Links 9/21/14

Lambert here: Richard took one of tonight’s posts, so you get a random bonus, good for one time only, of more links.

Your Dreams Get More Bizarre as the Night Goes On Time

Sit Less, Live Longer? Times

Financial Criminals Have Been Fined Billions, but They Rarely Pay The Atlantic. If we put banksters in jail, we wouldn’t have to worry about collecting their fines.

Print Less but Transfer More Foreign Affairs

Instead of QE, the Fed Could Have Given $56,000 to Every Household in America Fiscal Times. Pete Peterson’s house organ. Beware of neo-liberals bearing gifts.

Bond markets ‘join the dots’ on Fed rates FT


Denying Climate Change ‘Will Cost Us Billions Of Dollars,’ U.S. Budget Director Warns Think Progess. Bathos.

US will not commit to climate change aid for poor nations at UN summit Guardian

Get Ready for the Biggest Climate Protest Ever Rolling Stone

In a Brooklyn Warehouse, Prepping for the Climate March With Art Newsweek

The People’s Climate March: An Interview with Bill McKibben New Yorker

Climate Change Is an Opportunity to Dramatically Reinvent the Economy The Atlantic. Interview with Naomi Klein.

Will capitalism clean up the world? Telegraph

Climate Science Is Not Settled WSJ

World population to hit 11bn in 2100 – with 70% chance of continuous rise Guardian. Yikes.

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

FBI & Secret Service Files: Aaron Swartz The Black Vault. From FOIA.

Lunch with the FT: Sir John Sawers FT. First on-the-record interview with the Chief of MI6 (!).

Text-Inspectors LRB. Greenwald’s book.

Election 2014: Election delivers moment of truth New Zealand Herald. John Key’s National Party has votes to govern alone.

How to Discriminate Against Pre-Existing Conditions in Two Easy Tiers Mother Jones. Narrow formularies, which NC readers were aware of back in June 2014.

Why the Secret Service didn’t shoot the White House fence-jumper Yahoo News


The Morning After LRB

Catalan MPs vote to hold independence referendum The Scotsman

Separatists around the world Reuters


Pentagon Deploys 3rd Adviser Division To Iraq Duffel Blog

60,000 Syrian Kurds enter Turkey: Deputy PM Hurriyet Daily News

Turkish diplomat says US air strikes against ISIL almost killed hostages Hurriyet Daily News

New group plans to spotlight secret funding for Islamic State militants WaPo. Not that I’m foily, but to me this looks like the story that the Saudis bootstrapped ISIS must be getting traction. I mean, look at the personnel.

New ISIS Propaganda Film Features Canadian-Sounding Fighter The Intercept. Not that I’m foily, but to me this looks like a page taken from OBL’s playbook to drive us to destroy our Constitutional institutions, this time through “enemy within” hysteria. Note this wouldn’t prevent either Saudi or US elite factions from executing it.

Congress Debrief: Some lawmakers question quick approval of military action WaPo

Barack Obama’s worst defeat: How the president defined dovishness down Salon. What defeat? Another narrative of Democratic weakness….

Al-Sisi Ascendant Economist

Diplomats: Iran receptive to new nuke proposal AP


Why this Ukraine ceasefire will stick Reuters

Ukraine crisis: Ceasefire ‘in name only,’ says NATO chief AP

Khodorkovsky launches movement to challenge Putin Global Post

The Sahara Is Millions of Years Older Than Thought Smithsonian

Ig Nobel Prize winners stop bleeding with pork, make sausage from poop LA Times

These Photos Capture Both The Exuberant And Tense Feel Of America After WWII HuffPo and A Car, a Camera and the Open Road New York Times. Gary Winogrand. These photos could have been taken in no other place and time than they were.

The Cut of Coco NYRB. That that, Nina!

Antidote du jour:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. abynormal

    don’t dreams end when you wake up? 56,000 nightmares from he!! on you FED…

    “Ye who enter, abandon all hope.”

    1. Yves Smith

      That study could set a record for junk studies.

      16 people for all of two nights? That’s not a sample, it’s a joke.

      And the study had to have been in a sleep lab, which is a completely unnatural setting. Being in a hotel bed throws a lot of people off, and this would be even worse (as in less privacy and control).

  2. rkka

    re: Khodorkovsky’s movement:

    Yeah, he might get, maybe 4%. He’s well-known in Russia, and the more Russians know about him, the more they dislike him.

    And even the European Court of Human Rights sez his convictions were firmly supported by testimony&evidence, and that there was no evidence of a political motive for his prosecution.{%22itemid%22:[%22001-104983%22]}

    “”A minority will be influential if it is organised”
    Oh! A Leninist!

  3. dearieme

    “Why the Secret Service didn’t shoot the White House fence-jumper”: because for once an American police force showed a sense of proportion? So much better than the usual cowardly panic.

    1. Jim Haygood

      My sentiments exactly. This is the mainstream media Meme Police at work — ‘Why did no one shoot the intruder who jumped the fence on Friday?’

      For ordinary citizens, shooting an intruder even inside your home is legally risky. Nailing someone with a bullet for hopping over your fence 50 yards away (better use a scoped rifle for that) would get you labeled, correctly, as a paranoid nutter, and earn you a one-way ticket to the pen.

      But the president is so vital to the future of mankind that a hail of bullets is the only prudent policy for perimeter protection of his compound. After all, ISIS is omnipresent now. Keep your head!

      1. Brindle

        Yea, the MSM is pushing this story big-time. Basically this just a very small story, worth maybe 20-30 second mention and thats all.. Very good example of how corporate media finds shiny distractors to put front and center to avoid the real news.

        1. different clue

          The MSM is pushing this story to indoctrinate all its readers and viewers in the properness and acceptability of offhand summary streetside lawnside fence-side police executions. Get enough media consumers to agree that they really shoulda shot that fence jumper and you’ll get those media consumers to agree that all future OWS protesters should be shot down with machine shotguns. And that’s why this story is being pushed.

      2. Carolinian

        Is it so surprising that politicians and media types consider their own tender flesh as particularly sacred? I’ve long had the theory that if 9/11 had happened in, say, Iowa there would have been no “war on terror.” In fact something similar did happen in Oklahoma City and there was no subsequent war on American rightwing terror. In victimization as all else: some more equal than others.

