...But of these sophisms and elenchs of merchandise I skill not...
Milton, Areopagitica

Except he had found the
standing sea-rock that even this last
Temptation breaks on; quieter than death but lovelier; peace
that quiets the desire even of praising it.

Jeffers, Meditation On Saviors



Proxy Terror War on Venezuela:

In the past two months over a thousand public buildings have been destroyed or damaged, mostly fire-bombed by what US Secretary of State John Kerry has called the “democratic and peaceful opposition”. Most of the arson is directed at buildings closely associated with the government’s popular and effective social welfare programs. These include neighborhood centers for adult education and training; free public medical and dental clinics; public banks providing low interest loans for micro-economic projects; primary and secondary public schools in poor neighborhoods; publicly-owned food-stores providing subsidized food and groceries as well as the trucks carrying subsidized food and essential goods to working-class neighborhoods...

Ching-chong good thing ding-dong:

...the Chinese tycoon Chen Guangbiao made international headlines by publicly announcing his ambitions to buy the New York Times and later the Wall Street Journal. In a TV interview he explained that he would be an ideal newspaper magnate because “I am very good at working with Jews”—who, he said, controlled the media.

Yet Chen presumably, like the majority of Chinese, has few concrete ideas about the reality of Jewish history or practices.
via iSteve via xymphora
Announcing your intention to write something is almost a guarantee you won't. But.
History and practices.
To get at this you need a take on what was called "The Opium War", after it was over. Why it happened, how it was resolved, and the outcome.
The short version is the Sassoon family, Jewish textile merchants taking advantage of the brutal domination of India by Britain, with its consequently available near-slave labor, minimal overhead etc. got into the wide-open Asian opium trade, and ended up with an exclusive franchise in China. Which was at the time a sort of dystopic 3rd-worldy kind of place.
The Sassoons were making big money on the addiction process, that ultimate retail/consumer hook, steadily expanding their market, and running the whole enterprise in-house.
Then some heroic Chinese, some military figures centrally, disgusted at what they saw happening, began agitating against the damage widespread opium addiction was causing to their society and their people.
They threw a bunch of opium in the Yangtze, broke up the candy stores, ran dealers out etc.
The Sassoons, because of their financial connections in and on the British government, the biggest empire in the world at the time, got the British navy to invade China and whip the asses of the reformers, who fought back, were defeated by a far superior military, and by the terms of surrender were forced by the British to repay the Sassoon organization for lost business and all the opium they threw in the river. Revenge and then some.
At the end of the conflict, the Sassoons had a guaranteed lock on the opium business in China.
That's never stopped. Mickey Cohen, Meyer Lansky, 20th century bosses of the world drug trade. Their heirs have not been disinherited.
Hoover never made move one on Jewish gangsters, as an anti-organized crime warrior he was exclusively concerned with the Italian Mafia. Probably because Lansky's mob, the "Kosher Nostra", equally organized, equally criminal, equally if not more powerful, had blackmail-ready proof of his sexual ambiguity. 8x10 glossies of Edgar in a house dress and lipstick or something.
That's who's got the global illegal drug market lock today. And I'm convinced, without any hard evidence, that that's why the US/NATO is in Afghanistan, the world's number one producer of opium, which just harvested its largest crop ever, under military occupation. An otherwise inexplicable fact.
Because, as Mr. Chen Guangbiao says, the Jews run America. And the media. And the world's illegal drug industry.

and that snake that he is trying to bring into our territories is not welcome here either:

Eliza Knockwood, a Mi’kmaq woman and mother, silenced the crowded room of government officials and industry representatives with her drum to send the message that water is sacred. “Although the language of the Treaties do not capture the true beauty and spirit of my ancestors, it does show us what is important to them and how they lived in harmony with the natural environment.”
Idle No More
via @naomiklein


It was a pretty church, remarkable for the restraint of its decoration, a place Father had often stopped to pray.
In accordance with Orthodox tradition, all of us gathered before his coffin and held a lighted candle throughout the Mass. The priest recited the Requiem liturgy, and a deacon walked around and around the open casket, all the time swinging his censer until we could barely make out my father's face through the clouds of smoke, the cowl of his backward cloak pulled down by the priest so he could peer out of the slit in his eye and not miss any of the exequies. Mass over we followed the coffin, without its lid, and Father's face still uncovered, out of the cathedral. To ensure no one fell, boards had been laid over the snow. They formed a long narrow path from the cathedral to the spot the tsarina had chosen for Father to be buried.
from The Enchantments
Kathryn Harrison's novel of the last days of the Romanov dynasty seen through the eyes of Misha Rasputin, daughter of Grigory.



Metzitzah B'Peh!


What one meant by "Take the mask off, man" here,
recently exemplified, illustratively, here.

Life is short. Black life is shorter.

the old superstitious:

                       He has got a turn through the reek. (Gaelic).

 Reek—i.e., smoke.
This saying refers to the old superstitious practice of placing a newly christened child into a basket and passing him over a fire to protect him against the power of evil spirits.
Obscure Proverbs
Curiosities in Proverbs/Dwight Edwards Marvin


20 years too late, NASA steps up to the plate:

After running the numbers on a set of four equations representing human society, a team of NASA-funded mathematicians has come to the grim conclusion that the utter collapse of human civilization will be “difficult to avoid.”
The exact scenario may vary, but in the coming decades humanity is essentially doomed to some variant of “Elites” consuming too much, “resulting in a famine among Commoners that eventually causes the collapse of society.”
That is, unless civilization is ready for one of two “major policy changes”: inequality must be “greatly reduced” or population growth must be “strictly controlled.”
Tristin Hopper/Nat'l Post(Canada)
via @MargaretAtwood
In other words either the "Elites" consume too much and everybody eats it, or the "Elites" get rid of all the "excess" "Commoners" and get back to consuming everything in sight after they're out of the way. God forbid something should happen to those precious ones.
With the hope to some day take their heartless appetites and ethical myopia outward to the stars and hey, why not just keep on going? The Satanic* triumph.
This is the vision, has been for some time, the glorious empire, the expanding kingdom. The Elect and the Preterite, the Chosen and the Left Behind. It's a miniaturization of what's really coming. The diabolical facsimile of divine truth. Relatively typical reaction of the wounded - duplicate the circumstance of the wound, with you in control this time.
The disdain from above of people whose only experience of those below is through scum-video surveillance, sycophantic reportage, and the little amount they've had of actual contact, mostly awful, with lives in the world of the under-class.
This is why the polarization everybody's buying into is so insidious. It's divide and conquer. It's working too well.
Contempt is the signifier. Always.

