Links 1/28/16

Consciousness may be the product of carefully balanced chaos Science (Chuck L)

Please Stop Saying Humans Aren’t Causing Climate Change Wired (resilc)

Theranos Lab May Pose Threat to Patient Safety, Regulator Says New York Times (allan)

Three new Zika virus cases confirmed in the USA: Los Angeles, Virginia, Minnesota Boing Boing (resilc)

With Zika outbreak, Brazil’s slump is becoming a nightmare Slate (resilc)

IMF, World Bank move to avert oil-led defaults Financial Times

OPEC Economies On Their Last Legs OilPrice


Hysteria over China has become ridiculous Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Doing the Math: Why China’s Exports Aren’t Adding Up Bloomberg (furzy)

Google and Apple hit back on EU tax deals Financial Times. The headline misleadingly makes Google and Apple sound as if they are in a strong position when deals to settle tax liability are being questioned on a widespread basis as too secretive and way too generous-looking.

The EUs banking union: a recipe for disaster Pieria (Chuck L)

Tories accused of shortchanging public as £26bn privatisation haul revealed Guardian (Dr. Kevin). Wait, that’s the point of privatization…the mistake is the bad PR.

Refugee Crisis

Sweden ‘to expel up to 80,000 failed asylum-seekers’ – BBC (furzy)

EU Report: Greece Has Neglected Border Obligations Wall Street Journal. Duh. Greece has lots of coastline, a not-heavily-populated border in the east, and a broke government.


Iran Daily: Khamenei Issues His Biggest Challenge With Election Ban of Khomeini’s Grandson EA WorldView. Resilc: “Can we be progressive like iran and have an election ban on more Clintons?”

The U.S. Intervention in Libya Was Such a Smashing Success That a Sequel Is Coming Intercept

The War on ISIS Expands to Libya American Conservative (resilc)

The U.S. was supposed to leave Afghanistan by 2017. Now it might take decades. Washington Post

Yemen and Crimes Against Humanity American Conservative (resilc)

SECDEF has been ambushed by reality. Sic Semper Tyrannis

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Chairman of Uber Military: Tech companies should cooperate with intelligence agencies on encrypted data Pando (Gabriel U)


Florida mayors to Rubio: We’re going under, take climate change seriously ars technica

Ted Cruz Is the Genuine Extremist in the Republican Race Charles Pierce, Esquire (resilc)

Here’s What Ted Cruz Won’t Tell You About His Days as a Corporate Lawyer Mother Jones

Donald Trump announces event to benefit veterans during Fox debate and Veterans group to Donald Trump: Keep your donations CNN (furzy)

Ta-Nehisi Coates on Hillary Clinton’s Strange History of Reconstruction Atlantic (resilc)

Hillary Clinton Doing Finance Industry Fundraiser Just Before Iowa Intercept (resilc)

The Five Lamest Excuses for Hillary Clinton’s Vote to Invade Iraq FPIF

Ha Ha: Hillary Clinton’s Top Financial Supporter Now Controls “The Onion” Intercept (resilc)

Bernie Sanders’s Radical Environmental Proposal New Republic

Bernie Sanders finally answers the God question Washington Post (curlydan)

Walter Scott attorney Justin Bamberg endorses Sanders over Clinton Slate (resilc)

Why political operatives taking over Silicon Valley should scare the shit out of you Pando (Gabriel U)

Angry White Men

The Time the Federal Government Used a Predator Drone to Arrest Armed Ranchers Motherboard


The Fed in a Bind Mohamed El-Erian Bloomberg

Fed Keeps Rates Unchanged, Signals Concern About Growth Fiscal Times

Is Bank of America on Life Support?

Guillotine Watch

Paul Allen megayacht destroyed most of protected coral reef, officials say Seattle Times (agreenie)

Paul LePage Floats Idea of Publicly Beheading Drug Dealers With Guillotine New York Magazine (resilc). As sadistic-looking as the results are, we have not improved over the guillotine in terms of immediate (therefore no unnecessary suffering) pretty fail safe ways of killing people. Separately, I want to have a mini guillotine business. They could be the Pet Rocks of Christmas 2016. You have kitchen sized ones, say big enough to cut a grapefruit or a carrot. But how do you get the force on such a short run to cut a carrot? The physics don’t work very well scaled down. Plus image the liability with kids who decide to play with them.

Class Warfare

We brought an antenna to Davos to track private air travel, and here’s what we found Quartz

Davos Wants You To Know the Future Will Be As Stupid As Possible Gawker

Why it’s so hard to succeed in Silicon Valley when you grew up poor Vox

Teacher assistants in the Mississippi Delta have an enviable job. Also, they earn $9 an hour. Slate

The World’s Favorite New Tax Haven Is the United States Bloomberg (resilc). Not news if your read Nicholas Shaxzon’s Treasure Islands.

School Desegregation Lawsuit Threatens Charters American Prospect. About time.

