Links 5/12/15

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Circus Lion Freed From Cage Feels Earth Beneath His Paws For The First Time Dodo (furzy mouse)

World population-food supply balance is becoming increasingly unstable, study finds PhyOrg (Chuck L)

Google acknowledges 11 accidents with its self-driving cars Associated Press

Nasdaq will start using Bitcoin technology CNN (furzzy mouse). Note the use of the blockchain, and not Bitcoin proper.

Frozen Assets: Inside the Global Spy War to Control the Arctic Foreign Policy

China’s Baby Steps Toward Economic Disaster Bloomberg

China’s Mad Dash for the South China Sea National Interest

Thai trafficking crisis: Thousands held in offshore and jungle camps the interpreter

UK Elections

Britain’s political earthquake will create aftershocks for the UK and Europe EUROPP

Cameron goes to war with the BBC, as senior Tories accuse broadcaster of ‘unforgivable pro-Labour bias’ Telegraph. Monster headline on the front page of the Web edition

The polls and (all but one of) the forecasts WERE wrong. Ed Miliband was nowhere near becoming Prime Minister shaunjlawson


Euro Falls Amid Greece Worries Wall Street Journal

Schäuble’s subplot – a Grexit, it seems, no longer worries Germany Guardian. “Berlin thinks it holds a winning hand whatever happens.”

Greece Moves to Pay Debt, but European Finance Ministers Unsatisfied New York Times

Greece orders IMF payment Financial Times

Special Report on the escalating situation in Macedonia Vineyard of the Saker

Argentina sues Citigroup over debt repayments Agence France-Press


Putin May Be a No-Show During Kerry Visit to Russia Fiscal Times


Saudis Snub Obama Over Iran OilPrice

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Worker fired for disabling GPS app that tracked her 24 hours a day [Updated] ars technica (Chuck L)

Texas Attack Spurs Increase of FBI Surveillance on ‘Marginal’ Terror Threats ABC. @MazMHussain via Lambert: “ takes at least 30 agents for a full, round-the-clock surveillance of just one suspect.”

A Major Defense Contractor Buys Its Way Back Into the Spying Business Nation

Trade Traitors

Put Trade on the Right Track — Not the Fast Track Huffington Post

Verbal battle between Sen. Warren and President Obama continues over fast-track trade legislation Daily Kos

Stupid Trade Gets Dangerous: TPP Threatens US Military Supply Chain Huffington Post (Bob H)

Obama administration gives conditional OK to Shell Arctic drilling plan Los Angeles Times

Court case shows how health insurers rip off you and your employer Center for Public Integrity. Important.

Feds close insurance loopholes on preventive care Associated Press

Congress approval rating tanking over poor choice of words MedicalXpress (Chuck L). Intriguing, but I am always leery of confusing correlation with causation. What if the use of uncollegial language is a reflection of nasty political outtrades that can’t be prettied up?

Congress Subpoenas DOJ Over ‘Too Big To Fail’ Bank Prosecutions International Business Times

Judge’s Ruling Against 2 Banks Finds Misconduct in ’08 Crash New York Times. “‘The magnitude of falsity, conservatively measured, is enormous,’ Judge Denise L. Cote of Federal District Court in Manhattan wrote in a scathing 361-page decision.”

Fed Williams Tells CNBC Not To Expect Warning Of Coming Rate Hikes WSJ Economics

Big banks flag dangers of financial bubble in oil and commodities Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

OBL’s Story Lives

Pakistanis Knew Where Bin Laden Was, Say US Sources NBC

The Story Behind The Story Of Bin Laden’s Killing Think Progress

The Spy Who Billed Me: Hersh Did Not Break Bin Laden Cover Up Story R. J. Hillhouse (Chuck L)

Class Warfare

‘Rise of the Robots’ and ‘Shadow Work’ New York Times (David L)

What Ben Carson’s Flat Tax Would Do to the Poor Bloomberg (furzy mouse)

Antidote du jour. Josh D via @airpout:

dog and cows

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Jackrabbit

    Iran non-deal spin:

    Saudis Snub Obama Over Iran . . . -OilPrice</blockquote

    Why should we believe that the Saudis decision is related to Iran?

