How the media is complicit in making up existentialist threats Open Thread.

mmghosh's picture

So I was reading this JPost article, and the comments therein and wondering at the making and faking of facts to advance an agenda.  A Grade 2 Trevino-in-Malyasia article (these excellence grades go from 5 - paid article indistinguishable from ordinary journalism to 1 - paid article completely obvious in its backscratching, as assessed by a non-English speaking reader).  Prime example - this nonsensical statement

But the fulfillment of the ancient prophecy of “the ingathering of exiles” has also made it easier to annihilate the Jews as they now congregate in one small land.

Yes, we are to believe that a Rabbi living in the USA does not know that there are more Jews living outside Israel than within its borders, and it is therefore mathematically impossible to "annihilate the Jews".


Thankfully, both the right wing and left wing, in Britain at least, are beginning to weigh in on such nonsense.  Here, on the subject of the BBC in the UK, is Peter Oborne in the Daily Telegraph

1. Mr Humphrys told listeners that "there will be high-level meetings to find ways of Iran giving up its nuclear weapons programme in exchange for sanctions being dropped". Unfortunately for Humphrys, Iran does not have a nuclear weapons programme, and US intelligence knows this even if he doesn't. It regularly briefs Congress that Iran has no Iranian nuclear weapons programme. It is incredible that a senior BBC broadcaster should make this mistake, bearing in mind that as recently as February this year the US defence secretary, Leon Panetta, repeated that "the intelligence we have is they have not made the decision to proceed with the development of a nuclear weapon". Israel itself agrees: in April last year Israeli chief Chief of Staff, General Benny Gantz, said the same thing in an interview with Haaretz in April 2012.

2. Humphrys failed to challenge Mark Regev when he said that “They [Iran] still deny access to IAEA inspectors.” The facts are that Iran has declared 17 nuclear facilities to the IAEA, that all of them are open to IAEA inspection; that all of them are operating according to the relevant design specifications provided to the IAEA; and, most important of all, the IAEA has never detected any diversion of nuclear material from these nuclear facilities for possible military use elsewhere. (True, Iran has not granted the IAEA access to the Parchin military site, but Iran is not breaking any agreement with the IAEA by refusing to do so, since it isn’t a nuclear site declared to the IAEA.) This (untrue) statement about Iran by Regev is a matter of the pot calling the kettle black. Over 30 years ago, on 19 June 1981, the Security Council passed resolution 487, which demanded that Israel open its secret nuclear facilities to IAEA calling “upon Israel urgently to place its nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards”. Israel has yet to do so.

3. Humphrys then failed to challenge Regev’s claim that Iran “continues to violate UN Security Council resolutions”. He could have pointed out that this is a bit rich coming from Israel, which holds the world record for violating Security Council resolutions that require action by it and it alone, about 30 in all.

Here, on the subject of the NBC in USA, is Glenn Greenwald

In fact, the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, issued a 2005 religious edict banning the pursuit of nuclear weapons, and in January of this year, Iranian official Ramin Mehmanparast declared: "There is nothing higher than the exalted supreme leader's fatwa to define the framework for our activities in the nuclear field." He added: "We are the first country to call for a Middle East free of nuclear weapons. When the highest jurist and authority in the country's leadership issues a fatwa, this will be binding for all of us to follow. So, this fatwa will be our top agenda."


The following month, Khamenei himself said: "We believe that nuclear weapons must be eliminated. We don't want to build atomic weapons." The New York Times noted that "American officials say they believe that Ayatollah Khamenei exercises full control over Iran's nuclear program."


Iran's top leadership has been making similarly unambiguous statements for almost a full decade, even taking out a full page ad in the New York Times in 2005 to counter the growing clamor in the US for a military attack by proclaiming that Iran had no desire for nuclear weapons, was not pursuing them, and wanted transparency, accountability and peace - exactly what Brian Williams told his viewers last night was a "sudden" and newfound claim.


But whether Iran is sincere is an entirely separate question from the one about which Williams radically misled his viewers last night. While Iran's actual intentions regarding nuclear weapons may be debatable, the fact that they have repeatedly and over the course of many years emphatically disclaimed any interest in acquiring nuclear weapons is not debatable. It is indisputable fact that they have done exactly that. There is nothing new or "sudden" about this claim.


To the contrary, Iran has been trying to make Americans hear for years that they have no interest in nuclear weapons. Indeed, they have repeatedly made clear that they have not only banned such weapons but favor region-wide nuclear disarmament, including of Israel's vast nuclear arsenal, which actually exists. It is Israel, not Iran, which has steadfastly refused to allow inspections of its nuclear arsenal (despite UN demands they do so) or to join the NPT or other conventions designed to monitor and regulate nuclear weapons.


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M Scott Eiland's picture

The reaction that this little piece of gossip has generated has me alternately shaking my head and reaching for something to settle my stomach. Not at all because I care about the possibility that Woody Allen might have been cuckolded while in the midst of his own shenanigans--while I don't necessarily believe the most vicious innuendo directed his way, he's a creep. However, it occurs to me that:

--if Sinatra was sleeping with Farrow all that time, he was also cheating on his own wife, who may have tolerated such behavior (and engaged in it herself with Sinatra when she was still married to Zeppo Marx), but it hardly seems worthy of being so gleeful over;

--more to the point, there are some indications (most notably Kitty Kelley coming right out in saying it in My Way) that Sinatra was abusive to at least some of his wives, and most notably to Mia Farrow herself. The image of Farrow repeatedly going back to her abusive, decades-older ex over a period of years and having him secretly father her child is more than a little squickworthy.

As to the substance of the story, the "the baby certainly *looks* like that guy" method of determining paternity has been out of favor with the courts for years, and for good reason (particularly now that DNA testing is available). That being said. . .

 photo RonanFarrowandmom_zps5fa81b3b.jpg

Um, yeah. That's not Woody Allen's kid. Doesn't prove he's Frank Sinatra's kid, but opportunity, motive and, yes, resemblance would seem to make him the most likely candidate.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Obama cancels Asia trip in order to stay home and not negotiate

Bird Dog's picture

There's some sound logic for you (link). It sounds like another variation of the Washington Monument strategy. Or perhaps Obama is reading the polls and will change his stance.

