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January 25, 2016

Open Thread 2016-05

News & views ...

Posted by b on January 25, 2016 at 19:23 UTC | Permalink

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What's the deal with the Ukrainian virus situation? Is it real or some donbass propaganda? I've asked a couple ukr friends and only one has responded, saying it's true :/

Posted by: Refocus | Jan 25 2016 19:44 utc | 1

Here's the BBC's daily blast of Russophobia: 'Putin is corrupt' says US Treasury. It's the standard BBC smear stuff with unsubstantiated allegations passed off as fact. Here's my favorite paragraph:

Mr Szubin would not comment on a secret CIA report from 2007 that put Mr Putin's wealth at around $40bn (£28bn). But he said the Russian president had been amassing secret wealth.

It's breathtaking what passes for serious journalism in the mainstream press these days.

Posted by: WorldBLee | Jan 25 2016 19:49 utc | 2

Pentagon Holds Gala To Celebrate 25 Years Of Bombing Iraq
“I’ll never forget that morning 25 years ago when our first strike force of stealth bombers flew in and just unloaded on Baghdad,” said the evening’s keynote speaker, Dick Cheney, who served as defense secretary during the Gulf War, vice president during the Iraq War, and, in the intervening years, CEO of the oil field services company Halliburton. “And then we started letting them have it with our Tomahawk cruise missiles, too. If you’d told me back then we’d still be pounding some of those very same targets today, I wouldn’t have believed you.”

“But hundreds of thousands of bombs later, here we are!” Cheney added to thunderous applause. “And it’s all thanks to the dedication and resolve of the people in this room.”

Posted by: mauisurfer | Jan 25 2016 20:24 utc | 4

Clinton’s faux liberalism laid bare: (please retweet, more people need to know these facts):

Posted by: Tom Murphy | Jan 25 2016 20:33 utc | 5

Refocus @ 1:

So far the only source for this news appears to be Donbass International News Agency and you can read the news at this link:

20 Ukrainian soldiers have apparently died and another 200 have been hospitalised with a mysterious respiratory disease.

It seems to be limited to soldiers at present. I do not know whether the disease indeed escaped from a mystery lab as DINA suggests or if the disease arose as a result of the particular context in which Ukrainian soldiers are fighting. We do not know if the soldiers are traumatised, malnourished or are on limited rations, whether the conditions they have to fight in are unsanitary and crowded, or if they have been exposed to medicines past their use-by dates or vaccines that have not been stored properly.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 25 2016 21:16 utc | 6

@ nmb
It was not Berlin who goot it canceled, but Washington. Wall Street want not Chinese bying bonds in Europe

Posted by: Nick | Jan 25 2016 21:18 utc | 7

Mauisurfer @ 4:



Posted by: Jen | Jan 25 2016 21:20 utc | 8

Posted by: Tom Murphy | Jan 25, 2016 3:33:08 PM | 5

Clinton’s faux liberalism laid bare: (please retweet, more people need to know these fact

I an't gonna fool by you again apologist. A vote for Bernie Sanders, is another vote for Democrat Party and endless wars. More Palestinians will die, West Bank, Golan Heights and Gaza will disappear and be part of Israel.

Get rid of Duopoly - Democrat and Republican. Write-in either Putin or Jill Stein.

Posted by: Jack Smith | Jan 25 2016 21:39 utc | 9

@Jen #6:

The US has taken over everything military in the Ukraine, and apparently there are one or two biological labs in the Ukraine left over from the Soviet days.

So if there's a nasty bug going around in eastern Ukraine, especially among soldiers, one should not be surprised if rumors emerged connecting the three. Add to that that having idiosyncratic theories is a national Russian pastime. (In Ukraine unfortunately, fantastic racist theories become official state policy.)

Here's a video from a Novorossiyan news Web site: Игорь Друзь: Против Новороссии применен свиной грипп Swine flew has been deployed against Novorossiya (Russian audio, no subs)

The blogger precedes his reporting on the flu outbreak by mentioning that international elites have a plan to reduce the world's population.

Posted by: Demian | Jan 25 2016 21:51 utc | 10

@Jen #6:

The US has taken over everything military in the Ukraine, and apparently there are one or two biological labs in the Ukraine left over from the Soviet days.

So if there's a nasty bug going around in eastern Ukraine, especially among soldiers, one should not be surprised if rumors emerged connecting the three. Add to that that having idiosyncratic theories is a national Russian pastime. (In Ukraine unfortunately, fantastic racist theories become official state policy.)

Here's a video from a Novorossiyan news Web site: Игорь Друзь: Против Новороссии применен свиной грипп Swine flew has been deployed against Novorossiya (Russian audio, no subs)

The blogger precedes his reporting on the flu outbreak by mentioning that international elites have a plan to reduce the world's population.

(I had to remove the link to keep the post from getting blocked.)

@Jack Smith #9:

Get rid of Duopoly - Democrat and Republican.

Sanders has done more for independent parties in the US recently than anyone:

Both Martin and Terry Bouricious, a former Burlington, Vt. city councilor describe how Sanders’s four terms in city hall fostered a local progressive coalition that later morphed into the Vermont Progressive Party (VPP). The VPP has become, over the last 15 years, the most successful third party in the nation; Sanders’s ten straight victories, as an independent, in federal races since 1990 helped pave the way for VPP candidates (many of them his own former staffers or campaign workers) to make their own credible runs for state or local office.

Posted by: Demian | Jan 25 2016 22:02 utc | 11

Nick @ 7

Both Berlin and Washington.

Posted by: nmb | Jan 25 2016 22:06 utc | 12

#2 leave comment over there I did.

#9 I voted Green last time and will do so again. Change has to start somewhere and isn't going to happen with the parties of war running the country.

Posted by: jo6pac | Jan 25 2016 22:46 utc | 13

John Helmer on the Kerry/Lavrov meeting, and some well-timed body language directed at neocon Victoria Nuland

Posted by: John Gilberts | Jan 25 2016 22:46 utc | 14

Sanders has done more for independent parties in the US recently than anyone:......

Apologists will do or say anything in support of Democrats... Even if Sanders is an perfect angle, he still believes Israel has the right to defense itself, including shooting teenagers throwing stones..... and the talk, talk, talk, continue (BTW how many years the talks been going on?)

...and the endless wars continue.....

Posted by: Jack Smith | Jan 25 2016 23:12 utc | 15

Speaking of viruses, what about this Zika nightmare virus? El Salvador has advised the women of the nation not to get pregnant until 2018?

A disease that causes, in adults, a few weeks of total paralysis... not that it is a bioweapon, I'm not saying that, but it sure would make a perfect bioweapon. In fact, its the exact kind of thing the CIA was hoping to achieve in their MKULTRA studies: "substances which produce physical disablement". But of course it was discovered sometime ago.... in 1947.

In 1947 scientists researching yellow fever placed a rhesus macaque in a cage in the Zika Forest (zika meaning "overgrown" in the Luganda language), near the East African Virus Research Institute in Entebbe, Uganda. The monkey developed a fever, and researchers isolated from its serum a transmissible agent that was first described as Zika virus in 1952.[31] It was subsequently isolated from a human in Nigeria in 1954. From its discovery until 2007, confirmed cases of Zika virus infection from Africa and Southeast Asia were rare.[32]

In April 2007, the first outbreak outside of Africa and Asia occurred on the island of Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia, characterized by rash, conjunctivitis, and arthralgia, which was initially thought to be dengue, Chikungunya, or Ross River disease.[33] However, serum samples from patients in the acute phase of illness contained RNA of Zika virus. There were 49 confirmed cases, 59 unconfirmed cases, no hospitalizations, and no deaths.[34] More recently, epidemics have occurred in Polynesia, Easter Island, the Cook Islands, and New Caledonia.[32]

Seems bizarre to me that you'd have an outbreak on far off and isolated Pacific Islands. But I'm no doctor, I'm just a paranoid with an internet connection.

Posted by: guest77 | Jan 25 2016 23:15 utc | 16

Posted by: guest77 | Jan 25 2016 23:15 utc | 17

2007 NYTimes article from the first outbreak outside of Africa and Asia:

Posted by: guest77 | Jan 25 2016 23:18 utc | 18

Posted by: jo6pac | Jan 25, 2016 5:46:25 PM | 12

#9 I voted Green last time and will do so again. Change has to start somewhere and isn't going to happen with the parties of war running the country.

Right on! We must focus on the main issue, one of them Endless wars...

Posted by: Jack Smith | Jan 25 2016 23:22 utc | 19

We have the old single-selection two-party system. So there is no real choice at all.

Simple score voting is the only answer, and it can be completely described in one short simple sentence: Give no vote at all, or from five to ten votes to any number of candidates you wish (up to some reasonable limit, say 20 candidates), and then simply add all the votes up.