    – the US was negotiating with Iran when the meeting was set up

    – if the Saudi’s want to increase their defense spending to counter Iran they will likely purchase US arms

    – the US is providing crucial support for the Saudi’s war in Yeman

    A better reason for cancelling the visit is that they do not want to do the traditional news conference afterward. There would surely be questions regarding Hersh’s just-released reporting on the slaying of Osama bin Laden – especially Hersh’s claim that the Saudi’s were paying for ObL’s protection. Questions regarding calls to release the redacted pages of the 9-11 report that describe Saudi involvement might follow.

    H O P

  2. rusti

    I must confess to watching the ripples from the Seymour Hersh story propagate with a sort of detached bemusement. The events seem to be, like the Kennedy Assassination, an effective platform with enough dubious information circling in the public sphere that people can project whatever narrative they want to in a sort of comic microcosm of Obama’s entire political career.

    Many of Obama’s liberal critics accept Hersh’s narrative uncritically because it confirms and reinforces their perceptions of a scheming Deep State pulling the puppet strings of world events, the conservative critics largely do the same for their own reasons. There’s a big chunk of True Believers who can’t wrap their minds around the idea that the White House narrative might have been tailored for political gain, and a Zero Dark Thirty-watching, No Easy Day-purchasing group that can’t accept Hersh’s version because of the accusations levied against the SEALs involved.

    There seem to be too many unknowns to make any authoritative claims, but even if the most White House-generous version of events were true, it’s deeply revealing that Obama’s most important political victory in 6 years of presidency was assenting to the execution of a frail man living in a primitive dwelling halfway around the world.

    1. Jackrabbit

      revealing that Obama’s most important political victory …

      1) His most important political victory was getting elected in 2008.

      2) You give his administration too little credit. OBL was just public relations. The Administration has done wonders for their cronys.

      1. Jim Haygood

        His most important victory is the colossal NSA spy nest at Bluffdale, Utah.

        That’s Obama’s pharaonic version of a pyramid.

        Look on his works, ye mighty, and despair.

    2. frosty zoom

      actually, i believe the house in abbottabad, while not luxurious, would still have fetched $250k in a popular tourist town.

      additionally, i believe obama’s greatest political victory was stopping single payer health care.

      1. OIFVet

        Obama’s achievements can’t be ranked in order of ‘greatness’, IMO. They are all ‘great’: for the 1% and the proponents of Empire. There are still some items on the to do list, like Social Security and Russian color revolution, but Obama did his job and did it well. He was elected to save the hides of the elites, and has done an admirable job doing just that. So it’s the totality of his ‘achievements’ that’s ‘great’, all individual components were just smaller steps on the road to modern serfdom.

    3. cwaltz

      You know what else confirms and reinforces the perception of a scheming Deep state pulling puppet strings?


      See: Lynch narrative, Iran Contra, Venezuala coup attempts, money poured into Ukraine, behind closed door trade deals….

      I don’t particularly know or care if what Hersh says is true at this point. I didn’t need it to prove that our government isn’t an open book on foreign or domestic matters.

      1. rusti

        I share your skepticism and my personal best-guess is that the truth probably lies closer to Hersh’s narrative than the absurd one given by the White House (whichever one they settled on, that is), but I think critics approaching it from that angle often attribute a degree of competence and planning that is wholly unwarranted.

        Tim Weiner’s “Legacy of Ashes” certainly resonates with how the large organizations I’ve been involved with have been run, egomaniacs obsessing over petty perceived slights doing things by the seat of their pants. More reactionary than in control.

      2. Llewelyn Moss

        Exactly. The US gubmint is so hopelessly corrupt now, it’s not worth arguing whether it is 99% or 95% percent rotten.

        I believe literally nothing coming from the State Spin Machine. But of course the Merican public saw Zero Dark Thirty so that’s what happened right. It was not a CIA propganda film — because Stupid Blind Patriotism and Yay Troops.

