A short video explains what universities and community colleges have been polishing since when I left with a doctorate thirty years ago. In fact, my first job straight out of school was in this developing mechanism.
Now it’s a nationwide parasitic machine, one that reduces a majority of the teaching staff to penury, migrant workers hired and let go at will, serving at school after school, never getting anywhere. And it’s all for the sake of those at the top and the handfuls of full tenured research stars. Make no mistake, though, it didn’t happen in a vacuum. The greed and hubris in the privileged faculty had much to do with it, too.
This has never been a secret and its one of the cold, hard facts that shows the common bleats about America facing a shortage of scientists and engineers, or that Americans are not educated enough and must be prepared for a life of constant retraining are self-serving falsehoods.
Another atrocity, or My Lai moment, has arrived for the US military in what was described superciliously as its pointless bombing wars last week.
Whether the American government will actually do something about it other than issue the usual get-out-of-jail-free card as it has done with every single hit job in the last decade remains to be seen. Personally, I’d bet against anything more than the equivalents of shit happens and/or they had it coming.
The Army Green Berets who requested the Oct. 3 airstrike on the Doctors without Borders trauma center in Afghanistan were aware it was a functioning hospital but believed it was under Taliban control, The Associated Press has learned …
A day before an American AC-130 gunship attacked the hospital, a senior officer in the Green Beret unit wrote in a report that U.S. forces had discussed the hospital with the country director of the medical charity group, presumably in Kabul, according to two people who have seen the document.
The attack left a mounting death toll, now up to 30 people.
Separately, in the days before the attack, “an official in Washington” asked Doctors without Borders “whether our hospital had a large group of Taliban fighters in it,” spokesman Tim Shenk said in an email. “We replied that this was not the case. We also stated that we were very clear with both sides to the conflict about the need to respect medical structures.”
The hospital was destroyed by the gunship and is now abandoned.
“Doctors without Borders has said it was frantically calling Kabul and Washington during the attack, trying to make the U.S. aware of what was unfolding as patients died in their beds,” rreports AP.
“Presumably, the gun camera video from the plane would show whether anyone was firing from the hospital.”
A week ago, there was a great deal of excuse making and assertion that if a war crime had been executed, it would be hard to prove.
John Bellinger, a former legal adviser to the State Department, says the bombing of the hospital was a terrible tragedy, but he believes it would be a rush to judgment to call it a war crime.
“The mere fact that civilians are killed, that a hospital is damaged, doesn’t automatically mean that there has been a war crime,” he says. “It only becomes a war crime if it is shown that the target was intentionally attacked.”
If the AP’s report is good, there goes that argument.
Before I get to the substance of the title today, intentionally amusing quotes from an editor of the Toronto Sun, why our neighbors to the north axed Harper and instated Trudeau. What it boils down to — they got sick of the nasty party. But it took awhile because, you know, angry old white guys who live in the country-side and want revenge.
It’s too simple to say that Mr. Harper was trying to Americanize Canada. That is rather insulting to Americans(no, not really — me), and anyway Mr. Harper, no internationalist, seemed bored by Americans, although he tagged along with them on their pointless bombing wars.
In the United States, divisions between, say, regions or parties seem reasonably matched. Mr. Harper was doing something different. He was enabling bullying on a national scale.
Ultimately Mr. Harper’s problem in this election was that he couldn’t win nationally with just an older, white male, rural base. He had to extend his reach, was weirdly unwilling to do that and ended up holding tiny rallies of Conservative voters, while Mr. Trudeau was meeting everyone, anyone …
The scroll of what Mr. Harper didn’t like grew longer as the years passed. It comprised scientists, environmentalists, returning veterans, urbanites, immigrants, then immigrants with accents, refugee claimants, then claimants needing health care, and so on. Bubbles of despised people began popping up. At some point the bubbles would have joined up and made Canada a vast blister for Mr. Harper to target.
Which is a definition of what the Republican Party wants to do, one we ought to adopt as short and to the point. The rest of the country, to the GOP, is a large boil.
The Turner Diaries is one of this country’s premier pieces of white supremacist, and anti-Semitic, gun nut hate fiction. It’s a thin paperback on a white revolt from the violent right, seen through the eyes of its narrator, Earl Turner. A bloody insurrection is triggered when the government tries to confiscate the guns and put the resistance in camps.
An excerpt, from near the end, with freedom fighters triumphant:
“It was like the Gun Raids of four years ago, only in reverse — and the outcome was more drastic and more permanent for those raided. One of two things happened to those the troops dragged out onto the streets. If they were non-whites — and that included all the Jews and everyone who even looked like he had a bit of non-white ancestry — they were shoved into hastily formed columns and started on their no return march to the canyon in the foothills north of the city. The slightest resistance, any attempt at backtalk, or any lagging brought a swift bullet.
“The Whites, on the other hand, were, in nearly all cases, hanged on the spot.”
This, as the book narrates, during an operation to leave Los Angeles “utterly and completely pacified,” after urban crowds “were chanting ‘racism must go’ and ‘equality forever’ and other slogans the Jews had taught them.”
“It reminded me of the mass demonstrations of the Vietnam era,” Earl Turner continues.
