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No place affords a more striking conviction
of the vanity of human hopes
than a public library.

Samuel Johnson,
March 23, 1751,
the Rambler

 

Amazon Lemmings Effect

In no way one can blindly rely on Amazon ratings (or any similar ratings). Amazon rating while providing interesting information often are subject to so called "Lemming Effect" when people rate highly a book that is mediocre at best (just look on reviews of JavaScript: The Definitive Guide or Learning Perl. In this case several good reviews incite conformists to say a couple of nice words about the book that they probably own but that they either never read or they lack the ability to compare books on the subject due to some other factor.

Bad books from a respectable publisher or a known author sometimes
have many excellent reviews on Amazon (Lemmings effect )

At the same time many really good books (for example Learning Korn Shell) are underrated on Amazon with a lot of reviews that belong to the category described above, only with minus sign.

You also need to understand that the value of the book depends on the level of the reader and only really brilliant books (for example TAOCP) can bypass this vast diversity of experiences of the readers.

Evaluating a book before buying

If you are still thinking about buying a book, do yourself a favor, when you're at the book store look in the index or table of contents of this book and then browse the book and read at least one, important for you, chapter before spending any money.  If you still have the same level of understanding as before the reading and the chapter does not contain interesting ideas or badly written then probably this is not the book you are shooting for. Then take another book and keep doing this until you find one that really excels in explaining this important for you concept. 

If you cannot browse the book yourself in a bookstore, then you should try to grade the book indirectly using other sources (this is less reliable but at least helps to avoid blunders):

Books with titles that includes the word Bible are often pretty weak and belong to the "make money fast" category . No respectable author would consider himself to be a God :-) Every time I see a book named  "XXX Bible" (Unix Bible, Java Bible, Javascript Bible, etc). I think that such name is misleading as for the level of complexity and weirdness of the subject and from marketing standpoint it might be better to replace this title with a title  "XXX Kamasutra." :-)

Dr. Nikolai Bezroukov


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[Jun 27, 2017] Fluent Python Clear, Concise, and Effective Programming by Luciano Ramalho

One of the few Python books that make sense for Perl programmers.
Jun 27, 2017 | www.amazon.com
Z. D. Bullough on March 22, 2016

Aptly Named, Fluent Python

As the title and description suggest, this book truly is to achieve 'fluency' in Python. It touches on nearly every point of the language that is pythonic, describing not just the how and the what, but the why. This book is definitely not a good beginner book for Python (however, someone extremely well versed in Java or C++ could probably benefit from it, if they relied on more basic information from alternative sources), but I wouldn't say it's only for expert users.

This book touches on a very wide selection of subjects, from some pretty common Python concepts, like Duck Typing, generators, and function and class decorators to more advanced subjects like abstract base classes, multiple inheritance, mixins, and meta programming. The prose is easy to read and even entertaining. It may be the first programming book I read for enjoyment, and not just reference.

Luciano demonstrates that he truly is fluent in Python, and while probably 25% of the chapters were not on any subject that is useful to me, all of them yielded new information and helpful hints, and even tips and tricks to increase performance or readability of the code. I would think that, given the wide range of topics, at least 30% of the book will be extremely helpful to your specific use case, regardless of what that is.

Stephen McMahon on September 14, 2015

Beautiful Python

Luciano's Python style is beautiful. I've been programming in Python for 15 years, and am learning something from every page. Sometimes those things are language features, but more often it's just a more elegant, expressive way of writing Python. This is a book that can make a good programmer better.

Amazon Customer on November 26, 2015

The best Python book for non-beginner

Author has a deep understanding of the language and is a gifted instructor. There is nothing even close to it in terms of depth and clarity for modern Python. Part V which includes coverage of asyncio is worth the price of the whole book. Coverage of more elementary topics such as references, mutability etc are also great. My highest recommendation.

[Jun 15, 2017] The War Against Putin What the Government-Media Complex Isn't Telling You About Russia M. S. King 9781500316266 Amazon.com

Notable quotes:
"... The only difference between Obama's and McCain's foreign policy was that Obama represented the faction of America's foreign policy establishment which places an emphasis of long term "Soft Power" strategies; saving war as a last resort should their phony NGO "protests", hunger sanctions and "rebel" proxy wars fail to achieve the intended effect. ..."
"... To put it in terms of a moderately vulgar rape analogy, Bush/Cheney/McCain are the type of Globalist rapists who prefer to violently pounce on their intended target, violating' her in the most barbaric manner. Obama on the other hand, is the charming predatory creep who slips a "date rape" drug into the unsuspecting maiden's drink. She will never suspect what is coming, until it is too late. "The other difference between Globalist "liberals and the Globalist "Neo-Cons" is that the latter are fanatically pro-Israel; even placing the interests of Israel ahead of the interests of Globalism. Though they are also pro-Israel, the "liberal" faction generally believes that Israel's frequent foreign aggression and ongoing abuse of the occupied Palestinians complicates their efforts to "work with" and subdue the numerous Arab and Muslim countries of the world. This is the true reason why CFR Globalist Jimmy Carter openly condemned Israel for "Apartheid." ..."
Jun 15, 2017 | www.amazon.com
By Wikileaker on January 19, 2017 Format: Paperback | Verified Purchase For those who rely on the corporate news media that further the war aims of the New World Order, this book will open your eyes!

Long story short:
the Russian czars resisted the NWO crime families for centuries until they succeeded installing their jewish/Bolshevik puppets and formed the USSR. The NWO was counting on the mantle passing on to Trotsky whenever Lenin exited, but instead got a rude surprise when Stalin took over. Comrade Joe wouldn't play ball -- the USSR was his personal kingdom and he wasn't taking orders. So the NWO made sure the Versailles treaty imposed such harsh terms on Germany that a second "War to End Wars" was inevitable (and to rub salt into Germany's wounds, recall that they NEVER surrendered! The Armistice was merely a ceasefire). And it didn't hurt the NWO's aims that the misery of the Great Depression (caused by their -- the "Fed's" contraction of the global money supply) set the stage for another Great War. Then they set up Hitler as Stalin's natural enemy/rival (along with their corporate servants like GM, IBM, Ford, Coca-Cola, etc.), and, as planned, they duked it out BUT Stalin came out on top. Foiled again! But the Cold War was just too lucrative a prospect for the NWO to pass up, so it was East versus West for the following 50 years. (proof positive this was the case was Eisenhower's failure to end the Cold War when Stalin gave up the ghost and Khruschev softened the USSR's stance against the West. This was a golden opportunity for world progress but the evil Dulles brothers (NWO again) wouldn't permit it). .0 out of 5 stars Vladimir the Great By k. n. kane on March 27, 2017 Format: Paperback | Verified Purchase I admire Vladimir Putin even more after reading this book and, if possible, I also despise the "Globalist" criminals even more. For generations, Russia has suffered some of the greatest "crimes against humanity" from within and without by these internationalist criminals, many of whom are born into the craft. Hopefully Mr. Putin can finally lead Russia out of the greedy clutches internationalism.

**************************************************
a section from chapter 14, pages 65 and 66.

" The only difference between Obama's and McCain's foreign policy was that Obama represented the faction of America's foreign policy establishment which places an emphasis of long term "Soft Power" strategies; saving war as a last resort should their phony NGO "protests", hunger sanctions and "rebel" proxy wars fail to achieve the intended effect.

" To put it in terms of a moderately vulgar rape analogy, Bush/Cheney/McCain are the type of Globalist rapists who prefer to violently pounce on their intended target, violating' her in the most barbaric manner. Obama on the other hand, is the charming predatory creep who slips a "date rape" drug into the unsuspecting maiden's drink. She will never suspect what is coming, until it is too late. "The other difference between Globalist "liberals and the Globalist "Neo-Cons" is that the latter are fanatically pro-Israel; even placing the interests of Israel ahead of the interests of Globalism. Though they are also pro-Israel, the "liberal" faction generally believes that Israel's frequent foreign aggression and ongoing abuse of the occupied Palestinians complicates their efforts to "work with" and subdue the numerous Arab and Muslim countries of the world. This is the true reason why CFR Globalist Jimmy Carter openly condemned Israel for "Apartheid."

"Think of the two factions as bickering spouses who. at the end of their frequent spats, will always kiss and make up, and resume plotting against the people of the world, including their own countrymen."

-M. S. King

[Jun 09, 2017] The Plot to Scapegoat Russia How the CIA and the Deep State Have Conspired to Vilify Putin by Dan Kovalik

Highly recommended!
Jun 09, 2017 | www.amazon.com

Review " A powerful contradiction to the present US narrative of the world . . . As shown here, fake news is thriving in Washington, DC."-- Oliver Stone , Academy Award winning director and screenwriter

" The Plot to Scapegoat Russia is a beautifully written, uncommonly coherent, and very compelling treatise on the issues facing America today... a troubling indictment of where we've been and where we're headed. Moreover, this book is profoundly important , and a timely retrospective review of American foreign policy misadventures since the advent of the Cold War." -- Phillip F. Nelson , author of LBJ: The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination and LBJ: From Mastermind to "The Colossus"

" The Plot to Scapegoat Russia underscores how the CIA's infiltration and shaping of the media, which began in the 1950s, successfully continues today. A very worthwhile account for anyone who wants to understand how 'reality' is manufactured, while 'real truth' is murdered and buried." -- Peter Janney , author of Mary's Mosaic: The CIA Conspiracy to Murder John F. Kennedy, Mary Pinchot Meyer, and Their Vision for World Peace

"At a time when the U.S. military budget is again soaring to enrich the oligarchs, this timely and thought-provoking book turns Orwellian 'double-think' on its head in a cogent analysis of what's really behind all the saber-rattling against Russia. In a scholarly but also deeply personal and fluidly written work , Dan Kovalik pulls no punches in dissecting the history of how America has justified its own imperialistic aims through the Cold War era and right up to the current anti-Putin hysteria." -- Dick Russell , New York Times bestselling author of Horsemen of the Apocalypse: The Men Who Are Destroying Life on Earth and What It Means to Our Children

" The Plot to Scapegoat Russia confronts the timeliest of subjects, the effort to resuscitate the Cold War by blaming Russian president Vladimir Putin for interfering in the 2016 presidential campaign on behalf of Donald Trump, an effort pursued by CIA and the Democratic Party working in tandem. Kovalik establishes... that not a scintilla of evidence has emerged to grant credibility to this self-serving fantasy... [and he] deftly eviscerates the mainstream press . Reading [this book] will be salutary, illuminating and more than instructive ." -- Joan Mellen , author of Faustian Bargains: Lyndon Johnson and Mac Wallace in the Robber Baron Culture of Texas

William T. Whitney Jr on May 28, 2017

Review of "The Plot to Scapegoat Russia"

Beating up on Russia; history tells why
By William T. Whitney Jr. .

Lawyer and human rights activist Dan Kovalik has written a valuable book. He looked at a recent U. S. political development in terms of history and then skewered it. His new book, "The Plot to Scapegoat Russia," looks at mounting assaults against Russia that increased during the Obama administration and that spokespersons for the Democratic Party, among others, are promoting.

The CIA, he claims, without going into specifics, is engaged in anti-Russian activities. For Kovalik, "the CIA is a nefarious, criminal organization which often misleads the Ameri¬can public and government into wars and misadventures."

Kovalik devotes much of his book to what he regards as precedents for the current dark turn in U.S. – Russian relations. Toward that end, he surveys the history of U.S. foreign interventions since World War II. He confirms that the United States government is indeed habituated to aggressive adventurism abroad. That's something many readers already know, but Kovalik contributes significantly by establishing that U.S. hostility against Russia ranks as a chapter in that long story.

But what's the motivation for military assaults and destabilizing projects? And, generally, why all the wars? The author's historical survey provides answers. He finds that the scenarios he describes are connected. Treating them as a whole, he gives them weight and thus provides an intellectual weapon for the anti-imperialist cause. Kovalik, putting history to work, moves from the issue of U.S.-Russian antagonism to the more over-arching problem of threats to human survival. That's his major contribution.

His highly-recommended book offers facts and analyses so encompassing as to belie its small size. The writing is clear, evocative, and eminently readable; his narrative is that of a story – teller. Along the way, as a side benefit, Kovalik recalls the causes and outrage that fired up activists who were his contemporaries.

He testifies to a new Cold War. Doing so, he argues that the anti-communist rational for the earlier Cold War was a cover for something else, a pretext. In his words: "the Cold War, at least from the vantage point of the US, had little to do with fighting 'Communism,' and more to do with making the world safe for corporate plunder." Once more Russia is an enemy of the United States, but now it's a capitalist country.

That's mysterious; explanation is in order. Readers, however, may be hungry to know about the "plot" advertised in the book's title. We recommend patience. History and its recurring patterns come first for this author. They enable him to account for U. S. – Russian relations that are contradictory and, most importantly, for the U.S. propensity for war-making. After that he tells about a plot.

Kovalik describes how, very early, reports of CIA machinations from former agents of the spy organization expanded his political awareness, as did a trip to Nicaragua. There he gained first-hand knowledge of CIA atrocities, of deaths and destruction at the hands of the Contras, anti- Sandinista paramilitaries backed by the CIA. His book goes on fully and dramatically to describe murders and chaos orchestrated by the United States and/or the CIA in El Salvador, Colombia, and in the South America of Operation Condor. Kovalic discusses the U.S. war in Vietnam, occupation and war in Korea, nuclear bombs dropped on Japan, nuclear testing and dying in the Marshall Islands, and the CIA's recruitment of the anti-Soviet Mujahedeen in Afghan¬istan. He recounts U. S. - instigated coups in Iran, 1953; Guatemala, 1954; and Chile, 1973.

These projects were about keeping "the world safe from the threat of Soviet totalitarianism" – in other words, anti-communism. But then the USSR disappeared, and the search was on for a new pretext. The Clinton administration evoked "humanitarian intervention," and continued the intrusions: in Ruanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo (on behalf of "US mining interests"), Yugoslavia, and Libya.

In Kovalik's telling, the U. S. government eventually settled upon the notion of "American exceptionalism," that is to say, "the belief that the US is a uniquely benign actor in the world, spreading peace and democracy." Thus armed, the U. S. military exported terror to Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen (via its Saudi Arabian proxy), and Honduras, through a U. S. facilitated military coup. The book catalogues other episodes, other places. Along the way on his excursion, Kovalik contrasts U. S. pretensions and brutal deeds with the relatively benign nature of alleged Russian outrages.

Good relations with Russia, he says, would be "simply bad for business, in particular the business of war which so profoundly undergirds the US economy As of 2015, the US had at least 800 military bases in over 70 nations, while Britain, France and Russia had only 30 military bases combined." And, "under Obama alone, the US had Special Forces deployed in about 138 countries." Further, "The US's outsized military exists not only to ensure the US's quite unjust share of the world's riches, but also to ensure that those riches are not shared with the poor huddled masses in this country."

Kovalik highlights the disaster that overwhelmed Russia as a fledgling capitalist nation: life expectancy plummeted, the poverty rate was 75 percent, and investments fell by 80 percent. National pride was in the cellar, the more so after the United States backed away from Secretary of State Baker's 1991 promise that NATO would never move east, after the United States attacked Russia's ally Serbia, and after the United States, rejecting Russian priorities, attacked Iraq in 2003 and Libya in 2011.

The author rebuts U. S. claims that Russian democracy has failed and that Putin over-reached in Ukraine. He praises Putin's attempts to cooperate with the United States in Syria. The United States has abused peoples the world over, he insists, and suffers from a "severe democracy deficit."

By the time he is discussing current U. S. – Russian relations, readers have been primed never to expect U.S. imperialism to give Russia a break. The author's instructional course has taken effect, or should have done so. If readers aren't aware of what the U. S. government has been up to, the author is not to blame.

Kovalik condemns the Obama administration and particularly Secretary of State Hilary Clinton for intensifying the U. S. campaign against Russia. He extends his criticism to the Democratic Party and the media. The theme of anti – Russian scheming by the CIA comes up briefly in the book in connection with hacking attributed to Russia and with WikiLeaks revelations about the Democratic Party. Nothing is said about possible interaction between personnel of the Trump campaign and Russian officials.

Kovalik's historical excursion takes in the Soviet Union. Clearly, many of the U. S. military interventions described in this valuable book wouldn't have occurred if the Soviet Union still existed. Beyond that, Kovalik says, "the Soviet Union, did wield sizable political and ideological influence in the world for some time, due to the appeal of its socialist message as well as its critical role in winning [World War] II."

Kovalik acknowledges "periods of great repression." He adds, however, that "the Russian Revolution and the USSR delivered on many of their promises, and against great odds. . In any case, the goals of the Russian Revolution-equality, worker control of the economy, universal health care and social security- were laudable ones." And, "One of the reasons that the West continues to dance on the grave of the Soviet Union, and to emphasize the worst parts of that society and downplay its achievements, is to make sure that, as the world-wide economy worsens, and as the suffering of work¬ing people around the world deepens, they don't get any notions in their head to organize some new socialist revolution with such ideals."

Ultimately, Kovalik sides with Martin Luther King, who remarked that, 'The US is on the wrong side of the world-wide revolution' – and with Daniel Ellsberg's clarification: 'The US is not on the wrong side; it is the wrong side.'"

Drew Hunkins on May 30, 2017

Dissects the dangerous nonsense

The most important non-fiction work thus far of 2017 is upon us. Finally the book has arrived that cuts through all the hype, deceit, misinformation and disconcerting groupthink.

Kovalik structures TPTSR by starting at the most logical place -- the history of unilateral Washington aggression across the globe, from the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran through the Washington intell agencies' orchestrated coups and proxy wars in Latin America.

This exposition of historical Washington empire building provides a solid foundation when he ultimately addresses why the predatory military-industrial-media-complex is incessantly fomenting this dangerous contemporary Russophobic campaign. The book nails it by presenting in a crystal clear manner the two exact reasons why the demonization of Moscow never seems to subside: 1.) The corporate and Washington military empire builders are deeply threatened by the potential loss of certain markets and a sovereign Russia that desires a say over the diplomatic and military maneuvers on its borders, especially its Western region. 2.) Most importantly, the MIC/national-security state absolutely MUST HAVE a villain (real or imagined, it doesn't matter) in order to justify the trillion dollar budget and careerism that seeps into every pore of the U.S. politico-economic system. This Pentagon system of pseudo economic Keynesianism could potentially lead to nuclear war. The giant house of cards could doom us all.

D. Gordon on June 1, 2017

This book is an amazing contribution. A veritable primer on U

This book is an amazing contribution. A veritable primer on U.S. foreign policy, this book is part memoir, part history, and part analysis of current events. Kovalik makes a compelling case that U.S. policies--not Russia--are the biggest danger to world peace and human rights. The book traces Kovalik's own awakening and transformation from his conservative religious-minded youth to one of our most trenchant critics of U.S. foreign policy writing today. And he does it in his own inimitable, witty, readable, and humane style.

[Jun 08, 2017] Books about russiphobia

Notable quotes:
"... For something more serious, see Russophobia: Anti-Russian Lobby and American Foreign Policy by Andrei Tsygankov. ..."
Jun 08, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com
Evgeny , June 7, 2017 at 7:33 pm
Hello Stooges!

Have you heard of " The Plot to Scapegoat Russia How the CIA and the Deep State Have Conspired to Vilify Putin " by Kovalik Dan?

So far I have had a cursory look on it - a few minutes of turning the pages. It doesn't look like a serious professional study, more like a light writing (albeit with numerous booknotes), and the author's focus seems to be on exposing the cases where the U.S. misbehaved in the world - so it shouldn't be critical of countries like Russia. The author cites journalists like Max Blumenthal, Robert Perry, even Paul Craig Roberts, so I guess it might be an interesting read. Perhaps I will read the book; not sure.

Warren , June 7, 2017 at 8:16 pm

https://www.youtube.com/embed/N3t8ut5r_0U

Published on 4 Jun 2017
As Hillary Clinton blames the Kremlin for her election loss, author and attorney Dan Kovalik argues that anti-Russia sentiment is deeply embedded in the U.S. political establishment. Kovalik's new book is "The Plot to Scapegoat Russia: How the CIA and the Deep State Have Conspired to Vilify Russia."

J.T. , June 8, 2017 at 6:28 am
Heard of it, but I'll pass.
For something more serious, see Russophobia: Anti-Russian Lobby and American Foreign Policy by Andrei Tsygankov.
Andreas Umland on June 11, 2010
Stretching "Russophobia"
An analysis like Andrei P. Tsygankov's book was sorely needed. However, I am not sure that Tsygankov will fully reach with this text what he seemingly wanted to attain - namely, an effective, noted and, above all, consequential critique of US attitudes towards Russia during the last decade. Tsygankov has, to be sure, done a great deal of investigative work. He details many episodes that illustrate well where US policy or opinion makers have gone wrong. The book's chapters deal with, among other topics, the Chechen wars, democracy promotion, and energy policies. It is also important that this interpretation comes from a Russia-born political scientist who lives in the US and knows American discourse and politics well.

Tsygankov's deep knowledge of both, Russian affairs as well as camps and trends in US politics, adds considerable value to this analysis.

Yet, already the title of the book indicates where Tsygankov may be defeating his purpose. By way of classifying most of US-American critique of Russia as "Russophobia", Tsygankov goes, at least in terms of the concepts and words that he uses to interpret these phenomena, a bit too far. Tsygankov asserts that Russophobia is a major intellectual and political trend in US international thought and behaviour. He also tries to make the reader believe that there exists a broad coalition of political commentators and actors that form an anti-Russian lobby in Washington.

It is true that there is a lot to be criticised and improved in Western approaches towards post-Soviet Russia - and towards the non-Western world, in general. US behaviour vis-à-vis, and American comments on, Russia, for the last 20 years, have all too often been characterized by incompetence and insensitivity regarding the daunting challenges and far-reaching consequences of the peculiarly post-Soviet political, cultural and economic transformation. Often, Russian-American relations have been hampered by plain inattention among US decision and opinion makers - a stunning phenomenon in view of the fact that Russia has kept being and will remain a nuclear superpower, for decades to come.

The hundreds of stupidities that have been uttered on, and dozens of mistakes in US policies towards, Russia needed to be chronicled and deconstructed. Partly, Tsygankov has done that here with due effort, interesting results and some interpretative success.

Yet, Tsygankov does not only talk about failures and omissions regarding Russia. He also speaks of enemies of the Russian state in the US, and their supposed alliances as well various dealings.

Certainly, there is the occasional Russophobe in Washington and elsewhere, in the Western world. Among such personage, there are even some who are indeed engaged in an anti-Russian political lobbying of sorts.

However, the circle of activists who truly deserve to be called "Russophobes" largely contains immigrants from the inner or outer Soviet/Russian empire. These are people who have their own reasons to be distrustful of, or even hostile towards, Russia. After the rise of Vladimir Putin and the Russian-Georgian War, many of them, I suspect, feel that they have always been right, in their anti-Russian prejudices. In any way, this is a relatively small group of people who are more interested in the past and worried about the future of their newly independent nation-states than they are concerned about the actual fate of Russia herself.

