Links 8/3/16

Humpback whales around the globe are mysteriously rescuing animals from orcas mother nature network

What can a sea-lion teach us about musicality? MedicalXPress. The videos are fun. One of my contacts says he’s seen raccoons keep time to music.

NOAA confirms 2015 highest everything for global warming MacroBusiness :-(

A climate scientist and economist made big bucks betting on global warming Guardian. Dan K: “Apocalypse futures?”

Forget Tornadoes. Rain Bombs Are Coming for Your Town Bloomberg

Landlord installs Faraday cage to block phone signals because social media is ruining British pubs Telegraph (Chuck L). My kind of guy! I think I’ve told readers I adopted a pub when I lived in Australia and I really enjoyed the caliber of the conversations and the various characters.

Copyright Office Intent On Changing The Part Of Copyright That Protects Libraries & Archives, Even Though No One Wants It Changed Techdirt (Dan K). Appalling. Someone needs to get the AAPR and advocacy groups for the poor onto this.

Opioid-related insurance claims rose more than 3,000 percent 2007 to 2014 CNBC


Registering EU nationals in UK could take 140 years at current rates Guardian

UK is most corrupt country in the world, says mafia expert Roberto Saviano Independent (guurst)

Byron Hamburgers branch is forced to close by far-Left campaigners after chain carried out immigration sting operation on its OWN workers Daily Mail

Labour leadership: quarter of new supporters could be barred from voting Guardian

French prisoner loses license & bombarded with fines after cops take car for a ride RT. YY: “I thought this kind of stuff only happens in America…”

Mariano Rajoy warns of third Spanish election after snub by Socialists


In China, When in Debt, Dig Deeper WSJ MoneyBeat

North Korean missile lands near Japan waters, alarms Tokyo Asia Times


Russia, Latvia to restore intergovernmental contacts — deputy PM TASS


Europe, stand up for Erdoğan Carl Bildt, Politico

An Eloquent Silence: The West does not respond to Turkish accusations Defend Democracy


U.S. Sent Planeload of Cash to Iran as Americans Were Freed Wall Street Journal

As Israel Prospers, Obama Set to Give Billions More in Aid While Netanyahu Demands Even More Intercept

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Surveillance of Everyone: Europe’s “Smart Borders” Would Automatically Monitor Individuals Truthout

State Supreme Court Says Secret Software Used In Sentencing Determinations Not A Violation Of Due Process Rights Techdirt (Dan K)

FBI blasted for illegally recording more than 200 hours of audio during an investigation nextweb

Imperial Collapse Watch

Milosevic exonerated, as the NATO war machine moves on RT (margarita)

U.S. Air Force declares first squadron of F-35 jets combat-ready Reuters. EM: “Lordie, check out the raft of weasel-wording here: Air Force ‘to say’, ‘will declare’, ‘aircraft could provide basic air support at this point but did not have everything the final version would’. Mission accomplished!”

Nick Turse, The U.S. Military Pivots to Africa and That Continent Goes Down the Drain TomDispatch (resilc)

Trade Traitors

Six key GOP House members reverse support for Obama’s trade agenda Washington Post. Wow.

EU trade policy ‘close to death’ if Canada deal fails Politico. Important. Key para:

In a frustrating blow to the Commission, the member countries last month wrested the approval process for the trade deal with Canada away from Brussels. The accord will now require approval in Europe’s 38 national and regional parliaments, raising the specter of delays and even vetoes in assemblies ranging from Wallonia to Romania

Clinton E-mail Tar Baby

The Clinton Story You Didn’t Read Here New York Times (Dan K)


Only 9% of America Chose Trump and Clinton as the Nominees – The New York Times (furzy). Paging Cthulhu…

How Clinton Lost the Nomination Charlie Musgrove (furzy). Some good phrasemaking in here.

Ignoring Advice, Donald Trump Presses Attack on Khan Family and G.O.P. Leaders New York Times

“The Khans’ Grief Is Being Used by a Party That Is Treacherous” Slate

Khizr Khan and The Triumph of Democratic Militarism Counterpunch (resilc)

Donald Trump has a totally plausible path to 270 electoral votes Washington Post (Dan K)

France’s Hollande says Trump election would be dangerous Reuters. Li: “The kind of loser whose enmity is a compliment.”

To fight Trump, journalists have dispensed with objectivity Los Angeles Times (Joe H)

Federal judge blocks North Dakota voter identification law Reuters (EM)

Lessons From Vermont Jacobin. Margarita: “Subtitle: Five things a Vermont third party can teach us about carving out a space to the left of the Democrats.”

There Are No Democratic or Green Saviors: Get in the Streets Counterpunch (martha r)

How Comcast convinced customers to buy “near-worthless” service plans ars technica (Dan K)

It’s Way Past Time For Us To Stop Deluding Ourselves About Private Health Insurers Huffington Post (margarita)

The banks, sadly, that won’t die Politco. Shows how lousy the discussion on this issue is. Not mention of the real issue is tight coupling, and that the over-the-counter derivatives market is a big part of that problem.

Eight years after they helped wreck the economy, Ireland sends 3 bankers to prison Washington Post

The New Thorn in the Sides of Big Banks Wall Street Journal

Class Warfare

Cities Need More Public Transit, Not More Uber and Self-Driving Cars Truthout

Staying safe during the war on inequality FT Alphaville

Europe’s “Bought Journalists” Conterpunch (guurst)

Antidote du jour (martha r):

cute leopard cub links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. low integer

    I have been thinking about the corporate media today. Let me begin with a few somewhat disconnected points.

    – Having become a big fan of photojournalism a decade or so ago I have spent a lot of time looking though pictures of significant world events, and I have always admired the bravery of those who have put themselves in danger to seek out the truth. In the Vietnam war, for instance, my impression is that while journalists weren’t exactly safe, they were not considered to be prime targets either.

    – Over the last five years or so I have been paying fairly close attention to the corporate media, and trying to get a sense of why some narratives are deemed so important, and why some important stories receive no attention. In short I have been trying to understand the criteria by which news stories and presentation styles are chosen. Of course, like others here I have noticed that the important questions are never almost never answered, and if by some miracle they are, it is done begrudingly due to there being no other option to retain some trace of credibility.

    – I have noticed that independent journalists can no longer get access to any of what might be described as the “big narrative” issues presented in the media, without being embedded with the US military, or risking a fate such as being drowned in a steel cage. I do not think this is a coincidence.

    OK. Please stay with me here for a second.

    Imagine two points in space. As many will know, connecting those two points will form a line segment. If the points are labelled A and B, to correctly describe the path from A to B, a vector is the appropriate theoretical concept to use. A vector is basically a quantity that also contains directional information, as opposed to a scalar which is just a quantitative measure.

    Now, I have noticed overthe past few years that the corporate media has what might be described as an orthogonal relationship with what I perceive to be the real story, and of course have interpreted this as spin to protect vested interests,; a conclusion I expect many here have also reached.

    Now if we the people of this beautiful, miracle of a world are positioned at point A, and the truth about all the fuckery that is going on around the world is considered point B, one would think people at point A would just need to orient ourselves into the correct direction and march up to point B and say “cut it out”. After all, the people have the numbers, right?

    Well what I am starting to visualize is that the media acts like a wind blowing at right angles to the path between us at A, and the truth about the fuckery at point B. As we march towards point B we are blown off course and before we realize it we are just as far away from the truth as we originally were, and then we end up reorienting ourselves and once again begin marching towards the fuckery at point B.

    Now lately I perceive many have become much more savvy with regard to accounting for the corporate media’s spin, and we are starting to factor the offset caused by the orthoganal wind of the media into the direction we march, so that we are not lead as far off course from the truth about the fuckery going on, located still at point B while we have been continually blown off course on our march to point B, reorienting ourselves, and repeating the process.

    The result of this is that the corporate media have been having to reorient their prevailing winds closer and closer to becoming a a straight up headwind, slowing the march of the people to the fuckery at point B. As should be evident, once you are marching straight into a headwind and making ground, there is nothing that corporate media’s headwind can do to stop the people’s progress towards the fuckery at point B other than blow harder, especially if they are cognizant of the fact that the savvy people on the march towards the truth about the global scale fuckery going on are able to quickly reorient themselves as soon as any change of wind direction is felt.

    All of this is to say that I think we are gaining serious ground on getting to the root cause of the fuckery, because the corporate media is blowing at gale force in the exact opposite direction to which we all perceive the truth about the fuckery, still located at point B. To everyone here who has been skillfully slapping down the lies almost as fast as they can be manufactured: keep at it, we are making progress here. I truly believe this, and I believe the truth about the fuckery at point B is almost within our grasp.

    This will be my only contribution today, as I have done multiple all nighters lately after attending to other stuff in the day and I feel like just having a beer and a sleep tonight, but please keep it up people. In my perception, things like Katniss’ slapping down of the Khan father’s lies about his intentions are starting to seriously affect the confidence of all involved in the global scale fuckery going on, which is still, after all this time, located at point B.

    Take care, friends, but do not allow yourselves to be domesticated into something that is subhuman to appease the pricks that are fucking up our beautiful world. It is important.

    1. Don Midwest USA

      Media fails to cover biggest crisis in human history

      In relation to the above comment: is this a headwind, a side wind, or the sound of silence?

      The climate crisis is already here – but no one’s telling us:
      The media largely relegate the greatest challenge facing humanity to footnotes as industry and politicians hurtle us towards systemic collapse of the planet

      The UK environmental and activist, George Monboit

      What is salient is not important. What is important is not salient. The media turns us away from the issues that will determine the course of our lives, and towards topics of brain-melting irrelevance.

      This, on current trends, will be the hottest year ever measured. The previous record was set in 2015; the one before in 2014. Fifteen of the 16 warmest years have occurred in the 21st century. Each of the past 14 months has beaten the global monthly temperature record. But you can still hear people repeating the old claim, first proposed by fossil fuel lobbyists, that global warming stopped in 1998.

      1. James Levy

        Wow Don, we had the same thoughts within seconds of each other!

        This would undoubtedly be Trump’s Achilles’ Heel if Clinton had the barest shred of credibility on the subject. I rate a climate catastrophe way higher in likelihood than an all-out nuclear war between the US and Russia, but since Clinton will at best put a Band-Aid on the cancer, and Trump runs around mocking the fact that we’ve got cancer, the dominoes are going to fall. I expect an authoritarian response in about ten years, along with the violent suppression of anyone who gets in the way.

        1. Carolinian

          Well James what are you personally planning to do about global warming? I won’t defend Trump’s rightwing talking points stance on the issue, but it’s a lot easier to avoid war with Russia than to solve a problem that is bound up with our entire economic system based on growth and consumption.

          And on a related note the Counterpunch story “No Green Saviors” is excellent. The gist is that the international Green party (including our own) has a shaky relationship with socialism which is likely the only alternative to our current system of imperialism, austerity and, yes, global warming.

          1. James Levy

            The first step is acknowledging we have a problem.

            Since Trump refuses to do that, I consider him a menace.

            What I am doing is: forgoing TV and air conditioning, driving the most fuel efficient car I can afford as little as needed, growing some of my own food, free ranging my own chickens for protein, using a wood stove and getting the wood either from trees down on my property or from a neighbor who manages his tree farm with the environment in mind (not a clear-cutter or a multinational but a local family), and planting trees on my land. Not enough, I would agree, but not nothing.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              I wonder if communal ovens, communal kitchens, communal fireplaces and communal baths are things we can get used to.

              Do people consider them sacrifices?

              “Living with a whole bunch of people I don’t like?”

            2. Waldenpond

              We all need more ideas. I put in a garden (have back up market share), use a vehicle rarely, have chickens, air drying, compost, shop first at thrift stores, last year was my no plastic year, 2017 will be a no refrigerator year. The heater is never above 61…. but I am running out of ideas and experiments. It takes numbers to get the cycle to shift, there are barriers to functionality when it is done in isolation.

              1. Praedor

                Solar panels. If you can pull it off as well, some deep cycle batteries to store some power. Think about panels as equivalent to turning off, or turning down, yet another appliance. Panels generating electricity for an average of 8 hrs a day can be equivalent to never using your microwave, not using your TV, to raising the thermostat by 5 degrees or so (during summer), etc.

                I can never not use air conditioning – the heat and humidity where I live make it impossible. My home would be painted with mold within a month on the inside without air conditioning. I would never sleep if I was always soaking wet with sweat and the humidity level is 85% or higher (normal summer day here) so I wont give up that. I’ve long had my thermostat set to 57 in winter (you get used to that fairly quickly and you WILL sleep much better when it is cooler). I’ve long since replaced every bulb in my home with LED (though that was not much of a big deal since we don’t leave lights on when we aren’t in a room, nor do we have multiple lights turned on in any room being used beyond what is needed for what’s going on in there).

                I’m still aiming to get a patch of solar panels, even if just grid-tied. 1000 Watts worth of panels producing juice for ~8hrs/day (summer) = ~8kwh/day * 30 days/mo = 240kwh/month. If you are in a shit locale where the Kochs have won over local govt, and you don’t get proper net metering, then start working towards going off-grid, even if only partially. It isn’t all or nothing. You could get the panels, get battery storage, etc, and have PART of your home go off-grid (lights, fridge, microwave) and leave just the heavier power sucks on-grid. That reduces your footprint AND your electric bill, spitting in Koch’s face. Slowly work up to point where you have enough power available to go off-grid entirely, if desired. A small emergency generator to boot and you barely need the power company at all but still keep most modern amenities.

                1. different clue

                  If air conditioning is a sometime necessity, and it will be in growing parts of the country as the Big Heat Rising spreads north, then the trick is to do air conditioning in the most energy-efficient way. That will be easier in the dry-heat zones than in the wet-heat zones. The wet heat zones will be the toughest challenge.

                  There is a company based in California called Ice Bear. Its basic premise is . . . make a bunch of ice at night-time when it is easiest to suck heat out of water and dump that heat into the night-time air.
                  Then circulate house-hold air through that bunch of ice when you want to chill the air in your house. (I wonder if it would be possible to integrate de-humidifying into the air-cooling function somehow).
                  Here is the link to Ice Bear.

                  Now . . . if one has Ice Bear and all the efficiency it provides, can one drive down one’s air conditioning energy use even further by using Ice Bear air conditioning even more efficiently? I speculate that one may. Here is how I would try it. I would super-insulate my house and perhaps thicken various walls and floors so that they contained more passively heatable-coolable thermal mass. Then . . . I would run my air conditioning at night and take my house down to the coolest level I could stand. I suspect I could run the air conditioning through the Ice Bear’s freezing water while freezing Ice Bear’s water and still end up at early morning with a cool house AND an Ice Bear full of ice. At that point, I would set the thermostat to the highest temperature I considered truly comfortable and let the house ride up to that temperature on all its stored “overnight cool”. Once it hit that higher daytime-set temperature, the air conditioning would use the stored chill in the Ice Bear to sink unwanted house-heat into and bring wanted house-cooling back out of.

                  This is assuming Ice Bear works as advertised. I don’t know if it does. But it is surely worth looking into.

              2. HBE

                Sustainability is great, I practice it myself, no car, bike and public transportation everywhere, but let’s not make short term sustainable living out to be long term environmental and ecological sustainability, because at current population (and growing) levels it is not.

                It is great to practice sustainability and everyone should, but let’s not pat ourselves on the back for simply living sustainably, because it really doesn’t have much effect. Even if population stabilized at current numbers and we all lived “sustainably” we would still face ecological collapse it would just take a little longer, 1 inch of soil takes 200-1000 years to form and some estimates put us at a mere 60years of arable land and soil availability. So even if a 7+ billion of us started living archdruid style we would still face ecological collapse.

                And don’t get me started on “green energy”.

                This is the root cause of almost all of our environmental issues, will anything be done about it, unlikely. (especially since almost everyone starts squirming whenever I talk about it.)

                Very basic info-


                1. Waldenpond

                  Already did the population reduction….. three adults down to two children, of the two children-one has one child. ha.

                  Not sure about green energy. Can’t put panels on the garage as the neighbors trees are tall and would have to shift roof venting on house. I think I would prefer small wind as a supplement but I will decide once I do my year without a frig and see how easy it is to do without.

                2. different clue

                  The best reason I can think of for concerned persons to practice high-visibility Conservation Lifestyling in full view of the neighbors is to create and earn the personal credibility needed to be given a respectful hearing when the full-frontal Conservation Lifestylers say in public that Personal Conservation Lifestyling is not enough and that collective social measures will be necessary.

                  When a jeering bystander says ” oh yeah? What’s in YOUR footprint?” . . . the Personal Conservation Lifestyler will have something REAL to SHOW. He/she may then recieve a respectful hearing from the wider audience, after having proven and displayed Personal Lifestyle Sincerity to that wider audience.

                  And that is the best reason these days for Personal Conservation Lifestyling.

                  1. HotFlash

                    Indeed. The equivalent of bragging rights or whatever. I have a couple of like-minded neighbours (different tactics, to fit their different situations, but incl chickens and bees) . We have been called the post-apocalyptic corner. Cool! When those other guys need to know how to forage or grind grain, they will come to us (assuming someone hasn’t already eaten us), and we will ask them if they know where their lawnmower is — now that will come in handy, and I haven’t had one for decades.

                  2. different clue

                    What do I do? Less than you, probably. At work we use eleventeen thousand million hundred kilowatt-hours per whatever. And I will stay part of that use because I will not quit my job.

                    At home, I use about 2.5 kilowatt-hours of electricity per day in a good bill-month, and 3.5 kilowatt-hours of electricity per day in a bad bill-month. I use 10 cubic feet of natural gas per day in the summer months and that goes up to 100-200 cubic feet of natural gas per day in the winter months depending on just how bad a winter it is that year.

                    I live alone without dependents in a city with a reasonable bus system. I live within a busride or a bike-ride of work so I don’t have to have a car. Therefor I don’t have a car. I normally vacation-travel by train. But if I want to go somewhere only a plane will go, I will. take. a. plane. I do that once every year to once every two years. When everyone else is flying once every year to once every two years, then I will talk about all of us stopping flying altogether if we need to do that.

              3. different clue


                The barriers-to-functionality when done-in-isolation is the opening you and any other personally credible conservation-lifestyler needs to point out that you are doing what you can to show your sincerity and you can show any jeermonger who sneers just what is in your footprint. So now you have the credibility to be listened to in case anybody or any situation asks your opinion about what society-at-large has to do because only society-at-large at the society-at-large scale can make certain things happen.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Nuclear winter + global warming = ?

          Do they cancel each other out, temperature-wise, leaving aside other tragedies like radiation, etc?

          What happens to a nightmare prolonged?

          Do they feed each other?

          Do we know?

          1. Roger Smith

            At this point, massive population loss via nuclear war may be the quickest, most likely (and effective) path to climate equilibrium.

            Thanks to those in charge! Good work…

            1. Ahimsa

              And considering that western populations are much greater consumers of energy and resources per capita (by many multiples) – where should the bombs fall..?

              1. Roger Smith

                Precisely (and hauntingly). If I was into conspiracies this would be a good beginning of a new one. Upper tier frauds conspiring to tackle climate change while promoting a profitable war and maintaining the same neoliberal policies when the dust settles. Three birds, 1, 2, 3… bombs.

                Make it look good bots*… action!

                *originally a typo… but yeah… drones!

              2. Waldenpond

                The bombs will likely fall on brown people and western societies will be forced to reduce their lifestyle by through enforced poverty as tech replaces workers. Win, win.

        3. Jeremy Grimm

          I fear a climate catastrophes are already built-in to the warming we already have in the oceans. Whether Hillary or Trump we are in for a rough ride. As far as actions to slow the rate of or mitigate the impacts of climate change Trump’s denialism differs little in its impact from Hillary’s hot air.

      2. low integer

        Just momentarily popping in, here.
        The climate problems can be solved by honest science.
        Yes, I know it seems like a contradiction these days, but there is power in knowledge.
        Don’t underestimate honest science.

        1. pretzelattack

          well the honest science tells us we need to cut emissions. if we don’t, there’s no solving or mitigating global warming.

