Netanyahu’s Political Parachute is not a War

The gross insult in the entire affair in Gaza is that most media buy into the Netanyahu propaganda point that this is a war. Wars are fought between nations, between governments or between armies organized by one of the former entities. Hamas is neither a government nor a representative body of any Palestinian constituency. Hamas is not an organized military by any stretch of the definition, and the only task of which it is capable is the wholesale slaughter of unarmed civilians: a hallmark of imbeciles, not of trained soldiers. Hamas’s ineptitude at conducting warfare is manifested repeatedly when they have to be ferreted out by force from hospitals and schools and by the ease with which Israel has reduced the region to rubble.

The military incursion into Gaza is just that: a military incursion. It is not a war. In the absence of any military resistance, the Israeli military is not conducting war. It is just as gross an insult to the Israeli military to pretend that Hamas’s imbeciles are worthy adversaries. Those who accept the “war” ascription are deprecating the vaunted Israeli military to the level of Hamas’s imbecile terrorists. It will be a point of shame and utter humiliation for the Israeli army to assert that it is fighting a worthy adversary.

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No Accountability = No Currency

The fact that cryptocurrencies are the vehicles of choice for predators, white supremacists and terrorists (article below) has now garnered jail time for the CEO of Binance, the largest exchange in the world. Cryptocurrency is as perniciously persistent as “social media”: with so many people invested, governments are hesitant to intervene, especially while it generates tax revenue. Cryptocurrency is the oxycontin of the financial world, but there will not be one manufacturer to hold to account once the carnage accumulates.

A new front has emerged in Israel’s fight against the funding of Iran-backed militant groups from Hamas to Hezbollah: A fast-growing crypto network called Tron.

Source: Focus: New crypto front emerges in Israel’s militant financing fight

Merchandizing: the Pinnacle, Apogee and Zenith of Cynicism

The objective behind government regulations is preventing the breaches of trust that can annihilate entire economies. In addition to the financial devastation they cause, such breaches breed cynicism at large and discourage people from participating in society and the marketplace because “what’s the point” comes to describe the prevailing attitudes. Equally nourishing to cynicism are smaller breaches–more like insults–like the sale of Wagner Group merchandising, described in the article linked below, and the application of cryptocurrency and Youtube to funding hate groups and misinformation. Though they will not make entire economies collapse, these breaches undermine optimism, trust and good will arguably in a much more harmful way.

We should not have to “take the bad with the good”. Progress means that we have figured out to how to maximize the good and to minimize the bad. The hijacking of new commodities and old marketing methods for the purpose of aiding and abetting the malfeasance of ignoble people undermines the perception and the reality of progress. And, if we don’t feel as if we have progress, then, indeed, what is the point?

Online prices for merchandise bearing the insignia of Russia’s Wagner group – a human skull against a black and red backdrop – have shot up since its abortive armed mutiny, with buyers posting five-star reviews and support for the mercenaries.

Source: Wagner merch soars in price after abortive mutiny

Judge Musk by What He Endorses

Musk has openly said that his perception of the old Twitter board’s unfair censorship of “conservative” voices motivated him to purchase the albatross. If Musk’s judgment regarding such “censorship” is fair, then it is certainly equally fair for the rest of the world to judge Musk for what he endorses.

By allowing rampant attacks of the sort listed in the article below, Musk is clearly endorsing prejudice, bigotry, ignorance and naked hatred. South Africa is the country known for bigotry that was codified by apartheid. Elon Musk is openly conforming to the stereotypical South African that apartheid represents. Musk is not just circumspect about that fact. He is proud of it, and he has earned the judgment that he deserves.

The Los Angeles district attorney’s office has left Twitter due to barrage of what the office called vicious homophobic attacks.

Source: Los Angeles district attorney’s office quits Twitter due to barrage of ‘vicious’ homophobic attacks

Value, Worth and Cachet

The Sasoon Codex recently fetched $38.1 million. It is a priceless relic because it contains perhaps the oldest complete draft of the ideas that altered the course of human history. Is its worth nevertheless perverted given the kingly sums that those fortunate enough to have amassed unfathomable wealth have offered for decidedly more trivial articles of historical interest? Is Michael Jordan’s 1992 Olympic jersey worth one-thirteenth as much of a piece of history? Is a Giacometti sculpture worth three times as much? Is a Picasso painting worth five times as much?

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“Authority” on Manliness Wimps Out

Every transgression, fictitious or real, against which self described “conservatives” rail on a daily basis pales in comparison to the utter hypocrisy, the pusillanimity, the dereliction of duty and the deliberate contravention of every principle of morality and decency that the purported leaders of this “conservative” faction display. No action combines every one of these character deficiencies as Ben Sasse’s abdication of his duties to accept a cush job clearly organized by political patrons in Florida. The man who went so far as to publish an entire book compiling his idiotic whining about the apparent immaturity of the “younger generations” refused to castigate a president who manifestly acted against the Constitution, summarily abandoned the position of power that enabled him to act against the corruption of the same presidency, and accepted an academic position clearly designed to win his support for the anticipated De Santis candidacy. The Sasse recipe for success is lick the boots of whichever snake that will support you. Ben Sasse leaves no doubt which generation has been infantilized. It’s the one that abandons its duty to the next generation as it enriches itself with bullshit jobs.

