Links 12/4/15

Apologies for a light ration of links. My Internet service was down and even though I have a theoretical backup service (Karma), it does not work in my apartment. Plus I lost time yesterday dealing as best I could with the fact that my mother fell and broke her elbow :-(

Second Amendment A Little Creeped Out By How Obsessed Americans Are With It Onion (David L)

GOP Again Tries to Kill Net Neutrality With Spending Bill Rider DSLReports (Chuck L)

Data Storage on DNA Can Keep It Safe for Centuries New York Times (David L)

Uruguay makes dramatic shift to nearly 95% electricity from clean energy Guardian (ginnie nyc)


COP21 Fossil Fuel Addiction The Bullet (Sid S)

COP21 – The Elephant in the Room Resilience (Glenn F)

Paris: 600 Fake Ads Denounce Climate Conference Hypocrisy EarthFirst (Sid S)

Radiation from Japan nuclear disaster spreads off U.S. shores Reuters (David L)

Sperm carries information about dad’s weight MedicalXpress (Robert M)

Antimicrobial Resistance on the Global Agenda Project Syndicate (David L)


China’s Consumers Have a Long Way to Go Justin Fox, Bloomberg Views

Scared of a China hard landing? You should be CNBC

Draghi Disappoints

ECB Had One Win. Revise That Down to Zero. Bloomberg

Mario Draghi riles Germany with QE overkill Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

All Heck Breaks Loose after Draghi Fails to Outdo his Own Hype Wolf Street (EM)

Refugee Crisis

Pakistan Sends 30 Migrants Back to Europe New York Times

1,000 American rabbis sign letter welcoming Syrian refugees Washington Post

Moral Blankness George Monbiot (guurst). On Cameron, aka “Oinky”. From last month, still germane.

Denmark holds referendum on relationship with EU*/ BBC


Civilian Deaths Raise Questions About C.I.A.-Trained Forces in Afghanistan New York Times

Russia Present Evidence Of Turkey-ISIS Oil Trade OilPrice

How Russia is Smashing the Turkish Game in Syria Pepe Escobar, Counterpunch (Chuck L)

‘Syria’s Crime Is That It Is Independent’ – Renowned Journalist John Pilger Russia Insider (margarita)

3 charts explain why Piketty’s idea that inequality fueled Islamic State’s rise is flawed Washington Post

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Drone Pilots Expose US Govt. Murder Have Bank Accounts & Credit Cards Frozen by Feds FKTV (furzy mouse)

Top NSA Whistleblower: “Every Time There Is a Terrorist Attack, What We Really Need to Do Is Demand that They CUT the Budgets of All the Intelligence Agencies” George Washington


The Warmongering Record of Hillary Clinton Counterpunch (RR)

Carson fall returns Trump to top position Financial Times. Lambert ties it to Carson’s remarks on the pyramids….

Why the 2016 Election Will Be One of the Most Pivotal Moments of Our Time Rolling Stone

Senate approves bill repealing much of ObamaCare TheHill

Bill Moyers: Republicans seek to prove ignorance is strength while they rip the country apart Raw Story (furzy mouse)

In a big win for Democrats, Florida Supreme Court upholds new, fairer congressional districts Daily Kos (furzy mouse)

Ranchers denied the drought while collecting drought subsidies Reveal (katie)

San Bernardino

F.B.I. Treats San Bernardino Attack as Possible Terrorism Case New York Times


America’s gun insanity is crazier than you think: Our delusional era of everyday mass shootings — and record low crime rates Salon (Jeff W)

New York Daily News front cover divides America: ‘God Isn’t Fixing This’ (furzy mouse)

‘Tormented’ Wisconsin mayor rips gun lovers who think they can stop mass shootings Raw Story

Lawmaker proposes 72-hour waiting period for firearms purchases Columbia Daily Tribune (Missouri)

BBC reporter’s sobering advice to America: ‘Break’ the NRA or your mass shootings will never stop Raw Story (furzy mouse)

Greg Ip: As the Euro Nudges Up, Could U.S. Inflation Be Next? WSJ Economics

A puzzle Yellen cannot solve with a rate rise Gillian Tett, Financial Times

Feds Win Fight Over Risky-Looking Loans Wall Street Journal

Corporate debt downgrades reach $1tn Financial Times. And this with record low rates…

Sentencing postponed again in CalPERS bribery case Sacramento Bee. From last week. Tony Butka: “Wonder what gifts he’s still giving to the prosecution :-)”

Kentucky to slash $300 million in Private Equity Reuters (Chris Tobe)

Class Warfare

Legal judgement: UBER driving found to be illegal in state of Victoria, Australia The Age (Sean L)

How Mark Zuckerberg’s Altruism Helps Himself New York Times

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):

elephant lifts car links

And a bonus video (Stephen L). The YouTube incorrectly says the bird is a raven when it is apparently a crow, but he’s clear not at all flummoxed by being on the train.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. abynormal

      Lawd, the worst thing ya wanna here outa your defender…

      unR̶A̶D̶A̶C̶K̶ted @JesselynRadack

      .@wikileaks My #drone #whistleblowers went public this wk & now their #CreditCards + #BankAccts are #frozen. Advice?
      9:25 PM – 21 Nov 2015

      588 588 Retweets

  1. fresno dan

    F.B.I. Treats San Bernardino Attack as Possible Terrorism Case New York Times

    Mr. Farook went to the holiday luncheon for employees of the county health department, where he worked as a health inspector, left early — agitated, according to some witnesses — and returned a short time later with his wife, both in tactical gear and with an arsenal to mow down his co-workers. But Chief Jarrod Burguan of the San Bernardino police said there was more at work than a spontaneous workplace dispute.
    Most of the carnage unfolded in a single room of the Inland Regional Center, which provides services to people with disabilities and was filled with people Mr. Farook knew, the police said. While shots rang out, others in the building cowered and hid, sending text messages or making frantic calls.


    I had thought that the Attack may have just been workplace violence because of the attack on this specific group, the holiday party of people of the agency where he had worked, and some information I had read that the perpetrator had been terminated. So I thought, even though it seemed odd that a female accompanied him, that this guy may have gone postal.

    But my view of the atomization of society was way off – – in THIS instance.
    To me what is so dispiriting is this man made a choice to kill people he knew. His fanaticism overcame all the day to day contact he had had with these people. Not ONE person was a friend (he had apparently worked there 5 years), he had no “office wife”? No daily lunch mates?? – where common humanity was more important than ideology?

    I can actually understand people raised from childhood having screwy ideas – your indoctrinated to believe things because your parents, relatives, the people you know hold these views. But this was a man who grew up in this country, seemingly without that kind of indoctrination, and came to the view that God (who seems never willing to do these things Her/Him self) wanted him to go kill lots of people.

    1. MikeNY

      We make it way too easy for such people to become sociopaths, by i) providing virtually unfettered access to weapons of mass murder, and ii) giving hundreds of millions of people legitimate reasons to detest us. And no, they don’t hate us ‘for our freedom’.

      We have to start asking what part of the blame is ours.

      1. DJG

        MikeNY: Yes. And this is going to have to come from the grass roots. The Supreme Court, Senate, and House are inhabited by empty suits, let alone the executive branch. The current crop of opportunists and re-treads running for the presidency don’t get it either.

        But getting Americans to act in this time of stagnation and complacency is a dilemma.

        1. JTMcPhee

          …if only those suits were actually empty– but they’re filled with saxosh-t like Obama and Scalia and Cruz…

    2. Jerry Denim

      “But my view of the atomization of society was way off – – in THIS instance.”

      Are you sure? How could this natural born American citizen not have been feeling some of the pressures the rest of us are enduring? Student loans, home mortgage, crappy insurance with high premiums. He was a health inspector, I doubt he was pulling down the big bucks. I bet Sayed Farook felt bad about his salary when he compared himself to his college buddies that pursued finance careers and were able to afford all of the nice things that typical 28-year old southern california men from immigrant families lust over, like German luxury brand sports cars. Why does violence motivated by islamic sympathies have to be an all-or-nothing binary outcome?

      America has always been a world leader in synthesizing items from two separate cultures into a completely new American product, like rock ‘n roll. Sayed Farook appears to me as just another asshole in a long line of crazy, mal-adjusted, sociopathic American assholes who wanted to kill a bunch of his co-workers, but there’s a twist in the narrative this time. Instead of being a white guy he just so happened to be a 2nd-generation Pakistani muslim with a crazy foreign jihadi wife who was game to participate in his murderous rampage. I’d call this a workplace shooting with an unfortunate islamic twist. Mass shootings are always terrorism regardless of the perpetrators ethnic background or motivating factors. What matters is how to stop them while respecting civil liberties and without making life miserable for the rest of us.

      Muslim terror may have officially registered on my list of things I worry about after this attack but it’s still probably not in my top thirty. Income inequality, corruption, revolving door regulators, breakdown of government/democracy, blood thirsty and militarized police, trade policy, tax policy, climate change, mass extinction, ocean acidification, antibiotic resistance, pesticides, endocrine disruptors, car accidents, military spending, imperial and adventurist foreign policy, police state government surveillance and coercive conformity, criminalization of dissent, imperial and adventurist foreign policy, and many other worries are all more pressing issues in my mind. In fact addressing these other more pressing societal maladies first would probably do more to stem mass shootings than whatever clumsy, pandering, self-enriching solutions our politicians will likely propose. Workplace shootings regardless of the perpetrator’s politics is most likely a symptom of one of our much bigger maladies included on my list. Start fixing our country’s big problems and watch violent outbursts of anomie like workplace shootings disappear.

      1. fresno dan

        Good points.
        Peel back the onion and why an American is driven to become a mass shooter, and why a Muslim is driven to become a mass shooter probably have a lot of the some basic reasons.

    1. wbgonne

      The author of that piece is a Clinton/Democrat defender of long-standing. And while Rolling Stone has not yet endorsed Hillary that will happen soon, officially or otherwise. What I find a bit surprising is that the Democrats are already playing their trump card (pardon the pun): Vote for Hillary or the world will end! This smells like desperation to me.
      As for the title:

      Why the 2016 Election Will Be One of the Most Pivotal Moments of Our Time Rolling Stone

      Perhaps. But Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party won’t save us. So maybe it will prove pivotal in a way the author can’t comprehend: the outright rejection of the corrupt political duopoly may lead to genuine political representation. Here’s hoping!