          1. low integer

            As surprising as it may seem, I am not really trying to convince anyone that I am correct. If everything has to go to shit, then so be it. It is not like I am living some kind of life that I want to indefinitely preserve, unlike Thiel.
            The way I see it, unless the political realm is brought under control we have absolutely no hope. If it is, we can give it our best shot, and remember that we once lived in a world where the theory of relativity didn’t exist.

            1. Pirmann

              We also once lived in a world where the ozone layer was going to imminently disappear because of a few aerosol cans.

              And remember the one about the bird flu wiping out a third of the world’s population?

              But yeah, let’s keep trusting the “experts”.

              1. pretzelattack

                no, we never lived in that world. that didn’t happen. they did cut aerosols and cfc’s, and that helped, but they didn’t do enough. and no i don’t remember bird flu wiping out a third of the population. science seems to work pretty well (sometimes too well) when we let it. in texas you get dentists deciding the theory of evolution is not good science.

                1. DJG

                  pretzelattack: +

                  Why do so many people insist on misundertanding how science works? Pirmann: You lost me at “a few aerosol cans.” You didn’t even take the time to check the extent of the problem.

                  Next you’ll be claiming that the bleaching of coral reefs is because coral all want to be blonds.

                  1. makeodanmend

                    “Next you’ll be claiming that the bleaching of coral reefs is because coral all want to be blonds.”


                    I’m ‘borrowing’ this line!


                    Works on so many levels – not least, as gallows humour.

                    uber peas and out

              2. Masonboro

                What are you talking about? Bird flu and ozone depletion were both addressed by massive global programs which changed out the worlds refrigerant and culled millions (if not billions) of birds to stop the spread of infection. To imply these were false alarms is ignorant at best.

              3. Skip Intro

                Glad the threat of viral pandemics has magically vanished, and that the mitigation of ozone damage was just coincidental to the massive international regulatory efforts to reduce CFC emissions.

                Better trolls please.

            2. low integer

              Apologies for being grumpy. I’ve had a few beers and I am tired and I am not even sure if I interpreted your comment correctly.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Buy less and local.

            Vacation more and local.

            That cuts down emission and brings back jobs (equivalent to a wall and your buy-local act is just another brick in that wall).

            Take daily walks around the neighborhood. That will empower a healthier yourself, instead of soon-to-be-famous (or rich) Olympic – world dividing – athletes.

            One day, when you no longer reference super star athletes (I’m sorry for being a Luddite, but who was that you just mentioned?), and you would have freed yourself (of something).

        2. low integer

          Adding: the population issue is real, yet I don’t think it needs to be tackled accutely. I have no children and would be willing to purposely forego this possibility, yet I would only be happy to make that sacrifice (I find that word hard to swallow after the Khan’s little display) if I felt confident the human race was on the right path and it would not amount to nothing.

          1. Praedor

            Hard to tackle the population issue when economics DEMANDS that population grow, grow, grow, just as it demands that consumption grow, grow, grow, that productivity grow, grow, grow.

            Can’t push consumerist economics AND population decline/reduction. ANY wind of reduction and suddenly its the end of the world for Social Security and related benefits. It’s the end of ECONOMIC GROWTH, the end-all, be-all of all-all.

            Japan and Italy are considered imminent failures because their populations are declining rather than ever-expanding. The entire basis of world civilization at this time makes NECESSARY population reductions impossible because it’s necessarily considered a VERY BAD IDEA because…economic growth!!

            1. ashley w

              I don’t say much at these sites, but this comment is spot on.

              Germany is importing avowed enemies because they cannot meet their pension obligations. I suspect the imminent failure of Deutschbank and Saudi money plays a part as well.

              the economic music is slowing, but there are not 7 billion chairs. Yet we are told to SAVE THE CHILDREN… but don’t have any.

              does anyone else see a problem with this thinking? Our economic models don’t allow us to save the planet, AND insure racial warfare as the West is inundated with the children they saved.

        3. tongorad

          Won’t reserving climate change via “honest science” or something else require world-wide levels of consensus and cooperation?

          1. low integer

            To be honest I no longer give a fuck. If it comes down to it, there will be a group of people who could solve the problems and there will also be a bunch of people who know nothing but love knowing that there is nothing to know beyond what they think they know.

            I mean, if there was someone who could solve these kind of things, people would just end up fucking it all up anyway, and demand that it is the person who is doing the intellectual heavy lifting’s responsibilty to rally the world population to the cause.

            Fuck it.

      3. Brucie A.

        I ran across two interesting (particularly in juxtaposition) articles yesterday:

        Bloomberg: Zombie Carbon Emissions Haunt the Planet

        “We’re losing the ability to really solve the climate crisis,” Horowitz said.

        The Telegraph: Texas shale oil has fought Saudi Arabia to a standstill

        Mr Sheffield said the Permian is as bountiful as the giant Ghawar field in Saudi Arabia and can expand from 2m to 5m barrels a day even if the price of oil never rises above $55.

      4. Pirmann

        I hate it when Trump is right. On this, he’s right. The whole notion of global warming is a bezzle that’s enriching someone. That those who caution the loudest about global warming are leaving the largest footprints tells me all I need to know. “Hey, let’s all fly our jets, one person per jet, to the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn.”. If they really believed in an imminent danger, they’d set up a telepresence call.

        So it’s hot outside. It’s summer. Give me a break.

        1. pretzelattack

          it’s getting hotter. glaciers melting, climate changing. don’t worry about al gore, if all but a very few scientists are on the same page, from all different kinds of societies, it’s not a fraud. including some scientists from exxon, iirc. that some bureaucrats are scamming, i have no doubt, but that has no more to do with the science behind climate change than it does with gravity.

        2. Jeremy Grimm

          I still like this quip I first saw cited on NC (Lambert as I recall): “Plot idea: 97% of the world’s scientists contrive an environmental crisis, but are exposed by a plucky band of billionaires & oil companies.” — author Scott Westerfeld []

          I believe many very intelligent people deny global warming not because they’re unable to understand the science — not because they are unaware of the evidence — but because it’s too horrible to accept. That’s my interpretation of many of the discussions I’ve had with friends and the increasingly rare people I meet who are willing and able to actually discuss a matter of importance.

          1. Vatch

            Oh, I forgot to mention that I also hate it when Trump is right, but I hate it even more when he’s wrong, because he might become President. He’s definitely wrong about anthropogenic global climate change. We’ve had plenty of Presidents who are wrong about a lot of things; wouldn’t it be nice to have a President who’s usually correct?

        3. lyman alpha blob

          This should be easy then – name the people getting rich. And why aren’t I? Do I just need to yell louder?

      5. jgordon

        Global climate change is at best the second greatest threat facing the world. What should be ranked as number one is a potential nuclear war/winter caused by America’s extreme carelessness and bad judgement.

        No one can or will do anything about climate change; events will just work themselves out organically with regards to that. About nuclear Armageddon though, individual political decisions made by American voters can have some impact on that. If we can fight againt the most bloodthirsty warmonger candidate in every election then we might survive long enough to make it to the climate change bottleneck.

        1. Mark P.

          Don’t be so American-centric. It could as easily be the carelessness and bad judgement of Pakistan — which keeps its armed missiles on hair-trigger launch-on-warning standby — or India or China or North Korea, all nuclear states with shared borders and long histories of mutual hostility.

          That part of the world, not incidentally, has a third of the planetary human population and the greatest potential for catastrophe related to climate change as the Himalayan ice melts

          1. afisher

            According to some, mountains sliding occurs more often in “new mountains” – such was the case recently in AK, near Juneau.

            If one has followed the trajectory of Climate denial, is polling a metric? If so, Gallup may have the numbers. Scroll down to the 2nd table.

            Perhaps if Al Gore had not run for POTUS and never included it in his campaign, then the GOP would not have gone to the denialism.

            Sorry, Gallup polls in the US.

            As a retired healthcare professional, there are things we knew were a problem (hepatitis), but have the diagnostic tools to identify and test for it. Early on, we called what we now know is Hep C – nonA Hepatitis. The same was true for HIV. Some discounted the disease based on the inability to have specific information ( Reagan).

            The same could have been true for “climate change”, but now we know considerably more than in 1998. The only reason to deny the Science now is how much are you being paid to deny it.

      6. clarky90

        Geologic Temperature Record of Planet Earth, From 500 million Years Ago to the Present

        During the Jurassic Period (Jurassic Park) earth’s temperature was as much as 10 degrees Celsius above the 1990 average temperature. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was 5 times greater than today. MULTITUDINOUS LIFE! Life in the oceans, on land and in the air. Everything was thriving. Most little kids (I could) can recite the names of all the major dinosaurs.

        Gardeners know that plants generally love increased temperature and increased carbon dioxide. Glasshouses exemptfy this.

        To equate climate change with a nuclear conflagration (catastrophes of equal magnitude) is naive. It is like saying you fear a skinned knee more than a crushed spinal cord (paraplegia)

        “The Cretaceous–Paleogene Extinction Event”, 66 million years ago, was the result of an asteroid a few kilometers in diameter hitting Earth.

        Imagine what a nuclear war would do to “the environment”. I cannot bear to think about it! Not just us, but almost all of life would be dead or worse off.

        If you are concerned about increased ambient temperature, why not move to Greenland or the Upper Michigan Peninsula? All of the .01% and glitterati are stampeding there (sarc).

        1. pretzelattack

          but we aren’t dinosaurs, and we have a civilization. and climate change could potentially wreck that civilization. i’m not sure what effect climate change will have on grasshoppers, but we could have another mass extinction. a few billion years ago, the earth was a mass of molten rock, too. another though–as civilization collapses, those nukes may get used.

    2. James Levy

      Propaganda has always been a part of the system. What also looms are markets, both markets for advertisers and markets for consumers. There is a big market for anti-Hillary material on the web. There is a huge market among those who actually read newspapers for pro-Hillary material. Businesses tend to cater to their market, and the educated bourgeoisie is overwhelmingly pro-Clinton, and they are the ones who read the NYT, WP, and WSJ. Yes, of course, you have chicanery here. We saw it in ’92, 2000, ’04, and 2008 in almost equal measure. The media was clearly in the bag for one candidate over the other. But you also have markets, and the desperate need for confirmation among an anxious electorate. People want to be told that their dubious choice is a good one.

      I’m unsure also if this analysis, which is very interesting, applies well to something like climate change. There I think the unwillingness of the audience to listen and their aversion to the implications of the story plays at least as big a part as “headwinds.” Sure the Koch Brothers and Trump want to argue it doesn’t exist for their own selfish reasons, but that’s not why, I think, the media ignores the issues (and given that it is one of Trump’s primary flaws as a candidate, you’d think they’d hammer at it tooth and nail, but they don’t). They ignore it because there are powerful forces on both the supply (advertiser) and demand (consumer) side that don’t want to hear about it.

      1. HopeLB

        Perhaps people would rather not hear about the real issues, but do not forget Propaganda
        of US citizens by our government was made legal in 2012 by the NDAA.

    3. TiPs

      I’ve been thinking for months now that media stories are preparing US to support a “much needed” increase in military spending to counter a renewed belligerent Russia. Be afraid….

      1. neo-realist

        Which in turn will enable the President, assuming it’s Clinton, to scuttle those promises to the Sanders lefties of free college and ACA health care improvements; and, in all likelihood, another go at a Grand Bargain to cut those darned entitlements.

      2. Praedor

        That is the basis of Hillary’s plan for economic growth. It’s part of her “jobs plan”: fire up the Cold War 2.0 and get some more wars going to keep the boogieman front and center. Jobs (in the defense industry) for everyone!

        Too bad it comes with a big side of nuk-u-ler holocaust.

    4. fresno dan

      low integer
      August 3, 2016 at 7:03 am

      Just to prove your point sir (of course, every day NC has numerous links that prove that media and truth overlap solely due to inadvertence):

      Khizr Khan and The Triumph of Democratic Militarism Counterpunch (resilc)

      “Let us stipulate that no one should impugn the courage of the war dead. (Not that anyone did here.) Let us further concede that Donald Trump is a remarkably tactless individual. Those things said, the Khan controversy is yet another spectacular example of the media distracting us with a relatively minor point in order to make a much bigger issue go away.

      A week ago corporate media gatekeepers managed to transform the Democratic National Committee internal emails released by WikiLeaks from what it really was – scandalous proof that Bernie Sanders and his supporters were right when they said the Democratic leadership was biased and had rigged the primaries against them, and that the system is corrupt – into a trivial side issue over who might be responsible for hiking the DNC computers. Who cares if it was Russia? It’s the content that matters, not that it was ever seriously discussed.
      Hillary’s vote for an illegal war of choice that was sold with lies, was a major contributing factor to the death of Captain Khan, thousands of his comrades, and over a million Iraqis. Iraq should be a major issue in this campaign — against her.

      Instead, it’s being used by his parents and the Democratic Party to bait Donald Trump into a retro-post-9/11 “Support Our Troops” militaristic trap. Khan, you see, was “defending his country.” (How anyone can say U.S. soldiers in Iraq, part of an invasion force thousands of miles away where no one threatens the United States, are “defending” the U.S. remains a long-running linguistic mystery.)
      Next time you see a panel of experts discussing a foreign crisis, pay attention: does anyone argue against intervention? No. The debate is always between going in light and going in hard: bombs, or “boots on the ground.” Not getting involved is never an option. As long as this militaristic approach to the world continues, the United States will never have enough money to take care of its problems here at home, and it will always be hated around the world.

      Most Americans believe the Iraq war was a mistake. Who speaks for us? No one in the media. And no one in mainstream politics.
      The MSM has an agenda and its neoliberalism. And the best and easiest way to advance it is simply to ignore any facts, events, or questions that would imperil that cause.

      It is astounding, that other than Trump, there is no noteworthy political advocate for isolationism, even though the interventions of the last 20 or 30 years have ended disastrously. There is a carefully crafted and advanced agenda which helps the few and hurts the many….but you will never ever get that point of view EVER given a hearing in our political system.

      1. Baby Gerald

        I loved that Ted Rall op-ed. He’s such a great cartoonist and his take on this whole Khan kerfluffle is perfectly succinct. I expect to forward that link to many people over the next few days. We need to constantly remind people that Eisenhower famously warned us not about a military industrial complex, but rather about a ‘military industrial media complex’. Funny how that has been edited in the last fifty years to leave out the crucial third part of that noxious arrangement.

        1. Vatch

          I found several web sites with the text of his speech, and they all say “military industrial complex”. Do I need to listen to the speech to hear “military industrial media complex”? Can you point us to a link, either text, video, or audio, that has the phrase “military industrial media complex”? Thanks.

          1. just me

            Snap! I just did that myself. You’re right, Baby Gerald’s wrong… and apparently it never was military-industrial-media complex even in a draft. Here’s a pic on wikipedia of one of Ike’s rough drafts found in 2010–about the only thing not scratched out and rewritten is “military-industrial complex”:


            Here’s background from story:

            The documents help explain the origins of the term “military-industrial complex,” which Eisenhower used to warn against unbridled military development. The term was thought to have started as “war-based” industrial complex before becoming “military” in later drafts.

            But that theory was based on an oral history from Ralph Williams, one of Eisenhower’s aides. In the new collection, “military” appears in the passage from the first draft.

            “What we know now is that `military-industrial complex’ was in there all along,” said Valoise Armstrong, the archivist who processed the new papers.

            In one draft, the paragraph mentioning the military-industrial complex is riddled with pencil marks deleting whole sentences, but the term itself is unblemished.

            (I thought I remembered a story where Ike’s original phrase was military-industrial-congressional complex, so maybe there are all sorts of origin stories out there. It would help to see all 21 drafts.)

            It looks to me like “military-industrial-media complex” can be sourced at least to Normon Solomon in 2005:

            (And while I’m writing this comment of research, h/t to Normon Solomon who I saw peripherally in Democracy Now story: The DNC Protests You Didn’t See on TV:)

            NORMAN SOLOMON: I’m Norman Solomon. I’m a Bernie Sanders delegate here. I’m with the California delegation. And General John Allen, one of the top generals of the U.S. so-called war on terror, is giving a stem-winder, boilerplate militaristic speech, and many Bernie delegates in the California delegation and elsewhere around this arena are responding by saying we just don’t want any more wars. And all of this pseudo-patriotic rhetoric coming out is lethal, it’s deadly, and we’re sick and tired of it. We’re not going to give Hillary Clinton a nanosecond of political honeymoon, and that time starts right now.


            1. just me

              More, from Prof. Michael Perelman of Cal State Chico, interviewed in 2014 on From Alpha to Omega podcast (which I love), who said Eisenhower was talking about the Democrats and the fake missile gap issue of the 1960 campaign:

              Another interesting connection with war is military spending. So in the United States, Keynes was regarded as a dangerous socialist and American economists were very, very Keynesian but they couldn’t promote Keynesian spending, a lot of government spending, and their interpretation of Keynes was very, very primitive and superficial. Talking about Keynes as merely about government spending to get the economy up—it was much more sophisticated than that. In fact Keynes was at a breakfast in Washington and he goes home and tells his wife later, “I was the only non-Keynesian in the room.” So these people want to use government spending to keep the economy up, to keep unemployment down, and this gives rise to what became called military Keynesianism; that is, they could become patriotic by saying, “Spend more, spend more on miltary,” and they could still be doing work of keeping the economy up. This is largely in the Democratic Party. So that when Eisenhower left office and he talked about beware the military-industrial complex, he was talking about the Democrats who were running against the Republicans arguing that the Republicans under Eisenhower had let the Soviet Union develop these missiles and they had more missiles than we did so there was a missile gap and we need more spending for missiles, and Eisenhower knew that was nonsense because they weren’t doing their counting right, and they were not looking at the number of warheads on the missiles, they were just counting the missiles. So here again you have the relationship between war and the economy.

              h/t Tom O’Brien

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        That little emails-Russia judo move came right out of the same playbook as the ‘it’s a vast right wing conspiracy to make Bill look bad’ charge.

        But Judo guys (and gals) don’t always win UFC championships.

        As for the mainstream media, let’s not forget the less-traveled-stream media. It makes all the difference.

      3. S M Tenneshaw

        The media didn’t force Trump to attack Khan’s family several days running, anymore than the media induced him to eject a crying baby from a rally. He did all this all on his own.

        In hindsight. Trump was always a long shot, which should be no surprise as he’s the kinda guy who would never take a bath or even brush his teeth. Even a still photo of him stinks like chit.

        1. pretzelattack

          they didn’t force clinton to lie about her emails nonstop either, but more to the point they don’t emphasize that as much as trump’s screwups, they don’t focus on her much greater mistakes. that’s what makes him an underdog. long shot? the race is way to close to call him a long shot.

    5. Alex morfesis

      Perhaps it is time to stop complaining about the snorestream media and start celebrating being witness to its final breaths…imagine being able to tell future generations what it was like to watch the death of giant media and what it was like for that short period of time between 1955 & 2020 when a small group of enterprises led by the private ratings system of some company in clearwater whose hq busline ends at the doorstep of a rather popular with certain hollywood types religious organization (americas “gulen” krewe)…a company that no one ever asked any questions about how a few tv top boxes got to dictate what message americans got to feast on…let us celebrate the demise of the dark dragons and welcome the return of smaller independant media…in all its forms…

      Blue network…red network…

      dead networks…

    6. TedWa

      The media is an elite owned monopoly that needs to be broken up. We need the Fairness Doctrine back, and now !

      1. fresno dan

        low integer
        August 3, 2016 at 11:30 am

        I have to say, I was gobsmacked by Slate actually displaying some real reporting and some critical thinking….

        “The Khans’ Grief Is Being Used by a Party That Is Treacherous” Slate

        “Cindy Sheehan’s son was killed in the same war that later took the life of the Khans’ son, and like them, Sheehan in 2005 was both a living rebuke to the Republican Party’s vision and an asset to the Democrats in their mission to take back the House. A California soccer mom turned anti-war activist, Sheehan had set up camp outside of Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas, where she’d planned to stay until Bush had granted her a meeting.

        “This is America,” Bush said at the time. “She has a right to her position.” Now that, people said, side-eyeing Trump, is how you handle a critic. Civilly, dispassionately, respectfully.

