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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Is Western Leadership Required? More Social Systems, and More

From time to time you hear things about Western leadership being 'required'. Some of it sounds borderline authoritarian/dictatorial at times. I wanted to take a look further at this:
- examples of such quotes include "Instead, America should write the rules. America should call the shots. Other countries should play by the rules that America and our partners set, and not the other way around. That’s what the TPP gives us the power to do. That’s why my administration is working closely with leaders in Congress to secure bipartisan approval for our trade agreement, mindful that the longer we wait, the harder it will be to pass the TPP. The world has changed. The rules are changing with it. The United States, not countries like China, should write them. Let’s seize this opportunity, pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership and make sure America isn’t holding the bag, but holding the pen."; "ALL US mass media has been under the control of the CIA since 1975." From the Senate Inquiry Into Control of US Mass Media, Chairman, Senator Frank Church."; and so on. Mind you, it's possible that some of this was quoted out of context (or even completely made up) so I cross referenced with others sources
CrossTalk - Universal Justice
CrossTalk - Who Is Aggressive
- at the core of this is the fact that the West believe that they are somehow 'exceptional'. The issue for anyone who reads up a bit on this is that what are we getting ourselves into and are we better off under 'Western' leadership. For me, this is mostly about leadership for the sake of leadership and because we simply don't want the world being run by others
- scientists and politicians often say we base our inspiration on God's teachings but if you cross reference what values are being exported by Western society and what is actually written in the HOLY SCRIPTURES then things are basically running in the exact opposite direction. In a perverse sort of way, we have mechanisms for achieving what has been asked of us according to the Holy Scriptures. We've been asked to listen identify and listen to prophets (business analysts, investment bankers, politicians, etc... but as I stated previously the type of prophet outlined and revered in the 'Abrahamic' religions are radically different from what currently exists in society. Moreover, those prophets worked mainly for the benefit of society as a whole not to simply benefit themselves which seems to be the case now). The values being espoused don't even match up against that many of the world's major religions so the argument about the West being somehow ordained by God to run things doesn't even make sense. At times, it's almost as though we're looking for 'proof of God'. Most of the stuff online about political class 'bloodlines' seem to be conspiracy theories?
The Biggest Vatican Secret Revealed!
THE SECRETS OF THE ELITE - One Family ~ One Bloodline ~ One Rule
- I would gladly say that Western leadership is great but there are a few problems
- intelligence wise the West aren't generally at the top of the pile
- despite a lot of what you here in out there there is a huge amount of intellectual property coming from outside of the Western world
- yes, there are a lot of Western scientists who win major prizes but carefully go through the scientific discoveries and the scientists behind them and you'll realise a huge number of them are actually migrants from elsewhere. Go through scientific discoveries carefully and you'll discover that the US mainly commercialised things rather than came up with them first
- they say that we've had less war under Western leadership. Look at the timeline though and the frequency seems to be roughly similar no matter what time frame you look at
- military spending and efficency were possibly higher during the period of the Roman empire (though there higher casualties during actual battle obviously as well as a very different societal setup)
- life expectancy has increased over time but it's all the stats point to a clear correlation between income and life expectancy. With the gap between rich and poor increasing this means more people will die needlessly because wealth is being unevenly distributed (check Gini coefficient over time. Roman empire and now. Things are similar or getting worse)
- homelessness, actual numbers are rather low in Ancient Rome. If the Roman empire had of expanded to encompass the globe would they have been more succesful (or not) than we have been?
America - The Modern equivalent to the Ancient Roman Empire? Where do the poor and homeless
- the West tries to portray itself as the good buys but with the number of whistleblowers, coverups/WikiLeaks, and contradictions in public media (no leaks required. It's just the same officials in high positions contradicting themselves and often making no sense. Guessing further questions could lead to awkward answers?). Fundamentally, people have been changed? What used to infuriate people has changed or have governments become better at covering things up
Hypocrisy exposed - Victoria Nuland gets owned by Matt Lee in 2012
Victoria Nuland's Admits Washington Has Spent $5 Billion to 'Subvert Ukraine'
Listen - Victoria Nuland Says F_CK The E.U. in Leaked Phone Call
- in spite of a so called global set of values and rules based order, USSR and West have been amongst the top with regards to use of veto powers. Israel most in trouble with UNHCR. Lot of behind the scenes deals by many countries
Veto power at the UN Security Council
- our current financial system created in the aftermath of WWII. You need to understand how the system works to understand why there are those who perceive it to be biased. It's a bit similar to structure of the United Nations. Voting rights and vetoes
The Bretton Woods System in five minutes - the University of Shed makes economics fun
The Bretton Woods System-1HALhfYoIQA
Bretton Woods Then and Now
'Growth Is Better than Austerity - The Origins of Bretton Woods'
What is United Nations and What Does it Do - Mini Documentary
- if you're honest with yourself most of the social systems we've come up with have ended up being self-serving and self-corrupting. There is no way that Western economies are fair and free in the way that you want them and neither have the so called socialist nevadas in many other places. That means that any attempt to setup a new social system that does not rely on exploitation will enevitably come under attack. Fundamentally, this means that a country (or any group of countries) attempting such an experiment would need to erect an (actual or soft/psychological) wall. Hence, whether the North Korean, Iranian, and other regimes are corrupt or not they don't really have a choice. The problem is that you never get the benefits of the outside world. This is changing though especially with regards to technology where more and more of it is becoming software based. I imagine that the Chinese model of replication would be most efficient with regards to employment. For example, in the rest of the world there is Facebook. It's all consuming. However, most of the jobs are based in the US. If the rest of the world were to follow the Chinese model, they could retain sovereignty over data, increase the job ratio, maintain regulation, etc... while not missing out on the benefits of globalisation
Luther and the Protestant Reformation - Crash Course World History #218
Conflict in Israel and Palestine - Crash Course World History 223
The Disgraceful History of Modern Economics 'Prices, Demand & Markets'
- given all of this, the obvious question is have we progressed because of Western leadership or would it not have mattered?
- the West has basically had complete control over the world economy since the end of WWII. It's clear that they've led us down a pathway to possible doom. If China can peacefully rise and come up with a better model for society we should help them. If not, I don't understand why we're not being more forceful (globalisation is making things more complex?)? I think it's obvious that our economic and social systems are reaching their terminal limit? Something needs to be done not just to patch them up but to fix them permanently. It no longer matters who you vote for. To a certain extent we're victims to a system that we created
- the obvious question is if the public knew of other alternatives would they vote for them. As we've seen in Europe, US, and elsewhere people have become more and more divided over which way we should head. If we gave each political party an equal amount of money, air time, and told all of them to all go for it who would people vote for?
- after a while it becomes obvious why North Korea, USSR, Iran erected walls around them. Fundamentally, incompatible and capitalism is fundamentally imperialistic by nature. It requires suppression (though communist/socialist implementations have not resulted in much greater success either). This means it means that they need to be self sustaining to a certain extent and require massive militaries. One of the things that has been said of the United States is that since they had vast natural resources they didn't have to really rely on others and because of that they have been able to relatively strong economic growth. Huge tranches of the Earth are basically useless for habitation. Ironically, there's been a lot of work into recycling human waste which can be used to turn useless areas into habitable areas. Biospheres can be built and we can mimic the workings of the Earth within these biospheres to make previously useless areas of land into habitale ones. In the context of areas of extreme temperature I wonder whether or not we should be building downwards to use the natural insulating nature of the ground to reduce energy requirements?
Crossing the Line, a British documentary
- core issue of any social system is how to distribute wealth. In communism/socialism they basically allocate top down. Chinese, Cuban version is hybrid. Imposes limits on businesses to ensure that people get better spread of opportunties/wealth. Still allows for innovation. Opposite really in capitalism, in which the more money you make the easier it seems to be towards tht top? Crowdsourcing is easiest mechanism to reduce boom/busts by matching up demand/supply? Takes finance sector out of equation though?
- people within such a system need to be able to see through flaws in their local and other social systems. The importance of this is critical. For instance, in capitalism we say that good work and productivity is rewarded but in most cases it isn't. Think about this carefully. Put a Huawei phone and an Apple phone next to one another. Both are identical in specifications, looks, and functionality. Which one do most people choose or want. The Apple in spite of the Huaweis' lower cost. The reason why people get frustrated with capitalism is precisely the exact same reason why people got frustrated in the USSR. The relationship between talent and hard work and renumeration is not directly proportional. Most of the time it's based on your ability to convince others of your value to them. Nearly everyone believes in meritocracy. The realtionship between hard work and talent is basically becoming detached though
- wonder whether entertainment culture is self-defeating at times. Some people just can't help themselves. Wondering whether filters of some sort can be used to keep people entertained but not get them addicated (think about previous Mind Control/PSYOPS experiments). Allows for continued productivity while allowing for entertainment
- only genuine way to snap yourself out of local (or other) PSYOPS/propaganda is to get out into the real world. Most average people out there aren't that much different from yourself. It's just that there are those at the pointy of end of things who need to (or just do) some crazy things
- global inflation data gradually stabilising over time
- growth figures and massive levels of debt make genuine guage of wealth difficult to figure out

