This is why nobody takes you seriously.

07.15.2017

 

The New Silk Road Will Go Through Syria
PEPE ESCOBAR • JULY 14, 2017 • 900 WORDS

 

Tucker Carlson Is Doing Something Extraordinary
He is offering a glimpse into what Fox News would look like as an intellectually interesting network.

On Tuesday, Carlson told retired Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters he thought the U.S. should team up with Russia to defeat ISIS. Peters responded that, “You sound like Charles Lindbergh in 1938.” Carlson called that comment “grotesque” and “insane.”

Then, on Wednesday night, Carlson told the Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow, and former Mitt Romney adviser, Max Boot, that he opposed overthrowing Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and didn’t see Russia as a serious threat. Boot responded by accusing him of being a “cheerleader” for Moscow and Tehran. Carlson called that comment “grotesque” too. And declared, “This is why nobody takes you seriously.”

 

Russia Baiters and Putin Haters
By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN • July 14, 2017

As for favoring “repression over democracy,” would that not apply to our NATO ally President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, our Arab ally Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi of Egypt, and our Philippine ally Rodrigo Duterte? Were U.S. Cold War allies like the Shah of Iran and Gen. Augusto Pinochet of Chile all Jeffersonian Democrats? Have we forgotten our recent history?

The Post brought up the death in prison of lawyer-activist Sergei Magnitsky in 2009. Under the Magnitsky Act of 2012, Congress voted sanctions on Russia’s elites.

Yet China’s lone Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Liu Xiaobo, sentenced to 11 years in prison for championing democracy, died Thursday of liver cancer, with police in his hospital room. Communist dictator Xi Jinping, who makes Putin look like Justin Trudeau, would not let the dying man go.

Will Magnitsky Act sanctions be slammed on China? Don’t bet on it. Too much trade. Congress will do what comes naturally — kowtow. Yet our heroic Senate voted 98-2 to slam new sanctions on Russia.

What are the roots of this hostility to Russia and hatred of Putin, whom a Fox analyst called “as bad as Hitler”?

 

A Euro-African West?
By NOAH MILLMAN • July 14, 2017

 

The Syrian Test of the Trump-Putin Accord
RAY MCGOVERN • JULY 10, 2017 • 1,300 WORDS

 

Trump’s Tweets Are Not Harming National Security
Former intel officers-turned-Cassandras peddling crisis and self-promotion
By PHILIP GIRALDI • July 14, 2017

 

Russian Rap

 

The Redemption of Richard Florida
By AARON RENN • July 14, 2017

But to tar Florida with the ills of the knowledge economy is like blaming Thomas Friedman for the problems of globalization just because he wrote The World Is Flat. Both men clearly celebrated, profited from, and are in agreement with the values of people who benefit from the phenomena they described—but are certainly not the architects or creators of these trends. It is perhaps fair to critique Florida for some of the failed projects and civic turnaround efforts that cities undertook at his recommendation or inspiration. But then the critics would have to give credit to Florida for the positive stories and results, something they never do. Florida didn’t cause Detroit to go bankrupt even if former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm’s “cool cities” initiative he inspired is now widely mocked.

[…]

Gratuitously attacking Silicon Valley techies out of some desire to punish the successful would be bad, but policies that reduce the urban creative class’ outsized share of success—while raising GDP and median income curves—should not be ruled out. Barack Obama was the first president since Herbert Hoover to never once hit 3 percent annual GDP growth. President Bush’s economic record was likewise dismal. Job growth in the U.S. since 2000 has averaged 0.5 percent per year, compared to 1.9 percent during the 1980s and 1.9 percent during the 1990s. (Recent years have seen better growth rates than this anemic average.) And real median incomes are lower today than in 2000.

