Welcome to Saturday's Potluck - 6-4-2022

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
Pablo Picasso

I have been fortunate to spend most of my life in an area with continuing infrastructure improvements over the past 120 years. Each new method of transportation and subsequent improvements brought burst of economic activity. Railroad arrived in 1911 with a station in Bend, Oregon. The train station gave an economic edge over the other communities and became a lifeline for economic prosperity to move goods.

Train travel disappeared over time. Only one Amtrak route serves Oregon with seven stops. The closest station in in Chemult about a 60 miles drive. The station boasts a covering over the platform servicing passengers. The stars are amazing at the station, very little light pollution.

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China’s High-Speed Trains. America, Where are You?
By Larry Romanoff, May 27, 2022

China has the world’s longest high-speed rail (HSR) network with some 38,000 kilometers in operation, (1) which comprises nearly 70% of all the world’s high-speed lines (2) and more than three times that of the entire European Union. (3) China has more than 2,500 high-speed trains in operation, more than all the rest of the world combined, (4) and it also has the fastest trains in operation anywhere, (5) with several generations now operating at speeds between 350 Km/h and 400 Km/h. Shanghai’s Maglev is still the fastest operating train in the world, (6) with sustained speeds of 430 Km/h. China’s rail system carries about 3.5 billion passengers per year, nearly 70% of these on high-speed trains. During the 40 days of China’s Spring Festival (Chinese New Year), passenger volume reached a peak of more than 400 million.
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It is now legendary that when the Chinese government set its mind to an objective, it doesn’t waste time. Everything you have read above has happened in only the past 16 years. “At the beginning of the 21st century China had no high-speed railways. Slow and often uncomfortable trains plodded across this vast country, with low average speeds making journeys such as Shanghai-Beijing a test of travel endurance. Today, it’s a completely different picture. [China] has . . . the world’s largest network of high-speed railways, and all have been completed since 2008.”
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It was widely assumed initially that there was no market for train travel, that the world would follow the North American model and rely primarily on the auto with the airlines as long-distance backup. But more than 40 years ago Chinese government officials saw the potential and disagreed, and began planning what would become the world’s largest HSR network, with enormous sums invested in the project. One expert wrote, “Chinese engineers have exhibited enormous ingenuity and creativity and are still aggressively pushing the rail technology envelope.” It is generally agreed that China’s success in high-speed rail development and its cost reduction, has resulted in “validating the feasibility of widespread adoption and greater affordability. Developing countries are particularly grateful that China has brought the cost of HSR to affordable levels.” One expert wrote, “It appears now that China will dominate the HSR market for the foreseeable future.”

And indeed, developing countries are increasingly attracted to the prospect of China’s affordable HSR trains as an impetus for their own economic development. At the time of writing, Chinese railway firms were building a high-speed line in Turkey linking Ankara and Istanbul, another project in Venezuela, and expecting contracts in Brazil, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Poland. Railway routes in China are expanding to mesh with new routes in Vietnam and Thailand, and there are plans to extend a route all the way to Singapore. Chinese rail officials are in the planning stages of a high-speed rail route passing through Xinjiang Province in Western China, through Kyrgyzstan and other ‘Stans’, connecting with lines in Turkey and proceeding Westward into Europe. It may soon be possible to travel by HSR all the way from Shanghai to London – at a fraction of the cost of flying, and with far more comfort and the ability to see maybe 15 countries on route.
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Whenever the subject of technology transfer arises, there seems to always surface a flurry of accusations about copying or stealing. Readers should carefully note that China did not “steal” anyone’s rail technology; instead, it was all purchased. China paid billions of dollars for that transfer of technology. It is the same in all important industries today. China has the money, and is willing to pay handsomely for technology it needs to further its development.

To compensate for a late start, the Chinese government began (in only 2004) by purchasing rail technology abroad, signing agreements with Alstom and Kawasaki to build HSR train sets for China in cooperation with local firms. Kawasaki, who designed the original Hayate bullet train, signed a deal with the Chinese ministry of Railways for the transfer of a full spectrum of HSR technology. They began with Kawasaki manufacturing 50 HSR train sets in Japan and exporting these to China fully-assembled, then progressed to establishing factories in China where Kawasaki helped the Chinese manufacturers to produce another 50 train sets locally. China also paid Kawasaki for the training of manufacturing staff first in Japan and then at the factories in China. This process carried a heavy price; the arrangement with Kawasaki cost China around $800 million, plus countless millions for training and many technology updates. The contract with Kawasaki included “the transfer of the whole spectrum of technology and know-how for the bullet train”, so that these trains became in fact Chinese-owned IP.
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But it wasn’t all gravy because the Chinese rail companies paid billions of dollars for was in fact old technology from those four companies. Knowing the Chinese wanted to produce trains based entirely on their own IP and technology, Kawasaki and Siemens in particular refused to sell their more advanced products and would sell China only rail technology that was already two or even three generations old. These foreign companies were actually planning to take full control of China’s vast market for HSR transportation, expecting to fully supply the “the most ambitious rapid rail system in history”, with rewards in the billions.
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China’s HSR system is built to an intense high quality. Chinese high-speed trains run on special dedicated, often elevated tracks laid on deep and heavily-reinforced beds of high-density concrete with vertical and horizontal deviations measured in millimeters, these tracks supported by massive columns of high-strength concrete spaced very closely. With high-speed trains there is no chugging uphill and racing downhill; HSR tracks are, insofar as is humanly and technologically possible, a straight and level line. Typically, a horizontal elevation is selected for a particular route, with the rail bed maintaining this throughout the route. Depressions and valleys are filled in with bridges, and mountains and hills are met with tunnels.
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Due to its unique government structure, China is able to plan and amend its entire travel infrastructure as a whole, considering air, rail and road, taking into account only the benefits to the entire country rather than having to appease a multitude of private interests. HSR trains have cut travel time so dramatically that airline services on many routes have been suspended in whole or in part. The airlines may not always be pleased, but China’s transportation system is designed for the maximum overall benefit to the nation, not to serve specific private interests or friends of the Administration.
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It is critical to note that economic development follows transportation. Countries like Canada and the US would never have developed without the cross-country transportation systems being in place. But it is almost certainly too late for both Canada and the US with high-speed rail, too many decades of auto-dependent development condemning both countries to irreversible transport deficiencies. In the US, General Motors (aided by a few others) managed to convince the individual states to abandon all investment (and maintenance!) in railways and other public transport, and instead make huge public expenditures on highways that were useful only to those who owned private automobiles, effectively stranding all other citizens at home with no way to go anywhere and virtually forcing everyone to buy a car. This is not trivial, but instead a critical historical narrative. One observer wrote that “A theme likely to be emphasised in history will be the enormous strategic error made by both the US and Canada in enslaving themselves to individual motorized transportation.”
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“Most American (rail) infrastructure was built in the early to mid-20th century (1920-1950), the continent having been simultaneously wired for electricity and phone service while constructing the interstate highway system along with thousands of bridges, tunnels and more. But the US has spent almost no money on maintenance and repairs on any of this infrastructure for almost 60 years now. The situation today is dire and, in many instances, critical, but money is no longer available (except for Israel and Ukraine). Derailments and other accidents occur almost daily on America’s dilapidated and unsafe rail network which, like the highways, has received only urgent patching rather than proper maintenance and repair.” (18) (19) (20)

“In June of 2013 an Interstate bridge on a main commercial corridor between Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, Canada, collapsed and fell into the river below after being hit by a truck. This was not a high-speed collision; the truck simply bumped one of the main support pillars at low speed, but the weakened and dilapidated pillar broke from the strain and, without that extra bit of support, the entire bridge immediately collapsed.
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However, unknown to the world at large, America does indeed have a “high-speed train”, Richard Branson’s new ‘Brightline’, that runs 100 Kms from Miami to West Palm Beach in Florida. According to the promotions, these are “sleek, neon-yellow trains, which travel at speeds of up to 127 Kms/hr (!!!)”. To be fair to the Americans, they initially promoted this as a “higher-speed train”, a small but worthy concession to reality that quickly disappeared. To be fair to the sleek, neon-yellow train, it is quite unable to reach its advertised top speed and in fact seldom reaches even 100 Km/h, faster than a freight train, but not by much.

