Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 29, 2013

Open Thread 2013-26

News & views ...

Posted by b on November 29, 2013 at 17:29 UTC | Permalink


look like China is going to flex his muscles over those little Islands ...

and IRGC just improve his drone hacking/hunting operations ...

Posted by: Twilight | Nov 29 2013 19:07 utc | 1

Quiz question for you in the category of History. What do the following have in common: arsenal, average, azimuth, borax, candy, carat, cotton, crimson, decipher, garble, gauze, giraffe, jar (a container), lacquer, lemon, lute (a stringed musical instrument), magazine, mattress, orange, safflower, saffron, spinach, sugar, syrup, talc, tariff, tarragon, zenith, zero.

Hint: The historical period was the 12th and 13th centuries.

Answer: The words have in common that they are descended etymologically from medieval Arabic words, with the transfer from Arabic into Western languages occurring during the period from 1140 to 1310. During that period, the words passed from Arabic into Latin and into one or more of the Romance (Latinate) languages. From their use in the late medieval Latin and Romance languages, they entered English -- the earliest records in English are spread over the 14th through 17th centuries. The medieval Arabic meaning was the same as today's English meaning in most cases, but in some cases the meaning has changed. Phonetically in most cases the medieval Arabic word-form was closely similar to today's English word-form, but in some cases the word-form has changed a lot. Historical details for each individual word are at

Posted by: Parviziyi | Nov 29 2013 19:58 utc | 2

What, Parviziyi, no alcohol?

Posted by: bevin | Nov 29 2013 20:35 utc | 3

For a while I love to read Amin Maalouf the Lebanese writer, his passion are the word and origin of them, alcohol is here

As for alchemy origin is different here: than the one described in that link.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 29 2013 21:14 utc | 4

HONDURAS (Spanish) Four years after suffering a coup, Manuel Zelaya returns to the political arena as deputy and leftist leader despite the triumph of the right in elections in Honduras...

Posted by: Maracatu | Nov 29 2013 21:18 utc | 5

Also, Proving Electoral Fraud Takes Time in Honduras.

Posted by: Maracatu | Nov 29 2013 21:46 utc | 6

After quite humiliation, which I described in above link, to the nation that has 11 Carrier Strike Group (among many other things) an epilogue of that episode is that the US ambassador has resigned. Semi-official explanation is that he is going to "rejoin to his family" and some other diplomatic phraseology. This is forced resignation, it is what the empire do when of their own fail and/or his/her mission isn't possible anymore. When F-117 was shoot down above a sky of Serbia the jet was retired immediately, in similar manner they sent its people to "enjoy life".,0,810002.story#axzz2m4ehKa2v

Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 29 2013 22:18 utc | 7

China Announces That It Is Going To Stop Stockpiling U.S. Dollars

Isn't the world getting better recently? :)

Posted by: Michal | Nov 29 2013 23:56 utc | 8

Today in US history...
The Sand Creek Massacre (also known as the Chivington Massacre, the Battle of Sand Creek or the Massacre of Cheyenne Indians) was an atrocity in the Indian Wars that occurred on November 29, 1864, when a 700-man force of Colorado Territory militia attacked and destroyed a peaceful village of Cheyenne and Arapaho encamped in southeastern Colorado Territory,[3] killing and mutilating an estimated 70–163 Indians, about two-thirds of whom were women and children. The location has been designated the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site and is administered by the National Park Service.

Posted by: Maracatu | Nov 30 2013 0:05 utc | 9

@ bevin + neretva'43: I didn't want to make it easy for you, so I deliberately didn't menion alchemy, alcohol, alcove, alfalfa, algebra, algorithm, alkali, and aubergine, all of which have their earliest occurrences in a Western language in the 12th or 13th century.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Nov 30 2013 0:34 utc | 10

Just a visual reminder of who's doing what to whom in the "Holy Land".

Posted by: ben | Nov 30 2013 1:25 utc | 11

do syrians support the 'syrian revolutionaries'? not if Deir Attiyah is anything to go by:
@KeepingtheLeith 22h
The jubilant citizens of Dayr Atiyya throng onto vehicles after the #SAA liberated this town. #Syria #RifDimashq

from a comment on a different thread...but relevant

Lilly Martin Sahiounie YES. Brian you have the correct details. We watched last night, late, on local Syrian TV, the testimonies of the folks in Deir Atiyah. Men, women, kids. They all said the place had been overrun with armed terrorists, who stole everything not nailed down. They could not go outside. They were all thanking the Syrian Army for making it safe enough to resume normal life. Deir Atiyah is a very large town, it sits right on the highway to Damascus (north of Damascus). But it is isolated. It sits alone, no other communities near. Right on the highway, at Deir Atiyah is a large modern hospital. It sits on a hill, so very visible. Those filthy terrorists got into the hospital and killed many nurses and doctors. Do they think freedom is achieved by wiping out medical personnel? They dead terrorists were all over the place. They were from Yemen and various Gulf places. Sickening.

Posted by: brian | Nov 30 2013 1:34 utc | 12


By Greenwald’s reasoning, even though Omidyar is the founder, largest shareholder, and chairman of the body responsible for eBay/PayPal management oversight, he had “nothing to do with” its policy towards Wikileaks. Zero. None. He was as helpless as you, me, Batkid, or Grumpy Cat.

Fortunately, as the single investor, founder and CEO of “NewCo”, Omidyar’s self-professed helplessness at eBay doesn’t extend to his new journalistic venture. With that level of autonomy, no one — not even Glenn Greenwald, who has admitted that Omidyar’s money is irresistibly persuasive — can tell him which secrets to publish on his new site, and which should remain hidden forever.

We can all rest easy in our beds, then, knowing that Omidyar is in charge of our secrets. Information of national importance, such as which major tech companies colluded with the US government to spy on private citizens, will be published at the discretion of the founder and largest shareholder of one of those companies.

Posted by: donkeytale | Nov 30 2013 1:47 utc | 13

charley reese [rip]
+What's good for Honest Abe is good for Honest jiang, right?*

+What's good for Honest Abe is good for Honest xi, right?+

Posted by: denk | Nov 30 2013 2:39 utc | 14

Look up troubadors. As I recollect it they served as a transmission belt of arabic, sufi ideas and Persian lyricism into the romance world. The tradition of courtly love and the cathar cults were clearly related to islamic cultures.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 30 2013 2:57 utc | 15

muricuns oh muricuns....
can i sue these morons if i choke on my laughter ?

exhibit a
*China and Japanese leaders should follow president Obama's restrain method instead of using force. Obama has many chances to get US militarily involved in Syria and Iran, but he chooses peaceful means instead*

exhibit b
*way to go abe, im all for japan, jap porn rocks !*

n .......
guess who's the author of this gem of philosophy ?
*They hung themselves with fabricated nooses made out of clothes and bed sheets.

They have no regard for human life, neither ours nor their own. I believe this was not an act of desperation but an act of asymmetric warfare against us.*

none other than us pacific fleet's newly minted cic, hairy harris.
but he doesnt look hairy, he look asian ? turns out he is half jap !
coincidence, coincidence im sure, just like abe posing in that 731 jet fighter hahaha !

enjoy urself folks, coming to a cinema near u...the sequel.

Posted by: denk | Nov 30 2013 3:19 utc | 16

why do muricuns use such derogative term like *jap*,
such racist !

