Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 23, 2015

Open Thread 2015-22

News & views ...

Posted by b on May 23, 2015 at 9:08 UTC | Permalink

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Thought this was timely. One for Schauble and one for Merkel, and perhaps Greece could be saved.

Posted by: mrd | May 23 2015 10:05 utc | 1

The plan of the global financial mafia for Greece confirmed

Posted by: nmb | May 23 2015 10:15 utc | 2

An excellent article in Salon on John Kerry going to meet Lavrov and Putin at Sochi and having to admit US failure in the Ukraine. "The Americans were excluded from Minsk—point blank, so far as one can make out. And I love the Times sentence on this in Monday’s paper: “Russia, Germany and France previously made it clear that they did not necessarily welcome the Americans at the negotiating table…” It reminds me of Hirohito announcing the surrender on Japanese radio: “The war has not necessarily proceeded to our advantage.”

Posted by: harry law | May 23 2015 11:15 utc | 3

Either outcome ... knuckling under to the Germans on the one hand or defaulting and leaving the EUzone on the other ... is going to be very tough for the Greeks to have to face. But the default and Grexit hold out the possibility of an independent, Greek future.
Knuckling under to the Germans was something the last generation of Greeks chose to fight and die to prevent.

I'd be in favor of a future for the Greece secured for me by the last generation, if I were Greek. Easy for me to say.

Posted by: jfl | May 23 2015 11:41 utc | 4

I believe the Sochi meeting occurred because of the price of oil. The US has realized that with Petrodollars being repatriated to the Middle East and the fracking companies going bankrupt due to their inability to pay the interest on their junk bonds, the US economy was going to go into a nosedive and the "too big to fail" banks holding fracking company paper would be looking for a government bailout repeat in a Tea Party environment. The question then becomes which part of the "Deep State Blob" would be dominant, i.e., who really rules the roost? A question the Deep State Blob does not want a public answer to.

Posted by: Albertde | May 23 2015 13:19 utc | 5

Pathetic eurovision competition tonight will the hbtq crowd boo Ivan again?

Posted by: clicc | May 23 2015 13:35 utc | 6

Despite the negative headline, "Finance Minister Fit for a Greek Tragedy?" -- which is a long article that appears in this weekend's The New York Times Magazine --it is actually a complimentary piece on Varoufakis and Syriza in general. The reader comes away with a very clear statement from Varoufakis: He will not cut pensions as the troika demands; if at the end of the day that is the "take it or leave it deal" on the table he will walk away.

What I can't understand is the huge number of negative reader comments directed at Syriza. Insane stuff like Syriza has destroyed Greece in the last four months. There a lot of zombies out there, the neoliberal walking dead.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | May 23 2015 13:51 utc | 7

@3 and @5

Lots of false hope about Sochi.

If there had really been serious discussion about a rapproachment in the weeks before Sochi then the West would not have snubbed Russia so completely refusing to join in the Victory Day celebrations.

Also, whether the US was "excluded" from Minsk2 is best surmised from the purpose of Minsk2 and what followed. The US puppet regime got beat badly (again). They needed a halt in hostilities to regroup. Enter Merkel and Hollande with a "European plan" for peace which played on Putin's hopes of creating a wedge between the US and Europe. But Merkel's follow-thru was lackluster.

And, did ANYONE expect that the US would publicly say anything other than “we support peace in Ukraine?” Newsflash: we support peace in the middle east too. And motherhood and apple pie.

As for the substance of the meeting, I think the US wants two things: Russian gas flowing thru Ukraine and to nix the delivery of S-300/S-400 to Iran. The former is a financial lifeline for Ukraine, the later is because neocons (and the corrupt regimes that love them) want to maintain the option of destroying Iran's nuclear facilities. Q: What was offered in return? (end of sanctions?)

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 23 2015 14:23 utc | 8

Sign here: Private people should not be allowed to build monuments on nationally meaningful ground according to their own bad readings of history and their twisted ideological bent. Not without what would have to be a much more vast memorial to the many many times more victims of capitalism and fascism dwarfing it.

Move the Memorial to the Victims of Communism to a different location, or cancel the project entirely.

The National Capital Commission approved a request to release a 5000 square meter plot of land located between the Supreme Court and Library Archives Canada to the private charity, A Tribute to Liberty, for the purpose of constructing a monument called Memorial to the Victims of Communism. The location is absolutely inappropriate, and the NCC’s recommendations have not been followed. The land which has been given to A Tribute to Liberty is part of Canada's Judicial Precinct and, as such, is land that belongs to all Canadians. Further, that land has been clearly designated by the Government of Canada as the future site of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Judicial Building, a building that would complete the judicial triad, in balance to the Parliamentary triad. Placing this memorial, which essentially demonizes (either rightly or wrongly) a particular socioeconomic system, next to the Supreme Court of Canada undermines the very foundation of that institution, which is its independence and impartiality, and, as a result, erodes our own democracy.

Posted by: guest77 | May 23 2015 14:58 utc | 9

@5 interesting and valid analysis, I think. Thanks.

Posted by: guest77 | May 23 2015 15:01 utc | 10

"We are the White Rose"

Daniel Sheehan speaking at the UCSC Bioneers conference, May 3rd 2015 about the need for a Constitution Protection Zone in Santa Cruz CA.

2015: The Trajectory of Justice
Daniel Sheehan teaching at University of California – Santa Cruz Spring 2015

Posted by: guest77 | May 23 2015 15:07 utc | 11

Any discussion of the living dead has to include the corpse of the Ukraine. The NAZombIeS in charge continue to suck the lifeblood out of Banderastan. Aleksandr Rodzhers offers A Few Thoughts About Tomorrow.

In order to avert a default and hryvnia collapse, Ukraine somehow has to obtain $40 billion in order to maintain the convertibility of the current hryvnia supply and another $40 to pay its debts... [The] de-facto insolvent entities include Ukraine’s Pension Fund, Ukrainian Railroads, the city of Kiev, Oshchadbank, Ukrainian Export-Import Bank, and so forth.

In order to avoid boring you with calculations, I’ll sum up by saying that Ukrainian economy’s stabilization requires something on order of $180-200 billion. That’s just to keep the economy afloat in its current state. No way would it be sufficient to promote growth....

The country is in default, there are millions of unemployed, while those still working receive miserly wages (I won’t even mention the retirees, once there’s a default they’ll get nothing at all). Officially the crime rate grew by a factor of 6-8. The banking system is collapsing. Production is collapsing and export is dropping by a factor of 2-3. Ukraine imports 42% of its food and moreover the planting season is an outright failure, which implies the threat of starvation....

He goes on to note that insolvency will threaten the purchase of fuel supplies and threaten the movement of goods, further aggravating the economic slide. The junta, instead of fixing these severe difficulties, is "babbling about the visa-free regime, joining the EU... and are preparing to launch another round of fighting on the Donbass."

Think about it hard. You have children who need a future. A future not in an impoverished “not-quite-Third-Reich” which forbids you to think and forcing everyone to wear embroidered shirts, jump, and write assignments on the topic of “how I hate the Moskals”....

Think about it very hard. Do you want your family to live in a country where “heroes” can beat, kidnap, torture, and kill anyone they consider “insufficiently patriotic”?... Do you want to live in a country where more than half the population wants to leave forever (all the while waving yellow-blue rags?). And, finally, do you want to live the greater part of your lives in poverty so that a bunch of fat scumbags could tell you how to correctly love the Motherland?

Ukraine is gone.... One should not revive a corpse, it will only be a parasite consuming its Soviet inheritance, incapable of creating anything new. It’s time to create something new, on a new foundation.

He sees three possible futures. "A real revolution... with a complete break with the past and “rebranding” the state in another form, with a revamped Constitution..." Or, the secession of other regions, leaving on the rump of Kiev. And finally, "await the default.... [with] 15-20 years of poverty are guaranteed." He sees the second as the best option. "In any event, as long as Ukraine is being governed by complete failures and criminals of the puppet occupation administration under full control of the US, nothing will change."

But let's not forget our own Congress of the Living Dead. In an ironically fitting metaphor on how the TPP can't stand the light of day, the Senior Corpses of the Upper Chamber apparently passed the Fast Track to Hell legislation last night. It now moves on to the House of Zombies and then to the Zombie-in-Chief.

It's the leaders who are the zombies, bound to the vampires of finance. A few semi-sentient Zombie Masters seem aware we Cogs are More Human than Human. Love that slide gee-tar!

Posted by: rufus magister | May 23 2015 15:46 utc | 12

Yemen Redraws Middle East Alliances
This small country tucked into the bottom of the Arabian Peninsula is shattering old alliances and spurring new and surprising ones.

