Links 9/14/14

U.S. Scientists See Long Fight Against Ebola New York Times

U2’s Forgettable Fire New Yorker. Lambert: “Apple celebrating product release by forcing a U2 album into everybody’s iTunes.”

G-20 talking of 16% to 20% capital adequacy ratio for banks Nikkei

China buying up the world? BBC

Chinese firms closing gap on US tech giants like Google South China Morning Post

China Industrial Growth Slows, Power Generation Negative 1st Time in 4 Years; Stimulate Now, Crash Later Michael Shedlock

Merkel Faces Ex-Communists as Dominance Teeters in East Bloomberg

France is a mess, and Europe is worried Global Post

Sweden’s Turn Left Could Deal A Blow To European Austerity Huffington Post

Photos Capture Amazon Tribe As They Beat And Strip Illegal Loggers Huffington Post (furzy mouse). Vigilante enforcement.


We Give the Scottish Independence Referendum the Middle East Expert Treatment Karl reMarks (Vox)

Scottish independence would hit UK economy, say FTSE 100 chairmen Telegraph

Whisky makers scared of Scotland-U.K. split CNN

Scottish Independence Polls Conflict as Campaigning Nears Climax Bloomberg

Why Scotland’s Voting Yes Felix Salmon

Scottish independence: Glasgow, the friendly city, turns demented Telegraph. Chuck L: “Hilarious depiction of how t he Labour delegation to Glasgow was greeted.” See video for more: Empire strikes back YouTube

The ‘domino effect’ from Scotland’s referendum is increasing demands for independence in Italian regions British Politics and Policy


US, Europe at odds over NATO expansion DW

Ukraine: ‘we’re at war with Russia’ Guardian

Strelkov: from swimming with Piranhas to swimming with Great White sharks Vinewyard of the Saker. Chuck L: “The Saker’s view of internal Russian politics in the Putin era.”


Obama Vows To Split ISIS Into Dozens Of Extremist Splinter Groups Onion (Chuck L)

Obama’s unstrategic strategy Aljazeera

The Latest Evil Force, Since the Last Evil Force Counterpunch

Islamic State crisis: Australia to send 600 troops to UAE BBC. What sexual favors were exchanged for this to happen?

Kerry Scours Mideast for Aid in ISIS Fight New York Times. Note that this is also an Imperial Collapse Watch item. (furzy mouse)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Spy court renews NSA metadata program The Hill

Data use regulation: The libertarian push behind a new take on privacy Slate

How Hillary Clinton’s State Department Sold Fracking to the World Mother Jones. Lambert: “Lovely….. And then they got the estimates wrong…. ”

California’s Record Heat Is Like Nothing You’ve Ever Seen… Yet Bloomberg

N.J. union targets Christie adviser with ethics complaint over pension investments

Are Subprime Mortgages Coming Back? New York Times

Fidelity Reviewed Which Investors Did Best And What They Found Was Hilarious Business Insider. So we need a category beyond passive management?

Antidote du jour (Lance N):

Face Skate links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. No means No

    Felix Salmon hanging a whole insistent column on the hoary proverb, bigger is better? His Wall Street ventriloquists are really out of ideas.

  2. upstater

    @Why Scotland’s Voting Yes Felix Salmon:

    “Canada would be better off if it were part of the US;”

    It is hard to think of a more ridiculous comment from Felix. Indeed, I recall his writing while at Reuters something like “if you could choose to be a baby born in New York or Ontario to a randomly chosen mother, obviously you’d be better off in Ontario”. Which is certainly true.

    Anybody can verify this by taking a tour of any of the upstate NY rust belt cities or de-populated small towns and then crossing the border and looking at any place in Ontario ex-Toronto (which is probably nicer than any comparably sized US city). And they have single payer!

    Hopefully the Scots to the right thing and regain independence on the 18th!

    1. Swedish Lex

      I used to say that Canada should join the EU.

      There is Québec and there is the Commonwealth bit.

      The Vikings were there too.

      But the EU is not looking that great these days.

        1. just me

          Jack Straw entourage visits Scotland and gets greeted by The Imperial March from The Empire Strikes Back [played by a guy on the back of a rickshaw bicycle with a boombox?]:

          “People of Glasgow! Your imperial masters have arrived!”

          (I’m fascinated by this comment on youtube: “Nothing will change for the better if you leave the UK and you’ll only weaken yourselves and us as a hole.” I’m picturing a map of the future UK, just can’t figure out whether it’s Scotland or England that’s supposed to go black.)

        1. abynormal

          Cold and damp
          Steal the warm wind
          Tired friend
          Times are gone
          For honest men
          And sometimes
          Far too long
          For snakes
          In my shoes
          A walking sleep
          And my youth
          I pray to keep
          Heaven send
          Hel away
          No one sings
          Like you

          Hang my head
          Drown my fear
          Till you all just

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Palindrome is not a palindrome.

            Also, life is not a palindrome – looking back or backwards, you see it differently.

      1. jrs

        Well we already have tarsands exploration just like Canada. The social services might well be better and the war involvement somewhat less, but both countries are a cancer on the planet.

    1. susan the other

      Thank you for the link. Vineyard of the Saker is an interesting site. It has much of the old flavor of CIA language. I always puzzle over what is left out. Right now that would be Russia’s energy resources and the determination of the West to gain some control over them.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        And if Russia sells them soon enough to the Chinese, we will then also have to pivot toward the Chinese.

        Basically, we have to take on everyone who is not with us…and right now, Europe is safe, unless Scotland forgets to read the memo.

    2. Tim Owen

      This is an interesting interview regarding of internal Russian politics:

      Lots of revealing commentary. Not sure what to think of it yet.

      One irony is how scathing Federov is re. Russian Media’s toeing “Atlantacist” line… When constant refrain in west is that it’s doing completely otherwise.

  3. Swedish Lex

    Funny that U2 and Apple would so misunderestimate the whole thing. Dozens of PR super brains must have been involved, on both sides, spending hundreds of PR hours at 500 USD per brain.

    U2 must now be for older people, only. I just listened to the new album hiking up the mountain behind our house this morning, listening on a pink and prehistoric ipod nano that I had to buy back from my daughter when she graduated into an iPhone. Not a great album, I would admit. The days – 1981 I think it was – when U2 (then teenagers) came to play at a tiny club in Stockholm seem, and are, quite distant. My girlfriend was there. I was not.

    Probably time for U2 to retire.

    1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      If they were to retire because of a bad album, they’d have quit after ‘Zooropa’.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        As I have always said, it’s far, far better to make your own bad music than to paid for someone else’s.

        ‘Art is not something you buy and hang on the wall. Art is about living a creative live yourself.’

        Be adventurous yourself. There is only you doing what you are doing…without knowing why consciously. That’s how you take your life back, instead of conceding various parts of your soul to others like corporations, propaganda agents, Svengalis, celebrities, authority figures, experts, messiahs, artists, etc…

        Forget awards.

    2. Banger

      I think U2 was a really good band because they were edgy, took a few chances but it seems they just lacked the adventurous spirit they started out with and lacked the musical range required to last for a long time.

        1. trish

          thanks for the link. “as Harry Browne puts it in ‘Frontman’, Bono’s approach to Africa is “a slick mix of traditional missionary and commercial colonialism, in which the poor world exists as a task for the rich world to complete”. Perfect.

        2. McMike

          I remember two things from when Robert Plant & whatshername accepted their Grammy:

          (1) Wow, he’s tiny.

          (2) He looked out at the audience, kind of wide eyed and blinking, and made a comment to the effect that he used to view getting a Grammy as selling out. But he decided it actually felt kinda cool. An interesting bit of momentary honesty I suppose.