Among those who are interested in Russia there are many, as Tsygankov aptly documents, who have recently been criticizing the Russian leadership harshly.

Some of them have, in doing so, exerted influence on Western governments and public opinion. And partly such critique was, indeed, unjustified, unbalanced or/and counterproductive.

But is that enough to assert that there is an "anti-Russian lobby"? What would such a lobby gain from spoiling US-Russian relationships? Who pays these lobbyists, and for what? Who, apart from a few backward-looking East European émigrés, is sufficiently interested in a new fundamental Russian-Western confrontation so as to conduct the allegedly concerted anti-Russian campaigns that Tsygankov appears to be discovering, in his book?

[Jun 07, 2017] The Tools of Argument How the Best Lawyers Think, Argue, and Win by Joel P. Trachtman

80 reviews of Amazon.
Jun 07, 2017 | www.amazon.com

Russky

The best book for any person who wants to understand how ... , February 29, 2016

The Tools of Argument: How the Best Lawyers Think, Argue, and Win (Paperback)

The best book for any person who wants to understand how American Courts work! At times we all ask questions like "How can this criminal get off on technicalities if it is obvious that he/she committed crime?", or "How can this be fair?" or "How can a lawyer defend this "bad guy/girl"? This is totally wrong! He/she is a criminal!" The author explains the difference between law and common sense, law and ethics, understanding of crime in legal terms and in laymen words.The book closely examines the logical reasoning of the law professionals , demonstrating the "tricks" used in court rooms. Fascinating reading!!!

WARNING: the book will not prepare you to go to court and defend your case! This is not a "how-to" manual for folks who are planning to go to court. Hire a lawyer if need be.

However, if you want to learn how to present and defend your point (any point, not just legal issues) as an intelligent and convincing person, this book is for you! Chances are, by the time you are done with debating your next case, your opponents will at least respect your opinion (or hate your guts, which still might give you some satisfaction).

This book is for anyone who wants to boost up their skills in logical persuasion, finding loopholes in opponent's logical reasoning.

Lots of interesting and valuable information for a pretty small price! It is written in a short and clear format: each chapter discusses specific idea, giving examples from court cases and average daily life (parent-child, husband-wife, employee-supervisor), concluding with a practical application summary argument vs. counterargument.

So, no reason to read the entire book from beginning to end. One can just pick any chapter and read about how this or that legal (logical) rule can be applied in daily life.

[May 03, 2017] The American Criminal Justice System How It Works, How It Doesn't , and How to Fix It

May 03, 2017 | www.amazon.com

Prison guards, unionized and politically influential, are a major force in the growth of the American prison industry. Prison guard unions have grown immensely since 1980, when the membership was no more than abut 2, 000 guards. Since then, the prison guard union in California alone has reached 25, 000. American prison guards earn an average salary of $36, 000 a year, which is 34 percent below the median American income of $48, 000 in 2007. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were about 500, 000 "correctional officers" working in the United States in 2007. Of those, 18, 000 were federal employees; the others worked for state and county governments. Because of the constantly rising rates of incarceration, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a growth for this occupation of 16 percent between 2007 and 2014. Of course, the downturn in the American economy as of 2009 may make such growth impossible, for economics has frequently determined results quite different from those expected. 21

In view of the large membership in the prison guards unions, the unions have considerable clout at election time. Because the relatives and friends of guards are also voters, state legislators can seldom risk antagonizing the prison guard unions if they seek reelection. Such election concerns are particularly true in California, where prison guard unions have been a major force in the growth of the prison industry. The California Correctional Peace Officers Association funnels money to politicians to ensure a "lock 'em up" policy in the state. The growth in political clout is best illustrated by the growth of the prison guard union, which collects about $15 million in union dues each year, leading to contributions to gubernatorial candidates of at least $1. 5 million. The union also finances a so- called Crime Victims Political Action Committee, which in turn supplies political candidates in California with money toward their campaigns. Prison guard unions also demand laws that lead to mandatory life sentences as well as longer sentences for all offenders. While California is one example of the influence of prison guard unions, these tactics are used in every state. Lawmakers who want to keep their jobs know that it is dangerous to oppose union demands. Therefore, prison guard unions are yet one more factor contributing to the huge incarceration rate experienced in the United States.

[Mar 30, 2017] Amazon.com MINIX NEO Z83-4, Intel Cherry Trail Fanless Mini PC Windows 10 (64-bit) [4GB-32GB-Dual-Band Wi-Fi-Gigabit Ethernet-

Mar 30, 2017 | www.amazon.com

I love these things and have 4 of them at my business. They only draw 2-10 watts, so the electricity cost is substantially less than a full tower, and yet they can run full 30fps video on 2 4k monitors at the same time.

We run office, surf the web, run smaller (500mb or less) business applications these and they pay for themselves within a year by the energy savings. Because they are so blazingly fast, (at least compared to my laptop) they will also save us employee time.

Things I have learned owning them:

1. IF YOU FLIP A SWITCH THAT KILLS POWER TO A UNIT - EVEN WITH WINDOWS PROPERLY SHUTDOWN BEFOREHAND - IT WILL CORRUPT THE MEMORY ON THE HD OR PARTITIONS UNLESS YOU HAVE TURNED OFF 'FAST REBOOT' FROM THE POWER OPTIONS IN WINDOWS. THIS IS NOT COMMUNICATED ANYWHERE EXCEPT MINIXFORUM.
2. Because power loss can corrupt the memory, I recommend taking a disk image so you can easily rebuild the unit if you have powerloss. It might also be a good idea to run the unit on a small UPS. Longterm, Minix should add a capacitor so the units can shut down safely when there is a power outage.
2 : Display port is only able to be converted to D-Sub VGA signal. HDMI Port can be converted to DVI. So, if you want to run two monitors that have D-Sub (VGA) connectors, you will need HDMI-DVI adapter and one Displayport- VGA Adapter. (Read: displayport CANNOT be converted to HDMI then run through a HDMI-DVI ADAPTER)

Minix Z83-4 as a media center and central archive By S. Hoff on December 16, 2016 Verified Purchase For the price of $169.00 and how well it has worked for my media center setup, it is a perfect little machine. We have thousands of CD's in our music collection and I wanted to create a system where we could archive the entire library with have some space for video as a central media center. It is certainly not a powerful machine by any stretch if you have more intensive applications such as games or video editing. However it excels as a media device which will also easily handle everyday light use for email, internet, office productivity.

What impresses me about the unit is how much hardware is packed into the dimensions of 4.8" x 4.8" x 1.2" chassis. Quad core Atom x7-Z8700 Cherry Trail 1.44 ghz to 1.84 ghz, 4 Gigabytes of DDR3 RAM, 32 gb SSD, Dual band Wifi AC, Bluetooth 4.0, gigabit Ethernet, 3x2.0 and 1x3.0 USB ports, HDMI and display port with discreet Broadwell Gen 8 graphics capable of supporting 4K displays, and Windows 10 64 bit. Just having Windows 10 is around $100 for an OEM license.

When I was putting my media center system together in my head, some of the major considerations was size, available ports, responsiveness, and overall power consumption. I looked at a couple of Intel HDMI stick computers, but the less expensive unit ($131) had only 2 gb of RAM which is too low for Windows 10 to operate without hiccups. The next model of that series ($349.00) has a M3 processor and more disc space (64 gb) than the Minix (32 gb). The first was affordable, but unacceptable for my needs and the more expensive model was too expensive and didn't have an Ethernet connection.

Out of the box, the unit felt solid and the body being both plastic and mostly aluminum in construction. Since this is a passively cooled system, the aluminum helps disperse the heat from the internal heatsink to the outside. The processor has a TDP of less than 4 watts and the overall unit operates from 2-10 watts from idle to demanding applications. This was ideal because I wanted a system that can be on 24 hours a day and the power consumption level is negligible compared to a regular desktop pc. It puts out very little heat as well!

Setup was attaching the power cord and my various connections (Ethernet, external hard drive, USB keyboard, external DVD drive) and startup was a breeze and Windows 10 operates pretty responsively considering the lower end specifications. It booted up in about 30 seconds.

With the limited 32 gb SSD where the operating system resides, I attached a 4 terabyte hard drive and the unit is connected to my living room TV at 1080P. I used JRiver Media Center 22 which is truly the most feature-rich program for $50.00 (30 days free trial of a fully functional program) and it helped me devise an even better archival system that includes content streaming to any device on the same network and over the internet on a different network! That was an unexpected feature that I didn't know about until I downloaded the program. I have started ripping the CD's into lossless flac and the JRiver program has been great with built in metadata editing, cover art aquistion, and organizes all media . There are free programs, but the ease and organization of JRiver made me a convert and I will be paying for it once the 30 period has expired. It is an easy system to use and it plays anything and at high quality. While I do have it connected to the TV via HDMI, the media center it has become only needs the television screen when ripping cd's. After that everything, including metadata, can be controlled and edited strictly from my phone or tablet. It acts both as a remote to the system as well as media streaming .

The Minix z83-4 has performed beyond my expectations and is a bridge between a media streaming device like Roku or Chromecast and a full-fledged Windows computer. For all intents and purposes, even with hardware limitations, it is a Windows 10 desktop. For my purposes, I am able to play CD quality music from it to the stereo and I am also able to stream my own library to up to 5 devices from any remote location. Via Gizmo (free) or JRiver Remote ($9.99) apps, JRiver will stream the original flac quality or transcode it from low to high quality mp3. Both apps do the same thing but the JRiver Remote looks more polished. I tend to stream it at a transcoded 128 kbps if I'm using mobile data but keep it at flac quality with wifi. With a 4 terabyte drive, it should be able to hold around 10,000 CD's as flac files. I am so pleased with this unit which has made my dream media center possible for those of us who have concerns about storing anything with cloud services. Also, I wanted to get away from MP3's because they lack warmth and classical music just sounds so much better at full quality. The the small profile and low power consumption gave me a discreet and efficient system where a bulky desktop or laptop would have been too cumbersome and expensive. For about $300, I was able to put together a system that can stream any personal media I archive to anywhere in the world if I have an internet connection and a Windows, Apple, or Android device!

[Mar 28, 2017] Foundation - Fall Of The American Galactic Empire Zero Hedge

Mar 28, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
Mar 27, 2017 10:40 PM Authored by Jim Quinn via The Burning Platform blog,

"The fall of Empire, gentlemen, is a massive thing, however, and not easily fought. It is dictated by a rising bureaucracy, a receding initiative, a freezing of caste, a damming of curiosity-a hundred other factors. It has been going on, as I have said, for centuries, and it is too majestic and massive a movement to stop." – Isaac Asimov, Foundation

"Any fool can tell a crisis when it arrives. The real service to the state is to detect it in embryo." – Isaac Asimov, Foundation

I read Isaac Asimov's renowned award winning science fiction trilogy four decades ago as a teenager. I read them because I liked science fiction novels, not because I was trying to understand the correlation to the fall of the Roman Empire. The books that came to be called the Foundation Trilogy (Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation) were not written as novels; they're the collected Foundation stories Asimov wrote between 1941 and 1950. He wrote these stories during the final stages of our last Fourth Turning Crisis and the beginning stages of the next High. This was the same time frame in which Tolkien wrote the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and Orwell wrote 1984 . This was not a coincidence.

The tone of foreboding, danger, dread, and impending doom, along with unending warfare, propels all of these novels because they were all written during the bloodiest and most perilous portion of the last Fourth Turning . As the linear thinking establishment continues to be blindsided by the continued deterioration of the economic, political, social, and cultural conditions in the world, we have entered the most treacherous phase of our present Fourth Turning .

That ominous mood engulfing the world is not a new dynamic, but a cyclical event arriving every 80 or so years. Eight decades ago the world was on the verge of a world war which would kill 65 million people. Eight decades prior to 1937 the country was on the verge of a Civil War which would kill almost 5% of the male population. Eight decades prior to 1857 the American Revolution had just begun and would last six more bloody years. None of this is a coincidence. The generational configuration repeats itself every eighty years, driving the mood change which leads to revolutionary change and the destruction of the existing social order.

Isaac Asimov certainly didn't foresee his Foundation stories representing the decline of an American Empire that didn't yet exist. The work that inspired Asimov was Edward Gibbon's multi-volume series, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire , published between 1776 and 1789. Gibbon saw Rome's fall not as a consequence of specific, dramatic events, but as the result of the gradual decline of civic virtue, monetary debasement and rise of Christianity, which made the Romans less vested in worldly affairs.

Gibbon's tome reflects the same generational theory espoused by Strauss and Howe in The Fourth Turning . Gibbon's conclusion was human nature never changes, and mankind's penchant for division, amplified by environmental and cultural differences, is what governs the cyclical nature of history. Gibbon constructs a narrative spanning centuries as events unfold and emperors' successes and failures occur within the context of a relentless decline of empire. The specific events and behaviors of individual emperors were inconsequential within the larger framework and pattern of historical decline. History plods relentlessly onward, driven by the law of large numbers.

Asimov described his inspiration for the novels:

"I wanted to consider essentially the science of psychohistory, something I made up myself. It was, in a sense, the struggle between free will and determinism. On the other hand, I wanted to do a story on the analogy of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, but on the much larger scale of the galaxy. To do that, I took over the aura of the Roman Empire and wrote it very large. The social system, then, is very much like the Roman imperial system, but that was just my skeleton.

It seemed to me that if we did have a galactic empire, there would be so many human beings-quintillions of them-that perhaps you might be able to predict very accurately how societies would behave, even though you couldn't predict how individuals composing those societies would behave. So, against the background of the Roman Empire written large, I invented the science of psychohistory. Throughout the entire trilogy, then, there are the opposing forces of individual desire and that dead hand of social inevitability."

Is History Pre-Determined?

"Don't you see? It's Galaxy-wide. It's a worship of the past. It's a deterioration – a stagnation!" – Isaac Asimov, Foundation

"It has been my philosophy of life that difficulties vanish when faced boldly." – Isaac Asimov, Foundation

The Foundation trilogy opens on Trantor, the capital of the 12,000-year-old Galactic Empire. Though the empire appears stable and powerful, it is slowly decaying in ways that parallel the decline of the Western Roman Empire. Hari Seldon, a mathematician and psychologist, has developed psychohistory, a new field of science that equates all possibilities in large societies to mathematics, allowing for the prediction of future events.

Psychohistory is a blend of crowd psychology and high-level math. An able psychohistorian can predict the long-term aggregate behavior of billions of people many years in the future. However, it only works with large groups. Psychohistory is almost useless for predicting the behavior of an individual. Also, it's no good if the group being analyzed is aware it's being analyzed - because if it's aware, the group changes its behavior.

Using psychohistory, Seldon has discovered the declining nature of the Empire, angering the aristocratic rulers of the Empire. The rulers consider Seldon's views and statements treasonous, and he is arrested. Seldon is tried by the state and defends his beliefs, explaining his theory the Empire will collapse in 300 years and enter a 30,000-year dark age.

He informs the rulers an alternative to this future is attainable, and explains to them generating an anthology of all human knowledge, the Encyclopedia Galactica, would not avert the inevitable fall of the Empire but would reduce the Dark Age to "only" 1,000 years.

The fearful state apparatchiks offer him exile to a remote world, Terminus, with other academic intellectuals who could help him create the Encyclopedia. He accepts their offer, and sets in motion his plan to set up two Foundations, one at either end of the galaxy, to preserve the accumulated knowledge of humanity and thereby shorten the Dark Age, once the Empire collapses. Seldon created the Foundation, knowing it would eventually be seen as a threat to rulers of the Empire, provoking an eventual attack. That is why he created a Second Foundation, unknown to the ruling class.

Asimov's psychohistory concept, based on the predictability of human actions in large numbers, has similarities to Strauss & Howe's generational theory. His theory didn't pretend to predict the actions of individuals, but formulated definite laws developed by mathematical analysis to predict the mass action of human groups. His novel explores the centuries old debate of whether human history proceeds in a predictable fashion, with individuals incapable of changing its course, or whether individuals can alter its progression.

The cyclical nature of history, driven by generational cohorts numbering tens of millions, has been documented over centuries by Strauss & Howe in their 1997 opus The Fourth Turning . Human beings in large numbers react in a herd-like predictable manner. I know that is disappointing to all the linear thinking individualists who erroneously believe one person can change the world and course of history.

The cyclical crisis's that occur every eighty years matches up with how every Foundation story centers on what is called a Seldon crisis, the conjunction of seemingly insoluble external and internal difficulties. The crises were all predicted by Seldon, who appears near the end of each story as a hologram to confirm the Foundation has traversed the latest one correctly.

The "Seldon Crises" take on two forms. Either events unfold in such a way there is only one clear path to take, or the forces of history conspire to determine the outcome. But, the common feature is free will doesn't matter. The heroes and adversaries believe their choices will make a difference when, in fact, the future is already written. This is a controversial viewpoint which angers many people because they feel it robs them of their individuality.

Most people don't want to be lumped together in an amalgamation of other humans because they believe admitting so would strip them of their sense of free will. Their delicate sensibilities are bruised by the unequivocal fact their individual actions are virtually meaningless to the direction of history. But, the madness of crowds can dramatically impact antiquity.

"In reading The History of Nations, we find that, like individuals, they have their whims and their peculiarities, their seasons of excitement and recklessness, when they care not what they do. We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first." – Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

Many people argue the dynamic advancements in technology and science have changed the world in such a way to alter human nature in a positive way, thereby resulting in humans acting in a more rational manner. This alteration would result in a level of human progress not experienced previously. The falsity of this technological theory is borne out by the continuation of war, government corruption, greed, belief in economic fallacies, civic decay, cultural degradation, and global disorder sweeping across the world. Humanity is incapable of change. The same weaknesses and self- destructive traits which have plagued them throughout history are as prevalent today as they ever were.

Asimov's solution to the failure of humanity to change was to create an academic oriented benevolent ruling class who could save the human race from destroying itself. He seems to have been well before his time with regards to creating Shadow Governments and Deep State functionaries. It appears he agreed with his contemporary Edward Bernays. The masses could not be trusted to make good decisions, so they needed more intellectually advanced men to guide their actions.

"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized.

Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind." – Edward Bernays – Propaganda

In Part Two of this article I will compare and contrast Donald Trump's rise to power to the rise of The Mule in Asimov's masterpiece. Unusually gifted individuals come along once in a lifetime to disrupt the plans of the existing social order.

Beam Me Up Scotty -> BaBaBouy , Mar 27, 2017 10:56 PM

" He seems to have been well before his time with regards to creating Shadow Governments and Deep State functionaries. It appears he agreed with his contemporary Edward Bernays. The masses could not be trusted to make good decisions, so they needed more intellectually advanced men to guide their actions."

The masses aren't the ones begging to start all of these wars. They are the ones TRYING to make a few good decisions. The Shadow Government and Deep State however, are hell bent on getting us all killed. Who exactly is the problem here??

LetThemEatRand , Mar 27, 2017 10:50 PM

Asimov was a good writer and created some great fiction. That's as far as it goes.

Huxle LetThemEatRand •Mar 27, 2017 10:50 PM y is the one who predicted the current state of affairs. Orwell gets honorable mention. You could also throw in some biblical passages for the mark of the beast, though the best part was clearly written about Nero.

biker Mar 27, 2017 11:06 PM
Of course its better to watch them eat themselves
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/03/rewriting-the-rules...

[Mar 17, 2017] Orwells 1984 was not a complete work of fiction, but a successful blueprint for full statist control

Notable quotes:
"... His book Animal Farm was a satire on Stalin and Trotsky and 1984 * gave readers a glimpse into what would happen if the government controlled every detail of a person's life, down to their own private thoughts. (*online bio). The battles in Europe were life and death with the goal of survival. ..."
"... We are now programed (propagandized) from pre school to the home for the elderly. We are initially taught as children, continue through college, and are forever conditioned by media such as TV, Movies, Radio, Newspapers and Advertising our entire lives. The younger generations are not taught to think independently or critically but instead indoctrinated with pre packaged knowledge 'propaganda' while older generations assess outcomes from a different perspective. There is as a result, a clash within the society which we are experiencing today. ..."
"... 1984 was about controlling the news and airwaves. Farenheit 451 was about burning history. The two go hand in hand. ..."
"... The similarity of the major networks evening "news" programs has given rise to a report that, each day, a list of ten or twelve "acceptable" news stories is prepared by British Intelligence in London for the networks, teletyped to Washington, where the CIA routinely approves it, and then delivered to the networks. ..."
"... The "selectivity" of the broadcasters has never been in doubt. Edith Efron, in "The News Twisters," (Manor Books, N.Y., 1972) cites TV Guide's interview with David Brinkley, April 11, 1964, with Brinkley's declaration that "News is what I say it is. It's something worth knowing by my standards." This was merely vainglorious boasting on Brinkley's part, as he merely reads the news stories previously selected for him. ..."
"... "REMEMBER THE MAINE!" That false flag headline is over a century old. ..."
"... Next time you are in a Best Buy.. go up to the Geek Squad guy and say... "So how does it feel to work for the CIA " ..."
"... Fuck the Washington Post. As Katherine Austin Fitts has suggested, it is essentially the CIA's Facebook wall. The same could be said of the NYT as well. ..."
"... James Rosen from Fox, he was at a state dept briefing with that little weasel Kirby, and Kirby stated that the negotiations over the Iran "deal" were all overt and "above the table." He remembered, tho, a briefing years earlier from the witch Psaki, who stated that sometimes, in interests of expedience, aspects of the negotiations are not made public. ..."
"... Rosen goes back to state dept video archives, finds out that his whole exchange with Psaki has been erased. Weasel Kirby, when asked how this happened, who did it, who ordered it, blames it on a "technical glitch." ..."
Mar 11, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

FreedomWriter -> TheWrench , Mar 11, 2017 10:12 AM

Snowflakes should also learn the depressing fact that Orwell's 1984 was not a complete work of fiction, but a successful blueprint for full statist control.

Orwell was dying of tuberculosis when he wrote "1984" and passed away after its publication in 1949. Once you have their attention and they have read the book, it is time to show snowflakes the MANY obvious parallels between Orwellian concepts and modern society.

NEWSPEAK AND THOUGHT CRIME

You can start with soft targets like Newspeak (today's examples include gems like cis-gender labels and other politically correct BS).

Now move to the "thought police" and thought crime in general.

Explain how thought and speech crime keep the globalist model alive and ticking by discouraging independent thought and discussion.

Explain how state-financed institutions seek to implant these concepts at an early age and onwards into university education.

Provide real-life newspeak and double-think examples, such as "police-action" "regime-change", "coalition of the willing" and "collateral damage". Show how these are really just PC euphemisms for "wars of aggression" and "murder". If you have a picture of a droned wedding party handy, now is the time to use it.

