Thursday, June 30, 2022

The Quantum Future Of Biology

royalsocietypublishing |  Biological systems are dynamical, constantly exchanging energy and matter with the environment in order to maintain the non-equilibrium state synonymous with living. Developments in observational techniques have allowed us to study biological dynamics on increasingly small scales. Such studies have revealed evidence of quantum mechanical effects, which cannot be accounted for by classical physics, in a range of biological processes. Quantum biology is the study of such processes, and here we provide an outline of the current state of the field, as well as insights into future directions.

1. Introduction

Quantum mechanics is the fundamental theory that describes the properties of subatomic particles, atoms, molecules, molecular assemblies and possibly beyond. Quantum mechanics operates on the nanometre and sub-nanometre scales and is at the basis of fundamental life processes such as photosynthesis, respiration and vision. In quantum mechanics, all objects have wave-like properties, and when they interact, quantum coherence describes the correlations between the physical quantities describing such objects due to this wave-like nature.

In photosynthesis, respiration and vision, the models that have been developed in the past are fundamentally quantum mechanical. They describe energy transfer and electron transfer in a framework based on surface hopping. The dynamics described by these models are often ‘exponential’ and follow from the application of Fermi’s Golden Rule [1,2]. As a consequence of averaging the rate of transfer over a large and quasi-continuous distribution of final states the calculated dynamics no longer display coherences and interference phenomena. In photosynthetic reaction centres and light-harvesting complexes, oscillatory phenomena were observed in numerous studies performed in the 1990s and were typically ascribed to the formation of vibrational or mixed electronic–vibrational wavepackets. The reported detection of the remarkably long-lived (660 fs and longer) electronic quantum coherence during excitation energy transfer in a photosynthetic system revived interest in the role of ‘non-trivial’ quantum mechanics to explain the fundamental life processes of living organisms [3]. However, the idea that quantum phenomena—like coherence—may play a functional role in macroscopic living systems is not new. In 1932, 10 years after quantum physicist Niels Bohr was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work on the atomic structure, he delivered a lecture entitled ‘Light and Life’ at the International Congress on Light Therapy in Copenhagen [4]. This raised the question of whether quantum theory could contribute to a scientific understanding of living systems. In attendance was an intrigued Max Delbrück, a young physicist who later helped to establish the field of molecular biology and won a Nobel Prize in 1969 for his discoveries in genetics [5].

All living systems are made up of molecules, and fundamentally all molecules are described by quantum mechanics. Traditionally, however, the vast separation of scales between systems described by quantum mechanics and those studied in biology, as well as the seemingly different properties of inanimate and animate matter, has maintained some separation between the two bodies of knowledge. Recently, developments in experimental techniques such as ultrafast spectroscopy [6], single molecule spectroscopy [711], time-resolved microscopy [1214] and single particle imaging [1518] have enabled us to study biological dynamics on increasingly small length and time scales, revealing a variety of processes necessary for the function of the living system that depend on a delicate interplay between quantum and classical physical effects.

Quantum biology is the application of quantum theory to aspects of biology for which classical physics fails to give an accurate description. In spite of this simple definition, there remains debate over the aims and role of the field in the scientific community. This article offers a perspective on where quantum biology stands today, and identifies potential avenues for further progress in the field.

2. What is quantum biology?

Biology, in its current paradigm, has had wide success in applying classical models to living systems. In most cases, subtle quantum effects on (inter)molecular scales do not play a determining role in overall biological function. Here, ‘function’ is a broad concept. For example: How do vision and photosynthesis work on a molecular level and on an ultrafast time scale? How does DNA, with stacked nucleotides separated by about 0.3 nm, deal with UV photons? How does an enzyme catalyse an essential biochemical reaction? How does our brain with neurons organized on a sub-nanometre scale deal with such an amazing amount of information? How do DNA replication and expression work? All these biological functions should, of course, be considered in the context of evolutionary fitness. The differences between a classical approximation and a quantum-mechanical model are generally thought to be negligible in these cases, even though at the basis every process is entirely governed by the laws of quantum mechanics. What happens at the ill-defined border between the quantum and classical regimes? More importantly, are there essential biological functions that ‘appear’ classical but in reality are not? The role of quantum biology is precisely to expose and unravel this connection.

Fundamentally, all matter—animate or inanimate—is quantum mechanical, being constituted of ions, atoms and/or molecules whose equilibrium properties are accurately determined by quantum theory. As a result, it could be claimed that all of biology is quantum mechanical. However, this definition does not address the dynamical nature of biological processes, or the fact that a classical description of intermolecular dynamics seems often sufficient. Quantum biology should, therefore, be defined in terms of the physical ‘correctness’ of the models used and the consistency in the explanatory capabilities of classical versus quantum mechanical models of a particular biological process.

As we investigate biological systems on nanoscales and larger, we find that there exist processes in biological organisms, detailed in this article, for which it is currently thought that a quantum mechanical description is necessary to fully characterize the behaviour of the relevant subsystem. While quantum effects are difficult to observe on macroscopic time and length scales, processes necessary for the overall function and therefore survival of the organism seem to rely on dynamical quantum-mechanical effects at the intermolecular scale. It is precisely the interplay between these time and length scales that quantum biology investigates with the aim to build a consistent physical picture.

Grand hopes for quantum biology may include a contribution to a definition and understanding of life, or to an understanding of the brain and consciousness. However, these problems are as old as science itself, and a better approach is to ask whether quantum biology can contribute to a framework in which we can repose these questions in such a way as to get new answers. The study of biological processes operating efficiently at the boundary between the realms of quantum and classical physics is already contributing to improved physical descriptions of this quantum-to-classical transition.

More immediately, quantum biology promises to give rise to design principles for biologically inspired quantum nanotechnologies, with the ability to perform efficiently at a fundamental level in noisy environments at room temperature and even make use of these ‘noisy environments’ to preserve or even enhance the quantum properties [19,20]. Through engineering such systems, it may be possible to test and quantify the extent to which quantum effects can enhance processes and functions found in biology, and ultimately answer whether these quantum effects may have been purposefully selected in the design of the systems. Importantly, however, quantum bioinspired technologies can also be intrinsically useful independently from the organisms that inspired them.

Ancient Viruses And The Origins Of Complex Life On Earth

scitechdaily |  The first discovery of viruses infecting a group of microbes that may include the ancestors of all complex life has been found, scientists at The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) report in Nature Microbiology. The incredible discovery offers tantalizing clues about the origins of complex life and suggests new directions for investigating the hypothesis that viruses were essential to the evolution of humans and other complex life forms.

There is a well-supported hypothesis that all complex life forms such as humans, starfish, and trees — which feature cells with a nucleus and are called eukaryotes — originated when archaea and bacteria merged to form a hybrid organism. Recent research suggests the first eukaryotes are direct descendants of so-called Asgard archaea. The latest research, by Ian Rambo (a former doctoral student at UT Austin) and other members of Brett Baker’s lab, sheds light on how viruses, too, may have played a role in this billions-year-old history.


