Author Topic: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System  (Read 109770 times)

Prince Glittersnatch III

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #195 on: May 01, 2012, 01:10:41 am »
http://thebaffler.com/notebook/2012/03/too_smart_to_fail

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A résumé filled with grievous errors in the period 1996–2006 is not only a non-problem for further advances in the world of consensus; it is something of a prerequisite. Our intellectual powers that be not only forgive the mistakes; they require them. You must have been wrong back then in order to have a chance to be taken seriously today; only by having gotten things wrong can you demonstrate that you are trustworthy, a member of the team. (Those who got things right all along, on the other hand, might be dubbed “premature market skeptics”—people who doubted the consensus before the consensus acknowledged it was all right to doubt.)

There is an assumption at the heart of this article that I have to disagree with.  That assumption is that the economic collapse was a mistake.

Never assume malice where stupidity will suffice.
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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #196 on: May 01, 2012, 01:16:07 am »
http://thebaffler.com/notebook/2012/03/too_smart_to_fail

Quote
A résumé filled with grievous errors in the period 1996–2006 is not only a non-problem for further advances in the world of consensus; it is something of a prerequisite. Our intellectual powers that be not only forgive the mistakes; they require them. You must have been wrong back then in order to have a chance to be taken seriously today; only by having gotten things wrong can you demonstrate that you are trustworthy, a member of the team. (Those who got things right all along, on the other hand, might be dubbed “premature market skeptics”—people who doubted the consensus before the consensus acknowledged it was all right to doubt.)

There is an assumption at the heart of this article that I have to disagree with.  That assumption is that the economic collapse was a mistake.

Never assume malice where stupidity will suffice.

Actually, in this case it WAS malice.

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Cain

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #197 on: May 01, 2012, 11:31:09 am »
British taxpayer's money at work: forcibly sterilising the poor

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/15/uk-aid-forced-sterilisation-india

Quote
Tens of millions of pounds of UK aid money have been spent on a programme that has forcibly sterilised Indian women and men, the Observer has learned. Many have died as a result of botched operations, while others have been left bleeding and in agony. A number of pregnant women selected for sterilisation suffered miscarriages and lost their babies.

The UK agreed to give India £166m to fund the programme, despite allegations that the money would be used to sterilise the poor in an attempt to curb the country's burgeoning population of 1.2 billion people.

Sterilisation has been mired in controversy for years. With officials and doctors paid a bonus for every operation, poor and little-educated men and women in rural areas are routinely rounded up and sterilised without having a chance to object. Activists say some are told they are going to health camps for operations that will improve their general wellbeing and only discover the truth after going under the knife.

Court documents filed in India earlier this month claim that many victims have been left in pain, with little or no aftercare. Across the country, there have been numerous reports of deaths and of pregnant women suffering miscarriages after being selected for sterilisation without being warned that they would lose their unborn babies.

Yet a working paper published by the UK's Department for International Development in 2010 cited the need to fight climate change as one of the key reasons for pressing ahead with such programmes. The document argued that reducing population numbers would cut greenhouse gases, although it warned that there were "complex human rights and ethical issues" involved in forced population control.

Yeah, no shit.  Not complex enough for us to stump up the cash, though.

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #198 on: May 01, 2012, 03:07:37 pm »
Sweet merciful FUCK.

I just spent 5 minutes trying to come up with a witty quip about marching back into pre-1950s civilization, but I got nothing. God damn it.

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #199 on: May 01, 2012, 04:39:22 pm »
http://thebaffler.com/notebook/2012/03/too_smart_to_fail

Quote
A résumé filled with grievous errors in the period 1996–2006 is not only a non-problem for further advances in the world of consensus; it is something of a prerequisite. Our intellectual powers that be not only forgive the mistakes; they require them. You must have been wrong back then in order to have a chance to be taken seriously today; only by having gotten things wrong can you demonstrate that you are trustworthy, a member of the team. (Those who got things right all along, on the other hand, might be dubbed “premature market skeptics”—people who doubted the consensus before the consensus acknowledged it was all right to doubt.)

