Links 9/12/14

Nobel Committee Regrets Obama Peace Prize ScribD

Robot could load up dishwasher BBC (David L)

In a Study, Text Messages Add Up to a Balance Sheet of Everyday Morality New York Times

Ebola outbreak: Sierra Leone volunteers to visit every home to track down virus cases, remove bodies ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

What We’re Afraid to Say About Ebola New York Times (furzy mouse)

BP and the Three Stooges Defense Greg Palast, Truthdig

‘Sorry about the bomb’: Aussie police apologize for ‘training device’ left in Sydney airport RT (YY)

Offer highlights tuna plight NZFarmer. A sea grab rather than a land grab. Richard Smith: “Deutsche Bank and offshore shell companies hiding Chinese flight capital implicated in forthcoming South Pacific environmental disaster.”

Chinese bank on hook for 4 billion yuan shadow banking default: paper Reuters

Ex-Officials Tell of Free Trade Union’s Demise Cambodia Daily

Is the ECB doing QE? VoxEU

Pushing E.U. Governments to Spend, Draghi Appears to Change Course New York Times

JPMorgan tells clearers to build bigger buffers Financial Times

Preventing the Next Argentina Foreign Policy


Scots warned over decade of doubt Financial Times. More TARP treatment

RBS, 4 Other Banks Warn of Relocation to England if Scots Vote Yes; Catalans Stage Mass Protest for Independence Michael Shedlock

Brown and Major Urge Scots to Vote “No” Based on Nostalgia for the Army and World War I Bill Black, New Economic Perspectives


West pushes crippling sanctions on Russia’s oil industry despite Ukraine ceasefire Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Russia threatens to cap western car and clothing imports Financial Times

Azov fighters are Ukraine’s greatest weapon and may be its greatest threat Guardian (furzy mouse)

With Gas Cut Off, Ukraine Looks West New York Times

Gazprom Says Kiev Should Blame Warsaw For Gas Supply Cut OilPrice

The New World Disorder New York Review of Books. NYRB has become quite the spot for advancing the US party line on Ukraine. As Lambert points our regarding Ignatieff: “Often wrong but never in doubt,” see Michael Igantieff on why he supports the attack on Iraq (2003) and Michael Ignatieff “Getting Iraq Wrong” (2011)



Neocons Revive Syria ‘Regime Change’ Plan Robert Parry, Consortiumnews (Chuck L)

Arabs Give Tepid Support to U.S. Fight Against ISIS New York Times

US Can Claim This Isn’t War but ISIS Militants Killed by 500-Pound Laser-Guided Bombs Beg to Differ Kevin Gosztola, Firedoglake

Obama just announced that he wants to help the guys who kidnapped Steven Sotloff Joseph Cannon

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

US gov’t threatened Yahoo with $250K daily fine if it didn’t use PRISM ars technica (EM). More detail on the spat: Yahoo Faced Big U.S. Fines Over User Data Wall Street Journal

Is ISIS Stalling NSA Spying Reform? National Journal

The Pentagon’s $800-Billion Real Estate Problem Medium (1 SK). Gee, they were sure fast to sell off parts of the airbase in Brunswick, Maine.

Switching Sides East Bay Express (SG)

Bubble forming in US middle market leveraged finance Walter Kurtz

Skills Gap Bumps Up Against Vocational Taboo Wall Street Journal

Conspicuous Consumption Watch

Dictatorships: Seduced by Promise of 24-carat Glamour Young Britons Signing on to Superyacht Crew Daily Mail (JB)

Superyacht spats sail into rougher legal waters Financial Times

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse). I hope you don’t mind animal artwork for a change:


South Dakotan sculptor John Lopez creates life-sized scrap metal sculptures with a uniquely Western American twist. In his hands, old discarded farm equipment is recycled into sculptures of iconic creatures from the American West like a bison, a horse plowing a field, or a Texas Longhorn. Lopez already had a career as a bronze sculptor, but after creating a family grave for his deceased aunt using scrap metal, he began creating recycled metal sculptures out of found or donated pieces of metal as well.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. YankeeFrank

    I don’t think any of us are prepared for what it may mean for Scotland to gain its independence. The profound example it will likely set in opposition to neoliberal “TINA-ism” could be the spark that ignites the working people.

    1. James Levy

      Well, maybe–Ireland was one of the biggest suckers in the neoliberal Three Card Monty tournament before the bubble burst. If the Irish, with their history, can be bought and conned in such a way, what makes anyone think the Scots will be any different?

      1. YankeeFrank

        The Scots are actually very different from the Irish. They’re much more left-leaning as a people, keen for social justice and smarter about things like neoliberalism and financial crime.

        1. Hobbes

          The Irish had been English subjects since the 16th century and were repeatedly the victims of genocide, most recently in the mid-19th century, with the famine. There are other historic differences.

    2. efschumacher

      It’s not just about Scotland (as Monbiot pointed out yesterday).