Posted by: denk | Nov 30 2013 3:37 utc | 17

Yes, the Cathar inclination and the troubador movement were likely different and related expressions of the culture that migrated into Langudoc, etc., before the time of Gothic and Merovingian kingdoms, after the fall of Rome. Northern Lombardy, Provence and the Pyrenees region would be the settled range of this migratory branch of Iranic peoples. Whether migrating in the body of the Gothic and Hunnic incursions - or driven by their advance it isn't certain. Some may have been a part of late-Roman era migration from the steppe, as troops, etc.

What is sure is that during 4th-5th century, a neo-Scythian peoples arrive via the Balkan and Italian peninsulas - ultimately from the North Caucasus to a final diaspora across South Western Europe.

After their arrival, the native European peoples acquire characteristics and cultural forms hitherto unknown: Among them the cult of the Horse, and the social standing of the rider. With this comes mounted combat with the stirrup and lance, as technical introductions, and the notion of an associated ethic - later called "Chivalry" in French, and related to "Javanmardi" in Iranian Khorasan. A social component of this is the "relatively" high status of women, including property inheritance and occasional rulership - observed along the entire axis of the Indo-Iranic Central Asian steppe, to the Volga from the Ili, noted as early as Heroditus. The ingredients for the cult of courtly love are thus introduced to Europe - along with the strain of Mysticism and Gnostic/Noetic religion.

One can look at the contemporary Sassanian sculpture reliefs in Kermanshah, Kurdish Iran, and see the very image of the caparisoned horse, full helm and stirrup-couched lance of the Medieval knight, a full six-hundred years before this figure becomes the very image of the troubadours' romances. It is quite startling to see the flower of Chivalry in pre-Islamic, Khosrovan Iran - opposed to Justinian and Belisarius. These were the eastern branch - moving down into the Persian country at the collapse of Parthia - and bringing their esoteric, unitarian mysticism into official Zoroastrian practice - much as their Western tribesmen did for the nascent churches on the frontiers of Rome.

Posted by: Jeremiah | Nov 30 2013 4:12 utc | 18

must read: salafism in syria:

'eports from across Syria, including Aleppo, Qalamoun and Reqaa lay bare massive crimes being perpetrated against the Syrian people in the name of Islam from areas under Salafist control. A recent German domestic intelligence service annual report described Salafism as the fastest growing Islamic movement in Syria -
Damascus is awash in tales coming in from Daash controlled areas around Aleppo and elsewhere of a sheath full of recent Fatwa’s and orders posted on walls of what is expected of the local Salafist occupied areas. It operates, as recent reports indicate and many of which have been verified by Sunni Islamic scholars and Sheiks from Damascene mosques with brutaltiy to enforce its will on the civilian population. A Sunni law student from Damascus University Faculty of Law compiled over the past few weeks some research on the subject and she reports example of spreading Salafist edits which she labels, “An insane frontal assault on Islam by criminal acts against Muslim and others of the Book.”

On 11/27/13 a young lady arriving at the Dama Rose hotel reported to this observer that currently In parts of Raqaa and Aleppo and other Daash controlled areas if a man from Daash covets something such as someone’s new car or someone’s wife, he must now only say “Allah Akbar” three times and the personal property or the targeted women belongs to him and the man can beat the wife and rape her with impunity. This latest Fatwa obviously causes serious problems within Daash and other affected militia especially in Raqqa and Allepo. The young lady from a prominent Dasmascene Sunni family reported that Daash members are currently taking gas, oil and bread at will from non-Daash villages for distribution to members of their cult of approximately 5000 members and reportedly growing. Also according to recently televised reports it is now permissible for Daash members to rape any woman who is not Muslim as well as Muslim women who support the Assad government.

a useful read on salafism in syria

Posted by: brian | Nov 30 2013 4:40 utc | 19

use em and kill em...what to do with jihadis whos use has expired...turkey shows us

Posted by: brian | Nov 30 2013 6:24 utc | 20


That's an interesting point ... that billionaire Omidyar owns both of the people who own the only two known complete datasets released by Edward Snowden.


very interesting as well ...

Things ain't always what they seem. I remember when moving from NV to TX I took my time; travelling light, I stopped a lot along the way. In Santa Fe I stopped at a 'museum' that was actually an old mission, and while browsing around noticed a recurrent visual theme I took to be native, I'd seen it before in the Southwest and often since in TX ... a figure with fish laid over the eyes. I asked the curator of the museum who told me it was biblical ... from the Book of Tobias. The book of Tobias ? It's not usually included in the xtian bible. It has the story of a cure from blindness by such laying on of fishes ... apparently it resonated with some existing story in the Americas.

But the point to me was the Jewish component among the 'Conquistadors'.

Later on I found a locally authored history of the Falcons, who settled the Rio Grande. They were of Arabic descent. Lake Falcon is named for them today. An Arabic component among the Conquistadors?

Yeah, 1492 was the year of the expulsion of the Jews and Arabs from Spain. They all became broke and 'new' xtians at the same time. And anywhere but Spain looked like a good place to be if you were a 'new' xtian. They probably outnumbered the 'real' Spaniards among the 'conquistadores'. Then again, I imagine most Spanish people have a good bit of the same. If I look into the faces of the Tejano people I imagine I see a lot of Arabic/Jewish ancestry. Tejanos and Mexicans are mostly of Native American descent, of course. Cohauiltecan. Apache, ...

A following story that caught my imagination in TX was that of Tejano General Ignacio Zaragoza, the hero of Cinco de Mayo, victor over the French Empire, Likely Spanish, Arab, Jewish, and 'Indian' blood all flowed in his veins ... his name is that of a town in Spain ... originally Caesaraugusta, named for and by the man himself.

Two thousand years is nothing. Fifty thousand years is not much more. All men are brothers and sisters. We're going to have to realize that if we are going to engage and conquer our unique yet now common human social pathology : the corporation. Surely the most brutal and dangerous emperor of them all.

Posted by: john francis lee | Nov 30 2013 7:28 utc | 21

john francis lee @ 19: " All men are brothers and sisters. We're going to have to realize that if we are going to engage and conquer our unique yet now common human social pathology : the corporation. Surely the most brutal and dangerous emperor of them all."

A truism, if ever there was one.

Posted by: ben | Nov 30 2013 14:08 utc | 22

I'm not sure about all this theorising re Omidyar. I suspect that the journalists with whom he is dealing are both fairly tough negotiators.
You have to bear in mind that this is a guy whose whole life experience has taught him that the "system" works. He probably really believes that he is rich because he saw an obvious way of using a very old idea: the internet was new, the bazaar as old as the city. So why not E-Bay?
Now with billions of dollars rattling around his pockets he wonders what to do. Being a libertarian he believes in open communications and the freeflow of information. Being an innocent he looks at the Bill of Rights and gets all starry eyed.
So he starts a media company and suddenly he is no longer just a billionaire putting his wife's name on buildings, sponsoring literary awards etc but a player in the world of politics and information. A knight in shining armour.
So why complain? Of course the news business should be socialised but if billionaires are going to run it, and they will, he seems a better proposition than the Saudi prince and the Mexican kleptomaniac who own the NYTimes, or the Amazon guy with the Washington Post or Murdoch. Murdoch for fuck's sake!!

I'm beginning to notice that it is often me who is urging people to relax and let things play out. I think it is because I regard 'doing good' as the default position. Surely it is a lot more satisfying ti be known as the good guy defending truth than just another sordid conspirator against the common weal and for himself.
Perhaps Omidyar just realises that he will be dead in fifty years and he will be much closer to achieving immortality as the angel behind Snowden than as the kid from Silicone Valley who lucked into E-Bay, a pretty obvious idea when you think about it, and then merged back into the 1%, the vulgarest, greediest and least interesting people on the planet.

