Links 4/11/19

There will be a panel discussion on Michael Hudson’s book, And Forgive Them Their Debts, at The People’s Forum (320 west 37th Street) on April 15. It is scheduled for 6-9 pm on April 15 and includes Dr. Niang and Rev. Dr. Theoharis from the the Union theological Seminary.

The electronic song “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” reduces host attack and mating success in the dengue vector Aedes aegypti. Acta Tropica. News you can use!

Farm Animal Cognition—Linking Behavior, Welfare and Ethics (PDF) The Humane Society Institute for Science and Policy

Why we can’t get over the death of the dinosaurs Nature

Animals and 2020 Current Affairs

REVEALED: The five ways the human race could be WIPED OUT because of global warming Daily Mail. From McKibben’s latest book. I’ve gotta say — and as I’ve said, criticizing McKibben is like kicking a puppy — history will not look kindly on McKibben’s multi-decade failure to mobilize and politicize.

Killing Fields: Air Pollution from Corn Production Tied to Higher Mortality Anthropocene

Norway Says No To Billions Of Barrels Of Oil While Trump Seeks More Pipelines HuffPo


The Hypernormalisation of Brexit Bella Caledonia (DG).

Wish You Weren’t Here Reuters

House Prices in London, Southeast U.K. Forecast to Keep Falling Bloomberg

Democracy is overrated – let the Queen sort out Brexit Guardian

Spain’s polarised political environment is set to continue and see further instability Open Europe

Hackers broadcast live stream of police camera at Podemos leaders’ home El Pais

Red-stained Brazil flags at burial of man shot by military Associated Press


U.S. Military Wary of China’s Foothold in Venezuela Foreign Policy

Chinese envoy urges lifting of unilateral sanctions on Venezuela Xinhua

Cuba Has Hijacked Venezuela Julio Borges, NYT. “Mr. Borges is a Venezuelan opposition leader.”

Exclusive: Venezuela removes eight tonnes of gold from central bank – sources Reuters

Cuba’s worker bees boost thriving honey business Agence France Presse. No pesticides, thanks to sanctions.


The Long Game of Benjamin Netanyahu Foreign Policy

The Fall of Abdelaziz Bouteflika Foreign Affairs


Indian election: cow vigilantes, GST, job losses. Voters should have the Modi blues … so why is Gandhi’s Congress set to fail? South China Morning Post

View: Nuclear bunker in Delhi, zeitgeist of achhe din The Economic Times. Yikes.

Jokowi and NU: the view from the pesantren New Mandala


China’s middle class still seeking protection in Hong Kong’s insurance market despite forex crackdown South China Morning Post

How Chinese Youth Are Finding Depth in the Two-Dimensional World Sixth Tone

“Eat for You” services popular among China’s youngsters People’s Daily

Hype And Reality In Chinese Artificial Intelligence SupChina

Chinese Class Conflict with Jenny Chan (podcast) The Dig

New Cold War

The Crimea conundrum: legitimacy and public opinion after annexation Eurasian Geography and Economics

Ex-DNI: ‘Stunning and scary’ that Barr would raise spying allegation CNN. “You say ‘Clapper is stunned and scared’ like that’s a bad thing.”

Obama lawyer expects Mueller-related indictment Politco

DHS, FBI say election systems in all 50 states were targeted in 2016 Ars Technica. As usual: “Despite gaps in our data where some states appear to be untouched by Russian activities, we have moderate confidence that Russian actors likely conducted at least reconnaissance against all US states.” Let the cyber gravy train roll! And let’s have no loose talk about hand-marked paper ballots, hand-counted in public!

Trump Transition

The U.S. Immigration System May Have Reached a Breaking Point NYT

Law enforcement, courts wrestle with sovereign citizen movement KSHB

Net Neutrality Battles Heat Up in Congress and Beyond Consumer Reports

Health Care

Would ‘Medicare for All’ Save Billions or Cost Billions? NYT. Um, both, the question being how it nets out as public purpose?

Missing Voices In America’s Rural Health Narrative Health Affairs

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Is your pregnancy app sharing your intimate data with your boss? WaPo

A Team At Amazon Is Listening To Recordings Captured By Alexa Buzzfeed (DL).

To Purge Some of Social Media’s Ugliness, an Unlikely Lesson From Wall St. NYT. “Know your customer.” What could go wrong?

Class Warfare

What “Capitalism” Is and How It Affects People Teen Vogue

Rich nations’ middle classes in ‘rocky waters’ as incomes flatline FT. First, they came for the working class…

Measles epidemic spreads to Westchester — 8 unvaccinated kids contract disease New York Daily News and Why ‘Measles Parties’ Are A Bad Idea For Parents CBS

Dark Patterns: How Weaponized Usability Hurts Users DataBreach (DK). I’m sure readers have spotted many such “dark patterns” in the wild.

The Perplexing Physics of Imaging a Black Hole Wired (DL). About the Event Horizon Telescope. Science is popping!

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

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About Lambert Strether

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


    1. ambrit

      Now we see if he gets “rendered” to America.
      Oh, and wonderful news about the NYC wireless “bug.” Payback for Venezuela’s “Dark Night of the Soul?”

        1. ambrit

          Sorry. Sometimes an oleaginous pun is too slippery to get a grip on.
          You are right about the process of rendition though. It is quite literally a deliverance unto torture. If Assange is sent to America, where will he be held? Some have already floated the idea of sending him to Guantanamo. However, that would require him to be classifies as a terrorist. Now that would be a defining moment.

          1. Trent

            So this is all about those Swedish rape charges and the US prosecuting him for something from 2010? Isn’t this beyond the statute of limitations? I remember reading years back the woman who initially brought the rape charges against him was trying to have them dropped.

            1. ambrit

              I’ve read that he has conveniently been charged last year with “Conspiracy” with Manning to “Out” government ‘skeletons in the closet.’ So, as a copper once told my wife while she was trying to argue him out of giving her a ticket; “Ma’am. We have a ticket for every occasion.”
              This is looking like that quote from Barry Goldwater: “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.”
              As far as the government goes, there are no limits anymore.

              1. Trent

                sigh, i wish they’d go after corporate criminals like they do honest people and little people. So hard to hold on to hope these days.

          2. Eureka Springs

            We’ve had so many… important as this is I think we are down to defining nano seconds in order to allow individual notches of note for the streaming violations.

            1. ambrit

              The violations might be streaming, but the revolution will not be televised.
              Or, a new formulation of an old adage: “Out of sight, out of luck.”

      1. Summer

        I’ll be surprised if there is a trial.
        Control of the narrative is the most important aspect to the national security apparatus of the countries involved.

        1. ambrit

          Agreed. From the government’s point of view, Assange must not be given the chance to defend himself in public. This might be run as a Star Chamber event. Call all the evidence “Of National Security Interest” and bar witnesses, especially reporters. Hold Assange in solitary confinement, “for his protection” of course. Etc. etc.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Either the NSA finally hacked his “dead man’s switch”…or he has some really excellent Hilary dirt that Trump wants to see the light of day…or he’s just being gulagged as Chapter 237 of “The Billionaire Death War Money Machine versus The Rest of Humanity”.

            I sorely wish it was #2 but I believe it’s #3.

            If Chelsea’s footage of 22 Reuters journalists being machine gunned like rats didn’t move the needle with our overworked, over-medicated, numb citizens then nothing will.

            I have an idea: let’s take #MeToo, drop the Me and the Too, and change it to #We. We can rally around that…because what #They have in mind for us is the extermination of the human spirit.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Yet another example of how international law is breaking down and being pushed aside for political expediency. There may be legal challenges with how it went down in the embassy as in British police taking into custody a political prisoner on sovereign Ecuadorian territory but it depends if the Brits try to fly him out to an the US first before it goes to court. Or should that be a particular location in Cuba that he gets flown to? The elections have just been announced in Australia so it will be interesting to see what the politicians will have to say here.

        1. Roger Smith

          In his sentencing hearing the judge had the gall to call him narcissistic and laughable. Enduring living in a room for however many years it’s been to try and protect yourself from being extra-judicially taken and tortured or even killed… yea definitely narcissistic. What a guy to be concerned about something so trite.

          1. ewmayer

            “narcissistic and laughable” — Crimes against humanity, those are! And they pretty well describe the entire omnishambolic UK government, so there’s plenty to go around, your powdered-wiggishness. Not that wearing a powdered wig in the 21st century is at all ‘laughable’, we would never suggest such a thing.

      1. Sanxi

        Ecuador, wanted him out. Ecuador, claims claims he was rude to the ‘little’ Prople. I believe that. That’s why we have man slaughter laws on the books. People act contrary to their own interest. No need to invent aliens, which in fact were invented, nonetheless being rude is what did it.

      1. Redlife2017

        Huh. You mean all those people over the years who have said that the Brits would hand him over to the US were RIGHT???? I mean, it’s like they could see the future, man!

        On a more serious note, I’m sorry that he is going to be destroyed. No one deserves what will happen to him. We do have form..

        From the great Dr. Thompson:
        “We have become a Nazi monster in the eyes of the whole world, a nation of bullies and bastards who would rather kill than live peacefully. We are not just Whores for power and oil, but killer whores with hate and fear in our hearts. We are human scum, and that is how history will judge us. No redeeming social value. Just whores. Get out of our way, or we’ll kill you.” Kingdom of Fear: Loathsome Secrets of a Star-crossed Child in the Final Days of the American Century (2004)

          1. Olga

            Comparison to USSR is plain dumb. Soviets would never have dared to do something like this. No, today, the west has been exposed for all to see as to what “values” it is really protecting. Nothing less than an absolute right to invade, kill, exploit – and punish all who disobey. The mask has finally been completely stripped off.

            1. pjay

              Agreed. You are correct to point this out. To me, the appeal of the comment was its evocation of the Cold War image of Soviet repression — reapplied by the chattering classes to Putin’s Russia today — turned back to where it belongs: on us.

              But you are right; the Thompson quote is less ambiguous. I’ll go with that one.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                I am not sure if the Moon of Alabama is trying to reapply the USSR cold war image to Putin’s Russia today.

                It could be pre Cold War, as in 1940 when Trotsky was killed in Mexico after being tried, convicted ans sentenced to death, in absentia in Moscow.

            2. ook

              At this point, the US can only aspire to the higher standards of the Soviet Union. Cardinal Mindszenty lived in the US Embassy in Hungary for 15 years and the Soviets didn’t send the goons in to drag him out. There was negotiation, and he stepped out when he was ready.

        1. Summer

          That’s bound to happen when a country fundamentally has nothing against fascism, but had some beefs with a few particular fascists in the past that was misunderstkod as a stance against fascism.

          1. RWood

            To the end, Veblen had hoped that one day the Predators would be driven from the marketplace and the workers would find their way to socialism. Yet a century ago, it seemed to him more likely that the Predators and Saboteurs, collaborating as they did even then with politicians and government lackeys, would increasingly amass more profits, more power, more adulation from the men of the working class, until one day, when those very plutocrats actually captured the government and owned the state, a Gilded Business Man would arise to become a kind of primitive Warlord and Dictator. He would then preside over a new and more powerful regime and the triumph in America of a system we would eventually recognize and call by its modern name: fascism.
            Ann Jones

          2. WJ

            “How did so many otherwise cultured and educated Germans go along with the obvious excesses of the Nazi Reich for so long?” it is often asked.

            Well, we can now answer that question just by looking around us.

            How is it that so many ostensibly “progressive” and “inclusive” liberal elites can support the U.S. Empire’s persecution of an internationally recognized journalist?

            The answer is a combination of: (1) state propaganda, (2) class tribalism, (3) material self-interest, (4) political naivete.

            It’s not so easy to adopt a comfortably superior moral pose toward those cowardly “upstanding” Germans of the 1930s-40s when you realize that many of your friends and colleagues–and perhaps to a certain extent you yourself–are just as upstanding, just as cowardly, just as complicit as were they.

            1. Trent

              Thank you for posting this. Years ago while following all of this (financial crisis, government corruption, ect.) Ward Churchills comment after 9/11 made more and more sense to me.

            2. jrs

              true true, but there is a lot less evidence of culture and education among Americans now than Germany then, including many of those in the professional class with graduate degrees!

              I’d add in *political* (not so much class) tribalism as I think political tribalism can and does cut across classes. Assange may have been one of dozens of factors that led to Trump (which people seem to want to believe was the only factor) so therefore … devil take him.

              But yes there is actually a lot less of a real left (half the nominally left people have jumped on the prosecute Assange bandwagon because Trump ..) than we think. It’s tiny. Still we might get a compromise and things getting a little better for the rest of us, but don’t expect the injustice to stop.

            3. Olga

              From what I’ve been told about the Nazi era – it was economic distress and virulent state propaganda, which painted Soviets as unwashed eastern hordes. Oh, and the promise of free land, once USSR was conquered. We’re not too far with the state-enforced propaganda in the US…

      2. Montanamaven

        Oh dear. I hope there are large protests over freedom of the press. He is a publisher not a leaker. Will the producers and stars of “The Post” join the protest? I’m getting a bit old for protests but this one seems to warrant thousands in the street. Of course, nobody will report it.

        1. Chris Cosmos

          I don’t think there is much concern in the US for the fate of Assange except among the anti-imperialist people on the left and right.

          1. pjay

            I fear that you are right. It is sometimes easy for those of us who frequent sites like NC to forget just how oblivious most Americans are to events outside their immediate interests. And we know the degree of derangement in the MSM, which is supposedly informing the rest of us about Assange, and within the “liberal” establishment. I hope we are proven wrong.

            1. JBird4049

              Say rather that too many have too little to survive, never mind what paying attention to what our country is doing to some dude because of something he did somewhere against the United States. Most people would reasonably assume that the standoff over one man by four countries and 8-9 administrations must be for something bad that he did. Then they hear the words rape and spying in the propaganda.

          1. ggm

            No, it is intimidation against any journalist who would dare to expose the dirty deeds of empire, plain and simple. There was no computer hacking and “hacking” is not mentioned in the indictment. The charges relate only to Assange’s failed attempt to crack a password and an allegation (which appears very weak) by the government that comments made in chat logs by Assange were attempts to pressure Chelsea Manning to break the law. It is the same charge the Obama administration considered pursuing before deciding it was too great a threat to press freedom.

    3. allan

      Big if true:

      Jen Robinson @suigenerisjen
      Just confirmed: #Assange has been arrested not just for breach of bail conditions but also in relation to a US extradition request. …

      From #Assange: The US warrant was issued in December 2017 and is for conspiracy with Chelsea Manning @xychelsea in early 2010.

      Of course, Obama did the same thing … oh, wait …

      1. pretzelattack

        yeah obama tried to get him too, but the leader of ecuador wasn’t trying to be a u.s. toady.

          1. katiebird

            Why didn’t he leave the Embassy then and fight out the other charges in court? I thought the US extradition threat was the BIG deal?

            1. Paul

              He holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy having lost the court battle against being extradited to Sweden.

              Sweden was all but certain to render him to the US.

          2. Darius

            Obama wouldn’t pardon him. The master dissembler said Assange hasn’t been charged with anything. Neither was Nixon and he got a pardon. In the words of Lord Voldemort, there is no good or evil. There is only power.

          3. rps

            Good read on previous administrations whistle-blower hyper-vigilance: Obama’s Legacy: A Historic War On Whistleblowers “As for Obama’s record, here’s what history will show: In his eight years in office, the Obama Justice Department spearheaded eight Espionage Act prosecutions, more than all US administrations combined. Journalists were also caught in the crosshairs: Investigators sought phone records for Associated Press journalists, threatened to jail an investigative reporter for The New York Times, and named a Fox News reporter a co-conspirator in a leak case.”

            “Timothy Karr, senior director of strategy for Free Press, said one would have to go back seven presidential administrations to find someone as prodigious in cracking down on whistleblowers as Obama. The Obama administration is like the Nixon administration in many respects,” he said at the same event. The Nixon administration tried to silence whistleblowers using illegal means. But the Obama administration is trying to silence whistleblowers using a misinterpretation of the laws that are on the books, and they have done it to greater impact than Nixon could ever imagine.”
            Trump continues Obama’s legacy with Mike Pompeo, known for his statement about Snowden, “Snowden should be “brought back from Russia” for trial. More ominously, he said, “I think the proper outcome would be that he would be given a death sentence.”

            I am standing puzzled, unable to decide whether the veil is really being lifted, or lowered more firmly in place; whether I am witnessing a revelation or a more efficient blinding. Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

          1. bob

            And then GG got smeared on NPR this morning. I posted the below in the watercooler. They’re already trying to make this about Russia! Russia! Russia!

            April 11, 2019 at 6:06 pm

            NPR did their part this morning-

            Glenn Greenwald
            ‏Verified account @ggreenwald

            Glenn Greenwald Retweeted Mike Hixenbaugh

            I enjoyed it too. NPR chose to lie to its audience by introducing me as “a colleague of Julian Assange” even though I never worked with Assange or WikiLeaks in my life, but did what all other journalists have done: reported on them & their publications. Went downhill from there:

            NPR then went and sloppily deleted the interview, while keeping GG’s name in the segment description.

            Here’s a link to the interview that you won’t find on NPR anymore-


    4. Carolinian

      Being the BBC they don’t mention the fresh Moreno corruption scandal for which Assange is serving as would be scapegoat. Also whatever vicious response this turn of events provokes from the Trumpies, one should remember that it was Obama and Hillary “can’t we just drone him?” Clinton who initiated his persecution.

    5. Roger Smith

      This is terrible news. I don’t even know what to say… I am sick of the people who show what horrible criminals other people are being the ones getting punished. Bill and Hillary should be the ones being dragged out of their homes, Obama should be being thrown into a paddy wagon, Bush, all these corporate crooks.

      1. Eureka Springs

        Mr Moreno said the British government had confirmed in writing that Mr Assange “would not be extradited to a country where he could face torture or the death penalty“.

        Well if it included the USA that written promise wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on. There must be loopholes within.

        What a sad day. I would be embarrassed or ashamed as a U.S. citizen if I hadn’t long ago lost all hope for our system. Like wikileaks or not – it is among the greatest examples in our time of Genuine News. All of this is a blatant bipartisan systemic war on truth, transparency, freedom of press, by one of the most accurate organizations around.

        1. zagonostra

          Plenty of shame to go around, I wonder at the likes of like Australia and U.K…and come to think of if Canada for supporting Military intervention in Venezuela.

      2. Susan the other`

        it’s classic denial – blame the messenger; Assange is the most rational person on the planet.

      1. human

        “The Christian blood of Old John Brown will not cease to cry from the ground long after the clamors of alarm and consternation” ~ Frederick Douglass

    6. ChiGal in Carolina

      There was a piece linked here with extended quotes from Mate, Taibbi, and a few others on the press madness over Mueller. In the comments it was suggested that the real point of his investigation had nothing too do with collusion and everything to do with the MIC, including the outstanding task of taking down Assange.

      If so, Mueller has served his purpose. Sickening.

      And good on Chelsea Manning for taking no part in it: truly she is a profile in courage.

      1. mle detroit

        And now Assange is serving the purpose (for Barr and Trump’s DOJ) of distracting from release of scraps of the Mueller report.

        1. jrs

          there is propaganda all around, thick, it’s the water we swim in, Barr’s and Trump’s spin of the non-released Mueller report (probably not entirely incorrect but who really knows).

          Liberals and nominal leftists clamoring to prosecute Assange because he’s “not a journalist” as he may have biases against the U.S./Hillary/Dem party and be for Russia/Trump/Republicans (as if having biases and doing journalism were in any way contradictory, and no not even if I don’t share those biases).

          If there is any thing in the actual Meuller report that would actually help or harm the Assange prosecution we will never really know I guess.

          1. Susan the other`

            that’s a timely question – I’d say there definitely is something Mueller found which made it imperative to capture and silence Assange and terrify his fellow travelers… in this case it looks like kill the monkey to scare the chickens.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Not a hope in hell. The UK government is already getting the paperwork together so that he can be transferred to the US where he is wanted on charges of truth-telling and embarrassing important people. Torture will be a given.

              1. todde

                you’re missing the point.

                I don’t care what the State calls him.

                MLK was also a criminal, he wrote Letter from a Birmingham Jail, from a jail cell.

                1. pretzelattack

                  neither were criminals. assange isn’t even technically one by the state’s own prior laws. the state is going to call him lots of things, including spy, and pushing back against that narrative is very important.

                  1. todde

                    I would think the narrative should be:

                    ‘If telling the Truth is a crime, then I will be a criminal.’

                    but then my lawyer used to tell me to stop puffing out my chest and do what he tells me.

                    I am not in the position to fight the state with Julians freedom, for sure.

            1. jrs

              i honestly don’t care if it was for Vladamir Putin himself, it’s still journalism and free speech, and noone is even disputing the truth of the information released by Wikileaks.

          1. Eureka Springs

            Just for kicks I wrote the President at AKA screaming into the ether.

            Dear Mister President,

            I write today to ask you to support both the spirit and letter of our great First Amendment. Whether we like Mr. Assange, Wikileaks, or not matters little. They have a remarkable history of journalism and accuracy. They are a shinning example of “Genuine News”. Perhaps only you can and should do the right thing especially after personally suffering so much at the dirty hands of the fake new operations of our time. Put an end to the persecution of Mr. Assange and our great First Amendment today.

            Thank you for your consideration,

            Eureka Springs

            1. Cal2

              If Trump pardoned him, he would immediately strip many millions of votes from truly progressive Democrats.

              He’s already got huge numbers of new black voters thanks to his bipartisan prison reform and pardoning some people. Trump is sneaking up on the left by co opting their causes.

              Are your people reading this President Trump?

              1. Eureka Springs

                Ha! thanks for the inspiration.

                ‏ @eurekasprings
                53s53 seconds ago

                #MTFAGA Make the First Amendment Great Again. Free Assange. Honor Genuine News.

              2. jrs

                He’d lose a lot of the R base that will vote for him though.

                It’s alright, the last thing in the world I expect is Trump to do the right thing, when he’s right it’s less often than a stopped clock.

                But I’m not sure the politics would be clear cut either. Authoritarians helped put him over the top and well they can’t abide someone like Assange, someone like that is really their ultimate foe.

        1. Sanxi

          ‘Torture will be a given.’ No it won’t, unless you include the condition of US Jails and later prisons.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Yes it will and here is how its done. The UN says that any solitary confinement over 15 days is psychological torture. That Maria Butina spent 67 days in solitary before she broke. Her crime? Talking to an American while being Russian. You can be denied your medications like they did with Butina just because. The guards will wake you every hour on the hour to make sure “that you are alright” and it is a safety thing. How long can you go without uninterrupted sleep. They can take your clothes and sheets away from you as they think that you are a suicide risk and may use the to strangle yourself with. This can be in the middle of winter. And this can be them only getting started. How long could you go under such a regime?

            1. Sanxi

              ‘The Rev Kev’, you have a consistent bias toward being ‘reasonable’ which is not the same thing as being rational. As you constantly argue from casuistry, and being a ‘Komediant’ on this blog regarding the the the latter I must yield. But, really, your argument is completely cherry picked and begs the question maybe the accused is a traitor and should be shot?

              1. The Rev Kev

                With all due respect, what the US does to its political prisoners is a matter of public record and I am merely quoting some aspects of their treatment. It’s all on record. Just look at Manning’s past and present treatment as an example.
                And I would note that a charge of Assange being a traitor is impossible as he is not a citizen of the United States. He is Australian and that charge would never fly in Oz. Also, we got rid of the death penalty over half a century ago so no shooting either.
                That word ‘Komediant, by the way,’ is new to me but it strikes me as a perfectly cromulent word and I already feel embiggened by it.

        2. Procopius

          They won’t call it torture. He’ll be held in the Marine brig at Quantico, where they held Bradley Manning (as she was then) and Jose Padilla. Probably for years before he goes to trial, if he survives that long.

      2. Susan the other`

        where the hell is the Australian government? – they’ve been missing in action for a very long time.

          1. Susan the other`

            Ah, the sounds of absence; I recognize it because it’s the same sound Congress makes.

      3. Lepton1

        The indictment is for computer hacking, nothing to do with publishing. Assange helped Manning crack one or more passwords. Maybe other things. Once he gets back to the US other indictments may be unsealed.

        The timing is interesting. Mueller no longer has a chance to interview Assange.

        The rumor is that Ecuador was going to give Assange diplomatic status and release him giving him safe passage to Russia. This was until Mike Pence visited Ecuador and convinced Moreno otherwise. Trump didn’t want Assange loose in Russia possibly releasing documents about Trump’s illegal acts.

        Recall during the campaign how Trump over and over crowed about how much he loved Wikileaks and how he loved reading Wikileaks. Today in response to a question he said he doesn’t know anything about Wikileaks. LOL

        1. Procopius

          Assange helped Manning crack one or more passwords.

          I will be watching to see if they present evidence of that in court. I think Manning had authorized access to the classified networks as part of her job, and may have been given other passwords because of lousy security procedures. Certainly he (as she was then) was able to copy only relatively low level classified material, only Secret and Confidential.

    7. Spring Texan

      What’s disgusting about the lame NPR coverage is they don’t mention or associate it with Chelsea Manning’s re-imprisonment. Such lazy “journalism.”

      1. Roger Smith

        Greenwald was on and apparently had a contentious interview where they introduced him as an associate of Assange (or something similar). Way to start that one off. I went to go listen only to find that this particular interview doesn’t seem to be on the National PUBLIC Radio’s website. I love the transparency here. Hopefully I am just missing something.

        EDIT: It is now up here:

        Also noteworthy is that an RT subsidiary was the only one on the scene at the embassy, so now “Russian State Media” will be in charge of licensing out the footage and photos to all other outlets.

        More photos:

        1. Olga

          Would you prefer if CNN were now “in charge of licensing out the footage and photos to all other outlets?” As for RT being “state media” – how is that different from BBC, NPR, VOA, and other media outlets paid for with state money.

          1. Roger Smith

            No. I am glad these actually corporate-state media clowns have to pay RT. Serves them right and shows who was actually there to be journalists.

        2. The Rev Kev

          Dude! RT got the footage because they were the only ones there because no other media could be bothered showing up. Here is a translated tweet from Margarita Simonyan, RT’s Editor-in-chief-

          Translation: the most obvious sentence one could pass over total disgrace the world media has become can be seen in the fact that nobody was here to film the arrest of Julian Assange, only us (RT). That in spite of the fact that everybody already new that he would be expelled. Now they have to come and ask for our footage.
          CNN and The Guardian have the gall to call us and ask how it is that we were the only ones to get this footage.
          It’s obvious: you are just the spineless hypocritical servants of your Establishment and not journalists at all. This is why such a thing happened.

    8. Lee Too

      Let there be a full scale blitz by journalists — to the extent that there are any — reviewing the facts that Assange and Wikileaks made known.

      1. Sanxi

        Oh sure let’s divide everything by divide zero so all actions are unknown. Maybe the guy was a jerk and over stayed his welcome. History was shown more often this is the case. He could both be a patriot and a jerk.

        1. Fiery Hunt

          Yeah…that’s it. Start a process that outrages the world’s progressives and the US left because the guy smells bad and seems inured to the prison he’s in.
          Yeah. Let’s let him be arrested on our soil.

          Said no diplomat/politician ever.
          Except corrupt ones.
          See loan, Ecuador.

    9. Krystyn Walentka

      I think things changed for me ion my mind if this is true. I just read the indictment and it states they have evidence Assange was trying to crack passwords himself. To me this pushes him from being a journalist to being a co-conspirator and I see no way around it. I think he really screwed up if it is true.

      1. Darius

        What if journalists had managed to steal records from the Nazi archives? Or hack the passwords of those evil Venezuelans that we’re all supposed to hate? Back in the day, Alan Cranston published an English translation of Mein Kampf in blatant violation of international copyright law. He thought people should know what it said.

        1. Krystyn Walentka

          I did not say it was morally wrong and that he should not have done it. I am saying it makes it difficult to hide behind bring a journalist. I am all in favor of civil disobedience.

          1. Carolinian

            Much of what you read in the newspapers these days is classified information from “intelligence insiders” and leaked in violation of the law. Legally you could argue that those WaPo and NYT reporters encouraged them to so break by being willing to accept and publish their leaks.

            Also add in the fact that Assange, unlike Chelsea Manning, is not an American citizen. Any grounds for a US prosecution are dubious indeed.

            1. Krystyn Walentka

              The NYT and WSJ does not have the technical knowledge Assange to our knowledge they have never tried to decrypt us government files.

              They did not charge him with leaking info, they charged him with attempted breaking and entering. If you have encrypted government files is it legal to try and open them?

              1. pretzelattack

                why wouldn’t it be for the australian journalist assange. what was revealed that hurt the actual interests of the united states people? nothing. he helped reveal information we needed to know, and at bottom that is his “crime”. otoh, bush and cheney revealed the identity of a spy, and they didn’t even get criticised much for that, much less prosecuted.

              2. Carolinian

                Actually we don’t know what they have charged him with. But yes while hacking is illegal, telling someone how to hack is a gray area or millions of people around the world wouldn’t constantly be decrypting Hollywood movies using tools that are freely available via Google. My impression is that the focus of the potential indictment is about what was hacked rather than the hacking itself and in that case it is just like the NYT or WaPo.

                1. Krystyn Walentka

                  We do know what they have charged him with since they released the indictment today.

                  And cracking a password hash is a bit more complicated than downloading a torrent, which is not even hacking. And hacking is not illegal unless you use hacking to do illegal things, like attempting to break the password hash of an illegally acquired file or password of a government encrypted file.

                  1. Carolinian

                    Check out the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. Copying a movie or TV show without buying it is very much illegal. You could argue that this is a bs law but you could argue the same thing about the Espionage Act which was at least enacted when we were fighting a real war–WW1–and not one of the phony rhetorical variety, the “war on terror,” that we fight now.

                    And while DVD encryption proved trivially easy to crack, BluRay encryption was the finest that H’wood could come up with and took several months to crack.

                    I haven’t seen the indictment but I’m sure much will be written about it in the coming days.But I don’t think that your argument that gosh he really did do something illegal holds much water in this era of selective prosecution. What’s going on here is the neocons, in their quaint words, “throwing someone against the wall.”

        2. Olga

          And, of course, KW believes everything in the indictment… if the world were a just place, US would first have to prove that charge.

          1. Krystyn Walentka

            Please do not put words in my mouth or beliefs in my brain.

            They seem to have been very specific in the indictment. (He probably used Kali Linux and they said they used the Jabber network to communicate.) And even Wikileaks does not dispute these claims, they only dispute that Assange did anything illegal by trying to break the password hash. So why should I have great doubt about what the government has on him in that respect?

            I am afraid people can be just as blind to Assange as they were in the whole Russiagate BS.

            Again; I support Assange and what he did and do not wish to see him put in jail, but what he did was an act of civil disobedience and these are the consequences.

            1. bob

              GG has done the most reporting on these issues. There’s a interview with him above. This is new law that has never been tried before. Even the Obama DOJ, who went way further than his predecessors in prosecuting leaks, thought this was a bridge too far and would result in normal “journalism” being criminalized.

            2. Procopius

              I don’t understand what you’re talking about, “… trying to break the password hash.” Are you talking about a Linux/Unix password hash? You can find alphabetical strings that will produce the same hash as the original password, but they won’t enable you to log in. They almost certainly won’t be telling us what the words mean, classified to protect national security, you know.

            3. Charlie

              Let’s go over this again.

              An indictment is merely an accusation of wrongdoing, it is not proof of wrongdoing. The government itself must prove the charge.

              Maybe we need to go over this concept again?

        3. Procopius

          Really? Back in 1952 my high school library had two copies. I think the public library had a couple, too, but I never checked the card catalog. Mein Kampf was widely available in English translation since the mid-1930s, at least. I’m pretty sure copies were given out free by the Deutsch-Amerikanische Bund. On the other hand, in the ’50s and ’60s I was never able to find any book on Communism except a little tome that described the (mostly religious) commune experiments in the United States.

        1. Krystyn Walentka

          I am in no way defending his prosecution, just thinking.

          Attempting to break into a password protected US Government device or file is against the law as well. So I think that it is a flimsy argument that he did not “successfully break into the house” as it were.

          And we arrest non US citizens Vall the time.

          C’mon, he performed an act of civil disobedience, this is the result. I am proud of him.

          1. WJ

            The “attempting to break a password” charge is going to be used to claim that Assange did not merely “publish” the material, but was involved [from the point of view of the law] in “leaking” the material as well.

            Manning went to prison for the “leaking,” remember.

            And so will Assange, though he will be tried under the Espionage Act and receive the most punitive sentence possible.

            I do not know whether there is much evidence to support this claim. I suspect that the Government does not think there is, which is why they are trying to get Manning to testify that it is true. So I suspect.

          2. bob

            “Attempting to break into a password protected US Government device or file is against the law”

            You’re going to have to back that up. A device? maybe, probably yes. A file? does it matter where the file is?