Some social/economic system stuff:
- live in era of crises. Environment, finance, etc... Crisis occurred because we followed advice of neo-classicists. Classic issue of the people causing the problem having to fix it themselves. Neo-classicists genuinely believe they're doing something better for society in spite of major contradictions in theory (individual vs collective). Neo-classical theory basically wrong? A bit like Quantum Mechanics though Ptolemy though. We're trying to make the world fit a theory rather than finding a theory that models/fits the world. Neo-classicists don't know own theory. Economics don't translate information properly from original papers to textbooks. Refer to originals. DGSE Vs ISLM for macro theory at IMF. DGSE deeply flawed. Robert Solo growth model rejecting DGSE a theory which he basically gave birth to. Macro and micro economics inherently different in spite of what some economists say. Reminds me of General Relatively vs Quantum Mechanics problem in physics. Foundations of economics shaky. Neo-classicals ignoring debt in context of economics. Correlation of 0.96 between debt and unemployment. Acceleration in debt and unemployment correlation of 0.79. Similar in asset prices and growth.
Monetary Minsky Model by using matrix of flow rates of inflows and outflows
Prof. Steve Keen still butchering basic microeconomics 'Debunking Economics'
- around in the 50's debt is the problem which causes growth problem. Greater imperialism is self defeating paradox. Increasingly worse financial problems boom/bust cycles along with increasingly risky financial instruments
Crash Course on Hyman Minsky, L. Randall Wray
What is Wrong with Modern Economics
- pension funds in trouble because of 0% interest rates and because markets are very strange now. If you understand all of the problems with the modern economy you'll understand that it's almost like we want a Global Financial Apocalypse to occur. trueeconomics.com. More evidence of our current financial situation being dire and modern economics being complete gibberish. Obvious shale is just a mechanism to keep a cap on global oil prices. Obvious that some countries may be using proxies/agents in order to de-stablise oil producing countries to drive prices back up. Oligarchy in place. Those who don't fall into line are marginalised, kicked off grid, or killed. Coming with hilarious gimmicks to be honest for a bankrupt economic system. karmabanque.com, strategic boycotts to reduce market capitalisation of companies. Use leverage against companies
Keiser Report - Pensions Going Bankrupt (E919)
Keiser Report - Rip Up Money, Get More  PROFIT! (E741)
Keiser Report - Right Price for Surrender (E920)
The Power of the Boycott - Max Keiser on Economics 101
- people around Obama and Bush similar. Basically hyper-Keynesianism. Could lead to death of US dollar and empire. lewrockwell.com
Obamanomics - Lew Rockwell on Economics 101
- MMT just a random theory just like Hedging. When you get down to it MMT theorists are on shaky ground. They believe that the basis for economics is based mainly on psychology. They also limit their conversation to a limited number of variables. They either know about and don't want to talk about it because it would result in a crisis in confidence and a another financial meltdown or they simply don't know about it. Either way it's worrying because if you've seen the growth rates stagnating over decades (this allows you to rule out seasonal issues and get you a true guage of systemic flaws) you know that this is a house of cards that will eventually fall. Think just a tiny little bit. If you're stimulus (extra debt) doesn't allow you to grow out of your predicament then your economy will deflate (unless you fiddle around with figures) and your debt pile will grow
We won!! Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) got everything right...EVERYTHING!!
What is Modern Monetary Theory
The 'Angry Birds' Approach to Understanding Deficits in the Modern Economy
Economics 'like astrology' - John Weeks explains the myths underpinning all modern economics
- over and over again people say that certain things are required in order to live in a globalised, capitalism based world. For instance, reduced workers rights with regards to hiring and firing. What if the business were quicker to adapt to world needs. You wouldn't need to let people go? People complain about loss of family life and so on but what if we have global standards with regards to work hours. It would force companies to open overseas if they wanted further business. All this is easier said then done though. Real world vs actual world
- if you're simply looking for the highest paying jobs with the most available opportunities you're looking at managerial jobs in general
- more advanced economies tend to have lower employment/labour participation rates (greater automation Marx criticism. Wonder if future possible future of the world will revolved around massive financial sector where people are taking bets over and over again?). One thing that confuses me about neo-liberal thinking is why it is necessary to have a small government. Think carefully this, what's the difference between public and private inefficiency? To me, it's none. In fact, if the government is paying you an income (either way) most people would be better off because they don't have to take on the risk of potentially massive business loans. Anyone who has started or run a business or gone after startup capital knows how difficult this is
- becomes obvious that we have enough data to stop busts. It's just that governments want to keep boom cycle running as long as possible because they don't know where else to get growth?
Some random stuff:
- with the advent of 'easier to use' software things are becoming buried deeper and deeper
    In the Iceweasel browser URL address bar type ‘about:config‘ and hit Enter
    Click I’ll be careful, I promise!
    Scroll down to permissions.default.image then double click its line
    Change the integer value to ‘2‘

- if you've ever been interested in mobile platform or cross-platform development you would have come across Unity
Corona SDK for 2D development

- interesting to see what some of the security services do

- interesting information about happened and is happening now

- another possible version of stealth technology would be laying a stealth cloud over an area from where to launch attacks from. For example, the ionosphere clearly creates problems for communications and RADAR. If you can create localised ionosphere like gas clouds can you obtain stealth on the cheap (use conventional aircraft without a requirement for RAM coatings, layers, etc...). Could potentially cause trouble for missile interception systems as well though?
- feels like practically everything is weaponised at times. Sometimes, it feels like we're literally in a engaged in a permanent, secret conflict/war?

- after you find out further about Panda's you figure out they like bamboo basically because it tastes good (in spite of it not being too great nutritionally for them. Similar to Koalas which would probably healthier if they ate other things apart from gum tree leaves). Wonder we should genetically modify their food?

Some quotes in the recent media:
- In his book “A Theory of the Drone,” the French philosopher Grégoire Chamayou explained that what Pentagon officials call “pattern of life analysis” is often used to “target individuals whose identity remains unknown but whose behavior suggests, signals, or signs membership in a ‘terrorist organization.’ ”

L’Espresso reports that Italy’s Air Force has been flying surveillance drones since 2004, logging more than 24,000 hours of flights over Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, the Mediterranean and the Horn of Africa. Last month, the State Department gave final approval for Italy to add armed Reaper drones to its arsenal.

