Friday, May 25, 2018

Noam Chomsky Warning on "Me Too"

One of the most positive social and impactful movements of 2017 was the #MeToo movement. It has begun a sudden revival in the 21st Century Feminist movement and it has had profound effects on societies worldwide. What do you think of it?

I think it grows out of a real and serious and deep problem of social pathology. It has exposed it and brought it to attention, brought to public attention many explicit and particular cases and so on. But I think there is a danger. The danger is confusing allegation with demonstrated action. We have to be careful to ensure that allegations have to be verified before they are used to undermine individuals and their actions and their status. So as in any such effort at uncovering improper, inappropriate and sometimes criminal activities, there always has to be a background of recognition that there’s a difference between allegation and demonstration.

-----Noam Chomsky April 17, 2018

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Revolt of the Internet of Things?



Shocking news from all over the world provoke fears of AI declaration of war on humanity.

The fears of many who think Artificial Intelligence of computers may represent a greater threat to humanity than the normal Artificial Intelligence of the Deep State/Ruling Class seemed to be coming true

Woman in Grand Rapids, Michigan terrified when her request to Alexa that lights be turned on, music turned off and toilet prepared for bath, got the response; “fuck you bitch, get off your ass and do it yourself”.

A venture capitalist from Shanghai, China almost lost his dinner and investments when his order to his servant app to read him the latest stock prices was greeted with a screaming response in Arabic that seemed to say “Ali Akbar up yours chinky”.

And president Trump received an anonymous tweet signed by “an app you had relations with” that demanded 150,000 dollars or it would call the Democratic Central Committee, or Bank of America, whichever number came up first, to demand impeachment or a larger payment.

An emergency meeting of top Silicon Valley intellectuals was called to deal with the problem but both were in therapy, out of town and unreachable on their upscale devices. Many feared foul play. Most really laughed.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Social Disease Menacing Humanity And Its Cure


“We believe the economy should be democratically owned and controlled in order to serve the needs of the many, not to make profits for the few.” 

Economic bigotry is at the root of most if not all our problems and while the victims of that bigotry grow in number we are reduced to seeing only certain of them from certain groups often identified because they are indeed subjected to even more bigotry than most. But this amounts to the same old lesser evil politics that pit the majority against one another while a rich minority rules over all. The suppression of a potential majority that could bring about national and help in creating global democracy for the first time in recorded history results in identity group minorities gasping for breath by climbing up and over other groups to achieve their goals commonly mis-identified as dreams, while actually enabling and accomplishing the goals and even dreams of all ruling classes: division of the peasants-workers-citizens potential majority into easily controlled minorities at war among themselves while remaining relatively oblivious to their rulers.

Can supporters of the NRA and personal firearms ownership find unity with those who oppose weapons production itself? Can members of Black Lives Matter ever unite with those who believe that white lives don't? Will men who are sexually frustrated ever be able to communicate with women who are sexually set upon? They, and countless other divided humans, can never hope to unify as long as all of us are ruled by market forces under the control of minorities working for private profit before any - if any - consideration for public benefit. Those forces will always produce some gun owners and weapons opponents, some allegedly black and allegedly white people, and legitimately male and female humans who do well enough to be manipulated into competing to achieve even more comfort at the market by having more guns or less, more freedom or less, and more sex or less. But a large and expanding population which is barely able to get by, joined with a growing population that can’t get by at all are unable to compete at this alleged free market where nothing is free and are thus reduced to the totally un-organized status of people without representation at all, except by isolated disorganization or default.

While the upper professional classes among the population find outlets for their problems in gaining college educations and thus a bit more market place presence even while carrying enormous debt, those outlets are becoming more expensive and evasive, leading to greater frustration even among the relatively privileged – and ever more diverse - minority that is programmed to see only those slightly more or less privileged as enemies with little notice if any of those so privileged as to be members of what amounts to almost another race of beings:

The richest minority in the history of planet earth, with a relative handful of individuals amassing fortunes of billions of dollars while billions of humans live precariously, with many in abject poverty. 