Most Americans want compromise. Majorities think the President and the Democrats in Congress (76 percent) and the Republicans in Congress (78 percent) should compromise in order to come to an agreement on the budget.

While the GOP is moving from unwise to just plain foolish re this partial government shutdown, it's also true that we're led by incompetent amateurs on both sides. I can't disagree with Krauthammer either.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Hey. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .it's no good drumming your heels on the floor and throwing a temper tantrum if you can't do it at your fancy West Wing office desk. The trick will be if he can summon the discipline not to play thirty-six holes at whatever private club strikes his fancy while he's supposedly in sackcloth and ashes.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Nice theater moment the GOP lost out on there

brutusettu's picture

It's a shame Obama didn't run off to Indianesiawhatchawhatcastan at a cost of $4 billion a millisecond.




How many people in the CBS poll have been paying much attention?



  • No one voted to not raise the debt ceiling when their vote could actually do that.  Not until the GOP TPers came along.
  • I don't recall Congress taking material steps undermining the validity of the national debt until the TPers came along.




off the top of my head for Kraut, "1)" refer to bullet points and would SCOTUS rule the extension unconstitutional? 

Found! Sniper grandmas!

Bird Dog's picture

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Its hard to think of conservatism as rational

mmghosh's picture

even though one has to live and work with such as fellow human beings with a right to tradition and custom.


The commentator puts it correctly (my italics).

Thank God both were Jats (Hindu community). So the issued stopped with murders and beheadings. If the guy or girl had been from some minority religion, it would have resulted in large scale riots. Some party would have fanned the minority flames while some other party would have fanned the majority flames.

I am a conservative,

Bird Dog's picture

and I see nothing conservative about honor killings. In this instance, I do see a backward culture that is colored by a stupid and counterproductive caste system.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

No, honour killings are a distinct conservative concept.

mmghosh's picture

It is linked to the idea of women as property.  There were honour killings in the West, too, including vendettas and blood feuds. There is a literary description of honour killings in the USA - in the adventures of Huckleberry Finn, satire though it may have been.  It was legal to burn women for adultery in post medieval Europe.


Concepts of family honour are pretty strong in the conservative worlds of the Yakuza, Cosa Nostra, Camorra and so forth.


Even duelling was around until relatively recent times.

This is mostly an American politics-leaning blog,

Bird Dog's picture

where the context of conservatism is American political conservatism in these modern times, so I reject your overly broad characterization.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Oh I think we can understand the context


especially when the subject is honour killings.

A conservative regarding the modern consensus as

mmghosh's picture

the paradigm of conservatism?


The modern consensus?


Hmm.  That is a very interesting and important concept in itself, IMO.



And there is a direct through line from the idea of honor killings, women as the property of men (that is, that their rights and integrity as humans is subject to the rule of men) and the current conservative mania for shutting down women's reproductive rights, be it abortion, contraception, etc.


show me a conservative who professes to despise honor killings and I will show you one who thinks denying contraception as a matter of policy is up to the authority's "religious freedom."

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

We're Not In The Nineteenth Century Any More

M Scott Eiland's picture

But thanks for passing on the Amanda Marcotte bat***t insane view of gender relations in America today.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.



Your ad hom fallacy is very convincing. Particularly the old "them bitches be crazy"  approach to feminism. Quite original and so effective, hahahaha... 

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

Your Words, Not Mine

M Scott Eiland's picture

And in deference to the posting rules I'll refrain from speculating at length about the, ahem, motivation for that phrasing. Though the "crazy" part certain applies to Marcotte* and any rhetoric that echoes hers--blaming every position that conservatives have on a hidden desire to reduce women to the state of property suggests a lack of imagination and a severe inability to perceive reality, not some clever insight.

*--The obligatory Amanda Marcotte joke, from the old comments on the linked piece before Slate switched to LiveFyre comments:

"How many Amanda Marcottes does it take to screw in a lightbulb?"

"That's not funny and you're enabling rape culture."

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

You have it the wrong way round.

mmghosh's picture

The point is that the attitude of treating women as property is a conservative one.  


It may well be that many declared conservatives do not see women as property, or indeed are repulsed by that notion (many conservatives of my acquaintance here would agree with this).  In this instance, though, they are not being conservatives.  I also know know otherwise impeccable liberals who hold such views about women (even if not openly).  Just read the innumerable reddit threads on these subjects to get a flavour.  Obvious public examples would be Mr Clinton's attitude to his family and Mr Obama's attitude to his.

And honor killing is primarily conservative,


being a violent means of enforcing a social norm threatened by change or noncompliance.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

It is funny you mention


It is funny you mention reddit.  It is a funny hive mind, the way they enforce a certain way of thinking with "upvotes".

More NSA/Obama credibility problems

Bird Dog's picture

First, there was DNI Clapper lying to Congress about the scope of NSA's surveillance. BTW, he's still the DNI. Now there's the Obama administration wildly overstating the terrorist plots foiled due to NSA surveillance.

Pressed by the Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee at an oversight hearing, Gen. Keith B. Alexander admitted that the number of terrorist plots foiled by the NSA’s huge database of every phone call made in or to America was only one or perhaps two — far smaller than the 54 originally claimed by the administration.

Emphases mine. This is Patrick Leahy, not some Republican flack who took Alexander to task.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Strange and sad

Bird Dog's picture

The woman who sped through a DC security checkpoint and was killed for hers efforts had mental health issues. Who knows what set her off. Now her 18-month old kid doesn't have a mom.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Out of interest, do police generally shoot to kill?

mmghosh's picture

CNN International had this story on.  Couldn't one aim for the knees, or lower trunk?   

(CNN) -- Police in North Carolina shot and killed a man running toward them Saturday morning -- but he may have just been looking for help after a car wreck.
Officers responded to a "breaking and entering" 911 call at a home in Charlotte.
The homeowner told dispatchers that a man had been knocking on her door repeatedly.
Police say that when they got to the scene, a man matching the caller's description ran toward them.
One of the officers fired his stun gun, but it was "unsuccessful." Another officer then opened fire, police said.


Police called the incident "unfortunate."

I remember driving through Charlotte with family at about 11 p.m. last year.  Somewhat strange to think what would have happened if our car had broken down and we had knocked on a door for help. I suppose it can be put down to the efficiency and training of an extremely vigilant police.  


