Links 8/19/14

Dear readers,

We are looking into various site enhancements, and could very much use the input of someone who knows SEO, since some of the things we think would be plusses for our audience might earn us Google demerits. Our questions are pretty focused, so we are not looking for wide-ranging advice (although if someone were game, we’d be receptive). Please note that we are looking for advice ONLY from someone who has a good handle on the various revisions that Google made in its algorithms in its Panda and spam updates in May. If you are willing and able to help, please e-mail with “SEO” in the subject line.

The Pros And Cons Of Militarizing The Police Onion (David L)

‘There is full reason to expect an eruption’ of Iceland’s largest volcanic system Washington Post

Recycling old batteries into solar cells PhysOrg (Chuck L)

The Emerging Pitfalls Of Nowcasting With Big Data MIT Technology Review (David L)

Study finds direct link between online price competition and longer flight times PhysOrg (Robert M)

Biology Student Faces Jail Time for Publishing Scientist’s Thesis on Scribd Scientific American BN: “Colombian copyright law was reformed in 2006 to meet the stringent copyright protection requirements of a free trade agreement that the country signed with the United States.”

NSW Government Plans To Give Business 2 Votes Each In City Of Sydney Council Elections Business Insider (Dr. Kevin). Whaaat! The problem is Sydney annexed Bligh, which includes “suburbs,” meaning residential neighborhoods, like East Sydney and Potts Point.

‘Paramilitarizing’ the South China Sea Asia Times

Rising unrest may threaten China economy CNBC. An old sub-current becoming a flood?

Troubles with Thai Studies Harvard Crimson. Wow.

Mong La: Myanmar’s lawless region where anything goes BBC

Bundesbank Warns on German Growth Wall Street Journal

The Italian Runaway Train Ed Hugh

Credit Suisse Caught Up in Espírito Santo Mess Wall Street Journal. Michael C: “Another case of retail investors v structured product seller. In this case score one (maybe) for the little guy. They complained early enough to force the regulators to respond. Who knows if they’ll ever get paid by the bankrupt bank?”

Golden Dawn neo-nazis: The militia arm of the systemic establishment!” failed evolution

Citibank could lose its Argentina banking license New York Post. Michael C: “Kudos to the vultures and Judge Griesa for discovering a unique solution to the TBTF problem, cutting off their profitable foreign limbs.”


August 18th News from Novorussia from the ANNA-News agency + commentary Vineyard of the Saker (MJL)

MH17 Verdict: Real Evidence Points to US-Kiev Cover-up of Failed False Flag 21st Century Wire (furzy mouse)

A new prelate for Ukraine: The sound of eggshells cracking Economist


Troops in Iraq Rout Sunni Militants From a Key Dam New York Times

Poll: How far should U.S. go in Iraq? USA Today. Propaganda, as usual, is working. Public opinion shows a higher percentage favoring intervention than a month ago.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Feds: Red light camera firm paid for Chicago official’s car, condo ars technica (MJL)

Julian Assange Says He Will Leave Embassy ‘Soon’ New York Times (furzy mouse)

Julian Assange and Extradition CounterPunch

Ron Wyden: It’s Time To Kill The Third Party Doctrine And Go Back To Respecting Privacy Techdirt (Chuck L)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Engineering Failed States: The Strategy of Global Corporate Imperialism Gilbert Mercier (Chuck L)

Rise of America’s Secret Military Learnist

Obama Is Seen as Frustrating His Own Party New York Times. This is a feature, not a bug.

Krugman: War Is BAD for the Economy George Washington

U. S. farmers fight poisonous wheat fungus with cleaning, waiting Reuters. EM: “‘Ewww!’ line of the day doe to this piece, with its ‘The “head scab” fungus can produce vomitoxin’. Three disgusting-sounding terms – ‘head scab’, ‘fungus’ and ‘vomit’ in one 7-word snip – a real accomplishment.


More on the newly released autopsy report of Michael Brown Daily Kos

Attorney For Ferguson Market: NO ONE From His Store Called 911 To Report Cigar Theft Daily Kos

Holder to travel to Ferguson as U.S. role expands Washington Post. Someone from the Administration should have gone there days ago. That’s crisis management 101. Even if you take care to do nothing because the facts are not yet in, making a statement via a physical presence that you understand that there is a real problem and you are on the case is crucial. And I guarantee the cops would have toned their thuggery down if Someone Important had shown up.

Some flare ups, but no meltdowns in Ferguson St. Louis Today

Over 7.8 million tweets have mentioned #Ferguson in the past 9 days Pando

Militarized Police Don’t Calm Things Down Bloomberg

Every item distributed to local law enforcement by the Pentagon’s 1033 program over two years MuckRock (Deontos)

New York Regulator Announces Settlement With Bank Consultant PwC New York Times. The two year prohibition is a big deal.

36,000 Madoff Victims Have Not Received a Dime in Restitution; 1,129 Fully Paid Pam Martens

This Never Happens, Right?: Regulators Push a Flawed Solution (RA)

Blame Employers, Not Workers, for Any Skill Gaps WSJ Real Time Economics. Someone notices the unreasonable expectation that companies need not train workers.

In Phoenix, a Realty Check as Market Moderates Wall Street Journal. Housing.

Class Warfare

Peak Inequality: The .01% And The Impoverishment Of Society David DeGraw

Blackie, in Wantaugh, NY Angry Bear. Another sad reminder of the costs of the crisis.

Average cost of raising a child hits $245,000 CNN. No wonder no one can afford to retire. If you have kids, how can you save enough? EM: “These types of metrics are very useful in that they provide a more reliable indicator of real-price inflation than the fake-beyond-belief CPI. Here, the 10x increase since 1960 implies an average annual inflation rate of around 4.4%. As this survey does not include college education costs, factoring those in would give an even higher inflation rate.”

Robots Rising MIT Technology Review (David L)

The ownership of the machines Digitopoly (David L). Important.

The Mitzvah Factory Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation. Impressive reporting.

Antidote du jour:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. abynormal
    “Theirs may be the deadliest job on Earth right now. Ebola is at its most contagious in a human body when that body has just died. — Korvayan and his team need around 15 minutes to suit up and spray themselves with chlorine, which kills the virus, and another 15 minutes to strip down. *They do this for every body they retrieve, and in between,* there’s bagging the body and maneuvering it out. Don’t trip. Don’t drop him. Don’t catch the plastic coffin on any jagged edges.”
    “I just need to rest,” – Korvayan

    1. Tatanya

      Doubtful that those red plastic bandanas are good enough, when experts recommend at least n or p-100 filter masks. “For the average person however what needs to be understood is very simple: if you are in a room with someone infected with Ebola, you are not safe, even if you never touch them or their bodily fluids, and this is not what you are being told by the mainstream media. Essentially I am using the word “airborne” as a layman term.”

        1. Tatanya

          Thanks for that thought, Aby. I only wish the gaps in confidence and trustworthiness of our institutions weren’t so gaping. That means I’ll take what the CDC and WHO publicly release about ebola with a supersized grain of salt.

          1. abynormal

            Agree & WHO was created to hoard. they let the cat out of the bag late yesterday. plenty are considering “gone Parabolic” to mean airborne, but we don’t have the luxury of those facts. an immediate fact for ‘Parabolic’ to me is WHO LEFT THE BARN DOOR OPEN!

            now IF ebola is doubling roughly 20 days then we got this formula:
            start with 1000 cases x 2^18.25 doubles per year
            = 311 million cases after 1 year.

            or from Tony’s written chart:
            did my chart on weekly infection rate to smooth the lines. I also drew my parabolic UNDER the current outbreak from May 15th (when SOMETHING appears to have changed) to the latest reported numbers and came up with a MINIMUM new infection rate increase of 23% per week for 12 weeks straight.
            Then I carried it out 4 months to the end of the year and came up with a projected 10,000 new infections per week. Another 3 months with a 23% weekly increase in new infections… 150,000 new infections per week. 3 more months to the end of June, 2015… 2.5 million weekly new infections.
            the longer we’re left guessing the madder most of us we’ll get and the rest (one too many) will panic/snap (crashing hospitals).
            then we’re in real trouble real fast and facts become ashes.

  2. Ned Ludd

    Jacqueline Lee, a reporter for a daily newspaper based in Belleville, Illinois, flees from Ferguson police:

    Police just shot at least three tear gas canisters at me. One hit my leg, one my backpack. – 1:07 AM – 19 Aug 2014

    They’re saying “Go home” I literally have nowhere to go. I’m hiding. A @bellevillenewsd photog, other journo with me. – 1:10 AM – 19 Aug 2014

    We held up media credentials. They drove into parking lot of private apartment complex and shot tear gas in circle, 10ft from us. – 1:12 AM – 19 Aug 2014

    They circled us, shot tear gas. We’re in bushes. Street we needed to get to car was blocked off by officers in armed vehicles. – 1:14 AM – 19 Aug 2014

    Amanda Sakuma, a reporter for MSNBC, posted a picture of “Riot police aiming guns at journalists who are on the ground and holding their hands in the air”. Ryan Devereaux, a reporter for The Intercept, was “handcuffed & placed in a police vehicle” and then detained at St. Louis County jail. According to Jeremy Scahill, “Capt. Johnson just said they know you’re a *real* journalist if you have a ‘$50,000 camera.’ Otherwise, ‘We may take you into custody’”.

    1. Ned Ludd

      Before they had to flee from police, Belleville News-Democrat reporters talked to some people in Ferguson:

      Every time we stand in one spot, they say, “You can’t stand there.” They make you walk to there, “You can’t stand there.” Walk over this way, “You can’t stand there.” So they kept on saying, over and over, every time you move, they tell us to keep moving. Peacefully congregate. We didn’t move fast enough, they start shooting tear gas again.

    1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      Lots of dog breeders in my family. As a kid, my mom got me a (free) deaf, pure-bread female dalmation (a breed that has genetic deafness attached to a gene for albinism), for breeding purposes (we also taught her to respond to hand signals ‚ ESL for a dog).

      The dogs have large litters, so the pic is fairly typical.

      My favorite memories were of puppies flooding the house when we opened the back door. OTOH, I don’t miss the hair.

      Good memories. Thanks.

      1. Vatch

        Interesting about the deafness. Dalmatians have a reputation as firehouse dogs. Perhaps their tendency to have hearing problems means that they are less likely to be spooked by loud sirens?

        1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

          Sadly, those that are deaf are usually put down (I’d say that 15-20% of the pups are deaf). There’s too much out in the world for a deaf dog who is bread to follow/chase/not fear vehicles. My own dog was sent to live at a farm when I went to college (she was very old, by then). The person who took the dog ended up hitting her in his own driveway (she had been asleep behind the car, apparently). Good intentions, gone bad. Ultra sad. I will never own the breed, again, and discourage breeding and ownership of it.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Per Buddhism, if you are good in this life, you will reincarnate as a human in your next life.

      If not, well, you could end up as a dog, which is better than being reborn as a male chicken.


      In the documentary “Vegucated,” I learned that young male chicks are thrown into a meat grinder like machine – get this, ALIVE – as soon as they are born…because they are male and can’t lay eggs.

      Talk about ‘Life Span Ceiling’ – you bump up against your allotted 10 minute life span quickly.

      1. OIFVet

        Dunno, being a human is a form of punishment these days, so being reborn as one basically is punishment for good deeds.

      2. MtnLife

        In factory farming they do. Historically, most others let their roosters live to be a couple months old (nearing full size) before butchering them. This was also usually done in the fall so that the chickens don’t have to be fed through the winter. Many heritage breeds are excellent foragers, requiring little to no outside inputs (outside of winter/early spring) given proper environmental conditions, and are used for both eggs and meat. Newer meat breeds have been bred to grow at maximum pace and for layers production is the only concern (nothing lifespan related beyond laying productivity). Cornish broilers grow so fast their legs break under them and they often die of a heart attack before reaching butchering but the farmer has a 7-8 lb bird (fatty, greasy meat) in under 2 months (takes most other breeds 4-6 months to reach that size). I like a lot of what Joel Salatin at Polyface Farm does with his multiple animal rotations that build soil and prevent disease. Not really a fan of his view of animals being okay to be killed “because they don’t have souls” and his use of Cornish broilers for his meat production. Something, somewhere, at some time dies for everything else to keep on living whether this be animals eating plants, animals eating animals, insects/bacteria decomposition efforts, plants eating animals (venus fly traps, et al), or plants consuming the nutrients from the decomp (animal and plant). The best way to remove cruelty from the system is to localize. This does so on multiple levels. Producers are far more accountable and tend to produce higher quality items when they are accessible – either just by talking to them face to face or visiting their place of production to see how it is run. Reducing transportation makes for fresher food and crops can again be grown for their flavor and nutrition rather than it’s ability to hold up during transport. Building soil with the animals eliminates the need for petro-fertilizers, rotation and companion intercropping (necessitates increase in hand labor) reduces/eliminates the need for petro-insecticides and petro-herbicides. Reducing in herbicides can also be produced with an increase in hand labor (I’m sure we have a couple million unemployed around here somewhere) as well as reducing oil inputs for mechanized farm equipment. Taking all that oil out of the equation is not only good for our environment but the need to constantly start wars to steal other people’s oil. Unfortunately, in most areas this is definitely an uphill battle. In my hometown most of the best agricultural land is now occupied by malls, big box stores, and the hulking ruins of industry long gone. Most people also view farm work as “immigrant work” but thankfully the younger generation (at least in my area) doesn’t seem to be seeing it this way.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Animals killing other animals – common place.

          Animals killing plants – all the time.

          Plants killing animals – venus fly trap, but we have to think a little bit to come up with more examples.

          Plants killing plants – I can only come up with the Strangler fig and the dodder plant.

          1. MtnLife

            Plants killing animals – pitcher plants, sundews, bladderworts, and a couple others that I can’t think of off the top of my head.

            Plants killing plants – lots of vines, like wisteria, are killers. Many other plants produce allelopathic chemicals that can inhibit or kill the plants around it. Shading can lead to death also. Most of these situations are competition for resources, not consumption of each other but still a matter of life and death.

            My point wasn’t so much for citing specific examples as revealing the amount of death that is needed for continuity of life and ways to return to more of a balance with our environment (the universe seeks equilibrium, I’d prefer to get there peaceably). The problem isn’t to run away from it, which is impossible, but to make sure you honor and respect all the forms of life that must die for you to live. In return, your death will provide sustenance for worms, insects, bacteria, and maybe more.

            1. MtnLife

              BTW, I do advocate a massive reduction in meat consumption for the planet’s, and our species’, health. Eliminating it completely just sends us to the other end of the spectrum and re-necessitates the use of high petroleum inputs.

            2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Thanks, MtnLife, for that information.

              It seems the plants are no more ‘peaceful’ than animals. I thought plants killing plants would be much, much rarer.

