Links 11/16/15

California May Extend Water Cuts in Urban Areas WSJ

El Niño ‘is here, and it is huge,’ as officials race to prep for winter LA Times. I’ll take the rain spread out over five years instead of ALL THE RAIN in one 4-month period, thanks


Inquiry Finds Mounting Proof of Syria Link to Paris Attacks NYT

France launches fierce assault on ISIS targets in Syria in coordination with U.S. defense officials The Washington Post

Remarks by President Obama and President Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey after Bilateral Meeting White House. “It is an action against all of the people of the globe.”

Obama and Putin have private chat at G-20 summit in Turkey CBS News

Paris Terror Attacks: France Could Invoke NATO Collective Defense Clause IBTimes

French police hunt ‘dangerous’ Salah Abdeslam The Guardian

Paris on Edge as Stampede at Republique Spreads Unfounded Panic Bloomberg

VIDEO: ‘Free hugs’ on the streets of Paris BBC

Iraq warned of attacks before Paris assault Associated Press

Beirut, Also the Site of Deadly Attacks, Feels Forgotten NYT

France Should Stop Listening to Saudi Arabia on Syria Juan Cole, The Nation

French Connections: The Knock-On Effects of the Paris Attacks Robert Kuttner, The American Prospect

How Globalization Fuels Terrorism and Fundamentalism Films for Action

Quiet U.S. Ports Spark Slowdown Fears WSJ

Efforts to Rein In Arbitration Come Under Well-Financed Attack NYT. The president of the American Action Network, which funded that anti-CFPB ad during the Republican debate last week, up and admits in this story that one of their goals is to stop any attempts at limiting arbitration through regulation.

Global dividends rise Financial Times

Investors Flee Precious Metals as ETF Outflows Top $1 Billion Bloomberg

Canada’s Growth Potential: Tempering Our Expectations Sober Look

Japan Enters Recession as Economy Contracts in the Third Quarter Bloomberg. Uh-oh, Abenomics.

Argentine presidential candidates blast each other in debate Washington Post

Chicago cops conducted unauthorized spying on protesters Chicago Sun-Times

Hawaii struggles to deal with rising rate of homelessness LA Times

A Federal Agency Inadvertently Just Gave Super PACs More Power BuzzFeed News

On Gawker’s Problem With Women Medium

My $300,000 vacation was just awful Alexandra Petri, The Washington Post. Epic David Brooks trolling here.

Antidote du jour:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About David Dayen

David is a contributing writer to He has been writing about politics since 2004. He spent three years writing for the FireDogLake News Desk; he’s also written for The New Republic, The American Prospect, The Guardian (UK), The Huffington Post, The Washington Monthly, Alternet, Democracy Journal and Pacific Standard, as well as multiple well-trafficked progressive blogs and websites. His has been a guest on MSNBC, CNN, Aljazeera, Russia Today, NPR, Pacifica Radio and Air America Radio. He has contributed to two anthology books, one about the Wisconsin labor uprising and another on the fight against the Stop Online Piracy Act in Congress. Prior to writing about politics he worked for two decades as a television producer and editor. You can follow him on Twitter at @ddayen.


  1. craazyboy

    “Paris Terror Attacks: France Could Invoke NATO Collective Defense Clause”

    As long as France, NATO and Russia don’t fight over who gets to bomb ISIS, then we should be able to put off WW3 until after football season. Turkey willing, of course. Also assuming everyone agrees which targets are ISIS.

    1. Nealser

      The Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Devon Nunes said yesterday on CBS Face the Nation that we shouldn’t be worried about collateral damage when bombing Syria.

      The problem is, as Chairman Burr said, trying to use pinpricks with our — for air strikes and, you know, having — you know, the first rule of war for the Obama administration is not to take collateral damage.

      Well, that’s not war. And if that’s what you’re going to — if you’re going to strap down the United States Air Force and our allies with these types of rules of engagement, we are never going to win

      That is a murderous statement.

      According to, the US led coalition has carried out 8,000 strikes in the last year against ISIS targets in Syria and Iraq, with 24,800 bombs and missiles.

  2. cwaltz

    I’m trying to figure out if the GOP may draw intelligent conclusions out before the Democrats on Syria. Rubio recently came out and said we can’t vet Syrians well enough which makes me wonder if he’s sentient enough to comprehend what that means to the idea that we’re only supplying “moderate rebels” with weapons IN SYRIA and Juan Cole is arguing that Saudi information should be taken with a grain of salt when it comes to ME policy because their agenda may not match our own. Crazy days folks, when things the right side of the aisle actually makes a small amount of sense.

    1. James Levy

      I apprehend a reversal of the story from Genesis. Instead of imploring that we save two cities if they contain only 10 good men, we now want to turn our backs on millions of refugees because purportedly one was a very bad man.

      BTW, the way those two stories, of Abraham bargaining with God to spare the people of Sodom and Gomorrah and that of his “sacrifice” of Isaac, have been spun fascinates me. The first is a story of heroism and humanity, the second a story of craven cowardice, yet one is lauded as an example of “true faith” (the kind that gives you atrocities like Paris) while the other is often forgotten. We’re all going to have to don the mantel of the brave Abraham if we are to have any chance at all of standing up to the barreling train of war and killing coming down the tracks.

      1. cwaltz

        Personally, we didn’t belong in Syria to begin with. It’s a civil war. That means the Syrians get to figure it out for themselves. Yes, I am incredibly sorry there is pain and destruction there. I’m even more sorry because my country has been part of it’s creation and is prolonging it with it’s support for “moderate” rebels. Assad may indeed be an awful, terrible, no good very bad man but the people fighting him are far from heroes in white hats and beacons of democratic behavior. It makes absolutely no sense for us to support them in their bid to overturn his leadership(except to ask myself what Syria has that our oligarchs want.)

        As for the Syrians, I’m incredibly sympathetic to their plight. However, not sympathetic to the point that I’d risk American lives. There is way more than one bad man in Syria or we wouldn’t be having the problem we’ve had with fighting “one bad man.” There are enough radicals there(and I’m not necessarily trying to use radicals pejoratively because I recognize OUR country was founded by radicals) that there is a civil war going on. I would hope that when the decision was made to wage war that it was clear that there would be blood shed. Wars always have a cost. That’s why you avoid them unless absolutely necessary.

        Again, my largest regret and concern is that my country is prolonging the pain for Syrians by supporting freedom fighters/terrorists. My solution isn’t to bring a bunch of them over here while we bomb the crap out of their country but to hopefully resolve this by ending the fighting there so that Syrians can rebuild.

        I actually agree with Juan Cole. The priority ought to be ridding the region of ISIL/ISIS. After that is done there should be some discussion on what to do about Assad(even Russia has agreed he should go.) The fact that the international community has essentially agreed that there should be a change in leadership should mean that “moderates” would have a reason to lay down their arms. It’s only the radical factions that wouldn’t want an election because they want to control the region(instead of Assad.)

        1. James Levy

          Of course there are more than one bad person in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. But what percentage of the 2 million refugees are dangerous killers? Andwhat do we do, machine gun the refugees at the Turkish border? How are you going to stop people from fleeing ISIS and the wars? Your talk is platitudinous. It does not address the real humanitarian crisis of refugees fleeing war. You obvious want them to stay put and get killed so you can avoid any threat, no matter how unlikely, from some refugee. That is precisely what you are saying. Good for you–you’ve got the guts to say what most people think. I for one think what you think is craven and sickening.

          1. cwaltz

            The answer to your question is I don’t know. I don’t live in Syria, Iraq or Afghanisthan so I have absolutely no idea how many Syrians want a caliphate. There are apparently enough of them though that it’s a very serious problem. It’s apparently a problem that ISIS has managed to exploit to the point that they can fight in Syria and in other countries. I don’t want that problem imported here. Not even because I feel horrible that there are innocent people dying.

            The turnabout to your statement is I don’t care if we end up importing people that will kill innocent Americans. Your statement is equally callous because it essentially says our government has more of a responsibility to protect Syrian refugees than it does it’s own citizens. I don’t agree with that. The way to deal with the humanitarian crisis is to deal with ISIS-there, not here. The way to deal with Assad is as an international community with careful consideration of those that actually live in Syria rather than as pawns of our country, Russia or any other region. Will innocent people die? Yes. That’s what happens when you have war(and YES I’m a veteran so no I’m not a coward, I’m a person that understands what war is and what it does. If I were craven then I certainly would not have been willing to put on a uniform and travel to places where I might lose my life.)

            You can consider me craven and sickening, I consider your position that we let people in the country that might plan attacks like the one that occurred in Paris, reckless and sickening. Our country has a responsibility to it’s citizens. If it can help others without putting our citizens at risk then I am all for it. However, if it means we might let bad people in our country that might take an opportunity to kill thousands of people here in the name of their version of religion, I’d no sooner have that than the Americanized version of the Taliban here.

            1. James Levy

              Shorter: my possible safety from some unknown and unlikely threat is much more important than the obvious deaths that will ensue if I cover my ass. Nice morality that.

              1. cwaltz

                Shorter: A government’s responsibility is first and foremost to the citizens within it.

                You can call your high ground moral until the cows come home. However, I don’t consider it moral to tell OTHER people that they should have to risk their lives to settle your conscience.

                1. laughingsong

                  When something like this happens I fear my government’s reaction ever so much more than I fear foreign terrorists. The legislators, policymakers, and enforcers in the US – Federal and local – have a whole lot more direct power and influence over my life than the random violent person(s), foreign or domestic, terrorist or sniper. You can go ahead and feel safer because no one living near you is a Syrian but that doesn’t work for me. I don’t think you’re craven but I do think you may not be looking at the odds, and the real holders of power.

                  1. cwaltz

                    You’re welcome to believe whatever you like.

                    The facts however point to the fact that the government has done a relatively crappy job of determining who is good and who isn’t in Syria.

                    But hey, maybe you all are looking forward to war everywhere just like the Islamic states say it’s objective is.

            2. Bridget

              A no fly zone helped shelter the Kurds on Northern Iraq for years. The same, plus aid, would go a long way to help the Syrian refugee and humanitarian crisis without endangering US citizens. To this day the Kurds of Iraq remain one of the few populations in the ME that is not anti-US.

              1. Lambert Strether

                Iraq then is not Syria now.

                The term “no-fly zone” is a misnomer for the proposals currently under discussion since the area would need to be protected against attacks or infiltration on the ground, and from bombardment by artillery, rockets and missiles, not merely from air strikes by the Syrian regime (the Islamic State has no air force).

                The foremost requirement for such a safe zone would be a large commitment of competent ground forces to protect its borders and police the area, supported by airpower to provide aerial surveillance and, if needed, close air support for these troops.

                Second, facilities and services would need to be provided within it for civilians seeking refuge there, which could number in the hundreds of thousands. Protecting the zone from air attack would be a comparatively minor matter.

                If gaining international support for establishing a safe zone required that it not become a sanctuary for Syrian opposition forces, international forces would also need to be prepared to deny entry to opposition groups seeking a reprieve from regime attacks.

                It’s even more lunatic than the Iraq War was, which is saying something. And it’s just a camel’s-nose-under-the-tent thing for another invasion anyhow. Madness.

                1. Bridget

                  If by international support, you mean Russia, then we are not going to get that no matter what. However, if by international support you mean all of the countries currently being overwhelmed by, or in fear of being overwhelmed in the future by, the refugee crisis in Syia, then I would guess it’s doable without requiring that it not become a sanctuary for Syrian opposition forces. I believe that is how the Kurdish Peshmerga fashioned themselves into a semi-effective fighting force. At least more effective than the Iraqi Army. Which is why Russia will never go along.

    2. fresno dan

      I was watching FOX the other night, and such evil makes me despair. They actually had an “analyst” state that to get to the core of Isis (Isil) one had to bomb Iran…
      Its hard to believe that could ALL be attributable to stupid and ignorance.

      So how much is a global, internationalist perspective behind a borderless capitalistic ideology that says you can spread such incredibly counterproductive baloney to sell boner pills to geezers?????

      And for inquiring minds, I found the English language version of the Isis magazine
      (I figure I’m already on the surveillance lists cause I read NC…). I did a word search for “Paris” but the latest issue is before the attack, so no hit.