The radical left is getting much louder, much more shrill, and much more insistent in their desire to use force to get their way and impose their ideas on the American people.
If they try such a radical path it would end poorly and quickly.
The military and local law enforcement agencies in the United States that the radical left has been trashing in public since the Vietnam War until now will not take part in any plot to disarm American citizens.
Soldiers, Marines and sheriffs may even defect to actively resist any federal officers from a pool of just over 100,000 who would take on the suicidal task of taking on the military, local police, and a hundred righteously-angry million gun owners, led by over a thousand angry Green Berets that warned President Obama in 2013 not push his luck…
We do not want a civil war against the radical left wing of the Democrat Party, but let it be made abundantly clear that if they start one, they will be utterly destroyed by armed free citizens, as the Founders intended.
1. At the Bottom: Of the Half-Billion Poorest Adults in the World, One out of Ten is an American …
3. In the Middle: The US is the Only Region Where the Middle-Class Does Not Own Its Equivalent Share of Wealth
Table 4-2: North America has 38.8 percent of its people in the middle class, but they own just 21 percent of the wealth.
Tables 4-4, 4-5: The wealth-deprived North American middle class is largely a U.S. phenomenon, as Mexico’s relatively small (percentage) middle class has over double its share of wealth, and Canada’s middle class, from a population a little over a tenth of the size of the U.S., has about 20 percent less than its share, compared to the U.S. with 50 percent less.
Table 6-1: U.S. median wealth is just 1/7 of average wealth, which implies a skewing of wealth toward the top. Among other major nations, only Russia is worse.
Global Wealth Report, p. 34: “A shortfall of the wealth share of the middle class below its population share is also evident in many individual countries outside North America, including every one of the G7 nations. Figure 4 shows that the shortfall is most acute in Switzerland, Singapore and the United States; but in Australia, Hong Kong SAR and Sweden the mean wealth of the middle class is also more than one-third lower than the average for the whole population…In contrast, for middle and low-income countries – such as Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and Mexico – the share of the middle-class wealth exceeds its population share (see Figure 4). This difference signals that in such countries members of the middle class are not ‘in the middle.’ Rather, they are towards the top of the distribution and there are relatively few people above them. The same is true for the world as a whole.”
4. In the Upper-Middle: For a Full 70% of Americans, Percentage Ownership of National Wealth is One of the Lowest in the World
Table 1-5: The bottom 70% of Americans own just 6.9 percent of the wealth, a percentage far below all other major nations.
The entirety is here, along with a link to the Swiss Bank analysis from which the figures are extracted.
Asinine quote of the day on a most asinine idea from the President of the US of Asinine: “Is that a step that strengthens the bonds of society?” Yancey Strickler of KickStarter asked a NYT reporter of Obama’s plea for Americans to use his crowdfunding site to buy sleeping bags (sleeping bags!) for Syrian refugees.
As humanitarian aid since we’re only taking 10,000, if that.
Wait, though, because it gets better: “Is it the start of a libertarian utopia?” Strickler adds.
Here’s my awesome idea: Let’s use crowdfunding, especially KickStarter, to help Americans directly buy more bombs and missiles and other weapons, like TOW anti-tank missiles, or fuel for the jets and the uniforms for the special forces we’re using to help guarantee Syria remains a failed state along with the other failed states we’ve created over there. It will help continue the proxy war we’re waging with Russia over there, too.
And why can’t we “crowdfund” our national security through KickStarter?
Libertarian utopia, strengthening the bonds of society, my ass.
I vaguely knew Yancey Strickler when he worked at the the Village Voice many, many years ago, and I was a regular writer for the alternative news weekly. And I did some reviewing for him when he was an editor at eMusic. None of which explains any of the effervescent shucking and stupidity bubbling up in this.
It does indicate that success in a tech start-up may not always be a product of how brilliant the starter-uppers are. Dumb luck seems to play a role.
Perhaps people will get hooked on helping refugees through Kickstarter, become early adopters of the cause, and evangelize their compatriots to help as a collective. Or perhaps it becomes a cop-out — a method that politicians use to seem like they’re doing something when it’s too hard to do something.
And perhaps it changes the very nature of humanitarianism itself.
Would the meaning of the Marshall Plan be different had it been financed by a thousand self-organized bake sales worldwide?
If you need it explained why this is so intelligence-insulting, you’ve no business reading this blog.
Gun nut, sexual athlete and ex-antivirus mogul John McAfee just went full electromagnetic pulse crazy. I suppose it had to happen although on the scale of all things McAfee, it’s not very original.
In a recent syndicated column (yes, someone gave him one), McAfee parrots what the extreme kook right and survivalists/preppers have been going on about for the last fifteen years, electromagnetic pulse doom:
My first thought upon hearing Obama’s proclamation [on the Roseburg massacre and gun violence) was that I was in the middle of an acid flashback and I had no benzodiazepines to mediate the trip. My second thought was: what possible single issue, in this complex society of ours, would merit a “single issue” status?
I assumed that the single issue would be the tragic issue of our national security. This issue would clearly be the rampant illiteracy of our elected leaders in the science of cyber security. Experts agree that an all out cyber attack, beginning with an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack on our electronic infrastructure, would wipe out 90% of the human population of this country within two years of the attack. That means the death of 270 million people within 24 months after the attack.
Yet our leaders are nearly all ill prepared for this near certain, not-too-distant event. If I were forced to choose a single issue, this would obviously be the issue.
One of my favorite celebrity freaks, McAfee then flails around for a bit before offering up the statistic that “85 percent of all mass shootings have happened while Democrats were on watch.”
Of course. McAfee continues that this needs looking into.
[The] report, entitled Challengers from the Sideline: Understanding America’s Violent Far Right, analyzed right wing domestic terrorism for contributing factors. The strongest correlator was the number of seats held in the House of Representatives by Republicans.
Simply, right wing violence escalates when their are more GOP Reps. The report reasoned this might be because those perpetrating right wing violence feel supported ideologically by Republicans in that body.
The other possibility, of course, is that the rhetoric emitted by the Republican Party in control of the House creates an environment in which some people feel empowered, or moved, to violence against the government.
The other contributing factor was legislation, specifically that having to do with gun control. The Brady Bill, or Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, signed into law in 1993 during the Clinton administrations, caused a spurt in militia growth and related right wing violence in that period …
And today we know that for the entire duration of the Obama administration, the National Rifle Association has mounted a concerted campaign that has little other purpose than to gin up paranoia and fear about gun confiscation by the same administration. Even though there has been absolutely (or virtually) no gun control laws of any kind enacted during the period.
So if we are to take Mr. McAfee at his word, yes, it certainly looks like most of the slaughters look like they take place when Democrats are in charge. And one of the drivers appears to be because white gun nuts have been repeatedly told Democrats are coming for their guns, among many other things.
As the paranoia of the gun crazy right wing in America rolls on newspapers continue to publish features on the local white guys who believe it’s all going to come crashing down from electromagnetic pulse attack. But they’re going to be ready with their off-the-grid homes, ammo, guns, gold bars and pemmican, ready to preserve their American way, if not democracy, in the inevitable ritual of purification.
Mark Rinke — a 32-year-old, married father of two in Olathe who worries about TEOTWAYKI (The End of the World As You Know It) — declined to be interviewed at his home for a strategic reason.
“OPSEC,” said Rinke, floating the military jargon for operations security.
In other words, should the United States ever fall into social chaos through war, economic collapse or some other calamity, Rinke would rather, for security’s sake, not reveal too much regarding the details of his stockpiled energy, arms, water and food.
“WHAT WE’VE SEEN IS NOT ONLY THE PROLIFERATION OF APOCALYPTIC IDEAS BY THE INTERNET, BUT THEIR PROLIFERATION IN POPULAR CULTURE IN ALL FORMS.”
— Michael Barkun, Syracuse University professor emeritus of political science
“I think it [electromagnetic pulse doom] is a pretty decent concern because it doesn’t necessarily take a country making a decision to do it,” Rinke said. “It can be a rogue thing with a homemade rocket. One day a guy pulls his contraption out of his garage and shoots it off. Our grid goes down.”
Should that day arrive, Rinke feels confident he will be among the prepared.
We’re all renting space in Ted Nugent’s Land when it comes to guns. Most reasonable people probably gave up all hope of any change after Sandy Hook and 20 dead children brought about explosions in gun and ammunition sales. And even the the most trivial legislation to restrict deadly weapon ownership went down.
To be sure, Ted Nugent and people like him are a minority. Nugent is venomous, plainly psychotic during his waking hours and with views, on everything, not just gun ownership, deeply unpopular to a majority.
Regardless of the President’s disappointment and fury yesterday, or the calls to political action filling up your in-box, the only course of action after Sandy Hook failed to achieve anything was to give up. Slaughter is the norm.
In late August, just after the last public gun massacre (I think), the LA Times ran a story on why the US is the exceptional nation when it comes to gun slaughter.
It boils down to social and psychological studies of the character of the country. Americans are delusional about what they can expect for themselves, what they believe to be important and what “success” means. Briefly, they believe in fictions like the American dream, that they can have it all, and that fame and money are always within their reach. When most of it never pans out, it produces mental stressors that have to be lived with on a daily basis. Those with mental problems can crack.
Easy access to guns, the instantaneous nature of the American telecommunications infrastructure and the certainty that launching an armed assault on the public somewhere always leads to global (in)fame guarantees it.
America’s “gun culture” … is deeply rooted in the idea that broad gun-ownership is a bulwark against the emergence of tyranny. And those roots continue to lie close to the surface, he wrote: A national survey conducted in 2013 found that 65% of Americans believe that the purpose of their right to bear arms remains “to make sure that people are able to protect themselves from tyranny.”
Tyranny, a word that American usage has wrung all meaning from, now only signalling that the most appalling acts of bloodshed are acceptable and that everything else must come to a full stop.
How do you escape the tyranny of Ted Nugent Land? And will you wish you could shoot the first person you read or hear mentioning the word “heal” today (do it quickly because the next shooting is coming fast) or tomorrow? Rhetorical questions, obviously.