I noticed my brother-in-law (an American, but Asian) always checked the number plate on his silver Toyota SUV before opening the door - on asking, he said if he tried to open a door on the wrong car in a car park in error and there was someone sitting in the car, it would be legal for that person to shoot him dead for suspected carjacking.


Curious.  Especially at a time when violent crime is decreasing so dramatically.

"Shooting To Wound" Is A Myth. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .and innocent people who are just knocking on a door don't generally charge armed police officers, then keep coming when hit with a stun gun. Also, the fact that violence overall is down is scant comfort to those who are killed or maimed in the incidents that remain.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Wait, are you actually defending


this shooting? Or am I misunderstanding your post? The police(!) have described the use of force in this case as excessive and unlawful, and the officer is charged with voluntary manslaughter. 


Agree on shooting to wound being a myth, however. Shooting is supposed to be an absolute last resort.

Come, my friends. 'Tis not too late to seek a newer world -- Tennyson

The Police Probably Have Information. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .not mentioned in the article--perhaps the reports of the other officers made it clear that the man was not "charging" in any reasonable sense of the term, or that no warning was given before shots were fired--and the fact that the man may have been suffering from head injuries might explain why he would not express himself verbally rather than move towards the officers (and why he didn't make his plight clear to the occupants of the house rather than simply persistently knocking on the door after receiving no answer). My observations are simply that charging at armed police--particularly if a warning was given and certainly when one was trying to get the attention of the occupants of a house by persistent knocking on the door and getting no answer--is a good way to get shot, regardless of whether it was justified.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

It probably is a good way to get shot


That ought not be the case, imho. I know cops have a tough job but it's not as dangerous as often portrayed and there should be a very high barrier to using lethal force, particularly when as brut notes there are other options available (stun gun failure or not). Maybe a few more of the clearly "unjustified" shootings ending in criminal convictions could help bring down the overall rate of police killings without jeopardizing officer safety. 

Come, my friends. 'Tis not too late to seek a newer world -- Tennyson

The phlegmatic acceptance of the possibility of being shot

mmghosh's picture

here, and elsewhere in other American blogs outside a civil war, riot or terrorist warfare situation is one of the more important differences between us IMO.  Perhaps this one of the reasons why violent crime is going down?

It's important to understand that, in America, it is broadly believed that police can--and perhaps should--kill people who do not comply with them. Roy Middleton was shot in his own driveway after a neighbor called the police on him, thinking he was a burglar breaking into a car. The car was Middleton's. When the police arrived, they claim to have given Middleton orders to which he did not comply. Middleton thought it was neighbors playing a joke. The police claim he "lunged" at them."It was like a firing squad," Middleton told PNJ from his bed at Baptist Hospital. "Bullets were flying everywhere."  The local sheriff doesn't believe the police did anything wrong.


Police officers are trained to deal with situations like this...killing people who make them jumpy. Miscommunication is not an excuse. Mental illness is not an excuse. Confusion is not an excuse. If the officer believes you are a threat to their life, they have the right to shoot you--and anyone standing near you.

He was actually hit with a stun gun?

brutusettu's picture

All I've seen from multiple sources is the cops claiming the stun gun was "unsuccessful."    

15 feet is roughly the range insofar as I could find.



--it looks like the cops are claiming:  Stun gun missed, one of the three cops unloaded a clip when the deceased was within 15 feet, the cop would still have available non-lethal options rather than the as before mentioned shoot to kill technique.



Law enforcement personnel generally carry around nightsticks or flashlights as an impact weapon (yes, that is an actual training technique to use a flashlight).  Plus cops have training in pressure points and takedowns to subdue a "suspect."  


There were 3 cops, one dude with no visible weapon.  No weapon found.


I'm assuming that since a cop committed a homicide and it wasn't on tape, that a full drug screen was done on the deceased.  So the cop's defense team will have that available before trial.



-no footage afaik

-if the deceased has no taser marks, then theoretically the taser could have been fired after the homicide to make for a better looking police report.

-It should not be assumed that 3 cops would tell the truth in police reports after one of them shot an unarmed man.

-did any of the officers actually give real and adequate warnings to the deceased?


Do people robbing houses at 2:30 AM usually try to announce themselves to the people staying there?

How many burglars have  been known to have "ran/charged/advanced" at three cops?

Do burglars often hang around attempted crime scenes?

Don't people that are looking for help generally walk quickly/jog towards police?


It looks like there is a real chance, as far as the deceased knew, the cops were there to help, then they're yelling stuff then something flies by him, then a cop unloads on him.


Two Questions

M Scott Eiland's picture

--have the Republicans read George S.'s and Dick M's written observations about the notorious 1995 shutdown? ;

--if they have, do they believe the message there or do they assume it's a trap?

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.



Is not 95. The Republicans started this fight already massively divided. The fundamentals are far more favorable to the Dems this time.

This sort of stiff upper lip


This sort of stiff upper lip talk and monday morning quarterbacking is nice coming from guys out of office.  When the markets come knocking, I suspect reality will set in.  Again -- good luck with that.

Alternative history


Can be very comforting to the losers of the 1995 episode.


"if only we had hung in there everything would have been different." Says the loser.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

Except That. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .George and Dick weren't on the losing side, and they wrote what they wrote. So my question remains: honest memories, or trolling political enemies (George S.) or just stirring the pot (Dick M.)?

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

"Republicans Stage Latest Political Stunt"

M Scott Eiland's picture

Obama's private Ministry of Propaganda isn't bothering to be even remotely subtle about it any more, even in "news" pieces.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

it says theatre now


Given that they put on costumes theres not much to complain about. So how long do you expect the piecemeal thing to go on?

Obama Administration Commits Fraudian Slip

M Scott Eiland's picture

And no, that title isn't a typo--it's a description.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Let your fingers to the mocking? -nt-



"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes



One side has people examining phone numbers to find defects with the law. The other side offers this:

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

That poor man, surrendering his freedom to


middle finger socialism. 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

CBS poll - 44 blame GOP, 35 blame Ds, 17 blame both equally


for the shutdown. Its bad news for the GOP but not nearly bad enough to genuinely pressure these stubborn, angry, mostly insulated politicians who represent heavily gerrymandered districts.

The forces of light need some more high profile blunders by GOPers, some more effective disses by Ds, and some more activism and honesty from the media. You gotta figure this shutdown will be measured in weeks and not days.

Two Senate douchebags

Bird Dog's picture

First, Ted Cruz:

At a closed-door lunch meeting in the Senate’s Mansfield Room, Republican after Republican pressed Cruz to explain how he would propose to end the bitter budget impasse with Democrats, according to senators who attended the meeting. A defensive Cruz had no clear plan to force an end to the shutdown — or explain how he would defund Obamacare, as he has demanded all along, sources said.

Things got particularly heated when Cruz was asked point-blank if he would renounce attacks waged on GOP senators by the Senate Conservatives Fund, an outside group that has aligned itself closely with the Texas senator.
Cruz’s response: “I will not,” according to an attendee.

And, of course, Douchebag Reid, for turning the knob and cracking open the door that Douchebag Cruz & Co. later busted wide open:

Granted, Reid's tactic was not the first time the filibuster had been used to scuttle a judicial nomination. It happened in the 19th century, and it also took place in 1968 when Lyndon Johnson tried to elevate Associate Justice Abe Fortas to be chief justice. (Fortas eventually resigned from the Court over ethics issues.) But Reid embraced the filibuster as the chief tactic in undermining judicial nominations. Norm Ornstein, known as a nonpartisan congressional scholar, has gotten attention for a new book, It's Even Worse Than It Looks, that lays most of the blame for Washington's current gridlock squarely on Republican extremism. Still, Ornstein calls the Democratic judicial filibusters of the previous decade distasteful. "It was a bad moment that routinized filibusters," he says.


"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Plame Harry?????

brutusettu's picture


notice the red in the up-ticks in filibustering, that ain't Harry at the helm.  So, is there a good reason to Plame Harry that isn't block quoted?   Because actual records are showing members of the GOP as being the perps in escalating the filibusters' use.   


So is Harry just the Plame for "abusing" it when Bush/Cheney were in office?


Bird Dog's picture feels like Picard, trying to communicate with Darmok.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

The dude that wrote that second block quote

brutusettu's picture



hence (Valerie) Plame instead of blame.

NATO country chooses Chinese missiles over NATO standard

mmghosh's picture

missile defence.


What's the message?


1. Its probably a lot cheaper.


2. The threat isn't real, but something has to be done for political reasons.


3. The Chinese stuff is actually better?


4.  Political theatre, won't go through.

The answer might be


in this sentence:

An official statement from Ankara last week said Turkey had "decided to begin talks with the CPMIEC company of the People's Republic of China for the joint production of the systems and its missiles in Turkey."

We don't know how much CPMIEC will share with Turkey,  but a key part is access to the source code for the navigation system.  If they purchased a fully assembled turnkey system from the US or anyone else,  they can't be sure that the places they might someday want to hit haven't been blocked.  Similar concerns with various anti-jamming and anti-radar systems.


Even if they don't get access to the sensitive parts,  they might still have a made a judgment that their list of possible targets includes more places using US/NATO systems than places using Chinese systems,  and that the places with US/European made systems are more likely to be "blocked" or to have detailed knowledge of countermeasures for US made stuff.   If so,  that says something about how their priorities have diverged from the rest of NATO.

One has a sense of wonder at the shutdown

mmghosh's picture

its pretty amazing that citizens can democratically shut down their own government.  Unthinkable, even in Pakistan.



As an urgent example, up until today NASA scientists and engineers were busily preparing the Mars MAVEN mission for its scheduled launch on Nov. 18. That work must cease, and the ramifications are not good: Launching a probe to another planet is beholden to the laws of physics as much as to those of Congress. Mars and Earth must be in the right positions for the spacecraft to launch, and those windows only occur every 26 months. If MAVEN doesn’t launch, it’ll be 2016 before worlds align again. The cost for this will be large; people will have to find other work (where it’s unclear if and when they can go back to the old mission and how much time it will take to get back up to speed). It’s a physical risk to wait as well; the spacecraft will have to be transported and stored, and every trip on Earth increases the chance of a problem.


Bird Dog's picture

A competent leader wouldn't score own-goals like this. It's no wonder the GOP feels so emboldened, particularly in the wake of Obama's political bungling of a sequester that didn't end the world as we know it.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

What is the protest about?


Does it have something to do with an analogy between Nazism and publicly mandated health care? 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes



The consequences of the sequester have yet to be felt. The first year of the sequester was always comparatively minor (and it hasn't even been a full year, just a few months), but as it continues the cuts become substantial and will definitely have a negative impact on the economy and infrastructure.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.



Another manufactured outrage. Of course, if it hadn't been barricaded and the place got vandalized, then that would be another one.


If you guys cared less about outrage and more about governance, you might get further.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs


Bird Dog's picture

This isn't about outrage, manufactured or otherwise, it's about general stupidity, particularly the excuse that it had to be closed because no one would be there to administer CPR. But that's okay, go ahead and defend stupidity.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

lest we forget, The game of *own goals* wouldn't be being played

brutusettu's picture

if some people didn't want to find new and creative ways to revoke duly enacted laws.

Keep It Classy, TNR

M Scott Eiland's picture

TNR hack muses nostalgically about how nice it would be to be able to use artillery on one's political opponents.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

this show of solidarity is touching


For theforvm to shut down in tandem with the federal government shows real class

Is it OK to come out?


Nothing shows in the periscope but I'm still not willing to unbolt the hatch or let people go back on regular rations.

I have to travel today.


I have to travel today.  Thank goodness the TSA is still operating at their usual level of efficiency.

Several things, in no particular order

Bird Dog's picture

One, Oborne and his co-author have their own credibility issues.

Two, Iran is stonewalling IAEA, and there are sanctions on the country for a reason.

Three, by its previous spokesman, Iran has stated that Israel will be eliminated, and there has been other eliminationist rhetoric. Its current spokesman still elides on the Holocaust. He presents a smilier face, but he is still the Mullahs' puppet.


         Who says scanners don’t work?


Four, the shorter Glennwald: I believe everything the Iranian regime tells me.

Five, given the above, and the fact that the Iranian regime is a state sponsor of terrorism and is actively probing the nation for attacks, Israel believes that a nuclear-armed Iran is an existential threat. Personally, I don't, because of MAD. But I also don't believe that it makes their views illegitimate. You apparently do, which is of course your opinion.

Six, the Holocaust didn't annihilate the Jews, but more than a few were annihilated.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

I agree on the MAD, certainly

mmghosh's picture

and as pointed out in many places before, a nuclear-armed Iran is no greater a risk than a nuclear-armed Pakistan.


There is no way that any regime in Iran could attack Israel with nuclear weapons.  This is both fantasy and nonsense.


I'm just listening to Netanyahu waffling in the UN about Israelis being an ancient people.  Everyone in the world is exactly as ancient as Israel.  

You know who's kind of annoying?


Ted Cruz

Word to that.  Thankfully, I


Word to that.  Thankfully, I think his time in the spotlight is just about passed, at least for now.  He will now face the backlash of an army of whiny teapartiers who didn't get everything they were promised.  

I dont get the appeal


Totally apart from the fact that he lies his face off for the forces of evil he comes across like a pudgy, purse-lipped d#*k

"He lies his face off...."

Jay C's picture

Ted Cruz's appeal?


Just that: he may lie his face off, but he does it belligerently, he does it with a sneer, and he does it fighting President Obama, Obamacare, Democrats, liberals, Big Government, or whatever boogeyman he thinks the Teabaggers want to hear raked-over.


IOW, he's less of a standard Senator, and more of a right-wing blogger with a public office and public forum.


And no offense meant, guys, but "blogger" in this instance is not meant as a compliment.

i would totally fight him



The WPost is such a terrible paper


Look at this BS anti-government propaganda on its front page in the run-up to a shutdown:


As Congress fights over the budget, agencies go on their ‘use it or lose it’ shopping sprees


This past week, the Department of Veterans Affairs bought $562,000 worth of artwork.

In a single day, the Agriculture Department spent $144,000 on toner cartridges.

And, in a single purchase, the Coast Guard spent $178,000 on “Cubicle Furniture Rehab.”


Lookit those tiny little numbers for reasonable purchases, and the complete irrelevancy that they came at an end of the year crunch. The Coast Guard had a few bucks left over to replace aging furniture in its offices!!! Go ahead and shut er down, Boehner!!

"When Guns Are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Have Guns"

M Scott Eiland's picture

As Tony Blair's daughter discovered in a very fortunately non-injurious manner.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Was it even a real gun?


Much easier to get a replica over there.


Funny too that no-one in the UK is bemoaning a lack of guns over this. More sang froid I guess.

If only she had a loaded gun fully cocked ready to go 24/7?

brutusettu's picture

Anyway, the Sunday NY Times has a 1st page above the fold story about young kids finding/given loaded guns and accidentally discharging the weapon while the barrel is aimed at a face or other important body parts.

That's Bad

M Scott Eiland's picture

Oh if only there wasn't a dedicated lobby urging people to leave loaded guns around where kids can find them. Oh wait--there isn't one.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

There is, however


A dedicated lobby fighting opposing "safe storage" laws.


They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist...
-- General John B. Sedgwick, 1864

That article mentions Kline's proposal approvingly


Check out Kline's proposal, who opposed and why and you get a better feel for the issue. Spoiler, it involved warrantless searches of homes.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

It's A New York Gun Control Measure

M Scott Eiland's picture

Steamrollering other constitutional rights to grab as many guns as possible is a given.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

I Say Thank God Kathryn or Anyone Didn't HAVE a Gun...!



You missed the very most important part of the story!


A spokesman for the Blairs said: "Kathryn was with a group of friends. No one was hurt and nothing was stolen."


What is the correct lesson here?


Hummmmm...let's think about this a minute...there IS a lesson.



Sometimes I turn to Mirror Park radio jump across to every cloud

brutusettu's picture

Miami Horror - Sometimes   h/t GTA V


Also in the game, me rocking out to Steve Winwood's Higher Love, and the passenger AI turning the station and disparaging the song.

I post about the Circuses, you post about this

brutusettu's picture

-Skimmed through that and the link within of " helping to destabilize "


  • Perhaps a little bit of it is "US gives money to fight X, *somehow* X gets stronger and the money keeps flowing in"
  • That and US trained and/or funded forces murdering random Muslims.

Murdering Students in their Sleep? How about these Human Rights?




(CNN) -- Under the cover of darkness, gunmen approached a college dormitory in a rural Nigerian town and opened fire on students who were sleeping.

At least 21 died, according to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.

The gunmen fired indiscriminately on the male dorm, said Lazarus Eli, a military spokesman. The attack took place at about 1 a.m. Sunday at the College of Agriculture Gujba.

"So far all evidence points to the Boko Haram," Eli told CNN by phone.


Sometimes you have to say football-like....Go Nigerian Military!


I am open to solutions to Boko Haram...but just condemning the Nigerian Government is not....getting anyone anywhere.


Than is are hard.


Maybe even unhappy.


But necessary.


Best Wishes, Traveller

indiscriminate murderers

brutusettu's picture

vs indiscriminate murderers



Go indiscriminate murderers Go

Brutu, I Get Your Sarcasm...A Few Points...

(#308644) is only indiscriminate killing from one side....the other side may kill civilians, but it is by accident rather than by intention.


I know that dead is dead...and if a bullet is ripping your flesh you don't care if it was by intention or accident.


But there is a difference...a moral difference even.


Let me add that I remain a Radical Jocbin...but of the Non-Violent Civil Disobedience variant...but far, far left and proudly so.


I am in a reflective if I can be criticized it is because I have been dormant for the past 30 years, co-opted.


I know it.


I've been bought off...but not by money, but rather by relevance. I was given a chance at a life that...seemingly, but probably didn't, matter.



Boko Haram means the "West is Bad"

mmghosh's picture

maybe the Chinese will do colonialism better.

Yet to the Congolese, the Chinese have increasingly become a necessary part of everyday life. To buy a cellphone, people go to Chinese electronics shops that offer knock-off Blackberry models at a third of the market price. When people want to enjoy a soccer game, they take a seat in the bleachers at Kinshasa's "Martyrs Stadium," a gift from China in 1993. A drive through downtown Kinshasa runs along a grand central boulevard, newly widened and repaved by a Chinese construction company.


