Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 06, 2016

Open Thread 2016-07

News & views ...

Posted by b on February 6, 2016 at 18:10 UTC | Permalink

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>> that's all well and good, UNTIL it's YOUR baby that pops out of it's momma . . . with a fucked up head
>> PS - you can then send Bill Gates a "Thank YOU" note for the privilege

Even if we only continue at exactly the same rate of pollution (which is unlikely given your lack of planning), that's happening now and will happen on a grander scale.

When you do a cost-benefit analysis, you actually have to understand the baseline trajectory first. It seems to me that you don't.

Posted by: dumbass | Feb 8 2016 17:57 utc | 101

Bill Clinton Accuses Sanders Supporters of ‘Vicious Trolling,’ ‘Sexist’ Attacks

Posted by: aaaaaa | Feb 8 2016 19:29 utc | 102

@Susan Sunflower #102:

I'm more than slightly appalled that Beyonce's new song and Superbowl "tribute to the Black Panthers" is being fulsomely embraced by millenials as "significant" and moving

I'm relieved that they actually know who the Black Panthers were, given that the black community seems to be gravely suffering from a lack of leaders like MLK and Malcolm X. Current well known blacks all seem to be co-opted and just engaging in identity politics, which gets trashed in this piece worth reading.

We shall see if Beyoncé or Jay-Z backs Clinton. I haven't liked any black music since the Supremes and Jimi Hendrix TBH, with the exception of Chaka Khan, on account of Miami Vice.

Posted by: Demian | Feb 8 2016 21:38 utc | 103

yes, leadership ... massive vacuum and very effective pre-emptive smearing campaigns ...
I can't tell if Beyonce was fan-girling the Black Panthers and the new movie (and appropriating their logo/trademarked signifiers) or ... oh, never mind. Bobby Seale is on a speaking tour (possible book tour) and I'm looking out to see his response. See also Angela Davis and Kathleen Cleaver.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Feb 8 2016 22:04 utc | 104

105;If you like rock,Living Color were an excellent black rock band.Yeah,rap and hip hop don't do much for me either.But it is an expression of reality,with its drugs violence and sex.Written on the subway walls.
Supe 50 was a great game for those of us oldtimers who loved smash mouth football.A great defensive game.
Newton is going to hear a lot about shying away from that fumble.
Marino made it in his 2nd? year and never made it back.
Cam needs some WR.Can't do it all.

Posted by: dahoit | Feb 8 2016 22:11 utc | 105

Check out Angry Arab for a link to photos from the VC and NVA during the Vietnam War.

Posted by: dahoit | Feb 8 2016 22:13 utc | 106

Gareth Porter:

- the US military tried to resist, soften, mitigate the plans of the Obama administration for action against Libya & Syria. The military used their (indirect) contacts with the syrian & libyan government in an attempt to reach some sort of agreement that would reduce/eliminate the need for a war against both countries. Khadaffi was even willing to step down when some conditions were met.
- Secretary Hillary Clinton and later John Kerry were leading "the charge" for war with Libya & Syria. And were supported by Samantha Power, Susan Rice and Anne Marie Slaughter.

And the State Department rejected a possible deal with Khadaffi and wanted to arm the "rebels" in e.g. Benghazi.
- Joseph Biden, John Brennan (CIA), (Robert) Gates were opposed to action in both countries.

"We cam, we saw, he died"


Posted by: Willy2 | Feb 8 2016 22:36 utc | 107

Israel Reveals Details of Obama's Aid Package

Netanyahoo 'threatens' not to sign an extension of the USrael aid 'agreement' at $3,000,000,000/year ... he's holding out for at 66% raise to $5,000,000,000/year for the next 10 years.

It seems pretty clear that to USrael there is less than a dime's worth of difference among Hillary, Bernie, and a Republican to be named later : any one of them will cave to his demands.

How sweet it would be to 'offer' Netanyahoo and USrael a 100% decrease instead. Send him the memo after the fact.

Posted by: jfl | Feb 8 2016 23:57 utc | 108

@96 noirette

Thanks for the link ... for others averse to men-in-the-middle ... "France’s Zionist Prime Minister: A Review of Emmanuel Ratier’s “Le Vrai Visage de Manuel Valls” " — Part 1 and Part 2. From wikipedia ...

The Occidental Observer is a far right online publication that covers politics and society from a white nationalist [citation needed] and antisemitic [according to whom?] perspective. Its mission statement is to "present original content touching on the themes of white identity, white interests, and the culture of the West." The publication was founded because, "overt expressions of white identity and white interests (or European-American identity and interests) are rarely found among the peoples who founded these societies and who continue to make up the majority."[2] It and The Occidental Observer are run by the Charles Martel Society.[3][4]

Kevin B. MacDonald (now-retired American professor of psychology at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), best known for his use of evolutionary theory to analyze Judaism as a "group evolutionary strategy"[5]) is the editor of the publication.[2]

[2] "Occidental Observer". Occidental Observer. 2010-02-20. Retrieved 2011-02-20.
[3] "Donate". Occidental Observer. Occidental Observer. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
[4] "The Occidental Observer: Online Anti-Semitism's New Intellectual Voice". Retrieved 2011-02-20.
[5] MacDonald to retire in the fall,, April 14, 2014; accessed August 16, 2015.

Posted by: jfl | Feb 9 2016 0:16 utc | 109

Just checking if email deleted

Posted by: Jack Smith | Feb 9 2016 1:43 utc | 110

@96 noirette @97 LG

Well, that was a very interesting article on Manuel Valls and French politics in general. I know next to nothing about French politics, but now I know a little more. The source of the critique is as interesting as the critique itself. The wikipedia take on the Occidental Observer seems to be the typical result of partisan vandalism that topical topics always receive there.

It seems that Manuel Valls is a nihilist, like Obama or Ted Cruz, and just along for the 'career' of politician. That's the story of 'politics' in the 21st Century, so far. They're all in it for the money. The 'interesting' parts are the attributes of the particular hoop to be jumped through in France. Whew! I'm hoping for a popular revolution, as always.

Dieudonné is mentioned several times throughout the article. There's a French/Israel connection to Dieudonné even in Thailand ...

Phuket Said to Scrap Shows by French Comedian Dieudonne Under Israeli Pressure

The club was reportedly ordered to scrap the show on both nights by Phuket Gov. Chamroen Tipayapongtada after a joint appeal was made to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by Roded and French ambassador Thierry Viteau.

I've never been to Phuket and am unlikely ever to go, so I would not be able to see Dieudonné even if he were allowed to perform. Manuel Valls seems perfectly to explain your tepid sympathy with Le Pen and the FN, noirette.

Posted by: jfl | Feb 9 2016 2:06 utc | 111

@jfl #110
It seems that any USA federal politician that comes to office more than once has likely signed to "Israel Pledge"
....have you heard Cynthia mcKinney describe her experience with this?

Posted by: Bluemot5 | Feb 9 2016 2:18 utc | 112

reading the daily sabah editorials helps shine a light on the kind of propaganda some in turkey have to put up with...

"Ankara said that Assad deliberately released imprisoned al-Qaida militants to pave the way for the formation of an organization like DAESH and has never been engaged in a fight with DAESH. So, a terrorist organization that poses a threat to the whole of the world gained strength and flourished instead of an opposition that poses trouble for the Assad regime alone.

It seems this terrible plan is in progress and the Middle East is on the brink of a major breakdown."


Posted by: james | Feb 9 2016 4:27 utc | 113

@115 bm5

I hadn't seen that video, thanks. I also had not heard of 'the pledge' ... although I do and did imagine that there is right way to hold your mouth in Washington DC, and that Cynthia McKinney was - to her credit - unable to fake it.

It would have been good if she'd xeroxed - is that still a word? - the letter she was sent containing 'the pledge' and shared it with all of us. Or did she? Have you seen it? Have you a copy?

Posted by: jfl | Feb 9 2016 7:23 utc | 114

@110: I doubt whether Israel will be able to collect those billions in the next say 10 years. I don't see the economic/financial situation in the US improving. And that will undermine the ability of the US tp pay those billions to Israëli coffers.

Posted by: Willy2 | Feb 9 2016 13:46 utc | 115

The US Congress lifted a ban on funding the "rebels"/neo-nzais in the Ukraine.

Posted by: Willy2 | Feb 9 2016 14:21 utc | 116

jfl, to be clear, I have no sympathy for Le Pen’s party, and have said several times that the FN in France was boosted by Mitterand, who sought to create a third party for the discontented voters. Which has worked perfectly!

Le Pen’s FN came out as ‘first party’ (by 1%) in the first round of the recent Regional elections, but in the second round lost basically everything, because the two mainstream parties ganged up against the FN, to the point where the Socialists - the governing party after all, and originally one might argue the closest to a sort of ‘majority national consensus’ - simply WITHDREW in X regions (imagine the Democrats in the US withdrawing all their candidates!), throwing all Rep-Soc votes against the FN.

