Cold War, Coronavirus, And The Illusion Of Control

cold-war,-coronavirus,-and-the-illusion-of-control

26-03-20 11:28:00,

So my daughter has a fever and a sore throat now. According to the Victoria guidelines she doesn’t qualify for testing, but her symptoms match those listed for COVID-19 and I’m pretty sure she’s got it.

She’s doing alright but of course I’m stressing anyway, since that’s my baby. From the data and anecdotes I’ve been combing through the last few weeks I know in my head that she’ll be fine, and I know that my husband and I will probably be fine, but I can’t be too certain of the latter.

Which is of course not a new situation. There’s never been any guarantee that I or my husband will wake back up on any given morning; we’re these weird fleshlump creatures whose physiology science doesn’t fully understand, and our physical cohesion on this planet is always tenuous at best. All that’s changed is there’s now one more item on a virtually infinite list of things which can technically go wrong with our bodies at any moment.

I write a lot about cognitive biases, the glitches in the way humans process information which give us a distorted view of what’s really going on. One such cognitive bias is called the illusion of control, the tendency we have to greatly overestimate the degree of control we have over uncontrollable events. It plays a large role in superstition and gambling addiction, giving people the mistaken impression that they can somehow influence a roll of dice or the spin of a roulette wheel, or deter unlucky events by avoiding black cats.

In reality we’re all spinning through black space in a universe which we neither understand nor control. Our brains process just a tiny fraction of the data taken in by our sensory organs and our sensory organs process just a tiny segment of the light and sound and other information which surrounds us. We can’t even predict what our next thought will be. The narrative of a separate individual moving through spacetime exerting full control over his or her fate is an illusion in multiple ways and on multiple levels, and the surest and least stressful place to stand is in full comfort with that reality.

Everyone’s stressed right now,

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The Illusion of Restoring Peace and Stability in Afghanistan – Global Research

the-illusion-of-restoring-peace-and-stability-in-afghanistan-–-global-research

02-03-20 07:54:00,

The US came to Afghanistan to stay, the same is true for all its war theaters by occupation and/or installed puppet regimes serving its interests.

Afghanistan’s troubled history goes back centuries. John Pilger explained that “no country has been abused and suffered more, and none has been helped less than Afghanistan.”

If hell on earth exists, it’s headquartered in Afghanistan — with many global affiliate locations in the modern era, largely because of endless US wars by hot and other means.

For centuries, Afghans endured what few can imagine. Marauding armies besieged cities, slaughtered thousands, and caused vast destruction.

In the 19th century, Afghans were victimized by “great game” struggles between imperial Britain and czarist Russia — a time of endless war, destruction, occupation and human misery, continuing from then to now, notably post-9/11.

Wherever the US shows up, endless wars and mass destruction follow, the human toll of no consequence.

According to Gideon Polya,

“the horrendous carnage of the (post-9/11) US War on Terror (launched in Afghanistan caused) the deaths of 32 million Muslims abroad (by violence or imposed deprivation) and the preventable deaths of 27 million Americans at home inescapably linked to the fiscal perversion of committing to a $7 trillion long-term accrual cost of killing millions of Muslims abroad.”

The true cost is likely three-fold or more higher because of unaccounted for multi-trillions of dollars by the Pentagon since the 1990s.

“Bush, Obama and Trump are indeed American-killing US presidents,” Polya stressed, adding:

“(S)erial war criminal (Trump warned) that “no place is beyond the reach of American might.”

“The US-imposed, 4-decade Afghan Holocaust and Afghan Genocide is to continue under more draconian rules of engagement.”

Since the 1990s, Polya estimated six million preventable Afghan deaths, millions more refugees, an entire population emmiserated, largely post-9/11.

Since US aggression against North Korea in 1950, he estimates around 40 million preventable deaths and tens of millions of refugees.

Since WW II, the US invaded or otherwise attacked “52 countries.”

“American exceptionalism means that the US is disproportionately  involved in…existential threats (to) humanity” — notably possible nuclear war that could destroy all life forms on earth.

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The “Green” Illusion Continues: Tesla Crash Victim Can’t Find Anyone To Recycle His Wrecked Car

the-“green”-illusion-continues:-tesla-crash-victim-can’t-find-anyone-to-recycle-his-wrecked-car

14-11-19 10:43:00,

It was just over a month ago that we reported on a Tesla accident in Austria that resulted in firefighters needing to use a special container to transport the remains of the vehicle and the battery at the scene of the accident. 

