Wikileaks reveals that Ariana Grande was prevented from performing in the White House because of the July 2015 donut-licking incident.
Erdogan Is Strengthened by the Failed Coup, But Turkey Is the Loser
PATRICK COCKBURN • JULY 22, 2016
“Fethullah did not help us, he killed us,” says the Turkish commentator bitterly. “He left us totally in the hands of Erdogan.”
He says that the Gulenists operate in two different ways: they have a moderate public face with schools, universities, media and business associations, but they also have always had a secret organisation devoted to taking positions of power within the military, police and security services. As long ago as 1987, the movement was being investigated for infiltrating military colleges. It is now being compared to the Roman Catholic organisation Opus Dei, notorious for its links to Franco and other right wing governments, though a better analogy might be a secretive cult with a charismatic leader.
This week’s reading list:
Millenium People (2003) by J.G. Ballard
Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds (2008) by Stephen Kinzer
The Turks Today: Turkey after Ataturk (2005) by Andrew Mango
Atatürk: An Intellectual Biography (2011) by M. Sükrü Hanioglu
Turkey Unveiled: A History of Modern Turkey (2011) by Hugh Pope, Nicola Pope
Heresies: Against Progress and Other Illusions (2004) by John Gray
On Human Nature – Arthur Schopenhauer
Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors (2007) by Nicholas Wade
A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History (2015) by Nicholas Wade
The Lost Worlds of 2001 (1972) by Arthur C. Clarke
Typhoon (1902) by Joseph Conrad
The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896) by H.G. Wells
How Rome Fell: Death of a Superpower (2010) by Adrian Goldsworthy
The Fall of Rome: And the End of Civilization (2006) by Bryan Ward-Perkins
This is great stuff. There are probably a bunch of truths mixed in with the crazy-talk. Or maybe it is the other way around. That’s the thing. Nobody is really sure:
The People Will Decide in Turkey
ISRAEL SHAMIR • JULY 19, 2016
Just a sample:
And now it is America’s turn. Your superior class decided Hillary Clinton should rule, for they do not trust a white man. Men are too independent. And they plotted, instead of honestly seeking your support.
We saw recently how the plotters got rid of Bernie Sanders. The votes of California weren’t counted yet, but the plotters already announced Crooked Hillary the winner. In every state, the rolls were changed in such a way as to preclude Bernie’s win. The old election machines allowed hackers to subtly alter the results. Perhaps good old Bernie himself was the Joker in the hands of plotters, the bent boxer who was paid to lose. Or perhaps he was a weak guy who could not withstand the pressure. Anyway the American plotters stole your vote as sure as the Turkish generals tried to steal the Turkish vote.
What scares the new atheists
Israel’s Wolf-Crying about Iran’s Bomb
July 18, 2016
BDS Is a War Israel Can’t Win
Israel’s apologists would call the BDS campaign “immoral”, but the slander is laughably false
by Stanley L. Cohen, July 16, 2016
The Myth of the ‘War on Terrorism’
Debunked at last
by Justin Raimondo, July 13, 2016
“Tesla is consistently introducing enhancements proven over millions of miles of internal testing to ensure that drivers supported by Autopilot remain safer than those operating without assistance,” the carmaker said Thursday in a statement. “We will continue to develop, validate, and release those enhancements as the technology grows. While we appreciate well-meaning advice from any individual or group, we make our decisions on the basis of real-world data, not speculation by media.”
Yeah. So, I’m pretty sure “internal testing” is not “real-world data.”
General Breedlove and the Russophobes
They’re determined to start World War III
New America is the premier Democratic party thinktank, where a great deal of the top Obama administration officials came out of and where Hillary Clinton is bound to draw much of her staffing should she win the White House. And of course Hillary famously compared Putin to Hitler, and is eager to restart the “war of civilizations” against the Slavs begun by her husband.
Hillary Clinton and Personal Honesty
by Andrew P. Napolitano, July 14, 2016
The public corruption investigation has been underway for a few months. The allegations are that she exercised the powers of her office as secretary of state to enrich her husband and herself. The evidence here is ample. There are dozens of documented instances in which foreign governments and individuals received beneficial treatment from her State Department – usually exemptions from compliance with American laws or regulations – and then collectively gave hundreds of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation at a time when it was not a registered lawful charity.
Former New York Yankees pitching great Roger Clemens was tried twice (after a trial that ended with a hung jury, he was ultimately acquitted) for misleading Congress when he was forced to speak to a House committee about the contents of his blood and urine as a baseball player. Clinton has misled Congress about her lawful obligations as secretary of state, and she skates free.
This is fantastic. Jim is practically drooling. Good stuff.
Wait a minute. They’re already dead. Brexit just reveals that not everybody’s brains have been eaten. A viral contagion now threatens the zombified institutions of daily life, especially the workings of politics and finance. Just as zombies exist only in the collective imagination, so do these two principal activities of society operate mainly on trust, an ephemeral product of the hive-mind.
When things fall apart in stressed complex systems, they tend to fall apart fast. It’s called phase change. Too many things in 21st century life have depended on sheer trust that the people-in-charge know what they are doing. That trust has subsisted on the doling out of money-from-nothing: debt, reckless bond issuance. TARP, QEs, bailouts, bail-ins, Operation Twists, Ponzi schemes… the whole sad-ass armamentarium of banking necromancy. The politicians let it get out of hand. Things that can’t go on don’t, and now they won’t.
The politics of Great Britain are now falling apart landslide-style. Since just about everybody in or near power can be blamed for the national predicament, there’s nobody to turn to, at least not yet. The Labour party just acted out The Caine Mutiny, starring Jeremy Corbyn as Captain Queeg. The Tory Cameron gave three months notice without any plausible replacement in view. Now Cameron’s people are hinting in the media that they can just drag their feet on Brexit, that is, not do anything to enable it from actually happening for a while. Of course, that’s what the monkeyshines of banking and finance have done: postponed the inevitable reckoning with the realities of our time: growing resource scarcity, population overshoot, climate change, ecological holocaust, and the diminishing returns of technology.
Britain illustrates the problem nicely: how to produce “wealth” without producing wealth. It’s called “the City,” their name for the little district of London that is their Wall Street. In the absence of producing real things, the City became the driver of the UK’s economy, a ghastly parasitical organism that functioned as the central transfer station for the world’s swindles and frauds, churning the West’s dwindling residual capital into a slurry of fees, commissions, arbitrages, rigged casino bets, and rip-offs. In the process, it enabled the European Central Bank (ECB) to run the con-job that the European Union (EU) became, with the fatal distortions of credit that have put its members into a ditch and sent the private European banks off a cliff, Thelma and Louise style.
The next stage of this protean global melodrama is what happens when currencies and interest rates become completely unglued from their assigned roles as patsies in financial racketeering. Sooner or later we’ll know what’s going on in the vast shadowy gloaming of “derivatives,” especially the “innovative” arrangements that affect to be “insurance” against losses in currency and interest rate “positions” — bets made on the movements of these things. When currencies rise or fall quickly, these so-called “swaps” are “triggered,” and then some hapless institution is left holding a big bag of dog-shit. A zombie is a terrible thing to behold, but a zombie holding a bag of dog-shit is like unto the end of the world.
Once this contagion starts burning, the people-in-charge won’t be able to quell it the way they did last time: by drowning it in torrents of money-from-nowhere. At least not without inducing real-deal inflation, the kind that leads to epochal ruin and more intense political upheaval: the nation-changing kind. We’re about five minutes away from that in the USA already, with the loathsome duo of Hillary and Trump putting on a Punch and Judy show for a disgusted public. If nothing else, Hillary and Trump represent the withering of political trust in America. The parties that spawned them are also whirling around the drain of credibility. They won’t survive in the form we knew them.
Who knows what comes out of this vacuum, what rough beast slouches towards Washington.
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind 1st Edition
by Yuval Noah Harari
Celebrations last year had included an official ceremony and parade with dancing and singing. However, many observers noted that there wasn’t much to celebrate. South Sudan may be rich in natural resources, but decades of fighting have left the country with limited industry and little infrastructure. There are reported to be about 313 miles of paved roads in the entire country.
Worse still, the economy had been hit hard by low oil prices. The World Bank has called South Sudan the “most oil-dependent country in the world,” with over 90 percent of government spending financed by oil revenues. The International Monetary Fund recently warned that its budget shortfall could reach a quarter of its gross domestic product and that consumer price inflation was approaching 300 percent.
Hillary should invade for humanitarian reasons. Get dat oil. Git er dun.
With delivery trucks under constant attack, the nation’s food is now transported under armed guard. Soldiers stand watch over bakeries. The police fire rubber bullets at desperate mobs storming grocery stores, pharmacies and butcher shops. A 4-year-old girl was shot to death as street gangs fought over food.
Venezuela is convulsing from hunger.
Hundreds of people here in the city of Cumaná, home to one of the region’s independence heroes, marched on a supermarket in recent days, screaming for food. They forced open a large metal gate and poured inside. They snatched water, flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar, potatoes, anything they could find, leaving behind only broken freezers and overturned shelves.
And they showed that even in a country with the largest oil reserves in the world, it is possible for people to riot because there is not enough food.
The Labor Department’s report Friday showed that nonfarm payrolls grew by 38,000 in May, much less than expected, while the unemployment rate fell to 4.7%.
The labor-force participation rate inched down to 62.6%, though it’s still up from the 38-year low of 62.4% touched in September.
How Russia Is Preparing for WWIII
THE SAKER • MAY 26, 2016
The re-creation of the First Guards Tank Army
It is hard to believe, but the fact is that between 1991 and 2016 Russia did not have a single large formation (division size and bigger) in its Western Military District. A few brigades, regiments and battalions which nominally were called an “Army”. To put it simply – Russia clearly did not believe that there was a conventional military threat from the West and therefore she did not even bother deploying any kind of meaningful military force to defend from such a non-existing threat. By the way, that fact should also tell you everything you need to know about Russian plans to invade the Ukraine, Poland or the Baltics: this is utter nonsense. This has now dramatically changed.
Russia has officially announced that the First Guards Tank Army (a formation with a prestigious and very symbolic history). This Guards Tank Army will now include the 4th “Kantemirovskiaia” Guards Tank Division, the 2nd “Taman” Guards Motorized Rifle Division, the 6th Tank Brigade, the 27th Guards Motor Rifle Brigade Sevastopol and many support units. This Army’s HQ will be located in the Odinstovo suburb of Moscow. Currently the Army is equipped with T-72B3 and T-80 main battle tanks, but they will be replaced by the brand new and revolutionary T-14 Armata tank while the current infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers will be replaced by the new APC and IFV. In the air, these armored units will be protected and supported by Mi-28 and Ka-52 attack helicopters. Make no mistake, this will be a very large force, exactly the kind of force needed so smash through attacking enemy forces (by the way, the 1TGA was present at the Kursk battle). I am pretty sure that by the time the 1TGA is fully organized it will become the most powerful armored formation anywhere between the Atlantic and the Urals (especially in qualitative terms). If the current tensions continue or even worsen, the Russians could even augment the 1TGA to a type of 21st century “Shock Army” with increased mobility and specializing in breaking deep into the enemy’s defenses.
The deployment of the Iskander-M operational-tactical missile system
The new Iskander-M operational tactical missile system is a formidable weapon by any standard. While technically it is a short-range tactical missile (under 1000km range, the Iskander-M has an official range of 500km), it can also fire the R-500 missile has the capability of striking at an intermediate/operational range (over 1000km, the R-500 has a range of 2000km). It is extremely accurate, it has advanced anti-ABM capabilities, it flies at hypersonic speeds and is practically undetectable on the ground (see here for more details). This will be the missile tasked with destroying all the units and equipment the US and NATO have forward-deployed in Eastern Europe and, if needed, clear the way for the 1TGA.
That was the week Hillary began to look like the candidate who fell off a truck wearing a Nixon mask. Email-gate is taking on the odor of Watergate — the main ingredient of which was not the dopey crime itself but the stonewalling around it. The State Department Inspector General’s report saying definitively, no, she was not “allowed” to use a private, unsecured email server validated Donald Trump’s juvenile name-calling of “Crooked Hillary.”
We may never hear the end of that now (if Trump is actually nominated). And, of course, there lurks the Godzilla-sized skeleton in her closet of the still-unreleased Goldman Sachs speech transcripts, the clamor over which is sure to grow. Meanwhile the specter of the California primary looms, a not inconceivable loss to Bernie Sanders. And onto the convention in Philly which I contend will be even more fractious and violent than the 1968 fiasco in Chicago.
I’ll say it again: Hillary is a horse that ain’t gonna finish. The Democrats better be prepared to haul Uncle Joe out of the closet, fluff up his transplanted hair, wax his dentures, give him a few Vitamin B-12 shots, and stick a harpoon in his fist for the autumn run against the White Whale (if Trump is actually nominated).
See this movie. Best original, “dystopian near-future” flic made in last decade. Will probably make you feel really uncomfortable for 2 hours. I still have no idea what it was about or what the message was. But it was really good. I walked in by accident. They have some good ideas.
Parallels Between Israel and 1930s Germany
by Uri Avnery, May 21, 2016
I feel compelled to write about the general’s speech after all, because I was there.
As a child I was an eyewitness to the last years of the Weimar Republic (so called because its constitution was shaped in Weimar, the town of Goethe and Schiller). As a politically alert boy I witnessed the Nazi Machtergreifung (“taking power”) and the first half a year of Nazi rule.
I know what Golan was speaking about. Though we belong to two different generations, we share the same background. Both our families come from small towns in Western Germany. His father and I must have had a lot in common.
There is a strict moral commandment in Israel: nothing can be compared to the Holocaust. The Holocaust is unique. It happened to us, the Jews, because we are unique. (Religious Jews would add: “Because God has chosen us”.)
I have broken this commandment. Just before Golan was born, I published (in Hebrew) a book called “The Swastika”, in which I recounted my childhood memories and tried to draw conclusions from them. It was on the eve of the Eichmann trial, and I was shocked by the lack of knowledge about the Nazi era among young Israelis then.
My book did not deal with the Holocaust, which took place when I was already living in Palestine, but with a question which troubled me throughout the years, and even today: how could it happen that Germany, perhaps the most cultured nation on earth at the time, the homeland of Goethe, Beethoven and Kant, could democratically elect a raving psychopath like Adolf Hitler as its leader?
“You may have noticed that more and more we live in a society where anything goes and nothing matters. We got there through the incremental eradication of boundaries, especially in social categories and behaviors. Some people find this exhilarating and others find this disturbing. I happen to believe that the elimination of boundaries is not altogether a good thing. We would probably benefit, I think, from more and firmer boundaries than squishier and fewer of them.” -JHK
[actually black lives matter, right?…hashtag]
when they are too democratic.
-by Andrew Sullivan
And so, as I chitchatted over cocktails at a Washington office Christmas party in December, and saw, looming above our heads, the pulsating, angry televised face of Donald Trump on Fox News, I couldn’t help but feel a little nausea permeate my stomach. And as I watched frenzied Trump rallies on C-SPAN in the spring, and saw him lay waste to far more qualified political peers in the debates by simply calling them names, the nausea turned to dread. And when he seemed to condone physical violence as a response to political disagreement, alarm bells started to ring in my head. Plato had planted a gnawing worry in my mind a few decades ago about the intrinsic danger of late-democratic life. It was increasingly hard not to see in Plato’s vision a murky reflection of our own hyperdemocratic times and in Trump a demagogic, tyrannical character plucked directly out of one of the first books about politics ever written.
Spare me. 7000 words in New York Magazine. Sullivan is very confused about what he thinks about anything on any given day. Nausea turning to dread? Sounds like he might have a drug problem. This is just to showcase how much smarter Sullivan is than everybody else. I’ve only read about 3000 words. Interesting but pointless. You can arrange these ideas and words an infinite number of other plausible ways. He is wrong about why Obama won.
Politically, we lucked out at first. Obama would never have been nominated for the presidency, let alone elected, if he hadn’t harnessed the power of the web and the charisma of his media celebrity. But he was also, paradoxically, a very elite figure, a former state and U.S. senator, a product of Harvard Law School, and, as it turned out, blessed with a preternaturally rational and calm disposition. So he has masked, temporarily, the real risks in the system that his pioneering campaign revealed. Hence many Democrats’ frustration with him. Those who saw in his campaign the seeds of revolutionary change, who were drawn to him by their own messianic delusions, came to be bitterly disappointed by his governing moderation and pragmatism.
Messianic delusions? He made more sense than anybody else, was the only one who opposed the Iraq Invasion (Sullivan was for it), and was black. The black thing was the most important, because if he was white he wouldn’t really have anything that special going on. America had lost interest in Bush’s fuckup in Iraq by 2007 and Bush wasn’t running anyway. Even with the fuckup in Iraq Bush won in 2004 – remember? If Obama had been white, he would have been another nobody. Edwards or Clinton would have won the nomination. Sorry, that’s the deal. For Sullivan not to even mention this is where the real delusion lies.
The Party’s Over in Alaska
With oil revenue off, Alaska may be out of savings in two years.
Why Russia Resents Us
PAT BUCHANAN • MAY 2, 2016
Asked on his retirement as Army chief of staff what was the greatest strategic threat to the United States, Gen. Ray Odierno echoed Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, “I believe that Russia is.”
He mentioned threats to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine.
Yet, when Gen. Odierno entered the service, all four were part of the Soviet Union, and no Cold War president ever thought any was worth a war.
The independence of the Baltic States was one of the great peace dividends after the Cold War. But when did that become so vital a U.S. interest we would go to war with Russia to guarantee it?
The Hell on Earth Paved by Samantha Power’s Good Intentions
The Scourge of Africa and Her Savior Complex
by Dan Sanchez, April 26, 2016
The US Should Quit Coddling Badly-Behaving Saudi Arabia
by Ivan Eland, April 26, 2016
How Wartime Washington Lives in Luxury
Meet the new class profiting from the growth of the national-security state.
By KELLEY VLAHOS • April 25, 2016
In his latest book, The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government, Lofgren ponders this explosion of wealth, but goes well beyond the Beltway border into the exploding developments along the Dulles technology corridor, Tysons Corner, the newer “Mosaic District” supplanting a once desolate strip mall existence in Fairfax County, all the way out in the more rural, former Virginia Hunt country of Loudoun County. Here new “structures resemble the architecture of Loire Valley, Elizabethan England, or Renaissance Tuscany as imagined by Walt Disney, or Liberace.” He says even more than the strivers of Arlington, and the settled elite of the inner burbs, this metamorphosizing sprawl represents everything that is perverse about the last 15 years—the war machine, the big money politics, the hubris of the one-percent, and the brutality of losing, as professions that did not so easily escape the recession, left people unemployed, foreclosed, and priced out of an area they once called “home.”
Halfway through Malthus’ An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798) as this appears:
The data analysis provided fresh evidence of suffering among white Americans. Recent research has highlighted the plight of less educated whites, showing surges in deaths from drug overdoses, suicides, liver disease and alcohol poisoning, particularly among those with a high school education or less. The new report did not break down suicide rates by education, but researchers who reviewed the analysis said the patterns in age and race were consistent with that recent research and painted a picture of desperation for many in American society.
“This is part of the larger emerging pattern of evidence of the links between poverty, hopelessness and health,” said Robert D. Putnam, a professor of public policy at Harvard and the author of “Our Kids,” an investigation of new class divisions in America.
At the moment, there are a maximum of 3,870 U.S. military personnel (or 7,740 actual boots on the ground) in Iraq supporting the war against the Islamic State. That’s the “official cap” imposed by the Obama administration, because everyone knows that the president and his top officials are eager to end American wars in the Middle East, not expand them. Of course, that number doesn’t include the other 1,130 American military types (or 2,260 boots) — give or take we don’t know how many — who just happen to be there on what’s called… er, um… “temporary deployments,” or are the result of overlap from rotating deployments, but add up to perhaps 5,000 trainers and advisers, or maybe, for all we know, more, including 200 Special Operations forces whose numbers are officially acknowledged by no one but mentioned in press reports. And naturally that 5,000 figure doesn’t include the American private contractors also flowing into Iraq in growing numbers to support the U.S. military because everyone knows that they aren’t either troops or boots on the ground and so don’t get counted. Those are the rules.
Do keep in mind that this time around the whole American on-the-ground operation couldn’t be more limited. Though the numbers of U.S. trainers, advisers, and Special Ops types continue to creep up, they are, at least, helping the Iraqi military reconstitute itself on Iraqi bases. In other words, this round of Washington’s Iraq wars bears no relation to the last one (2003-2011), when the Pentagon had its private contractors build hundreds of U.S. bases, ranging in size from American towns to tiny combat outposts. This time, the U.S. military has no bases of its own, not a single one… er, um… at least it didn’t until recently when an American Marine, a specialist in firing field artillery, died in an Islamic State rocket attack on what turned out to be an all-American Marine outpost, Fire Base Bell, in the northern part of the country. The artillery operations he was involved in supporting the Iraqi army in its (stalled) drive on the country’s second largest city, Mosul, are not, however, “combat operations” because it’s well established that no American troops, Special Ops units possibly excepted, are in combat in that country (or Syria). In fact, U.S. officials point out that artillery doesn’t really count as combat. It’s more like U.S. air operations against the Islamic State except… er, um… it takes place on the ground.
The Maoist Social Justice Warrior students are enjoying the surprising power and thrills of coercion, especially as directed against their simpering professors and cringing college presidents anxious to sustain the illusion that something like learning takes place in the money laundering operations of higher ed.
Best War Movie of last decade since The Hurt Locker, best movie of 2016 so far:
Raises so many issues and questions. Beautiful thriller. Anti-war propaganda at its best that most people will never see. Unfortunate.
The Controversy About Stalin – a “basket” of Preliminary Considerations
THE SAKER • APRIL 11, 2016
Think of it this way: Stalin had inherited a Party which was full of rabid, treasonous and simply crazy elements and a party which was still full of Trotskyists (which makes sense, as more than anybody else Leon Trotsky should be “credited” with creating the Soviet military, winning the Civil War and crushing all internal opposition in a huge campaign of russophobic terror). Stalin turned this Party into a Party run by one man, himself, one which had purged itself from Trotskyists foreign agents and one which had the ideological flexibility to actually appeal to the Russian people to fight off and, eventually, defeat the Nazi invaders during WWII. I think that you don’t have to “like” Stalin to see that while his methods were, no doubt, ruthless, his results were rather impressive: not only did he win WWII, but in spite of the terrible cost in human lives and destruction he turned a bloodied and severely battered Soviet Union into a world power with a powerful economy, absolutely world-class scientific community and a remarkable high standard of living during the years of recovery.
Al Nusra armored assault from HD drone video – outstanding quality:
|dave on So Dramatic|
|dave on So Dramatic|
|dave on So Dramatic|
|dave on So Dramatic|
|doomphd on So Dramatic|
|doomphd on So Dramatic|
|doomphd on So Dramatic|
|dave on So Dramatic|
|dave on So Dramatic|
|dave on So Dramatic|