              1. bob

                “But the Ninth Circuit ruled that only the computer owner can “authorize” someone to access a computer, not a user or account holder.”

                What about an encrypted password protected file on a USB drive?

                The link talks about accessing other computers, not about opening a file after it has been stolen by someone else.

                1. todde

                  you maybe alright if it isn’t classified.

                  if it is, then you will be prosecuted under sec 798

                  1. bob

                    I still can’t find where its illegal to crack a password, classified or not. Even as broad as that is.

                    “(a) Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States any classified information—:”

                    It would be a crime to steal the file, but opening it…..I don’t see it. What am I missing?

        2. WJ

          I have read the Mate twitter thread and am not convinced he is right.

          Note that the Virginia grand jury behind the extradition order “was investigating Assange for potentially violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Espionage Act in connection with the Manning leaks.”

          Note that in the years since 2012, we have learned that the FBI has successfully “turned” at least one high-level Wikileaks supporter and has infiltrated Wikileaks through a paid informant. I suspect that the end result of of these additional “testimonies” and “evidence” will be to show that Assange actively conspired with Manning to leak US secrets rather than merely receive and publish such secrets. The “password hacking” charge is directly pertinent to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, while the material he sought to hack–a DOD password–brings into play the Espionage Act.

          The broader aim here may be to set a precedent for the narrowing of the definition of legitimate collaboration between a journalist and her/his source. The aim is to portray Assange’s collaboration with Manning as the illegitimate conspiring between a hostile foreign agent (Assange) with a US co-conspirator (Manning). In this way the DOJ can argue that it is not attacking Free Speech, since it is not prosecuting Assange for *receiving* or *publishing* the documents leaked by Manning, but for his *demonstrable intent* to commit computer fraud so as to enable the theft and harmful dissemination of US state secrets (The Espionage Act.)

          The *real* aim and effect of this course of action is to discourage all investigate journalism that does not involve the “right kind” of journalistic collaboration with the “right kind” of leakers–by “the right kind” I mean the sort that the NY Times, Washington Post, etc. and their sources regularly engage in.

      2. Roy G

        In which case, you are falling into the ‘Russiagate’ fallacy, which is believing the official indictment on face value. It will be interesting to see what sort of evidence they have to back up this charge. My prediction is that the evidence is on par with the CrowdStrike and Steele Reports, in which case they will probably have to go undercover and have some kind of Star Chamber prosecution, because, ‘state secrets’ etc. etc.

      1. zasgonostra

        >From Jesse’s Cafe Americain

        “The German [American] people slumber on in their dull, stupid sleep and encourage these fascist criminals; they give them the opportunity to carry on their destruction; and of course they do so. Is this a sign that the Germans are brutalized in their simplest human feelings, that no chord within them cries out at the sight of such deeds, that they have sunk into a fatal consciencelessness from which they will never, never awake?”

        Sophie Scholl, The White Rose, Second Leaflet, Munich 1942

    10. Grant

      And yet war criminals like Bolton and Abrams are still hired by governments, and look what they are pushing for. Cheney is walking free, Bush has be re-habilitated and seems to be buddies with lots of Democrats these days. Kissinger has lots of friends and support in both parties. Sickening.

    11. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Australia, UK, Canada, New Zealand, and the US all need to unite under a working class banner to defeat our awful, rich Capitalists, who want nothing more than to spy on us while exploiting us.

      Assange and Manning are both in Jail. Bush, Cheney, and the bankers roam free.


      1. tegnost

        i wonder “why now”, russiagate fizzled (well it is being recarbonated right now) so now this?

        1. doug

          maybe it took a while to raise the 350 million bribe, I mean ‘loan’, for his former host?

    1. MJ

      I hope this will put an end to those daily nuisance calls urging me to order a “medical-grade” brace.

      Probably won’t.

      1. Cal2

        My first contact with the medical establishment was when I gave Blue Shield of California a brand new phone number. A week later, I got the robo call for the medical brace B.S.
        I had never ever gotten any kind of medical related fraud call before in my life.

        Using an old fax phone line that was still active, switched the phone to that line. Never got the brace call on that. Conclusion, Blue Shield of California sold my data to scummy telemarketers.

        1. Susan the other`

          thanks for this connection. BCBS. It’s happening here too, twice a day. Somebody please give me an app to hit the pound sign and send my cold-caller off into a rapidly compounding hell of electronic confusion.

    2. bob

      But medicare fraud is always and everywhere fat people who do drugs and lay around all day sneaking into the ER!

      William Binney, of NSA fame, tells a story of applying one of the programs he developed to medicare fraud. It worked too well at finding doc and other care provider who were overbilling and it was quickly killed.

    3. mnm

      Not a public/private partnership, this is private business stealing from a social program. Nothing new. Rick Scott made his money doing it. People cry and moan about government waste, then make this criminal a senator.
      For profit dental chains got in trouble pulling scams with poor/Medicaid patients, worst part was they did unnecessary procedures on children for money

  1. Doggrotter

    I wish JA the best, I hope everyone is taking notes. Sooner or later when history takes a position I don’t think we should let people say Oh it was a mistake, just like WMD.

    I think one should always be polite in conversation otherwise it is hard to make progress but

    Anti Assangests should go fcuk themselves

    1. windsock

      You will call me “Anti-Assange”, but I am not. He may have done good work with Wikileaks (I do not know, because I am not qualified enough to tell and his acts were political and would therefore incur political expense), but he agreed to abide by the rules of a legal system. And then broke them. And then pissed off his hosts, who called in the police.

      Entitled behaviour is ugly wherever it comes from. I hope that he is tried solely on his bail breaking (contempt of court?) within the UK and then set free and he can fly wherever he wants to where he believes he may be safe from the attacks of angry states.

      1. Roger Smith

        The guy was systematically surrounding by extra-judicial forces who’ve have spent years pulling every string necessary to break the embassy into releasing him. But he’s to blame for acting in a way even more modest than every day people screeching on the internet are allowed to? The point is that he was never under the rules of the legal system, he is being held to a different standard.

      2. pretzelattack

        he was abiding by the rules of the legal system when he published the evidence of u.s. war crimes in 2010, now they’re continuing to break the rules to get him. and his host is trying to suck up to washington by going back on ecuador’s commitment. he is being held on an extradition warrant to the u.s.. honestly, i can’t believe you believe what you wrote.

        1. Sam Adams

          The most important and likely significant ramification of Julian Assange’s extradition to the USA will be how and if the US courts will torture the Bill of Rights.

      3. Spring Texan

        This wasn’t an event instigated by him no matter how annoying he could be (or by Ecuador), it’s all maneuvered by the United States, note Chelsea Manning’s recent re-imprisonment.

        The man is probably in very poor mental health but no matter what you think of him personally, this event is vile and a threat to all free speech and journalism.

        1. pretzelattack

          i think he’s a courageous journalist who is in the process of being railroaded, and that this smear job and kangaroo court process have nothing to do with how annoying he is, or his personal characteristics.
          the personal attacks on him are quite consistent with how effective critics of the empire are treated.

      4. urblintz

        You’re right…. you are anti-Assange and your dissembling doesn’t hide the fact. Inhumane, criminal persecution as a “political expense?” And you somehow know that he “broke” the rules, calling it “entitled?” What proof do you have, where are your facts? And how can you possibly expect the war mongering, blood soaked criminals pushing for his persecution – including the Democratic Party – to set him free? There’s an old saying: “Hope in one hand, sh(family blog) in the other and see which fills faster.”

        1. lupemax

          thanks for this. So right. propaganda has even seeped into NC…
          Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds make up stuff, gossip about people….

        2. windsock

          From Wikipedia:

          “In November 2010, Sweden issued an international arrest warrant for Assange. He had been questioned there months earlier over allegations of sexual assault and rape. Assange denied the allegations, and said that he would be extradited from Sweden to the United States because of his role in publishing secret American documents. Assange surrendered to UK police on 7 December 2010 but was released on bail within 10 days. Having been unsuccessful in his challenge to the extradition proceedings, he breached his bail and absconded. He was granted asylum by Ecuador in August 2012 and remained in the Embassy of Ecuador in London until his arrest in April 2019. Assange has held Ecuadorian citizenship since 12 December 2017.

          On May 19, 2017, the Swedish prosecutors dropped their investigation into the rape accusation against Assange and applied to revoke the European arrest warrant. The London Metropolitan Police indicated that an arrest warrant was in force for Assange’s failure to surrender himself to his bail. On July 27, 2018, Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno said that he had begun talks with British authorities to withdraw the asylum for Assange. In December, Assange turned down an offer that would have allowed him to leave the embassy with the guarantee that the UK would not extradite him to any country where he could face the death penalty

          On 11 April 2019, Assange was arrested by the Metropolitan Police Service inside the Ecuadorian embassy after the police were invited in by the Ambassador of Ecuador to the United Kingdom. Assange had been living in the embassy for 2,487 days. Assange has been further arrested on behalf of the United States authorities.”

          So: The UK has responded to requests from Sweden, then Ecuador, and has complied. And whether his release of stuff through Wikileaks changed anything for the better or worsen for any one individual, or any one state, time has yet to tell. But the due process of law is being applied. What would you have expected to happen?

          1. pretzelattack

            i would have expected britain to assure assange he wouldn’t have been renditioned to the u.s. if he left the embassy, and i would have expected the same from sweden. and the uk has been a party to this whole charade from the start, portraying them as simply dutifully complying with their obligations under international law is mind numbingly naive.

            1. windsock

              Again, what would you have had them do? I’m not being naive. I’m asking how this works in the world of “realpolitik”?

              1. pretzelattack

                i just told you, give legal assurances to assange and protect him from extradition. that’s realpolitik. but instead they were looking for an excuse to get him out of the embassy to extradite him to the u.s., which was what he feared they would do. there is no political necessity for the british to be the official u.s. poodle, but that’s how they act. the u.s. isn’t going to invade them.

                1. Procopius

                  But they never intended to “protect” him. It was already decided that he would be rendered to the U.S., where he would be detained in a military brig in solitary confinement with no access to legal counsel. Why would he have been foolish enough to trust their assurances?

          2. The Rev Kev

            The Swedish legal system bent itself into knots to try to get him which was forced by a few people in the Swedish legal system. Assange offered to go freely to Sweden to testify and stand trial if necessary on the proviso that he be not extradited to the US. Sweden absolutely refused this request each time.
            Assange said that he was available for any interviews by Swedish police and justice officials in the embassy so that they could take his testimony. Sweden refused year after years until it was just about time the statute of limitations was about due to run out. Why would that be?
            As for Assange turning down an offer that would have allowed him to leave the embassy with the guarantee that the UK would not extradite him to any country where he could face the death penalty, there are two problems with that. There is nothing about said country locking him up for the rest of his life – as in forever. Second, would you personally be willing to take that risk on that promise with Trump’s penchant for breaking agreements?

          3. urblintz

            “…Assange has been further arrested on behalf of the United States authorities.””

            due process? See Rev Kev below.

            then keep digging.

          4. WJ

            “So: The UK has responded to requests from Sweden, then Ecuador, and has complied.”

