Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Default Of A Different Kind

Originally published at woodpilereport.com 
It's said the human intellect is the highest achievement of evolution, but as George Carlin said: look what's telling us that. Mankind supposedly triumphed because of his tool making genius and organizational skills and language and ability to plan and provide for the future. None of these are the real reason. Man prevails because he has a hole card: he's the most creatively violent species the planet has ever produced. Deny it and you deny your own true self. If you've ever weeded a garden you have an understanding of the principle.

Oh, we feel guilty about it, we rationalize, we excuse, yet murder and mayhem is our default. Now consider which part of our population is growing faster. The ever-so-sensitive peddlers of tolerance and understanding aren't even replacing themselves while the coldly vicious and minimally sentient multiply unchecked. They can scarcely use tools much less make them, nor can they organize themselves much less anything else. But they are violent as a first option; irrationally, unpredictably, homicidally and proudly so. It is they who are prevailing, not their over-aware and over-educated keepers. You'd think smart people would notice these things.

The feral aren't the feral because, say, the educational system is defective—although it is defective and fundamentally so, we're now 24th in the world. Education fails to engage and redirect the feral because it's built around the fantasy that everybody will be smart and nice if nurtured just so. No they won't. No amount of education can improve the incurious. They will become what they admire—the stunningly stupid, criminally improvident and violently impulsive. They know it and we know it. The difference is, they admit it and we don't.

Willful ignorance has a lot going for it, the natural adaptability of the uncomplicated for one. When clever meets overthinker, bet on clever. Clever adapts. The overthinker mistakes complexity for adaptability. It's a bad mistake. Complexity is something engineers avoid because modes of failure increase exponentially while the benefits increase linearly, if at all. Complexity is costly in and of itself, but what overwhelms systems is the maintenance. Maintenance of complex systems is a sort of artificial adaptability, ad hoc changes for specific instances, inserted by hand so to speak, all very clumsy and after the fact. Eventually maintenance doesn't just overwhelm the system, it becomes the system.

For example, the cost to society of laws and regulations eventually reaches a point where no conceivable benefit could justify it. We're asked to believe lawlessness would exact an even greater price. Not proven, and not even a choice. Complex societies get so stupefying unintelligible, so convoluted and self-contradicting as to be the direct equivalent of lawlessness. "Government by enabling act" is getting to be so obvious even the media is noticing:
Using “prosecutorial discretion” as a pretext, he has exempted the vast majority of illegal aliens from the consequences of their actions. He has formally amnestied—without legislative authorization—more than a half-million illegal immigrants who claim to have come here before age 16. He is signaling that sometime this year he will unilaterally, and illegally, amnesty half or more of the roughly 12 million illegal aliens now living in the United States.
Mark Krikorian at washingtontimes.com
and,
On no legal basis, all 4.5 million residents of the five U.S. territories were quietly released from ObamaCare. It seems the costs of healthcare soared in these five territories due to uneconomic mandates... WSJ reports all of a sudden last week HHS discovered new powers after "a careful review of this situation and the relevant statutory language," that enabled them to 'selectively exempt' American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands, and Virgin Islands from Obamacare.
Wall Street Journal and Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com
Nor does DC shrink from creating enemies of the state on the basis of "a reasonable suspicion to believe that a person is a known or a suspected terrorist", which they admit doing, with Soviet-style secrecy, on no evidence at all:
The U.S. government is rapidly expanding the number of names it accepts for inclusion on its terrorist watch list, with more than 1.5 million added in the last five years.
Matthew Barakat at ap.org
For another, federal government is now so complex their agencies fail at inception, the Department of Energy for example. It was sold to the people during the oil crisis of the 1970s as a command system mandated to achieve energy independence. Clear enough. Instead we have buildings full of professionals working diligently to dismantle what energy independence we had and to frustrate future attempts. DOE's mandate was effectively annulled when the EPA "discovered" coal and oil have—gasp!—downsides, and took them off the table. This twisted the DOE into a self-paralyzing loop, like a thermostat where "off" and "on" are set at the same temperature. They can't abandon their mandate and they can't pursue their mandate—every energy source has a downside. So they've "gone lawless" and do neither, or occasionally, both.

Because modes of failure multiply with each patch, more maintenance means more failure. Once committed to this tar pit there's no U-turn out. So they dither in ever-slower motion, with all the purpose of the purposeless, slowly toppling in place, as-is. A recent headline from parched California illustrates the concept, "California couple faces fine for brown lawn after complying with water-saving rules". Which gets us back to violence.

As always, complexity cedes ground to adaptability. We're well into it. We're no longer a nation of laws, we're a nation of men, specifically those men who were the first to figure out legitimacy is no longer a serious constraint, and there are no other constraints. Said another way, they adapted. The populace is just now noticing all enterprises are, or are becoming, criminal enterprises, "non-profit" and "faith based" organizations not excepted. It's no mystery how to adapt to lawlessness.

Absent legitimacy it's a sprint to whatever irreducible power center presents itself. As in any other no-rules fight, the violent prevail over the peaceful and the homicidal prevail over the violent. This isn't mere looting, major assets, even national assets, are in play. Mexico for example, one of the most violent countries on earth, is conquering—not merging with, conquering—the southwestern US. National borders are always under control, the only question is by whom, and events are answering that question. We forfeited this essential element of sovereignty by getting wrapped around our own prissy little axle while Mexico and its domestic enablers adapted.

The middle class is the designated prey in all this. This is unwise. Middle class America is no less violent than any other people. They seem passive because they're results oriented. They rise not out of blood frenzy but to solve the otherwise insoluble. Their methods of choice are good will, cooperation, forbearance, negotiation and finally, appeasement, roughly in that order. Only when these fail to end the abuse do they revert to blowback. And they do so irretrievably. Once the course is set and the outcome defined, doubt is put aside. The middle class is known, condemned actually, for carrying out violence with the efficiency of an industrial project where bloody destruction at any scale is not only in play, it's a metric. Remorse is left for the next generation, they'll have the leisure for it. We'd like to believe this is merely dark speculation. History says it isn't.

Come such a time, we shall find our personal default mode to be as bad as we imagine. It had better be. When good people arrive at the bottom they'll find it already populated with masters of lawlessness and violence by both inclination and long experience. Chances are they aren't you, but don't despair, the learning curve is no more steep than the descent. Should societal norms give way altogether, should there be a catastrophe, it won't matter much who or what you are, only what you'll do or not do. And we'll all find out together.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

ALERT: Delivered By Airplane - Ebola Outbreak


Ebola Now Threatens 21 Million People In Major Metro Area

Only Time Until It's Here?

By Mac Slavo and originally published at shtfplan.com
In January the U.S.-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that the next plane could bring a pandemic.

At the time, they were referring to highly contagious strains of deadly flu virus, but in reality any killer virus could travel around the globe in less than a day.

In March we warned that the deadly Ebola virus, which kills upwards of 85% of its victims, was spreading at an alarming pace in West Africa. It was so serious that governments in the region had locked down their borders. The following month in April, officials in the U.S. and Canada were alerted that the virus may have made its way to North America, though no follow-up information was provided after the initial report. Then, just last month, the World Health Organization issued a dire warning – Ebola could go global.

Despite these warnings and the fact that over 650 people are confirmed dead by medical officials in Africa, global governments failed to take any significant action. Flights out of West Africa were still being allowed to leave without any real screening procedures, even though medical professionals in the region had warned that containment of the virus was spiraling out of control.

Now, amid the highly publicized infection of a leading Ebola doctor, the first case of the virus travelling aboard a commercial passenger airline has been confirmed.

Nigerian health authorities raced to stop the spread of Ebola on Saturday after a man sick with one of the world’s deadliest diseases brought it by plane to Lagos, Africa’s largest city with 21 million people.
The fact that the traveler from Liberia could board an international flight also raised new fears that other passengers could take the disease beyond Africa due to weak inspection of passengers and the fact Ebola’s symptoms are similar to other diseases.
Officials in the country of Togo, where the sick man’s flight had a stopover, also went on high alert after learning that Ebola could possibly have spread to a fifth country.
Screening people as they enter the country may help slow the spread of the disease, but it is no guarantee Ebola won’t travel by airplane, according to Dr. Lance Plyler, who heads Ebola medical efforts in Liberia for aid organization Samaritan’s Purse.
“Unfortunately the initial signs of Ebola imitate other diseases, like malaria or typhoid,” he said.

As always, government officials did nothing until it was too late.

Perhaps the death of the Liberian Ebola patient was an isolated incident.

However, the plane on which he traveled stopped for a layover where other passengers disembarked and then headed to Africa’s most populated city of 21 million residents.

If this man came into contact with just one or two others who then mixed with the rest of the population, it’s quite possible that scores of others are now infected. Because the symptoms during the onset of the virus are similar to a flu, by the time infected individuals realize what is happening it’s too late – too late for them, and for those who they came into contact with.

The virus may not be airborne, and because of its genetic profile it may not spread as quickly as a flu virus, but with its possible exposure to a population of 21 million people there is a distinct possibility that Ebola may mutate into something even more contagious.

While the United States claims to have screening procedures ready, at this point, with global air carriers using numerous hubs to transfer passengers, it is becoming more and more likely that the virus will eventually make an appearance in North America.

For the time being there are no active procedures being implemented to screen passengers from West Africa. If the virus were to arrive in the United States via an airplane, the infected person could easily come into contact with scores of other people who would jet off to various destinations around the country.

If that were to happen, all bets are off.

Tess Pennington, author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, says that Preparing for a Pandemic before information about it hits the news is absolutely essential:

When the pandemic begins, many will remain in a state of denial about any approaching epidemics and not want to think of the long lasting repercussions of such a disaster. Being prepared before the mass come out of their daze will ensure that you are better prepared before the hoards run to the store to stock up.

Ebola could potentially end up all over the United States within a matter of hours, a situation that would very quickly become untenable for medical emergency response teams.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Washington Is Escalating the Orchestrated Ukrainian “Crisis” to War

By Paul Craig Roberts and originally published at paulcraigroberts.org  
Despite the conclusion by US intelligence that there is no evidence of Russian involvement in the destruction of the Malaysian airliner and all lives onboard, Washington is escalating the crisis and shepherding it toward war.
Twenty-two US senators have introduced into the 113th Congress, Second Session, a bill, S.2277, “To prevent further Russian aggression toward Ukraine and other sovereign states in Europe and Eurasia, and for other purposes.” https://beta.congress.gov/113/bills/s2277/BILLS-113s2277is.pdf The bill is before the Committee on Foreign Relations.
Note that prior to any evidence of any Russian aggression, there are already 22 senators lined up in behalf of preventing further Russian aggression.
Accompanying this preparatory propaganda move to create a framework for war, hot or cold with Russia, NATO commander General Philip Breedlove announced his plan for a deployment of massive military means in Eastern Europe that would permit lightening responses against Russia in order to protect Europe from Russian aggression.
There we have it again: Russian Aggression. Repeat it enough and it becomes real.
The existence of “Russian aggression” is assumed, not demonstrated. Neither Breedlove nor the senators make any reference to Russian war plans for an attack on Europe or any other countries. There are no references to Russian position papers and documents setting forth a Russian expansionist ideology or a belief declared by Moscow that Russians are “exceptional, indispensable people” with the right to exercise hegemony over the world. No evidence is presented that Russia has infiltrated the communication systems of the entire world for spy purposes. There is no evidence that Putin has Obama’s or Obama’s daughters’ private cell phone conversations or that Russia downloads US corporate secrets for the benefit of Russian businesses.
Nevertheless, the NATO commander and US senators see an urgent need to create blitzkrieg capability for NATO on Russia’s borders.
Senate bill 2277 consists of three titles: “Reinvigorating the Nato Alliance,” “Deterring Further Russian Aggression in Europe,” and “Hardening Ukraine and other European and Eurasian States Against Russian Aggression.” Who do you think wrote this bill? Hint: it wasn’t the senators or their staffs.
Title I deals with strengthening US force posture in Europe and Eurasia and strengthening the NATO alliance, with accelerating the construction of ABM (anti-ballistic missile) bases on Russia’s borders so as to degrade the Russian strategic nuclear deterrent, and to provide more money for Poland and the Baltic states and strengthen US-German cooperation on global security issues, that is, to make certain that the German military is incorporated as part of the US empire military force.
Title II is about confronting “Russian aggression in Europe” with sanctions and with financial and diplomatic “support for Russian democracy and civil society organizations,” which means to pump billions of dollars into NGOs (non-governmental organizations) that can be used to destabilize Russia in the way that Washington used the NGOs it funded in Ukraine to overthrow the elected government. For 20 years Russian government negligence permitted Washington to organize fifth columns inside Russia that pose as human rights organizations, etc.
Title III deals with military and intelligence assistance for Ukraine, putting Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova on a NATO track, expediting US natural gas exports in order to erase European and Eurasian energy dependence on Russia, preventing recognition of Crimea as again a part of Russia, expanding broadcasting (propaganda) into Russian areas, and again “support for democracy and civil society organizations in countries of the former Soviet Union,” which means to use money to subvert the Russian federation.
However you look at this, it comprises a declaration of war. Moreover, these provocative and expensive moves are presented as necessary to counter Russian aggression for which there is no evidence.
How do we characterize a bill that is not merely thoughtless, unnecessary, and dangerous, but also more Orwellian than Orwell? I am open to suggestions.
Ukraine as it currently exists is an ahistorical state with artificial boundaries. Ukraine presently consists of part of what was once a larger entity plus former Russian provinces added to the Ukrainian Soviet Republic by Soviet leaders. When the Soviet Union collapsed and Russia permitted Ukraine’s independence, under US pressure Russia mistakenly permitted Ukraine to take with it the former Russian provinces.
When Washington executed its coup in Kiev last year, the Russophobes who grabbed power began threatening in word and deed the Russian populations in eastern and southern Ukraine. The Crimeans voted to reunite with Russia and were accepted. This reunification was grossly misrepresented by Western propaganda. When other former Russian provinces voted likewise, the Russian government, kowtowing to Western propaganda, did not grant their requests. Instead, Russian president Putin called for Kiev and the former Russian provinces to work out an agreement that would keep the provinces within Ukraine.
Kiev and its Washington master did not listen. Instead, Kiev launched military attacks on the provinces and was conducting bombing attacks on the provinces at the moment the Malaysian airliner was downed.