* Still gearing up to the rant on what "Satanic" means, used here. It is not from the patriarchal glossary of institutional religion.
For now: essentially it involves retro-temporality, the ability to move consciousness backward through time. And the wall up ahead where that didn't do any good, all that skullduggery and treachery to get there. All that selfish prophecy and magic, all that poison and proxy violence, all that deceit and betrayal of life.
So there's an astonished and bitterly outraged consciousness, that hasn't been born yet [but is here just the same], that gets its origin, its birth, in that moment of complete denial. The refusal at the Gate.
And it turns around and with folded wings heads back down the timeline. Because there's no other way to go. Outraged, bitter, vindictive, filled with thwarted pride and cauterized ambition.
 Because it was so close, so close. The keys to cellular immortality, the technologies of life extension and dominating environmental control, and those worthless no longer useful peasants fucking everything up.
Imagine what people like Jamie Dimond think of the common man. Or really lots, most, of the more prominent voices today. And the ones who aren't saying anything, just waiting.
Isolated in bubbles of protective security, with no way to even get to the opening moments of shared reality with those below them.
All it takes to make that scenario vivid is some reptilian enabler, with a bag full of evidentiary half-truths. "See? They're stupid, non-productive, there's no reason for them to even exist, beyond the fact they already do. And they hate us, even as they hunger jealously for what we have."

Anyway, that's not the rap, it's here just in case the flow gets interrupted, or something.


The report provides three key messages for every American about climate change:

  • Climate scientists agree: climate change is happening here and now.
  • We are at risk of pushing our climate system toward abrupt, unpredictable, and potentially irreversible changes with highly damaging impacts.
  • The sooner we act, the lower the risk and cost. And there is much we can do.
"Even among members of the broader public who already know about the evidence for climate change and what is causing it, some do not know the degree to which many climate scientist are concerned about the risks of possibly rapid and abrupt climate change — that's something we are dedicated to discussing with multiple audiences, from business leaders and financial experts to decision makers in all walks of life."

Bob Litterman, former Goldman & Sachs Co. executive and senior partner at Kepos Capital, has participated in discussions with the panel on how to accurately measure climate-related risks and the need for a language to talk about climate change through the lens of risk management.
Economists understand how to create incentives to limit pollution production with maximum effect and minimum collateral damage, but crafting the appropriate response is a complex valuation process that requires quantifying those same uncertainties," Litterman said. "To do so requires scientists and economists to work together, ask tough questions, and break the boundaries of their professional silos. That's what's this initiative aims to do."

AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science)

An Israeli company offered to pay a Costa Rican woman $20,000 to purchase her left kidney and a doctor reportedly paid for flights for the transplant to be carried out in March 2013, she and her husband said in a sworn statement.
Not everyone in Israel is in on the ghoul trade.
Why are these items together? The harm of damaged weather, the broken sky. is more obscene, ultimately more ghastly, than any medical cannibalism. And the total silence from above as to why it's happening, what's caused it, that has prevented actions to stop it, has as much to do with the power men like Litterman have over the public voice as it does the spinelessness of public leaders generally.
Greed has set the world on fire, but it's not capable of putting it out.

Pastillas contra el dolor ajeno

fiscal discipline is the fundamental predicate of a free society:

The problem with anything, a certain amount is OK. But there is a tendency to go to extremes. And all of a sudden, if there's advertising and legitimacy, how many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation? The world's pretty dangerous, very competitive. I think we need to stay alert, if not 24 hours a day, more than some of the potheads might be able to put together.
California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.
 Discipline's a funny word. It can mean strength of will or punishment, depending on the use, and the user. Brown's using it in the first sense, of course. But there's a punishment aspect in its use that's pretty widespread, and still going pretty much unchecked and unquestioned.
Talking about "medical" marijuana, in all but the minority of truly medical instances, is so flagrantly hypocritical as to be farcical.
This isn't the necessary hypocrisy of the inescapably compromised - for instance people who think it should be legal but deal in the underground - it's the hypocrisy of those who lie to protect themselves from exposure to legitimate criticism of their unethical greed.
Brown knows the game is to keep the money moving upward - massive amounts of it, with no discipline beyond the enforcement and protection of that upward flow. And that enforcement is primarily centered on the illegality of the weed, and the prosecution and incarceration of enough low-level sellers to keep the big players comfortably fed.
It's a real simple thing, weed is expensive because everybody along the supply chain is risking punishment, from the user to the wholesaler. Marketing it with government "controls" has meant that the illegal price stays pretty close to where it was before there were any dispensaries, or licensed outlets. Taxes! Big time!
I haven't seen any stats but I'm certain neither Colorado nor Washington have seen anything like a price drop toward a reasonable "free market" number. A number representing competition, production costs, and distribution costs without the artificial inflation of illegal risk. It's going to stay at or near the illegal price point, because that's where the money is.
We're talking about a plant you can grow in your own backyard or garage, harvest, and dry in your laundry room.
Fiscal discipline my ass.
As somebody on twitter snarked, it sounds like he's hyping cocaine instead. Alert, competitive, got it.
No small factor in the Wall Street predations of the last couple of decades, coked-out greedheads.
So why's there concern about "some of the potheads", basically meaning most of them?
How about a mediated culture whose central message is "C'mon feed every base impulse you get that can be gratified by buying something"? And we'll bombard kids with that message until they sing it like the national anthem
How about a culture whose primary noise is "gimme that", whose central philosophical question is "What's on TV?"
And the tragic fact of the still unwritten story of all that counter-culture yada, hey that's history, let's move on.
Anyone old enough to have shown all those kids a sensible, responsible way to bring weed into their lives, especially in place of the seriously more dangerous use of alcohol, anyone who could have lead by example, and showed any willingness to, was hounded and driven out of any visible leadership. The only example acceptable to the powers of that time was damage and punishment. The carnage of that moral failure is met with a shrug, and the business of business just keeps rolling along.
Kids started smoking pot, the authorities reacted like they were being attacked by their own children, and now when the battle's clearly over, and most of the country wants legalization, we get "sorta legal" instead, and no recognition whatsoever of why there's a problem, what caused it in the first place, or what to do about it.
Aside from "Just Say Kind Of". And "Show Me The Money".
We're not even going to get into Brown pimping California to Netanyahu.

It’s a sad day for America when you have to get your honest news from the pigs at Goldman Sachs, B of A, and Morgan Stanley.