      Nick Clegg is now promoting the ancient and venerable Lib-Dem policy of Devo-Max for all the English regions as well as the (so-called) Celtic Fringe:
      It’s a good bit of early electioneering, if he can convince the voters of Sheffield Hallam to re-elect him, and if the Lib Dems can win enough seats to retain the balance over Labor and Conservative. Since the voters of Sheffield Hallam comprise a large component of the students of Sheffield University, who are now enjoying fees of 9000 a year following the Lib Dem about-face, Cleggy retaining his seat to ensure these policies get implemented, will be quite a trick. He is after all the man who spent the last 4 1/2 years supporting the “Effing Tories” in the neoliberal policies that have exacerbated the current misery.

        1. Christopher D. Rogers

          With respect,

          Nick Clegg is probably one of the least trust worthy scoundrels with have in the UK Parliament – given his multiple betrayals of all his Party’s election commitments in 2010, and its continued support of the most right wing government in living memory, any utterance that comes out of Clegg’s mouth is quite rightly treated with the disdain it deserves

          The Lib Dems are now toxic and many who voted tactically against the Conservatives in 2010 are unlikely to make the same mistake again. Politics in the UK can be seen as in a state of flux, the three legacy Unionist parties have effectively merged, particularly as far as economic policy is concerned, as well as the UK’s membership of the EU.

          I think its fair to say that Scotland has acted as a beacon of hope in our sea of despair, hope that if we organise and act with stealth its possible to disrupt the present system – hopefully the Greens will pick-up a bit from all this, but the UKIP is a significant threat. Should the “Yes” vote lose next week, expect a surge in the SNP vote and number of MPs in 2015 at the Labour Party’s expense – they have betrayed their core constituency, and as in Scotland many are now finally waking up to the fact, which essentially is that Westminster is corrupt and not fit for purpose, unless you happen to be thilthy rich or an imbecile.

          1. efschumacher

            >many are now finally waking up to the fact, which essentially is that Westminster is corrupt and not fit for purpose,

            Well isn’t that what I said? And isn’t it surprising that Clegg of all turncoats is the one to be pushing devolution to English cities and counties. Which is a step in the right direction.

            But then again, it was the rotten and pocket borough MPs who voted for the Reform Act to broaden the vote, and wasn’t it the House of Lords that voted for its own demise back in 1913(?)

    3. McMike

      It occured to me this am that there is a similarity in the conversation to the US left willing to vote third party rather than Dem.

      We are no longer afraid of uncertainty and change. This ship is sinking and we want off. This system is broken and beyond repair so we want out. No more battered wife syndrome.

      We are going to hold our breath and take a step in a new direction. Come what may.

      The phrase “train of abuses” comes to mind

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I wonder what North Carolina or Virginia will get if it holds a vote on secession?

        BofA threatens to leave for New York?

          1. Carolinian

            I think the tapeworm is lower Manhattan….sucking the life out of the US economy. Amazing how some people think the country’s economic decline is the heartland’s fault.

            As for the left showing courage and voting third party, wake me when it happens. Things are going to have to get a lot worse before people wake up. I don’t think the Cuomo primary vote proves much of anything. As people around here have pointed out he is unpleasant, has made lots of enemies.

            1. fresno dan

              What is always amazing to me are those “analyses” that purport to show how many federal benefits a state gets compared to how much is pays in federal tax. Invariably, the east coast is shown as a net tax contributor and the Midwest as a great tax suck….but of course, all the finance tax shenanigans, or the bailouts, or what the brilliance of Davos man schemes for running the economy has done for the average working person in this country is never considered…..

              1. McMike

                I am not sure your characterization is exactly correct. The largest welfare states are generally the poor southern ones, but who have military bases.

                There is perhaps a closer correlation between red/blue (and urban/rural) on that equation than simply regional though.

                The specific list tends to ebb and flow a bit with political power (= distribution of pork).

                1. Carolinian

                  And those military bases benefit who exactly? Locals to be sure but also the Boeing corporation (headquarters in Chicago), Lockheed Martin (Bethesda, aka D.C.), Raytheon (Waltham, Mass), General Dynamics (Falls Church–D.C.), Textron (Providence, R.I.) etc. Not exactly flyover country.

                  I’d also suggest per fresno dan above that the reason states like NY pay more than they get back from USG is that they have all the money. I lived in NY during the “Ford to NY drop dead” period of the 70s–the bankruptcy time–and while I haven’t been back lately it seems the difference in prosperity now is quite remarkable. This is a mere coincidence perhaps, but given the rise of financialization I think not. NY is a great city but its principal industry is sucking the life out of the USA imho.

                  1. McMike

                    That’s not really the point of the state-by-state analysis. It’s more of a simple retort to a simpleminded meme.

                    Red state know-nothings complain about welfare and taxes, without context.

                    This analysis shows that at a single-layer context-free analysis, red states are the biggest tax-sucking welfare leeches.

                    1. Carolinian

                      But we are talking about the real world case, not the simple minded case. Your Southern welfare leeches argument would be perfectly valid to make circa 2002. Now, after the trillion dollar Fed bank bailout, there’s not much doubt about who in America is driving that welfare Cadillac. Wall Street is the new MIC.

            2. McMike

              “Wake me when it happens.”

              Oh, I agree about Dems not defecting to the Green party in droves. I was referring to the similarities in the debate, the scare tactics, etc. (Although Florida and Ohio showed it does not require droves, just margins).

              The Dems will continue to give the alcoholic another drink, because they fear the meth addict.

              It is as if the eight years of Clinton veering right, and the eight years of Obama doubling down on Dubya policies never happened.

