September 30, 2019

Microcosm of a postmodern coup

Rashida Tlaib @RashidaTlaib Retweeted Big Boss*:
You are beautiful, A—— A——. You are courageous & strong. You are loved.

You see, A——, you may not feel it now, but you have a power that threatens their core. I can't wait to watch you use it and thrive.

Stay strong.
*Big Boss @escapedmatrix:
Three white boys attacked 12-year-old A—— A——, held her hands behind her back, and cut her dreadlocks.

Second Lady @KarenPence, wife of VP Mike Pence, teaches part-time at #ImmanuelChristianSchool. We will protest in Virginia if this isn't handled.
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Coming from someone with dreadlocks and love for your skin, you are beautiful A—— A——. You don't deserve this. #JusticeForA——
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Pardon me, but @FLOTUS your #BeBest campaign isn't working for black kids. Why am I not surprised?
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.@KarenPence @FLOTUS You're a disgrace to our country, all educational institutions, and our youth in America if you don't immediately address and handle this racism. I'm certain your administration is partially responsible. #BeBestForBlacksToo
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.@KarenPence @FLOTUS Failure to respond will only confirm, you allow and promote hate crimes committed against black kids in school.
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.@chelseahandler I thought the #HelloPrivilegeItsMeChelsea thing was about realizing how you can help black people with your white privilege. Ummm. Help perhaps? #JusticeForA—— #2ndChance
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Now keep in mind, recently a black 6-year-old girl was handcuffed and arrested for throwing a tantrum at school. You would think an actual hate crime would receive the same attention. #EndRacism
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.@BrookeBCNN @donlemon @andersoncooper @maddow We need you all over this. Please amplify #JusticeForA——. #EndRacism
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The leading headline wasn't 'White kids arrested for assaulting black 12-year-old girl' -- even with a clear article about a black girl assaulted, and a video of her crying as she revisited her pain & fear.

This is what white privilege looks like. #EndRacism
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Black girl 'says'... after being assaulted by white kids.

Black boy charged... after a white kid gets hit while playing dodgeball.

Aside from the white privilege, notice how the media always paints blacks as the violent ones. Even when it comes to kids. #EndRacism
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[Notice the muddling of real and fantasy, and confusion of justice versus blind revenge, in the last tweets: The arrest of a 6-year-old girl for a tantrum is outrageous in itself, as is the assault charge against a 10-year-old boy. (And such police-state outrages happen to white kids, too.) Yet the tantrum and the assault actually happened. In this case, in contrast, the girl is reported as merely “saying” she was assaulted, because that is in fact all the information available. An arrest on that basis would only add injustice, however satisfying it may be to some racists. And the media interest in the story, rather than reflecting an anti-black bias, was precisely because it is in line with their narrative of the last 3 years about an existential threat from white racists. And the media reporting of the other cases was precisely to fan the very outrage expressed in these tweets. Also note earlier how quickly this thread became an attack on Trump via Karen Pence working part-time at the school, as if that’s what this is really about.]
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Thank you @RoArquette for using your platform to call out this racism. #JusticeForA——
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#ImmanuelChristianSchool told A—— and her grandmother not to speak about her assault on social media, and to just pray about it. That's something Trump or Pence would say, clear signs of a cover-up.

Our message to them is clear. No justice. No peace. #JusticeForA——
Two days later:
Statement of apology from the family of A—— A—— who now admits she made a false assault allegation against 3 white boys in her class. @nbcwashington
[[[[ o ]]]]

New York Times:
“While we are relieved to hear the truth and bring the events of the past few days to a close, we also feel tremendous pain for the victims and the hurt on both sides of this conflict,” the school’s principal, Stephen Danish, said in a statement.

He continued: “We recognize that we now enter what will be a long season of healing. This ordeal has revealed that we as a school family are not immune from the effects of deep racial wounds in our society.”
This is a microcosm of the reaction to Brexit and Trump. The consultant class has joined with the politicians, both elected and not, and the media to defend and restore the neoliberal globalism and neoconservative imperialism that were clearly repudiated in 2016.

They have done this with a narrative smearing that repudiation as a racist backlash that itself must be repudiated, even to spurning democracy and the law.

And so, just as Hillary Clinton started the refusal to accept Trump’s election and still 3 years later eggs it on, just as all of the Democrats clamor for his removal on imagined and increasing hysterical charges, this poor little girl thought it would be OK to make up a racist assault to get a little attention — because, on the model that the presumed “truth” of Trump’s evil – one’s “lived experience” of it – makes actual evidence and unbiased observation an inconvenience to be kicked aside in this righteous crusade, she has evidently absorbed the idea that the truth of racism is bigger than any truth about anything actually happening.

(There’s also the extra frisson of Karen Pence working at the school — one might start to think that there is more to this than one girl’s personal caper.)

