Just another Reality-based bubble in the foam of the multiverse.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lawrence O'Donnell calls it

"The illusion of freedom will continue for as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will take down the scenery, move the tables and chairs out of the way, then they will pull back the curtains and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater." - Frank Zappa

obviously not a right thinker

So I wonder what the black budget cost of this item is, and why the Austerians don't go after it.

...That’s what Progeny claims it can do: take an existing drone, like the hand-held Raven, and turn it into a TTL machine. “Any pose, any expression, any lighting,” Faltemier says. Progeny needs an image with just 50 pixels between the target’s eyes to build a 3D model of his face. That’s about the same as what it takes to traditionally capture a 2D image. (Naturally, the model gets better and better the more pictures are taken during enrollment.) Once the target is “enrolled” in Progeny’s system, it might only take 15 or 20 pixels to identify him again. A glance or two at a Raven’s camera might conceivably be enough.

And if the system can’t get a good enough look at a target’s face, Progeny has other ways of IDing its prey. The key, developed under a previous Navy contract, is a kind of digital stereotyping. Using a series of so-called “soft biometrics” — everything from age to gender to “ethnicity” to “skin color” to height and weight — the system can keep track of targets “at ranges that are impossible to do with facial recognition,” Faltemier says. Like 750 feet away or more.

But if Progeny can get close enough, Faltemier says his technology can even tell identical twins apart. With backing by the Army, researchers from Notre Dame and Michigan State Universities collected images of faces at a “Twins Days” festival. Progeny then zeroed in on the twins’ scars, marks, and tattoos — and were able to spot one from the other. The company says the software can help the military “not only learn the identity of subjects but also their associations in social groups.”

The Pentagon isn’t content to simply watch the enemies it knows it has, however. The Army also wants to identify potentially hostile behavior and intent, in order to uncover clandestine foes.

Charles River Analytics is using its Army cash to build a so-called “Adversary Behavior Acquisition, Collection, Understanding, and Summarization (ABACUS)” tool. The system would integrate data from informants’ tips, drone footage, and captured phone calls. Then it would apply “a human behavior modeling and simulation engine” that would spit out “intent-based threat assessments of individuals and groups.” In other words: This software could potentially find out which people are most likely to harbor ill will toward the U.S. military or its objectives. Feeling nervous yet?

“The enemy goes to great lengths to hide his activities,” explains Modus Operandi, Inc., which won an Army contract to assemble “probabilistic algorithms th[at] determine the likelihood of adversarial intent.” The company calls its system “Clear Heart.” As in, the contents of your heart are now open for the Pentagon to see. It may be the most unnerving detail in this whole unnerving story.

Obviously, this will work just as well as the precision surgical strike drones have in IraqAfghanistan. We never have killed a single non-combatant with the drones we have already, just ask the Peace Laureate or any other Company representative. To think otherwise clearly marks your adversarial intent.

Why go to Wall Street?

...when organized protests can embarrass and even stop the bank$ters in your own back yard?

The good people of Detroit should seriously think about this. Instead of burning down homes in protest of a corrupt system, they should monkey with the tools of the traders.

talking to the hand

Ralph Nader tries to tell people these things:

...Now, it is the turn of the Democrats to make a mockery out of the first amendment rights of others to speak, assemble and petition their government by running inside the upcoming presidential primary season that runs from January to June 2012. After President Obama took his liberal/progressive base for so many one-sided corporatist rides in his administration, he and his allies are very determined to give him a free ride by having him campaign around the country on Air Force One as an unchallenged, one-man primary.

This tedious scenario would have his supporters watch President Obama repeatedly respond, on his omnipresent teleprompter, to the crazed Republicans and their issues – instead of offering a ringing affirmation for his second term of the neglected majoritarian liberal/progressive agendas.

Clearly, the Republicans are not going to initiate any attention to getting out of the quagmire wars in Iraq, Afghanistan/Pakistan and the mini-wars elsewhere. Republicans are not going to ask why Obama did not press forward for full Medicare for all, instead of his limited, incomplete, corporate-subsidised Obamacare. Nor are the Republicans going to demand that he explain why he has turned his back on labor and the impoverished, whose hopes for change he raised so high with specific promises in 2008.

