Monthly Archives: June 2014

Finally!

The lighter side of Friday. (You know who you are.)

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Is We At War Yet?

They say peace, but there is no peace,

“War is the health of the state,” the radical writer Randolph Bourne said, in the midst of the First World War. Indeed, as the nations of Europe went to war in 1914, the governments flourished, patriotism bloomed, class struggle was stilled, and young men died in frightful numbers on the battlefields-often for a hundred yards of land, a line of trenches.

In the United States, not yet in the war, there was worry about the health of the state. Socialism was growing. The IWW seemed to be everywhere. Class conflict was intense. In the summer of 1916, during a Preparedness Day parade in San Francisco, a bomb exploded, killing nine people; two local radicals, Tom Mooney and Warren Billings, were arrested and would spend twenty years in prison. Shortly after that Senator James Wadsworth of New York suggested compulsory military training for all males to avert the danger that “these people of ours shall be divided into classes.” Rather: “We must let our young men know that they owe some responsibility to this country.”

And who shall inform the Senate of the same, good sir?

A Long Read For The Long Haul — He Who Increases Knowledge Increases Vexation

The shortest distance between two points,

This report sheds new light on the widespread contributions that infrastructure jobs make to the nation’s economy, including their importance at the metropolitan level. Since many of these jobs offer more equitable wages, require less formal education for entry, and are projected to grow over the next decade, they represent a key area of consideration for policymakers aiming to address the country’s ongoing infrastructure and jobs deficit.

Achtung Baby Bell — Piss Pant Patriot Zeal Kills Deal

Yes we have no bananas

The German government is ending a contract with Verizon over fears the company could be letting U.S. intelligence agencies eavesdrop on sensitive communications, officials said Thursday.

The New York-based company has for years provided Internet services to a number of government departments, although not to German security agencies, said Interior Ministry spokesman Tobias Plate.

While Germany had been reconsidering those contracts for some time, they faced additional scrutiny after former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed the extent of electronic eavesdropping by the U.S. intelligence agency and Britain’s GCHQ.

Unlike most mammals, piss pant patriots are exceptional.

Knuckleheads.

Dark Pools Matter As Barclays Clatters

Ooops,

Sandy Chen, banking analyst at Cenkos, believes that the US authorities might be considering injunctions on dark pool trading – and suggested that Barclays’ banking licence in New York could be reviewed. He said: “If attorney general Schneiderman executes this according to plan, we would expect him to review Barclays Libor non-prosecution agreement and Barclays New York banking licence in due course.” He added: “Barclays’ response noted that the complaint seeks ‘injunctive relief’– which we think signals that the New York attorney general and Barclays are already debating whether injunctions on dark pool trading should be imposed.”

The bank’s run-in with regulators in June 2012 over Libor rigging – for which it was fined £290m – left Barclays with a promise that is would not face prosecution in the US provided it broke no more rules in the next two years. The Libor fine was issued at the end of June 2012.

A systematic pattern of fraud and deceit.

More detailed than the Times report.

Will America Come Clean On CIA War Crimes?

We do our dirty laundry in public, or so we used to say,

A military judge has rejected the US government’s attempts to keep accounts of the CIA’s torture of a detainee secret, setting up a fateful choice for the Obama administration in staunching the fallout from its predecessor’s brutal interrogations.

In a currently-sealed 24 June ruling at Guantánamo Bay – described to the Guardian – Judge James Pohl upheld his April order demanding the government produce details of the detentions and interrogations of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri during his years in CIA custody. The Miami Herald also reported on the ruling, citing three sources who had seen it.

Miami Herald link here,

After the Miami Herald disclosed the order Thursday morning, Nashiri’s civilian lawyer, Rick Kammen, cast it as material that “the prosecution has publicly resisted producing.”

“The prosecution’s argument that the defense is precluded from checking the government’s work is frivolous. One of the defense functions is to check the government’s story,” he said. “The biggest cause of reversals in capital cases is due to prosecutorial withholding of exculpatory material including material relevant to punishment.”

He added: “We also note that the CIA has lied to at least three federal courts, the 9/11 Commission and, according to the newspapers, Congress. This demonstrated history of lying clearly obligates us to a full investigation.”

Even if the prosecution does secure the information from the CIA and releases it to Nashiri’s lawyers, that does not necessarily mean that the public will get to know the details.

If we wish to continue the pretense of being a democratic republic, maybe we should,

The report, built around detailed chronologies of dozens of CIA detainees, documents a long-standing pattern of unsubstantiated claims as agency officials sought permission to use — and later tried to defend — excruciating interrogation methods that yielded little, if any, significant intelligence, according to U.S. officials who have reviewed the document.

“The CIA described [its program] repeatedly both to the Department of Justice and eventually to Congress as getting unique, otherwise unobtainable intelligence that helped disrupt terrorist plots and save thousands of lives,” said one U.S. official briefed on the report. “Was that actually true? The answer is no.”

Emptywheel has more.

I’m not so much interested in punishing individuals, there are plenty of other people and nations to do that, but in general we should be concerned about soul of American and the fabric of our national pride and ethics. We can of course listen to, and opt into position of the voices of hatred, but America, at least in my lifetime, has been about doing the right thing, and justice. Perhaps that was a charade, the afterglow of World War 2 and the Nuremberg trials, but I would hate to think that we have sunk to that low.

Philosophically Wondering

If the universe is still expanding, is it expanding faster than the speed of light?

If time doesn’t exist at the speed of light, and light can’t leave the universe, how can the universe, which is expanding at the speed of light be 13 + billion years old?

Following the previous assertion on the Higgs field, couldn’t the universe be simultaneously collapsing and expanding at the same time?

I must break out the gonkculator!

Paradox Lost, Ernest Rutherford And The Non-Existent Floor Of Bohr’s Intuition

There goes the universe! Posing YA philosophical conundrum,

But according to a group of British cosmologists, inflation really throws a wrench (a.k.a. “a spanner”) into the Cosmic engine — if the physics behind the recently discovered Higgs boson are solid, the rapid inflationary period immediately after the Big Bang nearly 14 billion years ago would have thrown our early universe into chaos.

In fact, things would have gotten so out of hand within the first second of our universe’s creation that we shouldn’t even be here — the universe would have collapsed — known, unsurprisingly, as the “Big Crunch” — into nothing even before matter could condense out of the Big Bang’s primordial mess of energy.

I suppose we will have to be philosophical about it all until physicists can do their math.

Philosophically, human beings are assholes.

You are a fluke of the Universe.
You have no right to be here,
and whether you can hear it or not,
the Universe is laughing behind your back.

Personally I don’t give a rat’s ass. JSYK

Wackadoodle Love

You like me, you really like me!

For Liz Cheney, the criticism simply confirms the righteousness of her cause.

Yeah, it probably does.