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Messages - Surly1

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Rolling Stone is and always has been the best lens we have on the US Presidency. I'm surprised Murdoch doesn't have Jan Wenner killed so he can silence the last voice of reason in America. Matt Taibbi isn't Hunter, but he's good.

He is very good. And let's not give Murdoch any ideas; it's early yet.

Trump Is a Dangerous Idiot. So Why Are We Pushing Him Toward War?

In North Korea and in Syria, we should be encouraging Trump to mellow out Ė not the opposite

The only thing about Donald Trump that any sane person ever had to be grateful for was that he entered the White House claiming to be isolationist and war-averse.

Before the election, the only position Trump put forward that I approved of was his approach to Russia. That seems a little stale now in terms of subsequent events. The problem is that much of our info, as Taibbi details, comes from the same war criminals Putin stopped in their tracks in Syria when he challenged the notion of "American exceptionalism" during the Obama years. For which I was grateful.

The other problem is that our elites treat us as so much livestock, and we have very few sources of reliable information, even from long form print sources. Every single source has a POV and an axe to grind, even the so-called "friendlies." Maybe even especially them.

Meanwhile, in the States, the only thing about Donald Trump that any sane person ever had to be grateful for was that he entered the White House claiming to be isolationist and war-averse. That soon proved to be a lie like almost everything else about his campaign, but Jesus, do we have to help this clown down the road toward General Trump fantasies?

We have the dumbest, least competent White House in history. Whatever else anyone in America has as a goal for Trump's remaining time in office, the single most important priority must to be keeping this guy away from the nuclear button. Almost anything else would be survivable.

Which is why it makes no sense to be taunting Trump and basically calling him a wuss for negotiating with Kim Jong Un or being insufficiently aggressive in Syria. In the middle of a shooting conflict, our troops are currently stationed right across the river from large numbers of both private and official Russian forces. Who doesn't think this is crazy?

A NYC adman named Donny Deutsch, a advertising executive and television personality who supposedly knows Trump well enough to form a opinion, has opined that his former friend Trump is "cornered, unhinged," would start war "to protect his hide." Of course, DD is said to be dating Marla Maples, so that could be a factor...

Facebook's Security Chief May Be Out, and That's Bad for All of Us

PAUL WAGENSEIL Mar 20, 2018, 6:56 AM

Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos is planning to leave the company, The New York Timesand The Wall Street Journal reported Monday evening (March 19).


Have you seen me? Facebook's CEO is nowhere to be found. Credit: Dolphfyn/Shutterstock
Have you seen me? Facebook's CEO is nowhere to be found. Credit: Dolphfyn/Shutterstock


The news couldn't come at a worse time for Facebook, whose stock dropped seven percent Monday in the wake of weekend reports that the company had unwittingly given a political consulting firm data pertaining to 50 million users.

Stamos is well respected and well liked in the information-security community, and is regarded as a committed advocate of user privacy. His apparently impending departure would rob Facebook of an authoritative and trusted voice just as the company needs it most, and remove a powerful advocate of privacy rights from Facebook's executive team.

MORE: Everything You Need to Know About Facebook, Cambridge Analytica and the Trump Campaign

The Times said Stamos' departure was planned long before the news about about the consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica, broke Saturday (March 17).

The story said Stamos decided to leave in December, but that Facebook management persuaded him to delay his departure until August. The annual gathering of information-security professionals at the Black Hat and DEF CON security conferences in Las Vegas takes place in early August this year, and Facebook may have wanted him to speak on behalf of the company.

The Times and The Journal both said Stamos clashed with Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg over the extent to which Facebook should investigate and disclose the abuse of Facebook by Russian trolls during the 2016 election campaign. His staff was said to have been cut down to three people from 120.

Times reporter Sheera Frenkel said on Twitter that the Times report was based on interviews with seven different people. The story did not initially contain any comment from Stamos himself, but was updated to include a statement from him that "these are really challenging issues, and I've had some disagreements with all of my colleagues, including other executives."

Stamos took to Twitter later Monday evening to clarify that he had not left the company, but did not say whether he planned to leave.

"Despite the rumors, I'm still fully engaged with my work at Facebook," Stamos wrote. "It's true that my role did change. I'm currently spending more time exploring emerging security risks and working on election security."

"To be clear, the security team has never been prevented or discouraged from investigating any Russian activity by any executives," he later added.

Stamos was chief security officer at Yahoo from March 2014 to July 2015. One of his first moves was to enforce HTTPS encryption for Yahoo Mail and other Yahoo online services, greatly strengthening user privacy and security.