 

Mexican Drug Violence Only Getting Worse
El Chapo’s capture created a power vacuum, a ‘vicious’ power struggle.
By TED GALEN CARPENTER • July 6, 2017

Matters have not turned out at all the way drug warriors and other optimists assumed. Instead, El Chapo’s capture has made the violent chaos in Mexico worse—much worse. His fall created a power vacuum throughout Mexico’s ruthless drug trade. The extent of the upsurge in violence as his would-be successors maneuver for control is horrifying. In May alone, there were 2,186 fatalities—the third time in 2017 when the monthly death toll topped 2,000. That is more than twice the average monthly pace of the bloody years of Felipe Calderon’s presidency (2006-2012), when more than 60,000 Mexicans perished in drug-related carnage. The May total was a new record, and it brought the total number of deaths in 2017 to 9,906. That was an increase of 33 percent over 2016, which had already seen a worrisome rise.

 

U.S. Charges 412, Including Doctors, in $1.3 Billion Health Fraud

In one case, prosecutors said, the owner and operator of a drug-treatment center in Delray Beach, Fla., recruited addicts to aid him in his schemes, attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and visiting “crack motels” to persuade people to move to South Florida to help him. He offered kickbacks in the form of gift cards, plane tickets, trips to casinos and strip clubs as well as drugs.

The owner, Eric Snyder, and an associate were charged with fraudulently billing insurance companies for more than $50 million for false treatment and urine tests over nearly five years, the authorities said.

[…]

Opioid addiction is an escalating public health crisis in America, with drug deaths rising faster than ever. Hydrocodone and oxycodone, two powerful opioids, are among the most commonly abused prescription drugs, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 91 Americans die each day of an opioid-related overdose.

The United States of War

07.13.2017

 

Learn to swim.
Giant iceberg splits from Antarctic

 


Who Is the Real Enemy?
The White House is targeting Iran but should instead focus on Saudi Arabia
PHILIP GIRALDI • JULY 11, 2017 • 1,800 WORDS

 

The Russo-Chinese “Alliance” Explained
ANDREI MARTYANOV • JULY 9, 2017 • 1,600 WORDS

 

Corker: Saudi Support for Terrorism ‘Dwarfs’ Qatar’s
By DANIEL LARISON • July 13, 2017

 

The First Putin-Trump Meeting Yields…Something Very Close to Nothing
THE SAKER • JULY 7, 2017 • 1,000 WORDS

 

Big Brother Can Force Facebook, Yelp to Unmask Users
Feds win big, you lose.
By FRANK MINITER • July 12, 2017

 

Bestselling Revisionist Historian: Germany Was Just a Patsy!
Peter Frankopan‘s The Silk Roads: A New History of the World shows why we need to re-vision history
KEVIN BARRETT • JULY 7, 2017 • 1,600 WORDS

 

We’re Good People, Really We Are!
Colonizing Mars is a great solution to problems on Earth.

 

How do you say “kill urself” to a monkey?
Monkey-selfie copyright lawsuit returns to court
A case between PETA and nature photographer David Slater and Blurb is now being discussed by a federal appeals court.

 

05.18.2017

05.18.2017

Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The Grammy-winning rocker had performed Wednesday night at the Fox Theatre in Detroit. He ended his performance with a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “In My Time of Dying.”

 

 

Boooorrrring!!! : The Uproar Over ‘Transracialism’

Nonetheless, the argument provoked outrage on social media. The article was deemed racist and transphobic, and one philosopher claimed that it not only “perpetuates harm in numerous ways” but also “enacts violence.” As in other cases of internet shaming, people who apparently had not read the offending article were eager to display their virtue by condemning it. An open letter calling for the article’s retraction gathered more than 500 signatories. And a majority of the journal’s board of associate editors posted a “profound apology” on Hypatia’s Facebook page, stating categorically that the article “should not have been published.”

As news of the controversy spread, philosophers and others pushed back against the attacks. They challenged the criticisms of Dr. Tuvel’s article, questioned the harms it was said to have caused and underscored the harms to Dr. Tuvel herself, an untenured female professor. They deplored academia’s “poisonous call-out culture” and the practices of policing and intimidation that kept many who supported Dr. Tuvel in private from defending her in public. And Hypatia’s editor issued a strong, though somewhat belated, statement defending the publication of the article.

Tesla factory employees describe grueling work conditions where people pass out ‘like a pancake’

“We’re a money losing company,” Musk added. “This is not some situation where, for example, we are just greedy capitalists who decided to skimp on safety in order to have more profits and dividends and that kind of thing. It’s just a question of how much money we lose. And how do we survive? How do we not die and have everyone lose their jobs?”

A Handmaid’s Tale

This show is fucking good. It’s the new ‘Game of Thrones.’

THE HANDMAID’S TALE — “Offred” – Episode 101 – Offred, one the few fertile women known as Handmaids in the oppressive Republic of Gilead, struggles to survive as a reproductive surrogate for a powerful Commander and his resentful wife. 

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Renewed for Season 2 at Hulu

 

How Harvard Business School Has Reshaped American Capitalism

But how and why that might be the case isn’t really what interests McDonald, the author of previous books about McKinsey, the consulting firm, and JPMorgan’s chief executive, Jamie Dimon. In “The Golden Passport,” he’s determined to call the Harvard Business School to account, citing its founding doctrine, which was to develop “a heightened sense of responsibility among businessmen” (and eventually women) who “will handle their current business problems in socially constructive ways.” In that regard, McDonald is scathing in his critique: Harvard Business School has not only “proven an enormous failure,” but its very success has made it positively “dangerous.”

He drives home the point in chapter after chapter, picking up steam in more recent decades: Harvard, he maintains, provided the ideological underpinnings for the junk-bond-induced takeover mania and resulting scandals of the 1980s; the corporate scandals of the 2000s; the egregious increase in the pay gap between chief executives and ordinary employees; the real estate mortgage bubble and ensuing financial crisis; even the election of Donald Trump. In McDonald’s view, the school has contributed to pretty much every bad thing that has happened in American business and the economy in the last century. In the wake of whatever scandal or financial collapse or recession to which it has contributed, it wipes its hands, distances itself and still has the nerve to put forth its experts as the solution to problems.

 

Macron’s Unusual Marriage Is OK—But NOT What His Type Are Doing to France (And America)
JOHN DERBYSHIRE • APRIL 29, 2017 • 1,300 WORDS

In my study, there hang portraits of my two literary heroes. One of them, Samuel Johnson, at age 25 married a woman twenty years his senior—a widow who, like Mrs. Macron, brought three children to the marriage. Johnson loved his wife dearly, to the bafflement of his friends. After she died seventeen years later, he mourned her for the rest of his own life.

My other literary hero, George Orwell, lost his wife Eileen after nine years of marriage, then remarried on his death bed to the prettiest girl in the office.

 

Putin’s New World Order
MIKE WHITNEY • APRIL 28, 2017 • 2,300 WORDS

 

Twenty Truths About Marine Le Pen
JAMES PETRAS • MAY 1, 2017 • 1,000 WORDS

Le Pen’s program will raise taxes on banks and financial transactions while fining capital flight in order to continue funding France’s retirement age of 62 for women and 65 for men, keeping the 35 hour work-week, and providing tax free overtime pay. She promises direct state intervention to prevent factories from relocating to low wage EU economies and firing French workers.

Le Pen is committed to increasing public spending for childcare and for the poor and disabled. She has pledged to protect French farmers against subsidized, cheap imports.

Marine Le Pen supports abortion rights and gay rights. She opposes the death penalty. She promises to cut taxes by 10% for low-wage workers. Marine is committed to fighting against sexism and for equal pay for women.

 

Why Defend South Korean Ingrates?
Trump spills the beans as the “adults” panic
by Justin Raimondo
May 01, 2017

“On the THAAD system, it’s about a billion dollars. I said, ‘Why are we paying? Why are we paying a billion dollars? We’re protecting. Why are we paying a billion dollars?’ So I informed South Korea it would be appropriate if they paid. Nobody’s going to do that. Why are we paying a billion dollars? It’s a billion dollar system. It’s phenomenal. It’s the most incredible equipment you’ve ever seen – shoots missiles right out of the sky. And it protects them and I want to protect them. We’re going to protect them. But they should pay for that, and they understand that.”