Comparison of all known virus genomes. Those viruses with similar genomes are grouped together including those that infect bacteria (on the left), eukaryotes (on the right and bottom center). The viruses that infect Asgard archaea are unique from those that have been described before. Credit: University of Texas at Austin

“This study is opening a door to better resolving the origin of eukaryotes and understanding the role of viruses in the ecology and evolution of Asgard archaea,” Rambo said. “There is a hypothesis that viruses may have contributed to the emergence of complex cellular life.”

Rambo is referring to a hotly debated hypothesis called viral eukaryogenesis. It suggests that, in addition to bacteria and archaea, viruses might have contributed some genetic component to the development of eukaryotes. While this latest discovery does not settle that debate, it does offer some interesting clues.

The newly discovered viruses that infect currently living Asgard archaea do have some features similar to viruses that infect eukaryotes, including the ability to copy their own DNA and hijack protein modification systems of their hosts. The fact that these recovered Asgard viruses display characteristics of both viruses that infect eukaryotes and prokaryotes, which have cells without a nucleus, makes them unique since they are not exactly like those that infect other archaea or complex life forms.

“The most exciting thing is they are completely new types of viruses that are different from those that we’ve seen before in archaea and eukaryotes, infecting our microbial relatives,” said Baker, associate professor of marine science and integrative biology and corresponding author of the study.

The Asgard archaea, which probably evolved more than 2 billion years ago and whose descendants are still living, have been discovered in deep-sea sediments and hot springs around the world, but so far only one strain has been successfully grown in the lab. To identify them, scientists collect their genetic material from the environment and then piece together their genomes. In this latest study, the researchers scanned the Asgard genomes for repeating DNA regions known as CRISPR arrays, which contain small pieces of viral DNA that can be precisely matched to viruses that previously infected these microbes. These genetic “fingerprints” allowed them to identify these stealthy viral invaders that infect organisms with key roles in the complex origin story of eukaryotes.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Canadian Military In Ukraine Pursuing A "Great White Reset"

johnhelmer  |   “Freeland is not acting alone,” comments the Canadian source. “She’s tried hard to bring everyone into her project [to succeed to the prime ministry], but she can’t get the neo-Confederates to settle down and wait for the project to come to fruition , with her at helm, of course.  They’re impatient for the Great White Reset; she needs the Galician dream fulfilled… The military is fine with Canadians, including active and retired service members fighting over there. They are not even pitching a fit about Canadian weapons stocks being emptied in order to be sent over there.”

“If you talk to any of them, they all pretty much have the same mentality. Whatever the West, as they define it, says — white, Christian, capitalist, Anglo, pro-US — goes. The can only see themselves, their career advancement, their ideas of what the country is fighting for within that framework. So they are increasingly upset by even the shallowest semblance of ‘multi-culturalism’ as represented in Ottawa by [Prime Minister Justin] Trudeau and to a degree, Freeland.”

“From what I’ve seen, the evidence of mutiny became apparent when the ‘trucker protest/ freedom convoy’ came up against the government’s activation of the Emergencies Act this winter.  From what I’ve heard, the military chiefs flat-out refused to back [Minister of Public Safety Marco] Mendicino, [Justice Minister and Attorney-General David]  Lametti, and [Minister of Emergency Preparedness Bill] Blair, and Freeland, while active and retired  officers openly sided with the  neo-Confederates who were getting support from the US. It seems that the contradiction here is that the officer corps, heavily committed to the anti-Russia track that cuts across Canadian party lines, is heavily politicized and infected by the neo-Confederate faction in the US. They don’t appreciate what they see as Trudeau’s ‘communism’, and believe that the charges against Cadieu are an expression of it.”

“This is deeply concerning as there can be no doubt that these people know, or strongly believe, that they have the full backing of at least some elements of the US security state, not to mention ‘thin blue line’ law enforcement, militia groups, etc. It’s fascism versus fascism.”


Ukraine Is Crawling With Western Special Forces And Spies

caitlinjohnstone | "American intelligence agencies have less information than they would like about Ukraine’s operations and possess a far better picture of Russia’s military, its planned operations and its successes and failures," NYT told us earlier this month. "U.S. officials said the Ukrainian government gave them few classified briefings or details about their operational plans, and Ukrainian officials acknowledged that they did not tell the Americans everything."

It seems a bit unlikely that US intelligence agencies would have a hard time getting information about what's happening in a country where they themselves are physically located. Moon of Alabama theorized at the time that this ridiculous "We don't know what's happening in our own proxy war" line was being pushed to give the US plausible deniability about Ukraine's failures on the battlefield, which have only gotten worse since then.

So why are they telling us all this now? Well, it could be that we're being paced into accepting an increasingly direct role of the US and its allies in Ukraine.

The other day Antiwar's Daniel Larison tweeted, "Hawks in April: Don't call it a proxy war! Hawks in May: Of course it's a proxy war! Hawks in June: It's not their war, it's our war!"

This is indeed exactly how it happened. Back in April President Biden told the press the idea that this is a proxy war between the US and Russia was "not true" and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said "It's not, this is clearly Ukraine's fight" when asked if this is a proxy war. The mainstream media were still framing this claim as merely an "accusation" by the Russian government, and empire spinmeisters were regularly admonishing anyone who used that term on the grounds that it deprives Ukrainians of their "agency".

Then May rolled around and all of a sudden we had The New Yorker unequivocally telling us that the US is in "a full proxy war with Russia" and hawks like US congressman Seth Moulton saying things like, "We’re not just at war to support the Ukrainians. We’re fundamentally at war, although somewhat through a proxy, with Russia, and it’s important that we win.”

And now here in June we've got war hawks like Max Boot coming right out and saying that this is actually America's war, and it is therefore important for the US to drastically escalate the war in order to hand the Russians "devastating losses".

So the previously unthinkable idea that the US is at war with Russia has been gradually normalized, with the heat turned up so slowly that the frog doesn't notice it's being boiled alive. If that idea can be sufficiently normalized, public consent for greater escalations will likely be forthcoming, even if those escalations are extremely psychotic. 

Back in March when I said the only "agency" Ukraine has in this conflict is the Central Intelligence kind, empire loyalists jumped down my throat. They couldn't believe I was saying something so evil and wrong. Now they've been told that the Central Intelligence Agency is indeed conducting operations and directing intelligence on the ground in Ukraine, but I somehow doubt that this will stir any self-reflection on their part.


Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Near Peer Warfare Requires Technically Advanced, Mass Scale, Industrial-age Production Capability

rusi  | The war in Ukraine has proven that the age of industrial warfare is still here. The massive consumption of equipment, vehicles and ammunition requires a large-scale industrial base for resupply – quantity still has a quality of its own. The mass scale combat has pitted 250,000 Ukrainian soldiers, together with 450,000 recently mobilised citizen soldiers against about 200,000 Russian and separatist troops. The effort to arm, feed and supply these armies is a monumental task. Ammunition resupply is particularly onerous. For Ukraine, compounding this task are Russian deep fires capabilities, which target Ukrainian military industry and transportation networks throughout the depth of the country. The Russian army has also suffered from Ukrainian cross-border attacks and acts of sabotage, but at a smaller scale. The rate of ammunition and equipment consumption in Ukraine can only be sustained by a large-scale industrial base.