        1. Brindle

          9/11 has become a major anniversary day, in some ways as big as Memorial Day or Veterans Day. I live in a small Rocky Mtn city. On 9/11 last week many of the streets had flags planted, like the 4th of July, as did many homes. Flags were at half-staff at at govt buildings.

          9/11 has served the purpose of portraying America as victim, America as virtuous.

          America inflicts violence on more nations/countries than any other on the planet, it is even close. Yet we are the victim. They don’t hate us for our freedoms, they hate us for our actions.

          1. Jim Haygood

            ‘I live in a small Rocky Mtn city. On 9/11 last week many of the streets had flags planted.’

            In many eastern towns, the flags stay up year round now.

            It’s the least we can do to support our struggling Ukrainian comrades!

            1. Jagger

              —-9/11 has become a major anniversary day, in some ways as big as Memorial Day or Veterans Day.—-

              It won’t be a major anniversity day until we get the day off and we can all go shopping at the malls for the great sales nationwide.

        2. jgordon

          Yes and us not launching a war on the right wing after Oklahoma is the direct cause of all the unending horror and terror we’ve had to endure from them since that time.

          Oh wait. Actually, nothing significant happened due to the lack of a new war.

          Well then, just imagine all the money, resources and ballooning prison populations we’d have now if only we had launched that war when we had the chance. The elites must be shaking their heads in regret about not having gone ahead with it when they had the chance. Shucks.

      3. Romancing the Loan

        Pff, the Secret Service probably hired him on the down low to give themselves an excuse for a budget increase.

        1. hunkerdown

          False-flags do yield *great* returns, don’t they? It’s not the way I do business, of course, but I’ve heard of people doing just this sort of thing in IT, most recently and notably one Mr. Alexander…

    2. trish

      perhaps I’ve become too cynical but, “…A more important consideration may have been the presence of tourists at the mansion’s north fence line…”

      tourists with cameras… so much harder to make stuff up in the aftermath with these kinds of people present, this setting (as opposed to inner city). and imagine the negative PR if they’d gunned him down in full view…

    3. Leeskyblue

      Secret Service are far better trained than psychologists, social workers, or municipal police to evaluate individuals quickly and very accurately and to react accordingly. Psychological tests have supported that assessment.
      White House security may not be the same as Secret Service but by extension they have to have some of the same very high level of training.

  4. Bart Fargo

    Re: Climate Science Is Not Settled
    Predictable that WSJ would print this hatchet job on the eve of the March and UN Summit. Perhaps Koonin himself is well-meaning (although I doubt it since he proposes adding even more layers of bureaucracy between climate science and climate action), but denialists will look at the article and see it as permission to continue with business as usual, rather than as an appeal to devote more resources to climate research and modeling. A partial refutation here:

    1. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©

      Funny how tolerant the WSJ is of the risks of climate change, in contrast to their certainty that immediate bombing of foreigners is required in response to every foreign policy problem. (For instance, the disastrous decision to invade Iraq back in 2003.)

      1. wbgonne

        Yes, the Precautionary Principle seems to get very selective application. AGW-deniers should be asked this question: what if the scientists are right?

        P.S. Are you the original ifthethunderdontgetya?

        1. abynormal

          KaChing! in our demise…

          “How to RAPE your mom:
          1.Intoxicate with chemicals.
          2.Slash,cut & rip off all green clothes and valuables.
          3.Drill, baby, drill.
          4.Say: “She had it coming.”
          5.Socialize all costs of devastation.
          6.Rest between rapes to whine about “Takers, not Makers”
          7. Gloat.”
          Christyl Rivers

    2. wbgonne

      At this late stage, people denying the science of AGW should be ignored and shunned as ignoramuses and certainly would be except that the prevailing policies from both of our political parties require that AGW-deniers be taken seriously. Obama needs AGW-deniers to prevent him from doing what he has no intention of doing anyway. We’ve seen this movie before.

      1. James Levy

        I’ve always argued that the human factor is, if not functionally, then practically overrated. If humans had nothing to do with climate change we’d still need a plan for how we are going to cope with the changes. How are we going to handle water shortages/migrations/falling crop yields/emergent diseases and their spread via vectors that once were confined to tropical belts? How about rising oceans and ocean acidification? If humans had 0% to do with climate change, these looming problems/disasters would still have to be dealt with in a timely fashion. Waiting to see how humans fit into the equation is irrelevant. If you say “wait”, you are only saying “I don’t care about these terrible inevitabilities” or “I am a paid stooge of those who don’t care about these terrible inevitabilities, just give me my money.”

        1. wbgonne

          That’s adaptation, not prevention. That’s the Obama neoliberal approach to denial.

          Humans beings “fit into the equation” because we ae the cause of the problem. Without identifying a cause there is no way to prevent the calamity. Why is that so difficult to accept? In any case, we cannot adapt to what we are unleashing, at least not in a civilized form. Denying the anthropogenic component of AGW is all the plutocrats need because then there is no reason to stop burning fossil fuel, which is what keeps the pluotocracy afloat. Denying that our use of carbon fuels is resposible also conveniently makes us helpless victims rather than self-assassins.

        2. Jeremy Grimm

          I agree with you that whether the changes are human caused or not – red herring. We face a many faced disaster no matter its cause. That humans caused this disaster adds to its tragedy. We must act now to avert the full force of this disaster in any way that holds promise. We must act now to help those under greatest threat of harm. Should we respond differently to threats from climate change than we respond to threat of a major hurricane? [– something of greater effect than our most recent responses.]

          Petty quibblers over causes have no place at the table, more so, as they bear a great weight of guilt.

        3. BondsOfSteel

          But not only are we the cause… we can avoid the worst of it if we only sensibly act now.

          AGW is like watching a slowmo hundred year train wreck. The first 20 years of so, someone could pull the brake line… or a signalman could switch tracks. Ignoring the human component is just like not even trying to avoid the crash.

        4. Brooklin Bridge

          Removing human culpability in climate change is somewhat like removing it for the banking fiasco. People need to see that science, as well as the rule of law, prevails or all hell continues to rule the day.

          True, if we want to survive, we have to do something about it regardless, but it doesn’t follow we will do something about it simply because we have to. And as a practical matter, if you rule out examination of causes, deniers shout down any and all logic with, “Nothing can be done since we didn’t cause it.” True, that has nothing to do with the dilemma at hand; we MUST deal with it, but they can shout very loudly and that seems to be all that matters.