But with one in three workers receiving Walmart-level wages, with 45,000 of the 50 million people without health insurance dying each year for lack of coverage, with pensions for millions of Americans being looted or drained by their corporate masters, with tax systems skewed for the wealthy during high unemployment, and with the White House routinely engaged in constitutional violations in its foreign/military adventures, the "no debate" mantra deepens autocracy.

Forty-five Americans, including me, hailing from long records in environmental, labor, civil rights, education, healthcare, communications and the arts, have sent a letter to nearly 200 distinguished liberals and progressives inviting them to form a slate of six candidates, registered as Democrats, to participate in some 20 state primaries, starting with Iowa and New Hampshire, and take the debate on the redirection of our country to President Obama.

The very nature of the slate would not be to defeat him. It is to press him to publicly pay attention to the fundamental principles and agendas that represent the modest soul of the Democratic party, before corporate money became so dominant in its campaign treasuries some 30 years ago...

Of course, it's in The Guardian in Britain, and not the 'Merikan press. What would the children think if they printed it here ?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

let's do the time warp again

Lawrence of Cyberia catches the medium altering the message.

I am sure that the corporate buyout of HuffPo had nothing to do with this.

Elsewhere last week, I hear something happened on Wall Street, but not from cable TV.

You know, for this kind of thing, a flash mob might be more effective. Also, the girls should pack their own mace. You never know when some fat middle aged dudes with a fetish for orange lace will randomly assault you.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

frankly, Scarlett, you'd better give a damn

Avedon is rightfully repulsed by the latest attempts of the Company Oborg to equate progressive criticism of the Laureate's hypocrisy as racism.

My response?

So unless we can primary his Laureateness out of the running, it's very likely it'll be him against somebody much worse.

I know, your immediate response, correctly, would be, how is a Republican much worse than Obama? The economy will be doubtless, tanked or at best maintained as a carny casino for the wealthy regardless. The War on Terra will be expanded regardless. The rich will continue to get richer as the middle class is destroyed and the poor that survive will get much poorer.

If we walk away from this $election, the Tea Party wins. Because, in my humble opinion, the loosely affiliated group of pirates I refer to as the Company doesn't give a damn who is in Washington, as long as they own them. Yet if the Tea Party runs all three branches of Washington, they will make the difference between President Al Gore and President Chimpy look like splitting hairs.

The bovine fecal matter will hit the fan at a rate you won't believe. So will the human blood.

The unpleasant fact, again in my humble yet educated opinion, is that any President will represent the Company interests first and foremost. Call it paranoiac conspiracy theory, but remember the kind people that sold you the Gulf of Tonkin and the lone gunmen theories in the 60s, deep throat and the October Surprise in the 70s & 80s, the Gulf War in the 90s, and 9-11 with the War on Terra more recently? They will make sure those that has, continue to git.

And also that any President who doesn't take a buyout meets their very own loner with no apparent connections to any outside support.

But who gets scapegoated to keep the rubes satisfied? You get the Dominionista running the entire show with the Tea Party as its shock troops, and things could start to look a little like Tenochtitian when Tezcatlipoca was in town.

So yes, I will vote that asshat Obama over any Republican. I am very sorry. I will continue to fight against right-wing Obama policies masquerading as liberalism and give him my contempt. But there is bad and worse, and there is a difference.

the invisible hand

Because what you can't see can't hurt you, right?

...About one in five Americans combine a view of God as actively engaged in daily workings of the world with an economic conservative view that opposes government regulation and champions the free market as a matter of faith.

"They say the invisible hand of the free market is really God at work," says sociologist Paul Froese, co-author of the Baylor Religion Survey, released today by Baylor University in Waco, Texas...

Perhaps the most amazing thing is the "fair-and-balanced" tone of the article, which doesn't point out that things are screwing up big time now because of widespread criminal culpability and not the will of the Hairy Thunderer.

Or maybe not so amazing.

After all, Christianity is a religion created by slaves, but re-written and controlled by their masters.

Friday, September 23, 2011

as humiliating as the Dark Ages

The only people to walk on the moon are embarrassed by their government.

I agree with them. The space program became a golden fleece for private contractors living off the Dream. However, as the parasites came to control their host's will, they directed the money flow to more lucrative earthbound ventures.

NASA, and the Dream, withered.

It didn't help that at its best it represented everything the least intelligent people feared. Knowledge. Freedom. Leaving a world of limitations and demon-haunted cultures in the past.

