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Total number of comments: 63 (since 2014-12-24 01:57:07)

conjecturing person

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  • Cambridge Analytica as the Matrix: Information Dominance and the Next Level of Fake News
    • "And you set it up so that once the person clicks on one such piece of propaganda, they are presented with several more links of the same ilk."

      That's sort of an inexact description. As it reads to me, it means facebook had to collaborate to bump the otherwise default shares the individual would have wound up with in the next minute or in the next 24 hrs. Whenever they wound up in the person's newsfeed, were they all consecutive or was there some kind of randomizing algorithm to camouflage outright tampering with the previous algorithm, or what?

      Maybe a representative from "Stand Up for America" would like to chime in here, and clear their source from C.A. shenanigans?

  • The Age of Total War in Syria
    • Here's something...

      Feb 14 (where've I been?) "It is still possible to salvage the relationship between Turkey and the West, and to distance Turkey from its Russian benefactor. The U.S. has leverage over Turkey, especially with respect to the Kurdish issue, as Russia is so far ignoring Erdoğan’s demand to shut out the Kurds from its own Syrian peace efforts. President Trump could simultaneously alleviate Turkish concerns while securing American interests by engaging in careful diplomacy with Turkey. Future U.S. concessions with respect to allied Kurdish ground forces in Syria should be conditioned on Turkey’s willingness to (1) halt delivery of its $2.5 billion purchase from Russia of the S-400 system; and (2) cease coordinating military drills with Russia."

      link to

    • Ukraine and the Kurds, too planet-risky vis a vis US/Russia. I don't know what else to think, but that the least involved NATO countries (their govs) maybe should speak up.

      Re the theater in question, let NATO (save Turkey & US) offer this deal to Turkey, US, Assad, Russia, & Kurds: Kurds get half the territory they desire presently and Russia accepts, Turkey backs off, and we leave ("we" including US).

  • As Flynn cuts off WH, top 4 Alleged Crimes he could sink Trump with
    • Thanks, prof. But could you make a comment? Erdogan's opposition to Hizmet seems pretty germane. Are both camps too authoritarian in your opinion, or what? What's MSM gonna say about who wanted this movement taken down a few notches (with a Gulen extradition) and why...nothing?? Why all the silence? Wasn't too long ago Turkey shot down a Russian jet. Now, Lawrence Wilkerson is saying Russia might conceivably pry Turkey away from NATO. Things morph too fast to catch up.

    • It's pretty hard to peg Gulen ideologically if you're unschooled regarding the issue...I mean in 20 minutes, say.

      "There are indications that 95 percent of the employees of the police in Turkey are Hizmet sympathizers. Some experts, however, refute allegations about the infiltration. Professor Mucahit Bilici from the University of New York argues that Gülen is well supported and followed by Turkish citizens and that Hizmet is not a secret organization." from Open Democracy link to

      Here's Bilici's site. When you click "Interviews"...not valid address. But there you find out he's Kurdish. link to

      With the Open Democracy article in mind, one could conjecture those in the CIA who defended him were being fair, but that there was perhaps another CIA sub-set (probably later?) who theorized that AKP could more effectively do the control/clampdowns that conceivably might end up requisite. If the latter were true, then the heavy Islamic principles under Erdogan could be seen as Erdogan vying (propaganda-wise) for recognition against Hizmet's religious emphasis?

      One more Open Democracy article on the subject to look over tonight if I can stay awake enough.

  • How our Intel Agencies Screwed us by Letting Sessions, Trumpies get away with Russia Scheme
    • "On the other hand, Trump himself came out strongly in favor of the Magnitsky law earlier this year, a piece of news that was then and remains now a weird fit with the collusion narrative." Matt Tabbai, Rolling Stone 7/14 link to

      Everything in your comment, 390, except the last sentence looks to be a masterpiece. I've been searching for a short cogent statement explaining two things 1)the ShadowBrokers leak, and 2)one particular Snowden tweet. I've assumed they're about the same thing (my problem was I just could never figure out what server ES was talking about).

      "Edward Snowden stated on Twitter on August 16, 2016 that 'circumstantial evidence and conventional wisdom indicates Russian responsibility' and that the leak 'is likely a warning that someone can prove US responsibility for any attacks that originated from this malware server summarizing that it looks like 'somebody sending a message that an escalation in the attribution game could get messy fast'." link to

      What in the world were you talking about in parentheses in the last sentence??

      Last time I posted two comments under one article here it worked, but I'll digress to Lauren's reaction today cause I'm feeling skittish. Sorry to have to out the prof (if my suspicion's correct), but did anyone else ever think sometimes he does super subtle satire? Just to get anyone to write something intelligent?!?!

  • Syria: Russians alarmed, Washington Befuddled, by White House threats
    • Thank you, prof, for being alert!!

      Hedges was right regarding Bannon, Strauss, and Howe. I listened to the talk the other night again...with more attention.

