It’s Time for a Serious Conversation About Socialism.

Wink
Uncle Volodya says,”If we can find the money to kill people, we can find the money to help people.”

“The few own the many because they possess the means of livelihood of all … The country is governed for the richest, for the corporations, the bankers, the land speculators, and for the exploiters of labor. The majority of mankind are working people. So long as their fair demands – the ownership and control of their livelihoods – are set at naught, we can have neither men’s rights nor women’s rights. The majority of mankind is ground down by industrial oppression in order that the small remnant may live in ease.”

Helen Keller, from “Rebel Lives”

“Socialism” is no more an evil word than “Christianity.” Socialism no more prescribed Joseph Stalin and his secret police and shuttered churches than Christianity prescribed the Spanish Inquisition. Christianity and socialism alike, in fact, prescribe a society dedicated to the proposition that all men, women, and children are created equal and shall not starve.”

Kurt Vonnegut, from “A Man Without a Country”

“The bandits of the old days would hide their heads in shame,
Their old-time buccaneering was hardly worth the name.
They used to end on gibbets and dance against the skies,
And now they live on top the town and sport their minks and cars around
And buy up Congress by the pound, free enterprise.”

Malvina Reynolds, from “Free Enterprise”

Show of hands, please – how many of you really knew already that Helen Keller was a radical socialist? I surely didn’t. In fact, I would not have pegged Kurt Vonnegut for a socialist, either, and perhaps he isn’t – but it still sent a little chill through me to read the words, “…all men, women and children are created equal”, and to recall where else I saw it – the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America, Mr. Thomas Jefferson. Oh, he just said that all men were created equal; not much of a guy for women’s rights, I guess you could say. But the premise is precisely the same, or should be.

Which, in its turn, invoked in me a longing for the days of free thought and philosophy, when a ferment of ideas brewed around the betterment of the common man’s station in life, even as the notion of nobility by birthright rather than merit came crashing down. Nothing like that any more, of course – because modern democracy revolves around indoctrinating you, John or Jane Q. Public, that you are there. Mankind has never been so free, so unconstrained, so sticky with the sweetness of liberty that we are tacky to the touch. Hypocrisy and oppression are looking longingly through the chicken-wire, but they’re not allowed in here…in Freeworld.

Before we get into what nonsense that is, maybe it would be best if I showed you what motivated this…whatever it turns out to be. Because I would not consider myself a socialist, either. Perhaps – as someone suggested to me earlier – that’s because I don’t really understand socialism myself.

Anyway, I’ve grown tired over the years of the braying of corporate enablers, “Socialism always fails”. It seems to come from the smug and the simple-minded more and more frequently, the cheerleaders for might-makes-right and the pom-pom girls for American leadership, and it should be clear to even those who have only the fuzziest notion what socialism is that the reason socialism fails is because it is the sworn enemy of capitalism and corporatism, and the latter will not suffer it to live.

It’s something that has been sort of resting there, in the back of my mind, but every now and then some egregious example of western self-satisfaction would bring a stab of discomfort, like a muscle spasm or a toothache. Eventually, of course, something so asinine that it was beyond bearing was bound to come up. And here it is. Cheryl K. Chumley smirks the rhetorical question to which you all know the answer; “When will the left learn socialism never works, it always fails and continually breeds discontent and poverty and corruption among the people?”

Smart people know that if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it is a duck. And when there’s a government that reaches for massive power, and snatches from the individual the ability to freely profit from one’s own endeavors and calls for redistribution of wealth — well then, that’s a socialist-style system.

Leaving aside for a moment the probability that if there actually are any smart people left in America, they sure as fuck are not working in journalism, let’s take a closer look at The Chumley Theorem.

https://cdn.britannica.com/69/19369-004-A29C7625.jpg

Well, on the face of it, it might look like she has a point – according to her, huge line-ups for gas in a country that is itself a major oil producer symbolize the utter collapse and failure of its political system. And you’d have to admit this does look like national incompetence on a fundamental level.

Oh, wait; that’s not Venezuela. The sharp-eyed among you will have recognized it as the United States, circa 1973, when OPEC quadrupled the price of a barrel of oil to punish the western states for their support of Israel against Egypt and Syria in the Yom Kippur War. That was the first of the oil shocks of the 70’s – the second came in 1979, when the Islamic Revolution in Iran struck fear into the hearts of the oil markets. Just for a rueful chuckle, the price per barrel of oil that resulted when the previous price was quadrupled, in 1973, was $12.00. After the Islamic Revolution the price stabilized, in 1983, at $32.00 per barrel. Those prices have a whiff of Rip Van Winkle about them now.

So, by the simple metrics of The Chumley Theorem, for an entire decade the United States was a socialist country – the laughingstock of the world; because if there’s anything smart people know, it’s that socialism always fails. If it quacks like a fucking duck, it’s not an eagle.

Briefly – because my overall intent is to look at socialism – let’s unpack Chumley’s freshman silliness a little. Socialism, she nods knowingly, “continually breeds discontent and poverty and corruption among the people”. According to Transparency International – itself nearly as ditzy and partisan as Chumley – “Corruption chips away at democracy to produce a vicious cycle, where corruption undermines democratic institutions and, in turn, weak institutions are less able to control corruption.”

That so? What does Transparency International – and world philosopher Cheryl K. Chumley – make of Citizens United v. FEC of 2010, the landmark US decision which holds that corporations are people, and therefore restricting the amount corporations can spend on election campaigns to help their preferred candidates get elected is unconstitutional? What is democracy, Cheryl? Let me help you – it’s a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections. In light of that, let me ask you this: who usually has more money – your average voter, or your average corporation? Is money important to getting elected in America? I guess you might say so. Are the people – supposedly the body in which all electoral power is vested – jake with that? They most certainly are not, by a wide margin.

