Links Labor Day 2014

The double life of Ming the cat (aka as Cleo): Two families locked in custody battle over Siamese who has secretly had two homes for ten years Daily Mail

The Baboon Troop that Mellowed Out After the Alpha Males Died Bob Sutton (CL). These alpha males eat rotten meat from the garbage dump they monopolize and die. You’ll never guess what happens next!

Margins: the new normal FT

Ecuador heralds digital currency to start before year end Deutsche Welle

China’s ‘bad banks’ back in the spotlight FT

China Loses Growth Momentum as Manufacturing Pulls Back Blooomberg

Will Brazil elect Marina Silva as the world’s first Green president? Guardian

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

How the NSA Helped Turkey Kill Kurdish Rebels The Intercept and A Two-Faced Friendship: Turkey Is ‘Partner and Target’ for the NSA Der Spiegel

NSA Uses Speech-To-Text Systems To Record (Your?) Phonecalls Moon of Alabama

After unrest over shooting, Ferguson police now wear body cameras Reuters

Leonard Pitts Jr.: An Uzi, a 9-year-old and American exceptionalism McClatchy

Podcast: Ferguson, Class Divisions & Why Community May Reject Voting as Key Answer to Injustice FDL

Obama & the Coming Election Elizabeth Drew, NYRB. Weak tea.


Putin talks about ‘statehood’ for eastern Ukraine WaPo

How can you tell whether Russia has invaded Ukraine? Club Orlov

JPMorgan Hackers Came In the Front Door — in June. Two Months of Mayhem Bloomberg. Yves: “Puhleeze. The hackers were good and had bench depth. Therefore they were Russian?”


In Search of a Strategy New Yorker

Jubilant Iraqi forces break two-month siege of Amirli Daily Star

IS back in business Le Monde Diplomatique

U.S. and Iran Unlikely Allies in Iraq Battle New York Times


Israel appropriates massive tract of West Bank land Haaretz. “Biggest West Bank land appropriation in 30 years.” You show ’em, Bibi!

War is the new system of governance (and five other Gaza takeaways) 972

Islamist-linked militia guarding evacuated U.S. Embassy in Libya CBS

Thailand’s ultra-monarchists export vigilante justice FT

Beijing Rules Out Open Election in Hong Kong  WSJ. Candidates must be screened.

Hong Kong’s ‘era of disobedience’ has begun, says Occupy leader as protesters join forces SCMP

The Micro-Dwellings of Hong Kong Medium (furzy mouse)

Class Warfare

Labor Today Editors, New York Times

Labor Day stems from deadly labor strike, but few Americans know the history New York Daily News

Six reasons to kiss a union member Arizona Republic

Machinists union faces uphill climb to organize Boeing South Carolina Post and Courier

More Workers Are Claiming ‘Wage Theft’ New York Times

The Changing Face of Temporary Employment Times. Freeters.

Viewpoint: Don’t Just ‘Save Artie T.’ Labor Notes. DeMoula’s.

Low-paid Britain: ‘People have had enough. It’s soul destroying’ Guardian

Woman Working Four Part-Time Jobs Dies in Car While Trying to Nap Gawker

House of the Week | McLean chateau for $12.9M WaPo. Fontainebleau crossed with Thomas Kincaid.

The death of the “gamers” and the women who “killed” them Ars Technica

UnFacebooking, Randomizing, and Other Ways to Burst the Filter Bubble Motherboard

Emoji: the first truly global language? Guardian

Structured Web: YC grad Kimono Labs makes its giant respoitory of user-generated APIs searchable Pando Daily

Use of ‘language of deceit’ betrays scientific fraud New Scientist. Hmmm.

Reading Hamilton From the Left Jacobin

“What We Wanted To Do,” Ron Carlson (YouTube; transcript). “What we wanted to do was spill boiling oil onto the heads of our enemies as they attempted to bang down the gates of our village.”

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. Ned Ludd

    Every NSA target, potentially ever human being, has now to assume that everything it says or hears on the phone will be recorded and automatically searched by keywords and then marked, categorized and stored forever by some NSA system.

    I recall reading that one of the up-and-coming dissidents from an Eastern Bloc country had all of his phone calls recorded. When the authorities felt that he was becoming too influential, they did not arrest him or beat him. They broadcast excerpts from his phone calls on the radio, where he was gossiping and complaining about friends to other friends (as we are all wont to do sometimes). It made him look petty, so everyone treated him with disdain after that.

    It is easy to run an authoritarian regime when you have dirt on everyone. Nowadays, the government can selectively leak the dirt to a friendly media outlet.

    1. James Levy

      I’m coming to the conclusion that the future is so dangerous, dystopian, and bleak (nanobots, computerized robot soldiers and drones, total observation and recording of everything you write and say on the phone, where you go monitored by GPS in your car and phone) that I think we will be a lot better off as a species if the oil system crashes and we are thrown back to a 19th century economy. We will not have forgotten the techniques of surgery or antisepsis, we will not have forgotten about quarks and quasars, but the ability of government and the rich to shape reality will be sharply curtailed. In short, I’m hoping for the day when the infrastructure necessary to run the huge NSA facilities in Utah and Texas can no longer be maintained. I’m sure many here will say that it doesn’t have to go that way, but I see no power on Earth great enough to stem the rising tide of totalitarian surveillance. If those in charge have the technology and the energy resources to run that technology, they will use it. We are ruled by the alpha baboons, and no plague is going to come along and selectively wipe them out. On the contrary, they are best placed to survive any disaster that may befall us. We literally have to hope that the power (oil and gas) is taken out of their hands before they’ve summoned 1984 whole.

      1. Skeptic

        “…I see no power on Earth great enough to stem the rising tide of totalitarian surveillance. If those in charge have the technology and the energy resources to run that technology, they will use it.”

        I agree. But it doesn’t stop there. The 1% keep developing technology and it keeps growing. How much of Technology has to go wrong to be fatal to the species or the planet? Bill Joy, WHY THE FUTURE DOESN”T NEED US, is a good start on this, the Question For Our Times.

        1. Procopius

          Heck, this speculation :

          How much of Technology has to go wrong to be fatal to the species or the planet?

          has been around at least since the ’50s. I remember speculation that the reason we had never been visited by a technologically advanced race was because no advanced race lasted long past the point when they developed nuclear fission. Now we’re seeing that even if we do survive nuclear fission (still not assured by any means) there are a bunch of other things that can drive us to extinction.

      2. Skeptic

        “…I see no power on Earth great enough to stem the rising tide of totalitarian surveillance. If those in charge have the technology and the energy resources to run that technology, they will use it.”

        I agree. But it doesn’t stop there. The 1% keep developing technology and it keeps growing. How much of Technology hsa to go wrong to be fatal to the species or the planet? Bill Joy, WHY THE FUTURE DOESN’T NEED US, is a good start on this, the Question For Our Times.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            They are developing that technology – Early Solar Flare Warning System…perhaps they have already perfected it.

            The resources (money and techno-lemmings) are available.

            1. MtnLife

              Haha, and start the biggest effing panic this side of putting actual aliens on TV? That’ll be awesome. “So folks, by tomorrow at this time we will have no power grid, no transportation greater than a horse drawn cart, and none of the infrastructure people had when they didn’t have these things. In other news… nuclear plants race to shut down to not kill us all, more at 11.” Best estimates are 5 years before some sort of grid is restored and that’s if we kept enough spare equipment in Faraday cages to even start the rebuild. On the “bright” side, the grid won’t need to be nearly as huge after 5 years of no petrofarming. 75% of the population, if not more, will be gone.

      3. Ed

        This is an important point, and why on the (heavily NSA monitored) doom blogs there is a certain amount of giddiness over the prospect of a tech crash, likely induced by fossil fuels becoming more expensive or harder to obtain.

        An energy rich future world is shaping up to be more like “1984” than “Star Trek”, with the evolution of technology having far outpaced the evolution of humans and how we treat one another. In addition, there is the prospects of the poisonous waste of processing all the needed energy will kill off all humans anyway, even if the robots don’t.

        However, I don’t think most people have processed the population crash that will likely happen if cheap energy is unavailable, and the amount of suffering that would cause. And peak energy may be coming too late to prevent either the killer robots or the poisoned atmosphere from happening first. After contemplating the future, I’m pretty much hoping for a miracle.

        1. James Levy

          I’ve read some of those blogs and am not giddy at all, but I know what you mean. I am the boring product of post-Watergate, pre-Dubya American civilization. It was a world that afforded most a modicum of material comfort and personal freedom. That world is receding from us, and I am afraid of what will take its place.

      4. lordkoos

        You can be sure that the military, NSA and other organizations crucial to the maintenance of power, will be the very last to have their resources cut off.

      5. David Bernier

        I’ve studied a modicum of Fascist and Nazi history. First of all, Fascism in Italy lasted maybe 20-25 years, and after WW2 concluded, somehow Fascism died down, and there was a resurgence of socialist and “Red” (communist-like) politics in Italy. As a result, NATO had the “stay-behind” sleeper-cells/agents in Italy, and they were involved in Gladio, wherein “stay-behind” mercenary-types were employed to bomb places, and try to make it pass on left-wingers. Gladio has been the subject of Italian parliamentary inquiries, and there’s a written record.
        As for Germany, the Nazis were obsessed with Lebensraum, or vital space, and sought to expand Eastwards into Russia; they had already annexed Austria in what’s known as the Anschluss.
        I don’t know about the future of the US. What I believe is that as Totalitarianism increases, dissatisfaction with it (probably) would rise in the US. That’s not the same thing as expressing dissent or resistance, but growing dissatisfaction is a start.
        Things simply aren’t bad enough yet in the US on the Fascist/Totalitarian axis, in my view… [to get to a Nazi or Italian fascist level].

    2. Ulysses

      “It is easy to run an authoritarian regime when you have dirt on everyone.” Well yes, but people of courage will always find ways to resist oppression. Just look at the example of the criminalized Catholic clergy in Elizabethan and Jacobean England:
      “The priests themselves exhibited an extraordinary combination of physical courage (many of them were tortured in ways so brutal that it is almost unbearable to read the descriptions), intellectual and spiritual rigour, and action-movie derring-do, secreting themselves in tiny “priest holes” while whole houses were destroyed around them, effecting impossible escapes, manning underground printing presses, dressing up to disguise themselves. “A pack of actors so skilled,” said one pamphleteer, “that they should set up a company for themselves, which surely will pull down the Fortune, Red Bull, Cockpit and Globe.” They were feared and despised by their opponents, and, in the aftermath of the catastrophically misconceived gunpowder plot, they were, quite wrongly, fingered, and Henry Garnet, the troubled, scrupulous Jesuit, was finally tracked down and condemned as author of a plot “so inhuman, so barbarous, so damnable, so detestable as the like was never read nor heard of, or ever entered into the heart of the most wicked man to imagine”. He was hanged, drawn and quartered on highly equivocal evidence; it was, noted Lord Salisbury, “expedient to make it manifest to the world how far these men’s doctrinal practice toucheth into the bowels of treason”.”

      1. Ned Ludd

        Malcolm X observed:

        The press is so powerful in its image-making role, it can make the criminal look like he’s a the victim and make the victim look like he’s the criminal… If you aren’t careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing…

        You let the man maneuver you into thinking that it’s wrong to fight him when he’s fighting you. He’s fighting you in the morning, fighting you in the noon, fighting you at night and fighting you all in between, and you still think it’s wrong to fight him back. Why? The press. The newspapers make you look wrong.

        — Speech at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem (13 December 1964), published in Malcolm X Speaks: Selected Speeches and Statements

        It does not matter how principled a person is, if the state and the corporate press can smear them and ruin them, so people come to view dissidents as lunatics ranting on the street corner. The more information that the government possesses, the more dirt it can leak to state-friendly media outlets.

        For the few people who possess the character, the charisma, or the social connections to overcome such marginalization, there is always jail (and solitary confinement, to silence them) or assassination. Western culture focuses on individual derring-do, but even in the example you cite, the individuals had a powerful organization to back them up.

        1. Ulysses

          You are quite right that no matter how heroic the resistance of any individual, she will not be able to change the world all by herself. Yet I should tell you that, in my own experience, the recent, tragic death of the heroic Aaron Swartz has inspired many of us to take more seriously our mission to oppose this oppressive system– and fight harder for a better world.

          Will we win? Maybe not. Yet I know very deep in my soul that I owe it to my children, indeed to everyone alive today, not to go down without a fight. Bullies seem powerful, but they are actually terrified that the rest of us will recognize their weakness and topple them from power. I find it impossible to take comfort in my own privileges and enjoyments when I know so many suffer so deeply. To quote the late Paolo Borsellino : “Chi ha paura muore ogni giorno, chi non ha paura muore una volta sola.” Those who are afraid die every day, the fearless die only once. Of course Paolo Borsellino knew fear– we all know fear. We simply can’t let our perfectly natural fears paralyze us into accepting without struggle the injustice we see around us.

          Sure I could be waterboarded, disappeared, or otherwise made to be less of an immediate nuisance to TPTB. So what? I could also be killed by a taxi when crossing 3rd Avenue. Silencing me will only enrage relatives and friends of mine– in all 50 states– who will be as keenly inspired to fight back as I was by what they did to Aaron.

    3. Brooklin Bridge

      Another point that should be considered – but doesn’t seem to be – is that once your model is to convert speech to text and then delete the speech due to memory/storage constraints, what is to stop you from subsequently and secretly modifying/adding to/deleting from the text? After all, the definition of crime that Obama has raised as his own son since Bush proudly delivered it from the Rose Mary of 9/11, is that if the Administration/Government does it: 1) it’s not crime, 2) it’s a state secret and 3) It can not be tried in a court of law.

        1. Brooklin Bridge

          Point granted, but Tricky Dick – thankfully – didn’t get very far with it and for years it was considered stillborn. Bush changed that by delivering a whole new monster without talking about it and Obama protected, nurtured and raised it into official policy.

          1. Glenn Condell

            Back then at least we had Dick Tuck to take the mick out of Tricky Dick, not to mention Hunter S Thompson’s apocalyptic screeds.

            Who will be Obama’s Dick Tuck? Who can let some of the gas out of that pompous ass?

      1. Ulysses

        In the world of high finance the concept of “crime” has evolved in an interesting fashion in recent years. Lesser mortals constrain their actions to avoid committing obvious crimes against existing law. The big players do whatever they want, confident that their crimes will either 1) remain completely unpunished, 2) their bought politicians will retroactively legalize what they did, or 3) Other People’s Money will be used to pay off fines that seem big to average men and women, but are actually only small fractions of their ill-gotten gains.

        1. Brooklin Bridge

          Absolutely! And as Yves or Lambert pointed out in a recent post, Congress is making literally hundreds of new laws every year for the lessor mortals. It costs them nothing, earns political “tough on crime” points, and creates havoc and untold suffering both economically and socially for the lessor mortals and for the system. So those laws don’t even have to be obvious – ignorance of the law – for the sans culottes at least – is no excuse.

    1. ChrisPacific

      I found this article to be a bit naive. Game developers are able to make whatever games they want, but if they want to stay in business then they need to think about how their customers will respond to them. They also don’t get immunity from criticism and bad reviews.

      Like it or not, the gaming industry is becoming mainstream and starting to receive the same kind of scrutiny that has been applied to mass media such as TV and film for a long time now. Once an entertainment medium becomes as widespread as gaming has, the leading content providers can and do play a significant role in shaping public attitudes by the choice of what material to focus on. It already happens in other media, as I’m sure no regular NC reader would dispute. To claim that game developers should get a free pass on all of this, given the influence they now enjoy, is simply naive.

      The gaming community (of which I consider myself a part) does need to think about what kind of experience it provides to women, and what role it plays in shaping the attitudes of its members, especially the young and impressionable ones. This does not need to come at the expense of game quality – in fact it will probably have a positive effect in the long run. Rhianna Pratchett’s contribution to the Tomb Raider franchise is a great example. Ask a typical TV viewer whether the presence of decorative busty half-naked women is positively or negatively correlated with quality. I expect gaming to move in the same direction gradually as the industry matures.

  2. Jackrabbit

    For those who may be interested in, here’s a compilation of Jackrabbit comments on Ukraine from late Feb/early March. I am not an Eastern European analyst or a Foreign Policy guru, yet like many others I could see that in Ukraine the neocons were taking big risks that would likely fail.

    IMO, Henry Kissinger’s recent article (discussed yesterday) shows that the neocons still don’t get it. The failure/scheming in Iraq, Ukraine, and elsewhere are self-inflicted wounds that stem from a group-think neocon cabal that runs foreign policy. They refuse to accept a reversal or admit that they were wrong, choosing instead to double-down.

    Many ordinary people in the US/West seem to think that foreign affairs are far removed from their everyday experience. It is not. Our foreign policy ‘comes home’ in the form of a police state (propaganda, spying, militarized police), reduced economic opportunity (China and Russia are developing technologies to compete with Silicon Valley; BRICS are developing alternate financial systems; increased defense spending starves education and other areas, etc.), and dead or crippled soldiers. This is possible mostly because ‘We the people’ have been disenfranchised by vote-with-your-money politics. Our politicians, and the government they lead, work for monied interest groups instead of the best interests of the country.

    The worst part is this: its unsustainable. All of it. Our energy use, our military, our wasteful spending, our financial bubbles, our exceptional! selfish attitude and haughty demeanor, and more. The longer we ignore reality and kick cans, the stronger will be the blow back. We can lead the world – as we used to – by setting an example of good governance, or we can continue to follow the anti-humanist, anti-capitalist, pro-oligarchy neolibcon path to dystopia.

    I’m not saying anything that NC readers don’t already know. And most ordinary people have some sense of the failures that plague our society – they are the fodder of jokes and the source of viral videos. Confidence in Congress and the President are as low as ever.

    H O P

    1. James Levy

      You are correct, but the reigning ethos is among foreign policy “scholars and intellectuals” is never asking “how solid is that argument”, it is “who the hell are you to even suggest an argument!” It is a closed system of thinking and thinkers. Like economics, if you do not buy their “Euclidian” postulates and premises, you are out in the cold.

      1. Gabriel

        James —

        Re – “who the hell are …”

        I’ve found that the Sweetness Rule often applies to arguments. It’s a lot more fun to make ad hominem accusations. Using logic is so boring.

        Go for the heart – not the brain.

        The Sweetness Rule, by the way, applies to many other parts of life. Go for the fun. Stay away from reason.