Also we must abolish election machines (such as voting computers). If they make casting and tallying 10 times faster, they make organized cheating 10 times easier as well. Which can we truly afford?

One could say that (strategic) simple score eliminates 90% of the spoiler effect. To illustrate: if a voter gives 10 votes to Nader and 9 votes to Gore, it is simply obvious that, if Nader does not win, the voter has only sacrificed exactly 10% of their voting power. Not 100% as they would have had they been forced to use the usual single-selection ("faux plurality") voting method.

No fancy math is necessary to compare and contrast it to every other option for effectiveness and simplicity, including single-selection (aka "plurality," our present "system") Condorcet, Borda, IRV, Range (with its tricky "averages"), Approval (which is not adequately differentiative for choice of candidates), etc. These absurdly complex "alternatives" are merely make-work for scholars and lobbyists who usually do not really care at all about the general welfare of public.

The simple score method is the very simplest, since it only allows from 5 to 10 votes to be given, not from 0 to 9, or 0 to 10. That is simply another complication. It also has no vote-averaging that seriously complicates the "range" score method. I also seem t be the only one to point out that voters should always vote artfully (aka strategically), not artlessly or heroically (aka "honestly" or "sincerely"). The party-based versions of proportionate representation have failed completely in places such as Germany.

And the people MUST vote strategically -- NOT artlessly ("honestly", "sincerely")! Do the Senators and judges act with honesty and sincerity? Do they vote heroically? Take a wild guess!

And why do you suppose they don't have just ONE money-empowered candidate or party? Something to think about?

Here is the real secret! If you take a college course on "election methods", or look in any of the (apparently dozens of) pages about them in Wikipedia, or read any of the (very) many blogs about various touted "voting systems" (some with their own computer models), you will find the same insane assumptions. First of all, they assume that elections are contests between various candidates (always), and thus they can't (or won't) see the forest for the trees. The truth is that elections are contests between the voters and the oppressive duopoly (always). And the voters lose (always).

One side effect of the just-mentioned misconception is that these election method theorists always insist that people "ought" to vote "sincerely", or "honestly", or "they should vote their heart". In other words they should artlessly vote according to their actual ideals, that is, they should not vote strategically, even though their real adversaries, the oppressive duopoly, will never ever attempt to provide them with actual authentic options.

In fact simple score voting is the only method that allows the voters to win decisively, effectively, and without machines. (Some people even claim that other systems could, or even have been used without machines, but that's not realistic at all.) So all those college courses, Wikipedia pages, websites, computer models, and so on comprise the biggest conspiracy that there ever was. Much bigger than 9/11.

Posted by: blues | Jan 25 2016 23:29 utc | 20

Looks like the official line on who is a "moderate rebel" is changing.
After months of complaining about Russia bombing JaN "moderates" and their FSA allies, the line is now that JaN/Al Qaeda is a greater threat to the west than ISIS.

Two comments. The first is, why is the official line on JaN changing now? I refuse to believe that the American Enterprise Institute is so stupid as to not have recognized the character of JaN before. Something happened to make the empire see some of their favorite "moderates" as expendable. The second is, the JaN money trail leads to their support from Turkey and KSA. It's not like there's the plausible deniability that existed on the money trail to ISIS. At least, not until the oil convoys to Turkey were exposed.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Jan 25 2016 23:30 utc | 21

Posted by: John Gilberts | Jan 25, 2016 5:46:44 PM | 13

Helmer was incorrect. Oui clarified this in another thread, saying:

Russia Insider Video ... Lavrov does "shake" her hand but refuses to look at her while doing so!

Sergei Lavrov Snubs Neocon Vicky Nuland Before Meeting with Kerry in Zurich

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 25 2016 23:48 utc | 22

@21 I think she was trying to slip him her room key.

Posted by: dh | Jan 25 2016 23:57 utc | 23

@22 I thought she was too busy fucking the EU.

Posted by: guest77 | Jan 26 2016 0:02 utc | 24

@blues: I think you'll enjoy this, though you sound very knowledgable and you probably already know of Mark Crispin Miller.

Posted by: guest77 | Jan 26 2016 0:09 utc | 25

@Jack Smith #14

Even if Sanders is an perfect angle, he still believes Israel has the right to defense itself

I would agree with you if Sanders hadn't voted against the AUMF in Iraq. Progressives regularly point out that Sanders is trapped inside the Beltway foreign policy "group think" and that he wouldn't have to raise any taxes to pay for universal health care if he just made defense spending a little more sensible.

I switched from Dem to Green as my registration in 2010 and voted for Jill Stein in the last election. Like many on the Left, I was entirely dismissive of Sanders' candidacy at first. But now he looks like the real thing to me. And he's obviously got the establishment scared. (I'm pretty sure that's not a psy-op to get us not to vote for a third party candidate. I think they really are scared. They haven't been able to marginalize Sanders the way they did Edwards, who was significantly less outspoken about his left of center economic policies.)

Posted by: Demian | Jan 26 2016 0:16 utc | 26

@guest77 #24:

I bought and read Miller's book and think he's right about the 2004 election. (I thought so on the night of the election and wrote about that at a Dem blog, which was the only time one of my "diaries" made it to the "front page".)

But if you are suggesting that this has any relevance to whether one should take Sanders' seriously as a candidate, I don't see the connection.

One needs to keep in mind that the situation is not constant. With each election, the US political system gets further delegitimized. So what may have been true for previous elections may not be true for this election.

In 2008, Obama was clearly the establishment's fall back plan. But I can no longer see Sanders as the Obama of this election cycle.

Posted by: Demian | Jan 26 2016 0:28 utc | 27

Here is a link to the Bundy situation in Oregon

If it were any but white boys the wildlife refuge would be back working by now and the funerals of the perps would have been held a couple of weeks ago. But since it is white boys, the MSM is helping feed the frenzy and draw more crazies to the circle jerk of the brainwashed.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 26 2016 0:42 utc | 28

Demian @ 10:Thanks for the link, informative. I see Sanders, despite his warts, as the only viable candidate, IF the voting process is actually a REAL option to effect change. E-voting needs to be banned.

Posted by: ben | Jan 26 2016 0:47 utc | 29

2mm/yr = 2 pencil lead thicknesses = 8 inches/century.

Tide Gauge global measurements
Proudman Oceanographic Labs* (+/- .14mm):
  1902-1953  1.9mm/yr    1954-2003  1.42mm/yr

Satellite measurement U of Colorado (mm/yr):
  Global:  1992-2003  3.23    2004-Feb 2015  2.71
  Pacific:       "       "       3.23           "        "           2.34
  Atlantic:     "       "       3.51           "        "           2.12

Both Tide Gauge & Satellite show the rate of rise to be DECREASING.
Satellite data shows larger numbers than Tide Gauge data because U of Colorado adds a dubious .9mm for "sensor drift".

Another "adjustment" is made which reveals politicization, the Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA): The land is rebounding in areas previously under the weight of glaciers, which also causes the seabed to move sideways towards the land, and so the ocean basins are slightly larger. It would therefore be honest to say "The Sea Level Rise (SLR) undermeasures the extent of melting by X tons of ice." Instead U of Colorado says, "Therefore we add .3 mm of SLR for the amount the sea would have risen if the sea basin had NOT become larger."

The two controversial adjustments totalling 1.2 mm account for the difference between the two methods of measurement, except for the difference in the time frames being measured.

We are in an interglacial, which MEANS that ice is melting, although more slowly since 2003. When ice begins to again accumulate we may have re-entered a Little Ice Age or worse. BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR.

A recent deception: The ocean is rising by two feet along the Atlantic. This is seasonal, to do w currents, el Nino, Atlantic Meridional Oscillation, etc.

*A Chart of Tide Gauge studies by 8 other parties shows no remarkable variance.

The MSM is pushing Anthropogenic Global Warming and we know who controls the MSM.

Posted by: Penelope | Jan 26 2016 0:48 utc | 30

Cannonfire's latest:

Posted by: ben | Jan 26 2016 0:58 utc | 31

Winston Churchill: Britain’s Greatest Briton Left a Legacy of Global Conflict and Crimes Against Humanity

“I hate Indians, they are a beastly people with a beastly religion”, he once bellowed.

In 1937, he told the Palestine Royal Commission:

“I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place.”

It is unsurprising that when Barack Obama became President, he returned to Britain a bust of Churchill which he found on his desk in the Oval office. According to historian Johann Hari, Mr. Obama’s Kenyan grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama, was imprisoned without trial for two years and was tortured on Churchill’s watch, for daring to resist Churchill’s empire.

Apart from being an unrepentant racist, Churchill was also a staunch proponent of the use of terrorism as a weapon of war.

