The reason for all this hostility towards Russia and China is simple. The War Industry has no immediate prospects other than bunches of disgruntled peasants here and there. War between the Great Powers makes no sense. Gearing up for it is pointless and absurd. This has been obvious for quite some time to anybody paying even a little attention. But gearing up for it is really the only place left for any growth and profit in the War Industry.
Do your part and keep your friends distracted with football, celebrity news, transgender rights, and Trump-hating. Where’s the peaceful protest this weekend?
And the Oscar for Errors Goes to….
JAMES THOMPSON • FEBRUARY 28, 2017 • 900 WORDS
My guide to errors is James Reason “Human Error” 1991.
The fascination for researchers is that each step in an intentional sequence has several consequences, not all of which are easy to predict. As a general rule, failure to predict is an indicator of low ability, but that must be considered in terms of the complexity of the operations being undertaken. One systematic problem is the inability to imagine improbable scenarios until they happen. Incomplete fault trees are legion, and often undetectable on close inspection. If you present a fault tree with sections missing, even skilled operators rarely notice the omissions. In theory, safety systems should catch these errors. James Reason describes each set of safety systems as slices of Emmental cheese intended to stop errors having fatal consequences, until by chance all of the holes in the cheese line up. Bhopal had three systems, none of which operated properly. His analysis of the Chernobyl explosion is fascinating, particularly piquant because it was caused by a badly planned test of a safety system.
Why Is the Alt-Right So Threatening?
ROBERT WEISSBERG • MARCH 2, 2017 • 1,300 WORDS
Now for the awkward question: why are millions of white Americans, including nearly all political poobahs, pundits and the mass media talking heads, so averse to Alt-Right white nationalism when they themselves prefer small scale white ethno states?
McMaster Takes Charge: Trump Relinquishes Control of Foreign Policy
MIKE WHITNEY • FEBRUARY 24, 2017 • 1,800 WORDS
The appointment of McMaster is an attempt by Trump to placate his enemies in the Intel agencies and foreign policy establishment. Trump is signaling to his adversaries that he will cooperate in carrying out their strategic agenda provided they allow him to finish his term.
A Budget Without Russians
The Empire’s Nightmare
FRED REED • FEBRUARY 23, 2017 • 1,400 WORDS
A recent move was to send naval forces to the Black Sea, which is not America’s concern. What, precisely, are those ships supposed to do? Steam fiercely in circles, bowwow-grrr-woof? Do they have a purpose other than domestic American consumption? Are they to attack something, defend something in danger of attack, forbid the Russians to do–what?
Russia is not going to invade Europe, and Washington knows it perfectly well, so why put tiny combat forces on its frontiers? If there is going to be a deliberate war, Washington is going to have to start it. Attacking Russia with minor forces, or at all, is probably an idea nuttier than even Washington can invent. One hopes that Europe would not allow Americans to do what they usually does, get others to fight its wars in other people’s countries.
We Shouldn’t Feel Too Optimistic if Isis Are Defeated in Mosul
PATRICK COCKBURN • MARCH 3, 2017 • 1,200 WORDS
The last road out of the city to the west was cut by Iraqi government forces on 1 March and they have also captured one of the half-ruined bridges over the Tigris River that bisects Mosul, which they are planning to repair using US-supplied pontoons. Iraqi military units backed by some 50 US airstrikes a day are getting close to the complex of buildings that used to house the government headquarters in the centre of the city.
Iraqi officials and officers announce only advances and victories, reports that often turn out to be premature or untrue. But there is no doubt that the Iraqi security services are winning the struggle for Mosul, though fighting could go on for a long time amid the close-packed buildings and narrow, twisting alleyways.
I think Jim has a fever this week or something. This is just crazy talk:
Great Expectations (Not)
So, enjoy the last few weeks of artificial Russia hysteria and LBGTQ bathroom neurosis. You’ll have other things to think about as the daffodils come peeping through the garden loam — like what to use for money to buy stuff if, perchance, the ATM machines go to lockdown, and anyway, after three days of that there won’t even be anything to buy (or steal) at the local supermarket, given the fragility of our supply chains. I know this sounds a little extreme, like Zombie Apocalypse, but you won’t actually see any zombies around. They were just part of the perpetual freak show of the mind that is being shoved aside for the starker theatrics of reality.