Links 8/31/14

Yawning Spreads Like a Plague in Wolves Smithsonian

Willy Wonka chapter that was missing for 50 years reveals grisly end of greedy boys who disappear in fudge cutting room Daily Mail 

What the Arbitration Panel Didn’t Want to Hear Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times

Private equity’s giant collusion case is over, as Carlyle folds Fortune

Exclusive: Bitcoin promoter to plead guilty to unlicensed money transmission Reuters. Prosecution futures.

ArthroCare Ex-Chief Baker Gets 20-Year Term for Fraud Bloomberg. Rick Perry’s BFF.

U.S. judge throws out aluminum price-fixing suit against banks Reuters

This pope means business Fortune (PJ)

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

The US government can brand you a terrorist based on a Facebook post. We can’t let them make up the rules Guardian

California Senate approves measure banning warrantless drone surveillance Reuters

What Nick Davies Found Out New Yorker. “Politicians no longer defer to Murdoch so easily, at least in public.” So that’s alright, then.

The west wind blows afresh The Economist (RS). Cheap alternative to satellites. Too bad we can’t put a HAPS streamer over Ukraine and open-source the imagery.

Hillary Clinton was surprisingly bold on Ferguson WaPo

Why we should close the ‘unemployment industry’ Bill Mitchell

Charter schools making big profits for private companies 10 News. Via self-dealing.

FBI Tracks Charter Schools The Progressive

Ebola

Q&A with Tulane researcher on front line of Ebola outbreak Times-Picayune (PD)

Report: Dogs Eating Dead Bodies Of Ebola Victims On Liberian Streets CBS Atlanta

Genomic surveillance elucidates Ebola virus origin and transmission during the 2014 outbreak Science. “Tragically, five co-authors, who contributed greatly to public health and research efforts in Sierra Leone, contracted EVD in the course of their work and lost their battle with the disease before this manuscript could be published. We wish to honor their memory. ”

Face to Face with Ebola — An Emergency Care Center in Sierra Leone NEJM

Ebola virus mutating rapidly as it spreads Nature

Henry Kissinger on the Assembly of a New World Order WSJ

Ukraine

Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault Foreign Affairs. One word: Realpolitik.

Novoazovsk appears to be under rebel control CCTV

Tusk, Mogherini Named to Top EU Posts Amid Russia Discord Bloomberg

Nato states create new multilateral force FT

This means war: miscalculations have pushed Ukraine and Russia over the edge Ian Bremmer, FT

Russia Responds To Canada’s Sarcastic Geography Lesson io9

Heavy fighting in Libya’s Benghazi city; airport hit Reuters

Newly declassified documents reveal how U.S. agreed to Israel’s nuclear program Haaretz

Iraq

Pentagon has spent an average of $7.5 million per day in Iraq for last three months WaPo. Half a Friedman Unit.

UN peacekeepers in firefight with Syrian rebels McClatchy

ISIS Displaying a Deft Command of Varied Media New York Times

Pakistan protesters clash with Islamabad police BBC

Hong Kong poised for political showdown on 2017 election South China Morning Post

New email address Cannonfire

Hidden Obstacles for Google’s Self-Driving Cars MIT Technology Review

A computational and neural model of momentary subjective well-being Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

The Truth We Won’t Admit: Drinking Is Healthy Pacific Standard

Coca-Cola and Its Egregious History Counterpunch (Carolinian)

Surfers Defy Wealthy California Oceanfront Property Owners Denying Beach Access Truthout

Earthquakes pose a hazard to much of California’s fresh water LA Times

Forensic Hydrology at the Gowanus Canal New York Times

Ultra-liquidity Pieria

Liquid authenticity The New Enquiry

Against Empathy Boston Review

Antidote du jour:

wolves_two

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.

183 comments

  1. Ned Ludd

    Poroshenko, the President of Ukraine, is targeting one of the country’s richest people as a scapegoat. According to Gleb Bazov (who publishes slavyangrad.org), in a lengthy interview, the head of Ukraine’s anti-corruption committee “blames Kolomoiskiy for everything”. Another commenter, who I am not familiar with, asserts that Kolomoiskiy betrayed the openly neo-Nazi Azov Battalion in Mariupol. “None of promised weapons sent!”.

    1. hunkerdown

      As I understand it, Kolomoiskii was the oligarch who organized the Pravy Sektor. Sounds more like rats setting up a fall guy than targeting oligarchs.

      1. Ned Ludd

        I think you are right. Bazov describes it as “spiders in a can fighting each other. Ready, set, go, rip each other’s throats out!”

  2. gordon

    Some recent Russian tank sightings:

    .“Sorry I’m late, but there was a column of Russian tanks across my driveway and I couldn’t get out for ages!”

    .“Traffic on the M1 is heavily congested tonight, there’s a column of Russian tanks moving very slowly westbound. Motorists are advised to take alternate routes wherever possible”.

    .“Sorry, I can’t hear you! There’s a column of Russian tanks making a terrific noise just outside! I’ll call you back when they’ve gone past!”

    .Sydney’s Mardi Gras parade was disrupted last night when a column of Russian tanks unexpectedly tried to take part.

    Those Russian tanks are just turning up everywhere now.

        1. Murky

          Speaking of things Germanic. have at this:

          https://.com/OnThisDayNYT/status/505037853022511104

          I can’t help but think Germany then is a bit like Russia now. Hitler’s Germany demanded and got territorial concessions from neighboring states. Putin’s Russia is doing the same. Putin has already annexed Crimea by force. Now Putin is going after a very large chunk of east Ukraine. And just what is Putin’s justfication? It’s an insistence on expanding Russia and protecting Russians based on ethnicity. Putin claims east Ukraine to be ‘Russian’, but it’s not according to Wikipedia: The Luhansk oblast (region) is 58% Ukrainian and 39% Russian. The Donetsk oblast (region) is 57% Ukrainian and 38% Russian.

          Gosh, it looks like east Ukraine has a plurality of Ukrainians, not Russians. So Putin’s logic must be the following. If there is any sizable minority of Russians living in a neighboring state, and that minority is ‘threatened’, then it’s okay to forcibly incorporate territory of that neighboring state. ‘Russia just needs a little ‘lebensraum’, to use a phrase from the era of Nazi Germany. ‘Lebensraum’ is such an innocent word. Literally means ‘living space’, but it was actually justification for military conquest. Nazi Germany also propagandized the claim that Germans abroad were under threat (and they were not).

          Apart from Ukraine, look east to Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan has over 4 million Russians. And just in the last couple days there’s been hot rhetoric between Putin and the Kazakh president Nazarbayev. Will Kazakhstan be the next target for Russian territorial aggresssion?

          http://www.eurasianet.org/node/69771

          Maybe the Baltic states are also on Putin’s menu; over a million Russians there. And 2 million in Germany… Westward, ho!

          1. lyman alpha blob

            Putin annexed Crimea by force? Do tell – must have missed that.

            My memory is admittedly not what it used to be but wasn’t it Uncle Sugar who was in the Ukraine fomenting a coup against the country’s democratically elected leadership?

              1. Gaianne

                And fomenting freedom isn’t cheap!

                It cost US$ 5 Billion to foment that freedom!

                Your tax dollars at work.

                You’re welcome!

                –Gaianne

                1. Murky

                  5 billion is a piddling amount of money if the task is to overthrow a country of 45 million people. Some oligarchs in Ukraine, like Rinat Akhmetev, are worth much more than 5 billion, and it’s not going to be that easy to make them switch allegiance, pull up states, and kowtow to CIA agents from abroad. Moscow wouldn’t let that happen. Yes we all heard Nuland blab about having spent 5 billion on Ukraine. But it’s probably quite mistaken to presume that 5 billion is all money for covert operations. All kinds of other money has been poured into Ukraine since independence in 1991, and that represents a panoply of academic, humanitarian, and trade interests. So if all you’ve got is Nuland blabbing something about 5 billion dollars, you do not have a complete or coherent argument about CIA operations in Ukraine. If you have a more complete understanding or any understanding of CIA presence in Ukraine, beyond a single sound-byte, I’d love to hear all about it.

              2. Murky

                “Putin annexed Crimea by force? Do tell – must have missed that.”

                Yes, you are quite poorly informed about that. Putin himself later admitted that those ‘little green men’ in Crimea were Russians.

                “Wasn’t it Uncle Sugar who was in the Ukraine fomenting a coup against the country’s democratically elected leadership?
                Nope, you’ve got that completely wrong. The narrative you hold up about a CIA coup in Ukraine is backasswards, bunk, propaganda for dummies. And you’ve swallow it whole.

                Here’s the first circuit you might want to to rewire in your brain. The change in government in Ukraine was due a popular uprising, not a coup from abroad. Do you have any concept at all of how repressively brutal, corrupt, and kleptocratic the Yanukovych regime was? Not hundreds, not thousands, not hundreds of thousands, but millions of ordinary Ukrainians over several months went out into the streets to protest and remove Yanukovych from office. And it weren’t no coterie of CIA spies that overthrew his regime. What happened was that at the height of protests Yanukovych had his snipers shoot and kill dozens of citizens in Maidan square. That’s when Yanukovych’s own forces turned against him. The army would not support him. Even the ‘Berkut’, the state police apparatus, jumped ship when Yanukovych brought in snipers.

                Yanukovych knew his regime had unravelled, so he fled the very next day. He literally abandoned his duties as president and went awol. Meanwhile, some very interesting events occured in the Ukrainian parliament. Yanukovych’s Party of Regions simply dissolved, and that gave the opposition its opportunity to run through any legislation it wanted. And amongst other things, they impeached Yanukovych and restored an earlier less repressive constitution.

                And if you are going to rant on incoherently about some CIA coup, at least be informed of a few facts. Yes the CIA probably had a presence in Ukraine, but on a vastly smaller scale than the presense of FSB agents (latter-day KGB). The FSB and other Russian security services had an army of many thousand agents on an unlimited budget to steamroll their influence in Ukraine. Compare that to perhaps dozens of CIA agents in a foreign land on a limited budget trying to topple a country the size of Ukraine. Who’s likely to have more influence and power? CIA or FSB? Duh.