I may on occasion have written things like “Le Pen is popular because she is anti-Euro” or whatnot or have indicated that I support le Pen voters - a huge chunk of the F population after all, they are being fooled and have nowhere to turn. In effect, the FN prevents the rise of any other (left, or nationalist, or whatever…) party, movement, etc. In fact in France right now, the 'opposition' from all quarters is horribly divided - some propose to 'accept' the FN and deal or ally with it, whereas others are totally opposed to such a move.

I reckon Le Pen and her party cadres know all this very well, but it is a gravy train, a great living for them. Some of her policies I am for (anti-Euro) but that won’t see the light of day, she will never be in an important position (or Prez.) In fact, the FN has just recently stepped back from its anti-Euro policy, but Marine has stated she maintains it.

The source may be suspect.. But what is written in it is correct. The only thing I didn’t know about is the Freemason connection, so that may be dodgy, false, or hyped, and of little importance anyway. That Valls was born a Spaniard is of course immaterial .. However Vall’s change of tack from ardently supporting Palestine to wearing a kippa in public photos is indicative of his political calculations (thus they are normalised, par for the course, that is life, get with it…) and illustrative of the power networks that are operating in France.

Posted by: Noirette | Feb 9 2016 15:25 utc | 117


Oh yes he did. He didn't dwell (to my recollection) on the immediate effects of the departure of their last emperor-in-name-mostly, but they were [excuse caps] NOT GOOD for the average person within the empire. I mean, Church Fathers were having to write to local priests on how to console entire cloisters of nuns who had been raped and impregnated by Vandals.

Not looking forward to it, no matter what relief it brings outside my circle of raped and pillaged neighbors............if it comes to that. That's all I'm saying

Posted by: Tom O. | Feb 9 2016 18:26 utc | 118

@Bluemot5 #114

....have you heard Cynthia mcKinney describe her experience with this?

Thank you for weblink. You must share it so more apologists will see it. Now you can understand why I'm die-hard against Bernie and every Democrats. Bless you! :-)

PS: Mistaken posted my throw-away email, have since unsubscribe and can never access that email. But will continue to use aka Jack Smith.

Posted by: Jack Smith | Feb 9 2016 18:32 utc | 119

@120 TO, 'He didn't dwell (to my recollection) on the immediate effects of the departure of their last emperor-in-name-mostly, but they were [excuse caps] NOT GOOD for the average person within the empire.'

But the preceding four or five hundred years, and before, were NOT GOOD for the average person within the empire, were they? I enjoyed reading Michael Parenti's A peoples' history of ancient Rome very much. Although it primarily covers the period around the 'founding' of the empire it does so from a quite different perspective than Gibbons and the other 'classicists'.

Posted by: jfl | Feb 9 2016 22:17 utc | 120

@119 noirette

'I may on occasion have written things like “Le Pen is popular because she is anti-Euro” or whatnot or have indicated that I support le Pen voters ...'

  Yes, that's what I meant.

'... the governing party after all, and originally one might argue the closest to a sort of ‘majority national consensus’ - simply WITHDREW in X regions (imagine the Democrats in the US withdrawing all their candidates!), throwing all Rep-Soc votes against the FN. ...'

  Reminds me of the anti-democratic, minority-elite, Democrat Party here in Thailand. They pulled the same maneuver here - but against the majority party! Reminiscent of blazing saddles.

'... she will never be in an important position (or Prez.) ...'

  Nor will any third party candidate in the US.

'I didn’t know about is the Freemason connection, so that may be dodgy, false, or hyped, and of little importance anyway. ...'

  Yeah. That knocked me out, too. Freemasons? Maybe it's another name for the 'scientific' atheists? The one's who've 'discovered' the evils of religion ... primarily Islam.

'Vall’s change of tack from ardently supporting Palestine to wearing a kippa in public photos is indicative of his political calculations (thus they are normalised, par for the course, that is life, get with it…) and illustrative of the power networks that are operating in France.'

  That's what I call nihilism. Sorry, I cannot get with it.

Posted by: jfl | Feb 9 2016 22:38 utc | 121

Turkey buffer zone plan for Syria violates intl. law: Russia

"To our knowledge, the Turks have discussed with NATO their intention to create ISIL (Daesh)-free zones in the territory of Syria. Indeed, that will violate every principle of international law and will lead to a substantial, qualitative escalation [of tensions]," Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with the Russian daily, Moskovsky Komsomolets, on Wednesday.