      2. trish

        deniers to prevent him from doing what he has no intention of doing anyway. exactly.
        and useful, them, all those deniers and preventers, who have denied and prevented him every step of the way. from no public option to no prosecution of Wall St. etc. what amazes me is that people still buy it. it’s been so easy for him to screw the public that brought him into power desperate for “hope and change.”

    3. Banger

      Actually, much of science is not “settled” and since we have discovered chaotic/complex systems and begun to map how they work the science of climate change can never be settled–it’s too complex to fit into neat or even elaborate formulas. So we can tell the WSJ to eat caca.

      But why are the ruling elites taking this position? Everything depends on maintaining a rigid society where nothing changes–the political situation is delicately balances and any major change of narrative or emphasis is a greater danger to elites than we can imagine. This is why, other than elaborate and childish toys and entertainments there is no real change.

      1. Dan

        Um, did you read the editorial? You basically laid out its position re complexity and confidence.

        It was the most reasonable thing I have read on climate in a long time and was the first time I have seen my own thoughts on the matter so elegantly summed up in the mainstream media.

        1. Demeter

          I agree. The basic public doesn’t understand how science works, to begin with.

          And climate “science” isn’t science any more than Economics is Science. They are both historical data of dubious quality and accuracy, coupled with models that may or may not have applicability to a particular point in time.

    1. Banger

      Yes, Ned and this must be emphasized and understood in terms of all issues we cover here–all are related to the end of the Republic and the effective end of effective democracy.

      1. Ned Ludd

        The elites can enact whatever policies they want, reduce the public to penury, and crush any attempt at resistance. Elections are a competitive sport among the elites; the only “change” they herald is a new, fresh face of Empire.

        During the Principate, the constitution of the Roman Republic was never formally abolished. It was amended in such a way as to maintain a façade of Republican government. Generally speaking, emperors of the Principate emulated Augustus in his fiction of a republican government, concentrating various civil and military offices upon one individual while nevertheless hiding autocratic connotations behind institutions of the old Republic, such as the preservation of the Senate and the annual paired consulship.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Easy, pal … most of the criminally undocumented are children, or vegging out in assisted living centers.

        1. Propertius

          Don’t worry – I’m sure that filing that request in the first place was more than enough to get them to start one on you.

        2. hunkerdown

          Did you get in before their policy allows them to treat certain responsive but exempt items as non-responsive?

  5. jgordon

    Regarding 11 billion people by 2100: yeah right. I’d be interested to see all the assumptions that go into that model. My initial response when I saw that: yeah right. It looks to me like some boneheaded economists have extrapolated trends again and decided that they’d discovered the secret sauce of that the future will look like. Sadly, that is not a valid or useful way of thinking about the future. For example, there are any number of things that will likely decimate the human population between now and then, and odds are that one of them will.

    1. Garrett Pace

      Do keep in mind that it is probably no more boneheaded than the models that reassuringly say that global population peaks before 2050.

      Though I agree about the statement that Nigeria will have 900 million people in 86 years.

  6. Carolinian

    A New York Times commentary that reads like something you might see around here.

    The idea of overwhelmingly electing President Obama and congressional Democrats in 2008 and turning around and overwhelmingly favoring Tea Party Republicans in 2010 may not seem consistent, but it’s what you might expect in a world where the political mainstream has delivered consistently mediocre results………..The details of the policy mistakes differ, as do the political movements that have arisen in protest. But together, they are a reminder that power is not a right, it is a responsibility. And no matter how entrenched our governmental institutions may seem, they rest on a bedrock assumption: that the leaders entrusted with power will deliver the goods.

    Criticism of the “political mainstream”–the place where the NYT lives–and even use of the term “elites”: one almost suspects all that Ken Burns Rooseveltiana may be getting through. The Roosevelts, after all, felt they had to give something back in return for their inherited privilege. Current elites by contrast seem to have an angle even when supporting their “causes” (hedgies and charter schools for example). Perhaps we need to look at the past to imagine a different world.

    1. James Levy

      The problem is, that assumption is false. Elections are held to see which set of elite interests, embedded in institutions and embodied in people, will predominate this cycle. The parties are best seen as shifting coalitions of vested interests that seek to mobilize popular identity (NASCAR voters, Soccer Moms) and interest groups (gays, gun owners) to vote for them with some vague quid pro quo underlying the votes. Vote for the elite interests manifested in the Republican Party and we will give you X; do the same for the Democrats, and they will give you Y. What the parties have discovered is that they no longer really have to provide the quid pro quo, only the rhetorical flourishes associated with it. They “share your values” or “feel your pain” or will “punish the evildoers” or provide “hope and change.” Most voters now settle for the appearance of solidarity rather than the concrete goods they used to demand for their vote (even if those were only a shuttle full of coal or a pork BBQ). And the Democrats can’t even get their “leader” to mouth the words most of the time, forget about delivering the goods. Thus symbols replace reality in the Culture of the Spectacle.

    2. frosty zoom

      “The Roosevelts, after all, felt they had to give something back in return for their inherited privilege.

      “I don’t go so far as to think that the only good Indian is the dead Indian, but I believe nine out of every ten are, and I shouldn’t like to inquire too closely into the case of the tenth. The most vicious cowboy has more moral principle than the average Indian.” ~teddy r.

      “I should welcome almost any war, for I think this country needs one,” ~teddy r.

      uh, thanks, teddy.

      1. Carolinian

        Dunno if you watched the show but they don’t sugar coat Teddy’s racial views. There’s also a segment on the genocidal campaign against the Philippines insurrection. Nevertheless he did much in the cause of populism and reform–and against his social class–and was the inspiration for his more important relative, Franklin. If you want to litmus test the past you could throw A. Lincoln and a few others into the disapproval waste basket.

        Of course we have lots of politicians now who are perfectly PC on matters of social equality and perfectly horrible on everything else. It’s their excuse, in fact, for their horrible lack of character. “Think the right thoughts, do whatever you want” is their mantra.

          1. Ned Ludd

            You shouldn’t be so P.C. about mass murder and genocide. Once the Native Americans were viciously killed by European settlers, some of their leaders took a very enlightened attitude towards social reform.

    3. jrs

      I only watched the episode about WWII, I found it propaganda, war propaganda. FWIW, I am not even arguing that the U.S. shouldn’t have gotten involved with WWII, I’m fine with them having done so. It’s just this is the year 2014 of continuous war (and they’ve just voted for another one), and I recognize war propaganda when I see it.

  7. MtnLife

    Re: price tiers as discrimination

    This is the main reason I don’t have insurance. Besides the ridiculous premiums and deductibles, I was going to have to pay 70% after deductible for the medication I need on an occasional basis. It runs $800/month. I now take the unregulated pro-drug version of that medication for $20/month along with a few other research chemicals (often prescription drugs in other countries) and natural supplements (to protect against any hepatoxicity issues) for a grand total of less than $100/month (the joys of not paying IP costs for your meds!). All it took was a couple hundred hours of neurochemistry research (with a solid biochem foundation, genius level IQ, and my life riding on it) to be better than all my previous doctors/psychiatrists combined. 9/10 mental health professionals are quacks who do nothing more than prescribe the next drug down the list. Most of the “preferred” medications are the absolute WORST ones to be on. How about some of that dirty, violence inducing fluoxetine? They’ll cover that all day. Intensive irritability inducing bupropion? Gotcha covered! Amphetamines and related salts? No problem. But the much cleaner and more effective -afinil lines? Bend over. Racetams? We not even going to study those because the profit margin isn’t high enough. Nootropic peptides? Same plus you are a Putin-loving traitor. The scary thing is I’ve seen the rich get some of the worst mental health treatment. Most likely because they are human ATMs and the longer you can drag out their (non-insurance covered) treatment, the better.

    1. Banger

      Preach it bro…!

      We need to understand that doctors and the medical industry are not our friends–yes, I have a friend who is a doctor and he would agree, in part, with you.

      They use fear of sickness and death to manipulate us–I’ve decided that its better to be sick and die “early” than have to deal with the crazy fears and endless operations and drugs the medical profession thrives on. The mentality of the medical profession/industry is like all our institutions–corrupt and larcenous.

    2. jgordon

      Well I think the number of people genius level IQs is pretty common around here. The problem I’ve found with such people however is that despite having such a nice and shiny IQ number, ultimately they still make the same dumb cognitive errors than those less successful with standardized testing make. For example, trying to point out to other INTJs that believing that science and technology and “progress” is the cure all for our problems is rather foolish and dumb is far more difficult than convincing less intellectually inclined folks of that fact.

      Although admittedly being somewhat smart does give you the self confidence to realistically assess that most or all of the authority figures in our society are complete, sub-human dolts. And in that regard I suppose it’s possible to take actions, contrary to the desires and propaganda of the elites, that will allow you to preserve yourself and your family–where their plans provide for the opposite outcome, to their benefit. Anyway, good for you for surviving! Now just take the next step and start researching permaculture, Masanobu Fukuoka’s natural farming, building community, marksmanship skills, to name a few, and you should be well on your way to surviving well into the future no matter what comes.

      1. BobW

        Had to look up INTJ, took the test, wound up as INFP – (turbulant, whatever that means). Does this mean being culled from NC? And Acme Computer, ambrit, has been outsourced. They are now manufactured overseas. Support is available 12:01 AM – 12:05 AM, odd-numbered Thursdays.

      2. MtnLife

        The reason I love NC is the amazing menagerie of intellect that regularly voices ideas in the comments section. The IQ comment portion was more of a set of back-handed qualifiers indicating that I don’t think the average American should be in charge of their own mental health care and/or taking research chemicals with ambiguous, minimal, or non-existent safety profiles (not that what you doctor gives you really has a complete set either). I’m already big on everything in your second paragraph and then some. I had just relied on/trusted the supposed trained specialists to actually know wtf they were doing for too long. Doctors always made me squeamish so I’d always avoided any intellectual pursuits in that arena until my ADHD and bipolar decided to have unprecedented level flareups simultaneously that threatened to destroy everything in my life (and me with it) that I decided to take my fate into my own hands.

      1. trish

        yes. and kickbacks! get an out-of-network doctor to assist, and get a piece of his exorbitant fee
        “[it’s] become an opportunity to make up for surgical fees that have been slashed” love that word choice: “slashed.” Their six-figure salary went down a tad.
        and it’s all legal.

      2. jrs

        This is why HMOs are utter garbage. PPOs and similar are the only half decent health care coverage in this country (not including Medicare here) and yet increasingly unaffordable (even with employer coverage!) And yet garbage HMO coverage that doesn’t cover anything is what we’re supposed to be “ooh ahhh Obamacare!” about because maybe we can afford the premiums. What utter garbage. Very few people really have health care coverage (few with HMOs do that’s for sure and there the most common!). We may however have a regular “help the rentiers” charity program we participate in (insurance).

      1. James Levy

        Banger, I have just resolved myself to the fact that the delay of some hours in my posts being visible takes me out of the rough and tumble of the discussion as it happens. I know that it will be 2-6 hours before anything I write makes it up on the board, so I try to stick to broader issues and not get bogged down in running refutation and argument. Goo luck!

      2. Banger

        I can comment on other people’s comments–but nothing goes through here–I’ve tried a score of times–nothing.

            1. diptherio

              I think it’s something more technical than that. For instance, as I’ve mentioned before, I now have to refresh the page after posting my comment to have it appear, which hasn’t been the case previously. Refreshing works 90% of the time, the rest of the time, the comment just vanishes, never to return. I have a hard time believing that’s anything to do with you.

              1. Lambert Strether Post author

                Hmm. The refresh is an odd change in behavior (that doesn’t happen for me). And Akismet does seem to be having a moment; there’s a lot more spam that makes it through the filters recently. The delay in the comment appearing could be me. The vanishing/”duplicate” problems seem to be intermittent bugs by WP and hence not under our control and not even possible to track down, because they’re intermittent…. Let me see about this.

                1. chris

                  Lambert, I too have a near 100% success rate for posting a non-appearing comment by refreshing the page. Truth is, I’ve been doing the “refresh” thing for many years on many sites and didn’t realize others never had to do the same… then again, my laptop is ancient.. and running windows.

                  In the long run, I blame everything on Bill Gates. :)

              2. Yves Smith

                We have caching enabled for the entire site to speed loading time. That means (and we have said it repeatedly, that it can take up to two minutes ofr a comment to appear.

                We do have comments that don’t appear at all. This has been an ongoing problem. Almost no WordPress sites have as active a comments section as we do. It may be that when two comments hit the database simultaneously (as in two different people submit at the same time), it takes only one and ignores the other. WP is notorious for scaling badly in the database.

                We will ask our tech people again, but they’ve not succeeded in tracing this down.

                This may be a bad side effect of our Water Cooler posts, that WP can’t handle two threads that are pretty active.

                The problem is that there are no good alternatives to running comments under WP. Readers have repeatedly rejected using Disqus and other third party comment services. And we simply can’t even begin to afford to redo the entire site and put it on another (more customized) platform.

                1. Lambert Strether Post author

                  It occurs to me that the simulaneous submission concept is subject to test. I bet we could work out a script to run on two different machines to rule it out. For later, perhaps but worth thinking about. (Script with clock time as opposed to having people checking the watches on their wrists, or however people check the time these days.)

                  1. frosty zoom


                    i just posted a clarification that neither optimader’s nor my comment had appeared until the next day, and my comment disappeared!

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          If you’re reposting the same comment several times, then you’re training Akismnt to think you’re a spammer, because that’s what spammers do.

          If people want 24/7 near real-time coverage of the comments section, then it needs to be paid for. And if you think about it, funding more writing is probably a better use of the money, eh?

          Meanwhile. “test” posts set a rotten precedent. If everybody whose comment didn’t instantly appear started doing them, then they would soon grow like kudzu all over everything. So please don’t do them. This one got responded to, so I can’t clean it up.

          1. Kurt Sperry

            I almost never have my comments go into the moderation queue (watch this prove me wrong!) I’m using Chrome on Win7. There might perhaps be something in looking at software combinations that appear to consistently work?

      3. Skeptic

        Can’t getr a comment through for days. If posted a second time a message appears saying it’s already posted.
        In Poster Noman Land.

        1. abynormal

          after you send in your post, hit refresh/F5 (sometimes it take 3 or 4x before it appears). the posts are there…no need to regurgitate them.

          “A jug fills drop by drop…

          A practical man may say “we can fill up the jug faster if we pour water using a hose”. But we know, that what is important is focusing on each drop (as a step) toward our goal. The drop can represent our daily routine and the focus on NOW.

          A practical man may say “if its a small jug, we can fill it up faster”. It abandons the concept of having Capacity for Experience. By shrinking the jug, you shrink your capacity for experience and therefore gain no knowledge.

          By exercising Patience, you can focus on those tasks you can control. Ignore the perceived urgency and pressure that creates impatience.”

          1. hunkerdown

            Don’t refresh. Just wait a few minutes. Let the proxy cache do its magic in its own time. I mean, you’re not trading on comments, are you? …? [SOUND: crickets] [looks around nervously]

    1. ambrit

      Ah ha!
      NC has obviously been chosen as a test bed for implementing the soon to be ubiquitous “Revenue Scaled Multi-Tier Internet.” It’s the shape of things to come. Start practicing your samizdat skills kiddies.

  8. trish

    re Ig Nobel Prize winners stop bleeding with pork, make sausage from poop

    face pareidolia. Our permanent-war-for-profit security state could foster and capitalize on this tendency. terrorist pareidolia. seeing a terrorist everywhere you look.

    and re the study showing gazing at a beautiful painting seemed to distract from pain…measurable change in the cortex… I don’t find this trivial. I think it is one bit of evidence suggesting the importance of the arts…that they should be amply funded- artists, art in public schools, public access to museums at low or no cost, etc…what a good society might do…

  9. trish

    and maybe our McFood corporations could help with this. Frozen TV dinners (do they still make those things?) with the face of a masked islamic terrorist swirled in the mashed potatoes… something like that. don’t know what the processed big sellers are right now…

    1. nony mouse

      not meant to attack you in any way, but where do you do your shopping?

      4/5 of the grocery store is the equivalent of ‘frozen tv dinners’ and boxed, just-add-water mixes.

      it’s always shocking to me how many aisles I pass by, look down and go ‘no, nothing for us humans here…’

    2. Gen Lemay's adjutant

      I think milk cartons should have pictures of wanted terrorists on the sides.

      When our kids in school are weaponized, they’ll be prepared.

  10. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: New group plans to spotlight secret funding for Islamic State militants WaPo

    So now dual israeli-American citizens, “former ‘diplomat’ ” Dennis Ross and Joseph I. Lieberman (the former American senator), will be involved with a group that fingers ISIS collaborators and feeds this propaganda, er “intelligence,” to ” governments as well as the private sector, media and other outlets.”

    ” The threat of public exposure, with the resulting damage to professional reputations or the risk of prosecution, can stop businesses from making illicit deals or lessen the chances that foreign governments will look the other way, Samore said.” Emphasis mine.

    Just in case the group’s intent to blackmail, I mean “goals,” were not clear enough, I guess.

    And depressingly unsurprising bit about the “justice” department’s “highly unusual” intervention in the civil suit against Wallace’s other group for defamation. (The group that, no surprise here, targets collaborators with Iran.) No access to classified information, but a matter of national “security” all the same.

    Because aipac isn’t powerful enough in controlling the perpetual disaster that is American foreign policy in the Middle East.

    1. frosty zoom

      “In 2000 Wallace played a key role working for then Governor George W. Bush’s legal team in the decisive Florida recount in 2000 where he served as counsel to the campaign in Florida and was a spokesman for the legal team in various national media outlets.”


    2. MikeNY

      Joe Lieberman. For a moment I thought he’d had the decency to emigrate. Alas!

      He must be jealous that Senatrix Miss L Graham has so fervidly replaced him in the affections of one Mad Dog McCain.

  11. Brindle

    re: “Syraqisatnza”

    Notice how a reasonable line of inquiry, that the CIA is deeply enmeshed in comings and goings of the “Islamic extremists” is labeled with the ultimate disqualifier of “conspiracy theories”.
    I’d say the Iraqi people, based on their experience with the CIA, have good reason to believe there is a lot more here than meets the eye.
    It has occurred to me that the U.S air strikes could just as well be targeting empty stretches of desert as actual Islamic extremists.

    —-BAGHDAD — The United States has conducted an escalating campaign of deadly airstrikes against the extremists of the Islamic State for more than a month. But that appears to have done little to tamp down the conspiracy theories still circulating from the streets of Baghdad to the highest levels of Iraqi government that the C.I.A. is secretly behind the same extremists that it is now attacking.—-

    1. Banger

      Well, I don’t quite agree that the CIA is directly responsible for those attacks, rather, they coordinated with several other agencies foreign, domestic and private to create Al-qaida in Iraq in the first place and suddenly flood it with guns and money via Turkey to battle Assad and overthrow Maliki.

