Pushing a New Cold War

In the 1980s, the same persons took care to soften their description of real fascists or quasi-fascists by using the adjective “authoritarian” in preference to the noun “tyrant.” They did so in keeping with their pragmatic need to palliate the actions of despots south of the border, whom they wanted the United States to support. Look up the New Republic articles of Charles Krauthammer in the 1980s, the testimony of Elliott Abrams before the Select Iran-Contra Committees, and the flattering account of U.S. policy in Robert Kagan’s book on Nicaragua, A Twilight Struggle, and you will get a fair impression of this literature.

he truth is that the charge of fascism against Trump was a stopgap measure. Now it has been replaced by a charge that he is soft on the Communist menace, or the next worst thing—which they are betting the American mind will translate into the same thing—he is soft on the Russian menace. Fascism was never a ripe choice of terms. It gets hardly any play and commands little attention in America. For the neoconservatives, Red-baiting is a more familiar tactic and in the absence of a Red, a Russian will do. They have good reason to suppose that Hillary Clinton will take the hint and adopt the convenient amalgam in order to sow confusion. The Russian menace resembles the Communist menace in the same way that the word “Iran” resembles the word “Iraq.”

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

“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

89 Replies to “07.25.2016”

  1. Zulu Kilo, where we care about WWIII topics and who’s been caught tongue-kissing whom on the donut shop cam.

    “Hey, did you lick that donut and not pay for it?”

  2. starting to look like guy mcfearson was precient in his interpretive compliation of recent climate trend data. he’s talking 3 to 5 years before we burn to a crisp.

  3. here’s the scoop: the PTB aka Elders have a plan for the end game. parts of their big plan are sending MENA immigrants to Germany on the guise that they will help their economy, is humane, etc. (see now old photo of dead boy on beach, exposed as fabricated/enhanced for emotional effect by photographers) , but instead to spread terrorist fear wars in europe, and institute martial law. mission accomplished: see last thread, and the news.

    in the USA, it’s to promote terrorist fear, race, and gender wars, to distract the sheeple there from the real economic and environmental problems, and institute martial law. status: almost there.

  4. their right wing contingent wants to promote war, even a new cold-hot war with Russia, whom they do not control. so far, Putin and the more moderate PTB have stopped them. the right wingers (recall Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al.) could literally pull the trigger if they think things have gotten too far from their control in the west.

  5. it was a young bull elephant, with normal-sized lions. the elephant will grow larger, and i doubt it will have moron trouble with lions. maybe at the end, but then, it’s the end, anyway.

  6. one bourbon, one scotch and one beer. reverse that order, add in a couple of glasses or red at dinner, and that’s my evening these days.

  7. It is only because we were the first species to advance in the direction of a new systematicity that we have had to ourselves a variety of accumulated energy stores, including fossil fuels. Having this energy to ourselves and because of our analog minds, we have been able to grow in complexity very rapidly by processing the energy with various structures resulting in growth and waste. It seems to me that, despite our great intelligence 🙂 we are still controlled by the maximum power principle which basically says that those structures that capture the most energy and reproduce themselves most effectively will be represented in the future. An eternal competition leading nowhere. Seemingly it has not occurred to humans that their sudden and vast inheritance of energy that has fired civilization’s development and technological complexity, are limited in amount and accessibility. It most certainly has not occurred to most economists. When the fuels are gone, the structures will be gone too, along with the complexity.

    james – megacancer

    this guy is writing some really good stuff, about the best i’ve come across, and i’ve come across a lot of stuff in my day.

  8. actually, nice as that paragraph is, he hasn’t quite captured the essence of our predicament. it’s not the amount of fuels/energy that are limited to us, it’s our economic accessibility to them, which is why we call them “cheap”. our economy, global and complex as it is, has limits to the amount of effort it can exert to recover a given amount of fuel/energy. once we pass that limit, well, we end up like we are now, living off the luxury of the built infrastructure and the flow from depleting legacy oil fields. once repairs to the infrastructure become too expensive to fix*, the flows will stop, leaving a lot of formerly easy (i.e., cheap to us) fuel in place, awaiting a new, cheaper fuel to use in its extraction, assuming some folks left to invent and produce it.

    *in Tainterese, increasing complexity is no longer providing sufficient effective benefit to society, e.g., see Nimitz-class aircraft carriers above.

    does that sound about right?

  9. Bali back in the good old days. the ceremonies haven’t changed one bit. too bad the film is in B&W, the place and dress are quite colorful.