          * Jimmy Kimmel cracked at the time that their award was for the Best Album that No One Has Actually Listened To. (Not unlike Obama’s Nobel I suppose – which was an award really just for being Not Bush, which in fact it turns out he was in fact not-not Bush)

          * One thing (among many) that I hate about contemporary rock/pop music is that the bands (and their fans) have unapologetically embraced full-throated commercial capitalism. Wherein having your songs featured in a car commercial is no longer viewed as a sell out – leaving fans wondering who let the rights expire – into what is now a career-making PR opportunity. So, in that context, I wonder if the U2/Apple kerfuffle is an old-fogey’s complaint. Has anyone checked with the youngsters? They may well think that free music showing up without any effort is the coolest thing ever…. (is it any good? Did you want it?… Who cares; it’s free!)

          1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

            I’ve noticed that Iggy Pop songs are particularly prevalent in commercials, lately. Seems to have started when Carnival Cruises (or another, fungible, brand), used “Lust for Life” as their theme song.

            I wonder if they’ve ever actually listened to the lyrics, or if they’re hoping no one else has.

            Of course, they’ve had it in the ear before . . .

            1. Binky Bear

              I give Iggy leeway because he labored in the wilderness for years. U2 is the Rick Astley of emopop and they have always been trite, melodramatic and lame.

            2. Bunk McNulty

              For the uninitiated:
              I’m worth a million in prizes
              I got a torture film
              I got a G.T.O.
              I wear a uniform
              I got a government loan
              I’m worth a million in prizes
              I’m sick of sleeping on the sidewalk
              No more beating my brains
              With the liquor and drugs
              With the liquor and drugs
              Well I am just a modern guy
              Of course I’ve had it in the ear before
              Got a lust for life

          2. Banger

            Just a word on comparing Plant and Zeppelin to U2–please don’t. Led Zeppelin was very creative and original and remained so for a few years and then had the decency to crash. I recommend The Song Remains the Same which features some Jimmy Page moments that are transcendent if you like it when rock merges into magic. For that time Page was cutting edge and the rightful heir to Hendrix as a rock guitarist. When Zep came out they were really unique–I remember the week their first album came out and a musician friend ran at me wild-eyed telling me I had to listen to that record and he grabbed me and forced me to listen–he didn’t even have the decency to get me high first. As musicians each of the four were top of the line–unlike U2.

            1. wbgonne

              Robert Plant is producing great and interesting music today. I saw him last Spring in New Orleans at JazzFest and he was terrific. His work with Alison Krauss is also outstanding. And I respect him for refusing to sign up for the Led Zeppelin money tour that Page wants.

              1. neo-realist

                For Led Zeppelin to reform and tour w/o Bonham’s beat would be sacrilegious. A three legged chair. His big sound/foundation defined much of their music and any attempt to tour without Bonham would be a fraud perpetrated on the audience.

            2. McMike

              Not to worry, I was doing no such thing.

              Black Dog was the first rock and roll song I ever listened to.

              My first guitar was a black Les Paul (jap copy).

              My junior high art project was to do a giant shadow stencil of Page playing his double neck.

              1. frosty zoom

                and muddy waters and willy dixon never copied anybody.

                “good musicians borrow, great musicians steal” duke ellington as stolen from igor stravinsky

                1. lightningclap

                  True, everyone “borrows”, but Zep were especially egregious in directly covering songs and give themselves the composer’s credit.

                2. optimader

                  muddy waters -> McKinley Morganfield
                  He was my neighbor in 1980-83 . A real gent. Inexplicably he elected to live in a white middleclass suburb of Chicago. His music was undergoing a resurgence and he up and died of a heart attack. When he played w/ the R.Stones at the checker board lounge it was obvious who was the talent, Jagger was a punk, K.Richards stood up to the scrutiny.
                  I inherited his kat when he passed away, his wife who was ~28yo punched out as soon as she could pack the MB after the funeral. His wake was a musician roll call.

      1. optimader

        U2 is 15+years past their freshness date but this all about Apple jumping the shark on that intangible quality of Cool, U2 is just the tool.
        IMO an amazing demonstration of Corporate tone deafness relative stepping over that (illusionary) invisible line of private property rights and privacy. Hell, even OS updates are elective. Reason #1,263 to not have/delete an iTunes account ( beyond mp3 file format being the equivalent of high fidelity pancreatic cancer).

        1. McMike

          I use PC. I download and aggregate my music on the PC, and create playlists there. Only then do I import them to itunes for use on the phone.

          I also pull my photos off the phone and then delete them, storing them on the PC.

          Windows Media Player & Windows Explorer are no great shakes, but at least it lets me decide how/when/where to do what I want with my files.

          1. optimader

            I rip full format (aiff) to archival harddrives and use slimserver as a media server to organize/wirelessly broadcast at home to digital receivers (squeezebox Duets). Fantastic devices, unfortunately nothing good lasts forever and Logitec bought the company and killed the productline, too wonky for young folk that are ignorant of what high fidelity is because they’ve heard nothing but smeared high gain mp3 crap recordings.

            Don’t use my old iphone 4s for storing music files, but it does a very good job as a tuner for digital radio (use the lineout signal to a preamp not the crappy headphonejack that goes through the phone volamp circuit which chops the dB range horribly)

    3. David Petraitis

      I actually wanted to listen to it but found that I didn’t have it in my iTunes. (?)

      So I went to the iTunes store, and clicked on it to see if I could download it. It said that it was “Purchased” I went back to iTunes Library “Purchased” folder, and no luck, not there. (??)

      Some trolling on the web I found that I needed to click on the “Cloud” Icon. Searched the UI of my iTunes no cloud icon. (???)

      I found that I had to install iCloud (the infamous leaky cloud disk system that will put my naked pictures all over the net!) before I could get the cloud icon. (????)

      So being the dutiful iPleb that I am I did so (full disclosure – I have a Windows 8 PC not a Mac anymore since I got fed up with Apple’s ‘ecosystem” some years ago…)
      Once loaded, I need to log in to iCloud. So I put in my iTunes store id and password… and it is rejected! (?????)

      It seems that I need to SIGN UP SEPARATELY for iCloud! (??????)

      At this point I give up. Getting a free album is too much hassle…

      1. hunkerdown

        Hah! I think you nailed it. Q: what to do when iCloud loses currency because people have their naked photos stolen? A: give everyone *access* to (not *possession* of) some nice neolib rock to put them in the right frame of mind.

        This is Apple, getting the leather jacket and swim trunks on, rehearsing their “Sit on it” in front of the mirror…

    4. Skeptic

      Bono is Phono. When songsters have single names like famous Dictators (Stalin, Tito, Franco, e.g.) you know there’s a problem. Then there is the little matter of “popular music” being controlled by the 1% as mental fodder for the masses. Phono’s label is MSM CBS records. So so, Phono, none of my do-re-mi to you.

      Like food, listen and buy locally.

      1. TimR

        Check out Dave McGowan’s article series (now a book!) on Laurel Canyon and the birth of the Hippie Scene and 60s Music… I forget the exact title, something like that.

        Anyway, yes, there is a lot of high strangeness around the business of culture creation. Fascinating, fascinating reading, highly recommended.

      2. hunkerdown

        Your heuristic fails with Jello Biafra, I think. That’s two dictators in one name and yet he’s unwaveringly leftist, even in the face of beatdowns from Nazi punks.

      3. optimader

        I generally agree w/ the spirit of what you be say’in. Just need to look/listen to how the majority of the contemporary major label crap that is shilled as music is mixed at loudness saturation levels and you can understand why it is fatiguing to listen to.

  4. Steve H.

    The Saker article had my wife wondering why I kept making noises in the living room. Putin “a rather uninspiring and dull bureaucrat” that the Atlanticists installed? (Mandatory judo reference here.) As Jalen says, “The key to longevity to reinvent yourself,” and Putin has shown himself masterful at it.