Ah, but they don’t understand it – and neither does H. R. McMaster, Trump’s newly-appointed National Security Advisor, who rushed to assure Seoul that the President didn’t really mean what he clearly said. And the South Koreans, who are in the midst of a presidential election – the vote is on May 5 – are in a uproar.

 

More NYT ‘Spin’ on the Syria-Sarin Case
April 28, 2017
By Robert Parry

Further, the U.S. and its allies have been conducting airstrikes across much of Syria in campaigns against Islamic State and Al Qaeda-linked terror groups, which have been supported by Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and other Sunni-led sheikdoms. Turkey has been active, too, with strikes against Kurdish forces. And Israel has hit repeatedly at Syrian targets to promote what it regards as its interests, including destruction of Iranian weapons believed headed to the Lebanese militant group, Hezbollah.

Some – if not all – of these entities had a far stronger motive to create a chemical-weapons incident in Syria on April 4 than the Syrian government did. At the end of March, the Trump administration announced that it was no longer a U.S. priority to overthrow the Assad government, an announcement that upset several of the countries involved in the Syrian conflict, including Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and Israel.

[…]

Shortly after the incident at Khan Sheikhoun, I was told by an intelligence source that U.S. satellite imagery had picked up what looked like a drone in the vicinity at around the time that the poison gas was released. Despite some technical difficulties in tracking its route, the source said the analysts believed that it may have come from a Saudi-Israeli special operations base in Jordan, used to assist the rebels.

 

David Ignatius’ 15 Years of Running Spin for Saudi Regime
BY ADAM JOHNSON

Ignatius, of course, is not alone. He joins a long line of faithful Western pundits who frame the Saudi regime as a reformist entity, earnestly pushing change in a fundamentally reactionary country under perma-threat from Shia forces. The Al Saud mafia is not in league with religious extremists, but a bulwark against them; they are not an illegitimate dictatorship, but an enlightened ruling class helping usher in “reform” in the face of a hyper-religious population.

And throughout it all, they are on a 71,500-year reform plan where they are effusively praised for moving their country toward the 19th century every five years or so. Other regimes that oppress their people and bomb civilians “must go” now, and are beyond the moral pale—mere allegations of being friendly with them, a career-ender. But the Saudi regime, a friendly host to light-touch US pundits, is just a well-meaning scrappy band of reformers this close to turning into Switzerland. All they need is a bit more time.

 

The Elementary Particles

04.25.2017

Consumption

In the last 15 years, between 2000 and 2015, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy June 2016, total global primary energy consumption rose by 40 percent from 9,371  to 13,147 Million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe).

This includes, oil, coal, natural gas, hydroelectric power, and nuclear energy.

Nuclear energy use was at about the same level it was in 2000 at 585 Mtoe and accounted for 4.4% of the total down from 6.2% in 2000.

Hydro-electric power usage has increased 48 percent to 893 Mtoe and accounted for 6.8% of the total up from 6.4% in 2000.

Natural gas consumption has risen 43 percent in the last 15 years to 3135 Mtoe steady at 23-24% of total primary energy consumption.

Coal consumption has risen an incredible 62% to 3840 Mtoe, increasing its share of the total from 25% in 2000 to 30% in 2015.

Oil consumption at about 95 million barrels per day of liquid petroleum products, which accounted for 38% of the total in 2000, has only increased 21% in the last 15 years and now accounts for 33% of the total (4331 Mtoe).

Exports

In the last decade, between 2005 and 2015, oil production from the Gulf Arab countries increased from 20 to 26 million barrels per day. These countries are Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, the U.A.E., Qatar, and Oman. These countries are all controlled by Sunnis (with the exception of Iraq) and all can be considered either under American control, American hegemony, American protection or occupied by the United States or simply part of the American Empire. This represents an increase from 25 to 28% of total global oil production in 10 years. Conventional oil production outside these countries (which has already peaked) and deplete

When the numbers are further reduced to exports from these countries as a percentage of total global exported oil and in light of the fact that most of this oil goes to either China or American surrogates – Europe, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea – it becomes quite obvious why the United States is so committed to a military presence in the Greater Middle East.

 

***

 

The Elementary Particles (2000)
by Michel Houellebecq

Prologue

This book is principally the story of a man who lived out the greater part of his life in Western Europe, in the latter half of the twentieth century. Though alone for much of his life, he was nonetheless occasionally in touch with other men. He lived through an age that was miserable and troubled. The country into which he was born was sliding slowly, ineluctably, into the ranks of the less developed countries; often haunted by misery. the men of his generation lived out their lonely, bitter lives. Feelings such as love, tenderness and human fellowship had, for the most part, disappeared. The relationships between his contemporaries were at best indifferent and more often cruel.

At the time of his disappearance, Michel Djerzinski was unanimously considered to be a first-rate biologist and a serious candidate for the Nobel Prize. His true significance, however, would not become apparent for some time.

In Djerzinski’s time, philosophy was generally considered to be of no practical significance, to have been stripped of its purpose.  Nevertheless, the values to which a majority subscribe at any given time deter-mine society’s  economic and political structures and social mores.

Metaphysical mutations—that is to say radical, global transformations in the values to which the majority subscribe—are rare in the history of humanity. The rise of Christianity might be cited as an example.

Once a metaphysical mutation has arisen, it tends to move inexorably  toward its logical conclusion. Heedlessly, it sweeps away economic and political systems, aesthetic judgments and social hierarchies. No human agency can halt its progress—nothing except another metaphysical mutation.

It is a fallacy that such metaphysical mutations gain ground only in weakened or declining societies. When Christianity appeared, the Roman Empire was at the height of its powers: supremely organized, it dominated the known world; its technical and military prowess had no rival. Nonetheless, it had no chance. When modern science appeared, medieval Christianity was a complete, comprehensive system which explained both man and the universe; it was the basis for government, the inspiration for knowledge and art, the arbiter of war as of peace and the power behind the production and distribution of wealth—none of which was sufficient to prevent its downfall.

Michel Djerzinski was not the first nor even the principal architect of the third—and in many respects the most radical —paradigm shift, which opened up a new era in world history. But, as a result of certain extraordinary circumstances in his life, he was one of its most clear-sighted and deliberate engineers.

-Michel Houllebecq
The Elementary Particles
“Prologue”

Deplorable

Saw it with my own eyes. Canada Goose. Cargo Bermuda shorts. Flip-flops. Puke-covered scarf-towel. Snapcat tee-shirt. My work here is done.

 

04.21.2017

North Korea

The Cost of Free-Riding
Why South Korea may come to regret its dependence on the U.S.
By TED GALEN CARPENTER • April 18, 2017

 

The Problem Is Washington, Not North Korea
MIKE WHITNEY • APRIL 17, 2017 • 1,800 WORDS

 

Who Really Started the Korean War?
Forget the Trumanite mythology
by Justin Raimondo, April 19, 2017

 

How to Bring Down the Elephant in the Room
THE SAKER • APRIL 16, 2017 • 6,300 WORDS

 

NYT Mocks Skepticism on Syria-Sarin Claims

 

The Battle for France
The new intellectualism of cultural anxiety
By SCOTT MCCONNELL • April 20, 2017

Bill O’Reilly Disgraces War Reporting
“The No Spin Zone” host wants war-zone glory without the sacrifices made by real battlefield correspondents.
By MICHAEL FUMENTO • March 4, 2015

Healthcare

04.04.2017

Healthcare:

Top Opthalmologist: Medical Practices of Dr. Salomon Melgen Were ‘Abusive…Unconscionable…Horrifying’

Racket of Rackets (Good Stuff)
– JHK

They’ve turned an entire generation of office workers into servants of criminal enterprise. Imagine the damage this does to the soul of our culture.

 

I have no idea who this woman is, but apparently MSN thinks this is Important News:

Candace Cameron Bure: ‘Loving Jesus doesn’t mean I hate gay people’

Watching this now. It is good. At least the first 20 minutes. His books are too long and dense and jumbled to read. I’ll try again sometime.