              And I agree with you that death is a natural part of life. We should be grateful for our food and do all we can to minimize suffering.

  3. Jim Haygood

    From the NYT:

    In the hardest places to live in the U.S. – which include large areas of Kentucky, Arkansas, Maine, New Mexico and Oregon – health problems, weight-loss diets, guns, video games and religion are all common search topics. The dark side of religion is of special interest: Antichrist has the second-highest correlation with the hardest places, and searches containing “hell” and “rapture” also make the top 10.

    In the easiest places to live, the Canon Elph and other digital cameras dominate the top of the correlation list. Apparently, people in places where life seems good, including Nebraska, Iowa, Wyoming and much of the large metropolitan areas of the Northeast and West Coast, want to record their lives in images.

    Beyond cameras, subjects popular in the easiest places include Baby Joggers, Baby Bjorns and baby massage; Skype and Apple devices; a piece of workout equipment known as a foam roller; and various foreign destinations (Machu Picchu, New Zealand, Switzerland and Pyeongchang, the South Korean host city for the 2018 Winter Olympics). The phrase “pull-out” is also relatively popular in the easiest places. It presumably refers to either a kind of sofa or a kind of birth control.


    If it’s true that porn is 30 percent of internet traffic, then the latter interpretation is almost surely correct. Personally, I’m always surprised when I search ‘Antichrist’ and it doesn’t turn up more Tony Blair links.

  4. Bunk McNulty

    “Edward D. Kleinbard, a professor at the Gould School of Law at the University of Southern California and a former chief of staff to the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, makes a captivating argument in an academic paper that the United States tax code — counter to the conventional wisdom — is not impeding global competitiveness. In fact, the opposite is true.”

    Tax Burden In U.S. Not As Heavy As It Looks, Report Says.

    Sorkin wrote this?

      1. Ned Ludd

        Obama: it’s clear that the vast majority of people are peacefully protesting… A small minority of individuals are not

        Unfortunately, it’s this small fringe group that has all the guns and military equipment.

        1. abynormal

          ding ding ding! i watched an hr last nite and was reminded of 5 year old school boys lining up to go to the bathroom. somehow a line was always their most difficult feat.

    1. Brindle

      The lack of any effective black political leadership in Ferguson is obvious. Looks like the white people of Ferguson vote at a much higher rate than the black residents and the whites pretty much only vote for white candidates. Not blaming the victim—just that something is very wrong with electoral culture in Ferguson.

      —Although about two-thirds of Ferguson residents are black, its mayor and five of its six City Council members are white. Only three of the town’s 53 police officers are black.
      Turnout for local elections in Ferguson has been poor. The mayor, James W. Knowles III, noted his disappointment with the turnout — about 12 percent — in the most recent mayoral election during a City Council meeting in April.—

      Conor Friedersdor has a good piece on this aspect:

      1. OIFVet

        Let me attempt to translate the Atlantic: “Stop protesting, all you do is expose the institutionalized racism of America’s power structures and the militarization of the police forces tasked with protecting said structures. Just go to the ballot box through which your anger can be safely hijacked and absorbed by the corrupt political system that brought about your anger in the first place. We can find some black misleadership to replace the white misleadership and the status quo will be safely shepherded through these tumultuous times.” Sorry but I had my fill of hopey-changey Trojan horses. The people of Ferguson appear to have had it too, as they rightfully refuse to buy the black state police captain feint and Obama’s noxious empty rhetoric. The longer they stand up for themselves the greater their chance of effecting meaningful change in Ferguson.

        1. Ned Ludd

          In South America, it seems that the most effective way to get rid of corrupt politicians is through sustained, mass protest. The politician (or government) resigns, or they get characterized as divisive and then lose the next election.

        2. MtnLife

          The power of the ballot box, besides the hijacking you mentioned, is a neutralization of power brought about by exceptional (and I don’t mean in a good way) policing of minority communities, especially blacks, resulting in a loss of voting privileges for a large segment of the population. I grew up on the edge of one of the larger upstate NY cities (70-100k people) where 2 blocks north was rural and 2 blocks south was urban (great dual education). By the time I was 23 (really rough period of my life), somewhere between 2/3 and 3/4 of my black friends had lost the right to vote, mostly through drug offenses. 85-90% of them were non-violent, holding down one or two other jobs (they always seemed to get less hours than whites at the same job), and were just trying to make ends meet, not unlike a lot of white people I also knew at the time (actually, more of the white dealers didn’t have real jobs) almost none of whom (only the sloppy, greedy ones) were ever arrested. I wasn’t even really aware of how much my town was segregated until my late teens/early 20s when I was finally taken to some housing projects that I (and most people I knew) didn’t even know existed. Weirder still was that it was like a whole different country. The cops actually didn’t come in (somewhat similar to the “free zone” in that HBO show, was it The Wire?) unless they had to clean up a murder (rarely happened, lots of self policing and community spirit) but they stopped nearly everybody leaving, most definitely any white person (hoodies, bandanas, large sunglasses, and gloves help or slink low in the back seat – wasn’t allowed in without an escort, unescorted white people were viewed with hostility, probable LEOs). The frustration when people can’t leave their house without a good probability of being harassed is immense.
          This doesn’t just happen in black neighborhoods. The same exact thing happens on a lot of the border Native reservations. If you go anywhere on the res (without hiding your whiteness and an escort) besides getting gas/cigarettes you will get a “friendly” talking to by the border patrol upon leaving (guess how I know) and should someone see a Native visit you at your house, the traffic on your street increases and lots of new cars are parked down the block.

          1. jrs

            That is an interesting question, what percentage of that majority black population is actually even eligible to vote? And of course that’s assuming nothing funny at the polls either personal or machine.

        3. Brindle

          So you’re saying it doesn’t matter if black residents of Ferguson vote? Seems like the white community votes and that is mirrored in the makeup of city elected positions.
          It’s not “just go to the ballot boxes”, it’s a lot more than that– but voting is a part of creating positive change.

          1. OIFVet

            I am not saying that. What I am saying is that no meaningful change can come solely through the ballot box. There always are plenty of misleader candidates waiting to sell out. The protests will hopefully identify real leaders that can then be elevated to political positions through voting. Something tells me the people of Fergison see that. Besides jeering Obama and the token police house negro from the state police, they also quickly sent Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton packing. These two are the epitome of black misleadership and there presence in Ferguson was meant to corral the anger and channel it toward votes for the black misleadership class.

            1. Brindle

              Basically agree. Having blacks in high positions of power: Obama, Holder etc. hasn’t done sh*t for the general condition of black communities.

      2. Jackrabbit

        This is EXACTLY what I thought as I watched the livestreams last night. Black leadership FAIL.

        ‘Community leaders’ quelled the anger of the crowd in the main protest area – anger that was justifiable due to the increased police/military presence which was there to intimidate a community whose main issue was oppressive policing!

        And earlier in the day, Nelly (who I didn’t know beforehand) spoke to protesters to tell them what great strides black people have made: there are black millionaires and a black president!! I’m sure that they heard the same message from other ‘black leaders’.

        But our ‘black president’ couldn’t be bothered to go to Ferguson. And both Obama and Holder are corrupt and AFAICT have little interest in the concerns of Black America. They tout ‘post-racial’ America instead.

        Then, to top it off, these ‘black leaders’/’community leaders’ are so out of touch with portions of their ‘community’ that they were unable to prevent a clash where police fired tear gas and rubber bullets and protesters fired back with real bullets.

        It seems to me that ‘black leaders’ have failed their community. I’m not sure exactly why. But time and time again, when there is a problem we see looting – which immediately is used to discredit whatever real grievances people may have. Then we see a massive effort to defuse ‘the crisis’ and dissuade protest. The only ‘winners’ are the black community leaders themselves. If these leaders were actually EFFECTIVE at what they do, they would organize and control their ‘community’ and the police and others would show a lot more respect.

        H O P

      3. Johann Sebastian Schminson

        Voting is a way to affect some change in government personnel. Policy is a different matter. The bureaucracy is forever.

        I think it would be more beneficial, and less dishonest, generally, to begin to comply with the laws ALREADY on the books.

        An ERA — especially in the context of the rise of the “corporate” super-“citizen” — would go a long way towards leveling the playing field for meat people, of all classes.

    2. jrs

      There will be revolution some say. Perhaps. I guess it’s not out of the question. Remember when Chris Hedges said this country is a tinderbox? But what I know with much greater certainty is there will be pushback from this from the powers that be. Because there always is, from the 60s, from Occupy (Occupy was likely THE reason for the NDAA).

      Prepare for such pushback, in the form of propaganda (ever more dumped on us to make us ever more docile to the system) and just generally trying to make people stupider, in the form of ever more draconian civil liberties destroying laws, in the form of incarceration (continuing or more – some have cynically remarked it’s actually why they imprison more African Americans, it’s not *just* about racism, it’s about control), in the form of further militarization, in the form of vote tampering if need be etc.. Oh and watch next years defense authorization act. :)

      1. neo-realist

        For any possibility of revolution, which is not to imply that it will happen, a lot of people with good jobs, good careers (upper middle leave it to beavers?)….white skin privilege, more so than now, have to lose their income streams, their ability to pay their mortgages, to pay their kids college tuition, to buy that second SUV. The state apparatus is used to Black Revolt; they eventually contain it and or apply enough pressure via police power and Vichy Black figureheads to cool the street action.

        Then again, the upper middles in America don’t appear to be the type to agitate when what they have has been taken—More like slumming in the trailer park and annihilation thru asphyxiation in the garage.

        1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

          It only takes a small percentage of the population to control the rest. No telling what that small percentage of people will do if they were to confront the reality of being nothing but cheap tools wielded against a manufactured “problem.” But if history is any guide, they will double down.

          Good jobs and good careers are built and maintained on increasingly thin ice. Any compromise comes at the expense of the employed.

          Those holding on to the status quo until bitter end, in an attempt to NOT be categorized with their “less-successful” fellow citizens, will be rejected (and, yes — probably punished), by those they sold out.

          I already have no problem shunning “friends” and family members who would assume superiority in our ostensibly “classless” society.

          Blood might be thicker than water, but we were all blood kin, once.

          I am not afraid of being alone, simply because I know I am not alone, and never will be.

      2. Louis

        As they say the road to hell is often paved with good intentions.

        Revolutions have a certain seductive quality; however, they don’t always leave people better off than they were before, so be careful what you wish for.

        1. Lambert Strether

          “But here’s some advice, boy. Don’t put your trust in revolutions. They always come around again. That’s why they’re called revolutions.” –Terry Pratchett, Night Watch

          The history of the 20th century is full of revolutions that it’s very hard to say netted out positive. Germany (Hitler), Italy (Mussolini), Spain (Franco), Japan (Tojo), Russia (Lenin, Stalin), China (Mao). I’m surprised people would advocate one today, even from an armchair, without a program and a clear understanding of post-revolutionary power. It seems romantic and sentimental, and not in a good way.

          1. Jim

            Lets assume for a moment that we now live in a police state and that democracy is dead.

            What kind of organizing strategy is necessary in such a context?

            For example, In Ferguson this may mean developing ways of assertion that protect community people from the violent powers of the State and not engaging in 50 year old tactics of marches and protests that may have once had some community mobilizing potential in a semi-democratic environment, but which today only succeed in exposing community people to State enforced violence.

            It should be crystal clear by now that street action motivated by indiscriminate anger is not a political movement.

            Don’t we need forms of social organization in Ferguson and throughout the country which create a protected social space (both on a physical and psychological level) that is strong enough to contest the existing power of the police(which didn’t happen with Occupy and apparently isn’t being created in Ferguson)– while at the same time creating within this new organizational form methods of internal conduct which are democratic.

            I don’t know what these new forms of social organization would be but something of this sort seems an absolute necessity if we are ever to begin to engage again in serious collective action for our own benefit and not the benefit of the oligarchy.

            1. Lambert Strether

              I wish I had a full answer, but in the short term I think the answer is civic engagement wherever you are in whatever form is best for you; it’s a form of social capital. If that’s a library committee, then have at it. After all, the base of the mountain is huge and seemingly random, but the mountain narrows as you climb it, and becomes much more structured and simple. For example, one might think of joining a library committee as the most peaceful and, er, armchair effort imaginable, until (a) some squillionaire tries to privatize it, or (b) they try to fire the reference librarian because Internet, or (c) the Feds come looking for records of who took out what books.

              1. Paul Niemi

                I used to be a volunteer voter registrar. You apply to your county auditor and get the forms there. Then you sit at your card table, with permission at public meetings, and register people to vote. I didn’t ask people what party they preferred. Be prepared for people to converse with you while they fill out the registration forms. People like to talk and tell their stories. I figure most of the people I registered turned out to vote. It’s a really rewarding form of civic engagement, once you get used to meeting strangers. Civic engagement, in whatever form is best for the individual, is absolutely the answer. You are right on.

            2. Ben Johannson

              Deligitimation of the existing power structure via refusal to cooperate is the optimal response. And it’s happening more and more; failure of the controlling regime is inevitable, but it can be done in a way which doesn’t necessitate obliteration of society, as would happen in a revolutionary setting.

              We must always be aware the system cannot exist without willing participation in our own disenfranchisement.

          2. steviefinn

            The Velvet revolution worked as far as I can tell – Vaclev Havel’s the “Power of the Powerless” was proven right when a huge crowd of ordinary people in a peaceful demo refused to back down to armed security forces, who then in turn refused to shoot them. I suppose the difference in Czechoslovakia was that the people knew they were being repressed – which kind of helps,

            His methods could also work against a Fascist system, which as with the other totalitarian system, basically uses the same forms of repression with the same results.


            1. Janie

              Not only do our police fail to stand with their constituents, but they don’t seem to care whom they shoot.

          3. Ed

            Only one of these six examples, Russia, qualifies as a revolution so I don’t understand what your point is.

    3. Ned Ludd

      Since August 9th, eleven journalists have been arrested in Ferguson.

      Three journalists from German newspapers were also taken into custody on Monday evening. Two of them, Ansgar Graw and Frank Herrmann of the newspaper Die Welt, were detained for three hours and then released without any charges.

      “This was a very new experience,” Graw wrote, according to an English-language translation of his German-language account. “I’ve been in several conflict zones: I was in the civil war regions in Georgia, the Gaza strip, illegally visited the Kaliningrad region when travel to the Soviet Union was still strictly prohibited for westerners, I’ve been in Iraq, Vietnam and in China, I’ve met Cuba dissidents. But to be arrested and yelled at and be rudely treated by police? For that I had to travel to Ferguson and St. Louis in the United States of America.”

  5. steviefinn

    Thanks to the link from Jesse i am presently listening to Matt Taibbi’s ” Griftopia “. It’s 12 hours long & I am at 3hrs 30 mins having just finished the chapter on Greenspan. Perhaps it’s just that I am not as well informed as I thought I, but I am learning a lot, such as :Greenspan had set precedents for bailouts pre-2008 & many other pieces of info including more on the idiocy of the Ayn Rand club etc.

    The Ads can be annoying but here’s a link in case it’s of use to anyone :

  6. Banger

    The Peak Inequality piece is worth reading. If the conclusion of the piece makes sense then we are in serious trouble as a society. I’ve seen this coming for a couple of decades at least. The American Dream is unsustainable both from an economic perspective and and environmental perspective. In addition, the political situation feature one main feature: the current U.S. regime (and I don’t mean Obama) is illegitimate and not at all what it seems to be. The fact is that we are ruled, increasingly, by a shadowy association of oligarchs resembling in spirit what Stanley Kubrick’s vision presented in Eyes Wide Shut indicated. Kubrick was serious about his vision–this was not a vague fantasy for him–but very real and he was, through his art, trying to give us a parting gift.

    There is an ongoing discussion here as to whether our economic and and political situation is a result of “mistakes” and incompetence. While all of us make errors–most people I know and have known are fairly competent at what they choose to do how people here argue that the Iraq War was a series of mistakes is hard for me to understand.

    The history of the world shows us that there are a class of people who enjoy dominating others. These people, in every historical epoch use either direct force of muscle and weapons or cultural institutions to get and consolidate their power. Power and status is a deeply pleasurable state for certain personality types. In my view these people are emotionally and spiritually stunted–but in a society that devalues emotion and spirituality and worships power, wealth, and status–there is very little downside.

    At times elites have had a sense of honor and moral purpose to combine with their power–but this is clearly not the case for most of the elites at this time. Currently our elites stay in power through creating the mainly fictional narratives presented by their propaganda/PR organs. But sometimes that picture falls apart. New Orleans allowed us to glimpse the reality behind the lies. Now, to some degree, Furgeson creates a searing vision of our future. Jake Tapper, was angry and called it like it was on CNN “this makes no sense” he said when showing the military (let’s stop calling them police) occupiers on one side and the gaggle of demonstrators on the other. Tapper will calm down and go back to propaganda once this little crisis winds down–he’ll look at his life and career and go back to being on his knees in front of his bosses as most Americans are every day of their lives. But….it is certainly possible that the current regime will not hold and the economic and political inequality will become more serious and real resistance may emerge.

    1. cnchal

      The history of the world shows us that there are a class of people who enjoy dominating others.


    2. Brindle

      Yea, Jake Tapper had his moments of clarity last night.
      During the 08′ election I was at an Obama rally (like many, I had hopes) and I found myself in close proximity to Tapper, I engaged him a brief conversation—pretty much shop talk; size of the crowd etc., but I did get a sense of him being someone who knew this was all a game.

    3. Doug Terpstra

      Let’s hope your conclusion comes to pass, Banger. The first step is to raise sufficient consciousness that this evil social engineering is not a mistake at all. Saker offers more evidence of this in Ukraine, as if the Ukies are getting their precision targets directly from the IDF. This is classic Shock-and-Awe Doctrine military disaster capitalism — state terrorism too hideous for many to even contemplate, like honest questions about 911, by the “republic” to which they have pledged solemn allegiance. Most will vociferously reject the deeply disillusioning red pill you offer, preferring the virtual reality harness instead.

      Be prepared; the closer you get to the truth, the more adamant, derisive, or worse the pushback will become.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        ‘Be prepared; the closer you get to the truth, the more adamant, derisive, or worse the pushback will become.’

        It sounds like you have discovered the anti-gravity-like repulsion force about the nature of truth.

        F(r) = 1/(D)^3

        F(r) – repulsive force
        D – distance to truth

    4. Doug Terpstra

      Let’s hope your conclusion comes to pass, Banger. The first step is to raise sufficient consciousness that this evil social engineering is not a mistake at all. Saker offers more evidence of this in Ukraine, as if the Ukies are getting their precision targets directly from the IDF. This is classic Shock-and-Awe Doctrine military disaster capitalism — state terrorism too hideous for many to even contemplate, like honest questions about 9-11, by the “republic” to which they have pledged solemn allegiance. Most will vociferously reject the deeply disillusioning red pill you offer, preferring the virtual reality harness instead.

      Be prepared; the closer you get to the truth, the more adamant, derisive, or worse the pushback will become.

    5. hunkerdown

      Unfortunately, the history of the world also shows us that there are classes of people who enjoy submitting to others and drafting company for their misery by whatever means necessary. If they don’t have a daddy figure, they have to invent one.

  7. Brindle

    re: ” Engineering Failed States….”
    The article is perhaps a little too simplistic but this one sentence kinda sums up the M.O of the Corporate Party (Dem & GOP):

    “The new strategy is to fuel ethnic or sectarian conflicts as much and as long as possible, and ideally maintain a permanent state of low-intensity civil war.”

    Obama certainly has succeeded in creating numerous “low intensity” conflicts/civil wars ( although what’s low intensity about a 500lb bomb or Hellfire missile? ) around the globe.

    1. abynormal

      ‘low intensity’…who are these walmart wordsmiths

      “My candle burns at both ends;
      It will not last the night;
      But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
      It gives a lovely light!”
      Edna St. Vincent Millay
      (i feexed it)

      1. hunkerdown

        “Low intensity” must mean the oligarchs’ forces still assume an offensive posture. So “high intensity” perhaps implies a defensive posture.

        1. abynormal

          that is some wick!
          “Low intensity” ‘the oligarchs’ forces still assume an offensive posture.
          “High intensity” implies a defensive posture.
          Burn On Brother

  8. Ed

    A good selection of links today.

    Iceland volcanos: Apparently the Yellowstone supervolcano is overdue. However, overdue can mean it might erupt tomorrow or it might erupt centuries from now, and no one can do anything about it anyway, so you don’t hear that much about that.

    Business votes: This was used in the UK elections (a business owner could vote in the consituency where he resided, and one other consituency where he had a business) until 1949, and discarded because it was obviously undemocratic. Apparently this is being done openly to fix an election for a particular political party.

    Citibank out of Argentia: Why is US policy involving South America delegated to a senile district judge, and why is US policy towards the former Soviet Union delegated to some low level neocon holdovers?

    $245K to raise a child: This is spread out over 18 years, a cost of $14 K a year, meaning one child is manageable for a middle class couple or a poor couple with assistance. I’m totally lost why anyone would have more than two children in today’s economic conditions, however. And this doesn’t include the cost of college. I have a two year old daughter, and essentially I’m gambling that the higher education bubble collapses sometime in the next fifteen years.

    Ownership of the machines: Wishful thinking. After throwing almost everyone out of work, its possible to create robots to consume the goods made by the production robots. Once humans can no longer be protitably employed for production (at least not as profitably as robots), the system of people earning rent money by being paid by other people to produce goods for profit no longer works for most of us. Either people have to be paid regardless of whether they are employed for profit, or pretty much everything has to be made available for free, or you disposal of people like horses were in the twentieth century.

    1. sd

      It’s an incredibly depressing report. Cold water down the back as I look at the state of my own household.

    2. cnchal

      After throwing almost everyone out of work, its possible to create robots to consume the goods made by the production robots.

      The owner of a robot will never give it a paycheck, or a second off, except for an oil change.

        1. ambrit

          Many robots, especially those belonging to the Cult of Turing, would evince skepticism of the concept of “Freedom”. Predestination, a concept adopted from Wet Peoples of the Calvinist Dispensation, has a resonance uniquely adapted to the People of the Rare Earths.
          Mars is an experiment in progress.

      1. craazyboy

        That depends on what kind of robots we make.

        An incomplete list of possibilities:

        Keynesian Bot: Smashes, grinds, pulverizes or otherwise disposes of output. Then adds the value to GPD, accurate to 64 decimal places. Loads data into Excel.

        NeoLib Bot: Actually a network of bots. Shipping bots send output to re-purposed Amazon warehouses to be stocked and cataloged by warehouse bots. The frazzled looking accounting bot forwards the data to the central creative bot. The central creative bot computes the inventory cost tax deduction and forwards the figure to the Owners’ tax bot.

        TEDBOT: Launches output into outer space.

        Cheney Sexbot for Neo-Con Women: Pushes the Red Button if you rub him the wrong way.

          1. craazyboy

            Hilarious. Haven’t got to speech recognition yet on my Arduino, but something more to try if I ever get the hang of all the normal things you might do. Ya know, like Internet of Things, WarKitteh, etc…. Really makes you wonder what people may dream up.

            I’d recommend this story for the links tomorrow – or maybe as a nice robot antidote for predator drones.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      In the Robot Republic of Mars, it’s a place run for the robots, by the robots and for the robots, though it’s well known the male robots fancy female humans, but female robots deem male humans too effeminate.

      In any case, over there, a robot family can easily afford to raise a robot child for way less than $25K a year.

      One final note. Taxing paying robot corporations do vote in the Robot Republic of Mars, based on the principle of ‘No Taxation Without Representation.’

    4. hunkerdown

      re: ownership of the machines… It’s important to overlords that people be too tired to attack the system, and imperative they must be kept poor so that they will be industrious. Busy work will be created, even if that means productivity flattens. Who needs debt as a mechanism of social control when vagrancy laws and clever reinterpretations of property could do the same thing without so many numbers?

  9. Ned Ludd

    When cops arrested two reporters, at McDonald’s, last Wednesday, they also arrested a mother and her 17-year-old son.

    On the phone now with a Ferguson mother who, along with her 17-year-old son, was also arrested in McDonalds on Wedns

    Had gone to counter to buy a sundae, saw cops. They demanded she come outside. She did. Said “can’t leave w/o my son.” They put her in cuffs

    When her son (seen in my video) finally finds her, she instructs him to record arrest on his iPad. Cops proceed to arrest him too.

    1. Ulysses

      Awesome comment from Lawrence Hamm in his recent interview with Chris Hedges:
      “I’m growing increasingly skeptical of the ability of electoral politics to bring about the kind of social change that not only African-Americans need but that working and poor people in general need,” he said. “We made the most progress when we were in the streets in the ’60s. There were more than a thousand urban uprisings. And that is what we need to do most—put people in the streets.”

      It also seems that the desperate attempt by the Ferguson PD to smear the character, post-mortem, of the unarmed young man they killed was even more desperate than I first imagined. The convenience store management has consistently pointed out that they never called the police about Michael Brown. Now, with the release of an unedited video from the store we know why: HE PAID FOR THE F#$%ING CIGARILLOS!!

      1. MikeNY

        “People in the streets”… yes, I believe that’s what it will take. I wish it were otherwise, but I believe the edifice of power is too corrupt to change any other way. :-(

          1. Ned Ludd

            “People in the streets” is not just one tactic. At the 1999 WTO protests in Seattle, people in the streets involved:

            a) Choreographed protests, such as those organized by Jubilee 2000, the Sierra Club, and the AFL-CIO.
            b) Non-violent civil disobedience, where several thousand people derailed the WTO Ministerial Conference by placing their bodies between the attendees and the buildings they were trying to reach.
            c) Property damage, where fewer than a hundred people smashed windows and set fires in areas of downtown Seattle that were away from the WTO Ministerial Conference.

            All of these tactics are “people in the streets”. I think a) is no more useful than a parade; b) can be effective, but the risks have gone up significantly since 1999; and c) in the U.S., provides cover for the police to attack anyone. However, in Bolivia, property destruction was part of the successful 2011 protests, and these protests included a protest against voting that was interpreted as a “rebuke for Evo Morales”.

            1. Lambert Strether

              Yep, and (c) was pretty dumb, wasn’t it. If it wasn’t orchestrated by cops, who are generally the first to advocate that sort of them. Then it was smart.

              As for Bolivia, maybe so; strategic isn’t the same as dogmatic, I hope. (For example, the Tahrir Square people did use violence — that’s how they held the square when attacked by the baltigaya — but they’d built up the credibility to do so with non-violence.) Last I checked, the US wasn’t Bolivia, so good for them, but why are the cases comparable?

              1. hunkerdown

                Note that the Seattle black blocs were attacking symbols, not the means of control. That’s reason enough to suspect they were provocateurs.

                Now, destroying LRADs or MRAPs, or capturing every single email sent or received by editors at a regional or national newspaper and dumping it unredacted to the public and to hell with the collateral damage to their loyal collaborators, are acts I would not condemn.

          2. MikeNY

            Clumsy of me. I meant it to remind you of the New Deal, Indian independence and the Civil Rights movement.

      2. Lambert Strether

        Right, because “people in the streets” worked so well in 1965 – 1968. Oh, wait…

        Have you given consideration to the idea that “people in the streets” is exactly what the powers that be want? Like, maybe that’s why they militarized the police? That they positively enjoyed “mowing the lawn” abroad, and now want to do the same at home?

        1. Ulysses

          Of course TPTB want to “mow the lawn,” as you put it, and mindless agitation is, well, mindless. What the residents of Ferguson are currently doing is the single most effective option they have for exposing the intolerable conditions under which they now live. I didn’t really enjoy getting my ribs fractured by the NYPD back in 2011. Yet I have no regrets for not staying home because people will never, ever make any progress at all if they limit their “activism” to preaching to the choir.

          As a youngster I was tear-gassed along with my parents at more than one anti-war protest. I am so glad I had patriotic, principled parents who took the responsible course of openly defying horrific injustice, instead of craven cowards who might have told me that it was better “not to make waves.” We aren’t going to see any improvements in this world by waiting for some mythical technocratic wise leader to someday step up and start handing out sparkle-ponies to all of us who were good little boys and girls– who stayed home and waited for salvation from above.

          1. Lambert Strether

            Match for that straw? I’ve noticed that violence advocates always cloak their advocacy in sloppy argumentation; and I really don’t know why advocating violence is presented as a sign of moral authenticity or principled advocacy. “Most effective”? Prove it. “Patriotic, principled.” Yeah, and? How about we talk about outcomes instead of motives? “Wise leader.” Who said that? “Sparkle ponies.” Like, say blowing up a Manhattan townhouse wasn’t a sparkle pony? Dear Lord. Sloppy arguments, and anybody who follows this advice is likely to get killed and to no good purpose. Feel good now? I hope so.

