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Category Archives: Uncategorized

Straight Line Logic on Vacation

I am on a business trip and will not post from Sunday, 12/10 through Thursday, 12/14. Posting will resume Friday, 12/15.

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He Said That? 12/8/17

From Ali Vali, Cuban-American writer, The Devil Unleashed (2006):

You ever get the feeling all hell’s about to break loose and there’s nothing you can do about it?

Goolag Archipelago: Google Sends Powerful Migrant Crisis Video by Polish Government to ‘YouTube Jail’ by Virginia Hale

Even a government isn’t exempt from the Google agenda. From Virginia Hale at breitbart.com:

YouTube has ‘quarantined’ a hard-hitting video on Europe’s migrant crisis released by Poland’s conservative government, as part the platform’s crackdown on “hate speech and violent extremism”.

The Polish Ministry of Interior and Administration’s video has been placed in a controversial state designed by YouTube to limit access to videos it says contain “supremacist” or “extremist” content, but which don’t break any of the platform’s rules.

Opening with dramatic scenes of migrants swarming into Europe, the video highlights EU leaders’ insistence that the newcomers be spread throughout the continent, and forced even on unwilling nations through compulsory quotas.

But YouTube has now placed the powerful video in “limited state” — a condition designed to severely reduce the potential audience for “borderline” content. Videos placed under this system are unsearchable, impossible to embed on other sites, and removed from users’ recommended videos lists.

 The only way to reach ‘quarantined’ content is by clicking a direct link to the video in question, at which point viewers are warned that the “content is inappropriate or offensive”, asking them to click a button before they are allowed to proceed.YouTube has also shut down comments on videos which have been placed in this “limited state”, and removed view counts and up-votes and down-votes, making it impossible to see the reach of the video, or know how it has been received.

Google unveiled the policy in August among a raft of new measures which the video-sharing website said it will use to counter “extremism”. It announced a partnership with 15 “expert NGOs and institutions” — including the Council of Europe’s left-wing No Hate Speech Movement and George Soros-linked groups — who will direct them in identifying objectionable content.

To continue reading: Goolag Archipelago: Google Sends Powerful Migrant Crisis Video

Dismissed FBI Agent Is One Who Changed Hillary Email Scandal Language From “Grossly Negligent” To “Extremely Careless”, by Tyler Durden

How long do Robert Mueller and his team want to keep making idiots of themselves? From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Over the weekend we noted that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s top FBI investigator into ‘Russian meddling’, agent Peter Strzok, was removed from the probe due to the discovery of anti-Trump text messages exchanged with a colleague (a colleague whom he also happened to be having an extra-marital affair with).

Not surprisingly, the discovery prompted a visceral response from Trump via Twitter:

Tainted (no, very dishonest?) FBI “agent’s role in Clinton probe under review.” Led Clinton Email probe. @foxandfriends Clinton money going to wife of another FBI agent in charge.

Report: “ANTI-TRUMP FBI AGENT LED CLINTON EMAIL PROBE” Now it all starts to make sense!

Alas, as it turns out, Strzok, who was blatantly exposed as a political hack by his own wreckless text messages, also had a leading role in the Hillary email investigation.  And wouldn’t you know it, as CNN has apparently just discovered, Strzok not only held a leading role in that investigation but potentially single-handedly saved Hillary from prosecution by making the now-infamous change in Comey’s final statement to describe her email abuses as “extremely careless” rather than the original language of “grossly negligent.”

A former top counterintelligence expert at the FBI, now at the center of a political uproar for exchanging private messages that appeared to mock President Donald Trump, changed a key phrase in former FBI Director James Comey’s description of how former secretary of state Hillary Clinton handled classified information, according to US officials familiar with the matter.

Electronic records show Peter Strzok, who led the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server as the No. 2 official in the counterintelligence division, changed Comey’s earlier draft language describing Clinton’s actions as “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless,” the source said.
The drafting process was a team effort, CNN is told, with a handful of people reviewing the language as edits were made, according to another US official familiar with the matter.

But the news of Strzok’s direct role in the statement that ultimately cleared the former Democratic presidential candidate of criminal wrongdoing, now combined with the fact that he was dismissed from special counsel Robert Mueller’s team after exchanging private messages with an FBI lawyer that could be seen as favoring Clinton politically, may give ammunition to those seeking ways to discredit Mueller’s Russia investigation.

The FBI and the Justice Department declined to comment.

To continue reading: Dismissed FBI Agent Is One Who Changed Hillary Email Scandal Language From “Grossly Negligent” To “Extremely Careless”

America’s Military-Industrial Addiction, by JP Sottile

It’s not just a small cabal at the top of the military-industrial complex who press ever-larger budgets and foreign interventions. Millions of Americans are part of the complex in one way or another. From JP Sottile at consortiumnews.com:

Polls show that Americans are tired of endless wars in faraway lands, but many cheer President Trump’s showering money on the Pentagon and its contractors, a paradox that President Eisenhower foresaw, writes JP Sottile.

By JP Sottile

The Military-Industrial Complex has loomed over America ever since President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned of its growing influence during his prescient farewell address on Jan. 17, 1961. The Vietnam War followed shortly thereafter, and its bloody consequences cemented the image of the Military-Industrial Complex (MIC) as a faceless cadre of profit-seeking warmongers who’ve wrested control of the foreign policy. That was certainly borne out by the war’s utter senselessness … and by tales of profiteering by well-connected contractors like Brown & Root.

President Dwight Eisenhower delivering his farewell address on Jan. 17, 1961.

Over five decades, four major wars and a dozen-odd interventions later, we often talk about the Military-Industrial Complex as if we’re referring to a nefarious, flag-draped Death Star floating just beyond the reach of helpless Americans who’d generally prefer that war was not, as the great Gen. Smedley Darlington Butler aptly put it, little more than a money-making “racket.”

The feeling of powerlessness that the MIC engenders in “average Americans” makes a lot of sense if you just follow the money coming out of Capitol Hill. The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) tabulated all “defense-related spending” for both 2017 and 2018, and it hit nearly $1.1 trillion for each of the two years. The “defense-related” part is important because the annual National Defense Authorization Act, a.k.a. the defense budget, doesn’t fully account for all the various forms of national security spending that gets peppered around a half-dozen agencies.

 

To continue reading:

Face It, The Mighty U.S. Aircraft Carrier is Finished, by Harry J. Kazianis

New missiles make the US Navy’s pride and joy, aircraft carriers, sitting ducks. From Harry J. Kazianis at theamericanconservative.com:

The first step is acknowledging that in a standoff, it could lose, and badly,

The USS McCampbell and aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan in the Persian Gulf. (Wikimedia Commons)

The U.S. Navy (and to be frank, the whole U.S. military) is living in a state of total denial. In the next great powers war, or perhaps even in a conflict with a mid-tier power like Iran, at least one of our aircraft carriers will sink to the bottom of the sea. That means thousands of lives could be lost—and there would be very little we could do to stop it.

We need to get used to a very simple reality: the decades-old age of the aircraft carrier, that great symbol of U.S. power projection, has now passed. We can deny the evidence that is right before our eyes, but innovations in anti-ship missiles over many decades—combined with advanced but short-range carrier-based U.S. fighter aircraft and missile defenses that can be easily defeated—have conspired to doom one of the most powerful weapons ever devised.

If the aircraft carrier is a symbol, an expression of U.S. military dominance stretching from World War II to today, then there’s another symbol that perfectly encapsulates its demise: China’s DF-21D, what many experts describe as a “carrier-killer” ballistic missile.

How the missile works is key to understanding what modern-day U.S. aircraft carriers face. The missile is mobile and can travel anywhere via a truck, making its detection difficult. When launched, the weapon is guided using over-the-horizon radars, new satellite networks, and possibly even drones or commercial vessels being used as scouts. The system also has a maneuverable warhead to help defeat missile-defense systems. When it does find its target, it can descend from the sky and strike at speeds approaching Mach 12. Worst of all, the missile has a range of 1,000 miles. A Pentagon source tells me that Beijing has already deployed “many of them—perhaps in the hundreds,” and is “fully operational and ready for action.”

With one report claiming China could build 1,227 DF-21Ds for every carrier the U.S. military sends to sea, Beijing and other nations will have ample budgetary room to challenge our mighty carriers for decades to come.

To continue reading: Face It, The Mighty U.S. Aircraft Carrier is Finished

Why Saudi Prince bin Talal’s ‘friends’ have abandoned him, by Jake Novak

Saudi Prince bin Talal is discovering who his true friends are, and it’s probably a lot fewer people than he thought. From Jake Novak at cnbc.com:

  • Investing celebrity Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has now been detained and reportedly tortured for more than three weeks.
  • The political and financial world has remained mostly silent or at least relatively calm about it.
  • Here are the uncomfortable political and financial reasons his so-called friends appear to have abandoned him.

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal

Mohammad Obaidi | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal

One of the world’s richest men and most sought-after investors has been under arrest and even reportedly tortured for more than three weeks.

That man is billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. He owns major stakes in Twitter and Citigroup. He was a key shareholder in 21stCentury FOX. His television interviews, including on CNBC, are promoted with “must-watch” status. He’s routinely called the “Warren Buffett of Saudi Arabia.”

But since November 5, bin Talal has been detained in a room at the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh. The hotel has become a de facto prison for more than 200 of his fellow princes and Saudi officials as new Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman conducts a sweeping and stunning purge of his real and potential political opponents.

To make matters worse, several credible reports have surfaced that bin Talal and the others are being tortured. One report says he’s been hung upside down and beaten. Those stories gained a level of credence earlier this week when another prince, Miteb bin Abdullah, paid a reported $1 billion for his freedom.
As bin Salman pushes to beef up Saudi Arabia’s military power and alliances against Iran, the official reason for these arrests is that they are part of an “anti-corruption probe.” But of course, the kingdom is not presenting anything in the way of documented evidence. That’s not how they roll in a regime that Human Rights Watch points out has no written penal code or criminal rights.

 

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