      Indeed, the pan-Arabism of the Baathist regimes –
      including those of Bashar, Saddam, and Nasser – is
      beneath the feet of the Arab mujāhidīn of the Khilāfah,
      amongst whom are those who traveled as far as Khurāsān
      to sacrifice their blood and their wealth for the cause
      of Allah, and to defend their non-Arab brothers when
      the Russians first invaded several decades ago, and once
      more when the Americans invaded in “2001.” Muslims
      from all over the Arab world likewise abandoned their
      homes, families, and comfortable lifestyles to answer
      the call of jihād in places as far away and obscure as the
      forests of Chechnya, the mountains of Bosnia, and the
      deserts of Mali. Their readiness to sacrifice for the sake of
      Allah to defend their non-Arab brothers is exemplified in
      the words of Shaykh Abū Mus’ab az-Zarqāwī who once
      stated, “We perform jihād so that Allah’s word becomes
      supreme and the religion becomes completely for Allah.
      {And fight them until there is no fitnah and [until] the
      religion, all of it, is for Allah} [Al-Anfāl: 39]. Everyone
      who opposes this goal or stands in the path of this goal is
      an enemy to us and a target for our swords, whatever his
      name may be and whatever his lineage may be. We have
      a religion that Allah revealed to be a scale and a judge. Its
      statement is decisive and its judgment is not amusement.
      It is the kinship between us and the people, for our scales
      – by Allah’s grace – are divine, our laws are Qur’ānic,
      and our judgments are upon the prophetic tradition. The
      American Muslim is our beloved brother, and the kāfir
      Arab is our despised enemy even if he and we were to
      have shared the same womb” [Al-Mawqif ash-Shar’ī Min
      Hukūmat Karazay al-’Iraq].

      1. cwaltz

        Someone should tell them that ISIS is Sunni, Iran is Shia. It’d be another Iraq all over again. Bombing the wrong people for all the wrong reasons(and possibly giving ISIS an opportunity at controlling yet another region by creating chaos and a power vacuum.)

        I did call it the other day though when I said that there would be an attempt to portray ISIS as in league with Iran and Russia. Americans I bring you our new improved axis of evil. *sigh*

        I wonder who will implode first the caliphate which seeks to create borderless Islam(and kill anyone who disagrees with it in the name of Allah) or capitalism which seeks to export mindless consumption. Ideology run amok in both cases.

        1. fresno dan

          I thought some of the things said from Washington before Iraq that showed an appalling ignorance with regard to Shia and Sunni dynamics was inexcusable – to have a government that didn’t understand such basic facts was astounding (in a bad way)

          To me, it is as if Murdoch was of German heritage right at the beginning of WWII and Murdoch was trying to get the US to ally with Germany because communism was so, so bad and not revealing that he was a surreptitious Nazi.

          So is Murdoch a surreptitious radical Sunni? – trying to deflect an attack against Isis to Iran?
          Or is Murdoch a fanatical supporter of Israel??? – and therefore, Iran must always be our first target???? (I have no idea of what Murdoch thinks of Israel)

          I think Murdoch is first, last, and always about the money. No expense is incurred AT ALL to try and make sure anything is factually correct, logical, or in the realm of reality. If saying Obama and the head of Iran were in Paris and blew themselves up (remember, logic means NOTHING to these people) and it keeps the viewers glued to the TV to watch those advertisements for those blue pills, Murdoch will do it.

          It is just amazing to me that Americans have such contempt for knowledge.

      2. JTMcPhee

        There’s a lot of little clues to the bits and pieces of “human” that lead to Glorious Jihad and other martial idiocies, in this piece from The War Nerd, 2012. He recounts and extols the history of the Sikhs, who seem like folks one could emulate with some benefit, then gets to this bit about how one finds ‘martyrs’:

        Gobind decided right about then to end the whole peacenik tradition of Sikhism. He had a sense of style, so to set the mood he called all the Sikhs together and came onstage with a big huge sword and said, “My sword wants blood. Who wants to supply it? I need a volunteer!” Well, he would’ve bombed as a stage magician because there was a looooooong silence, no hands raised, till an Untouchable convert came up. Gobind took him into a tent and came out alone, bloody as an apprentice butcher. Four more volunteers and the crowd was beginning to grumble. Then Gobind revealed the trick, which you’ve all probably guessed already especially if you remember Sunday school, Isaac and Abraham: the five dudes were alive! Heroes! All in new armor! Ready to kill!

        These “Five Beloved” were the core of the Akala, the Immortals, an elite Sikh unit that wore these ridiculous Harry Potter turbans with metal rings on them. The rings, called “quoits,” were supposedly sharp and you can throw them as weapons. But I’m sorry, I’d be willing to stand all day in front of some dude in a wizard’s hat throwing sharpened frisbees at me….

        [Continuing, he notes of the warrior virtues of the Sikh:]

        The Sikh garrison knew they were doomed, and if anything it kind of relaxed them. They went on to cover themselves with glory, killing hundreds of Afghans before they were overrun. The unit’s communications specialist, who used a helicograph, a kind of semaphore, sent his last message asking permission of his Brit officer to stop signaling and go down and die spitting Afghans on his bayonet. Permission was granted, and he carefully packed up his helicograph, charged into the fight and died gloriously.

        The only objection you could make, and it’s kind of a quibble, is that politically this is a little weird, like a bunch of Mexicans dying in defense of the Alamo. I mean, it was the Brits who wrecked the Sikh’s homeland and all. But see, that kind of nitpicking is what ruins war-nerding. If you ask me, the Sikhs who died at Saraghari were just doing what they do best. I mean, what boy didn’t dream of dying at the Alamo, or Thermopylae, or on the Bonhomme Richard? Not many of us get a chance to actually do it, and if you do, you don’t nitpick about who pays your wages, you just soak up the gloriousness of it and imagine the songs they’ll write about you, how you’ll look as a statue.

        And that’s the great thing about being a Sikh, which I’m gonna be soon unless the beard turns out too scratchy: It’s still happening! The Golden Age of Sikhism is still in session! When the rest of the world is a convalescent home, you can count on the Punjab – along with the Horn of Africa, and the Congo — to keep the old ways going. And you can count on the Sikh to be there, doing a Little Big Horn or Alamo every few years to keep life sweet, and give me hope that there’s something better outside of this office life I’m stuck in.

        Also takes a nice swipe at the idiot incompetence of us Former Colonists when it comes to emulating the Brits as imperialists, particularly the skills of the Raj and divide-and-conquer and knowing when to cut a deal and when to kill everything that moves.

