Links 10/27/15 and BIG Fundraiser Thanks!

Thanks SO MUCH for your generous donations to our fundraiser! We had the largest number of donors ever, 1457 by our official tally, which beat our last donor target, which we increased our final day to 1350, by more than 100!

As important, we beat our financial targets by several thousand dollars (there were people who said they were sending checks and didn’t give us the totals, so the final amount will be higher than what we could see as of the closing).

We’ve been trying to thank all donors, and we are behind, so please don’t take offense if it takes us a bit of time! We remain a thinly-resourced operation and posting is our top priority. So please be patient with us.

Last, the nature of fundraisers is you need to ask again and again and again because people are busy and you need to catch them when they have the time to respond to your appeal. But that has the unfortunate side effect of making those who would like to donate but aren’t in a financial position to do so feel bad. That’s the last thing we want to do. Some people sent us donations that showed us they were keen to be a part of this effort even though they had limited means. One is sending us $1 plus some gifts, another $8. These donations are really humbling. They show how much readers want to contribute to this community to the degree they are able.

Other readers told us about how they are currently unemployed or have health issue that make their income very precarious and they intended to chip in when their situation improved. I wish all of you good luck and remember: you need to take care of yourself first. Never forget the airplane instruction: secure your oxygen mask first before you help others. As much as we very much appreciate and depend on donations, they should come from your surplus, and not add to stress.

The members of this community help advance our collective cause in many ways: through sharing the posts and comments with friends, colleagues, family members, and on Facebook and Twitter; by calling and writing Congresscritters and state legislators and sending in comments during regulatory comment periods; by sending us links, antidotes, and plantidotes, by making comments, and by contributing to the site. So rest assured, if you are sharing what you learn here, you are making an invaluable contribution.

But if you are able, you can still help us make next year the best one ever for Naked Capitalism! We still had donations coming in after the formal close of our fundraiser, and they most assuredly are still welcome. Please visit our fundraiser page to see how to contribute by check, credit or debit card, or PayPal. And thanks again for all your support!

China Unable To Recruit Hackers Fast Enough To Keep Up With Vulnerabilities In U.S. Security Systems Onion (David L)

Darth Vader Not Allowed to Vote in Ukrainian Elections, Chewbacca Detained Moscow Times

Lion Population in Africa Likely to Fall by Half, Study Finds New York Times :-(

The Okinawa missiles of October Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Chuck L: “More newly emergent “Holy Shit” history about the Cuban Missile Crisis. It was scary enough just living through it as a somewhat sentient being in my early 20s.”

The huge, unexpected ethical question that self-driving cars will have to tackle Business Insider (David L)

The surprising truth about which personality traits do and don’t correlate with computer programming skills BPS Research Digest

Costs for Dementia Care Far Exceeding Other Diseases, Study Finds New York Times

U.S. Military Used Christian NGO as Front for North Korea Espionage Intercept (resilc)


Challenging Chinese Claims, U.S. Sends Warship Near Artificial Island Chain New York Times

How China’s Uighur abuse fuels terrorism Bangkok Post (furzy mouse)

EU to vote on net neutrality rules BBC

Refugee Crisis

The Magnitude of the Refugee Crisis Atlantic (resilc)

Winter Scramble; Refugees Will Freeze to Death Warns Juncker; Tony Blair Apologizes for Creation of ISIS Michael Shedlock

Europe’s On A Road To A Very Bleak Nowhere Ilargi

Violence in Syria Spurs a Huge Surge in Civilian Flight New York Times

Dutch state to sell off ABN Amro in initial public offering Associated Press


Commodity Traders Helped Spark the War in Syria, Complex Systems Theorists Say Motherboard

BBC Protects U.K.’s Close Ally Saudi Arabia With Incredibly Dishonest and Biased Editing Intercept (resilc)

The Deciders American Conservative (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

NSA warns of growing danger of cyber-attack by nation states BBC

Cyber-Espionage and Trade Agreements: An Ill-Fitting and Dangerous Combination Electronic Frontier Foundation

Launch of Strong Cities Network to Strengthen Community Resilience Against Violent Extremism Department of Justice. Furzy mouse: “UN, big bro, enters our cities?​”


Donald Trump’s Life of Struggle: ‘My Father Gave Me a Small Loan of $1 Million’ Alternet (furzy mouse). And that’s before you get to the fact that he knew he could swing for the fences because he’s always have an inheritance on which to fall back.

Can Ben Carson Really Take Out Donald Trump? FiveThirtyEight (resilc)

White House, Congressional Leaders Reach Tentative Budget Deal NBC

Congress, White House make progress on 2-year budget deal Politico


Snowball-Chucking, Science-Hating Senator May Crash Paris Climate Talks New York Magazine

Police State Watch

VIDEO: Cop Violently Attacks High School Girl Sitting at Her Desk Alternet

Trade Traitors

President Joko Widodo of Indonesia Joins Trans-Pacific Partnership New York Times


Gun nut shows how to use rifle to carve a Halloween pumpkin — because society is doomed Raw Story

Sales, Earning Estimates Contract First Time Since 2009; US Back in Recession? Michael Shedlock (furzy mouse)

Federal Deficit by Presidentt Angry Bear (furzy mouse)

Deutsche Bank to rip out IT systems blamed for problems Financial Times (Paul J). Stay tuned, our bank IT disaster-in-the-making watchers will be weighing in soon.