This reality should be a concrete warning to Western countries, who have scaled down military industrial capacity and sacrificed scale and effectiveness for efficiency. This strategy relies on flawed assumptions about the future of war, and has been influenced by both the bureaucratic culture in Western governments and the legacy of low-intensity conflicts. Currently, the West may not have the industrial capacity to fight a large-scale war. If the US government is planning to once again become the arsenal of democracy, then the existing capabilities of the US military-industrial base and the core assumptions that have driven its development need to be re-examined.

Estimating Ammo Consumption

There is no exact ammunition consumption data available for the Russia–Ukraine conflict. Neither government publishes data, but an estimate of Russian ammunition consumption can be calculated using the official fire missions data provided by the Russian Ministry of Defense during its daily briefing.

Number of Russian Daily Fire Missions, 19–31 May

Although these numbers mix tactical rockets with conventional, hard-shell artillery, it is not unreasonable to assume that a third of these missions were fired by rocket troops because they form a third of a motorised rifle brigade’s artillery force, with two other battalions being tube artillery. This suggests 390 daily missions fired by tube artillery. Each tube artillery strike is conducted by a battery of six guns total. However, combat and maintenance breakdowns are likely to reduce this number to four. With four guns per battery and four rounds per gun, the tube artillery fires about 6,240 rounds per day. We can estimate an additional 15% wastage for rounds that were set on the ground but abandoned when the battery moved in a hurry, rounds destroyed by Ukrainian strikes on ammunition dumps, or rounds fired but not reported to higher command levels. This number comes up to 7,176 artillery rounds a day. It should be noted that the Russian Ministry of Defense only reports fire missions by forces of the Russian Federation. These do not include formations from the Donetsk and Luhansk separatist republics, which are treated as different countries. The numbers are not perfect, but even if they are off by 50%, it still does not change the overall logistics challenge.

The Capacity of the West’s Industrial Base

The winner in a prolonged war between two near-peer powers is still based on which side has the strongest industrial base. A country must either have the manufacturing capacity to build massive quantities of ammunition or have other manufacturing industries that can be rapidly converted to ammunition production. Unfortunately, the West no longer seems to have either.

Presently, the US is decreasing its artillery ammunition stockpiles. In 2020, artillery ammunition purchases decreased by 36% to $425 million. In 2022, the plan is to reduce expenditure on 155mm artillery rounds to $174 million. This is equivalent to 75,357 M795 basic ‘dumb’ rounds for regular artillery, 1,400 XM1113 rounds for the M777, and 1,046 XM1113 rounds for Extended Round Artillery Cannons. Finally, there are $75 million dedicated for Excalibur precision-guided munitions that costs $176K per round, thus totaling 426 rounds. In short, US annual artillery production would at best only last for 10 days to two weeks of combat in Ukraine. If the initial estimate of Russian shells fired is over by 50%, it would only extend the artillery supplied for three weeks.

The US is not the only country facing this challenge. In a recent war game involving US, UK and French forces, UK forces exhausted national stockpiles of critical ammunition after eight days.

Unfortunately, this is not only the case with artillery. Anti-tank Javelins and air-defence Stingers are in the same boat. The US shipped 7,000 Javelin missiles to Ukraine – roughly one-third of its stockpile – with more shipments to come. Lockheed Martin produces about 2,100 missiles a year, though this number might ramp up to 4,000 in a few years. Ukraine claims to use 500 Javelin missiles every day.

U.S. And NATO Running Out Of Weapons - And - Lack The Industrial Capacity To Make What's Needed

asiatimes |    The long and short of it is that, while the US and NATO can fight a short conflict, neither can support a long war because there’s insufficient equipment in the now-depleted inventory and the timelines to build replacement hardware are long.

Despite a history of having done so before, starting in 1939, there is little chance that the US today can put in place a surge capacity, or that it any longer knows how to do so if it is even feasible.

Based on those circumstances alone – and there are additional, compelling reasons – the US and NATO should be thinking about how to end the war in Ukraine rather than sticking with the declared policy of trying to bleed Russia.

Let’s start by looking back at a time when the United States did know how to plan for surge weapons-building capacity.

WW2 precedent

In 1939 the Roosevelt administration, with Congressional support, passed the Protective Mobilization Act.  Ultimately this would lead to the creation of a War Production Board, the Office of Production Management and the marshaling of US industry to fight the Nazis and Japanese

In 1941 the President declared an unlimited national emergency, giving the administration the power to shift industrial production to military requirements. Between 1940 and 1945, the US supplied almost two-thirds of all war supplies to the allies (including the USSR and China) and for US forces – producing some 297,000 aircraft, 193,000 artillery pieces (all types) and 86,000 tanks (light, medium and heavy).

Russia faced an altogether more difficult challenge because after Nazi Germany attacked the USSR in June 1941 much of Russia’s defense industrial infrastructure was threatened.  Russia evacuated 1,500 factories either to the Ural Mountains or to Soviet Central Asia.  Even Lenin’s body was moved from Moscow to Tyumen, 2,500 km from Moscow.

Notably, Stalin Tank Factory 183 would be moved from Kharkiv, now a contested city in the Ukraine war, to the Urals, rebranded as Uralvagonzavod and situated in Nizhny Tagil. The facility had been a railroad car maker, so it was suitable for tank manufacturing. The tank factory relocation was managed by Isaac Zaltzman. 

At that factory the Soviets produced a massive number of tanks (light, medium and heavy), most notably the T-34, the world’s most successful tank design (based on the Christie tank chassis from the United States). Altogether the Soviets produced almost 78,000 tanks and self-propelled guns mounted on tank chassis.

This is now 

It is noteworthy that today Russia as well as the US and America’s NATO partners all face supply problems as the war in Ukraine grinds on. While the US and Europe maintain a significant commercial industrial base, needed to supply key components for defense equipment, Russia lacks an in-depth civilian manufacturing infrastructure – especially in advanced electronics, sensors and electro-optics. 

The US and Europe face a risk because they are increasingly dependent on high-tech supplies from Asia. Today there are severe supply bottlenecks, shortages and risk dependencies. Even China, which has a huge commercial manufacturing infrastructure, faces difficulties in obtaining the most sophisticated integrated circuits, manufactured only in Taiwan by Taiwan Semiconductor (TSMC).

Procurement of defense goods in the US and Europe is episodic, not continuous. Funds are allocated to purchase a certain quantity of defense equipment. When the contract is completed and there are no immediate follow-on purchases, production lines are shut down and second- and third-tier component suppliers also stop production – or they shift to work on other projects (and in some cases go out of business). 

This means that if a new order comes in later, the supplier network and the production lines will have to be started almost from scratch. In addition to the loss of infrastructure for certain types of weapons, there is the related loss of skilled factory workers and engineers.


Monday, June 27, 2022

Valodya Warned Davos Degenerates About The Coming War "Of All Against All"

journal-neo  |  Sadly, the Fed and other central bankers lie. Raising interest rates is not to cure inflation. It is to force a global reset in control over the world’s assets, it’s wealth, whether real estate, farmland, commodity production, industry, even water. The Fed knows very well that Inflation is only beginning to rip across the global economy. What is unique is that now Green Energy mandates across the industrial world are driving this inflation crisis for the first time, something deliberately ignored by Washington or Brussels or Berlin.