If desired evidence isn’t found or isn’t strong enough, then it must be manufactured, so that the truth can be revealed. The consultant class, the academics and NGOs, whose livelihoods depend on fighting or studying injustice, must ensure that injustice persists. They reveal themselves as courtiers to, not the enemies of, power.

This is obviously immoral and destructive. In the name of defending liberalism, it is fanning the flames of hatred, scapegoating now this group now that group, a mob being easily manipulated as the useful idiots of Wall Street and War. It is as fascist as the Western world has come since the end of World War II.

As everyone is urged to assert their myriad victimhoods against an ever-fungible oppressor, real victims of actual crimes are forgotten. Real overarching hierarchies of oppression and inequity are ignored, because the very purpose of all these charades is to protect and preserve injustice.

See also: How knitters turned nasty

September 21, 2019

Climate Strike

There is so much that is frustrating about this movement, even for those who are sympathetic. Carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions are the least of our problems among the continuing environmental impacts of human life. And “green” alternatives only increase those adverse impacts.

They are all less efficient – diffuse – than “conventional” energy sources and therefore require more resource extraction and land use (industrializing vast swaths of the rural and wild) to provide the same power.

Furthermore, wind and solar are intermittent and variable, so they have to be overbuilt (more resources and land, as well as high-capacity powerlines) – and they still need backup: Natural gas–fired generators are ideal because they can respond quickly to balance the fluctuating power. But operating like that makes them less efficient as well, ie, they would emit more carbon as part of a grid with substantial (even as little as 5%) wind and solar than they would if the wind and solar weren’t there at all.

In short, more resource extraction (mining) and land use (habitat loss) and still dependent on fossil fuels, which would now emit more carbon than before. Brilliant.

Where else might this be leading?

Right now, there is only one energy source that is both more efficient and carbon-free: nuclear. The apocalyptic panic of Extinction Rebellion and Climate Strike seems to be doing all it can as useful idiots to revive nuclear as the only solution to their perception of a crisis caused by fossil fuels (ignoring all the other ways that humans trash the planet, or, eg, the mowing down of rainforests for biofuel plantations).

Convinced that they will not have long to live unless we utterly decarbonize (forget the fact that excess CO₂ stays in the atmosphere for centuries – in fact, current carbon levels may be mostly due to coal burning in the 19th century), this generation may usher in a world powered by nuclear. And the resulting pile-up of waste, leaks, and accidents (imagine hundreds, thousands, of Chernobyls and Fukushimas) are more likely to destroy the planet than everything they are protesting.

September 20, 2019

BAIN: extract, release

Bainim, vl. buain, baint, v. tr., I cut, strip, strike, pluck, dig, lift; with as, I take from, diminish, prime, take away, kill overcome; an chéad-ghábhadh do bhaint as, mar órduigh Pádraig, to relieve the first necessity, as Patrick ordained (saying); b. siar as, I cause a set-back to, disable; bainfead tamall as, it will last me for a time; b. as an leabhar é, I read it from the book; b. as ba reathaibh, I make off at high speed; b. chum reatha, id.; b. as, I force from; b. as bullán, I castrate a bull; bainim cainnt as, I get him to talk; baineann sé fáscadh as mo chliabh, it presses my hear (with anguish); b. ceol as, I play (an instrument); b. chum, I set about a thin; with de, I remove, take away from; créad a bhain díot? what has happened to you? what has brought you to this wretched state? b. de dheol, b. den chích, I wean; b. (with obj.) de, I charge, with a suggestion of extortion; bain sé fiche púnt díom, he charged me twenty pounds; ag baint bárr dá chéile, vying or contending with one another; b. ceart de, I manage successfully (a person or thing); b. sásamh de, I call to account, exact satisfaction from; baineadh dem chosaint mé, I was thrown off my guard; b. póg de, I snatch a kiss from; bhain sé lá díom, it took me a day; b. an croiceann de, I flay, I persecute; with le, I touch, I meddle with, I am connecte with; gach n-aon a bhaineann linn, everyone one connected with, or related to, us; ná bain leis, do not meddle with it or him; baineann sé le deallramh go, it seems likely that; ní fheadar cad a bhaineann le feirg, ⁊c., I know nothing at all about anger, etc., I am completely free from anger, etc.; b. amach, I take possession of, I exact, I eke out, I reach, gain, I rescue; b. amach, intr., I fly, get off (N. Con., U.); bhain sé amach, he made off (Or.); céard do bhain duit? what has happened to you? (Aran); b. do, I am related to (N. Con.), corresponding to b. le (M. etc.); b. do, I affect (N. Con.) corresp. to b. le (M. etc.); baineann do, happens to; ar bhain dúinn, all that happened to usl b. ó, I soothe, mollify, subtract; baineadh na cosa uaim, I was taken off my feet; various uses: a dtoirmeasc ó bhuain ann, to prevent them having anything to do with it (e.g., entering the ecclesiastical state) (Donl.); níor baineadh faoi’n inghin acht ag gol, the girl never ceased from weeping (Don.); buain (bain, baint) fá chéile, to take a partner in life (H.); b. anuas, I take down, cut off, unravel, dismantle; ag baint phrátaí, digging out potatoes; b. (buainim) clog, I ring a bell.