Class Warfare

Pharma bro’ Martin Shkreli gets ‘schooled by a real f*cking doctor’ during disastrous Reddit interview Raw Story (furzy mouse)

Onshoring Isn’t Bringing Back Good Jobs Atlantic (resilc)

Antidote du jour:

galapagos penguin links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. ProNewerDeal

    Yves or commenters,

    Can you assess if the “Debt Ceiling Budget Deal” includes a Hidden Grand Ripoff or Medium Ripoff of Social Insurance? Personally I am not clear on this issue from reading the links. Apparently SSDI is being cut/crapified. Medicare provider payments are reduced by 2%, but actual Medicare patients are not cut.

    Cable Propaganda Network aka C”N”N glossed over “there will be changes to Social Security Medicare” in 5 seconds, without explanation, so they could change topics from actual news to irrelevant infotainment & obsess on the latest diss in the Trump vs Carson rap-like beef. Thanks to NC for obtaining some newsworthy links on this topic.

    1. allan

      via Davd Dayen’s Twitter feed: the bill authorizes what appear to be joint task forces to root out SSDI fraud. No, really. Since they couldn’t find any bankers to prosecute, they’ll be going after the disabled.

    2. Jim Haygood

      Don’t know about the expenditures side. But on the revenue side, we’re in the oil biz now:

      Congressional leaders proposed to sell 58 million barrels of oil from U.S. emergency reserves over six years starting in fiscal 2018 to help pay for a budget deal that ends mandatory spending cuts, according to a copy of the bill posted to a congressional website.

      Well timed, ladies and gents!

      1. MikeNY

        I suppose it’s a ‘victory’ for the Administration compared to sequestration cuts… but what it proves to me (again, as if I needed it) is how completely corporatist / militarist both parties are.

        As for the oil sales: buy high, sell low. Like central banks with gold.

    3. JTMcPhee

      Fark it.

      There are no rules any more, nor any residual bits of decency any more. Impunity builds on impunity. Not that that is anything new, really, just more evident that all the lines of power and incentives line up in the direction of the TPP/TISA/Etc. “Commission” and similar “behind closed doors” operations running everything, saying what the limits and parameters now are (not “laws,” actually, since all of this, the “regulatory reconciliation” and the “budget deal” and the “Fast Track to Hell on Earth” is outside any even colorable constraints of what us mopes think of as “the law, an ordered system of rules adopted with the consent of the ruled and subject to enforcement for the benefit of the common good.”)

      What’s been slid in underneath us ordinary people, us muppets, “dumb money,” mopes, like a planetary sheet of Teflon ™ for all our lives and virtues to slip away from us is, surprise, how did this happen? who knew? a purely ad hoc arbitrary force-based scam, purely for the benefit of the very few, in what I guess finally appears to be showing to be the end game of all political economy and maybe of survivable ecology: aristocracy of enormous Ownership Society wealth-power lording it over all, as arbitrarily and grandiose-ly as their farked insatiable pleasure-seeking fear-generating limbic systems can invent, lording it over the rest of us, too many of whom stretch their necks out for the sword after doing their earnest “Boxer” labors,, turning the wheels that grind the rest of us down…

      It’s not even “serfdom,” which at least had an intimacy that apparently restrained some of the worst and an awareness (until maybe the Bourbons ascended to their Divine Rights) and if the slaves nad serfs had no “rights,” they at least had a value that the Lords sensed to require a base level of feeding and rags and hovels… It’s just the descent to that “Libertarian Future” that Yves displayed for many of the rest of us to say, huffil,y “That could never happen anywhere in our lifetimes! Impossible! A Fairy Tale for tinfoil hatwearers!” In case the material is new to the reader, or one has forgotten the detailed map to Dys(for ordinary mopes, at least)topia, here’s the link to the first of I think 6 articles:, all part of the schuss down the slippery slope in the “race to the bottom.”

      The disengaged snarkists of the Internetiat use that word “pwned,” as a cute little remark about someone generally at their level getting nailed, in a grand variety of ways by others at their level — or occasionally in reference to Stewart or Colbert scoring a tiny little verbal point against a Cheney or a Blankfein or Obama or one of the other REAL Pwners, big whoop! or historically, maybe, about George Carlin’s absolutely pitch-perfect depictions of how most things REALLY are, “It’s a big club [as in one to beat your brains out, as in so hugely rich you mopes have no conception of how big and how potent or even who “they” the members actually are, but certainly NOT “big” in terms of the number of Club Members], AND YOU’RE NOT IN IT!” and except for a tiny fraction of the rest of us who win the technocratic lottery and define the Next Big Thing, there’s no way to become a member.

      So us mopes can niggle and whine, at the edges of things, while the New Ruling Elite hammers down the stainless steel staples that hold our chains to the walls. The “budget deal that saves us from defaulting on our national debt” is “saved” by “taking money” from “social programs” and “entitlements,” blatantly exempting the enormous westeful idiocy of “our defense thingie” from even the tiniest reductions in the fraud and theft and one damn stupid thing after another by people who have no sense, no “intelligence,” military or otherwise, no decency, only the notion of expansive unbridled power to take and destroy and dispose and disperse across the planet as they care to. Same behaviors by the financialists, and the supranational corprophagists (see related term, “coprophagy,”, and the Grand Officer Class of Our Imperial Military that pwns US instead of the other way around….

      Lots of analytical chatter here about all the various elements of the Grand Plan that, quelle surprise, seems about to yawn open under us ordinary people, with our touching faith in our grade school learning about “How Our Constitutional System Operates To Protect Our Rights,” remember “film strips?” wayback before PowerPoints. Lots of debate about this or that little point of order or definition. But the Big Substance is that “we” are humping along the trail of our little lives, and have stepped out onto the little skin of camouflage that conceals the punji pit,, of excrement-covered stakes… Wounds, us, grabs us, infects us, holds us up, while the Fokkers spring the ambush that will mow down what little there is left of our own ordinary-people force… Obama, the front man, and the others who happily act with the color of “legitimacy” that we idiots have bestowed on the, hardly even pretend, any more, do they?

      One thinks “we” know what the problems are — NC does a sterling job of revealing many of the elements of the giant whirligig of corruption and fraud and theft that’s spinning ever wilder, gathering mass and clout, and with more and more of those who can catch a ride on it, figure out how to gain momentum from it for their own selfish pursuits, fork your neighbor, “do unto others, then git,” “IBG-YBG,” “Those that have the gold, RULES,” etc. What’s the possible defenses? Just stay out of the way (how the hell does one do that, in a world where everything runs through “clearances” and “payment systems,” as Grecoflopia has demonstrated?) until it all inevitable overloads the bearings, catches fire and burns uncontrollably, a wildfire in the California exurbs where all you can do is pray for El Nino-triggered flooding rains and go back through the ashes looking for little bits of “what you thought you had?” And hope that there’s a way to strip some wealth out of someone somewhere else to “cover your losses?”

      Nothing is what we think it is. Quantum universe? “Economics?” Nothing is how it appears to be.

      (Insert primal scream here)

      1. Peter Schitt

        I hear you. Are you familiar with Morris Berman’s “Why America Failed”? If not, read it immediately. The fuckedupness of America comes from the fact that it is, has been, and always will be a nation of hustlers without any real culture or deeper human values.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Expecting to invite a certain amount of jingoist scorn, I’d offer a phrase I recall from some “spy novel:” “Amerikanskii ni Kulturni–” Americans lack Culture, that thing you refer to. We got social groupings and memes and “As Seen On TV” and shit like that, but a long almost genetic memory and a “moral structure” including experience with the worst of giving and getting pain and surviving horror? One wonders how Snowden is doing these days, what intuitions and insights he is getting from his voyage into the “gulag” that somehow fostered Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky and Dostoevsky and Solzhenitzin and so many others… Yah, I know we got our own literary and musical “greats,” reduced to not being read any more and MP3 “quality” recordings.

          Putin ain’t no panacea or saint, but even though he’s a Short Man, he and his structure seem to have a little better scope and range and awareness and motivation than our Obamites and the skulch that skulk beneath his candy shell… All about “national interests,” on the Russian side, but all about “suprapostnational interests” among the Vampire Squids “born and bred in the US of A>>>”

          Of course, no acknowledgment of how the Evil Empire was maybe the biggest reason the Nazi war machine ate itself, or that maybe the only-ever-exceptional use of Nukes against humans was among other perverse “reasons,” to keep the Rooskies from claiming a bigger share of the post-WW II prize by “conventionally” forcing an end to the Japanese “proceedings…” There’s too much, it hurts to try to keep it all in mind. Maybe that’s why Ni Kulturni.

          Also, of course, if there ever was one, there ain’t no more “America…” WE BE EMPIRE, and Chest-Thumping Proud Of It! History Is Over! We Glory In Our Race To The Bottom! We Be Number One In Speed Serfing!

    4. different clue

      2% rate cuts to providers are to set a precedent for further rate cuts to providers. The point is to make providing care to Medicare holders so expensive that providers cannot afford to accept any new Medicare patients. Medicare will become worthless to the people who go onto it because there will be no where to spend it at. When Medicare has been made worthless through being turned into a Poison Chalice of unaffordable subsidy by providers to payers, then the Medicare public will be primed to accept the voucherization of their otherwise-unspendable Medicare money. It will be the Final Solution of the Medicare For All question in America today and tomorrow.

      And that is the purpose of this first 2% cut in payment to Medicare providers. Pushing over the first domino.

      But that’s just my amateur layman’s opinion and prediction. Experts and professionals are invited to tell me how wrong I am and why.

  2. rich

    The Military Industrial Complex Unicorn – Former NSA Chief Raises $32.5 Million for Startup Company

    Former head of the NSA, Keith Alexander, has been a busy guy since he left government. Having avoided any accountability whatsoever despite systematically using the U.S. Constitution as toilet paper, Mr. Alexander is doing what every government official does upon leaving office. He’s trying to grab as much money as possible.

    Liberty Blitzkrieg readers will recall the 2014 post, Ex-NSA Chief Keith Alexander is Now Pimping Advice to Wall Street Banks for $1 Million a Month, in which I introduced his firm, IronNet Cybersecurity Inc to you. Fast forward a year, and Silicon Valley is now chomping at the bit to embrace a company headed by a man who by all accounts should be in prison.

    From the Wall Street Journal:

    The former head of the National Security Agency has attracted funding for his cybersecurity startup from a prominent venture-capital firm, highlighting the continuing ties between Silicon Valley and Washington despite recent tensions.

    IronNet was founded by Keith Alexander, who was NSA director in 2013 when former agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA had snooped with help from technology firms. Since then, government officials and tech executives have clashed over the proper limits of encryption technology.
    Read more of this post

  3. Jim Haygood

    Victory in Syria, comrades: Generalissimo Obama and his joint chiefs think it’s within reach:

    President Obama’s most senior national security advisers have recommended measures that would move U.S. troops closer to the front lines in Iraq and Syria, officials said, a sign of mounting White House dissatisfaction with progress against the Islamic State and a renewed Pentagon push to expand military involvement in long-running conflicts overseas.