Stamos reportedly left Yahoo after he discovered that the company had let a government agency install software monitoring Yahoo Mail accounts for keywords. His departure marked the beginning of the end for Yahoo; the company was rocked by disclosures of massive data breaches, and its online assets were sold off at a discount to Verizon in mid-2017.

Stamos is famous for publicly questioning National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers at a conference in Washington in 2015. He also quickly organized the TrustyCon security conference in San Francisco in 2014 after many information-security professionals chose to boycott the RSA Conference in San Francisco when it was revealed that the RSA company had let the NSA tamper with one of its encryption protocols.

This year, a single tweet from Stamos spurred the rapid organization of OURSA, a one-day security conference featuring women speakers, after the RSA Conference booked only one woman out of 22 keynote speakers.

When the Cambridge Analytica story broke this past Saturday (March 17), Stamos painstakingly explained Facebook's actions in a series of tweets that were later deleted. Even now, he is engaged on Twitter, although Frenkel asserted that Stamos' tweets were now being cleared by Facebook's communications team.

Meanwhile, Sandberg and Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg are nowhere to be found. Neither has said anything in public recently about the Cambridge Analytica issue, even as politicians in the U.S. and U.K. demand answers.

The Times story said Facebook in 2017 commissioned opinion surveys to see what the American public thinks of the two top executives. Sandberg has become a best-selling author and an advocate for women corporate leaders, and rumors persist that Zuckerberg -- who has visited small towns in Iowa for no discernible reason, and whose own Twitter feed looks like a campaign commercial — is planning a political career.

With the two top executives seemingly distracted, it's not clear who's minding the store at Facebook. And with Stamos sidelined and probably on the way out, it's not clear who's minding all the personal data hundreds of millions of people have given Facebook.

Facebook had no problem giving away that data until it changed its data-sharing policies just before Stamos came on board. If he goes, there will be one less prominent person fighting for your privacy in a company that seems designed to violate it.

I am increasingly willing to believe this is a real terrorist, of the Muslim variety. But if so he's not communicating with any group, because they'd be taking credit for it. It could be another husband/wife team. This area of far north Austin is certainly populated by plenty of younger Muslims. Some of them are my patients.

Hm. I'd have bet white supremacist/nationalist.

And if it proves to be a white man/couple, watch for the news nets to drop the story like it has leprosy.

Surly Newz / Re: Going Down With the Bad Ship U.S.A.
« on: Today at 07:24:32 AM »
unrelenting austerity at home

I just wonder when the Paul Ryan/Mike Pence approach to government will finally start to push people into socialism, which seems like the eventual end-game. Austerity just isn't bad enough for enough people...or maybe everyone in the trailer park is still planning on winning the lottery or getting on reality TV.

There are still middle class people with money and homes. The rich can continue to mine us for a couple of more cycles. We're all just useless eaters to them, anyhow.

I never lose sight of how the world really works.

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Surly Newz / Going Down With the Bad Ship U.S.A.
« on: Today at 04:02:20 AM »
Some of that ol' time religion with the always-reliable Glen Ford.

Going Down With the Bad Ship U.S.A.

Going Down With the Bad Ship U.S.A.

Glen Ford, BAR executive editor
15 Mar 2018
Going Down With the Bad Ship U.S.A.
Going Down With the Bad Ship U.S.A.

“All that it can offer to the emerging nations of the world is a bad example and the threat of annihilation.”

There is no mystery to the ideological collapse of U.S. ruling class politics under late stage capitalism and imperial decline. Simply put, the corporate duopoly parties have nothing to offer the masses of people except unrelenting austerity at home and endless wars abroad. A shrunken and privatized Detroit serves as the model for U.S. urban policy; Libya and Syria are the scorched-earth footprints of a demented and dying empire. The lengthening shadow of economic eclipse by the East leaves the U.S. Lords of Capital with no cards left to play but the threat of Armageddon.

As China reclaims its historic place at the center of the earth, alongside the huge and heavily armed landmass of Russia, Washington flails about in a frenzy of firewall-building, buying time with the blood of millions, hoping to somehow preserve its doomed hegemony. But the “exceptional” superpower has no Marshall Plan to rescue itself from the throes of systemic decay, and all that it can offer to the emerging nations of the world is a bad example and the threat of annihilation. Its own people tire of the “Great Game,” finally realizing that they are the ones who have been played.

“Washington flails about in a frenzy of firewall-building, buying time with the blood of millions.”