        Dulce et decorum est
        Pro Patria mori…

  3. Clive

    Re: Japan’s recession

    Yep, Abe’s still pushing on that string. All those “benefits” from the TPP can’t come soon enough. There’s just too many to mention them all here. Like… erm… and… yeah… not forgetting… oh, remind me again someone…

    1. ChrisFromGeorgia

      Becoming even more of a subservient vassal state of the US?

      Watching their domestic rice industry destroyed by GMO franken-rice?

      Paying through the nose for life-saving drugs so some pharmaceutical CEO can put another Benz in his 5-car garage?

      The benefits are many, just not for the Japanese.

      1. allan

        And Feinstein for the trifecta:

        Paris Attacks Renew U.S. Call to Access Encrypted Communications

        Senator Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat, said she’s asked Silicon Valley companies to help law enforcement and intelligence agencies access communications that have been encrypted — or scrambled to evade surveillance — if terrorists are using the tools to plan attacks.

        “I have asked for help. And I haven’t gotten any help,” Feinstein said Monday in an interview with MSNBC. “If you create a product that allows evil monsters to communicate in this way, to behead children, to strike innocents, whether it’s at a game in a stadium, in a small restaurant in Paris, take down an airliner, that’s a big problem.”

  4. JTMcPhee

    I love Paris in the Springtime,
    I love Paris in the Fall…

    History may not repeat, verbatim, but as observed by wiser people than me it often rhymes, and also echoes. I got to reading the words of other successful sowers of wind and purveyors of chaos and “creative destruction,” and offer that ordinary people should not discount those words just because they have become hackneyed:

    We got around to the subject of war again and I said that, contrary to his attitude, I did not think that the common people are very thankful for leaders who bring them war and destruction.

    “Why, of course, the people don’t want war,” Goering shrugged. “Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.”

    “There is one difference,” I pointed out. “In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.” [Bwahahahaha!]

    “Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”

    And people looking for granularity and gritty detail and understanding of the core postulates of ISIS might find some enlightenment in the words of Goebbels, as reported in wikiquotes:

    It is rotten and dismal that a world of so many hundred million people should be ruled by a single caste that has the power to lead millions to life or to death, indeed on a whim…This caste has spun its web over the entire earth; capitalism recognizes no national boundaries…Capitalism has learned nothing from recent events and wants to learn nothing, because it places its own interests ahead of those of the other millions. Can one blame those millions for standing up for their own interests, and only for those interests? Can one blame them for striving to forge an international community whose purpose is the struggle against corrupt capitalism? Can one condemn a large segment of the educated Sturmer youth for protesting against the greatest ability? Is it not an abomination that people with the most brilliant intellectual gifts should sink into poverty and disintegrate, while others dissipate, squander, and waste the money that could help them? … You say the old propertied class also worked hard for what it has. Granted, that may be true in many cases. But do you also know about the conditions under which workers were living during the period when capitalism “earned” its fortune?
    Letter to Anka Stalherm (14 April 1920), quoted in Ralph Georg Reuth, Goebbels (Harvest, 1994), pp. 33-34.

    And regarding our own Democracy (sic) that Hillary and her posse hope to “pwn” shortly, there’s this bit:

    To attract people, to win over people to that which I have realised as being true, that is called propaganda. In the beginning there is the understanding, this understanding uses propaganda as a tool to find those men, that shall turn understanding into politics. Success is the important thing. Propaganda is not a matter for average minds, but rather a matter for practitioners. It is not supposed to be lovely or theoretically correct. I do not care if I give wonderful, aesthetically elegant speeches, or speak so that women cry. The point of a political speech is to persuade people of what we think right. I speak differently in the provinces than I do in Berlin, and when I speak in Bayreuth, I say different things from what I say in the Pharus Hall. That is a matter of practice, not of theory. We do not want to be a movement of a few straw brains, but rather a movement that can conquer the broad masses. Propaganda should be popular, not intellectually pleasing. It is not the task of propaganda to discover intellectual truths. Those are found in other circumstances, I find them when thinking at my desk, but not in the meeting hall.
    Speech by Joseph Goebbels on 9 January 1928 to an audience of party members at the “Hochschule für Politik”, a series of training talks for Nazi party members in Berlin

    These are just tidbits in the wikiquotes assemblage, There is lots more, for the thoughtful person looking for clues on how to break out of the Maelstrom, to find in the observations and motions and pronouncements of these geniuses of Ragnarok. Of course a thoughtful person is a rara avis these days, and unlikely to be positioned to do anything different than has been done before, maybe with different seasonings and bunting and flags…

  5. snackattack

    From the WaPo article:

    Opposition activists reached in Raqqa said they counted at least 30 bombs…

    “Opposition activists” in the capital of ISIS? No explanation from WaPo about what “opposition activist” means, but sounds like they are the “moderate rebels” we are supporting to fight Assad. The fact that they are both hanging out in the capital of ISIS, and talking to the Western media, speaks volumes…

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I read speculation that the relief of the siege at the air base in Aleppo was probably aided by ISIS defectors who we aren’t as religiously motivated.

      I believe the Russians said local intelligence provided locations of ISIS positions and strength around the air base. To me that says defector in a depopulated area.

      1. Bill Smith

        More likely that non Islamic State rebel groups didn’t really oppose the SAA advance in that area. Though at the same time the SAA aided by Hezbollah, foreigners fighting on the side of the SAA and Russian airstrikes launched 5 other offensives.

        Only the one to relieve the airbase and one south of Aleppo went anywhere. For the first few days of the offensives the videos of TOWs and other anti-tank missiles hitting SAA armor, vehicles and other logistical support (bulldozers) where coming out left and right. Four of the offensives ground to a halt.

    2. Bill Smith

      Yeah, the headline is a joke. “fierce”

      “France launches fierce assault on ISIS targets in Syria in coordination with U.S. defense officials”

      But the activists in Al-Raqqah are well known to those that have followed this. They reported on the burning of the Jordanian pilot weeks before it was known in the west. Recently one of them who had gone to Turkey was killed in his apartment.

      1. Lambert Strether

        So, finally, we’ve discovered the moderates?

        Adding, IMNSHO, all digital “evidence,” on all sides, of the Syrian conflict should be regarded as worthless, absent an iron-clad showing of provenance. The appearance of these Twitterers in Vice is just a little too convenient for my taste.