    So I was thinking, what other ‘formidable statesmen’ are their to rival him? He seems the top Russian since Stalin, and the early 20th century world had not only Stalin but FDR, Mao and Gandhi, each tailored to their particular cultures. Before then, Bismark, and I can’t name the great(s) for Britain but they had to be there. Who else should be on the list? Is there anyone else on the board now?

    1. Worker-Owner


      Winston (Winnie the Pooh) Churchill might qualify for the UK. I suspect there are those that would argue ;-) … Adenauer and De Gaulle and friends were creations of the US/UK PR Blitz during reconstruction (they were good customers with US money). Following Peter Dale Scott’s research, I would say that the Deep States have become the Great Leader(s) for our time. Good luck to Erdogan rooting out what’s left of Gladio in Turkey.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I was surprised to learn the king of Thailand has been king since 1946 (68 years and running).

        To me, that’s, in some way, ‘formidable.’

  5. Banger

    This is really an amazing time. We have the Scottish referendum, we have France in crisis that may spur a new election and with it the emergence of a new hybrid political force in Marine Le Pen who I believe is the most interesting politician in Europe at the moment. We also have a new Cold War, the perpetual war in the ME both fueled by U.S. imperialists bent on creating chaos wherever they can in order to undermine all civil society and institute a dictatorship of oligarchs and gunsels. We have a Congressional election that the media seems to be completely ignoring–do the realize that which party holds congress is irrelevant?

    In some ways it all hangs on Scottish independence–as Salmons writes it would be an irrational vote–the Scots would be worse off–at least initially–but it would be glorious! It would be a major blow against the Empire and a blow for it. As nation states collapse the larger more authoritarian and tightly controlled states increase their relative power–the USA being the most powerful will gain the most from European collapse as it will be able to more easily control statelets–or so one line of argument goes. Still, I’m for the disintegration of the UK and other countries because dramatic change offers opportunity for new personalities and new power alignments to emerge–and we know one thing for sure–this current set of political arrangements is highly toxic to those of us who don’t sit at the top of the pyramid. We have a fighting chance to change things in Europe if the Scots revolt. No such luck in the U.S.–it is haw become a tightly controlled authoritarian state with a controlled media that seeks invented threats and war abroad and a police state at home. But, I do know this, the peasants are restless and stunningly ignorant not always a good combination.

    1. psychohistorian

      So what happens if the EU become nation states again and Germany goes with PRC/Russia?

      I agree that any opportunity for change is better than continuing down the road we are on.

  6. jgordon

    I was just reading on zh about how the moderate Syrian rebels we’re arming to fight the ISIS just agreed to a mutual non-aggression pact with the ISIS. I have to admit that I chortled a bit when I read that; the Obama regime is proving extraordinarily competent at dismantling the empire. Or maybe I’ve been wrong about Obama all along; it could be that out of an abundance of intelligence and good-will towards humanity he’s purposely deconstructing the US empire in an efficient manner, but that because of the various factions that control him he has to go about it by appearing profoundly boorish and utterly incompetent.

    1. diptherio

      Oh man…imagine that! Obama as anti-imperialist mole, spending decades positioning himself, building up his cred with the PTB, only to get placed in power and proceed to dismantle the empire while supposedly trying to save it. There’s a real conspiracy theory for you.

    2. Andrew Watts

      Am I allowed to gloat just a little bit?


      “The Free Syrian Army was never going to be more than a minor group when compared to ISIS/ISIL and the Al-Nusra Front. They recently launched joint attacks alongside Al-Nusra on the Syrian-Iraq border in support of ISIS. After this operation Al-Nusra pledged allegiance to ISIS despite their previous animosity. Which really begs the question of how independent FSA is of ISIS among other things.”

      Nobody could’ve possibly seen this coming! Gahaha.

    3. Doug Terpstra

      Ha! If only! Then again, the ISIS farce is such a transparent backdoor trapdoor to war on Russia (via Syria), that it may well be that, contrary to Putin’s alleged comment, Obama is actually better at chess than “a pigeon who knocks over all the pieces, shits on the board, flies away and thinks he’s won.” It just may be that he intends to destroy the empire to save it — brilliant strategery! If so I will gladly eat a heaping helping of humble pie for the many unkind words directed his way over last five years.

    4. Lambert Strether

      For C. Northcote Parkinson fans, this is the cure for injelitance:

      The next or tertiary stage in the onset of this disease is reached when there is no spark of intelligence left in the whole organization from top to bottom. This is the state of coma we described in our first paragraph. When that stage has been reached the institution is, for all practical purposes, dead. It may remain in a coma for twenty years. It may quietly disintegrate. It may even, finally, recover. Cases of recovery are rare. It may be thought odd that recovery without treatment should be possible. The process is quite natural, nevertheless, and closely resembles the process by which various living organisms develop a resistance to poisons that are at first encounter fatal. It is as if the whole institution had been sprayed with a DDT solution guaranteed to eliminate all ability found in its way. For a period of years this practice achieves the desired result. Eventually, however, individuals develop an immunity. They conceal their ability under a mask of imbecile good humor. The result is that the operatives assigned to the task of ability-elimination fail (through stupidity) to recognize ability when they see it. An individual of merit penetrates the outer defenses and begins to make his way toward the top. He wanders on, babbling about golf and giggling feebly, losing documents and forgetting names, and looking just like everyone else. Only when he has reached high rank does he suddenly throw off the mask and appear like the demon king among a crowd of pantomime fairies. With shrill screams of dismay the high executives find ability right there in the midst of them. It is too late by then to do anything about it. The damage has been done, the disease is in retreat, and full recovery is possible over the next ten years. But these instances of natural cure are extremely rare. In the more usual course of events, the disease passes through the recognized stages and becomes, as it would seem, incurable.

      1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

        Parkinson had vision and wit. His observations go far beyond business — they scratch down to the basic levels of societies and how humans (reasonably, or not), create and sustain them (or not).

    1. Swedish Lex

      Austerity in Sweden?
      There is none and have never been any.
      The welfare system is being tweaked all the time, but I would much more prefer to be unemployed in Sweden than anywhere else, possibly with the exception of Denmark.
      The next Government will not maky any major changes. The Realpolitik is such that the major parties are debating micro changes only.

  7. wbgonne

    Naomi Klein has a new book, “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate,” and here is an excerpt posted at The Guardian:

    “I denied climate change for longer than I care to admit. I knew it was happening, sure. But I stayed pretty hazy on the details and only skimmed most news stories. I told myself the science was too complicated and the environmentalists were dealing with it. And I continued to behave as if there was nothing wrong with the shiny card in my wallet attesting to my “elite” frequent-flyer status. A great many of us engage in this kind of denial. We look for a split second and then we look away. Or maybe we do really look, but then we forget. We engage in this odd form of on-again-off-again ecological amnesia for perfectly rational reasons. We deny because we fear that letting in the full reality of this crisis will change everything. And we are right. If we continue on our current path of allowing emissions to rise year after year, major cities will drown, ancient cultures will be swallowed by the seas; our children will spend much of their lives fleeing and recovering from vicious storms and extreme droughts. Yet we continue all the same.

    What is wrong with us? I think the answer is far more simple than many have led us to believe: we have not done the things needed to cut emissions because those things fundamentally conflict with deregulated capitalism, the reigning ideology for the entire period we have struggled to find a way out of this crisis. We are stuck, because the actions that would give us the best chance of averting catastrophe – and benefit the vast majority – are threatening to an elite minority with a stranglehold over our economy, political process and media. That problem might not have been insurmountable had it presented itself at another point in our history. But it is our collective misfortune that governments and scientists began talking seriously about radical cuts to greenhouse gas emissions in 1988 – the exact year that marked the dawning of “globalisation”. The numbers are striking: in the 1990s, as the market integration project ramped up, global emissions were going up an average of 1% a year; by the 2000s, with “emerging markets” such as China fully integrated into the world economy, emissions growth had sped up disastrously, reaching 3.4% a year. That rapid growth rate has continued, interrupted only briefly, in 2009, by the world financial crisis. What the climate needs now is a contraction in humanity’s use of resources; what our economic model demands is unfettered expansion. Only one of these sets of rules can be changed, and it’s not the laws of nature.”