George Bush drawled the “last hurrah” of empire with his declaration of “Mission Accomplished,” 15 years ago -- and was quickly contradicted. With the failure in Iraq, the pretense of “spreading democracy” came ingloriously undone. A refurbishing of the imperial brand was attempted, with a bright and shiny new face – a Black-ish one -- plus a new logo to justify invasion and regime-change: “humanitarian” intervention. But Obama’s assault on Syria revealed that the U.S. and its junior partners could only project power in the region through an alliance with Islamic jihadist terror. The architects of the War on Terror were, in fact, the godfathers of al Qaida.

“Do you realize now what you’ve done?” Vladimir Putin demanded of the Americans, at the United Nations, in 2015. “It is hypocritical and irresponsible to make loud declarations about the threat of international terrorism while turning a blind eye to the channels of financing and supporting terrorists, including the process of trafficking and illicit trade in oil and arms. It would be equally irresponsible to try to manipulate extremist groups and place them at one's service in order to achieve one's own political goals in the hope of later dealing with them or, in other words, liquidating them.”

The U.S. and its junior partners could only project power in the region through an alliance with Islamic jihadist terror.”

Washington’s jihadist strategy has rapidly unraveled ever since. The empire was unmasked in the world’s most public forum, revealing the utter depravity of U.S. policy and, more importantly, the weakness of Washington’s position in the region. The mighty fortress of global capital, the self-appointed defender of the world economic “order,” was revealed as, not just in collusion with head-chopping, women-enslaving, sectarian mass-murdering terrorists, but militarily dependent on the very forces it claims to wage a twilight, “generational” battle to destroy. The U.S. has been spouting The Mother of All Lies, and most of humanity knows it. Deep down, most Americans suspect as much, too.

With its intervention in Syria as a stalwart foe of jihadism and in defense of the principle of national sovereignty, Russia spoke the language of international law and morality, presenting a fundamental challenge to U.S. imperial exceptionalism. By deploying his forces against Washington’s jihadist proxies, in a region infested with American bases, Putin put muscle behind his call for a “multi-polar” world order.

China understands clearly that the ultimate U.S. aim is to block China’s access to the region’s energy and markets, at will. Beijing has praised Russia’s military role in the war, and stood with Moscow in vetoing western Security Council resolutions targeting Damascus. China routinely joins with Russia – and most other nations on the planet -- in pursuit of a more “multi-polar world.”

“Putin put muscle behind his call for a “multi-polar” world order.”

The U.S. now uses the desperate Kurdish militia as surrogates in Syria, in an attempt to justify its presence in the country, while continuing to arm, finance and train other “rebel” groups, reportedly including former ISIS fighters. The U.S. has always avoided targeting the al Qaida affiliate in Syria, formerly known as the al Nusra Front -- which, with ISIS on the run, remains the most effective anti-government force in the country.

The Trump administration declares that it will remain in Syria for the foreseeable future -- without even a fig leaf of legal cover. Although there is now no possibility for a jihadist victory, Washington seems intent on drawing out the war as long as possible. The truth is, Washington doesn’t know how to extricate itself, because to do so would amount to yet another admission of defeat, and lead quickly to the dissolution of the jihadist networks the Pentagon has so long cultivated.

Withdrawal from Syria -- and, sooner rather than later, from Iraq, whose parliament this month called for a timetable for U.S. forces to vacate the country -- would totally unravel U.S. strategy to dominate events in the oil-rich region. Obama launched the jihadist war against the Syrian government in 2011 to force his way into the country. ISIS’s seizure of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, gave the U.S. the opportunity to return to that country, militarily. There will be no third chances, in Syria or Iraq.

“Washington doesn’t know how to extricate itself, because to do so would amount to yet another admission of defeat.”

The American people will not stand for another such adventure. They feel tainted by the experience in both Syria and Iraq, and don’t trust what their government says about the “good guys” and the “bad guys” in the Arab world. If only for reasons of racism, they want out.

Everyone smells U.S. defeat, inside and outside the empire. It is a stink that only Americans that were conscious in the Vietnam era can remember. It makes folks anxious -- like the loss of a cocoon. Just as whites reaped a “psychological wage ” from Jim Crow privileges, according to W.E.B. Dubois, even if they were poor, so do citizens of empire feel psychological benefits, even when the cost of the war machine is impoverishing the country. U.S. politics in the era of imperial decline will be nasty, stupid, petty and racist -- just as we are already experiencing. There must be scapegoats for the national de-exceptionalization. The Russians fit the bill, for now, and so does anybody that talks like a Russian, or a Chinese -- for example, people that would like to live in a “multi-polar world.”