            No. The conclusion that we are warranted to infer from your timeline is that Sweden *did* always intend to extradite Assange to the U.S. (as Assange feared) under the pretext of a patently incredible allegation of his initiating unprotected sex without fully informing his (otherwise consensual) sexual partner. And also that the U.K. always *did* intend to extradite Assange to the U.S. under the pretext of the charge of his “breaking bail” in response to a proceeding related to the same patently incredible–and long-since dropped–allegation.

            To say that all this is nothing but “the due process of law…being applied” you have to be either willfully naive or intentionally deceptive.

      5. Laughingsong

        Hoo boy ws, where do I start?

        Good work at Wikileaks: Wikileaks has 100% accuracy. And has revealed appalling acts done in our name.

        K, on to “a legal system”: have you noticed anything, well, rotten in our legal systems lately? Then there’s that pesky First Amendment… so who’s working with a legal system?

        Breaking bail for a trumped up charge that fell apart the second it was truly addressed by the authorities?

        Hope? If you have been paying any attention, you know full well that ain’t how it’s going down, and besides the met police have already said that it is for extradition. JA is being rendered. To state that hope is just a throwaway line as far as I am concerned.

      6. JerryDenim

        “And then pissed off his hosts…” “Entitled behavior” I mean that’s the story sure, but where are these accounts coming from? The Ecuadorians who sold him out? The Intel community mouthpieces applauding Assange’s arrest? Are you still trusting reporting from the same people that used the discredited, bogus Steele Dossier to launch thousands of Red-Scare conspiracy myths, FISA warrants, the Mueller investigation and three years of garbage tabloid journalism? I would think most governments claiming to love democracy and freedom would need a little cover before turning over a protected asylee to the Anglo-NATO-Gestapo. What exactly did Assange do, leave dirty dishes in the sink? Play his music too loudly? Leave toenail clippings on the couch?

        I imagine the $350 million World Bank loan announced on April 4th, which was linked in the comments above by Zagonostra probably had more to do with it than alleged bad roommate behavior. Despite being his VP, President Moreno doesn’t appear to be as bold as his predecessor Correa. I don’t think he viewed the continued accommodation of the political liability Assange to be worth the trouble and the loss of the many enticements the US friendly international trade and banking sectors undoubtedly placed on the table for Moreno.

        Extraordinarily sad day, but I think everyone knew this day was eventually coming, Assange included. Continued acrimonious US-Russia relations is probably the best thing Snowden has going for him currently.

      7. WJ

        The exactingly scrupulous idiocy of this comment is hard to take seriously.

        Assange engaged in “entitled behavior” by “bail breaking” in the U.K. because he sought refuge in Ecuador’s Embassy to escape extradition to the US under the pretext of having to answer for an alleged “rape” so patently fraudulent he was never even charged with a crime, and then had to remain within that same Embassy for roughly a decade under increasingly isolating and deteriorating conditions in order to escape extradition to the US under the pretext of having to answer for his “bail breaking” in the U.K. for a court proceeding related to an allegation in Sweden he was never actually charged with, and finally and in violation of international law is forcibly expelled by the same Embassy into the arms of Scotland Yard who immediately publicize their intent to extradite him to the U.S., and yet you say that he still needs to answer for his U.K. “bail breaking” but add that you “hope” he will be set free after that, and you say this even as the pertinent governmental authorities in the U.K. and the U.S. have repeatedly stated that they will aggressively pursue his extradition–the very extradition he had anticipated and sought to evade ten years earlier when he sought refuge in the Ecuadorean Embassy, thereby (according to you) engaging in “entitled behavior” by “breaking bail”?

      8. richard

        This is piffle. What “qualifications” do you need to judge whether he has done good work or not? He has exposed murderous truths, which is what journalists should all aspire to do. There, I did it in one sentence. He’s done good work. He’s helped set up a news organization that is exemplary both in its relation to power (always adversarial) and it’s carefulness with facts. Not hard to figure out, no special expertise needed.
        “He agreed to abide by the rules of a legal system. And then broke them” Naive and unfair. Who has ever agreed, either literally or in the implied sort of way that legitimacy is supposed to take place, that they are okay with being persecuted, with local “legal problems” clearly being manipulated by global elites unhappy at being exposed? Because that is simply what happened.
        Entitled? I really do hate that word. But okay, assange clearly is “entitled” to whatever protections we can offer to journalist doing his job, from a government that wants to punish him for it.

      9. Grant

        He is being tried in a country that lets actual war criminals go free. Bolton and Abrams have been hired by the government again. Bolton has been given space in major papers to call for more attacks against other countries. He publicly pushes for the Venezuelan military to take out their own government. Kissinger is lauded by many in power. Cheney is free, Bush has been embraced by many Democrats. There has been mass criminality on Wall Street, and no one is ever held responsible. Oil companies bribe politicians out in the open and their product will bring down human civilization. Our political and judicial system is thoroughly corrupt and have gutted many of the things needed to make us a humane society.

        And we are supposed to think that the rule of law and morals really matters these days? Are any of the laws, is the wider societal impact of Assange’s actions, as bad as what Bolton did to Iraq? Is Assange guilty of mass constitutional violations like the things that Snowden uncovered? Are we to pretend that this isn’t connected to the wider war on the press, the Russia propaganda, and should we ignore what powerful interest the world over have also done to Manning, Snowden, Risen and others?

        I would have more respect for this argument if we actually enforced far greater violations of the law.

      10. bob

        Brave stand!

        “Entitled behaviour is ugly wherever it comes from. I hope that he is tried solely on his bail breaking (contempt of court?) within the UK and then set free and he can fly wherever he wants to where he believes he may be safe from the attacks of angry states.”

        What color is the sky on your planet?

      11. The Rev Kev

        ‘and he can fly wherever he wants to’. Sorry windsock but that won’t work. Remember when they forced the plane of the Bolivian President to land in Austria because it was suspected that Edward Snowden was aboard? The Bolivian President. Assange’s plane would be forced to land at a convenient US military base by US fighters where he would be arrested and packed on a plane to the States.

        Funny thing at the moment is that Trump said ‘Oh, we love WikiLeaks’ but now he is saying whodat? and ‘I know nothing about WikiLeaks’

  2. Quentin

    What a distressing, depressing event! It all began with rape allegations in Sweden—let’s put that in our hat and eat it, the political leveraging of rape, in the light of the groping Trump and the me-too rage—and will end by the US taking revenge for the revelations of savagery in Iraq and the DNC’s engineering of Bernie Sander’s defeat in The City of Brotherly Love in 2016. After all, vice-president Pence pulled a Nikki Halley by exiting the UN Security Council chamber after telling the Venezuelan ambassador he should get out, go home. How sweet it is!

    Alex Morfesis, I can’t decide whether your remark is cutesy or bitchy—either way I find it distasteful considering the appalling circumstances.

    1. Yves Smith

      The “rape” allegations were under a definition specific to Sweden:

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is facing arrest for violating a Swedish law about sex without condoms, rather than a mainstream interpretation of “rape.” Yet that’s the charge reports often levy against him. Behold the smear campaign.

      BTW in just about every extradition treaty in the world, you can’t extradite unless the offense is a crime in the country from which the accused is trying to be removed as well as the country where he was charged.

      1. Quentin

        BTW There’s hardly anything in the US which isn’t a crime when it comes to taking revenge: see soon Iran’s deserved punishment for the fall of the Shah and the taking of US hostages forty years ago. The US isn’t all that big on the use of condoms abroad, anyway.

        Assange will be extradited on sedition, treason charges or whatever Bolton and Pompeo concoct. Anyway the indictment is already signed and sealed. The Clintons will definitely not object After all, only Assange did wrong. Mrs. Clinton did no wrong by setting the conditions for the savage execution of Ghaddafi, about which she latter guffawed!

        I do have to remark that Swedish law about sex (even consenting?) without a condom is very novel. So it wasn’s rape. What do the Swede’s then call it when everyone all over the world thought he faced allegations of rape. What a difference a lawyerly sleight of word makes.

  3. The Rev Kev

    Hannah Solow’s hamster is very chill. Doesn’t she have a brother serving as skipper on aboard the USS Millennium Falcon?

    1. Fried

      Just out of curiosity, if you think this is a hamster, do you think it’s a huge hamster or really tiny ducks?

    2. Susan the other`

      We just had a capybara with ducks antidote. These guys are very compatible. Maybe we could learn something.

  4. cnchal

    > A Team At Amazon Is Listening To Recordings Captured By Alexa Buzzfeed (DL).

    Additionally, the spokesperson said, “All information is treated with high confidentiality and we use multi-factor authentication to restrict access, service encryption, and audits of our control environment to protect it.”
    . . .
    Apple and Google, which make two other popular voice-enabled assistants, also employ humans who review audio commands spoken to their devices; both companies say that they anonymize the recordings and don’t associate them with customers’ accounts.

    None of these companies deserve one iota of trust. These bland assurances mean nothing without a thorough audit done by an independent authority that works for the public.

    The stupidest line is at the end.

    In any case, this is all a good reminder that if you’d rather keep something private, it’s not a bad idea to unplug your smart speaker.

    A much better idea is to never bring the tech bro surveillance crapola into your home in the first place.

    It is astonishing how the tech world thinks they are loved and trusted by all.

    1. The Rev Kev

      And you just now that those tech bros have compiled their favourite recordings into collections bearing labels like ‘Most Funny’, ‘Most Sexy’ and ‘Most Outrageous’ recordings to be swapped around and played at parties. Apparently the same happens at the NSA with all those sexy fotos swapped over social media.

      1. EricT

        It really wasn’t the ‘tech bros’, it was wall street’s insistence that any IOT device has to be connected to a server controlled by the company who makes a device, in order for them to make continuous profits. The internet’s resiliency is based upon its distributed nature. Arpnet was designed to survive a nuclear holocaust and that is primarily based on the design of distributing nodes, so that if a few are destroyed the network will continue to operate. In today’s version, if the company who sold you that garage door opener connected to your phone goes out of business, it will no longer work.

      2. cnchal

        This evening we get the MSM version.

        That thousands of Amazon employees (yes, thousands) are tasked with listening to what is euphemistically called a smart speaker in your home so that it’s speech listening algorithm can more accurately serve the cownsumer by becoming smarter at interpreting what they say, and it basically resolves to, “Amazon spies on you for your own good, nothing to see here”.

        NYC dodged a grenade by chasing this Amazon insanity away. Everyone that puts one these smart listeners in their home or office invites the insanity in.

    2. tegnost

      None of these companies deserve one iota of trust.
      Thank you. Not one iota. I wonder what their carbon footprint is, and how many windmills it will take to run one fulfillment center and make all the boxes that carry the junk that is distributed from them

  5. dearieme

    Does his case still turn on those absurd rape accusations from Sweden?

    My sympathies are with him: he seems to me to have served rather a long sentence in the embassy. Anyway he can’t be a bigger crook than the FBI or the CIA, can he? Or, if you object that an institution can’t be a crook, he can’t be a bigger crook than Obama or Hellary, can he?

    1. pretzelattack

      i think it turns on the u.s. extradition request, and the almost decade long effort to get him for exposing u.s. war crimes.