Also mention people who have been silenced, prosecuted or even killed for committing "hate crimes" or other political blasphemies. Explain how this often occurs while they are standing up for or using their constitutionally protected human rights.

Name some of these people: Randy and Vicki Weaver, David Koresh, Marine Le Pen, Geert Wilders, Julian Assange, William Binney, Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning

Show them how this trend is ongoing both in the USA and abroad, and is primarily being deployed against populist politicians who promote more individual rights and reduced state control over citizens. Ask them whether or not they can see a pattern developing here.

Above all, d on't waste time with cheap shots at identity politics and its absurd labelling. This will just polarize the more brainwashed members of your audience. Stick to the nitty gritty and irrefutable facts.

And be very careful here, because if they have insufficient vocabulary to understand or critique what you are saying, you will lose them. Which was the whole point of Newspeak. Of course you can use this failed learning opportunity to demonstrate just how successful the Newspeak program has been.

TELESCREENS

Tell them about the real life "Telescreens" that can now listen to you, even when turned off. Name one of their known manufacturers: Samsung and users: Central Intelligence Agency

Show them how these same telescreens are used to pump out constant lies from the MSM whenever they are turned on. Name some of these organizations: CNN, BBC, MSNBC, FOX, etc.

MASS SURVEILLANCE and the "PANOPTICON"

Talk to them about the modern surveillance state and how it will always be abused by corporate globalists and corrupt elites.

Describe how mass-surveillance service providers (MSSPs) and MSM stooges have become obscenely rich and powerful as the real-life proles (who were 85% of the population in "1984") struggle to put food on the table, pay their debts, find a decent job or buy a home. Tell them to find out how much wealth is owned by 8 very wealthy people relative to the poorest half of the world, and how this trend is accelerating. Name a few of them: Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Carlos Slim, etc.

Show how the previously enacted, totalitarian US policies, programs and laws have been extensively deployed, lobbied for, used and abused by the very Big-Brothers (Clinton and Obama) they so adored. Even George W is swooning progressives again.

Name some of these policies, programs and laws: Patriot Act, SOPA, US Telecommunications Act, FISA, Echelon, PRISM, and Umbrage

Explain why this whole surveillance system, its operators and proponents must be completely dismantled and reined in or imprisoned, unless we wish all whistle blowers, dissidents and normal citizens to end up like Winston Smith.

ETERNAL WAR AND THE BROTHERHOOD

Explain how eternal war keeps the proles from getting too restless and questioning their leaders. How it leads to modern strategic idiocies like "Osama Bin Laden and the Mujahedeen are steadfast allies against Russian totalitarianism, which is why the CIA needs to give them Stingers" (aka Operation Cyclone). Or the illegal provision of arms and funds to countries with questionable human rights records (KSA, Iran, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Israel.....)

Explain how this leads to, nay requires, state-propagated lies like WMD to justify illegal military actions against sovereign nation states like Iraq, Libya and Syria.

Show how 9/11 was used to target a former-ally Osama and his Taliban brotherhood and prepare the terrain for eternal war, even though the real criminals were actually in DC, Riyadh and other world capitals. Explain how letting Osama escape from Tora Bora was all part of this intricate plan for the PNAC, until he finally outlived his usefulness as a bogeyman. If they disagree, ask for their counter-argument and proofs.

Explain how these same criminals then made a financial killing when our real life Oceania went to war bigly with Eastasia. How this resulted in over a million civilian deaths (half of them children), around 80,000 terrorists and perhaps 10,000 uniformed soldiers/contractors. Show them videos where US officials justify this slaughter as "worth it", unimportant or irrelevant. Ask what kind of individuals could even say these things or let them happen. If they can't answer, name a few: Madeleine Albright, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

At this point, you may need to take a break as listeners will soon have trouble distinguishing between real-life events and those in Orwell's book.

WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

Next, explain how real, imagined or simulated terrorist outrages can be manipulated to influence electorates. This is done by creating or allowing atrocities that frighten citizens into seeking "safety". These citizens will then vote in corrupt, globalist leaders who promise to keep them safe. These same leaders can then curtail freedoms in their previously democratic, freedom-loving nation states. New terrorist threats can always be used to justify more restrictions on free movement and state-mandated invasions of personal privacy.

If your snowflakes don't agree with this, name some leaders responsible for bad laws, policies and the ensuing restrictions on civil liberties:

Tony Blair, George W Bush, Angela Merkel, Theresa May and Francois Hollande.

Name some events as well: Oklahoma City, 911, 7/7 Sandy Hook, 11-M

Also mention that the USA has not waged a single legal, constitutional, Congress-declared war since 1945. But that the USA has been involved in hot or cold wars for all but 5 of the past 71 years.

HISTORY AND BACKGROUND

Tell them that Orwell's original book title was actually "1944" (already past), but that his publisher vetoed this choice saying it could hurt sales.

Then explain how 1944-45 was actually the perfect crucible for the divisive, right-left political paradigm we live in today and many of the concepts presciently described in Orwell's chilling masterpiece.

EPILOGUE

Tell them everything, until their brains hurt, their eyes water and their ears bleed.

Eventually even the iciest snowflakes will get it.

Of course, some will cry, and some will have temper tantrums and meltdowns.

But a few might just wake up, start reading real books and get a proper education.

This is when the healing can begin.

Those thinking a career in gender-diversity-issue management is still the way forward may figure it out later, God help them. Until then, we should just pity them.

dearth vader , Mar 11, 2017 5:03 AM

Ira Levin's "This Perfect Day" (1970) is from the same dystopian mold. In the late Eighties, my then teenage daughter kept reading it, till it literally fell apart.

How technology has "advanced"! People in this phantasy had to wear bracelets with which they checked in and out of buildings and areas. Reality always seems to surpass the imaginative powers of SF-writers.

Maestro Maestro , Mar 11, 2017 5:16 AM

The problem is not your government.

YOU are the problem.

Your government is not populated by reptilians from outer space. The politicians and the bankers, lawyers are YOUR sons and daughters. You gave birth to them, you educated them, you taught them their values.

YOU pull the trigger when the government says KILL! YOU vote Democrat or Republican EVERY TIME. Yet you have the temerity to blame them when you don't get what you wanted.

Scum,

Hitler didn't kill anyone as fas as we know, in WWII. People [YOU] killed people. You blame the Jews because the wars they incite you to fight result in blowback to you. Why do you blame them because YOU jumped when they said JUMP! YOU are the ones flying the fighter jets and firing the tank shells against foreign populations living 10,000 miles away from your land, and who have not attacked you. NO ONE does anything unless they wanted to, in the first place. In any case, YOU are responsible for YOUR actions. This we all know.

Even your own money the US dollar is illegal according to your own US Constitution (Article 1, Section 10) yet you commit mass murder and mass torture throughout the world in order to impose it on everyone?

Fuck you, American.

BrownCoat , Mar 11, 2017 6:59 AM

The liberals are promoting the book (Nineteen Eighty-Four). IMO, that's great! Orwell's book is a classic and accurately describes features in our current society.

The downside is that the liberals won't understand it . They are promoting the idea that Trump is a fascist. They don't see that they themselves are fascists (albeit a different brand of fascism). Ironic that the book could help them see past the indoctrinated haze of their perspective, but it won't. The future, from my perspective, is a boot stamping on a human face forever.

Robert of Ottawa -> BrownCoat , Mar 11, 2017 8:09 AM

Fascism as a style of government rather than philosophy .

RevIdahoSpud3 , Mar 11, 2017 9:07 AM

I read 1984 in 1960 as a freshman in HS. Spent the next 24 years waiting. I don't remember details but I do remember it was upsetting at the time to picture my future as depicted by Orwell. It might be more interesting to me now to go back to the publishing date and study the paradigm that Orwell lived under to get a perspective of his mindset. He wasn't a US citizen. He was born in India, moved to England with his mother, had little contact with his father, was sickly and lonely as a child and suffered from tuberculosis as an adult, served in Burma for five years as a policeman, fought Soviet backed Communsts in the Spanish Civil War, fought Facism, believed in Democratic socialism or Classless socialism.

His book Animal Farm was a satire on Stalin and Trotsky and 1984 * gave readers a glimpse into what would happen if the government controlled every detail of a person's life, down to their own private thoughts. (*online bio). The battles in Europe were life and death with the goal of survival.

The European cauldron produced or nurtured, IMO, the seeds of most social evils that exist today. In Orwell's era society was changing and reacting to the Machine age which was followed by the Atomic age, the Space age and to the current Information age. He died in 1950 but in his environment, the Machine age is where he related. The forces (of evil) at work in his era still exist today with the additions of the changes brought by the later ages. We don't contend with the physical (at least not initially) conquerors such as the Genghis Khan, Mohamed, Alexander, Roman conquest etc. of the past but the compulsion of others to control our lives still exists just in different forms. We as a society react or comply and have the same forces to deal with as did Orwell but also those that resulted in the later eras. 1984 was actually the preview of the information age that Orwell didn't experience.

We are now programed (propagandized) from pre school to the home for the elderly. We are initially taught as children, continue through college, and are forever conditioned by media such as TV, Movies, Radio, Newspapers and Advertising our entire lives. The younger generations are not taught to think independently or critically but instead indoctrinated with pre packaged knowledge 'propaganda' while older generations assess outcomes from a different perspective. There is as a result, a clash within the society which we are experiencing today.

Through the modern (at least recorded) ages the underlying force no matter what era humans lived through was the conflict of...religion. In the name or names of God and whose god is the true god and which god will rule. Even in the most 'godless' societies it is the underlying force. There are many who do not believe in god or a god and by extension should or do not believe in satin. Good vs Evil? It's always there, although we are encouraged not to mention it?

Can't say I need another go at 1984 from Costco but I do need another indoor/outdoor vacuum and right now they have one with a manufacturers discount of $5. See you there!

Collectivism Killz , Mar 11, 2017 9:24 AM

1984 is really just a knock off of Evgeny Zemyatin's "We," which is frankly a better account of dystopian authoritarianism from someone who wrote shortly after the Russian Revolution.

FrankDrakman -> Collectivism Killz , Mar 11, 2017 9:39 AM

This is not true. Orwell's book touched on major points, such as the destruction of people's ability to communicate real ideas by perversion and simplification of language, that are not discussed elsewhere. It is a unique and disturbing view of totalitarian regimes.

Atomizer , Mar 11, 2017 10:22 AM

Tyler, your missing the point. 1984 was about controlling the news and airwaves. Farenheit 451 was about burning history. The two go hand in hand.

Fahrenheit 451 (1966) Full Movie | Julie Christie ...

Nobodys Home , Mar 11, 2017 10:23 AM

Manipulation of the news is not new folks:

The similarity of the major networks evening "news" programs has given rise to a report that, each day, a list of ten or twelve "acceptable" news stories is prepared by British Intelligence in London for the networks, teletyped to Washington, where the CIA routinely approves it, and then delivered to the networks.

The "selectivity" of the broadcasters has never been in doubt. Edith Efron, in "The News Twisters," (Manor Books, N.Y., 1972) cites TV Guide's interview with David Brinkley, April 11, 1964, with Brinkley's declaration that "News is what I say it is. It's something worth knowing by my standards." This was merely vainglorious boasting on Brinkley's part, as he merely reads the news stories previously selected for him.

Sinophile -> Nobodys Home , Mar 11, 2017 11:33 AM

"REMEMBER THE MAINE!" That false flag headline is over a century old.

Dragon HAwk , Mar 11, 2017 10:53 AM

Next time you are in a Best Buy.. go up to the Geek Squad guy and say... "So how does it feel to work for the CIA "

Al Bondiga , Mar 11, 2017 11:13 AM

Fuck the Washington Post. As Katherine Austin Fitts has suggested, it is essentially the CIA's Facebook wall. The same could be said of the NYT as well.

SurfinUSA , Mar 11, 2017 1:37 PM

Bezos has no problem selling "1984" on Amazon. https://tinyurl.com/hdmhu75 He's collecting the sales price and sticking it in his pocket. He's not making a joke out of it. Bezos is a lunatic. The Washington Post is full of shit. End of story.

Amy G. Dala -> SurfinUSA , Mar 11, 2017 2:23 PM

James Rosen from Fox, he was at a state dept briefing with that little weasel Kirby, and Kirby stated that the negotiations over the Iran "deal" were all overt and "above the table." He remembered, tho, a briefing years earlier from the witch Psaki, who stated that sometimes, in interests of expedience, aspects of the negotiations are not made public.

Rosen goes back to state dept video archives, finds out that his whole exchange with Psaki has been erased. Weasel Kirby, when asked how this happened, who did it, who ordered it, blames it on a "technical glitch."

It's a slippery fuckin slope. Only now the progressives are finding relevance in 1984?

[Mar 17, 2017] Costco is now carrying Orwell famouns novell 1984 And this is not a joke

Mar 11, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by James Holbrooks via TheAntiMedia.org,

"Next time you're at Costco, you can pick up a jumbo bag of Cheetos and a copy of '1984.' Doubleplus good!"

That's how the Washington Post opened its quick little entry on Wednesday. Continuing, Ron Charles, editor of Book World for the Post , wrote:

"The discount store is now stocking Orwell's classic novel along with its usual selection of current bestsellers."

If the significance of the fact that a dystopian masterwork can now be purchased alongside a three-ton bag of cheese puffs instantly strikes you, it should. Strangely, though, Charles and the Post don't seem to see it.

In fact, it seemed to be a joke to them. The entry closed in the manner it opened. With humor:

"Appropriately, Costco is offering a reprint of the 2003 edition of '1984,' which has a forward by Thomas Pynchon. That reclusive satirist must love the idea of hawking Orwell's dystopian novel alongside towers of discounted toilet paper and radial tires. SHOPPING IS SAVING."

In the one and only instance Charles even approached something that could be considered commentary, he linked the surge in the book's sales to "alternative" news items :

"Last month, amid talk of 'alternative facts' from the Trump administration, Signet Classics announced that it had reprinted 500,000 copies, about twice the novel's total sales in 2016."

Note Charles was certain to use the word "alternative" when mentioning Trump. Why? Very clearly, "fake news" is the man's go-to phrase when speaking of the media. So why go with "alternative" instead? Hell, the Post itself was the driving force behind the "fake news" frenzy in the first place.

I could go on about how this is the Washington Post , corporate media juggernaut, attempting, rather pathetically, to poison the notion of "alternative" in the minds of its readers - or, I should say, what's left of them - but that's not really what this is about.

What it's really about is journalism. The fact that "1984" is being sold at Costco, the fact that demand for the classic tale has skyrocketed , is significant. It's societal. And journalists are supposed to write about things like that.

And what does the Post do? They make a joke of it.

This is an organization that, as recently as January, has been busted publishing false news stories. You would think that with its credibility among a growing division of society hanging on by a thread - at best - the Post would turn an event like this into social commentary. This was an opportunity to speak about a changing world.

But instead, the Post went for laughs.

Let it sink in, friends. George Orwell's "1984," a dystopian tale about a society being crushed under the boot of authoritarian regime, is, once again, flying off bookshelves. To the extent that you can now get it at Costco. Let the significance of that truly dig in deep.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post is talking about Cheetos and toilet paper.

LetThemEatRand , Mar 10, 2017 9:56 PM

It is truly Orwellian that the sheep only take interest in Orwell when someone challenges Big Brother. If I had a Facebook account, I'd post this article straight away.

LetThemEatRand , Mar 10, 2017 9:56 PM

It is truly Orwellian that the sheep only take interest in Orwell when someone challenges Big Brother. If I had a Facebook account, I'd post this article straight away.

xythras -> Luc X. Ifer , Mar 10, 2017 11:56 PM

Well, after all the shit is going down, White House is definitely in distress. Trump gets a taste of his own medicine as he's grabbed by the pussy from all intelligence agencies directions.

And Spicer just proved it today:

White House in Distress? Sean Spicer's Upside Down Flag Pin Unleashes Twitter Frenzy

http://dailywesterner.com/news/2017-03-10/white-house-in-distress-sean-s...

Luc X. Ifer -> Twee Surgeon , Mar 11, 2017 12:46 AM

Read 'Little Heroes' by Norman Spinrad. It's like the dude had a trip to the future which is our present, a completly broken society dominated by corporations exploiting the masses of hedonist mindless snowflakes. In my humble oppinion perfect companion to Orwell's 84.

[...

  • In the future the class divide between capitalist and worker will have widened to become a virtually unbridgeable chasm. In HG Wells' The Time Machine (1895) this division has become so extreme that humanity had split into two species.
  • The way to keep the underclass under control is to feed them mass-produced pseudo-culture. If - as in Orwell's 1984 (1949) - the technocratic ruling class can get some kind of computer or machine to generate this product, so much the better.
  • In the future, 20th century entertainment forms like TV and movies will have been superseded by more direct experiences that, ideally, feed directly into the brain or, at least - as with the 'feelies' in Huxley's Brave New World (1932) - stimulate more senses than simply the visual and auditory.
  • And now, here's a book that uses all these themes in one hit, and builds on these classic foundations by adding rock & roll to the mix.

    Set in the early years of the 21st century, it shows us an America decimated by devaluation, where unemployment is commonplace and rock music is firmly in the grip of accountants and electro-nerds producing synthesized superstars to keep the proles contented.

    ...]

    http://www.trashfiction.co.uk/little_heroes.html

    Latina Lover -> Luc X. Ifer , Mar 11, 2017 7:16 AM

    Washington Post = CIA produced fake news.

    peddling-fiction , Mar 10, 2017 9:59 PM

    Please read Philip K. Dick's most recent works for a more accurate description of our dystopian reality.

    RIP Philip.

    LetThemEatRand -> indygo55 , Mar 10, 2017 10:05 PM

    "Strange how paranoia can link up with reality now and then." P.K.D.

    Row Well Number 41 -> LetThemEatRand , Mar 10, 2017 10:09 PM

    Once they notice you, Jason realized, they never completely close the file. You can never get back your anonymity. It is vital not to be noticed in the first place. -- Philip K Dick

    PodissNM -> Row Well Number 41 , Mar 10, 2017 11:27 PM

    "The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words."

    P.K.D., How To Build A Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later

    AlaricBalth -> peddling-fiction , Mar 11, 2017 12:13 AM

    Philip was spot on decades before the advent of the CIA's infestation of cell phones and other electronic devices.

    "There will come a time when it isn't 'They're spying on me through my phone' anymore. Eventually, it will be 'My phone is spying on me'." Philip K. Dick

    AlaricBalth -> indygo55 , Mar 11, 2017 12:30 AM

    Here is a free copy of 1984.

    https://ia800201.us.archive.org/8/items/NINETEENEIGHTY-FOUR1984ByGeorgeO...

    "The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it, moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard. There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live-did live, from habit that became instinct-in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized."

    napples -> indygo55 , Mar 11, 2017 2:37 AM

    The irony never fails to amuse:

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/07/18/amazon_removes_1984_from_kindle/

    bruno_the -> BeanusCountus , Mar 10, 2017 11:31 PM

    Sure. Read it again...

    As usual, the face of Emmanuel Goldstein, the Enemy of the People, had flashed on to the screen. There were hisses here and there among the audience. The little sandy-haired woman gave a squeak of mingled fear and disgust. Goldstein was the renegade and backslider who once, long ago (how long ago, nobody quite remembered), had been one of the leading figures of the Party, almost on a level with Big Brother himself, and then had engaged in counter-revolutionary activities, had been condemned to death, and had mysteriously escaped and disappeared.

    Free

    https://wikispooks.com/w/images/f/fc/1984.pdf

    Mini-Me , Mar 10, 2017 10:01 PM

    1984 was supposed to be a warning, not a user's guide.

    Twox2 -> Mini-Me , Mar 10, 2017 10:17 PM

    Too late...

    skinwalker -> Mini-Me , Mar 10, 2017 11:35 PM

    Orwell and Huxley were close to the fabians, so they knew what was coming down the pike.

    The difference is Orwell grew a conscience and tried to warn everybody.

    He probably would have titled it 2036, but 1984 was the 100th anniversary of the Fabian society.

    koan , Mar 10, 2017 10:01 PM

    WaPo is fake news, owned by a stereotypical bald headed villain. (Bezos)

    Ignorance is bliss -> aloha_snakbar , Mar 10, 2017 10:09 PM

    Maybe Orwell meant 2084. That sounds like a scary year to me...

    Anon2017 , Mar 10, 2017 10:08 PM

    You could also download "1984" for free to your computer or Kindle device. Do a Google search.

    Ms No -> Anon2017 , Mar 10, 2017 11:05 PM

    That's actually a waste of time at this point. If anything read Anthony Suttons Wall Street series for free on the internet, or stay here. You already know more than Orwell will teach you at this point. Unless your a mouth breather or blind from herpes of the eyeball. Apparently that is something contracted at birth.

    All wars are bankers wars. You can sum 1984 up to that. Actually they didn't even cover that. They just covered mechanisms. Actually they didn't even cover that, just symptoms.

    http://modernhistoryproject.org/mhp?Article=BolshevikRev&C=4.0

    http://modernhistoryproject.org/mhp?Article=WallStHitler

    http://modernhistoryproject.org/mhp?Entity=BrzezinskiZ

    SgtShaftoe -> Wee_littte_dogee , Mar 10, 2017 10:17 PM

    You're fine. Their lists don't have enough enforcers to do jack shit. By the time the first raid occurs, all hell would break loose and they'll all die.

    Ms No -> SgtShaftoe , Mar 10, 2017 10:57 PM

    In order to break that down we have to figure who their enforcers are.

    Intelligence agencies. That's a big one.

    Some unknown number of police agency staff. Quite a few in many places, like Texas. They obviously have strategic coroners, emergency room staff, etc.

    Some unknown quantitity of narco-terrorists out of Mexico/fast and furious funded types.

    Some unknown number of our military. They have been purging for decades.

    A smaller but unknown number of funded terrorist groups/ ISIS types.

    A very large number of our congress, etc.

    Probably 2/3 of our Supreme Court

    The entire media system and publishing

    The easiest way to narrow it down is who do they not have? I give up already. Remember JFK was a long time ago.

    SgtShaftoe -> Ms No , Mar 11, 2017 9:10 AM

    The ones most relevant in my mind are the logistics and support as well as the "action" guys (using that term very loosely).

    The military, the CIA and a few other agencies have trained combat arms types that are effective. The rest are at various stages of competency. In any event, they still don't have enough competent troops by a long shot. The logistics tail is also very wide and vulnerable.