The global shortages of fertilizers, soaring prices of natural gas, and grain supply losses from global draught or exploding costs of fertilizers and fuel or the war in Ukraine, guarantee that, at latest this September-October harvest time, we will undergo a global additional food and energy price explosion. Those shortages all are a result of deliberate policies.

Moreover, far worse inflation is certain, due to the pathological insistence of the world’s leading industrial economies led by the Biden Administration’s anti-hydrocarbon agenda. That agenda is typified by the astonishing nonsense of the US Energy Secretary stating, “buy E-autos instead” as the answer to exploding gasoline prices.

Similarly, the European Union has decided to phase out Russian oil and gas with no viable substitute as its leading economy, Germany, moves to shut its last nuclear reactor and close more coal plants. Germany and other EU economies as a result will see power blackouts this winter and natural gas prices will continue to soar. In the second week of June in Germany gas prices rose another 60% alone. Both the Green-controlled German government and the Green Agenda “Fit for 55” by the EU Commission continue to push unreliable and costly wind and solar at the expense of far cheaper and reliable hydrocarbons, insuring an unprecedented energy-led inflation.

Fed has pulled the plug

With the 0.75% Fed rate hike, largest in almost 30 years, and promise of more to come, the US central bank has now guaranteed a collapse of not merely the US debt bubble, but also much of the post-2008 global debt of $303 trillion. Rising interest rates after almost 15 years mean collapsing bond values. Bonds, not stocks, are the heart of the global financial system.

US mortgage rates have now doubled in just 5 months to above 6%, and home sales were already plunging before the latest rate hike. US corporations took on record debt owing to the years of ultra-low rates. Some 70% of that debt is rated just above “junk” status. That corporate non-financial debt totaled $9 trillion in 2006. Today it exceeds $18 trillion. Now a large number of those marginal companies will not be able to rollover the old debt with new, and bankruptcies will follow in coming months. The cosmetics giant Revlon just declared bankruptcy.

The highly-speculative, unregulated Crypto market, led by Bitcoin, is collapsing as investors realize there is no bailout there. Last November the Crypto world had a $3 trillion valuation. Today it is less than half, and with more collapse underway. Even before the latest Fed rate hike the stock value of the US megabanks had lost some $300 billion. Now with stock market further panic selling guaranteed as a global economic collapse grows, those banks are pre-programmed for a new severe bank crisis over the coming months.

As US economist Doug Noland recently noted, “Today, there’s a massive “periphery” loaded with “subprime” junk bonds, leveraged loans, buy-now-pay-later, auto, credit card, housing, and solar securitizations, franchise loans, private Credit, crypto Credit, DeFi, and on and on. A massive infrastructure has evolved over this long cycle to spur consumption for tens of millions, while financing thousands of uneconomic enterprises. The “periphery” has become systemic like never before. And things have started to Break.”

The Federal Government will now find its interest cost of carrying a record $30 trillion in Federal debt far more costly. Unlike the 1930s Great Depression when Federal debt was near nothing, today the Government, especially since the Biden budget measures, is at the limits. The US is becoming a Third World economy. If the Fed no longer buys trillions of US debt, who will? China? Japan? Not likely.

Elites Have Cannibalized The System So Thoroughly There's Nothing Left To Exploit Or Steal

oftwominds |   Many other dynamics changed around the same time: social, cultural, political. These charts reflect the end of the postwar era and the ushering in of a new era.

Again in broad-brush, the key economic dynamic was the decline of labor's share of the economy in favor of capital. Those who had only their labor to sell lost purchasing power, while those who could borrow or access capital benefited enormously. The charts below tell the story: labor's share of the national income has stairstepped lower for 50 years (since 1970) while the super-wealthy's share has outpaced everyone else 15-fold.

The dominance of financial capital is visible in the third chart, as private-sector financial assets are now 6 times the nation's GDP, double the percentage of the postwar era.

This capital-friendly era was rocket-boosted by financialization in the 1980s, technology in the 1990s and globalization in the early 21st century. You can see each advance of capital's top tier--the top 0.1%--in the chart below: the top 0.1% first pulled away in the 1980s financialization, stutter-stepped in the early 1990s and then exploded higher as technology fueled capital's leverage and exposure to the gains reaped by computers and the Internet.

Alas, these extremes are not stable or sustainable, and so each wave ends in a devastating crash. The income of the top 0.1% took a hit as the dotcom bubble burst, but then China's entry into the WTO saved the day as rampant globalization and additional extremes of financial leverage and fraud boosted their fortunes in the 2000s.

The dual extremes of financialization and globalization created the 2008 bubble, and its collapse almost took down the entire global capital house of cards. Central banks, ultimately financed by the Fed to the tune of $29 trillion, twice the size of America's entire GDP, instituted The Great Reset under the usual guise of "emergency measures" which then became permanent policies.

The Great Reset led to the hyper-centralization of control over the global economy's money as central banks coordinated unprecedented money-printing and financial repression, which includes zero-interest rate policies (ZIRP), as the debt-bubble would pop if rates aren't nailed down to zero.

All the PR being spewed about The Great Reset is the final frantic flailing of a system that's drowning in its own excesses. The 50-year long era of the few enriching themselves as the expense of the many has ended, for the same reason eras of extreme exploitation always end--the elites got too greedy and overshot the economy's ability to sustain their rapidly expanding share of the income and wealth.

Put another way: the elites have cannibalized the system so thoroughly that there's nothing left to steal, exploit or cannibalize. The hyper-centralized global money control has run out of rope as the cheap oil is gone, debts have ballooned to the point there is no way they'll ever be paid down, and the only thing staving off collapse is money-printing, which holds the seeds of its own demise.

Allow me to summarize the only way The Great Reset envisioned by global elites can actually manifest: The Martians arrive towing huge meteorites of pure lithium and gold, and rather than incinerating the global elites, they hand the global elites the meteorites to further their concentration of wealth and power.

Short of that science fiction, this sucker's going down. The Great Reset has already run its course after 12 long years of artifice, fraud and trickery. So global elite shills, lackeys, factotums, toadies and apparatchiks--prepare for your Wil-E-Coyote moment of truth.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Karens - How's That Vaccine Mandate Political Payback Working Out For You?

amidwesterndoctor  |  One of the tremendously frustrating experiences I have had during my lifetime has been watching an amazing candidate run for president, be widely liked by the voting base because of their excellent track record in standing up for the working class, and then watch the media systematically torpedo each and every one of their campaigns. 

The only person I have ever seen who was able to address this dilemma was Donald Trump, as he took a rather unorthodox approach where he campaigned on the basis of the media being evil.  As a result, each time the media gave him negative attention it helped rather than hindered his campaign, and before long he was able to pull the mass media into a symbiotic relationship where it could not help but continually provide oxygen to Trump’s campaign.  

