A reminder of the permanent wars: Dozens of U.S. airstrikes in six countries

Deep State America
One explanation why U.S. policies serve no national interests

On September 9th the Washington Post featured a front page article describing how the Defense Department had used warplanes to attack targets and kill suspected militants in six countries over the Labor Day weekend. The article was celebratory, citing Pentagon officials who boasted of the ability to engage “multiple targets” anywhere in the world in what has become a “permanent war.” The article did not mention that the United States is not currently at war with any of the six target countries and made no attempt to make a case that the men and women who were killed actually threatened the U.S. or American citizens.

Lies of the Times
Did the shades-of-gray lady just wake up?
CHRIS LEHMANN September 22, 2016

And where to start with the fucking op-ed columnists? Should every Tom Friedman column run with a pre-emptive correction, saying something like “Since Thomas Friedman has inexplicably taken over the international economic beat, the Times has printed one infantile fable after another about the supposed natural and predestined course of globalized economic development confected out of thin air. The Times regrets these, and the countless other errors to come under Mr. Friedman’s byline”? Or in the case of David Brooks, maybe a more clinically minded disclaimer is in order, such as “David Brooks labors under an advanced delusion, founded on the wholly counter-empirical notion that an American civic renaissance will come about by micromanaging wholly justified civic grievances out of existence. The Times does not advise reading any Brooks column in conjunction with consensual reality.”

The Scapegoat


Inside the quiet shake-up taking place at Goldman Sachs

That is going to be key as the bank faces tough market conditions. Goldman Sachs, like every other bank, has been suffering from a weak environment for trading.

The bank had a terrible first quarter, with fixed income, currencies, and commodities revenue down by almost half versus a year earlier, and equities revenue down close to a quarter.

The second quarter, while an improvement, was hardly anything to cherish. The bank said in its second-quarter earnings that FICC “continued to operate in a challenging environment.” In equities, Goldman lost ground to its archrival Morgan Stanley.

Goldman Sachs’ FICC revenue in the first half of the year was down 24% from the first six months of 2015, with total markets revenues down 18%.

“In the capital markets, I’ve never known a time when it hasn’t been hard,” one former Goldman partner said. “It is the same for everybody. It takes a toll. People who have options, they’ve exercised them.”

Slowly, Then All at Once – JHK

We’re on a collision course with these stark realities. They are coinciding with the sickening vectors of national politics in a great wave of latent consequences built up by the sheer inertia of the scale at which we have been doing things. Trump, convinced of his own brilliance, knows nothing, and wears his incoherence like a medal of honor. Clinton literally personifies the horror of these coiled consequences waiting to spring — and the pretense that everything will continue to be okay with her in the White House (not). When these two gargoyle combatants meet in the debate arena a week from now, you will hear nothing about the journey we’re on to a different way of life.

But there is a clear synergy between the mismanagement of our money and the mismanagement of our politics. They have the ability to amplify each other’s disorders. The awful vibe from this depraved election might be enough to bring down markets and banks. The markets and banks are unstable enough to affect the election.

Two Boys in Aleppo
But only one gets publicity – and sympathy
by Justin Raimondo, September 16, 2016

So what’s really going on in Aleppo, the supposed “epicenter of the refugee crisis”? Of course, all of Syria is in the throes of that crisis, not just Aleppo – but that ancient city is indeed the epicenter of the rebels’ propaganda campaign. For if Aleppo falls, the rebels are finished, defeated, and their foreign masters – Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the oil-rich emirates of the Gulf, as well as our CIA – will have been stopped in their tracks in their bid to Islamicize Syria.

Trump and the Scapegoat Effect
Reading René Girard helped me understand why so many hate the Donald.
By DAVID GORNOSKI • September 1, 2016


The Scapegoat
by René Girard

Mass Racial Killings

Not only did the Zebra killings represent the greatest instance of racially-motivated killings in modern American history, but the number of victims was quite possibly greater than the combined total for all other such examples over nearly the last 100 years of our history. Based on that reality, the near-absolute media blackout has been quite remarkably Orwellian and deeply disturbing. Prior to the development of the Internet, neither I nor almost anyone else would have ever encountered this important history, and I suspect that if anyone had presented us with the true facts back then, his claims might easily have been dismissed as the ravings of a lunatic.

