Links 8/20/14

Guardian (furzy mouse)

Project Syndicate

Walter Kurtz. Instead of “Let them eat cake,” it’s now “Let them eat CPI.”

Pando

Financial Times (David L)

Ebola

Atlantic (furzy mouse)

MacroBusiness

Vice

Financial Times

Harvard Crimson. Double whaat? Note we linked to this yesterday. It basically argued that the creation of a Thai Studies program was a not-very-well veiled device to promote the Thai monarchy.

Financial Times. Worse than Detroit! The result of income inequality.

Financial Times

Moon of Alabama

Gaza

New York Times

t Miko Peled (Brendan)

Ukraine

Michael Shedlock

Wall Street Journal

Iraq

Wall Street Journal. Charming.

New York Times

Imperial Collapse Watch

TomDispatch

CounterPunch

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

BBC (furzy mouse)

CounterPunch

Obamacare

Liberty Street Economics

Bloomberg. Given the ability of Madison Avenue experts at selling just about anything, I suspect something else is at work, namely, that the Republicans wont’t get that much more in donations from small to medium sized businesses (the part of their base that they’d target for fundraising based on this sort of messaging) versus what they lose from the big fish in the medical-industrial complex who win from Obamacare (which was the real intent, after all.

Firedoglake

Lambert

Ferguson

Raw Story

DW

PhysOrg

Fed

WSJ MoneyBeat

Mohamed El-Erian Bloomberg

Housing Wire

Slate

MarketWatch

Antidote du jour:

links cat and whale

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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146 comments

  1. sd

    Volcano watch….Interactive seismic chart for the volcano, Bárðarbunga, updated every 60 seconds, and fun to play with:
    They are in process of evacuating the area north of the volcano out of caution of glacial flooding.

    1. sd

      Animation of recent tremors is embedded in this article. The animation shows tremors along a column of magma about 50 km under the mountain. As one friend in Iceland said, if it erupts, it’s a game changer. They’ve evacuated the area northeast of the glacier all the way to the ring road (Route 1) in the north.

      I think a lot of scientists in Iceland are really really hoping it does not erupt, or if it does, it’s minimal.

  2. proximity1

    RE : (Financial Times) “London among Europe’s least livable cities.”

    I second that view. London, the capitol, morally, an infected open-sore of a city in a larger and brutalised nation that grotesque depravity built. However that may be, the most privileged elite live a protected door-to-door bubble-existence which spares them with ordinary people. From their oppulent home to the office to gournmet restauranst to country-houses, they need never see or speak to people who are outside their peer-groups.

    1. James Levy

      Same is true of Manhattan and Washington. The rich are most definitely different from you and me, and more so all the time. I honestly think that they believe the Ebola virus can’t touch them. Why else would we see carriers and Air Force squadrons deployed to “save” the Izidi (whom most of us didn’t even know existed) but no air bridge of medical and disinfectant supplies connecting Dover AFB and West Africa? I guess they imagine that plagues are, like taxes, for the little people.

  3. Carolinian

    Meanwhile in the land of false premises Krugman in his best “assume a can opener” style takes on Ukraine.

    It’s only a guess, but it seems likely that Vladimir Putin thought that he could overthrow Ukraine’s government, or at least seize a large chunk of its territory, on the cheap — a bit of deniable aid to the rebels, and it would fall into his lap.

    This has resulted in suitable blasts from Robert Parry and FDL


    Of course Krugman could have spent fifteen minutes on Google unearthing sufficient doubts to spoil his Putin theory, but the simplified (and undoubtedly wrong) premise so much tidier, more column worthy.

        1. craazyman

          they just makes shlt up in their heads and write it down.
          It’s worse than bank balance sheets.

          If anybody actually believes them, it’s their own fault.

  4. James Levy

    Your critique of Tom Frank and Salon is completely justified, but I think you ignore the utter terror most people are feeling as they approach the inevitable conclusion that our politics are a sham. If Frank admits to himself that Obama is just a cynical, self-interested player in a system that, as George Carlin warned us, threw us overboard 40 years ago, what is he going to write then? I mean, he lives in DC, he’s got a wife and I believe at least one kid. What do you do when what you’ve done all your adult days (ridicule the know-nothing Republicans and beg the Democrats to return to the New Deal, Great Society and Civil Rights era of the old liberal wing of the party) is no longer relevant? What do you say? We’ve already got Chris Hedges–how much room is there for “go to the barricades, people, because the ballot box is rigged” Jeremiahs in “the market”? And who really wants to be pushing the message that democracy is broken, the oligarchs are in control, and the legacy parties are corrupt and working against all but about 7% of the population? And what about his friends and connections in the media business? Does he want to lose friends and alienate people by taking a dump on their beloved narratives?

    If I were him (and to a very small extent, I am, and went through the looking glass and lost out big-time) I’d be scared to death.

    1. nycTerrierist

      Did you read the TF piece? or just Lambert’s critique? I usually agree wholeheartedly
      with Lambert’s analyses but this wasn’t up to his usual snuff.
      I’ve been really liking TF’s stuff in Salon these days. In fact, he recently did a column about
      court jesters like Jon Stewart who give corrupt Dimocrats a pass while mocking the Republican bad-doers.
      I believe he’s doing alot of heavy pedagogical lifting to school out deluded Democrats.

      1. hunkerdown

        What exactly is “being seen expending effort” urging a Party to adopt policies in which it is well-known the Party has no or negative interest supposed to do? He could/should have known he’s peeing into the wind; therefore it’s fair to conclude, barring recent tangible evidence to the contrary, that he’s wittingly batting for the other team and selling its products.

        1. Kurt Sperry

          Writing like this looks naive and useless for the subset of people who have digested Carlin’s material and seen through the kayfabe, but a lot of people aren’t there and to some degree still deeply believe the Democratic Party is a lesser evil or salvageable or god forbid even a force for good. People like the latter may need to incrementally have their frustrations fed and echoed back amplified to break through the kayfabe mindf*** they inhabit. And any messages that may, even incrementally, disabuse them of the fantasy that Obama and the party leaders are basically a good people constrained by bad circumstances and doing the best they can for the average American can perhaps help break spell. Feeling that frustration may be for them, as it was for me, an insufficient but necessary prerequisite to arriving at seeing more clearly. It’s an intermediary step towards clarity that many will have to pass through. Writing like this was necessary for me to stop identifying with Obama and the DP, maybe it will be of some use for others as a waystop on the way to realizing that the Democratic Party has become a cynical fraud and at its power core is opposed to virtually everything good and decent associated–rightly or wrongly–with its past.

          What may be a unreadable piece for us may help others in some small incremental fashion. One may hope so. It’s not easy to repudiate something you might have identified with and bought into for a long piece of time. I can’t really be too judgmental about people who haven’t altogether abandoned all faith in the Democratic Party, I was one of them only a few years ago. And I salute those who saw through it long before I did, but not everyone has that degree of political awareness. Anything that may in some way contribute towards the Democratic Party base feeling frustrated and alienated by the party will help.