The continued surveillance of poor black kids Cathy O’Neil

A Task Force Just Explained How to Cut the US Federal Prison Population Vice (resilc)

Drivers’ suit against Uber to go to trial Financial Times

Antidote du jour. From Chet:

From Monday’s release of a golden eagle in central Pennsylvania via Centre Wildlife Care.

Golden eagles are particularly special because they no longer live in the eastern United States (need I say why?), but goldens do pass through here during their migrations north and south.

I’ve a fuller account of the release on my site at

a9631-zeus-edge-fly-25jan16. links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Chris in Paris

    Re: the guillotine…for the morbidly curious the very last public use of France’s preferred mode of capital punishment can be seen on YouTube. It took place on Place André Mignot in Versailles. No plaque marks the spot.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The last public use of ‘death by a thousand cuts’ in China, curiously, was photographed by a French man, I think.

      Something about knives that is scarier than a hand gun…slower and more gruesome. That psychological aspect…

      May have to add universal knife ban to universal hand gun ban.

      1. Antifa

        At least one person has suggested adding a magnetically accelerated rail gun to the traditional guillotine, firing the blade at several hundred miles per hour at the condemned. No chance of error.

        There’s a patent for a roller coaster with ten or so very tight loops in a series, which produces instant blackout followed by brain death from prolonged G-load. The ride begins atop a 230-foot tall tower that accelerates the car to about 250 mph.

        The Chinese continue to favor the single shot to the head, with the bill sent to the family. (This is only one source of death by lead poisoning in that nation.)

        In the Ozark hill country, one hears rumors of a clan remedy involving peanut butter, squirrels, and banjo music. Some families down there are still settling scores from the Revolutionary War.

        In the barbarian age, some tribes placed condemned men in the front rank when marching off to battle, and one way or the other they weren’t coming back. Get some use out of them before they go was the idea. These condemned men wore some distinguishing sign of their status, and the enemy was terrified of these warriors who came there only to die. They were likely to take you along for the ride.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Antoine Lavoisier famously tried to talk afterwards and supposedly managed a couple of dozen lip movements. Though the guillotine was hailed as a very humane invention compared to the various other available methods, also very efficient, at the peak of its usage during the Terror they could service one client every 30 seconds.

    2. RP

      Silly LePage, wanting to guillotine drug dealers.

      Doesn’t he know that the guillotine is reserved for top-down class war criminals? Read a damn book.

      1. hunkerdown

        Any politician who thinks my bodily fluids are theirs to regulate should go first. Though, personally, I’d rather have them flopping around on the table for an hour.

      2. Carolinian

        Actually I’m currently reading a book on the French Revolution and one argument for the guillotine was that it was more democratic. Previously head chopping had been reserved for the high and mighty while ordinary criminals were hung. Citizens under the new regime could take comfort that they were getting the same treatment as the King.

        The Nazis used the guillotine for some of their executions. The movie Sophie Scholl rather shockingly recreates her fate.

        1. john

          Perhaps the worst thing I ever saw was the US FEMA purchase order for guillotines. A hundred as I recall.

          They are literally waiting on train cars for a civil disorder big enough to warrant them.

          FEMA’s job is not to protect us when ‘it’ goes down, but to establish concentration camps to put a lid on everything. Starving masses will be rounded up, as an inconvenience.

          Remember the Superdome during Katrina? That’s FEMA at work.

          Also, who needs guillotines? The Zima (or whatever) virus in south america is only spread by one strain of mosquitos, and I hear it’s the strain bio-engineered by Bill Gates.

          The population of such mosquitos has grown, reportedly.

    3. perpetualWAR

      I know an artist that is building a guillotine on her front lawn in response to the government’s lack of action concerning the bank crimes. I would love to build one too, but no money.

      Anyone else? I think this trend needs to go viral. Guillotines should be springing up in all cities!

  2. Kokuanani

    “Can we be progressive like iran and have an election ban on more Clintons?”

    I’m assuming that would cover Chelsea as well?

    And let’s include Bush family members.

    1. Wyoming

      Hmmm, …. but if we are going to get serious about this we have to include a lot more than the Bush family. Others:

      “John Quincy Adams (the 6th president) was the son of John Adams (the 2nd president).

      Benjamin Harrison (the 23rd president) was the grandson of William Henry Harrison (the 9th president).

      James Madison (the 4th president) and Zachary Taylor (the 12th president) were second cousins.

      Franklin Delano Roosevelt (the 32nd president) was a fifth cousin of Theodore Roosevelt (the 26th president). Genealogists have determined that FDR was distantly related to a total of 11 U.S. presidents, 5 by blood and 6 by marriage: John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Ulysses Grant, William Henry Harrison, Benjamin Harrison, James Madison, Theodore Roosevelt, William Taft, Zachary Taylor, Martin Van Buren, and George Washington.”