  3. mad as hell.

    The Spy Who Billed Me: Hersh Did Not Break Bin Laden Cover Up Story

    Dr Hillhouse’s claims which collaborates Hersch’s article are pretty significant if not downright uncanny. My only question is, How did I miss Hillhouse’s article from 2011? Then again maybe I did see it and dismissed it as being to far out there. Which is something that the Obama administration, CNN and the rest of the MSM are trying to do now.


    1. annie

      i recall hersh saying some years ago that the white house version was a myth and that he planned to publish the real story in his book. seemed clear then that the new yorker didnt want to touch it. so i’ve been waiting for the book.
      in the new york mag story by gabe sherman (see link below) hersh tells remnick in may, 2011 that he wants to write the story for the new yorker and remnick says no thanks. so hillhouse and hersh may simply share some inside sources. in any case, hersh’s account seems to contain far more info than hers did. still not sure why it took this long for him to publish.

  4. rich

    Why Billionaires Don’t Pay Property Taxes in New York

    It’s the extreme end game of a tax code that shifts the burden from owners to renters, and from the wealthy to the poor.Thanks to the structure of city and state tax codes, the billionaires buying pieds-à-terre in the sky over Central Park are hardly paying property taxes at all. The values of these new condos are being assessed at just a fraction of what they’re worth. And buyers are paying only a fraction of that fraction in property taxes.

    This is a pressing issue for at least three reasons. For one thing, the property-tax levy is New York City’s single largest source of revenue. The city is leaving money behind by failing to tax the most valuable homes at a rate closer to their market value. Meanwhile, well apart from the ultra-luxury condos, the city is overtaxing apartment buildings, whose renters are struggling the most with affordability. These outcomes go hand in hand.

    Second, with every new supertall residential tower in Midtown—each one more architecturally dramatic than the last—the effective property tax rates paid by owners on Billionaires Row stand to fall even lower. While nice condos attract big tax breaks, nice neighborhoods earn long-lasting tax breaks.

    The inequitable distribution of property taxes is the reason the rent is too damned high.

    1. James Levy

      My mother and I sat up, years ago, watching in real time as Remnick and Steve Cohen from Princeton argued on Charlie Rose’s show while Yeltsin’s tanks were shelling Russia’s Parliament. Remnick was of the opinion (in classic Stalinist mode, ironically) that you had to break a few eggs to make an omlette and that Yeltsin’s “reforms” were essential to Russia’s emerging as a “free market democracy” so shoot to kill. Cohen said that you don’t build a democracy on the ashes of a bombed-out Parliament building. Guess which one was right and which one a shill for “western” interests.

    2. curlydan

      The New Yorker is a mouthpiece for the Democratic party brass and lifers. Its reporting quality plummeted once Obama was elected, and they basically don’t publish anti-Obama articles.

      To answer another question about why it took so long to publish, my guess is that Hersh seems like the kind of guy who _slowly_ talks to sources over a period of months/years. He admits is took a long time for the Mai Lai article to be written because he’s got to get down in the trenches.

      Maybe if the Repubs regain the White House, I’ll get the New Yorker again. At least the investigative reporting will improve.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Maybe the Germans aren’t concerned over Grexit, but the New Yorker seems to try to avoid Demoexits.

        “Please, don’t leave the Democratic party!!! We hardly had time to get to know you. A century was not long enough.”

  5. timbers

    OBL’s Story Lives:

    Paul Craig Roberts says no photos identifying bin Laden’s body have been released and he doesn’t believe bin Laden was killed by the raid but instead likely died earlier from an illness he likely could not have survived until the date of the reported death at the hands of U.S. Seals. He also recently wrote that Lincoln planned to return slaves to Africa had he not been assassinated.

    I have not researched to see if what PCR says is plausible of just conspiracy theory, but….if anyone has more knowledge of this than I, it would be interesting to hear.

    1. Brindle

      Paul Craig Roberts is good on some things and not so good on others. Just realize that because an author might make sense in one area that it does not automatically transfer to other ones.

