Links 6/13/16

Relationship advice from a gender-bending fish that mates for life Science Daily

Plague of Bats Holds Australian Town Hostage with Aerial Sh*t Blitz Vice

How low will yields go: big questions for markets this week FT

Fed Decision Makers Wrestle With So-called Natural Rate WSJ

Walgreen Terminates Partnership With Blood-Testing Firm Theranos WSJ. Pop!

Ethereum Developer Explores the Dark Side of Bitcoin-Inspired Technology IEEE Spectrum (JSC). Code is law…

Goldman Sachs set for revealing Libya trial FT

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Will Hurt Farmers and Make Seed Companies Richer The Nation

Comcast-Funded Website Plugs Comcast-Owned TV Show Promoting Comcast-Backed Trade Pact FAIR


Leaked UK plan to open doors for 1m Turks The Sunday Times. “Proposal under wraps until after EU vote.”

Brexit vote is about the supremacy of Parliament and nothing else: Why I am voting to leave the EU Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, The Telegraph

Brexit: Up to seven years to renegotiate EU-UK relations, says Tusk Deutsche Welle. German financial watchdog: “The biggest banks would have the biggest problems.”

Bracing for the Turmoil of a Potential Brexit WSJ

Would Brexit, against the wishes of most Scots, trigger a second independence referendum? The Herald

Immigration and wages: getting the numbers right National Institute of Economic and Social Research

EU referendum: Poll reveals a massive 10-point swing towards Brexit Independent

How accurate are the Brexit polls? FT

PETER HITCHENS: The British people have risen at last – and we’re about to unleash chaos Daily Mail

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Exclusive: Edward Snowden leaks reveal secret Scottish spy system CommonSpace


Saudi Arabia’s Weapons Imports Lead Surge in Global Arms Sales Bloomberg

The Next Balkan Wars The New Statesman

Brazil’s scientists start street protests against ministry merger Nature

As an England fan who speaks on behalf of all England & the English, I’d like to apologise for the senseless violence in France Hayder al-Khoei

Orlando Mass Shooting

What We Lose with Every Mass Shooting Esquire


Orlando shooter was armed guard for security firm G4S, was interviewed by FBI for declaring support for militants Reuters

Omar Mateen: Rattled co-worker recalls his unhinged character Palm Beach Post. Note the URL, showing the original URL: omar-mateen-a-trail-of-dead-ends-and-contradiction.

Orlando suspect’s father hosted a TV show and now pretends to be Afghanistan’s president WaPo. Intriguing milieu…

Sitora Yusufiy, Omar Mateen’s Wife: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know Heavy. Ditto.

Gunman who killed 50 in Orlando nightclub had pledged allegiance to ISIS WaPo. “Mateen called 911 and pledged allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, according to U.S. law enforcement officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the FBI investigation is unfolding.”

Trump says he ‘appreciates the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism’ while Hillary tweets her condolences in English AND Spanish following Orlando attacks Daily Mail. Help me.


Is the Election ‘Rigged’? Emily Bazelon, NYT. This has been a discouraging day, so I thought I’d pick up a paper version of the Sunday Times and read it to relax. Fat chance. To flipee through the paper version of the Times is to see that the Grey Lady is just as anti-Trump/pro-Clinton now as it was pro-Iraq War, back in the day. Of course, that a warmongering Times was deeply implicated in promoting the greatest foreign policy debacle in United States history in 2002-2003 doesn’t mean they’re wrong in their Hillmongering today. It does mean that their ratio of advocacy to accuracy is perhaps higher than it might be, given the institutional protection we give our famously free press. For example, Bazelon writes:

Dre’s scalding reproof — “The system is rigged” — has long been a refrain of African-­Americans; this campaign season, it’s also the mantra of Bernie Sanders and Donald J. Trump, yin-and-yang candidates with restive and largely [lazy!] white voting bases. Bellowing the charge from lecterns in their New York accents, Trump and Sanders play up their outsider status and channel their supporters’ unease. “Millions of Americans are giving up on the political process,” Sanders said at a Democratic debate in February, “because they understand the economy is rigged. They are working longer hours for low wages.” Trump, with his ear for populist rhetoric, spoke in a similar key. “If you think about it,” he said at a campaign event in April, “the economy is rigged, the banking system is rigged, there’s a lot of things that are rigged in this world of ours, and that’s why a lot of you haven’t had an effective wage increase in 20 years.”

Calling the economy “rigged” generates outrage without saying who, exactly, is at fault, or how to take away their power. It’s a vaguely anti-­authoritarian sentiment that Trump and Sanders have effectively turned against the Republican and Democratic parties. Both men invite the angry conclusion that they’re being disadvantaged by the same establishment forces they blame for dooming their constituents.

I don’t know whether the bien pensant Bazelon, in deploying the trope that Sanders and Trump are equivalent, was lazy in her research as well as her writing, or whether she’s simply economical with the truth. What I do know: Sanders was been quite clear “who” “is at fault”: The “billionaire class.” How is it that Bazelon, from her well-padded perch at the Times, can’t say this? Or see it?

Stop-Trump Groups Fail to Get Traction WSJ

Romney loyalists’ divisions over Trump spill out into the open at Utah summit WaPo

Recalling what he told Romney loyalists, Scaramucci said: “Your father just got slayed by your uncle, whom you don’t really like, and your uncle is now in charge. You’ve got the White Walkers descending from the north and they’re coming to hunt you and all the living. What do you do? Do you fight with your uncle or band together and fight the White Walkers?”

Veteran fundraisers acknowledge that the Trump and RNC team has a dwindling amount of time to organize the kind of lavish events that are usually held to solicit six-figure checks, but the team is optimistic. Supporters think that Trump will attract a new cadre of wealthy figures he knows through his real estate developments who had never before given to the party.

Dole on Trump support: ‘I can’t vote for George Washington’ Politico

Trump tries to expand electoral map by going for Pa. Washington Examiner

Trump Is Looking for a Way Out RealClearPolitics. Persuasive on grounds of self-sabotage, but isn’t that also what Clinton’s email server is about? Hubris, then nemesis?

Don’t listen to GOP leaders. The economy’s not so bad. WaPo

Sanders and Clinton to meet to discuss Democratic platform Los Angeles Times. Medicare for All is off the table already, of course.

Bernie Has Every Right To Raise Hell at the Democratic Convention In These Times

NY Times, again, denounces the Sanders progressive movement. Its time to denounce them back. Bugei Nyaosi, Medium

Yet another tragic case of Hillary Clinton’s campaign “getting it wrong” when it comes to young women. Medium

Clinton Frames First General Election Ad as ‘Choice About Who We Are as a Nation’ ABC

Attorney general sidesteps Clinton veep question McClatchy (Re Silc). Loretta Lynch.

US election is war of demographics FT

Why Political Parties Never Die Politico

When Advertising is Action: Clarence Thomas Channels Hannah Arendt and Friedrich von Hayek Corey Robin

Class Warfare

There will never be another Muhammad Ali. Athletes today are too rich to take political risks Los Angeles Times

Beyond the Whack-a-Mole Left Jacobin

An End of Power? The Weakening of the Transnational Ruling Class Truthout (Re Silc).

United States of Paranoia: They See Gangs of Stalkers NYT

Econ theory as signaling? Bloomberg

Whichcraft TLS

Climate Signals and “Demystifying Climate Models”: Two Great New Resources Weather Underground

How did all this science get here? Ars Technica

HCC students serve community with food forest News13. Tampa, not Orlando. But still.

Antidote du jour (RS):


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. ex-PFC Chuck

    Don’t miss Ambrose Evans Pritchard’s column on why he will vote for Brexit. It’s a thoughtful and powerful piece of writing.

    1. DJG

      AEP on supremacy of Parliament: Maybe. Given that the Parliament has spent the last thirty or forty years destroying the English working class, selling off the infrastructure, and allowing London (and other dependencies such as the Channel Islands) to become the money-laundering capital of the world, I’m wondering why such a Parliament deserves supremacy. [I won’t even mention the House of Lords, which somehow still exists: Is it folklore, or is it just more entrenched class warfare? Seems like the latter.)

      Further, there is very little indication that the English elites (specifically English) are all that concerned about the browbeating of Italy or the beggaring of Greece, Cyprus, or Spain. Sorry, AEP.

      All along, I have suspected that Brexit is an emanation of the fantasies of the Anglo-American elites. Just quote Hayek, von Mises, and Margaret Thatcher (no such thing as society, as I recall). Light up the FIRE sector. Sell off the two remaining Cadbury Egg factories, all that is left of English industry. And all will be well with the world.

      1. William C

        I am afraid I thought AEP’s peace long on rhetoric but short on analysis.

        The issues involved are very complex and cannot be adequately addressed in a relatively short newspaper article.

        1. Take the Fork

          I thought AEP’s was about the best you can do, without pretending clairvoyance. His comments on Northern Ireland are especially relevant.

          My magic 8-Ball says that Brexit will provoke Scottish independence.

          My magic 8-Ball tells me to ask again later on Northern Ireland.

          Unionists will “follow England to Hell” as a black cab driver once told me, regardless of the economic costs.

          But Sinn Fein is in a tight spot. Catholics are at near demographic parity with Protestants, and in the two decades since the Good Friday Sinn Fein has been generally accepted as a legitimate political party. Their constituents will be hardest hit by a worsening economic situation, which will play into the hands young unemployed hotheads and the unreconstructed on both sides. The terrible economic situation in the seventies was a major driver of the Troubles.

          In the Irish Republic, the only people who seem to be rubbing their hands over Brexit are, perhaps predictably, bankers.

      2. clinical wasteman

        YES! x whatever is the highest possible multiple! Thanks DJG!
        It’s worth spelling out, though, that ‘Parliament’ includes the wholly unelected and still partly hereditary House of Lords, while the Commons is elected on the ludicrous first-past-the-post constituency system. This effectively leaves only the ‘floating voters’ of the ‘centre ground’ meaningfully enfranchised, with the result that policy is driven by focus group data on how best to appeal to this ‘Middle England’ demographic. So ‘sovereignty of parliament’ is not automatically the same thing as ‘democracy’. (See also the quote from Peter Hitchens posted by Yves earlier on the potential clash of two ‘democratic’ mandates, i.e. a ‘leave’ vote and a majority-‘remain’ elected parliament. Btw the scare quotes around ‘democratic’ here apply to both mandates, because legally long-term resident EU citizens are eligible to vote in some UK elections and voted in the Scottish referendum, but this time it was simply decreed that the parliamentary franchise — UK, Irish and (mostly white) Commonwealth nationals only — would apply.)
        None of this makes it any less true that the EU under the existing treaties is an undemocratic managerial machine whose mission is to facilitate financial looting and vicious ‘competitiveness’ on the broadest possible scale.
        But DJG is right a million times over that the EU contribution to financialization and the onslaught on workers in the UK has only facilitated what Thatcher started and Blair continued. When elite ‘Brexit’ mouthpieces talk to the subset of the working class that supports them, they tend to play down their own love of the Single Market, i.e. the fact that they want the ‘freedom’ to do all the worst things the Commission does, only more so.
        Which leaves a ‘choice’ between a small, parochial version of ultra-neoliberalism and the same thing superimposed on and sometimes gridlocked by a looser continental version of itself. Given these depressing alternatives, any sufferah under the neoliberal hammer should see the relative advantage of gridlock.
        But even if I didn’t believe that, as an EU-detesting member of the ‘naturalized’ non-EU immigrant working class (or middle-underclass, depending how you count it), I would always vote against a plebiscite for national preference, especially when it proclaims a ‘national identity’ that doesn’t remotely reflect present day working class experience in London, Scotland, Wales, the North of Ireland or most of the bigger English cities.
        Perhaps if you’re watching all this from a country as big and diverse as the USA it may not be immediately obvious quite how scary and restrictive the Nativism of the Brexit movement feels in a place as small and diverse as the UK. Well, I know analogies between the EU and US are almost always dubious, but in this case it may be worth thinking how you would feel as a person of color or a white urban leftist in, say, Texas, if the State seceded and demanded that you turn in your Federal US passport and renounce your American identity with it.
        I apologise for earlier, more splenetic posts on this a while back, and I hope this one, along with DJG’s brilliant one above, at least sets out some of the reasoning behind what seems to be a minority opinion here.

    2. fresno dan

      ex-PFC Chuck
      June 13, 2016 at 7:25 am

      Thanks for that

      “Let there be no illusion about the trauma of Brexit. Anybody who claims that Britain can lightly disengage after 43 years enmeshed in EU affairs is a charlatan or a dreamer, or has little contact with the realities of global finance and geopolitics.

      Stripped of distractions, it comes down to an elemental choice: whether to restore the full self-government of this nation, or to continue living under a higher supranational regime, ruled by a European Council that we do not elect in any meaningful sense, and that the British people can never remove, even when it persists in error.”
      Nobody has ever been held to account for the design faults and hubris of the euro, or for the monetary and fiscal contraction that turned recession into depression, and led to levels of youth unemployment across a large arc of Europe that nobody would have thought possible or tolerable in a modern civilized society. The only people that are ever blamed are the victims.

      There has been no truth and reconciliation commission for the greatest economic crime of modern times. We do not know who exactly was responsible for anything because power was exercised through a shadowy interplay of elites in Berlin, Frankfurt, Brussels, and Paris, and still is. Everything is deniable. All slips through the crack of oversight.
      It seems to me that once, at least in part, what was good for GM was good for the US. But now any benefits to the company accrue only to the management class/Davos Man (i.e., the 1%) and labor arbitrage is the order of the day. Modern economics and finance is only strip mining of the middle class, and removal of all oversight of corporations, with incessant propaganda that ANY opposition to this state of affairs is based on xenophobia and racism.

      Are not all the “free trade” agreements of the US essentially based on the same economic rationale as the European experiment? Unencumber the wealthy and wealth will increase….and it did….for the wealthy.

  2. wbgonne

    NY Times, again, denounces the Sanders progressive movement. Its time to denounce them back. Bugei Nyaosi

    Many well-meaning progressives still labor under the illusion that the only true enemies of progress are recalcitrant right-wing Republicans . The Bernie Sanders campaign has brought a refreshing clarity to the actual reality: the liberal establishment is just as opposed to progressive measures. It is crucial to face down the enemy within the liberal/Democratic establishment. That will require the political revolution that Bernie constantly speaks of. The Times board describes such calls of revolution as “facile”, but their own editorial demonstrates that the revolution is in fact necessary.


    1. Carolinian

      The problem with Sanders’ campaign was his failed analysis. He started out claiming that “billionaires” (meaning no doubt rightwing Republican billionaires such as the Kochs) were the problem and ended up realizing that his fellow Democrats like DWS are the problem. You can’t really blame the Republicans for advocating for the rich. That’s their job. It’s the Dems who are the hypocrites, sellouts. Insider accounts say that Sanders initially only wanted to raise some issues. By the time Bernie realized his movement was bigger than he is it was too late.