Down the road from Wei's copper-smelting plant in the town of Lubumbashi, a Chinese doctor treats Congolese and Chinese patients with a combination of modern pharmaceuticals and ancient Chinese acupuncture. Grocery stores sell Chinese rice and sauces; there is even a Chinese casino.

Many Africans have welcomed Chinese migrants and their businesses. In a 2009 survey of 250 people in nine African countries, three-quarters said the Chinese way was a "very positive" or "somewhat positive" model of development.


Increasingly that Chinese model is defined by huge deals in which Chinese companies mine minerals or extract oil and build needed infrastructure for the African nation, often using Chinese skilled labor to do so.

The rising price of copper, for example, has prompted two Chinese state-owned companies to open the largest mine Congo has ever seen.

any guesses on how the shutdown and debt ceiling play out?


I cant read this one. If the tax on medical equipment were enough to appease the House there will be a deal with no shutdown.

But I dont think it is so shutdown for at least a week is my guess.
Then nothing but cosmetic stuff on the debt ceiling passed with GOP votes.

Whats your guess?

I don't have a good guess.

brutusettu's picture

but on a related note, Yglesias "Failing To Raise The Debt Ceiling Doesn't Reduce Government Spending" h/t stinerman

As if reducing spending is


As if reducing spending is the reason for these tantrums.  Millions of gallons of electronic ink have been spilled pointing out the obvious.  It makes no difference to the extremists.

That's ludicrous

brutusettu's picture

Ink is measured in pounds usually.

I think in this case it would


I think in this case it would be electron-pounds of ink.

I think Boehner is going to


I think Boehner is going to try and break the tp with the Dems help.  We'll have a short shutdown and then Boehner will pass a "clean" CR at sequester levels while breaking the Hastert rule.  Then we'll get the debt limit raised...  somehow... but the extremists demanding the entire GOP platform in return will not be at the table this time.  Boehner may not survive as speaker but my stockpile of popcorn will let me retire in style.

whats boehners motivation in this scenario?


What does he get in return for losing his job?
So far it doesnt seem like he's calling the shots and im wondering why he'd suddenly stop leading from behind

A "parliamentary" question....

Jay C's picture

Isn't the Speaker Of The House elected for the whole (i.e. 2-year) session of Congress? AFAICR no Speaker has ever been "deposed" in the middle of a Congress (leaving aside deaths and/or resignations) - and as bad as the House GOP's image might look now: is it really going to be improved by highly-publicized infighting, and a possible installation of Louie Gohmert or Michele Bachmann as Speaker?




Good point, it would be next


Good point, it would be next year.  There is already a TP guy who wants to run against him the primaries though I just don't see him not being reelected.


Already the goofballs on redstate are backing away from the nutty "THIS IS OUR LAST STAND! INTO THE BREACH!" talk.  Expectations are dropping, they are getting scared methinks.

"the primaries"

Jay C's picture

Presumably means "primaries for his Congressional-seat nomination in Ohio" - which won't be until the next General Election in 2014 anyway. And really, in the present political climate, any Republican who doesn't "face a Tea Party challenge" is DOIN SOMTHING RONG - I was referring to the House-caucus election process that selects a Speaker. Which after all, is a major BFD in American politics: third-in-line for the Presidential succession, etc. 


And yes, I can easily see the RS stalwarts starting to get nervous about the Big Shutdown Crisis Of 2013 not developing the way they might like to see: IMHO, the only practical outcomes are either:


1.: An Obama Administration cave on the ACA stuff, followed by some sort of CR deal.

2.: A deal consummated without majority-Republican support (i.e. completely bypassing them) - IOW, a complete victory for President Obama and a momentary* embarrassment for the GOP.


Dunno your call, but I'm going to go with No. 2....



*momentary, because given the disgraceful biases of this country's political media, Republican intransigence and extremism are most likely to buried in a sewer-explosion of Oh-So-Serious punditizing about how "both sides do it" and pretentious solemn mumpery about "Washington gridlock".

I got what you meant...  I


I got what you meant...  I was just cramming two Boehner crap-sandwiches into one paragraph.


I'm going with 2 as well.  As Trav pointed out before, a CR at sequester levels and maybe a tiny GOP victory like cutting the medical devices tax would be a win for Boehner.  Maybe enough for him to survive a TP challenge and keep his speakership.



His phone is going to be red hot from calls by large government contractors. At the end of the day the more established Republicans know they will have bills to pay. The Koch brothers and others like them don't finance the whole party by any stretch.


I don't think they will get the medical devices tax removal either. I think the democrats understand that any reward for blackmail will lead to more of it. I also think that democratic strategists probably want the Republicans to shut down the government, if briefly, because they assume it will weaken the GOP going into the midterms, based on analogy from the 1990's.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

Because he and the GOP would


Because he and the GOP would be blamed for the disastrous consequences if the debt limit isn't increased.  Like, the moneymen have their balls in a vice.  I imagine, anyways.

Right of Way


Hong Kong? -nt


Pakistan: Someone Need to Remember how to Go all Pinochet* on...


...the insurgents. An honorable name in the practical crushing of an insurgency, as is, of course, V. Putin going all Grosny* on Chechnya.


Say what you will, but both actions bought time for each of these countries to move forward into a more prosperous future. You don't have to like it, but it is true.


Deadly blast hits Pakistan market:


A bomb blast rips through a market in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, leaving at least 33 dead, officials say, a week after a deadly church attack there.




*Please note that Pinochet and Grozny are being used as adverbial lend meaning and texture.

Fujimori? Is it the Inner Fasist in Me or Jesus Like Figures?


