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Showing posts from 2019

How Sweet! Tom Friedman and Steve Bannon Make Friends

Here' are the new BFFs on Squawk Box fellating each other: Guess Bannon told him to suck on this, and Tommy-boy was only too happy to oblige. 

More relevantly, and to stay in the metaphor, this was entirely and jointly consensual. Because this is what Thomas Friedman is; this is what he represents. It's what he's always represented: whatever the ruling class wants, essentially. He and what he represents are this close to Steve Fucking Bannon's view of the world, which is just pure American-exceptionalist global domination, period. The only friction is how best to achieve that. Anyway, these pathetic fantasies aside, here's how Jacobin put it, properly: "China Is Not the Problem. Capitalism Is." The intro:
C. S. Lewis said that people become friends because “they see the same truth.” On a recent episode of CNBC’s Squawk Box Tom Friedman and Steve Bannon looked downright chummy defending President Trump’s recent decision to raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chin…

Trump-Bolton Aggression Against Iran Contained by Russia, Japan, China, and EU

And here's Mehdi Hasan rightly pointing out how The Great Resistance Media is settling into Trump's lap, on command. Here's someone sane and knowledgable discussing the bullshit that even the NYT is apparently buying. (Doug -- "even"? Yeah, you're right: kill that.)

He's being ironic in giving advice; he knows that the mainstream media loves war; makes tons of money off it. That's how CNN became what it is, after all: pretty boom-booms vaporizing Bad Brown People 24/7 with exciting music, too! Deeply innocent Americans love that shit, so they make a fortune off of death.

Just like they make a fortune off of Trump, and that's literally the one thing Trump understands.

The Return of Nigel Farage!

No, Rashida Tlaib Is Definitely Not Antisemitic, Meagan Day, Jacobin. Correct.

If anyone on earth falls for this shit, shame on them. Done playing: just pure shame. 

Dig in full, including what Tlaib actually said, which is pretty much philo-semitic as fuck: she is proud of Palestinians sheltering Jewish refugees from the Nazis but can't be entirely thrilled because, like, they lost their fucking country. This now counts as some kind of Holocaust-denying Jew-hatred, at least according to Trump and Scalise, two fucking antisemites, each.

And many liberal Jews just nod approvingly. You all suck, though: Jewish or not. If you're not a right-winger and you fell for this shit, shame on you, and skip to the end of this to get the fucking message, which I'll even bold; then go and sin no more:

We should see this phenomenon for what it is: a cynical strategy to discredit anyone who criticizes Israel and its fiercest advocates in the United States government, coming from people who don’t give a rat’s ass about bigotry against Jews or any other religious or ethni…

A Real Historian of India Exposes the BJP's Hinduvta Bullshit; Somebody Call Tulsi Gabbard!

Romila Thapar wrote a fine history of ancient India. She's very, very good. And this op ed in the NYTis spot on -- and of course extendable to any of these far-right nationalist/fascist movements:

To establish a Hindu state, democracy has to be replaced by a state where the fact of Hindus being in a majority in itself gives them priority. The Hindutva definition of the Hindu is that both his ancestral homeland and the Hindu religion’s place of origin are within the boundaries of British India. This makes the Hindu distinctly different from those that came from elsewhere, as well as from those of other religions — Christians, Muslims and Parsis are therefore aliens.

The origin of the Hindus is traced back to Aryan culture. Aryan identifies a language and a culture, not a biological race, whose emergence historians date to the second millennium B.C. But the Hindutva version of history is frantically pushing the date back to include the Indus civilization, a sophisticated urban civiliz…

David Wallace-Wells: Earth at 2° hotter will be horrific. Now here’s what 4° will look like.

This is what the world will be like if we do not act on climate change.
The best-case scenario of climate change is that world gets just 2°C hotter, which scientists call the "threshold of catastrophe".Why is that the good news? Because if humans don't change course now, the planet is on a trajectory to reach 4°C at the end of this century, which would bring $600 trillion in global climate damages, double the warfare, and a refugee crisis 100x worse than the Syrian exodus.David Wallace-Wells explains what would happen at an 8°C and even 13°C increase. These predictions are horrifying, but should not scare us into complacency. "It should make us focus on them more intently," he says.David Wallace-Wells is a national fellow at the New America foundation and a columnist and deputy editor at New York magazine. He was previously the deputy editor of The Paris Review. He lives in New York City. His latest book is The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming.

Chelsea Manning Back in Prison After Refusing to Testify

"Freed eight days ago, Manning was subpoenaed before a new grand jury investigating Assange. Despite grave danger to her health, she refused to testify, saying she would rather die in prison than change her principles."