                The ‘CIA coup in Ukraine’ narrative is endlessly repeated by gullible simpletons, yahoos, USA haters, and Russian propagandists. There are no well substantiated facts to support this conspiracy theory. The popular uprising against Yanukovych and the collapse of his regime is, on the other hand, extremely well documented. If you can give a coherent presentation of facts about CIA control of Ukraine, I’d absolutely freaking love to read all about it.

                1. Doug Terpstra

                  Hunter Biden is that you? Murky indeed, a perfect pseudonym. Either you’ve got a fracking concession or your russophobia has you completely untethered from reality. You demand evidence of CIA covert ops (nevermind decades of dirty wars and coups), but nary a shred of evidence for your own warmongering, nothing but shrill innuendo about FSB infiltration, Russian shelling, mythical convoys destroyed, multiple invasions with fuzzy photos, and a downed airliner. None of it stands up to scrutiny, and the evidence conspicuously withheld for six weeks (MH17) only strongly implicates the US and Ukraine.

                  Crimea was self-determination, a peaceful referendum, not a soul lost, unlike SE Ukraine, where Russia stood down, and thousands of civilians died. But now that it’s going very badly for Kiev, chickenhawks like you are desperate to start nuclear WWIII. Russia is not Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria or Yemen. Is a fracking concession really worth global thermonuclear war? Chickenhawks won’t escape unscathed.

                  1. Murky

                    Dear Doug,

                    Why can’t you discuss ideas with some quality of argument? Instead you have resorted to personal remarks about me. ‘Ad hominem’ they call it. Here are your slashing accusations and my exculpatory replies.

                    1) You say that I’m a Russophobe. Nope! About 1/3rd or more of my friends are Russians, Ukrainians, or East Europeans. Warm people in my opinion. Hospitable too. I only have issues with Putin’s brutal regime, not with Russians.

                    2) You say that I have a fracking concession. Nope. I am not a rapacious oil man wrecking the earth for personal profit. I am more humble than that. I work as an archivist, pawing through old documents, mostly WW1 and WW2 stuff. WTF do you do for a living, Doug?

                    3) You accuse me of war-mongering. Zero truth to that. I have never advocated any kind of warfare against Russia. I don’t even agree with very recent calls for the US government to send arms to Ukraine. I’m dead-set against any escalation of this conflict. I think coordinated and long term sanctions are a better alternative to open warfare. I’m also against NATO membership for Ukraine, not that this would matter to you.

                    4) You accuse me of things that I’ve never said. I’ve never made any comment in this forum about Russian shelling, destruction of Russian convoys, or satellite photos of an alleged Russian invasion. Don’t put words in my mouth that I’ve never spoken.

                    5) Omigosh! I am described as a ‘chickenhawk’, “desperate to start nuclear WW3!”. Go back to #3 for a complete answer.

                    Doug, you have strong opinions about Russia and Ukraine. Me too. But what you claim to be factual about Russia and Ukraine is poorly substantiated. For example, you wrote that “not a soul lost” in Crimea. Wrong! A Ukrainian soldier was shot and killed during the Russian take-over. You also mistake simple declaration for subtantive argument. For example, you wrote that, “Crimea was self-determination”. Yeah, done at the point of a gun. And the referendum took place without the participation of the Crimean Tatars. Do you even know who the Crimean Tatars are? And that’s how it goes with you, Doug. Poorly informed and one sided argument. And a whole lot of Ad hominem remarks.

                    Gosh, Doug. I was hoping for an intelligent debate. But I don’t think you are capable of that. Prove me wrong.

                    1. Doug Terpstra

                      Oops. You’ve made quite a few unsubstantiated allegations about Russian agression, without distinction between Putin and Russia. Here’s two among several:

                      http://cfdtrade.info/2014/08/links-81214.html#comment-2287823

                      http://cfdtrade.info/2014/08/links-81014.html#comment-2286316

                      Regarding Russia “forcibly seizing” Crimea, I should have said no civilians died. One soldier; I stand corrected.

                      I’m not sure “WTF” I do for a living has to do with anything, but from that I might reasonably infer that you do your war agitprop, shilling, or a living.

                      As for “a whole lot of ad hominem”, sorry but your moniker is just an irresistable target, just so apt for your arguments.

                    2. Murky

                      Wrong on your first link, Doug. That comment wasn’t from me, but rather a quote from Carl Bildt.

                      Better with your second comment. Yes facts trump allegations when making an argument. So what are the facts of an alleged CIA coup in Ukraine? Do you have any facts about that? Or is your claim of a CIA coup bogus, false, and a mere propaganda canard?

                      Then more ad hominem comment from you. You suggest I do “war agitprop, shilling, for a living”. Wrong again. I have zero connection to the US government or any Western propaganda organization. Rather I am employed by private individuals. Most of my work is document photography, genealogical research, or translation.

                      Listen, Doug, do I call you gullible, stupid, uneducated, a brainless fool, a goon, a communist sympathizer or anything like that? No I don’t, because I am respectful of your humanity. So please stop making ad hominem comment about me. Live by the quality of your argument. Nothing less.

                    3. Doug Terpstra

                      “Listen, Doug, do I call you gullible, stupid, uneducated, a brainless fool, a goon, a communist sympathizer or anything like that?”

                      Wow, I think you just did…sideways. Nicely played!

                      Re link one: posting a quote unqualified is tantamount to endorsement. But as I said, those were just two among several. I think most NC readers already know that, so ’nuff said.

                  2. lyman alpha blob

                    Hunter Biden – hahaha! With the Hitler reference I was thinking it was (S)Hillary Clinton paying a visit!

          2. bob

            US policy of the last 5(at least) presidents-

            So Prez logic must be the following. If there is any sizable minority of anyone living in a any state, and that minority is ‘threatened’, then it’s okay to forcibly invade territory of any state.

            1. Murky

              Lambert. I do not believe you have any substantive evidence regarding CIA operations in Ukraine. If you do, speak now. If you don’t, your many posts about a CIA coup in Ukraine are no more than unadulterated propaganda.

              Have you considered getting a job with RT? They need native English speakers who can propagandize against the USA and Ukraine. Here’s their email link for jobs:

              E-mail: [email protected]

              Just send brief cover letter and resume.

          3. zapster

            “Putin has already annexed Crimea by force.”

            Oddly, Crimeans have a different take on it. Do you have any credible *evidence* for such an extraordinary statement? Besides, of course, the unsubstantiated drivel spouted in western media…

    1. Carolinian

      Perhaps someone already posted but this is good.

      http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2014/08/how-can-you-tell-whether-russia-has.html#more

        1. frosty zoom

          that’s the ticket!

          we send ferguson police to stop the evil russian horde AND defeat the cia ISIS™.

    1. Antifa

      The main benefit that ingesting ethanol provides is a temporary boost in the body’s most voluminous neurotransmitter, gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA). This is the neurotransmitter that works opposite to our “fight or flight” neurotransmitters like adrenaline and norepinephrine. In simple terms, GABA is the brakes on our brain. Without it we would all be hyper Type A workaholic psychotics, runaway insomniac OCD maniacs, panic-stricken at every turn of events, highly prone to anger and violence, and very soon end up afraid to leave our bed, or even pull the covers down from our face. And we would die of shock or heart attack before long.

      Did you have a rough day? A martini or a beer brings on a soothing, relaxed mood by raising the levels of GABA in your 3-pound brain. It’s a chemical response to ethanol ingestion. Ethanol is not a neurotransmitter. It can only stimulate our most abundant neurotransmitter, GABA.

      If you make a habit of it, you can get the same boost in your stress-reducing GABA levels by consciously relaxing, by deep breathing exercises, or by a few minutes of meditation. Or, you can take a benzodiazapine like Xanax. You do not need to assault your liver with ethanol to get a quick and reliable mood change. It’s just that knocking back a couple shots is a lot easier than learning to consciously change your own mood, learning how to let stress wash off your back as the day goes by, or meditating off in a corner all by yourself. Which all sounds rather ascetic.

      Whereas drinking is a social thing, with music, with dancing, with friends, with football on the TV, with the possibility of sexual liaisons for those interested, so grabbing a couple drinks at day’s end is the route most people take to feel good about their day, themselves, and life in general. Or to not feel so bad, at least. If drinkers live longer, it’s because they get a reliable daily break from the relentless stress of our civilized lives, but it isn’t the alcohol. It’s the relaxation, and the reprieve from stress that ethanol stimulates by boosting GABA levels.

      The sympathetic nervous system we are all stuck with evolved when our species lived as hunter gatherers, a lifestyle that involves about 2-3 hours of actual work each day, and the rest of the time spent in goofing off, hanging out, casual promiscuous sex, playing, napping, and relaxing. If this doesn’t sound like your typical day, then you need to learn effective techniques to handle constant stress, or else have free access to the liquor cabinet, like they do in all the black and white movies from the 1930’s and 1940’s.

      Every time someone walks into a living room or office in those old films, out come the glasses and the booze. Now that’s effective use of ethanol. It’s hard to imagine how they got any work done that way, but you can be sure they were much more relaxed than we are in this decade.

      This whole waiting until 5 o’clock business may well be counter-productive to our pursuit of happiness.

      1. MtnLife

        Totally agree. We’ve jammed so much “productivity” into our lives in order to “have a better life” that we don’t actually have a better life and need chemicals to get the positive feelings that should occur naturally. Not only do those other substances provide a comfortable easing of the onslaught of cold reality but can also provide incredible insight provided by a totally different “viewpoint”. Take the last legal trials of LSD that involved microdosing: “After their 5HT2A neural receptors simmered down, they remained firm: LSD absolutely had helped them solve their complex, seemingly intractable problems. And the establishment agreed. The 26 men unleashed a slew of widely embraced innovations shortly after their LSD experiences, including a mathematical theorem for NOR gate circuits, a conceptual model of a photon, a linear electron accelerator beam-steering device, a new design for the vibratory microtome, a technical improvement of the magnetic tape recorder, blueprints for a private residency and an arts-and-crafts shopping plaza, and a space probe experiment designed to measure solar properties.

