Links 9/16/17

Rare white giraffes spotted by Kenyan conservation group inhabitat (furzy)

This Monkey Took a Selfie, and His Ensuing Lawsuit Could Break New Ground for Animal Rights (Video) Alternet. In case you missed it…headline a bit misleading, however.

Dog yoga classes in London aimed to help you bond with your pet Business Insider

90 Companies Helped Cause the Climate Crisis—They Should Pay for It by Sarah van Gelder YES! Magazine Yes! (furzy)

China?

China’s CNOOC cancels Aurora LNG project in B.C. Globe and Mail (Sid S)

North Korea

Cut through the propaganda about North Korea Fabius Maximus

Moon says dialogue with North ‘impossible’ Korea Times (micael)

North Korea says seeking military ‘equilibrium’ with U.S. Reuters. Resilc: “Based on history, I don’t think this is obscene. What is obscene is that they can pull this off at a fraction of what we piss away each year.”

The Rohingya Psyops: Waging Covert War on Myanmar Gearoid O’Colamin. Margarita: “I have followed this Irish writer for some time now; he’s always well informed. Here is a different take on the crisis in Myanmar (and really, this makes a lot more sense; having been to M., the descriptions of Buddhists killing willy-nilly just do not compute).” FWIW, Lambert is not completely persuaded.

India, climate change and nuclear power: the denials, delusions and deceptions of Modi Ecologist (micael)

Juncker Talks The Talk: Who Will Walk The Walk? Social Europe (micael)

Germany won’t lead the free world. It barely looks beyond its own borders Guardian. Resilc: “They have a nice life for their citizens, unlike USA USA, who could care less about us worker bee rubes.”

Iceland: UK should have been tougher on bankers after financial crisis Sky News. Richard Smith: “If the bankers don’t get you, the pedophiles will.” See Iceland’s Government Collapses, Uncertainty Lies Ahead Grapevine (sd)

Brexit

Brexit’s Irish Question New York Review of Books (resilc)

Mystery of sonic weapon attacks at US embassy in Cuba deepens Guardian

New Cold War

Russia considering response to FBI probe into RT and Sputnik The Duran (micael)

Senators propose 9/11-style commission on Russian interference The Hill (UserFriendly). Given how well that commission performed, that’s not a threat to anyone.

Facebook Has Told Mueller More About Russian Ad Spending, Source Says Bloomberg

US Seeks to Monopolize Cyberwarfare Near Eastern Outlook (micael)

Syraqistan

Europe’s Likely Response to Trump’s Move Against Iran Nuclear Deal LobeLog (resilc)

Israeli Party Approves Annexation Plan to Coerce Palestinian Departure Haaretz (Sid S)

9/11 and the Unsolvable Afghan Drama Astute News. Resilc: “USA USA having a very messy and expensive fall from grace.”

Iraqi Kurdish parliament backs independence referendum Al Jazeera (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

How I Believe Facebook Was Censoring My Political Speech American Conservative (resilc, Kevin W)

Imperial Collapse Watch

The CIA Director Just Bullied Harvard Into Throwing Chelsea Manning to the Curb Nation (micael)

People like Chelsea Manning have always been unwelcome at places like Harvard. New Republic. A confident elite wouldn’t behave this way.

Chelsea Manning hung up phone on Harvard dean who delivered fellowship snub Guardian (Oregoncharles)

US foreign policy as bellicose as ever Le Monde Diplomatique (Darthbobber)

Trump Transition

Senator says he nearly has the votes for ObamaCare repeal The Hill (UserFriendly)

Biden censures Trump’s leadership PressTV (furzy)

All in All It’s Just a … Metaphorical Wall Charles Pierce, Esquire (furzy)

Why Trump Sees Moral Clarity in London and Complexity in Charlottesville Atlantic (resilc)

Republicans left fuming after Sen. Al Franken blocks one of Trump’s federal court judge picks Washington Times (furzy)

Judge blocks Justice Department move against sanctuary cities Politico

British PM rebukes Trump over terror tweets PressTV (furzy)

The OODA loop of Trump’s Insurgency has been Smashed Global Guerillas

Bernie Sanders Sets the Bar for Democrats Ahead of 2020 US News (martha r)

The Health Care Debate We’re Not Having Washington Monthly (micael)

Equifax

U.S. Senator Warren introduces Equifax bill, launches industry probe Reuters (resilc)

The Equifax Hacking Scandal Is a Reminder That Credit-Reporting Agencies Are Not Our Friends In These Times

Two Top Equifax Executives to Retire Wall Street Journal. With any stock options and deferred comp intact…

Equifax Sacks 2 Executives, Turns Devious to Stop You from Demanding a Credit Freeze Wolf Richter

Scammers keep trying to sell fake Equifax facts ars technica

Houston residents, officials stew over Harvey storm-trash removal Reuters (resilc)

Trump’s FCC Will Let Big Telecom Destroy Small Houston ISPs As It Rebuilds After Harvey Motherboard (resilc)

Kansas police chief quits, saying city government urged him to write tickets to “make money” Daily Kos (furzy)

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Heated protests follow Stockley acquittal St. Louis Dispatch

Growing warnings of a stock market bubble WSWS (micael)

What is the federal business-level tax on capital in the United States? Center for Equitable Growth

How Apple and co became some of America’s largest debt collectors Financial Times. In passing, flogs bogus corporate propaganda that profits booked outside the US means cash is outside the US. Apple’s cash horde is held in US banks and managed as an internal hedge fund out of Nevada.

Why is Amazon deleting negative reviews of Hillary Clinton’s new book? WSWS (micael)

Amazon Is Hungry and It’s Coming for Your Cable Channels NBC (resilc)

Class Warfare

Capitalism and Poverty Matt Bruenig, Jacobin (micael)

America’s highest-earning state probably isn’t the one you would expect Washington Post

CFPB Deal Could Mean Relief From Wall Street’s Worst Student Loans Bloomberg

Most families are nearly back to 2007 income levels, but inequality continues to grow in 2016 Economic Policy Institute

Alienation Is Killing Americans and Japanese Nautilus

Class Clowns Jacobin

Antidote du jour. Howard W: “Polar bear I saw in Lincoln Park.”

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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114 comments

  1. WheresOurTeddy

    Re: Manning not being allowed to speak at Big Club U –

    There is a big basket to choose from, but how we treat veterans in this country has to be one of the top 3 most embarrassing things about it. Pompeo is authoritarian slime.

    1. Oregoncharles

      I recommended the Guardian article because it’s pretty funny, at Harvard’s expense. It’s from Manning’s point of view, as well as good for the chuckles. I’d score it Manning 1, Harvard 0.

  2. Foppe

    Wrt the Rakhine: it puzzles me to no end that this is being highlighted and given a decent amount of British MSM* coverage, so to me, MoA’s article from a few days ago (linked here or in a WC) made quite a bit of sense, even if it was probably over-simplified, whereas this article shows an over-determined genocide (but which is hard to follow and corroborate because all the actors are unfamiliar and coverage is otherwise close to non-existent). I’m not sold on his analysis, but it certainly suggests looking closer at what’s going on is important, as it sounds more and more like Afghanistan during the early 1980s.

    * Silent about so many other things, and more than likely to be complicit not just in the creation of this problem via its creation and subsequent partition of the subcontinental state(s) (which was every bit as problematic as the creation of the ME via the Sykes-Picot agreement).

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Yes, the Rakhine situation is complex, and as usual everyone is interpreting it in the light of their own beliefs/prejudices.

      I’ve little doubt the origins of the problems go back a long way. the article linked to in the links above (which I would be dubious about) ignores the long history in Burma/Myanmar of a hyper nationalistic buddhist politics which extends back at least to the Japanese occupation (and Aung San Suu Kyi’s father). But there also seems little doubt that the Rakhine’s have been used by outside forces as a deliberate destabilising factor. As so often, Saudi money has been stoking up problems.

      For what its worth, I think what we are seeing is an unstable situation whereby two very unlovely political movements – wahhabism and a domestic extreme Buddhist nationalism, are clashing with innocent people caught in the middle. I suspect that the former has over played its hand and the latter sees they opportunity to, as they would see it, sort out a long standing sore. A ‘final solution’ if you like. A little like with the Armenians in Turkey (its often forgotten that Armenian nationalists started the killing of civilians, but discovered the Turks were far more ruthless than they’d anticipated and their fellow Christians far less keen to intervene than they’d hoped).

      I think what often happens in these situations is that while its extremists who start the trouble, a silent majority decide to stand back if they think their side are winning. I’ve no idea whether Aung San Suu Kyi is happy about what is going on, or has simply decided ‘they are a problem, better to just let the military sort it out and we can apologise later’. The Myanmar government most probably has judged that the international media will move on eventually, better to just fix the problem now by driving the Rakhine out.

      I’m dubious about conspiracy theories in situations like this. I suspect that any involvement by the West or the Chinese or anyone else is purely opportunistic.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          I’ve no doubt there is a lot of opportunistic conspiracies going on right now – I don’t wish to entirely discount outside interference – certainly it seems the Saudi’s have been putting money into extremist leaders there for some time – likewise I think various Buddhist forces in Burma/Myanmar has been stirring things up for many years, although its curious that the focus has shifted from the war against the Karen to the Rakhine since the military gave up some of their power.

          I’m sceptical that the ‘west’ has been deliberately stoking things up, partly because even the stupidest CIA or MI6 operatives must be aware that the blowback potential for supporting muslim separatists somewhere like Burma is enormous. I’m also not so sure the Chinese see it as a crucial interest – they certainly would like a rail access to a port there, but its not a high priority for them, the terrain between the coast and China is just too difficult. I also think the Burmese government is very reluctant to allow too much Chinese influence, so are not likely to be too influenced by what the Chinese want there.

          I suspect that what is happening is very much a domestic issue. There have been ethnic conflicts – notably with the Karen peoples – for decades in that country. The difference I think for the Burmese government is that the muslim problem seems ‘solvable’ militarily. They can, in effect, be driven out. I think they’ve decided that the cost in international censure is a price worth paying to ‘solve’ an ongoing problem – and having full control of a major section of coast is a particular bonus.

        2. clinical wasteman

          Now that (assuming it’s meant in general) is what I call an aphorism.

          Or an epigram, if you start at “the scope” and put the line break at “…valid / is…”. As in:

          The scope of Lambert’s ‘CT’ comment goes to show:
          nine hundred eighty-eight per thousand Expert words are otiose.

      1. Foppe

        I’m sure it goes back a long way, but what interests me is why it has recently become beneficial to escalate matters / to allow matters to escalate, and whether/how that relates to the media attention this is garnering, while other “conflicts” (such as what’s happening in India under the guise of anti-communist activity) are ignored. And on that front, I found the information MoA pointed to that China was interested in access to the Indian Ocean, coupled with everything going on with the US’s preparatory work in the “coming war with China”, plus its history and willingness to destroy countries and people in order to harm designated “rivals”, quite interesting.

      2. DJG

        PlutoniumKun: I agree with your analysis, in particular the rather new problem of militant Buddhism. I make a comment below about Sri Lanka, where militant Buddhism was one of the factors in the deadly low-grade war that went on for years.

        As to Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, I’m not sure that I agree. There was also, at the same time, a genocide against the Assyrians (Christians) and the Pontic Greeks (the majority of whom fled to Greece). But I understand your overall point: When ethnic warfare is stoked by the powerful and by religious authority, it becomes grotesque, a history of slaughter. In a further irony, Christopher de Bellaigue, in his Rebel Land, maintains that most of the massacres of the Armenians, at least in the eastern uplands of Anatolia, were carried out by Kurdish irregulars. And we see what travails the Kurds have since endured. (And, meanwhile on Crete, there were massacres of Muslims, who were ethnic Cretans who had converted.)

        But I also agree that foreign interference is likely opportunistic. I doubt that Iran or Turkey has much involvement.

        Human beings will never learn, will they?

    2. The Rev Kev

      Re: the Rohinga
      I could be grossly mistaken, but why is this reminding me of the Kony (leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army) drama that blew up out of nowhere a coupla years ago. Something about this whole situation seems to me to be manufactured. If there is so much outrage about these people’s treatment, where is the call for countries to step up and take these people in like happened when Idi Amin kicked the Asians out of Uganda decades ago?

      1. JTMcPhee

        “Asians” of that Ugandan” set likely shared commensalism with the places that took them in? “Family is when you go there, they have to take you in.”

        Who or what are the agents that could lead all us violent, disparate, grasping, apathetic, too much unempathic (except mostly to our own “kindern und volkern” to a more decent and kindly political economy?

        And we cautious people, who like the early Kos-ians aspire to be “evidence-based,” we who try to sort wheat from chaff in the eye wall of a global hurricane of dysinformation, we who try to come up with compelling policy prescriptions that might make things “better,” for us and for our fellows, how are we to identify and verify and support catalyze healthy actions and policies? We are enjoined not to see sneaky-pete rats crawling under every rug across the planet. Likely that is often wise. But I do aver it is fair, on the vast weight of evidence, to place the burden of proof on the malefactors that have sown, and are sowing, and will continue to sow dragons teeth of destabilization, looting, every sort of violence, and despair across human-space. Those folks who know how to insinuate themselves into every sort of existing or nascent division and conflict, to apply the grease and accelerants of money and weapons and “training” and “advice” to turn bad into very worse, in furtherance of very parochial, screw-their-neighbor “interests” that are markers of seemingly terminal disease processes.

        If the above is too conclusory and foily, I imagine I can document it. From internal references from this very site.

      2. Lambert Strether

        The comparison to Kony is apt, but I’m not sure it’s correct; I recall seeing tweets on this topic at least two years ago; whatever leverage players on all sides are seeking from it now, it’s been going in for some time.

        Adding: Here’s an article from 2012 from New Mandala:

        The reality of the history of the Rohingya is not as clear as many believe. A campaign of disinformation has led to denunciation of a policy in Myanmar that at best, is grossly exaggerated, and at worst, does not exist. Headlines have screamed the words “ethnic cleansing and “pogrom.” Myanmar history of secrecy and disregard of human rights under the previous military government has lent credibility to this campaign.

