Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 29, 2011

Open Thread - July 29

Found nothing today I'd like to write about.

What's up elsewhere?

Posted by b on July 29, 2011 at 01:10 PM | Permalink


from past thread, this song I found. only can invite all you and b to :

When there is nothing to said, the better is a song and a cup of whisky.

Posted by: an idiot | Jul 29, 2011 1:58:32 PM | 1

I thought this was interesting:

On June 27, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) said the Knesset Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee passed a first draft of a law requiring Palestinians to pay house demolition costs with no judicial review. How about that? Charged money to be robbed and kicked out? Only Zionists could invent it.

Posted by: Genie | Jul 29, 2011 2:15:51 PM | 2

Are things heating in Turkey too? Or is just the same/usual conflict between the old regime (the 'secular' army) and the new regime (the 'islamist' government). What are the chances of a military coup? Has the military lower ranks changed enough to avoid such danger?

Turkey: Military chiefs resign en masse

Meanwhile the clownish Libyan rebels find in hours the 'disappeared' corpse of their ex-commander ... shot and burned. And members of his unit put the blame on a rival militia.

Posted by: ThePaper | Jul 29, 2011 3:23:51 PM | 3

oh the irony...

“In Poland there is no lack of people who think like Behring Breivik, a man who shot at his own people in order to bring down a government he believed had lost its political and legal right to govern,” Mr Sikorski was quoted as saying by the Polish Press Agency (PAP).

Posted by: somebody | Jul 29, 2011 3:42:16 PM | 4

I have a question for everyone.

Just suppose for the sake of argument that the USA foreign policy in the middle east was 100% about the oil in the region and little else. Further, suppose that the USA was gambling that its vast expenditures of money in these wars in the middle east (5 Trillion so far?) was going to be repaid by the oil there after the USA came to dominate the region.

How much is the oil in the region really worth and how could the USA recoup its "investment"???

Posted by: joseph | Jul 29, 2011 4:07:11 PM | 5

For all you fellow Riders on this Crazy Storm....a flashback to yesterday is today is tomorrow.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Jul 29, 2011 4:24:01 PM | 6

But Joseph, it's not enough to say it's all about the oil. Further elaboration is necessary. All about the oil in what way? Peak Oilists believe it is because we are running out and Iraq is a desperate maneuver to squat on the last drops. Maybe, but I'm more inclined to believe that in an increasingly globalized world, the threats to the Plutocracy from non-aligned forces must be managed. Peak Oil, or not, the flow of Oil must be tightly, more than ever, therefore, the Plutocrats, intertwined with, yet some distinction from, the Military Industrial Complex, must use said MIC to secure and control the spice, because they who control the spice, control the world.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Jul 29, 2011 4:31:00 PM | 7

How much is the oil in the region really worth and how could the USA recoup its "investment"???

There's no recouping of investment, because it isn't an's a boondoggle, the costs of which are sunk and burdened by the Plebe taxpayers. The better question is, how long can the Plutocrats continue to draw blood from increasingly drying stones? At some point, particularly in the West, the shrinking margin of comfort will have evaporated....meaning completely tapped out. What then? Slavery......I mean REAL physical slavery, not just psychical slavery. As I've mentioned, and Ben has reiterated, the Global Plantation is just around the corner for all of us....literally. Arbeit Macht Frei is making a comeback after sixty years in hibernation in the West.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Jul 29, 2011 4:40:08 PM | 8

My, oh my, Miss American Pie....

I know of a sister of an acquaintance who works for the CIA and was stationed in Belarus approximately a year ago, or a little more. They crashed coursed her in the language....apparently they have methods for teaching foreign languages that enable their operatives to learn it in months....fluently and with the proper accent. This raises the suspicion that this was a psyops.....and an operation by the Deep Globalized State.

Norway’s twin terror suspect Anders Behring Breivik trained at a secret paramilitary field camp in Belarus earlier this year, a Belarusian opposition politician said on Thursday, citing security sources.

“Breivik visited Belarus several times. This spring, as part of his preparations for his twin attacks, he visited Minsk, where he underwent training at a secret paramilitary field camp,” Mikhail Reshetnikov, the head of the opposition Belarusian Party of Patriots, told the online newspaper.

He cited sources within Belarus’s “security organs.”

Reshetnikov also claimed Breivik had participated in “sabotage-terrorism drills” under a former Belarusian special service officer and that he had used a fake passport to enter Belarus.