There's a long-standing literature that absolutely shows there's a statistical link between Toxo infection and schizophrenia. It's not a big link, but it's solidly there. Schizophrenics have higher than expected rates of having been infected with Toxo, and not particularly the case for other related parasites. Links between schizophrenia and mothers who had house cats during pregnancy. There's a whole literature on that.
Two really interesting things. Back to dopamine and the tyrosine hydroxylase gene that Toxo somehow ripped off from mammals, which allows it to make more dopamine. Dopamine levels are too high in schizophrenia. That's the leading suggestion of what schizophrenia is about neurochemically. You take Toxo-infected rodents and their brains have elevated levels of dopamine. Final deal is, and this came from Webster's group, you take a rat who's been Toxo-infected and is now at the state where it would find cat urine to be attractive, and you give it drugs that block dopamine receptors, the drugs that are used to treat schizophrenics, and it stops being attracted to the cat urine. There is some schizophrenia connection here with this.
   Any time Toxo's picked up in the media, and this schizophrenia angle is brought in, the irresistible angle is the generic crazy cat lady, you know, living in the apartment with 43 cats and their detritus. And that's an irresistible one in terms of Toxo psychiatric status: cats. But God knows what stuff is lurking there.
Robert Sapolsky/edge
via synthetic zero
Desperately, various attempts were made to treat, diagnose or ''cure'' Lucia Joyce. During her first, unwilling incarceration (engineered by Giorgio) in a French sanitarium in 1932, she was said to be suffering from ''hebephrenic psychosis'' (the young person's version of what Kraepelin had defined as dementia praecox). Then she was placed under a disciple of Bleuler at the Burgholz psychiatric clinic in Zurich, where schizophrenia was diagnosed. She was treated by a Dr. Forel, who recommended ''persuasion'' and surveillance. She was analyzed by Jung, who thought her so bound up with her father's psychic system that analysis could not be successful. His colleague Cary Baynes diagnosed repression. Friends of the Joyces -- Maria Jolas, Mary Colum, the heroically well-behaved Harriet Weaver, Joyce's married sister Eileen -- all tried to look after Lucia, in London or Paris or Ireland, more or less disastrously. Her treatments included injections with sea water and animal serum, barbiturates and solitary confinement.
A FIRE IN THE BRAIN: The difficulties of being James Joyce’s daughter
Joan Acocella/New Yorker
via arlindo-correia

Given my upbringing, I really had no choice:

I believe that the root of all injustice and oppression has always been the same – the dehumanization of the other. It is the obsession with Us and Them that can lead us, regardless of racial or religious identity, into the abyss.

Let us never forget that oppression begets more oppression, and the tree of fear and bigotry bears only bitter fruit. The end of the occupation of Palestine, should we all manage to secure it, will mean freedom for the occupied and the occupiers and freedom from the bitter taste of all those wasted years and lives.
Roger Waters/Salon


Rachel Corrie was not rational in the moments before her death, she was emotional. She died heroically for what she felt, not what she thought. Though her thoughts were with her heart, it was what she felt that put her in the way of what killed her.
And she was accused of anti-Semitism. Of course she was. Or being a dupe of anti-Semitism.
Her supporters, and her family, in their grief, were accused of anti-Semitism. And still are.
There's a moment coming when a lot of people are going to be saying "Yeah I'm anti-Semitic, so what?"
It's a mistake for decent people to keep pretending there isn't something hiding behind that smokescreen that is cowardly and evil.
Here it is, that cowardice, that smokescreen, in the present, in print:

More on religion, mostly just notes.
Really it's about the assertion that there's no reason to believe in anything that can't be demonstrated - evidence for the rational mind lacking, why go there?
Which, surprise, I'm a fan! Science is cool! Robots are cool! In the right hands*.
But. A little glance backward and we can see, time after time, thing after thing, that reliance on evidence alone either hid the underlying truth, or misled the rational mind in isolation.
The sun is clearly the source of energy for virtually everything that lives on earth. But that takes some understanding to get to, some evidence and thought. We're there, on that, got it. But it took some work, some gathering of information, and some individual partial understanding, before we got there.
So there's the distinct possibility of more like that still to come, for one thing. Since only a delusional fool would say we're anywhere near a full comprehension of life, what it is, and where it's being lived.
For another there's the total inability of rational views of life that center on all this being mechanical, and ultimately accidental, to comfort the human heart when it's overwhelmed by hurt, or in the midst of its suffering.
Disdain for hearts hungry for that comfort is pretty close to sociopathic. And sociopaths are well-recognized as being relatively unaffected by personal trauma - pragmatic, functional, rational, even in extreme duress - and especially impervious to effect by the experience of trauma in others.
Not the guidance any normal person would seek, or bequeath to their children.
The degradation of emotional being, reduced to secondary, almost luxury status, and the parallel reduction of the aesthetic response, while rational stances are elevated, rewarded, encouraged. It's suspicious.
The reverence and enthusiasm that was genuine, if artificially played, for the FDNY in the aftermath of 911, is pure emotion. The songs that celebrate heroes, the stories of sacrifice and bravery, these are with us because they move us, emotionally. There's nothing rational about it. Mechanistic dissections of emotion aren't alive, and they won't further human aspirations. Though they're great for the encouragement of sociopaths.
Religion's mandate is not confrontation with the unknown, not even maps to it or of it, but conversation with it, and the shaping of attitudes toward it. The absence of that conversation is what has enabled so much of the awful damage the world around us has received from us.
The perversion of that mandate into an excuse for collective selfishness, and the wholesale entrapment of yearning gullible minds in delusional chains, isn't enough to justify rejection of religion itself.
It needs redefining, it needs reformatting, as does the scientific model. Both are needful of each other, and both have been set to war against each other. Suspicious, that, as well.

*Killer drones are not cool, and in the wrong hands, which is the case at present, they're Satanic.
Facebook deploying near-orbital wireless broadcasting drones is a bizarre perversion of the human need for communication, and the possibilities of universal connection for enlightened human progress.
A proven track record of bottlenecking the flow of progress, metering it, slowing it down purely for venal opportunism, is close enough to evil that it should be called out and made to justify itself, before it continues fucking up the future.

                                                  a short meditation on hypocrisy

Lady Gaga's speech at SXSW was probably met with the usual reactions from the usual people in the usual places - fans up, non-fans down, most people so what? - the little I saw was dismissive, and behind it the usual stance of who are these people who benefit from what they're attacking to even think they have a right to...
Neil Young was swooped on for how much fuel consumption he was in charge of as he went public against the tar sands nightmare in upper Alberta.
Let's introduce an even more difficult term of diminishment: Complicity in your own oppression.
It's how they get so many of us, guilt, and a sense of shame, because you do, you do go along with it, to get along. And the most successful, economically and in the reach of their fame, are diminished as spokespersons, whatever the cause they're championing.
Because hey, you got all that stuff.
Even little folks, with jobs, with families, regular people. This is huge in the climate change thing, or as I'm still fond of describing it, anthropogenic climate forcing. The set-up is you, we, did it. And on the surface sure, all those cars, all those miles, all those gallons of gas. Yeah, that's what did it. Industry, basically making stuff that we, you, consume.
Forget about how much seduction's involved, how many tricks were played, how much the discourse was controlled to the point of non-existence. Forget about how people were forced to choose the things they're now being set-up to take the blame for, that benefited those at the top way more than those below them.
And Ms. Ga. has all those royalties and venue percentages etc. So bite the hands that feed you much?
The center of it's the assumed inviolability of the charge of hypocrisy. Ain't gonna, ain't supposed to, listen to no damn hypocrites.
Well fuck that.
It's the same deceptive horseshit that got Uncle Hiram to drink himself to death after he signed that contract with the coal mine company, and they came and ate off the top of the whole damn mountain, and washed away everbody's homeplace just about.
Yeah well we got that contract right here and it's binding.
But he didn't understand what it said. Too bad.
No, too bad for you. Fuck your contract. Fuck the idea of contract law as more sacred than people's homes and lives.
And fuck hypocrisy when the only way to survive is to get inside the system and work it. Of course there's a compromise, you can't even have an adult life in this depraved world without compromising somewhere, somehow.
It disunites any opposition to the black-hearted evil that's so commonly present, to demand virtual sainthood from anybody saying no, saying stop, saying see what that is and don't do it.
We have to start from where we are, and where we are is right here, smack dab in the middle of a huge steaming pile of pig shit.

