Links 8/4/14

Readers, once more: Naked Capitalism needs somebody skilled in the art of transcription; we hope to have an interesting interview soon. If you are that somebody, please contact yves AT nakedcapitalism DOT com. Thank you!

Social Networking Prairie Dog Style Smithsonian

Mysterious oasis appears in Tunisian desert sparking joy among locals despite warnings it could be contaminated by chemicals Daily Mail

Toledo Mayor Collins not expecting to update water crisis before 1 a.m. Toledo Blade

Will the Pacific Northwest be a Climate Refuge Under Global Warming? Cliff Mass Weather Blog (abynormal)

Local people preserve the environment better than governments New Scientist. That is, common pool resources.

India’s Toilet Race Failing as Villages Don’t Use Them Bloomberg. 

Asian Stocks Fall, Extending Biggest Drop in Three Months Bloomberg

A desperate Bundesbank has abandoned principle FT

Where Did He Learn to Negotiate Like That? Epicurean Dealmaker  

Wealth Managers Enlist Spy Tools to Map Portfolios Times

Twitter’s User Problem: Fastest Gains Are People That Don’t See Ads Online WSJ

Reddit’s Favorite Scientist Just Got Banned for Cheating the Site Vice

Why the Security of USB Is Fundamentally Broken Wired

Sunday Train: Fast and Slow Transit Should be Friends Corrente. Vox gets streetcars badly wrong.

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Obama Admits He Banned Only “Some” of the CIA’s Torture Techniques FDL

Sen. King: CIA torture was ‘unjustifiable’ The Hill. Good for him.

Why Barney Frank Thinks Democrats Will Wrest Corporate America From The GOP HuffPo

Republicans’ increasing reliance on white voters may not spell electoral doom just yet WaPo. Since Democrats think that all they have to do is wait for demographic change to hand them power, they never have to actually do anything.

As Democrats avoid Obama, Romney is in demand on the midterm campaign trail WaPo

Friends With Benefits Politico. Rand Paul and the odious Cory Booker!

The Anti-Court Court NYRB

First African summit in D.C. to be largest ever; economic growth on agenda McClatchy


Obama’s Russia Policies Are Based On Ignorance, Illusions Moon of Alabama

Map of a Tragedy: How MH17 Came Apart Over Ukraine Online WSJ. A bit stale, but very interesting. Well-attested photos from competing sources.

Enough Russian Roulette with Nuclear Fire Ian Welsh

ISIS Seizes More Towns and Possibly Control of Iraq’s Biggest Dam Atlantic Wire

Thousands of Filipinos refuse to leave Libya Daily Star


Israel Announces 7-Hour Cease-Fire as Diplomatic Efforts Falters Bloomberg

Strike on UN Gaza school kills at least 10 as Israel starts troop pullout  AFP

‘We could have taken Gaza in a week, but that wasn’t our mission,’ says senior IDF source Jerusalem Post.

“Had we been ordered to defeat Hamas, we would have done it. We would have drafted four divisions, evacuated the Gazan population from battlegrounds, conquered the area and scanned it thoroughly.”

Really. “Evacuated” them where? The sea? Would they ever have been able to come back?

Inside Israel’s Pro-War Nationalist Camp TRNN. Lovely.

Wiretapped: Israel Eavesdropped on John Kerry in Mideast Talks Der Spiegel. Well, I should hope so!

Occupied Palestinian Territory: Gaza Emergency Situation Report (as of 2 August 2014, 1500 hrs) OCHA

Gaza’s Bottle Rockets Foreign Affairs

Cash, Weapons and Surveillance: the U.S. is a Key Party to Every Israeli Attack The Intercept

Shared brain activity predicts audience preferences Guardian

When It’s Bad to Have Good Choices New Yorker

To have in order to do: Exploring the effects of consuming experiential products on well-being ScienceDirect

The Furious Nations Znet

Classifying mechanisms by location Understanding Society

Antidote du jour:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. D. Mathews

    Are people sticking with the missle theory of the downing of the Malaysian jet? Pepe Escobar (among others) has another theory:

    the MH17 tragedy is undergoing a fast metamorphosis. When the on-site observations by this Canadian OSCE monitor (watch the video carefully) are compounded with this analysis by a German pilot, a strong probability points to a Ukrainian Su-25’s 30 mm auto-cannon firing at the cockpit of MH17, leading to massive decompression and the crash. No missile – not even an air-to-air R-60M, not to mention a BUK (the star of the initial, frenetic American spin). The new possible narrative fits with on-site testimony by eyewitness in this now famously “disappeared” BBC report.

    1. dearieme

      What if it was a false false-flag operation? A Russian Su-25 painted in Ukrainian colours could easily have shot the plane down. Or was it a false false-false-flag operation, whereby the Ukrainians …….

      Still, the premise that responsibility for the present troubles in Ukraine rests partly on the US/EU/NATO is plausible. But it’s not the only plausible premise, even if it does seem pretty likely.

      1. fresno dan

        Dude!!! Its like you put LSD in my RedBull/gin and tonic after a Mowie Zowie double bong hit….

    2. Paper Mac

      That theory makes no sense. MH17 was at 33k feet. The service ceiling of the Su25 (a CAS aircraft) is 23k feet with a clean loadout. There’s no way in hell that an Su25 shot down MH17 in a head-on pass with a 30mm autocannon (a weapon designed to engage tanks and for which AFAIK the Su25 doesn’t have avionics to direct at an airborne target), at 33k feet.

      1. vlade

        IIRC, UA airforce SU25M1 has a higher ceiling (IIRC 10,000m) and speedwise could almost catch up an airliner (important if you want to shoot it down with a cannon) at that altitude, but it has only a few of those, and doing this maneuvre pretty much at the edge of the performance envelope would be, well, pretty high-risk bet. Again, IIRC, M1 doesn’t have a flight-combat radar, hence the interception would have to be ground-guided.

        I can just see someone from the ground precision guiding a ground-attack aircraft flying at the edge of its performance envelope to shoot an airliner in a high-risk one pass scenario (you have to get them before anyone in the cockpit can even say “a jet attacking us” to the flight recorder) as a means of false-flag attack… Right. Of course, conspiration theories are best known for not being simple, so this fits perfectly.

        1. Paper Mac

          I wasn’t aware of the M1 variant, thanks for pointing that out. In any case, it seems obvious that if this theory was true, the Russians would immediately have exposed it, as it would have been trivial for them to produce radar logs demonstrating an Su25 track merging with MH17’s. I believe the only reason we’re talking about Su25s at all is because the Russians released some radar data showing that a flight was in the area, presumably to muddy the water and give grist for exactly this sort of theory.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        From a link in the article:

        “Time and again it is stated that the SU 25 has a maximum flight altitude of 7,000 meters and that’s why this jet couldn’t be able to bring down MH 017. Seeking for an answer on Wikipedia – this statement will be confirmed. If you go to the trouble of broadening your knowledge by questioning a specialist book, you’ll get completely different information: the maximum flight altitude of the SU 25 is 14,600 meters. Check here:

        Until beginning of july 2014 Wikipedia gave the maximum flight altitude for the SU 25 with “ca. 10.000 Meters”. As well in the english version as in the german one. Now one finds it “corrected” to 7.000 meters. In the Wikipedia discussions-forum roared up an intensive discussion about the correct value.

        The handbook “Flugzeuge der Welt” by W. Green (1984), a standard work which essentially quotes the facts of the military “Janes Manuals” (also used to be NATO reference), already 1984 determined the maximum flight altitude of SU 25 (SU 25 MK, export version) with 10,670 meters (page 208 f.). The performance of the SU 25 has been upgraded since that time.

        Time and again it is stated that the SU 25 has a maximum flight altitude of 7,000 meters and that’s why this jet couldn’t be able to bring down MH 017. Seeking for an answer on Wikipedia – this statement will be confirmed. If you go to the trouble of broadening your knowledge by questioning a specialist book, you’ll get completely different information: the maximum flight altitude of the SU 25 is 14,600 meters. Check here:

        Until beginning of july 2014 Wikipedia gave the maximum flight altitude for the SU 25 with “ca. 10.000 Meters”. As well in the english version as in the german one. Now one finds it “corrected” to 7.000 meters. In the Wikipedia discussions-forum roared up an intensive discussion about the correct value.

        The handbook “Flugzeuge der Welt” by W. Green (1984), a standard work which essentially quotes the facts of the military “Janes Manuals” (also used to be NATO reference), already 1984 determined the maximum flight altitude of SU 25 (SU 25 MK, export version) with 10,670 meters (page 208 f.). The performance of the SU 25 has been upgraded since that time.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Can’t seem to get the link to post. It’s in the Escobar article at “this analysis.”

        2. vlade

          I assume you mean KM, not MK.

          Also, there’s difference between operational ceiling (which is what you want to fly within) and maximum flight altitude (which is what it’s physically capable of, but you’d better not to take it there as you’re getting into the coffin corner territory), which confuses quite a few people..

          As I wrote, UA has SU25 plane (M1) that can get there. But to me it still seems that SU25 air attack is such a dumb choice for a false-flag attack (so many things that can go wrong that would make it clear it’s false-flag) that you’re much much better off trying to do a BUK missile false-flag.

          1. hunkerdown

            Um, every person having a camera in their pocket would destroy, with high assurance of veracity, any attempt at a surface-to-air false flag. Where are the smoke trails?

        3. Paper Mac

          The link you gave gives the maximum altitude of the aircraft as 7400 meters. Sukhoi itself reports an operational ceiling of 7k meters for the Su-25 ( The 14km figure is “maximum altitude ever reached in a flight test”, which doesn’t have much to do with what an a/c is operationally capable of, nor is it clear where that figure is from.

    3. vlade

      Good grief. Do people know what the performance envelopes of SU25 are or are they just talking BS? If Ukraine wanted to shoot down an airliner, SU25 would be about the worst aircraft they could choose from what they have available… It’s like saying that it would be A-10 shooting it down.

      Not to mention “in the cockpit”. If you want to shoot into cockpit, you have a very few good ways to do it. Frontal approach would leave blackbox trace (cockpit recording). Side approach is extremely risky shot, with planes moving at this speed. The best bet would be either approach from above or below, and even then given the movement of both planes, most likely you’d rip way past the cockpit. Anyway, to do that, you’d have to be able to fly comfortably with the jet, which is outside even of the envelope of the modified SU25M1 Ukraine has (all of one).

      But the silliest reason is that doing it by auto-cannon would be just pointless for Ukraine to start with.

      If UA wanted to shoot down the plane, it was because it wanted to blame it on the separatists (blaming it on Russia would be better, but way way too hard, and potentially uncertain. West can try to push Russia to stop supporting separatists, but won’t go to war with Russia over UA, even over a shot-down airliner).

      To do that, you’d want to do it with something that could point to the separatits. So a missile. No MANPADs could do it, so you’d want something else, and BUK is your best bet, as it gives you a hard-to-assail scenario:
      – separatists could have had the equipment (captured or from Russia)
      – it can’t IFF when operating in standalone mode (and of course you can’t claim that the separatists have a full block BUK battery with tracking radard and all)
      – it’s non trivial to operate in general; this and the above make the untrained operator error very plausible and hard to deny

      Fails basis Occam razor on some many fronts that it’s not even funny, just dumb.

      1. Paper Mac

        The author of the article also believes that the magic Su25 attack was performed in order to give NATO an excuse to invade Russia, because NATO is the tool of the global oligarchy and the Russian government isn’t, or something. Most of the argument’s premises are either factually impossible or facile.

        1. D. Mathews

          I admit I know nothing about these types of weaponry, but what about the statement by the Canadian OSCE monitor concerning the lack of evidence of a missile impact, compounded by the fact that the cockpit was peppered with projectiles? Perhaps the cockpit was peppered with projectiles on the ground, after the crash to make it look like the cause of the accident. Forget about the responsibility. If this disproves that a missile brought the plane down, that is a significant development in and of itself. See “6:15” of this video.

          1. vlade

            Well, I don’t know, but I’d bet that the OSCE monitor are not experts on the damage (neither am I for the matter).

            What I do know is that when they say “shrapnel” in BUK warhead, it means not unshaped shrapnel created by the explosion, but rather a lot of pre-shaped stuff exploding at a distance. Think a massive shotgun charge. So the fact that you see damage in one place and with multiple holes etc. is not inconsistent with missile damage. anti-air missiles don’t work by hitting the plane and exploding, so if you expect that sort of damage, you’ll never see it.

            In fact, if the damage is limited to sides of the cockpit, it’s much more likely that it would be external explosion with shrapnel than a gun. With AA missile, the explosion would be almost instantenuous, so all shrapnel hitting one place. With an aircraft strafing from the side, you’d expect anything but a clustered shots – the aircrafts are moving in relation to each other and to keep a tight cluster at such speeds is nearly impossible. At 800km per hour the 777 was traveling at 222m per second. At the highest RPM of the SU25 gun (3000RPM) you get 25 shots per second, so there should be about 8m spread between shots (assuming perfect perpendicular attack, which is pretty much impossible). If you were coming from behind and say a side/below and aim at the cockpit, you’d still end up with reasonable amount of shells ending well behind the cockpit. That’s just basis physics.

            So clustering is strongly suportive of a missile attack if the holes are from outside in.

            1. craazyboy

              Here’s an article reporting on the BUK theory explanation.

              Here they mention proximity fuses – the way it’s done with anti-aircraft missiles:

              “The BUK’s warhead is on what is known as a proximity fuse, which is activated by a radar that tells the detonator when it is nearing the target. It usually blows up within metres or tens of metres of the target. ”

              I know that in deep outer space warfare, they always match velocity before shooting at each other from the side, but inside the atmosphere you are quite correct about the bullets spreading out due to air resistance after firing. Plus the plane would have to be able to rotate the cannon 90 degrees to shoot sideways while matching forward velocity with the target.

              So unless the evidence was doctored after crash, the BUK scenario beats the plane scenario. Of course we don’t yet have the flight recorder data report, so maybe there is evidence of a frontal attack.

              But then things get confusing again in the article. The Ukraine government has the Russian BUKS, and the Russian Separatists reportedly stole one.

              I’ll admit I haven’t been following this closely enough to know who is on who’s side and why, other than the USG has identified the Ukraine guv as being the ones wearing the white hat. In spite of such clarity, I’m still confused.

              1. Doug Terpstra

                Good rule of thumb: “anything the USG declares is probably* false; anything it denies is almost certainly true.”

                * “provably false” in the case of UKR.

                1. Lambert Strether Post author

                  Until the USG clevers up, and starts releasing false evidence for true claims, sitting back, and watching the claims get discredited when the false evidence is exposed.

                  These guys are so twisty, it’s a wonder they can get their pants in the morning.

                  1. Romancing the Loan

                    They started doing that back with Bush’s faked service records showing actual absences in the Texas Air National Guard.

              1. vlade

                I believe that if it was a continuous-rod warhead, it would pretty much slice the plane apart, so more likely fragmentation WH. But even then you’d have pieces embedded in the aircraft or the bodies (well, as you’d if it was cannon really).

                That said, the original discussion was about SU25 taking it down with a cannon, which I’d say is pretty much close to impossible. I’d say that there are really four possible causes:
                – an on-board explosion. Not much points that way at the moment, site contaminated so unlikely to ever find out;
                – air attack with a cannon. Close to impossible with SU25. Possible with other (SU27, MiG29), but unless extremely lucky, not destructive enough to bring the plane down immediately, and hence voice tapes from the cockpit should be able to tell so. Also of course site, but that’s been contaminated by now
                – air attack with A2A missile. Possible, including SU25, but very very chancy due to low WH payloads available. Again, unless extremely lucky would not bring the plane destruction immediately, so above applies
                – SAM; such as BUK. On balance of probabilities, most likely. We can argue till cows come home who did fire it though, and there’s only circumstantial evidence one way or another right now (and most likely will ever be), which is not going to persuade already persuaded.

      2. YY

        Su-25 was reported by the Russians, why they chose that plane as the blip is a mystery, unless it is true. Service ceilings are pretty meaningless for momentary upward flight and the theory is that the take down was with an air to air missile (which suffers no limitations of breathing related height limitations). The machine gun holes would have to be explained as a second pass at the target as it lost altitude.
        Surface to air missile sounds plausible, but the problem is no one saw the tell tale trails of a missile launch. America insists that there is proof, in which case they should provide it, regardless outcome of fossicking the debris.
        The situation is such that a false flag appears to be the likeliest cause, which is in a way ridiculous, but that isn’t the only ridiculous thing about the Ukraine situation.

        1. Paper Mac

          The theory here is that the aircraft was brought down with a guns pass, the author explicitly discounts the possibility of an AA missile.

          1. hunkerdown

            Saker’s got a decent theory on the matter: fast climb followed by a fast missile launch that cause MH17 to list and fall, bringing it within guns range. It seems to comport with all observations known thus far.

            Of course, it is well-known military wisdom that no plan survives contact with the adversary.

        2. vlade

          Even in a momentary upward flight you don’t go from 5000 to 10000m if your ceiling is 5000m. Not to mention the hard limit on speed at that altitude.

          As I write in another post, if A2A missile was used, it’d have to be extremely lucky to cause pretty much immediate destruction of the plane. I’ll wait till the black-box recording is released, but if it’s “situation normal; bang; nothing” it would put an A2A missile as a very unlikely cause.

          I agree that US showing the launch of the missile/proof could settle the situation, but it has happened before that CIA & co refused to post pictures (it gives the other side an idea of how good intel you can get – is it wortwhile to them for embarassing Russia a bit?).

          Even in a false-flag scenario a S2A missile is more likely than an air attack. If it was an air attack, Russia could simply show their radar traces (I don’t doubt they monitor that airspace), and since the separatists have no airplanes, UA would have a massive egg on their face (of course they would claim it’s a Russian plane, but that would be hard to swallow for most of the world).

          So in the same vein the US is not showing a proof of a SAM launch, Russia (to my knowledge) is not showing any proof of a SU25 (or any other military plane) being there at the time, and again, if there was one, I don’t doubt they would have a proof.

          1. vlade

            Sorry, when I said “not being there at the time”, I don’t mean “in the general area”. I know there were planes in the area, but to my knowledge there’s nothing that would show SU25 approaching the 777 and taking actions in line with an aerial engagement (especially cannon ones).

            1. vlade

              Not an auto-cannon, it’s almost physically impossible as mentioned above at the speeds involved (in theory, if you had no buffetting, you both flew on a perfect course with no variations in speed at all etc. etc. you could probably achieve spread of 1m or less, but it’s just way too perfectionist scenario).

              On the other hand, a missile exploding with a few metres showering the aircraft with pre-shaped shrapnel would achieve tight clustering, as the impact of the shrapnel would be almost instantenuous.

              1. Brian

                Shrapnel from one AA missle does not cause inbound and outbound holes on the same side of the aircraft. The Deutsche Luftwaffe Colonel that was an AA training officer has described what he saw in the remains of the skin of the aircraft. It shows in/out holes with what he says are 30mm projectiles. Anyone other than him actually go on record yet?

              2. optimader

                Putting my Areon Chair Mil-Aviation analyst hat on, my fully depreciated $0.02
                I find it unlikely said ground attack aircraft, SU-25 in any form would be used in the role of interceptor at or above it’s service ceiling, for all the practical limitations offered.
                In addition. I haven’t seen it pointed out, so I’ll add that an SU-25-** would have a substantially degraded maneuverability envelope at altitude, consequently it would be susceptible to a stall and flat spin. I speculate firing something that has a violent a reaction force — say a cannon, would be enough to adversely mess w/ it’s trim at the outer reaches of it flight envelope. Incidentally, re: maneuverability a taltitude, also the case for Commercial Jets…(like MH370). In any scenario for that loss aircraft proposing drastic maneuvering at cruising altitude, it could easily have just gone into a flat spin, broken up and augered into the ocean )

                Bottom line, the SU-25 wing (as well as the rest of the AC for that matter) is designed for low altitude maneuverability. It is not an interceptor.

                How An Su-25 Can Shoot Down A Faster, Higher-Flying Aircraft
                Jul 24, 2014 by Bill Sweetman in Ares
                Comments 18
                Early in Len Deighton’s Funeral in Berlin, his nameless British agent (he was Harry Palmer in the movies) confronts his long-time adversary, Colonel Stok. The KGB man goes all sentimental and explains that his plan is to use the defection of a top scientist to fund his own escape and retirement.

                “What would you do in my position, Mr Dorf? What would you do?”

                I let the sound of the lorry rumble away down Keibelstrasse.

                I said, “I’d stop telling lies to old liars for a start, Stok. Do you really think I came here without dusting off your file? I know everything about you from the cubic capacity of your Westinghouse refrigerator to the size your mistress takes in diaphragms.”

                Which is just about my reaction to the Sovi… er, Russian explanations, official and otherwise, for the shootdown of MH17. Let’s take two that have floated around the Internet.

                The first is that the Ukrainian air force shot the Boeing 777 down itself, using a Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot carrying an R-60 Aphid air-to-air missile (the only AAM normally carried by the Su-25). This would require some remarkable timing and a pilot immune to nose-bleeds, because the Su-25 can manage Mach 0.82 flat out, on a good day, and a 777 can do 0.89, and furthermore the Su-25 is unpressurized and has a normal service ceiling of 23,000 feet. No doubt coincidentally, on the day this claim was published, a Wikipedia editor with a Russian address was found trying to insert a 33,000-foot ceiling on the Su-25 page. As for the R-60, the 3 kg warhead’s ability to assure a kill on a large aircraft with highly redundant systems is dubious at best.

                A second theory is that two Ukrainian Su-27 fighters trailed the Boeing and somehow drew the missile on to it. Aside from the fact that the Buk-M1 is about as discriminating as a Rottweiler with ADHD, and that it could be activated at such a short range that the Su-27s would be inside its no-escape zone, the weakness of this story is its extreme similarity to the KGB-disseminated excuse for the shootdown of KAL 007, 31 years ago. The story then was that an RC-135 was deliberately shadowing the civilian 747, possibly using it to “ring the fire alarm” and gather data on Soviet air defenses.

                Bears don’t have spots, but if they did, they’d have a hard time changing them.

          2. YY

            The Russians for what it’s worth did show civilian radar of the flight including the blip of the Su-(I seem to recall just one not two as reported elsewhere). They said nothing of A-A nor did they show anything of SAM. They also showed Uke Buks in situ. The US showed social media information much of it dubious and debunked.
            In the past, in many critical instances of proving points, the US has shown aerial and satellite photos. Soviet missiles in Cuba, North Korean nuclear test preparation, and of course the mobile WMD labs (actually weather balloon support vehicles, bought from the UK) in Iraq. In fact one can argue the only reason to have high resolution surveillance is to use the material to demonstrate your point and to discourage sneaky activity. So no, I do not buy for a moment the excuse of secrecy of capability of aerial/satellite surveillance. Instead we get bogus leaks about visible beer bottles but inability to see name rank tags with speculation about rogue/defectors manning Buks.

            1. vlade

              NSA almost killed Skylab by initially refusing to use its spy sattelites to take high-definition pictures of Skylab (needed to figure out what happened when it failed to work as expected) for NASA.

              They do release pictures when it suits them (like when in 1997 Gerts got his hands on KH-12 Improved Crystal pictures), but the answer to question “when it suits them” seems to me pretty much random.

              I’d be extremely surprised if Russians have no military radar logs, which if an aircraft approached MH-17 could very much prove it. Either that it was within cannon shooting distance a the time of downing or even capture an AA missile.

              So on that I’d say they are even with US on the “proof”.

              1. YY

                I’d agree that both sides are holding back for some perverse reasoning, maybe just fear of facing reality. The Russians must have better radar data, otherwise they would not have been able to shoot down the ballistic missiles, whose existence are backed up by CNN (as leaked to them by the USG). They are amassed just across the border in a war ready situation so they must be able to see and hear a lot. In the game of you show me yours and I’ll show you mine, the Russians have shown actual photographic data. America has just declared stuff and repeated the bogus releases/leaks of Uke youtube fabrications and google earth illustrations. The media in the West have run with the declarations and ignored the questions raised by the lack of factual backup to the declarations. The US can mismanage the information side of the situation because the media is so damn incompetent and un-curious. At least that must mean that the false flag operation is very local because outsiders haven’t a clue.

                1. hunkerdown

                  The US can mismanage the disinfo campaign just fine by its usual habit of “creating reality” (including refusing to recognize the legitimacy, or even the existence, of any conflicting facts on the ground). It’s pretty much what the professional left and their followers have been doing for the past decade or four.

    4. Ned Ludd

      The BBC Russian Service deleted the web page (archive), but the video file can still be downloaded from a BBC file server:


      From an English translation, translated from Russian by Gleb Bazov.

      Olga Ivshina, BBC: The inhabitants of the nearby villages are certain that they saw military aircraft in the sky shortly prior to the catastrophe. According to them, it actually was the jet fighters that brought down the Boeing.


      Olga Ivshina: The Ukrainian Security Service has published photographs and a video, which, in its opinion, prove that the Boeing was shot down with a “Buk” missile. We attempted to verify these photographs and information at the location.

      You can also watch the video on YouTube with English subtitles.

      1. vlade

        W/o commenting on what they did/didn’t see, if it was a cannon fire, at 10km it would be impossible to see from ground. If they saw and could identify a military jet, it was relatively low-flying (3-4km). That would rule out cannon entirely. As for A2A missiles, most of them have relatively small warheads (<10kg, order of magnitude less than BUK at 70kg), which are perfectly capable of shooting down in one go a jet fighter/helicopter, but while would cause big, and likely terminal problems for 777, to count on it being instantenous you'd have to be very very lucky. Again, if you don't shoot it down instantenously, you're much more likely to be exposed it being A2A missile, which makes UA the more suspicius party.

        The fact that they could see a warplane doesn't immediately mean it was shot down by warplane. In fact, the most likely warplane to shot down a 777 they wouldn't see.

        1. Ned Ludd

          I posted a direct link to the BBC video file since the report – now scrubbed from the BBC website – was mentioned in comment. From the English translation:

          Eyewitness #1: Yes, yes. It was flying under it, because it could be seen. It was proceeding underneath, below the civilian one.

          Eyewitness #3: There were sounds of an explosion. But they were in the sky. They came from the sky. Then this plane made a sharp turn-around like this. It changed its trajectory and headed in that direction [indicating the direction with her hands].

          Later in the BBC report, Sergey Godovanets, the commander of the militia of the city of Snezhnoye, says that the Ukrainian military was using civilian aircraft as human shields: “They use these civilian aircraft to hide behind them. It is only now that they stopped flying over us – but, usually, civilian aircraft would always fly above us. And they hide [behind them]. [The experience in] Slavyansk had demonstrated that they would fly out from behind a civilian aircraft, bomb away, and then hide, once again, behind the civilian aircraft and fly away.”

          Investigators should look into whether a Ukrainian military aircraft was flying near Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. There are various speculative theories about how MH17 was downed, but having a military aircraft flying near a civilian aircraft in a war zone represents, at the very least, reckless endangerment and depraved indifference on the part of the Ukrainian military.

          1. vlade

            Yep, that’s entirely believable. But if that happened, and a BUK locked on a civilian aircraft instead of the military one, it doesn’t absolve either side of responsibility for the accident.

            1. vlade

              And for the record, this sounds the most plausible scenario of them all to me (i.e. UA using civilian aircrafts as a cover and the separatists hitting the wrong one).

    5. Yonatan

      The exhaust plume of a Buk missile is visible from 20-25 km. Its warhead fragments into cubes. The targeting mode of a Buk is to explode above a target showering it with these cubic fragments. MH-17 was shot down by an aircraft-borne weapon – canon fire, air-to-air missile, or both, yet to be determined. The crucial cockpit fragments shows evidence of scorching which may favor a missile. Other fragments, including engine cowlings, also show inward facing punctures.

      The federalists have no flyable aircraft. There are reported to have captured a downed Su-25 but have no pilots and support equipment to make it usable. If the Russians were involved, the US would have shown their evidence loudly from day one. The Ukrainians are also hiding the voice ATC recordings. This was a false flag operation certainly by Ukraine. The US knows this. The main question is whether the US planned the whole thing or are merely complicit in the cover up.

      1. Lord Koos

        Almost certainly it is no accident that continuing conflict around the crash site makes it nearly impossible for a thorough investigation.

    6. Robert Dudek

      No matter who or how the plane was shot down, the overwhelming responsibility rests with Ukraine air traffic control in allowing commercial planes to fly over a war zone. Note that the ethnic Russians had been bombarded for weeks by Kiev forces, so of course they will tend to shoot at anything that might be about to deliver more death and destruction.

  2. JLowe

    “Will the Pacific Northwest be a Climate Refuge Under Global Warming?” Central Oregon and Washington states have been burning the last few fire seasons: Some refuge. I’ve saved the link though. It’s a nice analysis based on a quick skim and could be the premise of a climate dystopia science fiction story.

    1. Lord Koos

      As a life-long resident of WA state, we are definitely having the worst fire seasons and hottest weather that I have seen in my 62 years. However, the coastal areas are excluded from this due to the maritime climate. And as Cliff Mass’ blog indicates, we may get more moisture inland in the future. Fortunately I’m not going to be around for the worst of it, although it sure seems like things are beginning to tip more rapidly.

    2. different clue

      It would allow people to survive long enough in the Pacific Northwest to really see over time how they are affected by Fukushima radionuclides in all their marine based food chain products.
      Part of that S F dystopia could involve the citizens of Cascadia or Ecotopia (or whatever) deciding that
      “food is more important than electricity” and dismantling enough of the big dams to allow the Great Dreamtime Salmon Runs to re-establish themselves. The Cascadians could model living with “just enough” electricity to survive while bringing back the Thundering Herds of salmon to base all their food chains on. Success! untill . . . . the radiostrontium etc. building up in the salmon bones begins sickening the people even as the uncaught salmon reach all the way upstream to spawn and also feed the bears/gulls/etc. who poo-out all that radio-strontium all over the deepest parts of all the back woods and upstreamest headwaters of all the salmon rivers. What will the Ecotopians do then?

  3. Paper Mac

    Re: The Furious Nations Znet

    ” at this point of human evolution, we can define a “nation” as the human community in which people have:
    1. A common language
    2. Common music
    3. Common dance
    All these three characteristics are based on the human instincts …

    All other local characteristics of a human community [customs, religion, food, ideology, etc] are secondary in defining a human community as a nation. Also they are acquired and are not based on the human instinct.”

    Uh, what? In what way are ideologies, customs, subsistence routines, etc acquired but music and dance are not? Music and dance are ideologically neutral? Very strange piece.

    1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      If the premise is true, our national motto should be changed to:

      “Everybody twerk now . . .”

    2. Jim

      An alternative interpretation of much of the material in the article ‘”Furious Nations” can be found in a brilliant book by Liah Greenfeld entitled “Nationalism: Five Roads to Modernity.”

      For example, she states on page 52 of her analysis that the significance of the Old Testament as the source of the popular idiom for the expression of the nascent national consciousness in England. should not be overestimated. She argues that while they were borrowing from the Book, Englishmen were simultaneously modifying it, with marked differences among versions of the English Bible. “For example, that are no exact equivalents of the word “nation” especially in its modern sense) in either Biblical Hebrew or Greek. Yet all the English Bibles use the world….the Authorized Version, or King James Bible, is particularly remarkable in this respect. To begin with, the word “nation” appears 454 time as compared with 100 for “natio” in the Vulgate or Latin. Moreover in the Vulgate, “natio: is invariably used in relation to communities of kin and language and has limited “ethnic connotation. In distinction, in the English translation the word “nation: has multiple meanings, corresponding to the usages of the word in other English sources of the period. It is used to designate a tribe connected by ties of kinship and language, and a race, but at least as frequently it is employed as a synonym of a people, a polity and even a territory…while the use of the word in relation to communities of kin and language could come from the Latin version of the Bible, its consistent application to polities, territory and peoples (which makes these distinct concepts synonyms) is clearly a peculiarity of the English translation.”

      With the recent rise of the national security state, the Left will eventually have to look to the origins of nationalism to understand the origins of the modern State– seen as a form of consciousness or secular view of reality whose socio-political component relies on the principles of the fundamental equality of membership in a community and popular sovereignty. Such ideas are so embedded in our minds that we take them as part of reality rather than an historical fluke that originated in England in the 16th century..

      1. Paper Mac

        That’s certainly a far more plausible and coherent explanation for what a nation might mean than what’s proffered above.

  4. Jim Haygood

    Bloomberg publishes an editorial admitting that the ‘two-state solution’ is a long-gone fantasy:

    The IDF’s barrier and the settler enclaves not only make a Palestinian state unachievable and, if it was ever attained, ungovernable. It also, ironically, contradicts the expansionist vision of “Eretz Yisrael.”

    The consistent Palestinian refusal to be shocked and awed by superior firepower will puzzle only those who have failed to grasp the central idea and event of the 20th century: the urge of self-determination and decolonization. Unfortunately, the viciousness of Hamas — either as insurgents today or as postcolonial rulers tomorrow — won’t obscure the fact that archaic and discredited notions of national power trapped Israel on the wrong side of history.

    “In the 21st century there is no room for a colonialist entity,” the Israeli journalist Ari Shavit points out in “My Promised Land.” It is partly why the West “is gradually turning its back on Israel.”

    Much more innovative concepts than the now-impossible “two-state” solution are needed to secure peace and security for the broader region as well as for Israelis and Palestinians.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      ….”the viciousness of HAMAS”???????

      And since when are they “insurgents”?????? Exactly what behavior could they exhibit to demonstrate that they are NOT “insurgents”? It’s THEIR COUNTRY, for goddsakes.

      Junkyard dogs that they are, israelis should have learned lesson #1 from their canine betters: Don’t sh*t where you sleep. Do it like the US junkyard dogs–sh*t thousands of miles away.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Unintentional irony in a juxtaposition on the NYT’s front page today:

        ‘Examination of a strike last week at a U.N. shelter in Gaza suggests that Israeli troops paid little heed to warnings to safeguard such sites and may have used heavy artillery not designed for precision use.’

        ‘Minutes after a partial cease-fire was to begin, the Israeli air force struck a refugee camp in Gaza City, killing an 8-year-old and wounding at least 29 others.’


        As ol’ Ronald Reagan used to say … ‘Well, there they go again!’

    2. Tim Mason

      Ilan Pappe on Hamas

      The White Review — Could you comment on the portrayal of Hamas in the mainstream media?
      Ilan Pappe — It is a very one-dimensional portrait. A social and political movement has been portrayed as a purely terroristic organization, one that is not different from al-Qaeda or the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). From its inception in around 1920, the Palestinian anti-colonialist struggle was sometimes led by political Islamic groups and personalities, such as the Muslim preacher Izz ad-Din al-Qassam in 1935. Yet, more often than not, it was led by secular, socialist and national forces. In all these struggles, Christians played a similar role to that of Muslims. This form of resistance is not religious in nature but political and social.

    3. Carolinian

      From that Greenwald Intercept article

      Each time Israel attacks Gaza and massacres its trapped civilian population – at the end of 2008, in the fall of 2012, and now again this past month – the same process repeats itself in both U.S. media and government circles: the U.S. government feeds Israel the weapons it uses and steadfastly defends its aggression both publicly and at the U.N.; the U.S. Congress unanimously enacts one resolution after the next to support and enable Israel; and then American media figures pretend that the Israeli attack has nothing to do with their country, that it’s just some sort of unfortunately intractable, distant conflict between two equally intransigent foreign parties in response to which all decent Americans helplessly throw up their hands as though they bear no responsibility.

      The info is based on Snowden leaks.

      The two state solution is probably dead because the US never seriously pursued it. Only we can alter events.

      1. Jim Haygood

        This happens every August, as predictably as cicadas chirping:

        HUNTINGTON – Rep. Steve Israel is headed to Israel to assess the ongoing conflict with militant group Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Israel is making the trip as part of a seven-member bipartisan Congressional delegation.

        During an interview the congressman said there will be peace when Hamas decides to stop firing rockets over the border in hopes of killing Israelis, and sending terrorists through tunnels to kidnap Israelis. He says the group also needs to “teach their children how to put things together rather than how to blow things up.”


        Hard to ‘put stuff together’ when you’re not allowed to import any materials. [channeling Steve Israel] Maybe them little Ayrabs should learn to chisel rocks, carve seashells and pound sand.

        1. craazyboy

          Do we know if Steve Israel is Jewish? He may be an impartial US Congressmen just offering “constructive criticism” to the Pal folks. Is it ok to call them Pal folks? I always worry my political correctness is not up to snuff.

          He’s also part of a bi-party delegation, which is supposed to mean they are a bunch of folks not completely tethered to the party line based on party affiliations. This makes it easier to agree on stuff so voters don’t end up with the “deadlock” thing and Congress never doing anything for us.

          I just raise the issue because I’ve noticed sometimes we get BS planted in the press meant to influence us one way or the other, and sometimes you need to dig a little deeper to get the facts. Otherwise they might fool us.

        2. MtnLife

          He says the group also needs to “teach their children how to put things together rather than how to blow things up.”

          Maybe he is unaware that the children know how to put things together or just unhappy that what they know how to put together is rockets. The official list of incoming raw materials to Gaza (hot lead, brass casings, and unexploded ordinance) makes the list of potential end products rather short. Can’t please everybody.

  5. fresno dan

    I remember as a child going to the Fresno zoo. Its about a billion degrees in Fresno in the Summer, but at the zoo when I was a child it was 100 billion degrees….nothing but concrete. Imagine my surprise when 30 years later I returned for a visit and there were……TREES everywhere.
    As running air conditioning is getting more expensive, and simultaneously it getting hotter – will humans figure out the benefits of trees????

    1. Carolinian

      I have a dozen large trees in my yard and they do keep the house cooler. In the soggy Southeast growing trees isn’t a problem. Just wait awhile and it will happen.

      Atlanta, where I once lived, is known as a city of trees. It’s one of the nicer things about this car crazy big city. They have tough ordinances there now controlling what builders can and cannot do with onsite trees.

      However in residential areas trees can be hazardous. Many of my neighbors have cut them down.

      1. Jagger

        Nothing like a 100 foot tall oak tree falling on your house during a hurricane to ruin your day. And I like oak trees. I just don’t like them too close to the house. Fortunately, oak trees are some of the most securely anchored trees in the south. Katrina knocked down just about every tall tree around but the Oaks.

  6. McMike

    Getting at the real impetus behind money market “reform”…

    Just another grab at a pot of money. Pushing liquidity management and stability investment into treasuries, and into whatever complex fee extraction schemes the banks can cook up to meet the now orphaned demand.

    I realize that the implicit backstop of a single bailout in three decades creates a lot of rage here, yet it remains that these reforms only serve to drive us deeper into the arms of direct bank control and goverment debt as the only option

  7. abynormal

    HELLO, I’m sharing today’s Antidote with my email circle…let’s just say the responses are getting violent :-/

    to which i say…“We are born princes and the civilizing process makes us frogs.”
    Eric Berne

        1. MikeNY

          Yes, good to know — and it is a spectacular photo. I’m in love with a peeper that lives under my birdbath. He (she?) comes out to sun himself every morning. His colors are quite beautiful. And he sings to me at night. My prince.

      1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

        Once they freeze, they make great drink fresheners (they don’t melt, like ice cubes, and when they warm up, they stir the drink for you).

    1. Carolinian

      There’s a David Attenborough nature show where they take one of those frozen solid frogs and bring it back life. Pretty cool.

      Maybe Walt Disney is frozen somewhere, just waiting….

  8. Katniss Everdeen

    “Interesting Ebola factoid”: The US government has previously “patented” the virus.

    From the “Summary of the ‘Invention’ “:

    “The present invention is based upon the isolation and identification of a new human Ebola virus species, EboBun. EboBun was isolated from the patients suffering from hemorrhagic fever in a recent outbreak in Uganda.”


    “In other aspects, the invention relates to the use of the isolated hEbola virus for diagnostic and therapeutic methods based on EbBun, EboIC, or a combination thereof.”

    The “diagnostic” and “therapeutic” aspects of the “invention” refers to, among other things, detection, vaccination and treatment.

    Could it be that bringing the patients to Atlanta, (and by some accounts, Germany) had far more to do with patents than humanitarian inclination? Gee, I wonder.

    1. abynormal

      Executive Order 13295 shall be further amended by replacing subsection (b) with the following:

      “(b) Severe acute respiratory syndromes, which are diseases that are associated with fever and signs and symptoms of pneumonia or other respiratory illness, are capable of being transmitted from person to person, and that either are causing, or have the potential to cause, a pandemic, or, upon infection, are highly likely to cause mortality or serious morbidity if not properly controlled. This subsection does not apply to influenza.”

      like with the IRS, they could offer money to turn in people…considering the present economic debacle, it would all get rather dicey.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        BTW, the current crawl on MSNBC says that Dr. Brantley (current Emory resident in Atlanta) is being treated with “experimental” drugs.

        Phase 1.

    2. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      I wonder if USGOVCORP, LLC., can sue one who dies from it for patent infringement?

      1. financial matters

        Looks like they’re trying to develop specific treatment regimens for these pathogens which can have various levels of success. Vaccines induce your body to make antibodies by introducing an antigen or part of the pathogen and your body develops memory cells that can respond in the future. Just giving antibodies is more passive and not as long lasting. They can also have a preventative function but this wears off over time, usually a period of months.

        1. abynormal

          Thank You FM…would introducing these particular deadly/contagious pathogens to the immune system be a hit or miss? seems redundant so-to-speak

          1. abynormal

            sorry, i must be getting lazy…(no excuse)
            In this week’s online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the research team describes a proof-of-concept for using a “cocktail” of monoclonal antibodies, or mAbs, to prevent lethal disease in rhesus macaques. When administered one hour after infection, all animals survived. Two-thirds of the animals were protected even when the treatment, known as MB-003, was administered 48 hours after infection.

          2. financial matters

            Giving the antibodies isn’t usually a problem except for some people having an allergic type reaction. Giving the antigen is more problematic because here you are dealing with a part of the actual pathogen. Some flu vaccines that are only partially ‘attenuated’ may be more effective in getting your body to respond but can be more risky.

  9. ambrit

    The Bloomberg link titled “Aisan Stocks Fall…” leads to a piece saying exactly the opposite. What Tha Finance?

  10. Johann Sebastian Schminson

    RE: the Antidote


    WTF is that? Is it a toy of some kind, or a frozen frog? (I notice only three ‘fingers’ — a cartoon hallmark). It has ice on its EYES. If it was ever alive and it died, it died in agony. If it survived, that might even be worse. If it is an artifact, it’s still disturbing. A caption would be helpful. Better yet, replace it with something cloyingly sweet, like kittens, or puppies, or any Kincaide ‘art’. (On second thought, scratch the Kincaide — comes full round to grotesque, again).

  11. Eureka Springs

    Grotesque? Wow, what a surprising reaction. Perhaps this will make you feel better… even see much beauty in that image.

    Wood frogs (Rana sylvatica) are found in the northern parts of North America where the temperature can get very cold. When the wood frog experiences chilly conditions, a chemical signal is sent through it’s boy which prepares the frog to be frozen. The frog can remain frozen solid for the whole winter. The frog’s heart stops beating during this time also. It feels rock hard and looks dead but is not. When the weather starts to get warmer in the spring, the frog thaws out just in time for mating season. The frog can stay frozen without dying because of the way it stores glucose, which lowers the freezing point of water. The frog is able to build up the concentration of glucose in it’s cells, so that the cytoplasm doesn’t freeze, even when the interstitial water freezes. Two-thirds of the water in the frog’s body can freeze into ice crystals.

    1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      BTW: Just ’cause it’s interesting and natural, don’t make it an antidote.

  12. ron

    ‘We could have taken Gaza in a week, but that wasn’t our mission,’ says senior IDF source”

    Reminds me of the U.S. media after the Vietnam defeat, lots what if’s and we could have dropped the bomb etc.
    Moon of Ala had it right last week, Israel just like the U.S. in Vietnam had search and destroy operations that netted them only problems and few gains. Israel like Hamas can only shot from long range bombing and shelling but inside Israel the popularity of sending in the Army has fallen and with it will bring a change in the political landscape hopefully that will bring about a political settlement.

      1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

        Exactly. Once you’re into atrocity territory, might as well slow down, get creative, and try to find some joy in it.

        After all, if you march a group of besieged poor folk into the sea, willy-nilly, people might get the wrong idea.

  13. Carolinian

    Patrick Cockburn:

    When I was a correspondent in Jerusalem between 1995 and 1999, I came to believe that there was another reason, to do with the political psychology of Israelis, which explained why they fought these bloody but futile wars. This was put well by Uri Avnery, the Israeli writer and peace activist, who wrote that the Israeli army is filled with “teenagers who are indoctrinated from the age of three in the spirit of Jewish victimhood and superiority”. The same is true of much of the rest of Israeli society. Israelis genuinely feel they are the main victims deserving international sympathy, even when 1,400 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli shells and bombs compared with just three Israeli civilians and one Thai worker killed by Hamas’s rockets and mortars.

    Indoctrinating from an early age–where have we heard that one before? Perhaps Hitler is finally getting his thousand year reich of chaos with this endless Middle East conflict. Since the Israelis explicitly cite the Holocaust as reason for creating their state then it follows: no Holocaust, no state, or at least no state with this victimhood mentality. This is the folly of the “never forget” doctrine. Long ago tyrants who should be forgotten, and who directly after ww2 many wanted to forget, become the motivators of current events. Somewhere in Hell fuhrer must be pleased.

    Meanwhile Juan Cole suggests Europe, at least, may be rousing itself.

    1. ewmayer

      Thanks for the Cockburn link. Not so much a reply to that, as some thoughts on the tactics of the respective sides, especially Hamas:

      Not to defend Hamas here – but consider: You have a nation founded by a bunch of imperial/colonial chessboard-rearrangers via an act of mass expropriation. Over the ensuing decades the displaced are herded into a pair of ever-shrinking and ever-more-blockaded open-air prison camps (West Bank and Gaza), one of which is in all meaningful respects a concentration camp, complete with periodic “mass killings and collective punishments for sport” a la Schindler`s List.

      Meanwhile the expropriators set about methodically stealing the rest of the not-originally-granted lands (Israeli settlement policy) and then wax outraged when the KZ inmates dare fight back against their oppressors via the only means available to them, which is asymmetric urban guerrilla warfare. Now back in WW2 when the inmates of the Nazi ghettos and prison camps dared resist they were ever after lauded as “heroes and martyrs” in the Western collective consciousness. Here, those resisting are branded “terrorists” and retaliation is via ruthless S.S.-worthy collective punishment. The double standard is so glaringly obvious that one must be either a Zionist or drinker of the western MSM pro-Zionist Kool-ade not to see it for what it is.

      Now, Hamas has clearly calculated that the only way to gain any traction in the western media is by inciting the Israelis to kill civilians on a truly horrific scale, which the Israelis appear happy to do. Based on the oh-so-belated questioning of Israeli tactics in the western MSM, the Hamas calculus, although murderous, appears to be correct.

  14. Kokuanani

    “First African summit in D.C. to be largest ever”

    Hey, if it’s the “first” one, it’ll be the largest ever, the smallest ever, the most interesting ever, etc.

  15. Johann Sebastian Schminson

    I am 100% certain that it was the Russians who are responsible for the destruction of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

    Unless it was the separatists acting on Russia’s orders.

    Or the Ukranians.

    Or someone else.

        1. craazyboy

          Well, we fixed those. But you’re right. Cast the net wide, accumulate all the potential suspects, then we’ll analyze this thing with our hard evidence and forensic logic and tick off the possibilities one by one and this will circuitously converge and we will have our guilty party. If it doesn’t come out the government of Russia, France is always a respectable booby prize. Besides, no one will start a big war over France. It’s really the safest outcome.

          The other way out is to play the UFO card. Something like an Area 51 needs to be discovered in the Ukraine. This needs to be handled properly, however. If the Area 51 investigation team discovers it in Russia, this would be darned good evidence the Russians are co-operating with the space aliens to achieve world domination. This would force Washington’s hand and nothing less than a full scale nuke launch would be called for.

          For this reason I suggest delegating the Area 51 search to the local Ukraine police force.

          1. craazyman

            Did you notice how perma-bear financial bloggers who missed a 100% market rise and said the euro would fall apart 3 years ago have turned their analytical sights to Ukraine and the downed jet? It’s amazing. It’s not like I’ve never been wrong but when I am I try to figure out why. They don’t. They just stop predicting the market and spend all day typing about Ukranian politics from their rocking chairs in the USA. It’s now at the point where you can’t watch TV and you can’t read blogs anymore either. There’s nothing left except Youtube! It’s probably better that way. If you wanna waste time, you might as well enjoy yourself.

            1. optimader

              “It’s now at the point where you can’t watch TV “..
              mmm past tense..~2008 for me and cable/MSM domestic news.
              Cable Biz News? You might as well imitate a sexually frustrated monkey than spend any of your precious time left on this planet watching that nonsense.

              Why one of those bobble heads cant break from the herd and just say:
              “I really have NO FKING IDEA why the market went (up/down).

            2. craazyboy

              We’ve had a few small disaster pullbacks over the last 5 years. Fuki, 500 pt flash crash, last year’s realization that QE is really ending, and maybe a couple others I’m forgetting at the moment. Then the market just shrugged it off an kept going up.

              I’ve had a lot of trouble coming up with many good reasons why it keeps going up. Now I’d say after 5 years the thing to worry about (assuming black swans are an extinct species now) is the biz cycle and market bull cycle are reaching their average historical lifetimes. Valuations are stretched. The economy is not really on firm ground – consumer debt is higher now than it was pre-crash and the only way it got that high is the banks securitize everything now.

              So I’m still spooked about the market, just that my reasons have changed as we go along. Actually, they accumulated. I think my old reasons still worry me.

              Besides, I’ve been thru about 5 market crashes already, so after the last one I decided to take the age old advice for retired people – be very very underweighted in stocks. I decided on none. That of course seems extremely stoooooped at the moment, but what can I say.

              I have plenty of ways to enjoy myself without TV. Notta problem there. Even having some techie fun. Took up amateur microcontroller design and programming. I’m in the middle of building a little tracked vehicle robot. He’s got ultrasound eyes and will drive around the room himself and avoid running into obstacles. The next step is to add GPS and a compass and make him follow a programmed set of waypoints. I have a buddy that is a RC plane nut and once I get the hang of this we’ll add an autopilot to his RC plane that will stabilize the thing and fly autonomously following GPS waypoints. We can also add a camera and telemetry for aerial photography. Next a quad copter. This keeps our minds off the markets, and we don’t need to watch the Jerry Springer show or whatever either.

              So that and trips to the gym, the pool, etc… been keeping me happy. Until the guv finally really does drive us broke or blow us off the planet.

              1. optimader

                I’m with you on the stockmarket. Jettisoned most everything and opted for the distributed and insured, depreciating principle slow cash burn for now instead of being exposed the next impending stock market thermite event. It’s a rigged game unless you have access to insider information and most anything else worth buying has been shilled up it seems.
                You’re correct spending your time learning something that should be a relevant skill. If nothing else you can become a PI or just blackmail people who aren’t very nice anyway with your gyro stabilized quadrotorcopter footage.

                1. craazyman

                  well I agree too. but would’ve been nice to make some money on the way up so there’s more to make on the way down.

                  If I see on the internet something about hot women photos out west taken with a small pilot-less plane I’ll think twice. haha

                  I’m just trying to get rich quick, that’s all. Just wanna walk around wearing a Jimi Hendrix outfit after waking up a noon. I’ll still ride the bus, but not to work. I’ll ride to Queens someplace where there’s nothing at all to see or to remember. That’s where the strangest things happen. That’s where you see reality in 4 dimensions. If you go someplace where there’s nothing at all, you might see a painted red cement wall in the orange sun with a cold blue sky and yellow metal letters rusting on a roof that say something like “Bros Welding”, Then you say “Oh man!” That’s living it up! Really. Then you take a picture. If it works, you remember forever.

                  I went long out of money puts on silver. I have till January. Thinking of going long big time with puts, but if I do, I’ll lose the premium and silver will flat line. I’m thinking of shorting the Russell 2000. I was going to today, in fact, but then got distracted. Then it went up! Jesus. It went up! Then I said “faaaak. i’ll just lose money again.” Now what? I don’t know. I’ll think of something tomorrow. Maybe a Ouija board will help. I’ll ask it for the stock symbol. There’s lots of letters on the board! How can it not work??

                  1. craazyman

                    sorry. I meant “calls” on silver. I’m confusing myself with all this mental drama.

                    1. optimader

                      “Now what?”
                      stay healthy, eat and drink well for the money spent, think/read, swim, bike, travel, ski is my ideal prioritization at this point
                      As far as trying to understand and anticipate the market? I think that is the wrong strategy anymore because it is so gamed,. If I were to invest the time and capital in it now, I would take a rigorous Fibonacci strategy. Skip trying to understand it like it’s got some whisp of rationality, instead try acting on rate of change. Play the herd mentality. But that’s from someone out of the market, I really don’t have the confidence to make worthwiley(sp?) large option plays ’cause I don’t have time to plumb the prospects of any target company.
                      I think the best metaphor is the school of terrorized fish w/ a few hammerhead sharks on the hunt (wealth stripping). The school usually slows down or speeds up on other side of a change in direction.

            3. craazyboy

              We’ve had a few small disaster pullbacks over the last 5 years. Fuki, 500 pt flash crash, last year’s realization that QE is really ending, and maybe a couple others I’m forgetting at the moment. Then the market just shrugged it off an kept going up.