        “People started saying Bush was kind to me when I was protesting—that’s incredible,” Sheehan said softly over the phone. “I was thoroughly bashed and attacked.”
        Sheehan never got her meeting with the commander-in-chief. “Bush said I was entitled to my opinion, which is really patriarchal in the first place,” she said. “But the idea that the administration treated me well is, you know, that’s not what happened.”

        It’s true, as the people tipping their hats to Bush have pointed out, that the president himself did not attack Sheehan the way Trump has gone after the Khans. But he didn’t have to. He let his underlings do it.

        “Cindy Sheehan is a clown,” said Bush’s senior adviser and dirty trickster Karl Rove, whose management of the media ecosystem was unparalleled. The Washington Post reported at the time that Sheehan was a frequent topic of conversation between the president and his advisers. And somehow, some way, Rove’s sentiment trickled down into every pore of the conservative press. Bill O’Reilly called Sheehan “dumb enough” to get “in bed” with the radical left. Glenn Beck called Sheehan a “tragedy pimp” who was “prostituting her son’s death.” Rush Limbaugh said she was somehow lying about having lost her son.
        Unlike Trump, Bush did it the right way. His team assassinated the character of his bereaved critic through the normal, respectable political channels. Meanwhile the man of the moment enjoyed plausible deniability and the praise of future journalists.

        Sheehan sees the Khans’ story through the prism of her own sour experience in the public square. The villains aren’t all on one side of the aisle. “I think the Khans’ grief is being used by a party that is treacherous,” she said. “I have all the sympathy in the world for them. Not only sympathy, but empathy.”

        She’s not just talking about the loss of her son but also her onetime alliance with the Democratic Party. After “Camp Casey,” Sheehan was a key figure in the Democrats’ efforts to reclaim power in Congress, which were predicated on riding, if not co-opting altogether, the moral energy of the anti-war movement. The strategy by the 2006 midterms was to rail against the now-unpopular war and regain a majority in the House. Sheehan met with members of Congress. She campaigned relentlessly. “Every Democrat I met with in 2005 said, ‘If you help us win the House, we’ll help you end the war,’ ” she recalled. Only one of those two things came true

        “What Trump says is rhetorically belligerent,” she said. “But what Clinton and the Democrats actually did, it killed people. Why was the Khans’ son in Iraq? Why was my son in Iraq?” (Khizr Khan has made the same point, albeit a little more gently: “As a Muslim American I feel that these policies are not in the interest of the United States of America. … We have created a chaos.”)

        “That’s where the debate should be,” Sheehan went on. “If you support Hillary, I don’t really care, but you need to know what you’re supporting.”
        Trump wants to use being “politically incorrect” but when he had the opportunity to do so, he did it about as stupidly as possible.

        What could have been said that is really politically incorrect?
        What if Trump had said:
        Mr. Khan has accused me essentially of hating Muslims….from a man who left a Muslim country, and than had a son who volunteered to go back to a Muslim country to kill Muslims with what is universally agreed was based on a – and pardon the pun – trumped up charge of having weapons of mass destruction, as well as being involved in 9/11. Pretty much a massive conspiracy of the US government to pursue a disastrous war. I don’t view lying and incompetence that cost thousands of US lives, tens of thousands of Iraqi lives, and trillions of dollars as noble, just, or worthwhile cause.
        Whether you agree with my immigration policies or not, the harm done to Muslims by my policies pales in comparison to the harm done to Muslims by American policies by both parties by their incessant and ill advised interventions into the middle east, not just with the latest Iraqi war, but for decades now. The dems Mr. Khan stands with helped to instigate those policies and fully support them, and promise MORE OF THE SAME.

        It is a curious thing that the Khan’s view their son’ts death in a war that indisputably has harmed more Muslims than any action by any government in history as something to be proud of, instead of something to be outraged about – but I guess here in America its 24/7 of “Be happy, don’t worry” and pseudo patriotism, such uncritical thinking is the norm.

        A grave, grave injustice was done in prosecuting a needless war – think hard Mr. Khan, whether Hillary and her vote for the Iraqi war, as well as other mid-east misadventures, honors the sacrifice of your son, undertaken with good faith and a noble heart, but never the less a sacrifice that indisputably has made the world worse. Do the democrats mid east polices really represent your best hopes for Muslims??? I promise to get out of the mid east, and a state action, war, duly declared by congress, will only be undertaken in a Trump administration if attacked by a nation.
        Of course, Trump will be conventional enough to fail conventionally, and conventional enough to leave no lasting impact. Trump succeeded by going left int he repub primaries on the war. It seems to escape him that Hillary is just as right as most repubs, so trying to get to her right on war or terrorism is a losing proposition. If he fights as being as good at war as Hillary, he will rightfully be demolished.

    7. Enquiring Mind

      To continue your A-B theme, I’ve been concerned about the pseudo-vectorization of media for some time. They provide misdirection on events and stories, but why? Cui bono?

      There seems to be some underlying reason, or reasons, for their efforts that are as yet unstated. Are the talking/writing heads like Pelley, Kelly, Brooks, O’Reilly, Maddow, Cooper et al merely pawns of their owners? Are they engaged to do the owner bidding by hiding some horrible problem like global warming or an asteroid hurtling at us that will wipe out much of the global population? Or are they sleep-walking through their useful idiot jobs while keeping their viewers and readers from learning more instead of being distracted by pop culture and consumption? Somebody has to have more answers about that, so I ask the NC readership for their insights.

      1. low integer

        This is a question I have pondered at length. The theory that I attribute the most credibility to, and they’re all my own theories so it is not like I’m favoring anyone’s perspective, is that there is so much damage done that once rational people start to really understand where we are at, as a species, it will become evident that decent people have had their wellbeing compromised in ways so pervasive that it is hard to even comprehend how seriously human wellbeing is at stake, and all in the service of the elite’s need for personal validation.
        Seriously, these types are so weak that they can’t even walk outside on their own.

        Underneath all of this, there is a pyramid scheme of responsibility that the elites have constructed to shield themselves.

        1. fresno dan

          low integer
          August 3, 2016 at 12:47 pm

          I have a tendency to believe it is an aspect of evolution. Just as there are tall and short giraffes, and the tall ones survive, the pundits that go with the “party” (aka conventional wisdom) line thrive, and those that don’t end up in blogs….
          No body has to be bought, so the 1% saves some money, and these people sincerely believe their stated propositions.
          How many Catholics do you know that have converted to Hinduism??? How many dems have changed to repub…and vice versa?
          Once people lock into their beliefs, they stay locked in. The kind of people who change their minds are never hired to begin with…

          1. low integer

            Let me preface this comment by mentioning that I have absolutely no connection to any formal groups whatsoever, and I think groups bring out the worst in people (I started writing something here, but just watch this, for an example of how incoherent group think can be. This psychopath occupies a very prestigious position within his chosen gang), although I suppose I could be classified as a skateboarder, a white person, and someone who likes maths and physics.

            I had hippy parents who divorced shortly after I was born, and it led to some complications, but as I have previously mentioned I have a wonderful mother. Oddly, there were times where I felt I wished I was a member of a more formal classification of people, however I have now realised how lucky I am to be unprogrammed, as now I can follow my intuition.

            Getting back to the point, I have met very smart and rational people who just cannot bring themselves to stray from the dogma they were programmed with at a young age. It is pervasive and as these types get older they become more and more toxic.
            OK I really have to go to sleep now.

            Peace to all.

            1. low integer

              Heh, I can’t resist throwing one more comment in before I crash.
              Just imagine Bezos, Musk, or Thiel walking through a neighborhood with people like this chilling on the corner. Yes I would probably be a little intimidated but chances are 10 minutes later we’d be having a beer and a laugh. The elites are so weak, their whole modus operandi consists of running from the consequences of their actions. The sort of people you are afraid to walk by on the street will ofeten respond in very pleasant ways when approached with a hint of kindness.

              I’m out!

                1. low integer

                  Heh. I know I said no more rap. Apologies.
                  Thiel is scared of his own blood.
                  Mad props to Lambert and Yves!

                2. low integer

                  Btw I didn’t sense that you thought I had any reason to apologize for the link. I just felt that I should make a generic apology for not keeping my word, if you know what I mean.

                3. fresno dan

                  Lambert Strether
                  August 3, 2016 at 2:52 pm

                  and Peter Thiel replies, “Only if that’s wirgin* blood”

                  * to the uninitiated, “wirgin” is how Dracula pronounces “virgin” in Andy Warhols movie “Blood for Dracula”

      2. Foy

        One reason may be that it’s another example of the “Normalisation of Deviance” theme of corporate behaviour that got raised a while ago when the Volkswagen emission testing scam came to light.

        Once a person is embedded in an organisation for a while and grows more and more accustomed to the internal norms, their beliefs/outlook slowly change to that of the organisation (the fish rots from the head). Over time they don’t see the changes occurring or are oblivious to them – especially when their wage depends on it. Incremental changes allow the behaviour envelope to be continually pushed out without being noticed or properly acted upon – few want to be whistleblowers.

        The end result is after a period of time what may seem to appear normal to an insider appears completely inexplicable to an outsider looking at a situation for the first time. It is only when they leave the echo chamber, or there is a big enough stuff up that it all comes to light, that the insider can see the normalisation of deviance that occurred.

        I remember reading about a Ford engineer who worked on the Firestone tyre rollover issue who thought the company’s approach was ok at the time (delay a recall) and only afterwards realised once he left Ford far off the tracks everyone’s thinking was internally at the time. Groupthink was occurring. He was quite shocked when he evaluated himself and was trying to work out how it happened.

        Slow normalisation of deviant corporate behaviour over time.This is low integer’s right angle media wind changing to a head wind. And when you consider that the owners/executive are captured by the TPTB, sooner or later the perfect storm comes…

    8. dk

      Hi, low integer, a couple of things about your vector model, which I think is a useful metaphor for some analysis. To expand the premise a little:

      – We’re not all at the same point A.
      – We’re not all headed for an identical point B.
      – But certainly many are within some locus A, or there are several points of origin sharing at least some spacial coordinate proximities (I think it helps to think in more than 3 dimension for this).
      – The B locuses may also have shared proximities.

      So the question is, is it strategically advantageous to cluster together to move as a single unit or group against the headwind (which, to make matters worse, has a lot of turbulence).

      Short answer: clustering into a single unit has many disadvantages, and even its advantages have downsides.
      – shared resources: can access wider/deeper resource range, not always an advantageous distribution, stressful to the group when problems arise.
      – shared mass/inertia: good for busting through an obstruction, but hard to do course correction.
      – safety in numbers: basically the points on the surface take a greater risk, and points inside get protection. the points on the surface had better be okay with this distribution.
      – single target: much easier for an opponent to target and destroy. Many small targets, it’s harder to hit them all.
      – size issues: smaller units are more mobile, can go places a large one can’t, with some special exceptions.
      – cohesion issues: conceptual aggregations may be unrealistic in practice, some overhead is usually incurred. Synchrony can be problematic.

      Remember the story about the bundle of sticks? The sticks can be easily broken individually, but together they are stronger. It’s an often used analogy for cooperation and unity. But chuck them into the fire and they all burn together. There are times to unite, and times to stand apart. Discretion doesn’t necessarily signify opposition. (see also: eggs, baskets).

      So the good news is, there are alternatives to cooperation: convergence, coordination, distribution, parallelism. After the goal is achieved, the successful can help out those still en route… but that brings us to point B. Exactly how does B work? Things like democracy work great for small groups and regions, not so much for large ones. In fact, a lot of social systems are sustainable at smaller scales, but not at larger ones. Maybe some of that headwind is competition from other points/regions? Or even systemically inherent to point/region A? Maybe worth some examination.

      So no offence, and good fortunes to you, but I’m already off on my own vector, it’s somewhat removed from the main thrust of ideological headwinds, so traffic is fairly clear and and progress has been better in some ways than expected. Also, my point B is not vastly popular (some people believe it doesn’t exist), so chances for stability afterwards are comparatively good.

      But we can be good fellows and neighbors on our journeys, too, sharing information and strategies. The intertwining vectors are the fabric of life itself. Get some rest, friend!

    9. DarkMatters

      Propaganda does and has permeated all democracies: the elites use this method to control the masses, and give the illusion that what happens is the responsibility of the voters, so they’ve only themselves to blame. Democracy is, and has been, more manipulatory than participatory.

      A good starting point is Walter Lippman’s book Public Opinion. It’s readable and literate, and explains how psychological sciences were applied to get French, British, and especially American masses to unite in favor of WWI. Then move on to the Council of Foreign relations early in the 20th century, and Anti-Soviet Operation Mockingbird following WWII, involving the CIA’s contribution to American news media and literature. After these historical precedents, you won’t be so surprised, or deceived, by today’s media activity.

      Looking the devil in the eye is disturbing, but recognizing and confronting evil is the difference between the outlook of children and adults.

  2. Pavel

    I read the NYT Public Editor piece yesterday… I was shocked, SHOCKED to learn that the Grey Lady decided not to cover a particularly damning story about Hillary Clinton.

    Separately the Guardian (which used to be an excellent paper) has moved from ignoring/sabotaging the Sanders campaign to demonising Jill Stein. They had a completely misleading headline about her “anti-vaxx” tendencies which was contradicted by the quotes in the article itself.

    We’ll see if this avalanche of anti-Trump hysteria and coddling of Hillary gets her the election. It may be, as many have posited, the silent majority are so pissed off at the establishment they will cut off their nose and vote Trump to spite Hillary and the elite. (Apologies for the mixed metaphor!)

    In any case, after this campaign I have lost what micron of respect I had left for the NYT, Grauniad, BBC etc. (The latter has conducted a vicious campaign against Corbyn.) Burn the house down and let’s start all over again.

    1. Otis B Driftwood

      I will never vote for Trump, and remember one of the good things about leaving NYC for the West Coast in the early 1990’s was not having to endure anymore of the local media’s constant coverage of his antics (yes, he’s been a narcissistic attention-getter for his entire career), but I find myself actually sympathizing with him as the media piles on. I hope I’m an outlier, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Pavel is right and the majority of the voting public responds inversely to the MSM’s relentless attacks.

      1. rich

        Varoufakis’ alert: financialized capital may choose to support fascists

        The conversation also touches on the US election as Yanis and Eric debate the utility of “lesser evil” politics, while also examining the ascendance of the fascist right in Europe and the US, with particular attention to the Brexit vote and its implications.

        Some interesting parts of Varoufakis’ comments:

        Brexit is also an economic phenomenon. It’s not just a political revolt against the elites, against the EU, against the city of London – the bankers. The main reason why the English, not the British, the English working class voted to get out of the EU, is the slow burning recession. The fact that living standards in almost every town outside of London, within England is depressed. You walk through city centers in Doncaster, in Leeds, in York and all you find is misery and desperation. A whole working class feels utterly abandoned by the elites, even by the Labor Party, the Social-Democrats, and this is the reason why Brexit won.

        It is this toxic confrontation between the nativists xenophobic Populist Right and the financialized, globalized Atlanticists pack who don’t even know how to stabilize the world that they aspired to create. This conflict is always going to give rise to rather unpleasant developments for the whole of humanity.

        Hillary Clinton never was and never will be part of the Left. The Social-Democrats in Germany are part of the problem, not part of the solution. We have an opportunity now to cease upon the way this global economic and political crisis is developing, in order to do what we failed to do in the 1930s. In other words, to create a solid, internationalist, progressive bloc that opposes the vicious cycle between the globalization elites and the xenophobic populist reaction to it.

        Hillary Clinton is part of the problem. Hillary Clinton run an outrageously, scandalously, sinister campaign against Bernie Sanders. Hillary Clinton is in the pocket of the establishment. Hillary Clinton will probably start another war.

        Bring bernie back, please.

        1. trent

          i honestly think trump is a plant to make hillary look good. He’s just playing a part like reality tv.

    2. pretzelattack

      the guardian has lost all cred with me,and i’ve never seen the media in general shill so relentlessly for one side. i guess they “need” to demonize stein because the clinton campaign is now worried about all the disaffected sanders voters.

      1. Baby Gerald

        The media is now demonizing Jill Stein? Incredible. It’s no surprise that the DNC/HRC campaign heavies have got the message out and their media flunkies have rolled with it. They’re Naderizing her, using LOTE arguments to scare people away from voting their conscience and interests, fearing those swing states might not swing the way they want.

        Like you Otis, the harder the media rushes to demonize every silly thing Trump says without analyzing the full content of his responses or his views on the important issues and the more both sides of the aisle in Congress team up to bully the American people into voting for Clinton, the more inclined I am to actually vote for him.

        The more I think about it, the more I believe that Susan Sarandon was spot-on in her analysis that it might be best to vote for Trump, in order to finally shake up the DNC and push it back to supporting the socially progressive issues that they claimed to be about before it got hijacked by the hawkish neoliberals sponsored by the same financiers that got us into this place to begin with.

        As a final aside, I live in Brooklyn and my younger brother was in town visiting from western MA to go to a show on Saturday. ‘Did you see any of the convention this week?’ he asks me. ‘Not a single minute. F*** the DNC, f*** Shillary, f*** Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and f*** what they did to Bernie Sanders.’ was my reply.

        Somewhat taken aback by my response, I then told him that I was happily voting for Jill Stein- the only candidate who accurately represented my values and ideals. Knowing full well that my protest vote will not be a de facto vote for Trump, I have the liberty to vote my conscience despite the outcome and told him as much. ‘Glad you don’t live in Ohio.’ was his response. ‘There are many, many reasons to be glad to not live in Ohio, but this isn’t one of them.’ was my final retort before we dropped the subject.

      2. Tertium Squid

        If that’s what’s happening it’s a tactical mistake. Raising Stein’s public prominence will get her more attention and more votes.

    3. Carolinian

      The media, who are as sanctimonious as they are corrupt, see themselves as “character cops” whose role is to protect the public from people they deem to be unsavory. This goes back at least as far as that Miami Herald reporter hiding in the bushes outside Gary Hart’s motel room. But arguably Watergate was where they really touched the Ring of Power and realized they had the ability to shape the country’s political landscape. No doubt there is still a code of ethics and devotion to facts in our newsrooms, however that goes out the window when it comes to certain topics like Russia or politics. The power drug seems to be too much for people who spend so much of their lives writing down what other people say.

      Of course character cop might be a good thing if they really meant it. Instead they torpedo Hart while going down “on bended knee” to Reagan, pillory the lame Al Gore in favor of the lamer George Bush, point out Trump’s many undoubted flaws and ignore the faults of character flunkee HRC.

      1. tiresoup

        Yes. when I was in a big NY media org there was a suck up, kick down culture. The NY media thinks they are smarter than the unwashed masses (Katie Couric actually used this phrase) as if most people in the country live in shacks. They think people are stupid, and this gives them the right to shape opinion. They know better, even when their own beliefs and attitudes are shaped by what the powerful feed them. They also think their sycophantic attitude towards those in power means they are insiders. My opinion at the time was that there was insufficient recognition of the ways that they were being used by those in power. And the pack mentality, peer pressure – it’s a real thing. You can’t stray too far from the conventional wisdom if you want to succeed. It’s turned political reporting into a circle jerk.

        1. clarky90

          As the great American Philosopher, Sir Dirty Harry articulated;
          “They are legends in their own minds”.

      2. alex morfesis

        did gary hart call the miami herald to get out of the race ? his wife had zero interest in being first lady and basically told him so…those around him were pushing him to run…but having run the mcgovern campaign and dealt with watergate and the media, he knew full well the easiest way to get out of the campaign was to do what he had been accused of doing…stepping out…

        and transitioning on mcgovern, you are certainly right in how the media has let $hillary slip thru the cracks with her purported “great works” and “leadership”…she and bill bailed on gary hart in ’72 in Texas when they were sent to deal with trying to get hispanic and blacks registered to vote…after a few months of partying and “getting to know people”, the two youngsters bailed and signed up for late registration at Yale Law…having it seems, hardly done anything except enjoy the stipends…

        $hillary has sadly failed at everything she has ever touched…that Bernie, the non-democrat, almost took the nomination from her and that Donald the neo-dictator is within striking distance says everything that has to be said about $hillary…but thankfully, despite the suggestions and protestations of many, the presidency is not in fact a dictatorship, as the clumsy fumble of the open supreme court seat has easily shown us…

        and as to watergate…the media has played us that happy organ tune for some time now…remember who had the penthouse at the watergate…she was not too pleased that nixon was letting go of taiwan and hugging china…the term “china lobby” has disappeared from our lexicon since watergate…and bobby boy & vanity fair conveniently told us who cheapthroat(mr fbi) was on the day the arthur andersen scotus decision came down bouncing it from the main headlines(just sayin…)

        me personally thinks it was the babe in the penthouse…

        onto 2018…

        1. Carolinian

          When the Miami Herald reporter was asked for his excuse for spying on Hart’s sex life he said: well Hart basically dared us to follow him around when he was deflecting questions concerning his marriage. Altman and Trudeau later worked the episode into the satirical Tanner 88.

