Too Stupid To Fail

ng_0ct2016

Anything goes and nothing matters.

US Raid Destroyed Most of Yemen Village, FM Blasts ‘Extrajudicial Killing’
Locals Knew About ‘Secret’ US Raid Long Before Troops Arrived
by Jason Ditz, February 01, 2017

The raid was scheduled for a night with no moon to make the multi-mile ground raid into the village a total surprise. Locals knew long before the troops got there, however, saying there were more US surveillance drones than usual and they were flying lower than would be normal long before the attack. The SEALs knew their mission was compromised but went in anyway.

White House: Iran ‘On Notice,’ US Won’t Rule Out Attack
Officials Vow ‘Appropriate Action’ Over Iran Missile Test
by Jason Ditz, February 01, 2017

Short sellers are piling into Tesla

Trump accuses Australian prime minister of trying to send US the ‘next Boston bombers’ in ‘worst deal ever’

The President and Immigration
by Andrew P. Napolitano, February 02, 2017

The courts have upheld this presidential power because under our system, immigration materially affects the nation’s foreign policy and foreign policy is constitutionally the domain of the president – with Congress’ role being limited to the senatorial confirmation of treaties and ambassadors and to authorization of money for the president to spend. Yet the courts have limited the president’s exercise of this power so that he cannot base it on First Amendment-protected liberties, such as the freedoms of speech, religion and association. So he cannot bar an immigrant because of the immigrant’s political views, religion or colleagues.

Our war with China another Vietnam War in the making

The White House-Tillerson bellicosity aligns with everything the United States has done since Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2011 announced a “pivot” to Asia to encircle China. We have sought to deny China a regional sphere of influence that we have exerted for almost two centuries beginning with the Monroe Doctrine. We have established a Marine training base in Darwin, Australia. We are building a THADD missile defense system in South Korea. We have negotiated the use of five military training bases in the Philippines. We have supported Vietnam in its South China Sea maritime dispute with China. We have sent aircraft carriers there. We have declared an obligation to defend Japan’s claim to the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands disputed by China.

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Forget Mexico—Here’s who should pay for the wall
Steven Kopits
25 Jan 2017

If the border were treated not as a fence, but as a gate, then we might expect undocumented immigrants to be willing to pay to the U.S. government that which they otherwise would pay to human smugglers and lose in travel time, that is, about $4,000 per year in visa fees and related taxes. If all undocumented workers did so, Federal revenues would increase by $33 billion. Even so, this would constitute an effective tax rate of only 14 percent for the typical working immigrant.

Russian treason probe results in arrests of FSB officials, Kaspersky cyber expert

Russian media reported the arrests this week of three individuals suspected of treason, including a researcher employed by the nation’s leading cybersecurity firm and two employees of the former KGB.

Ruslan Stoyanov, the head of Kaspersky Lab’s computer incidents investigations unit, and Sergei Mikhailov, a senior official within the FSB’s Center of Information Security, were quietly arrested last month on charges of treason, Russia’s Kommersant newspaper reported Wednesday.

Mr. Stoyanov “is under investigation for a period predating his employment at Kaspersky Lab,” the security firm confirmed in a statement. He was hired by the company in 2012 after spending six years working for the Moscow Cyber Crime unit of the Russian Interior Ministry, according to his LinkedIn profile, where he hunted down hackers on behalf of the government, including cybercriminals subsequently convicted of causing millions of dollars in damages, Forbes reported Wednesday.

His arrest coincided with that of Mr. Mikhailov, who was apprehended by authorities in the middle of an FSB meeting last month and hauled away with a sack over his head, according to Russian media. Until then Mr. Mikhailov was considered the second-most senior figure in the Center for Information Security, an elite FSB unit that researchers have linked to cyberattacks launched last year against various U.S. political targets.