Fujimori maintained a self-imposed exile until his arrest during a visit to Chile in November 2005.[11] He was finally extradited to face criminal charges in Peru in September 2007.[12]

In December 2007, Fujimori was convicted of ordering an illegal search and seizure, and was sentenced to six years in prison.[13][14][15] The Supreme Court upheld the decision upon his appeal.[16]

In April 2009, Fujimori was convicted of human rights violations and sentenced to 25 years in prison for his role in killings and kidnappings by the Grupo Colina death squad during his government's battle against leftist guerrillas in the 1990s. The verdict delivered by a three-judge panel marked the first time that an elected head of state has been extradited back to his home country, tried, and convicted of human rights violations. Fujimori was specifically found guilty of murder, bodily harm, and two cases of kidnapping.[17][18][19][20][21]

In July 2009 Fujimori was sentenced to 7½ years in prison for embezzlement, after he admitted to giving $15 million out of the Peruvian treasury to the former intelligence service chief, Vladimiro Montesinos.[22] Two months later in a fourth trial, he pled guilty to bribery and was given an additional six-year term.[23]


The list is long, and yet, I have no doubt that Fujimori single handedly saved Peru. So how does he feel sitting in Jail for the rest of his life? What impelled him to return from Japan to Chile? I likewise think the same about Pinochet and the Argentine Military take over.


This is not a popular position, but this is not about is about these the end of the difficult crossing, arriving at the far shore...being arrested, how does it feel? How did they get there? Ego certainly, but, also an ability to make the impossibly hard decision.


Making the impossibly hard decisions is something I can sympathize with.


I was reading Niall Ferguson's Civilization last night and he emphasized that to understand history at all one needs the ability to sympathize with that time...that place in that time.


Not now...but then.


Best Wishes, Traveller





Pinochet took power from an elected president, and murdered journalists, writers, singers, union leaders, and assorted left-wingers. Among his achievements is the death under torture of former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet's father, who was an Air Force Brigadier General in charge of Allende's Food Distribution Office.


Pinochet, as well as a number of his top officials, made millions from having absolute power over Chile. They were crooks plain and simple, like most fascists, and deserve no mercy or consideration. It is worth noting that they were hardly fighting a toughened enemy such as Taliban insurgents or Qaeda suicide bombers. Most of their targets were soft and unarmed. Only later did some attempt at armed resistance take place, including a failed assassination attempt on Pinochet himself.


The Argentine Junta was literally 10 times worse. They killed 10 times more people, multiplied Argentina's foreign debt by six times in only 6 years, devalued the currency by a factor of 100 in the same period, and engaged in the incompetent and pointless, yet bloody, Falklands exercise, getting another 700 Argentines and 300 British killed in the process.


Since we agree on so much, I am beyond baffled that you defend these thugs. While it is true that Allende was a bad president, his term would have ended in due course. Obviously he had no ability to muster his military to maintain power, nor would that have been politically realistic. The long term consequences are disastrous as well. Left-wing populism should have long ago been a discredited economic formula in Latin America. Instead it continues to do damage since wherever it fails the blame is placed on the CIA rather than its inherent mismatch to human nature. If you question that, you are reminded of Chile. Brilliant.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

Long discredited left wing populism my foot


Youve learned precisely the wrong lesson from populist leftism in latin america the past 15 yrs. Overall its been a resounding success and has instead entirely discredited the neoliberal alternatives.

Sure youve got some silly price fixing and corruption in venezuela, but the leftist governments overseeing hundreds of millions have seen much higher growth and more widespread prosperity than non leftist governments. We're talking many tens of millions lifted out of poverty who otherwise wouldnt have been.

The central tenet of nationalizing major industry and redistributing the spoils has been vindicated, not discredited.



I'll let the facts reveal themselves during the coming years. Venezuela cannot even supply it's population with toilet paper, literally. The Argentine economy is falling apart (again) as we speak. Vindicated my foot.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

so I mention a decade long record of facts


in which 10s of millions have exited poverty at substantially and systematically higher rates in leftist latin american countries.

You mention toilet paper and some as yet unrealized problems in countries that have been doing quite well overall. I dont think discredited is a remotely apt term under the circumstances.

The challenge is to come to terms with la's manifest successes, not its potential problems

A few points...


One basic issue is that I question the poverty figures put out by states like Venezuela. Though certainly there has been a good deal of income redistribution, if you are on government support to subsist you are still poor. You are just being helped.


Toilet paper is just one of many products the economy is not managing to provide. It's an example, not the full story. There are others. You need the government to approve your travel plans in order to obtain dollars to spend abroad. This is deadly for business travelers as it hampers their ability to sell abroad.


I should also note that it took 10 years to discredit neoliberal IMF formulations in Latin America. Initial success brought on by inflows of investment dollars were not sustainable once the countries had no more national assets to sell. This is the reverse process where seized assets build up government capital, and is running into sustainability problems as well.


The way to lift a country out of poverty is not simply to redistribute wealth obtained by raw material exports; it is to develop the economy and get the population to produce at higher points in the value added curve. This is simply not being done. Any commodity price collapse will flat line these economies in a heartbeat.


Macroeconomic games, of the left or right wing varieties, are no substitute for the hard work of infrastructure and technology, education, and commerce development.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

You May Have An Opportunity To Prove This Closer To Home

M Scott Eiland's picture

NYC is apparently preparing to elect a Sandinista groupie as its next Mayor. Suddenly the weenie-wagger and the hypocritical crusader against the sex trade don't look quite as bad any more.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

de Blasio is a potential indicator of Latin American


style leftism, though for every new de Blasio there's a Cory Booker on the rise in the D party.


Still, it should make our elites worried. It's not surprising that de Blasio's style of leftism has appeal when standards of living are falling for the majority whichever party is in power. 


Millenials now view socialism more favorably than capitalism, the first generation to do so in the US. So do Latinos, and that population isn't exactly declining.


If Wall Street, Big Oil and other conservative business owners/executives don't want their companies seized by the state, they should seriously think about providing some decent-paying jobs for young people and stop loading them up with crushing debt, lest they have much less to leave to their children than they think.

Left-wing populism should have long ago been a discredited?



Populism or the fear of democracy:


More interesting is that this debate brings to light a prominent mindset in contemporary academia and policy making, in which 'politics' tends to be limited to its consensual liberal 'moderate' form. There is little doubt that, at least before Marlière’s response, Fieschi's argument won over many of the readers of a platform like openDemocracy. However, while reassuring, such an argument can easily lead down a slippery slope towards a patronising view of the 'people' and their very real problems, insecurities and hopes for change, however misguided.