          1. hunkerdown

            Well, alright. I could totally buy that reasoning if this were an odd year, instead of less than three months before elections where the Democratic Party will suffer dearly and deservedly due to low enthusiasm. The perverse thing about these “Party needs to” policy spitballing pieces is that they almost scream for reader participation and, in so doing, manufacture the very enthusiasm that neutralizes the Party’s need to confront their petty and grand frauds. Furthermore, if this weren’t an endorsement, I don’t think he’d be using the same old “backbone” canard that just begs readers to try, yet again, to “make him do it” resulting in yet another stage-managed blue-toned excuse. Maybe that’s what the bourgeoisie at Salon want to hear and read, but the bourgeoisie at Salon benefit handsomely from the actual Democratic Party policy line (even if only psychologically), and this piece merely provides them cover to say a brief penance and get on with their looting.

  5. Banger

    Re: Police in Ferguson are violating the First Amendment, legal expert says

    The U.S. is no longer de facto and, increasingly de jure a Republic under the U.S. Constitution. The police have the permission, they believe, to act as brutally as they want because they know, unlike, what Mr. Magarian and other liberals, that white Americans overwhelmingly endorses brutal policies toward the poor in general and African-Americans in particular. Also, the idea that local officials or, indeed, the cops and public officials in and around St. Louis would care about what Europeans think about brutal police tactics in their region is comical.

      1. Vatch

        The Alien and Sedition Acts were passed during the administration of John Adams in 1798, more than 2 years before Thomas Jefferson became President.

        1. Vatch

          And one of those 4 laws is still in effect!!

          The Sedition Act and the Alien Friends Act were allowed to expire in 1800 and 1801, respectively. During World War II, the Alien Enemies Act was used to detain, deport and confiscate the property of Japanese, German, Italian, and other Axis nation citizens residing in the U.S. The Alien Enemies Act remains in effect as 50 USC Sections 21–24

    1. tyaresun

      On Ferguson:
      Here is what is really going on.

      “Despite Ferguson’s relative poverty, fines and court fees comprise the second largest source of revenue for the city, a total of 2,635,400,” according to the ArchCity Defenders report. And in 2013, the Ferguson Municipal Court issued 24,532 arrest warrants and 12,018 cases, “or about 3 warrants and 1.5 cases per household.”
      Exacerbating the problem, the report says, are “a number of operational procedures that make it even more difficult for defendants to navigate the courts.” A Ferguson court employee reported, for example, that “the bench routinely starts hearing cases 30 minutes before the appointed time and then locks the doors to the building as early as five minutes after the official hour, a practice that could easily lead a defendant arriving even slightly late to receive an additional charge for failure to appear.”
      “There are 90 municipalities in St. Louis County that range from 12 people to 50,000 people. Eighty-six of them have their own courts. They have their own police forces,” he explains. “What ends up being the product of all that is just a low-level sense of harassment on a daily basis. The clients that we represent feel that. It’s palpable for them.”

      “They resent it because it’s not about public safety,” he adds. “These aren’t violent criminals. These are poor people.”

      1. Banger

        Indeed–and the problem is not limited to the St. Louis region–there are many ways the courts system has become corrupt. I would say, that we have passed the tipping point–both governments and the courts (the entire “justice” system) are too deeply corrupt to reform–everything has become a racket. To be sure there are many localities that have good gov’t and courts but the system as a whole is inevitably going to devolve into a corrupt system. We need to recognize that “the authorities” are just occupation forces that we need to resist. Sadly, the vast majority don’t see it that way–yet.

        1. Paul Niemi

          Let’s find a list of the emergencies that we are living under, the ones declared by the executive. Under an emergency, the police can get away with behaviors they could not otherwise, and they are trained as such. We need to call for rescinding some emergency declarations to get the law straightened out.

        2. It’s the american way to deal with the Untermenschen. It will naturally become more and more ukrainian by reflection of sponsoring back into the mirror of the mind. Occupation by the own authorities in the own land … chasing their enemies. Germans know it from their elders.

      2. Lord Koos

        I was reading comments on another site and one person mentioned that he used to live in the St. Louis area. According to him, it was common knowledge that Fergeson was sort of one big speed trap, and that the city depended heavily on fines of all kinds for revenue.

    2. washunate

      Yeah, that seems to be the topic no one really wants to touch. A lot of educated, middle-to-upper class Americans are rather quite supportive of oppressing Others so long as they’re not getting their own hands dirty directly.

      And of course so long as their own friends and family aren’t a target…

      1. Yes, one way that oppression continues is that those who are still fairly safe and comfortable are encouraged to consider as “other,” and thus somehow less than human, those who are not so safe and comfortable. Bourgeois U.S. whites are feeling psychologically insecure these days, which may explain why they demonize victims and cheerlead authoritarian “crackdowns” on those who they find threatening.

        Any expression of solidarity with the victims of oppression from within their own ranks is met with instant scorn from the yet-to-be-ravaged. Some even go so far as to hurl baseless accusations of advocating violence against those who don’t want to silently submit to the coercion of state-sponsored violence. This is similar to calling defenders of the environment, who oppose the raping of the landscape by frackers as “eco-terrorists.”

          1. The profiling of environmental activists as “eco-terrorists” is very well treated in the excellent book by Will Potter, “Green is the New Red.”

          2. James Levy

            Take a gander at James Howard Kunstler’s last two Monday morning blog posts: one blames everything Israel is doing on the evil, uncivilized (and uncivilizable) Palestinians, the other effectively blames the guy who got shot in Ferguson and denigrates the whole “culture” of blacks which does not allow them to “thrive” in our society, and the hundreds of comments that cheer Kunstler on and hurrah the notion that racism is built into our DNA and now that we are facing “the long emergency” of climate and resource breakdown, the faster we get over any Enlightenment notions of human brotherhood and start “protecting” our own the better. And I would put Kunstler and many of his followers squarely in the category of the educated bourgeoisie. Once, he seemed a reasonable man, but the inner bigot is now out in force.

            1. jrs

              Unfortunately the so called Democrats like Rachel Maddow and the so called black leaders (that actually are a joke to anyone of any political persuasion pretty much and taking intellegence money to boot), like Sharpton also blame the “culture” of the citizens of Furguson in their own way. Ie: They don’t even vote! But do they explore the reasons why they might not vote? Not because these reasons are necessarily good, they might not be (apathy and indifference can explain why many people don’t vote) but because they judge before seeking to even understand. That’s what I call judging a “culture” (I mean the people of Furgeson specifically) from a position of superiority without even understanding it.

              Kunstler always seemed kind of F-ed up, accepting collapse is one thing, gloating about it another.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          “Bourgeois U.S. whites feeling psychologically insecure…”

          There was a book – “Black Like Me” – written in the 60s and I wonder if there is a corresponding one called “White Like Me” and I am curious to know what the non-white writer would discover and say in such a book?