        GABA is the very Zen-like happiness, glutamate is the excitable happiness. If you want GABA without any those other chemicals or any of that “activity” stuff (lazy ‘Mericans), you can just down a bunch of Picamilon and cut out the middleman.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The flip side is that the serfs can thus ‘cope’ (with a little help from GABA) an ever worsening world.

          And like Jevon’s Paradox, the world does get worse….because now, we can ‘deal with it.’

          1. MtnLife

            I’d say that’s pretty dependent on the motivation for the coping. If it is used primarily as an escape/numbing so that they don’t have to think about their issues anymore then I would agree it only helps send things downhill. I would put heavy alcohol consumption and heroin squarely in this category. If it is used to lessen overwhelming stress so that one can think clearly or to gain a different vantage point, I would propose it is helpful. Things that CAN (but not necessarily so) be helpful in this area would be things like light alcohol consumption, marijuana, ketamine, MDMA, LSD, GABA/glutamate, nootropics (natural and synthesized), and other smart drugs (nootropics with a stimulant base). All of these besides GABA, glutamate, and nootropics can be contenders for abuse in addition to possibly being helpful. I think one of the problems of today’s society is that we are too stressed just trying to keep our heads above water that the majority of people can’t pull back and critically examine their lives or the world around them. Our individual biochemistry can also cause different substances to affect us differently. I know plenty of people who shouldn’t drink, others who shouldn’t smoke pot, and a large cross section of the country that should never go anywhere near hallucinogens. Drugs are just another tool subject to misuse but that doesn’t mean we should throw the baby out with the bathwater.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Perhaps it’s individuals deciding what is best for them, of their free will, and we don’t throw out the baby out with the bathwater.

              Or perhaps they manipulate us (some of us, many of us), without our conscious consent….those of us, not all, who are victims unaware of the intent to ‘smooth/calm/lubricate the system’ with drugs/alcohol/painkillers.

      2. frosty zoom

        america must have very happy cars, then.

        and the russians? my guess is that ethanol also boosts LADA levels.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Perhaps you are right abot happy ethanol drinking American cars.

          But here is another fact ignored by the mass media: America used to make very good, very durable cars.

          In fact, a lot of them are still running on the streets of Havana.

          Now, how many German or Japanese car makers can brag like that?

          1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

            Two best cars ever: the Ford Pinto and the VEB Sachsenring Automobilwerke Trabant.

            The Pinto was really cool, ’cause you didn’t have to paint the flames on it.

            1. optimader

              Should have combined the two. Pinto had a great and longlived engine design wrapped in a breathtakingly shitty body. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Pinto_engine

              The trabant had virtually indestructible bodies w/ hopelessly primitive engines/drivetrains.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duroplast

          2. Brooklin Bridge

            By the 50’s, US auto manufacturers were beginning to build obsolescence into their cars, particularly the mechanical aspects of it. Greed was in the air. But they were unable or not set up at the time or the public wouldn’t have stood for it or some combination of the above to the idea of the tin foil auto-body – a cost saving trend which started in earnest in the sixties.

            HOP to Cuba post 50’s. They essentially stopped importing cars in the 50s and so people had no other choice than to “maintain” what they had. And they got very very good at it. But the amazing Cuban mechanical skills would have been for naught without that relatively heavy and durable sheet metal which basically lasts as long as you keep paint on it.

              1. Brooklin Bridge

                Good link, good point, but Cubans have apparently been lucky and have not had full on crashes every day with every car as in the tube vid. Perhaps they drive carefully, who knows?, cars were hard to get :). What they have had is day to day wear and tear which, at least as far as the 1950’s car body is concerned, is very easy to maintain and repair over remarkably long periods of time assuming you have good mechanics.

      3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        “when our species lived as hunter gatherers, a lifestyle that involves about 2-3 hours of actual work each day, and the rest of the time spent in goofing off, hanging out, casual promiscuous sex, playing, napping, and relaxing.”

        There was a lone dissenting Luddite voice among those Neanderthals.

        He said, ‘That way lies the neoliberal damnation.’ (admittedly, he was several tens of thousands of years too early)

        You see, he was against ‘progress.’

        He wanted to remain in the 2-3 working hour Eden…no jet travel/vacation and Ebola was just a local menace.

        From Gershwin:

        They all said we’d never get together
        Darling, let’s take a bow
        For ho, ho, ho!
        Who’s got the last laugh?
        Hee, hee, hee!
        Let’s at the past laugh
        Ha, ha, ha!
        Who’s got the last laugh now?”

        1. ohmyheck

          Hmm…. it seems the Myth of the Noble Savage has its detractors:

          http://www.amazon.com/War-Before-Civilization-Peaceful-Savage/dp/0195119126/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1409497164&sr=8-1&keywords=war+before+civilization

          I got this link from a discussion at ZH today. For once the comments readable. Worth a look:

          http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-08-31/hard-life-first-american

      4. MikeNY

        Wow! Thanks to you and Mtn Life for the chemistry lesson! I guess I’m in ok shape, then. I’m luckily not very stressed out, and I do enjoy a cocktail or two, or some wine with a meal. Guess I’ll stick to it. :-)

    2. cwaltz

      The article was ridiculous. I notice it didn’t bother to mention the number of people killed annually from excessive alcohol. (It’s around 88,000 according to the CDC). That doesn’t include the number of lives ruined by with a dysfunctional drinker.
      http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-alcohol-related-deaths-years-lost-sxsw-20140313-story.html

      I also think it’s absurd to suggest an alcoholic can drink “moderately.” They can’t. They have a genetic mutation that doesn’t allow them to.
      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131126123931.htm

      But hey, let’s pretend that a one size fits all approach to everything is healthy. Who cares if the facts actually suggest otherwise?

      1. Skeptic

        I’m gonna cut to the chase and go to Heroin to be really HEALTHY!

        How many of those 1% sociopaths/psychopaths complained of here daily are “healthy” dipsomaniacs? Set ’em up, Joe.

        1. MtnLife

          Hey, heroin addicts have very few long term health problems. Of course the fact there are very few long term heroin addicts may skew the data a little. A lot like how the increased young banker deaths could be used to show more people are staying at one job until the end of their careers too.

          1. optimader

            pharmaceutically pure heroin? No doubt safer than ciggs. Unfortunately criminalization creates incentives for it not being pure, as well drives adverse lifestyle behavior to pony up the $$ due to it’s illicit nature.

      2. jrs

        Oh and it doesn’t count if you have breast cancer genes. So ladies don’t dare drink that glass of wine until you’ve had full genetic testing!

    3. Garrett Pace

      “A society best handles its available intoxicants by regarding them calmly and rationally, and by understanding that people have the capacity (and the responsibility) to consume them in sensible, even life-enhancing ways.”

      LOL. Watch a beer commercial to see that principle in action. The trigger word for me there is “responsibility” – that we have an obligation to society to drink these mild toxins. Drink responsibly! It’s a duty that some take more seriously than others. Chocolate has a mild narcotic effect, but I never hear people brag about how they eat it responsibly. That’s a tedious commonplace when talking to the soused set.

      I don’t expect this is a subject that most people are capable of being objective about. There’s too many scary drunks out there that are convinced they are “responsible drinkers” as they terrorize their children and sabotage their relationships. My great granddad was the town drunk of a little burg up in Oregon that probably wasn’t big enough to need one. Sorry Grandpa, look at the graph. It’s cold and actuarial, but if you look at the averages you are actually doing way better than you would have otherwise.

      So stress is worse than drinking, okay. I believe you. Sitting at a desk for nine hours every day is worse than smoking too – those guys who go out every 45 minutes to light up are way ahead in the game. I like Antifa’s comment above. I wonder if there’s other, more permanent ways of dealing with stress than waiting for the next drink? But whatever it takes so you can get up in the morning and go to your awesome job.

      1. optimader

        “Sitting at a desk for nine hours every day is worse than smoking too – those guys who go out every 45 minutes to light up are way ahead in the game. ”
        BS alert..

        1. Garrett Pace

          Which part?

          http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17sitting-t.html
          http://www.salon.com/2013/01/10/stand_up_2/

  3. Tziterdik

    Ooh, modified limited NPT hangout by Haaretz! More ligen in anticipation of the 2015 review, which will feature this spectacular agenda item:

    “The existence of extensive covert networks related to the procurement and supply of sensitive nuclear equipment and technology underline the need for all states to exercise vigilance in countering proliferation.”

    That’s from NPT/CONF.2015/PC.III/WP.8, written by Western allies Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and Sweden, who

    “Note with serious concern the illicit trafficking in nuclear and other radioactive material, equipment and technology”

    Israeli spy Marc Grossman gave away the store to everybody, not just Israel. The next stage of US conference preparations is to make ace salesman Viktor Bout eat his shorts and die.

  4. abynormal

    HilariouS “Why don’t ya’ll just use chicken”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ECR-AYgpL0
    …even McDonald’s couldn’t afford commercial cost to list their deadly ingredients!

  5. Johann Sebastian Schminson

    “What the Arbitration Panel Didn’t Want to Hear”

    Secret meetings — especially in high places — which formally exclude litigation or disclosure under the ostensible purpose of maintaining “confidentiality” — are little more than covers for criminality.

    Additionally, any civil or criminal case in or before a court of law should not be allowed to include confidentiality clauses or a settlement conditional upon the Defendant being able to disclaim wrongdoing.

    If your Corporate “person” did nothing wrong, then go to trial. If the cost of litigation is cited as a factor, then get a public defender go to trial without counsel. Meat people do it every day.

  6. Johann Sebastian Schminson

    “ArthroCare Ex-Chief Baker Gets 20-Year Term for Fraud”

    That could be read several ways. Before clicking the link, I thought a baker had gone to prison for something.

    1. ambrit

      I had the same initial reaction. “Arrested for using Imitation Vanilla, while bankers go scot free for creating Synthetic Derivatives?” Talk about your two tier justice system! At least the bakers give us two tiers and frosting.

          1. ambrit

            “Assume the position!”
            It gives a whole new meaning to the term “Lazy Buggers” don’t it. (At least in the way the neo-liberal press uses it to bash ‘welfare queens’ and the like.)

  7. Brooklin Bridge

    Sunspots may indicate severe electrical disruption in the outdated and increasingly rag-tag US grid at some future date. The Obama administration has responded forcefully to the threat proposing new much tougher sanctions against Putin.

  8. Jackrabbit

    Russia Ramps Up Information War
    Image Battered by Conflict in Ukraine, Russia Pushes to Rebuild and Expand Soviet-Era Foreign State Media

    Notice how devious the sub-heading is.

    ‘Image battered’? Because they have provided a counter to Western propaganda?

    ‘Soviet Era’?Added for effect.

    Also note: This article is one of the “Editors picks”.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if RT becomes a target of sanctions. Next round?

    =
    =
    =
    H O P

    1. Massinissa

      Iranian-based PressTV was apparently banned from TV in Europe and America for about 2 years now relating to the Iranian sanctions. The station is still sort of in limbo in regards to broadcasting, with talk in several countries about it being re-allowed.

      So although you were probably joking, its not beyond the realm of possibility.

    2. Massinissa

      Iranian-based PressTV has been banned in Europe relating to the Iranian sanctions, so although youre joking about RT, its not impossible.

    3. Banger

      That propaganda line has been ubiquitous in the State-controlled media since the start of the crisis and is trotted out regularly. Thus, if you comment about that there may be two sides to the story not just Kiev’s side you are accused of being influenced by Russian propaganda organs like RT.

      Any idiot who takes a look at RT coverage and compares it to CNN or MSNBC over time can’t help but note that the latter two are simply not accurate while RT gives a more complete picture though clearly slanted. The U.S. media giants (not even considering Fox) are 100% propaganda–at least when I’ve watched–more often I listen to NPR and I have never heard anything there other than the official view–which is why we can say that NPR is state-controlled like the rest of them.

      1. Andrew Watts

        RT is still “All the news the government wants you to hear” it’s just a different government. The best propaganda is comprised of about 90% truth. The whole purpose of the enterprise is to delegitimize the US government in the eyes of the populace. It’s kinda like the Bush the Younger administration in hindsight.

        The recent mainstream furor over RT certainly has to do with Ukraine and the lack of prestige that is being afforded to our propagandists/journalists, but it also might have something to do with Aaron Swartz. Swartz regularly showed up on RT to promote his political causes and I am guessing this got him classified as a foreign intelligence asset. I know the assertion that Swartz is a Russian spy is unbelievably stupid but keep in mind this is American intelligence (…) we’re talking about. When the US government legally goes after blackhats the most prison time they’ve ever asked for is a decade in jail. Swartz was firmly in Espionage Act territory with the prospect of thirty years in prison.

        In conclusion, they’re trying to send a warning to political activists to stay away from RT among other things. The individuals who disregard this message will be treated as harshly as Swartz was if the government is given an opportunity.

        1. Banger

          RT is influenced by the Russian government and attempts to serve its interests but, for non-Russian news it is far superior and offers a relatively broad spectrum of opinion compared with U.S. mainstream outlets. I would say that about important issues, particularly national “security” issues the U.S. media is 90% propaganda. Even with domestic issues is coverage is very narrow and spotty particularly in the matters that crop us as “news.”

          1. optimader

            RT News is screechy propaganda. I used to try and catch Lauren Lyster https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lauren_Lyster but she punched out.

          2. vlade

            I can’t comment on the US media, as I don’t follow them. But there’s plenty of anglofone media available that do provide at least as complex picture as RT does.
            There’s still much more freedom to choose – if one wants – their own source of information in the US than in some other countries. The problem is not the lack of choice, the problem is that people want their biases confirmed.

  9. wbgonne

    “Surfers Defy Wealthy California Oceanfront Property Owners Denying Beach Access”

    “There was a big high wall there that tried to stop me;
    Sign was painted, it said private property;
    But on the back side it didn’t say nothing;
    This land was made for you and me.”
    — Woody Guthrie

    1. ambrit

      I don’t know about the California laws, but in Florida, the state and local jurisdiction really ends at the mean high tide line. The Corps of Engineers has jurisdiction over all coastal, navigable, and wetlands areas. I don’t know if surfing is covered, but I would not be surprised if it were. “A coastal recreational use.”

    2. Jim Haygood

      Oh, if you ain’t got the do re mi, folks, if you ain’t got the do re mi,
      Why, you better go back to your beautiful Texas
      Oklahoma, Kansas, Georgia, Tennessee

      California is a garden of Eden, a paradise to live in or see
      But believe it or not, you won’t find it so hot
      If you ain’t got the do re mi

      – Woody Guthrie, Do Re Mi

    3. sleepy

      Surprisingly, in Texas, all beaches are public–everything from the end of the vegetation line, sea oats and the like, on down through the surf.

      It’s been awhile since I was familiar with it, so perhaps wealthy oceanfront owners have figured out a way around it. I do know that 30 or so years ago–if a hurricane hit a certain are and pushed the vegetation line further inland, property owners frequently found that their house was now on public land.

      1. bruno marr

        …it’s similar in California. The shoreline to mean high tide (essentially wet sand zone) belongs to the citizens of California. In the case in question the land owner is blocking access to this zone. However, California state law recognizes “prior public use” as a pre-existing access right of the public to cross private property to get to the beach. This is an ongoing issue in Malibu, CA where wealthy beach-side homeowners attempt all manner of nefarious subterfuge (and sometimes physical threat by proxy) to discourage public access to the beach near “their” oceanfront.

  10. cripes

    The Covert Origins of ISIS

    http://scgnews.com/the-covert-origins-of-isis?utm_medium=share-bar&utm_campaign=optimization&utm_source=link

    Link found at Agonist

    Funny how all the states subject to US “regime change” are secular, modernist, gender-rights promoting nationalist societies in the Nasser tradition. The pretext of deposing tyrants does not apparently apply to client states like Saudi Arabia, who along with Gulf Emirates have been financing and facilitating ISIS through Libya, Turkey, etc. Seymour Hersh was on this two years ago. Monsters, indeed. This needs to be read.

    1. ohmyheck

      Thanks for linking to this. I saw the video, and will link to it, for those who prefer that communications method:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMjXbuj7BPI&list=UUEHsSWvrGVSIA63OV3J6vhA

      A few observations— the single mention of Hillary Clinton makes her out to be a good guy, by showing her attempting to reveal the truth about who actually funds terrorists. I believe that was taken out of context. Later on in the video, it mentions what really happened in Benghazi, and blames the US Gov’t in general, but HRC was knee-deep in that travesty.

      No mention of why Israel is not freaking out over having such horrendous evil-doers at their door step…

      And no connecting of the dots about using IS as a false-flag front for the next US/Israeli-backed terrorist attack on US soil, which Hagel, et. al., are screaming about in the headlines—-
      http://news.antiwar.com/2014/08/21/hagel-isis-an-imminent-threat-to-every-interest-we-have/

      This could end up as a “We-told-you-so / look, our NSA called this one, which proves its value and viability”. Sept. 11 is two weeks away….. happy anniversary, quislings?

      That said, this video/article is extremely well done and packed with information. It should definitely go viral. Pass it around…..

      1. cripes

        Ohmyheck:
        Yes, there are many dots to be connected, and some details may be left out. Still, an excellent starting place and completely puts the lie to ridiculous PR about IS appearing out of nowhere. Chaos serves the interests of certain powers-within and without the regipn.

        What also strikes me as strange, in addition to columns of spanking new vehicles and equipment, is how stylish and new in the uniforms of theae so-called militia types. They must have a halliburton laundry unit trailing them around the desert and a team of Milan couturiers designing the “look.” WTF?

      2. diptherio

        But, as they point out right after the HRC segment, Robert Gates all but admits to arming the muhjahadeen not in response to Russian invasion, but as a provocation of that invasion. So to my mind, the producer was basically making Hillary seem uninformed. That was my take-away.

    2. diptherio

      Exactly, which is why this bit from Kissinger in the WSJ article on Assembling the New World Order is so hilarious:

      At the same time, parts of the Middle East have dissolved into sectarian and ethnic components in conflict with each other; religious militias and the powers backing them violate borders and sovereignty at will, producing the phenomenon of failed states not controlling their own territory.

      But get this: he’s NOT talking about the US…BWAHAAHAAHAAHAA!

      1. diptherio

        Even more unintentional self-parody in the Foreign Affairs piece:

        Secretary of State John Kerry’s response to the Crimea crisis reflected this same perspective: “You just don’t in the twenty-first century behave in nineteenth-century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped-up pretext.”

        …he said, trying not to look in the direction of Iraq.

    3. Banger

      Great find! The article is one of the best–puts it all out there. It’s really nice to see so many different ways in which there is a break with conventional thinking that is popping up in all kinds of places in all kinds of ways from all kinds of perspectives. The SGSNews piece and the ideas within should be spread as far and wide as possible to expose the murderous Deep State that oppresses not just the ME and not just most of the world but our own society.

      I have a feeling that this time, this series of crises, will bring out the truth of the poison that infects the globe more destructive than Ebola could ever be.

    4. lordkoos

      Saudi Arabia is the most oppressive state in the world rated by freedom of religion, but the US needs them in so many ways.

  11. Swedish Lex

    Finished BBQ in the garden with friends with healthy amounts of rosé.
    Judging from the number of empty bottles, our health has just improved considerably.

    1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      Any wine over 14% — white, red, or blush will stand up to any heavily-flavored dish. Especially after the third glass.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Any research on the health effect of wine upon cats?

      I am thinking half of glass of Restina a day ought to take my cat’s stress away (stress from having to deal with humans)…maybe with some Feta cheese, of course.