    2. rusti

      His fawning summary of Slick Willie’s presidency was particularly revealing:

      In June 1995, he laid out a budget proposal that seized the mantle of fiscal responsibility, which the GOP had claimed for its own. Many liberals reacted with horror and reflexively denounced the president as a defector, a “me-too” Democrat, and worse. They failed to notice that Clinton’s supposedly defeatist budget held the line on education investments and Medicare, which the Republicans wanted to throttle, while aiming tax cuts at the middle class and not the wealthy.

      While Clinton bobbed and weaved, the Republicans began to look disturbingly extreme.

      You can imagine the author seething with rage at the unappreciative and irresponsible Democrats who would dare question their loyal leader! The same “fringe elements” of the party who couldn’t just shut up and stomach NAFTA and the Financial Services Modernization Act.

      1. Left in Wisconsin

        My fave paragraph was earlier:
        How did we arrive at this decisive moment? Two powerful historic developments have driven American politics over the past half century. The Republican Party has been transformed by a conservative movement that has pushed it ever further to the right. The Democratic Party, stunned by the conservative counterrevolution, has struggled to reinvent itself and its politics, while facing the increasingly formidable resources of the right.

        Valiant D party struggling mightily. I guess he means the DLC?

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I got lucky in that, I didn’t like him personally from the start, and was never fooled by him.

        Maybe it’s my own fault that, always, my first reaction to anything Camelot or Messiah is skeptically negative.

    3. vidimi

      funny. i can’t see how the 2016 elections will have much impact at all given how narrow the range of views between candidates is even now and will especially be then.

      1. fresno dan

        Your getting so cynical!!!!

        It will be a historic election – how else will CNN, MSNBC, and FOX sell little blue pills….

    4. Brindle

      The article is so full of B.S. I found it mostly unreadable. It’s history written by inside the beltway Dems.

      —- He thought he would be a post-partisan president, convinced that, as he had declared at the 2004 Democratic convention, there is “not a liberal America and a conservative America – there’s the United States of America.”—–

    5. Oregoncharles

      From the first paragraph (as far as I got): “If the Republicans win the presidency in 2016, they will also almost inevitably control both the Senate and the House of Representatives, giving them virtually unfettered command over the entire federal government to go along with their domination of the great majority of the state governments.”

      And whose fault is that? Remember 2008? In every election since, the Democrats have lost ground, throwing away the massive control they had thanks to Bush. If you believe in democracy at all, that has to b e a huge sign.

    6. hemeantwell

      Christ, what a gauzy piece. Your denunciation for the omission/suppression of Sanders is spot on. Clinching it as ideology, there’s nothing about the shared neoliberal spine of both parties. Dustbin’s open, slam dunk by Wilentz, at least as far as RS’s editors are concerned. I wonder what Taibbi thinks of this dumbdowner.

  2. James Levy

    I despair over the gun issue. I own a Lee-Enfield rifle. I think it prudent given the coyotes and bears that show up on my property regularly, and that we have two policemen in my very large (in square miles) rural town. It is an effective weapon for deer hunting if I choose to do that legally. If others wish to own similar weapons, I have no problem with that. Ditto a shotgun, or even two, as you really need one for fowl and one for larger game if you hunt regularly for food (if you hunt for sport, I think you are a sicko). But no one in their right minds needs dozens, even scores, of guns in working condition. No one needs semi-automatic, let alone automatic, weapons, other than to kill lots of their fellow citizens with. You can defend your house nicely with a pump-action shotgun with 00 buckshot. You don’t need a thirty round magazine semi-auto. The only legitimate reason to have a gun is 1) you are a cop, 2) you are registered in an organized, regulated militia, 3) you hunt for food, 4) you feel the need for home protection. All of these things are possible within a well regulated framework of reasonable laws. But unlike freedom of speech, or assembly, or religion, where most people see rational limits (you can’t threaten a person’s life and claim 1st Amendment privilege, or form a lynch mob, or sacrifice your child to Baal) when it comes to the 2nd Amendment people go crazy and make extreme demands for it. And this crazed stonewalling has let the genie out of the bottle. We are so deluged with guns in America that now rational policies are almost impossible because we’ve allowed guns to become so ubiquitous. If the good old Brady Bill had been kept up and running we’d be a better, safer society because many of these guns would be very difficult to get (granted, not impossible, but you want to make criminality hard to do, not easy to do, and we’ve made it oh so easy). You can’t stop mass shootings but you can make it hard for those who want to execute these atrocities, and you can arrest a lot of bad people for selling and possessing these types of murderous weapons before they can be used on the rest of us. But, given the sentiments I see expressed on this topic, no rational argument is going to carry the day.

    1. abynormal

      the ONLY pro-gun argument i’ve read worth standing by:
      End the Abortion Wedge Issue…Give every woman an AK47

      “Chorus of old men: If we give them the least hold over us, ’tis all up! their audacity will know no bounds! We shall see them building ships, and fighting sea-fights like Artemisia; nay if they want to mount and ride as cavalry, we had best cashier the knights, for indeed women excel in riding, and have a fine, firm seat for the gallop. Just think of all those squadrons of Amazons Micon has painted for us engaged in hand-to-hand combat with men.”
      Aristophanes, Lysistrata (melody?….cry me a river!)

      1. Oregoncharles

        Lysistrata: a model for us all.

        A footnote: In classical Athens, women were practically slaves, aside from a few courtesans. That’s why it’s a comedy. Interesting that, even in that setting, Aristophanes could imagine such a modern argument. But I gather Sparta was very different.

        Spike Lee, of all people, has been calling for a revival of the idea. I think it’s self-limiting, though appealing as a counter-recruitment tool.

    2. DJG

      James Levy: Correct facts. And correct diagnosis. How we are going to get this across to a citizenry that now buys pink hand guns for the ladies and working “toy” guns for the kids, I don’t know. One remedy would be to take cars as a model (the gun fetishists always want to bring up cars as a counterexample): We’ll have gun courts. We will require yearly licensing of firearms, both locally (like your vehicle sticker) and statewide (like your license plate). Insurance will be required. Proof of periodic training hours will be required.

      Just as so much of “American” religious is so ludicrous and lousy, even if it is protected by the first amendment, we now have a ludicrous and lousy situation with guns. The problem is that religion stunts and kills psychologically, whereas guns have ammunition.

      1. Mike From Michigan

        Only required to register, license and insure a car if one intends to drive it on public roads. Not a requirement if someone intends to drive their car only on their private property. Some folks live in the sticks, aka country folks, and don’t appreciate them folks from the block, aka city folks, telling them how to live.

        1. reslez

          Other people don’t appreciate daily mass shootings or toddlers shooting people every week…. My right to not be murdered by guns ought to override someone else’s preference to not pay insurance and license fees. God bless.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            The scary thing is there are so many other ways, other weapons to scare us.

            If only people are not so desperate, so angry…perhaps less wealth inequality, more money directly to the people, instead of hiring more cops and recruiting more soldiers.

          2. inode_buddha

            Ever notice how these things tend to only happen in cities? Country folk who *grew up* with guns and their parents teaching them how to be responsible with them, don’t seem to have these mass-shooting problems. Ever notice that?

            1. JTMcPhee

              What I noticed, taking just a few moments to do a little research, is that the Evernoticethat self-congratulatory assertion is just bunkum.

              Not bothering with the string cite, just this one for an example, “Gun Violence Is an Everywhere Issue,”

              So Country Folk who grew up with guns ain’t no better than the rest of us when it comes to having idiots in our midst who get off on getting off… e.g.,

              “Mass shootings outside urban areas” for a search term.

    3. Jagger

      You are clearly right. No one needs a hundred guns and million rounds of ammo. And lone wolf shootings are out of control. Logically a step in the right direction to reduce mass shootings is tighter gun controls. In particular, automatic military weapons are not needed by the everyday person.

      At the same time, people are losing/have lost confidence in the government. Myself, I see the massive militarization of the police and the buildup of a unprecedented surveilance state. I concluded some time ago that the government is either anticipating intense civil unrest and some societal breakdown or is putting in place the mechanisms for a police state. Perhaps these changes are linked to anticipated consequences of global warming or weakness of financial system or maybe the powers that be just naturally prefer the power of a police state. Who knows. Either way, I can understand the desire to have the means of defense in your own hands when you realize you don’t trust the police forces or the government. They appear to be a threat rather than your servants. People are becoming paranoid.

      So yes, IMO, changes are needed in terms of gun control. However politically, people are so nervous that it may not be political possible except in certain parts of the country. And always bear in mind that guns are inanimate. People are the active agent. The root causes lie with the pressures put on people by our economic and political system. Our society is the primary problem. Guns laws are just tinkering around with the symptoms without dealing with the root causes.

      1. rusti

        Who knows. Either way, I can understand the desire to have the means of defense in your own hands when you realize you don’t trust the police forces or the government. They appear to be a threat rather than your servants.

        The irony of this is how comical (and tragic) it would be to see a bunch of rotund suburbanites brainwashed by the gun lobby trying to organize an effective insurgency against a militarized police state flush with army surplus equipment.

        1. sid_finster

          I dunno, the Iraqis, Novorussians and others have organized successful insurgencies against both militarized police and regular armies. In the case of Iraq, Afghanistan, and others, that includes the US military. Going back a few years, partisans in Serbia and Byelorussia made large chunks of their respective countries ungovernable for Nazi Germany.

          I have heard it said the Queen of all battlefield tools is the rifle, since it is impossible to tyrannize a population armed with rifles for very long.