    2. Brooklin Bridge

      We can lead the world – as we used to – by setting an example of good governance

      Perish the thought! Good governance is inimical to over sized monopolistic institutions, particularly super-powers and even more so a single super-power. And when did we actually lead the world by example of good governance as “we used to”? In some ways FDR was the flower of a plant of pure corruption and when that bloom returned to the earth, the corruption was seeded again with even more virulence. People took away the wrong message; they thought an FDR would always come along in times of great trouble as if the “take away” from an incredibly fortunate happenstance in one horrific auto accident meant that all automobile accidents would summon such fortune when in fact the opposite truth was the point.

      1. Brooklin Bridge

        The very act of being the single superpower, or even a super power, is the reckless driving we should avoid.

      2. Jackrabbit

        My phrasing was figurative as much as it was historical. We didn’t need to claim that we were “exceptional”.

        And in that former world we didn’t seek a uni-polar NWO.

    3. cnchal

      We are in a catch 22. How can the anti-humanist, anti-capitalist, pro-oligarchy neolibcon leaders be stopped?

      Is the sitting President of the United States a caring sharing human being full of empathy for other human beings?

      In yesterday’s links was this article “Against Empathy” and right near the top is a quote that purports to show the President’s empathy towards people.


      And empathy can be extended through the imagination. In a speech before he became president, Barack Obama stressed how important it is

      to see the world through the eyes of those who are different from us—the child who’s hungry, the steelworker who’s been laid off, the family who lost the entire life they built together when the storm came to town. . . . When you think like this—when you choose to broaden your ambit of concern and empathize with the plight of others, whether they are close friends or distant strangers—it becomes harder not to act, harder not to help.
      Obama is right about this last part; there is considerable support for what the psychologist C. Daniel Batson calls “the empathy-altruism hypothesis”: when you empathize with others, you are more likely to help them. In general, empathy serves to dissolve the boundaries between one person and another; it is a force against selfishness and indifference.


      Compare the above with Yves comment from yesterday’s links.

      This really is stereotyping of the worst kind, basically that a smooth, polished black man is a house Negro, unable to operate independently.

      You need to read this piece. Obama may be lazy (he’s even admitted to that) but weak, no.

      This is the shape of the system Obama has designed. It is intentional, it is the modern American order, and it has a certain equilibrium, the kind we identify in Middle Eastern resource extraction based economies. We are even seeing, as I showed in an earlier post, a transition of the American economic order toward a petro-state. By some accounts, America will be the largest producer of hydrocarbons in the world, bigger than Saudi Arabia. This is just not an America that any of us should want to live in. It is a country whose economic basis is oligarchy, whose political system is authoritarianism, and whose political culture is murderous toward the rest of the world and suicidal in our aggressive lack of attention to climate change.
      Many will claim that Obama was stymied by a Republican Congress. But the primary policy framework Obama put in place – the bailouts, took place during the transition and the immediate months after the election, when Obama had enormous leverage over the Bush administration and then a dominant Democratic Party in Congress. In fact, during the transition itself, Bush’s Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson offered a deal to Barney Frank, to force banks to write down mortgages and stem foreclosures if Barney would speed up the release of TARP money. Paulson demanded, as a condition of the deal, that Obama sign off on it. Barney said fine, but to his surprise, the incoming president vetoed the deal. Yup, you heard that right — the Bush administration was willing to write down mortgages in response to Democratic pressure, but it was Obama who said no, we want a foreclosure crisis. And with Neil Barofsky’s book ”Bailout,” we see why. Tim Geithner said, in private meetings, that the foreclosure mitigation programs were not meant to mitigate foreclosures, but to spread out pain for the banks, the famous “foam the runway” comment. This central lie is key to the entire Obama economic strategy. It is not that Obama was stymied by Congress, or was up against a system, or faced a massive crisis, which led to the shape of the economy we see today. Rather, Obama had a handshake deal to help the middle class offered to him by Paulson, and Obama said no. He was not constrained by anything but his own policy instincts. And the reflation of corporate profits and financial assets and death of the middle class were the predictable results.


      Words. What they mean depends on who’s talking.

      It is my observation that most politicians are narcissists, and it is blatantly obvious that when they get that kind of power, it is used for their benefit, while the rest of us are damned.

      The worst part is this: its unsustainable. All of it. Our energy use, our military, our wasteful spending, our financial bubbles, our exceptional! selfish attitude and haughty demeanor, and more.

      Took the words right out of my mind.

      1. Carla

        Words mean nothing. Watch what people do, don’t listen to what they say.

        Geez, my dear mom started trying to teach me this when I was about 3. Life completed the lesson.

        1. cnchal

          Words mean something. When the prepresident spoke these words:

          to see the world through the eyes of those who are different from us—the child who’s hungry, the steelworker who’s been laid off, the family who lost the entire life they built together when the storm came to town. . . . When you think like this—when you choose to broaden your ambit of concern and empathize with the plight of others, whether they are close friends or distant strangers—it becomes harder not to act, harder not to help.

          people are induced to believe him. This is how power is gained, through speech that connects meaningfully with the audience. At that point in time no one really understands that this speech gives him what he craves. A rapt audience that will clap and cheer him on when they hear and believe. A narcissist’s wet dream.

          The problem for the rest of us is, how do we weed them out so we are not ruled by them?

          1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

            Vote based on platform and hold the ‘Representative(s) feet to the fire to enact and uphold it.

            A few should be (and could already easily could be), investigated, indicted, tried, convicted, and put to merciless prison terms at hard labor. We wouldn’t have to go that route if Nixon had been made to stand trial.

            Also, we’d be heading in the right direction if we impeached the entire SCOTUS. They have soiled their black dresses.

          2. Glenn Condell

            ‘The problem for the rest of us is, how do we weed them out so we are not ruled by them?’

            Have wearable polygraphs as mandatory accessories for all political appointees receiving taxpayer funds, the feed going to a public website, transparently open source and operated by government agency with reporting obligations to be tabled in Congress. The problem will be those liars, like say Blair, who are so good at it they convince themselves.

            ‘Vote based on platform and hold the ‘Representative(s) feet to the fire to enact and uphold it’

            A thousand times yes. Have crowd-sourced platforms approved by voters and then have potential reps sign on to work toward legislating them. Have again a govt operated preference register for all voters (accessed by unique voter ID) to indicate preferences on issues and to chastise and warn reps who stray from their promises.

        2. nycTerrierist

          If there could be one good thing to come out of the Obama debacle,
          it would be if every voter learned what you were taught when you were three.

      2. TedWa

        Obama is an amazing actor, he can turn on the tears at the drop of a hat in public and turn amazingly cruel in private. Someone said he’s “awesomely evil” – I’d have to agree.

        1. cnchal

          From further down thread there is an excerpt from rich which itself is an excerpt from this blog and a tiny slice of what it’s like to deal with a narcissist.

          The implicit goal of any primary narcissist is to maximize their image in each and every present moment. There is no other criteria. Anyone looking for core beliefs or fundamental truths will be driven crazy by their ability to say the exact opposite position from five minutes ago and treat you with complete and total disdain for suggesting they said anything otherwise.


      3. Doug Terpstra

        Important comment and link on crisis engineering, makes Elizabeth Drew’s “weak tea” midterm analysis mind-numbingly pointless. So the Rs might win the Senate! Yeah, well duh, they’ve got Obama right where he wants them. Grand betrayal here we come, just as the mother of all bubbles pops—in one last lame-duck Trojan horse triumph of dollar democracy.

      4. trish

        when I saw that quote yesterday I admit I thought, another shallow piece by someone ultimately clueless. Not sure I changed my mind.

        1. Ed

          Drew is an excellent reporter, but admittedly that article seemed like mailing it in.

          She must have been asked to write about the midterm elections, when the polls show the Democrats and Republicans about even, only a few seats likely to change hands, very low voter interest, and the non-presidential party will gain seats in Congress because they always do six years into the presidency, but lose some of their governerships and statehouses where they have run states particularly badly. At the same time there are two months to go, which is enough time for the United States government to wind up in war in Eastern Europe or the Middle East, or one of the financial bubbles to burst, or another government shutdown, or another Ferguson style incident.

          The elections are like the middle of a season in a league which has perfect parity and all the teams are .500. There is really just not much that you can write about them.

      5. Tom W Harris

        “it was Obama who said no, we want a foreclosure crisis.”

        This alone makes him a traitor not just to the nation but to every individual in it. It demonstrates more evil than all our other Presidents combined.

    4. Yellowrose

      Yes, and . . .? What do you propose as solutions? What are you doing to change things? You are correct that NC readers are aware of this. Without providing alternatives for action it’s just a rant.

      1. Jackrabbit

        I propose that people who know what is going on help others to connect the dots. As I pointed out, there is some understanding that things are not well but few take the time or have the understanding needed to ‘put it all together’.

        Beyond that, I have proposed that our campaign finance/electoral system has to change. Its important to understand that protesting against any one issue or policy choice is futile. Fighting against effects like inequality, global warming, NSA spying, war/warmongers, charter schools, trade agreements, etc. while ignoring the root cause accomplishes little.

        Further, I hope that what wrote above gets people talking about:

        – our formerly earned respect vs. the ‘exceptional’ propaganda designed to give our leaders free reign

        – disenfranchisement via vote-with-your-money politics

        – how the war ‘comes home’

        1. Jackrabbit

          Rice would be a step up from the bullsh!t that people are fed today.

          Getting people to acknowledge and talk about that BS is a good first step:

          >> Money is NOT speech

          >> Corporations are NOT people

          >> Countries are NOT exceptional!

          1. Doug Terpstra

            Nicely distilled. Those are the elementary principles that need to be drilled in and hammered relentlessly.

