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  1. #406
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    Quote Originally posted by Dreamtimer View Post
    Why do folks want war so badly? What kind of delusion leads them to think they will end up with more freedom if we go to war with China? How do they think it can be sustained economically? Why do we not learn our lessons?

    The wars in the middle east didn't 'pay for themselves'.

    Where is he gonna get all the soldiers? Is he going to reinstitute the draft?

    China has been preparing for war with us for decades. We have not been doing the same. Is 'make America great' supposed to be about war with China? Trump was gushing over China's leader. Heaping him with praise. He's not prepared for war. He has no idea how to run a war. He can't even handle a pandemic.

    War would indeed lead to collapse.
    Ideological opposition to communism is what primarily fuelled Hitler's armies on their march towards the gates of Moscow and it is why the US entered the Korean and Vietnam wars. The current drumming for war also seems to have similar underpinnings.

    Often people do terrible things out of ideological conviction and such considerations can easily override reason and rationality. But, as Pat Buchanan rightly pointed out in the linked article above, China isn't the Soviet Union and the USA circa 2020 is not the USA of 1960. I don't think the US has any realistic chance of fighting an expeditionary war against China on its own home turf. This would essentially be a replay of the Korean war, except the USA is much weaker, China infinitely stronger than it was back then and I suspect the US would be roundly defeated in very short order. On the other hand, China cannot easily project power beyond its own borders. So, perhaps it won't evolve into a hot war and we will get a replay of the Cold War instead.

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  3. #407
    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    China has taken and used our ideas, creativity and science for decades. They use the fruits of our labor without having to have the freedom which we had in order to develop it in the first place.

    They're kind of like the Borg.

    Once they're strong enough and don't need us anymore...

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  5. #408
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    Quote Originally posted by Dreamtimer View Post
    China has taken and used our ideas, creativity and science for decades. They use the fruits of our labor without having to have the freedom which we had in order to develop it in the first place.

    They're kind of like the Borg.

    Once they're strong enough and don't need us anymore...
    That is an apt comparison.

    That is why a Chinese-led AI takeover is one of my big fears for the future. Once the technology exists to connect people to a VR internet in real time via brain implants, the push to borgify humanity will be immense and few people will be able to resist. Elon Musk thinks this is only a couple of years away.

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  7. #409
    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    And Elon gave his child a very code-like name. Embracing this future, he is?

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  9. #410
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    Orwellian CPC-dystopia, now that would be hell on Earth. I know what I would put in my head and it sure as hell wouldn't be a chip.
    Last edited by Wind, 13th May 2020 at 17:14.

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  11. #411
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    Mushrooms. Micro-dose or macro-dose. A very good way to fight the tech brain invasion, imo.

    (I personally have not ingested such mushrooms since I was in my 20s. But the time may come again).

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  13. #412
    Super Moderator Wind's Avatar
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    I have only tasted them truffles, not been really into mushrooms. I am interested though.

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  15. #413
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    Quote Originally posted by Dreamtimer View Post
    And Elon gave his child a very code-like name. Embracing this future, he is?
    Yes, apparently there's a reference to AI in there.

    Quote Originally posted by Dreamtimer View Post
    Mushrooms. Micro-dose or macro-dose. A very good way to fight the tech brain invasion, imo.

    (I personally have not ingested such mushrooms since I was in my 20s. But the time may come again).
    Not sure if altering brain chemistry would make that much a difference with a physical brain implant. Perhaps it is an idea worth exploring.

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  17. #414
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    I would avoid a physical brain implant strongly.

    I also never wanted a tracker in my phone. But since they're in all phones, I cannot avoid it. I can turn off location services, and deny them when sites ask for them. But I need it for navigation don't I? Mostly I don't let sites locate me.

    Mushrooms quite often induce a strong sense of connection with nature. Perhaps this could help to resist AI influence. If you were already implanted and you tripped you might confuse the AI, or you might just train it. The outcome of that seems to me quite unpredictable.

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  19. #415
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    Quote Originally posted by Dreamtimer View Post
    I would avoid a physical brain implant strongly.

    I also never wanted a tracker in my phone. But since they're in all phones, I cannot avoid it. I can turn off location services, and deny them when sites ask for them. But I need it for navigation don't I? Mostly I don't let sites locate me.

