2:00PM Water Cooler 12/2/14

By Lambert Strether of Corrente


How Nashville handled Ferguson protesters, including a freeway blockage [Ben Swann].

Oath Keepers challenge police order to leave Ferguson [FOX]. This is essentially an Oathkeepers press release.

Ashley Yates of MillenialAU of White House meeting: “[T]he president was very receptive and was open and willing to hear our experiences and really get that viewpoint from the other side”  [Democracy Now]. Very nice, however, to see Yates asked about “policy prescriptions,” on militarized policing. Notice though that nobody, but nobody, ever mentions that in Ferguson, law enforcement is used as a revenue collection tool (primarily exploiting Black Ferguson). Nor does anybody mention the foreclosure crisis multiplying the financial impact on families caught up in that revenue generating machine (again, primarily exploiting Black Ferguson). Nobody wants to follow the money. Odd, that.

Ferguson “Protesters using tech to run rings around cops” [NY Post]. I’m sure there’s a story here, but I can’t imagine it’s what the Post thinks it is.

Thumbsucker on the culture warz of today [WaPo].

Conservative media alive and well. Film at 11 [Bloomberg].


Jebbie thinks the only way a Republican can win the general is by putting the crazies back in the box in the primary [Bloomberg]. And since Jebbie was crazy enough to help steal an election in 2000, you know how crazy the crazies are.

Rob Portman removes his hat from the ring it was never in [Bloomberg].

Did the White House use “progressives” to kill Reid’s tax bill now, to pave the day for a deal with the Republicans in 2015 that “progressives” will hate even more? [The Hill]. It would be so like them!

When you’ve lost Charles Cook… [National Journal].

But an argument can be made that it is because Democrats have subordinated their traditional focus on helping lower- and working-class Americans move up the economic ladder in favor of other noble priorities, such as health care, the environment, and civil rights. Whether these were the right or wrong priorities is totally subjective, but they have come at a cost.

Governing is about making choices and facing consequences. Implicitly, to focus on certain things is to de-emphasize other things. The modern Democratic Party was effectively born during President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, reacting and dealing with the Great Depression. While books have been filled with the multitude of things that Roosevelt and his New Dealers did, if you boiled it down to its essence, it was helping people get back on their feet after the great stock-market crash of 1929 and the deep depression that resulted. In 2008, we faced the Great Recession, and like other financial meltdowns, it was deep and painful.

[Following the stabilization of the FIRE sector], we then saw a grand pivot to the environment and health care, with grave consequences for the party. At another time and in different fashion, both are important priorities, but the focus on these issues has effectively decimated the Democratic Party in specific areas and among specific voter blocs. The evidence is the difference in the partisan makeup of the Congress that will be sworn in next month, compared with the one from eight years ago.

Is “the Obama Coalition” (was it ever?) transferable to anyone else? [WaPo].

Clinton silent on Keystone in recent speech [ABC]. Odd, since the State Department was a key player in the permitting process.


Kurds and Iraq government agree on how to split the swag oil revenues, combine against ISIS [WaPo]. Kurds can now export oil through a Turkish pipeline (!).

Western jihadi gripe fest [The Independent]. Could be disinformation, but it’s awfully funny.

Imperial Collapse Watch

Massive cable failure knocks out power for downtown Detroit [Detroit Free Press].

Hong Kong

Occupy Central leaders call for student activists to retreat [France24].

Lung Wo Road occupiers branded as ‘rioters’ by government [EJI Insight].


World’s most corrupt industries [CNN]. #1? Extraction.

Climate Change

Climate change and coastal cities, with handy map of global flood losses by 2050 [Bloomberg]. Losses on our East Coast and Gulf are big, but the losses in China’s Pearl River delta are ginormous. My goodness, I hope it’s all insured!

Visualization: A year in the life of earth’s Co2 [NASA].

Stats Watch

Redbook, week of November 29, 2014: “strength in the Black Friday shopping week with its year-on-year same-store sales rate rising 6 tenths to plus 4.8 percent” due to deep discounts [Bloomberg].

Gallup economic confidence indicator, November 2014: highest monthly reading in a year and a half, though still negative. Rise for all income groups, interestingly [Bloomberg].

NOTE: As per Ritholz’s story in Links today, I should have framed the bogosity of the Black Friday retail stats. My bad. Next time!