          And perhaps a candidate lying about his marriage is a relevant issue but the press, it seems, is a very selective moral prosecutor.

          1. Pavel

            “Tanner 88” — one of the best TV series ever, and certainly one of the very best political ones. Altman himself said it was among his very best work.

            Poor Tanner, with his complicated personal life! And that was a young Cynthia Nixon as his daughter.

            For real.

      3. hunkerdown

        “This goes back at least as far as” um, hi Walter Lippmann? “Character cop” will never, ever be a good thing, because there is too much at stake for them to ever really mean it. At that scale, all relationships are complicated by power. So let’s just retire the counterfactual that such a thing can ever be benign.

      4. DarkMatters

        “But arguably Watergate was where they really touched the Ring of Power and realized they had the ability to shape the country’s political landscape.”

        Newspapers were aware of their power at least since the Spanish-American War, and have had a proud history of misrepresentation. Check out the history and purpose of the Council on Foreign Relations for a longer timeline. There is a rich history of organizations devoted to promoting one set of ideas over another, with little scruple against using propagandistic methods to guide the people to hold the correct opinions.

        It’s not surprising that it’s going on so vigorously now, given Hillary’s vulnerability. As Goebbels said,
        “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” We’re seeing big repetitive lies, with the state establishment (in the form of MSM outlets) doing its best to suppress the dissent that Trump represents. (It’s already worked against Bernie)

        By the time the election comes around, there will be people believing that Trump engages in child sacrifice. “tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it” seems to be the rule of the day.

  3. Steve H.

    Bruce Schneier on a tear about Russians hacking the vote:

    By November, Russian hackers could target voting machines

    Good gracious me, is the only way we have to stave off the Russkies the use of PAPER BALLOTS?

    “Longer term, we need to return to election systems that are secure from manipulation. This means voting machines with voter-verified paper audit trails, and no Internet voting. I know it’s slower and less convenient to stick to the old-fashioned way, but the security risks are simply too great.”

    1. pretzelattack

      heh, there’s a novel rationale for going back to paper ballots. as a loyal american i want to see our vote rigging rank second to nobody–usa!!

      1. Patricia

        Exactly, pretzelattack! Take them up on their propaganda. Over-haul our voting system because….Russians. lol

        Paper ballots remain the best defense against election fraud, anyway.

          1. Patricia

            Yarrr, heard that too. Our electoral boards had better get moving tout de suite, to make sure it’s fixed before presidential elections


        1. Antifa

          Australia uses voting machines, electronic software-driven electing of political offices.

          But their software is Open Source, and by law all current software used must be completely available to the public 28 days before any election.

          Why can’t we just borrow their software, and their transparent public examination of every line of its programming?

          Do we really value the right to steal elections more than having our votes counted accurately?

          1. Pat

            We don’t, but politicians who benefit from the rigging AND from the rentiers who provide the machines AND the software do. There is very little corporate profit if you have open source software rather than extra special secret and secure software that no one else has that of course comes at a premium price paid over and over. (And the owners of those companies will return the favor to the politicians that select them in the form of campaign donations and perhaps even later lobbying jobs…)

            It is a big corrupt circle where the public good and the public trust are abused over and over for personal gain.

          2. Roger Smith

            This is a very interesting proposition. I have not heard of this previously. I like to consider easier, simpler methods and am not against them entirely, but this still discriminates against those who cannot analyze code and results… I.e. Those oh so “objective” Google types here would be the defacto authority (especially with media reporting–no one cares what message board forum programmers have to say).

          3. low integer

            Hand counted and I have seen the video. No machines, though Turnbull is having a crack at changing it, and unfortunately Shorten, who to be fair is improving in his understanding of ethics, is all for it, in the same way someone who knows absolutely nothing about technology thinks technological progress is awesome. Idiots. As much as I’d like to say Australia’s nominal center left party, the ALP, would stand up to this stupidity, I’m guessing they think the sort of people who are walking into lamposts playing Pokemon know what they are talking about.

          4. hunkerdown

            Do we really value the right to steal elections more than having our votes counted accurately?

            Yes. Liberalism can’t exist without election fraud propping it up in hard times.

          5. ewmayer

            Sorry, but “open source” is not a magic bullet here, since the public has no way of verifying that the published software is identical to that which actually runs on the system at the time the votes are processed. I’m picturing a secret “patch” or “firmware tweak” applied just before the election, which is reverted (either by a human agent, remotely or an automatic self-reversion mechanism, depending on the nature of the software architecture) immediately thereafter. The key thing to keep in mind is that ALL SOFTWARE IS INSECURE at some level.

            This kind of secretive stuff is almost certainly already going on inside your PC, for example – check out the Boing Boing piece Intel x86s hide another CPU that can take over your machine (you can’t audit it). (And note AMD is no better in this regard.)

    2. cm

      Bruce’s latest article blaming Russia is a real disappointment. I bought his Applied Cryptography when it first came out (1995?), and had a discussion w/ him about a typo in the book.

      There is *no evidence* (at least in the unclassified world) that Russia was behind this.

      I wish we could take all the reporters convinced that North Korea was behind Sony and relegate them to the tabloids. This is the exact same thing.

    3. DarkMatters

      Er, don’t jump to conclusions just yet.

      There may be reasons to distrust Schneier, but, however dubious his character, that alone doesn’t disprove what he says. This extension of denigration from the person to his assertions can be an effective rhetorical device but it amounts to a logical fallacy (Yves’ and Lambert’s advocacy for rhetoric notwithstanding).

      Steve Spoonamore was a Republican banking security analyst concerned about, and had exposed, machine voting fraud back during the Bush elections (that far back). His conclusion: voting machines are inherently insecure; anyone can (relatively easily) hack them, not only American, but especially Russian, Israeli and Chinese actors. Suddenly, though this is news.

      Spoonamore’s recommendation? Paper ballots with transparent counting. View this series for more details.

      I’d like to hear the opinions of the IT professionals on this blog.

      1. dk

        I’ve had some involvement in US elections and associated data and data processing (mostly from a campaign angle).

        There are a variety of methods and equipment used for voting:

        Spoonamore is specifically concerned with reporting of tabulations from precincts to counties and from counties to states, etc. Yes, it is technically possible to interfere with the information transfer. Is it easy? Not at all.
        1) intercept transmission (probably have to invade the local network in advance, network configurations are anything but uniform across 50 states+D.C. and 3,194 counties) ,
        2) replace data in required format (has to match format and check data exactly, and there are many different formats in play),
        3) do it at many locations, possibly hundreds,
        4) within the window of a few hours,
        5) without raising much notice, and
        6) without extensive prior testing?
        Whoever can pull that off successfully should probably be running the planet anyway.

        Consider that the odds of success for fraud are (approximately) inversely proportional to the number of people and steps involved. The cost of resources (equipment and expertise) would be significant; that alone is already hard to hide for long (unless you’re a banker).

        A good approach might be to 1) invade the networks of targeted locations, 2) identify and prepare target machines, prepare bogus data (maybe the hardest part, since a wildly different tabulation would raise alarm in at least some cases), 3) hide traces and withdraw, 4) cross fingers.

        A hardware level hack (compromised processors/firmware/communications equipment) might be easier to do (in terms of success), that would be a very long term project, and a lot more could be done with it than fudge the occasional election.

        Small scale harassment is one thing, as Spoonamore says, that happens every day all over. This scenario is considerably more complex and difficult by several orders of magnitude. This is not the same as a brute-force DDOS attack, or viral infection propagating passively through a network, or even spear-phishing which usually requires considerable research and even then doesn’t always succeed.

        And while we’re at it… manually tabulated paper ballot voting can be and has been manipulated and tampered with in the past. The Florida debacle in 2000 happened on paper (punchout) ballots. There is no invulnerable system outside of fiction (see also, marketing). IMO paper ballots are the way to go, but end to end manual tabulation and reporting is not at all secure either, use electronic technology where it has an advantage and use at least two different compilation paths (which must yield identical results) to increase confidence through redundancy (and if you want to get really fancy, have five methods and select two or three at random for each case, just to keep it interesting).

        But I do think it’s good to think and worry about these kinds of things, and keep an eye out for weirdness of all kinds, and Spoonamore is right to publicize his concern, and maybe exaggeration is needed to cut through everybody else’s exaggerations about everything under the sun (although I don’t think so). Worrying may be a little stressful, too, but so what: constant vigilance is and essential part of effective security.

        PS: The DNC and RNC are private organizations. Should private organizations be held more accountable on matters of national importance? NOT IF THEY’RE BANKS, THOUGH shut up Jamie, nobody asked you.

      2. cm

        ACM (association for computing machinery) and IEEE (instititute of electronic & electrical engineers) have long recommended paper ballots. Diebold has a long history of shady practices. See comp.risks for what qualified IT professionals think.

        In Australia, election is a national holiday, and voting is mandatory. I’d argue for the first proposal, and believe the second is worth a national discussion. Australia also has great runoff and “none of the above” scenarios.

  4. EndOfTheWorld

    RE: “Trump Ignores Advice…”—That’s what I like about him. We need a president that ignores the advice of the political operatives. If John Kerry had ignored the advice of his “handlers” he would have fought back at the ludicrous swift boat allegations, pointed out that GWB was a rich boy draft dodger who got his slot in the NG because his dad had connections—and Kerry would have won the election. If The Donald had obeyed his “handlers”–(I don’t think he actually has any, in the common usage of the word)–he would not have demolished his republican opponents and gotten the nomination.

    1. James Levy

      That’s true, in part, but we have to understand something I have taught my students back when I was professing: most presidents don’t know much about the myriad issues that confront them, and lack the time (and often the inclination) to become fluent even with the problems, forget about experts on the solutions.

      In short, they can’t function without tons of advice.

      Donald Trump having a gut feeling that confrontation with Russia is stupid is a great thing. His gut feelings on climate change, tax policy, confrontation with China, civil rights, reproductive rights, environmental policy, and regulation are another matter. His every utterance shows a real lack of depth of knowledge and understanding of many serious and significant policy areas, along with a bullet-proof cocksureness in his ignorance that scares many people. I know my family feels that way, and are very dubious about my casting a vote for Stein.

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        Nevertheless, even the WaPo admits The Donald “has a totally plausible path to 270 electoral votes.” Not merely “plausible” but “TOTALLY plausible”. I guess that means 100% plausible—not merely 40% or 50% plausible. But if something is 100% plausible, would that not elevate it to the status of a dead certainty?

          1. Katharine

            No. First of all, the original meaning of plausible is worthy of applause. It is only secondarily a crude synonym for credible. But in neither sense is it an either/or proposition. Both approval and belief can be qualified.

      2. JTMcPhee

        One of those many comedy bits is the person with fingers stuck in ears going “LALALALALALALALA” ever louder to drown out the bad news or embarrassment that otherwise might penetrate to disturb settled understandings and beliefs. Worked for Reagan and so many others,at all levels of the political economy. Still working everywhere I can see.

        As to having to operate through a fog of “advice” which patently is just lobbying behind a smokescreen of “dispassion” and expensive suits and rep ties, it’s nice to give Trump a star for not wanting nuclear war. But where is the honest evidence of his “gut feelings” on those other issues? In the “media,” whose rice bowl is apparently threatened by a Trump presidency? My local formerly left-centrist newspaper has gone full-on Hillary, full-on attack mode on Trump, snide asides at Stein and the other person. Same for all the wholly-pwned other outlets. Salon, and Poltico, and Guardian, and Indepedent, and LA TImes, and PBS/NPR, same thing. The group-conformity magnetism is incredibly strong, augmented by repetition.

      3. clarky90

        Trump is A B testing his ideas. He floats an idea at one of his many Press Conferences and Rallies and LISTENS TO the reaction of the crowd.

        If the audience like the idea, he runs with it. If they don’t, he drops it.

        That is how he knows that the People (his supporters) want an alliance with Russia to defeat ISIS and an end to War in the Middle East. We want Peace and Prosperity, not War and Austerity. People feel physically threatened by ISIS (our creation), not by Russia and China. His supporters cheer for full employment for young Black Americans! They feel empathy for the LGBT community’s loss in Orlando. His ideas have not been crafted by a think tank, with a commissar from the “funders” standing over their shoulders.

        He constantly dialogues with individuals in the huge crowds. Masterful and charming. imo

    2. John Wright

      A sample of John Kerry’s behavior that I remember is his vote on the Authorization to Use Military Force in Iraq.

      CA Senator Barbara Boxer voted against the Iraq resolution and advised Kerry to do the same.

      Kerry was reported as replying to Boxer, “i have to vote for it, I want to run for President”

      Admittedly, the AUMF passed easily with 77 to 23 being the vote count, so Kerry’s vote didn’t “matter” other than for resume padding in order to run for President..

      As author Kurt Vonnegut characterized the Bush-Kerry election, it was “two C-students from Yale who were members of (secret society) Skull and Bones.”

      By the time of the 2004 election, the political opinion tide on the Iraq War had turned and if Kerry HAD voted against the Iraq War he might have won the election, rather than have to use his dithering “I was for it, I was against it” defense of his actions.

      Perhaps Kerry followed his handlers in 2004 because he doesn’t trust his own counsel?.

      1. Pat

        All the serious folk in Washington and the media believed that bull shit about AUMF. Why do you think Clinton gave a Comey level speech about how she was against it before she voted for it? The press had played their role, similar to the role they are now playing regarding Russia, and public sentiment was ‘bomb, bomb, bomb Iraq’. And rather than listen to people who told them it would destabilize the Middle East and that is why former CIA director George HW Bush didn’t take out Hussein and had the Gulf War be of limited nature, they decided to cross their fingers and believe Dick Cheney that they would greet us with flowers and cheers. With very few exceptions every vote for AUMF was about upcoming elections. Either fear of replacement in the next one or destroying the ability to run for higher office in the future.

        I’m not a huge fan of Kerry’s. But he has been a vast improvement on the previous Secretary of State. I know, not saying much as that is a pretty low bar to beat, still he has leapt over that bar.

    1. horostam

      well thats just called being a lawyer… of course she defended her client.

      but whats more striking is how she talks about the case in that interview, basically laughing about how she knew her client was guilty. its so unprofessional… reminds me of the email stuff, she just doesnt think these protocols apply to her. shes so unbelievably “oh whatever” about this kind of stuff, its shocking

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        If she had been appointed to work as a lawyer for one of the accused at the Tokyo trials, she would have to do her best (that’s a duty of any lawyer).

        But to laugh?

  5. Bob

    The Houston Chronicle recently had an editorial where they basically accused Trump of being a Russian agent because he won’t release his taxes, just below their endorsement for Hillary. I too am tired of the corrupt media.

    I was reminded of Obama’s recent admission that his failure to plan for the day after in Libya was his greatest failure. Would not the State Department led by Hillary have been the main department tasked with rebuilding Libya? That failure has led to collapse, chaos, and the spread of terrorism. Why has no one in the media asked why we should trust her to plan our tomorrows and days after tomorrow?

    1. James Levy

      Practically speaking the State Department is a husk: the military was given Iraq to run and would have run Libya had we any “boots on the ground.” That Clinton was a crappy SofS is pretty indisputable. Her only defense, and it is a lame one, is that she is a perfect exemplar of the foreign policy mentality of the Beltway Elite. She doesn’t dream this insanity up herself–she reflects the insanity at the heart of government.

      The Russian hysteria is idiotic, but we’ve been at that since the October Revolution and old habits die hard. And the belief among most Americans that foreigners are not to be trusted at best, evildoers at worst, is also deeply ingrained. Trump cleverly exploits anti-Chinese sentiments with a subtlety he shows nowhere else in his rhetoric, but it is certainly there.

      As for Trump’s taxes: if Clinton refused to release hers, would you be OK with that? If yes, than no problem with Trump. If no, then you’re just playing the same hypocritical game the media is.

      1. Arizona Slim

        Peter Van Buren’s book, We Meant Well, offers an excellent overview of US nation-building efforts in Iraq. Highly recommended.

      2. Optimader

        Ultimately, by my sensibilities HRC’s taxes are flyshit in the pepper.

        The financial forensics of a bespoke non-profit 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt organization that many ( imo ) reasonably suspect is nothing more than a money laundering operation? That is of course altogether another kettle of fish.

    2. DJG

      Bob: I have been reminded repeatedly lately that the “scandal-free” Obama is all about sins of omission. It is hard to pin a sin of omission on anyone, even Obama. But failure to plan for a new Libyan government? Failure to close Guantanamo? Failure to publish the torture report? Failure to prosecute the bankers?

      All very slippery. But it is easy to claim that one more sin of omission is a greatest failure. After all, what can we compare it to?

        1. pretzelattack

          i think he cares more about getting that passed than any other issue. maybe the aca because that’s his legacy, and there is probably an entire wing of the library to be devoted to it.

          1. polecat

            He cares not one whit about ‘legacy’….

            … it’a A#1…110% about the post-presidential tubman grab-fest !!

            THAT’S ALL HE BE………..

        1. Myron

          Add Bush tax cuts, Patriot Act, NDAA, Syria and that time a drone blew up a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan.

          1. JTMcPhee

            That wasn’t a drone, it was an AC-130 attack aircraft. A “gunship.” An attack that just went on and on, while the medical people cried out for help, for it to stop, went on maybe until the aircrew of a dozen or so ran out of ammo…

            Interesting echo of the Israeli attack on the USS Lberty, back when there was a vestige of “US” in America… “It was just a little boo boo in the fog of war…”

            One wonders what happens when Our Leaders and Battlespace Operators get frustrated on the plains and steppes of Eurasia, with all those weapons options. I guess the rest of us, Jingoists and peaceniks, are just once again along for the ride. They don’t even need to “mobilize” us…

  6. Don Midwest USA

    What is really going on in Turkey?

    Hard to take Erdogan seriously when he claims that the Gezi park protest is an international effort rather than call it a land grab of one of the few open spaces in Istanbul. He has attacked journalists, educators and seems to me started a war with the Kurds to maintain power.

    The linguist, Sibel Edwards, who made it into the news with her claims that the FBI and others knew about things going on before 9/11 and now runs the web site She claims CIA and NATO involvement with the coup.

    Now a professor at Harvard also wanders into the connection of Gulen supporters and the coup. His article on July 23 discusses how most believe Gulen working with Americans, how he got is visa, etc. Then on July 30 he has more – seems fuzzy to me, and he ends the piece with

    So what the hell is going on here?

    In light of the confusing signals that come out of the U.S., and the apparent desire of many people in or close to the administration to defend Gulen, it’s not difficult to empathize with those in Turkey who believe the U.S. must be behind Gulen (and, yes, even the coup attempt). I think it is too farfetched to think that the U.S. knew of beforehand or supported the coup. There were far too many risks and too few benefits for the U.S. to be involved. And contrary to what many people in Turkey believe, U.S. intelligence is far from omniscient – so yes, the coup likely did happen without U.S. knowledge.

    But it is not farfetched to think that there are some groups in the administration – perhaps in the intelligence branches – who have been protecting Gulen because they think he is useful to U.S. foreign policy interests. This could be because Gulen’s brand/mask of moderate Islam is a rare thing in that part of the world. It could be because taking Gulen down would only benefit groups in Turkey they consider more inimical to U.S. interests – Erdogan’s AKP and the arch-secularists. It is even possible that the movement has occasionally performed services for U.S. intel operations. (Some of Gulen’s schools in Central Asia were used to “shelter” American spies according to a former Turkish intelligence chief.) That kind of thing would not be beneath either the CIA or the Gulen movement.