ruth fowler has fiery breath:

International adoption is ethically unsound at the best of times: issues surrounding child trafficking, the sheer extortionate cost of adoption, the historically rank practice of shipping black and brown children to white adults for large sums of money, the numbers of corrupt adoption agencies operating… and the lack of transparency surrounding the Watkins case is just another example of how sentimentalism overrides pragmatism, how the myth of the savior is used to silence the voice of caution, to suggest the voice of caution is somehow racist, bigoted and malicious.
The Rescue Fallacy: Race, Privilege and Adoption
ruth fowler/the world breaks everyone

advisers from the State Department and the Pentagon 
have proposed an assassination plan and a coup:

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Saturday proposed establishment of a commission for "peace and mutual respect of sovereignty" between the United States and his country to start a dialogue to re-establish diplomatic ties.
Google News Search for "a commission for peace" Maduro
had two hits at 11:46 am California daylight savings time 16 March 2014,
one of them the article from which the quote was extracted, the other Yahoo News,
which is an article from AFP (Agence France Presse) which was until the takeover of France by the
 Zionist-neoliberal-fascist-conspiracy more conservative elements of French politics, a fairly honest site for news written with journalistic integrity. But sadly, whatever reactionary dickwads forces put the cartoonish Sarkozy in power, snipped the balls off AFP before they made their move to take over the country.
Which you'd expect. Get the news guys first, then the government. Too messy the other way.
Anyway, the Yahoo article ends with this typical swinish propagandistic trick, where the swine favorite voice is given the last word, so dumbass the unsophisticated reader carries that away from the piece:
The Popular Will, a prominent opposition party, was set to hold a rival demo in another part of the capital, "to repudiate the brutal onslaught of state security and pro-government (vigilante) groups against demonstrators."

However the march was called off due to the "threat from violent groups" that support the government, said Popular Will spokesman Johan Merchan.
This in spite of the body count being heavily tipped the other way, most all of the violence originating in the so-called "opposition", significant caches of nasty weaponry busted among the "opposition" - it's insane to watch.
"Writhing serpent" doesn't even get close to how inhuman and ugly it is.
For a more honest view there's these guys.

Update: As of 7:00 pm California daylight savings time 16 March 2014, there were now three hits on Google News for "a commission for peace" Maduro.
"Violence Venezuela" - About 34,800 results

Please come back


“what it thinks we want to see” :

...last September, Google received a patent on technology that lets a company dynamically price electronic content. For instance, it can push the base price of an e-book up if it determines you are more likely to buy that particular item than an average user; conversely, it can adjust the price down as an incentive if you are judged less likely to purchase. And you won't even know you are paying more than others for the exact same item.
...liberals and conservatives who deliberate questions openly only with people of the same political stripe become more confident and extreme in their views
Michael Fertik/ScientificAmerican
via cryptogon

no people live in the extensive exclusion zones around the epicenter:

Birds around Chernobyl have significantly smaller brains that those living in non-radiation poisoned areas; trees there grow slower; and fewer spiders and insects—including bees, butterflies and grasshoppers—live there. Additionally, game animals such as wild boar caught outside of the exclusion zone—including some bagged as far away as Germany—continue to show abnormal and dangerous levels of radiation.
Rachel Nuwer/Smithsonian

South By Southwest By Death
prior writing here on this subject:
and here


only in Israel does a majority think
it is not necessary to believe in God 
to be an upright person:

Many people around the world think it is necessary to believe in God to be a moral person, according to surveys in 40 countries by the Pew Research Center. However, this view is more common in poorer countries than in wealthier ones.
In 22 of the 40 countries surveyed, clear majorities say it is necessary to believe in God to be moral and have good values. This position is highly prevalent, if not universal, in Africa and the Middle East. At least three-quarters in all six countries surveyed in Africa say that faith in God is essential to morality.
firedoglake link to the above poll data worded thusly:
In what is surely the most idiotic argument of all time, a good portion of people in the world believe you need religion to be moral
To repeat, not for the last time:
Not very bright people with weird ideas about sex. Does not stop us from believing in sex.
Not very bright people with weird ideas about God, enables disbelief in God.
The trap, and it is a trap, is if you repudiate consensus religion, yet insist that religion is necessary, you have to start one of your own, or shut up. Or hang around AA meetings, even if you don't have problems with substance abuse.
Well says Mr. Logic, sex is obviously part of what we are, it's how we get here. The sexual urge is at least as strong as hunger and thirst at times etc. There's no corresponding hunger- and thirst-like urge toward belief in "God".
Really? Let's come back to that later, shall we?
Every single moral consensus that we're going to get from this time, however rational and atheist its delivery, is going to come from a received sense of morality that has its origins in something enough like religion to deserve the term.
It's just that all we know of religion now, in the West, is the result of a couple of thousand years of total proprietary ownership of the terms, and the ideas behind them. So most people's view of religion is of the institutional holders of the copyrights on the term.
You have to get past that to even consider something sane and defensible. Same as with all the weird ideas about sex etc.
Why bother?
Because there is no rational way to encourage moral behavior from the standpoint of reason alone that doesn't depend entirely on fear and force to work. Same as institutional religion for most of its history. Disagree with us? We'll burn you at the stake. Or else stick you into a privatized slave-prison.
Real morality is felt. It springs from a willing co-operation that is emotional first, rational second.
Altruism, the self-sacrifice of heroes, these are emotional, not rational, states.
But even rationalists have emotions, families, lovers. Most of them anyway.
The rationalist assumption is shared emotion will get the job done. But someone who doesn't share common feelings and loyalties, and figures gaming the system of enforcement will probably work, has no incentive to co-operate.
Still no problem, right? As long as enough people do share that emotional commitment to right behavior. We can scare most of the rest into co-operating, and police the hell out of what's left.
Until you see that gathering that emotional unity can't happen from the pragmatic immediate. It has to come from something bigger, an engagement with something bigger. A relationship with something outside the self.
Enabling and guiding that relationship is the true mandate of religion.
The world isn't in the midst of environmental chaos because of belief in God OR rational assessment of things, it's in the state it's in because of a perversion of the one, and the complete lack of anything like a loyalty to things greater than the individual self in the other.
Rational self-interest without the sub-strate of  felt morality will collapse any human system larger than a gang, eventually.
That works even for debased moral systems like present-day Judeo-Christianity and Islam.
No doubt if humanity was already starting from some kind of achieved perfection, it would be a simple thing to establish a moral code that would do what moral codes need to do.
But to start now, from here, in the midst of all this metastasizing selfish shit, is to invite the self-interest of hedonists and financial sociopaths to create the laws that will govern the course of human destiny.
Force alone will be able to make that work, and force alone is never going to be enough to do what needs doing. Love is the only thing that can do that.
 Love for something greater than the self, or even the present community. Love of life, and bigger, love of what it is to be, the wondrous fact of existence, and the miracle of where that being is lived.
We're not in a communal state of love at the moment, it seems to me.
Rational love is an absurdity.