Also unknown to the world, this American version of HSR has, in its first few years since inauguration, had numerous derailments, scores of accidents, and caused well over 100 deaths. In what should have been a surprising development, several of the accidents and deaths occurred during the train’s initial test run, after which it was inexplicably cleared for service. But perhaps no matter because Brightline assured us that “safety remains the company’s top priority”. Interestingly, the US Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) data show 60% fewer deaths than the media reports of actual fatalities because (if you can believe this) they inexplicably (and almost certainly unjustifiably) classify most of the deaths as “possible suicides”, and then sanctimoniously impose “reporting restrictions intended to safeguard privacy”.
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In only one or two decades, China has become a world leader or at least a peer in so many areas – IT, telecommunications, high-speed trains, quantum communications, DNA synthesising and mapping, green energy sources, space exploration, astronomy, mind-machine interfaces, small drones, aircraft production, 3-D printing. The Chinese have built their own space station, photographed every square meter of the moon, launched their own GPS system, built the deepest deep-sea submersibles, and much more, to say nothing of all the massive engineering projects. None of this was an accident and none of it happened overnight; all were the result of planning begun 20, 30, and even 40 years ago, the results only now becoming evident.

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For many Americans cars are an essential part of life. Started driving on the roads at 12, when reached the age to legally move farm vehicles on public roads. The old Chevy truck was considered a farm vehicle when moving equipment from one property to another. Still drive an old, gas guzzling truck (now a Ford) to move stuff around for the ranch. The primary town car is an electric hybrid. Hydrogen car a little out of my price range and fuel availability issues.

Americans and Automobiles: Capitalism and Propaganda
By Larry Romanoff, May 28, 2022

In terms of environmental effect, the production of hydrogen from methane is more damaging than is driving gasoline-powered cars, since the hydrogen extraction process actually releases more CO2 into the atmosphere than does the burning of gasoline, on a per-liter basis. In addition, hydrogen is much less efficient than direct battery power and fuel cell autos will be almost twice as expensive as pure electric cars. The only advantages of a fuel cell are the prospect of longer range and shorter refueling times, but battery development will no doubt remove these differences in time.

There is also the aspect of economic and political control, which is not a small thing. The small cabal of European bankers and industrialists who beneficially control most of the world’s international oil companies are on public record as stating that “If you control the oil, you control the world’s economies, and if you control the food, you control the world’s populations”. This is what is at stake; it is not merely their petroleum profits but their political and economic control of nations, that are severely threatened by the move away from petroleum fuels. Consider the fierce economic attack on Russia and Venezuela in late 2014 and 2015 by the dramatic depression in the price of oil, meant almost exclusively to collapse Russia’s petroleum-based economy. Such ‘sanctions’ would be equally successful if the world moves to methane-based hydrogen auto fuel, but would be futile with electric cars.

The matter is even more serious than mere control of the economies of other nations. Recall again that the US military is on record as determined to obtain “full-spectrum domination”, one reason the Americans have been making such a fuss about China’s island installations in the South China Sea. The US military has been counting on the power of its naval fleet to cut off China’s petroleum supply routes in the event of a war, and a Chinese military presence in that area might inhibit US domination of the sea lanes. A military without fuel is no military; all those ships and planes become immobile useless hardware, as Japan discovered in 1940 when the US engineered a total embargo on oil to Japan, setting in motion the strike on Pearl Harbor. But more than that, if China moves to fully electric autos, its domestic petroleum supplies might be sufficient for the military, thereby denying the US a major advantage. Thus, the push to hydrogen fuels is as much about political and military domination as about bankers’ profits.
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There are many other such crimes against the American people, inflicted upon them by the same group, our by-now famous International Cabal of Gangsters (ICG) operating ultimately out of the City of London. One of the most insidious is the US FED [11], a blood-sucking vampire that badly needs a stake driven through its heart. The American health care system is another of the most obvious, [12] as is education, [13] [14] but there are more. If Americans understood their true predicament, and the fundamental causes, there would be a revolution before morning.
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Due to its unique government structure, China is able to plan and amend its entire travel infrastructure as a whole, considering air, rail and road, taking into account only the benefits to the entire country rather than having to appease a multitude of private interests. HSR trains have cut travel time so dramatically that airline services on many routes have been suspended in whole or in part. The airlines may not always be pleased, but China’s transportation system is designed for the maximum overall benefit to the nation, not to serve specific private interests or friends of the Administration.
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China has not succumbed to the sometimes-intense privatisation pressure from Western bankers and has retained control of its infrastructure, an enormous blessing for rapid and efficient development. Chinese leaders recognised from the beginning that economic development follows transportation, and thus maintaining control of the transportation infrastructure derives from a determination to distribute the benefits of development to the entire nation. The reality is that not all infrastructure is destined to be financially profitable – profitability being the only measure by Western standards.

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Do I believe this article from January? - It doesn't matter.
If Russia and Chinese believe the concept described it becomes significant.

NATO's new global doctrine reminds reincarnation of Third Reich pravda.ru Jan 6, 2022

In order to understand the essence of the process, one needs to understand how NATO sees this notorious "confrontation". Perhaps the best definition of this phenomenon was made by analyst Vladimir Pavlenko. In his article What new NATO strategy Jens Stoltenberg unveils he wrote:

"The strategy of the Western nations is to unite and maximize all of its bridgeheads on the Eurasian periphery — from Europe to Turkey, Israel and the Middle East and further to India, South Korea and Japan in transit through ASEAN."

Pavlenko uses the "anaconda ring" term. Indeed, this image suits the pseudo-European bloc that wants to turn into a global structure — a military dictatorship ruling over the US and the European Union.
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Jens Stoltenberg exposed the content of the new NATO 2022 doctrine in his interview for The Financial Times on October 19, 2021. In a conversation with an American journalist, he once again emphasized that it was China and Russia that posed one big threat to the world. He also revealed to the world that, from the point of view of the NATO leadership, all the differences between China, Russia, the Asia-Pacific region and Europe were conditional.

"This whole idea of distinguishing so much between China, Russia, either the Asia-Pacific or Europe — it is one big security environment and we have to address it all together. What we do on readiness, on technology, on cyber, on resilience matters for all these threats. You don't put a label,” he told the FT.

Stoltenberg's rhetoric echoes Nazi eloquence of 80 years ago, does it not? After all, it was Hitler who came up with the "complex solution to the problem": in his dictionary it is designated as "the final solution." Back in those years, the solution was about the destruction of the Soviet Union and the extermination of the Jews.
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Finally, the concept of "security" is interpreted as the need to keep "the door to membership in the Alliance open to all European democracies that meet NATO's standards."

This suggests that it is up to NATO to decide which state meets the standards and which does not. In fact, NATO justifies its further expansion to the East.

In conclusion, we can say that the Third Reich has reincarnated before our very eyes. The Jews have been replaced with the Russians and the Belarusians, whom this new reich recognizes as outcasts. They can be persecuted, their property can be destroyed, their money can be taken away from them, they can be deprived of the right to open accounts and seek jobs, they can be humiliated and insulted in all possible forms.

The new NATO strategy is designed to consolidate the status quo as the only way for inclusive capitalism to survive is to conquer Russia and its allies on the continent.

The confrontation has become global. Russia must be prepared for a long and difficult struggle — there is no other way.

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I was going to include some information on the changing media dialog regarding Ukraine. Moon of Alabama did an excellent recap Friday. Just reading the headlines is a showcase of propaganda techniques.
How Russia, And Putin, Are Weaponizing, Losing And Running Out Of ... Everything

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What is on your mind today?

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QMS's picture

on infrastructure improvement ..

china-high-speed-railway-map.jpg

an example of their technology ..
Hexie Hao (Harmony,和谐号) and Funxing (rejuvenation, 复兴号)

fuxing-hexie-high-speed-train-120.jpg

These are high speed bullet trains reaching close to 200 mph. They are very popular thru-out
China: As of 2019, high speed rail in China transported over 2.2 billion passengers, reaching a historical high along with the height of the high-speed rail network length.
They are using electric, internal combustion and maglev technologies.

china-high-speed-rail-network-102.jpg

https://www.chinadiscovery.com/china-high-speed-train-tours/high-speed-t...

Although highspeed rail is not typically very profitable financially, once completed, the express travel should provide social and economic benefits to cities that become more accessible, hence promoting mobility of people and goods. For instance, around 775 billion passenger-kilometers of passenger traffic was conducted by high-speed railways in China in 2019. China’s most popular high-speed rail segment, the Beijing-Shanghai line, operates at a profit of almost two million yuan a year.

http://en.theorychina.org/c/2021-11-30/1425462.shtml

This is a good example of the goals of Chinese development over-all, including the Belt Road Initiative branching thru many developing nations.

Uncle Sam would be wise to emulate their vision of a connected world without war. Would love to
ride on one of these Choo-choo's Wink

Thanks for the OT!