        1. Bill Smith

          Assuming that the same group sent these tweets as they claim to be – they have a very good track record for accuracy – as verified after time passes. They have been doing this for quite sometime – as in over a year.

          But as you mention all these stories need to be checked and re-checked.

          1. Lambert Strether

            But I don’t make any of those assumptions, and I don’t see why anyone would. For all we know, they’re Special Forces types. Or from any other intelligence service. And that they’ve been doing it for a year (assuming the accounts aren’t spoofed) could just mean that’s how long they’ve been embedded. Last time I looked at a story like this, the provenance was very dubious indeed.

            1. Bill Smith

              That’s a view (not making any assumptions) and possibly true.

              But it’s been a very elaborate fraud if so:






              There are many more reports over the last two years that covered what the group reported.

              1. snackattack

                Thanks for the links Bill — very informative, moreso than the Vice article IMO. Will have to follow them on twitter. Of course we don’t know for sure who they are. My guess is they are honest activists who are risking their lives, but wouldn’t be surprised if there were some links to western intelligence (and I don’t think the 2 necessarily contradict each other).

                  1. snackattack

                    Why not? An activist may be pro- or anti-Western, or neither, depending on their ideology. And it would be naive to think that activists don’t have links to foreign intelligence, many probably do, especially in countries experiencing civil war. I guess you object to “honest”, fair enough, but that ultimately depends on the nature of the links and on the activist’s ideology.

    3. Lambert Strether

      I agree that the “Syrian moderates” magically appearing in the Isis capital immediately after a bombing and just when the war drums on the Potomac have started to beat “speaks volumes,” but not, I think, in the way that you mean.

      1. snackattack

        Oh really? And what did I mean, aside from exactly what you just said?

        That said, the additional links and information from Bill have somewhat changed my initial view, from very suspicious to slightly suspicious. Seems like at least some of these guys are legit. But I remain open to any additional info or evidence on this matter…

        1. tegnost

          you assigned agency to them as being moderate rebels, your snark needs to be more specific, and see your comment at 4:08 for confirmation…personal opinion? No such a thing as a moderate rebel. Not trying to fight, but the quality of the conversation is critical

  6. abynormal

    Empire Misses (Again) zh-For the 4th month in a row, and 9th month of the last 10, Empire Fed Manufacturing survey missed expectations printing -10.74 (against expectations of -6.34). This is the 4th monthly contraction – the longest streak of contraction outside of recession. Future outlook (hope) dropped to recent lows as New Orders have now contracted for 7 straight months, and number of employees shrinks once again as the average workweek collapsed to the lowest sicne July 2011.

    for a ‘tepid’ look

  7. Gareth

    Cable news terrorism experts are a dime a dozen, but the Paris attack has certainly been a bonanza for them. Ka-ching!

        1. Jim Haygood

          China consumes 45% of global copper supply, and China’s industrial production is slowing.

          Copper production capacity also expanded during the years of high prices, and is being cut back now.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Can’t they use copper for building artificial islands in the South China Sea, or more geographically correct (well, equally correct), the West America Sea?

            1. Vatch

              You’re joking, of course, but copper wouldn’t work well for building artificial land. It’s only about the 25th most abundant element in the Earth’s crust. Better choices are silicon, iron, oxygen (silicates and iron oxides), aluminum, calcium, and magnesium.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                You’re right, Vatch.

                I meant ‘for building out artificial islands,’ as in putting in infrastructure and erecting houses with lots of copper pipes.

          2. ambrit

            Curious that silver is a big by product of copper mining. A cutback in copper mining produces a mini silver shortage? (I doubt if it would be that big a deal, bit, with the proper spin, a silver stampede could be engineered. A business model dies aborning.)

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Is that just a modern thing, irrespective of the mining technique or was it that way too 2,000 years ago?

              If the later, it may explain the appearance of silver inlaid bronze pieces after the Warring State period.

              1. ambrit

                As far as I have been able to ascertain, silver has always been a major byproduct of copper ore smelting. Getting to a high enough temperature for the metals to separate seems to be the trick. I’ve read of archaeologists on Cyprus finding copper smelting pits from as far back as 3000 BC. When some unsung geniuses discovered the bellows back then, temperatures high enough to do proper smelting became possible. For what it’s worth, China seems to have perfected the smelting and working of iron long before the West. Examples of iron moulds for the casting of bronze tools have been dated to the Spring and Autumn Period, roughly 775-450 BC.
                For more see:

      1. craazyboy

        China’s Copper Consumption
        China’s copper consumption expanded markedly over the past decade. Between 2001 and 2011, China’s copper
        usage increased by 5.1 million metric tons (million mt), or 215%.2 By 2002, China surpassed the United States to
        become the world’s largest copper consumer. In 2011, China consumed 7.9 million mt of refined copper products,
        accounting for 40% of the global demand. China’s copper consumption is projected to rise to 9.7 million mt in
        2014, accounting for 84% of global copper demand growth between 2011 and 2014.3
        China’s rapid industrialization has contributed to its high demand for copper. According to the intergovernmental
        International Copper Study Group (ICSG), about 56% of China’s refined copper was used for infrastructure
        development and construction. Refined copper has also been widely used as an input into consumer goods (27%),
        industrial equipment (6%), transportation (6%), and other sectors (5%).4

        You might say 25% of world copper production has been going into ghost cities in China.

        Let’s not set the bar any higher for the Fed.

  8. global

    I am surprised how fast french police could find intact passport of syrian man at site of terror and how faster they could name all of the said terrorists..reminds me of 9-11 passport
    In real world,investigation does take has to be rechecked
    If they could find terrorist’s name in just 12 hrs,why they couldn’t stop them?
    Why are they so sure that these terrorists are from syria?Why not pakistan:the university of terrorism and saudi arabia-the financier of global islamic terrorism?

  9. Vatch

    Now would be a good time to recall some very wise short quotes from Voltaire and Mark Twain. From Voltaire’s Questions sur les miracles (1765):

    [A]ny one who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices.

    The Voltaire quote is usually paraphrased as “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities”.

    From Mark Twain’s Following the Equator (1897):

    Faith is believing what you know ain’t so.