No wonder the small and the superstitious hated it, and no wonder the ignorance returns as society loses its greater vision.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

what the meaning of "is" is

How about the meaning of the word "spooks"?

Two United States senators on Wednesday accused the Justice Department of making misleading statements about the legal justification of secret domestic surveillance activities that the government is apparently carrying out under the Patriot Act...

“We believe that the best way to avoid a negative public reaction and an erosion of confidence in U.S. intelligence agencies is to initiate an informed public debate about these authorities today,” the two wrote. “However, if the executive branch is unwilling to do that, then it is particularly important for government officials to avoid compounding that problem by making misleading statements.”

...The dispute has focused on Section 215 of the Patriot Act. It allows a secret national security court to issue an order allowing the F.B.I. to obtain “any tangible things” in connection with a national security investigation. It is sometimes referred to as the “business records” section because public discussion around it has centered on using it to obtain customer information like hotel or credit card records.

But in addition to that kind of collection, the senators contend that the government has also interpreted the provision, based on rulings by the secret national security court, as allowing some other kind of activity that allows the government to obtain private information about people who have no link to a terrorism or espionage case...

...the senators noted that Justice Department officials, under both the Bush and Obama administrations, had described Section 215 orders as allowing the F.B.I. to obtain the same types of records for national security investigations that they could get using a grand jury subpoena for an ordinary criminal investigation. But the two senators said that analogy does not fit with the secret interpretation.

The senators also criticized a recent statement by a department spokesman that “Section 215 is not a secret law, nor has it been implemented under secret legal opinions by the Justice Department.” This was “extremely misleading,” they said, because there are secret legal opinions controlling how Patriot Act is being interpreted — it’s just that they were issued by the national security court.

“In our judgment, when the legal interpretations of public statutes that are kept secret from the American public, the government is effectively relying on secret law,” they wrote.

That part of the dispute appeared to turn on semantics. The department said that while the national security court’s opinions interpreting the Patriot Act are classified, the law itself is public.

Yes, if the government admits there is a Patriot Act, it can do any damn thing it wants as long as it's Patriotic.

If you disagree, you're at least a Terra sympathizer and deserve sanction with prejudice. Whatever that means, it's doubtless Classified, or at least its interpretations are, for Patriot reasons.

Welcome to the Patriarchy!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

your calculated response

Ah, progress:

...This successful exercise in autonomous robotics could presage the future of the American way of war: a day when drones hunt, identify and kill the enemy based on calculations made by software, not decisions made by humans. Imagine aerial “Terminators,” minus beefcake and time travel...

The algorithm determines the Enemy every time.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

the right term for the evil deed

I agree with Jack Crow, the death penalty is a major failure as a magical way to seek justice.

On the other hand, if perpetuation of injustice is the goal, it works just like Crowley defined magick.

too much Austerity for the Austerians

The IMF tells the 'Merikan deficit hawks to back off.

It's like Nixon going to China. Or Obama trying to shoot down Social Security.

Monday, September 19, 2011

so these were the 'droids we were looking for

More news you won't see in the 'Merikan main$tream:

Lloyd's insurer sues Saudi Arabia for 'funding 9/11 attacks'.

Sorry, Prince Bandar, we didn't buy your excuses then, either.

hold on to yesterday

even though it never really was.

After all, how many people still think that the North Vietnamese fired first, or that a lone gunman shot JFK?

So it's not really surprising they still keep to the truthiness.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

classless warfare

The Wall Street protesters got gelded.

But related perhaps more to his free-falling poll numbers, the Laureate marginally wises up- or listens to Buffet- and proposes a minimum tax rate for millionaires- probably with all kinds of potential loopholes for the Ba$e, and is promptly accused of class warfare by the Republican Party.

Said Reptilians and DINOcrats don't see the warfare involved in cutting benefits to the military veterans, however.

At their risk, however. The Masters of the Universe seem to overlook that it's not simply a matter of buying out the Praetorians. After all, what did the Visigoths do for Rome before their hostile takeover?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Calling Dr. Pavlov

The dogs aren't drooling any more.

Glenn Greenwald pointed out a few days ago that the majority of Americans are getting tired of the protection racket called the War on Terra.

Of course, there are ways to remedy the situation.

Under special nuclear cooperation agreements, the United States sent 38,580 pounds of enriched uranium and plutonium to more than two-dozen foreign agencies and is unable to account for 36,000 pounds of the material.

The Government Accountability Office report says these 27 cooperation agreements, set up to facilitate cross border research, have no accountability and the U.S. has no way to enforce control...

no questions asked

Capitalism works! Wspecially when government-funded.

FRANKFURT — Worried that Europe’s debt impasse posed a growing threat to the global financial system, the world’s major central banks moved Thursday to assure that European banks would not run short of cash as troubled nations like Greece and Italy sought to stabilize their economies.

The central banks, in a coordinated action intended to restore market confidence, agreed to pump United States dollars into the European banking system in the first such show of force in more than a year. Some banks have found it hard to borrow dollars as American lenders grew nervous about their financial condition...

But use government funds to create jobs independent of private entrepreneurs? Heresy, it's Socialism!

Monday, September 12, 2011

V for Vendetta

Nemesis works both ways, but like chaos, that's part of the plan.

Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a ceremony marking the day a hijacked airliner slammed into the Pentagon ten years ago:

Mullen, joined by Vice President Joe Biden and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, said the attack inspired a new generation to join the armed forces as the country sought retribution against Al-Qaeda militants.

"From this place of wrath and tears, America's military ventured forth as the long arm and clenched fist of an angry nation at war.

"And we have remained at war ever since, visiting upon our enemies the vengeance they were due and providing for the American people the common defense they demand," Mullen said...

People like Raytheon, General Dynamics, Lockheed, and Exxon-Mobil, especially.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Big Lies

Robert Reich:

known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns

9-11 was a terrible horrific crime. Not an act of war. It served as a great excuse for the military-industrial complex to take over the nation. It was Dick Cheney's "New Pearl Harbor", and it made him and his crony crooks lots of warbucks.

To my incredulous friends: Did you ever hear of a company called Halliburton, by any chance? Or an investment consortium known as the Carlyle Group? Or Goldman-Sachs?

All of these companies made a killing when we treated 9-11 as an act of war instead of a terrible crime. All of these companies continue to manipulate the national discourse today. They continue to make a real killing, too.

perfectly reasonable explanations

...are hard to come by for some things

...Stars born in the generation of our Sun have an expected abundance of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium mixed into their atmospheres. Stars born in the generation before our Sun, Population II stars, the stars that created most of the heavy elements around us today, are seen to have some, although fewer, elements heavier than H and He. Furthermore, even the elusive never-seen first stars in the universe, so-called Population III stars, are predicted to have a large mass and a small but set amount of heavy elements. Yet low-mass Milky Way star SDSS J102915+172927, among others, appears to have fewer metals than ever predicted for any stars, including at least 50 times less lithium than came out of the Big Bang...

Stars radiate because they fuse hydrogen into heavier atoms.

Stars are elemental factories. Barring the active removal of heavier elements, there is no way this star should exist. Given how we understand the facts, that is.

But exist it does, and once again, we see the universe is not only stranger than we suppose, it's stranger than we can suppose.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

no cause for celebration

Liam McGonagle:

...“It’s not a ‘celebration’. It’s a ‘commemoration’. It’s one of the few things that can bring divided America together as a nation. Mourning a shared tragedy, a loss of innocence. Expressing gratitude for the selfless courage of the first responders. Building community.”

Ah, not so much. In reality, it is a masterful manipulation of the complementary moral and intellectual weaknesses of the both extreme wings of the American body politic, a satanic appeal to our vanity and invitation to the destruction of our democratic institutions. Stupid right wingers love the 9/11 narrative because it’s a simple authoritarian parable providing clearly delineated foreign villains and glorifying nativist military authorities. Spineless left wingers love it because they get to light all their coolest scented candles around the drum circle and feel each others’ pain.

However, it’s actual primary importance, though quite obvious to anyone who actually thinks about it, is rarely explicitly articulated: the destruction of our sense of agency. The sense of individual and corporate empowerment and responsibility necessary to the successful conduct of affairs is decisively undermined by a morbid preoccupation with victimhood.

Especially so when that impotent whinging becomes the sole focus of public discourse. Remember: The United States did NOT defeat the Soviet Union in the Cold War. The Soviet Union defeated the Soviet Union in the Cold War — through the tragi-comic stupidity of insisting upon its vision of itself as the embattled last champion of a communal ideology beset from all sides by an insidious, corrupt capitalist enemy. This tunnel-vision prevented a balanced, realistic interpretation of the nature and severity of the economic and political challenges facing them. It foreclosed necessary policy options from even theoretical consideration. And it inevitably concentrated the latent energies of its ignored population to a breaking point. Even if those constituents’ ambitions have been imperfectly realized, and maybe even resulted in as much instability as progress, they undeniably achieved one goal — the destruction of the Soviet Union.