      IMO, good idea to start sharing this yotube. "How Donald Trump Will Destroy Capitalism Chris Hedges Explains" link to

  • Russo-US dog fights over Syria?
    • That makes sense.

    • Reporting on the Syria jet shoot-down leaves out a lot. Makes it seem as though the Kurds were "our" guys and never got help from Russia.

      Newsweek 4/6 "Last year, he [Assad] also said President Donald Trump could be a 'natural ally' in the fight against terrorism after Trump indicated that Assad's government was preferable to other factions vying for control of Syria. While the White House said in January it was open to such cooperation, it ultimately backed an SDF offensive on Raqqa—the de facto capital of ISIS in northern Syria—without permission from Damascus or Moscow." link to


      Kurds/Russia/in-conjunction Google Search link to;

    • Everything I read last night said Syria bombed "near" SDF...IIRC (maybe I don't recall correctly?). I thought: Could it have been they bombed some group nearby that SDF was actually engaged with, and that an appearance of something different (a misinterpretation) was taken as rational for a shoot-down?

      Just tried to find actual statements Assad has made re SDF, and I find myself wondering what his actual words were, at least in one instance. So far, with all the info you've provided, Doc, I can see when ISIL is really getting pushed back, yes, Assad would then want to give warning to SDF [If I were him, I'd give them their own region/country].

      But here, for instance, with respect to this 4/6 Newsweek article I'm wondering what Assad actually stated...I mean what when/if he included the name "SDF"? In the quoted words the whole context isn't there, and SDF isn't named (not my quoted words here below, but Assad's in the article).

      "He also criticized Washington's current military deployment, which supports the Kurd-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in their battle against the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS." link to

  • Putin offers Comey Asylum, likens him to Snowden
    • Sorry re the typos. How bout a few more secs for correcting, Doc?

    • "Are we not just letting Republican and ultra conservatives off the hook for the crap they create?"

      Like the Crosscheck crap?????

      Russia is a clampdown place just like America (like America's become). But they seem to project their power "outside" more fairly (convince me about Montenegro, I'm unconvinced). Putin had to acquiesce to all kinds of clampdown methods along his road no doubt. But the amazing thing is that in this moment when he talks about geopolitical situations...he's put all that aside and is talking rational. Media reigns, good gamble. We should IMO be very glad (he's talk'n rational).

      I do not agree with the prof at all on NGOs. Sorry, I agree with Robert Parry, and...though he had a brief lapse into Trump-love...Michael Hudson. BTW, where's any comment on the Iran sanctions vote yesterday?!?! I like the Qatar piece that came before today's. Was it too optimistic?

      Richard, you saved the day. My day. Please comment here as much as you can.

      All the wordings re the VR Systems hack eg are doubleminded. All of'em. The proof re it was Russia is so involved, it has to be over the over the heads of all the senators who voted for sanctions yesterday. It's so involved it's scary. I'm not sold yet. Sometimes I think Bruce Schneier can break it down, but he contradicts himself too. Anyway, due to many anomalies, like the ones Greg Palast investigated in THAT DISTRICT NORTH OF ATLANTA, odds are IMO Crosscheck out-hacked any conceivablel R-numbers-meddling by a mile.

      "But a more worrying prospect, according to Graff, is that hackers would target a company like VR Systems to get closer to the actual tabulation of the vote. An attempt to directly break into or alter the actual voting machines would be more conspicuous and considerably riskier than compromising an adjacent, less visible part of the voting system, like voter registration databases, in the hope that one is networked to the other. Sure enough, VR Systems advertises the fact that its EViD computer polling station equipment line is connected to the internet, and that on Election Day 'a voter’s voting history is transmitted immediately to the county database' on a continuous basis. A computer attack can thus spread quickly and invisibly through networked components of a system like germs through a handshake." The Intercept 6/5 link to

      They used to say there's no evidence the numbers were manipulated, but haven't I seen claims in the last few days they got so far that they very well may have done so?

  • America Should stay the Course with Rouhani
    • Good news regarding the election. Yes, America should stay the course with Rouhani! Appreciate so many articles on the subject at "Informed Comment." Catch myself wondering if Iranians are wondering why readers here don't say more. I think there are probably many who do appreciate the large selection. Why I won't have time to go through each article carefully is due to the fact that what I was working Friday through Monday was pretty challenging [I may even drag a little on my day off tomorrow]. If people want to share an Informed Comment article...they aren't going to want their friends to find their own yarns about how hard they're working...following whichever. But if I voice my appreciation I'm gonna also feel constrained to confess why I can't read'em all!

  • Climate March: Can we Save the Planet without Taking on the Pentagon?
    • Klein was right. We're far from where we need to be. There's no ecological balance or homeostasis if everything's erased. So glad to see this shared on Informed Comment this weekend. Many, many thanks, H Patricia Hynes and Juan!

  • Washington's Supreme Hypocrisy on Chemical Weapons and Civilian Deaths
    • Forgive me prof. It was late. Forgot to thank you. Article was great; put things in perspective. There's a lot to keep track of.