This is not a partisan point. Almost two-thirds of Americans believe the government should limit individual contributions – with a majority among Republicans, Democrats and independents. The influence of money at this level corrupts an entire political culture and in no small part explains the depth of cynicism, alienation and mistrust Americans now have for their politicians.

Like that? Don’t go away – I’ve got more.

The trend towards oligarchy in the polity is already clear. There are 250 millionaires in Congress. As a whole, the polity’s median net worth is $891,506, nine times the typical US household. Around 11% are in the nation’s top 1%, including 34 Republicans and 23 Democrats. And that’s before you get to Romney, whose personal wealth is double that of the last eight presidents combined. All of this would be problematic at the best of times, but in a period of rising inequality it is obscene.

Key words for you in there, you jaded academic, are “oligarchy”, “personal wealth”, “rising inequality”, and “obscene”.

That’s yer corruption – let’s take a look at yer discontent and poverty. First, a snapshot of American happiness. Maybe you’d better sit down. In 2016 alone, drug overdose killed more Americans than the Vietnam War, more than car crashes, HIV/Aids and gun violence combined ever did in a single year. Is spiraling addiction a sign of contentment? If so, it’s the first I’ve ever heard of it. America finished 19th out of 52 on the Global Happiness Index, representing a steady decline for 3 straight years and the worst score since they started keeping it. The United States slid to just behind Belgium; as funnyman Jimmy Kimmel put it, “The people who feel the need to put mayonnaise on their french fries are happier than we are. Cheer up, everybody.” Since discontent is the opposite of happiness, I think it would be fair to say the less happy Americans are, the more discontented they must be.

We just have time to take a look at poverty and American income inequality before we have to get back on track with the subject. According to the UC Davis Center for Poverty Research, the poverty rate in the United States is about what it was in 1982: almost 40 years ago. It’s gone up and down a little in that period, but has really not been reduced much overall, while those in deep poverty – those living on income of less than 50% of the federal poverty level – have doubled since 1975. By cracky, the United States is as socialist as the clenched fist, if we apply the criteria of Chumleyism 101! It’s manifestly corrupt, its people are broadly discontented while poverty, far from being eradicated, has not improved noticeably in nearly 40 years and in some aspects has worsened. Meanwhile income inequality gets worse every year, and in its current state sees the top 0.1% of Americans taking in (a pretty accurate description) 188 times as much as the bottom 90%. Who would have thought it?

What is far more likely is that Cheryl K. Chumley, like nearly a quarter of her smirking, attention-deficit blockhead countrymen, knows as much about socialism as she does about snake milking. That group evidently includes the author of the linked article, because Bernie Sanders is a socialist the way Mike Pompeo is a swimsuit model. What Americans usually mean when they say an American political figure is a ‘socialist’ is that he or she looks like a socialist compared with the rest of the hard-right stable, and the Democrats in American politics are different from the Republicans only in that they are called “Democrats” and the Republicans are not.

So let’s learn together, shall we? Just before we leave Cheryl K. Chumley and her tea-party platitudes, and against the possibility that anyone anywhere missed the point, what is failing in Venezuela is not so much socialism as it is the entire living standard, and that is not because ‘socialism always fails’, but because the USA is standing on Venezuela’s oxygen tube and trying to strangle it to death. By way of contrast, the USA is a wealthy country with few restrictions on its trade, and all of those are of its own making. Yet it is failing the bottom-income 90% of its people.

A good place to start might be with a working definition of what socialism is, and a good place to set up for that might be with what it is not. The referenced article above from The Hill suggests 7% of those surveyed believed it meant the abolishing of all private property. There’s the biggest part of my misconception, right there; I might not have thought it was quite so strict as that, but I believed it involved some sort of sharing-out so that you couldn’t have, like, a nice car or anything like that. And housing was all pretty much the same, no point in putting in rosebushes or trying to make it look nice; your neighbours might think you were trying to put on airs. Anyway, it’s actually not like that. It doesn’t curtail civil liberties, and it doesn’t promise to end poverty. So what is it, and how does it work, or how would it work if corporatism didn’t jump on it and stomp it flat every time it emerges?

It’s not an easy definition, because there are reckoned to be eight different types of socialism, all to varying degrees democratic; Democratic, Revolutionary, Libertarian, Market, Green, Christian, Utopian and Fabian. It’s not so simple as to say they’re just different political labels for the same philosophy, because they’re not. For Christian socialism, for example, the description merely argues that Christian values of brotherhood are already embodied in socialism, which holds that all are equal and equally valuable. But I think it would be safe to say the types with which we are familiar – to the extent we are – are Democratic and Revolutionary socialism.

Simply put, socialism is an economic system in which everyone in society equally owns the factors of production, which are labor, entrepreneurship, capital goods and natural resources. Ownership is acquired through a democratically elected government.

What it is not is a political philosophy in which all personal property is confiscated and redistributed, so that the postal worker across the street gets your bike, because the Central Committee thinks he needs it more than you. Dyed-in-the-wool capitalists often speak of ‘redistribution’ with the shudder of revulsion normally reserved for child molesters, frog spawn jelly and public toilets.