Of course, it's to be taken with a grain of salt, but so too, should any official version that is proffered by the Mainstream Propaganda Press.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Jul 29, 2011 4:51:47 PM | 9

By the "USA" of course we mean its ruling class. Which makes one wonder about them: so long as they keep the American people happy, and it doesn't take much to do that, they are in a very good position to employ the state, the military etc, to assist in their domination of the world. Including middle eastern oil reserves.

And yet, they want more!

Rather than allow the pensioners to collect the pensions that they have saved-in the form of payroll taxes- and the medicare-also financed and funded by the people, the bullies who sponsor Obama are risking losing the one base they have, the one country in the world which does not detest them, the American people.

Maybe the prevalence of southern racists-and their descendants the Republicans- in the US makes them believe that, just as in Jim Crow days, you can keep the people on-side by giving them a Libya or a Yemen to lynch every now and again, a culture to hate, such as islam, and wrapping up the ideology of "free enterprise" in a coating of hatred and fear of revenge.

They'd be misreading history if they did. But that would not be a first: for fascists history is just mythology. A useful way of packaging propaganda, in a colourful way.

It's that Karl Rove quote to Suskind that explains it so well. These people believe in the primacy of the will. Besides the will and the violence that imposes it, history and reason are nothing. Everything is possible; so keeping three hundred million fellow countrymen on your side is simply unnecessary.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 29, 2011 5:06:41 PM | 10

By the "USA" of course we mean its ruling class. Which makes one wonder about them: so long as they keep the American people happy, and it doesn't take much to do that, they are in a very good position to employ the state, the military etc, to assist in their domination of the world. Including middle eastern oil reserves.

And yet, they want more!

Rather than allow the pensioners to collect the pensions that they have saved-in the form of payroll taxes- and the medicare-also financed and funded by the people, the bullies who sponsor Obama are risking losing the one base they have, the one country in the world which does not detest them, the American people.

Maybe the prevalence of southern racists-and their descendants the Republicans- in the US makes them believe that, just as in Jim Crow days, you can keep the people on-side by giving them a Libya or a Yemen to lynch every now and again, a culture to hate, such as islam, and wrapping up the ideology of "free enterprise" in a coating of hatred and fear of revenge.

They'd be misreading history if they did. But that would not be a first: for fascists history is just mythology. A useful way of packaging propaganda, in a colourful way.

It's that Karl Rove quote to Suskind that explains it so well. These people believe in the primacy of the will. Besides the will and the violence that imposes it, history and reason are nothing. Everything is possible; so keeping three hundred million fellow countrymen on your side is simply unnecessary.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 29, 2011 5:06:41 PM | 11

First the links:

- Vanity Fair has today published an in-depth look at what Saudi Arabia did and didn't know before the 9-11 attacks, and the nature of its relationship with Al Qaeda, that is getting some buzz.

The Kingdom and The Towers:

- M K Bhadrakumar has a really good geopolitical look at how all the countries around Syria are dealing with the uprising there with a close look at how Israel and Iran are dealing with it.

Israel inherits the Arab Spring:

- Some information on the Special Tribunral of Lebanon (STL) has been released pointing to which people are being charged

STL Information:

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Jul 29, 2011 7:31:36 PM | 12

As jaded and cynical as I am, I still had a hard time believing this until I Googled it. I’m not sure it is authentic or can be taken at face value. But on the other hand, my extreme dislike for Bill Gates and his Monsanto partnership projects, I guess whatever the motives they wouldn’t tax my credulity.

Gates Foundation Ordered African Vaccinations By Gunpoint

AFRICA — The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation reportedly ordered its partners in Africa to give children vaccination shots by gunpoint. The organization has a goal to vaccinate every single child on the planet.

Posted by: juannie | Jul 29, 2011 8:44:18 PM | 13

OODA loop

The OODA loop (for observe, orient, decide, and act) is a concept originally applied to the combat operations process, often at the strategic level in military operations. It is now also often applied to understand commercial operations and learning processes. The concept was developed by military strategist and USAF Colonel John Boyd.

also see, Control theory

and for some juicy mind meld reading for your lazy weekend, see:

Reality As Failed State

In these terms, the denier’s retreat from consensus reality approximates the role of the cellular insurgents in Afghanistan vis-a-vis the American occupying force: this overarching behemoth I rebel against may well represent something larger, more free, more wealthy, more democratic, or more in touch with objective reality, but it has been imposed upon me (or I feel it has), so I am going to withdraw from it into illogic, emotion and superstition and from there I am going to declare war upon it.