The Nebraska senator has often clashed with Donald Trump and other Republican Party conservatives

Source: Nebraska GOP Sen. Ben Sasse expected to resign to become University of Florida president

No Trust, No Currency

Currency is the medium of accountability that is accepted by a community in order to facilitate transactions. If the crypto “currency” world is to survive, it behooves the remaining exchanges to ensure that they are not plagued the lack of accountability that has predictably brought FTX to its unceremonious demise. The demise of cryptocurrency is almost as predictable as the 2008 financial meltdown of the US. Both are schemes to generate apparent economic activity through huge numbers of transactions over nothing, and in both instances, the apparent growth was based entirely on speculation. It is unknown whether the criminal masterminds of the crypto pyramid scheme will get away as the masterminds of the subprime bubble of the 2008 did. It will be a real shame if they do.

The new CEO of the collapsed cryptocurrency trading firm FTX, who oversaw Enron’s bankruptcy, said he has never seen such a “complete failure” of corporate control. John Ray III, in a filing with the U.S.

Source: Exec who cleaned up Enron calls FTX mess “unprecedented”

Brett Favre Exposes How Rich People Define Charity

Brett Favre has justified every brutal joke standup comedians have told about football players. The poignant side of the story, however, is the sinister side of charity that Favre’s abject stupidity exposes. Favre, whose net worth is easily in the hundreds of millions of dollars (as judged by the $100 million contract extension he received in 2001), had the audacity to accept, willingly, welfare money from his home state of Mississippi in order to erect a volleyball court at his alma mater. Such financial dealings expose the typical understanding of the people in his tax bracket of charities–namely, that they are vehicles for self enrichment–but his obliviousness to protocol will likely lead to his being ostracized by the billionaire community for being a stupid jock. It will not effect any change in which way charities operate in the US.

Therein lies the real tragedy of this allegory. Favre gets singled out while the rest of the nonprofit industry continues to be used as a vehicle to enable the ultra-wealthy to bilk everybody else’s funds to create appearances of beneficence, like the paradigmatic Trump charity that was shut down by the state of New York for not accounting for the funds it received from donors. Given the excesses documented in the Panama Papers, it is difficult for one to resist cynicism every time one discovers that every charitable organization operated by the extremely wealthy is solely a vehicle designed either to enrich themselves or to avoid taxes. It is entirely obvious to everybody that the wealthy elite who control the political system through their patronage are the least qualified to operate it. Those who are complaining about millennials are oblivious to the world outside that hole in which their head is lodged.

Source: Texts: Mississippi governor knew of welfare payment to Favre

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Newly revealed text messages show how deeply involved a Mississippi governor was in directing more than $1 million in welfare money to retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre. Instead of the money going to help low-income families in one of the nation’s poorest states, as intended, it was funneled through a nonprofit group to Favre and spent on a new volleyball facility at a university that the football star and the governor both attended.

Why? Because They Can.

AP News | How do Mass Murderers Obtain Guns?

In the end, there is no difference between New York and Texas or any other state. What all American states have in common is that they allow anyone to act on that most primitive whim of desiring to kill. Over 10,000 years of civilization have inculcated a certain tolerance and civility in mankind, but the outrageously permissive gun laws of the past twenty years have enabled and empowered those few among us who cannot control their primitive instincts to act on them without hesitation. When it is this easy to kill someone, it is not a mystery why people keep killing. They do it because they can.

How Facebook and Google Fund Global Misinformation: the “Free” Internet is Much too Expensive

The advertising scheme that fuels the profits of the “free” internet giants like Google and Facebook is now used by terrorists to fund their activities.

In thrillers like The Odessa File by Frederick Forsyth, the books of John Le Carre, and numerous movies like The French Connection, one learns of the ways in which rogue groups (terrorists, especially) would raise funds: they would rob banks. burglarize rich people, hijack cash transfer trucks, etc. The article below from the MIT Technology Review details how fringe and rogue groups dedicated to disinformation use the Google and Facebook advertising systems to generate revenue for their activities, and this article from the Associated Press details how the same fringe groups–white supremacists in particular–are using cryptocurrencies (1) to receive funds anonymously from people who do not wish it be known that they are racist and (2) to avoid paying financial judgments rendered against them in civil trials. As Shoshana Zuboff has reminded us over and over, regulation is designed to eliminate businesses that threaten the marketplace and erode trust in capitalism. The “free internet” meets both of these criteria, and it must be regulated.

Source: How Facebook and Google fund global misinformation

The tech giants are paying millions of dollars to the operators of clickbait pages, bankrolling the deterioration of information ecosystems around the world.