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  • kapock commented on the blog post State Dept Says I Shouldn’t Write This!

    2014-10-20 16:37:54View | Delete

    You’re thinking of Kim Phi-Lo.

  • kapock commented on the blog post State Dept Says I Shouldn’t Write This!

    2014-10-20 14:46:34View | Delete

    Welcome to another episode of Post-Constitutional America, where the old rules do not apply.

    Peter, how longstanding is this State Dept. official “expectation” and “encouragement”? The document you link to seems to indicate it dates from 1995. If so, was it a bad new idea then, or has a version of this been around longer?

  • kapock commented on the blog post State Dept Says I Shouldn’t Write This!

    2014-10-20 14:38:09View | Delete

    … claiming Kim Il Sung invented the television.

    That’s a worse calumny than anything our side ever came up with about him.

  • “Outreach officer” LOL. As in reach out and get an activist fired.

  • kapock commented on the blog post Riots Hit Kiev, Neofascists Hold Torch-Lit March In Ukraine

    2014-10-14 14:11:33View | Delete

    Poor DSWright. Haven’t you heard? Now that the U.S.-Nato power play in Ukraine to advance the vital and worthy mission of encroaching on Russian security has failed, Ukraine no longer exists. Doubt me? Just look at the U.S. mass media.

  • Clearly this Turkish gov’t is just as bad as Saddam and Assad for striking its own people, right? Right?

    It’s not like they’re beheading people for religious “crimes” or other nonsensical reasons. The U.S. would never be on the side of people like that! (don’tthinkofsaudiarabiadon’tthinkofsaudiarabia)

  • kapock commented on the blog post US Nurse Infected With Ebola May Have Broken Protocol

    2014-10-14 11:00:50View | Delete

    I didn’t really mean it. “Some of my best friends …” and all that.

  • kapock commented on the blog post US Nurse Infected With Ebola May Have Broke Protocol

    2014-10-13 12:27:21View | Delete

    But back to Ebola: Time to build a fence! Keep those dirty Texans and their bugs out of our beautiful country! And Mexico should start denying them entry, too.

  • kapock commented on the blog post US Nurse Infected With Ebola May Have Broke Protocol

    2014-10-13 12:03:28View | Delete

    Well, which is more likely?:

    A) A disease that has been known of and learned about for 40 years, and which is being treated without infecting caregivers by people who know what they’re doing like MSF—that this virus all of a sudden acquires super powers in the one patient that flies to Texas, to a hospital that already showed it wasn’t paying attention by initially sending the patient home, such that it can defeat all the heretofore successful isolation procedures.


    B) The Dallas hospital failed to take the required care.

    Unsurprisingly, I go with (B).

    I’m not sure why some people (not in this post or comments, but elsewhere) jumped on Frieden for saying the protocol was broken, as if he was throwing the nurse under the bus. He used the passive “was broken”, not blaming any particular person.

    Considering how many Fox News and talk radio trolls are eager to use any pretext to pounce and fearmonger, trying to discredit actual public health experts, I think Frieden was right to make this point explicitly.

  • kapock commented on the blog post Lost Iraqi Billions Found?

    2014-10-13 10:55:31View | Delete

    I definitely woke up when I saw this article deep inside the Sunday NY Times. I have no idea why they buried such a scoop; it’s pretty depressing if that was an accurate appraisal of the newsworthiness of the bottomless Bush-era Iraq war corruption at this point.

    But maybe it’s just that the Times doesn’t want to be associated too closely with an unpatriotic future jailbird like Risen.

  • kapock commented on the blog post First World, Third World: A Travel Essay

    2014-10-08 13:38:13View | Delete

    The folks that win the infrastructure own the century, not the folks that destroy the infrastructure.

    I may steal that.

  • kapock commented on the blog post Prediction Creep in Syria

    2014-10-07 17:13:21View | Delete

    The media should always ask the proponents of these things, right at the start “what will constitute success (or failure)?”. They never do. With the current one setting a new standard for incoherence, it is an indispensable and unwarranted asset for Obama et al. to be allowed to retroactively define the objectives and resources needed to achieve them.

    “Failure isn’t an option” is a great maxim—especially when you get to define whatever happened as success.

  • Postol, in the article linked @3 above, says the Israelis were claiming 90 percent, but the truth is 5 percent or less (as in maybe zero success rate).

    Even without Postol’s expertise, I recall watching CNN during Iraq War I in early 1991, and seeing nighttime footage of a Patriot heading skyward to do battle with one of Saddam’s dastardly Scud missiles. Now, it was perfectly evident on the screen from the Patriot’s visible rocket flame that the missile immediately arcked right back into the ground after a few seconds, not intercepting anything. I mean, you could see it there right on the TV screen.

    But I’ll never forget how the CNN commentators talking over the image totally ignored what the camera showed, continuing to describe the Patriot’s progress to its target. In fact, I believe they that they really didn’t see what the camera showed: their brains filtered it out, since it didn’t fit the pre-determined narrative of stellar Patriot success.

  • Right. MIT’s Theodore Postol has been debunking the missile-intercept con since Iraq War I, when it was the Patriot system that was ostensibly protecting Israel.

    When you also consider the unkillable U.S. ICBM-intercept program that has been going since Reagan without success, it appears the anti-missile missile game is a particularly lucrative one, with very few demands for provable results.

  • You see in that NY Times article that the heart of AIG’s argument is the unfairness and inequality they perceive in their treatment as compared to the banks.

    Such arguments from fairness appeal to basic human nature, but the only ones getting to bring them are people with as much money as the bankers, but who happened not to be as much the darlings of Treasury and the Fed.

  • kapock commented on the blog post US To Stay In Afghanistan Indefinitely

    2014-10-01 15:01:12View | Delete

    They’ve made it clear for years that they would stay until 2024 at least. It was just a question of how many and what bases, etc.

    That’s definitely true. It was always the media interpreting the purposeful double talk about “combat” troops vs. the other kind (whatever they are) and the like that led to reports that the plan was to leave Afghanistan this year (or any declared date). I honestly don’t know whether the White House/Pentagon desired the media to put that particular misinformation out there, but they certainly never actively pushed back against it.

    Since it’s back in the news: it’s more clear to me than ever that without Bush’s SOFA, Obama would never have pulled all forces out of Iraq.

  • kapock commented on the blog post US Air Travel Snarled by One Guy Not a Terrorist

    2014-09-30 15:13:43View | Delete

    You don’t see non-contractor government employees showing this kind of initiative.

  • kapock commented on the blog post Satire: Everyone Hates America’s New Album

    2014-09-25 14:45:30View | Delete

    I have their old stuff on vinyl: the new album is just more of the same. And I think Obama is Autotuning.

  • I should have mentioned Vietnam

    And the Philippines: the U.S. has been training ineffective local “patriots” and “democrats” to legitimize and assist with its campaigns to kill and dominate abroad for more than a century,

  • I don’t disagree with you in any way whatsoever on this. I was only observing that the government has an escape route here other than a favorable court decision on its farfetched state secrets argument.

    I may be underestimating the political cost of such a ploy, but if it happens, you read it here first!

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