Links 9/26/14

Apologies for the lack of original posts. I’m terribly off cycle and also investing time in getting intel on some longer-term stories. I had really wanted to whack the vomititious Holder encomiums but Lambert did an able job of describing the way the MSM completely ignored Holder’s abject failure to pursue, much the less punish, the people who brought the global economy to its knees.

Time capsule found inside lion head at Boston’s Old State House USA Today (Chuck L)

Paralyzed Rats Take 1,000 Steps, Orchestrated by Computer MIT Technology Review

Are Bees Back Up on Their Knees? New York Times (furzy mouse)

Shellshock shows internet ‘built on thin ice’ Financial Times

Technology revolution in nuclear power could slash costs below coal Telegraph (David L)

Nuclear Plants Across Emerging Nations Defy Japan Concern Bloomberg

Nuclear Shutdowns Put Belgians and Britons on Blackout Alert IEEE Spectrum

School students join Hong Kong democracy protests Agence France-Presse

What’s behind China’s JGB selling spree? Nikkei

Draghi May Discover Weaker Euro Doesn’t Buy Enough Recovery Bloomberg

Steinmeier says Iran nuclear deal ‘has never been so close’ DW


Putin demands EU-Ukraine pact rewrite Financial Times

What Went Wrong? Russia Sanctions, EU, and the Way Out EconoMonitor

Refugees, neo-Nazis, and super patriots: Heading into the Ukrainian war zone Yasha Levine, Pando. Important.

RUSSIA SANCTIONS, US GOVERNMENT LIES — CANADA OPENS LEGAL CHALLENGE John Helmer. We linked to this yesterday, but Helmer has an important update


A Too Complicated Game: Obama’s Deals With The Saudis And Al-Nusra Moon of Alabama

How Former Treasury Officials and the UAE Are Manipulating American Journalists Glenn Greenwald, Intercept

Latest rout raises questions about Iraqi military’s ability to defeat ISIS CNN

Iraq says Islamic State plans U.S., Paris attacks Reuters. Note the change from a week ago, when experts deemed them to present no threat to the US.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

School District Security Head Takes Call From NSA, Starts Secret Student Social Media Monitoring Program Techdirt (Chuck L)

Pirate Party Launches Site For Public To Put Questions To New EU Commissioners Responsible For Internet Policy Techdirt (Chuck L)

Dump your passwords! 8 security and identity breakthroughs InfoWorld (furzy mouse)

NJ Town Proposes Law That Would Grant Law Enforcement The Right To Warrantlessly Search Houses To Find Underage Drinkers Techdirt (Chuck L)

Eric Holder’s Legacy New York Times. Editorial. Damning with faint praise. And does mention his failure to prosecute any banksters, albeit less prominently than we would like.

G.O.P. Error Reveals Donors and the Price of Access New York Times (furzy mouse)

What Rush Limbaugh’s Attack On Activists Is Telling Us spocko, Firedoglake (Chuck L)

A GOP Senate’s First Target: Elizabeth Warren’s Consumer Protection Agency Mother Jones

Truly Shocking Video: Cop Shoots Black Man for No Apparent Reason Alternet (Chuck L)

Indiana Toll Road Angry Bear. Privatization fail.

Made in the U.S.A., but Banked Overseas Floyd Norris, New York Times. Wow, headline demonstrably wrong. The money is oversea ONLY from a tax perspective. For instance, Apple’s hoard was in banks in the US, and managed out of Nevada.

Whither Markets?

Global Anxiety Roils Financial Markets Wall Street Journal. Geopolitical risk finally trumps the Yellen put.

Market Snapshot: U.S. stocks: Futures up ahead of GDP, sentiment figures MarketWatch

One Of The Biggest Bulls For The Past Few Years Has An Ominous New Tone Business Insider

Class Warfare

Lyft, Uber and Sidecar Get San Francisco D.A. Warning Bloomberg. Lambert: “The libertarians race to the bottom and hit it, at exactly the same time.”

What do bankruptcy mortgage servicing and ebola have in common? Katie Porter, Credit Slips

Ferguson is our “libertarian moment,” but not in the way some libertarians want you to believe Mark Ames, Pando. A deep dive into Ferguson’s political economy.

Antidote du jour:

bears links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. Screwball

      Saw this elsewhere. Anyone heard it yet? Worth the time?

      So it will reveal what we already know and still nothing happens?

    2. fresnodan

      In the universe of finance, we live in a world of outrage.
      “Wall Street’s regulators are people who are paid by Wall Street to accept Wall Street’s explanations of itself, and who have little ability to defend themselves from those explanations.”

      “It’s an extraordinary document. There is not space here to do it justice, but the gist is this: The Fed failed to regulate the banks because it did not encourage its employees to ask questions, to speak their minds or to point out problems.
      Just the opposite: The Fed encourages its employees to keep their heads down, to obey their managers and to appease the banks. That is, bank regulators failed to do their jobs properly not because they lacked the tools but because they were discouraged from using them.”

      “The job right from the start seems to have been different from what she had imagined: In meetings, Fed employees would defer to the Goldman people; if one of the Goldman people said something revealing or even alarming, the other Fed employees in the meeting would either ignore or downplay it. For instance, in one meeting a Goldman employee expressed the view that “once clients are wealthy enough certain consumer laws don’t apply to them.” After that meeting, Segarra turned to a fellow Fed regulator and said how surprised she was by that statement — to which the regulator replied, “You didn’t hear that.”
      This sort of thing occurred often enough — Fed regulators denying what had been said in meetings, Fed managers asking her to alter minutes of meetings after the fact — that Segarra decided she needed to record what actually had been said. So she went to the Spy Store and bought a tiny tape recorder, then began to record her meetings at Goldman Sachs, until she was fired.”
      As a retired federal employee, meeting minutes are not worth the paper they are printed on. When issues are not obfuscated, they are simply “disappeared.” If you want to know what happens between a police officer and a citizen, with any correspondence to reality, you had better have a videotape of the incident. If you want to know what happens at a meeting, likewise.

      Now, there is a good reason. from the standpoint of the people who really run the show, why things aren’t recorded – plausible deniability (they didn’t really understand – of course, why such ignorant people should continue to be employed is never addressed). I would suspect also, that the FED, just like the bureaucracy I worked at, never really clarified what their rules meant and why – why would have meant some real effort, and than being able to hold someone in the bureaucracy to account.

    3. savedbyirony

      Saw that article this morning included in the links supplied on the Moyers and Co. site. As a related aside, according to an article in the latest Harpers Magazine on PBS, it’s history of funding and its demise (it’s a good article but for regular readers here the info it conatins will probably be old news) Moyers and Co. is going off the air at the end of this year. Not good.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Moyers & Co. is not going off the air due to funding, but because Moyers is 81 and retiring. He tried retiring twice and wound up coming back due to (as his wife Judy put it) “not having retirement skills” plus audience demand.

        However, PBS does have a general problem with funding.

        1. savedbyirony

          Yes, the article left that point about his retiring a little ambiguous. The author mentioned it in a footnote which stated he is retiring at the end of this year when the show’s current funding runs out. But i knew he had attempted to retire before. His show came to mind yesterday because of the “Pravda” comments you posted. Moyers and Co. may not be as detailed as here, nor generally nearly as analytically persistent and skeptical, (and it wouldn’t be a mouthpiece for the skunk party because it is far too Dem. forgiving) but it is a decent news source, and i will miss it. I expect and hope he will write or co-author a book (if his health and family life permits) because i have a hard time imagining him being able to keep completely publicly quiet through the days we live in. In the article he is quoted talking about the irritating on air fund drives and how they disrupt the normal broadcasts and distort the actual demographics of regular PBS viewers. Why Moyer’s and Co. was poorly scheduled and marginalized on many PBS stations due to its funding is also mentioned, as well as how his previous show “Now” was targeted for its reporting. i remember for a while a hard-right show followed immediately after “Now” which was so superficial and sloppy in its reporting that all it did was make Bill Moyers show that much more convincing and appreciated.

    4. Brindle

      Johnathon Kim was Carmen Segarra’s compliance manager at the Fed.
      From the “This American Life” transcript”:

      —In the meeting with Kim, Segarra observed that the skills that made her successful in the private sector did not seem to be the ones that necessarily worked at the New York Fed.

      Kim said that she needed to make changes quickly in order to succeed.

      “You mean, not fired?” Segarra said.

      “I don’t want to even get there,” Kim responded.

      It would be unfair to fire her, Segarra offered, since she was doing a good job.

      “I’m here to change the definition of what a good job is,” Kim said. “There are two parts it: Actually producing the results, which I think you’re very capable of producing the results. But also be mindful of enfolding people and defusing situations, making sure that people feel like they’re heard and respected.”

      Segarra had thought her job was simple: Follow the evidence wherever it led. Now she was being told she had to “enfold” business-line specialists and “defuse” their objections.

      “What does this have to do with bank examinations,” Segarra wondered to herself, “or Goldman Sachs?”—

    5. Tony

      The written piece is just damning. Regulatory capture? No. Full-on Stockholm Syndrome.

      I can’t wait to hear the recordings. So much for my productivity this afternoon…

    6. redleg

      There’s a Propublica article that goes with the TAL audio. It puts GS’s ugliness on vivid display and explicitly demonstrates what a sock puppet the Fed is (as well as whose hand is up the backside of the puppet).
      This should go viral, although I don’t think these revelations will actually change anything unless they somehow incite a popular revolt.

  1. abynormal

    re: NSA monitoring students social media…
    “The superintendent thinks it’s legit because there was a terrorism nexus.
    “There was a foreign connection,” said Wardynski, explaining why the NSA would contact Huntsville schools. He said the student in Huntsville had made the online threats while chatting online with a group that included an individual in Yemen.”

    “Just above our terror, the stars painted this story
    in perfect silver calligraphy. And our souls, too often
    abused by ignorance, covered our eyes with mercy.”

    1. Jim Haygood

      FBI Director James Comey on Thursday said he is concerned about moves by Apple Inc. and Google Inc. to market phones that can’t be searched by law enforcement, saying agency officials have engaged in discussions with both companies.

      “What concerns me about this is companies marketing something expressly to allow people to place themselves beyond the law,” Mr. Comey said in a briefing with reporters.


      Personal privacy = placing yourself beyond the law

      Are you exercising good thought hygiene, comrade?

      1. fresnodan

        By James Comey’s reasoning, every starlet should just send nude photos of themselves to the FBI to prevent terrorism….because anything kept private is being used by terrorists.
        And whatever means the photos are being sent by shouldn’t be too secure….cause the NSA guys need to check for terrorism too. After all, America is most endangered by….boobs.

  2. McMike

    re Libertarian moment.

    Classic Libertarian contradiction. The pursuit of privatized police, courts, and prisons has led to a massive, aggrandized, imperious, ubiquitous, unrestrained, unconstitutional, eavesdropping, entrapping, violent, oppressive, money-sucking, GOVERNMENT POLICE STATE; militarized at the local levels, and operationally interconnected with the actual military.

    A camera on every corner, with cops bashing heads, infiltrating groups of citizens with agent provocateurs, kettling public assemblages for preemptive arrest, and delivering verdict and punishment (extra-trial) at the street level with their guns. The list of infractions enforced by the police has escalated exponentially; the protection and privacy of a man’s castle has evaporated: habeus corpus, reasonable suspicion, and due process are dead letters. Having a police force that can search a home or car with impunity, while enforcing tens of thousands of arcane laws and ad hoc regulations strikes me as a #LibertarianFail.

    Huge swaths of the population are indebted to the government for fines and court costs, and huge swaths of the population are incarcerated by the government. Is it really a libertarian utopia to lead the world in incarceration (and execution) rates? Matching the incarceration rates of totalitarian states strikes me as a #LibertarianFail.

    Having the streets roamed by a government-sanctioned violent adversarial surveillance and assault force strikes me as a #LibertarianFail.

    Did these dipsticks even study the events leading up to the American Revolution? (Hint: it involved roving unrestrained lawless police forces, debtor prisons, and kangaroo courts).

    Well done Koch-Poole, you’ve turned us into Libertarian East Germany.

    1. Banger

      Good. I am still sympathetic to liberatarian ideas what you are talking about has nothing to do with anything we might call “libertarian” unless what you mean is simple rule by the strong. Libertarianism is an idea that we ought to have a minimum of government structure so that citizens are granted the maximum amount of latitude in their lives as long as they don’t cause direct and unavoidable harm to someone else. All drugs should be legal–but if we do harm when we are on them we should pay a penalty. Markets should be relatively open but fraud should still be a crime and so on. Instead we live in a world of laws created by oligarchs to benefit their interests not ours.

      Again, we can blame these pirates and criminals all we want but they are acting because the left withdrew itself from the struggle. That’s on us comrades–we won’t struggle, we won’t put our tails on the line as some of us did in the late sixties so this is the result–happy?

      The radical anti-authoritarian libertarians should be differentiated and encouraged. Most current government structures are noxious and tyrannical and whoever opposes it should be our friends. Do any of you see another way? Do you really believe there is a chance of reform–truthfully?

      1. McMike

        If you see a true Scotsman, let me know.

        What I am commenting on is that a supposedly arch-libertarian celebrated his life’s work: devolving services from the government, and instilling a business profit mentality — and in the process managed to create the most out of control anti-freedom monstrous police power and incarceration era of the last couple centuries.

        Yes, our government is tyrannical, but it became so under the rhetoric of libertarianism. and under the control of Randians.

        I agree with some of the concept libertarians propose as nice-sounding principles. And yes, we could use a stronger sense of anti-authority skepticism and instincts.

        But in the end, libertarians leave a blank on the question of what takes its place. Relying on something along the lines of magical self-regulating markets and mythical self-managing freemen. They’re anarchists who believe in unicorns.

        1. Banger

          My view is that anything, at this point, that breaks up the system is good. I believe that when thing are too orderly we need to go towards disorder when thing break down so that we can start something new then we work for order. The trick is not to get too disorderly so that there is enough left around to build new structures. I believe we are uniquely positioned to do that through technology and science.

          1. Skippy

            Libertarianism is an incoherent set of presuppositions, cobbled together by tuning in static transmissions from a burning bush in antiquity. The best part about it – is – the tuning receiver utterer gets to couch the entire transmission in self evident phraseology truthyness, too think other wise is to be seen as a heretic, because freedumb.

            skippy… now this pop psychology would not be so bad nor destructive, if it were not for its patrons self seeking bias conformation fear and loathing tour.

  3. JTFaraday

    re: “Ferguson is our “libertarian moment,” but not in the way some libertarians want you to believe” Mark Ames, Pando. “A deep dive into Ferguson’s political economy.”

    Would be well paired with this April 2014 article from The Nation, “The Town That Turned Poverty Into a Prison Sentence,” on Harpersville, Alabama:

    “Similar tales have been playing out in more than 1,000 courts across the country, from Georgia to Idaho. In the face of strained budgets and cuts to public services, state and local governments have been stepping up their efforts to ensure that the criminal justice system pays for itself. They have increased fines and court costs, intensified law enforcement efforts, and passed so-called pay-to-stay laws that charge offenders daily jail fees. They have also begun contracting with “offender-funded” probation companies like JCS, which offer a particularly attractive solution: collection, at no cost to the court.”

    As the rest of the article makes clear, however, it is not just “making the criminal justice system pay for itself,” the way Republicans in NJ took away mass transit subsidies so that commuters would bear the full cost of mass transit themselves, it is the generation of bullsh*t “criminal cases” to generate fines, fees, debt and imprisonment.

    1. MikeNY

      Well, you certainly don’t expect the oligarchs to pay for the proles’ ratty trains and buses, and those awful, tacky prisons stuffed with illiterate savages, do you?

      They ride in chauffered Bentleys, as they read the FT. Or drive a Tesla, if the don’t wish to be ostentatious.

    2. barrisj

      I am constrained to point out the case of Radley Balko, erstwhile ur-libertarian, who recently has experienced a sort of Damascene conversion, and has written many articles on police excesses and how municipalities such as Ferguson, MO prey on the poor in order to top up their tax hauls. The below-cited article appeared several weeks ago, and IMO other media are riffing off Balko’s thesis.

      How municipalities in St. Louis County, Mo., profit from poverty
      The lesson here is that there are libertarians, and there are libertarians.

      1. McMike

        “The lesson here is that there are libertarians, and there are libertarians.”

        Perhaps, but both flavors are responsible for imposing austerity, profit mentality, and privatization on justice and law enforcement. Police departments forced to act like profit centers. Users fee mentality for criminal suspects….

        And so here we are.

        Both types of libertarians insist on living in utopian unicorn land. And so some awake blinking to learn about the law of unintended consequences.

      2. JTFaraday

        “The lesson here is that there are libertarians, and there are libertarians.”

        That’s not the lesson here at all, because it’s not about you.

  4. steviefinn

    Disappointed I could not reply to my telling off – I am sorry for the rant, but it stemmed from concerns regarding my Daughter & Grandaughter, her possible daughter & so on & how certain people who believe themselves untouchable are making things worse for their prospects in a Europe which is already experiencing deflation – which once led to a certain failed artist getting his jackboot in the door.

    Besides, I reject all criticism as being Anti – Agnostic.

    1. abynormal

      Sorry? what part of ‘drive-by pet peeve’ & ‘Comments are closed.’ did you not get??
      i don’t remember the last time Yves had to close comments and i for one would like nothing more than to kick YOU in the shin.

      “Fanaticism is overcompensation for doubt.”

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      You are rapidly accumulating troll points.

      “Certain people” does not equal an entire ethnic group. Your prejudice is mind-boggling. And using your offspring to justify it is pathetic.

      Commenting here is a privilege, not a right, and you are violating house rules by carrying a discussion onto another thread. I strongly suggest you refrain from replying, because given your clearly demonstrated (as in bad) reflexes, you are certain to dig your hole deeper.

  5. Brindle

    re: “Ukraine..”

    Generally speaking, I have found Russia Today’s coverage of the Ukraine crisis superior to that of the NYT, WaPo, BBC and The Guardian. I read a lot of different sources on the subject and RT’s Paul Slier is one of the best journalists covering Ukraine. She has received death threats for her efforts:

    —RT correspondent Paula Slier faced strong anti-Russian bias during an OSCE panel on the freedom of journalism. She was invited to speak about her experience as a reporter while covering the situation in the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine.—

    1. Banger

      Agreed. You know, RT is just better than any other cable channel. I see a lot of flaws–too much on production values—too many young women with sexy legs and so on. But here is the fact: they present a vast diversity of opinion that no other cable channel comes even close to providing. RT is what our channels ought to be like. I can’t watch the others. Mind you, I have no trouble with opinions that are different from mine–when I was younger I always loved to watch Firing Line William Buckley’s program–hardly ever missed a show because Buckley, though ridiculous in many of his opinions, allowed his guests to express themselves so I was exposed to lots of cool stuff.

  6. fresnodan

    In Iraq, charges were made that Blackrock employees fired indiscriminately at Iraqis, apparently either for fun, boredom, or anger. I seems to me an occupying force will always oppress the people they are occupying. I think the same thing has happened in this country.

    I guess we should be thankful that in this case the cop was arrested and there was a dash cam. Does anybody doubt that the story would have been if a videotape was not available???

  7. Jim Haygood

    June 19th:

    Bill Gross said his firm [Pimco] is a happy place to be.

    “If there’s a happier kingdom to work, it may be Disneyland, but that’s a fantasy. We’re having a very good time and it’s a very happy kingdom at Newport Beach,” Gross says.


    CNBC’s David Faber reports that PIMCO was going to fire Chief Investment Officer Bill Gross tomorrow due to “increasingly erratic behavior.” The Wall Street Journal is also reporting that PIMCO was going to fire Gross before he resigned.

    According to Faber’s sources, Gross made the move first. Gross announced this morning that he’s leaving the firm he founded effective immediately.


    Sounds like Eric Holder’s happy kingdom, don’t it?

    1. MikeNY

      This dude is 70 years old and with a couple bil. How ’bout getting a hobby? Gardening? Reading to school kids? Volunteering at a dog shelter?

      The monomania of these people astounds me. They really are freaks — and not in a good way.

      1. McMike

        Not just freaks; addicts.

        The worst thing they can do for their family now is loaf around the house, looking for someone to screw over or at least shout at.

