz sauce for brains” Kerry with someone who actually knows what they are talking about. Indeed, to me it seems many in DC and the beltway have either had full frontal labotamies, or are just clones of a single cell, that somehow grew multiple bodies.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Interesting bit:

      “The Polish government has demanded that Washington purchase the apples and agricultural products that Washington has made impossible for Poland to sell to Russia. As Poland is Washington’s choice for the US missile base directed at Russia, the Polish government has leverage. Once Washington gives in to Poland, Washington will be faced with similar demands from hard-hit Greece and Austria and from the rest of Europe to compensate Europeans for the costs that Washington’s sanctions have imposed on its vassal populations.”

      The lunacy just seems so desperate. What is the US government so afraid of?

      1. OIFVet

        The truly bizarre part is the Polish Ambassador calling his apples ‘Freedom Apples’. The flashback to the ‘Freedom Fries’ is just delicious and just as deluded. Check out his “excellency’s” appeal to the American people to lobby Congress to allow import of “Freedom Apples” and the commentary below the video: Hilarious and vicious. Brings to mind Matt Damon’s ‘How do you like them apples’ taunt.

      2. Optimader

        Ill bet their excellent heirloom apples varieties, i”d buy some, ive given up on the commercial orchard retail apple here, they are gross.

        1. optimader

          I wish Italy had a strategy to leverage us to import more varieties of pecorino cheese,

          Pecorino is the name given to all Italian cheeses made from sheep’s milk. It covers a wide variety of cheeses produced around the country, but specifically it refers to four main varieties of Pecorino, all of which enjoy PDO protection.

          as well as mozzarella di bufala
          Buffalo mozzarella or Mozzarella di Bufala in Italian is a mozzarella made from the milk of domestic water buffalo. It has been observed that those cheeses made from buffalo milk are higher in calcium, protein and lower in cholesterol than cow’s milk….


          1. optimader

            .. of course trade bans are doomed to failure.. Data point #1,204 that we have rubes running the show

  13. fresno dan

    ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Be sure to record EVERYTHING when you talk to your insurance company rep AND your ACA marketplace rep Corrente. You have to wait for a year for a root canal?!? No one can wait a year for a root canal (or for most extractions, which is also “oral surgery” and not terribly expensive).

    Just for the record, another example of “craponics” (Definition: the opposite of hedonics, the FED’s Candide like innocence that every product and service is just getting better and better).
    I would argue the money you will have to pay out of pocket to see a dentist quicker is inflationary…..BUT I could see the argument that failing to see a dentist quickly can lead to abscesses, and than death from septicemia, and that would be deflationary… probably evens out in the end…

    1. BondsOfSteel

      What.. wait… he’s got DENTAL coverage?

      I don’t know if it’s fair to call it an Obamacare Clusterfuck. Dental insurance is it’s own devil. The ACA didn’t address dental coverage… and most plans don’t cover them. Instead, they try and second sticker you with an additional separate plan, which is probably super expensive and restrictive. Even medicare doesn’t include dental.

      It’s hard to believe, but dental healthcare is even more screwed up than medical healthcare. (Shouldn’t they be the same?)

  14. strategia della tensione

    ‘I laughed, I cried, it was better than “A Raisin in the Sun!”‘

    Gasp at psycho cops in soldier suits! Thrill to the plucky militarized goon of color who confronts the public without even a tank! ODNI runs the good cop / bad cop act on its hinterlands. Cue the Andrew Lloyd Weber orchestral tutti. Now that they’ve warmed the cockles of our hearts, the question returns.

    Are you gonna let the killer pig get off?

  15. docg

    What’s wrong with this picture? First of all, the cat’s fur is nice and fluffy — inconsistent with swimming out to that rock. Secondly, cat’s don’t swim anywhere unless they really need to. And I don’t see any sign of distress.

    Otherwise it’s a very amusing pic. So somebody deserves some credit for something.

    1. steviefinn

      Same old shite, different day & it doesn’t even mention the lovely ” Nuke the Russians ” Yulia Timoschenko who was imprisoned for corruption.

      1. diptherio

        It’s almost funny how they claim that the coup was about ending crony capitalism, and then immediately go on to show that it was really just a fight between oligarchs for the rights to loot the country.