    1. Alejandro

      …true faith is never blind, and should displace fear with thinking that’s clear, hence-“faith without deeds is dead”…fear reacts to diktats, whether autonomic or heteronomous, while critical thinking evaluates feed-back before responding. Reality is subjective, and perception can be deceptive, hence, the ‘power’ of sophists and the danger of demagogues, whether they be pols, clergy or both.

  10. JTMcPhee

    I made the mistake of looking for some good news this morning. I had the notion that the semi-seemingly pseudo cooperative restrictions on chlorofluorocarbons, remember Freon ™, had “improved the planet by restoring the ozone layer” that for a billion years or so has protected the biosphere from ultraviolet radiation. And other stuff too, see below. Not only is that a comfortàble memory-hole reflection that those scientists tell us is wrong, there’s this:

    In a study to be published in the April 21st issue of Science magazine, researchers at Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science report their findings that the ozone hole, which is located over the South Pole, has affected the entire circulation of the Southern Hemisphere all the way to the equator. While previous work has shown that the ozone hole is changing the atmospheric flow in the high latitudes, the Columbia Engineering paper, “Impact of Polar Ozone Depletion on Subtropical Precipitation,” demonstrates that the ozone hole is able to influence the tropical circulation and increase rainfall at low latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere. This is the first time that ozone depletion, an upper atmospheric phenomenon confined to the polar regions, has been linked to climate change from the Pole to the equator.

    “The ozone hole is not even mentioned in the summary for policymakers issued with the last IPCC report,” noted Lorenzo M. Polvani, Professor of Applied Mathematics and of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Senior Research Scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, and co-author of the paper. “We show in this study that it has large and far-reaching impacts. The ozone hole is a big player in the climate system!”

    “It’s really amazing that the ozone hole, located so high up in the atmosphere over Antarctica, can have an impact all the way to the tropics and affect rainfall there — it’s just like a domino effect,” said Sarah Kang, Postdoctoral Research Scientist in Columbia Engineering’s Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics and lead author of the paper.

    The ozone hole is now widely believed to have been the dominant agent of atmospheric circulation changes in the Southern Hemisphere in the last half century. This means, according to Polvani and Kang, that international agreements about mitigating climate change cannot be confined to dealing with carbon alone— ozone needs to be considered, too. “This could be a real game-changer,” Polvani added.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Link, New study links ozone hole to climate change all the way to the equator,

      Goebbels and Goering and Gingrich and Rove and Kochs and Cheney and now Hillary and posse, pwn us with simplistificatios, can grow fat on our purloined wealth because “we” as with the ISIS phenomenon can’t keep track of causation and complexity and consequence. Any ideas on how to fix that frame?

      And they get out of life at their personal demises, comfortable and succored by kindly people, nurses and doctors, who can’t help but care. Or feign it, in exchange for the Big Bucks…

      “Apres nous, comments toujours, le deluge…”

  11. fresno dan

    Why in the world, residents ask, were deputy marshals — whose main job is serving court papers for the judge — out there chasing cars and shooting up suspects? How did one of the deputies — who had been charged twice for aggravated rape and racked up a string of lawsuits for excessive force — even get hired? And how did a speck of a town like Marksville wind up with a shadow police force on its streets?
    Louisana State Police said they’re still trying to figure out why deputies were chasing an SUV driven by Jeremy’s father, Chris Few. Few was not armed and was not the subject of any arrest warrant.

    According to several current and former city officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of violating the gag order, Marksville’s marshal began issuing traffic tickets to generate money for the city court. The court’s funding has been the focus of a furious battle between the mayor and City Judge Angelo Piazza III since last year.

    Does not speak well of the “legal” system, or the political system

    1. Oregoncharles

      According to Few’s fiancee, it was a personal fight – one of the marshals had been harassing her.

      There’s also a very not-pretty aspect to the story: the cops are black, the victims are white, so….

    1. Chauncey Gardiner

      Thanks for this link, Sid. Although I am not knowledgeable about the true roots of the conflict nor the largely hidden strategic objectives of the various participants, perhaps the House of Saud’s Excellent Adventure will soon be over:

      Whether they are acting as a surrogate for others in the mix and their role has been adequately fulfilled is open to question IMO. I expect time will tell.

    1. curlydan

      great article…just about sums it all up for me. The only thing that I could add is that Iraq, 12 years post-invasion, still needs dividing. Create a federal system of 3 states, divide the oil revenues, and let the Sunnis and Kurds have their power.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      They seem to have no problem getting money for their little toys.

      And when the platinum master budgets more for his domestic sheep, the militant wolf simply comes and eats the extra ration or the sheep themselves.

  12. Brian

    France declared war on ISIS, announced they were going to send an aircraft carrier to get them. (The aircraft carrier they sold to the Russians but the US nixed the deal) ISIS told France that was a bad idea. France ignored them.
    Cause and effect can be pretty simple sometimes. An entity created by the shared experience of being bombed, displaced, killed, and subjected to terror from the ground, water and air for 20 years is upset, chooses to do something.
    Why do we expect other people to fight our battles for us? Children learn this one pretty young, how is it they forget such a major life lesson?

    1. Bill Smith

      The two helicopter carriers that where supposed to going to the Russians are going to the Egyptians. Likely financed by one or more of the gulf states. The idea might be that if the gulf state(s) who is paying needs help the Egyptians would have two ships to bring troops quickly.

      The Charles De Gaulle is the only aircraft carrier they have and it is that ship they are likely talking about. It has already been involved in this back at the beginning of the year. Though at that time the French were only bombing the Islamic State in Iraq.

  13. wbgonne

    How Globalization Fuels Terrorism and Fundamentalism

    An outstanding piece of analysis. Here’s a snippet:

    To really understand the rise of religious fundamentalism and ethnic conflict we need to look at the deep impacts of the global consumer culture on living cultures throughout the planet.

    We Americans must finally begin to face reality. We live in a country that is driving the world to collapse with juvenile notions of unlimited economic “growth.” Every day we inflict more misery on people around the world. We are heedless of others’ concerns and dismissive of their complaints. Instead we threaten, bribe, and bully until the resistance is squelched. As such, we are now the Evil Empire of our fervid imaginations:

    I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.
    J. Robert Oppenheimer

    We live in a nation that drives the agenda for the entire world and we are destroying everything. We are forcing a fever on the planet that will result in convulsions unseen in human history. We are so arrogant that we no longer accept the science that we count as the basis for our self-proclaimed enlightened civilization. Instead, we tromp around the world forcing our sick culture down the throats of innocent people and then we recoil in horror when the consequences of our actions are brought home to us.