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studentofearth's picture

@QMS had to check out this page from your links at China Discovery.
How to Get On/Off the High Speed Train in China

Not visited Europe, yet. One of the major attractions has been the opportunity to experience well organized train system. Would also like to see the various areas past relative left to begin their journey in the Americas.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

@studentofearth , I love train travel. Wouldn't it be great to have it here.
Thanks for the OT, I'm just getting started reading :-).

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QMS's picture

@studentofearth tt

Have been on all the major trunk lines thru-out the US, both by passenger and freight, even some
of the local hops. Kinda a rail tramp that way. First job out of high school was with Penn Central,
working on a section gang in southern Michigan, early 70's. Good times.

The railroads in Europe and China puts the Amtrak in the covered wagon days. You are right, the
automobile industry took over ground transportation in the US. We still have a limited bus and train system for the poverty class. Airlines are, from what I hear, a total nightmare.

Infrastructure development here is faltering into the: too late, too expensive to fix zone. Watching
the US slide into third world development due to the greed of corporations and the ineffectiveness
of government to do little else than to pad the already wealthy is heart breaking.

Once gas is too expensive (almost already there) and the continuation of good paying jobs going more into the urban areas, it makes more sense to stay local and raise horses to pull the wagon
to market.

I'm on the cusp now. It no longer makes sense to feed the system at the sacrifice of personal well
being. Will not sacrifice my life savings to feed the beast. No matter the issues.

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snoopydawg's picture

@studentofearth

From DK has been over in Iceland and other countries around there taking the trains everywhere and posting diaries with pictures of his travels. I have enjoyed seeing them. My uncle travels to Europe frequently and he too takes the trains everywhere there. Here our trains are mostly pulling oil cars and whatnots. But as mentioned there are lots of crashes daily because poor upkeep for the rails. Gawd what stupid people we have continued to elect for the last 50 years. An occupying force couldn’t have destroyed the country any better than our American congress members.

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It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

Lookout's picture

@QMS

too the big cities. Farmers there are stars like cooks here.

Indeed NATO declared war on Russia (and China), and currently they're using Ukrainians as cannon fodder.
Joe Brandon is leading the country into collective dementia.

Thanks for the links and OT!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

QMS's picture

@Lookout

but can imagine, even if it not high speed, the goods are moving at a better pace than truckers
and ships in our dystopia.

Fortunately, dementia is not contagious, unless you happen to be a msm stenographer.

This new war to dominate world opinions, resources and health is not a winnable solution.
Give up the one world government already. A multi polar sharing of cultures and solutions
is going to be the only way out of this mess. If humans are to survive.

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@QMS @QMS I would love to do that as well. Wouldn't that be something. [edited to add]: A big yes to this;

Uncle Sam would be wise to emulate their vision of a connected world without war.
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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

...and it postulates both a lynchpin AND, consequently, a plan of attack/defense against - Mega-Morgoth's??? - "Great Reset":

https://www.reddit.com/r/WayOfTheBern/comments/v4kv4l/australian_update/

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

To paraphrase Jodie Foster: Human is not something to aspire to, it's something to get away from.

studentofearth's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat using various techniques to push frustration and anger towards a select group of people. Easy to watch and listen until this segment between 2:58-3.16 minutes.

There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of the "greater good" for the "greater number". So this is really just a friendly reminder government officials aren't these benevolent leaders with your best interests at heart. They are power-hungry, [word graphic for emphasis - POWER HUNGRY] perhaps semi-human creatures capable of any evil to pursue their sadistic agenda. Freedom and liberty are just one generation from becoming extinct.

De-humanization is a process used to increase the tolerance of violence towards others. Us vs them. Mindless violence creates the opportunities for societal changes for the Great Reset to be move forward. Added bonus if violence is kept directed at low level government employees vs people working together to discover the master players.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@studentofearth As far as I'm concerned, "human" is the greater insult, and the source of the very problem you describe - and would you really call this person a demagogue???

Hate, like all emotions, is smoke generated by a fire of Truth - the truth in this case being that an historically phenomenal wrong has been done. The VAST amount of 'negative energy' (to get momentarily hippie-dippie on you) has to be directed back to its correct culprit - otherwise it WILL be directed to the wrong one(s).