    Mushrooms quite often induce a strong sense of connection with nature. Perhaps this could help to resist AI influence. If you were already implanted and you tripped you might confuse the AI, or you might just train it. The outcome of that seems to me quite unpredictable.
    I don't think it is a big issue yet, but it could become one very rapidly, especially in places like China. Have you ever watched the dystopian Sci-Fi series Black Mirror by Charlie Brooker? It deals specifically with various versions of just such a near-future.

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  21. #416
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    The state of affairs is indeed quite sad in the US:

    Pulitzer winner Chris Hedges: These "are the good times — compared to what's coming next"

    Author of "America: The Farewell Tour": We're heading for a steep decline; Biden and the Democrats have no answers

    In this conversation, Hedges warns that the tumult and pain of Trump's coronavirus crisis is but a preview of far worse things in America's future, as social inequality and political failure combine to create a full collapse of the country's already declining standard of living, as well as its ailing democracy.

    Hedges also explains how the Democratic Party and its presumptive presidential nominee, Joe Biden, will likely not be able to respond to the Age of Trump and the economic and social destruction created by gangster capitalism, in combination with the coronavirus pandemic. Why? Because the Democrats are also part of the plutocratic establishment that has failed the American people.

    What has the sudden shock of the coronavirus pandemic revealed about America? If you were to take a snapshot of this moment, what does it reveal about the country?

    These days are the good times, as compared to what is coming next.

    How does a society change so fast?

    A society can change so quickly because the underlying structures are rotten. There is the patina or the veneer of a functioning system, but the foundations of it are so decayed that they can't take the stress. That was true in the Weimar Republic in Germany, before the Nazis took full control. That was true in Yugoslavia before the civil war and ethnic violence. It is true here in the United States too. This country cannot withstand the stress of the coronavirus pandemic. Beyond the obviousness of what the Republicans are doing, the Democratic Party's response to this crisis exemplifies the problems America is facing as a whole.

    Twelve hundred dollars to individuals suffering during this crisis is not sufficient. The Democrats were only really trying to block the equivalent of a $500 billion slush fund that is going into Mnuchin's hands, a man who acts like a criminal. That $1,200 is going to get vacuumed right up by the credit card companies and the banks who hold the mortgages.

    This is like a repeat of 2008, where Congress is dumping staggering sums of money into the hands of Wall Street thieves. What happened in 2008? The plutocrats and the corporations gave themselves massive stock bonuses and other income and returns. I do not see how the United States is going to avoid another Great Depression, which in turn will lead to a further consolidation of power by an authoritarian, oligarchic elite. Those elites are not really worried about the coronavirus pandemic because they will have their own ventilators and private medical staff and all the other things that they need to survive. The average person will be left to take care of themselves.

    The president, his party, the corporate overlords and Trump's Christian nationalist cult are now telling the American people to go out and risk death from the novel coronavirus as an act of "patriotism" and "love" for the economy.

    I would also add that huge numbers of people are going to die unnecessarily. Profit is always the most important thing for the oligarchs, and because of Fox News and other right-wing outlets a significant portion of the American public will downplay the severity and dangers of the coronavirus. Quite predictably, there is an accompanying spike in racist attacks against Chinese-Americans or any people of Asian descent.

    I think the pandemic and the response to it could lead us into virtually uncharted territory within the United States because as things deteriorate, the violence against nonwhites and other groups who are demonized by Trump and the right wing will increase. The desire for an authoritarian solution will grow more pronounced. I remember speaking to Fritz Stern, the great scholar of fascism, who himself fled Nazi Germany as a teenager. He said that in Germany there was a yearning for fascism before the word "fascism" was invented. We already see that yearning in America. The coronavirus crisis will make that yearning even more pronounced.

    What of public memory, especially in the short and the medium term? There are many voices who believe the coronavirus will spur positive social change in the United States. I worry that there will be a type of organized forgetting, where several months from now the coronavirus pandemic and what it exposed about the country's underlying rot will be forgotten — all of it thrown down the memory hole.

    I don't think we're going to be able to go back to a time before the coronavirus pandemic. I believe that the coronavirus is going to trigger a decline unlike anything the country has seen since the Great Depression. That is why the business class and other ruling elites are panicking. It is why Trump, the corporate leaders, Republicans and others aligned with them are telling people to go back to work — but to wear masks — which may really not keep them 100% safe.

    The pandemic was predictable. And yet, of course, especially under the Trump administration, we dismantled the mechanisms through which the United States could prepare. The needed infrastructure, such as hospital beds and ventilators and other needed equipment, was not there because, like with all decaying empires, the resources go to the defense industry and the military.