        Muslims have been living in Rakhine State (formerly known as Arakan State) for centuries. They share only their faith with the Rohingyas and have coexisted peacefully with Buddhist Rakhines. The term Rohingya describes a people from the origin of Bengali. Much of the violence stems from the questionable arrival and settlement status of these individuals.

        The unrest in Rakhine State was sparked by the brutal rape and murder of a Rakhine woman by 3 Muslims, 2 of whom were Rohingya according to eyewitnesses. Retaliation was swift and violent. 9 Muslims were killed by a mob of hundreds of angry residents, presumably native Rakhines.

        After days of unrest, Rohingya living in the villages of the district of Maung Taw intensified the violence by burning down homes, banks, hospitals and food stalls. The Myanmar government announced a curfew for the affected area, but the violence on both sides continued. Thousands of Rakhine people have taken refuge at emergency camps; children are unable to attend school; people are not receiving even the most basic medical attention. Rakhines have lost all of their possessions along with their homes and businesses. Many have family members who have been killed.

        More complexity. From September 12:

        Behind the latest crisis, there is a significant new factor in the Rakhine political landscape. This is in the form of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), described by Suu Kyi and others as a terrorist group, and showing many of the attributes of Islamist terrorist groups elsewhere.

        ARSA has declared links with Islamic State, uses crude anti-authoritarian propaganda, and shows a willingness to introduce arms into what was previously an ‘unarmed political struggle’. The utterly opportunistic nature of their public profile, and blatant use of ordinary Rohingya to cover for their own extremism are similarly shared attributes.

        The alleged destabilising role of ARSA has attracted considerable attention from intelligence agencies, with various accusations of external interference adding unnecessary complications.

        Remarkably, this latest flight of the Rohingya coincided with the 24 August release of the first report by the Kofi Annan Commission on Rakhine State. It was appointed a year earlier by the head of the Myanmar government, State Counsellor, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Indeed, the Myanmar government has not even had time to respond to the report.

        So, yes, ARSA doesn’t look especially organic….

        1. Spring Texan

          Any time you have this many refugees, something is terribly wrong, and it’s NOT the fault of the refugees. That was true of Syria, and it’s true here. History is in a sense irrelevant, just look at the massive movement of the people to see what is happening.

          So often when we blame “ancient hostilities” it’s really modern murder.

      3. tony

        Myanmar has oil, gas and is receiving FDI from the Chinese. The US sees itself in a rivalry with the Chinese, so it is in the interests of the US to destabilize and possibly send troops there, giving the US military a land access to China.

    3. bwilli123

      An enormous amount of history and detail in one of the articles referred to in the linked article.
      https://www.scribd.com/document/170527249/CONFLICT-VIOLENCE-IN-ARAKAN-RAKHINE-STATE-MYANMAR-BURMA-What-is-Happening-Why-and-What-To-Do

      …Due to the rapid rise of rice cultivation, the British East India Company needed a huge number of labourers and to meet the demand the company brought more and more Muslims labourers from east Bengal as seasonal workers. They were to harvest paddy in Arakan and return home after harvest.

      In 1916 The East India Company constructed a railroad between Kann Nyin Chaung and Buthidaung via Maungdaw to accommodate the increasing number of seasonal workers. The company brought thousands of Muslim workers from the Chittagong area and to work in the construction of the railroad. Paddy cultivation and railroad construction became a magnet for the Chittagong Muslims to migrate into Arakan. In 1930-31 the British Directorate of Health issued a report and it recorded that 40,000 Muslims came to Maungdaw.

      In 1939 The British established a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the rapid increase of Bengali Muslims in Arakan from roughly 30,000 in 1825 to 220,000 in 1930. That Commission concluded that there would be violence in the very near future if the relentless Bengali Muslim movement across the border wasn’t stopped or at least restricted…”

      1. Lambert Strether

        I was hoping to find something on this topic in Orwell’s Burmese Days; nothing, alas. Adding, it’s worth noting that the account given by the source above (“laborers”) is quite different from the account given in the link:

        In the 19th century, the British Raj brought in Bengalis to work for the predominantly Buddhist Rakhine State colony in Western Burma. The Muslim settlers were used in a similar way to the Presbyterian settlers in Ireland in the 17th century; Protestant and Presbyterian settlers were settled in Ireland by the British imperial state in order to create a local loyalist force against the native Irish. The consequences of that plantation are still being felt today in the British-occupied section of the ancient Irish province of Ulster.

        Now, it may be that the “Protestant and Presbyterian settlers” were, in fact, laborers, but to me “settler” implies land ownership. Adding MORE, from (sigh) WikiPedia it looks like a lot of the land in the 1609 Irish “Plantation” was owned by livery companies, so perhaps the Presbyterians rented their land, and didn’t own it; were, that is, peasants (?) rather than laborers.

        The addition of the proven and time-tested tactics of British imperialism is welcome, but I’m skeptical on a lot of the detail. One might consider that the central experience of a foreigner in Southeast Asia is never knowing what is really going on.

        1. Mark

          IMHO, Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia may be more useful here. When Orwell returned to the UK after fighting in Spain he read all the reports he could find that covered the period of time that he spent in Spain. He found few if any that reported the situation in what he considered to be an honest or objective way. They either represented a narrative supported by the editorial bias of the paper or a narrative that was given to a reporter by one of the groups involved in the fighting and supported that group’s interests.

          Don’t see any reason to expect anything different today. You do a great job of finding pieces that at least let us know that there are issues far more complex than most reports even hint at but that’s probably the best we can do thousands of miles away in the comfort of our living rooms. Thanks.

        2. PlutoniumKun

          Yes, the analogy with the Protestant Plantation is not a particularly good one. The Ulster Plantation was a land grab, with Scots-Irish Presbyterians being used as a bulwark by the Anglican aristocracy against the catholic Irish masses. They were mostly given land taken off the old Irish feudal lords (hence the term ‘planters’).

          From what I’m aware of Burmese history (and that of much of the British Empire in Asia), South Asians and Chinese were brought in to Burma, Malaysia etc., primarily as either cheap labour (the native peoples often having no interest in doing the sort of work the British wanted them to do), or as soldiers (usually Sikhs). The British had an acute sense of which ethnic groups were useful for whatever jobs they wanted done and didn’t hesitate to move them around as appropriate. The consequences are still apparent over much of Asia.

          1. clinical wasteman

            Yes, and they did that in the Caribbean and the South Pacific too, with the most conspicuous recent(ish) results in Fiji, where the politics of ethnic opportunism, overseen at arm’s length by Australian/NZ ‘sub-imperialism’, has led to a succession of military coups and a sort of national-Methodist ascendancy since 1987. The population is 38% Indo-Fijian (worldpopulationreview.com), i.e. descended from Indian labourers shipped in in the 19th century and now comprising much of the “commercial class” (urban business owners/professionals) but not — at least since 1987 or before about 1985 — the political elite.
            The ex-colonial power and its successors are still caught up in all of this, inasmuch as the British imperial administration did everything possible to codify and institutionalize a semi-fictional “chiefly system” before leaving, and that system still tends to be regarded by Aust./NZ as the basis of political legitimacy. (See the ‘Pacific Scoop’ website — sorry no link, computer keeps crashing — for real-time coverage and some historical links.)

