Thais use basement of abandoned Bangkok shopping mall for aquaculture, breeding tilapia. The first of many?
James Petras has written an enraging article entitled “The Soaring Profits of the Military-Industrial Complex And the Soaring Costs of Military Casualties”.
Petras contends that there are two major beneficiaries of the major wars launched by the US government: one is domestic and the other is foreign.
The first is the US arms manufacturers. Their investors have been overwhelmed with profits during the past "warring" decade and a half!
Petras: Read below the fold...
Slovakia's legal battle to implement single payer VS. special corporate "rights" under "free trade agreement"- Read the documents
Recap: Slovaks were fed up with the ever rising cost of health insurance, so in 2006, they elected a government that ran on a platform promising to limit the profits of the insurers and transition to single payer. Read below the fold...
A cultural moment?
— Newley Purnell (@newley) June 26, 2014
The canny coach:
— RT (@RT_com) June 26, 2014
The US advances!
— Bloomberg News (@BloombergNews) June 26, 2014
Political Violence at a Glance has an interesting discussion of ISIS that branches out to this:
Vanguards often emerge from movements led by ideologues – whether student revolutionaries or foreign jihadists – who are weakly connected to local networks and communities. This is the most interesting organizational starting point because groups with vanguard origins can take remarkably diverse trajectories, from the rapid collapse of urban-based leftist insurrections in Latin America to the transformation of the Viet Minh from an isolated band of activists into a hegemonic insurgency.
Networks of Rebellion outlines pathways through which vanguards change, toward both integration and fragmentation. Vanguards fragment as a result of two processes. First, sustained leadership decapitation can be devastating to vanguard groups. Because of weak local institutions, there is not a deep layer of second-rung leaders to take over (in contrast to a group, such as Hamas, that can refill the ranks even in the face of decapitation campaigns). Though the downfall of many vanguards, decapitation is unlikely to undermine ISIS because of the Iraqi government’s weak intelligence and organizational dysfunction. Adding American advisers (or, for that matter, combat forces) will do little to generate the fine-grained information necessary for a comprehensive decapitation campaign.
Second, vanguards can be undermined by revolts from below. They rely on opportunistic cooperation from local factions and networks that their central leadership does not tightly control. These local free agents can turn against the center, launching fratricidal rebellions that weaken or even wipe out the leadership. In mid-1990s Afghanistan, for instance, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s inability to embed his Hezb-e Islami into tribal networks in eastern Afghanistan left him vulnerable to local defection in the face of the Taliban.
So, thinking of Occupy... My first thought is to say "Decapitation, fuck yeah!" and remember the 17-city paramilitary crackdown. Read below the fold...
1. Why don't most Americans seriously care that the Obama faux-humanitarian war machine continues killing foreign peoples, that he is militarizing, destabilizing and plundering Africa, that he supports the dispossession and oppression of Palestinians, the crippling sanctions against innocent Iranians, etc.?
2. Why don't most Americans seriously care that Obama enabled and still does Al Qaeda/ISIS jihadists in Syria slaughtering and displacing hundreds of thousands of innocent citizens for the sake of the regime change of Assad? Read below the fold...
I saw the first honeybee today, so I hope it's doing alright. Report warns that widely used plant pesticide can harm bees:
Many home-garden plants promoted as “bee-friendly” are in fact pretreated with a class of pesticides that can kill bees and other pollinating insects, says a report to be released Wednesday in Portland by the environmental advocacy group Friends of the Earth.
Test results show that more than half of the garden plants from major retailers in 18 cities in the U.S. and Canada, including Portland, contain neonicotinoids, commonly used pesticides that are toxic to bees and many other organisms, according to the report.
Don't buy plants from "Garden Centers" at big box stores! Read below the fold...
That's what my father called his daily walk; a "tour." The garden seems to be complexifying as summer, at last, begins to be summer -- although it's the high 60s and rainy today, so we're still getting April showers in late June, low 60s tomorrow, fer chrissake -- but so and there was a lot to see today.
Below is the second of the two heirloom iris from the bulbs I cannot be lazy, again, about splitting this fall:
Administration takes first steps to privatizing Social Security by closing offices and crapifying service
For months there have been rumors that the Social Security Administration has a “secret plan” to close all of its field offices. Is it true? A little-known report commissioned by the SSA the request of Congress seems to hold the answer. The summary document outlining the plan, which is labeled “for internal use only,” is unavailable from the SSA but can be found here.
Does the document, entitled “Long Term Strategic Vision [ugh] and Vision Elements,” really propose shuttering all field offices? The answer, buried beneath a barrage of obfuscatory consultantese, clearly seems to be “yes.” Worse, the report also suggests that many of the SSA’s critical functions could soon be outsourced to private-sector partners and contractors.
Somebody should ask Hillary what she thinks about this. Snort. Read below the fold...