      1. fresno dan

        Has there EVER been a more effective and efficient cabal for increasing the number of billionaires and increasing inequality than the Bill Clinton economic team?

        1. sd

          Clinton took it to the international stage no less. Which of course raises the question is it more important to make money from foreign interests than to protect national security?

          And up pops the email hairball again.

      2. Jerry Denim

        “You can’t really blame the Republicans for advocating for the rich. That’s their job. It’s the Dems who are the hypocrites, sellouts.”

        My thoughts exactly. Until Trump and his schizophrenic populist noises this latest campaign season Republicans have made it extremely clear that they love the rich, hate the poor and if you’re poor in this great land of opportunity it’s your fault and yours alone because you’re stupid, lazy or both. If you’re black or a minority then the previous statement goes double for you because you have it so easy with all of the affirmative action programs and unfair “reverse racism” here in the United States. Not a lot of daylight between the Republican rhetoric and policy, but now the Democrats,… There’s a case study in hypocrisy, kayfabe and conspiratorial media propaganda to perpetuate Democratic party marketing memes that plainly ain’t so. I can’t stand what the Republicans stand for, but at least they’re consistent and honest in their villainy. The modern Democratic party and their transformation into the party of high finance and an elitist technocrat “meritocracy” while still paying lip service to their new enemies, the American working class, is beyond repugnant. I don’t believe there can be any sort of progressive or left-tinged reform in this country until the Democratic Party is destroyed. They have no effective motivation to change as long as the county is trapped by the death grip of the two-party duopoly.

      3. DG

        I think Bernie couldn’t go all out because he’s a nice guy and didn’t want to be accused of fratricide. Either way he took a knife to a gunfight.

        1. JohnnyGL

          I think he did, more or less, as well as he could have. I agree he could/should have gone after the Clinton Foundation more and beefed up on foreign policy issues, which is where she’s REALLY vulnerable. Her Sec. of State record was atrocious.

          He had to walk on eggshells because criticizing Obama too much would have backfired with black voters. Also, going too negative would have harmed the campaign because he’s been solidly about ISSUES the whole time.

          Keep in mind that this is just one election campaign. It takes awhile to break people out of their Stockholm Syndrome in the Democratic Party. Sanders’ campaign made a LOT of progress in a short time.

          1. Emma

            While the NYT continually tries to dispose of Berne Sanders in an overt way, it would appear commenters at this blog simply aid and abet his path to obscurity in less than manifest terms by writing Bernie Sanders off into the past tense. His campaign, in reality, is very much still alive and kicking (11M+ voters with victories in what? 22 States give or take), and will officially ‘Bernstorm’ all the way to the convention. Fortunately, many genuine, dedicated, and patriotic Americans, wish to create a better future to believe in. They want the best educated and healthiest nation on an entirely green planet. And that’s just for starters…..
            For these people, ‘Fighting for Us’ with status quo is not the way to go.

            1. Steve H.

              I saw an assertion that she cannot win without his delegates. I hope that is true.

              Grunting over the platform is simply the ‘breather in the corner’ stage. This is about distribution of resources, it is another hostile takeover. Which candidate do you think is more likely to have ‘unexpected’ issues crop up which directly affect electability? I know my priors.

              1. different clue

                The OverClass will either find or invent such issues against Sanders to get him disposed of and removed till Clinton is safely nominated. After that, any such issues against Sanders which are discovered to be foam rubber issues or cardboard replica issues can be resolved at multi-year leisure, after it is far too late for Sandersian influence at/on the Convention.

                One hopes the Sanders movement-people know to expect a few couple years of demoralizing anti-Sanders media material designed to repel them and make them all break up and go home. One hopes they decide that they will stay organized regardless and keep doing what Sanders started.

      4. Carolinian

        Speaking of sellouts, Pam Martens does a number on Benedict Arnold, er, Elizabeth Warren.

        Jamie Czupkiewicz Guerin, who had participated in the protest, wrote on Facebook that Warren had taken the time to speak to each protester following her talk:

        “She waited and talked to every one of us. It leads me to believe that she held this speech at this venue in a pro Bernie town because she WANTED to talk to us. To sway us. I am not sold though. I held her hand and looked directly into her eyes and told her that my heart was broken. I told her that I cried for two days about her endorsement. I told her that a lot of people are disappointed. She told me she was sorry. I told her I would never vote for Hillary and that I would be going to Philly. She told me that she is sorry because that would mean a vote for Trump. I told her I don’t believe that and that I am ?#?StillSanders. Then I walked away…”

        Martens quotes Maureen Dowd who points out that Warren had previously criticized Clinton’s vote on the bankruptcy bill and was now volunteering to be her shill and even vice president. She concludes

        If Elizabeth Warren had hopes of unifying the Democratic Party – it would appear that effort has bombed big time and served only to undermine her own credibility.

        Charitably one could speculate that Warren, like most of the establishment, is barely aware of public sentiment that isn’t reported in the NYT or Wash Post. They should get out more, learn how to use that internet thingie and not just twitter.

        1. mparry

          Warren is surrounded by Dem state party operatives with deep loyalties to HRC. The very same team who ran her election campaign here in Western Massachusetts were and are the Clinton loyalists who’ve been with Hillary from the very beginning. They’ve been urging EW to support HRC openly for approximately forever, and I’m confident that her staff has been doing the same thing. Really, I’m surprised that EW held out for as long as she did.

          Which is to say, basically, I agree with your charitable assessment. I think it was boneheaded of her to fold when she did, and bound to backfire, but I also think it’s unlikely that she’s hearing what the arguments from the Sanders wing actually sound like, as opposed to hearing what they sound like when run through the pro-Hills filter. Which, as we know, renders the actual arguments unrecognizable.

          Tangentially, I’m still trying to figure out whether the pro-Clinton side genuinely can’t understand the Sanders-side critique because it’s so foreign to their worldview that we might as well all be speaking in an obscure dialect of a dead language, or whether they’re just pretending to be unable to understand it because if they admitted they could, they’d also have to admit they have no good responses to it.

          1. Pat

            I would put the mix at approximately 70% dead language and 30% pretense. The higher up the ladder you are the more it is pretense.
            There are still a whole lot of Clinton supporters who buy the PR and fail to actually look at her record for action and choices. Just think the number of people who still buy the facile “he couldn’t have done anymore because Republicans” meme for Obama.

          2. flora

            The Clinton side imo genuinely can’t understand the Sander-side critique. The Sanders side is foreign to their world view, imo. The Clinton side is all about the professional class, and that the way to win is to reach out to the moderates (social moderates), move to the right economically to appeal to voters who are between two parties. That approach says they can’t see anyone outside their professional/credential bubble, can’t see the working class or the poor or the middle class for whom New Deal programs still have a lot of appeal, people for whom going back to college and getting more credentials is no answer.
            Clinton’s side literally cannot understand the Sanders’ side critique.

            1. grayslady

              I think you’re being too charitable, flora. Clinton, and all those establishment types like Clinton, truly don’t care–so long as they continue to be re-elected. They know the class divide exists. They know they are co-conspirators in the declining lifestyle of so many Americans. Yet, as long as they, personally, are doing okay, that’s all that matters. I think they have convinced themselves that people who aren’t doing well are personally responsible for their plights, rather than understanding that Congress is responsible for the political environment that has made it so easy for companies to offshore work–either through foreign temps or actual physical moves. The whole concept of public service has basically disappeared, with a few exceptions such as Bernie and Keith Ellison.

              What has changed is that Bernie has made sure a substantial part of the voting public is now aware of the corruption in D.C. Bernie being the savvy politician that he is, he had to have known when he started this race that he was caught in an impossible position. He needed to run as a Dem for the ballot access, but the Dems were also a major part of the rigged, corrupt system. The problem he has at this moment is that he had no idea, initially, of the level of support among the citizenry for what he was saying. He could see himself as President, but not as the national leader of a new major political party. My guess is that Bernie will convince himself that he can be more influential remaining in the Senate while those of us who voted for Bernie think he can make a greater impact outside the duopoly, where he won’t have to constantly compromise in order to remain a member of the team.

              1. Archie

                My guess is that Bernie will convince himself that he can be more influential remaining in the Senate while those of us who voted for Bernie think he can make a greater impact outside the duopoly, where he won’t have to constantly compromise in order to remain a member of the team.

                This would be the pragmatic reaction of a long time congressional member. But I don’t think even Bernie can justify this in his own mind anymore. At least I hope not. At his age, there is no greater contribution that Bernie can make within the Democrat caucus beyond the corruption and duplicity he has exposed during his primary campaign. He is useless and powerless in that caucus from now on. I think he should make his presence as disruptive as possible from now to the end of the Dem convention.

                After that, say “Fuck Hillary” and run as an independent in one of the other non-legacy parties (only for maximum ballot access) and tell everyone that this is the highest calling he knows in his effort to deny Trump the presidency. Movements demand sacrifice from everyone within, none more so than it’s leaders. Having spent his entire life in championing the cause of the working class and the under class, there is no greater legacy achievable.

                1. aab

                  Honestly, having attended one of his final California rallies, I think that’s where he’s going. I could be wrong. He must be under tremendous pressure. But he did a lot of very clever framing and messaging during that speech.

                  I think people are misinterpreting his “I will do everything in my power to stop Trump” line. Maybe I misread what he was saying because of what I want, but I think he is going to announce after the convention that Clinton is too compromised to beat Trump, and it’s his patriotic duty to run third party.

                  And I wish people would stop claiming his campaign approach was wrong. He’d have won with pledged delegates cleanly without the election theft. It’s pretty clear at this point. And there is nothing he could do to stop it other than try to overwhelm her capacity to steal and rig with turnout. In fact, by being conciliatory at the beginning, he was able to surprise her in New Hampshire. If the calendar hadn’t already been designed to protect against a leftside challenge, he might have been able to get ahead of her before she could get her rigging properly lined up. Imagine if the deep South went late instead of early?

        2. Leo Wong

          If a vote for Sanders is a vote for Trump, it seems to follow that if I can’t vote for Sanders, I should vote for Trump.

        3. Arizona Slim

          Methinks that Elizabeth Warren just killed her political career. Mark my words, she’ll get a strong primary challenger in 2018.

    2. Otis B Driftwood

      I think Sanders campaign, while not being explicit, pretty much did exactly this. He exposed the Democratic/Republican establishment as two sides of the same coin.

      I’ll repeat the relevant quote about the differences between them from the Alan Reed interview linked above the fold:

      [o]ne of them is a party that’s committed to Wall Street and to neoliberalism and is deeply and earnestly committed to a notion of diversity and multiculturalism, and a party that’s committed to Wall Street and neoliberalism, and is deeply opposed to multiculturalism and diversity.

      FWIW, +1 on taking the time to listen to the full interview.

      1. rich

        Talking about exposed……….

        Elizabeth Warren Draws Fire from Left and Right Over Clinton Endorsement

        By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: June 13, 2016

        Warren is clearly missing the big picture here. The Democratic base is fed up with conflating empty talk that goes nowhere with progress. Student loan debt, fueled by the same greedy Wall Street banks, is now $1.2 trillion. It’s crushing the lives of young people, creating student prostitutes at NYU, while lining the pockets of the serial criminals on Wall Street that the Obama administration refuses to put in jail.

        As Warren correctly pointed out in a previous Senate hearing, Wall Street received $13 trillion in cumulative loans as a secret bailout through the Federal Reserve. Much of that money was loaned at below 1 percent interest. Struggling students, the future of America, are still paying four to six times that amount after all the talk in Washington.

        Increasingly, the progressive base in America has lost confidence in its leaders in Washington. The Warren endorsement of Clinton adds mightily to the cynicism. A Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted June 7-10 showed that 44 percent of Democrats nationwide would like Senator Bernie Sanders to make an independent run for the White House. A mere 3 percent more, or 47 percent, said he should not.

        In the meantime, Bernie Sanders’ supporters are planning marches in cities across the country in July and a massive March in Philadelphia on the first day of the Democratic National Convention on July 25.

        If Elizabeth Warren had hopes of unifying the Democratic Party – it would appear that effort has bombed big time and served only to undermine her own credibility.

  3. dcb

    regarding the immigration wage paper, good post but you can’t look at the decrease in total wages, you have to break that figure down to what socio economic demographic has suffered the most. immigrants in the financial sector may have raised wages, but low wage immigrants may have also have had a significant effect of lowering wages for poor uk citizens

  4. pretzelattack

    re antidote. i think this is a strong candidate to be cthulhu’s running mate.

    1. craazyboy

      I see a strong resemblance to Mr. Hanky on South Park. Poor critter. No wonder he’s frowning.

      1. DJG

        Thanks for the link. All frogs are charismatic, even ones that do indeed look like a bunch of bumps. What eyes they have.

  5. jgordon


    It totally sucks that it happened, and now it’s going to be exploited for political gain by Trump. No, it’s not cool. But it’ll happen. Regardless, this will not be framed as a “mass shooting”, but rather as an ISIS terrorist attack. No one is going to buy the mass shooting angle no matter how hard the anti-gun crowd tries to push it, and it’s guaranteed to backfire if they push it too hard. On to how Trump wins here:

    1) The terrorist was a registered Democrat. Probably irrelevant, but it’s a fact that is thematically appropriate and can be pigeon-holed into a larger structure.

    2) The terrorist called 911 and pledged allegiance to ISIS immediately before the attack. It’s an ISIS attack. I’m thinking that this will even push parts of the LGBT community towards Trump for the simple fact that Democrats seem genetically incapable of protecting them from radical Islam and ISIS. Not saying it’s rational; I just think it’ll happen.

    3) Mateen worked for GS4, the largest Security/mercenary corporation in the world by revenue. GS4 has a contract with the USA where they transport various non-Mexican illegal immigrants and release them inside the US without anyway of tracking them. Right. That makes sense why? There is going to be a whole lot of scrutiny about the policies of the Obama regime and the Democrat’s way of dealing with illegal immigrants from this.

    4) Mateen was a licensed security officer and had obtained a weapons license from the state of Florida (the G license) that allowed him to carry firearms while working. This license is not especially easy to get, and plenty of people who apply for it get rejected. There is basically no Constitutionally acceptable anti-gun law that would have prevented him from legally buying firearms in Florida. Regardless, he was a committed ISIS terrorist. A little thing like not being able to legally buy guns wouldn’t have stopped him.

    5) The terrorist’s parents were Muslim immigrants. How could Trump not get a lot of mileage from that?

    Anyway, those are just a few of my initial thoughts off the top of my head about how this is going to play out politically. Should be interesting.

    1. craazyboy

      For someone whom did seem to be making an effort to tone things down to a more acceptable level for normal people, including those “moderate Rs”, I really don’t see how Trump advances his cause jumping on this on the way he did.

