South of the Church of the Resurrection

Has Seymour Hersh Debunked ‘Russia-gate’? (super juicy)
Hersh says Seth Rich contacted WikiLeaks
by Justin Raimondo
August 04, 2017

Well, something did happen to him, but we’ll pass over that and note that Hersh mentions “the NSA report.” So the FBI, in investigating this case, turned to the National Security Agency, which has access to everyone’s online communications, and came up with evidence confirming that Rich was in contact with WikiLeaks, that he had a secure Dropbox, and that he was concerned that he might be in danger. Hersh says “the word was passed” – but to whom? There are more mysteries here than we can uncover with just these bits of information.

[…]

Apparently our brainless media, not to mention our not-very-intelligent “intelligence community,” have never heard of Occam’s Razor.

Hersh, who has been around the block several times, and is intimately familiar with how the intelligence community operates – as well as being personally familiar with the individuals involved – is onto the game that’s being play here. In his words:

“I have a narrative of how that whole fucking thing began, it’s a Brennan operation, it was an American disinformation and fucking the fucking President, at one point when they, they even started telling the press, they were back briefing the press, the head of the NSA was going and telling the press, fucking cock-sucker Rogers, was telling the press that we even know who in the GRU, the Russian Military Intelligence Service, who leaked it. I mean [it’s] all bullshit…. Trump’s not wrong to think they all fucking lie about him.”

 

How the CIA Came to Doubt the Official Story of JFK’s Murder

 

Overweight Asian-Americans Are Seen as More ‘American,’ Study Finds

 

 

A mysterious driverless minivan was spotted driving around the DC area

 

“Such was the sheer number of pilgrims who travelled from across the world to the Holy City that at times it appeared in danger of bursting at the seams. In 516, when a great army of ascetics descended upon Jerusalem a particularly rowdy demonstration of support for Chalcedon, ten thousand of them barged into a single church. A few years later, Justinian, looking to raise a monument proportionate to his self-regard was obliged to extend the ridge on which his new church was being built, so that its foundations ended up “partly on solid rock and partly on air.” Space was running out. Jerusalem, which even in the off-season had some eighty thousand inhabitants, was full to overflowing.

Yet, one part of the city — the most prominent of all — remained undeveloped. South of the Church of the Resurrection, beyond the multitude of golden crosses rising triumphantly above the crowded streets, there loomed a great, flat expanse of rubble-strewn and garbage-piled rock. Evidence, perhaps, that the site was of no great significance?”

-Tom Holland
In the Shadow of the Sword: The Birth of Islam and the Rise of the Global Arab Empire

 

 

Humans

Reading Philip K. Dick’s Blade Runner on the train this morning. I want to get pastries in Chinatown so I ride all the way to South Station. During the 5 minutes at about 5 miles an hour between Back Bay Station and South Station I’m considering androids obviously and my mind drifts to robot cars and what I frequently think of on this stretch of track. I think about how in 2017 ( I’ve been having these thoughts since about 2011) with all this technology – still – when one is waiting for the Commuter Rail line train at Back Bay Station at night, after say 10pm or 9pm on weekends, and there is no human in either the Commuter Rail office or the Amtrak window – when the train is late leaving South Station (the source and only 5 minutes and half a mile away) – one literally has no idea and no way of finding out if the train even exists.

This problem comes up the buses and subway, particularly the Green-line, but is more complicated and there are actually reliable apps now that give the excact locations of buses and trolleys. For years the MBTA refused to put GPS transponders on Green-line trains. One time an inspector at the front of a car thought I was a tourist and made some hokey comment like I was a 12-year-old from Idaho and I was like,”actually, I have a question…” When he gave me some canned response I let him have my theory with both barrels in like 30 seconds. No response. I must have been spot on. I don’t go to those community forum things that the MBTA has. I’ll wait and ambush you.

German Village, Dugway Proving Ground

The Commuter Rail line, MBCR (Metropolitan Boston Commuter Rail), is now run by a company called Keolis. It is generally very reliable and I am not going to go into my love for public transportation in Boston here, but the fact is that The Commuter Rail has been dealing with financial and public relations issues for some time and in the last couple years it seems like several times a week if not every weekday Keolis has between 5 and 10 staff standing in everybody’s way at Back Bay Station as we try to hustle to work between 6 and 9am. Try to find an MBTA employee at Copley or Park Street when your pass doesn’t work. The kids know this. Even the foreigners. I’ve seen 10 German college kids piggy-back fare-jump at Copley Saturday at noon in the summer. You could probably get away with murder in an MBTA station. Ostensibly these customer service types are there to answer questions and take comments and feedback on MBCR performance. But at this time and place the commuters have all arrived at their destination and know what they are doing – they don’t need help or information and talking to a customer service know-nothing is the last thing they want to do or have time for.

Yet I have stood on the platform at Back Bay Station at 12:05 am, on Sunday night/Monday morning in February, when the privately run server that tracks the train GPS transponders goes offline like it does every night at midnight, waiting for my 11:25pm train, freezing, not knowing if I was ever going to get home, and not even knowing if the train existed at South Station. No customer service people, no number to call. If I was at South Station I would hunt down the Track Master or whatever-the-hell they are called, but they don’t work for Keolis, so frequently they have no idea what is up. And also, we are not at South Station. I have observed this issue for years along with dozens of other passengers. It is mind-boggling that it still exists in 2017. When you mention these issues to the customer service people they literally have no idea what you are talking about. Because they don’t care and have no incentive to care.