  6. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Trade on the right track – not fast track.

    Not just fast track, we have been on a high-frequency, rapid track, since NAFTA.

      1. Brindle

        Dayen’s final sentence is apt and descriptive:

        —“Since Obama has a large platform and will not publicly debate any opponent on trade, he can float above it all, acting like a principled soul only wanting to better the country rather than a transactional ward heeler. This may be the biggest lie, that Obama’s somehow superior to everyone else in this debate.”—

  7. OIFVet

    It’s official: Obama’s library is coming to the South Side. Not much of a surprise there, what with the state legislature passing a law to make it harder for public interest groups to sue against land grabs by private entities. Also too, the UChicago and their developers love them some profitable gentrification.

      1. OIFVet

        I feel sick to my stomach about it, either location is a stone’s throw from me. The one little hope that remains is that they at least move to NY to be closer to their Wall Street sponsors and to the tutelage of Slick Willie.

        1. frosty zoom

          don’t you understand? they’ll be broke upon leaving office. why, even moneymart won’t give them a loan. they’ll be living in the library, coming out in the daytime to pose as the wax statue exhibit and then sleeping in the h.r. department at night.

          1. OIFVet

            Poor dears, they should charge admirers to throw pies in their faces, let them eat cake and all. It should at least pay for the occasional trip to Martha’s Vineyard. I paid a lot of money to win a raffle to throw a pie in my battalion commander’s face on my way out of the army, so there’s money making opportunity for poor Barry there.

        2. nycTerrierist

          Ugh. Sorry to hear. But please don’t hope for NY.
          My one little hope is for Hawaii. What’s not to like for retired fatcats?

        3. optimader

          I’d be selling to a starry eyed enthusiast and moving before the reality of it settles in.

          1. OIFVet

            Why should I have to move, he’s the one who sucks. I guess I will just have to grin and bear it if he sticks around.

            1. optimader

              I guess I will just have to grin and bear it if he sticks around.

              that’s your call of course re: personal accommodation of the neighborhood “new normal”, but if you have angst about the proximity/disruption of the BHO residence, you aint seen nothing yet.

              Presumably “He” (as in They) will preserve the residence, at least ’til the M-in-L departs this mortal coil, tho I would not expect they will live there permanently. So Their sticking around in residence is likely less a long term consideration for you than the BHO Lieberry, which obviously will be “sticking around”. It will be the new $500MM center of gravity that will permanently change your neighborhood.

              Some ppl obviously think the BHO Lieberry will be great use of public land in their neighborhood and many obviously think it is a debacle. Personally I would be in the latter camp and would be making plans to punch out while the punching out is good, before the reality of perpetual construction and follow on rubber neck tourist herds starts in earnest.
              Judging on your expressions about the proximity of the residence and U of C, you need to reflect on what would make you most happy in the long play. Bottom line, the UofC and the BHO Lieberry will be there to stay.

              1. jrs

                do presidents who at least on retrospect are recognized as horrible presidents really have that many people going to their library? Ok maybe Reagan, but W, would anyone really want to go to a W library? Isn’t O heading in that exact same direction as in how he’ll be remembered?

                1. OIFVet

                  Milton Friedman was a horrible person, but UChicago built him a shrine, fittingly privatizing a street in the process. Barry O, as the first half-black prez, will have his shrine/propaganda center also. It is propaganda that determines how someone is remembered by the masses, not deeds, and UChicago is very adept at this sort of information warfare.

                2. optimader

                  There are people that think W was a good president. Now whether they will make Dallas a destination to visit his POTUS Lieberry is all together a different question.

                  In the case of BHO, I guess there will be scores of incidental visitors, even those that hate BHO, that will visit because they happen to be in Chicago. Even if they don’t buy tickets, there will be the low speed white rental car inconsiderate A-hole parade making right turns from the left most lane and left turns from the middle lane –making general annoyances of themselves.