Let’s look at a small-scale example; Grenada. In 1979, Maurice Bishop’s New Jewel Movement (which stood for the New Joint Endeavor for Welfare, Education and Liberation) seized power in a bloodless coup from the US-friendly government of Eric Gairy. Bishop established a socialist model which delegated government down to village and zonal councils, strikingly similar to the municipal councils of Muammar Gaddafi’s Jamahiriya government. Opinion offers differing accounts of why the Americans invaded Grenada, because the US Army did not kill Bishop – he was already dead, assassinated by the Grenadian army which had claimed power for itself. To this day, the location of his body and the bodies of those who were assassinated along with him remains unknown. Skeptics say the United States invaded because a successful socialist government in the Caribbean might inspire revolt in other regional neighbours; Reagan claimed the newly-constructed airport – built with Cuba’s help – was intended to turn the island into “a Cuban-Soviet colony” and “a major military bastion to export terror and undermine democracy.” Yes, yes; it’s always about democracy. Whatever the case, the socialist government of Maurice Bishop – remember, socialism always fails – reduced unemployment in Grenada from 49% to 14% in four years, and raised the island’s literacy rate to 99%. Whatever the case, the invasion was anything but spontaneous; it had been rehearsed on Vieques Island in 1981, two years before Bishop’s assassination.

Bishop spoke extensively in the United States; his intent was to establish a friendly relationship with America, and he had no wish to be its enemy. That may have led to his death, as he was accused of betraying the revolution. Whatever the reason, it is indisputable that his socialist government made great strides toward social justice and common accord, a better standard of living for all his people, and he was aided only by Cuba. Grenada never at any time showed the slightest inclination for violence directed at the United States.

Excerpts from Richard Sanders’ “History of War Pretext Incidents” state, with reference to the Grenada invasion:

“In his Naval Science course, Captain M.T. Carson lists the invasion’s “stated reasons” as “protect Americans, eliminate hostage potential; restore order; requested by OECS [Organization of Eastern Caribbean States].”

The US helped form the OECS, and then got it and the Grenadian governor to “request” an invasion. Under “potential problem,” Carson notes “Act fast with surprise and present world with fait accompli. If not, world opinion of U.S. invasion of tiny country will be critical. So: · “Get OECS to request action.” · “Get Governor Scoon to request action.” · “Emphasize students-in-danger aspect”

Carson quotes a “medical school official”: “Our safety was never in danger. We were used as an excuse by this government to invade…. They needed a reason…and we were it.” Most students insisted that they were “not…in any danger before the US invasion; only afterwards.”

According to Arley Gill at “The Modern Socialist”, “Being a socialist no longer means being anti-American or anti-European. It is just a conviction that the capitalist economy can be used to improve the well-being of the poor.” I think it’s pretty safe to say that is not happening under America’s vaunted Freedom and Democracy Inc. Since 2000 – when income inequality was already pronounced – the share of household wealth controlled by the world’s wealthiest 1 percent lurched upward from 45.5% to 50.1%, with 23.9 million new millionaires joining them at the bottom of the pile.

Is that cause for celebration? A rising tide lifts all boats sort of thing? Hell, no. Poverty in developed countries is actually increasing. A few rich people are getting even richer, while most people are poorer than their parents were at the same age in terms of how much they owe versus how much they earn. And nearly 2 Billion people live on less than $3.10 a day.

But whenever a new regime change is planned, corporations in the USA and its allies begin licking their chops at the prospect of privatization of former state assets. Investment, the hapless citizens are told, will dramatically increase their prosperity. Oh, and also, freedom and democracy. But private companies exist solely to make a profit. Nothing inherently wrong with that. However, every day in the corporate world is a bloody battle for market share, and if you’re not gaining, you’re losing. A company must expand to earn more profits. When the market is saturated and it can’t expand any more, it begins to look to ‘efficiencies’ within the company to cut expenses so that more of the bottom line can go to profit-taking. That’s why corporations hate unions. ‘Efficiencies’ are typically realized in salary increases deferred, overtime curtailed and benefits reduced. It is important to understand that such zealous efforts toward cost-cutting do not mean the company is doing badly – often quite the reverse. It just means the shareholders want to see more profits, a steady rise in the value of their investments.

When society owns the means of production, there is less or no opportunity for private investors to gain control of it, and harvest all of its value in profits which are distributed to a handful of the wealthy who often do not even live in the same country, and are completely unconcerned for its welfare.

Democracy as practiced today in the Shining City On A Hill bears not the slightest resemblance to the principles laid down by the founding fathers – only days ago the Governor of Oregon sent the state police to round up Republican senators who had fled the state in order to block a vote. That might not be illegal, but is it democracy, do you think? Is that the sort of behavior by the ruling class that doubters in other countries are being asked to take a flyer on? Gerrymandering and redistricting and all the other surprises in the government’s bag of tricks used to thwart the will of the people?

Left to its own devices, there is nothing inherent in socialism which dictates that it must end in poverty, incompetence, misery and miles-long lineups for gas. Those are artificial constructs imposed by societies which have given themselves over to rule by corporate fiat, and which more and more resemble feudal kingdoms governed by Google, Exxon-Mobil and General Electric. What is there to fear from socialism? You can tell most notably by the elements which mobilize to eradicate it wherever it appears.

 

 

 

 

1,542 thoughts on “It’s Time for a Serious Conversation About Socialism.

    1. Yeah. It will be all hunky dorey between Zhu and the MAGA crew
      Right up until they get their bellies
      full of Bud and start talkin’ about the gooks they killed in Nam..and had they not been prevented from killing more gooks they would have won…
      Blah…blah blah

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      1. Fortunately, there is another Miss Michigan that participates in the Miss America contest. The contestants are evaluated on lengthy interviews conducted like interviews for employment and the talent portion is a major factor as well. Although looking good helps, the scoring system would allow an average looking woman to win as the swimsuit and the evening gown portions are something like 15%. Although often entertaining, the onstage Q/A is only 5% of the total score. The daughter of a friend has been prepping for several years after winning regional events.