              It is as if we were not offered a glimpse into what would happen “if only” the Dems regained power. We got to run that experiment live. They had a monopoly on power, they had a popular mandate, they had the neocon right on the floor and melting.

              What did they do with their historic opportunity?

              They veered right.

    4. Gibby the Fifth

      This is a most extraordinary referendum, likely to become a case study for the future titled How Not to do It. First, there is a simple majority with no requirement, as might be thought reasonable for such an important decision, for a supermajority. Then there is the alarming lack of scrutiny of the marketing materials: the worst example is the Yes claim that Scotland’s NHS will be protected from creeping privatisation despite the fact that since 1999 the Scottish Parliament has been fully responsible for health spending and can do what it wants. The IFS appears to have concluded that since 1999, Scotland has actually increased its spending on health less rapidly than rUK. Then there is Martin Wolf’s latest tirade ( pointing out that Scottish use of sterling imposes potential liabilities on rUK, which requires rUK to impose enormous conditions on Scots spending. (I suspect that given goodwill it would be possible to achieve a securitised loan of sorts, with rUK able to obtain first access to oil revenues in certain circumstances, a sort of securitised guarantee).

      Meanwhile a Yes pamphlet says that a NO vote means “Scotland’s wealth squandered by Westminster governments we don’t vote for”. Scotland certainly voted for Blair and Brown Labour candidates didn’t they? And a YES vote means “A lower pension age and (underlined) higher pensions”. Wow, these guys are geniuses. And “The end of Tory governments we don’t vote for” – well, it also implies the end of Labour governments in rUK. Nobody appears to have checked or verified that these statements are accurate or reasonable, and no public statements by politicians are verified or even verifiable. Hence the debates are descending into shouting matches since there are few agreed facts available for the public to use to make their decisions.

      The most interesting claim is that a Yes vote means “Decisions about Scotland will be made by the people who care most about Scotland, the people who live there. This idea is likely to be taken up elsewhere in rUK and lead to much more devolution of spending authority to regions. My personal belief is that the centre of UK government, with or without the participation of Scotland, needs to be shifted to reduce the dominance of London and the South East in the UK economy. My main proposal is to move “Westminster” at least 150 miles away from London – my choice is Hull, one of the more depressed cities in the north of England. Move ALL government offices out of London and sell the buildings, cash in on the property bubble and sell Houses of Parliament as a hotel cum Conference Centre.

      Impossible I know, no matter how desirable, but it indicates the way the UK could move. And Scotland shows how it should not.

    1. Jim Haygood

      I’ve been waiting a long time for the Nobel Committee to apologize to the world for lending credibility to America’s drone laureate. But their ‘regret’ is expressed in a bureaucratic, bizarre fashion that raises new questions:

      ‘Nor was any comparison drawn between the 1964 and 2009 laureates prior to the 2009 acceptance speech.’

      Huh? Translated from obfuscation, the ‘1964 laureate’ means Martin Luther King. Why would Obama be compared to Martin Luther King, rather than to other politicians who’ve received the peace prize? Just because he’s black, which evidently remains a strange and exotic condition to Scandinavians?

      Oy … white folks sho’ is strange!

      1. Monty

        While I couldn’t agree more with the sentiment of regret, I found the statement itself incredibly self-serving and weak…on a par with the usual non-apology apology template.

        I also couldn’t figure out why MLK was cited; Kissinger would be more appropriate.

    2. diptherio

      Talk about diplomatic…they don’t even mention Oh-bummer’s name. Good to know that you can win a Peace Prized because the committee would like to see you be more peaceful, not just because you’ve actually done anything to promote peace.

      I will now commence with an international killing and looting spree in hopes of one day winning the Nobel Peace Prize–wish me luck!

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        They are afraid to say his name?

        It’s Obie von Nairobi.

        And the ‘Neoliberal-Force’ is strong with him.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          The fact that it was on ScribD rather than at the Nobel site should have been a tip off. But the fact that the Washington Post felt compelled to take note of it says it got traction.

          1. optimader

            Your right of course.. that is has a shred of MSM profile above the waterline is arguably as important in this case as authentic provenance -or not. At least it shames the Nobel committee which regretfully hasn’t even apparently mustered this level of self examination.

        2. diptherio

          Ah well…I don’t feel too bad about being taken in by a “Yes Men” type hoaxer. The more people think it’s real, for just a little while, the more effective the hoax becomes–the point of these types of hoaxes being to hold the PTB accountable, rather than to truly mislead people in the manner of, say, a fraudulent piece of art.

          1. different clue

            Yes. If a big enough tipping point massload of people find themselves thinking an artful hoax is real, that same tipping point massload of people might find themselves wondering just what is wrong with reality these days.

    1. abynormal

      Agree, Magnificent Work and appreciate the share Furzy and Trish!

      “The key to understanding any people is in its art: its writing, painting, sculpture.”
      Louis L’Amour, Education of a Wandering Man

    2. diptherio

      My favorite metal mammals come from local sculptor/painter/rancher Bill Ohrmann.,bill,john.jpg

      All of Bill’s animals (and he’s done everything from rhinos to penguins) have a little door in their chest somewhere which you can open and look inside…and see their hearts. Cool stuff. He’s a great painter of social commentary as well.