Lead to 'a substantive escalation' ... to which someone has appended spin : of tensions.

Maybe Lavrov meant what he apparently said?

French FM says to leave office

Fabius would be attending his final cabinet meeting in the coming hours and is to be named the head of the country’s top constitutional court, the Constitutional Council, by President Francois Hollande later in the day.

The development came only a day after French lawmakers narrowly voted to amend the constitution to strip people convicted of terrorist offences of their French nationality. Hollande proposed the mechanism, as well as other measures, in the wake of deadly terror attacks in and around the capital, Paris, on November 13, 2015.

What do you suppose this means? Fabius as hanging judge in chief?

Israel to Build Nationwide Fence to Defend Against 'Beasts'

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised to surround the country with security fences in order to protect the nation from what he termed “wild beasts.”

Maybe we can put a lock on the outside? keep the rabid Israelis in?

Japanese bond rate goes negative as bank shares tumble

The yield on 10-year Japanese government bonds has turned negative for the first time in history, amid growing concerns that ongoing turbulence in financial markets is broadening, with significant consequences for global banks.

Japan has become the first major economy with a sub-zero borrowing rate on its 10-year debt, as negative rates spread across the world. It is now estimated that some $7 trillion worth of government bonds globally are in negative territory. This means that if investors purchased them at current prices, and held them to maturity, they would make a loss.

The fall in interest rates to negative levels is not the only source of turbulence. It is being compounded by a lack of knowledge of the major banks’ exposure to hedge funds that have invested in emerging markets, where debt problems are mounting because of the fall in commodity prices, led by oil.

Financial commentator Robert Gottliebsen noted in a commented posted on Business Spectator on Monday: “The banks have limited knowledge about what’s really happening inside the funds. And the global market gets the message and knows that somewhere around the world, there are huge losses in emerging country debts and energy loans. But the market is not sure just how big the losses are and who actually holds the bag. Fear of the unknown is a dangerous force in markets.”

What is known, he continued, is that as the oil price falls further and energy losses worsen, so emerging country problems will multiply.

Oil prices took another hit yesterday with a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) declaring that the global oil surplus was bigger than previously thought, and a recent uptick in prices was probably a “false dawn.”

The views of the IEA are contrary to the position of the major oil producers, who have told shareholders they expect prices to rise later this year. “With the market already awash in oil, it is very hard to see how oil prices can rise significantly in the short term,” the IEA remarked.

If prices remain at their present levels, it will present major problems for hedge funds and other investors that have bet on a rise. “The tension in positioning is palpable,” one oil trader at a large bank told the Financial Times.

The end is nigh! again.

Posted by: jfl | Feb 10 2016 14:53 utc | 122

ha ah jfll I see what you mean, I guess i’d call it cynicism-cum-realism.. More about France, dead thread.

There are three branches of opposition to the duopoly-vs-FN system, " Le Système" as it is commonly called.

One is nationalist anti-EU (right, e.g. Dupont-Aignan, Asselineau, serious pols.)

The second is center-right to socialist, and are economists.

They are divided on the issue of the FN. Some, e.g. Jacques Sapir maintain that the FN is a mainstream party, no devil, and treating / collaborating with them ain’t shaming and is pragmatically justified, just humanity and common sense. Another, F. Lordon, states that not one cm. of ideological leeway can be afforded to Le Pen who is waiting in the dark creepy limbos to turn France into…some neo-nazi bastion or lord knows. Paul Jorion is very mainstream, popular (anti-Russia) and sorta facetiously / seriously proposed to rally behind a new candidate for Prez. - Thomas Piketty! - another economist. O. Berruyer, also influential, is strongly pro-Russia, is rabid about Ukro-Nazis, can't bear the FN, while greatly admiring the ‘left’ oppo in the US - Chomsky, Chris Hedges etc.

Third, the Soral - Dieudonné type of opposition is of course viciously repressed.

Sapir (a few articles in eng)

Jorion (coll. of trans. to eng. articles)

So the FN as 'managed troublemaker' is doing just fine.

Posted by: Noirette | Feb 10 2016 15:41 utc | 123

Flint’s Crisis Is About More Than Water

Hannah Arendt in The Origins of Totalitarianism, Gitta Sereny in Into That Darkness, Omer Bartov in Murder in Our Midst, Alexander Solzhenitsyn in The Gulag Archipelago, Primo Levi in The Drowned and the Saved and Ella Lingens-Reiner in Prisoners of Fear argue that the modern instrument of evil is the technocrat, the man or woman whose sole concern is technological and financial efficiency, whose primary measurement of success is self-advancement, even if it means piling up corpses or destroying the lives of children.

“Monsters exist,” Levi noted,
  “but they are too few in number to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are the common men.”

These technocrats have no real ideology, other than the ideology that is in vogue. They want to get ahead, to rise in the structures of power. They know how to make the collective, or the bureaucracy, work on behalf of power. Nothing else is of importance.

  “The new state did not require holy apostles, fanatic, inspired builders, faithful devout disciples,”

Vasily Grossman, in his book Forever Flowing, wrote of Stalin’s Soviet Union.

  “The new state did not even require servants - just clerks.”

We churn out millions of these technocrats or clerks in elite universities and business schools. They are trained to serve the system. They do not question its assumptions and structures any more than Nazi bureaucrats questioned the assumptions and structures of the “Final Solution.” They manage the huge financial houses and banks such as Goldman Sachs. They profit from endless war. They orchestrate the fraud on Wall Street. They destroy the ecosystem on behalf of the fossil fuel industry. They are elected to office. They are empty shells of human beings who stripped of their power and wealth are banal and pathetic. They are not sadists. They do not delight in cruelty. They are cogs in the machinery of corporate power.

'These technocrats have no real ideology ...' they are nihilists.

Posted by: jfl | Feb 11 2016 5:32 utc | 124

@125 noirette

Thanks a million for the links. I'll have a look. My tepid sympathy - extended to those at Malheur, for instance - is in recognition that, as Levi says above, "Monsters exist, but they are too few in number to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are the common men.”, like the FBI who gunned down LaVoy Finnicum. Like Barack Obama, like Hillary Clinton ... like Ted Cruz and George Bush, to even out the R to D ratio.

We're not going to get anywhere with the 'left' demonizing the 'right' and the 'right' demonizing the 'left', it's from wherever we are, where all of us at the bottom need to join together and unseat those who have given themselves up as "cogs in the machinery of corporate power". And not even themselves, really, if they can discover a life as non-cogs, we can all together destroy corporate power. Well, emasculate it ... a steer is easier to manage than a bull.

Posted by: jfl | Feb 11 2016 5:48 utc | 125

"Hitlery" Clinton helped out a Swiss bank and in return the UBS hired Bill Clinton to give a number of speeches.

Posted by: Willy2 | Feb 11 2016 15:19 utc | 126

And what about this:

"GOP establishment stares into the abyss"

Posted by: Willy2 | Feb 11 2016 15:37 utc | 128

"Hitlery clinton's political machine has been busted"

I personally think US votesrs are simply fed up with "Hitlery" Clinton.

Posted by: Willy2 | Feb 11 2016 15:39 utc | 129

good read - Pakistan’s Hand in the Rise of International Jihad

"Ahead of Pakistan’s 2014 operation in North Waziristan, scores, even hundreds, of foreign fighters left the tribal areas to fight against President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Tribesmen and Taliban members from the area say fighters traveled to Quetta, and then flew to Qatar. There they received new passports and passage to Turkey, from where they could cross into Syria. Others traveled overland along well-worn smuggling routes from Pakistan through Iran and Iraq."

at what point does the west realize they have a major problem with these indoctrination camps - madrases - in pakistan and where-ever else in the school of suicide bombing wahabbist cult followers?

Posted by: james | Feb 12 2016 5:55 utc | 130

Over 40 Palestinian homes destroyed in West Bank

Israeli military forces have demolished more than 40 Palestinian houses and residential structures in the northeastern part of the occupied West Bank as the Tel Aviv regime presses ahead with its land expropriation policies to uproot Palestinians.

On Thursday, Israeli soldiers and bulldozers rolled into the hamlets of al-Farisiya and Khallet al-Khader, and leveled seven homes to the ground. The Israeli forces also destroyed 35 structures in the villages of Bardala and Ein al-Beida.

Move along. Nothing to see here. Ongoing extermination of the Palestine people. You forgot about it? 24/7/366. It never stops.

Posted by: jfl | Feb 12 2016 8:36 utc | 131

Does Trump want to end his campaign? Surely he can't be serious with his recent soundbits

Posted by: aaaaaa | Feb 20 2016 19:02 utc | 132

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