So, from this point of view, we can meaningfully refer to deniers, birthers, Tea Partiers and so forth as "reality insurgents", and thus usefully apply the principles of 4GW to their activities – notably, they are clearly operating on a faster OODA loop than the defenders of mainstream reality, and thus able to respond more quickly, with greater innovation, than the sclerotic bureaucracy of institutionalised reality.

In a closed society where everybody's guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity.

-Hunter S. Thompson

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 29, 2011 9:48:39 PM | 14

here's a peak oil song for you guys, from the ramshackle women album...

aint it sad when you run out of gas

Posted by: groundresonance | Jul 29, 2011 11:05:02 PM | 15

Joseph, what would happen if the US would not try to dominate the region, but keep their soldiers at home?

Posted by: somebody | Jul 30, 2011 12:08:24 AM | 16

The Kingdom and the Towers

Was there a foreign government behind the 9/11 attacks? A decade later, Americans still haven’t been given the whole story, while a key 28-page section of Congress’s Joint Inquiry report remains censored. Gathering years of leaks and leads, in an adaptation from their new book, Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan examine the connections between Saudi Arabia and the hijackers (15 of whom were Saudi), the Bush White House’s decision to ignore or bury evidence, and the frustration of lead investigators—including 9/11-commission staffers, counterterrorism officials, and senators on both sides of the aisle.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 30, 2011 2:19:45 AM | 17

@ Uncle $cam...

doubtful that the summers/swan story will get much traction with people who've been paying attention... too bad most people havent been.

you got to wonder about vanity fair, though... or maybe you dont... they're just another brick in the wal. and how could they be anything else?

Posted by: groundresonance | Jul 30, 2011 6:31:42 AM | 18

i spose i should spell it out...

summers has made a living for 30 years peddling bullshit about the kennedy assassination... but he cant seem to acknowledge israel's motive to kill kennedy.

the logic works like this: israel's nukes guarantee the "never again", and kennedy was against uuclear prliferation, and was insisting on inspections of israel's dimona nuke labs.

Posted by: groundresonance | Jul 30, 2011 7:01:40 AM | 19

Israel began actively investigating the nuclear option from its earliest days. In 1949, HEMED GIMMEL a special unit of the IDF's Science Corps, began a two-year geological survey of the Negev desert with an eye toward the discovery of uranium reserves. Although no significant sources of uranium were found, recoverable amounts were located in phosphate deposits.

The program took another step forward with the creation of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC) in 1952. Its chairman, Ernst David Bergmann, had long advocated an Israeli bomb as the best way to ensure "that we shall never again be led as lambs to the slaughter."

Nuclear Weapons fas

Posted by: groundresonance | Jul 30, 2011 7:40:57 AM | 20

The long-term legacy of 9/11

If you don't read anything else about 911, read this before you give up...

Theatrum Mundi: 911

Stockhausen on 9/11 - '..the greatest work of art..ever..'

(Quote: Stockhausen on the 9/11 attack)
'What has happened is - now you all have to turn your brains around - the greatest work of art there has ever been. That minds could achieve something in one act, which we in music cannot even dream of, that people rehearse like crazy for ten years, totally fanatically for one concert, and then die. This is the greatest possible work of art in the entire cosmos. Imagine what happened there. There are people who are so concentrated on one performance, and then 5000 people are chased into the Afterlife, in one moment. This I could not do. Compared to this, we are nothing as composers... Imagine this, that I could create a work of art now and you all were not only surprised, but you would fall down immediately, you would be dead and you would be reborn, because it is simply too insane. Some artists also try to cross the boundaries of what could ever be possible or imagined, to wake us up, to open another world for us.'
Karlheinz Stockhausen, Hamburg, September 2001.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 30, 2011 9:21:28 AM | 21

Joseph@5: How much is the oil in the region really worth and how could the USA recoup its "investment"???

I believe the responses from MB and Bevin answered that question better than I ever could, so I won't even try. I find the term "Global Plantation", which I often borrow from MB, so very apt in describing what is afoot, and gaining traction, around the world. Most noteably here in the U.S.

Somebody @ 126:Joseph, what would happen if the US would not try to dominate the region, but keep their soldiers at home?

That, is the question, every U.S. citizen SHOULD be asking themselves daily.