      1. George Hier

        Alcohol for pets is a bad idea. Same for coffee/caffeine. I’m sure you are just joking, but with the number of pet owners on this site, I want to make sure no-one takes your suggestion at face value.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Thanks George, for pointing that out.

          Maybe we humans are really more ‘exceptional’ than pets and other animals.

        2. optimader

          My mothers poodle mutt Spot (a black dog of course) drank a cup of coffee every morning . She puzzled for a long time not remembering drinking her whole cup of coffee when she would set it down and leave the room for this or that, til one dank she caught him drinking it. He got his own cup.

          He also drank a coffee cup of draught beer every evening. Lived 21 years , so it worked for him
          My dad has maintained 1/4 barrels on tap in the a frig for the past 50 years or so, to this day at 87 had a couple steins w/ him today!. Works for us!
          Our basement was popular on weekends for blistering table tennis and darts matches til the wee hours in highschool. My mother quips that at least they knew where we were at.

        1. abynormal

          not for me. i grow it & make a tea out of it…its mellowing on humans. unless i give wilson too much…then he runs an dives around me and im not mellow anymore!

  12. TedWa

    On the Reuters article – Now manipulating markets is legally just maximizing profits !?? Unbelievable. Rational profit making behavior she calls it.

    “In an 85-page decision, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan said there was no indication the defendants intended to manipulate prices, though it was clear that their actions affected the aluminum marketplace.
    “As cast in the complaints, this was an unintended consequence of rational profit maximizing behavior rather than the product of conspiratorial design,” she wrote.””

    1. MtnLife

      I think that statement legalizes nearly everything in the name of the Holy Profit. When the Mexican drug cartels whack their competition it’s not really murder, it’s just an unintended consequence of rational profit maximizing behavior. There was no indication they intended to bribe the politician but he wouldn’t give them the no-bid contract otherwise so, really, the bribery was an unintended consequence of their rational profit maximizing behavior.

  13. dannyc

    Hillary Clinton was surprisingly bold on Ferguson WaPo
    Her ambition is to become the first Black woman President.

  14. Banger

    All hope is not lost. Two links above reflect a counterattack by “realists” against the prevailing power arrangement of neocon/neoliberals in the Obama administration. The first is Henry Kissinger’s excellent piece in the WSJ which provides a general view of general trends (I know it sounds bad) in world political arrangements. In essence he says we are in a transition period and moving into regional and tribal conflicts and sees the need for setting up new international structures–he said the current one has failed and despite the fact that leaders meet regularly–they are only meeting on the surface basically for PR purposes. Reading between the lines Henry K is telling us that our leaders are idiots and we better try and do something about it–I have heard from people that know him well that he puts out portentious and oracular comments to hide what he is really saying in private which I can assure you are salted with a stunning amount of profanity.

    The other is from Foreign Affairs that is a truly well-written and well-thought out dissection of the Ukraine crisis which will be ignored by the propaganda organs–but it is nice that Mearsheimer still has enough juice to get published at all. I urge all of you to read his piece–I don’t agree with some of it but who f-cking cares? This guy can reason–there is simply no counter-argument to his view which I believe, Henry K shares. The FA piece is a call to arms for the realist faction, in a sense, a complete evisceration of the Obama Administration’s position and, more importantly, of the “liberal” consensus on foreign policy which is now indistinguishable from the neocon except one is deluded and the other cynical. The liberals in Washington believe that spreading “democracy” and “freedom” and “free trade” should be the militant goal of U.S. policy and because they see U.S. policy as “benign” Russia has nothing to fear from NATO on its borders. The sad part is that many of these idiots in the press and at the State Department are so deluded and so ignorant of history not just of Europe/Russia but of the U.S.–the idea that the U.S. is benign? WTF–how can anyone be so stupid!!! It’s beyond belief and this is why these half-wits are more dangerous than the neocons who at least have method to their madness. And this is not covered by Mearsheimer–he does not mention the neocon project of chaos everywhere in order to make sure that there is only political rubble throughout the globe so that the Imperial Forces can stand on top of that rubble and beat their chests, feast and get laid! Actually, people, it is that simple for that bunch although in practice much, much more perverse–think Eyes Wide Shut.

    The funny thing is that, in the end, the Russians, the Ukranians and the Europeans will suffer and the U.S. Imperial project will be further along in its full-spectrum dominance without having to fire a shot or bomb more wedding celebrations. Washington will gladly fight Russia to the last Ukranian fascist and last European quisling. Mearschimer is right–we will all suffer but he did not take into account, below the Deep State benefiting from all this.

    The United States and its European allies now face a choice on Ukraine. They can continue their current policy, which will exacerbate hostilities with Russia and devastate Ukraine in the process — a scenario in which everyone would come out a loser. Or they can switch gears and work to create a prosperous but neutral Ukraine, one that does not threaten Russia and allows the West to repair its relations with Moscow. With that approach, all sides would win.

    1. ohmyheck

      Sorry, Banger, but HK’s essay seems more like a “You stupids idjits are screwing up all my decades of work!” blame game, instead of just owning up to the fact that his decades of work were destined to be an astronomical failure for all concerned, since its demented inception.

      1. Banger

        Kissinger’s position has always been, since early in his career, stability moderated or imposed. His idea is that positive change can only occur within a context of a predictable and stable world–upheavals and revolutions don’t work (he was always reacting to the French and Russian revolutions) in bringing about positive change, he reasoned. He has been consistent in that vision as have been several generations of FP specialists who share his view (if they didn’t always like his tactics). Do you have an alternative?

        My own view is that we are in a historical situation where radical reform and revolution is theoretically possible, perhaps for the first time in human history, due to deep societal changes that have occurred since WWII. War, in today’s world, is achieved chiefly by trickery–the U.S. war machine exists because the American people have faced a cultural regime of massive propaganda since 1917 that shows that the U.S. is “good” and those that oppose the USG are “bad” and this propaganda regime has been spectacularly successful, also, in manufacturing consent through many Big Lies about every foreign policy issue there is. Kissinger operated within that context and did what he could within that to (in my view) moderate that policy as best as he could. He made mistakes along the way–but, unlike today’s foreign policy mandarins–he meant well.

        Kissinger may not fully understand that today, most people really don’t want war–people, despite massive attempts to tribalize society, still believe in peace, love and understanding and a real peace-movement would be able to capitalize on that. Even war-mongering Israel would have, at one time, been open to peace, before the population was manipulated by Israeli and USG operatives to believe that peace was impossible–even to the extent of covertly supporting jihadis including Hamas in order to keep tensions high forcing many Israelis to vote for the right. It helped, of course, that at that most wonderful opening to peace we have seen since the founding of Israel that, conveniently, the Israeli PM Rabin was ruthlessly shot down like a mad dog in the street and that was the end of any possibility for peace, in my view–just as JFK’s assassination destroyed any chance for the end of the Cold War which both JFK and Khrushchev were in the process of doing before JFK was shot down.

        My point is that Kissinger understood full well the lay of the political landscape and he did not question it but acted, like many in Washington did and still do, within the context of that reality. As I said yesterday within the context of Warren’s stance on Israel, if you want to be in the game you have to accept the rules or you don’t play.

        I personally, believe in playing outside the rules. I think Warren and Kissinger were mistaken. When Henry was a big shot–there was still hope–he worked for the last liberal President the U.S. has seen and Nixon was overthrown, in my view, by a CIA coup–the official Watergate story is sheer caca when you look into it. I knew when Nixon resigned that a coup d’etat had occurred. I did not support Nixon–I was a McGovern supporter but when I watched his resignation speech my intuition or the angels on high or whatever told me that this was a coup. Every moment before that I cheered on Nixon’s attackers. I believe my intuition that night was 100% correct–it looked like it and felt like it. What followed was worse than what preceded it.

        1. Carolinian

          Er, Chile. I think that would classify as an “upheaval.” Then there’s the Cambodia bombing which destabilized their government and led to mass slaughter–another upheaval. HK’s “predictable and stable world” was often of the “they made a desert and called it peace” variety. Perhaps the worst of it was that Carter then decided he had to have his own FP whiz kid, the detestable Zbig.

          1. Banger

            I don’t disagree–but Chile, if you check it out, is hardly a desert–Afghanistan and Iraq are. Also, this was a CIA operation and, in case you haven’t noticed, they have their own agenda and their own foreign policy. As for Cambodia, it was ruthless and cruel at best and it is a shameful episode in his tenure–but his goal was stability not chaos and not conquest as policy-makers are clearly pursuing today.

            1. Carolinian

              Kissinger was totally involved in the overthrow of Allende. This is just history. And now is 40 years after the fact. Even so there are still repercussions.

              One thing Kissinger was very good at was burnishing his public image. He was always a press favorite. His obsession with public image lead to an obsession with leaks, hence the “plumbers.”

              But I will admit the current foreign policy crew make Kissinger look better. At least he had some kind of a plan. The neocons make a desert, but there’s no prospect of any peace.

            2. lordkoos

              Cambodia is still a very damaged country, and will remain so for many, many years. What happened to them was in a way much worse than what we did to Vietnam. I can’t listen to, or read, anything that Kissinger says without thinking about that.

        1. Banger

          See, Kerry has no ideas about anything–he is, in a sense an empty suit. At some point during his run for the Presidency it felt to me like he was throwing the election–this was a gut feeling. I believe McCain may have done the same thing–both McCain and Kerry (they are said to be friends) were terrible as candidates. Now I may be wrong but that is what it felt like as a passive fan of the procedures.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            Kerry collected money to challenge for election theft; there was certainly a colorable case that election theft occurred. I was live blogging on election day and into the night and early morning; I went to bed thinking that Kerry would challenge, and we’d finally get the payback for the theft of Florida 2000. Then I woke up, and Kerry had caved, as if he were a puppy, and somebody’d scratched his belly after he rolled over. Looking at Kerry’s SoS performance, I can’t help but think we dodged a bullet in 2004, which is a pretty awful thought, isn’t it?