    4. DJG

      Lots of problems with the Rohingya Psyops article.

      First, this:

      from Zionist organisations such as Human Rights Watch

      Which is patently absurd. I have contributed to Human Rights Watch for many years, and I can only say that this little slip makes me distrust the writer. Is this some low-level anti-Semitism toward founder Kenneth Roth? Roth’s Wikipedia entry has a subhead about complaints that he’s biased against Israel.

      Second, the article asserts that the Rohingya have become a majority in Rakhine State. A simple search at Wikipedia of population figures says otherwise. The majority is Buddhist Rakhines.

      Third, if the Muslims were indeed imported into western Burma by the Brits, then the Burmese / Myanmar government undoubtedly knows what happened in Sri Lanka regarding the “new” Tamils. No one knows the death toll in Sri Lanka after 20 years of ethnic conflict / civil war.

      Yes, it is possible that the Rohingya are at fault somehow, but Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch aren’t sloppy organizations that make up stories. Further, I’m not impressed by the immorality of people who claim that it is a-okay to throw out people who have lived in some place for “only” two hundred or four hundred years.

      1. Donald

        I mostly agree with you and thought the writer was over the top , but HRW is a bit too close to the US government and I don’t trust the human rights groups as much as I used to. The claim I have seen is that they are quicker to condemn American enemies as war criminals, but often hedge a bit when talking about Israel. Assad AbuKhalil at the Angry Arab blog sometimes points out how Roth has a double standard that way.

        One can go too far with this criticism, of course, and I agree that this blogger did so. I suspect we might not be getting the full truth about Myanmar, but I wouldn’t trust the link provided here to provide it. There is a similar problem with Syria coverage. The Western mainstream puts all the blame on Assad and whitewashes the rebels we support, but some ( not all) of the lefty writers who point this out go too far the other way and seem to be Assad apologists. It’s a perennial problem with both mainstream coverage and dissident coverage of foreign atrocities, especially ones where we are involved. But I am not convinced Myanmar coverage is as bad as the coverage of Syria.

  3. Eustache de Saint Pierre

    Just a thank you to the USA for producing Harry Dean Stanton – I do not wish him R.I.P. because it is not something I would wish for myself .

    There is always some light in the darkness.

    Another ‘ Paris, Texas ‘ silent lip sync will take place this evening – at around thirty minutes in.

  4. B1whois

    The Jacobin article Class Clowns is about the Juggalos if anyone’s interested.

    The Juggalo March on Washington presents the Left with an opportunity to start building a coalition that exchanges the battle of cultural authenticity for the battle against oppression.

    You don’t have to like ICP’s music or understand why anyone would join their community of outcasts and freaks, but you can recognize that these young men and women have found themselves, after generations of structural inequality, at the margins of an economic system that has intentionally pushed them aside in order to maximize profit.

    They did not turn on each other but instead came together, recognizing their shared interests. They have used this knowledge not just to throw a raucous yearly festival, but also to organize a march against a federal agency that stands for state violence.

    I really like the suggestion that the left switch from a focus on “cultural authenticity” to class struggle…

    1. Anonymous2

      Brexit – Johnson has an article in todays Telegraph widely interpreted as either preparing the ground to challenge May for the leadership if her Florence speech shows her moving towards a ‘soft Brexit’ position or to push her back towards a ‘Hard Brexit’ stance.

    2. Craig H.

      In 2011, the FBI officially designated Juggalos a gang, including them in a report alongside the likes of the Aryan Brotherhood.

      I would like to protest my taxes paying for FBI incompetence.

      1. Wukchumni

        I’m just a Juggalo and ev’rywhere I go
        People ask about the Gene Simmons gig I’m playing
        Show up @ ev’ry chance selling an odd bromance
        Ooh, I could say

        There would come a way
        When news will have a slow day
        What could they say about me

        When the rally gets busted I know
        There were just the Juggalos
        Right, ’cause w/o a game face, you’re nothing

        I’m just a Juggalo ev’rywhere I go
        People know Burning Man is missing some role playing
        Show up @ ev’ry chance, selling an odd bromance
        Ooh, I could say

    3. Oregoncharles

      Better yet: judging by the videos linked by marym, it’s a huge outburst of grassroots creativity. Will be very interesting to see where that goes.

      And ditto on FBI incompetence – reckless incompetence, and not the first example. Another example of 3rd-worldization, in an especially scary place.

  5. B1whois

    Senators propose 9/11-style commission on Russian interference The Hill (UserFriendly). Given how well that commission performed, that’s not a threat to anyone.

    That comment seems a tad blithe… just because the 9/11 Commission failed to be dangerous to anyone does not mean that this one would be the same. It seems these commissions accomplish goals that are predetermined.
    So much more could be said about this, for instance, perhaps this commission would be an opportunity to push for hand marked ballots hand-counted in public.

    1. JohnnyGL

      Actually, the 9/11 commission was useful enough.

      There were those 27 pages that screamed, “the Saudis did 9/11”. That alone was worth it.

      Senator Bob Graham walked into that commission comfortably within the mainstream US foreign policy consensus. He came out of it screaming, “the Saudis did it!” to anyone who’d listen. Unfortunately, very few media outlets wanted to hear what he had to say.

      Paul Jay of Realnews did an extensive series of interviews with him that were absolutely jaw-dropping. I don’t use that term lightly.

      1. sd

        The 9/11 Commission report is frequently confused with the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities before and after the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 that contained 28 redacted pages.

        The Joint Inquiry never interviewed any of the group of Joint Forces Intelligence Command officers who were tasked with tracking terrorism and in particular Osama bin Laden.

  6. Furzy Mouse

    O’Colmain’s article on the Rohingya is quite interesting, maybe some of it is plausible, but when I read that the Chinese ” liberated” Tibet, by slaughtering monks and nuns, destroying most of the monasteries, burning all the ancient texts and selling the antiquities on the open market, I can only assume that he’s in deep and cozy contact with China’s relentless propaganda machine: “Tibet Always Part of China”, etc….and also very dubious that the Dalai Lama “is hated by many genuine Buddhists”… none that I’ve ever met!! Many, maybe most, of the “monks” you will meet in Tibet today are on the PRC payroll, so I also seriously doubt that we will see a” Lamaist” revolt.

    1. DJG

      Furzy: Thanks. I didn’t notice that, because I kept running across other odd flaws in his history and chain of causality.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      There is a strong strain of leftist thought which is only anti-imperialist if its western imperialism. They are perfectly happy with other forms of it. The attitude to the Chinese seizure of Tibet is a good ‘tell’ for that type of thinking.

      1. Oregoncharles

        Emphatically yes. It’s important to remember that China is the most imperial of cultures; the entire west is very recently conquered.

