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Friday, February 27, 2015
Thursday, February 26, 2015
Two quirks haunt human nature. They are connected in a sick symbiosis, feeding off each other like the proverbial snakes gorging in mutual cannibalism. One quirk is the desire for paradise. The second is the demands of paranoia. One is a sweet sickness and the other sour.
The desire for paradise seems to be humanity’s default setting. We want to be happy. Indeed, in the land of the free and the home of the brave we are guaranteed “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” The problem is in our definition of happiness. True happiness is the result of self-discipline, hard work, a deep awareness that life has eternal significance, and adherence to a religion that vitalizes and makes real that awareness. Unfortunately, the desire for happiness too often takes a less traditional route and we are drawn into a multiplicity of false turnings, counterfeit bliss and twisted delights.
Our desire for paradise leads us to the wanton search for mere pleasure, and because it never really satisfies, the search for pleasure leads to addiction. Many are drawn to the illegal addictions of drugs or illicit sexuality. More are drawn to the legal and acceptable—even laudable—addictions of money, prestige, and power.
While individuals search for their own pleasure dome, others form groups that seek to build a paradise on earth. Seeking utopia–which literally means “nowhere”–they form ideologies, political parties, intellectual think tanks, and action groups. They campaign and protest. They electioneer and commandeer. They rally the troops and push the propaganda. They look for a brave new world and do not mind using the old cowardly methods to achieve it.
Worst of all are those who seek a religious utopia. Always looking for the perfect church, the ideal religious community or the completely correct theology or morality, they build little religious fortresses where all the people who are “good and right and true” can gather together to create a little sectarian paradise.
I've been waiting for autonomous cars to become a reality. But I’m wondering how much revenue will be lost when there are no more speeding tickets, traffic violations, parking violations, or probably quite a few other kinds of fines that I haven't even considered. How much money will state and local governments lose when traffic tickets become a thing of the past?
— Jeff Grippe, White Plains, New York
What I’m wondering is why you’re even thinking about this. Driverless cars may well reshape the urban world — for one thing, autonomous car-sharing could wipe out taxis, limos, and Ubers in a single swat — and you’re focusing on parking tickets. Could you possibly have picked a more boring aspect of this development to analyze? But since you asked, yes: this particularly irritating form of revenue extraction would be mostly eliminated in the event cars became autonomous.
As it stands, issuing tickets is something governments do a lot of. New York City gave out more than a million in 2012. Roughly 23 percent were for tinted windows or seat belt violations (conjuring a rather unsavory image of what New Yorkers are doing in their cars), but the rest were for infractions that wouldn’t’t exist if cars were automated: speeding, phone use while driving, etc. Financially, this is an incredible boon for states and municipalities — the NYPD’s recent hissy-fit strike against Mayor de Blasio cost the city $10 million a week in parking-ticket money. It’s hard to find an ironclad nationwide total for ticket-fine revenue, but (for example) Virginia raked in roughly $97 million on speeding tickets in 2010; scale that up to a population of 320 million and you get a national figure of about $3.7 billion. If autonomous cars make that sum just go away, budget committees are likely to notice.
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that the net flow in to the country in the last year stood at 298,000 – some 54,000 higher than when the Coalition came into power. That is three times higher than the government target.
Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, described the immigration figure as "very embarrassing for the Conservatives" and said Prime Minister David Cameron had "failed spectatularly" to meet his target.
Immigration is consistently among voters' top three concerns and is a particular driver of Ukip support.
Are you concerned about immigration? Would you like to know how many immigrants live in your constituency? Well our map can tell you.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
The information, compiled by FedSmith.com using data from the Office of Personnel Management and other agencies, shows the annual compensation for every civilian federal worker, save those at the Defense Department. The number of workers earning more than $200,000 represented about 1.6 percent of employees on the list and is up from about 15,000 who cleared that salary in 2013. It also makes up a slightly higher percentage of the employees on this list.
Most of the high earners worked as medical officers at the Veterans Affairs Department. Other agencies that require a highly specialized workforce paid several employees at least $200,000; these included the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
More than 1,600 federal employees cleared $300,000 in base salary last year. Just two—VA doctors in Palo Alto, Calif., and Pittsburgh—took in more than $400,000.
Read More: http://www.nationaljournal.com/budget/17-000-federal-employees-earned-more-than-200k-last-year-20150224
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Nonetheless, liberal do-gooders are proposing to further restrict gun ownership in the state. While there is no crime crisis in Vermont that predicates the move against Second Amendment rights, there is always a need to set a precedent that will crack open the door for more restrictive measures in the future.
At issue is Bill 31 that would expand background checks, allowing the government an excuse to pry into the personal lives of Vermont citizens.
While the lawmakers are anxious to include mental illness as a criteria for gun ownership, they have no provision to include one's intelligence level as a criteria, the latter being somehow immoral, we suppose.
Last summer National Review published an article titled, Vermont: Safe and Happy and Armed to the Teeth. The article noted that Vermont had the lowest incarceration rate in the nation and that only two of the state's eight murders in 2012 involved firearms. There were only ten murders in Vermont last year.