    1. Banger

      The Climate Change issue is the issue of the day and we aren’t putting it front and center. The left largely refuses to deal with it by tending to always support “stimulating” the “economy” to, allegedly, reduce human misery–really? I know you can live a very convivial life with using about 1/10 of the carbon energy we use but those methods and techniques are suppressed and/or ignored. We are obsessed with the industrial model–why everyone thinks it is fun to work in factories and so on I will never understand. There are other ways to get food and shelter if we could manage to change our standards and ways of measuring status–which is mainly what the demand for consumer goods is.

      1. wbgonne

        Do you agree with Klein’s analysis of our paralysis? It sounds exactly right to me.

        As for “the Left,” I think we will agree that no Leftist is anywhere near power in this country today, or the world for that matter, except maybe South America. The American Democratic Party is more Right Wing than the GOP was in 1970.

            1. diptherio

              In my view, power is an essentially internal thing. Power to control your fear, power to focus your mind, etc. Power is also a communal thing–the people of Ferguson have been learning that they have power and ways to organize and increase that power.

              One might say that in colonial India, the locals had little or no power…but look what those powerless Indians were able to do: defeat on of the premier military powers of their time.

              Power is where you place it. If you assume that all power comes from the state or the PTB, then you will not be able to discover or make use of your own power. Yves, for instance, has power–not state power, to be sure, but power all the same.

              1. wbgonne

                Yes, the power you speak of is real but inchoate as to the larger group, and, unfortunately, it is the collective, aggregate result that matters most. Without state power, Leftists get to piss into the wind, that’s about it. The revolution of consciousness that you describe is surely the most durable and potent but may never coalesce or may not coalesce is time to prevent cataclysms like AGW. Coercive state power is quick and we are running out of time. So I’d say those Leftists better take power soon.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  Power corrupts.

                  Relative power corrupts relatively..

                  Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

                  When a leftist takes power, he/she might not be a leftist long.

                  Good luck.

                  1. wbgonne

                    Well, the Right Wing is quite happy to fill that power vaccuum. And ceding power to the Right Wing gets us what we have now. How’s that working out? If you are waiting for humans to evolve beyond group-power dynamics, good luck with that. Fight for power or be squashed like a bug.

                    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      You put a leftist in the White House and now, he’s a right winger.

                      Before being elected, they were all leftists.

              2. hunkerdown

                Power is simply the ability to achieve planned outcomes. Using it as an emotive, self-affirming synonym for strength, willed-subjection, or other bourgeois values is one of the habits that keeps us in a beige dictatorship. If the word for that capacity has been stolen, how are we to cultivate the quality attached to it?

        1. Banger

          Yes, and part of what is left of the “left” is what I call the Stasi left–i.e., people who appear to be in opposition luring well-meaning people to their ranks and their publications. These people and groups are often funded by foundations allied with the CIA. This includes quite a few “radicals” as well.

    2. McMike

      We have failed to stop fracking, failed to stop the poisoning of our food, failed to stop the banks, failed to stop the NSA, failed to stop the nuclear industry, failed to stop the health “care” industry, failed to stop the destruction of the middle class, the peonage of the lower class, failed to stop the war murder machine, and the shredding of the constitution….

      Why would we think that climate change is any different?

      1. wbgonne

        All true. However, almost all of those things are reversible because they remain within human control. Once we cook the planet we just have to live with it. Or die fromit, which is the far more likely result. Will we address AGW in time? Probably not.

        1. McMike

          Not so sure,

          Those trillions of gallons of contaminated frack water (and nuclear waste and spills) went somewhere, to stay.

          And many people are concerned that GMO’s are going to spread across the foodscape in irreversible ways too.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I can only console that we do what we can individually.

            Life does not unfold itself in a linear fashion.

            It happens often that no apparent progress or movement is seen, and then, eruption comes.

      2. chris

        It’s not that I disagree with you, it’s just that I’d put it quite differently:
        We have aggressively increased fracking, mandated the poisoning of our food supply, legislated as legal the NSA and surveillance state, entrenched the “death-by-profit” health industry, willfully abetted the death of the middle class (as a feature, not a bug of neo-liberalism), further enslaved the lower (working) class, celebrated and culturally embraced the Pentagon’s murder machine (“more war” says, apparently, a majority of USians) and allowed a “constitutional scholar” to further shred what remained of the already tattered constitution after its betrayal by the Democratic party for 3+ decades.

        Climate change? What’s that?…

      3. Brooklin Bridge

        Many people are deeply pessimistic now, not because they are “weak” personalities, but because the facts almost require it. Proposals based on, “if we act now, right now, right this very minute, right this very second, we can mitigate the worst.”, may be accurate, but they are hardly convincing. How can they be when the points you raise are so accurate (hell, just by looking outside) and therefore so much in people’s minds and yet we keep moving in the opposite direction?

        Peak oil, over population, resource depletion, climate change are acutely real and lethal problems on a global scale yet we keep casting life boats adrift to make room for the band to play – a little faster, a little louder please!

          1. just me

            Tiny Tim called it in 1968. Seriously! Dare ya:


            (I like the comment: “Tiny Tim is the Jimi Hendrix of weird. And this is probably one of the greatest performances ever. :-)”)

            Confession: We had the album. And ever since I’ve been wondering why this hasn’t been the go-to song for every climate change story. I hear it in my head when I see the pictures.

        1. Vatch

          “Peak oil, over population, resource depletion, climate change are acutely real and lethal problems on a global scale…”

          No kidding! Yet people continue to buy muscle cars and SUVs, fail to wear sweaters indoors during winter, and they keep cranking out the offspring. It doesn’t get much more absurd than this:

          And now the grandchildren are appearing. People like this could use an introduction to the concept of exponential growth:

          I nominate Donella Meadows for sainthood.

      4. Banger

        Indeed–so it is now time to kill off the “left” and start something new. Perhaps we can call it the party of reason or something silly like that. With climate change there is a chance of allying with powerful forces that do not automatically go along with the MIC and Big Oil. Alliances could be made with non-Wall Street financial institutions, small and medium size industry, professionals in various fields, show biz, sports figures, investment funds (who actually invest and don’t just manipulate politics and “the system” to get rich). We need to ally with religious groups, even if they oppose our ideas about abortion and gay marriage and so on. But mainly we need to form tighter bonds and communities that support each other and that will grow because we offer support, jobs, and even food to each other. Tight organization would enable us to engage in tightly focused boycotts, and the occasional bit of more serious action that isn’t just marching around.

        1. McMike

          Yes, rebuild our communities, reclaim our local economy, etc. First off, Kill Your Television.

          Check out this:

          “How to Overthrow the System: brew your own beer; kick in your Tee Vee; kill your own beef; build your own cabin and piss off the front porch whenever you bloody well feel like it.” — Edward Abbey

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            That resonates.

            “Be the greatest artist in your life.”

            “You’re the leader (the savior, the hero, etc) you have been yearning for all your life.”

            Go off the couch and do it – even if they ridicule you, if they laugh at you as a fool.

          2. jrs

            That could only be achieved if everyone went back to the land and abandoned urban living ie that is unlikely to ever be achieved short of complete collapse, which isn’t to say I have anything against anyone doing it or don’t think they do some good, just it’s a rather incomplete plan for social change and the huge problems faced.