              I’ve had a lot of trouble coming up with many good reasons why it keeps going up. Now I’d say after 5 years the thing to worry about (assuming black swans are an extinct species now) is the biz cycle and market bull cycle are reaching their average historical lifetimes. Valuations are stretched. The economy is not really on firm ground – consumer debt is higher now than it was pre-crash and the only way it got that high is the banks securitize everything now.

              So I’m still spooked about the market, just that my reasons have changed as we go along. Actually, they accumulated. I think my old reasons still worry me.

              Besides, I’ve been thru about 5 market crashes already, so after the last one I decided to take the age old advice for retired people – be very very underweighted in stocks. I decided on none. That of course seems extremely stoooooped at the moment, but what can I say.

              I have plenty of ways to enjoy myself without TV. Notta problem there. Even having some techie fun. Took up amateur microcontroller design and programming. I’m in the middle of building a little tracked vehicle robot. He’s got ultrasound eyes and will drive around the room himself and avoid running into obstacles. The next step is to add GPS and a compass and make him follow a programmed set of waypoints. I have a buddy that is a RC plane nut and once I get the hang of this we’ll add an autopilot to his RC plane that will stabilize the thing and fly autonomously following GPS waypoints. We can also add a camera and telemetry for aerial photography. Next a quad copter. This keeps our minds off the markets, and we don’t need to watch the Jerry Springer show or whatever either.

              So that and trips to the gym, the pool, books, naughtiness, etc… been keeping me happy. Until the guv finally really does drive us broke or blow us off the planet.

          2. optimader

            “Well, we fixed those”
            Actually, no I don’t think “we” did, but “we” gave them better insulated boxes!

            But I concur w/ your notion. Avoiding any application of Reduction of Complexity theory, “we” should be able to sufficiently obfuscate what actually happened over the Ukraine in order to keep the blame available for assignment until absolutely required.

            This invokes a sentimental reminisce for me, to a time when a National Security Advisor could say ( I paraphrase) “dammmn whocouldaknow’d” …Yes all you mushrooms out there, it was such a “complicated” scenario no one could have anticipated it!

          1. optimader

            “And it wins the Occan Razor”
            A lifetime supply of Occan Disposable Razors for you Sir

  16. Jess

    Read the Barney Frank item on HuffPo. If you ever thought that Barney Frank was an actual progressive, or ever doubted the true allegiance of the Dem party, this little piece will disabuse you of that notion. Replace the name “Barney Frank” with “Rahm Emanuel”, “Robert Rubin”, or “Tim Geithner” and the article reads exactly the same.

  17. different clue

    I haven’t read the Barney Frank article yet so I am going to test my powers of understanding and prediction by guessing the basic meat of Frank’s argument. I betcha that Franks’ argument will amount to this: as the R party becomes more Tea and Populist, Main Street versus Wall Street, etc.; the D Party will exploit the chance to become twice as Third Way DLC Clintonite Obamazoid as before. It will become very friendly, especially FIRE sector friendly, and win those Corporate Biggies over with more support even as the Corporate Biggies reward ever-more pro-Overclass Democratic Presidents with ever bigger reward-packages upon their leaving office. He will probably also say something about the ethno-racial tribal loyalties of various “non” white and “semi” white voting blocs, such as the hispanics depending on how well they percieve their illegal immigrationist interests being served by Democrats and by black voters out of undying gratitude to the Democrats by bringing us all America’s First Black President Ever.

    1. Massinissa

      Im not entirely sure how the Dems can be more friendly to Big Business than they are already. Its will be more that the Republican party is becoming more rabidly unpredictable than the Democrats becoming more corrupt than they already are, because I cant comprehend HOW they could get more corrupt. Its not like theyve done anything genuinely left wing economically for almost 50 years now.

      1. different clue

        Now that the Democrats have made the Bush tax cuts permanent, with blamecatching cover provided by the helpful Republicans, those Democrats will keep working a long game designed to push the FedGov Budget so deep into the fabricated appearance of plausibly believeable bankruptcy as to argue TINA to selling all the National Forests, National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges, Taylor Act Grazing Lands, unclassified BLM lands, the Interstate Highway System, all the Federal Dams and Power Dam Authorities and Irrigation Districts and all the water therein, the Library of Congress and all the books therein, the National Gallery and all the portraits therein, etc. etc. to private buyers. They will also try to privatise all the Smithsonian Museums, dismantle the Washington Monument and sell off all the marble blocks, etc. You have NOOOOOOO IDEAaaaaa how corrupt the Democratic Party really is and how far it plans to go.

        Plan Yeltsin for America.

    2. Jess

      No more calls, folks, we have a winnah of the Carnac award. Different Clue has divined both part of the text and all of the subtext without even having to read the article. Johnny and Ed would be proud.

      1. different clue

        Thank you for the kind words, Jess. I doubt I have really divined anything though. It is just that the Democrats have made their inner selves and their long-range goals so screamingly obvious that anyone not blinded by sentiment ( or jacklit by the sheer audacity of it all . . hat tip to Obama . . )
        can easily see it.
        I hope there are State and regionalocal Democrats for whom that is not yet true. But that is what I see in the National Party at the very least for now.
        I guess I will have to go read that article now.

          1. different clue

            Nor would Bill Clinton, or Barak Obama, or Mayor Daley 2.0, or Third Way, or the DLC, or . . or . . or . .

  18. optimader

    If you like author Richard Rhodes..
    1.) Why They Kill: The Discoveries of a Maverick Criminologist by Richard Rhodes
    Available in audiobook (CD format) –your interlibary loan service should be able to cough up a copy.

    2.) The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes – Audiobook Part 1
    — this link good for 11 hours of bedtime stories, the essential history of physics up to 1945…

    1. Carolinian

      The Making of the Atomic Bomb is a great book in any format and has inspired past side trips to both Los Alamos and Oak Ridge. The key meeting where Leó Szilárd made his case to Jimmy Byrnes for a demonstration bombing took place a few blocks from where I am sitting. Rhodes’ follow up on the hydrogen bomb is not quite as good but also worth a look.

      1. optimader

        Waay back in the 90’s I visited this plant a few times
        My client contact was a guy at the end of his career who was a nuke engineer PhD grad student in the 1950’s, right on the heels of WWII /beginning of the Cold War, working a project for the Nationall labs, stationed at Los Alamos or Sandia , don’t remember which, may have been both I’d have to think about it. He said his responsibility one summer w/ another research assistant was tossing objects in a swimming pool and mathematically modeling aspects of the wave propagation, which as it turns out was their primitive approach to hydrogen bomb detonation modeling. He said, amazingly in retrospect, he shudders at the naiveté that he was flying on commercial aircraft, think DC-6 and Lockheed Constellation carrying bomb trigger components and weapons grade Plutonium in personal luggage. This kina stuff sound wacky now, but equally if not more fundementally craziness has matured in the nuke utility industry

  19. bwilli123

    Detailed examination of issues surrounding speculation on MH17 and also in relation to intelligence failures that led to World War I.
    …To make fundamental decisions on policy towards another country – as has happened in relation to the ratcheting up of the sanctions campaign against Russia – on the basis of a premature rush to judgement on a matter, such as MH17, where it seems clear the evidence does not warrant it is folly.”

  20. rich

    The CV Veteran: Instructive for Our Time

    Soldier, longtime worker and family caregiver, yet these facets mattered not in a system that required compliance and performance.

    The Little Match Girl died in a dehumanized system, as did The CV Veteran.

    Note that financial securitizations are non-taxed and private equity underwriters (PEU) keep their preferred carried interest taxation which make their firms virtual nonprofits. Obviously, elected leaders believe these group’s have earned and deserve the government’s help.

    I have seen so many people — particularly those in their 50s – 70s — taken apart by what has happened in their industry as greed has hollowed out the economy. These are people took pride in their jobs and held themselves to this invisible standard that we all just took for granted, but is being wiped out.

    Others, like the people mentioned above, not so much.

  21. Mankoski

    Wow that was strange. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say wonderful blog!

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