Links 5/23/15

Posted on by

Great Barrier Reef under the spotlight for world turtle day – video Guardian

Florida retrieving 700,000 tires after failed bid to create artificial reef Guardian (vidimi)

Firefox Maker Battles to Save the Internet—and Itself MIT Technology Review (David L)

Let’s Stop Arguing About Whether Disruption Is Good or Bad Harvard Business Review (David L)

Saudi Arabia ‘seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council’ Independent. Furzy mouse: “​Here’s a laugh…​”

Peace activists and Gloria Steinem ready to cross Korea DMZ Christian Science Monitor

China solidifies top AIIB share, influence as capital doubles Nikkei

Bank of England Accidentally E-mails Brexit Plans to The Guardian Bloomberg

Dozens dead in Mexico gang shoot-out BBC


Schaeuble Said to Cite Option of Greek Parallel Currency Bloomberg

Deal no closer following PM’s meetings in Riga ekathimerini. “The German and French leaders reaffirmed during the meeting that any agreement needs to have the approval of the International Monetary Fund.”

Greece hits IMF wall Politico

Eurozone says no Greek deal without IMF Financial Times. “’They [Greece] have been listening to too many people who think that there may be some partial agreement,’ said one senior eurozone official involved in the talks. ‘There will be no such thing. And there will be no agreement without IMF. And the IMF is super tough.””


City in the sky: world’s biggest hotel to open in Mecca Guardian. Lambert: “No wonder the Saudis are having problems in Yemen.”

ISIS–If it quacks like a duck is it? And, if it is, what are the consequences? ORIGIN Sic Semper Tyrannis (Chuck L)

Isis claims it could buy its first nuclear weapon from Pakistan within 12 months Independent

A Nuclear Armed ISIS? By Walrus Sic Semper Tyrannis (Chuck L)

U.S. approves sale of 10 MH-60 Seahawk helicopters to Saudi Arabia Reuters. EM: “And they say ‘Americans no longer make things’.”

Two California men charged with seeking to help Islamic State Reuters (EM)

Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi emails released by State Department Independent (furzy mouse)

CPI Shows Sharply Rising Medical Costs; Huge Obamacare Hikes Planned Michael Shedlock

For the First Time Ever, Social Conservatives No Longer Outnumber Social Liberals in America Mother Jones. Lambert: “Social liberals, mind you.”

Trade Traitors

Obama Takes Unexpected Setback On Trade Agenda Huffington Post. As Lambert said on the phone, this is just beautiful. See his post Good news on TPP, as Senate passes Fast Track bill with human trafficking poison pill.

Odds Are Obamatrade Screws America Rush Limbaugh (curt e)

Obscure Government Document Shows Elizabeth Warren Is Right About TPP Alternet (furzy mouse)

EU dropped pesticide laws due to US pressure over TTIP, documents reveal Guardian (vidimi)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Snowden: ‘When you monitor everyone, you understand nothing’ – video interview The Guardian

Iris scanners can now identify us from 40 feet away PhysOrg (Robert M). This is enough to consign me to a lifetime of wearing sunglasses or overscale contacts

Secret files reveal police feared that Trekkies could turn on society Telegraph (furzy mouse)

Adult dating site hack exposes sexual secrets CNN. EM: “AFF users should look at the bright side: This will likely lead to them meeting lots of new ‘friends’ they didn’t know they had – for no extra charge.”

Police State Watch

The Body Cam Hacker Who Schooled the Police Medium (Chuck L)

Inside Obama’s plan to use open data to curb police brutality New Scientist

Obama ban on police military gear falls short as critics say it’s a ‘publicity stunt’ Guardian (RR)

U.S. bird flu causing egg squeeze, emergency measures Reuters

California farmers vow to cut water use Financial Times

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Pushed Cancer Screening Cuts David Sirota, International Business Times. This matters because he and his partner are now promoting cancer prevention and treatment.

Baltimore grand jury indicts police in death of Freddie Gray Reuters (EM)

How to Keep Down Sky-High Hospital Bills: Don’t Pay Newsweek (Katniss Everdeen)

Yellen expects US economy to strengthen Financial Times

Yellen Yap: Point by Point Rebuttal Michael Shedlock

Banks face possible further forex fines Financial Times

Class Warfare

The Tragic End of the Woman Bill Clinton Exploited As Poster Child for Gutting Welfare Alternet. Lamert: “Story is much more nuanced than the headline. But yes, her end was tragic, and yes, Bill Clinton did exploit her (and with lethal consequences).”