Posted by: Virgile | May 23 2015 16:28 utc | 14

Harry Law #3. That is correct, Kerry's comments in Sochi are very significant. It does appear that the US is backing down from it's foolish policy in Ukraine. Not just that but it was accompanied by Kerry's warning to Poroshenko to forget about trying to retake the Donetsk airport. This has to be a major slap down considering that Kerry made the statement in Russia after meeting with Putin and Lavrov. Ukraine simply cannot continue the civil war without the support of either the EU or the US. This was one of those totally unexpected changes that it has left nearly all analysts in the West mostly speechless and the many of voices sympathetic to Russia unable to accept what happened there. The Saker is an exception to this since he immediately called this out a major retreat by the US. Stephan Cohen also seems to understand it's significance.

This makes it look like there will be a peaceful resolution to the Ukraine crisis. This is not to say the resolution will be orderly for the Ukrainians will have to find a way to defang the neo-Nazi forces unleashed by the Maidan. I suspect Obama himself will have very little to say until the Iranian negotiations are completed. He certainly should not want to stir up the neocons any more than they are now. All in all there is much to optimistic about.

Posted by: ToivoS | May 23 2015 16:33 utc | 15

Re: SyrianPerspective - I don't want to say it's incorrect, but the writing style of blogger resembles that of the iron shiek. It's hard to take his claims seriously

Posted by: DamascusFalling | May 23 2015 17:05 utc | 16

Alexey Mozgovoy was just killed today in DNR. This is second independent field commander (after "Batman") murdered recently. Demolition of the failed Novorossiya project continues.

Posted by: Dener | May 23 2015 18:12 utc | 17

Anybody keeping up to date on MH370? Had a friend that has been trying to rap his mind around all the conflicting info and phoned me to ask what I knew. It has been off my radar for quite some time but his inquiry rekindled my interest.

Posted by: juannie | May 23 2015 18:56 utc | 18


The last I had heard was, from a link here I think (jfl?), was the theory that the disgruntled pilot flew to a remote pacific area with very deep trenches and executed a perfect water landing, leaving no debris to be spotted, so the plane sunk intact into depths unreachable by modern underwater equipment to be lost forever, well at least into the foreseeable future.

Posted by: juannie | May 23 2015 19:05 utc | 19

A criticism of the British NGO "Iraq Body Count", an organization that puts out an extremely low count of the deaths related to the US-UK invasion of Iraq.

Posted by: guest77 | May 23 2015 19:22 utc | 20

@19 and then what? Locked himself in the cabin? The minute food ran low, he'd be first choice for the airplane microwave I think...

Posted by: guest77 | May 23 2015 19:24 utc | 21

And by "food" of course, I mean "peanuts and mini-cans of diet pepsi".

Posted by: guest77 | May 23 2015 19:27 utc | 22

@8 jackrabbit.. i agree your viewpoint re the comments @3, 5 and additionally @15..

Posted by: james | May 23 2015 19:40 utc | 23

Sadly, Russia Insider confirms the very bad news at 17. From their report:

Of all the rebel leaders, Mozgovoy knew what this war was really about: The gladiator ring; the rich vs. the poor. Until the very end, he advocated for reconciliation between West and East Ukrainians — and putting the oligarchs who ruined their country up against a wall.

May he rest in peace.

I hope this is not Novorossiya's Luxemburg/Liebknecht moment, where the proto-fascist Freikorps removed the most capable of the German proletariat's leaders. Let's hope its more a Benigno Acquino moment, where the Marcos' assassination of their strongest critic lead to their downfall. And that the murderers have sowed dragons teeth among Mozgovoy's lieutenants stepping forward to finish the fight.

An aside to MRW & en1c -- I don't think I'll have much time to play in the tar sands sand box for a bit. Too bad, I was having a grand time.

Posted by: rufus magister | May 23 2015 20:00 utc | 24


Since you're blaming me for the fairytale, I have to say that I tentatively concluded that it was due to some sort of 'bug' in Boeing's aircraft and that the whole affair was hushed up for that reason. I don't remember exactly the proposed scenario now, but it envolved some sort of setting to the plane's brain that could only be made on the ground which resulted in the loss of cabin pressure and the captain/cocaptain flipping a switch to autopilot as he passed out that resulted in the plane reversing coursing and flying on 'til its fuel was exhausted. The 'rescue' parties were then misdirected to the plane's supposed crash site to keep it hidden from discovery until the real site of its demise was 'secured'. I'm sure the plane was located, photographed, perhaps its 'black boxes' retrieved by the USN for Boeing.

This 'Boeing Bug' scenario is not listed among those 'unoffocial' theories as officially extant by wikipedia.

Posted by: jfl | May 23 2015 20:03 utc | 25

Mozgovoi was always a target, being a communist sympathizer as well as being one of the top commanders.. I hope they find who did it, but as it was an ambush, it could be anybody's guess.

Posted by: DamascusFalling | May 23 2015 20:08 utc | 26

juannie at 19 -- On a completely different topic, I think I recall an earlier post where you noted your new feline arrival. How's the little guy/gal doing? Of our three, two are having a big napping throwdown now, the third is out prowling his domain.

Posted by: rufus magister | May 23 2015 20:12 utc | 27

The Ukrainians are blaming the Russians, Mozgovoy would not take their orders, they say. See this report, mentioning Rada member and Interior Ministry advisorAnton Gerashchenko. Bing Translate does an adequate job.

Personally, I would guess that it was the Banderaists. I seem to recall various Banderaist figures as saying, in the aftermath of Minsk, that black ops were a way to go. I cannot immediately find confirmation straight from the horse, but I did find this item from last month at Strategic Culture. Novorossiyan officials believe a 300 man unit was training in Lvov for deployment in Lugansk.

Posted by: rufus magister | May 23 2015 20:37 utc | 28

Ukraine. Following on from Dener at 17 and others,

Mozgovoy killed (if true): report:

Russia insider

His last piece trans. to Eng. at Slavyangrad (May 6, 2015)

In this war there will be no victory. Worthwhile read.

Posted by: Noirette | May 23 2015 21:46 utc | 29


Thanks. I find the hopefulness of others strange. This was not rapprochement that pulls Russia back into the Western orbit, it was sounding out Putin on a deal. It takes quite a lot of exceptional! thinking (available in spades at US State Dept) to believe that Russia will forgive and forget.

In addition to the carrot (end of sanctions) there is a likely to be a stick or two (probably implied), like the loss of Syria, spread of ISIS, more conflict in Ukraine, etc. US could get tougher with ISIS - or not (US has already begun training 'moderate' rebels).

All in all, such a 'deal' would mean Putin's disadvantaging allies and strengthening adversaries. I don't see that happening. IMO events have moved too far along for that. So what is likely is that the (sh!t)hole gets dug deeper.


OTOH, I could be wrong. The US might have had a big change of heart and is ready to embrace the bear. Because Obama. His legacy! His legacy!

But I am skeptical. Hopeful talk that paints Obama the consummate deceiver as a man of peace is dangerous. Warmongers TALK about peace but they never actually make a lasting peace.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 23 2015 21:52 utc | 30

How Russian Industry is Coping with the Crisis

Keep in mind that the main thing our government is doing is organize access to rubles. The US closed our major enterprises' access to dollar credits, and it will pay for it by losing the Russian financial market. Credits will now be issued in rubles, with all the massive benefits to our country that the switch entails. It seems that Washington expected our economy will be "torn to shreds" before de-dollarization progresses too far:Дедолларизация

But now it is wholly apparent that Uncle Sam was slightly naive.

As usual, the neo-con brain trust's lack of a long term prognosis of the effects of its quick fixes results in unintended consequences - which often (always?) are the opposite of their intentions. The split between the ideological clique and the financial clique is responsible for whipsaw effects like 'John Kerry Admits Defeat on Ukraine'.

I imagine that as times get tougher the neo-cons will be the first to go, followed by the military - once the revenue stream there has been completely diverted to drones, to the NSA, and to 'security' from 'internal' enemies.

Posted by: jfl | May 23 2015 22:16 utc | 31

Oh I thin MH-370 has a much simpler explanation. It was carrying a large cargo of lithium batteries, which went on fire, depressurised the plane knocking out the crew and passengers very quickly, caused various systems damage knocking out things like the transponder (etc). The plane then flew on with a dead crew and passengers until it ran out of fuel.

There is a precendent for this sort of thing, with the Gulfstream jet a few years ago suffering a similar fate over the US.

The whole thing got abscured by a lot of ass covering by various militaries, trying to explain away why their expensive radar systems didn't pick up anything, probably because everyone was asleep or it was unmaintained, nobody knew how to turn it on, or some such incompetent thing. So they lied their teeth off to cover up their incompetence.

Posted by: Lisa | May 23 2015 22:37 utc | 32

@17 - Whats the evidence for blaming this on Russia or others in East Ukraine? Anyone who knows the history of the Phoenix Program knows that these kinds of killings inside enemy territory are the CIA's stock and trade. Not that we can say that occurred either. But is there any evidence as for who did what at this point? Speculation seems a little dangerous in such circumstances.