Thanks Jeremiah @16.
As to 1492, people often forget that the spare cash Ferdinand and Isabella had to play patron with came from the fall of the last muslim strongholds in Spain. It was a process which led to a scattering of all manner of talented muslims and jews not only into the Ottoman ruled lands but up into Holland, Germany, France and Britain. Benjamin Disraeli's family was just one of the least important of them.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 30 2013 14:57 utc | 23

I want to return to a comment that bevin made a few threads back, about Iran's nuclear program, in which he said something like: Iran has the right to enrich, but pursuing nuclear power is not a wise choice. I made a little stronger statement on another site, to wit: '...that Iran's pursuit of nuclear power generation is one of the stupidest acts of hubris in modern times - nuclear power generation has a negative Return On Investment everywhere it's been tried, including France which is closest to breakeven, but still has to be subsidized with taxes. The reason no US power company has built a nuclear power plant in over 30 years is because of the extreme negative ROI...'

Then this morning someone sent me this horrifying info-

of which Fukushima and Chernobyl are #1 and #2, both (ex)power generating facilities.

I say 'hubris' because Iran obviously takes deep pride in their nuke program, but it has not a whit of practical use. They should trade the whole thing for normalized relations with the west.

Posted by: okie farmer | Nov 30 2013 17:10 utc | 24

Why does the Iran deal include prohibitions on trading oil for anything but dollars? What has that got to do with nuclear fuel enrichment? Erin Ade discusses this at the 10:00 mark:

Posted by: Frank | Nov 30 2013 18:31 utc | 25

Mr. Lee, tanks for posting the correct link.

Bevin, I see I amgoing to come inside with a high and tigt heater to knock you off the plate of altruism.

OK, I know. There may or may not be some tin foil involved in the following construction:

Either Glenn Greenwald is a gullible village idiot or he is one of many actors planted in this spy charade. Nobody in the intelligence game is allowed to be that naïve, especially when it is crystal clear from these interlocking corporate connections that Pierre Omidyar is hardly an innocent when he has every incentive to work on behalf of Booz Allen and the NSA to recover the Snowden files.

Sell-Out or Set Up?

It took $250 million for Omidyar to win the fealty of the “courageous” and “independent” journalists who surrounded Snowden and controlled his every movement. The team of Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill, along with filmmaker Laura Poitras, not only kept the fugitive in the dark while mounting a clever sting operation. (“You can’t let the Chinese or Russians confiscate the files”, as if Moscow or Beijing would be that stupid while the whole world was watching.) Taking his data as a “security precaution”, the thieves thus managed to retrieve the secret documents for the spymasters in London , Langley and Fort Meade .

“We’ll be working with them and others, but we have a long way to go in terms of what the (news) organization looks like, people’s roles and responsibilities,” said Omidyar to Pacific Business News. This leaves no doubt about who’s the boss, while his other statements indicate Greenwald, Poitras and Schahill can collect the bounty money and disappear until their next Mission Impossible assignment, so long as they keep their mouths shut. Otherwise, a new team of actors will hunt them down one at a time. Accidents happen.

But wait. Wy should I apologize for adding a bit of aluminum to a website that routinely revels in it?

Posted by: donkeytale | Nov 30 2013 18:41 utc | 26

@19 John Francis. Thanks also for this. I am fascinated by these things. I knew both of crypto-Morenos and crypto-Jews in the new world by reputation. The intimacy of your story, with the evidence of the artifacts is a delight. Is that Gospel of Timothy? Can't find it... :-) Secret Gospel of Thomas, I know.

Your closer is of course, the spirit in which I intend to share.

@20 Ben. A "Truth" I think you mean, rather than "truism". :-) I heartily concur.

Posted by: Jeremiah | Nov 30 2013 18:50 utc | 27

@24 Book of Tobit most likely. From the Apocrypha.

Posted by: dh | Nov 30 2013 19:04 utc | 28

@24 "They should trade the whole thing for normalized relations with the west".
What makes you think trading their nuclear generating power will gain them normalized relations with the West, since US sanctions have been in place since the Iranian revolution in 1979. Because Iran is an independent nation, and will not bow to the big or little hegemon in the region US/Israel, and with it's conventional weapons systems growing ever stronger, some bought from China, but most produced at home, constitutes an intolerable threat to Israel, that is why Israel wants it's big stupid benefactor [The US] to eliminate this rival,fortunately the combined projected costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions is almost 6 trillion dollars [Harvard University [Kennedy School of Government] a war against Iran would make these two disasters look like a walk in the park. As for Israel attacking Iran, that's just a joke, ask those few thousand Hezbollah fighters.

Posted by: harrylaw | Nov 30 2013 20:12 utc | 29

This sounds interesting:

Posted by: bevin | Nov 30 2013 20:35 utc | 30

donkeytale I'd be very surprised if the NSA is still hoping to put a lid on the "revelations."
I'd say that that particular locomotive had long since left the station.
They might want revenge. They'd love to 'set an example' by punishing but I imagine there are many copies of those files and they are distributed far and wide.
After all, except for the unimaginative and the trainspotters what new revelations can there be?
The NSA and its Five (round, blue and beedy) eyes do what the fuck they want, and the only contraints on them are technical or related to the inevitable stupidity that is connected with work in "intelligence."
what worries me is that some Russian mafia will be paid enough to kill Snowden by the US government. His name would thus join a very long list on which the most recent name is Hastings. Dr David Kelly's name is there too.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 30 2013 20:46 utc | 31

okie farmer.
A friend sends me regular updates re Fukushima. This is from today's:

Mainichi, Nov. 27, 2013: The ruling coalition’s ramming of a controversial special state secrets bill [...] through the House of Representatives on Nov. 26 has stunned the public. [...] it could discourage citizens as well as journalists from seeking access to such information for fear of harsh punishment, blocking government information from circulating in society [...]
Japan-based Investigative Journalist Jake Adelstein, Nov. 29, 2013: [...] even politicians inside the ruling bloc are saying, “It can’t be denied that another purpose is to muzzle the press, shut up whistleblowers, and ensure that the nuclear disaster at Fukushima ceases to be an embarrassment before the Olympics.” [...] And most tellingly, Masako Mori, the Minister of Justice, has declared that nuclear related information will most likely be a designated secret. For the Abe administration this would be fantastic way to deal with the issue of tons of radiated water leaking [...] There seems to be no end to stopping the toxic waste leaks there but the new legislation would allow the administration to plug the information leaks permanently. As [it] continues to pour into the ocean and our food supply, it is an ominous sign that the Japanese government refuses to disclose information about the levels of pollution [...]
Mainichi, Nov. 27, 2013: Under the bill, ordinary citizens who aid and abet or conspire with others in leaking information classified as special state secrets could face up to five years in prison even if the information were not actually revealed. If citizens were indicted for obtaining special secrets under the legislation, they could be convicted without the content of the information being clarified.
Mainichi, Nov. 27, 2013: One of the [Fukushima] residents angrily said, “How far are they going to go in fooling us?” [...] a member of the Diet’s investigation committee on the Fukushima nuclear disaster, said, “I hope information involving the lives of residents will not be made secret.”

SOURCE: Mainichi

Bellona, Nov. 29, 2013: [...] The current condition of the Fukushima Daiichi plant is precarious – arguably worse off than it was directly following the initial catastrophe [...] seemingly continuous leaks of highly radioactive water [...] The disposition of the fuel in the melted down reactors is unknown [...] no real consensus on what on what might stop or at least diminish the leaks of some 400 metric tons a day of radioactive water into the Pacific.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 30 2013 20:53 utc | 32


Yeah there is always the chance that a billionaire or his minion will do the right thing. I admit it, and ... hope for is too strong a phrase ... wait to be pleasantly surprised at that outcome. I remember waiting, in the wake of 9/11, for George XLIII to gather himself, to give us all a lecture on the real reasons for the mass murders, and of his plans for atonement and for justice in our foreign policy. It didn't happen that time ... but I'm always ready to greet the rich man doing the right thing with a cheer. Better to stop electing cats of any color, though, and elect our brother and sister mice. I know you always say you do agree.


I'm delighted to hear 'the truth' spoken about the Saudis, regardless whose mouth it comes from and whose side it suits. It's not 'just' the Saudis, of course, it's the three terrorist, killer b's.

Barack the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate slash made-man at the CIA Obama is stoking the fires of al Qaeda terror in Syria and trying to incite his next World War out on highway 51 ... or B-52, I suppose ... in East Asia as we ... type.

I must admit I am less hopeful for 'change' from BO'b than ever. And I never thought any change at all would come from his and Rahm Emmanuel's quarter. For the worse, maybe. Now verified.

But tomorrow always does come, and someday we will wake to find we actually have had enough.

Posted by: john francis lee | Nov 30 2013 21:18 utc | 33


Yikes ! Thanks for the horrible news. Someone asked me the other day if I thought it felt like 1935 world wide. I told him/her/them ... and electronic correspondent, don't know which ... only when I wake up in a cold-sweat in the middle of the night. I don't remember 1935. I was minus 12 at the time.

' Mainichi, Nov. 27, 2013: Under the bill, ordinary citizens who aid and abet or conspire with others in leaking information classified as special state secrets could face up to five years in prison even if the information were not actually revealed. If citizens were indicted for obtaining special secrets under the legislation, they could be convicted without the content of the information being clarified. ... '

That is the exact functional equivalent of the lese majeste law, article 112, in Thailand ... the land where 'Field Marshal' Plaek welcomed the Imperial Japanese forces ashore at Songkla in 1941, just hours before Pearl Harbor. Now 'Field Marshal' Suthep is occupying the Imperial City of Angels with more-or-less-native fascist minions of his own from Songkla and thereabout.

But maybe the TPP won't pass. Maybe the billionaires' minions in the US House and Senate will not accord it fast track status and won't ratify it. I wait to be surprised.

Maybe the Mi'k Maq will succeed in keeping the Texans behind Stephan Harper from poisoning the groundwater in New Brunswick.

Strangely enough I think the latter is more likely. It's time for us all to realize that we are all indigenes on planet earth, and that the aliens striding about in their TNC tripods, vaporizing us with their drones/heat ray, are our common enemy. That they mean to kill us all. The redshirts in Thailand don't need to be told, they've known it for centuries.

Posted by: john francis lee | Nov 30 2013 21:49 utc | 34


Should the efforts to relocate the spent fuel rods atop building number 4 be bungled, I doubt a catacalysm of that possible severity can be hidden. The IAEA seems to be getting involved, despite TEPCO's desire and efforts to keep things in-house.

We actually have two severe nuclear emergencies occurring, the other being the rotting sludge tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. And true to character, these sluts in DC are pretty much ignoring the Hanford debacle, even as billions are spent in concocting a "solution", (by the robbing thieving pieces of SHIT running Bechtel). And this "solution" is years behind schedule, waaaaaay over budget, and utilizes unproven "science" and technology that many experts doubt will even work.

Tic toc, tic toc, tic toc.........

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Nov 30 2013 22:01 utc | 35

Bevin, I see my bestest fastball didn't even faze your altruism, much less brush it back.

Maybe there is nothing left to be revealed or maybe you will need to buy Glenn's book or see Glenn's movie to find out for sure. Maybe they'll put the rest of the docs behind a paywall.

The one revelation I'm truly hoping to hear but not holding my breath is that Snowden will somehow gain his reward somewhere from all this libertarian cashing in of his efforts for te greater good. If I'm him my KGB legal counsel will be looking intently at this situation.

Posted by: donkeytale | Nov 30 2013 22:59 utc | 36

George Galloway interviews Mother Agnes Mariam on RT -

Posted by: brian | Nov 30 2013 23:05 utc | 37

@30 "Assad explained that Saudi Arabia “is leading the most extensive operation of direct sabotage against all the Arab world,” Too true, one day I hope to see those fat, whorehouse inhabiting, terrorist loving drunken perverts dangling by their balls from lamp posts, the sooner the better.

Posted by: harrylaw | Nov 30 2013 23:21 utc | 38

attacking Mother Agnes Mariam : why was she kicked off the StW platform?

Posted by: brian | Nov 30 2013 23:37 utc | 39

Can't help but agree with your take on Iran's independence being the crux of the problem vis-à-vis US, Israel, KSA. Your "intolerable threat to Israel" is actually another "joke" - as Jacques Chirac said, 'even if Iran had nuclear weapons, if they launched them, before they were 300 meters in the air, the whole of Iran would be reduced to rubble'. BUT, things at this moment are different than 2003 when Iran suspended all enrichment for nearly 2 years in their deal with EU3. That was a bait-and-switch that I believe the EU powers went into in good faith, only to have US pull the rug out from under the deal. Hard lesson for Iran. However, at this moment, the US is leading the negotiations, not standing in the shadows, so if Iran were to do even what they did in 2003, much less give up their whole nuclear program, the SC5+1 would be hard pressed to not agree.

Got some of that same info from a friend in CA; Abe is on a roll criminalizing dissent. Up to 5 years in jail for "special offenses", special to be defined later, or actually not at all.

Posted by: okie farmer | Dec 1 2013 3:19 utc | 40

Sibel Edmonds has a video conversation with Peter B. Collins and James Corbett that's worth watching. She has a skeptical view of Obama's motives in the current peace overture to Iran. She doesn't believe it reflects any fundamental change in the basic intrigue of the US side; and that the fall back policy in the long view is to engineer a failure.

Posted by: Copeland | Dec 1 2013 4:22 utc | 41

aint muricuns charming ?

at least u cant fault them for *transparency* !

Posted by: denk | Dec 1 2013 5:11 utc | 42

@okie farmer | 40

"BUT, things at this moment are different than 2003 when Iran suspended all enrichment for nearly 2 years in their deal with EU3. That was a bait-and-switch that I believe the EU powers went into in good faith, only to have US pull the rug out from under the deal."

EU never were in good faith either, at that time Iran proposed to cap enrichment at 3,5% and convert every single gram of uranium to fuel. UK vetoed it.

"However, at this moment, the US is leading the negotiations, not standing in the shadows, so if Iran were to do even what they did in 2003, much less give up their whole nuclear program, the SC5+1 would be hard pressed to not agree."

US was always in the lead, and blocked every possible deal. Like I remember how El Baradei was angry with US "they simply cant take yes for an answer" after yet another US sabotage, like in 2010. West always were after regime change and I dont see any signs they gave up on that goal.