          1. James Levy

            The Iraqis killed each other in much greater numbers than they killed Americans, and the Americans left for their own reasons, not because of the Iraqi insurgence, which the US had largely bought off. The people on the other end of an insurgency in the USA would be from here and want to protect their property and power here in the good old USA. They would take the gloves off immediately and slaughter your weekend 2nd Amendment warriors in a hurry. Americans are not the Vietnamese peasants fighting for national liberation from racial outsiders–they have a whole tremendous way of life to lose and can be bought off pretty damned easily. Insurgencies work under very limited conditions: they need tons of outside assistance, be organized against obvious “Others”, and/or some part of the elite or the coercive apparatus of the state has to go over to support them. An insurgency in the USA promises none of the above. If you think the cops are going to surrender their terrific pay and cushy pensions to help out the underclass then I suggest you see how many of them refused to bust up Occupy or go over to supporting Black Lives Matter.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Gotta reform cops’ cushy pensions.

              And make sure there’s no money to buy off freedom fighters.

              The People’s Money and put the government on a budget.

            2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              This meme where “oh we all need guns because someday we may need to fight a tyrannical government” is a dangerous and unhinged fantasy. It’s closely lined up with the equally unhinged argument we heard after Sandy Hook that “we can stop school shootings by arming all teachers”. The entire point of having a “civilization” is that you do not need to be armed to the teeth to fight your way to the corner store, go to school, or sit quietly in your movie seat.
              I live in Australia, where a mass shooting 30 years ago convinced the people to disarm, they spent $350 million (back when that was a whole lot of money for a small country) to buy back guns and destroy them. That mass shooting killed 35 people in a country with a population of 20M, yielding a “massacre outrage tipping point quotient” of .00000175. Applied to the US population, it will take a massacre of 560.4 people to tip this subject over into the “action” column. Let’s hope it’s a disgruntled white Christian cabbie or something so the society does not draw the wrong conclusions.

              1. davidgmills

                I suspect it will take more than that. I saw a chart the other day of deaths by gun in the US since 2,000. About 450,000. We kill 30,000 people a year here in the US with guns and about the same number with cars. Death by car has come down from 40,000 as cars have gotten safer.

          2. cwaltz

            Historically, we were outgunned during the Revolutionary war too. Guerilla warfare went a long way until we were able to get the French and Spanish to help us gain independence.

            So while I would agree the military could outgun the majority, I do think it would be possible for an insurgency to be effective here(particularly sine many of the armed suburbanites were also trained by Uncle Sam to begin with.)

              1. Oregoncharles

                Disturbing article years ago (hence no link, just my memory): he was interviewing farmers and ranchers in, I think, Montana. Turned out many of them had explosives that they used around the ranch. The writer concluded that if it came to a war, the country could blow the city out of the ground.

                IE: there are many civilian uses for explosives (remember Oklahoma City?), and a lot of explosives out there.

        2. Jagger

          The irony of this is how comical (and tragic) it would be to see a bunch of rotund suburbanites brainwashed by the gun lobby trying to organize an effective insurgency against a militarized police state flush with army surplus equipment.

          You assumed I meant defense against the state. I meant defense of your home and neighbors against gangs and murderous thieves.

          Also it seems you are assuming the old and middle aged would be launching any insurgency when it is typically the young that fight insurgencies which are lead by ex-military in their 20s and 30s.

          And if there were any serious insurgency, gun laws wouldn’t matter. With their equipment, the national guard, army and local police would be choosing sides and then guns and money would flow in from the outside to supplement any initial internal discontent. Look at Vietnam, Iraq or Syria today or Spain in the 30s, Russia in 1905 and 1917. Look at Central Ameria.

          Anyway, don’t think for a minute that insurgencies are an impossibility. Things would have to get really, really bad but history is full of examples. Of course, most fail, yet they still happen anyway. Desperate groups of people do desperate things. And considering the massive police militarization and the creation of a huge internal spying organization, I assume our leadership is taking that possibility seriously as well.

          1. rusti

            It seems I was projecting something only tangentially related onto your comment.

            My experience is that the groups who make a point of bringing their AR15s to IHOP and write furious comments below MSM articles covering shooting incidents about how the 2nd amendment is necessary to protect them from tyrannical governments are generally not people who would last more than a day or two if the incredibly elaborate infrastructure supporting their lives were to break down. I’ve always thought the fact that this subsection of the population has been conditioned to think of themselves as rugged survivalists is one of the great absurdities of 21st-century America.

            1. Lambert Strether

              Yes, the machine guns in IHOPs is where I draw the line. I’m perfectly happy to carve out hunting rifles, but I think otherwise guns, except in the hands of law enforcement (and that’s another issue) should not be in private spaces to the maximum amount possible. Not much we can do about fools who slaughter their own spouses or children, or tragic cases who kill themselves, of course — though a lot could be done for the latter with a jobs guarantee — but that’s probably a lost cause anyhow.

              The oft-repeated protection from tyrannical governments thing, however, is ludicrous in the extreme; a mere marketing slogan, devoid of actual political content. If it were going to happen, it would already have happened; we would, for example, still have a functioning Fourth Amendment, a government that didn’t kill its own citizens without due process, etc.

              1. tim s

                Regarding your 2nd paragraph, I disagree. At the time of the 2nd amendment writing, the protection was very real. Rulers enforced their power at the end of a gun. I think that the same can be said of today, but the powerful try to control the people by other means rather than a show of force first. The control by economics, propaganda, divide & conquer (red/blue) have been very effective and have limited the use of force required, but you only need to look at how Occupy Wall Street was broken up, once those other methods were no longer effective. Our government still uses guns to control the population. NC regularly has POLICE STATE, BB IS WATCHING YOU, and IMPERIAL COLLAPSE WATCH postings in Links. Thinking that “it can’t happen here” is about the same as thinking that “this time is different” with respect to economics. Human psychology and power relations are the same wherever you go throughout recorded history. Only the details differ.

                It is difficult to make determinations of what does and doesn’t work looking only at our society. We have been by-and-large effectively neutered. Most people do not communicate with their neighbors, family and community bonds are withered, most people do not know how to handle weapons. Who can say that armed resistance is not effective when most people are not really capable of it in the 1st place. If they are not capable, then it becomes inconceivable.

                However, look around the world at the resistance to our empire. Where there is resistance, there are weapons. There are not many instances of current armed resistance, but I can think of the Black Panthers in the civil rights movement era. It seems that they had some success establishing themselves with weapons. Also, regardless of what one might think of the Bundy ranch standoff, it was an example of a community coming out armed to confront what they perceived as a tyrannical threat, and they appeared to succeed in holding their ground. Compare that to OWS.

                Would the Bundy people have been massacred by a militarized police force intent on crushing them? Sure. That would not be the end of the story, however.

                1. polecat

                  yeah, when it comes to firearms many commentors on this site have a kind of cognitive dissonance, and yes, your comment with regard to OWS is instructive!

                2. Jagger

                  Lot of armed labor-robber baron violence prior to WW2. Battle of Blair Mountain in 1921. 10,000 armed coal miners vs 3000 strike breakers and police.


                  For five days in late August and early September 1921, in Logan County, West Virginia, some 10,000 armed coal miners confronted 3,000 lawmen and strikebreakers, called the Logan Defenders,[2] who were backed by coal mine operators during an attempt by the miners to unionize the southwestern West Virginia coalfields. The battle ended after approximately one million rounds were fired,[3] and the United States Army intervened by presidential order.[4]

                  Here is an incomplete list of worker deaths prior to WW2 in labor disputes. I don’t remember being taught this in any history classes.


                  1. tim s

                    Very true, Mick – sorry I mean Jagger :)

                    Never taught in any history class I’ve had, and I’m a bit overeducated even.

                    I’m reading Zinn’s Peoples History of the US and it has some good chapters on the labor struggle and robber barons. Gutsy people, but then people with nothing left to lose do still have their guts. Social solidarity seemed greater back then. It’s hard to imagine that being able to happen today.

                    Globalization and the ability for Capital to have no traditional bounds to seeking out their labor so fundamentally changed the dynamics that it is back to square one for labor it seems, and those old scenes will likely be replayed.

                    1. lambert strether


                      I didn’t quite say that. However, if labor is to be revived, let’s give consideration to the possibility that recapitulating the past by mlitarizing them might not be the best method.

                    2. tim s

                      Labor is not capable of being armed. Labor is a collection, not an entity. The only way for Labor to be armed is for the individuals to be armed. Where else are you going to start??

      2. Lambert Strether

        In particular, automatic military weapons are not needed by the everyday person.

        Ha. This is funny, since we’re actually moving toward each other on policy; I just carved out hunting rifles.

        * * *

        Why don’t we index the price of ammunition to the number of people killed each year?

        1. bob

          “hunting rifles”

          Also called ‘sniper rifles’ within the military. Very little difference between a remington 700 store bought ‘hunting rifle’ and a military issue sniper rifle. Mil would presumably have better optics (scope), but nothing that couldn’t be bought, legally, on the aftermarket. There are no optics laws.

          They are also orders of magnitude more dangerous than hand guns or smaller caliber sub-machine guns, based solely on the impact velocity of a round.

          Hunting rifles will shoot through most things “bullet proof”, in very short order. Vests, glass, etc. Even if the round doesn’t go through a vest (doubtful) it will hit with enough force to knock the person in the vest down and, at a bare minimum, break many ribs.

          The lines are very blurry.

          My recommendation with respect to gun control is to find out which guns are causing the most damage. Then, have one of their largest customers (LE or Mil) tell the company making them to stop selling them to the public, or we stop buying anything from said company. Glock would be the best ‘target’, and example of where this approach could work.

          That would make sense. But, you can’t use the power of the state like that! Tyranny!

          1. Jess

            Good points. If I’m not mistaken the classic BAR (one of the first of the “assault weapons” family) fires a .308 round, which is a standard round for hunting deer, moose, elk, bears, etc.

            1. night-Train

              I believe the vintage BAR favored by the likes of Clyde Barrow, of Bonnie and Clyde infamy) fired a 30-06 Springfield cartridge.

        2. Jagger

          In particular, automatic military weapons are not needed by the everyday person.

          Ha. This is funny, since we’re actually moving toward each other on policy; I just carved out hunting rifles.

          Hehe…definite progress. But bear in mind, my arguments are primarily Devil’s Advocate. I don’t like guns and what they represent. In an ideal world, I wouldn’t have any guns. But I am not the norm where I live. And plenty of good people have guns and good reasons for having them. Since I know the arguments, I may as well play devil’s advocate since they aren’t here. Plus too much group think if no one argues the other side.