      2. Brooklin Bridge

        NC posts and their comments/discussions sections -and I mean all commenters- are inextricable to me as one of the most successful means of countering the iron curtain of propaganda that has been drawn around us over the last 15 years and Jackrabbit is no exception to that. Even his rants – which are rare indeed.

        Without countering the mind sets spawned by the MSM, think tanks, and all the information tentacles of TPTB, without showing as Banger and Jackrabbit and others struggle to, how bankrupt our conventionally held Democratic or Republican belief systems have become in practice and in process, it’s almost impossible to envision alternatives, never mind put them into practice.

        1. Banger

          …it’s almost impossible to envision alternatives, never mind put them into practice.

          On the surface yes–but if we dig deeper and allow our consciousness to expand outside the extremely narrow box most thinking is relegated to in this society certain directions become clearer. For me, that direction lies in spirituality and spiritually-oriented community. By “spiritualiy” I mean the fullest and deepest sense of the term. Our contemporary version of capitalism isn’t just practically deadly but is desinged to kill the human spirit of everyone except the oligarchs. If we can keep our spirits alive answers to our difficulties will arise in the same way that when there are major disasters people find a way to pull together–our task is to show people the full scope of this disaster and we will, quite naturally, come together.

  3. John Jones

    “How the NSA Helped Turkey Kill Kurdish Rebels The Intercept and A Two-Faced Friendship: Turkey Is ‘Partner and Target’ for the NSA Der Spiegel”

    I wonder how much the U.S new in 74 of Turkey’s plan to annex part of Cyprus. Seeing as intelligence cooperation is said in the article to go back further than that. Done with U.S equipment no less.
    Old boy Kissinger been around then too.

    1. Banger

      Turkey is an interesting country with, it appears, varied and complex forces: the military, the intel service, organized crime, Islamists, secular humanists and on and on. It is a very divided society. Various factions of the Turkish power-elite are allied with the Gulf States, Israel, the U.S. and so on–they fund Hamas and ISIS. What exactly are they up to? Answer: everything at once and this is increasingly true of all actors in the ME region. To put it another way–there are no “countries” in the way we think of it just various alliances, often shifting, making money and pursuing narrow interests–in fact it sounds a lot like Washington DC.

  4. diptherio

    Sapolky’s baboon’s have been on my mind a lot lately, since writing about them in Health and Hierarchy. One of his findings, that Sutton’s article touches on but doesn’t stress, is the health effects of the flattened hierarchy on the Baboons of “Garbage Dump Troop.” Rigid, steep hierarchies create stress in low-level members, which is damaging to their long-term health. However, low-status members of this “kinder, gentler” baboon troop (sans alpha males) didn’t have the stress hormones or the health problems of low-ranking members in “normal” baboon troops.

    The take-away is simple, but sure to be vehemently denied by some (alphas): flattened hierarchies work better for just about everyone. And if baboons can, apparently, structure their societies in many different ways (in defiance of arguments about “baboon nature”) then surely we domesticated primates can do the same (hopefully without having to kill off all of the alphas). If baboon nature is this flexible, human nature must be so as well.

    1. ambrit

      The trick will be to avoid getting involved in the next murderous inter-alpha power struggle. Hopefully, they’ll kill each other off before the planet bumps us all off in disgust.

      1. diptherio

        The problem is that in human society, it often happens that our alphas send our betas off to do their dirty work. The non-scientific term is “rich-man’s war.” So our alphas manage to make life hell for everybody else, while requiring the “lower orders” to sacrifice themselves. One might be concerned that human warfare actually has the effect of killing off the betas and leaving the alphas, since they’re to only one’s mean enough to survive. A nice dystopian thought for this Labor day.

          1. diptherio

            I can’t speak for other creatures, but it sure seems to be true of humanity. We seem to have a universal obsession for self-transformation and (attempted) apotheosis. We say stupid things like “nothing worth doing is easy” when that is demonstrably not the case (eating, sleeping, f#@king, just to name a few) and we have a bizarre fixation with making the world conform to our ideas. Look at our gardens: if some plant grows there on it’s own, without any prompting from us, it a “weed,” even if we can eat it. We only desire plants in our gardens that we have to force and cajole to grow there, against their will!

            Mixed-up monkeys, I tell ya.

            1. abynormal

              ah ‘say stupid things’ …here’s mine:

              ‘its nothing personal its just business’
              ‘if i don’t do it someone else will’
              …followed by further justifications for manic distruction

            2. abynormal

              ah ‘say stupid things’ …here’s mine:

              ‘its nothing personal its just business’
              ‘if i don’t do it someone else will’
              …followed by further justifications for manic destruction

              1. abynormal

                ha! my NC is dragging hard today…i backspaced to correct spelling and got a double post. best i rest my machine.
                Happy L Day NC

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Baboon Nature.

      It brings to mind the Zen koan: Does a dog have Buddha Nature?

      If we humans all have Buddha Nature, if we all have equal opportunity, and are all leaders, why can’t other animals?

      And so on this Labor Day, we salute to all those, not just apes, who have labored – feline labor, human labor, bovine labor, (and yes, robotic labor), etc.

    3. Gabriel

      Interestingly, research on humans in organizations has found that workers who get promoted to top positions have a significant rise in testosterone. This is also true for women so promoted. Presumably this research was done in a hierarchical organization/s. Also presumably, the body [and perhaps the mind] of the promotee saw the new position as a challenge or stress.

      Also interestingly, in those cases where the person stepped down from the top position, their testosterone also fell.

      Possible conclusions – 1. Our testosterone rises to meet social [and perhaps other] challenges.
      2. Like you say Mr D, the body is flexible and adapts to challenging/stressful situations.
      3. Top positions may be seen as stressful – hence the large salaries demanded in large firms.

  5. Brindle

    Non-fiction writer Charles Bowden—RIP

    —Charles Bowden, an author and hard-boiled investigative journalist who often wrote about the American Southwest, died Saturday in Las Cruces, N.M., where he had moved from the Tucson area. He was 69.

    Bowden’s death stunned and saddened his partner Molloy.
    “He was my best friend and definitely one of the smartest people and best writers that I’ve ever known, friend or not,” Molloy said. He was “compelling, because he drew people to him and he was drawn to people and dogs and birds and nature”.—

    This 1995 piece by Bowden is a good read:

  6. Andrew Watts

    RE: JPMorgan Hackers Came In the Front Door — in June. Two Months of Mayhem

    Maybe the script kiddies at the NSA will learn something from this. Like why it’s a really bad idea to deliberately create security holes in widely used software. Discover and stockpile your own 0-days only after a carefully considered damage assessment. Don’t be lame.

    1. Gabriel

      I would guess that JP Morgan has a pretty strong defense for its IT, or so it thought. That hackers were able to drain its information slowly over time is and should be instructive. Expect the account numbers and passwords to be sold to the Russian mafia.

      Maybe it’s time for a global – or at least developed countries’ – conference on internet security, especially for financial matters.

      1. Andrew Watts


        “I would guess that JP Morgan has a pretty strong defense for its IT, or so it thought.”

        Money can only buy you so much expertise especially from whitehats. The area I’m concerned with is that the blackhat hackers probably wouldn’t have been caught if they weren’t siphoning data in the first place.

    2. LizinOregon

      The number of my Chase Visa was stolen a few weeks ago, I assume in this hack. The odd thing is Amazon caught it when someone tried to set up an account with it – they must have routine matching that alerted them it was already in use on another account. The thieves tried the $10 and $20 test transactions that I later read about. Amazon alerted me, everyone quickly reversed everything, and Chase Fedexed a new card. I usually avoid having a card number saved to web sites, yet that actually led to catching this faster. And I check my accounts frequently.

      Another reason to reduce consumption, as if we needed one.

    1. craazyman

      can you believe the section headline for that article is ‘Where We Live”

      Who is “We”?

      I mean really. If I lived in a place like that the first thing i’d do is sell it, take the money, buy a cheap house for a few million and lay around doing nothing. You could take the 8 million left over and hit a few 2 or 3 baggers and be reasonably set financially. You could even hire somebody to clean up after you, if you were willing to let somebody clean up your crap that is. No doubt you’d have some who’d look down their nose at you for your modest lifestyle. But that’s part of the sacrifice you have to make. You have the freedom now to look down your nose at them — in fact, you could do that all day long! Stand there looking down your nose at pictures of people who live in 10 million dollar houses. LOL. Two noses looking down on each other — that’s not possible given the laws of physics. So there must be something wrong with the analysis. It may be the noses are in two different universes and they only think they’re looking down. That means they’re both fundamentally disoriented. So the real task should be self-orientation and then the nose pointing will resolve itself in math somebody can do and have it make sense. If it takes a 10 million house for that, well, that seems like a lot of work for math. Some people lived in a tee-pee and had big feather heads. It’s weird.

      1. diptherio

        That paradox deserves a name. What do you want to call it? The Double Down Nose paradox…The Incompatibly Simultaneous Haughtiness pardox…or maybe the paradox of Escher Egotism…

    2. Jim Haygood

      At this level of parvenu aspiration, Jeff Koons is preferred over Thomas Kincade for the same reason that vintage Ferraris are preferred over Jaguars: lower extant production volumes.

      Shocking to learn of the outdoor dining terrace ‘cooled by fans in summer.’ A troupe of uniformed servants waving the guests with Jamaican banana leaves is a must, if you expect the D.C. A-list to attend.