How ironic, then, that a nation of people professing to be can-do pioneers and innovators of the American frontier insist on painting themselves into a very Soviet-style ideological corner. All “American” solutions must be private sector solutions. Never mind that over-reliance upon and under-regulation of the corporate sectors recently resulted in the largest economic disaster in three generations. Never mind the obvious fact that the single common business purpose embodied int he charters of ALL corporations worldwide, profit, is essentially anti-social and undermining of the impetus toward activity and exchange for which Americans are starving. And never mind the fact that the most impressive and dynamic economic turnaround in our history was the result of progressive policy and vigorous governmental engagement. We are committed to a death spiral of stupidity...

Friday, September 09, 2011

Only Nixon could go to China, only Obama could destroy the New Deal

Bernanke sez Tinkerbelle will die if you don't clap harder, while the 'Merikan CEOz scoff at the Laureate's job creation plan.

Meanwhile, the Laureate just modestly wants to destroy Social Security, and doesn't know why the Republicans still don't like him.

It's gotta be racism, Barry, because you're doing everything they always wanted to do for years.

riding a trojan horse to a date rape

Don't look now, but the "jobs speech" everyone from Krugman to Brooks is swooning over at The New York Pravda basically starts the Social Security defunding by cutting the payroll taxes paying for it.

...The centerpiece of the bill, known as the American Jobs Act, is an extension and expansion of the cut in payroll taxes, worth $240 billion, under which the tax paid by employees would be cut in half through 2012...

So the jobs bill depends on the confidence fairy to make industry create jobs with all that extra money they would have put into Social Security.

The pseudo-stimulus is just a pink ribbon on the pony.

And who cares who gets sloppy seconds?

Monday, September 05, 2011

Outsourced Recovery

Krugman is willing to cut the Laureate some slack if he shows a grasp of reality and abandons the 11-dimensional chess, but somehow that just doesn't seem consistent with what's gone on the last 11 years.

What makes anyone think the Laureate has any other desire but to retire on his Laurels as a member of the Carlyle group in 2013?

After all, He's got His.

"...isn't that quaint?"

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Dennis the Menace for President, anyone?

He was correct.

useful tools

If they didn't exist, the Company would have to invent them.

The thing of it is, from China trying to bail out 'Merikan banks for a piece of the action, to the cover-up of mass-murder of civilians under surgin' Petraeus Caesar, nothing Wikileaks has leaked has not come out earlier from other news sources, ignored by the main$tream.

Pretty much the same way the main$tream has ignored almost everything Wikileaks has put out.

Fortunately, the dataverse is bigger than that even if most people refuse to see or hear it.

But because it comes out in wikileaks, the Feds tell their various agencies, agents, police factions, and trainees that they officially must ignore even the appearance of being aware of the leaked information.

They're telling undergraduates and graduate students that if they ever want a job, they had better never even read a news report describing what's been Wikileaked.

Pretty nice way to make sure the information doesn't exist- or Disappeared post-hoc. Damn that Emmanuel Goldstein's Brotherhood!

it's obvious

...what's going on in the White House, Keith.

Notice it's all His decision.

Notice everybody in Iraq heard about this- only in the United States was it suppressed.

In fact, they've been demanding an explanation on this since 2006.

damaging the innocent

The shots heard around the world, except on cable news television in the United States.

Glenn Greenwald:

...As usual, many of those running around righteously condemning WikiLeaks for the potential, prospective, unintentional harm to innocents caused by this leak will have nothing to say about these actual, deliberate acts of wanton slaughter by the U.S. The accidental release of these unredacted cables will receive far more attention and more outrage than the extreme, deliberate wrongdoing these cables expose. That's because many of those condemning WikiLeaks care nothing about harm to civilians as long as it's done by the U.S. government and military; indeed, such acts are endemic to the American wars they routinely cheer on. What they actually hate is transparency and exposure of wrongdoing by their government; "risk to civilians" is just the pretext for attacking those, such as WikiLeaks, who bring that about...