Hanna Arendt — The banality of evil is the fact that it is done by nobodies, people who disclaim responsibility, their excuse for not resisting evil, “I was just following orders!”. Every government, institution, business is filled with them :
Falling trust in institutions, world wide. Without trust, it is not possible for a society based on very complex systems to function :
Abbie Martin interviews Stephen Cohen on US-Russian relations, the demonization of Putin :
Robert Parry with suggestions for Tillerson on honesty in US foreign policy :
The lying about the Ukraine needs to stop :
One thing the gov could do would be to accurately report the amount of mayhem our armed services have inflicted. This says the Army’s data on airstrikes doesn’t include Apache helicopters or drones or …. Even so, 26K bombs last year was Obama’s record, I believe. That isn’t a measure of military superiority, that is a measure of how much effort we had to expend to make people believe in our military superiority :
And stop lying about Iran :
Wayne Madsen is excellent on the New World Disorder of Trump’s foreign policy :
Jordan Petersen : Modernism vs Post-Modernism. Excellent lecture :
And another :
And a reminder that things are going very well in many important ways, as Peterson says :
Policies are the major problem in the world, every policy is a centralization of power. For example, because of policy, American burns 40% of its corn crop as gasahol. The mandate for gashol is a subsidy for corn. That extremely stupid policy killed a few million kids around the world before the prices adjusted due to more countries producing corn for the international market, initially at higher prices. 180 million new acres went into ag production around the world in the last decade.
Here in the US, as result of all of the subsidies, farmers adjusted their inputs of fertilizer and seeds and equipment to optimize returns from every bit of farmland. As a result of that and the increasing price of farm land, American farmers no longer can compete on the world market and are having hard times :
Who could have guessed that there would be side-effects of a policy? Another : 5 years of falling commodity prices, and our grocery prices continue to increase, every year. And Mexican monarch butterfly populations are down 27% this year, a result of more use of pesticides and less milkweed from herbicides.
Health care is in worse shape as a result subsidies than agriculture, we pay far more for our health care and die much sooner than other 1st world nations :
This is unlikely, because my regard for both Putin and Trump would fall through the floor. Ditto Russians and Americans around the world, so it is not in either man’s interest.
Snowden is a hero, we should put him in charge of the NSA! We know he is the one with the backbone and that none of the rest have one, because the NSA hasn’t been changed one small bit, despite all the Snowden revelations. Their spying has increased, not been reduced. Obama did nothing, except prosecute more whistleblowers. Shrub was not the entire fault, NSA began getting out of control well before 9-11.
That is the Deep State at work, spying on you and me, not those evil Muslim terrrorists that they foster to be the excuse. We need controlled for our Deep State’s benefit, the evil Muslim terrorists can be controlled by turning off the money. The money the Deep State and its allies are defrauding from us, extorting from us. The military’s books do not balance. The CIA is obviously involved in US elections.
We are not the ones outside of the Constitution and all common sense. No society can survive with Puritan public morality and the NSA’s blackmail database. So, society, either change our public morality or end NSA’s blackmail database, because this version of society’s total software build isn’t working worth a damn.
I watched the House Oversight Hearings dealing with the FBI yesterday. If Congress had any real power, they would all be jealous of that power and would threaten the FBI with defunding, or being broken up and distributed across other agencies. And the FBI would know it Instead, the FBI is dragging things out, for reasons we know not. But an agency of the US government defying Congress in pursuit of oversight is far outside of the Constitution.
You need to think carefully about the implications of that. The committee was entirely divided, D vs R. The R’s in the right, clearly. The D’s entirely off the subject, being good defense attornies, opposing their citizen’s interest in clean government and Congress’s own power.
What power can lead them to do that?
This is a good summary of the situation in the Ukraine, the real story, not the one from the NYTimes :
This is very right about the civil asset forfeiture laws being unjust in the extreme. The CIA has had its independent income via drugs for a long time, so the cops just followed along :
Another item added to the Technological Palette :
FCC and wireless spectrum as infrastructure :
Water pipes are another rather important bit of infrastructure, and lead is a bigger problem than anyone wants to deal with :
This is an excellent and long article showing that the idea of genes as the chief cause of disease is very wrong, rather most disease is caused by lifestyle and environment. The framing of ‘DNA causes everything’ is convenient for medicine and government, so it continues :
Charles is excellent, as usual, in showing us the way out from this Plantation Economy :
H-1B visas are a gift to oligarchs, of course. Tata, etc. rent Indian programmers to Apple and many other firms, at an average salary of $67K, whereas even the salary of a programmer in Columbus, Ohio is $70K. For the Indian, it is a wonderful salary, they save a lot of money in a year of work, even with American high prices. As a result of this and moving jobs to India, I personally know half a dozen people who have trained their Indian replacements, including my wife when she worked for a large tech company :