  7. trish

    thoughts on pre-robot part: paraphrased, ‘key point is the concept of work itself is broadened to include activities that many would currently dismiss as being leisure and second key point is that, for good or ill, work has dignity.’

    Dignity. And choice. And flexibility. writing. art. gathering weather data (I liked the bit written recently re hobbies), research. improving your community, your environment. A sort of what-is-your-interest supplement, stipend. today pursuing your interest, indeed developing your interests, is often open only to those with the financial means.

    There are a lot of people on the poverty end who never had the nurturing- societal and parental- to even develop much in the way of meaningful interests. Or pursue what appealed to them via education. Or had meaningful jobs, employment from age 13 or so (I think we have to be careful not to make the mistake that OUR experience means THIS for everyone. We need to be cautious about projecting; it can be a more complicated version of when-I-was-your age stuff).

    when I think of many of the poor, I often think of all those un-nurtured minds out of which WHO KNOW WHAT ideas, art, creations might have emerged if nurtured by a supportive home and society. If enabled to rise to their individual “ceilings.”
    What benefits to society lost? And seems a failure to honor what is intrinsically human.

    Today, reaching one’s ceiling is a class privilege and doing what you love is mainly for the well-off (

    Public access to learning is a big part of this, too. Including a basic free liberal arts education if one desires (a lot more jobs for college teachers at a reasonable pay level). That freedom to explore interests is not available to many today. And a complete U-turn from today’s cuts to actual education, libraries. And internet a public utility.

    And with people broken by the current system, perhaps ways to educate (with incentives and again, choice and dignity) to help steer gradual generational change? I think of children parenting children or those not nurturing repeating the pattern…Finding different ways to fix what we broke…

    And re a BIG- I always wonder when I hear people rail against welfare, why begrudge what makes a human being’s life less difficult, squalid, hard. provides human beings basic comfort, less anxiety (hence healthier), less needless struggle in their relatively short time on this planet??? allows more pleasure amid the many griefs of life. Something the well-off, again, can take far more for granted.

    1. Yellowrose

      Trish, it’s even worse than “begrudging”, it’s a willful failure to acknowledge that “the poor” are actually “those made poor” by the policies of those who are over privileged. We (collectively) create poverty – it’s not a given – and therefore we can un-create it.

    2. ambrit

      A lot of the “middle class” people railing against welfare for the less fortunate are really marginally middle class if any sort of middle class at all. They can see the “lower class” life awaiting them and have been fooled into blaming the poor for the looting undertaken by the rich. You know this, I know, but it bears repeating.
      “How Much is Too Much?”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        How much is too much?

        How much is enough?

        Here, we come to Jevon’s Paradox – it’s never enough.

        By the way, I wonder if Jevon got his paradox trying to court a beautiful, but insatiable, lover, by showering his love with ever more gifts, only to realize it’s moving goal-post???

        “That way lies damnation!”

        1. Gabriel

          The Jevons Paradox in economics is a corollary of the Build-it-and-they-will-come Principle in new road construction. Improve something and the demand for the good increases — exponentially if you’re unlucky.

          In politics, it goes – improve benefits and the demand for them increased greatly.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Some things are good and some are bad.

            More benefits for all is good.

            More money to the rich so they only want more afterwards is not good.

    3. Gabriel

      Trish –

      Your view of a leisured society is truly dangerous. Give people some free time and who knows what may happen – they may decide to look more closely at the political candidates running, they may even decide to run for political office themselves, have dinner with their entire family, think about how meaningless their job is, think how their job can be made better for them, how the economy could be re-fashioned to serve workers, how money and banking may need a fix, etc. Who know what evils leisure may bring?

      Hey, maybe that’s why we’re kept running in place? Thoughts in leisure are dangerous.

      1. jrs

        Yes especially if you read reports that people only work x hours out of an 8 hour day. Ok some jobs may allow more “goofing off” than others. Then why keep people there the full 8 hours of slavery? CONTROL. It’s all about control.

    4. squasha

      While the Universal Human Right to Education (particularly for girls: ) is a goal worthy of passion you radiate on behalf of the poor and oppressed, we are not human capital, but human beings, therefore an uneducated life must not be considered ipso facto a wasted one, one devoid of creative mastery or of meaning.

  8. Andrew Watts

    RE: In Search of a Strategy

    The United States cannot afford to be seen as siding with the Shia against the Sunni. Any offensive action undertaken against the forces of IS risks being seen as favoring a sect, tribe, and/or religious group hostile to the Sunni Muslims. The criticism that the Obama Administration has been too cautious through it’s use of highly over-rated tactical air strikes* is simply wrongheaded. It might be the only course of action to avoid this potentially devastating perception that could ignite the region into a firestorm of destruction.

    By dropping humanitarian aid we’re also sending the beneficial message that the US will stand beside any group that becomes the victim of aggression from the Islamic State. This in spite of their collective affiliations. If the IS is ever going to be stopped the Sunni themselves will have to be the ones to do it.


    1) The Kurds could have probably held Mosul Dam if they didn’t run out of ammunition. Well-organized military forces do not run out of ammo in the middle of a fire fight. The service that American military advisers are rendering by organizing the logistics of the Kurdish Pergamesh is probably more valuable than any air strike launched.

    2) In the case of the siege of Amirli, conducting sieges of a long drawn out duration is no more beneficial to the besieger as it is to the besieged. Doesn’t anybody read Sun Tzu anymore?

    3) I guess it’s good for morale after the ass-whooping IS has been handing out all over Iraq/Syria. It isn’t going to stop the onslaught of the Islamic State though. The media is largely ignoring Syria where 70% of the population is Sunni and a natural base of support for the Caliphate.

    1. Banger

      The region has been undergoing a “firestorm of destruction” already caused directly by U.S. policy and everyone knows this.

      The U.S. does not favor Shia or Sunni–it only seeks, through it’s policies, the reality of one or many sides fighting each other because chaos is the goal and result of U.S. policy. ISIS itself is a direct result of U.S. policy in, not just supplying arms to Islamists (through the Hotel Room opposition movement FSA), but in destroying stability in Libya by allowing Islamist militias to run the territory of Libya, seize Gadaffi’s modern weaponry, run it all (including fighters) through Turkey, well stocked with Gulf State money and into Syria. Then the Islamists did not really find success fighting Syrian forces they turned on Iraq and gobble up much of it and seized even better weapons from retreating Iraqi Army forces who outnumbered and outgunned their foes–how did this happen? Not because the Iraqi Army couldn’t fight–even the U.S. military is not that incompetent at training troops–but because officers were bribed (I would guess by the Saudis) to abandon the field or so that is what many soldiers and Maliki himself seemed to feel.

      ISIS, to be frank, exists because the MIC needs an enemy–particularly one that is Hollywood/cartoon evil like ISIS. You believe that ISIS just sprang up magically like Jason’s soldiers springing up from the ground from dragon’s teeth? The U.S. has caused NOTHING but misery and death to the region for a long time and policy-makers have not the slightest interest in the people in the region–none and haven’t since WWII when all this skullduggery started.

      1. diptherio

        Here’s another piece of the puzzle, that doesn’t seem to have hit the Western media yet:

        So the IS will be wreaking havoc in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon–all countries that Wesley Clark said he was told shortly after 9/11 that we would be going to war with. It seems possible that the strategy has been to purposely arm the IS militants, allowing them to spread chaos throughout the region as a pretext to get our military back into Iraq in force, as well as into Syria and Lebanon, with the added benefit of IS attacking our other enemies in the region, Assad and Hezbollah.

        Clark also reported that India was another target. I wonder if our continuing drone strikes there aren’t actually aimed at destabilizing the Pakistani government so that a US puppet can be installed. I don’t know enough to back that up, but it wouldn’t be surprising.

        1. Brooklin Bridge

          Wesley Clark as source strikes me as iffy at best, though perhaps you are using his neo-liberal credentials as supporting evidence as in, “Even Welsley Clark points out…etc.”

          Here is Clark’s assessment of Russia’s part in the Ukraine crises. It is a vacuous apology for the Administration’s “birds eye lies” talking points. We need to tell the truth about what Russia is doing in Ukraine

          Here is the first paragraph:

          As the Ukraine crisis has intensified over the past six months, Russia has been developing a new form of warfare – inserting special forces, provoking, and slowly, deliberately escalating the conflict. Russian actions flout international law and the agreements that have assured stability in the post-cold war world. But warnings and sanctions have thus far failed. The Nato summit in Wales this week offers the best, and perhaps last, opportunity to halt aggression in Europe without major commitments of Nato forces. But to do so requires a deeper understanding of the situation and much more resolute allied action.

          (As Yves says – or something like it, “puleese…”)

          Note the implicit drum-beat for “major commitments of Nato forces”; that alone merits a straight-jacket! A monkey would not only write a page of Shakespeare long before Wesley Clark, he would never indulge in such breathtakingly dangerous – not to mention self serving and petty – jingoism. It’s simple minded idiots like Clark who will get us into a full out war with Russia.

      2. Andrew Watts


        I’m talking about a Thirty Years War level of destruction where entire regions/provinces are completely depopulated of people. This is what the Islamic State is building up towards. If that wasn’t bad enough as it is the really scary thing about their leadership is they understand history.

        Whether it was the Ottoman Empire or other European imperialists the Arab Sunni have been internally divided and later subdued by outsiders through clashes with tribal and sectarian rivals. The unification of a Sunni state carved out of the territorial boundaries of Iraq and Syria is a significant historical achievement for the region. Assuming they can consolidate and govern it effectively.

