L’Etat C’est Moi

Amazingly, Trump takes offense when a sports player does not follow the program and, even more amazingly, he will offer up an opinion. This usually takes the form of a tweet.

Trump said, referencing Curry, “Get that son of a bitch of the field.” That statement is outrageous at the very least and, coming from a president, can even be interpreted as a green light for someone to use violence against Curry.  Because as soon as Trump says that he makes a pistol hand gesture and says “fired!”

Trump’s backdrop here is a giant American flag, Patton style.

Yes, the Secret Service should investigate Trump for making threats against individual citizens.

Stephen Curry is right:

“I don’t know why he feels the need to target certain individuals rather than others. I have an idea of why, but, it’s just kind of beneath, I think, a leader of a country to go that route. It’s not what leaders do.”

Well, it’s certainly not beneath Trump, whose administration has the tone and culture of a school cafeteria.

Meantime, Infowars is defending Trump, trapped in a globalist anti-globalist paradigm (just like the false right-left paradigm). Trump is actually a globalist in sheep’s disguise, and Alex Jones is a shill – a sleeper shill, posing as anti-establishment for decades only to reveal his true nature as Trump’s cheerleader. But that’s another story.

Somethings are not always political. It’s just about human decency.

Cheering from Afar

Image result for catalan people

It would be nice to see Catalonia break away from Spain.

This is now the Europe’s best chance to reverse the tide of oligarchic centralization, and to give a blow to the economic and political hegemony that is the European Union.

These residents of Spain, with their own history and language, understand that the EU has been a bad deal and that the Euro is a bankster fraud: a perpetual debt machine of social enslavement. The banks get perpetual bailouts and the rich get richer; for everyone else there is austerity. There is no economy here, just sacrificing at the altar.

I like Spain, but when I spent four years there as a child, I could tell even then that beneath the surface of authority in Spain was a very uncompromising and brutal force.

Franco was in power then, you see, as this was the late 1960s. People forget, but Spain in the 1960s was a fascist dictatorship and dirt poor.

My downstairs neighbors (Pepe and Eulelia) told me horror stories about their relatives hiding inside walls to evade the fascist police. So my sympathies have rested with the anti-fascists since I was about seven years old.

The Latest “Last” Day: Sept 23

The usual suspects are predicting the End of the World on September 23.

Because I’m in China, that is only six hours away. Hang on there, is the end of the world set for Greenwich Mean Time? Or will it roll across each and every time zone?

Most of these are  the New World Order’s controlled opposition: fundamentalist Christians.

A few of these Christians even glean evidence from Islam, that other bastard child of Judaism, the mother of lies.

Each one of those religions lays claim on a different kind of monopolized truth. Each advances its own arrogance in a particular way. (I don’t pretend to know the truth, but I feel obliged to counter the arguments of those who do pretend). I find their arrogance, holier-than-thou attitude, condemnation, judgment, and sense of superiority completely repugnant.

I periodically listen to “pocketsofthefuture” on youtube and found this passage to be particularly noteworthy, spoken by Paul Romano, whose spiritual path transcends religion, it’s fair to say. Of course he gets negative, Neanderthal comments on his channel from those on the Christian god squad (god squatters). His response is excellent:

“There’s no religion in the world, I’s sorry to say… that can copyright God. It’s blasphemy, stop saying it… It’s an insult to God to say that your religion is the only one and you own… the one doorway to God. It’s a disrespectful, blasphemous statement, and I’ve had enough of it. You’ve been sold a big bag of shit.”

Right on.

September 23 will come and go, but Bible-thumping doomsday voices will continue unabated.

Theoretically, it should not take many people to call bullshit on September 23 – and on other pseudo-Illuminati apocalyptic fantasies – for them to refrain from the fear mongering.

Hilarious

I clicked on Norsemen thinking it was a real drama series, like Vikings. But I quickly realized this was a kind of humorous parody, and extremely funny at that.

Norwegians produced the series, filming in both Norwegian and English. It has a Monty Pythonesque feel too it, but the humor is a bit different. The Norwegians build up a sense of cumulative ridiculousness in a way that is different than the British. A different style. It’s genius.

One of the chieftans worries that he is over relying on “fear-based” leadership. A random Viking innovates by placing two horns on his helmet and has to explain the purpose of fashion, with people predicting that the horns will never catch on. A guy’s wife goes on a raid to pillage, rapes the monks, and makes a trophy necklace of their private parts (the husband asks if that was really necessary). An pretentious actor from Rome is captured as a slave but moves the village towards experimenting with the dramatic arts.

This show is a true find.

Anti Antibiotics

A news report describes the WHO warning that the world is running out of antibiotics. The overuse of antibiotics is leading to antibiotic resistance.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to the use of antibiotics, but in many countries these are routinely used (abused) by people for all kinds of minor ailments, including the common cold and stomach viruses. It makes no sense. They should only be issued in dire circumstances.

On this matter I don’t just have a barstool opinion. Antibiotics – and those of the last resort from what I understood – saved my life. In 1999, a stray cat in Mexico bit my thumb to the bone and spread a very nasty strand of Pasteurella. I had planned to be in Virginia shortly thereafter and was treated there.