During the Kurdish rebellion against British dictatorship in 1920, Churchill remarked that he simply did not understand the “squeamishness” surrounding the use of gas by civilized Great Britain as a weapon of terror.

“I am strongly in favour of using gas against uncivilised tribes, it would spread a lively terror,”

he remarked.

The difference between Barack Obama and Winston Churchill is Obama's finally polished hypocrisy, as well, I suppose, as the fact that he uses drones rather than gas against 'uncivilised tribes'. Pounding his chest like a tubby Tarzan, Winston Churchill would despise Obama's squeamish hypocrisy.

As Churchill put it, Palestinians were simply “barbaric hordes who ate little but camel dung.”

During Israel's human sacrifices of Gazans in celebration of his inaugurations, Barack the Polished Tarbaby Obama didn't say nothin'.

Posted by: jfl | Jan 26 2016 0:59 utc | 32

P.S.-from the link at # 30:
The reason why libertarians hate democracy is clear: Libertarianism is the belief that The Rich Are Gods, and democracy is the only peaceful mechanism which gives poor people the power to tell the "Gods" to go to hell. When little kids eat lead, when toxins overpower the ecosystem, when cities become unlivable for anyone of modest means, our easily-bamboozled populace will finally begin to shake off their libertarian-induced state of trance. They will rediscover their love for democracy.

Posted by: ben | Jan 26 2016 1:08 utc | 33

@ben #32:

our easily-bamboozled populace will finally begin to shake off their libertarian-induced state of trance.

What have you got against Armin van Buuren?

Posted by: Demian | Jan 26 2016 1:20 utc | 34

@Demian - nothing related to Sanders, just with the voting segments of blues post.

Posted by: guest77 | Jan 26 2016 1:20 utc | 35

wrt: guest77 | Jan 25, 2016 7:09:23 PM | 24

Well, guest, I've read so much about these voting machines that I just don't remember much about the Mark Crispin Miller saga. I like Brad Blog, but the stories of electoral cheating and corruption flow on and on like an endless river.

Maybe what I'll really do is vote for Bernie (never Hillary), and then go out and hold up my big yellow sign that says "DON'T VOTE -- IT WASTES GAS! That way less people vote so my vote counts for more:) (I'm kidding of course about my motive, but I have done that, just to exercise my little streak of perversity). I voted wearing a bright red hat, then went out wearing the hat and holding up my "DON'T VOTE" sign. I had election officials stand watch over me during that maneuver. It's a kind of a special style of protest.

Posted by: blues | Jan 26 2016 1:32 utc | 36

ben @30

Synder Lied: Flint Water Switch Was Not About Money

It seems that Gov. Synder wanted to privatize water delivery. Probably some crony-capitalist scheme (as many of these privatizations are).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 26 2016 1:34 utc | 37

The Empire Files: Examining the Syrian War Chessboard. from TRNN:

Posted by: ben | Jan 26 2016 1:35 utc | 38

@blues #19

We have the old single-selection two-party system. So there is no real choice at all.

My deepest respect for your views, you spend countless hrs figuring out how not to vote for liars, crooks and endless warmongers... regardless parties!

Call me stupid or dumb, I still dun understand your description below.... and I dun agree with strategic voting either Trudeau a fucking fake leftist won and backtrack many of his promised.

My position unmoved, will never vote for any Democrat be it Hillary, Sanders, Elizabeth Warren not even Tulsi Gabbard or any fucking Democrats. NEVER!

Posted by: Jack Smith | Jan 26 2016 1:35 utc | 39

Posted by: blues | Jan 25, 2016 8:32:33 PM | 35

Maybe what I'll really do is vote for Bernie

Oh NO, you willing to buckle and sacrifice your integrity?

Posted by: Jack Smith | Jan 26 2016 1:39 utc | 40

wrt: Jack Smith | Jan 25, 2016 8:35:24 PM | 38

Yeah my comment above is a refinement of that Indymedia post. I have spent countless hours since the "elections" of 2004 trying to understand the strangeness of the election process. You could almost say I've been polishing this very same comment since that time. Twelve years.

Voting at all with the present single-selection system may perhaps be worse than a total waste of time. I have come to see it all, finally as a vast left-right wing conspiracy.

Can't blame you at all if you won't vote for any Dems.

"Oh NO, you willing to buckle and sacrifice your integrity?" -- Jack Smith

Dunno. Maybe sacrificing a bit of integrity is necessary if it buys some little scrap of sanity.

Posted by: blues | Jan 26 2016 2:02 utc | 41

"I refuse to believe that the American Enterprise Institute is so stupid as to not have recognized the character of JaN before." Posted by: Thirdeye | Jan 25, 2016 6:30:43 PM | 20

Dear Thirdeye: you an refuse all day long, but can you show me some examples of intellectual efforts produced by American Enterprise Institute showing that they are not utterly stupid?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 26 2016 2:20 utc | 42

Demian at 33 --


I went on a jag of digging up Joy Division/New Order covers a while ago. Perhaps, you might like this. I was espeically taken by their reworking after about 3.20.

This, I think, was my favorite find. They do an excellent cover of Heroes as well. Of necessity, they drop the synth parts, but really nail the guitars.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 26 2016 2:25 utc | 43

Penelope @ 29

Hi Penelope

> Both Tide Gauge & Satellite show the rate of rise to be DECREASING.

Not by my reading.

>2mm/yr = 2 pencil lead thicknesses = 8 inches/century.

I'd like to see citation, especially for "2 pencil lead thicknesses" quote. No distinction for process curves in that statement.

> Satellite measurement U of Colorado (mm/yr):
> Global: 1992-2003 3.23 2004-Feb 2015 2.71
> Pacific: " " 3.23 " " 2.34
> Atlantic: " " 3.51 " " 2.12

Your link to this site lists "tide" gauge records, not satellite as you say. If you click on links for the first couple citations in your link, they talk a lot about unreliability of tidal measurements.

> Tide Gauge global measurements
> Proudman Oceanographic Labs* (+/- .14mm):
> 1902-1953 1.9mm/yr 1954-2003 1.42mm/yr

Most of your other conclusions lack citations as well.

IPCC's 2013 paper observed glacial melt and modelling predictions for the same certainly do not agree with your statements: there have been sharp increases:


I don't know what your reference is to "recent deception" wrt 2 ft. Atlantic (coast?) prediction... time frame, or (???). You can Google huge salinity rise in Florida Everglades, returns numerous scholarly articles/studies, many of them local and being acted upon by local government/authorities. There is unanimity there as to the cause, and they are spending big $$ in response.

I certainly don't see "MSM is pushing Anthropogenic Global Warming" at all, just the opposite. A few articles here and there, but scientists who have spent their lives working on this in US, on public's behalf, receive virtually no MSM face time. I'm hoping recent disclosures Exxon's research determined GW inevitability +/- 20 years ago then they buried it, get's some traction. Let's allow the public to get a look at that stuff. Looks a bit like it resembles the Tobacco industries similar behavior some years ago.

Too serious an issue to be left to self-interested, politically connected polluter industry propagandists. A good test for integrity of planet wide societies, see if we can rise above so much pettiness that's getting us nowhere.

As I see it, this resembles what we're seeing in Flynt Mich. w/the lead poisoning: people were assured their water was safe for years, but nobody looked. Then "boom", people are sick and a big mess to clean up... years or decades to complete. Same thing happening across US but getting little or no attention. I don't really understand how soooo many people can take comfort that these environmental hazards do not exist, when our "authorities" have proven themselves so wrong... so often.

Posted by: jdmckay | Jan 26 2016 2:44 utc | 44

I agree with b. Of the major party candidates, Sanders would be best for the majority of people. But, as b acknowledges, Sanders is no threat to the neolibcon establishment. Raising some taxes - probably including a transactions tax on Wall Street - and moving to a single-payer healthcare system similar to other Western democracies is hardly 'radical'.

Sanders has proven himself willing to work within the system. He is a career politician and close with many top Democrats. He doesn't complain much about Democratic Party preference for Hillary or media bias against his campaign. He denounces Wall Street only in general terms and ignores deal-making in Washington. He's a nice guy who doesn't want to ruffle feathers. He is definitely NOT the leader of a movement for real change.

That is why I call him "warmed-over Change You Can Believe In". In 2008 we were convinced to trust a (half) black man who was a Constitutional Lawyer and Community organizer. Now we are asked again to trust a man with the right credentials. But in a world where the Nobel Peace Prize has turned into a cruel joke, I am unwilling to give the benefit of the doubt to another Democratic Party candidate.

Trump may well be a bigger threat to the neolibcon establishment. Unlike Sanders, Trump attacks politicians - even those in his own Party - and the political system itself. And he doesn't appear to be too
keen on bowing to zionist interests either.