Posted by: ben | Jul 30, 2011 10:19:54 AM | 22

Crisis in the Horn of Africa []

... The scale and severity of the crisis in Somalia makes it by far the most serious food security emergency in the world. Tens of thousands of people have died, and hundreds of thousands risk starvation. Continued armed conflict is exacerbating the situation

US-backed forces launch military offensive in Somalia as aid is used as a weapon of war []

...African Union forces have launched a military offensive against the al-Shabab militia in Somalia

...the same time a political campaign to identify Somali-Americans as terrorists has begun in the US.

...Aid is itself being used as a weapon of war -- Donald Steinberg, deputy administrator of USAid told a press conference in London: “We are committed to saving lives in Somalia and we are already working in any area not controlled by al-Shabaab. Unfortunately, about 60 percent of people affected are in al-Shabaab territories.”

Posted by: Kim Sky | Jul 30, 2011 1:45:51 PM | 23

What would happen if the USA brought all its soldiers home to its own land and reduced its military to reflect only defence? (paraphrased another's question)

Well, the USA could save something on the order of 700 billion a year or so without trying very hard if defending itself was all that was required. Then if the US dismantled the "security state" they could save even more. Hell, a few hundred billion here and a few hundred billion there --- next thing you know you have saved some real money!

Posted by: joseph | Jul 30, 2011 4:45:56 PM | 24

@kim sky - i've been covering that at if you or anyone is interested

Posted by: b real | Jul 30, 2011 6:09:50 PM | 25

the personnel of Anders Breivik's manifesto did exist:

"A British blogger called Paul Ray, who uses the name “Lionheart” and his associate Nick Greger, a former German neo-Nazi, have admitted being members of a group that appears to advocate a violent struggle against Muslims.

The group, calling itself Order 777, claims to bring together Christian resistance movements and features a depiction of a Templar Knight with the slogan “The Order 777 Strikes Back!” alongside footage of a variety of armed gangs with the words “factions united.”

The groups include the UFF in Northern Ireland, Serbian nationalists, Liberian and Congolese fighters and members of the neo-fascist AWB in South Africa."

Posted by: somebody | Jul 30, 2011 7:05:43 PM | 26

Japanese government killing its own people in Fukushima

On the 19th of July 2011, people in Fukushima had a meeting with government officals from Tokyo to demand that the government evacuate people promptly in Fukushima and provide financial and logistical support for them. Also, they brought urine of children to the meeting and demanded that the government test it.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 31, 2011 11:14:17 AM | 27

New Japan Law ‘Cleanses’ Bad Nuclear News

Sustainability | Theodora Filis | July 24, 2011 4:45 am
On June 17, 2011 the Japanese Parliament passed “The Computer Network Monitoring Law” . Prof. Ibusuki of Seijo Univ. Law Dept. comments that “The Computer Network Monitoring Law will enable the police to monitor anyone’s internet activity without restriction.” Although this appears, on the surface, to be beneficial when targeting cyber-attacks, some Japanese commentators are suggesting that the law is un-Constitutional.

While many radioactive cattle have been discovered long distances from Fukushima, what is more important is where their feed is coming from.

Uncanny Terrain: Yoshizawa’s ranch is 14km downwind from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The government ordered him to kill his 300 cows. Most of his neighbors’ animals are gone, but some have been released and joined his herd. Yoshizawa refuses to kill his cows. He wants them to be studied for the effects of radiation.

The energy Kings (Bush/Cheney gang included) know, you can just change the law, to better reflect your actions.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 31, 2011 11:21:42 AM | 28

india's frontline: Oil imperialism

Posted by: b real | Aug 1, 2011 1:48:07 AM | 29

Let me be the first to congratulate you. I was in the midwest (USA) this past weekend, and at the Courtyard Marriott, I tried to log on to your site from a hotel lobby computer. A message appeared on the screen that your site is a probable "terrorist promoting" location. As a result, I could not access your site. Were you aware of this?

Posted by: ebuzzmiller | Aug 1, 2011 9:54:44 AM | 30

@ebuzzmiller - Hi - no I was not aware of that. I feel somewhat honored though.

I wonder who's list the Marriott is using to filter out sites. Did you see any hint for that? any corporate or government logo displayed?

Posted by: b | Aug 1, 2011 1:53:43 PM | 31

No, I did not notice the specifics. I should have copied down the screen info. They did have a comment screen for an explanation as to why the visitor (me) would want to access the site. I'll be in austin later this month and will try to access it from that Courtyard Marriott. Will keep you posted.