The case brought against the Kaspersky researcher and FSB official were filed in a secret military tribunal under Article 275 of the country’s constitution, which defines treason as “espionage, disclosure of state secrets, or any other assistance rendered to a foreign organization, or their representatives in hostile activities to the detriment of the external security of the Russian Federation committed by a citizen of the Russian Federation.”

Conviction carries a maximum punishment of 20 years imprisonment.

Masterpiece of Confusion

Let’s hope this doesn’t happen, but Cockburn has been right about a lot of stuff. Jus sayin

Trump’s ‘Muslim Ban’ Will Only Lead to More Terrorist Attacks
PATRICK COCKBURN • JANUARY 30, 2017

-Like leaders everywhere Isis commanders will wonder how unhinged Trump really is.

-Donald Trump’s travel ban on refugees and visitors from seven Muslim countries entering the US makes a terrorist attack on Americans at home or abroad more rather than less likely.

-a few bombs or shootings directed at American targets will lead to more scatter-gun persecution of Muslims.

-Isis will also see that by pressing their attacks they will deepen divisions within American society.

-in practice it was the excesses of the counter-terrorism apparatus such as torture and rendition, Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib which acted as the recruiting sergeant for the Salafi-jihadi movements.

-with Trump fuelling the sectarian war between Muslims and non-Muslims which Isis and al-Qaeda always wanted to wage, their prospects look brighter today than they have for a long time past.

My gut is telling me this is not a good thing for the future. Unless you work repairing driverless robot-delivery-vans or drones. Walmart sucks anyway. Target is so much better.
Walmart just undercut Amazon’s most valuable perk

I’m more than a little skeptical about this. Too simple.
Why Succeeding Against the Odds Can Make You Sick
By JAMES HAMBLIN
JAN. 27, 2017

THE SKEPTICS
Goodbye Susan Rice, Hello National Security Options

No other country has a conventional capability to reach America. The United States enjoys the protection of large oceans in the east and west that are buttressed by overwhelming maritime superiority. America also benefits from Pacific neighbors north and south and is backed by air superiority. Thus, the United States will not be invaded. It will not be blockaded or bombarded. In this way, the national security adviser—along with the president, secretary of state and other U.S. officials—need not worry about the sort of potential threats facing virtually every other nation on earth. That includes America’s chief rivals, China and Russia.

What we all need is for John McCain to hang himself (Now).
The U.S. Air Force Need More Than 300 Light Attack Aircraft (Now)

Reading Rene Girard At The End Of The World
By ROD DREHER • January 30, 2017

“The Apocalypse is not some invention. If we are without sacrifices, either we’re going to love each other or we’re going to die. We have no more protection against our own violence. Therefore, we are confronted with a choice: either we’re going to follow the rules of the Kingdom of God or the situation is going to get infinitely worse.”

-Rene Girard

Exclusive: Millions of barrels of Venezuelan oil stuck at sea in dirty tankers

Since debt-laden PDVSA cannot afford to have the ships cleaned, they have to wait for weeks to navigate international waters, delaying shipments.

Metal Gods

“That was the last time Dave Holland played with the band,” he said, pointing a spray bottle at the orchid and blasting each leaf with a cloud of mist. “Which is fine if you ask me, because he was an asshole, but that’s when the band started to fall apart.” He stepped back and examined the plant for a moment. “Still, they played ‘Sinner’, which they hadn’t played since ’84. It was almost like they knew the end was coming so they went back to the set list from the ‘Killing Machine’ era.”

I wasn’t familiar with the ‘Killing Machine’ era, nor did I have a clue who Dave Holland was, but I understood Phil’s language. I spoke it fluently in my youth, a time when my bedroom walls were covered in cutouts of men in spandex and eye makeup, a time that, for Phil, had extended well into his thirties.

He went on about Judas Priest for another twenty minutes, becoming more passionate as he detailed their rise and fall. “By 1988, everything was synthesizers. Look at the intro to ‘Blood Red Skies’, for Christ’s sake. Tell me that doesn’t sound like Tears For Fears!” Coworkers passed by my office, gawking at Phil as he leaned over my desk, his hand gripping the garden trowel, his mouth foaming with white spit. “Marketing!” he said. “It’s all goddamned marketing!”

Who Is Brian?

comm_ave_01211701.26.2017

2017: A Spy Odyssey
Can Trump control the CIA?
Corey Pein
January 25, 2017

“We were unbelievably successful in the election with getting the vote of the military. And probably almost everybody in this room voted for me, but I will not ask you to raise your hands if you did. But I would guarantee a big portion. Because we’re all on the same wavelength, folks. We’re all on the same wavelength, right? He knows. It took Brian about thirty seconds to figure that one out, right? Because we know. We’re on the same wavelength.”

“Who is Brian?” is an interesting question, but probably not the first one that came to those who heard Trump speak. Bear in mind, Trump faced possibly the most paranoid audience on earth—several hundred professional spies, saboteurs, and killers. These are people who second-guess every assumption and look for the hidden subtext in every word. And here was the president telling them he didn’t need a show of hands to see who supported him, because he already knew “almost” everyone there voted for him. Implicit in that formulation: he knew that some of the people in that room opposed him. He also made clear he knew some people there by name. Hi, Brian! Who is Brian?

Cunt Power

 

This is an excellent explanation of what is going on.
Karl Rove’s Prophecy
KAREL VAN WOLFEREN • JANUARY 23, 2017 • 3,000 WORDS

A disadvantage of being part of the elite is that you must stick to the accepted story. If you deviate from it, and have your thoughts run rather far away from it, which is quite inevitable once you begin with your deviation, you can no longer be trusted by those around you. If you are a journalist and depend for your income on a mainstream newspaper or are hired by a TV company, you run the risk of losing your job if you do not engage in self-censorship.

Consequently, publications that used to be rightly known as quality newspapers have turned into unreadable rags.

As a result American and European populations have been dropped into a fantasy world, one under constant threat from terrorists and an evil dictator in Moscow.

Sticking to the official story because you have to may not be quite as bad as forced religious conversion with a gun pointed at your head, but it belongs to the same category.

We all owe thanks to writers of Internet-based samizdat literature who’ve recently reminded us that the pejorative use of the conspiracy label stems from one of the greatest misinformation successes of the CIA begun in 1967.

Half of Boston or all of France can be placed under undeclared martial law to tell people: yes, we have you under full control!

You will have noticed a fairly common response when the 9/11 massacre enters a discussion. Smart people will say that they “will not go there”, which brings to mind the “here be dragons” warning on uncharted bits of medieval maps. That response is not stupid. It hints at an understanding that there is no way back once you enter that realm. There is simply no denying that if you accept the essential conclusions of the official 9/11 report you must also concede that laws of nature stopped working on that particular day. And, true enough, if you do go there and bear witness publicly to what you see, you may well be devoured; your career in many government positions, the media and even academia is likely to come to an end.

Mapping the motives of those who decide “not to go there” may be a way to begin breaking through this disastrous deadlock.

The triumph of political untruth has brought into being a vast system of political intimidation. Remember then that the intimidator does not really care what you believe or not, but impresses you with the fact that you have no choice.

 

Heat And Futility
By ROD DREHER • January 18, 2017

Marking another milestone for a changing planet, scientists reported on Wednesday that the Earth reached its highest temperature on record in 2016 — trouncing a record set only a year earlier, which beat one set in 2014. It is the first time in the modern era of global warming data that temperatures have blown past the previous record three years in a row.

A Parting Shot at Personal Freedom
by Andrew P. Napolitano, January 19, 2017

When Uber Bares Its Hoard
With cities eager for data, how little do the gig-lords have to give?
Jathan Sadowski January 18, 2017

Uber Movement is a partnership that requires feigned ignorance on both sides. Cities welcome the data but fail to ask hard questions about how it was initially collected and stored. Remember, this is the same company that refused to fire a top employee, New York general manager Josh Mohrer, when he used an aerial “God View” of Manhattan to track the exact location of a reporter he perceived as a threat. This is the same company that, as of last month, tracks its passengers for up to five minutes after they’ve disembarked, even if they’re no longer using the app. This is the same company that asks drivers to submit to meaningful supervision of their movements while on the job but continues to insist that they are “gig” workers, not employees.

A Pledge for More of the Same at the Pentagon
James Mattis has no new ideas for solving America’s most intractable conflicts. Neither does congress.

The most intriguing aspect of the exchange between Mattis and members of the committee was the absolute absence of interest, from either side, in how the armed forces of the United States have performed in recent years. In Afghanistan, in the now-resumed war in Iraq, in U.S. combat operations, large and small, in Pakistan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, and Syria—none has yielded anything approximating conclusive victory. However you define U.S. aims and objectives—promoting stability? Spreading democracy? Reducing the incidence of Islamist terrorism?—they remain unfulfilled. Yet no senator thought to ask Mattis for his views on why that has been the case, what conclusions he draws from that absence of success, and how he might apply those conclusions as defense secretary.

 

Jamie Dimon’s head is apparently empty of any insights…or anything. It is hard to be this much of a twit.

At a private lunch in Davos, Jamie Dimon was asked about the elephant in the room

Scenes from a pussy riot

byron27

Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

 

Pissologies
On the psychoses that animate the most powerful man in the world

In a footnote to Sigmund Freud’s Civilization and its Discontents, we might find the root of an answer. It’s one of the good doctor’s few comprehensive exegeses on the subject of pissing (along with the oft-quoted line from St Augustine that we are inter faeces et urinam nascimur, born between piss and shit) but a rich one. The human mastery of fire, he writes, was only possible once men could restrain themselves from the pleasure of pissing all over any fire they encountered and putting it out. Men is the operative word here—for the woman, whose “anatomy makes it impossible for her to yield to such a temptation,” this urinary pleasure is inaccessible. A faint image emerges of women frustrated for thousands of years, constantly discovering fire, drawing themselves to the precipice of a long steep slide into advanced technological civilisation—only for the men of the tribe to arrive, honking and hollering, extinguishing the germ of all future society with joyful streams of piss.

The Nihilistic Purity of the Far Left Will Kill Us All

It’s obvious that it’s just fine for Bernie to have shitty votes on his record (like voting against immigration reform, against closing Gitmo, siding with the Republicans on gun control multiple times, and actively pushed a bill to dump nuclear waste from Vermont and Maine to Sierra Blanca, TX which severely impacted a poor Latinx community) because he’s just “looking out for his constituents in Vermont” but any other Dem who has ONE shitty vote on their record is a “neoliberal corporate shill” who’s “doing the bidding of the 1%”. And I just love how you motherfuckers are happily tearing down Booker for accepting Big Pharma money to fund his 2014 Senate campaign but don’t say jack shit about Sanders taking more than $300,000 from the pharmaceutical industry in 2016 — only two senators accepted more (and neither one was Booker). You don’t say a damn thing about Sanders OWNING STOCK in Pfizer and investing in Novartis.

Physicists have created a new form of hydrogen
The most abundant element in the Universe just got interesting.

Should we care? Did it? Did it just get interesting? Just now? I’m not feeling it.

Obama Out
As a great orator leaves office, we have reached peak speech

The Foreign Plot to Oust Trump
It stretches from London to Langley to Kiev – and several points in between
by Justin Raimondo, January 13, 2017

To begin with, anyone who thinks Orbis is a “private” intelligence agency, totally separate from MI6, the legendary British intelligence service, is delusional. These agencies – there are several, including the notorious Halykut, which recently surfaced in China – are simply extensions of the parent organization, MI6, which is, itself, intertwined with similar spook outfits in the US and throughout Europe. It’s an international fraternity, one that shares information, contacts, and a common worldview – and this last is what brings it into conflict with the President-elect.

[…]

The latest word is that Steele, “in fear for his life,” has fled his multi-million-dollar estate and is hiding in a “safe house,” perhaps in “another country.” Has anyone looked in Lindsey Graham’s closet? Those two drama queens should get along famously.

The U.S. Intelligence Community Freaks Out About Russia
The declassified CIA report comes up short.
Andrea O’Sullivan | January 10, 2017

This new Russian scare has also underscored the dramatic recent reversal of ideological allegiances. Reliable Republican war-hawks are now joined with formerly antagonistic Democrats in their lock step support of the intelligence community. All of a sudden, liberals seems to have forgotten their previous complaints about CIA torture methods, mass surveillance, and foreign subversion. For the first time since these polls have been conducted, Democrats support the CIA more than Republicans do.

Israeli soldier convicted for revenge killing

Interlude With Ludes

01.10.2017

“Interlude With Ludes”

I’ve always been behind you
So I think we should meet
I’ve sharpened my knives
So I’m gonna use them

I’m gonna smother you with my love
Forever and ever, also forever
Acid and poison and chemicals baby
Is what I mean to provide
I know together, we’ll make the possible
Totally impossible

If you want me I’m yours
And even if you don’t want me
I’m trained and licensed and armed to the teeth
I think you’ll agree
It’s so hard to apologize
So I’m just gonna skip it
Sleep deprivation will make you a million
Did you just hear something crazy?

I got my fingers crossed you’ll catch something baby
Cause I just threw myself at you
Everyone run and hide
I’m coming to find you
Is my face still bleeding?
Then what is your problem?
By the skin of my teeth
That’s how I’m going to drive you

On the goodship lolly-gag
LSD and a bloody pile of rags
I hate to be the bearer of bad news
But I am…

-Them Crooked Vultures

A Short History of the Third Millennium
ANATOLY KARLIN • JANUARY 10, 2017

Fundamentally solve the “intelligence problem,” and all other problems become trivial.

The problem is that this problem is a very hard one, and our native wit is unlikely to suffice. Moreover, because problems tend to get harder, not easier, as you advance up the technological ladder, in a “business as usual” scenario with no substantial intelligence augmentation we will effectively only have a 100-200 year “window” to effect this breakthrough before global dysgenic fertility patterns rule it out entirely for a large part of the next millennium.

History After ‘The End of History’
Andrew Bacevich and Tom Engelhardt
January 09, 2017

Robert Gates, Pro and Con
by David R. Henderson, January 10, 2017

Saudi Arabia’s Dream of Domination Has Gone Up in Flames
PATRICK COCKBURN • JANUARY 8, 2017

The Trump Bubble
MIKE WHITNEY • JANUARY 6, 2017

Fake News

01.05.2016ishamel_jones

This settles it for me. Let’s move on.
Russian Interference in the Election: A Media Hoax?

America Versus the Deep State
-James Howard Kunstler

The fakest of all “fake news” stories turns out to be… “Russia Hacks Election.”

The story may have climaxed with Trump’s Friday NSA briefing, the heads of the various top intel agencies all assembled in one room to emphasize the solemn authority of the Deep State’s power. Trump worked a nice piece of ju-jitsu afterward, pretending to accept the finding as briefly and hollowly as possible and promising to “look into the matter” after January 20th — when he can tear a new asshole in the NSA. I hope he does. This hulking security apparatus has become a menace to the Republic.

No Smoking Gun on Russia Hack
Language used in the intelligence community’s latest report suggests that they may not possess indisputable evidence.
By PHILIP GIRALDI • January 9, 2017

Purge the CIA
They’re a threat to the republic

ISHMAEL JONES: FROM RUSSIA WITH DOUBT

The Human Factor: Inside the CIA’s Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture

Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success. Note: Some of the findings presented in this talk have been referenced in an ongoing debate among social scientists about robustness and reproducibility.

presence