Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 13, 2013

Open Thread 2013-19

News & views ...

Posted by b on September 13, 2013 at 15:46 UTC | Permalink

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For every action, there's an equal, but opposite, reaction. Karma, cause-and-effect... call it what you will. It's the basis for most of our civil interactions. We trust that we will act with integrity and goodwill because it's in everybody's interest to do so. I mean, seriously, crime doesn't pay and we punish rapists and pillagers. So don't do it. Crime is bad, mmmm-kay? We all learn that in elementary school, don't we...?


Is there a different set of rules for the 1% that doesn't apply to the rest of us? At which point in their upbringing is this code of conduct passed on?

(I don't know what else to call them but "the 1%," even as trite as that phrase has become. It's not really accurate to call them "the elite" and they are not "the successful" by any measure applied. If I call them "social and economic predators" then I give away my bias. This one's a toughie.)

Posted by: Monolycus | Sep 15 2013 4:55 utc | 101

Sometimes (in fact a lot of the time) I despise this drizzly little Britzy Isle of mine:

The Queen of England’s corgis enjoy fillet steak and chicken breast prepared by a chef, delivered by a footman, and covered with gravy poured by the monarch herself, according to a new book. The Queen’s love of her corgis and dorgis (a cross between a corgi and a dachshund) is well known, but the new details of her obsession are revealed by Brian Hoey, a royal biographer. In Pets by Royal Appointment, to be published this week, Hoey says a royal dressmaker told him that the Queen carried a magnet when she was having clothes fitted and used it to comb the room for any stray pins and needles “so the dogs don’t hurt their paws.” The biographer says that the four dogs have dinner at 5pm in Buckingham Palace. "They never eat tinned food and have to wait until the Queen has added the gravy to their steak or chicken.“ (Sunday Times)

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 15 2013 8:14 utc | 102

@101 I think C Wright Mills term "The Power Elite" fits them very well.

@102 Miserable witch. Where is a People's Tribunal when you need one...

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 15 2013 15:41 utc | 103

I can't keep up. You all inspire me. I know that I should condense. It's just that I keep thinking of things to say and there doesn't seem to be an edit button. Sorry for all my faults. Thank you for your kindnesses. I already know that I'm a douche-bag. I really do.

And, thank you for the extra music. It does my heart good.

Posted by: tsisageya | Sep 15 2013 20:09 utc | 104

Oh dear. Am I banned here as well? Well that just plain hurts my feelings.

It's okay though. I understand. No worries.

Posted by: tsisageya | Sep 15 2013 20:43 utc | 105

Can you win an Olympic Gold Medal for glowing in the dark?

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Sep 15 2013 22:06 utc | 106

For Those Who Have Nothing to Hide

May I suggest that on voting day that two lines be formed: Those Who Have Nothing to Hide and The Rest of Us. The Rest of Us will vote as usual with a secret ballot. Those Who Have Nothing to Hide will go into a voting booth with a camera, which will take a picture of the ballot upon the casting of a vote since they have nothing to hide. They will then have to sign it and then it will be posted by the government on Facebook and affixed to a street light in their neighbourhood so their neighbours and their friends on Facebook can see how they voted. Isn’t that nice?

Posted by: Albertde | Sep 16 2013 0:27 utc | 107

Juan Cole posted this a year ago:Campbell: Israeli PM Sharon Threatened Bush with Nuking Iraq (Mearsheimber & Walt vindicated)

"Alastair Campbell’s serialized memoirs contain a bombshell that is largely being ignored in the Western press, the revelation that in conversations with President George W. Bush in late 2002, then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon threatened to nuke Baghdad if Saddam Hussein hit Israel with rockets again. (Campbell was then British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s communications director)."

... Campbell also relays another nuclear threat a year later when George Bush told Blair he feared that Ariel Sharon, the former Israeli prime minister, was planning to launch a nuclear attack against Iraq. In an account of a conversation with Bush at a Nato summit in Prague in November 2002, as diplomatic pressure intensified on Saddam Hussein, Campbell writes: “[George Bush] felt that if we got rid of Saddam, we could make progress on the Middle East. He reported on some of his discussions with [Ariel] Sharon, and said he had been pretty tough with him. Sharon had said that if Iraq hit Israel, their response would ‘escalate’ which he took to mean go nuclear. Bush said he said to him ‘You will not, you will not do that, it would be crazy.’ He said he would keep them under control, adding ‘A nuke on Baghdad, that could be pretty tricky.’”

"That the threat was made so cavalierly can only provoke some speculation as to whether current Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is behind the scenes once again playing this bargaining chip with regard to Iran. I have long wondered why Western leaders pay so much attention to Netanyahu, the leader of a small country of 7.5 million with a gross domestic product only a little bigger than that of Portugal. Is it because, behind closed doors, they still talk the way Sharon did? Does Israel regularly use its nuclear warheads to blackmail the US and the West more generally?"