        Meet the new boss, same as the old boss…

        1. Massinissa

          Worse than the old boss, because the new boss started a f**king shooting war. The old oligarchs at least kept wars confined within bank balance sheets.

          Im sure many Ukrainians miss the heady days of 2013 or 2004.

  16. Jim Haygood

    New York’s Gov Cuomo makes the obligatory pilgrimage:

    Mr. Cuomo, dressed in khakis and a white polo shirt, was briefed by a lieutenant colonel from the Israel Defense Forces, whom he gave a set of cuff links with the New York State seal. The governor also posed for pictures, standing next to a strapping soldier with an M16 rifle slung across his chest.

    Mr. Cuomo marveled at the antimissile system, which is meant to intercept rockets and artillery shells, calling it “really an amazing, amazing development.”


    It oughta be ‘amazing.’ We paid billions for it, to keep settlers from Brooklyn safe.

    SSDD: ‘Send candidates, guns and money.’

  17. Vatch

    I’m amazed that anything as trivial as the absence of a headscarf can cause so much furor among Iranian religious conservatives (With or without headscarf? Iran press divided over maths prize winner). I’m reminded of the fingernail cutting rules at this web site:

    “It is better not to cut nails on Wednesday as there are hadith for and against, as Imam Tahawi said, paring nails on Wednesdays can cause leprosy. To cut nails on Thursday will cure illness such as leprosy.”

    Sometimes I wonder what century it is.

  18. toldjaso

    re “US Judge Allows Vultures to go after Baez”
    Yet another *foreign agent* as *US Judge*? Well, ZeeJudge Treason began with Louis Brandeis, dinnit?
    Maybe Kirchner will now do a “discovery” of the “Elliott Fund” and Singer’s laundries worldwide.
    Dig deep, there is an infamous “Singer” connected with early “Finance International” chicanery.
    Faute de mieux, see the NAMES connected with Isaac Merritt Singer at
    Singer & Blodgett; Grover & Baker, Singer, Wheeler & Wilson (merchant band of brothers), Orlando B. Potter; Samuel Colt, Eli Whitney, William Seward Webb, Eliza Osgood Vanderbilt Webb
    Does it sound like the Satanic Elite of the OldNew World Order to you? Cue: *The Company* everywhere, in every facet of its criminal existence from the RothVictorian Era through today.
    “Hell is empty, and all the devils are here.” (“The Tempest” by “Wm. Shakespeare”)

  19. GuyFawkesLives

    Extremely interesting that the former Seattle police chief opines on what’s happening in Ferguson.

    He includes statements like “what we learned in Seattle.” Ummm, we have an on-going police brutality problem in Seattle. They have not *learned* anything.

    In fact, the SPD has come under major criticism from the public due to the violations of law that have occurred with installations of surveillance equipment. SPD installed a Wi-Fi network to follow every smart phone and can locate you throughout the city streets. This is in direct violation of city ordinance put in place because of previous installations of cameras along the waterfront without any elected official’s or populace approval.

    The SPD is so out-of-control it is beyond belief. I am shocked that the former chief weighed in. Shocked.

    1. Massinissa

      The SPD assumes that if they tell everyone theyre a good police force enough times at a high enough pitch, people outside Seattle will come to believe it.

      And the sad thing is theyre probably right, at least until Seattle has a Ferguson.

  20. rich

    Billionaire “Just Us”!

    At arm’s length used to mean an uninfluenced deal, struck at an ethical distance. How does one bribe someone at arm’s length? It happens in a world redefined by the greed and power boys.

    This “Just Us” crew delegates responsibility for ethics to underlings.

    “Managers (not executives) are the day-to-day interface with employees and the carriers of culture. Unless they are effectively and properly trained, organizations will struggle to meet their top training objective of building an ethical culture.”

    The buck stops nowhere, as evidenced by Consultant A. The system, driven by money, is insular and protective of its own.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The General Theory of Banality, from which, one can derive the banality of evil, is helpful here.

      In this age, one’s immediate concern is the banality of greed.

      One can see from the faces of the die-hard believing factotums of the Mamomism just how banal the whole thing is. The underlings are just following orders (or in our case, precepts). I don’t think the underlings struggle too much with the responsibility of ethics billionaires try to delegate.

      The buck stops nowhere – that is the nature of the banality of greed. Everyone in the system does what he/she believes is to be done – to make money, help the GDP growth, spend, consume… Nevermind who or what gets hurt. Whole species gets exterminated…yawn. Another day at work.