          Why don’t we index the price of ammunition to the number of people killed each year?

          Most people have reloaders. They don’t need to buy ammo.

          1. Lambert Strether

            Well, aside for my hatred of much of the language and logic used, I think gunz are an identity politics side issue. So it would be nice to hammer out a set of talking points that would work — very much opposed, I am sure, to whatever the Dems are now fundraising on — we could all get back to the important stuff, which is trying to unify the 80%.

            1. Jagger

              Talking points have to split the gun owners. Not easy considering the total lack of trust of the government and the Democrats. Who is outside the mass and dangerous vs the everyday responsible gun owner. That has to be defined. To me, that would be those going for military grade weapons, not the everyday hunter or even average gun collector.

              Next would be reassuring the safe group. Registration is greatly feared as the first step to confiscation. They have to know there will be no registration, thus no confiscation. Anything that smacks of the road to confiscation will unite everyone against you.

              I would get rid of any special punishment or sin taxes related to weapons and substitute required training classes. Required on first purchase and cheap or free refresher courses every couple years. No one could truly object because it makes everyone safer. Even hunters complain about other hunters doing dumb things.

              Do that and then you can go against mass people killer weapons wanted by a fairly small minority and have the majority of responsible owners agree with you.

              Those are my first thoughts of what is important to gun owners and what is acceptable without creating a backlash.

      3. Oregoncharles

        @Jagger: “Even paranoids can have real enemies.”

        Indeed, there is every indication of a police state forming in this country – as documented most days here at NC, in the Links (or Water Cooler; maybe both?). Whether we could shoot our way out of it is a big question, but I agree: if you aren’t paranoid, you aren’t paying attention.

        Unfortunately, this is an argument for the public having access to military-style weapons. We can’t win. Realistically, most gun deaths are caused by pistols, including police murders, despite the most recent mass shootings.

          1. Oregoncharles

            “This is.” If you’re going to resist the government, you need military-grade weapons.

            “Unfortunately” because I don’t think that’s a good idea. Armed resistance is just a fantasy, and I hope it stays that way.

            I’m sticking with the pistol vs. rifle distinction.

            Incidentally, someone above said that hunting rifles ARE sniper rifles. I gather this isn’t really true, though they could be used that way. Military sniper rifles are big, heavy things, best carried by two people and used on a stand. Weight makes for more accuracy. Even rifles for competitive target shooting are different from hunting guns.

              1. bob

                There is very little difference between “hunting guns” and sniper rifles. He didn’t clarify anything.

                Te lee-enfield that started this tread was a military rifle, now purposed to ….

                1. ambrit

                  In Mr Levys’ case, the .303 Lee Enfield, of which I own one, is well suited for defense against coyotes and other dangerous animals that might threaten people. In the outback of Alaska, our daughter, who lived there for some years, said that everyone learned how to use and carried a rifle when away from home. The wildlife could be deadly. Yet, no one tried to sub machine gun a Grizzly bear. The rounds are too light. Most proper hunting rifles are bolt operated. Also, there is a good reason many states still have a bounty on coyotes. If Mr Coyote can’t catch the Roadrunner, he’ll gladly settle for a tasty housepet, or even people.
                  This entire “sniper rifle” argument misses the point. The central and controlling element of a ‘sniping’ gun is the sniper. Many of the yahoos I meet who strut around with their AR or AK clones haven’t been properly trained in their use. They fall somewhere between ‘cannon fodder’ and posse follower. The ones to watch are the boys and girls who go out to the range every weekend and practice. No matter what class of firearm they end up with, they will know how to get the most out of what they have.

                  1. bob

                    “This entire “sniper rifle” argument misses the point. The central and controlling element of a ‘sniping’ gun is the sniper.”

                    I think it’s exactly the point. How do you regulate that? the 303 could be used as a sniper rifle. Anything that can take down a deer at several hundred meters can also take down a human.

                    1. bob

                      My point is that the gun is capable of killing at those distances. They can impart the same energy at the same distances- “sniper rifle” and “hunting rifle”.

                      They are the same “gun”.

                    2. Skippy

                      Snipers are suppression and occasional high value targets and not or should not be confused with armed fighting units.

                    3. MT_Bill

                      Yves, your comment on range is probably true for most deer hunting on the east coast. But out west it’s pretty common to spot deer or elk miles away and stalk (or drive and then stalk) to within 300-400 yards for a shot.

                      There’s a fairly lively debate going on out here currently about the ethics of long-range hunting (700+ yards), and whether that constitutes fair chase. But starting at about $2500 you can put together a rifle and scope combo that is capable of performing effectively at those ranges. The problem is most people are wounding 1 or 2 animals for every one they recover.


            1. bob

              ” I gather this isn’t really true”

              You gather incorrectly. Yeah, a guy in a gilly suit really wants something big and heavy. Much easier to sneak around with that.

              “stand”- bipod? they make them very lightweight these days. google it.

              “Even rifles for competitive target shooting are different from hunting guns.”

                1. bob

                  Hunting licenses are required for hunting.

                  They are not required for owning a long gun.

                  “I don’t care about the hardware.” I’m sorry, I thought this was a discussion about guns? You want to discuss guns, but not “hardware”?

                  1. Lambert Strether

                    I want to discuss gun policy. As I think you’ve pointed out, hardware details are a rathole with respect to policy, because the manufacturers game hardware-based regulations.

                    It seems reasonable to me — being from Maine — to have a carveout for hunters. Apparently that can’t be done from a hardware perspective, given the above. OK, so how else are hunters regulated? Hunting licenses. That was my thought.

                    1. bob

                      I think I’ve done a good job of stating my opinion several times.

                      Go after the makers, directly. Do this as the largest buyer. .mli and LE are the largest buyers of guns. Have them go to the makers and say- “too many of these are showing up with bodies attached, stop selling them, or we’ll stop buying from you”.

                      The patriotic case, if you will. Stop selling to the enemy.

                    2. bob

                      “rathole with respect to policy, because the manufacturers game hardware-based regulations.”

                      they are also a rat hole because people who don’t know anything about guns want to pretend they do, and they want to go after whatever “looks” scary. The fashion police.

                      I’m not sure how you discuss “gun policy” without discussing guns.

            2. JTMcPhee

              Actually, there are heavy .50 cal sniper rifles like the Barrett. .50 that take a lot of strength to move around, at like 26 pounds or so, Even the rounds weigh about 6 ounces each. But one person can handle them. The other person, part of the sniper team, is the “spotter.” Look it up.

              The standard sniper rifle for the USMC and other entities is the 7.62mm/.308cal M40 and variants. (this article, which peeps a little into the processes by which the few competitors for the taxpayer war dollar and the idiots that run military procurement play their stupid games, part of “going to war with the army you’ve got, not the one you would like to have” –“The Corps began looking at a replacement for the M40 series in 2004, but did not draft requirements until 2009. The Sniper Rifle 21st century is paused while the Corps waits for the results of SOCOM’s Precision Sniper Rifle program.”) This rifle weighs about half what the Barrett does, quite a bit more than the AR/M4 etc., or even AK types which given the numbers of people they have killed across the planet are rightfully labeled “the real weapon of mass destruction.”

              None of these can be characterized as “fashion weapons,” except for the effing wannabees. And “most people DO NOT have reloaders” to make their own ammo, from brass cases, primers, smokeless powder and all the plethora of bullets with their almost violently passionate adherents in love with type and manufacturer and caliber and all the rest of the idiocy…

              The cat is long since out of the bag, the horse out of the barn — little tribesmen with hand tools can turn chunks of metal into functioning AKs and bolt and semi-auto rifles and semi-auto pistols and all the other tools of violence and destruction, and how many copies of ‘the anarchist’s handbook’ and all those US Field Manuals that show how to kill and blast and destroy and f__k up and ruin, are floating around in meatspace, let alone the huge array of death merchantry that’s so readily available in webspace? Versus the little troves of writing and thought on how to build a decent society and living planet? There’s a reason Milton’s “Paradise Lost” is so very much longer and more detailed (along with Dante’s works) than “Paradise Regained.”

        1. Jagger

          Indeed, there is every indication of a police state forming in this country – as documented most days here at NC, in the Links (or Water Cooler; maybe both?).

          And little to no public discussion. I would like to know the specific reasons why the powers that be decided to take these steps.

          1. Lambert Strether

            More in Links than in Water Cooler, but I’ve done a ton of police state stuff in the context of #BlackLivesMatter (and law enforcement for profit is a big piece of the puzzle).

            I don’t have a model of the powers that be that would answer your question, except to day that “decided” is not the word I’d use, since I don’t view the ruling class as being unified (except, perhaps, in moments of crisis). I view “the powers that be” as an ever-shifting and conflict-driven set of factions, each managing portfolios of political options. Sometimes an outcome can be the result of interaction between factions, as opposed to a central planning.

            1. Jagger

              I don’t have a model of the powers that be that would answer your question, except to day that “decided” is not the word I’d use, since I don’t view the ruling class as being unified

              Agreed but what is happening certainly appears planned to meet contingencies related to national security. I would expect advocates existed internally or think tank side which made the arguments and provided a rationale which resulted in a process occuring over years which we are seeing. I could be wrong but what we are seeing doesn’t appear haphazard but a coordinated action supported by both parties. To me, the parties appear united. And if haphazard, why hasn’t either party ended it. Can we honestly believe neither party notices what is going on? I don’t know the answers but IMO, it is a big deal.

              1. abynormal

                The Money that supports candidates appears United…but it is Not. Too Many Variables…commerce & commodity spreads prove the deepest of risk in history…creating an illusion on Security. Arms pointed everywhere, on everyone including each other.

                haphazard times indeed.

            2. JTMcPhee

              Ruling class not unified? At all? ALEC meetings? Davos? Bilderburg? I guess it’s a matter of definition and scope…

          2. Oregoncharles

            Mao Tse-Tung: “political power comes out of the mouth of a gun.” A very popular quote in the 60’s, that still reverberates.