Do not expect the Republicans or the Democrats to make any sense of a world of diminishing empire. The duopolists are incapable of seeing any future beyond their rich patrons’ vision –- and the rich have no vision beyond continued accumulation of wealth, which requires a harsher and harsher austerity.

Most dangerous, they cannot imagine a world in which they are not on top. We will have to fight to keep them from blowing us all up, in rich man’s despair.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at .

Trump just hired a deep-state conspiracy theorist as his lawyer. Hereís what Joe diGenova has said.
by Aaron Blake March 19 at 2:55 PM Email the author

President Trump has stepped up his attacks on special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's investigation in recent days, and his lawyer even suggested that the inquiry should be shut down. And just in case the direction in which this whole thing is headed wasn't clear, Trump has now hired a lawyer who argues the president is being framed.

The SOLE reason Trump has added DiGenova is the reason you will listen in vain for on the cable TV news talking heads programs: to control the news cycle and keep his base off mouth-breathing full retards stoked and angry. His  job is to go on Trump TV every night and masturbate and thrown shit like a caged chimpanzee, and otherwise smear the Mueller probe.

As a creature of reality TV, Trump's strategy is to control the narrative and win the news cycle. period. As I stated nearly a year ago. It's about keeping his base of any and half-insane white apes in line and his approval above the Nixon tipping point.

That's it.

Surly Newz / Doomstead Diner Daily 3/29
« on: Today at 03:13:34 AM »

Doomstead Diner Daily 3/20

Page loading slowly? The Diner Daily is available HERE with even MORE sections and stories:

News digest brought to you by the Doomstead Diner.

Editor's note

The Doomstead Diner is a hub for discussion and information pertaining to the ongoing Economic Collapse of the Industrial Economy. The Diner is the result of many years of discussion and debate on many other forums. At Doomstead Diner, our goal is to collate much of the information we can to assist in planning for the world to come.

RE started the Diner Forum as a forum for untrammeled free speech and vigorous disputation. We'd be insulting the premises of this place if we offered anything less. As for Continuing an ongoing conversation with GO, when it comes to politics I will defend my turf, but feel free to enjoy the other aspects of his offerings, whether it's the statue of a pilgrim or an appreciation for the fine points of corned beef.

"Untrammeled Free Speech" is one thing, non-stop Ad Hom, resorting to Logical Fallacies and outright LYING is another.  That's why after dealing with this shit from Moriarty for a couple of years we had to institute moderation.  "Moderation" is not "Censorship".  It's an effort to keep the debate to topic and prevent posters from lighting the board up with Napalm.  If you don't do it, your board gets infested with Smokeys (see TBP in the old days) and no reasonable conversation takes place, just a contest of insults.

Also a reminder to all Admins.  Members complaining about "Censorship" on the Diner is a Violation of the CoC.  Any post that complains about censorship goes to the DNF file.


Thanks for the reminder. I had forgotten.

Golden Oxen Newz / Re: Golden Oxen's Newz Channel
« on: March 19, 2018, 04:07:37 PM »
Quote from: AG
Surly apparently has come to a position in life where he respects people who can "take a punch". I guess that means he believes I cannot.

When I feel you need my special flavor of moral uplift, I will hit you with a 2x4 myself. At no time did I address you or give you reason to think I was inferring something about you. I was attempting to answer the question you posed in good faith.
Quit borrowing trouble.

The Diner Pantry / Re: Doomstead Diner Menu
« on: March 19, 2018, 01:49:47 PM »
Greek appetizers:

Greek Appetizer Meatballs with Goat Cheese Tzatziki Dip



The Diner Pantry / Re: 🥟 Doomstead Diner Lunch Special: 3/19/2018
« on: March 19, 2018, 01:45:05 PM »
It's Appetizer🥟4Lunch Week hear at the Diner!  :icon_sunny:

Appetizers🥟 make great Lunch meals if you're not that hungry and they cost less than meals on the main menu.  If you are hungry, you can always order 2 of them.  :icon_sunny:

Diners are :hi: to submit their own favorite Appetizers🥟4Lunch this week also.  Two rules for submissions:

Bar Appetizer Sampler #1

A great idea and a thing of beauty.

Should come with one of these:

And one of these:


Eddie and Surly, I must admit I cannot figure out why you continue to attempt to reason with  (GO).