Now, the owner of the vehicle is having trouble finding someone who will properly recycle his wrecked car and its battery. It’s been sitting in one place since the accident and Tyrol reports that “nobody wants to burn their fingers to dispose of the car with its unpredictable 600kg lithium ion battery”. 

The owner, Dominik Freymuth, says he feels “abandoned by the manufacturer”. Every morning he passes by the wreckage of his old vehicle, a stark reminder of being pulled out of his burning vehicle before it was charred to the ground, he says. 

To try and get the car taken care of after the wreck, he reached out to Tesla’s Austrian disposal partner ÖCAR Autoverwertungs. Tesla’s website says “ÖCAR Automobile Recycling has a large network of authorized recycling and disposal partners fully licensed by the Department of the Environment.”

But ÖCAR reportedly has “no permission” to take over Tesla models, according to a spokeswoman for the company. She stated: “I can not give you any information because we have no authorization for Tesla.”

Many disposal companies don’t want to deal with the Tesla batter, because its a “fire hazard” and because you “do not remember where the battery starts and where it stops” – especially after a wreck. 

Martin Klingler, waste disposal expert at the Schwaz environmental company DAKA, said (translated):

“Such a large lithium battery can not be taken over by his company, since one does not even know the mix of dangerous substances inside them. The electric vehicle manufacturers kept the composition of their elixirs top secret so as not to lose their competitive edge. The liquid in which the accident car was cooled by the Walchsee is a dangerously poisonous brew, but now a coveted drop. The Montanuniversität Leoben has already secured samples of it in order to discover the secret of its content.”

Roland Pomberger,

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“Good Guys” And “Bad Guys” Are A Hollywood Illusion

“good-guys”-and-“bad-guys”-are-a-hollywood-illusion

05-07-19 06:31:00,

If you have spent literally any time arguing against western imperialism in any public forum, you have had the experience of being accused of “supporting” one of said imperialism’s targets. If you argue against regime change interventionism in Syria, you’ll get accused of being an “Assadist” or “Assad apologist”. If you argue against regime change interventionism in Iran, you’ll you’ll get people saying that you “support the Mullahs”. Enter into any debate of sufficient liveliness and it’s only a matter of minutes before it happens.

There was a meme going around at the height of the most recent failed coup attempt in Venezuela depicting a white, pink-haired socialist placing their hand over the mouth of a dark-skinned Venezuelan and saying “ACKSHUALLY, MADURO IS THE GOOD GUY”. Proponents of the Trump administration’s attempts to topple the Venezuelan government would share this meme in online debates with anti-imperialists as a way of accusing them of whitesplaining to Venezuelans that they should support an evil dictator who is oppressing them. The idea being, of course, to silence those dastardly socialists using the socially progressive value system they claim to uphold. Checkmate, leftists.

There are obviously a number of things that are wrong with this meme, including the skin pigmentation of the average Guaido supporter, the implication that all Venezuelans oppose Maduro, and the suggestion that only white western leftists oppose the Trump administration’s attempts to install a puppet regime in the nation with the largest proven oil reserves on the planet. But the dumbest thing about it is the implication that someone who opposes US regime change interventionism could only be doing so because they believe that Nicolás Maduro is a “good guy”.

The reason debates about western imperialism so frequently get bogged down by moronic arguments about “good guys” and “bad guys” is because human storytelling devices train us from an early age to constantly frame narratives in those terms. Everything we’ve been taught by TV and movies tells us that if a conflict is happening, someone in it must be the protagonist and someone must be the antagonist, and that our job is to figure out which one’s which.

For as long as humans have been telling stories, this is how they’ve been doing it.

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Vernichtete Illusion

vernichtete-illusion

14-02-19 10:16:00,

Betrachten wir die Sache nüchtern. Der INF-Vertrag wurde 1987 zwischen den USA und der Sowjetunion geschlossen, unterzeichnet von US-Präsident Ronald Reagan und Michael Gorbatschow, damals noch Generalsekretär der KPdSU, später Staatspräsident der Sowjetunion.

Der Vertrag war ein Kind der damaligen Entspannung. Die Entspannung resultierte aus dem Niedergang der Sowjetunion, damals als Öffnung wahrgenommen, bei gleichzeitigem, mit dem Niedergang der Sowjetunion verbundenen Aufstieg der USA. Man erinnere sich an Schriften wie die Francis Fukuyamas (1), der – beflügelt vom „Sieg“ der amerikanischen Kultur über den Kommunismus – vom „Ende der Geschichte“ träumte. Oder man vergegenwärtige sich die etwas seriösere Bestandsaufnahme der Situation durch den langjährigen strategischen Berater diverser US-Präsidenten, Zbigniew Brzezinski, unter dem Tenor „Die einzige Weltmacht“ (2).