I see Bloomberg's announcement was a way to drive home the notion that Sanders and Trump are "unelectable". This is mostly a BIG help to Hillary - whose campaign has been saying much the same thing about Sanders recently (with little effect). Especially, since Hillary needs to wrap up the nomination ASAP to get ahead of her email troubles. (It's nice to have powerful friends, isn't it?)

Who benefits from Bloomberg's announcement on the Republican side? Whoever uses it wisely to undercut Trump. We'll have to see wait and see. (Note: there is a Republican debate this Thursday.)

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

None of the above (Sanders / Trump / Bloomberg) would change a SYSTEM that is stacked against ordinary people. Sanders is a palliative. Trump is knee-jerk reaction. Bloomberg is a shoulder to cry on. The SOLUTION isn't easy but it is necessary: dump the duopoly SYSTEM by voting third-party and supporting a MOVEMENT for real change.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 26 2016 3:00 utc | 45

Does anyone really believe the endless wars and endless settlements will ever end?

Go ahead and vote for the lesser evils Bernie Sanders

Israel approves 153 new settler homes in West Bank: NGO

Israel's defence ministry has approved plans to build 153 new settler homes in the occupied West Bank, a spokeswoman for Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now said on Monday.

Hagit Ofran said the plans were adopted last week, and involve small settlements in the Ariel area in the northern West Bank, the Carmel settlement in the Hebron area and the Gush Etzion settlement bloc.

On 28 December, Peace Now said that Israel was working to revive and extend plans for new Jewish settler homes in the contentious area of the occupied West Bank known as E1.

Posted by: Jack Smith | Jan 26 2016 3:07 utc | 46

i guess we are going to get amerikkan election spin cycle on the open thread for the next zillion weeks/months... when does the agony end for those of us who see a predictable outcome - the same as all the other ones? thanks..

Posted by: james | Jan 26 2016 3:10 utc | 47

HEZBOLLAH (part one): Why Hezbollah is in Syria and until when?

US auditors inside Russian business and state 15' video from new insight.

Posted by: james | Jan 26 2016 3:22 utc | 48

james @ 46: No problem, just look at the next year as entertainment and therapy.

Posted by: ben | Jan 26 2016 3:27 utc | 49

@48 - the same bullshite end result isn't all that therapeutic or entertaining though - but thanks!

one quote to give a quick overview on the video link @ 47.. you can read the transcript in the comments section if you prefer that to following a video - "Can you imagine if some Russian consultant turned up at Lockheed Martin and said, “Let me see your documentation”. That would be incomprehensible. So why is that OK here?"

Posted by: james | Jan 26 2016 3:34 utc | 50

Elections. I think that we all have to run our respective countries, not the sold-out clowns who've tipped the applause meter furtherest at the 'final' media conducted clown show.

Right now the ONLY input we have is a well-vetted, safe candidate who will protect the status quo, the interests of the TNCs : in the US, a donkey, an elephant, or a more or less artfully inspired 'protest' candidate ... for an office that should not wield the power that it does, for that power is ours. Our representatives' jobs must merely be to make sure that the decisions we have taken are well-administered.

How to enliven our beaten down, lethargic selves to simply take control of our government ... and how?

We need a simple action that we can all effect. atomically, that will enforce change if we all take part in its realization. Our taking part in effecting the change will be the very democratic action that is missing, our goal reified, and the change we effect will feedback, strengthening the democracy that was latent all along but incarnated by our simple action.

My candidate action is write-in voting. Everytime. Each of us make it our habit. Pay no attention to the 'officials' who claim we've filled in lines that just do not exist on out ballots, who even claim that writing in our choice of a candidate for office is 'illegal. Just do it. First time, everytime. Initially, no change : the donkey or elephant will 'win', without a dime's worth of difference between them.

The victory for candidates written-in will come when we've managed to write-in more votes than than either the donkey or elephant has received. That will be proof of concept. We have the power. Any attempt to write-off write-ins by the media, or to thwart us by 'officials' will only advertize our resistance and embolden those who haven't yet been paying attention.

Then we'll have to organize ourselves to write-in the name of a single candidate more times than the donkeys or elephants check off theirs, and we'll have democratically won an election.

How to do that? My suggestion is to hold repeated elections within each constituency, make complete tallies of the results, exercise good communication between constituencies, follow through. writing-in our winning choices on the 'real' election day.

What to do when our candidates are not seated? My suggestion is general sit-down strikes in each constituency until they are.

Once we have captured our representative government we can restructure our government to actually enfranchise ourselves and to 'disenfranchise' them and the minority patrons behind them, to enable ourselves to initiate legislation, to negate their errant legislation by referendum, and to recall any of them at will.

If we are serious about ruling ourselves, this is the sort of action we must undertake. That's my two bits. Now I'll shut up on elections, not only American ones, certainly on American mob candidates.

Posted by: jfl | Jan 26 2016 3:50 utc | 51

To james as an attempt to show the entertaining sickness in American politics

So during my walk I keep passing this car with what looks to be a standard Bernie 2016 sticker and it makes me grin because it goes like this:

BERNIE - 2016
Because Fuck This Shit

I voted for Jill Stein in the last presidential annointment and likely will do the same again.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 26 2016 3:53 utc | 52

@rufus magister #42:

I like both those covers. It's interesting to hear what people do with that. I imagine that I had said that it is not possible to cover a Joy Division song. I guess what I should have said is that it is impossible to replicate Joy Division's music. Neither of those covers undermine the idea that Joy Division's sound, and especially their aesthetic, was unique.

Speaking of a band having a unique sound, I made an amazing discovering last fall: it turns out that there have been other bands that sounded like Pink Floyd. It turns out that the Floyd were working with a sound that was common at the time. I made this discovery when I decided to explore music from the 1960s that I wasn't familiar with. The discovery was Crosby, Stills & Nash. That made me reevaluate American rock music. I used to think that British rock is much superior; I don't think so any more. The rhythm, bass, and organ in Wooden Ships are all like the Floyd's.

And here's something else I find interesting: You Don't Have to Cry is very nice music to watch Russian planes drop bombs on US sponsored Islamic terrorists to.

And since I'm going on about Crosby, Stills & Nash, here is one more song: Carry On:

Where are you going now my love? Where will you be tomorrow?
Will you bring me happiness? Will you bring me sorrow?
Oh, the questions of a thousand dreams, what you do and what you see,
Lover, can you talk to me?
That makes me think of today's Europe. It is Europe talking to its old lover, America. It seems that today's Europeans think that the US is still the America of Crosby, Stills & Nash. Well, it isn't. Maybe when they figure that out, they will stop being puzzled about why they are having all the troubles they are having.

Posted by: Demian | Jan 26 2016 4:04 utc | 53

thanks guys.. for a diversionary laugh if you've never seen it before - reggie watts - capturing james view on usa elections...

Posted by: james | Jan 26 2016 4:05 utc | 54

"The United States is expanding its presence in Syria. Satellite imagery taken Dec. 28 shows construction underway to extend the runway at an airfield in Rmeilan, al-Hasaka province, which would prepare the site to accommodate larger aircraft."

Posted by: ben | Jan 26 2016 4:34 utc | 55

james @ 53: LOL, I concur.

I guess consensus here, on the impending "elections", is, one futile vote is as good as another.

Posted by: ben | Jan 26 2016 4:44 utc | 56

@psychohistorian #51:

I voted for Jill Stein in the last presidential annointment

Big deal. So did I. But I guess you didn't vote for Cynthia McKinney in 2008; otherwise, you would have said so. I'm ashamed to say that I had to look up who was the Green Party candidate then.

I am also ashamed that I voted for Obama in 2008 in the general election. He was not for single-payer , and I knew that. If I had known about this, I would not have voted for him. I realized that I had made a mistake when Obama appointed the witch as his SECSTATE.

But that last link also shows why the analogy between Obama and Sanders does not go through. Obama was an open neoliberal already in 2008; Sanders has consistently been a social democrat since he has been in Washington. The establishment is clearly afraid of Sanders in a way it wasn't afraid of Obama (who was obviously their man from the start).

So I think what is going on when people say "I am not going to let the Dems fool me again with their lesser evil" is that people are fighting the last war.

This time the situation is different. The 2008 equivalent of Sanders was Edwards, not Obama. The media tried to do to Sanders what they did to Edwards, but to the media's surprise, this time it didn't work. (The Rethug frontrunner being a populist is another difference.)

Posted by: Demian | Jan 26 2016 4:57 utc | 57

Demian at 52 --

From techno to Floyd to CSN -- talk about eclectic! That's a good thing.

Glad you liked 'em. I wish I could play rhythm guitar like Coleman from Los 7 Delfines. But I get lost on the fretboard, unlike the keyboard -- typewriter or piano. If I could press my luck, a different approach from the Czech band Ticha dohoda on New Dawn Fades.

