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Archive for August 3rd, 2018

It’s True: Trump Is Lying More, and He’s Doing It on Purpose

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Susan B. Glasser writes in the New Yorker:

On Thursday, the Washington Post published a remarkable story on its front page revealing a recent spike in the number of “false and misleading claims” made by President Trump. In his first year as President, Trump made 2,140 false claims, according to the Post. In just the last six months, he has nearly doubled that total to 4,229. In June and July, he averaged sixteen false claims a day. On July 5th, the Post found what appears to be Trump’s most untruthful day yet: seventy-six per cent of the ninety-eight factual assertions he made in a campaign-style rally in Great Falls, Montana, were “false, misleading or unsupported by evidence.” Trump’s rallies have become the signature events of his Presidency, and it is there that the President most often plays fast and loose with the facts, in service to his political priorities and to telling his fervent supporters what they want and expect to hear from him. At another rally this week, in Tampa, Trump made thirty-five false and misleading claims, on subjects ranging from trade with China to the size of his tax cut.

These astonishing statistics were compiled by a small team overseen by Glenn Kessler, the editor and chief writer of the Post’s Fact Checker column, who for much of the last decade has been truth-squadding politicians and doling out Pinocchios for their exaggerations, misrepresentations, distortions, and otherwise false claims. At this point, Kessler practically has a Ph.D. in the anthropology of the Washington lie, a long and storied art form which has always had skilled practitioners of both parties. But Trump has challenged the Fact Checker, Kessler told me over coffee this week, in ways that have tested the very premise of the column. The President, for example, has a habit of repeating the same falsehoods over and over again, especially as they concern his core political causes, such as trade or immigration or getting European allies to contribute more to nato. What should Kessler do, he often asks himself, when Trump repeats a four-Pinocchio whopper? Since taking office, the Postfact-checking team found, Trump has repeated close to a hundred and fifty untruths at least three times. Kessler has instated a Trump-specific database in response. Initially, the Post planned to compile the database of Trump’s misrepresentations as part of a project for his first hundred days in office. But the numbers kept piling up; now, Kessler told me, he is committed to keeping it up for Trump’s full term, documenting every “untruth” (per Post policy, he does not use the label “lies” even for the most egregious Presidential whoppers). “We’re kind of doing it for history,” he said.

History books will likely declare the last few months a turning point in the Trump Presidency, and Kessler’s laborious work gives us metrics that confirm what is becoming more and more apparent: the recent wave of misstatements is both a reflection of Trump’s increasingly unbound Presidency and a signal attribute of it. The upsurge provides empirical evidence that Trump, in recent months, has felt more confident running his White House as he pleases, keeping his own counsel, and saying and doing what he wants when he wants to. The fact that Trump, while historically unpopular with the American public as a whole, has retained the loyalty of more than eighty per cent of Republicans—the group at which his lies seem to be aimed—means we are in for much more, as a midterm election approaches that may determine whether Trump is impeached by a newly Democratic Congress. At this point, the falsehoods are as much a part of his political identity as his floppy orange hair and the “Make America Great Again” slogan. The untruths, Kessler told me, are Trump’s political “secret sauce.”

That appears to be the case for others on Trump’s team as well. As Kessler and I talked, the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, presided at one of her increasingly rare press briefings. (Another metric to consider: Sanders gave three briefings in all of July, while previous Administrations conducted them daily.) In the briefing, Sanders repeated a number of false claims, including one that Kessler had previously debunked, that reporters put out “leaked” information that caused Osama bin Laden to stop using his satellite phone and slowed the hunt for the Al Qaeda leader before the 9/11 attacks. Kessler heard about Sanders’s false claim as we were leaving and retweeted his old article. “Kind of amazed but not surprised,” he wrote on Twitter, that the White House press secretary “would cite uninformed reporting that appeared BEFORE I debunked this fable in 2005.”

To me, the striking thing was that Sanders’s false claim was part of her prepared remarks; she read them from a piece of paper in the midst of a press-bashing jeremiad about the evils of what Trump calls “fake news.” A day later, she made her personal view of the press clear. Asked repeatedly Thursday whether she endorses Trump’s oft-stated line that the media are the “enemies of the people,” Sanders refused to reject Trump’s characterization. “I’m here to speak on behalf of the President,” she said. “He’s made his comments clear.” The White House assault on the truth is not an accident—it is intentional.