While studying images of daily life in areas controlled by Islamic State militants, looking for targets, the Italian drone pilots have also witnessed what they see as signs of subtle resistance. That includes children playing games of soccer, which has reportedly been banned in some parts of the self-described caliphate as a “diversion from jihad.”
- EDITOR’S NOTE: This upgrade -- which is not a minor one, as it will require a full year to implement -- was awarded the day after Northrop delivered the center fuselage for the first Japanese F-35.
This shows that, even before they come off the assembly line at Fort Worth, even the most recent F-35s require substantial upgrades, at a cost of over $5 million per aircraft.
It is surprising that, 14 years into the program, Lockheed still cannot make aircraft come off the assembly line in a satisfactory condition.
- The Air Force is also taking other steps to help alleviate stress on the drone force.
1) Approximately double the number of RPA flying squadrons.
2) Create a new wing to normalize organizational and command and control structures relative to other weapon systems.
3) Standardize the squadron, group and wing structure.
4) Assign RPA units in new locations to potentially include overseas locations.
5) Decrease the heavy burden of persistent in garrison combat operations by increasing RPA manning and associated resources by 2,500-3,000 Airmen.
6) Define career tracks for officer and enlisted RPA operators and maintainers.
7) Study the promotion and professional military education selection rates for RPA officers.
8) Study the feasibility of a single specialty code for RPA maintenance personnel.
9) Streamline processes to better enable Reserve Component forces to support the mission.
- Let’s get some long-range weaponry out there—pronto. No, the DDG-1000 isn’t a stealth battleship. But it should be. And—suitably armed—it could be.
- Grapheme, an extremely thin sheet of carbon with extraordinary properties, has attracted great interest among researchers in recent years.

It is about 207 times stronger than steel by weight and able to conduct heat and electricity with very high efficiency.

However, the new material was able to support something that was 40,000 times its own weight without bending, said the report in the latest issue of the journal, Advanced Materials.

One piece of the graphene foam withstood the impact of a blow that had a force of more than 14,500 pounds per square inch – almost as much pressure as is experienced at the deepest depth of the world’s ocean – about 10.9km – known as Challenger Deep, in the Mariana Trench, off the coast of the US island of Guam.

The Shanghai research team said their newly created material could withstand more external shocks than other previously reported graphene materials.

It could also be squashed to just 5 per cent of its original size and still return to its original shape, and remained intact after the process was repeated 1,000 times.

The properties of the new material meant one possible use could be as cushion under the surface of bulletproof vests and on the outside of tanks to absorb the shocks from incoming projectiles, the study said.
- For real military application, graphene is very thin and nearly transparent pure carbon one atom thick. It is remarkably strong for its very low weight, more than 100 times stronger than steel. This makes it the best materials for aircrafts and spacecrafts.

However, there is drawback: It is forbiddenly expensive, 15 times more expensive than gold.

Zhu’s invention now will enable popularization of the use of graphene in making lots of science-fiction products

Zhu said that he adopted the method of chemical vapour deposition of methane on a copper sheet to make graphene. It is a method tried by lots of others without success. Zhu has succeeded due to the precision of his equipment and the fine control of the process. He has been applying for patent of his invention.
- I paraphrase his case as follows: in the Middle East, the choice that Western governments are invited to make is between stability and justice. If you choose stability, then you must deal with dictators and reinforce their grip on power, regardless of how they treat their people. This, in essence, was the West's policy during the Cold War - and it remains Vladimir Putin’s view today. If, on the other hand, you choose justice then you must side with the crowds who try to throw off their repressive rulers, even if this triggers the collapse of order.
Blair once believed that justice must always come before stability. But after the experience of Iraq and Afghanistan, he has now changed his mind. He still believes that Putin is wrong because unpopular dictators will eventually be overthrown in any event. As he told the committee: “However much we may want to deal with these people, the populations of the countries are not going to put up with it."
But Blair now accepts that removing dictators through revolutionary upheaval - or, implicitly, by Western intervention - is too risky. “If you can get evolutionary change, then get it,” he told the committee. “Evolution is better than revolution.” If he has drawn any lessons from Iraq and Afghanistan, then this is it.
- Security does not exist today for anyone. There are nine states which possess nuclear weapons. One of them, the United States, dropped two bombs which killed hundreds of thousands of people in just three days, and caused physical and psychological harm to millions of defenseless people.

The People’s Republic of China and Russia know the world’s problems much better than the United States, because they were obliged to endure the terrible wars imposed on them by fascism’s blind egoism. I do not doubt that, given their historical traditions and their own revolutionary experience, they will make the greatest effort to avoid a war and contribute to the peaceful development of Venezuela, Latin America, Asia and Africa.
- The world situation changed and deterrence became less important when the Soviet Union collapsed. No longer did we face an Evil Empire whose destructive might matched our own and whose aggressive tendencies needed to be deterred because the cost of conflict would be so unacceptably high. Instead, in the first Gulf War allied forces readily won a conflict where the ground campaign lasted all of one hundred hours and involved minimal losses. Who needs to deter that sort of war? It is probably easier to just fight and win it than to go through the effort to prevent it.
It is time for military leaders, strategists and students to put deterrence back into our vocabulary. We must dedicate ourselves to preventing wars, not just fighting them. This is not about embracing pacifism. It is about pursuing the “supreme military excellence” that Sun Tzu wrote about. We need to look at how we might organize, train and equip ourselves to not fight, to play the only winning move in this strange game and to re-embrace the old SAC motto, once again proclaiming that while we wear our nation’s uniforms and serve as its warriors, peace truly is our profession.
- Yesterday, while Sydney's suburbs were littered with people downing a greasy fry-up or "hair of the dog" in the hope of feeling human again, others were forking out between $140-$200 on a treatment package that pumps saline, sodium, minerals, vitamins, oxygen and anti-nausea medication through their blood.

But the practice has been slammed by heath experts. "This encourages people to use alcohol in an entirely inappropriate way and it's something the government should look at very, very carefully," said Michael Moore who is chief executive of the Public Health Association of Australia.

"After all the hard work that has been done to reduce the harm associated with alcohol ... this is ridiculous."
- Guo is just the latest in a long list of suspended or “disappeared” Chinese bankers and finance heads, after President Xi Jinping’s sweeping anti-graft campaign spread to the financial sector this year. Since China’s stock market crash that vaporized nearly $5 trillion between June and August, China’s authorities have been ruthlessly looking for culprits guilty of insider trading, rumor-spreading, and what they called “malicious” short-selling.
- Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu warned Friday that “about 200 US nuclear bombs are currently deployed in Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany and Turkey.”

Russia does not look favorably upon the deployment of nuclear weapons in NATO states near its borders. Russian President Vladimir Putin said in June that if NATO threatens Russia, Moscow will respond to the threat accordingly.

“When we look at this whole [issue of] Vladimir Putin’s Russia and NATO, the United States has broken a series of explicit promises to Russia… that the United States would not move American and NATO military assets closer to Russian borders,” Mark Dankof said in an interview with Press TV. “We have broken that promise.”

“We promised that we would not recruit former Eastern Bloc countries to join NATO, we have broken that promise,” he continued.

“And then of course, we have proceeded in what we have been doing against Russian interests in Ukraine, where we supported the illegal coup d'etat there in February 2014,” Dankof noted.

“And of course, what the United States has been doing in conjunction with Israel and Saudi Arabia and Turkey and the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council states in supporting ISIL and supporting al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria in an attempt, among other things, to marginalize the Russian position in that part of the world, we have really been pushing the envelope,” he said.

The analyst said that “these policies are wrong, they’re evil, and they’re immoral. But beyond that, they are simply insane.”
- “There is an element of demonstrating capability in order to gain strategic leverage more widely,” said Brig Barry. “If they want to deter what they consider to be adventurism from an irresponsible Nato, then it helps to show they’ve got the capability to fire cruise missiles from both surface warships and submarines.”

Ordinary Russians, who are enduring the pain of economic crisis even as military spending rises, are also part of the intended audience. “This helps to justify to the Russian public the sort of resources that have been put into military modernisation,” added Brig Barry.
- According to the military hardware analysts at BGA-Aeroweb, each F-35A aircraft carries a $129 million "flyaway" price. The F-35Bs destined for the Royal Navy cost a whopping $183 million each.

Thus, the very least that Britain's commitment means to Lockheed is $13.2 billion in revenues from the B's and an additional $8.5 billion from the A's -- or more than $21.7 billion in total revenue. Even at the F-35's subpar operating profit margin of just 7%, that's a good $1.5 billion worth of profits that Lockheed can now count on earning -- nearly $5 per share.
- "We used diesel engines, but sterling engines and the AIP system means we don't need much air from outside to move the engines to generate electricity," he said.

The Hull is the key to the Soryu's strength and its ability to drive deep. It is made with special steel and the Japanese say that through precision engineering they have come as close as possible to what submariners call the perfect circle.