    Perhaps these groups have so far have had the better of the argument and have held the upper hand in the administration against those in State or elsewhere who know full well what the Gulen movement is up to and would rather see him go. In the aftermath of the coup, perhaps this balance will change in favor of the latter. Perhaps not. Whether it does or not, I think the Gulen issue will ultimately explode in somebody’s face in the U.S. The only questions are whose, and when.

    I would be the first to admit that this is just a hypothesis. But if there is a better story that explains the U.S. reaction I’d love to hear it.


    It is very unlikely that Gulen would receive a fair trial in Turkey. So the U.S. has a legitimate ground for not extraditing him. But the U.S. foreign policy establishment would be making a very big mistake if they simply dismissed the calls from Turkey about Gulen’s complicity. It is easy for the U.S. to hide behind Erdogan’s clampdown and the ill treatment of the putschists. But the U.S. has considerable explaining to do too.

    Here is the link
    Is the U.S. behind Fethullah Gulen?

    I went on one of the Gulen followers cultural trips to Turkey a few years ago and have spent time with them here in Columbus OH. I felt that they provided a way to bring a Muslim country into the modern world. With what is going on now, I honestly don’t know what to say. A commentator on Juan Cole’s web site the other day noted that economy in Turkey is in trouble because of what has been going on, and especially a drop off in tourism.

    1. DJG

      Don Midwest: I found the two articles to be somewhat misleading. The result of the incident, whatever it was, is that Erdogan is now engaged in an enormous self-coup. If there was barracks rebellion, you punish those involved. You don’t dismiss thousands of teachers and police officers and start rounding up journalists. And who in his administration was making up the lists? Within days, civilians were being dismissed or rounded up.

      And who even knows what went on in the last Turkish election in November 2015, in which Erdogan was so determined to smash the HDP (People’s Democratic Party).

      Turkish democracy is another casualty of the endless wars in Iraq and Syria. I recall being in Istanbul 4.5 years ago, when there was still some chance at making a democratic state permanent, but Erdogan and gang used their animus against the Kurds and the U.S. meddling in the Middle East to their advantage.

      By the way, “Benghazi”: There have always been fairly strong analyses that the U.S. was running armaments through Libya to Turkey. But the Republicans couldn’t have been bothered: Too much geography and history to learn.

      1. Don Midwest USA

        Agree with your comments.

        My thoughts mostly have been that Erdogan staged the coup.

        And the article I linked above and the were fuzzy at best.

        Erdogan is on the path to be a new Sultan and he is mowing down the opposition along the way.

        The whole drift in Turkey over the past few years is a slow moving coup in my opinion. But with our history, CIA involvement, NATO involvement, etc., is entirely plausible.

        I read the Gulen linked publication TodaysZaman for a couple of years and found it to be a credible publication. I don’t think that I was totally duped. I send some copies to a historian friend a couple of years ago and he said that it looked like US newspapers in the 1950’s when there were journalistic standards.

        It is clear that I am confused about what is going on in Turkey

        1. DJG

          Don: I used to read Today’s Zaman when it had its web site. Then, Erdogan decided no more web site. Go there and you see a frozen instant in Zaman (the Turkish word for time). Modern authoritarianism in action.

      2. DarkMatters

        Please don’t be needlessly partisan; give credit where credit is due. While my political sympathies generally lay elsewhere, the Republicans correctly questioned the circumstances surrounding the Benghazi event, and at least exposed a number of anomalies that some would prefer to see buried. From the hearings: the event was NOT due to the movie, as HC claimed; Ambassador Stevens HAD requested an increase in security; and the US response was slow. We still don’t know why, but we have a little more info than we would be otherwise.

        1. Lambert Strether

          > We still don’t know why

          You’d think twenty million dollars would buy a decent narrative. Today’s Republican establishment is sadly ineffective outside the Beltway, doubtless one reason Trump was able to make fools of them.

    2. Antifa

      Gulen is past his “use by” date, senile and ill. The best hope for his organization/movement is that he has a worthwhile successor ready to take over. The Gulen movement is only capable of launching a coup with CIA help, so that is where the dagger will come from, if it comes.

      Meanwhile, Turkey has long since given up on ever gaining membership in the EU, and probably now considers that a good thing, after all. But Turkey has always been an absolutely vital NATO member, providing a huge landmass and huge army on the Soviet Union’s southern flank.

      Erdogan is off to Moscow in a couple of weeks to talk Turkey with Putin. Erdogan is ruling a very divided populace and a very shaky economy. Russia wants to run a pipeline south through Turkey to the Middle East to sell its abundant natural gas there. They also want to engage in all sorts of consumer trade with Turkey. This could do more to shore up Turkey’s economy than anything the EU can offer now or in its fading future.

      But forging strong economic ties between Turkey and Russia really takes the footings out from under NATO — their entire southern flank making friends with the Commies makes NATO all the more ridiculous. Like the Soviet Union that NATO is still trying to save us from.

      The USSR collapsed economically. Turkey is going to collapse economically if they do not pivot away from the failing EU and failed NATO and make friends with their Russian neighbors. European NATO members aren’t paying their dues, generally, and are becoming more frank about there being no threat to Europe from Russia. They are far more concerned with keeping the gas coming from Russia this winter than whether Putin is a bully.

      America wants Assad out of Syria, wants the Russians out of Syria so they have no port on the Mediterranean, wants Syria ruled by their strongman or to become just another failed state, and wants Turkey ruled by someone who puts NATO and the containment of the Soviet threat — whatever that is — ahead of Turkey’s own needs. Erdogan ain’t cutting it any more.

      NATO needs a war with Russia or its future looks bleak. Turkey is backing away from this mission, as are other NATO members.

      1. Steve H.

        – Erdogan is off to Moscow in a couple of weeks to talk Turkey with Putin.

        And then he’ll be Russian back home.

        1. Brian

          when all else fails, perhaps the most simple explanation is correct. Try this; The US was in favor of the action in Turkey because it silences every government in Europe harping about refugees, and sets up Erdogan to dictate immigration to the continent by threatening to release the hordes. This destablizes Europe and brings them begging the US to help them, much like David Hedison did in “The Fly”. Moments later, David the fly was destroyed.
          It really silences everyone necessary doesn’t it? Lest we think we are dreaming or watching a film, what good does a totalitarian nation do the US? Okay, why do we support so damn many of them? We can’t keep wondering why our government likes to be a despot when they demonstrate their rationale every day.

      2. alex morfesis

        the french are fairly good at coups so why is it always just “merika” ?

        the weeks leading up to July 15, the germans were trying to get their politicians to visit Incirlik to see the luftwaffah boyz and the Sultan cut them off…refused to allow them to visit the facility…and the germans were complaining loudly(in europe)…

        why could it not have been the germans ?

        they had the most to gain from a removal of erdogan and a cutting off of the promise to allow turkish citizens easy access to europe…

        if you watch what was said, or not said, during and soon after the coup, the germans were not too pleased the coup did not succeed…

        and erdogan is right…although it was a horrific tragedy, the world showed up for the charlie hebdo after events within days where only a few people died…

        has any one of the 40 + world leaders who were in paris shown up in istanbul/byzantium or ankara to lay a wreath anywhere ??

        not even jimmy carter has lifted his saggy body to go pay a visit, and he visits everyone…desmond tutu…dali lama…

        hell, what about danny glover…

        dennis rodman…

        daisy duke…

        anyone ?

  7. timbers

    “It’s Way Past Time To Stop Deluding Ourselves About Private Health Insurers” ….. With some saying Obamacare is in a death spiral, wouldn’t the neoliberal “solution” be to increase subsidies to insurance corporations? By direct government payment or stronger enrollment laws? I think Hillary will know what needs to be done here.

    1. Arizona Slim

      I think that private health insurance is on its last legs. Obamacare is only delaying the inevitable. Look for single payer within a year or two.

      1. Pirmann

        Haha. Funny man this morning, Slim. Yeah, single payer is what SHOULD happen, but I would instead expect the next couple of years to go more like this:

        – Mergers, with the rationale being Obamacare

        – Whining by the insurance companies about profitability, because Obamacare

        – The powers that be, the same powers that okayed the aforementioned mergers, declare the insurance companies “too big to fail”, resulting in…

        – Bailouts. The likes of which exceed the amount it would take to establish a competent single payer system.

        1. F900fixr

          If its the same “Slim” that used to post on the HBB……..she is of the female side of the species.

          1. Arizona Slim

            Hey, there, Fixer! Greetings from Tucson and all that.

            Speaking of the HBB, I took a look at that site yesterday. Looks like most of our crowd has left.

        2. vidimi

          alas, that’s probably what will happen. the one remaining health insurer will be deemed systemically important and will be constantly attached by drip to free fed and congressional money.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Will it be like Fannie Mae and be put under conservatorship or like Wall Street banks?

          2. heresy101

            If that happens, the call and rallies should be for socialized medicine (it’s would have already happened) and not backslide to the single payer meme. Socialized Medicare for All!

        3. timbers

          I expect this is correct, based on the reasoning that the quite large government subsidies insurance corporations get from Obamacare will make them increasingly stronger politically, allowing them to change the law progressively in their favor over time. Thus making Obamacare worse and worse for the rest of us.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            I don’t know. I suspect the country is fairly ungovernable at this point when it comes to anything too obvious. Food stamps could be cut within the agricultural legislation because food stamp users are basically invisible to the elite discourse.

            On the health care side, the average Republican voter is too attached to repeal, and the average Democratic voter has their head in the sand or is too attached to defending their choice to go all in for Obama to make any kind of bipartisan effort towards Healthcare legislation impossible. As far as outside pressure, ACA was a major blow to potential Democratic activism. Team Blue elites demonstrated the can’t ever be trusted.

        4. inode_buddha

          Yep and its all gonna be the libruls fault because they want bigger govt or some similar trope, and ppl will eat it all up like ice cream and believe it and ask for more… the MSM will wring their colective hands because TINA, etc etc….

  8. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Landlord installs Faraday cage

    Can you set those up in parks too? ;)

    Yesterday I rode my bike through a park in Maine overlooking the waterfront on a beautiful sunny 70 degree early evening. There were about 10- 15 people sitting on benches with friends, none seemed by themselves, and as I approached I noticed all of them were staring down at their damned phones. All of them were younger, 20-30 I’m guessing. Nearby there were a few other older people sitting and actually talking to each other or taking in the scenery.

    I never thought I’d be one of those people who simply didn’t understand what the younger generation was up to but here I am. I just don’t get the fascination.

    And if any of those whippersnappers get near my house they better not even think about setting foot on my lawn

    1. fresno dan

      lyman alpha blob
      August 3, 2016 at 8:16 am

      It is an amazing thing to me how sending one’s voice through the electromagnetic spectrum renders one’s communications worthy of intense interest and examination, while the person sitting next to you is not worth paying ANY attention to….
      Am I missing something – are those communications with beings from other planets or dimensions???
      There must be an electronic way to f*ck that I just haven’t learned…

      1. ambrit

        SciFi writers have been speculating about that for decades. Niven had characters in his ‘Known Space’ franchise directly wired for brain stimulation; Wireheads. G A Effinger had people surgically altered with ‘Ports’ to load and unload information modules in his ‘Budayeen’ fictoverse. Star Wars had the ‘Lobot,’ a cyborg who ran Cloud City. “Firefox” had Clint Eastwood constantly reminding himself to “think in Russian” as he tried to fly the eponymous Russian aircraft through the medium of a flight helmet that responded to the pilots’ brain waves. (Such helmets are rumoured to be actually in the testing phase.)
        In general, I’d imagine that any halfway decent hacker is getting off every time he or she is successfully defeating a security system. There are so many ways to f— and be f—-d today, it’s all becoming somewhat passé. It reminds me of the (in)famous line from “Axel,” by de L’Isle-Adam; “As for living, our servants will do that for us.” Now our “servants” are electronic.

    2. Praedor

      Ah! But what you DIDN’T see was all those youngins WERE talking to each other. They were texting the person sitting next to them. When they are home, IF they sit at the table for dinner, they are texting each other like crazy! Vibrant dinner conversations in total silence.

      When the youngins go on dates, they sit in a restaurant and text each other across the table and even bring in friends from across town to keep the “conversation” lively.

  9. c

    Glass ceiling broken for a second time!

    1872: In 1872, Woodhull ran for President of the United States. While many historians and authors agree that Woodhull was the first woman to run for President of the United States, some have questioned that priority given issues with the legality of her run. They disagree with classifying it as a true candidacy because she was younger than the constitutionally mandated age of 35. However, election coverage by contemporary newspapers does not suggest age was a significant issue. The presidential inauguration was in March 1873. Woodhull’s 35th birthday was in September 1873.

      1. c

        profound apologies

        In 1972, she (Shirley Chisholm) became the first major-party black candidate for President of the United States, and the first woman to run for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.[2]

        Chisholm began exploring her candidacy in July 1971, and formally announced her presidential bid on January 25, 1972,[2] in a Baptist church in her district in Brooklyn.[5] There she called for a “bloodless revolution” at the forthcoming Democratic nomination convention.[5] Chisholm became the first black major-party candidate to run for President of the United States, in the 1972 U.S. presidential election, making her also the first woman ever to run for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination (U.S. Senator Margaret Chase Smith had previously run for the Republican presidential nomination in 1964).[2]

        Her campaign only spent $300,000 in total.[2] She also struggled to be regarded as a serious candidate instead of as a symbolic political figure;[17] she was ignored by much of the Democratic political establishment and received little support from her black male colleagues.[27] She later reiterated, “When I ran for the Congress, when I ran for president, I met more discrimination as a woman than for being black. Men are men.”[9] In particular, she expressed frustration about the “black matriarch thing”, saying, “They think I am trying to take power from them. The black man must step forward, but that doesn’t mean the black woman must step back.”[5]

        Apologies to Jill Stein too

  10. notabanker

    Apocalypse futures? Let’s Innovate!

    GDS (Global Default Swaps). If we can get a AAA rating they will be all the rage!

  11. Alex morfesis

    Rajoy attempting to start ww3 ?? Repeat Spanish civil war ??
    probably not quite that bad as there is no el duce with troops in need of field training, but Rajoy, more than brexit, may be remembered by the history books as the needle that broke the euro…

    definition of eloquent ignorance and obstinate fool….

  12. Don Midwest USA

    Democrats now officially a Pro War Party

    Leon Panetta speaking at democratic convention was faced with anti war chants of No More War. Lights were turned down and …

    A wonderful 8 minute video of Jimmy Dore, a comedian who is also a commentator on The Young Turks. The Young Turks with Cenk Ugyr is growing like wild fire, especially with the youth. An alternative media with teeth. This video will give one a sense of why they are so trusted.

    Published on Aug 2, 2016
    Former defense secretary Leon Panetta, famous for getting a good laugh off not being able to remember how many wars America was in during a 60 minutes interview, was speaking to the crowd at the DNC when a chant of ‘No more war’ broke out. The establishment wasn’t having it.

    Anti-War Dems Shut Down At DNC While Warmonger Leon Panetta Chuckles

    1. Don Midwest USA

      Today NC linked the article

      Milosevic exonerated, as the NATO war machine moves on

      At the time I was not following international events but now that Hillary is on the stage, I did a very quick search about how Bill stood on the war. . From wikipedia we find (article titled: Kosovo_War)

      UN, NATO, and OSCE (1998–1999)
      On 9 June 1998, US President Bill Clinton declared a “national emergency” (state of emergency) due to the “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States” imposed by Yugoslavia and Serbia over the Kosovo War.

      Did you get that, a National Emergency, a chance to be strong at home and test out the latest military hardware.

      In the recent, excellent book, “Kissinger’s Shadow” the author points out that Nixon continued the Vietnam war in order to win an election. It looks like Bill Clinton followed the path of monarchs in history who use wars to win support at home.

      Hillary the Hawk, who swoons over Henry Kissinger, will use wars to maintain power.

      Now that Nixon has been brought up, a Rolling Stones article on the waste of the $1 trillion war on drugs has a video of Nixon starting the war on drugs by saying that drugs are Enemy Number 1 of the US. The video of less than 2 minutes takes one back to the use of fear by Nixon to sideline his political enemies, blacks and leftists, especially the anti war people. Please watch at least the first 30 seconds of the video to prepare for the repeat of fear based presidential campaign which hides the real story of the US as a military empire using military means to for control and to maintain power.

      Why America Can’t Quit the Drug War
      After 45 years, more than $1 trillion wasted, and the creation of the world’s largest prison system, America still lacks the political will to change its failed drug policy

      1. Jake Mudrosti

        The RT essay by Neil Clark contains multiple terrible denials of 1990s history.

        I’m not shocked by this level of tribalism or by this level of rejection of history, since there are similar examples every day among politicians, media, etc. But it is disconcerting to see it here at NC. Doubly disconcerting to see this denial of history get instantly grasped and inserted into a narrative by people who think they’re being anti-war.

        1. ChrisFromGeorgia

          level of rejection of history

          Give examples, or be prepared to be accused of trolling.

          What did Clark write that “rejected history?”

          I read the whole thing and, while it certainly seems more of an editorial piece vs. simply stating facts, he cited United Nations courts (hardly pro-Serb or pro-Russian) and the ICTY itself.

          Lots of horrible, bad things happened in Yugoslavia in the 90’s, but if you believe the UN, genocide wasn’t one of them. Wars are horrible and I confess to not having followed the whole thing closely enough to be any kind of expert let alone highly informed.

          But I don’t see your point unless you’re prepared to give evidence. The problem for the west is once you’ve been caught in a lie like this, everything else you say becomes suspect.

          1. Jake Mudrosti

            I was physically present at multiple key sites in Croatia and Bosnia in ’93, ’94, and ’95. Additionally, I’ve provided assistance to international demining groups in the years since. But since I don’t embrace your narrative, that makes me a troll?

            Thank you, I guess, for proving my point that the linked article encourages imagined narratives in the readers.

            To fend off ridiculous replies: note that a friend already assembled a multi-award-winning documentary about the 1990s events in the former-Yugoslavia (contextualized within recent history), titled “Freedom from Despair”. It’s received recognition from Amnesty International, among other groups. It’s particularly useful in highlighting the roles that the Milosevic-leaning duo of James Baker and Lawrence Eagleburger played in green-lighting the 1990s Yugoslav war.

            “Genocide wasn’t one of them” you say? Robert Jay Lifton and others signed their names to a document during that time, asserting that the word “genocide” applies. So now you’re apparently calling Robert Jay Lifton a troll, too. That’s… beyond words. Again, this highlights the damage wrought when articles are plucked out of the air to merge with cherished narratives.

            1. vidimi

              while i believe you have the facts on your side, your post is condescending and sanctimonious, revealing your argument as in bad faith.

              when you have the facts on your side, it is bad form to pound the table.

          2. ewmayer

            Russia is a longtime ally of Serbia, so while I like RT reporting on the West, one should be very wary in their reporting on issues closer to home.

            That having been said, it does appear Milosevic was blamed for far more than he was actually responsible for, but Chris, “Lots of horrible, bad things happened in Yugoslavia in the 90’s, but if you believe the UN, genocide wasn’t one of them” is precisely the kind of false conclusion the RT piece would like readers to fall into. Note the “lawyerly parsing” RT uses here:

            In September 2001, a UN court officially held that there had been no genocide in Kosovo.

