Wednesday, January 18, 2017


"'Objectivity' is teaching without regard for the truth."--Wendell Berry

In 1975, the United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities found that the CIA submitted stories to the American press, and that as part of the CIA's playbook was the usage of disinformation tactics against America's own population: ( )
This is an old clip showing admittance of the CIA that they use the mainstream media to manipulate the thoughts and ideas of American citizens in the USA. This has ...

Question: "Do you have any people being paid by the CIA who are contributing to a major circulation — American journal?"
Answer: "We do have people who submit pieces to American journals."
Question: "Do you have any people paid by the CIA who are working for television networks?"
Answer: "This I think gets into the kind of uh, getting into the details Mr. Chairman that I'd like to get into in executive session."


Question: "Do you have any people being paid by the CIA who are contributing to the national news services — AP and UPI?"
Answer: "Well again, I think we're getting into the kind of detail Mr. Chairman that I'd prefer to handle at executive session."

ETFs are beginning to dominate investing. Part is cynicism; people do not believe in experts much any more. And this looks to be true if one follows the performance of individuals who pick individual investments.
ETFs hold baskets of underlying securities and trade throughout the day like a stock. Most track an index and stray little from their net-asset value, or NAV. But heavy trading and market volatility can compromise that consistency.
Recently, as trading in the three biggest credit ETFs approached record levels amid the market’s biggest losses since 2008, the ETFs’ shares dropped as much as 1.1 percentage point more than the net value of the securities they hold. During that period the two largest high-yield bond ETFs lost about 6 percent—2 percentage points more than the loss for the Bank of America Merrill Lynch U.S. High Yield Index that they’re supposed to track.

In fast-moving markets, the price of your ETF may disconnect from the price of the assets it holds.

I still am confused about the election. Does the success of the Rube-publicans mean anything? Have the Dems turned into an inner city party with extensions in California and up and down the Northeast coast. Or is this a simple reaction that will normalize after a while?

Who is...Wendell Berry?

A creepy story. An American satellite abandoned in 1967 suddenly came back online and began transmitting again for the first time in 50 years.
The satellite, dubbed LES1, was built by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and launched into space in 1965. A mistake in the satellite’s circuitry caused it to never leave its circular orbit, and it eventually stop transmitting in 1967.
Sounds like the opening of a sci-fi story.

In 2016, 3.5 billion adults, or 73% of total, had wealth under $10,000 accounting for 2.4% of global wealth. In contrast, the 33 million millionaires comprise 0.7% of the adult population, but own 46% of household wealth. And the, at the very top, 50,800 are worth at least $100 million, and 5,200 have assets above $500 million.
Which is to say, someone has mine.

Kaepernick has become a national symbol of newspaper focus. Every story has some outlier that become the center of attention, as if it is somehow representative. Some group called "alt-right" is getting a lot of attention and they are so small a group even they don't know who they are.

Golden oldie:
The recent effort to Bowdlerize Huck Finn should be a warning to all that nothing is safe from overprotective sanitation. However, the recen...

Thinking of awards and popular music as the new, modern art: If Bob Dylan is given the Nobel Prize, how can you not give it to The Beatles?

Technology’s heightening of society’s complexity outstrips its heightening of the social planner’s informational capabilities.  Hayek, like [Adam] Smith, drew a lesson for policy: Except in the most clear-cut cases of systemic harm, like air pollution, the supposition that government officials can figure out how to improve the results of decentralized (i.e., voluntary) decision making becomes more and more outlandish.  In his Nobel lecture, Hayek called that supposition the pretense of knowledge. As intellectuals who ponder the complex workings of the social world, we really know little aside from one hardy fact: If those who participate in an activity do so voluntarily, each is probably bettering his or her own condition.  The more complex the system is, the more skeptical we ought to be about claims to knowledge that go beyond and against that hardy fact.--Klein
Recently, fashion designer Sophie Theallet announced she would refuse to sell or donate clothes to the next first lady, Melania Trump. that discriminatory? And what did Melania do to deserve her criticism?

In a letter written on March 19, 1944, Ayn Rand wrote: “Fascism, Nazism, Communism and Socialism are only superficial variations of the same monstrous theme—collectivism.” Her point was that there is no traditional left-right dichotomy between socialism (or communism) and fascism, according to which socialism is the extreme version of left-ideology and fascism is the extreme version of right-ideology (i.e., capitalism). Both are variants of statism.  She wrote,  "both “socialism” and “fascism” involve the issue of property rights. The right to property is the right of use and disposal. Observe the difference in those two theories: socialism negates private property rights altogether, and advocates “the vesting of ownership and control” in the community as a whole, i.e., in the state; fascism leaves ownership in the hands of private individuals, but transfers control of the property to the government."  Fascism, she said, was “socialism for big business.”
I wonder if her single-minded passion is a good fit for the modern young voter.
Vanguard’s assets under management have swollen to $3.5 trillion, mostly in index funds.
Astronomers have spotted one of the largest known structures in the universe. Called the Vela supercluster, the newly discovered object is a massive group of several galaxy clusters, each one containing hundreds or thousands of galaxies.

A summary of current politics from Krauthammer:
"This doctrine of global consciousness found its photographic expression just two weeks ago. There was parka-bundled John Kerry on a visit to the Antarctic, to which he had dropped in to make a point about global warming. Three days later, Vladimir Putin, thinking tribally, renewed the savage bombing of Aleppo and then moved nuclear-capable missiles into Kaliningrad to remind Europeans of the perils of defying the regional strongman.
Putin is quite prepared to leave the Antarctic ice sheets to Kerry while he sets his sights on Eastern Europe and the Levant. Our allies, meanwhile, remain amazed that Obama still believes the kinds of things he said in his maiden U.N. address about the obsolescence of power politics and national domination — and acts accordingly as if his brave new world of shared universal values had already arrived."

Ross Pearson is a MMA fighter who, when asked to comment on the rash of injuries the AKA guys were getting in training, said, of the American Kickboxing Academy, said, “They’re a gym full of killers.”

With Castro's death, another mysteriously magnetic mass murderer, like his henchman Guevara, has shuffled off his mortal coil and ascended to a higher plane of immortal damnation. They have t-shirts with their images on them. Imagine t-shirts with Richard Speck or Ted Bundy. Of course, it is not the same; their twisted sadistic homicidal rage was noble, fueled by class anger, the holy Dialectic and ambition; Ted Bundy had no such higher motives. World leaders including Russian president Putin, South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several Latin American politicians issued statements and tweets highlighting Castro’s achievements and extolling his virtues.

After the European Parliament called for a pause in Turkey’s EU accession talks in protest at Ankara’s “repressive” and “disproportionate” response to a violent coup attempt earlier this year an angry Erdogan said, "We are the ones who feed 3m-3.5m refugees in this country. You have betrayed your promises. If you go any further those border gates will be opened."
Poor people have become weapons.
A lot of power in what seems small. Border checks. Drug approval. In India the government has changed the money and caused all sorts of disruption. Governments can weaponize anything. Here the Indian Government has attacked it own people.

After contributing $88mm to the Clinton Foundation over the past 10 years, making them one of the Foundation's largest contributors, Australia has decided to pull all future donations. One can only wonder why the Australians would not want to contribute to the noble work any more.

AAAAAAaaannnnnnndddddd......a graph:

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