Dem INF-Vertrag gingen eine Reihe Verträge zur globalen Begrenzung atomarer Bedrohung wie SALT I von 1972, der ABM-Vertrag 1972 oder SALT II von 1979 voran (3), die der Herstellung des globalen Kräftegleichgewichtes dienen sollten. Vor diesem Hintergrund war der 1987 geschlossene INF-Vertrag zwischen den in gegenseitiger Abschreckung stabilisierten großen Atommächten USA und Sowjetunion ein politisches Geschenk an Europa, dem dadurch die Angst genommen wurde, im „kleinen Konflikt“ zwischen den beiden Großmächten zum lokalen Austragungsort des global nicht geführten Atomkriegs oder zumindest zum Stationierungsfeld nuklear bestückter Mittelstreckenraketen zu werden.

Darauf folgende Verträge unter dem Titel START I 1991 und START II 1993, die eine weitere Verringerung der Bestände landgestützter Interkontinentalraken beinhalteten (4), ergänzten den globalen Schirm, unter dem der INF-Vertrag lokal galt.

Zu erinnern ist jedoch, dass der Rüstungswettlauf nie aufgehört hat. Er hat nur die Form gewechselt. Schon der durch die SALT- und START-Verträge scheinbar erreichte Gleichstand in der gegenseitigen Abschreckung wurde durch die Tatsache, dass see- und luftgestützte Systeme von diesen Verträgen ausgenommen waren, im Kern relativiert. Das hieß, dass der Rüstungswettlauf auf die in den Verträgen nicht mit eingeschlossenen Nebensysteme verlagert wurde. Dies nützten vor allem die USA.

Es reicht hier, auf die Flotte der US-Flugzeugträger hinzuweisen, die auf allen Weltmeeren, vor allem rund um Eurasien, unterwegs ist. In dieser Sphäre wurden seitens der USA massive Bemühungen unternommen, durch Entwicklung von taktisch einsetzbaren Raketensystemen die „Zweitschlags-Kapazität“ Russlands zu unterlaufen, um damit atomare Angriffe möglich zu machen, oder zumindest mit deren Möglichkeit politische Erpressung zu betreiben.

Die diversen Verträge, SALT, START, ABM und – was die Europäer betrifft – nicht zuletzt der INF-Vertrag schürten so die Illusion der Sicherheit,

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The Illusion of Conflict Resolution in Yemen. Several Hundred Thousand Yemenis Have Perished from War, Disease, Starvation and Overall Deprivation. – Global Research

the-illusion-of-conflict-resolution-in-yemen-several-hundred-thousand-yemenis-have-perished-from-war-disease-starvation-and-overall-deprivation.-8211-global-research

23-11-18 03:06:00,

Like numerous other endless conflicts, Yemen is Washington’s war, waged for strategic interests, the Saudis and UAE involved for their own – along with aiding the US achieve its objectives.

There’s nothing civil about war in Yemen. The notion of possible diplomatic resolution near-term is pure illusion. Fierce clashes continue.

In his days earlier address, Saudi king Salman lied, falsely claiming support for ending years of war – a notion he, crown prince Mohammad bin Salman, and Trump regime hardliners reject.

After suspending hostilities on Yemen’s port city of Hodeidah days earlier, the country’s humanitarian lifeline, a scheme to regroup, Saudi/UAE terror-bombing resumed intensively on Monday.

A UK Security Council draft resolution, calling on all parties to cease hostilities in Hodeidah and elsewhere in densely populated areas, along with permitting unhindered humanitarian aid to enter the country will accomplish nothing even if unanimously adopted.

Washington, NATO, the Saudis and their warrior partners flagrantly breach Security Council resolutions and other international laws, letting nothing stand in the way of pursuing their imperial agenda.

Years of US drone terror-bombing alone, greatly escalated by Trump, massacred countless thousands of defenseless Yemeni children and other civilians.