    The other part of this decay and vulnerability was the assault against public education and the corruption of the media. The fact that Fox News is even considered a news organization is staggering — although I don't think CNN is much better. In total, that contributes to a yearning for a system or a figure that can promise to tame the demons that have been unleashed.

    I am unsure if we have any mechanisms left in the United States by which we can effectively push back against the elites, the oligarchs and other anti-democratic forces. We don't have any ability to pit power against power. We can beg Pelosi or Mitch McConnell or some other politician all we want for help. We are not going to get it.

    Watching Trump stand before the country and speak about the coronavirus pandemic while he is flanked by corporate CEOs — never mind how Trump has filled the government with people from some of the world's largest corporations — really speaks to how the country is a naked plutocracy. The elites do not even try to hide it anymore.

    The oligarchs don't care about democracy. They don't care about truth. They are not interested in the consent of the governed. They could care less about social and income inequality. They are not going to rein in the surveillance state. In fact, as things deteriorate, the surveillance state going to expand. The oligarchs do not care about job losses because, as Marx said, unemployment creates greater pools of desperate surplus labor. The oligarchs do not care about the climate. It's all about the primacy of profit and corporate power — and those values and systems are extinguishing our democracy.

    And of course, they are all thrilled that nobody can go out in the streets because of the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing. Mass mobilization and civil disobedience is what is needed to defeat the oligarchs and take those first steps necessary to win back an American democracy.

    America's current political system is a corporate political duopoly. A person can either vote for nativists and racists and climate deniers and creationists on one end, or a person can vote for people who speak in the language of tolerance and are willing to put gay people or women or people of color into positions of power as long as they serve the system. Of course, that is the role that Barack Obama fulfilled at the expense of the American people.

    American society is in crisis, and in decline. As you point out, the coronavirus, in combination with Trump's authoritarian, neofascist movement are just symptoms of a deep societal rot. Where do we go from here?

    Let's take Biden. What does it mean to vote for Joe Biden? He has this kind of goofy persona which some people find charming. What is Biden's record? What is a person voting for if they back Biden on Election Day 2020?

    The humiliation of courageous women like Anita Hill who confronted her abuser. You vote for the architects of endless war. You vote for the apartheid state in Israel. Biden supports those things. With Biden you are voting for wholesale surveillance by the government, including the abolition of due process and habeas corpus. You vote for austerity programs. You vote for the destruction of welfare. That was Biden. You vote for cuts to Social Security, which he has repeatedly called for cutting, along with Medicaid. You vote for NAFTA, you vote for "free trade" deals. If you vote for Biden, you are voting for a real decline in wages and the loss of hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs.

    With Biden you are also voting for the assault on public education and the transfer of federal funds to Christian "charter schools." With Biden you are voting for more than a doubling of the prison population. With Biden you are voting for the militarized police and against the Green New Deal.

    You are also voting to limit a woman's right to abortion and reproductive rights. You are voting for a segregated public school system. With Biden you are voting for punitive levels of student debt and the inability of people to free themselves of that debt through bankruptcy. A vote for Biden is a vote for deregulating banking and finance. Biden also supports for-profit insurance and pharmaceutical corporations.

    A vote for Biden is also a vote against the possibility of universal health care. You vote for Biden and you are supporting huge, wasteful and bloated defense budgets. Biden also supports unlimited oligarchic and corporate money to buy the elections.

    That's what you're voting for.

    A vote for Joe Biden is a vote for more of the same. The ruling elites would prefer Joe Biden, just like they preferred Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump is vulgar and an embarrassment. But the ruling elites also made it abundantly clear about their interests: Many of these people were quoted by name saying that if Bernie Sanders was the nominee — or even Elizabeth Warren — they would vote for Donald Trump.

    One of the dominant narratives in the mainstream news media is that Trump is done. The coronavirus pandemic and his incompetence are dooming his re-election chances; the tide has finally turned.

    My response has been that this is too hopeful and borders on the delusional. One, there is no guarantee that there will even be a presidential election in 2020. Trump and the Republican Party are experts at vote-rigging and other ways of cheating to steal elections and subvert democracy. After the coronavirus crisis recedes, I believe that Trump may very well be even more powerful because he leads a cult and will proclaim that he led the country to "victory" over the virus.

    Liberal elites offer hope that is not grounded in an understanding of political reality. I do not believe that Joe Biden will necessarily be able to win against Trump. Biden is an extremely weak candidate because he represents the neoliberal gangster capitalist policies that the Democratic Party has embraced and that so many Americans are revolting against.

    James Baldwin explained why black people don't have midlife crises. Why? Because they do not buy into the myths of America. Black people know that the system in America is rigged. Black people know this when they are children. By comparison, white people buy into these illusions of meritocracy and individualism and American exceptionalism and similar beliefs. That is why the highest rates of suicide right now are among middle-aged white men, because they are finally starting to realize that the system does not care about them.

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  23. #417
    Senior Member NotAPretender's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dreamtimer View Post
    I would avoid a physical brain implant strongly.

    I also never wanted a tracker in my phone. But since they're in all phones, I cannot avoid it. I can turn off location services, and deny them when sites ask for them. But I need it for navigation don't I? Mostly I don't let sites locate me.

    Mushrooms quite often induce a strong sense of connection with nature. Perhaps this could help to resist AI influence. If you were already implanted and you tripped you might confuse the AI, or you might just train it. The outcome of that seems to me quite unpredictable.
    you are referring to the magic variety and not the usual edibles?

    Perhaps with luck the ultimate takeaway will be an awareness, "that we are all in this together" Just a thought I had this morning.
    Last edited by NotAPretender, 14th May 2020 at 13:51.
    "A large infusion of cash will cure most forms of fanatacism" - Thumbnail Biographies

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  25. #418
    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    Yeah, thanks. I should have specified magic or just said psilocybin.

    Yeah, that would be a nice takeaway.

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  27. #419
    Super Moderator Wind's Avatar
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    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4PPCfwbyFA


    I agree with this assessment.

    Considering current alt-right glee at Elon Musk (I’m not presuming his meaning) my view is: following the Matrix analogy, taking the red pill cannot mean going Right. Historically, the (religious) right *was* the Matrix (the establishment). In the 60s, to be Red-Pilled was to be left wing.

    Today, it should only mean to be balanced.

    ‪Why I say this is becoming increasingly self-evident: to see through the establishment is to be red-pilled. ‬

    ‪Today’s financial establishment is Right-wing. ‬

    ‪Today’s cultural establishment is Left-Wing. ‬

    ‪See through both of them, or just go home & stop playing games. ‬

    ‪Ancient wisdom, whether of the yin & yang, or Zoroastrian notions of balancing good & evil, understood this.

    In modern times we need to balance left & right, head & heart, brain & brawn, love & hate, opportunity & equality. It’s the hardest thing to do, but a sure way to succeed. ‬

    ~ Maajid Nawaz

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  29. #420
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    https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nat...-unspooling-2/

    The Unspooling

    What “the Resistance” really fears more than anything is General Michael Flynn’s mouth. He’s been under a judicial gag order since his case went before Judge Emmet Sullivan’s federal district court. Understandably, Gen. Flynn wasn’t eager to complicate his unjust plight with a contempt citation. Judge Sullivan’s recent shenanigans have one object: to keep that gag order in force as long as possible. The moment Judge Sullivan confirms the DOJ’s move to dismiss the charges, as he is duty-bound to do, General Flynn will be free to offer his views to the public. That might be inconvenient in an election season.

    I’m sure he has a lot to say. Gen. Flynn was head of the Defense Intelligence Agency for two years (2012 – 2014) under Barack Obama, and he knows a ton about every crooked operation Mr. Obama presided over, including the Benghazi fiasco, the Ukraine regime change op, and especially Mr. Obama’s hijacking of the NSA supercomputer surveillance database known as “the Hammer,” which was set up originally to track terrorists and then used by DNI James Clapper and CIA chief John Brennan to spy on Americans, most particularly Mr. Obama’s political adversaries. It’s rumored that Mr. Obama took the database with him when he left the White House, and it is said to contain great gouts of usefully damning information about just about everyone in government, including senators, congressmen, and Supreme Court justices.

    Gen. Flynn became an antagonist to Obama & Co. when he objected to the nuclear deal they were cooking up with Iran and when he spoke out against the CIA’s 2013 Timber Sycamore op to arm and give money to Isis terrorists opposing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Mr. Obama canned Gen. Flynn in 2014. What really sealed Gen. Flynn’s fate was when he started publicly complaining about the politicization of John Brennan’s CIA. The New York Times quoted him saying “They’ve lost sight of who they actually work for. They work for the American people. They don’t work for the president of the United States. Frankly, it’s become a very political organization.”

    And a few months later, he jumped on Donald Trump’s campaign bandwagon. When he led the cheer “Lock her up” at the Republican convention, you can imagine how that gave the heebie-jeebies to a whole lot of other Deep State denizens besides She-Whose-Turn-Was-Foiled. And then, Lord have mercy, he was appointed to sit at Mr. Trump’s very elbow in the West Wing as National Security Advisor! Well, you can imagine tremors that provoked. Gen. Flynn had declared his intention to completely reorganize, partially dismantle, and audit the intel community monster that had spread like a slime mold through the government. Mr. Brennan especially feared the audit part of the deal, since his agency regarded the billions of dollars that flowed in and out of it as just another one of its sacred secrets. Flynn had to be stopped.

    So, John Brennan concocted the RussiaGate scam to put over the idea that General Flynn was an errand boy of Vladimir Putin *—lock him up! — and for good measure, Mr. Trump probably was, too. Once they embarked on that grand misadventure, and enlisted the foolish James Comey and his FBI zealots to assist, the gang found themselves involved in a dangerous game of sedition, poorly thought out and executed desperately. And finally, by all that’s holy, the improbable Mr. Trump actually won the election, ensuring that he would be privy to every dark secret moldering in the vaults of the US government.

    For three years, the whole wicked scheme has been slowly but steadily unspooling. The hapless (and perhaps senile) Robert Mueller was brought in to cap what threatened to become a political nuclear meltdown. We must suppose that Mr. Mueller was just a figurehead, and yet the supposedly brightest gang of Lawfare attorneys he enlisted — Weissmann, Van Grack, Rhee, Zebling, et. Al. — absolutely blew it. They came up with zilch on Russian collusion, they muffed the attempt to nail Mr. Trump on an obstruction of justice rap (and watched helplessly as the inept Schiff & Nadler flopped fecklessly at impeachment), and now, having been exposed in the malicious prosecution of Gen. Flynn, they were forced to drop the case against him.

    Finally, Judge Sullivan was recruited by The Resistance in a last-ditch effort to keep Gen. Flynn silent for a couple months more by ginning up an amicus circus that would invite a zillion bogus filings of briefs to be meticulously examined and argued, a pointless exercise in sound and fury. In doing so, he contradicted 25 of his own previous rulings against amicus filings by the defendant, and also moved in violation of a Supreme Court decision (Fokker Services, 2020), as well as federal court rules against the use of amicus filings in criminal proceedings.

    Now he has a few days to answer a mandamus motion from the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit to cut the shit and do his bound duty in the case. I won’t rehearse the separation-of-powers argument, except to say that Judge Sullivan doesn’t have a leg to stand on, and will be lucky if he is not reprimanded by the higher court. He’s been played by the Lawfare gang and exposed as a useful idiot. They’ve tossed aside his personal honor like a banana skin. Gawd knows what else prompted him to lawyer-up.

    The colossal melodrama of a sedition conspiracy is unspooling swiftly now. Before much longer, US Attorney John Durham will weigh in with something, whether it’s a mere report detailing gross abuses of power, or perhaps a string of hard indictments against the seditionists. With bales of evidence of their misdeeds now in the public domain, the various players must be turning on each other viciously now. There’s probably not enough room under the proverbial bus to throw anybody else. They’ll need a train.

    Also, comically, FBI Director Christopher Wray opened an “internal investigation” last week to ascertain whether any current members of his agency engaged in any misconduct around the Flynn case. That’s cute. It only took him three years. Of course, most of the major perps have already been fired, Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Page. Why is Mr. Wray even still in that job, where his main occupation has been obstructing the release of court-ordered and congressionally subpoenaed documents?

    You know what would be really a great move? Fire Chris Wray’s ass and replace him with outgoing Acting DNI Richard Grenell. Let Mr. Grenell just be Acting FBI Director for the statutory six months moving toward the election. Don’t even bother to nominate him and go through a senate confirmation. I bet a lot remaining information would get unstuck fast

    Oh, and get ready for Gen. Michael Flynn to speak. He might have a few interesting things to say. Not all of the news media will ignore him, and then those who do will have a lot to answer for about their long-running complicity in the criminal conspiracy to overthrow a president.

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