What Iran did now was pretty much the same as in 2003, almost fully stopped nuclear program for the West future promises which were never kept. Sure if Iran dismantled nuclear program altogether, West would have a hard time arguing why sanctions still in place, but they would still claim "Iran is hiding something somewhere" and die-hard zionist Congress wont agree on sanctions removal (they also placed impossible conditions outside of nuclear file). Not to speak Iran will never agree on dismantling program in the first place.

My problem with current deal, is that Iran gave up everything they could for no actual sanctions relief. That means Iran showed a lot of good faith for a hope West will reciprocate the same when 2nd and 3rd stages come. I.e. To have any positive resolution of this issue, West would have to remove all sanctions without asking much else from Iran, since the later already made all concessions they could. Knowing the history and West's intentions, I think its nearly impossible expectation.

West already got diamonds for peanuts, and to think they'll give their own diamonds back later out of a good will... not going to happen. I would love to be wrong, but from pure common sense of view I dont see any positive outcome anytime soon.

Posted by: Harry | Dec 1 2013 6:59 utc | 43

elliot higgins Aka brown moses supposes...attacks Mother Agnes:

who is Laura wells?
Laura Wells
Freelance reporter who's worked for CNBC,CNBC World,ReutersTV,Ebru TV,& 6 News;contributed to Foreign Policy Mag. & CBS,
(so Higgins is leading a freelance reporter astray,uses him as her primary source o mother agnes?

Brown Moses
@wellsla are you aware of Mother Agnes' reputation?

Laura Wells @wellsla 17 Sep
@Brown_Moses Need to read more. Studying the photos/video is interesting,but really not sure. What do you think of her?

Brown Moses @Brown_Moses 17 Sep
@wellsla she's a big Assad supporter and makes lots of grand, unverifiable claims about how awful the rebels are
[Higgins is saying the 'rebels' arent nearly as bad as we are told....weapns may be his area of expertise but people he either is clueless about or more likely is lying...even US has alnusra as a terrorist group]

Brown Moses @Brown_Moses 17 Sep
@wellsla she lacks any sort of credibility outside of Russia Today and Press.TV
[he really should stick to his weapons: shed has far more credibility than he can dredge up]

Laura Wells @wellsla 17 Sep
@Brown_Moses Gotcha, thank you. I try to read between the lines of everything I read. Was more interested in the photo/video comparisons.
[Laura has problems understanding if she reads 'between the lines' and comes up with Mother Agnes bad, 'rebels' good]

Laura Wells @wellsla 17 Sep
@Brown_Moses I see,thank you for your insight. I read/watch things from both sides. Had already gathered it was partisan,but...still,I look.

is Brown Moses just deluded or working an agenda?

Posted by: brian | Dec 1 2013 7:21 utc | 44

Key evidence about the range of the rockets allegedly used by the Syrian regime in the chemical attacks on 21st August in West Ghouta, which was first published by Human Rights Investigations (HRI) yesterday, proves that widespread statements made by Human Rights Watch (HRW), government officials and the mass media about the attacks are erroneous.

A video this writer discovered on YouTube shows clearly, for the first time, the launch and explosion of a HE version of the ‘Volcano’ – the kind of rocket examined by UN inspectors in West Ghouta. The important thing about this video is that it allows us to ascertain the range of this kind of weapon and corroborates a detailed investigation using rocket modelling techniques on the ‘Who Attacked Ghouta’ website.

Posted by: brian | Dec 1 2013 7:31 utc | 45

Tore ‏@potifar66 10h
Norwegian frigate Helge Ingstad leaves for Syria next week to escort cargo ships taking out CW

Posted by: brian | Dec 1 2013 7:38 utc | 46

denk @ 42.
It's drivel - Yankee drivel.
As one commenter asks "Will China just sit back if it is threatened?"
The big flaw in the theorising is that, even though the target of ASL/OSC is called 'China' assumes a Libya-style helplessness and lack of long-range strike capability. And it completely overlook/ignores the fact that ANY of the methods of weakening mentioned, in combination or alone, would be regarded, correctly, as an act of war and China would respond in a war-like manner (to the unprovoked attack). No country with the ability to make the US Homeland glow in the dark, on zero notice, will ever be attacked by the US.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 1 2013 7:43 utc | 47

useful tweeter:
Old man inspired by the youth of Egypt. Former journalist, shocked by MSM role in promoting wars.

Posted by: brian | Dec 1 2013 7:54 utc | 48

BREAKING: guess who is now on twitter : Mother Agnes Mariam
Mother Agnes Mariam+ ‏@MotherAgnesMari 27 Nov
I thank H.E. Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko for his kind invitation. Hope that my visit to USA will be fruitful for RECONCILIATION and PEACE

Posted by: brian | Dec 1 2013 7:58 utc | 49

@brian | 44

"Brown Moses really should stick to his weapons"

Nope, Brown Moses weapons expertise is non-existent as well (from professional point of view). By his own admission, he learned about weapons from Hollywood movies, he hasnt received any education or has any field/work experience of any kind about it. So his "weapon expertise" is no better than yours or mine, its actually worse due to heavy bias.

"is Brown Moses just deluded or working an agenda?"

IMHO its both. He started as a regular blogger with a clear bias (i.e. "West is good, whoever is against - bad"), and later picked up by "respectable media" due to having the same agenda, and was promoted and advertised as a "weapons expert." Now he is most likely getting paid too.

Brown Moses is a lot like clothier from SOHR, with the difference clothier was planted from the get go.

Posted by: Harry | Dec 1 2013 8:03 utc | 50

what does AMNESTY think of Mother Agnes

meet the kristyan benedict
Amnesty International UK Campaigns Manager: Crisis & Tactical. #Syria & the odd cool tune.

kristyan benedict ‏@KreaseChan 11h
@snarwani Her answer is mainly devoted to the opp. Question was clear. If she wasn't a regime apologist she wouldn't need to deflect so much

(KB is a regime apologist...the US regime)

Sharmine Narwani ‏@snarwani 11h
@KreaseChan Well, am hoping neither the ICC, UNSC nor Amnesty will exist in their current politically compromised forms in the future, so...

as Amnesty slowly sinks into the sunset! it attacts types like Kristyan....hopefully the naieve workers will awaken from their misguided idealism and learn AI has been hijacked

Posted by: brian | Dec 1 2013 10:34 utc | 51

Hackers should broadcast that on satellite networks all over the world.
The American "dream"

And a good read, but a voice in the desert

Posted by: Mina | Dec 1 2013 10:46 utc | 52

Dr Helen Caldicott
Please sign, extremely important This campaign is so crucial -- please join me and sign! The TPP must be stopped.

Posted by: brian | Dec 1 2013 10:49 utc | 53

The inimitable George Galloway: "She's Mother Agnes Mariam of the Cross, of the diocese of Hobs Hamar and Yabud in the Syrian Arab Republic, here on what has suddenly become a controversial tour of Britian. You'd think that British antiwar movement would be interested in hearing what a representative of Syria's Christian communities has to say about the US-backed so-called rebels, and their BEHEADING WAYS. But alas, her scheduled appearance in today's Stop the War Coalition International Peace Conference was scuttled by LIBERALS, who don't much care to hear from a woman with an actual first-hand account. No, apparently they prefer to hear only from other armchair activists, who have gained their opinion from the evening news."