            1. craazyman

              it’s yet another example of the model creating the reality

              next time I drive by a big pile of discarded farm equipment i’ll think to myself “You know, that could look a lot like a buffalo if the sun was just a little higher, for more compositionally cogent lighting, and you really think about it. . . or maybe a cow . . . one or the other anyway. It’s certainly far more than a pile of discarded farm equipment, that’s for sure. ” hahahahah

            2. craazyman

              the color palette on that thing is phenomenally beautiful, the warm rusty reds and yellows projecting and the metallic blues receding as the form moves away under the rib cage & over the back. it’s very good, very very good. I just don’t know where you’d put it. The living room doesn’t seem quite right and the backyard seems like a form of banishment. The front yard might not be neighborly, deserviinng as the work is of that degree of prominence. The garage is a possibility, conferring a sense of both place & dignity, but unfortunately lacks in visibility what it achieves as a conceptual pedestal. Perhaps the roof . . . .

              1. abynormal

                roof?…me thinks that would freakout a trigger finger drone operator. ive spent many years with youngins…put it on their playground. teach’m to put their fear(s) to work (so ta speak).

    3. susan the other

      I’m sorry I cannot remember her name, but the artist I think who started this scrap metal effigy genre was making horses out of cast metal sticks and branches. So that they would be weatherproof sculptures. She did some really beautiful horses. Anyone remember her? Maybe 20+ years ago. Love this buffalo. I think he has to be kept indoors, Craazy, because it appears he has feathers and tanned leather tassels, and who knows what. In the buffalo room.

      1. abynormal

        Could this be her???…Horses have been a life-long fascination for artist Deborah Butterfield. Born in 1949 in San Diego, California, and educated at the University of California at Davis, Butterfield has pursued the equine form as the subject of her art since the early 1970s. ???

        im freaking out on the 4th pic…WoW she uses a tire for the hind leg!

        my artist eye has strengthened from today’s antidote….THANK YOU YVES & FURZY

    1. curlydan

      If they ever felt obliged to express regret for Obama, what would they need to do for awarding it to Kissinger? Fall on their fountain pens?

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Yes, I was aware of that. I often put humor (Daily Mash or the Onion) in the top slot if I don’t have a heartwarming animal story.

      I had assumed that the link was to ScribD would make that obvious. If this were real, the link would be to the Noble organization or to a MSM source discussing it.

  2. proximity1

    Notes from a disgrace:

    Thorbjørn Jagland, on behalf of the Norwegian Nobel Committee writes,

    “The committee … regrets….”

    …”The awarding of the [Nobel Peace] prize is itself an act on behalf of peace, and that act involves risks. The committee will continue, as it is required, to award prizes in the manner most likely to advance its mission. When statements of regret become tools for advancing the same agenda, they will be issued.”

    I especially liked this lapse in proper consistency in syntactical agreement:

    ” It remains the responsibility of the Committee to disassociate itself from actions taken by laureats which frustrate rather than advancing (sic) the fraternity between nations….”

    Students of wooden, bureaucratic, rhetorical style, take note.

    On behalf of peace, risks were taken. In the interests of peace,…. Despite our best efforts, certain mistakes arose. Regrets will be issued where appropriate.

    1. Tiptoe

      The pale Nobel Committee has the chance to show spine, to revoke the prizes they bestowed on warlords already. Show spine, make good Nobel’s investment in dynamite.

  3. Jim Haygood

    MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday airstrikes against Islamist militants in Syria without a UN Security Council mandate would be an act of aggression, Interfax news agency reported.

    “The U.S. president has spoken directly about the possibility of strikes by the U.S. armed forces against ISIL positions in Syria without the consent of the legitimate government,” ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.

    “This step, in the absence of a UN Security Council decision, would be an act of aggression, a gross violation of international law.”


    George W. Obama says ‘we don’t need no stinkin’ badges.’

    Fourteen more years!

    1. Banger

      The whole international law nonsense should just stop. There is no international law other than the law of force. The whole movement started after WWI to rationalize international relations is dead–there is only the Empire and those who, in various ways, oppose it.

      1. James Levy

        Banger, you should understand better than most here that to abandon the language of law and morality is to hand the terms of debate over to the enemy. We have stood by as a people and let calls to fear and necessity overwhelm calls for negotiation, peace, and justice. We have let the byword in economics be “efficiency” and “security” in foreign policy. We have let the neolibcons choose and define those terms. Standing up for law now is a way to say, “you’re priorities are not our priorities, your agenda is not our agenda”. We lack the coercive apparatus of the state and the media, but we can still speak the truth and stand up for principles. That’s where we can and must fight them now. That is one critical node of opposition.

        1. Banger

          The US has pretty consistently violated international law over the years but it did so more on the sly instead of the blatant violations that have occurred in recent years. There comes a point when enough is enough and it is more valuable to speak the truth or you make a complete mockery of the idea of international law.

    2. James Levy

      I doubt it would be very hard to induce President Assad to permit the bombing of the IS troops in his country. In fact, if we clued him in on where we were hitting (say, 10 minutes after the strike went it) his own troops could move in a mop up the survivors if we hit IS hard enough. That would be, of course, if the US really wanted to stick it to the IS. But the boys in Washington and the media want everything–they want to bomb the crap out of the IS, ignore the recognized government in Damascus, and overthrow both the IS and the Syrian government while somehow miraculously finding a non-al Qaeda, non-IS alternative to replace it, all while respecting the sensitivities of the Israelis, the Gulf States, the Saudis, and doing nothing to aid Iran in the process. The US has no priorities and will make no choices–give us everything, exactly the way we want it, and if we don’t get it, we’ll go on bombing till the sun bloats into a red giant.

      Our elite are not dangerous Machiavellians–they are enraged petulant children (see McCain, Kristol, Kagan) with H-bombs! America has no diplomacy for it cannot make any deals. Deals involve recognizing the other guy has legitimate interests, too, and you have to give something to get something. Americans have convinced themselves that all human interests other than those of the US State are illegitimate and/or pernicious. If they don’t give into our demands and threats it is simply confirmation that what they want is wrong at best, evil most likely, and therefore we should take all actions necessary to make sure they don’t get what they want and we do. America and much of the world is going to be ruined because of this hubris.

      1. Banger

        They may be petulant but they are effective. The point is to bypass diplomacy and simply assert force as per the neocon agenda stated in the late nineties that is now the mainstream view. These people don’t want to make nice they want a state of permanent war in order to assert their authority. More war, more power for them. That way when the get petulant about someone dissing them or a sexual partner asserting independence they can set up an auto accident or plane crash or sudden heart attack.

  4. Doug Terpstra

    IF genuine, the igNobel committees nonapology regret comes far too late to rehabilitate its disgraced reputation. The igNobel prize is forever tarnished for all other recipients, however deserving.

    1. Michael Hudson

      Last time I was in Norway, a member of parliament explained to me that a single quite elderly and proto-Alzheimer politician was in charge of the prize. That was their Parliament’s negligence. Many were appalled, but didn’t want to “hurt his feelings” by blocking his nominee.
      The great virtue of Obama, it was explained to me over dinner, was that his behavior showed that Europe never again could “put its hope in princes” and hope that an American president might ride in like a white knight and save Europe. Many Europeans shared the hope of Americans for a “transformational president,” for hopey-changy policies. They are now disabused.
      The Nobel prize merely showed their horrifically unrealistic bias. No greater reminder could be made.

      1. optimader

        “ a white knight”?
        Yes, well, maybe they got exactly what they wished for.
        ‘Ol Whathisname, proved himself to be a master of inside of the box thinking.

    2. hardWorkingBee

      Bad as Obama may be, compared to fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner Henry Kissinger he’s like Buddha, Jesus the Blessed Virgin Mary and MLK rolled into one. So, there’s been absolutely no prestige left to lose for that prize since the ’70s. IIRC the obverse of the medal reads ‘For entertainment purposes only. 5¢ Refund in PA – MA – VT’.

  5. Jim Haygood

    From Ricardo Hausmann, a Venezuelan-native Harvard professor:

    Venezuela’s government needs to pay $5.2 billion in the first days of October. Will it? Does it have the cash on hand? A different question is whether Venezuela should pay.

    Payment arrears on food imports amount to $2.4 billion, leading to a substantial shortage of staple goods. In the automobile sector, the default exceeds $3 billion, leading to a collapse in transport services as a result of a lack of spare parts. Airline companies are owed $3.7 billion, causing many to suspend activities and overall service to fall by half.

    In Venezuela, importers must wait six months after goods have cleared customs to buy previously authorized dollars. But the government has opted to default on these obligations, too, leaving importers with a lot of useless local currency.

    The list of defaults goes on and on. Venezuela has defaulted on PDVSA’s suppliers, contractors, and joint-venture partners, causing oil exports to fall by 45% relative to 1997 and production to amount to about half what the 2005 plan had projected for 2012.

    That [Maduro’s] administration has chosen to default on 30 million Venezuelans, rather than on Wall Street, is not a sign of its moral rectitude. It is a signal of its moral bankruptcy.–but-not-on-wall-street#RVkvvF6Vslm5heeF.99


    OUCH! How do we know that Hausmann’s savage takedown of Venezuela’s de facto antipopulism drew blood? This:

    ‘Maduro lashed out at Hausmann during a televised address last night, calling him a “financial hitman” and “outlaw” who forms part of a campaign “that has been initiated around the world against Venezuela.”

  6. Furzy Mouse

    (full statement on link)

    Nobel Committee Regrets Obama Peace Prize
    Posted on September 12, 2014
    The Committee therefore joins with the public statements of several Nobel Peace Laureates in expressing its regrets over the conduct of the 2009 prize recipient.

    by The Norwegian Nobel Institute

    published on 12 Sep 2014
    republished here under the term of Fair Use

    The Norwegian Nobel Institute
    Henrik Ibsens gate 51
    0255 OSLO
    Tel: (+47) 22 12 93 00
    Fax: (+47) 94 76 11 17

    12 September 2014

    Statement on 2009 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate by Thorbjørn Jagland on behalf of the Nobel Committee

    “Prizes awarded by the Nobel Committee are not retracted. It remains the obligation of the Committee to disassociate itself from actions taken by laureates that frustrate rather than advancing the fraternity between nations and the abolition or reduction of standing armies. The Committee therefore joins with the public statements of several Nobel Peace Laureates in expressing its regrets over the conduct of the 2009 prize recipient.”..