The sub also has a secret X configuration rudder design that gives it extra stability

Master chief petty officer Katsuyuki Matsui from SS Kokuryu said he was proud to be a part of it because "its full of world-class technology and it's essential to Japan's national defence".
-  Russia is battening down the hatches for a Biblical collapse in oil revenues, warning that crude prices could stay as low as $40 a barrel for another seven years.

Maxim Oreshkin, the deputy finance minister, said the country is drawing up plans based on a price band fluctuating between $40 to $60 as far out as 2022, a scenario that would have devastating implications for Opec.

It would also spell disaster for the North Sea producers, Brazil’s off-shore projects, and heavily indebted Western producers. “We will live in a different reality,” he told a breakfast forum hosted by Russian newspaper Vedomosti.

The cold blast from Moscow came as US crude plunged to $35.56, pummelled by continuing fall-out from the acrimonious Organisaton of Petrol Exporting Countries meeting last week. Record short positions by hedge funds have amplified the effect.
- Over two months, McCain has listened to and voiced many criticisms on the DoD: The acquisitions system wastes billions of dollars and struggles to incorporate advanced commercial technologies. Its “archaic military personnel system” is “losing and misusing talent.” The military health care system needs to be streamlined. DoD’s overhead elements, “especially its contracted workforce, have exploded,” yielding a “tooth-to-tail ratio” that is “below the global average.”
Italy already has a strong culture of wiretapping stemming from the country’s long battle against organized crime and Italian police are now proving adept at tracking the online postings of fundamentalists.

Italian Justice Minister Andrea Orlando spelled out the country’s focus on surveillance when he told police chiefs on Nov. 26 to figure out how to eavesdrop on young fundamentalists.

“Once news was swapped by telephone only, but today we must get better at wiretapping online communications, meaning through PlayStation as well as chatting with programs, including music downloads,” he said.
- After 16 years of radical left-wing rule, Venezuelan politics is changing. The opposition has won a two-thirds majority in congress, and after his very narrow win in 2013, president Nicolás Maduro, who would otherwise stay in power until 2018, could now face a recall referendum. Whether he retains his grip on power, leaves peacefully or struggles with the opposition could determine the fate of Latin America’s largest oil sector.

With shortages of food and even toilet paper, an epidemic of violent crime, inflation at more than 100 per cent and the economy shrinking by 10 per cent this year, the Bolívarian Republic is paying the price for years of mismanagement, rampant corruption and now tumbling oil prices. Even if Mr Maduro hangs on, the opposition’s super-majority will allow them to replace judges and election officials, and perhaps pressure the ruling party for better policies.
- WASHINGTON — The top US Army commander in Europe said the service will work to establish most of its maintenance sites for equipment caches — built up to respond to Russia’s continuing incursion into Ukraine — by the end of next year.

Maintenance sites for what the Army is calling European Activity Sets in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria will be completed by the end of 2016, ideally by September, Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, commander of US Army Europe, said Wednesday at the Pentagon.
- In September 2013, Turkey selected China Precision Machinery Import Export Corp. (CPMIEC) to build the country’s first long-range air and anti-missile defense system. The Chinese company offered a $3.44 billion solution.

The firm defeated a US partnership of Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, offering the Patriot air defense system; Russia’s Rosoboronexport, marketing the S-300; and Italian-French consortium Eurosam, maker of the Aster 30.

Under strong pressure from NATO allies who said that a Chinese system could not be made interoperable with NATO assets on Turkish soil, Turkey opened parallel talks with the US and European contenders.

The Ankara government Nov. 13 scrapped the competition and tasked two local companies to build an indigenous system instead.

Military electronics specialist Aselsan, Turkey’s biggest defense company, and missile maker Roketsan, both state-controlled, will develop the system. But there are concerns the work may take too long.
- GÖTTINGEN, Germany — The German Defense Ministry is assuming the leadership role for development of a European drone, the so-called Medium Altitude Long Endurance Remotely Piloted aircraft system or MALE RPAS. In a statement, the ministry also announced that Spain will participate as an equal fourth partner in the project.

According to the ministry, Germany will take over 31 percent, or €18.6 million (US $20.3 million) of the cost of the definition study. France, Italy and Spain each will contribute €13.8 million to the study.
- Lee said there are less dramatic reasons to establish additional bases, such as to improve search-and-rescue capabilities in the event of downed aircraft — a concern that drove US military thinking in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the Marine.

“If they are conducting operations down there, and they want to have the combat search-and-rescue capability, you want to be closer to wherever the planes are operating rather than not because the farther away you are, the slower your response time is, and one of the big things for us in Iraq and Afghanistan was the concept of the golden hour," Lee said.

While there have been reports that up to 5,000 Russian personnel are now in Syria, and that Russian T-90 tanks have been seen outside of their base in Syria, analysts continue to discount the possibility of a true Russian ground operation.

“At most, [these additions] reflect a recognition that there is going to be no quick resolution,” Galeotti said. “I don't think there is any indication of any change to Russia's endgame, which is some kind of process allowing not so much Assad but the bulk of the Alawite regime to survive, and with it Moscow's influence in the region.”
- Buchanan said, “if I were in ISIS, what I would do is I would say, look at the two characters [who] commanded the entire media of the United States and still do for a week, do one or two more of these things, they would up one of their sleeper cells, get this done, and we can elect and — nominate and elect Donald Trump, and the great war with Islam is on.”

He later added, “You send American troops over there into Syria, but ISIS, [is saying] please send 10,000 Americans into Raqqa. They’re begging for the great war with the Americans. Why would you comply with them?”
- NEW DELHI — US cooperation in engine technology was a top issue for Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar when he met US Defense Secretary Ash Carter Wednesday and Thursday in Washington, said an Indian Defence Ministry source.

India needs engine technology for its proposed homegrown advanced medium combat aircraft (AMCA), which is still on the drawing board. Availability of a higher thrust advanced engine would kick-start the AMCA program, under which India proposes to build medium combat aircraft similar to the Rafale, which it is buying from France, said a senior scientist of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), which is developing AMCA.

Another priority is cooperation on development of an electro-magnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS) for the proposed Indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vishal, the MoD source added.
- Yatseniuk was defending his embattled government's record when lawmaker Oleh Barna walked over to him, presenting him sarcastically with a bunch of red roses. Barna then grabbed him around the waist and groin, lifting him off his feet and dragging him from the rostrum.

Members from Yatseniuk's People Front party waded in, pushing Barna and throwing punches. Lawmakers from Poroshenko's bloc joined the fray and an angry brawl ensued for several minutes before deputies returned to their seats.

The incident exposed deep divisions in the pro-Europe coalition that have fueled speculation the government could fall even as Ukraine's Western backers warn that time is running out for Kiev to make good on its promises to root out endemic corruption and cronyism.

Yatseniuk is, like Poroshenko, a pivotal player in the pro-Western leadership that emerged after the downfall of the Moscow-backed Viktor Yanukovich in February 2014. But support for him has fallen dramatically in the past year.
- No less a figure than Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work has said bluntly that EW and cyber held more promise for missile defense than the traditional method of shooting down one missile with another. “It doesn’t have to be a kinetic solution,” Work said in March. “Hell, I don’t really want a kinetic solution. It’s got to be something else.”

So that’s the promise — but when I’ve tried to get any specifics, I get polite demurrals that the topic is too classified to talk about. But it’s not just reporters who have this problem. People in the military who really need to know about these capabilities, as a matter of potential life and death, aren’t always allowed to learn about them either.

“We need to have enough people who understand what each of them is [and] a way to use them when the time comes,” said Rear Adm. Archer Macy, retired director of the Joint Integrated Air and Missile Defense Organization (JIAMDO). “The fact that only very few people know what [some of these capabilities] are make that very difficult.”
- Early in 2015, a curious and disturbing report surfaced briefly and then disappeared—almost without a trace. The report, apparently published and then quickly retracted, had been posted by the French Ministry of Defense and concerned the successful operations of the French nuclear submarine Safir in an exercise pitting it against the U.S. Navy’s Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier battle group. The somewhat shocking content of the report—that the French submarine had succeeded in sinking “half the battle group” during the exercise—may explain its rapid purging from the internet.  After all, close brothers in arms may demonstrate their tactical and operational prowess in a naval drill, but they should not gloat about that, and especially not in public, right?