Never a huge fan of CSN(Y) -- but my first college girlfriend was a Deadhead and a big country-rock fan. But she had this album by Crosby, because of the players from the Dead, which I remember liking. I don't exactly recall why, having not heard it in three decades. Maybe because of what Crosby's Wiki calls it reappraisal "amid the emergence of the freak folk and New Weird America movements" suggests about its aesthetics. I may have to find this blast from my past....

"Wooden Ships" is a great song, "Carry On," "Marrakesh Express," too. And I liked "Southern Cross."

But it might take a bit to wrap my head around the notion of similarities btw. the Floyd and CSNY. Something in the air at the time, perhaps?

I will say, when I brought up "You Don't Have to Cry," I immediately thought, "Hey, that does sound rather like St. Tropez from Meddle."

Hmmm, what band is the US of A today? Now that will really take some cogitation. Something that mixes Tea Party aggression with sincere liberal ineffectiveness, over modern/retro beats.... Linkin Park? Whom I like, BTW.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 26 2016 5:00 utc | 58

jas at 53 --

Now that's a real piece of Americana -- profane, materialist, kickin' beats. Yes Barflies, we have a diversion!


Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 26 2016 5:08 utc | 59

@55 Demian

Sanders says he will take down the TBTF banks but I believe that is not enough and we need to take down private finance if we are to move forward appreciably.

I supported Sanders earlier when I believed that, as a Jew, he could and would stand up to Israel. I don't believe that anymore and so another reason not to support him.

I am more into supporting alternative party stuff than I am the write-in proposal by jfl. That said we both agree that wholesale replacement needs to occur at the elected level of government. Sanders has to be given credit for the Independent party he is a big part of in Vermont. Maybe a "compromised" independent Sanders is a positive step on the way to real change.......I am going to wait and see how this horse race unfolds.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 26 2016 5:13 utc | 60

Debka File (groan...) finally weighs in on northeast Syria: A new US-Russian-Turkish military buildup over Syria: In unison or at odds? Nothing new, although I note the obvious lack of mention of RuAF eying up Qamishli International Airport and the current air defense network there. Israel is no doubt cranky about the possibilities of yet another S-400 system in Syria, and this one potentially so close to their Iraqi oil suppliers and Turkish pipeline.

Debka does make it sound like the U.S. built some kind of formal 'air base' at Remelan with permanent structures or something. This contradicts the locals that are only reporting the runway extension, and the unofficial report of intent to use this for air deliveries of supplies, not as any kind of permanent, manned base with on-station aircraft assigned there. The Stratfor satellite imagery from Jan 22nd used by the BBC and CNN (among others) supposedly from Dec. 28th shows little more than a runway extension and a nice paving contract for some lucky locals.

No evidence of areas prepared for taxiways, an apron or any pads for structures. In fact, there's no room on the apparent planned runway for a decent-sized transport aircraft like a C-130 or C-17 to even turn around. The extension is exactly what you would build if you only intended a transport to land, stop, load/unload and then take off from that point in the same direction with the remaining runway. If you were going to build a taxiway and loading ramp to one side, then there would be little reason to extend the runway beyond 1000m. That's plenty for a loaded C-130 maximum-effort landing on dirt. Now I suppose they could have built an entire city there since the claimed Dec. 28th date of the imagery, but it just doesn't make much sense if they just want to drop off supplies there a few times a week.

Locals reported exactly one instance of two helicopters stopping by carrying what probably was a survey crew, who apparently left with the helicopters. The '50 SF guys in Syria' are not at this airstrip - they're somewhere between Tishreen and Manjib with the SDF. The paving guys are locals, not SF combat engineers or whatever Debka imagines.

David Majumdar also came out with a piece in The National Interest on Jan. 22nd, "Are U.S. Special Forces Facing a Syrian 'Black Hawk Down'?" suggesting all kinds of SF types that might be 'operating' at the base. Well, there's absolutely nothing to do there. If the U.S. does have guys calling in airstrikes, they're not sitting in the middle of nowhere at a little airstrip. They're with the SDF at the line of contact with ISIS somewhere around Tishreen.

This is just my guess based on the small number of known SF guys there, what they are supposedly doing and what appears to be nothing more than an improved airstrip for supply. Anything more extensive out in the open and I think both Assad and the Russians would object. One can only wonder what other secretive 'ops' the U.S. is scheming in more remote locations, but nothing is being reported from the Local Coordination Committees or other observers in the area.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 26 2016 5:54 utc | 61

In any case, the election dynamics are about to change dramatically with voting starting in days and the economy in a severe downdraft (which benefits the populists).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 26 2016 6:08 utc | 62

bernie bernie bernie.. so prior to this election he would've been gaffed and gotcha'd out of the scene. Here's bernie in 1992

Posted by: Refocus | Jan 26 2016 6:38 utc | 63

@Jackrabbit #60:

Yeah. Robert Parry has a piece about how the witch is starting to attack Sanders for not being Zionist enough.

Here's an amusing take on US foreign policy at
Iran Is Guilty of ‘Contempt of Empire,’ Nothing More

A power-mad cop doesn’t know much else than brute force. Diplomacy is deemed “cowardly,” offensive to his manly self-delusion, and prefers to threaten violence to obtain compliance as a first resort, and the demands made are usually worded so that compliance is nigh impossible. The power-poisoned Empire operates in much the same way: brute force, threats, sanctions, more threats, all to achieve either complete submission, or an excuse to attack. Diplomacy is disparaged, even in the face of its effectiveness, in favor of coercion, threats, and sanctions, tactics that produce an outcome bad for all sides involved. An entrenched jumpiness and paranoia pollute the judgment of both the tyrannical cop and Empire; threats emanate from everywhere.

Posted by: Demian | Jan 26 2016 6:41 utc | 64

We have learned well enough that a moderate rebel is anyone willing to take up arms against any deemed enemy for three hundred dollars a month.

Posted by: fast freddy | Jan 26 2016 11:48 utc | 65

Now that was a tidy little ($980m - $890m = $90m) for a elected servant of the public.
Anyone checked Malaysia's Attorney-General's bank account lately?

Nothing to see here folks, move on...

"There was no reason given as to why the donation was made to PM Najib, that is between him and the Saudi family," Mr Apandi said.

No further action would be taken against the prime minister, he added, saying the investigation would now be closed.

Link to Najib Razak and $980 million Saudi 'donation'

Posted by: doveman | Jan 26 2016 11:49 utc | 66

The Presidential theatre, sponsored by Big Oil, DOW, XE, Lockheed Martin, and Monsanto is a contest to determine whom is the greater Zionist with the fiercest blood lust for brown-skinned peasants.

Greater Israel extends from the Nile to the Euphrates and beyond the pale.

Posted by: fast freddy | Jan 26 2016 11:57 utc | 67

JD McKay,

You're right. No. 2 pencil is .3 mm to 2 mm. Therefore 2mm may be equal to the thickness of only ONE no. 2 pencil lead, depending upon your pencil. The net says that an ordinary paperclip is 1mm thick. So I should have said that the thickness of 2 paperclips is equal to a 2mm sea rise/yr = 8 " / century. You can verify that on the net.

Satellite global, Pacific & Atlantic measurements all show that the sea level rise is LESS in the later time frame.

So does the tide gauge study.

Countries around the world have used tide gauges for more than a century and no one ever thought them unreliable until warmists wanted to get rid of the earlier higher rate in order to claim the more recent rate is unprecedented. You will note that the claim is that ONLY the earlier tide gauges were all placed in locations that gave an excessive rate.

This is exactly the same technique that was used when warmists lowered the temperature records from the 30s (dust bowl era) in order to claim that the decade of the 90s was the hottest ever; that's what Climategate was about: The e-mails were leaked where they talked about having to get rid of the 30s records, and they talked about how hard it was to devise models that showed that increased CO2 had a large impact on temperature.

I recommend to you a warmist who insists upon being scientific and doesn't change data to further his own opinion. Tom Fuller who blogs at: 3000Quads :

"The difference in estimated temperature rises [predictions] from different sources almost always comes from the differences in estimated atmospheric sensitivity to concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere. Having extra CO2 in the atmosphere warms the atmosphere, which is presumed to produce more water vapor, which is also a greenhouse gas and would contribute more warming than the CO2 by itself. How much extra warming would ensue is pretty much the heart and soul of the debate over global warming.

"Those who think that there isn’t much of an additional effect (that sensitivity of the atmosphere is low) have been chuckling very publicly because temperatures haven’t risen very much (if at all) since the big El Nino year of 1998. This is not hugely surprising, as the shape of the data is uneven, a sawtooth with ups and downs that can last a decade or longer.