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  1. Dumb Taiwan bstrds being led by the nose by warmonger Americans wanting to provoke China.
    China can glass Taiwan into radioactive steam,along with any USN ships in the vicinity.

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    1. On that theme: Did people see this piece about Siri and Alexa spying on ordinary people, for the deep state?

      I wasn’t surprised, I can even say “I told you so.” For months now I have been trying to warn my American friends who bring these personal spies into their homes. They didn’t believe me, that the devices were recording their pillow talk and sexual encounters for the NSA. They accused me of being a “conspiracy theorist”, despite the fact that I am a computer scientist and I know how those devices work. They don’t. They are convinced that it’s just some form of benign magic, that digital computers can actually understand human speech, and that the government has no interest in their private lives.

      Idiots.

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        1. Hint: It’s all bullshit. In the 1930’s Alan Turing already proved that digital computer (aka “Turing Machines”) can’t think. All they can do is mindlessly compute iterations.
          Oi….

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          1. P.S. – this is how it actually works:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Turk

            The modern equivalent of the Turkish chess-playing robot: A little man sits in a chair at “Siri” or “Alexa” HQ. He listens, with headphones glued on, to the various conversations incoming from all over the world, including sex tapes, and writes out “AI” reports summarizing what he has learned about the various citizens within his domain; and then reports all to Big Brother.

            You think I am kidding? I am not kidding!

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                1. Looks more like the inspiration for the Mouseketeers.

                  The inspiration for Princess Leia’s pastry buns was supposed to have been Mexican women followers of Pancho Villa in the early 1900s.

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      1. A very lengthy article and it seems to have dissected her political life. Yet, the complaints and innuendos are weak. No doubt, she adjusted for LGBTQ? and abortion views to be more acceptable. I suspect she would not be a knee jerk supporter of such hot-button PC correctness issues which is a good thing. And, she MET with Assad! That casts doubt on the allegations that here anti-war stance is strictly over the lives of American soldiers. In short, the article came across as a hit piece. Gabbard is the best hope among the democratic candidates, there is clear.

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        1. Not long ago on KS I sang her praises. However as a result of findings of fact about her that l came across, I am now conflicted
          in my view of her.
          Some things….she’s spot on
          Some other things…not so much.

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          1. Tulsi Gabbard voted to support House Resolution 246 which condemns the global BDS movement against Israel.

            H.Res 246 at the Congress.gov website:
            https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-resolution/246

            17 Congress members voted to oppose the resolution and these included three members (Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Tlaib) of The Squad.

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  2. Dueling Pilgrimages to commemorate the Christianization of Rus:

    In the Ukraine, yesterday (Saturday) the “canonical” (pro-Moscow) Orthodox Church held a pilgrimage attracting over 300,000 pilgrims, the biggest display ever.

    Today (Sunday), the pro-Ukrainian pilgrims held their counter-pilgrimage.
    Despite celebrity appearances by Poroshenko and Constantinople Patriarch Bartholomey, the pro-Ukrainian (=schismatic) pilgrimage only attracted around 15,000 pilgrims.

    Orders of magnitude showing that the canonical church is still more popular than the tomos schimastic one.

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  3. @The robot:

    Сири,Алексис…
    Иди в Кремль C И заткнись Яленсису. Это робот, маскирующийся под русского человека
    Хорошо?

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  4. The Georgians – well, one of them, anyway – consider BoJo to be ‘a tough and decisive leader’ who that news source terms, “Gloves-off Johnson”. “Brains-off Johnson” would be more appropriate, but the Ukies are wasting no time getting their foot in the door at Downing Street, flattering the yellow-headed sapsucker in hopes of using him as a weapon against Russia.

    https://112.international/ukraine-top-news/gloves-off-johnson-what-uks-new-pm-means-for-eu-us-and-ukraine-42158.html

    Like

    1. I wonder how feasible it might be to replace steel in many applications with carbon fibre. Unless I am misunderstanding, it would usefully employ what would otherwise be waste carbon, it is strong for its weight and has a high thermal tolerance without distorting. It achieves its highest strength and versatility when bonded with a polymer resin, which might allow continued contribution from plastics without them ending up in the environment at the rate they currently are from single use.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_fibers

      Carbon fibre is expensive; ten to twelve times more costly than steel. But that’s down from thirty times more costly in the early 2000’s.

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      1. Question already asked and answered here at this link:
        https://www.researchgate.net/post/Do_you_think_Carbon_fibre_based_composites_can_replace_Steel_and_other_structural_materials

        Boeing Dreamliner passenger jet is already composed of composite materials.

        Slideshow in use of composite materials in aerospace applications:

        Pity Boeing decided not to go with the 777 or the 787 as its main workhorse jet instead of the 737 MAX.

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        1. I should have clarified – its use in building airliners, where saving weight is a guiding principle, is well known. I meant its applications in general construction, such as buildings and high-rises. Probably still too expensive, although the price has come down considerably. I think it would be strong enough, and perhaps it could replace what we know as rebar; concrete reinforcing rods. Their purpose is to hold the concrete together and prevent cracking, while much of the structural strength comes from the concrete itself. I worked for awhile in general construction, and we did not use any steel beams. The next floor up was supported by lots of construction-grade aluminum jacks and 3/4 inch plywood, rebar was laid on top of that, all the chases for the electrical connections were run in advance, and then the next floor was poured. The jacks kept it from sagging and kept it uniformly flat and level, and the rebar gave it strength. When it was dry enough, the jacks came down and were replaced by steel shores while the concrete continued to cure, and the wood was stripped away to be re-used.

