Links 8/27/14

Deer colleague: young elk gets stuck in office Guardian (furzy mouse)

The Intelligent Plant Michael Pollan, New Yorker

This is Uber’s playbook for sabotaging Lyft Verge. It’s a literal, actual playbook. So what happens when the gloves come off and Valley Randroid Travis Kalanick stops playing Mr. Nice Guy?

A Tale of Two Markets: One for Wealthy Insiders, And Another For the Rest of Us Jesse’s Café Américain. Yikes!

Soros’s Argentine Bond Bet Revealed in Lawsuit in London Bloomberg. Billionaire cage match!

Arbitrage wastes the talents of finance’s finest minds FT

Top 11 Funniest Papers in the History of Economics 250 Words. A bit stale, but ever green.

Opportunist shareholders must embrace commitment Martin Wolf, FT

Buffett Burger King Funds Flip Obama’s Inversion Calculus Bloomberg

Does Business Short-Termism Require A Long-Term Stock Exchange? Forbes

Innovation does not equal GDP Growth The Growth Economics Blog

Legroom Gadget Maker Sees Sales Jump After Air-Rage Case Bloomberg

News Corp by its fingertips: Rupert Murdoch’s Australian newspapers eye the abyss Trust the Toffs!

 Big Brother is Watching You Watch

In Senate-CIA fight on interrogation report, another controversy McClatchy. They don’t even care enough to fake it any more:

Robert Litt, the general counsel for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, is a former defense lawyer who represented several CIA officials in matters relating to the agency’s detention and interrogation program. Now he’s in a key position to determine what parts of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s 6,300-page report will be made public.

Petition to Sen. Wyden — “Smart Track” cannot be “Fast Track” in Disguise Public Citizen. Important!

Michael Brown’s Unremarkable Humanity Ta Nahesi-Coates, The Atlantic

Gilian Tett gets it very wrong on racial profiling Mathbabe

The Gates Foundation Education Reform Hype Machine and Bizarre Inequality Theory Truthout

The Governor’s Primary in New York Editors, Times. “Governor Cuomo’s Failure on Ethics Reform Hinders an Endorsement.” Ouch.

The lower Congress sinks, the more voters may vote McClatchy


Russia-Ukraine Talks Yield Little Progress on Ending Conflict WSJ

Exclusive: In Ukraine, an armored column appears out of nowhere Reuters

Ukraine: Economy Declines, Merkel Sues For Peace Moon of Alabama


The Fun of Empire: Fighting on All Sides of a War in Syria First Look

Pressure Builds for an Attack on ISIS in Syria Slate

Obama likely to hit ISIL in Syria without Congress’s formal OK Yahoo News

U.S. rules out coordinating with Assad on airstrikes against Islamists in Syria WaPo


Gaza: Palestine first and last Le Monde Diplomatique

The Double Identity of an “Anti-Semitic” Commenter Common Dreams. Hasbara.

The Emails on Salaita Inside Higher Ed. Because markets:

Although a public university, UIUC depends heavily on private philanthropy, corporate donations and industrial contracts to top up its fee income. This may help explain the otherwise odd fact that a university, committed as Wise says to free intellectual inquiry, has decided that the first amendment needs to be tightened up.

And administrators never drop the bread butter side down.

Noam Chomsky to become new X-Factor judge News Biscuit

Ex-banker replaces rebel minister in French cabinet shake-up Reuters

Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly New Mandala

Triple crown Economist

Developers offer hefty discounts in strained China homes market FT

Japanese Public Seen as Biggest Obstacle to Nuke Restart Bloomberg. Well, Japan is a democracy, right?

Class Warfare

Door for ‘Poor’ In Tower Opens A Housing Fight Times

Amid job stagnation, a prosperous class grows David Cay Johnston, Al Jazeera

What Kind of Job for Part-Time Pat? Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. None. Why do you ask?

A New Reason to Question the Official Unemployment Rate David Leonhardt, Times

Import Competition and the Great U.S. Employment Sag of the 2000s NEBR abstract (earlier full version [PDF]). “Our central estimates suggest net job losses of 2.0 to 2.4 million stemming from the rise in import competition from China over the period 1999 to 2011.”

How Social Media Silences Debate Times. That’s not a bug…

Interview With Horace Dediu: What To Expect When Apple’s Expecting Forbes

The Internet of Things: Monopoly Capitalism vs. Collaborative Commons Jeremy Rifkin, HuffPo

Ferguson and Bullshit Careerism Medium. Must read.

Antidote du jour, the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. abynormal

    “Although it expresses my [Roger Waters] feelings, I cannot but think that the children in Gaza would give anything but their birthright and their pride and their basic human rights for a glass of crystal clear water. And, I think too, of the Bakr children, the sons of fishermen, who were slain while playing on a Gaza beach.”

    ‘Crystal clear brooks’
    When the time comes
    And the last day dawns
    And the air of the piper warms
    The high crags of the old country
    When the holy writ blows
    Like burned paper away
    And wise men concede
    That there’s more than one way
    More than one path
    More than one book
    More than one fisherman
    More than one hook
    When the cats have been skinned
    And the fish have been hooked
    When the masters of war
    Are our masters no more
    When old friends take their whiskey
    Outside on the porch
    We will have done well
    If we’re able to say
    As the sun settles down
    On that final day
    That we never gave in
    That we did all we could
    So the kids could go fishing
    In crystal clear brooks. RW

        1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

          On one of the photo forums I visit, one of the commenters in the ‘pro’ section wanted to know if anyone knew where to rent photo equipment in Israel (said he had a two-day shoot in Tel Aviv).

          My observation was that I heard there were some really good deals on used equipment in Gaza, lately. I couldn’t bring myself to actually post the comment (it’s a very nonpolitical site, and sometimes I’m the only one who thinks I’m funny).

        1. Binky Lehrer Bear

          But during National Brotherhood Week, National Brotherhood Week,
          Lena Horne and Sheriff Clark are dancing cheek to cheek,
          it’s fun to eulogize the people you despise as long as you don’t let ’em in your schools.

          Tom Lehrer

  2. Massinissa

    Double Identity is a must-read. Its absolutely mind boggling that all this was done by one man with waaaay too much time on his hands.

    If one bored Jewish graduate can do all this, imagine what state agencies can do.

    1. abynormal

      wish i had 5k to donate to NC…withholding a donation based on a ‘belief’ is financial blackmail, in my book. btw, imagine what all bored or frustrated jobless grads could do. the cream of what we rises to the top. unfortunately, the majority won’t reflect on ‘why’ but likely consume more ammo to shoot themselves in the foot…then get real angry and shoot their neighbor.

      “Your beliefs will be the light by which you see, but they will not be what you see and they will not be a substitute for seeing.”
      Flannery O’Connor

  3. Jim Haygood

    World War III ain’t gonna start itself. So this:

    Nato is to deploy its forces at new bases in eastern Europe for the first time, in response to the Ukraine crisis and in an attempt to deter Vladimir Putin from causing trouble in the former Soviet Baltic republics, according to its secretary general.

    Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the organisations’s summit in Cardiff next week would overcome divisions within the alliance and agree to new deployments on Russia’s borders – a move certain to trigger a strong reaction from Moscow.

    But the issue of permanent Nato bases in east Europe is divisive. The French, Italians and Spanish are opposed while the Americans and British are supportive of the eastern European demands. The Germans, said a Nato official, were sitting on the fence, wary of provoking Russia.


    Sad to see a fellow from a rich European country (Denmark) acting as America’s obedient little poodle and mouthpiece. Seventy years of occupation does inculcate a compliant lapdog servility, although sometimes the little b*tches bite back and have to be swatted with a folded newspaper.

    This latest Anglo-American mischief is the sort of provocative meddling that the Soviet Union used to do, as it bullied its Comecon satellites and militarized East Berlin. If Europe goes along with Nato’s reckless escalation, it will richly deserve the consequences. But count me the hell out.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Finland drinks the Kool-Aid:

      Finnish President Sauli Niinistoe said joining NATO remained an option for the Nordic country as Prime Minister Alexander Stubb criticized Russia for what he characterized as an illegal incursion into Ukraine. Niinistoe urged the European Union to step up its focus on defense spending amid an escalating crisis in Ukraine.

      Stubb today described Finland’s economic plight as a “lost decade” and warned gross domestic product won’t reach its 2008 level until 2018. He underscored Finland’s commitment to European sanctions against Russia, which he said don’t constitute a “trade war.”


      Looks like the 100th anniversary of Archduke Ferdinand’s demise has got Europe’s juices flowing for another mass bloodletting.

      Surely the U.S. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton will echo Woody Wilson’s 1916 campaign: ‘She kept us out of war.’ No, really — they don’t call it ‘triangulation’ for nothing!

      1. OIFVet

        The Empire of Chaos is getting its Euro ducklings in a row. See my comment yesterday about Bulgaria, It has this strong whiff of a quiet regime change. The good news is, following strong public reaction yesterday, the interim PM withdrew the document and ordered it to be reworked: “”Today, at a sitting of the security council, it was withdrawn,” Mr Bliznashki said”

        Meanwhile, the ABV party called for the interim defense minister’s resignation: “The formation believes the strategic document of the Ministry of Defence is not balanced, is warmongering and in itself jeopardises Bulgaria’s national security as far as it transforms an external conflict into a problem and threat to our national policy…ABV demands the resignation of interim Minister of Defence, Velizar Shalamanov and insists President Rosen Plevneliev expresses his opinion of the document prepared by an interim Minister he appointed.”

        It shouldn’t have taken a former foreign minister to point out the obvious, but there you have it: the instability has spread to Bulgaria, thanks to the obvious regime change carried out since June 2013 and culminating with the fall of the government last month. And it is, unfortunately, BG atlanticists who did the dirty work. The war is back on schedule comrades.

    2. Carolinian

      Denmark didn’t put up much of a fight against Nazi occupation either. But Fogh is a piece of work. Funny how these dummkopfs look exactly like what they are.

      1. Andy Monniker

        A somewhat unfair aspersion on Denmark given it’s military position in April 1940. For a David and Goliath encounter they actually put up quite a creditable and always completely unwinnable fight.

        And what the Danes did for their Jewish population under the Nazis was worthy of respect.

        1. Carolinian

          I don’t know how much fighting they did but they did save many of their Jews. That said, what’s their excuse now? After all if the Russians hadn’t defeated Hitler in the east Denmark might still be under Nazi occupation. All this European kowtowing to the US just seems very strange.

    3. Jagger

      It was only 74 years ago that a hostile force moved to the borders of Russia and invaded. Total Russian dead ranged between 21-28 million people. The German invasion was launched from Poland, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. The Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union in 1941 and the time required for the Nazi army to fight through the Ukraine was crucial in preventing the capture of Moscow and allowing for the recovery of the Red Army.

      Today, NATO is moving into the same countries as Germany in 41 and if it establishes itself in Ukraine, will have a more threatening strategic position than even Hitler. Are we in the least surprised by the Russian reaction?

      It helps to have some historical perspective to realize just how dangerous it is to move into a position which can threaten Russian survival. I am still a little surprised that the Russians haven’t simply gone berserk and just overrun the entirity of the Ukraine. It could be done very quickly. NATO couldn’t stop them. But I guess Nukes are just as good a defense as having the Ukraine and everyone knows the cost of occupying hostile land. So instead, we see what we see.

      I guess I am no longer surprised that we stirred up that very dangerous hornets nest. Still not sure of the primary objectives of the instigators but I suspect Putin’s interference in Syria played a significant role.

      1. Jagger

        Another observation, some of those Ukrainian oligarches, on both sides, have funded their own armed forces. Not sure if I would call them warlords but getting close. Another warning about the dangers of oligarches in times of trouble.

    4. Andy Monniker

      “World War III ain’t gonna start itself.” – Jim Haygood

      I have an unpleasant suspicion World War III IS going to start itself.

    1. Benedict@Large

      You may have disliked dad’s politics and economics, but son Steven is right out of the John Birch Club. He’s frankly a moron, and probably has dad rolling in his grave over the trashing of the family name as an icon of financial journalism.

  4. Carolinian

    Annals of gun craziness. The Uzi is an Israeli submachine gun.

    An Arizona shooting instructor died after the 9-year-old girl he was teaching to use an Uzi accidentally shot him in the head, according to the Associated Press.

    Charles Vacca, 39, was standing next to the girl Monday morning, offering instruction at a shooting range in White Hill, about an hour southeast of Las Vegas, authorities told Phoenix station KTVK.

    Mohave County Sheriff Jim McCabe told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the girl had safely fired the gun many times when it was set in the “single-shot” mode. But then the gun was put into fully automatic mode, and that’s when it recoiled and fired off multiple rounds. The girl lost control of the gun as it went above her head, and she shot Vaca.

    1. MtnLife

      Horrible. Children and automatic weapons are a tragedy waiting to happen. I’m really curious as to how the gun got put into fully automatic mode. The story is very (purposefully?) vague as to that detail. I wonder if it was an accident or done purposefully. Still, as an instructor, he should have been cognizant of his students actions/environment. I don’t know what idiot would stand NEXT to a child shooting. When I teach my nephew to shoot I am BEHIND him, at the same level, ready to grab the gun in milliseconds if not already having my hands on his.

      1. ambrit

        Agreed about kids and guns, a very bad combination.
        An Uzi on full auto? Wait just a minute there. You know how hard it is to get a license to own any fully automatic firearm. Any auto or semi auto firearm has to be loaded and then have a round chambered to be fireable. Then the selector must be set to full auto. Then the safety must be disengaged. There is a second safety, in the grip, which must be squeezed to allow firing. That’s to prevent accidental discharge if the gun is dropped. So, best case scenario is that an instructor left a locked and loaded full auto weapon, safety off, lying around next to a child. Then the kid picks up the gun and correctly fires it.
        This is either Murphys Law in action or something darker.

        1. ambrit

          Note to self: Kick self in rear.
          He was “teaching” her to shoot an Uzi. Which she had done before. Then it got switched to full auto. Than recoil made the gun jump and hit him. Still not sure. One of the selling points of the Uzi, even the 16 inch barrel American version was its low recoil. They must have been using the .45 version? I don’t know. Anecdotally, have heard stories from friends returning from their summer ‘service’ in Kibbutzim about being shown how to use the Uzi “just in case.” (Admittedly, these were teenagers.)
          When waiting for someone else to take a shot at deer or varmints, always get behind them if possible. That’s basic hunting safety. MtnLife is right. Who would stand next to anyone, much less a child, when live firing is going on? It’s looking more and more like Murphys Law at work.
          Yes, that poor girl is going to need help later on. They’d better start now. No two ways about it. (I’m wondering what the parents are thinking about it? I hope they take their responsibility seriously. They approved this.)
          The more sobering thought here is that the average young person in the military or police isn’t that much more evolved than that young girl.

        2. MtnLife

          A lot of the shooting ranges have fully qualified/certified instructors/dealers to give the public a place to try out the military issue stuff in relative safety but letting someone under 15-16 handle a full auto, even small caliber, is crazy. I know a lot of kids who shoot well but they were brought up on a logical progression: BB guns, .17/.22 rifle, .410, .20 gauge, etc. The article said she had been shooting the gun in single shot mode just fine (2 hands on a 9mm UZI at that age is pretty safe on single shot). The question is: who moved the selector switch? If the instructor did it, yeah, diptherio is right, he deserved to get shot. It would be near impossible to know if the girl or her parents did it out of sight of the instructor and he can’t give us his side of the story. Even if that was the case, it is still heavily his fault for not being mentally present enough to notice or make sure everything was properly done.

          1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

            When will people (re)learn that childhood is a formative time, and that it’s best to let children mature at a natural pace. Similarly, every now and then a “parent” will decide it would be really cool to tech a kid to drive, and tragedy ensues.

            People apparently can’t remember their own childhoods.

          2. Robert Dudek

            The fault lies with the persons who thought it was a good idea for a child to be anywhere near a gun.

          3. Synopticist

            “(2 hands on a 9mm UZI at that age is pretty safe on single shot). ”

            Do you have any idea how weird that sounds from a non-US perspective?

            1. trinity river

              Do you have any idea how weird that sounds from a U.S. perspective from someone who would not own a gun, despite having used one as a teenager.
              Guns do kill people. In the U.S. most of the time it is accidental.

      2. Whine Country

        My understanding is that soldiers are currently being trained to never shoot on full automatic. Instead they are taught to shoot in small bursts of 2-3 rounds. My old M-16 would shoot a full magazine in 2 seconds (that was 20 rounds; I was back in the World when the 30 rounders were issued). To properly use modern automatic rifles on full automatic requires the perfect environment and incredible skills to hit the target before ending up standing there with a stick in your hands.

      3. annie

        the earlier Guardian version says the instructor, after letting the child fire single shots, put the weapon on ‘full auto’ saying ‘full auto, let ‘er rip.’ the firing range described by the guardian is called Last Stop (not ‘bullets and burgers’ –maybe the ‘sub-head’) and on its website brags that anyone can fire in automatic mode there. full irony.

    2. diptherio

      This is gonna sound harsh, but anyone teaching a 9 year old to fire an automatic weapon probably deserves to be shot somewhere, if not necessarily the head. I feel the worst for that little girl. For the dude…not so much.

      1. abynormal

        her future will so desperately need deep seated psychological help…will there be any adult near her to go that distance? the horror.

      2. Johann Sebastian Schminson

        As I said a few weeks ago, one of the dipsticks down here was teaching his 5 y.o. how to shoot a handgun.

        I can only hope that there is not a tragedy as a result.

        1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

          BTW: They posted videos of the “training lesson” on Facebook. I don’t do Facebook, but I hope someone kept a copy of that video — it might turn out to be evidence.

      3. Carolinian

        It was at a place called “Burgers and Bullets.” So it wasn’t just about teaching small children how to handle automatic weapons. There’s also burgers.

        1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

          Maybe Warren Buffet can merge it with Burger King/Tim Hortons*.

          *Bullets not available in Canadian franchises.

          1. hunkerdown

            Oh, c’mon, they’re just small parts. Any kid over three should know enough not to choke on them. Perfectly safe…

      4. vidimi

        i gotta agree. if he died while an uzi he was decommissioning so that it would never be used again misfired, then i would say it was a tragedy.
        but since he died while teaching a 9-yo (!) to use one of those things, i’m not going to shed any tears; especially if the girl never picks another gun up as a result.

      5. Lambert Strether Post author

        I went looking for a Darwin quote, so I could award the appropriate trophy, but I think this is a propos:

        “The following proposition seems to me in a high degree probable—namely, that any animal whatever, endowed with well-marked social instincts, the parental and filial affections being here included, would inevitably acquire a moral sense or conscience, as soon as its intellectual powers had become as well, or nearly as well developed, as in man. For, firstly, the social instincts lead an animal to take pleasure in the society of its fellows, to feel a certain amount of sympathy with them, and to perform various services for them.”
        ― Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man

        Taking a nine-year-old to a gun range and teaching them to shoot seems more like a failure of conscience to me, than a technical issues of training, details about the weapon, and so forth. If nine, why not two? Or one? (Strap the baby in a basket with ear muffs to deaden the sound, but at least they’ll get used to it!)

        1. MtnLife

          Failure of conscience to teach someone how to feed and defend themselves in addition to proper respect/use of a firearm should they even encounter one? More of a failure of conscience not to. It’s like thinking that not having “The Talk” with your kid will prevent them from having sex or “Just Say No” being adequate drug or sex prevention/education. I was taught to shoot at 6 or 7 with both a .22 and a bow. Many local kids are. Take this local girl for example, who has been hunting since 8, and at 13, got a bear and a moose in the same weekend! What 13 yr old do you know that brings in a couple hundred pounds of meat to help support the family? This will become even more important the more poor people are squeezed.
          Why bash guns and not everything dangerous that humans do? Some people prefer not to tiptoe through life to arrive safely at death. Living outside the plastic bubble is where life is. You can die commuting in the rat race just as easily as anywhere else. Plenty of dangerous things, done properly and under guidance, can actually be quite fun. My father did high-angle rescue so by the time I hit puberty I could rappel as well (or better) than most trained professionals. Would you consider that reckless too? There are guidelines for childhood development as to when they will be mentally, emotionally/socially, and physically ready certain tasks. I spend my winters teaching snowboarding (15 yrs now) where we use those concepts (as do regular teachers) to tailor our teaching/instruction to kids (and adults) of varying ages. Most kids don’t have the facilities to successfully perform anything complex like shooting or snowboarding until 5-6 (skiing a little earlier). It’s a case by case basis though and judgement of the mentor is crucial. Most 9 year olds I don’t let out of the medium size terrain park yet I’ve had one who has followed me off professional competition sized features where mishaps land you in the hospital. I was raised being allowed to do more or less whatever I wanted as long as it was done as safely as possible. I’ve dropped 30′ cliffs in BC on my snowboard but that doesn’t mean I’m stupid about it. I’ll have sized up the feature from above and below, probed the landing, tossed a few snowballs from above to properly gauge speed, done a few mental run throughs, make sure spotters are ready to assist if something goes wrong, and even then, not commit until I am 100% focused and confident. Driving is dangerous but things like having your car maintained, driving the speed limit or less if the conditions mandate, having enough sleep, not texting, driving defensively, etc mitigate a lot of the danger. Jumping off cliffs into the water is fun but not if you haven’t checked for depth and underwater hazards first. People, and children especially, do better when informed/experienced, not blustering in ignorance/cowering in fear. My nephew wanted to help me use the chipper – dangerous as all hell – so I let him try under extremely close supervision. Soon as he felt the power of the chipper and the speed at which the shredder pulls stuff in, he no longer wanted his hands anywhere near it. He still helps but keeps his extremities a far-more-than-necessary safe distance away out of a healthy respect for the power involved.

          Back to the main issue, if you treat people like they can handle responsibility most will demonstrate it. With all the kids up here who have been raised with, and to be be respectful of, guns, how many of them have gone ape-sh*t and shot up their school? ZERO. Accidental shootings are, for the most part, not really accidents so much as a lapse in focus in an area with near zero margin for error. This instructor was negligent in 3 areas I can see: 1) not being aware of the gun in full auto or letting someone that young fire in full auto. 2) standing to the side – if downrange is a positive y-axis, anywhere except quadrant 3 (neg x/left of shooter to neg y/behind) is bad (back and right is also a hot brass ejection hazard zone) 3) if she was new or new to the weapon: teaching a child and not being in a position to grab the weapon safely in case of an incident, doubly so if full auto was intentional on his part.

          My apologies for being a bit rambley…

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            I take it, then, that you’d advocate compulsory training in the use of lethal weapons in the public schools? If not, why not, and if so, starting at what age?

            1. MtnLife

              Compulsory education, yes. Compulsory training, no. You can educate on proper behavior with and around a firearm without a single bullet being fired. (They seem to manage sex ed without a trip to a sex club or pr0n) But then I think there should be a compulsory general How Not to Die class involving, but not limited to: electricity and water, cleaning with ammonia and bleach, trends in sudden deceleration trauma, safety around sharp objects, loose clothing vs the spinning wheel, the physical limits of material objects, and so much more. However, if you look at Switzerland, which does compulsory training of all its adults for military purposes, they also have a low rate of gun violence despite widespread gun ownership.

          2. vidimi

            people who compare guns like uzis or ARs to inevitabilities of life, like sex, or the chance of dying in a freak accident on your way to work, or even to other tools, such as knives, that can be used as weapons are forgetting one key thing: these guns are made explicitly and exclusively for murdering human beings. an uzi is not used for hunting; it can’t even be counted on to stop an attacker by wounding. it is a tool for murder, period. comparing one to a rifle or shotgun that is made for hunting is disingenuous.

            equating not training a kid in using these weapons of murder with not having the birds and the bees talk with them reflects a certain dystopic mindset, and lambert is not wrong to call it a moral failure.

            1. James Levy

              I grew up in Hicksville, Long Island–you can look it up. I had about as much need for gun education as a kid from Idaho has for memorizing the NYC subway map. Perhaps, some day, it might, under some very specific but unlikely circumstances, prove valuable to the kid from Idaho. The same would have been true for me vis-a-vis learning to use a gun growing up in Hicksville.

              Learning to use a gun is like learning to drive a tractor trailer or fly an airplane. There is nothing inherently wrong with it, but it is not for everyone, and should be a choice adults make, not something forced on children.

            2. MtnLife

              Ah, yes. Just because we’ve outlawed drugs obviously means our kids will never come into contact with them, right? I am not stating all gun owners are responsible because they obviously aren’t. So when kids are digging through someone’s belongings (anyone know a kid who doesn’t? It’s natural exploration) and find a poorly kept gun or city kids find a discarded/stashed one, what then? Would you rather they had proper knowledge/respect for it or do what they see on TV? Or are you proposing the ParentCam for all kids so that you know what they are doing at all times? I at no point stated that an UZI was necessary. Total strawman. Or said anything about AR’s although they can make a decent hunting platform as well depending on chambering. All I stated was that if you are going to properly teach someone to do something there is a way to do it properly. I would take some kid who could barely turn into icy woods because I’d get him killed. I agree there is no reason for a 9 yr old to shoot an UZI (doesn’t mean adults should be barred from the experience in a safe environment), but Lambert’s comment was about going to a gun range, period. People’s tool choice is not always the best. I agree UZIs are pretty useless outside a war zone (doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be allowed to own one) but then I see people using flat head screwdrivers as chisels. Guns are made to shoot bullets, what you do with it is your business and your responsibility. This part is important: We have laws against using them on people whether you kill, wound, or miss completely. There are plenty of knives that have no place in the kitchen or hunting. Should we outlaw those too since they have no purpose but to kill? How about swords? The chart of gun violence that was up the other day (today? dunno, time is blurred atm) showed that guns were accountable for less murders percentage wise than most other countries despite our massive saturation of weapons. Apparently Americans just have a problem with killing each other, guns were used just barely over half the time. The number of people killed each year with assault rifles is miniscule, around 300, which is about the same number as the number of retail workers who die on the job every year. Btw, medical malpractice runs around 200,000 deaths/yr vs roughly 10,000/yr for all guns murders total. You are far more likely to be killed by your doctor than an assault rifle or any gun at all.

          3. windsock

            There was a time I loved living in USA. Now I read this and I see leaving (which made me sad at the time) as an escape.

    3. optimader

      when I was teaching my 6yo niece how to throw Molotov cocktails she kept bending her arm at the elbow and they’d fall right in front of us and we’d get flashed. I finally told her ” hey it’s like what I taught you about keeping your knees straight when you kick in the pool !”. jeeze, she finally caught on
      kids these days.

      1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

        If she gets really good, she might break the gender barrier, and get into the majors.

        At least you’re not teaching to be a catcher.

        1. MtnLife

          I was just thinking about how far a 6 yr old can throw a baseball and even at full distance you aren’t out of Molotov range. She’s got a hell of an arm, definite shot at the majors. Although, I’m sure teaching her how to burn stacks of tires or mitigate the effects of tear gas are far more age/skill appropriate. ;-)

          1. ambrit

            Right on! We bought our grandkids asbestos mitts, like in chemistry class, when they got to be of street protest age. It doesn’t bother the cops too much. They all have gas masks now. It sure as H— does a wonderful fireworks display if you can throw it back under an MRAP or police cruiser!

            1. optimader

              RE: MRAPS….no matter hoe they’re armored up, tires burn, that’s (one of )the absurd things about them.

      2. optimader

        You guys should see the kitchen cabinet after I told her to go get the practice knife to show her mom her new moves.
        She picked up one of the Ka-Bars by mistake! Good thing I can still have my old moves.. that gouge isn’t rubb’in out.

            1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

              Oh yeah — wait until he tries the aftershave.

              He’ll be at least 12 before that stops burning.

    4. Andy Monniker

      I believe one of the things that makes us laugh – those of us that can still laugh – is being made to visualise incongruous juxtapositions, and the more incongruous the juxtaposition the better the laugh. I’m afraid the idea of an Uzi in the hands of a nine-year-old girl just makes me laugh.

      Callous, ain’t I.

  5. abynormal

    from Bloomberg: “Rallies from Brazil to Japan and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index’s first trip above 2,000 sent the value of global equities to a record $66 trillion.

    Shares worldwide added more than $2.2 trillion in value since Aug. 7, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Optimism that central banks will support economic growth sent the MSCI All-Country World Index up 3.8 percent from its low this month. It was little changed at 7:53 a.m. in London today. The S&P 500 has risen for 10 of the last 13 days and the Nasdaq Composite Index is about 10 percent from an all-time high.”
    “Yes, we are beginning to move away from unconventional policy, QE, towards conventional policy, rates moves,” Andrew Milligan, head of global strategy at Standard Life Investments Ltd., which oversees about $317 billion, said by phone from Edinburgh. “But the only reason central banks are doing this is because they believe *growth is sufficiently strong*.”

    ‘i feel good, like i knew that i would’…

    1. MikeNY

      Leaving aside the mind-bending incompetence and blindness of the bubble-headed Fed, absent war with Russia, you know this will not end till the Nazz tops 5000. It’s being drawn there like steel to a magnet.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Exactamente. Naz 5K is less than 10% away. Now that we done S&P 2K yesterday, Naz 5K is the next logical place to go.

        Another 10% hike in stock prices would take Shiller’s CAPE up to 29 … considerably less than the Van Allen belt level of 44.2 that it reached in Dec. 1999. Comfortingly, 29 is also less than the 32.5 level reached in Sep. 1929, just before Da Crash.

        As ol’ John D. Rockefeller used to say, ‘My son and I have for some days been purchasing sound common stocks.’ *wink*

          1. optimader

            “this will not end till the Nazz tops 5000”
            HA.. yeah.. musical chairs, best your own deck chair

    2. Paul Niemi

      With zero interest rates and quantitative easing the rule, some can make money from inflation. The way is to borrow a lot of money at zero interest, by virtue of being a member of the select club who can do so. Then, to be safe, invest half in some asset and hedge by investing the rest in some other asset expected to go down as the first goes up. After some time, inflation will raise the net, nominal value of the two assets. When it is time to refinance, the original loan can be paid back in depreciated money. The difference is money for nothing and chicks for free. This can go on and on. Some would say, “This can’t be happening because inflation is in check.” These are people who go to the grocery store and can’t believe their lying eyes. I believe it is happening, and it is producing an outrageous global asset bubble.

      1. Banger

        The critical question is: is this sustainable? I don’t believe the answer is clear. Certainly a “recovery” has taken place in the USA despite scads of dire warnings from most areas of the left including here at NC–but the recovery has emerged–now for most of us this state of affairs is noxious since it has benefitted chiefly the people who are in the position you describe but it has had a trickle down effect and shows no obvious signs of changing direction. The fundamentals have been consistently bad yet smoke and mirrors and the confidence fairy has worked. Why?

        In my view it is because after 2008 the world financial system decided to merge and become a lose but powerful network of sovereign funds, international organizations na powerful institutions and powerful oligarchs into the non-military base of the Empire. This explains the strange political-economic behavior of the EU–particularly in going along with every nuance of crazy policies coming out of Washington in the ME and the borders of Russia.

        1. Paul Niemi

          Is it sustainable? I think we must take stock of the impact it is having on savers and the middle class. Inflation is a tax, that is going now to subsidize the lifestyles of the wealthy via the method I have described. Despite the high stock market figures, when I consider my own geographical area, little of economic value has been added since 2008. I think the economy has reverted to a low equilibrium, as people have adapted to circumstances. That has taken some time, but all the glaring problems have been ameliorated or swept under the rug. This low equilibrium may reflect the fact that worldwide economies are generally worse off than the U.S. Our lower unemployment rate is still a reflection of millions leaving the workforce and millions working part time. You are certainly right about global integration in banking. Nevertheless, I would be ready to believe that investors in foreign assets are closing their eyes and undervaluing the associated risks. I think uncollectible debts in China, for example, will really put a crimp in this whole arrangement. Now I’m off to work.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          Hmm. Reminds me of the concept of “the bezzle” for some reason.

          Anyhow, 20 years of Japanese-style stagnation punctuated by explosions. Is that sustainable? I don’t think we know. Of course, the best way to predict the future is to invent is, as the (highly performative) evil grand master of beautiful computing, Steve Jobs, once remarked.

          I tend to think not, but there’s a dependency in that Americans, especially, would have to be brought to the notion that there are better alternatives (and “emerging” economies would have to be brought to the notion that there’s something better than becoming the sort of American they see on TV. Us first, though). So imagination and civic engagement are basic and immediate requirements….

          1. skippy

            Wellie it seems some have a nasty observation issue as from the point of singularity – “I”.

            Society is wealth and “I”ndividuals add or detract value – to it – from it….

            skippy… its a creator issue methinks

            1. Paul Niemi

              When birds perch on a wire, it droops. Then they all fly, and it springs back up again. Anyway, me have heard companies getting easy money grow soft management, then they make regrettable mistakes. When they are all on the wire together, one’s mistake is transmitted to the rest.

  6. Brindle

    re: “Exclusive In Ukraine…”
    This Reuters piece is a jumble of typical Western media narrative. Notice all the concern over one crater? That’s because this particular crater is deemed to have Russian characteristics.

    A much more informative article on Rebel and UKR battlefield tactics is from the pro rebel site Vineyard:

    —The Ukies prefer to fight on the main roads.  The Resistance is at home in the forests, hills, fields and bushes (what the Russian military calls the “The Green”).  That means that Ukie movements are very predictable.  Not so for the Resistance.  The Ukies fear the “Green” – the Novorussians love it.  I don’t know of a single battle so far in which the Ukies attempted to attack through, or from. the “Green”.  The Novorussians do that all the time.—

    1. Banger

      I commented below on that Reuters piece and what struck me was that it should never have been published. It’s as if several editors were editing the piece at once and a deadline came and they published the piece–it means to me that there is some internal dissent within Reuters and perhaps elsewhere in the MSM.

    2. russell1200

      It is hard to supply a large force if you go off road. You also tend to be limited in the amount of equipment you can carry into a battle, so your staying power is reduced when on the offensive. Look at the little golf carts that the U.S. Marines were trying out for their patrols in Afghanistan.

      Presumably the Ukrainians want to take back the main urban hubs. It is when resistance movements that stay in the hills have resupply from a third party that it gets ugly. But if the resistance cannot maintain at least a covert presence in the urban areas, they will simply become the equivalent of rural mercenaries. Which sounds unkind, and ineffective, but does seem to have had at least mixed results in Central America.

      To me it sounds like a big loss for everyone.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      I picked that one because I thought it was the one of the most interesting pieces, not as an exercise in truth-telling. And look at the credits at the end; a ton of contributors. NC readers are at all times expected to bring their critical thinking toolkit…

    1. abynormal

      if matters could get worse… Fusion has learned that 184 state and local police departments have been suspended from the Pentagon’s “1033 program” for missing weapons or failure to comply with other guidelines. We uncovered a pattern of missing M14 and M16 assault rifles across the country, as well as instances of missing .45-caliber pistols, shotguns and 2 cases of missing Humvee vehicles.

      “[The program] is obviously very sloppy, and it’s another reason that Congress needs to revisit this promptly,” said Tim Lynch, director of the CATO Institute’s project on criminal justice. “We don’t know where these weapons are going, whether they are really lost, or whether there is corruption involved.”

      (CATO’s skeered…good)

    2. MtnLife

      This happened in my area as I grew up. One of the officers listed was my best friend’s neighbor. Let’s just say they didn’t even begin to scratch the surface of their wrongdoing and there is a reason I don’t trust cops.

      My advice to everyone is: if you are ever about to have your car searched, state loudly (on camera) that you want it done by a dog and that you want the whole thing filmed, dog and officer (to see if any “hit” cues are given). It might take more of your time but nearly zeros out the chance of them finding something that wasn’t there.

      1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

        Buy a GoPro camera, and put it on your dash. Not only will you have a record of the stop, it will serve as a deterrent.

        1. abynormal

          It was just over a year ago that Matthew Haley was arrested for video recording on a public street corner in Georgia after deputies demanded his identification and he refused to provide it on the basis that he was not committing a crime, telling them that all he was doing was documenting the number of cars violating traffic laws.

          Two days later on the Fourth of July, after having spent 12 hours in jail for obstructing, he was standing outside the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office in Augusta being interviewed by a local television reporter about his arrest when a pair of deputies walked up to him and demanded his identification again, accusing him of suspicious behavior because he was holding a cell phone camera, even though it was obvious he was retelling the story of his unlawful arrest – a charge that is still pending.
          The local television media, of course, was oblivious as to whether he had the right to record on public property without showing identification, so they “went digging” as they explained to viewers in their report, interviewing a local attorney who stated that deputies had every right to harass and intimidate citizens into producing identification, but citizens don’t necessarily have to comply if they are not breaking the law (which, of course, won’t prevent them from getting arrested but the media is not concerned about that).

          WRDW-TV also was sure to include sheriff statements that pulling out a cell phone camera in front of the sheriff’s department could lead to incidents like the Boston Marathon bombing or the Sandy Hook shooting, so it was simply a matter of safety to shake Haley down, never mind the fact that terrorists would likely not commit an act of destruction while standing directly in front of a news camera.

            1. optimader

              Why Do So Many Russian Drivers Have Dashboard Cams?
              “YouTube has become the depository for every lyric video, parody, and, apparently, copious amounts of shocking footage from dash-mounted cameras in Russia. But why? Dash cams aren’t completely foreign concepts to American drivers, but not everyone has one strapped on their vehicle’s dashboard—they’re mostly devices for police officers and highway patrol. Why are these cameras a key part of technology in Russian vehicles?

              An estimated one million Russian motorists have installed dash cams in their cars. Though some of them captured the 10-ton meteor that exploded in atmosphere last week, the cameras are popular for just one reason: ensuring justice when it comes to proving accidents on the roads.

              Last year, Al Jazeera spoke with motorists who never drive without their cameras. One driver said others believe that police officers are only on the roads to take bribes, bending traffic laws—or ignoring them completely—to benefit themselves. A camera will save you from false accusations.

              “In Russia, everyone should have a camera on their dashboard. It’s better than keeping a lead pipe under your seat for protection,” writes Marina Galperina, a New York-based blogger who hails from Russia.

              According to Galperina, hit and runs are “very common,” and insurance companies have begun to crack down on claims, often denying any claim with little evidence. Witnesses aren’t much help, either; Russian courts have turned into a he-said-she-said mess when it comes to traffic accidents. “Dash-cam footage is the only real way to substantiate your claims in the court of law,” Galperina writes.

              The camera records non-stop until its limited flash storage fills up; then, the drive erases itself and begins recording again. If an accident happens, the footage can be pulled off and used later. The technology is much cheaper—ranging from as little as $50 to as much as $200—than insurance. Because of lax law enforcement and scams on the road, including staged crashes and already damaged cars presented as evidence in a new case, buying a good policy is outrageously expensive. A cheap camera can save thousands, which is why such a large number of Russian drivers have one.”

    3. Benedict@Large

      As a former resident, it’s a mixed bag. One thing I noticed was that blacks were often way over-charged for what they had done. This is a favorite tactic of both the cops and the state attorney, the object being to break the defendant’s ability to mount a defense. The cops even have a name for this tactic and others like it. They call them “good clean busts”.

  7. Banger

    I second the “must read” for today–as someone who lived inside the Beltway for most of my life (I now honestly regret it) I can attest to Stoeller’s insights on BS activism as excellent and heartfelt.

    Re: Ukraine and the Moon Over Alabama piece. The situation there is getting curiouser and curiouser. The American media is making claims that the Russians are coming into Ukraine because the Ukranian army is winning in the war against insurgents–but it has been winning for months and there has been no victory. These same “reporters” and editors said Assad would fall in a few months–he’s still there. BTW, if you read the Reuters report on the links can you make any sense of it?

    MSM reporting on foreign affairs is laughable and as absurd as I’ve ever seen it. But…if you can read between the lines you can begin to see what is happening. If, indeed, the neocons ruled Washington then every Ukrainian propaganda ploy would be heavily featured and endlessly repeated like the Syrian gas story where the entire MSM and all the tribes of Washington “consultants” rose as one to cry for WAR!!!! It didn’t work so a better enemy was created with ISIL and they worked the operation in Ukraine to poke Putin and Lavrov who had stymied the West in Syria. They shot both barrels and still no WAR!

    With Merkel appearing to get cold feet about a WAR, cold or hot, with Russia after trailing after the USA like a meek child we have a fascinating situation. I suggest to you that the neocon clique has been outmaneuvered in Ukraine by more realist figures because I don’t think they expected the rebels to be able to be a match for the Ukrainian army. The situation in Washington is now fairly confused. There seems to be some consensus on ISIL as the new ENEMY so the Deep State may back off of Russia and continue to torture the ME for fun and profit. I want to emphasize “fun” here because some of the motivation of the most ardent martinets is that they do actually enjoy pulling wings off of flies like the cops in Ferguson and elsewhere love intimidating, beating and murdering black men for fun–in the old days it was called “coon hunting” in the South and it was much milder than what is going on today.

    1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      Hey, Banger. I’m from inside the Beltway, too. Although most folks avoid the E/NE side of the Anacostia. I still love my home town, but the lines that divide it don’t really become apparent until you get some adult perspective. Both sides tend to ignore each other.

    2. vidimi

      i still think syrian regime change is the objective, but the question is, with russia occuppied with events in ukraine, will putin put up any resistance? or will he put up even more resistance in response to all the antagonism?

      1. steviefinn

        Not so long ago I watched an interview in which Robert Kagan was interviewed in regard to his latest book, which incidentally Obama was said to have enjoyed. This was not long after Kagan had stopped advising Romney due to Obama’s election. The talk was mainly of war & how he & Vicky had got together at university out of a shared interest in war, as recently, much to their delight, had his son with another war loving female – The winter nights must just fly by.

        Considering their love for war ( From a safe distance of course ) in the case of Ukraine they don’t appear to have learnt much from the history of it. Right from the start there were potential Stalingrad situations, which have in a small way have already occured – Larger better armed force being bled by urban fighting, problems with logistics, pincer movements etc & The Ukelanders are no Wehrmacht 6th army, although they do seem to have their equivalents of the Waffen SS.

        Maybe they just like the chaos that war inevitably creates & enjoy lighting the fuse, then standing at a very safe distance while being thrilled by the resulting conflagration & destablisation. When as a child I played with toy soldiers they were actually toys, but those who are willing to play with the lives of real human beings in such a way are no different than Stalin & the Nazi’s, who for some reason most people seem to consider were a historical one off. It would be better for everybody if these lunatics were fully recognised for what they are, kept out of harms way, & left to perhaps re-enacting ‘The battle of the Bulge’ in bed where they can only hopefully harm themselves.

    3. Jackrabbit

      I don’t buy your narrative one bit. You have been overly optimistic about Ukraine since February. You clutch at every straw(man). The fact is, there are no ‘realists’ with any real power. To imply that realists can prevail in any meaningful way is pushing false hope. And Syria, Iran, and Ukraine are all related via Russia/Putin. So to hope that a change in focus is a reversal is misleading.

      If, indeed, the neocons ruled Washington then every Ukrainian propaganda ploy would be heavily featured . . .
      The MSM’s incessant anti-Russian/anti-Putin messaging is not enough? All you are saying here is that your reading of the tea leaves indicates that we are not about to go to war with Russia in the next few weeks.

      I suggest to you that the neocon clique has been outmaneuvered in Ukraine by more realist figures . .
      We can ‘debate’ the issues all we want but until neocons are ousted from power (which they appear to be VERY good at getting and holding), they will do everything they can to move the ‘neocon’ ball forward. You can see this in the statement (today?) from Finland criticizing Russia and talking about NATO membership, AND in what OIFVet says about Bulgaria. NATO also seems to be planning/preparing to move more units to the east.

      People should know what they are dealing with. I don’t see a real debate among factions with real power where the goals are in any real danger of changing. Any ‘realists’ in the Deep State have been outmaneuvered (thinking, like you that they are participating in a real debate), sidelined, or cowered (via careerism). The only think that will change neolibcon power is when people get fed up. Sadly, as inevitable as many progressive believe that is, much will be lost before that happens.

      H O P

      1. OIFVet

        I don’t buy Banger’s take either. Fogh of War is a dummy but that’s actually good as far as it allows us a window into neocon thinking. Far from some realists pushing back, the order seems to be “Eastward, march!” Bulgaria and Finland spewing NATO’s line is an indication that the orders have been received. Unsurprisingly, in Bulgaria there is pushback to what is clearly a dangerous move, and in the BG media I read that only 26% of Finns are actually strongly pro-NATO. Georgia is back in the news too, with Uncle Joe Biden reviving talks of eventual NATO membership. This even as Georgia is seeking to throw the last neocon stooge in jail. Nonetheless, the march is on. Funny how that happens when realists are supposedly in the way. Here is a take from RT:

        1. Banger

          Perhaps y’all are right–but I’ve been correct about the two major scares involving war with Iran–it never happened–cooler heads prevailed. I believe the real goal among the opponents to the neocons within the oligarchy is to maintain enough tension and irresolution to world conflicts to allow the status quo to maintain itself, while the neocons want to change the status quo so that they and their corporate supporters can dominate the international scene and, frankly, destroy the modernist cultural project. Neocons aren’t just war-mongers they are war-mongers because they want to change culture to give Americans a solid sense of purpose so that the world can be transformed into one big USA. The realists have no such ambition–realists come from The circle around Kissinger, Skowcroft, and so on.

          1. Jackrabbit

            The “sense of purpose” crap is 1980’s hoodwinking: making a CASE that draws in others. They are just warmongers now, and while some might reference that BS for pseudo-intellectual consumption, the neocons have moved on to “exceptionalism”.

            You are just shoveling sh!t now. Tell us again about your expertise from spending sooo much of your life in Washington. I really like that story, especially when I’m reading NC late at night.

            1. Jackrabbit

              That should be “just tp make a case”. This was a ‘case’ that was principally made to elites. ‘Exceptionalism’ goes well beyond this narrow and self-serving case to draw every American into self-delusional acceptance of whatever the neolibcon establishments desires. Its a mind-f*ck that disgusts anyone that sees through it.

            2. Jackrabbit

              Neocons aren’t just war-mongers they are war-mongers because they want to change culture to give Americans a solid sense of purpose . . .

              For anyone that is not familiar with the history, conservative movements were already planning their come-back in the 1970’s. Neocons argued that conservative plans should not include retrenchment internationally. The US should remain active and even step-up their involvement in the world. These early neocons argued, as Banger points out, that without this int’l involvement US society would suffer internal divisions – to the detriment of its international standing and ruling class.

              This was an argument that found a ready audience among some, like MIC (naturally), and the patriotic and even ‘noble’ (because a rudderless society would be bad for all) proposition was difficult to argue against, as its difficult to argue the counterfactual.

              What’s important is that this was a message that was ‘sold’ to the elites, not the generally public. Once the neocons got traction and accumulated sufficient power, making and defending this argument was unnecessary and could be risky. Can you imagine a President telling the country: we’re going to have an aggressive foreign policy – but its for YOUR benefit?

              That Banger has brings this historical artifact up old argument up (again!) as a fall-back because he is challenged on his frequent and continuing suggestion that there is a real debate among realists and neocons is deeply disturbing.

              Neocons don’t want to ‘sell’ the establishment on international engagement anymore because they ARE the establishment. Instead, they want to mindf*ck everyone into believing that anything the establishment/neocons do is somehow holy because we are exceptional! As I recall, the Nazi felt pretty exceptional too.

              Banger makes some good points sometimes but I, and others have taken issue with some (below) that he repeats again and again:

              >> talking of realists vs. neocons like there is a real debate
              As I wrote above, only with a change in US govt will be free of neocons.

              >> blaming the ‘Deep State’/’National Security State’
              We can’t vote-out the ‘Deep State’. We can only change election finance laws that give them undue power.

              >> talking about ‘chaos’ as though there is no plan or intent behind US (and our allies) actions
              We don’t do things willy-nilly.

            3. Banger

              Look, there’s no reason to get abusive. Even in the Third Reich and Stalinist Russia there were factions–but for you, in 21st century Washington there are no factions–this is American Exceptionalism in reverse. Hitler, for example, had to battle his generals until the very end. In any capital where personal ambitions predominate people struggle.

              But more importantly, you don’t give an inch–you simply are a true-believer. Well, go for it. Just avoid the abuse because it is juvenile and silly and completely punctures your arguments.

              1. Jackrabbit

                There are factions but I don’t see any real counter to the neocons. Yeah, we talk about realism here at NC and its easy to imagine, or be led to believe, that what seems like just commonsense is getting a good faith hearing in at the highest levels. But with the duplicity and propaganda that we see from neolibcons, I can’t imagine that anyone that knows how things work(TM) can really believe that critics get any real consideration.

                New World Disorder: double-talk and double-down.

                AFAICT, most ‘factions’ tend to their own interests. And the faction that cares the most about international affairs is the neocons.

          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            Every elite faction is practicing “conflict investment.” Churn benefits them all, as a class, because churn is good for people who are clever about options. Different elite factions just hold different portfolios, that’s all. (We can see a fine example of this right now, in Singer vs. Soros on Argentina.)

            1. Synopticist

              “Churn benefits them all, as a class, because churn is good for people who are clever about options. ”

              Damn Lambert, that’s gooood. I’m borrowing.

            2. optimader

              Trotsky’s perpetual revolution , the neocon playbook, and oligarchic “Conflict Investment” seems to be rather sympathetic.
              The notion neocons have a discrete end game in mind, “so that the world can be transformed into one big USA”, seems more like an unattainable Sisyphean task to perpetuate conflict than an achievable objective. So, cui bono?
              Don’t really feel the tension between neocons and oligarchs, they serve each other.

          3. ninety-eight

            Banger, what do you mean by the modernist cultural project, in this context? Belief in the possibility of social progress, rejection of religious certainty, something else?

            1. Banger

              Neocons reject modernism because modernism features critical thinking and a skeptical attitude towards authority whereas the neoconservative ideal that the masses adhere to orthodox religions that feature self-denial and obedience to authority. Now skepticism and free-thinking is encouraged in the ranks of the elite as long as this tendency doesn’t spread to the masses. Similarly, the elites should be under no requirement to adhere to traditional morality in private. Neocons want elites to rule over a well-ordered public.

        2. Synopticist

          I’m with Banger on this. There seems to be confusion about policy among the foreign policy elite over Ukraine, and the realists have recently strengthened because the rebels forces have been able to resist defeat. In the long run beating them totally was always going to be difficult because they have that long open, friendly border with Russia behind which they could rest, re-supply, train, equip etc etc.
          Even if they take all the cities and middle sized towns an insurgency would flourish under these circumstances. (this is f*ckin obvious if you know anything about military history, frankly.) The Ukies didn’t won in time, and winter is coming…

          The neo-cons thought they could win cleanly and swiftly, and they haven’t, and that’s given the realists, such as they are, room to express themselves.

          Plus there’s ISIS now. The same R2P messianics/neocon alliance that drove policy in Ukraine is having to confront it’s own stupidity in Syria as well. Even the craven MSM is starting to point out the idiocies, and Obama isn’t going to allow the “we should have armed the moderates” argument to dominate. That would damage his future earnings potential, and he’s not about to hurt his own financial prospects so that Hillary and Susan Rice can get a clean shot.

          1. Jackrabbit

            confusion among the ‘foreign policy elite’

            Exactly who are you referring to? What person in power today will go counter to the neocons and call for an end to the proxy wars?

            What we see time and time again from neolibcons is game playing. Its more likely that they pay a bit of lip service, lie in wait, shift the focus, and secretly double-down.

            Look at the outcry now over fast-track (in todays links) for an example. Just when everyone thought that fast-track was a dead issue. While they had certainly finessed that for the fall elections (until now, maybe).

            And if you believe otherwise, please tell us WHY this neolibcon Administration deserves the benefit of the doubt.

          2. OIFVet

            You might as well be describing US history in Iraq: insurgency, porous borders, etc. The only difference is that we fight by proxy, with the predictable same result. By your logic, the realists would have taken over sometime after 2006 and never let up. This clearly wasn’t the case. Instead, we witnessed a neocon double down in Iraq, beginning with the Surge, in order to allow us to declare victory and get out.

            In Ukraine, the neocon “shock and awe” Part Deux was the Maidan and the resulting coup, the double down was the Junta mounting a massive terror and ethnic cleansing campaign. It has failed spectacularly over the past week. The NATO move appears to be the triple down, and it will be just as counterproductive. Again, where are said realists to snuff out all this crazy talk about moving permanent NATO bases eastward? Where is Kissinger and Scowcroft? All we hear is Biden, Fogh of War, and the dimmer lights such as Psaki. Remember the group of six retired generals who mounted a resistance campaign during the Iraq fiasco? Where are those realist retired general officers now? We don’t hear a peep. Deep state or no deep state, any internal struggle between neocons and realists would have seeped into the pages of Pravda and Izvestia. All we have is old school Mearsheimer pleading for sanity, only to be attacked on all fronts by nobodies like Anders Aslund, and to be defended by no one of any consequence. That tells me all I need to know about who is in charge of foreign policy.

            1. vidimi

              i’m also going to side with jackrabbit and oifvet here. there is no sign at all that the neocons have any opposition. when bombing assad directly couldn’t get any traction, attention turned to the maidan, now it’s back in syria on isil. the neocons are constantly on the attack and any set-back is not due to ‘realist’ resistance but political opportunism. i suppose you can call a neo-con who doesn’t want to get into a nuclear exchange with russia a realist, but that’s about as far as the term can go.

      2. OIFVet

        Re: Finland NATO membership: “Meanwhile a poll published by Finland’s biggest paper, Helsingin Sanomat, on Wednesday suggests that more Finns now back the idea of full NATO membership.
        According to the survey, 26 percent of respondents now support joining NATO – up from 22 percent in a corresponding poll last March. However a strong majority – 57 percent – still say no to membership, with 17 percent undecided.”

        Strong public oppostion to NATO membership, yet Finland’s PTB are talking about it. Classic disregard of popular opinion in a supposed “democracy”. Wanna bet Finland is doing the realist thing as opposed to, say, following the neocon diktats?

        Good news is, at least Carl Bildt will be retired, kicking and screaming, by the Swedish electorate in September, to no doubt a cushy sinecure in a neocon think tank from which this useful idiot will continue to spew his neocon nonsense.

      1. so

        The artists name is Lise Becu.
        Yes, like me in High School after doing a gatling bowl in my Us bong.

        1. direction

          Yes, now that we’ve read the Pollan piece, it would seem our antidotes here have been a bit discriminatory against the cuteness found in other kingdoms. I read the article aloud to the plants on my porch, and we had a little study group afterwards. It was the fern’s opinion that the phrase “plant neurobiology,” which Pollan seems to be advocating for, was an insulting term. Most of the zinnias and tomatoes felt using such a phrase was akin to cultural appropriation. Other than that, they seemed to enjoy his writing almost as much as they enjoyed the carbon dioxide refreshments provided during my reading of it.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Make sure you are not reading the ‘paper’ version of his article.

            You don’t want them to know where paper comes from.

            That’s another plant-cruelty we commit in the name of humanity…one of the many crimes of humanity against nature.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              And never put books, no matter how intellectual their authors are, next to indoor plants.

  8. JM Hatch

    Japan is even less of a democracy than the USA (A republic securely in the hands of the equestrian is hardly a democracy). Oligarchy still has a firm grasp of all the levers of power in Japan, so it’s a matter of battling interests between the factions as to when, and how many, nuclear plants restart.

    1. vidimi

      that’s debatable. japan has far less inequality, despite still having an emperor. to be fair, he’s a de jure emperor, whereas obama is a de facto emperor.

      1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

        But, he’s not our first. The first one (who I will not name), should have suffered the fate of Julius Caesar.

        I do believe our legitimate Republic is gone, forever.

        1. vidimi

          caesar and augustus were both populists who improved the lot of the plebeian classes, though — in stark contrast to every u.s. president post lbj.

          1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

            You can’t say the same for Tiberius, Caligula, or Nero (among the earliest). Let’s also not forget that Marcus Aurelius was followed by Commodus.

            At least Claudius openly recognized the death of the Republic.


          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            With an empire that can issue as much imperial currency as it desires, we better pray the Sibylline prophecy is forecasting 100% benign, compassionate emperors, as there is no room for error and no chance that insane emperors bankrupt themselves and run out of money for the legions.

  9. fresno dan

    Ferguson and Bullshit Careerism Medium. Must read.

    “And as we were about to turn to catch our movie, I saw an old fat white couple on the side of the road, as the protest went by. The 60 something year old man was wearing a salmon-colored collared shirt and light blue shorts, with his socks pulled up to his knees. His wife was matronly, the perfect Republican partner. He had a belly, indicating he was getting up there in years, but also that he had some discipline throughout his life. He could have been a former General, a former politician, or executive. This man turned to a camera held by one of the protesters, and said “I’ve been Republican all my life, and I worked in the White House for Reagan in the 1980s. And we think you are absolutely right.” Then he and his wife put their hands in the air and said “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot.” The crowd cheered.”
    “I’ve been Republican all my life, and I worked in the White House for Reagan in the 1980s. And we think you are absolutely right.” Couldn’t have said it better.
    You don’t have to be just on the left to find websites tracking police misconduct

    1. DJG

      The demonstration that Stoller followed definitely sounds like something sponsored by ANSWER, which is remarkably effective here in Chicago, along with Gay Liberation Network, which regularly has prevailed against city hall in disputes over permits and often cosponsors with ANSWER. And these demonstrations are joyful. I can’t forget one against the war in Iraq (maybe Afghanistan, too, so many wars, so few demonstrations). ANSWER and GLN got permission to use North Michigan Avenue, after a law suit, and we ambled along, chanting, While You’re Shopping, Bombs Are Dropping, as we waved to the crowd. It was a warm day, a Saturday, I believe, and the sky above was deep blue and clear. A good time was had by all, and you can see why the DOJ would have to be complicit in stopping such things.

    2. jrs

      The BS careerism is much of the professional environmental movement as well. Chainging themselves to the fence for the Keystone XL. Meanwhile tar sands will be exploited.

  10. YY

    The Japanese electorate voted to give greater majority (both houses now) to the LDP, which in its current incarnation is in favor of nuclear power. This is after Fukushima, so it creates interesting problems. Basically no one wants a restart of the plants that they live near to, with the big exception of the towns that are so close to the plants that their choice is in line with the jobs at the plants. It does appear that there is a national consensus that a phase out is preferred but there is no agreement as to period. In the meantime the regulatory functions have become extremely stringent (relatively speaking). But to regulate means to allow, at some point, restarts. So the restart schedule becomes that of meeting technical hurdles and overcoming local politics. The hurdles are higher and the localities are larger than before Fukushima. The fundamental problem is that the plants need a accounting life time or else the power companies will be bankrupted if they are to be written down to zero immediately. This would be before incurring of costs associated with “disposal” of plants. Hence it becomes easier to kick the can down the road,

  11. Furzy Mouse

    Animism aside, all I want to add to the debate about plants is that they are ALIVE. Surely we all know the difference between a living plant and a dead one. Plants have genes; they reproduce, they seek the light. As a long term gardener, I am still amazed how plants seek out what they need. I very much like the idea that the “root” could be considered the “brain” of a plant….certainly our English word “root” as well as “seed” suggests such a possibility, the source of all growth and transformation. Year after year I watch my bamboo send runners to the pool/water/light, and year after year, we have to dig up this tenacious creature. I’m sure the bamboo does not like this, as it surely demonstrates that “intelligent behavior is a property of life”.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I have long advocated plant antidotes du jour in this great, albeit, not-completely-free-of-animal-centrism blog.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            It’s not NC’s policy to accept assignments (because if it were, where would it all end?) That said, we may have something in the works, independently arrived at, I hasten to add. Stay tuned.

            Seriously, no assignments.

              1. Lambert Strether Post author

                I thought so, but we have very little sense of humor on that topic. Via Policies see Ritholz here:

                Assignments: …. “Why are you ignoring X? You must post on this NOW.”

                No, no I mustn’t. I do not, and will not, under any circumstances, accept your homework assignments.

    2. Jagger

      —Animism aside, all I want to add to the debate about plants is that they are ALIVE.—

      Of course they are. Try treating them nicely and see what happens. And some will argue that consciousness exists down to the atomic level-a property of the most basic building blocks of the universe. Could be everything is alive and has some level of consciousness.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Interesting word.

          Even plants need hugs.

          ‘I am bonding with my cactuses, sorry, catci’

  12. rich

    Ex-U.S. Cabinet Members Lobbying For Elliott

    Aug 27 2014 | 7:11am ET

    Elliott Management is adding some new firepower in its fight against Argentina.

    The hedge fund has hired former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s consulting firm to lobby for it in the country, an operation led by Albright’s co-chair, former U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez.

    According to the New York Post, Gutierrez has been in Argentina attempting to mobilize opposition to the government of President Cristina Kirchner, who has refused to obey U.S. court orders to pay Elliott and other hedge-fund holdouts from Argentina’s 2001 default. The dispute sent Argentina back into default last month, when it missed a US$539 million coupon payment on its restructured debt.


  13. frosty zoom

    i wonder if they have separate sewage systems for the poor folk, too.

    after all, if your schit don’t stink…

    1. ambrit

      No. As our experience down on the Mississippi Gulf Coast with the EPA consent decree shows, you put the outrageously overpriced, semi privatized sewer system in, and if the poor people can’t pay to have it installed and connected to their abodes, you force them to go live somewhere else. (Where they go, we don’t give a D—. That’s somebody else’s problem.) To be logical about it, if the poor have an existing sewer system up and running in the wasteland they have to move to, then yes, they do have separate sewer systems. Separate and equal, by the way.
      As for the smell test; the essence of the problem is that Methane is Methane, irrespective the source.
      I am a plumber and can testify to that in a court of public opinion if necessary.

    1. Massinissa

      I dont see how Pot calling Kettle black helps anything at all.

      Now, if Russia and China were louder about the USA being a HR violator, maybe lapdog Europe would listen.

      But N Korea? The Europeans will probably use this as evidence that the US is in fact not a violator and is all about apple pie and freedom…

        1. optimader

          I really haven’t decided who I think the bigger ahole is, Obama or Putin… so far I’m leaning toward Obama just because of his potential to most adversely affect me. But yeah, Putin is right there in the running.
          One thing I do know for sure, it isn’t some poor shlub apple farmer in Poland who’ s in the running in that Opportunity for Excellence contest.

          Therefore, I hope Eagle Brands is entrepreneurially nimble enough to amp up the Cracovia Baked Apple Jam product channel because I’ll surely be buying it this winter. If it’s anywhere in the ballpark of their Black Currant Jam, they’ll have a winner.

            1. optimader

              track down a jar of the Black Currant jam, thank me later..
              Black Currant, Sugar, Pectin
              What’s not to love here?

              1. frosty zoom

                each year i fill up the freezer full of black currants.

                they’re horrible. but i love ’em anyway.

                i’ll look for the jam. i’ve tried other polish brands and they’ve all been good.

      1. optimader

        “Now, if Russia and China were louder…. ”
        These are you arbiters of HR!?…absurd
        Mr. Kettle, I would like to introduce you to Mr. Pot
        Mr.Kettle: My what a lovely shade of Ebony!

    1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      From the comments:

      “Of the 17 cars I can make out in that image, here is how it is broken down numbers wise:

      6 VAZ 2106
      3 VAZ 2101
      2 VAZ 2105
      2 AZLK 2141 “Aleko”
      1 IZH 412 “Mosckvitch”
      1 GAZ 3110 Volga
      1 GAZ 24 Volga
      1 VAZ 2109 “Samara”

      “And she’ll have fun, fun, fun, fun, ’til her daddy takes the Mosckvitch away . . .

  14. Vatch

    Regarding “Petition to Sen. Wyden — “Smart Track” cannot be “Fast Track” in Disguise”: I don’t think there should be any special “track”, fast, smart, or whatever, with the exception of the existing constitutional provision for ratifying treaties by a two thirds vote of the Senators present.

  15. Oregoncharles

    From “A Tale of Two Markets:”
    “A big part of the rest of the world isn’t buying it anymore. And that is taking us into some very deep, dark, and uncharted waters. ”
    And he STOPPED there?
    On a more personal note: so this is why I’ve been staying away from the stock market – or any financial market, really. Real estate has its own traps, but at least I can go SEE it.

    1. jrs

      Oh yea very interesting article, a must read as well. The rich get richer because they earned it right?

      Though I’m not sure what the implications are for holding stocks as a long term investment, as the feeds are for trading.

      “For someone that is not drinking the daily dose of electronic kool aid from the mainstream media, this is a systemic, institutionalized control fraud”

      Or in other language it is the equivalent of insider trading, some are trading based on information not publically available. People have gone to prison for this and yet it’s built into the system.

      “What is it going to take to wake people up? What markets are left that have not been exposed as deeply rigged at their core?”

      The people, most of them don’t own stocks or not much, and they will be woken up by young people being murdered in their streets, the homeless on the corner ever increasing, their wages not increasing, and finding themselves unemployable at 50. But the movers and shakers in the rest of the world? I don’t know.

      1. Louis

        jrs wrote: “What is it going to take to wake people up?”

        My two cents, for what it’s worth, are that it is going to take a widespread recognition that we have a problem. While there are those of us who recognize how rigged the game is, there are still others who persist in the belief that it’s basically fair.

        The second thing that has to happen is widespread agreement on what the problem is and who to blame—even among those who realize how rigged the game is, there isn’t uniform agreement on who to blame or how to fix it.

        Until these two things happen, the status quo will continue.

    2. Louis

      There’s the old Monty Python sketch with the literary characters and the building: the building would only stay up as long as the characters believed it would. The stock market often operates in a similar manner.

      Granted you can see real-estate but it isn’t necessarily an improvement over the stock market, especially considering how many homes and properties are being bought by investors to either rent out, or sell before the proverbial music stops. Add in the proliferation of all-cash offers, and you get a real-estate market that bears little resemblance to what would be homeowners: i.e. the people that actually want a place to live, can realistically afford.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          There has to be some sort of metric for “humorists who called their shot first.” For a long time, I would have rated The Onion’s Bush: ‘Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over’ tops in the field. Janurary 17, 2001:

          During the 40-minute speech, Bush also promised to bring an end to the severe war drought that plagued the nation under Clinton, assuring citizens that the U.S. will engage in at least one Gulf War-level armed conflict in the next four years.

          “You better believe we’re going to mix it up with somebody at some point during my administration,” said Bush, who plans a 250 percent boost in military spending. “Unlike my predecessor, I am fully committed to putting soldiers in battle situations. Otherwise, what is the point of even having a military?”

          But I’d rate “Mystico and Janet – Flats Built By Hipnosis” even higher.

          So it says a lot about out political economy these days that Monty Python beats out The Onion when it comes to truly insightful analysis, not available in the mainstream media.

  16. susan the other

    Nice article on plant thought… I always thought of photosynthesis as respiration but s.o. says in the article, “(Plants) can eat light.” Plants are deemed vaguely as slow, operating on different time. But anybody who eats light should be pretty fast and nimble, no? If it is true that we carry around our roots in our head and struggle to remember somebody’s name, whereas plants send their signals immediately through the soil, then our metabolism based on much denser delicacies of protein and carbos is prolly too slow to accommodate the ethereal reaches of plant thought. Is there a recorded instance of a plant going into a food coma? Or rust having an epiphany? Why do we think we are the only thing that thinks? Nobody can even define a “thought.” Give me a break.

  17. OIFVet

    Michael Gordon strikes again: ‘Ukraine Says Russian Forces Lead Major New Offensive in East’

    Includes a gem: “Some troops were in a full, chaotic retreat: a city-busload of them careened past on the highway headed west, purple curtains flapping through windows shot out by gunfire….The behavior of the Ukrainian forces corroborated assertions by Western and Ukrainian officials that Russia, despite its strenuous denials, is orchestrating a new counteroffensive to help the besieged separatists of the Donetsk People’s Republic, who have been reeling from aggressive Ukrainian military advances in recent weeks.” So many problems with this one I don’t even want to tackle it.

    But Michael Gordon is not simply satisfied with presenting Ukrainian say so, he has to present US say so too: “The United States has photographs that show the Russian artillery moved into Ukraine, American officials say. One photo dated Aug. 21, shown to a reporter from The New York Times, shows Russian military units moving self-propelled artillery into Ukraine. Another photo, dated Aug. 23, shows the artillery in firing positions in Ukraine.” So, why not publish them photos, Michael?

    And of course, the obligatory Jen Psaki quote: ““These incursions indicate a Russian-directed counteroffensive is likely underway,” Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, said Wednesday”. Way to muddy the waters Jen. Are the Russkies directing the counteroffensive or actively invading?

    Yep, the wheels are coming off the junta’s war adventure, and the shrill noises from DC, amplified by its Pravda-on-the-Hudson megaphone, are becoming quite desperate. From a total junta victory to defeat in one week, that hurts…

    1. Carolinian

      I think the Billmon sanctioned phraseology was Pravda on the Potomac, Izvestia on the Hudson. The former has that alliterative zing.

      But either works of course. “Tubes” Gordon may be spreading himself thin now that the old war in Iraq is hotting up again. So far Ukraine has been consigned to the second string NYT propaganda spinners. At any rate rather pathetic when one has to turn to some guy in Florida for alternate, probably more accurate information.

      The persistent reports from Ukeland of RF columns of tanks and AFV’s entering Ukeland are false as are the Uke statements of the destruction of these columns. There will be no entry of RF forces in to Novorossiya nor will there be an invasion of Ukeland by RF, wishful thinking be damned. If RF was to invade she would not send half a Rota of armor, she would send half a dozen tank armies.

        1. Carolinian

          Not sure Digby is the definitive source, re Billmon. Clearly I can’t take this challenge lying down so after hours (ok minutes) of exhaustive research here are a couple of links with the disputed phrase issuing from the horse’s mouth.

 (Quoted, however the included link to Billmon blog is DOA)

          Of course it doesn’t matter in the least, but I believe Pravda on the Potomac is the more common usage particularly in D.C. itself. Perhaps D.C. resident Banger can weigh in.

          1. Banger

            I haven’t lived inside the Beltway for several years and I want nothing more to do with that nest of scorpions. But, the Post and the NYT were always referred to in the way Variety was referred to in show-biz back in the day–they are the trade papers of the political trade. Editors and “reporters” from those papers still sit in great chairs in beautiful rooms in the grand old-houses and old gentleman’s clubs of Washington giving audience and having their rings kissed by genuflecting politicians.

    2. vidimi

      yeah, i am starting to believe more and more that the coup in ukraine was the event that triggered WW3 (not counting the cold war here). it’s just a matter of time before america’s crazies escalate this into a full-blown war on multiple fronts.

      1. Banger

        They won’t go to war over Ukraine anymore than they were going to go to war with Iran. It’s all posturing and bluster by careerists and vain ideologues. The U.S. military will flat out refuse orders to fight against Russia. The U.S. military is a scam to enrich the MIC and promote the careers of nincompoops and martinets–they have no competence in warfare other than blowing up a lot of shit. The brass know the score–they will fight ISIL but they are smart enough to know they can’t go up against the Russians unless they choose to start a nuclear war.

        If they were going to go to war they would have made the move and increased the propaganda–instead, silence. That means the operation is over unless Putin makes a blunder–but so far he has done very well in handling this crisis.

        1. vidimi

          i hope you are right, and i agree with your assessment of the pentagon, but i get the feeling they are itching to go to war somewhere. syria is likely to be a red line for russia, but will that keep them away? as i stated earlier, i fully believe they want regime change there.

          i think the neocons in charge are more clever than people think, but i’m not convinced they’re clever enough not to start a war with russia/china by accident. the economy, surely, is a ponzi economy and is putting a lot of pressure on a new war.

          1. vidimi

            as for the propaganda, it’s hard to imagine there could be more. putin has been compared to hitler and some are even yelling that if scotland secedes it will be invaded by russian subs. once the propaganda snowball gets rolling, it’s going to be hard to get it to stop as every western media outlet willingly gets on board; seemingly all trying to out-do one another.

            if i’m honest, i think the biggest thing preventing a war with russia right now is ally unwillingness, not sanity in the control rooms.

          2. Banger

            This is not the old Pentagon–senior officers are more interested in perks and careers not fighting with some exceptions particularly JSOC and special forces. I can’t conceive, for example, of the Air Force going into action if they had to face real air defenses–they would just flat-out refuse in my view.

    3. OIFVet

      The Junta’s goose may be cooked:

      I think the analysis in the linked piece is spot-on. I also think that this means that Putin did make a move after all. The sudden influx of men and materiel in the NAF order of battle can not be explained purely with them cpaturing Ukie equipment, and the reports of amphibious and air assault attacks would indicate a rather sophisticated planning and execution. NAF would not risk stretching its supply lines and subjecting its strike force to being cut off by the junta. That’s NAF’s specialty. They must know that their rear is covered and supplies assured for them to continue driving toward Berdyansk.

      1. OIFVet

        MY TAKE:Tonight’s assault represents a mortal blow to the country #Ukraine. A general retreat is required just to guard Kievs’ back #cdnpoli

        I don’t know where this guy gets his info from, but his take has been spot on over the past month. If the progress and the breadth of the counterattack toward the West that he has been reporting on today is true, Ukraine will be a rump, landlocked state in a matter of weeks at most, and what remains of it will be highly unattractive place to put NATO forces on.

        1. bob

          Cargill is “our” oligarch in the game. Landlocked? Then cargill loses its port. Not acceptable.

          Their role, and ongoing expansion in Ukraine continues to get zero press coverage.

  18. Jim S

    Re: A Tale of Two Markets, London Metals Exchange as an “organ of the UK government”:
    Perhaps the Queen Mother herself nominates the Director and the House of Lords confirms the nominee after a thorough background sifting? The method gives the Fed a pass in some parts…

  19. gordon

    A bright young economist of my acquaintance had a much better idea for a long-term stock exchange; his would only be open for trading on one day a year.

    1. bob

      But the video! Viral!

      Buried lede-

      The SPCA raided the 39th-floor apartment last week and found Sade trembling in a urine-soaked cage with its food and water bowls out of reach, The Vancouver Sun reported.

      The SPCA can raid c-level execs? Holder must be jealous.

  20. ewmayer

    Re. “How Social Media Silences Debate” —

    As a leading purveyor of “manufactured consensus”, the NYT certainly should know.

Comments are closed.