The upside of this approach was that it provided Trump with the freedom to advance populist positions that went against the vested interests of the financiers of the corporate media, something very few other presidents have done.  The downside of this approach was that it was incredibly polarizing, and divided the country to the point that the left was willing to force through vaccine mandates as a way of getting back at the right.  While it is important to advance populist positions that go against entrenched interests (and to expose the systemic corruption within the media), there was a tremendous cost to the political polarization this approach created we will likely be stuck with for years to come.

Something that is often not appreciated about the media is that their business model is based upon getting as much viewership as possible and to provide content that appeases their advertisers. For this reason, content that is critical of any sponsor is never allowed to air.  As a result most media programming is meaningless stories that do not challenge any vested interest and are emotionally hyped up as much as possible to antagonize the audience so that the audience is drawn into caring about them.

Given that the largest sponsor of the mainstream media is the pharmaceutical industry, it is not surprising that all news content aggressively promotes the pharmaceutical party line (the only occasional exceptions I know of are Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham).  One of the ethical journalists who has spoken out the most on this issue is Sharyl Atkinson, who in one interview specifically noted that she observed a variety of major changes occur in the media that coincided with her suddenly being forbidden from ever discussing vaccine safety concerns on air.

It is difficult to assign blame for the botched pandemic response to any single party. However, if I have to identify the key culprit, I would argue that the rigid censorship by the mainstream media, big tech and the academic publishing institutions was what allowed the insane pandemic policy is to march forward despite being clearly in opposition to most existing scientific evidence. In the same way that pharmaceutical corruption has gradually taken over the legacy media (the Gates Foundation for example frequently gives media grants to ensure their massages dominate the airwaves), these other media venues are likewise highly susceptible to pernicious influence, which is why independent media platforms are so critical moving forward.

If They Don't Charge You For The Product (mRNA Therapeutics) YOU ARE THE PRODUCT!!!


Saturday, June 25, 2022

Pissants Jes Bitchcoin Fitna Slide Forever Into Somebody's Digital Wallet....,

nakedcapitalism |  Governments around the world are quickly but quietly designing, assembling and piloting digital identity systems, often with biometric components. They include the European Union, which itself comprises 27 member countries, the UK, Australia, Canada and dozens of countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The spread of these systems across the Global South is being spurred by a new development consensus that asserts that digital identification can foster inclusive and sustainable development and is a prerequisite for the realization of human rights.

As the World Bank noted in 2017, over 1.1 billion people in the world are unable to prove their identity and therefore lack access to vital services including healthcare, social protection, education and finance. Most live in Africa and Asia and more than a third of them are children. In an ostensible bid to address this problem, the World Bank launched the Identification for Development (ID4D) program in 2014 with “catalytic contributions” from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as well as the governments of the UK, France, Norway and the Omidyar Network.

A Dangerous New Road

The program provides loans to help countries in the Global South “realize the transformational potential of digital identity,” and has been rolled out in dozens of countries, mainly in Africa but also in Asia and Latin America. The program is wrapped up in cosy buzz words such as “digital development” and “financial inclusion”, but it has led to the promotion of a dangerous new approach to digital identity systems. That’s the damning conclusion of a new 100-page study by the NYU School of Law’s Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ), titled Paving the Digital Road to Hell: A Primer on the Role of the World Bank and Global Networks in Promoting Digital ID:

Through the embrace of digital technologies, the World Bank and a broader global
network of actors has been promoting a new paradigm for ID systems that prioritizes what
we refer to as ‘economic identity.’ These systems focus on fueling digital transactions and
transforming individuals into traceable data. They often ignore the ability of identification
systems to recognize not only that an individual is unique, but that they have a legal status
with associated rights.

Still, proponents have cloaked this new paradigm in the language of human rights and inclusion, arguing that such systems will help to achieve multiple Sustainable Development Goals. Like physical roads, national digital identification systems with biometric components (digital ID systems) are presented as the public infrastructure
of the digital future…

The problem, notes the paper, is that this emerging infrastructure has “been linked to severe and large-scale human rights violations in a range of countries around the world, affecting social, civil, and political rights.” What’s more, the benefits remain “ill-defined and poorly documented”:

Those who stand to benefit the most may not be those “left behind,” but a small group of companies and security-minded governments. The World Bank and the network argue that investing in digital ID systems is paving the road to an equitable digital future. But, despite undoubted good intentions on the part of some, they may well be paving a digital road to hell.

Three Core Functions of Digital ID

The report identifies three core functions of digital identity: identification (“the process of establishing the identity of an individual”); authentication (“the process of asserting an identity previously established during identification”) and lastly, authorization (“the process of determining which actions may be performed or services accessed on the basis of asserted and authenticated identity”).

Sum'n Jes Not Right About These Front-Running Crypto Temporary Autonomous Zones...,

technologyreview  |  Libertarian attempts to create autonomous mini-civilizations go back at least to the 1960s, but crypto is reinvigorating this old dream with a fresh infusion of cash and hype.

For an idea of what a corporate-run Bitcoin City might be like, look to a burgeoning project called Próspera, supported by the Free Private Cities Foundation in Honduras. While it’s not explicitly billed as a crypto community, a heavy emphasis on the crypto industry and the backing of heavyweight Bitcoin investors place Próspera in the same ideological milieu—a fusion of crypto evangelism and libertarian credos.

Próspera (Spanish for “prosperous”) occupies a small enclave on the Honduran island of Roatán. The developers have been handed the chance to model a society from scratch, including its own health, education, policing, and social security systems.

Honduras amended its constitution in 2013 to allow the creation of special economic zones managed by corporations and operating largely outside the country’s legal and regulatory oversight. The resulting enclaves are known in English as Zones of Economic Development and Employment (ZEDEs, pronounced “zeh-dehs”).

The decision was based on American economist Paul Romer’s proposal for charter cities—a type of special economic zone in an existing state but managed by another nation’s government. Considered one of his more outlandish ideas, they reflect his theories about how to promote foreign investment and alleviate inequality. Honduran ZEDEs are among the first tests of this concept, though Romer has held talks with some other governments.

Romer collaborated with the Honduran government at first, but they parted ways following disagreements over how his idea was being implemented. (Romer didn’t respond to a request for comment.)

Próspera, which broke ground in 2020, plans to implement ultra-low taxes, outsource services typically managed by the public sector, establish an “arbitration center” in place of a court, and charge an annual fee for citizenship (either physical or e-residency) that involves signing a “social contract” the company hopes will discourage misbehavior.

When I visited the site in February, a central office was one of the few completed buildings. There was no private Próspera police force, but on the front desk was a number for Bulldog Security International, a private security company engaged by hotels on the island that consider the local police force inadequate. A pair of two-story buildings housed office workers. The rest was largely a construction site, although a residential tower block is underway.

A rendering of the future Próspera shows apartments that appear to take inspiration from the shells of the island’s indigenous conch—soft curves in pearly coral, cream, and glass. A strip of white sand separates the apartment block from the gentle lap of the Caribbean Sea.

The businesses most likely to be drawn here are those keen to escape regulation in their own countries—Próspera’s chief of staff, Trey Goff, highlights medical innovation, health tourism, and just about every facet of the cryptocurrency industry. 