      But if we are going to include the Clinton’s then how do we leave out the Kennedy’s, the Taft’s, and then there are plenty of other American political dynasties which should be banned as well like the Long’s, the Daley’s, the Lee’s, the Udall’s, etc. There are literally hundreds of them as found here

      And then we should ban all the rich pukes if we are going to be logical about it.

      Come to think of it I might be the last person eligible. How’s that for a quick solution. Saves a lot of money too!

  3. Steven D.

    I have bookmarked Daniel Larison at American Conservative. He is a treasure. Shows that ideological labels are meaningless, but not in the way phony corporate centrists want us to think. People coming at things from a conservative traditionalist perspective feel betrayed by systemic corruption just as much as those in the left.

    1. Uahsenaa

      Makes sense. Classic conservative political philosophy, a la Burke, seeks to preserve the status quo so as to preserve not only stability but the rights that traditionally attend to citizens/subjects. Burke actually defended the American Revolution on the grounds that they were being denied their rights as English subjects.

      Modern “conservative” (read: neoliberal) principles have completely transformed our political economy and thereby disenfranchised people on a massive scale, at least in terms of the ballot box. I imagine Burke would have been horrified by this, though it’s always a risky proposition betting on the opinions of dead people.

      1. hunkerdown

        Have they? Or have they perhaps largely restored the older political economy contemporary to Burke (and Arthur Young, keeping the working-class poor in order to keep them industrious)?

    2. fresno dan

      O yeah, I agree very much.
      Indeed, first of all, there is no official academy of “conservatism” that defines what conservatism is.
      Or to the extent that there repub “principals” such as:
      small government (homeland security)
      federalism (no child left behind)
      free market (bail outs)
      they are violated constantly.

      And of course, who is the high priest of conservative media? FOX or Limbaugh????
      All that said, this dispute is turning into a spectacle with two losers. Fox News unwisely sent out a statement yesterday designed to mock the Republican front-runner for his decision to launch a Twitter poll on whether he should participate in the debate. Here’s what that statement said:

      We learned from a secret back channel that the Ayatollah and Putin both intend to treat Donald Trump unfairly when they meet with him if he becomes president — a nefarious source tells us that Trump has his own secret plan to replace the Cabinet with his Twitter followers to see if he should even go to those meetings.

      On CNN’s “New Day” this morning, co-host Alisyn Camerota, who formerly worked at Fox News, espied certain fingerprints on that statement: “God, this is such typical Roger Ailes playbook. I worked for him for many years; I recognize this.”

      Other pundits recognize it as well — and they’re using it to aver that Trump has some firm footing in bailing on Fox News. Firm footing that he’d never have otherwise.

      Example: On SiriusXM’s “Breitbart News Daily,” host Stephen K. Bannon welcomed Eric Trump, son of the candidate/real estate mogul, to tee off on the Fox News release. Bannon set up the younger Trump with these words: “To have a network, a news network, send out a press release that takes our two mortal enemies — the Persians and the Ayatollah and [Vladimir] Putin and the Russians — and makes it, like, some mockery thing … Would Bill Paley do that at CBS back in the old days? Would the heads of NBC do that in the old days? Would ABC News do that in the old days? Has anybody in the history … of media ever sent out a press release to a presidential candidate that’s leading … and they would mock him as commander in chief? Who does that?”

      Though it’s a radio interview, you can almost hear Eric Trump nodding in agreement. He responded: “It gives the American people, actually, I think, the first look into politics. It’s something I had never seen before until I got a back-row seat to this whole crazy race. But it shows that there are a couple of people up at the top who try to control politics a lot more, right? I mean, this should be the decision of the American people, this should be the decision of them, not the decision of some network which wants to influence which candidate will ultimately be the head of the GOP. And that’s really what’s happening and it’s really kind of disingenuous. Politics have really been turned on their face, right?”

      Oh I just love it! LOVE IT!!!
      I really, really, REALLY hope Trump goes after Ailes hammer and tong. And I really hope Limbaugh as well. The vast majority of FOX viewers are old, and they LOVE their social security and medicare – they just really don’t know what “conservatives” like Ailes really want with regard to those programs
      (most conservatives are “feeling” conservatives – they spend no time reading in depth analysis of issues – they simply believe the person who shouts the loudest that they love America the most IS the person that loves America the most).
      And the intricate, measured, ….namby pamby “exposes” or “analyses” by the mainstream media about Ailes and the inconsistencies of right wing policy positions are just invisible to these people – but get Trump and Limbaugh involved, and there is gonna be trouble in paradise….
      Ailies is too clever by half – he has exposed the truth that the repub base only has about 30% that believe in repub orthodoxy…

      1. andyb

        One of the principal problems with calling Fox a conservative channel, is that the underlying agenda of news coverage is hardly conservative and has subtly promoted neoliberal and neocon memes. Murdoch and Ailes are big open borders advocates and one world government proponents. Constant lies about Syria, Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, MH17; a constant forum for the Seal that DIDN’T kill Bin Laden because he died in 2001; the constant disinformation about ISIS; etc etc etc. Ask yourself why Israel, Jews, or Jewish/Israeli institutions have never been attacked by any of the supposed “terrorist” organizations that have really been formed, nurtured, trained and armed by Sunni monarchies, the CIA and Mossad.