    The debate over the proposed steps, which would for the first time position a limited number of Special Operations forces on the ground in Syria and put U.S. advisers closer to the firefights in Iraq, comes as Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter presses the military to deliver new options for greater military involvement in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.

    The changes would represent a significant escalation of the American role in Iraq and Syria. They still require formal approval from Obama, who could make a decision as soon as this week. The recommendations came at Obama’s request and reflect the president’s and his top advisers’ concern that the battle in Iraq and Syria is largely stalemated and in need of new ideas to generate momentum against Islamic State forces.

    Unfortunately, when young Barack was growin’ up in Hawaii, they didn’t teach them Uncle Remus stories on the grounds that they was culturally insensitive. Nevertheless, one of them is apposite:

    “I’m gonna kick the stuffin’ out of you,” Brer Barack said and pounced on the Syrian Tar Baby with both feet. They sank deep into the Tar Baby. Brer Barack was so furious he head-butted the cute little creature until he was completely covered with tar and unable to move.

    1. Jim Haygood

      As Generalissimo Obama proved in Kunduz, one of the best ways to demoralize the enemy is to bomb his hospitals. Now our heroic Saudi allies have adopted Obama’s brilliant tactic:

      A Yemeni hospital run by medical aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) was bombed in a Saudi-led air strike, wrecking the facility and wounding several people, the hospital director said on Tuesday.

      A Saudi-led Arab coalition intervened in Yemen’s civil war in March to try to restore its government after its toppling by Houthi forces but the civilian death toll has escalated since then, alarming the United Nations and human rights groups.

      “The MSF facility in Saada, (north) Yemen was hit by several air strikes last night with patients and staff inside the facility,” Medecins sans Frontieres said in a tweet.

      Surely a Nobel Peace Prize for King Salman must be in the offing?

      1. bob

        Well, one of his sons graduated from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

        Not a joke. They even passed on condolences and congratulations when his father was crowned king.

        “Chancellor Kent Syverud reached out directly to Prince Sultan to express his condolences on the passing of King Abdullah, The Daily Orange adds.”

        Citizenship? Off with her hands.

      2. craazyman

        If there wasn’t so much government intervention the free market could sort this out peacefully.

        It would be utopia in fact.

        Utopia sounds too Roman or Greek. You’d have to name the place El Utepyah or something like that.

        1. craazyman

          it’s deep thoughts time. I thought what if htey all wake up tomorrow and forgot who they are and why they’re all there. Then they’d be empty like beer cans by the side of a road and something would have to fill their minds with ideas of order and action. What would that be?

          can anyone seriously doubt that humans are just containers that disembodied energies fight over? all the old mystics and wackos and foo foo kings like Aram the mushroom dude in the Dead Sea Scrolls — they’re right! Wow. It makes you think, that’s for sure. Strange thoughts and ideas flood into the mind, staggering perceptions of the celestial realms. It almost makes you feel like Shirley McClaine! haha but you know what? None of it means anything real. That’s weird. All those grand constructions, all those parades of philosophical perception, all those divinities, nothing but words that vanish the moment you say them, oppressed as they are by the ludicrous physicality of all matter. Strange days indeed.

          1. JTMcPhee

            …a lot of those beer cans, if you look close, are filled with maggots, army ants, various funguses, and the dust and dirt from passing carbon-burning vehicles… at least there are old mostly men who trail the plastic trashbags from the handlebars of their broke-down bicycles, to trudge along in laceless shoes and worn-smooth duds, picking them cans up, shaking the shit out of them and moving then along the “recycling path…” Is that an Eightfold Path, one wonders?

            1. craazyman

              that sounds like something out of Cormac McCarthy’s THE ROAD

              “In the fall the road was always there, but we did not go to it anymore.”

              A big prize awaits anyone who recognizes that sentence and can name the place it was. That would be amazing if somebody did. All the dog eared pages of the youthful inhalation. Even today the book is a less a book than a collection of faded paper half loose half stuck with cracked and yellowed glue to a paper binding that once held them all. Every story was read 10, 15 times, some 30 or 40 times, maybe more. But each time something strange and new came out of them. They never aged. Never got dull. Never died in their transcencdence of something that almost nobody can even name. Strange how that works.

              you’d think it would be quite an easy thing for people to decide individually and collectively not to go insane. but for some reason it is not easy at all. Why is that? That’s a hard one. Something “out there” comes in and breaks everything down. You can almost name what it is. Almost. But not quite. Maybe it’s in another country, where you can be a hero but only by not knowing what you do. that’s a hint. haha

                1. craazyman

                  ding ding ding
                  ding ding ding

                  We have a winner!

                  You have just won $1 million Magonia dollars. The check will be mailed as soon as possible. Don’t go on a spending spree though,since it might take a while.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            For me personally, the mind is like a garbage can.

            One has to empty it once in a while, so one can receive more garbage.

            Zazen is very helpful in emptying the mind of garbage…or anything for that matter.

    2. fresno dan

      The thing that is astounding is that Obama was essentially elected because of his vote against the Iraq war. There is no body running in this coming election that can appear even a tenth as unwilling not to get further involved in the mideast. Not one isolationist – kinda like calling somebody a liberal…We gotta be involved…indispensable nation and what not…

      1. katiebird

        The thing that is astounding is that Obama was essentially elected because of his vote against the Iraq war.