    [Mar 11, 2017] The Power of Market Fundamentalism Karl Polanyi's Critique Fred Block, Margaret R. Somers 9780674970885 Amazon.com Books

    Mar 11, 2017 | www.amazon.com
    .0 out of 5 stars Excellent review of Polanyi and excellent critique of the modern economy By B. Brinker on May 10, 2014 Format: Kindle Edition | Verified Purchase This book deserves to be a part of the national discussion, as do Polanyi's thoughts. I read Polanyi some years ago and was looking for a refresher when I came across this book. This book not only reviews Polanyi's work and places it in the context of modern economic and sociological research, but also adapts many of his theories to the current times. Along the way the authors offer useful insights into Polanyi's life and how his experiences shaped his thoughts.

    Pros- Well written, clear, and concise for an academic book. Does an excellent job of bringing Polanyi's thoughts up to date.

    Cons- The authors (two highly regarded professors) appear to have a very leftist bent. This isn't a bad thing, in my opinion, but some readers may be turned off by that.

    UPDATED: I wanted to write a longer review on this book once I had time to reflect on it. I intended to write the typical academic style "summarize and critique" review but realized I can add more value to potential readers by explaining why this book is an important read.

    Have you been noticing how politics is becoming increasingly polarized? If you hop over to look at the reviews for Piketty's "Capital in the 21st Century" you'll notice that literally 100's of ideological zealots have been attacking the book. Not reading and critiquing, but posting bad reviews even though they've never read it.

    Ever wonder why people act like this? Why Market Fundamentalism has become so strong? This book will help you think on and answer these questions.

    Isn't it odd that we have been pursuing neo-liberal policies for 30 years, even though they have already proven to be a failure? Debt is rising, health care costs are spiraling out of control, college is unaffordable, the gap between rich and poor is widening. Despite the fact that we live in an age of failed neoliberalism, rolling back such policies isn't the answer, oh no what we need is more neoliberalism.

    This book will help you understand the appeal of neoliberalism and its emergence as a utopian ideal that can never be achieved. The book also explains the historical context of market fundamentalism and the decline of Keynesian economics to show why the one serious challenge to neoliberalism was eventually marginalized. out of 5 stars The best analysis and summation of Polanyi's thought to date!!! By Claudio Dionigi on January 6, 2015 Format: Hardcover I have read most of Polanyi's work, as well as books and articles about his work (including Gareth Dale's text), and while doing so I have tried to keep in mind what the spirit of Polanyi's work is. I believe that Fred Block and Margaret Somers have captured that spirit in this text. This book is an excellent summation and update to Polanyi's critique of free-market fundamentalism, highlighting the reasons for the resurgence of his ideas in recent years. It is a must read for anyone who is interested in Polanyi's work or is at all concerned about the current state of affairs in political-economy. It draws on a wide variety of other texts to pull the threads of Polanyi's thoughts together and contextualise them within a broader discourse. It relates Polanyi's work nicely to the crises induced by neoliberalism in recent years (more to come, no doubt). It is well laid out, in accessible language and a pleasant style. Whether you are from the left or the right, do yourself a favour and read this book.

    [Feb 26, 2017] Aldous Huxley - Wikipedia

    Feb 26, 2017 | en.wikipedia.org

    Huxley had deeply felt apprehensions about the future the developed world might make for itself. From these, he made some warnings in his writings and talks. In a 1958 televised interview conducted by journalist Mike Wallace , Huxley outlined several major concerns: the difficulties and dangers of world overpopulation; the tendency toward distinctly hierarchical social organisation; the crucial importance of evaluating the use of technology in mass societies susceptible to wily persuasion; the tendency to promote modern politicians to a naive public as well-marketed commodities. [32]

    [Feb 26, 2017] If one takes it as a matter of faith (religious or secular) that human activity inherently leads to good outcomes that'll be a huge influence on how you engage with the world. It blows

    Feb 26, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
    away humility and restraint. It fosters a sense of entitlement.

    Chris G said... February 24, 2017 at 04:48 AM On the Crooked Timber piece: Quiggin makes a very astute observation about 'propertarians' and Divine Providence in his concluding paragraphs. If one takes it as a matter of faith (religious or secular) that human activity inherently leads to good outcomes that'll be a huge influence on how you engage with the world. It blows away humility and restraint. It fosters a sense of entitlement. RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to Chris G ... Yep. All roads lead to scapegoating. The anti-social capabilities of base desires and greed are often paled in comparison to those of detached indifference supported by abstract high-mindedness. For example, both sides can blame the robots for the loss of decent blue collar jobs. RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to RC AKA Darryl, Ron... Not sure that there are "both sides" any more in elite circles. There are at least two types though. There is very little presence among elites on the progressive side. Reply Friday, February 24, 2017 at 04:58 AM Chris G said in reply to RC AKA Darryl, Ron... Hard to call this related but worth reading, Why Nothing Works Anymore - https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/02/the-singularity-in-the-toilet-stall/517551/
    Reply Friday, February 24, 2017 at 05:11 AM RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to Chris G ... [THANKS! This was LOL funny:]

    "...When spun on its ungeared mechanism, an analogous, glorious measure of towel appears directly and immediately, as if sent from heaven..."

    [This was highly relevant to today's lead article "The Jobs Americans Do:"]

    ..."Precarity" has become a popular way to refer to economic and labor conditions that force people-and particularly low-income service workers-into uncertainty. Temporary labor and flexwork offer examples. That includes hourly service work in which schedules are adjusted ad-hoc and just-in-time, so that workers don't know when or how often they might be working. For low-wage food service and retail workers, for instance, that uncertainty makes budgeting and time-management difficult. Arranging for transit and childcare is difficult, and even more costly, for people who don't know when-or if-they'll be working.

    Such conditions are not new. As union-supported blue-collar labor declined in the 20th century, the service economy took over its mantle absent its benefits. But the information economy further accelerated precarity. For one part, it consolidated existing businesses and made efficiency its primary concern. For another, economic downturns like the 2008 global recession facilitated austerity measures both deliberate and accidental. Immaterial labor also rose-everything from the unpaid, unseen work of women in and out of the workplace, to creative work done on-spec or for exposure, to the invisible work everyone does to construct the data infrastructure that technology companies like Google and Facebook sell to advertisers...

    [This was very insightful into its own topic of the separation of technology "from serving human users to pushing them out of the way so that the technologized world can service its own ends," but I would rather classify that as serving owners of proprietary technology rights.]


    ...Facebook and Google, so the saying goes, make their users into their products-the real customer is the advertiser or data speculator preying on the information generated by the companies' free services. But things are bound to get even weirder than that. When automobiles drive themselves, for example, their human passengers will not become masters of a new form of urban freedom, but rather a fuel to drive the expansion of connected cities, in order to spread further the gospel of computerized automation. If artificial intelligence ends up running the news, it will not do so in order to improve citizen's access to information necessary to make choices in a democracy, but to further cement the supremacy of machine automation over human editorial in establishing what is relevant...

    [THANKS! It was an exceptionally good article in places despite that it wandered a bit off into the ozone at times.]

    ...
    Reply Friday, February 24, 2017 at 05:54 AM Julio said in reply to Chris G ... Excellent article, thanks!

    It hits on one of the reasons why I am less skeptical than Darryl that AI will succeed, an soon, in all kinds of fields: it may remain stupid in some ways, but we will adapt to it.

    Consider phone answering services. Its simple speech recognition, which was once at the forefront of artificial intelligence, has made them ubiquityous. Yet Dante would need a new circle for a person who said "I just heard you say 5...3...7...is this correct?"

    Some of these adaptations subtract from our quality of life, as the article nicely describes. Some add to it, e.g we no longer spend time at the mall arranging when and where to meet if we get separated. Some are interesting and hard to evaluate, e.g. Chessplayers' relation to the game has changed radically since computers became good at it.

    And there is one I find insidious: the homogeneization of human activity and even thought. The information we ALL get on a subject will be what sorts to the top among google answers; the rest might as well not exist, much like newspaper articles buried in a back page.

    On the political front, Winston will not be necessary, nobody will click through to the old information, we will all just know that we were always at war with Eurasia.

    And on the economic front, the same homogeneization, with giant multinationals and crossmarketing deals. You'll be in a country with great food, like Turkey, get into your rented Toyota, say "I want dinner", and end up at a Domino's because they have a deal with Toyota.

    Resist! Reply Friday, February 24, 2017 at 09:26 AM Paine said in reply to Julio ... Humans are more contrarian then not

    The middle third of the twentieth century was hysterical about the totalitarian state
    And the erasure of micro scale cultural heritage

    That seems laughable since at least 1965 as lots of old long dormant memes
    Revived in these frightfully "totalized " civil societies

    The Motions of human Society reveal underlying dialectics not mechanics Reply Friday, February 24, 2017 at 09:55 AM Paine said in reply to Paine... "1984 " is way past it's sell by date

    Much like Leviathan and the declaration of independence Reply Friday, February 24, 2017 at 09:59 AM cm said in reply to Julio ... There was probably more than one movie about this topic - people not happy with their "peaceful" but bland, boring, and intellectually stifling environment.

    Not too far from Huxley's "Brave New World" actually. Reply Saturday, February 25, 2017 at 12:01 AM

    [Feb 19, 2017] Covert Action The Limits of Intervention in the Postwar World Gregory F. Treverton 9780465014392 Amazon.com Books

    Feb 19, 2017 | www.amazon.com
    T. bailey on October 3, 2005

    Under Cover, or Out of Control?

    The New York Times November 29, 1987, Sunday, Late City Final Edition (Review of 2 books, including The perfect failure: Kennedy, Eisenhower, and the CIA at the Bay of Pigs, only this book review included here)

    The torrent of revelations about the Iran-contra affair during the summer's televised hearings, and in the recently released report of the Congressional committees that conducted the hearings, has made Americans aware both of the importance of covert action in the foreign policy of their country and of its risks and costs. These two books do nothing to rehabilitate its reputation or to improve its image...

    Both men show how much euphoria about covert action was created by two early successes of the C.I.A.: in Iran in 1953, when Kermit Roosevelt, with the help of what Mr. Treverton calls a ''strange assemblage'' - a pro-Shah mob controlled by one Iranian leader, ''complete with giant . . . weight-lifters recruited from Teheran athletic clubs'' - overthrew Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh's Government and consolidated the Shah's shaky power; and in Guatemala in 1954, when the regime of Jacobo Arbenz Guzman was toppled by a small group of rebel soldiers moving in from Honduras. The action in Guatemala led officials to believe that such successes could be repeated elsewhere; it ''consolidated the ascendancy of covert action over espionage, and of operations over intelligence in the CIA,'' in Mr. Treverton's words - and it led directly to the Bay of Pigs and to the later operations in Chile that toppled that country's Government. Most of the men who planned these later activities had been involved in the Guatemalan affair.

    ''Covert Action'' is valuable not only for its brief, sharp accounts of covert enterprises (the one in Chile was undertaken even though none of the official assessments had concluded that the election of Salvador Allende Gossens in 1970 threatened any vital United States interest), but above all for the lessons Mr. Treverton draws from history, and for his own assessments. The lessons are stark. As the targets of United States action became more formidable (Fidel Castro learned from Arbenz's fate), the chances of success decreased. Success requires bigger operations - and big operations can't remain secret (as the Reagan arms sales to Iran demonstrated).

    If the covert activities go on for a long time, as they have in Angola and, since 1981, in Nicaragua, the purposes tend to expand, along with the commitment and public knowledge. When the operations entail the manipulation of foreign elements with their own agenda (the Cuban exiles mobilized for the Bay of Pigs landing, or the Nicaraguan contras, or the anti-Allende factions in the Chilean military), American ability to control them is often limited. In any case, the fine-tuning of covert actions is difficult. In Chile, the United States Government tried to maintain a barrier ''between supporting opposition forces and funding groups trying to promote a military coup,'' but local realities made this ''a distinction built of sand.'' As a result, whatever restrictions and distinctions the United States may have tried to observe, in Chile and elsewhere, it ended up, in the eyes of foreign observers, being seen as responsible for the fall of Allende, or for the acts and fate of the Shah, or as colluding with South Africa against the Marxist regime in Angola.

    Mr. Treverton deals at length with the problems of control over covert action. He shows that the enthusiasm shown for it by several Administrations resulted not merely from the ''operational behavior'' of the C.I.A. - its bias for action over mere espionage - but also, frequently, from Presidential pressures (especially from Presidents Nixon and Reagan). But the need to keep operations secret - and the need to protect Presidents by maintaining the possibility of so-called plausible denial - meant that the activities would be discussed only by a small number of people, that insufficient debate and criticism would lead to grievous errors (such as the mistaken belief that the Cuban people would support the invading exiles rather than Mr. Castro) and that only a small proportion of covert-action projects would be reviewed by the National Security Council system.

    As for Congress, which went through a long period of complacency and complicity, it tried to reverse course after the Watergate crisis. The Hughes-Ryan Act of 1974 put an end to plausible denial by requiring a Presidential finding that each operation is important to national security, and the Intelligence Oversight Act of 1980 required that Congress be notified of all covert operations. But both laws are full of enough vague terms and escape hatches to allow the executive branch to thwart their authors' intentions, as the Iran-contra affair has shown. Indeed, the members of Congress are in a dilemma, highlighted by Mr. Treverton: when they are informed, they are in no position to stop the action - unless they leak its existence and thereby foreclose ''the option of covertness.''

    Thus, covert action raises formidable issues in an open society. Mr. Treverton lists the realists' arguments on behalf of secret operations - especially the need to meet, if not to match, Soviet covert activities and to help one's friends in a harsh and dangerous world. But his own position is closer to that of the idealists. He recognizes that covert operations may be necessary at times. But he doubts they'll remain secret, warns about their unintended effects and long-term costs and argues against having them run from the White House or in contradiction of official policy (as in the case of Irangate). He also shows that much that is done covertly by the C.I.A. could be done overtly by private organizations (he notes the foundations established by West German political parties that have aided democratic forces in such countries as Portugal), and, above all, he concludes that most covert-action successes have been small, ambiguous and transitory (Iran and Guatemala in the 1950's, for example).''Covert Action'' is enlightening, thoughtful and wise.

    Mr. Treverton, who writes elegantly, paints an often dirty scene in pastel colors.

    [Feb 12, 2017] Austerity The History of a Dangerous Idea by Mark Blyth

    See also Mark Blyth--"Liberalisms' great trick has been to naturalize very difficult political contests."
    Feb 12, 2017 | www.amazon.com

    Selected as a Financial Times Best Book of 2013

    Governments today in both Europe and the United States have succeeded in casting government spending as reckless wastefulness that has made the economy worse. In contrast, they have advanced a policy of draconian budget cuts--austerity--to solve the financial crisis. We are told that we have all lived beyond our means and now need to tighten our belts. This view conveniently forgets where all that debt came from. Not from an orgy of government spending, but as the direct result of bailing out, recapitalizing, and adding liquidity to the broken banking system. Through these actions private debt was rechristened as government debt while those responsible for generating it walked away scot free, placing the blame on the state, and the burden on the taxpayer.

    That burden now takes the form of a global turn to austerity, the policy of reducing domestic wages and prices to restore competitiveness and balance the budget. The problem, according to political economist Mark Blyth, is that austerity is a very dangerous idea. First of all, it doesn't work. As the past four years and countless historical examples from the last 100 years show, while it makes sense for any one state to try and cut its way to growth, it simply cannot work when all states try it simultaneously: all we do is shrink the economy. In the worst case, austerity policies worsened the Great Depression and created the conditions for seizures of power by the forces responsible for the Second World War: the Nazis and the Japanese military establishment. As Blyth amply demonstrates, the arguments for austerity are tenuous and the evidence thin. Rather than expanding growth and opportunity, the repeated revival of this dead economic idea has almost always led to low growth along with increases in wealth and income inequality. Austerity demolishes the conventional wisdom, marshaling an army of facts to demand that we austerity for what it is, and what it costs us.

    Metallurgist TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 20, 2013 Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )

    An interesting Keynesian view of the current EU austerity programs

    " I found this to be a very interesting and thought provoking book. The author makes his viewpoint very clear with the book's subtitle "The History of a Dangerous Idea". The essence of the author's argument is that austerity is unfair because it makes workers pay for the mistakes of banks, and even more importantly, dangerous because it does not lead to prosperity, but only to decreased economic growth and increased unemployment. This thesis is backed up by an analysis of the banking crisis of 2008, how it spread from the US to the EU, why the single currency Euro has made the problem worse for the EU and why using austerity to solve the problems will not work. It also discusses the history of the idea of austerity, both in terms of the economic theory that promotes it and the economic history that does not. Conservatives, who find Keynesian economics to be not only wrong, but also the road to economic ruin, will likely be turned off by the book's subtitle and many of the arguments that Professor Blyth utilizes. However, there is a lot of data in this book that they should look at, if only to criticize it. I found this book very enlightening and while I do not agree with all of Professor Blyth's ideas (particularly those of the last chapter), I learned a lot, so for me it was 5-stars.

    What is in the book?
    The book is divided into 7 chapters, which cover the following:

    Chapter 1 - A Primer on Austerity. This is a short chapter that summarizes the main thesis of the book (mentioned above), and sets the stage for the more detailed discussions in subsequent chapters.

    Chapter 2 - America: To Big to Fail? This is an excellent chapter that summarizes the origins and unfolding of the 2008-banking crisis in the US. This is a very complicated story, which Professor Blyth tells in a clear manner. The story revolves around repurchase agreements (Repos), mortgage backed securities (MBS), collateralized debt obligations (CDO), credit default swaps (CDS), and how all these interacted in a climate of deregulation to produce the crisis. Professor Blyth does a good job of explaining these terms and how the interaction worked.

    Chapter 3 - Europe: Too Big to Bail? This is another very illuminating chapter. It shows how Europe, which first believed it was not going to be affected by the US banking crisis, became a major casualty of it and their own internal banking problems. All these factors were compounded by the single currency Euro, which has removed devaluation as a solution to the crisis, instead fostering the idea that governmental austerity was the only way to correct a problem produced by the private banking sector.

    Chapter 4 - Intellectual History of a Dangerous Idea 1692-1942. This chapter goes back to the writings of John Locke, David Hume and Adam Smith to see how the idea of austerity developed. It also covers the idea in the early 20th century and the development of anti-austerity Keynesian economic theory. It is a nice primer on classical economic ideas.

    Chapter 5 - Intellectual History of a Dangerous Idea 1942-2012. This chapter carries the story of the idea of austerity into the present time. It shows how the idea of austerity, discredited by the Great Depression and the success of the Keynesian solution (although conservatives would argue these successes were illusory and set the stage for future economic problems), has been resurrected by economists writing in the latter part of the 20th century and early 21st.

    Chapter 6. Austerity's Natural History 1914-2012. Blyth presents a lot of data that shows that, contrary to the theories presented in the previous chapter, austerity has not worked in practice. Much of the chapter is spent it refuting the writings of several economists that say that the recent historical data does support the idea. Blyth contends that in general it does not and if is does in a few cases it either does not when all the data is considered, or worked only marginally under a very limited set of conditions.

    Chapter 7 - The End of Banking, New Tales and a Taxing Time Ahead. This is a very short eleven-page chapter, but perhaps the most controversial on in the book. Blyth, initially a supporter of bank bailouts as absolutely necessary to prevent a complete collapse of the banking system and with it the whole capitalist economic system and with it democratic society as a whole, now questions whether in might not have been better to let the banks fail. He cites the case of Iceland where the banks were allowed to fail and society has recovered. This was done by making the bank's creditors bear the cost of failure, instead of all of Iceland's citizens. He notes that most of this loss was borne by foreign creditors of a very small country, whose banking system was an immense part of the country's economy, but was small compared to the economies of the US or the EU. Unfortunately, he fails to say how a banking collapse in the US or EU could be handled when the systems are huge compared to Iceland's and where the creditors are largely internal. He does not explain how the failure of these huge banking systems, with their internal creditors, would not result in the scenario he originally envisioned. I found this analysis to be poor and not in keeping with the thoroughness of the rest of the book. Blyth also floats the idea of huge tax increases, either through a one-time tax on assets or a very large increase in higher bracket tax rates. Conservatives, and many not quite so conservative, will likely blanch at these ideas. There is no discussion of the political difficulties of doing this or very much development of the idea, which is contained in only the last four pages of the book.

    David Lindsay on September 25, 2016 Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
    Brilliant Overview

    " Mark Blyth is a professor at Brown University and he explains why austerity doesn't work. He points out that whenever austerity has been tried in the past it has usually proven to be disastrous. What its supporters often seem to forget is that one person's spending is another's income and demand in the economy would collapse if everyone stopped spending. The book is a sobering read because Blyth is not optimistic about the future. However, the book is well written and is often funny.

    Blyth shows that the case for austerity does not add up. The US did not pursue austerity during the recession and its economy has been growing. US GDP is 10% higher than it was in 2007. The EU has pursued austerity with vigor, but GDP in the euro zone is still lower than it was in 2007. Blyth shows that countries that cut the most have had lower rates of growth. Blyth claims that all the countries that cut public spending in response to the financial crises had significantly more debt in 2012 than when they started. For example, Ireland's debt to GDP ratio more than quadrupled, from 24.8% in 2007 to 106.4% in 2012. The other problem is that austerity increased unemployment. Throughout southern Europe, unemployment has been at levels not seen since the Great Depression. It is still over 20% in Spain and Greece. As a result of cutting public expenditure Greece's GDP dropped by 30% in four years. There is no evidence that austerity improves growth.

    Blyth spends a lot of time trashing the pro-austerity thinking that took place in Europe. Germany is driving economic policy for the euro zone and they have never believed in Keynesian economics. Keynes advised that austerity was a bad idea during a recession. German politicians seem to believe that all nations could have trade surpluses if only they tried hard enough, despite the fact that it is impossible for all countries to have a surplus. Only one European country can be Germany. The Germans have often advocated the sort of solutions that failed in the 1930s. They argue that budget deficits and government debt have to be kept under strict control. The Maastricht Treaty, which established the EU, required that national debt should not exceed 60% of GDP and the deficit should not exceed 3.0%. Entry to the euro also requires a budget deficit of 3.0%.

    Blyth points out that when you have a deficit, you can either raise taxes or cut spending to fill the gap. The British government of David Cameron favored the latter in 2010. The British deficit had reached 10% in 2010. However, UK government debt went up, not down, despite the cuts, from 52.3% of GDP in 2009 to 90.7% in 2013. The same pattern was repeated throughout the euro zone. Cutting public expenditure shrank the underlying economy.

    The German argument is that running large deficits increases the risk of high inflation. Blyth points out that the Germans have selective amnesia about their past. It was the Wall Street Crash in 1929 not hyper-inflation in 1924 that led to Hitler. Before the crash, 1.25 million people were unemployed in Germany. Hitler was an accidental Keynesian and by 1937 German unemployment had fallen from six million to one million. Unfortunately, much of his spending involved preparing for war. Blyth argues that Germany's continuing insistence on austerity is the biggest threat to the euro zone.