News of the Wired

  • “The ad was very misleading” [Mostly Signs, Some Portents].
  • Ashton Kutcher becomes DoD Sec [Talking Points Memo]. Carter! Carter!
  • Toddler kills Tulsa mom with shot to the head [Reuters]. “The husband, a truck driver, was notified of the death and returned home, they said.” The price of liberty!
  • A new wave of luxury gun clubs (“Guntry clubs”) [New York Times]. Of the accompanying image: “I’m glad to see Adam Lanza’s mother doing so well.”
  • Excellent charts on the Thai economy [Economist].
  • Boeing 787 batteries caught fire due to poor design and testing [Bloomberg]. So which MBA decided that giving attention to batteries that “self-ignite” when they malfunction wasn’t a priority?
  • List of sex acts just got banned in UK porn [Independent]. What, no caning? Anyhow, import substitution.
  • Peak divorce is long over [New York Times].
  • The story of Merry Clayton’s background vocals [Open Culture]. More than sad.

* * *

Readers, feel free to contact me with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, and (c) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. And here’s today’s plant:

Talk amongst yourselves!

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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. David Lentini

    DLC Apologist Strikes Again

    But an argument can be made that it is because Democrats have subordinated their traditional focus on helping lower- and working-class Americans move up the economic ladder in favor of other noble priorities, such as health care, the environment, and civil rights. Whether these were the right or wrong priorities is totally subjective, but they have come at a cost.

    Really? What argument? Since when are these pririties mutally exclsive? And this has been going on for decades, as so many of us have written, it didn’t just start in 2008.

    1. wbgonne

      Typical DC Bubble-speak. In fact, the Democrats have suffered politically because they have now turned against the Middle Class. As a political matter, nobody gives a shit about the Poor. The items mentioned — health care, AGW, civil rights — all these redound to the benefit of the Middle Class. If the Democrats really did something about those issues rather than spouting platitudes and imposing neoliberal dogma then they might be better received by the populace. But the Democrats are frauds and phonies and that’s why they are getting clobbered by a party that is Dark Ages ignorant and clinically insane.

      1. James

        As I will continue to say (I know, I know, I’m craazy too!), if we’re gonna practice politics at all, we should employ a version of divide and conquer right back at them. As in, eliminate the lesser, enabling evil of the two – the Ds – so that the honest to goodness (badness?) evil – the Rs – can then be dealt with in isolation. In any case, the Ds seem determined to do their part with or without any outside help.

        How do you make an Republican quake in his boots? Eliminate his Democratic “opposition” who’s been busy cleaning the shite he’s been wading in with them with his/her tongue.

    2. Doug Terpstra

      Good points. Don’t expect the DLC to walk AND chew gum simultaneously; serving Mammon is a full time job. And thanks to Lambert for key excerpts so we didn’t have to wade thru the BS. I get the pivot to the insurance racket/death-panel bailout bill from the Heritage Foundation, but does anyone know what the regime did for the environment? Seriously, were fracking, deepwater, arctic drilling, and global warming addressed? I just can’t bring myself to read the journal.

      1. Tom Allen

        I wondered the same thing — what pivot to the environment? I remember the pivot to the deficit, and yes, that was disastrous for the poor and middle class. And the Democrats still brag about it, naturally, just as they boast about how well the FIRE sector is making out.

    3. Banger

      I don’t know what Cook is talking about. The problem’s started when the Democratic Party became associated with the Civil Rights laws–while that was bad enough to change the South–then the DP started favoring feminism, busing, and cultural liberation and movement away from orthodox religion. Economic issues had nothing whatever to do with it. The issues that lost working-class Americans initially were cultural not economic. By the eighties the DP had gradually moved away from both working and middle class concerns and the rest is history. The white working class people I’ve known hate the DP because they see it as helping minorities at their expense, believe in defeat abroad and are, at any rate, looking down their noses (class-envy) at them–they associate the DP with the privileged class who want to take what little they have and give it to lazy Mexicans and African Americans. So all a RP operative has to say is to act like they’re culturally working class and they have a strong likelihood of getting their vote. They (the average Joe the Plumber) have little understanding that, for example, the upper-class bosses are those that favor illegal immigration, and favor gay rights, ballet, and NPR.