"Anybody can become angry, that is easy; but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way - that is not within everybody's power and is not easy."
- Aristotle

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

To paraphrase Jodie Foster: Human is not something to aspire to, it's something to get away from.

studentofearth's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat been equated with moving away from civilization going back to a natural experience or various religions offer paths to transform into a spiritual being. The modern twist is transhumanism.

Transhumanism is a philosophical and intellectual movement which advocates for the enhancement of the human condition by developing and making widely available sophisticated technologies that can greatly enhance longevity and cognition. It also predicts the inevitability of such technologies in the future.

These two quotes appear on Jodie Foster IMDB biography page. Neither seem to be antihuman.

Normal is not something to aspire to, it's something to get away from.

Cruelty might be very human, and it might be cultural, but it's not acceptable.

Anger and hate are two very human emotions which have brought a lot of damage into this world. Not ones I encourage anyone to aspire towards.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@studentofearth At a minimum, we are fixating on different things.

Emotions, I have concluded, are another form of bodily excrement: A waste product that is not of value itself, but left over from processing things that are of value. To fixate on them, including for the sake of discriminating against certain ones, is to be ruled by them. It's like what Buddha said about desire.
Also, I do not believe that it is any particular emotion that is any worse than any other (love without comprehension, for instance, can do a lot more harm than hate); the problem lies in being ruled by them, as opposed to processing and being done with them in as sanitary and efficient a manner as one is able.

Also, funny you should mention transhumanism; like I've mentioned a while ago, I'd effectively been one nearly my whole life, certainly years before I'd even heard of the term.

While we may not be understanding each other, it seems to be in kind of a weird "spaghetti-Western saloon brawlers jockeying on opposite sides of a small table" sort of way (I hope that makes sense).

Getting back to the original topic, let's remember that the supposed emotional package of that clip was something you specifically brought up; I don't want to get accidentally roped into defending an argument I never made or stance I never took.

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

To paraphrase Jodie Foster: Human is not something to aspire to, it's something to get away from.

snoopydawg's picture

Last week in Davos, the 47 African countries – almost the entire 54-country African continent - were unified at the WHO meeting, led by Botswana, as seen in the video linked below. These 47 countries that are members of the World Health Organization (WHO) were joined by a number of other large and small countries across the globe, in registering a tactful protest containing a devastating defeat for the Biden-proposed national sovereignty-crushing amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR) at the WHO.

The Biden-proposed amendments would have, if approved, greatly expanded the WHO’s pretext for bulldozing the sovereignty of nations, and their citizenry, attempting to bypass any national Constitutions prohibiting such invasions, any time the WHO squinted an eye at the next sniffle. (And as we all know the WHO seems to love to discover the next sniffle and to parade it as a worldwide extravaganza that we the people all seem to end up paying for medically, socially, financially, and politically, as we learned so painfully over the last two years.) As would have been granted under the Biden-proposed amendments, and under pretext of a tyrant’s favorite entity, a virus, the WHO would have specifically been granted entry across borders of any member nation, including the US. In such a WHO-targeted nation, the WHO could decide to allege the presence of a pandemic outbreak and to assume some kind of authority. The Constitutionally and cognitively challenged Biden Administration had proposed to the WHO these 13 amendments to the IHR, never mind those public servants’ oaths to uphold the US Constitution.

But Biden was pushed back.

Naomi Wolf: “It’s my understanding that 12 of the 13 US Amendments have been withdrawn due to opposition, and credit to the African nations [who said] ‘Slow down. We’re not going to hand over our sovereignty.’ . . . We want to slow walk this, meaning not right now, meaning never.”

Link

Second time Biden was involved in trying to nullify our national sovereignty. 1st time was trying to pass the TPP.

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It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

studentofearth's picture

@snoopydawg I had noticed the African nations were pushing back at the beginning of the meeting. A little worried they would give in to diplomatic pressure and accept the amendments.

Add the push back at the US-ASEAN Summit in May. Association of Southeast Asian Nations members are Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia.

ASEAN and its members were already wary of US-driven realpolitik strategic moves like AUKUS and the Quad that have been initiated to counter what the US sees as the “China threat’ to its hegemony in Asia. The US and its allies went around and over ASEAN to form these pacts. As a result, ASEAN has been split and weakened.