My thumb became horribly infected. I was given powerful antibiotics, dripped into my bloodstream with an IV. I was even subjected to the entire rabies treatment shots. It’s true that the  first round of those shots produces “rabies dreams,” the most lucid and psychedelic dreams one will ever have. My vivid dream was returning to the womb and discovering that I shared it with my twin: the cat that bit me.

As a measure of the seriousness of this infection, I lost about a half inch off the top of my right thumb: amputated by the surgeon, basically, who was thankful he did not have to lop off more. I was even more thankful.

I associate antibiotics with treatment for life and death diseases, as do reasonable doctors. But after being dispensed like Pez candies, it’s no wonder we have a looming medical crisis.

 

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/who-warns-the-world-is-running-out-of-antibiotics-2017-09-19

Golden Times

tunis

A few days ago I recommended the movie Sand Castle. Since then I binged on war movies. These include Hyena Road, about a Canadian team of snipers, Jarhead 2 and Jarhead 3, about Marines.

I began to recognize a formula behind all these movies. Some idealistic protagonist is given an unexpected mission. A team forms around him, representing each demographic group. Often a female is on this team, or in its semi-periphery, providing another plot. Officers include sympathetic, war-weary types along with gung-ho, politically motivated assholes. Lots of desert scenes, Arabic music, call to prayers, and dust.

The locals are generally suspect, but there are always a few whose loyalty lies with the western troops. Not much has changed since the 1980s, when Hollywood began to populate action movies with dark Arab types, their five-o’clock shadows, and Arafat-style headgear. These are Zio-productions through and through.

Toward the climax of the movie, as the protagonist is completing his mission, most of his team is killed. Sometimes they decide to sacrifice themselves for the hero’s mission. There’s usually a “let’s all die together” moment.

The hero always straggles back to the home base, to receive praise from his commanding officer and everyone else. He is reunited with his sweetheart. Flags wave. The End.

Jarhead 3 actually struck closer to home because it was about Marines guarding a US Embassy in an Arab country during a crisis.

Back in 1979, during the Iranian hostage crisis, my father was the US Ambassador to Tunisia and I spent about six months there before being shipped off to boarding  school in Rome. My summer job was helping make new ID cards for the Tunisian staff in the motor pool. The Embassy had just received a new machine: it could take a paper card with a photo and seal it in plastic. It produced ID cards hot to the touch.

Despite the winds of fundamentalism sweeping North Africa, Tunisia seemed very tolerant and open. We were not paranoid and I wandered the country by myself. I’m not sure a teenage son of a US Ambassador would be allowed to do that anymore.

True, there was a machine gun nest on the roof of the Embassy, and incinerator barrels for the secret documents. True, my father took several different routes to work, leaving at different times, in a heavily armored car. True, our home residence had an arsenal in the master bathroom, where we were all told to seek refuge if shit hit the fan. It never did. Shit never hit the fan, that is.

Actually, we lived large, throwing pool parties and organizing softball games, inviting expats and locals. At least for us that was living large, as my parents came from middle class origins in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The Marines guarding the Embassy were only three or four years older than I was and so we hung out on weekends. I remember “Ajax,” a bald and hulking marine who took us all snorkeling. He jerry rigged a lawnmower engine so that it compressed air. He then strapped the loud, smoking  contraption onto an inflated truck tire, floated it out on the water, and ran a garden hose down into the water. We took turns sucking on the air and looking around the bottom of the sea, with the sound of an internal combustion engine ringing in our ears.

The Marines also threw the best parties every Friday night. TGIF at the Marine House.

So Jarhead 3 reminded me of golden times. The movie of course is based on a nightmare scenario that never happened to us. While we sometimes contemplated a crisis, as did all Americans in Tunisia in 1979, it never happened. Instead, we got to experience a slice of paradise.

The Hollywood experience of the Arab world never made an impact on our lives. We had more of a romantic “Lawrence of Arabia” take on the place, and I suppose post-modernists would accuse us of “Orientalism” and constructing the exotic. Or whatever. But Tunisia really has spectacular scenery.

For me, Tunisia represented everything life should be: a vast and unpredictable adventure.

The Psy Op

Image result for manchurian candidate

The Manchurian Candidate (1962) was a good tip off that the Korean peninsula, with the war, was (and remains) ground zero for mind control.

At present the global media complex is diffusing a certain narrative about North Korea across all platforms and repeatedly. This is evidence of some basic falsehood. People believe lies only when they are big ones and repeated often. That’s what the global media complex is for.

Nothing in conventional international relations theory would explain why North Korea is flirting with nuclear weapons and missiles at this point. Certainly not rational choice theory.

So if North Korea is not pursuing its own national interests (unless suicide is the goal) then whose interest is it really pursuing?

What powers are operating over and above Pyongyang (and Beijing and Moscow and Washington) nudging the world system towards the kind of Armageddon predicted in Gangnam Style?

Let us assume that North Korea really has nuclear weapons (a stretch).

