Bookmarked by @pre: America’s Open Wound - Continuing Ed — with Edward Snowden

"From the year it was established, Presidents and their cadres have regularly directed the CIA to go beyond the law for reasons that cannot be justified, and therefore must be concealed — classified. The primary result of the classification system is not an increase in national security, but a decrease in transparency. Without meaningful transparency, there is no accountability, and without accountability, there is no learning."

Bookmarked by @pre: Clive Lewis on monarchy

many are not there to honour the institution of monarchy or a royal individual; what is prevalent is the expressed need to feel part of something more than themselves.

Bookmarked by @pre: Imposed Insanity – Royalty, Propaganda And The Coming Catastrophe

As for the Telegraph’s declaration, ‘Grief is the price we pay for love’; this is a paper that reflexively supports every blood-drenched Western war going, that waged merciless propaganda war on Corbyn, incinerated Assange, and mocked the climate crisis threatening all humanity for decades. But their hearts are full of love for the icon of unlimited wealth.

Bookmarked by @pre: Craig Murray on the royal propaganda blitz

When the so-called “Leader of the opposition” opposes protest against a new unelected head of state, out of respect for the previous unelected head of state, you know you live under totalitarianism. Except almost all dictatorships do at least have the form of an election. Indeed, some of the worst dictators in modern history have […]

Bookmarked by @pre: Chris Hedges: We Are Not the First Civilization to Collapse, but We Will Probably Be the Last

Civilizations die in familiar patterns. They exhaust natural resources. They spawn parasitic elites who plunder and loot the institutions and systems that make a complex society possible. They engage in futile and self-defeating wars. And then the rot sets in. The great urban centers die first, falling into irreversible decay. Central authority unravels. Artistic expression and intellectual inquiry are replaced by a new dark age, the triumph of tawdry spectacle and the celebration of crowd-pleasing imbecility.

Bookmarked by @pre: Craig Murray on royalty

There can be no clearer example than the monarchy of the unrelenting media propaganda by which the Establishment maintains its grip.

Bookmarked by @pre: Jonathan Pie: Welcome to Britain. Everything is Terrible. | NYT Opinion - YouTube

Johnathan Pie introduces the new prime minster to Americans for the New York Times.

Bookmarked by @pre: Mars Cyclers - by Peter Hague - Planetocracy

Use a big solar-orbiting ship to move lots of mass between Mars and Earth: A cycler.

Bookmarked by @pre: Geoffrey Bindman on Labour's antisemitism scandal: 'There has been political manipulation' | Middle East Eye

Surprise! It was all about Palestine after all."JVL knows of 54 Jewish members of the party subjected to disciplinary proceedings in relation to allegations of antisemitism. Of these, 47 are full JVL members. All 11 of JVL’s executive committee have faced disciplinary action, nine of these in response to allegations of antisemitism."  ... "As Corbyn’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell noted in a letter to Starmer and David Evans, Labour’s general secretary, that to be a member of JVL is to be 35 times more likely to be accused of antisemitism than any other party member."

Bookmarked by @pre: The Great Clutching at Pearls - Craig Murray

"The 2008 banking bailout gave hundreds of billions of dollars straight to the ultra-wealthy, to be paid for by ordinary people through over a decade of austerity cuts to social services, real terms cuts in pay, and increased taxation. In the current crisis the plan is to advance money in some form to ordinary people, for them to pay off by a further decade of the same. In neither instance was taking money from those with billions in personal wealth even considered."

Bookmarked by @pre: Don’t be fooled by the ‘noble lie’ we live in a democratic West

That is why in the United States, the imperial hub of the democratic west, the choice is narrowly controlled by two large institutional parties, themselves dependent on wealthy donors. The public is supposed to choose between two politicians who have worked their way up through the ranks, and been vetted each step of the way, for their willingness to obey the logic of elite power.

Bookmarked by @pre: Book Review: What We Owe The Future - by Scott Alexander

Scott Alexander on Will MacAskill's "What We Owe The Future"For what it's worth I never accepted the Repugnant Conclusion coz I never accepted that creating people is a moral good even if they are happy healthy people with no suffering. And also don't accept there can ever be a person with no suffering. To create a child is to add to the suffering in the world and you don't balance that out with happiness. It is not a weight-scale.Create people if you want, but you won't convince me it is a moral good to do so. Let 'em all die if you want too. That's less suffering at least. In the end.

Bookmarked by @pre: Code, Speech, and the Tornado Cash Mixer | Electronic Frontier Foundation

The government order github to take down the Tornado Cash code.But code is speech, and Americans have free speech.The EFF is representing a computing professor who has re-posted the code "for academic study".Glad to see the EFF fighting for electronic freedoms

Bookmarked by @pre: The gathering crisis - Charlie's Diary

Charlie Stross on the situation in the UK: The harvest is failing. Energy bills are soaring to the point where businesses, already hit by a bad recession, are going bust because they can't keep the lights on. (Not posting a link but I've seen reports of Fish and Chip shops shutting down because they can't afford the power bills for the fryers—or, soon, the bill for the potatoes and the expensive sewage-free imported fish.) A third of the country can't afford to pay their bills: there's a grass-roots movement to start a payment strike against the energy companies, who are seen as exploiting the situation for profit.The health service is in crisis. Inflation is wiping out pensions and savings. A general strike seems possible by the end of the year, something that hasn't hit the UK since 1926.

Bookmarked by @pre: Why is Amnesty apologising for telling the truth about Ukrainian war crimes? | Middle East Eye

Should a human rights organisation apologise for publishing important evidence of war crimes and human rights abuses?If it does apologise, what does that suggest about its commitment to dispassionately uncovering the truth about the actions of both parties to war? And equally, what message does it send to those who claim to be “distressed” by the publication of such evidence?

Bookmarked by @pre: Lego Batman Goes to Prison (Snyder Cut) - YouTube

Forrest Fire's lego-batman prison fight is very well done.

Bookmarked by @pre: Why The Ethereum Merge is a Monumental Blunder (13 August 2022) - YouTube

A presentation on all the centralizing forces unleashed when Eth goes to Proof Of Stake, and how doing so is likely to lead to regulatory capture by the US government.

Bookmarked by @pre: Pluralistic: 10 Aug 2022 – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow

Companies make us sign weird agreements, EULAs, for every website we sign up at. What if there was a standard one, and companies had to offer that too?You may notice an obvious problem but in Cory's article here there is a solution:"Lemley says that if a seller prices their product at $25 with the EULA and $1 million without, then the buyer who accepts the EULA is handing over $999,975 worth of value when they click "I agree." Lemley says we should tax that as income."

Bookmarked by @pre: Danny Blanchflower and Mark Blyth: Have central banks overcooked their response to the rising rate of inflation? | HeraldScotland

Compounding this the UK will have a new Prime Minister and no Chancellor in place, and from what we have heard so far, whoever is in place hasn’t the faintest clue on how to dampen a recession when rate rises are the only topic of discussion. In such circumstances the foreign exchange market is likely to have a field day as speculators short the pound.

Bookmarked by @pre: Feeding the Russia menace media frenzy - IAN SINCLAIR

All of which begs the question: if the US intervenes in the UK way more than any other country, why are the media so fixated on Russia? Kennard explains: “The focus on them [Russia] in the corporate media, in the mainstream and amongst the national security state is because it is useful to certain interests.”

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