    According to Blyth, the current version of the austerity argument was created by a group of Italian economists, originating from Bocconi University, in Milan. He explains why their arguments are deeply flawed. Blyth argues that, apart from Greece, public sector debt in the euro zone countries was not out of control before the financial crises. Blyth rubbishes the theory of "expansionary austerity," that cutting spending will lead to higher economic growth. The "austerians" believed that large spending cuts would be followed by expansion rather than contraction. The reason, they suggested, was that decisive fiscal austerity created confidence in the private sector. Keynesians agreed that insufficient private spending was the cause of the problem, but only governments could stimulate demand on the scale needed. Austerity failed to stimulate demand in Europe. Blyth also argues that everybody cannot cut their way to growth at the same time. The IMF once went along with austerity but it has recently concluded that austerity has had major adverse economic effects.

    Blyth is worried that inequality could become a serious problem in the US. The 400 richest Americans own more assets than the poorest 150 million. He argues that both major parties have written off the bottom 30% of society. He claims that the American working class has not had a pay rise since 1979, and globalization has failed them. He believes this explains the anger behind the Trump phenomenon. Blyth points out that rich Americans and the country's biggest companies are reluctant to pay tax, so government borrowing has had to go up. Blyth claims that he pays more tax than GE.

    Blyth is critical of Republicans who advocated austerity. Republicans in the US also favored balancing the budget and cutting taxes. Keynesians, like Paul Krugman, argued that this is what Herbert Hoover tried to do in the early 1930s and the result was a 25% unemployment rate. Obama inherited an 11.4% budget deficit in 2009. The Republicans wanted to cut government expenditure but Blyth argues the reason the US has recovered faster than Europe is because it cut less. He makes it clear that it is poorer people who usually rely on government services to make ends meet that are the hardest hit when public expenditure is cut. He believes that the rich and corporate America need to start paying more tax. He also argues that the US government should probably have let its banks go bankrupt – as the Icelandic government did – rather than bail them out.

    Blyth reminds us that 2008 was a private sector crisis. The debts of the banks landed on the balance sheet of the public sector through bank bailouts and quantitative easing. In other words, taxpayers bailed out the bankers. He calls this the "greatest bait-and-switch in modern history." The EU is imposing austerity on southern Europe and dismantling the welfare state in Greece in order to protect German banks that made stupid decisions.

    Blyth in recent interviews has argued that the EU may have a sinister agenda and it really wants to drag wages in Western Europe down to East European levels so that it can better compete with China. I assumed this must be an exaggeration but it might not be. The Guardian mapped labor costs across the euro zone from 1999 to 2013. What they found is that German workers have barely seen wages rise for that 14-year stretch, despite Germany having massive trade surpluses. We could be in for real trouble.

    Fang on September 27, 2016 Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
    The Richness of Austerity

    " Mark Blyth tries to convey a simple message: austerity simply does not work. Defining austerity as "voluntary deflation in which the economy adjusts through the reduction of wages, prices and public spending to restore competitiveness .best achieved by cutting the state's budget, debts and deficits" (p.2), Blyth argued that austerity's fallacies lies in the impossibility of having everybody to be thrift at the same time and the cyclical nature of debt (pp.7 and 12).

    Blyth also suggests that austerity efforts unevenly hurt the lower strata of societies (p.8), and conflates debt and financialization problems in private sector (primarily referring to bank and financial institutions) into state (sovereign) issues (p.6 and p.23). In the first three chapters, Blyth strives to demonstrate that the financial and economic turmoil since 2008 is largely a crisis of financialization, lack of regulation, slow growth and imbalance between monetary policy and final creditor of printing press (in the case of Europe), not that of austerity (save the marginal case of Greece). Blyth argues that it is a mentality of treating these crises as endogenous and private actors as "rational" that underlay the bad policy choices in America and Europe (pp.91-93).

    In chapters 4 through 6, Blyth provides an intellectual and practical history of austerity. It is suggested that a spirit of thrift and aversion towards state and state spending runs through the vein of economic liberalism, ranging from classical liberalism to neoclassical economics and to the Austrian school. In more contemporary era, it is public choice theory, neoliberalism and Milton Friedman's monetarism that carries this tradition forward to construct a pro-market and private-sector-favoring package that turns public spending into a corporate calculation of costs and benefits. Blyth goes on to illustrate the history of austerity in practice, arguing that it is usually the Keynesian expansionary policies that couple austerity that reinvigorated economy amid crises; austerity, carried out on its own, constitutes massive redistribution consequences.

    Blyth obviously attempts to engage as wide an audience as possible in the public intellectual realm. As much as he is successful in his empirical chapters, Blyth appears to fight a deflationary economic policy with his own inflationary writing strategy. From chapters 4 to 5, he constantly conflates the moral teaching of thrift and financial prudence from Adam Smith to avoidance of debt, the Ordoliberalism's quest for order and proper state function to aversion of democratic politics, the methodological insights of public choice to a general fear of bureaucracy and government, and so on. These inflations, while sometimes credited, are bound to subject to scrutiny and questions.

    Moreover, by glossing over the details of this rich intellectual history, Blyth dodges some key questions that his empirical chapters also fail to articulate: what is the distinction between private and public debt, and personal thrift and public austerity, when we talk about austerity, and how significant is it? How does this distinction play out in more classical economic philosophy?

    And amid crisis, who should be considered the "ultimate creditor" or "final guarantor" of debt (and money)? There questions certainly exceeds the scope and intention of Blyth's book, but they should be instrumental in deepening our understanding of austerity.

    [Feb 12, 2017] The CIA as Organized Crime How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World

    Notable quotes:
    "... By illuminating CIA programs and systems of surveillance, control, and assassination utilized against the civilian population of South Vietnam, we are presented with parallels with operations and practices at work today in America's seemingly perpetual war against terror. ..."
    "... Through the policies of covert infiltration and manipulations, illegal alliances, and "brute force" interventions that wreak havoc on designated enemy states, destroy progress and infrastructure under the claim of liberation, degrade the standards of living for people in the perceived hostile nations, "...America's ruling elite empowers itself while claiming it has ensured the safety and prestige of the American people. Sometimes it is even able to convince the public that its criminal actions are 'humanitarian' and designed to liberate the people in nations it destroys." ..."
    "... Want to know why the DEA is losing the war on drugs, how torture has become policy? Want to know why the government no longer represents your interests? Look no further. ..."
    Feb 12, 2017 | www.amazon.com
    Alan Dale on November 27, 2016

    5.0 out of 5 stars An Essential Addition to an Essential Body of Work

    Of the extraordinarily valuable and informative works for which Mr. Valentine is responsible, his latest, CIA As Organized Crime, may prove to be the best choice as an introduction to the dark realm of America's hidden corruptions and their consequences at home and around the world. This new volume begins with the unlikely but irrevocable framework by which Mr. Valentine's path led to unprecedented access to key Agency personnel whose witting participation is summarized by the chapter title: "How William Colby Gave Me the Keys to the CIA Kingdom."

    By illuminating CIA programs and systems of surveillance, control, and assassination utilized against the civilian population of South Vietnam, we are presented with parallels with operations and practices at work today in America's seemingly perpetual war against terror.

    Through the policies of covert infiltration and manipulations, illegal alliances, and "brute force" interventions that wreak havoc on designated enemy states, destroy progress and infrastructure under the claim of liberation, degrade the standards of living for people in the perceived hostile nations, "...America's ruling elite empowers itself while claiming it has ensured the safety and prestige of the American people. Sometimes it is even able to convince the public that its criminal actions are 'humanitarian' and designed to liberate the people in nations it destroys."

    Mr. Valentine has presented us with a major body of work which includes: The Strength of the Wolf; The Strength of the Pack; The Pheonix Program, to which we may now add The CIA as Organized Crime, and for which we are profoundly indebted.

    felixnola on December 6, 2016

    5.0 out of 5 stars The Truth About the CIA and What is Instore For You

    If you want the inside scoop on the CIA and it's criminal past; this is the book. Additionally, why the Phoenix Program is pertinent for our own times. This book connects the dots.

    If you have been wondering why Homeland Security has fusion centers; why the USA Anti-Patriot Act, NDAA and Rex 84 have been passed by Congress; you will get your answer here.

    A book every intelligent American needs to read and place in a prominent place in their library. Oh, and don't forget after you read it; spread the word !!! (this book is based upon actual face to face interviews and documents)

    Jay Trout on January 2, 2017

    5.0 out of 5 stars A crucial tool to understanding present reality. An absolute must read.

    Run, don't walk, and get yourself a copy of this book. The author has been warning us for decades about the clear and present danger that is the CIA. I was unaware of Valentine's work for most of those years, perhaps because our media outlets (even the "anti-establishment" ones like Democracy Now and The Intercept) have been compromised. Valentine's work has been suppressed since his ground-breaking book on the Phoenix Program.

    Not that I didn't know anything about the sordid history. I knew about MK-Ultra, some of the agency's drug running and empire-building exploits. This work goes much deeper and paints a much bigger picture. The extent of the agency's influence is much greater than I had imagined.

    This is not another history book about dirty tricks. It is not just about our insane foreign policy and empire building. The cancer of corruption, of outright crime, has metastasized into every agency of the government right here in the US itself. Those dirty tricks and crimes have become domestic policy- in fusion centers and Homeland Security, in the militarization of local police and in Congress, from Wall Street to Main Street. Border Patrol, the DEA, Justice and State have all been compromised.

    Want to know why the DEA is losing the war on drugs, how torture has become policy? Want to know why the government no longer represents your interests? Look no further.

    The problem is now. We are the new targets.

    Read it and weep, but for God's sake, please read it.
    A highly informative and comprehensive book, and a scathing, fearless indictment of government corruption.
    I cannot overstate it's importance.

    Andrew E. Belshaw on December 6, 2016

    Disguising Obama's Dirty War Chapter 22

    I just picked up this book and have not read it yet--but I am writing this to CORRECT THE RECORD regarding very basic information.

    There are 446 PAGES (not 286, as listed above). 160 Pages is a big difference--obviously, QUALITY is more important than quantity--but I do feel the listing needs be corrected.

    The "Inside Look" feature is also cutting off the last 9 chapters of the book, which are as follows:

    Chapter 16: Major General Bruce Lawlor: From CIA Officer in Vietnam to Homeland Security Honcho

    Chapter 17: Homeland Security: The Phoenix Comes Home to Roost

    PART IV: MANUFACTURING COMPLICITY: SHAPING THE AMERICAN WORLDVIEW

    Chapter 18: Fragging Bob Kerrey: The CIA and the Need for a War Crimes Tribunal

    Chapter 19: Top Secret America Shadow Reward System

    Chapter 20: How Government Tries to Mess with Your Mind

    Chapter 21: Disguising Obama's Dirty War

    Chapter 22: Parallels of Conquest, Past and Present

    Chapter 23: Propaganda as Terrorism

    Chapter 24: The War on Terror as the Greatest Covert Op Ever

    John C. Landon on January 2, 2017

    Expose of the CIA mafia

    This is a devastating and must-read study of the social and political calamity created by the CIA over the last sixty years. The portrait shows the criminal character of the agency and finally of the government it is said to serve. The portrait is a double shock because it shows not just a sordid corruption but a malevolent 'dark side' mafia-style corruption of american civilization and government. That the CIA controls the drug trade is not the least of the stunning revelations of this history.

    [Feb 12, 2017] Linux Server Hacks, Volume Two

    Notable quotes:
    "... multixterm ..."
    "... xterms ..."
    "... multixterm ..."
    "... host1 host2 ..."
    Feb 12, 2017 | www.amazon.com
    Execute Commands Simultaneously on Multiple Servers

    Run the same command at the same time on multiple systems, simplifying administrative tasks and reducing synchronization problems .

    If you have multiple servers with similar or identical configurations (such as nodes in a cluster), it's often difficult to make sure the contents and configuration of those servers are identical. It's even more difficult when you need to make configuration modifications from the command line, knowing you'll have to execute the exact same command on a large number of systems (better get coffee first). You could try writing a script to perform the task automatically, but sometimes scripting is overkill for the work to be done. Fortunately, there's another way to execute commands on multiple hosts simultaneously.

    A great solution for this problem is an excellent tool called multixterm , which enables you to simultaneously open xterms to any number of systems, type your commands in a single central window and have the commands executed in each of the xterm windows you've started. Sound appealing? Type once, execute many-it sounds like a new pipelining instruction set.

    multixterm is available from http://expect.nist.gov/example/multixterm.man.html , and it requires expect and tk . The most common way to run multixterm is with a command like the following:

    	$ 
    multixterm -xc "ssh %n"
    
    
    host1 host2
    
    
    

    This command will open ssh connections to host1 and host2 ( Figure 4-1 ). Anything typed in the area labeled "stdin window" (which is usually gray or green, depending on your color scheme) will be sent to both windows, as shown in the figure.

    As you can see from the sample command, the –xc option stands for execute command, and it must be followed by the command that you want to execute on each host, enclosed in double quotation marks. If the specified command includes a wildcard such as %n , each hostname that follows the command will be substituted into the command in turn when it is executed. Thus, in our example, the commands ssh host1 and ssh host2 were both executed by multixterm , each within its own xterm window.

    See Also

    [Jan 24, 2017] vitalASC KB10KA-S Ultra Slim Bluetooth 3.0 Keyboard (Silver) - NEW

    Please note that there are multiple colors of this keyboard and they are treated by Amazon as separate products. Most reviews are for silver and red variants.
    It looks like a standard Pc laptop keyboard . With the standard Windows-style layout as well Esc and F1-F10 key can be pressed directly without using function keys like on many other keyboards. Attractive for Windows 8 and 10 users.
    Before you use the keyboard for the first time you should charge it and it may take a couple of hours to charge for the first time. The LED charge light turns red while the keyboard is charging and go out when it is fully charged. If the battery becomes low the power LED will blink orange to indicate that it is time to recharge the battery.
    The pairing button is at the right upper corner. Pairing is fast and reliable with 7" Samsung tablet that I tested. Ctrl-A, Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V work, which alone justifies the price of the keyboard :-) Android looks almost usable for light office work with this keyboard.
    The keyboard has of/off switch at the right upper corner (on the side).
    Notable quotes:
    "... It is thin and small enough to fit over the top of my laptop keyboard, has a good response time, has a light for 'Caps Lock', and doesn't take too long to wake up after sleeping. ..."
    "... I really appreciate that it has the F1-12 keys, as well as the functionality of a larger keyboard (print, insert, delete, home, end, etc.). ..."
    "... I thought I had a bad one until I realized that I had to click the button that looks like WiFi in the corner. ..."
    Jan 24, 2017 | www.amazon.com
    kievite on January 26, 2017

    Standard PC layout. Works with Win10 smartphones (such as Lumia 950). Excellent for Android tablets like Sumsung 7" Galaxy tab

    IMPORTANT: I was able to connect it to Microsoft Lumia 950 smartphone. You need to press the pairing button on keyboard and then phone recognizes the keyboard and pairs with it. Before that it was listed as an Accessory and as there were several of them it was not clear which is what.

    NOTE: that there are multiple colors of this keyboard and they are (incorrectly) treated by Amazon as separate products. Most reviews are for silver and red variants.

    From my point of view (and probably from the point of view most of PC users) you want a keyboard that looks like a standard PC laptop keyboard. This keyboard fits the bill with the only difference I noticed is that function key is duplicated on the right side of the keyboard.
    How many keys work with function key pressed I do not know as I did not tested it with the Windows computer yet, but PgDn, PgUp, Home and End work OK. Selection using shift and arrow keys also work.

    It is extremely attractive option for Android users who want to use Android for light office work (It not very usable for working with long emails without the keyboard). What is the most important is that with this keyboard you can use Ctrl-A, Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V and all similar keys known to Windows users. That alone justifies the price of the keyboard :-)

    I also noticed that on Android the menu key works OK producing menu. I experienced no delay in displaying symbols. Keys work OK and a spaced like on full size keyboard so there is almost no adaptation process.

    Now you can use Android for working with your email which is not the easy using touch screen alone. You can add mouse if you wish too. I think this combination beats Chomebook. And I'm not that sure that it makes sense to overpay for it, if tablet with keyboard and mouse are good enough. Especially, if you understand that you are paying for the privilege of letting Google harvest even more of your personal data :-)

    Before you use the keyboard for the first time you should charge it for a couple of hours. The LED charge light turns red while the keyboard is charging and go out when it is fully charged. Then you need to switch it on (The keyboard has of/off switch at the right upper corner (on the side)) and pair with the device you use. The pairing button is at the right upper corner above power light. Pairing is fast and reliable with 7" Samsung tablet that I tested.

    If the battery becomes low the power LED will blink red

    Nichole on September 1, 2014 Verified Purchase

    Sweet keyboard!

    I just got this keyboard about a week ago, and it has been wonderful so far! I'm using it as a replacement for my laptop keyboard after shorting out a few keys with windex... I did a lot of research and this keyboard does everything I wanted it too.

    It is thin and small enough to fit over the top of my laptop keyboard, has a good response time, has a light for 'Caps Lock', and doesn't take too long to wake up after sleeping.

    I also needed a keyboard that was rechargeable since i didn't want to constantly replace batteries, and I needed something fairly mobile.

    I think the key response time is a little slower than my laptop keyboard and sometimes a keystroke gets missed because I didn't press down hard enough or in the center of the key. These problems don't happen often enough to be annoying though. I'm typing this review on it right now!

    The keys are closer together than a traditional keyboard, but aren't too close that I hit more than one at once (i guess i have fairly thin fingers though).

    The only part that took a lot of getting used to is that the Fn and Ctrl keys on the bottom left are switched on this as compared to my laptop's keyboard. This keyboard has Fn in the bottom left corner with the Ctrl key to the right of it. Even though, I am basically used to this now and I've had the keyboard for about a week.

    Christopher Thorpe on December 26, 2014 Verified Purchase

    Great!

    This review is being typed with this keyboard. Its been used for a year and a half and I've been quite pleased with it. The only downside is that every once in a while it will register a keypress and input that character multiple times. For example, an "a" might become "aaaaaa." This doesn't happen too often, or it would have been returned long ago.

    I really appreciate that it has the F1-12 keys, as well as the functionality of a larger keyboard (print, insert, delete, home, end, etc.). It's been used exclusively with a nexus 10 and moto x 2014.

    Zora Abernathy on January 17, 2016

    Definitely Reccomend

    Absolutely love it! The keyboard has arrow keys and such. However, I thought I had a bad one until I realized that I had to click the button that looks like WiFi in the corner.

    [Jan 24, 2017] Jelly Comb Universal Bluetooth Keyboard Ultra Slim for Windows Android iOS PC Tablet Smartphone,

    Jan 24, 2017 | www.amazon.com

    The layout of this keyboard is based on Apple's keyboard. That becomes a problem for Windows users, especially gamers, because of the location of the ctrl/control key. But that can easily be fixed by remapping keys.

    [Jan 14, 2017] The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy Christopher Lasch

    Jan 14, 2017 | www.amazon.com
    William H. Panning on December 6, 2016 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
    A tour de force that helps readers understand their country, and culture and how they evolved

    " Readers of Chris Hayes' "Twilight of the Elites: America after Meritocracy" may recognize some common themes here. But Lasch presented his far more complete and prescient descriptions of our situation some eighteen years earlier. When I read Hayes' book, some months before Trump's nomination, I immediately recommended to all my liberal friends that they read it. But now, after reading Lasch's even more nuanced critique, I see the work of an incredibly perceptive intellectual whose perceptions and analyses are far more nuanced and comprehensive. This is the kind of work that we once expected the best academics to produce, intended for a broad audience.

    Tidewater on March 13, 2016 Format: Paperback

    Not exactly a "revolt"

    " This is a good, not great, book. It covers a lot of fascinating territory, including extended treatment of Orestes Brownson's critiques of Horace Mann on universal education, and Walter Lippman's disputes with John Dewey on "public opinion." Esoteric, to say the least.

    Rather than a review, I offer as a counterweght Walter A. McDougall's weighty history, "Throes of Democracy." A heck of a lot was going on in the 19th century American political scene, and McDougall fills in a lot of the blanks, including the significance of Herman Melville's "Confidence Man," and the utter callousness and greed exhibited by the founders of many of the various "western" states.

    I found Lasch, even with his often admirable critical analyses, a bit too comfortable in his academic perch dealing with the mixed legacies of the 19th and early 20th century. Note also: his use of the word "democracy" badly needed defining, as did "revolt," more like an unfriendly takeover IMHO.

    [Jan 13, 2017] They pretend to make statements that corresponded to reality, and we pretend to believe them.

    Notable quotes:
    "... For him, the Soviet Union was once a stable, entrenched, conservative state and the majority of Russian people -- actually myself included -- thought it would last forever. But the way people employ language and read ideologies can change. That change can be undetectable at first, and then unstoppable. ..."
    Jan 08, 2017 | www.amazon.com

    Igor Biryukov on November 1, 2012

    A cautionary tale

    " In America there was once a popular but simplistic image of the Soviet Russia as the Evil Empire destined to fall, precisely because it was unfree and therefore evil. Ronald Reagan who advocated it also once said that the Russian people do not have a word for "freedom". Not so fast -- says Alexei Yurchak. He was born in the Soviet Union and became a cultural anthropologist in California. He employs linguistic structural analysis in very interesting ways. For him, the Soviet Union was once a stable, entrenched, conservative state and the majority of Russian people -- actually myself included -- thought it would last forever. But the way people employ language and read ideologies can change. That change can be undetectable at first, and then unstoppable.

    Yurchak's Master-idea is that the Soviet system was an example of how a state can prepare its own demise in an invisible way. It happened in Russia through unraveling of authoritative discourse by Gorbachev's naive but well-meaning shillyshallying undermining the Soviet system and the master signifiers with which the Soviet society was "quilted" and held together. According to Yurchak "In its first three or four years, perestroika was not much more than a deconstruction of Soviet authoritative discourse". This could a cautionary tale for America as well because the Soviet Union shared more features with American modernity than the Americans themselves are willing to admit.

    The demise of the Soviet Union was not caused by anti-modernity or backwardness of Russian people. The Soviet experiment was a cousin of Western modernity and shared many features with the Western democracies, in particular its roots in the Enlightenment project. The Soviet Union wasn't "evil" in late stages 1950-1980s. The most people were decent. The Soviet system, despite its flaws, offered a set of collective values. There were many moral and ethical aspects to Soviet socialism, and even though those values have been betrayed by the state, they were still very important to people themselves in their lives. These values were: solidarity, community, altruism, education, creativity, friendship and safety. Perhaps they were incommensurable with the "Western values" such as the rule of law and freedom, but for Russians they were the most important. For many "socialism" was a system of human values and everyday realities which wasn't necessarily equivalent of the official interpretation provided by the state rhetoric.