 

Musktopia
-JHK April 3rd

It ought to be sign of just how delusional the nation is these days that Elon Musk of Tesla and Space X is taken seriously.

The political disorder currently roiling America is there because the contradictions in our national life have become so starkly obvious, and the first thing to crack is the political consensus that allows business-as-usual to keep chugging along. The political turmoil will only accelerate the accompanying economic turmoil that drives it in a self-reinforcing feedback loop.

 

Despite Ban, Japan Slaughters 333 Whales in Annual Antarctic Hunt

 

Mexican newspaper closes citing insecurity for journalists

 

South Korean freighter missing off Uruguay
More than 20 crew are feared dead after a South Korean cargo vessel went missing in the South Atlantic after making a mayday call.

Italian Cops Arrest 34 in Race to Foil Plot to Steal Enzo Ferrari’s Corpse

 

I have a hunch that history will look at Obama as not such a good President or good guy if it remembers him at all. Basically, nothing noticeable happened for 8 years. But behind the scenes everything was kinda creepy.

Eerie Prescience of Donald Trump
ISRAEL SHAMIR • APRIL 3, 2017 • 2,100 WORDS

– This surveillance and its leak caused the Flynn affair. I have learned what Flynn actually discussed with the Russian ambassador. I haven’t seen this being reported in the US media: they darkly hissed of Flynn “discussing sanctions” with the Russian. The truth was somewhat different. Flynn called the Ambassador when Obama in a fit of fury expelled dozens of Russian diplomats in 24 hours just before the New Year’s Eve, and forbade them to use their holiday vacation premises. Obama did it in order to poison the US-Russia relations, for as you know, the NWO-beholden Democrats want at least a cold war, or preferably a nuclear one with the Russian bear. Obama tried his worst to spoil the relations to such an extent, that even Trump would find it hard to heal.

– Obama knew that the threats were coming from Israel, but he never dared to say that. Trump is nobody’s fool.

– Trump ordered giving up the regime change drive in Syria, and this is already a good thing. It would be better if he were to forget about the Middle East completely, but probably the US military would not allow that.

-Partnership with the CIA means partnership with the liberals of the WaPo and the NY Times, and it is not the flavour of the month among American industrialists.

 

Searching for Russia
THE SAKER • APRIL 1, 2017 • 3,200 WORDS

For example, Russia never underwent any “Renaissance”. I would even argue that Russia never really underwent any Middle-Ages either since, being an heir to the East Roman Empire (aka Byzantium), Russian roots are in Antiquity. While one could, arguably, describe the phases of western civilization as Middle-Ages -> Renaissance -> Modernity -> Contemporary era, in the case of Russia the sequence would be a much shorter Antiquity -> Modernity -> Contemporary era.

[Sidebar: you will notice that I did place the roots of the modern western civilization in the Middle-Ages, not in antiquity. The reason for this is the fact that when the Franks finally conquered the western Roman Empire they destroyed it to such a degree that the era following the collapse of the western Roman Empire is called the “Dark Ages” (Russia, by the way, never went through this millennium of darkness and, hence, she never had any need for any “renaissance” or “re-birth”). Contrary to the official historical narrative, the current western civilization has never had any roots in the Roman Empire, and even less so, Greek antiquity. The true founders of the “western world” were, in so many ways, the Franks]

“What if we just smoke the fucker?”

03.13.2017

Behind the Quiet State-by-State Fight Over Electric Vehicles

“What if we just smoke the fucker?”

And ever since that fact was starkly revealed by former NSA chief James Clapper on NBC’s Meet the Press, the Russia hallucination has vanished from page one of the party’s media outlets — though, in an interesting last gasp of striving correctitude, Monday’s New York Times features a front page story detailing Georgetown University’s hateful traffic in the slave trade two centuries ago.

 

Wow. Just, wow:

No Campus (Or Country) for White Men
EDMUND CONNELLY • MARCH 10, 2017 • 2,700 WORDS

Honestly, it is child’s play to show how Jews have essentially taken over higher education in America, transforming it into something akin to a “Jewish extended phenotype,” with Jews themselves doing much of the heavy lifting, but getting plenty of help from their recruited lackeys such as blacks and other non-whites, women, and disparate aggrieved groups that are now popping up like toadstools after a summer’s rain.