      Sometimes you have to stand up and applaud U.S. spooks–this one went off, unlike some other projects, perfectly. Combine a bunch of fanatics, mercenaries, organized crime throw in lots of money and a chance to rape and loot and you have a great enterprise to scare the sh*t out of the chumps. The Iraqis know its a conspiracy because the Iraqi soldiers ran from an enemy they outnumbered and outgunned for the express purpose of giving them better arms–the soldiers didn’t run, necessarily, it was the corrupt officers used to getting pallets full of money from the U.S. and Saudis who ordered, it appears, the men to retreat.

    1. vidimi

      JMG’s article is quite good, but in focusing on how a diminishing pie can be divided among the population, he ignores possibly the most likely option in the coming crisis. To be fair, i don’t think anyone is really considering it; it’s that horrible. The truth is, as the pie of available resources shrinks, option 1 will likely be decreasing the base it is divided by. The majority of the 7 billion human beings alive today are going to be inconvenient for the elite so they will have to go.

  12. frosty zoom

    re: coco. well, no: cocoa. the other day i posted a cocoa price chart and an “sd” inquired as to why. cocoa is through the roof because of ebola. it’s sickening to think that “people” are raking in the dollaritos by taking advantage of such tragedy.

    1. Jim Haygood

      If you take the midpoint between cocoa’s $1,000/tonne low in 1975 and its $5,000/tonne high in 1977, it’s about $3,000 tonne … almost the same as where cocoa is today. Long term chart:

      But the USD has lost 75% of its purchasing power since 1977. From the point of view of farmers in Côte d’Ivoire, flat cocoa prices for nigh on four decades are a slow-motion disaster.

      If the impact of Ebola on cocoa exports turns out to be exaggerated, it’s the speculators who will get burned as they give farmers a chance to lock in decent prices.

      1. hunkerdown

        I’ve read (I think right here) that there’s not enough cacao growing to meet demand starting 3-5 years out. If speculators heed the call and plant more cacao (instead of just more caca), they may have done something useful for a change, by our sheer luck.

  13. JEHR

    You may like to hear Michael Enright’s interview with Rosemary Hollis, Professor of Middle East Policy Studies at University of London. It is mainly a discussion of the rise of ISIS and other terrorists groups and their relationship with Saudi Arabia. The US has had a 270-year relationship with the Saudis and that helps explain the mass intrigues performed by the Saudis in ME events without any opposition from the US. The Middle East operates in full corruption that fulfills both Saudi and US “interests.”.

      1. alex morfesis

        although President Madison (pretty sure it was madison…ex refused to return my library at the time of the deevorz) was condemned at the time for his support of the tiny little wahabis, there is no 270 year relationship as the US of A has not quite been here that long for there to have been any understanding…the audio said that the 270 years is the relationship of the Saud’s and the wahabis…not the usa and the sauds/wahabis…1945 was a panama moment for FDR…his cousin had conveyed to a “new nation” a relationship in panama and FDR did the same as the Sauds had not totally consolidated their position of control in 1945…they had only claimed hegemony over the dry lands for a little more than a decade at that point…

        we will be right back after a few messages to see how yves does in our double jeapordy round…

  14. Benedict@Large

    Instead of QE, the Fed Could Have Given $56,000 to Every Household in America (Fiscal Times)

    This just goes to show the stupidity of the Peterson powerhouse. Shoving new money into a reserve account is COMPLETELY different than putting it into people’s wallets. The former gives the APPEARANCE of creating money (which is why QE doesn’t work), while the latter actually does it. Anyone who has spent 5 honest minutes reviewing MMT would understand this. Which of course tells us that Peterson types don’t, and are are stuck on broken macroeconomics.

    1. diptherio

      It’s interesting to see the conservatives pushing for a BIG all of a sudden (Peterson and the Foreign Affairs piece). On the one hand, I’m heartened, on the other it makes me wonder what they’ve got up their sleeve. No doubt the eviscerating of our social safety nets in favor of direct gov’t payments coupled with mandatory purchase of formerly publicly provisioned goods, à la Heritagecare and charter schools.

      As for the amount of inflation that would be caused by direct transfer of $56,000 to every household in the country, it is, at least, an interesting thought experiment. Wealthy individuals would probably invest it in one way or another, so some of it might end up inflating asset prices, just like today. Purchases of goods and services by the poor would likely experience a major boost, although it would also likely be temporary, unless direct payouts were continued. But for a one-time large transfer, I would expect to see spikes in purchases of cars, tvs, appliances–i.e. the accouterments of a middle-class lifestyle–as well as a drastic decrease in credit-card and student-loan debt. Middle-class folks would likely do some combination–remodeling the kitchen and putting more money in the 401(k).

      Debt repayments are recycled back into the financial system and need not have inflationary effects. Ditto for savings. It seems like it would be nigh on impossible to figure out what the actual amount of GDP increase would result from such a transfer–i.e. how much of the money would end up in the real economy and whether that amount would be enough to get the economy up to full capacity or even push it into (damaging) price inflation.

      The inflationary impacts of QE and direct transfer payments are definitely going to be quite different, but more than that I don’t think we can really know ex ante. It would be an interesting experiment though…maybe just $20,000 per household and see what happens ;-)

      1. financial matters

        I definitely don’t want them getting their hands on social security but they may be getting some things right here.

        “”Rather than doling out the money equally across every household in the U.S., giving the lowest income households the lion’s share of this cash transfer could potentially reap even greater economic benefits. “Targeting those who earn the least would have two primary benefits,” write Blyth and Lonergan. “For one thing, lower-income households are more prone to consume, so they would provide a greater boost to spending. For another, the policy would offset rising income inequality.”

        Nobody gains if everyone loses and business would benefit from increased demand.

        1. hunkerdown

          No, no, no, you always bribe the politically connected if you want a redistributive policy to endure and succeed. Means-testing means hacks testing the waters continuously to see how much of the entitlement can be withdrawn and papered over by a good divide-et-impera intergenerational brawl.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        I wonder if the trade-off will be an end to in-kind programs and cuts to Social Security. It just doesn’t seem possible to me that the Peterson Institute could suggest anything in my interest or anyone like me or anyone I know.