    Yurchak starts with a general paradox within the ideology of modernity: the split between ideological enunciation, which reflects the theoretical ideals of the Enlightenment, and ideological rule, which are the practical concerns of the modern state's political authority. In Soviet Union the paradox was "solved" by means of dogmatic political closure and elevation of Master signifier [Lenin, Stalin, Party] but it doesn't mean the Western democracies are immune to totalitarian temptation to which the Soviet Union had succumbed. The vast governmental bureaucracy and Quango-state are waiting in the shadows here as well, may be ready to appropriate discourse.

    It is hard to agree with everything in his book. But it is an interesting perspective. I wish Alexei Yurchak would explore more implications of Roman Jacobson's "poetic function of language" and its connection to Russian experiment in communism. It seems to me, as a Russian native speaker, that Russians put stress on form, sound, and poetics. The English-language tradition prioritizes content and meaning. Can we speak of "Hermeneutics" of the West versus "Poetics" of Russia? Perhaps the tragedy of Russia was under-development of Hermeneutics? How does one explain the feeble attempts to throw a light of reason into the loopy texts and theories of Marks, Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin? Perhaps the Russians read it as a kind of magical text, a poetry, a bad poetry -- not Pasternak or Blok -- but kind of poetry nevertheless?

    Nils Gilman on April 23, 2014

    A brilliant account of the interior meaning of everyday life for ordinary soviet citizens

    Just loved this -- a brilliant study of how everyday citizens (as opposed to active supporters or dissidents) cope with living in a decadent dictatorship, through strategies of ignoring the powerful, focusing on hyperlocal socialities, treating ritualized support for the regime as little more than an annoying chore, and withdrawal into subcultures. Yurchak demolishes the view that the only choices available to late Soviet citizens were either blind support (though his accounts of those figures who chose this path are deeply chilling) or active resistance, while at the same time showing how many of the purported values of Soviet socialism (equality, education, friendship, community, etc) were in fact deeply held by many in the population. While his entire account is a tacit meditation on the manifold unpleasantnesses of living under the Soviet system, Yurchak also makes clear that it was not all unpleasantness and that indeed for some people (such as theoretical physicists) life under Soviet socialism was in some ways freer than for their peers in the West. All of which makes the book function (sotto voce) as an explanation for the nostalgia that many in Russia today feel for Soviet times - something inexplicable to those who claim that Communism was simply and nothing but an evil.

    The theoretical vehicle for Yurchak's investigation is the divergence between the performative rather than the constative dimensions of the "authoritative discourse" of the late Soviet regime. One might say that his basic thesis is that, for most Soviet people, the attitude toward the authorities was "They pretend to make statements that corresponded to reality, and we pretend to believe them." Yurchak rightly observes that one can neither interpret the decision to vote in favor of an official resolution or to display a pro-government slogan at a rally as being an unambiguous statement of regime support, nor assume that these actions were directly coerced. People were expected to perform these rituals, but they developed "a complexly differentiating relationship to the ideological meanings, norms, and values" of the Soviet state. "Depending on the context, they might reject a certain meaning, norm or value, be apathetic about another, continue actively subscribing to a third, creatively reinterpret a fourth, and so on." (28-29)

    The result was that, as the discourse of the late Soviet period ossified into completely formalist incantations (a process that Yurchak demonstrates was increasingly routinized from the 1950s onwards), Soviet citizens participated in these more for ritualistic reasons than because of fervent belief, which in turn allowed citizens to fill their lives with other sources of identity and meaning. Soviet citizens would go to cafes and talk about music and literature, join a rock band or art collective, take silly jobs that required little effort and thus left room for them to pursue their "interests." The very drabness of the standardizations of Soviet life therefore created new sorts of (admittedly constrained) spaces within which people could define themselves and their (inter)subjective meanings. All of which is to say that the book consists of a dramatic refutation of the "totalitarianism" thesis, demonstrating that despite the totalitarian ambitions of the regime, citizens were continually able to carve out zones of autonomy and identification that transcended the ambitions of the Authoritative discourse.

    [Jan 13, 2017] Hypernormalisation

    Notable quotes:
    "... Normalisation is what has historically happened in the wake of financial crises. During the booms that precede busts, low interest rates encourage people to make investments with borrowed money. However, even after all of the prudent investment opportunities have been taken, people continue borrowing to invest in projects and ideas that are unlikely to ever generate profits. ..."
    "... Eventually, the precariousness of some of these later investments becomes apparent. Those that arrive at this realization early sell up, settle their debts and pocket profits, but their selling often triggers a rush for the exits that bankrupts companies and individuals and, in many cases, the banks which lent to them. ..."
    "... By contrast, the responses of policy-makers to 2008's financial crisis suggest the psychology of hypernormalisation. Quantitative easing (also known as money printing) and interest rate suppression (to zero percent and, in Europe, negative interest rates) are not working and will never result in sustained increases in productivity, income and employment. However, as our leaders are unable to consider alternative policy solutions, they have to pretend that they are working. ..."
    "... Statistical chicanery has helped understate unemployment and inflation while global cooperation has served to obscure the currency depreciation and loss of confidence in paper money (as opposed to 'hard money' such as gold and silver) that are to be expected from rampant money printing. ..."
    "... The recent fuss over 'fake news' seems intended to remove alternative news and information sources from a population that, alarmingly for those in charge, is both ever-more aware that the system is not working and less and less willing to pretend that it is . Just this month U.S. President Barack Obama signed the Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act into law. United States, meet your Ministry of Truth. ..."
    "... Great article. I think it does describe the USSA at the present time. Everything works until it doesn't. ..."
    "... The funny thing is I had almost identical thoughts just a few days ago. But I was thinking in comparison more of East Germany's last 20 years before they imploded - peacefully, because not a single non-leading-rank person believed any of the official facts anymore (and therefore they even simply ignored orders from high command to crush the Leipzig Monday demonstrations.) ..."
    "... I'm ok with a world led by Trump and Putin. ..."
    "... I recall the joke from the old Soviet Union: "They pretend to pay us, we pretend to work." In the USSA these last few years, Barry pretends to tell the truth. Libtards pretend to believe him. ..."
    "... Wrong. They believe him. Look at the gaggle of libtard/shiteaters at Soetero's Friday night bash at the White House. ..."
    "... Reagan used to quip that in the Soviet Union, the people pretend to work and the government pretends to pay them. We're not the Soviet Union, but we have become a farce. Next stop - the fall. Followed by chaos, then onto something new. The new elites will just be the old elites, well, the ones that escape the noose. ..."
    "... The real ugly problem with the Soviet Union is that whatever they broke it into isn't working well either. ..."
    "... Russia's problem post collapse was the good ol' USSA and its capitalist, plunderer banking mavens. ..."
    "... The only way to normalize banking in a contemporary banking paradigm of QE Infinity & Beyond is to start over again without the bankers & accountants that knowingly bet the ranch for a short term gain at the expense of long term profitability. In Japan an honourable businessman/CEO would suicide for bringing this kind of devastation to the company shareholders. ..."
    "... In America they don't give a shit because it is always someone else other than the CEO that takes the fall. ..."
    "... This, after I'd point out his evasion and deflection every time I addressed his bias and belief in the MSM propaganda mantras of racism, misogyny, xenophobia - all the usual labeling bullshit up to insinuating Russia hacked the election ..."
    "... I've been using the term Hypernormalisation to describe aspects of western society for the last 15 years, before Adam Curtis's brilliant BBC documentary Hypernormalisation , afflicting western society and particularly politics. There are lies and gross distortions everywhere in western society and it straddles/effects all races, colours, social classes and the disease is most acute in our politics. ..."
    "... We all know the hypernoprmalisation in politics, as we witness stories everyday on Zerohedge of the disconnect from reality ..."
    "... It is called COGNITIVE DISSONANCE .. ..."
    "... "When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn't fit with the core belief." ..."
    "... During their final days as a world power, the Soviet Union allowed cognitive dissonance to rule its better judgment as so many Americans are doing in 2012. The handwriting on the wall was pretty clear for Gorbachev. The Soviet economy was failing. They did none of the necessary things to save their economy. In 2012, the handwriting on the wall is pretty clear for the American people. The economy is failing. The people and the Congress do none of the necessary things to save their economy. Why? Go re-read the definition of cognitive dissonance. That's why. We have a classic fight going on between those who want government to take care of them who will pay the price of lost freedom to get that care, and those who value freedom above all else. ..."
    "... to me the PTB are "Japanifying" the u.s. (decades of no growth, near total demoralization of a generation of worker bees (as in, 'things will never get any better, be glad for what little you've got' etc... look what they've done to u.s. millenials just since '08... fooled (crushed) them TWICE already) ..."
    "... But the PTB Plan B is to emulate the USSR with a crackup, replete with fire sale to oligarchs of public assets. ..."
    Jan 08, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
    Submitted by Bryce McBride via Mises Canada,

    This past November, the filmmaker Adam Curtis released the documentary Hypernormalisation.

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/-fny99f8amM

    The term comes from Alexei Yurchak's 2006 book Everything was Forever, Until it was No More: The Last Soviet Generation. The book argues that over the last 20 years of the Soviet Union, everyone knew the system wasn't working, but as no one could imagine any alternative, politicians and citizens were resigned to pretending that it was. Eventually this pretending was accepted as normal and the fake reality thus created was accepted as real, an effect which Yurchak termed "hypernormalisation."

    Looking at events over the past few years, one wonders if our own society is experiencing the same phenomenon. A contrast with what economic policy-makers term "normalisation" is instructive.

    Normalisation is what has historically happened in the wake of financial crises. During the booms that precede busts, low interest rates encourage people to make investments with borrowed money. However, even after all of the prudent investment opportunities have been taken, people continue borrowing to invest in projects and ideas that are unlikely to ever generate profits.

    Eventually, the precariousness of some of these later investments becomes apparent. Those that arrive at this realization early sell up, settle their debts and pocket profits, but their selling often triggers a rush for the exits that bankrupts companies and individuals and, in many cases, the banks which lent to them.

    In the normalisation which follows (usually held during 'special' bank holidays) auditors and accountants go through financial records and decide which companies and individuals are insolvent (and should therefore go bankrupt) and which are merely illiquid (and therefore eligible for additional loans, pledged against good collateral). In a similar fashion, central bank officials decide which banks are to close and which are to remain open. Lenders made freshly aware of bankruptcy risk raise (or normalise) interest rates and in so doing complete the process of clearing bad debt out of the system. Overall, reality replaces wishful thinking.

    While this process is by no means pleasant for the people involved, from a societal standpoint bankruptcy and higher interest rates are necessary to keep businesses focused on profitable investment, banks focused on prudent lending and overall debt levels manageable.

    By contrast, the responses of policy-makers to 2008's financial crisis suggest the psychology of hypernormalisation. Quantitative easing (also known as money printing) and interest rate suppression (to zero percent and, in Europe, negative interest rates) are not working and will never result in sustained increases in productivity, income and employment. However, as our leaders are unable to consider alternative policy solutions, they have to pretend that they are working.

    To understand why our leaders are unable to consider alternative policy solutions such as interest rate normalization and banking reform one only needs to understand that while such policies would lay the groundwork for a sustained recovery, they would also expose many of the world's biggest banks as insolvent. As the financial sector is a powerful constituency (and a generous donor to political campaigns) the banks get the free money they need, even if such policies harm society as a whole.

    As we live in a democratic society, it is necessary for our leaders to convince us that there are no other solutions and that the monetary policy fixes of the past 8 years have been effective and have done no harm.

    Statistical chicanery has helped understate unemployment and inflation while global cooperation has served to obscure the currency depreciation and loss of confidence in paper money (as opposed to 'hard money' such as gold and silver) that are to be expected from rampant money printing.

    Looking at unemployment figures first, while the unemployment rate is currently very low, the number of Americans of working age not in the labour force is currently at an all-time high of over 95 million people. Discouraged workers who stop looking for work are no longer classified as unemployed but instead become economically inactive, but clearly many of these people really should be counted as unemployed. Similarly, while government statistical agencies record inflation rates of between one and two percent, measures that use methodologies used in the past (such as John Williams' Shadowstats measures) show consumer prices rising at annual rates of 6 to 8 percent. In addition, many people have noticed what has been termed 'shrinkflation', where prices remain the same even as package sizes shrink. A common example is bacon, which used to be sold by the pound but which is now commonly sold in 12 ounce slabs.

    Meanwhile central banks have coordinated their money printing to ensure that no major currency (the dollar, the yen, the euro or the Chinese renminbi) depreciates noticeably against the others for a sustained period of time. Further, since gold hit a peak of over $1900 per ounce in 2011, central banks have worked hard to keep the gold price suppressed through the futures market. On more than a few occasions, contracts for many months worth of global gold production have been sold in a matter of a few minutes, with predictable consequences for the gold price. At all costs, people's confidence in and acceptance of the paper (or, more commonly, electronic) money issued by central banks must be maintained.

    Despite these efforts people nonetheless sense that something is wrong. The Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump to the White House represent to a large degree a rejection of the fake reality propagated by the policymaking elite. Increasingly, people recognize that a financial system dependent upon zero percent interest rates is not sustainable and are responding by taking their money out of the banks in favour of holding cash or other forms of wealth. In the face of such understanding and resistance, governments are showing themselves willing to use coercion to enforce acceptance of their fake reality.

    The recent fuss over 'fake news' seems intended to remove alternative news and information sources from a population that, alarmingly for those in charge, is both ever-more aware that the system is not working and less and less willing to pretend that it is . Just this month U.S. President Barack Obama signed the Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act into law. United States, meet your Ministry of Truth.

    Meanwhile, in India last month, people were told that the highest denomination bills in common circulation would be 'demonetized' or made worthless as of December 30th. People were allowed to deposit or exchange a certain quantity of the demonetized bills in banks but many people who had accumulated their savings in rupee notes (often the poor who did not have bank accounts) have been ruined. Ostensibly, this demonetization policy was aimed at curbing corruption and terrorism, but it is fairly obvious that its real objective was to force people into the banking system and electronic money. Unsurprisingly, the demonetization drive was accompanied by limits on the quantity of gold people are allowed to hold.

    Despite such attempts to influence our thinking and our behaviour, we don't need to resign ourselves to pretending that our system is working when it so clearly isn't. Looking at the eventual fate of the Soviet Union, it should be clear that the sooner we abandon the drift towards hypernormalisation and start on the path to normalisation the better off we will be.

    DontGive Jan 7, 2017 9:03 PM

    CB's printing is not a bug. It's a feature.

    Long debt bitches.

    Doña K TBT or not TBT Jan 8, 2017 12:05 AM

    I did not learn anything from that movie. One man's collage of events.

    We just take revenge on the system by living well.

    Luc X. Ifer TBT or not TBT Jan 8, 2017 12:06 AM

    Correct. I seen with sufficient level of comprehending consciousness the last 5 years of it - copy-cat perfection with the current times in US(S)A, terrifying how similar the times are as it is a clear indication of the times to come.

    HRH Feant Jan 7, 2017 9:06 PM

    Great article. I think it does describe the USSA at the present time. Everything works until it doesn't.

    malek HRH Feant Jan 7, 2017 11:40 PM

    The funny thing is I had almost identical thoughts just a few days ago. But I was thinking in comparison more of East Germany's last 20 years before they imploded - peacefully, because not a single non-leading-rank person believed any of the official facts anymore (and therefore they even simply ignored orders from high command to crush the Leipzig Monday demonstrations.)

    navy62802 Jan 7, 2017 9:14 PM

    I'm ok with a world led by Trump and Putin.

    christiangustafson Jan 7, 2017 9:17 PM

    Great piece!

    I was just thinking that the whole economic world sees us in a sort of equilibrium at the moment. There will be some adjustments under Trump, but nothing serious. We shall see ..

    Eeyores Enigma Jan 7, 2017 9:17 PM

    Repeat something often enough and it becomes hypernormalised. With that in mind the number of eyes/minds/hits is all that matters. This has been known and exploited for hundreds of years.

    That a handful of individuals can have a monopoly over the single most important aspect of whether you live or die is the ultimate success of hypernormalisation. CENTRAL BANKING.

    Manipuflation Jan 7, 2017 9:22 PM

    Mrs.M is of the last Soviet generation. Her .gov papers say so. There is never a day when I don't hear something soviet. She still has a her red pioneer ribbon. I have tried to encourage her to write about it on ZH so that we know. Do you think she will? No. She's says that we can't understand what it was like no matter what she says.

    Mrs.M was born in 1981 so she has lived an interesting life. I married her in 2004 after much paperwork and $15000. I wanted that female because we got along quite well. She is who I needed with me this and I would do it all over again.

    Needless to say, I do not support any aggression towards Russia. And to my fellow Americans, I advise caution because the half you are broke ass fucks and are already ropes with me.

    That is the only news anyone needs to know.

    wisebastard Jan 7, 2017 9:25 PM

    the monkeys made me think ZH should make a post with monkeys evolving into humans that then de-evolve into Paul Krugman

    GeezerGeek Jan 7, 2017 9:34 PM

    I recall the joke from the old Soviet Union: "They pretend to pay us, we pretend to work." In the USSA these last few years, Barry pretends to tell the truth. Libtards pretend to believe him.

    BabaLooey GeezerGeek Jan 7, 2017 11:05 PM

    Wrong. They believe him. Look at the gaggle of libtard/shiteaters at Soetero's Friday night bash at the White House.

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-hollywood/2017/01/07/stars-obamas-white-hou...

    Fucks. ALL of them.

    max_leering GeezerGeek Jan 7, 2017 11:35 PM

    Geezer, I'd change only one thing... I believe libtards bought Barry's bullshit hook, line and sinker... it was the rest of us who not-so-subtly were saying WTF!!!

    Salzburg1756 Jan 7, 2017 9:35 PM

    White Nationalists have lived in the real world for decades; the rest of you need to catch up.

    JustPastPeacefield Jan 7, 2017 10:06 PM

    Reagan used to quip that in the Soviet Union, the people pretend to work and the government pretends to pay them. We're not the Soviet Union, but we have become a farce. Next stop - the fall. Followed by chaos, then onto something new. The new elites will just be the old elites, well, the ones that escape the noose.

    evokanivo JustPastPeacefield Jan 7, 2017 10:23 PM

    what noose? you think joe 6p is going to identify the culprits? i think not. "no one saw this coming!!!" is still ringing in my ears from the last time.

    jm Jan 7, 2017 10:14 PM

    I really don't know how people can keep on getting clicks with this tired crap. It didn't happen in 2008 just get over it. The delusional people are the people that think the world is going to end tomorrow.

    wwxx jm Jan 8, 2017 6:08 AM

    Maybe the world has ended, for 95 million? I haven't paid a single Fed income tax dollar in over 8 yrs., for a specific reason, I refuse to support the new normal circus, and quite frankly I would have gotten out during the GWBush regime, but I couldn't afford to at the time.

    wwxx

    EndOfDayExit Jan 7, 2017 10:17 PM

    The real ugly problem with the Soviet Union is that whatever they broke it into isn't working well either. Same with the USSA. No one really knows what to do. Feudalism would probably work, but it is not possible to go back to it. My bet is that we will end up with some form of socialism, universal income and whatever else, just because there is no good alternative for dealing with lots and lots of people who are not needed anymore.

    BingoBoggins EndOfDayExit Jan 8, 2017 6:15 AM

    Do you mean useless eaters or fuckers deserving the guillotine? Russia's problem post collapse was the good ol' USSA and its capitalist, plunderer banking mavens.

    NAV Jan 7, 2017 10:23 PM

    The Soviet Union pushed its old culture to near destruction but failed to establish a new and better culture to replace it, writes Angelo M. Codevilla in "The Rise of Political Correctness," and as a result the U.S.S.R fell, just as America's current "politically correct" and dysfunctional "progressive utopia" will implode.

    As such, Codevilla would agree that the US population " is both ever-more aware that the system is not working and less and less willing to pretend that it is."

    As for the U.S.S.R., "this step turned out instead to destroy the very basis of Soviet power," writes Codevilla. "[C]ontinued efforts to force people to celebrate the party's ersatz reality, to affirm things that they know are not true and to deny others they know to be true – to live by lies – requires breaking them , reducing them to a sense of fearful isolation, destroying their self-esteem and their capacity to trust others. George Orwell's novel 1984 dramatized this culture war's ends and means : nothing less than the substitution of the party's authority for the reality conveyed by human senses and reason. Big Brother's agent, having berated the hapless Winston for preferring his own views to society's dictates, finished breaking his spirit by holding up four fingers and demanding that Winston acknowledge seeing five.

    "Thus did the Soviet regime create dysfunctional, cynical, and resentful subjects. Because Communism confused destruction of 'bourgeois culture' with cultural conquest, it won all the cultural battles while losing its culture war long before it collapsed politically. As Communists identified themselves in people's minds with falsehood and fraud, people came to identify truth with anything other than the officials and their doctrines. Inevitably, they also identified them with corruption and privation. A nd so it was that, whenever the authorities announced that the harvest had been good, the people hoarded potatoes; and that more and more people who knew nothing of Christianity except that the authorities had anathematized it, started wearing crosses."

    And if you want to see the ruling class's culture war in action today in America, pick up the latest issues of Vogue Magazine or O, The Oprah Magazine with their multitude of role reversals between whites and minorities. Or check out the latest decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court forcing people to acknowledge that America is not a Christian nation, or making it "more difficult for men, women and children to exist as a family" or demanding via law "that their subjects join them in celebrating the new order that reflects their identity."

    As to just how far the ruling class has gone to serve the interests and proclivities of its leaders and to reject the majority's demand for representation, Codevilla notes, "In 2012 no one would have thought that defining marriage between one man and one woman, as enshrined in U.S. law, would brand those who do so as motivated by a culpable psychopathology called 'homophobia,' subject to fines and near-outlaw status. Not until 2015-16 did it occur to anyone that requiring persons with male personal plumbing to use public bathrooms reserved for men was a sign of the same pathology

    "On the wholesale level, it is a war on civilization waged to indulge identity politics."

    http://www.claremont.org/crb/article/the-rise-of-political-correctness/

    Yen Cross Jan 7, 2017 11:11 PM

    This article is so flawed! People[impoverished] aren't trying to jump over a wall patrolled by guards into Mexico -YET. Tyler, why do you repost shit like this?

    daveO Yen Cross Jan 8, 2017 12:56 AM

    That's because the Yankees, fleeing high taxes, can move to the sunbelt states w/o freezing. The USA went broke in 2008. Mexico got a head start by 22 years when oil prices collapsed in '86.

    MASTER OF UNIVERSE Jan 7, 2017 11:28 PM

    The only way to normalize banking in a contemporary banking paradigm of QE Infinity & Beyond is to start over again without the bankers & accountants that knowingly bet the ranch for a short term gain at the expense of long term profitability. In Japan an honourable businessman/CEO would suicide for bringing this kind of devastation to the company shareholders.

    In America they don't give a shit because it is always someone else other than the CEO that takes the fall. 08 was proof that America is not equipped to participate in a Multinational & Multipolar world of business & investment in business. America can't get along in business in this world anymore. Greed has rendered America unemployable as a major market participant in a Globally run network of businesses.