            This whole discussion is extremely disturbing, because we’re talking about the possibility of an American civil war. Insurrection is the very last resort, a short route to winding up like Syria. My worst fear is that we’ll shoot right past the chance of electoral “revolution” to the real thing. One problem at that point is that the Right has most of the guns.

            To answer your question: I think the PTB, at least some of them, fear exactly the same thing, and are getting ready. Somebody already said that up above. The irony is that there is no sign whatever, that I can see, of real resistance. The police state is way ahead of the people. I guess that’s their intention. Of course, the police state could trigger what it’s intended to prevent.

            So far, I don’t think this rather academic discussion does justice to the grimness of the subject – unless we really are just talking about gun control. But that isn’t what Mao thought, and it isn’t what a lot of us in the 60’s thought.

            1. JTMcPhee

              Maybe talking more about ” insurrection” or “insurgency” than civil war… The DoD dictionary has at various times provided precise yet morphing definitions. Latest change, thanks to Notagainistan experience, is to call it armed resistance to “authority” rather than the previous “to duly constituted government.” Words matter? Our Rulers think so, or at least the billion dollar gaggle that maintains the Dictionary…

              For giggles, check out “Operation Garden Plot” and its follow-ons in Webspace sources… Yah, Jafe Helm, retired retread Generals telling us on account of ISIS Russia Paris Santa Claus it’s mandatory to go to DEFCON 1, RIGHT NOW!!!! etc., all just CT Frivolity, isn’t it… Israelites have 200 or 600 nukes, the rest of us another what, 10,000? Enough, and enough…

              It’s a beautiful evening here on my front porch, I’m turning 70 soon, three score and ten, the Nation is coming up on 17 score and clearly past its spoiled-by date, so who Fokking cares… Stupid Fokking humans, can and will screw up a wet dream, or a mostly perfect planet…

    4. flora

      “No one needs semi-automatic, let alone automatic, weapons, other than to kill lots of their fellow citizens with.”
      Spot on, Mr. Levi.
      The NRA’s money comes primarily from gun manufacturers, and mostly from manufacturers of what I’d call assault weapons, not hunting guns.
      It’s possible that without the NRA, people would be protesting outside of Glock, SIG Sauer and Freedom Group — the makers of the guns used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre — and dragging the CEOs in front of cameras and Congress. That is certainly what happened to tobacco executives when their products continued killing people. “

    5. Sammy Maudlin

      You can defend your house nicely with a pump-action shotgun with 00 buckshot.

      It is the correct choice if you choose to have a gun for home security. The cocking noise of a pump shotgun is one of the most intimidating sounds invented by man. The hope is you never even have to fire it.

      To me, the risks associated with having a gun in the house far outweigh any benefits for the average homeowner. You want home protection? There is a millenia-old solution that is not only reliable, safe, and extremely effective, but can also provide you with companionship on a daily basis.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Which is, I would imagine, why it has become standard operating procedure for home invading cops to always shoot the dogs first.

        1. James Levy

          I’m going to try not to respond precipitously, but are you implying that if the cops bust in you have a better chance of surviving if you are armed? Because I don’t think that’s true. And Mr. Maudlin has as much right not to have a gun in their home as anyone has a right to have a gun there. And most thieves will pass by a house with a dog. I can see lots of cases where a gun makes sense, and many where it does not.

          1. Oregoncharles

            No, I think it’s just a comment on police psychology. After all, they invade homes on a regular basis.

            1. different clue

              Has anyone been thinking about how to fortify houses against police home-invasions? Bullet-proof windows? Solid-steel doors opening outwards and closing inwards against solid-steel jams and frames? Making police-access slow enough that family has time to wake up and retreat into a concrete-and-steel “safe room” easily accessible from all parts of the house?

              And what to do when the family is in the “safe room” and the home-invading police have gotten into the house? Any way to have microwave elements set up in the rooms the police are likeliest to bust into first . . . . fireable from inside the safe room and soaking the police with oven-grade microwaves? Or perhaps ear-busting L-RAD devices? Or electrocution-methods?

              Have home-invading police groups actually driven real homeowners to begin thinking in these terms yet? (I speak of normal homeowners . . . not meth-lab defenders).

              1. ambrit

                Consider what happened to Dave “I’m Really G-d” Koresh and his group in their compound in Waco Texas.

      1. Lambert Strether

        Meaning that those who do own guns own several. Which makes the “protect the home” argument seem a little odd to me, though perhaps due to my inexperience: Suppose one has five guns with which to confront an intruder. Is it one for every room? Pick from a smorgasbord? Hand ’em out to the kids? What?

        1. ilporcupine

          Hi,Lambert. Yes! If you subscribe to the interpretation of the second amendment, bandied about in certain places, that it was intended to allow for citizens to overthrow OUR government, you would want to hand out weapons to everyone in your household, as well as anyone else holed up with you in your bunker! Surely you haven’t missed the prepper shows? All kids 7 and older gotta fight, too! Hard to run those simulations of SHTF scenarios, without guns for everybody!

        2. flora

          Hunters may have several long guns roughly divided into various rifles for deer, rabbits, elk, and shotguns for birds – geese, ducks, pheasants and quail.

          A family with 3 hunters in the household, say a dad and 2 teenagers who hunt, would have several guns. It’s not that rare or ominous.

          Too many gun control debates get hijacked into an endless all or nothing loop. ” All gun control laws want to take away all guns.” “The Second Amendment says anyone should have any gun anywhere anytime.” Makes it hard to have a rational discussion.

          1. bob

            I think you are correct, and obviously versed in the subject.

            Go after the makers. Glock come out on top. Tell glock to stop selling so many weapons, to, say….virginia gun stores for easy export north, where handgun laws are a lot tougher.

            It’s “you stop selling them to the criminals, or we take our buying and go somewhere else”.

            LE and mil are still the largest buyers of guns. They could exert extreme pressure on the makers, if they chose to do so.

            They haven’t.

    6. hemeantwell

      4) you feel the need for home protection

      as reasonable as it sounds, that gives Smith and Wesson a foot in the door. They’ll take it from there. Frankly, I’m pretty demoralized about this issue. With more — agh, the term “terrorist” is starting to become appropriate — attacks very likely on the way, the rationalization of fear-based gun ownership will have more “reality” to draw on than we’ve every experienced, unless you were black and wanted to defend yourself against racist whites, including the cops.

  3. fresno dan

    New York Daily News front cover divides America: ‘God Isn’t Fixing This’ (furzy mouse)

    Just reiterating what is noted on NC almost daily.
    There are about 30 murders by guns PER DAY in this country. Nearly twice as many were killed at Sandy Hook, and mostly children, as in this instance. The response was a big shrug – whatcha gonna do???
    Americans are amazingly stoic and fatalistic, and very much willing to bear the costs of random murder – and the 2nd amendment is the most important part of the constitution.
    Nothing can be done – we MUST accept that there isn’t perfect safety.
    Being murdered at the hand of a gun toting American is the patriotic thing to do…

    Yet the fractional number of deaths caused by terrorism in this country elicits ineffectual foreign war for decades. And more must be done. The shredding of most of the amendments in the Bill of Rights, that actually do nothing to prevent terrorism (apparently, Mr. Farook did not post on FACEBOOK that he was a terrorist…) EVERY politician says that we must be kept SAFE, and if we only listen to every telephone call, read every e-mail, and I suppose, every blog comment, we WILL BE.

    Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Human logic – imaginary stuff…

    1. fresno dan

      “Yet the fractional number of deaths caused by terrorism”
      what I meant was:
      Yet of the total US murders a mere fraction is caused by terrorism…

      1. JCC

        Side Note: Maybe a mere fraction of US murders are caused by terrorism, but a lot of ME murders are caused by US terrorism, well over 30 per day. And “mowing the lawn”, as noted in the Links Drone article, is only a small part.

        We live in a society and an age that produces more (devastatingly efficient )weapons per capita than at any other time in history, so why is everyone so shocked at the inevitable internal/domestic blowback?

        Forty years ago a visiting Russian student told me that in Russia at the time the US was commonly known as “the land of the wolves”. It’s a more apt description today than it ever was.

        1. fresno dan

          We are so inured to violence, both when we are the victims of it and dispense it, EXCEPT when there is a political reason to make a big deal out of it. We can endure astounding amounts of murder from American gun owners…

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I don’t know how they made pipe bombs, but it’s scary to know that they had a bunch of them.

            1. Oregoncharles

              My son made pipe bombs in high school to entertain his friends (harmlessly, fortunately – bunch of techy nerds). So did a friend of mine in high school, MANY years ago. They’re basically giant firecrackers, not a challenge at all. But they can be made to do maximum harm, or not. I won’t go into the technicals.

              Yes, it’s scary that it’s so easy; but they did the damage with guns, not bombs.

    2. tongorad

      Americans are amazingly stoic and fatalistic

      As generalizations go, I’m not so sure about this one. For instance, compare American culture to SE Asia. One of the worst things you can do in SE Asia is to get angry or emotional in public. In America, loosing your top and calling people out is just keeping it real.

      I think what you refer to as stoicism and fatalism is more like a profound lack of empathy and imagination – the values of the market & consumerism have become internalized…and solidarity, save for identity politics and militarism, is dead.

      1. Lambert Strether

        I’m not sure that’s entirely true:

        1) In the Beltway, at least, anger is totally taboo. And, in general, disagreement is often something people wish would simply go away.

        2) In Thailand, at least, having a “cool heart” is indeed a cultural value, but people get angry all the time, and very publicly.

        1. tongorad

          In Thailand, at least, having a “cool heart” is indeed a cultural value, but people get angry all the time, and very publicly.

          I must have missed that. I lived in Thailand for 11 years and I can’t recall that many (by comparison to the US) public displays of anger.

          1. Lambert Strether

            Well, “by comparison to the US,” sure(modulo the US elites, who must smile, and smile, and smile, unless they’re Donald Trump).

            The video I have in mind is when the husband brought the fancy woman to the house, and the wife and her friends started kicking the car and hitting it with sticks; there’s an entire genre of such videos circulating on the twitter. And I’m not trying to say that the level of road rage, for example, reaches or even approaches US levels; but it does exist. I’m more trying to speak against the notion of Thailand as an island of smiling Buddhist placidity. It’s no such thing.