The revelation that a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier group could be so vulnerable to a nuclear submarine did not make the mainstream media, and no mention was made by the many attentive defense analysts on this site, so it seems. However, the Chinese defense media does not miss much, especially concerning the capabilities of U.S. Navy carrier groups. In fact, a special issue of 兵工科技 [Ordnance Industry Science and Technology] (2015, no. 8) covered this “event,” featuring an interview with Chinese Submarine Academy professor 迟国仓 [Chi Guocang] as its cover story under the title: “A Single Nuclear Submarine ‘Sinks’ Half of an Aircraft Carrier Battle Group.”  
- The author did not mention that the US and France, both NATO members, regularly conducted joint ASW exercises during the cold war, so the French may have a bit of USN ASW tactics to work on. Even during the 1981 NATO exercise "Ocean Venture," a Canadian sub reportedly "sunk" not one, but two flattops. Not to be outdone, Aussie Collins-class diesels have reportedly "sunk" two Los Angeles SSNs and a flattop in a 2003 naval exercise. As if the USN did not learn from these lessons, and nobody here could show the ASW capability of an upgraded version of the P-3C, is there? And lessons learned incorporated in the P-8s, and of course, the screws as well?
- A United States government report has warned Islamic State has been printing false Syrian passports in order to successfully travel into the US and other major countries.

Reports allege ISIS has acquired a passport printing machine, and the US government has tracked down 3,800 fake passports entered into immigration databases.
- The Nishant was supposed to be the Indian Army’s premier, domestically-produced surveillance drone. But now it can’t be because all of them, every single one, crashed.
- Indeed, as former Navy official Byran McGrath, managing director of The FerryBridge Group naval consultancy and deputy director of the Center for American Seapower at the Hudson Institute testified before Congress this week, the service has not added a single ship that can fire anti-ship missiles since 1999.

“No ship in our inventory can disable another ship with its organic weapons at ranges greater than approximately 70 miles — the range of the Harpoon missile — and no ship has been added to the inventory since 1999 that can fire the Harpoon missile,” McGrath said. “In order to raise the level of conventional deterrence represented in our forward deployed surface vessels, the Navy must move quickly to close this gap.”
- STOCKHOLM – Arms manufacturers in North America and Western Europe dominated international arms sales in 2014, but their market share dropped while Russian and Asian companies saw theirs rise, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) reported Monday.

Total turnover for the 100 biggest arms and military services companies declined for the fourth year in a row, falling by 1.5 percent from 2013 to stand at $401 billion.
- He continued, "Right now, they are looking at soft targets, because there are an abundance of them.  While we are putting increased security around what would be considered high-risk targets, they are going to go for the places that are easiest right now because it's still going to have an impact, especially if it occurs in small-town USA.  The more success they have, more money will pour in, and recruitment will go up.  Then we could start to see larger-scale attacks in America."
He continued, "We know they already have a stockpile of arms, and they are being used in gun-free zones with strict gun control laws.  So why would our government be calling on the targets of these terrorists to turn in their weapons?  That is insane.  It's like telling people not to inoculate themselves from a deadly virus going around when the people already have the vaccine in their hands.  It is the only way people will be able to protect themselves from terrorists who are already armed."

His advice for citizens is twofold: "If any politician in office or running for it says we need more gun control, kick them out immediately.  They are undermining the Second Amendment, a constitutional right to defend ourselves from all enemies foreign and domestic.  Also, arm yourselves. Law enforcement can take twenty minutes to get to a crime scene.  By that time, the damage is done.  People need to carry.  They need to learn how to properly use a gun and how to practice gun safety.  The government is not going to be there to protect soft targets.  They cannot possibly be everywhere."

It's time for America to stop listening to biased airwaves and political pandering and start listening to those in the military intelligence community.  The reporter will only be there to report the crime and improve viewership, and the politician will use it for his bid in an election.  Listen to the people who have risked their lives to protect American civilians – veterans like Anthony Mele.
- Turboprop light attack aircraft like the AT-6 Coyote or A-29 Super Tucano require a less constrained basing structure and much less logistical support than their fast jet counterparts. Fully armed, they carry the same bombload as an F-16 with three external fuel tanks, while gaining roughly twice the unrefeueled endurance.

They can operate from rough fields and are comparative fuel-sippers. The engines are highly reliable and resistant to foreign object damage.

Importantly, they use the same weapons and tactics as modern fighter/attack aircraft, capable of aerial gunnery, rocket employment and release of a variety of precision bombs. Today, every Air Force and Navy pilot receives flight training in the T-6 Texan II, making them familiar with low wing turboprops in this class.
- But in a more balanced fight — such as versus Soviet armored columns in a European blitzkrieg — the results would have been very different. Not only would the Soviets come with better tactics, they’d have more heavily-armored tanks. The Pentagon was painfully aware that M-72’s rockets would bounce off those tanks’ frontal shielding.

That’s why, in May 1977, the U.S. Army hired the Brunswick Corporation — a large manufacturer that started off making pool tables and bowling balls in 19th century — to design a whole new weapon. Brunswick’s California-based defense division would refine the design of a spherical rocket dubbed the Rifleman’s Assault Weapon, or RAW.

- as usual thanks to all of the individuals and groups who purchase and use my goods and services