    Read the full statement here

  7. Banger

    Ukraine has wandered off the media landscape and settled in for the long Cold War II. It seems the issue comes down to whether Ukraine can last as a coherent state even in its rump form and whether the Russians can weather sanctions and lower energy prices. Either way, the Empire’s decision to impose misery on people continues.

    As for ISIS–I was amused to hear some noodle-head administration type (on the NewsHour) talk about eschewing support from Syria and Iran to “fight” ISIS in favor of the getting the Gulf States to help. Well, these very states are the ones who created ISIS in the first place to fight Syria and Iran! It was the Gulf States who bribed Iraqi officers to surrender massive amounts of U.S. armaments to ISIS to augment the arms the imported from Libya thanks to the U.S. decision to destroy civil society in Libya to make sure Jihadis had a place to hang out. The level of discourse on the matter is so childish and pathetic I can’t watch for too long. The NewsHour is still the best program to watch to discern the various “lines” of factions within Washington.

    1. Carolinian

      Hey you’re right about the Newshour although I’m not sure that’s a good thing. Last night they had on Bacevich and he was laying some truth about how more of the same in Iraq will undoubtedly solve nothing. The other guests like Steve Hadley frowned a lot.

      However the trouble with the PBS show is that their “objective” foreign policy commentary is done by the horrible Margaret Warner. She is indeed the voice of the elite establishment. She will mention alternative points of view but with a certain distaste.

  8. Joe

    I love the steampunkalo antidote.

    I also love that the Nobel Committee has expressed regret for giving the corporate tool his completely undeserved award. It’s a start.

  9. Ditto

    Polls & Special Sauce

    The problem with the special sauce is that most it is already baked int the likely voter models so there is no reason to add extra sauce to the polling results. Likely voter models take into account. republican are more likely to show up so why do we need additional weight about who is likely to show up. Voters already take into account their dislike of the President so why do we need a special sauce weighting what’s already in their decision process?

    The number of organizations adding the extra sauce does mean it makes sense

    It ends up creating a narrative beyond what loping data says

  10. Jim Haygood

    Chile repudiates Pinochet’s amnesty:

    On the 41st anniversary of the 1973 coup, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet offered an unprecedented landmark for human rights: the government announced plans to cancel “with urgency” the Amnesty Act enacted by the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, which allowed the crimes committed between 1973 and 1978 to go unpunished.

    Repealing this law was one of the campaign promises of the socialist president.

    “Today, once again democratic, Chile has not lost its memory. Chile has not forgotten its persecuted children, execution victims and disappeared detainees. Chile has not forgotten those who kept alive the hope of a free country,” Bachelet said at a ceremony in the Palace of La Moneda.

    If the repeal, which requires a simple majority in Congress, is passed, those involved in crimes between 1973 and 1978 could be tried. But the government itself admitted that it would not have a great impact and would be only a “symbolic” measure.

    1. abynormal

      the GREAT IMPACT would be to allow the proceeding to land where it may…

      “The top secret documents accumulatively detail the crude workings of Washington during the Cold War. “It is firm and continuing policy that Allende be overthrown by a coup,” reads a CIA document from October 1970. “It is imperative that these actions be implemented clandestinely and securely so that the USG [US government] and American hand be well hidden.”

        1. Kim Kaufman

          I heard the end of Henry K being interviewed yesterday on PRI’s The World,
          “Henry Kissinger would not have supported the Iraq War if he’d known what he knows now” [gag] but at the end, the interviewer asked him about “another 9/11 – in Chile” – and Henry the K freaked out and would not talk about it, saying something like, “I will not listen to your left wing attacks on something that happened 50 years ago. This interview is over if you don’t stop…” You can hear it here: 41 years after the Chilean coup, Kissinger won’t talk about it. LISTEN to his combative exchange with @MarcoWerman

  11. TedWa

    Write your Congress critters and tell them what you think about Obama’s new plans in the ME. Borrow from scathing articles on what a poor choice this plan is and add your own comments. First we were going to get rid of Al Queda and now we have ISIS and Al Queda and the Taliban. We add to their misery and they will certainly add to ours. Don’t mess with theocracies.
    I read James Foley’s parents wanted to pay the ransom for their son but were told by the USG that they prosecuted if they tried or did (??!!).

    1. TedWa

      told by the USG that they “would be” prosecuted if they tried or did (??!!). I really do need to to better proofreading before I hit enter.

    2. Jim Haygood

      While I share your sentiments about Obomba’s new plans, I would no more write to a KongressKlown than I would write to the cocker spaniel down the street.

      In both cases, the creature in question is neither interested in my opinion, nor in the habit of reading.

      1. TedWa

        You never know, if they’re democrats – they might listen to reason. How else do we stop the perpetual war machine?

      2. Kurt Sperry

        Probably true but I think there is real value in putting one’s displeasure on the record or making it known by other means. Even making it known between family and friends or people you socialize with is potentially valuable. If your complaints have merit they will sometimes resonate beyond your immediate circle and the spark that sets the woods alight could be any of millions set loose. Think politically and act on that however works for you. If you can even bring one friend or acquaintance over to sanity that’s a significant accomplishment.