          Fear?

          Ignorance?

          Many hidden doors suddenly open?

          Oppressed?

          Privileged?

          1. craazyman

            He’d discover he can’t jump or dance.

            bowhahahahahahahhahahahah

            Just kidding. Chinese people can’t jump or dance either.

            bowhahahahahahahahah.

            Just kidding. They’d discover country music, Jim Beam and Nascar.

            bowhaooaoaoaaa

            Just kidding. They’d discover that there’s nothing to discover.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Interestingly enough, John Griffith didn’t report being a better jumper in his experience.

              1. craazyman

                then he was faking it. you can’t just paint yourself and expect a revolution of being

                they made a documentary about this a long time ago. Surely you’re aware of it. So it sounds to me like you’re making stuff up without any foundation in reality.

    3. Whine Country

      “The police have the permission, they believe, to act as brutally as they want because they know, unlike, what Mr. Magarian and other liberals, that white Americans overwhelmingly endorses brutal policies toward the poor in general and African-Americans in particular.”

      I disagree that “white Americans overwhelmingly endorses (sic) brutal policies” towards anyone of any color or ethnicity. White Americans, like me, see the police as just another branch of government that has gotten a life of its own and exists principally as a “job” for their benefit, and what they do for (or to) the public is a side issue. Because most believe as I do, there is a certain hostility that exists in any person who comes into with the police, which creates an us vs. them attitude in order to cope with the “job”. What the hell does it mean to “keep the peace”. Because no one thinks a moment about that issue, the police define it to comply with their needs. So, fundamentally, whether dealing with blacks or whites, keeping the peace means killing those who are seen to disturbing the peace. Let me give a real life example. In my very liberal former hometown, two (2) trained police persons were confronted by an obviously mentally ill person who was white and was wielding a club (the device that you use to lock your steering wheel). This event took place in the lobby area of the police station in front of a dispatcher who was protected by bullet proof glass and could not be harmed. The two police officers fired several times and killed the mentally ill. Were they disciplined? Absolutely not. The decision was that the mentally ill man presented such a serious threat the the safety to the two officers that they were justified in shooting and killing him. What do you do when something like this happens? Can’t make it a racial issue. The truth is that the defense provided by the police does not pass the laugh test, but it is nevertheless the last word on the subject. There are any number of things the officers could have done including just goning outside and holding the glass bullet proof door closed. The man would have been a threat only the the sparse furniture in the protected lobby. But no, they had to confront him and cause the situation to become lethal. And they were right to do so according to the police. Police tactics are the issue and the problem is that, just like the banks, at the end of the day their defense is that everyone does it like this, so what. Like Kareem Abdul Jabbar wrote in his recent Time piece linked at NC, we need to stop fighting amongst ourselves, which is what black v. white is, and get to the heart of the problem. We need to reign in the cops and eliminate the “everyone else is doing it” defense and the problem is solved for all persons of all colors. Maybe that would be the first step in taking on the bankers.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Money is the source of all evil.

        Domestically, you’re right, we got to take on the banksters.

        Globally, that means taking on the Petro Dollar and the global reserve currency hegemony.

      1. ohmyheck

        Thanks for the Malooga link. He popped up at MoA last week or so, and made some very astute comments. I am now a fan….

      2. Carolinian

        Moon commentary more than a bit overstated. Example:

        Judges, like police, have been proved to have quotas: they are expected to meet a production goal where, like a factory worker, a certain number of people must be imprisoned each month or year. After all, the owners of these prisons are top campaign contributors, and they provide “jobs” to the local economy, so they must be kept happy.

        I know of one judge (in Pennsylvania) who did that. He was prosecuted and convicted and is now doing time himself. Examples of more?

    4. According to Howard Zinn, the First Amendment has always been weak sauce. The prohibition on making laws prohibiting free exercise of speech, press, assembly, etc., say nothing about punishing that exercise after the fact. And isn’t that what we see again and again?

    5. The faux reasonable line that apologists for the authoritarian unaccountable monopolizers of violence have for us subjects of the regime is neatly summarized here:
      “Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you….

      “Police are legally permitted to use deadly force when they assess a serious threat to their or someone else’s life. Save your anger for later, and channel it appropriately. Do what the officer tells you to and it will end safely for both of you. We have a justice system in which you are presumed innocent; if a cop can do his or her job unmolested, that system can run its course. Later, you can ask for a supervisor, lodge a complaint or civil rights organizations if you believe your rights were violated. Feel free to sue the police! Just don’t challenge a cop during a stop.”

      Read the whole piece if you really want to understand the full-spectrum-dominance mindset of today’s enforcers of kleptocratic rule in post-constitutional America:

  6. re: Israeli Strike in Gaza Hits Family of Hamas Military Commander
    does Hamas really have a military? or is that concept just something the New York Times made up?

    1. James Levy

      Hamas does have something like a military/militia, but of course compared to the Israeli military it is a complete joke. I finally saw a picture the other day of those much-discussed rockets Hamas uses. They look like something the Chinese were firing at the Mongols in the 1400s. When the press uses the word “rocket”, the average person conjures up an image of a V-2 or something. These rockets are a lot closer to souped-up 4th of July stuff than an American MLRS; they appear inferior to an old WWII German nebelwerfer.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Interesting you mentioned the Mongols who countered the Chinese rockets with their own trebuchets and won.

        Perhaps slings can prevail over the Goliath.

      2. YY

        There may have been a very short time in history when these rockets were effective in carrying out the intended effect of terrorizing the opponent. Now the rockets are being manipulated by Israel as an all purpose tool of excuse. Israel can dial in precisely the amount of drama it creates for its population by using the alarms as if controlling the salivation of dogs with a bell. Not to mention the technically troublesome but commercially and politically effective iron dome. When the Gaza rockets run out, Israel will have to find a way to resupply them. War on terror requires terrorists or facsimile thereof.

      3. Propertius

        The Qassam is certainly primitive, but it’s also not the only missile Hamas has. They’ve also fired a variety of Syrian, Iranian, Chinese, and Russian missiles of various sizes, ranges, and payloads. The Iranian Fajr-5 is about half the size of a WWII-era V2/A4 (7 meters in length vs. 14) and carries about 1/3 the payload (~300kg vs.910kg). Hamas probably has only a few of these. It’s certainly not an ICBM, but it’s also not a firecracker.

    2. Jagger

      Palestine does not have a military if you assume a military has real and capable military equipment such as tanks, warplanes and a navy. It is basically a militia but highly dedicated and apparently learning how to fight on the defense when attacked.

  7. Jim Haygood

    From Bloomberg’s article on Argentina’s debt swap:

    The government will submit a bill to Congress that lets overseas debt holders swap into new bonds governed by domestic law with the same terms, President Cristina Kirchner said in a nationwide address yesterday. Payments will be made into accounts at the central bank instead of through Bank of New York Mellon Corp., the current trustee.