      How banal.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Thanks Lambert.

          It’s striking when we contrast the immensity of the financial crimes committed in the name of greed with the ordinariness of the looters (that is, they are not particularly talented in making the world ‘richer’).

        2. ewmayer

          If I say to myself “that’s a turn of phrase worth remembering”, and then manage to do so, does that make ne “Banal retentive”?

    1. Jim Haygood

      Meanwhile, in a classic flight to safety response, the US 10y Treasury yield dropped to 2.32% today, down from 3.00% as 2014 began.

      In Germany, 2y note yields are -0.02%, while the 10y bund yields 0.95%.

      What’s it mean? Probably recession in Europe, as sanctions and war jitters scare the crap out of consumers, and corporate investors cut back on capital spending.

      ‘You’re doin’ a great job, Anders [Rasmussen]!’

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Having dropped about $5 below the century mark, probably anticipating the coming recession, oil, or black gold, is up over $1.40 to $97 today while gold is down over $10, perhaps an indication that black gold is safer than yellow gold.

      2. MikeNY

        And the SPOOs shrug it off.

        NOTHING can defeat the invincible corporatocracy! Not even the heat death of the universe!

        1. Christopher Dale Rogers

          Posters on the Moon Of Alabama have kindly posted a YiuTube video of the destruction caused bt the Ukrainian fascist forces on the invading Russian armoured column, miraculously no bodies can be seen, no blood and no survivors – evidently it must have been a russian marine operation, who’s motto is “no one left behind dead or alive” – as if this were not bad enough, at approx. 45 seconds into the video we see a destroyed vehicle, not only that, it has an undamaged limb of a tree placed on it, moving to the 46-48 second mark, they focus on a tank turret laying on the ground in foliage, the turret has fire/heat damage, but not heat damage can be discerned in the foliage surrounding the turret, not only that, but somehow foliage has managed to grow back over the actual gun itself in less than 12hrs – I’m no botanist, but such an event would take a few days minimum.

          Anyway, I’m not a forensics expert, but the purported video contains multiple errors suggesting these vehicles were not attacked within the past 24 hours – further, the column could have been Ukrainian and struck by Federalist forces sometime ago, or were destroyed by friendly fire from the Ukrainians themselves, but certainly not within the past 12-24 hours – to say I smell a rat is an understatement. Here’s the video link and comment welcome:

          1. OIFVet

            The narrator states that the video shows Ukie tanks destroyed by Novorussian forces on 13-14 August in the vicinity of Stepanovka, wherever that is.

            1. Christopher Dale Rogers


              That’s for update, no comment or statement was made with the link, just a presumption by original poster, seems I need to get the Ukrainian and Russian I associate with to assist on language issue, just a shame the Ukrainian’s daughter does not speak Ukrainian for some unknown reason – hence my quick analysis was correct, wreckage was more than 24 hours old, not only that, clearly visible with modern Sat. technology, which the USA has heaps of.

              1. OIFVet

                Yeah, I saw that on MoA. It was kinda funny actually as the commenter there sort of seemed to present Ukie defeat as a Ukie triumph. Or so it seemed to me. Porkoshenko’s story is just so fishy: the Novorussians are seasoned fighters but are ragtag as far as equipment goes, and yet manage to inflict massive losses on both Ukie personnel and armor. In a head on fight with Russian armor it would be a total annihilation for the Ukies. So Porky can’t put down the uppity Novorusskies, but here he is bragging about turning back an armored Russian Army column. Priceless.

                BTW, I read Russian very well, understand spoken Russian decently, and can’t speak it worth a damn.

    1. craazyboy

      Looks like this ended up as a stalemate.

      The Russians deny sending in a military convey, and this afternoon the WH says they cannot confirm that the Uks blew anything up.

      That makes it all a figment of the imaginations of the Guardian & Telegraph reporters and the Uk government. Unless the convoy got away to wherever it was going. But sat pics?


      Meanwhile, the 260 humanitarian trucks sit at the border while the Uks demand the documents describing the contents of the trucks, before they can start looking inside the trucks and inspecting the contents. Upper levels of the Uk government are working the problem – demanding from Russia they need papers! They have also been informing the western press and leadership of this problem. It must be resolved before inspections can start!

      We really need to chose better allies.

