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Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Science

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And don't forget: In conclusion, the paper you are holding said the stuff the paper you are holding said.


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Dadster
128 days ago
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Wow.
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Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Culture

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Borges in the morning, Shakespeare mid-day, Tao Yuanming before bed, Plato when you wake up at 3am.


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Dadster
158 days ago
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Answers one or two questions
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Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Second Coming

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Shoulda done an asteroid, like that time when all the dinosaurs were sinning.


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Dadster
226 days ago
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'Virtuous Hypochondria': How One Man Lost A 'Friend' Of 20 Years...

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'Virtuous Hypochondria': How One Man Lost A 'Friend' Of 20 Years... Tyler Durden Sat, 12/05/2020 - 19:00

Authored by Eric Peters via EricPetersAutos.com,

I parted ways yesterday with a friend of more than 20 years’ standing over his sickness – and my refusal to indulge it or even pretend to ignore it.

This ex-friend says I should don the Holy Rag because “I might be asymptomatic” and because I ought to “show a little respect for your fellow man” and that “It’s not all about you.” He added:

“Grow your own food and you don’t need to interact with people. But if you want the benefits of society you have to participate and conform a bit.

Italics added.

So I said good-bye.

I “have to conform a bit”? I am obliged to literally show that I (supposedly) agree with the outrageous assertion that I might be sick – i.e., “asymptomatic” – and so present an ongoing, never-ending threat to other people that requires me to wear a Face Diaper – the religious vestment of the Sickness Cult – to assuage their fears?

I attempted to reason with this friend.

It was like attempting to discuss Euclid with a rooster.

“I’m not sick,” I texted him.

“I’ve had two friends die from it,” he texted back. “And several still sick.”

Me: “Well, I’m not sick. Therefore, I cannot transmit sickness. Therefore, wearing a rag over my face serves no medical purpose.”

Him: “You might be asymptomatic.”

Me: “Okay, so you are saying that the possibility I might be sick – even though I’m not coughing or sneezing or manifesting any symptoms of sickness and so there is no evidentiary/specific reason to suppose I am in fact sick, much less contagious – obligates me to act as if I am in fact sick and contagious and to literally put on something as a ‘protective’ measure, just in case and to ease your fears?”

“In that case, why shouldn’t you be obliged to turn in your guns (my ex-friend likes guns) since many people are quite terrified of them and fear you might use them to harm them or someone they care about?”

“If my fear that you might be – or do – some thing is enough to impose an obligation on you, then how do you feel about being made to wear an armband or similar highly visible item indicating that you are gay (my ex-friend is homosexual) and thus a potential transmitter of AIDS?”

“The fact is you could possibly transmit AIDs. You might spit on me. You might rape someone. These are just as possible as ‘you might be asymptomatic’ ”...

He didn’t like that much – and that was the end of the texting and the friendship.

I do not mourn the loss.

Because I understand this person is not and may never have been my friend. A friend doesn’t threaten violence nor countenance its threat. Yet that is precisely what my ex-friend advocates – in a mewling, gas-lighting way – when he urges me to “wear a mask” to “show a little respect for (my) fellow man” and then says I am obliged to “conform a little bit.”

He means obey. And not merely obey.

I must agree.

I must show that I agree . . . by wearing a visible accoutrement of agreement.

Like the wearing of an armband, in another time.

To not wear the armband then – or the Holy Rag now – is to give visual evidence of non-agreement and that is what these creeps cannot stand.

Not that we are “asymptomatic” and might be plague carriers but that we disagree with them. That we do not share their virtuous hypochondria and by showing that we do not share it show contempt for it.

My now-ex-friend supports my being made to “conform a little bit” – and you, too. They will cheer when we are hounded by the Gesundheitpolizei for not wearing the Holy Rag and – soon – refusing to allow ourselves to be injected with god-knows-what. They will support our being excommunicated from life – not allowed to transact business, buy food.

“If you want the benefits of society you have to participate and conform a bit.”

Such people are no friends of mine.

The words attributed to Edward I – the “longshanks” – come to mind: “A man does good business when he rids himself of a turd.

*  *  *

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Dadster
292 days ago
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I don't think the author's friend will miss him.
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How NATO-Member Turkey Reverted Back To Being An Islamic Dictatorship

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How NATO-Member Turkey Reverted Back To Being An Islamic Dictatorship Tyler Durden Mon, 07/20/2020 - 02:00

Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

The gradual process of Turkey’s becoming an Islamic sharia-law country, again, is no longer so gradual. It has taken a sudden and sharp rightward turn, into Islamic-nationhood. Turkey’s Hagia Sophia, which had been “the world’s largest cathedral for nearly a thousand years, until Seville Cathedral was completed in 1520,” has now been officially declared by the Turkish Government to be, instead, a mosque.

