What piece of profound ignorance was published for the fad of marking the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg today, Daddy?
This, put forward by the Google News robots, idiot citations excerpted:
Peter Carmichael, director of the Civil War Institute in Gettysburg, said there was much flag waving with “not much substance behind it.”
“Southern symbols have come under attack in a way that didn’t happen 10 years ago,” he said.
Many people whose ancestors fought (in) the Civil War feel besieged” and say “the Civil War cause has nothing to do with slavery.”
“They say it is a war between the big government and small governments,” he added.
“It’s a heritage,” said Chuck Faust, one of about 200,000 history buffs expected to descend on this corner of Pennsylvania over the next 10 days to relive what happened here.
“Slavery was not the issue,” said the 52-year-old dressed up as a Union horseman and donning a blue cap.
“State rights were the initial issue.”
When the Confederate flag makes its way onto T-shirts worn by youngsters, it is a “symbol of rebellion,” he added.
Historian Brain Jordan, for one, noted that the presence of Confederate flags was more pronounced in Gettysburg than in the South.
Jamie Malanowski, meanwhile, said one should not boil down Southern culture and heritage to the “outdated, retrograde, racist, separatist and defeated” Confederacy.
Or, for that matter, the Tea Party — an ultra conservative US political movement.
“American culture is so strongly a Southern culture,” he added, pointing to jazz great Louis Armstrong and even barbecues.
Save us from another in the army of fat white guy writers who, for the sake of being diplomatic about progress, blithely points out that American culture is Southern culture.
So, in this manner, Louis Armstrong, an African American, can be inserted into an odious discussion about the nature of the Civil War and the battle of Gettysburg, which marked the beginning of the end for the Confederacy.
Consider that one again. Louis Armstrong presented as proof of the beacon of southern culture, rather than — er, maybe — someone who became an icon in spite of southern culture.
My head almost exploded.
It did not because of the last five or so years and the appearance of Tea Party bigots waving signs claiming Martin Luther King, Jr., was a Republican, Ted Nugent calling his rock and roll excursion the Black Power Tour, and about 90 percent of the GOP using the battle-cry — “Democrats started the KKK!” — in the last few months. (And lest we forget, the adoption of the “Sic Semper Tyrannis,” the imprecation of John Wilkes Booth, as suitable for T-shirts and posters.)
You get hardened. Or, perhaps, seasoned — a gentler word.
And maybe the folk blues should be really attributed to the southern slave owners, too, because without them, how would have African Americans ever come up with it?
Much in common with the man attesting the Civil War was about “states rights.” Paisley thought “Accidental Racist” would win him praise. Instead, it 86’d his new album in one week. Both instances of the complete cognitive disconnect in WhiteManistan.
Paisley’s song of treacly moaning about being a misunderstood southern boy sounds even more pathetic than the day it was leaked. It is the very essence of awful.
The world is not a bag of nails for which the US national security megaplex is the hammer.
It is difficult to know when, if ever, that reality will be perceived in this country where it counts enough to make a difference.
From Der Spiegel, by way of the Guardian:
The German publication Der Spiegel reported that it had seen documents and slides from the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden indicating that US agencies bugged the offices of the EU in Washington and at the United Nations in New York. They are also accused of directing an operation from Nato headquarters in Brussels to infiltrate the telephone and email networks at the EU’s Justus Lipsius building in the Belgian capital, the venue for EU summits and home of the European council.
Without citing sources, the magazine reported that more than five years ago security officers at the EU had noticed several missed calls apparently targeting the remote maintenance system in the building that were traced to NSA offices within the Nato compound in Brussels.
The impact of the Der Spiegel allegations may be felt more keenly in Germany than in Brussels. The magazine said Germany was the foremost target for the US surveillance programmes, categorising Washington’s key European ally alongside China, Iraq or Saudi Arabia in the intensity of the electronic snooping.
The US cannot and will not now ever be able to live down its exhausting campaign to make everyone believe that we were being spied on and probed in cyberspace, unfairly, by others.
Keys: Edward Snowden.
The most odious story of the day, a feature at the LA Times on the use of smartphone apps and the social bazaar micro-job bidding businesses in southern California.
Mentioned the companies that are always mentioned, those that cater to the 1 percent and their high-button servants who run their lives off their smartphones. That means Uber and TaskRabbit, the latter company whose innovation is to make personal assistant work pay even less.
The technology is always the same. It’s merely a collection point where the haves can leverage an extremely lousy labor situation in the US, offering a bazaar in which people can bid against each other for the privilege of driving a snob to the airport, or picking up toothbrushes and toilet paper at the grocery store.