      2. Vatch

        Come on, have some compassion! He’s only number 252 on the Forbes list of U.S. billionaires. Bill Gates has 32 times as much as he has! And Carlos Slim, a Mexican, has 37 times as much! Just think how humiliated Bill Gross must feel. Maybe NC can set up a Tip Jar for billionaires who need more money, like Bill Gross. I’m sure The Donald would appreciate the help, too.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It’s that Forbes list that keeps billionaires motivated to ‘do better.’

          I believe without it, many would have retired to Mars and other planets already.

  8. financial matters

    This dissent is interesting reading. It’s another example of how broken our banking and banking regulation system is. We’ve found out what a mess real estate can become when it doesn’t come under regulation of the states.

    David S. | August 25, 2014 at 10:12 am |
    I have been a dedicated state-level prosecutor for 30 years, and I must say “Bravo” to the defense team. Professor Black’s point is absolutely correct: for a lie to constitute “fraud” it must be “material” to the other party’s detriment. We have learned that after Deutsche Bank figured out the “Big Short” there was a thriving market for mortgages designed from the outset to fail, conditions which created demand for “liars loans” from unscrupulous originators. Juries will not convict a single conspirator when his or her co-conspirators are not also prosecuted, because it if fundamentally unfair to pick and choose between equally guilty parties.

    Unfortunately, since 2007 we state-level prosecutors have been powerless to go after the fraudsters who drove the crisis, when Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wildly expanded Federal preemption of bank regulation in Watters vs. Wachovia Bank (2007) 550 U.S. 1 (read Justice Stevens’ blistering dissent to get a picture of how “wildly”).


    The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is an independent bureau within the United States Department of the Treasury that was established by the National Currency Act of 1863 and serves to charter, regulate, and supervise all national banks and thrift institutions and the federal branches and agencies of foreign banks in the United States


    from the dissent…

    “”Notwithstanding the congressional silence, in 1996 the OCC once again attempted to expand national banks’ ownership powers. The agency issued a regulation permitting national bank operating subsidiaries to undertake activities that the bank was not allowed to engage in directly.””

    “”The novelty of today’s holding merits a final comment. Whatever the Court says, this is a case about an administrative agency’s (OCC) power to preempt state laws.””

  9. barrisj

    My man Dan Froomkin has all the numbers today on how the major “defense” contractors are seeing a new era in advanced weapons programs and changes and “challenges” to US foreign military policies that bode well for future exponential growth in profits:

    Defense Contractors Are Making a Killing

    Stock prices for Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman set all-time record highs last week as it became increasingly clear that President Obama was committed to a massive, sustained air war in Iraq and Syria.

    It’s nothing short of a windfall for these and other huge defense contractors, who’ve been getting itchy about federal budget pressures that threatened to slow the rate of increase in military spending.

    Now, with U.S. forces literally blowing through tens of millions of dollars of munitions a day, the industry is not just counting on vast spending to replenish inventory, but hoping for a new era of reliance on supremely expensive military hardware.

    “To the extent we can shift away from relying on troops and rely more heavily on equipment — that could present an opportunity,” Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank, whose $66 billion portfolio includes Northrop Grumman Corp. and Boeing Co. shares, told Bloomberg.

    “Making a killing” = actual killing = “present[ing] an opportunity”…late imperial capitalism in action.

    1. Banger

      Wars, by the U.S. are now waged chiefly for two reasons: 1) Orwellian control of the “homeland”; and 2) money, money, money. As for the geopolitics–it plays a role but does not seem to be as important as it once was. To me this is very obvious–but it a hard pill to swallow for the vast majority–it’s just too painful to contemplate. If you actually think about it, it will rock your world and you’ll want to turn on NPR and take the blue pill–it’s a choice we all have to make. It is very, very, very unpleasant to face reality–but once you do it a certain kind of clarity emerges.

  10. Eclair

    Why did that headline, “Paralyzed Rats Take 1,000, Steps Orchestrated by Computer,” engender such disturbing images in my mind? I’m about to run screaming through the house.

    1. Banger

      This group is very important in Washington and is part of the reason the neocons are so perennially powerful in Foreign policy. Again, these groups play power-politics while the left twiddles its thumbs and ignores the power game. Why, because, in the end, they subject themselves to the corporate elite that’s why there is no left.

  11. barrisj

    Uh-oh, could it be…?