A fucking superhero is what she is. Hey, always-scared, fake-tough MAGA boys: this, not the orange buffoon you worship, is what courage looks like. Magnificent, selfless courage. 

You, on the other hand, are what "pathetic" looks like.

Here's a petition you can sign. The government will be fining her $500, and then $1000, a day starting soon, so she will need serious funds.

The Power of Addiction and The Addiction of Power: Gabor Maté at TEDxRio+20

God help me, a useful TED talk.

Why Socialism? With Bhaskar Sunkara

More Creeping -- actually, scratch that -- Sprinting Fascism: 1984izing your Neighborhood

Someone in our neighborhood tried to get us to sign up for this shit. No fucking way. We left the email version after getting twenty "who was that unregistered brown person in our neighborhood, did he want to rape me, and can we have him drawn and quartered right now?" messages a week.
We live in a pretty Republican/Trumpy neighborhood, unfortunately. Close to the highways, at least, and pretty enough. And who actually talks to their neighbors nowadays, right?
But, yeah, as in every single fucking example in history, when the shit goes south, it'll be your nice, cute little friends'n'neighbors, if not family members, too, who'll be there to sell you out. 
That's what fascism breeds, and it don't need to try too hard with some. Probably most. The temptation to use state power or vigilantes to settle scores is just too much. 
Yes, of course, Virginia: the reason I am against this is because I'm for all kinds of crime. O course! I mean, if we were al…

Guardian: In liberal San Francisco, anti-Trump politicians support police raid on journalist

You're surprised? Why? You believe the PR? Then you're an idiot -- and after you saw how the Obama administration handled press freedom, how the establishment Democrats and virtually all of the media cheered Assange's arrest. The latter having happened about ten minutes ago.

"Doug, I want rights for those I think are right. The rest are wrong; what rights should they have? This guy is pro-police, so, good! I'm glad his rights were trampled! It's worth it to criminalize all non-stenographic journalism! Only in that way may we beat back fascism. Be Woke! Vote Biden!"

This is how the Resistance(TM) does its brave resistance.

Richard Wolff Interview On TYT

So, the actual liberals at TYT -- real liberals, meaning, they are not Marxists or Marxian -- somehow didn't have a fucking nervous breakdown when confronted with an actual leftist. They talked to him.

Why doesn't that happen elsewhere? If it's all bullshit, have 'em on, wipe the floor with 'em, and that's that.

You know why: too many of the ideas on the real left just make far too much sense on every level.

Ocasio-Cortez & Sanders Introduce Bill to Cap Credit Card Interest Rates at 15%

A completely un-radical proposal that would merely return us to some former semi-sanity.

In other words, Stalinism.

MediaLens: The London Climate Protests--Raising the Alarm

A fine piece of writing, let alone reportage; this intro captures at least my daily existence better than anything I've ever read--or written:
The feeling is often there at night, of course, in the wee small hours. But it can arise at almost any time – looking at someone we care about, listening to birdsong on an unusually warm spring morning, shopping. It is like being trapped on a sinking ship, with the captain and crew refusing to admit that anything is wrong. The passengers are mostly oblivious, planning their journeys and lives ahead. Everything seems 'normal', but we know that everything will soon be at the bottom of the sea. Everything seems ordinary, familiar, permanent, but will soon be gone. It feels as if our happiness, our every moment spent with the people and places we love, is irradiated by the fear of impending climate collapse. Last month, the Extinction Rebellion protests in London (and globally) finally challenged some aspects of this waking nightmare – at …

Guardian: 'Terrifying' Ebola epidemic out of control in DRC, say experts

No big deal. Just a 66% fatality rate for this outbreak, last I checked. Airborne transmission. War zone. Lots and lots of easy air travel to anywhere on earth within 24 hours. You know, modernity.

I'm sure our betters and rulers have a plan for what happens if and/or when this goes pandemic. There'll be a lot of love, a lot of sharing. Calm, stoic love. That's what you'll see.


Medical Insurance Companies Can Decide Who Lives and Dies - RAI with Wendell Potter

Peter Ustinov talks, hilariously, about making Spartacus, Charles Laughton, and more

Funny as hell:

So is this:

How Politicians Get Corrupted: The New Kill Medicare For All Group, "Center Forward"

Here's the Intercept story by the highly valuable Lee Fang.

So, uh, no, it's not enough just to defeat Trump. Want to defeat Trumpism? Want to stop global warming, get back on track with nuclear weapons control, and all the rest?

Sanders. That's it. That's your option.

Or, if you like, center forward. I'm sure the latte-sipping morons will fall for that; we'll see if it matters.

Arundhati Roy: Capitalism Is “A Form of Religion” Stopping Solutions to Climate Change & Inequality

Roy probably doesn't think Biden is "the safe choice," either. Another fool worth quoting in full: NERMEENSHAIKH: Arundhati, I would like to now turn to another issue, which you also raised in your lecture last night, and that is climate change. Another award-winning Indian writer, Amitav Ghosh, has written about climate change in his most recent book titled The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable. Ghosh discusses two key publications on climate change that were written in 2015—the Encyclical on Environment and Climate Change by Pope Francis and the Paris Climate Agreement. Ghosh points out several differences in the two texts, writing that the Encyclical doesn’t hesitate to “criticize the prevalent paradigms of our era. Most of all it is fiercely critical of the idea of infinite or unlimited growth.” He goes on to say, quote, “In the text of the Paris Agreement, by contrast, there is not the slightest acknowledgment that something has gone wrong with our…

Brazil's Bolsonaro: 'Exterminator of the Future'

I don't know, the FT and WSJ love Bolsonaro...could they be part of the omnicidal profit-over-all that will kill my children and grandchildren? Probably, but I lack the spine to stand up against the destruction of their futures, so, I guess I'll just blame the Bernie Bro fucking retarded professional left. Thank god they exist; otherwise, I might have to look in the mirror!

Biden 2020!

"The governments of Asia, Europe and North America are going to be crucial in making sure that another twenty percent of the forest is not destroyed by the policies that Bolsonaro is putting in place right now because scientists tell us that another twenty percent risks triggering this feedback loop called dieback, in which the forest will simply collapse and its systems will no longer be able to sustain themselves. There will be a, sort of, domino effect of dry-out and burns, and then you’ll have this enormous release of carbon as well as an absorption of heat that is now being reflected bac…

Bill Nye Has Had Enough: Green New Deal: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Aristotle's Lagoon: a documentary on how Aristotle invented biology

Get more learns on here, here, and here.

Adolph Reed, Jr: Can Biden 'Make America Moral Again?'


Senator and presidential hopeful Joe Biden has said he plans to “Make America Moral Again,”—a counter to Trumpian “division” and corruption. The Real News Network's Jacqueline Luqman spoke to Professor Adolph Reed Jr., who recently co-authored a Guardian op-ed titled “Joe Biden Wants Us To Forget His Past, We Won’t” with Cornel West about the limits of Biden's gestures towards “morality” and bipartisanship. “The bipartisanship ideal has never really been good for poor people, working people, women, and racial and ethnic minorities,” Reed said. “But in particular, Biden's legacy of bipartisanship includes cultivating friendly relations and even jointly-sponsored bills with South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond, who was one of the most notorious racists of the postwar period.” The way to begin understanding Biden's approach, Reed explained, is to understand his membership in the influential Democratic Leadership Council (DLC): “Their strategy—frontloading Southern pr…

Great Documentaries on Great Scientists

Here’s a playlist including dox on Aristotle (as a biologist), Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Goethe, Darwin, Mendel, Boltzmann, Fermi, and Feynman....

How the Mainstream Media Ignores the Climate Change Crisis

And pretty much everything that doesn't make them an immediate profit.

Neil Young - Piece Of Crap

Pretty much. Most of the little baubles you whore yourself for are, in fact, pieces of crap.

Tried to save the trees Bought a platsic bag The bottom fell out It was a piece of crap
Saw it on the tube Bought it on the phone Now you're home alone It's a piece of crap
I tried to plug in it I tried to turn it on When I got it home It was a piece of crap
Got it from a friend On him you can depend I found out in the end It was a piece of crap
I'm trying to save the trees I saw it on TV They cut the forest down To build a piece of crap
I went back to the store They gave me four more The guy told me at the door It's a piece of crap

The Future & Political Economy of Europe with Yanis Varoufakis

Larry Wilkerson: Manufactured Iranian Threat in the Persian Gulf

Bad: Nate Silver Doing Propaganda Not Math ft. Ben Burgis (TMBS 89)

"But, Doug, I'm a deeply educated latte-sipper: Nate uses numbers and graphs! He's just like Paul Ryan -- a fucking near-genius. He knows what 'standard of deviation' means! He's objectively mathematically Delphic! He couldn't possibly be using his mostly unearned mojo to Stop Sanders. Nah. That'd be crazy conspiracy talk, unlike Trump being Putin's boyfriend and asset."