    • which are certified as having no ties ...?

  • The Russian Job: The Plot Thickens
    • This is the way all such articles should be. I'm not being facetious. The prof was heavy on Russia for Crimea I thought on Scheer Intelligence. I'm glad, Manabort, you let your thoughts run on the long history. Russia's got some adept kleptocrats, but no one's taking Michael Hudson's wording seriously..."financial warfare." It can escalate and escalate and escalate...and our neocon press will say it's just "deals" under a liberalized economic milieu. But I think Hudson's right. Let it go unchecked too far (meddling in Ukraine as happened), and IMO somethin's gonna blow. The meddlers are egotistical out of their minds..."F the EU" eg. We should be reminded of this financial warfare over there frequently...after-wall-looting, Latvia, Hunter Biden on the board of that Ukrainian gas company Burisma. The press doesn't go back into it enough. The prof I'm sure has once or twice. Guess we can't expect him to review every time the subj comes up. A few words though I think would always be appropriate. This time Manabort's done it, so it's covered at Informed Comment.

    • It was hip to say they wanted to unseat him for a while. But that overlooks at least one thing...why Comey talked about the HRC investigation, but waited to talk about Trump's. That threw things out of kilter. It's strange I read no one speculating they changed their minds. link to

  • It is Comey who should be Investigated
    • Like I told Sherm, I've been looking for this simple statement of what's what all day. Can't tell you prof how much it's appreciated. I will contribute!

    • It seems the worst thing that could happen would be for citizens to understand FISA law and the 702 amendment. And with any more depth it'll happen! Snowden's explained it (not perfectly IMO but he didn't have all the time in the world). explains it; man is that site cornfusing (if it's not your full time hobby). I was looking for this COGENT rundown of Juan Cole's ALL DAY! This article I thought pretty good too link to

  • Did David Brooks & the NeoCons pave the Way for Trump?
    • You expect NPR to come back, but it doesn't. I don't even pay for TV, but I remember watching Newshour with mom before she left her sojourn in this vicinity. You remember those nights when you could pick up Lyn Samuels driving home from evening shift...on the skip, beamed out there by solid prolefeed sports round the clock. They were still doing good shows I think when I realized smart people were downloading podcasts (I had a Nano but it was too complicated for me...too whooped from work to deal with such). But I was glad WWKB gave me something almost as good while I had to do no downloading at all to obtain it. Thank you prof. Wouldn't have read it tonight if it hadn't been here.

  • Forget the Tweets: The Impact on You of Trump's Deregulation, Privatization of Everything
    • Michael Hudson goes into the ramifications of developing some select projects like New York City subway’s Second Avenue Line and the payment-for-schemes...and comes out showing how such projects are placed mainly to increase given property values. This article IMO needs to go more into more specific "industry" or infrastructure situations. Maybe I read too fast, but are we coming round to a view that rejects endeavors like those of the Japanese gov which assisted its industries? Not much clarity re the fascist model vs sane subsidization. Or, maybe I need to read over it again. link to

  • All of Putin's / Trump's Men
    • McDonalds, Wendys, Delta, all big energy companies, tons of realtors who wanna sell property for cash, etc.

    • If people wanna make money, maybe they'll get involved with something like Exxon Naftegas in a "leftie" country [it's still stereotyped in some finds as leftie]. Or maybe they'll hook up with Burisma Holdings [check out Hunter Biden] in Ukraine the gov of which is sure nuff going in a real rightist direction. Some folks don't quibble when it comes to making money.

      2014 "The most disturbing explanation is that the company is attempting to curry favour with the US government by enlisting the services of the close family friend and campaign bundler of the secretary of state and the son of the vice president. After all, Archer notes on one of his company's web pages that his firm's 'relationship network creates opportunities for our portfolio companies which then compound to greater outcomes for all parties.' " link to

      I was listening to Andrew Bacevich last night on Le Show, and maybe that's what just gave me the idea [it's only a theory] that big-threat-scapegoats only work until readers around the world get the lowdown on how they were prodded into doing whatever it is the scapegoat hunters latch on to as heinous. Once people realize it, then you have to go find a more exotic enemy.

      One thing for sure, when writers like Juan (whom I respect) don't routinely break their commentary down into 1)hacking DNC emails, and 2)hacking into servers with official tallys or voting machines...everything seems meaningless. They need to do this. Where are these servers with the tallys? What percent were even online?

  • Trump feuds with Merkel, EU, BMW, NATO, China, CIA but not with Putin
    • I agree re Putin. I've been through scads of articles on Ukraine. One of my favorite writers on the subject is Zolton Grossman. Of course, many of us here I'm sure read Parry. Here's Weisbrot, nice brevity yet still accurate IMO.

      "Of course, that is no justification for any foreign intervention here, but it is part of the current story if we want to understand it. Washington's intervention in Ukraine, for example, helped push that country into a civil war that became the main cause of the current state of Cold War between the U.S. and Russia." Mark Weisbrot, Jan 9, link to

    • No wonder he claims so loudly he can make deals. Doesn't seem like he's so good at it.