Posted by: guest77 | May 23 2015 22:42 utc | 33

US tracking has peaked since drilling activity is collapsing, and I $I $ success in Iraq and Syria has reduced Iraq (and Libya) oil production, North Sea continues to decline and Russia and Iran production is shut in by Zio-style Long Talks, so all is right is the US/UK/Sunning Axis of power. Greece will default and EUROPE get bailed out by Draghi;, Ukraine will default and I FEEL get bailed out by Kerry; TPP will go through, with 40,000,000 Blue Visa second-Clas servant class and unlimited H-1st Hindu technobots, yes, all is right in the world for Petroshska and Gladtoast.

Posted by: Chipnik | May 23 2015 22:57 utc | 34


It would not be hard at all to recreate in simulation this theory to see what the autopilot would do, both mh370 and mh17 turned back, but neither turned back to either their last way-point or their point of origin, ... so I call bs on that line. Both Airbus and Boeing have had Uninterruptable Remote Autopilot systems since the 911 event, and a Rothschild is majority owner of the airline, as well as its insurance company. Also we know Israel covertly bought one of these planes, no doubt to reverse engineer the control systems. But that view and this statement is a felony in Europe, like stating the Kiev government are dual-citizen Israeli, as are Kerry and Nuland.. It doesn't add to viewer suspense over the next episode, and just makes government moral turpitude more obvious, so we'll go with your aww shucks Act of Gawd Scene 3.

Posted by: Chipnik | May 23 2015 23:16 utc | 35

A great hero fighting against Ukrainian Neo Naziwaskilled today


Posted by: Anunnaki | May 23 2015 23:17 utc | 36

Chipnik -- welcome back!

Posted by: rufus magister | May 23 2015 23:21 utc | 37

First off, I have no real ideas or theories that I adhere to. It's an interesting and perplexing mystery to me. I do sense a huge amount of deceit in officialdom. So what else is knew in that dept.?

guest77 #21
As I recall when I read that theory (can't find the story or reference right now. I was hoping someone would recall it and point to it again.) the captain was supposed to have locked the cockpit door, killed his copilot, donned his oxygen mask and depressurized the cabin killing all on board except himself. Like I say, I'm making no claims only looking for answers that probably don't and will never exist. I don't like this theory much but when I originally red it, some or most of it seemed plausible.

jfl #25
I wasn't pinning the story on you. As I said I think I remember the link from MoA and was asking if it was you indicated by the "?" after your name. I check out a fair number of your links so I thought it could be you. My apology if I was presumptuous. Thanks for running the "Boeing 'bug'" idea. It is interesting that it is not listed as one of the 'unofficial' theories. Any link to that theory?

rufus magister #27

Yeah, KiKi. A delight but also a pain. He's very active and a talented acrobat. He does tricks we've never seen a cat do before. He loves water and tries to get in the sink with me when I brush my teeth. He loves to torment our German Shepard and get a chase going on throughout our down stairs. He is often underfoot which makes negotiating our stairs difficult at times. Right now he's napping stretched out (very long) in front of the fireplace. It's been cold here and I got the wood stove going tonight. One of his favorite places to nap. Mice haven't been a problem since shortly after he arrived. My wife keeps him in because she loves song birds more than cats. Actually, I do also.

Lisa #32,

But why no wreckage found? jfl's idea that search crews were diverted to cover up for Boeing wouldn't have been apropos in your scenario. Unless jfl's theory for the diversion until the wreckage was 'secured' , the only plausible theory I've read is that the pilot made a successful water landing, which a skilled pilot could do and in fact did accomplish in the incident in the East River NYC.

Thanks all for your contributions. I guess there's not likely much or any new info on it. I'll chalk it up to another unsolved mystery for the time being and relate that to my friend who just brought it up to me.

Posted by: juannie | May 23 2015 23:49 utc | 38

Chipnik #35

Didn't see you contribution until after I posted. Thanks for jumping in and I second rufus' #37

Posted by: juannie | May 23 2015 23:56 utc | 39

juannie at 38

Underfoot, loves the chase, a sybarite -- sounds like a cat!

Morse, aka "The Black Blur," loves chasing both Pooka, "the Duke" and Eliza, "the Princess," and they return the favor. Pooka took care of not only the mice but the moles too. We lack a fireplace, but the space heater and radiator are always popular. Morse is also fascinated by water, though I think KiKi has him beat. We tried keeping Pooka in, but he's too insistent, whiny, and sneaky. And my super-softy sis-in-law let him out early on (she run's a greyhound rescue).

"A delight but a pain." Life with our feline friends!

Like yourself, I have no real idea what happened with MH370. But I think Lisa at 32 is right in saying a no. of military and aviation authorities are covering up their failures. Why didn't someone scramble a recon flight as soon as it turned course?

Posted by: rufus magister | May 24 2015 2:23 utc | 40

Secret Pentagon report reveals West saw ISIS as strategic asset.

A declassified secret US government document obtained by the conservative public interest law firm, Judicial Watch, shows that Western governments deliberately allied with al-Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups to topple Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad.

The document reveals that in coordination with the Gulf states and Turkey, the West intentionally sponsored violent Islamist groups to destabilize Assad, despite anticipating that doing so could lead to the emergence of an ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

According to the newly declassified US document, the Pentagon foresaw the likely rise of the ‘Islamic State’ as a direct consequence of the strategy, but described this outcome as a strategic opportunity to “isolate the Syrian regime.”

Posted by: Nana2007 | May 24 2015 3:14 utc | 41

jackrabbit said: If there had really been serious discussion about a rapproachment in the weeks before Sochi then the West would not have snubbed Russia so completely refusing to join in the Victory Day celebrations

The decision to snub Russia on their May 9th celebration was made many months earlier. It was coordinated with the EU nations. If, at the last minute, the US decided to send some high level officials it would have seriously pissed off many EU nations that had agreed to the US plan. If some rational forces inside the US had begun to realize that their policies with respect to Ukraine were a mistake it would have to be shown by some less public means. The meetings in Sochi provided such an opportunity. What Kerry did is exactly that. His statements in Sochi were repeated by Victory Nuland in Moscow a few days later. These are statements that would not embarrass the EU nations (though some of them may be beginning to regret having agreed with the US in the first place to snub Russia). What happened in Sochi is highly significant. Though the Kerry's words have not really entered into the western MSN a strong diplomatic message has been sent. At this point it seems extremely unlikely that the EU will continue to support sanctions against Russia. We will see in coming months if that prediction is correct.

In any case your analysis is flawed. I happen to believe that the Ukraine's efforts to conquer the Donbass are done. If the Ukrainian civil war continues it will be fought in Central Ukraine as the government attempts to purge the Maidan forces.

Posted by: ToivoS | May 24 2015 3:47 utc | 42

@41 - I saw "Gulf states and Turkey" as "Gulf of Tonkin". Funny that.

Posted by: guest77 | May 24 2015 4:41 utc | 43

"I happen to believe that the Ukraine's efforts to conquer the Donbass are done."

That may be - its hard to say. But their war with Russia is only beginning. Unless the Maidan regime collapses (a definite possibility) then we have years of watching them do everything possible to hurt Russia's interests in Russia's most historically important region. It's going to be ugly. The US will use Ukraine to its own advantage in every sphere (economic, military, social, historical) - no matter what negative consequences that holds for the Ukrainian people, of course. And it means a great deal.

Ukraine is the new Poland ca. 2003. The "New" (obedient) Europe.

Posted by: guest77 | May 24 2015 5:00 utc | 44

A Google News search for "Judicial Watch" or "Defense Intelligence Agency" shows that NO mainstream media sources have picked up that story. The few that do, some right wing rags, reference it only in terms of their political interest in Benghazi.

Simply amazing. The US "free press" is as tightly controlled as the Soviet press ever was. What could be a more important story for government accountability that this? These documents are smoking gun material as I have stated before.

All these years after the lessons of Iraq War media fiasco, things have gotten markedly worse under Obama. There is no dissent at all. The days when the press regulated itself are over. Any reporters with independence have, by now, been purged. After the episode we just witnessed with Hersh - watching a dean of US investigative journalism be vilified, squashed, and relegated to the English press over a story that dared to differ from the conventional wisdom - can we now declare the death of the free press?

Amazing how Obama has changed this country. At least when Bush was in power, he was being watched aggressively. He won many of his battles, certainly. He caused a lot of damage. But at least he had to fight battles. President Obama appears to be given a completely free pass on his foreign policy - possibly because it is the Republican's foreign policy being implemented by a Democratic President.

Posted by: guest77 | May 24 2015 5:13 utc | 45

@harry law@3

“The war has not necessarily proceeded to our advantage.”

Right on, pal.

