mahnmut: (The Swallows have won!)
[personal profile] mahnmut
I mean not exactly "us", but the U.S. See, the North Korean people are deprived of many things. Freedom, you'd say. Sure, freedom. Also, food. (They do have plenty of weapons, though). But one thing is more abundant than anything else: propaganda. They start getting fed anti-US hatred from the cradle. They're taught to hate the "imperialist aggressor" in their guts from day one.

This propaganda functions flawlessly, because it feeds on the collective memory from the Korean war. It's a war that keeps defining the life and mindset of North Koreans to this very day. The fact that technically, the war ain't even over yet, is helping a lot in that respect, too. In fact, no peace treaty has ever been signed, there's just an armistice. Six decades of official war! Amazing.

https://i.ebayimg.com/images/a/(KGrHqJ,!joE1K(oNOj0BN,cWVBhdg~~/s-l300.jpg

Read more... )
abomvubuso: (Groovy Kol)
[personal profile] abomvubuso
"Lately, Russia appears to be coming at the United States from all kinds of contradictory angles. Russian bots amplified Donald Trump during the campaign, but in office, Kremlin-backed media portray him as weak. Vladimir Putin is expelling U.S. diplomats from Russia, limiting options for warmer relations with the administration he wanted in place. As Congress pushes a harder line against Russia, plenty of headlines declare that Putin’s gamble on Trump has failed. Confused? Only if you don’t understand the Gerasimov Doctrine"...

, as Molly McKew points out in her article at Politico.

In a nutshell, Gerasimov adopted some Soviet tactics from the Cold War, then adjusted them to the modern realities, and developed a new theory of modern warfare which resembles hacking the enemy society rather than an all-out assault. It's part of the new fad in geopolitics that we call Asymmetric Warfare. You invest little resources, but cause a lot of damage and confusion behind enemy lines. Without firing a single bullet. Sound neat?

Read more... )
asthfghl: (Слушам и не вярвам на очите си!)
[personal profile] asthfghl

Notice something wrong on these pictures? Well yeah, duh! A famous church in Santorini, Greece, was used to advertise a Greek cheese product in one of the Lidl stores (a German chain). Except, the most prominent feature of that landmark (beside the blue roof) was removed:

Lidl airbrushes Christian cross from church pictured on its Greek food range because the supermarket chain 'does not wish to exclude any religious beliefs'

Well, guess what. You've done just that - excluded a religious belief. And I'm saying it as non-believer. Savor the irony.

There was indeed a huge backlash (mostly around the social networks) about this picture. Lidl even had to come up with an official apology for screwing up on this one. People were shocked, shocked I tell you! Selling Greek products while trying to remove an important part of the Greek identity from sight. People have called for boycott. And probably rightly so. Why?

Because this is schizophrenic, that`s why )
fridi: (Default)
[personal profile] fridi
"It's like a battlefield here in summer" and "This isn't tourism, this is an invasion!" Those are just some of the reactions of angry people from Barcelona, Venice and Dubrovnik. The three cities have led a rebellion against mass tourism. For them, it means unending crowds, noise, garbage, and skyrocketing prices. With protest signs reading "Tourists go home", mass rallies, and even physical clashes, some of Europe's most popular tourist destinations started meeting the enthusiastic newcomers who are flocking from planes, buses and cruise ships. The politicians have promised that flourishing tourism would bring economic prosperity, granted, but all that is now of secondary importance to the harmonious life of the locals.


Tourism in South Europe has grown incredibly for the last couple of years, because tourists prefer that region to places like Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey due to safety concerns. But an increasing number of local people are complaining that the growing tourist pressure is making their life unbearable. Last month there was a protest in Venice against uncontrolled tourism, the slogan was "My future if Venice". The protesters called for ending the practice of turning every available building into a hotel. Various solutions were proposed, including the quota system.

Read more... )
dreamville_bg: (Default)
[personal profile] dreamville_bg

You know... There is an Archangel no one talks about. His name is Beancounter. He is God's auditor. When church televangelists and priests and church councils take tithes, collections, sacrifices and offerings for God, those are put on Beancounter's schedule to be audited.

Whoa to those that call it "Our money" who spend it on expensive accoutrements when God is outside hungry, exposed and in need!

"What ye do unto the least of mine you do unto me also".