    3. Paul Tioxon

      There is also a geopolitical dimension to this analysis and the stats from China show the impact of the problem. What used to be called the 3rd world, now less developed economies, do not trust the messages of science or ideals or high minded as well as pragmatic calls for survival. The Western powers and their civilization have a created a way life. This has now become the aspirational standard for the minimum attainment for everyday life for just about everyone everywhere. They just don’t trust us telling them, that after we have built up the magnificent infrastructure, the homes, and offices and hospitals and air and seaports, all of the modern world that makes the material conditions of life enjoyable beyond the baseline minimum for survival, that now is the time to scale back economic development because we have learned the lesson of over consumption and environmental pollution with the destruction of our water tables, aquifers and rivers.

      When the Western powers can no longer force other societies into politically subservient and economically dependent roles by force of arms, enforced impoverishment by unequal trade relations or cultural imperialism creating a false consciousness of intellectual traditions that will lead to the same conclusions that are derived at domestically, identical to the hectoring insistence of Western policy makers, even if the scientific conclusions and direct experience of climate change hurting the rest of the undeveloped world with terrible storms, droughts, floods, crop failures, there is such a mistrust in any message from the West.

      Now, for your own good, stop building and developing and start doing more with less? Off course foreign leaders would reply, the less we consume in natural resources the longer you get to live in the lifestyle you have grown accustomed. The undeveloped nations see no other path than through the industrialization, the burning and more burning of what can dug up out ground, pumped up and burned in fury of manufacturing that will produce in a generation, what 2000 years of laboring humanity could ever produce by their own power. I see very little chance of politicians, leaders, intellectuals, academics, no matter how well informed, of buying into the diet for a small planet policy that must, of course, start with them, who never new the rapacious hunger of the satanic mills, only the hunger of their empty bellies. They will take their chances with the fury of nature’s retribution rather than being left out the chance to do what Americans did here in less than a century of industrialization.

      As the world watched the USA drive bigger and bigger cars, after the Oil Embargo, build bigger and bigger houses, with electrical consumption for air conditioning and 2 and 3 refrigerator homes and build nuclear power plants after 3 Mile Island, they are hardly going to listen to us know talk about the dangers of energy consumption supporting an unsustainable lifestyle. They will burn as much fuel as they can, to build up as much as they can and when the fuel runs out or the storm come crashing, at least they will have steel and concrete homes, and hospitals and back up solar power, instead of the 3rd class lifestyle they now have.

      1. wbgonne

        Good points. All the more reason the U.S. had to take the lead. Instead, we undermined Kyoto and then rammed fracking down the world’s throat. We have squandered our moral authority. As Klein notes, the U.S.’s neoliberal globalism has undermined efforts at global cooperation, not fostered it. Greed is greed and no one will listen to the hypocritical mewlings of an America so obviously obsessed with obscene wealth.

      2. Brooklin Bridge

        Your points also illustrate what a monster we have set in motion with our perpetual growth ideology and our ruthlessly profit driven focus on lethal forms of energy that can be easily controlled by the elite.

        True, if the US were to do an about face on carbon based fuels and our society of endless war and profit driven growth and political power at any cost, it would be a game changer, but how likely is that to happen? We are, after all, even more deeply enthralled than third world nations by the same sirens we have set loose on them and the rest of the world.

        Unless we indeed keep loosing and loosing and then suddenly -VERY soon- we win, by the time we get a real game changer, such as Miami literally sinking under the water over a stormy weekend, there will be no stopping it. It looks more and more like even odds between outright extinction or another down to the wire bottleneck gene pool.

      3. Brooklin Bridge

        Have a reply in moderation but the gist of it is that our worser selves (oil industry, for ex.) have overcome too much inertia over the last century, created to much of a monster, to stop it now even if we wanted to. In practical terms, it just ain’t gonna happen (though I still hope Scotland says YES!).

    4. Eeyores enigma

      Virtually ALL solutions that address any of the major global predicaments converging on mankind reduces or even takes away the ability for the population to “make a living” so they must be a dying.

      Naomi gets closer than any other but until we eliminate the “no money-you die” paradigm we will never be able to change anything.

  8. trish

    U2’s Forgettable Fire

    “Lack of consent is not the future.” But it is.
    We have billionaires telling us how to run our public schools, our government (aside from running our government), our foreign policy, what we must all be taught (just recently, ie, something that entertained Gates while while working out on the treadmill), what music we must listen to… many people seem to have bought into the idea that these arrogant gods know what’s good for us. That they know how to run things better, more efficiently. And there’s a lot of profit to be made on this con.

    We condemn the “bad” billionaires while praising, even heroizing the “good” ones: the philanthropists that toss some of their largess (with accompanying tax write-offs) to a “public good” and we acquiesce to the idea that THEY should be determining what program, what social good is worthwhile – and therefore, then, what isn’t- and not our elected representatives.

    1. Joe

      Apple and U2 certainly deserve each other, same corporate greedy and needy tax dodging/we must know best because we’re rich mentality. There are no good billionaires; sociopaths one and all as far as I’m concerned.

      I’ve taken to calling the U2 corporation’s new music product: Songs of Incontinence.

      “You can’t have everything. Where would you put it?”
      – Steven Wright

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Apple is great at what it does and it has done its research well and knows that the 21st Century Man (and Woman) fears silence.

        We got to have some ‘music’ on wherever we are, whatever we do.

        It’s Panic Time if we have to be alone with ourselves in silence.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            And if you can make it meditating under the Big Apple of your neighbor’s early moring mowing, you can make it anywhere. anytime.

            ‘Rise to the challenge!’

    2. McMike


      Apple has been shoving control freakdom down users’ throats for quite a while already, no? These are the opaque devices that savvy users must try to “jailbreak” (a revealing choice of words), are they not? In the vast sea of ways Apple treats its users like juvenile delinquents, giving away a free album as a surprise hardly rates as a blip on the seismograph.

      “Lack of consent”. lol. That horse has left the barn bubba.

      1. hunkerdown

        Of course they treat their patrons like juvenile delinquents. Who else sets foot in a mega-mall outside of Shut Up And Buy For The Children season?

    3. Jim Haygood

      iTunes has larger issues:

      ‘For a company that prides itself on providing a top-notch user experience, Apple ought to hang its head in shame for the disaster that iTunes has turned into. It’s a bloated, piggish, unreliable mess. It’s the application we love to hate. It’s the application that some of us just hate. But we put up with it. Because we have no choice.’


      No choice? At least on Windows systems — for which there’s a rich ecology of capable third-party media players — there’s no reason to be running Apple’s malware (or Microsoft’s).

      Did you catch the deejay chattering classes in the wasteland of commercial radio the day of the Apple/U2 release, yammering on about how cool it was? They’re paid to say that.

      1. McMike

        It’s a remarkable achievement, making Microsoft look good.

        I find myself nostalgic for the Bill Gates as Borg posters.

      2. Carolinian

        I’ve never gotten the appeal of Apple’s “walled garden” although I can’t claim to have spent much time using their products. If you’re into computers then more choices are always better. Apple’s response would undoubtedly be that safety trumps freedom making cyberworld a microcosm of our social condition in general. Of course that safety thing not exactly working out for Jennifer Lawrence. (And H’wood luv them some Apple. They say Apple doesn’t even have to pay for all that product placement. The company just gives out free computers.)

        Bottom line: a fashion company as much as a computer company? Or is that being too cynical? Having confessed my Apple ignorance am more than willing to be slagged.

        1. hunkerdown

          Not cynical, just spot-on. Apple has behaved in recent history as a consumer electronics and entertainment company, just like Sony. Unlike Sony the conglomerate, technology is a means for Apple, not an end. The iWatch could be taken as their answer to the commodification of a transparent wireless terminal experience and attendant low margins. Looking to recapture the luxury pricing and high margins to which they are accustomed, they’ve moved into something resembling pure fashion. It could also be taken as their approach to the always-to-hand access experience offered by Glass.

          But $350 to avoid pulling my phone out of my pocket to do the thing I most often use my phone for — checking the time — is a bit much.

      3. lulu

        VOX for Mac is a good alternative to iTunes; the latest version, however, is criticized for having become too complex. An older (LEGACY) version can be found here. As a longtime Mac user, I was disheartened when one day Apple included a self-installing app called “NoticeBoard” with an AppStore update. For owners of older Macs running older versions of OS X (10.6.8 here), it daily would check the OS version, send the info back to Apple and prompt one to upgrade to the latest OS (Mavericks — free, free, free!) with a pop-up dialogue box. Every freaking day… fortunately an app called Little Snitch can block outgoing communications and this took care of it. This move by Apple prompted me to find a nice refurbished ThinkPad on eBay and I am quite happy with Windows 7. Not as smooth, intuitive and pretty, but it works fine.

    4. OIFVet

      Support only your local non-profits: animal shelters, programs for at-risk kids, etc. They are the ones that can and do make POSITIVE difference. They are the one where my donations go to.

    5. hunkerdown

      I’m sure thirty years of mass media that’s saturated with narratives of “willed-acquiescence”, submission to authority and other Good Serf values doesn’t have anything to do with that.

      More pointedly, didn’t the European Council of Corporations Commission just deny MEPs review of TTIP? I read this yesterday and now I can’t find it in my hundreds of tabs.

  9. Banger

    There is another Counter Punch article worth reading by Nafeez Ahmed “How the West Created the Islamic State” which shows directly what some of us have been saying for some time.

    It’s not that we don’t want the Salafis to throw bombs,” said one US government defense consultant in 2007. “It’s who they throw them at – Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Iran, and at the Syrians, if they continue to work with Hezbollah and Iran.

    Definitely a must read. Eventually I think people who follow events will begin to connect the dots. The article is long, well-sourced and, as far as I can see impeccable. You want to understand the whole deal in Syria/Iraq–read this guy.

    1. Chief Bromden

      Looks like the PNAC neocons are going for the ultimate hail mary…

      “Consider the implications here as the Obama administration begins bombing in Syria which also has a mutual defense agreement with Iran.

      This is not the cold war 2.0. This is World War 3.0. The masses may not have figured it out yet, but history will remember it that way.

      Alliances are already solidifying and and a hot war is underway on multiple fronts. If the provocations and proxy wars continue, it’s only a matter of time before the big players confront each other directly, and that is a recipe for disaster.

      Does all of this sound insane to you? Well you’re right. The people running the world right now are insane, and the public is sleep walking into a tragedy.”

      1. Jagger

        —–This is not the cold war 2.0. This is World War 3.0. —- No, much more like the 100 years war. Of course, it could easily upgrade into WW3 but not as long as everyone on every side is thoroughly rational and doesn’t make any really stupid mistakes.

    2. Doug Terpstra

      Indeed an excellent invesigative analysis of the convoluted machinations of an evil empire. It’s a sickening descent into the twisted, bottomless rabbit hole of the neocons’ violent and depraved imagination — engineered chaos, hatred, and strife — divide-and-rule war for profit and absolute power. It’s a breathtakingly diabolical regime, with Israel at the blackened heart of it.

    1. Worker-Owner

      The scary part is that LA is ALWAYS a desert. These measurements are indicative of the Central Vallley becoming desertified from lack of water from rain and the Sierra and water-hoarding by those with the power ($$$) to suck the rest of the system dry.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        From LA Times:

        “Once upon a time, California and Arizona went to war over water. The year was 1934.”

        I just hope our militarized cops are better equipped and trained.

    2. craazyman

      I don’t know, but the women are hot!

      I wish they all could be California Girls . . ..

      Those were the days, when the Beach Boys were cutting vinyl albums and a man could fix his own car with a bag of metal tools wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans. Not like today, when a man has to call a tow truck on his cell phone while he sits there by the highway in his slim fit Joseph A. Bank khakis and polo shirt wondering what to do from moment to moment. People need something to focus on and the cell phone isn’t the best thing for that.

  10. wbgonne

    “How Hillary Clinton’s State Department Sold Fracking to the World Mother Jones. Lambert: “Lovely….. And then they got the estimates wrong…. ””

    Fracking: The Progressive way to bake the planet. (And — bonus points! — simultaneously ruin our water supplies so potable water can be privatized.)

      1. wbgonne

        My comment was snark. But if you ask Obama and HerTurn Hillary they will tell you that it’s better than coal, which is probably literally true on carbon emissions but neglects to note (among other things) that we are now exporting our coal so other countries will burn it, which defeats the purpose since global warming is a global matter.

          1. Jim Haygood

            Hillary Rodham Cheney is the only candidate pledged to castrate ISIS with her own knife … as well as demand that the moderate fighters promote more women rebels to positions of leadership.

              1. abynormal

                it takes a village to raze one
                narcissist say & do exactly what they mean…
                but nasty journey to stoop to their level for interpretation

              2. hunkerdown

                No, suicide bombing is for the little people. Good Whig Jihadis (strugglers) keep their pinky out at all times, even if it means missing the shot.

        1. Brooklin Bridge

          Gas from franking better than coal? Possibly, but probably not by much if you take into account such things as “acceptable” levels of methane leakage, water depletion, toxic residue from process and so on. And that’s before even the problem Wbgonne mentioned about fracking simply freeing up coal to be used in other places.

        2. frosty zoom

          maybe we can start using mountain-top removal to frack. just scrape a few hundred meters of rock off north dakota and voilà!

          1. Ulysses

            Mountain-top removal is so evil and short-sighted that it takes my breath away.

            “There’s a common saying in Appalachia: what we do to the land, we do to the people. Recently, 21 peer-reviewed scientific studies have confirmed the truth of those words. Not only has mountaintop removal permanently destroyed more than 500 Appalachian mountains, but people living near the destruction are 50% more likely to die of cancer and 42% more likely to be born with birth defects compared with other people in Appalachia.”


            The sick haste to destroy our planet for short-term profits makes me wonder what goes through the minds of those at the top of the extraction industry pyramid. Are they so insane as to think they can hunker down in some place clean and nice while the rest of the world dies? That they can use their billions to still order tasty food from great restaurants, after the ecological collapse of planet earth makes the continued existence of such luxuries impossible? Maybe they fantasize about some high-tech, sci-fi “colony” on Mars just for the super wealthy? On the slim chance that we can begin to repair some of the damage already caused by the greed-heads, we urgently need to organize ourselves– to oust them from power very soon.

  11. Carolinian

    DW and NATO

    Roland Freudenstein, a security policy expert with the Brussels think-tank Wilfried Martens Center, believes that the refusal to make concrete plans for membership in 2008 “strongly encouraged Putin to embroil Georgia in a war.” Stronger military ties to NATO would at least have made Russian aggression less likely, he told DW.

    Isn’t this a fantasy version of what happened in Georgia where the Russian invasion was recklessly provoked by Georgian shelling of civilian areas? Check out some of these Moon of Alabama posts from 2008.

    DW acts like there are two sides to this issue but the problem is one side seems to be fos.

    1. Gaianne

      When guys like Freudenstein say absurd things like that, you have to hope that they are lying–because if they thought what the were saying was true it would mean they were complete buffoons.

      The Georgia War was a direct result of the US trying to bring Georgia into NATO. There is no reason to doubt the Russians had concerns for the South Ossetians (who after all, held Russian passports)–but with the Georgian move toward NATO the Russians realized the real issue was national survival–of Russia. Oddly but fortunately, the Georgians helped the Russians by needlessly attacking South Ossetia. This gave the Russians two opportunities they otherwise would not have had–to help South Ossetia directly rather than indirectly, and to secure part of their south.

      The truth is the exact opposite of what Freudenstein tells the media.