            Now, a quick look at the Wikipedia entry on the Srebrenica massacre gives us this passage:

            The killings were perpetrated by units of the Bosnian Serb Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) under the command of General Ratko Mladić. The Scorpions, a paramilitary unit from Serbia, who had been part of the Serbian Interior Ministry until 1991, also participated in the massacre.[6][20] In April 1993 the United Nations had declared the besieged enclave of Srebrenica—in the Drina Valley of northeastern Bosnia—a “safe area” under UN protection. However, in July 1995, UNPROFOR’s 370[21] Dutchbat soldiers in Srebrenica failed to prevent the town’s capture by the VRS — and the subsequent massacre.[22][23][24][25]

            In 2004, in a unanimous ruling on the case of Prosecutor v. Krstić, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), located in the Hague, ruled that the massacre of the enclave’s male inhabitants constituted genocide, a crime under international law.[26] The ruling was also upheld by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2007.[27] The forcible transfer and abuse, of between 25,000 and 30,000 Bosniak women, children and elderly which accompanied the massacre was found to constitute genocide, when accompanied with the killings and separation of the men.[28][29]

            In 2006, in the Bosnian Genocide case held before the International Court of Justice, Serbia and Montenegro was cleared of direct responsibility for, or complicity in, the massacre, but was found responsible for not doing enough to prevent the genocide and not prosecuting those responsible, in breach of the Genocide Convention. The Preliminary List of People Missing or Killed in Srebrenica compiled by the Bosnian Federal Commission of Missing Persons contains 8,373 names.[1] As of July 2012, 6,838 genocide victims have been identified through DNA analysis of body parts recovered from mass graves;[30] as of July 2013, 6,066 victims have been buried at the Memorial Centre of Potočari.[31]

            In April 2013, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić officially apologised for the massacre, although he stopped short of calling it genocide.[32] In 2013 and 2014, the Netherlands was found liable in its own supreme court and in the Hague district court of failing in its duty to prevent more than 300 of the deaths.[33][34][35][36][37] On 8 July 2015, Russia vetoed, by request of the Republika Srpska and Serbia, a UN resolution condemning the Srebrenica massacre as genocide, Serbia calling the resolution “anti-Serb”.[38][39] On 9 July 2015, both Members of the European Parliament (EP) and House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress adopted resolutions on Srebrenica reaffirming the description of the crime as genocide.[40][41]

            So clearly the UN has ruled on multiple occasions that genocide occurred in Bosnia – so what’s going on here? Well, if we look at the Wikipage on the shorter Kosovo war, we see this:

            The KLA, formed in 1991,[57] initiated its first campaign in 1995 when it launched attacks targeting Serbian law enforcement in Kosovo, and in June 1996 the group claimed responsibility for acts of sabotage targeting Kosovo police stations. In 1997, the organisation acquired a large amount of arms through weapons smuggling from Albania, following a rebellion which saw large numbers of weapons looted from the country’s police and army posts. In 1998, KLA attacks targeting Yugoslav authorities in Kosovo resulted in an increased presence of Serb paramilitaries and regular forces who subsequently began pursuing a campaign of retribution targeting KLA sympathisers and political opponents[58] in a drive which killed 1,500 to 2,000 civilians and KLA combatants.[59][60] After attempts at a diplomatic solution failed, NATO intervened, justifying the campaign in Kosovo as a “humanitarian war”.[61] This precipitated a mass expulsion of Kosovar Albanians as the Yugoslav forces continued to fight during the aerial bombardment of Yugoslavia (March–June 1999).[62][63] By 2000, investigations had recovered the remains of almost three thousand victims of all ethnicities,[64] and in 2001 a United Nations administered Supreme Court, based in Kosovo, found that there had been “a systematic campaign of terror, including murders, rapes, arsons and severe maltreatments”, but that Serb troops had tried to remove rather than eradicate the Albanian population.[65]

            So the neat little misdirection strategy by the author of the RT piece seems to be, roughly: “no genocide in Kosovo ==> no genocide!” and “Milosevic innocent of the most heinous crimes he was accused of ==> Milosevic innocent!” In fact the “exonerated” claim in the article title makes the latter ploy explicit.

    2. Andy

      I couldn’t believe it either, I was listening on satellite radio, so you tune in more to what is being said.
      I’m 52, and I even remember the 60-70’s.
      The fact that you had Republicans the next day stating it was the best “Republican convention they could remember”, says it all to me.

    3. clarky90

      People want Peace and Prosperity. They want to watch National emnities fought out on the sports fields of of the Olympics, not in their or anybody else’s back yard. We have had years and years of piles of dead bodies and crying children on TV. Let us have 100 years of peace and goodwill. Stop the Democratic Party and their insatiable lust for blood and World domination!

    1. tegnost

      wow, those must be good places to live, you don’t need to be wasted to make through the day! Thanks for some “bright side”. But I hear maine is pretty crowded so leave lambert and the lobsters in peace, and diptherio might have said the same about montana but haven’t seen him around for a while so he must be re searching the back country I hope. A little surprised about new mexico, possibly the worst economy among states in the union, they might go red if you include some other drugs…Iowa has lots of pretty librarians and intellectuals so that clearly has a calming effect. South Dakota is on the short list of states i’ve not been to so i’ll need to rely on other reporters for that…

      1. Kurt Sperry

        Anyone using the “alcohol or drugs” formulation in rhetoric reveals their profound ignorance. Alcohol is obviously a drug just like any other inebriant so anyone making a binary distinction between alcohol and other inebriants clearly has no idea what they are talking about.

        1. vidimi

          the drug or not-drug binary identifier is itself quite useless as not all drugs are created equal nor do they do similar damage. opiates are terrible because of how addictive they are. alcohol is the cause of a lot of social damage, but lots of people can and do use it responsibly.

  13. hemeantwell

    Milosevic exonerated, as the NATO war machine moves on RT (margarita)

    I’m wary of this story, the site is very rah-rah Russia, but it’s worth keeping in mind as the Russia demonization campaign proceeds. I confess to at the time having floated along with minimal critical distance from the official narrative of the Balkans war.

    How much will the current obvious propaganda end up retrospectively undercutting past rationales for US/NATO behavior? I’d like to see a serious revival of the “origins of the Cold War” question, and Stone’s “Hidden History” might serve as a good start. The story of the struggle with the Soviet bear is part of the backbone of American narcissism, and it’s currently being remobilized.

      1. no one

        Just to clarify, last March, the ICJY sentenced Radovan Karadzic, president of Serbia, to 40 years for a variety of offences. It was only Milosevic, president of Yugoslavia, who was maligned in the press much like Saddam Hussein was, who was cleared in the sense that the tribunal found that there was insufficient evidence to link him with a “common plan” to commit various war crimes. This is big news, and the ICJY should have called attention to their finding, which was, as I verified, “buried” more than 1000 pages into the Karadzic disposition.

        1. Plenue

          So the verdict boils down to “the guy the media all attacked wasn’t really the dastardly mastermind, but the Serbs were still bastards who clearly committed crimes”. That honestly doesn’t seem like such a huge deal.

    1. ChrisFromGeorgia is obviously pro-Russia, but if you read the story it comes from a British journalist and the facts are from the ICTY itself. The way it was buried and had to be uncovered by another journalist from Counterpunch fits the M.O. for “big lies” throughout history:

      1. Create a big lie – i.e. Iraqi WMD,
      2. Repeat over and over and over
      3. When confronted with facts contrary to the lie, stonewall, and/or create more lies to cover up the original one
      4. If the truth eventually gets out, bury it and hope that enough time has passed that people have forgotten and moved on.

      This story should deeply trouble everyone.

      1. tgs

        Well said. Within hours of the crash/shoot down of MH17 we were told emphatically that Putin was responsible and had blood on his hands. That became part of the conventional wisdom. But the investigation has gone quiet – no real evidence has emerged – your step 3.

        And Gaddafi was loading up his troops with viagra for a rape fest and planning a genocide to boot. Of course none of that was true. But that claim was never taken back.


        And so it goes –

      2. hemeantwell

        Thanks for the Counterpunch link, I hadn’t spotted it.

        Yeah, not only should this story deeply trouble everyone — again, I fell for it back then and really should have known better — but it should be brought up relentlessly.

  14. yan

    I woke up this morning thinking about Bernie Ecclestone’s-mother-in-law’s kidnapping in Brazil and “driverless” cars, as well as the article posted the other day in this lovely website about how “everything’s broken”. What a boon for savvy disruptors with a penchant for kidnapping these autonomous machines will be!

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Instead of kidnapping them why not just hi-jack the car and take them to their destination through the most traffic possible via the most circuitous route?

      1. Waldenpond

        Avoid getting charged with kidnapping and go bulk. Small businessperson opportunity…. just shut down cars and charge $10-$20 to get going again.

        It’s the same as those that take individuals computer data and then will return it for a small fee.

  15. petal

    Judge opens VT pipeline hearing.

    “A federal judge has ordered the Vermont Public Service Board to open a hearing on a gas pipeline project to the public, despite the board’s fears that protesters may disrupt it.

    U.S. District Judge Christina Reiss agreed in a decision released late Monday with critics of the Vermont Gas Systems plan that it would violate the First Amendment to bar them from the hearing.

    The board approved the proposed pipeline running from Chittenden County south to Middlebury in December of 2013. At issue now is an eminent domain proceeding in which Vermont Gas wants to use a right of way in a Hinesburg park — the last property on the roughly 40-mile route for which the company still lacks that legal right to build.”

  16. Don Midwest USA

    Hillary is moving fast to push the left aside in her new government

    The Clinton Presidency Is Already Taking Shape. Will the Left Have a Voice?
    The transition process is shrouded in secrecy. And progressives are having bad Obama flashbacks

    Around 4,000 people will be hired

    Efforts being done in secret to plan the transition

    Lots of good material in the article before this

    But the bigger problem is the lack of clarity into everyone’s role in the transition—or who “everyone” will be, even. That makes it hard for progressives to have an impact on the process, or to check any undue corporate influence. “Progressives want to see Clinton announce a transition team led by individuals with a proven progressive track record, not lobbyists or veterans of the revolving door,” says Kurt Walters. “With public resources now supporting both campaigns’ transition efforts, there is no reason to shroud this process in secrecy.”

    But there’s nothing stopping the Clinton campaign from doing just that. There are no formal prohibitions on corporate lobbyists involving themselves with the transition. (Obama adhered to some loose guidelines; it’s unclear whether Clinton will revive them.) Agency reviews and internal deliberations are never made public. This process to stand up a future presidency happens with almost no scrutiny; that makes it easier for the same old bad practices to pervade. Which is exactly what progressives already fear will happen in a Clinton administration.

    My hunch is that she will choose ideologies who support her neo liberal and hawkish agenda

    Democracy for America’s Charles Chamberlain describes the choice of transition staff as “just as important a pick as the choice for vice president.” He added that “Secretary Clinton won the nomination by emphasizing her commitment to the social, racial, environmental, and economic justice issues that progressives care so deeply about, and her pick to head the transition team is one of her first major general-election chances to prove she means it.”

    1. Vatch

      It’s truly tragic that most Americans will think that they must choose between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. There is so much that is wrong with both of them. I find myself arguing with both Trump supporters and Clinton supporters, and it becomes tiring. I hope more voters will come to realize that there are at least 4 options in this year’s Presidential election (5 if leaving that part of the ballot blank is included, although I don’t recommend that).

      1. Pavel

        I stumbled on the brilliant Dmitri Orlov in a couple of podcasts (one by Chris Martenson) and was immediately impressed. He has a blog post today discussing the “voter’s dilemma” as it were and presents a very logical analysis. I really recommend it! Here is an excerpt, but there is no way a paragraph or two does the piece justice:

        The first question to answer is whether you should bother voting at all, and the answer is, Yes, you should vote. If you don’t vote, then you abandon the playing field to the Furious Sheep who, being most easily manipulated, will hand an easy victory to the other side. And so the remaining question is, How should you vote to make the other side lose? This should not be regarded as a matter of personal choice; no need to concern yourself with who is the “lesser evil,” or which candidate made which meaningless promises. You will not be casting a vote for someone; you will be casting a vote against the entire process. Think of yourself as a soldier who volunteered in defense of liberty: you will simply be carrying out your orders. The charge has been laid by someone else; your mission, should you wish to accept it, is to light the fuse and walk away. This should at once motivate you to go and vote and make the voting process easy and stress-free. You are going to show up, subvert the dominant paradigm, and go watch the fireworks.

        –Club Orlov: Furious Sheep

        If you do one thing today, listen to Martenson’s interview with Orlov (link below). It is sobering and scary but vital; he, and others (and yours truly now) are concerned that we are on the brink of war with Russia. No other issue is so important now, but is as usual so distorted by the US media and politicians. Sorry to sound alarmist, but you’ll feel the same way after listening to the podcast. Here is part of the transcript:

        The United States is sleepwalking towards a nuclear confrontation with Russia. It is astounding in its stupidity this approach. What’s going on is an effort by the US military and by NATO officials to extract as much money as possible out of Eastern Europe, to continue financing weapons and generally extract military spending out of Europe.

        The neocons have a very stiff ideology of world domination. Basically they took over the US government because it’s the largest and most vulnerable democracy in order to realize their insane dreams of world domination.

        It hasn’t gone that well. But there’s no convincing them. There isn’t a feedback loop from experience to what they do next. One defeat causes them to organize for the next defeat without realizing it. So they don’t realize that what they have done in the Middle East has been completely counter-productive. They don’t realize, for instance, that trying to promote democracy and secular regimes in Islamic countries doesn’t produce democracy or secular regimes – what it produces is jihadism and radicalization and things like ISIS. They can’t process that thought because their ideology says “democracy is the weapon we use”. We used it successfully against the United States. Look what wonderful shape the US democracy is. It is bought and sold on the open market and we are going to do that to every country in the world.

        There is no stopping them. They are like zombies. Until somebody shoots them in the head they are going to keep moving.

        Russia is ready. What is even more scary is that the Russian people are ready. There are all these groups all over Russia that do stunts like they run marathons off road. The marathons sometimes include some tactical objectives too. So this is like paramilitary training for lots and lots of young people in the country. Some of them don’t even like the government that much but that doesn’t mean that they won’t take orders if orders are given. Even if there isn’t a nuclear confrontation and NATO rolls into Russian territory they will bleed and they will bleed to death just like it has always happened with people who invaded Russia. There isn’t a happy outcome, there isn’t a face saving outcome for the United States or for NATO. There is just basically the choice between death and humiliation.

        Peak Prosperity Podcast (51 mins): Dmitry Orlov: The US Is Sleepwalking Towards A Nuclear Confrontation

        Trump is a monster and erratic (to say the least) but I honestly think that on this one issue he is certainly better than HRC, with her neocon advisors.

        1. Vatch

          Trump is a monster and erratic (to say the least) but I honestly think that on this one issue he is certainly better than HRC, with her neocon advisors.

          Yes, that is clearly true for now. But I’m not optimistic that this will remain so. Trump is notoriously thin skinned and impulsive; James Levy had a great comment about this a couple of days ago regarding Trump’s feud with the Khan family:

          James said:

          This is why although he talks a pretty good game about negotiation and international understanding I believe the first time the Chinese or the Russians make him look dumb or beat him at his own “deal-making’ game Trump is going to go nasty, petty, and dangerous in a big hurry. He is still, in his current incarnation, way better than Clinton on most foreign policy issues, but I think it is only because he assumes that the foreigners he will be dealing with are rubes and he will be taking them all to the cleaners and will be able to gloat about it openly to an adoring American audience.

          1. Pat

            But, and these are two big items on that but score, the administration would not be starting from a point of confrontation with Russia good and they will never use nuclear weapons on US (because they have to be that deluded to think the first part of that) and this is not a man who is going to have the support of a large part of Congress. I admit that Dems finding a backbone is pretty damn rare, but I’m pretty sure that his throwing the party into Clinton meltdown will manage that. Not to mention a whole lot of Republicans who might just Carter him. Even for something they want…
            IOW, gridlock is a good thing sometimes. Remember Putin is not one to bomb someone because someone is a bombastic bully. He has been the most strategic player over the last several years.

          2. clarky90

            So a twitter war is the same as a Nuclear Holocaust? Trump was a Draft Dodger. He loves his family and friends. He is not remotely interested in more war, imo.

        2. Jeremy Grimm

          I disagree with Orlov’s idea of signing up as an independent. Better to sign up for the party where your primary vote has the greatest umph.

          Also as a bonus you can receive all kinds of requests for contributions — usually including a postage paid envelope [somebody please warn me if this comes out of the Post Office’s hide] which I like to fill with two corroded pennies and send back.

          The problem with Orlov’s voting scheme flipping coins is in getting the message through. A random vote shows up as noise. An unpredictable election just means both parties will get more funds so big donors can enjoy a win-win. I’m still planning to leave President as an undercount. That’s the clearest way I know of to register that I went to the trouble to vote — for local offices — but I’m not happy with the candidates on offer elsewhere.

      2. Optimader

        And the Political Triage (my term) comes down to DT or HRC -either actively or passively those are your choices.
        Take no solace in the notion you didnt vote against the one you assess as being worser (worse than worse for you internet blog grammarians).
        Delirium Tremors
        Hellish Rent a Candidate
        Maybe this bad choice election awakens maningful political advocacy for the midterm and next POTUS election?

      1. ambrit

        There is a great deal of low level warmongering on the MSMs and Internet going on.
        The Russians are not asleep at the wheel. If they wanted to do chemical attacks, they would do it right; wipe out entire cities. Instead, being rationalists, they will discredit the “attack” stories to the rest of the world. When the American Neos try something in Syria, Russia will not only have countermeasures ready, but the support of most of the world behind them.
        One probable scenario; H Clinton tries something, the Russians slap her down, H Clinton suffers a ‘medical emergency,’ Kaine becomes Prez with Paul Ryan as Veep, America enters a transition to a Theocracy, and finally, “Hell Comes to Frogtown.”

        1. Pat

          Not sure I agree with your prediction on Hillary but see the possibility. But I do have to ask, are you saying you believe that Ryan has such power he can compel Kaine to nominate him, that Kaine and he are peas in a pod and Kaine will buck convention, or that he is the only nomination that could get through both Houses of Congress?

          Because the method of succession is not the the next line moves up, but that the new President nominates someone for the office who is then confirmed by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress. And somehow I don’t see Ryan meeting either of those.

    1. cm

      I’m confused by the sources and exact dates for this article. Their primary source seems to be this article from 2014, yet they appear to allege the attacks are recent? Does anyone have information indicating a recent use of clorine?

      1. Vatch

        Notabanker’s article is dated August 2, 2016. Someone used chlorine after the Russian helicopter was shot down recently. The big question is who: Did the Syrian government do it to punish the rebels who shot down the helicopter, or did rebels do it to embarrass the Syrian government?

        1. cm

          Correct, the Telegraph is from 2016, yet the only source in the Telegraph I saw was the article from 2014.

          1. Vatch

            Go to , and enter a search for:

            chlorine syria helicopter

            From the search tools, select only articles from the past week. You should get a list of several articles about these events.

            1. cm

              Can you provide a link that actually names a verified source? The top article ‘s second paragraph states:

              The Syrian Civil Defence group said the attack — which has not been independently verified by NBC News — …

              Not to beat a dead horse with yellow uranium cake, but I’m looking for confirmed reporting, not rumor mongering. So far I mostly see articles referencing other articles.

                1. cm

                  Thanks, you’ve confirmed my point. The initial article notabanker posted (Telegraph, Aug 2016) directly blames the Syrian govt for the attack.

                  Your BBC article is quite clear it is unknown who is behind the attack.

    2. Antifa

      Shooting down Russian helicopters is out of the question, because you can never know if Russian troops are aboard or not. That’s a good way to start a war with Russia.

      Bombing Assad’s forces is equally stupid, because Russia backs him militarily and politically — they want to keep their port on the Mediterranean, and will never surrender Syria to the US, ISIS, or anybody else. Even if Assad is killed, Russia will support a clone of him who is friendly to Russian troops and ships in country. Going after Assad is also a good way to start a war with Russia.

      Ya know, Russia can declare a no-fly zone over Syria just as easily as we can. I doubt they approve of chlorine barrels, either. Methinks they will now make this very plain to Assad’s people.

      If it was Assad’s people who used chlorine . . .

  17. Katharine

    The humpback rescue activities aren’t necessarily all that mysterious. Orcas prey on humpback calves. Therefore anything that restricts their populations, including limiting their successful feeding on other species, should benefit the humpbacks.

    That’s not to assert the humpbacks have no personality or compassion, which is a point on which we haven’t much information, just a note that you don’t have to invoke extraordinary influences to account for the behavior. As one who likes to get on personal terms with most critters, I find it delightful, whatever its origins.

    1. DJG

      Humpback whales, altruism, and the emotional range of animals.

      We forget that the Romans called them animals because they have anima, a soul, something soul-like, however we may define soul. If we define intelligence as the ability to adapt constantly to new circumstances, then we have to admire bees, parrots, robins, dogs, whales, octopodes, and some others, no?