 

Reza Aslan, Cannibal For CNN

Aslan, 44, plugged his experience with the Aghori, a small Hindu sect known for its extreme rituals, on Facebook on Sunday night before the show aired.

“Want to know what a dead guy’s brain tastes like? Charcoal,” Aslan wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday. “It was burnt to a crisp! #Believer.”

In Search of the Super Race
The Six-Percent Solution
FRED REED • MARCH 9, 2017 • 1,700 WORDS

Charles Murray’s Ideology
ANATOLY KARLIN • MARCH 4, 2017 • 900 WORDS

Dangerous

rave_couple02.24.2017

Sex

Postscript: This item from The Stanford [University] Daily newspaper puts a nice gloss on the stupefying idiocy in the campus sex-and-identity debate. Single-occupancy Restrooms Convert to All-gender Facilities: “Single-occupancy restrooms on campus will soon all be converted to gender-neutral facilities due to new California legislature and ongoing administrative efforts. The Diversity and Access Office (D&A Office) has been spearheading the campaign to convert all single-occupancy restrooms….”

Here’s what I don’t get: if a single-occupancy restroom is going to be used by one person at a time, what need is there to officially designate the sex of any person using it? And why are officials at an elite university wasting their time on this?

France’s Le Pen cancels meet with Lebanon grand mufti over headscarf
Feb 21, 2017

After meeting Christian President Michel Aoun – her first public handshake with a head of state – and Sunni Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri on Monday, she had been scheduled to meet the Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Latif Derian

He heads the Dar al-Fatwa, the top religious authority for Sunni Muslims in the multireligious country.

“I met the grand mufti of Al-Azhar,” she told reporters, referring to a visit in 2015 to Cairo’s 1,000-year-old center of Islamic learning. “The highest Sunni authority didn’t have this requirement, but it doesn’t matter.

“You can pass on my respects to the grand mufti, but I will not cover myself up,” she said.

The chemical used to kill Kim Jong Un’s half-brother is classified as a weapon of mass destruction

VX is said to be relatively easy to produce in a reasonably sophisticated laboratory.

“Any country with a sophisticated chemical weapons effort can produce VX,” said CNN’s military analyst Rick Francona. “The formula has been around since the 1950s so its nothing new it just has to be made, the political will and determination that we are going to build this weapon.”

Why We Must Oppose the Kremlin-Baiting Against Trump
The Russia-connected allegations have created an atmosphere of hysteria amounting to McCarthyism.
By Stephen F. Cohen

The bipartisan, nearly full-political-spectrum tsunami of factually unverified allegations that President Trump has been sedi-
tiously “compromised” by the Kremlin, with scarcely any nonpartisan pushback from influential political or media sources, is deeply alarming. Begun by the Clinton campaign in mid-2016, and exemplified now by New York Times columnists (who write of a “Trump-Putin regime” in Washington), strident MSNBC hosts, and unbalanced CNN commentators, the practice is growing into a latter-day McCarthyite hysteria. Such politically malignant practices should be deplored wherever they appear, whether on the part of conservatives, liberals, or progressives.

 

Lawsuits could mean that the Silicon Valley self-driving-tech bubble is about to pop

The Chickens Have Come Home to Roost
by Andrew P. Napolitano, February 23, 2017

In the pre-Revolutionary era, British courts in London secretly issued general warrants to British government agents in America. The warrants were not based on any probable cause of crime or individual articulable suspicion; they did not name the person or thing to be seized or identify the place to be searched. They authorized agents to search where they wished and seize what they found.

The use of general warrants was so offensive to our Colonial ancestors that it whipped up more serious opposition to British rule and support for the revolutionaries than the “no taxation without representation” argument did.