Washington and its European vassals have consistently misrepresented the situation in Ukraine and denied their responsibility for the violence, instead placing all blame on Russia. But it is not Russia that is conducting bombing raids and attacking provinces with troops, tanks, and artillery. Just as Israel’s current military assault against Palestinian civilians fails to evoke criticism from Washington, European governments, and the Western media, Kiev’s assault on the former Russian provinces goes unreported and uncriticized. Indeed, it appears that few Americans are even aware that Kiev is attacking civilian areas of the provinces that wish to return to their mother country.
Sanctions should be imposed on Kiev, from which the military violence originates. Instead, Kiev is receiving financial and military support, and sanctions are placed on Russia which is not militarily involved in the situation.
When the outbreak of violence against the former Russian provinces began, the Russian Duma voted Putin the power to intervene militarily. Instead of using this power, Putin requested that the Duma rescind the power, which the Duma did. Putin preferred to deal with the problem diplomatically in a reasonable and unprovocative manner.
Putin has received neither respect nor appreciation for encouraging a non-violent resolution of the unfortunate Ukrainian situation created by Washington’s coup against a democratically elected government that was only months away from a chance to elect a different government.
The sanctions that Washington has applied and that Washington is pressuring its European puppets to join send the wrong information to Kiev. It tells Kiev that the West approves and encourages Kiev’s determination to resolve its differences with the former Russian provinces with violence rather than with negotiation.
This means war will continue, and that is clearly Washington’s intent. The latest reports are that US military advisors will soon be in Ukraine to aid the conquest of the former Russian provinces that are in revolt.
The presstitute nature of the Western media ensures that the bulk of the American and European populations will remain in the grip of Washington’s anti-Russian propaganda.
At some point the Russian government will have to face the fact that it doesn’t have “Western partners.” Russia has Western enemies who are being organized to isolate Russia, to injure Russia economically and diplomatically, to surround Russia militarily, to destabilize Russia by calling the American-funded NGOs into the streets, and in the absence of a coup that installs an American puppet in Moscow to attack Russia with nuclear weapons.
I respect Putin’s reliance on diplomacy and good will in the place of force. The problem with Putin’s approach is that Washington has no good will, so there is no reciprocity.
Washington has an agenda. Europe consists of captive nations, and these nations are without leaders capable of breaking free of Washington’s agenda.
I hope that I am wrong, but I think Putin has miscalculated. If Putin had accepted the
former Russian provinces requests to reunite with Russia, the conflict in Ukraine would be over. I am certain that Europe would not have joined Washington in any invasion with the purpose of recovering for Ukraine former provinces of Russia herself. When Washington says that Putin is responsible for downing the Malaysian airliner, Washington is correct in a way that Washington doesn’t suspect. Had Putin completed the task begun with Crimea and reunited the Russian provinces with Russia, there would have been no war during which an airliner could have been downed, whether by accident or as a plot to demonize Russia. Ukraine has no capability of confronting Russia militarily and had no alternative to accepting the reunification of the Russian territories.
Europe would have witnessed a decisive Russian decision and would have put a great distance between itself and Washington’s provocative agenda. This European response would have precluded Washington’s ability to gradually escalate the crisis by gradually turning the temperature higher without the European frog jumping out of the pot.
In its dealings with Washington Europe has grown accustomed to the efficacy of bribes, threats, and coercion. Captive nations are inured to diplomacy’s impotence. Europeans see diplomacy as the weak card played by the weak party. And, of course, all the Europeans want money, which Washington prints with abandon.
Russia and China are disadvantaged in their conflict with Washington. Russia and China have emerged from tyranny. People in both countries were influenced by American cold war propaganda. Both countries have educated people who think that America has freedom, democracy, justice, civil liberty, economic wellbeing and is a welcoming friend of other countries that want the same thing.
This is a dangerous delusion. Washington has an agenda. Washington has put in place a police state to suppress its own population, and Washington believes that history has conveyed the right to Washington to exercise hegemony over the world. Last year President Obama declared to the world that he sincerely believes that America is the exceptional nation on whose leadership the world depends.
In other words, all other countries and peoples are unexceptional. Their voices are unimportant. Their aspirations are best served by Washington’s leadership. Those who disagree–Russia, China, Iran, and the new entity ISIL–are regarded by Washington as obstacles to history’s purpose. Anything, whether an idea or a country, that is in the way of Washington is in the way of History’s Purpose and must be run over.
In the late 18th and early 19th centuries Europe faced the determination of the French Revolution to impose Liberty, Equality, Fraternity upon Europe. Today Washington’s ambition is larger. The ambition is to impose Washington’s hegemony on the entire world.
Unless Russia and China submit, this means war.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Mysterious Fingerprints

By Jill Carattini and originally published at rzim.org  
He seemed to brace himself for what had become the typical barrage of questioning after stating his occupation. The once unrecognized field of “forensic science” now comes attached with visions of beautiful men and women swabbing for DNA, replicating gunfire trajectories, and piecing together the truth with hair, bugs, and CODIS. The tremendous popularity of forensic dramas has made crime scene investigating a household subject. With a real forensic scientist standing in front of me, I admit it was hard to repress my enthusiasm. Predictably, I asked if he watched any of the shows. Humoring my line of questioning for the moment, he admitted that he did not.
 The vast public intrigue with forensic science has been increasing as feverously as the viewerships of crime scene television. In Great Britain alone, the increase in students applying for forensic programs is up nearly 33 percent, attributed entirely to the influence of CSI, NCIS, Bones, and many similar programs.(1) They come into their programs believing they already know a great deal about the job because they have seen it all performed. In a more damaging vein, criminologists note the pervasive misinformation that is powerfully influencing criminal justice systems in various ways, particularly and significantly in the minds and expectations of jurors.(2)
 Analysts refer to this global phenomenon of forensic pop culture and its consequences as the “CSI Effect,” though speculation on the reasons for our feverish embrace of the motif is wider ranging. In my own right, I find something compellingly uncomplicated in the movement from mystery and crisis through clues and evidence to truth. In less than an hour, I am taken from dark riddle to conclusive resolution. Truth and justice emerge plainly, even where deception, obscurity, and injustice once reigned. In the rare instance when the suspect does notpersonally own up to the crime after the facts have emerged, the science and its expert witnesses are so definitive that it hardly matters. The truth is clear.
 Of course, I know in reality that mysteries are not typically so easily dissected nor the truth so mechanically laid out for the taking. But in that brief hour, I am relieved at the clarity of truth, presented to me quickly and with watertight certainty. English professor Scott Campbell further speculates on the allure of “a longed-for world where deceit is no longer possible and where language finds a close, unbreachable connection to the events it seeks to describe.”(3) On the nature of truth in such a world he notes, “If we know how to look for it, the truth is self-evident. It will, in effect, narrate itself.”
 In a world where the category of truth is often subjected to the murkiness of taste and opinion, the attraction to a self-evident, one-dimensional truth is understandable. All the lofty humility of the abstract pluralist cannot beautify the noise of a million clashing voices and truth claims; eventually, we grow weary of the end product and seek a less polluted scene. In the words of the illustrious detective Joe Friday, “All we want are the facts.”
 And yet, we must be wary of simplifying the nature of truth in our attempts to simplify ourinvestigations of it. This is precisely what the pluralist must do to make room for all his claims and voices. But in the world of the Christian, the world of truth is far from flat. Nor is its true song a raucous cacophony. Quite the opposite, Swiss theologian Hars Urs von Balthasar oft reflected on the truth as “symphonic.” Elaborating on this, professor Anthony Baker explains, “Truth is not simply a completed score, but the action of playing it back to God the way it was written. Only by following Christ into the cacophony, by descending into hell ourselves, by actively engaging in the redemption of fallen melody, can the church be alive with the resurrective power of the Spirit.”(4)
 In other words, truth is not simply something passive that we intercept, like the outcome of a CSI episode that leaves us entirely certain of “what really happened.” Truth certainly has this definitive element; to be sure, the Logos which became flesh is God’s definitive account of truth. But this is something far deeper and more dimensional than cold, unresponsive facts, as further evidenced in John’s description of Christ as one “full of grace and truth” in himself. There is a corresponding, interactive, participatory quality to truth, which takes longer than an hour to absorb and is best understood by engaging its depth and character within a world of impersonal, simplistic alternatives. For if truth is personal—indeed, a Person—it demands a lifetime of shared engagement with the one who is truth and the Spirit who actively leads us into a discovery of this truth.
 Without any doubt, the mystery of the Christian religion is great—mystery not in the hidden CSI sense, but mystery revealed. Paul’s description of Jesus is as full of inscrutable truths as it is compelling evidences: “He was revealed in flesh, vindicated in spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among Gentiles, believed in throughout the world, taken up in glory” (1 Timothy 3:16). Evidences of the heights and depths of this divine mysterious truth can indeed be received as factual, definitive fingerprints. But so they are clues that point to a multi-dimensional, inexhaustible Person full of grace and truth.
(1) Paul Hackett, “Want a Career in Forensics? Here’s Some Hard Evidence,” The Guardian, March 28, 2007.
(2) “Forensics and the Media: A 3-Year Project Examining the ‘CSI Effect’ and a Forensic Pop Culture” presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology (ASC), Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, Nov. 1, 2006.
(3) Scott Campbell, “‘Dead Men Do Tell Tales’: CSI: Miami and the Case Against Narrative,”Americana: The Journal of American Popular Culture, Spring 2009, Volume 8, Issue 1.
(4) Anthony D. Baker, “Fiddling with the Melody: Illuminating von Balthasar’s Symphony of Truth,” The Other Journal, Issue 15, May 11, 2009.