  21. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Military vets see flawed response in Ferguson Stars and Stripes (Jagger)

    Who could’ve known that sophisticated weaponry could do more harm than good without sufficient knowledge and experience about when, where and how it’s to be used? Not to mention deploying it without ANY level of control and command expertise or clear operational objective.

    Hell, even Andy knew that Barney would be dangerous if there was actually a bullet in his gun.

    Yet the go-to solution for the US government is to uncritically send this equipment–either giving it away or financing it– to every Barney Fife anywhere at home or abroad who says that they’re on “our” side. And then patting themselves on the back for promoting “liberty,” law and order and GDP.

    The Ferguson PD should be thanking their lucky stars that Mom and Dad got home before they really hurt themselves. Not that I’d expect the lesson to really “take,” or to be learned by all the other hamlets that don’t get the implications of the fact that their free Tonka tanks shoot real bullets.

    And not that I’d expect Uncle Sam to step in and take the toys away before something REALLY bad happens. It’s just not the American way right now.

    1. kj1313

      Problem is that police departments do not want to admit that there are unqualified officers in their force.

    2. Bene

      I’ve read probably a hundred-plus police reports, and have yet to encounter one that used high school English or presented a credible picture of their subject matter. And these are the people we want with high-end hardware? Most wouldn’t have gotten a high school diploma without a large helping of grade inflation.

  22. Synopticist

    Meanwhile, in Iraq, the Yezidis genocide continues, a day after Obama and Cameron assured us it was all OK now…

    Susan Power is all over the MSM calling for intervention according to the “responsibility to protect” doctrine of course, that wonderfull woman who made her name and career documenting previous genocides and vowed “never again”.
    Errr, no, she’s f*ckin nowhere to be seen, the vile, loathsome c*nt.

  23. barrisj

    Re: Ferguson…an excellent opinion piece published on al-Jazeerah highlighting a very troubling aspect of modern police practices in America, that of “compliance”, or to put it more bluntly, when a copper asks you to jump, you ask “how high?”

    Ferguson and the cult of compliance:
    When the police won’t take no for an answer

    The protests in Ferguson, Missouri, set off by the a policeman’s shooting of an unarmed black teen last week, appear to be spinning out of control — not because crowds are rioting nightly but because law enforcement is operating as though they are in a war zone. Peaceful protesters are facing nothing short of a domestic army, armed with military equipment, waiting for a provocation.

    As the protests progressed, the police have used noncompliance, or the failure to obey their every order, as their justification for whatever violence came next. That’s also the excuse that the police used to explain why an officer shot Michael Brown. They said the incident started because Brown didn’t comply with an order to move, so it is he who is to blame.

    What happens if you don’t comply when the police give you an order? What rights do you really have? How free are you, really, when the authorities have weapons pointed at you or when they have the right to draw a weapon and use it with relative impunity?

    Over the past few years, I have been tracking the rhetoric that police and other authority figures use to justify all kinds of violence. In cases that seem very different, separated by factors such as age, race, gender, sexuality, geography, class and ability, police explain away their actions by citing noncompliance. They do it because it works. They do it because according to their beliefs, any sign of noncompliance is an invitation to strike.
    This cult of compliance provides the point of intersection between racism and militarization of law enforcement — the primary factors at play in Ferguson — and other issues, such as the overuse of stun guns and the failure of police to respond to the needs of the mentally ill. Police may be motivated by their racism to harass people of color, but when officers get violent, they almost always cite a form of noncompliance as their justification.
    It’s a link that needs to be made. In the vast majority of cases, especially those involving young black and Latino men, police can punish someone for noncompliance with impunity, and because of deeply entrenched racism, little is done in the way of reform. But when someone is disabled or unwell, violent police action reveals itself as what it is: disproportionate, crude and uncalled for. It is therefore imperative to consider the two situations side by side and integrate them into a broader discussion about how the police treats people who, for whatever reason, do not comply with their every whim.