      1. wbgonne

        I generally agree and I think yours reinforces my own point: the Democrats are losing because they have turned against the Middle Class. True that this idea originated (and was cultivated by the GOP) beginning with the DP’s association with anti-poverty, AA civil rights, and the 60s Left. But that was largely a fictional attack on the Middle Class since the pie was still growing and there was plenty to go around. (To be clear, I consider the white working class Cook mentions to be Middle Class or lower Middle Class.) Now, however, the Democratic Party has in fact turned against the Middle Class (including the white working class) with its neoliberal Wall Street agenda. And the fact that this has become so painfully obvious under an AA Democratic President . . . well, to a lot of people this just confirms what they have suspected about the DP for 40 years (logical precision be damned): the DP doesn’t care about the Middle Class; it cares about “The Others.”

    4. Roquentin

      You took the words right of my mouth. Reading that statement made his credibility with me drop to almost nothing. It’s not even an argument that socialized medicine was implemented poorly, but that this, the environment, and civil rights are somehow contrary to the interests of the lower and working classes. It’s complete and utter nonsense. What kind of mealymouthed rhetoric is he trying to use?

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        True, it’s easier to appreciate a clear sky and clean water when you have all the time in the world because you don’t have a job and will never have one again.

    5. trish

      and re those other noble priorities… I haven’t seen much in the way of this supposed focus either, at least where the term noble might apply.

      1. hunkerdown

        “Noble”, in the sense of inuring to the benefit of: “the noble lie”. In general, you could treat the term “noble” as a synonym for “sham”.

  2. wbgonne

    Did the White House use “progressives” to kill Reid’s tax bill now, to pave the day for a deal with the Republicans in 2015 that “progressives” will hate even more? [The Hill]. It would be so like them!

    Exactly what I thought when it happened. As Elizabeth Warren’s status as the Democrats’ Progressive hood ornament gets amped to that of useful idiot. Way to go, Elizabeth! Now you’re a player.

    1. Doug Terpstra

      “Elizabeth Warren … as Democrats’ progrssive hood ornament”. Wicked! I’m stealing that.

    2. Yves Smith

      I have to tell you, the noise about the tax bill is completely diversionary. It’s just not important.

      Huge portions of the tax code are reenacted every year on a one-year basis. This may seem bizarre but is completely normal. To pretend it isn’t is trying to fool non-insiders. This is just kabuki to divert attention from more important fights and non-fights.

  3. Jim Haygood

    ‘Clinton silent on Keystone in recent speech.’

    As explained in the article:

    ‘The decision to ignore Keystone was especially interesting because earlier Monday evening [Hillary] appeared at a New York City fundraiser for Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu who is in a tough run-off in Louisiana. Landrieu strongly supports construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.’

    After Landrieu is consigned to the political dustbin on Sunday, Hillary’s normal triangulation programming will resume.

    1. ambrit

      A sign of the times? The Landrieu fundraiser was in, all together now, New York City!
      The last time I looked, and I used to live there, Landrieu was from Louisiana.
      I wonder if her brother, Mitch Landrieu, mayor of New Orleans, one of the centres of the Gulf oil business, gets to have fundraisers in big out of town venues?
      Meanwhile, check out their father, the venerated Moon Landrieu. He’s still alive. I wonder what he thinks about todays’ politics.
      Moon Landrieu wiki:

  4. McMike

    re Oathkeepers.

    Kudos? I have previously only seen them agitated over right-wing dog whistle issues, generally displaying the selective and situational “principled” outrage of the right itself – i.e. opposing the “liberal” Fed agencies: BLM, IRS, ATF.

    Interesting to see them get in between white cops and black protestors. (Albeit putatively in defense of white property owners).

      1. kj1313

        Oathkeepers in large want to overthrow the government and will spout molon labe as a direct threat any time gun issues come up. They are an amusing naive group. The St Louis Dispatch story posted about them a couple of days ago and it is hilarious to read their responses when the actions of Cliven Bundy is brought up. The cognitive dissonance is amazing. I LOL when a poster sympathetic to them after dozens of posts saying how helpful they are in Ferguson and keeping Americans free from tyranny let the mask slip and simply stated that all the guns Oathkeepers have stockpiled will not help them because at the end of the day the government can nuke their enemies if need be. The other poster who went on and on about how evil the government is had no response except to say it never would happen. Like I said extremely naive in light how evil those in power can truly be.

  5. dearieme

    “Western jihadi gripe fest”: that’s the sort of thing the French do well. Though in the Old Days I dare say that the buggers wouldn’t be let back in at all. Does France still own Devil’s Island?

  6. RWood

    New G20 Rules: Cyprus-style Bail-ins to Hit Depositors AND Pensioners
    By Ellen Brown (about the author), OpEdNews Op Eds 12/2/2014 at 14:10:30

    Is this considered part of the costs of s–christmas package from the .01%? Anybody with deposits who might be affected? Any hope our reptile-sensitives might be considering blocking this or is it the opening of what transnational agreements plan to carve out of the living? Is this how the banks can recover from the fracking loans?
    As I stated to honored leader, this is the deep state. Where could we protest?

    1. financial matters

      This policy is about saving Wall Street banks. She recommends moving money into publically owned banks with the Bank of North Dakota as the main model. Mazzucato endorses this idea by suggesting a public development bank along the lines of China and Brazil as a way for the public to participate as a reward sharer rather than always as a risk sharer.

      Klein sees breaking down the pillars of privatization of energy and water as essential to moving forward on climate change. Jeffrey Alt explains that financially sovereign countries can afford to do these things.


    2. Yves Smith

      She is significantly wrong. I hate to say it, but you need to watch her re her sourcing and conclusions.

      First, derivatives counterparties having priority goes back to the 2005 bankruptcy bill. It’s not new news. She acts as if it is and as if it’s a cause for consternation. She should have been upset years ago.

      Second, American regulators see contingent capital (bail-ins) as a bad idea and likely to precipitate runs. As much as Europeans really like that approach, it’s not clear how far it gets with the US not on board (there is a new desire to “harmonize” resolution procedures).

  7. ChrisPacific

    After getting more and more confused keeping track of the different parties involved in Syraqistan, I decided to Google it and read the Wikipedia summary of military factions involved in the Syrian civil war. It turns out it’s even more complex than I thought. Just the politics around the Al Qaeda/al-Nusra relationship to ISIS are complicated, and that’s before getting to the other separatist and pro-Syria factions, of whom there are a long list on both sides.

    Let me see if I can summarize somewhat coherently:

    The Syrian rebels consist of many different factions. The US is allied with some and supplying them, unfriendly with some, and at war with others. There are also the Syrian government and pro-Syrian factions, who the US would like to be at war with but isn’t.

    Some of the factions are allied with each other and some are at war. There are cases where two or more factions with whom the US is either unfriendly or at war are also at war with each other. Sometimes this leaves the US in a position of de facto cooperation against a shared target with a faction that they neither like nor trust (and vice versa). US and Syrian air strikes against ISIS targets in Syria are the most obvious example but I’m sure there are others.

    In general US mid-east policy seems to revolve around an Ultimate Enemy (currently ISIS). The US is always opposed to the Ultimate Enemy. There are also lesser enemies, who the US is always nominally opposed to but sometimes in de facto cooperation with. The definition of the Ultimate Enemy can change over time. Some of the lesser enemies are former Ultimate Enemies, the most notable being Al Qaeda. There is a fair chance that the Ultimate Enemy of 5 to 10 years from now will be one of the organizations currently allied with the US.

    Outside of Syria, there are other factions in play (notably the Kurds) as well as nation-states with their own interests. Some of these (Saudi Arabia) are allied with the US even though they are also very probably allied with and/or supplying other factions that are US enemies, possibly even including the current Ultimate Enemy.

    The solution to all of this is US air strikes against selected targets (not ground operations though, that would just be silly). Selective destruction of Bad Guys, and infrastructure, is expected to influence the overall situation in a way that’s favorable to US interests in the area, whatever those might be.

    Do I have it about right?

      1. ChrisPacific

        From what I’ve seen, mostly getting blown up, slaughtered, or just quietly starving and forgotten by the international community (with the exception of brief spells in the limelight if they happen to be victims of the Ultimate Enemy – e.g. the Yazidis). But I’m sure that’s a terrible oversimplification. Probably I need to broaden my methodology so that I’m not just taking military participants in the Syrian civil war as a starting point, and then reevaluate.

        I think the key point remains that (even based on my brief reading) the situation is vastly more complex than the description we’re given by the media. I am quite happy to admit that I don’t understand it, but I would like to think that the key decision makers in the US do, especially if they’re at the point of picking sides and dropping bombs. I am far from convinced that that’s the case.