      Also, the Romans and the Greeks seemed to have fairly neutral ideas about animals in the sense that they didn’t consider certain animals uniquely evil or uniquely filthy. Aesop’s scorpion notwithstanding. (I’m wondering if the idea of evil animals is still another inheritance from the Semitic world, along with monotheism and the obsession with hair, which seeped into Christianity when Paul told women to shut up in church and wear hats.)

      So it has taken us four hundred years to trash Cartesian dualism and Descartes’s rudimentary ideas about animals, which is that animals are all machinelike instinct. We return to Lucretius. (A rickety translation that I grabbed, but the passage is famous.)

      But: the immortal Lucretius sez:

      Oft at some consecrated altar-side,
      Where fragrant incense burns, a calf lies slain,
      And from his breast breathes out the warm life-tide:
      But the lone mother, o’er the grassy land
      Far ranging, sees his cloven hoof-prints plain,
      And leaves with roving eyes no spot unscanned
      For her lost young, and fills with lowings wild
      The shady wood; then tireless turns again
      To the bare stall, sore stricken for her child.
      Naught can the dewy grass, or tender leaf,
      Or brimming river-bank, once fondly known,
      Avail to bannish that o’er-mastering grief;
      Nor by the sight of other calves, upgrown
      In the fair fields, is her sad heart beguiled:
      So deeply yearns she for her one, her own.

      – De Rerum Natura, II, 352-366

      Too bad so many species are on the verge of extinction. Among ornithologists, there is the story of one species that may have stopped reproducing but that is so long-lived we are seeing the same few remnant birds. And we think of that as a viable population.

      In short, we have to go through more cultural change to understand what we are seeing and what we have been so blind to.

      1. SpringTexan

        That is a beautiful passage, that I am not familiar with (or if I ever was, I’ve forgotten it).

        Spent a semeser reading De Rerum Natura in Latin 45 years ago, it’s a beautiful book, and so wise about religion.

        1. nycTerrierist

          + 1.

          How could anyone who has spent any time with animals doubt they, too, feel joy, affection, and pain?

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          Rattlesnakes are very shy and retiring creatures (NOT sidewinders!) and like Black Widows and Fiddler spiders “just want to be alone, darlink”

          1. MojaveWolf

            Thank you. I like rattlesnakes. And widows. And solpugids! Love solpugids!

            Our dogs cornered a Mojave Green against the house once, and twice we had sidewinders show up literally on our doorstep (as in, almost stepped on them when opened the door)(once an adult, once an adolescent, or somewhere on the non-adult scale, very cute!). Tho none of these were shy. The mojave green actually charged me after I got the dogs in and I was kinda nervous w/my improvised shovel handle w/coathanger on end. Finally I figured out I could not keep it on the stick long enough to carry it across the road and hearded it into a box. With it and both times w/the sidewinders I just caught them and carried them out into the desert to where they were at least half a mile away from any road or habitation, possibly more than that. Then put the box down and waited till I was sure they were okay and left.

            Another time I helped a friend clear out a wood pile in his back yard that had two huge western diamondbacks living in it. Again, just got them out of his yard so they wouldn’t be a threat to his dogs and left them to find a new place of residence further from humans or canines.

            We’ve actually let widows stay in the corner of the bathroom by the window as semi-pets/housemates before, until they get egg sacks. Then they gotta go, but again we get them out w/out hurting them.

            Solpugids are just plain awesome. Scary looking but not poisonous.

            And agree w/everyone else here–there is no doubting all sorts of animals have complex emotional lives just like we do, and that’s hardly limited to primates and whales, and hardly a new discovery. I’m always shocked when I see articles like this that seem to think it’s a shiny new discovery. Humans have known this since there have been humans, most likely. A bunch of dummies just willfully overlooked it for a while.

            1. pretzelattack

              i draw the line at my door. no venomous spiders allowed inside, very sorry try next door.

      1. Katharine

        Perfectly true, but I find my sympathies are almost always with the prey. Just yesterday I heard a rather protracted dying cry of a rabbit and cringed. Maybe the thing that caught it really needed it, though at that time of day it was more likely to have been someone’s dog or cat, but either way I hated to hear the pain and fright.

        1. JEHR

          I, too, cringed when I heard the frantic death throes of a goose being caught by a predator. I can still hear those cries.

        2. optimader

          Ultimately , we’re all in the foodchain literally or metaphorically. Empathy is good, as grounded with the larger perspective, cant just consider a subset. The hungry baby Orca is no fun either. Watching any sentient creature suffer/die is no fun.

      2. Cry Shop

        Baleen Whales (Grey, Humpback, etc.) – Concentration Camp Gas Chambers Of The Sea.

        One scoop kills thousands of prey. Killer whales, leopard seals, (large) toothed sharks, etc play an important role in preventing over predation of bottom of the chain animals. The secret being liked is to (a) be cute and (b) have ugly or mostly indiscernible prey. Domestic cats and mice for the first example. Again for the second, cat and their owners get away with genocide because cats do most of the mayhem out of sight,

        1. optimader

          Again for the second, cat and their owners get away with genocide because cats do most of the mayhem out of sight
          Bird’s eye view

  18. SpringTexan

    Why are you including the above Turkey links and not more about the huge suppression of human rights in Turkey, Amnesty International reports, and so forth? That bothers me. A lot.

    What is going on in Turkey now, mass firings, torture, and so forth, is appalling, dehumanizing, and DESTABILIZING not just to Turkey but to the world. There has been far too much silence about THAT. Erdogan’s actions are appalling, and the idea that tens of thousands of people were in on a “coup” and formed a “parallel state” is ridiculous.

    Yes, there could be questions about the coup. But whatever is true about it Erdogan’s representations of it and his violent response are unconscionable and are the most salient problem right now.

    1. grizziz

      Hmm, likely because Erdogan has shut down the media. Maybe someone over at Vice will go check it out for you.

    2. Plenue

      Erdogan is using the coup attempt as cover for the purging of elements he’s long desired to get rid of. Even so, compared to the 1980 coup the aftermath has been fairly restrained. I’d be dubious of the claims of groups like Amnesty International, which have really hurt their credibility in places like Syria. Though AI is still worlds better than HRW, which is essentially a propaganda outlet.

    3. Cry Shop

      Everyone worries about Russia invading a NATO country. Well, Turkey invaded a NATO country, shot down a NATO country’s planes, sank its boats (repeatedly), and constantly makes real threats to that nation. I guess we’re “lucky” Russia didn’t take up the offer to join NATO after the overthrow of the USSR.

  19. flora

    “‘brutal’ night for conservatives ” in yesterday’s Kansas primary elections.

    “Republicans squared off in 16 Senate primaries and moderates prevailed in 10 of those races.”

    Several Kansas House GOP conservatives lost to moderates.

    1st District US Rep Tim Huelskamp, a tea party favorite, was ousted by moderate physician Roger Marshall, MD.

    1. ChrisFromGeorgia

      IMO not worth celebrating. Likely all of the “moderates” are Chamber of Commerce supported candidates who will support Hillary in bombing the bejeezus out of large chunks of the ME, and pass the TPP.

      1. flora

        per the first link above:
        “The Kansas Chamber of Commerce spent more than $300,000 in support of conservative candidates, while the Kansas National Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union, spent more than $235,000 in support of moderates and Democrats, according to campaign finance filings.”

        So no, the moderates aren’t CoC supported.

    2. xyz

      Pro-Trump media is seeing the Huelskamp primary as a way of getting back at NeverTrumpers (Huelskamp was a big Ted Cruz fan), and more importantly as the warm-up act to the unseating of Paul Ryan by Nehlen next week. So I wouldn’t say it’s a clear conservative-v-moderate issue.

      1. flora

        Not about Trump. This is all local.
        Huelskamp – from agricultural state Kansas – got himself kicked off the House Ag committee in 2012 for being too right-wing obstructionist. Farmers and ranchers in western Kansas have been ticked off that Huelskamp didn’t listen to them, lost his committe seat, and they by extension lost their voice on the Ag. committee. First time in decades Kansas hasn’t had a seat on the Ag. committee.

        2012 story:

        Yesterday’s story:
        “The Great Bend obstetrician and hospital executive seized on Huelskamp’s removal from the House Agriculture Committee and opposition to the 2014 farm bill as emblematic of the congressman’s uncompromising conservatism harming constituents.
        …”One month before Tuesday’s primary, the Kansas Farm Bureau endorsed the challenger over the incumbent, a decision unprecedented in the KFB’s history. Marshall coupled the endorsement with that of the Kansas Livestock Association and other agriculture groups to depict himself as the candidate of farmers and ranchers.”

    3. F900fixr

      The nightmare of Sam Brownback’s “trickle down” economics plan may be ending. Eventually, Kansans start paying attention, and do the right thing when the religious and tea party types step over the line. Recall what happened when they wanted to stop teaching evolution, and start telling the kids that Adam and Eve lived with dinosaurs.

      Note that the “moderate” won in the Leawood/Overland Park District. Johnson County residents connected the dots between excellent public schools (and the funding required to keep them that way) and maintaining property values a long time ago.

      The crazy azz die hard conservatives from rural Kansas don’t give a crap about adequate school funding. They would rather keep the kids stupid, so they have nowhere to go except stay on the farms, or the meat packing plants.

  20. rich

    CVS Cuts Coverage of Dozens of Drugs in Exclusion Expansion
    Benefit manager to exclude some cancer, diabetes treatments

    Company cites ‘hyperinflationary’ increases on 10 drugs

    CVS Health Corp. will add 35 products to its lists of excluded drugs in 2017 and no longer cover some treatments for cancer and diabetes, in an aggressive move to favor lower-priced treatments and target what the company called “hyperinflation” of some other products.

    The drug benefit manager will remove coverage for Novartis AG’s leukemia treatment Tasigna, Medivation Inc.’s prostate cancer drug Xtandi, and Sanofi’s insulin Lantus, expanding the company’s strategy of excluding expensive products when alternatives are available. The total number of excluded drugs for 2017 will be 131, spokeswoman Carolyn Castel said Tuesday.

    It’s the first time that brand-name cancer drugs have been taken off CVS’s standard formulary, Castel said in an e-mail.

    The excluded drugs list also includes 10 that have had “hyperinflationary” price increases, the company said in a statement. For example, it will exclude coverage of Alcortin A gel, sold by closely held Novum Pharma LLC. CVS said that Alcortin’s price has increased by about 30-fold in the last three years.
    ‘Hyperinflation Strategy’

    “More and more small drug companies are basically putting a hyperinflation strategy in place, hoping no one will notice it,” said Troyen Brennan, CVS’s chief medical officer, in a telephone interview. “Our feeling was we needed to address those relatively specifically.”

    what happens when they run out of the low priced med’s?

    1. flora

      Hard to get past the hunch that the govt mandating captive markets (Medicare part D and ACA) without mandating price controls or regulations is responsible for much of this.

    2. Pat

      I can’t speak to anything else, but after managing to put it off longer than it should have, a generic or rather biosimilar version of Lantus, aka glargine, will be available in 2017. And as someone who has bought it off and on for a couple of years, I can tell you they raised the price over the last year in anticipation of that. Not as much as the idiots who decided that a if ten, twenty, fifty per cent increase is good more than a thousand percent is better, but it was still enough to be really noticeable.

      I can’t say for sure that it applies to everything on their list, but this is clearly a factor for glargine/lantus.

    3. clarky90

      My old, old friend’s wife had been bedridden for the last 14 years with nonspecific maladies. Her Doctor retired and the new Doctor took her off 12 of her 14 medicines. She then had a miracle recovery. The cocktail of drugs were making her sick. My friend is so relieved!

      Another late 70s friend was tormented for 7 years with an all over itchy/burning skin rash. He spent a lot on specialist dermatologist and special skin treatments. No joy. His doctor retired and the new doctor took him off statins. Seven years of torture were over. His rashes disappeared in days.

      I was taking only aspirin, but then I had a tear in my retina. It turns out that Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are associated with macular degeneration.

      So I am completely drug free. I believe in emergency medicine. Not so much in their approach to chronic disease. If you get sick, fast for a few days or a few weeks. We have been fasting since the beginning of our time.

  21. vidimi

    over 700 people have now been murdered in the philippines since duterte took over.

    i have suggested in the past that this man may do to the philippines what suharto did to indonesia. as murder becomes more and more acceptable, more people are going to get murdered. more people will die on trumped up charges, in revenge for another killing, or just because nobody will be able to do anything about it. the people who will get a taste of consequence-free murder will go on to kill hundreds. duterte himself has said that, by the time his presidency has ended, 100,000 will have been murdered. truly, a long, dark night has descended on the philippines.

    1. different clue

      Perhaps Duerte will get armed insurgencies going again. Perhaps China will quietly support them. One wonders if the Duerte Squads will remain careful to not kill anyone who voted for Duerte. ( Which I gather a large majority did).

      1. vidimi

        one of the victims in the article was a duterte voter. there will be more as the chickens come home to roost.

        i expect them to follow the indonesian model and create their own pancacila youth pronto.

  22. rich

    Goldman Sachs Fined $36 Million by Fed Over Leaked Documents

    Goldman Sachs Group Inc. agreed to pay $36.3 million over allegations that former employees obtained confidential documents from the Federal Reserve in a settlement that requires the bank to beef up its policies to prevent another lapse.

    The Fed is also pursuing a fine and a permanent banking ban against a former Goldman Sachs managing director, Joseph Jiampietro, over his unauthorized use and disclosure of Fed secrets, according to a statement Wednesday from the agency. The Fed said Goldman Sachs’ employees used confidential supervisory information in presentations to clients to try to solicit business.

    Starting in 2012, Jiampietro — an investment banker who formerly worked at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. — received bank regulators’ unauthorized supervisory information and used it for his work at Goldman Sachs, according to the Fed.

    So if any of you wise guys want to try this again you at least have a cost input?

  23. allan

    Sad news from the sharing economy:

    Airbnb Guests Stole $28K Worth of Items From 2 Williamsburg Homes [DNA Info]

    … In one of the thefts, the 25-year-old victim returned home to her apartment on Ten Eyck Street to find that her $800 Canada Goose parka, MacBook laptop, Samsung TV and $3,000 dollar designer Celine handbag were missing among other valuables, police said. …

    On the same day a 31-year-old woman returned to her loft apartment at Kent Avenue and found her belongings flung around the apartment after she had rented it to a guest using Airbnb, she told police.

    Her phone, kindle, $10,000 camera, two Chanel bags each worth $4,500, Chanel perfume, jewelry and other items worth $22,550 in total, police said.

    In the same Kent Avenue loft building in February, an Airbnb guest threw a massive party in a rented apartment and stole $5,000 worth of electronics and other valuables.

    According to New York City laws, it’s illegal to rent out full apartments for less than 30 days in most buildings.

    Sure, but that’s the dead hand of socialist regulation.

    1. F900fixr

      I guess they needed the extra bucks to pay for those handbags.

      God forbid they report that they stole knockoff Dooney and Bourke handbags.

      Are people in New York this stupid? Why would you leave a $10k camera in the house?

      I thought the whole theory behind owning/renting was to have a secure place for your stuff. Seems to me that leasing the place out to total strangers on a day rate kinda defeats the purpose.

      1. F900fixr

        Read the story again. I’m throwing the “BS” flag….

        No 30 year old woman I know would EVER leave her phone at the house.

      2. Pat

        Thank you. I was having a moment there trying to figure out if they could waste money on Chanel handbags why they were renting out their space on AirBnB. I didn’t go to the obvious, which is they are living above their means.
        Oh, and I know part of Ten Eyck Street, but obviously this was a much better area of it then I was on because I cannot imagine anything on it appealing to someone who has a thing for designer handbags (Canada Goose though status is something that a fair number of non status people have because they are functional.)

  24. JEHR

    TBTF: Break up the banks into their component parts: i.e., insurance in one part, commercial banking in another and investment in a third. Pick an ethical CEO for each part. Repeat for each big bank.
    Then start “trust busting” every monopoly including Google, Amazon, Microsoft, etc . Create competitive parts within each organization; retire present CEOs and CFOs and pick ethical replacements.

    A Design for the Future!

    Maybe climate change will take care of this problem for us.

  25. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The FBI…200 hours of audio recording illegally.

    We’re fortunate that they did everything legal during the Hillary interview.

  26. Jim Haygood

    A figure in a Hillary mask and orange jumpsuit is paraded in a cage in Arcadia, Iowa, as bystanders throw water balloons at ‘her’:

    Interesting that the actor was a man. Guess they did it for authenticity.

    1. low integer

      Another tinyurl link. I will assume once again that you didn’t see my request to refain from posting abbreviated links. They are not secure. FFS Jim.
      More of a talker than a listener I guess.

  27. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Byron Hamburgers, from the DailyMail article:

    Byron had earlier pleaded with protesters to respect the safety of customers and staff after activists said they released thousands of insects – including locusts and cockroaches – into the burger chain’s Central St Giles and Holborn branches on Friday evening.

    Doesn’t that hurt more than just one Byron branch? What happens to other eateries in the immediate area?

  28. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    From the UK most corrupt link:

    “It’s not the bureaucracy, it’s not the police, it’s not the politics but what is corrupt is the financial capital. 90 per cent of the owners of capital in London have their headquarters offshore.

    I was going to say, Is the UK really that exceptional? Surely, there are worse countries.

    But after reading that above, maybe the claim has some validity.

  29. Vatch

    Here’s an article in which it is claimed that in a meeting, Donald Trump thrice asked why he couldn’t use tactical nuclear weapons.

    Many possibilities; here are some:

    1. The article is false, and Trump did no such thing.
    2. Trump asked this, but he already knew that it was bad to use the weapons. He wanted to learn a good answer in case people asked him about this on the campaign trail.
    3. Trump really didn’t understand why it would be a very bad idea to use tactical nuclear weapons.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s probably healthier to talk it out loud with some people in a room when there is no need to immediately implement anything that is being discussed, than to just harbor the thought to himself.

      On the other hand, you have to watch the quiet ones.

    2. Lambert Strether

      I read this as today’s emission from the Democrat Oppo and Outrage Machine (D.O.O.M.), which has its knobs set to 11. Already.

      I saw it go by on the twitter, and some reporters I respect (after confessing how alone they felt in this) said “Wait a minute. This is just hearsay.”

      One of the interesting things about how the D.O.O.M. loop operates is that it seems to assume that our memory works only for 24 hours.

      For example (days made up for verisimilitude):

      Monday: Trump is a Russian agent of influence

      Tuesday: Trump is a rapist (assumes KGB would pick an agent who can be blackmailed by others)

      Wednesday: Trump wants nuclear war (assumes that’s fine with Putin, or assumes that Putin thinks Trump is the lesser threat of nuclear war).

      * * *

      I think they’re just throwing mud hoping it will stick. And why not, since Brock has unlimited resources? (Anyone catch that Clinton had three teams working independently on messaging? Even Ford’s CIA only had Team A and Team B!)

      The mud-throwing is cute, in its way, as long as you don’t pay attention to it.

      1. polecat

        (D.O.O.M.) not only set the knobs to 11…they’ve taken a sledge hammer to those very knobs, smashing them to bits, to keep the lies going non-stop 24/7….thru November, and beyond.

        If they touch those battered trump Inc. manufactured knob stems, however, they may be in for a nasty shock!

      2. DarkMatters

        Kinda like H’s lies: she tells so many, you lose track of what’s actually true, so you start wondering whether the latest con might be true. Same game plan as the demonization of Putin: splatter the media with more rumors and innuendo than is possible to sensibly analyze, then make the claim that where there’s smoke, there’s fire (esp. Belligcat). As with Assad: how many people realize that responsibility for the Goutha gas attacks of 8/13 was eventually laid conclusively at the doorstep of the rebels? Lost in the fog.

    3. Praedor

      Not coming from any sort of background wherein he might KNOW why it is a bad idea, perhaps he really wanted to know the thinking. A lot of people will knee-jerk say, “Nuk’em ’til they glow!” which has a visceral benefit and image in certain circumstances, but then again, MOST people do not actually know jack about nukes and what makes it a truly bad idea to use them.