    Much of the recent violent confrontations between the coppers and unarmed citizens in the Greater Seattle area were directed against the mentally ill, or a drunk person, or one with certain physical disablities, and it usually started with tasering, then quickly moving up the escalation ladder to deadly force being used, as “failure to comply” is immediately interpreted as a “bodily threat” to the officer issuing the command. Virtually every city in the US has on its books criminal sanctions for “failure to obey an law enforcement officer”, or, “interfering with a lawful order”, or “impeding a law enforcement officer in the performance of his duty”, or the like. All of which just hands the coppers carte blanche to visit profane language, physical mistreatment, or deadly force against those who come into contact with them. Sometimes, a citizen will sue the city, and a quiet, out-of-court settlement is made, but absolutely no change in policing policies. And with the increasing use of SWAT teams for low-level police work, lack of “compliance” is assumed, thus the shoot-first-ask-questions-later actions catalogued in many postings here and across the Net. Yes, militarisation of police forces is a huge problem, but behind all of this is the seemingly unquestioned “right” of coppers to have their way with citizens whose actions or lack of action is immediately termed “provocative” or “threatening”.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Absolutely excellent article:

      “The public must stop blaming these events on bad cops or bad departments. Too many people are willing to accept that because being a cop is risky, they have to punch, shoot or tase at the slightest provocation. Such attitudes enable the cult of compliance.”

        1. barrisj

          Curious thing is that Michael Brown was accosted by the copper who shot him not because he was a suspect in an earlier store robbery, but because he “was walking in the middle of the road”. Which makes the ensuing shooting even more problematical.

        2. JTFaraday

          Shoplifting a box of cigars vs. Johnny on the Spot vigilante street justice: instant judge, jury, and executioner. I’ll have to think about that…

          Okay, I know what I think. I think somebody needs a good lawyer.

          1. JTFaraday

            “Michael Brown was accosted by the copper who shot him not because he was a suspect in an earlier store robbery, but because he “was walking in the middle of the road”. ”

            And a shrink.

    2. Jess

      Boy, did that Al Jezeera editorial and your comment both hit the nail right on the head. I’m sort of a night owl and lately have taken to watching re-runs of “COPS”, which is “War on Drugs” meets “Failure to Comply”. Stop the car for having a broken license plate light, failing to signal for a turn, whatever convenient excuse seems appropriate. Pat down and handcuff the occupant(s) — for the officer’s protection — search the vehicle because the Supreme Court says they’ve got probable cause after a traffic stop. Find a little baggy of rock cocaine or a few grams of marijuana, and off to jail. Oh, did I mention, the miscreant is almost always black or Latino, and even when he/she/they are white, they’re obviously poor. (Shabby cars, old clothes, poor language skills, etc.)

      What a country.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        “Shabby car” used to be the way to save a few bucks on basic “transportation” while you were in school or in a new job and saving for a better one.

        Now it just makes you jail bait.

        So, is a sub-prime car loan or lease cheaper than a good defense lawyer? Somebody should collect the “data.”

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Soon, the rich, raised organically, free of polluted chemicals, will disdain – with greater revulsion, that – marriages with the pesticide/GMO infested 99%.

          “You sure about this? She is from the other side of the track. Your children will be mutants!”

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      A larger, subliminal message to all of us: Comply (with authority, or those in charge/in power) or else, even as we pacify ourselves that cops do this to make us ‘safer’

  24. Skeptic

    Suicide, a Crime of Loneliness New Yorker

    Personal suicide is tabu, a no-no but extinction of the human species, that’s OK. See Species Crimes: climate change, transhumanism, nano and bio tech, Fukushima, Singularity, etc. New Yorker apparently Out Of This Loop.

    Humans, start your IPODS!

    1. savedbyirony

      What is with The New Yorker and it’s entitling of articles? Suicide is an act of loneliness.

    2. trish

      I agree. totally.
      Suicide is often a tragedy, and for so many not of William’s stature, “brilliance”
      Life can be overwhelming- whether chronic pain, pain of depression/anxiety, financial struggle, the perception of failure w/in a society that defines success from early on in a horribly narrow way, and just grief in general for all kinds of loss… One of the greatest tragedies to me is that some of that pain might be successfully alleviated, lessened. A better societal safety net. better treatment. adequate pain medication for chronic pain (never mind that so much illness might be preventable if we didn’t put so much harmful sh*t in our food, water, air). A society with more alternatives for those who don’t fit in to the current rigidly-defined system. More of a “community” feel where we are all in life together? other possibilities.
      I think of all those who suffer, die anonymously (feel that way about overdose deaths, as with the press focus on Philip Seymour Hoffman- excellent actor, tragic, but I think of all the invisibles.)
      OK, I’m going on, sorry. Just I’ve been there.