Posted by: ebuzzmiller | Aug 1, 2011 3:44:46 PM | 32

b wonders "...who's list the Marriott is using...?"

"The doctrines of the Latter Day Saint movement, commonly referred to as Mormonism, teach that its adherents, Latter-day Saints, are either direct descendants of the House of Israel, or are adopted into it. As such, Judaism is foundational to the history of Mormonism; Jews are considered a covenant people of God, held in high esteem, and are respected in the Mormon faith system. The LDS church is consequently very philo-Semitic in its doctrine."

Mormonism and Judaism

Posted by: groundresonance | Aug 1, 2011 4:01:47 PM | 33

it's getting harder and harder to take this US clown factory seriously.

if they didnt have the power of life and death over so many people, and the inclination to use that power, they'd be the prime global laughning stock.

Posted by: groundresonance | Aug 1, 2011 4:09:46 PM | 34

here's annie lennox "whiter shade of pale".

it's on vevo, which sucks, but the sound and the video are worth suffering a little.

Posted by: groundresonance | Aug 1, 2011 5:23:14 PM | 35

I thought Annie Lennox was better than that. It was awful.

Posted by: alexno | Aug 1, 2011 6:06:34 PM | 36

good to know you're capable of suffering.

Posted by: groundresonance | Aug 1, 2011 6:20:02 PM | 37

the druids will probably wind up kicking your asses.

god rest ye merry gentlemen

Posted by: groundresonance | Aug 1, 2011 6:46:31 PM | 38

i'm gonna say one thing here before i pass out...

it seems like today the system is breaking down... nothing seems to come off youtube without breakdowns, and i supposedly have broadband verizon internet, that up until now has worked pretty good, with execptions like vevo.

so, is verizon gaming me so i'll shell out more bucks for an upgrade? ...or is the system slowing down before it fails completely? ...if verizon is gaming me, is that another sign of breakdown? ...a moral breakdown in keeping with capitalist philosophy?'s hard to imagine that i wouldnt be able to listen to music on the internet.

it's astonishing how easily you get addicted to conveniences that are so vulnerable, but i guess that's what the businees people are counting on.

Posted by: groundresonance | Aug 1, 2011 8:19:24 PM | 39

little bird

mama, we reap what we sow

Posted by: groundresonance | Aug 1, 2011 8:32:12 PM | 40


I must say that Annie Lennox has done an amazingly good job remaking Procol Harum's classic hit "A Whiter Shade Of Pale." And this means a lot coming from someone such as myself who likes remakes of old rock and roll songs even less than I like remakes of old film noir movies -- which means that I very rarely like them. So I thank you for sharing it with me, but I still prefer the musicians who originally wrote and performed this rock and roll classic back in 1967:

Which reminds me why I enjoy listening to baroque rock within the context of psychedelic rock more than just about any other type of rock music.

Posted by: Cynthia | Aug 2, 2011 9:53:29 AM | 41

The Chinese high speed train crash is snowballing into an interesting situation of public and media defiance of government control of information. There hasn't been a hell of a lot of coverage in the English speaking press, however it is covered very well in Japan and seems to yield interesting titbits on a daily basis. Unlike previous stories of corruption/failure, this one is not local but rather goes to the national government. So it may be significant, although no one seems to have taken great notice outside Asia.

Posted by: YY | Aug 2, 2011 10:38:08 AM | 42

the original must not have given me goosebumps, which is how i judged music until 1974, when a girl asked why i didnt write songs... after that, i started paying attention to the words.

annie's something else, isnt she? ...and her video seems to fit out current state of disrepair... i just wish i could find a stereo version of procol harum... it's hard to compare versions when one's in stereo and one isnt.

i'm glad you liked annie's version.

here's annie's summation of the human condition, at least until we become subhumanly old... at which point we can compensate by bombing muslims... or somebody...

Posted by: groundresonance | Aug 2, 2011 10:49:01 AM | 43

Unkle $cam, #21: After a cursory look at the Vanity Fair article I see the basic and unquestioned assumptions are al-Qaeda and Arabs are likely responsible. That is the underlying assumption from the get-go.

Does nobody ever suspect an Other middle-east power of major involvement?

Posted by: Jake | Aug 2, 2011 10:51:39 AM | 44

Even the 'rebels', apart from being completely useless as a fighting force, now admit they don't have popular support inside 'pro-Gaddafi' territory. Conclusion from their western backed killers? More bombing and killing is required until the Libyans decide to overthrow Gaddafi and accept a puppet government.