          2. MtnLife

            Have you heard any of the deep CT reasons for McCain and Kerry throwing the election? It’s really, really interesting how all the money ended up behind one royal political family member in the race (despite McCain winning the “important” primaries) immediately after the untimely, suspicious, white-washed, peculiar “accidental” death of a member of another royal political family. Like father, like son x2.

            1. Banger

              The only CT stuff I’ve heard about Kerry is the obvious–he is Skull and Bones Yale like Bush. My guess is that he is CIA and has been since before he served in Vietnam—just a guess–I have no reason other than it follows a pattern that is familiar to me.

            2. Lambert Strether Post author

              CT is, by definition, shallow, along with the putatively deep state, which is growing like kudzu all over everything, and yet has nothing to say about class (how convenient). Like Gramsci made into a TV dinner and heated up in the microwave.

    2. Brooklin Bridge

      You are often spot on Banger, but boy, I sure didn’t see the FA piece that way. Far from eviscerating Obama or his administration, the Foreign Affairs piece is totally silent on all and any explosive issues such as the economic slice and dice warfare against Ukraine by both the US (go young Biden) and the EU (IMF unpayable austerity/sell off guaranteedTrojan Horses loans to the elite), or the Washington directed genocide being carried out by Ukraine against it’s own people. To me such gaping omissions render any such editorial suspect or worthless even if I agree with the advice to chill out on NATO expansion.

      Again and again the author credits the Obama administration with the most effusive and outrageous motives with all this nonsense about doing the wrong thing in Ukraine for Democracy, motherhood and apple pie, the Liberal Delusions that form the premises of his article. Perhaps he is scared shi*less that we are actually headed to war due to bonafide nut cases bouncing around in the WH. Indeed, he sounds like he’s trying to talk a potential suicide case down from the ledge by telling him -with increasing urgency- what amazingly honorable motives got him up there in the first place.

      But that does not fill me with hope or enthusiasm.

      1. Banger

        Look, you cannot expect someone who plays the insider game to tell the truth. Pieces in journals are political events not genuine intellectual debate. M. is positioning himself and his cohort in an internal struggle going on within policy circles that is, in my view, fierce at this time. I read the mainstream outlets like students of the Soviet Union read the Soviet press–I learned the method from a grad student friend who spent most of his time doing exactly that.

        People here need to understand that EVERY published story in any mainstream journal is political–there is no such thing as independent journalism except on the internet. Every writer or commentator you see in the media has a political sponsor and/or political constituency–it’s never “some guy” who has an idea or you and I would be listened to in the mainstream. You cannot question American motives in the mainstream–you can only question strategies and tactics. I believe M. has articulated a defensible position for critics without alienating elements in the WH, State and CIA who are naturally sympathetic to the “realist” cause. Mainstream magazines are not going to publish Saker or Mike Whitney because they are not part of the game. Unless you’ve been around it you have no clue that it is a game with a highly complex set of rules and signals like some of the bidding you do when playing Bridge.

        M.’s piece is an indication that the power-struggle isn’t completely over–the neocons and neoliberals are not 100% in control as they were not when there were calls to Invade/bomb-bomb Iran or get into the Syrian war–those wars were, ultimately, stopped by realists within the FP establishment.

        1. Jackrabbit

          There was A LOT more public debate in 2003. Where on all the realists? It seems like M is the token ‘realist’ voice* in a sham ‘debate’ that you keep trumpeting.

          Neocons are ideologues. Trusting that a small group of not-so-realists (some might say they are less ‘realist’ than ‘go-slow’ neocons) will save us is a receipe for disaster. And trusting the mendacious Obama Administration (supporting moderate rebels in Syria? Withholding MH-17 info?), to listen to alternative views is equally dangers. Complacency puts our kids future in the hands of a corrupt elite.

        2. Synopticist

          Yes, I agree with Banger.
          There have also been some very big changes on the battlefields of eastern Ukraine in the last week that have changed perspectives. The rebels, with Russian aid, have made some big breakthroughs which mean it’s impossible for Ukraine forces to win conventionally before winter sets in, which was the gamble the neo-cons were making..

          1. Brooklin Bridge

            Interesting point about winter, but I remain unconvinced that the FA piece is code for the realists in the deep state to come out from where ever they are. And equally unconvinced that Obama and his breathtakingly reckless handling of Ukraine, not to mention the singularity being torn open between what’s actually happening and what is being reported by the MSM, globally, won’t lead to irreversible misunderstandings and uncontrollable escalation if indeed the wheels have not already been set in motion..

          2. Brooklin Bridge

            Interesting point about winter, but I remain unconvinced that the FA piece is code for the realists in the deep state. And equally unconvinced that Obama and his breathtakingly reckless handling of Ukraine, not to mention the singularity being torn open between what’s actually happening and what is being reported by the MSM, globally, won’t lead to irreversible misunderstandings and uncontrollable escalation if indeed the wheels have not already been set in motion.

            1. Banger

              Wouldn’t you agree that Obama’s reaction to events seems a trifle confused? He seems to be signaling that the U.S. will not act militarily (the military, I’m sure, flat out refused to even threaten action) instead we have Britain asking for a 10k expeditionary force–that shows they are just playing at soldiers and are not serious. The media screams for war in petulant squeaks each time there’s fake proof of a Russian invasion.

              1. Jackrabbit

                They are very serious. In for a penny, in for a pound.

                The up-coming NATO summit will be very interesting.

              2. Paul Tioxon

                John Mearsheimer on Power as the Currency of International Relations, Disciplining US Foreign Policy, and Being an Independent Variable

                http://www.theory-talks.org/2012/06/theory-talk-49.html

                Independent thought, not easy to practice on a daily basis. It takes time, and perspective. A pause at the very least from the constant stimulation of the news and the long think pieces. A set of theoretical instruments are most vital to any good conversation when it comes to global events. This site has several good, well made frameworks, useful for analysis of the planetary civilization.

    3. Jackrabbit

      I was skeptical of Kissenger’s Op-ed of March 5th, saying (on April 28th): “Kissenger penned a “lets be reasonable” Op-ed in an attempt to head off Russian action and maintain the gains made via “facts on the ground”.

      Kissenger again feels the need to join the public conversation but I see his contribution very differently than Banger. My reading is that Kissenger is asserting that the US can and should do whatever it takes to keep the US preeminent – even if that means ignoring allies and/or the post-war international structure (UN, UNSC). That exceptional! message comes through loud and clear despite his ‘triage’ formalism. And it is a message that is comforting to the elite who read the WSJ (before a holiday weekend), though it should give Joe Sixpack nightmares if fully understood.

      There is a lot more there which would take much longer to unpack. But I’ll point to one more thing: Note how he forms an equivalence between all the troubles that the ‘West’ now face, and ignores US/Western actions that have contributed to these conflicts by conflating them. NC readers understand this via Merschemer’s (in today’s links) work on Ukraine and many links regarding ISIS (like this one).

      This comforting message is needed because the Ukraine gambit has failed miserably – as many independent oberservers predicted – and a deeper conflict with Russia (possibly extending to others) is now in the cards. Like the true neocon that he is, Kissenger has doubled down on Nuland’s obnoxious and misguided “f*ck the EU” with an exceptional! “f*ck the World”.

      God help us.
      =
      =
      =
      H O P

      1. Banger

        When it comes down to it Kissinger and the others are some sort of Imperialist but we have to differentiate between those who want chaos and those that don’t. I see the difference I’m not sure which one is worse anymore, frankly.

    4. Andrew Watts

      Banger,

      The realists aren’t concentrated in the foreign policy establishment. They’re mostly concentrated in the US military with perhaps a few in the intelligence community. The civilian policy wonks have been riding on the coattails of wise individuals like George Kennan for way too long. They do not deserve respect even when they’re saying things that are agreeable.

      Kennan thought expanding NATO and American influence into Eastern Europe was asinine. In his book ‘Russia and the West’, which was written in the 1950s, he stated that the reason why American involvement in Europe and the Cold War became inevitable was that Stalin tried to eliminate America’s entire influence from Eurasia. Which is the same reason why Putin has been given no choice but to -covertly- fight in Ukraine.

      Kennan was also a fan of Reinhold Niebuhr and even knew him. Which makes him a winner in my book.

      1. Banger

        I agree completely–the realists are, in fact, more numerous that you might think in FP circles. However, they have to live within the context of the Deep State and it generally prefers violence and intimidation for aesthetic reasons, I would guess. They are very sick f-cks.

        1. Jackrabbit

          How numerous Banger? Can you tell us a percentage? Who are they? What kind of real power do they have?

          You claim to be such a expert about realists but you never give us specific info, and you often fail to describe, or elide over, details like what Andrew Watts has pointed out here. So please, tell us more about realists in State.

  15. JEHR

    It never ceases to amaze me that a sugar-laced unhealthy non-drink called Coca-Cola commands any respect at all. It has nothing going for it and a lot going against it.

    1. abynormal

      even more skeerie is the google/coke mirror…i was born in coke’s front yard and watched google birthed. foreshadowing 101…shiver.

    2. trish

      a sugar-laced unhealthy non-drink called Coca-Cola… kind of embodies what’s been thrust down our global throat doesn’t it?

    3. Eclair

      Yes. Let’s get back to vinegar-based drinks, such as shrub or switchel. You can make them at home.

      Or, drink wine (or beer, or bourbon). And live longer.

      1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

        Anything fermented properly and still containing live bacteria is apparently pretty good for your gut — kim chi, sour kraut, kombucha, vinegar, yogurt, beer, wine, etc. There are even supposed to be nutritional benefits to fermenting bread dough prior to baking (sourdough).

        Fermentation of foods is ubiquitous among humans throughout history. If alcohol is present in the finished product, all the better.

    4. Yves Smith

      The original Coke really did have cocaine in it, and doctors would prescribe “shots” (a serving without the carbonated water). Cocaine was in Coke until the 1950s, per a retired Coke exec.

      1. Carolinian

        Interesting. My dad, who grew up drinking Coke long before the fifties, would tell us kids not to drink too much of it because we’d be hopped up.