      But re Putin I agree, Carlo. It doesn't matter. I am beginning to develop a theory like the Obama-was-groomed theory (by Chicago real estate tycoons). Isn't it strange people are going to identify a get-along-with-Russia posture with the biggest trickle-down bloviator ever to come down the pike? [Donald Trump, to understand economics start reading the late Richard J. Barnet's books]

      "Of course, that is no justification for any foreign intervention here, but it is part of the current story if we want to understand it. Washington's intervention in Ukraine, for example, helped push that country into a civil war that became the main cause of the current state of Cold War between the U.S. and Russia." Mark Weisbrot, 1/9 link to

      It's mindblowing to contemplate what the "liberal interventionists" might have brought on. And it is very weird to contemplate that Trump might be better (for a time) armageddon-wise then Pence, or the former.

  • 5 Images that refute Trump's attack on Hero John Lewis
    • Of course they were gonna wangle their way in. You could look at The Donald as a lever, or as a Trojan Horse. First they convinced "liberals" to go along with supporting the "moderate" proxies. Now, when that's exposed...they appear progressive when they decry it; and there the "liberal interventionists" are...holding the bag. I'd hope the Trump team hawks'll see the light fast [Mattis is for JPOA, right?]; but if they don't and DT sticks to his cooperation theme...yeah, I could see friction.

    • It's the biggest lie imaginable. That's why we might as well have a queen over on this side of the water. Social Security is some big unweldy pathetic thing that needs Wall Street's help. Meanwhile, they can't come up with an F-35 pilot helmet for less than $375,000.00.

      Our pols are mere figureheads. I could say corporations are at the helm. More like government contracts or believably useful government contracts.

      'In doing this book, I was surprised not to be able to find one manufacturer that wasn't subsidized.' Louis Utichelle 12/24/16, Ralph Nader Radio Hour link to

      Needless to say, the subsidization is askew. I'm not a Libertarian, and I do believe in a progressive income tax. But this is all projection. The thing these deficit hawks have always harped on is the thing they're guilty of themselves. Yes, they're like figureheads on the bows of those ships that laying out 10 mi long drift nets. They're like a drunken crew inside some Star Wars "walker" that's set on auto-pilot to go pillaging for MONEY. The thing is so big, it's like Jacques Ellul's technique.

  • Circus of Liars: How Trump & GOP are Twisted into Pretzels over Putin Hack
    • And I changed the ending to: a few of his intentions are “clear”…but the rest are perhaps a quarter of the time clear while IMO NOT well thought out.

      Or somesuch. Thanks.

    • Hope you don't mind that I turned this into a fb share. Gave your name, sourced this blog. Prefaced it saying I was still root'n for democracy. Ended it saying...

      Re Trump's 'clear principal of independent thought and intention'...yes, a few of his intentions are perhaps a quarter of the time "clear"...but IMO they are NOT well thought out.

  • Top 5 Ways Obama Sanctions on Russia work for Democrats
    • "Most effective fighters on the rebel side" meaning at least "Levantine Conquest Front (the Nusra Front)"? 12/28 piece

      Each time a journalist or even a commenter writes about the hacking, IMO they always need to break it down to 1)dumping hacked correspondence and 2)altering the count. For as long as they don't, IMO...little headway on the part of readers' comprehension or constructive feedback. In the time I have to look over Palast's site [singularly slow at the moment, why?] I don't see anything along these lines. Where are his marbles? (I ask myself; no one else seems to care) Yes, I also tend to think count-hackers have vastly less access than, for example, Crosscheck, Republican vote trashers, etc.

      If it were a John LeCarre novel, bobc & peteybee, I think this whole thing would be like disinformation in 3D.

      More than an "ass covering sideshow"...I tend to think they wanted him to do more, so he did this. Or is that what you meant, petey? It's not such a huge distraction if the majority of Americans think Russia hacked, and are mad about it. It's just disinfo to the effect our leader cares and is doing the prof sez, small potatoes.

      "3. These sanctions make it harder for Republicans to speak out of both sides of their mouths on the Democrats and Russia. Ideally, they’d like at the same time to maintain that Obama and the Dems were weak on Russia and that Trump is right to improve relations with it. Now they have to take one position or the other. Putin may be popular with Trump Republicans but he isn’t in the country at large.

      My only fb friend that seems outraged is a Dem, but he's very "vocal" re other important present issues. Here's where bobc and peteybee are somewhat on the mark IMO. In a way can't help but view these measures as distractions myself...during a valuable period, and indeed dumbly provocative Russia-wise. In the main and on the whole, however, nominal. Not sure Pubs'll have to take one position or the other. If they thought DT should have cared more, they'll simply go into denial re they ever thought such a thing...maybe until the unfolding doesn't look so sweet, say, 100 days from the 20th (but by then maybe all of America will comprehend the reality that there are tons of anti-US free lance hackers in Russia...and probably that there had been a group of ticked off Dem insiders too!).