Analytic historical memory makes for sharp historical analogies; the only change is from "war" to "wars." Hard to believe the US/NATOstan/Zionazis strategic plans and goals were for Libya to go FUBAR to a point of no return, for IS to extend beyond Syraq, or for Ukraine to go down the toilet in a wacko state. Or was it? Can the bastards be so evil they planned to be selling weapons forever to the by-products of their Divide & Rule? We know their strategic plans for Muslim/Arab countries on the periphery of Israel was to downgrade them to failed states, to weaken them forever by any means necessary, be that economic hit men, regime change, sanctions, war or a combo, not precisely in that order, but look at what the economic hit men did to Ukraine one year AFTER Maidan.

Ex-PM: Ukraine's default is a culmination of a plan

Ukraine: the game is over

How banksters are strangling the Kiev regime

A Few Thoughts About Tomorrow

Or was it part of the US hidden strategy, Deep State level, to keep Eurostan busy with thousands of refugees coming from across the pond, and dying wholesale crushed against the rocky shores of their ill-intended Euro-dream? Was that contemplated at the time they decided to bomb an old man, mostly dedicated to the hot pursuit of young Ukrainian girls, with so little time for anything else? Was the expansion of IS to the Maghreb, SE Asia, Africa and beyond foreseen at the time they were conceiving the concoction, 1) Wahhabi fundamentalism (that's nothing to do with Islam); 2) Sunni sectarianism (idem, nothing to do with Islam), and 3) Messianic archaic revival, for the creation of their Uruk-hai? All of those burning questions come to mind when going plural on “wars,” after decades of observing US/NATOstan/Zionazis interventions. Does the US consider the current state of Libya, Iraq, Syria, Ukraine an astounding victory? Is that the state of affairs they want as a result of ALL their interventions? Is this murky world of weapons traffic, human traffic, drug smuggling, organized crime, slavery, a lawless world the end-result planned and sought from the beginning? Is that the Deep State/neocons/transatlantic ruling classes plan for the future of humanity in the periphery of the empire and its minions? If that’s the case, then we concede, and the wars proceeded to their advantage. Still, it is hard to believe the US/NATOstan/Zionazis true intentions are the creation of carcass nations and failed states. We tend to believe their “mission civilisatrice” on “democracy and freedom” via neo-Nazis, Wahhabis and Saddam’s goons has gone utterly wrong and didn't proceed to their advantage. No way in the world they can call the catastrophic results of their interventions “victories,” because if they were, we have truly reached the end of history.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | May 24 2015 6:36 utc | 46

guest77 #44 But their war with Russia is only beginning.

That could be true but I think it began immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In Ukraine we have seen Russia respond in a significant manner. What has happened in the last year is that US aggression against Russia has resulted in an acceleration of cooperation between Russia and China. I think this is motivating Obama and Kerry to defuse the Ukraine crisis. Last week the US flew military aircraft over Chinese facilities in the Sprately Islands. This is another provocative action by the US. Recall that the pivot to Asia strategy was directed against China. It seemed totally insane at the time for the US to provoke Russia in Ukraine if we were focused on pivoting to Asia.

And I haven't even mentioned the mideast and US's efforts to defuse tensions with Iran, figure out how to respond to ISIS in Iraq, manage Yemen not to mention Syria. US foreign policy has been lurching from one crises to another without any coherent overview. I think Russia will succeed with their policy towards Ukraine because it does appear that the US is finally beginning to realize that they are not powerful enough to take a confrontational position against all of these nations. Ukraine is just not important enough.

Posted by: ToivoS | May 24 2015 6:49 utc | 47

What is this eurovision deal? Some kind of inane nightmare?

Posted by: urk quell | May 24 2015 7:53 utc | 48

daesh in Syria and Iraq = more than 40,000 fighters from more than 100 countries
according to

and much more to read here,

Posted by: Mina | May 24 2015 11:46 utc | 49

ToivoS @47

What has happened in the last year is that US aggression against Russia has resulted in an acceleration of cooperation between Russia and China. I think this is motivating Obama and Kerry to defuse the Ukraine crisis.
This is an excuse, not a reason. It's extremely unlikely that Russia-China relations will be reversed at this point.

US foreign policy has been lurching from one crises to another...
Rather rosy view. Many would say US foreign policy has been creating one crisis after another.

It seemed totally insane at the time for the US to provoke Russia in Ukraine if we were focused on pivoting to Asia... Ukraine is just not important enough.
You've got to understand neocon thinking if you hope to produce any coherent analysis.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 24 2015 14:18 utc | 50

US' proxy terrorists

Posted by: okie farmer | May 24 2015 15:18 utc | 51

TovioS, jackrabbit, guest77, various nos., Banderastan

I think that DC's wants to cool down the Ukrainian Civil War, and this relates to their "Asian pivot" as well as the ongoing troubles in the Middle East. Kerry's Sochi visit was likely the opening of discussions, not the conclusion. And depending on what each said, could be the end, we shall see. Kerry's repetition of the talking points at the press conference could be some window dressing, a sop to Banderaist clients.

And of course, they're trying to get another "Color Revolution" going in Macedonia. What we on now, Goldenrod? Burnt Orange? Amber?

But I'm unsure if all the parties in the Kiev junta will cooperate. They've kept up shelling, Poroshenko and others still insist their getting Crimea back, somehow. They keep warning of an "offensive by the separatists," so I think they're setting themselves up for a "defensive" operation.

I posted this elsewhere, but let me again bring it to the attn. of my fellow Barflies.
Poroshenko asks Croatian prime minister to send experts with experience in overcoming consequences of aggression to Ukraine
(details behind the paywall, could not find other info., I wonder why...). I think for the junta, it's a question of not if, but when. ChocoKing wants to beef up, the volunteers want to keep at it. This tension could promote a "Night of the Long Knives," should Poroshenko feel he has enough (American trained?) forces to break them.

The astute Mercouris has posted his First Comments on Alexey Mozgovoy's Murder. Let me note first what has to say about the late and highly lamented Mozgovoy:

By all accounts Mozgovoy was one of the bravest and most talented militia commanders. He also seems from all accounts I have read to have been a decent and honourable man.

I will leave it to those who knew him better to tell his story.

I will however say two things:

1. Tragic though Mozgovoy’s death is, it should be said clearly that it does not put at risk the existence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as it might have done if it had happened a year ago;

2. There are unanswered questions about Mozgovoy’s death.

These revolve around the seeming security breakdown, perhaps due to spies within the Novorossiyan ranks. He quite correctly says a thorough and professional investigation is needed, and suggests Russian help is appropriate.

He begins with this:

That the latest diplomatic moves do not mean the end of the Ukrainian conflict, has unfortunately received spectacular confirmation with news of the murder of Mozgovoy, the militia commander who led the so-called “Ghost” Battalion.

So I lean towards a renewal of action, but given the conflicting data, the confidence interval is not great.

I posted on another thread some highlights from "A Few Thoughts About Tomorrow" that Lone Wolf notes at 46, I recommend it to your collective attention. All of the articles cited there are good, but I think this particle tipple is the top shelf.

Posted by: rufus magister | May 24 2015 15:27 utc | 52

@rufus magister #24
I don't bother with trying to convince people of anything.
If there's one thing I've learned in my many years, it is that everyone is stupid in at least one thing.
I don't excuse myself, hence my complete and utter lack of desire in trying to overcome other people's idiocy. After all, it might be me.

Posted by: ǝn⇂ɔ | May 24 2015 15:28 utc | 53

War On Syria (pdf)
Cartalucci - Bowie

Posted by: okie farmer | May 24 2015 15:43 utc | 54
Afghan communists don’t fade away

The Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s fascination for army generals who served during the communist regime, is intriguing. One never associates brilliant World Bank officials with such a thing. In early April, Ghani nominated General Mohammad Afzal Ludin to the vacant post of Defence Minister in his cabinet. Ludin was a trusted right-hand man of President Najibullah during the PDPA regime.

Gen. Ludin held the key post of Kabul garrison commander under Najib when the Soviet troop withdrawal took place in February 1989. Five days after the last Soviet soldier left Afghan soil on February 5, when Najib declared national emergency and reconstituted the 20-member supreme military council (“Supreme Military Council for the Defence of the Homeland”) and tightened the control of the communist party over government, Gen Ludin was one of only three trusted top serving military officers he handpicked for induction into the powerful apex body.

Unsurprisingly, the old “Muj” folks in Kabul (including Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah) found Ludin’s nomination too much to accept and went ballistic. They probably used the issue as an alibi to pick a row with Ghani. When Ludin saw the writing on the wall, he promptly announced his decision to drop out, pleading that “some may use my candidacy as an excuse to create problems for my country.”

Thereupon, Ghani mulled over things carefully over the next 6 weeks and on last Thursday announced his newest nomination for the jinxed post of Defence Minister. Again, it turns out to be an ex-communist general – Masoum Stanikzai who served in the PDPA regime.

