Links 8/29/14

Newly Built CO2-Emitting Plants Outpace Closings Oil Price

West Africa’s Ebola outbreak could spread to 20,000 people, WHO warns Los Angeles Times

Ebola’s heavy toll on study authors Science Magazine


Russia appears to invade Ukraine, opening 2nd front McClatchy

Obama, UN call emergency meetings to discuss Russian incursion into Ukraine The Guardian

The very scary word in Putin’s new statement on the Ukraine crisis Vox

GDP Expanded at 4.2% Rate in Second Quarter WSJ

Pennsylvania to Purchase Private Care for Its Poor NYT

Inside Google’s Secret Drone-Delivery Program The Atlantic

Rhode Island Has Lost $372 Million As State Shifted Pension Cash to Wall Street David Sirota, International Business Times

Shockingly, Chris Christie just lied in a press conference about Pando’s pension coverage PandoDaily. Someone’s not happy about the dirty laundry getting aired.

Class warfare:

When Do We Start Calling This “The Greater Depression”? Brad DeLong, Washington Center for Equitable Growth

Most Americans Think The Economy Is Permanently Damaged Huffington Post

Yes, trade with poor countries has cost US jobs Matthew C. Klein, FT Alphaville

Washington Recaptured Simon Johnson, Project Syndicate. Good corrective to that flawed GAO study on too big to fail.

Dethrone ‘King Dollar’ Jared Bernstein, NYT

The Snake in the Market Basket: Can the Company Recover From Employee Revolt Without Loading Up With Debt? Robert Kuttner, TAP. The hero CEO got his money to buy out his family from Blackstone.

India’s Modi seeks bank accounts for 75m poor households Financial Times. We could do this through the post office!

Hillary Clinton breaks silence on Ferguson, calls for fixing justice system Los Angeles Times. Hey, what’s a few weeks between friends? I like that the remarks came at a tech conference, where all news will happen in the future.

De Blasio’s top aides report millions in income Capital New York

Zephyr Teachout Will Never Be Governor, So Why is Andrew Cuomo Worried? Village Voice

Does Gillibrand Have A ‘Responsibility’ To Name Her Harassers? TPM

“But then, they always blame America first” Digby. Dems getting in touch with their inner neocon.

Torture and Control Watch:

US rendition survivors urge Obama to declassify torture report The Guardian

Captives held by Islamic State were water boarded Washington Post. Barbarians!

Taser Use in Arrest Leads to Suit in Georgia NYT

After Police Abuses Caught on Video, a New Guide Teaches How to Best Archive and Distribute Footage Democracy Now!

The executive order that led to mass spying, as told by NSA alumni Ars Technica

Firm says Atlanta law partner embezzled $30 million Atlanta Journal-Constitution. This is one of the lowest of the low foreclosure mill operators.

Venice Review: Ramin Bahrani’s ‘99 Homes’ Starring Andrew Garfield Indiewire

Nonbank Mortgage Lenders Bounce Back WSJ

Boomer Wealth Dented by Mortgages Poses U.S. Risk Bloomberg

Rating Agency Regulations: Why the SEC’s New Rules Won’t Fix Them some idiot, New Republic


War is the new system of governance (and five other Gaza takeaways) 972 Magazine

The Gaza War Map Kolor

Reunited Ramones Estates Plan Big Comeback Including Martin Scorsese Film Billboard

Breaking news: Hello Kitty is and is not a cat The Verge

Would you like a cat with your mortgage? Quartz

Antidote du jour:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About David Dayen

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


  1. john c. halasz

    So Jared Bernstein and his pals notice the obvious. But it never occurs to him to inquire, after all these years, into the historical reasons why. The “strong dollar”, which must be maintained for reserve currency status, which also requires persistent CA deficits, (the “Triffin dilemma”), also enable MNCs and mega-banks to extract huge rents by borrowing cheap and long from abroad and re-investing at much higher returns abroad, a game of FX and trade arbitrage that is far more lucrative than actual productive investment, with all the uncertainties and difficulties that involves. That the large majority of American citizens are disadvantaged by that is a mere after-thought: look over there, at all those evil foreign threats that oppose and envy “our way of life”!

    1. Jim Haygood

      ‘While more balanced trade might raise prices, there’s no reason it should persistently increase the inflation rate. We might settle into a norm of 2 to 3 percent inflation, versus the current 1 to 2 percent. But that’s a price worth paying for more and higher-quality jobs, more stable recoveries and a revitalized manufacturing sector.’

      There you have it from a soi disant expert: inflation equals jobs!

      If that were the case, Argentina (40% inflation) would be sucking in workers from all over the planet. Instead, labour unions called a national strike yesterday, b*tching about the cost of living.

      Ingrates! We are trying to help you.

    2. hunkerdown

      So evil and bad and threatening that the State Department’s fee to blow this pop stand and renounce citizenship has more than quintupled (Forbes). Anything to keep the plebes in this Roach Motel of a market-state, I guess.

      1. Oregoncharles

        They charge you to renounce your citizenship? How is that even possible?

        Passports aren’t cheap, though. I suggest keeping yours up to date – you might want to blow this scene in a hurry, and if it gets bad they’ll stop issuing them.

  2. trish

    testing, testing. comments I tried to post yesterday would not, did not go through. did anyone else have that problem?

    1. diptherio

      It happens sometimes. I bet if we could see all the spam that the algos are filtering out, we’d not be so surprised when one of our own gets false-positived and is relegated to the WordPress black-hole.

      If it makes you feel better, you can assume that whatever NSA agent was surreptitiously reading your comment as you typed it, felt that it was just too good to allow onto the web; that whatever you were saying was likely to have some real effect on people who read it, and so it had to be destroyed. That’s the story I tell myself when it happens to me.

  3. proximity1

    Proposed for the “Gee, but, no, thank you” Dept.

    Was anyone else at all concerned to hear the news: “Russian scientists to set up lab in Guinea to fight Ebola”
    Whatever Putin’s Russia may already possess in Ebola virus strains, I’m not comforted by the thought of their scientists getting their hands on still more samples from more recent outbreaks.

    1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      Their scientists/terrorists, our scientists/terrorists, other countries’ scientists/terrorists, corporate scientists/terrorists, freelance scientists/terrorists . . .

      We already know that someone in our own government slipped our citizenry an anthrax mickey — made by a very skilled scientist. They also tried to railroad the wrong (not necessarily “innocent”), scientist for doing it. But so much has happened since, it has become a seeming non-event.

      Think about that.

      The criminality of the power structure (amazing that we can’t point to anyone specific), is being conducted at a fast and furious pace. It’s getting hard for a plagued MF to keep up.

      I wonder how someone gets a scientist to bend their efforts in this direction, in the first place.

      1. proximity1

        To JSS above and abynormal, below,

        Uhm, what’s the point of such “but, what about…”-ery ? I don’t want ayn crypto-fascist nation state’s scientists to get more access to live Ebola samples. And I faill to understand why it should be useful to respond that yes, we have “our own” such evil-wrecking scientists involving themselves in such work. That’s supposed to be comforting? or a retort? I answer– so what? Both, all, are terrible.

        1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

          Comforting? No, it’s not supposed to be comforting.

          What do you want? To be told sweet lies?

          Let me ask you, in light of my comment, why does Russia, in particular, worry you so much?

          As I said — someone in our own government already anthraxed our sorry, distracted asses.

          You want comfort? Try drugs, liquor, or a whore.

          1. proximity1

            You know what? You ought to first respond adequately to the questions your correspondents pose to you before you demand that they elaborate their views for you.

            What’s your answer to my question: “Uhm, what’s the point of such “but, what about…”-ery ?” –other than the evasive snide sarcasm you offered?

            In answer to your, “Let me ask you, in light of my comment, why does Russia, in particular, worry you so much?” Simple. First, because Putin is politically in charge there; for all practical purposes and I can imagine without the slightest difficulty Putin’s deliberately making use of newer strains of Ebola as weapons to loose upon his enemies. Second, because, with Putin in charge, it’s a brutal and dangerously expansionist dictatorship which makes the predatory-class dictators in the rest of Europe and North America seem enlightened civil libertarians by contrast—and that is no mean feat since they are also dangerously militaristic and prone to violence. I accept that Edward Snowden is safer in Russia than he would be in the U.S. and I’m pleased that he is safer there. However, if it was entirely up to Snowden to choose, who among us doubts that there are half a dozen other places he’d be safer and he’d much prefer to be in any of those than there in Russia?

            But, except for Snowden, who I regard as one of the rare moral exemplars of our time, only Russia’s oligarchs are, practically speaking, safer in Russia than they should be if they were anywhere else than in one of the many typical third-world crony-ridden dictatorships.

            “Our bunch are just as bad” is cheap, juvenile twaddle. There is at this site a remarkable readiness to make such cheap excuses for Putin. WTF?!!!

        2. abynormal

          ” I don’t want ayn crypto-fascist nation state’s scientists to get more access to live Ebola samples.”

          from 2012: Cornel West: America’s Wealth Inequality Will Create ‘Crypto-Fascist’ State
          “Though the government would stay the same in form, West said, it would suppress debate and govern through “threats.” “It would be the outright criminalization of dissent,” he said. “You might have a suspension of the rule of law in the name of the law.”
          (my how time fly’s…)

        3. vidimi

          i see where proximity1 is coming from. not wanting russia to have ebola doesn’t mean he/she is happy that america does. it’s a bit like nuclear weapons: ideally, you want nobody to have them. but once one country gets them, you want at least one other to have the technology to be able to counter and thereby discourage their use. but once too many get their hands on them all hell will break loose.

          1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

            The Genie has been out of the bottle, for years.

            Countries countering countries is one thing. But the semantics of that ignores the innocent people of either or both country(ies). It’s an oversimplification that always leads to wholesale slaughter of someone.

            I don’t doubt that global oligarchy is already entrenched. If anyone deserves an “us vs. them” distinction, it’s the 99% vs. the 1% (not that all types of fresh psychopaths won’t rise to the top, eventually).

            We could get the Genie back in the bottle (especially with instant global communications — internet kill switch, anyone?), but it will take effort, coordination, and the willingness to use the tools we have at our disposal, constitutionally.

            With the recent developments around the world and especially in the US, it would be foolish to think that these ghastly weapons would not be unleashed on the domestic population, intentionally or inadvertently.

      2. optimader

        My recollection was that it never got further than establishing the anthrax was micronized (processed into a small and uniform particle size distribution ) — the conclusion was that the micronized physical presentation required a level of sophistication.
        I will speculate there are sufficient nongovernment “folk” who could hypothetically do that in their basement if they were so inclined.
        Was it ever actually established who was responsible?

        1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

          I believe “they” have said that the source was Ft. Detrick, MD. The two scientists under the microscope — one absolved, and one who committed suicide (again, if I am not mistaken), have both hailed from the US M/I complex.

      3. Synopticist

        “We already know that someone in our own government slipped our citizenry an anthrax mickey…”
        And right down the memory hole it went. I followed that story in miniscule detail for a while because it was sooooooo blatant, but I haven’t even thought about it or seen a reference to it for years.

    2. abynormal

      as opposed to the evil price we’ll put on a vaccine?…Puleeze

      “Welcome to he!!. I’ll introduce you to the staff.”

    3. YY

      No. Because there is no such thing as Putin’s Russia except in the minds of paranoids. It’s Russia and they have nukes, never mind viral research.

      1. Mark P.

        ‘It’s Russia and they have nukes, never mind viral research.’

        People should pay more attention to the research.

        It’s had large, if hidden, effects on our societies that Russian nukes never had and won’t have now. Russia as the USSR were the leaders in the bioweaponeering field, with a Manhattan Project-sized operation. That operation so scared U.S. policymakers when they found out about the extent of bioweaponeering possibilities post-Soviet collapse that the initial data-mining programs the U.S. funded in 1998 were a counter-reaction.

        For instance: Google Flu began in 1998 as a program developed between Sandia Labs and folks who later became part of Poindexter’s Total Information Awareness Project. In 2006, post-TIA, that program was ported over into the black budget (meaning NSA and DIA supervision), before being finally implemented in open daylight by Google.

        Likewise, the anthrax release in October 2001 was a Fort Detrick-derived strain. The funding to create all these bad bugs inside USAMRIID and other U.S. labs (because you can’t counter the bad bugs unless you have samples) would not have been going there without the examples that Russian bioweaponeering pioneers supplied.

          1. MtnLife

            Same. If you are ever curious about any product you buy/consume you can find out if there is nanotech in it here. You can browse it by category, country, potential expose pathways, and more.

    4. optimader

      certainly the US has live Ebola samples for a long time, I don’t know for sure but presumably Russia does as well.
      So what?
      Where would you start if you wanted to develop a vaccine?

      1. Mark P.

        Quite. To fight the bad bug, you have to have the bad bug.

        You are also correct that both the U.S. and the Russians have had Ebola samples for decades and done extensive research.

      1. optimader

        Nah, I probably wouldn’t have to go beyond that container in the back of refrigerator to find something virulent.

        FWIW, my infectious disease MD friend who coincidentally has the eccentric colleague that is an Ebola expert contends it would be amongst the worst choices (as in low efficacy) for bad guys to weaponize.

        CDC has had live strains, not a new development. Presumably other countries study it as well.

        1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

          RE; The “Monkey Building” near my former gym in Reston, VA, was abandoned and NEVER reoccupied by the scientists who thought the ebola had gotten loose.

          That building was abandoned, IMMEDIATELY by the scientists who worked there, and no one went back in (maybe dudes in biohazard suits sprayed with bleach or something, but for years after, you could look through the moldering curtains and see desks and office furniture and supplies EXACTLY where people had left them).

          When the scientists start running, don’t pause to ask yourself why.

          1. optimader

            Probably lost their permit to operate the facility. I think they did cosmetic testing, they were not studying ebola.

            I very much doubt that the building sat due to some concern about viral latency, more like a special use white elephant building that was torn down a few years later and the property redeveloped.

            “Despite its status as a level-4 organism, Reston virus is non-pathogenic to humans, though hazardous to monkeys”.

            1. Johann Sebastian Schminson


              I lived there, at the time. There was panic, and It wasn’t rogue (or rouge) cosmetics:


              They never even removed the furniture. Isaac Newton Square was one of the original ‘centers” of Reston. While other buildings had tenants come and go, this one was absolutely left to molder. No one would rent it.

              They tore that building down, and built a new one (same type structure, as it’s part of the square), and the new building got tenants immediately.

        2. frosty zoom

          my comment was actually referring to “proximity1’s” initial fishing expedition to see who would come out to defend the evil russian horde.

          seemed fishy..

          1. abynormal

            dang nets…rubbed me wrong too early. if our recent history proves anything…there better be a rouge global group of scientist on this problem.

            1. MtnLife

              Well those red communists do work well together globally and can redirect research easily. ;-) Russian scientists do make some nice nootropics.

  4. Johann Sebastian Schminson

    The site seemed slow, yesterday. It hung up a few times. Maybe there are ghosts in the machine.

      1. optimader

        you write trish /I read shirt, I wonder if I had a stroke ?
        “The site seemed slow”
        shut down the pornsite and run a virus scan

          1. optimader

            I usually start at Windows Task Manager –> Processes and shut down the resource pig application that is hanging up, that usually takes care of Slo Mo application processing.

          1. optimader

            No I haven’t, reads good. the essence of how many in my generation fckd up there kids.
            “Everybody is a winner!”
            “Don’t be different, be a team player!”
            “Do xxx , this for the Children!”
            ” Its your fault, my child would never do that!”
            etc etc…

            “Avenue Q is an American musical in two acts, conceived by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, who wrote the music and lyrics. The book was written by Jeff Whitty and the show was directed by Jason Moore. Avenue Q is an “autobiographical and biographical” coming-of-age parable, addressing and satirizing the issues and anxieties associated with entering adulthood. Its characters lament that as children, they were assured by their parents, and by children’s television programs such as PBS’s Sesame Street, that they were “special” and “could do anything”; but as adults, they have discovered to their surprise and dismay that in the real world their options are limited, and they are no more “special” than anyone else.[1] The musical is notable for the use of puppets, animated by unconcealed puppeteers, alongside human actors.

            1. MikeNY

              Yeah, it’s really funny. There’s a great song in it that goes “The Internet is for porn.”

  5. Bunk McNulty

    For the Class Warfare section:
    The Expanding World of Poverty Capitalism

    “I always try and negotiate with the families. Once they know you are serious they come up with some money. That’s how you have to be. They have to see that this person is not getting out unless they pay something. I’m just looking for some good faith money, really. I got one guy I let out of jail today and I got three or four more sitting there right now.”

    1. proximity1

      “Honey, I out-sourced the justice system.”

      My tip ‘o the hat to you for that post.

      It’s interesting, I think, that more people didn’t recognize sooner the liklihood that such “poverty capitalism” should arise as one of the inevitable consequences of the dissolution of government as a place where people, elected and appointed to public office, actually had real duties and responsibilities to the general public. Now, these people, once constituents to which officials were supposed to be accountable, are “customers,” “clients,” and “consumers.” So far, I think Britain may be the world-leader in this disgusting trend. The circumstances described in the excerpt aren’t new there. Private interests now infect the entire criminal process chain–from private security to arrest, pre-trail detainment, imprisonment upon conviction, and parole and supervision upon conditional release. Crime is up, and so are sales and profits in this sordid “outsourced” industry.

    2. optimader

      Sentinel Offender Services
      owned by Nigerians? It would be fun to run down ownership

      Here in Chicago area we have the redlight camera scam, good to know the funds go to israel

      “…Moving with a lightning speed befitting its name, a then-2-year-old British traffic camera-maker called RedSpeed latched onto savvy Illinois political insiders and came to dominate Chicago’s lucrative suburban market even though it had never before operated in the U.S. So aggressive was the push that one suburban police chief recommended that his town hire RedSpeed a week before it was even incorporated in Illinois. […] The ownership of RedSpeed is obscured in public records, but the firm is part of a closely held Israeli-owned conglomerate that does most of its business in Kazakhstan, the former Soviet Republic that Americans perhaps know best — maybe unfairly — from the mockumentary “Borat.” There are other curiosities. RedSpeed’s sole U.S. operation is in west suburban Lombard, and it markets itself as the only Illinois-based firm in the highly technical red-light camera business. Yet the corporate structure is topped by a holding company whose CEO lives in Staten Island, N.Y., and works in the office of a Manhattan ophthalmologist. – See more at:

      1. MtnLife

        McCampbell said Bellwood uses fine revenue from traffic cameras to underwrite the costs of police video surveillance equipment that watches the town of 20,000.

        Well, see, we’re gonna use the funds from this red light camera to install littering cameras and jaywalking cameras all over the town. All of which will fund the RIOT system which will direct officers on which people to taze or shoot before they’ve even thought to commit a crime. The city will never be safer!

    3. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      The velvet shackles of credit/debt slavery.

      Remember, everyone: Slavery has NOT been abolished, in the US:

      13th Amendment to the US Constitution:

      “Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

      Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.[1]”

      As long as it ain’t discriminatory based on the legal definition of ‘discrimination’, slavery can be made legit, once again, at the stroke of a pen. “Duly convicted” and “punishment for A CRIME” are very easily reinterpreted, based on who is calling the shots.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If they privatize the NSA, how much would its IPO valuation be – bigger than Google, Cisco, AT&T, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft combined?

      That’s enough to fund Social Security and Medicare.

  6. Gabriel

    It’s about time – the NYT is preparing a rating of colleges/universities on the extent of their economic diversity. In other words, they plan to tell us how many poor people various schools admit.

    The result will be interesting, as it will be one measure of how good a job the elites are doing on one part of their responsibilities. When the results come out, I hope that someone hones in on the Ivies and “weighs” them on the scales.

      1. Gabriel

        Yes, they are similar. From the above link –

        “the Washington Monthly’s guide, whose latest edition came out this week, is noted for things like its evaluation of colleges on social mobility and how colleges’ actual graduation rates compare with their expected graduation rates (the latter are based on the academic profile of a college’s student body).”

        See also Inside Higher Ed for more discussion of opportunity in higher ed –

        “Research demonstrates that the wealthiest 25 percent of Americans are filling nearly 75 percent of the seats at the 193 most selective U.S. universities – which operate as informal gateways to America’s leadership class – while the poorest 25 percent of Americans fill only 5 percent of these seats. ” [Wow! if true]

        which is at –

    1. Benedict@Large

      So the elites will allow a little of the cream from the lower ranks to mingle with the upper rank. That’s normal. Not to worry however, as they will insure that the basic class structure remains intact. Stupid rich kids will still become stupid rich adults.

    2. hunkerdown

      No, it’s only a measure of how good a job the elites are doing at selling the lower classes on/into their system. With the university system devolving from a place to create knowledge into just another level of Common Core high school that students have to pay for, the discount promises great rewards for very little risk.

  7. Banger

    NC should have linked to a Paul Craig Roberts story in Counterpuch so I’ll bring it to your attention.

    I was brought up believing that the U.S. was a country of “laws not men”, i.e., that who you are, your status in society does not effect your status before the law–or at least that is the ideal. Of course, I don’t expect the U.S. legal system to live up to such lofty standards–who among us lives up to any lofty standard? But some of us try because civilization demands some homage to its fundamental principles to continue to thrive. Whether or not the law should be so supreme or not is another question I won’t get into–but it is our ideal and we should either try and live up to it or get rid of it and go more in the direction of the Napoleonic code or something else.

    In fact, plea bargains are used by prosecutors to convict the innocent along with the guilty. Plea bargains eliminate juries and time-consuming trials, that is, plea bargains eliminate all work on the part of prosecutors and police and lead to high conviction rates for prosecutors, the main indicator of their career success. Once upon a time, prosecutors pursued justice. They carefully examined police investigations and only indicted suspects whose conviction they thought could be obtained by a jury. Sloppy police work was discarded.

    Only 4% of felony cases go to court–police–prosecutors–judges–“defense” attorneys make up one group–there is no real trial–there is only processing. The U.S. “justice” system barely exists. We have also returned to the old idea of lynching and street-justice by cops who appear to be selected for their lack of intelligence and cruelty deliberately by the corrupt state that knows it need obedient gunsels to enforce their arbitrary will and who are often allowed to indulge in minor corruption while officials look the other way. Are there exceptions to all this–yes, probably but not many–certainly on TV most cop or prosecutor-centric shows have created the precise impression the state demands. Most entertainment projects that involve the criminal justice system are utter crap with a few notable exceptions like The Wire which still gives far too much credit to the police and prosecutors. Best one I’ve seen has been Orange is the New Black which a friend of mine that spent time in prison told me was scarily accurate.

    PCR then goes on to describe the Siegelman case which is an astonishing case that shows the power of corrupt politicians and judges.

    Every public institution in the United States and most private ones are corrupt.

    This is not entirely the case–there are smaller areas of public life, local committees, cooperatives, towns, that are not corrupt but what I think PCR is saying is that all the major public institutions–the federal gov’t and its regulatory agencies, state governments, municipal and county government, the “justice” system and so on are corrupt. We fight wars today mainly so that careerists in the National Security State apparatus may gain status, income and good jobs in the “consultant” community and for the well-being of the MIC and its networks. Iraq was sheer nonsense–all practical goals could have been easily achieved through diplomacy and the current mess, even after all that we did, could have been solved through following the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group (some people don’t believe there are “realists” in Washington–the ISG had many of them–through a contact I was able to monitor some of their ideas and debates). The recommendations were largely ignored and instead a sleazy policy of bribery and Machiavellian maneuvering (Petraeus) appeared to achieve a “solution” (of course it was no solution–it was just the usual “kick-the-can-down-the-road” to keep Iraq out of the headlines for awhile until the next crisis when a new opportunity for fun and profit arose.

    Most corrupt of all our institutions is the Mainstream Media including most of its “entertainment” divisions. One can understand stupid and thugish people becoming cops, one can understand wealthy Ivy League students working on Wall Street to win prizes and make a ton of money–a-holes are a dime a dozen. But the real culprits, beyond the pols and hustlers and on men than populate our nation’s capital are the reporters, editors, directors, producers, actors, writers and so on who tell the stories we tell ourselves and who give us our “songs” and our narrative. Many of these people act like ignorant thugs–Hannity comes to mind–but most appear to be well-bred, well-educated people who probably have read more than a couple of books in their lives yet they continue to spout lies as if they contained some truth–now my guess is that they probably believe their own lies and don’t have time, in their fast-paced lives (you have to have glimpsed that world to understand that there is no room there for careful thought or reflection), to really look into matters. The one that upsets me the most is Chris Hayes. He’s smart, a quick study, thinks on his feet and unlike the others on MSNBC is literate–yet he continues to spout un-examined assumptions and backs off anything that might offend the power-elite. In short, he is like a lot of people in Washington–a rabid careerist, relentlessly ambitious and willing to adopt the position anytime and any place in order to stay in the game–and the power game in Washington is exhilarating and seductive and gets you laid. It is these people who provide the utterly false picture of the U.S. and keeps the powerful safe and secure. And it is these people that insure that change is utterly impossible unless it is favored by substantial members of the power-elite–like gay marraige. When they signed on–it was a done deal.

    1. Ed

      “This is not entirely the case–there are smaller areas of public life, local committees, cooperatives, towns, that are not corrupt but what I think PCR is saying is that all the major public institutions–the federal gov’t and its regulatory agencies, state governments, municipal and county government, the “justice” system and so on are corrupt. ”

      But the federal government and its regulatory agencies, state governments, municipal and county government, and the courts are just about everything as far as government is concerned.

      Something like three quarters of the population lives in metropolitan areas, where the government is made up of city and county, state and federal governments. I guess there are some cooperatives deep in the countryside, trying to keep a low profile. But they are still under the state and federal government. And you have to drive on state patrolled highways to get to them. Towns that are too small to have much of a tax base fund their governments by doing things like charging people to put out fires, or coming up with excuses to ticket anyone passing through the town. So its pretty much everything.

    2. Whine Country

      Interesting that yesterday we were discussing the notion that the country needs more lawyers. I firmly believe that to be true. The problem is that I believe citing how many of our population are licensed to practice law and how many are lawyers, as we would like to believe, are two very different propositions. IMHO, the practice of law became irredeemably destroyed when it moved from a profession to a business. My profession (CPA) was at the epicenter of the movement (more than one of my employees left to take the newly created position of business manager at one of the larger law firms). Practice law? That is no longer done. Slices of time are charged to clients, and the more time – you guessed it – the more money they make. My lawyers would tell me how they had just the right associate to handle the bulk of my work so that I would not have to pay the un-Godly rates that the partner charged. I would just grin and bear that bullshit argument because even CPAs have to have a modicum of math skills. (A question that takes a partner 15 minutes to answer times $400 per hour = $100. The same question that takes an associate 2.5 hours times $250 per hour = $625. Some savings! And, please don’t think I am making this up.) Yet all clients of law firms endure this millions of times a day. And does it matter if the associate get’s it right. From experience, not at all. In two hours the associate has prepared a research memorandum for the partner and even though it is often wrong, it is the basis of CYA for the partner. Beautiful, and to think that my profession (for pay of course) was instrumental in getting this magic money machine going. Today, it matters not what the law says. Right or wrong do not come into play. Corporations and politicians seek the best firms and are happy to play the game as I have described above. The product now is not the practice of law but the selling of “insurance” to those who need to cover their own asses and push the envelope; a budgeted and necessary cost of doing business. Why are the banksters not prosecuted? You don’t think that it’s because they paid enormous amounts of money to prestigious and well-connected law firms to churn out a memo stating that they were not even close to the line? Yes, in criminal cases, the system cares not whether a client is guilty or innocent – only that the lawyers and their support personnel will be paid. Same with civil cases. Something like two percent go to trial. The rest is the machinations of the cash machine that pays the lawyers and everyone else first, and when they have gotten all that the machine has to offer, they declare victory for their respective clients and settle the case. In his book The Devil’s Dictionary, Ambrose Bierce defined a lawsuit as “a machine which you go into as a pig and come out as a sausage.” I submitted a quote yesterday that is apropos and worth repeating: “I was never ruined but twice — once when I lost a lawsuit, and once when I won one.” Voltaire said that. Yes, we need more lawyers – many more lawyers. Just not like the ones we have now!

      1. optimader

        Yes good post, the analog exists in all professions looking to dispose of risk,the medical profession, with testing, auction houses w/ authenticity-provenance documentation, municipal building code consultants etc ect

    3. Jackrabbit

      Of course, I don’t expect the U.S. legal system to live up to such lofty standards–who among us lives up to any lofty standard?
      Well, PCR and others write about it because they DO care. Your flippant attitude here is affront to those people AND willfully ignores what PCR is saying: that the standards have fallen so far that they aren’t anywhere close to what one would realistically expect.

      We fight wars today mainly so that careerists in the National Security State apparatus may gain status, income and good jobs in the “consultant” community and for the well-being of the MIC and its networks.
      What about careerists in State? What about the neocons? It certainly seems like they are in the drivers seat.

      [Iraq] . . . could have been solved through following the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group
      The ISG was a typical face-saving ploy when a failed policy has run its course. If you believe Hersh, a different direction was brewing behind the scenes. This “Redirection” has all the real politick earmarks of the neocons, and Obama’s covert actions have been consistent with what Hersh described in 2007.

      (some people don’t believe there are “realists” in Washington–the ISG had many of them–through a contact I was able to monitor some of their ideas and debates)
      Just before this you pointed out that ISG recommendations were not followed!?! Seems to be that being used for PR purposes doesn’t amount to a seat at the table.

      And no at NC has said that there aren’t realists in Washington. Nor have I seen this claim elsewhere. That is a blatent mischaracterization. What has been claimed is that there are few, if any realists with any real power such that they have little real influence on policy.

      Most corrupt of all our institutions is the Mainstream Media . . . most appear to be well-bred, well-educated people who probably have read more than a couple of books in their lives yet they continue to spout lies as if they contained some truth–now my guess is that they probably believe their own lies. . . . It is these people who provide the utterly false picture of the U.S. and keeps the powerful safe and secure.
      in 2010, Cass Sustein has proposed corrupting social media also. Sustein, who was appointed to lead – – – by Obama, has written of ‘libertarian paternalism’ (see his 2009 book ‘Nudge’) where ‘choice architecture’ is manipulated so as to guide people to make better choices (better for whom?) and he has advocated surrepetious infiltration of social media. He has described in some detail how infiltrators should operate to establish credibility while appearing independent of Govt/TPTB.

      Frankly, I sometimes wonder about you, Banger, because of:

      – your consistently over-optimistic view of Ukraine, and incessant ‘spin’ that realists might save the day – this from someone who claims to know Washington so well;

      – your moral relativism and neocon apologist comments;

      – and your pointing the finger AWAY from neocons and instead to an the unaccountable ‘Deep State’;

      – your support for oligarchs and digs at progressives;

      – your evident need attempt to build credibility by touting your ‘years in Washington’ (IMO ideas matter here more than background – especially for an anonymous blogger); and

      – your disingenuous remarks when challenged – as above where you say “Some people say there are no realists in Washington” or when you say: “I’m just an optimist” (no, your an elitist), or “I’m just trying to help the [progressive] left (help them into the grave?), or complain about a minor issue (like rudeness) while ignoring substantive questions.

      As I’ve said before: I like your writing (even if it is difficult sometimes to understand your point as you sometimes have seemed to take all sides), and I think you make valuable contributions in some areas. But it is hard to ignore your POV on certain issues because you are such a big presence here.

      H O P

      1. Jackrabbit

        Forgot to add Sunstein’s position in the Obama Administration. He was head the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA).

        Wikipedia notes: “That news generated controversy among progressive legal scholars[9] and environmentalists. Sunstein’s confirmation was long blocked because of controversy over allegations about his political and academic views.

      2. Banger

        Whatever–I keep an open mind and know from long experience that human beings are complex creatures with mixed motivations if not conscious then stemming from the unconscious. As for Ukraine, major war is bad for business at this point–the oligarchs are sitting pretty–so why would they risk nuclear war? The US military acts like a bully and is only willing and able to confront defenseless countries and civilian populations it can easily slaughter without risk–the US military will not fight the Russians and the Russians know it–bluster is cheap and easy and serves the purpose of appearing to “do” something.

        1. Jackrabbit

          That thinking might make sense except that so much is now so far out of balance. I think most people that take note of these imbalances are alarmed and reversing the trends.

          The PCR Counterpunch article that you referenced is just one example of imbalance. Others include: the neocon-realist power imbalance, pervasive spying and pervasive influencing (going beyond propaganda now) to tamp down dissent, commercial interests over environmental concerns, etc.

          1. Jackrabbit

            To complete the thought: many (all?) of these imbalances are interrelated so almost anyone that can recognize one or more imbalance would/should be against others/all. And IMO, it is difficult for anyone that has been a close observer of what has occurred in the last 10 years to be anything but skeptical of the plans and pronouncements of TPTB.

            At the extreme, these imbalances would seem to lead to a Ukrainian-like oligarchy with extreme inequality and privilege: a neo-feudal society. I believe such a world would be a step back for humanity.

          2. Gaianne


            Why do you focus on the tool, and not the hand that wields it?

            For example, many of us agree about the neo-cons: Their policies are bad and their aims are evil. But why do their tawdry and crazy thoughts get promoted–not just in foreign policy circles but also in the Mainstream Media? Why do they always have jobs, despite their incompetence? Why do they get promoted, despite their horrible and very public failures? And if they do get rotated out of government, why do they end up in high-paying jobs at private policy institutes with high-paying lecture tours?

            Somebody is promoting this, and somebody is paying for this. And it is not the neocons themselves–they don’t have the resources.

            If you look into this, you may begin to see the outlines of the Deep State at work.


            1. Jackrabbit

              I focus on the neocons because they are the drivers. Part of the DeepState is like an engine that just wants to GO (like MIC), another part is people who are paying for the gas (those are the people that you reference).

              I’ve said before, we will not be able to get rid of the neocons without revamping our vote-with-your-money electoral system. The link between disenfranchisement of the people (sham democracy) and poor policy should be made more often.

  8. Brindle

    Cathy O’Neil (mathbabe) deconstructs NYT piece by Elizabeth Harris on the New York teacher evaluation system:

    —Let me dumb Harris’s argument down even further: How can we have 26% English proficiency among students and 94% effectiveness among teachers?! Let’s blame the teachers and question the legitimacy of tenure.

    Indeed, after reading the article I felt like looking into whether Harris is being paid by David Welch, the Silicon Valley dude who has vowed to fight teacher tenure nationwide. More likely she just doesn’t understand education and is convinced by simplistic reasoning.—

    1. YY

      America needs to get away from blaming teachers for bad education. If any protected jobs need to have more accountability and firings it must be law enforcement. Priorities are in the wrong place and blame for social ills seem to go in the wrong place as well. It almost seems to be a terminal condition.

      1. Ed

        Sorry, but the first sentence makes no sense at all. Are you really arguing that teachers have nothing to do with education being bad?

        1. vidimi

          surely, the curriculum has the greatest impact on the quality of education? you would have to have a staggeringly high number of bad teachers for education to be, generally, bad.

          1. optimader

            “surely, the curriculum has the greatest impact on the quality of education?”

            1.) domestic situation / neighborhood environment / school environment;
            2.) teachers;
            3.) curriculum

            1. MikeNY

              Agree. No teacher or curriculum can make up for poverty, family breakdown, anomie, and desperation.

              1. OIFVet

                Agreed, but why are the so-called “reformers” piling on to the problem of poverty by requiring such large amount of classroom time to be wasted on standardized tests? I know there is profit to be had by testing so much, but the kids are learning to the test rather than …well, learning. Why do Rahm Emanuel’s kids go to UChicago Lab Schools instead of a public school? There is no standardized testing at Lab (only the preparatory ACT and SAT), everything is centered on reading, discussion, active participation (science labs, debate assignments, etc.). This is what learning is. After going through this regimen college is a breeze.

                1. optimader

                  “Agreed, but why are the so-called “reformers” piling on to the problem of poverty by requiring such large amount of classroom time to be wasted on standardized tests? ”

                  I’m not in the education field but my guess is, in Chicago at least what was intended as measurement tool to stovepipe educational outcomes into spreadsheets quickly was recognized as a tool to maximize Federal grant money in the the blackhole that is the Chicago school board.

                  As the funding aspect compromised the objective, testing methodology/questions get fuzzied to remove objections of racial bias redlining of schools. So now the measurement tool is fashioned to meet political/financial objectives rather function as a metric to shine a light on educational deadzones in Chicago.
                  right now Chicago public school budget is $5.59BB

                  Student population is 400.5k
                  call it, $14,000./student
                  compare to:

                  Clearly to me its in the CPSchools are deep in the weeds.

                  “Why do Rahm Emanuel’s kids go to UChicago Lab Schools instead of a public school?”
                  Because they test well. Probably because they live in a structured domestic environment, have good nutrition, have learned study skills, are well socialized and consequently don’t a high level of latent violence in there environment.

                  My perhaps superficial perspective is tear down the oldest dinosaur schools that are sea anchors in the budget, consolidate student populations into efficient to operate modern buildings that have security, give them two square meals a day for free, as part of their contract the schools Principles and Staff eat the same food at least three times a twice a week.

                  Give all the teachers “standardized testing”. Ditch the duds. Let them save into 401k programs for retirement like virtually everyone else in the private sector.

                  Require all CPSBoard professional employees to reapply for their jobs.

                  1. OIFVet

                    Lab faculty and administrators have been quite vocal in their opposition against the “reformers” and particularly the people in and close to the current administration in the WH. How about we listen to what they have to say? Although it appears that you will not like much of it:

                    More from Dr, Horton:

                    He has been very vocal about education issues in Chicago, and I fully agree with him. Even though he only gave me a B+ junior year…

                    1. optimader

                      “Although it appears that you will not like much of it”
                      How do you perceive I’m disagreeing w/Mr Horton’s observations?
                      My perception from what I hear is that the CPS is a an unwieldy corrupt basket case. Personally, if I were a parent in the city and the only choice was a non magnet school I would rather get voucher for the ~$14K and be left to my own device to provide my child an education.
                      OIF, Would you want Karen Lewis representing you professionally?

                    2. skippy

                      “Because they test well. Probably because they live in a structured domestic environment, have good nutrition, have learned study skills, are well socialized and consequently don’t a high level of latent violence in there environment.”

                      The meta data on the first 5 years of a humans life sums it up…

                      Skippy… that we constantly try to fix it after the damage is done… well…

        2. YY

          Considering it is a thankless job requiring more dedication than required in other professions, they on the average do as well as can be expected. There are situations where a “bad teacher” can be of benefit to the student. Of course this is student dependent. The point is that to seek improvement by grading teachers and firing the poor performers is probably the least productive way to improve education.
          Whereas prosecuting and convicting cops who murder will probably have huge effect on creating better law enforcement than to protect and coddle those that behave badly. A bad teacher does not kill. Better to have student live than die.
          Yes this is apples and oranges. But it is a matter of priority and contrast of issues.

          1. optimader

            “Considering it is a thankless job requiring more dedication than required in other professions….blah blah blah..”

            ohhh bllsht

        3. Banger

          Teachers indeed have “something” to do with problems with education. Like most people in this society they have jobs and they depend on those jobs to feed themselves and their children–they do what they have to do to go along with whatever system is in place. Increasingly, however, teachers are just cogs in a machine created by the elite to limit not enhance education. The system wants people who cannot reason or think–only to seek “credentials” punch their tickets and become cogs in the great Machine. Enormous strides have been made over the past century in child development, psychology, learning theory, neuroscience and the educational system wants none of that. The system exists, like every other public institutions, for its own needs and to serve the larger system.

          Teachers should just get out of the system and try to build something new–what that is depends on whatever dialectical process educators seek to engage in. We need to overthrow, completely, all our public systems and allow more new ones to emerge. This need not happen instantly of course but we have to begin to have the mentality that the system, at all levels, from the “economy” to education to foreign affairs to “justice” needs to be thrown out. It simply is not fixable—to many vested interests hold on to their privileges and have no (and I mean NO) interest in the welfare of society as a whole.

          1. optimader

            Once they miss their shot at learning English (reading comprehension/grammar/composition) and basic math early, they are on the long dysfunctional deflection and lost forever.

            1. Banger

              I don’t agree. They are lost forever because they believe they are lost and that they are not wanted by the guardians of culture. Here it isn’t only the educational bureaucrats that are to blame but the stuffed-shirt intellectuals that believe they are superior to the rest of humanity while they hire themselves out to thugs and gangsters and betray not just the average person but Western Humanist project that was meant to be open to all.

              1. abynormal

                BANGED IT BANGER!
                “Ideas about a person’s place in society, his role, lifestyle, and ego qualities will lose their hold as the cohesive forces in society disintegrate. Subculture values will proliferate to such a bewildering extent that a whole new class of professionals will arise to control them. Such a Transmutation Technology will deal in fashions, in ways of being. Lifestyle consultants will become the new priests of our civilizations. They will be the new magicians.”
                Peter J. Carroll, Liber Null and Psychonaut: An Introduction to Chaos Magic

                1. optimader

                  “Ideas about a person’s place in society, his role, lifestyle, and ego qualities will lose their hold as the cohesive forces in society disintegrate”

                  That may be Aby., but even after “cohesive forces in society disintegrate” kids/adults who can read, write and do math will be in better shape to cope.

                  1. abynormal

                    me don’t think so. have you seen the movie ‘The Professional’? great method acting…and if you can ‘cope’ with it back it up with ‘Requiem for a Dream’.

                    i’ll met ya in the middle…Keller was sure lucky to have met The Teach, huh?

              2. optimader

                “I don’t agree. They are lost forever because they believe they are lost and that they are not wanted by the guardians of culture.”

                Complex philosophical projection. Kids that miss out on the fundamentals progressively fall behind. Behaviors and skills sets for learning are cast early, once behind difficult to catch up or change course.


                The results are sobering: Among students who were “far off track” in reading in 8th grade, only 10 percent achieved college and career ready standards four years later. In math and science, the percentage was even lower. And over 40 percent of African American students taking ACT’s EXPLORE exam in 8th grade scored “far off track” in reading–as did 50% in math and 74% in Science. Put that together and you can’t like those odds. The research also shows that schools can make a difference: “Far off track” 8th graders who attended schools in the top 10 percent of performance were roughly 3 times as likely to get back on track by 12th grade as the total sample. But even looking at the top 10 percent of schools, the percentage of “far off track” students getting back on track never exceeded 30%. …”

                1. jrs

                  The thing is I don’t want to live in a society where people are off track and permanently discarded so easily. Ok there are pepple that are a danger to others and society must be protected from that, but that’s not what I mean. I mean discarding of human beings so easily for lacking whatever skills.

                  I know that is the society that we live in now And the school system we have now exists in that. And I’d certainly concede there are optimum times for learning certain skills. But I’m just saying these throwaway human beings all time, it’s inhumane.

        4. ambrit

          She could be right. Teachers inhabit a universe in which the rules are mase up by outside “professional” interests. When’s the last time you read about a region wide teacher conclave where curriculum or standards were debated?

        5. MtnLife

          I wouldn’t agree on the nothing count but I would propose they are a continually shrinking element in the equation. My father was a teacher for nearly 30 years. He loved the first 20-25 and was nearly miserable the last part. The change was the administrative structure. It was the period when the people in charge went from being former educators that had moved up the ranks to “professional managers” that didn’t know jacksh*t about education. His complaint, and that of all my friends and my sister’s friends who became teachers, is that they had little energy left to teach after wading through mountains of administrative paperwork and procedures, not to mention education mandates that weren’t really related to the coursework. Of the wave that was my age and slightly younger, only 20-25% of them are still teaching. Top off the administrative hassles with reduced budgets and many teachers buying classroom supplies out of their own pockets (and measly earnings) and it is no wonder it is hard to find quality people who stay.
          Education also doesn’t exist in a vacuum, especially for ESL learners. Our area had a very large Laotian/Vietnamese immigrant population. The ones who adapted and prospered were the ones whose parents also spoke at least some English. The ones who went home and spoke nothing but their native language faltered. Social/cultural attitudes towards education play a huge part as well. Black people don’t really trust or believe in white schools for the most part. Can’t say I blame them, really. In a way, Letterman’s success also buoyed the quest for mediocrity by showing that a C student could be “successful”. Why bother working hard and being intelligent?
          Not exonerating teachers from all culpability here as they are “where the rubber meets the road” so to speak. Just pointing out all the factors they have to contend with.

        6. Gaianne


          Why not? Teachers are not the cause of education being bad. Surely it was not teachers who created No Child Left Behind!

          Do you understand what teaching to the test means? It means education is over! It would be bad enough if the tests were relevant, but they are not. It would be bad enough if the tests were used to identify where improvement is needed, so that attention and resources would be put into correcting problems, but the opposite is the case–the tests are purely punitive. A school facing difficulties has its resources slashed, so improvement can never happen.

          The one upshot is that all anyone now worries about–all year long, students, teachers, and principals–is getting through the tests, anyway they can. Education is completely crowded out, of necessity.

          And now switching out the content of the test to what was not covered, is just a new twist to the main point:

          NCLB was always about destroying education. It never had any other purpose.

          The only thing I will fault teachers for is not walking out en masse and staying out–on strike–until NCLB was scrapped.

          Even now, may not be too late. But they gotta do it. Parents, too. Just say no to NCLB. Refuse it, boycott it, run it out of town!


      2. optimader

        “If any protected jobs need to have more accountability and firings it must be law enforcement”
        logical fallacy, two unrelated professions, not a zero sum game

        1. hunkerdown

          They’re both essentially guard labor, as the system stands right now. And it is a zero sum game, unless you have One Weird Trick for slowing Earth’s rotation down to get more hours and more verve into the day.

    2. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      If we would only return to a focus on the 3 Rs — reading, writing, and ciphering — we would go a long way towards a more educated society. With the mastery of those basic building blocks, there is no information or skill that cannot be learned by anyone with a curious mind.

      1. optimader

        If you read letters from the Civil war era through at least the WWII generation, they seemed to cope pretty well w/ learning fundamental skills with out the “necessity” of a laptop.

        1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

          I’ve read some of them, and not just from the famous/notable. Fluency, syntax, and turn of phrase were par for the course. Then again, when you write with a fountain or other nibbed pen, you had better consider what you want to say before setting pen to paper.

      2. hunkerdown

        Hah, indeed. Every person should know the basics of communications security, including cryptography, starting from a very young age.

        1. optimader

          Ciphering more generally means being able to perform mathematical operations.
          The root Cipher is an interesting word actually, I tend to use the sense of 1b. when referring to deadwood in bureaucracy. As in a bureaucratic cipher.

          ci·pher noun, often attributive \ˈsī-fər\
          : a way of changing a message to keep it secret
          : a person who has no power or is not important

          Full Definition of CIPHER
          1a : zero
          b : one that has no weight, worth, or influence : nonentity

          2a : a method of transforming a text in order to conceal its meaning — compare code 3b
          b : a message in code

          3: arabic numeral
          4: a combination of symbolic letters; especially : the interwoven initials of a name

          1. hunkerdown

            Of course. I was just having a bit of obtuse, ha-ha-only-serious fun with it. It’s what passes for humor among us aspies, I’m afraid.

  9. rich

    Florida condo owners being forced out make plea to governor

    Florida condominium owners in danger of losing their homes are making a final desperate plea, hoping that Gov. Rick Scott will intervene.

    These owners are not in foreclosure, nor are they behind on their mortgages. Instead they are being threatened by a group of developers,
    Madison Oaks Partners,
    who are using a Florida state law originally designed to protect homeowners from natural disaster, to terminate the condominium agreement and force them to sell their units.

    The developers seek to convert the Tampa area complex into more lucrative rental apartments. They could take over the complex at a board meeting Sept. 5.

    1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      I can’t imagine why an appeal to the illegitimate offspring of Voldemort and Bat Boy wouldn’t work.

  10. russell1200

    So with Rhode Island General Treasurer Gina Raimondo’s troubling investment returns, does this mean that Janet Cowell, North Carolina’s Treasurer, is no longer in last place? At least Ms. Cowell has the sense to not run for Governor.

  11. Antifa

    Novorossiya is not just word games. It did historically exist, and the entire region is ethnically Russian to this day. If a referendum were taken right now, the whole region would likely prefer the Russian government to the negligent rulers of western Ukraine.

    I invite Americans to remember the Alamo, and the Mexican War of 1848, when a whole lot of Americans (Texicans, as they called themselves) were being mistreated (in their opinion) by the Mexican government trying to govern them and tax them. In Spanish no less. What did America do? Move troops in and take over about a third of Mexico. Still won’t give it back, either.

    I fully expect Russia to create some similar buffer zone in eastern Ukraine if the West doesn’t give up their insane notion of extending NATO and its nuclear umbrella right up to the (current) Russian border. We would do the same thing very promptly if Mexico or Cuba invited Russia to station nuclear missiles a few miles south of Tijuana as part of some trade treaty.

    It has been shown multiple times since the fall of the Soviet Union that promises to not extend NATO eastward will not be kept. There is no reason to think a paper promise to keep Ukraine out of NATO — even enshrining it in their Constitution — is worth spit. The problem with NATO is that it obligates all member states to declare war if any one of them is attacked. That is its power, its “doomsday device.” All that’s needed is one false flag incident and all kinds of nuclear hell breaks loose a mile or two from Russia proper.

    Why would anyone expect Russia to meekly accept that? No one on this end of America’s Big Stick would put up with it for a second.

    1. Jim Haygood

      ‘The problem with NATO is that it obligates all member states to declare war if any one of them is attacked.’

      Second problem: beginning with Clinton’s intervention in Serbia/Kosovo, and continuing with Bush’s invasion of Afghanistan, NATO pioneered provocative ‘out-of-area operations’ that were never contemplated in its defensive treaty. Like the US constitution, the NATO treaty is a de facto dead letter, offering no constraint.

      With ‘defense’ [translation: global domination] sucking up 5% of its GDP, the US economy has no future but slow decline unless the egregious anachronism of NATO is shut down, and the silly US euro-puppet ‘Fogh of War’ Rasmussen sent packing.

    2. zapster

      The people of the Donbass started calling themselves Novorossiya months ago. So Putin is recognizing them now, and being very reasonable about it. Russia has been patching up Ukrainian soldiers and sending them home for months now, has accepted over a million refugees, and has chosen not to retaliate to being attacked by Kiev. This is not the actions of a nation bent on empire, unlike the US who has violated the sovereignty of other nations endlessly, egregiously, and *continues to do so*.

      Poroshenko is having hysterics because he’s *losing*. His, conscripted, demoralized, under-trained, terrified “army” is being cut to pieces. He desperately wants to drag NATO into it to save his vicious cojones from retaliation for the monstrous atrocities he has committed against Ukrainians.

      There was a time when they could have simply turned around and gone home and it would have all ended instantly, with Ukraine federated, but basically still in one piece. That time is gone. the Donbass will be independent, or part of Russia, but it will never be part of Ukraine again. It’s time the west realized this and accepted it.

      Putin will not accept NATO in it’s backyard. It’s time to get over it and start working with him on this. He is not the aggressor.

      1. diptherio

        Yeah, it’s weird how, if all you watch it Western media, this seems like a fight between Poroshenko and Putin. That’s funny because the local media (at least in the East) seems to think this is a civil war between West and East Ukraine (or rather, between Ukraine and the Republic of Dontesk).

        And the Western media is f—ing hilarious when they get all up in arms about Russia maybe sending in some covert help…’cause the US would never do anything like that!

      1. Ned Ludd

        “Hockey star Alex Ovechkin takes Putin’s side in the Ukraine war”

        Opposing fascism and wanting to save children from the bombs of the Ukrainian government apparently means that you take Putin’s side. Vox Media, which launched the news site Vox, was co-founded by Markos Moulitsas, who also founded the partisan website Daily Kos.

        Markos Moulitsas: So, I applied to the CIA and I went all the way to the end, I mean it was to the point where I was going to sign papers to become Clandestine Services. […]

        This is a very liberal institution. And in a lot of ways, it really does attract people who want to make a better, you know, want to make the world a better place … Of course, they’ve got their Dirty Ops and this and that, right but as an institution itself the CIA is really interested in stable world. That’s what they’re interested in. And stable worlds aren’t created by destabilizing regimes and creating wars.

        They’re done so by other means. Assassinating labor leaders … I’m kidding!

        I don’t think it’s a very partisan thing to want a stable world. And even if you’re protecting American interests, I mean that can get ugly at times, but generally speaking I think their hearts in the right place. As an organization their heart is in the right place. I’ve never had any problem with the CIA. I’d have no problem working for them.

        Luckily for Moulitsas, after he turned down the job because “I hate Washington, DC”, he came into sufficient resources to build the digital publishing platform for Daily Kos; whose writers dutifully led anti-war liberals back into the Democratic tent. I wonder where the funds come from, for all his new media ventures?

        1. Banger

          Kos is right the CIA is a fairly liberal institution along the lines of Walter Lippmann who believed that the intellectual elites should decide for the people and so on because they know better. You also have to remember the CIA is very compartmentalized and the left hand has no clue what the right hand (the covert ops and military wing) of the CIA is doing–that’s just for starters.

          1. Carolinian

            Ray McGovern is ex CIA and he’s quite the foreign policy dove. I think the cartoon version of the CIA is popular with those who like to believe the old line WASPs run the world. An example of this would be the movie The Good Shepherd.

            Of course as we all know Wall Street runs the world. They used to be WASPs for the most part as well….now not so much.

            1. Eureka Springs

              I don’t agree with labeling anyone who votes for or endorses extremely violent human beings such as Obama or Clinton should be called a dove. Long consistent repeated actions speak louder than policy words. And reasonably well informed people like us, certainly Ray, know that.

            2. hunkerdown

              When people talk of race, they’re usually doing so as a proxy for culture. I don’t believe I’ve read anything in this past week where “white” doesn’t make more sense in context when read as “bourgeois” than “Caucasian”.

    1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      I had a large white deaf cat, years ago (his name was Mr. Big, but he didn’t know it, ’cause he was deaf as a doornail).

      This is really kind of weird, because I chose him, when he was a small kitten, from a box of his healf-dead siblings, on the side of the road, on a 100+ degree day, next to a little girl waving a flag that said “Free Kittens.”

      As I related a few days ago, I had, as a child, owned a deaf Dalmation who had learned hand signals.

      I became suspicious that Mr. Big might be deaf, so I did the test we did on our Dalmation puppies: sneak up behind them, and clap your hands really loudly.

      Having owned both of these handicapped animals, this was my observation of the differences of how cats and dogs perceive the word:

      To get the deaf dog’s attention, we would stomp on the floor. She would look around, and respond to the person who gave her the hand signal (closed fist, palm down for ‘sit’; clap hands for ‘come’; point away for ‘go away’; karate chop motion for ‘lie down’; and a fingers-together and facing up — imagine an Italian saying “Bravissimo!,” to have her crawl across the room. She could also read cue-cards. My mom was one hell of a dog trainer).

      Anyway, if you stomped on the floor to get Mr. Big’s attention, he would look at the floor, beneath him, or at the bottoms of his own front paws. He would also wander around the house making very weird meowing/caterwauling sounds, apparently completely oblivious to it.

  12. vidimi

    more police murder impunity:

    according to this:, there are just under 15,000 murders in the u.s. per annum so, using the 1400-1500 number of on-duty police murders last year, we can surmise that police slayings represent some 9-10% of the total, depending on whether or not they are already included in the 15k. but this takes for granted that none of the other 15k have been committed by cops in an unofficial capacity. but since dehumanizing people makes it much easier to kill them, i would expect that a large proportion of unsolved murders have been committed by cops.

    but even ignoring that, i wonder to what other country would a 9-10% murder-by-cop rate even be comparable?

  13. abynormal

    Terror attack on the UK now ‘highly likely’ warns Home Secretary Theresa May as threat level raised to ‘severe’ …”Mrs May stressed that there is no information to suggest an attack is imminent, but warned: ‘We face a real and serious threat in the UK from international terrorism.'”

    …they don’t do color codes over there? we got colors for ‘NO INFORMATION TO SUGGEST’.
    i gota have cow bells & color charts

      1. windsock

        A member of the Conservative party, the biggest Coalition government party, has defected to UKIP and resigned his seat, triggering a bye-election.
        Terror threat = squirrel.