The Times story has Aaron and Adora Cheung of Homejoy who get the newspaper to swallow the idea that housecleaning services are too expensive in Los Angeles. They claim 40 dollars an hour, with their business slashing it to 20.
My experience living in southern California is a bit different. House cleaning isn’t expensive and much of the work is done by illegals, often at less than minimum wage.
So, again, the tech industry of business model of using digital collection to pit those who earn the least against each other in bidding wars to serve the upper middle class and above.
In addition, with many, you have the added joy of passing competence tests and background checks. Later, you can have the snobs pile up bad reviews on you for not working sufficiently well for minor sums.
“[Dawn McCoy, an actress and writer in the Wilshire district] has hired people to give her rides, hang photos and install kitchen cabinet knobs in her home, design her website, wait on guests at a party, put up and take down Christmas decorations and pick up food,” reads the piece. Because, you know, the handymen putting up ads on Craig’s List or still too damn expensive.
“Such start-ups are catching on with busy, tech-savvy consumers who want things done efficiently and cheaply,” it continues.
Yes, everyone knows — or they should, that well over half of the innovation coming out of the tech industry is in making use of the web to disempower and cheapen those who already make the least.
Think of these app labor operations as digital harpies, ripping off shreds of flesh from those who basically can’t leverage anything to keep the value of their labor from being undermined.
And if you’re do errand work for less than minimum there’s this pleasure: “For those worried about hiring a stranger they met on the Internet, the start-ups conduct background checks on hosts and task completers and strongly urge both sides to review each other after every transaction.”
The only good news is that the Los Angeles City Department of Transportation went after Uber and two similar app services, “accusing the ‘rogue taxi apps’ of illegally operating in the city without the proper permits and licenses and ordering them to stop picking up passengers.”
Do you know any traditional cab drivers who earn to much money and have it too easy?
Of course you do, hundreds. They deserve destruction at the hands of trivial job app programming. Don’t
fear detest creative destruction, it’s making the place a better place to live (for the haves) at everyone else’s expense.
If you read the entire piece, which is here, you’ll notice there is not one instance in which the reporter mentions what the pricing for a specific “task” is other than 20/hr for “homecleaning,” of which the business takes an unspecified slice.
There is also not one instance of a “taskrabbit” — or job doer from any other of the services — interviewed, or an instance of anyone who might have found the services wanting.
Better editors wouldn’t have let it fly until it was more complete and not just a p.r. piece on the wonder of smartphone summoned cheap labor.
Note the crap re-branding name for these things — concierge apps.
Except these concierges get paid much much less than the old ones.
Love the titles.
It doesn’t believe in it.
Courtesy of Steven Aftergood at Secrecy blog, we can look at an excerpt from the recent Congressional Research Service report, “Science and Technology Issues in the 113th Congress,” here.
WhiteManistan has no use for science on most any subject because it always tends to be inconvenient to its crabbed world view.
And since WhiteManistan has paralyzed Congress by understanding how to stifle all change from a minority position, the Congressional Research Service is left in an odd position for this report.
Bluntly stated, there can be no legislation on climate change in the 113th Congress. There can be no debate in Congress any more than a person can have an intelligent conversation with the bottom of their shoe.
Nevertheless, the report diplomatically attempts to summarize what is known about climate change and how inharmonious opinion from WhiteManistan means for the legislative body.
“Debate on appropriate federal policies is fueled by differing levels of confidence among Members and the public … Few scientists dispute that the climate is changing … Over the long run, not addressing human contribution to the causes of climate fluctuations and their consequences could set up costly, even catastrophic risks and challenges,” it reads. “Most experts conclude from evidence and computer modeling that human activities have driven most of the global warming observed since the 1970s …”
This is as close as we could ever hope to get to a CRS report stating:
“The GOP is an extremist collection of anti-science douche-bags whose group actions prevent the country from moving forward on the problem of global warming.”
The President knows this, too. And this is why he signaled that he intended to undertake unilateral action on the issue this week.
WhiteManistan immediately reacted with cries on job destruction and government tyranny.
Steven Aftergood’s Secrecy blog, along with other recent CRS reports, is here.
This has been another in a now frequent series of postings discussing the security threat WhiteManistan poses to the future of Americans.
Shannon Richardson was just indicted on three charges of mailing threatening letters, the most famous of which went to the President. If guilty, it’s five years per charge.
“(I will) make sure you wont be runnin this country in the ground any further,” the letter to the Prez said, which along with the other two, were intended to frame her husband.
Richardson’s lawyer requested a mental exam for her a week or so ago & the court granted it. Such a shame that a taste of Hollywood took her down this dark path of ruin.