      Yeah, native born official American of Muslim immigrants. So that means he does have the mad bomber gene. But we know it’s possible the mad bomber gene could be recessive. 1 in 4 chance I think it is. But he did call 911 and pledged allegiance to ISIS immediately before the attack??? Is it that easy to join ISIS???

      Should we be more fearful of security guards?? I’m considering it. No more rent a cop jokes.

      If Trump can somehow turn this into political advantage, then I’ll have to assume I’ve become too out of touch and need to get out more often.

      At least I did learn that illegal non Mexican Latinos, Euro people, ME people, Russians and Asians get deported to Phoenix where John McCain can keep a closer eye on them. My tax dollars at work. I don’t live in Phoenix.

      1. tony

        I figured Trump was shooting himself in the foot too. But then I saw this:

        In a chilling video sparking outrage from 2013, Iranian guest speaker Sheikh Sekaleshfar said that “Gays must die,” at the The Husseini Islamic Center in Sanford, Florida. The mosque is located less than 30 miles from Orlando, where the deadliest mass shooting in United States history took place June 12. He stated:

        “Death is the sentence. We know there’s nothing to be embarrassed about this, death is the sentence…we have to have that compassion for people, with homosexuals, it’s the same, out of compassion. Let’s get rid of them now.”

        WATCH: Speaker at Florida Mosque Says “Gays Must Die”

        It makes for a coherent narrative, and I fear it might stoke more hate.

        1. dots

          Don’t give me leaders like Donald Trump, give me leaders like Martin Luther King Jr.

          “Hate cannot drive out hate
          Only love can do that.”

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Tolstoy, King, Gandhi and others gave us the high ideal of non-violence resistance.

            Perhaps we mere mortals have failed them when we ask, what should we have done, but to defend with force those who have started wars, or intended on murdering the undesirables?

            1. Alex morfesis

              Ghandi was not happy if the non violence was due to impotence.
              he said there is hope for the violent man…there is no hope for the (fearful and) impotent…

              Was it non physical confrontation or non violence that was really advocated by king ?

              As for tolstoy being non violent…I suspect the mensheviks and prince georgy might have disagreed…

        2. craazyboy

          That makes it look like the old “fatwa” thing.

          So that would be more like organized radical Islam than organized terrorism.

          ‘Course Trump did say he wants to kick out all the Muslims. Also wipe out ISIS in the ME. But at least there he seems to be delegating the task to the “obsolete NATO”.

          Kicking out all the Muslims isn’t gonna go over well. But looking for a silver cloud, and maybe reading between the lines on what Trump is saying:

          1) NATO is obsolete because Europe doesn’t have that Cold War enemy anymore. If that’s what Trump really believes, that brightens up my day.

          2) NATO should be refocused on ISIS. But do what? We are back to that problem again. And the US is still a major part of NATO. ISIS may rename themselves to Taliban or who knows what. Then he mentioned a security role – I imagine Homeland Security or some such. Then they have the self identifying ISIS terrorist too. They could be anywhere and just go crazy or something if ISIS sends out the fatwa call over youtube.

          So looks like more of the same. I’d wanna sell our stake in NATO to Putin. Then maybe not give out new American citizenships to real ISIS terrorist soldiers. That would make some sense.

        3. low integer

          That asshat is currently preaching in Australia.

          Yesterday he told The Australian he stood by the comments but claimed they had been taken out of the “academic and theoretical” context they were given in.

          “I said in Islam this is the ruling … we believe homosexuality, like adultery and a long list of other things, they are sins … it is just one of them,” he said. “Never do I incite violence against them. I say don’t hate the actual sinner, hate the act … compassion is the first cause of action.”

          Weasel words. I am really getting tired of organized religion. One way or another, each organized religion acts as a barrier to the integration of new knowledge in its followers.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Why are they being deported to Phoenix, the Republic of Arizona?

        Is it a new, separate country now?

      3. Antifa

        Alas there is no ‘mad bomber’ gene.

        What there is, is scripture. Which presents certain ideas as given, as beyond question, as inerrant. Scripture trains its adherents in an ideology, in some cases an ideology which will burn the whole world down trying to make this world match the ideal.

        All three of the Abrahamic religions contain scriptural injunctions advising death for homosexuals. Most practitioners of these faiths nowadays skip over all those uncomfortable verses, or consider them metaphor, or no longer applicable, and so you have Jewish eaters of shellfish, Muslims fond of hard liquor, and Christians who neither sell their daughters to their rapists nor keep slaves. These modern religionists raise their children to be good citizens of the nation they are living in, and to fit their scripture to the real world, making no attempt to burn it down to match what scripture says should be.

        But these murderous verses remain right there in their scriptures, and now and again, a generation or three or four down the line, some descendant of yours will see them, seize upon them, trust utterly in their infallibility, and act on them with a vengeance. When you’re right, by God, you’re right.

        It’s not a ‘mad bomber’ gene; it’s a clear command from God to cleanse this world of sinful behavior. And in each of the Abrahamic religions, you can find it enshrined in their scripture. In every generation, there will be those few who take these Iron Age verses to heart, and act on them. The stoning of women, the killing of homosexuals, the owning of slaves — all that and worse is in there.

        Where are the religious scholars who can edit these Books?

    2. ChiGal

      He was a committed Isis terrorist? Or His Hairness will keep repeating that he was whatever the facts?

      1. jgordon

        I don’t understand what you are trying to say. But yes, Mateen was an ISIS terrorist by any definition of what that means. Just so there’d be no misunderstandings, he even took the time to call 911 to clarify things beforehand.

        1. craazyboy

          Does someone have proof of long term “membership” in ISIS? Whatever membership rules ISIS has. Can you self identify from anywhere in the world? Do have to fight in ME with ISIS to be a member? Do they have reserves like the National Guard?

          I’m still new to the story and am trying to clarify in my mind just how do we know we have ISIS terrorists.

            1. clinical wasteman

              Beat me to it with the Moon of Alabama link! Also, he was ‘affiliated with’ G4S, which anyone who has spent time in a private sector reform school, prison or immigration detention centre in the UK, Australia etc might feel like calling a ‘terrorist organization’.

          1. jgordon

            He said he was a ISIS terrorist and then he killed a bunch of people. Then ISIS said it was great and took credit it for it. If the individual says he was ISIS and the organization ISIS then says he was ISIS–umm, what’s the problem here? At some point trying to deny that he was ISIS starts to look faintly ridiculous.

            1. craazyboy

              So someone can self identify as ISIS, do a mass murder, and if the Islamic State, wherever they are, is duly impressed, they will shout out “Hooray – he’s one of ours!”

              As long as we describe this in good enough detail. For every action there is a reaction – you’ll remember how we had to take out bin Laden’s buddy Saddam and start up Homeland Security in the first place. After that I decided I need to pay closer attention, even to things that seem rather straight forward.

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                ISIS wants to be the legitimate authority for a new Islam. They will claim any attack especially when the perpetrator dies and can’t speak for himself. If a new group stages a series of daring attacks, ISIS loses legitimacy much like Al Qaeda lost to ISIS. Power politics matter to these people.

                1. craazyboy

                  Also, we got the Patriot Act, et all, because Al Qaeda is a terrorist org which had a loose organizational structure, was planning and carrying out attacks, and had “cells” of operatives in this country, and these operatives did somehow communicate at least occasionally (safer to be a sleeper cell) with the command structure.

                  So, know your enemy. ISIS is in our heads. ISIS is somewhere in the ME. The Boogymen State. But Boogyman terrorists can just manifest themselves in America, without warning.

                  Next, our counterplan????

            2. Kulantan

              The problem is if ISIS didn’t provide training, weapons or directions then crediting them with the crime only promotes their brand and tricks people into thinking that we have to bomb brown people abroad to stop nutters at home.

              1. jgordon

                Well I beg to differ there. Random, nut-case mass shooters are extremely common–and none of them anywhere near as “successful” as Mateen was. This also ties in with the ISIS terrorist incident in California recently. Those people were incredibly good at what they’d set out to do as well. These people were not unhinged maniacs, but rather were cold, methodical, ruthless killers–who’d had some idea about the correct way to go about their rampage. Out of all the dozens of mass shootings that go on in the US, why is that these ISIS-inspired/attributed ones are so uncannily potent? There’s something going on there.

                1. Kulantan

                  First, I dispute that no nutters are as successful as the Orlando nutter. When the Batman nutter open fire in a crowed cinema the number of casualties was comparable.

                  Second, not all attacks claimed by ISIS are particularly deadly. For instance the Curtis Culwell Center attack.

                  I’m unwilling to credit ISIS with the attack until given some proof that weapons, training or direction were given to the nutter by ISIS. As for it maybe being a case of a “ISIS-inspired” lone wolf attack, you aren’t going to win a propaganda war by giving credit to ISIS every time they claim an attack and you aren’t going to win it by bombing them some more.

                  1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                    If it’s an ISIS inspired act, the credit is ‘it’s an ISIS inspired act.’

                    That is, if that is the fact, then, that’s their credit (if we want to use the word, credit), or blame.

                    1. Lambert Strether Post author

                      “ISIS inspired” seems just a wee bit vague, to me. And extraordinarily easy to fake with digital evidence that is not evidence. Not that any of the players have any incentive to do that.

                2. openvista

                  Really, you’re surprised that a dude who walks into a JAM PACKED nightclub with an assault rifle can wound or kill 100 people? Fish in a barrel. Even easier than a movie theater because people are more concentrated and the exits are less apparent. That doesn’t take skill, just time. Fortunately for him, the music gave him cover.

                  Also, why didn’t he just use a grenade or two? Answer: because it’s MUCH harder to get a grenade than an assault rifle, even for a security professional.

                  This guy shouts ISIS into the telephone so he can be even more of a menace after his death. Look, we’re giving him exactly what he wants.

                  1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                    That he shouted into the telephone is what we want to focus on, in order to understand and maybe do something to address it.

                    The weapon of choice can be almost anything, for a fervent perpetrator.

                    One question we have to ask is this: Did he connect his coward act to the wider world?

                    Another question, regardless of the answer to the previous question: Do people, any latent bad guys, connect this to the wider world?

                    Lastly, how do respond comprehensively by connecting this to the wider world?

                3. dk

                  The correct way being to bring an AR-15? The overwhelming majority of mass shooters (4 or more killed/injured) bring (multiple) handguns. This may have to do with action taken during the day, when handguns are easier to conceal; the larger AR-15 is harder to hide. You’re extrapolating the selection of the AR-15 in combination with attribution to ISIS as characteristic of ISIS through training, there are two cases of this so far (San Bernardino, Orlando). AR-15 was first used in a mass shooting by Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook 2012.

                  High kill rates in mass violence are much easier to achieve with bombs. Bombs are also the weapon of choice for the attacks that have been planned through networks. Lone actors seem more interested to interaction with their victims during their attacks.

                  Also, “cold, methodical” doesn’t correlate as well to impulsive action (as in San Bernadino and arguably in Orlando) as “unhinged maniacs” does. A methodical planner would use a bomb from a distance, or send an operative (or both). If Marteen was an operative, then the planner has not been identified yet.

                4. Gio Bruno

                  The San Bernadino shooters have been shown to have had contact with Islamic radicals (the woman did arrive form the ME). The Orlando shooter, to date, was a homegrown nutter (similar to the Oklahoma bombers).

                  Whether the motivation is “religious”, or homophobic, anti-government, or sheer lunacy and anger, high-capacity weapons plays a role in massacre.

                  Some folks, after the fact, recognized elements of aberrant behavior in the perpetrators, but not enough to be definitive. BTDT. (I ran into last years Isla Vista shooter on the local college campus, and recognized his behavior as “more than odd”, but would not have anticipated his unhinged behavior a few months later.)

                  The solution seems to be: improved mental health screening in USA , limiting access to weapons, and maybe fewer drone attacks on foreign soil. And recognizing the real danger in your life is driving the highway to work.

            3. JTMcPhee

              Yah, that’s how the Big Lie Narrative thing works. Make it up, or twist it out of some factoid, and with any luck it will resonate and engage the positive-feedback loop ones.

              Still waiting for any kind of substantive evidence. “At some point” is not evidence. And I’m about to declare my allegiance to the Monster Raving Loony Party — does that make me a loony raving monster?

          2. Optimader

            Isis is a nonstate entity, no entrance barrier to membership short of declaring allegiance. Not the same xase as a mil organ of s doveriegn state.
            What he dis i think fulfills the definition of terrorism which i think you a nd i eould agree is a word that carries tedmeat political baggage.
            Consequently thepolitical posturing will be for political advantage rather than common good.

            Remove Neocons from positions of authority and withdraw from the ME

          3. cassandra

            Any member of Islam can be a jihadist; it’s only necessary to believe Islam literally. This is one reason the FBI has such a problem. Google Sura of the Sword and related discussions. We’re observing textbook behavior, which should surprise no one with even a cursory knowledge of the Quran. Other factors, such as mental instability, may come into play as well, but the framework for destroying evildoers and kafirs, and imposing Sharia law and enlarging the Caliphate-ISIS, is there, in the Quran, most unfortunately.
            Now we’re going to be assaulted with endless pictures of flowers and I Am Orlando stories, instead of engaging in the difficult and serious discussions needed. The best way to ennoble the sacrifice of those killed is to take something from this tragic experience that will reduce the likelihood of further victimization. Instead, everyone’s talking about passing gun control laws as if they could help. We can’t even prevent violent suppression of free speech anymore. Yet we expect other laws to prevent miscreants, who have infiltrated our very security systems (here as well as in Brussels), and with associations in foreign armies, from getting arms. And we hope that law enforcement will read minds and be on the spot before incidents begin. On the contrary, perhaps arming the populace so they’ve the means to defend themselves would be a better idea.

            1. Int

              Yeah, so there are potentially a billion and a half potential jihadis. So sick of people dressing up bigotry with pathetic weak intellectual ideas.

              So supposedly this jerkoff gave props to Isis as well as al-nustra when the 911 operator called him back before the massacre. Mind you these two groups are fighting each other for power. He would have been executed by Isis on the spot if they thought he had sypathies for al nusra and vice versa.

              1. cassandra

                I wish that I had enough bigotry to find these conclusions satisfying, but I come to them grimly, and with a certain horror. To address a couple of your other points: within Islamic countries, preference for Sharia law by 8% of the population is a low number, and the number frequently rises into the high 80’s:
                Now that’s pathetic. I would hope, and expect, that immigrants from these countries would change their views upon change of venue. I expect most do. But how large a residue of motivated ideologues with a militant preference for Sharia over the laws of the new home (e.g., the Constitution) is necessary to cause mayhem? Like you said, the base is 1.6 billion; even a small percentage of outliers is large numerically. Perusal of these and other Pew results is a sobering experience.
                I certainly agree that al Nusra and ISIS are fighting for power: but they are competitors with the same goals. What either party would have done with Mateen is debatable; I’d have guessed they’d have vied for his exclusive endorsement, but perhaps you have evidence to the contrary? To dismiss these people as “jerkoffs” is to underestimate an enemy.