“There’s an automatic degree of overlap with the crypto industry and what we’re doing,” he says. “Because they see themselves as at the forefront of financial innovation, and we want to enable that.”


What Do Kids, Drug Users, Sex Workers, Political Radicals, Terrorists And The .0001% Have In Common?

pluralistic |  Kids, drug users, political radicals, sex workers and terrorists are all unwelcome in mainstream society. They struggle to use its money, its communications tools, and its media channels. Any attempt to do so comes at a high price: personal risk, plus a high likelihood that some or all of their interactions and transactions will be interdicted – their work seized and destroyed or blocked or deleted.

Using a new technology comes at a cost. If it's 1979 and you're Walt Disney Pictures, you've got no reason to explore the VCR. The existing system works great for you – and it works great for your audience. You can always find a movie theater willing to show your movies, your audience is happy to be seen entering that cinema, and the bank gladly accepts ticket revenues as deposits.

But if you're into smutty movies, none of that is true. Just mailing your 8mm films across state lines is risky – maybe it gets seized and incinerated, maybe a postal inspector shows up at your door with a search warrant. Most theaters won't show your movies, and most people don't want to be seen in the ones that will.

Given all those structural barriers, it makes sense that the technophiles who also happen to be involved in the sex trade will get a hearing from their colleagues – unlike the traditional media execs whose endorsement of the VCR made them persona non grata within their companies. That is, technophilia is a deficit if you're doing something socially acceptable, and an asset if you're doing something that's socially disfavored.

Which is why technophiles are leading figures among terrorists and kids and sex workers and drug users and political radicals. The kids who left Facebook for Instagram weren't looking for the Next Big Thing; they were looking for a social media service that their parents and teachers didn't use. The kids who were technophiles discovered Instagram and the others followed their lead. They endured the hassle of learning a new service and re-establishing social connections, because that hassle was less than the hassle of staying on Facebook, subject to scrutiny by the adult authorities in your life.

One corollary of this phenomenon is that technophile circles have disproportionate numbers of socially disfavored people. If you're a normie who just likes new tech, the services and systems you seek out will have higher-than-baseline numbers of people into sex, as well as radicals, kids, druggies and terrorists.

Another corollary of this phenomenon is that the founders of new technologies will always start out by courting these marginal groups – they are the vanguard, after all – and then, eventually, turn on them.

Sex workers know this story well. Sex workers' content and transactions turned companies from Tumblr to Instagram, Paypal to Twitch into multi-billion-dollar enterprises, whereupon these companies turned on sex workers and kicked them off the platform, seizing their money and destroying their creative work in the process.

No one knows this story better than Susie Bright, a pioneering sex-positive, high-tech feminist author, critic, educator and performer. Bright helped found the seminal lesbian magazine On Our Backs, practically invented serious film criticism for pornographic videos, edited many classic erotic books, and has used the courts to win justice for many sex-positive causes.

Bright is also a technophile. I met her on The WELL, an early online service, in the early 1990s. She was already a desktop publishing pioneer by then (On Our Backs was the first magazine to be laid out in Pagemaker). Since then, Bright has been at the forefront of every technological development and human rights struggle for sex workers.

Friday, June 24, 2022

If Your Political Identity And Pride Celebrations Are Inherently Sexual....,

reddit | Yes, exactly- someone being the minority doesn't mean they should be out of sight, and it doesn't mean that the majority's rights are being infringed by seeing it or having to (the horror!) explain it to kids. One, kids are a lot less fragile than people think, and two, you can't shield them from everything. Like you pointed out, the same people would probably hate to explain the existence of black people, Jews, the disabled/people in wheelchairs/people with amputations/people with heavy scarring, pregnant people... Actually, really take a long think about that last one. Pregnancy is about the closest it gets to explicit sex, because pregnancy is proof sex happened at some point. And sure, you can explain the baby's presence without sex- but you can also explain attraction towards the same sex without sex, too, by describing it the way you would a straight relationship. They're in love, they're holding hands, they're kissing. If you can do one, you can do the other. (Worth noting: the same Texas GOP platform that declared LGBT identity abominations, also says that all children must be taught that fetuses are people and that live begins "from fertilization". How do you explain fertilization without explaining what sex is? The GOP's own platform undercuts their claim that this is about protecting children from sex.)

I understand your reluctance to think of children having sexualities. This is why the split attraction model is used. Have you ever heard terms like "homoromantic asexual"? The model was used for people like that, who don't experience sexual attraction but do have romantic, but I think it would help for you to think of everyone in those terms to understand this. Most adults are heteromantic (fall in love with adults of the opposite sex) and heterosexual (want to have sex with adults of the opposite sex.) Most kids are heteromantic, but don't have sexual feelings yet, which is why they're okay with movies like Beauty and the Beast. But some kids are homoromantic. They don't have sexual attraction yet either, but they do have romantic ones. If you can understand a 12 year old girl having a boyfriend, you can understand a 12 year old girl having a girlfriend, too.

I think you are falling into a fallacy of fundamental attribution error. You, and other heterosexuals, have feelings which may or may not include sex. But LGBT people are sexualized so severely that people try to assign sexual meaning even to us just holding hands or kissing each other on the lips. Our motivations are stripped away by people who insist we are driven only by sexual desire. That's part of the reason "love is love" has been such a big part of our messaging; because we have had to convince people that we even experience love and other emotions separate from sex in the first place.

When we get accused of "grooming" kids (and note that they chose a word associated with child molestation, when they could have, if they really felt we were changing kids into something else, used "converting" which would have worked just as well- this is deliberate) we are being made out such that our existence is inherently that of a sexual deviant predator.

Truth be told, that's another insidious layer to the denial that LGBT youth even exist. If they occur naturally, it weakens the argument that children are being preyed upon. Only by furthering the narrative that this is an unnatural behavior that occurs only in either adults or in children who have been "tainted" by a perverted adult can the narrative be upheld. In other words, people don't call LGBT people groomers because they are truly worried about the kids; they mention the kids because it supports the narrative they have already created.

I hate to invoke Godwin's Law, but as a Jew, I thought I would bring up some similarities in the genocidal language and actions used.

  1. You are probably familiar with a certain picture of a Nazi book burning immediately before Hitler rose to power. What you are likely not aware of is that this was the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft, a sexuality institute, that studied LGBT people extensively. The first successful gender confirmation surgery was performed there. The books being burned in that photo? They were years of studies on LGBT people.

  2. Weimar Germany, in the years leading up to Hitler seizing power, was known as the best place in the world to be LGBT. Transgender people were even allowed to get special markers on their IDs to exempt them from gender-restricted dress codes. When Hitler seized power, those IDs were used to imprison trans people. Trans women were treated the same as gay men and given the pink triangle. Trans men were treated as lesbians and, while persecuted, were not sent to concentration camps.

  3. After WW2 ended, LGBT people in the camps were sent back to prison to serve out the remainders of their sentences. Some weren't freed until the 1970s.

  4. LGBT people, leading up to the Holocaust, were accused of grooming and molesting children. Not coincidentally, Jews were also depicted as stealing and converting children to Judaism and sinful lifestyles, particularly in political comics and caricatures.

