Venezuela: where life is a burden to be endured

It’s truly astonishing to see how run-down, degraded and desperate life in Venezuela has become.  Two decades ago it was a cosmopolitan, wealthy society by Latin American standards, relatively carefree and prosperous.  Today, it’s a dystopian nightmare. Bloomberg has published a series of reports on life in Caracas, the country’s capital city.  All of them are worth reading, if only to illustrate how so much that we take for granted can be lost in a short time through mismanagement, envy and fear.  The latest looks at the street children of Caracas. Andrea is 9. Her father is dead. Her mother is pregnant,

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Big Brother is watching – and it’s not doing a damned bit of good

As part of its overall anti-terrorism strategy, the British government introduced a program called Prevent.  It appears to have become more an instrument for Big Brother-style thought control, rather than an effective tool against terrorists.  Reason reports: Part of a larger anti-terrorism strategy, Prevent was designed to prevent radicalization and seeks to monitor supposedly vulnerable people for evidence of extremism in the materials they peruse and the ideology they express. The idea is that, once identified, these individuals can be steered by authorities away from negative outcomes. “Interventions can include mentoring, counselling, theological support, encouraging civic engagement, developing support networks (family and

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Cult nation?

I’m very familiar with religious cults, from a professional perspective (as a former pastor and chaplain) and from counseling those trapped in them, trying to help them break free.  I’ve seen signs of cult-like behavior on the extremes of the American political spectrum, but I’ve never consciously equated the two fields.  Now the Federalist makes the resemblance clear. Consider for a moment today’s culture, which is saturated with the constant agitation of political correctness. It rarely allows for any real discussion or debate without automatic vilification of those deemed politically incorrect. Sadly, this is especially true in the very place where there

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Headline of the day

I did a double-take when I read this headline: Eastern Michigan University Cancels‘Vagina Monologues’ Because It Isn’t Inclusive Er . . . ah . . . WTF??? I thought the whole purpose of the Vagina Monologues was that it largely excluded men because they don’t have that organ.  So much for its inclusivity, right from the start! Verily, the mind doth boggle . . . Peter

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The tenuously United States of America

Yesterday’s mid-term elections have highlighted one factor in particular:  the fact that the United States are only barely united, with many influences dividing her people.  A big part of that divide is urban versus rural;  people in the latter areas appear to be far more conservative and “traditional” than those in the former.  Since cities are growing at the expense of smaller towns and the countryside, that divide is going to favor them to an ever-increasing extent . . . but what about the rest of the country?  Can urban voters override rural ones, and expect to get away with

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Pakistan: the epicenter of instability in South Asia?

Strategy Page points out that Pakistan’s own internal instability is destabilizing South Asian nations around it.  It’s not a hopeful picture for US involvement in Afghanistan. Imran Khan, the newly elected prime minister of Pakistan, has proved himself very much a tool of the Pakistani military. Khan openly and enthusiastically supports the Islamic terrorist violence in Indian Kashmir and denies any Pakistani responsibility for it. The Pakistani military can now do whatever they like without any risk of criticism from Pakistani politicians. The new head of the ISI is noted for his enthusiastic support for Islamic radicalism and the use of Islamic

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The tenuously United States of America

Yesterday’s mid-term elections have highlighted one factor in particular:  the fact that the United States are only barely united, with many influences dividing her people.  A big part of that divide is urban versus rural;  people in the latter areas appear to be far more conservative and “traditional” than those in the former.  Since cities are growing at the expense of smaller towns and the countryside, that divide is going to favor them to an ever-increasing extent . . . but what about the rest of the country?  Can urban voters override rural ones, and expect to get away with

Continue reading

Pakistan: the epicenter of instability in South Asia?

Strategy Page points out that Pakistan’s own internal instability is destabilizing South Asian nations around it.  It’s not a hopeful picture for US involvement in Afghanistan. Imran Khan, the newly elected prime minister of Pakistan, has proved himself very much a tool of the Pakistani military. Khan openly and enthusiastically supports the Islamic terrorist violence in Indian Kashmir and denies any Pakistani responsibility for it. The Pakistani military can now do whatever they like without any risk of criticism from Pakistani politicians. The new head of the ISI is noted for his enthusiastic support for Islamic radicalism and the use of Islamic

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Useful post-election security advice from Greg Ellifritz

We’ve mentioned Greg Ellifritz several times in these pages.  He’s produced a couple of very useful articles about how to prepare for and/or react to possible violence following the imminent mid-term elections.  Given the social turmoil in these dis-United States right now, this may be prescient. He has two articles focusing specifically on that issue, and a third on a possible rioter’s weapon. Post Election Riots? Post Election Violence Part II – Surviving the Flash Mob Dealing with Molotov Cocktails and Fire Bombs They’re very informative and practical.  I learned and re-learned several important lessons while reading them.  For example:  “Tear gas will

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I think he gets it

Liberty Blitzkrieg has two very thought-provoking articles that are well worth your time.  The first is titled “Lunatic Politics (Part 1) – Russiagate is a Religion“. The mental disorder colloquially known as Trump Derangement Syndrome is widely distributed throughout society at this point. Baseless accusations of treason were thrown around casually by all sorts of TDS sufferers, including sitting members of Congress. . . . … it’s become increasingly clear that Russiagate has become something akin to a religion. It’s adherents have become so attached to the story that Trump’s “wholly in the pocket of Putin,” they’re increasingly lobbing serious

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