"But one-third of all human emissions of CO2 have occurred since 1998. And temperatures haven’t budged as a result.
"This does not ‘disprove’ global warming–at all. I still believe that temperatures will climb this century, mostly as a result of the brute force effect of the 3,000 quads of energy we will burn every year starting in 2075–the reason I started this weblog.

"However it makes it exceedingly difficult to use the past 15 years as evidence of a very high sensitivity of the atmosphere to CO2 concentrations. And it makes me feel more comfortable about my ‘lukewarm’ estimate of 2C temperature rises as opposed to the more alarming 4.5C rises put forward by some of those who are most active in the movement to reduce emissions drastically.

"And it makes me wonder about why people don’t include relevant data when they discuss these issues. Is it really that politically incorrect to show real data, even if that data doesn’t advance your case?"

The media is constantly pushing some outrageous headline in support of global warming. They seldom cover opposing views & then only hostilely. They failed even to question the outrageous fraud in which an article claimed that 97% of climate scientists agreed with Anthropogenic Global Warming-- or to cover it after it was exposed.

It is the oil & gas industries and their bankers who control the MSM which is pushing warmist propaganda. They stand to make 1 Trillion dollars annually in the Chicago Carbon Exchange (Cap n Trade). Plus impoverishing nations further and inhibiting their development.

Posted by: Penelope | Jan 26 2016 12:00 utc | 68

To whom...?

Ken O'Keefe exposes the economic & financial slavery & Rothschild

Posted by: doveman | Jan 26 2016 12:55 utc | 69

29, 44

Great, let's drag mythology and duality into Earth's googleplex multivariant billion years of constant flux and change, then blame only that which we can tax and spend, as our paltry 0.2% contribution to all of the world's fermentation, decay, forest fires, autumn leaves and dead carcasses decomposing, which held together form only 0.0045% CO2 as a trace gas more rare than xenon, CO2 that absorbs and retransmits infrared energy (in other words, is just as transparent as a window pane), as a one-trillionth atomic fraction of every square meter of angry sky. Let the Carbon Catholic (or Caliphate) slaughter begin!!

As 29 points out, the sea levels are not rising. Far from it, the East Coast, especially Florida, is pumping fresh water out of their aquifer so much faster than rain replacement, that like Mexico City, much of South Florida has subsided 6-feet. If you're familiar with the Marshall Islands, then you know those islands with too many people and too much water take, are the ones responsible for the island subsiding, and for killing off all the reef fish responsible for generating replacement coral sand. Where do you think that sand comes from, Uranus? Kill all the parrot fish and trigger fish, and no more replacement sand! Their problems are entirely their own, since we know, from the hundreds of tide gauges still surviving,,some even from the Middle Ages, that the oceans are NOT rising, that it's a purely statistical claim, averaging satellite passes with 35 cm accuracy over enough over flights to claim 1.54mm ocean rise. When your 'trend' is 1/100th of your measurement accuracy, that's referred to in SCIENCE as 'background noise'.

Arctic ice is already floating The entire Arctic Ocean could melt and it would LOWER sea levels because water is denser than ice. Antarctica's ice sheet is also floating, while the part that on continental land remains far below freezing, and the sun's angle, even at the height of Southern summer, remains far below the incident angle to enter the air:water interface.

What about deforestation? The Climate Caliphate is not amused.
What about geothermal? The Climate Caliphate is not interested. What about solar cycles? Oh, that's so Galileo.This is Science!
Well, remember the Catholic Church was the arbiter of 'Science' for 1000s of years, they invented the term. And what they did with it was pull out people's teeth and fingernails, peel the skin from their bodies, pull out their entrails, then burn them alive in the 'cleansing flames of Science'.

So what some pompous Mil.Gov asshat claims that a rare inert gas is the cause of all mankind's ills from hot summers to cold winters to flatulence to chillblains and Zika virus, just be sure to freeze into your mind's eye the gibbet, the iron maiden, and burning at the stake.

Science is not Black and White, religion is nothing but. You are either with US or your are with Satan. When someone says an invisible Being or an invisible Gas is the source of all your evils and ills, but Mil.Gov Scientocracy (and a convenient Carbon Catholic Trading Bourse) says they will tithe you and flog you and brainwash the sin out of your children, then it's time for torches and pitchforks and hang 'em high.

There is no more room on this crowded planet for another religion, especially one that's owned by the Chosen of Mil.Gov. Oil and gas blew gold dust around the entire Planet, everything that we have today is entirely, exclusively due to oil and gas. They can have my guns and my Bible, but if they touch my oil and gas, we will visit on them El Noche del los Mil Machetes.

Posted by: Chipnik | Jan 26 2016 13:01 utc | 70

Penelope @ 66

ok. I don't know where to begin.

Fuller is not someone I choose to be informed by... he offers opinions only.

2015 was hottest planetary year on record.

It is the oil & gas industries and their bankers who control the MSM which is pushing warmist propaganda. They stand to make 1 Trillion dollars annually in the Chicago Carbon Exchange (Cap n Trade). Plus impoverishing nations further and inhibiting their development.

That makes no sense... oil & gas pushing "warmist propaganda"?

We just don't agree at all.

Posted by: jdmckay | Jan 26 2016 14:51 utc | 71

In the past, the US has tried to shift the blame to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, etc. for fundinng Al-Nusra Front, ISIS, etc. while the US was supposedly backing only the "moderate" rebels. This is close to an admission that the US is actually doing all of operational support for the terrorist groups and relies on foreign and private financing to evade public scrutiny or oversight.

Posted by: Les | Jan 26 2016 15:01 utc | 72

Les @70

What the US now calls "leading from behind", Sy Hersh described in "The Redirection" back in 2007:

Some of the core tactics of the redirection are not public, however. The clandestine operations have been kept secret, in some cases, by leaving the execution or the funding to the Saudis, or by finding other ways to work around the normal congressional appropriations process, current and former officials close to the Administration said.

A senior member of the House Appropriations Committee told me that he had heard about the new strategy, but felt that he and his colleagues had not been adequately briefed. “We haven’t got any of this,” he said. “We ask for anything going on, and they say there’s nothing. And when we ask specific questions they say, ‘We’re going to get back to you.’ It’s so frustrating.”


The Bush Administration’s reliance on clandestine operations that have not been reported to Congress and its dealings with intermediaries with questionable agendas have recalled, for some in Washington, an earlier chapter in history. Two decades ago, the Reagan Administration attempted to fund the Nicaraguan contras illegally, with the help of secret arms sales to Iran. Saudi money was involved in what became known as the Iran-Contra scandal, and a few of the players back then—notably Prince Bandar and Elliott Abrams—are involved in today’s dealings.

And it's not just Saudi Arabia:

The policy shift has brought Saudi Arabia and Israel into a new strategic embrace, largely because both countries see Iran as an existential threat.

I think one can assume that Israel lends support operationally and/or financially. Some examples may be: their medical treatment of Jihadis and buying ISIS oil.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 26 2016 15:34 utc | 73

@ jdmckay | Jan 26, 2016 9:51:02 AM | 69

For me,I think Penelope may be coming up against the 'three strikes you're OUT' barrier. If given the option of believing Penelope or the global anthropologic warming, you will find me in the latter camp without a doubt, and that is regardless of the total mass of foolishness Penelope publishes these threads in an endless gush of words in support of her delusions and misconceptions. I am starting to think Penelope may be the Cassandra of make-believe.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jan 26 2016 15:36 utc | 74

Actually, having read Lone Wolf's final post in response to b's post; I think he(?) decided to just leave this blog.
He was upset by b's treatment of his person and objected to being yelled at by b (all caps).
b did in fact diss LW, IMO.
Can't really blame LW for leaving; he did put a hell of a lot into this blog...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Jan 26 2016 15:39 utc | 75

Here's a real good one;Over at the graun,Obomba,to politico?said Sanders is a new bright shiny object!
Are these people that unaware?Mein gott!
Trump is a populist,but I'm unsure of his foreign policy.He seems to swerve a little.Picking on Iran is not a way to sway the electorate anymore.anyone with a brain knows they are the moderate force in all this sh*t,despite being a theocracy.Funny dat,Israel and US actually hate God.We must,from our actions,because if there is a heaven hell,they are certainly going.(leaders)Sanders has the zionist monkey on his back,so in a pinch,I'd vote for the American.(The only one in the whole field,Trump)But if Sanders says the right things about that crazy wacko belligerent entity,I'd consider him.
Metallica;USA's band?

Posted by: dahoit | Jan 26 2016 16:22 utc | 76

@27, I guess there's something to those rumors about a Mormon mafia in f.b.i.