                1. Int

                  my intention is not to call you a bigot. I find these arguments that are constantly put forth by apologists for state violence against millions of people around the world to be smokescreen and it bothers me immensely when highly educated and intelligent folks fall for it.

                  I do not buy the idea that a group like Isis is sincere about any caliphate. For one thing, isis became a effective fighting force, able to take, hold and administer territory thanks to the leadership being composed of former bathist military and political elites. These men were very much secularists before the u.s invasion. The bathists were constantly fighting off small jihadi type groups during the time they were in power. It is also well understood these groups would have remained on the margins and ineffectual if not for the massive support they constantly received from Saudi and other gulf states intelligence agencies , with of course involvement of “our” own intelligence apparatus. The goal being to destabilize and overthrow governments found to be unpalatable for geo political reasons.

                  The fact that millions of Muslims could potentially turn to right wing, nihilist religious movements is indicative of the failures of capitalism to allow these countries to develope in any meaningful way. It wasn’t long ago countries like Egypt and even Saudis Arabia had large secularist left leaning political parties that were crushed in favor for what we see today. Why? Communism of course. Even when they were just secular nationalists. The British, the French, and later the Americans threw their might behind all kinds of reactionary movements, to prevent these countries from becoming independent and falling out of their “sphere of influence”.

                  So I argue, that it has less to do with Islam itself, and more to do with economics and politics.

                  One of the reason we see an upsurge in young Muslim men in countries like France embracing these political movements is because of the failures of French capitalism to integrate these people In any meaningful way. Is it because of Islam that Muslims make up 10% of French population yet make 90% of prison population?
                  In the U.S Muslims are less likely to embrace these reactionary movements since u.s capitalism is better able to integrate these people. For example, I remember reading a while ago Muslims make up 1% of the population but end making 10% physicians in the u.s.

                  So my “enemy” is not potentially a billion plus Muslims but the conditions that drive people to reactionary movements, be they the rising fascist movements in Europe or some varient of reactionary political Islam.

        2. ChiGal

          “Just so there’d be no misunderstanding…”

          lol. he wouldn’t be the first to make grandiose claims regarding why he was doing what he was doing.

          Father (bit of a nut job himself sounds like) says he freaked over seeing two men kiss, ex-wife says he wasn’t religious (not that ISIS is about religion) and oh btw was physically abusive to her.

          Domestic terrorism and a hate crime targeting a vulnerable population.

          1. jgordon

            And it was just a coincidence that he randomly choose ISIS to pledge his allegiance to right before he initiated his slaughter. That one call to 911. Just imagine how this would be viewed if he hadn’t done it: “unstable homophobe kills a lot of gay people in mass shooting”–there’s very little political consequence of that. However now it’s “ISIS attacked America and killed a bunch of Americans”. There’s a big difference there.

            1. Massinissa

              He chose ISIS because theyre more popular and in vogue right now than comparable organizations like Hezbollah or Al Nusra.

          2. Optimader

            When was she last interacting with him to make an objective evaluation of his present idealogical/religious sentiments-disfunctionality.
            I can take someone’s declaration before such an event knowing they know it is likely their last act at face value. What is there to interpret?

            The guy may have been born in the US but what little ive read on this so far, it sounds like he was raised by parents that did not integrate into society. Formulaic for disfunctionality imo.

            1. jgordon

              I don’t know what’s up with these people. Rather than just taking Mateen’s simple statement on it’s face–that he believes in ISIS’s goals and is doing it for them–people are engaging in all sorts of deep psychological probing to ascribe hidden motive to his actions.

              OK, you people are in the wrong business; you’d make a killing as psychics or spiritualists but here you are wasting your amazing talents on random internet forums. Truly a waste.

          3. JaaaaayCeeeee

            In the past 3 years Mateen had at various times said not just that he is with ISIS, but with Hezbollah and Al Nusra.

            Hillary Clinton and Republicans will get more $$ for domestic militarization, surveillance, and perma war. He is being defined as needed.

            When they should be restoring the Assault Weapons Ban and getting LGBT equal protection.

        3. human

          Massachusetts State Police reported the contents of the shooter’s 911 call in general terms and said that in light of his statements, the Commonwealth Fusion Center is sharing information and intelligence with authorities investigating the Orlando shooting.


          Law enforcement sources told NBC News he swore allegiance to the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in a 911 call moments before the rampage at Pulse.


          Officials say Mateen called 911 before the massacre at Pulse nightclub and pledged allegiance to ISIS.


          Once again … we know this is true why?

        4. lyman alpha blob

          And if he’d sworn allegiance to the Illuminati on the 911 call and said his actions were to benefit them, would that make him a member of that group too?

          I think more information is needed here.

          Personally I can’t stand the word ‘terrorist’ – too many political connotations.

    3. Praedor

      It is also being harnessed for political gain by Clinton (and Obama). It is already being used as another springboard to try and get gun bans enacted, but this is wrong-headed in this case. The shooter was, as you point out, a SECURITY GUARD and then some, who was provided weapons and, thus, was also fully legally able to buy weapons to his heart’s desire. No universal background checks, gun bans, etc, would have prevented him (or anyone else like him) from carrying out their terrorism.

      In Europe, guns are nearly outright banned, yet the Paris attacks happened with fully automatic AK-47s. How? Because terrorists (and criminals) get weapons regardless of laws. Explosives are illegal too but it hasn’t prevented a single terrorist in Europe from making them or using them (no, this last is NOT to push idea that explosives should be fully legal, or that machine guns, rocket launchers, etc, should be allowed to proliferate). The point is that people ARE seizing this attack for political purposes. From the Obama/Hillary side it is to try and push gun controls even more stringent than they’ve previously called for. On the other side it is being seized by Trump and like-minded individuals.

      Thing is, Trump is right. The ONLY way this attack could have been prevented was to outright ban/deport Muslims. Problem: this bucks right up against basic human and constitutional rights. Kinda like simply seeking to seize all guns runs smack into a constitutional right and basic human rights. What some people WANT to do, particularly in the afterglow of such incidents, often run into attempts to kill or weaken basic rights and, as such, would do more harm than good. The desire to do something just to feel like you are doing something is how we get the PATRIOT Act, universal domestic spying, wars to stop “mushroom clouds”, etc. Those who seek to jump in and exploit the immediate aftermath of such incidents NEVER have the greater good on their mind. They ALWAYS have their own personal wealth, power, or influence seeking front and center.

    4. hemeantwell

      I was surprised to see Juan Cole at Informed Comment quibbling over whether this should be regarded as terrorism.

      So if the alleged shooter, Omar Mateen, was a terrorist you would expect him to make demands about US government policy.

      And since his pledge of allegiance to ISIS had none, we should regard it a hate crime. Cole misses the idea that, since our crumbling democratic institutions are not completely flattened, assaults on the public shape politics. Mateen’s goals are basically those of bin Laden, to provoke polarizing conflict. I’m afraid he’ll succeed.

      1. Praedor

        ISIS, in calling for exactly these kinds of attacks everywhere in the West didn’t append demands to the call. They just wanted people to step up and do this stuff as attacks on the West. Mateen did what ISIS has long been calling for.

        1. craazyboy

          I think the word “terrorism” carries a politically motived connotation and additionally some degree of organization – ie terrorist “cells”, direct communication thru some loose chain of command, etc…

          If we are expanding the meaning to include anyone that’s triggered by a “shout out” from the Middle East over youtube or whatever, then that’s stretching a bit, methinks.

          Now if the attack was on a gay bar, we invented the term “hate crime” that may more closely fit.

          I’ll await Ms. Hillary’s take on it. Or I could skip it altogether.

          1. jgordon

            You are creating your own definitions for words. Mateen was a terrorist by any actual definition of the word.

              1. jgordon

                Yes, he was a mass murderer. Most successful terrorists are. Thank you for illuminating that hard-to-ferret out fact.

                1. craazyboy

                  The difference is if he’s a ISIS terrorist, that means we need to do something in the ME now. Prolly also something with Homeland Security. Maybe even delete youtube. That’s why I’m harping on definition.

                  I know what “terror” means. That’s when someone scares the crap outta you.

                  1. jgordon

                    Well. Maybe we’ve been wrong about it then. Maybe they are a real threat. If so, that fact should be dealt with, not ignored.

                    1. beth

                      We have already dealt with native born & foreign terrorists in this country by collecting all phone and internet communications for all of us. Yet we have never known in advance that the a criminal will do any mass killing.

                      Maybe we are not going about this right; maybe we are just being too hysterical. Let’s think this over & discuss.

                    2. Massinissa

                      Unless its blowback, in which case, we should ignore it instead of interfering, which will make the problem even worse.

              2. different clue

                If he hoped to terrorise survivors, onlookers, and the wider society into doing things he was not physically or politically powerful enough to MAKE them do, then he was a terrorist. Terrorists seek to terrorise and thereby get the terrorised to do what the terrorists want. The ISIS-minded terrorists, for example, hope to terrorise Western publics into unfocused backlashing against Western-country Muslim populations in order get some of those backlashed-against Muslims to join ISIS in their own minds and start doing ISIS kinds of stuff.

            1. Pat

              I do not disagree. And yet I do. You see we refuse to call a lot of things that are legitimately terrorism terrorism in America. Any person who bombs somewhere, kills randomly, etc is committing an act of terrorism as the point is to terrorize. Walking into a black church and killing the people there is an act of terrorism, but note how quickly that term gets dropped and we hear about the crazy act of an individual.

              The real question here is not was this an act of terrorism, it was. Same as that church shooting above. The Question is whether this was an organized act of terrorism intended for a larger purpose and agenda or the act of an individual who really had no greater objective than punishing some group for their own unhappiness or warped sense of justice based on nothing real.

              1. jgordon

                The goal of ISIS is the restoration of the Islamic caliphate. Mateen was a member of ISIS by both his own statements and the statements of ISIS. Therefore it can be said that he had some belief in the ideal of establishing an Islamic caliphate. Also, he’d been under FBI investigation for making statements in support of radical Islam and it’s goals. Is there some profound reason people are trying to make this not be an ISIS terrorist attack despite all the evidence? It seems very confusing and absurd to me.

                1. Pat

                  The goal of Daesh is to restore their own power, Islamic or otherwise.

                  He’d been under FBI suspicion for supposedly having contact with the first American suicide bomber, and they found bupkus. He also talked about killing people while on duty not apparently religiously based from the report of the fellow employee. He abused his ex-wife. He got upset at seeing men kiss in public.

                  There is a lot of evidence that he had a lot of issues. Did he identify with or want a fundamentalist restrictive anti-gay, anti-woman version of Islam to control the way of life in America? Probably. Was that the reason he decided to shoot up a Gay bar? Probably not. Although he could probably have said something along the lines of an Islamic version of the old christian Sodom and Gomorrah going to hell line. But really how does that choice advance an Islamic takeover of America? It doesn’t. It isn’t something that truly will scare the rubes. They don’t hang out at gay clubs.

                  In reality as effective a killer as he was, the San Bernadino couple were actually more effective in their choice of venue (not to mention having a wider longer plan with the bombs) – a whole lot of Americans have office Christmas parties.

                2. Lambert Strether

                  Bollocks. He phoned 911 — maybe — during the shooting and declared his “allegiance,” whatever that means. And then some PR genius at ISIS claimed credit. Well, they would, wouldn’t they.

                  What’s interesting about this particular mass shooting is watching the interlocking and mutually reinforcing spirals of hysteria — with each spiral including a node where somebody’s cashing in.

                  On the bright side: Nobody wants to put gays in camps, at least for now. So there’s that.

              2. DJG

                Thanks, Pat. Further, this being the United States, any attack by a rightwing organization is not a terrorist attack. It is just overexuberant disgruntlement. And yet I will contradict jgordon, directly above. This is not a terrorist attack by Daesh. This is a kind of terrorism that the perp decided to dress up with an appeal to Daesh. It seems to run in the family: His father is claiming to the president-in-exile of Afghanistan. There is no organization here.

                I would back away from “terrorism” a bit more than Pat does, in this sense: I define this as a crime of opportunity by a violent man searching for pretexts. (Possibly even a suicide by rifle.) The size of the rifle’s magazine means that he can inflict his internal disorder (not necessarily mental illness) on many other people in an instant.

                1. jgordon

                  “Daesh” — ISIS has said that this is not their name, and they are unhappy with people calling them that. Calling ISIS “Daesh” has the same level of maturity as calling that guy down the street you really hate “poopy-pants”. It’s not really his name; you’re just saying it because it’s funny and pisses him off.

                  Second, Mateen specifically called the police and told them what his motive for the crime was immediately before he committed it: he believed in ISIS and he was doing it for them. Now we have the spectacle of crowds of people rushing up to claim: “nuh-uh! He was lying! That wasn’t the REAL reason.” And then these people proceed to come up with their own theories about what he was thinking as if he hadn’t said anything at all. Amazing.

                  1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                    The connection here is that, from what I have read, ISIS has called for actions like this.

                    It’s like if some guy claims he is doing something for Sanders, that would be only pertinent if that something has been called for by Sanders (or others, this being just an example).

              3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                You say it’s an act of terrorism.

                Would you say it’s a loosely (and remotely) organized act of terrorism for the larger purpose of prosecuting (free to act as the field operator sees fit) a cultural (or religious) war?

            2. Katniss Everdeen

              The political battle lines are already being drawn–“hate” crime vs. terrorism.

              “Hate” crime, advantage clinton–“all-inclusive” identity politics and gun control.

              Terrorism, advantage Trump–immigration policy, building walls and Muslim ban.

              Obama has fired the first salvo by blaming us “all” for not having “the strength and courage” to change our national attitude toward the LGBT community.

              My money would be on Trump should he care to actually make the case.

              1. Pat

                I really really hate that this is a political game for these people – all of them.

                As for the larger political perspective on this tragedy, I’m pretty sure you have called the game board, the pieces and the odds correctly.

              2. Quentin

                That man really had the gall to say ‘all’? I’d think he could have begun with ‘I in the first place’!

        2. Pat

          The people who have killed abortion providers, shot up clinics and bombed or sent them ‘white powder’ all were doing exactly what their leadership was telling them to do, and yet we do not call that terrorism. We call it crazy people taking their beliefs too far. And have yet to have establishment politicians be willing or even to demand that it be called Fundamentalist Christian terrorism.