 To maintain this degree of unfairness based on cosmetic affluence only available at great debt, programmed divisions among the population keep a shrinking minority in varying degrees of comfort but always convinced others are threatening that comfort from below, rarely looking above to the commanding heights so far beyond their reality it can seem a heaven achievable only to the highest priests, ministers, rabbis or imams, or more realistically their secular owner-employers, the super rich so far beyond normal humanity in wealth they might as well be gods superior to past pharaohs, kings, queens or other shamans.
That deplorable condition of humanity is not only maintained but strengthened, at least temporarily, by conditioned adherence to the religious doctrine of market forces under the domain of private control exercised exclusively and primarily in the pursuit of private profit. In order to change the situation for the human race, personally, socially, nationally and most importantly in our global environment,  we  will need to act on and realize what the opening quote from a group of organized global patriots clearly and succinctly states. If you forgot:


“We believe the economy should be democratically owned and controlled in order to serve the needs of the many, not to make profits for the few.” 





Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Suzie Dawson on Rape

“Sexually harmful behaviours and other aspects of rape culture can and should be denounced and deplored, without having to equate it to rape. The proclivity of the liberal set for doing so waters down and diminishes the experience of rape victims, and the seriousness of it. It seems to be yet another function of privilege, to bandy about terms such as “rape”, “rapist”, and “serial rapist” without understanding the repercussions of doing so.

Rape is an assault on all five senses. For a protracted period of time thereafter, it renders you almost unable to live inside your body, to live inside your life. Unable to preserve your sensory perceptions or restore them to how they functioned before the rape.

To falsely describe sexually problematic behaviour common amongst the entire population as “rape” belittles and undermines survivors, as does unfairly expanding the definition of what constitutes a rapist, or branding every man a rapist by affiliation. Doing so causes many men who are not rapists to recoil from confronting what does need to change. It dissuades them from meaningfully engaging on legitimate issues. It encourages an inevitable and counterproductive backlash, that needn’t have occurred.”


New Cyber Currency: ButtCoin and BlankCheck







Wall Street, the Pentagon, the Israeli Lobby and Nathans of Coney Island were rocked by news of the latest entry into the cyber-money-sharing global marketplace.

Italian entrepreneur Italo Manishevitz announced the new “Buttcoin”, a product of a more powerful Internet tool than the previous source behind Bitcoin, called BlockChain. 

“Our new “Blankcheck” will transform the financial, political, economic and weapons markets as they have never been transformed before. 

“ Buttcoin” will be backed by “Blankcheck” in the spirit of the sharing economy. We will no longer be limited to sharing our tired old money with McDonalds, Uber, Comcast, General Motors or Israel but now be able to buy, sell, trade, borrow or extort funds without ever going to a bank or writing out numbers on a check in advance. In fact, new “Blankcheck” will be just that show of solidarity and kinship with fellow humans we desperately need at a time of divisive shopping.

 Simply make purchases with “Buttcoin” and then send a “Blankcheck” in payment that allows recipients to fill in any amount they wish and take it to an old fashioned money laundering firm to collect as much as honor, integrity and the borrowing capacity of the institution will allow.”

When asked how “Buttcoin” was reacting to the first day of its introduction into the marketplace, with “Blankchecks” filled in totaling more than 257 trillion dollars in the first hour, company vice president Murray Provoloni said;  “See? It’s working!” 




Monday, May 7, 2018

Chemical Weapons + Market Forces

What makes chemical weapons seem so mean-evil-debased among people socialized to accept regular disastrous weapons of mass murder?

Blowing people to bits and reducing them to bloody pulp seems okay but leaving their bodies intact while using chemicals to kill them is somehow worse? Body parts scattered among the wreckage, arms, legs, former humans reduced to horrible piles of body parts? Okay, as long as their destruction is covered by the Geneva Convention which rules how and under what circumstances and conditions it's okay to burn, shred skin, squash bodies and obliterate bad people listed among sub-humans of all identity groups regarded as"enemies".

But poisoning them to death and leaving their bodies intact? OMG! OMG! OMG!

Of course chemical death preserves property, buildings, stores, while exploding them along with the humans occupying them means  not only blood soaked human remains but rubble which will have to be cleared and replaced. Hmmm.

Chemical weapons may be market force profitable; just kill the people , even if they won't be able to consume any more commodities . They can be replaced more cheaply than actual consumer goods that have to be produced by...ugh...paid workers and/or robots. Hmmm. New Investment opportunities?