Posted by: bfrakes | Jan 26 2016 16:29 utc | 77

I said Metallica,because who else is there that could be considered a modern emblematic American band?The Foo fighters?
There were plenty of excellent American bands late 60s 70s.Jefferson airplane,Lynyrd Skynyrd,Allmans,CSNY,the Band,the Doors,Creedence.For a great jam,check out Quicksilver Messenger Service Who Do Love Suite Live from the Fillmore,on Happy Trails.
Sadly,today,the creative impulse is somewhat corrupted I guess.A lot of anger instead of inspiration.

Posted by: dahoit | Jan 26 2016 16:31 utc | 78

@73 v. arnold = lone wolf? who cares otherwise?

interesting israeli defense minister coming out saying turkey needs to stop funding isis - or something like that.. i bet that will get picked up by the msm - not!

Posted by: james | Jan 26 2016 16:32 utc | 79

@76 dahoit - last line - i think that is somewhat true.. i mostly listen to jazz type improv music and i find there is still a lot of very creative inspired content in that area... maybe it is too subjective to comment on..

Posted by: james | Jan 26 2016 16:36 utc | 80

check out this guy as an example.. david cook - piano player..

he plays with many different folks in order to make a living, but still finds time to make interesting music of his own... actually - brooklyn jazz underground is putting out a lot of interesting creative and what i think of as 'inspired' music..

Posted by: james | Jan 26 2016 16:39 utc | 81

Denying the on-going catastrophe and destruction of the natural world is like saying the wars being waged piecmeal around the globe, part and parcel of the enviromental catastrophes, are trivial. Or that the global financial situation is under complete control. It's more like wishful thnking, but it seems to defy empirical as well as scientific evidence.

I'm sure most everyone wants some semblance of a peaceful and harmonious existence, except for your Dick Cheney types, and that in our safe european western bubbles and homes we are immune from natural and social cataclysms if we stay indoors, but safe and comfortable may not be all their cracked up to be. While I too hope moving forwards doesn't imply extinction, and generally avoid excessive discomfort, living in an hermetically sealed dystopia somehow seems worse.

Posted by: Geoff | Jan 26 2016 16:46 utc | 82

People's Hero Clare Daly TD with her finger on the pulse.
Statements on TTIP during Irish Parliament sitting.
"...this is the neoliberal project unleashed..."

She's getting pretty efficient, under 4mins here...

Posted by: MadMax2 | Jan 26 2016 17:31 utc | 83

Formerly T-Bear @ 74

I think human induced GW is very difficult "reality" for people to come to grips with. Huge disinformation out there, much from qualified people who's judgement is clouded by (IMO) what they "want", not what is there. This is a planetary system, entirely interconnected. We can't seem to get simple local issues (like Flynt lead poisoning) right, or finance scams on global scale...

This breeds skepticism, and makes it hard to have confidence in such a huge all encompassing issue. GW is a reality for sure, only question is whether humanity will respond.

I do not think it worthwhile to castigate anyone (Penelope or otherwise) on this, as sooner or later it's going to take a collective effort. Never too late for anyone to come around, better to leave the door open for them.

Geoff @| 82

> While I too hope moving forwards doesn't imply extinction, and generally avoid excessive discomfort, living in an hermetically sealed dystopia somehow seems worse <

Agree completely. I find it "trying" even here, all the talk of upcoming elections and fierce opinions of this/that candidate... it all seems to drown out any acknowledgment or grappling with this: none of them address it. I think it's most critical issue of our time, and delay only complicates the day of reckoning.

Posted by: jdmckay | Jan 26 2016 17:38 utc | 84

I must say to the warmists.. what on earth can humanity do to mitigate AGW, assuming AGW is real? I'd say next to nothing.. but the Cap&Trade scheme would sure net money for the architects I'm sure. For most it would only serve as another tax/fee to add to all the other taxes and fees that extract wealth from their income/assets.

Let's not forget that each volcano probably emits CO2 well beyond the net AGW gasses these select countries emit

Am I against energy efficiency? Absolutely not - it should be the primary focus of the 'global' economy in lieu of peak resources

Posted by: Refocus | Jan 26 2016 17:44 utc | 85

@ jdmckay | Jan 26, 2016 12:38:30 PM | 84

I shall refrain from further 'castigation', but it seems adding to the levels of disinformation if not distortion isn't the most effective way to counter that disinformation and distortion and outright ignorance. The industry of marketing of doubt plants the barriers to any development of a concerted, effective program to address the complexities of modern problems, informing of their histories and development and designing an effective resolution. The cacophony of the ignorant easily drowns out the quiet voice of reason; nowhere is restraint of unsubstantiated opinion being exercised. The band on the Titanic plays loudly on, the rushing waters are not heard. YMMV

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jan 26 2016 18:19 utc | 86

“Health” in Ukraine. (Don’t know anything about the ‘soldier’ bug.)

Ukr. according to all ‘health’ stats and a pile of WHO documents, has been, and is, a ‘sanitary’ grey hole, as compared to the ‘hopeful, striving’ western standards. That AIDS is rampant is one thing, that proper treatment is not given another (heroin addiction is also high, Ukr. is on the route and massively in the trade; aids patients are stigmatised, rejected.)

It has been flagged as at high risk for a polio outbreak for at least 15 years, and ppl are keeping their fingers crossed. Tuberculosis is another bad story. Health services and vaccinations sag year by year and since Feb. 2014 have degraded further.

Flu (of whatever type) becomes a more extreme killer with poverty; flu added on to other conditions which are untreated/badly treated, such as diabetes, TB, heart, even malnutrition; lack of heat, lack of med services, prevention, hospital beds, etc. Suicide is a major killer (amongst the world’s highest, or even the highest, and higher than vehicle accident deaths, some report. Lack of treatment for psychiatric issues looms large in all the stats.)

—> no good link to offer, overviews missing.

As or biological labs that carry out tests on human subjects, it is true that there are some in Ukraine. (Demian at 11.) Big Pharma always sets these up where the legislation is slim. Most, almost *all*, of them are in Africa.

Posted by: Noirette | Jan 26 2016 18:33 utc | 87

Remember the US claim - which MSM delivered with a tone of outrage - that the missile that downed MH-17 airliner over Ukraine was "Russian made"?

When will the MSM report about this:
Saudi Arabia is Killing Civilians With US Bombs

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 26 2016 18:37 utc | 88


I will be kind and say that you've been snookered by right-wing media that play upon people's fears with all sorts of 'conspiracy theories'.

Aside (for new readers): I have said that some of the questions raised deserve an answer, but for the most part, these theories are not plausible. Staging attacks requires that dozens of people remain quiet for many years and no one in their right mind would participate knowing that they immediately become a 'loose end' that needs to be silenced.

It took more than 20 years for activists to get politicians to recognize climate change as a threat. It is well known that energy companies fought this via lobbing, attempting to discredit scientists, and disinformation campaigns.

Now that climate change is (finally) widely accepted, a new obstacle has emerged: bankers hope to profit from a "market solution" that has many flaws. This is a cause for grave concern as we are already at a critical juncture.

Your conspiracy theory sources attempt to twist the truth of these developments - a truth which anyone that has followed the climate change issue well knows. To call climate change is a banker conspiracy is, frankly, nutty. It is reminiscent of a real conspiracy: years ago, the oil companies pushed the notion that climate change is a lefty conspiracy. The twisted logic was as follows: the left is defeated, they can only return by making a desperate plea for support in the face of a massive threat.

The anti-climate change mini-industry exists to make any and every possible argument against climate change, no matter how delusional. They have also claimed that climate change was just a means for scientists to ensure long-term employment, that climate change is a jobs killer, an have claimed that POLLing shows that climate change is false due to the small number of people that are certain that it is happening (in essence, turning their disinfo campaign into a false truth).

And here's the best part (worst, really). These asshats are playing fast and lose with the future of you, your kids, and your great-grandkids. I've read hours of online articles and commentary and I've NEVER seen a climate change denier win a debate against an informed opponent. And many of the debates I've seen got quite technical.

My advice to you: do your own research. And don't rely on one source or one point of view. Climate deniers take advantage of people's ignorance.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 26 2016 19:13 utc | 89

Posted by: V. Arnold | Jan 26, 2016 10:39:35 AM | 75

I have no desire to diss LW, but I read what both b & LW said. What b was drawing LW's attention to would annoy anyone. Describing (polite) words written in caps as "shouting" was just as precious as posting something 14 times (or even 7)(or 3).

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 26 2016 20:36 utc | 90

It's getting very warm between Israel and Turkey now that they have reestablished diplomatic relations, uh?

Posted by: Mina | Jan 26 2016 21:01 utc | 91

JD McKay, Refocus & Jackrabbit.,

At 30, I cited 2 scientific studies. The satellite study is even a warmist site. Neither fulfills the dramatic predictions of the MSM or activist sites.

To support the hypothesis that we are experiencing unprecedented warming the climate deceivers hide that the historical temperature records show a 27-30 year alternating cycle of warming and cooling. The warming period prior to the 1977-98 one was 1917-44, which peaked in the 30s at temperatures a little above those in 1998. So TPTB have "adjusted" those temperatures down 70 years later! But they are unable to over-rule the 10,000 record highs which were recorded; in the 90s there were only about 1,000. They cannot deny that Europe experienced the Medieval Warm Period, so TPTB reduce it to "a local phenomenon" and seek to overturn the conclusions of hundreds of climate studies that demonstrate the MWP was a global phenomenon. Here's one: (Sorry, ScienceMagazine has now "corrected" the article to let you read only the abstract.)

Similarly, they now eradicate as much as possible all earlier ice melting/sea level rise in order to claim that today's reduced rates are unprecedented. The Little Ice Age which followed the MWP ended finally in the 1800s and our current temperature climb out of the Little Ice Age began. But the recovery to the warmer temperatures of most of the past 10,000 years is slow and oscillates in 30 year warming-then-cooling periods.

Two graphs make clear our historic climate record, page 3 here: . Greenland ice core studies. Even NASA has been forced to admit that the Pacific Decadal Oscillation has entered its cool period.

The manufacture of a nonexistent crisis permits the oligarchs to extend their control over the world economy and further inhibit development. It financializes the economy still further, with energy-use to pay a hidden tax to the .001%. Maurice Strong, of banking fame, as director of the UN's environmental program, created the IPCC and its war on industrialization as the implementation of the Club of Rome's plan to reduce the living standards of the developed world: A global oligarchy is more easily brought about if there is no middle class. With their control over the media and unlimited PR funds they have sold their "science" to us through our love of nature and the environment. Like they sell bombing as a way to achieve democracy abroad.

I recommend and for archived audio shows.

You already know the side being sold by the MSM and Maurice Strong (Bilderberger, CFR, Club of Rome and trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation): "Isn't it the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring that about?" -- at his opening speech to the Rio Environmental Summit.

(This is the same multimillionaire M. Strong who had to resign from the UN after he endorsed a check for $988,885 to steal money from the Iraqi "Oil for Food program." The Korean who misdirected the check was convicted, but Maurice got to go and live in China where he continued to direct the UN environmental progam)

Now please just look at the other side of the argument-- at the scientists who have not been coerced by universities who've been bought off by "donations."

Posted by: Penelope | Jan 26 2016 22:37 utc | 92

China warns Soros..This news made my day. It would be nice if China could do humanity a favor and get rid of piece of work called Soros.

Posted by: Nick | Jan 26 2016 22:42 utc | 93

I'm no scientist obviously, and I'd never argue the point because I don't know enough about it, but it seems to make sense to me that we can't continually pump poison into the air without any ill effects any more than we can dump poison into the oceans, or a river - anymore than I can sit in my garage with my car running and think I'll still wake up in the morning.

I thought Tarpley ht a low point on Saturday with the super dumb "how can there be global warming when its snowing outside" quote unquote "observation". Of course there are people who would love to use this as a chance to do something between "destroy our living standards" and "kill us all" but they look at every chance for that. It doesn't mean it isn't problematic for us to keep spewing garbage into the atmosphere.

Seems to me we have to find the arguments about "which solution to this problem is good for planet and the average person" as opposed to "the powerful will obviously have a bad solution, so the answer is to insist it isn't happening".

But I don't know anything except what I read in the papers, so like I said, I'm not trying to argue it.

Posted by: guest77 | Jan 27 2016 0:13 utc | 94

What is it about Russia that they have to continually rip apart their forebears? Now Putin, it is claimed, is attacking the memory of Lenin. I really don't see what purpose it serves.

This is a little loose with the history, but it seems to me these are the general examples:
The Bolsheviks did with the Czar (probably for the better, and considering their ideology, how could they not).
Stalin did it to the early Bolsheviks - it caused a huge schism in the global movement.
Khurschev did it to Stalin - it opened the gate to so many Western lies and caused the rift with China.
Brexznev did it to Khruschev.
Gorbachev proclaimed all of Soviet history to be "closed" and "repressive" - it cost the ppl of the USSR their country.
Yelstin declared the whole concept of the USSR to be mistaken - it cost the ppl of Russia their living standard, their soverignty, and their economy, and millions of lives.
Now Putin is doing it to Lenin - precisely at the time when people in Eastern Ukraine are rallying around his statue and that history - so what will it cost them, this latest denigration of history? And at the same time he is praising that disaster Yeltsin?

You'll never catch the US apologizing for its history, though they certainly should as it is a history far more shameful than anything that occurred in the USSR. The US won't apologize to the Iraqis, much less to its First Peoples.

Yet we see in Russia, with each change of the guard, the shredding of the old history. It seems to me to be a pointless exercise that only serves to build up those who want to say the worst things about Russian and Soviet history. I'm not sure if Putin thinks that such stances will increase Russia's standing in world? It will not. Those who want to destroy Russia won't stop lying, in fact, they'll build on his statements even more lies.

Putin should leave Lenin alone. Especially now when he's become a symbol of resistance to the assault on Russian history and language everywhere.

Posted by: guest77 | Jan 27 2016 0:31 utc | 95

@9 Jack Smith Are you here to play games or are you really so dense!?! You are telling people to vote in the Democratic Primary for either Putin or Jill Stein?! So basically you are giving the stupidest suggestion or you are undermining efforts at progress activism by ignoring the primary by again acting like there is only a general election.

What in the world is being defended by pointing out how horrible Hillary is? Clinton’s faux liberalism laid bare: (please retweet, more people need to know these facts):
Your immaturity is HELPING Hillary. Again, it makes absolutely no sense at all to skip the Democratic Primary and allow Hillary to get the Democratic nomination. Your actions are EXACTLY what the elite want! I don't know how much clearer I have to make it in this video to explain my argument:

And for all your talk, have you ever actually voted for Jill Stein? Because I HAVE!

Posted by: Tom Murphy | Jan 27 2016 0:31 utc | 96

Re: Putin's recent attack on Lenin mentioned @95. Putin has now followed up with more on the subject, translated here:

Posted by: KMF | Jan 27 2016 0:35 utc | 97

Have we seen this video for a Joy Division cover?

Spoek Mathambo - Control

(Good thing this is an open thread.)

Posted by: RudyM | Jan 27 2016 1:16 utc | 98

I supported Sanders earlier when I believed that, as a Jew, he could and would stand up to Israel. I don't believe that anymore and so another reason not to support him.

As a non-Jew, I fear that Sanders' Zionism could end up being more deeply rooted than the usual opportunistic, ideologically shallow, Zionism of politicians, thanks to his Jewish identity, and his having spent time on a kibbutz. I will probably still vote for him in the Democratic primary, however.

Posted by: RudyM | Jan 27 2016 1:57 utc | 99

Penelope @92

I don't care to go around w/you on this, you appear pretty dug in.

Couple comments...

> You already know the side being sold by the MSM and Maurice Strong (Bilderberger, CFR, Club of Rome and trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation): "Isn't it the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring that about?" -- at his opening speech to the Rio Environmental Summit. <

Strong made no such statement: transcript of that "address" is here. Your falsely attributed quote appears only on a handful of "denier" sites.

Beyond that, Strong had nothing to do with NASA/GODDARD (and most of other IPCC member scientist's) decades of climate research. He merely organized, and these guys were included in their "forums".

> I recommend and (snip)

Thanks. Looked at those guys years ago, mentioned it to you when we started this discussion a few months ago.

"wattsupwiththat" (Anthony Watts) has no credentials whatsoever, has refused to provide verifiable education biography, and is largely (along with other paid deniers) funded by the Heartland Institute. These guys run full time GW denial service, and are themselves under umbrella of Competitive Enterprise Institute who also funds CATO (amongst others)... eg. the guys who brought us "Freedom Fries" and selling of the Iraq war and other global frauds.

Heartland joined tobacco industry, paid to promulgate all kinds of "experts" making the case health risks for "2nd hand smoke" were non-existent (similar to their arguments for GW). This is well documented.

As far as your statement current warming trends fit historical averages over similar periods of time, good link @ NOAA discusses (and contradicts you) this. Another good discussion at Skeptical Science, with good links/references.

Most of your brief characterizations of oscillating cool/warming periods of 30 yrs, we also talked about months ago. You quote deniers who misquote data (make up their statements) for hard data over last 16+ years. Anyone claiming data over last 16 years does not show sharp (well above historical trends) warming trend is simply not telling the truth.

Posted by: jdmckay | Jan 27 2016 2:35 utc | 100

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