On July 10th, the BBC bannered “Hagia Sophia: Turkey turns iconic Istanbul museum into mosque” and reported that the biggest, oldest, and the most important, cathedral in all of Orthodox Christendom — and the world’s most important Byzantine building, which was constructed as the Saint Sophia Cathedral by the Byzantine Roman Emperor Justinian I in Constantinople (now Istanbul) in the year 537, and which stands on the site that had been consecrated in the year 325 by the Roman Emperor Constantine (and which cathedral was relabelled the Hagia Sophia “museum” in 1935 by Turkey’s Constitutionally secularist Government) — has now become, officially, at last, designated, by the restored Islamic Government of Turkey, a Muslim house of worship, a mosque, a Muslim house of worship.

This signals the end of Turkey’s being ruled by a secular Government, which it had been, ever since 1923. It is the end of Turkey’s secular Government and the restoration of the Islamic Mehmed the Conqueror’s 1453 order that it be a mosque. That ended the Byzantine Roman Catholic Empire, and started Islamic-ruled Turkey. It ended Constantinople and started Istanbul. Mehmet, however, allowed Christianity to continue, in the Islamic Ottoman Empire, but only as an accepted part of the Greek East (“Orthodox”), not as part of the Roman West (imperialistic), Christianity (which he had just then conquered with the fall of Constantinople on that same date, 29 May 1453). And now, even the Orthodox Christians are being marginalized in Turkey, because the Hagia Sophia had been “for almost 1,000 years the most important Orthodox cathedral.”

This is an act with huge international implications. It is an important event in human history.

Turkey’s strongman, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose entire actual education was only in Islamic schools though he lies about it and claims to have received a degree from a non-Islamic university, is in the process of transforming Turkey back again into a specifically Islamic type of dictatorship, a Sharia-law-ruled state. The secularist Turkish Republic that was instituted in 1923 by the Enlightenment-inspired Kemal Attaturk has now decisively ended. The widespread speculations that Erdogan has been aiming to restore Turkey to being the imperial nation and ruler of a restored Islamic Ottoman Empire are now decisively confirmed by this brazen act of insult to Orthodox Christians, and even to Roman Christians, because — as Wikipedia notes — “Justinian has sometimes been known as the ‘Last Roman’ in mid-20th century historiography.” The Orthodox Church in America titles him as “Saint Justinian The Emperor”. However, Wikipedia also notes that Constantine XI Palaiologos, who was killed by Mehmet’s forces on that date, 29 May 1453, was actually the last Roman Emperor. That ended the Roman Empire.

In other words: the Turkish Government’s official change of Saint Sophia Cathedral, which Justinian had created in 537, into now and henceforth a mosque, is a taking ownership of, and a Turkish-Muslim declaration of supremacy over, a different religion’s main house of worship. It’s a historical dagger into the heart of Orthodox Christianity, as well as being an insult to Roman Christianity.

This is not merely an isolated act, either; it is, instead, something to which Erdogan has long been building. Erdogan’s grab of land from secularist-ruled (committedly anti-sectarian) Syria, and his recent sending of troops to help conquer the formerly secularist Libya, which land had been turned into a hellish civil war by a U.S.-and-allied invasion in 2011 and which chaos there continues to this day, all are consistent with an understanding of Erdogan in which his foremost objective is a restoration of the Ottoman Empire. And the U.S. Government has supported this objective of his (but only as Turkey being a branch of the U.S. empire), and tried to get the EU to accept it.

The question now — since the United States Government has been pushing against European resistance to accepting a military alliance with an Islamic dictatorship — is whether continuation of the NATO alliance will be ended because of the path that Erdogan and the United States Government have jointly been taking to re-impose a decidedly Sunni Islamic dictatorship upon Turkey (by means of which, Turkey will serve as a wedge against both Shiite controlled Iran, and an increasingly Orthodox-dominated Russia). However, there has been a split between Erdogan and the U.S. regime, because he does not intend his restored Ottoman empire to be a part of the U.S. or any other empire. Erdogan’s independent streak is what now threatens to break-up the Western Alliance — the U.S. empire (which is actually the Rhodesist UK-U.S. empire).

The United States Government has been preferring Erdogan’s former political partner but now enemy, Erdogan’s fellow Sunni Islamist Fethullah Gulen, who cooperates with the U.S. and is a CIA protégé (including rabidly against Shiite Iran and against Iran’s main ally Russia). Gulen is passionately endorsed by America’s aristocracy. The U.S. regime has been preferring Gulen to impose this transformation of Turkey into an Islamic U.S. satellite, because Gulen models his operation (and he has even described it in remarkable detail) upon U.S. and UK ‘intelligence’ practices (CIA & MI6), whereas Erdogan has insisted upon an independent Turkey with its own nationalistic ‘intelligence’ organization — a nationalistically transformed version of Turkey’s existing MIT or National Intelligence Organization — an ‘intelligence’ organization that’s cleansed of what the CIA praises as “Gulen is interested in slow and deep social change, including secular higher education; Erdogan as a party leader is first and foremost interested in preserving his party’s power, operating in a populist manner, trying to raise the general welfare.” (The CIA actually knows that this has nothing whatsoever to do with “trying to raise the general welfare” — the U.S. regime’s goal is to extend everywhere the U.S. empire, and Erdogan’s Turkish regime has that same goal for the Turkish empire, which doesn’t yet even exist, though it once did as the Ottoman Empire, and he wants to restore it.) Erdogan insists upon Turkey’s not being merely a vassal-state or colony within a foreign-led empire, but instead the leading nation of its own empire, starting perhaps with gobbling up Syria and Libya, but extending ultimately more globally. There is a soundly documented article titled “Why Are Gulenists Hostile Toward Iran?” and it provides much of the reason why the CIA supports Gulen (they do largely because Erdogan isn’t so obsessive against Iran — which country America’s aristocracy crave to conquer again, as they had done in 1953, and Erdogan doesn’t support that as passionately as they require).

The question now for Europe is whether it wants to be again a participant in various aristocracies’, and clergies’, imperialistic designs, or instead to declare itself finally non-aligned and to lead thereby a new global non-aligned movement, not militaristically, but instead by providing, to the entire world, an anti-imperialistic and truly democratic model, a re-start and replacement of today’s United Nations, and one that will reflect what had been Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s anti-imperialist intention, and not Harry S. Truman’s American-imperialist intention — a start from scratch that has FDR’s statements to guide it, and not Truman’s actions to guide it (such as has been the case). Perhaps even the U.S., NYC-based, U.N. would ultimately sign onto that new international global federation; but the only basis upon which nations in the old U.N. should be accepted into its successor would be if the old U.N. were gradually to dissolve itself as its individual nations would, each on its own, sign onto the new one. Ultimately, this option must be made available to all Governments, to choose to either continue in Truman’s U.N., or else join instead a new, and authentically FDR-based, authentically anti-imperialistic, replacement of it.

That is what this dictatorial Islamization of Turkey is really all about, and only Europe can make the decision — no other land can. However, such a decision will only fail if any such organization as a new U.N. is to be at all involved in the particular national issues that now are so clearly coming to the fore in the transformation of Turkey into a Sunni Islamist dictatorship.

The “international community” should have no say in Turkey’s intranational (or “domestic”) affairs — regardless of whether Turkey is in or out of Europe. Sectarian and nationalistic concerns cannot rule in the formation of any authentically democratic new international order — an authentically non-imperialistic international order. All such concerns, domestic concerns, must be strictly the domain of the authority and power of each one of the individual constituent units, each individual national Government itself controlling its own internal affairs. FDR was adamant about that. He was insistent that the U.N. not get involved in individual nations’ internal affairs. The profoundly anti-FDR, “Responsibility to Protect” idea (which now has even acquired the status of being represented by an acronym “R2P” catch-phrase), has increasingly arisen recently to become a guiding principle of international relations, and must be soundly and uncompromisingly rejected in the formulation and formation of any replacement-organization — any authentically democratic international federation of nations. Otherwise, everything would be futile, and there will be a WWIII. We are heading in exactly the opposite direction from that which FDR had intended — which was to prevent any Third World War.

This decision will be made by the individual nations of Europe. Only they collectively hold this power. They will be able to exercise it only if they will terminate their alliances outside of Europe, and proceed forward no longer bound by external alliances, but instead become a free and independent European federation of European states. Only they, collectively, will be able to make this decision, as Europeans, for the entire world, regarding what the world’s future will be. And only they will hold the ultimate responsibility — and it’s NOT the “responsibility to protect”. It is instead the responsibility to protect the future of the entire world. It’s the responsibility to protect a future for the world. And if Europe fails it, then the world will inevitably move forward to WWIII, as it is doing. A new international order is needed, and only Europe can lead it, if Europe will.

In order for Europe to do that, Europe must first define itself. Is Turkey part of Europe? Is Russia? What is Europe? If Europeans won’t be able to agree on that, then the world will continue to move forward towards WWIII, because the world will then have no center, it will continue to have only contending empires — exactly what FDR had aimed to prevent.

Europe is the key. But will Europe’s leaders place the key in the lock, and open, finally, the door to a non-imperialistic world? The present, U.S.-empire-aligned, Europe, won’t do that. Turkey’s action on the Hagia Sophia, which is an insult to all Christians, and especially to Orthodox ones, might finally force the issue — and its solution.

Other than that, however, the official designation of the Hagia Sophia as being a mosque is entirely a domestic, Turkish, matter.

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Dadster
431 days ago
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One of the distinguishing features of ancient history are the conflicts over religious artifacts and/or locations of religious significance. My personal feeling is that, excepting a few rhetoricians, we've moved on. Let's hope so.
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American Judge Says He Is "Tentatively Inclined" To Reject Bayer's Monsanto Settlement

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American Judge Says He Is "Tentatively Inclined" To Reject Bayer's Monsanto Settlement Tyler Durden Tue, 07/07/2020 - 07:45

As the EU's antitrust regulator announces another round of sweeping antitrust investigations into the big US tech behemoths. an American judge is apparently making noises about throwing out a major settlement involving German multinational pharma conglomerate Bayer. According to the settlement, which we reported on a few weeks ago when it was first announced, Bayer had agreed to pay $10 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits brought against it over its purchase of Monsanto, the American agrichemical giant that's best known for producing Roundup weed killer.

The lawsuits stemmed from evidence that glyphosate, one of the primary ingredients of Monsanto's Roundup, is actually carcinogenic. Which means that by marketing Roundup into ubiquity, even pairing it with genetically modified crop seeds allowing farmers to spray the stuff then simply forget about it since it wouldn't harm the crops.

A landmark California Court ruling handed down in 2017 found Bayer liable for the plaintiffs' cancers, since it now owned Monsanto. The mountain of litigation has weighed on Bayer's share price ever since, making the Monsanto acquisition one of the biggest blunders in the history of the storied German firm. The two sides have been in negotiations virtually ever since, until two weeks ago, when a majority of the plaintiffs agreed to a $10 billion settlement.

BBG News:

U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria wrote in a court filing Monday that a proposed system for dealing with future lawsuits over the herbicide is problematic. Shares of Bayer, which inherited the weedkiller through its purchase of Monsanto, fell as much as 6.9% in Frankfurt, the most intraday since March 23.

The judge’s misgivings center on a plan to create a class of future claims as part of the nearly $11 billion settlement. Any change to that portion of the proposal wouldn’t necessarily affect the rest of the deal, in which the company agreed to resolve about 125,000 existing lawsuits.

About 30,000 claims, contending that Roundup caused non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, are not yet subject to deals between plaintiffs and Bayer. Some U.S. plaintiffs’ lawyers are vowing to file another wave of new suits that could add tens of thousands to that total.

Chhabria set a July 24 hearing to consider the class-action proposal, which he said he’s “tentatively inclined” to reject. That portion of the plan would establish a scientific panel to determine whether Roundup’s active ingredient causes cancer, while still potentially allowing users of the herbicide to press claims.

However, a minority of plaintiffs and their lawyers held out for a better deal, arguing that the $10BN settlement would preclude other victims from seeking compensation in the future. And now, apparently, a US judge agrees, and in an opinion filed on Monday, he is hinting at the possibility of striking down the proposed settlement, and forcing the two sides to start afresh.

During the next round of talks, the plaintiffs would have much more leverage over Bayer, and would likely be able to negotiate a much more generous settlement.

That's bad news for Bayer shareholders, as one analyst explained to Bloomberg.

The judge’s filing reinforces concerns from investors that Bayer’s Roundup deal isn’t enough to get it beyond the mountain of litigation, Alistair Campbell, an analyst at Liberum Capital, said in a note. While Bayer’s market valuation is “deeply discounted” right now, that situation probably won’t change until the company can convince the market that it’s finally resolved the Roundup legal headache.

It's also a long-overdue move by an American court to hold a European company accountable for alleged abuses perpetrated in the US, after the EU has spent so much time nitpicking every little violation committed by Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Alphabet.

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Dadster
444 days ago
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Is it any coincidence that Bayer is also the company that brought society heroin?
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