These things are key:
We were raised to disdain our ancestors, progressively increasing contempt the further back in time we look.
We were raised to disdain the remnant cultures in the contemporary world that still carry the old ways into the present, the older, the more contempt.
We were taught that the space around our world was dark and empty, that we were alone in the dark.
These are all the tenets of rationalists not religion. And they are all false, ultimately.
However consciously unintended to be, they were lies. About some of the most fundamental truths of our living.
The universe is not dark, it's filled with light.
Our ancestors were successful enough at what they did to give birth to us, to make us possible. No small thing, and deserving profound respect.
These same deceptions were laid on our regard for the natural world and the creatures in it. Disdain and contempt were the signifying attitudes, they always are. Massive harm resulted. And continues, devastatingly.

There was a firestorm of antagonistic debate around the teaching of evolution in public schools in the US a decade back.
Bitter and one-sided, like a bar fight between an active-duty soldier and a teen-aged hemophiliac, but the complete agreement between the two sides was invisible in the violence.
They both agreed completely that evolution had to be stopped in its tracks, unless it was being performed to human demands.
The rationalists by human design alone, the religionists by the design of a God whose will they had manufactured to suit themselves, or someone else, someone human, had.
The old form, real non-human controlled evolution, is a balancing within the tension between the labor of humankind to defend itself and the constant pressure on it of conditions that were sometimes deadly, and other lives that were not always friendly, to the point of eating us, or not allowing us to eat them.
That gave us every single thing we value about ourselves. It's what made the wolf beautiful, and the wilderness majestic
That's evolution, and if it didn't work, we are ourselves the proof of its failure.
If it did work, why are we treating it as some kind of horrible enemy?
And how can we assume our progress has been so fully realized within its sculpting hands that we can now leave it behind and take over the job? Where is the proof of our competence? In the sky?
The short answer is we're looking at something living among us whose presence is a refutation of that terrible beautiful energy, that has to control, if not destroy it, because it won't survive otherwise.
It's a perfectly rational response, but it's inhuman, and treacherous. And the results of that betrayal are piling up around us.

I'm neither trying to start a new religion, nor suggesting we all go lie down in the woods and let Nature run over us in her truck.
It's enough for now to diminish the strength of people who get their arrogance from the idiocy of their designated opponents, and who have nothing but scorn for where they really came from, and who they really are.

rise of the robots:

The day that robot armies become more cost-effective than human infantry is the day when People Power becomes obsolete. With robot armies, the few will be able to do whatever they want to the many. And unlike the tyrannies of Stalin and Mao, robot-enforced tyranny will be robust to shifts in popular opinion. The rabble may think whatever they please, but the Robot Lords will have the guns.
We’re all worried about the day that the 1% no longer need the 99%–but what’s really scary is when they don’t fear the 99% either.
Jonathan Ernst/Quartz
Working toward an explication of "Satanic" in the context of the present moment.
For now let's just say that a combination of things:

The robotic army, the robotic eye, the robotic brain, and hidden behind the walls of robotic security, some "thing" that will evolve toward its environment as organisms always do.
 Even as the tools of its evolution are held increasingly in the hands of the creature behind those walls, at the head of that army, in command of those eyes and that brain.
A worm, let's say. Soft, and relatively helpless without its sheltering protection - a host, a suit of armor, a fog of deception, and the sting of seductive manipulation toward degradation.
Combine the tools of medical science with all that, as it moves toward a refutation of mortality - longevity leading to further longevity leading to virtual forever -  and there you have it.
An immortal worm.
The assumption of godhood by a thing that made that climb through a slithering journey of deceit and inhuman treachery.
 But for the worm it isn't treachery, just necessary predation. All that's necessary for a morals pass is a refusal of the human on the part of the morphing creature. I am not what you are.
It isn't cannibalism if it's not human, isn't treachery if its loyalties are to itself alone as it leaves the bonds of human frailty and confusion behind.
Think how attractive this is to it, the first triumph, the second, and the gates of immortality swing slowly open. And all resistance, behind and to the side, is futile
The triumph's predicated on there being nothing else here but us and it. Us now being all those dying animals as well as the little human folk.
The same refusal of commonality that humans were tricked into now turned back on them. The gamble is there's nothing higher than the worm's vision and its hunger. A gamble it has to take as it becomes more visible hourly.
Note for those keeping track of the discussion in its larger scope:
Crazy religionists who are wrong about sex. But we still believe in sex.
They're wrong about God too, so that means we don't have to consider the existence of something higher than us, something greater than us.

want to have some fun reading?

