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Showing posts from November 25, 2018

Hannah Arendt "Zur Person" Full Interview (with English subtitles)

Convert Military to Green Production, or Perish - Daniel Ellsberg on RAI...

NATO & EU Member Poland Collaborates with Fascists & Mandates Holocaust ...

Greenwald: "CNN submits to right-wing outrage mob, fires Marc Lamont Hill due to his 'offensive' defense of Palestinians at the UN"

I am so sick and tired of people faking (or not) being "offended" as a way to shut down any discussion they don't like. Grow the fuck up--left, right and center. Life is being constantly offended. Democracy is being constantly offended. Deal with it.

Here's the situation as per Glenn Greenwald in full; here's a taste, and the key point:

There are few people more craven or contemptible than those who pretend to support free expression and oppose the attempts of “internet mobs” to have those they disagree with fired, only to instantly change positions when it comes to those whose views diverge from their own. Seth Mandel is the poster child for such principle-free, duplicitous frauds, but he is far from alone.

Our discourse, our newsrooms, and our academic institutions are now drowning with people who demand that any speech be banned and suppressed that they regard as “hurtful,” “offensive,” “traumatizing,” or fostering a feeling of being “unsafe.” But what they reall…

Ben Norton: "At elite gala with ex-Bush official, Obama implores Wall Street to thank him for making them so much money"

Or, "Saint Liberal-Progressive Peace Prize Dimples Gets on His Knees to Fellate Power." Alternate headline.

Never forget that the Democrats' main structural role is to establish the furthest reaches of the thinkable for Adult Liberals and Progressives, and then to utterly destroy anyone who dares go further. The main rage at the GOP is that they failed to contain their rightwingers; ever-rightward-drifting centrism über alles!

Not that anyone in power in either party much cares about racism, the poor, the country, the species, or anything else, really, other than spreading their legs for donors to get more power, more money, and a slicker, fatter CV. But the point is that the center of power is corporate, and thus inescapably rightwing, and that's the deal. Of course, Sophisticated Professional-Class Liberals think that tone-policing is the Alpha and Omega of "left-wing." You pretend to be for something actually economically non-rightwing, but bemoan the re…

Goldman Sachs and Greece's decline - VPRO documentary - 2012

The blurb: 

"Between 2000 and 2012, Goldman Sachs provided Greece with risky financial products in order to hide the country’s public debt. This allowed Greece to live beyond its means, ending in a near bankruptcy. Goldman Sachs earned a few hundred millions on the deal that made the position of Greece within the European Union untenable. Is Goldman Sachs responsible for the decline of Greece?
What happened in December 2000 and June 2001? Goldman Sachs gave the Greek Ministry of Finance tricks to bring the public debt closer to the 60 procent-of-gdp, the limit that was set by the EU in 1992's Maastricht Treaty. Both Goldman Sachs and the Greek government considered this to be business as usual. ‘Everyone did this back in the days’, is their reaction. The European Controller Eurostat was also informed about this and saw no objections to these forms of financial engineering. It worsened Athens’ case and the austerity measures that are hitting right now a population that hardly u…

Chinese Scientist's Human Genetic Engineering Experiment is 'Crazy'

That's a pretty good word for it. Another would be "immoral."

But note how a top medical geneticist categorizes it: "premature." That's it: germ-line eugenics, which is what this is, is not immoral. Just "premature."

Yet another totalitarian trend. They're everywhere.

In any event, it's a gigantic potential market, so most likely, as my late undergrad advisor and historian of biology Will Provine told me in 1988, it'll come, no matter what, presuming, as always that we don't kill ourselves off first. Or barring a countervailing social movement against it.

Here is the Council for Responsible Genetics position paper on germ-line manipulation from 2001. As noted in the segment above, with reference to scientific issues, the two key terms are "development" and "pleiotropy." We don't know, and may never be able to know, the massively complex interdependence of genes and their products, let alone how all that deve…

NYT: ‘The Numbers Are So Staggering.’ Overdose Deaths Set a Record Last Year. (70,000+)

Here's a taste: 

The recent increases in drug overdose deaths have been so steep that they have contributed to reductions in the country’s life expectancy over the last three years, a pattern unprecedented since World War II. Life expectancy at birth has fallen by nearly four months, and drug overdoses are the leading cause of death for adults under 55. “The idea that a developed wealthy nation like ours has declining life expectancy just doesn’t seem right,” said Robert Anderson, the chief of mortality statistics at the C.D.C., who helped prepare the reports. “If you look at the other wealthy countries of the world, they're not seeing the same thing.” Ya think? An $18 trillion GDP and a declining life expectancy? Yep: it just doesn't seem right.

Full story here. Oh, and, by the way, the picture shows what is apparently a lethal dose of fentanyl for most people.

A Lesson in Horseshit: The Guardian's Claim that Manafort and Assange Met

Maybe they did, but you can't conclude--either as an author or a reader of the piece--that that's what happened. It's worth trawling through the original and then two excellent critiques to see how this bullshit is produced--especially if you hate Assange, Wikileaks, etc.

Yes, I know, those who would do such a thing already get it; those who want to believe whatever they want won't bother. Just humor me here:

Here's the Guardian article.Here's Jonathan Cook on the article.Here's Glenn Greenwald on the article.[Added 4 Dec:] Here’s FAIR on the article.
It's nice to know that the liberal Guardian (sic) is happy to publish garbage of the level of its smearing of Jeremy Corbyn, the well-known anti-Semite according to the Guardian, when facing other deplorables.