Further, understanding populism as anything more than a political rhetorical style is bound to generate some inaccurate conclusions as to the state of our democracies in these times of crisis. Following Fieschi and Marlière, I agree that populism relies on the ‘pitting of the elite against the people’. But if this vague ‘people’ is to represent the basis for a populist ideology, as Fieschi suggests, one could potentially (and inaccurately) argue that a populist party is the party of the people, the true democratic representative, therefore giving it incredible power, particularly in our much reviled post-political world.


In that time I was staunchly anti-communist...socialist, but anti-communist.


In retrospect, has this worked out for Chile? I grant you that Argentina is a much more iffy proposition...but Argentina was always thusly so.


I have no problem with Left Wing Populism....or even with Chavezism.



Has it Worked Out?


The key question is: Compared to what? What's the baseline?


Note that Allende nationalized foreign copper mining operations, forming the basis for Codelco. Pinochet did not give the copper mines back. So was Allende really so beyond the pale as to justify a coup? Of course not.


Allende had plenty of bad policies, like price controls, that are useless and should be thoroughly discredited from consistent failure wherever they have been tried. But I am not unaware that Chile's economy suffered well documented sabotage in order to help justify the coup.


At any rate, I find hard to believe that, had Allende remained in power till the end of his term, Chile would be worse off today. I certainly cannot find a reason why that would be so.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

Where Would You Place Fujimori In That Continuum? -nt-

M Scott Eiland's picture


The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

I Wouldn't


Fujimori was not a dictator. He was democratically elected and remained popular for years. Meanwhile, Shining Path was too extreme and not representative of a significant part of the population, even at its peak, and it highly violent. It was more like AQ than like a traditional Latin American guerrilla movement.


Fujimori had the political capital to crush Shining Path and did so. It had to be done. JFTR, I'm not against fighting insurgencies run by bloodthirsty zealots.


He did not have political capital to be corrupt and so as the danger receded and his flaws became more obvious (and he more careless), things went south for him. He's not the first corrupt politician in Peru, but he was always an outsider, so he did not enjoy protection by the establishment.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

That's About Where I Am

M Scott Eiland's picture

Right man for the right time, who ended up abusing his power and paying the price for it. Sad, really.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

His daughter came second in the last election.

mmghosh's picture

Maybe he thought she could have arranged a Presidential pardon if she won?  IIRC, he has cancer of some kind, too.

Already Called You On This

M Scott Eiland's picture

Killing six million Jews in Israel--even if not one other Jew perished--would certainly constitute extermination. Source (second item on the list).

Oh, and source:

Given the coincidence of numbers, I'm surprised that you're doubling down on this rather than the (still lame) claim that a nation that has no insurgency inside Israel and no ability to invade them is pondering mere eventual regime change for Israel rather than something more apocalyptic when musing aloud about the destruction of Israel.

I'll ask bluntly--would a direct threat to destroy Israel and only Israel by someone with the ability to do so constitute an existential threat? If so, would a serious attempt by a nation that made such a threat but presently could not carry it out to obtain such a capacity be at least a matter of extreme concern, even if some figures within the nation tried to downplay the earlier threat?

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

So supporting the opponents of an existing regime

mmghosh's picture

is now an existential threat to the people of that country?  And this the same as Nazism?


Most people in the world do not buy this.  


As for your question - would a direct threat to destroy Israel and only Israel by someone with the ability to do so constitute an existential threat?


The answer is yes.


would a serious attempt by a nation that made such a threat but presently could not carry it out to obtain such a capacity be at least a matter of extreme concern


The answer is yes


But so what?  


Has the nation concerned (presumably Iran) made that particular threat - to destroy Israel?  No.  

Have they attempted to obtain the capacity (presumably Iran again)?  No.

Therefore, your questions are purely theoretical.


Now let me ask you a few questions, based on actual fact.


1.  Has Iran ever had a regime change imposed on it via a US-led coup d'etat within living memory?

2.  Has Iran been attacked by a regime possessing and using chemical weapons, whose attack strategy was facilitated by US intelligence?

3.  Has the USA known to have trumped up charges of WMD possession and subsequently invaded an actual neighbour of Iran?


I actually found it quite hard to believe that Iran had not developed nuclear weapons in the face of these genuine provocations, and am persuaded that there must be many voices within the Irani regime that do indeed advocate development of such weapons.  I do not in any way support the regime of the ayatollahs, and wish for Iran to develop a representative secular and liberal democracy, but I do believe making fantasy threats can only strengthen the hands of the regime.

What is Lame


What is lame is the idea that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons for the purpose of obliterating Israel and then being itself obliterated.


It ignores that Iran has real, historically justified security concerns (like a surprise attack on it), while concocting a totally implausible surprise attack scenario, just like the one where the Soviet Union would wake up one day and decide it's time to nuke the US, that kept so many right wingers awake at night (or claiming through convoluted "logic" that this meant that the US had to strike first).


Some people who saw Red Dawn actually believed it was a realistic portrayal of, something.


What is even more surprising is your assumption that a country that would advocate regime change in another is thus obviously planning nuclear annihilation. By that standard the US has been intent on nuking dozens of nations during the past few decades. It is a ludicrously extreme binary formulation with no support in the history of Iran (which never first struck anybody) or any nuclear state.


Iran is now under severe economic pressure and has nonetheless opted to moderate its rhetoric. This is not the response of a country bent on a path to commit suicide-by-Israel.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

Nice government and economy you have there, America.


It'd be a real shame if anything were to happen to it.

I like the part where Ted Cruz set up the chess board wrong


and then tweeted your move to the republicans not backing him

You should look at allies.

mmghosh's picture

The frankly unbelievable and unspeakable regime in the KSA, to start with.


Gang-rape victim has a sentence of 100 lashes doubled for complaining that the sentences handed down to the rapists was too lenient

Although her attackers were found guilty and sentenced to between 10 months and five years last year, she was simultaneously sentenced to 90 lashes as punishment for riding in a car with a man who was not a relative.


By appealing against this decision, the judge ruled on Wednesday, she was attempting to "aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media".  

I have a friend who is working in Saudi Arabia right now


I just couldnt. I hope thats not viewed as a sanctimonious statement by our commentariat.



because you're not failing to act, you're succeeding in not acting by not working there.


So am I by the way, so I'm not sanctimonious either.