    Chicago-area air traffic center fire grounds nearly 1,500 flights, disrupts travel

    Reuters) – A fire set by an employee at a Chicago-area air traffic control center led to the cancellation of nearly 1,500 flights at the city’s two major airports, snarling air traffic across the nation and globally.

    Flights resumed after a delay of about four hours, but there were bottlenecks across the air system.
    The fire was set by a contract employee angry about being transferred to Hawaii who tried to sabotage the center that is crucial for air traffic, local broadcaster WGN reported law enforcement officials as saying. There were no indications that it was an act of terrorism and the blaze was extinguished, they said.
    [But, wait…]
    “”I’m shocked at how calm everyone is. With everything going on in the world, maybe we’re all managing our expectations. It’s a fire in Aurora, it’s not ISIS,” said Cynthia Stemler of the Chicago suburb of Lake Bluff, who was heading to Newark, New Jersey, in a reference to the militant Islamic group at war in Syria and Iraq.”

    “…[I]t’s a fire in Aurora, it’s not ISIS”…and, presumably, not even the “Khorasan Group”…well, that won’t stop people like Ms Lindsay Graham and comrade-in-arms John McCain from sounding the tocsin on “America is sooooooo vulnerable…” rot, as suggesting how easy it could be for those nasty terrorists to infiltrate the workplace and do the dirty whilst Murka slept. You can certainly credit the DC FUD merchants for a successful propaganda campaign to date when a fire can evoke even the possibility of an IS-inspired terrorist event. Public seems well-primed to “support POTUS” in his latest forays in Nobel Laureate peace efforts.

  12. kareninca

    Sorry if this has been posted already; I tried NC’s search engine and found no sign of it. But it is a big deal trial balloon:

    Ezekiel Emanuel, Rahm’s brother, and one of the architects of Obamacare, says that society would be better off if people died at age 75. “Ezekiel Emanuel is director of the Clinical Bioethics Department at the U.S. National Institutes of Health and heads the Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania.” And oh yes, he does a cost-benefit analysis, determining to his own satisfaction that old people don’t contribute enough to expect more.

    Why do I think that that when he hits 75 (he is 57), he will be quietly using his own copious wealth, or his very nice health insurance, to get that new hip and treatment for his prostrate cancer? Because he will, that’s why I think it. He just wants poor people’s parents to die quietly and cheaply. He is an evil hypocrite; a Nazi. I showed the article to an ultra-liberal friend who is 73; the friend said he was “disappointed.” Disappointed? How about scared? Well, my friend is rich and has good health insurance; I guess only the little people need to be scared.

    In the comment section of the Atlantic, one can see the paid trolls; the ones who say “he’s just talking about himself.” No, he is trying to get us used to the idea that old people have no value and deserve to die. Trial balloon; desensitization; Nazi technique for a Nazi goal.

    1. different clue

      Living longer is the best revenge. If millions of non-rich people aging into Social Security and Medicare manage to live many years after 75, would that create major financial and power-political inconvenience for the social class Overlords with who the Emmanuel brothers identify and for whom they work?
      Assuming access to health-care is ever further restricted and denied as per Obamacare going forward, is it still possible for millions of people to educate themselves and eachother on healthy eating/ food-finding, etc. etc.
      so as to avoid the metabolic breakdown disease and thereby pass 75 if they don’t die of something more acute in the meantime? How collectively vengeful and vengefully effective would that be against the Emmanuel Classes who hope to see us all die at 75?

  13. Leeskyblue

    Concerning Tr-lls and Shibboleths
    You closed comments early on one article and rightly so.
    This is for our hosts — you stopped publishing your personal email address (I’m sure rightly so.)
    So I’m putting this here — I don’t need to have it published.

    First, your mistake is not dealing with the circumstance correctly in the first place.
    You complain rightly about the drains upon your time and energy
    And yet you make the same errors over and over again —
    –of course it is an obscene waste of your time to answer a half-assed article.
    Of course the Times article was asinine.
    I’ve been tempted to address this issue many times over,
    because it keeps coming up,
    I’m just not fast enough to be glib.

    First, why write a long, loooooong response to it?
    What a drain upon your energy
    and of course you accomplished nothing.
    Of course nobody read it. Thoughtless articles sometimes deserve briefer answers — that call them out as thoughtless and no more.
    Of course people will fixate on anything with the J word or the N word, or any of a dozen other chimeras and not read anything else.
    You idealists — please accept just a little that people are just that way?
    Accept that that’s how other people with no ideas make a living?
    So what else is new?
    Life’s unfair — improve things slightly and you ain’t gonna cure it?
    But there are standards and there is better and there is often much worse,
    — like compulsively responding to the article as a legitimate piece.

    My cousin, an educational psychologist, believes that every creative person is compulsive-obsessive.

    I was in a drawing class and I kept making the same mistake over and over. My teacher had really spent a lot of time with me. This time he said nothing — he just scrawled on my tablet “Stupid–Stupid–Stupid! ”
    That crit worked pretty well.

    This subject didn’t require an immediate response —
    why not Zen it for a few days> Then see if it’s worth writing about.
    Write to the editor and list all your links on the subject —
    Tell him you know you have a few good people who can write on the subject,
    you don’t have to publish me, but give the space to SOMEBODY worthy?

    But above all, I recommend the Zen thing — for a few seconds at a time for compulsive people, no more.

    1. Leeskyblue

      Oh, and Lambert’s vegetables — watching the grass grow —
      Golly, you live in Maine?
      — cold comfort but heaven on earth.

      “Consider the lilies of the field” —
      in small doses of course a few times a day.

    2. abynormal

      “What a drain upon your energy
      and of course you accomplished nothing.”

      ive heard vampires use sunlight to hunt the corner of a bowling ball

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      You appear to be new here. I don’t mean to sound harsh, but your comment almost seemed designed to elicit that sort of response.

      I suggest you refrain from giving advice when you don’t understand either the nature of blogging or the nature of managing a web community. Waiting for days to deal with out of line comments is a non-starter. I do not mean to toot our horn, but if you at all follow journalism sites, they report regularly on degeneration of comments sections. Many sites, including MSM sites, have closed comments completely.

      You do not appreciate that the vigilance of the moderators is the reason we still have a viable and in fact vibrant comments section. I am not about to “forgive” people who set out to wreck that, either through bad intent, bad manners, or not bothering to understand house rules before commenting (which is a variant of “bad manners”).

      And your remark shows a failure to even understand the situation, as in bother to read the underlying post. It was a cross post, yet you come to hector us as if one of the regular writers/moderators on the site produced it. So your remark was ill informed and presumptuous, which is a form of rudeness. Yet you pretend to be “Zen” and therefore enlightened. I suggest you get a better grip on what “right means” amounts to. You need to learn to manifest it, not give off base lectures about it.

      1. abynormal

        i find this the worst of the comments pertaining to ‘that’ thread! ‘handle the little lady’ is passive-aggression in its purity. personally, im glad to see NC cream curdling to the top…get these bozo’s out of the way. there’s work to be done…its heating up out there!

        “Some people insist that ‘mediocre’ is better than ‘best.’ They delight in clipping wings because they themselves can’t fly. They despise brains because they have none.”
        Robert A. Heinlein

      2. Leeskyblue

        The simple point of my somewhat rambling discourse was that your time and energy (and Lambert’s) are valuable.
        I’ll try to be more succinct.

    4. lambert strether

      And on top of it all, a work assignment to Yves to recommend writers to the editot at the Times….

      Big organizations tend to have HR departments…..

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        As if that would have any impact. And in terms of effectiveness, a blog post here and the related auto-tweet is just about certain to have more oomph that a bloomin’ letter. Which is why Black posts at his lower-traffic but still read by Serious People site.

        He misses utterly that the point of the exercise is not to change the Times but to foster critical thinking in readers of the media.

  14. VietnamVet

    At least most everyone agrees that the world is falling apart. The reason why depends on one’s viewpoint and education. But, user fees and lowering taxation rate are pretty good reasons to me. Reality is never reported even when it blows up in our face. Ferguson MO unrest is the natural outcome of a Black Speed Traps to pay for lower taxation rates on Whites.

    Today’s Washington Post that reported on the Kiev supporters still free in Donetsk “Police State”.

    What the Post does not report is how the eastern Russian majority speaking Ukraine provinces were invaded, fought back and achieved a stalemate against the NATO supported forces. The first battle in the Cold War version 2.0.

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