Minimum wages: Pay dirt Economist (Swedish Lex)

‘Prisonized’ neighborhoods make ex-cons more likely to return to the slammer Science (Chuck L)

churches and slavery — 5/22/15 delanceyplace (Bob H)

Antidote du jour (Stephen L):


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. abynormal

    “Let the unskilled jobs that take absolutely no knowledge whatsoever to do — let stupid and unskilled Mexicans do that work.”
    Rush Limbaugh, radio show, Fall 1993

    1. diptherio

      Ah, Rush! I wonder what jobs (besides talk radio host) he’s got in mind that require “no knowledge whatsoever.” I’ve had lots of crappy jobs, and all of them required some sort of knowledge…

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Top banking jobs?

        “Welcome to America, our Mexican friends. Welcome to Wall Street! We have lots of no-knowledge required jobs for you. All you need is greed and a complete lack of empathy.”

        Either that, or free-trade-pack voting political jobs.

        1. diptherio

          Well, even for that you have to have at least read Roemer and Ackerloff’s Bankruptcy for Profit and understand the basic principals of financial fraud…

  2. rich

    ask the FDA to “Be reasonable” and use accelerated approval for a whole class of new medicines

    The parents of boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, or DMD are fighting the same battle we’re fighting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In this new campaign launched by, UCLA professors Dr. Stanley Nelson and Carrie Miceli, they ask the FDA to “Be reasonable” and use accelerated approval for a whole class of new medicines for DMD., they launched a social media campaign called “Be Reasonable” on May 9th.

    We’re asking Dr. Janet Woodcock for the same thing and that is to please “Be reasonable”!

  3. Ned Ludd

    The TPP trafficking language is fairly easy to circumvent.

    The administration could eliminate the procedural hurdle by simply upgrading Malaysia’s formal status on human trafficking, but doing so would undermine the integrity of a key U.S. human rights initiative designed to shame rogue regimes.

    1. diptherio

      Yeah, my first reaction was that Lambert is being overly optimistic. I mean, it’s not like the Feds have any problem giving waivers on punishments for prohibited activities (see the recent SEC rulings). And I’m pretty sure we’ve got something of a history of ignoring labor protections in trade agreements, so I don’t see any reason to assume that this would be any different.

      1. Ned Ludd

        Just last year, China was moved up to Tier 2, while Malaysia was downgraded to Tier 3.

        Regarding the integrity of these designations, millions of dollars in the right hands got MEK removed from the State Department’s list of designated foreign terrorist organizations in 2012.

        While [the spokesman for M.E.K.’s Paris-based political arm] Gobadi repeatedly told U.S. News that the group is peaceful, a number of news reports allege that the M.E.K. may have been involved in a string of nuclear scientist assassinations over the last several years, with monetary and other aid from the U.S. and Israeli governments.

        “On the premise that the enemy of my enemy is my friend, funding, arming or training M.E.K. is an important strategic tool for Israel and the U.S.,” Dilshood Achilov, assistant professor of Middle East politics at East Tennessee State University, told the International Business Times of the nuclear scientist assassinations.

        MEK became useful, so they were no longer designated as terrorists. The facts are fixed around the policy.

      2. nippersdad

        IIRC, Malaysia represented just around one percent of the total economic activity in the TPP. Why bother proving the critics right immediately when one can get ninety nine percent of the deal and then shoehorn them in later on someone elses watch?

        1. diptherio

          Sounds about right. Even if they do kick Malaysia out of the TPP, it’s not like that makes the deal any better. And since when does the US gov’t have a problem ignoring labor violations?

          1. Antifa

            Malaysia isn’t the prize at stake here. The Strait of Malacca is what makes Malaysia vital to the TPP. It’s vital to American interests to keep that highly-trafficked waterway in America’s sphere of control — not China’s.

            If China or anybody else ever closes the Malacca Strait to shipping, global warfare will begin five minutes ago.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              China can rectify that by sending more eunuch admirals and treasure boats.

            2. Enquiring Mind

              Strait of Malacca control was also one of the domino theory issues that contributed to the Vietnam War. Then, as now, there are alternative more costly transportation routes, not no routes.

              TPP secrecy makes me wonder what the authors know, or think, about the future. Would bill failure lead to some Chinese hegemony, among other unstated consequences?

              Did Nixon’s trip to China ultimately unleash a tiger on a world that is not ready for 1B+ new laborers and consumers? If so, why did the US aid and abet with NAFTA, or was that an attempt to shore up Fortress North America in a giant game of Risk?