  • No, America, it wasn't Russia: You did it to Yourself
  • How We Can fight back against Trump's Anti-EPA
    • Also jives with "repair cafes"... link to


    • It would probably take Americans four years to get schooled in economics enough to the point where they could agree on anything relevant to planning. By then maybe public servants would wanna get serious. I've struggled and struggled with the concepts, and I think I'd recommend these writers (like I say, just in case gov's in a mood to get serious): Weisbrot, Hudson, Rasmus, Palley, Keen, Yves Smith, and Ellen Brown. Does anybody out there know what I'm talking about?

    • That's heavy, Travis. I looked up "day of civil rest," and it's not at Wikipedia. Many citations, though, relating Constantine made Sunday a civil day of rest. Our situation's more dire, so maybe ours could end up more significant.

      This tack Juan Cole suggests is very much like what Wendell Berry said some time or other...that we'd have to make up for gov's shortfall...shortfall in the sense of missing the mark. IMO the spirit of the thing would have to be different than the back-to-the-landers. No escape...we'd have to attempt to keep up with what the prof also has to say about the rest of the world. He's not alone. So many have helped us understand things via the net. So weird that all the information yielded up what we have now.

  • Why the White Working Class Rebelled: Neoliberalism is Killing Them (Literally)
    • Laugh if you want, but I got acquainted with arduous work in boarding school, a unique one. "Milk squad," hay, pigs. Half a day in the school year, and half the summer. If barns were taken care of, in 7th and 8th grade we'd tag behind a truck in fields and throw in stones. Later on I'd take breaks from college framing houses. I had a hard time with "the system" all my life (did get a degree), so it wasn't until I was 53 when I found the contribution was sufficient in the role of (to be sufficiently vague) a sort of care giver, and have stuck with it ever since. But at the beginning is when I really could start to understand what nurses do, and others with a special skill set for special people...I'll leave it at that. I knew then that with their workload there was no way they could handle school to merely become RNs and take care of kids...or hardly a way if they were simply my age [there were grants, but there were also many associated expenses]. There's nothing wrong with nursing, but if you wanted to climb your way up to more pay under the conditions I just wasn't feasible enough. Mind you, this is the hay stacker talk'n, the "bin ni__er" freezing my tail off up in the silo, the framer. By the year when I started my present job it was truly even more the case because of the neoliberal model gaining ascendency in that setting; it puts tons of work on lowerlings while paying not squat (I wasn't exactly in that setting but I could put 2 and 2 together). Under this model nurses lose out, and patients lose out; but American hospitals and American HMO bean counters didn't care about that. Right in synch with these la la land folks, too many Americans won't start reflecting on this model vis a vis physician assisted dying till it's too late.

  • Starstruck & Party-Fanatic: The Moral Paradox of Trump Support
    • Re my 1:35 comment...already see themselves as a minority

    • "I’m really getting sick of people who use the term 'working people' to only refer to Whites in declining industries.

      "The next proletariat in America will be mostly non-White. The next labor movement in America will be dominated by Latinos."

      Trump supporters are mainly sympathetic to white 'working people' in declining industries. The fact that they already see themselves this way (or see others as they were in prior yrs) contributes to an underdog spirit and/or tenacity [Hochschilds, Democracy Now!].

      I forgot to highlight that the Trumpsters' awareness that something's radically wrong with America's economic picture is to some degree encouraging. Optimist Dems share things on facebook like "growth" under Obama and decreases in violent crime, which are distorted viewpoints. It is getting to the point where you have to doubt even general reporting. If you want a general valid picture of economics in the world IMO you have to read a ton to get it. For instance, Jack Rasmus, whom I respect a great deal, is saying Europe will be letting go its embrace of of austerity. Yes, maybe in the center a few smigens, but not for instance in Greece. In the talk-streams themselves (1st link below) Rasmus may digress beyond such a claim...actually made at the Oct 7th talk link (sadly, I'm behind in listening to them). In general, though, these summaries make a better outline re the truth of developments then one could get going through recent articles at michael-hudson dot com. Those are more specialized, though accurate IMO. The problem with saying the EU will rollback on austerity is that in just a few years they've abandoned their earlier principles for boosting all members, and resorted to scapegoating members on the periphery [real radical austerity]; and in doing this...they have gone far into doing so. Coming back a bit therefore will only land them in less austere austerity. Just Googling around I found the second piece linked below.

      Rasmus seems to have begun tying more not-so-specifically-econ-issues together in the last three talks, letting go a tad more even of his own expansions on facets laypersons might see as specialized. link to

      same deal with austerity link to

      even nations can end up scapegoated, and even under set-ups established to do just the opposite link to

    • His followers see him not as having climbed to the top via the acceptable way. They see him as having no respect for the corrupt context through which he wangled his way to the top. Pirate ethic.