The Joint Vision Statement issued by the meeting on Friday reflects these contradictions. It is remarkable more for what is missing or left ambiguous than what is included and clear. The parties agreed to “appropriately [emphasis added] cooperate in international and regional fora.” But what is “inappropriate” cooperation? Clearly, either or both had reservations regarding certain types of cooperation. But which types, and why?

They declared that they “look forward to further strengthening cooperation including through relevant initiatives or frameworks of the United States or ASEAN.” This ambiguity appears to reflect real differences or uncertainties as to which side should take the initiative on what issues.

For example, Washington seems to want to fit ASEAN into the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue among India, Japan, Australia and the US. But ASEAN centrality means its security architecture and forums should take precedence and the Quad should take direction from them.

Despite its rhetoric to the contrary, last week’s meeting was still all about China and the US effort to form a united front against it.

Add the ongoing concern if the 2022 Summit of Americas in Los Angeles will be well attended this week.

Boycott threats, ideological clashes threaten to derail host Biden’s hopes for hemisphere summit The Washington Times June 2, 2022

The Biden administration once hoped the ninth Summit of the Americas would be a chance to showcase U.S. leadership in the Western Hemisphere and a move past the often tense relations that prevailed under the Trump administration. But the weeklong gathering, which starts Monday in Los Angeles, is so rife with ideological drama that it risks becoming one more headache for President Biden’s foreign policy agenda and his political standing at home.

The Summit of the Americas is the only formal gathering of the leaders of the countries of North, South and Central America, and the Caribbean. The event next week will be the first time the U.S. has hosted the summit since its 1994 inaugural in Miami.

What was supposed to be a muted celebration of hemispheric ties and cooperation has faced an unexpectedly rocky buildup.

Difficult to keep track of all the moving pieces on National Sovereignty and global alliances.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

Hudson states;

The State Department and CIA’s “mighty Wurlitzer” has focused on gaining control of Europe’s Social Democratic and Labour parties, anticipating that the great threat to U.S.-centered finance capitalism will be socialism. That has included the “green” parties, to the point where their pretence of opposing global warming is shown to be hypocritical in light of the vast carbon footprint and pollution of the NATO military warfare in Ukraine and related air force and naval exercises. You can’t be pro-environment and pro-war at the same time!

This has left the right-wing nationalist parties less influenced by U.S. political meddling. That is where the opposition to NATO is coming from, as in France and Hungary.

https://michael-hudson.com/2022/06/ukraine-a-trojan-for-germanys-us-depe...

Hudson seems to be saying what many here have noticed; if the so-called Left, isn't doing their job then "who ya gonna call"?

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studentofearth's picture

@randtntx He is very good at explaining complex issues.

Socialism

A century ago, the “final stage” of industrial capitalism was expected to be socialism. There were many different kinds of socialism: State socialism, Marxian socialism, Christian socialism, anarchist socialism, libertarian socialism. But what occurred after World War I was the antithesis of socialism. It was finance capitalism and a militarized Finance capitalism.

The common denominator of all socialist movements, from the right to the left of the political spectrum, was stronger government infrastructure spending. The transition to socialism was being led (in the United States and Germany) by industrial capitalism itself, seeking to minimize the cost of living (and hence the basic living wage) and the cost of doing business by government investment in basic infrastructure, whose services were to be provided freely, or at least at subsidized prices.

That aim would prevent basic services from becoming opportunities for monopoly rent.

One method used to force the rest of the world to support modern lifestyle of the US. Most citizens never noticed the decreasing ability of the US to support itself.

My book Super Imperialism has explained how, for the past 50 years, ever since the United States went off gold in August 1971, the U.S. Treasury Bill standard has given the United States a free ride at foreign expense. Foreign central banks have recycled their dollar inflow resulting from the U.S. balance-of-payments deficit into loans to the U.S. Treasury – that is, to buy U.S. Treasury securities to hold their savings. This arrangement has enabled the United States to undertake foreign military spending for its nearly 800 military bases around Eurasia without having to depreciate the dollar or tax its own citizens. The cost has been borne by countries whose central banks have built up their dollar loans to the U.S. Treasury.

