3 m ago in Quotes
The USA has a huge military budget because:
[1] it values its freedom and independence
[2] it values its allies and trade routes
[3] it costs the USA a lot more to get any measure of military might since it does not have a conscripted military and its materiel is not made by government suppliers.

The USA has a huge military budget because:

[1] it has whipped it's population, and that of a significant portion of the worlds population, into a frenzy of fear and paranoia, by maintaining a permanent war status since the end of WWII. Whether hot or cold, the USA has waged war against non-enemies, aggressively supporting brutal dictatorships around, killing millions in defence of "freedom and democracy" around the world. The USA as "protector" of the "free world" has been holding the human species hostage to the possibility of imminent extinction via nuclear weapons for nearly 70 years now. This in the name of valuing its freedom and independence.

[2] it has decided that the best social control mechanism for social pacification is to provide the lowest possible cost for goods and promoted consumerism as ersatz status symbols for a largely disenfranchised permanent underclass. In order to secure such cheap access to goods, the USA must dominate all world trade and be able to dictate prices for resources, resource extraction, production and distribution. This in the name of valuing its allies and trade routes.

[3] it spends a lot less money for the size of our military than any other country would for a similarly sized and scaled military because 18 year-old's with no prospects always form a cheap labor pool( "sold" as in soldier, comes from Roman Latin, daily wage-worker), particularly if one can convince them that they are serving their country men in the name of noble goals and values like "freedom and democracy". And because military production in the USA has always been "dual-purpose", a civilian feel-good, while producing weapons of mass destruction.

The USA has co-opted a tremendously large section of it's so-called private market for dual-purpose: production of disposable goods, while supplying the worlds largest military with an endless production line of "goods", of which no good can ever come. Most major manufacturing firms in the USA would not be economically viable if it were not for this arrangement. Boeing could never make it solely producing commercial air-liners, the market for such is not large enough, but if the Pentagon needs x number of fighter jets, missiles and rockets every year, which must be constantly restocked, due to usage in wars or due to degradation from not ever being used, they can show a profit for their civilian production lines. The same is, and has always been, true for GM, Ford, GE, etc.

The USA has not, historically, HAD a "health service" because we traditionally left health to the people themselves, the private sectore, and communities and states (The US Constitution says nothing about healthcare, and it explicitly says that anything it does not assign to the federal government belongs to the people and to the states)

The USA has not, historically, HAD a health service, because immiseration is a constitutive part of maintaining an exploitable permanent underclass. During the first 250 years of American history, surplus value, ie. profit, was made primarily by either a) stealing the indigenous peoples lands or b) exploiting "free labor", ie. slavery. Following the civil war profit has largely been made by exploiting those born into inter-generational poverty, both here and around the world. The majority of Europeans who immigrated to the USA during the first 150 years of colonization were debt-prisoners, ie. the then european permanent underclass. The USA has proudly cultivated cultural identities for the permanent underclass, going back almost 350 years, nowadays we call them "rednecks", the "n-word", and "mehicans".

The constitution, written for the most part by by the 18th century 1%, actually went to lengths to prevent the existence of a standing army. The USA has been violating it's own constitution every day for nearly 70 years now by maintaining the largest scale military ever seen in world history in direct opposition to our founders intents. With a media hell-bent on scaring the bejesus out of everyone 24/7, covert intelligence services, dedicated primarily to propagating domestic propaganda(be scared, be very scared), and brutal police forces, who routinely terrorize, denigrate and humiliate our permanent underclass, we have held our population in line through domestic terror, knee-jerk reactionary patriotism, dog-whistle ethnic discrimination, and cultural envy as a function of permanently denying the permanent underclass of the USA access to the "freedoms" and "democracy", which supposedly are those things that make America all so great.
 3 m ago in Photos

 3 m ago in Photos

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 3 m ago in Meta Collection

Thinking

If people cannot write well, they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them.
If the ability to tell right from wrong should have anything to do with the ability to think, then we must be able to "demand" its exercise in every sane person no matter how erudite or ignorant.
"The Life of the Mind: The Groundbreaking Investigation on How We Think"
I fortunately come from generations past that learnt to think using paper. If I have to cut off my right arm to escape computer addiction, I can do that. Generations now and especially in the future will quite literaly be unable to think straight without an electronic device in their hand. To them, life will be brutually stressful with no inner peace to be found because they will be assaulted non-stop by disingenuous companies who have every kind of life-sapping wares to peddle.
Stallman is just always swimming against the tide of what people actually want.

Isn't that the mark of a thinking man? A drug dealer gives people what they want; a thinker tells them what they should want. So what if they don't listen? That's the normal division of labor: the prophet warns and the people ignore him.
I feel like the inability to focus for long periods of time is holding back progress in many areas. If we can't even stay away from email for a few days, how can we clear our minds of conventional thinking?
Don’t collect data. If you know everything about yourself, you know everything. There is no use burdening yourself with a lot of data. Once you understand yourself, you understand human nature and then the rest follows.
Think deeply about things. Don’t just go along because that’s the way things are or that’s what your friends say. Consider the effects, consider the alternatives, but most importantly, just think.
There are no dangerous thoughts; thinking itself is dangerous.
The aim of totalitarian education has never been to instill convictions but to destroy the capacity to form any.
Most of us are unable to sort out reality — we can't distinguish between a thing and a symbol for that thing. This springs from several causes. One cause is that we are isolated from the natural world, where the distinction between a thing and a symbol is more obvious. Another cause is our educational system, which simply reflects the intellectual laziness of the society in which it is embedded. A third cause is resistance on the part of vested interests — if we could think creatively, we would be difficult to govern, and advertisers would have to appeal to reason instead of emotion.
Most Americans are educated in name only — we do not have the comprehension of ideas that would be required to think for ourselves, and we also are not trained or encouraged to do this. Not only are we unable to think creatively, we don't even possess this expectation, and this is not an accident.

There are many vested interests that prefer us as we are — in government, religion and in corporate America. Think how much more trouble we would be if we could think for ourselves. Not only would we be much more difficult to govern (to the degree that politicians would have to explain their actions), we would be much more alert to the public stupidity that so often surrounds us.
It is no accident that modern education doesn't teach the distinction between symbol and thing — if it did, education as we know it would fall apart. After that, after education reshaped itself to provide actual knowledge instead of the symbolic representation of knowledge, the society around us would be transformed.

But in the meantime, most "educated" people cannot tell the difference between a fact and an idea, the most common confusion of symbol and thing. Most believe if they collect enough facts, this will compensate for their inability to grasp the ideas behind those facts.
The net effect of this language system was not to keep these people ignorant of what they were doing, but to prevent them from equating it with their old, "normal" knowledge of murder and lies. Eichmann's great susceptibility to catch words and stock phrases, combined with his incapacity for ordinary speech, made him, of course, an ideal subject for "language rules."
"Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil"
The outstanding negative quality of the totalitarian elite is that it never stops to think about the world as it really is and never compares the lies with reality.
"The Origins of Totalitarianism"
There are many people who are not entirely themselves because as children they were not given time to think about themselves. And because they don’t know everything about themselves they can’t know everything about everything. But no one likes to admit that she doesn’t know everything about everything. And so these people try to make up for not knowing everything about everything by doing things.

[..]

People who for some reason find it impossible to think about themselves, and so really be themselves, try to make up for not thinking with doing. They try to pretend that doing is thinking.
Within the affluent democracy, the affluent discussion prevails, and within the established framework, it is tolerant to a large extent. All points of view can be heard: the Communist and the Fascist, the Left and the Right, the white and the Negro, the crusaders for armament and for disarmament. Moreover, in endlessly dragging debates over the media, the stupid opinion is treated with the same respect as the intelligent one, the misinformed may talk as long as the informed, and propaganda rides along with education, truth with falsehood. This pure toleration of sense and nonsense is justified by the democratic argument that nobody, neither group nor individual, is in possession of the truth and capable of defining what is right and wrong, good and bad. Therefore, all contesting opinions must be submitted to 'the people' for its deliberation and choice. But I have already suggested that the democratic argument implies a necessary condition, namely, that the people must be capable of deliberating and choosing on the basis of knowledge, that they must have access to authentic information, and that, on this. basis, their evaluation must be the result of autonomous thought.
"Repressive Tolerance" (1965)
There was a wonderfully illustrative story which I thought I had bookmarked, but couldn't re-find: it was the story of a man whose know-it-all neighbor had once claimed in passing that the best way to remove a chimney from your house was to knock out the fireplace, wait for the bricks to drop down one level, knock out those bricks, and repeat until the chimney was gone. Years later, when the man wanted to remove his own chimney, this cached thought was lurking, waiting to pounce...

As the man noted afterward—you can guess it didn't go well—his neighbor was not particularly knowledgeable in these matters, not a trusted source. If he'd questioned the idea, he probably would have realized it was a poor one. Some cache hits we'd be better off recomputing. But the brain completes the pattern automatically—and if you don't consciously realize the pattern needs correction, you'll be left with a completed pattern.

I suspect that if the thought had occurred to the man himself—if he'd personally had this bright idea for how to remove a chimney—he would have examined the idea more critically. But if someone else has already thought an idea through, you can save on computing power by caching their conclusion—right?

In modern civilization particularly, no one can think fast enough to think their own thoughts. If I'd been abandoned in the woods as an infant, raised by wolves or silent robots, I would scarcely be recognizable as human. No one can think fast enough to recapitulate the wisdom of a hunter-gatherer tribe in one lifetime, starting from scratch. As for the wisdom of a literate civilization, forget it.

But the flip side of this is that I continually see people who aspire to critical thinking, repeating back cached thoughts which were not invented by critical thinkers.
 3 m ago in Quotes
US leaders really are the masters in their field: They don’t even need an external scapegoat. Even when dummy Bush goes, and empties the (conveniently always kept full) villain closet, they just hold their two arms ("parties") up in the puppet theater, make the hand puppets act like enemies, and you fall for it, hook, line, sinker, fishing rod, fisherman and boat.

Then they point at the cloth hand puppets, and make you blame the puppets for what they did. Seriously, the level of delusion here only compares to North Korea.
 3 m ago in Music

{Realtime Demo Wannabe Wannabe}

{Realtime Demo Wannabe Wannabe}.mp36.5 MB3:27audio/mpeg
{Realtime Demo Wannabe Wannabe}.ogg6.0 MB3:27audio/ogg
 3 m ago in Music

Staub {Realtime Demo Wannabe Wannabe}

Staub {Realtime Demo Wannabe Wannabe}.ogg7.2 MB3:39audio/ogg
Staub {Realtime Demo Wannabe Wannabe}.mp37.1 MB3:39audio/mpeg
Klebend an 'nem Staubkorn - schwimmend in Staub - werden
Seel'n geboren - in ein Labyrinth aus Staub gebaut -
lechz'nd nach Macht zerfetzen wir uns gegenseitig - kaum
ist was besetzt - macht's irgendjemand streitig - wir
kaufen laufend neuen Staub - überall ist Staub verstaut
- zerstäuben Staub betäuben - was Staub durchschaut - paten-
tier'n und verzier'n - schmieren und verschrauben wir mar-
schieren ungeniert - längst dressiert und verkauft lachen

rauh - labern laut - tausend Worte für Staub - rasend
auf Asphalt - brüll'n wir laut "wer hat den Staub geklaut?" - wir
bauen Sündenböcke auf - klettern rauf - springen ab -
falten und bemalen Staub - schmirgeln alles glatt - sind
niemals wirklich satt bloß alles haben und begraben -'s
letzte Hemd - taschenlos am Tag an dem wir starben -
grau sind alle Farben - grau ist Dein Gesicht - wenn Dein
Schatz inn'n und außen nur ein Staubhaufen ist -

morgens läuft die Glotze (Baby-, Kinder-, Menschensitter) -
strotzt vor Geprotze wir schau'n eh nicht hinter Glitter-Gitter
neueste News - über'n bescheuert'sten Stuß - breites
Grinsen blendend weiße Zähne und 'n teu'rer Kuss - man sagt
lautstark Du mußt - sonst bleibst Du zurück - winkt 'ne
Auswahl in den Bus der Fahrer ist total verrückt - wenn er
auf die Tube drückt - bleibt kein Auge trocken - der
Treibstoff sind die - die dann auf der Straße hocken

nachts - läuft die Glotze munter weiter (niemals läuft sie nicht)
strahlt ihre bunte Kotze heiter in die Unterschicht
glaub' ihr kein Wort - ganz egal was sie verspricht - sie re-
giert an Orten - an den'n der Durst - nie erlischt - mit ge-
knebeltem Gewissen und verbundenen Augen - liegt man
auf 'nem Ruhekissen halb versunken in 'nen Traum - zieh' den
Kopf aus dem Staub - schüttel' Deine Ohren aus - ent-
gifte Dein Gehirn weil Du es sicher noch brauchst -

Frieden Freiheit Wahrheit - wer weiß was das ist - klein-
liche Siege nicht schnell ist das Leben verschwitzt - genauso-
wenig nützen Mittelfinger oder Zwill'n - wie das
Licht in Pill'n - oder das Buch zum Film - all die
rosaroten Brill'n - zum Arbeiten und Chill'n -
rostfreie Rill'n in denen wir uns selber kill'n sag' mal
was is unser Ziel nur einfach alles und zu viel? - wann
macht uns das zufrieden? das klappt nichmal in der Theorie

viele Fahnen kreisen Wind der aus Turbinen weht - heiße
Luft verkauft sich gut an jene die den Preis nich' seh'n - für
was und für wen - die Zahlen höherdreh'n? - diese
Frage ist grundlegend wir sind weiter wenn wir das versteh'n -
Macht will mehr Macht es sind Smilies angesagt - da-
durch hat Konsumkraft Hi-Tech - in Schwung gebracht - man ent-
facht auch mal Feuer - verkauft teu'res Löschwasser - eine
Hand wäscht die and're aus dem Hahn strömen_die Massen - wir

bauen uns Soldaten die uns brauch'n um zu atmen -
blasen uns're Sprache auf - bis sie nix mehr sagt entfremden
uns immer weiter - bis wir dann erleichtert sind wenn
wir das Handtuch schmeißen - oder jemand es uns abnimmt -
Macht will mehr Macht es sind Smilies angesagt - da-
durch hat Konsumkraft Hi-Tech - in Schwung gebracht - man
schwatzt und lacht - während die ganze Welt zusammenkracht die
Dunkelheit ist tot es lebe - künstliche Nacht -

- auf einem Staubkorn - in 'nem Meer aus Staub -
leben lauter Seelen in 'nem Labyrinth aus Staub gebaut
- so geil auf Macht zerfressen wir uns gegenseitig - kaum
wird - was besessen - macht's irgendjemand streitig - wir
kaufen und wir sparen Staub - überall ist Staub verstaut
Kameras bewachen Staub damit ihn keiner klaut wir quäl'n
- mit Staub die Massen registrieren Staub in Kassen -
spalten zähl'n binden Staub probieren Staub zu fassen
Playtime3:39
Tagsrap
 3 m ago in Music

{But It's Alright}

{But It's Alright}.ogg4.3 MB3:12audio/ogg
{But It's Alright}.mp35.2 MB3:12audio/mpeg