John White, "the most stalwart defender of Mother Agnes Mariam's right to be heard in Britain during her tour" said:

"This unfortunately was the doing of a couple of liberal commentators who rose to delegates in this conference who still believe, for some strange reason, that there is actually a revolution taking place in … Syria, and believe that you can have a situation where you are against Western intervention and against this present Syrian government. But who else is going to stop these barbarians, unless it's the Syrian government? I don't know if these liberal commentatos have 30 divisions of armed troops up their sleeves to take to the conflict, but if they don't, then that's a non-position, and it's actually disgraceful, given the position of this country vis-a-vis Libya, and vis-a-vis Iraq."

Posted by: brian | Dec 1 2013 10:52 utc | 54

strangeness in Kiev Leonid Ragozin @leonidragozin
Revolutionary tractor moving closer to police barricade near presidential compound. what sort of 'revolutionary' seeks to join the EU????? is it Poland Solidarity all over again?

Posted by: brian | Dec 1 2013 12:40 utc | 56

"...what sort of 'revolutionary' seeks to join the EU????? is it Poland Solidarity all over again?"

What sort of revolutionary would want to join the EU when its youth unemployment rate exceeds 25%, economic growth is negative and the Central Bank sees its central mission as the radical lowering of working class living standards.
Wanting to emigrate is one thing. Insisting on a berth on the Death Ship is another. This is worse than Solidarity since there can be few illusions, among the leaders. They are obviously intent on selling out their countrymen and women for careers.
Just like Brown Judas.

Posted by: bevin | Dec 1 2013 13:13 utc | 57

Hoarsewhisperer 47

those gents are openly discussing how to attack china ,with different scenarios of targeting civilian facilities !
if couch potatoes like these can contemplate war crimes so cavalierly,
is it any wonder the *pros* in pentagoon have been doing exactly that as a daily routine ?
sometime i just wonder if muricuns r hardwired for dispensing destruction ?

Posted by: denk | Dec 1 2013 14:05 utc | 58

On Ukraine - Basically this is a geo-political tug of war between Russia and the EU. For anyone who has not being paying attention (and I doubt Ukraine gets much coverage in US media). The last few months the EU has been negotiating to bring Ukraine into the EU orbit (which would bring the EU even more to the border of Russia) via an Association Agreement.

These Association Agreements are basically the first step to membership. The EU gives the target states entry into some parts of the trading bloc, in return the target states bring its laws into line with EU standards (things like construction standards, workplace equality, human rights courts).

The deal is basically a form of bribery, and like all Bribery there is the danger of being outbid as Bradrakumar wrote:

The EU is in a quandry since its checkbook diplomacy, which traditionally worked to allure impoverished former Soviet republics, has broken down following the euro crisis, and in any case Moscow is giving Brussels a run for the money when it comes to purchasing the Ukrainian soul. The facts and numbers show Moscow outbid Brussels.

This isn't a case of Russia bullying Ukraine, as the media are painting it. It's just that the EU was outbid when Russia offered likely greater Gas subsidies. Indeed Yanukovich called the EU terms "stingy". Now it appears protests are breaking out again with the color revolution crowd to get the EU deal passed and the Russian deal axed.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Dec 1 2013 14:51 utc | 59

"This isn't a case of Russia bullying Ukraine, as the media are painting it."

It takes a lot of stupidity or courage to write this.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Dec 1 2013 15:51 utc | 60

@ neretva'43

How so? I don't get it (which probably puts me more on the stupidity column than the courage coloumn).

Also a good catch on the US ambassador to China's resignation, suspiciously soon after his comments that the US shouldn't take sides on Japan/China.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Dec 1 2013 16:20 utc | 61

I can't help thinking that the name Brown Moses is some kind of joke. It invites speculation (from me) on whom it is, precisely, that Brown Moses has been brown nosing? In Oz (and I suspect elsewhere) brown nosing means jettisoning one's self-esteem to beg for favours from people with more influence than oneself / eagerness to become a lackey.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 1 2013 16:59 utc | 62

"... there can be few illusions, among the leaders. They are obviously intent on selling out their countrymen and women for careers."

It's worse than that. The neoliberal coup in Europe is ushering in fascism-lite. Yes, careers are being made, but the disappearance of democracy in Europe leads inexorably to a totalitarian system of corporate finance capitalism. As Ellen Brown wrote over a year ago, the bankers' coup in Europe was deeper, and more complete than US, and was intended, perhaps from the beginning of the planning for the Euro, to bust labor, the social state, and limit any meaningful democracy.

Ukraine barely escaped.

Posted by: okie farmer | Dec 1 2013 17:18 utc | 63

The UK MSM tone has changed drastically since the US finally pushes for Geneva 2 and a deal with Iran

Posted by: Mina | Dec 1 2013 18:56 utc | 64

Posted by: okie farmer | Dec 1, 2013 12:18:20 PM | 63

'representative' democracy is a great system for the people to pass power thru their elected 'representative' govt to the corporations/lobbyists who have access

Posted by: brian | Dec 1 2013 20:39 utc | 65

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 1, 2013 11:59:52 AM | 62

brown moses the tune of Moses Supposes that

"Moses supposes his toeses are Roses,
But Moses supposes Erroneously,
Moses he knowses his toeses aren't roses,
As Moses supposes his toeses to be!
Moses supposes his toeses are Roses,
But Moses supposes Erroneously,
A mose is a mose!

Posted by: brian | Dec 1 2013 20:42 utc | 66

"This isn't a case of Russia bullying Ukraine, as the media are painting it."

It takes a lot of stupidity or courage to write this.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Dec 1, 2013 10:51:47 AM | 60

it takes even more to assert it when the bullying we see is by te colour keen to be the next Greece

Posted by: brian | Dec 1 2013 20:44 utc | 67

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Dec 1, 2013 9:51:24 AM | 59

this is usuallyu called : CORRUPTION... its usually asserted corruption is a feature of the third world when its epidemic in the 1st

Posted by: brian | Dec 1 2013 20:45 utc | 68

This is the latest on the power that is too cheap to meter, from The Guardian:

"The bill for cleaning up the huge Sellafield nuclear plant in Cumbria will rise even higher than its current estimated level of £70bn as operators struggle to assess the full scale of the task, according to sources close to the project.

"The warning comes just days before private sector managers face a grilling from the public accounts committee, which is investigating activities at the facility.

"It was hoped that the huge bill – eight times the cost of staging the London Olympics – would be capped at £70bn, but well-placed sources have told the Guardian that the operators are convinced they are still "not at the top" of the cost curve.

"Sellafield is regarded as the most dangerous and polluted industrial site in western Europe, not least because it houses 120 tonnes of plutonium, the largest civilian stockpile in the world.

"The cost of decommissioning the Calder Hall reactor plus a magnox fuel reprocessing plant at Sellafield has been rising steeply, but the biggest task comes from "ponds" and "silos" filled with old equipment and deteriorating, highly toxic waste..."

Posted by: bevin | Dec 1 2013 23:07 utc | 69

Hanford, Fukushima, Sellafield.........

Tic toc, tic toc, tic toc.......

Sooner or later, the chickens will come home to roost.

But what the fuck do our "leaders" care? Rich, arrogant, out of touch.....

Spend 5 minutes watching these despicable assholes in DC, Boehner, Biden, Santorum, Clinton, Paul....and you realize what deep shit this country is in, never mind the global community. Saw Feinstien this morning on CNN's "State of the Union", and she and some other DC piece of shit were busy telling John Q. Public that we are less safe than ever from those nasty Islamic boogie men that lurk under all our beds, so hey, lets let NSA do its thing.