        If true, it’s especially sad since he didn’t actually vote against the Iraq War …. He wasn’t in the Senate when that vote happened.

      2. participant-observer-observed

        Well there was Rand Paul, but he isn’t getting much lime light these days!

        Would love to see a GOP anti war ticket (for economic reasons, of course) to checkmate the Dems!

      3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        The candidates are just giving the people what they want: more war, all war, all the time, the more the better. Drone murder of doctors and children in hospitals, grandmas who have to eat cat food because the Pentagon needs an electromagnetic rail gun that can be fired from space. If the people wanted something different they would do or say something about it, they would take 60 seconds to write their representatives, they would take an hour on a weekend to join a rally. But they don’t, bankrupting the nation to slaughter innocent people across the globe is just okey dokey with them.

    3. Chauncey Gardiner

      Excellent analogy, Jim Haygood. Wonder why we’re involved in Southern Asia, the M.E. (and Africa) at all now, as evidently the brilliant global chess players in DC and NYC have screwed the pooch so badly that we no longer need oil and they[‘re selling our strategic oil reserves under some sort of “budget deal”. For some reason, the dismantlement of US manufacturing and export of millions of American jobs over the past three decades comes to mind.

      Appears to be little reason to continue to support toxic regimes in the region.

      1. RabidGandhi

        It’s actually quite coherent: the ME exit strategy is to decrease dependency on oil by destroying domestic demand. As wages and median net wealth nosedive, people have less money to spend on petroleum dependent products. Rather 11th dimensional really.

        1. participant-observer-observed

          Working poor will soon be going back to horses and buggies, if they can find water to drink!

      2. Jim Haygood

        Reportedly the budget deal would raise spending caps by $80 billion, divided equally between defense and domestic programs. That’s another $40 billion poured into a defense budget that already sucks up 5% of GDP.

        If the R party controls both the presidency and Congress in 2017 (as seems more probable than not), there will be no brakes at all on defense spending. Meanwhile, D party yes men such as Def Sec Ashton Carter obsequiously give the Pentagon all it wants to launch new and better quagmires.

        As you might expect, Carter has affiliations with BOTH Yale and Harvard, the main feeder schools for the War Party elite who’ve held the presidency for a quarter century now. I’d like to sling a slop bucket of pig blood on the doors of his Kennedy School of Government.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Would that everyone would stop calling it “defense spending.” Call it what it is — War Waste, maybe there’s a catchier phrase that might invade the idiot meme that’s so nicely expressed by the pix on covers of “Popular Mechanix” and similar men’s magazines, Bradley Fighting Vehicle storming along, rockets and tracers spewing from every orifice, F-&&s flitting vectored-thrust with air-to-air missiles and “smart bombs” flung out into “WarheadsonForeheads Space…”

        2. cwaltz

          I wonder if the DoD will ask for an extension in 2017 when they are supposed to be ready for third party inspectors to look over their books?

    4. sleepy

      President Obama’s most senior national security advisers have recommended measures that would move U.S. troops closer to the front lines in Iraq and Syria, officials said, a sign of mounting White House dissatisfaction with progress against the Islamic State and a renewed Pentagon push to expand military involvement in long-running conflicts overseas.

      Why not sit back and let the Russians do it? I guess they figure it would make Putin look good.

    5. Daryl

      It seems like you just can’t count on Al Qaeda to fight its own battles these days. But maybe we can put one last Islamist government in power. You know, for old times sake.

  4. Inverness

    Yves and Lambert,
    What a lovely message. Your sensitivity is deeply appreciated and I’m thrilled to read that the fundraiser has been doing well. NC is an excellent resource and I enjoy your articles, and commentariat.

  5. Inverness

    Re: Girl attacked by police officer. What kind of injuries might this girl have, aside from the obvious psychic ones? Her desk was flipped over, meaning a potential head injury. This was probably also traumatizing for the other students in the class. I noticed one boy had his head down, likely worried that if he made a peep, he was next.

    Yesterday’s article about charter school abuse is a companion to this video. There should be absolute control of children, especially black kids, by any meas necessary. Age doesn’t matter, whether they are five or fifteen. Psychic scars be damned. Brute force and psychological terror are acceptable ways of getting the message across.

    1. Gio Bruno

      Schools in California do not allow corporal punishment of any kind. The dude with the badge in the video is actually the school “resource officer”. Looks to me he’s using his resources to pick on the defenseless. (Must be an extension of ‘green beret’ training.)

  6. financial matters

    How not to enforce a ‘money of account’.

    A money of account gives value to a currency within a currency space by the state convincing private parties that it has the power to tax and therefore ensure the value of that currency.

    In the EU the power comes from the ECB and especially Germany having the power to cut off credit to member countries. This is more like blackmail than a public/private relationship.

    Bill Mitchell makes some interesting points into how that is playing out now in Portugal.


    “””leader of the Left Bloc (BE) (Catarina Martins) told a TVI24 interviewer that “Portugal had to be read to leave the euro” because “If you have to choose between living in dignity or the euro then Portugal should choose dignity”

    At a rally in September 2015, Communist Party (PCP) leader Jerónimo de Sousa called the European Union a “process of European capitalist integration which is crushing rights and sovereignty on this continent … the European Union is a project of domination of peoples and countries by large multinationals and a directory of powers.”

    The PS (Socialist Party, Costa) has mostly articulated concerns with reversing public service cuts and the privatisation of the power, water and transport systems that have ravaged Portugal under the right-wingers. They also propose increased spending on education and health care.