Friday, May 27, 2016

More Social and Economic Systems, Music Stuff, and More

- modern economics just gibberish. St Louis Federal Reserve Database. Unemployment data distorted. One hour at soup kitchen (even volunteering) is 'employed'? International rule not Western centric. This rule (and others) developed in last 20 years. US still in sustained slump? Shadow stats. Neo-liberalism assumes that private sector will allocate more effectively? Using margin to control and maintain better stability of economic sector? Crowdsourcing/Indiegogo. Empires often run up money/debt before collapse (one of the things you'll figure out with using Google is that it is extremely US centric. Exact search terms were "indicators of empire collapsing" and I basically had extremely US centric stuff turn up even though I wanted the general answer. Wonder how much bias there is in general?)
Debunking economics with Professor Steve Keen
- global capitalism hasn't re-emerged since 2008? Democracy and capitalism contradictory? Hilarious the parallels between capitalism and feudalism when you think about it. 500-1000 businesses control vast bulk of income in US? Since wealth controlled by so few rest are slaves to that particular system. Minority co-ercing/persuading US government through stimulus to real estate industry since 1930s? Would be curious to see social graphs of political class over time? People aren't getting wealtheir anymore in spite of higher productivity and easy credit? questions about long term viablity of capitalism need to be raised?
Cornel West and Richard Wolff talk about Capitalism and White Supremacy
How Class Works -- by Richard Wolff
- raise capital directly? Bond market revolution by bypassing banks. Europeans have been attempting to something similar to find growth. You won't understand why financial markets are basically places to gamble until you spend more time researching or working in the industry. Basically, imagine a dark pool where everyone is basically transacting in the same products. Over time, spreads will narrow (price discovery). In reality though the only way you can really money is to leverage or speculate between the actual and perceived value of the asset in question. Since the best chances of achieving this is through better intelligence in reality the success rate of most financial investment firms is going to be extremely small with only a small minority managing to beat the relative index over the long term after taxes and fees. Realistically, what we're doing in investment is taking money from heaps of (naive, incompetent, less prepared, etc...) people and giving it to a small number of others but we need that in order to facilitate a social system. You only understand the doom loop situation that a lot of advanced economies have created without adequate background. US central bankers believe in cleaning up bubbles but not necessarily preventing them? If you can cut through all the gibberish you'd understand that the actual function of the global market and economies is gibberish. Check John Perkins economic hit man background does current world situation seem familiar? In Brazil everyone thinks everyone in the government is corrupt? Australian government went in big and fast with 'helicopter money' ($1K for each person with a Tax File Number) to stave off GFC unlike US where it went to save banks. Australia still a primitive economy despite it's classification by most people as an advanced economy. People who are too ideologically focused and not pragmatic enough in positions of power now? Enormous pain in Greece with regards to austerity. Government surpluses are a bad idea because it's drawing money from private sector into public sector. Politicians running economies under-prepared. Steven Keen advocating restarting from scratch if we enter another 'Great Depression'. Politicians reactionary rather than pro-active. Not genuine leadership for a better society. In past debt was written down/forgiven when it was impossible to repay. Irresponsibility of lending taken on by lender. Else, print money and give it to everybody to pay down debt. System is failing not individuals? Mortage means 'death contract' in Latin. 10% non Neo-classical Post Keysians Marxists evolutionary economists. Minsky. If debt relieft offered periodically but irregularly reduces 'moral hazard' issue? If you know enough about economics, science, politics, etc... you'll know that a lot Nobel prizes probably aren't awarded to the right people or achievements. Some of the economics Nobel prizes have been awarded to theories which have basically failed? If the world is guided by pure academics or life long traders we are in a lot of trouble. Even if neo-classical economist do understand the flaws in their own system they won't owe up to it because it's necessary to keep the current system going? Steve Keen saying same thing that I said previously. World has become USSR. Stagnant or impaired growth now. US in trouble. Japan will continue to remain in trouble. China in trouble but emerging markets offer it growth potential. UK in trouble. There are some global profit charts (across at least 14 countries) I've seen which indicate that this is a global problem. We can try to grow our way out of our economic doldrums but in reality it's becoming more difficult. Economics is still in the dark ages? We honestly don't know why crashes occur?
Keiser Report - Revolutions (E915)
Keiser Report - Bill Clinton's 'Economic Miracle' (E918)
Professor Steve Keen- Debunking Peter Schiff's Austrian Voodoo Economics
Steve Keen on BBC HARD TALK Nov 2011
Meet the Renegades Steve Keen
Zombies-To-Be and the Walking Dead of Debt
Is Austerity a Necessity
MMT-MCT Fields Institute Seminar - Steve Keen
How Should Economics Change With Steve Keen, Diane Coyle & George Cooper
Over the Fiscal Cliff - Professor Steve Keen
Capitalism and Socialism - Crash Course World History #33
Capitalism by Stiglitz
Europe’s quest for bank ‘bail-ins’ poses risks to retail investors
Keiser Report - Marquis de Sade & Modern Bankers (E904)
John Perkins, Confessions of an Economic Hitman, Proxy Wars & Those Behind Them
- if you want a bubble less economy within the context of capitalism you need a way to value properly (reduce speculation)? Does this require 'lie detection'? Is it even viable? Accurate? The way we use high levels of centralisation in modern society means that it almost inevitably results in high risk. Since margin often decreases as an average when you spread out across multiple product segments if 'value' collapses then the whole system collapses. By desiring such a large empire (with less ideal solutions across the board (each link in the chain is supposed to add value)) you literally cause it to collapse at some point (or at least reduce progress)? For instance, with regards to crime even though genetics makes us all different we want a general solution for everyone in most countries. However, it's clear that a lot of criminals see this 'general solution' as weak so they repeat or can they not find a way out of their circumstances? This isn't justice or a proper way to handle management of social systems? We come together to make things better but we need seperation in order to maintain integrity of the system. Nature in beautiful in this instance. An organism's digestive system is inefficient and there are mechanisms to stop overeating meaning it's difficult to destroy local habitat/ecosystem. If that fails the organism dies off. Inflation and supply issues handled by having different animals by having differentiation in the environment.
Brain-Based Lie Detection Belong in American Courtrooms
NLP Training - How To Spot a Liar - David Snyder
How to be a lie detector - Professor Glenn D Wilson
Karen Rommelfanger, Ph.D. - 'Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Lie Detection'
Pamela Meyer - How to spot a liar
The facts and follies of lie detection _ Andre Wang _ TEDxAmherstCollege
- the problem with basing an economy on lies is that it can basically hold back your economy/progress. Imagine that is all we can do, we can't actually innovate? If our population is educated across the board it's competition to see who can create better value. If they aren't so good at that you require suppression. Mechanisms (wars, destablisation, change of governments, etc...) to reduce the value in other systems which automatically means you create an arbitrage situation. What if literally gave away money to students on their way out of University/College to start their own businesses at some point or just gave a free money at some point in their life for this particular purpose? Would it help to create more viable business opportunities or are there only finite choices?
- our financial system is hilarious and revolves around the notion of supply and demand and variable value at it's core. It's effectively a self corrupting social system. If you are able to lie sufficiently well or else figure out the truth to all of it then it basically all comes crashing down. The assumption that 'market efficiency' and 'market pricing' only works in an ideal world
- as an economic/social system nature is a thing of beauty. We let rabbits into Australia and they ravaged the outback, globalisation will pose much the same threats whether it comes in the way of biological, financial, political, and so on. It's best for those who already have things going for them or have certain unique advantages. If you open up with balancing up the risks it makes budgeting very difficult to manage. Remember the USSR? It's the same thing with the world and the EU now. We've transferred one system into much larger ones. Either the EU needs to partly break up or else there needs to become more integrated. It's the same with our local situation. Big risk for big reward or we otherwise need to rig the circumstances somehow? Look at some politicians overseas and it looks like they're struggling or they could simply be a victim of the circumstances that they have somehow created. The only genuine way to predict or forecast is to reduce the variables involved, rig the game, gain more intelligence, actually be a true prophet, etc... It's not that simple
- did FDR's policy of high taxes result in growth? Same as Wolff description. There were those who worked against this policy in spite of supposed benefits across the board?
Barack Obama - Treason in America - Documentary - Full Movie
- our present pathway (of low taxes and greater inequality) is the exact same towards the last prior to great depression of 30s in US? people know the game is rigged but it's their optimism which allows them to keep them going?
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver - Wealth Gap (HBO)
- people in general (intellectuals in particular) are actively disuaded via PSYOPS to not look too deeply into things or else would cause social instability? Farmer clueless what causes recession and depression. Bernanke says panic causes recession and depression. Keynes says technical problems cause recessions and depressions. Minsky says that capitalism and financial sector in particular unstable. Capitalism inherently unstable. Keen says that capitalism causes mis-contructed financial sector. Supply/demand theory doesn't make sense. Controlling debt/risk doesn't make sense either? Marx theory is that since profit is core motivator inherntly leads to boom/bust cycles. Eventually capitalism grinds to a halt as we're seeing though. World profitability have been falling over 150 years in 14 countries as predicted by Marx. Rate of profitability has been falling across the board actually. Recessions tend to recover growth rate, despressions tend to result in lower growth thereafter. Doom loop scenarious being outlined over and over in caplitalist theory
Marxist theory of crisis - The nature of the current long depression - Michael Roberts
Japan fund managers create customised ETFs for central bank
- are our economic plans are literally upside down? Most people who have worked in large and smaller businesses know that you only really know how to budget when you start small. Waste occurs mostly the larger you scale up. Why train people to mostly work for others then? Why not help them to have a choice between starting their own business as well as working for other people all the way through their education? Just seems like a multiple losses to me. Education just teaches mostly theory which doesn't help in real world and requires more training, Western education is obvious bubble sector once people get over propaganda, if they can't find a job they will have limited choices which means more people on the welfare queue. As in last post if wealth distribution basically hasn't changed since Roman Empire (in many Western economies) and in spite of greater happiness being recorded in Nordic countries such as Sweden, Norway, Finland, etc... which tend to have much lower Gini co-efficients I just wonder whether or not we're doing things the right way or does socialist systems require capitalism (outside of the local system) to live off of? Age directly proportional to life expectancy. Generally, most Western countries/Americans want to be socialist/Nordic theme again
Richard Wilkinson - How economic inequality harms societies
- Epiticus. US dollar use dropping over decades. Below 50% of transactions worldwide now. Members of political class believing their own propaganda? At back of mind one always wonder whether political class are worried about possible rise of China, Japan, etc... owing to their imperial past? Global economy on verge of collapse. Negative interest rates distorting things
Keiser Report - Hegemony, control and Russian bonds (E916)
- Marx was a revolutionary/activist, not just an academic. Engels important. Exiled from many European states for threatening system/buorgise. Our current political class want to preserve this system even if it's collapsing/reaching a terminal limit? Each person plays their part. Think about automation contradiction. If world heads towards globalisation and capitalism is it's core spreads will narrow and automation will basically put most of us all out of a job. Look at economic distribution prior and before after government intervention (taxes, regulation, etc...) and it's much worse then during Roman Empire which was widely considered corrupt
An Introduction to Marxist political economy - Jo Cardwell
- basically heavy nationalism and elimination of enemies with high independence
What Is Fascism
- merger of state and corporate power. Corporations, government, etc... no longer keep each other in check work together. People in general not in favour of corporatism? Most people seem to favour no to low taxes at the bottom with high taxes at the upper end?
CORPORATE FASCISM - The Destruction of America's Middle Class
- communist/socialist practitioners don't really ban religion per-se? Make the assumption that Marxism can only work within a closed system. What if it's simply delivered differently? The system remains thoroughly Marxist but they gain the benefits of a more open model. Interesting overview
What has Marxism to do with religion
The Communist Manifesto - Terry Eagleton - Marxism 2011
The Cuban Revolution & Fidel Castro's Communist Regime in Cuba _ Cold War Footage _ Full Documentary
- central/reserve banks came about because wealthy wanted to remain wealthy relative to rest of population? By protecting a system you're just protecting ratios in wealth. World would be worse off without offshore tax havens? Is the system rigged in favour of those who are talented and hard working or is it rigged in favour of those protecting waelth (always thinking about Roman Empire). Size of industries relative to another would change
Analysis How markets are rigged against you
- finance sector is outsized because that is what is required to keep economy afloat after GFC. Couldn't change accounting practices achieve the same thing?
- is it possible to build a financial system that is incorruptible or can you only manage it because humans themselves are the problem?