  4. Mary

    So happy to see the mention of Centre Wildlife Care in the antidote!! We are Penn Staters and know this organization well as it is fairly near to University Park. They do fantastic work!!!!

  5. diptherio

    Golden eagles are particularly special because they no longer live in the eastern United States (need I say why?)

    I think I know this one. Is it because Nixon switched to fiat eagles in the ’73?

  6. Carolinian

    Re Oil: Pam Martens says that the Wall Street banks have more than a little to do with the oil price roller coaster.

    The chart of crude oil has the distinct feel of a pump and dump scheme, a technique that Wall Street has turned into an art form in the past. Think limited partnerships priced at par on client statements as they disintegrated in price in the real world; rigged research leading to the bust and a $4 trillion stock wipeout; and the securitization of AAA-rated toxic waste creating the subprime mortgage meltdown that cratered the U.S. housing market along with century-old firms on Wall Street…..

    The Federal Reserve, the sole regulator in the United States of bank holding companies, has known since at least 2009 that the mega Wall Street banks were building massive positions in physical commodities. It was that year that 60 Minutes revealed that Morgan Stanley had the capacity to store and hold 20 million barrels of oil and Goldman Sachs had taken stakes in companies that owned oil storage terminals – while both firms’ oil analysts made public statements that oil would reach $150 and $200 per barrel, respectively.

    Now that Morgan Stanley has shed significant exposure to oil, its analysts are singing a different tune. Earlier this month on January 11, Bloomberg News reported that Morgan Stanley was predicting that “Oil is particularly leveraged to the dollar” and could potentially fall to $20.”

    Since Krugman bashing is a welcome trend lately it’s worth recalling the days when he was claiming the post crash run up in oil prices couldn’t be due to speculators–he worked it out mathematically. Perhaps his favorite expression–“wonkish”–is another word for flimflam.

    1. fresno dan


      With regard to Krugman, it is especially delicious because his whole “trade” rationale is exposed as total bullsh*t….as well as his lapdog defense of banking…AND markets. I’ll give him credit for “and” and “the”

        1. fresno dan

          Oh, thanks for that – I would not have come across it! Just too marvelous!!!
          Oh well, so much for those of us backing or leaning towards Sanders. I guess we just have to turn to that old Washington saying, “better right than expert.” In other words, it’s better to rely on people who have a track record of being right than the people who have the best credentials.

          What is so annoying about Krugman’s VSP thing is that it is just an especially obnoxious euphemism for those who disagree with the advocate of a view as stupid/ill-informed and than the critic adds insult to injury by piously proclaim that they do not engage in ad hominem attacks.

    1. fresno dan

      Good catch!
      I actually didn’t know Yves Smith was a pen name for the author of this blog! Because of this great shame, I will now commit seppuku (with an eight of an inch long pen knife…damn, that still hurts – make it a 32nd of an inch…)

    1. Torsten

      Whoops, Unable to delete the above…

      60,000 is ~2.6% of the *total* U.S. prison population. It is ~28% of the *federal* prison population. So that’s a 2.8% reduction per year. I find it hard to believe justice in the U.S. might become so merciful.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Perhaps a change of perspective might ease the pain…think of the planet as one giant prison. We’re all in it and rarely does anyone escape, without returning…so far.

      One can also think of it as one giant graveyard. Every thing ever lived is buried in it, as it meanders through space. Only one or two had their ashes scattered out of the planet, buried in space, as it were – in that case, the universe can be thought of as one giant graveyard.

      Being a little morbid or just looking at it as it is???

    1. griffen

      Funny quote about Summers.

      The author could incorporate the stance of Greenspan and the FOMC, which also didn’t hurt ( excluding a blood bath in ’94 or ’95, a rapid tightening phase ).

    2. Clive

      I work for a TBTF. I know for a fact Hillary Clinton hasn’t the faintest intention nor the foggiest idea even if she did about how to rein one in.

  7. fresno dan

    The Five Lamest Excuses for Hillary Clinton’s Vote to Invade Iraq FPIF
    “She voted for the war because she felt it was politically necessary.”

    First of all, voting for a devastating war in order to advance one’s political career isn’t a particularly strong rationale for why one shouldn’t share responsibility for the consequences — especially when that calculation proved disastrously wrong. Clinton’s vote to authorize the invasion was the single most important factor in convincing former supporters to back Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary, thereby costing her the nomination.

    Nevertheless, it still raises questions regarding Hillary Clinton’s competence to become president.

    To have believed that supporting the invasion would somehow be seen as a good thing would have meant that Clinton believed that the broad consensus of Middle East scholars who warned of a costly counterinsurgency war were wrong — and that the Bush administration’s insistence that U.S. occupation forces would be “treated as liberators” was credible.