Truth is, we are less safe because of the fact that these pieces of shit have long since abandoned the concept of "Representative Government", and huge emergencies like Fukushima or Hanford are ignored and hidden. We are less safe because corporations are allowed to poison us and our environment, with no actual people being held accountable. We are less safe because corporate wealth trumps actual science. We are less safe because we are a murderous imperialistic cancer on the global community, earning the hatred that these pieces of shit foster and nurture with their military adventures. We are less safe because the Fifth Estate is owned and operated by the very entities it should be monitoring and holding in check through exposing the truth, instead of fabricating "news" to justify policy.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Dec 2 2013 0:00 utc | 70

You nailed it, POA. We are in a world of trouble.

Posted by: Copeland | Dec 2 2013 0:12 utc | 71

You become more poetic and erudite with each post.

Posted by: okie farmer | Dec 2 2013 3:23 utc | 72

this is comical: does noone in office know the saying: no honor among thieves!? the germans trusted US regime., and are shocked to learn they are common thieves

the US steals everything, bars access to target nations money (called Theft anywhere else), so no surprise its allies/servants suffer the same ignominious fate

Posted by: brian | Dec 2 2013 12:11 utc | 73

Ever wonder why this country political system is in such a malaise ?

The Huffington Post reports the following about our esteemed Congress

" The 2014 calendar for the House, released in October by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), shows members will only work only 113 days. That's down from 2013, when House lawmakers were scheduled to meet for 126 days. Only 107 days were scheduled in 2012. "

These are the same guys that tell us that the working people have it too soft and that we should work harder. They do seem to have enough time to make sure they vote themselves their regular pay raises. Lest we forget, we the US taxpayer is paying their salaries

Posted by: curious | Dec 2 2013 15:47 utc | 74

New developments on the Ghouta fabricated evidence (no wonder Pilay has to come out with new accusations against Assad)

Posted by: Mina | Dec 2 2013 19:09 utc | 75

Armenia needs DIRECT Russian involvement, if only to balance out and eventually rid the country of its twenty year old Western poisons, infectious diseases such as American pop music, American film, religious cults, English language, Western propaganda, Democracy peddling, multiculturalism, multiracialism, atheism, individualism, substance abuse, Holocaust worship, consumerism and ultra-liberalism, to name only a few...

Amen is what i say, read rest of this fine article here

Posted by: hans | Dec 2 2013 20:25 utc | 76

I don't know if others had the chance to view a video featuring the
(alleged?, faked?, joking?) use of drones to deliver items ordered with super-high priority delivery from a certain anti-union internet
merchandiser named for a major South American river, but a rival firm has not missed the chance to one-up its larger competitor:


New rapid delivery system from ## Books

This Cyber Monday, ## Books is delighted to announce ORbit, its new direct-to-consumer delivery system. Just select any title from our range of progressive, off-beat books at and we will deliver it direct to your home within 30 seconds (Continental US only; one minute rest of world).

## Books

Where the future happens now!

Disclaimer: ## Book cannot accept responsibility for any collateral damage resulting from delivery of its products.

Somehow, as Good Soldier Schweik would put it, there must be a deeper meaning in all this, and, of course, to avoid a spam-like effect I have edited (with non alphanumeric symbols) the names of the firms involved.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Dec 2 2013 21:37 utc | 77

Here's a (valid) link for those wanting
more detail on the "innovation" mentioned above.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Dec 2 2013 21:47 utc | 78

"The 2014 calendar for the House, released in October by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), shows members will only work only 113 days"

Well, in my humble opinion, thats 113 days too many.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Dec 3 2013 0:42 utc | 79

A few links from today's Information Clearing House

You don't have to agree with this British right wing Daily's narrative of the Syrian situation to understand the significance of this sort of story seeing the light of day.

"Democratic" Japan's new secrecy law:

These protests against an Obama installed government will be all over the MSM. But just in case you didn't get to page 96:

Here's another from an EU monitor:

And this is about neo-liberalism in Mexico. Again, with tens of thousands involved and just over the US border my guess is that CNN and Fox will be carrying live updates. But in case you've been busy:

Posted by: bevin | Dec 3 2013 1:40 utc | 80

Thanks for the link to

It's amazing and disheartening to see how utterly corrupt the governments of the US/EU are, and how completely and securely they and their respective MSM are in the pockets of the TNCs.

Posted by: john francis lee | Dec 3 2013 6:51 utc | 81

Thanks to Bevin and others for useful links.
This item may be a useful supplement to Bevin's link regarding neo-liberalism in Mexico.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Dec 3 2013 9:01 utc | 82

That Mexico can be home to the world's richest man but only have the funds to investigate 5% of the countries homicides is certainly one of the crowning "achievements" of neoliberalism.

Posted by: guest77 | Dec 4 2013 0:23 utc | 83

bill mitchell:
The fiscal role of the KfW – Part 1
Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 by bill
This is the first part in what might be several blogs. I will see where my curiosity takes me. Today I want to invoke that well-known piece of inductive reasoning the – Duck Test. We all should know how that goes. But consider this reasoning. We have an institution that is 100 per cent government owned. It borrows millions and its liabilities are 100 per cent guaranteed by the federal government. It spends, I mean lends millions each year at very low rates to all manner of firms, organisations and even builds infrastructure. It also takes equity positions (provides capital) to a range of enterprises. It pays no tax having the same status as the central bank. It is not a duck but looks very much like a government fiscal entity. Welcome to the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (Reconstruction Credit Institute) or as it is now known the – KfW. This bank was created in 1948 as a German vehicle to faciliate the infrastructure rebuilding under the Marshall Plan. It has since grown (and diversified) into one of the largest banks in Germany (taken its main business units into account) and pumps millions of Euros in the domestic economy and the export sector (via IPEX, its 100 per cent owned subsidiary). It is a major reason why the public debt ratio in Germany is 80 per cent rather than close to 100 per cent. It is a major reason why the federal deficit has been reduced without scorching the German economy. It is a story about smoke-and-mirrors accounting, German-style.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by: c | Dec 4 2013 22:09 utc | 84

About the so-called Lambeth slaves and the Maoist cult, it is now clear that 1) they were not slaves; 2) the story has been instrumentalized by the UK authorities to deviate it towards "forced weddings" and what comes with it (...); 3) the delay between the escape of the women and the arrest of the cult leaders (one month) was probably meant to have the story all over the papers at the time the trial of the UK officer killed by two mad guys in a London street would start.

The UK newspapers do report on the story, but NOT BBC world on their front page.

These guys who spoke to the public in the street while still covered with the blood of the victim mentioned Syria and the Western double-standards. Same for the letters left by the guy who went on shooting rampage in a TV channel and a newspaper in Paris a month ago. But of course, newspapers are asked not to connect between these deranged guys and the Zawahiri latest calls. Instead we are told that "djihadists MIGHT cause a problem when they'll come back from Syria". Obviously, the absurd Western politics in the Middle East is already harvesting the poisoned fruits it has been planting everywhere.

Posted by: Mina | Dec 5 2013 14:19 utc | 85

Another take on Russell Brand:

Posted by: guest77 | Dec 6 2013 5:53 utc | 86

The comment section here is alas quite instructing

Posted by: Mina | Dec 6 2013 8:13 utc | 87

I love this comment, Mina, it's a real formulaic mini rant:

How can as Muslims accept a constitution that doesn't allow Muslims to form political parties based on Islam but allows political parties to be formed according to Communism, atheism, Homosexuality and satanism? Is this man a Muslim oe is he drunk?