        “You believe that ISIS just sprang up magically like Jason’s soldiers springing up from the ground from dragon’s teeth?”

        No, as I’ve said all along this is a primarily a Sunni Rebellion. The Islamic State wouldn’t have advanced as quickly if they didn’t have the help of former Iraqi Baathists and Sunni tribals. This is ground that’s been covered between us. Can we agree to disagree?

        Considering I’m about ten years behind popular culture or so I do not understand the reference. I just recently discovered dubstep. (“Yay!”)

        1. Banger


          I’ll just put in an “I object” without going into detail. Still, I don’t understand why you don’t feel that the pattern of U.S. policy since WWII is not worth looking at here. Neoconservatives were very clear that they wanted chaos in the region and the Saudis and Turks are U.S. allies and there is no ambiguity in their support of ISIS and Jihadis in general–also, BTW, Hamas.

    2. Jim Haygood

      From the New Yorker article by Steve Coll:

      ‘What other professional force [besides the US] will dislodge the self-proclaimed ISIS caliphate and then control the population?’

      Here is yankee megalomania [the author is a native of our imperial capital] on display in its full splendour: someone has to ‘control the population,’ and we’re the only exceptional nation who can do it.

      Onward to Raqqa, comrades!

      1. ambrit

        Dear Jim;
        Shouldn’t that be, “Onward to Langley?”
        For the Saudis, ISIS is a successor to Saddam Hussein as a bulwark against Shia Iran. Doesn’t anyone here remember the very bloody ten year war Iraq fought against Iran? Too soon we forget. Saddam was once our Man in Baghdad. Now it looks like the Caliph will be the new Man in Tikrit. (Not only the home of Saddam, but also Selah-al-Din of Crusades fame.)

        1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

          That war showed clearly that religious fervor presented as an element of national identity can compel a person give literally everything they have to the state, on the simple promise of religious martyrdom.

        2. David Bernier

          The Caliph will never be your man. At least, not at the birth of the New Caliphate, should it happen. All except ISIS-types are immoral Infidels: that’s ISIS-thinking, AFAIK.

      2. Andrew Watts

        @Jim Haygood

        God help us if that’s the State Department line of thought.


        Actually, Saudi Arabia and Iran are making nice with recent meetings between the countries being deemed friendly and constructive. Isn’t it nice how the Islamic State can bring us all together?

        The CIA is getting off relatively light over the spying on Congress because they’re a necessary part of bringing together countries that the US cannot allow itself to be seen allying with and/or overtly assisting. They don’t need to looking over their shoulders on the domestic front while they’re doing this.

        1. Banger

          So then, the CIA is actually doing good things in secret? Why? That’s not their history. They are an independent organization pursuing, as they have since, 1963, their own agenda with allies in other areas. Theoretically, you are correct but no one does or can control what the CIA and its networks choose to do–they can deal drugs, run brothels, run assassination teams, disinformation teams within and without the country–there is no real oversight. This is where we differ–you don’t believe there is a “Deep State” you believe that all agencies of the USG operate as they were meant to operate and don’t have independent power outside of what the President orders and Congress legislates–ERROR. That’s not the way Washington works.

          1. Doug Terpstra

            “By their fruits ye shall know them”. The CIA has a long hideous rap sheet of murder and mayhem; its fruit is fatally toxic. It must be abolished.

    3. sufferin' succotash

      Sieges can be useful if they force your opponent to engage in relief efforts that distract them from operations elsewhere. See Giap in ’68 (Khe Sanh, Tet Offensive, etc.).
      Besides, Sun Tzu criticized mass assaults on fortified places, not a siege that starves out a fortified place.

      1. Andrew Watts

        True, but in this case the besiegers were on open ground for a long period time allowing US forces to surveillance their forces, hit them on open ground, and limit their mobility. It’s one of the cases where tactical airstrikes might’ve been more effective than I was leading people to believe. I’m also pretty sure I heard that IS tried to storm the place a little over a month ago. They only resorted to starving it out when their initial assault failed.

  9. Jim Haygood

    The peoples’ oil company requires higher prices from the people:

    For the seventh time this year, Argentina’s leading oil companies are increasing the price of fuel. The increase is effective as of today and is 4 percent, petroleum sector sources confirmed.

    This time, the state company YPF was the first to validate the increase endorsed by the government. Regular gasoline now costs AR$11.91/liter [$5.37/gal] and premium AR$13.41/liter [$6.04/gal] under the new proposed rates.

    Today’s rise is in addition to hikes of 7% in January, 6% in February, 6.1% in March, 5.4% in April, 3.8% in May and 4% in July.

    Luis Malchiodi, president of the Union of Gasoline Retailers of Buenos Aires, interviewed on Radio La Red, asserted that “Inflation is not stopping. Rather, we believe that it’s accelerating, and we have to make adjustments in liquid fuel prices.”

    1. Jim Haygood

      By the way, compound those increases, and it’s a cumulative 42.4% hike in gas prices during the first eight months of the year … well beyond annual inflation of around 40%.

      As locals might complain, ‘We paid $5 billion [to Spain’s Repsol] for this?’

  10. trish

    re Use of ‘language of deceit’ betrays scientific fraud

    I think Hmmm is a healthily skeptical response.

    And regarding our presidents’ (our politicians) tendency to use negative words such as “fear” or “doom” more frequently, I would add plenty of “positive” ones too. Like, folks. Jobs. Democracy. Equality. The last two are essentially “amplifiers.” Liars tend to use more? Well this certainly rings true for our corporate benefactors in office.

    And, “Lying is a stressful act.” Not for many of them. Or the corporate recipients of their, (rather, our) largess.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      My guess is that lying exacts more mental energy.

      And so, in addition to everything else, it’s environmentally destructive.

      1. Gabriel

        I think Lao Tzu wrote, “The way of truth is easy. The way of non-truth is hard.”

        Maybe also Parmenides.

    2. JerseyJeffersonian

      Well, in the instance of usage of “folks”, it were perhaps well to recall that the latest notable use of that word was in the context of Zippy the Pinhead admitting that the U.S. indeed tortured “some folks”.

      So not too positive in the final analysis it would seem to me, at least. Besides, “folks”, issuing from the lips of that slimy tool is beyond patronizing; it is a weaponized colloquialism bespeaking his profound contempt for the citizenry. It is like some cheesy salesman calling you by your nickname to suggest some intimate connection with you while in reality taking you over a barrel. No, Obama, you have most definitely not earned the right to presume on your relationship with the citizenry given your track record.

  11. JTFaraday

    re: “More Workers Are Claiming ‘Wage Theft,’” New York Times

    “New York’s attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, has recovered $17 million in wage claims over the past three years. “I’m amazed at how petty and abusive some of these practices are,” he said. “Cutting corners is increasingly seen as a sign of libertarianism rather than the theft that it really is.””

    No regulation, no matter how small.

  12. JTFaraday

    re: The Baboon Troop that Mellowed Out After the Alpha Males Died, “These alpha males eat rotten meat from the garbage dump they monopolize and die. You’ll never guess what happens next!”

    A big party?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      A big potluck party.

      (An important lesson learned from the failure to install rotating Alpha-Male-ship).

    2. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      If I’m not mistaken, and if memory serves me well, I believe that Alpha-males of ape social groups, once dislodged (due to age or infirmity), suffer much abuse and, frequently, exile, by those they dominated prior to their removal by violent coup.

      There’s a lesson for us — actually several lessons — in there, somewhere.

  13. Paul Niemi

    So Johnathan Bernstein, writing in Bloomberg, says he thinks John Boehner is a terrific Speaker of the House. I’m not going to link, because I’m sensitive to gentle readers’ potential regurgitation of their breakfasts. But some may agree. I don’t. Bernstein points to the finesse with which Boehner has managed the intransigent Republican Conference. Since this is always walking a fine line, he does a great balancing act. So what? 99 percent of the time he adheres to the so-called Hastert Rule, a non-rule that says without the support of the majority party no bill will come to the floor. He samples his conference. That is obstruction, because it blocks bills that may have bipartisan majority support. It supports doing nothing. It also blocks bills submitted by the Executive branch and the Senate. It is Boehner’s personal logjam.

    In a functioning House, bills are proposed and sent to committee. The Speaker oversees the committee chairs, ensuring that the bills have hearings, debate, and committee votes. It doesn’t matter which party the sponsors belong to, each has his right to have his bill considered. They are all elected by the people, and when the time for elections comes, then the voters will decide on whether or not to send the individual members back again. The bills that pass committee go into the Speaker’s inbox, and a great Speaker will not just shove them into a box under his desk. He will schedule them for votes. Bills from the President and bills from the Senate should go to the top of the pile. Then the Speaker should work through the bills in his inbox, first in first out, and let the cards fall where they may. At the end of the day, the Speaker can rest. For justification of this presumption, and reference, read Robert’s Rules of Order.

    I’m tired of the policy that bills should not be voted on, if they might not pass, or if the fix isn’t in place. That is such horse evidence. I think people have a low view of Congress in general, because Congress under Boehner is too craven to deliberate much at all. His legacy is the longest government shutdown ever, because he blocked the bipartisan majority that opposed the shutdown. I hope Ohio voters send Boehner back to the caddy shack this November. (As self-disclosure, I favor throwing all the bums out, not just him, and both parties included.)