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    2. How feasible is it to replace battery farm hens and their eggs with much healthier free range ones for all?

      How feasible is it to produce cheap, filling and healthy foodstuffs for all in the USA without adding corn syrup to it?

      Both alternatives above are feasible, of course, but are they profitable?

      Like

  5. The bird has flown:

    В Стамбул без охраны: Порошенко с семьей покинул Украину
    Порошенко с семьей покинул Украину

    29.07.2019, 21:24

    To Istanbul without any security: Poroshenko and his family have left the Ukraine
    The former-President of the Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has flown to Istanbul with his family, at the same time, before leaving, refusing state protection for an indefinite period. Earlier, Ukrainian media reported that in order to flee from the Ukraine Poroshenko intends to create a public organization in Western Europe and then go abroad, as though representing its interests.

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    1. I’m sure Porky Pig already has plenty of security, it’s just hidden in the place where he believes he’s going to be allowed to stay permanently.

      Like

    1. Sorry you have to fuck with facebook…which I won’t….unless you have some other separate account to access Quora articles in full !!!

      Like

  6. “On Saturday, Trump tweeted that Cummings’ district, which encompasses half of Baltimore City, is a “rat and rodent infested mess,” a “disgusting & filthy place” and a “corrupt mess.” He concluded, “No human being would want to live there.”

    On Sunday, Trump retweeted a statement from the fascistic columnist of the UK Sun newspaper, Katie Hopkins, referring to Baltimore as a “sh*thole,” a reference to his previous statements denigrating African countries with the same insult. Hopkins is known for her vicious attacks on immigrants, including a statement in 2015 that “migrants are like cockroaches” and “are built to survive a nuclear bomb.”

    “The president also escalated his denunciation of socialist and “radical left” politics over the weekend. He tweeted Sunday morning that “Consideration is being given to declaring ANTIFA [antifascists], the gutless Radical Left Wack Jobs who go around hitting (only non-fighters) people over the heads with baseball bats, a major Organization of Terror (along with MS-13 & others). Would make it easier for police to do their job!” This means that the government is preparing direct measures to criminalize left-wing views.

    Given the scale of the provocation, the response of the Democratic Party is a typically gutless combination of cowardice and evasion. While the congressional testimony by former Special Counsel Robert Mueller last week was a debacle for the Democrats, this has not stopped them from intensifying their obsessive and neo-McCarthyite denunciations of “Russian meddling” and “foreign interference” in American politics.

    ***The premise of the Democrats’ narrative of a Russian plot is that the real threat to American democracy comes from the Kremlin, rather than the White House. Moreover, the Democrats’ pretense of opposition to Trump is exposed by the fact that he can count in their support when he needs it.***

    The extent of agreement of all factions of the political establishment was expressed in the overwhelming passage last week by the House of Representatives of a budget bill backed by the Trump administration, which includes a record $738 billion in military spending. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and one of the four congresswomen targeted by Trump, voted for the bill.”
    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/07/29/pers-j29.html

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    1. I reckon the great majority of Canadians are not remotely interested in getting caught in an ideological tug-of-war between the Nazis and the Jews, so that slobbering devotion to one indicates the depth of one’s distaste for the other. Agreed, this was a disgraceful deception perpetrated on the population, because there could not be said to be any appreciable support in Canada for Nazism, apart from toothless old fucks from Galicia Division, their ideological descendants like Chrystia Freeland (who would herself be horrified if you were to accuse her of being a Nazi supporter, since she like so many others is blind to the roots of Ukrainian nationalism, and interprets it as ‘resistance to the Russian aggressor’) and a few boutique swastika sporters because it’s edgy and cool and contra-social-values. A tremendously interesting post; I was aware on some peripheral level of the Deschenes Commission, although mine was a sanitized understanding which slid right over the deliberate admission of members of the Galicia Division, and I knew nothing at all of the seeding of Canada with these loathsome creatures by the United States, although it is typical American forward planning. Thanks for posting it.

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      1. So, Canadian citizens will say exactly the same thing as ordinary Germans after WWII:
        “Oh dear me, I never knew about these dreadful nazis and such goings-on were going on, right under my very nose!” It’s called the Sergeant Schultz defense -haha

        Mostly kidding, but Freeland does need to be called out about her political ideology. She claims to support Democracy. HOWEVER! She is a Banderite. And Banderites, by definition, do not believe in democracy. They believe the government should be run by a “Great Leader”, like Bandera, for example. He makes all the decisions, and everybody else just salutes.

        Which is what all fascists believe, QED.

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        1. No; I’m not trying to downplay Canadian responsibility for knowing what is going on in our own country. I’m just saying the only way you could float Nazi ideology here, in a country that paid such a dear price in two World Wars, would be to disguise it as something else.

          http://canadiangreatwarproject.com/writing/casualties.asp

          https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/second-world-war/second-world-war-dead-1939-1947/Pages/files-second-war-dead.aspx

          Freeland is obviously a sufficiently canny politician that she got others to express outrage on her behalf over the ‘outing’ of Grampy Chomiak, playing along with their allegations that it was a Russian smear campaign. This gave her deniability of defending Nazi values. I’m quite sure she was front and centre with her hand up when Canada stood with Ukraine against the Russian bill to criminalize the glorification of Nazism.

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          1. There is a very easy way to smoke out crafty Banderite fascists like Freeland who are posing as “democrats”. Simply walk up to them and say “Slava Ukraine!”

            Involuntarily, their hand will shoot out in the Hitler salute and they will intone: “Heroyam Slava!”
            Next shout: “Glory to Bandera!”
            And they will repeat, as if in a trance: “Glory to Bandera!”