Trouble is, when the flood waters recede and life gets back to some normalcy, the Holy Rollers will fill the place again. Forgive and forget as they dole out dollar after dollar to the Offertory Plate as it's passed around. If people were smart (cough cough) they would stop attending his '"ermons" and let him experience what life is like without his follower's eternal dollar. Let's see if they do. I won't be holding my breath though.

On a slightly side note, Donald Trump has not accepted Mexico's offer to help Houston flooding victims. Because you'd rather drown than have help from a thug thief rapist Mexican.
abomvubuso: (...I COULD MURDER A CURRY.)
[personal profile] abomvubuso
Hey everyone! Here's the monthly topic that you guys chose at the last poll:

Divisive Rhetoric



Some details )

The new poll )
airiefairie: (Default)
[personal profile] airiefairie

Suppose you live in the world of Game of Thrones, and you had to incorporate a technology from the modern world.

Which one would it be, and why? =)

(By the way, here is an attempt to analyse why Westeros still hasn't had an Industrial Revolution).
nairiporter: (Default)
[personal profile] nairiporter
The regime in North Korea launched another mid-range ballistic missile the other day, and it was confirmed that it flew over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido and finally landed in the Pacific. Kim Jong Un was of course present at the launch, and all of NK's neighbours of course declared the act a provocation against the most powerful military in the world, and its allies (also very developed countries).

One might like to ask themselves, if all those allies are so developed, why didn't they at least attempt to shoot down one of those missiles? It's not like there haven't been plenty of calls in that direction, from retired generals like Chuck Wald to much of the Japanese public itself. There were many angry comments in Japan following the launch, people being dismayed that their government had not responded in any way.

South Korea, which is on the path to Guam (NK's apparent first target) is supplied with a modern THAAD system. Another system, AEGIS is present in Japanese, South Korean and US ships throughout the Pacific. Given these enormous capabilities for downing any missile, why wouldn't this be considered as a viable middle option between doing nothing (the sanctions obviously do not work) and an outright war?

Read more... )
kiaa: (Default)
[personal profile] kiaa
Reuters has reported that oil markets were severely shaken on Monday after hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc along the US Gulf coast over the weekend, crippling Houston and its port, and knocking out numerous refineries as well as some crude production. Gasoline prices hit two-year highs as massive floods caused by the storm forced refineries across the Gulf coast to shut down.

Harvey is the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in more than 50 years, killing at least two people, causing large-scale flooding, and forcing the closure of the Houston port as well as several refineries. The US National Hurricane Center said on Monday that Harvey was moving away from the coast but was expected to linger close to the shore through - and it's now expected to make a second landfall, now in Louisiana.

As Harvey has hit the heart of the Texas energy industry, it transpired that president Trump had reversed regulations that were meant to protect infrastructure against flooding - ironically, just a few days before Harvey made its first landfall.

Earlier this year, Trump chose to dismiss an advisory panel whose job was to assess the effects of climate change, and come up with ways to respond to it. There are also indications that he's going to outright dismiss, if not at least attempt to suppress a blunt report by a panel of scientists who've worked hard to assess the causes and effects of climate change.

I think we can all connect the dots here...

God is punishing Texas and its oil industry for what they've been doing to mother nature! Trump is the Antichrist! Impeach!

But seriously... How much more thumping and bashing from nature do these guys need to realize they're the frog that's boiling at the bottom of that frying pot?
mahnmut: (WTF-E?)
[personal profile] mahnmut
So some black antifa folks resorted to violence against peaceful right-wing protests the other day.

It's a fucked up situation, isn't it? The whole cycle of violence is pretty much fucked up. Trump's failure to condemn right-wing violence is fucked up. As is the liberal media's ignoration of their own side resorting to violence, too. Everyone is hypocritical in this situation, and there are huge stains on... wait for it... *GASP!* both sides. Oh my.

I don't care which "side" is better or worse than the other. The fact is, the can of worms has been opened now. And this doesn't seem likely to get out of the vicious spiral.

By the way, I was amused by statements like, "we condemn violence no matter which side does it, because violence has no place in America". Excuse me? Why don't you tell that to the native people? Or to the Irish? Or the Chinese who built all those railroads? Or the blacks who were brought there in chains? Or the Swedes who came on indenture, or the Japanese who were held in concentration camps?

The US was conceived in violence, it expanded with violence, it exported violence, and it thrives on violence. Guns, shootings and violence are at the very core of its society. Violence has always been there, it'll continue to be there, with or without Trump, the alt-right, the alt-left or whatever. No, we haven't seen the last of it, and we won't see it any time soon. Because violence is part of the very definition of what IS America.
fridi: (Default)
[personal profile] fridi
While the world was looking in dismay at Trump's umpteenth muscle-flexing statement that inflamed the tensions in various conflict areas like Korea, Afghanistan or Iran, the US were still busy, exporting shale gas to Europe. The purpose of the whole exercise is well-known of course: to break Russia's dominance at the European energy markets. And we're not talking of a political act here, but a merciless trade war. The US has been trying to push its rivals out of the global gas market, which is currently dominated by Qatar and Russia. We all know what's happening to Qatar right now, with the help of America's main allies in that region. As for Russia, it's also trying to counter by expanding its gas supplies. They've tried to diversify the delivery means too, including huge new tankers transporting liquid gas. They also have 15 of those.

It's no coincidence that Trump made a tour around East Europe earlier this year. Just like all his predecessors, he's been lobbying on behalf of the big US companies. The US is now looking for the weaker spots on the market, where it could make inroads, and begin the next stage of this scramble. Naturally, these spots are countries that are simultaneously hostile to Russia and are trying to pursue policies that are somewhat emancipated from Brussels and Berlin. Thus, Lithuania became the first post-Soviet republic to get a liquid gas delivery from the US. From their standpoint, that's not just a politically significant step, but also crucial for their economy, as the Baltics have been dangerously dependent on Russian energy sources for decades.

Read more... )
airiefairie: (Default)
[personal profile] airiefairie

A sad picture indeed. Desolate, crumbling buildings, gargantuan financial losses, and exponential growth of crime. These are just some of the characteristics of Rio de Janeiro, just one year after the Rio Olympics.

Last month, the Brazilian government placed 8,500 soldiers on the streets of the city to curb the endless shoot-outs and armed robberies perpetrated by the various street gangs. Control over public security has been almost completely lost in Rio, speaker of parliament Rodrigo Maya recently admitted.

This statement told the whole story about the utter failure in pacifying the drug wars in Rio, which was supposed to happen way before last year's Olympics. Instead, the number of casualties after police raids has doubled for the last four years. People from the many favelas, the poor ghettos, say there is hardly a day when they haven't heard gun shots in the neighbourhood.

Read more... )
luzribeiro: (Dog)
[personal profile] luzribeiro
I'd kill to get a massage like this! :-D

abomvubuso: (Default)
[personal profile] abomvubuso
A huge empty city, but not like those in China. It's a capital, the capital of Myanmar. Built in the middle between the country's two biggest cities, intended to prevent any colour revolutions through sheer size and city planning. Fascinating and disturbing at the same time.

johnny9fingers: (Default)
[personal profile] johnny9fingers
Like transparency in everything, surely?

Or maybe not. A draft of an academic paper by some clever chaps at Harvard1 questions the very fundamentals of this belief.

congressionalresearch.org/extrafiles/images/DAngelo2017EvolutionOfTransparentCorruption.pdf


For the TL:DR crowd. Please read before commenting just this once. Because IMHO there is a discussion here, and an important one. And rather than paraphrasing, because in so many respects it is difficult to better the concision of the thesis put forward here, I'm requesting a close read and a response to the arguments put forward.

Now I disagree with some points: some parts of transparency are about accountability post hoc. Also, some of these examples must legitimately fall into the whole notion of politics itself. But the point is that we have all seen these mechanisms at work, especially in the case of the NRA. So, evidently, there needs to be a demarcation over what is acceptable and what is not. (Of course those folk who are slaves to impossible ideals, impossibly rendered in non-formal language will opt for an either/or; but the rest of us who attempt to understand and judge things on a case-by-case basis and for whom ideals are strong guidelines rather than rigid belief systems, some parts will be acceptable as part of daily politics, as it is a rough game, but some are clearly over the edge.)




1James D’Angelo (with David C. King, Brent Ranalli)2 Harvard University
Aug 14, 2017
nairiporter: (Default)
[personal profile] nairiporter
The doubling down on the imagined "alt left" he invented to balance out the alt right aside, it took president Trump at least two days to explicitly name the organisations and movements that drowned Charlottesville in blood and chaos. And just a day to make a U-turn again, and accuse "both sides" for the tragic clashes that took the life of a 32 year old woman, who had come alongside hundreds of protesters to voice their opposition to the far-right formations that marched in defense of racist "heritage". The perpetrator was a 20 year old man, failed soldier, outsider, and someone who espoused radical racist views.

Of course, Trump's mixed messages drew an almost universal condemnation, including from the elite of his own party. Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, John McCain and Steve Scalise all were among the Republicans who said outright that the reason for the violence in Virginia was white supremacism, and the president should not be equating victims to perpetrators. The only public persons who supported Trump's position were the white supremacists themselves, like the former KKK grand master David Duke, and the neo-Nazi Richard Spence who became (in)famous for his "Hail Trump" salute. Things went so far that the White House had to disseminate an internal memo to the Republican governors that declared the president was "correct; both sides are guilty for the violence".

Read more... )
kiaa: (Default)
[personal profile] kiaa
How was the total eclipse? Did you enjoy it? Did you use precautions? Because your imbecile-in-chief did not:

Donald Trump mocked for looking directly at sun during solar eclipse - the funniest memes and tweets

Memes'n'tweets aside, what's stupid is stupid. He sure didn't trust the FakeNews(TM) to tell him what he should do. That, and he hates rules. So he looked. He didn't go blind though (this time literally), which may've disappointed some folks.

While we are about the eclipse )
johnny9fingers: (Default)
[personal profile] johnny9fingers
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/08/21/secret-service-cant-pay-agents-because-trumps-frequent-travel-large-family/529075001/

http://uk.businessinsider.com/secret-service-trump-tower-rent-command-post-2017-8

Now, what makes me think that Trump was trying to gouge another few percent from the Secret Service in order to allow them to do the job they are no longer being payed for, having hit their overtime cap.

All his accusations about Obama taking vacations, costing civil and Secret service money and time, now look rather tame when one considers 45's first seven months of office.

America. This is insane. This is an insane situation. I'm sorry I repeated myself. It is for emphasis. We can read between the lines and draw conclusions ourselves. You have an asset-stripper in charge. Sooner or later it just becomes good business for 45 to sell the family silver alongside the family secrets to the highest bidder. Let's hope the Koch Brothers can outbid Uncle Vlad or Chinacorp TM.

The thing is, his supporters will still support him and consider themselves patriots. It's almost like they don't understand what words mean, or live in a Cheshire Cat reality where words mean only what he says they mean.

Maybe official business needs to be carried out at official residences and places of work. This maybe Trump's actual legacy to the White House: after his egregious usage of the office for his own business advantage, it appears that constitutional checks aren't working properly, and need either restating, or reformulating to prevent abuse.
fridi: (Default)
[personal profile] fridi
All right, we got that everyone hastily equating the neo-Nazis to the "other side" of the "many sides" is a closet racist, fascist, Nazist, and other nasty sorts of -ist. Now that we've got that out of the way, could I please inquire about something?

Why the sudden surge of Confederate-related monuments planned for demolition? Why now? I mean, hundreds of memorials, memorial plates and signs, etc, have now been planned for removal. All of them related to the so called "Southern heritage" in some way. Even in places that were never on Confederate territory. We've got the Historical Revisionism topic this month here, right? I think this is part of the topic as well. The Civil War has been gone for a century and a half, and more. These memorials have been there for decades. Why this "spontaneous" attempt for a new reading of US history? Seems a bit strange to me, the timing I mean. Could it have something to do with Trump being president? Could it be an attempt to stick it to the Douche-in-Chief in some way? Could it have something to do with the orchestrated "Fake News" cannonade against him? (Would be sooo SAD if it were so!)

More dumb questions... )
dreamville_bg: (Default)
[personal profile] dreamville_bg
Bannon is many things, but not a failure, even though I wish he was. Bannon IS the alt-right and he made the alt-right mainstream!

Before him, it was NOT OK to vote for someone like Trump. Someone who is vulgar, openly xenophobic, openly nationalistic, openly misogynistic and openly anti-intellectual, insulting every single segment of the population that wasn't white Christian males.

Bannon made it possible that 62M people would vote for such a man. Digusting? Sure, but not a failure.

And he may actually be right about North Korea: there's no military solution.

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Talk Politics.
A place to discuss politics without egomaniacal mods

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MONTHLY TOPIC:

Divisive Rhetoric


DAILY QUOTE:

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September 2017

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