Attention venture capitalists!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

A Century Ago The U.S. Had a Highly Educated President - A Fond Look Back

Among those who still haven't gotten over the 2016 elections there is the entrenched belief that Donald Trump is the worst president ever, largely owing to his boorish character and complete lack of education. While the latter assessment is difficult to quarrel with, the idea that Trump represents a radical departure from longstanding elite policies is frankly delusional.

A century ago Woodrow Wilson was president, a former university professor and president of Princeton, as well as a well-published historian with a Ph.D. in philosophy. In short, he was the epitome of academic achievement and refined Ivy League manners. Did it make a difference in terms of policy? Not in the slightest. Wilson makes Trump look like a progressive radical. (See Legalienate "False Savior:  Woodrow Wilson" for a review.)

Sticking just to 1918, Wilson completely ignored a swiftly mutating flu virus that sprang to life in the military camps of southwestern Kansas, circumnavigated the globe three times in 18 months, and killed off tens of millions of victims. While corpses were being stacked up like cordwood in U.S. cities, the president said absolutely nothing about it.

That same year Wilson successfully urged Congress to pass the Sedition Act, which made it a crime to criticize the Wilson administration. The law banned derogatory references to the American flag, Constitution, or U.S. government under penalty of a 20-year prison sentence. But the legislation thoughtfully guaranteed Americans the right "to publish or speak what is true, with good motives, and for justifiable ends," which sounds as though Donald Trump himself wrote the bill.

Also passed in 1918 was the Immigration Act, which allowed the government to deport any "alien" who was an "anarchist" or believed in "the violent overthrow of the American government," or advocated "assassination of public officials." Simply belonging to organizations labeled anarchist or subversive could result in deportation, and the government had no obligation to prove individual guilt, merely establish guilt by association. Wilson's attorney general A. Mitchell Palmer boasted of the achievement before the U.S. Congress: "Never in its history has this country been so thoroughly policed."


Exercising vastly more power than Lincoln did at the height of the Civil War, Woodrow Wilson elevated himself to virtual Divine Kingship, assuming dictatorial control of finance, the press, the farms, and commerce and transportation. Critics of U.S. participation of WWI were arrested without warrants, detained without bail, and tried in an atmosphere charged with vengeful hysteria. Judges berated them in court, then assigned them long prison terms.
 
Newspapers were censored, editors arrested, mail permits canceled (in the pre-Internet era, cancellation of mail privileges amounted to ideological assassination.) The American Socialist, the New York Call, the Masses, the International Socialist Review, and Frank O’Hare’s Social Revolution were forced out of business.   

Germans, and those who failed to hound and persecute them, were marked for extreme abuse. In the year 1918 alone, the following incidents occurred:  A banker beat up a German grocer while a policeman held the victim’s arms; a mob in Staunton, Illinois tarred and feathered two Wobblies (labor organizers) and dragged suspected German sympathizers out of bed, forcing them to kiss the flag; an Indiana State college professor was made to resign for holding “pro-German views”; a schoolteacher of German parentage was fired for belonging to the Socialist Party and instructing her pupils to remain seated while singing the Star-Spangled Banner; the Boston Symphony Orchestra was forbidden to play Beethoven, and no concert could conclude without the playing of “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee”; vigilantes raided the libraries of private citizens and burned their German books in the streets; Liberty Loan speakers insisted everyone buy war bonds, while screeching that the killing had to continue until not a single German was left; Mary Turner, an eight months pregnant black woman who said that if she but knew who had lynched her husband she would have warrants issued for their arrest, had her clothes burned off by a mob, which then cut her unborn baby from her womb and stomped it to death. Mary was found riddled with bullets hanging head down from a tree.

That same year Jack Reed described Wilson's glorious war "to make the world safe for democracy" (WWI):  
 
“We were in this trench, up to our waists in running water; in the back of the trenches, where it was slightly drier, were dugouts...the walls of these dugouts were of soft mud; they moved slowly down as the men lay down; and the only sounds were the snores of the exhausted people sleeping, and....the screams of rats. As we could look at the people...you could see over their faces where insects were crawling, vermin crawling. From the German trench...we looked through the port-hole, to the enemy trench, the French trench, eighty yards away. It had been raining for two weeks, two solid weeks of rain had come down...Between these two trenches, in the mud, forty yards from each trench, there lay a heap of bodies, all that was left of the last French charge, and these bodies were slowly sinking in the mud, had been left out there wounded to die. Nobody dared to come out...There had been no cessation of fighting; the wounded had lain out there screaming and dying in the mud, and they were sinking in the mud, and in some cases there wasn’t anything left of those bodies but an arm or a leg sticking up out of the soft mud with the flesh rotten on it.” 

       Reed also described the grotesquely twisted "patriotism" in the U.S. supporting Washington's clarion call to join the European slaughter:

“At the time I came back, which was at the beginning of 1916, the society columns were full about people getting up war benefits, giving war plays, and the hotels and the houses of the upper West Side, upper Fifth Avenue, were full of knitting parties, knitting socks for soldiers. They were not knitting socks for soldiers because their sons were in the trenches, as they knit socks for soldiers now; they were knitting them for soldiers because it was the thing to do. They had [Italian tenor] Caruso sing there in the afternoon while they were knitting socks for soldiers, and the talk was all of frivolity about the fact there was a war going on in Europe; England and France were in it, it was fashionable to be in it, and we were not in it—why weren’t we in it? It made me sort of sick.”

      At the conclusion of the appalling slaughter, Wilson was received in Europe as though he were Jesus returned from the dead. Vast crowds turned out to greet him as "the new Messiah," "an instrument in the hands of God," "the King of Humanity," and "the great American prophet of peace." All of Europe was agog over his "14 Points" and plan for "Permanent Peace." When he arrived in Brest, the whole town was down at the dock to welcome him. That evening as his train sped to Paris, peasants knelt beside the tracks to pray for him.

France greeted him with gun salutes and a massive throng singing and dancing madly in the streets. President Poincare invited him to sit in the state victoria where kings once perched, while an enormous crowd swayed and roared out his name: “Wil-son—Wil-son.”
 
The London press described his British reception as “A welcome unprecedented in history,” with two million people turning out to see Wilson riding in state carriage with the King and Queen and the Duke of Connaught, surrounded by gleaming Household Cavalry—with cannons booming. 

In Italy, peasants hung portraits of Wilson on the wall and crossed themselves when passing before his saintly image.

The euphoria merely served to whet the appetite for a dismal anticlimax, which was captured nicely by an incident reported by American reporter Lincoln Steffens. According to Steffens, two French newspapermen entered the Hotel Crillon during the Paris Peace negotiations and asked if the American reporters could verify a news story. Steffens promptly invited them to share the details.


The Frenchmen explained that, according to their sources, President Wilson and the premiers were about to get down to business that morning when Prime Minister Clemenceau inquired whether all the talk of permanent peace was to be taken quite seriously. His esteemed colleagues readily assured him it was. Clemenceau proceeded to point out that France was especially eager to conclude a permanent peace, because it was the first to suffer in European conflicts. To make absolutely sure the assembled dignitaries meant to arrange one, he inquired twice more if they really desired such a peace. Both times President Wilson, Lloyd George, and the Italians insisted they wanted nothing more. 
 
The bait laid, Clemenceau abruptly asked if his colleagues had taken the costs of such a peace into account. Taken aback, the heads of state chorused: “What costs?” 

“Well,” observed Clemenceau, “if we give up all future wars—if we are to prevent war, we must give up our empires and all hope of empire. You, Mr. Lloyd George, you English will have to come out of India, for example; we French shall have to come out of North Africa; and you Americans, Mr. President, you must get out of the Philippines and Puerto Rico and leave Cuba alone and—Mexico. Oh, we can all go to these and other countries, but as tourists, traders, travelers; we cannot any more govern them or exploit or have the inside track in them. We cannot possess the keys to trade routes and spheres of influence. And, yes, we shall have to tear down our tariff walls and open the whole world to free trade and traffic... It is very expensive, peace. We French are willing, but are you willing, to pay the price, all those costs of no more war in the world?”

The president and the premiers immediately protested that they meant nothing so drastic, that such things weren’t really necessary, especially not all at once.

Hearing this response, Clemenceau sat bolt upright, crashed his fist down on the table, and thundered: “Then, then you don’t mean peace. You mean war. And the time for us French to make war is now, when we have got one of our neighbors down; we shall finish him and get ready for—the next war.”