  12. wbgonne

    ISIS: Is ISIS is goading the West into a military incursion? It sure seems that way and it also appears to be a probable winning strategy for ISIS. The U.S. again in Iraq, again attacking Muslims, while our economy rots and our people get more miserable and angry. Patience has never been an American virtue and the rest of the world knows it.

    1. Banger

      ISIS is a U.S. supported group that has made an excellent case for more permanent war–scaring Walmart and Soccer moms half to death with vivid images. Mainly, in my view, this was planned and well-executed as an operation. Compare this with the attempt to get the U.S. involved in the Syrian War last year–didn’t work–images weren’t stark enough, enemy was not nearly creepy enough. Now everything is perfect and on we go. Much money flowing to all the usual suspects.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          A well-balanced Man of the Way practices Laugh-Yoga as well as Cry-Yoga.

          He has freed himself emotionally to any attachment…he laughs and he cries.

      1. psychohistorian

        I saw elsewhere a great question.

        Why hasn’t ISIS beheaded a Jew and sent a message to Netanyahu?


  13. McMike

    Post not showing up? Ty this:

    (1) clear your cashe
    (2) refresh the page to the top level url (i.e. no #-comment)

    Abra cadabra

  14. Brindle

    Thomas Frank takes down Ezra Klein and beltway Dem’s worshipping of “experts”:

    —-Allow me to drop a single, disturbing data point on this march of science. You might recall that Democrats controlled the House of Representatives from the early 1930s until 1994 with only two brief Republican interludes. What ended all that was not an ill-advised swerve to the left, but the opposite: A long succession of moves toward what is called the “center,” culminating in the administration of New Democrat Bill Clinton, who (among other things) signed the Republicans’ NAFTA treaty into law. Taking economic matters off the table was thought to be the path of wisdom among expert-worshipping Washingtonians, but it had the unforeseen consequence of making culture that much more important for a large part of the population.—-

  15. Joe

    From the Monthly Review website:
    The Return of Fascism In Contemporary Capitalism

    “In conclusion, fascism has returned to the West, East, and South; and this return is naturally connected with the spread of the systemic crisis of generalized, financialized, and globalized monopoly capitalism. Actual or even potential recourse to the services of the fascist movement by the dominant centers of this hard-pressed system calls for the greatest vigilance on our part. This crisis is destined to grow worse and, consequently, the threat of resorting to fascist solutions will become a real danger. Hillary Clinton’s support for Washington’s warmongering does not bode well for the immediate future.”

  16. Antifa

    California is getting hotter in more ways than one. The ongoing spew of iodine, cesium 134, and cesium 137 from Fukushima doesn’t just wash up on California beaches. It doesn’t just kill creatures in the ocean.

    It comes down in the rain and snow. It drifts and settles wherever the wind blows. Even if California could desalinate all the ocean water they wanted, even if it rained every afternoon throughout the state, even if the Cascade snowpack was prodigious, it is all polluted with radioactive isotopes from an ongoing supply in Japan.

    The state can only get “hotter” in terms of radiation that will kill its ecology, and its people.

    Fukushima will make the entire West Coast of the US a place to get out of, and stay out of. Why? Because Fukushima cannot be cleaned up. The real plan there is to tinker with it and let it cool off over 40 years or so. In the interval, if their tinkering or an earthquake doesn’t topple the fuel pools, we get the radioactive spew spreading throughout the northern hemisphere. The dirtiest area, outside of Northern Japan, will be America’s west coast.

    1. Kurt Sperry

      My professional dosimetrist friend says the North American west coast being dangerously irradiated by Fukashima is nonsense scientifically. I don’t know enough to know myself.

      1. Synapsid

        Your friend might also know that the Cascades are not in California.
        Still, there’s more to the West Coast than California, and the Cascades are there, farther north.

        I expect your friend is referring to dilution as well as initial amounts of the various nasties coming from Fukushima.

      2. hunkerdown

        A certain branch of apocalyptic evangelical nutjobs have taken up the radioacitivity hazard symbol as their new crucifix, their new seal of authority to shove in others’ faces to evoke the desired mindset of fear, panic, and obedience.

        Same as it ever was.

      3. ewmayer

        Here some actual Fukushima-related *measurements* as an antidote to the hysterical scaremongery of folks like antifa (which appears to be a contraction of “anti-factual”):

        Not sure who to believe? You can buy a used compact Geiger counter (I have a Radiation Alert model I bought via Edmund Scientific ~20 years ago) on eBay and go do your own damn measurements in various parts of the state/country/world you happen to travel to.

        Don’t get me wrong, Fukushima is bad, very bad for the surrounding regions of Japan, but the earth is chock-full of natural radioactivity including local “hotspots”, life on the planet has evolved against a natural radiation background, so when you have a massive pool of Pacific oceanwater diluting the Fukushima radiation to insignificant-versus-background levels, there simply is no danger. But try telling it to the hysterical “I read it on the intertubes!” crowd – arguments of basic logic like “so, if Thiomersal vaccine preservatives cause autism, why haven’t autism rates plunged since they were discontinued over a decade ago?” just roll right off them.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          The issue is not the geiger counter readings. The issue is what you get via ingesting food, particularly food higher up the food chain. For instance, nori (Japanese seaweed used in sushi) now apparently has measurable (as in not good) radioactivity. I used to eat hijiki and eel from Japan, and both are now off my list. I’d avoid higher up the food chain Pacific seafood.

        2. different clue

          Geiger counters detect gamma emissions. Radiocesium and radiostrontium isotopes emit alpha particles or beta particles. So “geiger counters” are an irrelevant diversion here. A geiger counter would measure that which is meaningless in this context.

  17. RobertsonRed

    “Felix the Cat” [see his unimaginative tacky I.D.logo] Salmond speaks with forked tongue. He’s doing the Blair and Brown “Scot” traitor thing, like a good little CityZeeWestminster poodle. He’s slyly setting forth the agenda, what “MUST” be, setting forth the “options” available to Real Scots in a very tight Saturnalian Black Cube. He offers, as a depiction of the “Scottish” flag for an Independent Scotland, the dead image of the “St. Andrew’s” cross, which on the “Union Jack” is featured clearly held (in subordination) below the Red Cross of the City of London — instead of the vital image of the Red Lion Rampant on a Golden Field. He effectively states that *TINA* to the British pound or the Euro for Independent Scotland, a false fixed duopoly of BISNATO “money” for servile nations/People, AS IF the Scots weren’t smart and wise enough to determine their singular national currency befitting their singular nation state. He does not suggest that the Independent Scottish People have the fortitude and intelligence, the native creativity to break away from the Absolute Dictatorship of the CityBIS Global Monopoly, and to assert their Independence from the CityWestminster and the EuroBIS In Toto. The Patriotic Scots might even nationalize whatever the CityWestminster has placed on Scottish soil in their hubris. They might even choose to join the BRICS, or even to INVENT a completely new “Scottish Economic System” to serve also as the New Paradigm for Economic Performance by/of/for Independent Peoples everywhere (Spain, Italy, Greece, Wales, Quebec, the States of Maine and Vermont, for starters), for the truth no longer can be hidden: We the Peoples are Ready to walk away from the Global Tyranny of the One Percent and Their Pathology.

    With frenemies like Salmond, who needs enemies? Scots arise! SHOW the world what you are made of, Vote YES! and blow the socks off your “British” Reamers!!

    “Scots, STAND UP!”

    Scots, STAND UP! Let your pipes blare
    The Song of The People’s Voice in a Fiery Fanfare!
    Scottish Sovereignty assert at home and abroad,
    Singing Sovereign Truth in the face of Global Fraud.
    Let your Leonine Spirit rise and ramp and roar
    With teeth and claws sharp, as they were before.

    Vote YES! Do illustrate The People’s Way:
    Eighteenth September: Scottish Independence Day.

    (poem by NB RobertsonRed
    Sunday, 14 September 2014)

    1. hunkerdown

      Did you accidentally conflate Salmond (SNP, pro-Yes) and Salmon (Reuters’ new tool), or was that purposeful?

  18. Tatanya

    @ Chief Bromden….I couldn’t agree more with that snippet from the link. The Empire is now setting a new benchmark for blatant recklessness. It must be their ‘now or never moment’ that explains these moves.

  19. frosty zoom

    cuba is sending 165 medical personnel to africa.

    U2 has always been horrible.

    G20 can talk all they want — the banks will decide.

    china better buy up the world before america vaporizes it.

    of course chinese tech is catching up.

    of course mish thinks china is melting.

    merkel’s ultimate irony.

    when hasn’t france been a mess?

    sweden is one strange place.

    wait till the legal loggers show up.

    good luck, scotland.

    victoria nuland should personally bake cookies for mr. putin.

    ISIS?!? are you serious? i think SHAZAM! is a much better name.

    big brother is massaging us.

    didn’t bill clinton frack in the oval office?

    hasn’t china already bought california?

    christie advisor targeted for 17,353,498th time.

    wait till they invent part-time mortgages.

    fidelity is a funny name for a financial company.

        1. hunkerdown

          Your concern for their PR operations is misplaced, comrade. They’ve got the best marketing executives Western money can buy. They’ve even had pamphleteers in England handing out pamphlets with graven images on the cover, in direct violation of Islamic law.

      1. frosty zoom

        try pushing the “option” key with the other keys.



                1. Brooklin Bridge

                  If you have windows of some sort, do a help on “character map”. From Windows XP, I can get there via Start->All Programs->Accessories->System Tools->Character Map. Clunky to get there, but all sorts of stuff. You can probably drag it onto your desktop as well.

                  For Windows 8, try this,

                  For Windows 7, do a help on “Character Map”

                  Using it is a bit clunky, but at least you have a good selection.

      2. hunkerdown

        For me, it’s Compose ? ? → ¿, Compose ! ! → ¡, Compose – > → →. When I reflect on the lack of success of the Compose key in mainstream computing, I become disillusioned with humanity.

      3. ewmayer

        If you have no “options”, just copy Frosty’s list of funchars to a text file and copy/paste as needed.

        Or find a handy-dandy list of “HTML entities” online – even sans HTML support you can see which copy/paste faithfully in whatever con-text you are trying to use them in.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      China buying up everything.

      I believe we would be remiss if we don’t go through our store and find out what we can sell to China.

      “Don’t give him fish. Teach him to become a fisherman.’

      Maybe we can sell them the money printing press, so they know how to fish.


      1. hunkerdown

        Mrs Jalin (Graham Chapman): George?
        Mr Jalin (Terry Jones): Yes, Gladys.
        Mrs Jalin: There’s a man at the door with a moustache.
        Mr Jalin: Tell him I’ve already got one. (Mrs Jalin hits him hard with a newspaper)

  20. trish

    re Scottish independence: Glasgow, the friendly city, turns demented (Telegraph).

    So the writer’s response to angry Scots’ response to the descent on Glasgow of the Labour MPs is…attack the speakers?

    Words used to describe them: “demented”, “ragingly hysterical”, and “borderline psychotic” as well as wild haired and eyed, all shouting wildly, cackling maniacally, baying, bawling, howling…

    Oh, my, the “The noise was relentless[!!!]” and there “in a shopping precinct” no less! “a blitz of abuse!”

    Should these inhabitants of this (apparently formerly) “friendly city” just say politely to the descended “parcel of rogues” (not the writer’s term, one of those demented Scot’s term), “uh, excuse me, you’ve screwed us royally?”

    1. hunkerdown

      Derailing criticism by a priori defining one’s privileged ideology as fact has been a staple strategy of the petty bourgeois [stet] for some time now.

  21. vidimi

    obama draws another red line for syria: if assad shoots at u.s. planes, he will be overthrown.

    if anyone had any doubt as to what this war with ISIL is about, this should lay that to rest. someone, anyone, maybe even no one, shoots at u.s. planes => the syrian regime becomes the target. they take us for idiots because most of us are. we want to be fooled.

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Yup, and a sharp stick in Putin’s eye, blindingly obvious to anyone with synaptic function. But it’s unthinkable that the USG would arm such barbarians and therefore only a fringe conspiracy theory. Banger’s Counterpunch link plumbs the labyrinth to some depth.

    2. Jagger

      National sovereingty anybody??? International law??? Wasn’t Obama demonizing Russia using these very concepts just a a few days ago? Does he just assume no one notices the hypocrisy?

  22. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Whisky makers scared of UK-Scotland split.

    That’s probably right. And incidents like the SS Politician would not be handled by the local constabulary but by the Royal Navy, if I remember the movie Whisky Galore! correctly

  23. abynormal

    we/hotlanta got another ebola patient at emory (not releasing name)…i didn’t know this.
    ‘O’ is visiting cdc tuesday to thank doctors for their work on the virus… there is hope.
    normally i would Not stoop to wish harm to anyone…life is hard. its just not hard enough for those that rein terror on the world. so i see it as ‘O’ne life to spare the many he murders.
    ‘stay around don’t play around
    this old town and all
    seems like i got to travel on

    a lot of people won’t get no supper tonight
    a lot of people won’t get no justice tonight
    the battle is gettin hotter
    in this iration, armagideon time

    a lot of people runnin and a hiding tonight
    a lot of people won’t get no justice tonight
    remember to kick it over
    no one will guide you’
    Armageddon Time/The Clash (@ 11′)

  24. fresno dan

    “A black actress who appeared in “Django Unchained” was handcuffed and detained for kissing her white husband — because police allegedly assumed she was a prostitute.
    Daniele Watts burst into tears after she was handcuffed by Los Angeles police in Studio City on Saturday for kissing her husband, Brian Lucas, in public.
    Writing on their Facebook pages, Watts and Lucas say they were approached by two officers and the actress was asked for ID.
    When Watts refused, police handcuffed her before putting her in the back of a police car.
    She was released after her ID was checked by the officers.”
    Of course, it is only us constitutionalist ding dongs that worry about people being asked for their ID.
    I presume that the white guy, her husband, may have mentioned that she was his wife…but apparently the police are very much like the tide, and once the tide begins to turn nothing can stop it…..

    So…..the crime was kissing in public…….or was it kissing in furtherance of miscegenation ?????

    1. Ulysses

      The police state just gets worse every day:

      “The following incidents and many more like them serve as chilling reminders that in the American police state, “we the people” are at the mercy of law enforcement officers who have almost absolute discretion to decide who is a threat, what constitutes resistance, and how harshly they can deal with the citizens they were appointed to “serve and protect.”

      For example, police arrested Chaumtoli Huq because she failed to promptly comply when ordered to “move along” while waiting outside a Ruby Tuesday’s restaurant for her children, who were inside with their father, using the bathroom. NYPD officers grabbed Huq, a lawyer with the New York City Public Advocate’s office, flipped her around, pressed her against a wall, handcuffed her, searched her purse, arrested her, and told her to “shut up” when she cried out for help, before detaining her for nine hours. Huq was charged with obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.”

      It’s time for us to break out of this open-air prison that the United Stasi States of America has become! I have a friend from the Dominican Republic who dresses like he’s a hedge fund billionaire whenever he leaves the house– just to minimize the chances of an unpleasant, or even violent encounter with the cops. It is unconscionable that we, as supposedly free citizens of a representative republic, have let things come to this pass. There are things we can do to push back. Every community should have a large number of volunteers doing “cop-watch,” reporting abuses, and making the biggest fuss possible when their complaints aren’t addressed.

  25. Louis

    Al Jazeera America just ran a piece on the ticking time bomb with securitizing rent payments, which this site and Wolf Street have both done an excellent job covering. Hopefully, this story will continue to gain traction.

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