          Preying on the unstable, angry, self hating, downtrodden of the world, and in particular in America is low hanging fruit, they may claim their acts, but all they did was give them a hook. If it wasn’t ISIS it would be something else. This was no 9/11. It was no Paris. Hell this wasn’t even Norway 2011 or Boston. It was a massacre by an individual picking a crowded and largely unprotected group for some crazy reason of their own justified by more crazyness. It was the shooting at the federal building in NYC last year, it was Sandy Hook, it was Nickel Mines, it was Aurora. Hell it is the guy who just shot his family and himself in multiple locales in America in the last month writ large.

          1. Vatch

            “The people who have killed abortion providers, shot up clinics and bombed or sent them ‘white powder’ all were doing exactly what their leadership was telling them to do, and yet we do not call that terrorism.”

            For what it’s worth, I call it terrorism, whether the perpetrator is a Christian, Muslim, HIndu, Buddhist, Jew, or something else.

            1. Pat

              So do I. I explain it a little better in another comment. We have many acts of terror in America. large and small. Most are relatively unorganized acts of an individual driven by their own demons. If it is somehow attached to Islam, we call it Terrorism and treat as organized regardless. When it is about something we do not wish to recognize as an ‘enemy’ or ‘antithetical’ to America we refuse to call those individual acts terrorism.

              I do think we need to understand that there is organized terrorism and the terrorism of the unassociated usually unhinged imdividual. And that they are not the same.

              1. Katniss Everdeen

                When it is about something we do not wish to recognize as an ‘enemy’ or ‘antithetical’ to America we refuse to call those individual acts terrorism.

                You mean like RELIGION or the infamous “judeo-christian principals?”

              2. ChiGal

                And little by little TPTB are moving in that direction, using the term domestic terrorism for example in re the church shootings in SC.

                This seems to me analogous.

                1. aletheia33

                  i agree. watch for more and more “terrorism” in america, expanding the definition in favor of more “security”, surveillance, self-censorship. more “sheltering in place”, “lockdown”s, militarization of police, onerous i.d. requirements, leading to jailing of “dissidents”. because “war on terror”. it’s obvious.

                  ww3 is getting mentioned lately. if that happens, by gradual spread or overnight declaration or both, don’t think for a minute that certain types of people will not be rounded up and put into reservations.

                  i suppose it’s actually a type of self-licking ice cream cone, that the more people are crushed, the more mental health problems and mass murders you get, the more you can scare the people, the more you can crush them. apparently, especially if you let them keep playing with their guns. hmm.

                  1. abynormal

                    @aletheia33 the more people are crushed, the more mental health problems and mass murders you get, the more you can scare the people, the more you can crush them.

                    agree. this is the pivot point…the rest are identification smears which eventually fall off cliffs of history. sadly, mental illness still marches along.

                    what was that ole russian spin…there is no Murder in Paradise.

                    ours could be…ALL US WELL

                    (btw, humbled by your recognition and support for my present life but i’m okay compared to many and too many that suffer in silence. Thank You Very Much)

            2. Optimader

              ” yet we dont call it terrorism”

              False argument. Who is we? I certainly call it terrorism when the objective is socio-political change.

              1. dk

                I’m reluctant to lump nutters claiming political-religious-cultural motive to explain a personal frustration in with calculating planners of social unrest. “Terrorist” is being applied to both of these, I think it’s a category mistake that makes analysis and mitigation more difficult.

                See the United States of Paranoia: They See Gangs of Stalkers article… claiming socially relevant motive doesn’t make it so.

                1. optimader

                  I’m reluctant to lump nutters claiming political-religious-cultural motive to explain a personal frustration in with calculating planners of social unrest

                  People claiming political-religious-cultural motive are not a mutually exclusive group from calculating planners of social unrest. In the end, isnt being a mass murdering terrorist all about personal frustration?

                  Timothy McVeigh (w/ the assistance of Terry Nichols) comes to mind. McVeigh was a calculating planner claiming political-religious-cultural motive, and I have no reason to doubt his fidelity to his stated objectives and motivations.

                  So I think your basic premise is flawed.

                  I do know the definition of Terrorist. but not sure how you define nutter so you have me at an advantage on that count .

                  If nutter implies he was insane, I have no reason to believe that is the case so far. He clearly articulated his motivation, philosophical affiliations and was obviously premeditated.

                  Was he a calculating planner? Without a doubt.

                  If you’re advocating for disaggregation of “categories” that fulfill the definition of Terrorist? I’m good with that. One size does not it all, but that does no mean he wasn’t a terrorist.

                  1. dk

                    Yes I saw a couple of problems about two seconds after posting that, but couldn’t rework it 5 minutes. It was poorly stated. I appreciate your taking the time to object to it in some detail, it helps me clarify my own thoughts.

                    I see a difference between a person A who has violent urges and desires, and seeks to explain and justify them by developing an affinity to a (possibly but not necessarily violent) political/religious/social group X, and a person B who has a political/religious/social motive, and turns to violence to fulfill it.

                    Person A may become an active participant in X, and X may be pleased to have them along. Or A may feel and claim allegiance with X, but X may have no specific knowledge of it.

                    But when A executes a plan of their own origin, and claims allegiance to X along the way, this is different from X developing a specific plan for A, which A then carries out. In the legal sense, the first case may constitute incitement, the second case is conspiracy. If X did not actively participate in A’s plan, it’s not conspiracy, even though X may be understood to have some responsibility, and/or may claim responsibility after the fact. Person A can even claim the active participation of X when there was none, this can confuse investigation.

                    And person B may also come up with a plan of their own, which X rejects, or would reject if they knew of it, and execute it in the name of X. Whether or not X has incited B’s actions can depend on the terms X uses, and interpretations of those terms.

                    In their acts of violence, A and B may be almost indistinguishable. I think this is what you are saying; they’re “terrorists” in consequence. I would prefer to use a different term for someone who’s primary goal is violence for its own sake (A), and not allow them to dignify their actions with political/religious/social ideology. “Murderer”, or “mass murder”, works for me but I’m open to something more specific.

                    The law recognizes at least some of these differences. I think they also matter in the context of identifying actors like A and B before they take tragic action, and how to deal with their motivations and intentions. I’m not willing to accept the political/religious/social rationalization of a person seeking to present their primarily violent intent.

                    And what about person C, who gets a gun just to have one, and then shoots people, and didn’t think about it in advance, but afterwards claims that X told them to do it?

                    I also question the quality of the planning. What was Mateen’s plan after shooting up the club? Death by cop, does that really qualify? Or was ISIS going to be waiting outside the door with a hero’s welcome?

                    I can’t dignify “I’m going to buy a gun and shoot up a club full of people” as a calculated plan, it’s a fantasy without thought to consequence other than wish fulfillment. Execution required some forethought and method, that doesn’t make it complete or rational in the larger context.

                    And political (and social, and maybe religious) planning is suppose to lead to something stable, or at least further goals. Destruction doesn’t require a great deal of planning, we can just start breaking stuff and keep going. If we manage to break a lot of things, that doesn’t make the plan more calculated than if we failed at the first target.

                    Political policy planning is often very poor, but because important/powerful/wealthy people support it, it’s called calculated. If we accept “12-3=27 because I say so” as a calculation, then the term loses its meaning.

          2. fresno dan

            Controlling terrorists will at some point cause the irresistible force to meet the immovable object – i.e., gun control for suspected Muslim terrorists.
            Now, the NRA will advocate that every American carry a gun, whether a bar or a nursery school or a gold tournament, so it won’t be a problem for them.

            But as I have pointed out many times before, there was a time when the gun control advocates were…..wait for it…..republicans!!!


            “Republicans in California eagerly supported increased gun control. Governor Reagan told reporters that afternoon that he saw “no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons.” He called guns a “ridiculous way to solve problems that have to be solved among people of good will.” In a later press conference, Reagan said he didn’t “know of any sportsman who leaves his home with a gun to go out into the field to hunt or for target shooting who carries that gun loaded.” The Mulford Act, he said, “would work no hardship on the honest citizen.””

          3. jgordon

            Not sure if this was an individual. I’ve been seeing reports that there were multiple individuals involved in this attack starting to crop up. Sadly the mainstream media is so corrupt and unreliable that nothing is certain about that at the moment.

            Anyway–Mateen’s parents were Muslim immigrants. Mateen has a history of making statements in support of radical Islam, so much so that he was investigated and interviewed by the FBI about it. Also, aside from running his mouth, Mateen had a pristine background with little prior history of mental instability, and was working as an armed security officer for the largest mercenary/security firm in the world. If he was mentally unhinged, it didn’t show up in any of his multiple background checks, and the FBI wasn’t touching him despite being on their radar.

            1. marym

              Apparently the FBI “wasn’t touching him” because he was a bit unhinged.

              The FBI interviewed Mateen on two occasions in 2013 related to his purported connection to the Tsarnaev brothers, the first known time Mateen drew the attention of federal law enforcement. Ultimately, bureau investigators determined that Mateen had invented the connection and did not pose a security threat.

              1. abynormal

                fbi nightshift, ‘oh he’s just another loony’
                fbi dayshift, ‘you sure about that?’
                fbi chief, ‘yeah, he probably can’t get his meds filled. he’ll self medicate an be fine in the morning’

            2. MtnLife

              I buy the multiple shooter angle a little more. I’ve been sitting here incredulous as to how he did it (hell, it would be hard to pull that level of killing off in Call of Duty, much less the chaos of real life). He was a little too effective for me to believe he was solo, not impossible – just unlikely. First, there had to be one, if not two or more, bouncer(s) at the door. Hard to believe they didn’t see someone walking up with a long gun. It’s summer in Florida, not trench coat weather up north. Second, nearly every bar/club owner I’ve known has at least one armed off duty officer moonlighting inside (usually not hard to spot). The ones that didn’t kept them outside across the street. Third, never known a club/bar owner to not have a weapon in their office. Either these people all fled and will have to live with that on their conscience or were neutralized early which would indicate multiple shooters and/or much more planning than seems happened. Of course there are many details we don’t know. I’m just speculating.

              1. fresno dan

                June 13, 2016 at 1:42 pm
                Good points. I find it hard to understand how that total could be reached with a back door that apparently wasn’t locked.

            3. dk

              Umm… being mentally unhinged is actually a good qualification for working as a mercenary. One only has to keep one’s nose clean enough in the formally legal sense. The G4S screening was in 2007, and he was not re-screened, just background checked, in 2013.


              G4S said it was not made aware of any connections between Marteen and terrorist activities.


              “In 2013, we learned that Mateen had been questioned by the FBI but that the inquiries were subsequently closed. We were not made aware of any alleged connections between Mateen and terrorist activities, and were unaware of any further FBI investigations,” Kenning said.

          4. myshkin


            “Sitora Yusifiy divorced the shooting suspect after four months of marriage and says he had serious mental health problems, ‘A few months after we were married I saw his instability, I saw his bipolar, and he would get mad out of nowhere, and that’s when I started worrying about my safety…Then after a few months he started abusing me physically, very often, and not allowing me to speak to my family, and keeping me hostage from them,’ she said… he ‘had a history with steroids.’ ”

            ” ‘I complained multiple times that he was dangerous, that he didn’t like blacks, women, lesbians and Jews,’ Gilroy told The Times on Sunday. ‘Mateen threatened violence in front of him, Gilroy said. Once when Mateen saw an African American man driving past, he said he wished he could kill all black people, using a racial slur,’ Gilroy recalled.” -former co-worker
            LA Times

            We are living in a culture riddled with psychotic behavior on multiple levels. How and why strip the component of terror and isolate it from everyday life in such insane cultures? Popular culture is riddled with violence, our games are steeped in it both participants and fans, our corporations profit from it and our governments organize around and pursue it. It reflects what we are.
            I would assume ISIS and all other terror organizations (including overlooked, valorized national armed services everywhere) are loaded with traumatized, damaged people, violated and desensitized by their surrounding environment and the greater world, enraged and primed to commit violent actions.

            Gun company shares soared on Monday as traders predicted that Americans will react to the Orlando massacre by rushing out to arm themselves with more guns.
            -Christian Science Monitor

      2. nycTerrierist

        Good perspective on Orlando and Honest Hillary’s hypocrisy re: ‘weapons of war’:

        “There she said: “This is the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the United States and it reminds us once more that weapons of war have no place on our streets.” (Emphasis, jw)

        But those “weapons of war” have been used on the streets of Iraq and in midnight raids on the civilian population in the war there that Hillary so ardently backed.

        Does she even grasp what she is saying? She is saying that it is an atrocity to use such weapons on Americans – but not on the brown people, civilians in their homes, in Iraq and throughout the greater Middle East and North Africa in U.S. wars of aggression and the occupation. To be horrified by the use of those weapons on Americans but not on Arabs qualifies as racism of the basest sort.”

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Hillary and the Washington establishment are the “good guys.” Their actions are good from their good nature. The civilian deaths when they acknowledge them (a 15 year old male is never a civilian when killed by a predator drone) are unfortunate results of the great moral decisions they undertake all the time. We wouldn’t understand. Hillary feels really bad when she is asked about it instead of being praised.

          These people went down the rabbit hole so long ago it’s best to not look for moral and intellectual cohesion.

        2. Pavel

          The comic Dave Smith on his podcast suggested that instead of using the word “war” we replace it with “mass murder”, caused by the state (be it the US, Russia, ISIS, Saudis, whoever). E.g. The Vietnam Mass Murder. Makes things a bit clearer.

          And yes, Obama and HRC are mass murderers (along with Bush, Cheney, and pretty much the lot of them). How many innocents have been (knowingly) killed by Obama’s drones? Or the 500K children killed by Bill Clinton’s Iraq sanctions?

          1. nycTerrierist

            Agree. ‘Drone murders’ rings true.

            “There can be nothing more startling than a simple statement of fact.” Philip Guston

          2. katiebird

            The Drone Murders …. And maybe worse… the weekly Drone meetings are THE reason I couldn’t imagine voting for Obama’s reelection … And they are the reason I cannot vote for Hillary.

            If that story is true that she “approved drone bombings” by Cell Phone, then she is even worse than I could imagine. … The decision wasn’t worth getting back to DC? … Oh, I forgot. These were weekly meetings and decisions. Who could expect her to be there in person for each.

            #NeverHillary (sorry if this is inappropriate)

            Apparently, that doesn’t bother voting Democrats as much as I would have thought a decade ago. But I will never accept it.

            1. Pavel

              As others have pointed out, where are the antiwar protests???

              I marched as a child against the Vietnam War, and decades later against the Iraq War and several times in between. The US is involved in its longest-ever war (or mass murder) in Afghanistan, and is fighting and droning in almost a dozen other countries. Not a peep from the Millennials as far as I can see. Endless war just seems to be the norm, along with $700B “defence” budgets.

              1. Bubba_Gump

                I marched as well, numerous times against Iraq, and worked in opposition groups. Wrote letters, made calls. Fat lot of good it did. Millenials got their look at the same futility in OWS. So why is it that should they march, again?