    These policies alone are enough to have them firmly in the hairs of the Troika bazookas.””

  7. fresno dan

    VIDEO: Cop Violently Attacks High School Girl Sitting at Her Desk Alternet

    I remember during Vietnam war protests that protesters would refuse to move. They typically were carried from the scene. If they had been attacked like the girl in this video, it would have been quite the scandal.
    It shows how things have (d)evolved since that time.

    I wold hope that the “officer” is at least fired, but you never know nowadays. What is the outrage is that the police are immune from any kind of prosecution. In point of fact the police chief, the school superintendent, and the city council should be removed as well.

    1. Uahsenaa

      These kids are clearly cowed by the violence they experience on a routine basis. The one other student who wasn’t shocked into extreme passivity, who stuck up for the girl being abused, was arrested as well. Cops don’t just intimidate the “perps,” they also go out of their way to intimidate anyone who shines a light on what they’re doing.

      Which brings me to a secondary point… how is it even remotely legal to arrest someone in this way without even any pretense of due process. Last I checked, there was a procedure you had to go through when arresting someone. I guess underage Americans have no constitutional rights…

      1. diptherio

        I guess underage Americans have no constitutional rights…

        And of course, that goes double if you’re black :(

        1. Brindle

          Most of the white students are likely in private schools. This is how there is now a de facto segregation re-emerging in the South.

          —The video only lasts a few seconds but reflects an eruption of tension that has built in Richland County School District Two over several years. The school system was predominantly white 10 years ago, but after a rapid demographic reversal is now three-quarters black.—

    2. Gareth

      I remember during Vietnam war protests that protesters would refuse to move. They typically were carried from the scene.”

      Not where I lived, antiwar protesters were routinely pepper sprayed and beaten senseless. The cops loved to beat the non-violent, passive resisters the most. It really brought out their inner sadism out.

      1. sam s smith

        I don’t think that was pepper spray back then, it was not around until the 1980’s.

        IIRC, the US Postal Service was the first branch of the government to use pepper spray ( as a defense against dogs ).

        1. Gareth

          Pepper spray definitely existed in 1969. It was a new police toy at the time. I was there and I saw it. A friend had his mouth pried open by the cops and they sprayed it down his throat.

        2. Peter Schitt

          Read up on the Berkeley riots. 13 people later had an eye surgically removed due to tear-gas damage. Source: Nixonland, Loc 8357. Gassing citizens to intentionally cause serious, permanent injuries has been standard operating procedure for decades. Never underestimate how sick Uncle Sam is.

      2. Gio Bruno

        Gareth and I must be about the same age. There was a whole lotta violence by the police during the 60’s (Demonstrations in the South, Free Speech (Berkeley), Draft and Anti-War Protests). It escalated into the 70’s where Neil Young sang about Four Dead in O-HI-O.

        Look, nobody does violence better than America.

  8. griffen

    Mr trump, that BS will not fly. Like the classic line about Bush, being born on third does not make a triple.

      1. Rhondda

        Bush “won” twice — first by special selection of the Supremes and second by electoral chicanery. FIFA.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Every successful candidate has to win twice.

          First, win the money raising round. That’s the most critical one.

          Second, have it rubber stamped by the sleep-deprived, too-busy-gathering-food-for-survival sovereign voters.

          That’s why I have suggested professional citizens. All citizens are to be paid with new fiat money for protecting democracy.

  9. john

    I hear the old sailor’s equivalent of the face-mask metaphor is “One hand for the ship, one hand for yourself.”

    Catching up is hard to do, but still not as hard as it seems.

    Stay well.

  10. optimader

    RE:The Deciders American Conservative (resilc)

    Can someone hit the outsiders/low level appointees names w/ a highlighter for me, thx

    The lesson is that it appears all too easy for outsiders working with relatively low-level appointees to hijack the policy process…
    …The cast of characters includes President George W. Bush; L. Paul “Jerry” Bremer, the first civilian administrator of postwar Iraq; Douglas Feith, Bush’s undersecretary of defense for policy; Paul Wolfowitz, Bush’s deputy secretary of defense; I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, chief of staff to Vice President Richard B. Cheney (and Cheney’s proxy in these events); Walter Slocombe, who had been President Clinton’s undersecretary of defense for policy, and as such was Feith’s predecessor; Richard Perle, who was chairman of Bush’s defense policy board; and General Jay Garner, whom Bremer replaced as the leader of postwar Iraq.

    1. Jef

      “The disastrous Iraq policies that led to ISIS were not President Bush’s.”

      Does anyone anywhere still think that ANY policies were Bush’s?

      When can we acknowledge the fact that a President is nothing more than a fall guy, someone to point a finger at and say “this person is bad, I hate them, lets get some other person in there so everything can change and get better.” Yet everything stays the same and gets worse because many of the same entities are left unexposed and and unaccountable for making the real decisions.

      This article, although way too long for average consumption (I think the author is bucking for the sale of the movie rights) does name names it still fall short of making this point clear.

      1. optimader

        Does anyone anywhere still think that ANY policies were Bush’s?
        Really, I had to read this twice to make sure I got it right.

        Not only was GWBush 100% responsible for the policies of his Admin, he was 100% responsible for who was selected and approved as admin appointees. Beyond these two tragedies of lost opportunity, gWBush was 110% responsible for being to vain-ignorant-lazy-incurious- to reevaluate policy based on new information ( the reality of his unfolding fckup).
        The day after the 2004 correspondents dinner where he was joking about looking for WMD, bipartisan impeachment proceedings should have commenced for both him and cheney

        Bush Jokes about WMD

    2. JTMcPhee

      Bremer was in no way a “leader of postwar Iraq.” Several reasons — first, the “war” was still underway while he was there. And second, a “fleecer” of Iraq and US too, maybe, but he was no “leader,” had zero legitimacy other than force of arms in that little Green Zone, green for the corruption money that flooded it…

  11. rich

    Federal Investigators Looking at Valeant’s Contact Lens Dealings

    The Federal Trade Commission is examining whether Valeant’s recent acquisition of a company that makes a key component of rigid contact lenses violates anti-trust laws.

    by Charles Ornstein
    ProPublica, Oct. 27, 2015, 6:30 a.m.

    Four people who have been interviewed by the FTC told ProPublica that the agency was investigating whether the purchase of Paragon had given Valeant monopoly control over a slice of the contact lens market. The FTC is charged with enforcing anti-trust laws that bar companies from obtaining and exercising their dominant market power to the detriment of consumers.

    Valeant has grown rapidly by buying other companies, and the FTC inquiry appears focused on the cumulative effect of two purchases: Paragon, which it bought in May, and Bausch & Lomb, which it acquired in 2013. The two companies had been competitors in the sale of materials for what are called gas permeable lenses, which are used by people who cannot wear the more-popular soft lenses.

    The Paragon acquisition gave Valeant control over 85 to 90 percent of the supply chain for gas permeable lenses, according to Jan Svochak, president of the Contact Lens Manufacturers Association, an industry trade group.

    1. Chris in Paris

      The DOJ Anti-Trust division now consists of a rotary phone in a drawer of an old desk in a basement somewhere off Wisconsin Ave.

  12. diptherio

    Well, it’s an interesting time to be in Nepal. Earthquake damage, fuel and cooking gas shortages (watched the local gas dealer hauling firewood to cook her dinner yesterday) not to mention civil unrest in the south of the country, from whence I just returned after a week of visiting family for the Dashain holiday (never eaten so much goat in my life…ears, testicles, the whole bit).

    Been doing a bit of blogging, though the lack of petrol for the motorbike is putting a kink in my plans to visit a number of promising cooperatives. Unfortunately, the ones I’ve come across so far aren’t exactly promising:

    Skeletons in Nepal’s Cooperative Closet
    [apologies if I posted that already]

    On the up side, The Nepalis I’ve been hanging out with seem to have maintained their upbeat attitude and sense of humor about it all. Fortunately, the people here are quite proficient on getting by with next to nothing. And it looks like India is finally letting up on the border blockade (a dozen or so tankers crossed the border today) after China offered to just give Nepal 100 tonnes of petrol. Don’t want to lose their market share, afterall.

    Glad to hear the fundraising efforts were a resounding success. Keep up the good work!

        1. participant-observer-observed

          I am in Swayambhu, bro! Where are you? Time yet for first ever NC readers hook up in Nepal?

          1. diptherio

            Holy Cow! [tee-hee-hee]. I’m in Bhaktapur–Suryabiniyak, near Pandu Bazar. We gotta get together sometime in the next six weeks, just for the sheer randomness of it. Give me a call and we’ll set it up! My number is 981-004-2479.

            1. participant-observer-observed

              Namaste indeed! Will call or text soon!

              P.S. I saw in the papers some weeks ago what I thought was RBB/Nepal central bank offering term deposits to 8%! The article said public was not running to the offer, favoring higher speculative options instead. I can’t find the on the RBB site.

        2. abynormal

          Thanks for checking in Diptherio… I miss you. Take care of yourself…i know others around you are taken care of.

          “Doing things for others is something that money cannot buy it is a priceless act which gives an abundance of worthy feelings for both involved, to empower others and to know that others care is an key part of listening, the stoppage of wars, the foundations of a hopeful future for everybody.”
          Paul Isaacs

  13. fresno dan

    When Theranos chose to publish its entire list of test prices online, with average prices set at half the Medicare reimbursement rates, the public took notice. In reality, the difference in price was less an effect of Theranos’ technological innovations and more a product of Medicare overpaying for many of these procedures. The fundamental problem is that patients have no sense of the true cost of a routine blood test. Historically, lab processes and prices have remained opaque as it provided the advantage that labs can charge varying prices to different insurers for the same tests, a practice known as price discrimination. With the introduction of policies such as Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA) of 2014, insurers are attempting to establish more transparency in payments and Theranos is embracing this change.

    If your not going to require public posting of prices, than not EVEN the theory of health care reform makes any sense. If you want a market and competition, than have a market and competition.
    But as I’ve said, 100% of reform in the US is increasing profits for industries and extracting more money from consumers for less service and/or product….

    I wonder how many people know how fees for specialists are set?
    That’s right – the government has thespecialist meet, and the specialists decide how much they should get paid…because they’re specialists – they’re the only ones who know how much they’re worth!!!!

  14. samhill

    Europe’s On A Road To A Very Bleak Nowhere Ilargi

    Just thought this is worth highlighting, the Greeks might be shackled but they still have their tongues –

    Greece Says Refugees Are Not Enemies, Refuses to Protect Borders From Them

    Greece’s migration minister has rejected accusations by Germany and other European countries that Greece is failing to defend its borders against mass migration, insisting that the refugees and other migrants trekking to Europe constitute a humanitarian crisis, not a defense threat. “Greece can guard its borders perfectly and has been doing so for thousands of years, but against its enemies. The refugees are not our enemies,” Yiannis Mouzalas said in an interview.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I can hear a lot of close-mined Germans say, “It’s easy for you say. They are not staying there.”