            It’s an involuntary reflex, they can’t help themselves.
            This is how they can be trapped, and hopefully locked away in the Reptilarium, come the Revolution.

            Like

  7. Found this over at The Blogmire … you could not make this up … Dept Homeland Security / CISA June 2019 leaflet on how to understand and recognise foreign influence on social media:

    Click to access 19_0717_cisa_the-war-on-pineapple-understanding-foreign-interference-in-5-steps.pdf

    Me … I can eat pizza with anything … well almost anything except chicken livers which always make me gag.
    https://www.thedailymeal.com/travel/14-weird-pizza-toppings-around-world-slideshow

    Like

        1. Yeah, the best cat that I ever had, a sleek black panther of a beast, loved chomping liver. He used to growl when eating it and his fur around his mouth used to get stiff with blood. And then, having sated himself with the raw, bloody flesh, he would undertake his feline ablutions with great care and make his whiskers glisten once more. I used to love watching him doing this: very methodical, finishing off with behind his ears. All cats do the same, of course, but it fascinates me watching them doing this.

          Like

          1. Not entirely true – I had a cat who also loved to eat raw liver, and right after he finished, he would play the solo from ‘Lazy’, by Deep Purple. He was not as good as Ritchie Blackmore – I mean, duh, he is a god and nobody can play guitar like he can – but he was pretty damned good for something with no fingers, and he really got into it.

            Here’s the way it’s supposed to sound.

            Joe Bonamassa does a pretty credible version as well. But jeez; a cat could do that.

            Like

    1. Hey! I’ve actually had that exact Pastrami pizza a while back. Pretty good stuff. That was a few years ago when I still worked in the area, though I doubt it has changed much.

      Like

  8. I had a great-aunt yonks ago and she had some hormonal problem – I think it was something to do with vitamin B – and she had to eat raw liver to boost her vitamin deficiency.

    Don’t know what kind of liver she ate.

    My mum told me of this. It was in the ’30s, and my mother was a little girl then and she used to tell me how she used to gag when she saw her auntie chomping on raw liver.

    Bear in mind, them plains Red Injuns used to tear out the liver of a freshly killed buffalo and eat it al fresco.

    Great delicacy, they reckoned.

    Like

    1. I wouldn’t go so far as to eat raw liver, that’s probably not healthy.
      Especially buffalo liver, it probably has worms and stuff.
      No, best to eat it well cooked and fried in oil!

      Like

      1. The Frogs eat raw ground pork and have the impudence to call it “Steak Tatar”.

        Of course, it was those Gallic cheese eaters who coined the phrase: “Grattez un Russe , vous trouverez un Tatar” (Scratch a Russian and you’ll find a Tatar).


        Bon appetit, my Froggie chums!

        Note: I refuse to call the Frogs “surrender monkeys”!

        That is a gross calumny coined in the USA.

        i am very fond of France and the French are all right – for French folk.

        Like

        1. What the hell do they know? It’s supposed to be raw beef, shaved thin, with sliced onion, and it should have a raw egg stirred into it, with lots of fresh-ground pepper. Pork is not a meat you want to eat raw – Trichinosis, old chap. No wonder they lost the war.

          Like

          1. Ugh, yes! You always gotta watch out for worms and other parasites in the meat.
            Fish too. I personally love sushi, but it’s somebody’s job to make sure no worms.
            If the meat is clean, by all means eat it raw. Otherwise, COOK IT!

            Like

            1. Freshness, too, is an important factor. Less so in beef, which can be well-aged in sanitary surroundings, but fish for sushi must be the very freshest. Very fresh fish has a delicate bouquet, not at all fishy. You’d be incredibly unlucky to get a worm in sushi, because the pieces are so small it’s hard to imagine it could escape detection. I am a big sushi fan as well, and I know we share a passion for smoked eel.

              Like

  9. @ JEN
    Tulsi and 246…total Orwellian doublespeak horseshit!
    246 is in plain contravention of
    the First Amendment.
    Somehow..in Tulsi’s mind…her vote for 246 is perfectly consistent with her claimed commitment to freedom of speech!
    LOL!!!

    Like

    1. Very interesting – I did not realize that concrete was itself such a contributor to ambient CO2. I think that some sort of global population control is going to be necessary similar to China’s former one-child policy, because the burgeoning population of the earth is the driving factor behind frantic and increasing building, and over-building is the reason for construction-related CO2 emissions. Or perhaps there is some other housing solution. But some cultures revere huge families, and there is getting to be just too many people. Not too many for the land, because there is still plenty of unused land, and in fact small towns are dying out due to a global movement to ever-growing large cities. But too many for global infrastructure, energy and natural resources to support.

      Like

      1. The Japanese architect Shigeru Ban has made a career of building churches, individual houses and mass housing projects using paper and paper cardboard tubes as the main building materials in various countries around the world, particularly in areas hit by earthquakes.

        Paper concert hall in L’Aquila, Italy, in early 2000s:

        Cardboard cathedral in Christchurch after 2011:

        Interior of emergency shelter used in Kobe in 1995:

        Hualin Paper Elementary School built in Sichuan after 2008:

        It’s actually not that difficult to change cultures that love large families into cultures stingy about having children: the achievement has been made in Europe and North America during the 19th / early 20th centuries, was done in East Asia (mainly Japan and South Korea) in the late 20th century, and in the early 2000s was becoming reality in Muslim-majority nations across northern Africa / western Asia. In most cases the phenomena that created the change included rises in living standards, education becoming available to all children (male and female), and education and job opportunities being extended to women. People then realised there was more to life than getting married off in your teens and popping kids assembly-line fashion for the rest of a life that usually ended for most people before the age of 40 years.