If you want to just keep some dialogue going for the sake of views, then that is understandable...

I argue with RE on this score as well.

Politically, GO and I will never agree. Yet this is a man susceptible to the arguments of Chris Hedges, who I think we can all agree is one of the smartest guys in the room and a man of impeccable morality. Politics aside, GO has made many contributions to this forum which I find useful and helpful. Edifying, even. When he goes ad hom (or when you or I do), we get to take our respective vocabularies for a walk, vent some spleen, but really accomplish nothing.  An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind, etc.

I can be as sanctimonious as the next motherfucker, but what does that make me? An asshole. At least I have the satisfaction of being correct, but I'm not going to convince GO of anything. He will have to convince himself. IN the fullness of time, I think he will, although he might not admit it. This place has a decided leftward twist, so GO has chosen a tough room in which to make a living. Yet he shows up here every day for the give-and-take. GO is so far to the right he thinks Eddie is a lefty, which is actually pretty funny. He's anything but. I grew up the son of a trade union Dem, picked up some academic leftism in college, but consider myself to have the same attitudes my father had. It's the world that's gone and done spun to the right, making people like me look like communists.

One can only show admiration for a man who shows he can take a punch. Having taken plenty of my own along the way, I do, anyhow.

This just in: it's only words. I give AZ a good thwok between the shoulder blades when he posts strange stuff, and find no difficulty arguing with Palloy or even RE. Hell, especially RE. If I'm not pissing on his shoes one every two weeks or so he thinks I don't love him anymore.

RE started the Diner Forum as a forum for untrammeled free speech and vigorous disputation. We'd be insulting the premises of this place if we offered anything less. As for Continuing an ongoing conversation with GO, when it comes to politics I will defend my turf, but feel free to enjoy the other aspects of his offerings, whether it's the statue of a pilgrim or an appreciation for the fine points of corned beef.

Maybe it's because I'm keenly aware of my own mortality, but I find myself thinking of the old quote, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." And let's keepit in perspective: by the simple fact of showing up here, we all recognize the fact that we're all doomed.

Surly Newz / A self-driving Uber car has hit and killed a woman
« on: March 19, 2018, 10:20:12 AM »
A self-driving Uber car has hit and killed a woman in what may be the first autonomous vehicle death


uber self driving autonomous cars
Uber driverless Ford Fusions sit in the Uber Technical Center parking lot on September, 22, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.Jeff Swensen/Getty Images


An Arizona woman has died after being hit by a self-driving car operated by Uber.

ABC 15 is reporting that the vehicle hit a woman in Tempe, Arizona on Monday morning, and that she died of her injuries at a hospital. The vehicle was in self-driving mode at the time of the crash, the news outlet cites Tempe police as saying.

The incident appears to be the first time a pedestrian has been killed by an autonomous vehicle, which are touted as a safer alternative to traditional cars. (A man was previously killed while using Tesla's semi-autonomous "auto pilot" mode, though he ignored seven safety warnings.)

Uber has since paused its self-driving car operations in Tempe, San Francisco, and Toronto, WPXI News reports.

The exact circumstances of the crash are not yet known.

In a brief statement provided to Business Insider, Uber confirmed that someone had died, and said the company is cooperating with investigators.

A spokesperson said: "Our hearts go out to the victim's family. We are fully cooperating with local authorities in their investigation of this incident." The company did not immediately provide further details about the deadly incident.

This story is developing...

Golden Oxen Newz / Re: Golden Oxen's Newz Channel
« on: March 19, 2018, 09:51:31 AM »
It should bother you that Trump has problems with the truth, and that he is sacking anyone who doesn't agree with his erroneous assumptions about what's really going on in the world.  This sort of behavior is more in line with a petty tyrant than the leader of the US. He reminds me of Duterte. It should be very frightening to anyone who loves his country.

Trump is perfecting the art of the Big Lie

By Max Boot March 17 at 11:50 AM
Trump is sucking a substantial portion of America into his Orwellian universe. The rest of us have to struggle simply to remember that war isnít peace, freedom isnít slavery, ignorance isnít strength.

It is essential to remember that Max Boot is a fully credentialed conservative, n favor of limited government at home and American leadership abroad. He opposed Trump's candidacy, but is a full-bore neocon and occupies the Jeane J. Kirkpatrick chair in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, and is a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard, the WSJ and other papers.

No radical here.

Surly Newz / Re: The Daily Meme
« on: March 19, 2018, 09:47:16 AM »
It's clearly time to post this one:

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