    ————

    Yeah, I’ve always wanted the prestige of writing checks drawn directly on the central bank. ‘Cash it at any Federal Reserve branch,’ I tell my long-suffering creditors.

    Seriously, though: as a small holder of say $50,000 in Argentine exchange bonds, you end up with a $750 quarterly coupon payment on deposit at the BCRA. What then? Can you wire it to your U.S. or European bank account? What will the wire charges be? Will overseas banks accept these wires? How is the customer service at BCRA, which currently doesn’t deal with individuals at all? ¿Hablas castellano?

    For answers, stay tuned for the next riveting episode of Born Yesterday.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Argentina’s dólar informal hits a new high of 13.35 pesos offered, on news of what some are calling a ‘cramdown plan’ for exchange bondholders.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        How about selling their US money at the Argentinian Central Bank to Argentinian importers who know what to do with it?

        It may be a victory of the mighty US Dollar Army over the valiant resisting local Peso Defense Force for now, but it will be a long struggle for liberation from the Petro Dollar Hegemony.

    2. FederalismForever

      “To extinguish a Debt which exists and to avoid contracting more are ideas almost always favored by public feeling and opinion, but to pay taxes for the one or the other purpose, which are the only means of avoiding the evil, is always unpopular . . . . The consequence is, that the public debt swells till its magnitude becomes enormous, and the burdens of the people gradually increase, till their weight becomes intolerable. Of such a state of things, great disorders in the whole political economy, convulsions and revolutions of government, are natural offspring.”

      Hamilton wrote that in 1790, when Revolutionary War debts had resulted in a debt-to-income ratio of approximately 45:1, and when much of this debt was held by speculators. I wonder if Ms. Kirchner has studied how Hamilton handled that situation.

      1. Lord Koos

        I recall listening to a call in show some years ago, where the discussion was police brutality. A cop called in and said that when he joined the force, he was appalled to discover that police are trained to view citizens as the enemy. It was his belief that this type of training, combined with a lack of community policing, brought about the problem.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      I’d have to say that Wilson’s goose is cooked. And I suspect he knows it.

      I don’t know what’s up with these stupid rank-and-file cops. They HAVE to know what they’re getting themselves into. That their superiors will let them push the envelope way beyond where they should go, claim credit for keeping the “peace,” and pitch them over the side when the sh*t finally hits the fan. As it finally has in Ferguson, with all the implications of the whole world watching and an election looming. Did they really think it could last forever?

      From the president on down, I doubt there’s anyone who’s willing to go out on a limb for Wilson. I’d imagine all of the elected/police officials are quaking in their boots about what will happen if they try to whitewash this as just another a “justifiable” homicide. Not to mention what they’d be forced to do about it.

      I would have thought that the New York/Eric Garner case would have been the one, but I guess you never know. That one has already been ruled a “homicide.” I’ll bet that tattooed cop in the shorts is seeing his life flash before his eyes about now. DeBlasio is just now trying to establish his populist credentials, and New York is a much bigger “town” than Ferguson.

      I don’t have to wonder how either of these cops feel about “takin’ one for the team.” Saving them will probably cost a fortune in rubber bullets, tear gas and political careers. I’d guess TPTB are weighing the return on THAT investment. Why don’t these cops get a clue? Black men are not the only expendable lives these days when the heat gets turned up and social “unrest” rears its irrational head.

      And a white cop in an overwhelmingly black prison may very well come to wish that someone had just ended his misery with a bullet to the top of the head.

      1. ambrit

        I just have to clue you in on how cynical this system really is.
        There are White Collar lock ups. The policeman from Ferguson probably won’t go to one of them, but there are “safe” jails for his type. If the man does get time, look for his case to fall off of the MSM radar screen very quickly. Then, his handlers can quietly get him transferred to a “safe” lock up. Given the amount of Veneration for Authority going on in ‘official’ America today, I’d be surprised to see him do any serious time.
        For White Collar Jails see:

        1. JTFaraday

          Whoa–there’s country club memberships for teh wimmins? (I’m so slow sometimes). That must be like the networking opportunity of a lifetime!

          I bet you have to really “lean in” in order to get there.

      2. Lord Koos

        I beg to differ… time and time again we see that cops are very rarely “pitched over the side”. Only in occasionally in very high-profile cases, does this happen. This will be one of those cases, most likely, but for every Michael Brown, there are thousands of others murdered by police who face little or no punishment for their crimes.

        This is interesting (and it was a white kid):

      3. cripes

        “And a white cop in an overwhelmingly black prison may very well come to wish that someone had just ended his misery with a bullet to the top of the head.”

        Don’t worry, there are special residential units for police, judges, lawyers who actually get jail time. And it won’t be that much time.

    2. MtnLife

      I love how they treat the statement made by the friend of the cop’s girlfriend as newsworthy in that it matched the story he told, as if she were a witness or something besides a PR mouthpiece.

  8. Antifa

    “Cheap meat” from mammals and birds is a planetary oxymoron. It’s also impossible, unless you solve the intractable problems of disease from overcrowding, waste disposal, and excessive water input it requires.

    Perhaps if we can clone wooly mammoths and let them forage on lichen throughout the Arctic regions, or bring back Argentinosauus and harvest them after they graze on the tree tops of the Amazon we can put off a fundamental change in diet, but lacking those kinds of sources, the diet of future human generations will necessarily come more and more from algae and insects, which lend themselves readily to a closed permaculture cycle, and can be made into a huge variety of different dishes.

    Even the growing of grain crops will become less profitable because they can’t compare, nutritionally, with crickets, mealworms, grasshoppers, various algaes and plants. Bacteria that digest every form of human and animal and insect waste so it can go back into the food cycle will play an important role as well.

    We’re not stuck with the current menu. In fact, we can’t possibly sustain the current menu.

    1. MtnLife

      MyLessThanPrimeBeef and I were having a discussion about roughly the same thing yesterday. The average American diet needs a good 90% reduction in meat intake, if not more. One of the main reasons for overuse of antibiotics, aside from unsanitary overcrowding, is that it makes the animals grow faster. I briefly mentioned but here is a more descriptive account of how they manage the land:
      For context, please understand that we don’t do anything conventionally. We haven’t bought a bag of chemical fertilizer in half a century, never planted a seed, own no plow or disk or silo—we call those bankruptcy tubes. We practice mob stocking herbivorous solar conversion lignified carbon sequestration fertilization with the cattle. The Eggmobiles follow them, mimicking egrets on the rhinos’ nose. The laying hens scratch through the dung, eat out the fly larvae, scatter the nutrients into the soil, and give thousands of dollars worth of eggs as a byproduct of pasture sanitation. Pastured broilers in floorless pasture schooners move every day to a fresh paddock salad bar. Pigs aerate compost and finish on acorns in forest glens. It’s all a symbiotic, multi-speciated synergistic relationship-dense production model that yields far more per acre than industrial models. And it’s all aromatically and aesthetically romantic.

      I would add that rotating vegetable crops through the pastures and letting geese/ducks wander orchards are also very beneficial. I agree that insects are very nutrient dense and if we don’t concern ourselves with population issues that may be what we are facing. I might contend that quinoa and chia are two grains whose nutritional content are in contention with the insects, most others are not. Pole/runner beans are also incredibly dense producers by space and can occupy areas (or the space above them/on them) that other crops can’t. We also seem to have forgotten about the 3 Sisters method since it is impossible to harvest by tractor/harvester/combine. We need sustainable permaculture soon as our main source of external inputs, in the form of fertilizers/pesiticides/herbicides, is oil. For cities, I doubt reclaiming any land from structures is really on the table and there is always the likelihood of contamination so aquaponics (or an aqua-vermi combo) is the most likely route.

      1. craazyboy

        ” mob stocking herbivorous solar conversion lignified carbon sequestration fertilization with the cattle”

        Does this mean “cow pie”?

        1. MtnLife

          It means the solar energy converted by the plants is then transferred to the storage mechanism that is the herbivores who take what they need and then return fertilizer to the plants with the “cow pies” so the the plants can continue converting solar energy efficiently (which sequesters carbon).

          1. craazyboy

            Ok. These highbrow guys get hard to understand, at times.

            But at least I could tell it wasn’t a wine review.

            1. optimader

              HA!, OK, just quit the cows, convert corn agriculture to vineyards, drink more wine to lower inhibitions and and eat our older relatives that are no longer fleet of foot!

              Hmmm. I guess that wont work either, damn..
              Maybe we should just fatten up Vegans on Raisin Bran and eat them? Until those details are worked out, back to raising chickens in the yard (or extra bedroom for urbanites) and eating their unborn. All the requirements for life in a biodegradable calcium form/fill/seal over-pack that doesn’t need refrigeration.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Let my animals go (roaming the fields)!

        Mtnlife is right – it’s symbiotic…good for the land and good for the animals; the way it was for thousands of years, before some really smart agricultural scientists arrived, before we all became scientific, with the ‘best current explanation’ (never mind it’s only partial and not complete – never will be complete knowledge).

      3. Yves Smith Post author

        Quinoa has serious toxicity issues. It is not a wonder near grain. It is seriously overhyped as a result of the “gluten free” fad. I have no tendencies to allergies and I had a reaction after having an itty bitty portion and did more research.

        1. vlade

          When you say serious, do you mean saponin content or something else? I was aware of saponins, but those can be (mostly) rid of by simply washing.

        2. MtnLife

          False. Quinoa does NOT have “serious toxicity issues” unless you eat tons of the leaves which contain oxalic acid – as does spinach and rhubarb. It does have saponin – as does soybeans, chickpeas, mung beans, peanuts, kidney beans, oats, leeks, garlic, asparagus, certain teas, spinach, and amaranth – which is washed off in preparation. If it affected you it was prepared incorrectly. Try again with someone who knows what they are doing (hint: it’s not difficult). It is a complete or near complete food rich in essential amino acids (depending on the study) that thrives in dry/cool conditions and crappy soils.
          Second, gluten-free is not a fad. Some may be using it as such but for the rest of us it is a serious medical condition. Intelligent people like you spouting misinformation is entirely unhelpful and possibly even dangerous if someone reads it, thinks it’s a fad, let’s gluten through, and it KILLS SOMEBODY. I, thankfully, only end up in severe pain.
          You are also incorrect on when the hype started. It’s gotten a boost with GF but, for the original spike in popularity/price, blame Oprah. Before her it was $2-4/lb in stores. I can’t even buy it in 25 lb bulk anymore for under $3.50/lb, $4 in bulk at the stores, and from $6-13/lb pre-packaged.

    2. craazyboy

      I suspect food science will give us something better than what currently exists way down the food chain. Maybe chicken genes spliced with cockroaches. Then in the morning we’ll have a fresh flock of bit sized chickens running around the kitchen floor and countertops. As long as they don’t fly or climb walls, this would be rather convenient and we can then prepare our Something Nuggets, Sauce Raman, or whatever.

      1. BobW

        Put that fluorescent protein gene in them like GloFish and they will be easy to spot with a blacklight!

        1. craazyboy

          Scorpions are like that too, so we can find the things easily AND have more natural flavors!

  9. Banger

    On Lambert’s take-down of Thomas Frank’s Salon piece:

    Lambert, maybe TF is just laughing up his sleeve–the guy is too sophisticated to believe in that kind of nonsense. What I think he is saying (I didn’t read the piece) is that it would be nice if Democrats were actually a reform party perhaps he was just being catty. Other than occasional noises from Warren and a handful of Reps and Senators there is no Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.

    1. nycTerrierist

      I can’t speak for TF’s intentions here but what I got out of the piece
      was a strong and clear schooling-out to any ‘rump faction’ Dimocrats who still
      believe Obama’s hands are tied.

      A lost cause probably (because tribalism) but a valiant pedagogical move IMHO.

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    London – one of least livable cities in Europe

    Air – so so

    Weather – not that great

    Museums/architecture – art is what you do, not what you hang on the wall. Find living art where you are. Oh, better to return what you have looted/stolen/robbed.

    Income inequality – that too.

    Shopping – not too spiritual to do that.

    Fine dining – nothing better than home cooked, organic meals. London is not special. Try fresh, healthy raw food once in a while, especially good from one’s own garden.

    Spiritual – you can do that everywhere

    Medical care – first try reducing stress and eating healthy. And there are alternative places, like Cuba (though not in Europe).

    Education – one can become wise through the sound of one or two hand clapping, anywhere I the world. If you want intellect, yes; but not if you want wisdom. Intellect can be priced; wisdom can’t. Intellect belongs to the world of capitalism; wisdom is beyond that.

    Jobs – No one can claim it has the fewest dishonest bankster jobs in Europe or the world. The city, whichever that is, with the fewest dishonest bankster jobs would be a great city indeed.

    1. Carolinian

      Plus it has that stupid frickin ferris wheel–reason enough to shun. Apparently the tourists got bored with the grand Victoriana and the twisty medieval street layout, all the things that made the place so appealing.

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    High cost of cheap meat.

    If beef is too expensive, the smart move is to substitute it with chicken or imitation beef.

    If true equality is too expensive, the smart people* go for imitation-equality.

    *efficiency – brainwashed once, good students know how to apply the lesson learned from beef substitution to just about any difficult situations they might encounter later.

    1. nycTerrierist

      Everyone who consumes cheap meat should visit a factory farm – or
      see footage of one on YouTube. Hell on earth. Not only is cheap meat unhealthy for
      the planet and for humans, factory farming is among the most grotesque
      and unethical inventions in human history.

      Man is a bad animal!

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Factory farming is an example of doing the ‘smart’ but not wise thing.

        All that education gone to waste.

  12. alex morfesis

    on postal banking…have to disavow this continued meme that postal banking was outlawed in 1966

    there is a difference between defunded and outlawed. In fact, if one reads the fine print in the crazy law that made the postal service have to front run the pension payments unlike any other entity in these us of a, there was language put in to suggest the postal system could not do anything NEW to compete with the private banking system

    “….The real reason is Congress. Congress has been using the quasi-government USPS as a cash cow for years. USPS funds are considered off-budget, so by transferring costs to USPS, and making unreasonable demands for cash from USPS, Congress has billions more to work with. Specifically:

    n The “Postal Civil Service Retirement System Funding Reform Act” of 2003 shifted $27 billion in military pension obligations from the U.S. Treasury to USPS. In other words, USPS is now responsible for the full pension obligation of any USPS employee who ever served in the military, both military and USPS service time, not just their time as a USPS employee.

    n Overpayments to the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). Two independent studies have returned estimates of $55 billion and $75 billion, respectively.

    n Overpayments to the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). The $6.9 billion figure as of June, 2011 is undisputed. In June, USPS stopped paying the employer’s share into FERS, so that overpayment is now down to about $6 billion.

    n The “Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act” (PAEA) of 2006 requires USPS to pre-fund retiree health care out to the year 2075, and to do so in 10 years (by 2016). In other words, Congress is forcing USPS to pay retiree health care for employees who have not yet been born. No other federal agency is required to pre-fund, nor do any do so. Most private corporations do not pre-fund, and those that do, do so at a reasonable level that won’t drive them to bankruptcy. Since the 2006 PAEA was passed into law, USPS has pre-funded $42 billion.

    The total of all the above? $130 billion to $150 billion.

    It was the 2006 PAEA that drove the nail into the coffin. Absent just that one law, USPS would have posted a profit since 2006, have billions in the bank rather than be billions in debt, and be well positioned to deal with the drop in first class mail. But Congress has sucked USPS dry. There is no more water in the well……”

    also anyone reading the fine print in section 101 where there was some attempt at defining and claiming that services that were being offered prior to 2006 could be continued…

    if the savings system of the USPS had been “made illegal” and not just defunded, there would have been no need for the banking lobbyists to make sure the postal savings system could not come back to life…

    i am comfortable that any warm blooded (non mammonite) citizen could move with a writ against the postal service and demand the form be created and presented for the postal service to accept the deposit. The actual language of the 1966 take down of the postal savings system just made statements that the postal service would no longer be accepting deposits…it did not…NOT outlaw it…

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Dining alone. From the article:

    “One of the much unheralded pleasures of café life is the ability to be alone together,”

    That’s what we have – a whole planet-ful of humans subsisting alone together.

  14. barrisj

    Re: “American cult of bombing…” – Airpower as a determining factor in war strategies was developed by the Allies in WWII, taken further by the US in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq (1991), and now is the default position of US intervention anywhere military action is used. One only needs to refer to Sir Arthur “Bomber” Harris’s remarks to Churchill concerning the bombing of German cities to really appreciate the attraction to the military mind of airpower:

    ” [T] he aim of the Combined Bomber Offensive…should be unambiguously stated [as] the destruction of German cities, the killing of German workers, and the disruption of civilised life throughout Germany.

    … the destruction of houses, public utilities, transport and lives, the creation of a refugee problem on an unprecedented scale, and the breakdown of morale both at home and at the battle fronts by fear of extended and intensified bombing, are accepted and intended aims of our bombing policy. They are not by-products of attempts to hit factories.”

    Despite all the blather about “precision” bombing, “avoidance” of civilian casualties and the like, the simple fact is that in today’s conflicts civilian targeting and a country’s non-military infrastructure is fair game for the above well-articulated rationale by “Bomber” Harris: cripple the enemy’s will to fight, full stop.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Again, we can see the parallel between the military hegemon and the monetary hegemon.

      Precision bombing and the collateral civilian casualties versus ‘attack on negative GDP via the “precise policy tool of lowing interest rates and the collateral saver casualties.

      Or the ‘attack on low consumption/demand via the ‘precise’ doctrine of unlimited government spending and the collateral expansion of the security state.’

      All these tools are not really more ‘precise’ than our ancestors’ Stone Age tools, though it could be worse tha that, as I am told that obsidian knives are as sharp as today’s surgical ones.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        One can argue that in the financial/monetary battlefield against inequality/low consumption demand, the ‘precise’ tool is to tax the 0.01% and give it to the 99.99%, instead of the blunt tools of lower rates or trickle down economics via government spending (including on things an empire would need).

    2. ChrisPacific

      The beauty of bombing is that bombs blow up and need to be replaced. Also if you pick your targets carefully, the risk of incurring American casualties (domestically unpopular) is minimal. If you never dropped any bombs, you’d never need to make any replacements, and that would be bad for a number of large defense contractors.

      Dropping them in the middle of the Nevada desert would be a bit too obvious, so it’s better if you can come up with some Bad Guys to drop them on so that the US public will be on board with the idea. If you can’t find any suitable Bad Guys, give the CIA enough lead time and they’ll make some for you.

    1. um…will it have to sell the shares? That would seem like a more fitting punishment (or just lose them altogether).

  15. Carolinian

    Of course the Americans claimed to disagree with Harris and persisted with their precision daylight raids that are now regarded as largely ineffective. Even in the Pacific campaign precision strikes against Japan were the initial goal and city terror bombing only adopted when the former approach foundered. Even Hiroshima was claimed to be an attack on a military base.

    Which is to say the US military loves to bomb but like to salve their consciences with regrets about unavoidable “collateral damage.” One might say that Harris was just being more honest.

    BTW bombing didn’t work in Vietnam either. It just hardened the North’s resistance.

    At any rate, a good Tom’sDispatch

    1. Jess

      Hiroshima was the naval port/base from which the Pearl Harbor attack fleet sailed. Regardless of any other reasons for selecting it for nuking, it was a form of Karmic payback.

      1. Carolinian

        Pearl Harbor attack launched from the South Kuril islands northeast of Japan. Wikipedia:

        Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto ordered the meeting of the Imperial Japanese Navy strike force for the Hawaii Operation attack on Pearl Harbor, November 22, 1941 in Tankan or Hitokappu Bay, in Iturup Island, South Kurils. The territory was chosen for its sparse population, lack of foreigners, and constant fog coverage. The Admiral ordered the move to Hawaii on the morning of November 26.

        Hiroshima:

        At the time of its bombing, Hiroshima was a city of both industrial and military significance. A number of military units were located nearby, the most important of which was the headquarters of Field Marshal Shunroku Hata’s Second General Army, which commanded the defense of all of southern Japan….Hiroshima was a minor supply and logistics base for the Japanese military, but it also had large stockpiles of military supplies.The city was a communications center, a key port for shipping and an assembly area for troops.

        However the main reason Hiroshima was chosen was apparently that it had so far been largely undamaged by any bombing. They wanted to prove the full effect of their new device.