Yes, pointing this out means that I:
support Trump, Manafort, Putin, and the immediate slaughtering of all puppies; love antisemites;am antisemitic myself;hate the left, liberals, progressives, and dec…

Russia, Syria and the New Political Objectivity, Brown [University] War Watch Blog

Here's a fine piece of work by a PhD candidate at Brown, René Gateaux. The intro follows; link to full blog post at the end:

On September 30th, TheBrown Daily Heraldran an article about an analysis of an alleged Russian disinformation campaign on Twitter. The analysis was performed by two undergraduates, Ethan Fecht from Brown University and Jack Nassetta from George Washington University, as part of a report issued by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, California. The authors examined the sudden appearance of seemingly fake pro-Trump Twitter accounts after the alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria, on April 7th, 2018. The Nassetta-Fecht report, totaling 50 pages, claims these accounts were created by the Russian Federation to discourage US intervention in Syria after the attack. Evidently, this supposed disinformation campaign was not enough to prevent a US-British-French coalition from bombing three Syrian government installations on April…

This might, like, you know, kinda help explain the "caravan" and whence it came. And shit.

I mean, if you want to find a reason other than, "They're all lazy criminal Muslim Mexican terrorists coming to destroy our freedoms and rape white women with their superior animal-phalluses which forces me to think I might be gay," which is pretty much what the Republican base seems to believe. I'm almost not satirically kidding about that.

Oh, yeah: the link. And this might be of some note, too: click on the guest after the headlines to see such tellingly titled segments as "Brother of Honduran President Is Arrested for Cocaine Trafficking as Migrants Flee Violent Drug War."
Now, to make my post "sticky," I should, despite my obvious desire to tamp down on needless, quite dangerous fear, post a photo of masses of faceless brown people climbing a fence. You know, for the Resistance (TM)!
Nah. Here's the pic:

Yanis Varoufakis on Julian Assange and the Political Economy & future of...

And click here for more info on Democracy in Europe Movement 2025.

Come to think of it, click here for an interesting discussion between Varoufakis and Bernie Sanders on globalizing DiEM2025.

And check this out, too:

You'll be hard pressed to find a better politician anywhere on earth.

Dismantle the American Doomsday Machine - Daniel Ellsberg on RAI (12/13)

Honduras: The Never-Ending Coup, The Real News, Jan/Feb, 2018

So, like, if anyone wants to actually understand some of the causes for migration out of Honduras -- I know: what a quaint thought: understanding causes? Sounds awfully close to treason! -- you could, you know, watch this. I added recent comments from the Chomskys, Noam and Avi.

Or even more crazy: how about you read up on it?

Trump Wants To Give Border Troops License To Kill

Here's the Politico story. And on the question of whether Trump supporters would support shooting unarmed children on the border, uh, yes. Yes, they would. Yes. They're fucking fascists. Yes.

The Counterinsurgency Paradigm: How US Politics Have Become Paramilitarized

NB: What follows is the intro from the Intercept; link to full transcript at the bottom. DONALD TRUMP RAN a campaign promising to refill the notorious Guantanamo Bay prison, to “bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding,” to “take out” the families of suspected terrorists, to ban Muslims from entering this country, and to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Yet these policies didn’t start with Trump: Torture, indefinite detention, extraordinary renditions, record numbers of deportations, anti-Muslim sentiment, mass foreign and domestic surveillance, and even the killing of innocent family members of suspected terrorists all have a recent historical precedent. Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, continued some of the worst policies of the George W. Bush administration. He expanded the global battlefield post-9/11 into at least seven countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Pakistan, Yemen, and Syria. At the end of Obama’s second term, a report by Council of Foreign R…

Moscow & NATO Playing a 'Dangerous Tit-For-Tat Game' in the Ukraine

"Col. Lawrence Wilkerson says that the latest Ukraine crisis, in which Russia is holding Ukrainian navy boats, was foreseeable and likely, given NATO’s constant encroachment on Russia’s border region."

People, power and Varoufakis - VPRO documentary - 2016

Blurb: "Yanis Varoufakis, former Greek minister of finance has started a grassroots pan-european movement listening more to what the people wants. When Varoufakis presented his new movement DiEM25, he took up the fight with the financial sector and the large companies which, according to him, are cannibalising politics. His movement is gaining support from the people rapidly over Europe."

Howard Zinn’s Life on the Frontlines: An Interview with Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

An excellent discussion with the Princeton historian who has just written a new forward to Zinn's autobiography.

Check it out at Jacobin here.

The Dangerous Junk Science of Vocal Risk Assessment, The Intercept

A really fine piece of work; yet another driver/symptom of apparently ever-burgeoning totalitarianism. 

Check it out here in full, but here's a taste:

AC Global Risk declined to respond to repeated requests for comment for this article. The company also did not respond to a list of detailed questions about how the technology works. In public appearances, however, Martin has claimed that the company’s proprietary analytical processes can determine someone’s risk level with greater than 97 percent accuracy. (AVATAR, meanwhile, claims an accuracy rate of between 60 and 70 percent.) Several leading audiovisual experts who reviewed AC Global Risk’s publicly available materials for The Intercept used the word “bullshit” or “bogus” to describe the company’s claims. “From an ethical point of view, it’s very dubious and shady to give the impression that recognizing deception from only the voice can be done with any accuracy,” said Björn Schuller, a professor at the University of Augsburg who…