Iraqi Forces Begin Bitter Battle for Mosul in Effort to Destroy Isisshutterstock_538451716-600x400
PATRICK COCKBURN • FEBRUARY 19, 2017

Isis depended on mobile squads of snipers, booby traps and over 600 suicide bombers driving vehicles packed with explosives to slow the advance of the counter terrorism service and other elite formation, some of which suffered 50 per cent casualties during a snail’s pace advance. By the end of 2016, the Iraqi Kurdish health ministry was complaining that its hospitals were full to overflowing with 13,500 wounded soldiers and civilians from the fighting in Mosul.

[…]

While Mr Abadi called on the Iraqi forces to be careful of the human rights of civilians in Mosul, videos are emerging of young men being beaten and summarily executed in places already taken by Iraqi troops. Despite frequent claims that it is liberating Mosul, the Shia-dominated Iraqi government is effectively assaulting the last great Sunni Arab city in Iraq. Away from the television cameras Iraqi soldiers often suspect civilians in Mosul of having been much more cooperative with Isis since 2014 than they now claim.

Glad to read our military budget is being used to fall behind, rather than protect us:
How the Pentagon is Preparing for a Tank War With Russia

The T-90’s active protective system is the Shtora-1 countermeasures suite. “I’ve interviewed Ukrainian tank gunners,” said Karber. “They’ll say ‘I had my [anti-tank weapon] right on it, it got right up to it and then they had this miraculous shield. An invisible shield. Suddenly, my anti-tank missile just went up to the sky.’”

$254 Billion in Unconditional US Aid to Israel Is Unique
New drive to compare it with equally suspect military alliance expenditures fails
by Grant Smith, February 23, 2017

Awkward

I Can Force Them To Obey Me

trump_sign

Trump Embraces Pillars of Obama’s Foreign Policy
DAVID E. SANGER FEB. 2, 2017

Lake Zurich High hazing included forced sex acts

Broadly speaking, though, the lawsuit alleges some players have urinated on other members of the team, slapped them in the face with their genitals and forced teammates to perform oral sex on each other. Debasing acts have been part of a tradition known as “(Expletive) of the Week,” in which the names of targets were written on a prominently mounted locker room whiteboard, the lawsuit claims.

“(Social) pressure and bullying at such events is so severe that even unwilling participants are forced to take part in acts that are assaultive, illegal and often sexual in nature,” according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims that other acts, stretching back to 1997, have included players being stripped naked, punched in the genitals or sodomized with broomsticks. Other teams had their own traditions within the same time period, the lawsuit alleges, from cross-country runners being duct-taped naked to a post to wrestlers punching and kicking their teammates in what was known as a “birthday beatdown.”

Amateur tattooist ‘inks name on girlfriend’s EYEBROWS and claims he’s done it to 38 other women’
Ryan ‘Wibbo’ Wibberley, 23, claims he’s “branded” girlfriend Kourtney Leigh “like Heinz Beans” to put other men off asking her out

God Exists, the Rest Is Speculation
KEVIN BARRETT • FEBRUARY 3, 2017

The Qur’an, too, teaches that “it’s all good.” Dissolving key mistakes that plague the Old and New Testaments — priesthoods, “chosen people,” original sin, the trinity, the patriarchal and anthropomorphic misconceptions of God — the Qur’an, like Jesus, tells us that God made us and the world perfect. Our sins, terrible as they may be, are the result of forgetting, negligence, heedlessness. God is Reality is Truth is Beauty: As Keats said, “that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.” And the proper human posture is awed, ecstatic submission (islam) to that Reality.

Our culture is not one of awed, humble submission, or of reveling in loving communal abundance. It is rather one of chronic dissatisfaction, of whining and complaining, of arrogance and ambition, of material obsession and power-seeking and spiritual blindness. It is terminally afflicted by the diseases of the ego, and whether we die of nuclear holocaust, biowar pandemic, global warming, or — worst and most likely of all — extermination at the robotic hands of the soulless Darwinian “intelligent” machines we are creating — it is likely that civilization as we know it, and most of its inhabitants, will perish in the not-too-distant future. If we do, it will not be God’s fault. It will be our fault, for not listening to God and heeding His/Her/Its word.