Other metrics make clear the significant changes in Trump’s approach to the Presidency in recent months, as he has become more confident, less willing to tolerate advisers who challenge him, and increasingly obsessed with the threats to his Presidency posed by the ongoing special-counsel investigation. One is the epic turnover rate of Trump’s White House staff, which as of June already stood at the unprecedented level of sixty-one per cent among the President’s top advisers.

All the departures from Trump’s troubled West Wing have created a new set of dilemmas for the political world, which normally welcomes even the most controversial White House advisers into a comfortable post-power life of high-paid lobbying or consulting jobs, speaking tours, and cushy think-tank or academic gigs. Will those smooth transitions continue? Should they?

At Harvard, an uproar greeted the decision of the Kennedy School of Government to name Trump’s first press secretary, Sean Spicer, a visiting fellow, although, at Stanford, the recent decision by the Hoover Institution to name H. R. McMaster, Trump’s fired national-security adviser, a senior fellow prompted little protest. After Marc Short quit the Trump White House last month, he headed toward such a life as well. Short, a veteran conservative political operative, worked to oppose Trump’s nomination in the 2016 Republican primaries while on the payroll of the big G.O.P. donors the Koch brothers. Nonetheless, he went on to serve as Trump’s chief legislative liaison and congressional vote-counter. Short also often defended Trump on television. After leaving the White House, he landed a paid gig as a CNN commentator (the network where I am also a contributor), a partnership at a Washington consulting firm, and a fellowship at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center.

Short’s hiring at U.V.A. has set off a major controversy in Charlottesville, which will soon mark the one-year anniversary of the violence-scarred white supremacist march that prompted one of Trump’s most controversial statements as President, his declaration that there were bad people and violence “on both sides.” Unlike others in the Administration, Short never publicly objected to Trump’s Charlottesville remarks (though he told me the White House had not handled it “the way we should have.”) In the two weeks since Short’s hiring, thousands of U.V.A. students and professors have signed a petition opposing it, although the Miller Center and U.V.A.’s new president are sticking by him. William Antholis, the Miller Center’s director, told me he believed Short’s appointment was about “understanding the Trump Presidency and engaging in civil dialogue about it, including with somebody who knows it and understands it well, but in my view is still within the legitimate bands of political disagreement.” But Antholis acknowledged that, for many opponents of Trump, this is not a Presidency to be treated like those that preceded it. “The challenge we face is similar to the one all media organizations face: the Trump Presidency and the Congress represent forty per cent of the American people and eighty to ninety per cent of the Republican Party, so can you just completely say that is an illegitimate viewpoint and that anybody complicit in it is by association guilty? Where do you draw the bands of complicity?”

On Monday, two well-regarded history professors quit the Miller Center in protest of Short’s hiring. William Hitchcock, the author of an admiring new biography of President Dwight Eisenhower (“He is the anti-Trump,” Hitchcock said of Eisenhower, when we met at a Miller Center breakfast that I co-hosted this summer—“He is the un-Trumpian in every way”), told me this week that he is fine with universities hiring other former officials with controversial backgrounds, such as the current Miller Center fellow Eric Edelman, who was Vice-President Dick Cheney’s close adviser during the invasion of Iraq, or McMaster at Stanford University, each of whom has an academic background. It is Short’s role as a public propagator of Trump’s untruths that most bothers Hitchcock, and, as a historian, he said that this makes the Trump Administration unique among American Presidencies.

“What is the appropriate position for universities to adopt not just to former Trump officials but to the Trump era?” he asked. “Universities have got to speak up for the basic principles of inquiry, of open-mindeness, and facts that have been cast into doubt . . . . If you invite the slickest, most skillful bender of the truth from the Trump Administration and say, ‘What can you tell us about the Trump Administration?’ Well, what are you going to get out of him?”

On Thursday, I reached Short by telephone and asked him to respond to this criticism. Short said he thought a lot of the backlash around his hiring had to do with Trump’s “unique Presidency ” and the “raw emotions” in Charlottesville and that he hoped he could contribute to “an honest conversation about how this Presidency came to be.” Short suggested that those who objected to him were doing so because they were uncomfortable with a “disruptive President” or because of their “dismissal of Trump voters—and that is a wide swath of America.” When I pointed out that many of the objections, like Hitchcock’s, had to do with a more basic question, of Short’s accountability—and that of other Trump officials—for the President’s unprecedented record of untruths, Short said he did feel “a responsibility to be truthful. All of us have a responsibility to be truthful, and that’s essential.” So, I asked, would he be open to correcting the record of the President’s misstatements? “Tell me specifically where you think there have been things stated that are not true,” he said. “Let’s have that conversation, as opposed to saying, ‘I’m going to resign.’ We’re all better off if we have that conversation in a civil way.”