    2. optimader

      I think most Historians will concede the strategic bombing campaigns of Europe (both allied and axis power) were ineffective and wasteful in oh so many ways
      . Objectives like the Ploesti and Schweinfurt–Regensburg were logical choices, that were minimally effective as executed at great cost due to the limitations of the technology of the day. The other “morale disrupting” raids on civilians, exercised by both sides were tragic wastes and counter productive in every account I’ve read. A good friend of mine’s dad was a freshly minted Lieutenant shipped off to the Dresden occupation at the war. Breathtaking carnage.

      I conclude it was a different story in Japan, Military production was amorphously distributed as cottage industry throughout Japan. The strategic bombing of Japan broke the back of the Empire and hastened the end of the war.
      Three points:
      The Dogs of War suck, don’t unleash them because eventually and inevitably ANYTHING goes, naïve notions of morality and fairplay are quickly discharged from the equation.
      In the case of Japan, there were thousands of Allied forces that were spared a death sentence by avoiding an invasion of Japan. Instead thousands of Japanese civilians were killed instead. A wiser person than me can work the metrics on that one.
      Aerial bombing may hasten the end of a war, but it will not exclusively win it. In the case of Japan, It’s easy to criticize the calculus made by another generation, but most of us today expressing opinions weren’t on the pointy end of that stick.

      A sidebar: My dad served in the Pacific on a Hospital ship, one of a fleet of Hospital ships constructed to evacuate the anticipated massive number of wounded the actuarials calculated would result from the invasion of Japan.
      The ship he was on was the most sophisticated Hospital ship of the era, consequently they specialized in the most gravely wounded. HIs ship picked up the survivors of the USS Indianapolis for transportation to Pearl Harbor. The carnage he saw, wounds, mutilations, burns, just from the Pacific Island campaign is something he will only very generally speak about, The human carnage of the island campaign was the model in spades of what they expected w/ the invasion of the homeland.
      I occasionally tell him jokingly that enlisting and serving on a ship named Tranquility was probably about the best duty he could possibly have had and he only just smiles. He did say he FIRST thing he did when he got home was take the uniform down to the boiler and chuck it in the furnace. Like shedding a metaphorical skin I guess.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Thousands of Japanese civilians (in the immediate aftermath) and not a few Allied POWs and civilians from other countries/colonies.

      2. Carolinian

        I was friends with an elderly gent–recently passed–who said Truman saved his life. He was a carrier pilot. Still there are persuasive arguments that surrender would have been inevitable as soon as the Soviets entered the war.

        It’s all somewhat academic. Having built the thing they were never not going to use it. That said, there have been some recent articles questioning why US had to also bomb Nagasaki.

          1. optimader

            Actually, you really have no clue about the cold war do you? I’ll give you that, you’re probably young and have no perspective on that.

          2. Jagger

            The allies would have used the bomb on Germany without a second thought if they had an opportunity and could in any way justify it. I believe Germany is primarily composed of white people.

        1. optimader

          “It’s all somewhat academic. ”
          I agree. there is a persistent phenomena of second guessing previous generations decisions (and skill) through a lens of hindsight. I spend as much time as I can w/ that generation because they fascinate me and are quickly departing unfortunately.
          At the time, before it was called WWII, it was no foregone conclusion how things would play out. Abstractly heavy responsibilities were put on incredibly young people, and decisions were made with the information available.
          So yeah, a generation that wasn’t even born, doing the armchair forensics 70 years later can have it’s opinions.
          No criticism meant Carolinian, I’m pretty sure you get it.
          The atomic bomb was just the next thing, all the baggage of the “atomic age” had not yet been packed, so to speak.

          1. jrs

            There were people of that generation (although they are dying out) every bit as much against dropping the bomb as exist now. And many who argued that the bombs power merely had to be shown to the Japanese and not actually used on them. So it’s not a generation thing.

            1. optimader

              Well, that generation had everything from Quakers to warmongers, so I’m sure hypothetically there would have been a diversity of opinion .
              But I don’t think “many” people were actually involved in any discussion of the fruit of the Manhattan program as it was the most closely held State secret of that time. So yeah, no doubt some cursory discussion of drop a bomb off shore, in the city, invite Japanese witnesses to a demonstration occurred in the Truman admin cabinet and history took it’s course.

              Very generational in fact. At that time the bomb was a trumpcard weapon, the larger consequential implications were not very clearly understood.

              read R. Rhodes:

  16. OIFVet

    Egypt trolls the US: “Egypt has backed the United Nation’s call for the United States authorities to deal with protests in Ferguson, Missouri “according to the American and international standards”.

    A spokesman for the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, in response to a question from state-run news agency MENA, said the ministry is “following the escalation of protests and demonstrations in the city of Ferguson and reactions thereto”.

    The spokesman referred to comments made by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon on Monday as a reflection of the “international community’s position towards these events” including the calls for “restraint and respect for the right of assembly and peaceful expression of opinion”.

    Ban also said he hoped investigations into the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown will “shed full light on the killing and that justice will be done.”

  17. Jim Haygood

    From our ‘efficiency of the post office, compassion of the IRS’ department:

    Discover card won a $2,401 judgment against Eduardo Austin for unpaid credit card bills. The money finally started coming out of his paycheck in June 2010. On Oct. 11 of that year, the final garnishment was taken — the payments totaled $3,312, to cover additional fees and interest. Austin assumed he was finally free of the debt. He wasn’t.

    In April 2013, nearly three years later, another garnishment order appeared, indicating Austin owed $970 more. The court came for his paycheck again for an unexpected reason: the court clerk had been tardy in handing over the money.

    In other words, Austin had paid the debt through his paycheck, but he owed even more because the court was too busy to pay the collection agency.

    Court clerk Cicely Barber explained that the court takes in somewhere in the area of 20,000 checks each month, and that the delays are the result of old technology.

    ————

    If only our overworked public servants had more funding!

    1. bob

      Jim siding with a deadbeat?

      Try doing the math on what argentina or venezuela have paid out in total, compared to what they “defaulted” on.

  18. Chauncey Gardiner

    Regarding Mohamed El-Erian’s article in Bloomberg: …”Central bankers, a group of largely independent technocrats, wield more power over the fates of politicians, investors and regular folk than ever before. In the absence of government action, they are bearing most of the burden of supporting economic recoveries in the U.S. and Europe. With their bond purchases and other unconventional policies, they have become a major force holding up financial markets around the world.”

    It’s the “In the absence of government action”, that I particularly find puzzling. I remain dismayed by sovereign governments’ continuing embrace of austerity in Europe and the U.S. and an evident disregard of and resistance to needed domestic fiscal spending that is not used for bailouts or that is not military related.

    The narrow distribution of Fed-created money, and its use for speculative purposes and to concentrate wealth in the hands of a few through massive corporate stock repurchases, funding corporate and asset acquisitions, and elevating market prices, rather than for productive purposes, strongly suggests the central bank lacks the tools to raise living standards and that profound systemic changes are needed in the money distribution mechanisms through the primary broker-dealer network and the purposes for which money is used.