      Thus, they see him as a true critic of a corrupt, failed, debt-driven (not demand-driven) system...through and through. As spokesman for the newest minority, they see him as champion of the underdog. This latter aspect was related by a sociologist on Democracy Now whose first name I can't remember at the moment, last name Hochschild.

      His followers don't know the difference between debt-driven and demand-driven, or debt-led as opposed to demand-led. Because of all the phony schtick, they don't know how typical a scamster he is (extracting wealth from legit folks). If he won they'd get the opposite of what they're anticpating.

      I agree that the celebrity factor is large. There's an involved history/etiology here. Our entertainment (cable, Netflicks) has fallen down. Movies seem to create alternate versions of corruption (for drama's sake). People take the fiction for gospel because it seems as complicated as reality. In many cases IMO it's more complicated, and in effect diverts folks from attempting to understand what's going on (movies in general do not attempt to explain things the way Oliver Stone's films do). The apprentice for example. It purported to portray what success requires in a healthy system. It was only portraying what's required when narcissists are in charge...which is vastly more complex. And so...things boil down in essence to really no principles--one must gamble without any understanding of how enterprises might work in a rational system.

      It's been a long day, and I've written this in a rather flat and dry manner. Sorry, couldn't manage anything more replete, with more examples. Yeah, that tiredness, though, means I know what's happened to this economy. I know for example there are a lot of Afro-Americans working jobs readers here have no conception of, though for sure yall need some concept. If you're one of these people with no idea, as Dylan sang..."Look out kid, They keep it all hid." So, learn what's Do the research. Then you can speak out with a little energy before the system has you over a barrel.

  • Did Bashar al-Assad win New Hampshire? Trump & Sanders Mideast Policies
    • One comment like this shows me that Informed Comment readers are AWAKE! The lack of foresight, or the delay in comprehension, or the "misunderstanding" is a fact of life. The staleness of outlook (Assad, Iran) is the big diverter from environment, not so much that dollars are diverted, since dollars can be "created" ex-nihilo (as the Obama admin continued to do all along with wars and drones at the same time...for some good actually). It's that time, labor, and RESOURCES of a nation are diverted. So, a new third party would have to realize your description of this state of affairs.

      Re a challenge from Bern...more razor's edge political chaos...but it's OK with me. We gotta back him however.

      Agree with concluding remark.

    • Seemed that way to me too. The only possibly creepy thing about it might be that Russia could do to us in some way what we did to Ukraine. I realize that the whole global economy is flagging, but someday BRICS might gain an edge, no matter how unglorious. No matter what he says about China, I wouldn't trust Trump to understand (or reveal) what kind of TPP type deals (perhaps someday with Russia) might begin laying low the US in Latvia fashion. But no way now IMO should Russia be viewed as an aggressor.

  • Top 5 Ways Saudi Arabia really could fight Terrorism, & not by a Vague Coalition
    • Hmm, in my previous response to Johnny I may have mixed up Escobar with Zizek.

    • Confusion here too. Some of us mainly get Cole condensations of things, no doubt. As time goes on blanket notions of Salafists will be broken down further for our benefit...seems possible/plausible. I'll read the article again (the whole thing) to see if it rings as true as prior articles. If the SA gov is seeking better press, I can understand that. Outside the MSM/Fox orbit at least, it can get it for starters by easing up on Yemen, stopping stonings/flogging, and letting women drive cars. As Escobar has written, everyone's pretending to hit ISIL-land while in reality hitting their old foes [Google escobar with turkey, past month]. It's all too apocalyptic. All are guilty, but if they work together and slow it'll be so important that most will be forgiven. And let's hope all can become parties to truces.

  • Should an al-Qaeda Ally have a seat at the Syrian Table? Al-Assad rejects talks w/ any armed Group
    • Hope to read you again here at Informed Comment. I have replied to Nicholas.

    • I tended to like the title of the Common Dreams article germane. This one I've read, so I know it's (as usual for the prof) very, very informing.

      It's strange that the Syrian drought synched up with all this. Beginning in '06 or '07 it would seem the "think" tanks could have tried to do some scenarios. Might be due to my exposure to farm life (American) that I gravitate towards coverage of displaced or out-priced farmers, and that I empathize with their plight. IOW from my point of view Assad was no saint the way he handled things. Can't believe he was out of any loop.

      I think Sergio below makes good points. There is an issue which no one's bringing up. Don't know if it's because unconsciously folks don't want to be tagged, or unconsciously they just don't want to face it. If I recall correctly, both Noam Chomsky and Richard Clarke have written statements regarding the likelihood of Al Qaeda possessing one or a few suitcase nukes. We are worried about what Cruz has said, but what about what Chomsky and Clarke wrote? Actually, what they wrote adds a little more meaning to Cruz's approach (preemptive, if Cruz is thinking at all). Iran accepts nuclear monitors. Ultimately might not ISIL-land accept human rights monitors? Such an arrangement (handing over the territory) would only IMO make sense in the context of this nuclear element.