Posted by: okie farmer | May 24 2015 16:27 utc | 55

en1c -- Well, we agree on two important facts. Everyone is stupid in at least one way, and to each their own. One of my own is perhaps to believe in the power of truth and esp. my own ability to detect and convey it.

I will cop to one deviation from the standard progressive consensus -- I think nuclear power is useful, and with sufficiently robust redundancies can be operated safely.

Firestorm in 3, 2, 1....

Posted by: rufus magister | May 24 2015 16:36 utc | 56

Iraq’s former national security advisor says most US fighter jets deployed to bomb terrorists in the Arab country return to their bases without engaging terrorist positions, Press TV reports. Rubaie also demanded the United States to speed up the process of supplying Iraq with weapons Iraqi forces require, saying Washington must immediately deliver the weapons and military hardware that Baghdad has paid for in the past.There are weapons that the Iraqi government has paid for in the past but has not received yet, Rubaie noted.
Iraq is still waiting for those F16, again all paid for. I wonder why?

Posted by: harry law | May 24 2015 16:57 utc | 57

Senator John McCain on Sunday attacked the president for citing climate change as a threat to national security, suggesting that the Obama administration’s focus on environmental issues was detracting from the fight against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.

The comments by the Senate armed services committee chairman were part of a rotating blame game over the Memorial Day weekend about who is responsible for recent gains by Isis fighters, who last week took control of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra and the Iraqi city of Ramadi.

“There is no strategy, and anybody who says there is, I’d like to hear what it is,” McCain said, appearing on CBS News. “Because it certainly isn’t apparent. Right now we are seeing these horrible reports, in Palmyra, they’re executing people and leaving their bodies in the streets.

“Meanwhile the president of the United States is saying that the biggest problem we have is climate change

Posted by: okie farmer | May 24 2015 17:10 utc | 58

@52 rufus... i agree with jackrabbit @50 once again, lol... us foreign policy creates one disaster after another.. they don't seem to give a fuck.. actually it seems intentional.. they are intent on making a mess where-ever they go.. that is what i draw from watching what unfolds on the ground.. sorry to sound boring, but all of it appears meant to support a military and financial industry complex that appears to run the country.. it has nothing to do with the people, or only in so far as amerikans are working in one of theose areas, or experiencing a reagan trickle down effect!

Posted by: james | May 24 2015 17:12 utc | 59

They really do think we're all idiots.

Senator Inhofe, appearing on an Oklahoma City radio station Friday, responds to delays in reauthorizing Patriot Act: "countries like North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Syria, all of them are on the path to getting bombs and delivery systems that would reach the United States of America and could have the effect of killing everyone who is listening now...when you stop and think and make a choice between having a complete city bombed out and privacy, my choice is easy.”

Posted by: jayc | May 24 2015 18:17 utc | 60

The loss of Mozgovoy is very sad news. I venture a few comments here without knowing any of the details on Mozgovoy's murder. However, there are a few facts that should not really be in dispute.

The rebellion in Novorussiaya was one that was based on identification with their Russian cultural heritage. Those who joined included communists, monarchists (e.g. Strelkov), bourgeois elements, workers, farmers and, we should not deny it, some very rich Russian oligarchs along with some of their Ukrainian oligarch associates. This is similar to the classic united front against fascism that was seen in the 1930s.

I read somewhere that Mozgovoy was a communist. I do not know if that is correct, but from some of the things that he is reported to have said it did sound like he was no advocate of a capitalist state. He presented some notion of community, of people working together without any obeisance to the sanctity of private ownership of property (large land holdings and industrial production). His most recent statement that "there will no victor from this civil war" seemed to give that impression.

Coming back to the united front concept. This was someone who was poised to restrict the large capitalist owners from re-asserting control over the Donbass industries. It has been clear from the first month of the uprising in Eastern Ukraine that the rebels were receiving significant financial support from within Russia. Much of this support was very likely coming from Russian oligarchs. These guys are seeing the obvious that the Kiev government has lost control over Lughansk and Donetsk and they are positioning themselves to inherit that control. They had to see Mozgovoy as a threat to their long term goals.

Anyway, farewell comrade Mozgovoy. Your heart was in the right place but it seems you played the local politics poorly.

Posted by: ToivoS | May 24 2015 18:49 utc | 61

If I may, a musical interlude. Don't fret, there's a little political content too.

The always-entertaining and -informative Crooks & Liars has a great item on their regular Late Nite Music Club.

Birdsongs of the Mesozoic was so damn progressive that they considered their genre to be "Rock in Opposition." If you don't know what that means, basically it's a genre that is considered more of a social movement than a musical style. Another progressive band, Henry Cow, spearheaded the movement as an answer to the mainstream music industry that would not give bands like them a shot. It's not inaccurate to think of it as the anti-music industry, to put it in simple terms. Regardless of the social motivations, the talent is absolutely there with Birdsongs of the Mesozoic, and you can hear it in their complex arrangements and virtuosic musicianship.

I always thought of them as avant-garde rock meets avant-garde classical. Most classical music doesn't appeal to me, but if you tart it up with a little R&R, ELO/ELP/Renaissance style, I'm all over that action.

They came out of Boston's best punk band, Mission of Burma. I consider TremTwo their best, but many prefer That's When I Reach for My Revolver. Moby and Catherine Wheel cover it.

I only saw them once before they split, but at a great venue, Johnathan Swift's in Harvard Sq. They broke up when guitarist Roger Miller's tinnitus became too severe. He and tape manipulator Martin Swope then formed, with other musicians, Birdsongs. I was lucky enough to see not only their shows but a couple of solo performances of Miller's "Maximum Electric Piano." It was the first time I saw someone using a sampler to create live loops.

If you can't sit through all of Magnetic Flip, which C&L has, my two favorite tracks on it are "The Tyger" at about 18.35, and "Final Motif" at 35.05. Here's the underlying Youtube link. There a few videos of individual songs available, but sadly not these two.

Posted by: rufus magister | May 24 2015 19:11 utc | 62

"I read somewhere that Mozgovoy was a communist."

Which means he was nationalist, probably hard core one, the Russian one at that. However, his murderers could be find (if ever) in the rebel's political establishment who are themselves attached to Moscow's strings. So, yes Moscow executed him. Boris Nemtsov anyone? People like him doesn't know for compromise, they are warriors, thus at some point (aka, "political process") they become a problem. Hence, "each revolution is eating its own children" statement.

Posted by: neretva'43` | May 24 2015 19:26 utc | 63

Folks --

Please read Mozgovoy's last interview, clealy he's a Red, not a White. Such an ungrounded assertion would mark one, IMHO, as tendentious and ill-informed.

In my opinion, if we are to build something new, let alone build, say, a part of Novorossiya, we have to move away from all previous methods of government, previous dealings with the human being, and create something new.

Should further evidence be required, I recommend this Russia Insider repost from The Nation, a Profile of Novorossiya's Most Radical Rebel Commander. He gets props from Col. Cassad and Boris Kagarlitsky.

I thought we'd put Nemtsov's case to rest. The assassins are under arrest, there was no need to kill a marginal if well-respected political figure like Nemtsov. His posthumous allegations seem to have gotten little traction. Moscow seems perfectly content to control Novorossiya through means of arms and aid.

Though my guess would be a spetznaz operation by the junta, I would consider any number of oligarchs, Ukrainian and Russia, as possible suspects. As Toivo notes at 60, his support for social revolution poses a threat to their stolen private property. Mozgovoy would have returned it to the working class whose sufferings since 1917 built it.

Posted by: rufus magister | May 24 2015 20:16 utc | 64

Great thread, all. Thanks!

Some 'pot luck' related to previous posts::

RE: modern airliner design and construction - lithium batteries are right up there with carbon fiber wingboxes in terms of 'really bad idea'. I recall reading an in-depth technical analysis of the Air France disaster (can't find the original doc...sorry) that discussed the distinct possibility that improper use of cleaning solvents lead to delamination of the carbon fiber layers in the wingbox. This is an attempt to save money by using a wingbox that is significantly lighter than old-school aluminum. Here's a Google Search for 'carbon fiber wingbox delamination'.

RE: unintended consequences - rarely (and only by chance) are the unintended consequences exactly opposite of the intention. Rather, results will shoot off in any direction on the '3d compass' of probability.

RE: nuclear power safety - this is the big one. It is quite possible for a civilization to value it's utility enough to do what it takes to maintain safety (ironically, I think Iran has the right mindset for this), but the problems are so long-term that the care and feeding of the systems need to be maintained across civilizational lifespans. What civilization has lasted 5,000 years? 10,000 years? 50,000 years? Even if a given civilization can last for such a timespan, what about it's social evolution? What about it's technical capabilities? What about the resources needed to maintain the technical capabilities? Yes, I suppose it is possible for nuke to be used safely. The problem is that the human brain is not correctly wired to think and plan in the timespans necessary. And then, to step outside the human-centric view, what happens when we're gone? What have we done to future life forms on this planet?