              2. OIFVet

                Lieberry, I like that. Thing is, I’ve lived in Hyde Park almost 25 years, if I count the time I was away serving. I have deep roots, and rather enjoy the place and the large yard. Yes, it will change considerably, in many ways it already has thanks to UChicago. It is becoming whiter, yuppie paradise, a Lincoln Park South. It used to be more like a small quiet town hidden in the middle of the city, with nary a chain store but plenty of small local businesses. 10 more years before I am ready to move back across the pond, I will just chance to stay. Besides, a property bubble is coming, might as well take advantage.

                1. optimader

                  You need to play the asset to your advantage, but ultimately be happy w/ where you live.
                  I ended up living where I grew up and am reasonably satisfied w/ its pluses and minuses.
                  At the same time some dissatisfied friends have moved to places they idealize only to perceive a new set of dissatisfactions which maybe are elementally the same old ones unresolved? Who knows.

                  1. OIFVet

                    I am quite happy where I am. Here is a Michelle Obama story, lest I fail to give credit where credit is due. My first job as a teen was bagging groceries at a small local grocery, Mr. G’s. We would take the groceries to the car and put them in the trunk if the customer so wanted. Michelle was a customer, I didn’t know who she was but it’s hard to forget a striking woman (as she is IMO). Most customers would tip a buck or two, she always tipped a fiver. Thanksgiving 1993 she tipped me $15. Minimum wage I worked for then was 4.65, I think, so she stood out with her generosity. Too bad that her husband ‘s policies have helped get us to the point where it is almost impossible for a teenager to get a job bagging groceries, what with adults flocking to every crappy minimum wage job available. Her tips helped me pay some of the tuition to my private high school that my scholarship and financial aid didn’t cover. So my dislike is not personal, it’s based on who Barry is working for and who benefits from his policies. It sure ain’t my contemporary teen equivalent, regardless whether he is a striver or not.

                    1. optimader

                      I’ll give MO big karma points for tipping, (even though she was skimming an outsized salary patronage job).
                      I’ve always had a job as a kid since the fifth grade paper-route, where tips were what made it worthwhile.

                      My best H-School job was as a porter in a larger-ish suburban Holiday Inn. Working 4- 12:30 shift was always great because of the tips from the late night room-service gig (and driving visiting biz men to/from Rush St, –unbelievable that we would do that from Oakbrook in retrospect).

                      R. Service dessert concoction preparation was in my purview so any portion control sensibility was gone for the night as invariably high-as-kite patrons would make last call. The door would open w/ the atmosphere of Venus boiling out into the hallway and they would typically hand me a fistful of money w/ their eyes as big as saucers. The good old days when a major hospitality corporation would turn a HS kid driving on a freshly minted license loose w/ a Ford Econoline van on late night search & rescue missions to Rush St.

    1. DJG

      I can hardly wait for the diorama of the assembled notables watching the shoot-em-up of Osama bin Laden. Imperial!

      1. OIFVet

        Will the Hillarynator claim dibs to the Ghaddafi diorama, or is that coming to the South Side also?

      2. frosty zoom

        i hadn’t read your comment yet when i posted above. this is going to be one grand liberry.

        i wonder if mr. cheney will get a wing in this one, too.

        1. nycTerrierist

          and don’t forget the Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield wing!
          and Pfizer, Monsanto, etc.
          They’ll need alot of wings…

      3. optimader

        Don’t be surprised. We used to do the fairly regular visits to the local Museums when I was a kid in the way back, At the time of the Tet Offensive, one of the museums (I’m thinking the Field Museum, but more in the character of the Museum and Science and Industry) briefly had a Vietnamese shoot ’em up arcade like a cross between a diorama and a modern first person shooter video game.

        My recollection was that the shooter shot from the perspective of a helicopter door gunner into a thatched hut village.
        Needless to say, kids lines up and many adults people were appalled –it did not last long.

        My (perhaps spotty memory) was that it was sponsored by Bell Helicopter. Pretty sure of that but wouldn’t swear to it, IN any case it did have an interested party corporate sponsor.

        1. optimader

          I recall even then puzzling on the adult peeps that allowed their shorties to “play”. WTF??

