Monday, November 13, 2017

Howzat Work

Taking Things Apart,

Who Killed President Kennedy and Why? (This topic continues to be most important in understanding the context of how things actually work in our current world.)

1986 letter from Prince Charles seems pretty reasonable. Let the name-screaming begin!

US Mideast Policy's Fork in the Road (look, a fork!)
"The status quo in Saudi Arabia is over.  It’s bin Salman’s country now... The old alliances between it and Israel are now out in the open, creating cognitive dissonance in a whole new class of people... Hundreds of billions in assets frozen.  Dozens of family members jailed, many major donors to the corrupt-to-the-bone Democratic National Committee...

Chris Martenson: A dramatic geo-political realignment by Saudi Arabia is in full swing this month. It’s upending many decades of established strategic relationships among the world's superpowers and, in particular, is throwing the Middle East into turmoil... That it's receiving too little attention in the US press given the implications, is a tip off as to just how big a deal this is -- as we're all familiar by now with how the greater the actual relevance and importance of a development, the less press coverage it receives.

The Arab League is set to hold an emergency meeting on Iran at Saudi Arabia's request, this according to Reuters and various regional sources, at a moment when Saudi fighter jets may be mobilizing for war in an attempted show of force. Egypt-based Ahram Online also reports further that the meeting will discuss "Iranian interference" in the region at League headquarters in Cairo, and other early unconfirmed reports indicate the meeting could come as early as next Sunday... Meanwhile, The Daily Star, citing the Baghdad Post, claims that Saudi Arabia has scrambled its air force for strikes in Lebanon: "Reports now state the Royal Saudi Air Force has placed its warplanes on alert to launch strikes as the region sits on a knife edge." The report accompanies undated footage of Saudi F-15's in aerial maneuvers over what is presumably a Saudi airfield.

Oops ("Hoppla", auf Deutsch.) 
"It’s long been suspected that Berlin was backing the anti-government movement in Poland, and the country’s media has reported on this for nearly two years already, but the German Defense Minister’s sloppy statement on TV seemed to present the strongest confirmation yet that this is indeed truly the case... Warsaw is now more motivated than ever before to continue strengthening its relations with its “Three Seas” partners, particularly Hungary but potentially even Austria under the coming premiership of Sebastian Kurz."

Paradise for Billionaires: "Think of all the young people saddled with catastrophic student-loan debt: we should have – could have – made that unnecessary. Think of all the decayed small towns, and the dying rust belt cities, and the drug-addicted hopeless: all of them should have – could have – been helped. But no. Instead America chose a different project. Our leaders raised up a tiny class of otherworldly individuals and built a paradise for them, made their lives supremely delicious. Today they hold unimaginable and unaccountable power... This is their democracy today. We just happen to live in it."

How Economics Failed the Economy (It's WHAT you count...) 
"Today, something very curious has taken place. If we do what Kuznets originally suggested, and subtract finance and advertising from GDP, what does that picture — a picture of the economy as it actually is — reveal? Well, since the lion’s share of growth, more than 50% every year, comes from finance and advertising — whether via Facebook or Google or Wall St and hedge funds and so on — we would immediately see that the economic “growth” that the US has chased so desperately, so furiously, never actually existed at all."

A good history of taxation in America is presented here. (The title advertises a solution, but does not begin to provide it. Read below, for that.)

Here's What Real Tax Reform Would Look Like, Charles Hugh Smith (Now, we're getting somewhere!) 
Transaction tax on every financial transaction, and tax on assets over $10 milion. "These two taxes would eliminate income and payroll taxes and all the enormous costs of compliance, and wipe out offshore tax havens. Since both transaction and asset taxes would be low, the motivation to sell all U.S. assets and execute no transactions involving U.S. based assets or entities would be low. Would it really be worth giving up all the enormous income streams flowing from U.S. assets to evade a 3% tax?"

"Facebook and Alphabet have behaved irresponsibly in the pursuit of massive profits. They have consciously combined persuasive techniques developed by propagandists and the gambling industry with technology in ways that threaten public health and democracy."

"Tragically, the agricultural revolution gave humans the power to ensure the survival and reproduction of domesticated animals while ignoring their subjective needs. In consequence, domesticated animals are collectively the most successful animals in the world, and at the same time they are individually the most miserable animals that have ever existed." (The solutions for resource-efficient raising of millions of pigs and chickens need only be elaborated a little bit more to manage hundreds of millions of humans.) "Altogether, the domesticated animals of the world weigh about 700m tonnes, compared with 300m tonnes for humans, and fewer than 100m tonnes for large wild animals. This is why the fate of farm animals is not an ethical side issue. It concerns the majority of Earth’s large creatures: tens of billions of sentient beings, each with a complex world of sensations and emotions, but which live and die on an industrial production line. "

Julian Rose is an English thespian and long-term green-agronomist, by virtue of inheriting a 10000 acre Barocy in england when he was fairly young, helping his mum run it, and gradually returning it to it's ancient patterns of life, instead of exploiting it. Thanks Eleni.
The way to retain your sanity, your joie de vivre, your sensitive soul and your resistance to that which wishes to ensnare you, is to re find your connection with nature: the natural environment. Preferably a largely uncontaminated nature; a nature that still breathes, that still lives out its predilection for diversity, beauty and rugged self-expression.

Going to Plant Garlic

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