    1. James Levy

      The worst of it is that critical debate has disappeared. That was where ideas were thrashed out and reported on and entered the public consciousness in earlier times. Someone did a study of the debate in Congress over support for Greek independence in 1827 and debate on aid to Greece in 1947 and showed how shallow, uninformed, and inept the debate was–in 1947! It would seem that given quill and ink and sailing ships, educated elected officials in the 1820s had a better grasp of both current events and history than they do today with those much-vaunted computers and the internet (plus huge staffs and access to all kinds of “intelligence”). Not only does the Boehner House not act, it doesn’t think, either. It is a whorehouse of slick know-nothings from both legacy parties.

      1. Banger

        Different world today–we’re an Empire now and we are rules by various cliques and rotating conspiracies and a Mainstream Narrative that is pure propaganda–the real issues and internal political struggles are never discussed–only the pro-wrestling show politics that passes for political debate in this country.

        1. Paul Niemi

          I think we are doing battle with the same old enemies which have been with us since the beginning. I can describe most everything that offends my sensibilities about the nation and government today with familiar words: nepotism, cronyism, graft, opportunism, war profiteering, feather bedding, partisanship, embezzlement, favoritism, prejudice, patronage, money-laundering, frauds, extortion, bid-rigging, payola, bribery, sloganeering, engineering, censorship, ratting, cowardice, espionage, brinksmanship, flummery, and churlishness. I don’t so much think the behaviors are new and frightening so much as old and disgusting. It was all there in the 18th Century. But we expected to be beyond a lot of this crap by now, and it keeps insinuating into our lives, again and again.

          1. Carla

            Paul, I agree. History is one damned thing after another, and then usually the same damned thing again. But I think you left out a huge one: RACISM and the history of slavery.

            It’s amazing how the most fundamental crimes elude us. Take a look at Gerald Horne, professor of history at the University of Houston and author of 30 books, talking to Paul Jay on the Reality Asserts Itself feature of The Real News Network. Perhaps you meant to cover racism with the word “prejudice,” but that term just doesn’t do the job.

            Gerald Horne is the real deal.


            1. Paul Niemi

              Agreed. Racism demeans, dehumanizes, and dismisses the person of color. There is ample evidence of its persistence.

    2. LizinOregon

      And this has been going on long enough (accelerated with Newt) that very few bills are even marked up or reported out of committee any more. According to friends I still have on the hill, most legislation is being written in the leadership offices, both House and Senate. So the old process of developing legislation in committee with staffers who actually know something about the subject and and the law and hearings that actually serve the purpose of informing the members, now everything is written with the politics front and center.

      1. Paul Niemi

        I have heard that the practice of writing most legislation in the leadership offices was the forte of Eric Cantor, the former Majority Leader. He proved that it is possible to be suddenly unelected, and he also proved that, absent his leadership post, he couldn’t be bothered to finish his term, after getting booted in the primary by a largely unknown candidate. It had to be cross-over voters in the primary, as urged by Ben Jones, and I chuckled about that for days. People can get what they want, if they know what it is and hear how it can be done.

        1. Doug Terpstra

          We ought to celebrate that date as a national holiday; it was a rare triumph. Better still will be O’s impeachment and indictment at the Hague.

  14. katenka

    Thank you for the Hamilton article! I get a lot of grief from people — and a lot of squish-faced confusion — for being an admirer of a great deal of his thinking and work (and for being more critical than apparently is expected of Jefferson). (There were a number of detail errors in the piece, but I don’t think they matter much.)

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Beijing…Hong Kong open election…Candidates must be screened.

    That is how:

    They must make pilgrimages to the Communist Holy Land in the Forbidden Palace, affirm fealty to the deified elders (of the long forgotten Maoist revolution) and promise to work closely with the Anti-Slander League to combat bigoted, hegemonic Western capitalistic media crusaders.

    It’s a different world view, quite unique, really.

    That’s why the Chinese are exceptional…and were able to invent everything…well, almost everything….fly money, toilet paper, fire medicine, death by a thousand cuts, etc.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Ed and Massinisa, If you read it again, you will see that my comment is about our hypocrisy…or perhaps I can be less opaque

  16. rich

    Carlyle’s Image Maintenance Cost $115 Million

    How can this be? Name maintenance. Since companies are people for the purposes of election funding, they can also be people with damaged psyches.

    The implicit goal of any primary narcissist is to maximize their image in each and every present moment. There is no other criteria. Anyone looking for core beliefs or fundamental truths will be driven crazy by their ability to say the exact opposite position from five minutes ago and treat you with complete and total disdain for suggesting they said anything otherwise.

    A Labor Day weekend news release should help that story sink to the bottom of the news ticker. Image maintenance achieved!

  17. Murky

    Poem by W.H. Auden: “September 1, 1939”

    I sit in one of the dives
    On Fifty-second Street
    Uncertain and afraid
    As the clever hopes expire
    Of a low dishonest decade:
    Waves of anger and fear
    Circulate over the bright
    And darkened lands of the earth,
    Obsessing our private lives;
    The unmentionable odour of death
    Offends the September night.

    Accurate scholarship can
    Unearth the whole offence
    From Luther until now
    That has driven a culture mad,
    Find what occurred at Linz,
    What huge imago made
    A psychopathic god:
    I and the public know
    What all schoolchildren learn,
    Those to whom evil is done
    Do evil in return.

    Exiled Thucydides knew
    All that a speech can say
    About Democracy,
    And what dictators do,
    The elderly rubbish they talk
    To an apathetic grave;
    Analysed all in his book,
    The enlightenment driven away,
    The habit-forming pain,
    Mismanagement and grief:
    We must suffer them all again.

    Into this neutral air
    Where blind skyscrapers use
    Their full height to proclaim
    The strength of Collective Man,
    Each language pours its vain
    Competitive excuse:
    But who can live for long
    In an euphoric dream;
    Out of the mirror they stare,
    Imperialism’s face
    And the international wrong.

    Faces along the bar
    Cling to their average day:
    The lights must never go out,
    The music must always play,
    All the conventions conspire
    To make this fort assume
    The furniture of home;
    Lest we should see where we are,
    Lost in a haunted wood,
    Children afraid of the night
    Who have never been happy or good.

    The windiest militant trash
    Important Persons shout
    Is not so crude as our wish:
    What mad Nijinsky wrote
    About Diaghilev
    Is true of the normal heart;
    For the error bred in the bone
    Of each woman and each man
    Craves what it cannot have,
    Not universal love
    But to be loved alone.

    From the conservative dark
    Into the ethical life
    The dense commuters come,
    Repeating their morning vow;
    ‘I will be true to the wife,
    I’ll concentrate more on my work,’
    And helpless governors wake
    To resume their compulsory game:
    Who can release them now,
    Who can reach the dead,
    Who can speak for the dumb?

    All I have is a voice
    To undo the folded lie,
    The romantic lie in the brain
    Of the sensual man-in-the-street
    And the lie of Authority
    Whose buildings grope the sky:
    There is no such thing as the State
    And no one exists alone;
    Hunger allows no choice
    To the citizen or the police;
    We must love one another or die.

    Defenseless under the night
    Our world in stupor lies;
    Yet, dotted everywhere,
    Ironic points of light
    Flash out wherever the Just
    Exchange their messages:
    May I, composed like them
    Of Eros and of dust,
    Beleaguered by the same
    Negation and despair,
    Show an affirming flame.

    1. DJG

      Thank you, Murky, for another reminder of where we are ethically as we stumble into another war, still another–they can barely be counted (Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, now the swamps of Ukraine).

    2. trish

      You Can Have it by Philip levine is a poem I love about the the working class. It starts:

      My brother comes home from work
      and climbs the stairs to our room.
      I can hear the bed groan and his shoes drop
      one by one. You can have it, he says.

      I urge you to look the rest up. Well worth it.

  18. Jim Haygood

    Angela Merkel speaks:

    Merkel was among EU leaders over the weekend who said further measures against Russia are necessary, and gave the European Commission a week to deliver proposals for sanctions that may target Russia’s energy and finance industries.

    Addressing the risks involved for Europe’s largest economy should measures against Russia harden, Merkel said Germany is prepared for any economic fallout from the actions.

    “Being able to change borders in Europe without consequences, and attacking other countries with troops, is in my view a far greater danger than having to accept certain disadvantages for the economy,” she said earlier at a press conference in the German capital.


    Hard to believe that Europe is gearing up for another war, 100 years after a previous big one. Is there a hundred-year bloodlust cycle (the Napoleonic wars ended in 1815)?

    Economically, Europe at war would bear some resemblance to WW I, with European consumer confidence damaged, while the US would boom as a munitions supplier (preferably to both sides, as is our wont).

    Of course, US occupation troops would be in harm’s way too. But that’s of no consequence to the Depublicrat party, since if anything, it will help re-elect the incumbents. Win-win, from a DC state of mind!

    1. Carolinian

      We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when.

      I’ve seen this Kubrick movie.

      But not to worry. Other non Bloomberg sources say that Merkel is just bluffing.

      1. Ned Ludd

        These comments by a Ukrainian soldier, about a failed assault on Saur-Mogila, reminded me of that same movie.

        No one explained to us our direct task. We were only told that we have a mission that will last two days. And so we took food rations for two days, but it took us two days to just get there. […]

        We asked for artillery support. But no one gave us anything. This was on July 28th. In the meantime, they radio our commander: “If you do not take the height within an hour, you will be put to a tribunal.”