        Like

      2. For a while I worked in a building which was condemned for “concrete cancer”: there was leaching out of rust from the rebars. Emergency evacuation of our suite over a weekend in 1995 but the structure miraculously lasted until 2018…

        Fortunately for the public organisation a charitable private sector consortium acquired the site and constructed a mishmash of profitable McMansions.

        Almost as though there was a plan…

        NB in its heyday 7500 worked there. In my time circa 4000. Apart from the huge building, incorporating private businesses like groceries, hairdressers undsoweiter, there were five big carparks and most employees arrived by bus…

        Like

      3. Several comments:
        Various proposals have been made to use high temperature nuclear reactors to eliminate CO2 from steel making such as:

        https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0360544212000527

        Likewise a significant reduction in CO2 emissions is possible from use of nuclear energy to replace combustion of fossil fuels:

        http://nucleargreen.blogspot.com/2010/04/nuclear-power-in-future-of-cement.html

        The “management” of solutions to meet PC standards (with nuclear power being the gold standard of what not to discuss) is the biggest obstacle in seriously addressing CO2 emissions.

        Without going into details, those who think the world’s population can be sustained by wind and solar are full of shit.

        Like

        1. But you could use farts as a fuel. Just draw of the gas from a septic tank and light up your cooking range with it.

          Most houses here on my dacha territory ( where I am now ensconced with the rest of my gang to celebrate Vladimir Dennisovich’s 20th birthday today) have septic tanks.

          Ours doesn’t, though: everything here is recycled.

          Our stove is butane powered, I think. Or perhaps it’s propane in the cylinder we buy?

          Like

          1. S’dyom Razhdenya, Vladimir Dennisovich!!

            I’m pretty sure the gas resulting from any fecal waste is mostly methane. And yes, of course you can burn it, because LNG is almost entirely methane; something upward of 97% if I recall correctly.

            Like

      4. Quite often over-building is a reflection of dysfunction in an economy in which the price of land is so astronomically high that usual practice is to raze a building to the ground, build a new one from scratch on the same location at a cost of $X zillion, and then ten years later (or even five years later) you rip it down again and build a new one at $2X zillion, rather than spend money on maintaining and upgrading it. This applies especially if as the landlord, you might be able to claim rebates on taxable income lost because while you were constructing the new building, you had no tenants and therefore had no rent income coming in. Usually in an example like this, your tenants are not little-people residential tenants but corporate and federal government tenants.

        A second option would have been to let the original building sit there and rot, with squatters coming in, in the middle of a frenzied construction boom, because you’d rather make a loss on that building (and be eligible for discounts and rebates) while you’re making piles on investments in the Caribbean.
        Incidentally this is the answer that explains the paradoxical existence of the shabby squalid building in the original Blade Runner film where Rick Deckard hunts down Roy Batty (RIP Rutger Hauer, by the way) and Pris, in an area where overcrowding, homelessness and poverty are rife.

        Like

  10. Imma gonna try posting this link again. When I checked to see if it
    allowed reading the article and the
    comments following it more or less
    without glitches,I got the impression that a magic decoder ring was needed to get full Quora access!
    I just checked the link posted above and the article seemed to flow without a problem.
    Let’s see:

    https://www.quora.com/How-did-the-Soviet-Union-recover-from-the-loss-of-27-million-people-from-the-Second-World-War

    Like

        1. Yep! I get the distinct impression that he would have been labelled thus if he had not died, aged 34, before that term had been invented and under unexplained circumstances (according to the Russian Wiki, that is) at a Sankt-Peterburg sports stadium in 1991. He was born in 1956.

          Strange that I cannot recall him, though in the main, I liked the late Soviet music scene.

          He was a contemporary of Viktor Tsoi, whom a certainly remember and who also died young, having fallen asleep behind the wheel whilst returning home from a fishing trip.


          Taken October 1991, the month when the proto-kreakl died

          Like

    1. Gentlemen-democrats

      Gentlemen-democrats of the nineteenth century
      Why were you striving and threatening the Crown,
      Nature’s not stupid and God isn’t a venture
      And you have ignored them and didn’t take them into account.
      Perhaps you had been planning arrangement of borders,
      Restructuring everything – a fool’s haste is no speed
      But nature can’t follow your stupid orders
      And God never reads leaflets with any decrees.
      That’s how it is! That’s how it is!
      The USA and Europe prosper
      That’s how it is! That’s how it is!
      And we are left with bare…

      Gentlemen-democrats, you know the example
      When your own good colleagues had inspired the bloodshed
      Killed the aristocrats – the enlightment was ample,
      Paris won’t wash this away,
      though it’s so well-bred .
      The truth-seeker Radischev,
      having learnt of this carnage,
      Had almost chewed up his rebellious novel
      He took leave of his senses and he stared at the garbage
      And cursing freemasons, sat blankly in a hovel.
      High class! High class!
      The USA and Europe prosper
      High class! High class!
      And we are left with bare…

      Gentlemen-democrats, hurry up to arise, flirts,
      Take a seat at the court, and be judged by the fooled masses.
      Time to answer for words, Chernyshevskiy and Herzen,
      And the dreamer Belinsky, and the wizard Karl Max;
      You will answer as well, those who came after them
      To deprive our people of land and of justice.
      You have turned free-born Russians into bondmen
      Into a prison you turned the very Great Russia!
      High class! High class!
      The USA and Europe prosper
      That’s how it is! That’s how it is!
      And we are left with emptiness

      He’d be carrying a rubber duck around Moskva with the rest of the dickheads at Navalny’s behest if he were alive now.