  10. yeah, you can’t really judge what he’s doing based on a single paragraph. i’d say.

    spend a little time on his blog, or not.

    i like it enough to be reading all the archives. good stuff….

  11. no matter how you slice it or dice it, mpp, mepp, law of the minimum, diminishing returns, eroei, complexity overload, genetic programing…etc., etc, etc. you always end up at pretty much the same place, similar conclusions, etc.

  12. Those that can employ their prefrontal cortices should realize that being rich, powerful and famous are not things that anyone should strive for, but they will, because they are controlled by the more primitive aspects of their limbic brains. It should be breathtaking when explosive growth turns into implosive contraction and nature reclaims the technological cells and puts humans, if any survive, back where they belong.

    james – megacancer

  13. The metabolic activity that occurs within System I, the cellular ecosystem, occurs at a scale in which electromagnetic attraction and thermal motion are prevalent. The metabolic activity that occurs within System II, the technological “economy” occurs at a scale where neither thermal motion, random collision or electromagnetic forces produce the necessary interactions, adhesion and transformations. You could argue that the combustion of the internal combustion engine has taken the molecular level kinetic energy and transformed it into an orderly movement of pistons and crankshaft at the technological level. What constitutes technological metabolism however is the use of massive-sized tools for the fabrication and exchange of various products and commodities where separation in space and time must be overcome. The amount of energy needed to randomly move things around until they fit together at the technological scale would be tremendous and destructive. For instance, into a large vessel place all of the parts of a car, apply energy until all parts are airborne and circulating at 600 miles per hour. How long will it take the car to self-assemble? It won’t happen, the parts will be smashed apart upon collision, the amount of kinetic energy necessary to temporarily overcome gravity also imparts destructive force. Vehicles overcome inertia and gravity mostly with the help of fossil fuel energy, but they don’t circulate randomly, but rather proceed in an orderly manner until some malfunction creates a crash and damage.

    james – megacancer

  14. Ever notice that the bread used in Subway sandwiches tastes a bit funny? Careful with that fast food, Eugene:

    “Fast-food chains are ditching the yoga-mat chemical. A 2014 petition that received almost 80,000 signatures in two days led Subway to take out an obscure chemical also used in yoga mats from its bread. McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A, Wendy’s, White Castle, and Jack in the Box, have since gotten rid of the chemical—dubbed the yoga-mat chemical but technically it’s azodicarbonamide. The chemical is a commonly used dough conditioner that is also used in yoga mats, flip-flops and packing insulation. Although the FDA has approved its use in food in limited amounts, the EU has banned its use in food.”


  15. personally, i hate funcking Subway, but that’s not because of their funny tasting bread. just the smell of Subway outlets makes me fell ill.

  16. up until relatively recently, i would get a mcdonalds sausage and egg on english muffin, but not any more… i still like mcd’s coffee…$1 any size, fresh all day…

  17. The moon used to be an adequate time-keeper during times of proto-metabolism and trading. Modern technological metabolism needed something more precise like the watch shown above. Don’t be late to school kids, this society runs like clockwork.

    james – megacancer

  18. when i look at this, i can only laugh at the fusion assholes. it’s like then think they can squeeze the ping pong balls back into the mouse traps, and squeeze out some extra ping pong balls. thank god for grant $’s.

  19. i think i’m in love…

    Humans mostly just build tools and seek reward, that’s what they’ve evolved to do without much circumspection. The tools can be very complex and effective at eating and processing everything in their paths, turning it into cancer infrastructure, also known as factories, roads, cities and so on. The rewards flow through the arteries of the expanding cancer to the humans whose dopamine continuously motivates them towards new rewards. What is there to do about it? Probably not much because most of humankind are not conscious. They may be awake, but they’re not conscious and may actually have neurological defenses against being fully conscious. Now we have to watch mindless buffoons compete for the right to lead an equally mindless cancerous growth while thumping on Bibles and waving flags in the air. There’s not a whole lot to be said for “the most complex thing in the universe”, the human brain, if all it can produce are simpletons, flim-flam artists and mindless tinkerers busily assembling tools of self-destruction.

    james – megacancer

  20. “Humans mostly just build tools and seek reward, that’s what they’ve evolved to do without much circumspection. ”

    not me, i’m trying to save moron lives and property.

  21. Even though deficient in calculating probabilities, the human brain moves millions towards ticket outlets in search of mind-boggling lottery rewards or it can motivate a student to pursue good grades to achieve a degree and well-compensated employment. All movement requires energy and resources and ultimately, in sum total, all movement must be rewarded. Humans and other mobile organisms are on a tight leash to perform only those movements that are rewarding. If behavior and movement do not result in energy acquisition, then starvation and death occurs. Perhaps this is one reason we are so unconcerned with our impact upon the environment, our brains are preoccupied with producing movements that result in reward.

    james – megacancer

  22. we made a breakthrough in the lab yesterday. a very testable hypothesis, so we are testing it now. should know if it is correct, or not, by later this PM.

  23. OK, we verified the hypothesis, so we did indeed make a breakthrough! briefly, we now can demonstrate two distinct modes of isotopic diffusion in glass. one He isotope responds quite linearly to temperature, and builds in our vacuum over time. the other one jumps through the glass at lower temperatures. it remains temporarily in the vacuum if it is not sucked away. what happens is it goes through the glass, then builds until we cool it, whereupon it tucks itself back into the glass. we thought it was simply hot gas responding to cooling, but the curve is actually an absorption/depletion curve.

    this phenomenon has been plaguing our experiments for years. at very low temperatures, any exposure to tracers or standards will build helium into the glass. then it will contribute to the background by slowly outgassing. now that we are aware of the process, we are being extremely careful to keep an inert gas in the sample chamber and pump the vacuum whenever we are not actively accumulating a signal from samples/standards. the bloody damn thing is sensitive!

  24. over at OFW commentary:

    doomphd says:
    August 12, 2016 at 1:43 am

    Well, I want to personally volunteer to pour more concrete in 6 months than China did in 3 years, which was moron than the USA poured in all of the 20th century. That should help us build a causeway between Hawaii and the west coast of the USA, and keep BAU going for at least one more year.

    Tim Groves says:
    August 12, 2016 at 2:30 am

    Interesting novel use of the word “moron”. You may have done it as a typo, but I like the sound of it. To be moron than = to be moronic on a large scale than. It ranks right up there with some of the classic GW Bushisms.

  25. The rollercoaster isn’t going to stop back under the tree in the savannah but rather somewhere in isotope fission wonderland. Everyone off, the ride is over.

    james – megacancer

  26. There are many different dissipative structures for eliminating gradients. Cancer feeds upon and destroys the functional order of dissipative structures. Even though human technological structures are working down the fossil fuel gradient, it is also destroying the collection of slowly evolved dissipative structures that reduce the electromagnetic influx onto the planet – the ecosystem. Some species go extinct by becoming overspecialized in the ecosystem. Homo sapiens will likely go extinct as they use their new tools to apply the MEP to the fossil fuel/fish/soil/water/ forest/metals – everything. The idea seems to be to build as many conduits as possible and then pass as much energy and material through them in the shortest amount of time possible. The competition is intense and the end is certain.

    james – megacancer

  27. pretty much sums it all up…

    Humans have some difficulty in perceiving their true nature, that of temporary dissipative structures. In this I mean that they differ little from a gust of air or an ocean current delivering warm tropical waters from equatorial regions to the cooler northern regions. The apparent complexity of both organic and technological structures would seem to indicate a purpose or a grand design, but in reality all of the complexity is a manifestation of competitive reduction of energy gradients The sole purpose of all of the apparently complex structures that have arisen from the evolution of DNA and alpha-numeric technological libraries is simply an accessory in the entropic flow of energy in the universe.

    james – megacancer

  28. dave, you always seem to find videos of these poor parents with such problems judging speed and distance. i’m wondering if this is a Darwin-award type of natural selection process, like on slow runners?

  29. on Oahu, the local electrical co. has a deal with the two major refineries here to burn their bunker oil. after 9-11, they decided to distribute the plants, and the new, smaller ones burn imported coal. all FF is imported, except for bagass they used to burn when we still had a cane sugar industry (mostly gone now). on Hawaii island, they have about 30% geothermal. they also dabble in solar PV and wind power, with the usual results.

  30. kinda funny that hi doesn’t have more geothermal…or with proximity to cold deep water, try to exploit the thermocline. but that’s kind of a bullshit idea from what i’ve seen of it. meh. grow sugar cane, make a still, be like brazil…

  31. they’re all over OTEC out here, dave. we even have a working power plant, at some reduced scale. scale-up is very important to OTEC. that seems to be an important stumbling block, probably $$$ related.

    i like grow cane, make still, drink local rum. the Hawaiian rum made on Kauai is a bit pricey, but smooth. it has a distinct vanilla taste to it. personally, i like the aged dark rums from central america, St. Croix.

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