MediaLens: 40,000 Dead Venezuelans Under US Sanctions: Corporate Media Turn A Blind Eye

Note how Professional Resistance Fighting Latte Sippers are as one with the Trumpian neocon maniacs on Venezuela. As one. The imperial narcissism runs very deep, at least in our elite.

Back in the real world, this is sort of relevant, and, no, it doesn't mean that "Maduro is the best" to, like, fucking note it.

I'm sorry I have to pause and make this comment all the time, but I have many deeply educated latte-sippers who are very good at saying, as patronizingly as possible, "Of course, silly, I don't ever reduce complex issues to mutually exclusive binary options expressed as emotionally potent oversimplifications designed to manufacture consent. I'm sophisticated! I can't be fooled: look at my degrees; look at my resumes! I watch TED talks!"

Well, QED. So, if you're not for regime change, you're a Putin stooge BernieBro who wants to bring Maduran Stalinism to the USA to help Trump win so let's back Trump on regime change--here, Ira…

Glenn Greenwald Interviews Rep. Tulsi Gabbard About Foreign Policy and Her 2020 Campaign

That's all I needed to see; Greenwald did a fine and utterly fair job: Gabbard dodged all the evidence of her Islamophobia and Modi-worship. Hoisted by her own petard; this is how journalism is done. And, like Greenwald, I happily admit that Gabbard has many good points, beliefs, and policies. But she's pretty much a net negative, even with her major positives, given the flaws. Too bad.

First of a series of in-depth interviews, usually even longer than this half-hour, with various political leaders. He's a very good interviewer.

Portrait of a '60% Perfect Man': Billy Wilder (1982)

Trump and Mnuchin Break the Law By Refusing to Release President's Tax Returns

Add it to the articles of impeachment. Back off taking this to the hoop, and what's left of the tattered republic is all done.

Here's an idea: let's take the profit out of making nuclear weapons

I caught wind of this report here at The Intercept, a fine organization.

Here's the full report from ICAN, a fine organization.

Here's the point:

ICAN’s strategy with the TPNW is a sneaky one. They do not aim to begin by trying to persuade countries with nuclear weapons to abandon them. Rather, they aim to start by persuading non-nuclear countries to ratify the treaty. Such countries will then be prohibited from possessing nuclear weapons — and from allowing them to transit through them or permitting their production on their territory. If all goes according to plan, this will create a slowly tightening noose around the nuclear weapons states. If the Netherlands were to ratify TPNW, Airbus could no longer help build France’s nuclear missiles. The Italian company Leonardo also lends a hand with France’s nuclear program and likewise could not do so if Italy ratifies the treaty. But beyond legal restrictions, ICAN hopes that grassroots organizing for TPNW country by country will event…

Fear Mongering and Capitalism: A Recipe for Fascism?

Totally unfounded fear of bullshit, like "the disaster at the border" and men kissing, while truly world-historical threats that should concentrate our minds and actions, not send us into a panic, are literally suppressed.

Paging Dr Freud!

"I got ze page; I am out of ze office now and won't be coming back. You're on your own and my only comment is that I wasn't pessimistic enough. See you all soon!"
I know, I'm way too pessimistic. A negative Nelly. I'm sure every single one of you will keep your head, your morals, and your dignity as the resources run out. Scarcity always brings out the best in people. We'll all share and climb down in a noble and fair fashion, with altruism breaking out all over.

Proof? Look at how we've all faced reality and have reorganized life now, when it's still not awful for at least some of the species, in order to meet the undeniable and inevitable (and current) crises. You can see the courage, the fortitu…

Noam Chomsky on Venezuela

Way more nuanced than you'll find virtually anywhere else. Typically. Note that he begins, properly, by saying that there are many factors. Yes, there are. There usually are in life, after all. Beware the mono-causal-ists.

Wendell Potter: I Used to Be a Propagandist for [Health] Insurance Companies. Learn the Four Truths the Insurance Industry Doesn’t Want Americans to See

And this insight extends beyond healthcare, of course. These PR whores run the fucking world -- well, serve those that do, shall we say. Stop being thrown by this fourth-rate crap.