The Samson Option: Israel's Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy is a 1991 book by Seymour Hersh. It details the history of Israel's nuclear weapons program and its effects on Israel-American relations. The "Samson Option" of the book's title refers to the nuclear strategy whereby Israel would launch a massive nuclear retaliatory strike if the state itself was being overrun, just as the Biblical figure Samson is said to have pushed apart the pillars of a Philistine temple, bringing down the roof and killing himself and thousands of Philistines who had gathered to see him humiliated.According to The New York Times, Hersh relied on Ari Ben-Menashe, a former Israeli government employee who says he worked for Israeli intelligence, for much of his information on the state of the Israeli nuclear program. However, Hersh confirmed all of this information with at least one other source.[1] Hersh did not travel to Israel to conduct interviews for the book, believing that he might have been subject to the Israeli Military Censor. Nevertheless, he did interview Israelis in the United States and Europe during his three years of research.[1] Source: Wiki


A poster at Mondoweiss wrote this a couple of months back, about the 1973 incident reported by Kissinger when Golda Meir pointed nukes at Cairo and Damascus; thoroughly researched, it showed Israel using nukes as leverage to get what it wanted from US for its wars. We were at Defcon 5 due to an Israeli threat to use nuclear weapons to start WWIII.

link to

Posted by: Crone | Sep 16 2013 0:48 utc | 108

Crone @ 108.
Israel hasn't got any nukes. Check your sources (and reflect upon the 'coincidental' timing).

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 16 2013 8:56 utc | 109

"Crone @ 108.
Israel hasn't got any nukes. Check your sources (and reflect upon the 'coincidental' timing)."

this is some weird brand of satire, right?

there's certain bits of kinda compelling evidence that would strongly suggest that you got that wrong.

Posted by: hmm | Sep 16 2013 9:05 utc | 110

Horsy suffers from the fairly rare 'topical denial syndrome'. On a small number of topics, he goes into denial. One is Israel's nukes, and the other is 9/11 MIHOP theory.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 16 2013 12:59 utc | 111

I know that some of you want to know how/what r'giap is doing. If it's okay, b, I received this in an email yesterday.

Posted by: beq | Sep 16 2013 15:16 utc | 112

Re Israel's nuclear bombs, just read Chapter 9 of Jerusalem, Jerusalem by James Carroll published by Houghton Mifflin in 2011. He relates how Kissinger, the de facto President of the US, Nixon spent his time drunk during Watergate, was forced by Golda Meir's threat to use nuclear arms in the Middle East to start paying annual tribute in arms and dollars to Israel, which the US continues to do today. Even in the face of sequester, the tribute to Israel is still being paid.

Posted by: Albertde | Sep 16 2013 16:18 utc | 113

beq, thanks for the update on r'giap!

Posted by: Crone | Sep 16 2013 16:45 utc | 114

Israel's nukes and 911Truth are credulity tests which gullible folks fail.
Israel, with 200/300/400 nukes, is 'afraid' of Iran with none. That doesn't add up.
Israel, uniquely and counterintuitively, built a nuclear arsenal before it had a diverse range of delivery options, or indeed any, and still lacks the ability to deliver more than a handful.
Israel hasn't tested a nuke. Every entity with a declared arsenal has.
A declared and tested arsenal is a more persuasive deterrent than an undeclared rumour.
The Vanunu story is too loaded with bathos to be treated as anything more than a tr-raditional Israeli tear-jerker - R2Bs.
Most Israel nukes stories originate from and/or can be traces back to Israel, Zionists, or entities sympathetic to Zionism.

@ 113 Kissinger as a truth-teller?
That's funny in a sick kind of way.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 16 2013 17:15 utc | 115

Is that a link? Japan Focus has a very interesting article on the Heroin trade and the US govenment.

As to Israel's nuclear weapons to employ them against neighbours, given the tiny area of the Israeli cantons in Palestine, would be Sampsonian. In that sense, if in no other, reports of their existence are exagerrated.

Posted by: bevin | Sep 16 2013 19:13 utc | 116

You can cut it down to just this:

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 16 2013 19:23 utc | 117

To all you deniers, @115, 116,
The purpose of Israel's nukes is primarily blackmail. It got the US into paying an annual tribute even before AIPAC was powerful. The French were the ones that helped Israel get the nucleat bombs. They did test them in the old Apartheid South Africa and probably the French tested them as well.


Posted by: Albertde | Sep 16 2013 19:51 utc | 118

Re: 115

"still lacks the ability to deliver more than a handful."