One Yemeni spoke for others, saying “(w)e live in fear. Drones don’t leave the sky” – reigning death and destruction on the country and its people, along with US, Saudi, UAE terror-bombing, massacring countless thousands more.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is part of the problem, supporting Washington’s imperial agenda like his predecessors while pretending otherwise. Weeks earlier UN statistics on Yemen turned truth on its head, claiming years of war killed 6,400 people, injuring 30,000 more.

Since Washington launched naked aggression on the country in late October 2001, hundreds of thousands of Yemenis perished from war, untreated diseases, starvation, and overall deprivation.

Grossly understating casualty numbers by the UN secretary-general’s office is a crime against humanity, a horrendous affront to millions of long-suffering Yemenis, victims of US imperial viciousness.

A months earlier statement by Guterres through his spokesman on Yemen was much like what he always says about US, NATO, and Israeli aggression – calling on all sides to show restraint, spare civilians, and resolve things diplomatically.

He pretends both sides of ongoing conflicts are evenly matched,

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Eine illusionäre Forderung und keine soziale Alternative – Gewerkschaftliche Argumente gegen das Grundeinkommen – www.NachDenkSeiten.de

Eine illusionäre Forderung und keine soziale Alternative – Gewerkschaftliche Argumente gegen das Grundeinkommen – www.NachDenkSeiten.de

13-10-18 11:44:00,

Die Idee eines bedingungslosen Grundeinkommens (BGE) klingt für viele Gewerkschafter/innen zunächst attraktiv: Allen Menschen soll ein Einkommen garantiert werden, von dem sie leben können. Eine reiche Gesellschaft wie unsere könne das gewährleisten, heißt es zur Begründung. Wer wollte dem widersprechen? Bei genauerer Betrachtung gibt es jedoch eine große Unklarheit, was genau mit dem Grundeinkommen gemeint ist und wie es funktionieren und finanziert werden soll. Von Ralf Krämer.

Dieser Text ist ein exklusiver Abdruck aus dem jüngst erschienenen Buch „Grundeinkommen kontrovers“, das von Christoph Butterwegge und Kuno Rinke bei Beltz Juventa herausgegeben wurde.

Das Grundeinkommen würde der Staat bedingungslos jeder Person auszahlen, unabhängig davon, über welches Einkommen und Vermögen diese ansonsten verfügt. Es soll keinerlei Bedürftigkeitsprüfung geben; vielmehr erhält jede Person einen Betrag in derselben Höhe (Kinder eventuell weniger). Das bedingungslose Grundeinkommen soll hoch genug sein, um die physische Existenz und die gesellschaftliche Teilhabe zu sichern. Gegenleistungen und insbesondere die Suche nach einer Erwerbsarbeit werden nicht verlangt. Manche Konzepte sehen angesichts der mit dem Grundeinkommen verbundenen Zuwanderungs- anreize eine Mindestaufenthaltsdauer im Inland vor, bevor ein Anspruch besteht.

Es gibt eine Vielzahl an Modellen, die unter dem BGE-Etikett diskutiert werden (vgl. Tabelle 1). Nicht alle und keins der bisher realisierten Modelle entsprechen den genannten Kriterien. So bezog sich das in Finnland von der rechts- konservativen Regierung beschlossene Grundeinkommensexperiment nur auf 2.000 ausgewählte Erwerbslose, die bisher Arbeitslosenunterstützung bekommen hatten. Es ging um die Erhöhung von Anreizen, auch schlecht bezahlte Arbeit anzunehmen, und die Vereinfachung des Sozialsystems. Der monatliche Zahlbetrag von 560 Euro lag weit unterhalb der finnischen Armuts(risiko)grenze und wurde mit anderen Sozialleistungen verrechnet.

Begründungen und Behauptungen, auf denen die BGE-Konzepte beruhen, müssen kritisch hinterfragt werden. Es ist zu prüfen, ob es sich dabei nicht um bloße Mythen handelt oder ob vielleicht ganz andere, teilweise gegenteilige Effekte zu erwarten sind. Ein Grundproblem liegt darin, dass in der Regel nur die vermeintlichen Auswirkungen auf der individuellen Ebene betrachtet werden. Gesellschaftlich, ökonomisch und politisch ist jedoch nichts „bedingungslos“, und diese Bedingungen kann man weder ignorieren noch „wegbeschließen“, wenn man ein Grundeinkommen umsetzen will.

  • Sozial orientierte und neoliberale Konzepte

    Grob können zwei Pole in der BGE-Diskussion unterschieden werden: Auf der einen Seite befinden sich sozial und humanistisch motivierte, politisch eher links angesiedelte Modelle.

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