          It was not even an abstraction of shooting monsters, or zombies or undefined similarly armed generic soldiers, it was shooting at what presented as civilians in a current theater of war.

  8. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Google self-driving cars and 11 accidents.

    Apparently not at fault…other human drivers.

    One day, your self-driving car will take your portfolio managing robot down to the exchange to make billions trading derivatives for you while you devote all your time to write poetry.

    Imagine that – the coming Age of Poetry…basically, High Income Guarantee with the government providing every worker a self-driving car and a trader-robot.

    Resist no more, my Luddite friends. Welcome to the future, if you dare to dream (of a government that asks not what you can do for yourself, but a G.I. – government issued – self-driving car and a G.I. robot can do for you).

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Of course, future history records that ‘a quantum leap forward was made when the self-driving car came out of its self-limiting forest, stood upright (bi-pedal or bi-cycle) and became a trader itself.’

    2. Jef

      Breaking; A self licking ice cream cone was spotted in the back seat of a self driving car riding around downtown….

  9. frosty zoom

    trick track
    truck trick
    track trek
    trunk trick

    *hahaha – president fox in socks!

    1. frosty zoom

      paul pol pulls poll pool,
      pale pole pulls paul’s pole.
      pole’s pull pales paul’s poll,
      paul pol peels pale pole.

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Thai trafficking crisis.

    The fractal nature of migration: people migrating into a country that itself sees out migration to seek work.

    1. cwaltz

      Markos Moulitsas hmmmmmmmm wonder if or why the Daily Kos founder has soured on President Transformational?

        1. abynormal

          phuk’n hilarious Zoom

          I was stunned and amazed
          My childhood memories
          Saw this world past
          Like the wind through the trees
          Ay, oh, where did you go, Ohio?

    1. craazyman

      faaak that’s heavy shlt. Sounds like a Xanax and red wine moment!

      Especially if you’re on Mars. That would be bad, to feel like that standing on Mars with only your space station to trudge back to. Whoa.

      1. abynormal

        definitely got that dreamy thingy going on…i bet its surreal like the yellowing before a tornado

  11. JoeK

    The first few seconds of the NBC’s talking head’s lede (I’m sure he’s a millionaire celebrity with a million twitter followers but not watch teevee I’ve no idea what his name is) says pretty much everything about what’s wrong with the MSM:

    “….an explosive new report that accuses the Obama administration of not being totally truthful about the US militaray raid on Osama Bin Laden…. ”

    “explosive” it is, but the second part in bold is hardly what the report does (it says they pretty much made their whole story(ies) up completely); yet the inherent contradiction between the two is ignored. So is the first hyperbole? Or the second understatement (actually white-washing)? Who knows, who cares?

    1. James Levy

      Chalmers Johnson said that the best thing about being an outside advisor to the CIA was that he got to read some of their internal histories of various operations (he said the story of how the KGB got one of their operatives out of Wormwood Scrubs prison in England was a cloak-and-dagger classic). But what troubles me as an historian and a citizen is my fear that the CIA, NSA, and State Department don’t just lie to us (bad enough), but lie to themselves. I seriously doubt that these institutions waste very much time and energy these days actually chronicling what they are really doing. So at this short remove it might be hard, even if you had access to what records there are (and in this electronic age of deeply self-aware operatives, I doubt they have left much of a trail of their real activities) to find out what actually happened vis-à-vis bin Laden. And institutions that lie to themselves and have no institutional memory of what worked and did not work (and a pragmatic definition of what “worked” means) are in for a world of trouble. At some point American wealth and power will not be sufficient to paper over the mistakes. This is a recipe for disaster.

      1. JerseyJeffersonian

        “At some point American wealth and power will not be sufficient to paper over the mistakes.”

        Hope springs eternal…

  12. susan the other

    Vineyard of the Saker on the Balkans. False flag uprisings going on in Macedonia and Albania. Now we begin to see the seriousness of the position Greece is in. Are we really that dedicated – to go to war with Russia and China just to prevent Russian oil and gas from entering the EU market? And is it the EU that is pushing the destabilization of Macedonia so it will spill over into an already desperate Greece, a Greece made unnecessarily desperate by the ECB? Or the US?