There is an assumption at the heart of this article that I have to disagree with.  That assumption is that the economic collapse was a mistake.

Never assume malice where stupidity will suffice.

Never assume stupidity where self-interest will suffice.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #200 on: May 01, 2012, 04:39:47 pm »
British taxpayer's money at work: forcibly sterilising the poor

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/15/uk-aid-forced-sterilisation-india

Quote
Tens of millions of pounds of UK aid money have been spent on a programme that has forcibly sterilised Indian women and men, the Observer has learned. Many have died as a result of botched operations, while others have been left bleeding and in agony. A number of pregnant women selected for sterilisation suffered miscarriages and lost their babies.

The UK agreed to give India £166m to fund the programme, despite allegations that the money would be used to sterilise the poor in an attempt to curb the country's burgeoning population of 1.2 billion people.

Sterilisation has been mired in controversy for years. With officials and doctors paid a bonus for every operation, poor and little-educated men and women in rural areas are routinely rounded up and sterilised without having a chance to object. Activists say some are told they are going to health camps for operations that will improve their general wellbeing and only discover the truth after going under the knife.

Court documents filed in India earlier this month claim that many victims have been left in pain, with little or no aftercare. Across the country, there have been numerous reports of deaths and of pregnant women suffering miscarriages after being selected for sterilisation without being warned that they would lose their unborn babies.

Yet a working paper published by the UK's Department for International Development in 2010 cited the need to fight climate change as one of the key reasons for pressing ahead with such programmes. The document argued that reducing population numbers would cut greenhouse gases, although it warned that there were "complex human rights and ethical issues" involved in forced population control.

Yeah, no shit.  Not complex enough for us to stump up the cash, though.

Charming. Utterly charming.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #201 on: May 01, 2012, 04:46:56 pm »
British taxpayer's money at work: forcibly sterilising the poor

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/15/uk-aid-forced-sterilisation-india

Quote
Tens of millions of pounds of UK aid money have been spent on a programme that has forcibly sterilised Indian women and men, the Observer has learned. Many have died as a result of botched operations, while others have been left bleeding and in agony. A number of pregnant women selected for sterilisation suffered miscarriages and lost their babies.

The UK agreed to give India £166m to fund the programme, despite allegations that the money would be used to sterilise the poor in an attempt to curb the country's burgeoning population of 1.2 billion people.

Sterilisation has been mired in controversy for years. With officials and doctors paid a bonus for every operation, poor and little-educated men and women in rural areas are routinely rounded up and sterilised without having a chance to object. Activists say some are told they are going to health camps for operations that will improve their general wellbeing and only discover the truth after going under the knife.

Court documents filed in India earlier this month claim that many victims have been left in pain, with little or no aftercare. Across the country, there have been numerous reports of deaths and of pregnant women suffering miscarriages after being selected for sterilisation without being warned that they would lose their unborn babies.

Yet a working paper published by the UK's Department for International Development in 2010 cited the need to fight climate change as one of the key reasons for pressing ahead with such programmes. The document argued that reducing population numbers would cut greenhouse gases, although it warned that there were "complex human rights and ethical issues" involved in forced population control.

Yeah, no shit.  Not complex enough for us to stump up the cash, though.

Charming. Utterly charming.

The US has a venerable tradition of BIA clinics doing "appendectomies" like that. I wouldn't doubt that it happens here more often than not and just hasn't hit the news. I've known too many people diagnosed with "fibroid tumors" and "abnormal cell growth". The first thing they do in low income clinics is run for a pap smear kit, no matter what people go there for.
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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #202 on: May 01, 2012, 05:09:03 pm »
British taxpayer's money at work: forcibly sterilising the poor

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/15/uk-aid-forced-sterilisation-india

Quote
Tens of millions of pounds of UK aid money have been spent on a programme that has forcibly sterilised Indian women and men, the Observer has learned. Many have died as a result of botched operations, while others have been left bleeding and in agony. A number of pregnant women selected for sterilisation suffered miscarriages and lost their babies.

The UK agreed to give India £166m to fund the programme, despite allegations that the money would be used to sterilise the poor in an attempt to curb the country's burgeoning population of 1.2 billion people.

Sterilisation has been mired in controversy for years. With officials and doctors paid a bonus for every operation, poor and little-educated men and women in rural areas are routinely rounded up and sterilised without having a chance to object. Activists say some are told they are going to health camps for operations that will improve their general wellbeing and only discover the truth after going under the knife.

Court documents filed in India earlier this month claim that many victims have been left in pain, with little or no aftercare. Across the country, there have been numerous reports of deaths and of pregnant women suffering miscarriages after being selected for sterilisation without being warned that they would lose their unborn babies.

Yet a working paper published by the UK's Department for International Development in 2010 cited the need to fight climate change as one of the key reasons for pressing ahead with such programmes. The document argued that reducing population numbers would cut greenhouse gases, although it warned that there were "complex human rights and ethical issues" involved in forced population control.

Yeah, no shit.  Not complex enough for us to stump up the cash, though.

Charming. Utterly charming.

The US has a venerable tradition of BIA clinics doing "appendectomies" like that. I wouldn't doubt that it happens here more often than not and just hasn't hit the news. I've known too many people diagnosed with "fibroid tumors" and "abnormal cell growth". The first thing they do in low income clinics is run for a pap smear kit, no matter what people go there for.

Yeah, the sterilizations were rampant in the US until fairly recently.

The pap smear is pretty vital, that's not a conspiracy. There are a lot of problems that can be headed off with an inexpensive cell culture, and I'm glad they do it routinely, especially because low-income women are at higher risk for HPV and cervical cancer.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


Cain

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #203 on: May 01, 2012, 06:09:32 pm »
http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/04/26/congress_learned_of_new_intel_unit_from_media

Quote
The Defense Department's new espionage unit is so secret, even the leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee weren't told about it.

The Washington Post reported April 23 that the Pentagon has created something called the Defense Clandestine Service, an effort that will reassign hundreds of defense intelligence personnel to focus on gathering information in countries, such as Iran, that are outside the current warzones in Afghanistan and Iraq. The new initiative was reported to be the brainchild of Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael Vickers.

A "senior defense official" gave the story to the Post, but nobody in the Pentagon told Senate Armed Services Committee heads Carl Levin (D-MI) and John McCain (R-AZ), who complained loudly about being left out of the loop at Thursday morning's committee hearing.

In a short interview with The Cable after the hearing, McCain said this was only the latest example in an ongoing trend of the Pentagon failing to properly keep Congress informed about its activities.

Shit like this is why, in future generations, Donald Rumsfeld will be reconsidered by history as one of the better DefSec's.  For all his many, abundant and obvious flaws, he brought the Pentagon to heel under civilian control after 8 years of almost free rein under Clinton.  The top brass over there hated that, and spent a lot of time and favours on getting rid of him.

Robert Gates was probably just as on the ball, but his style was less confrontational, more subtle, and he tended to side with whichever group he thought most likely to win, meaning Pentagon brass could stack the deck to get the decision they wanted.

And Leon Panetta just doesn't have a clue, which is fairly obvious.

So not only is the Pentagon out of control, it's setting up yet more intelligence agencies without even informing the Senate.  Worried yet?

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #204 on: May 01, 2012, 06:38:14 pm »
Holyshit.
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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #205 on: May 01, 2012, 06:41:01 pm »

Shit like this is why, in future generations, Donald Rumsfeld will be reconsidered by history as one of the better DefSec's.  For all his many, abundant and obvious flaws, he brought the Pentagon to heel under civilian control after 8 years of almost free rein under Clinton.  The top brass over there hated that, and spent a lot of time and favours on getting rid of him.

That's an interesting way of saying he was a micromanaging tard.
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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #206 on: May 01, 2012, 07:05:32 pm »
That's an interesting way of saying he was a micromanaging tard.

No doubt.  But unlike Les Aspin, he didn't sit on his hands all day, and unlike Gates, he didn't refuse to get involved in disputes until his political advantage to do so became clear.  The Pentagon were and are out of control and have nothing but contempt for civilian authority.  Rumsfeld is the only person in 20 years who even tried to bring them to heel with any amount of success.

And basically, the military hated that because it took away their autonomy.  And worse, Rumsfeld would call offending parties into his office and give them a verbal bitch-slap if they went against his orders.  So not only did they feel angry, but humiliated.

I'm not saying he was a great SecDef, far from it.  But compared to everyone else in the past 20 years, he has been the best, and he's notably the only one who acted to rein in the Pentagon and put civilian leadership back in charge.

And now he's out and the Pentagon are setting up brand new intelligence agencies and not even informing Congress.

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #207 on: May 01, 2012, 07:12:41 pm »
And basically, the military hated that because it took away their autonomy.  And worse, Rumsfeld would call offending parties into his office and give them a verbal bitch-slap if they went against his orders.  So not only did they feel angry, but humiliated.

I'm not saying he was a great SecDef, far from it.  But compared to everyone else in the past 20 years, he has been the best, and he's notably the only one who acted to rein in the Pentagon and put civilian leadership back in charge.

I'm gonna argue that for a moment.  The military has never seriously bucked the civil authority (except for MacArthur, and he got shitcanned).  Rumsfeld thought HE was a general, and he made a royal fucking hash out of Iraq, trying to play general.  He operated out of his expertise, and disregarded the advice (by which I mean "fired") of the actual experts.

So you had him using attack helicopters on a flat desert (DUMB), arranging patrols from the other side of the world, etc.  The only reason we even did as well as we did is that Saddam was doing the same thing.
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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #208 on: May 01, 2012, 07:19:48 pm »
A couple of other notes, on further reflection:

1.  The DoD isn't actually required to tell congress about the new organization.  As a department, they report to the executive branch. 

2.  The last DoD to "take charge" was Robert MacNamara.  He did a terrible job as well, and for the same reason.  Holding generals accountable - okay.  Trying to tell the generals how to do their jobs, once their mission has been given to them and their ROE set - not okay.
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Evil doesn't work without good people. Good people will do the most repugnant, nasty shit for what they think are "the right reasons"

Cain

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #209 on: May 01, 2012, 08:27:45 pm »
I'm gonna argue that for a moment.  The military has never seriously bucked the civil authority (except for MacArthur, and he got shitcanned).

Uh, yes, they have.  "The Surge"?  That wasn't government policy until Petraeus made it so.  He and a little group of conspirators came up with the plan, strategically leaked it to the press and used the public pressure from journalists and their own buddies to back the government into following a military plan.

The top brass of the military were deeply involved in defeating Clinton's attempts to end the ban on homosexuals in the military, to the point of feeding Republicans flawed studies to help them win the argument.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff were noticed as trying to usurp national defence policy as far back as the early 90s, and Edward Luttwak openly accused them of pursuing a "bloodless coup" against civilian leaders.

Civilians were systematically cut out of the loop when it came to budgets and information.  When the UK and USA launched joint strikes on Iraq on February 16th, 2000, Rumsfeld wasn't aware what was going on for hours after the event.  He was getting calls from CNN before he was from his own generals.

Then there was all those high-ranking officers urging McChrystal to resign over the White House's refusal to follow his war plan in Afghanistan, in effect saying he should publically dispute civilian command and turning the resignation into a political act.

Sure, the military never openly disobeyed orders, but they dragged their feet, and made lots of carefully coded complaints in glossy Beltway journals, which toed the line of criticizing set government policy, and attempted to push their way into the policy-planning areas of government as much as possible.