  5. The current anti-trans movement is symbiotically fused with antisemitism. There are countless conspiracy theories that Jewish elites- particularly George Soros- are funding pharmacies to "trans the children" so they can make money from the medications and surgeries. Anti-semitism and transphobia almost always occur clustered together.

  6. The rise of the Great Replacement Theory is also linked to both of these. Jews are accused of bringing the immigrants into this country to replace white people. They're also accused of pushing "the trans" so that white children will be rendered infertile (despite the huge numbers of trans people of color, which they ignore) and drive down their numbers. An Idaho legislator who penned an anti-trans law explicitly says she sees it as an extension of the pro-life debate due to her worries about "teenagers losing perfectly healthy reproductive organs."

  7. In Nazi Germany, the role of women was primarily to make more good little Aryans and raise them properly. While abortions were often performed involuntarily on Jews and other undesirables, they were forbidden for white women. There was a high stigma for infertile women.

Taking all of these facts into account, I think you can see how it's hard for a lot of people to believe that the concern over children is actually genuine. It's something much more sinister and linked to a lot of other forms of bigotry, and we are seeing echoes of it now.

You don't call a group of people "groomers" if you want to live peacefully with them. Pedophiles are seen as subhuman, as dangers to society. Not one person on the planet wants to coexist peacefully with pedophiles. (And despite your insistence that they mean "grooming" as in converting, they never try to invoke that imagery. It's always claims of perversion, of sexual abuse- pedophilia without ever actually touching a child.) Once a group is perceived as being a front for pedophiles, it takes decades of advocacy for them to be seen as human beings again- if they are so lucky as to not be targeted for extermination instead.

This is genocidal language. It doesn't have to mean genocidal as in trains and gas chambers. It can also mean things like forcing them in the closet (which is to say: if you let Jews live, but said them going to temple was banned, and didn't let them wear their traditional clothing on the grounds that this was upsetting to children, that would be a form of genocide), taking their children away (there is a growing sentiment that LGBT couples should not be allowed to have or adopt children, and there is only one place that line of thinking leads. If it's grooming to tell someone else's kids it's okay to be gay, then it's grooming to tell your own kids, too, which means any LGBT adult with a child is now a groomer. Not to mention Texas's new initiative to have parents of trans kids investigated by CPS, which DeSantis has indicated he is interested in bringing to Florida), and otherwise making their lives unbearable in an attempt to drive up suicide rates (Trans people already have a 40% rate of attempting suicide, and this is higher when they are in unsupportive environments or those in which they can't access gender-affirming care, which both Abbott and DeSantis have said they want to ban in all circumstances in their states).

Further, there are increasing calls for pogroms against LGBT people from elected officials, those running for office, and/or people with heavy influence on elected officials. This has resulted in a sustained campaign of terror against LGBT people from the alt-right. Just twenty minutes from my hometown, two weeks ago, a U-Haul full of Patriot Front members was stopped on their way to attack an LGBT Pride event. At the same event, there were instances of harassment perpetrated by other groups, including, you guessed it, parents with kids being called groomers.

The LGBT community is in danger right now. I understand people like you who may have concerns, but the problem is that those concerns are often used as a pretext for the alt-right to radicalize people against LGBT people. The entire "groomers" rhetoric, for reference, started as a campaign on 4chan a year or two ago. And look how effective it has been just in the last six months. Five years ago, anyone who objected to LeFou being gay in the new Beauty and the Beast movie was laughed off the internet; if that movie was released now, there would be riots in Anaheim. This is getting out of hand at an alarming rate, and this really isn't a good time to be on the fence or "have concerns."

Speaking Of Sexual Degenerates, Let's Not Forget Illinois Very Own Harkonnen Family (Pritzkers)

tabletmag | One of the most powerful yet unremarked-upon drivers of our current wars over definitions of gender is a concerted push by members of one of the richest families in the United States to transition Americans from a dimorphic definition of sex to the broad acceptance and propagation of synthetic sex identities (SSI). Over the past decade, the Pritzkers of Illinois, who helped put Barack Obama in the White House and include among their number former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, current Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, and philanthropist Jennifer Pritzker, appear to have used a family philanthropic apparatus to drive an ideology and practice of disembodiment into our medical, legal, cultural, and educational institutions.

I first wrote about the Pritzkers, whose fortune originated in the Hyatt hotel chain, and their philanthropy directed toward normalizing what people call “transgenderism” in 2018. I have since stopped using the word “transgenderism” as it has no clear boundaries, which makes it useless for communication, and have instead opted for the term SSI, which more clearly defines what some of the Pritzkers and their allies are funding—even as it ignores the biological reality of “male” and “female” and “gay” and “straight.”

The creation and normalization of SSI speaks much more directly to what is happening in American culture, and elsewhere, under an umbrella of human rights. With the introduction of SSI, the current incarnation of the LGBTQ+ network—as distinct from the prior movement that fought for equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans, and which ended in 2020 with Bostock v. Clayton County, finding that LGBTQ+ is a protected class for discrimination purposes—is working closely with the techno-medical complex, big banks, international law firms, pharma giants, and corporate power to solidify the idea that humans are not a sexually dimorphic species—which contradicts reality and the fundamental premises not only of “traditional” religions but of the gay and lesbian civil rights movements and much of the feminist movement, for which sexual dimorphism and resulting gender differences are foundational premises.

Through investments in the techno-medical complex, where new highly medicalized sex identities are being conjured, Pritzkers and other elite donors are attempting to normalize the idea that human reproductive sex exists on a spectrum. These investments go toward creating new SSI using surgeries and drugs, and by instituting rapid language reforms to prop up these new identities and induce institutions and individuals to normalize them. In 2018, for example, at the Ronald Reagan Medical Center at the University of California Los Angeles (where the Pritzkers are major donors and hold various titles), the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology advertised several options for young females who think they can be men to have their reproductive organs removed, a procedure termed “gender-affirming care.”

What Becomes A CIA Hiring Purple-Haired, Gender-Fluid, Sexual Degenerates?

sonar21  |  Are we witnessing the consequences of legalized marijuana causing contact highs among the intelligence community that surrounds Washington, DC? How else to explain the parade of political and military analysts now seized with angst over the growing gulf between what they claimed would happen to Russia in Ukraine and the stark reality. Hell, even the CIA is trying to figure out what went wrong with its analysis and is still getting it wrong. Remarkable.

The problem with the CIA is simple–when you prioritize hiring people because of their embrace of pronouns and degenerate sexuality over recruiting accomplished, genuinely educated people equipped with critical thinking skills, do not be surprised that the juvenile mediocrities perform poorly. How is a gender fluid “them” with no military experience and no foreign language skills going to predict the military outcome of a conflict where the attacking force is outnumbered 3 to 1?

Failure is supposed to be a great teacher. But that instruction only succeeds if the pupil is open to learning hard lessons. The CIA has become a purple haired clown show. Just take a gander at the of this article from the Business Insider–US intel officials admit they didn’t see that Russia’s military was a ‘hollow force.’ Here’s what they did see and how they missed it.