The previous gold standard in Presidential lying was, of course, Richard Nixon. Barry Goldwater, the Republican Presidential nominee four years before Nixon won the White House in 1968, famously called Nixon “the most dishonest individual I ever met in my life.” Writing in his memoirs, Goldwater observed that Nixon “lied to his wife, his family, his friends, longtime colleagues in the U.S. Congress, lifetime members of his own political party, the American people, and the world.”

There have been comparisons between Nixon and Trump since Trump first entered office, but these, too, have escalated in recent months as the President has been shadowed by the threat of the ongoing special-counsel investigation into the electronic break-in of the Democratic National Committee (another eerie Watergate echo) and whether Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia. Trump’s obsession with the special counsel, Robert Mueller, also comes with metrics: he has called the Mueller probe a “witch hunt” on Twitter more than twenty-one times a month on average this spring and summer, compared with an average of just three times a month in the previous nine months.

Another commonality between Nixon and Trump is  . . .

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Written by Leisureguy

3 August 2018 at 5:38 pm

Could Multiple Personality Disorder Explain Life, the Universe and Everything?

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Bernardo Kastrup, Adam Crabtree, and Edward F. Kelly write in Scientific American:

In 2015, doctors in Germany reported the extraordinary case of a woman who suffered from what has traditionally been called “multiple personality disorder” and today is known as “dissociative identity disorder” (DID). The woman exhibited a variety of dissociated personalities (“alters”), some of which claimed to be blind. Using EEGs, the doctors were able to ascertain that the brain activity normally associated with sight wasn’t present while a blind alter was in control of the woman’s body, even though her eyes were open. Remarkably, when a sighted alter assumed control, the usual brain activity returned.

This was a compelling demonstration of the literally blinding power of extreme forms of dissociation, a condition in which the psyche gives rise to multiple, operationally separate centers of consciousness, each with its own private inner life.

Modern neuroimaging techniques have demonstrated that DID is real: in a 2014 study, doctors performed functional brain scans on both DID patients and actors simulating DID. The scans of the actual patients displayed clear differences when compared to those of the actors, showing that dissociation has an identifiable neural activity fingerprint. In other words, there is something rather particular that dissociative processes look like in the brain.

There is also compelling clinical data showing that different alters can be concurrently conscious and see themselves as distinct identities. One of us has written an extensive treatment of evidence for this distinctness of identity and the complex forms of interactive memory that accompany it, particularly in those extreme cases of DID that are usually referred to as multiple personality disorder.

The history of this condition dates back to the early 19th century, with a flurry of cases in the 1880s through the 1920s, and again from the 1960s to the late 1990s. The massive literature on the subject confirms the consistent and uncompromising sense of separateness experienced by the alter personalities. It also displays compelling evidence that the human psyche is constantly active in producing personal units of perception and action that might be needed to deal with the challenges of life.

Although we may be at a loss to explain precisely how this creative process occurs (because it unfolds almost totally beyond the reach of self-reflective introspection) the clinical evidence nevertheless forces us to acknowledge something is happening that has important implications for our views about what is and is not possible in nature.

Now, a newly published paper by one of us posits that dissociation can offer a solution to a critical problem in our current understanding of the nature of reality. This requires some background, so bear with us.

According to the mainstream metaphysical view of physicalism, reality is fundamentally constituted by physical stuff outside and independent of mind. Mental states, in turn, should be explainable in terms of the parameters of physical processes in the brain.

A key problem of physicalism, however, is its inability to make sense of how our subjective experience of qualities—what it is like to feel the warmth of fire, the redness of an apple, the bitterness of disappointment and so on—could arise from mere arrangements of physical stuff.

Physical entities such as subatomic particles possess abstract relational properties, such as mass, spin, momentum and charge. But there is nothing about these properties, or in the way particles are arranged in a brain, in terms of which one could deduce what the warmth of fire, the redness of an apple or the bitterness of disappointment feel like. This is known as the hard problem of consciousness.

To circumvent this problem, some philosophers have proposed an alternative: that experience is inherent to every fundamental physical entity in nature. Under this view, called “constitutive panpsychism,” matter already has experience from the get-go, not just when it arranges itself in the form of brains. Even subatomic particles possess some very simple form of consciousness. Our own human consciousness is then (allegedly) constituted by a combination of the subjective inner lives of the countless physical particles that make up our nervous system.

However, constitutive panpsychism has a critical problem of its own: there is arguably no coherent, non-magical way in which lower-level subjective points of view—such as those of subatomic particles or neurons in the brain, if they have these points of view—could combine to form higher-level subjective points of view, such as yours and ours. This is called the  combination problem and it appears just as insoluble as the hard problem of consciousness.

The obvious way around the combination problem is to posit that, although consciousness is indeed fundamental in nature, it isn’t fragmented like matter. The idea is to extend consciousness to the entire fabric of spacetime, as opposed to limiting it to the boundaries of individual subatomic particles. This view—called “cosmopsychism” in modern philosophy, although our preferred formulation of it boils down to what has classically been called “idealism”—is that there is only one, universal, consciousness. The physical universe as a whole is the extrinsic appearance of universal inner life, just as a living brain and body are the extrinsic appearance of a person’s inner life.

You don’t need to be a philosopher to realize the obvious problem with this idea: people have private, separate fields of experience. We can’t normally read your thoughts and, presumably, neither can you read ours. Moreover, we are not normally aware of what’s going on across the universe and, presumably, neither are you. So, for idealism to be tenable, one must explain—at least in principle—how one universal consciousness gives rise to multiple, private but concurrently conscious centers of cognition, each with a distinct personality and sense of identity.

And here is where dissociation comes in. We know empirically from DID that consciousness can give rise to many operationally distinct centers of concurrent experience, each with its own personality and sense of identity. Therefore, if something analogous to DID happens at a universal level, the one universal consciousness could, as a result, give rise to many alters with private inner lives like yours and ours. As such, we may all be alters—dissociated personalities—of universal consciousness.

Moreover, as we’ve seen earlier, there is something dissociative processes look like in the brain of a patient with DID. . .

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Written by Leisureguy

3 August 2018 at 4:32 pm

Every cloud has a silver lining: The NRA Says It’s in Deep Financial Trouble, May Be ‘Unable to Exist’

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Tim Dickinson reports in Rolling Stone:

The National Rifle Association warns that it is in grave financial jeopardy, according to a recent court filing obtained by Rolling Stone, and that it could soon “be unable to exist… or pursue its advocacy mission.” (Read the NRA’s legal complaint at the bottom of this story.)

The reason, according to the NRA filing, is not its deep entanglement with alleged Russian agents like Maria Butina. Instead, the gun group has been suing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state’s financial regulators since May, claiming the NRA has been subject to a state-led “blacklisting campaign” that has inflicted “tens of millions of dollars in damages.”

In the new document — an amended complaint filed in U.S. District Court in late July — the NRA says it cannot access financial services essential to its operations and is facing “irrecoverable loss and irreparable harm.”

Specifically, the NRA warns that it has lost insurance coverage — endangering day-to-day operations. “Insurance coverage is necessary for the NRA to continue its existence,” the complaint reads. Without general liability coverage, it adds, the “NRA cannot maintain its physical premises, convene off-site meetings and events, operate educational programs … or hold rallies, conventions and assemblies.”

The complaint says the NRA’s video streaming service and magazines may soon shut down.

“The NRA’s inability to obtain insurance in connection with media liability raises risks that are especially acute; if insurers remain afraid to transact with the NRA, there is a substantial risk that NRATV will be forced to cease operating.” The group also warns it “could be forced to cease circulation of various print publications and magazines.”

In addition to its insurance troubles, the NRA court filing also claims that “abuses” by Cuomo and the New York State Department of Financial Services “will imminently deprive the NRA of basic bank-depository services … and other financial services essential to the NRA’s corporate existence.” . . .

