American Military Intervention Proposed in Syria–What Could Go Wrong!

by on September 19, 2013

Muhajideen

Afghan Muhajideen c. 1985, i.e., Afghan Taliban in 2013. Because, yeah, arming and training insurgents always works out (c/o Wiki Commons)

As per CNN (the most trusted name in relaying Pentagon talking points):

The Pentagon has “put a proposal on the table” for U.S. military forces to train and equip moderate Syrian opposition forces for the first time, two Obama administration officials told CNN.

If approved, it would dramatically increase


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The NSA–Land of Captain Kirks

by on September 15, 2013

I have always thought the men who have absolute authority over us (and hint, they are mostly men, unelected and old) have the mentality of a bunch of little boys.  All this macho bullshit about the army being a “warrior culture” (real warriors do very poorly in the age of industrialized warfare–ask the Zulus), cartoon names for killing machines such as “the Predator” and the “Reaper” (at least previous generations …
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Putin Lectures America–Dorian Gray Doesn’t Like Peeks at the Portrait in the Attic

by on September 14, 2013

PutinChick1
Vladimir Putin Mesmerizes a baby bird

America’s various elites (and oh how elite they are getting!) have been fuming that Vladimir Putin, the man in whose eyes George W. Bush saw a man who was “very straight forward and trustworthy,” had the nerve to write an Op-Ed in the New York Times.  Apparently, hearing a lecture by the man who invaded Georgia without UN support, murdered someone with radioactive …
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Labor Day and the Dismal Labor Market

by on September 8, 2013

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Proles off to Work in Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis”–At Least They’ve Got a Job.

So, Labor Day has come and gone in the States and the only thing to say about American labor is that it is flat on its back.  The most recent, and ballyhooed, jobs report indicates continuing stagnation in the US labor market despite the high-fives all around from an Obama economics team that seems thrilled it is …
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“Freedom” of the Press (As Long As You Are Behind Bars)

by on July 27, 2013

Shaye

Recently Released Yemeni Journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye, Jailed at Obama’s Behest (photo c/o AP)

One of the more contemptible policies of the Obama administration is its efforts to criminalize journalism.  While the Bush administration should be held in a very high level of contempt on this issue as well, if only for treating a cameraman as an enemy of the state, the Obama war on journalism is unprecedented.  While this …
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Voting Rights Act Effectively Dead–neo-Jim Crow Prevails

by on June 25, 2013

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Yeah, cuz We Can Trust Southern States to Protect Minority Voting Rights . . . (Florida Voting Precinct, 2012 c/o New York Times). And note, you can’t find any similar pictures for white voters. Hmmm.

Given the blatant and rather racist efforts to disenfranchise minority voters recently, the Supreme Court deciding to strike down the pre-clearance portions of the Civil Rights Act clears the way for the construction of a …
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A Question of Madness–NSA Edition

by on June 23, 2013

 

Kursk

Nadezha Tylik Tranquilized for “Excessive Emotionalism” as She Questioned Authorities after the Death of her Son in the Kursk Sinking, 2001 (c/o St. Petersburg Times)

The revelations of NSA domestic spying have produced a wealth of commentary.  Most of it is quite useless (when a prevaricating general tells you all of it is done with legal authorization, no, that doesn’t mean that it is legal).  Some of it, …
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American Middle Class Ranks 27th. “USA! USA” (Foam Finger Edition)

by on June 20, 2013

Ruined home in Youngstown, Ohio

It has long been the position of this blog that much of American life is run as a cynical grift by feral elites in which the goal is to corrupt every single institution to the benefit of their own enrichment and everybody else’s impoverishment (not a solitary view).  It is simply obviously the case that the American economic and political system is bad for the average person’s prosperity …
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Americans–Eating Their Young

by on June 16, 2013

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Francisco de Goya ~ Saturn Devouring His Children (a Metaphor for Today’s Youth) c/o Wikimedia

One of the enduring myths of the Lesser Depression is that older and more prosperous employees have been devastated by the economic turndown by selfish and better-trained wunderkind.  That slacker hipster youth are simply sponging off their parents and refusing to acquire the skills needed for today’s vicious labor market is a persistent charge.  …
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On Government Secrecy and Citizenship ~ Charlie Pierce asks the Right Question

by on June 14, 2013

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A. Solzhenitsyn ~ like you, he thought his mail was safely boring. (c/o Wikileaks Commons)

UPDATE (6/15):

BloombergBusinessWeek has a fascinating little chart about how 9/11 has been very, very, very good to Booz, Allen & Hamilton.  And just so we all know what a grift this whole thing is, there is a helpful note that 70% (!) of the US intelligence budget goes to connected contractors like B, A …
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History–A Useful Way to See It

by on June 9, 2013

Your World since Jesus (c/o of the Economist)

This chart, care of the Economist’s Chart of the Day blog, is in some way the very essence of historical reductionism.  By estimating all economic output side-by-side with estimated person-years (and, yes, there’s an awful lot of guestimates producing those two numbers) it presents an extraordinary picture of human economic and demographic progress.  Clearly, two things jump out at one.  The first …
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Real Wages Fall Again–Media Ignores It

by on June 3, 2013

Dr. Kenneth Thomas, a political science professor at the University of Misouri-St. Louis and blogger at Business Insider, has actually read the turgid 2013 Economic Report of the President–in particular Appendix B-47, “Hours and Earnings in Non-Agricultural Industries, 1966-2012.”  Since literally nobody else, he found, in the media cares about this stuff, he has decided to report the grim news.  Real wages continue their relentless generational decline, remaining …
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