      1. savedbyirony

        I’ve seen a number of articles which describe Robin Williams as a mensch. Certainly he was a deeply observant and feeling human being and artist who couldn’t help but see many of the ugly truths of these days, and try to make comedic art out of them. And i often wonder how deeply sensitive and aware people keep going in these times. Sure people can turn to chemical means to try and escape but most often those attempts will fail due numerous reasons. And i’ll consider Camus’ ideas about all this in his “Myth of Sysiphus” but when times are as bleak as these, and when even the best of efforts by people seem so ineffective, will they suffice? I don’t know why Robin Williams decided to end his life when he did, but one of the tragedies and signs of our times is that more people are making the same choice.

    3. Jagger

      Apparently, Robyn Williams was early stage Parkinson’s. Parkinson’s is a slow fatal disease without cure and includes dementia. The disease has similiarities to alzheimers and is very difficult on family during the long process of dying. Once he was diagnosed with Parkinson, he may have made an altruistic decision to end it all quickly rather than die slowly and put his family through the experience. Who knows but it would put a different motivation behind his decision.

      I do wonder if Parkinsons is like alzheimers in that an individual can suffer from early stage symptoms for years before diagnosis. Perhaps some of his emotional and depressive problems were simply early stage, undiagnosed Parkinsons.

  25. ewmayer

    Minor corrigendum (lol, FF spellchecker has the plural “corrigenda” but it is app. unaware of the singular form): “The Perils of Economic Consensus” was not from me — the (EM) there belongs on the “excellent sheep” link just below it, small excerpt from that:

    Are you a HYPSter? That’s William Deresiewicz’s term, in his new book, for Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Stanford, though it seems more idiomatic to apply that acronym to these schools’ graduates. With HYPSters, and with the recent graduates of the tier of elite American colleges a rung or two below them, he is unimpressed.

    Far too many are going into the same professions, notably finance or consulting. He detects a lack of curiosity, of interesting rebellion, of moral courage, of passionate weirdness. We’ve spawned a generation of polite, striving, praise-addicted, grade-grubbing nonentities — a legion of, as his title puts it, “Excellent Sheep.”

  26. barrisj

    Re: cops and the Constitution…for decades now the police have taken it upon themselves to determine what exactly is the “right of free speech” or the “right to assemble”. In Ferguson, MO that right was simply ignored, and in fact used as a “provocation” excuse by the police. Many cities now – NYC, prominently – have adopted what they euphemistically call “First-Amendment” or “free speech” zones, usually de facto pens where people can gather and demonstrate for or against whatever; the police then can determine for how long such speechifying or assembling can last until some police captain with a bullhorn orders the crowd to disperse, citing “traffic conditions”, or “unruly behaviour”. Of course, within minutes of such an order, police flood the area, beating and/or arresting people for “failure to disperse”. Usually, demo participants’ egress is obstructed by a cordon of coppers coming up behind the crowd, in a classic pincer movement worthy of the Red Army on the Russian Front. Then begins the mass arrests, beatings, etc.; moreover, many of those nicked and cuffed are simply tossed into holding cells or left in Black Marias for several hours, then released without getting booked. Hey, how’s that ‘free-speechifying workin’ for ya now?”
    And, the notion of “First-Amendment” zones and penning appears to be court-sanctioned as well…oh, but wait: in a recent 5-4 SCOTUS decision – McCullen v. Coakley, the Court struck down a Massachusetts law prescribing “buffer zones” around an abortion clinic, ruling essentially that anti-abortion protestors have unfettered access right up to the doors of clinics and in the face of women seeking to visit the clinic so as to protect the right of protestors to press their cause. No “zones” for these people! Let us see how “the authorities” handle demos at the next Republocrat conventions in a couple of years! Free-speech for some but not for the many, such is how Constitutional rights are selectively abridged successfully these days, with police firmly in charge of enforcement.

    1. barrisj

      A good read at TomDispatch, this piece by Matthew Harwood:

      To Terrify and Occupy
      How the Excessive Militarization of the Police is Turning Cops Into Counterinsurgents

      Also, check out Radney Balko’s blog at the WaPo (only thing worth reading in Jeff Bezo’s fishwrap these days):
      Balko has daily news roundups of the latest in police excesses, and items related to all things militarised cops.