- whether you're involved in the production side, software development side, etc... one of the things you'll notice is that audio software can get pretty expensive sometimes. I prefer FOSS alternatives because they're free but also for other strange reasons. They often have lower resource requirements which means I can get by with a lower powered system, commercial software has just become very cumbersome with regards to the licensing issue which is a huge problem if you ever need to re-install with some companies, for some software it's nearly impossible to get an evaluation in which case you're stuck with trying to buy the full product or going without, etc... The strange thing for me is that you can get a lot of bundled audio software for free almost when purchased with some hardware given the high charge for standalone software
Sugar Bytes Slice Arranger: alternatives ?
The finger & stutter edit - Alternatives?

- heaps of free Sylenth1 (eval version widely available) and Synth1 (free) edm preset pack
The FREE plugins thread!
synth1 edm presets

- free percussion sample pack

- free EDM MIDI files

- free SampleTank alternatives (older version is free on IK Multimedia website while 'lite' version often come bundled free with with often cheap audio hardware)

- creating own VSTs
programming own vst synth windows
Visual Studio vst programming

- Max4Live patch with regards to Algorithmic Music
The Generative Electronic Dance Music Algorithmic System - 7443-32752-1-PB.pdf
ableton algorithmic composition

- some stuff EDM music/song structure

- the magical lines to generating sounds from a standard MIDI file
JcgMusic - A Java port of cgMusic
timidity -Ow -o - input.mid | lame - output.mp3
timidity input.mid - Ow -o - | ffmpeg -i - -acodec libmp3lame -ab 256k out.mp3

- you can actually get away with less costly hardware with the right software
Recording Better Sounding Audio on Your PC

- building a cheap pop filter
FREE DIY Microphone Pop Filter - Made Entirely Of Paper…

Some quotes in the recent media:
- In other words: Even if you agree that Republican and Democratic foreign intervention got us into this mess, that doesn't mean Paulian non-intervention can get us out — and Paul has trouble making the case that it can.
- "This is exactly what we counter-terrorism people have been warning of: mass shootings by fans of [IS] inspired by its message," said William McCants, a former State Department official who worked on countering violent extremism and is the author of  The ISIS Apocalypse.

Unable to curb the availability of guns at home or extremist propaganda from overseas, authorities may have to rely more on encouraging Americans to watch one another and report suspicions. Federal and local governments already have programs urging friends, families and neighbours to identify people targeted for recruitment.

"This is going to put a lot more pressure on the FBI and Homeland Security to use their networks to pick up even subtle signs of possible violent extremism," said Seth  Jones, a counter-terrorism specialist at the RAND Corp.
- My nightmare scenario is a door-to-door slog through the old city center. It is a warren of tight squeezes and hiding spots — no vehicular support there. The western desert is devoid of any cover or concealment. The berm ringing the city is tall and would be an impediment to dismounts and mounted troops alike. The enemy is dug in and not going anywhere.
"Right now, people on the no-fly list can walk into a store and buy a gun. That is insane," Mr Obama said. "If you're too dangerous to board a plane, you're too dangerous, by definition, to buy a gun. And so I'm calling on Congress to close this loophole now. We may not be able to prevent every tragedy, but at a bare minimum, we shouldn't be making it so easy for potential terrorists or criminals to get their hands on a gun that they could use against Americans."
- “For years, officials in the US, Europe, Turkey, and the Arab World have been promoting ‘the moderate FSA’ or even ‘the secular FSA’ as Syria’s great hope for the future, without ever arriving at a better explanation of what that means [other] than ‘any damned armed group in Syria that we can work with.'”

This ambiguity, Lund noted, has ultimately helped Russia pick and choose which rebels it wants to work with — and those it wants to eliminate.

“By rebranding their own allies and all kinds of random exiles as ‘FSA representatives,’ they [the Russians] are trying to wring a very useful fiction out of the hands of their enemies or, failing that, to destroy it by adding to the confusion,” Lund wrote.
- The trio have woven Dyneema – one of the world's strongest fabrics and typically used in the nose cones of long-range missiles and to coat Apache and Black Hawk helicopters – into denim.

The result is a protective clothing that looks like regular denim wear but can skid for 3.67 seconds, or 50 metres, without tearing. It is close to gaining full protective certification from the EU, which requires a skidding-without-tearing time of at least four seconds.

Mr Lelliott reckons they will achieve that milestone by mid-2016 and will help the company live up to its name, Saint.

"Patron saints protect people, saints are like angels," he explains.

"We have already got fabric that can go over four seconds, we are just finalising how we can produce it."
- She witnessed the influence of fundamentalism gaining ground: "The newly returned hajis [returning from pilgrimage to Mecca] wanted to purge their local religion of all the flavours it had picked up while stewing for centuries in the rich cultures of the islands… in favour of… pure, identikit Arab Islam."   

This is the new reality in the globalised world. Wherever there are Muslims in large numbers, there will be a strand of religious fundamentalists who view Muslims as oppressed by infidels and who read the Koran as a call to arms, providing the justification and vindication for violence.

The pattern is repeated constantly.
- So ends a great discussion that previously I had little knowledge about. Sure, the companies present had ‘made it’ and sure, AWS had helped but I was astounded at the level of funding available and the help available to start-ups to become viable businesses.

Yet I think back nearly 40 years when I had to hock my car to start a business. How I had to reinvest every cent in the business (small business owners were the new ‘poor’), and how inch by inch you crawled over every obstacle to build a successful small business.

The opportunities these start-ups have – admittedly some of the cream of the crop – are amazing.
- We were discussing what a good example the “Iron Lady” was of what Jung termed the animus, that “masculine” element in the female psyche which can give a woman the strength of mind and character to make her a true leader. Already people were speaking of her as “the only man in the Cabinet”.

“She is so dominant,” Stevens predicted, “that for a good time to come she will carry all before her. But gradually her style of leadership will build up such resentment in those weak men around her that they will eventually gang up to get rid of her.”

No one better exemplified what he was talking about than Geoffrey Howe, whose feline resignation speech 11 years later triggered the flood of resentment which brought her down. The “weak men” had won. The Tory party had lost its last truly “manly” leader. We live with its aftermath to this day.
- Over many centuries, the Catholic Church has been a patron and enthusiastic supporter of science, because science and religion really are compatible and support each other.  Long ago, it was said (by St. Augustine) that “the book of nature and the book of Scripture were both written by the same author, and they will not be in conflict when properly read and understood.”  More recently, Pope St. John Paul II said in 1987, “Science can purify religion from error and superstition.  Religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes.”