"It is also very difficult for the opposition fighters for the very simple reaosn that they've been getting very mixed messages from the residents of Zlitan. Some of them clearly support Col Gaddafi, and have told the opposition fighters. Others have told them that if [they] come closer to Zlitan - the suburbs of Zlitan, which is where they had reached until this morning - then there are rebels inside Zlitan that will rise and help you. Well that did not happen. And so the fighters of Misrata are very reluctant to go into Zlitan more at this stage, because they could be perceived by many of the people inside that town as invading their town, and bringing the fight to their town. So unless they get an invitation, as they call it, from the tribes of Zlitan it's very difficult for them to go in."

Posted by: ThePaper | Aug 2, 2011 11:24:03 AM | 45

Groundresonance, apparently Gary Brooker's voice doesn't give you goosebumps like it does me -- I being a woman may have something to do with this. To me, his voice is a hauntingly powerful mix between Jack Bruce's of the legendary Cream and Gregg Allman's of the greatest southern rock band of all time, The Allman Brothers:

Posted by: Cynthia | Aug 2, 2011 12:44:08 PM | 46

@ThePaper - I would translate that convoluted citation this way: "they had been told that there were rebels inside Zlitan that would rise and help them; but then they discovered that the residents of Zitlan clearly support Col Gaddafi"

"very mixed messages" is an usual euphemism that stands for "got it all wrong"

Posted by: claudio | Aug 2, 2011 12:47:03 PM | 47

This story from the Guardian has received a lot of play on the net. It would be interesting to analyze it more closely, including "wondering" about both its content and its "popularity". It has the virtue of supplying a name and "biography" for the major Iranian antagonist of the U.S.'s designs in "post-war" Iraq, but there's something decidedly "fishy" here. Wikipedia (which I distrust for such matters) has a bit more information, and again tosses in the alleged link to suppression of the "rebellion in Syria". There's also this "official denial" of a meeting between U.S. General Odierno, Ambassador Christopher Hill, and Suleimani. Of course, the classical rule is to never believe anything until it has been officially denied, but the question of Suleimani's new-found mediatic magnetism remains open. Sources less obviously hooked up to the mighty Wurlitzer would be of interest.
At first glance it looks like "the usual suspects" are endowing Suleimani with very impressive "bad guy credentials", but it's not clear why, or whether there may not be some other game in progress.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Aug 3, 2011 1:38:55 PM | 48

A HREF="">How the new ‘Protecting Children’ bill puts you at risk: “The bill is mislabeled,” said Rep. John Conyers, “.. is not protecting children from Internet pornography. It’s creating a database for everybody in this country for a lot of other purposes.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Aug 3, 2011 9:37:34 PM | 49

This Economic Graph Gallery from Calculated Risk provides a lot of up-to-date U.S. economic data. (See the second link for a list and discussion of available charts.) Does anyone have an analogous site for European (or Asian) data?

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Aug 4, 2011 12:56:20 AM | 51

meanwhile, no war criminals allowed in the US.

would that it were so.

Posted by: ran | Aug 4, 2011 8:46:47 PM | 52


you're right about Gary Brooker's voice... when that song gets stuck in a loop in my head, he's doing the singing... and the basic song is nearly unfuckupable.

i guess the thing that got to me in annie's version was the chaos, annie's acting and that pale horse... except we dont know if it's a pale horse (death) or a white horse (conquest)... but whichever, judging from the it's eyes at the end, it's paying pretty close attention to what it's doing...

well, it would have to... it's only a movie, and it doesnt want to hurt anyone.

meanwhile, music producers and video directors get paid to think about stuff like that... amazing... although i wouldnt put it past annie to have had the original idea.

Posted by: groundresonance | Aug 4, 2011 9:48:33 PM | 53

more paranoid claptrap from the amerikan loonies....yawn

Posted by: Did | Aug 5, 2011 9:40:58 PM | 55

the railroad man

well, it's saturday night here... i should be given some leeway.

Posted by: groundresonance | Aug 6, 2011 11:22:03 PM | 56

The Asia markets will open in a few hours, and we will probably see some sort of reaction the the great S&P downgrade. While assessing the fall-out, this speech by James Galbraith could be of interest. There are other interesting posts at the same Naked Capitalism site. It's hard to believe that anything good (for most of us) is on the horizon, but since hedgies might make more money on a counter-intuitive market move, and since it is mid-August (when light volume traditionally makes market manipulation easiest), I will have no difficulty in maintaining my long term aversion to "taking a fling".

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Aug 7, 2011 10:59:52 AM | 58

Not surprisingly, Iraqis seem much more competent in opposing corruption in Iraq than their Western tutors. Probably because their hearts are in it, and they recognize that Iraq would be a rich country if only ...

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Aug 8, 2011 5:54:42 AM | 59

Was anything DONE about the contracts?

Posted by: rjj | Aug 8, 2011 6:29:17 AM | 60

a reminder about what's happening with the global economy...

dead cats bouncing

Posted by: groundresonance | Aug 8, 2011 9:38:17 AM | 61

it's just that decent security to protect the nest is gonna get more and more expensive as demand rises as the situation deteriorates...

of course, if everybody had told the truth right from the start, and had worked for the best possible solution for the most people, there would have been no need to stack up a bunch of loot to pay for protection.

updated dead cats

Posted by: groundresonance | Aug 8, 2011 11:00:21 AM | 62

ATOL, cited here in another thread, also offers Spengler's analysis of recent market turmoil . It seems less abrasive than his usual condescending comments, but perhaps that's just because he takes aim at the hedgies who certainly will find precious little support based on human warmth and affection. His views are, as usual, crisply stated. Whether or not they will prove to be correct remains to be seen.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Aug 8, 2011 3:37:38 PM | 63

i wonder if annie listened to "little bird" enough to realize it's a suicide song.

Posted by: groundresonance | Aug 8, 2011 9:33:55 PM | 64

poor poor pitful me

Posted by: groundresonance | Aug 8, 2011 9:47:12 PM | 65

This ITAR-TASS report on the slow moving Victor Bout pre-trial maneuvering is interesting for the "teaser" it contains regarding two Russian pro-Bout (potential) witnesses. Under what seems to me to be a "pro-forma" defense of Bout, it appears that the Russian arms lobby has decided to sacrifice a pawn in the interests of broader aims. Conversely, the U.S. arms merchants and their magical media machine will depict this as a check-mate for the "king" of arms traffickers. Bout may well be innocent in the legal sense (and probably has a strong case regarding the quality of the "evidence" being used against him), but it's clear that the "prosecution" is not going to allow Bout to have any opportunity to counter the Hollywood style media campaign against him. For an exhaustive collection of counter-information one need only consult Richard Chichakli's site, which, understandably, is mainly focused on exculpating Chichakli from the broad tar-brush strokes accusing him of "complicity" with Bout. In particular, at the bottom of the page on Chichakli's site linked to above
one has


Evidence of the government criminal activities - what they say is not the truth

DEA / CIA Manufactured documents created to invent allegations of crime

Bank accounts established in the US by the government in the name of Richard in 2009 to manufacture a sanction violation case Background

Fake flights manufactured by the US government in 2010 to allege violation of sanctions Background

Letter written by the wife of Andrew Smulian requesting money for silence

with links to very interesting documents, discussed in a video also available on the site. Chichakli's presentation seems to merit consideration, or a rebuttal, but to my knowledge it has been left in obscurity. Chichakli, again understandably, has no desire to find himself in the slammer like his friend (and alleged co-conspirator) Bout, so although a formal and fair legal adjudication of the merits of his position would be far preferable, the evolution of the Bout proceedings up to now lead to the conclusion that the only forums where such matters will be discussed openly and without vitiating restraints of secrecy and "national security" are internet sites like MOA. The use of secret evidence available to defense attorneys only via in camera proceeedings and denied to public attention would render the Bout (or a future Chichakli) trial even more suspect and subject to criticism as show trials rather than a serious attempt to clarify the facts of the case. One is left with the impression that Bout and Chichakli realized that the logistical requirements of coalition forces after
9/11 constituted a money-tree blooming in the United Arab Emirates, and that they decided to gather as much of its fruit as possible. In this they had plenty of company, but less political protection and more enemies that most of their competitors. Thus, they have become useful scapegoats for better connected rivals.
One final note: all of the above is mere opinion on my part. My only knowledge comes from exploring
documents made available by the contending parties.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Aug 9, 2011 4:15:06 AM | 66

A good one: Obama announces "historic" manned mission halfway to Mars.