The population of Vermont is 627,000. That's slightly larger than Baltimore, Maryland's population of about622,000 that experienced 233 homicides last year.
Read More: http://dailykenn.blogspot.com/2015/02/americas-safest-state-considers-gun.html
The Unravelling. In a failing state, an anti-Islamist general mounts a divisive campaign. BY JON LEE ANDERSON
Early last year, General Khalifa Haftar left his home in northern Virginia—where he had spent most of the previous two decades, at least some of that time working with the Central Intelligence Agency—and returned to Tripoli to fight his latest war for control of Libya. Haftar, who is a mild-looking man in his early seventies, has fought with and against nearly every significant faction in the country’s conflicts, leading to a reputation for unrivalled military experience and for a highly flexible sense of personal allegiance. In the Green Mountains, the country’s traditional hideout for rebels and insurgents, he established a military headquarters, inside an old airbase surrounded by red-earth farmland and groves of hazelnut and olive trees. Haftar’s force, which he calls the Libyan National Army, has taken much of the eastern half of the country, in an offensive known as Operation Dignity. Most of the remainder, including the capital city of Tripoli, is held by Libya Dawn, a loose coalition of militias, many of them working in a tactical alliance with Islamist extremists. Much as General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has boasted of doing in Egypt, General Haftar proposes to destroy the Islamist forces and bring peace and stability—enforced by his own army.
Read More: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/02/23/unravelling
Monday, February 23, 2015
NY Magazine recently ran a piece titled “What It’s Like to Date a Horse,” in which writer Alexa Tsoulas-Reay spends approximately 6,200 words to share her interview with a 42-year-old Canadian man who’s sexual preference is female horses. Yes, horses. Feel free to read the article, if you like, but our purpose here is to explore how this story and it’s elements are all quintessential elements of Jewish sociologist Herbert Marcuse’s ideas of “repressive tolerance” and his application of fellow co-ethnic Sigmund Freud’s idea of “polymorphous perversity.”
Read More: http://theden.tv/2014/12/06/polymorphous-perversity-ny-mag-gives-positive-spin-to-bestiality/
China and Russia plan to extend their strategic partnership in finance, aviation and space as well as improve trade and economic cooperation, said Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping.
“It is essential to improve practical cooperation, as both sides will be increasing and expanding trade, and innovation,” Cheng said during a news conference in Beijing as quoted by Rossiya Segodnya.
Trade between the two countries was worth $95.3 billion in 2014. China and Russia expect it to reach $200 billion by 2020.
The two countries will continue to expand cooperation in aviation, space and nuclear energy; he said adding that China will actively cooperate with Russia in finance to seek new forms of interaction.Read More: http://www.4thmedia.org/2015/02/russia-china-to-boost-finance-aviation-space-partnerships/
This Map Shows the Best States in America for Well-Being. The Great North Takes the Top Spot. BY KARA PENDLETON
According to a Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index for 2014, Alaskans are number one when it comes to overall well-being and West Virginians are in last place.
Read More: http://www.ijreview.com/2015/02/254249-2-gallup-healthways-index-rates-overall-well-being-for-every-state/
Saturday, February 21, 2015
In her standup act, comedian Whitney Cummings scoffs at the claim that men like strong women. “Sorry, I’ve watched porn,” she says. “Men like Asian schoolgirls with duct tape on their mouths.” In that vein, consider the popular idea that women want sensitive men who do the laundry without being told. Sorry, I’ve read—and now watched—50 Shades of Grey. Women like men who tie them up and flog them in a Red Room of Pain. With duct tape on their mouths.
I’m only half-kidding. The film’s reviews, like the reviews of E.L. James’s 2011 book, are full of well-deserved snark about its inane dialogue, flat characters, and contrived plot. But the story’s wild popularity suggests that James knows something most of us don’t about the mix of lust, romantic longing, and post-feminist morality that swirls inside the brains of young women today.
It’s a remarkable coincidence that this particular pornographic fantasy has seized the global female imagination at the same moment that rape and sexual violence against women has become a leading social justice cause. The coincidence is heightened by the fact that the story’s protagonist, Anastasia Steele, is a coed on the cusp of graduation. She is in many respects an ordinary, modern college girl. She’s independent, a little boozy, cash-strapped, and working her way through school in a hardware store. She drives a battered Volkswagen beetle. Yes, she is a virgin. But that’s not because she’s a prude—“Holy crap, no!” as the feisty heroine would put it. She just hasn’t found a guy who pushes her buttons. That is, until she sacrifices her virginity and good judgment to the highly practiced sexual power of the brooding and distinctly un-politically-correct billionaire Christian Grey, a man of “singular tastes.”
Read More: http://www.city-journal.org/2015/eon0217kh.html
Yes — seriously. A student at a liberal-arts school in Oregon was reportedly banned from going anywhere on campus that a fellow student would be — because he looked like the person who had raped her. Professor Janet Halley wrote in a piece for Harvard Law Review that she had “recently assisted” a student who had been “ordered to stay away from a fellow student (cutting him off from his housing, his campus job, and educational opportunity) — all because he reminded her of the man who had raped her months before and thousands of miles away.” The accused also had to endure a “month-long investigation into all his campus relationships, seeking information about his possible sexual misconduct in them,” which she called an “immense invasion of his and his friends’ privacy.”
Read More: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/413978/student-banned-areas-campus-resembling-classmates-rapist-katherine-timpf
Read More: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/413978/student-banned-areas-campus-resembling-classmates-rapist-katherine-timpf
Friday, February 20, 2015
Looking over Trevor Lynch’s list of his “Ten Favorite Films” in his forthcoming collection, Son of Trevor Lynch’s White Nationalist Guide to the Movies, it occurred to me that I couldn’t possibly put together such a list, even if I could decide on a criterion or two.
I then remembered that Elmer O’Brien, S.J., in introducing his Essential Plotinus, faced a similar difficulty and suggested that there was an “essential” Plotinus as Coleridge had said there was an “essential’ poetry: “that to which with the greatest pleasure the reader returns.” And I recalled that when I finally broke down and bought a DVD player, around 2005, I made a similar rule, to buy discs for movies that I was again and again stopping to watch if they showed up on my cable TV guide.
With the thought that some Counter-Currents readers might find it somewhat diverting, I have put together a little list of such “essential” films, the ones that I constantly default to. Constant Readers will recognize a few, since they are the films whose Constant Viewing has inspired one or more essays here at Counter-Currents, which are linked below.
Casino (Martin Scorsese) — Like Leone, Scorsese is a master of what I like to call bravura filmmaking (de Niro’s barroom entrance in Mean Streets, Ray Liotta’s Copacabana entrance, Henry Hill’s last day of freedom in Goodfellas, etc.); Welles’s movie studio as “the best train set a boy every got.” The usual bag of tricks are here: goofy but murderous gangsters, explanations of how the money is made, etc. On repeated viewings, it’s the story of Ace and Sharon Stone’s marriage. “I’ve found a new sponsor” is the epitaph for the New Liberated Woman of the ’70s. But all the critics saw was “another Goodfellas.” Even the pop music cues are here, but what’s memorable is Howard Shore’s score, channeling Samuel Barber, linking Videodrome to Lord of the Rings. You might think I’d choose Gangs of New York, but despite its merits I find I only return to the final time-lapse of downtown Manhattan, and for that I have Once Upon a Time in America.
Read More: http://www.counter-currents.com/2015/02/essential-films-and-others/#more-53076
Thursday, February 19, 2015
Spiegel online interviewed Isaac Herzog, the Labor leader in the election campaign in Israel. He says that Benjamin Netanyahu should cancel his scheduled speech to Congress next month:
I think it is totally unnecessary. He should cancel this speech. This appearance in Congress is adverse to Israeli interests and will only hamper further the relations between the government of Israel and the US administration.
An important CNN poll is out showing that overwhelmingly Americans regard the invitation to Netanyahu to speak to both house of Congress to attempt to overturn our president’s policy re Iraq as inappropriate, 63 to 33, and that an even larger number of Americans wants the U.S. to be neutral in the Israel-Palestine conflict. From CNN:
A large majority of Americans believe that Republican congressional leaders should not have invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to Congress without consulting the White House, according to a new CNN/ORC survey.
The nationwide poll, released Tuesday, shows 63% of Americans say it was a bad move for congressional leadership to extend the invitation without giving President Barack Obama a heads up that it was coming. Only 33% say it was the right thing to do.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
When the US government sanctioned the beating and arrest of US citizens for swaying from side to side in the Jefferson Memorial a couple of years ago, it provoked no response from the Western media (and therefore the Western zombie-citizens who rely entirely on the media for their 'opinions'). Yet the Russian government, sorry, 'Putin' (because everyone knows Putin is a dictator, right?) is broadly denounced as a 'tyrant' by these same Western zombies (again because their 'outraged opinion' was deftly inserted into their brains by the Western media) for putting a stop to the ugly spectacle of deranged Russian women sticking chickens up their vaginas in supermarkets, daubing outlines of phalli on bridges, staging 'orgies' in a museum and defiling the peace and tranquility of Russian Orthodox churches as part of their three year long international attack on the Russian government.
Disconnect? For sure, but, like I said, don't expect any logic from the collective mind of the citizens of Western zombie nations. All you can hope to do is understand the psychopathic logic of Western governments and the way it infects the minds and manipulates the emotions of Western citizens.
'Pussy Riot', or 11 Russian women between the ages of 20-33, has received direct moral support from the US State Department and likely indirect financial support, and appears to be one aspect of the US government's decade-long attempt to undermine Russian society and its president, Vladimir Putin.
Read More: http://www.sott.net/article/274860-Pussy-Riot-the-US-State-Department-and-Economic-Shock-Therapy