The propaganda I used to churn out — and that my former colleagues still churn out — was intended to mislead, deceive and obscure the truth about the health care system in the United States. You can trust me on this. I was an insurance industry propagandist for nearly two decades.  The objective of my work back then was to manipulate public opinion so that the Congress and the public, too, would carry water for health insurers, just like the industry’s allies will gladly do at tomorrow’s hearing. (The difference is they are paid water carriers.) Much of what will be said against Medicare for All at the hearing will be based on something people in the propaganda business call FUD. FUD stands for fear, uncertainty and doubt. The industry and its allies want Americans to fear Medicare for All, feel un…

Pentagon Report on China's Military Expansion Hypocrisy: Col. Lawrence Wilkerson

"Washington does not have any empathy. And by that, I simply mean they don’t do Sun Tzu. They don’t do Clausewitz. They don’t look at the enemy as it were and say, what is the enemy thinking? What is his strategy? What is his objective, and so forth? If they looked at that, they would understand that much of what they’re doing is indeed a self-fulfilling prophecy. "They are marking out, they are demarcating the highway to war with China. Now some of them probably want that; I don’t think too many of them do. I don’t think President Trump does, but I don’t give him a lot of credit for smarts. And so, and frankly, I don’t give the leadership in the Pentagon a lot of credit for smarts these days either—not the chairman, not the Joint Chiefs, not the service chiefs as service chiefs. They’re just not very smart people; no imagination at all. And what we’re doing here is just fulfilling history’s mandate, if you will. We will fight, therefore, let’s go ahead and fight. I actually …

Chris Hedges: Creeping Toward Tyranny

I'd kill the Auden ref and use "hurtling," myself.

Here's the key point:

"The corporate capitalists who hold real power view Trump as an embarrassment. They would prefer to put a more dignified face on the American empire, one like Biden who will do their bidding with the decorum of a traditional president. But they will work with Trump. He has given them huge tax cuts, is slashing what is left of government oversight and regulation and has increased the budgets for internal security and the military. It may be an uncomfortable relationship, as was the relationship between German industrialists and the buffoonish leaders of the Nazi Party, but for the corporate elites it is far preferable to having to deal with a Bernie Sanders or an Elizabeth Warren. Capitalists, throughout history, have backed fascism to thwart even the most tepid forms of socialism. All the pieces are in place. The hollowing out of our democratic institutions, which cannot be blamed on Trump, m…

The Rise of Scientific Europe, 1500-1800: Copernicus and His World

SIPRI: The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Strategic Stability and Nuclear Risk

Well, back to awful reality: this just came into my email box. These people tend to know what the hell they're talking about.

Anyway, we don't avoid nuclear war, and no more pretty little discussions of how and why math works well in science. That, and everything else, will be all over.

Attend to this; some info:

This edited volume focuses on the latest perspective: the impact on AI on nuclear strategy. It is the first instalment of a trilogy that explores regional perspectives and trends related to the impact that recent advance in AI could have nuclear weapons and doctrines, strategic stability and nuclear risk. It assembles the views of 14 experts from the Euro-Atlantic community on why and how machine learning and autonomy might become the focus of an armed race among nuclear-armed states; and how the adoption of these technologies might impact their calculation of strategic stability and nuclear risk at the regional level and trans-regional level. Contents
Part I. Demystifying…

The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences, Eugene Wigner, 1960

Let's take a break from awful reality to cogitate upon awesome reality, as in, why the hell should mathematics work so well in science? Among other questions people rarely ask, but should. (Hone that skill in the sciences and you can import it into politics, where it is sorely needed.)


Some more about this dude, pictured below on the right chatting with Heisenberg.

Why I’m Pro-Detente with Russia - RAI with Stephen Cohen

What's truly reprehensible about the Russophobia the Democrats have pushed is that many a latte-sipper is now more ravenously anti-Russia than Reaganite neocons. Big smart liberals...and many believe we're at war with Russia already.

They have nukes. We have nukes. You try to point this out to these fucking morons and they look at you with disdain -- "yes, yes; but Putin!!!!!!"

They love their kids, sure. Just not as much as they love themselves. Old story, old and quite common story.

Here's a playlist of the whole discussion, which is fascinating:

UN Study: "Nature’s Dangerous Decline ‘Unprecedented’; Species Extinction Rates ‘Accelerating’"

Here's the actual report, or a link thereunto. Just a million species on the cusp right now. Not a big deal. Pro tip: current estimates are that there are around nine million species, give or take a mil, right now.

Um, no, Virginia, no--no ecosystem can hack losing an eighth, ninth, tenth of its species in what amounts to a geological blink of an eye.

Note that in a carbon-free world, with increasing population, we'd still be clear-cutting the living fuck out of the multi-billion-year-old ecosystem. We're pretty much toast, and those who don't know are fools; those who do, like you and me, and do nothing, fucking nothing, for our supposedly loved children are worse.

Continue shopping. Did Junior get into Harvard? Oh, then everything's fine. Fly to Hawaii; celebrate.

Here's some more:

Current global response insufficient"Transformative changes" needed to restore and protect natureOpposition from vested interested can be overcome for public goodMost comprehe…