Posted by: b | Aug 9, 2011 2:11:08 PM | 67

spot oil prices, as of this posting, from bloomberg (you have to google each quote, for instance: bloomberg crude spot brent)

106.93 brent
114.81 TAPIS
103.91 alaska north slope
101.19 dubai
105.66 louisiana sweet
106.41 urals
83.66 WTI
101.61 oman
116.04 minas
109.74 bonny light

there was a site, upstream online, that compiled these quotes, but they quit publishing that complilation 8 june 2011... they are based in oslo.

i spose it could be that exxon or some other peak oil denial apparatus made them an offer they couldnt refuse...

i cant think of any other explanation for nearly unanimous quoting of WTI as the global standard when it's $20 or $25 a barrel cheaper than oil from the rest of the world.

Posted by: groundresonance | Aug 11, 2011 2:35:06 PM | 68

the terrible community of financial <>capitalism terrorism emphasis added...

The financial community crossed over into illegality. Hell, it bought and sold the legal system. It understands full well every ounce of Tiqqun’s phrase that “all sado-masochistic exchanges outside of commodity relations are devoted in the end to illegality.” Indeed, the financial community long exceeded the mere trading of goods, or even that commodity relations – whether it be that of the signifier itself, of money, or of bodies, or of resources, products, processes or objects in general – should determine the basis of trade negotiations, future assessments, currencies, stock prices or debt obligations. The financial community reified, beyond the paradigm of legality, the profiteering of sado-masochistic force itself. When buying and selling against the probable failure of toxic assets, in such a way that utterly erases all ties to any kind of commodity relation, then the financial community trades in nothing but sado-masochistic violence wrought through the power of mystic numerosity. Credit and debit are concepts applied through the distribution of financial “justice” – the simple equation where debt is judgement, bankruptcy, death. The financial community disregards with sheer contempt the consequences of capitalizing the very human relations outside of commodity relations – where thousands of Blooms would be forced to foreclose and enter into bankruptcy – and their sacrifice is to workship the most pure, abstract illegality, the unleashed violence of abstract Moloch. Or so it thinks..

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Aug 12, 2011 12:39:11 AM | 69

Should have read, 'the terrible community of financial capitalism terrorism emphasis added...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Aug 12, 2011 12:40:34 AM | 70

More documentation (albeit subject to possible refutation in the relevant legal proceedings) on the cozy and corrupt cohabitation between the Sinaloa drug cartel and the U.S. government.

In any event, from that point on, if Zambada Niebla’s court pleadings can be believed, “Chapo” Guzman, along with his partner, El Mayo, went on to build arguably the most powerful narco-trafficking organization in Mexico — all under the watch of and while working as informants for, the US government.

Only an inveterate conspiracy theorist would take the next small step and conclude that this collusion was aimed at controlling rivals to the shadowy gang of drug lords clustered around the U.S. security agencies, or, in other words, to rationalize the market and create a near monopoly.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Aug 12, 2011 5:08:08 AM | 71

Talked to a U.S. soldier home on leave from Afghanistan, said he spent a lot of the time in the bush guarding poppy fields...

CIA needs their black money... hate to hear a guy like Rumsfeld telling us there is $700 billion missing from the Pentagon's budget... Remember that? When was that? Oh, yeah, Sept 10, 2001.


Posted by: DaveS | Aug 12, 2011 7:21:54 AM | 72

As the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaches, and in the midst of the August hard news doldrums, we have a new limited hangout regarding the cover-up. Of course, this should be placed into context with a favorite right-wing analogue, namely the Tony Shaefer Able Danger story. There is a great deal of "missing information" but it should be clear that these "conspiracy theorists" are anything but looney figures from the fringe of American society. Perhaps not coincidentally, the story seems somewhat similar to the question of Roosevelt's hypothetical prior knowledge of the Pearl Harbor attacks: even after 70 years there seems to be no uncontested documentation that FDR knew of the exact place of the Japanese attack (although the time frame was clear), but there is ample documentation that Pearl Harbor came within the context of an explicit desire to provoke Japan into attacking the U.S. in order to allow the U.S. to enter the war on Britain's side. Similarly, we have, as yet, no "smoking gun" about the explicit decisions and agencies "enabling" the 9/11 attacks, but ample documentation that a decision to go to war in Iraq was on various agendas well before September 2011. In this regard one might cite Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neil's comments,the infamous PNAC document, and the longstanding Yinon plan to make the Mideast safe for Israel. Googling any of these last three will provide confirmation of the existence of such documents, although I'm sure MOA readers require no such reminders.

Meanwhile, this story is already being picked up in various "close to mainstream" sites,

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Aug 12, 2011 11:57:28 AM | 73

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