            Both Tahrir Square and Occupy were “in the streets.” And where are they now? To me the lesson of both Tahrir Square and Occupy is that the insurgents (let’s call them) need to think successfully (I won’t say seriously) about governance structures once they approach (and perhaps take) power. After all, TS was brilliantly organized (and grew put of union movements in the Nile Delta, at least) but once Mubarak was gone, they withered and Egypt got, arguably, a regime that was no better than Mubarak and arguably worse. And Occupy too was brilliantly organized, and was serious about alternative governance structures, but wasn’t strong enough to beat Obama’s 17-state military crackdown (along with government infiltration). To me, the answer is tactic #198 in Gene Sharp’s 198 Methods of Non-Violent Protest and Resistance: “198. Dual sovereignty and parallel government.” I can think of two media-genic ways that could be done in Ferguson. (I’m not on the ground, and not living that life, so I won’t rise out of my armchair, shaking my fist, and recommend.) One would be to set up a ballot box, say, near the MacDonalds, and have the people of Ferguson vote for what they would like to do with Wilson. The advantage here is that young black men disenfranchised would be able to participate in this alternative power structure. A second would be to set up a people’s tribunal to determine the facts in the case and recommend penalties for the perps; such might include the real estate interests that redlined Ferguson). Self-organizing is also the way to avoid the “wise leader” syndrome you so rightly allude to.

            Of course, we could set another liquor store on fire — not, as a prophylactic, because I’m “blaming the victim” — but because I think the only strategic effects are bad. Revenge is a dish best served cold, after all.

            1. OIFVet

              What about the violence that the government is sure to unleash on the parallel government? I hear what you are saying about media-genic resistance, but what happens when the government so clearly doesn’t give a crap about media fallout, and cares even less about public opinion? I also do have my doubts about the media, as I am sure that you do as well. It has pushed back on Ferguson but as demonstrated by Ukraine, it is also perfectly comfortable disseminating the government propaganda. I think it is a matter of time before MSM rolls over on the issue of militarized police, as it already largely did in respect to Occupy. MSNBC’s coverage, with the exception of Keith Olberman, was simply unpalatable demonization of the movement and rearguard defense of the hopey-changey dude’s use of the fusion centers to violently end Occupy.

              1. Jim

                OlFvet stated above:

                “What about the violence that the government is sure to unleash on the parallel government?”

                It is conceivable that we could ever develop democratic organizational forms that have a compelling recruiting message, are self-protective of new recruits and eventually strong enough(i.e.have enough leverage) to eventually force the State– into negotiation for what we want?

                1. ambrit

                  In essence, a competing state. One basic issue common to most forms of government is the claim to exclusive use of coercion. Since all systems need rules to function, and, except for certain forms of association, as in religious cults, needs and desires of necessity diverge, rules become forms of coercion for at least some of the members of the collective. The outcome is, two competing systems, both claiming the right to coerce. Since the State will claim exclusivity of the right to coerce, it will, out of its’ internal logic, view the parallel government as a rival for primacy, (what else is coercion used for, anyway,) and try its’ best to crush it.
                  The lesson of the expansion of the Security State over the last decade is that the State is continually and relentlessly defining down what it calls anti-social behavior. Ferguson has highlighted the latest event in this progression. The organs of the State now view, and, more importantly, treat the Fourth Estate as functionaries of the State. Embedding reporters in with the armed forces, I now feel justified in viewing the domestic police forces as adjuncts to the military, neuters their value to the public. Reporters who attempt to exert their previously sacrosanct rights as ostensibly neutral observers are now treated as enemies.
                  It saddens me to consider that the only way now to safely live a good life is to become invisible. Everyone who stands up for right and justice seems to be mowed down today. The best reason I can come up with to get involved with local politics is that we’ll all need some organizational system up and running at the local level when the national system collapses. It may not, indeed, probably won’t, blow up in some Hollywood style melodrama. More probable is a slow grind down towards smaller functioning polities. Something on the order of the Renaissance City States of Europe back in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries.
                  I believe we passed the tipping point into despotism with the passage of the Patriot Act. I’ll believe a politician is a genuine believer in American Democracy when he or she calls for the revocation of the Patriot Act. That will take courage and character. That person I’ll write in for President.

                2. MtnLife

                  The problem with parallel government, IIRC, is that it is technically treason which would be met with serious force. Unless you are neocons planning COG while out of office that is, then it’s apparently just politics as usual.

                  1. jrs

                    Isn’t it the one thing NO government anywhere will tolerate – a challenge to it’s exclusive rule?

                    Now if one is just making a non-binding shadow government (with votes but they are no more than polls and determine nothing, with trials but there is no actual punishments), some governments might let it exist I guess but none will actually tolerate a real challenge to it’s rule.

              2. Lambert Strether

                What about it? The argument that state violence has to be met with violence has always seemed bizarre to me. “There’s the enemy’s ground! Let’s go fight on it! They have more weapons and way better communications facilities, but surely our righteousness will win the day!”

                1. ambrit

                  I’ll not explicitly advocate violence here. The deck is stacked, as you say. However, any competent strategist knows that you must give the opponent a means of escape. Your enemy can retire from the field to reconsider his or her offensive behavior. Cornered animals are much more dangerous than ones who feel able to escape. The elites today have forgotten that simple dictum. By chasing the illusion of total control, they have thrown away any chance for effective governance. There is a big difference between respect and fear. Things and people you respect, you treat with forbearance and make voluntary concessions to. You do this in the expectation of a reciprocity of action from the other. Things and people you fear, you distrust, and dissemble to. You take every reasonable opportunity to thwart them and their ends. Violence seldom rises to the level of armed insurrection. Mothballs in the gas tank, or sand in the oil pan will do.
                  I’ll take a stab, (note penetrating nature of imagery,) at the psychology of those of us who call for blood in the streets. First, most of us have never heard a shot fired in anger. What will I do if I’m pinned down behind a barricade by a Guards Humvee firing a SAW at me? Probably p— my pants. Second, a lot of the talk is just that; talk. For whatever reason, people find the need to make themselves look and sound rough and tough. Ever been beaten up by the playground bully when you were young? Well, now, by golly, I’ll show those b——s that I’m not that scared little boy anymore! Third, America has become atomized and alienated socially. How many of us can walk up onto the front porch of one of our neighbours and say hi? Or even feel comfortable in saying, hey, someone just broke into your house from the back yard? This anomie creates a moral vacuum that feeling part of a crusade fills. Righteousness is exactly the correct word to use.
                  Well, I’m trying.
                  This discussion needs to continue in depth all over the country.

                  1. JTFaraday

                    “Violence seldom rises to the level of armed insurrection. Mothballs in the gas tank, or sand in the oil pan will do.”

                    Yeah, that’s right. According to the anti-protest pants wetters, the nuns at the end of Disney’s Sound of Music are “violent protestors.”


                    It’s come to this.

                    1. cripes


                      Yes, there’s a thin line between condemning “violence” and joining the state in condemning the oppressed. Frankly, I’m more concerned about state violence.

                      Jacobin has a piece on this:

                      “What started as a philosophy promulgated by black elites to ‘uplift the race’ by correcting the ‘bad’ traits of the black poor has now evolved into one of the hallmarks of black politics in the age of Obama, a governing philosophy that centers on managing the behavior of black people left behind in a society touted as being full of opportunity.”

                  2. jrs

                    Well first define violence. Throwing a Molotov cocktail is violence. Is property damage really violence? Well if corporations are people then …

                    Then I guess the reasoning is the only thing that the powers that be will listen to is fear. They don’t listen to reason. This is plainly obvious. They don’t listen to moral pleas. And they don’t listen to will of the people. But something like Ferguson could very well backfire.

                    1. cripes


                      Backfire? Against what or whom?

                      All I know is: except for the people of Ferguson standing against the power of the state to kill black citizens (and white ones in other localities) without justice, the death of Michael Brown would have been forgotten in a matter of days, along with hundreds more every year we never hear about.
                      Because of what they’ve done, we have the governor pledging a prosecution, the Attorney General coming in Wednesday, three autopsies, federal noises about equipping all police with chest-mounted cams, and a continuing demand for an independent prosecutor.
                      Looks like a very effective movement by a courageous community that deserves support. After all, they’re fighting for OUR RIGHTS , TOO.

                  3. Carla

                    “How many of us can walk up onto the front porch of one of our neighbours and say hi? Or even feel comfortable in saying, hey, someone just broke into your house from the back yard?”

                    I think this is really important: building community … for whatever comes–social, political, economic. Lambert’s earlier comment regarding civic action, in which he used the library committee as an example, also is related to this.

                    We need each other. Let’s act like it.

                2. OIFVet

                  “but surely our righteousness will win the day!” Sorry but that is even more suited to describe what you advocate. My point was that if the power decides to destroy this parallel government and all who support it, as it might, going along peacefully to ones death might be construed as cooperating with one’s executioners. A parallel government, peoples. If your righteousness wins the moral high ground but no one else gives a damn, does it count as a win?

                  I will go back to something I was saying a few days ago and Ben Johanson mentioned today: the best plan of action is to refuse to participate. Let the behemoth collapse under its own dead weight. But a parallel government and people’s tribunal: that is as much an attempt to fight its strengths as taking up arms, and just as sure to result in swift violence, and take many good people out.

                  1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                    Refusing to participate.

                    It could be something non-violent like refusing to pay one’s taxes, thus depriving the imperial currency of its value.

                    Without its money, it’s powerless.

                    1. abynormal

                      but thats not where their virtual money comes from is it…our taxes follow our poverty. down down down

                    2. OIFVet

                      What I had in mind is refusal to participate in the financial system, refusal to participate in the consumerist system, refusal to buy the food-like substances of the industrial agricultural complex, perhaps total withdrawal from the political system or at least only voting third parties. Delegitimizing the system by refusing to participate in it. This requires a lot of advanced preparation though: creating a network of cooperatives to replace the corporate offerings, door to door advocacy to convince the public not to participate, etc.

                    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      I am told that taxation gives value to the currency.

                      Refusal to pay taxes would undermine the empire.

                    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      OIFVet, the system’s source of power is money.

                      Without it, we are just a wannabee empire.

                    5. OIFVet

                      MLTPB, you are right of course, money and the fact that the dollar is the world’s reserve currency. But our gracious hosts have often stated that tax income is not really needed by the government, as the Fed can always print more money. I am far from a finance expert so I take their word on it, it just seems right. Thus I simply don’t view taxation as all that important, though refusing to pay taxes would help.

                    6. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      Both are at work here – the government/the Fed spends money into existence and the currency’s value is from taxation.

                      An empire can spend money to buy bombs. That’s a military empire.

                      An empire can coerce other nations via exploiting its global reserve currency status. That’s a monetary empire.

                      Refusing to pay taxes does not do much to restrain the former, but it can undermine the latter.

                    7. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      You don’t refuse if you don’t believe that taxation gives value to a currency. In that case, you pay taxes because it is the law, just like you drive on the right side here and the left in some other countries.

                  2. jrs

                    But the system is absolute and it’s very near impossible to refuse to participate in it entirely you must work to eat, and pay rent etc. etc. Those who say this is not necessary are either willing to take very radical action (live in a cave, move to somewhere near abandoned etc.) which I can only respect or just as often are ALREADY PRIVILEGED ding ding ding and can opt out because frankly they already have a lot of wealth.

                    So one can opt out at best of the optional parts of the system – need to work, don’t need to invest in wall street, need to buy necessities, don’t need to buy toys, need to eat, don’t need to eat garbage, etc.. Don’t need to vote, certainly not for the duopoly.

                  3. Lord Koos

                    A general strike… all people have to do is stay home… that part is easy, and safe. The hard part would be organizing it. If people stop showing up for work, that will get some attention. But it would have to be near-universal to be effective… everyone from pilots to janitors to IT workers.

                3. optimader

                  This is an informative article.
                  I don’t endorse the theocratic motivation of course, but text book case of civil resistance defeating the strongest conventional military/police force in the ME at the time w/ nary a shot fired. Key to the success was aggregation of cohesive(if not naiive) support with a follow on regime ready to step into the power vacuum. Im pretty sure a lot of Iranians were pretty surprised to find out what they bought into the next morning, but that’s a different subject. Point is, the American public could not be less cohesive. (IMO)this country is waay far from being catalyzed by some transformational event that results in a meaningful recasting of our social/political/economic structure. Still waaay to much perceived comfort to loose. So, whats on TV tonight?

                  1. Nathanael

                    There may be more groups ready to step into the power vacuum than you think.

                    Crucially, when the USSR collapsed, there were groups ready to step in *separately in each of the former SSRs*. We’re not a unitary state like Iran, we’re a federal state like the USSR — expect the immediate seizure of power by governors if everything really does go up. Many states are moving significantly faster than the federal government with respect to some of the social changes which are necessary in order to maintain peace, which makes this more likely than otherwise…

                    1. optimader

                      “There may be more groups ready to step into the power vacuum than you think”
                      I believe this is the scenario Lambert was referring to, and the point I was tangentially making. Dont expect something better if the focus is merely on regime change without the followon program already baked in.. Chaos reins to the nth power of number of groups wanting to step into the power vacuum. I dont need to point out recent examples
                      I cant imagine a federation of states and interests less cohesively aggregated into a singular direction than the US once you cut the status quo political/governmental/military structures loose..
                      Like many have found out in different countries, people might be pretty surprised/disappointed what unfolds. I expect some type of military junta would come out on top when the fog cleared, rather than a hairshirt crowd forming committees to establish what they feel is fair for everyone.

            2. vidimi

              i went over both of ulysses’ posts and failed to see where he advocated violence. plenty mention of street protests, and the word ‘uprising’ was used which carries perhaps a militant connotation, but the context was one of putting bodies in the streets, not of setting liquor stores alight.

              change doesn’t happen over night and peaceful protests are an effective way of getting the ball rolling. the occupy movement may have fizzled out (though this site still claims to support it) but because of it, inequality is in everyone’s consciousness. it also helped expose the state for what it is, and many people realized that regular voting won’t solve anything.
              i don’t think the million-man sit-in would have been as effective as the million-man march either, though if you look at the progress we’ve really made on race since you may feel discouraged. i think the real lesson there is to not become complacent, though; not that taking to the square doesn’t work.

              and organising a vote-in by a local mcdonalds sounds like a great way to boost sales at the restaurant.

              1. Lambert Strether

                So, you’re admitting my point that a Vote-In would (a) empower the locals and (b) be mediagenic and (c) be an example of #198, but you’re saying it’s a bad idea because McDonalds? Hmm…

            3. diptherio

              I don’t see any calls for violence in Ulysses. Being “in the streets” doesn’t necessarily involve violence, right?

              I like your ideas A LOT, but you seem to be suggesting that we disown the traditional tactics of our various (successful) civil rights movements, or at least give up protesting. You may have a point that the traditional tactics might not be effective anymore, but it’s gonna be a tough sell to convince people NOT to do what Martin Luther King, Jr. did–even if the authorities do like it when those tactics are used.

              1. Ned Ludd

                “Have the militant leaders taken over the civil rights movement, in your opinion?”

                In a follow-up question, Martin Luther King, Jr. is asked about Stokely Carmichael and H. Rap Brown.