      Personally, I think Greece is a beautiful place. Too bad I don’t have that much drachma, like some billionaire, to buy an island over there.

      So, some refugees will settle in Greece.

      For those continuing to Germany, I say to them, ‘Give Greece a chance. Life is more than materials. People are very friendly here.”

  15. JeffC

    Re the accidental launch order during the Cuban missile crisis:

    I was nine years old during the crisis and still remember everyone being glued to the black-and-white TV, being generally somber, and discussing the (im)practicality of building fallout shelters. It all scared the crap out of me.

    During the remainder of the cold war, most Americans had head-in-the-sand attitudes towards the never ending risk and simply refused to think or talk about it. I was an exception and tried, as a young adult, to assess and face the annihilation risk honestly, like the engineer I was. The emotional cost was high, however: when my son was born in the mid-70’s (a truly fortunate accident, looking back), I honestly did not expect any of us to survive to see him reach adulthood.

  16. allan

    Senate kills privacy advocates’ bid to change cyber bill

    The Senate on Tuesday dismissed a last-ditch effort from privacy-minded senators to change a controversial cybersecurity bill that is quickly headed for a final vote.

    The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) — which would encourage businesses to share more data on hackers with the government — is now expected to pass without amendments desired by privacy advocates, despite a months-long campaign from a number of lawmakers.

    No liability, no regulatory accountability, no congressional oversight, no FOIA.
    What could possibly go wrong?

  17. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Ethical questions for self-driving cars.

    Well, first of all, a side note. I want to give recognition to many self-motivated, self-driving cars. They are self-driven, self-driving cars.

    If only more humans are like that.

    Ok, onto the key questions raised by the article.

    Like, if an autonomous vehicle finds itself in a situation where it will either hit a person in the road or an oncoming car, which will it choose?

    Or, if one or the other were inevitable, would it rather hit another car full of passengers, or crash itself into a wall, potentially hurting its occupants?

    I think it depends on

    1. How many persons on the road and how many in the oncoming car.
    1B. numbers are equal. Persons on the road are more vulnerable.
    1C. Say, 1 adult pedestrian and 4 adults without seat belts – the vulnerability difference narrows a bit.
    1D. One adult pedestrian and 6 kids in the oncoming car. Do you consider age?
    2. Equally vulnerable situation – does the self-driven, self-driving car flip a coin?
    2b. Insufficient data concerning numbers, age, type of car (the oncoming car maybe a self-driven, self-driving hearse), does it flip a sovereign issued coin again?
    3. Does a self-motivated human driver go through the same possible ethical quandary scenarios when he/she gets behind the wheel for the first time at the age of 16? Are human drivers more prepared?

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      Ethics is a tad difficult to fit into an if then else clause, even with a neural networks topping, so they came up with something even better. Who has the most money? That’s the one worth the most. Right? Simple and elegant! A quick rfid card read of her ccard chip or even lisence, less than a hundredth of a second, and you know which individual is most loaded, I mean ethical…, whatever, and if you want to throw in morality, which one is the goodest to boot (or not boot – in this case). AND, quite coincidentally, you’re protecting the one most likely to be able to buy more self perpetuating…, er, I mean self driving cars. So even if s/he is standing around having a smoke with Hitler, Mussolini, George Bush and/or Obama, pick the poor sod as far away from him/her as possible to embrace in your crash.

      Anyway this is all moot. These brilliant AI guys have solved el problemo: simply get the message out by the MSM whores that there will be 80% less accidents with self driving cars than with people so it’s going to be no fault insurance from here on out (paid for by guess who) and that way you can just have the car kill em all; every last one, back and forth, so there are no favorites and no hard feelings.

      As many a programmer says to another when safely alone, “shhh, you mean they pay us for this?”

  18. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Congress, White House make progress on a 2 year budget deal.

    House and Senate Republicans will meet in closed sessions Monday evening, as congressional negotiators and the White House near a two-year budget deal that would boost defense and domestic spending by tens of billions of dollars, and lift the debt ceiling until March 2017.

    Did anyone, any senator or congressperson, propose reducing defense spending to fund more domestic spending, without having to lift the debt ceiling, to make that point that we have enough money to spend on what we need already?

  19. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Baseball – no longer a game for the working people.

    Over at Marketwatch, there is an article that for $4,500, you can take your family to the World Series.

    But most Americans have only about $1,000 in their savings.

    In any case, fitness is about you exercising, eating right and being active, not watching some games.

  20. The Human Right to Crucifixion & Beheading

    Don’t blame Strong Cities on the UN. Strong cities is another US attempt to use the UN as a stage set for Western bloc totalitarianism. Note that it’s announced ‘on the margins’ of the UNGA with no authorizing resolutions cited, plugged by the fake Saudi Human Rights bureaucrat from chop-chop corner, Vlad the Impaler, who got shoehorned into his UNHRC slot by British connivance.

    Now, the UN has a tradition of saintly patience with knuckle-dragging Cro-Magnons like this demand-suckled princeling, because they try to bring laggard states out of the dark ages by acculturation: showing them how it’s done in the civilized world and appealing to their need to belong. But the defining feature of this Strong Cities charade is participation of police bitch DeBlasio, indigenous colonizer Lynch, and mayors from US satellites. You can be sure that the human rights and nondiscrimination principles will be used in standard US manner as meaningless weasel words to justify surveillance and indoctrination.

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