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Written by Leisureguy

3 August 2018 at 4:25 pm

Posted in Business, Guns

City street orientations around the world

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Very interesting post (and charts) in Jason Kottke’s blog. From the post:

Written by Leisureguy

3 August 2018 at 1:04 pm

Posted in Daily life, Science

Apple’s Stock Market Scam

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Interesting article in the New Republic by Alex Shephard:

Apple beat Amazon and Google in the race to become the first trillion-dollar companyin the U.S. on Thursday afternoon, when its stock hit $207.0425 a share. (It closed slightly higher.) It’s another milestone for what might be the most important company of the century thus far—one that’s even more impressive given that, 20 years ago, the company was being written off by nearly everyone and was on the verge of bankruptcy. But Apple survived both near-bankruptcy and the 2011 death of the company’s visionary founder, Steve Jobs. BusinessWeek marked the achievement with a bit of self-deprecation, tweeting its 1997 cover on “The Fall of An American Icon.”

The road to a trillion was paved with iPods, iPads, and iPhones—and, crucially, with the rollout of stores that NYU Stern School of Business professor Scott Galloway has described as “temples to the brand.” But Apple’s recent success on Wall Street isn’t due to its technological innovations or its sleek products. Instead, its stock has been juiced by a record-breaking number of buybacks, in which the company buys shares of its own stock, causing the supply to drop and the price to rise. In May, several months after Congress passed a massive corporate tax cut, Apple pledged $100 billion to stock buybacks in 2018—and is halfway to that goal. With $285 billion in cash on hand, it can afford to buy even more.

Viewed over a period of decades, a number of products and achievements played a role in getting Apple to where it is today. But as the company’s profit margins have shrunk, stock buybacks played a crucial role in getting Apple over the trillion-dollar finish line first. This asterisk should be something of a scandal. Apple is the poster child of the current spate of stock buybacks, which are starving investment and exacerbating inequality.

Though never banned outright, buybacks were largely curtailed in the wake of the Great Depression, thanks to rules that limited the ability of corporations to manipulate their own stock. As Vox explained earlier this week, even the threat of action largely kept buybacks from happening: “Companies knew that if they did a stock buyback, it could open them up to being accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of having tried to manipulate their stock price, so most just didn’t.”

But as enforcement loosened, notably under the Reagan administration, buybacks began to increase. Now, they are omnipresent. A Roosevelt Institute study released on Tuesday found that corporations spent 60 percent of their net profits on stock buybacks between 2015-2017. Buybacks have continued to boom in the wake of the $1.5 trillion tax cut passed in December. J.P. Morgan estimates that $800 billion will be spent on buybacks in 2018, obliterating the previous record of $587 billion in 2007—a spree that ended when the economy collapsed.

The goal of buybacks is straightforward: They prop up share prices and reward shareholders by increasing the value of the piece of the company that they own. There is no conclusive evidence that buybacks boost share prices in the long term, but as The Motley Fool explains, “In the near term, the stock price may rise because shareholders know that a buyback will immediately boost earnings per share.” But buybacks may not be a particularly efficient way to prop up a share price. Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal found that “57% of the more than 350 companies in the S&P 500 that bought back shares so far this year are trailing the index’s 3.2% increase.” (Apple’s stock, however was an exception—its shares had jumped 11 percent at the time of the report.) Nevertheless, given the amount of pressure that CEOs are under, and the fact that buybacks are applauded by the shareholders that profit from them, it’s no wonder that public companies in the U.S. have spent the majority of the windfall they received from last year’s tax cut buying back their own stock.

Because companies are spending so much on buybacks, they’re neglecting to invest in their workers or their products. “Stock buybacks undermine the productive capabilities of companies and their ability to generate new products that compete on the market, and this is going to, at some point, show up in stock price,” University of Massachusetts professor William Lazonick, who studies buybacks, told me. Buybacks, as the Roosevelt Institute study found, also keep wages low by giving money to shareholders rather than investing it in workers.

All of this is direct result of the short-term focus of the economy. “I attribute it a lot of it to the financialization of the economy,” Lazonick said. “Once you’re willing to spend two or three or four billion or more a year on buybacks for a large company, you start becoming much more willing to lay off 5,000 people even in a prosperous period to pump your stock price up.”

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, has argued that stock buybacks are ultimately good for the economy, because investors have to pay capital gains tax when they sell stock. This is something of a novel argument—it was made in a MarketWatch article published a few days earlier—but it’s not a particularly convincing one because most of the money would go directly to shareholders and executives, rather than the government or workers. Cook’s argument is also at odds with history. “Usually the conventional wisdom is the opposite,” John Cochrane, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute, toldBusiness Insider. “Stock buybacks started in the 1990s as a way of helping people to avoid taxes.”

Apple has pledged to add 20,000 jobs this year, but little is known about what exactly that means. Apple has increased its research and development spending over the past year, but the company is still only spending about five percent of total sales, a relatively low number, especially given the fierce competition among Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. . .

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Written by Leisureguy

3 August 2018 at 10:24 am

Posted in Business

The mafia-like nature of authoritarian states, and why it matters

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Clay Fuller writes at the American Enterprise Institute:

God bless Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He is in a tough spot, but he continues to nail it. Two weeks ago, he made headlines when he correctly pointed out the Iranian government is run by “something that resembles the mafia more than a government.” The most fundamental and overlooked observation of the post-Cold War era is that all authoritarian governments, in their myriad institutional forms, operate more like criminal syndicates than the traditional Westphalian conceptualization of sovereign governance.

In “Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security,” Sarah Chayes of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace uses her experience in Afghanistan to articulate Pompeo’s point. My point is that it is universally applicable: No two dictatorships are the same and neither are any two transnational criminal organizations, but there are common attributes among all of them. All engage in, and in fact depend upon, theft. Whether it is intellectual property, land, resources, foreign aid, or people that are stolen, dictatorships operate outside of internationally established rule of law traditions. The criminal nature of modern authoritarian governance is one the policy world is understandably reluctant to accept for diplomatic, trade, and security reasons. But a growing number of scholars see the writing on the walls.

Most people will accept the claim that organized crime fuels corruption. Fewer will agree on who, how, why, and when. By taking well-established measures of corruption and democracy from the Varieties of Democracy Institute and Freedom House, respectively, analyses show that non-democracies after 1991 have grown far more corrupt than Cold War non-democracies on average. This provides some evidence for the important insight that Pompeo applied to Iran, but more importantly, it informs a general logic of national security for the modern world.

All of America’s national security threats are either authoritarian states or are supported by them. I argue that all authoritarian states are kleptocracies because by definition, authoritarians maintain an artificial monopoly on the use of political power. They support their absolute power by pillaging their own and others’ economies, using the loot to purchase the support of elites in militaries, political parties, connected families, and loyalists in governments at home and abroad.

Ideology plays a part, but not like it did during the Cold War. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is now functionally capitalist. Putin’s oligarchs do not support his autocratic rule because they believe it is what Lenin prescribed. It is doubtful that Kim Jong-Un’s inner circle truly believes that “Juche” (North Korea’s official ideology of self-reliance) and nuclear missiles are the most profitable and sustainable path forward. I have a hard time believing the entire Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp wakes up every morning and thinks, “Hey, wiping Israel off the map and starting World War III sounds like a good idea.”

Surely some autocratic elites drink the ideological Kool-Aid, but arguably most do it for the enhanced living standards they receive from corrupt systems. CCP elites are the fastest growing class of billionaires. Russian oligarchs are infamous for their luxurious lifestyles. The elite in North Korea have internet access, consume Western media and whiskey, drive Mercedes, and buy smartphones. The IRGC, as Secretary Pompeo articulated, treat themselves very nicely in comparison to the Iranian people from whom they steal.

If autocratic elites do not support their regimes for personal gain, they do it out of fear. Dissent is often equivalent to a death sentence. In 2015, Boris Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister of Russia, was assassinated just outside the Kremlin for opposing Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Last year, North Korea announced the execution of five senior security officials using anti-aircraft guns, ostensibly for making false reports. Such gruesome tactics demonstrate the lengths to which autocrats will go to punish disloyalty.

Regardless of their motivations, the corruption of mafia-like elite circles are the soft spot of post-Cold War authoritarian states. . .

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Written by Leisureguy

3 August 2018 at 8:47 am

Omega Midget, Nancy Boy shaving cream, RazoRock Mamba, and Mickey Lee’s Italian Stallion aftershave milk

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This little Omega brush is of a size with the Mixed Midget (badger+boar) brush but is simply a Midget (badger only). It did well with Nancy Boy shaving cream, working up a good lather. Only a small amount of the shaving cream’s needed.

Three passes with my RazoRock Memba, a final rinse, dry, and I splashed on Mickey Lee’s extremely nice Italian Stallion aftershave milk. I wish he would reprise the fragrance: I like it a lot. It’s one of the instances when getting a sample led to me to buy a bottle.

Written by Leisureguy

3 August 2018 at 8:39 am

Posted in Shaving

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