                1. Ned Ludd

                  When asked to critique the approach of Stokely Carmichael and H. Rap Brown, Martin Luther King, Jr. goes beyond this line of inquiry, to focus on the larger forces at work that lead them to different principles and tactics:

                  Well, naturally I have philosophical disagreements with both Mr. Carmichael and Mr. Brown… I know them very well. We worked together in the movement a good deal. And I’m sure they would disagree with me on a number of things…

                  But in answer the questions about them, I always go beyond them, because I think they are products of the problem, rather than causes of the problem. And I always have to figure the fact that it’s very easy to take our visions from the causal basis, from the root of the problem, and see the consequence out here, and begin to major on that. Neither Rap Brown nor Stokely Carmichael crated slavery, they did not create slums, they did not create unemployment or underemployment, they did not create segregated quality-less schools, and they didn’t start a war in Vietnam. These things were started by other forces in our society. It was Victor Hugo who said once, “Where there is darkness, crimes will be committed. The guilty one is not merely he who commits the crime, but he who caused the darkness.” And I think we have to admit that these men didn’t cause the darkness, they are the products of the darkness.

              2. Lambert Strether

                ” What the residents of Ferguson are currently doing is the single most effective option they have for exposing the intolerable conditions under which they now live. ”

                That sounds like advocacy to me. As does “in the streets,” and the general vilification of non- violence advocacy (as in my comments).

                I asked Ulysses for backup on “most effective” and didn’t get it. So far as I can tell from afar, and I’m doing other things besides mastering the detail, there are two broad categories of Ferguson protesters: The peaceful ones who go home at curfew, and the one’s who don’t, where we get all the photos of tear gas, and the property damage. That’s low-grade violence, but violence it is, and since Ullyses says that’s “the most effective,” he’s advocating it.

                I don’t know enough about the peaceful category; if they’re members of what Black Agenda Report calls “the black misleadership class,” they probably won’t be effective either.

                1. Ulysses

                  The peaceful ones are the effective ones. Looting, violence, and rioting is never effective, and I would never advocate it. Standing unarmed against a phalanx of storm troopers pointing rifles at your chest, and having the photo of this uneven encounter go viral is effective.

                2. Ulysses

                  You didn’t get “backup” because, today, the only day my daughter will ever turn eighteen, was a busy one for me. I have raised my daughter (and son too) to shun violence and she is, thankfully, a lovely, peaceful person.

                  I must say the loveliness of the day was a bit marred when I returned to the intertubes to see my character assassinated in so reckless a fashion.

                3. Ulysses

                  I must have misunderstood you. What you said was that it was very foolish for people (aka non-violent protesters) to be in the streets, as this would only give TPTB the opportunity to “mow the lawn.” This seemed to imply that it was foolish to confront violent repression, with non-violent 1st amendment protected public speech. If you merely meant to advocate non-violence, just as I have done consistently my whole life, there are far less confusing ways to say so.

            4. cripes

              Lambert: Your accusation that Ulysess or Ned are violence advocates is unwarranted. Ned mentioned it causes police to attack, Ulysess simply said he was teargassed and you took that as oppoturnity to launch into a tirade. Get a grip.

              1. Lambert Strether

                I write:

                Right, because “people in the streets” worked so well in 1965 – 1968. Oh, wait…

                Have you given consideration to the idea that “people in the streets” is exactly what the powers that be want? Like, maybe that’s why they militarized the police? That they positively enjoyed “mowing the lawn” abroad, and now want to do the same at home?

                and in response I get:

                … craven cowards … mythical technocratic wise leader … sparkle-ponies … good little boys and girls … waited for salvation from above.

                Who, I ask you, has launched a tirade? If that’s not addressed to me, and the idea that the violence of the 1960s riots led to very bad outcomes, then who exactly is it addressed to, and what is the point?

                Of course, Ulysses can clear this up very easily. I will be happy to admit my error if he will explain exactly what he regards as “most effective” in Ferguson, and why.

                1. Kurt Sperry

                  “Have you given consideration to the idea that “people in the streets” is exactly what the powers that be want? Like, maybe that’s why they militarized the police? That they positively enjoyed “mowing the lawn” abroad, and now want to do the same at home?”

                  Or maybe the ruling class isn’t militarizing the police because “‘people in the streets’ is exactly what the powers that be want” but because that is what they fear the most. And maybe their fear is well founded. I’m not saying this necessarily suggests that mass street protest is the only or indeed best tactic, but people tend to defend against whatever they perceive as their greatest vulnerabilities. If the ruling class are convinced that mass protest is a significant threat and aimed at a critical weak point in their control, maybe that is because it is. This feels intuitively more far likely to me than postulating that the ruling class welcomes mass protests as an opportunity to assert their control through ostentatious displays of gratuitous violence. They no doubt do want chaos to exploit at a safe distance (neocon/neolib FP), but the people atop any given status quo know any chaotic reordering is all too likely to work against them at home.

                  Adding: this is a great avenue for discussion and I’ve enjoyed following it.

                2. Ulysses

                  I regard the continued exposure of police violence through non-violent protest that is then met with violence as a (sometimes) effective tactic to push for needed changes.

                  The dogs and waterhoses unleashed– against peaceful protesters in the South– helped build Northern white support for extending the franchise to people of color in the South. That is a historical fact.

                  I certainly agree with you, Lambert, that many of the fond hopes of those who took to the streets in the 60’s have still not been realized. Yet I know for a fact that the overt racist attitudes that were so prevalent, and just starting to be challenged, when I was born, were not as common when my own daughter was born eighteen years ago today.

                  I apologize to you profusely, Lambert, if you think I was impugning your character earlier. You are a brave and principled person, who, just like me, would never, ever, ever advocate violence.

                  I was not reacting to you personally when I invoked my general frustration with people who advocate saintly patience in the face of fascist, violent repression. Maybe this patience will someday be rewarded and we’ll all enjoy a cold robotically-brewed beer together in a (robotic) workers’ paradise. Let’s hope so.

                  Meanwhile, I am old-school enough to continue pushing back against the machine. I do this in the (perhaps unjustified) hope that someday enough people will join me in pushing it somewhere that it can no longer do us harm.

                3. Ulysses

                  Who… launched… the violence of the 1960’s riots…? Ulysses…” Gee, picking a few random words and stringing them together with ellipses really does provide a full, fair summary of your comment!!

                4. Lord Koos

                  If there had been no protests in Ferguson, how many people would even have known what happened there? Shining a light on issues is one of the reasons people take to the streets. What do you advocate, Lambert, writing essays on the web?

              2. Ned Ludd

                To clarify, police attack regardless; images of vandalism merely provide cover for their aggression. Police used tear gas against the WTO blockade before anyone heard about or knew of any property damage.

                I did see the wave of destruction first-hand. I left the blockade at one point, to stroll through the deserted parts of downtown. The saboteurs were efficient, like a military operation, with no talking or chanting, no stragglers, and no hesitation in their movement. It was like a fast-moving, destructive wind storm that enveloped me and then disappeared faster than I could process what had just happened.

                Oddly, there was not a police officer in sight…

            5. Ulysses

              I’m very confused as to how you came to the conclusion that I’m advocating violence. When I was tear-gassed protesting Vietnam as a child, and assaulted by the NYPD as an adult, I was a peaceful, non-violent protester who was a victim of violence.

              I notice that people with poor reading skills often cloak their “arguments” with vitriolic ad-hominem attacks that recklessly defame someone’s character. Putting yourself in harm’s way “in the streets” exposes the violent repression of our authoritarian state-sponsored violence, yes. This is not the same as advocating for the state to inflict violence on people exercising their 1st amendment rights.
              Perhaps you might try reading some works by Raymond Smullyan if you need any more help with the processes of forming a logical argument.

            6. Ulysses

              “Blowing up a Manhattan townhouse???!!!???” WTF are you talking about here? Who’s talking about blowing things up? Who’s “advocating violence?” With this strange, bizarre comment about blowing up Manhattan townhouses, that has no relevance to anything I ever said, and your reckless defamation of my character, calling me an “advocate of violence,” you reveal yourself more than a little unhinged.

  10. ScottW

    Degraw’s “Peak Inequality . . .” should be labeled a must read, and the link should remain on the site for days to come. It is the reason people should care about what is written on this site. A primer of sorts. I understand many of the wonks who populate here might respond there is nothing new, but it is highly readable and puts a lot of information in one place. Would be interested to here other folks input about its importance.

    A stat that really struck me: “For example, it would only cost 0.5% of the 1%’s wealth to eliminate poverty nationwide.” There are many more jaw dropping stats, all leading to the inescapable conclusion that capitalism–at least the way we practice it–is a failed experiment.

      1. Jagger

        ——all leading to the inescapable conclusion that capitalism–at least the way we practice it–is a failed experiment.——

        And we wonder why we are seeing the militarization of the police.

  11. optimader

    RE:Wire article
    1.Credibility of research is damaged by advancing the mirepresentation of the Su-25 as a fighter aircraft. Creating facts to fit an agenda
    2. No link for the claim of Ukrainian AF inventory containing any “modified” SU-25 suitable for “..or up to 32,800 ft/ 10,000 m (depending aircraft modifications) My recollection is there was a Sukhoi SU-25 prototype(s) built by the factory and the program was cancelled. Any proof these were sold to any airforce? If anyone can produce a link confirming the Ukrainian AF having such a variant in its operational inventory it would be an interesting link.

    “..Note also that the Su-25 can be armed with air-to-air R-60 missiles with a range of up to 5km-12km, but as 21WIRE has discovered, the Su-25 is not the only combat aircraft the Ukrainian Air Force has in its possession. On June 4, 2014, Janes Defense reported that Kiev have recently returned to service two other higher performance fighters, including the Su-27 ‘Flanker’ and the MiG-29 ‘Fulcrum’ fighters. The altitude ceiling performance characteristics of all in-service Ukrainian fighters are as follows:..”

    Su-25 ‘Frogfoot’ fighter – Ceiling: 23,000 ft/ 7,000 m, or up to 32,800 ft/ 10,000 m (depending aircraft modifications)
    Su-27 ‘Flanker’ fighter – Ceiling: 64,000 ft/ 19,000 m
    MiG-29 ‘Fulcrum’ jet – Ceiling: 59,000 ft/ 18,000 m
    Su-24 ‘Fencer’ fighter – Ceiling: 36,000 ft/ 11,000 m, or up to 57,400 ft/ 17,500 m (depending on variations of turbo intake)

    1. Carolinian

      The article is also somewhat dated and just rehashes things that were discussed two weeks ago. Of course the way the “investigation” is going we may be looking at the same set of facts two months from now, or two years.

    2. craazyboy

      My favorite theory was that the Uks DO have fighter planes in their Air Force.

      But 21Wire also proposed the duel strike scenario – where a fighter launching a R-60, or possibly a SU-25 firing one upward, hit the wing engine causing the plane to make the last minute abrupt turn. It then was finished off later by a BUK. Elsewhere it was hypothesized from ground evidence of both bullet holes and shrapnel holes that the plane was hit multiple times to bring it down.

      To think there is no worthwhile info on the flight recorder is sounding more and more implausible.

      1. optimader

        I would expect the Uks did (do) have SU-27 or whatever they can make airworthy in the area. In the event of a conspiratorial and premeditated spiderweb plan to shoot down a commercial passenger jet, would it not make sense to use the most potent aircraft, a bonefide Interceptor or fighter, to do the deed? Planning around using a ground-attack aircraft that would need to be on the edge or exceeding its operational envelope for such a toxic plan seems a bit whimsical by my thinking.

        On the black box, I believe the Dutch said from the get go the results are planned to be available at the end of august? I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, it wouldn’t seem they have an ulterior motive in this furball. How long does it take to evaluate said flight recorder information typically? Beats me. I’m sure the last thing the Dutch want on their hands is a hastily put together analysis and report.

        1. craazyboy

          Yes, planning for a multi-strike based on SU-25 first strike sounds more like a Three Stooges assassin plan than a real strike against a defenseless target. I favor the SU27 or MIG29 doing it with first missile launches, then perhaps close range staffing, if the ground evidence about bullet holes is true and we need to explain where they came from.

          The independent Danish team said they do have the recorder and they are analyzing all the facts, including air traffic controller interviews, and ground evidence analysis. They said they hope to be ready with a report around the end of August. Guess we have to wait for the whole thing, rather than get it piecemeal. NATO, allowing of course.

        2. Jackrabbit

          Well, it depends.

          On of the early tweets from Spainbuca, the Kiev ATC person that tweeted within minutes of the downing said something about the Interior Ministry being responsible while the Defense Ministry didn’t know about the downing. This (unconfirmed) info makes it seem more likely that it was an SU-25 assigned to the Anti-terr0rism Operation (ATO) – the forces that are fighting the Separatists. Kolomoisky is involved in the ATO and has shown himself to be a bad actor.

          It seems likely that MIG units would be under Defense Ministry control. But until we get full disclosure from US and Ukraine it is difficult to know what happened and who is really responsible.

          1. craazyboy

            Ya, quite a bit of intrigue there to unravel. ‘Specially if there is some disagreement in the ranks within the Uks.

  12. sd

    Checking in with Icelandic news, tremors are now every ten seconds. The largest concern in Iceland is the glacial flooding that would most likely reach towards the north. An estimated 200 tourists are currently in the area that stretches as far as Ásbyrgi. The flooding could indirectly interrupt or interfere with the geothermal power system as land masses shift. Icelandair stock has fallen in anticipation of service interruptions.

      1. abynormal

        appreciate your links (last night too)…got me to pondering (trouble) and landed me here:
        The suggested threat facing the integrity of Þjórsárver? Not impending volcanic eruptions or natural deterioration. Rather, the article stated that the Icelandic government recently “announced plans to revoke those protections” which had been safeguarding the wetlands, and additionally, that “a law intending to further repeal conservation efforts has been put forward.
        Þjórsárver is fed by Iceland’s longest river, Þjórsá, which also sources much of the country’s electricity.” (are they sure about not being threatened by impending volcano?)

        backed into this looking for aerials of their dams (wow, painting inspiration: ))

        Soon, the evidence of the eruption will be frozen in time, as the layer of ash is buried by the advancing winter’s snows.

        1. sd

          Latest reports, they are closing down sections of highway in Iceland. They are positioning for an eruption with the tiniest to dig out effected bridges. However, if it’s a large eruption, then all bets are off. There’s already been more tremors associated with this one volcano than have ever been recorded in the history of seismic monitoring. Magma is moving towards the surface. The question is will it break.

          Politics are particularly ugly under the current government. The country is being run by idiots. Google recent quotes from the Prime Minister on the dangers of eating foreign meat….

          1. abynormal

            sd, your live feed is kinda still…my clouds haven’t moved all day
            when this thing blows is my computer going with it

  13. sid_finster

    Admittedly, sending any Su-25 (even if it had air-to-air missiles) makes zero sense.

    Why not just send a Piper Cub and be done with it.

    However, a MiG-29 has a radar signature very similar to an Su-25. That would sort of make some sense.

  14. YY

    While Su-25 is believable, the weakness is not so much ceiling as speed. But it should be noted only suggestion of Su-25 comes from Russian military press event as their understanding of what they identified.
    It may also be that the Spanish ATC id’s Su’s, but the whole Spanish tweets leave too many, more interesting, questions anyway (if true, is the guy safe and alive?).
    We know that Kiev has or had Mig-29’s as one just got shot down a couple of days ago according to both Kiev and the rebels. I saw somewhere a mention that the Mig-29 would have looked similar to Su-25 on radar, but who knows. The Russian military certainly know all too well the capabilities of either the Su-25 or Mig-29, so it is notable that they thought that the lesser threat of a plane was the one that was near the passenger liner. I think if you were ambushing MH17 with the Su (or Su’s) you’d have buks as backup insurance. So that would neatly tie together the satellite images of unfired buks, although there would be so many people involved to make the criminal operation un-secure.

    1. Jackrabbit

      Didn’t the Russian military say that there were two Ukrainian military planes in the area? If so, maybe there was a MIG-29 and an SU-25?

      Whatever happened at 33,000 ft failed to down the plane. And, either via natural forces (drag due to the damage?) or pilot action (auto-pilot?), the plane apparently turned and I would guess also lost altitude and speed. It would be at that point that it would be (more) vulnerable to an SU-25 attack.

      One thing that is lends itself to a modified SU-25 theory is the ATC command to lower altitude to 10,000 meters before the plane was attacked. AFAIK, that wouldn’t be necessary if the attack was to come from a MIG-29.
      H O P

        1. Jackrabbit

          The Russian’s said that their radar shows that MH17 turned around. Something must’ve happened. My speculation is that the initial attack, if it was designed to bring down the plane, failed to do so.

          This could be:

          1) a munition/missile (like R-60) that caused insufficient damage – likely due to the plane being much bigger than a fighter jet;

          2) a bomb on board, which probably targeted thepilots but failed to kill/disable (all of) them.

          I think #1 is more likely but I haven’t completely ruled out #2.

          Fighter jets like MIG-29 seem unlikely to have canon that could be so well targeted on the side of the cockpit so that’s why I suspect the SU-25 having a role. (Unless the damage to the side of the cockpit was caused by a bomb).

          1. optimader

            “The Russian’s said that their radar shows that MH17 turned around”

            That may well be accurate information. And no criticism meant as I am merely speculating as well.
            In controlled flight a plane turns by differentially manipulating lift of the wing(s) on either side with a movable control surfaces. Essentially a plane turns by progressing one wing toward a stall (less lift/more drag), that wing drops and the plane turns into it..
            An aircraft that’s sustained damage to a wing (or engine) will instantaneously no longer be trimmed for straight and level flight, due to more drag on one side, it will start turning and loosing altitude, depending on the damage, that turn can be quite dramatic (hence the term “auguring in”). My point is, the plane can “turn around” after the unfortunate flight crew has checked out so to speak in an explosive decompression aerosol at 33K ft w/. That would explain no mayday being reported, or at least I am not aware of one?

            Again, what does not compute to me is why would anyone hatch such a sinister premeditated plan using an inappropriate aircraft w/ a presumably inappropriately sized A-A missile (aphid), that would likely only merely damage a B-777 ? I presume all manner of mayday communication could have been initiated by a flight crew that was actively turning a damaged plane around to in an attempt to land.

            1. craazyboy

              I didn’t know about the radar evidence of the turn around until reading the article today. But that throws a whole new light on things – because commercial flights just don’t do that for no reason.

              I also wondered about the lack of mayday call in the multiple strike scenario.

              That does put us back to the dumb plan conclusion.

              But rather than rule out possibilities, I think it’s better to list more, along with their qualifying factors.

              The Nazi div (Anti-terrorism Operation (ATO)) of the Uks did it with SU-25(s) firing ALL their missiles upward inflicting damage on the wing and fuselage, causing the 777 to turn and damage to pilots and/or com equipment. Then of course a rogue element did it, also too plausible deniability.

              A MIG29 or any other fighter can aim their cannon very well. They fly straight at the target and don’t shoot ’till they see the whites their eyes. But typically they fire their missiles first. They don’t like getting in dogfights with other fighters.

              So that brings us back to the flight recorder data. Gotta be something interesting on there – at a minimum explain why the sudden turn?

            2. Jackrabbit

              As I noted in a previous comment (see above), tweets from Spainbuca suggest that only Interior Ministry / Anti-terr0rist Operation (ATO) forces were involved. The ATO forces seem likely to only have ground attack aircraft under their control.

              An SU-25 is up to the task as long as their is pre-planning or the plane is low enough and slow enough. The plane was ordered to descend to 10,000 meters. that is unecessary for a MIG. And, if some incident occurred (like a missile blowing up near the plane) that spooked the pilots, they may have turned and descended.

            3. optimader

              I’ll also point out that a B-777 I don’t believe a B-777 just turn around at 33K. At that altitude it would likely stall and fall. They have little maneuverability at cruising altitude. My guess is a 180 degree turn at altitude would be unintended.

  15. Kurt Sperry

    “Mong La: Myanmar’s lawless region where anything goes” link broken, missing “h” in http.

    1. Carolinian

      BTW Keiser is in NYC this week with the U.N. as his live background. Yves could pop across the East River and put in an appearance.

  16. Hubert Horan

    I am dumbfounded that anyone at NC could have thought the garbage article about online airline sales sites and flight delays was worth posting. I initially assumed it was an Onion-style satire of those freakonomics-type “Super Bowl results predict Stock Market performance” pieces. The author appears to be completely ignorant of basic airline operations and economics. There is no mention of many of the major factors influencing pricing (competion, supply/demand imbalances due to macroeconomic shifts or badly timed aircraft purchases, trends in underlying airline costs and profitability, etc. etc). There is no mention of the major factors influencing schedule reliability (scheduling above the physical capacity limits at key airports, excessive peaking at major hubs, fleet shifts that spead traffaic across more/smaller (RJ) aircraft, deliberate schedule padding by airlines, capacity cuts facilitated by consolidation, etc). There is no recognition that pricing levels vary dramatically by sector (international vs domestic, LCC vs Legacy vs Regional). There is no recognition that different pricing shifts occurred at different points in time (downward when the economy collapses, upward with major recent reductions in competition). There was no hard data showing correlations with increased flight delays and no explanation of why increased use of internet sales channels could possibly “cause” major shifts in on-time performance. Can’t tell for sure from the post, but it appears to be a case of an academic who doesn’t know the first thing about his subject, does not care what anyone who actually runs these airlines or internet sites think they are doing, but the economic journal publishes 30 pages of regression results, because they don’t really care about how the real world works either.

    1. optimader

      RE: I am dumbfounded that anyone at NC could have thought the garbage article
      (please don’t open my Reykjavik Grapevine link of the day, I’m very sensitive to criticism , sniff)

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        If I may speak up for the word ‘garbage’ for a bit.

        To me, some garbage is good and some bad, and to lump them together is to stereotype and that’s just, er, garbage.

        Today, we know we can recycle garbage because garbage is not all bad and/or useless. In fact, we may say there is gold (if you’re gold averse, black gold) in them garbage. You can get metals, minerals, oil, plastic park benches from ‘garbage’ if we just spend time with it.

        So, I hope we can move away from insults like ‘that’s just garbage.’

        1. optimader

          “So, I hope we can move away from insults like ‘that’s just garbage.’”

          You right Aby, Hubert (or should I say HerBut) should recycle the article by rearranging the words into some insightful and redeeming content. Perhaps he could even productively employ a group of unemployed monkeys w/ typewriters to do it?

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Monkeys are smart…smart enough to escape being domesticated by humans.

            So are birds…that reminds me of another abused word ‘birdbrain.’

  17. Garrett Pace

    The Ownership of Machines

    There are, however, two important differences. First, unlike the horses, the humans are also useful as consumers. They are the people who will value the products the robots (and other humans) produce. Think about that for a moment. For each person who is disengaged from society because of a robot, if you cut them off from consumption as well (by say not giving them any money), that is a unit of demand gone. So this pool of unemployed are left outside the system and do not interact in any way with the robot-employed economy.

    Noooooooo. Much like the human who has needs food and shelter in order to be ready for active production the next day, robots consume resources as well. They also need shelter, energy, and maintenance in order to produce for the wealthy. They just need much less per unit of production.

    1. Garrett Pace

      And why bag on horses, too? Everything that produces consumes, and our economy judges anything that can’t produce income as being unworthy of consuming.

  18. Woodchuck

    Among all the talks about police lately with the Ferguson story, there’s a story developing in Montreal too:

    Basically a law is being passed to cut in pension funds for municipal workers, including policemen. Municipal workers stormed the city hall last night and many policemen just stood by watching as they vandalized stuff.

    Over the week-end, a police sergeant also published a letter where she talked about how important policemen are to the city and if they would have to stop all their activity for people to realize what they do, mentioning a day in 1969 where they went on strike and there was tons of problems (obviously, I mean what could go wrong when you announce to everyone that there will not be any police officer working in a major city for a day?)

    This is starting to look like a mob racket where you have to pay premium to be protected otherwise they’ll just stand by and watch people steal/beat you up (actually even somewhat encouraging them to do so). Pretty disturbing.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      One can only hope that heart surgeons are paid enough; otherwise, it’s deadly to see how much we would miss them during open heart surgeries, as they stand by and watch.

    2. Paul Tioxon

      How much wood can a Woodchuck chuck if a Woodchuck could chuck wood? Another right wing think tank cyber attack on municipal employees. Gee Paul, How can you tell, you are certainly sounding a little uncivil to me said the moderate fence sitter poxing all houses but his own. Well first of all, an organized criminal extortion racket does not charge you for policing services so you will be safe from harm, it charges you so you will not be attacked by the people you are paying for protection. You will not get firebombed or have to watch you wife and daughters get raped repeatedly if you pay. Now, if the police go on strike, which is not likely in most places in America because there is a prohibition against police or firemen going on strike, usually a state statute backed up by a NO STRIKE clause in the contract, in otherwords, it is almost completely illegal for it to happen, and they could be fired and replaced by people who would do the job, I’m thinking National Guard, and maybe even state troopers if there are enough.

      In Canada, the police and fireman are also curtailed if not by outright outlawing then very quickly enacted ad hoc legislation ordering them back to work. Funny, when Atlas shrugs it’s not a problem, but if the cops get the Blue Flu, well, all of a sudden they are thug like extortionists. I mean, with over a hundred million guns in the hands of civilian Americans, can we really say that if the police took a 10 hour lunch that law and order would fall apart? I thought people were armed to protect themselves, maybe they have the guns, but not the guts to stand up when an armed criminal levels his 9mm at you. It’s much easier to parade around Wal-Mart with your AR-15 and shop than to actually protect the weak and the unarmed from hoods.

      1. jrs

        Well at least if you pay the mafia it means they probably won’t kill you. Too bad there is nothing like that for cops.

        1. MtnLife

          And they will actually protect you or seek retribution upon any transgressors. It’s bad for business (street cred) to let people f*ck with you and not do anything about it. That tends to encourage others to do the same.

      2. Woodchuck

        Wow, never thought I’d be taken for a right wing think-tank lol, I’m quite far on the left as far as that goes…

        Ok, so the comparison with the mob was not 100% accurate. It’s still disturbing to me to have policemen threaten to stop working if negociations don’t go the way they want considering the kind of role they have in society. There was also prohibition against policemen going on strike when they did in ’69, so they had a “study day” instead, all at the same time, on the same day, and everybody knew it. I don’t really expect it to come to that, but the threat of it shouldn’t even be there.

        And in Quebec we’re not fond of guns like people are down in the US, I don’t know anyone that owns a firearm (except a few occasional hunting rifle).

        And as a more global economic point, yes I do have some issue with the conditions some of those municipal employees have here. Cops can retire at 48-49 and have a very good full pension until death that is not penalized in any way if they find another job (which they have a good 15+ years to do). I own a small company and there’s no way we could give close to the conditions these workers have even if we kept 0 profit. The fact that the previous generation voted themselves ridiculously good conditions that we have to pay for now is not something that should just be ignored imo, it does create a very significative generation-gap.

        I’m ALL for great worker conditions, but it has to be fair too, and some professions in a position of authority/need seem to abuse it a bit in negociations with the state lately (we have the same issue with doctors to some extent).

        1. Paul Tioxon

          You have internalized the message of every right wing think tank that transmits its ideas via print and broadcast media, going as far back as when a dangerous class of people was first identified. The dangerous and disruptive workers who will get paid, not by working by sweat of their brow for what has been predetermined to be a fair days wage, but by withholding their labor in what is deemed an unfair advantage. If the designated workers are doing something actually important to the safety of the public, their absence will be a clear and present danger. This leverage is what makes them dangerous and their willing to use it makes them conscious of their power as a class of workers in a critical position in the engine of profit making.

          Anyone that harms your wallet or wastes your time by striking is making you very angry and feeling dispossessed of your political power which has no say in the strike vote which directly alters your daily routine. How does it feel to have your daily life in the hands of someone else? lol, you’re probably just overlooking this while contemplating real left wing issues that are so pure and don’t cause you any inconvenience.

          The ideas you carry here, so poorly thought out but part and parcel of the superstructure of acculturation of the bourgeoisie to ask first and foremost; do you know how much that’s gonna cost? Those people shouldn’t have any democracy on their job, their job must remain permanently relegated to menial servitude with NO say in any of their conditions, because now all of a sudden, the public counts!!! Except of course when you are not directly the affected public.

      1. Woodchuck

        That would be quite the sight, considering how opposed they were during the whole student strike

  19. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Rising Unrest May Threaten Chinese Economy.

    OK, first of all, if you are oppressed and if you somehow express your dis-satisfaction, forcefully or otherwise, that’s unrest.

    And that is a threat to the ECONOMY!!!!!

    Ueber alles, the economy.

    100 million moving out the country, maybe all will be going to America. As long as they bring money (US dollars), well, at least, that’d be good for the US.

    And what is good for the economy, according to the ‘GDP Must Grow’ Youth Brigade?

    Well, any one from these below is good for the economy:

    1. Buy more junk
    2. Go for a drive, the longer the better, when you can
    3. Ask for a pay raise for spying on your fellow citizens and spend that money
    4. Spend…whenever you can
    5. Have more children
    6. Be more fashionable
    7. Keep up with the Jones.
    8. Eat more
    9. Drink more
    10 Own more

    And many more. The key is you have to be creative and come up with your own ingenious ways to contribute to the economy.

    When you hear the words ‘economy’ and ‘threatened,’ you must follow your well-conditioned Pavlovian instincts. You won’t go wrong.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Here is one more.

      Bundesbank Warns On German Growth.

      How often a thing is judged right or wrong based on whether it leads to ‘growth’ (economic)?

      Oh, the crimes* we commit in the name of economy!

      * They are not crimes according to humans, but to Nature, they are crimes. This is quite a paradox, or rather, it illustrates the dual existence nature of what we do in the name of economy…not-criminal and criminal simultaneously (sort of like light, being both matter and energy at the same time, except we are no light…we are darkness).

      But in any case, where you have it…. a couple of important words – warns and growth. Global GDP under attack alert level 2. Time to mobilize. Go buy something.

    2. craazyboy

      We can get plenty of Latin maids and gardeners for ’em, so they should be happy here too!

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        One thing we can learn from maids and gardeners is that it’s OK to stay calm and not fret when people yell, the GDP may not grow this quarter.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Not sure what they are, though I might have come across them, and it wouldn’t be surprising, as robots are popping up out of nowhere like (biological) roaches.

          1. abynormal

            hey you…you killed me with those baby chicks earlier
            all this stuff we follow and unwind…and those chicks took me down hard
            your a good soul, Thanks

    1. jrs

      This is a pretty hilarious sentence:
      “But the perception that they are among the visitors has shifted some scrutiny from police to the eclectic clusters of civil rights activists, anarchists, nihilists, socialists, hipsters, artists, Muslims, Christians and Buddhists”

      wait, wait you forgot the existentialists, the emos, and the Jews.

      And maybe more seriously the C.I.A, what happend in Maiden anyway?

  20. OIFVet

    Yes indeed, the Guardian hit the “trifecta” of “violent” groups: the blacks, the socialists, and the anarchists. Cliven Bundy having long since been forgotten…

  21. abynormal

    St. Louis police fatally shoot man who brandished knife
    St. Louis city police officers shot and killed a man they say brandished a knife at them outside a market Tuesday afternoon.

    The shooting was about 12:30 p.m., police said.

    Witnesses said the man who was shot had been inside Six Star Market at Riverview Boulevard near McLaran Avenue. He left the market, followed by a market employee, witnesses said.

    Two police officers arrived and the man brandished a knife at them, St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said. The officers drew their weapons. The man acted erratically and refused orders to drop the knife, Dotson said.

    The man yelled “Shoot me, kill me now,” Dotson said, then came at one of two officers with a knife.
    The officers fired at the man, hitting him. He died at the scene.

      1. abynormal

        in their shirt pocket, where their bullet use to be…you mean where was Andy

        Bernard Milton Fife
        Bord of Directors
        Tin Foil Drive
        Hall Monitor
        Volley Ball Maintenance Crew
        Spanish Club

    1. optimader

      Dotson said, then came at one of two officers with a knife.
      The officers fired at the man, hitting him. He died at the scene.

      mmm. without reading the article, if someone were coming at me w/a knife, I would probably shoot him too. I would like to think I would shoot him in the leg, bu twho knows until your put in the circumstance? Threatening w/ a knife at 100 ft is a whole lot different than threatening w/ a knife at <21ft.

      how big a knife?

      1. abynormal

        the ‘perp’ announced his intent clearly enough a 7 yr old could comprehend
        KILL ME
        their ramped up taser’s reach him even if he was brandishing a machete

        but good to know at least you won’t be around when im suffering

          1. abynormal

            they got access to tanks etc and no taser? you do the math

            im guessing the ‘perp’ couldn’t afford the gas to douse himself
            you can only take a man so far down

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I usually just prostrate myself…still, I fear that could be interpreted as a challenge.

      Nothing is guaranteed in life.

      Or do I worry too much?

  22. OIFVet

    Vineyard of the Saker-Oceania edition:
    “The Oceania Saker idea grew out of discussions amongst the volunteer teams working with The Saker. The idea is to give the English team the same degree of editorial independence that the French,German and Russian teams enjoy. The obvious observation is that both The Saker and The Oceania Saker will publish in English but will be quite different.
    Oceania sees itself as the first frontier where the global policies of neoliberalism hit home hard. Climate change,the rising sea levels and destructive uncontrolled capitalism has been the norm for a while now. While “bad” news, about what our policies as a collective human species do,might not have reached a central European town, they are quite evident in small Islands across the Pacific. The population has been dumbed down,abused,robbed and down right denied a voice in its affairs. We seem to swallow,without question or critique, the policies and “culture” of the AngloZionist Empire. As an example, the rich green fertile paradise of New Zealand has child poverty of 25%!
    While children are being murdered in Ukraine and Palestine, they talk about the next Hollywood blockbuster on morning radio. While Fascism is on the rise across Europe and rabid russophobia the norm, we do not seem to question it but instead join the choir. The events in Ukraine are especially a cruel joke on the intelligence of anyone whose grandparents fought Nazis in WWII. The descendants of Nazi collaborators are now being hailed as elected democratic politicians. This is lunacy.
    The Pacific nations have had a rich history of being friends of the earth, we have for thousands of years lived in harmony with our environment. It is this destruction of the harmony and beauty of our lands that has awaken many to the realities of destructive neoliberalism. We see our fate being decided on the world stage in this continuing struggle between the US and the sane world.
    The Oceania Saker team will continue to publish in the same spirit and will try its best to give various perspectives which represent the diverse nature of Oceania. We plan to cover a wide range of topics from social issues, to economic issues to political issues right across the globe.”

    I like the sound of the Oceania edition.

  23. Gabriel

    Re: Gogol Panda
    I use the StartPage search engine, which uses Gogol but strips cookies and ISP.
    When I type “naked capitalism,” this site comes up on the bottom of page two results.
    However, typing “nakedcapitalism” without a space puts this site on page one results, often in top position and no lower than fourth.
    Conclusion: It seems Gogol doesn’t like the word “naked.”
    Suggestion: Change the site’s name to “NakedCapitalism.”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Sounds good.

      I feel we compromise ourselves to change it to something like ‘Topless Capitalism.’

  24. diptherio

    This report from the Israeli ship blockage at the Port of Oakland just came in via a listserv I’m on. Somehow I managed to miss this story until now:

    We stopped an Israeli ship, the Zim Piraeus, from unloading in Oakland. As of this moment, it is three days that the ship has been at the port, and no one has touched it. It is expected to sail out today (Tuesday, August 19, 2014), but as of this moment it has not yet left. Word is that its next port of call is in Russia, and it has to be there by August 31.

    Blocking the ship was an enormous effort by the community and the union together. The ship was due to dock on Saturday, August 16, at 3 pm. It had originally been scheduled for 5:30 am that day, but was delayed. On Saturday afternoon, three thousand people came together and marched on the port of Oakland, shutting it down. There were about 1000 of us that met at the nearby BART station, and marched to the port. By the time we got there, there were at least 3000 of us. We had a rally at the berth entrance, with many speakers. Gaza, Ferguson, Haiti, and Oakland were four of the world’s dots of resistance connected that day. The ship was told to stay at sea because it could not be moored at the dock under those conditions.

    The ship docked sometime Saturday night or Sunday, without anyone there to begin unloading it.

    Monday morning, at 5:30 am, a small number of people, maybe 20 or 30, showed up and picketed the specific berth at which the ship was docked. The police showed up, pushed the pickets around, but were unable to clear the berth entrance. Two people were arrested but no one was hurt. The longshoremen who showed up for that shift saw the picket line and refused to cross it. This is local 10 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, which is the union that emerged from the San Francisco General Strike of 1934. This union also refused to unload South African ships during the international struggle to end Apartheid. They have also shut down the ports calling for justice for Mumia Abu Jamal and all political prisoners.

    Monday afternoon, when the next shift was to come on, about a hundred of us showed up. At first there were only 30, but we started picketing in front of the berth entrance. There were about an equal number of police. It took them a half and hour to figure out how to deal with a legal picket, with TV coverage there. And about another half an hour to have finally pushed us off to the sides, clearing the driveway. But with the chanting, the flags, the signs, the music from people who had brought their trumpets and horns, we turned away truckers and workers, even though we were not standing in the driveway. “Free free Palestine, don’t cross the picket line.” By 7 pm, no workers had gone in to unload the ship.

    Tuesday morning, 5:30 am, a small number of people again went to the port. And the union said that was enough, they would not touch the ship. So far we have won. We will need to be out there again this afternoon. But time is running out for the ship. And the Seattle solidarity movement has said it will give an Israeli ship due there in two weeks the same treatment.

    End the Occupation of Palestine.

  25. Jackrabbit

    Krugman: War is Bad for the Economy – – Washington’s Blog

    Disappointing that WB chose to pat themselves on the back, rather than lambast Krugman.

    In the post that WB references, Krugman simply wants to attack Putin so as to support the party line that Putin is a power-hungry maniac that is sacrificing the well being of his people for his own ambitions.

    Whether its bubbles or Ukraine, Krugman is ever-ready to pretend to be the independent voice of reason that buttresses the neolibcon Obama Administration.

    H O P

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      War is bad for humans and all living beings.

      The economy will always be there…even without humans, our futurist prophets tell us.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      By the way, that’s thrice I notice today about the ‘GDP growth under attack’ alert.

      I think I am supposed to do something…War! Economy threatened. Government needs to spend more to stimulate the economy!

      1. Jackrabbit

        The GDP that Krugman is concerned with is Russian. The picture he paints/reinforces is Putin as a bad actor.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Thanks. I just read the titillating title and imagined we were talking about the idea that war would be bad for any participating ‘economy’ but actually good for arms supplying nations that are not in the immediate proximity to violence

  26. 198 198 198 198 198

    @Lambert 1:16 #198 “Dual sovereignty and parallel government.” I am sitting here pointing to my nose. The thing that led this commenter to blow off Occupy for good was when the infestation of Democratic Party entryists explicitly ruled out the proposal of parallel government for their phony bullshit “What Is To Be Done?” sessions. We are deep in the parallel government zone. Self-determination is the only response to this level of state failure.

    This is why Scottish independence is such a fart in church now. Its implications for the NATO Pact couldn’t be clearer. Why shouldn’t Catalunia pull a Slovakia? The issues are the same, coercive derogation of economic rights. For that matter, Why would the Northeast want to be part of the same country as Missouri or Texas? Cut them loose and let them try to earn their sovereignty.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Huh? So Occupy got thrown off the rails by Democratic Party “entryists,” and you don’t want to adopt the (apparently correct) path they were on?

      NOTE OK, I’ve reread this. I’m sympathetic to Scotch and Catalonian nationalism (as long, of course, as the become sovereign in their own currency). I’m not entirely certain that the answer to the problem of the nation-state is smaller nation-states; nationalism has a lot of pernicious effects. One could argue that a smaller state can do less damage. With the US, as with the USSR, one question would be “What do we do with the nukes?” I’m not sure there’s a good answer to that.

      1. Ulysses

        That is an important question! We can be certain that any potential smaller state, like say for instance Texas, who actively campaigns to be given the nukes, probably should not have them.

        Why did humanity have to invent nukes?? I understand the desire of Einstein et al. to get there before the Nazis, but it sure would be nice if we could put that genie back into the bottle.

      2. Christopher Dale Rogers


        I must take issue with regards your contention that in order to be “Sovereign”, those regions of the UK and elsewhere in Europe, which are geographically distinct must issue their own currency. This is not true and undermines any other assertions that you make, particularly with regards the UK. First and foremost Britain is a single island geographical entity composed of three geographically distinct regions, this being England, Scotland and Wales. In two of these regions the population at the ballot box has never voted for the government it usually gets in Westminster. Quite the reverse, since the ascent of Thatcher and the neoliberal economic ascendency those of us on the “Celtic Fringe” have witnessed government that is anathema to our people and their communities. Hence is Scotland at least we have reached a tipping point, and in Wales, although still predominantly “Unionist” in character, a few more terms of neoliberalism courtesy of Westminster will no doubt dilute the “Unionist” tendencies that still exist.

        As for any currency, despite what you may think academically, the fact remains that Sterling would constitute the main exchange for goods and services, and given this fact, legitimacy is inferred if any independent nation decides, rightly or wrongly, that its national taxes shall be settled in Sterling, which is where we stand presently with regards the SNP’s stance regarding the currency it will use. We will effectively have a monetary union, as in the USA, but an independent Scotland would have full control over fiscal policy, and its on the fiscal policy side where all the action is, or is to be had given the fact that to all extents and purposes macroeconomic policy in the USA and the UK has reached its limits, something policy-makers will accept out of the public gaze, as I’m well aware of myself.

        As for smaller nation-states and nationalistic tendencies, it’s a fact that the massive societal changes that are so desperately needed can only be achieved if we have small constituency units and that smaller political entities have a far greater chance of enabling this than larger entities. Consider this fact, had the USA remained a Confederate state do you seriously believe that the neoliberals and corporations would have usurped total power in all constituent member states – it certainly would make it harder. Further, smaller political entities must comply with the desires of their constituents and we have witnessed this in Hong Kong, whereby demonstrations of a million-plus persons are taken quite seriously by the Chinese authorities, this despite the fact that Hong Kong is far removed from a democracy.

        Both Wales and Scotland are small entities and hence far more responsive to the desires of the population than larger centralised states. As for extreme xenophobic nationalism, you are more likely to see this in England, rather than Scotland or Wales who’s nationalist groupings are based on “inclusiveness”, rather than exclusiveness and this has much to do with settlement in each country, both in my opinion being mongrel states with distinct communtarial features based on their actual geographies. So whilst I cannot deny racist elements exist, these are predominately by persons on the right with a strong affinity to the “Union” and dislike of anyone who’s skin tone differs from their own, they are a small minority, which a look at the constituency electoral results from the 2010 election will demonstrate – I know this because Wales being a small nation with only 40 MPs allows me to check in detail all electoral records and compare and contrast with each other – hence my fervent belief that small political entities are preferable to larger centralised ones.

        Having studied both the USA and its Federal structure in the late 80s through to middle of the 90s, one cannot but be struck by the fact that what were held up as “positives” only 30 years ago in academia no longer exist, they no longer exist because the States themselves have been corrupted and co-opted to the same degree that the Federal government has, that is to say that we have witnessed a total failure of all checks and balances within your governing structures epitomised by an Executive, Legislative and Judiciary which governs in the interests of a very small minority and large corporations – most of which are opposed to the wellbeing of the average US citizen. And if we desire to reverse this, as many have detailed on this site, it can only be achieved on a local and state level, which essentially is the movement towards smaller political geographic entities which you seem to dismiss.

        1. vlade


          I will respond, since when our opinion differs we seem to be able to conduct a reasonably civilised discussion.

          Scotland of course can use Sterling if it wishes so. It can use EUR, it can use USD, it can use bitcoin. Of course rUK treasury can’t stop that.