      If Trump asked this question then it is NOT automatically an indication that he is a loon or an idiot. It could well be he is simply ignorant and needed actual information. I don’t find it acceptable for someone to automatically say, “No using nukes!” just because that is their knee-jerk reaction. I’d really prefer they KNOW why using a nuke is a bad idea rather than just a general feeling drilled in by years of zeitgeist. A President should know why it is a bad idea to use nukes in this or that situation, but also know when it MIGHT actually be a good idea (or the least bad idea). Not saying there are good times to use one but I also would never say they can NEVER EVER be used for any good reason.

        1. alex morfesis

          the do…nald as “el loco diablo americano” would lead to some interesting negotiations and treaties…maybe I will vote for
          the do….

          wait a minute…what am I thinking ??

          mobster or nazigyrl…

          mobster or nazigyrl…

          let us think about the supreme court…when it was too liberal, crime ran rampant in many inner cities with the police creating a situation where donut jokes came into play…then everyone got cell phones and criminals no longer had a running start when committing crimes out in public…and people could and can call in descriptions of the party in question, to help confirm the immediate scene of the crime…

          it took 100 years to deal with jim crow and fix it…it only took about 15 years to fix too much liberal…

          based on that, if the donald gets too close to close…sadly…

          nah…what am I thinking…

          2018 and begin to impeach them all…

          as mister khan forgot to point out in that little book in his pocket…

          the constitution was designed to allow the population to remove the entire power base over the course of four years…

      1. Antifa

        Some new Neanderthal cave paintings in El Castillo, France were recently uncovered, and seem to offer explicit advice on getting along with other clans.

        The message is pictorial, but illustrates clearly that if you sharpen a big stick, and throw it at someone, the odds are very good that they will pick it up and throw it right back at you. If you and your clan throw a bunch of pointy sticks, they mostly get thrown back at you.

        The series of pictographs then ends with what appears to be a giant mushroom, or a cloud, perhaps. This raises the prospect that the Neanderthals were not early humans, but the deformed remnants of a civilization that experienced nuclear disaster, yet still tried to get the message through to their descendants about the use of nukes.

        A full panorama of the new art may be found at LaMerde Magazine. Can’t seem to find the link right now. Sorry.

    4. optimader

      Here’s an article in which it is claimed that in a meeting, Donald Trump thrice asked why he couldn’t use tactical nuclear weapons.

      What would be your first question in a debate if your ultimate position is elimination of nuclear weapons? If it were me, that question would be a pretty good place to start a lively discussion.

      So, why couldn’t he (as POTUS)? If we can get the discussion from an outraged shouldn’t to a morally rational couldn’t, why do they exist?

      1. homeroid

        When spent fuel pools are the biggest threat to life of any kind on this planet. Whats a few bombs among-st friends.

  30. Elizabeth Burton

    I’ll just say this about voting for Jill Stein because “she shares my ideals”: voting for someone who hasn’t a snowball’s chance of getting any of those “ideals” achieved in concrete form even should by some twist of fate she is elected is a wasted vote. It doesn’t matter what her position is on GMOs or vaccines or anything else. What matters is she hasn’t a single qualification for the Oval Office and no support base whatever in Congress. Nothing will be achieved except a lot of voters casting symbolic votes to elect a symbolic candidate.

    1. Vatch

      I disagree. At least three things will be accomplished:

      1. If she gets 5% of the vote, her campaign and/or her party become eligible for federal grant money.
      2. Good down ticket candidates will get a boost from people supporting her. Some of those down ticket candidates really are qualified for the lower offices for which they are running.
      3. If she gets a significant number of votes, some people in the establishment might start to realize that, hey, people really are angry and hurting.

      1. optimader

        1. Pat Buchanan
        2. And they still wont be elected
        3. The ones that don’t know now will never get it. And if they do know now, they don’t give a fly’in you know what.

        1. Vatch

          1. Pat Buchanan

          Huh? I don’t understand. In the 2000 presidential election, Buchanan finished fourth with 448,895 votes, and only got 0.4% of the popular vote. This year is unusual, with an extremely high level of voter dissatisfaction with the D and R candidates. Both the Green and the Libertarian candidates will get a lot more votes than Buchanan got.

    2. Anne

      Elizabeth, you have to know that the reason people are looking to third-party candidates who realistically have no chance of being elected is about much more than just feeling we deserve to have a candidate who better represents who and what we are. If it was just about voting for someone who shares our ideals, heck, we could vote for most of the people who comment here, couldn’t we?

      People are waking up to the realization that holding their noses and voting for the least bad/evil major-party candidate isn’t accomplishing anything, except guaranteeing that the metric by which we judge candidates will continue to go lower and lower; at some point, it may come down to which candidate is more likely to keep breathing for 4 years – and voting for his or her opponent.

      I, frankly, am getting tired of my displeasure with the current “choices” being cast as some form of childish indulgence that is getting in the way. I’m tired of being infantilized and treated like a threenager because I’m not sure I want to be herded to the voting booth. I’m a smart, educated, informed, long-time voter who doesn’t have stars in her eyes and doesn’t fall in love with politicians. Do I feel things? Of course. But I’m a rational person who can analyze an issue and a record and draw reasonable conclusions that inform my vote.

      Millions of people don’t, apparently, give a hoot about voting, so they don’t. Some never have. There’s a part of me that doesn’t get that, but there’s also a part of me that, considering what’s going on in the political arena and in government, absolutely gets it. I think sometimes about the enormous amount of time and mental energy I expend on this process, and wonder how much happier I would be if I was operating in indifference. I’ll probably never know, because I’m just not built that way.

      Anyway, sorry to ramble on, but the bottom line for me is, you vote how you want to vote, and stop judging others for how they do or don’t vote. Shaming and infantilizing people because they don’t agree that your way is the only way. Of course, there are consequences to how we vote – we know that. Stop acting like we don’t; it’s insulting. Maybe it’s meant to be – and why not? It’s been working for more than a few election cycles.

      But having seen that things have only gotten worse via that method, a lot of us aren’t convinced it makes sense to continue to function that way. Neither major party cares that anyone is holding their nose and voting reluctantly, nor do they care that any of the votes they get are votes against the other guy, not votes for them. So when one party prevails, it claims “mandate;” yes, “winning has consequences,” and one of those has been that votes we’ve been shamed and guilted into casting are then used as permission to justify whatever follows: “this is what the people want.”

      No, it isn’t. I’m not voting for a crazy man, and I do not want to vote for the candidate who wouldn’t know the truth if it jumped up and bit her on the nose, and thinks her ability to raise oceans of money from people willing to essentially suck it out of people like us makes her “qualified” to hold the most powerful office in the land. I do not want to think about my vote for “her” being part and parcel of every turncoat, authoritarian, verging-on-right-wing, neo-liberal policy and action I know in my bones she will be undertaking.

      1. Oregoncharles

        “Of course, there are consequences to how we vote”
        Open to question, given the Page and Sigel study, which found that voting matters very little, at least on the national scale. Personally, I think that’s precisely because people let themselves be bullied by threats like Elizabeth’s, essentially hog-tying themselves. I haven’t done that for a long time, but I can’t claim any great success yet, so maybe I’m wrong and our democracy really is just a sham.

        Overall, I endorse your bad attitude whole-heartedly.

      2. financial matters

        Good points. We need change and it may be time to go green.

        In ‘Rethinking Capitalism’ the last two chapters focus on climate change. One of the authors is Dimitri Zenghelis who states that “”So an almost complete structural transformation of energy, transport, land use and industrial systems will be required to tackle the problem.””

    3. Lambert Strether

      “Snowball’s chance in hell” is richly ironic given the Democrat position on fracking — they’re for it, though Sanders is against it — given how badly the fracking infrastructure bleeds methane.

      I don’t understand why, for so many Democrats, browbeating people (“I’ll just say this”) is the vote-getting tactic of choice. They keep doing it, though. So maybe it works!

      To be clear, I don’t think we have a qualified presidential candidate in the race. All have crippling deficiencies.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        And yet, all jokes and clever phrase-turnings aside, one of the “cripples” will be “elected.”

        Elizabeth is right. A vote for Jill Stein is a symbolic vote for a symbolic candidate.

        Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
        That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
        And then is heard no more. It is a tale
        Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
        Signifying nothing.

        Macbeth Act 5, scene 5, 19–28

        Because “ideals.” And federal matching funds.

        1. low integer

          Katniss I just want to reinforce how impressed I am that you slapped Khan down from his perceived flight to freedom (he was so confident in his little game of emitting pure fuckery from his soul, and you slapped him the fuck down) . You are a star.

        2. MojaveWolf

          @Katniss: Agreeing with Lambert that none of the candidates are what I would ideally want, and all have some element I find toxic, and agreeing w/you that one of these people is going to be elected, and further agreeing w/what I think is your position that Trump would be preferable to Hillary, can I ask *why* you are so hostile to Stein voters (assuming I am correctly interpreting your post)?

          Look at it from the point of view of this probable Stein voter:

          (1) Technically, if enough people vote for her, she could win (not “will” win, coz I’m 100% sure Bernie got the most votes in California, and yet it didn’t get counted that way) and as long as she’s on enough state ballots to get past the magic delegate number, weird things can happen.

          I am not saying I think she is going to win (I’m reluctantly coming to the same conclusion as Yves, Lambert, and my SO–the greens as at presently formed are not likely to get together a meaningful run; if only Nina Turner had jumped on board but that didn’t work out so here we are) but it’s not impossible.

          (2) If one of the four candidates whose name I know wins, I’d rather it be it Stein. I disagree w/her on some things I think are important but she’s the only one who might at least TRY to do something worthwhile w/regard to climate change, and maybe she’ll accomplish something, who knows? At the very least she can limit fracking/quit promoting it/get good ideas out there/etc. She genuinely opposes the TPP, and unlike w/Trump I don’t worry about her changing her mind. She genuinely opposes war profiteering and playing chicken w/Russia, and while I’m not really worried about Trump here either I’m more certain her position won’t change. These are my three biggest policy issues and two of them are areas where the President has an outsized influence, all of them the President has some influence regardless of organizational structure. For short term domestic economic improvement in my own life, I don’t think it will matter, and for the country as a whole, ehhhhh. I haven’t examined Stein’s economic platform enough to say but even if she gets nothing good that she wants through, I’m not sure this will be worse than what Trump will do (I like him on TPP and foreign policy, very much worry about him elsewhere). If elected she would say what she thinks about the issues, and not spew deliberate disinformation to manipulate people. And I think Stein is a decent human being; I don’t think this about Trump or HRC. .

          (I’m not saying you can’t make arguments for “why vote Trump instead of Stein”, I just don’t want to; but have no issues w/anyone choosing to protest in that manner; if my state got close tween Trump & Clinton w/Stein in single digits I might have to rethink my strategy but if that happens I’m pretty sure he’s going to win no matter what I do)

          (3) if you think both the likely-to-win candidates are likely to be godawful and fail to meet your minimum standard for “adequate 4 or 8 year term”, why NOT vote for the positive symbol?

          OTOH, your Shakespeare quote is pretty much perfect for this moment in time, and quite possibly for the grand saga of life on earth in the anthropocene era. Hopefully we’ll come to better than that, but odds not looking favorable at present.

          (anyone heard of any possible Tulsi/Nina run in four years, if things aren’t screwed up beyond redemption by then?)

    4. Oregoncharles

      Considering the results we’ve gotten from all those highly-qualified politicians, maybe it’s time to try someone UN-qualified.

    5. Kurt Sperry

      Yeah Elizabeth, who are you planning on voting for? Hadn’t thought someone might ask that question and you might have to defend it did you? Judas goating people into the veal pens to get what they got coming, what a sweet plan you got there. I hope you never need to rely on your wits.

    6. subgenius

      Trump has a similar issue with lack of support, so why not vote him in and simultaneously destroy both the major parties?

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        It’s comical that the MSM is floating the idea that Giuliani and Gingrich, two failed republican candidates, will hold an “intervention” with The Donald to straighten him out. The MSM is just starting to realize that the average voter doesn’t give a good goddam what they (the MSM, that is) judge is the “presidential standard” that Trump is supposedly not meeting. This is the exact same thing that went on from day 1 of the republican primaries, over and over and over again. Who won the republican nomination (I’ve almost forgotten)?

    7. Raj

      I couldn’t disagree more. You should recognize that you vote FOR the candidate, which means you support and enable that candidate’s policies when in office. So, if you vote for Hillary Clinton, you have blood on your hands when she intervenes and ravishes her next Libya…make sure to lick your fingers clean.

    8. MojaveWolf

      @Elizabeth Burton: Do all the HRC people trying to goad leftists into voting for the lesser evil STILL not realize that we don’t all consider HRC the lesser among evils? TPP. Trying to restart the cold war and kick it into a warming overdrive. A rigged primary. Etc etc.

      Or, if I misinterpreted and you are a Trump supporter, okay, I’ve already tipped my personal hand here, but there are plenty of people who would be put off by things like his claiming global warming is a hoax, defending his sons’ being trophy hunters, and his, ummm, not-so-charming public relations manner (which, I’ll grant, is still less offensive to me personally than the highly scripted phoniness of most mainstream DNC/GOP candidates, but not everyone may feel that way and it’s hard to blame them in a whole number of instances).

    1. alex morfesis

      my kinda purtee cat…tomcat…big, ferocious and able to snarl back at a mastador…miss my six foot tall “sassy” the mastador…

  31. Jim Haygood

    America’s poodle, comrades — still “punching above its weight” in the hinterlands of former empire:

    British fighter jets have struck an ISIS training complex in one of toppled Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s former palaces in Mosul, the UK’s Ministry of Defense said Wednesday.

    Two Royal Air Force Typhoons carried out the strikes Monday on one of the terror group’s strongholds in Mosul as part of a targeted coalition attack, the ministry said in a statement.

    During a visit to RAF Akrotiri, a British air base on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus from which British jets fly daily missions against ISIS, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon announced that additional UK troops would deploy to Iraq for the fight against the terror group later this month.

    More troops! Perhaps the Right Rev Tony Blair will give them a sendoff to the war front he opened.

    1. low integer

      I look forward to getting some new recipes!
      Hillary is so qualified and ambitious that she doesn’t even need ideas!
      Any sort of ethical framework is superfluous to the fulfillment of the desires of most important idiot in the world!
      She is good for a laugh, but it is far overdue for her and Bill to retire to a life of torturing each other with their warm companionship, rather than the innocent public.
      Hillary: you suck! And so does Bill.
      If anyone would like to visualize just how much the Clintons suck, just think of Monica.

  32. Dolchstoss

    Elizabeth Burton, in her frantic quest to repress any alternative to the state’s forced choice, has a new enemy now that Sanders has been forced to submit. She says you can’t vote for the Greens.

    When Democrat hacks flooded into Occupy pushing lawn signs and bumper stickers, I and others told them that if you can’t meet the minimal standards of the civilized world, we’re going to let you lose. They sat there with their tongues hanging out.

    Notwithstanding the oafish incomprehension of Dem hacks, this is not hard. Do you meet the minimal standards of the civilized world? Specifically, the International Bill of Human Rights. The UN Charter. The Rome Statute.

    If you don’t know how to accede and execute it all you’re not qualified to run for dogcatcher. Get bent. Go lose.

    With Ajamu Baraka on the ticket, the Greens meet that test. The Dems do not.

    You had your chance. We’re going to let you lose.

  33. Oregoncharles

    “France’s Hollande says Trump election would be dangerous”
    Hilarious. This is an OPEN, explicit attempt by a foreign leader to intervene in the US election, and not the first – but Dems are perfectly happy with it. OTOH, Russian hackers maybe expose a huge DNC scandal, a favor to us all, and Dem hacks panic over “Russian interference with the election.”

    The hypocrisy is just too rich.

    1. Pavel

      Well, how about when Obama went to the UK and explicitly campaigned against Brexit?

      As you say, the hypocrisy is just too rich. And that is without mentioning all the CIA-backed coups around the world against democratically-elected leaders, for god’s sake.

  34. Oregoncharles

    “Lessons From Vermont ”
    Oregon has a 3rd major party (no scare quotes on “major;” it’s a legal category here), the Independent Party. That’s an extremely clever choice of name, but it has a disadvantage: very low voter loyalty, because many of their members don’t know they’re signed up with any political party. In order not to be, you have to mark “Unaffiliated” on your registration, or not mark anything. Oregon has, at last count, 9 ballot-qualified parties. We also have a Progressive Party, originally the Nader party, but it’s very small and restricted to this state.

    One point to draw: elections depend on state law, all of it idiosyncratic. For instance, Oregon also has mail-in voting, with the advantage of paper ballots marked by the voter, and a new Motor Voter law, which will greatly increase registrations.

    Another: it helps to have a very clever name, and essentially no platform – the Independents nominate almost anyone, another reason they have little voter loyalty. Their only issue is election reform – and we don’t hear a whole lot about that from them. They are helping break down the duopoly in this state, though.

  35. docG

    Rain bombs. I love it. Didn’t Al Gore predict this? “The sky is falling the sky is falling!”

  36. Oregoncharles

    “There Are No Democratic or Green Saviors: Get in the Streets”

    I have an issue with this, and not the one you expect. I think most “street” action is deliberately ineffectual. Our masters have learned how to ignore polite, legal or orchestrated illegal, demonstrations.

    A PBS film, years ago, about the 60s (not the one they show now) was deeply impressive: those demonstrations were massive and not all that non-violent. You see people pulling others away from the police, or going head-to-head with them. There were deaths and a lot of injuries, and there were bombs – not that I’m recommending that, but they created a very strong impression that society was flying off the rails; which it was. And they won – the war ended and so did the draft, mainly because society and the military were flying off the rails.

    There are other ways to do that: general strikes, boycotts, mass sit-downs in crucial streets, not parks. All take huge numbers of people, and ALL will become bloody if they threaten to succeed. That’s what the militarized police are for. The PTB have learned the lesson of the 60s, even if we haven’t.

    Ultimately, this is the reason I prefer political approaches: they’re our alternative to violence. But they’re also a distraction and a deflection, and hitting the balance isn’t easy. I think Occupy’s refusal to participate in the election did them in, that and choosing a tactic they didn’t understand. But a purely political approach can be blocked by cheating; the only response to that is in the streets – and as I said, it has to pose a serious threat to stability.

    1. pretzelattack

      the elites have been destabilizing society for some time, why i don’t know. more political power and more money don’t really help if the society collapses.

      1. hunkerdown

        pretzelattack, two endgame theories: insurance, by way of Steven Randy Waldman.

        Or, They don’t need parliamentary power or money. Those are just means to effectively deny the resources of life to others who don’t support Their order. With no parliament to tell Them otherwise, the status quo power relations of today are a fair-to-good predictor of the status quo power relations tomorrow. The odds are that They have more juiced-up ex-cops who aren’t afraid of disabling humans by any means necessary than we do.

        1. pretzelattack

          re insurance, good article; i still think it’s a short term gain long term loss for the superrich, the cost, availability and need for insurance increases as the poor become more desperate, and i don’t see their situation as stable in an sense–even if they get the clothes/food they need now, their situation is increasingly precarious if only due to climate change. the rich are steering toward the iceberg and bidding up the price for lifeboat seats at the same time.

          once it gets to the rich depending on private armies, it gets even dicier. i think a lot of it depends on how well we care for the environment, which should lead me to get an underground bunker with a lifetime supply of some synthetic superfood and plenty of antibiotics.

    2. Lambert Strether

      I agree. “The streets” has somehow achieved near mythological proportions on… Well, where exactly? Quoting Douglass to the effect that “power concedes nothing without a demand” is vacuous, since Douglass specifies neither the demand nor the concession, and it’s for us in our own time to make that determination.

      Gene Sharp categorizes 198 methods of non-violent protest and persuasion (though I take issue with his taxonomy), and marches (which I take “the streets” to mean) is just one of them. I always take it as a good sign when movements get creative with their tactics, and I don’t think it’s a good tactic to reinforce marches (which demonstrably failed to prevent the Iraq war, and for which the police have devised containment tactics, like kettling).

  37. Plenue

    “U.S. Air Force declares first squadron of F-35 jets combat-ready”

    Well, as long as you don’t expect them to fire their guns. That feature will be added next Tuesday, I’m sure.

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