        1. skippy

          Did Hitler hide out in the Ukraine? Nazi longevity drugs utilized to resurface at the appointed time and have another whack at Russia[?!]…

          skippy… over the last 20 odd years… the wars get more ludicrous with every adventure…

          1. Doug Terpstra

            Especially amazing is the willful ignorance of such history by Germany’s Merkel, such an easy mark. I thought she showed a hint of spine under Bush, but she just rolled right over like a Miniature Schnauzer for Obama. Ugh.

        2. Carolinian

          @Ned Ludd: Your Kubrick movie works too although i doubt the “attack poodles” (Haywood) are going to be putting boots on the ground against the Russians. The hapless Ukrainian draftees are up against the wall for sure, but maybe not for much longer. Here’s some more Uke discontent.

          They turned out to be two Ukrainians from Kiev, both just out of college. The young man, Vladimir, was trained as an engineer. The young woman, Svetlana, was a communications grad. She spoke better English than Vlad. They explained that they had left Ukraine a month earlier in a group of some 100 young people, “to find work, and to get away from the war.” At the time Ukraine had no conscription, but this month conscription was reimposed for all men between 18 and 25, with the potential, as the army is getting routed, of all males up to 60 getting called up. So they left for good reason. Protests, with mothers saying they won’t let their sons be sent off to fight, are reportedly spreading all over western Ukraine against conscription (though this is not being mentioned in the US corporate media).

          Both Vladimir and Svetlana said that they had no interest in fighting the rebels in eastern Ukraine, and they said that the Ukrainian government installed after rioters ousted elected President Viktor Yanokovych was “completely corrupt.”

          They added that there was no prospect for work in Ukraine — not even for communications majors and engineers. Only for soldiers. But the people aren’t really interested in being soldiers, or in fighting, which explains the army’s high desertion rate and its poor performance in the field against eastern Ukraine’s rebels. Only in the militias, which are filled with volunteer fascist Ukrainian ultra-nationalists, does one find people who want to fight.

    2. Banger

      Just as nearly everything in the MSM is a lie, at least about the most significant issues of the day, so everything Western pols say is, if not a lie, then misleading.

      There will be no war. The charge in that direction is lead by bureaucrats who recognize that a strategy of tension and threats of armed conflict will enhance their power relative to the corporate and financial elites who have been increasingly dominant in Western societies. With war or cold war the bureaucrats can keep the center stage and use the police and military to maintain some relative power. But neither Merkel nor Obama wants to take on Russia because their own armed forces don’t want to fight an enemy with teeth and, eventually, the corporate types will get irritated and pull in the reins. Cold War is ok with the finance oligarchs as long as it has no chance of getting hot.

      Anyway, on the face of this the insistence on “borders” is laughable–is Merkel serious? It’s a joke–the U.S. proved that borders mean nothing when it invaded Afghanistan and Iraq without cause (sorry the 9/11 thing was not valid under what was then international law–today, btw, there is no such thing as international law–only rule of force).

      1. Jackrabbit

        This is very reasonable and sensible thinking EXCEPT that I sense that neolibcons have fostered a feeling that the West can not lose face and that Putin has to be countered/dealt with/removed. I don’t see ‘cooler heads’ prevailing right now.

        My guess: NATO supports western Ukraine (with training and arms) and the conflict becomes a full scale civil war. Europeans bear the hardship of a cold winter, whichis all blamed on Putin. More sanctions are applied and the Russian economy stumbles somewhat (as intended) but gets some support from BRIICS and Putin remains as popular as ever.

        The danger of the ‘cold war’ turning ‘hot’ continues for the foreseeable future as each side refuses to back down and tensions wax and wane. The West seeks to open new fronts in the conflict with Russia – like bombing Syria, meddling in Russian allied countries (Kazakhstan?)

        H O P

    3. OIFVEt

      The Czechs and the Slovaks have stated that they will veto any further sanctions. If Merkel wants to damage her country’s economy she is welcome to, as far as I am concerned the German economic hegemony in the EU has been nothing but terrible for the South and the East. Looks like not all EU states are willing to be lemmings after all.

  19. Jackrabbit

    N – E – W – S – F – L – A – S – H

    Foley Smoking Gun?


    This would be astounding if true and follows on many questions raised about the family after the Foley beheading video drew criticism and skepticism as I described last week.


    Note: My original comment has been delayed – probably due to my referencing the ZH comment where I first saw the link to ‘beforeitsnews’. I posted again because this is important.

    H O P

    1. diptherio

      1. A technical process by which sounds are created or altered for use in a film, video, or other electronically produced work.
      2. A person who creates or alters sounds using this process.

      just sayin’….

  20. abynormal

    WTFlyinF ““By helping more Georgians to defend themselves, we expect this bill to lower crime significantly. By the end of my second term murder, rape and armed robbery should be nearly eradicated.”
    1) will this include us defending ourselves from your deadly no-knock warrants?
    2) will my certified batsh!t crazy family members carry w/o delay?
    3) will you be recalling all the new police you’ve hired?
    4) will you have billy bobs gun removed after 5 pitchers of bud at the family pizza hole?
    5) will you be installing life insurance policy machines next to the Blast-O-Matics?
    6) will elderly with cataracts…

    1. abynormal

      my gun comment was a reply to Gabriels post about gun vending machines…which i finally read is a satire hit on ‘libs’.
      marvelous. i freaked for good reason…its illegal NOT to own a gun in Kennesaw GA (30 min from atlanta) AND his platform is gun based.
      im getting too old for this

  21. DJG

    Yves and Lambert: Nothing on the casus belli? What has happened to all of the evidence related to the Malaysian Airlines flight over Ukraine? Has it all conveniently disappeared?

    1. Yves Smith

      This is a free service to you. Neither of us has the budget or resources of an MSM outlet, nor are we omniscient. You have no reason to expect, much the less demand, comprehensive coverage from a blog which has all of one person providing 5 posts on weekdays.

      If you are interested in something and want to get more information and feedback, the way it is done here is to put up a link or two in the comments section of your own, not to give the already-at-their-limits site admins assignments.

    2. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      What happened to Round 2 of the 9-11 hearings?

      15 minutes of fame (or in most cases, infamy), is all anyone, anything, or any event gets.

      Apologies to the ghost of Andy Warhol.

    3. Banger

      Frankly, you can’t expect Lambert and Yves to did stuff up–the MSM did drop the ball deliberately on MH-17 because their propaganda worked. It is up to us to do the investigation and ferret out the truth–that’s why were supposed to be writing here. There has been some good references by people in recent weeks here on MH-17 but if governments won’t release evidence all we can do is speculate based on very meager evidence. It certainly looks and smells like false-flag very much like the Syrian gas events of last year.

    1. cnchal

      “The front door was open. It’s not like anyone was in there hiding,” said Ira Milan, Stephanie’s grandfather and owner of the property for many years. “To bring a whole SWAT team seems a little excessive.”

  22. Jackrabbit

    The James Foley beheading video was a casus belli for attacking Syria/IS. It seem strange that there is not more interest in THAT (not to say there shouldn’t be interest in MH-17).

    It was deemed to have been staged and some called it a ‘fake’. This led to questions about the behavior of family members in media appearances. Only hours ago, I wrote of a possible “smoking gun” that could prove that the Foley beheading video – which was vetted by the FBI (and presumably other agencies) – was really just an attempt to stir up war fever.

    It seems that the women who appears as Foley’s sister gave an interview months before under a different name. Questions have also been raised about Foley’s ‘parents’. To be explicit: the whole Foley clan and story may be a sham. See my earlier comment for links.

  23. Code Name D

    Re Death of the Gamers and the women who killed them.
    Skepticism flag is called for here, big time.

    I already came across this piece in the blogosphere, and the piece here is a clear whitewash. Here is a video presenting the counter argument.
    And here is another one I just came across.
    Don’t pretend to get all of this here. We got more people screwing around here than a soap opera.

    This is actually very big, delving into sexual nepotism circulating around some of the largest gaming intuitions and how it related to rigging an independent game awards contest evolving hundreds of thousands of dollars in awards money and contracts.

  24. Veri

    Syraquistan and Obama does not have a strategy, comment:

    Obama does have a strategy. The Pentagon will have one for him. Him announcing not having a strategy means that The Pentagon is holding out, being against boots on the ground. And that NCA has lost the confidence of the military as the military brass does not want another massive intervention involving US troops.

    Same thing happened in 2007 when Cheney started beating the drums of war. The lie story being told by Cheney through his buddies at The NYTs and other media outlets was that an American destroyer was attacked in The Straits of Hormuz by Iran. The CIA, ever the perennial whipping boy for the failures of intel in 9/11 and The Invasion of Iraq (of which the neo-cons were really running their own intel shop to provide approved justification from real intel), released a revised NIE that Iran had not been developing nuclear weapons.

    At around the same time someone in The DoD released the actual video and recordings of the “attack” which should it to be, literally, not much more than the usual. Around 2010 or 2011, one of the JCS admitted that he was prepared to walk into The White House and arrest The President if ordered to attack Iran. A military coup.

    Every agency working in that area has plans of one sort or another. Contingencies built upon contingencies. Whether they read or provide them, or not; is up to them.

    Best interpretation for Obama having no plan? The military opposes him and his neo-con cohorts. Not the first time.

    Failure in command. Utter failure.

    A little rumour involving the budget crisis last year when gov’t shut down? Congress suddenly remembered that the troops would not be getting paid, specifically veterans, and that there is a military garrison a few minutes away. Congress Critters did the right thing to keep their jobs.

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