But now that it has become unsafe for countries to hold dollar-denominated U.S. bank deposits or government securities or investments if they “threaten” to defend their own economic interests or if their policies diverge from those dictated by U.S. diplomats, how can America continue to get a free ride?
...
That is the challenge for U.S. foreign policy. One way or another, it aims to tax Europe and make other countries into economic satellites.
...
U.S. propagandists call governments that keep natural monopolies as public utilities “autocratic.” To be “democratic” means to let U.S. firms by control of these commanding heights, being “free” of government regulation and taxation of finance capital. So “left” and “right,” “democracy” and “autocracy,” have become an Orwellian Doublespeak vocabulary sponsored by America’s oligarchy (which it euphemizes as “democracy”).

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

@studentofearth , Hudson's explanations are clear. At times he throws in a bit of sardonic humor, (which is an added bonus) such as when he says U.S. propagandists use "Orwellian Doublespeak vocabulary sponsored by America’s oligarchy (which it euphemizes as “democracy”). "

His new book is out, it looks like a must read.

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snoopydawg's picture

@randtntx

are going along with our plan for them to commit economic suicide? Were those leaders bribed or threatened into doing it? How funny would it be if Biden’s plan was for regime change in Russia, but instead European people overthrew their governments instead because of the pain they inflicted on them?

How much longer will Americans continue to let their leaders do what they’ve been doing to them since at least Thatcher/Reagan? Yeah let’s not give up our guns.

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It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

@snoopydawg , I don't understand it either. Hudson's explanation is that...

The Social Democratic parties are basically bourgeois parties whose supporters have hopes of rising into the rentier class, or at least becoming stock and bond investors in miniature. The result is that neoliberalism has been led by Tony Blair in Britain and his counterparts in other countries.

Sounds familiar but is disappointing.

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lotlizard's picture

@randtntx  
because the established parties’ total support for war between NATO and Russia-China and for economic suicide also in that cause clearly shows that, in Germany at the moment, there simply is no other halfway effective opposition to support.

Sahra Wagenknecht has been trying for years to do something with populism in the Left Party (Die Linke) — with what result? The party has been trying to kick her out.

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enhydra lutris's picture

HSR or even a good quality rail net. It would also be nice to have all around good infrastructure, but our nation operates on the general rule of thumb that somebody must profit from any and every public good, and most profit from it more than they would selling junk food, entertainment or games of chance. That means very little that is seriously beneficial overall will ever get done.

HUELGA!!

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

earthling1's picture

Thanks a bunch for posting it.
There are a couple of people I really need to share this with.
And thanks to the commenters for richly adding to it.

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After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

studentofearth's picture

@earthling1 members who share their sources and thoughts.

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5 users have voted.

Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

snoopydawg's picture

Thanks! Yes the US has been hollowed out because the big business and of course Wall Street ordered congress to do so. I remember people talking about taking Amtrak across the country when I was young, but now? Pffft.

The 3rd Reich didn’t die after WW2 because we imported lots of it here and carried on what they started. Lots of nasty Nazis found themselves leading our many agencies. I recently learned that we brought the Japanese unit 731 scientists and their work here too. Nuremberg was selective on who was charged for heinous crimes against humanity and many businesses that helped Hitler are still operating today.

Now after congress let big business offshore jobs to China they are bitching that China is now a threat to the US. Of course it’s not just manufacturing, but instead of bullying countries to privatize everything and let us steal their resources, China is making friends and helping them become more successful. Gasp we can’t have that.

Bill Air Force base is going to have their air show soon and the people who’s comments make it through moderation are so excited to see them fly because they are why we are still free today even though America has not faced an outside threat since….? But freedom baby and no one can take on America’s military. Welp except for Vietnam and recently Afghanistan. Oh well.

Enjoy your time folks until the great psychopaths reset the economy for us and make us happy!

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7 users have voted.

It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

@snoopydawg iirc. The last win was WWII, due to taking credit for what Russia did.

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snoopydawg's picture

@on the cusp

and I don’t really know much about it so I left it off. We didn’t win in Iraq either, but boy did we shock and awe and decimated the country didn’t we? But yeah we won WW2 alright. Good grief I’ve believed that most of my life until just a few years ago. How many people still do?

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6 users have voted.

It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

enhydra lutris's picture

@on the cusp

be well and have a good one

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6 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris I can barely remember Grenada, despite that Clint Eastwood movie.
God, we are just a mess, el.

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lotlizard's picture

@on the cusp  
is one bit deterred from wanting to go down the same path.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@on the cusp

otherwise relatively aware people who, in later discussions, told me stuff to the effect of "nahhh, we never invaded Grenada".

be well and have a good one

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2 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --