Showing posts from September 6, 2017

Today's Trumpery


The Looming Decline of the Public Research University

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[Cuts in research funding have left midwestern state schools—and the economies they support—struggling to survive. *RON*]
Jon Marcus, Washington Monthly, September/October 2017
Four floors above a dull cinder-block lobby in a nondescript building at Ohio State University, the doors of a slow-moving elevator open on an unexpectedly futuristic 10,000-square-foot laboratory bristling with technology. It’s a reveal reminiscent of a James Bond movie. In fact, the researchers who run this year-old, $750,000 lab at OSU’s Spine Research Institute resort often to Hollywood comparisons.

Thin beams of blue light shoot from thirty-six of the same kind of infrared motion cameras used to create lifelike characters for films like Avatar. In this case, the researchers are studying the movements of a volunteer fitted with sensors that track his skeleton and muscles as he bends and lifts. Among other things, they say, their work could lead to the kind of robotic ex…

98.5 Percent Of Original Comments To The FCC Oppose Killing Net Neutrality

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[It's one of the more bare-knuckled acts of cronyism in modern technological and political history. *RON*]

By TECHDIRT, Above The Law, 1 September 2017

Let’s not mince words: the FCC’s plan to gut net neutrality protections in light of severe public opposition is likely one of the more bare-knuckled acts of cronyism in modern technological and political history. That’s because the rules have overwhelming, bipartisan support from the vast majority of consumers, most of whom realize the already imperfect rules are some of the only consumer protections standing between consumers and giant, uncompetitive companies like Comcast. Repealing the rules only serves one interest: that of one of the least liked, least-competitive industries in America.

That said, the broadband industry and the FCC keep trying to obfuscate this reality, and failing. The latest example: a new study funded by the industry itselftook a closer look at the 21.8 million comments…

How can we fight corporate propaganda?

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[See also: Corporate PR experts see consumers as 'a herd waiting to be led'. *RON*]
Ed Finn,, 2 September 2017

This article is the second instalment in a two-part series on advertising and corporate propaganda. Read Part One here.

The machinations of corporate thought-control experts, as propaganda expert Edward Bernays cautioned, have to be carefully concealed from public view. But occasionally the screen is pulled away and the puppeteers revealed, as in the books written by former PR whiz John Stauber and his colleague Sheldon Rampton.

In Toxic Sludge is Good for You, they exposed the antics of the PR agencies employed to present a favourable image of the industries with the worst pollution records. In Trust Us, We’re Experts, they explained how the media are deployed to instill and perpetuate a favourable public perception of the transnational corporations.

According to Stauber and Rampton, "We are the most conditioned…

Build-a-Bunker: the bespoke nuclear burrows on offer for the wealthy

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[Guillotine watch. Enterprising businesses are offering highly customisable options for the discerning survivalist. The market is, so to speak, booming. *RON*]

Sanjaya Varghese, New Statesman, 4 September 2017

Doomsday shelters are not a modern invention. Burrowing underground to hide from danger is an animal instinct, and humans have been constructing their own versions of underground safe houses since the 1800s. However, it wasn't until the Cold War made an all-out nuclear catastrophe seem horrifyingly imminent that bunkers really took off, and nowhere more so than in Switzerland.

The Swiss government mandated that every building constructed after 1960 had to have a nuclear bunker underground, and it's still a legal requirement, despite the efforts of some politicians. Other countries such as Finland, Austria and South Korea have followed suit with less stringent requirements for underground shelters – but for the rest of the world, it’s…

The Rohingya Of Myanmar - Pawns In An Anglo-Chinese Proxy War Fought By Saudi Jihadists

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[A real eye-opener; well worth the read. See also: Why is India threatening to deport its Rohingya population? *RON*]
Posted by b, Moon of Alabama, 4 September 2017

Media attention is directed to some minor ethnic violence in Myanmar, the former Burma. The story in the "western" press is of Muslim Rohingya unfairly vilified, chased out and killed by Buddhist mobs and the army in the state of Rakhine near the border to Bangladesh. The "liberal human interventionists" like Human Rights Watch are united with Islamists likeTurkey's President Erdogan in loudly lamenting the plight of the Rohingya.

That curious alliance also occurred during the wars on Libya and Syria. It is by now a warning sign. Could there be more behind this than some local conflict in Myanmar? Is someone stocking a fire?


While the ethnic conflict in Rankine state is very old, it has over the last years morphed into an Jihadist guerilla war financ…