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Showing posts from May 5, 2019

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.

Snip/teaser:


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.)

Read.

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…