              1. Andrew Watts

                In terms of geopolitics, a pseudo-science imo, there isn’t a more strategic chokepoint in the world. A quarter of the world’s shipping goes through the Straits of Malacca. Look at a list of member states of TPP and tell me this isn’t an anti-Chinese military alliance or there are alternative shipping lanes. The transportation routes via the Eurasian Silk Road is one way to circumvent this potential naval blockade but shipping via the sea has always been cheaper than shipping by land.

                The only reason why business and intellectual property rights is apart of the deal is because Obama needs to bribe as many domestic power centers as possible to pass it. This is straight outta his Obamacare playbook. The reason for the secrecy is probably due to the military nature of the pact. in any case nobody wants the perception that this is preparation for some future Sino-American war.

                But if I were a Chinese political leader in Beijing I would not trust any assurances to the contrary that come from Washington.

                Strait of Malacca control was also one of the domino theory issues that contributed to the Vietnam War.

                Correct. Which proves that the US military has always had it in it’s sights AND they’re willing to go to war for control over it.

                1. hunkerdown

                  And why Ashton Kutcher Carter is so gung-ho on it and his new aircraft carrier. The dog salivating in the corner is the one to watch.

        2. Ned Ludd

          This also serves as misdirection: have activists focus on an issue where the most they can win is a hollow victory. In negotiations, sometimes you make a big deal about something you don’t care about, to draw attention away from other areas.

          A simple phone call to John Kerry gets Malaysia brought back up to Tier 2. China was downgraded to Tier 3 in 2013, but was “moved back up a level, to the Tier 2 watch list,” one year later.

    2. JTFaraday

      “The TPP trafficking language is fairly easy to circumvent.”

      Write a better Bill?

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      You don’t understand that this puts Malaysia in the position of “trust me” relative to the US, as in relying on continuing forgiving certifications from the US.

      Malaysia has been much more aggressive and outspoken than other negotiating counterparties. This language is apparently not acceptable to Malaysia, which boxes the White House in.

      Moreover, no one is giving final offers on the TPP until the US has its ducks in row. That means the earliest date is either getting the language outtrade sorted out or (even assuming Malaysia accepts it) Kerry giving favorable certification this summer. That pushes the negotiation timetable out a minimum of two months, more like three or four, even assuming things get sorted out. There is quite a lot of domestic opposition in some key countries (Japan and Malaysia, among others) and this massive loss of face by Obama (having scheduled ministerial meetings that presupposed he’d have Fast Track authority for next week) will not go unnoticed. It gives anyone who is not keen to go passive aggressive and foot drag into 2016. The prevailing point of view among the TPP counterparites is that 2016 is not doable, that that much delay is fatal.

      1. Ned Ludd

        I do not see what Malaysia has to worry about. Obama did not invite them to the TPP talks, only to kick them out later by leaving them at Tier 3 status.

        This “procedural hurdle” actually ensures that Malaysia will never again fall to Tier 3, under Obama or a future president. The State Department designations are cover for U.S. military and corporate interests, and both favor Malaysia’s inclusion – and continued inclusion – within TPP.

  4. Carolinian

    The Harvard Business Review’s soothing view of “disruptors” clashes with a recent Pam Martins post that has a somewhat more realistic take.

    Martins talks about how the cult of the disruptors led to the repeal of Glass-Steagall in the late 1990s with disaster for us all. The Harvard article on the other hand mostly discusses the history of science and avoids the tricky matter of how greed and mendacity might factor into the situation. After lulling us with a tale about science/progress we come up with this

    And that’s the difference between Lepore’s hyenas and the likes of Steve Jobs and Elon Musk. Successful disruptors might break old models, but they build better ones that benefit us all, which is why we embrace, rather than fear them.

    The Apple marketing department couldn’t have said it any better themselves. But as the Mozilla article–also in links–points out, it isn’t at all clear whether mobile is taking the web in a good direction. And given their business practices probably the last thing the Apple Corporation should be accused of is zealous pursuit of the public interest. Should the open and free internet someday come to an end we may well look back at Steve Jobs and ask: “disruptor or corruptor?”

    1. craazyman

      It’s like listening to a lunatic spout religious dogma spewing flecks of spit and drooling on its chin

      Ah yes, nirvana awaits us all when “disruption” reaches the final summit of its genius.

    2. John Merryman

      “Disruptor/corruptor” is a fundamental fact of nature which might be useful to take into account. As biological organisms, the most profound fact of existence is that we reproduce and die, which is nature’s solution to this cyclical nature of complexity multiplying outward and collapsing/coalescing inward. It goes to the basis of everything from the relationship of energy(out) and mass(in) to social energy pushing up and civil order pushing down. The mind(order), versus digestive, respiratory and circulatory(energy).