        Of course Coke also has a decent dose of caffeine in it.

  16. abynormal

    ‘Conflicting Data’ is just what we’ll use on this area…po Pakistan ridin’ a ruff wknd

    Quake alert: Magnitude-6 earthquake jolts northern Pakistan (2hrs ago)
    http://indianexpress.com/article/world/neighbours/quake-alert-magnitude-6-earthquake-jolts-northern-pakistan/
    “Pakistan Meteorological Department official Mohammad Shahid said people felt the quake in Peshawar and Islamabad. He said its epicenter was in the Hindu Kush mountains on the country’s border with Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

    The U.S. Geological Survey described the temblor as a magnitude-5.1 quake that struck in Afghanistan, some 280 kilometers (170 miles) northeast of the capital, Kabul. Such conflicting data is common immediately after an earthquake.”

  17. trish

    re re Liquid authenticity

    thanks for this post. chilling, as so much is today.

    the unconditional right of those with the money, the liquidity kings, the neoliberal reich to do as they please in any way they can think of with those whom they conscripted, squeezed to become, ultimately, money. Lesser humans just stuff of, by, for their personal consumption, their pleasure.

    All their human product- both product and cog – stripped of their life force, their conatus sucked out and replaced with the most efficient non-person-ality, like domesticated oxen with smiles (and without stubborness. joyful oxen). With profitable (only) flexibility, neuro-maleable skills, emotions genericized, “souls” stripped, subsumed into their “noncontingent possibilit[ies]” ” dispersed in the ether of their pleasure-realm.

    and TV sitcom lives to function as a superficial replacement, the subsumed-soul’s social pleasure. Gadgetry to prevent non-profitable thinking, impede self-reflection. And sated with “convenience” stuff (just as they are mere convenience stuff) to convince of joy and Progress…

    1. craazyman

      TV sitcoms used to be pretty good! How can anybody complain about Get Smart or Hogan’s Heroes?

      “Conatus” was a shocker. It seems vaguely pornographic but if somebody looks it up they’ll find it’s academic and quite respectable. Even though it frankly sounds like a sordid and vulgar word and the reader can forgivably question the judgment of an author who uses it.

      You forget you even have a conatus if you’re condemned to slave away for rent money. You just have a grinding anxiety and a sense of hopeless dread. That’s reality. it doesn’t seem quite fair but it’s that way in many places around the world. Usually people dress it up with psychotic projections of grandeur and necessary obedience, for which they reward themselves with existential hubris. Why is that? Oh man, why wonder? If you wonder in front of that you’re like a blade of grass in front of a ride-on lawnmower some fat guy with a Budwesier & a bad case of sunburn is driving at full throttle. You may figure it out but you’ll be cut down with glee and abandon by a madman,

      I don’t know just when the shlt will hit the fan but I think it will. Maybe it’ll start with the surfers out in California. if there’s any things surfing does is it reminds you you have a conatus and nobody should f8ck with it. maybe the revolution will start with the surfers. Unless they’re too stoned of course.

      1. Yves Smith

        Not just sitcoms! I just had a heavy dose of the Twilight Zone, thanks to my brother who occasionally speaks at sci fi conventions. Really high production values and fine acting.

        Conatus-stealing would be right up Twilight Zone’s alley, but they’d still manage to have the thieves come out the losers, unlike what we are faced with in real life now.

        1. optimader

          Rod Serling was a great guy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_Serling
          A shame he died so young, like Peter Sellers.

  18. frosty zoom

    how about a “daily mail” headline mashup:

    ISIS beheads terror chief who once guarded Patsy Kensit steps out in low-key stripy ensemble for dinner date with a female friend at Scott’s restaurant.

    Britain to spearhead 10,000-strong Nato rapid reaction force with mission to halt Putin’s black mini dress as she enjoys first night out following split from cheating husband Jamie.

    UKIP to triumph in by-election bloodbath: ‘My life fell apart, too, the night Diana died’.

    Off for a trotabout? The Queen goes for a ride near her Balmoral estate and coordinates in edgy outfit as she leaves Kanye West’s apartment to see him perform at the Made In America Festival

  19. Ulysses

    The Boston review piece by Paul Bloom linked above is well-argued and certainly not without merit. The real danger from adopting his views is revealed by this quick allusion to the more strictly utilitarian posture one can adopt if one rejects empathy as an unqualified good: “Our policies are improved when we appreciate that a hundred deaths are worse than one, even if we know the name of the one, and when we acknowledge that the life of someone in a faraway country is worth as much as the life a neighbor, even if our emotions pull us in a different direction.”

    The problem with utilitarian moral codes is that they tend to promote the predominance of a small caste of “experts” who convince the rest of us that the suffering we see with our own eyes pales in significance to the global suffering we are avoiding– by following their wise policies. Thus the misery I see with my own eyes, in de-industialized American cities like Providence or Detroit, is actually a net positive. Why? Because neoliberal wise men tell me that the opportunity for hard-working people in “emerging economies” like Bangladesh is paramount. Who am I, a pathetic, empathetic American to deny the Bangladeshi the chance to supplant expensive, unionized American labor, earn up to nine dollars a day, and live in crowded urban slums? This global market-based opportunity, after all, has rescued millions of people from the harsh life of living as small farmers in an “unimproved” rural setting.

    Jeremy Bentham was a strong utilitarian. What practical invention did he bequeath to humanity? The Panopticon.

    1. wbgonne

      I agree the article was well-argued but I don’t think it was very well-reasoned. In addition to your objections, I also think it a dubious proposition to equate empathy and anger, nothwithstanding their superficial similarities. Yes, there can be pathological or exploited empathy but that is simply because the human mind is an effervescent alchemist: we can fuck anything up.

      The world needs far more empathy. That, at least, is a good place to start.

    2. nony mouse

      I found the piece disturbing. as you said, not without merit and not badly argued, but troubling on a variety of levels. one of which, as you pointed out, is the Utilitarian mindset which has infected pretty much all of our society (to *what and *whose ends/benefit?). I think this ’empathy movement’ must be a reaction to the greater victory of Utilitarianism/Instrumentalism rather than a promotion of the idea of just turning on our feelings all of the time, as if that cures all. a lot of the comments voice exactly my thought, which is that you can’t really have that more distant, caring sympathy without the empathy component in the first place. the distinction he makes is saying that this is ‘intellectual’ or cognitive rather than feeling. I would say that it is not being stopped in the place of ‘feeling’ but moving on to ‘action’, and that action should always be guided by what the ‘best’ action is–for the OTHER party and not yourself, which is in large part derived from our empathic sojourn. which brings up another problem I have with his argument…

      I find his ‘be of good cheer’ in the face of your friends/family members sadness to be disturbing. do some need cheering up? yes, but to others, who are experiencing serious life reversals, this would come off as callousness and would reflect the ‘cheery’ party’s own desire not to have their positive vibe displaced. once you have experienced someone who thinks that your sadness over real life events is ‘wallowing’ and keeps stressing you to ‘just cheer up’ it is like the similar ‘bootstrap mentality.’ yes, I know I am the one in control of how I feel about things, so if I feel bad then i must be ‘choosing’ to do so (I have seen this same argument in an article by another research psychologist–we have only control over how we feel, therefore children who live in abusive/poverty/ghetto environments just need to be taught to have less of a affective/stress reaction to what occurs in them. basically, try to drill yourself out of your ‘natural’ reaction into one that would be more long-term healthy for you rather than the typical one, which is that of Post Traumatic Stress Dissorder–hideous, even if factually correct and makes it sound like we are or can be robots who deny the reality of our own experiences!). that does not remove the possibility that I ‘need’ to feel bad for a while, and perhaps use that as a tool to reassess what exactly happened to make that feeling arise and how best to get out of it. and a REAL friend, a real caring and empathetic person, would be able to determine whether what I needed was a night out on the town trying to ‘cheer up’ or whether that would even be helpful to me. perhaps just a pat on the shoulder and a shared empathic experience in silence would be even better for me than someone trying to alter what I feel. I think psychologists have a concept for this, which revolves around not acknowledging the validity of another’s feelings, and/or trying to talk them out of their own feelings as being somehow an incorrect response. no, without an episode of empathy, I think the danger is all too present, and shows up in a million ways every day that I exist, that failing to think about what another person *might* be thinking (yes, i know the attribution error. one must acknowledge that this is a construction, subject to correction or reversal with better/more data) or feeling is one of the main sources of conflict, them/us and in/out group mentality and so on. it is the source of all the exasperating little reactions you see around you all day, every day, right down to road rage–“why didn’t he/she/they do as —I— would have in that situation? you fool!”

      I find some of what he is trying to say to be conflation of various things which may have nothing to do with empathy at all. as someone that would consider themselves a highly empathic person, but also unfortunately a depressive (via genetic disposition and personality) I would say that feeling what one should accurately term their own imagining/construction of what other people are possibly feeling has never worn me down so much that I could not reach out and try to help them in a more constructive way –if I was capable of doing so! he seems to equate being a deeply empathic person with being a depressive, makes some kind of intellectual distinction between feeling and rational sides, when they are totally interrelated and almost can’t exist without the other, cause each other and so on. I just found the thing troubling, especially when he sketches out his ‘ideal’ person. it seems to re-emphasize the current mindset of the technocracy–everything in service to the rational mind. also, note the inclusion of ‘I can’t help the mass of people without hurting the individual sometimes, and ’empathy’ as I’ve constructed it would get in the way of this.’ the whole thing was kind of scary. a tamping down of something that is all too lacking already in our society, and a lot of fuzzy grouping together of possibly separate things coupled with cutting apart obviously related things which I would claim can’t be strictly sectioned off so cleanly from each other, as even the psychologists would like to do today in keeping with that ‘scientific’ mindset.

      he behaves as though ’empathy’ would be the only hammer in the box when faced solving life’s bigger problems, which he constructs as mass social and political ones. for one, you can’t make a mass solution without worrying about the impacts on individuals (and their feelings really do count), otherwise what is the point of them, another is the implication that people can’t switch gears and use the rational mind for even a little while to analyze the problem in a bigger way. that they are going to get lost in the details of just one little person’s sad little problems, without trying to solve these problems if they are amenable to those kinds of bigger solutions. I am too fuzzy headed myself, and too poor of a writer to argue his whole line of thinking away nor convince anyone otherwise. I just think he needs to reassess why he is ‘against’ the idea. he believes that it is unhelpful. I would say, it isn’t unhelpful at all—it is the first step on the path of trying to look at things in a systemic way that is also appreciative of the actual humans in the system.