    America is the odd man out these days even though the next POTUS promises better management from a business perspective. Whilst the Mafia Cartel bosses trust TrumpO's business savvy the rest of the planet Earth does not.

    Yen Cross Jan 7, 2017 11:53 PM

    Are you kidding me??? >

    Hypernormalisation I think we need a few MOAR syllables connected by fake verb/adjective < reverse /destruction- of the English language.

    Manipuflation Yen Cross Jan 8, 2017 1:23 AM

    Yen, I have a bottle of Bacardi rum here. It was on sale. Should I open it up? We could become experts....well at least I could.:-)

    BingoBoggins Jan 8, 2017 8:12 AM

    A liberal friend laid this movie on me to show me why he supported Hillary. A smart cookie, a PHd teaching English in Japan. A Khazarnazi Jew, he even spent time in Kyiv, Ukraine pre-coup, only mingling with "poets and writers". He went out of his way to tell me how bad the Russians were, informed as he was prior to the rejection of the EU's usurious offer.

    He even quite dramatically pulled out the Anti-Semite card. I had to throw Banderas in his face and the US sponsored regime. I had respect for this guy and his knowledge but he just - could - not - let - go the cult assumptions. I finally came to believe Liberal Arts educators are victims of inbred conditioning. In retaliation, he wanted to somehow prove Putin a charlatan or villian and Trump his proxie.

    This, after I'd point out his evasion and deflection every time I addressed his bias and belief in the MSM propaganda mantras of racism, misogyny, xenophobia - all the usual labeling bullshit up to insinuating Russia hacked the election. Excerpts from a correspondence wherein I go full asshole on the guy follow. Try and make sense of it if you watch this trash:

    HyperNormalization 50:29 Not Ronald Rayguns, or Quadaffi plays along. Say what? They're, i.e. Curtis, assuming what Q thought?

    1:15 USSR collapses. No shit. Cronyism in a centralized organization grown too large is inevitable it seems. So the premise has evolved to cultural/societal "management". Right. USSR collapses but let's repeat the same mistakes 'cause "it's different this time". We got us a computer!

    Then Fink the failed Squid (how do Squids climb the corporate ladder?) builds one and programs historical data to,,,, forecast? I heard a' this. Let me guess. He couldn't avoid bias, making his models fallacious. Whoops. Well, he does intend to manipulate society, or was that not the goal? Come again? Some authority ran with it and ... captured an entire nation's media, conspired with other like-minded sycophants and their mysterious masters to capture an election by ... I may be getting ahead of myself.

    Oh, boy, I have an inkling of where this is going. Perceptions modified by the word, advanced by the herd, in order to capture a vulnerable society under duress, who then pick sides, fool themselves in the process, miss the three hour tour never to live happily ever after on a deserted isle because they eschew (pick a bias here from the list provided). The one you think the "others" have, 'cause, shit, we're above it all, right? " Are we not entertained" is probably not the most appropriate question here.

    Point being, Curtis, the BBC documentarian, totally negates the reality of pathological Imperialism as has been practiced by the West over the last half century, causing so many of the effects he so casually eludes to in the Arab Spring, Libya, Syria, Russia, the US and elsewhere. Perhaps the most blatant is this; Curtis asserts that Trump "defeated journalism" by rendering its fact-checking abilities irrelevant. Wikipedia He Hypernormalizes the very audience that believes itself to be enlightened. As for my erstwhile friend, the fucker never once admitted all the people *killed* for the ideals he supported. I finally blew him off for good.

    To Hell In A Ha... Jan 8, 2017 7:06 AM

    I've been using the term Hypernormalisation to describe aspects of western society for the last 15 years, before Adam Curtis's brilliant BBC documentary Hypernormalisation , afflicting western society and particularly politics. There are lies and gross distortions everywhere in western society and it straddles/effects all races, colours, social classes and the disease is most acute in our politics.

    We all know the hypernoprmalisation in politics, as we witness stories everyday on Zerohedge of the disconnect from reality...

    jcdenton Jan 8, 2017 7:44 AM

    It is called COGNITIVE DISSONANCE ..

    Allow me to quote something here ..

    Enter Operation Stillpoint: William Colby, William Casey and Leo Emil Wanta.

    At the time it started, President Reagan wanted to get a better handle on ways to keep the Soviets from expansionary tactics used to spread Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov Lenin's philosophy of communism around the world. He looked to his Special Task Force to provide a means of doing so. One thing was certain: The economy of the Soviets had never been strong and corruption, always present in government and always growing at least as fast as a government grows, made the USSR vulnerable to outside interference just as the United States is today.

    According to Gorbachev's Prime Minister, Nikolai Ryzhkov, the "moral [nravstennoe] state of the society" in 1985 was its "most terrifying" feature: "[We] stole from ourselves, took and gave bribes, lied in the reports, in newspapers, from high podiums, wallowed in our lies, hung medals on one another. And all of this – from top to bottom and from bottom to top."

    Again, it sounds like today's America, doesn't it?

    Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze made equally painful comments about the lawlessness and corruption dominating the Soviet Union. During the winter months of 1984-85, he told Gorbachev that "Everything is rotten. It has to be changed."

    "Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong," Frantz Fanon said in his 1952 book Black Skin, White Masks (originally published in French as Peau Noire, Masques Blancs). "When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn't fit with the core belief."

    COGNITIVE DISSONANCE

    During their final days as a world power, the Soviet Union allowed cognitive dissonance to rule its better judgment as so many Americans are doing in 2012. The handwriting on the wall was pretty clear for Gorbachev. The Soviet economy was failing. They did none of the necessary things to save their economy. In 2012, the handwriting on the wall is pretty clear for the American people. The economy is failing. The people and the Congress do none of the necessary things to save their economy. Why? Go re-read the definition of cognitive dissonance. That's why. We have a classic fight going on between those who want government to take care of them who will pay the price of lost freedom to get that care, and those who value freedom above all else.

    On one day we have 50 state attorneys general suing Bank of America for making fraudulent mortgages, and on the next we have M.F. Global losing billions upon billions of customer dollars because they got mixed with the firm's funds – which is against the law – or we have J.P. Morgan Chase losing $2 billion (or is it $5 billion?) in bad investments. As Eduard Shevardnadze said, "Everything is rotten. It has to be changed." As I would say it, "There is no Rule of Law in America today. There has been no real Rule of Law since George Herbert Walker Bush took office."

    No one listened then; no one is listening in America now. The primary reason? Cognitive dissonance. -- Chapter 2, "Wanta! Black Swan, White Hat" (2013)

    Okay then, forget what was said in 1985, that was later reported in 2013 ..

    Let's fast forward to Oct. 30, 2016 ..

    Shall we? I mean, it is a bit MOAR -- relevant!

    https://youtu.be/8tYTSR9gheQ

    And, for those that must have further amplification .. (And, some .......... fun!)

    https://www.youtube.com/user/fooser77/playlists

    BingoBoggins jcdenton Jan 8, 2017 8:20 AM

    You reminded me I bookmarked this on Chrome, so I dared to venture there to retrieve it;

    https://books.google.com/books?id=cbC_AwAAQBAJ&pg=PP21&lpg=PP21&dq=crony...

    Vageling jcdenton Jan 8, 2017 9:16 AM

    Lee Wanta. I've heard of him before. He was screwed over for some bullshit charges. And the CIA made a firm warning... How long did that dude spent in jail?

    Just looked up his story as it was blurry. Cronyism at its finest. So now that I got my refreshing course. Trump stole/adopted (however you want to look at that) his plan and the project the gov (DOT) proposes sucks donkey balls compared to Wanta's.

    So where are all the climate hoaxers now by the way? You'd figure they'd be all over this.

    American Gorbachev Jan 8, 2017 10:10 AM

    to me the PTB are "Japanifying" the u.s. (decades of no growth, near total demoralization of a generation of worker bees (as in, 'things will never get any better, be glad for what little you've got' etc... look what they've done to u.s. millenials just since '08... fooled (crushed) them TWICE already)

    But the PTB Plan B is to emulate the USSR with a crackup, replete with fire sale to oligarchs of public assets. They will Japan as long as they can (so it will be difficult to forecast any crackup anymore than six months beforehand). Hope they have a Gorbachev lined up, to limit the bloodshed

    [Jan 09, 2017] The Field of Fight How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies Lieutenant General (Ret.) Michael T. Fl

    Jan 09, 2017 | www.amazon.com
    .0 out of 5 stars By William Struse TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 17, 2016 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
    The Crossroads of Our Republic

    " Several times in its nearly 250 years of existence our Nation has been at a crossroads. Looking back on our War for Independence, the Civil War, and WWII we know the decisions made in those tumultuous times forever altered the destiny of our Republic.

    We are once again at one of those crossroads where the battle lines have been drawn, only this time in an asymmetrical war between western democracy and the radical Islamists and nation states who nurture them. In his timely book Field of Fight, Lt. General Michael T. Flynn provides a unique perspective on this war and what he believes are some of the steps necessary to meet this foe.

    Field of Fight begins as an autobiography in which the author gives you a sense of who he is as a man and a soldier. This background information then provides the reader with a better perspective through which to evaluate his analysis of the challenges we face as well as the course of action he believes we need to take to meet those challenges.

    The following are a few of the guidelines General Flynn proposes for developing a winning strategy in our war with radical Islam and other potential foes:

    1. Properly assess your environment and clearly define your enemy;
    2. Face reality – for politicians, this is never an easy thing to do;
    3. Understand the social context and fabric of the operational environment;
    4. Recognize who's in charge of the enemy's forces.

    In Field of Fight General Flynn makes the case that we are losing this war with radical Islam because our nation's leadership has failed to develop a winning strategy. Further he opines that our current leaders lack the clarity of vision and moral certitude that understands American democracy is a "better way", that not all forms of human government are equal, and that there are principled reasons worth fighting for - the very basic of those being, "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

    I'll admit I'm concerned about the future of our country. As a husband and a father of five I wonder about the world we leaving for our children to inherit. I fear we have lost our moral compass thus creating a vacuum in which human depravity as exemplified by today's radical Islamists thrives.

    Equally concerning to me is what happens when the pendulum swings the other way. Will we have the moral and principled leaders to check our indignation before it goes too far? When that heart rending atrocity which is sure to come finally pushes the American people to white hot wrath who will hold our own passions in check? In a nation where Judeo-Christian moral absolutes are an outdated notion what will keep us from becoming that which we most hate?

    As I stated at the start of this review, today we are at a crossroads. Once again our nation needs principled men and women in positions of leadership who understand the Field of Fight as described by General Flynn and have the wisdom and courage to navigate this battlefield.

    * * *

    In summary, although I don't agree with everything written in this book I found it to be an educational read which will provided me with much food for thought over the coming months. As a representative republic choosing good leadership requires that we as citizens understand the problems and challenges we face as a nation. Today radical Islam is one of those challenges and General Flynn's book Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies gives a much needed perspective on the subject. stars better, get it at your local library By Jim Lobe on January 3, 2017 Format: Hardcover | Verified Purchase The book is remarkably poorly written and even more poorly argued. The constant use of the pronoun "I" suggests that Flynn wrote it, although most of its main themes and much of the language are ones that Ledeen has repeated endlessly in books, blogs, and op-eds since 9/11 (and even before). In fact, it seems that Ledeen was the main author, and one is forced to wonder whether Flynn even gave the manuscript a thorough read-through before it was published. If he did read and approve it, and if he retains his position as Trump's national security adviser, then the country could be in for some serious foreign-policy incoherence. While Trump has claimed he's against "regime change," the book comes out strongly in favor. While Trump has said he opposes nation-building, the book says we need to completely reconstruct whole societies. ("It's not just a matter of changing local leaders; we want to change the whole system as we used to do.") And remember, Bolivia and Nicaragua are part of the "enemy alliance," along with Al Qaeda and ISIS, of which Iran is the "centerpiece." If you can't get enough of Islamophobia, Iranophobia, conspiracy thinking, and what Flynn's colleagues at the Defense Intelligence Agency used to call "Flynn facts" (multiple highly questionable assertions lack footnotes or any credible attribution), then buy this book or, better, get it at your local library. Otherwise, just google Ledeen and head for the fever swamps.

    out of 5 stars A Disappointment By Ed on December 28, 2016 Format: Hardcover | Verified Purchase Responding to terrorism is an important topic and I was looking forward to reading about potential strategic visions and tactical approaches that could be employed. This book disappointed. The first half of the book was a written account of how great the author is. He even made being a juvenile delinquent a plus! As a veteran I have encountered many officers who are "legends in their own minds". These pages do nothing to advance the subject of winning against terrorism.

    The next section is a series of rants about how weak and worthless politicians are. Few are spared, although Lincoln and FDR were ok. Colin Powell is also served up for criticism. General Powell is one of my heroes, a perfect example of the citizen soldier. Gen. Flynn is the opposite whose view is that the USA's elected representatives are holding the military back from winning the war on terror. I believe General Powell is correct.

    Politicians are only responsible to the people who elect them. Carter, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Obama are judged at the voting poles. This is how free people govern themselves. Criticism from subordinates is not useful, advice is. One is insubordination and the other is duty and loyalty. If you cannot support the elected leaders of the USA you should resign your commission, not wait to get fired.

    The final section of the book deals with the plan to defeat the radical Muslims. Gen Flynn is now our NSA to President-elect Trump. We'll get to see if Gen. Flynn can effectively advise President Trump. Will his "maverick" streak help or hinder his efforts? Will past insubordination reemerge when he does not get everything he proposes? Will he be able to convince Congress to take the "handcuffs" the military to win the War on Terror? Elected representatives will stay true to the wishes of the voters and be judged by them accordingly. As a loyal veteran and citizen, I wish nothing but the best for our country and that means wishing nothing but "HUGE" successes for our new president and his administration, including Gen. Flynn. 2.0 out of 5 stars simnplistic By juelanne dalzell on December 16, 2016 Format: Hardcover | Verified Purchase The book scared me silly. I got the impression that the author may be insane and believes everything his paranoia is telling him. What is scary is that some of the information appears accurate and that provides enough 'proof' for the author to make conclusions that aren't based in analytical reasoning. Due to its lack of depth or complexity the book is an easy read. 3.0 out of 5 stars Lacking on specifics, and disappointing over all By Adam M. Donaldson on August 7, 2016 Format: Kindle Edition | Verified Purchase I would give the book a 2.5 stars out of 5 but I'm limited to a three. I think the chapters describing the links etc. between various nation states and terrorist networks was very informative and the best part of the book. I did find the book extremely lacking though when it came to how to defeat the enemy he describes, which disappointed me because that's what this book as billed as. The strategies given were nothing more then basic overviews of things many other people have already said. So in that end it was even more disappointing. I also think he pays to much credit to using the word radical Islam as a strategy for defeating the enemy since in reality it would do nothing to hurt or help our cause. But that I think was a part of a mild paranoia that I found in the book. So in the end it's not bad, but it's no where near good. I would not recommend the book personally. A Valuable, But Slight, Work By A. T. Yoshida on July 27, 2016 Format: Kindle Edition | Verified Purchase There are good pieces here, but the book just doesn't ever quite gel. I can't help but think it was largely-written to further Gen. Flynn's Vice Presidential ambitions as much as anything else.

    The problem is two-fold. First, much of what is written here is already widely-known to those with a deep interest in the subject. In particular I think that there is a distinct lack of insight from the General's time at the DIA. In a sense I suppose that probably can't be helped - much of what went down is probably covered by NDAs - but it leaves us with a work whose basic contents may be found daily on any number of other forums.

    On the other side, for those without a a strong grounding in this area, the book lacks enough information about the origins and underpinnings of the Islamist war against us to be thoroughly informative.

    Still, I do concur in the recommendations contained within this book and hope that the General's talents will be utilized by the next administration.

    [Jan 09, 2017] Machiavelli on Modern Leadership Why Machiavelli's Iron Rules Are As Timely And Important Today As Five Centuries Ago Michael

    Notable quotes:
    "... Instead, Ledeen comes across as mildly senile, and disappointingly arrogant. This book, while being a peaen to Machiavelli, attempts to draw glorious parallels between Machiavelli and big egos in the American pantheon of not-so-profound men, like Bill Gates, just one of the "figurines" Ledeen holds aloft like a boy playing with a superman doll. ..."
    Jan 09, 2017 | www.amazon.com
    This staunch neocon believed (or at least publicly promoted for personal gain) the theory that that all terrorist groups were financed by the USSR. H also was one of the key participant n yellow case scam (due to his connections in Italy), among other nefarious things. On a positive side he is a good contract bridge player.
    stars By Daft Lundquist on August 28, 2006 Format: Paperback
    Another gem in Mike's crown of imperial psuedo-scholarship

    " Much has been hyped of the neocon propensity for Straussian deception and omission -- the kind supposedly justified by a transcendent moral calculus -- and the parallels between this imperative, its rationales, and Machiavelli's logic all bear a "family resemblance". Nevertheless, Mike Ledeen has rarely come across as diabolical, not even when covering a genius famous for his explication of the darker side of statecraft.

    Instead, Ledeen comes across as mildly senile, and disappointingly arrogant. This book, while being a peaen to Machiavelli, attempts to draw glorious parallels between Machiavelli and big egos in the American pantheon of not-so-profound men, like Bill Gates, just one of the "figurines" Ledeen holds aloft like a boy playing with a superman doll.

    In the section 'How to Rule,' on page 117, Ledeen writes "Since it is the highest good, the defense of the country is one of those extreme situations in which a leader is justified in commiting evil" -- the book is filled with passages like these, reminiscent of Strauss's maxim of "the noble lie", then interwoven with factual innacuracies (such as Ledeen's claim that Gates "invented" the Basic programming language).

    I remember the fiasco around another book Ledeen wrote back in the eighties, one that claimed to uncover a vast world-wide global conspiracy by the Soviet Union. In the book, Ledeen claimed to have evidence that every terrorist group around the world was actually controlled by the USSR: so Abu Nidal and the IRA both collected their paychecks from the same paymaster, etc. As it turned out, the book fooled everyone for a while, including William Casey and Ronald Reagan, until the CIA black ops guys who had been planting these stories in European publications since the sixties finally admitted that they created that myth as part of a black-propaganda campaign.

    This would have been funny if Ledeen had not been working in government at the time. Coincidentally, Ledeen was also working in Doug Feith's Office of Special plans -- the DoD project that fabricated Bush's case for war -- before we invaded Iraq in 2003. Whether intentional or accidental, this guy's innacuracies are just scary.

    Read this is you like to study these men, but avoid this book if your interest is in Machiavelli as a historical figure.

    [Jan 01, 2017] When Evil Is a Pretty Face Narcissistic Females the Pathological Relationship Agenda - Kindle edition by Zari Ballard. Healt

    Notable quotes:
    "... After reading Zari's book just once, i gradually felt that much needed shift - the chapter 'Tactics Of Emotional Warfare' details a list of characteristics of the Narcissistic personality ..."
    Jan 01, 2017 | www.amazon.com
    Todd L. Andrews on March 14, 2015

    This book is a desperately needed wake up call to NS men needing fluorescent illumination in the middle of "gaslight" and other

    " I really identified with the "role reversal" and truth that there are men that suffer under a female N's tactics. The severity and persistence of the female N is exposed brilliantly in this book.

    Having Zari identify the male as a victim of the narcissist is crucial to helping men break free of the craziness, while also helping men identify why they feel so stuck loving the woman they have committed their souls to.

    Also crucial, is the chapter that breaks out the difficulty of "no contact" when children are involved. While many N relationships share much in common, the male NS suffers under societies prescribed male strengths, and serves to undermine the ability of men to overcome being trapped.

    Society typically has the female's back, especially narcissistic women, as they are often the victims of stereotypical males (in real life and fictional portrayals).

    Kudos to the Author for helping unlock the chains of this forbidden subject. There are, not undeservedly, many explicatives used in this book. I believe the strong words are appropo representations of the years of suffering and pain inflicted by the narcissist on their supply.

    The author's insights will likely help release many NS men from their prison within.

    Jack on December 11, 2015 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
    Need to get off the crazy train? This is your first stop!

    " Guys, if your life is one gigantic roller coaster ride of being seduced, destroyed emotionally, and then kicked to the curb when you say anything, then this is the place to start. If you're looking at this review, then you know something in your relationship is slowly poisoning you to death. It is NOT you! Wanna know why? Get the book!!!

    Neal on December 2, 2016 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
    Worth The Read

    " If you have any questions about the patterns in your relationship this will help. More research on narcissism and manipulation will be needed, but it offers some good advice about seeing more clearly the issues that might lie hidden in the shade.

    Man_under_female_attack on April 15, 2015 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
    Men under pain by narc women deserved to get a book like this.

    " I was married to a narc women for several years, and we share a daughter. I thank Zari Ballard for this excellent account of how narc females move around in society, mostly unknown to other people, friends and relatives who judge them just as "weird" or "arrogant".

    In my case, I felt like a man who was for years playing on a stage and with a choreography designed by my ex wife.

    Now, thanks to books like this one, I can stand aside and *understand* what went on, and what is currently going on. As a victim, narcissism makes you crazy, the more you delve into it to understand it, the more you get tangled in the lies, distorted views of reality, crazy nonsense "dialogues", etc.

    I spent years married with a woman with whom I had no real dialogue, without noticing it.

    If you are a man in distress, and you feel some woman makes you feel miserable, please read this book to go deep into the causes of your pain. Thanks Zari for your book, thanks from the many men that suffer the pain inflicted by narcissistic women.

    1 Comment

    PF on December 5, 2016 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
    One of the best reads on Female Narcs out there

    " This was an amazing read and helped me far more than even therapy. Zari has helped males understand the Female Narc better than any of the myriad of books I have read on the subject.

    Maxie on May 17, 2015 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
    This is a must read if you've been on "Mr Toad's Wild Ride" with one of these psychopaths at the helm!

    " After being systematically brainwashed then discarded, I educated myself by reading everything I could get my hands on regarding Narcissism and Narcissist abuse, specifically male victims of these pathological parasites.

    I found the content of this book very insightful, helpful, and matter-of-fact.

    Zari does not claim to be a doctor, teacher, or therapist. However, she provides a great insight for surviving this painful ordeal with proven methods of healing from a former victim's prospective.

    Edward on June 22, 2015 Format: Paperback
    An exceptional survival book.

    " An extraordinary, concise, at times darkly humorous and sobering road map to help you on your way out of the long dark tunnel designed by the female Narcissist. I had suffered for over a year in this kind of 'relationship', and after the discard was left tortured by self doubt, depression, and confusion.

    After reading Zari's book just once, i gradually felt that much needed shift - the chapter 'Tactics Of Emotional Warfare' details a list of characteristics of the Narcissistic personality, which left me feeling as though i had been exorcised by a friendly priest, leaving me without a shadow of doubt that this was not something i had imagined, nor could have done anything about.