First he claims "has no nukes" and as evidence he states "no delivery mechanism" then he states couldn't "deliver more than a handful" which actually suggests the existence of some sort of "delivery mechanism" -kicking one out the back of a plane would still be a "delivery mechanism"

How many would they actually need. A "handful" certainly counts as some

Posted by: hmm | Sep 16 2013 19:53 utc | 119

But it is a possibility that the whole "Israeli Nukes" story is merely smoke&shadows.

A possibility

Posted by: hmm | Sep 16 2013 20:08 utc | 120

It was enough to scare Kissinger.

Posted by: Albertde | Sep 16 2013 21:00 utc | 121

From Mr Google ...

Memo From Kissinger to Nixon on the Israeli Nuclear Program (July 19, 1969)

"The Israelis, who are one of the few peoples whose survival is genuinely threatened, are probably more likely than almost any other country to actually use their nuclear weapons," Henry A. Kissinger, the national security adviser, warned Mr. Nixon in a memorandum dated July 19, 1969 � part of a newly released trove of documents.

Posted by: DM | Sep 16 2013 21:43 utc | 122

But, hey, you can't believe anything any of these lying bastards say.

Posted by: DM | Sep 16 2013 21:45 utc | 123

Anyone who denies Israel's nukes ishasbara.

Posted by: Albertde | Sep 17 2013 1:54 utc | 124

@ Hoarsewhisperer

Yeah, like maybe if Israel had blown off some M-80s or ladyfingers - those are firecrackers, if you don't know, btw - filmed them and then told everyone that they had detonated some nukes THEN it would be like 9/11 and all of the patent nonsense that everyone was supposed to believe from that day, however, barring that that hasn't happened the two events are completely dissimilar in regards to evidence. Moving on.

Israeli nukes: as I posted up-thread, they - in actuality meaning "no one" in the Zionist MSM/government, that is - could easily ask "Mr. Hollywood" Arnon Milchan what exactly he did to help "maintain Israel’s nuclear arsenal" while working as an Israeli spy and maybe get a better idea if what he says makes sense or if it is all indeed just Mr. Milchan writing himself a cameo appearance in his next upcoming blockbuster "Mr. & Mrs. Smith II: A Nuclear Family". Probably just best to let him be...we might never get another "Fight Club" or "Pretty Woman" ever again. Horror.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 17 2013 1:55 utc | 125

Unwelcome as this may be, and off-topic as this may be, this is what I've got. Please understand that I'm on your side. But I just love this. I know, I know, I do hate music.

Posted by: tsisageya | Sep 17 2013 22:18 utc | 126

It's the babble that gets to me.

Posted by: tsisageya | Sep 17 2013 22:23 utc | 127

If it's possible for any good to flow from America's frequent mass shootings, an encouraging sign came in the aftermath of the Washington naval yard incident when the doctor who runs an IC unit which treated the victims grabbed the business-end of a microphone and said (words to the effect)
"There's an evil in this country and we, Americans, must work to eliminate it."

She didn't say whether she was referring to the NRA or the 1%'s Obama Administration, but there's little doubt that decent Americans would be better off if both were eliminated.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 18 2013 7:29 utc | 128

*The worst part in the plot is chopping away Sinai from Egypt and announce it the alternative homeland for the Palestinians. Then declaring Suez Canal as an international protectress after ‘radical Islamist groups’ or ‘terrorist groups’, always present where NATO needs them, attack a couple of vessels in the canal and the inability of the Egyptian army to secure the vital water passageway connecting the Red Sea with the Mediterranean, the main route for oil produced in the Persian Gulf heading to Europe and the United States, merchant container ships going both ways and not to forget war ships.*

could it be just coincidence that the very first vessel attacked by the jihadists happen to be chinese ?

Posted by: denk | Sep 18 2013 9:44 utc | 130

Salman Rushdie on House of Saud and the Arab Spring

Posted by: Mina | Sep 18 2013 11:34 utc | 131

hey u war criminal !

Posted by: denk | Sep 18 2013 16:35 utc | 132

What is happening here? Are you kidding me? Do I need to do music? Okay. Here's some music:


Posted by: tsisageya | Sep 19 2013 22:17 utc | 133

Disclaimer: I despise Obama and all his cohorts. Disgusting. Disgusting. There is nothing but disgust.
I hate music.

Posted by: tsisageya | Sep 19 2013 22:21 utc | 134

And do not get me started on the government of Israel. Disgusting. I think that may be the thing. Not the Jooos. Israel. Let's see who you are.

Posted by: tsisageya | Sep 19 2013 22:27 utc | 135

PETRAEUS's revenge

Posted by: denk | Sep 21 2013 7:03 utc | 136

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