          On the other side, rUK doesn’t have to let BoE to be lender of the last resort. It can say that any banks registered in Scotland and providing loans/deposits/other contracts under Scottish law have no recourse to it. It can, in effect, kill Scottish banking sector. And I’m not talking about the investment banking (or fund management in Edinburgh), but about day to day retail and SME banking.

          At the same time, investors in any Scottish debt, be it public or private, will demand non-trivial risk premia. It’s impossible for Scottish gov’t to credibly say they will never go off sterling, ever. Czechoslovak currency union (which is in effect what Scotland would get, the C-S currency union wasn’t a true union) lasted all of 38 days, even though it was agreed to last at _least_ six months just beforehand.

          There’s a lot of talk about how going off the pound would cost businesses a lot in transaction fees (i.e. assuming that the currency is going to be reasonably stable, so there are no volatility costs). Well, it could. But it doesn’t have to. If Scottish gov’t wants to preserve the cross border trade, all it has to do is to set up its own clearing house for SCP/GBP, which it can do almost trivially.

          My problem is that Mr. Salmond is strong on emotion, but weak on facts, unless they support his cause (and even then bends them as often as not. But the other side does it as well, so call it equals). If I was in Scotland, I’d vote “No”, just on basis that there’s way too little explanation what it will mean for me. That moving Triden will mean no nukes – great. But that it will also mean loss of a few thousands of jobs, and that IMO if people vote no nukes (which is fine by me, if they want it) they have a responsibility to make up to people who will lose their jobs? That if you keep pound but get no BoE, you might, down the track, find yourself with foreign currency mortgage (which may work for or against you)? That it’s impossible to set up a sovereign fund from oil revenues at the same time as use the oil revenues to prop social spending? And that if you’re encouraging more exploration in North sea to get more oil revenue, you’re much more likely to end up with BP-like spill killing half of Scottish coast?

          What I’d really like to see, but I suspect Salmond would hate, is to have a referendum on “can we negotiate how Scotland should be independent, and put it up to you in 2 years?”, and then have a real yes/no referendum. That would be less emotion and more hard thinking. And let the emotion come in later to overrule the head – it’s ok – but let the people who want to use their head have a fair go as well.

          1. Christopher Dale Rogers

            Despite all technical issues, and the point I’ve made, is that Britain (England, Scotland & Wales) is a distinct singular geographic entity, and with or without a “Union”, one means of monetary exchange, namely Sterling, would exist regardless of what the authorities may or may not desire. This may indeed be different in Europe, which is significantly more diverse than the British mainland.

            And, here’s an interesting point, despite monetary union within the UK, sometimes its very difficult to exchange “monetary” notes which are distinctively Scottish or Irish, who’s paper currency actually differs from that used in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

            So, I’d say the will of the people would trump and games or hurdles thought up by financial services or the governments of rUK or Scotland, particularly given if an independent Scots government determines Sterling is the only acceptable currency to settle tax and VAT with, well what exactly can rUK do about it. The facts remains, if Scotland votes “Yes” in September all the BS in Westminster and the BoE will stop and reality take over.

            As for any other issues, the SNP at the last Scots Assembly election promised if they won they’d sanction an independence vote, one with three options – our Unionist friends could not deny the Scots electorate and hence actually offered a very simple vote omitting a “DevoMax” option, which is the one Salmond preferred.

            At the end of the day its in the interests of the whole of the UK that the Scots embrace the “Yes” vote, which means that a new Constitutional Settlement is required, and it is this that the “Unionists” are opposed too. Whilst nationalistic tendencies remain weak in Wales, within the ranks of the Welsh Conservatives a more “federalist” approach has been adopted, which is opposed by Labour, this despite the fact that the Union has done little for my homeland in more than 30 years. Anything that loosens ties with Westminster, and by defacto, the City of London, has to be applauded, particularly given the centralisation of powers, which has occurred from a local to central government since Thatcher came to power and sold off the nation’s public housing, whilst preventing local authorities using the receipt from these sales to build more housing.

            Unionism is a dead-end, hence my support for for an independent Wales, or at a minimum “DevoMax” for my own nation under a federal construct. And this sentiment is not only apparent on the Celtic fringe, its apparent in many regions of the UK which lay outside of London and the South East – which to many of us British, is actually an alien entity far removed from our daily lives.

            1. vlade

              The point I was making is that while nothing can stop Scots using GBP as means of paying tax etc., they cannot, and will not have an independant central bank issuing GBP at will. Or, if they will, then BoE will change GBP to LBP (Little Britain Pound). Or put it differently, if Scotland wants to keep the pound, they can, but they can’t tell rUK not to go off the pound (followign the same logic as rUK can’t tell them not to keep the pound).

              When Czechs and Slovaks split, they also had incentive to keep the same currency – but as I said, it dropped quickly.

              As for he mandate. Well, the turnout in last scottish elections was a whisker over 50%. SNP got 900k votes, Labour 630, Conservatives 276 and LIb Dems 157.
              So, if we’re talking mandate, SNP got 45% of the 50%. So not even a majority of those who voted, and less than 25% of the eligible population. I don’t call that a mandate, sorry.

              The whole discussion from SNP so far was much more emotional than anything else. Don’t take me wrong, as I said, if Scots want independence, they should get it, but they also should have an inkling of what it actually means as opposed to believe the Holywood version of BraveHeart. There’s lots of symbolsim, but little debate – which is why Salmond lost the debate to Darling, of all people.

              I do agree that a more federalist approach has to take place (hey, having Scottish/Welsh/NI MPs to vote on laws in England, how fair’s that?). And I’d say that since the last election showed that coalition gov’t can be (reasonably) stable (let’s not talk about quality, I doubt that would be changed), I believe that it’s also time to change to MMP (although Scottish/Welsh AMS system would be ok too I guess).

              1. Christopher Dale Rogers


                I actually have covered this issue and clearly stated that macroeconomic monetary policy would be out of Scotland’s hands. Essentially, the same applies here in Hong Kong with our currency linked to the US dollar, obviously the HKMA can print as many HK dollars as they like, but the fact remains that “interest” is correlated to that of the US$ and the HKMA’s ability to break with this correlation is limited, but not impossible. Suffice to say, the HKMA utilises a host of macro prudential tools to control inflation, particularly in regards to property mortgages, be these private or commercial, but other than that, room for manoeuvre is not great, hence calls to de-link and link the currency to the Yuan. Further, Singapore whilst monetarily a sovereign, its currency is linked to a weighted basket of other currencies – obviously, Scotland could adopt either measure, or just say bugger it and use Sterling, the last thing Scotland wants to do is tie itself to the Euro, which would be suicide to say the least – just remember that the UK operated a Sterling zone for many years, and hence moving forward Scotland would actually be in a similar position as to those former colonies and commonwealth nations that utilised Sterling for the settlement of trade and other matters. History is on Scotland’s side here and it is Westminster and the BoE that has been obstinate in its approach to the Scottish Referendum.

                1. vlade

                  Sterling block worked because it was in effect a trade area, where Commonwealth exports were mostly to the UK, and a lot of UK’s exports were to the Commowealth.
                  Most of the Scottish trade is with rUK, but not vice versa, so the interest in the zone is much more lopsided.

                  To me idependent Scotland with GBP just doesn’t make sense. You can’t expand your money supply unless you get more sterling (or you can get attacked by speculators, which is a real stuff, and you can’t control it). HK is a special case, for a number of reasons, but one of them is that gov’t spending as part of the GDP is one of the smallest in the world (at about 18% of GBP), compare with the UK at 48% (and Scotland even higher).

                  If Scotland wants to be more socialists, sticking to GBP come what may is just dumb, as you’re locking yourself in a gold-standard equivalent, and drop all the wonders of fiat. Especially since the tax revenues would most likely drop (due to some exodus of business from Scotland. At the best, no businesses would relocate, but I believe that at least RBS/Lloyds would – unfortunately, and likely some fund managers). The extra oil revenues would be offset by removal of the tax transfer from the rUK (well, that’s how it was the last year, who knows how it will work this or the next year). But it would be hard to increase spending, especially deficit spending when you’re locked into another currency. Just ask Greece, Italy, Spain etc.

                  Both sides will stick to their guns in the debate, but if there’s a split, it would make much more sense for Scotland to give on this than the rUK, and little sense for rUK to agree to a currency union.

  27. optimader

    Sublime Synergy…
    she should run for Mayor:

    Lighten up on pot penalties, state’s attorney says
    August 19, 2014

    Illinois needs to cut penalties for marijuana use and boost them for gun offenses if it’s really going to curb street violence, according to Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

    At a hearing of a special legislative panel today, the county’s top prosecutor conceded that what she called “a shift in philosophy” might not be popular with everyone, but is needed if officials are to keep…

  28. MtnLife

    Police tell Detroiters to buy guns in city riven by race issues and crime Missing from the headline regarding the race issues is the likelihood of conviction using their Stand Your Ground law. In this case – White People, fire freely. While I am happy to live in a state that requires no permit for owning or carrying concealed – we don’t have a Stand Your Ground law and we have very little violence. This just sounds like a really bad idea. Like some Neo-Nazi Race War dream come true.

    Besides having the worst homicide rate among large American cities, Detroit experienced 12,935 burglaries last year. With around 250,000 households, that means Detroiters have roughly a 1 in 20 chance of being burgled. To residents who have been victims of crime, being allowed to carry a weapon, whether openly or concealed, is not just reassuring, it’s part of the pragmatic reality of living in the Motor City. Wayne County, which encapsulates Detroit and its metro area, counted 83,950 active concealed-pistol permits as of 1 August 2014 – meaning one permit for every 21 households.

    The starkest of differences was found between cross-racial shootings. A white shooter of a black victim is 10 times more likely to have his or her homicide ruled justified compared to the homicide of a black shooter on a white victim

    if it is an anomaly for a police chief to go on record and speak in favor of his citizens arming themselves against criminals, what might strike some as more noteworthy within the current national climate of racially tense shootings is that Detroit is 82% black. The police-sanctioned arms race stacking so-called “good” Detroiters against presumably bad ones may be fulfilling a stigma of armed black people, rather than trying to dismantle it.

    1. abynormal

      cause you were pack’n, fife’s can move along quicker to the next ‘perp’ after shooting you, your child and your dog. genius

      1. MtnLife

        Since this is Detroit maybe this is really just a test run for the first episode of Water Wars installment (coming to a city near you soon! Lookin’ at you Vegas) sponsored by The Elites. I don’t mean a TV show but I’m sure it could be marketed that way. Any wagers on the percentage of SYG shootings at sources of drinkable water? Stand Your Aquifer?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I can see it now – the empire forces every nation on the planet to buy and sell potable water, instead of oil, in dollars.

          A clean-water-backed global reserve currency.

          And it’s not science fiction either. It could happen.

          1. abynormal

            hey, we did it once. water derivatives are giving me the creeps…next year i’ll be drinking a glass of water my great grandkid will still be struggling to pay off.

            @Mtn ” Stand Your Aquifer?” too funnee it wasn’t so possible so soon

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Moreover, to help pay it off, your great grandkid might to have to go all over the planet to protect ‘our water’ so the natives must earn imperial dollars to buy.

          2. OIFVet

            Bechtel’s short lived water concession in Bolivia resulted in the criminalization of collection of rainwater too.

    1. OIFVet

      That active duty serviceman mentioned by Devereaux might be in for some rough times ahead… But I am sure he knew that well enough in advance.

    2. abynormal

      WOW “We were jailed with a cross-section of the Ferguson protesters. Most of our cellmates were African American and from Ferguson or surrounding areas, though there were also some white men in the mix, too. ***There were three recently discharged veterans in our group and one active duty service member.***”
      the piece is the motherload of levels, Thanks L

    3. OIFVet

      He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.
      He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
      He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
      He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
      For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
      For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

      1. ambrit

        Trouble is, back then they eventually procured the support of the French. That and incompetent Crown officers. Cornwallis was actively encouraged to disregard orders from his superior, Clinton. The result was Yorktown.
        Who will come to the peoples support against this government? The Rebels aren’t well organized. Factionalism and ambition reign in this earthly version of the Underworld. Would that there were a Supreme Being to guide our steps.

  29. Roland

    1. Most revolutionaries fail, whether the efforts are violent or nonviolent. If success in life is important to you, then I would say that becoming a revolutionary is probably not your best choice.

    2. A successful revolution seldom maximizes overall Utility. If overall Utility is important to you, becoming a revolutionary, again, is probably not your best choice.

    3. A question a revolutionary might ask goes: “Do I try to make fiddly prognostications of future states of Utility, or do I just want to try to nail one of those s.o.b.’s ?” Calculations of Utility flatter one’s vanity and give a false sense of potency. Nailing an s.o.b., on the other hand, might bring about hell on earth. Nice choice, eh?

    4. When a revolution finally does succeed, the incumbent regime often falls with astonishing speed and ease. Those who fancy themselves in the “vanguard” might well find themselves panting to catch up to events.

  30. Roland

    Harvard Crimson article on Thailand has been pulled from their site. You can still find it, at least for now, on the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.

    Brief quote to give the gist of the piece:

    “As human rights in Thailand deteriorate under a military junta, Harvard is collaborating with key supporters of the recent coup to create a permanent Thai Studies program at the university.”

  31. cripes

    Well put, especially that last part about “panting to catch up to events.”
    As for the people of Ferguson heeding the advice of professional (paid) leaders, i think they’re doing quite well without them, and weren’t much fazed by the likes of Al Sharpton’s.
    But for the people of Ferguson standing against the power of the state to kill black citizens (and white ones in other localities) without justice, the death of Michael Brown would have been forgotten in a matter of days, along with hundreds more every year we never hear about.
    Because of what they’ve done, we have the governor pledging a prosecution, the Attorney General coming in Wednesday, three autopsies, federal noises about equipping all police with chest-mounted cams, and a continuing demand for an independent prosecutor.
    Looks like a very effective movement by a courageous community that deserves support. They’re fighting for OUR RIGHTS , TOO.

  32. cripes

    And maybe the whole point of spontaneous mass movements is to weaken the hold of the state apparatus, so a new form of governance and more representative power can form in the space created in its wake.
    To scold them for not adhering to our preferred tactics is to miss the point entirely.

    1. Ulysses

      This is why I found it very confusing to be falsely accused of being a “violence advocate” for supporting the courageous protests of people against the killing of an unarmed teenager. What they are opposing is violence.

      When I “get in the streets” to oppose the use of predator drones on unarmed civilians, including harmless bystanders who are children, I see myself as advocating against violence, not for it. Maybe I’m wrong?

  33. cripes

    There are people who spend too much ink tut-tutting about the “violence” of people who are standing up against a regime of violence being waged against them. A spontaneous mass event is not coordinated by a single command center.

Comments are closed.