February 14th, 2012

War

Total War: The Essence of the Police State‏

The one thing that all police states have in common is an existential enemy that must be defeated at all costs. The entire society beneath the yoke of state becomes conscripted into the war against the "focus of evil." Any part of society that is insubordinate automatically sides with the enemy, whether that position is real or imaginary. This gives rise to the need for internal instruments of enforcement to root out insubordinate elements. Even the local library participates in police work to do their duty in ferreting out suspicious elements in opposition to state authority.

Democracies are especially prone to the totalitarian impulse because people can easily be manipulated into perceiving an ominous threat where little or none exists. The state and its owners appeal to the false sense of pride and the imagined rights of the populace in order to enlist popular political support in the totalitarian venture. The evils of the enemy become exaggerated by sensationalist reporting and a fear on the part of the media of appearing to be soft on the threat. Real rights cam be eliminated in the name of promoting rights that only few can actually exercise. The rights of high stakes investors must be protected at the expense of those with meager means because of the national importance of large holdings.

The greatest achievement of the totalitarian spirit is the establishment and promotion of totalitarianism in the name of freedom. Anyone who opposes the despotic state is opposed to freedom itself. Pacifists are seen as vicious antagonists who must be purged from the social fabric for their anti-freedom views. Children must be conditioned to see pacifism as a part of the existential threat to freedom. Anyone who opposes total war against the enemy of freedom is an enemy of freedom. Education is crafted to regiment the populace into the machinery of war for the sake of war with a thin facade of "freedom" to disguise naked aggression. Civic participation is limited to a yearly visit to the polls in order to select a candidate from a pre-approved list of vetted flunkies who differ only in their opinion on which end of the egg one must open.

The irony of the whole thing is how little it takes to jerk the knee of this monstrous apparatus. The existential threat becomes more ominous as the resources at its disposal becomes smaller. The real enemy in total war is not the one on the other side of the frontier, but the one who amplifies the threat from beyond. In America, anti-Communism was far more anti-American than it was anti-Russian. Woodrow Wilson was a bigger despot to America than was the Kaiser. Surveillance workers in America suffer from the stress of knowing that they are under surveillance.

Isn't freedom wonderful?
FWP

Government Studies: Made to Order

Oh, most of you who live in 'modern' society has seen them. Those high tech digital billboards. The ultimate in Big Screen monitors. New ad every 6-8 seconds. Sometimes you can't help but linger; to anticipate the page turn, to see what the next ad might be.

There ought to be a Study. Well, there was, but then, there wasn't.

.....turns out that officials may be afraid to make an embarrassing admission. According to records obtained by FairWarning under the Freedom of Information Act, expert reviewers have told the FHWA that the study appears to have been botched. The key findings vary so wildly from previous research that, as one reviewer put it, they “are not plausible.”


How "not plausible"?  According to the science, a .5-2 second glance is clearly tied to increased risk of crash resulting from diversion.
Or is it?
At this point, it appears that there is no effective technique or method appropriate for evaluating  the safety effects of EBBs on driver attention or distraction.  Crash studies can show that EBBs may increase the crash rate, but research regarding driver familiarity can argue that commuter drivers may not even look at an EBB.  


However, we can all agree that the reported .1 seconds is unrealistic. If I were in the industry, a study confirming the impossibility of getting an effective advertising message with a .1 second glance, while hurling down a boulevard is not 'effective' marketing, would be not good data.

So it is either evidence of industry tampering with government studies that may or may not result in millions of dollars of profits for a niche 'constituent', or confirmation the product is flawed. Classic Catch 22.

I find this amusing and appalling. The five Congressmen who popped up like the Mole Orchestra to attack the expert should all be tied to a billboard and mocked as pathetic puppets.

Does this confirm in your mind, that 'official government studies' can, and are biased and sold to the highest bidder? Does this now make you skeptical of any 'studies suggest...' propaganda from Industry or Government Authority?

The Captain's Prop

A Corrective on The Nature of Money

I just got through reading a very insightful reply from montecristo, one free of bombast and flourish, but focusing rather on the meat of his philosophy, a kind of exegesis. I thank him for his candor.

I cannot, though, overlook his errors. Now, before everyone rushes to the mods and reports this as a trolling post, bear in mind that he makes some very common mistakes on a subject that very few command well at all, myself especially. These mistakes are, in my opinion, directly responsible for a majority of the economic problems we are facing as a planet. Therefore, be your philosophical bent to the center, to the left, to the right; be it up to the totalitarian or down toward the anarchists; be it with Xenu or Gaia or whomever; all of us can benefit from a basic primer Collapse )

"All the perplexities, confusions and distresses in America arise not from defects in the Constitution or Confederation, not from want of honor or virtue, as much as from downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit and circulation."

(John Adams, in a letter to Thomas Jefferson.)
3D

The beauty and the butcher

Everyone is talking about Bashar al-Assad, the butcher of Syria. But as the wisdom goes, behind every politician there is often a very powerful and influential woman. So what about Asma al-Assad, the first lady of Syria? Is she just like the unscrupulous cold-blooded appendix to a bloody tyrant? Or is she the liberal first lady who is helplessly watching from aside what is happening in her country? Is she more like the controversial Safia Farkash-Gaddafi, or more like the awesome Queen Rania of Jordan? So far Asma remains a mystery to most people.


The British are particularly curious about Asma al-Assad and what she might be thinking about the current situation in her country. Because actually the wife of the Syrian dictator comes from England. She was born in London 36 years ago. Her parents, Syrian Sunnis, had left their country in the 50s. Her father pursued a cardiologist career in London and her mother worked in diplomacy. The family had been part of the upper class in Syrian society. Asma's childhood was typical for the upper middle class in England, affluent and quiet. The vacations were the only time she would visit Syria and that is where she met Bashar al-Assad while she was a teenager.

Collapse )
Dog

Oh no she din'n!!1

Pelosi takes on Colbert

"The Alice in Wonderland state of American politics has just reached a new level.

Nancy Pelosi, the stately, serious former House speaker released a video satire Thursday going after comedian Stephen Colbert for his super PAC.....

At the end of the video, Pelosi gets to her serious point. She is promoting the so-called DISCLOSE Act, which House Democrats are reintroducing Thursday. The DISCLOSE act would among other things require more transparency by super PACs in terms of who their donors are.
"

HAHA! Great idea, Nancy "We Have To Pass This Bill So We Can See What's In It" Pelosi! But I'd still give that vid B for concept and C for execution. Surely the almighty Democratic juggernaut (who controls the liberal media, har har) could afford something way better than that, amirite? Nice try, though. I'll give you that.

Collapse )
Коста Баничаров

You cannot uproot that which cannot be uprooted!

Cheers to love, comrades! I get it, it's St. Valentine, blablah! But did you know it's also St. Trifon here in BG? "Trifon Zarezan", the patron of wine. Probably the successor of Bacchus, the most revered god around these lands in Thracian antiquity (fuck that grumpy old man Zeus!)


For centuries, nay, millennia, Trifon the Pruner (as Zarezan literally translates) used to go around vineyards on this very day and start clipping the young vines so they could grow lush and rich. Wine is big in this country. Also rakia, but today is all about wine. Red wine, particularly.

[You know the deal already: for atmosphere, first click on the video to play] --

Collapse )