Goofball quote of the last two weeks, from a national lab research doing rent-seeking on the bank of the ricin case cluster:
There is an urgency to the [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory] work, because for many would-be terrorists, the ease of access and relatively simple production method has made ricin the “weapon of choice,” David Wunschel said.
Whatever the three involved in the ricin cluster are, “would-be terrorists” doesn’t describe them.
“Ricin Mama,” however, does describe one.
Trivia note: That’s Steve Cropper, best known as guitarist for Booker T. & the MG’s and the Blues Brothers Band, beside southern strategy Boogie Man Lee Atwater in the video.
Nothing good was every going to come from unleashing computer viruses on Iran. Now everything about the program appears to have blown up.
From the WaPo:
A retired four-star Marine Corps general who served as the nation’s second-ranking military officer is a target of a Justice Department investigation into a leak of information about a covert U.S.-Israeli cyberattack on Iran’s nuclear program, a senior Obama administration official said.
Retired Gen. James E. “Hoss” Cartwright served as deputy chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and was part of President Obama’s inner circle on a range of critical national security issues before he retired in 2011.
The administration official said that Cartwright is suspected of revealing information about a highly classified effort to use a computer virus later dubbed Stuxnet to sabotage equipment in Iranian nuclear enrichment plants.
Stuxnet was part of a broader cyber campaign called Olympic Games that was disclosed by the New York Times last year as one of the first major efforts by the United States to use computer code as a destructive weapon against a key adversary.
Cartwright, who helped launch that campaign under President Bush and pushed for its escalation under Obama, was recently informed that he was a “target” of a wide-ranging Justice Department probe into the leak …
The campaign is believed to have destroyed as many as 1,000 of Iran’s 6,000 centrifuges at the time. But the virus also escaped those closed systems and was subsequently discovered on the Internet, raising concern about the potential that government-sponsored viruses could cause widespread and unintentional harm.
Stuxnet and Olympic Games unleashed a global state-sponsored race to develop malware. As part of secret war against Iran it also triggered retaliations against the US and other nations in the Middle East.
The short [tourist] film, “A New Birth of Freedom,” shown in the adjacent theaters every 15 minutes, lays out the origins of the war, the debate over slavery’s expansion to the new territories and the battle’s legacy, immortalized by Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, as a defense of democratic ideals.
Once the party of Lincoln, now the party of southern white hate and fear.
A tour of Gettysburg was a common public school excursion when I was growing up. It was not particularly thrilling.
However, today it takes on a bit more meaning, and not in a good way, on progress and the ongoing battle plans of the New Confederacy.
Alleged ricin-making machine, Matthew Buquet.
From the wire:
Matthew Buquet, 37, entered not-guilty pleas during an appearance before U.S. Magistrate Cynthia Imbrogno.
He is charged with producing and transferring a biological toxin called ricin; mailing a threatening communication to the president of the United States; and mailing a threatening communication to a federal judge. He faces up to life in prison if convicted.
No motive has been offered for the mailings, and the federal government has sealed most of the court documents in the case.
Last week, a case of rent-seeking behavior on the hazard of ricin from a laboratory funded by Homeland Security, by reporter Tom Sowa of the Spokesman Review newspaper:
As federal prosecutors build a case against a Spokane man charged with sending ricin-laced letters to the president, the CIA, a federal judge and Fairchild Air Force Base, one of the legal challenges they’ll face is proving that the substance is indeed ricin, a lethal poison derived from ground seeds of the castor plant.
[Note: This is untrue. There straightforward lab procedures used to test for active ricin. Typically, the FBI sends suspect samples, be they castor seeds, castor powder, or both, to the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC). NBACC, which was built for the war on terror, then outsources the lab work to a firm like American International Biotechnology Services (AIBiotech) in Richmond, VA. Why does the NBACC, one of the most well-funded science installations in the country, outsource this work? Interesting question, one perhaps to be answered in the future.]
[Investigators] also can use tests to figure out how the ricin was made, which can help link a suspect with the chemicals used in the process or determine how much advance planning took place. New versions of those analytic tests are being developed at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, at the Chemical and Biological Signature Sciences Laboratory.
[Although the documents in the Buquet case are sealed, the FBI reporting agent will already have a very good idea of how the tainted letters were made. This is again not really accurate news, shaped to make the work at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory appear more valuable.]
Among the lab’s goals is developing better tools to identify the exact methods used to make ricin or other toxic substances, said David Wunschel, a biochemical researcher at PNNL.
There is an urgency to the lab’s work, because for many would-be terrorists, the ease of access and relatively simple production method has made ricin the “weapon of choice,” Wunschel said.
[But ricin is not a weapon of choice of terrorists. This is, again, untrue and the researcher must know it. The alleged perpetrators in the cluster of three ricin cases — J. Everett Dutschke, Matthew Buquet, and Shannon Richardson — are not “terrorists” in the sense of the war on terror. A look at their pictures and what is known of their lives shows everyone that this is the case.
The choice to make ricin mail, in these cases, appears to be trivial. One case, that of Shannon Richardson, looks like it could have been a partial copy-cat of the J. Everett Dutschke incident, one where the primary aim is to draw attention and frame another person.
It is not difficult to understand this. However, rent-seeking behavior, that is the justification of continued work, or research on a matter that is of little value to average Americans, requires that a different story be told — that ricin is a “weapon of choice” of terrorists.
During the war on terror, zero people have been killed by ricin.]
Ricin is a “one-to-one” attack that relies on getting a potential victim to breathe or swallow the toxin. Unlike poisonous gases or viruses, ricin isn’t absorbed easily through the skin.
Even so, the bioterror scenarios include the possible distribution of dozens of ricin-laced packages to a government office, causing a lot of disruption and requiring extensive cleanup, Wunschel said
Wunschel joined the PNNL staff in 2000. Following 9/11, the new Department of Homeland Security started funding projects to give law enforcement better tools in dealing with bioterrorism. The ricin study has been underway in Richland since 2005.
Scientists say extracting ricin from castor seeds may be relatively simple if someone follows a series of steps deliberately and carefully. But if someone uses a less-complex method with fewer steps, the result is a less pure and less lethal product, Wunschel said.
Ricin accounts for roughly 1 percent of the weight of the dry castor seed.
Ricin isn’t a contact poison. It’s not absorbed through skin anymore than a piece of lunch meat is, period.
But there you have it, once again. Ricin is simple to make. The purification of ricin is beyond the people being arrested in the US on ricin-making charges.
Ricin just does not make a very good weapon. One of the reasons is that there isn’t much of it in a castor bean. A bean is generally mostly oil and 1 percent as ricin is only a start point. Any protein purification must, by definition, result in less because that is the nature of the work.
Currently, war on terror rent-seeking in the national security complex has funded the development of two research ricin vaccines.
One is being pursued by a company mentioned infrequently here — Soligenix. The other is in development at USAMRIID, once known as Fort Detrick in Frederick, MD., that national lab facility on bioterror defense that, in turn, spawned the idea for the NBACC.
Two other ricin-making machines, one human and the other a seed grinder that spews castor hulls and powder into the air.
The rest of the world does not care about the bullshit on castor beans, terrorism and ricin peddled by the American national security complex.
This is an excerpt explaining the southern sentiment, taken from Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story.
Boogie Man shows how Atwater motivated the white vote through use of the Nixonian southern strategy of fear of the black man. It put the first Bush in the White House, later providing the framework to unleash GWB on the US.
With WhiteManistan in demographic decline, this week’s SCOTUS decision crippling the Voting Rights Act unleashed the worst of the Deep Southern sentiment on the non-white and poor in every state currently under GOP and Tea Party control since the 2010 elections.
The GOP viscerally understands it can enact predatory laws targeting its enemies faster than US “democracy” can undo them.
One can look at it as being able to wage Civil War 2 without instigating the casus belli of firing on Fort Sumter or assaulting African Americans on Pettus Bridge.
In the United States, the Republican Party threatens the security of many average Americans, daily. In the south, no time was wasted after the Supreme Court ruling into getting to it.
I recommend Boogie Man because it so well illustrates how the grinding bigot animosity of the South made true political power all over the country.
And while it’s people are slowly running out of their time, it has not gone away, still posing a very clear threat to progress and a genuinely civilized nation.
Trivia note: Yes, that’s the Boogie Man in “Ricin Mama.
Right on time, from Ted Nugent’s column at World Net Daily:
Chronic stupidity is killing our republic. The gravest problem our republic faces: Stupid people vote …
The Founding Fathers surely must have forgotten to include a provision in our Constitution to prohibit stupid people from voting, or maybe people back then were more informed and responsible and not as stupid as they are today.
So now, a gaggle of stupid senators from both parties is trying to push some stupid immigration reform bill that, if signed into law, will ultimately make tens of millions of non-American criminals U.S. citizens …
The Republicans who support making criminals citizens want cheap criminal labor. The Democrats want the criminal votes. Meanwhile, those Americans addicted to common sense will be strangled and drowned with insurmountable new debt due to the crushing demand by these “new” Americans on our social welfare system, which is already broke and unsustainable.
The bigot’s bigot puts his best foot forward, as usual.
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