        1. TedWa

          Accepting a fate apathetically is the same as giving acquiescence and a vote to the mayhem. Silence is taken by the politicians as acceptance of the policy. And, my conscience is clear – I did what I could at the moment. I’d rather live with a clear conscience than share the blame, by my silence. Like the saying goes, all it takes for evil to triumph is for good men and women to do nothing.

  12. Doug Terpstra

    The poor hapless invertebrate Obama is once again being innocently led astray by the wicked neocons, according to Robert Parry, into bombing Syria in explicit, conspicuous violation of international law. If only we had a president with an inkling of law, he would not be putty in the hands of his own appointments.

    “Exclusive: President Obama plans to violate international law by launching airstrikes inside Syria without that government’s consent, even though Syria might well give it. Is Obama playing into neocon hands by providing a new argument for “regime change” in Damascus?”

    Hmmm, could it possibly be the ulterior agenda here? And could it be that ISIS is a convenient vehicle for further provocation of Russia, Syria’s legally-obliged ally, into displaying its heretofore mythical aggression? Must we shoot down another airliner to prove it? Once again, a modicum of legal training or even basic ethics could prove useful here. Too bad Obama is being played again by his intellectual betters.

    1. James Levy

      Yesterday, I declared this “Operation Get Off My Back”, and that’s what it is–it has nothing to do with Obama being played, outthought, or an insane warmonger: it has everything to do with getting the warmongering press and Congress off his back for a while. Obama is tired out, petulant, and thin-skinned. He has no serious convictions I can identify. Psychologically, he is very much like Dubya in his second term. His ego demanded a second term but his brain wasn’t along for the ride. He’s doing what he is doing because it is the path of least resistance and puts his enemies in the position of looking crazy and arguing among themselves just how many troops we should be deploying to fight ISIS. Obama can now avoid being seen as a do-nothing pussy and claim, as he always loves to do, the Golden Mean. It’s one hell of a way to run an empire.

  13. Leeskyblue

    Unfortunately, it is not true that the “regret” is a “start” of anything good.
    Someone above suggested that the letter is bogus, but I am inclined to believe it is real —
    the letter is filled with the same mealy-mouthed self-justifications that were given for granting
    him the prize in the first place.

    Most people here are evidently cognizant that Obama is simply a front man with powerful friends.
    Evidently those friends also have influence in many other places where they shouldn’t.
    The granting of the prize in the first place, was completely unjustifiable and counter to logic, reason and genuine good will.

    Yet it is important for us to examine the phenomenon with cool heads —
    9/11 anniversaries inevitably bring forth old conspiracy theories.
    The problem that most of those theories have in common is that the alleged perpetrators are invariably dark, mysterious, removed, forces you can never quite see, even when you “name names”, entities that are so constructed that you can never deal with them in any practical way — they might as well be ghosts, Yetis, space aliens.

    We should always assume our malefactors are human, which we tend not to do when we characterize anyone as fascists, racists or psychopaths. It is not a question of getting hopey-feely with them — it is a question of defining problems in a way in which we may respond with some efficacious action. Goliath was human and possibly real. Godzilla is not.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Is ECB doing QE?

    Is the assumption that ECB was not doing QE earlier?

    If so, without QE until recently, the DAX is still at or near all time (at least the 1 decade chart I am looking at)high now.

    So, with QE by ECB, maybe the DAX can double in a 2, 3 or 4 years.

    Or maybe it’s the dollar printing that has pushed DAX to near 10,000.

    Then, we will see if ECB’s QE will do for Dow similarly.

  15. Carnoupolous

    Re: Nobel Committee Regrets Obama Peace Prize
    The committee should reject its idiotic “his pigmentation is quite dark, that in itself is so histori-cacious!!!!”
    We have become race/sex/ethnicity morons.
    NYC had a black Mayor: “How historical!!!” — complete and utter zero and hack; was obvious.
    NYS had a black Governor: “How hys- er Historical!!!”” — less than a zero; utter do-and-be nothing. Was laughable.
    US has a half-white President: no character, no experience, no achievement – not just a do-and-be nothing but a never-did-anything and never-was-anything; just good at saying “see my pigmentation????!! admit me to the Ivy League! Make me the President of the Harvard Law Review who does not actually edit or write law articles!!!!! Made me the most absurd, unqualified presidential candidate!!!!
    Next we elect a President because of her sex apparatus, then a transgender then a fluffy cat then a houseplant.

  16. optimader

    Nobel Committee Regrets Obama Peace Prize
    The equivalent of publishing a retraction in the Public Notices section in the Stockholm Gazette.

    They regret the 2009 laureate, Whatshisname’s conduct. By omission, they apparently don’t regret having awarded it to him. They surely got his name right when they awarded it, why so demure now?

    Nobel Peace Price Committee cant even publish an honorable “Statement”. They have now officially confirmed their irrelevance.
    In the future their “Peace Prize” should receive as much media attention as this Statement.

  17. invy

    While I hold your sentiment, the old arguments for voting Democrat are rearing their cobbled heads. In political forums I frequent there seems to be plenty of abused hordes. Still, voices of reason shine through and hold their ground for third party votes.