China could easily enforce the status quo by publicly detailing how (if North Korea struck a foreign target first) it would destroy North Korea’s military, occupy the country, and replace its government. China has the capacity to do this within a 24-hour period or less.

Similarly, China could easily enforce the status quo by acting against the US, which represents almost as much of a threat to regional stability as North Korea. On a regular basis, the American Ambassador to the UN and many others speculate that the matter should be removed from the Security Council and placed into the hands of the Pentagon – that is, that the matter should fall outside of international law.

As with North Korea, if the US acts unilaterally, then China could easily dump US bonds on the open market, impose a trade embargo, freeze all US assets in greater China (including Hong Kong), and sit back and wait for Washington’s regime to topple, with any surviving leaders carted off to The Hague.

It could be that China is the only sensible actor in this crisis. If it acts to reinforce the status quo and succeeds, then it would benefit from hegemonic stability and would re-frame world politics according to its own model. Which would not be a bad thing necessarily, when compared to the western model of non-stop foreign wars and the world’s most sophisticated (and predictable) propaganda.

However, if China acts timidly then suspicions would be confirmed that all these parties are really working together, and that they are simply actors on a stage, reading lines written by others.

 

 

What’s Up w/ That?

American politics is divided  along “liberal” and “conservative” lines although these labels can be simplistic. In the past few months I’ve used this blog to vent against many conservative and Christian positions, so I feel obliged to agree with this crowd on one point here (in addition to the 2nd Amendment). It’s a recent issue, and lately in the news.

It think many conservatives are right about the state of psychiatry, about the pill-industrial complex, and the over-diagnosis of depression and a range of other “diseases” like ADHD.

Depression is almost always situational – and not simply as individuals but even as societies. Humans were simply not designed to waste hours a day in cars, work in cubicles, eat garbage food, and return to a relatively isolated and alienated existence (compared to the life of extended families and communities only a few hundred years ago).

While I don’t consider myself classically “liberal,” I disagree with conservatives on most of their core issues (from a non-liberal perspective): economics, war, crime, immigration, religion, etc…

Today I was preparing a lesson about landmark US Supreme Court cases regarding prisons. The conservative justices always seems to fight for the wrong cause: letting California remain at a 200% occupation rate for prisons; insisting that states can hand out life sentences for non-violent crimes to people who were minors when convicted; restricting the ability of prisoner’s to re-open cases; and generally siding against inmates in any and all cases regarding abuse of power.

There appears to be a kind of sadism at work. What else explains these dissents? The mommies of these conservative justices did not hug them enough in childhood, and now they want to project the pain. Their positions reveal a central tenet of conservatism: the protection of authoritarian power (and even of its abuse).

True, liberalism has fed into the massive bloating of the state, but it tends to be lighter on marginalized people at the very bottom of the hierarchy: like prisoners and the undocumented.

 

The Time Factor

Image result for vegan v paleo

I’ve watched many videos promoting diets. These include those by vegans who will not touch animal products, and those by paleos or others, like “Butter Bob,” who swears by eating tons of meat, eggs, and dairy.

In many ways this debate goes back to the Atkin’s diet that was a high-protein, low-carb diet.

In my humble opinion, over the long term, a plant-based diet is best, and one without highly processed complex carbs like pasta. The occasional portion of protein in the form of fish or eggs will do no harm, I think.

True, people can lose a lot of weight quickly by eating a high-protein, low-carb diet. But over the long term, a high-protein diet filled with animal products is extremely hard on the organs, increases the rates for cancer and all kinds of diseases – to say nothing of reinforcing slaughterhouses and ruining the land.

Again, a 30-year-old obese person will lose a ton of weight and keep it off on a high-protein diet, but their body will begin to break down in their 50s.

If mileage is the goal, then something closer to the vegan end of the spectrum makes more sense, without necessarily becoming a religious zealot about it.

What I control (fixing or cooking on my own most of the time) I will consider to be my “baseline” diet. This is heavy on vegetables and fruit, with lots of almonds, some potatoes and, every few days, three eggs sunny-side up. Flavored with Thai chili paste, salsas, curries, or whatever.

I avoid cereals and dairy, but I don’t rule them out. If someone offers me a cookie I will eat it. If I’m grabbing coffee in a shop and I like the look of a desert I will buy it. These weekly or bi-weekly departures from the baseline are OK for me at least.

My conclusion is simple: over the long term, a protein-heavy paleo diet is madness.

 

Recommended

This was an interesting movie, and the cinematography was excellent – although a few scenes looked like they were shot in southern California…

I recommend the movie but then again, I like almost every movie I see, so I’m a terrible critic.

I know, some of the characters were a little stereotypical. The guy from Texas. The guy from the inner city. The Hispanic guy. The corn-fed guys. The officers with the weather-beaten faces.

It’s about a young soldier who tried to avoid the war but ended up thoroughly engrossed in it. He became a True Believer, even though he knew deep down that it was futile. Which it was.

Whatever happened the US in Iraq? How busy is that embassy, the size of the Vatican? Whatever happened to the plan for the Ramstein-on-the-Euphrates?

History will not judge NATOs efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan so kindly. But this movie was ultimately about the human factor, and worth watching.