—Foclóir Gaedhilge agus Béarla, 1927, by Patrick Dinneen

Also see entry at: Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla, 1977, by Niall Ó Dónaill, as well as: cuir amach, cuir aníos, cuir anuas, cuir ar, cuir as, cuir chuig, cuir de, cuir do, cuir faoi, cuir le, cuir ó, and cuir siar as.

September 8, 2019

Biggest military spenders in the world

Bernie Sanders @SenSanders (11:26 AM - 8 Sep 2019):

The world's largest military budgets:

🇯🇵 $50 billion (Japan)
🇬🇧 $53 billion (UK)
🇫🇷 $56 billion (France)
🇮🇳 $58 billion (India)
🇷🇺 $63 billion (Russia)
🇸🇦 $83 billion (Saudi Arabia)
🇨🇳 $168 billion (China)
🇺🇸 $700 billion (USA)

What if—just maybe—we led the world not in weapons and war, but in fighting humanity's common enemy: climate change?

Replying to @SenSanders:

The world's biggest per-capita military spenders:
🇱🇺 $710 (Luxembourg)
🇩🇰 $735 (Denmark)
🇬🇧 $751 (UK)
🇧🇳 $799 (Brunei)
🇰🇷 $842 (South Korea)
🇧🇭 $891 (Bahrain)
🇫🇷 $978 (France)
🇦🇺 $1,078 (Australia)
🇳🇴 $1,320 (Norway)
🇴🇲 $1,389 (Oman)
🇰🇼 $1,738 (Kuwait)
🇸🇬 $1,872 (Singapore)
🇮🇱 $1,887 (Israel)
🇺🇸 $1,986 (USA)
🇸🇦 $2,013 (Saudi Arabia)

World's biggest military spenders as share of all govt spending:
(World 6.3% [SIPRI])
(🇺🇸 9.0% [SIPRI])
🇰🇷 12.1% (South Korea)
🇲🇲 12.4% (Myanmar)
🇲🇱 12.7% (Mali)
🇹🇩 13.8% (Chad)
🇦🇲 15.5% (Armenia)
🇱🇧 15.6% (Lebanon)
🇯🇴 15.8% (Jordan)
🇮🇷 15.8% (Iran)
🇩🇿 16.1% (Algeria)
🇵🇰 17.1% (Pakistan)
🇸🇬 17.2% (Singapore)
🇨🇬 17.9% (Congo-Brazzaville)
🇧🇾 25.3% (Belarus)
🇴🇲 26.3% (Oman)
🇸🇦 30.4% (Saudi Arabia)
🇸🇩 30.9% (Sudan)

World's biggest military spending as share of GDP
(Stockholm International Peace Research Institute):
(🇺🇸 3.2%)
🇨🇴 3.2% (Colombia)
🇳🇦 3.3% (Namibia)
🇺🇿 3.6% (Uzbekistan)
🇧🇭 3.6% (Bahrain)
🇦🇿 3.8% (Azerbaijan)
🇺🇦 3.8% [est] (Ukraine)
🇷🇺 3.9% (Russia)
🇵🇰 4.0% (Pakistan)
🇮🇱 4.3% (Israel)
🇯🇴 4.7% (Jordan)
🇦🇲 4.8% (Armenia)
🇱🇧 5.0% [est] (Lebanon)
🇰🇼 5.1% (Kuwait)
🇩🇿 5.3% [uncert] (Algeria)
🇴🇲 8.2% [uncert] (Oman)
🇸🇦 8.8% [est] (Saudi Arabia)

World's biggest military spending as share of GDP
(International Institute for Strategic Studies):
🇲🇱 3.9% (Mali)
🇦🇲 4.0% (Armenia)
🇦🇿 4.0% (Azerbaijan)
🇳🇦 4.1% (Namibia)
🇯🇴 4.4% (Jordan)
🇧🇼 4.4% (Botswana)
🇷🇺 4.6% (Russia)
🇧🇭 4.8% (Bahrain)
🇮🇱 6.1% (Israel)
🇩🇿 6.3% (Algeria)
🇨🇬 6.4% (Congo-Brazzaville)
🇸🇦 8.9% (Saudi Arabia)
🇮🇶 11.6% (Iraq)
🇦🇫 14.0% (Afghanistan)
🇴🇲 15.3% (Oman)

Note, the above do not include 🇰🇵, 🇸🇾, 🇾🇪, and 🇱🇾 (North Korea, Syria, Yemen, and Libya).

Sources:
World Bank (data from SIPRI): Military expenditure (% of general government expenditure). https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/MS.MIL.XPND.ZS
Wikipedia (data from SIPRI): List of countries by military expenditure per capita. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditure_per_capita
Wikipedia (data from SIPRI and IISS): List of countries by military expenditures. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures