Links 9/11/14

Blind and leading the band: Jose plays hot jazz piano at nine years old Guardian (Chuck L)

Publication Bias in Psychology: A Diagnosis Based on the Correlation between Effect Size and Sample Size PLOS ONE. Lambert: “Pervasive publication bias.”

Group looking to fund cloud water harvesting project PhysOrg (Chuck L)

The End of Fracking Is Closer Than You Think Vice

Apple Pay Could Make You Poorer Bloomberg

Lawsuit claims Uber denied service to the blind, put a dog in the trunk Pando. Article annoyingly defends general principle of circumventing regulations while not liking this outcome. Sorry, you can’t have it both ways.

Google warned of harder line from EU Financial Times

Contour Crafting. Chuck L: “A potentially very disrupting technology.”

Chinese majority expect war with Japan Financial Times

Can Japan raise sales tax again as economy splutters? Nikkei

Yanis Varoufakis on Europe in Trouble RT


Could the Bank of England become a huge Scottish creditor Robert Peston, BBC

RBS and Lloyds will leave Scotland if it votes for independence Telegraph

British Business Leaders Join Last-Ditch Effort to Save the U.K. Bloomberg

Credit Suisse warns of grave deflationary shock for Scotland Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Scottish independence: New poll eases pressure on No camp Financial Times


Putin Oil Deals With Exxon, Shell Imperiled by Sanctions Bloomberg

Uncle Sam Does Ukraine Counterpunch

Russia moves ISS astronaut training to newly annexed Crimea ars technica. Chuck L: “Putin certainly knows how to tweak a nose!”


Obama Promises Sustained Effort to Rout Militants New York Times

Too many moving parts, too many Sic Semper Tyrannis (Chuck L). Devastating.

Why US Middle East Policy is Fraught with Danger Patrick Cockburn, Counterpunch

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Let’s pass cybersecurity legislation The Hill

Senators and Other Experts to Appeals Court: NSA’s Phone Records Program Is a Massive Invasion of Privacy Electronic Frontier Foundation

Meet The Ex-NSA And Ex-Unit 8200 Spies Cashing In On Security Fears Forbes

U.S. groups leery of fast-track trade deals demand transparency Reuters (EM). This is major.

S&P Downgrade Of NJ Credit Deals Fresh Blow To Gov. Chris Christie David Sirota, Financial Times

New protest in Ferguson aims for appointment of special prosecutor Washington Post

Nevada lawmakers to consider huge tax breaks for Tesla Reuters (EM)

U.S. Oil Boom Revitalizing Rust Belt Economy OilPrice. Jobs v. environment.

U.S. Gets Unexpected Bounty From Slow Growth Abroad Bloomberg

Homeward Bound? ECB Paper Finds Some Regional Bias at Fed WSJ Economics. How about worrying about class bias instead?

U.S. mortgage applications fall to lowest since Dec 2000: MBA Reuters (EM)

Antidote du jour (Lance N, from Cute Emergency):

Links Cute Emergency Horse

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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      1. ambrit

        Building 7 was the, to steal a Conan Doyle line, building that did not fall down all at once. Building 7 has too many of the earmarks of CT to be ignored. (Building 7 was one of the smaller structures comprising the World Trade Centre. It came down hours after the others, and under, to say the least, peculiar circumstances.)

        1. Vatch

          One idea that is plausible to me is that after the 1993 bombings, there was great fear that another bombing could make the buildings fall down sideways, and destroy many other buildings. So the WTC buildings were fitted with explosives, so that in the event of another attack, would allow them to be brought down in a controlled or semi-controlled fashion, that would not destroy the adjacent buildings. The fires were out of control in building 7, so they decided to “pull it”.

          Or maybe the fires just burned perfectly, and weakened the correct supporting columns and beams, and the building collapsed in a pseudo-controlled manner. I don’t think we’ll ever know.

          1. Jack

            Oh please.


            You might actually remember this guy, he appeared in one of these links posts a few months back after he was bombarded with bogus DMCAs after posting videos debunking an AIDS denialist movie. He also has an excellent interview with a 9/11 Truther who changed his mind, good insight into the psychology of such nutjobs. And the cherry on top of this particular cake of rationality are the videos where he goes in depth on why anti-GMO ‘science’ is utter nonsense.

            What really amazes me most about 9/11 conspiracies is that we aren’t talking about ‘the government’ in some generic sense; hyper-efficient (and of course evil) men in suits and sunglasses. We’re talking about the George W. Bush administration, a regime that was infamous for its stupidity and ineptitude. These clowns managed to pull off a vast conspiracy and hide all the compelling evidence? Seriously? And if it was a giant false-flag to justify multiple wars, why didn’t they engineer it so it could be explicitly linked to the places they wanted to invade, eg Iraq? On top of that, the notion that the setup for the invasions was masterfully planned and executed while the actual invasions and occupations were textbook cases of willful ignorance and mismanagement is very hard to swallow. Remember ‘7 countries in 5 years’? How well did that turn out?

            They didn’t plan 9/11. They did engage in such a degree of laziness and ignore all the warning signs to such an extent that it constitutes criminal negligence, and they obviously exploited the hell out of the tragedy. But they didn’t engineer it.

          2. davidgmills

            The idea that these buildings were loaded with explosives so that they could be taken down if they were ever attacked is nonsense. Who would want the liability of having the explosives unexpectedly going off? The structures around the WTC’s that were heavily damaged were taken down by controlled demolition several months later. So it is clear they would not need to be pre-wired just in case.

            But the symmetrical failure of all three WTC buildings indicates clearly that all three were taken down by controlled demolition, so the buildings were pre-wired. Just not for the purpose you propose. If you want to see what asymmetrical failure of a building looks like, just look at some photos of earthquake caused collapses and compare them to controlled demolitions and their symmetry.

        2. Mark Martin

          Look, this is all nonsense. All the theories of Building 7 stem from the 911 documentary on PBS where the owner of the building when told that firefighters lives were in danger told the authorities to “pull it”. English is the owners second language and he meant pull out. The phrase “pull it” as used by the demolition industry was not a well known term till after 911. The whole Building 7 thing has spun out of control like that Mylar balloon in Roswell did into a whole new mythology

          1. craazyman

            I was on that Roswell ship and I can tell you, we crashed!

            -Lootenant D. Tremens
            Saucer Pilot, Magonia Space Command

              1. ambrit

                Hey! Wats up wit dat? You noze dat dis dialect iz jus lak wat dey used ta tawk lak in Nawlinz! Befo da big flood.
                (Really now, the homogenization of America is such a evil.)

          2. just me

            Well, there’s also the BBC report that day that WT7 (“Salomon Brothers Building”) had collapsed — minutes before it actually did. It’s standing behind the BBC reporter Jane Standley on scene after its collapse had already been announced:


            BBC Reports Collapse of WTC Building 7 Early– TWICE

            BBC anchorman: Now, more on the latest building collapse in New York. You might have heard a few moments ago us talking about the Salomon Brothers Building collapsing, and indeed it has. Apparently that’s only a few hundred yards away from where the World Trade Center towers were, and it seems that this was not a result of a new attack, it was because the building had been weakened during this morning’s attacks. We’ll probably find out more now about that from our correspondent Jane Standley. Jane, what more can you tell us about the Salomon Brothers Building and its collapse?

            Cuts to Jane Standley in New York with smoke rising in the background

            Jane Standley: Well, only really what you already know. Details are very, very sketchy. There’s almost a sense downtown (gestures behind her) in New York behind me, down by the World Trade Centers, of just an area completely closed off as the rescue workers try to do their job. But this isn’t the first building that has suffered as a result. We know that part of the Marriott Hotel next to the World Trade Center also collapsed as a result of this huge amount of falling debris from 110 floors of the two twin towers of the World Trade Center. As you can see behind me (moves aside and gestures behind her) the Trade Center appears to be still burning. We see these huge – (YouTube momentarily freezes video @1:18, WTC7 still standing – with blinking arrows pointing to it added in)

            1. just me

              Amy Goodman says WTC7 collapse was announced 26 minutes early, and Brewster Kahle of Internet Archive (source) gives history:


              AMY GOODMAN: Let’s go to that clip. This is Jane Standley of BBC World reporting the collapse of the second World Trade Center building, approximately 26 minutes prematurely. While Standley spoke, viewers could see the still-standing tower in the background. This actually isn’t the second World Trade Center tower building, this is building number 7.

              — plays clip —

              AMY GOODMAN: For the record, the BBC publicly stated it’s not part of any conspiracy, and nobody told them what to say on September 11th. Talk about, Brewster, the clip’s significance, especially as you’re talking about those who question the official version of 9/11.

              BREWSTER KAHLE: It was a fascinating thing to see it unfold. This was years afterwards, and people were looking for evidence in records. And the BBC’s archive didn’t have a copy of this, as I said. And so, when this came up and we put it up on the net, there was a great deal of interest in this clip and a lot of discussion around where did it really come from and how did we know. So this community was asking us very difficult but proper questions like, “Who are you, this Internet Archive? And can you be trusted? And can this clip be seen as not doctored? And how do you know it was broadcast at any particular time?” So we went back to the original tapes and showed that we laid down a particular time track that matched the other channels, so that we believe that it was recorded at that particular time. And this was going back and forth in the forums on the Internet Archive.

              And I guess it really dawned on me that we’ve reached a new age, when somebody was really thoughtfully trying to figure out, “is this a valid clip?” and wrote to me an email and said, “Well, anybody on that forum can say they’re Brewster, but are you really the Brewster Kahle that is running the Internet Archive?” And I wrote back and said, yes, I was, and that that is a valid—you know, I did write those posts. But the idea of provenance and trustability is so malleable at this point. And having institutions and third parties that you can trust with the record, I think, is a very important part, and showing the value of television archives that are available to the general public is something that we must do to be able to have an open democracy.

          3. ogee

            No, the 9-11 questions don’t stem from a quote by a person.
            This idea is ridiculous. To be so ignorant about something that has shaped the decade that followed is an embarrassment. it is a proclamation of ignorance.

    1. Leeskyblue

      Good Lord people, get a life.
      The only 9/11 conspiracy theory that makes any sense
      is the simplest one —
      one or two paper shufflers buried a few key intelligence documents
      and just allowed things to happen —
      in fact that is admittedly exactly what happened.
      Now all you have to do is prove that the acts of misplacing a few key documents were deliberate instead of the mere result of agencies who were buried in more paper than they knew how to intelligently deal with — a condition now a hundred times worse thanks to the Patriot Act.

      I know, this explanation is boring, brief, and, if accepted,
      the death of a thousand chat rooms —
      No hundreds of troglodyte technicians managing to slip in and out of buildings,
      and amazingly, the first complex wiring job ever done that worked perfectly the first time it was tried —
      and upon the entirely new concept of exoskeleton architecture,
      and yet they knew exactly how it was to be blown up.
      get a life people.

      1. Leeskyblue

        Good golly, you leftists — the WHOLE reason anarcho-syndicalism failed — I will tell you —
        they knew red and they knew black — but there was no freakin’ ORANGE in their thinking!
        Now, go to your window, open up that window,
        lean out
        close your eyes,
        and face full into the setting sun —
        and feel the Universe as glorious orange inside your head.

      2. Banger

        How about looking at facts and evidence? 9/11 should not be an exception that we are now free to speculate without looking at the events in detail–but this seems to be the consensus on the left; like Emily Litella used to say “never mind.”

        1. Leeskyblue

          1. Pick a subject.
          a. Any subject that you can do something about.
          2. Share, if you wish, exactly what you are doing about it.
          3. Continue doing it yourself as an example to others.

          Any other effort is morbid — Not enough Orange in your life :)

          1. Banger

            How does that mean anything? You don’t know what I do so don’t presume. Let what I say stand on its own without comments about my life.

      3. Kurt Sperry

        “No hundreds of troglodyte technicians managing to slip in and out of buildings…”

        This. Does anyone *really* believe a demo crew could slip into those buildings and rig, wire and set charges without the electrical union guys whose buildings they had as their personal fiefdom knowing about it? In NYC!? The union building guys would be telling the spooks to GTFO or there’d be hell to pay five minutes into the job, max. And it’s all still somehow hushed up ten years plus later? Fuggedabaddit. You couldn’t wire a bug zapper in there they wouldn’t know about.

        1. Paul Niemi

          No, (or yes they do). Especially after the Blind Sheik made the first attempt, and security was enhanced to critical.

        2. Banger

          How about looking at evidence rather than saying “it can’t happen therefore it didn’t happen.” Think about it. This is typically false reasoning. You start with evidence then move to conclusions-you start with a conclusion and then proceed.

          1. Kurt Sperry

            Are there any non-conjectural firsthand accounts that unambiguously assert that explosives were planted and detonated? Who planted them? How’d they do that under the noses of the union building staff? Names and dates, please. The stuff I’ve read about crazy “free falling structures”, falling as if a 1G gravitational normal force were acting upon them, and supposed thermite traces doesn’t carry much evidentiary weight with me. I’m willing to reconsider faced with actual first hand testimony or hard and wholly unambiguous physical evidence. I don’t think it would even be possible to keep a secret with that many people necessarily being involved, one that killed thousands of Americans, over 13 years. Someone who knew would get drunk and call a reporter with the names and details, or there would be a deathbed confession from an insider by now. Extraordinary claims and all you know, I still get a strong whiff of crazy off the controlled demolition/preplanted explosives theories.

            I’d actually be more willing to believe the controlled demolition stories are red herrings deliberately planted to distract from and categorically discredit all unofficial theories including potentially true ones. If I were a evil cartoon villain spook, that is sure what I’d do.

            My conjectural spitball: the attacks were done roughly in the way the official version lays out but the twist being that it was somewhere along the line by someone deliberately allowed to happen. Cui bono? The security state. This much the truthers understand. Incompetence, stupidity and some extraordinarily good luck by the hijackers make a pretty good conjecture too.

            1. just me

              … “the stuff I’ve read” …

              Just a question, did you LOOK at the footage?

     (17 seconds, WTC 7 – Side by Side Comparison to Controlled Demolition)

              Would be interested in your opinion on what you see.

              (The video compares footage of WTC7 collapsing to footage of three different controlled demolitions. It can’t compare it to footage of a steel skyscraper collapsing due to fire because there’s never been any.)

            2. ogee

              based on your assumptions, I would have to say you couldn’t tell if someone was pissing on your leg or if it was raining outside.
              You assert all sorts of postulations that have nothing to do with any evidence that was found.
              People of many stripes were discussing the likelihood of a controlled demolition by sept 12th 2001. The group architects and engineers for 9-11 truth, took a decade assembling the evidence that wasn’t carted away and destroyed, and did a good job presenting these facts in a logical manner.
              They also included a good bit about cognitive dissonance, which is likely what people ,like yourself, seem to be experiencing; where what is obvious reality to anyone who looks for themselves, is discounted in search of fantasy possibilities that align with your erroneous assumptions about the world at large.
              After you look at the documentary they got aired in 2012, find something wrong with their arguments. I for one would like to hear any constructive criticism of what they are positing.
              They are not trying to answer “why”, or even “how”, only that in the world where we live, there are physical realities that can’t be swayed by opinion.
              Your predisposition to your opinion, seems to cloud all else.

      4. Chief Bromden

        Conspiracy Theory as Naive Deconstructive History

        Floyd Rudmin is a member of the Psychology Department, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway.

        “Conspiracy theory” is usually used as a pejorative label, meaning paranoid, nutty, marginal, and certainly untrue. The power of this pejorative is that it discounts a theory by attacking the motivations and mental competence of those who advocate the theory. By labeling an explanation of events “conspiracy theory,” evidence and argument are dismissed because they come from a mentally or morally deficient personality, not because they have been shown to be incorrect. Calling an explanation of events “conspiracy theory” means, in effect, “We don’t like you, and no one should listen to your explanation.”

        In earlier eras other pejorative labels, such as “heresy,” “witchery,” and “communism” also worked like this. The charge of “conspiracy theory” is not so severe as these other labels, but in its way is many times worse. Heresy, witchcraft, and communism at least retain some sense of potency. They designate ideas to be feared. “Conspiracy theory” implies that the ideas and their advocates are simple-minded or insane.

        All such labels implicitly define a community of orthodox believers and try to banish or shun people who challenge orthodox beliefs. Members of the community who are sympathetic to new thoughts might shy away from the new thoughts and join in the shunning due to fear of being tainted by the pejorative label.

          1. Banger

            It implies a mild form of paranoia–i.e., seeing connections that point away rather than towards evidence–methodologically challenged doesn’t have any meaning. You have to expand on that.

      5. ogee

        No the “stupidity and incompetence” get out of jail free card doesn’t actually answer anything. The fact that you think it would just shows the shallowness of your inquiry.Or outright acceptance of any story presented to you.
        If the years of “help and protection” of the would be 9-11 hijackers by the fbi and justice dept, were just a screw up, why were they promoted after the event?
        The story of 9-11 started when Clinton was in office, and thru the bush administration and right up to this day, a cover-up/ willful ignorance program is still flying high in the Obama years… Those most culpable, getting promoted and protected…..
        Now we just have people like yourself, comfortable, in their ignorance moving forward… never looking back. or around, for that matter.
        look at the cases of fbi agents Robert wright and john Vincent in the Chicago office who were investigating two of the would be hijackers between 1998 and 2000, and their Saudi money man, Yasin al-qadi…. . They were told by their department head to close the investigation and “let sleeping dogs lie”. The Chicago atty general was also preparing a case against them and al-qadi, and was told to stop by the us justice dept….
        Al-qadi was also the financier of computer co “P-tech” who before 9-11 had above top secret clearance to the computer systems of :fbi,cia,nsa,faa,secret service,norad,nro,etc….
        These just being two of the ten hijackers who were protected in the years before 9-11…. the people who stopped the investigations have since been promoted.. Chertoff was even given a high visibility post.Al qadi is still running around and was funding mitt romneys campaign… and the bush connections to the Saudi family/security are well known. Besides George w bush’s connection to the bin ladens thru his national guard friend jim bath and Osama’s older brother salem(who had died by then), while ghw bush was on the borad of the Carlyle group with Osama’s dad when 9-11 happened. Carlyle owning many parts of defense industry companies, which 9-11 made them both money.
        Then the demolition of the buildings, means that it could not have been a surprise, to everyone… Investigations are really in order.

    1. diptherio

      Horse people tell me that they’re pretty much just like big dogs…the plains Indians used to call them “Elk-dogs”…so I’m going to guess that the man and his horse aren’t married–more like best friends.

          1. Susan the other

            That’s a really white carpet. The pony pile has gotta be in the back yard. What a great pet. Talk about a good compost machine.

    2. craazyman

      that’s his wife without her makeup

      bowhaha hahahah ahahahahhahah!!!!!

      sorry, I’m just horsing around. (sorry, that was bad. both were bad. feel free to ignore this comment, I won’t get offended. hahaha)

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The marriage is actually amongst that man, his horse and the TV.

      The concept that marriage is something between two parties is stereotypical. In many places, you see polygamy and polyandry. But even those are special cases, with one male human in the former and one female human the latter.

      The General Theory of Marriage, if we overcome our bigotry towards large numbers, is that it is something in which N number of parties can participate, where N ranges from 1 to infinity, and where participants can be carbon based units, metals or fiat money, etc.

      1. Skeptic

        Good point about “marriage” to the ubiquitous, invasive, mind altering TV! That guy probably did have a human spouse before he started watching the Horse Channel.

        Hey, what’s on tonite?

      2. neo-realist

        Marriage/common law relationships w/ two parties does work for some people who aren’t outgoing and in some cases misanthropic—-the poly relationships require much more social energy, and a possible tolerance for foreign body odors on your paramour.

      1. Ulysses

        Your point is well taken, but I must say I’d expect a proud 1%er to have a bit fancier T.V. than the one featured. Of course this could be merely the carriage house apartment of the horse, with the human spending some of his time in a huge mansion up the hill.

        1. Skeptic

          Hay U!

          “…tax deductions for horses owned by the 1% and their minions…”

          Those minions need some perks and subsidies paid for by the 99% unconnected to the 1% Trough. For example: remember that tax subsidized housing with separate entrance in NYC, tailormade for the well connected minions of the 1%. Until they can get things fully robotized, the human minions will continue to be a drag on the wealth of the 1%.

    4. Carolinian

      There was a man in Myrtle Beach, SC who was married to a horse in the Biblical sense but don’t think they had a license. He’s probably locked away now.

      Horses are great animals but they aren’t particular about where they poop. You wonder whether the TV watcher guy knows this.

  1. Steve H.

    Contour crafting: will probably not be so disrupting.

    First thing to note is a technical issue which is not unsolvable. This is not reinforced concrete. With no steel in the mix, the height of the building is limited.

    There is a very low-tech, human conjugate preceding these machines called Earthbags. Earthbags use human labor to put up, and have a cost advantage in using indigenous materials. This is a very expensive machine.

    I’ve had training putting up Monolithic Domes. They are also reliant on an expensive machine called a shotcrete cannon. The concrete mix is finicky, and while the technique scales up to massive structures, the capital investment per unit of the machines means the parent company makes its money on large projects, and uses housing to fill in the time gaps between those projects. Most houses are built by people trained in the procedure, not by the company. And if your cannon has a hiccup and the concrete is fallow for a short time, you can have a very expensive rock when the concrete sets.

    So at this point contour crafting requires a very expensive machine to make not very expensive buildings. Very cool as a prototype, could get better with technical advances, but I don’t see enough competitive advantage for it to thrive without subsidy.

    1. diptherio

      Yeah, earth bags and bottle bricks seem like a much better solution for “third-world” countries to me. About the only benefit I can see from using this type of machine is speed. Rapidly creating semi-permanent structures in disaster areas might be one good use for the tech…probably better than the dreaded “FEMA trailers.”

  2. scott

    When does a group of terrorists with their own land and their own flag stop being terrorists and instead an enemy army? We have an ongoing war on drugs, poverty, intolerance (the Constitution /sarc), etc., but we can’t call ISIS an enemy and declare war on them?
    Something is not right here.

    1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      We haven’t declared war since 1941, or so, and we’ve been “at war” the entire time (and against legitimate countries).

      Our Republic is a memory.

    2. cwaltz

      You can declare war on whatever but that isn’t going to make it an effective war. By the way, how are those wars on poverty, drugs and intolerance going? I expect the “war on terrorism” (a tactic that has been around almost as long as man and that has even utilized by our own people) to go just as swimmingly.

      As far as ISIS goes the more attention we give them the happier they will be. Zealots love attention for their cause and we aren’t exactly a popular nation these day.

      1. hunkerdown

        How are they working? Exactly as they were meant to: providing space for a paternalistic authoritarian society to intrude into others’ business.

  3. Banger

    Most of us who dissent on the official 9/11 story have given up saying anything about those events. 9/11 has become a sacred event in the grand Official Narrative and it is unquestioned in every detail–every single assertion the government has made is sacrosanct and infallible.

    I’m not going to go into detail on the evidence. I’ve looked into it some years back and found out that all you need to know is that no normal investigation ever occurred–the government announced that we were “at war” and questions would not be entertained. Eventually there was an “investigation” which, if you read the report or followed the hearing was a dramatic exercise in covering asses and was not even remotely and investigation.

    The mainstream and most of the radical left will call me mentally ill for even bringing up the subject. All I have to say is that if you’re looking for why the country has drifted solidly and inexorably to the right and continues to do so every day then wonder no more. If there is a radical left most of it is the sort of opposition the Stasi coopted during their heyday in East Germany. I suggest to you that we are ruled, more or less, by a Stasi sort of National Security State that has its fingers in all public and many “private” institutions. Few people here would think it as out of the question, for example, that the U.S. mainstream media is, at least in part, controlled by the State or strongly influenced by the State at minimum.

    The American left still seems to believe in American Exceptionalism–that somehow Machiavellian politics stops at the border and the left refuses to see the obvious machinations of the National Security State. I submit to you that since the late forties (but having roots in the period 1917-1920 culminating in the Palmer Raids) we have seen the growth of this monster State led my the CIA but now distributed to many government and non-government organizations including organized crime and, in my view, most of the mainstream media. And why not? Why wouldn’t a secret network not answerable to the democratic process not want to influence world events and pursue its own agenda? Why do you assume that this State is loyal to whoever the President is? Why do you imagine they would be forthcoming to Congress? Why wouldn’t these guys used to killing “ememies” and world leaders, overthrowing governments not turn their eye to the domestic politics of the U.S.? Because Hollywood movies say that these guys are loyal an patriotic? I would say most of them are–but there is no secret that these guys hated JFK/RFK/MLK as being traitors to the country. My question to you is why you assume that the National Security State actually is interested in pursuing the will of the American people? Why do you assume, if they have the know-how (they do and I’d be pleased to expand on that), that they wouldn’t try to manipulate public opinion even against their interests. Why do you suppose there is such a dramatic difference between what the people actually want and what their elected representatives do? It’s not just bribery (the carrot) there is also the stick–and why not? Why wouldn’t power-hungry operators not want to be able to have extra-legal powers to pursue their interests and vision of the world? Why wouldn’t these people take seriously Walter Lippmann’s ideas and shape rather than follow the opinion?

    The usual answer is that if all this CT stuff is true then why isn’t the secret out of the bag? Well many people have spoken out–you just don’t know about it. I’ll give you the crudest example–my favorite because it is so obvious: Scott Ritter, probably the most knowledgeable American on Iraq WMDs was, when the media found out he did not go along with their narrative, airbrushed from history. His expert opinion was ignored as all the other many expert opinions are systematically expunged from “the record.” And so on and so on and so on.

    Ultimately, what I’m talking about is too disturbing for the vast majority of people and almost all American Intellectuals–they ignore the laws of evidence and logic because they are afraid to confront the ugly truths we must ultimately face. American is nothing else but a place for mental refuge–a country addicted to fantasy and comforting stories. Our dark side comes out with our love of violent and “horror” movies that expunge our unconscious anxiety where our fears of the truth reside.

    In a sense I’m sorry for disturbing your day–I really don’t have a problem confronting all this because I was raised on the classical historians who were not afraid to document the machinations of political actors.

    1. Ulysses

      “the left refuses to see the obvious machinations of the National Security State.” ??!!?? This is pure balderdash, unless by “left” you mean Obots and other faux progressive phonies. What do you think Chris Hedges et al., were doing with their lawsuit against the indefinite detention without trial provisions of the NDAA??!!?? Trying to cover up these machinations? Or are you suggesting that Chris Hedges and Noam Chomsky represent the “right” of the American political spectrum?? In either case, let me assure you that those of us who have endured the intense scrutiny of the security state, for acting as if the Bill of Rights is still in effect, are under no illusions about the real menace these unaccountable spooks pose to all of us.

      1. Banger

        Hedges is close to a revolutionary and a radical leftist and has admitted he cares not to look into it-Chomsky won’t touch any deep state stuff unlike his former colleague Peter Dale Scott. Most leftists won’t criticize the Mainstream Narrative when it come to the assassinations or 9/11 and will viciously attack anyone who does without debate classifying us as mentally ill. We stand by facts while they call us names and categorically refuse to debate us.

        1. davidgmills

          They do a good job of being left-gatekeepers. They can only go so far before they need a good drink of cool-aid for themselves.

          1. Jack

            I’m amused at the prospect of Hedges only ‘going so far’. The man is constantly writing and speaking about just how dire things are, and how evil our governments and societies here in the west are. He certainly doesn’t shy away from denouncing the warmongering and atrocities of the US government. I would consider him to be very extreme, though unfortunately fundementally correct, in his views. If there is something he won’t seriously consider, like 9/11 being an inside job, perhaps it’s simply because it’s a gibberish idea and Hedges is a man who still has both feet firmly in reality.

        2. Paul Niemi

          The story of 9/11 is not sacrosanct, because the public does not have all the details of the investigation. 28 pages of the official report of the investigation were redacted and classified by the Bush administration. It is thoroughly reasonable to believe that release of that information would be in the public interest, especially now, considering the critical effect the events have had on the nation and on subsequent public policy. If the information that was redacted is embarrassing to some big wigs, then so be it. Release it and let the people decide.

          1. Jack

            Those 28 pages were very likely redacted because they, apparently, directly implicate Saudi Arabia in the attack. Which people have been talking about practically since 9/11/2001. Facts like most of the hijackers being Saudi nationals and bin Laden being a Saudi millionaire are kind of hard to ignore. What they don’t do is support anything like the idea of a controlled demolition, and in fact only reinforce the official story, which is that terrorists flew planes into buildings.

            And all that does is provide more evidence of Saudi Arabia being the elephant in the room in terms of Middle East politics that few people are comfortable talking about because of their power and influence (ie oil). That they bankroll jihadis is an open secret. At worst it could imply the Bush adminstration knew of their connection to the attack. Certainly he bundled the Saudi royals out of the country very quickly afterwards. Maybe he even allowed it to happen, and what appears to be gross mismanagement, eg ‘you’ve covered your ass, now get out of here’ and the scrambled jets flying in the wrong direction, was done intentionally. But I very much doubt even that. Still, it’s a much more plausible direction of inquiring than space-lasers and thermite secretly planted with nobody noticing.

        3. Lambert Strether

          If Chomsky doesn’t touch Peter Dale Scott that’s an entirely sensible decision. I bought Scott’s book. Other than having to do it, I wouldn’t have touched it with a barge-pole.

          1. ogee

            My take on what you “know”, is very little.
            I understand you can construct a sentence. Beyond that… not much.
            Your failure to connect any dots with the current situation and what happened after 9/11, is a bit alarming. You are a pretty good object lesson of how people who have a basic intelligence level are duped by the myths they choose to believe.
            You assumptions as to what 9-11 wasn’t says it all. The official story, is all there is to believe.
            You belief in the MMT mythos, is also an area where you obviously don’t understand history or factual workings, yet hold steadfast to the “safest” alternative of reality.
            You have had to resort to the “editorial” trick of deleting competing views, when you haven’t a leg to stand on in an actual debate on the issues. I’m sure this must eat away at you on the inside. You must know deep down , you are a hack with a keyboard… and that is all.
            well, I hope you at least keep up trying to do something right by doing other stories in areas you are no so woefully ignorant of.
            a superior man hears the way, and can barely grasp it.
            a middling man hears the way, and appears now to have it , and then to lose it
            an inferior man hears the way, and scoffs at it.
            If he did not scoff, it would not be “the way”
            Thanks for “scoffing”

            1. lambert strether

              Thanks for sharing your concern. One thing I’ve noticed is that people who use tge phrase “connect the dots” are never able tondobso. Thanks, in addition, for the object lesson.

    2. optimader

      “Scott Ritter, probably the most knowledgeable American on Iraq WMDs was, when the media found out he did not go along with their narrative, airbrushed from history. His expert opinion was ignored as all the other many expert opinions are systematically expunged from “the record.” And so on and so on and so on.”

      Hyperbole and revisionist history.
      Choosing to disregard is not the same as “airbrushed from history”
      About 2,290,000 results (0.41 seconds)

      “I’ve looked into it some years back and found out that all you need to know is that no normal investigation ever occurred–the government announced that we were “at war” and questions would not be entertained.”

      Your hyphenation is a non sequitor. The Bush admin was determined to go to war was unrelated to subsequent investigations which did in fact occur, and the latter was completely unrelated to the former. The cow as out of the barn so to speak.

    3. Ronald Pires

      The 9/11 report was actually remarkably good considering how impossible the powers that be made it for them to do their jobs. Obviously it’s not a complete report, and never could have been given its deliberately limited scope, but the report and it’s archives should not be ignored by future 9/11 researchers. There is a hell of a lot in it in spite of all the efforts made by senior politicos to ruin it.

        1. just me

          9/11 commission report made no mention of WTC building 7.

          NIST report ignored possibility of and didn’t look for evidence of explosions.

          Selections from 15-minute youtube Architects & Engineers – Solving the Mystery of WTC 7 – (uploaded 2011)

          2:08 CNN footage [Explosion] “Did you hear that? Keep your eye on that building. It’ll be coming down soon.”

          “The building is about to blow up. Move it back.”

          “We are walking back. The building is about to blow up.”

          Bonnie Faulkner, KPFA 94.1 F “Guns and Butter” radio program: Did they actually use the word ‘brought down”, and who was it that was telling you this?

          Indira Singh, paramedic: The fire department. And they did use the word “We’re going to have to bring it down.”

          Ed Asner, narrator: And these people heard explosions.

          Daryl, medical student, eyewitness, interviewed on 9/11/01, 1010 WINS AM radio: We heard this sound that sounded like a clap of thunder. It looked like there was a shock wave ripping through the building and the windows all busted out. About a second later the bottom floor caved out. The building followed after that.

          Kevin McPadden, Air Force medic, first responder and WTC7 eyewitness: He takes his hand off and you heard 3, 2, 1, and it was boom! boom boom boom boom!

          Ed Asner: And these reporters recognized it as a controlled demolition.

          1010 WINS AM radio, New York: And I turned in time to see what looked like a skyscraper implosion. It looked like it had been done by a demolition crew, the whole thing just collapsing down.

          Dan Rather, channel 5, lower Manhattan videotape: …the third time today, it was reminiscent of those pictures we’ve all seen too much on television before when a building was deliberately destroyed by well placed dynamite to knock it down.

          Channel 2 newsman on scene reporting: It was almost as if it were a planned implosion. It just pancaked.


          5:49 Steven Dusterwald, S.E., structural engineer: Building number 7 descended in freefall for the first 100 feet, which means that there was absolutely no resistance to descent whatsoever.

          Ronald Brookman, S.E., structural engineer: NIST has admitted that it went into freefall for eight stories, and going from motionless to freefall instantly, that’s a bothersome part of the puzzle because NIST never explained it.

          Michael Donly, S.E., structural engineer: We got a building that came down in its own footprint, so all of the columns really needed to be severed at the same time in order for that structure to fall the way that we saw.

          Kathy McGrade, B.S., metallurgial engineer: The symmetry is the smoking gun.

          Anthony Szamboti, B.S.M.E., mechanical engineer: The whole building completely comes down in one continuous motion. There couldn’t have been any structural resistance.

          Scott Grainger, F.P.E., forensic fire protection engineer: According to NIST, the failure occurred at column 79 on level 12. They’re talking about a single columnar collapse or failure that resulted in a total collapse of the building.

          Kamal Obeid, S.E., structural engineer: It is possible that you could have a local failure as a result of a connection failing, but the likelihood of that failure dragging the entire building in such a fashion that all the columns would fail at the same time is an impossibility. [“Impossibility?”] Yeah.

          Tom Sullivan, explosives technician formely employed by Controlled Demolition Inc.: What I saw was a classic implosion. The center of the core, the penthouse area starts to move first and then the building follows along with it.

          Jason Cheshire, P.E., chemical engineer/metallurgist: I’d like to know why NIST excluded the document from FEMA, Appendix C, that documented the evidence of melting steel. Why is this forensic evidence not being included in the report?

          Kathy McGrade, B.S., metallurgical engineer: In an office fire, you cannot generate enough heat to melt steel, and yet we have evidence of molten iron. RJ Lee Company, USGS, and Dr. Stephen Jones’s work, all three separately found these microspheres.

          “Various metals (most notably iron and lead) were melted during the WTC event, producing spherical metallic particles.” — RJ Lee Group 2003

          [… experts talking about evidence for thermite, photos of the microspheres in samples …]

          Kevin Ryan, B.S. chemistry, former manager, Underwriters Laboratories: So thermite, if it was present at the World Trade Center and created this molten metal that so many witnesses and photographic evidence shows, would also explain the fact that the fires could not be put out at Ground Zero.

          Jerry Lobdill, B.S.Ch.E., chemical engineer/physicist: The only thing that is consistent with all of the evidence that we have that could cause such a thing is the use of thermite to cut through the steel.

          Guy in FDNY uniform: Get down below and you see molten steel, molten steel running down the channels. Like you’re in a foundry. Like lava.

          [footage of dripping molten flow off WTC bldg]

          Erik Lawyer, firefighter: Well. the manual gets into thermite, and it says if you have melted steel or concrete, which we had on 9/11, we should test for it.

          Barry Voorsanger, architect and 9/11 curator, showing sample: It’s this fused element of molten steel and concrete and all of these things all fused by the heat into one single element.

          Erik Lawyer: We’re asking for an investigation that follows national standards. [inset: NFPA 921 Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations 2001 Edition] There’s no excuse to not test for this. If terrorists used explosives in ’93, why didn’t we test for them? If all these witnesses heard explosions, why aren’t we testing for them?

          [footage of guy hearing explosions]

          Steven Jones, Ph.D., physical professor emeritus, Brigham Young University: NIST concedes that they found no evidence for explosives. So then we asked them, “Well, did you look?” And they said, “No, we did not look for explosives or residues of explosives.”

          “NIST did not test for the presence of explosive residue…” — Catherine S. Fletcher, Freedom of Information Act Officer, NIST

          “WTC7 collapsed due to uncontrollable fires” – NIST Final Report on WTC7 Page 47


          Lynn Margulies, Ph.D., scientist/professor, University of Massachusetts: So the preconceived notion of NIST is that there’s no evidence of explosives and so there’s no point in looking. That is the most unscientific thing you can possibly think of, not to look because you don’t expect to find evidence and in fact the evidence is overwhelming. They state these conclusions for which there is virtually no evidence and then they ignore conclusions that can be drawn from the evidence.

          “WTC7 collapsed due to uncontrollable fires” — NIST Final Report on WTC7 Page 47

          Anthony Szamboti: The Freedom of Information Act request was denied with the claim that releasing this data might jeopardize public safety. How could it possibly jeopardize public safety?

          Ronald Brookman, S.E., structural engineer: The destruction of evidence was a criminal act in itself. It was already being carted away and destroyed when the FEMA investigators got there about a month after September 11th.

          Lynn Margulies: You can’t do science when you are deprived of the evidence and when your hypothesis is the least valid instead of the most likely. When the most likely hypothesis in the case of Building 7 wasn’t even mentioned — (shrugs) this is not science.

            1. just me

              Unsourced how? Seriously? Please explain.

              Do you dispute this, for example? I’m taking the Architects and Engineers’ youtube’s word for it that it’s true:

              “WTC7 collapsed due to uncontrollable fires” – NIST Final Report on WTC7 Page 47

              “NIST did not test for the presence of explosive residue…” — Catherine S. Fletcher, Freedom of Information Act Officer, NIST”

              Many of my comments went to moderation before they appeared. They were all direct evidence, not opinion, and sourced, and all were passed. Did you pass them, or did Yves, or… ? Did you post them so you could shoot them down with better evidence (fair)? In which case, make a case rather than a slander.

              The NIST quotes above seem particularly direct, nonhairball and nonpollution in light of the fact that there is footage of people describing explosions, and the youtube has a named metallurgical engineer putting her reputation on the line saying office fires won’t melt steel, and there is footage of melted metal flowing out of a WTC building, and there is the named AIA architect putting his reputation on the line saying that no [other] steel skyscraper has ever collapsed due to fire. (“I’m Richard Gage. Fires have never before caused the collapse of any skyscraper, even though there are numerous examples of much larger, hotter and longer lasting fires in these buildings…” Examples shown: August 1970 – New York, 50 story building burned for 6 hours over 5 floors; May 1988 – Los Angeles, 62 story building burned for 3.5 hours over 5 floors; Feb. 1991 – Philadelphia, 38 story building burned for 18 hours over 8 floors, Oct. 2004 – Caracas, Venezuela 56 story building burned for 17 hours over 26 floors ) I probably should have included that in my quote selections; source is at in the youtube.

              (Of interest to me is that the anchor in the beginning archive TV clip says “more than 1300 architects and engineers” — then the narrator says “now there are more than 1500 architects and engineers” — and then on the August 2014 C-Span link given elsewhere in this thread it was up to 2200. That doesn’t seem to follow your path of easy debunking.)

              Start somewhere (“unsourced” would be good) and please be clear and substantial and of good will, and I will try and respond in kind. Could be great. Thank you.

            2. ogee

              What is “unsourced” about that post?
              Do you need to see their ID’s as well? Should they send you a notarized memo on their company letterhead;maybe with their corporate stamp? How about fingerprints from those witnesses?.
              I suppose that would begin to weed out who these witnesses are and who these experts are..Then we could get into logging their testimony into some-sort of record. Maybe Under oath, in a court of law. Or at least testifying before a grand jury….. Oh wait… that would mean there would have to be an investigation..
              Which is the point. There needs to be an independent investigation. to try and discern what is conspiracy theory and what is conspiracy fact.
              People are convicted of “conspiracy” every day in this country.. for something. Why is something so important, “off limits”?

    4. Chauncey Gardiner

      Today marks a very sad anniversary. I don’t know the truth behind these tragic events. Although one never really knows, I watched a related C-Span video interview of an engineer, Richard Gage, who said he represents an organization named Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth a little over a month ago who I found credible. The views of this organization, which he says includes over 2,000 members, are also pointed to by davidgmills further below in this thread:

          1. ogee

            Actually banger,
            What lambert is resorting to , is the old…. I don’t know.. therefore No one else does either. It is pretty lame actually. While he doesn’t “watch the video”, or examine the arguments, or listen to anyone’s points but his own….he is the master of his own universe. and all things bow to him…. he is the “central scrutinizer”….
            These are the easy people to deal with. they relish their own ignorance, and therefor aren’t worth trying to talk to. The whole” don’t throw pearls before swine” thing….They will never hear, or listen… they just reside in complacency, and are fine with the status quo, and all that it will engender.

    5. gordon

      There is, I suppose, a beautiful historical irony about the way the tactics the US has traditionally supported in Latin America (class war, militarised police, repression, control of the media etc.) are becoming increasingly common in the US itself. Will the US come socially and politically to resemble, say, Mexico in the future?

    6. Gaianne

      Banger– Thank you for this.

      Your first and penultimate paragraph say it!

      The American left would rather live in a Disney Dreamworld of Democracy and fail over and over with the same senseless tactics than correct their understandings and design strategies that could be effective. I have witnessed an entire lifetime of unremitting failure, but learning from failure is not permitted. Personally, I have pretty much just given up. There is plenty to do, and I am doing some of it, but individual actions perforce lie pretty well outside of politics.


    7. Gaianne

      Previous comment eaten? I try again:


      Thank you for this!

      Your first and penultimate paragraphs say it!

      The left prefers to live in a Disneyland of Democracy and repeatedly fail using ineffective tactics than correct their understandings and develop strategies that could work. I have watched repetition and failure, and refusal to learn over my entire lifetime.

      There is much to be done, but, needless to say, my individual efforts are not particularly political.


    8. Jack

      You’re the one claiming a type of exceptionalism on the part of the people who ostensibly planned and executed the greatest false-flag operation in human history. Especially since, again, those people would have been part of the Bush administration, a comically retarded and bumbling government if ever there was one. I suspect you won’t get into specifics of evidence because you know you’d get wiped all over the floor.

      1. ogee

        Who said these people were part of the bush administration?
        You in fact have no points to make, so make up some straw man arguments and let them fly…
        Nice logic.

  4. Banger

    Sorry for the double post–the second one is my real one–I executed a series of keystrokes and mouse movement on my stupid laptop and accidentally published it–since this is in moderation please delete this post.

  5. James Levy

    “The end of fracking” article confirms what I’ve been reading–that compared to conventional oil, fracking is a capital-intensive short-term response to rising prices of conventional oil related to peak conventional oil production and will go into massive decline by 2020. What amazes me is that, given all the numbers, the money people and the politicos still insist that this is their national life preserver and will have long-term benefits for the American political economy. They don’t even bother to deny or dispute the numbers–they just act as if they aren’t there. It seems that every facet of our lives is now dominated by “extend and pretend.” Some days I wonder if their massive “big data” computers have revealed to the Power Elite that in 2029 we’re going to be hit by an asteroid, or that some virus in bound to mutate into a slate-clearing form in the next two decades, so they’ve given up on planning or preparing for the future and are just indulging in an orgy of consumption before the human race goes bye-bye.

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      No shame, no blame, not a blush, straight faced with pants around ankles? Greed unhinged works as well -got to be part of it- to explain the surreal.

  6. Banger

    While my comment awaits–I’m wondering whether anyone cares to comment on 9/11 or should we wait for 2:00pm?

      1. Banger

        Well, seems to me there’s quite a lot to say. I’m just asking.

        It’s interesting to think about what you said though–hasn’t most things been said already about almost everything? How many times do we have to hear that love is better than hate–yet people choose hate fairly often. Every moment we change and culture changes–the words may remain the same but the meanings change. I think the 9/11 events mean something very different today than even five years ago or 13 years ago wouldn’t you agree–there’s a lot of depth to that issue we have not explored and are seldom thought about because it is too dark. And frankly, there has been no investigation of the events that even resembles an “investigation” only propaganda and ass-covering.

        1. ambrit

          Hail~! See my, um, circumspect comment about Building 7 above. A new version of “That which dare not speak its’ name” no doubt.

        2. fresno dan

          “And frankly, there has been no investigation of the events that even resembles an “investigation” only propaganda and ass-covering.”

          Oh, I think there was an investigation

          Of course, maybe not very good. And like most things, its the dog that doesn’t bark that is the most noteworthy aspect……i.e., how little curiosity about the government and motivations from our ostensible ally, Saudi Arabia…..
          “The commission also concluded 15 of the 19 hijackers who carried out the attacks were from Saudi Arabia, but found no evidence the government of Saudi Arabia conspired , or that it funded the attackers even though the “report identifies Saudi Arabia as the primary source of al-Qaeda funding”.

          Uh….hmmmmmm…..I’m not quite following that last part….Saudi Arabia didn’t fund the attacks….but it funded the attackers…….so…..let us never speak of this again…..
          I wonder why that is….???????

          But even more pernicious than that, we in the US have a rather bizarre notion of “don’t look behind” or “let’s move on” or, and this almost drives me insane, “its all in the past….”
          For the criminals who run this country, when they managed to instill that little bit of drivel as a noble, altruistic, virtuous course of doing business, we completely wiped out accountability and responsibility. But I guess because it is so useful for a plethora of corrupt (cough, cough, coughs lung out…BANKERS) it is now an integrated part of the America psyche

          Was anybody demoted because of 9/11? Was anybody fired? Anybody prosecuted for dereliction of duty?
          WAS ANYONE EVEN CONSIDERED to have been remiss in doing their job?
          When your at the top in America, life is very, very forgiving….

          1. Banger

            The Commission was not an investigation. No case was made virtually no forensic reports were given–I read half if it and it was a pike of crap–much worse than the Warren Commission report.

            1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

              I’m still waiting for the promised Round 2 of these “hearings.” (First time I’ve ever heard a circle-jerk referred to as a “hearing”, BTW).

              The nation has agreed that we should never speak of this, again.

          2. TedWa

            “we in the US have a rather bizarre notion of “don’t look behind” or “let’s move on” or, and this almost drives me insane”

            That drives me crazy too. 1 ) Do not learn from the past so that mistake is not repeated in the future. 2 ) Guarantees the mistakes of the past will be repeated more often and with greater intensity. Syria anybody?

            Sounds like the meme of a psychopath with no soul and no past.

            1. Banger

              I think it’s more “normal” than that–mind control, Jedi mind-tricks. I think you spare right we do have that tradition: once Henry Ford exclaimed “history is bunk!”

        3. davidgmills

          There has always been a lot to say about 9/11, especially from the scientific point of view.

          Most Americans just don’t get basic scientific concepts and the government is free to put out the most bogus scientific explanations and people just nod and accept. Those very people are the same ones who so glibly or sarcastically label everything that is not government issue as being CT.

          I have come to hate the term conspiracy theorist. Anyone who has a reasonable scientific hypothesis contrary to the establishment view is labeled a conspiracy theorist, no matter how good the hypothesis or deserving of further investigation. A flippant CT accusation kills any legitimate inquiry.

          I think one reason we have had the financial crisis is the failure of the American public to educate itself on basic science and math. It just seems to easy for TPTB to pull the wool over the eyes of most people. When the government got away with its bogus explanation of the Kennedy assassination and then its bogus explanation of 9/11, it certainly could expect to get away with its bogus explanation of the financial crisis. And as time goes by, it looks like the same thing is happening with global warming. The cons just keep coming and the public just keeps lapping them up.

          1. hunkerdown

            A flippant CT accusation kills any legitimate inquiry.

            That’s what it’s there for. Ever read Husting et al.’s “Dangerous Machinery” paper? Even the one-paragraph abstract is a kick in the pants that’s hard to ignore.

        4. Johann Sebastian Schminson


          All of this has been said.

          The truth is as individual as those who claim to know it.

          My own take is to suspect the worst of our government. They have a certain record . . .

        5. Carolinian

          How about 9/11 should have been forgotten on 9/12 for a different point of view? Bin Laden won the minute Bush gave that speech. A rational response would have been to turn the whole thing over to Interpol…and of course change procedures to make sure it never happened again.

          I think the truthers are ridiculous but there was a conspiracy here: the conspiracy to manage the response. Not 9/11 but the reaction to 9/11 changed everything.

          1. Banger

            Indeed–the point is that it was, technically a criminal act not one sovereign nation attacking another in the way Japan attacked the U.S. Or the U.S. attacked Iraq. It should have been investigated as a crime and forensic science should have been used to establish the facts. We have to start from that position rather than over-speculate.

            1. Carolinian

              Looking back the amazing thing is how sympathetic the rest of the world was to America at that moment. Arab countries, Asia, Europe all expressed sympathy and horror.

              Cut to now. Do we know how to kill the buzz or what? But isn’t it your fave Machiavelli who says it’s better to be feared than admired? Mission accomplished.

            2. cwaltz

              awwwww c’mon you act like it was a bad thing that we engaged in a knee jerk reaction that ended up costing us and has led us to a point where a region of the world is largely unstable due to our actions. (tongue firmly in cheek)

          2. Brooklin Bridge

            Excellent point, but the event itself HAS been buried, like so many others. It’s stunning, for instance, that no one in the MSM even thinks to question why we hear nothing about MH17.

            Changing subject slightly, I have been slow to recognize, but did have in the back of my mind, a reaction to Crazyman’s point that we keep repeating the same thing over and over (the Social Justice post). Banger has brought it to the fore with his persistence on the deep state and particularly on what was really behind 9/11. Namely, for many of us – alright, I’ll speak only for myself, it takes time for things to sink in and coalesce even when one has a somewhat open mind about them. In this respect, repetition and variants of the same theme repeated many times can be very valuable. Not that it contradicts Crazyman, or Johann Sebastian Schminson who triggered the thought with, “Is there anything that hasn’t yet been said?” in response to Banger’s question about 9/11 .

            We have had many posts on the same or close to the same topics of financial corruption, for instance, and then suddenly for someone an explanatory comment by Whine Country or another commenter makes perfect sense.

            Just a thought.

          3. davidgmills

            If you think the truthers are ridiculous, then you are part of the American public who apparently cares little for the laws of physics and chemistry. I knew something was amiss with the official story within a couple days of 9/11. It was something about the physics. How does an asymmetrical injury cause a symmetrical failure? I knew it in my gut. We had three perfectly symmetrical failures of buildings in NYC that day and all had asymmetrical damage.

            1. optimader

              “How does an asymmetrical injury cause a symmetrical failure? ”
              David, presumably you refer to the aircraft (asymmetrical) impacts? Who with any credibility (or which government agency) claims that the towers collapsed due to the impact of the aircraft???? That’s just plain BS, or direct me to ANY credible source that makes that claim.

              The buildings structural steel had a thermally induced loss of mechanical properties. Carbon steel (structural steel) starts undergoing a dramatic loss of mechanical propertied at about 750F, looses ~50% of it tensile strength at ~1,200F and is toast at 1,500F.

              Structural steel samples had microstructure that revealed temperatures in excess of 1,800 F.
              Mechanically, carbon steel might as well not be there at that temperature because it is only contributing weight.

              Why ever would you NOT expect the Towers to catastrophically collapse (symmetrically)?

              1. davidgmills

                Yes — the planes made an asymmetrical injury. And if you want to take the government’s version of events — that collapse was due to fire — fire also causes asymmetrical injury. Fire was not going to heat trusses and joints uniformly.

                To get a floor by floor collapse straight down (which is clearly what happened over and over in the towers) there were approximately 400 joints on each floor that had to be broken simultaneously. No way can an asymmetrical fire do that. And then 400 joints had snap simultaneously floor after floor after floor.

                Go watch any video or read anything by the group called Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth. (There are over 1500 architects and engineers in this group). They have an excellent video for laymen and an excellent website.

                A simple blog entry can not do their arguments and evidence any justice.

                1. davidgmills

                  Regarding your last question. As soon as you don’t get 400 simultaneous joint breaks, one side begins to fail when the opposite side does not. The section above the failure begins to tip to one side, the side that failed. And as it tips even more stress put on that side that is failing and less stress is put on the side that is not failing. The result would be that the building would break in half.

                    1. Lambert Strether

                      It’s like every single trope of digital “evidence” we’re seeing in Ukraine and Syraqistanza was systematically tested by mis- and disinformation artists embedded in the truther movement. I wouldn’t hang a dog on any of this stuff (not that I think dogs should be hanged, you understand). It’s all impossible to sort. It’s a hairball.

                2. optimader

                  ” — fire also causes asymmetrical injury.”
                  is that a fact or did you just make that up?

                  So when a violent compromise of the structural steel insulation while ~10,000gallons of jet fuel is explosively distribute into several building decks and down elevator shafts started a conflagration hot enough to burn aluminum, your (their) modeling indicates that 400 joints need to simultaneously fail for the Towers to pancake?
                  I call BS until that is verified in a FEA model.

                  I think the (reasonable ) scenario is that the kinetic energy developed as the top collapsed and it progressively accelerated while accumulating more mass and energy would be an irresistible force in the context of the load bearing capability of the design.

                  The fallacy is that any single deck would support the accelerating mass of the debris once the collapse initiated. It all found the shortest path to ground.

                1. optimader

                  I watched a minute or so..
                  “..cannot fall symmetrically due to normal office fires.. blah blah”
                  Was this a normal office fire? not even sure what that’s means.

                  I’m not going to watch 40 min, so if you can you direct me to a point of fact that contradicts the fairly simple logic that once structural steel has been thermally compromised and it yields, the kinetic energy of progressively millions of tons of material would not fall straight down, indeed would not accelerate as it falls straight down? Decks in buildings are built for a design lbs/sqft. And indeed they are designed with static and dynamic loading safety factors But no, each deck doesnt include as a design consideration the accelerating mass of everything above it, It’s an absurd contention (to me), the scenario that the building would not uniformly collapse under the circumstance.

                  So what is the scenario he is suggesting? A “controlled detonation”? How many man-days of demo crew, thousands of lbs of explosives, miles of detonation cord and free access with axes and saws-alls to occupied office space would that require? The notion is absurd.

                  It’s OK to have a case of the ass for the USG, but pick reasonable issues, and that’s a target rich environment in the lead up and aftermath of 9/11 without needing to engage in this twin Tower demo CT nonsense.

                    1. davidgmills

                      Lambert. I have one question. What is your background in science? Your posts just never seem to reflect much scientific knowledge. So tell us all your background.

                    2. davidgmills

                      Just as I suspected.

                      Lambert can’t or won’t do real science. Won’t even read a scientific article by very prominent PhD’s presenting their research done pursuant to classic scientific method.

                      Another left gatekeeper. What is it about the northeast that is such a haven for left gatekeepers?

                  1. davidgmills

                    Accelerate to freefall speed? What planet do you live on? Nothing accelletates to freefall speed that has to crush something under it first.

                  2. Chief Bromden

                    I’m not a scientist so I am just sifting through this organization’s summary to hear what they have to say. There are over 2,000 structural engineers and architects on board which leads me to believe it ought to be worth some examination.

                    “The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) characterized the Twin Towers’ collapse as “essentially in free fall” (Section 6.14.4 of NIST NCSTAR 1).3 Brookman wrote asking NIST investigators why debris fell “with little or no resistance from the intact structure below.” Rice questions how each tower “inexplicably collapsed upon itself, crushing all 287 massive columns on each floor [while maintaining near-freefall speed] as if the 80,000 tons of supporting structural steel framework underneath didn’t exist.”4 Falling objects should take “the path of least resistance,” notes Pasternack, while official explanations claim that Tower debris took the path of greatest resistance – through the strong, cross- braced core structure all the way to the ground.
                    The Twin Towers were overbuilt to prevent office workers from getting seasick on windy days, says Kollar. “There’s so much redundancy…. The building has to be stiff enough so it doesn’t sway.” Perimeter columns designed to endure hurricanes, Scott says, were loaded only to “about 10% of their ultimate capacity” in the gentle breeze on 9/11.5 Gravity was “a negligible part of the loading,” says Kollar, citing a claim by the Towers’ engineers Worthington, Skilling, Helle & Jackson that even with all the columns on one side cut, and several around the two corners, the Tower would still withstand 100 mile-per-hour winds.6
                    The rapid breakup of this robust structure appears to defy the laws of physics, engineers say. Forty-five years of structural design experience inform the view of Claude Briscoe, P.E., that the government’s collapse theories “seem to defy the laws of mechanics, conservation of energy, and known structural failure behavior.” In the official story, the kinetic energy of the falling debris would have been largely absorbed by the energy required to dismember the structure, bending and twisting steel components, and pulverizing 220 acres of concrete floors. To accomplish all this while achieving a nearly free-fall- speed collapse is “simply not physically possible,” says Mason. “There is not sufficient energy available…. For this massively strong structure to just crumble away at near-free-fall speed would have required immense amounts of explosive energy.”

                    Let us not forget that thermite was found at the scene of the crime.


                    1. optimader

                      An archived Journal of Minerals, Metals, and Materials
                      “THE COLLAPSE

                      Nearly every large building has a redundant design that allows for loss of one primary structural member, such as a column. However, when multiple members fail, the shifting loads eventually overstress the adjacent members and the collapse occurs like a row of dominoes falling down.

                      The perimeter tube design of the WTC was highly redundant. It survived the loss of several exterior columns due to aircraft impact, but the ensuing fire led to other steel failures. Many structural engineers believe that the weak points—the limiting factors on design allowables—were the angle clips that held the floor joists between the columns on the perimeter wall and the core structure (see Figure 5). With a 700 Pa floor design allowable, each floor should have been able to support approximately 1,300 t beyond its own weight. The total weight of each tower was about 500,000 t.

                      As the joists on one or two of the most heavily burned floors gave way and the outer box columns began to bow outward, the floors above them also fell. The floor below (with its 1,300 t design capacity) could not support the roughly 45,000 t of ten floors (or more) above crashing down on these angle clips. This started the domino effect that caused the buildings to collapse within ten seconds, hitting bottom with an estimated speed of 200 km per hour. If it had been free fall, with no restraint, the collapse would have only taken eight seconds and would have impacted at 300 km/h.1 It has been suggested that it was fortunate that the WTC did not tip over onto other buildings surrounding the area. There are several points that should be made. First, the building is not solid; it is 95 percent air and, hence, can implode onto itself. Second, there is no lateral load, even the impact of a speeding aircraft, which is sufficient to move the center of gravity one hundred feet to the side such that it is not within the base footprint of the structure. Third, given the near free-fall collapse, there was insufficient time for portions to attain significant lateral velocity. To summarize all of these points, a 500,000 t structure has too much inertia to fall in any direction other than nearly straight down.”

                    2. Chief Bromden

                      “PM claims that “professors and investigators contend it’s not surprising that [the Towers’] collapse-time estimates are close to would-be free-fall results” (pg. 44), and then proceeds to quote several of these said people. One of the people is MIT professor Dr. Thomas Eagar, who said it was not surprising that each Tower collapsed in ten seconds. PM writes:
                      [Eager’s] analysis explains that as exterior columns bowed and joists on the most heavily burned floors gave way, the mass of the collapsing floors created a cascade of failures. (pg. 44)
                      This first thing that should be noted about PM’s citation of Dr. Eagar is that his analysis actually contradicts NIST’s analysis of the Towers’ collapses. PM cites Dr. Eagar’s paper, Why Did the World Trade Center Collapse? Science, Engineering, and Speculation, but when one actually reads what he wrote it is apparent that his analysis doesn’t promote NIST’s theory of collapse at all. In his paper, Dr. Eagar writes:
                      As the joists on one or two of the most heavily burned floors gave way and the outer box columns began to bow outward, the floors above them also fell.6
                      Whereas NIST told us that the exterior columns bowed inward, Dr. Eagar’s paper asserts that the exterior columns bowed outward. By not quoting this section of his paper correctly, PM gives the impression that Dr. Eagar’s analysis is in total agreement with the NIST investigators (though Eagar’s paper currently provides a link to another article in the Journal of the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society that promotes NIST’s theory7). Instead, PM proceeds to directly quote from Eagar’s paper:
                      The floor below (with its 1,300 ton design capacity) could not support the roughly 45,000 tons of ten floors (or more) above crashing down on these angle clips. This started the domino effect that caused the buildings to collapse within ten seconds, hitting bottom with an estimated speed of 200 km per hour.8
                      However, this analysis is flawed by the fact that actual measurements of the collapse of the Towers show that the upper sections of the Towers never exerted massive forces on the lower sections, due to the fact that the upper sections accelerated through the lower section. As physicist David Chandler has shown, the upper section of the North Tower fell into the lower section, and not only did it not slow down, it sped up.9 Hence, there was no dynamic load being exerted on the lower section to cause it to collapse. ”


        6. Whine Country

          To me, 9/11 was one of those crises that politicians hate to let get away. What happened after was principally designed to create a story on which the politicians and other PTB could build their power base and shape our world. Everything we did in the aftermath did more to disgrace us than heal us. Hard to pick a time when we entered the slow death spiral we’re in but 9/11 wouldn’t be a bad guess.

          1. optimader

            At event of opportunity w/ USG Security Apparatchik dead above the neck on watch.

            “Who could have anticipated that?” is one histories most transparently blatant “are you going to believe me or your lying eyes?”
            Subsequently there was mad scrambling to reframe this event as a dramatic and complex terrorist attack that requires, no DEMANDS, a doubling down w/a Homeland Security Apparatchik. Mana from heaven for the contractors, and plausible deniability for the bureaucracy.

            How else could the scenario go down? (fade in) GWB in the Oval Office: Well folks, you know all that money we’ve been spending on the security apparatchik up til 9/10? We’ve been BULLSHITTING YOU’ALL !!!

            This was a violent analog of Mathias Rust flying a 172 from Iceland and landing it at the Kremlin… Woopsie! FCCCCKCKKKKK

            1. Lambert Strether

              “Mathias Rust.” Good point.

              The eternal question: Stupid and/or evil. I go with stupid creating opportunities, and evil taking advantage. Then evil points at stupid and says “Look the complexity! Why don’t you try to figure it out? I’ll wait.”

    1. fresno dan

      We spent who knows how much on security and “intelligence” over how many years?
      And passengers were checked prior to boarding – but like a lot in the US, half assed and with not a modicum of thought…..
      And how many years of hijackings – nobody in the US could figure out it might be a good idea to lock the cockpit?????? Or that the purpose may have changed (suicide bombing had been going on how long???)
      I nearly get to the point where I start to consider that maybe it was a big conspiracy. But just like WWI, if not this, would something else would have gotten us into Iraq/Mideast???? We were getting Iran all ginned up. We seem to have a need for our State department and Military.
      As Albright said, “What’s the point of having this superb military that you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?

      Look at the Isis links – its reminds of nothing so much as the Chinese finger trap. AND, this situation pretty much flummoxes the US government as effectively as the novelty flummoxes a 5 year old. And it seems that having our index fingers in the trap is not enough – we need MORE Chinese finger traps!!! (bondage fetish?)

      1. ambrit

        I stumbled across an old copy of Upton Sinclairs’ “Worlds End.” I’d never even heard of this book. I’m starting in on it, and it seems to be a Conspiracy Theory narrative about WW1. (Also a pretty good deconstruction of social class and power.)

          1. ambrit

            When I consider the chain of evil that this represents over the years, it gives rise to rational arguments in favour of demonic possession. Just morph the demon in question into the miasmic glamour of power and you have it. Power is a Demon.

        1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

          Upton Sinclair is one of my true and enduring heroes — possessing a clear mind, a kind heart, and an unbendable backbone. Now I have to go find this book.

        2. Eclair

          I read Sinclair’s ‘The Jungle’ when I was in college, but have never heard of ‘World’s End.’ Must read and found copies at Abe Books. Yeah!

          Also …. it’s the first book in the Lanny Budd series:
          Between Two Worlds (1941)
          Dragon’s Teeth (1942)
          Wide Is The Gate (1943)
          Presidential Agent (1944)
          Dragon Harvest (1945)
          A World To Win (1946)
          Presidential Mission (1947)
          One Clear Call (1948)
          O’ Sheperd Speak! (1949)
          The Return Of Lanny Budd (1953)
          ‘Dragon’s Gate’ won the 1943 Pulitzer. Who knew?

          Thanks, Ambrit.

          1. ambrit

            We all try to help each other around here. I’m enjoying the read so far. Thanks for that list. I didn’t know that character was a Sinclair favourite.

      2. Paul Niemi

        Let’s see, for fiscal year 2014, we are spending 3.2 billion in Iraq and 89.1 billion in Afghanistan on war. We wound down the funding for the Iraq war over the last three or four fiscal years. Looking back over several years, it looks like reductions in funding for Iraq were plowed back into increases in funding for Afghanistan. Now the appropriation line items are not there for more war in Iraq against ISIS, and if Congress appropriated more money, they would have to find cuts elsewhere to pay for it. Hmm. May I hazard to wonder what we are spending 89.1 billion in Afghanistan to buy? We are fighting whom, there? Isn’t that enough money to buy every single Afghani a new Rolls Royce, especially since the big spending increases there have gone on for half a dozen years? How about a two for one: for every two dollars of cuts to Afghanistan war funding, one dollar of increase for fighting ISIS in Iraq? Perhaps it can cost a little less to be the exceptional nation; we do have some waiting needs here at home.

        1. Banger

          War is a racket and the object of a racket is to make lots of money illegally and if the two major wars since 2001 have shown us anything it is that money is being made by powerful political forces which, in turn, has made them even mor powerful and here we are in our situation.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The right thing to do, for more domestic (non-spying) spending, is to take it from imperial adventure spending.

          You kill two birds with one stone

          1. Less mayhem abroad
          2. More $$$ for the 99.99%.

          The wrong way to get more domestic (non-spying) spending is to say there is not limit to government spending, so let’s spend some money domestically.

          In that case, unless we want to lie to ourselves, for every one additional billion spent domestically, you get many more billions spent to maintain/extend hegemony and many, many people killed.

          That is way we say, there is enough government spending.

          1. Paul Niemi

            Alas, Congress will only be in session ten days in September. Before that was Summer break, and they won’t meet at all in October. Apparently there is little they think needs doing. After the election, they may condescend to meet for a week or two in lame duck in December, I think. It would be nice, if they could find the time, for them to have some hearings on appropriations bills, to examine how the money is being spent.

      3. Banger

        We only need to take Carolinian’s point that it should have been dealt with as a criminal act–we don’t have to assume it is a conspiracy. At the very least it was a cover-up and that’s all we need to know to demand a real investigation.

        1. Peter Pan

          Spot on. In the mean time they could release all the parts of testimony that have been redacted. But I suspect that hell will freeze over first.

          1. Eureka Springs

            Why should government report upon or “investigate” anything which will be kept from citizens? I mean isn’t everything from the latest shot down plane to several more wars to Ferguson (just to name the last few weeks most obvious) a constant reminder of just how silly we are for pretending these criminals will ever act like decent human beings or that most of us would ever insist upon it?

        2. Carolinian

          Thanx for the boost but when I say that they should have taken a criminal approach it doesn’t mean they were ever remotely likely to do that. For one thing there’s that mysterious Bush family/Saudi connection. IMO there may well be conspiracies here, just not the ones the Truther movement embrace.

          1. Banger

            The truthers position is not to embrace any theory–that would be premature. Most of simply want an examination of the facts–why is this so hard to accept? Things happened, the government made claims that have remained unexamined. There is no strong evidence backing the governments story and everything they did after 9/11 showed that they acted as if they were guilty of something much like the “Tommy Flanagan” routine that Jon Lovett created.

            If you actually have the courage to look at the evidence you can’t help but think of Lovitz.

            1. Lambert Strether

              Operationally, considered as a subculture and a “movement,” the truther’s “position” is to pollute threads with hairballs and divert immense analytical and discursive abilities from real issues of power and control.

              1. tim s

                It seems that you are not able to distinguish between someone trying to come to the truth about a given event, say 9/11, and those trolls who portray themselves as so-called “truthers” (more derogatory than “conspiracy theorist”) both to divert attention and simultaneously destroy the general reputation of someone seeking the truth. The difference between this someone and those trolls couldn’t be greater than it is.

                In the case of 9/11, the issues for most people seeking truth surround laws of physics that simply cannot be broken. When the official explanations violate these laws, the truth must be sought out. This must be the 1st step toward resolving the 9/11 “debate”. If you go straight to explanations of power politics, the waters are too easily muddied and bullshit floats too easily.

              2. davidgmills

                Not the truthers who are hard core scientists, like Scientists for 9/11 Truth, and Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth. They understand the physics, chemistry and engineering of the falls of the NYC buildings.

                We had three symmetrical failures of buildings in NYC that day and all had asymmetrical damage. Asymmetrical damage never causes symmetrical failure.

                Anything symmetrical is a rarity in the universe. Life forms are often symmetrical and things designed by humans are often symmetrical. But other than that symmetry is rare.

                When you see floor after floor fall straight down, that is symmetry. And we saw floor after floor fall straight down that day. Hundreds of times straight down.

                And your first thought should be that the symmetry of failure on 9/11 was designed.

                1. optimader

                  When you see a ball fall “Straight down”(that is, in the spatial reference of the ball dropper) , is that a “rare symmetric event)?

                  1. ogee

                    To compare a ball falling towards the center of the earth, with a building containing millions of tons of structural steel ,designed not to let things fall down….now that is BS.
                    Are you serious? Why are you being so obtuse?
                    What is your angle? You can’t be that stupid, or are you just gullible?

                2. Optimader

                  “They understand the physics, chemistry and engineering”
                  I have a pretty decent grasp of the physics, chemistry and engineering. As the structural steel column perimeter thermally distorted and the clips disengaged from supporting the deck joists, what lateral load would be present to overcome the inertia of the accelerating mass falling in any direction other than straight down in those 10 seconds or so? The tops of the towers collapsed into the damage then the mass progrsssively pancaked straight down, consistent with physics.

                3. hunkerdown

                  And my second thought is, so f’ing what? You think identifying the perps is going to get you justice when the government that runs it is on kissing terms with the perps? What exactly is it you expect to accomplish when the Empire controls every institution by which retribution and restitution might be gained? No, really. Having corrected the historical record, then what?

                  “All you have to do to get people to listen to you is to simply speak the Correct Answer” is an American fantasy straight out of the Augustine tradition, and in fact utterly delusional in practice. We are peasants. We don’t do truth here. Truth is what our neighbors and acquaintances and lords say it is. We do what we’re told or we get shot.

                  Correcting the historical record is a laudable task, even if the historical record, being largely hagiography for the powers of the times, declines to accept it. But, having assembled a case and put it out there, there are better, more useful, more effective things to spend one’s and others’ brainpower and brainspace on.

              3. Banger

                You are making a lot of assumptions base on what exactly? Evidence? So then you deny that there was no investigation of the 9/11 attacks using clear tried and true procedures and based on forensic evidence?

            2. Carolinian

              No doubt details vary but my understanding of the Truther movement, at base, is they believe it was a preplanned action by the US government and that the building collapse couldn’t have happened as claimed therefore demolition charges etc.

              1. tim s

                There is no specific “truther” movement. There is significant disagreement and even animosity between various mindsets of those seeking the truth, as is often the case in complex situations. See the arguments of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth and then compare them with those of Dr. Judy Wood. Very different conclusions.

              2. davidgmills

                That is not true for many truthers. Many truthers, especially the scientists, do not point fingers at individuals or governments. They simply point to the scientific fallacies of the government’s story.

                The smart ones take the position that you have to understand how something happened before you can start determining who did it.

                1. hunkerdown

                  The smart ones sell themselves as the solution, you mean. We know who funded the hijackers, we know that the US and two gharbiya countries in MENA are an axis of evil, and we know who gained from it.

                  Justice will not be served, not only because the justice system is fixed by the perps, but because a just sentence would be too huge to enforce, entailing nothing less than the euthanasia of three very rich, nihilistic, narcissistic, sadistic national governments who would sooner destroy civilization than not be at the center of it and certainly have the wherewithal to do just that.

  7. trish

    re Too many moving parts, too many

    this can be useful though- Chaos and complication are hard for – and frightening to- the public. The war-mongers can “distill” it down for a receptive public to a frightening Evil here, an Evil Dictator there, whatever is most expedient at that particular time, whether for distraction and/or advancing agenda. Truth doesn’t matter. And if it’s hard to understand what the truth is, all the better. Clarity can be so threatening to the endless war/endless profit elite. The better (for the public not) to not see what the hell is going on.

    Dictators can be our useful thug, our SOB, then, voila, an evil tyrant we must help overthrow because, Freedom, and what horrors (suddenly) the human rights violations. Same with all the groups, guerrillas, militias. When things are messy, complicated, whatever is helpful to the political class can be brought into focus and whatever isn’t left out. People like simplicity. Hence the effectiveness of so many catchphrases/words in what passes for public discussion. “Fix the debt.” Terror! etc.
    And the political class loves- thrives on- psuedo-simplicity. Those wonderful catchwords…repeated enough and parroted by the press…so useful. And the profits can keep rolling in.

    1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      We were told that those who hate us, hate us for our freedoms.

      So, we gave up many of our freedoms and attacked them.

      They still hate us.

      Maybe it wasn’t our freedoms, after all.

      Now that this idea has been tested and proven baseless, I wonder why they really hate us.

      Anyone have any guesses?

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Also the freedom to lie.

            “This conversation is recorded for quality assurance purposes.”

            Unless it’s the ‘truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth,’ then you are lying.

            Now, it may be for quality assurance purposes, but you sure there are no other purposes?

      1. Vatch

        We still have a lot of freedoms that they hate. Men have the freedom to shave our faces. Women have the right to vote and to drive cars. We are allowed to eat pork and drink wine. We are allowed to deny the existence of God or to worship multiple Gods.

        They still have a lot of reasons to hate us.

        1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

          Are you referring to Muslims, our own religious right, or supporters of theocracy in general?

          Muslims drink their wine in private, or outside their countries — just like our own self-professed tea-totalling, religious hypocrites. They also smoke hash and do opiates. Try drinking wine in public. Or in a large swath of the dry south. I’ll post your bail, if they don’t release you on PR.

          We are not allowed to eat horses.

          Your American exceptionalism is showing.

          1. Vatch

            I object to all theocracy. The Catholic Inquisitions, for example were horrible. I also find much of the Bible Belt’s culture to be objectionable, too.

            Sure some Muslims are hypocrites, but committed Islamists do not drink wine, even in private. And they are among the most ardent exceptionalists on the planet.

        2. Banger

          They don’t “hate” us for that sort of thing. My small experience of Muslim society is that they seem more convivial, generous, hospitable than most Americans. They have a different way of life but the images and reports by the US mainstream are mainly false because like 90% of what the media says about foreign affairs and countries is propaganda and lies. The ignorance of the average American about even Europe is stunning let alone the ME, Africa, Latin America or even Canada.

              1. Vatch

                Some would be fanatics no matter what the U.S. government does, but I think that some become more fanatical as a result of U.S. government policies.

                1. wbgonne

                  Agreed. The goal is to minimize the appeal of fanatical Islam, isolate the wackos, and ultimately make them ineffectual and irrelevant. Unfortunately, our policies are doing just the opposite. Imagine how desperate and miserable people must be to a adopt religious barbarism as their governing philosophy in the 21st century. Since we — the United States — have been running the world for 50 years, our policies and practices might be considered responsible. They are certainly relevant.

            1. hunkerdown

              I’ve spent lots of time with nice, gracious hillbilly people who believe that their laws should apply to everyone’s genitals and eyes. There’s not necessarily a difference.

      2. TedWa

        I think it’s more that we hate them for their freedoms. Freedom from crony capitalism, freedom from democracy (theocracy), free from unfree manipulated markets and more. We are there interfering with their ways of life, usurping governments, financing terrorists and making sure that there’s chaos there daily. They should hate us.

      3. cwaltz

        They hate us because we think we have the right to dictate to other places how their governments should act(hint: in behalf of our country’s interest instead of the people it’s supposed to represent) They also hate that we basically buy governments to act on our behalf. It’s definitely not nice that we tend to think it’s okay to randomly unseat government’s because they won’t act the way we want them to.

    2. Doug Terpstra

      Right, too many moving parts is a feature not a bug. The big tell is bombing our own spawn ISIS in both Iraq and Syria without Syrian consent (or more importantly, their key formal ally, Russia), while also arming and funding the moderate-cannibal opposition, the same moderates who kidnapped Sotloff and sold him to ISIS for sensational execution. Getting ISIS’ key sponsors, Qatar and the Saudis involved is another tell — ensuring that the latest Judeo-Christian crusade makes Iraq and Syria safe for the Qatar gas pipeline. ISIS is a very convenient enemy, which happens to use the same barbaric method of execution that is used routinely by their sponsor and our ally Saudi Arabia. IMO, Obama’s tangled web is designed to hide the obvious oil play, to provoke Russia surreptitiously, and ensure a long and profitable reign of chaos and war against self-created enemies.

      Niccolo Machiavelli, say hello to George Orwell.

  8. Petey

    #NeverForget It was 41 years ago today that Richard Nixon and Henry Kissenger were the ringleaders of a fascist coup in Chile, a country with 40 years of a fully-functioning democracy.

    1. afisher

      I’m with you on remembering this event. IMO- it was the first attempt at the “free-market” by the Chicago Boys. GOP have called it a miracle, all the while ignoring the effect on real people aka citizens. Ever since then, the GOP have worked to create that climate here in the US – sadly, they seem to have help by other political and business players.

      40 years on, Chile is still working at recovery from that US aided coup? Why is the question. The answer is that they changed the Constitution. Everytime I hear the GOP call for re-doing of Constitution – I remember Chile. Sadly, most Americans have zero memory of the event let alone what really happened.

      1. ambrit

        Living in Miami Beach back in the 60’s and 70’s, I encountered several survivors of that coup. To say they were traumatized would be an understatement.
        Lest we forget where America is headed: “Missing” by Costa-Gavras.
        I can’t find a link to a full version of the film. Sorry. I’ll have to make do with the wiki. I recommend Costa-Gavras highly.

          1. ambrit

            Thank you very much for this. I will watch all three parts so as to learn the warning signs to know, for my health as it were.

      2. abynormal

        ‘they’ first began by gathering and torturing teachers and religious leaders…then the impoverished youth with fight left in them.

        “Arnold Harberger, Milton Friedman & Co. Inc., your modest proposal of partial equilibrium for the general good is not without its own internal contradictions. Moreover, you cannot take complete credit for this program of equilibriation. Although you and your colleagues and disciples at the Department of Economics of the University of Chicago may have dedicated two decades to the design of the program and the technical training of its executors, it took the approach of another major economic and political crisis of capitalism, analogous to that of the 1930’s, to mobilize the political support and the military force to instal a government prepared to put your program of equilibration and your equilibrating experts to work in Chile – and you, Milton Friedman, are still waiting to put your part of the same program, complete with Brazilian style indexing, into practice at home for the glory and benefit of the bourgeoisie in the USA, whom you so faithfully serve as paid executors and executioners.”
        André Gunder Frank, Economic Genocide In Chile: Monetarist Theory Versus Humanity: Two Open Letters To Arnold Harberger And Milton Friedman

        1. skippy

          For you aby…

          “The Austrian and Chicago Schools

          This is from History of Economic Thought: A Critical Perspective, by E.K. Hunt, a long out of print textbook I had when I was an undergraduate at CSU Chico [update: it is has been published again by M E Sharpe]. It explains how the “Austrian and Chicago schools reduce all human behavior to rational maximizing exchanges and hence are able to prove that in every respect, economic and non-economic, a free market, capitalist system is the best of all possible worlds,” and gives some of the critical reactions to that point of view:

          The Austrian and Chicago Schools

          The school of neoclassical economists that advocates extreme laissez-faire Capitalism represents the contemporary counterparts of Senior and Bastiat. In a sense this group really represents two separate but similar schools – the Austrian School and the Chicago School. The Austrian School traces its lineage directly back to Carl Menger (Chapter Eleven), Menger’s extreme methodological individualism is the basis of the social philosophy of the Austrian School.

          While Menger’s first generation of disciples included both social reformers and conservatives, the ultraconservative nature of the Austrian School is more properly thought of as the product of two of Menger’s second-generation disciples, Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich A. Hayek. Both von Mises and Hayek taught at various times at the University of Chicago. Together with Frank H. Knight, who taught for many years at the University of Chicago, they were the most important influences in the formation of the Chicago School. For the past generation, Milton Friedman has been the most influential member of the Chicago School. In 1976, Friedman was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics.

          The problem with classifying the Austrian and Chicago schools together is that although they both emphasize the universal beneficence of exchange, extreme individualism, and a doctrinaire advocacy of laissez-faire, they have methodological differences. The Austrians generally advocate a rationalist approach to economic theory, while Milton Friedman and his followers generally advocate an empiricist approach. Although it is currently very common in the academic economics profession to hear all extremely individualistic advocates of laissez-faire referred to as the “Chicago School,” it is probably more accurate to say that the more conservative wing of contemporary neoclassicism is about evenly divided between those who on methodological grounds follow the Austrian School and those who follow Friedman’s Chicago School. We do not believe these methodological differences to be terribly significant,17 so we shall consider these contemporary advocates of extreme laissez-faire together.

          One of the most frequent claims of these schools, which is nearly identical to that made by Senior and Bastiat, is that their theory is pure, value-free science that contains no normative judgments at all. Friedman, for example, argues “that, in principle, there are no value judgments in economics.”18 Similarly, Richard McKenzie and Gordon Tullock have written: “The approach of the economist is amoral. Economics is not concerned with what should be, … but rather with understanding why people behave the way they do. “19 They maintain that their “analysis is devoid (as much as possible) of our own personal values.”20 In a widely used textbook written from the Austrian and Chicago perspective, Armen Alchian and William Allen have stated: “Economic theory is ‘positive’ or ‘non-normative.’ “21

          Not only is the theory of these schools purported to be pure value-free science, it is claimed that only their theory merits the name economics and that their theory is equally valid for all people, in all social systems, in all times. In their introductory chapter, for example, McKenzie and Tullock proclaim: “In fact, it is the thought process or the mental skill developed below [in their book] that defines an economist.”22 The modesty of the devotees of these schools is matched only by the purported scope of their theory. Their theory “is a valid core of economic theory applicable to all economic systems and countries.”23”

    2. abynormal

      “For two decades, Chile’s authoritarian rule dashed the hopes of the millions who had supported Allende’s vision, through repression, a complete lack of justice and accountability, and the relentless persecution of pro-democracy advocates. Yet, throughout the reign of terror, Chilean human rights advocates persisted, and resisted, pressing the international judicial community to act in accordance with their responsibilities to uphold the rights of the people, to stop standing idly by in the face of injustice.

      Their dedication came with heavy costs, but it did eventually pay off. In 1998, Augusto Pinochet was arrested in London on charges of genocide, torture and terrorism against his people. When he was returned to Chile, new investigations began there, as well.

      And as became clear to the world during the course of the investigations, the US-backed dictator had broken every possible ethical code. In addition to his violent criminality, he was an economic predator as well, having used his mandate and position to launder tens of millions of dollars into secret bank accounts in the US while many thousands of Chileans suffered from poverty.”

      “I’m not saying it’s going to be easy; I’m saying it’s going to be worth it. If it was easy, you would’ve done it by now”
      B. Dave Walters

      1. Antifa

        The eternal Law of the Jungle is often expressed as “dog eat dog” or “kill or be killed” or “it was him or me,” as if it only applies to two individual creatures duking it out. But the way human predators most commonly work is in collusion, with the strong acting like a wolf pack to savage those weaker than themselves.

        In political and economic terms, the Law of the Jungle is best expressed as “if we don’t do it, someone else will, so it might as well be us who does it first.” Dirty, rotten scoundrels excuse their most vicious cons and outright thefts by this policy. “If the President does it, it’s legal and Constitutional.” Or on Wall Street, “We can get away with it. That’s all that matters.”

    3. trish

      and let’s not forget criminal/Nobel laureate Milton Friedman. 41 years. And globally the coups, the dismantlements & sell-offs of public domains, the channeling of profits to the corporate/financial elite while intentionally saddling the countries with debt, all continue apace…

  9. McMike

    9/11; success or failure?

    Thirteen years ago, a small group of mostly Saudi jihadists….

    So, if we take as a premise the goal of asymmetric warfare is to induce the larger opponent into self-defeating behavior, and terrorism in particular to induce the target government to hasten its own delegitimization… were the 9/11 attacks a success under the metrics of the attackers?

    The physical damage was probably on the high side of their hopes. The US certainly followed script since; the attacks certainly playing a role in the unraveling of America into a spasm of rogue belligerence and unprecedented domestic oppression, plus economic collapse and civil dissatisfaction and despair. Right on cue.

    Yet, on the other hand, the US has sown huge amounts of death and suffering and destabilization in the attackers homelands – far in disproportion to the results of the 9/1 attacks by several orders of magnitude. The situation in the middle east has descended into chaos with Islamic peoples turning on each other. The perpetrators and most people affiliated with them (at the field level) are probably mostly dead. The US elite are more firmly in control, and far richer, and the global economic/power elite seem more firmly at the helm than ever. Generally, the US seems substantially less likely to behave in civil, democratic or lawful ways than before 9/11.

    If we take the stated goals of OBL (US out of SA and Israel), he has clearly failed. If we take the toppling of the US as a power, perhaps it is too soon to tell.

    But at what cost? The bloodshed and death in the ME is a steep cost, and shows no signs of stabilizing into an Islamic self-determining state in any meaningful way for at least a generation.

    So, up in Heaven, what is OBL thinking? Was it worth it or not?

    1. Banger

      So like where’s the proof of this conspiracy theory? I’ve not seen it. Only government assertions that have not been questioned even in minor details nor has there been any forensic based investigation nor were normal procedures followed on any aspect of this tragedy.

      1. McMike

        Are you saying it was a false flag attack? Yes, that would derail my question’s premise.

        But if the attack was instigated by domestic financial/security elite, then the answer to the question of was it worth it by their measures, I would think the answer is an overwhelming yes.

  10. docg

    I have the greatest respect for Yanis Varoufakis, and regularly read what he has to say, because he’s knowledgeable, articulate and also politically sensitive. But I’m bothered by this term “austerity,” because it encourages people to oversimplify the economic problems we are now facing. The crisis was precipitated by a mind set that encouraged the taking on of huge debts by nations living beyond their means — debts ultimately payable only through the incursion of even greater debt, and so on ad infinitum, an impossible situation that persists to this day. What Varoufakis and so many others are calling “austerity” is actually a desperate attempt to get a handle on this impossible situation, and bring the spending of these various governments into line with what they can actually afford, so the outrageous and extremely dangerous debt bubble can gradually be deflated.

    Whenever “austerity” is invoked the implication has been that these irresponsible debtors must be punished and that punishing them is the wrong way to go because it solves nothing and only inflicts pain. However, if we really think about the reality of the situation we have no choice but to realize that the alternative to “austerity” is not simply “forgiveness,” but the taking on of still greater debt, over and above what is already owed, thus feeding the insidious feedback process that produced the problem to begin with. Such “forgiveness” might be politically desirable in the short term, but it will not solve the problem. And if the various nations of the Eurozone are encouraged to default, then who is going to want to lend them the additional funds they will need to pull themselves out this much reviled economics of austerity?

    What makes this whole issue something of a farce is the fact that we are now living in an age of truly colossal wealth. There are more mulit-millionaires and billionaires now on the planet than at any time in history — actually far far more — with accumulated wealth far beyond anything that was even dreamt of in the past. The banks of Europe (and the US and Britain as well) hold more than enough wealth to turn things completely around economically, create well paying jobs and banish the specter of austerity from the face of the Earth. Rather than go begging for more loans that will keep them in debt for literally ever, the nations of Europe need to get tough with their oligarchs, whose wealth, after all, was hardly earned, in any rational understanding of that term, and is largely the result of both manipulation and outright looting.

    Whether that takes the form of higher taxes on excessive income, a wealth tax, or outright confiscation of wealth, and the nationalization of major industries and banking institutions, aggressive action to puncture the inequality balloon is the only meaningful way to combat austerity. Encouraging the nations of the Eurozone to continue to borrow more and more as an alternative to austerity, as Varoufakis seems to be advocating, will only make things worse, as he must certainly realize. So why is he being so conservative. Seems to me the guy is a sheep in wolf’s clothing.

    1. Banger

      Good post and your points are worth debating. The usual answer to your points on spending is that we need to look at spending not as debt but investment. I have a business and I’m in debt of course but if I don’t invest money in it my revenues will drop so I must continue to make the required purchases to stay afloat. If I stop I will go under of I invest I will, unless economic conditions radically worsen, stay in business and, who knows, may be able to make a profit. The US can literally create money out of thin air which it does but rather than invest it it allows politically powerful gangsters to skim a point or two off the top and lend it back to governments or corporations so they can invest in their execs taste for cocaine and prostitutes. For the moment we are getting a trickle down effect from this money creation scheme for which I’m grateful (it’s always good to be grateful) and that seems the best we can do.

      Now, for your idea that governments need to take these rich a-holes in hand and take substantial amounts from their treasure houses all I have to say is you and what army? These guys hire governments and are not subject to them and, as far as I can see in the medium and short term, there is no conceivable road map to make the sort of changes you are talking about. No government in the world other than Putin’s in Russia has confronted their oligarchs and survived and made some inroads and there is no political leadership in the US or Europe that has the strength or intelligence to be real leaders.

      Yannis tries to deal with the art of the possible.

      1. Christopher D. Rogers


        I believe matters as they are occurring right now in Scotland actually undermines or overturns your contention that the wealthy elite are untouchable and that their prostitutes and whores in politics and the media, can and will protect their interests.

        In a fully functioning and participatory democracy such wealth accumulation could not be possible – obviously in sham democracies such as the UK and USA this is not the case. For, its as simple as this, those who have piled their wealth overseas in tax havens, avoid taxation whenever possible and take as much tax relief and welfare from the state as possible, cannot possibly do so in a true democracy, as the leaders of said democracy would either eject them full stop from the nation state, or make it contingent you pays your fair share or cannot do any business what soever within the state.

        Obviously this requires laws that favour all, rather than the wealthy and the elite, but if an engaged citizenry has the government it actually deserves, and those representatives are kept on a tight leash, said tax abuses and wealth accumulation could not happen, particularly if we engage from time to time in practices the Chinese sometimes undertake, namely a bullet to the back of the head to act as a deterrent to those so criminally inclined to abuse the polis.

    1. Ed

      According to this map, the median age correlates almost exactly with the level of social development in a country.

  11. fresno dan

    A little off topic, but something that was being put forward when I began my microbiology studies.


    “If mitochondria were so important, why have they only evolved once? And for that matter, why have eukaryotes only evolved once?

    Nick Lane and Bill Martin answered both questions in 2010, in a bravura paper called, “The energetics of genome complexity,” published in Nature. In a string of simple calculations and elegant logic, they reasoned that prokaryotes have stayed simple because they cannot afford the gas-guzzling lifestyle that all eukaryotes lead. In the paraphrased words of Scotty: They cannae do it, captain, they just don’t have the power.

    Lane and Martin argued that for a cell to become more complex, it needs a bigger genome. Today, for example, the average eukaryotic genome is around 100–10,0001 times bigger than the average prokaryotic one. But big genomes don’t come for free. A cell needs energy to copy its DNA and to use the information encoded by its genes to make proteins. The latter, in particular, is the most expensive task that a cell performs, soaking up three-quarters of its total energy supply. If a bacterium or archaeon was to expand its genome by 10 times, it would need roughly 10 times more energy to fund the construction of its extra proteins.

    It was as if everyone was staring at a world map, and Woese had politely shown that a full third of it had been folded underneath.

    One solution might be to get bigger. The energy-producing reactions that drive prokaryotes take place across their membranes, so a bigger cell with a larger membrane would have a bigger energy supply. But bigger cells also need to make more proteins, so they would burn more energy than they gained. If a prokaryote scaled up to the same size and genome of a eukaryotic cell, it would end up with 230,000 times less energy to spend on each gene! Even if this woefully inefficient wretch could survive in isolation, it would be easily outcompeted by other prokaryotes.

    Prokaryotes are stuck in an energetic canyon that keeps them simple and small. They have no way of climbing out. If anything, evolution drives them in the opposite direction, mercilessly pruning their genomes into a ring of densely packed and overlapping genes. Only once did a prokaryote escape from the canyon, through a singular and improbable trick—it acquired mitochondria”

    “Prokaryotes do not have powerhouses; they are powerhouses. They can fold their membranes inwards to gain extra space for producing energy, and many do. But they do not have the secondary DNA outposts that produce high-energy molecules so the central government (the nucleus) has the time and energy to undertake evolutionary experiments.

    The only way to do that is to merge with another cell. When one archaeon did so, it instantly leapt out of its energetic canyon, powered by its new bacterial partner. It could afford to expand its genome, to experiment with new types of genes and proteins, to get bigger, and to evolve down new and innovative routes. It could form a nucleus to contain its genetic material, and absorb other microbes to use as new tiny organs, like the chloroplasts that perform photosynthesis in plants. “You need a mitochondrial level of power to finance those evolutionary adventures,” says Martin. “They don’t come for free.”