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Dec 6 2013 17:13 utc | 88

Secularism is still a long way to go...

By the way, I can't find the link (it was on but Omodyar wrote something on the Paypal/Wikileaks story, defending himself convincingly I would say.

More on whistleblowers here

Posted by: Mina | Dec 6 2013 19:49 utc | 89

Employees of the US military contracting group Academi (formerly Xe, Blackwater USA and Blackwater Worldwide) are seen in new leaked video shooting their machine guns at random while driving through the streets of Baghdad, crashing into other cars and even running over a pedestrian without hesitation. Academi received a $250 million contract by the Obama administration to provide military services in Afghanistan. If a government wanted to hire these guns, would it want to get blanket immunity for them from the host nation and would the host nation be sane enough to grant it?

Posted by: brian | Dec 6 2013 23:50 utc | 90

The US has well and truly snookered itself in Afghanistan with its moronic Base & Bunker mentality and is stuck. It only wants a SOFA to draw a veil of legality over the process of shooting its way out which, until they issue a grovelling apology for the murder and mayhem they unleashed, is their only option. Unluckily for them Karzai, isn't buying the bullshit and has given the Resistance several more months to re-organise, improve and fine-tune its ambush techniques.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 7 2013 1:29 utc | 91

Mina: Omidyar defense here in HuffPost, Dec 3, but I don't think much of his argument. It revolves around concepts of democracy and free media which are completely ideological, ie the democracy and media freedom he takes as a ground from which to criticise Anonymous is ideological, it does not exist and never has done, it is just a rhetoric to be used by the powerful to obscure their own power. I do not support Anonymous, because it does not have a coherent political program, it just sprawls around hardly doing more than provoke futile DDoS attacks which achieve nothing. Like Occupy, it is a 'protest' mentality, and there is no sense in 'protesting' unless you still believe that the power structure is open to dissuasion from its goals. But Omidyar's critique of it is not made from my perspective, obviously. You mention '', by which I assume you mean, which is just an aggregator for The only interview with Omidyar I could find on it is a NYT one, from Oct 20. It isn't really of much interest.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Dec 7 2013 8:42 utc | 92

Sarah Harrison of Wikileaks definitely not impressed by Omidyar's rationalisations: Graun.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Dec 7 2013 9:55 utc | 93

Wow....check out these photographs of a volcanic island rising out of the sea.....

Etna recently mouthed off, as did another volcanoe, can't seem to recall where..

I was in North Idaho when St.Helens blew, and will never forget the awesome cloud of ash it sent our way. To this day if you fall a tree of any size while logging, you still get a puff of ash dust when it hits the ground.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Dec 9 2013 0:13 utc | 95

I stumbled on this interview. It is a very different narrative about Iraq, and I find it very interesting.

Perhaps people will disagree with parts of it but I think it is a very interesting and largely ignored narrative:

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Dec 11 2013 22:01 utc | 96

96) thanks.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 11 2013 22:39 utc | 97

96) I think it is worth looking at how the Ottomans ran their empire into the Early 20th century - and what British and French colonialists continued - and the US inherited

Forced population transfer in Ottoman imperial strategy

Sur les manipulations de la population en Algérie :
un bref survol historique

A Alger, par exemple, les ottomans distinguaient 2 groupes de personnes : les baldis (gens de la ville) et les berranis( étrangers dans la ville , venant de l'intérieur du pays) ;ces derniers étaient ,ensuite, groupés en corporations étanches et cadenassées pour mieux les manipuler, les contrôler, les surveiller et les exploiter : gens de Jijel, Biskris ,Kabyles , Laghouatis, Mozabites… Chaque corporation avait son chef particulier ,appelé Amin, nommé par le Bey et devait exercer activité bien précise .A l'intérieur du pays , les populations étaient segmentées en 2 types de tribus distinctes

-tribus rayât c'est - à -dire des sujets donc la majorité des habitants, taillables et corvéables à souhait

-tribus ahl el makhzen (ou gens du " gouvernement ") qui représentaient une minorité agissant comme des exploiteurs vivant aux dépens des autres , chargées de mener des razzia et de la rentrée des impôts les armes à la main .Ces razzia en terre étaient l'exacte réplique des actes de piraterie en mer .Comme quoi ,la politique extérieure est le miroir de la politique intérieure.
Dans le parler populaire d'alors , cette division se traduisait par le mot de " mangeurs et mangés ".Cette organisation féodale et criminelle, inconnue jusqu'alors dans notre pays , entre exploiteurs (minorité)et exploités ( la majorité écrasante) des populations algériennes représente la seule " structure politique " ,si tant est que cela ait un sens ,de la politique des deys en Algérie ; cette tyrannie , longue de 3 siècles ,a laissé de profondes traces dans la conscience collective et continue d'avoir des effets jusqu'à nos jours .Le personnel d'exécution de cette tyrannie féodale était représenté par le kaïd,le cadi, le bachaga , l'agha ,le spahi, le mekhazni, le janissaire …Toute cette faune de parasites vénéneux achetaient leurs " fonctions " au prix fort et se récupéraient et s'enrichissaient ,ensuite, sur le dos des malheureux habitants par la terreur ,le meurtre et une multitude d'impôts. Les Beys ,c'est- à- dire l'autorité suprême , étaient " élus " ou désignés par les chefs miliciens et beaucoup d'entre eux furent assassinés. Parmi les moyens de cette " gouvernance " figuraient aussi le refoulement ,la dépossession des terres (pratiqués à grande échelle dans la Kabylie , l'Oranie et le Constantinois en particulier) et l'attribution de ces terres à des tribus clientes déplacées ,appelées zemalas et douairs(pluriel de douars)pour former le makhzen et générant ,par la même , la division et la haine entre les habitants du même pays .C'est dans ce but ,par exemple, que furent construits des bordjs (ex Sour -el-Ghozlan, Bordj- menail pour isoler la Kabylie de la plaine des Issers, Bordj-Boghni, Bordj bou- Arreridj….) ou forteresses servant d'abri aux janissaires chargés de surveiller les tribus récalcitrantes à cette domination et servant aussi comme base de départ de razzias meurtrières exécutées par des makhzen transplantés et manipulés .

Posted by: somebody | Dec 12 2013 9:56 utc | 98

"December 12, 2013 — (TRN ) — Crew members in their mid-20′s from the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan are coming down with all sorts of radiation-related illnesses after being deployed less than 3 years ago to assist with earthquake rescue operations off the coast of Japan in 2011. It looks as though the onboard desalinization systems that take salt out of seawater to make it drinkable, were taking-in radioactive water from the ocean for the crew to drink, cook with and bath-in, before anyone realized there was a massive radiation spill into the ocean"

The highly reputable Japanese newspaper, Asahi Shimbun, published a revealing story today about the initial attempts to keep the four Fukushima nuclear reactors from going into full core meltdown. Fire trucks were used in a crude attempt to douse the reactors with water. The water wasn’t fully controlled, and it flowed through “leakage routes” and eventually, into the ocean. TEPCO Managing Executive Officer Takafumi Anegawa was reported to have said, “We should have shared the finding with the public in the belief it would help promote universal safety, but failed to do so.” ....">">

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Dec 15 2013 22:49 utc | 99

Apologies if this NSA-Santa Claus link has been posted elsewhere here at MOA, or seems inappropriate. One might note that it's been clicked on more than 750,000 times already.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Dec 16 2013 10:05 utc | 100

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