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Showing posts from February 3, 2019

What Really Happened in Douma?

Lede to the accompanying article: "The next world war may begin with a grainy, contested, online image launched onto the pages of a newspaper that has recently sacked all its journalists."

J. B. Bury's History of the Later Roman Empire

Such a joy to leave current events for 900 pages of crystal-clear, highly readable prose about the early Byzantines/late Romans. 
Bury was Irish, and some kind of Celto-Druidic sorcery has to be afoot when fifty pages of close description of Byzantine military, administrative, and ecclesiastical bureaucracy is as riveting as a racy novel.
Check it out sometime!

Ted Postol, Russia may have violated the INF Treaty; here’s how the United States appears to have done the same, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

Postal is an expert in missile defense systems and well worth paying attention to, especially as it includes ancient history (circa 2009) about how the Obama administration decided to violate the treaty:

On September 17, 2009 President Obama and his Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, announced a new approach to US missile defense in Europe, the Aegis-based European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA). This approach was to replace the Bush administration’s plan for a Ground-Based Missile Defense (GMD) site in Poland with what Obama described as a “smarter and swifter” defense system. The Polish installation (along with a similar site in Romania) would replace the proposed installation of GMD interceptors with a larger number of much smaller and slower interceptors, guided by Aegis radars normally used on US Navy warships. This political decision to finesse one bad missile defense idea with another has helped create a crisis with Russia over the future of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (…

Quatermass II, BBC, 1955

Great, old BBC sci fi.

JMW Turner Documentaries

Green New Deal bill aims to move US to 100% renewable energy, net-zero emissions

It's out, finally. I'd rather have seen actual legislation, but they obviously think they must have a nonbinding resolution first to build support and force the conversation (further). Hope they're right, because if we don't get on this shit pronto we're all fucked.

Dig the article titled above here; read the bill itself here; and check out the only file I could find of the press conference announcing it:

Actually, it's on CSPAN and shows up now (2:25 PM EST) on their homepage. But nothing so far on YouTube; no media org has put it up.

Some more material:
Here's an FAQ noted in the article above from AOC's office on the Green New Deal.Some articles from Jacobin here, here, and here.The Guardian and the NYT.

Problems vs Mysteries: The Scope and Limits of Cognition

Nerd out hard on this stuff; it's great. (That's Charles Sanders Pierce, by the way, who comes up in the discussion.) 

Interview with Noam Chomsky for "No Gods, No Masters: A History of Anarchism" and the documentary itself

Here's the recent documentary this interview was for, No Gods, No Masters: A History of Anarchism:

Unfortunately, this is a French-Swedish-Swiss coproduction and whoever uploaded these chose or provided English voiceover rather than English subtitles, which apparently were part of the original. Whatever the case, it's annoying, but shouldn't deter you.

Language: Asking the Right Questions, Recorded in Chapel Hill, NC on January 14, 1992.

A terrific, wide-ranging look at the state of linguistics and ways forward, taking heed of the development of science in the seventeenth century. An hour lecture followed by Q&A.

Media Lens, Venezuela Blitz

These guys are usually good, at least as a corrective:
In our new book, we describe a 'Propaganda Blitz' as a fast-moving campaign to persuade the public of the need for 'action' or 'intervention' furthering elite interests. Affecting great moral outrage, corporate media line up to insist that a watershed moment has arrived – something must be done! A classic propaganda blitz was triggered on January 23, when Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó declared himself 'interim President'. This was presented as dramatic new evidence that the people of Venezuela had finally had enough of Nicolas Maduro's 'regime'.
Read more here. And here's part two.

And, uh, no, you don't have to "love Maduro" in order to be against what's been going on, but 95% of Bright Liberals will think so, just before accusing me of being a Putin stooge. 

Actually, I agree with Chomsky: Maduro has been a disaster. More here:

What has happened to Maduro, Ma…

John Barnes: 'Liam Neeson deserves a medal'

Bingo. Unless, of course, we want to punish people for publicly admitting a past moral fault that they found horrifying and fixed. Why the fuck would we want to do that? This is what antiracism winning looks like, but the idiot Left would rather go all Scarlett Letter. It's all about the self-righteousness.

Continue Shopping, Part n in An Infinite Series: A third of Himalayan ice cap doomed, finds report

The latest from the latte-sippers who are into, like, "science," and shit is right here.

If you want to read the entire hoax, check this out.

Pfft. Losers. Once the Dear Leader makes America great again, we won't have to worry about pesky hoaxes based on, like, physics, and shit. We'll be truly strong and free--or at least that's what my shriveled, undersized penis that Hillary attacked viciously via globalist-supplied black helicopters full of well-hung unwhite rapists promises me from beneath my bloated beer gut.

Trump talks to him directly via Twitter: "It's OK, I understand you," says Trump. "For too long, you've been prevented from compensating for your failings by having to accept human equality with white men. Sad! Soon, just before you and your family melt into the liquifying asphalt, you'll be able to pretend you're superior, at least for one little flash before the shockwave peels off your skin. How buff you'll be then!&q…

Nuclear Treaty Framework is in Dangerous Disarray and Needs to be Rebooted

More from this past October, an interesting piece of which is this well-attested report:

"The major nuclear arms agreement is the New START treaty, which the U.S. and Russia signed back in 2010. Putin, in his first conversation with Trump on the phone, said he would like to extend the New START Treaty beyond the expiration date in 2010. In 2021, excuse me. 

"Trump said, hold on for a second. He put down the phone and he asked his advisors, what’s the New START Treaty? They told him. And he got back on the phone, and said, no, I don’t think the United States wants to extend the New START Treaty."

John Maynard Keynes - Life, Ideas, Legacy

Very well done by a historian of economics. Way better than that Masters of Money crap. God, do I hate contemporary documentaries, wallowing as they do in the Bright, Flashy, Noisy side of The Great Stupid.

Judge: Providing Water to Dying Immigrants in Desert is a Crime

Seems about right: save the wrong kind of lives, go to jail.

Over 40% of US Households Are One Paycheck Away From Poverty

Here's the report. And here's a completely unrelated development because paying taxes is like going to the Gulag, if you're rich: