Hong Kong: totalitarianism triumphs, democracy dies

What we’ve seen in Hong Kong over the past couple of days has been coming for some months.  It’s been inevitable, and now it’s happening.  I don’t envy the student activists who are now trapped in the university there.  They’re either going to disappear into Chinese detention camps, or they’re going to die there.  They have no other options left. Hong Kong police have fought running battles with protesters trying to break through a security cordon around a university in the city, firing teargas at anyone trying to leave. Polytechnic University, a sprawling campus that has been occupied by demonstrators since

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America’s food chain: interesting – and vulnerable?

The University of Illinois has just produced the first high-resolution map of the food supply chain in the United States.  It’s eye-opening in many ways.  Fast Company reports: Our map is a comprehensive snapshot of all food flows between counties in the U.S.—grains, fruits and vegetables, animal feed, and processed food items. . . . This map shows how food flows … in the U.S. What does this map reveal? 1. WHERE YOUR FOOD COMES FROM Now, residents in each county can see how they are connected to all other counties in the country via food transfers. Overall, there are 9.5

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Karma. Dogma. Self-assembling, in the long run.

Charles Hugh Smith recently examined dogma versus karma, and pointed out some inevitable truths.  He spoke from an economic perspective, but his words apply equally well to our nation as a whole. Karma covers a lot of ground, but it boils down to consequences: consequences not just from your actions but from your convictions, schemes, obsessions, and yes, dogmas. The reason why Karma runs over Dogma is that nobody clinging to a dogma sees themselves as dogmatic. The true believer never sees their conviction as dogma, but as Revealed Truth, as self-evident, a view that is buttressed by all the other

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The contempt of the ruling class for the ruled

If you’ve read the proposed “impeachment inquiry resolution” offered in Congress, you’ll understand just how profound is the contempt of the current majority there for the Constitution and laws of the United States.  They’re using those laws as levers to undermine the Constitution on which they’re based, and they have no problem with treating Congress as a partisan political fulcrum with which to try to lever a legitimately elected President out of office.  They’re not interested in whether it’s right or wrong to do something – only if they can twist words to call it legal.  “Legal” has supplanted “right or wrong” in US

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Well, what did they expect?

Australian reader Snoggeramus brings us another example of bureaucrats living in a dream world – that backfires on them. Two social workers at Melbourne’s controversial safe injecting room are facing drug trafficking charges. A 49-year-old man and 36-year-old woman were arrested on Thursday, along with six others, following raids at North Richmond Community Health and several homes. The centre has been the site of Victoria’s first safe injecting room since 2018, as part of a two-year trial. The pair, who work as counsellors, are accused of supplying drugs to addicts who use the service and have been stood down following their arrest.

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Truth is hard in a special-snowflake world

Film screenwriter, director and producer Christopher McQuarrie sent a string of tweets a few days ago that encapsulate how he sees the industry, and how to achieve success in it.  He’s blunt (almost brutally so) about how nobody’s going to do the work if you don’t, and how you can’t expect the Success Fairy to alight on your shoulders and sprinkle you with magic dust, or something like that.  Here’s an excerpt. 1.  I‘m receiving a lot of questions from writers asking where to submit scripts or how to sell them. Others ask how to sign an agent, attach directors or producers, etc. You

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Elections, incumbents, and democracy

Looks like Congress is the opposite of “democratically elected” when you take this into account. How is 97 percent of Congress able to get re-elected each year even though only 17 percent of the American people believe our representatives are doing a good job? It’s called an incumbent protection system. Taxpayers have a right to know how it works. Recently, our auditors at OpenTheBooks.com mashed up the federal checkbook with the congressional campaign donor database (source: OpenSecrets.org). We found powerful members of Congress soliciting campaign donations from federal contractors based in their districts. We followed the money and found a culture of conflict-of-interest. The confluence

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What’s really going on in Mexico – and threatening the US

Three articles have shed a great deal of light on what’s really happening in Mexico right now.  They’re essential reading, particularly because the mainstream media simply aren’t covering that country in anything like sufficient detail.  To call Mexico a “failed state” is being charitable, as this news report makes clear. The first article is from The Federalist, titled “A Drug Cartel Just Defeated The Mexican Military In Battle“. The battle of Culiacan marks a turning point in the collapse of the Mexican state. There is now no doubt about who is in control of Sinaloa, let alone the rest of

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“Journalists are prostitutes”

That’s the title of a very enlightening essay at Lew Rockwell.  It describes the life and experiences of German journalist Udo Ulfkotte, who explains just how journalists are “bought” and paid off by the powers that be.  It’s long, but very interesting.  Here’s an excerpt. Now to the subject of lying media. When I was sent to the Iran-Iraq war for the first time, the first time was from 1980 to July 1986, I was sent to this war to report for FAZ. The Iraqis were then ‘the good guys’. I was bit afraid. I didn’t have any experience as a war

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Propaganda versus fact

As an exercise in judging the torrent of political propaganda that’s spewed at us from all sides in these tenuously United States, here are two articles covering the same subject;  President Trump’s decision to withdraw US forces from the area of Syria near the Turkish border, to avoid getting involved in a shooting war with the Turks over the Kurds.  (We’ve spoken of his decision before, here and here.  Basically, I think it was correct.)  They offer very different perspectives. The New York Times thinks the President got it disastrously wrong, and has endangered US prestige, policies and security as a result. President

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