    We Americans live in a sick fantasy world of greed and consumerism. Why are we surprised when other peoples develop their own sick fantasy worlds in response?

    1. Jess

      “We Americans must finally begin to face reality. We live in a country that is driving the world to collapse with juvenile notions of unlimited economic “growth.” Every day we inflict more misery on people around the world. We are heedless of others’ concerns and dismissive of their complaints. Instead we threaten, bribe, and bully until the resistance is squelched. As such, we are now the Evil Empire of our fervid imaginations.”

      No more calls, folks, we have a winner. One of the best summations of the American situation that I can recall seeing. Thanks.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Take away the global reserve currency status,

        1.we will have to peg our currency to the Chinese yuan,
        2. start manufacturing goods for export to earn that reserve currency (think jobs)
        3. and let them decide how much money we can print.

        That’s the view from the less privileged side.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s a case of we only hurt those closest to us.

        I know that, because having never driven in, say, Miami before, I have not had the chance to yell at drivers down there. Not that I don’t want to, but they are too far for me to hurt them.

        But drivers in LA, well, they are the closest.

        1. ambrit

          A universal sign language has been developed for communicating with drivers in other automobiles. Modesty dictates that I not delve into the particulars.

    1. Foy

      Alpha embryonic shark: “Dont you dare start thinking about taking away my freedoms…sorry bro, it’s not personal just business”

  14. GuyFawkesLives

    WSJ: Port Slowdown

    I used to be fearful of port slowdowns in my former sales career.

    I have now entered into a “”recession-proof” industry: the 420 business. Now, when reading articles that point to the coming next US recession without the fear that used to grip me.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      When one is in permanent recession, one achieves tranquility (It can’t be worse.)

      Would that be the antidote?

    2. Jim Haygood

      It may be recession-proof owing to the tailwind of expanding markets. But if, as appears likely, expanding supply outstrips demand growth, prices are going to fall.

      Probably there’s a Moore’s Law for the 420 business. Vape me up …

        1. tegnost

          basically a commodity, no? with some value added aspects and up until recently no major scale players

        2. Jim Haygood

          Agreed. Tobacco and distillers (both mature industries) have outperformed the S&P 500 this year and for longer periods too.

          Tobacco (Altria, Philip Morris, and Reynolds American) represents 16% of the Consumer Staples index. Add in distillers and brewers (Constellation Brands, Molson-Coors, Brown Forman), and Consumer Staples makes a fine vice index — particularly if you define sugary soft drinks (Coke, Pepsi) as vices too.

          Being an emerging industry, cannabis may resemble the early years of the auto industry, with dozens of producers but high attrition. A commodity that can be grown at home is hard to sell at high margins, as prohibition fades away.

    3. optimader

      In reality there probably isn’t too much that is a non-discretionary expenditure when push comes to shove. I would think that includes a weed that can grow on the Rail Road easement, in a backyard or in an extra room?

        1. optimader

          I agree. In particular during recessionary times alcoholic beverage sales have done well, no doubt the product.mix changes.

            1. optimader

              I think, when people feel less safe, they eat more
              WOW! you may have struck upon the 1.0 correlation of what happened with this obesity enigma in America!
              As for me, I tend to go fetal and don’t move. Has.. resulted in some awkward situations w/ the ladies on express trains…. or when I’m driving in heavy traffic.

          1. tegnost

            So what should we read into the acquisitions by A-B and Coronas corporate “parent” of lagunitas (really sad) elysian (kinda sad, the jasmine was pretty good) and now ballast point…. for a billion…and they don’t stack up to lagunitas, just crowding in at this point…

  15. rich

    2,000% price hike for infant seizure drug called ‘absurd’

    “This was just dropped like a bombshell,” Snead said about the way the price increase was communicated to provinces and hospitals.

    The treatment protocol starts with one drug. But about half don’t respond to it. So doctors then turn to Synacthen Depot, a long-acting form of the drug that is injected into muscle. The drug is long off patent. Snead said it works 90 per cent of the time.

    “The price of Synacthen Depot increased by more than 2,000 per cent from $33.05 per vial to $680 per vial,” said Carolyn Ziegler, a spokeswoman for Alberta Health.

    The price was so high that Alberta delisted it in July, Ziegler said, meaning it’s no longer automatically paid for by the province. The drug may still be provided on a case-by-case basis

    Health officials in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Ontario reported similar increases.

    “They just bought it and jacked up the price,” Snead said.

    Mia Brooks calls the price increase “absurd.” She’s worried that she will eventually be asked to pay for some of that increase.

    “There’s no way we can access that amount of money,” she said.

    The global pharmaceutical company Mallinckrodt owns the rights to Synacthen Depot in Canada.

    Mallinckrodt says it increased the price because of a change of manufacturing. The company did not respond to requests for details about where it manufacturers the drug and why the change in manufacturing justifies the price increase.

    “When Mallinckrodt acquired Questcor in 2014, Synacthen Depot was one of the products in the portfolio. It was losing money then and still is. Moreover, in the spring of 2014, Mallinckrodt was told by the existing supplier of the product that they would cease production in early 2016,” a Mallinckrodt spokesman said in an email to CBC News.

    Health Canada said it knows where the drug is made but says it considers the information proprietary

    in Canada, too?

        1. tegnost

          and you pay up for the cost of us killing your baby, or we’ll kill your other baby and you’ll owe us for both and you don’t want that, do you?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      2,000% is 20 times. (2,000% what it was before, not 2,000% more than what it was – that would be 2,100%).

      In any case, Rentier 101 says it’s better to increase by 34.8% per year for 10 years (1.349^10 = aprx. 20 – 19.958, a little more precise).

      I think that’s how hospitals pulled it off.

    2. Oregoncharles

      Something is off here: how can anyone “own the rights” to a drug that is “long since off-patent?”

      These are off-patent, generic drugs they’re jacking up. Is there some sort of collusion not to compete?

      1. Vatch

        U.S. Pharmaceutical companies sometimes pay the generic companies not to produce a particular generic drug. I think this is illegal in some countries, but it’s legal in the U.S. I believe this is known as “pay for delay”.

  16. Jim Haygood

    You knew this was gonna happen:

    CAIRO (Reuters) – Islamic State warned in a new video on Monday that countries taking part in air strikes against Syria would suffer the same fate as France, and threatened to attack in Washington.

    Of course, it’s only coincidence that this is occurring just a week after federal judge Richard Leon shot down the NSA’s bulk phone tapping as unconstitutional. Article:

    Soon, a new version of the FISA Amendments Act likely will be ‘passed to find out what’s in it,’ expanding the NSA’s discretionary powers and restarting the clock on constitutional litigation. We built Bluffdale, so now we need Big Data to put in it!

    One grieves for the victims in Paris. But for us as well, as we launch Martial Law 2.0.

  17. Synoia

    France launches fierce assault on ISIS targets in Syria in coordination with U.S. defense officials

    I’d believe this effective, other than hasty actions for PR purposes, if the attacks were launched on the funders and bankers of ISIS and weapons salespeople to ISIS.

    1. ambrit

      The French would have to sail their aircraft carrier to the coast of Delaware to hit Langley. Cheaper and easier to use “Le Force de Frappe.”

  18. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Homeless in Hawaii:

    Kaneso is among the many Micronesians who moved to Hawaii in recent years as part of an agreement their nations have with the U.S. government allowing them to work and live in the country. They come for medical care, education and job opportunities.

    Kaneso arrived in 2004 and worked as a dishwasher and assembly line worker to pay for her son’s flight to Hawaii so he could get medical treatment for a heart condition.

    Though the state doesn’t have a breakdown by race of the overall homeless population, data on homeless shelter use show that 30% were Hawaiian or part-Hawaiian, 27% Micronesian, Marshallese or other Pacific Islanders, and 26% white.

    Micronesians say they face language barriers and discrimination.

    For native Hawaiians, some of whom see the U.S. government as an occupier since a group of mainlanders overthrew the queen in 1893 and took over their land, the influx of other Pacific Islanders using services adds insult to injury.

    1, I saw in a travel documentary that many US cities paid their homeless to go to Hawaii (no one freezes to death there, I guess).

    2. What did we get for the government arrangement with the nations of Micronesia? Military bases? Cheap labor for Hawaiian corporations?

    3. Did the queen or the current royal family sign a peace with Japan after 1945? Are they technically still at war, for the attack in 1942?

    1. GuerrillaWarfare

      Hawaii, California, Oregon and now Washington (Seattle) have declared homelessness is in a “state of emergency.”

      When I ask my local city council (Seattle City Council) to acknowledge the McDonnell land audit (see David Dayen’s articles surrounding the Seattle City Council’s attempt to hide the land record audit) and connect the dots between these massive unlawful foreclosures (approx. 680,000 in Washington since the crash) and the rising tide of homelessness, they cannot.

      Anyone else not see the connection? Can we begin keeping people in their homes???
      Jesus. We are such a banana republic.

          1. ambrit

            In London at least before Thatcher, people could ‘squat’ in an abandoned property and live there rent free for a period, usually a year or two, if they kept the place habitable. A lot of potentially homeless people found shelter that way. It was legal and above board. This served two purposes; it housed the ‘marginal’ population, and it preserved housing stock. Since this was eminently logical, Thatchers’ mob had to do away with it. We can’t have some nebulous idea of a “public good” get in the way of private property now, can we?

      1. Will

        Foreclosures on one hand and predatory rent hikes on the other. The guy panhandling outside the downtown Seattle target today was flying a board that said he needed money for a tent. And in the meantime high-rise condos and hotels keep going up….

        1. GuerrillaWarfare

          Yep. And all the elected officials want to distance themselves from the actual real data (McDonnell Analytics land record audit).

          Tent cities springing up on every highway interchange……and the banks continue the fucking land grab. It is beyond believable.

          I’m ready to put up a guillotine…maybe I can re-sell my guillotine like the artist who painted the Chase branches on fire. Anyone looking to buy a guillotine as art project? I’m ready to begin construction.

          1. tegnost

            enforcing the law would have brought prices down and it wouldn’t have been so hard to live on flat wages. I really don’t think people generally grok that reality…there were chosen winners. That’s not capitalism, and it’s socialism in the most perverted sense.

  19. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Chicago cops unauthorized spying on protesters.

    At the national level, you have unchecked global adventurers.

    At the municipal level, you have seizure forfeiture/spying adventurers.

    It’s like the people’s best bet is to give the People’s Money to themselves so they can spend it and let those adventurers, with all their little toys, wait for some to eventually (be patient, my servants, as the little people know very well about manna from heaven) trickle down to them.

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    investors fleeing precious metals.

    I have to consult with my ten-bagger advisor, Craazyman, but my hunch is this is a good time buy gold.

  21. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    A federal agency just ‘inadvertently’ just gave super PAC’s more power.

    I guess it’s not easy to show it was not inadvertent.

  22. JustAnObserver

    It would appear that the connections

    Daesh == Wahhabism == Saudi Arabia

    are beginning to get traction in at least some of the MSM. Payback for the KSA’s attempt(s) to drive shale oil out of business ?

  23. Daisy Girl

    24-carat propaganda from ibtimes. Wisner’s wurlitzer played the same tune for the illegal US war in Afghanistan and it worked great. What the propaganda leaves out: NATO Charter Article 5 explicitly invokes UN Charter Article 51 (don’t feel bad if you’ve never read Article 51; it’s the secretest top-secret State secret in America, more sensitive than ECI or RD or Q.) Article 51 makes it clear that individual or collective self-defense is subject to UNSC authorization and planning, and that self-defense forces are at the disposal of the UNSC. The NATO Charter reaffirms that with another thing you never hear about, Article 7: “This Treaty does not affect, and shall not be interpreted as affecting in any way the rights and obligations under the Charter of the Parties which are members of the United Nations, or the primary responsibility of the Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security.”

    Soon the Western bloc will try and use NATO to end-run the UNSC. Russia and China are teed up for this, and there’s going to be a very touchy face-off. This is Cuban Missile Crisis + Able Archer 83 squared.

  24. Darthbobber

    Chicago cops illegal spying

    That’s my wife’s brother (Grant Newburger), the family Maoist. That case was even more preposterous than the Sun-Times makes it, as it was pretty clear on video that the bike cop basically ran into him, and they were dragging on and on with prosecuting felony charges until the discovery process turned up the dirty linen.

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