Perhaps a good solution (something I thought of 25 yrs ago!!!) is to build a Really Fucking Big Rail Gun and sling the waste toward the sun. It would be vaporized and blown outward on the solar wind. Space is already a 'hot' environment, but we're shielded (for now) by the Van Allen belt. In the event we decide we can't or don't want to maintain the plants anymore, we can simply package all the remaining fuel and shoot it toward the sun along with any 'hot' apparatus that remains. But this project would take far more resource and resolve than we currently have available.

Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | May 24 2015 20:50 utc | 65

package all the remaining fuel and shoot it toward the sun

I heard a physics professor make the same argument except the called for big rockets.

Yueh, how long would a rail gun have to be to shoot something to the sun?

Posted by: okie farmer | May 24 2015 21:15 utc | 66

@65 okie:

Probably very big. As with any, there are technical problems with this solution too. Send stuff in small packages, but it has to be big enough to survive the heat of high escape velocity. I was thinking this 25 yrs ago, but since then many more interesting possibilities have arisen, but again all with steep technical challenges. The Space Elevator, though it sounds kooky, is one, where you can do a conveyor to a smaller, sub-orbital rail gun. Dirigible to sub-orbital rail gun is another.

Or, go the other direction and try to drill into a magma chamber?

Sorry. I tend to become somewhat bitter when the topic of energy production comes up. My feeling is that we had a narrow window in which fossil fuels could be used to tool up for newer, better energy sources. That chance has been squandered, and all the possible sources of significant scale are now receding, beyond our grasp for the foreseeable future. We're left with winding down our usage and relying on wind/solar/hydro/thermo for the critical stuff.

Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | May 24 2015 21:38 utc | 67

Jackrabbit @ 8

" nix the delivery of S-300/S-400 to Iran"

Iran and Syria have a mutual defense treaty with Russia ...

Did you happen to notice that Kerry went to Sochi to meet the Russians? One in a dominant strategic position does not do the kneeling now do they?

Posted by: Alberto | May 24 2015 21:46 utc | 69

Patrick L. Smith:

Followers of the Janukovitsch government are being assasinated.

Posted by: Willy2 | May 24 2015 21:52 utc | 70

Dr. Y. at 64, 66 --

We've already created those 10K yr. wastes, we have to adapt our thinking and action. How this could be done, well, that's beyond my pay grade, as they say.

Up until recently, human evolution has been driven entirely by nature. Thanks to the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment, we have, I think, in principle enough knowledge to decide our future direction.

I can see you've thought deeply about the technical problems. I don't care if it works or not, I'm quite taken by just the phrase, "Really F'ing Big Rail Gun." FWIW, I think the Space Elevator has potential as a launch system generally.

Posted by: rufus magister | May 24 2015 22:09 utc | 71

I'll apply my layman's non-science to this.

"I think nuclear power is useful, and with sufficiently robust redundancies can be operated safely." What are you, some kind of larouchie? ;)

I have to agree with Dr. Y on this. It might be safe to operate "given enough redundencies" (I assume, though, that those are unfortunately expensive, non-stockholder wealth-creating redundancies which won't be built in), but until they figure out what to do with the waste its just trouble.

I disagree with Dr. Y on the rail gun. The only thing worse than nuclear waste on the ground or underground somewhere is the idea of shooting it into the sky at high speeds. What could possibly go wrong with that...

Posted by: guest77 | May 24 2015 23:00 utc | 72

@willy2 - The Ukraine is being run under a terror regime, there's no doubt of this. Average people who disagree with the war, or with the direction of the country are hiding in basements fearing for their lives. There are some extremely brave folks, who are coming out to protest, but they fall victim to being arrest, torture or death. Paramilitaries are disappearing people. It is a real fascist environment such as anything seen since the darkest days of the Latin American dictatorships.

A state run by oligarchs, using indoctrinated, violent young men to enforce their unpopular policies. The Ukraine is experiencing fascism 101, and no one in the US says a thing.

Posted by: guest77 | May 24 2015 23:05 utc | 73


Not to draw ME 370 and MHe out overlong, but there were four Chinese co-patent holders of Defense security chip break thru on the doomed plane, with Rothchild'so company the 5th, and they were on their way home to China for family reunion. The greed factor has Rothschild remotely downing the plane, collecting the insurance and selling the patent for $BP to Israeli's. IDK. The Israeli's bought and took apart just such a plane, they have the Uninterrupted Remote Override control codes, and certainly the ability to hack into the flight systems and take over. Or, the Pentagon, having no further need for the four Chinese inventors, and Diego Garcia being right there, took control of the plane and flew it to Diego Garcia. It would not be the first time they killed an entire plane load of passengers.

Who cares now? The Pentagon just got an $89B Super War Slush Fund added to their $59B Black Ops budget, added to their $39B domestic psych budget, and now McCain is proposing a 3% tax on all Defense contract overruns (3% on $250B a yearmissing funds) for 'advanced weapons systems, like that fateful Chinese super-chip.

We all are just whistling past the IMF/WV graveyard, commenting on the pretty hibiscus, whose the most broke, and who was just planted in that new grave.

Posted by: Chipnik | May 24 2015 23:22 utc | 74


Rail Gun? Have you seen a rail gun fire? It generates plasma heat that would disintegrate the nuclear waste payload, and starting from escape velocity at launch into the most dense water vapor filled portion of the atmosphere would generate Krakatoa-like shock waves heard around the world, signaling another ionized nuclear waste black rain event.

Space Elevator? Did you not take orbital mechanics in college? There is no payload capacity to launch a python thick super Kevlar cable 170 miles long into space and no way to splice subunits, but imagine there were, as you 'lower' the weighted cable end, of course, it goes sideways, you're in orbit, so you have to fire retros, it starts down, now your center of mass is holding two halves of a 170 miles cable whipping apart with 17000 MPH centripetal force on it, even before you add an ounce of payload.

NASA has the supercomputers, let's quit fracking around with this Space Elevator' gibberish, write the damn simulation over one weekend, determine the unresistable forces and unimaginable launch payloads needed, then all have a good laugh about the tom foolery boingoboingo pure unicorn fantasy of 'space colonization'.

Oh, wait, let's loot Mom'nPop's 401k with an Asteroid Mining Wildcat Investment Fund available through Goldman Sachs.

Posted by: Chipnik | May 24 2015 23:45 utc | 75


20 years ago I proposed to AEC putting glassed nuclear waste logs into welded stainless containers then dropping them as vertical torpedos into the mile thick ooze off the Mississippi Delta, which would remove all oxygen, all corrosion and bury them under the Mississippi geological time trillions of tons of river sediment, sufficiently far offshore to be in international waters, where our US military might start augering in their own nuclear waste.

Then came Fukushima, where a friend of mine is building storage tanks and solidifying ionic resins into concrete caskets, but subsurface water flows defeating the frozen soil wall continue to transport the 'China Effect' molten pool of fuel radionucleids into the Pacific Ocean, where it joins the abyssal drift of plankton and dying sealife in the benthos.

The Solution to Nuclear Waste is Free Benthic Subsurface Entombment Using Vertical Torpedoes

Ahhh, but you can't run a $T publicly-funded waste management mafia letting it slip away like that.

Posted by: Chipnik | May 25 2015 0:05 utc | 76

Chipnik at 74 --

No, not terribly well-acquainted with the technology. I did say I just liked the sound of it. Does sound like the plasma could be a problem.

Uh, no, Orbital Mechanics was only an elective for us history majors. Like I said in the tar sands discussion, I rely on the experts. I always thought the big problem would have been stuff hitting the cable and breakage generally.

Your idea of dropping it into the muck sounds feasible. Again, a Vertical Torpedo just sounds cool. Wonder what the good Dr. Y. might think.

g77 at 71 --

Glad you said that LaRouche thing with a smile. You never know where fans of the Greatest Living Economist will turn up.

I'm just a humanities major who likes gadgets. I think nukes are the best of a number of bad options. A huge reduction in existing nuclear stockpiles is a no-brainer, as is non-proliferation. We in the US let Pakistan build the bomb -- we were shocked, shocked to find out about it, of course.

I hope that fusion is a long-term option. The problems of launching dangerous crap into space is pretty obvious, even to me. I think Dr. Y at 66 is right, we have a narrow time window and don't seem to be using it wisely. Applies to global warming, too. Reducing carbon and mitigating rising seas and temps. is a good idea on a no. of levels.

Posted by: rufus magister | May 25 2015 0:52 utc | 77


Posted by: james | May 25 2015 1:19 utc | 78

@74 Chipnikh: post was thoroughly plastered with disclaimers. My main point is, any solution has a myriad of other problems bundled in. But leaving the waste in a 'storage facility' is a guaranteed disaster. The radiation tends to degrade any material you can (economically) use as a container. Also, the stuff starts to do unpredictable things over time. That's what happened in New Mexico recently. The ooze started to bubble and broke containment.

I do NOT advocate use of nuke power plants (quite the contary, I'd rather they were all decomm'd now), but if someone with more power than me and my 300,000,000 fellow citizens insists on doing it, I'd like to see them at least put some thought into disposal issues.

As for the space would not use kevlar (nor spectra or dyneema). As you state, to damn heavy. This is a job for carbon nanotubes, etc. Even then, payload capacity is minimal. And, yes, not yet a proven technology. Stuff needs to be invented before we can move forward. It has always been thus.

Rail gun generates plasma? No. Exotic forms of rail guns use plasma. Normal rail guns are strictly EM. Either way, not enough energy to melt whatever objects they normally put in them. I think a container like the plutonium battery cases they use in spacecraft would do just fine.

Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | May 25 2015 2:15 utc | 79

okay, very stupid question: If uranium has to be refined to be useful, then why can't it just be diluted back into the earth where it was mined from to be made safe again? Or does it's conversion into nuclear fuel somehow make it eternally dangerous?

Posted by: guest77 | May 25 2015 3:02 utc | 80

Presumably, you know. In some sort of magic blender.

Posted by: guest77 | May 25 2015 3:07 utc | 81

guest77#79: Or does it's conversion into nuclear fuel somehow make it eternally dangerous? No it doesn't. However after it undergoes fision reactions it becomes what is called spent fuel. The U238 is now gone. It has been converted into many different chemical compounds some of which are very radioactive with half lives in the 100s to 1000s of years. Some of these radioactive compounds include iodine, strontium (a calcium mimic), cesium (a potassium mimic), zinc and others. Unlike uranium, these are trace elements that are concentrated into biological food chains and are very soluble in water. U238 basically sinks to the bottom of the ocean and stays there. The fission products I mentioned recycle through living organisms.

Posted by: ToivoS | May 25 2015 3:31 utc | 82

Alberto @68 says: Did you happen to notice that Kerry went to Sochi to meet the Russians? One in a dominant strategic position does not do the kneeling now do they?

Kneeling? LOL. Did you happen to notice that all we've seen from the talks is ... talk (and speculation)? It is doubtful that Sochi represents a fundamental change in policy (it is very unlikely to deter the strengthening Russian-Chinese alliance) - only a tactical maneuver or pause.


Did you happen to notice how the "kneeling" was turned into hype about Great Leader's inherent goodness - now presented in the form of "legacy"? Really? He didn't care much about his legacy when he lied about Obamacare, broke campaign promises; helped increase inequality (most Bush tax cuts made permanent and imposed austerity via the 'fiscal cliff' kabuki - no tax on 'carried interest' - TBTF regulatory failures - etc.); droned weddings; made lame excuses for spying; ordered a Presidential plane to be grounded; began Cold War II, and so much more. Obama is an elitist and his oligarch cronys care about RESULTS much more than his legacy.

The only reason for the meeting, as far as I can fathom, is to convince the Russians to take certain specific actions, most prominent among these being: 1) not to deliver S-300/S-400; and 2) to continue to pipe gas via Ukraine. As I wrote above, I am skeptical that the Russians will cooperate with US wishes that would disadvantage allies and strengthen adversaries.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 25 2015 3:36 utc | 83

Based on trends as to where humanity is going, I don't think nuke waste will be much of a concern. Nuclear plants will, if licenses for existing plants continue to get extended until they meltdown

Posted by: DamascusFalling | May 25 2015 3:53 utc | 84

Let me get back to something I actually know something about.

Even as the excoriable Alexei Bayer (I've read his crap before, I've not inflicted it upon my fellow Barflies, even I have my limits) is casually labeling Mozgovoy "the latest prominent victim of Putin’s 'peace process'" over at the Kyiv Post, TASS, The Telegraph, and other outlets are reporting that the Banderists are claiming credit for it.

TASS reports that Alexander Gladky, commander of the Teni ("Shadows") commando unit is claiming credit on Facebook. Wonder how long that will stay up? What kind of special forces commander brags about a just-completed operation? That's usually the prerogative of the political leadership. Especially one that they wants to pin on someone else.

So let the spin begin.

The Telegraph headlines its piece Ukrainian separatist warlord assassinated by land-mine with the subtitle "Separatists claim Alexei Mozgovoy was killed by Ukraine government commandos but he had rowed with other rebel leaders."

It does report a "Ghost" Battalion commander as saying, "The main [line of enquiry] is that this was an attack by enemy saboteurs. If anyone saw anything please come to the LNR, the DNR, or us at the Brigade...." And it also reports Gladky "appeared to take responsibility for the killing, describing it in detail in Facebook posts with details implying his men had carried out of the attack."

But The Telegraph asserts unspecified "contradictions in his accounts" and then moves breezily on to stress the tensions between "Ghost" and the central authorities, and speculates "that he was the victim of an inside quarrel." It then retails "Unconfirmed reports... [that the] Prizrak Brigade had been disarmed...."

I had to check the datelines to make sure on this bit -- According to Novorossiya's Southfront website, "Shadows" claimed credit in March for the earlier attack. So either Gladky is a serial liar (a common enough trait in junta circles) or is a serial violator of military discipline and protocol (again, common enough in junta commanders).

I'm going with the latter for now. I guess my recollection about the junta stating its plans for sabotage is correct, though I'd still like to find confirmation.

Hey, I just thought about another problem with the Really Freaking Huge Plasma Gun -- what if a projectile hits some Space Junk?.

Still, it sounds cool anyway, can I get it and a Vertical Torpedo, too? I wanna be the first on my block.

Posted by: rufus magister | May 25 2015 4:19 utc | 85

@81 ah cool, thanks for entertaining that.

Posted by: guest77 | May 25 2015 6:03 utc | 86

India's reaction to the China-Pakistan $45 billion gas and oil, road and communications development news shows that Narendra Modi is playing for the U.S., anti-economic-development side. He's trumping up disagreements over matters long settled (c'mon, Kashmir's line of control hasn't changed in decades). Very petty of him and Indian nationalists. China is trying to buy him onto its side ($22 billion in aid and projects). I recommend it try a lot harder.

New Delhi, under Narendra Modi, has adopted an aggressive stance towards Pakistan. That was expected but there was also the hope that with the Hindu nationalist BJP firmly under his control, Modi could take the “Nixon in China” step with reference to relations with Pakistan. ... Pakistan has already begun to respond to what it perceives as an increased threat to its security from India. Unfortunately, under Modi, India-Pakistan relations are not likely to improve.
For India, close ties with China are also the key to loosening China’s strategic partnership with Pakistan, which Delhi sees as a major obstacle to its ambition to establish domination over South Asia and which is a leading Indian policy goal. The planned China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and especially the development of the Gwadar Port have greatly heightened India’s concerns on this score. According to a report by a well-informed Indian newspaper correspondent, the economic corridor is regarded by India as one of the “core concerns” inhibiting the development of closer China-India ties.

Besides its objections to the CPEC, India also has strong misgiving at China’s ‘Belt and Road’ initiative, especially the Maritime Silk Road (MSR) project which India sees as Chinese intrusion in its geopolitical space. To India’s chagrin, the Chinese project has largely eclipsed the Indo-Pacific corridor plan launched by the US in which India is to have a pivotal role ...

Despite the bonhomie and the friendly atmosphere during Modi’s [China] visit, there was little progress on the divisive issues. An op-ed article which appeared in [China's] state-owned Global Times two days before the visit sought to explain why. “Due to the Indian elites’ blind arrogance and confidence in their democracy, and the inferiority of its ordinary people, very few Indians are able to treat Sino-Indian relations accurately, objectively and rationally,” wrote Hu Zhiyong of the Institute of International Relations at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. The article accused Modi of “playing little tricks over border disputes and security issues.” In a phone interview Hu said, “We can’t have any hopes or expectations that Modi will make even the slightest concessions in negotiations with Chinese leaders on political and security matters.”

Posted by: fairleft | May 25 2015 7:07 utc | 87
Only Federica Mogherini speaks in the vid, but evidently all EU and US sanctions will be withdrawn. Yesterday, one of Iran's negotiators allowed "managed inspections of military sites".

Posted by: okie farmer | May 25 2015 7:09 utc | 88

We proletarian aktiv now have our own Dale Carnegie to promote the power of positive thinking. Courtesy of TruthOut, A HREF="">Feeling Trapped in a Dead-End System? Cartoonist's Affirmations Encourage Resistance.

Cartoonist, writer and organizer Stephanie McMillan saw the depression, feelings of hopelessness and other difficulties faced by her fellow activists and she wanted to do something to help people overcome these. So she started writing uplifting messages to empower individuals to continue working for a better world. She calls her inspirational messages "Daily Affirmations for the Revolutionary Proletarian Militant."

She explains it as follows:

All kinds of support is available if we strive to make money, worship a god, lose weight, find romance.

But there is a huge lack of inspirational literature to encourage and uplift people whose lives are dedicated to social transformation. Most writing on the left is theoretical and political - these are obviously crucial, but there isn't much that addresses us on the ideological level; on helping us change our ways of thinking so we stay strong, on track and motivated; that helps us establish standards of behavior that serve our goals....

When I start to fall into a "fuck-it-this-is-hopeless mood" - those thoughts are rare for me but they do occasionally arise - then I think about all the people all over the world who are fighting for emancipation, for an end to class divisions, and all those who have suffered and sacrificed for it, and the fact that we are all connected. We are comrades across time and space, even though we will never know each other personally. I think about the irrepressible spirit of human beings to not submit to domination.

I'm a little bit iffy on the New Age pop psychology, but what she says about continuity with the past and a connection in the present is spot on. And I especially like what she says about the irrepressible spirit of humanity.

If I might paraphrase Stuart Smalley, "Because I'm red enoungh, and smart enough, and doggonit, class-conscious workers follow me!"

Posted by: rufus magister | May 25 2015 14:26 utc | 89

oops, cleanup at Aisle 89

Feeling Trapped in a Dead-End System? Cartoonist's Affirmations Encourage Resistance.

Posted by: rufus magister | May 25 2015 14:27 utc | 90

@rufus magister #56
You said: "Well, we agree on two important facts. Everyone is stupid in at least one way, and to each their own. One of my own is perhaps to believe in the power of truth and esp. my own ability to detect and convey it."

That may be - all I've done is point out that you've not done your homework in the area of climate change. All of your references to date have been relying on the reputation of others - individuals who both reputationally and financially benefit from alarmism.

This is why I chose to look deeper into the subject, and why I now no longer share the consensus view.

Posted by: ǝn⇂ɔ | May 25 2015 16:19 utc | 91

When I read terms such as, useful, robust redundancies, and operate safely used to describe Nuke Power I have to wonder what planet the writer inhabits. Here on Planet Amerika there are 108 highly contaminated nuke sites, there is currently 71,780 metric tons of high level nuke waste that grows by 2000 tons a year, with no reliable or safe storage site and there are thousands of acres contaminated with mine and mill waste much of it in my state, this is just in the US. All Nuke power plants leak and all areas downwind are contaminated.

In Church NM the largest release of radioactive material in the US occurred 1000 tons of solid and 93 million gallons of toxic and radioactive tailings were and still are spread down the Rio Puerco for 60 miles. Safe?

Posted by: Wayoutwest | May 25 2015 17:19 utc | 92


It should be Church Rock NM above.

Pulse power EM launchers are interesting high tech systems that we also have here in NM and I studied that technology in the '90s. It could have many uses but it is not infallible and will occasionally fail to launch its payload into orbit which means that if it is a nuke payload it will be spread over the planet when it burns up on reentry just as the first plutonium powered satellite did when it's rocket failed.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | May 25 2015 17:31 utc | 93

@19 (juannie)
It was a link posted by Noirette:

Pondering the preposterous
Could the disappearance of MH370 have been a calculated event?

Posted by: citizen X | May 25 2015 19:35 utc | 94

With Iran and Japan or any 'Nuke'+Uranium issues, why not just use Thorium reactors?

Posted by: kjs | May 25 2015 22:42 utc | 95

The women's suffrage movement in the UK was brilliant. Arson, suffragette bodyguards learning jujitsu, storming Westminister and more. With UK government reprisals including force feeding a la todays Guantanamo Bay.

This is just Wikipedia, it isn't of course the best description, but it will do in a pinch. This book is old, but is where I read of it first and its a great piece of writing (it covers the suffrage movement and growing unrest in Ireland). The Strange Death of Liberal England

In 1912 WSPU members adopted arson as another tactic to win the vote. After Prime Minister Asquith had visited the Theatre Royal in Dublin, suffragette activists Gladys Evans, Mary Leigh, Lizzie Baker and Mabel Capper of Oxford Street, Manchester attempted to cause an explosion using gunpowder and benzine, which resulted in minimal damage. During the same evening Mary Leigh threw an axe at the carriage containing John Redmond, the Lord Mayor, and Prime Minister Asquith.[83] Over the next two years women set fire to a refreshments building in Regent's Park, an orchid house at Kew Gardens, pillar boxes, and a railway carriage. Although Pankhurst confirmed that these women had not been commanded by her or Christabel, they both assured the public that they supported the arsonist suffragettes. There were similar incidents around the country. One WSPU member, for example, put a small hatchet into the Prime Minister's carriage inscribed with the words: "Votes for Women,"[84] and other suffragettes used acid to burn the same slogan into golf courses used by MPs.[85] In 1914 Mary Richardson slashed the Rokeby Venus to protest against Pankhurst's imprisonment.[86]

Of course it's said "oh they were too militant, they held back the movement" but then when is that not said about a successful, militant movement?

Posted by: guest77 | May 25 2015 23:29 utc | 96

in re 91, 92

One cannot solve a problem one does not think exists. We got problems, Barflies.

As I have repeatedly said, my expertise is in the humanities. I read and evaluate texts. As I am not a physicist, climatologist, or chemist, I of necessity must rely upon the knowledge, experience, and judgement of others. I am rather like my fellow citizens in this regard.

It's like when I have car trouble - I just spent $650 on emission control work. I lack the training, equipment, and facilities to do the work myself. Do I go with certified mechanics with a lot full of happy customers' work? Or to the untrained dabbler, who rails against Car Care Conspiracy? He and his customers are committed, but nothing seems to run very well.

They will of course be nowhere to be found when I'm broken down on the side of the road.

I have evaluated the credibility and credentials of those involved, and I have made my choices. I have found the "experts" on the denial side wanting. Like Dyson, for example, whom I quote above to the effect of "I don't know the science, really, I just dislike their atty-tood (as we say here in the DelVal)."

What are you relying upon if not the credibility and credentials of those few sources you have been kind enough to provide? Surely you are not expert in all the relevant scientific disciplines?

If I might borrow a rule of thumb from another humanistic discipline, the law. If you have the facts, argue the facts. If not, argue the law. If you don't have the law, pound the table. For science, a suitable restatement might be "If you have the data, argue it; if not, the modeling. Lacking that, pound the table." It seems to me that the denialists are pounding the table. Well, a little bit of the modeling, too, to be fair.

What planet I am on? Well, that would seem to be one that is slowly roasting itself. And those cooking it seem to think only of their continued profits in supplying the fuel. "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!"

All technologies involve risks. Which do you want to take?

Mass extinction, rising sea levels, reduced food production due to shifting precipitation patterns, water shortages, increased conflict over resources -- these are all quite clear, highly likely, and globalized risks. Problems regarding the control of radioactive materials, while involving notable risks, are more speculative, are localized, and it seems to me, more easily manageable. We already need to solve the problem of spent fuel and waste.

I don't recall who said it, (and dinner is nearly ready -- BBQ leftovers, mmmm....) but someone above stated there are materials that could work, but are not considered cost effective. If they solve the problem of storage over millenia, I would think they would be affordable. Raising costs would more effectively price the risk.

In our present system, the risks of climate change are what the economists refer to as "externalized." The carbon corporations impose the costs of their environment as a hidden charge upon society, present and future.

BTW, didn't you leave TMI, Fukushima, and Chernobyl off the list? And a couple of lost nuclear subs, Russian and American, too.

I am unwilling to exclude any available technological means. We need to begin by reducing energy consumption, increasing the efficiency of usage, and valuing sustainability over raw growth. That will doubtlessly cause changes in the lifestyles of the overly comfortable in the developed world, and alter the structures of political and economic power.

And off to feast on the products yesterday's seasonally appropriate carbon emissions. Real men use charcoal, you know, Barflies. If you use gas, no offense, but you ain't BBQ'ing, you're just cooking outside.

Posted by: rufus magister | May 26 2015 0:36 utc | 97

All I need,is one more blurb, thanking our "Heros" in the US military for defending our freedoms, and I'll puke.
MSM is such a desert.

Posted by: ben | May 26 2015 0:39 utc | 98

ps to 97 -- And how many Superfund sites? Let's quit making chemicals, metal, etc., right?

Posted by: rufus magister | May 26 2015 0:41 utc | 99

Wikipedia is a mess. They use some 2010 book published in hyperventilating-with-Russophobia Estonia to mock one of the most horrific disasters ever inflicted on a large population by an army, the siege of Leningrad.

Wikipedia is infested with fascist scumbags. No wonder it is called WikiCIAdia

Posted by: guest77 | May 26 2015 2:40 utc | 100

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