      As it is, we have this enormous bubble of quantified hope and trust, aka currencies, on which the global economy is built and it has become enormously corrupted and set to pop. The reaction will be a reversion to the opposite of hope and trust, fear and distrust, that is already quite evident. So from the disrupter’s perspective, this creates a large opportunity to seriously change the narrative, from one of linear progress upward and the consequent crash, more to nature’s fix of having these cycles integral to the whole process. Might even require replacing this monolithic monotheism as the religion du jour, with the original cyclical pantheism. The absolute would be the essence from which we rise, not an ideal from which we fell. No more divine right of kings to fall back on for the powers that be.
      Not to mention making currency a public utility and communal voucher system, not masses of notes to hoard.

      Not to get too big think here, but it is a big problem coming down the road and the changes will be equally profound. Might as well be ahead of the curve, than behind it.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


      The modern priest employs science the same way his/her predecessors did with the concept of paradise/heaven – there is a better next life; tomorrow, if you keep your faith in (science, this or that deity), you will finally be happy because you will (be in a blissful place up there, like Mars or some other hospitable exoplanet, or have a new fantastic gadget to vanquish your problems/enemies).

      Yesterday (so yesterday), we worshiped Zeus.

      Today, we kneel before (it’s only our current best guess, sorry, explanation) science or an omnipotent government.

      1. Carolinian

        Well I’m certainly not against science, which–if its self-definition means anything–is simply the increase of our human store of knowledge. Or progress.

        I think the issue with disruptors is who’s doing the disrupting. As with anything we should always say, cui bono?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          You’re right. Nothing to be against science.

          It’s how science is used…by the lords of the universe.

  5. mad as hell.

    ” but doing so would undermine the integrity of a key U.S. human rights initiative designed to shame rogue regimes.”

    I don’t think integrity means the same thing as it did 50 years ago when it concerns the Obama Administration!

  6. grizziz

    re:Two California men charged with seeking to help Islamic State

    Badawi and Elhuzayel were recorded talking to each other last month when they expressed support for Islamic State and said they wished to die on the battlefield, according to an affidavit filed in court.

    I find it rather unnerving that these persons were recorded talking sometime in April without any mention of why they were being taped. Will this be portrayed as a success for ‘bulk collection’ or another FBI sting operation? The idea that we have moved into a “Minority Report” world where we may be not only detained, but prosecuted for merely having intentions is pretty scary.

    1. Andrew Watts

      They probably became a person of interest via HUMINT and were later caught on tape later on. The FBI is fairly reasonable about it’s use of power. When the original furor over the Patriot Act which revolved around the collection of student/library/medical records (via Section 215) the FBI was keen to stay away from it due to the domestic controversy it generated. It’s the CIA and NSA we need to be really worried about.

      Minority Report was an amusing book/movie but like Orwell is a false prophecy at best.

      1. Grizziz

        Yes, that sounds very reasonable. I suppose this Atlantic article about FBI stings is old news:
        and the FBI has reformed. Of course, the FBI probably secured confessions before the men were brought under federal charges of conspiring to provide material support to the designated foreign terrorist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the conspiracy brings the intention into the open. True, this eliminates the need of a Pre-cog to produce the mens rea necessary to prove that Philip K Dick was a prophet.
        Still, it’s weird to have massive amounts of resources spent on two alienated émigrés who would leave the country to do exactly what? Change their mind on their way battlefield where we have no jurisdiction.

        1. Andrew Watts

          (“Aww, I gotta do a better job of proof reading my comments.”)

          Whether they were going to travel to Iraq/Syria is immaterial. After the Texas mass shooting and Charlie Hebdo the FBI has to be concerned that IS propaganda will radicalize people in the US. But at least we can be content in the knowledge that the NSA isn’t sending the FBI on a fool’s errand to chase down some innocent pizza delivery guy.

          Why are all the fake terrorists in this country delivery guys? (Answer: Telephony metadata)

      2. ogee

        So, What color is the sky in your world?
        Your entire premise that the FBI isn’t running amok, in creating these “dissidents” is preposterous. FBI “informants” are integral to the creation of most of the “terrorists” it has bagged since 9/11.
        You can go all the way back to the Camden 28, where the FBI “informants” were the ones who supplied the money,know how, and support to coerce people to do these things , they were later arrested for. The first bombing of the world trade towers had an FBI informant who supplied the explosives. Who was directed by his handlers, to not use “dummy” explosives. The agents Robert Wright and john Vincent of the Chicago office who were investigating two of the future(then 1998-2000) 9-11 hijackers went on a media campaign to get the word out their superiors in Washington told them to close the case on them and their Saudi money man Yasin al-qadi before 9-11. As well as the justiced dept which also had the Illinois atty gen close their cases on the same people down(pat fitzgerald was the ill. atty gen at the time). Then there were the cases that the fbi let slide in Arizona, florida, minneaplois,san diego, where collectively, the fbi” let sleeping dogs lie”, who happened to be most of the alleged 9-11 hijackers. And since 9-11, most “terrorist” plots uncovered by the fbi, seemed to have fbi informants in the crucial role of facilitating bozo’s with a grudge to do something stupid. The FBI ought to be labeled a terrorist organization. This isn’t saying most fbi agents are being dishonest, just the ones with grand visions of moving up. Dave frascas , the person who told the Chicago fbi agents to stop the investigation of the 9-11 hijackers , was promoted, not fired.
        In the 9-11 case of Yasin Al-qadi. He was the Saudi financier who also owned a software company P-tech , which out of its Virginia office had above top secret clearances and were revamping the computer networks of :FBI,CIA,NSA,NRO,DIA,NORAD,SECRET SERVICE,ETC.. BEFORE 9-11. before 9-11, WHEN THE CHICAGO OFFICES HAD HIM LISTED AS A TERRORIST, THEY HAD EVEN FROZEN FUNDS OF HIS. After 9-11, he was removed from listing, and was even a donor to the Romney presidential bid.

  7. Llewelyn Moss

    re: CPI Shows Sharply Rising Medical Costs; Huge Obamacare Hikes Planned

    “Worse yet, planned Obamacare premiums are about to explode, setting the stage for debate over federal health law’s impact.”

    Gee, the law written by Health Industrial Complex lobbyists is about to reward the HIC. Do I need to get in a line to say “I told you so!!!” Attaboy obama, there’s your legacy law. Too bad it blew up in your face before you left office. But just in time to soil the Dems running in 2016.

    1. cwaltz

      Cue up the “who could have ever imagined” choir.” Who knew that putting a profit making entity in charge of costs would not result in savings for consumers………uh anyone with any idea of how a business model works. D’oh.

    2. Carla

      The Democraps running in ’16 richly deserve to be “soiled” if for no other reason than that they are members of a criminal party, just like the Republicraps.

      It does not matter. Everybody’s arguing over electing a f****g figurehead. Please let’s stop spending our precious time and energy on impotent whores. I know, I know…I’m speaking to the wind…

      1. ogee

        I think the most accurate description of what they are is “pimps”. after all we are the ones who are going to get “f…ed”, whether we like it or not. They are the ones who are going to take the money for us being sold. The HCI is the “john” who is paying THEM, for the ability to f..k. us

  8. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Police military gear.

    As billionaires proliferate to more and more villages and towns, and as struggle for resources intensifies and localizes, it’s understandable that there will be more and stronger sheriffs of Nottingham. But with a functioning propaganda ministry, sorry, Hollywood, and entertaining circuses, check that, make it professional sports, the mighty Baba Mama is right – we don’t really grenade launchers… yet.

      1. hunkerdown

        Got the t-shirt. (Uprooting Criminology) No, really, I used to own an “Officer Friendly?” T-shirt with the riot cop on the front.

        1. ambrit

          One of my brothers in law, who is a policeman in the Midwest, has a tee shirt that reads; “No officer. I will not come quietly.”

  9. diptherio

    Well, seeing as how I’ve been reading the Illuminatus! Trilogy along with the Principia Discordia, I would be remiss in not wishing everyone a Happy Discord Day! (5/23).

    Now, before all the old-school Discordians out there get up in arms about how I’m not using the official Erisian calendar (5 days/wk, 73 wk/season, 5 seasons/yr, etc.), let me just say that as a POEE Priest I reserve the right to declare any day a Holyday and this one seems as good as any other fnord. Also, we gotta be a little more accessible to the common wo/man if we want to take down the Christians…just sayin’.

    1. ambrit

      But, but..
      I shan’t believe what I’m reading. (Tries to cover eyes and put fingers in ears at the same time.)

        1. ambrit

          No fear of that! My bedtime was Eight o’clock when that show first aired. Since it came on at Nine, I couldn’t see it, and was too clueless to realize what I was missing. No, my Golden Age of Science Fiction moment was going to see the first release of “2001” on a wide screen, in 1968. (The Golden Age of Science Fiction is generally agreed on as being Thirteen. More advanced kids can get by at Twelve.)
          If anyone in my family could be considered a Trekkie, it would be the older of my two sisters, I being the oldest, brother that is. She was involved in organizing and running ‘Cons’ for years. (The use of that name tells us something profound about the SciFi mass movement. See also, Scientology.) She runs projects for Hallmark. A very talented artist too. Her teddy bear greeting cards are still the subject of much discussion to this day. She too would be intrigued by our previous discussion of mats.
          Felicitous Discord Day! (This is the first time I’ve heard of this ‘holiday.’ Considering the philosophy it celebrates, I’m not surprised.)

            1. ambrit

              Do you remember ‘lick the stamp?’
              That was one way of making a birthday card, with envelope of course, into a flying carpet.
              I remember seeing Ray Bradbury doing an interview and explaining about when he was a child using a cardboard box to be his stage for adventure. I certainly did. Abandoned buildings and sand piles and dark, snug corners welcomed the adventurous child. I really feel sorry for todays’ over organized children. Why don’t the parents admit that it is all for themselves, and give the kids a break. “Hey Mom! Don’t swing at an outside breaking curveball! That’s it, a base hit! Run Mom! Run!”
              Also once, “Pavel Checkov” arguing with Harlan Ellison on a talk show about the relative merits of the original “Star Trek.” Even the talking heads were better back then!

          1. Carolinian

            You started with the best. Trek is cornball. Kubrick knew what sci fi was supposed to be about: spaceships!

            Also, to film a hypervisual subject you need a visual (if not storytelling) genius.

            1. ambrit

              The big problem with starting at the peak is how does one deal with the disappointment resulting from the total betrayal of our trust and dreams by the ‘movers and shakers?’ “2001” is what we deserved. 2015 is what we got.
              Imagine what “AI” would have been like if Kubrick had finished the project himself instead of handing it off to the Spielberg.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      How do the Discordians explain the 73 weeks in a season?

      Is there some significance to the number 73?

      Similarly, one can inquire of the World Creator why there are 365.256363004 days in a sidereal year? What is the significance of that non-integer rational number? What is He/She trying to tell us?

      1. diptherio

        SHE. God is definitely a she–and her name is Eris.

        As to why the strange year…well, she is the Goddess of chaos afterall, so you wouldn’t expect her creation to fit nicely into a human-devised mathematical framework, now would you?

        We look at reality through conceptual grids. Mathematics is one. Reality is Chaos. The only order is in our grids. Hail Eris! All Hail Discordia!

    3. John Merryman

      Why not resurrect the pantheism implicit in the Christian trinity, God the father, son and holy ghost, as the pantheistic year gods, i.e., past, present and future? Chaos-Chronos-Zeus(J-Zeus)
      Get that Trojan horse inside their heads.

      1. ambrit

        Gore Vidal goes into that somewhat in his book “Julian.” It’s a ‘life’ of the Roman Emperor “Julian,” the last pagan Emperor.

        1. John Merryman

          Here is one of my source books on the subject;

          Gilbert Murray’s Five Stages of Greek Religion.
          The problem with monotheism is that it has no reset button. Christianity filters it through the story of Jesus being crucified and resurrected, to implant that primal premise.
          While Judaism is really about the tribalism at the heart of theism, the spirit of the group, Islam is the most doctrinaire form of monotheism, so it doesn’t have many tools to moderate its absolutist paternalism.
          Hopefully we are still in the early stages of humanity, the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end. I think the teleological explanation for humanity is that life on this planet is trying to develop a central nervous system, the function of which is support the body, not molest it.
          Take a few more resets to get there though.

          1. hunkerdown

            Doctrine, or priests? I suppose one has to choose one or the other if one wishes to deify right-wing nut-jobism.

            Also, nit: Abrahamist religions are henotheistic. Monotheism presumes that only one god exists; Deuteronomy 6:14-15 explicitly threatens death to Israelites who worship the gods of their neighbors.

  10. diptherio

    So here’s something weird: has anyone else noticed that when you’re composing a comment, the date on the preview under the text box has a year thats all goofy? The last two comments I’ve left have been composed on today’s date in (apparently) 4050 and 1270, respectively. However, when the comment posts it shows the proper year. Intrigued by this, I decided to do some pyschoanametamystic research and see if I could figure out what this is all about. Here are my results so far:

    The first comment I noticed this on was showing 4050 for the year so I did the obvious thing and subtracted 2015 from it to obtain 2035. Note the presence here of both the sacred numbers, 5 and 23.

    The next comment showed a date of 1270, so I repeated the above procedure by adding 2015 to obtain 3285. Again, note the presence of the sacred 5 and 23 (although this time reversed as 32). (0, of course, is the number of the void, the beginning, while 8 is the number of fullness and completion.)

    Given the results thus far, there appeared only one way to rationally proceed, which was to subtract 2035 from 3285, which gives result of 1250–which is, of course, a numeric anagram of 2015…

    It is still unclear to me the exact portent of this, but there is obviously something to this. Further research is required…

    1. abynormal

      is leap year included?…im kinda hung up on this one:
      Nostradamus predicts 9.8-magnitude California earthquake on May 28 due to planetary alignments
      A video posted on Youtube by user Ditrianum Media has warned there will be a series of planetary alignments on the on the 28th May 2015 which will see Venus and Mercury charged up on the North America Pacific side of the planet – he suggests that this will ultimately cause a massive earth quake in the California region.

      “The fate of man does not chase him as much as he chases his fate.”
      Raheel Farooq

      1. subgenius

        I never realized nostradamus was a discordian, but obviously it makes sense….what with their ability to manipate time.

        Time for a 23 skidoo…

      2. diptherio

        That prediction will no doubt prove true, since the 8 in 28 can be broken down into a 5 and a 3, thus 235…again with the fives and twenty-threes…oh yeah, Cali’s in for it.

        The more I look into this law of fives, the more evidence I find for it…

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


      So, zero is the beginning.

      And one is for the creator.

      Two for the second creation to get a companion for he who arrived here first.

      Three represents the trinity of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

      Four refers to the 4 seasons and 4 cardinal directions.

      What’s five for? Not our five fingers. We are not that important.

      1. diptherio

        Actually, the five thing is traditional Discordianism. My particular sect is more concerned with 8s and 11s…long story.

        There are not Four Seasons: human thought divides the year into four seasons. There are not Four Cardinal Directions: human thought looks at the world and lays a grid over it–the first iteration of the grid divides everything into four.

        And I must protest your claim that “we are not that important.” Speak for yourself, bub! I’ve been checking it out, and the whole rest of the world seems to go on around me. Maybe you’ve noticed the same. If Everything is going on around Something Else, then that Something Else must be at the center of Everything, no? From this I draw the conclusion that I am indeed the center of the universe (well, my universe anyway, which is the only one I’ve ever known).

        This is why my sect of Discordians sometimes uses the mantra, “You are Something Else”

          1. John Merryman

            Logically a spiritual absolute would be the essence from which we rise, not an ideal from which we fell.

        1. John Merryman

          Keep in mind that three dimensional grid is really just a mapping device, like longitude, latitude and altitude. It defines space, rather than creates it. So instead of space being three dimensional, multiple frames/points of reference can define the same space, backed by different narratives/timelines/fourth dimension. With no universal frame to officiate. Think Israelis and Palestinians using different frames/narratives to define the same space.
          If you remove all physical properties from space, it still has the two non-physical qualities of equilibrium and infinity. While physics might argue over equilibrium, it is implicit in clocks slowing in moving frames, given the frame in which a clock moves fastest, would be closest to the universal equilibrium.
          This all goes to the absolute(zero) being a state, not a point. Space as God.

          1. John Merryman

            The reason space itself is not a frame is that at zero, all features to define it, other than equilibrium and infinity, are cancelled out.

        2. Brooklin Bridge

          I wish you all well (and speaking of wells, water usually tastes sweet regardless of which well you use to get to it) but FYI, it’s the Great Pumpkin. End of story.

    3. subgenius

      Its the discordian in you…
      The Principia Discordia is a book explaining the beliefs of Discordians and their worship of Eris Discordia. It was allegedly written in the late 1950s by the first 2 acolytes of “Bob” Dobbs, who had been recruited back in 1953, but then followed the advice of “Bob”, who told them “Start your own damn religion!”, resulting in the first of many SubGenius schisms. Some editions of it have an introduction by Robert Anton Wilson. Rev. Ivan Stang originally planned on suing the authors for plagiarizing content from the Book of the SubGenius, but then realized that Principia Discordia had been written several decades earlier and that the Book of the SubGenius had technically plagiarized Principia Discordia; evidently Discordians know about Time Control and used this to get their book published before the SubGenii. This means, in all likelihood, the Principia Discordia hasn’t even been written yet, and will be written by people in the future and sent back in time, to reverse-plagiarize other books published in between. Wikipedia tells more about this strange book from the future. Because it is from the future, it is not copyrighted by anyone, but is public domain and can be viewed for free on teh Internets legally on over 9000 different Discordian websites, for instance at

      1. abynormal

        i love this site.

        “Something has got to hold it together. I’m saying my prayers to Elmer, the Greek god of glue.”
        t. robbins

      2. ambrit

        Are you telling me that Hubbard was right? All that ‘time’ he was stealing other peoples wives and girlfriends and hiding out on the yacht, he was really in the future? Since Hubbard “discovered” Scientology in 1953, as an outgrowth of Dianetics, (oh my! yet another Greek goddess,) his ‘religion’ precedes the Erisian Mysteries by a decade. Then we get to “Bob” Dobbs. His version of the revelations was published in 1983. One can only assume an extended period of vocal transmission of the canon. If “Bob” Dobbs were a lineal descendant of the gold prospector Fred C. Dobbs, whose end days are recounted in “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,” much would become clear.

    4. ambrit

      Dear Seeker after something or other;
      Your erudite exposition of the Disco Kabala hints that you might just be a Prime Candidate.
      Hint: 5+23=Green!
      Your obsequious servants,
      The Higher Order

  11. guest

    Dumping tyres to create artificial reefs seems to have been a worldwide fashion 40 years ago or so. The countries that indulged in this fad — the USA in the linked article, but also France — are all now faced with the expensive task of fishing all that material back because it utterly failed to create reefs, and actually caused further ecological distress (smashing organisms dwelling on the ocean floor, leaching hydrocarbons, etc).

    Of course, tyres removed from the sea are now wholly unsuitable for recycling and must be destroyed. Cynics will say that the original idea was a great way for manufacturers and resellers to avoid dealing with proper tyre disposal, which must now be taken care of anyway — at taxpayers’ expense… But at NC we are not cynics, are we?

    1. subgenius

      There is only one use for old tires…EARTHSHIPS!

      I don’t recommend building one, though, unless a) you have a lot of time on your hands; and b) you desire a Conanesque (the barbarian…not the newsmuppet) physique

      1. ambrit

        One can always roll the tyres through a vat of liquid nitrogen, shatter them, and use the detrius for fuel in any industrial process requiring heat. Brazil has been generating electricity that way for years. I think the original news report mentioned just such a plant on the Gulf side of Florida as being the final destination for the tyres dredged up.
        What gets me is that no one did any experimental work to determine the probable efficacy of this method?
        All this reminds me of Phillip Wylies doomsday book, “The End of the Dream.” Things do not end well when humans take nature for granted.

        1. subgenius

          They get burned in some processes to make cement also. But damn it’s even more polluting than dirty coal…

        2. Brooklin Bridge

          I thought they used tires in those truck bed linings and now even for “lifetime” paint on a house. Maybe it’s something else, but whatever, it is incredibly abrasion resistant stuff.

    2. vidimi

      i wonder what else was dumped under a good-intentioned pretense?

      spent plutonium to stimulate plankton growth?

      1. ambrit

        Well, go on out into the desert of southern Iraq and dig down a bit and you’ll find tons of depleted uranium. It promotes all sorts of cellular profusions.

  12. Jim Haygood

    Well, it’s that time again. No, not Memorial Day, but ‘Click It or Ticket’ weekend, which will darken lots of folks’ holidays.

    It’s the Ferguson, Missouri business model of revenue raising via petty harassment, taken nationwide. Not only is seat belt enforcement like sucking up dollars with a vacuum cleaner, but also it offers ‘upselling’ opportunities when other infractions are found. Smell of cannabis in the vehicle? Open container? KA-CHING!

    All this is courtesy of the U.S. fedgov, which subsidizes the program. Next time some KongressKlown asks for your vote, hold out an upraised middle finger and invite him/her to ‘lick it or stick it.’

    1. hunkerdown

      So the reason we don’t have public transportation is because it’s too hard for transit cops to randomly bill poor people for the price of a civilized society for the rich? Sounds about right!

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    “Accidentally” emailed Brexit plans…

    Accidentally or intentionally?

    1. abynormal

      stay tuned…

      “Accidents are not accidents but precise arrivals at the wrong right time.”
      Dejan Stojanovic

  14. ewmayer

    Re. the Florida AR (artificial reef) story: I propose the scientific term “tired reef syndrome” for this phenomenon.

    “I’d like to do some building but my polyps are pooped,” said the weary coral.

Comments are closed.