Pondering Putin

I have no idea of the veracity of the following. It is almost as long a read as War and Peace. If legitimate, a fascinating look at Russia’s’ world view.

Continue reading Pondering Putin

Ian Welsh: “The Philosophy of Decline and Collapse”

From Ian’s October 27 blog entry:
…For years I lived in a state of rage. Not even anger, but rage. Rage at those like Bush and Blair who were mass murders. Rage at those who did not stop him who could have. Rage at those who believed all the lies: whether about economics or war or crime.

I see many who come to my blog, a place where scenarios are explored which are both bleak, and often, very likely, giving into despair or rage themselves. The world is big, the powers that are leading it to ruin are overwhelming, and we look out on a future which seems to get worse and worse the further ahead of us it is. Even countries now on the rise, like China, will suffer massively in the decades to come.

It is perfectly natural to be angry. It is even useful to be angry. Anger or rage are adrenaline shots to the system. They push you to do what must be done; to tell the truth; to push ahead, to tackle the big enemies. But they are toxic in the long run. Like adrenaline they are useful for shots of energy, but if you are angry all the time at anything, it will hurt your body and eventually your mind. You will burn out, and if you aren’t lucky you may burn out permanently or you may die.

more at the link

John McCain’s Big Lie

By William Boardman – Reader Supported News

Sen. McCain Calls Admiral an “Idiot” – Why Do Media Promote That?
Context doesn’t matter with clever kitty videos, but politics is different

BuzzFeed, moving up from cute-cat-tricks to catty-Senator-tricks, caused a few ripples in the political swamp on October 22 with its belated, skewed reporting of Republican Senator John McCain calling U.S. Admiral John Kirby an “idiot” on a rightwing radio show in North Carolina on October 15. OK, nobody really expects BuzzFeed News to publish honest news.

Less defensible, though hardly surprising, is the way the Washington Post and other less well known media outfits picked up the “idiot” story fragment and ran with it as if it was the whole story, without further context, much less identifying Sen. McCain’s own idiotic statements and falsehoods in the very same radio interview.
Continue reading John McCain’s Big Lie

The Real Ebola Epidemic

Let’s look at some facts.

Continue reading The Real Ebola Epidemic

Jeb Bush ‘moving forward’ on 2016 presidential run, says son

AP, October 26

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush is “moving forward” on a potential 2016 White House run and it appears more likely he will enter the Republican field, according to his son, who is himself running for office in Texas.

George P Bush, who is running for Texas land commissioner, told ABC on Sunday his father was “still assessing” a presidential bid, but suggested it was more likely that he would seek the White House this time. The ex-governor declined to run for president in 2012, despite encouragement from Republicans.

“I think it’s more than likely that he’s giving this a serious thought and moving …and moving forward,” said the younger Bush.

Saturday Jukebox – Rock and Roll…

Scott Simon interviewed Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo this morning, which suggests a theme…

Rock and Roll!

Let’s start with a little Patty Benatar:


Continue reading Saturday Jukebox – Rock and Roll…

‘Bomb trains': A crude awakening for Richmond, Calif.

Local activists try to halt the shipment of explosive Bakken crude oil through their neighborhoods.

Al Jazeera, By Audrea Lim, October 24

Richmond, CA — The streets are quiet in Lipo Chanthanasak’s neighborhood on the outer edge of this city’s downtown core. Each of the small houses is painted a variation of beige and separated from the road by a neatly kept lawn, as if to highlight the scene’s utter normalcy. But half a mile west are the BNSF Railway tracks and the Kinder Morgan rail facility, which quietly began receiving trains of Bakken crude last year.
Continue reading ‘Bomb trains': A crude awakening for Richmond, Calif.

Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems

Newsweek, By Julian Assange, November 23

Eric Schmidt is an influential figure, even among the parade of powerful characters with whom I have had to cross paths since I founded WikiLeaks. In mid-May 2011 I was under house arrest in rural Norfolk, England, about three hours’ drive northeast of London. The crackdown against our work was in full swing and every wasted moment seemed like an eternity. It was hard to get my attention.

But when my colleague Joseph Farrell told me the executive chairman of Google wanted to make an appointment with me, I was listening.
Continue reading Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems

Cops Freak Out Over Free Speech in Vermont

By William Boardman – Reader Supported News

Mumia Abu-Jamal

Mumia Abu-Jamal


Police Go Nuts Over Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Remote Speech in Vermont
How a non-event becomes an “event” that ends in anti-climax

When Mumia Abu-Jamal was the pre-recorded speaker at a Goddard College commencement in Plainfield, Vermont, in 2008, almost no one outside the Goddard community paid any attention. This year, when Goddard announced that students had chosen Mumia to do a return engagement at their graduation, Philadelphia police, politicians, media, and Fox News went crazy with angry rhetoric aimed at curbing free speech.