  15. Jackrabbit

    RECEPTIVE = Trumped up foreign policy success before mid-term elections

    And which is it? Are the Iranians “discussing” the proposal or “listening closely”?


    TODAY: Diplomats: Iran receptive to new nuke proposal By GEORGE JAHN, Associated Press

    Tehran . . . was initially non-committal at a bilateral meeting in August. But they [two anonymous US diplomats] say the proposal has now moved to being discussed at the talks Tehran is holding with the U.S. and five other powers, and that the Islamic Republic was listening closely.

    While only a proposal, the plan would allow the Iranians to claim that they did not compromise on vows that they would never emasculate their enrichment capabilities, while keeping intact American demands that the program be downgraded to a point where it could not be quickly turned to making bombs.
    . . .
    Ahead of the talks, chief U.S. negotiator Wendy Sherman acknowledged that the sides “remain far apart” on the size and scope of Iran’s uranium enrichment capacity.

    Other contentious issues are what to do with an underground enrichment plant near the village of Fordo and with a reactor under construction near the city of Arak.

    The U.S wants the Fordo facility converted to non-enrichment use because it’s heavily fortified against underground attack. And it wants the reactor converted to reduce to a minimum its production of plutonium, an alternate pathway to nuclear arms.

    The deadline was extended to Nov. 24 after the sides failed to reach agreement by the end of July.

    THE DAY BEFORE: Iran, 6 nations seek to unblock talks By GEORGE JAHN, Associated Press

    H O P

  16. Yonatan

    “New group plans to spotlight secret funding for Islamic State militants”
    Will they blame the corrupt cheese-eating surrender-monkey Yourupeens for purchasing cheap oil liberated by ISIS?

  17. trinity river

    The Cut of Coco
    The contrast between what Coco accomplished for women’s fashion while being a vile human being.

    1. ambrit

      I had a similar feeling. Less prominent people in France 1945, with that record, would have been shot.
      See Ophuls masterwork; “The Sorrow and the Pity.”
      What got to me was just how well Chanel would fit in today. The lesson, if there is one to be gleaned from this, is that we should beware the “elite” and “successful” among us when things start to go terribly wrong. (That is one big positive I get from hanging around here; higher caste people with working consciences. Oh Philosopher Kings, where be Ye?)

  18. Banger

    It appears the extreme right is starting to get hysterical. My wife gets a lot of political messages from right-wing friends so the latest is all about how we need to go to war in a major way and fast–bombing, troops, the whole nine-yards. There is a segment, led by McCain, of the right that is making a power-play using social media and scaring women of FB.

    1. BobW

      McCain never met a war he didn’t like. If he had his way, how many countries would we be fighting in now? I’m not sure that would be an easy number to determine.

  19. The Heretic

    Concerning the need to change our economy in the face if Climate change….

    I listened to an interview of David Suzuki, and he shared a very important observation, that for most people their personal economic situation will always trump concern for the environment. Moralizing about the environment and exhorting people to take a 30 year view or intergenerational view, although important, has thus far elicited only limited results. i believe that for most people it is difficult to give priority longterm issues over their concrete needs and wants for tomorrow, next month and next year. People will not change until either the climate change directly impacts them, or they are given a palatable and credible alternative to change to.

    Thus far I have only heard of platitudes of how our economies must change. Has anyone worked out in moderate detail but with credible calculations and plans, how our nation can change and address the issues and interest of the common person and of those persons who are asked to give up the most (the members of the 95% who work in the indistries that must be curtailed, such as the oil and gas industry, meat agriculture, and auto industry?)

    Do unto others as you would have done unto yourself ( if you were in their situation).

    I would also add Lambert’s observation, that the lesson to be learned from the dissolution of the USSR is that the use of hard power and coercion to exert control over any people will fail. Hence I conclude that the reliance on using legialation and strong enforcement to change people’s behaviour will also fail, unless some palatable alternative is also offered as well.

    1. TimR

      Climate change and the Austerity agenda riding its coat-tails is a sophisticated, long-term propaganda campaign designed to remake the world into a dystopian hell-hole. Denizens of NC seem especially susceptible to it, probably because they fit the target audience as described by Jacques Ellul in his book “Propaganda”. (Of which I have read a brief gloss, not the book itself.) Ellul’s thesis was that propaganda in modern democracies took the form of idea viruses, introduced by “thought leaders” of various kinds, rather than “the authorities” per se. This virus could then be patiently spread through the “educated” middle and upper middle classes — getting them to propagandize to each other, you see — until some critical mass is reached, 30 or 40 years later, at which they point they *demand* that their leaders *#@% them over, as their leaders wanted to do all along.

      If you adjust your antennae to the nature of the AGW (or now “climate change”) discussion, you can feel its phony nature through and through. Listen to some interviews with Dr. Tim Ball about the manipulative nature of the ICCPRCCPIC, or whatever the acronym of that governing body is… Check out Denis Rancourt’s critiques of the propaganda — he comes at it from a politically lefty perspective.

      I’m disappointed that Banger, whose posts here I enjoy, is so alert and suspicious to media narratives, but fails to see what a scam this operation is.

      Science in our day and age is highly degraded. It doesn’t take a vast conspiracy either, power money and the influence of paradigmatic thinking can distort the process. See Thomas Kuhn, and many others, on shortcomings of science..

      1. frosty zoom

        Climate change and the Austerity agenda riding its coat-tails

        •• dots unconnected.

        is a sophisticated, long-term propaganda campaign designed to remake the world into a dystopian hell-hole.

        •• unlike wars and destruction for oil which make the world into a utopian heaven-whole.

        Denizens of NC seem especially susceptible to it,

        •• birds of a feather.

        probably because they fit the target audience as described by Jacques Ellul in his book “Propaganda”.

        •• oooh, tell me all about it!

        (Of which I have read a brief gloss, not the book itself.)

        •• “Last week, I was with a group of fairly erudite people… who were discussing the novel ‘Moby Dick’. I was afraid to admit I hadn’t read it, so I lied.”

        Ellul’s thesis was that propaganda in modern democracies took the form of idea viruses, introduced by “thought leaders” of various kinds, rather than “the authorities” per se.

        •• not exactly new, but go on..

        This virus could then be patiently spread through the “educated” middle and upper middle classes — getting them to propagandize to each other, you see — until some critical mass is reached, 30 or 40 years later, at which they point they *demand* that their leaders *#@% them over, as their leaders wanted to do all along.

        •• hmm. my leaders *#@% me over real quick.

        If you adjust your antennae to the nature of the AGW (or now “climate change”) discussion,

        •• i hear they’re gonna start calling it “Take The Chevy Away”.

        you can feel its phony nature through and through.

        •• yeah! Al Gore And Everything!

        Listen to some interviews with Dr. Tim Ball about the manipulative nature of the ICCPRCCPIC, or whatever the acronym of that governing body is…

        •• ISIS!

        Check out Denis Rancourt’s critiques of the propaganda

        •• honestly, ¿care for a glass of gasoline? yummy.

        — he comes at it from a politically lefty perspective.

        •• like jesus.

        I’m disappointed that Banger,

        •• more names?

        whose posts here I enjoy, is so alert and suspicious to media narratives, but fails to see what a scam this operation is.

        •• maybe it’s a scam. maybe not. but oil is stinky old solar energy for which we behead each other. we’re not even as smart as plants.

        Science in our day and age is highly degraded.

        •• but even iran has nukes.

        It doesn’t take a vast conspiracy either, power money and the influence of paradigmatic thinking can distort the process.

        •• alas, the poor comma..

        See Thomas Kuhn, and many others, on shortcomings of science..

        •• i go to the supermarket for that.

      2. Brooklin Bridge

        If I’m not mistake, Banger and a large number of other NC regulars are also susceptible to the conspiracy theory which – like the climate change conspiracy theory – has bamboozled almost virtually every scientist living; namely that the earth is older than 6 thousand years. Some here – and I won’t name names – even think it isn’t the center of the universe. Go figure. The proof – of courses – is that if they don’t agree with you they are susceptible to “the propaganda”. Rock solid that! Thank goodness you are here to save the day and how has NC gotten along this far without you.

      3. Banger

        You know, I’ve been around every kind of human society you can imagine–I don’t know why–perhaps because I’m unstable. I have found my self is society with everyone including drunks who hang out in parks to special assistants to the POTUS–I just fall into bad company naturally.

        Yes, there is something degraded about science today and it goes very deep–but, I’ve also been around scientists and they are, on the whole, a fairly conservative and docile group. But to imagine the whole gaggle of climate scientists would conspire together to fool people on climate change so that they can earn a small fraction of what a scientist makes working for Exxon seems a little far fetched if you are into following the money.

        Plus there is the problem of the greenhouse gases–are you proposing that they are not actually greenhouse gases and do not act as insulation to keep heat in the Earth? I prefer to look at this reasonably—what are the chances that all the scientists are wrong? It certainly is possible. It is also possible they are right–so you make a cost benefit analysis and weigh the risks–what is the cost of taking action? What is the cost of not taking action?–this is what people do when they assess risk.

        The theoretical risks are very real so shouldn’t we focus some energy and resources on getting at the truth instead of just ignoring the issue?

  20. Brooklin Bridge

    The Sahara Is Millions of Years Older Than Thought

    No kidding! When was the first thought? According to the article, the Sahara is now considered to be about 7 million years old so that would suggest that no thoughts were thunk prior to that (in fact, they came several million years later). Given our approach to climate change, perpetual war, Empire, and so on, might it not be more accurate to say, “The Sahara is at least 7 millions years older than thought and apparently has a ways to go yet before we can take a count?” Assuming, of course, no one outside of Empire counts¡

    1. Demeter

      The theory used to be that the Sahara was a result of over-grazing by the shepherds’ flocks (those that heard the angels on Christmas Day and generations before that)…seriously, though, that would have taken a very fragile ecosystem and a massive amount of goats and sheep.

      I’m more inclined to look for long-term climate as the biggest factor. Nobody’s blamed US deserts on over-grazing…just the expansion of the the deserts.

  21. Winston

    New group plans to spotlight secret funding for Islamic State militants WaPo.

    Something smells fishy. There is no secret who is doing this, so intention must be something else.
    Do read this in full!
    Holder Says Private Suit Risks State Secrets

    Meanwhile interview of FSA leader revealed long ago buddies with ISIS:

  22. Winston

    Please read in full: alastair-crooke/isis- wahhabism-saudi-arabia_b_ 5717157.html
    Alastair Crooke, the author, is former MI-6 agent and Author, ‘Resistance: The Essence of Islamic Revolution’
    You Can’t Understand ISIS If You Don’t Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia
    Why is Turkey supporting Islamic State fighters in Iraq?
    ISIS grew strong not in Iraq;but from Syria:
    America’s Allies Are Funding ISIS
    The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), now threatening Baghdad, was funded for years by wealthy donors in Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, three U.S. allies that have dual agendas in the war on terror.

  23. Winston

    When it comes to what Wesley Clark described, not to mention what has been going in Ukraine;and the two trade treaties, Obama has been worse than Bush 1 and Bush II. One reason is he is a weaker person. He cannot even take on powerful stakeholders in local government who are impoverishing the country
    Please see: v12n30/news_analysis
    Detroit is America..

  24. Glenn Condell

    Reality from a loser at the front line of class warfare.

    ‘I make a lot of poor financial decisions. None of them matter, in the long term. I will never not be poor, so what does it matter if I don’t pay a thing and a half this week instead of just one thing? … It is not worth it to me to live a bleak life devoid of small pleasures so that one day I can make a single large purchase… There’s a certain pull to live what bits of life you can while there’s money in your pocket, because no matter how responsible you are you will be broke in three days anyway. When you never have enough money it ceases to have meaning. I imagine having a lot of it is the same thing… We don’t plan long term because if we do we’ll just get our hearts broken. It’s best not to hope. You just take what you can get as you spot it… I am not asking for sympathy. I am just trying to explain, on a human level, how it is that people make what look from the outside like awful decisions’

  25. Tim Mason

    Sociologist Howard Becker on a French web-site and book series that offers accounts of working lives.
    “Nobody’s listening!” (“Le pays, en un mot, ne se sent pas représenté,” or literally, “The country, in a word, feels that it is not listened to.”) Pierre Rosanvallon, a professor of history at the Collège de France in Paris, makes that statement the cornerstone of an ambitious project (of which more shortly) to counter the growing troubles—political, economic, spiritual—of France and, he has no doubt, the rest of the world. People feel abandoned, forgotten, not understood, excluded from the world of politics, institutions, the media—in a word, invisible. As a result, they sense that they are not taken account of, not “recognized” in the specificity of their individual lives.

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