  18. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Why would you need a robot to load your dishwasher when you have been replaced by a robot by your former employer and now have plenty of time on hand?

    Go find a creek and do your laundry there. The physical labor or exercise would be good for you.

  19. Tatanya

    @ Banger, re: intl law nonsense, might makes right…. It is all smoke and mirrors in front of the curtain, a sickening display of propaganda on multiple levels. Putin’s statement today expressing his hunch that the US is upsetting the balance in Ukraine just to promote chaos is illustrative. Of course he knows that the proxy war in Ukraine is all about natural gas. But he keeps the requisite diplomatic makeup going. As with his warning to the US that bombing ISIS in Syria will lead to a dramatic ME escalation. Instead of just shedding a huge flood light on the machinations, e.g., US puppets control ISIS and the whole thing is a ploy to help topple Assad and get the new pipeline Qatar wants in place. Nothing will convince me that the PTB are deterred by a nuclear confrontation.

    1. Banger

      They are deterred by nuclear confrontation. Most of this BS is theater and pro-wrestling. The enemy is not ISIS or Putin but the US and Euro public–those are the people the oligarchs want to feast on as they have been–they just want more.

  20. optimader

    Crickets on this article, I’m surprised
    Skills Gap Bumps Up Against Vocational Taboo Wall Street Journal

    1. Ulysses

      From the article:
      “At first glance, the fear of misinvestment seems justified. Studies show Americans between the ages of 16 and 25 change their jobs almost eight times, three times as much as Germans in the same age group. But the figures also could prove why the German model works: If companies invest in their workforce, the workers are much more loyal.”

      The companies aren’t the only ones leery of misinvestment. Younger workers today are understandably cautious about investing time to develop highly specialized skills that make them valuable to a very limited number of employers. Highly skilled machinists, computer programmers, etc. of their parents’ generation were squeezed hard to produce enormous profits for their U.S. corporate masters for decades. Their hard work and loyalty was rewarded, all too often, with downsizing and outsourcing. An American worker today is quite reasonably certain that she has a better chance of hitting the Powerball than of being properly rewarded for years of hard work as a cog in the corporate profit machine.

      The level of trust between workers and employers in America today is far below that found in Germany or Japan.

      1. optimader

        “Younger workers today are understandably cautious about investing time to develop highly specialized skills that make them valuable to a very limited number of employers.”
        So “younger workers” may consider being less skilled a preferred strategy? What am I missing?

        “German vocational training normally takes three years and is supposed to give apprentices a broader qualification beyond a single employer’s needs. “

        1. Ulysses

          I didn’t mean to imply this was a rational choice on their part, only to explain the intense skepticism that may be hindering some younger folks from taking advantage of what could actually be something of real value to them.

          I do know that huge numbers of young people have taken advantage of apprenticeship programs offered by the plumbers and bricklayers unions in Rhode Island. Perhaps the programs discussed in the article need to do a better job at attracting interest from both workers and employers?

          1. Ulysses

            As the article points out– these kind of programs are trusted and popular because they have a much stronger track record in Germany. Let’s hope they can eventually succeed here as well!

            1. different clue

              The young people have seen how their skilled specialist parents and/or grandparents were doublcrossed by the corporate employing classes. Given that the same employing classes still control the same jobs and interview appointments, why would young Americans investing several years in a discardable and betrayable specialty or skill be rational? Wouldn’t it be more rational for them to learn how little money they could live a just-acceptable lifestyle on . . . .and then get just enough training in something to make just that much money and no more than that? And use their free energy and free time for “other things”?
              I mean, why learn a skill which will be outsourced to China, or internally outsourced to a serial series of part time short term free lancers?

  21. Shari and Lamb Chop

    Re Robert Parry on Obama rolling over for illegal use of force. Robert Parry abused his readers for failing to vote for their Democratic salvation because Parry made his name blaming deep-state policy on the Republicans. Now he’s in a bind, as policy proceeds unchanged under both party. Accordingly, Parry has to paint Obama as a victim.

    The best explanation for Obama’s second term came from Andrew Krieg, who has sourced his account up the yin-yang in couple of books. Romney had substantial ill-gotten gains, a sectarian power base, and grandiose aspirations of religious leadership. He failed to understand that as president he would be a puppet ruler. The deep state oligarchy torpedoed him because the empty suit Obama, if discredited, was still easier to push around.

    1. Doug Terpstra

      This sounds plausible. Romney was played, not least by his own outsize ego, and set up to fail. He never had a chance, in large part because Evangelicals are not an ecumenical lot. Mitt was Obama’s cartoon opponent, insurance for term two.

  22. different clue

    Reading Dr. Osterholm’s ebola article makes me wonder yet again: if the Overclass wanted to facilitate the death of a lot of people and make it look like an accident, what might they secretly prevent being done to contain
    an oh-so-handy epidemic?

  23. JTFaraday

    re: “Dictatorships: Seduced by Promise of 24-carat Glamour Young Britons Signing on to Superyacht Crew,” Daily Mail

    “‘She lifted her shoes up to my face. “Clean my shoes,” she said.”

    You betcha.

  24. Kim Kaufman

    Antidote du jour: they often bring a smile, they amuse, amaze, delight, make me wonder and provide sweet relief from the otherwise grim news of the day. This fits the bill just fine. Thank you.

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