    The long-term decline in the velocity of money would seem to confirm this.

    1. MikeNY

      Yeah, it would be an object lesson in the law of unintended consequences if the Fed’s “heroic measures” to boost the recovery actually helped precipitate the revolution.

  19. hunkerdown

    . It’s not very interesting that the Teamsters did not respect the picket line, but their pretext of concern for the greater economy is extremely interesting. How can independent contractors deprived of both the protection of regular salary and a means of surviving without it (such as a strike fund or adequate means of their own) organize as a labor union?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We have been educated to concern ourselves, a lot, for the economy and the greater economy.

      I once was a fervent ‘The GDP Must Grow’ youth.

      And then, there are the ‘Infinite Growth’ Wet Guard radicals.

  20. barrisj

    Right, then, yet another story of a journalist under attack in Ferguson, MO, by the coppers:

    Police to Al Jazeera: ‘I’ll bust your head right here’

    Now, given the O-man’s remarks today regarding the beheaded freelance journo, James Foley, by his captors from the ISIS, and how Murkan airpower will continue to be used to “protect American lives” in the Middle East, can we now expect drones over MO seeking out renegade coppers as “precision-targeted terrorists” who are “endangering American lives”? Waddya reckon?

  21. ~Common Dreams

    Like many other news websites, Common Dreams has been plagued by inflammatory anti-Semitic comments following its stories. But on Common Dreams these posts have been so frequent and intense they have driven away donors from a nonprofit dependent on reader generosity.

    A Common Dreams investigation has discovered that more than a thousand of these damaging comments over the past two years were written with a deceptive purpose by a Jewish Harvard graduate in his thirties who was irritated by the website’s discussion of issues involving Israel.

    His intricate campaign, which he has admitted to Common Dreams, included posting comments by a screen name, “JewishProgressive,” whose purpose was to draw attention to and denounce the anti-Semitic comments that he had written under many other screen names.

    1. Carolinian

      Thnx 4 link. I like Commondreams which gives a good daily summary of leftysphere opinionators. It’s been around for a long time. More from article

      The deception was many-layered. At one point he had one of his characters charge that the anti-Semitic comments and the criticism of the anti-Semitic comments must be written by “internet trolls who have been known to impersonate anti-Semites in order to then double-back and accuse others of supporting anti-Semitism”–exactly what he was doing. (Trolls are posters who foment discord.)

      The impersonation, this character wrote, must be part of an “elaborate Hasbara setup,” referring to an Israeli international public-relations campaign. When Common Dreams finally confronted the man behind the deceptive posting, he denied that he himself was involved with Hasbara.

      Bizarre.

    2. YY

      Interesting link, especially when one then reads the comments to the item. Not so much the in the weeds quality but the sense that one is in a hall of mirrors.

  22. Wat Tyler

    re: Reasons for war.
    Being a youth of the ’60s the Grace Slick (singer with the Jefferson Airplane for you young folks) anti-war lyric stuck in my head.

    War’s Good Business So Give Your Son
    And I’d Rather Have My Country Die For Me.

    Jim

        1. Lambert Strether

          Sorry, lyrics from Country Joe and the Fish. Since this is a family-friendly blog, and this YouTube includes “The Fish Cheer,” I’ll just put …

          And it’s one, two, three,
          What are we fighting for ?

            1. optimader

              incidentally, when I first watched the woodstock documentary I was struck that there were NO fat young people.. go figure, the olden days.

              1. Lambert Strether

                I first watched the woodstock documentary some years ago. Yes, it’s odd. Exactly what is happening to the Thais now that the middle classes are going for food-like products: Big weight gain, all normalized. And it all happened in less than a decade.

  23. barrisj

    Feds still trying to “get” Angelo “Angie Walnuts” Mozilo? Bloomberg News seems to think so…here is the story:

    Countrywide’s Mozilo Said to Face U.S. Suit Over Loans

    Countrywide Financial Corp. co-founder Angelo Mozilo hasn’t escaped the wrath of prosecutors for his company’s role in inflating the U.S housing bubble that preceded the financial crisis.

    More than 12 months after a deadline passed to file criminal charges, the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles is preparing a civil lawsuit against Mozilo and as many as 10 other former Countrywide employees, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

    The government is making a last ditch-effort to hold him accountable for the excesses of the past decade’s subprime-mortgage boom, using a 25-year-old law that has helped the Justice Department win billions of dollars from Wall Street banks, said the people, who weren’t authorized to discuss the case publicly.
    […]
    U.S. prosecutors dropped a criminal probe of Mozilo in early 2011, a person with knowledge of the matter said at the time. Since then, President Barack Obama’s administration has faced a wave of criticism from public-interest groups, the media and lawmakers who say the government hasn’t held enough individuals accountable for causing the financial crisis.

    The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a watchdog group, sued the Justice Department in June to try to obtain its records detailing investigations of Mozilo and Countrywide. The group faulted the government for failing to prosecute either Mozilo or the company “despite substantial evidence of wrongdoing.”
    […

    Right, looks like some window-dressing prosecution BS before 2014 ‘lecshuns, to “fire up the base”. Shameless.

    1. MtnLife

      Under today’s model, journalists explained, government newspapers are far more likely to settle for tweeting out the party’s official response, and then asking readers to sound off in their website’s heavily censored and sometimes entirely fabricated comment section.

      Uhm, the Onion made a mistake, this is how it really is. They’re going to have to try harder to be satirical.

        1. Lambert Strether

          . January 17, 2001:

          During the 40-minute speech, Bush also promised to bring an end to the severe war drought that plagued the nation under Clinton, assuring citizens that the U.S. will engage in at least one Gulf War-level armed conflict in the next four years.

  24. GlennF

    Please don’t link to WSJ articles unless they bypass the pay-to-play demand. I don’t have the capital for a subscription and it is frustrating being teased by interesting sounding articles without being able to read them. Thanks

    1. Lord Koos

      You are allowed a certain number of free articles per month on the WSJ, if you register. After registering you can also then use the TOR browser to read as many as you like, simply be re-registering when necessary. The WSJ can’t track your ISP with TOR.

  25. Tommy S.

    Thanks Lambert for noticing that about Frank. It is so odd. He came from a rather anti authoritarian background…(think early punk scene and issues of baffler, like Commodify your dissent)..but seems to have become more of a beggar type than ever. Really disappointed in most of his Ed’s in Harpers for the most part. Always, almost, about the republicans. Made Lapham ( a person who IS of the top 10%) sound like a libertarian socialist/anarchist. He and mcArthur never held back against the democrats.
    Then there is always the basis of the Kansas book that liberals still cite. And though good writing, it is based on one huge flaw that only the far left (counterpunch etc) ever rightly noticed. Most of the ‘white working class’ did NOT turn republican. Most of the working class doesn’t vote dammit. Yes Democrats have always lost tons of white working class votes since nixon. But the blatant truth is that ‘most of us hate BOTH parties’. Duh. A majority of the working class of any color does NOT vote.

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