  27. Katniss Everdeen

    So, just in case anyone was still wringing their hands about the most recent persecuted group requiring immediate American humanitarian ministrations, the Yazidis, Justin Raimondo at provides an update. Which includes this tidbit:

    “Several thousand Yazidis remain on the mountain, a senior United States official said, but not the tens of thousands who originally were believed to be there. Some of the people who remain on Mount Sinjar indicated to American forces that they considered the mountain to be a place of refuge and a home, and did not want to leave, a second United States official said.”

    What else is there to say? When considering a “humanitarian” intervention, better safe than sorry. Especially when there’s geopolitical hay to be made.

  28. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


    Saw a PBS documentary recently, Animal Odd Couples, about ‘friendship’ among animals of different species: a dog and a cheetah, a goat and a horse, a dear and a dog, etc.

    Missing, unfortunately, was anything resembling friendship between liberals and conservatives.

    I am sure it exists, but the program did not show any examples.

    1. skippy

      Mr. Beef,

      “Missing, unfortunately, was anything resembling friendship between liberals and conservatives.”

      My worthless 2p…. methinks… that both are actually racing each other headlong… back too… the metaphysical singularity which spawned them both…

      Skippies… now the funny bit is as they both gain mass and speed at different intervals, effecting event horizon observer bias, due to time and space fluctuation, it miss informs them on direction e.g. a little black hole with some scared primitive man running around… with a flashlight… looking for a circuit breaker.

  29. kareninca

    Here is how it will work, I fear, at some point, in many towns and cities that have been given military gear for their police forces:

    The cops get a whole bunch of calls at once, for emergencies. Since they will be made-up emergencies (or something real but simple), they will sound genuinely scary. They go out in big numbers, their sirens blaring. Someone who is much smarter than the cops will then go in and takes possession of these complex military toys that are just sitting there (which the cops couldn’t figure out how to use anyway), and use them against the cops when they come back to the station. Unless you enlarge forces enough so they have someone (trustworthy) on staff to GUARD this stuff, how is this to be prevented?

    Am I missing something here? Cops are selected for not being bright (per the New London CT case that went to the Supreme Court, which ruled that an applicant for a cop job could be turned down strictly for being too smart). I know this is a obvious-to-any-moron scenario, but still I think it is what will happen. What a mess. It’s bad enough that dolts get weapons that they can’t use responsibly; worse still that someone smarter will take them from them.

    We are stashing weapons all over the country. It is almost as if someone wanted to create a situation, in which a well-organized bad actor could have access to serious weapons in a lot of different places at once.

    1. abynormal

      “Drones are also being deployed domestically for “border security” and law enforcement. Predator drones are hunting immigrants and drug smugglers on the northern and southern borders. Both the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department are working with the drone industry to get lightweight drones into the arsenals of metropolitan police and county sheriffs.

      Congress recently mandated that the Federal Aviation Administration open up domestic airspace to private and commercial drones by 2015 and that it immediately speed up the licensing process to permit the deployment of government (military, homeland security and law enforcement) drones in commercial U.S. airways.”
      “With respect to killer drones, Leili Kashani, advocacy program manager for the Center for Constitutional Rights, explains: “The executive branch of the U.S. government is claiming the authority to target and kill any individual anywhere in the world, including American citizens, without any judicial process or oversight, and without any transparency or accountability. It is subverting the Constitution and international law in assuming the role of judge, jury and executioner.” Alrnet 2012
      from marketwatch 5/2014: The Drone Revolution will be another huge market with lots of winners and lots of value created as it grows over the next decade. (cant make this sh!t up)
      1. Farming/Agriculture/Environment — This is likely the largest market for drones, at least in the near-term
      2. Defense – War – Military
      3. Local Police Enforcement – State Government
      4. Drones That are Robots
      5. Medical Applications — Mind/thought controlled drones?
      6. Natural Resource Mining-Business – Shipping
      7. The Future of the Internet in Remote Locations – Communications
      8. Weather Forecasting – Scientific Data
      9. Criminal Usage

      “You see, freedom has a way of destroying things.
      S. Westerfeld

  30. optimader

    “…It’s important that people see this…but the media pulls shit like this often and it should be publicized
    mark duggan was the young man shot to death by the met police here in london, and whose murder, now ruled controversially as ‘legal’, sparked the summer riots a few years back…”

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