    1. zapster

      ”Mrs May stressed that there is no information to suggest an attack is imminent…” “but in my fevered imagination we’re about to bE OVERRUN BY iSiS JIHADIS.. AUGHHH!”
      (..resisting the urge to slide off into salacious parody…”

        1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

          I checked under my bed. Thought I saw a gray beard, but it turned out to be a dust bunny. So, I beat it with the broom, just in case.

          1. MtnLife

            Where’s your sense of patriotism? Go grab your new shotty and fill that dusty ISIS terror-bunny full of Freedom-shot! Be sure to wear a GoPro so we can show footage of your glorious conquest on the MSM and don’t forget to mention to the camera that this is all somehow Putin’s fault.

    2. hunkerdown

      “The UK” does not ever include its subjects except when those subjects have something the peerage wants.

  14. MtnLife

    Re: Kirsten Gillibrand and sexual harassment

    While I understand the difficulty of her bringing this forward and the possibility it could cost her her job, not outing the offenders is basically tacit approval. Women call for men to help crackdown on other men’s behavior but it is rather hard to do when you don’t know who to go after. It’s like a rape victim not trying to bring her attacker to justice (yes, I understand the trauma involved, 2 women, that I know of, very close to me have been raped) because of the extreme emotional hardship involved. It will only embolden the attacker who will go on and attack others (something which happened in at least one of those cases, why it infuriates me so) – which they could have possibly prevented by standing up. Yeah, it’s easier *for them* to go to therapy and try to forget – not so much for the next slew of women he rapes.

    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmond Burke

    1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      many people I know (not that I like, necessarily), have used the n-word. I can use that as evidence that I know it is used, without naming names.

      1. MtnLife

        You’ve stated before that you speak up when someone says something inappropriate which is admirable, honorable, and the right thing to do. Saying “we know it happens” doesn’t help direct the attention where it is needed. For example, LGBT activists don’t need to be educated on proper etiquette/terminology, the ignorant, hateful religious right needs that that education. It’s like saying “mistakes were made” and not looking for actual culpability in an effort to “look forward, not back”. Which members of Congress are we supposed to censure for their actions? (My guess is it was fellow D’s and this was the only was she could call them out without actually calling them out and still remain “loyal” to the party) Or is it simply, why bother? No one in a position of authority takes accountability for anything anymore whether it be starting wars, crashing the economy, police shooting people down in the street, medications rammed through approval that kill people, lax regulation causing eco disasters, or (insert your own favorite misdeed here). At least the MSM and the petty American public seems willing to go after the smaller stuff. Not sure if it is just misdirection or something resembling a start.

        1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

          I do speak up. But, I also follow the Christian admonition (again, I am an atheist, informed, primarily, by Christianity of the brand found in the Jefferson Bible), that I respond to the person who offends, first (and if possible, privately, but I don’t seem to be able to repress myself, often), and seek additional support, if that doesn’t work. Tarnishing someone who has already been chastised is rather vindictive, just to support your contention. The intractably ignorant expose themselves again, eventually.

          I’m sure the fella’s who disrespected Ms. Gillibrand are already looking at their shoes, if not over their shoulders, right about now.

          You are absolutely correct about accountability. Consider SC’s Mark Sanford (hell — consider any of these criminals).

          BTW: My mom was a highly-professional, good-looking (yes — that did matter), single woman in the corporate world, in the ’60s – ’80s. She was hit on relentlessly, she was passed-over for promotions, and she was not paid on the same scale as the men. Some jobs were better than others (in that she did not observably dread going to work), but not many. I witnessed the results of sexual harassment on the victim, up close, for years.

          1. MtnLife

            I agree with you on practically all those points. The only contention I would make is that being chastised by someone they consider their inferior often doesn’t have the intended effect. Being chastised by a peer would have the effect you are looking for. Again, I totally agree that speaking to them in private is the best option. Bringing it up just to talk about it would be more appropriate for an issue that wasn’t being properly addressed but, before I went out on my own, I can’t remember the last job where I did NOT have to sit through some sort of harassment seminar. So, I feel, at this point in the game, if you are going to bring it out into the open, name names. If it is a back room power play, keep the threat in the back room or again, name names if you are making good on that threat. This half-assed toothless blustering is very reminiscent of our Ukraine policy and using an issue like this for a personal power play, thereby giving less weight to the concerns of the issue as a whole, is pretty reprehensible.
            Condolences to your mother. I can somewhat imagine her struggles (I stutter which actually prompts a lot of the same discrimination). Would she agree, after all those years of suffering, that after the issue has gained serious traction (harassment has cost more than a few CEOs their job) a powerful woman should use it to score some cheap political points?

    2. neo-realist

      It may not be fear of losing her seat as much she may feel that she has to work with some of these people to get legislation passed or not have it filibustered by them.

  15. Jim Haygood

    WSJ article on Argentina:

    BUENOS AIRES—Argentina’s international reserves are starting to dwindle in the wake of the country’s second sovereign-debt default in almost 13 years, putting added stress on the peso and an economy believed to be in recession.

    Analysts say at least part of the decline in reserves is due to the sale of dollars by the central bank to try to prop up the peso. The bank has said it sold dollars in three of the past five trading sessions. The central bank severely restricted the amount of dollars it makes available to importers, according to people familiar with the matter.

    Most analysts expect the pressure on reserves to build as the year drags on due to debt payments and waning dollar inflows from seasonal soy exports. Argentina now faces more claims on its shrinking stockpile of dollars from the $9.7 billion Paris Club and $5 billion Repsol deals, but still can’t borrow abroad to bolster its reserves because of the default.


    While the rest of world plays competitive devaluation, Argentina and Venezuela continue to use their shrinking foreign reserves to peg their currencies at unrealistically strong levels, for reasons no one can comprehend. Since a strong currency makes imports cheap, in turn both countries have been obliged to severely restrict imports, including vital capital goods and spare parts.

    This policy is analogous to stomping simultaneously with both feet on the brake and the accelerator, and then blaming the ‘foreign manufacturer’ because clouds of smoke are emanating from underneath your misoperated vehicle.

    It’s only been two years since the widow K seized YPF from Repsol. With Argentina in default on its sovereign bonds and its reserves evaporating like an ice cream cone in a retort furnace, the former Spanish owners are already sweating whether they’re ever going to see that $5 billion.

    Evidently the widow K plans to go out like Nero, watching the flames of burning cities on the horizon from the observation deck of the Buquebus, as she hydrofoils across the Rio Plate to Uruguay.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Bianca Fernet, a BsAs-based economist, fills in more detail:

      On the currency intervention side, the BCRA [central bank] sold US $40 million and private banks chipped in by buying up ARS $2800 million. On the “ruin the real economy’s life” side, the BCRA yesterday did not permit importers to buy foreign currency. Want to bring in a tractor to increase soy production or parts to build air conditioners? Too bad, you can’t.

      Besides the pressure from the drama of the vulture fund-induced default playing out on the world stage, the currency is under pressure from the US $96 million paid for imported energy.

      Argentina’s quest for dollars has taken another hit from the export angle. According to data from the Oil Industry Chamber of Commerce and the Center of Grain Exporters (Ciara-CEC), last week exporters only repatriated US $63 million per day, partially in response to rate cuts. The week before rate cuts the same firms brought in US $101 million per day, and at the beginning of July they brought in US $150 million daily.

  16. Greenguy

    Howie Hawkins is the reason Cuomo is scared, not Teachout. It’s depressing how much space has been spilled to cover her when she will be crushed in September and disappear from the race. Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor of the State of New York, has received 7% in both Quinnipiac and Siena college polls over the last month. THAT is why Cuomo is scared – he knows a real left, non-Democratic alternative is already at 7% and could climb far higher by election day. Imagine if the Green Party won the third spot, or the second, on the NY State ballot after November because they beat Rob Astorino’s Republicans? They will certainly do better than the WFP, and probably the Independence and Conservative Parties. It’s time Howie Hawkins, as a real leftist, was given his due by blogs like this and the Village Voice.

    1. lambert strether

      If primaries are determined by activists, and Democratic activists are in NYC, then there’s nothing wrong with Teachout softening up Cuomo for the general, right? And if she wins, so much the better.

    2. Yves Smith

      That is not what Democratic party insiders are telling me.

      Cuomo was positioning himself to be a Presidential contender in 2016 or 2020. That is apparently now over.

      The source of his power was that he was extremely vindictive and people were afraid of him. The fact that someone like Teachout and Wu (people with not much of a power base) would not simply defy him but make clear how much the liberal wing of the party hates him (including, critically, endorsements from unions) has really dented him. Hawkes did not go that. Has the NYT roused itself to write an editorial about Hawkes? The fact that it endorsed Wu and took a “we’re not endorsing anyone” on Cuomo v. Teachout is a testament to how much damage the campaign has done (and yes, the campaign got a boost from the DoJ investigation but Wu would likely have gotten the endorsement regardless and the liberal groups that are backing Teachout and Wu would not have been swayed by that either).

  17. financial matters

    Ebola’s heavy toll on study authors Science Magazine

    I think the deaths of these 5 healthcare workers who had experience in dealing with another hemorrhagic fever virus (Lassa) reinforces Tatanya’s previous advice..

    August 19, 2014 at 8:51 am
    Doubtful that those red plastic bandanas are good enough, when experts recommend at least n or p-100 filter masks. “For the average person however what needs to be understood is very simple: – if you are in a room with someone infected with Ebola, you are not safe – , even if you never touch them or their bodily fluids, and this is not what you are being told by the mainstream media. Essentially I am using the word “airborne” as a layman term.”

    1. Brian

      If Ebola were airborne, infection and spread would be magnitudes greater. If you are in a room with Ebola patients you are protected only by your protective gear from the dissemination of fluids in the form of sputum/saliva from moving through the air by coughing and sneezing or by movement of some particle from point A to B. Only people trained in isolation technique can explain this properly. As an isolation care person, you must at all times remember you are living in a vacuum so to speak, and must maintain the barrier. This is extremely difficult for the average person because it is unnatural not to touch someone or yourself before remembering that this is why you are wearing an isolation suit. When you want to leave the room, your suit is decontaminated, because you can’t be.

      1. financial matters

        I agree that it is not ‘airborne’ in the sense that the common cold or influenza are. But it does seem to spread in a somewhat easier manner than say HIV or Hepatitis C.

  18. abynormal

    where’s my eruption buddy SD? lots-a-activity out there. is there a bad moon rising??

    Southern Greece
    Mw Beach Ball
    Time: 2014-08-29 03:45:06.3 UTC
    Magnitude: 5.7 (Mw)
    Incredible pictures from Papua New Guinea as Mount Tavurvur erupts 8am /
    for Iceland they’re asking we stay off Mila camera’s…these guys are doing good feeds

    1. abynormal

      this can’t be good…me thinks i located the ‘staffs’ watering hole
      First of all you have 700 meters of ice pushing down on the water creating amply any pressure needed.
      And onwards, there is no need for any pressure at all, the pressure will be created as the water hits the 1150 degrees Celcius magma in the magma reservoir. When that happens the water will instantly transform in to supercritical steam and increase 900 times in volume (which in and of itself produces quite a bit of pressure).
      Almost all caldera events have happened as the caldera collapses (low pressure) and water rushes into the magma reservoir and you have a steam explosion. It happened at Krakatau, Santorini (Thera) and so on. Both of those where already precollapsed structures by the way.
      Onwards, many calderas go caldera several times in their lifetime. Askja has done at least 2, Bárdarbunga at least 2, Grimsvötn 3, Thera 3, Amatitlan Caldera 7 and so on and so forth.

      That being said, I do not think that the caldera at Bárdarbunga is depleted enough at this juncture to create a caldera event. But I do not at all exclude the possibility of a VEI2 up to a VEI4 equivalent phreatic detonation.” (we mere mortals thinks we so bad)

      1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

        A Krakatoa-like event would certainly make all of our other, current problems pale, in comparison.

        Argentina would be lookin’ schweeeeet!

  19. Honorary Princeling

    Louie Freeh collided with Colby’s canoe. A lifetime of ensuring impunity for official crime, and now this. How teddibly tragic.

      1. MtnLife

        Will this get the Family Values people on-board for the legalization effort? Seriously, I would simply love to see some conservative WASPy couple proudly displaying their marital “Get-Along-Bong”. It would practically qualify as an antidote.

  20. fresno dan

    “Every writer, of every political flavor, has some neat historical analogy, or mini-lesson, with which to preface an argument for why we ought to bomb these guys or side with those guys against the guys we were bombing before. But the best argument for reading history is not that it will show us the right thing to do in one case or the other, but rather that it will show us why even doing the right thing rarely works out. The advantage of having a historical sense is not that it will lead you to some quarry of instructions, the way that Superman can regularly return to the Fortress of Solitude to get instructions from his dad, but that it will teach you that no such crystal cave exists. What history generally “teaches” is how hard it is for anyone to control it, including the people who think they’re making it.” (Insert Dick Cheney quote….)


    Johnson’s tragedy was critically tied to the cult of action, of being tough and not just sitting there and watching. But not doing things too disastrously is not some minimal achievement; it is a maximal achievement, rarely managed. Studying history doesn’t argue for nothing-ism, but it makes a very good case for minimalism: for doing the least violent thing possible that might help prevent more violence from happening.

    Dare to be lazy. As I used to say to colleagues who always spent so much extra time in the office, why can’t you get your work done on time? But its the same in business and government – act like you can affect things that you can’t. Or, if you really got the chutzpa, act like total disasters you instigated would be great successes if only your successor was not incompetent…

    1. frosty zoom

      so they’ll impose their gmos on ghana and then sue burkina faso when their devil seeds drift over the border.

    2. MtnLife

      Thanks for the link. Great to see the people caught wind of what was happening before they were totally bent over the barrel.

  21. Killer cops

    Don’t care what Hilllary Clinton thinks. What does Assata Shakur think? That’s what I want to know. If she wants to come here and tell us what to do, I’ll set her up a safe house.

    1. vidimi

      “There’s no doubt that in the short term restricting Russian usage of SWIFT would be extremely disruptive to Russian financial and commercial activities,” said Richard Reid, a research fellow for finance and regulation at the University of Dundee in Scotland. “However, it may carry a longer-term downside, namely the likelihood that large chunks of Russian international payments flows would move to much less well monitored and measured financial channels and thus be beyond sanctions at any future point.”

      1. hunkerdown

        Only a modest inconvenience, as the Government of Russia are already doing just that. Russians still manage to maintain the cultural knowledge that conditional partners are not trustworthy.

  22. Carolinian

    Alt news

    The Ukies are losing, badly. All the reports from Novorussian sources agree that the Ukie forces are either surrounded or in full retreat. But Ukies sources also confirm this. In Kiev, angry demonstrations by nationalists accuse the military high command of minimizing the real casualty figures, of having abandoned the forces fighting in the Donbass. Even Oleg Liashko has stated that the Ukie forces have been “betrayed”. Demonstrations have taken place in from of the Ukie General Staff which many Right Sector protesters which are demanding the creation of a “generals battalion” which would be formed of only generals who would be sent to fight personally (an excellent idea, which I fully approve of!). Others are also demanding the resignation of the Ukie Minister of Defense. Ukrainian woman are regularly stopping military convoys on the roads, often by standing or lying down in front of trucks, to prevent their men from being sent to death. Entire Ukie battalions are deserting from the front and Special Forces are sent to stop them. Apparently, the Ukie police is afraid to arrest the soldiers for desertion because of their large numbers. The city of Mariupol is now surrounded and the local political elites and SBU personnel have fled. Poroshenko cancelled his trip to Turkey and gathered his Security Council. Kolomoiski, who controls the southwestern Ukraine, did the same thing with his own Security Council (yes, since he has his own army, is also has his own security council). Tymoshenko wants the introduction of full martial law. The male population up to 60 is now conscripted (though not called up as far as I know). Iatseniuk and Poroshenko have both demanded that NATO intervene and accept the Ukraine as some special ally. In other words, all the signs are of total complete and utter panic in Kiev.

    1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      Mexico is a failed, narco-terrorist state.

      Q: How do you tell a ME terrorist from a Mexican narco-terrorist? (keep in mind, they’re both similarly pigmented).

      A: the ME terrorist will be wearing what we consider “traditional” Mexican clothing (sombrero and pancho — a Sears pancho — not a REAL Mexican pancho. HT: F. Zappa), and will have full facial hair. The Mexican narco-terrorist will have a well-groomed mustache, be wearing an Armani suit, and having lunch with a US banking executive.

      1. ewmayer

        And in case you thought I was just jesting, making mirthful, cracking wise — oh no, we have multiple incident reports:

        Controversies about the word “niggardly”

        (Though in spoken English I agree one should be careful due to the near-homophonism involved. But many of the collected incidents relate to literary, i.e. written, uses of the word. Wonder what the late Mr. Chaucer would make of all the hullabaloo.)

  23. pwndecaf

    RE: NYT Dethrone King Dollar

    I watched an older video last night called The Secret of Oz by Bill Still. My guess is you money-minded folks know who he is.

    Do his monetary theories make sense? Let government create the money and control the supply, and do away with fractional reserve banking – no bank can lend money it doesn’t have. Now, so it goes, banks create the money by lending and all money is debt.

    What is the feeling on this site about that? I’d like to hear because it made sense to me, but I am not in this world except as it interests me.

    1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      Currently we trade fiat scrip with fiat bonds. That would seem to be the most liberalized the money supply can be.

      Except that the trade is not 1 to 1 (as I understand it, boiled downt to its essence, with a 90% probability that I could be wrong) — the bonds are created with interest due, and the “money” with interest owing. There is no growth in the money supply that doesn’t come with automatic debt attached.

      The real problem is a matter of distribution. That makes the entire economy — winners and losers — a matter of choice.

      BTW: You are probably not among the chosen.

      1. pwndecaf

        LOL – not a chosen one!

        What gets me is the government (us) paying banks for money. I think I said what I think I meant!

  24. Jim Cromagnon

    In case anybody forgot, for like a nanosecond, that the USA is utterly and completely full of shit, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination just weighed in. They went and compared solemn US government commitments to US results. It’s as disgraceful as you would expect. Long story short: It didn’t fool the outside world when the bankers propped up some Stepinfetchit as puppet ruler.

    1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      Obama is not so much a stereotypical Stepinfetchit as he is a corporatist/fascist in liberal clothing. He is one of the good ol’ boys. He doesn’t just work in “the big house,” he owns it.

      Meet the new boss, same as the old boss, for real.

    1. tongorad

      Warren = disgusting human being

      “”But when Hamas puts its rocket launchers next to hospitals, next to schools, they’re using their civilian population to protect their military assets. And I believe Israel has a right, at that point, to defend itself,” Warren said, drawing applause.

      Noreen Thompsen, of Eastham, proposed that Israel should be prevented from building any more settlements as a condition of future U.S. funding, but Warren said, “I think there’s a question of whether we should go that far.”

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