This doesn’t just seem like an easy problem to fix – it is a simple problem to fix. But it won’t be fixed. Because it would involve having a person who was in possession of a brain in a management position. Wouldn’t it be smarter to have one person on duty who knew where all the trains were, in radio contact with the engineers, and the ability to communicate that information to the public – broadcast that information – when people need it – rather than employ an army of customer service rookies to not field complaints because we are trying to get to work?

I’d like to see Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jeff Bezos work on improving and expanding public transportation instead of pushing social media and drone-delivery in the future on Mars.

Have not heard much hype in the news cycle about robot cars recently. At least, I haven’t noticed. More and more I think the “push” for driverless cars is not coming from any particular need for them, to save us from gasoline or ourselves or something (although this is what certain entities want us to believe, I believe). I think it comes from a subtly desperate search for an avenue of economic growth for the corporations. This is an empire in decline. Smart-phones were the last big thing. So they are still the big-thing, I guess is what I’m trying to say. Smart-phones happened in 2007. 10 years. Nothing new since then. Capitalism, the Empire, needs a new toy. Something shiny to distract the slaves from their predicament.

There does not appear to be a product ready. Sure, we hear all the time about the presence of fully autonomous vehicles on the road and the thousands of miles and hours they have logged without being involved in any accidents, etc. And how the only accidents they are involved in are somehow always attributable to human error. But what has always puzzled me is why the corporations have not built a large-scale mock-up of a town/city road system complete with high-speed, highway-like stretches and every conceivable traffic and road-layout scenario incorporated into it. Somewhere out in the Nevada desert. This could be populated with hundreds of fully autonomous vehicles, maybe a couple thousand, and then everybody could observe where the bugs are and if millions of these things on the roads is a good idea right now.

I’m thinking something like the Japanese and German villages Curtis LeMay built at Dugway Proving Grounds. But way bigger. Let the car companies pay for it. Investors would be dying to get involved. Trump could sell this idea. You could make it a reality show. A competition. Anything you want. The Future.

My hunch is that a big reason this hasn’t happened yet is because the corporations know this would shine a light on the reality that the technology is not there yet. The whole Wizard of Oz thing.

***

What If Hitler Had Invaded Britain?

 

DUNKIRK: “People Should be Hung from Lampposts, They Should be Burned Alive, for What They’ve Done to Britain”

 

 

Distractions

05.09.2017

Lemme know if you can find the girls in bikinis in this video. What a rip-off.

The Dark Secret at the Heart of AI
No one really knows how the most advanced algorithms do what they do. That could be a problem.
by Will Knight
April 11, 2017

I’d like to see Thomas Friedman and Paul Wolfowitz have a Republican marriage.

Why Paul Wolfowitz Is Optimistic About Trump
In an interview for the Global Politico, the controversial Republican hawk says the president has an ‘opportunity’ in the Middle East.

Like many other hawkish Republicans—“do me a favor,” he says, and don’t call him a “neocon,” which he believes is a charged word wielded by critics—Wolfowitz adamantly opposed candidate Trump in 2016, put off by his “America First” rhetoric, his rejection of the Iraq war as a disastrous mistake and his praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin and other autocratic leaders.

Indeed, Wolfowitz tells me that he did not vote for Trump because he feared he would be “Obama on steroids” given Trump’s campaign-trail reluctance to project American power and leadership in the Middle East and elsewhere—and that he decided not to vote for Hillary Clinton either because he was not sure she would pursue tougher policies and thought she had joined Obama in misjudging Putin with their failed Russia “reset” policy.

How U.S. Backing of ‘Moderate’ Rebels Is Bolstering Jihadists
A dispatch from Idlib in opposition-held Syria.
By Lindsey Snell / AlterNet May 2, 2017

I held my breath each time I heard a plane, but the family’s matriarch offered reassurance. “If you can hear that plane sound, it means they are far away.”

The Syrian and Russian militaries have bombed civilian infrastructure in opposition-held Syria, hitting hospitals, schools and markets. My host squinted and listened before declaring the plane was roughly two kilometers from us, demonstrating an uncanny ability honed during years of life under bombardment. The fading sound of the jets filled me with relief.

The chemical attack this month in the rebel-controlled town of Khan Shaykoun was followed by international outrage and a frenzy of Western media coverage calling for the American government to ramp up arms shipments and military training to the Syrian rebels. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman called for the U.S. to “dramatically increase our aid to anti-Assad rebels,” describing them as “moderate.” At the same time, he urged the U.S. to weaponize ISIS, rather than combat it, in order to “bleed” the Syrian, Russian and Iranian governments.

Prosecutors Taking Tougher Stance in Fraternity Hazing Deaths

The parents of two former Penn State students, Adam and Denise Lipson, say that they warned administrators in 2014 and 2015 of fraternity hazing that included coercing first-year students to drink to excess, but that their concerns were ignored. Dismayed by that atmosphere, their sons transferred to other universities, where they found less emphasis on alcohol and less pressure to drink.

“Our sons are not prudes, they’re not anti-frat, they’re not anti-alcohol, but they couldn’t believe how far it went,” Ms. Lipson said. “There was this underlying acceptance of it.”

Dr. Barron said concerns about drinking had been taken seriously for some time.

The Marine Corps, 1966
Not Too Many Snowflakes
FRED REED • MAY 4, 2017 • 5,700 WORDS