In the end, this breakdown in civil society resulted in nothing worse than hundreds of police-instigated threats of violence to the Goddard community. For the sake of security, Goddard moved the graduation up three hours, with no public announcement, and the full-house ceremony for 24 students went forward with private security and without incident. Continue reading Cops Freak Out Over Free Speech in Vermont

Water crisis worsens as Sao Paulo nears ‘collapse’

Bloomberg News, By Vanessa Dezem, October 22

Sao Paulo, Brazil — Sao Paulo residents, half of whom are already complaining of hours-long water shortages, were warned by a top water regulator Tuesday to brace for more severe cutoffs.

“If the drought continues, residents will face more dramatic water shortages in the short term,” Vicente Andreu, president of Brazil’s National Water Agency, known as ANA, told reporters in Sao Paulo as he prepared to speak to the state legislature. “If it doesn’t rain, we run the risk that the region will have a collapse like we’ve never seen before,” he later told lawmakers.

The worst drought in eight decades is threatening drinking supplies in South America’s biggest metropolis, with 60 percent of residents saying their water supplies were restricted at least once in the past 30 days, according to a Datafolha poll published Monday. Three-quarters of those respondents said the cut lasted at least six hours.
Continue reading Water crisis worsens as Sao Paulo nears ‘collapse’

Dmitri Orlov: How to start a war and lose an empire

I somewhat infrequently read Dmitri Orlov. He’s Russian born, but moved to the US as a child, was educated here and wrote a book called Reinventing Collapse which I found illuminating. He recently penned a piece about our indelicate handling of the rest of the world, taken from his Russian perspective. I don’t necessarily share all of Dmitri’s beliefs, but I do think it important to understand how the world looks from the vantage points of others. How to start a war and lose an empire.

Matt Savinar radio interview

I was the subject of a radio interview a week or so ago, just before the release of the movie, Kill the Messenger, about the late Gary Webb. Listen to the interview here.

Watch this movie.

A Peek Inside the Conservative Mind

WARNING: Below, you will be exposed to toxic thinking and noxious conclusions from right-wing partisans. A Level Four HazMat suit is recommended. The CDC will NOT be available for protection. You have been warned. Proceed with caution. Should you experience nausea, vomiting, tearing eyes, a rise in blood pressure SHUT DOWN YOUR BROWSER IMMEDIATELY and seek expert medical attention from Doctors Jack Daniels or Jim Beam.

The Ebola crisis is, in point of fact, a manufactured crisis. Media outlets, tired of covering insipid and meaningless political horse races found a sexy and dangerous news item and not only ran with it, but decided to tie it into the politics of the day.

The prevailing wisdom, of course, is this crisis reflects badly on the CDC. I suppose when you push a false narrative, it has to. After all, the CDC is supposed to be on top of “crises” like these, and handle them with aplomb.

Continue reading A Peek Inside the Conservative Mind

Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

The Voice of America, By Scott Bobb, October 19

Suruc, Turkey -The offensive by Islamic State militants against the northern Syrian city of Kobani has caused hundreds of thousands of residents to flee to Turkey. They receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed.

Morning in Suruc, southeastern Turkey. Rojava camp – one of several in this town of 20,000 – is a new neighborhood of refugees who arrived following the seizure of parts of Kobani by the Islamic State, or IS.

Some 400,000 people from Kobani and its surrounding villages, mostly Kurds, fled after IS militants executed hundreds of local residents saying they were infidels, according to Shaheen, a farmer who will give only his first name out of fear of reprisals against relatives still inside.

“They bombed and destroyed everything. They executed my cousin then they shared the photo of his head on Facebook. His name was Zuhir,” he said.

Senate’s inquiry into CIA torture sidesteps blaming Bush, aides

McClatchy, By Jonathan S. Landay, Ali Watkins and Marisa Taylor, October 16

A soon-to-be released Senate report on the CIA doesn’t assess the responsibility of former President George W. Bush or his top aides for any of the abuses of the agency’s detention and interrogation program, avoiding a full public accounting of one of the darkest chapters of the war on terror.

“This report is not about the White House. It’s not about the president. It’s not about criminal liability. It’s about the CIA’s actions or inactions,” said a person familiar with the document, who asked not to be further identified because the executive summary – the only part to that will be made public – still is in the final stages of declassification.

The Senate Intelligence Committee report also didn’t examine the responsibility of top Bush administration lawyers in crafting the legal framework that permitted the CIA to use simulated drowning called waterboarding and other interrogation methods widely described as torture, McClatchy has learned.

“It does not look at the Bush administration’s lawyers to see if they were trying to literally do an end run around justice and the law,” the person said.

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