    After all, for the war to have been popular, there would have had to be few American casualties, and the administration’s claims about WMDs and Iraq’s ties to al-Qaeda would have had to be vindicated. Moreover, some sort of stable pro-Western democracy would have emerged in Iraq, and the invasion would have contributed to greater stability and democracy in the region.

    If Clinton believed any of those things were possible, she wasn’t paying attention. Among the scores of reputable Middle East scholars with whom I discussed the prospects of a U.S. invasion in the months leading up to the vote, none of them believed that any of these things would come to pass. They were right.

    Nor was pressure likely coming from Clinton’s own constituents. Only a minority of Democrats nationwide supported the invasion, and given that New York Democrats are more liberal than the national average, opposition was possibly even stronger in the state she purported to represent. Additionally, a majority of Americans polled said they would oppose going to war if Saddam allowed for “full and complete” weapons inspectors, which he in fact did.

    Finally, the idea that Clinton felt obliged to support the war as a woman in order not to appear “weak” also appears groundless. Indeed, every female senator who voted against the war authorization was easily re-elected.

    really? REALLY??? Amazing…
    If Hillary’s “supporters” are providing the above rationale (politically necessary) its hard to imagine how her opponents could come up with better arguments against her – – maybe the supporters think its a “preemptive strike” kind of thing to take out the arguments against her by “cleverly” incorporating them as arguments for her??? Nobody will notice?
    “hey everybody, Hillary is just a crass politician who votes FOR WAR to get elected!”
    “Yeah, but her friends say that is a reason to vote for her!”
    “Damn…now we can’t use that argument….HEY! WAIT A MINUTE!!”
    Really, it boils down to inept in substance, as well as inept politically.

    1. Strangely Enough

      Anecdotally, the preemptive strike seems to be an “old news,” “who cares?,” and a collective shrug.
      And then Republicans, Supreme Court, bros…

  8. Vatch

    Paul Allen megayacht destroyed most of protected coral reef, officials say

    Life imitates art. The first thing that comes to my mind is the Thunderball villain with an eyepatch: Emilio Largo.

  9. fresno dan

    The U.S. was supposed to leave Afghanistan by 2017. Now it might take decades. Washington Post

    Who could have foreseen that?
    I don’t see the US being able to “win” or passify or whatever term one would prefer. But with the amazing advances in propaganda, virtual reality, and self delusion, I fully expect that we will convince ourselves that when we leave we will have achieved peace with honor…

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Not too far from Afghanistan is the Taklamaka desert.

      I believe the name means ‘you enter, but you can’t leave’ in one native language over there.

      If so, the name does not seem to be very unique.

    2. Jim Haygood

      Operation Mockingbird soldiers on, advancing the propaganda (via the compliant WaPo) that permanent war is necessary to prop up a distant government in a primitive country on the other side of the planet. Just as we propped up the Van Thieu regime in Vietnam until Ho Chi Minh kicked our ass it became untenable to do so.

      Naturally permanent war suits the interests of the military-intelligence complex, preserving and increasing their on-record and black budgets.

      As in 1930s expansionist Japan, a militarist regime has hijacked our country in a behind-the-scenes coup. They own the invertebrate named Obama, while the 535 KongressKlowns are owned by the Lobby, whose agenda is to keep the U.S. quagmired in the Middle East, destabilizing Islamic countries.

      1. tiresoup

        Thank you. This needs to be said, and no one who works for corporate media is even allowed to think it.

      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        True patriots need to get with the program, Permanent War is the lifeblood of the New American Economy and every convenience store clerk and restaurant waitress within 100 miles of a Raytheon plant owes their very paycheck to The Cause. It’s a circular miracle of efficiency: patriotic firms like Raytheon build complex multi-million dollar robots (drone missiles) that are destroyed upon their first use, their use creates unlimited new justification for their further use by pissing off the uppity brown people who have the temerity not to like being blown to smithereens for no reason, so new missiles must be continuously manufactured and destroyed. As progress marches on the next step is electromagnetic rail guns in space, Grandma can do her part by moving to a cheaper brand of cat food. Future economists will be in awe, Krugman’s broken windows on steroids, all Hail the New Economy!

  10. fresno dan

    SECDEF has been ambushed by reality. Sic Semper Tyrannis

    The Borg has never wanted to understand that a lot of the people whom we want to join us in fighting IS are actually quietly* supportive of the anti-Western goals of IS.

    To me, this is what is so disheartening about the American political system.
    I don’t mind someone putting forth the proposition that we should be involved in the mideast – – I strongly disagree with it, but people can argue for it if they choose.
    But to constantly put forth the idea that we can get ANY help from people who we delusionaly call allies reveals a system that either systematically selects for the:
    A – most ill informed (I mightily restrained myself from saying stupid)
    B – the most venal – say the most popular thing and make it sound that it can be done easily. And this from people who yammer incessantly about courage, toughness, telling it like it is.

    If we want to fight ISIS, we will have to do it ALONE. Mideasteners will pay no more attention to a repub president than a dem president. It would probably be worse, much worse, than Iraq. (uh, it is Iraq – which kinda shows how good we are at REALLY winning wars…)

    * “quietly” is just another face saving device. Perhaps the state department of the US and all the repub presidential candidates don’t know what being “yesed” is, but most adults understand that a lot of times people agree to do something…and than don’t do it.

    1. James Levy

      It’s amazing how Israel gets a pass on this. People who will kill Arabs at the drop of a hat not fighting ISIS? Shouldn’t that beg a couple of questions from the Poobahs at the WSJ, NYT, and WP? Shouldn’t it get all those Republican presidential wannabes riled up and yelling “surrender monkeys” at Tel Aviv (oh, I should have said Jerusalem, my bad). Where’s the outrage, as they like to say.

      1. fresno dan

        I think what team red exposes is that coherence, logic, consistency, critical thinking is just not part of modern American political discourse. Team blue, in what passes as radicalism, decides to attempt to consider being an eighth of an ounce less stupid…
        We are now implementing Woody Allen’s scene from the movie “Bananas”
        Woody Allen in an aircraft with paratroopers. Woody tentatively asks grizzled sergeant if they will be fighting for the government or against the government. Sergeant replies because of the US’s lack of success in picking winners, half of the US soldiers will be fighting for the government, and half will be fighting against the government…

        As I’ve said, you just can’t do parody anymore, because absurdity is a level of intellectualism that nobody would find believable…

  11. ambrit

    I occasionally ‘click’ on the Occupy banner by mistake. I did it this morning and up came a blue gray screen; “ is no longer available.”, below that, “The authors have deleted this site.”
    Thus an artifact of the Struggle fades from sight.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Well they DO have the “authority.” The prez says so.

      But they’re gonna have to stock up on more bombs first since they’ve burned through what they had.

      “We’re in the business of killing terrorists and business is good,” Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said in statement.

      “We’re expending munitions faster than we can replenish them. B-1s have dropped bombs in record numbers. F-15Es are in the fight because they are able to employ a wide range of weapons and do so with great flexibility,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh in a statement. “We need the funding in place to ensure we’re prepared for the long fight. This is a critical need.”

      If you haven’t seen the drone footage / photos of the destruction in Syria, google it. It’s hard to believe there’s anything left to pulverize anywhere in the middle east.

      1. fresno dan

        Boulders can be pulverized into stones, stones can be pulverized into rocks, rocks pulverized into pebbles, pebbles pulverized to chips, chips pulverized into dust, dust pulverized into microdust, microbust into nanodust,….molecules into atoms, protons, quarks….and I don’t know if they really have found the smallest particles……but hey, nothing another 1000 billion dollars ‘bombing research’ in the mideast can’t find out! And, if push comes to shove, I’m sure we could bomb the vacuum of space….we need to keep the stock prices of the defense contractors up!

        1. JTMcPhee

          Here’s the next phase, or maybe a parallel phase, of Increasing GD(W)P (W for “world,” and the “wise” way all this is entered into the Great Balance Sheet and Cash Flow):

          and this one-among-many,

          And in old news,

          And this from the Enlightened:

          Off to Moderation!

  12. Patricia

    Re Ta-Nehisi Coates: “In the Democratic Party, there is, on the one hand, a candidate [Clinton] who seems comfortable doling out the kind of myths that undergirded racist violence. And on the other is a candidate [Sanders] who seems uncomfortable asking whether the history of racist violence, in and of itself, is worthy of confrontation.”

    One is not the same as the other.

    Dixon has good words in radio commentary and also a follow-up article on:

  13. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Bernie Sanders finally answers the God question Washington Post (curlydan)

    And a STELLAR answer it was, too, from my perspective:

    “I think everyone believes in God in their own ways, “ he said. “To me, it means that all of us are connected, all of life is connected, and that we are all tied together.”

    I think even god would approve.

    As opposed to, say, his primary opponent, who “worships” as a proud “methodist” :

    “When I go to a [Clinton] fundraiser, I feel like I’m going into Rosh Hashanah services,” joked Marc R. Stanley, a Texas lawyer and former chairman of the board of the National Jewish Democratic Council.

    Or the evangelical’s evangelical who advocates “carpet bombing,” and would like to find out if “sand glows in the dark.”

    Say amen.

          1. fresno dan

            How about a shout out to pastafarians????

            I am a reformed pastafarian – I eat the non carb pasta (I don’t know if it is actually organic material or not – I’m thinking its recycled running shoe laces)….and the non-meat meatballs, which I guess should be called plant/insect/sewage protein spheres….and the non cheese artificial imitation dry cheese stuff you sprinkle on top…hmmm, I think the red sauce is actually partially composed of plants descended from tomatoes…..

            when you are a reformed pastafarian, death holds no fear…

            1. ambrit

              Shouldn’t that be, “reformulated pasta-farinians?” My wife, who is careful about what she eats, will refer to me, when I indulge in a “wheel of death” as her “glutinous maximus.”

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I was hoping for something like, the Force is in each of us. May the Force in you be strong.

          1. polecat

            i see the ‘force’ in the bamboo growing in my yard, in the honeybees flitting to and fro, in my hens as they look me, talking in their chicken jib, in everything!

      1. diptherio

        Well, if you’re at a Christian shindig you’ve always got Mary, although protestants aren’t too into her. For the Jews you can go with Shekinah – roughly the divine presence on earth – which is generally spoken of in feminine terms.

        Goddess worshipers just have to learn to use different names in different contexts, is all. It’s cool, since I’ve had some Hindus tell me that all the Goddesses are really all one anyway…ditto the Gods…ditto everything else too, now that I think about it…

        1. Vatch

          Some scholars think that prior to the Deuteronomist reforms of approximatelly 600 BCE, the goddess Asherah was worshipped as Yahweh’s wife. It may have taken a few centuries after that to completely eradicate Jewish Asherah worship.

            1. Elizabeth Burton

              In Jewish lore, Adam’s first wife was Lilith, who was too uppity and independent and expected to be his equal. So, she was discarded and became the “mother of demons” so Yahweh could provide Adam with that good little “helpmeet.”

              Interesting if Lilith derived from Asherah.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          He could have said, ‘There are demigods among us. They aim to become gods and goddesses themselves, to dwell in heaven. But the truth is, I am here to tell you, that we all have divine-ness within each of us. We are equally divine-ness-wise. You are just capable of helping yourselves, individually and collectively, as I am.”

      2. Jess

        I have been fortunate to meet a few goddesses in my time and I always worshiped them as much and as long as I could.

    1. diptherio

      I grew up Methodist too, but in the Mountain West, not down south like the Hillster. Them southern Methodists are a pretty uptight bunch. There’s been a big split in the church along geographic lines over what the proper Christian response to homosexuality is, and you can just guess which side the southerners are on….(hint: not the side that points out that Jesus never once mentioned gays, but did tell us to love everybody). We always referred to southern Methodists as “no-dancing Methodists,” since rumor had it that they think cutting a rug is sinful. I don’t know if that’s true or not, though….

      1. Vatch

        down south like the Hillster

        She grew up in a Chicago suburb. She didn’t move south until she was an adult and she followed Bill to Arkansas.

      2. Jim Haygood

        Whereas the demarcation line of “dancing” vs “no dancing” culture roughly follows the 100th meridian of longitude, both in religion and country music. They don’t call it “western swing” for nothin’ …

    2. Vatch

      The interconnectivity of everything is an important concept in Huayen (Huayan) Buddhism. It’s usually translated as interpenetration.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    IMF, World Bank to avoid oil-led defaults.

    Treating loss-avoidance as income, it sounds a lot like Basic Income Guarantee for banks here.

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    When you grew up poor, it’s hard to succeed in the Silicon Valley.

    Not even if you inherited genius-hood at birth from your parents un-taxed?

    The standard narrative is that any great, true genius can succeed at anything, without much effort.

    “I aced my last exam and I didn’t even study at all.”

    “Whoa, you are a genius. I am so jealous.”

    1. griffen

      That’s an interesting article; that being said the author did manage to attend Stanford (I must assume they don’t accept dummies).

      It’s much harder if the only out is attending the William J Lepetomaine Center for the Insane Gambler.

  16. afisher

    Trump and raising funds off-of (for) Veterans. Why is it that no one talked about the news yesterday that Wounded Warriors Project is starting to smell – not quite a Ponzi, but oderferous none the less.

    Vet groups are saying no NO but Hell NO!

    Finally some one is standing up to DT’s bs.

  17. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Consciousness…balanced chaos.

    That’s also how one can keep Third World nations busy and under one’s domination.

    It also offers a tantalizing possibility that intellectual theories diminish that chaos-ness…dimming one’s consciousness. Probably need a theory to refute this hypothesis…well, hopefully.

    1. susan the other

      I loved this bravery into the unknown. My undisciplined neurons went crazy. Like the critical mass of creativity is consciousness or consciousness is an art form, or being stuck in a rut like the neolibcons is a low level of consciousness, and here’s one for the data freaks: the most diverse network (largest) doesn’t always have the max amount of neuronal activity and connectivity. I think the most inetesting finding is that the difference between unconsciousness and death is that your neurons are merely firing… and at a level just sufficient to keep your automonix going. And also – poison is the dose: because too much OR little connectivity between neurons (ie breaching the golden balance – ? – and how was that established?) and consciousness slips away.

      1. susan the other

        And my fave, a reflection of my own connections: if every neuron were connected to every other neuron the brain would be homoginized and all signals would combine in a foggy fugue.

  18. flora

    re: Ted Cruz Is the Genuine Extremist in the Republican Race Charles Pierce, Esquire

    “Tailgunner Ted.” ouch!

  19. alex morfesis

    Slave reparations and forgotten history…in feb of 1903 us senator mark hanna(that mark hanna) proposed a bill/law to give all former slaves as young as 50 a lump sum plus a regular pension…many other such bills had been presented previously…this notion that reparations are something out of the blue is nonsense.

    As coates asks…if one has no clue about the realities of the past, how can one have a constructive conversation about the future

    1. Oregoncharles

      That was when there were ex-slaves still alive. Similarly, the reparations for Japanese-Americans sent to the camps (including a friend’s mother) were done just in time to catch some of them still alive.

      Otherwise, it’s a good question who you give the reparations to.

  20. Oregoncharles

    “The EUs banking union: a recipe for disaster Pieria”

    When is the revolution?

    Seriously: that’s ITALY he’s talking about, one of the large indispensables. It’s getting to be a good question: why are the southern/peripheral countries going along with their own pauperization? Why don’t they mount a united counterattack, which would be too big to fail? And is Germany actually trying to destroy the Euro? Because that’s what’s happening.

    Even with the huge transitional costs of establishing a new currency, including the social costs, as previously documented here, it’s pretty obvious that the southern countries would be better off outside the Eurozone. They would no longer be under German occupation. And their departure would wreck the Eurozone, so they have serious leverage – IF they start preparations for their own currencies. We were told it takes 2 years; that’s a lot of time for negotiations, under the gun.

  21. Oregoncharles

    “I want to have a mini guillotine business. They could be the Pet Rocks of Christmas 2016. You have kitchen sized ones, say big enough to cut a grapefruit or a carrot. But how do you get the force on such a short run to cut a carrot? The physics don’t work very well scaled down. Plus image the liability with kids who decide to play with them. ”

    My son BUILT a mini-guillotine for a school project – 6th grade. They were studying the French Revolution. It worked just fine for cutting carrots and decapitating slugs – his gardener father was all in with that use. But he says the slime pretty well ruined the device.

    He never cut his finger off, nor anyone else’s. Can’t vouch for other people’s children, though.

      1. Oregoncharles

        About a foot and a half high, as I remember. he put lead weights on the slide to give it enough weight. The blade was flimsy aluminum sheet, though.

  22. Gio Bruno

    What no comments on the Bundy Bozo’s being bagged on Highway 395?

    The drone (“aircraft”) video (with redacted data) of the roundup is pretty impressive. I can see why the compatriots that stayed inside the white double-cab truck came to their conclusions about the shooting: he was standing in knee deep snow and for a moment hand his hands raised. As in the Chicago “confrontation” with Laquan, audio of the event would have provided important detail.

    As I anticipated, these folks will be charged with conspiracy and tried in a Federal court (no TV, photographs, or video). Federal court certified lawyers are not cheap and six years is a long time for someone in their fourties.

    So how did my dad (Cliven) get away with this, thinks Ammon Bundy. As he sits in a holding cell in Portland, OR (of all places)

    1. optimader

      Released for full transparency…that the local Barney Fifes will shoot someone at close range with a rifle for felony stupidity I guess?
      I watched it the leadup to the shooting a couple times. Some asshat (OSP?) appears to be running to be in front truck as it plows into the snow (to be hit on purpose, or was his plan to shoot through the windshield like he saw on TV?? bizarre.
      In any case, not too transparent why the shooter felt compelled to kill the fellow, other than as a object lesson. (And yes, as I suspected it was the OSP finest that bagged his trophy, not a Fed.)
      Complete, Unedited Video of Joint FBI and OSP Operation 01/26/2016

      Thirdly, we know there is quite a bit of interest related to the events as they occurred on Highway 395 on Tuesday afternoon. We know there are various versions of what occurred during this event: most inaccurate, some inflammatory (hint: it was the OSP that shot him folks, not us!). To that end, we want to do what we can to lay out an honest and unfiltered view of what happened and how it happened.

      FBI agents and Oregon State Police troopers were involved in this operation. During this operation, OSP troopers utilized deadly force due to their proximity to LaVoy Finicum as the situation unfolded. Because of this, the Deschutes County Major Incident Team is conducting the outside review of the shooting per Oregon State law and established protocols. Because of that ongoing investigation, I will not be able to answer every question you have, but hopefully we will give the public some clarity as to what occurred.

  23. Pearl

    Re: The mosquito species, “Aedes Aegypti,” capable of transmitting Zika, have indeed been found in the Capitol Hill neighborhood/area of DC, and, in fact, “overwintered” there for the past four years due to warmer temperatures. (Per Science Daily article, 01/26/16: )

    I am currently in Maryland, but just a few miles from both Northern VA and DC, and I found myself swatting away several mosquitoes just a few days before our recent blizzard. (No idea what species of mosquito, of course, I just found it strange to be dealing with mosquitoes in January in Maryland!(Per Science Daily article: )

Comments are closed.