    Lane and Martin’s argument is a huge boon for the sudden-origin hypothesis. To become complex, cells need the stable, distributed energy supply that only mitochondria can provide. Without these internal power stations, other prokaryotes, for all their evolutionary ingenuity, have always stayed as single, simple cells.

    The kind of merger that creates mitochondria seems to be a ludicrously unlikely event. Prokaryotes have only managed it once in more than 3 billion years, despite coming into contact with each other all the time. “There must have been thousands or millions of these cases over evolutionary time, but they’ve got to find a way of getting along, of reconciling and co-adapting to each other,” says Lane. “That seems to be genuinely difficult.”

    This improbability has implications for the search for alien life. On other worlds with the right chemical conditions, Lane believes that life would be sure to emerge. But without a fateful merger, it would be forever microbial. Perhaps this is the answer to the Fermi paradox—the puzzling contradiction between the high apparent odds that intelligent life would exist elsewhere among the billions of planets in the Milky Way, and our inability to find any signs of such intelligence. As Lane wrote in 2010, “The unavoidable conclusion is that the universe should be full of bacteria, but more complex life will be rare.” And if intelligent aliens did exist, they would probably have something like mitochondria, too. “

    1. Vatch

      I’m way beyond my expertise, but is it possible that this event happened twice: once for mitochondria and another time for chloroplasts? Or are chloroplasts just specialized mitochondria?

    2. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      Our inability to find other highly evolved life in the universe is more a matter of scale (time and space), than of anything else (except for recognizing the fact that we only recently crawled out of the mud). I doubt we’ll overcome time or space before we are poisoned by our own waste.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Life (at least here) lacks the imagination for a second merger, I guess.

      What would a second merger look like? Two mitochondria’s?

      Maybe, I am just guessing here, maybe it was a canyon for the first merger and a Grand Canyon for the second merger.

      In that case, the first merger happened here, with relative easy (yes, it was a canyon to escape from, but we did it and the article doesn’t say it was hard, only that a second merger never happened, which is not related to how difficult it was for the first merger). Perhaps it happened elsewhere as well – one and only one merger. That we haven’t seen any elsewhere does not mean they are not there.

      That’s one possibility.

      1. Vatch

        Perhaps the development of multicelled organisms could be considered the second level of change after the development of the mitochondrion. It’s a fission, not a merger, but it is an example of multiple types working together.

  12. Johann Sebastian Schminson

    9/11, like all terrorist events, was a crime — not a military attack on the US.

    There is a case to be made that is was state-sponsored terrorism (and, thus a legitimate target for a military response), but if out government wanted to actually declare a legitimate and “just” war, we would have attacked Saudi Arabia, not Iraq.

    Instead, we got this:

    And this:

    1. McMike

      I think it is true now more than ever that the global elite have more in common with each other than with the rest of us.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Chinese majority…war with Japan.

    I don’t know if they know that war-with-Japan means war-with-Uncle-Sam, with princelings risking losing their US mansions and for others, their access to maternity motels in the West.

  14. abynormal

    “2nd week in a row, initial claims missed expectations and on the heels of last week’s dismal payrolls data…adjusted and unadjusted basis, initial claims are higher year-over-year (SA 315k vs 307k, NSA 234k vs 229k respectively). Is this noise? It has been 7 weeks now from the mid-July lows… and the 4-week-average many look at, has risen for 4 of the last 5 weeks.” ZH

    “There is nothing more harrowing than a deadly hush with the feel of a great noise around it”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      One reason I suspect, and this is only suspicion, is that a lot of people are becoming priests, rabbis, pastors and zen monastery abbots.

      Now, I am not familiar with how they count the labor force, but with the separation of church and state, these people don’t pay taxes and if you look at payroll tax records, you won’t see any new ‘workers’ in these fields.

      Perhaps, we have reached Peak Priesthood, and now the disappointed are filing jobless claims.

    2. Jim Haygood

      ‘Is this noise? It has been 7 weeks now from the mid-July lows… and the 4-week-average many look at, has risen for 4 of the last 5 weeks.” ZH’

      It’s a special kind of noise: permabear noise.

      Check the graph at FRED. This a tiny uptick in a massive downtrend, which has seen initial claims more than halved since 2009. Claims have plunged by 48,000 since the end of 2013 (including today’s uptick).

  15. barrisj

    The fearless Dan Froomkiin pulls together all the (critical) reaction to the O-man’s Churchillian moment here on The Intercept:

    News Organizations Finally Realize Obama’s War Plan Is a Hot Mess

    President Obama’s plan to “degrade and destroy” the Islamic State counts on pretty much everything going right in a region of the world where pretty much anything the U.S. does always goes wrong.

    Our newspapers of record today finally remembered it’s their job to point stuff like that out.

    The New York Times, in particular, calls bullshit this morning — albeit without breaking from the classic detached Timesian tonelessness.

    Mark Mazzetti, Eric Schmitt and Mark Landler (with contributions from Matt Apuzzo and James Risen) start by pointing out the essential but often overlooked fact that “American intelligence agencies have concluded that [the Islamic State] poses no immediate threat to the United States.”
    [much more…}

    “…poses no immediate threat to the United States”…which says it all, and Froomkin’s article has numerous links that readers should click on. He ends his note with a quote from an opinion piece by Andrew Bacevich, who accurately and pithily sums up the whole Obama/US quandry:

    All the military power in the world won’t solve those problems. Obama knows that. Yet he is allowing himself to be drawn back into the very war that he once correctly denounced as stupid and unnecessary — mostly because he and his advisers don’t know what else to do. Bombing has become his administration’s default option.

    Rudderless and without a compass, the American ship of state continues to drift, guns blazing.
    Preach it, brother!

    1. wbgonne

      Bacevich is great. Too bad he left BU.

      As a politician Obama has two modes: 1) bully the Left; 2 cower before the Right. Obama can’t think of anything other than bombing because he quivers before FOX News and the Right Wing. With this insane and addled New Iraq War, Obama has finally completed his transformation into George W. Bush. And next up we have hyper-warmonger President HerTurn. Like Obama, Hillary will bomb people just to show how tough she is. Consequences are irrelevant.

      Good to know, however, that the U.S. is once again rich enough to waste billions destroying and rebuilding countries across the globe. That must mean no more austerity for the American people and social security is safe. Ahem.

      1. McMike

        Show me any President who has been harmed (figuratively) from bombing and belligerence.

        Moreover, show me one who has been harmed by increasing versus decreasing mayhem.

        1. McMike

          Further, can you cite counterexamples to the notion that several modern presidents have been damaged by doing violence half-a**ed?

          Carter. Iran rescue.
          Reagan. Marines in Libya.
          Clinton. Somalia.
          Obama. Benghazi, Syria.

          1. Peter Pan

            IIRC, Reagan didn’t send Marines into Libya. Rather, he bombed Libya. He used a battleship to shell Beirut, Lebanon. Then he sent Marines into Lebanon. Hamas promptly kicked the USA’s ass. Then Reagan said, Run Away! Run Away!

        2. wbgonne

          Why? I never said this would be bad for Obama personally. He clearly relishes implementing Bush’s policies and he knows he won’t be punished by the Right Wing media or the braindead, soulless Democratic Party. It’s not the president I’m worried about. It’s the rest of the country.

          1. McMike

            (a) I think I was reacting to the use of the “cowed by” and the implication that there was incentive for him to think of anything better to do

            (b) although it read like it, the reply wasn’t really intended to be a challenge to you per se, more of a rhetorical question

            1. wbgonne

              Fair enough.

              I do think Obama is a coward and, since the Right Wing runs the country, that is who Obama kneels before. In contrast, one sees how disdainfully Obama treats those he considers weak, like the American Left. That, I think, is classic “bully” behavior and bullies are usually cowards.

              1. McMike


                I think he is the right wing. Doing the right wing’s bidding. And will retire nicely into a pile of crony right wing wealth when he’s done.

                The economic right wing. The rest of the stuff is theater or personal taste.

    2. Jim Haygood

      Fortunately, President Obama’s plan to degrade and destroy the United States is, if anything, running ahead of schedule.

      Let’s please give credit where due!

  16. Christopher D. Rogers

    On all Scottish Referendum Posts:

    Here’s Alex Salmond, leader of the “Yes” vote coalition and SNP demolishing the lies and disinformation that Business, the MSM and BBC has been spreading over the past 24 hours:

    Please also be informed that 97% of those entitled to register to cast a vote have now done so in Scotland, which means a turnout in excess of 80% on the 18th of September – we are witnessing the power of true democracy in a mature nation state and the establishment just don’t like. Despite all the efforts by the MSM and the “No” scaremongers, the Scots will be turning out in droves to determine their own future – this must put the willies up the USA as much as it does the Westminster elite and City of London and proves democracy can work if you engage with the electorate and galvanise your core constituency – I hope the Green Party in the USA and the UK can learn from what we are witnessing – really does seem historic to this Brit at least.

      1. Chauncey Gardiner

        Don’t know, Brooklin, nor do I have a dog in this fight. But It has obviously occurred elsewhere, and it would seem to me that both major political parties in the UK have a significant stake in preserving the status quo. Thus, the question arises about who will provide independent verifiable oversight of the process and the vote count.

        As a side note, I came across this organization some years ago when there were suspicions of election fraud in some jurisdictions in the U.S. through voting machine and embedded software tampering:

        1. Brooklin Bridge

          Thanks for the link; they seem to be doing some house cleaning right now.

          I agree the British intention would be to rig the vote if at all possible, but I was wondering also just how much opportunity they would have to get away with it and didn’t ask the question properly.

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      Thanks for the YouTube link. Alex Salmond did indeed “demolish” Nick Robinson and raked the BBC over the coals with understated sarcasm. As an Amerloque getting on (slight hearing issues and difficulty with accents), I found it hard to follow Alex’s responses, but he seemed remarkably at ease and able to respond directly to the questions without evasiveness (that I could discern).

    2. proximity1

      …”and proves democracy can work if you engage with the electorate”…

      But we know that democracy could, if allowed, work. That’s why such immense efforts are and have been expended to ensure that it doesn’t, that it’s prevented from working.

  17. different clue

    I am not quite sure how comments are nesting. So I will respond down here to something way upthread. Someone noted that “conspiracy theorist” is a term of derisive abuse and dismissal designed to pre-embarrass the target and the audience out of discussing or considering an inconvenient fact, or an inconvenient truth.
    Jeff Wells at Rigorous Intuition decided to invent the satirical term Coincidence Theorist for the Officer Barbrady types who say “move along, lookie loos. nothing to see here.”
    He wrote a blogpost titled A Coincidence Theorist’s Guide to 9/11. Here is the link.

  18. rich

    Nearly 10,000 Florida home loans sold to private and for-profit groups in a federal program critics say is a boon to Wall Street

    A landmark federal program launched in 2012 that auctions delinquent mortgages to private organizations is under fire following a watchdog report that found for-profit companies are too often beating out community groups whose sole mission is to keep people in their homes.

    Nearly 10,000 Florida home loans have been auctioned off since 2012 through the Distressed Asset Stabilization Program, created the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

    The idea
    was private organizations that could buy the loans at a discount have more flexibility in modifying mortgages, making them better situated to keep people in their homes.

    But the report this week from the Center for Popular Democracy and the Right to the City Alliance found corporate for-profit companies have won the majority of the auctions with increasingly higher bids that give them less room to negotiate lower mortgage payments for the homeowner.

    Of 26 firms buying loans, just three are non-profits.

    bad idea?

  19. gordon

    From the “fast-track trade deals” link: “More than 500 U.S. organizations on Wednesday urged the Obama administration to ditch the system of congressional authority to fast-track trade negotiations, demanding a more transparent method of handling trade negotiations”.

    Now all the US needs is some coalition of the outraged to get rid of the Tonkin Gulf Resolution.

  20. Kurt Sperry

    Something new and interesting occurred after i submitted a post just now, the software served me a page including my post in situ prefaced by the sentence “Your comment is awaiting moderation”. A quick refresh erased both the comment and the prefacing sentence.

  21. proximity1

    Borrowing Glenn Greenwald’s book title, I ask, “How would a patriot act?”

    It seems abundantly clear to many (on the cable and broadcast news and analysis programs, in blog commentaries and at journals’ web-pages) that President Obama’s so-called response plan to address the insurgencies like Islamic State is ill-considered and bound to fail to do anything positive while likely pouring oil on an already-raging fire. And I agree with those critics. Obama’s response/plan is a non-starter. But it’s much worse than that. Even if it actually could and did achieve what Obama claims he seeks to achieve by it, the consequences could arguably be a worsened set of circumstances–by Obama’s own measures of what would be the safer, more secure outcome for his nation. Weird. He has apparently not envisioned those outcomes’ repercussions.

    So, I’m curious: what do readers here think Obama ought to have said? What should his response be (have been) ? (We’re assuming, of course, that there are and have been a variety of clandestine operations at work by Obama’s orders. Those can be hypothesised or left out of the equation, as the reader prefers.)

    What could and should “the Western nations” do in concert which should offer the best chance of disarming, discrediting, undermining, and generally defusing IS-like insurgencies?—Besides, that is, the most obvious thing of all: ending the unconditional support for Israel and, instead, using all available means to end its occupation of the West Bank and oppression of Gaza.

  22. Jon

    My SO has a service dog, and a single short trip with him in my car gets fluffy hair *everywhere* in the back of the car despite the dog sitting on a blanket. If taxi drivers have some way of protecting their vehicle from dog hair, I’d love to know what it is.

Comments are closed.