    By the second reading, (the very next day) that brick wall of denial slowly began to crumble, allowing the undeniable facts to speak for themselves, and sink in. It's easy to feel alone in times like these, perhaps your friends or family may not completely understand your pain, but Zari does - and I believe this book is the only friend you will need to guide you on your way back to sanity.

    1 Comment

    JMT on March 3, 2016 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
    Wow!!

    " Amazing read. I've lived with a female narc for years and reading this made me fees as if the writer was right there with me for MY story!

    It's amazing how traumatic these people are.

    Well written. I also really enjoyed another similar book "Surviving Sara" by Brian Morgan. Very similar story and I can't help but few the pain these men went through.

    [Dec 26, 2016] Testifying Under Oath How To Be An Effective Witness 41 Tips to Prepare you for Court James M. Vukelic 9781884244261 Amaz

    Dec 26, 2016 | www.amazon.com
    5.0 out of 5 stars By Marshall D. Tessnear on December 9, 2004 Format: Paperback
    An excellent book

    " I have just finished reading Stanley Brodsky's Coping With Cross Examination. I absorbed it like a sponge. Although most of the book is devoted to testimony by mental health experts in criminal court, there is much in the book that is very relevant in other contexts. I have rarely been asked or required to testify in criminal cases, but I have provided expert medical testimony at hundreds of Social Security disability appeals hearings, complete with judge and lawyer. In that role there is often conflicting evidence and the expert must integrate all of the relevant evidence, and most importantly be prepared, professional, impartial, and provide relevant understandable testimony. Dr Brodsky's book clearly speaks to those points. The book is full of good examples, good humor, and good reasoning. It is the kind of book that I am likely to consult again to help me in my work. I highly recommend this book to any mental health professional who may be asked to provide sworn testimony. I also recommend it to those who may not testify but who may be retained by lawyers for evaluations or consultations. Dr. Brodsky's ethics are superb. This book is a very practical and helpful guide to working with lawyers and judges.

    By A Customer on March 5, 2004 Format: Paperback
    A MUST --Makes the difficult areas of Cross-Examination easy

    " This is the third installment. In plain language, the author tackles many difficult cross-examination issues. The author uses easy to understand examples to illustrate complex litigation processes and skills that the expert witness must master before taking the stand. As a lawyer, I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in expert testimony. I give this book my highest rating. Also, check out the other two books on expert testimony by the author.

    By pierrerostov on October 2, 2011 Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
    spotty, try his first book first

    " I highly recommend his first book "Testifying in Court, Guidelines and Maxims for the Expert Witness." The later books are a bit self-indulgent, with tangential stories relating to psychology or life that have little practical value. Still, there are a fair number of nuggets. The problem is, many of the gems from the first book are not included, and so the treatment of cross-ex in this book is not comprehensive. Try his first book first (It's all about cross-examination too, even though the title is more general), then see what you think.

    By Amazon Customer on December 23, 2009 Format: Paperback
    Indispensable Guide for Experts In Court

    " This is one of a handful of books that any expert called on to testify should own. It is a well written, practical volume that will help professionals present testimony that is credible, compelling and ethical.

    [Dec 26, 2016] Stoicism A QuickStart Guide To Stoic Philosophy, Wisdom, Wealth, Happiness, and Fulfillment! - Kindle edition by Marcus Colema

    Dec 26, 2016 | www.amazon.com
    By Naila B McKenzie on November 11, 2016 Format: Kindle Edition
    I reflected on life after reading this

    " My thoughts after reading this book: we do not know what the future holds and we have to accept the fact that life is full of surprises whether bad or good, we have to face them. Life is short so we better make every moment count. We have to be steadfast, strong and in control of ourselves. And finally, we are often not satisfied with what life has to offer because we always let our emotions dominate us rather than seeing the logic behind every situation. I know it will take time for me to internalize all of these, but it makes sense to me now why most stoics lead a happier life than most of us.

    5 stars Excellent guide to stoicism! By Athea Howard on November 1, 2016 Format: Kindle Edition | Verified Purchase This is a very readable, easily understood book; a short guide to the philosophy of stoicism. The author gives a history of this philosophy, some good suggestions of practical uses of stoicism, and ends with how he personally practices stoicism. I have to conclude that stoicism has a great deal to contribute to a psychologically balanced, happy attitude. It makes us aware of how we often sabotage ourselves by negative or unrealistic thinking.

    [Dec 26, 2016] Amazon.com Stoicism Today Selected Writings (Volume 1) (9781502401922) Patrick Ussher Books

    Dec 26, 2016 | www.amazon.com
    By Karl Janssen on July 20, 2015 Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
    Applying ancient philosophy to modern life

    " Stoicism is an ancient school of philosophy founded in Athens in the 3rd century BC. It is a practical philosophy, intended as a guide for how to live one's life. The Stoics stressed that we have no control over what happens in our lives, only control over our perceptions. They advocated living one's life in accordance with nature (not "nature" as in grass and trees, but "nature" as in the order of the universe). By concentrating one's thoughts and choices on what is good and virtuous, and disregarding the "indifferent" distractions of everyday life, one can avoid negative emotions like fear, anger, grief, and frustration, and live a life of happiness and tranquility.

    In recent years, there has been a burgeoning resurgence in Stoicism, with modern writers producing manuals on how to apply Stoic principles to life in today's world, such as William B. Irvine's A Guide to the Good Life. Along similar lines, Stoicism Today is a blog published out of the University of Exeter in England, edited and largely written by a team of British philosophers. This 2014 book, edited by Patrick Ussher, is the first volume of writings reprinted from the blog. 36 articles are included in the collection, covering a mixed bag of Stoic-related topics.

    The collection starts out strong with essays summarizing and explaining the core concepts of Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, and Seneca. These ancient Roman writers are the most prominent Stoics whose teachings survive today. The 21st-century writers clarify the ancient Stoic precepts and discuss their applicability to modern life. Though the bloggers hold PhDs in philosophy and command a thorough understanding of their subject, they do a great job of expressing these complex concepts in language that is accessible to the general reader, without dumbing down the subject matter.

    While the first half of the book provides a good, broad education on Stoicism, the second half covers a diverse assortment of topics and perspectives. A section called "Life Stories" consists of accounts by people of various walks of life on how they use Stoicism in their daily lives and work, including a lawyer, a doctor, and a woman who suffered a traumatic brain injury. The most fascinating and inspiring story is that of Sam Sullivan, a quadriplegic who became mayor of Vancouver. Next is a section on how Stoicism can be applied to parenthood and the education of children. This is followed by a section on Stoicism and psychotherapy which will mostly appeal to psychiatric professionals, as it will likely be over the head of most general readers. Three articles deal with the concept of Stoic "mindfulness" and its relation or lack of relation to Buddhism. Finally, the book falls apart somewhat with its final section on Stoicism in popular culture. It includes an excerpt from a Stoicism-infused novel about prison inmates which is OK, but also a sample chapter from a horrible science fiction novel. The book's final selection is a pretty good examination of the portrayal of Stoicism in the Star Trek television series.

    This collection by its very nature is a hodgepodge, and the selections vary greatly in quality as well as subject matter. The core team of philosophers are good writers for the most part, but the ensemble cast of guest bloggers is hit and miss. Nevertheless, if you've read all the Stoic classics and are looking for further advice on how to put Stoicism into practice, you're bound to find something here that will interest you. Had A Calming Effect By Elizabeth Echavarria on March 24, 2016 Format: Kindle Edition | Verified Purchase After getting through some of the stories I was able to gain some perspective on what it means to be stoic and utilize some stoic principles in my own life.

    4.0 out of 5 stars STOICISM: Shift your values to what is truly good, beautiful and virtuous By Ernest Kienzle on December 27, 2014 Format: Paperback | Verified Purchase STOICISM TODAY is the Western counterpart to Buddhism. 2014, the year of the Stoic, heralds the awakening of a new golden age of practical, living philosophy led by Stoic physics, logic, and ethics. Actually, Stoicism was never asleep. Read articles in this book by modern philosophers, therapists, and professionals who reveal the link between ancient stoic techniques and modern challenges in the world we live in.

    [Dec 09, 2016] You Have the Right to Remain Innocent James Duane

    Notable quotes:
    "... Nobody of sound mind can dispute that there is something fundamentally wrong, and intrinsically corrupt, about a legal system that encourages police officers and prosecutors to do everything in their power to persuade you and your children (no matter how young or old) to "do the right thing" and talk-when they tell their own children the exact opposite. ..."
    Dec 09, 2016 | www.amazon.com

    Everywhere 1 go, 1 just about always make a point to ask how many people in attendance have a parent who is a police officer or a prosecutor-and of those attendees, what their parents have advised them about the Fifth Amendment. In almost every group, there is at least one student who tells me that his father is a state trooper, or that her mother is a prosecu- tor. Every time this happens, without exception, the student in question has told me basically the same thing: "Years ago, my parents explained to me that if I were ever approached by a law enforcement officer, I was to call them immediately, and they made sure that I would never agree to talk to the police." (Most of these young people also volunteered that their parents in law enforcement advised them to never allow an officer to search their apartment or car, but that is the subject for another book.) Not once have I met the child of a member of law enforcement who had been told anything different. Everyone who is privileged enough to know how the criminal justice system operates in America would never advise their loved ones to waive the right to remain silent in the face of a criminal investigation. We routinely see people in power, such police officers and government officials, pleading the fifth (like Lois Lerner, the former director of the Internal Revenue vice's Exempt Organizations unit, who asserted her Fifth

    Amendment privilege and refused to answer any questions when she was summoned before a congressional committee in 2013).' These are officials who have made a career out of talking people into waiving their right to remain silent, but when the questions are suddenly directed at them, they will not waive their own.

    You need to pause for a moment and let that sink in. It doesn't matter whether you are a liberal or conservative. I do not even care whether you are heartless enough to remain unconcerned about the fact that our legal system routinely convicts innocent people. Nobody of sound mind can dispute that there is something fundamentally wrong, and intrinsically corrupt, about a legal system that encourages police officers and prosecutors to do everything in their power to persuade you and your children (no matter how young or old) to "do the right thing" and talk-when they tell their own children the exact opposite. I intend to bring to an end, once and for all, that obscene double standard in the American criminal justice system that allows only the citizens who are in the know to protect themselves from a legal system that is designed to prey upon

    ... ... ...

    If a police officer encounters you in one of those moments, he or she has every right to ask you two simple questions. Memorize these two questions so you will not be tempted to answer any others:

    Who are you?

    What are you doing right here, right now?

    If you are ever approached by a police officer with those two questions, and your God-given common sense tells you that the officer is being reasonable in asking for an explana- tion, don't be a jerk. Even if you are angry and frustrated about being locked out of your house, try to see this from the police's point of view. They are only looking out for your best interests. Would you want them to ask those same questions of any other individual caught breaking in through one of your windows, or watching your family? Of course you would. If you have an innocent explanation for your presence at that time and in that place, tell the police about it. Tell them that it is your own house. Or tell them that you are in an empty courthouse in the middle of the night because you work there, and show diem your identification. They will appreciate your cooperation, and that will be the end of it. If you unreasonably refuse to answer those two questions, they might put you under arrest, and I would not blame them.

    ... ... ... ...

    No, the advice contained in this book-the same advice that police officers give their own children-is not based on any assumptions or suspicions about the overall morality of police officers. It is based on two simple but unavoidable facts about every police officer, including the most noble and virtu- ous. The only two problems I have with die police (although they are very big problems) are these: The first problem with the police is that they are only human. They cannot know everything. For instance, when confronted with opposing accounts of the same situation, they cannot know who is really telling them the truth. And because they are only human, police officers, just like all of us, do not like to be embarrassed by admitting that they made some sort of a mistake, especially if it concerns a matter so serious that it might lead to diem being sued. They do not even like to admit it to themselves. That is why police officers, like all humans, are subject to a powerful phenomenon that psychologists call confirmation bias. This means that after they have come to a conclusion, especially if it is a conclusion that they have publicly announced (for example, by arresting someone and accusing him of a serious crime), it is very difficult for them to admit that perhaps they have made a terrible mistake. It is much easier and more comfortable for them to convince them- selves that they did not make a mistake, and that their initial accusations were correct. Their memories will gladly cooperate in that effort. Even if they are not aware of how it is hap- pening, they might recall nonexistent details to coincide with and corroborate the story they have already begun persuading themselves to believe.

    Just like the rest of us, police are frustrated by important and difficult questions for which there are no discernable answers. And, just like us, they love the powerful psychological satisfaction that comes from convincing themselves that in fact the riddle lias been solved. When a terrible crime is committed, every human being with a heart desperately wants to believe that we can find the offender. And if there is only one suspect available to us, most of us are surprisingly good at convincing ourselves that maybe he or she really is the one to blame, and that perhaps the circumstantial evidence against him or her is fairly powerful after all.

    But the fact that police officers are "only human" is only one of the two problems. The other problem is that they are working within a legal system that is highly imperfect. That is not their fault, because they did not design the system. But as this hook will demonstrate, it is a broken svstcm that relies deception when they are interviewing criminal suspects. They receive sophisticated training at the police academy in methods of interrogation that arc remarkably successful in getting guilty people to make confessions and incriminating statements.4 You cannot blame them for using such methods-after all, we all agree that guilty people (at least the dangerous ones) ought to be caught and put behind bars-but the problem is that these methods of calculated deception are too effective. They do not merely work on the guilty. At least some of these methods, it turns out, have proven to be just as effective in getting innocent people to make incriminating statements, and sometimes even outright confessions.

    Do not think for a minute that you can trust a police officer who seems to be open minded and undecided about whether he will arrest you after you are finished with an "inter- view"-the police are trained to act that way, to get you to talk with them for many hours until you finally give up in exhaustion. "The most recent and comprehensive investigation, which took a careful look at 250 prisoners exonerated by DNA evidence, found that 16 percent of them made what's called a false confession: admitting their commission of a crime that they did not commit.5 Those are the cases in which the defendant actually confessed; in many more cases, the innocent suspect denied all guilt, sometimes for hours, but still gave the police a statement that was then used to help convict him.

    Aaron C. Brown TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE on September 20, 2016 Format: Paperback

    Shocking and persuasive, but light on practical advice

    This is an excellent short book if you are interested in all the ways answering questions from the police can destroy your life. The author makes clear that the most innocuous questions have led to wrongful convictions and life sentences (there are no examples of people actually executed as a result, but that's most likely because once someone is dead there is less effort to exonerate them).

    The book is loaded with stories of people convicted of murder and rape solely on the basis of innocent answers given in police questioning without a lawyer present, who were later proven innocent by DNA evidence or subsequent confession by the real perpetrator (no doubt this occurs with other crimes as well, but DNA evidence is less likely to overturn convictions in those cases). Some of these cases appear to involve police or prosecutor fraud, but most of them seem to be the operation of standard police training.

    Our criminal justice system would fall apart unless most guilty people confessed, or at least gave police enough information to prove a case. For that reason, police are carefully trained in tricks and pressures to get convictions, and these techniques can work on innocent people as well as guilty.

    Courts have given wide discretion to the police to lie and cheat, and to prosecutors to use assertions of Constitutional rights against defendants. Moreover people's natural instincts to help law enforcement, to be polite, to trust anyone acting friendly and to seek comfort in highly stressful situations are used against them. None of this is new, of course.

    The classic Jimmy Steward noir film Call Northside 777 is based closely on a real 1932 case in which the police arrested a man fingered by organized crime, moved him from station house to station house every two hours to keep him from his lawyer, questioned him continuously for 36 hours without sleep, and convicted him mainly on the basis to two extremely minor inconsistencies in his answers that had nothing to do with the crime (he said he was shelling walnuts at the time when his wife said he was pitting dates, he said a friend dropped by because he'd had a fight with his father, the friend said there was no particular reason). The three witnesses failed to identify him in a line-up, so the police falsified the arrest record to show that he had been arrested a day later, pressured one of the witnesses to identify him, and claimed that was the first line-up.

    Even with all these facts, the police, the mayor, the prosecutor and the governor of the state exerted enormous pressure on the reporters investigating twelve years later to drop the story. The system hates to admit it was wrong, even in the most obvious and egregious cases. Unfortunately, the book does little more than identify the issues and give the simple advice to say literally nothing except, "I want a lawyer."

    In one paragraph the author acknowledges that it's okay to answer police questions about who you are (although he doesn't say this, this is a legal requirement in about half the states, so failing to answer can get you arrested) and what you are doing at the moment; but to demand a lawyer before answering any questions about the past or anything else. This is fine advice for most guilty people, or people who believe they are suspected of serious crimes, but it doesn't cover all cases. For example, suppose you are walking down the street and a police officer stops you to ask if you saw a car driving north at high speed a block or two back.

    While it's possible that you're a suspect in a major crime and admitting you saw the car will be the crucial evidential link that convicts you, it's a lot more likely that the police are looking for a fleeing felon or a hit-and-run driver, and it's in the public interest, and your interest, to help them.

    For a trickier example, consider the situation described in the book American Justice? You've swerved your car to avoid a child running in the road, and hit a parked car. When the police arrive, the child says you tried to hit him. At this point, the police officers have a problem. If they laugh it off and you go mow down a few other pedestrians, they're in big trouble.

    But if they bring in an adult on a hard-to-believe charge on the basis of an accusation by a child, they can look pretty silly. The stakes are very high for you. If you are arrested, as the woman was in the real case, things will start stacking up against you, on top of the expense and humiliation of the arrest.

    All the neighbors will hear is that you've been arrested for trying to kill a child, they will immediately remember all kinds of strange or threatening things about you--it's human nature.

    The police will have to justify their decision, they will remember you "trembling with barely suppressed rage" and giving "evasive and inconsistent accounts." In the actual story, the child's father used the arrest as an excuse to institute civil commitment proceedings, and was successful in forcing a two-week confinement for evaluation; even though the doctors found nothing and criticized the judge for ordering the evaluation; a lot of damage was done. So what to do? If the child seems calm and credible, and you say nothing but "I want a lawyer," the police officers are likely to take it as an admission of guilt and start looking for ways to build the case against you.

    If you say, "That's silly, officer, the child ran suddenly into the street and I swerved to avoid him," you have a much better chance of avoiding arrest.

    But if you are arrested, that statement could prove problematic in your defense, and certainly cannot help you. I could also be misremembered as something like, "I can't be expected to avoid every silly child who runs into the street" (in this respect, body cams can be a great help to the innocent).

    Moreover it's going to lead to questions like, "Why do you think the child would accuse you," and "Have you ever been in accidents before," that are more dangerous.

    I think the author's perspective is distorted a bit by being a defense attorney. He only gets involved in these cases when someone is seriously suspected of a major crime or arrested.

    If you know you're going to be arrested, the less you say the better. But if answering questions keeps you out of jail, or keeps the police focused on building cases against others, you win and you may never hire an attorney. So read this book for the cautionary tales. It's well-written and shocking.

    If you plan to commit crimes, or if for some reason you expect to be suspected, the book has all the advice you need. But for most people it only tells you what not to do, it's not much help for deciding what to do.

    Braden Lynch on October 24, 2016 Format: MP3 CD Verified Purchase

    Fantastic insights that will make your blood boil

    One observation that cops and judges advise their own children to shut up and get a lawyer while expecting us citizens to do otherwise speaks volumes. The miscarriages of justice and the perversion of the justice system highlighted will make you never want to speak to a policeman ever again.

    There is no upside to interactions with law enforcement is the well supported theme. I know my behavior and deteriorating attitude towards LEOs has been cemented. I appreciate and respect them; I just do not want to be the object of their suspicion and I am super-law-abiding.

    Charles B. Jessee on October 5, 2016 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
    ''I want a lawyer.

    The summary conclusion, is that the only thing you need say to the police is "I want a lawyer." But yes, there is more to it than that. The 2008 Viral Video should be watched, as should the 2016 CATO Institute video promoting and discussing this book.

    The times, they are a changing. How you say what you are not going to say, is as important as not saying anything. Does that have you wondering? It should. Honest people at the right place, wrong place, right time, wrong time.

    What they say and don't say might mean the police just walk away with hardly a nod, or life in jail, if not death row. Got your attention yet?

    [Oct 20, 2015] How to spot a fake online review

    finance.yahoo.com

    Do you trust online reviews? Now that Amazon is suing more than 1,000 people who allegedly offered to write glowing product reviews for cash, you might reasonably be concerned.

    Turns out, deceptive reviews are commonplace online — and so are doubts about them. The research organization Mintel found that 57 percent of surveyed consumers are suspicious of companies or products that only have positive online reviews. And 49 percent believe companies probably give incentives for online reviews.

    Fortunately, there are a few good techniques that can help you tell truth from fiction.

    ___

    DON'T TRUST YOURSELF

    A team of researchers at Cornell University created a computer algorithm for detecting fake hotel reviews by analyzing the language used in legitimate and phony write-ups. The computer program, Review Skeptic, is accurate about 90 percent of the time, but humans alone performed poorly at determining the truth teller.

    "People are terrible," said professor Claire Cardie, who helped develop the system. "I was very surprised. We just cannot tell the difference much more than chance."
    ___

    LISTEN TO THE LANGUAGE

    Beware of extremes — overly enthusiastic or negative reviews are red flags. False reviews tend to use more extreme language to get their message across. So if someone says "It is the most comfortable bed ever," perhaps in all caps, take pause.

    Additionally, the Cornell researchers found that when it comes to hotels, fake reviewers tended not to talk about the spatial details — such as the floor or bathroom. Instead, they focused on the reason they were there, such as describing a recent fake vacation or business trip. In practice, this makes sense because someone who has never been to a location might have a tough time describing it accurately.

    ___

    JUNK THE JARGON

    On the flip side, beware of recommendations that read like product manuals. Reviews that repeat the full product name or model number may be an attempt to game the search engine system. And if they use excessive technical or marketing jargon, odds are they aren't providing a genuine review — most real people don't talk like that.

    ___

    REVIEW THE REVIEWER

    Check out the profile of the person providing the review, said Louis Ramirez, senior features writer with online deal site DealNews. If they only write reviews for a particular company, that's a huge warning sign they could have a vested interest in that business. Some sites let people upload pictures of the item they bought, which can help add credibility.

    Amazon verifies some of its reviewers, indicating they actually bought the product (although some of the people it's suing allegedly found ways around that). Some other sites only allow posts from people who've made a purchase there. Look closely on the site for their review policies.

    ___

    PAY ATTENTION TO DETAIL

    If you think about your own experiences with an unpleasant experience or product, you can probably explain exactly why it was bad. Ramirez suggests if you're unsure about a review, put more stock in someone who provides details of why they didn't like a product ("Oh, the battery only lasted four hours") that in someone who complains more generally ("I hated this laptop. It was horrible").

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