The thread in which this would have appeared closed to comments as I was writing it. This is the second time that's happened on that site. Pure co-incidence I know, but still.
It's the last, or would have been, of a long series of attempts, from lots of angles, to get at something that's not making it across the fiery chasm of polarized antagonism on this subject.
There's people I care about on both sides, and people I find disgusting too. I do it for the ones that matter to me, on both sides. It is decidedly not fun, most of the time. But there was some fun to be had here and there.
The causes of homophobic bigotry are easily seen for what they are - as an irrational sickness centered in the superstitious past. So all that's necessary is for us to stop that. In ourselves of course, and in others by force if necessary.
Easy. What's the problem?
Just people clinging to outdated harmful ignorance.
Why is there even discussion about this?
Hmm yeah, I don't know...let's see...
Is there a difference between silicone inserts and female breasts?
No, not in porn images of the naked chest. Not in sexual-object constructs.
There is of course a profound difference to a nursing child.
But we're way past that, we can provide babies with artificial breast milk. So equality. So done.
That there might be something similar, a similar distinction between natural and artificial, between something central to human nature and something more peripheral, operating in *some* of the people who are being blanket-condemned for irrational bigotry, that's not resolvable by simply calling them names...nah.
We know what's going on. Don't we?
Crowd: mutters.
The reason why the simple obvious question "So what's wrong with polygamous marriage, as long as we're opening things up marriage-wise?" went unanswered is it opens the discussion to where the line should be. Just one tiny example of the incoherence on display.
That I got accused of bigoted statements (not here though!) and when I said prove it, nothing happened, just gets ignored. Because fail. Yeah?
This same template is present in a few other areas of contemporary discord. Oh yes it is.
And it's being played by highly sophisticated operators.
My assertion, and I'm sticking to it.
There's nothing in what I've said here that places me anywhere within the black/white yes/no dichotomy.
That's the efforts of a distributed antagonism that's ultimately incoherent because of its multiple voices, who are in full coherent agreement that any non-dogmatic voice must be silenced. Pretty much the same reactive antagonism that's on the other, unrepresented here, side.
Fighting bigotry with bigotry. Who gets to silence and marginalize whom.
That silencing was what I went up against, where I'm still operating. If this was a site of primarily fundamentalist Christians I'd be getting the same shit with different colored bits in it.
Why even bother?
Because in my bizarro-world complacent shallow views toward these volatile polarized questions end up enabling things that aren't even under discussion. And yes, that's dangerous. Right now dangerous, in the real world.
What I'm rejecting has nothing to do with sexual diversity, and everything to do with thoughtless smug complacency and myopic knee-jerk reactions to the threats of complex reality.
The full thread is a great example of what my first comment called it:
Incoherent anti-gay argument.
Incoherent pro-gay argument.
And it’s very important you choose one or the other, because incoherence is all that will save us now.
Proponents of gay marriage:
“We were born this way and nothing can change that.”
Advocates for trans-gender acceptance:
“We were born into an exterior gender identity that surgical and cosmetic reconfiguration will adjust toward a truer image of our true selves.”
Anti-gay bigots: “People weaker than me have to do what I want them to. Even if it’s illogical and harmful.
God doesn’t like queers, it says so in the Bible.
It also says you should kill adulterous women with rocks, but we choose to ignore that part.”
On that thread of course only one side of the noise and confusion was allowed. The few other non-consensus voices that showed up were driven away pretty quickly.
Suggesting to people actively involved in an empowering delusion that they are in fact delusional is, as the thread proves mightily, enraging to the delusional.
The effort to position me as anti-gay failed.
The effort to position me as equally incoherent failed.
At the end there was simply the assertion that I had failed. Which contained some truth.
I should have stopped trying somewhere in the middle, having made myself as clear as I possibly could.
But I learned more than ten years ago on that same site, about something entirely different - the existence of telepathic ability in parrots - that continuing in the face of massive insult and scornful abuse is strengthening, and once the swelling goes down you can find yourself more able to get the job done than if you'd retreated from the hurt and scorn.
I'm way tougher now because of that. I don't recommend it particularly, but it is serving me well now.
The hurt and frustration subside, the conviction remains.
Even if it's not always as clear and coherent as I'd wish.
And to all those "parrot" scorners:
 Dudes. I proved it, beyond the shadow of any reasonable doubt.
Not in parrots. In me.
If you missed it, that's your tough shit.


Oscar Wilde at the row:

"But the solitary confinement, that breaks one's heart, shatters one's intellect too: and prison is but an ill physician: and the modern modes of punishment create what they should cure, and, when they have on their side Time with its long length of dreary days, they desecrate and destroy whatever good, or desire even of good, there may be in a man."
Justin Randle/truthout


The reason this isn't even visible in American boss media:

M̩rida, 10th March 2014 ( РVenezuelan president Nicolas Maduro reiterated his call asking the Venezuelan opposition to join in peace talks. Over the weekend another government supporter was killed in barricade-related violence.

“I want to invite the MUD [opposition Democratic Unity Table coalition] to join the peace conference…the whole country has entered the peace conference with the exception of some sectors of the opposition,” he said yesterday.
because they're owned by the same guys that are behind the opposition in Venezuela.
And Ukraine.
Lying sacks of craven shit.


in the wake of recent moves in various European countries to ban ritual circumcision:

The hold of the religious authorities over Israelis' private lives has been thrust into the spotlight after a rabbinical court ruled that a Jewish woman, identified only as Elinor, must circumcise her son against her wishes. She has been ordered by the rabbis to pay a fine of $140 a day until the procedure is carried out. Following public disquiet, the judgment was frozen, pending a hearing before the country's supreme court.
There is no law requiring circumcision, but the overwhelming majority of Israeli Jewish parents follow the traditional practice of inviting a mohel, or circumcisor, to remove the foreskin of a newborn son. Rabbis regard the procedure as a commandment from God.
Jonathan Cook/Al Jazeera English
Being pretty interested in the state of circumcisional affairs generally, I'm somewhat taken aback to have seen nothing corresponding to the headline there. Europe, really? Why, I had no idea!
It bears repeating that one of the mohel's ritual duties is to suck the wounded penis at the severed vestige of foreskin, and ritually spit that sucked blood into a ritual basin. Possibly a gold basin, unclear on that. Maybe depends on the wealth of the participants or something. Although, my sense is no baby boy in the world, no matter how financially secure, if asked, would consent to have his dick whacked at by someone he didn't know, gold or no gold.
Mom! Mom! Mommaaaaa!
They don't feel pain like we do.
Plus there's the abiding covenant betwixt God and His people.


Reading Wikipedia on Women's Day:

Denmark "granted" women sufferage suffrage, the right to vote in oldspeak, in 1915.
Preceded only by the Pitcairn Islands way back in 1838, and Australia, 1902, opening the doors of democracy for the wives and mothers and daughters and sisters of already-voting men.
Russia 1917.
Ukraine SSR 1919.
The other end of the timeline is of course still open, with Saudi Arabia, a kingdom, a major US ally and trading partner, still trying to make up its kingly mind:

Saudi Arabia - Not yet. Women were denied the right to vote or to stand for the local election in 2005, although suffrage was slated to possibly be granted by 2009, then set for later in 2011, but suffrage was not granted either of those times.
In late September 2011, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud declared that women would be able to vote and run for office starting in 2015.
Vatican City, which is very tiny so probably doesn't have a lot of women to start with, doesn't allow women to vote either, but unlike Saudi Arabia isn't pretending to be thinking about it. Oh, and it's where the Pope lives, and so it's HQ for the Catholic Church. So bigger in a kind of image-y way.
And France. 1944. France!
Switzerland - 1971, boys and girls.
United Kingdom - 1918 (partial) (Then including Ireland)1928 (full)
            From 1918-1928, women could vote at 30 with property qualifications or as                    graduates of UK universities, while men could vote at 21 with no qualification.

And the home team, USA: 1920. Not quite a century yet.
There's something there that isn't visible, even today.
No, not why isn't it visible. Not why not give them the right to vote. Why?
Why weren't women voting already?
And it's like it's not important, or not that important.
It's over whatever it was, can't we just move on?
But it is important, and it may turn out to have been even more important than whether or not they got to, finally.
It's not real profitable to always reduce a complex social condition to an individual analogy, but sometimes it makes it easier to see things, things that get lost in the noise of the larger signal.
Imagine some husband, won't let his wife sign anything, she can't discipline the kids, can't spend any money without his permission, can't give her opinion about any important family things. Etc etc.
She starts asking for a voice in things that are affecting her and her kids. Then after a bunch of really violent fights, violent on his end, she just yells after reasonable argument fails completely, she just goes out and lays down behind the car so he has to move her out of the way to get to work, and he whacks her around a little for obstructing him in the performance of his duties.
Then he locks her in the garage, and when she refuses to eat the dog food he pushes her in the little cage he's built next to the lawn mower, he makes a pan of watery oatmeal, shoves a garden hose down her throat and pours the glop into her. For her own good. He's a doctor so it's okay.
Finally some of the neighbors, the ones that aren't laughing at her silliness for trying to be like men, convince him to stop all that, and you know, let her have a little more say in things. Takes a while, but eventually...
Cool. People change, right?
He's better now. She's better too.
It's just probably no, it's not cool, lots of reasonable folks would tell her to lose the loser, get away from him before he does something even crazier, right?
Because there's something wrong with him.
Okay. Now back to that larger picture.
If it wasn't a sickness, what was it? A reasonable assessment of women's abilities at the time?
Want to try and make that stick?
And if it was a sickness, exactly when did the cure take place?
Because I can't find that part on Wikipedia.


Crossing the pink line
Rinky-dink political children don't like the use of religious terminology in political speech. Tough shit.
This is the beginning of the Satanic rise to visibility. Not Benjamin's situation individually, this moment, this hour. It begins.
It will end with one side gone.
Satanic defeat, or victory.
Not the Satan that belongs to the Judeo-Christian delusional iconography, the sleaze-king of European superstition, but the Satan the Judeo-Christian delusionals worship and serve. A thing compounded of selfishness, animated by its own gravitational mass.
Why wouldn't you expect evil to inhabit a central position of authority in the very organizations that claim to be his enemies?
What's the pattern elsewhere?
Look at politics, look at finance, look at everything with any kind of extractable resource to it.
Lies, deceit, camouflage.
Criminals smug behind the protective barriers of the law. Criminals making and enforcing laws that protect them.
It's where you live you idiots. It's how they do.
Take over the thing that if you didn't take it over would be attacking you.
And if you can't take it over, because its courage and integrity are too resistant to your scum-sucking intrigue and manipulation, get your drooling imbecile legions to hate it and attack it.
Satanic official Egypt is a Zionist dog-kennel.
Medea Benjamin's a 21st century saint.


Medea Benjamin sends the world a picture, from her cell.
I know it's just co-incidence but earlier today I was telling her voice on the radio that I wanted to give her satisfaction. Even if it meant just guarding the door while she, you know, with someone she liked better.

This may be it guys.

You know, the Israelis want to push everything:

For nine days early this month, eight of the LAPD’s highest ranking officers toured Israel on a trip organized by LAPD Deputy Chief and commander of the Counter-Terrorism and Special Operations Bureau Michael Downing, and headed by LAPD Information Technology Bureau commander Horace Frank.
While it’s unclear how much the trip cost taxpayers, Frank told the Journal that the trip was financed with “grant funding that was available for us to look at emergency technologies and best practices.”
rania khalek/dispatches from the underclass
For the first nine days of February, eight of the Los Angeles Police Department’s top brass were 7,500 miles away from home, being shuttled around Israel in a minibus.
“They complained because it was like in the army — they went from place to place to place, and they needed some rest,” joked Arie Egozi, a partner at i-HLS, the Israeli homeland-security news site that organized the LAPD tour. “You know, the Israelis want to push everything.”
LAPD Deputy Chief Jose Perez, a good-natured 30-year veteran of the department who oversees its central bureau, tweeted updates at nearly every stop. On Feb. 2, he shared a group photo of the Los Angeles delegation visiting the corporate headquarters of Nice Systems, an Israeli security and cyber intelligence company that can intercept and instantly analyze video, audio and text-based communications. (A seemingly tongue-in-cheek inspirational poster on the wall behind them reads: “Every voice deserves to be heard.”)
Simone Wilson/Jewish Journal
Hard to know where to start here. Best practices? Israel? Push everything? Tongue-in-cheek?
Planet of the Excessively Smiling Apes.
CC: Jesus Christ and all the angels
Subject: My time here is almost done

Dear Star People (+ any interested Others):
Dudes, I'm ready.
These motherfuckers are not redeemable.
I'll be waiting for you. No need to reply, I know you've got a lot of things working, as always.
Looking forward to our next meet-up. Let me know when, I'll be there.

    Love, Mike
The ghastly idea that Israel could teach anyone anything except how to become an inhuman parasitical thing.

When I was younger and the surveillance was pretty much an isolating blow - you know, making you feel alone and picked out, whereas now it's bringing people together under the all-seeing eye of this false and threatening god of material power - the pigs, well their little dweeb operatives who were actually running the hands-on equipment, used to play songs that had a surveillance theme whenever I got near one of their public speaker orifices, restaurants, stores, any place with a muzak contract.
Songs like Sting's "I'll Be Watching You".
There were an unhappy number of that kind of tune, and the sort of dumbass/cunning thing was it wasn't that out of the ordinary for them to be playing at the time, it's just my personal subjective experience of it would be it was playing right when I walked in some place they had access to the muzak. Which they evidently had to most all of it. At a rate of frequency way outside the distribution norm of popular songs.
And who could I go to with that story, then?
Whereas, now, hey! Hey internets! It's me! Mike! I know about this shit already!
I'm on it.
My personality isn't susceptible to the intimidation anymore, I've lived with it for decades, for too long to be afraid of it.
Doesn't change the moral nature of it at all - it's depraved cowardice, stunted hunger for dominance and revenge, the usual list of distinct personality flaws. Ultimately the Satanic profile. Not just yet though. They're still hoping to pull it off.
Once it becomes obvious they aren't, because they can't...bwa-ha-ha - nothing but bitterness and contempt and revenge, ultimately against God, and life, and the universe. Satan.
It sets up, the control dynamic in the larger present context, an increasing justification for itself, as tightening control by the incompetent creates metastasizing failure, which then demands increasing control, and so on in recursive cycles of futility and desperation.
I think they think there's something bright and golden on the other side of all this mess. That's the promise, the vision, I guess.
Hard to imagine a universe, or a deity, though, that would reward such pathological moral inferiority at the expense of the beautiful and good. I'm not talking about myself there, idiots.
I mean reward it beyond the human perimeter, where clearly that is in fact the system's immediate result.
Rich powerful insane fools, winning a game they invented by rules they invented.
Clueless vicious inhuman assholes, who think they're the good guys, the victims.
With cameras in the sky, and nuclear weapons ready at a touch of their finger.

"Fuck that. Turn the music back up."

A Bed-Stuy State of Mind - Gentrification Shaken and Stirred:

Only now has it become a place on people’s radars for good reasons, and that isn’t because good didn’t exist there before. It’s because... well... white people didn’t exist there before. And white people, in this country, seem to somehow always represent civility. As if the beauty and character that I experienced on that first Sunday morning, the different people, each carrying their own version of cool, each comfortably nestled into the jigsaw history of this neighborhood, each understanding the nuances, codes, and rules of this community, needed civilizing.
Jason Reynolds/Gawker

It Was Kind of Like Slavery:

In early August, a few weeks before forensic scientists began exhuming dozens of unmarked graves at the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys, five older black men took a road trip to Marianna, a rural town on the Florida panhandle—historic Klan country—to confront their demons on the reform school’s vast, wooded campus.
Nina Berman-Michael Mechanic/Medium
via Nina Berman
Mother Jones at Medium

In sociology and economics, the precariat is a social class formed by people suffering from precarity, which is a condition of existence without predictability or security, affecting material or psychological welfare as well as being a member of a Proletariat class of industrial workers who lack their own means of production and hence sell their labour to live.


They want that oil:

...this is the line, editorial line and thing that a lot of media are saying, “Well they cracked down on journalists in Venezuela or they shut down media.” But the truth is more media outlets have been opened in the past ten years than probably in almost any other country in the world. You’ve got hundreds of community media outlets and new newspapers everywhere but the difference is it’s not corporate media. But who sets the standard to say that corporate media defines freedom of expression or freedom of the press?
There’s a retired general, who is a crazy right wing opposition extremist, armed to the teeth. And he had instructed the young protesters on how to kill motorcyclists by setting up cables and barbed wire in the streets like running across an avenue. They beheaded four people this way killing them.
This was General Angel Vivas.
Eva Golinger iv. with Rania Khalek/Dispatches from the Underground
CNN fellates Angel Vivas using the mouth of Karl Penhaul.
25 years ago CNN made its bones covering the so-called First Gulf War.
It had come up under the executive leadership of Ted Turner, and built a reputation for journalistic integrity and accuracy.
It was sold, but the brand stayed the same.
It was sold to the devil pretty much.

The Battle for Brooklyn
via root shock:

People who have been displaced experience "root shock." Root shock is the traumatic stress reaction to the loss of some or all of one's emotional ecosystem. Root shock can follow natural disaster, development-induced displacement, war, and changes that play out slowly such as those that accompany gentrification.

"She waved for the bulldozer to stop. She fell down and the bulldozer kept going. We yelled 'stop, stop', but the bulldozer didn't stop at all. Then it reversed and ran back over her."

"Always remember bureaucrats can legally lie to you, but lying to them, even by mistake is a serious crime they’ll use as leverage to coerce further cooperation."


Piece on that "Fake Sign Language Interpreter" at Mandela's funeral
by a real-live actual deaf person.
at Redeafined

Man with fake badge and real gun, but no training, gets private data:

“He identified himself as a law enforcement agency and it’s just not true,” alleged Assistant District Attorney John N. Gradel, explaining the nature of the charges lodged against Baumgartner. “The cell phone carriers relied on his representations as a law enforcement agent and turned over the records immediately.”
The danger, Gradel alleged, is that Baumgartner held himself out as a law-enforcement professional when he had no training in the field.
“You can’t hold yourself out to be something you’re not, there’s just too much at stake. Anything could happen.
Carl Hessler Jr/The Reporter
Something you're not. Anything could happen.

And I had seen two fireballs come down from the sky.

          Drone woo-woo, and actual journalism from The Intercept:

the claim was nonetheless not justiciable:
Having accepted that the Appellant's arguments on the construction of Sch.4 to the 2007 Act were "persuasive", and that it was "certainly not clear that a defence of combatant immunity would apply", the Court of Appeal held that the claim was nonetheless not justiciable because "a finding by our court that the notional UK operator of a drone bomb which caused a death was guilty of murder would inevitably be understood (and rightly understood) by the US as a condemnation of the US". It did not matter that the relief sought was focussed on the legality under English law of the acts of UK officials (not on the legality of the acts of CIA officers, which would be matters for US and/or Pakistani law).
"What matters," Lord Dyson concluded, "is that the findings would be understood by the US authorities as critical of them."
Martin Chamberlain QC, Oliver Jones and Professor Robert McCorquodale/Brick Court Chambers
First Pakistani to sue CIA over drones freed after kidnapping, torture:
A Pakistani man known for his vocal opposition to the US drone program whose kidnapping outraged activists throughout the world last week has been returned home after being tortured and interrogated, his lawyer announced Friday.
Kareem Khan was last seen in the early morning hours of February 5th outside his home approximately nine miles from Islamabad. He is said to have been abducted by 15 – 20 men, some of whom were wearing police uniforms, and taken away.
The kidnapping, which happened as his wife and children were also at home, came just days before Khan was scheduled to testify to lawmakers in Europe about a drone strike that killed his father, brother, and a Taliban leader Khan is suspected of sheltering
Who Tried to Silence Drone Victim Kareem Khan?
The widespread perception in Pakistan is that criticizing government collaboration with US intelligence agencies can lead to threats from local security forces. As a Pakistani lawyer representing the families of several missing persons put it: “You will not be jailed in America if you say you hate the United States…..But I, as a Pakistani, cannot criticize the policies of America or my own government while in Pakistan for fear of becoming a missing person.”
Murtaza Hussain/Intercept

Twilight in the Box:

What solitary confinement does to the brain
 Shruti Ravindran/Aeon
Colorado prison director to reform solitary confinement after enduring it himself

Uhm, what other important financial events took place during that same period?

At the end of 2003, American students and graduates owed just $253 billion in aggregate debt; by the end of 2013, American students’ debt had ballooned to a total of $1.08 trillion, an increase of over 300%. In the past year alone, aggregate student debt grew 10%.
a more pernicious explanation of rising debts is that outstanding student loans tends to linger for years, as interest rates accumulate debt and students decide to pay off other loans first. Student debt piles on because it takes years to pay them off, and they can’t afford to pay back such hefty loans until later in their careers.
Sam Frizell/Time
Healthcare on a business model is itself a disease.
Education on a business model is a form of enslavement.

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