Unfortunately, when asked about the church and science, most people (even most Catholics!) remember only one word: Galileo.  After 400 years, after a Papal apology, after a space probe to Saturn was named for the Jesuit astronomer Cassini, still no other name emerges.  Virtually none of the viewers of the TV show The Big Bang Theory realize that that theory was the achievement of the Belgian priest Georges Lemaître.  To this day, most religious leaders quickly retreat when they hear the word “science.”
- MOSCOW, December 7. /TASS/. Russia hopes for a considerable expansion of the military-technical cooperation with Iran after all restrictions on supplies to that country are lifted, the Russian presidential aide on military-technical cooperation told the Izvestiya daily.

"When all restrictions and all sanctions are lifted, I think we will have a rather serious development in the sphere of military-technical cooperation, it partially now embraces items not covered by sanctions, and we hope for very large projects in the future," Vladimir Kozhin said.

"The interest of the Iranian side is huge. They really need serious upgrade of their entire armed forces… Taking into account that it is a large country with large armed forces, of course, the talk will be about very large contracts, worth billions," Kozhin said.
- “We should not be drawn once more into a long and costly ground war in Iraq or Syria. That’s what groups like Isil want,” added Obama. “They know they can’t defeat us on the battlefield. Isil fighters were part of the insurgency that we faced in Iraq. But they also know that if we occupy foreign lands, they can maintain insurgencies for years, killing thousands of our troops and draining our resources, and using our presence to draw new recruits.”
- sent a message asking when the article would be published and stating I would need to review the final edits and authorize before publishing, and the CNN producer responded affirmatively, saying the piece should be up by Thursday (it was Wednesday night). After hearing nothing from them through most of Thursday, I asked the producer what was going on. Her response was, “the editor says the article must make clear that the Carter Center no longer operates in Venezuela, or that statement cannot be included. It’s a requirement to publish”. I wrote back that was not acceptable. I would not allow CNN to impose a sentence on my article as a condition of publishing, especially one that had no relevance to the original statement made by Jimmy Carter. Late Thursday, they sent me a message stating that “internal consultations at the highest level were underway regarding publishing my article”. Hours later, I received another message stating that “all editors were consulted and the decision was not to publish the column”.

What CNN did was outright censorship. They refused to publish my article because it presented documented and well sourced information favorable to the integrity of the electoral process, and the possibility of a government victory. Why doesn’t CNN want its readers to know that Jimmy Carter, one of the most respected US leaders of all times, believes Venezuela has the best voting system in the world? Because CNN, along with other US and international media, such as The Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times, are preparing to support opposition claims of fraud in Venezuela in the probable event of a government win.
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has claimed the Venezuelan government is attempting to “rig” the elections in its favor. Of course the US State Department has issued several warnings against Venezuela, hypocritically criticizing the lack of formal elections observers (which the US does not allow for its own elections) and calling on the government to cease intimidation and political violence after an opposition politician was killed on stage during a political rally last week. What the US and other international media didn’t report is that 3 suspects in the killing were already detained and confessed to killing Luis Manuel Diaz as part of a gang dispute. Credible evidence surfaced linking the victim to organized crime, confirming his murder was not politically motivated. No connection between the government or government supporters and the murder has been evidenced, despite unsubstantiated claims in US media.

As I state in my original article, censored by CNN, (now published on RT) Venezuela may have its problems, but the credibility of its electoral process is not one of them. The same electoral system used in this Sunday’s elections, also was used to elect the more than one third of the legislature the opposition current holds, along with the opposition governors and mayors in the country’s most populated states and cities. Why is it fraud  then when only one side loses? The answer is simple: it’s not fraud, it’s called being a sore loser. In democracy, the results are respected, no matter who wins, and no matter who loses.
- Since summer, the percentage of attack planes dropping bombs on missions has increased. In July and August, half of the warplanes returned to base without dropping weapons, Army Col. Steve Warren, the military's spokesman in Baghdad, said this week. By October, 60 percent of the planes attacked Islamic State targets, and November's figure was 65 percent.
- Wealth inequality in the US is so lopsided that the classic wealth distribution pyramid is now more like Seattle's iconic Space Needle, write Mr Collins and Mr Hoxie.

The bulge at the top represents America's wealthiest 0.1 per cent - just over 300,000 people - each with a net worth starting at $20 million. This elite group own about as much wealth as the bottom 90 per cent of Americans combined.

Moving up the "wealth Space Needle", the rotating luxury restaurant atop the bulge represents the wealthiest 400 Americans. The net worth of each of these people is at least $1.7 billion. Combined, this group has more wealth than the bottom 61 per cent of Americans - about 194 million people.

The list of the wealthiest 20 Americans includes eight founders of corporations, nine heirs, two investors and one casino mogul.

To help people get their heads around America's mind-boggling wealth inequality, the report compares the fortunes of the ultra-rich to several segments of American society.

The findings include:

    The wealthiest 100 households now own about as much wealth as the entire African-American population in the US.
    The wealthiest 186 members of the Forbes 400 own as much wealth as the entire Latino population.
    The Forbes 400 now own about as much wealth as the nation's entire African-American population ­– plus more than a third of the Latino population ­– combined.
The report focuses on two main ways of reversing extreme wealth concentration in the US: closing wealth escape routes, including offshore tax havens and tax-avoidance loopholes; and a direct tax on wealth.

A flat levy of just 1 per cent imposed on only the top 1 per cent of wealth holders, for example, would generate $260 billion a year - "more than the federal government now spends on education and environmental protection combined", the report says.

These funds could then be reinvested into wealth-building opportunities for working families, such as debt-free education and affordable housing.
- The thing is, hitting a moose is way more dangerous than hitting a deer, something we are more familiar with in America. Because of the animal's weight, long legs and high center of gravity, a moose can crush the passenger compartment of a car from the roof down when struck. (I have personally witnessed the aftermath of this and even with a juvenile moose, it was gnarly.)

So as Volvo introduces the new S90 "premium sedan" with a T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid powertrain, a semi-autonomous drive feature, leather all over the place and yadda, yadda, yadda, the Swedish carmaker is also debuting a moose avoidance system.

Dubbed the "large animal detection," system, the car "is capable of detecting large animals such as elk, horses or moose, night or day. The technology offers an intuitive warning and brake support to help avoid a collision."

It's all part of a system that does tons more than avoid moose, though. From "run-off road mitigation," to speed limiters based on road signs, pedestrian avoidance, etc., Volvo is throwing the kitchen-sink of safety features at the S90.

Plus, it looks awesome.

The S90 is set to be publically unveiled at the NAIAS in Detroit
- Russia's lower legislative house has passed a law letting its government ignore European Court of Human Rights judgments after the ECHR ruled the nation's internet surveillance was incompatible with human rights.

The unrestricted interception of all telecommunications in Russia is conducted through the mandatory installation of government network-sniffing equipment.

A legal challenge brought against this in 2003 finally resulted in an ECHR judgment last Friday.

However, a law passed on Friday through the Duma, the lower house of Russia's legislature, states that the nation's constitution is to take precedence before judgments or obligations imposed by international bodies.
- If the US has launched 20,000 bombs and missiles against a non-state actor with no air force, navy, or modern army, how many might be required against a major world power with modern armed forces?  What if an unexpected and unavoidable war were thrust on us in the near future?  ISIS represents a legitimate terrorist threat, but is not an existential threat to the US.  A war against either Russian and Chinese forces most assuredly would.  How would the Department of Defense, Congress or the Administration explain to the American people that our armed forces couldn’t effectively blunt an enemy attack because we ran out of missiles?

Such a situation could be catastrophic for the United States and our interests abroad.  In a time of zero sum defense dollars, it is crucial that Washington reassess its military strategy against ISIS.  Hoping that we don’t get into a conventional fight in the near future while wasting limited resources on a failing strategy in the present puts our national security at unnecessary risk.

- as usual thanks to all of the individuals and groups who purchase and use my goods and services

Automated Audiobook Maker Script, Random Stuff, and More

- wanted to find a way to automated building of audiobooks. Built the following: https://sites.google.com/site/dtbnguyen/audiobook_maker-...