  6. dk

    Barr looking into “spying on campaigns” can push for a) political campaign regulation that could impede grassroots, 2) restrictions on press coverage of politics (spying!!). And lot of incumbent Senate/House Dems could support such measures. Joe Crowley sure would if he could.

  7. zagonostra


    Please communicate to which ever elected official you can exert influence as a voter or otherwise that their stand on Julian Assange will be the litmus test of their future in elected office.

    Most people are sleepwalking when it comes to politics, it’s time to shake them out of their torpor.

    1. Spring Texan

      So glad that at least some of the people commenting on this blog are rightly outraged by this. Many events signalled this was coming, but it’s a very sorrowful thing to happen.

      Also very worried about Chelsea Manning.

      1. jawbone

        Is it possible the DOJ can charge Chelsea Manning with other, similar crimes, along with keeping her in solitary?

        The Ecuadorean president’s actions seem to be part of the tick-tock to destroy Assange. And get some kind of IMF favoritism loans? or…?

      2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        *NC commentariat upon hearing news of Manning’s arrest*


        *…Assange’s arrest*


        1. Fiery Hunt

          Umm, pretty sure Manning’s conviction of espionage was commuted by Obama; she’s currently under arrest for contempt of court.
          Assange is facing espionage charges. (i think we all assume this, yes?)

          Seems to be a world of difference in the potential consequences.
          Or am I misinterpreting your comment, Jonathan?

          For the record, I loathe those who would persecute the courageous truthtellers.

          1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

            Ur right, world of diff.

            Im jus pissed both are in jail again. So predictable what the NeoCons want. Blood.

            But blood is boring and our ‘Grand Narratives’ are boring too.

  8. Steve H.

    > How Chinese Youth Are Finding Depth in the Two-Dimensional World

    “The majority of Chinese erciyuan fans grew up without siblings. The result was cohort after cohort of competitive but lonely children.”

    That is a really interesting point. The mathematics of cooperation began with Haldane’s ‘two brothers or eight cousins’ comment. In the length of a lifetime, China went from large families to one grandchild per four grandparents. Am I right, that means no brothers or cousins?

    China seems to be the petri dish for massive social experimentation, currently industrializing reputation networks. 有趣.

  9. Roger Smith

    Measles Parties!? What in the -family blog- is wrong with people?? They are so psychotic that they think long standing social vaccines are bad, but they are then willing to willingly give their kids the Measles? You don’t just get over the Measles! That is the entire reason the vaccine was created! These people think they know so much about how bad the vaccines are, yet they have no idea about the actual illness. This is disgusting and these people should be criminally charged with child neglect and some lesser charge of social terrorism for willingly incubating deadly diseases.

    Why is this Church of Christ Science stuff becoming so mainstream? I understand that this decadent society is breaking down and crumbling around us, but a crisis is exactly when you do not start panicking. When you panic you do stupid things like adopt the belief that vaccines against deadly illnesses are bad.

    1. VietnamVet

      There is no better picture of the lack of trust and reversion back to tribal beliefs in America by the triumph of the new aristocracy than the taking of children to a measles party to expose them to the real live measles virus rather than going to a clinic for the vaccine with the attenuated virus.

    2. Monty

      I had measles (and chicken pox) when I was young and got over it after some sweet, sweet time off school!

  10. pretzelattack

    waiting for the right wing dems to start proving how “patriotic” they are by joining in celebrating assange’s arrest.
    and i really do hope bernie is on the right side here.

    1. ambrit

      Good point. However, I’ll go out on that proverbial limb and suggest that just about all American politicos are Right wing. You are right on the basic issue. The reaction to Assange’s arrest will be a litmus test for one and all.
      Perhaps Lambert, the ever suffering, could add this to his political “cheat sheet.” Call it something anodyne like: “Support For First Amendment.”

      1. pretzelattack

        sure, all republicans and most democrats, and i don’t like labelling the democrats as centrists. i’m a little uncertain how far to trust the few who aren’t. sanders has been disappointing on foreign policy and deference to the empire.

        1. ambrit

          I’m with you on that point. So far, every “bright shining knight” who comes along has fallen from grace eventually. I do understand the need for compromise on issues in the interests of a general advance in conditions for the public. However, there should be some issues that fall into the category of “Core Beliefs.” How else are the public to chose who to support? Sortition?

    2. Elizabeth

      Yes, I hope Bernie speaks out against this outrage. I don’t expect any other “progressives” to do so, but hopefully Bernie will and wake up the populace This is truly a dark day – JA is a hero ( hate using that word because it’s been so trivialized), but he is – as is Chelsea Manning. The U.S. has plenty of war criminals who should be rotting in prison..

      1. richard

        I will be carefully checking gabbard on this issue as well.
        Gravel I don’t need to.
        Liz, dang. I’ve got a feeling that silence is the best we can hope from her on this subject.
        The rest will cheer, or put naive faith in a “process” that won’t for one moment help assange or manning, or speak to the inverted priorities at work here.

        1. Shonde

          Here is Gravel on Twitter:

          Mike Gravel
          ‏Verified account @MikeGravel

          It is deeply frustrating that @TulsiGabbard and @BernieSanders – who know better – haven’t spoken out against the arrest of #JulianAssange. That is why we’re trying to get Mike on the stage – so we can push them left and give America a voice for justice.

          1. richard

            Okay, I was waiting for god knows what (just lazy I suspect)
            but that gets gravel my $1 for sure

            1. Shonde

              Tulsi also appeared on CNN regarding Assange. She tweeted that so check it out. I don’t know how to put it on NC or I would have done so.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Wish You Weren’t Here”

    Another bit of Deplorables porn, but this time in England. Maybe they should have renamed the article “Dagenham Elegy”. Look, there is something that I read a long time ago by an author named Robert Ruark that explains what is going on here, how Brexit came about and also how Donald Trump came to be President of the United States. He wrote the following-

    “When we take away from a man his traditional way of life, his customs, his religion, we had better make certain to replace it with Something Of Value”.

  12. katiebird

    Regarding the Measles, does anyone know why people born before 1957 are considered immune? I’ve hunted around but can only find references to the fact and forum fights.

      1. katiebird

        I think I had something called German Measles. Hope that was good enough. I don’t think I live in a high risk area though.

        1. Wyoming

          Umm nope.

          German Measles (properly known as Rubella) is actually not measles and requires a separate vaccine from the one for measles. The MMR vaccine is for measles, mumps and rubella. Note this vaccine is a combination of 3 different vaccines.

          Rubella, like measles, has occasionally very nasty consequences. Rubella has lots of nasty symptoms but its main danger is to pregnant women who often miscarry or have babies with severe birth defects.

          Measles on the other hand is a killer. In pre-vaccine times measles killed over 2 million people a year worldwide.

          Like most older people I had both when I was a youngster.

        2. Spring Texan

          German measles and measles were two different diseases. I had both.

          Main risk of German measles was to fetus in pregnant women which was a reason parents wanted to ensure girls particularly got it.

          Regular measles was much more miserable, more serious for the individual, and had different risks like to vision.

        1. ewmayer

          I had mumps as a kid, but somehow missed catching chicken pox, so ended up catching the latter as a college sophomore – it was *nasty*, lymph nodes swollen to the size of hazelnuts and blisters everywhere, even a few tiny ones on my eyeballs. Catching mumps in adulthood is supposedly even more dangerous.

          1. newcatty

            Sympathy, ewmayer. My daughter missed chicken pox until in 6th grade. Not, as an adult, but still miserable. Kids can be jerks and for awhile after she returned to school was called “pox” girl. She had a cool teacher and he stopped that cold. He also told us to let her stay home as long as she needed, she was an excellent student, so he knew she could keep up with his curriculum via homework. He had a pizza party to welcome her back into the fold. Kids liked that idea and she was a heroine for her adventure, lol.

    1. sleepy

      Not sure, but I suspect that the majority of those born before then got the disease and immunity to further infection. I was born in 1951 and there was no vaccine and like virtually everyone I knew from that era I got the measles as well as the mumps.

    2. Marty

      “People born before 1957” are NOT immune. I was born in 1949 and I did have measles as a child.
      As far as I know there was no vaccine then.
      Also, all these childhood diseases were horrible.
      These anti-vaxxers are truly crazy.

      1. katiebird

        I found this…. From this CDC page:

        Birth before 1957 provides only presumptive evidence for measles, mumps, and rubella. Before vaccines were available, nearly everyone was infected with measles, mumps, and rubella viruses during childhood. The majority of people born before 1957 are likely to have been infected naturally and therefore are presumed to be protected against measles, mumps, and rubella. Healthcare personnel born before 1957 without laboratory evidence of immunity or disease should consider getting two doses of MMR vaccine.

      2. Big River Bandido

        People born before 1957 gained immunity the same way you did…by having the illness.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      If this is right, it looks like 1963 was the intro year, so that says six years old which means school and exposure. Though it looks like this is linked to herd immunity because measles was so prevalent, people without good enough antibodies basically died and couldn’t spread the disease. I imagine the relationship between normal health and exposure matters too. It’s possible older people are at risk.

      1. ambrit

        There is an element of Social Darwinism in this imbroglio. Anti-vaxxers are saying, probably unwittingly for most, that the weak should die. This is also an aspect of the overpopulation problem. The birth rate shows itself, no ‘agency’ I know, to be out of control. It was the death rate that was managed more efficiently. Roughly, to many, not enough people are dying. Add into the mix the health effects of massive wealth inequality and we have the makings of the “perfect epidemic.”
        Remember when Reagan dragged his feet on mounting a ‘robust response’ to the HIV and AIDS outbreaks? The same thinking. To people of a Reactionary bent, the “other” always deserves his or her unpleasant fate. To those involved with “Measles Parties” and the like, anyone not involved with them is a classic “Other.”

        1. Geo

          The ideas behind this anti-vaccine movement do have a tinge of old style eugenics theory to them don’t they? Except, in this case it’s not the poor and disenfranchised being directly targeted but the rich and delusional targeting themselves.

          Spent a brief amount of time in Westchester for work and the opulent wealth and arrogant elitism was staggering. Makes Malibu seem like an Occupy protest by comparison. My nihilistic side feels we should let them cull their herds but then the humanist side reminds me that the kids are the ones paying for their parents’ idiocy.

    4. temporal

      I had mumps, measles, and chickenpox. Also some sort of infection, via having the measles, that led to having my tonsils out when I was six. With the side “benefit” of slightly perforated eardrums for the rest of my life.

      The anti-vaxxers that want this to be normal are seriously irresponsible. Whatever doesn’t kill you might still weaken you for life.

      1. Elizabeth

        I’m waiting for polio to make a comeback in the U.S. It’s still around (not in U.S., as far as I know), Perhaps anti-vaxxers should take a tour of an iron lung hospital ward.