      1. abynormal

        “Did you hear of the spontaneously organized procession in which, after the official parade, half a million people marched through Moscow with portraits of their relatives who died in World War II? The event was called “The Eternal Regiment” (Бессмертный полк). Similar processions took place in many cities throughout Russia, and the total number of participants is estimated at around 4 million.”
        The Department of Defense has paid $5.4 million in taxpayer money to 14 NFL teams across the country, including $377,500 to the Jets, with the bulk spent by the National Guard.
        U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz) last week called out the New Jersey Army National Guard for the spending, which, in part, paid for a segment at New York Jets’ home games in which soldiers were featured on the big screen, thanked for their service and given tickets to the game.
        Flake said most in the public believe the segments are heartfelt salutes instead of an advertising campaign.
        In addition to the Jets, the Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, Pittsburgh Steelers and St. Louis Rams received taxpayer funds.

      2. VietnamVet

        Orlov is interesting because he gives the Russian perspective to a world descending into chaos.

        Another viewpont is “Germany’s Fast Hold on the European Continent” from a Frenchman:

        He states; “the United States itself, which was once a protector, is now a predator.”

        This explains American support of color revolutions, moderate jihadists and neo-Nazis to promote regime change. Peace is not the goal of foreign policy but pillage and plunder. The marketing of TPP is another indication that “greed is good” for the wealthy is now the West’s driving belief. The rulers and their apparatchiks follow the University of Chicago neo-classical thought and propaganda. They plan for larger bonuses tomorrow not what is good for society. The market self regulates.

    1. JerseyJeffersonian


      I’m not so sure that US thinking possesses even this degree of coherence.

      I rather liked the image the Saker conveyed in a comment in the thread following his post in which a drunken Uncle Sam, dressed in a wife-beater T-shirt, and clutching a heavy-buckled belt in one hand is standing over a cowering female Europe screaming at her that he will never, never allow her to leave. ‘Cuz Airstrip One is just not enough, doncha know.

      1. susan the other

        A few months ago I was still thinking that the “West” – the EU, the UK, Australia and North Amerika – were a logical economic block because we share an obsession with private banking uber alles and military intervention. I thought back then that what we realized we could not achieve was global control because of the simple fact that all the other countries in this world do not share our obsession with private banking and looney “free trade capitalism”. I told myself we had decided to split the world up 50-50 with the Russians and the Chinese because they would throw us out of our orbit if we tried to include them. But we are already being thrown out of our orbit by our own excesses. I think Russia and China see this clearly. And about the EU, we can’t force the EU to stay with us forever. It’s just not working for them.

    2. Jagger

      I did not find Saker’s reasoning convincing at all. It is as if small bands of extreme nationalists have never existed before the US and have no autonomy of their own. Unless I see more convincing evidence, I will assume Saker is just demonizing to a willfully anti-US crowd . The US certainly has dirty hands but that doesn’t mean every single incident of violence anywhere in the world can be traced back to a US conspiracy.

      Saker has been gradually losing credibility with me over time. Too often, he wanders into unfounded speculation with too many assumptions. It just reads more and more like propaganda than independent critical analysis. I also wonder who is funding his 1st class, jazzed up website. Still read the site from time to time but now, I take whatever he says with a big grain of salt.

      1. Jess

        I also wonder about chicken-and-egg relationships. Are we starting more insurrectionist groups or are more insurrectionist groups forming and immediately reaching out for easy to get US support?

      2. vidimi

        i admit that i ignore him most of the time. he is rightly extremely skeptical of western intentions and actions, but that comes at the expense of being completely uncritical of russia.

      3. Jack

        Really, you find the guy who constantly talks about ‘AngloZionists’ and Freemasons to lack credibility? I’m shocked, SHOCKED!

  13. JoeK

    RE the small “discrepancies” in the OBL stories: perhaps this will lead to elite SF soldiers, um, “operators,” having to wear bodycams so that Hollywood has the nitty-gritty in detail. Side benefit: assassinations won’t get out of hand.

    1. James Levy

      If my knowledge is correct then they are already miked so a sound recording of what went down should be in the archives. They should also have DNA samples, photographs, and finger prints in the files. I am not, however, holding my breath as to when we will see them (if ever).

      Even old Ronnie Reagan warned us to “trust and verify”, but you’ll never find that mentality in the mainstream American media. All they know how to do at this point is transcribe and duck responsibility for finding out if the things they tell us we should believe are actually true.

  14. grizziz

    re: Macedonia

    I can’t tell if the Saker is the anti-hasbara or the voice of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s intelligence service, however trying to get my mind around a “double false flag” blew the circuit. When the puppet masters outnumber the puppets the strings are likely to strangle.

  15. Garrett Pace

    Rise of the Robots:

    “Tasks that would seem to require a distinctively human capacity for nuance are increasingly assigned to algorithms, like the ones currently being introduced to grade essays on college exams. Particularly terrifying to me, computer programs can now write clear, publishable articles, and, as Ford reports, Wired magazine quotes an expert’s prediction that within about a decade 90 percent of news articles will be computer-­generated.”

    This just tells me that the bar is being set very low, for journalism, research and academics. Should we trust the confidence of STEM empiricists to write a program that can give us a new Paradise Lost?

    But even scarier is if they are right. Teachers will learn more than students if they are dedicated to the task, and wrestle with the challenge of leading individuals down a path where everyone’s journey will be a little bit different. Probably the best way to learn is to develop content suitable to instruct others on a subject – your children, your Sunday School, your virtual friends. We throw that out the window and-?

    Is that our future – robots writing amazing things that our flaccid and underdeveloped minds can’t begin to grasp?

    1. subgenius

      Despite my misgivings on the whole AI endeavour, some pretty cool stuff has been produced – even 20 or more years ago – by artificial artistic autistic automatons…

      But defining quality (as Phaedrus has it…), well that’s more in the eye of the beholder…and AI has no eyes, or ‘I’s – beyond the delusions of its flag-wavers.

      And they will look pretty dumb, eventually – unless the accelerating move to ape fiction leads to our own public idiocracy.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Robot pastors/priests/rabbis/monks.

      “And let’s kneel and pray before our, yes, our creator,” says the robot.

      1. Lambert Strether

        Or check out Frank Herbert’s Destination: Void. Last line: “How you will worship me.” I’m a Butlerian jihad person, myself. Adobe Flash did it to me.

  16. JEHR

    I cried for that old, gentle lion with his paws in the dirt. How cruel we human beings are!

  17. Jess

    Suggestion for tomorrow’s antidote: The final picture in the story about the circus lion finally allowed to roam free. He’s just sitting there on the grass, looking majestic. (Because he is.)

  18. vidimi

    i am speechless: fast track failed to pass in the senate.

    yet another scalp (SOPA) claimed by mass grass-roots organising. May people remember this next time the political class try to push an atrocity through.

    (i am aware that the TPP/TTIP are far from dead and may still pass a vote down the road but hope springs)

    1. hunkerdown

      It’s not the time for hope. It’s time for a loud “AND DON’T YOU EVER EVEN THINK OF IT AGAIN” snarl to remind them of their rightful place licking our boots.

  19. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Financial bubble in oil and commodities…Evans-Pritchard:

    Houston-based EOG said it expects to boost output in the third quarter at the Eagle Ford basin in Texas, benefiting from dramatic gains in technology that are cutting shale costs at an astonishing speed.

    Sounds omnious…gains in technology.

  20. frosty zoom

    freedumb ain’t free!

    The Department of Defense and the Jersey Guard paid the Jets a total of $377,000 from 2011 to 2014 for the salutes and other advertising, according to federal contracts. Overall, the Defense Department has paid 14 NFL teams $5.4 million during that time, of which $5.3 million was paid by the National Guard to 11 teams under similar contracts.

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