        To justify “most imperial”: until recently, at least by Chinese standards, they were quite isolated, the only great power in the region. That went on for a couple thousand years; the conquest by the West must have been quite a shock. They seem to have recovered fully. The “Seven Dash Line” claim to the South China Sea is another example.

        I also missed that reference to Tibet.

      2. witters

        Ah, I see. The “tell”. I would go further (just to harden up the moral epistemology) and see what they think about Kublai Khan and Tibet.

  7. timbers

    Many thanks for the article by Gearoid Colmain on The Rohingya Psyops: Waging Covert War on Myanmar.

    Without the background and analysis like this, you start seeing strange words like “Rohingya” in the news and don’t know what to think. But you likely know something is up but don’t know why. Without the analysis, you’re mind is like en empty sieve vulnerable to being filled with the Blob/Deep State/CIA inspired fake news agenda.

    Looks like Myanmar is targeted to become the next Iraq/Libya/Afghanistan/Ukraine/Syria. Same script, different country.

    I strongly suspect a similar covert war is being cooked up in the Philippines to “punish” it’s current leader for getting too far off script by becoming friendly with China & Russia.

    1. allan

      “a similar covert war is being cooked up in the Philippines to “punish” it’s current leader”

      One doesn’t need a covert war to justify opposition to Duterte:

      Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday asked the head of the country’s Commission on Human Rights (CHR) if he was a pedophile for focusing on the killing of teenagers in the government’s bloody war on drugs. …

      1. timbers

        True, but America’s covert wars are not about justifying opposition, they are about U.S. imperial goals and regime change.

        Reasons valid or otherwise can be manufactured via fake news.

  8. Montanamaven

    I am very disturbed with the renewed Russia bashing that has been invigorated by Hilary’s book tour. Every interview she gives has her ominously warning that if we don’t do something now, the Russians will do something even worse in 2018 and 2020 to our elections. The NY Times writer Scott Shane comes out with an article last Friday about the army of bloggers and Facebook trolls working for Russia to undermine Hilary. Hilary then quotes the same NY Times article. As so this meme goes round and round. But Robert Parry at Consortium news notes that when somebody acually tried to find this Russian trolls, they found just regular anti-Hilary and pro detente with Russia people just like many of us. One of these online “researchers” looking for proof of commenters being directed by Moscow is Andrew Weisburd who admitted it was hard to tell somebody that just didn’t want Hilary to be president from a Russian operative.

    According to Shane, “Mr. Weisburd said he had labeled some Twitter accounts ‘Kremlin trolls’ based simply on their pro-Russia tweets and with no proof of Russian government ties. The Times contacted several such users, who insisted that they had come by their anti-American, pro-Russian views honestly, without payment or instructions from Moscow.”According to Shane, “Mr. Weisburd said he had labeled some Twitter accounts ‘Kremlin trolls’ based simply on their pro-Russia tweets and with no proof of Russian government ties. The Times contacted several such users, who insisted that they had come by their anti-American, pro-Russian views honestly, without payment or instructions from Moscow.”

    One of Weisburd’s “Kremlin trolls” turned out to be 66-year-old Marilyn Justice who lives in Nova Scotia and who somehow reached the conclusion that “Hillary’s a warmonger.” During the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, she reached another conclusion: that U.S. commentators were exhibiting a snide anti-Russia bias perhaps because they indeed were exhibiting a snide anti-Russia bias.

    Shane tracked down another “Kremlin troll,” 48-year-old Marcel Sardo, a web producer in Zurich, Switzerland, who dares to dispute the West’s groupthink that Russia was responsible for shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine on July 17, 2014, and the State Department’s claims that the Syrian government used sarin gas in a Damascus suburb on Aug. 21, 2013.

    Parry points out that hundreds of Facebook posts are a drop in the bucket to its 2 Billion subscribers and the alleged spending of $100,000 in advertising by Russia is also small compared to Facebook’s 27 Billion in revenue.
    Now we have Amazon deleting bad reviews of her book.
    None of her interviewers seem to have even read Shane’s whole piece or that Shane had himself in January said there was no hard evidence of Russian meddling.
    How do we fight this continued saber rattling other than to quietly say, “That may not be true.” But boy, be prepared to duck.

    1. JohnnyGL

      $100K in spending by Russia on FB ads? Are you serious? HRC’s campaign dropped like 10x that on online trolls.

      1. Montanamaven

        Regarding the tiny amount a Russian company that might be connected to Russia spent, Parry added:

        I’d do the math but my calculator doesn’t compute such tiny percentages.)

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        That number is four orders of magnitude than the total Clinton campaign spending.

        If that little money can have any impact, every political consultant in the US needs to be fired.

  9. ek hornbeck

    Regarding “America’s highest-earning state probably isn’t the one you would expect”

    I propose a new Hartford Convention!

    1. Anon

      These folks may reside in New Hampshire, but likely work on Wall Street. (Those that do reside in NH are probably the professional class succors.)

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Concerning New Hampshire, the high property taxes are an issue for retirees, and its not a young state either with entry level jobs. I believe they are concerned up there about a greying work force.

        1. ek hornbeck

          I know a fair number of retirees. They like the quiet and the loons.

          The natives are mostly normal except for the ones who’ll take a look at the Yule Tree strapped to the top of your VW Microbus and opine- “That’s pathetic, let me get you a real one”, yank their AR-15 off the fireplace mount, open the back door and saw off a random pine with automatic fire, then turn to you and say- “There you go, Merry Christmas.”

          This is a true enough story.

      2. ek hornbeck

        I’m not sure what the criteria for inclusion in a given sub group were. Perhaps they were just ‘domiciled’.

  10. justanotherprogressive

    Re: The “lady in red” video:

    Without reason or justification.
    Perhaps that should be the new motto on the backs and sides of police cars.

    The military trains its soldiers to protect and serve their fellow soldiers no matter what. But they have a reason for this: The best way for a soldier to ensure his survival is to ensure the survival of his fellow soldiers.

    What was the police’s reason for walking over the lady in red? Obviously they were using a military behavior – but what was the reason? It didn’t appear that they were under any attack so serious that their survival was in any way compromised. Did they just imagine a threat so serious that they could justify using this behavior?

    Unfortunately since the days when I attended a law enforcement academy, the police are adopting more and more military behaviors (I swear they are trying to out-military the military) but I still don’t see where they have developed any justification for the use of these behaviors so I wonder: Is there a mass insanity taking over our police forces these days? Are they turning into “brown shirts” instead of “blue shirts”?

    In any event, that motto of “Protect and Serve” needs to be revised…..

    1. JBird4049

      WTF. The woman looks like she has a hard time walking never mind moving as fast as the “police” were doing. From what I could see, I’d guess she just couldn’t get out of the way. Those brave men could have just stepped around her instead of spraying her, bouncing her off their shields to the ground, and then arresting her.

      What thugs and no, I am using that word seriously, not as an insult, but as a descriptor.

    2. Jess

      Many people misunderstand law enforcement. It’s not about protecting or serving the public. It’s about application of authority, the need of people with an authoritarian mindset to enforce compliance with their orders. This is especially true of rank-and-file uniformed officers. Once those officers graduate to plain clothes detective work, their focus gradually turns more to solving crimes, the “sleuthing” aspect of police work. But rest assured, they never lose their core motivation to enforce compliance. That’s why there are so many tainted confessions and other violations of suspect’s civil rights.

      There’s an old adage about many doctors having a God complex, but the cops make those doctors look like candidates for sainthood.

      1. Outis Philalithopoulos

        There are a lot of strong claims here – it might be helpful if you were to talk more about the specific experiences or other evidence these generalizations are based on. For example, you could also say that “many people misunderstand being a public schoolteacher – it’s not about teaching children, it’s about the application of authority, the need of people to enforce compliance with orders.” The fact is, a lot of teaching (especially in elementary school) is about enforcing compliance – but I would still consider the statement I just made to be painting with overly broad brush strokes.

        1. JBird4049

          Whatever the police are, what they suppose to be is the public’s servant. At the least to lawfully enforce the law. While I understand about overly broad generalizations, I too often see such examples not to want to be overly broad. So yes, if a single cop cannot be used to deal with someone who probably should have a cane without being violent enough to potentially break bones, I will use strong words.

          If any teacher I ever had, especially when a young child, did anything nearly as forceful as these brave authoritarians did, they would have faced serious consequences. This back when my grade school vice principal did have a paddle (complete with air resistance reducing holes in it) he used. The greater the difference in size and strength as between these cops and that old lady, the less acceptable it is, and the less forgiving people are.

          Also, what would they done in an actual riot? Start shooting? It does not matter what the protestors are protesting or if they are politically left, right or center, if they get angry enough, such a pathetic line of “riot control” officers could be flattened. That is another reason for my anger. The more of an incompetent fearful mess the police are, the more likely people will die, which includes the police btw. Think of the Ferguson police’s joke at trying to control people. The police started by becoming fully armored and pointed guns at unarmed nonviolent protestors carrying signs. They looked more like storm troopers aping what they thought soldiers in Iraq should be, and not police. They also ran about ordering news crews around, and people off the lawns of their own home while using tear gas on both.

          If the police act calmly and proportionally, and as long as both sides just use clubs, shields, teargas, rocks, and the like, the chances of real violence is reduced. Once anyone especially the police start shooting, or keep using violence like they did on the woman on larger groups of people, people will fight, and even shoot back, and what will we do then?

          This is not hyperbole. I think we can agree that social unrest will just be getting stronger for at least a few years, which means just how bloody it will be depends on the actions of law enforcement including the various intelligence agencies. Just like with the wars, the more generalized the violence, the more violent it will become in response.

            1. JBird4049

              Whoops.

              Please just think of as an extension of my early post rather than poor reading comprehension by me.

        2. Jess

          Fair enough. My personal circle of experience includes having classmates who became cops, neighbors who were cops, sheriff’s deputies, and FBI agents. Plus my mother worked for a while as secretary to a local community police chief. However, on a larger scale, I think all you have to do is look at the repeated examples of police ignoring the law on videotaping of police. They know it’s not against the law to videotape officers in public, they’ve been told it’s not illegal, but they still constantly attempt to stop such taping (and/or arrest the photographer and confiscate their cameras) because they don’t want to be held accountable for breaking the law. Their immediate reaction and rationalization is, “I told you not to do that. You have to obey me, you have to comply, therefore if you don’t I can still arrest and detain you even if the charges won’t stick or even if you’ll be released later without actual booking.” That’s the bottom line: You will comply.

          1. Outis Philalithopoulos

            Fair enough – I feel like providing the grounds for one’s views is in general more enlightening than simply moving straight to the endpoint.

  11. JTMcPhee

    Re “90 corporations” ( let us not forget their executives, of course):

    An interesting notion. So corporations are people, say the corporations’ spokespersons. Capable of intent? Then accountable for intentional torts of all sorts. Not sure how the accounting would work, but think cost recovery in CERCLA, the federal Superfund legislation as it used to be, strict, joint and several liability for all costs of cleaning up releases of hazardous substances– forced internalization of externalities — or concert-of-action or enterprise and market-share liability like in the Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire case. Discussion at http://widenerlawjournal.org/files/2014/05/Scheuerman_V23I11.pdf

    Needs audacity and organized power to have any chance of succeeding, but the Superfund legislation and program faced full-court opposition by industry. Until e.g. lawyers figured out they could get rich on both offense and defense, and a huge opening was made for “consultancies” in disciplines from hydrology to civil engineering to GIS to biology, on and on… some perversion and corruption of intent and action over time, but the whole thing was catalyze by people like Lois Gibbs (Love Canal) and the anger of millions exposed to toxic industrial waste. And politicians who felt the winds of that anger and fear of risks and dangers they as consumers helped effectuate but they never agreed to.

    Big things sometime do happen for the mostly better…

  12. Lambert Strether

    > On Myanmar, “descriptions of Buddhists killing willy-nilly”

    I’d be surprised if any reputable source takes that view. Institutions doing the killing are another matter. One intepretation of the Rohingya matter is that it’s a land grab; you can think of South East Asia as one ginormous case of clouded title. And land grabs are never pretty.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Like the land grab ongoing by the nuclear-armed Likudnik State of Israel (many other adjectives omitted to avoid skynetting), lest people lose track of the wider context…

  13. JohnnyGL

    They’re not cited here, but I stumbled into the articles by Jonathan Chait in NY Mag and Ezra Klein in Vox about Sanders’s health care proposal.

    They’re both so bad I’m not going to link to them because I don’t want to risk raising anyone’s blood pressure. I refuse to be responsible to cause a stroke for anyone who dares to use their brain and eyeballs. Klein’s has a little bit of value. Chait’s is just flat useless, misleading, and even smear-level.

    Both of them moan about the ‘oh-so-difficult’ task of transitioning people from their existing plans to new plans. Do these guys not get new health care policies every year? Most of us do. That includes us on employer-sponsored insurance. The card comes in the mail. That’s how hard it is for the end user. Is that insurmountable? Also, are we going to act like the ACA marketplace roll-out wasn’t botched beyond belief which innummerable plans, eligibility criteria and conditions? Sanders’s plan would be SOOOO much simpler that it would be a MUCH easier roll-out. One plan, one database, one set of card to mail out to a new bundle of people as eligibility ramps up each year. Medicare’s existing bureaucracy can easily expand and handle this. They already mail out new cards to people every year when a new batch of them becomes eligible. This is just a matter of scaling up what existing agencies already do. THIS is an ORDER OF MAGNITUDE easier than the creation of exchanges proved to be where new infrastructure and IT back end had to be created from scratch.

    The built in assumption they use that “anyone on employer-based insurance has a GREAT plan and loves it and will be really mad if they lose it” is so long out of date that I cannot imagine how it can be stated with a straight face anymore. EVERYONE I know that has an employer-based plan has seen that plan get much crappier over the last decade. They’d all be happy, myself included, to ditch their employer based plans.

    Anyway, I made the sacrifice and mistake of reading their articles so that others may learn from my errors. Please, stay away from the arm-chair pundits on this one. They’re as bad as ever.

    Rant over.

    1. JohnnyGL

      Here’s the kind of lazy, fact-free thinking that Klein employs: “On the other side, the core way this bill will save money is by using the government’s pricing power to pay doctors and hospitals less, and that means some will go out of business, others will begin taking only richer patients who can pay out of pocket, and so on.”

      So, if this is true, our current system in the US should be OVER-supplied with doctors, right? After all, Dean Baker points out that US doctors get about 2x what EU doctors get, so they should be flocking here in droves! Oopsie, turns out the opposite is true….http://www.who.int/gho/health_workforce/physicians_density/en/

      It’s as if Klein is unaware of medical schools acting as a cartel to hold down doctor numbers and hasn’t heard of private equity barons purchasing and shuddering medical facilities to squeeze down supply and improve their pricing power.

      I suspect it’s very unlikely that expanding coverage and lowering reimbursement rates is going to make doctors suddenly decide they’re going to change careers and take up computer programming. In reality, providers in the private sector will just end up with…..wait for it….lower profit margins….crazy to imagine, isn’t it? They probably won’t end up with lower profits because their expenses will be lower (less hassle with billing) and they may see an up-tick in patient volume, but that’s at the primary care level.

      Here’s more:

      “At the simplest level, insuring 30 million more people, and freeing everyone else from financial constraints on care, will sharply increase demand, and overwhelmed doctors will change how they practice.” – You can almost hear Klein’s brain saying, ‘because econ 101 is always and everywhere true at all times!!!’

      Someone needs to tell Ezra Klein that lack of coverage means less preventative care and that means problems build up and require MORE utilization of medical services under emergency circumstances. It’s possible we’ll see MORE primary care visits and FEWER ER visits. Medical care demand doesn’t go away because of financial issues, it just gets moved around like toothpaste in the tube. In the end, that just results in more inefficiency and waste.

      Okay, bonus rant over. Thanks for reading!

      1. DJG

        + + + The most tightly argued rants I’ve heard in a long time. Thanks for doing the reading, JohnnyGL, so that we don’t have to. Chait and Klein are getting this from Democratic Party Central. They probably were privileged to have had lunch with Uncle Joemomentum Lieberman, who, in spite of Darwinian evolution, still exists.

        Expect much more of their kind of logic: And recall Lambert’s new rule >>
        Anybody who’s against single payer is pro-Trump

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Even with The Orange Man offering his daily smorgasbord of S.I.I.E.T.B.A (Stuff It Is Easy To Be Against), the Dems instead insist on finding new ways to show their base how much they hate them. It’s either total irrelevancies (“Putin Did It!”) or else it’s opposition to policies they know everyone wants. Who do these guys work for, anyway?

        2. bronco

          Trump is not against Single Payer he just said he is going to veto it.

          Thats all he really has to do to motivate the democrats. 2 dimensional chess is all you need to turn that team inside out .

          1. katiebird

            I think you blew my mind…. Do you mean that with Trump declaring his intention to veto, the Dems are honor bound to somehow actually pass it?

            1. hunkerdown

              The Democrat Party is honor-bound to support it because they get to reestablish their good-intended bona fides by master PR stroke and reestablish the false antagonism between the parties without the risk of having to actually deliver anything that conflicts with their class comrades. It’s a “safe” issue, in other words.

        3. JohnnyGL

          Thanks for reading and for the pat on the back, DJG. I needed to get that one off my chest and convert it into electrons.

          Your eyeballs will thank you when you don’t need to claw them out. Stay away from Vox and NYMag until it’s safe to come out.

      2. Darn

        Well then someone should tell Klein “freeing everyone else from financial restraints on care” will not be happening, because the single payer proposals include cost controls, like European systems have. Why is insuring another 30 million a problem? Because universal healthcare was a problem? Does Klein think that Obamacare should not have been passed? Halving the uninsurance rate is good, but getting rid of the rest of the uninsured is bad??

    2. Elizabeth Burton

      The IT info-structure already exists. Right now, anyone with a number can register with Social Security online and have access to their data. One can sign up for Medicare and whatnot there as well. So, there’s another cost savings, no?

    3. Spring Texan

      Here’s an actually good article by Jon Walker with some more information: http://www.mintpressnews.com/surprising-provision-buried-sanders-medicare-bill/232003/

      I’m very impressed with how well thought out the Sanders bill is. No crap like means-testing to adjust co-pays, vastly improves CURRENT Medicare (my neighbor down the street with cancer struggles constantly with co-pays on her limited social security), addition of medical and dental. Will cut health insurance companies out of the lucrative Medicare supplemental business as well as other business. Phases of phase-in make a lot of sense.

      It’s going to have a lot of dentists up in arms though. But that’s a given for good medical stuff. Doctors in Britain bitterly opposed the NHS till they got it.

      1. Darn

        Sanders seems to have caved, at least for now, on for-profit provision, unless I’ve misread the bill. Conyers’s bill requires providers to convert to non-profits, Sanders’s doesn’t. Possibly to avoid opposition from the hospital firms who put so much pressure on Obama.

        1. Lambert Strether

          That is a “cave” why? If you want to urge that Sanders caved to pressure on this — and single payer is just that, single payer; it says nothing about paying only non-profits — then please document the pressure.

          1. Darn

            I’m aware that it still fits the definition of SP; but as ppl have been pointing out here, Conyers’s bill and the PNHP proposal would eliminate for-profit providers. I don’t see a reason for Sanders, who has wanted SP for decades and will be familiar with HR676, to continue them other than to keep the hospital groups of his back and hope the cost controls will be OK. That would also seem to explain why there isn’t global budgeting in his bill, despite the costs this imposes for per-patient billing.

            As I said in another similar comment, he may be doing this temporarily to maximise signup at this point from Dem senators. When an SP bill gets introduced in the next Dem Congress, non-profit providers and global budgets could be required, and they would have to explain why they wanna amend the bill to remove that again.

        2. JTFaraday

          I’m not sure it’s necessary to be incendiary re: non/profit. If a behemouth government program enrolling most of the population is only willing to pay X, then your profits will be _____. End of story. Possibly more opportunities for abuse in special “non-profit” status.

  14. Tooearly

    While it appears likely that the Equifux breach was do to incompetence and Blythe indifference on a dramatic scale it seems also that it will serve nicely the possible interests of our security state should they decide certain targets need liquidating financially.

  15. Lord Koos

    The link for the story about sonic weapons being used in Cuba is a dead end, here is the correct link:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/14/mystery-of-sonic-weapon-attacks-at-us-embassy-in-cuba-deepens

    I wonder about this case, they seem very quick to declare it a sonic weapon, but could it be that many of the symptoms, even the hearing loss and ringing in the ears, possibly be caused by some other environmental issue? Could there be something in the immediate environment that causes the symptoms, toxic substances, or? I have never heard of a sonic weapon that could result in a concussion.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Maybe the super speakers at a heavy metal concert?

      There was a sad story locally a few years ago, where a Peavy fell from a balcony and hit a 6 or7 year old child in the head. At one of those shopping destination venues downtown.

  16. JustAnObserver

    Re: Equifax share sales.

    The only get-out possible for these execs would be if the shares were part of an automatic sale plan – so-called 10b5-1 plan. Such plans do not have to be disclosed to the public via an SEC filing (8K ?) but IIRC its generally good practice to do so because the rules you need to comply with to get this “safe harbor” are pretty strict.

    According to the inthesetimes link above no such filing has been made for these share sales.

    Maybe some switched on business reporter could try putting this question directly to the C-execs concerned.

  17. Oregoncharles

    “The Rohingya Psyops: Waging Covert War on Myanmar Gearoid O’Colamin”
    I’m not convinced, either; there’s an odd lack of substantiation to most of his claims. He does add some information, like how the Rohingya got there. Makes sense; they’re next door to Bengal. OTOH, according to him they’ve been there well over a century, so by international standards revoking their citizenship, then trying to drive them out is a crime against humanity. I’m also not convinced that Buddhists are really more peaceful than other folks; in Tibet, the monks used to fight wars. And there’s Ceylon, a similar situation. The Buddhists won (and the British colonialists have a lot to answer for).

    That said, I’ve been having some uncomfortable thoughts about the Rohingya situation, based on history both ancient and recent. Whatever the current status, and the Muslims there sure look like a persecuted minority, the Burmese have good reason to be nervous about harboring a large Muslim population. Islam (like Christianity) is a highly imperial religion with a long history of conquest. Two examples spring to mind, ancient and recent: Afghanistan and Indonesia.

    Ever wonder how the Bamiyan Buddhas got there? The area was a Buddhist kingdom, quite large, until it was overrun and forcibly converted by Muslims, around 1000 years ago. In Indonesia, Islam was introduced by missionaries and spread peaceably – until the 1960s, when the remnant Hindu population (outside Bali) was slaughtered under the pretext that they were “Communists.” Many of them were, because they were poor.

    If the article is even half right about Muslim terrorists in Rakine, and the MSM reports recent attacks by a Rohingya resistance that triggered the current crisis, then Burma has a real problem – which wouldn’t justify ethnic cleansing. I just hope the US is not actually involved, but how likely is that?

  18. Plenue

    “They {Germany} have a nice life for their citizens, unlike USA USA, who could care less about us worker bee rubes.”

    My understanding was the Germany is slowly stagnating (or even disintegrating) because the Ordoliberal nutjobs who run the place are terrified of wage increases and public spending on infrastructure.

  19. Plenue

    >Heated protests follow Stockley acquittal video

    Good God. I’m really struck by how clumsy and amateurish the riot cops are. If you’re going to be the bludgeon of the state, at least be organized and efficient at it. A far, far cry from the Roman Testudo, despite the pretense of the scutum style shields.

    1. ArcadiaMommy

      Could not agree more. My retired police officer father says he cannot believe how terrified police officers seem these days. He says they are poorly trained, and this is the result of non-stop budget cutting. Maybe it’s “cheaper” to repurpose military equipment than run the police academy another two weeks.

  20. hreik

    I know someone in Houston. She lost everything due to Harvey.: house, car, etc. She works at the Ship Channel in Houston (one of her 3 jobs). She says Houston smells like sh*t. All the streets. Though I’m pretty sure she’s not in fancy areas….

    1. Daryl

      Many parts of Houston, particularly poor neighborhoods near the Ship Channel, had very poor air quality before the hurricane, I can’t imagine it has improved things.

  21. allan

    The day that destroyed the working class and sowed the seeds of Trump [NY Post(!)]

    Forty years ago, on Sept. 19, thousands of men walked into the Campbell Works of Youngstown Sheet and Tube along the Mahoning River before the early shift. …

    In the next hour their lives would change forever.

    From then on, this date in 1977 would be known as Black Monday in the Steel Valley, which stretches from Mahoning and Trumbull counties in Ohio eastward toward Pittsburgh. It is the date when Youngstown Sheet and Tube abruptly furloughed 5,000 workers all in one day.

    The bleeding never stopped. …

    Three hundred men, local elected officials and faith leaders all traveled on five buses to the White House. The mood on the drive was somber, and the late Sen. John Glenn stood on the US Capitol steps, along with other elected officials, as the men waved signs that read “Save the Steel Industry.”

    Carter never even bothered to send out an aide to receive the petitions when they arrived. Amazingly, the president who was a well-known supporter of the working class never even acknowledged them. …

    Because markets. It would be interesting to read or hear the advice Carter was getting.

    1. Wukchumni

      A most excellent you are there vignette of the Youngstown area in the midst of the Great Depression is Benjamin Roth’s “A Great Depression: A Diary”.

      Highly recommended, Roth was a lawyer that chronicled the events of the 30’s , and a critical thinker…

    2. Montanamaven

      This article is one of the most important articles every linked on NC. Staughton Lynd is a superhero and everybody should know his name. Right up there with Martin Luther King, Jr. Equal, if fact.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Too bad there is not a word about the corporate types that looted the last nickel from the aging plants they declined to update, there’s a zillion anecdotes about Big Steel’s Big Steal. A “kind” view of the history: “Rational Atrophy: The US Steel Industry,” http://www.nber.org/papers/w6084.
        A current view from the superinternational white-shoe law firm White&Case: “Losing Strength, the US Steel Industry Analysis,” https://www.whitecase.com/publications/article/losing-strength-us-steel-industry-analysis

        And then there’s this Chegg analysis and history: http://www.chegg.com/homework-help/decades-us-steel-industry-dominated-large-steel-companies-us-chapter-19cc-problem-3cq-solution-9780132667876-exc

        Of course, as with every topic touched on at NC, there are deeper levels of complexity, fractal mandalas to pursue endlessly…

    3. Altandmain

      Really great gem.

      Even the right wing tabloids get it right every now and then it seems.

      Let’s face it though – when manufacturing went, so did much of the middle class. I’m not saying Germany or Japan are perfect, but their middle classes, although they face stagnant wages too, have done a lot better than the US.

      I always felt that China was on the upward swing because of manufacturing.

      Nobody really understood the role this made … until Trump and I would argue Bernie Sanders as well. You could make the case that Nader, Dennis Kuccinich, and a few non-mainstream politicians did though.

  22. Ned

    “90 Companies Helped Cause the Climate Crisis—They Should Pay for It”

    How about organizations that promote third world immigration into the U.S., thereby causing 100% of our population increase in recent decades, with the much higher usage of fossil fuel and consumption of resources and resulting emissions of greenhouse gases versus people staying in their countries of origin?

    What about charging the U.S. military, which is the world’s largest user of fossil fuels?

  23. NotTimothyGeithner

    Has Tim Kaine made a foot note in Hillary’s book or is his selection as running mate simply too damning for even Hillary to blame someone else?

  24. howardw

    Re: Polar Bear I saw in Lincoln Park.

    Well, if that’s him, he sure traveled a long way.

    Mine was executing an impressive water wringing with his powerful neck muscles.
    This one’s nice, though, I worry they don’t have enough icepack to hunt, here it looks OK.

Comments are closed.