        1. James

          You’re missing a crucial and often overlooked point in your survey of the “literature.” Wars are first and foremost tremendously profitable, which these days makes “enemies” a pure expediency to be dealt with later. Viewed in that light, Syraqistan begins to make a whole lot more sense. Think profits first my son, and you can never go wrong!

      2. Gaianne

        “Wait. Where are the moderates?”

        There are no moderates. Some religious fanatics will be called moderates, because, well, Americans gotta believe. But that is just for Peoria. Also the State Department.

        The War Nerd is very good on this.


      3. Crazy Horse

        The Moderates in any US interventionist nation building fiasco are always easy to identify. They are the individuals who have mastered the skills necessary to sequester the largest bags of money on offer by the Empire. They will remain Moderates and Allies until they have acquired sufficient Swiss freedom chips, at which point they no longer have to engage in Kabuk.

      1. art guerrilla

        i saw an inverse samurai snowman with several spears stuck in ’em…

        …or a bunny!

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Well, perhaps the inspiration is now more obvious… That said, this was a result of a backstage failure, and I had to grab the first plant image I had from my own server.

  8. optimader

    “[T]he president was very receptive and was open and willing to hear our experiences and really get that viewpoint from the other side”
    –This implies there are two “sides”? It would be instructive if some definition of the “sides” were stated.
    Which “side” is the POTUS on?

    “nobody, ever mentions that in Ferguson, law enforcement is used as a revenue collection tool ”
    –Anyone casually familiar with the concept of Root Cause Analysis would be starting right there.

    1. jo6pac

      Which “side” is the POTUS on?

      The only side that matters and it has nothing in common with people of Main Street Amerika.

  9. fresno dan

    This part of the testimony reminded me of this police shooting incident from late summer in South Carolina
    You’ve probably seen this video.


    The cop was eventually fired and charged with aggravated assault. It’s a horrifying piece of video, only slightly softened by the knowledge that the victim recovered from his wounds.

    The short version is that young police officer, about Wilson’s age, stops a black motorist (which may have been an illegal stop). The motorist gets out. Officer Sean Groubert tells him to get his registration and insurance. Motorist Levar Jones leans into the car to get the documents. At least point, Groubert literally goes ballistic, yelling at Jones to get on the ground and firing off multiple shots at close range.

    Look at the video and the context and the history and I don’t think anyone believes that absent that video Groubert would have testified that Jones made a sudden move to grab something out of his car and Groubert suspected he had a gun. Groubert actually told Jones that when he was writhing on the ground beneath him. And at a basic level I think he believed it.

    It’s horrible and awful and just plain crazy. But when I watched the video, what struck me most was that Groubert really did seem to believe that he was in mortal danger, that Jones was reaching into his car, even though Groubert had just told him to do that. You only have to watch the video once to know Groubert never should have been a cop, none of the coolness you need to navigate all sorts of situations a police officer has to handle routinely.

    What I didn’t see were signs of racial animus from Groubert. What I saw was someone prone to panic and someone who almost certainly saw any black man doing something even slightly unpredicted as inherently dangerous, in this case an immediate danger to him.

    I would suspect this is the truth of the matter (but I don’t know Wilson’s real motivations) – that most police in this country are in small jurisdictions, with unsophisticated training and simply don’t know how to de escalate a situation, and view ever black man as being armed and dangerous, probably with a good deal of encouragement and support of their superiors. I would bet the police chatter at the station is always of the nature of “better to be judged by 12 citizens than carried by 6 pallbearers” with absolutely no consideration of their duty not to shoot innocent citizens. Than you look at the political and legal circumstances, with defacto impunity for almost any police shooting, and I think its obvious we’re going to get this level of police gunfire.

    1. James Levy

      The most contentious issue is the unnamable one–that in certain occupations, your life and safety cannot be the first priority. This can be true of soldiers, police, firemen, and medical personnel. I saw how this ethos had eroded in the online response to the Italian ship captain abandoning his post when his cruise ship hit a rock off Corsica (or was it Sardinia?). The number of people who saw nothing wrong in his “every man for himself” actions horrified me. Those who criticized him seemed almost embarrassed to do so, as if the idea that the captain should either go down with his ship or be the last man aboard was so quaint as to no longer have any relevance to reality–a nice idea whose time had passed, like opening a door for a lady or standing on the subway so an elderly gentleman could have a seat. The assumption now seems to be that my life is so important that no duty or responsibility should get in the way of me protecting it. Rather ignoble and sad, I think.