              2. Int

                For one thing, thousands of young American men aren’t coming back in body bags. Once the u.s fights a country that can actually defend itself, they will have to reinstate the draft. I can imagine there being more of a serious anti war movement developing at that point.

              3. different clue

                The Sixties marchers lived in a rich First World America where they could be confident they could opt back into the System any time they wanted and resume their march to nice jobs and careers and homes. The millenials live in an ex-rich ex-First World America slumping slowly towards Ukraine/Moldova levels of poverty and disorder. Perhaps they are too pre-occupied with hour-to-hour survival to think of taking several years off for recreational protests about this and that?

                Or perhaps they think starting to grow a movement triggered by Sanders’ Run is a better use of limited time and energy than recreational protesting and recreational marching?

        3. Anne

          Okay, so this is the disconnect I do not understand. This is more than just something terrible that happened because our gun laws allow us to go out and buy assault weapons. Or because someone had a mental problem. Or had religious views that could not tolerate gay people.

          It’s all part of the toxic mix that also includes the very real, very obvious, fact that the US government finds the killing of innocents in other countries the acceptable consequence of their effort to eradicate extremist elements and terrorists. They seem to believe that we just haven’t killed enough people yet.

          I don’t understand why we believe we should be exempt from attack just because we are America, the so-called greatest democracy on the planet. Why does no one seem to connect what we’re doing “over there” with what is happening over here?

          And Jesus Christ on a crutch: why does the FBI only seem to be able to identify and interrupt terrorism when it creates the terrorists themselves via sting operations?

          Like many other people, I do grieve for the families and loved ones of the dead and injured; they have paid a terrible price for our failures on so many levels. The other tragedy, of course, is that our grief, our thoughts and our prayers change absolutely nothing, and I do not think I can hear one more politician, whose votes and decisions and complicity in polices that brought us to this terrible thing, indulge him- or herself in wallowing in grief and regret.

          1. RW Tucker

            “why does the FBI only seem to be able to identify and interrupt terrorism when it creates the terrorists themselves via sting operations?”

            Because, as much as we’d like to think that law enforcement is there to proactively stop threats, that’s not their primary activity. At all. They are a reactive force. They investigate after the fact.

            David Graeber says this much better, when talking about law enforcement as bureaucratic agents in Utopia of Rules.

            The fact of the matter is that stopping someone from doing something dastardly is almost impossible. Anyone, at any time, can do something. It’s culture which stops them. Culture is the positivist, prophylactic force against crime. Not some dolt with a gun.

            1. dk

              Yeah. And all of the metadata they collect is too much and too unspecific to correlate meaningfully before the fact.

              Comes in handy for marketing though! Like selling a terroristic operation to a weak and influenced mind.

          2. abynormal

            And Jesus Christ on a crutch: why does the FBI only seem to be able to identify and interrupt terrorism when it creates the terrorists themselves via sting operations? Trickle Down

            Question: When will it Trickle UP

      3. NotTimothyGeithner

        One problem with existing terror analyses based on the post 9/11 Era is:

        -Bin Laden and the Mujahideen heroes are dead. This is a huge deal. I used the word “heroes.” It might be a feel good moment for the nation, but Bin Laden wasn’t just skme random serial killer with a few creepy devotees. He was an Arab Muslim cast out by the Saudis and the West who defeated the USSR and waged a two decade conflict with the U.S. Because Bin Laden is a super Hitler we as a society ignore what he meant to people on the street and focus on arcane points about whether Ishmael was secretly left-handed and whether 35 angels could tango on the head of the pin when 74 can waltz.

        Prior to their deaths, every would be sympathizer sought out the legitimate authority for the war against the West, but Bin Laden and his gang weren’t believers as much as they were angry about being cut off and out after defeating the Soviets. He and his crew wanted glory they thought they deserved, so they cut operations at a moments notice and limited their actions to symbolic targets where there were no escape plans. They didn’t want new heroes who could wrest their status away.

        Now they are dead, and the young, unemployed, and more importantly world Muslim population which has had a war waged on it (500,000 dead from sanctions in the 1990’s Iraq doesn’t sit well with Iraqis) have no more legitimate authority. ISIS was denounced by the successor leaders of Al Qaeda, but without Bin Laden and friends existing, the group that became ISIS was free to act on their own accord. The Boston Bombers selected their own target which was not the typical Al Qaeda target and had an escape plan.

        We are in an era or lone wolf and mad bombers. Our counter intelligence officials warned about franchise operations which operated in the 00’s, but the waiting for Bin Laden to decide or speak kept his sympathizers in check.

        1. James Levy

          You make excellent points. Another, I would posit, is that there is no plan, not even an inkling of a plan, not even a conception of a plan, to make peace with the Islamic world. The plan is to kill out way out of this mess, and too many Muslims understand that perfectly, even if no one has the guts to say it here (although Hillary’s actions and Trump’s ex post facto tweets tell us all we need to know about their attitudes on the subject).

          We have pledged ourselves to destroy an amorphous enemy and not worry about the “collateral damage”. We do nothing to foster an atmosphere in which peace is possible. With every enemy and innocent bystander we kill, we create new enemies, then kill more of them, and more innocent bystanders. We play footsie with the most backward and degenerate oligarchy on the planet in Saudi Arabia.

          I see no way out.

          1. Jim Haygood

            And the 28 pages of the 9/11 report that describe Saudi Arabia’s role STILL haven’t been released:


            Remind me again — how has Congress been fashioning anti-terror policy for 15 years now, when most members haven’t even ascertained the facts of the last go-round yet?

            What is wrong with this picture?

          2. NotTimothyGeithner

            I agree, but very few* will admit we have been fighting Islam for decades because it was a slow rolling ball and is a simple and honest answer to why they us. Sure Carter largely declared the Persian Gulf as a protectorate, but he wore a sweater.

            As a society, we can’t admit we even have a problem. Too much of the establishment is complicit.

            I think the appeal of Trump is the hind sight declarations that Iraq and Libya were bad ideas. Pundits just assumed a state such as South Carolina with a heavy military presence would put Trump in his place, but many of the soldiers and contractors know what happened in Iraq. They don’t live in a fantasy land. I wouldn’t be surprised if they expect blow back without admitting it.

            *Republicans say it, but they blame Muslims for not cheering when we bomb them.

        2. JerseyJeffersonian

          This is probably too late to the thread to make much of a difference, but I want to post a link to something written by Patrick Bahzad and posted at Sic Semper Tyrannis. This concerns recent trends and patterns in jihadi terrorism.

          Patrick is a valuable resource for matters concerning terrorism as well as Middle Eastern conflicts. If you go to the base site, you can click on his name in the bar on the right to go to a listing of his work there in chronological order.

        3. Jay M

          Maybe this is an example of the world that has been influenced “working towards Bin Ladin” even as he has passed on

      4. HBE

        What I want to know is where was our trillion dollar intelligence apparatus on this one? Isn’t it’s whole purpose to keep us safe from “terrorists”? /s

      5. Lambert Strether

        Why is that a quibble, exactly? Given that the distinction has legal consequences, political consequences, public relations consequences..

        For example, the wingers whacking doctors providing entirely legal abortions were never framed as domestic terrorists, even though they were clealry trying to affect the government. Had they been, perhaps public policy might have taken a different turn.

    5. cwaltz

      I’d argue that it is equally being exploited by the Democrats for their pet project- getting guns out of the hands of the common folk who are getting screwed over and might, in their frustration,be able to take out a few elites on their way out.

      I agree completely with you on your points about this guy getting a gun. It kind of reminds me of the situation where the military guy ends up shooting up a base. The gun is less problematic than the fact that we’ve got a horrible screening process when it comes to background checks. You would have thought that the FBI, after tying him to militants, would have kept better tabs on him. Alas, they were probably busy, screening Clinton’s emails and trying to figure out who leaked secured data to Sidney Blumenthal.

      1. MtnLife

        Move On sent me an email before the bodies were cold. I promptly dropped them for lack of respect.

        1. beth

          As one who dropped them 4-5 years ago, you can’t run from MOVE ON. They will send you email under other names. It may be that they sell their mailing lists? Also, they will wait for a period of time and again begin sending you emails. If you are a gardener, you will find they are like poison ivy, that pops up time and time again and refuses to die. Good luck.

          1. Arizona Slim

            Use a bogus e-mail address when you’re signing their petitions. Works for me and it can work for you too.

            1. different clue

              Good idea. I will sign some of those e-petitions as an excuse to try that. Maybe if enough people did enough of that, groups phishing for emails would give up on the concept of using e-petitions as bait.

      2. jrs

        If only they did take out a few elites on their way. It almost never seems to happen. American culture is such that people only punch down or lash out at equally powerless and innocent people.

    6. readerOfTeaLeaves

      Interesting comment, and I think that you’ve hit some topics that disturb me as well.

      GREAT reporting at McClatchy, btw, on the fact that someone at a think tank is now finally sending tweets to certain Congress critters about just how much they have taken from the NRA:

      And Rep Jim Hines is finally calling ‘bs’ on the appalling spectacle of Congress having a ‘moment of silence’, then continuing to use NRA contributions to shut down any kind of legislative action that might help local law enforcement, the FBI, or — God forbid! — actual taxpaying citizens.

      But yeah, fwiw, that whole GS4 profit-making outfit that generates income from ‘transplanting’ immigrants is probably going to get a little more look-see.

      1. jgordon

        I don’t see how this has to do with guns. If anything pushing the anti-gun agenda at the moment is going to look a lot like politicians trying to disarm Americans in the face of the ISIS threat. If you’re trying to ramp up fear, paranoia, and NRA political power then you sure couldn’t find a better way to go about it right now. Trump’s asides that Obama and Democrats are probably secretly in league with ISIS suddenly starts looking a lot more credible to a lot more people.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          There are deadlier, if less accessible, weapons than guns.

          A bomb went off in an airport in Shanghai yesterday…the same day of the tragedy in Orlando.

          And also yesterday, someone was apprehended in Santa Monica, CA with bomb making materials in his car.

          Where there is a will, there is a way.

          1. jgordon

            You are absolutely correct, and it’s something I just don’t get about this anti-gun crusade. In the past year, I’ve seen examples of people killing others with vehicles. People managing to kill themselves with a cell phone. Of murders by knives, poison, and all manner of other things. And yet there is still this bizarre focus on guns by a small, radical segment of the population. Well, I don’t really understand Hare Krishnas either, but if it makes them happy good for them I guess.

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              Well, guns are designed to kill. So I think I’m gonna go machine gun some deer now. With one of my machine guns. Why not? First, however, let me buff it…

              1. jgordon

                Guns also serve a legitimate and Constitutionally protected political function as well. You may not like or agree with the function, but there are plenty of other people who don’t agree with freedom of speech or no state religion as well.

                1. Lambert Strether Post author

                  I regard all Supreme Court decisions since the first Justice approved for the bench after Bush v. Gore are, as it were, “fruit of the poisonous tree,” including Scalia’s redefinition of the Second Amendment, and are illegitimate and should be rolled back.

                  In addition, political functions change with time. For example, one of the “original” purposes of a “well-regulated militia” was putting down slave rebellions. Obviously, that political function is no longer relevant. And so, possibly, others.

                  I’m done buffing my favorite machine gun. Now I’m gonna go whack some deer!

                  1. jgordon

                    The founders of America obviously believed that armed insurrection was a legitimate form of political expression. In fact, they did it themselves! If you personally believe that society has moved beyond that, then you are free to start a movement to have the document that the founders wrote constituting the USA altered to reflect the new reality of America.

                    I’m just saying, but trying to go about it in an underhanded and deceitful way like the anti-gun crowded has been doing so far till now is going to continue having very ugly unintended consequences for their cause. I’d point to the increasing proliferation of weapons among American and the ever increasing political power of the NRA as examples of consequences created by their misguided efforts.

                    1. James Levy

                      I live about 10 miles from the last stand of the men who rallied to Shay’s Rebellion (it’s near Sheffield, MA). I think your comment on the Holy Founders misses the mark. They liked insurrection when they were leading it. When the Plebs decided to turn to it for a redress of grievances, they hired troops and put them down.

                2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

                  I’m with Lambert. The framers in 1776 couldn’t have possibly foreseen the power of modern day firearms.

                  1. cwaltz

                    Well, I agree with jgordon.

                    The reality is our Declaration of Independence laid out the reason for our insurrection against the Brits and I very much believe the founders who were perfectly willing to use their own brand of terrorism to obtain their freedom(something considered incredibly radical by the Brits) would have wanted the means to tear a corrupt and destructive government asunder. Heck, it’s right there in their words.

                    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

                    1. James Levy

                      Problem was, most of Jefferson’s “facts” turn out to be propaganda, misunderstanding, misapprehension, or downright lies. No modern historian buys the tyranny nonsense. The plutocrats in North America simply didn’t want to obey the laws that restrained their trade and ability to dispossess the Indians. The only real argument they had, and it was a powerful one, was that there were now half as many people in the 13 Colonies as there were in England, and they were rich enough and secure enough and educated enough to run their own affairs without London. The irrelevance of England was the real point, not the hysterical cries of slavery and tyranny (which, as Dr. Johnson pointed out, were most vociferously proclaimed by slave-drivers).

                    2. low intger

                      Well, I agree with jgordon.

                      Well, I remember when you commented that you liked Hillary Clinton (don’t really have time, but yes, if you insist I will find the link, although it won’t be today), so there is a possibility you will come to a vastly different conclusion in the future.

                  2. different clue

                    The framers in 1776 couldn’t have possibly foreseen the power of modern day communications technologies, either. Therefor, Freedom of the Press should only apply to the kind of presses which existed in 1776. And also to whatever communications technology existed beFORE 1776 too, of course. So quill pens and parchment and baked clay cuneiform tablets would be entirely constitutional, under this “unforeseen power of modern day technology” doctrine.

            2. Medbh

              People focus on guns because they’re very effective in killing people, especially in an asymmetrical and impulsive manner. I own guns and hunt, but I think it’s silly to claim that guns are no different than other weapons. Bombs take knowledge and time to build, knives require close proximity, etc. Guns make death very portable, impulsive and easy.

              1. jgordon

                OK. And an automobile also fits your definition of why guns ate bad. In fact more people are killed by accident and intentionally by automobiles than guns already, yet no one, except me, is raising the hue and cry against. I personally, very strongly, that people who have such issued with guns but say nothing against automobiles are vile hypocrites. I’m not saying that for rhetorical effect. It’s what I honestly feel. Automobiles are a far more heinous threat to Americans and the environment than guns ever thought of being.

                1. Lambert Strether

                  You can carry a car around under your jacket? Some car. Or jacket, I suppose.

                  1. jgordon

                    I’m in a crappy prepaid cell phone and my already bad typing got worse because you all riled me up. Anyway, let’s look at results: more people die preventably every year due to cars than due to guns. Also are not a major component of climate change, urban sprawl, and pollution unlike cars. I’m frankly boggled at why gun haters do not also automatically hate automobiles. There is something deeply irrational about this.

                    1. low integer

                      There is something deeply irrational about this.

                      I would say the same thing about your equating of cars with guns. Bringing climate change into the discussion is sophistry.

                    2. different clue

                      Its based on a fear of too many guns in the hands of too many people with the wrong color neck.

                    3. low integer

                      Do you have the wrong color neck?
                      If so, is it possible that your view is based on an inflated sense of self importance?

                  2. Cry Shop

                    Which suggest that dealing with cars would be easier than dealing with guns, because it’s harder to hide them under one’s jacket, easier to test competency (research getting and keeping a driver’s license (and gun license) in Canada as a comparison to USA laisse-faire). The failure to do so is suggestive of something ill/rotten in the culture that may reflect back on gun issues.

                    My American mother-in-law, who has killed a motorcyclist, and permanently injured pedestrians, is still allowed to drive by the state. This over the written submissions of her children who know, have seen evidence that clearly show it is a matter of time before she kills again.

              2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                We have to anticipate that they will try with everything – easy or difficult – they can imagine or think of.


      2. Lambert Strether

        McClatchy is generally far more sane, yes. I should read them more often. It’s hard to escape the sucking mire of the Acela corridor.

  6. M

    Romney – trickle-down racism? If it is analoguous to trickle-down economics, would that mean that the 1% gets even more racist and the increase in racism will show a negative real racist attitude?

  7. hemeantwell

    Leaked UK plan to open doors for 1m Turks The Sunday Times. “Proposal under wraps until after EU vote.”

    Turkey is far from Afghanistan, etc., but seeing this a day after the Orlando massacre, which is getting huge play at UK websites, makes Brexit seem a sure thing.

    1. craazyboy

      Sure, I read London has some empty stairwell space that rents for 500 lbs a month. They could take the population up another 10%, no problem.

      1. William C

        An idea being floated by a Deputy Head of Mission in Ankara is presented as a ‘UK plan’ by the British media.

        An idea floated by someone in an Embassy is not a ‘UK plan’. Such a plan could only be drawn up by someone with real clout – in this case, given the sensitivities, involving Ministers. This story is typical UK media misrepresentation.

      1. Alex morfesis

        The gun dealer does not look like an automatic bad guy…looks like he busted thru the blue wall for someone who was improperly put in jail by nypd actions…kareem bellamy was released by actions of
        det. henson and retired fbi agent o’brien…

  8. katiebird

    Loretta Lynch as VP for Hillary? There is just one answer… “Since she is the focus of an active and on-going investigation, that would be wildly inappropriate”

    The very thought makes me sick. As bad or worse than the President ENDORSING her.

      1. Jim Haygood

        And yet … it makes so much sense!

        Every time you think the Clintons just can’t get any more brazen, they take your breath away by jumping a whole school of sharks on a jet-propelled wave runner with a multicolored smoke gun on the back.

        Watch both Lynch and Obama land in post-gov gigs tied to Clinton Foundation donors.

        Mere impropriety is no longer enough: the Clintons insist on the appearance of impropriety, writ large on illuminated billboards.

    1. Vatch

      But Loretta Lynch has done such a good job prosecuting the bank and hedge fund executives who caused the Great Financial Collapse. Oh, wait, . . . .

  9. Pavel

    Thoughtful piece on “fascism” and the illogical application of the word to various politicians — I stumbled on it over at David Stockman’s blog:

    For Mussolini, fascism was much more about corporatism (or corporativism, or fascist corporatism), of letting corporations write, define and perhaps even execute a country’s economic policies. And have a strong man -he meant himself- coordinate these policies in government. Where civil servants would inflict them on the people. Mussolini’s idea(l) of fascism was very nationalistic, but also -surprisingly?- anti-conservative. It was “against the backwardness of the right and the destructiveness of the left”.

    But what I’m really trying to get at is that if you look closer at these definitions and interpretations, you can made a solid case that it’s not Trump and Le Pen who are the fascists, but instead the present incumbents in our governments, as well as those belonging to the same political class and parties as them, and who aspire to one day fill their seats and shoes.

    ‘Politico-economics’ (a.k.a corporatism) is our present form of government, even of organizing our entire societies, and it’s the very thing people protest against when they vote for Trump and Le Pen (and against Cameron when they vote for Brexit). This would seem to put the claim that Trump is a fascist on its head. Trump is the reaction to fascism as defined by Mussolini, as are le Pen and Orban and Wilders and the others, even as they are accused of being fascists themselves.

    Corporations, the elite, govern our societies, no matter that there is still a thin veneer of democratic rights -barely- visible. It makes no difference in the States whether you vote Democratic or Republican, they are the same thing – except for a few intentionally well-conserved minor details.

    The same is true all across Europe. In Greece, left-wing Syriza governs in a coalition with very-right-wing Independent Greeks. In Holland, former adversaries from the left and right sit happily in a cabinet and nobody thinks that’s strange. That why people like Le Pen and Wilders and Trump can become what they are today. There is a politico-economic vacuum.

    And we could take this argument a step further: even if you would want to talk about the ‘Hitler brand of fascism’, the violence, the large-scale murder, you still have Trump and Le Pen with zero kills to their name, while Obama, Cameron, both Clintons, Hollande, Merkel et al are responsible for hundreds of thousands of lives lost. Just watch what’s coming in the next batch of Clinton emails Wikileaks is set to publish.

    –Raúl Ilargi Meijer: Who’s Really the Fascist?

    Intriguing final bit there about a new Clinton email revelation. It’s certainly true that the presumed “non-fascists” have far more blood on their hands than Trump et al. And with all of Hillary’s wailing about gun control laws here in the US, she was directly involved in sending arms to ISIS-related groups in Syria via Libya, and also approved tens of billions of arms sales to the Saudis, who are committing genocide in Yemen as I type.

    1. hemeantwell

      Meijer’s argument is missing some bits. European fascism can start to look like it’s largely about corporatism — Albert Speer comes to mind — only after working class organizations and culture have been annihilated, a part of the fascist project that strongly shaped fascism. Our current rulers are certainly corporatist, but they have been able to bring that about without facing an independently organized working class. The pitch of the class struggle is an important determinant.

      I also wonder whether Trump voters are angry about corporatism per se, or rather something that might be termed international corporatism, wherein the corporate search for cheap labor leaves them sub- and unemployed and living in a community that’s half deserted. In general, it seems that using the term corporatism without some qualifiers doesn’t get you very far. For example, I think you could argue that social democratic Sweden was corporatist in the sense that state policy was guided by an acknowledgment of private property, management rights, the need for profitability. It’s just that those policies were crucially delimited by work and welfare guarantees ensured by the state. Mark Blyth’s book “Great Transformations” has a good discussion of that achievement.

    1. charger01

      No way. That’s a terrible merger. Way worse that Nokia! MSFT may have put me through college, but they’ve been rudder less for ages.

      1. readerOfTeaLeaves

        Hmmmm… thinking that plenty of LinkedIn employees will be ‘tying one on’ today.
        But I actually thought this was the smartest MS move in awhile.

        File under: people cashing out for as much as possible; we can’t fix it, why don’t you try?

      2. Arizona Slim

        And, let me guess: The LinkedIn internal search engine will be replaced by Bing.

  10. Jomo

    Perhaps joining Isis before the attack in Orlando was Mateen’s way of obtaining a better afterlife. A madman might think that by joining a “Holy War” and becoming a “martyr” one gains better prospects for reward and place after death instead of the hell awaiting someone who kills and wounds a large number of people who are strangers. If this was his thinking, would it make his crime an act of “terror” or an act of insanity?

    1. craazyboy

      Be about the same as declaring, “I’m Batman”, then going off to kill Superman, methinks.

      1. ambrit

        But, but, Superman is an illegal immigrant! And a dangerous one, too! And Batman, well, he’s from the ‘upper class’ and rich and all those other socially preferred things! Batman is “one of us” and this Superman character is an “alien,” and with all of the destruction he has created, deserves the ultimate ‘sanction.’

      2. different clue

        Or so it would look to the outside observer. But Mr. Mateen was not an outside observer. He is allegedly an inside participant.

  11. Take the Fork

    O-town shooting:

    7 of the 10 worst mass-shootings in the US have occurred since 2009.

    Why have their been so many mass-shootings since 2009?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Copy cat syndrome. The Cali couple and the Orlando shooter are likely Al Qaeda supporters, not members, who were acting on their own accord. The South Carolina kid was probably similar just not a Muslim.

      The Gabbi Gifford, the Navy Yard shooter, and the Sandy Hook shooters were unhinged with bizarre beefs. The Fort Hood shooter likely had many issues arising from his personal views and experience as an army doctor and Muslim.

      Mental health and guns are at play, but this is simple. I would suggest the long term effects of a war against a vague enemy has created conditions where individuals believe they are at war is coming home to roost in the absence of general prosperity and mental health accessibility.

      1. polecat

        ‘absence of general prosperity’ ……since 2009 = people losing it across the board…

      2. Ivy

        The Fort Hood shooter should’ve been classified as a terrorist and his murders as terrorism and not workplace violence. To maintain otherwise, as Obama and team have done, is to dishonor the other people impacted and to continue GoodNewWhateverSpeak instead of honesty.

    2. Aumua

      Because people are freaking loosing it. They’re cracking up, man. It’s modern life, it’s not the way we were meant to live. The stress and pressure, the constant bombardment with intense images and imperatives from media, the caged-in lives, the pollution, the noise everywhere. And that’s just in America. We don’t even have the factor of bombs going off all around us.. yet. The chickens are tearing each other apart in their coops. Affiliation with extremist groups is only a side effect

    3. Massinissa

      What Aumua said. Modern Capitalism is causing mass mental illness because it is making the population more and more disposable every year, replacing the jobs with foreigners and robots. Much of the population is having a hard time coping.

  12. Vatch

    Sharia law in action:

    A court in Qatar has convicted a Dutch woman of having sex outside marriage after she told police she was raped.

    The 22-year-old was handed a suspended sentence and fined $824 (£580). She will also be deported.

    I guess they went easy on her. They could have sentenced her to prison or to be flogged.

      1. cwaltz

        That’s what I was thinking. The ME has a horrible habit of victim blaming and on more than one occasion they’ve actually stoned a woman to death for what they saw as “adultery.”

        We’ve got some pretty horrible “allies” that I’d love to see us rid of, Qatar is right there with Saudi on my list of “friends” I’d perfectly love to say bye bye to.

    1. JohnnyGL

      But they’re a loyal ally to the US Govt and have SOOOO much natural gas. You should rethink your priorities!!!

      1. Pavel

        And they donated money to the Clinton Slush Foundation… they must be good people!

        A senior Muslim Brotherhood operative recently arrested in Egypt worked for years at the William J. Clinton Foundation. The Clinton Foundation has also received millions of dollars from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and a foundation that is an Iranian regime front.

        The current Egyptian government, which was put in power after the military overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood, has launched a sweeping crackdown on the Brotherhood and calls it a terrorist organization. One of the senior officials arrested is Gehad (Jihad) el-Haddad.

        From 2007 to 2012, el-Haddad was the Egyptian director for the Clinton Foundation. El-Haddad’s father is Essam el-Haddad, a member of the Brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau.

        While he worked for the Clintons, El-Haddad began working in May 2011 as a senior adviser for the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party. Apparently, the Clinton Foundation had no problem with his side-work and continued to employ him.

        After he left the Clinton Foundation, el-Haddad became a senior adviser to the Muslim Brotherhood directly and became a member of the Steering Committee for the Brotherhood’s Renaissance Program, a plan to institute Sharia law in Egypt. He then became a spokesperson and media strategist for Mohammed Morsi’s successful presidential campaign.

        –Clinton Foundation Received Millions from Saudis, Qatar, Iran

        And note the part in bold (my emphasis) re Sharia law. It’s a small Clinton world out there.

    2. craazyman

      send in the marines!

      oh wait . . . we already did.

      It’s hard to save the world, but when you look at it sometimes you can’t help wanting to.

      Why is that? That’s a question rarely asked and almost never answered. Strange, since it’s the fundamental question that underlies all of it.

      1. craazyboy

        At least she got deported. Bet she was saying,” Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou…” all the way to the airport.

  13. Take the Fork

    RE: Sh*t Blitz

    Words fail….

    Where’s the great sh*t-poet Jim Lahey when you need him?

  14. L

    For those who have not been following the hackers who attacked the SWIFT banking system appear to also have gone after US banks and to put hedge funds at risk as well. The same group is also, at least to some, the prime suspect in the Sony attack.

    See Les Register

  15. local to oakland

    Trump’s people or fans on reddit are talking a lot about ‘our gays’ (most use the word faggot), and bragging about how much better the US is for offering them freedom when Islam would execute them. There is an explicit offer of inclusion within the nationalist community.

    I don’t understand why officialdom seems to care to define this as a non terrorist act in the face of evidence. Shouldn’t the shooter be allowed to self identitfy as ISIS? This reminds me of not calling Rwanda genocide. But why do they care?

  16. Alex morfesis

    O-town…terrorism or suicide by cop..?? Various reports, with a minimum of one off duty armed LEO at the front door who shot at/confronted perp but did not stop him…other reports suggested three LEO shot at him before he entered…other report he started shooting, came out to three or more LEO shooting at him and then he went back in…noise, drunkeness, closing time…it will be hard to piece together what happened, or how the shooter was able to park his vehicle so close to the front door at closing time…luck, planning, other partners or just an angry unibrow-zer…

    No matter what the logistical realities are, 50 gone, 50 critical and the rest will be traumatized for life…

  17. Pookah Harvey

    Isn’t it interesting that both the NYT and WaPo suddenly have stories on how a billionaire (Trump) has been able to legally rig the economic system against Mom and Pop investors. But only after they feel that Sanders is safely out of the race. Both stories link back to reports that go back years. These stories are based on well known Trump activities that have been well covered.

    Now that this can be used against Trump by Hillary, the real Wall Street candidate, it makes news. When it would have supported Bernie’s contention that the economy is rigged the MSM apparently never thought the story important.

    1. James Levy

      True, but as can be seen up and down this board nothing is left that is not politicized. Any attempt to report any facts will be seen as an “attack” on Trump or Clinton. Point out that this mass murder was brought to you by an assault rifle and its an “attack on the Second Amendment.” Mention the murderer was Muslim and it’s an “attack on Islam.”

      If there was a time when we could simply size up the facts of a situation, then make a rational judgment about it, I fear those days are gone. All that’s left is ideology, rhetoric, and vitriol.

      1. JohnnyGL

        Since when has Corp Media ever dabbled in “siz(ing) up the facts of a situation”? Is this a new thing?

        People may be polarized, but it’s the fault of our elites who made it happen. If you’ve followed WaPo and NYT during this election season, you’ve seen them transition into loyal attack dogs for HRC. The most egregious example being the 16 headlines in a day ripping into Sanders from the WaPo.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I think Ann and others, above, made some interesting observations to connect other facts to the facts of this situation.

        With that, we can see a bigger picture.

      3. different clue


        You mean like this?

        “James Levy
        June 12, 2016 at 9:09 pm
        The Colonel can suck my dick. You can’t kill 50 people with a knife. And when white guys slaughter loads of people, he doesn’t universalize it to be “all those crazy fucking white guys, we ought to kick them out of the country!”

        Fuck him.”

        1. low integer

          I think it is fair to say that the post you quote was uncharacteristic of James’ usual demeanor.

      1. Pookah Harvey

        I did say that the MSM “feels” that Bernie is safety out of the race. And we all know how accurate the MSM has been on their predictions about Sanders. I just wonder how long all the Hillary scandals can stay covered up.

  18. Synoia

    Ethereum Developer Explores the Dark Side of Bitcoin-Inspired Technology

    No I doubt the law is the code. Here one is trespassing on the prerogative of Judges, who generally protect their prerogatives – which have much to do concerning the words “court,” “sovereignty,” “precedent” and “good law.”

    Code (programming) can be embedded in a block-chain, and become autonomous, is my understanding.

    Code has bugs, generally fixed by the owner of the code. If the code is autonomous, is it legally authoritative, and if a bug revealed, how does the bug fixed are placed in the blockchain?

    As usual the coders do not understand the systems in which we live, including change control, version control, release control and testing.

    Not understanding those concepts, embedded in IT, and codified in the ITIL,which specifies these discipline in detail, open the individual programmers, and for profit venture backed entity of Etherium to tremendous liability.

    If Etherium differs from other public records, then Libel become easy to prove.

    Ok Etherium, see you in court. Good luck with that “profit” thing.

    1. dk

      Even befor bugs, autonomous software can be fooled by manipulating its input. These programs have to interact with the larger information environment to be of any use (or misuse).

      Genies that can’t be put back in their bottles, yes, we need more of those!

  19. fresno dan

    The East Bay Express reported that Whent was pushed out because he mishandled a sexual misconduct investigation involving a young woman and more than a dozen officers – a larger group of officers under investigation than had previously been reported.

    Councilman Larry Reid said Saturday that he and his colleagues were not told why Whent resigned, but that after reading the story, he believes it was because of the sex scandal.

    “The Police Department is supposed to protect those young kids,” he told The Times. “As a father with four daughters – that something like this could occur in our city and with some members of the Oakland police – it makes me sick to the stomach.”
    The East Bay Express reported that at least 14 officers allegedly had sex with the woman, whom the publication referred to as a “sex worker.” Four officers involved in the sexual misconduct allegation are now on leave, according to the Associated Press.

    The woman said in an interview with San Francisco TV station KPIX that she had sex with three officers when she was younger than 18 – the first when she was 16. (The Times is withholding the woman’s name because she may be the victim of a sex crime.)

    In light of the age of the victim, it will be interesting how vigorously the police are prosecuted. And 14 officers….see no evil, speak no evil…

    And the Telegraph has photos

    1. Alex morfesis

      In light of the fact the victims mom is a dispatcher in the oakland police dept, how exactly did the victim gaup have to get away from her pimp and get saved by the officer who committed suicide..?? The daughter of a police dispatcher is on “foot patrol” in the dark corners of oakland renting out her body and the police chief resigns but the mother seems to be still working ?

  20. fresno dan

    “Trump says very scary things—deporting immigrants, massive militarism and, you know, ignoring the climate,” Stein said in an interview with Democracy Now, according to a transcript. “Well, Hillary, unfortunately, has a track record for doing all of those things.”
    “So, the terrible things that we expect from Donald Trump, we’ve actually already seen from Hillary Clinton,” Stein added. “So I’d say, don’t be a victim of this propaganda campaign, which is being waged by people who exercise selective amnesia.”

    1. Jim Haygood

      From Trump’s speech transcript:

      Our new goal must be to defeat Islamic terrorism, not nation-building.

      I’ve said NATO needs to change its focus to stopping terrorism.

      Under Bush, NATO invaded Afghanistan under the rationale of stopping terrorism.

      Fifteen years later, the U.S. still has 9,800 troops there. And terrorism has accelerated globally.

      Trump: Hillary with a bad hair-do.

      There is only one War Party.

      1. Lambert Strether

        I’ll have something to say about this later today. Clever of Trump to move to Clinton’s right on war. And so easy. So she slaughtered all those Libyans to no good purpose. Sad!

        1. Jim Haygood

          Trump’s conclusion:

          “We will make American Great Again.”

          Now the Depublicrat narrative explicitly concedes our imperial decline: America is no longer great. We have to restore its lost grandeur.

          Of course, seventy years of imperial overstretch had nothing to do with our Humpty Dumpty tumble. You have to break a few omelettes to make an egg, as the great orator George W. Bush would say.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            The empire is not in decline.

            We are looking to expand into Mars any moment now. (Trump is not suggesting we are not great in that respect).

            On the other hand, the working people in it can use some restoring of their former status or happiness.

            1. craazyboy

              Don’t forget the American flag on the moon. Tho they did have to use massive amounts of hair spay to make it look like it was flapping in the lunar breeze.

              1. EmilianoZ

                It was the best false flag in propaganda history. The Russians bankrupted themselves trying to replicate the moon landing.

                1. Jim Haygood

                  Then the wily slavs gave us a taste of our own medicine by toppling Saddam’s statue.

                  Foiled again! :-(

        2. Anne

          I’ve never understood why Democrats allow Republicans to define the terms and goals of pretty much everything, and that they do is, in many ways, what sent so many people over to Sanders. He was – and still is – saying what Democrats should be leading on, not as a counter to the GOP, but just because the goals and standards he was/is running on are the best ones for the majority of the people. Apparently a little too chicken-in-every-pot for a lot of folks, but it was orders of magnitude better than the my-chicken-can-stomp-the-life-out-of-your-chicken construct that 9/11 ushered in in a big way. If you didn’t know how to keep us safe, what good were you?

          Hillary or Trump, Trump or Hillary: seems to me it might as well be be Hillarump or Trumpary, as I don’t see either of them making good decisions in the area of foreign policy. Maybe the “mentoring” of Kissinger makes it Hillakissirump or Trumpingary.

          Whole thing makes me want to stick needles in my eyes.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Democratic elites are non-entity defenders of the status quo. They cant define because there is no there there. “Delete your account” was hailed as a sick burn worthy of the most qualified candidate in the history of ever because the Democrats are a nothing party of pop culture art and brand. They can’t advance a message because they don’t have one. Hillary is out citing Rep. Peter King. If you Peter King, the sportswriter was bad, the Congressman Peter King makes the sports writer look like. ..Congressman Peter King is one of the most loathsome individuals in America.

            Sanders isn’t a Democrat or wasn’t until recently.

            1. Anne

              Sanders has been caucusing with Dems for years, so I don’t read as much into his independent affiliation as maybe others do; and he may be spitting into the wind trying to change the Democratic party from the inside, but that is what he decided to do by running for president as a Democrat.

              I simply cannot wrap my head around any Democrat citing uber-xenophobe Peter King, but then, I can’t wrap my head around anyone’s affinity for Henry Kissinger, either. These are the kinds of associations that tell me Clinton is not someone I can support.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Until there is a paradigm shift in our thinking, everyone is Hillary, with or without hair.

        ‘Drone use is in some cases justified.’

        Where is the truth and reconciliation commission?

  21. ohmyheck

    Republican summit in Utah…. That explains the dozen private jets parked at our local airport, about 20 minutes from Park City. And TPTB are trying to make an even bigger airport here, at taxpayers’ expense… Like any of us little people will use it. Build it yourselves, a- holes!

    1. bob

      I live near a similar airport. All private jet traffic. “commercial service” is via dual engine cesna’s.

      They built a longer runway, with fed funds, to serve the jets. They didn’t mark any money for maintenance. So, the town is stuck with the bills. The only reason they had to make it bigger was for the jets.

      And don’t dare suggest that the jets taking off and landing should pay more for it. “they might go elsewhere!”

      That would be a bad thing? Forgetting the fact that the reason they use the airport is because it’s the only one within an hour and a half drive that can serve the jet setters.

  22. dk

    Okay noting profound here, I mean this epitomizes the mundanity of the corporate fetish of new-brand=new-thing . Except that it indicates that people want things to be what they are. Endless flavor variations on iced tea doesn’t produce anything that tastes better than iced tea (if you like iced tea). Recombination of events to keep favored (GoT) characters alive doesn’t constitute compelling drama.

    Wal-Mart Stores Inc. recently held an online vote to decide on a new flavor of Oreo cookies to be sold exclusively at the retail giant. The winner: cookies and creme.

    Which, of course, is a cookie flavor based on an ice cream flavor which is based on an Oreo cookie. Wrap your brain around that one for a moment.

    The curious choice beat out Jelly Donut and Caramel Apple, which, to their apparent detriment, are not cookie-flavored cookies.

    So Walmart’s WMT, -0.86% new cookies and creme Oreos, made by Mondelèz International MDLZ, -1.89% subsidiary Nabisco, will basically be a traditional Oreo, with additional cookie flakes mixed into the creme filling. Giving consumers, ultimately, a net loss of creme.


    This isn’t the first time a newfangled snack food has been based on its own core flavor. Junk-food aficionados will remember one of the finalists in a 2015 new-potato-chip-flavor contest held by Lay’s, a subsidiary of PepsiCo Inc. PEP, -0.24% , was truffle fries — essentially ending up as potatoes flavored like flavored fried potatoes.

    1. craazyboy

      Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to sit in the management meetings. But that’s what Dilbert cartoons are for, I guess. Betcha someone said, “innovation” and “increase shareholder value”.

    2. gordon

      There is nothing you could to to Game of Thrones to produce drama. It’s just Dark Age soap.

  23. gordon

    It sounds as though “One Day In the Life of the English Language” ( the Whichcraft link) is an attempt to replace the old standard usage manual: “Modern English Usage” by Fowler. Strange that the old classic doesn’t even get a mention.

  24. Alex morfesis

    $hillary Drumpf…having watched these two make hay with the orlando tragedy with a side by side photo, it just dawned on me…these two are barely fit to run for village council in some tired exurbia…

    she is the real estate agent who will sell you the termite damaged, chinese drywall infested home backed by a hill which will cause flooding in the basement during the spring…

    And he is the clown who will sell you on and convince you to cash out your 401k for an overpriced caged pool that will sit unused once the kids turn 12…

    Dear mitt and koch brothers, do the math…

    long term these two will make a mess of things, and the caymans are nice to hideaway from the world for a few weeks or even months, but no lincoln center and no moma so you are stuck with us…

    which brings me to my insane notion…

    even though in theory he will do damage to your finances, will supporting the sandman be worse than having $hillary Drumpf as your option for the next four to eight years…

    might you make your way over to jill stein and promise to bankroll bernie if she will convince him to slide over ??

    Yes, in theory it sounds crazy…but he is against trump, and you are against trump…

    bernie already has about 55% of the democratic vote on his side…

    if you brought over about a third of the republican party with you, and the independants out there…the numbers would work…sounds crazy, but…we are living in interesting times….

    yes bernie will not take your money directly, but he wont object if you use it to convince republicans to vote for him instead of drumpf…

    Is it not time for a grand coalition ?

  25. different clue

    I tried reading the TPP-will-make-seed-companies-richer article from the Nation but it went to screen-freezing invitation-to-subscribe every time, so I gave up. Still, I was able to see the picture of the seed farmer and read the caption about how he had to throw away near-$5,000 worth of seed because of GMO contamination.

    I have to wonder . . . how MUCH was the contamination? 10%? 5%? One Per Cent? One helix in a thousand? One helix in a million? In other words, enough to matter, or just enough to detect? The reason I ask that is because I think the Black Hat GMO players are using the Organic Agriculture Sector’s quest for Utter Purity against the Organic Agriculture Sector. Here’s how. When a Black Hat GMO operator deliberately on purpose releases bio-active frankengene fallout into the agricultural landscape, some of it will contaminate franken-free plant genomes exactly as intended. The organic buyer/sourcer will then reject that franken-taminated plant material because of its detectable GMO sequences, no matter how few or how slight. If the organic grower has enough of herm’s product rejected by the organic buyer, the organic grower will go bankrupt and out of bussiness. Or else survive by surrendering to the Frankengene Contaminators and growing conventional or shit-GMO material at conventional or shit-GMO prices. And if all the organic growers are forced into surrender or death, the organic buyer/sourcer runs out of organic suppliers hermself, and follows the exterminated organic farmers into extinction. This is how the Black Hat GMO sector plans to exterminate Organic Agriculture from existence and wipe Organic Agriculture off the face of the earth. As long as Organic Agriculture remains about Ritual Purity instead of about valid eco-bio science . . . . being in effect a sort of Kosherganic or Halalganic religious practice . . . the GMO sector can use this cultic religious demand on the Organic sector’s part to get the Organic sector to exterminate its own self for lack of ritual genetic purity.

    So how can the Organic sector fight back? The Organic Community can decide to study and answer the question scientifically of just how much unwanted GMO helixes can be unwantedly present in the organic product beFORE these helixes and the plant features they code for present a health threat to the user? And also the Organic Community needs to determine what amount of Frankengene contamination indicates deliberate sneaky use as against genuinely unwanted contamination. And between those two answers, the Organic Community needs to decide how little Frankengene contamination can be viewed as the functional equivalent of none at all. And how much Frankengene contamination indicates deliberate sneaky use as against unwanted Frankengenetic trespass.

    Because by the time the very near future arrives, there will not be one single seed on earth of the targeted plant types that will have too few Frankengene helixes to detect with our modern sensitive tests. And that means that if the Organic Sector demands Ritual FrankenFree Purity for Kosherganic or Halalganic ritual purity reasons, then the day will come when the Organic Sector finds itself without a single Organic seed to buy or sell. And when that day comes, the Organic Sector will find itself sunk and drowned in a La Brea Purity Tar Pit of its own making. And there will be no coming back out of extinction for Organic Agriculture. Ever. Ever. Ever.

    So . . . how does Organic Agriculture plan to address its own suicidal death-wish Purity Pony-ism in the face of the International GMO Conspiracy’s plan to cover every square inch of the earth with bio-active frankengene fallout?

  26. Fiver

    Nothing like a sure and heavy hand on the real channel changer – and just like that the entire Sanders issues universe and intimately related Clinton scandals investigations are swept entirely aside by mainstream media doing what it does best – water-boarding the public with the selected themes of the perma-war industrial complex.

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