  • US to send Spec Ops troops to Iraq to fight ISIL, but do Iraqis want them?
    • Second day RT tubes linked at IC won't come in for me..."cannot be displayed." And the RT site doesn't have this one.

  • Turkey's Coup against Press, own Generals over Arms Supplies to Syrian Militants
    • Daily Mail link: "...'They exposed the humanitarian assistance which was sent to Bayırbucak Turkmens in this way. They exposed what was sent to the Free Syrian Army [FSA] in this way,' President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Nov. 28."

      Don't get it. Is he complaining that now the world knows about the "humanitarian" aid? Is he telling his own country (who he believes supports him) that it's wrong the world finally found out about who he's supporting? But the Russians already pretty much put Turkmen folks on the map. I'm thinking maybe "expose" isn't a perfect translation?

  • How much Palestinian unrest is work of Undercover Israeli Agents?
    • Thanks for that, YeahRight. Re here at home, though, is it legal for such undercover FBI agents to incite an aggressing mob/group by initiating the first acts of violence?

    • Food for thought.

      "Crude, garage-built Palestinian rockets are no match for modern precision missiles, helicopter gunships, bombers and drones. Fortunately for the Israelis, the rockets failed to reach any population centers 99 percent of the time. It was a mystery even to the Israelis why the unchallenged Israeli air force and ground artillery did not knock out the primitive Gaza launching sites, given its spies, informants and knowledge of every block in Gaza."
      Ralph Nader
      link to

    • The question is did the "armed individuals" foment the incident?

  • As Russia Strikes, Arab Twitter Wars over call for Jihad against "occupation" of Syria
    • I first saw a written version of excerpts from this talk given in '14, but can't find that link now. Check around 2:05.
      link to

      full text UN address, WaPo
      link to

    • From my media (I'm not a tweeter) it looks as though a majority (maybe slim) of Americans are pretty wary re US intervention (one level or another). The record of it in this theater doesn't seem to make much sense. Good to know there are Muslim tweets out there recognizing that opposing our no-sense-interventions wouldn't make sense either. That shows Muslims are aware of what's happened in Afghanistan, and are concerned about it. That they're being realistic about it.

      Doesn't seem like such a wonderful prospect opening up a port to al-Qaeda or the Army of Conquest. If it's true, as it's said Putin claims, that rebel troops defect hither and thither for better pay...then the lines sort of blur. If Turkey really does shut its southern border (which seems to be hard to get information on), then Daesh's source of recruits are the aforementioned...again, if Putin said what he said and if it's correct.

      All these elements are like gangs in the hood. Actually, they're like the gangs of San Salvador forcing folks out of their homes and off to other countries, but on a much more colossal scale.

      IMO Russia should go ahead and name the groups. Most likely we could handle it.

  • Obama as Grandmaster of Grand Strategy: Containing China
    • 7. Lack of control on food processing (and for instance chicken vaccines) + "sacrifice zones" + "container cities" (resulting from Wall Street's wars), all of which could augment plagues

      8. Chomsky rightly mentions "worship of the state." But how bout worship of intellectual property? As in GMO seeds, which may cataclysmically fail to deliver.

    • It looks as though he did what he could. But it's the details that seem to put the strategy too much in the theory realm. Without a gear down in crazy consumption and fossil fuel burning, I wouldn't have expected utopia. And it doesn't look like it's coming. Both polarities need to go another route.

      Six things.

      1. Mexico

      2. Water wars

      3. Meddling in South America that won't stop (right now Venezuela (but you will tell me neither TPP nor TTIP are concerned with South America?))

      4. Oceanic disruption of ports (including storms)

      5. Wall Street prohibiting a "participatory economy"

      6. Water for CA vegetables gone or poisoned + dead oceans exacerbating unbearable warming (which wipes out lots of agriculture)

      Like to hear Jack Rasmus comment on the strategy.

  • Another Bush Legacy in Iraq: Barzani asks PKK to Leave
    • In regard to what the framers intended (at least Washington, and Jefferson somewhat), yes it's a betrayal. But I think we should acknowledge a certain large force-of-maya in the modern era. Even if they see a sliver of light beyond the thing, often leaders are politically coerced into an intervention at the last minute [can we think of any folks who might have been persuasive with Bush?]. We have to acknowledge this as the little people we are in this whole huge thing. Otherwise, when we talk about is as if we're deluded into thinking some nutso executive has upset the heretofore undisturbed default balance (all the while, though, judicial & legislative were abdicating just as much). Nowadays there's no one who's worked harder for one wiser or more relevant than Jimmy Carter. He wasn't just some rube in his younger days either. But, for instance, it appears he got talked into something by Brzinski that certainly didn't pay off. link to

      It's not that I don't appreciate all the Mr Smith's that go to Washington, and try. I do. It's a tough job. But if I don't acknowledge that they (and the polity too) have been acting like they don't understand the world least ever since the WWI war debt put on Germany...then how I see the world outside ends up not counting and uncommunicated.

    • I think he was just very ignorant re the ME. "Terrorists" were a fuzzy category in his mind. There was the old grudge plus he envisioned he could knock out a [at-one-time] user of WMDs. Of course, for our ends they were ok. But according to W's fuzzy thinking...ok then but not at the later moment when the ends weren't US approved. He probably was only on & off aware of to what ends they were used prior. Intelligence might have kept him out of the loop re the then present just as they did Reagan (even Powell didn't get super pushy until ONE forced confession popped up). I conjecture knocking out one WMD user was his first pipe dream. If it got protracted, his friends in Defense Inc and contractor-land would be even closer friends. When presidents take the later outcome-then-option lightly, then they're set to destabilize. But IMO they don't understand it...don't grasp the whole picture or potential blowback. Part and parcel of that beltway bubble thing. All he had to do was read Institute for Policy Study books, but that evidently required too much effort. Think of all the pols for whom it's too much effort. When folks realize how much is at stake with the Iran treaty I hope they'll start demanding to hear Jill Stein. What has Sanders had to say about it??

    • "The raids [Turkey's raids] came after the PKK reportedly killed two Turkish police officers in retaliation for an attack claimed by Islamic State and what the PKK sees as Turkey's collaboration with IS. " BBC link (first link...having very useful chart)

      Any evidence Turkey was complicit in any respect re said attack claimed by SC-IS? With this perspective, now it looks like the PKK messed up (shouldn't I doubt they're infiltrated, and it was a false flag? So far, I do doubt it). There's a lot of stuff floating around about complicity, but this piece and its links help explain things.

      Dates, like "8/2," would help besides days of the week...same goes for BBC.

  • By the Time Washington wakes up to China's Eurasian Strategy will it be too Late?
    • What happens MikeN if our enemies start sinking our ships? What happens when transporting troops on C-17s gets real costly? What happens when communications with satellites [ICBM guidance] gets hacked? We can't even keep Federal employees' info secure (not that I necessarily believe Chinese did the hacking). All the public servants in DC duped by the prevailing mental-inertia definitely cannot comprehend any kind of global big picture. Everything we've viewed as effective competition is wrong. They've said "hearts & minds," but by no means have they gone after hearts and minds. They've turned off hearts & minds. To really win hearts and minds is the only thing left for us to do. These are the most foolish politicians the world has ever experienced...for not being willing to see it.

      Did anyone besides Jacques Ellul observe that today actual technology = the capital?

  • Going for Broke in Ponzi Scheme America
    • True dat, John and Brian.

      At the moment we know of no target-audience-graduates that are hearing this. And how on target can the topic be when...

      "We have neither an adequate name for it, nor an adequate language to describe it."


      Seems ya gotta keep run'n round this thing and keep reporting back [thank you Tom E], as it's sort of like the blob or a 3D printer gone berzerk. If you wanted to talk about it rather than write, you'd probably sound like Bill Curry on Nader Radio Hour. Scroll down link to

      Somehow our grads landed in la la land (by means of other collected phenomena without a name). Best, indeed, to lay it on heavy.

  • Why Kim Jong-Un was Really afraid of "The Interview:" A Humiliation Romp, not an Assassination Flick
    • conjecturing person 12/27/2014 at 4:02 pm

      What do Americans know about Asia? What do they know about Vietnam? What do they know about central asia? What do they know about Ukraine and the NED? It's just a little conspicuous that lots of Americans are suddenly having very vague notions of NK reinforced by some flick when they don't know jack about anything else in Asia. No Le Carre plots; his last in the area is too far back in time. Anyone bother to ask Oliver Stone to make a film germane to the region?

      Of course, NK needs to loosen up, but what kind of policies do we tell our representatives to put into place to help this process...and how can we have any idea re how much pressure should be exerted if we're blind, say, to what western Ukraine shock troops are perpetrating? I'd like to know more about these "ballistic missiles" Kiev's firing off according to Pepe Escobar. Google the latter with "The Roving Eye," Asia Times...and "plays Russian Roulette."

  • Is the NSA Responsible for N. Korea's Hack of Sony Pictures?
    • conjecturing person 12/23/2014 at 6:59 pm

      Take 9/11. Didn't I read that Bilkowski prohibited the FBI from getting the heads up? That's inter-agency competition that's counterproductive. Clearing up that problem obviates the need for 99% of the back doors on everyone everywhere. Then too, there's 5 million gov employees with highest security clearance. Bad odds?

      Spyguy, I'm just a prole and keep trying to understand open source. My idea is that, eg, with open source encryption the keys still stay secret. But, say, Target would have to have trustworthy people at all sender ends and all receiver ends. And I suppose that that means they're well paid? So, therein lies the problem? Thanks to you and thank you, John.

      Some sources say anonymous is gonna assist release of Interview, and some say they're disputing that NK did the hack. IMO the whole movie project is insane. There must be a huge contingent of symbolic analysts in Hollywood who don't comprehend the concept of nukes delivered via ICBMs.

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