      1. Gerard Pierce

        It is sort of ignoble but if you take into account the history of captains going down with their ships the real reason that the captain went down with the ship was is the insurance companies would deny the claim and say that the ship had been abandoned if he left before the ship was underwater. If he ever wanted to have a chance of being a captain again he had to be very careful that the owners didn’t suffer any loss.

    2. James

      Also tells me that all the current calls for lapel cams is misguided. Videos, even when they’re crystal clear, which they’re almost always not, merely reinforce the biases of the viewers. Out here in ABQ NM we’ve had a little experience in that area over the last year or so. Hasn’t made any difference at all. Cops are trained to shoot first and ask questions later. Especially, but certainly not only, if your skin is dark. 9-11, the gift that keeps on giving!

  10. Cujo359

    So which MBA decided that giving attention to batteries that “self-ignite” when they malfunction wasn’t a priority?

    Which MBA decided it would be a great idea to move so much of the manufacturing of the 787 to new factories? They’ve been getting more penny wise and pound foolish with each passing day.

    1. James

      You’re going to waste your time imputing a single MBA when there’s an entire global community of them out there fully deserving of abuse? What a waste!

  11. Jeff W

    “Occupy Central leaders call for student activists to retreat”

    Which might be the right thing to do but the leaders are planning to surrender on Wednesday while Joshua Wong continues on a hunger strike.

    Valiant as those actions are, they don’t strike me as the right moves—they sort of up the ante, which leads to more deadlock, and elevate the government’s stature by shaming it. Subversion might work better.There’s this suggestion on Big Lychee: “Guerilla [sic] street theatre: how many ways can yellow umbrellas turn up and ruin an official event or patriotic scene?” (What happens if large segments of the population simply start carrying yellow umbrellas as a silent rebuke of the government policy?)

    Maybe mockery may be the way to go, especially when the “universal suffrage” offered by the NPCSC is so richly deserving of derision. How does the Hong Kong’s official “Your vote. Gotta Have It!” campaign withstand having the 2017 election for Chief Executive relentlessly compared to Iranian or North Korean elections? (Of course, other tactics such as the “flash occupations” advocated by Civic Passion’s Wong Yeung-tat and the “sunshine referendum” proposed (though not in those terms) by Occupy Central founder Benny Tai are not precluded.)

  12. Luke The Debtor

    During the peak driving months of the summer, carbon dioxide emissions in the US are at their lowest in those NASA videos. Most of the emissions seem to come from the coal dependent northeast. Oil companies to blame? LOL. No more so than they are for people buying cars that run on oil. Also, you can see the Amazon “breathe”.

  13. Oregoncharles

    “Ferguson “Protesters using tech to run rings around cops””
    Oh, there’s a story there, all right. Despite the hostile tone of the reporting, it’s very good news. “Demonstrators running rings around the cops” – how can that not be good?

    The bigger picture here is that the authorities (including the media) have gotten very good at ignoring polite, legal demonstrations, no matter how large, very much as they ignore letters and phone calls. when we do these things, it’s mostly for our own benefit. The demonstration has to cause serious disruption to have any effect, and here some tech-savvy young people (it would be) have figured out how to do that. A bonus: arrests under chaotic conditions are frequently not prosecutable, and demonstrators regularly win large awards for police misbehavior.

    The BAD news: the NYPD clearly expect Garner’s murderer to get off scot-free and provoke a burst of outrage. There certainly SHOULD, in fact must, be a burst of outrage if that happens – though if he’s indicted, it will be put off to the end of the trial.

    In fact, this is the first piece of good news in this morass of police state impunity.

    1. James

      when we do these things, it’s mostly for our own benefit.


      And what pray tell, is the obvious conclusion?

        1. bob

          Not nearly paranoid enough. A lot of these ‘security’ stories are looking more and more like product placement and branding operations.

          And you also assume, that apple, the largest company in the world right now, is an adversary of the NYPD. More than likely, the NYPD is a CUSTOMER. Do they get store credit for product mentions?

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