We naively tend to assume that our media accurately reflects the events of our world and its history, but instead what we all too often see are only the tremendously distorted images of a circus fun-house mirror, with small items sometimes transformed into large ones, and large ones into small. The contours of historical reality may be warped into almost unrecognizable shapes, with some important elements completely disappearing from the record and others appearing out of nowhere. I’ve often suggested that the media creates our reality, but given such glaring omissions and distortions, the reality produced is often largely fictional. Our standard histories have always criticized the ludicrous Soviet propaganda during the height of Stalin’s purges or the Ukrainian famine, but in its own way, our own media organs sometimes seem just as dishonest and absurd in their own reporting. And until the availability of the Internet, it was difficult for most of us to ever recognize the enormity of this problem.

She got overheated! But she’s fine now!


JIM CHANOS: Tesla is putting itself ‘under the red line’

The 238-mile range for the Chevy Bolt is a big problem for Tesla

The Fabled and Enabled
Shameless self-promotion can make America gullible (again)
CHRIS LEHMANN September 08, 2016

How Holmes was able to confect a multibillion-dollar startup out of such thin material is a stark cautionary tale, both for the self-regarding masters of Silicon Valley and for their many enablers in the tech press. For Holmes, none too subtly, ensured that the main commodity that Theranos produced, in the absence of reliable lab results, was her own tirelessly flogged narrative as world-class innovator and industry disruptor. She conspicuously donned the restless-genius wardrobe of Steve Jobs, caroming around her company in a black turtleneck and puffy vest—while keeping interior temperatures artificially low so as to minimize the discomfort of her contrived “think different” uniform. And like Jobs, she obsessively micromanaged all details of working life and corporate décor on the Theranos campus—taking particular pains to ensure that the various senior engineers at the company never communicated directly among one another about the substance of their research, lest the whole scam be exposed from within.

Darwin Unhinged: The Bugs in Evolution

It was like giving a bobcat a prostate exam. I got everything but answers. They told me I was a crank, implied over and over (again) that I was a Creationist, said that I was an enemy of science (someone who asks for evidence is an enemy of science). They said that I was trying to pull down modern biology (if you ask questions about an aspect of biology, you want to pull down biology). They told me I didn’t know anything (that’s why I was asking questions), and that I was a mere journalist (the validity of a question depends on its source rather than its content).

But they didn’t answer the questions. They ducked and dodged and evaded. After thirty years in journalism, I know ducking and dodging when I see it. It was like cross-examining hostile witnesses.

This is the behavior not of scientists, but of advocates, of True Believers. I used to think that science was about asking questions, not about defending things you didn’t really know. Religion, I thought, was the other way around. I guess I was wrong.




2016 Friday, Aug 26, 2016

U.S. economy grew slower last quarter than initially estimated

Initial estimates of the economy’s growth last quarter turned out to be overconfident, new data released Friday shows. The latest gross domestic product figures released by the Commerce Department found the value of goods and services produced last quarter actually increased at a 1.1 percent rate, down from the 1.2 percent rate initially reported. The report did, however, reveal a higher rate of household consumption and an increase in worker wages, indicating that some of the sluggishness caused by falling government spending was offset by increased personal wealth and consumer spending. Economists remain optimistic the third quarter will show greater growth.

Source: Bloomberg

Rio police charge U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte with filing false robbery report

American swimmer Ryan Lochte was charged Thursday by Brazilian police with filing a false robbery report during the Rio Olympics. In a statement, the police said Lochte will be notified and can decide if he wants to introduce a defense in Brazil, The Associated Pressreports. The indictment will also be sent to the International Olympic Committee’s ethics commission. Lochte had said that while returning to the Olympic Village from a party Aug. 15, he and three other swimmers were robbed at gunpoint by men with badges. Police say a video instead shows an altercation between the swimmers and armed security guards. Lochte later said he was intoxicated at the time and the confrontation was caused by his behavior. In Brazil, the penalty for filing a false crime report is up to 18 months in prison. If he does not return to Brazil to face the charge, Lochte could be tried in absentia.

Source: The Associated Press

2016 Thursday, Aug 25, 2016



2016 Wednesday,  Aug 24, 2016


2016 Tuesday,  Aug 23, 2016

  • War in Afghanistan (2015–present)
    • A service member becomes the first U.S. military combat casualty in Afghanistan since January 2016 when he is killed by an improvised explosive device (IED) while on patrol near the city of
  • Philippine officials believe they may have recovered biggest natural giant clam pearl in the world — weighing 34kg. Officials are awaiting confirmation from gemologists that the find is indeed the world’s largest pearl. If confirmed, it will beat the current record holder, thePearl of Lao Tzu, which weighs 6.4kg. (BBC)

Clinton faces increasing criticism over emails, Clinton Foundation

Hillary Clinton is fending off criticism over the Clinton Foundation, which Donald Trump blasted Monday as being “the most corrupt enterprise in political history.” Call logs reveal Clinton’s chief of staff received at least 148 phone messages from the Foundation’s chief operating officer between 2010 and 2012 — while Clinton was serving as secretary of state — while Fox News notes that “no other individual or non-profit appears in the logs with anything like that frequency.” Meanwhile, after the announcement Monday that the FBI found 14,900 previously undisclosed work-related emails on Clinton’s private server, the campaign is scrambling to downplay their importance. Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon said Monday that Clinton handed over “all the work-related emails she had in her possession in 2014,” but maintained the campaign supports the release of any new material the State Department deems relevant. “We’ve already released, I don’t know, 30,000-plus emails,” Clinton said on Monday’s Jimmy Kimmel Live. “What’s a few more?”

Source: The Washington Post, The Week

Former Fox News anchor calls network a ‘sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult’

Former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros asserts in a lawsuit filed Monday that sexual harassment at the network went beyond ousted chairman Roger Ailes. “Fox News masquerades as a defender of traditional family values, but behind the scenes, it operates like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency, and misogyny,” Tantaros’ lawsuit says. She also accused former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown of inappropriate comments and touching when he was a guest on her show and said fellow Fox host Bill O’Reilly repeatedly invited her to his Long Island home, which he assured her would be “very private.” Ailes has denied all allegations of sexual harassment.

Source: The New Republic, New York

2016 Monday,  Aug 22, 2016



Mislabeled pills reportedly found in Prince’s home


Pills discovered at Prince’s Minnesota home after his death were labeled hydrocodone but contained fentanyl, the opioid that killed him, said the Minneapolis Star Tribune, citing a source with knowledge of the investigation. The musician’s autopsy report says he died from an accidental, self-administered overdose of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 100 times more powerful than morphine. Investigators are not sure how the recording superstar obtained the drug — he didn’t have a prescription — but they are leaning toward the theory that he did not know the pills contained the drug.

Source: Star Tribune


2016 Sunday,  Aug 21,  2016

Walking Conflict


Michael Weiss and the Iran-U.S. Hardline Nexus That Led Iranian-American to Evin Prison
How Daily Beast Editor, Michael Weiss Helped Send Iranian-American to Torture Chambers of Evin Prison
Richard Silverstein • August 15, 2016

A disciple of Christopher Hitchens, Weiss shares the late British intellectual’s penchant for intellectual combat and a gift for the deft, savage phrase. Like him, Weiss fancies nostalgic ties to some radical left tradition. Also like Hitchens, he has the knack for popularizing neoconservative ideas in media-friendly sound bytes. Unlike Hitchens, Weiss has proven to be exceedingly opaque in terms of some of the political and financial alliances he’s made.



How Hyperloop One Went Off the Rails
The transportation startup is trying to make a pod levitate in a tunnel, but can it rise above founder clashes and employee lawsuits?



I’m voting for Trump.

There is a lot of tension right now. Unfortunately, there are a lot of politicians who depend on that animosity for their power. They need people to be poor so they can dangle that carrot in front of them.

Here’s what I’m thinking, Don’t piss on my neck and say that it’s raining. Hillary Clinton will piss on your neck and whisper in your ear that it’s raining. Donald Trump will stand behind you and piss on your neck, but he’ll tell you, “I’m pissing on you right now. How do you like that?”

I like to know, at least, what I’m getting.

Obscured American: Hank the Small Business Financial Advisor

America is losing its longest war

Iran says it executed nuclear scientist in U.S. spy mystery


The Deep State

Nothing demonstrates the incompetence of the leaders of our Deep State/Empire better than what is happening with Turkey, Eastern Europe, NATO, Russia and Ukraine.

Russia may be preparing a ‘long-term, game-changing move’ with Turkey

Lessons from the Deep State


Last week, William Binney, a 30-year career official at the National Security Agency turned whistleblower, revealed the unthinkable. Binney, who devised the software that the NSA has used to capture the contents of emails and cellphone conversations of all in America but resigned from the NSA because of the unlawful and unconstitutional manner in which the software was used, told a Philadelphia radio audience that the DNC hacking was most likely done by NSA agents.

Why would the NSA hack into DNC computers, and why would the NSA leak what its agents saw?

Here is where the deep state meets the political world. The deep state consists of intelligence, military, law enforcement and administrative agency personnel who aggressively protect their own interests, which transcend elections. Stated differently, many of these folks remain in opaque positions of power, and the governmental departments and agencies for which they work continue to expand, no matter which party wins the White House or controls Congress.

The Shot Heard All Over the Country
by Uri Avnery, August 08, 2016

Let me interject a personal note. I am not naive. In the 1948 war I was a combat soldier for ten consecutive months, before being severely wounded. I saw all kinds of atrocities. When the war was over, I wrote a book about these atrocities, called “The Other Side of the Coin”(in Hebrew). It was widely condemned.

War brings out the best and the worst in human nature. I have seen war crimes committed by people who, after the war, became nice, normal, law-abiding citizens.

In the clip, Azaria is seen shaking hands with somebody immediately after the killing. This person is no other than Baruch Marzel, the king of the Tel Rumaida settlers. Marzel is the successor of “Rabbi” Meir Kahane, who was branded as a fascist by the Supreme Court of Israel. (Marzel once openly called for my assassination.)

During the trial it was revealed that Marzel plays host every Saturday to the entire company of Israeli soldiers guarding the settlement, including the officers. This means that Azaria was exposed to his fascist ideas before the shooting event.

This week’s reading list:

High-Rise (1975) by J.G. Ballard

The History of the Mongol Conquests (1971) by J.J.Saunders

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World (2004) by Jack Weatherford

The Hitler of History (1997) by John Lukacs

Five Days in London, May 1940 (1999) by John Lukacs

At the End of an Age (2002) by John Lukacs




Pushing a New Cold War

In the 1980s, the same persons took care to soften their description of real fascists or quasi-fascists by using the adjective “authoritarian” in preference to the noun “tyrant.” They did so in keeping with their pragmatic need to palliate the actions of despots south of the border, whom they wanted the United States to support. Look up the New Republic articles of Charles Krauthammer in the 1980s, the testimony of Elliott Abrams before the Select Iran-Contra Committees, and the flattering account of U.S. policy in Robert Kagan’s book on Nicaragua, A Twilight Struggle, and you will get a fair impression of this literature.

he truth is that the charge of fascism against Trump was a stopgap measure. Now it has been replaced by a charge that he is soft on the Communist menace, or the next worst thing—which they are betting the American mind will translate into the same thing—he is soft on the Russian menace. Fascism was never a ripe choice of terms. It gets hardly any play and commands little attention in America. For the neoconservatives, Red-baiting is a more familiar tactic and in the absence of a Red, a Russian will do. They have good reason to suppose that Hillary Clinton will take the hint and adopt the convenient amalgam in order to sow confusion. The Russian menace resembles the Communist menace in the same way that the word “Iran” resembles the word “Iraq.”

Wikileaks reveals that Ariana Grande was prevented from performing in the White House because of the July 2015 donut-licking incident.


Erdogan Is Strengthened by the Failed Coup, But Turkey Is the Loser

“Fethullah did not help us, he killed us,” says the Turkish commentator bitterly. “He left us totally in the hands of Erdogan.”

He says that the Gulenists operate in two different ways: they have a moderate public face with schools, universities, media and business associations, but they also have always had a secret organisation devoted to taking positions of power within the military, police and security services. As long ago as 1987, the movement was being investigated for infiltrating military colleges. It is now being compared to the Roman Catholic organisation Opus Dei, notorious for its links to Franco and other right wing governments, though a better analogy might be a secretive cult with a charismatic leader.

This week’s reading list:

Millenium People (2003) by J.G. Ballard

Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds (2008) by Stephen Kinzer

The Turks Today: Turkey after Ataturk (2005) by Andrew Mango

Atatürk: An Intellectual Biography (2011) by M. Sükrü Hanioglu

Turkey Unveiled: A History of Modern Turkey (2011) by Hugh Pope, Nicola Pope

Heresies: Against Progress and Other Illusions (2004) by John Gray

On Human Nature – Arthur Schopenhauer


The Real Future



This is great stuff. There are probably a bunch of truths mixed in with the crazy-talk. Or maybe it is the other way around. That’s the thing. Nobody is really sure:
The People Will Decide in Turkey

Just a sample:

And now it is America’s turn. Your superior class decided Hillary Clinton should rule, for they do not trust a white man. Men are too independent. And they plotted, instead of honestly seeking your support.

We saw recently how the plotters got rid of Bernie Sanders. The votes of California weren’t counted yet, but the plotters already announced Crooked Hillary the winner. In every state, the rolls were changed in such a way as to preclude Bernie’s win. The old election machines allowed hackers to subtly alter the results. Perhaps good old Bernie himself was the Joker in the hands of plotters, the bent boxer who was paid to lose. Or perhaps he was a weak guy who could not withstand the pressure. Anyway the American plotters stole your vote as sure as the Turkish generals tried to steal the Turkish vote.

What scares the new atheists
John Gray
March 2015


Israel’s Wolf-Crying about Iran’s Bomb
July 18, 2016

BDS Is a War Israel Can’t Win
Israel’s apologists would call the BDS campaign “immoral”, but the slander is laughably false
by Stanley L. Cohen, July 16, 2016

The Myth of the ‘War on Terrorism’
Debunked at last
by Justin Raimondo, July 13, 2016



Private guard in MBTA money room caught napping on the job

Tesla Won’t Be Able to Put Crash Defense on Autopilot

“Tesla is consistently introducing enhancements proven over millions of miles of internal testing to ensure that drivers supported by Autopilot remain safer than those operating without assistance,” the carmaker said Thursday in a statement. “We will continue to develop, validate, and release those enhancements as the technology grows. While we appreciate well-meaning advice from any individual or group, we make our decisions on the basis of real-world data, not speculation by media.”

Yeah. So, I’m pretty sure “internal testing” is not “real-world data.”

General Breedlove and the Russophobes
They’re determined to start World War III

New America is the premier Democratic party thinktank, where a great deal of the top Obama administration officials came out of and where Hillary Clinton is bound to draw much of her staffing should she win the White House. And of course Hillary famously compared Putin to Hitler, and is eager to restart the “war of civilizations” against the Slavs begun by her husband.

Hillary Clinton and Personal Honesty
by Andrew P. Napolitano, July 14, 2016

The public corruption investigation has been underway for a few months. The allegations are that she exercised the powers of her office as secretary of state to enrich her husband and herself. The evidence here is ample. There are dozens of documented instances in which foreign governments and individuals received beneficial treatment from her State Department – usually exemptions from compliance with American laws or regulations – and then collectively gave hundreds of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation at a time when it was not a registered lawful charity.

Former New York Yankees pitching great Roger Clemens was tried twice (after a trial that ended with a hung jury, he was ultimately acquitted) for misleading Congress when he was forced to speak to a House committee about the contents of his blood and urine as a baseball player. Clinton has misled Congress about her lawful obligations as secretary of state, and she skates free.


This is fantastic. Jim is practically drooling. Good stuff.

Death to All Zombies!


Wait a minute. They’re already dead. Brexit just reveals that not everybody’s brains have been eaten. A viral contagion now threatens the zombified institutions of daily life, especially the workings of politics and finance. Just as zombies exist only in the collective imagination, so do these two principal activities of society operate mainly on trust, an ephemeral product of the hive-mind.

When things fall apart in stressed complex systems, they tend to fall apart fast. It’s called phase change. Too many things in 21st century life have depended on sheer trust that the people-in-charge know what they are doing. That trust has subsisted on the doling out of money-from-nothing: debt, reckless bond issuance. TARP, QEs, bailouts, bail-ins, Operation Twists, Ponzi schemes… the whole sad-ass armamentarium of banking necromancy. The politicians let it get out of hand. Things that can’t go on don’t, and now they won’t.

The politics of Great Britain are now falling apart landslide-style. Since just about everybody in or near power can be blamed for the national predicament, there’s nobody to turn to, at least not yet. The Labour party just acted out The Caine Mutiny, starring Jeremy Corbyn as Captain Queeg. The Tory Cameron gave three months notice without any plausible replacement in view. Now Cameron’s people are hinting in the media that they can just drag their feet on Brexit, that is, not do anything to enable it from actually happening for a while. Of course, that’s what the monkeyshines of banking and finance have done: postponed the inevitable reckoning with the realities of our time: growing resource scarcity, population overshoot, climate change, ecological holocaust, and the diminishing returns of technology.

Britain illustrates the problem nicely: how to produce “wealth” without producing wealth. It’s called “the City,” their name for the little district of London that is their Wall Street. In the absence of producing real things, the City became the driver of the UK’s economy, a ghastly parasitical organism that functioned as the central transfer station for the world’s swindles and frauds, churning the West’s dwindling residual capital into a slurry of fees, commissions, arbitrages, rigged casino bets, and rip-offs. In the process, it enabled the European Central Bank (ECB) to run the con-job that the European Union (EU) became, with the fatal distortions of credit that have put its members into a ditch and sent the private European banks off a cliff, Thelma and Louise style.

The next stage of this protean global melodrama is what happens when currencies and interest rates become completely unglued from their assigned roles as patsies in financial racketeering. Sooner or later we’ll know what’s going on in the vast shadowy gloaming of “derivatives,” especially the “innovative” arrangements that affect to be “insurance” against losses in currency and interest rate “positions” — bets made on the movements of these things. When currencies rise or fall quickly, these so-called “swaps” are “triggered,” and then some hapless institution is left holding a big bag of dog-shit. A zombie is a terrible thing to behold, but a zombie holding a bag of dog-shit is like unto the end of the world.

Once this contagion starts burning, the people-in-charge won’t be able to quell it the way they did last time: by drowning it in torrents of money-from-nowhere. At least not without inducing real-deal inflation, the kind that leads to epochal ruin and more intense political upheaval: the nation-changing kind. We’re about five minutes away from that in the USA already, with the loathsome duo of Hillary and Trump putting on a Punch and Judy show for a disgusted public. If nothing else, Hillary and Trump represent the withering of political trust in America. The parties that spawned them are also whirling around the drain of credibility. They won’t survive in the form we knew them.

Who knows what comes out of this vacuum, what rough beast slouches towards Washington.


Erdoğan has apologised for downing of Russian jet, Kremlin says


Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind 1st Edition
by Yuval Noah Harari

The world’s newest country is too broke to celebrate its independence day

Celebrations last year had included an official ceremony and parade with dancing and singing. However, many observers noted that there wasn’t much to celebrate. South Sudan may be rich in natural resources, but decades of fighting have left the country with limited industry and little infrastructure. There are reported to be about 313 miles of paved roads in the entire country.

Worse still, the economy had been hit hard by low oil prices. The World Bank has called South Sudan the “most oil-dependent country in the world,” with over 90 percent of government spending financed by oil revenues. The International Monetary Fund recently warned that its budget shortfall could reach a quarter of its gross domestic product and that consumer price inflation was approaching 300 percent.

Hillary should invade for humanitarian reasons. Get dat oil. Git er dun.