      1. Paul Niemi

        I read half of it. I thought it had a behaviorist/cognitive-behaviorist flavor. What I would say, is that empathy begins to be possible, when one is comfortable with oneself. It is hard to empathize with others, when your mind is self-focused, because of unmet needs and lack of security. After you are comfortable in your own skin, then the mind can have the temerity to walk around in someone else’s shoes. Then you won’t be telling someone to cheer up; you will be intuitively doing the things they will appreciate.

      2. cripes

        Thank you nony mouse, I thought that was well reasoned and necessary.

        We are surrounded by a bevy of finger-wagging, authoritarian, positive-thinking, new age bullshitters and political hacks from Bill Cosby to Joel Osteen drilling this slave theology into us 24 hours a day for the last 40 years. The worst ones are the billionaire black elite and their friends in the Republican right beating this over the heads of a beleaguered black populace in order to internalize their oppression and make white folks feel better about it.

        And for all the other economic losers, the message is simple, don’t resist, don’t organize, don’t empathize; blame yo’self because you aren’t exceptional, above average, rugged, gun-slingin’ rootin-tootin’ winners.
        It’s a philosophy the exploiters have tailored for the herd.

  20. participant-observer-observed

    Yves, Lambert et. al, and NC readers, I trust you won’t let this report go buy unnoticed:

    http://arstechnica.com/security/2014/08/jpmorgan-other-banks-hacked-and-fbi-looks-to-russia-for-culprits/

    “The FBI is reportedly investigating whether a sophisticated attack on JPMorgan Chase and at least four other banks was the work of state-sponsored hackers from Russia. The attacks, which were detected earlier this month, netted gigabytes of checking and savings account data, according to a report by The New York Times.

    Update: According to one source Ars ed who claims to be familiar with the investigation at JPMorgan Chase, the attack on the bank stemmed from malware that infected an employee’s desktop computer. It was not clear whether the malware was delivered by a web attack or by an email “phishing” attack. That is contradicted by information shared with Bloomberg, which indicates the attack started with a zero-day exploit of one of JPMorgan’s web servers.”

    1. participant-observer-observed

      Ditto:

      http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/08/hackers-stole-security-check-info-on-at-least-25000-dhs-employees/?comments=1

      “On Aug. 2, Department of Homeland Security officials revealed that the agency’s contractor for conducting security clearance background checks had been hacked, and an unknown number of DHS employees’ personal data from those investigations had been stolen—potentially by a state-sponsored hacker. Now the DHS has a handle on how many records were stolen from contractor USIS: at least 25,000.”

      1. Banger

        Exactly! We have to remember that the FBI and most law-enforcement organizations are corrupt and/or political. FBI/DEA/CIA history should be required for all of us who comment on US politics.

          1. Banger

            This hacking could also be a result of organized crime which I believe is much more involved in our affairs than the State likes to admit. It could be based in China, Russia, Nigeria or Alberta, Canada.

  21. Jim Haygood

    From the FT article:

    ‘Britain and six other states are to create a new joint expeditionary force of at least 10,000 personnel … led by British commanders, with other participating nations … [including] Denmark, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Norway and the Netherlands. Canada has also expressed an interest in taking part.’

    Sounds like one fierce attack poodle. Y’all supply the expeditionary force, we’ll supply the war. Tony Blair will serve as chaplain to the lads.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      How old is that article, sounding like some of the countries the Waffen SS drew their volunteers?

    2. Carolinian

      Funny! Also there’s this bit

      “And the requirements for participating states to integrate into a harmonious command and control structure may produce benefits in encouraging the use of British-produced equipment.”

      BAE smiling

      1. fresno dan

        Dunkirk ……where is the nearest beach? What with global warming, at least they won’t be frozen in…..

  22. fresno dan

    Real estate – prices and insanity
    Here is a nice example of the aftermath of the real estate insanity. I became aware of this house about 2 years ago. It was a short sale, but the sale never closed. I inquired and inquired but never got an answer to what was going on and if I could put a bid in. by the way, the short sale price was 125K
    Well, note the price the property sold for in 2005
    500K………………….YIKES!!!!!
    http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/1150-Eleventh-St_Lakeport_CA_95453_M29314-65589?row=29
    YIKES!!! Somebody had to take an almost 400K loss on one house!!!!
    The Zillow site appears to confirm that the sale price in August 2014 was 125K
    http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1150-Eleventh-St-Lakeport-CA-95453/19085363_zpid/

    Of course, here in CA such instances were commonplace. I remember seeing a place in Fresno that sold for 300K, and it was unfit to house chickens in it. Last I saw, it was listed for 60K, but I never saw that a sale was consummated.
    Market prices…..and rational prices…..not necessarily the same. Of course, everybody in the chain makes out like a bandit the higher the price is…..except the buyer.

    1. MtnLife

      Resort areas get even crazier. Had a friend in Revelstoke, BC who bought his land for $50k. 4 years later, after the mountain had changed owners and a new lift installed he sold it for just under a million. Craazyman would have loved it, like a double fisted 10-bagger. In our own area, in the 2 years after the crash, there were tons of people losing $250-400k selling their resort homes. A lot of those prices have recovered “thanks” to the QE/ZIRP Wall St Miracle.

  23. jgordon

    Re: Liquid Authenticity

    “Again, what is “real” is determined not by your inner feelings but by those who have the power — in this case, employers who can withhold the means for survival.”

    As long as people’s are dependent on industrial, large scale corporate/government systems for their survival, we must recognize that they are ultimately pawns. In such an arrangement, there is no democracy. There is no legitimacy. There is no freedom. Regardless of whatever egalitarian ideals your social/money theories aim to promote, if under a system a person is not free to leave her job at a moment’s notice when her conscience or whim dictates, that system is slavery. Maybe it will be dressed up in fancy rhetoric and rationalizations, but it is slavery nonetheless.

    A basic guaranteed income would be one (admittedly unstable and prone to favoritism/corruption) way of ameliorating the basic fact that any large scale society is fundamentally anti-democratic (we’re talking reality here–not the fictional pablum served up to the plebs) and anti-free. And I am not against such a solution. Although I think it would be far more intelligent and forward thinking to rearrange society in such a fashion where local communities bear the major responsibilities for the health and well-being of citizens, communally. This later kind of system would have advantage of remaining largely intact when larger corporate/government systems fall apart due to resource depletion.

    But be that as it may, this “Liquid Authenticity” and the various other puke-worthy refuse associated with neoliberalism is a perversion that can only sustain itself on the temporary surfeit and exploitation of available resources, which are already in noticeable and permanent decline.

  24. bob

    Today’s talking points re Ukraine are very well managed. It’s almost as if they are working in concert-

    “Is it hysterical to prepare for total war with Russia? Or is it naive not to?”

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/foreigners/2014/08/vladimir_putin_s_troops_have_invaded_ukraine_should_we_prepare_for_war_with.html

    “Arm Ukraine or Surrender”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/01/opinion/arm-ukraine-or-surrender.html?_r=0

    The NYT even does the service of removing the question mark. It’s a statement, dammit! In the NYT! March!

    Should we continue to allow Anne Applebaum to beat her husband, or arm her knitting group? Simple yes or no question.

  25. Oregoncharles

    About the Zephyr HAPS: ” places within 40° north or south of the equator.”
    Oregon, New York, and Madrid are all about 45 north. Ukraine must be well north of that. In other words, outside the intended range -at least in the winter.

    1. Jim Haygood

      In Europe, little more than southern Spain and Portugal, Sicily, Malta and Greece extends below the 40th parallel:

      http://mapsof.net/uploads/static-maps/europe_old_map_(1923).jpg

      Airbus’s headquarters in Toulouse are at 43.6 deg N latitude. You’d think that their marketing department would know this. But hey, it’s the marketing department …

      The southernmost place in NYC (south end of Staten Island) is at 40.5 deg N.

  26. Chauncey Gardiner

    Regarding the previously missing Willy Wonka chapter cited in today’s links reminded me of the Oompa Loompa song from the related film, which I assume pertains to the 0.1 percent. Interesting last few frames in light of the info in today’s link:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEVilNDXd0A (h/t Tim Knight)

  27. Chauncey Gardiner

    Thank you for the link to Frances Coppola’s article in Pieria on “Ultra-Liquidity”. She writes in a very engaging style that expanded my perspective on Xtreme liquidity, the “Moneyness of assets”, issues of monetarist policy impotence, and fiscal policy initiatives.

  28. abynormal

    Iceland experienced a 2nd fissure eruption this morning (this crack is huge).
    http://volcanocafe.wordpress.com/2014/08/31/2nd-fissure-eruption-started/

    1. Chauncey Gardiner

      Interesting culture. One hopes this event has not disturbed them:
      http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-27907358

      1. abynormal

        Too Funnee! i ponder if a few of the posters aren’t elves of sorts. ive learned more at that cafe than i’ll probably ever need…its been a hoot. they’ve worked diligently keeping the forum updated w/o jamming the mila camera’s. scientist from around the world tap in on the site…they’re sleep deprived and loopy. fun group.

  29. Bunk McNulty

    Israel undertakes largest West Bank land appropriation in years

    FT: “Some 400 hectares (990 acres) near the Gush Etzion settlement bloc near Bethlehem was declared state land by Israel’s military-run Civil Administration, in what an anti-settlement group called the biggest appropriation of Palestinian land in three decades.”

    There goes the neighborhood.

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