        1. newcatty

          I remember my mom talking about how I had “both measles”…meaning, of course, Rubella and Measles. Curiously, I don’t remember the experiences. I was born before vaccinations. Somehow, I missed Mumps. Fast forward to adulthood, I worked in a school district that was one of first in area to require anyone who worked with kids to get an MMR vaccination. I complied and had an awful reaction that was a case of the mumps. Lasted a couple of days. Now, I am glad that I had that vaccination. It would be really awful to have mumps at my age now! My daughter was one of first children to get MMR, from her pediatrician. The age selected was 18 months old. It also is interesting that her pediatrician was considered a “holistic” MD. She did prescribe some non pharmaceutical remedies for colds, etc. Luke warm baths and Vicks ‘ rub on chest, for example, as well as the time trued fluids…especially fresh juices. Worked great, but if ear infection, then antibiotic was called for to preserve furthur complications. We were fortunate to have a competent and practical doc in our lives. She was a wonderful person, too.

  13. Stillfeelinthebern

    New polling out in Wisconsin. Interesting numbers.

    Bernie Sanders is the top choice among Wisconsin Dems at 32% followed by Biden at 29%.

    In January, it was Biden 32% and Sanders 23%. Bernie will be in Madison, WI for a rally tomorrow, weather forecast is a high of 43 F and wind.

    1. Big River Bandido

      Sanders won handily in WI last time over the establishment. Not much has changed since then, and there’s no reason to expect he wouldn’t clean up this time, as well.

      1. richard

        Good point. I think that any poll that includes biden at this point is going to be pretty misleading as these are biden’s name recognition/association with Obama numbers. No policy yet, no actual campaigning, which will cut into that number a lot. All he needs to do is open his big, entitled, oligarchic mouth and be clueless about the precariat, which is like breathing for him. It will go way down. You probably didn’t hear it here first!

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Norway Says No To Billions Of Barrels Of Oil While Trump Seeks More Pipelines”

    In news just in, the leader of the Norwegian Storting (Parliament) has declared himself Prime Minister in place of the socialist Prime Minister Erna Solberg. Trump has already announced sanctions on the country to free it from the evils of socialism such as health care, its $1 trillion collectively-owned capital fund and the burden of all that offshore oil. SecState Pompeo has already stated that all options are on the table and have warned Russia to stay away from Norway’s borders. The US Treasury has impounded Norway’s 50 tons of gold held in the US since 1940 until Norway can prove that it will not spend the money irresponsibly. The main stream media hail this as helping to free a people from their miserable existence in an undemocratic state.

      1. JEHR

        I saw this “drama” on Netflix (Canada) and the premise was interesting but the acting left a lot to be desired so I’m not too interested in watching season 2.

      2. The Rev Kev

        “Occupation” makes no sense. So Norway is stopping oil & gas production which makes the EU get Russia to occupy Norway? If Norway did that, gas & oil prices would rise significantly which would be a great thing for Russia as they would get higher prices for their oil & gas. Why would Russia spend tens of billions occupying a country to restart gas & oil production which would depress the prices of their gas & oil?

    1. Geo

      Thanks for the brilliant satire! Needed a little laugh this morning.

      Pretty soon we’ll be turning away little blonde kids at the border. :)

  15. Eric Blood Axe

    Funny that the US should worry about Crimea. After the annexation of ,Texas,California,Arizona, and the attempted annexation of Canada.

    1. Barmitt O'Bamney

      Also acquired were parts of Colorado, Utah, Wyoming. And New Mexico isn’t any newer than Old Mexico, it’s just new to us.

    2. Wyoming

      I tell my acquaintances here in AZ to not get so upset about immigration all the time. After all we are living in occupied Mexico and they are just coming here to take it back as is their right. The reactions are amusing.

      1. newcatty

        Good one, Wyoming, As an Arizonan, actually born here, I think that I can claim all of the CA refugees and others, to be immigrants (wink). Also, it’s relevant to point out that native peoples were here before in the first place. Arizona has many tribes in its geography boundries.

  16. Olga

    When hypocrisy gets you
    “Under intense questioning about why the Israeli annexation of the Golan Heights was good but the Russian seizure of Crimea was bad, the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, told senators that there was an “international law doctrine” which would be explained to them later. It turned out there was no doctrine. The state department’s clarification of Pompeo’s remarks contained no reference to one, and experts on international law said that none exists.”

    1. The Rev Kev

      And let us not bring up the subject of Kosovo – otherwise you might find yourself in an involuntary organ donor program. The United Nations makes provisions for self-determination of a people and those in Crimea can be counted as such. It is in the UN Charter but which has been ignored. There is an easy solution. Have a final referendum on if the people desire to stay with Russia or return to the Ukraine. Have international observers stationed at each and every polling station. Make it paper-based and hand-counted in public so that there can be no charges of hacking afterwards. Whatever the results, that is it. Done. If they choose to live with Russia, then all sanctions on the people of that place be immediately lifted. But we all know what the results will be and that is why the UN will never hold one.

    2. Geo

      Reminds me of the big laugh back in 2014 when our state department said this about Crimea:

      The State Department Wednesday issued a scathing takedown against the Russian government for spinning “a false narrative to justify its illegal action in Ukraine.”

      And the whole world responded, “Iraqi WMD’s ring a bell?”

  17. Ignim Brites

    “…the annexation continues to garner wide popular approval despite international opprobrium, sanctions against Russia and sustained geopolitical tensions in the Black Sea region. This is the Crimea conundrum.” Not really much of a connundrum. Demographics overrules territorial nationality everytime eventually. Will be real interesting to see if Tulsi Gabbard will be willing to recognize Russian sovereignty in Crimea. We can take for granted that the rest of the candidates will toe the Establisment line.
    And, btw, by refusing to recognize Russian sovereignity, are we not attacking Democracy?

  18. Summer

    Re: India election / Modi vs Ghandi Congress

    Sounds exactly like the way all the “binary politics” are playing out globally. It points to manipulation by outside forces.

    For instance, these two things:

    “His (Ghandi) party has been trying to make political mileage out of the scandal – in which Modi and the BJP have been accused of nepotism and accepting bribes in return for awarding the multibillion-dollar contract – for the past two years, with little success.”

    The Ghandi Congress has a basic income idea, but that that type of policy is not emphasized like the scandal has been for the past two years. Past two years….

    “For too long, the party has been on the back foot, trying to fight the BJP on its own turf of nationalism and national security and coming up short.”

    This is the same liberal problem the world over. We’re talking about different cultures and it all plays the same way.

    The hardest thing for people to admit is how long they have been manipulated by the liberal/conservative binary that has been promoted as central to democracy.
    It may be the “original fail.”

  19. shtove

    We have an infestation of Sovereign Men in the UK too. Signing documents with thumb-prints, citing admiralty law. Thanks, USA! Although I imagine the crazy originated in Puritan Britain.

    The ones I’ve met had meek, albeit fiercely committed, spouses. Wonder what they think of Brexit!

  20. Summer

    Re: Hype and Reality /AI / China

    I heard a good demonstration of this “hype.”

    Someone said their grade school aged child told them he wanted to be a “robot doctor.”

    Of course, the proper job description would be along the lines of “engineer” or “mechanic.” But apparently the comment was laughed off or thought of as cute.

    If you don’t see the major mind-f – – – in what the kid said.

          1. newcatty

            Susan, an anecdote that shows your observation to be all too prescient. My husband, a few years back, had outpatient surgery. It was like being in an assembly line. The nurses and aides were all competent and kind. But, you could sense the tense pace of the routines. His doc, whom we both liked and had a great reputation and recommendationa, was looking stressed when he came to check out his patient, I asked, did it all go well? He smiled and said, Oh, yeah. He explained the details, then. As he was talking, he was busily typing notes, or whatever, in a lap top type device. He sighed and revealed that he hated the fact that he had to do the extensive computer work after every surgery. He barely had time to talk with patients before his next break before back to work.

    1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      See ‘Alita-Battle Angel’

      If all the robots look like that, MED SCHOOL IT IS!

  21. The Rev Kev

    “Animals and 2020”

    A coupla days ago in Australia, animal rights activist launched a nation-wide protest by blocking traffic in a major city, invading abattoirs and farms, chaining themselves to the entrance of Melbourne Aquarium, etc. which made people here very, very sympathetic to their cause. So sympathetic they they probably went out and got a steak or a burger afterwards. This is not how you help the cause-

    1. a different chris

      Weird the link says “tougher-laws” but the headline and the story says no such thing, much to my relief. Not that I’m overly sympathetic (yet I do think humans are a plague at this point so, mixed feelings…) but my first thought was “my god please no more neo-lib laws”. There must have been something, though, to kick off th initial headline.

      Being irritating should not be against the law.

    2. Jonathan Holland Becnel


      Time to traumatize the Urban Folk and make them question their values.

      Now i wouldve occupied Suburban exits at 4am in order to block the elites from making money, but to each their own!

      These Professionals of the world are literally in La la land, burying their heads in the sand while the world burns.

  22. vidimi

    history will not look kindly on McKibben’s multi-decade failure to mobilize and politicize.

    what history?
    history implies that there will be scholars to study it. future scholars may not know any more about the anthropocene than we know about the creteceous

  23. Lee

    The electronic song “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” reduces host attack and mating success in the dengue vector Aedes aegypti. Acta Tropica. News you can use!

    Having listened to the music, I do believe it would disrupt the mating success of just about any species and drive them stark raving mad to boot.

  24. jean palmer

    Assange is a heroic journalist/publisher. This day makes me very sad.

    It appears the US aims to destroy real heros who report truth and glorify only thugs, thugs who lie, bully, cheat, and want war war and more war because money.

  25. chuck roast

    Re: Ex DNI Stunning and Scary…
    This is like going through the looking glass.

    So, the AG says that there was probably “spying” on the Trump campaign. Clapper responds that Barr was, ”… postulating with apparently no evidence…” on this so-called spying. The real problem according to the ex-spy Clapper, was “…Russian interference in our election process.” Are we forgetting that Clapper and his spy-buddies presented this evidence-free assessment of Russian spying and interference in January 2017?

    Cooper should have presented this interview with Clapper upside down. Standing on his head as it were. But, this Cooper is a pretty dim-bulb, and irony is unknown in the MSM (that would be Major Stenographic Media). And ya know, in order to finally get rid of them ya’ gotta’ drive a stake through the heart of guys like Clapper, and that will not happen in any case. Witness all the knuckleheads who brought us the Middle East fiasco still getting sizable paychecks.

    Nunes says he is going to recommend indictments. We’ll see.

    1. JCC

      It’s pretty much an accepted fact that spying on Presidents (and most other politicians) has been the norm since the days of J. Edgar Hoover.

      Why anyone would believe Clapper (notwithstanding his known proclivity to lie like a rug) is totally beyond me.

    1. Roger Smith

      The Electoral College should be maintained. Maybe loose ends should be tied, such as electors only being able to cast the vote that reflects the majority of their state’s popular vote, but the concept generally is way more dynamic and representative than a linear popular vote.

      This nonsense about it being “racist” is hyperbolic ranting, by the usual suspects no less (Moore, and more and more, AOC). As I said above, when it hits the fan, the worst thing to do is go into a destructive panic.

  26. The Rev Kev

    “Why we can’t get over the death of the dinosaurs”

    I’ve always credited dinosaurs with helping humans avoid a nuclear war. No really. People forget but back in the 80s, the laptop warriors that surrounded Ronald Reagan were muttering about how the world could survive a limited nuclear war. And they were serious. But in 1980, a team of researchers consisting of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Luis Alvarez, his son, geologist Walter Alvarez, & chemists Frank Asaro and Helen Michel had discovered a layer of Iridium in the KT boundary and that this was worldwide. It did not take long to realize that the cause must have been a huge asteroid that hit the earth and killed off the dinosaurs in the combination of a fire storm followed by a deep freeze winter.
    From this realization, it was but a short step to recognize that the same would be true if there was a nuclear war which led to the phrase of a ‘nuclear winter’. In 1984 a book came out called “The Cold and the Dark: The World after Nuclear War” by Paul R. Ehrlich, Carl Sagan, and Donald Kennedy which laid out in painful detail what would happen to our planet after a nuclear war. I honestly think that when this started to percolate up into the higher ranks of Washington, that these nuclear war enthusiasts realized that if they started a nuclear war, then they could expect to live out the rest of their lives in an underground concrete bunker with not an exclusive restaurant in sight. I recall that by the late 80s that the idea of nuclear war had cooled off considerably for which credit I assign to the extinction of the dinosaurs and the realization that the same could happen to us.

  27. Raulb

    He has been in the embassy for 7 years, Snowden is stuck in Moscow and Manning is back in jail. Our current narrative of democracy, freedom, dissent and wider context of art and culture paints a picture of us as societies and individuals who deeply care about these issues, and yet these 3 individuals expose the complete hollowness and lack of substance in our beliefs.

    Protests were conspicuous by their absence in London, the US and outside Manning’s prison all these years. And current expressions of outrage seem shriller as if to convince ourselves we care, and restore a false sense of normalcy untill Assange is out of sight.

    Isn’t it curious that the most basic actions of whistle blowing and dissent are not able to operate freely in the west? A region that has made a career of hosting activists and dissenters and demonizing and stirring up trouble against others to uphold ‘values’. When other countries take down dissent or imprison activists its censorship and totalitarianism and when we do its ”some reason’. Our values are duplicity and venality.

  28. upstater

    737 Max in today’s NYT: Changes to Flight Software on 737 Max Escaped F.A.A. Scrutiny

    “The F.A.A. defended its certification process, saying it has consistently produced safe aircraft. An F.A.A. spokesman said agency employees collectively spent more than 110,000 hours reviewing the Max, including 297 test flights.”

    If this is correct, it implies about 50 man-years expended by the FAA to certify the 737 Max (or 25 people working 2 years, etc). I dunno about other NC commentariat, but that seem like pretty lean oversight, doesn’t it?

    Outsourcing always seems to end up in crapification, doesn’t it?

  29. allan

    At Oversight Hearing, Republicans Lavish Praise On Wall Street Oligarchs [HuffPo]

    If you want to know who exercises real power in American government, take a look at Wednesday’s congressional testimony from the CEOs of the nation’s biggest banks. Over the course of seven relentless hours, lawmakers fell all over themselves to heap praise on the CEOs of JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, State Street and Bank of New York Mellon ― seven men who together control nearly $12 trillion in total assets.

    Republican lawmakers, in particular, seemed to enjoy transforming what was ostensibly an oversight hearing into an opportunity to demonstrate whom America’s elected officials really work for. With the unchecked glee of children encountering their favorite cartoon characters at Disneyland, members of Congress praised the assembled CEOs not only for their business savvy but for the apparently profound moral contributions they have made to American communities. …

    “I just want to make a note to the panel [of bank CEOs],” Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) said. “I appreciate what you do for America.”

    “Thank you for the good work that you do,” said Rep. John Rose (R-Tenn.).

    “I actually wanted to say thank you to [JPMorgan CEO Jamie] Dimon,” said Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), celebrating the head of the largest American bank for … making car loans and stuff. “If that person wants to achieve the American dream and get a car, you’ll help finance it. If that person wants to be able to own a home to achieve the American dream, they’re gonna come to you.” …

    At least one Democrat wanted in on the lovefest with our lords of finance. Freshman Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), who has raised over $3.1 million from the financial sector in his brief congressional career, repeatedly told the execs he was both “grateful” and “very grateful” for all of their small business lending, all the mortgages they had issued in his district, and just “how much has been invested in our country” by very large banks. …

    Compare and contrast with the treatment they got from AOC, Katie Porter and Madeleine Dean.

    1. JBird4049

      The average American probably wants the whole lot in a Federal Super Max; maybe at the next campaign these. political prostitutes’ opposing candidates should use this footage?

      I have to wonder if they actually believe this nonsense.

  30. barrisj

    Re: Julian Assange and “password hacking” charge…I’m wondering if the DOJ won’t try for a two-fer here, and threaten Chelsea Manning with a conspiracy indictment, unless she decides to rat out Assange…her original conviction was “unauthorized release of classified documents”, and can this “password hacking” business be finessed around any double-jeopardy claims, if it comes to that? Manning is currently jailed in VA on a federal contempt-of-court charge for refusing to provide information to a grand jury that is investigating Wikileaks, despite being given immunity. The breadth of the grand-jury hearings hasn’t been made public yet, but it’s not unreasonable to believe that the DOJ is prepared to level multiple charges against Assange, squeezing him until he either pleads out, or forcing him to go to trial. And it doesn’t look particularly good for Manning, as the Obama commutation of her original 35-yr sentence still rankles people in the intelligence community, and the fact that a federal judge was quick to jail her for refusing to testify is not an encouraging sign. “Witch hunt”?…you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.

  31. Iapetus

    “The Perplexing Physics of Imaging a Black Hole”

    I’m glad to see this renewed world focus on science, especially astrophysics which is full of interesting phenomena. This first black hole picture, however, is kind of misleading in that it is not a direct image of the phenomena and some large unspecified portion of its detail was determined by a computer algorithm. According to this article describing how the black hole picture was produced:

    “For simple targets, such as individual stars, the radio wave patterns picked up by a single pair of telescopes provide enough information for researchers to work backward and figure out what distribution of light must have produced those data. But for a source with complex structure, like a black hole, there are too many possible solutions for what the image could be. Researchers need more data to work out how a black hole’s radio waves are interacting with each other, offering more clues about what the black hole looks like.”

    “Combining the EHT data still isn’t enough to render a vivid picture of a supermassive black hole….The reason we can reconstruct images, even though we don’t have 100 percent of the information, is because we know what images look like in general. There are mathematical rules about how much randomness any given picture can contain, how bright it should be and how likely it is that neighboring pixels will look similar. Those basic guidelines can inform how software decides which potential images, or data interpretations, make the most sense.”

    “Before the 2017 observing campaign, the EHT researchers held a series of imaging challenges to make sure their computer algorithms weren’t biased toward creating images to match expectations of what black holes should look like. One person would use a secret image to generate faux data of what telescopes would see if they were peering at that source. Then other researchers would try to reconstruct the original image. “Sometimes the true image was not actually a black hole image,” Fish says, “so if your algorithm was trying to find a black hole shadow … you wouldn’t do well.” The practice runs helped the researchers refine the data processing techniques used to render the M87 image.”

    Hopefully the computer algorithm got it right, because I don’t think there was an alternate way to verify the accuracy of its image.

  32. Geo

    Interesting to visit The Washington Post homepage today and see the headline: “Wikileaks’ Assange Arrested” under the tagline “Democracy Dies in Darkness”.

    I wonder if any of the geniuses there notice the relation between those two things?

      1. Geo

        I did. It’s going into my collection of horrifying newspaper and magazine covers alongside Colin Powell’s vial of anthrax headlines and Y2K panic.

      1. richard

        exactly! as j.dore says, people are just misreading it: it’s not a warning, it’s a mission statement.

  33. urblintz

    We must never forget the real reason Manning and Assange will be persecuted: Collateral Murder.
    Video footage from a U.S. Apache helicopter in 2007 leaked by U.S. Army intelligence analyst and whistleblower Bradley Manning to Wikileaks: //

    Everything else is just noise

    1. Olga

      It’s not just that. TPTB cannot forgive JA for spiriting away Snowden… in addition to remaining a person who’d publish any damning information that is given to him.

    2. Oregoncharles

      “WikiLeaks-founder Julian Assange will be punished for embarrassing the DC establishment” – Jonathan Turley;

      Good article; surprised it’s in USA Today.

      Turley focuses on Wikeleaks’ exposure of the mass surveillance in the US, making a liar of Clapper, among others. Assange has committed multiple sins.

      I don’t know what British extradition procedures are like; hopefully there will first be a trial there over his extradition, than another, show trial in the US. Rough on Assange, but an opportunity for the rest of us to expose how corrupt US governance is.

  34. Oregoncharles

    NC has hosted several discussions of internet advertising and tracking. Because it has relatively few ads, NC is also a good place to experience the implications.

    So: lately, ads for women’s clothes have been following me around, including here. This seems very odd; nobody on my IP has shopped for women’s clothes, or any clothes, at all recently. It seems to me their tracking is either stupid (feeding me ads after I’ve bought what I was looking for), or grossly inaccurate: women’s fashion for no apparent reason. It would help if more of it was attractive.

    1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Ads for Mens underwear have been following me around, whichis weird cuz ive gone Commandeaux since my hot days in the ‘stan…Hoooah

      1. newcatty

        Hmmm…maybe it’s even more than weird. Are “they” trying to subliminally program you to wanting to suddenly want to wear underwear? So, adding another male consumer of their products to the American way?

  35. Oregoncharles

    “Law enforcement, courts wrestle with sovereign citizen movement”

    Put them in prison, see 4 times as many come out.

    Quite a dilemma.

  36. JBird4049

    The legal system is demanding that the Sovereign Citizen Movement do what they do not always do themselves which is respecting the law.

  37. viscaelpaviscaelvi

    From a spoof news website, a bit of sarcasm (that substitute of healthy irony when there is no room for hope):

    The Government of the United States already knows how Julian Assange will commit suicide

    The suicide note was written in 2012

    After the Metropolitan Police arrested Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange on Thursday at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, the United States Government has announced that it has already decided the way in which the activist will commit suicide in his cell, without them being able to do anything to avoid it.

    The US Department of Justice considers that “Julian had been locked up for a long time and he had lost his mind. Nobody should be surprised that he would do such a stupid thing, taking advantage from a slip of attention of the agents who guard him”. And they add: “The journalist faces very serious charges such as conspiracy, so it wouldn’t be a surprise that he ended up taking the easy way out and would take his life tragically before even facing court”.

    Assange will leave a suicide note that was written in 2012 on a computer. “Someone will be surprised and dismayed to find the note next to his body, along with some empty liquor bottles and plenty of drugs,” they add. “There may even be some pornographic stuff around… we’ll see…” they conclude.

    “It will be such a pity”, they insist from Washington, without revealing many more details neither about the location nor about the exact date of the suicide, “because it is impossible to know the exact way in which the human soul of a fragile person cracks”.

    Wikileaks has leaked some details about Assange’s suicide that may force him to commit suicide in a different way.

    1. JBird4049

      I know it’s supposed to be a spoof but this article doesn’t seem as satirical as much as it is predictive.

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