      Like

        1. Thanks for translating.
          So I guess he was what one
          would now characterize as
          ‘kreakl’….right?
          The lyrics above are not pro ‘West’ and I think I read where he did not like perestroika.
          I’ll leave it to the
          Stooges who are actual Russians-or close to things or people Russian- to sort this out!

          Like

      1. More to the point, he would interpret a Russia run to American capitalist ideals as one which had realized its greatness, and that the return of its lands and justice to have been carried out when they were under the control of foreign investors. Like him are the people who always look all round-eyed with shock when everything goes south and another revolution is necessary because they are peasants in their own land – we never intended that this should happen, there must be some mistake. We had the noblest of intentions.

        Like

  11. FlightGlobal.com: Boeing to issue $5.5 billion of debt for Embraer purchase
    https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/boeing-to-issue-55-billion-of-debt-for-embraer-pur-460003/

    Boeing intends to raise $5.5 billion through previously announced notes to help fund its planned purchase of majority ownership of Embraer’s commercial aircraft division.

    ####

    FFS! This is one of Brazil’s crown jewels developed and paid for by the Brazilian state over decades and now being sold off by Bolsonaro because he big luv America. Embraer is in good financial condition (unlike Bombardier) and Boing Boing can’t even pony up front for it.

    In other news, Air Frog has ordered ‘up to’ 120 Bombardier Airbus A220s, and the Bulgarian Parliament has again voted to buy 8 F-16Vs since President Radev vetoed the sale a few days ago. In most excellent news, Russia has finally announced serial production of Sukhoi Su-57s. I don’t know how many they will produce, but all the investment in systems, engines etc. can all be carried over to other projects like the LFI (Lyogki Frontalni Istribityelni – lightweigh fighter) at much lower risk and more cheaply. Woo!

    Like

    1. So will the debt go on Embraer books, so they can blame its demise on that when they dispose of the company down the line? This is a private equity move, but I was wondering if big corps do it too. Mitt Romney runs a firm like that, which specializes in killing the American Dream.

      Like

      1. Yes, Mitt Romney’s firm is called Bain Capital. Given its core reason for being, he should have called it Bates Capital. I’m sure very few people would have blinked at the name.

        The most famous 45 seconds in the history of movie-making:

        Like

    2. It is absolutely grotesque that Boeing can use debt as a vehicle to acquire control of another company – in what universe is that sound fiscal policy? Would my bank give me a huge loan to buy another house as an investment venture if I only make enough to pay for the one I am currently paying down? They’d have a lot of ‘splainin’ to do if they did. And Boeing is by no means on solid ground, it might even have to interrupt production of the 737 – its best-selling model – while confidence in it is so shaky. But once sold, Embraer will never be Brazilian again.

      Like

  12. Antiwar.com: Ukraine to Launch State-Run Russian-Language TV Channel in Information War
    https://news.antiwar.com/2019/07/29/ukraine-to-launch-state-run-russian-language-tv-channel-in-information-war/

    Officials say Ukraine ‘lost the information war’ earlier in Donbass, Crimea
    ####

    What a waste of money. It would be better spent not killing their own citizens who speak Russian, discrimination and glorifying Nazi Ukraine. This has the potential to burn a lot of money for very little effect except to politically burnish as an example how they’re ‘reaching out’. I can guarantee that the programming will be complete shite. No-one is going to change their minds.

    Like

  13. PCmag via antiwar.com: GitHub Blocks Paid Access for Users in Iran, Syria, Crimea
    https://www.pcmag.com/news/369811/github-blocks-paid-access-for-users-in-iran-syria-crimea

    ‘We’re not doing this because we want to; we’re doing it because we have to,’ says GitHub’s CEO, citing US trade sanctions. Restrictions also apply to users in North Korea and Cuba.

    To comply with US sanctions, GitHub is limiting access to the site for users based in Crimea, Iran, and Syria.

    The Microsoft-owned platform has banned users in the affected countries from operating private code repositories and accessing paid services, GitHub CEO Nat Friedman said on Saturday….
    ####

    M$ only bought GitHub fairly recently. This all rather smacks of the t-Rump’s Administration of scraping every barrel available for leverage, regardless of the damage it does.

    US sanctions affecting ARM chips to China is already boosting interest in open source RISC-V chips, so even more business will be lost, though China already has its plan to produce everything it needs in motion.

    TheRegister: Alibaba sketches world’s ‘fastest’ ‘open-source’ RISC-V processor yet: 16 cores, 64-bit, 2.5GHz, 12nm, out-of-order exec
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/07/27/alibaba_risc_v_chip/

    …RISC-V is exciting for China because it allows the nation’s eggheads to access, improve, and extend a bunch of the West’s processor technology without having to worry about any future US trade sanctions, thanks to the architecture family’s openly available materials. Everything you need to start experimenting with the tech and improving it – the ISA documentation, CPU cores, and software stacks – is already out there over the internet, and it’s too late to cut that knowledge off…

    ….There’s no sign of that source code yet online, though it is expected to land on GitHub at some point. …
    ####

    Considering the more recent news, Beijing would be more sensible in not using GitHub… It seems like Washington cannot stop wriggling in the quicksand it is in.

    Like

  14. Cnet via Antiwar.com: Satellites are starting to watch your every move
    https://www.cnet.com/news/satellites-are-starting-to-watch-your-every-move/

    ####

    vis my earlier comments about how most commercial satellites are and have been ‘dual-use’ for quite some time and the well known practie of the United States buying up all private satellite data when they want to go to war or just hide stuff – i.e. if the data is not available for sale commercially, then it is being hidden for a reason, double sic MH17 and my assertion that the BUK launch may well have been detected by officially non-military satellites and that this is an obvious avenue to follow up on…

    Like

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