      2. fresno dan

        I was being sarcastic with regard to how much gun violence Americans will accept, and nothing can be done – while while a fraction of the number murdered in a year by a terrorist demands war.

    3. fresno dan

      fresnodan WRONG AGAIN

      “Apparently, Mr. Farook did not post on FACEBOOK that he was a terrorist…”

      Tashfeen Malik pledged allegiance to an Islamic State leader in a Facebook posting prior to carrying out a mass shooting at a San Bernardino holiday party, two federal law enforcement officials said Friday.

      The officials, who were not authorized to speak publicly about the matter, cautioned that the new evidence did not mean that the militant group directed Malik and her husband to carry out the Wednesday attack and that investigators think it instead suggests that the couple had become self-radicalized.

      Malik, who was born in Pakistan, spent time in Saudi Arabia before becoming engaged to Syed Rizwan Farook. She gained legal permanent resident status last year after they were married.

      One of the officials said the post was made under a different name and had since been removed, apparently by Malik herself, but FBI technicians were able to recover the post. Officials said the posting strongly suggested the attack was premeditated.

      Malik, 27, and Farook, 28, a U.S. citizen of Pakistani descent, made an unsuccessful attempt to destroy their electronic devices, a federal law enforcement source told The Times.

      An attorney representing Farook and Malik’s family said Malik did not speak about Islamic State or terrorism.

      “As far as I know, there was no discussion of any of that [among family members],” Mohammad Abuershaid said.

      The couple married about a year and a half ago, he said. “It wasn’t like the family had much time to get to know her.”

      Abuershaid said the family was very conservative and that it would have been unlikely that Malik discussed her thoughts on world events, including the trouble in the Middle East, with her in-laws.

      “Tashfeen was an individual who kept to herself most of the time,” Abuershaid said.

      The family has met with the FBI and plans to meet with agency officials again on Monday, the attorney said.

      A senior federal official said agents believe Farook was in contact with a small number of suspected extremists, adding that they have picked up indications that he “communicated” with at least one individual whom U.S. law enforcement officials were monitoring.

      Farook’s connection to the potential terrorism suspect may be only tangential, the source said, but the link suggests there may be a “deeper terror matrix” behind the shootings.

      Thing of it is, my being wrong about Facebook postings actually strengthens my point about ever more monitoring of electronic communications being rather useless. The government wants to decrypt everything, monitor everything….
      Does that make us safer?
      If publicly posted pledges to ISIS doesn’t get investigated, if the authorities don’t have time to read public non encrypted stuff with the obvious search terms (?was ISIS actually? it would be interesting to see the supposed posting), why should we believe they will be able to triage billions upon billions of private communications???? Read them all on a timely basis, and than take action before an event occurs???

      1. ilporcupine

        I’m not drawing conclusions, yet, but watching this story for Made-in-Saudia-Arabia radicalization theme. Pointing out in story that she was Pakistani, and downplaying the time spent in SA.
        Interests, not Friends, right?

  4. fresno dan


    You tried to find: drone-pilots-expose-us-govt-murder-have-bank-accounts-andamp-credit-cards-frozen-by-feds-27457

    We can’t locate the page you’re looking for. Try some of the options below to find what you want:

    UH, sorry Mr. government monitoring man….uh, my finger slipped!!!!
    I think everybody in the government reading blogs is just dreamy…
    And I think you deserve a big pay increase, what with how tirelessly you work to keep us safe from terrorism…and bad ideas…..

      1. vidimi

        UGH. i couldn’t get past the first paragraph when i hit “The Hollande government of France is using the likely false flag attacks in Paris to…”

        false flag? such bold claims require bold evidence. i can’t be bothered reading sources like that.

        1. Vatch

          I agree that claims such as that false flag claim need solid evidence. However, there are other web sites with information about the drone whistleblowers who have had their accounts frozen. Unfortunately, I don’t know which sites are reliable, and which sites are, shall we say, fanciful. Here are the Google search words I used:

          drone pilot whistleblowers “bank accounts” “frozen”

          I got a lot more hits from a regular Google search than I got from a Google News search.

          1. JCC

            Vatch, my thoughts, too, so I did some digging.

            Here’s some more accurate info and more reliable… Craig Murray is a former UK envoy to the Middle east, canned for opposing the war in Iraq. He works with Radack, the lawyer for these guys.


            And then there is this:


            They haven’t been charged yet, but have been very seriously harassed which in my opinion is far worse.

            And it’s also far worse that MSM is hardly covering this at all, at least not since I read about this in a Reuters article about 3 weeks ago.

   has a copy of the letter and a further article if you care to search.

            It would appear that Fascism is most definitely on the march.

          1. TedWa

            Now, reports are that drone pilots are quitting in record numbers. Within a 12 month period, the Air Force lost 240 trained pilots! Now, the LA Times is reporting that the Air Force is hiring civilian defense contractors to fly MQ-9 Reaper drones, and are boosting the pay for new drone pilots.

            1. cnchal

              Insanity amplified.

              I get the sense, these will eventually be used to “protect the homeland” at home. Long bunker futures!

            2. Oregoncharles

              Just a theory, but I gather the drone pilots can actually see the explosion go off. A bomber pilot would be long gone. so despite the geographic distance, it’s effectively more personal.

              Plus, they don’t get the thrill of actually flying, which is most pilots’ main motivator.

              Apparently their PTSD level is astonishing.

              Anyway, these guys get enormous credit for real courage and integrity.

        2. Kurt Sperry

          I actually agree here. The false flag claim with nothing offered to support it is a big waving red flag that the writer of the piece linked to isn’t someone who should be taken seriously.

          The story itself though is an important one and one that rates wide dissemination and discussion. I just posted the text from the soldiers letter verbatim on my FB (yes, sorry) page:

          President Barack Obama
          The White House
          Washington, D.C.

          Secretary Ashton B. Carter
          Department of Defense

          Director John O. Brennan
          Central Intelligence Agency

          Dear President Obama, Secretary Carter and Director Brennan:
           We are former Air Force service members. We joined the Air Force to protect American lives 
          and to protect our Constitution. We came to the realization that the innocent civilians we were killing 
          only fueled the feelings of hatred that ignited terrorism and groups like ISIS, while also serving as a 
          fundamental recruitment tool similar to Guantanamo Bay. This administration and its predecessors 
          have built a drone program that is one of the most devastating driving forces for terrorism and 
          destabilization around the world.
           When the guilt of our roles in facilitating this systematic loss of innocent life became too much,
          all of us succumbed to PTSD. We were cut loose by the same government we gave so much to ­­ sent 
          out in the world without adequate medical care, reliable public health services, or necessary benefits. 
          Some of us are now homeless. Others of us barely make it.
           We witnessed gross waste, mismanagement, abuses of power, and our country’s leaders lying 
          publicly about the effectiveness of the drone program. We cannot sit silently by and witness tragedies 
          like the attacks in Paris, knowing the devastating effects the drone program has overseas and at home. 
          Such silence would violate the very oaths we took to support and defend the Constitution.
           We request that you consider our perspective, though perhaps that request is in vain given the 
          unprecedented prosecution of truth­tellers who came before us like Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange, 
          and Edward Snowden. For the sake of this country, we hope it is otherwise.

          Brandon Bryant
          Staff Sergeant
          MQ­1B Predator Sensor Operator
          SERE Instructor Trainee
          USAF Joint Special Operations Command
          3rd Special Operations Squadron
          Disabled Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran
          Founder of Project RED HAND

          Cian Westmoreland
          Senior Airman
          RF Transmissions Systems
          USAF CENTCOM
          73rd Expeditionary Air Control Squadron
          Disabled Afghanistan Veteran
          Project RED HAND’s Sustainable Technology Director

          Stephen Lewis
          Senior Airman
          MQ­1B Predator Sensor Operator
          USAF Joint Special Operations Command
          3rd Special Operations Squadron
          Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran

          Michael Haas
          Senior Airman
          MQ­1B Predator Sensor Operator Instructor
          USAF Air Combat Command
          15th Reconnaissance Squadron
          Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran

          Any formatting weirdness results from a copy and paste from a PDF copy of the letter.

    1. cnchal

      Here is the letter the brave poppies wrote.

      President Barack Obama
      The White House
      Washington, D.C.

      Secretary Ashton B. Carter
      Department of Defense

      Director John O. Brennan
      Central Intelligence Agency

      Dear President Obama, Secretary Carter and Director Brennan:

      We are former Air Force service members. We joined the Air Force to protect American lives and to protect our Constitution. We came to the realization that the innocent civilians we were killing only fueled the feelings of hatred that ignited terrorism and groups like ISIS, while also serving as a fundamental recruitment tool similar to Guantanamo Bay. This administration and its predecessors have built a drone program that is one of the most devastating driving forces for terrorism and destabilization around the world.

      When the guilt of our roles in facilitating this systematic loss of innocent life became too much,all of us succumbed to PTSD. We were cut loose by the same government we gave so much to ­­ sent out in the world without adequate medical care, reliable public health services, or necessary benefits.

      Some of us are now homeless. Others of us barely make it. We witnessed gross waste, mismanagement, abuses of power, and our country’s leaders lying publicly about the effectiveness of the drone program. We cannot sit silently by and witness tragedies
      like the attacks in Paris, knowing the devastating effects the drone program has overseas and at home.

      Such silence would violate the very oaths we took to support and defend the Constitution.
      We request that you consider our perspective, though perhaps that request is in vain given the unprecedented prosecution of truth­tellers who came before us like Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange, and Edward Snowden. For the sake of this country, we hope it is otherwise.

      Brandon Bryant
      Staff Sergeant
      MQ­1B Predator Sensor Operator
      SERE Instructor Trainee
      USAF Joint Special Operations Command
      3rd Special Operations Squadron
      Disabled Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran
      Founder of Project RED HAND

      Cian Westmoreland
      Senior Airman
      RF Transmissions Systems
      73rd Expeditionary Air Control Squadron
      Disabled Afghanistan Veteran
      Project RED HAND’s Sustainable Technology Director

      Stephen Lewis
      Senior Airman
      MQ­1B Predator Sensor Operator
      USAF Joint Special Operations Command
      3rd Special Operations Squadron
      Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran

      Michael Haas
      Senior Airman
      MQ­1B Predator Sensor Operator Instructor
      USAF Air Combat Command
      15th Reconnaissance Squadron
      Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran

      1. Ivy

        Your use of the word poppies made me think of the following poem by John McCrae:

        In Flanders fields the poppies blow
        Between the crosses, row on row,
        That mark our place; and in the sky
        The larks, still bravely singing, fly
        Scarce heard amid the guns below.

        We are the Dead. Short days ago
        We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
        Loved and were loved, and now we lie
        In Flanders fields.

        Take up our quarrel with the foe:
        To you from failing hands we throw
        The torch; be yours to hold it high.
        If ye break faith with us who die
        We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
        In Flanders fields.

        1. ewmayer

          I’ll see your “keep fighting the good fight, lads – getting blown up for no good reason whatsoever is your patriotic duty!” poesy and raise you a Wilfred Owen:

          If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
          Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
          And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
          His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin,
          If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
          Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs
          Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
          Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,-
          My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
          To children ardent for some desperate glory,
          The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
          Pro patria mori.

  5. Ignim Brites

    While it weaseled out of the obvious conclusion, the Rolling Stone piece presents a massive argument for secessionism to become part of the debate in 2016. One way to broach the topic is to present the nation’s cultural divide not as what it ostensibly is but rather as an evolutionary biological expression of speciation.

    1. kj1313

      Keep saying that NY and California should secede. And possibly other like minded and regionally codependent states. Though NYC metro area might be better off as a city state.

      1. inode_buddha

        Those of us who live in the *rest* of the state, hope and pray to God that they actually *do* secede.

    2. rusti

      Secession is a fun thought experiment, but I wonder what the fault lines would actually look like? Sorting election maps by county gives a very different picture than by state. And I’d question the extent to which red/blue is any sort of substantive delineation considering mainstream political discourse is limited to a remarkably narrow set of “safe” wedge issues.

    3. MikeNY

      As Yves has said, “Democracy doesn’t scale well.”

      I’ve long thought the U.S. is too big to be governable, and that it is too powerful, a menace to the world and its own citizens. Look at the DoD: QED.

      1. fresno dan

        For reasons hard to fathom, the Republicans seem to have made up their minds: they will divide, degrade and secede from the Union.

        They will do so with bullying, lies and manipulation, a willingness to say anything, no matter how daft or wrong. They will do so by spending unheard of sums to buy elections with the happy assistance of big business and wealthy patrons for whom the joys of gross income inequality are a comfortable fact of life. By gerrymandering and denying the vote to as many of the poor, the elderly, struggling low-paid workers, and people of color as they can. And by appealing to the basest impulses of human nature: anger, fear and bigotry.

        I disagree that they want secession. I agree with everything else and I would emphasize that they use propaganda – willful techniques to de-legitimize their opponents.

        Secession would hamper the republicans desire for world wide domination and enriching their patrons through “globalization”. They want a large population and a large economy to maintain a worldwide garrison, as well as needing a populace to supply enthusiastic cannon fodder.

        A smaller US might be better for the world and the inhabitants of the 2 smaller US’s, but I don’t think that is the plan of the republicans.

        1. Lambert Strether

          Well, it’s a two-party system. I’d argue that one should at least never take a position that blames Republicans only as an explanation. And Democrats are expert at avoiding responsibility.

          1. fresno dan

            I agree – but the article only addressed republicans. Of course, it applies to dems as well…

        2. optimader

          How does a political party that is distributed throughout a sovereign Country secede? Does not compute.
          Right off hand I see two alternatives:
          A political party could declare itself null and void, the vacuum to be taken up by one or more new parties that better represent the now defunct Party factions throughout a sovereign country;

          The membership intent on secession could resign from the Party, and organize as an insurgency through out a sovereign country, external to the existing lawful political process.

          1. Ignim Brites

            Secessionism is a lawful political process in Britain and Canada. It is difficult to propose that it really be considered unlawful here in the US.

            1. davidgmills

              Except that the Constitution does not permit it. Perhaps an amendment to the Constitution permitting secession would do the trick.

              1. Ignim Brites

                An amendment would be best but certainly the Supreme Court following the precedent set be the Canadian court could legitimize secession. Frankly, though it is the people who will legitimize secession. Would the rest of the states really go to war if Gov. Cuomo lead NY into secession?

              2. optimader

                Beyond the legal aspect, how does a geographically distributed group of like minded individuals secede? Not operational the way I see it.

      1. Ignim Brites

        Any secession would necessarily involve a peace treaty between the new sovereign nation and the remainder of the US. The treaty would address all assets of the US government domiciled in the new sovereign nation.

    4. different clue

      The problem with this theory is that most so-called Blue States are really Red States with some geographically small centers of Huge Blue Population. New York STATE is a Red STATE with a couple of Blue Cities ( New York City and Buffalo) and some blue college towns. But otherwise the State is Red. Same for Michigan. Maybe same for other so-called “Blue States”.

      1. Ignim Brites

        Any state seceding would have to agree in turn that political subdivisions, mostly counties, could secede. So following a New York secession, counties in upstate New York could in turn secede from the new “Empire Nation”. Practically this would mean that eventually NYC would become a city state much like Singapore.

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      Frank went to Haaavaaad, don’t-cha-know, where they teach their budding little plutocrats that they are above such paltry things as morals, ethics and laws made by man. Barnie is probably just blowing a few sophistic smoke rings to feel alive, stay in shape, show off to his grandchildren or some such.

      To be fair, in the early 60’s, Harvard was a lot less of an aristocratic cesspool than it is today, but then that particular turd of the Yard has had ample time to acquire a taste for that particular form of moisture.

  6. Carolinian

    Just to pick one sentence from The Warmongering Record of Hillary Clinton.

    Her loss to Obama in the Democratic primary in 2008 was due largely to Obama’s (supposed) antiwar position contrasting with her consistently pro-war position.

    If somebody wanted to, say, defeat HRC you’d think they might take this sentence to heart. It’s true that Sanders finally said in the last debate “I’m certainly not in favor of regime change.” However I believe he also has stated that Assad should go. So just to add a footnote to yesterday’s discussion on whether Sanders is offering a serious challenge–he is speaking out on the issues where he would likely have little power to bring about change (other than the bully pulpit) and whiffing on the issues where, as President, he really could make a difference. Of course given the current hysteria over Paris etc this might still result in primary defeat but at least it would be a challenge some of us could believe in. Simply attacking those beautifully overstuffed targets–the billionaires–isn’t enough. We are all the problem if we allow the US to continue wreaking havoc.

    1. MikeNY


      I fear another attack in the US before the election, because that could make all reasoned debate about terrorism and the ME impossible. The San Bernadino massacre may already have done this.

      1. Kurt Sperry

        Corbyn has taken a courageous stand against military interventionism in the ME in a country probably at least as conservative as the US. It’ll be interesting to see how that goes down in the UK. The Tories and the Blairites framed the Oldham by-election yesterday as a referendum on Corbyn and it didn’t turn out the way they had hoped. I suspect the support for such interventionism may turn out to be neither as broad or as deep as the conventional narratives would indicate. Remember the largely forgotten/ignored unprecedentedly massive popular demonstrations against Gulf War II in London.

    2. fresno dan

      Peace is not an option.

      I imagine fewer people believe in isolationism than in Elvis still being alive, or in UFOs, or in Santa Claus.
      I believe we are all implanted with a chip at birth telling us that “the US must lead!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” even though decades, upon decades have shown this to f*ck things up even more.
      I can only speculate that I shorted my implant out when I stuck my finger into the electrical outlet…

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s a new type of implant. Not a single implant, but many implants.

        Every time you hear a pop song or watch a TV show, you receive more implants.

      2. polecat

        blame it on P. Wilson & the o’l Bankster oligarchs of yester-year, to remove isolationism from the table!

    3. different clue

      Unfortunate that Sanders would support the same terrorists that Obama supports. How to get Sanders to understand it that way?

      Maybe if enough mean-minded people could get into all those house-parties-to-come in New Hampshire and keep asking Mr. Sanders versions of . . . ” So, Senator . . . are you with Putin and Assad?
      Or are you with Obama , Clinton and the terrorists?”

    1. fresno dan

      Don’t cha know? Our technology is perfect. As well as our people

      The CIA in fact said that drone strikes didn’t kill a single civilian in 2011, a claim almost no one believes***. In January 2011, an anonymous administration official told Bloomberg News, “The CIA since mid-2008 has executed about 200 strikes, killing roughly 1,300 militants and 30 non-combatants.” According to today’s Times report, another administration official put the number of civilian deaths since Obama took office “in the single digits.”

      The most over the top Obamabot stated that Obama drones have raised the dead that were the result of the evil Chaney/Bush drone strikes (OK – THIS IS PARODY – I have to label all my parody because I bet their are Obama supporters who believe that…)

      *** I believe it!!!! and I think all the brave CIA guys should get a raise….
      fresno dan
      December 4, 2015 at 8:16 am

      1. craazyboy

        Zombie Terrorists???? You can’t kill ’em ’cause they’re dead already…AND they’re suicidal???

        Obama has really screwed things up now. We need a Republican President that knows what he’s doing!

        1. Vatch

          There are movies about reanimated dead soldiers! Jean Claude Van Damme was one of those zombies in “Universal Soldier”.

  7. Jim

    Re. Fukushima, now that radiation is in California, We will be boycotting Pacific seafood for the rest of our lives. Suggest that Pacific fishermen sue the government of Japan for lost revenue.

    And as a reward to Japan for contaminating the Pacific, we will also be also boycotting all Japanese food exports which means local Japanese restaurants, unless they can verify that their food is sourced locally.

    Every anti-nuclear activist and environmentalist should do the same to punish Japan for the stupidity of what they did. You only have one body. Is that sushi or California roll worth getting stomach cancer?

    1. JeffC

      The legacy nuclear-power industry in the US is a safety disgrace and should be decommissioned.

      That said, the Pacific radiation plume measured at roughly 10 Bq per cubic meter of seawater (SimplyInfo link). Compare that to the normal radiation level in the human body of several thousand Bq due to naturally occurring radiation in food. (Easy to research.) The banana is a commonly cited source.

      The engineer in me looks at those numbers and feels like going out for a nice fish dinner.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        If not sushi, we can probably boycott all businesses, food or otherwise, that denote their profits to all apartheid states around the world.

      2. Oregoncharles

        @JeffC: Beware. Precisely because the “normal” (now very elevated, thanks to nuclear testing, etc.) background count is enough to cause cancer and mutations, there is no safe dose. Every increase increases your risk. Of course, being nuclear there’s that random element. Are you feeling lucky today?

        1. ewmayer

          Not following your ‘logic’ here – so because Fukushima-resulting radiation is miniscule compared to that from a dental X-ray or a long flight, I should worry about the small-potatoes stuff because it adds a tiny amount to the other exposures? How about doing even a small thing to cut the big offenders, like, say, only getting dental X-rays every other year, cutting one’s business travel by only flying when a face-to-face is genuinely necessary, getting one’s home checked for Radon, etc? Are you familiar with the concept of “orders of magnitude”? Your suggestion makes about as much sense as saying “because we’ve increased our radiation exposure so much over natural background (the actual figure is ~25%, BTW), you should move from your upstairs room to the ground floor because that lower elevation will save you a few clicks per year, and offset as much as one-millionth of your next dental X-ray.” Gee, I feel safer already.

          1. Oregoncharles

            The logic is that there is no threshold dose, because the natural background already passes the threshold, whatever it is.

            You’re correct, of course, that large avoidable doses – like x-rays – are more worth avoiding than small ones.

      3. different clue

        Don’t all the organisms in the seawater absorb and concentrate various radionuclides in their bodies? And don’t these radionuclides concentrate up the food chain? I wonder what the cesium levels are reaching in the bones of pacific salmon or indeed the bones of any pacific fish.

  8. IsabelPS

    Speedy recovery to your mother’s elbow. I’ve recently broke a wrist and know how we take our body parts for granted until they fail us.

    About refugees, in another bit of bad news I was reading this morning in the Portuguese press that some (Indian with PT nationality) people were arrested on suspicion of smuggling illegal workers to Portugal using the routes of refugees (Greece, for example).

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Aiee a wrist break is nasty! My mother broke that too, a few years back. Not so much the break but I gather the rehab is a fair bit of work. Good luck.

      How are you typing? Or do you dictate?

  9. flora

    Australia fines Uber driver:

    “Uber driver Nathan Brenner​ has been found guilty of driving a hire car without a commercial licence or registration, a decision that in effect confirms that the popular ride-sharing company is operating illegally in Victoria.”

    The “sharing economy” looks more like the good old-fashioned black-market economy. Computers make scaling and skim easier for the broker.

  10. knowbuddhau

    Sorry to hear about your mother, Lambert. Hope she doesn’t go bankrupt over it like I did over a broken wrist.

        1. Lambert Strether

          My bad — Yves’s Mom (my own mother is a story but another story). I had not yet the intro to links, and I was processing comments in the backstage, which does not show context.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        haha, she was sent home from the emergency room with a sling that does not fit well and painkillers. She is to get a pin in her elbow once the swelling goes down. Ugh.

        1. Gio Bruno

          …BTDT! Be forewarned that “pin” is likely to be a hex-headed screw that would scare the bejeezus out of you if you were shown it before the operation. And my guess is it will be a fully anesthetized event in an official OR.

      1. davidgmills

        I discovered recently that my wife is a descendant of a Hessian. It explains a lot. And that side of the family is not the mentally ill side.

  11. Barmitt O'Bamney

    Since no one else is doing it I’d like to toast the small victory for sanity and common sense witnessed in Denmark’s referendum on Eu integration. May many more like that spread across their poor besieged continent. The EU is an engine of oppression and mass disenfranchisement and it must go. It’s not too early for a toast, in case some object. It’s after 5pm in Copenhagen. So ‘Cheers’ to all the Danes who have more sense than their “leaders”.

    1. Kurt Sperry

      Referenda seem, to me at least, to more often than not yield a more “progressive” policy outcome than legislative processes. I think more direct democracy is indicated. Basically, I trust people generally more than I do professional politicians–it’s a lot harder to bribe *everyone* to your ends.

  12. cwaltz

    Hope your mum feels better. My sister runs into the same thing with ours. Last month she broke her foot TWICE. She couldn’t keep her off it(I guess we get our stubbornness honestly.)

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Data storage on DNA:The scientists acknowledge that their current bottleneck is in the ability to write the information in DNA, but they say they expect that technology to begin to improve rapidly.

    “It is absolutely about the technology and miniaturizing the scale of the reaction” used to create synthetic DNA, said Emily Leproust, the chief of Twist.

    Currently, it takes just seconds to store or retrieve data using magnetic tape cartridges — widely used by corporate computing centers to keep archival copies. But the cartridges themselves are often stored on shelves or in elaborate robotic retrieval systems; retrieving them and putting the data online for access can take hours.

    The cost and speed of encoding digital information in DNA will soon come down by several orders of magnitude, said Dr. Leproust, making it competitive with magnetic storage.

    Although it is snaillike in retrieval speed compared with electronic and magnetic memory, DNA will be far better in terms of the scale of the data it can store and the time scale.

    So, it can be stored longer, but slow to write and snaillike to retrieve.

    And one piece of data will correspond to your DNA.

    Wonder what that piece of data represents…

    1. polecat

      it represents your entire genome……which “They” will use to create the more perfect synthetic humon!

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I think somone’s DNA will be used to store something like, ‘It rained on Dec. 4, 2015.”

        And another person’s DNA will be used to store something like, ‘Neoliberalism is great.”

  14. rich

    JPMorgan Wrote Complaints After Firing a Whistle-Blower

    Johnny Burris, a former broker at JPMorgan Chase, might have known he was walking into a minefield when he decided to go public with his concerns about his former employer.

    The client complaints made it hard for Mr. Burris to get another job and helped scuttle his case against JPMorgan for wrongful termination. But when Mr. Burris recently reached two of the clients whose names had been on the complaints, they told him they had not, in fact, written the complaints — a JPMorgan employee had.

    It is not difficult to understand why JPMorgan employees might have been unhappy with Mr. Burris. In 2012, he made secret recordings of his supervisors at the bank pressuring him to sell the JPMorgan mutual funds instead of similar funds from competitors.

    After he shared these recordings with journalists and regulators, the Securities and Exchange Commission began investigating the issue. JPMorgan is now preparing to pay more than $100 million to settle an investigation into the bank’s marketing of proprietary funds, according to people briefed on the negotiations.
    Mr. Burris has a pending whistle-blower case before the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, arguing that he was fired because of the concerns he had raised about the JPMorgan proprietary funds.

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Wolf Street, Draghi fails to outdo his own hype.

    But it’s not working anymore. Something broke. Instead of making a roaring bull move, markets in Europe dove, and US stocks and bonds got hammered too. And that, if you’re betting on central banks, should put you in a pensive mood.

    Except a day later (today), the S&P is up, a lot.

    Those central banks, you can’t under estimate them.

  16. Left in Wisconsin

    Two eye-openers from the list:

    Moral Blankness George Monbiot (guurst). On Cameron, aka “Oinky”. From last month, still germane.
    I think he is on to something. This squares with many, many Rs I talk to who are absolutely convinced that budget cuts, even over years or decades, don’t really have to impair social services because everyone KNOWS that the public sector is full of fat and the only reason for the scare stories about real-life casualties is because the nefarious liberals that run the state are in fact willing to sacrifice the little people to protect their sinecures.

    Kentucky to slash $300 million in Private Equity Reuters (Chris Tobe)
    Not slashing PE out of moral or financial concerns but because it isn’t liquid enough for their needs, given that the fund is only 18% funded with total assets of less than three times what they paid out last year!

  17. Oregoncharles

    “Denmark holds referendum on relationship with EU*/ ”
    News this morning is that “no” won – just one more vote of non-confidence in the EU – and Danish politicians, as the vote would actually have empowered Parliament.

  18. bdy

    Uruguay’s my current expat fantasy. General Strikes on the table, no thanks TISA, humane drug laws, now a windmill on every corner!

  19. Oregoncharles

    Hope your mom recovers well. Falls are the bane of older people. Remember, you can’t take care of her without taking care of yourself, and you’ve earned a lot of patience from us.

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Sperm carries information about dad’s weight.

    I suspect it also carries information about dad’s greed.

    If you shift money from your right pocket to your left pocket and call it charity, the sperm will pass that karma on.

  21. rich

    Clinton Voices Confidence in Rahm Emanuel as Chicago Mayor

    Hillary Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, said she still has confidence in the embattled mayor of the city where she was born: Rahm Emanuel of Chicago.

    “I do,” Clinton told reporters Friday evening in Fort Dodge, Iowa. “He loves Chicago and I’m confident that he’s going to do everything he can to get to the bottom of these issues and take whatever measures are necessary to remedy them.”


    Bernie Sanders calls for accountability of Chicago officials

    (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said Friday that any official involved with suppressing the release of a video of the shooting death of a black teen by a white Chicago police officer should be “held accountable” and, if necessary, resign.

    Though Sanders never mentioned his name, the comments appeared aimed at Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a long-time ally of Bill and Hillary Clinton and former White House chief of staff to President Barack Obama.

    “Any elected official with knowledge that the tape was being suppressed or improperly withheld should resign. No one should be shielded by power or position,” Sanders said in a statement.

  22. different clue

    Would any Chicago official involved in suppressing that video hoping it would NEVER surface and the officer would NEVER face any charges . . . . be accessories-after-the-fact to 1st degree murder if the officer is convicted? And given the fact that no prosecutor would ever bring such a case against officials . . . is there a way for citizen-movement people to force the prosecution of prosecutable officials in the event of such a scenario playing out?

    For example, if that officer is indeed convicted, would Mayor Emmanuel be logically considered prosecutable for being an accessory-after-the-fact to that murder? Because of his role in directing the suppression of that tape?

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