Russia is now a “hollow force?” The only hollow thing in this example are the empty noggins of the morons masquerading as intelligence analysts. Check out their excuses for getting it wrong:

  • The Russian force the US military and intelligence agencies believed to be a near-peer adversary hasn’t shown up. The force that did appear had its main thrust blunted by smaller Ukrainian units.
  • “What we did not see from the inside was sort of this hollow force” that lacked an effective non-commissioned officer corps, leadership training, and effective doctrines, Berrier said of the Russians.
  • While US intelligence agencies misinterpreted the effectiveness of the Russian and Ukrainian militaries, they provided accurate information about Russia’s intentions in the months prior to Russia’s attack, which began on February 24.
  • “When you deal with a foreign actor, analysts can fall prey to a number of mental traps, from confirmation bias, availability bias, or even favoring existing analytic lines over new information,” Michael E. van Landingham, a former Russia analyst at the CIA, told Insider.

But this is all nonsense. There is this thing called the internet. It actually allows an inquiring mind to go back in time and see what the CIA was saying in February and March. This is not my opinion. You may read the facts for yourself:

Thursday, June 23, 2022

American Police Are Poorly Trained And Perversely Incentivized Liars, Bullies, And Cowards....,

hotair |  This ties up a loose end from yesterday’s post. According to the timeline laid out by Texas DPS chief Steve McCraw, one of the Uvalde school district cops on the scene told the other officers that he’d been on the phone with his wife, Eva Mireles, a teacher at the school who’d been shot in room 112. She was dying, she had said. He relayed that information to them at 11:48 a.m.

Police didn’t enter the room and confront the shooter for another 62 minutes.

How could the officer, Ruben Ruiz, not have ignored the warnings to stand down and rushed into the room to try to save his wife?

They detained him, disarmed, and kicked him out of the building while his wife bled out on the other side of the wall. That’s not the only example of cops detaining people who were willing to risk their own lives to try to stop the shooter either.

If I were Ruiz, I don’t know how I’d function. Every hour would be consumed wondering whether my wife would have been saved if the police had made their way in sooner. How can he ever work with those cops again? For that matter, why did he allow himself to be escorted from the scene instead of defying orders and barging into the room?

Were all of the officers at the scene under the impression that the doors were locked — even though, per McCraw, it turns out they weren’t? No one tried the knob once in desperation?

Again, Ruiz told his colleagues at 11:48 a.m. that his wife was shot but alive. Mireles was still alive 22 minutes later, per a 911 call by one of the children trapped in the classroom:

“There is a lot of bodies,” a 10-year-old student, Khloie Torres, quietly told a 911 dispatcher at 12:10 p.m. — 37 minutes after the gunman began shooting inside the classrooms — according to a review of a transcript of the call. “I don’t want to die, my teacher is dead, my teacher is dead, please send help, send help for my teacher, she is shot but still alive.”

Incredibly, Mireles was *still* alive when cops finally burst in and killed the shooter. “Officers could be seen in video footage rushing a few children out of the room and carrying out Ms. Mireles, who appeared to be in extreme pain,” the Times reported earlier this month. “She reached an ambulance, but died before reaching a hospital.”

What if they had reached her an hour earlier?

If not for Mireles’s phone call to Ruiz, one could imagine that the cops in the hallway might have believed they were in a hostage situation. If the shooter had stopped firing, they may have assumed that everyone inside the classroom who had already been shot was dead and now it was a matter of trying to wait him out in hopes that he’d surrender before harming anyone else.

But once they knew that someone was alive inside and bleeding, waiting should have been unimaginable. Even if they didn’t know about the 911 calls from the kids due to poor communication with dispatchers, they knew from Ruiz that they had to get in there to save Mireles ASAP, at whatever cost. But they didn’t. And they didn’t let him try either.



First Comes Job-loss/Precarity, Then Comes Addiction, Then Mental Illness

Wired |   To promote policy that actually works, reporters and editors need to act more like science journalists and less like stenographers who—whether implicitly or explicitly, accidentally or deliberately—bolster political campaigns that use ignorance to drive fear.

It would be hard to find a better example of this problem than Nellie Bowles’ recent essay in The Atlantic, which argues that San Francisco is a “failed city,” in large part because liberal policies have worsened addiction and mental illness. These policies persist, she suggests, because local politicians refuse to confront the empty-headed but well-intentioned delusions of the hippies and their descendants who just want to let it be. She also claims that the recall of progressive district attorney Chesa Boudin in a June 7 election demonstrates that the city is finally awakening from this daze.

Bowles’ work is far from alone in its failure to look at evidence of effectiveness of various policies when discussing the politics around them. In one 24-hour period in June, a columnist for The Washington Post argued that “Boudin’s recall proves that Democrats have lost the public’s trust on crime”—without any mention of data on which policies work best. A similar news analysis from The New York Times also mentioned no actual data. And a New York magazine essay on “Chesa Boudin and the Debacle of Urban Left-Wing Politics” similarly ignored the question of whose preferred approaches are supported by evidence—and whose aren’t.

Bowles writes that her hometown “became so dogmatically progressive that maintaining the purity of the politics required accepting—or at least ignoring—devastating results.” She describes the city’s de facto supervised injection site in the Tenderloin as a place that looks like “young people being eased into death on the sidewalk, surrounded by half-eaten boxed lunches.”

Her argument falls apart in the face of scientific data. Hundreds of studies support the “harm reduction” approach used in clean needle programs and supervised injection sites—and none of them show that it makes drug use or civic life worse.

Indeed, harm reduction was deliberately adopted based on research evidence, not platitudes from the 1960s. Further undermining her analysis, studies overwhelmingly illustrate the counterproductive nature of using cops and coercion first. For one, red states with old-school tough prosecutors actually have worse crime rates than liberal ones like California.

However, since Bowles apparently assumes that harm reduction tactics were adopted because they seemed groovy, she ignores this research base. (Which, ironically, is the type of mindless approach she critiques San Francisco policymakers for supposedly having used.) What she and many other journalists frame as the failure of harm reduction is actually the failure of criminalization.

A brief tour of the data: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and dozens of other obscure organizations like the World Health Organization, the National Academy of Medicine, and the American Medical Association, clean needle programs dramatically reduce HIV transmission without increasing drug use rates. One study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment showed that, compared to people on the street who do not, those who participate in syringe service programs are five times more likely to seek more traditional forms of recovery and three times more likely to quit injecting.

What about supervised drug consumption? Here are three reviews of the literature, which show that it reduces HIV risk, injecting, harm associated with injection, and overdose death rates—while not increasing and sometimes reducing local crime and needle litter. (A 2018 review widely touted by critics for suggesting that supervised consumption did not have a significantly positive outcome had to be retracted by the International Journal of Drug Policy due to poor methodology.)

How about the “problem” that Bowles identifies with reduced penalties for drug possession and the increased use of incarceration and coerced treatment she apparently prefers?


Honestly Not Sure How A Turd Like This Calls Itself A Scholar.....,

chronicle  |   It is not surprising for a boss to think that employees should avoid saying things in public that might damage the organiz...