Tuesday, October 21, 2014

How to start a war and lose an empire

A year and a half I wrote an essay on how the US chooses to view Russia, titled The Image of the Enemy. I was living in Russia at the time, and, after observing the American anti-Russian rhetoric and the Russian reaction to it, I made some observations that seemed important at the time. It turns out that I managed to spot an important trend, but given the quick pace of developments since then, these observations are now woefully out of date, and so here is an update.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Unspeller World Edition

Hello, world! The World Edition is complete and CreateSpace is ready to take your orders. It is not very different from the North American edition, because, you see, it doesn't have to be. Why that is requires quite a bit of explanation; after all, English can sound so different.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Unspeller exercises

https://www.createspace.com/5055383
The 12 exercises, one for each of the 12 lessons in the Unspeller book, are now available as a free download, and also as a print-on-demand book. Thanks to Pleas Lucian Kavanaugh of Atenas, Costa Rica, for suggesting it. This document is designed for easy inkjet or laser printing, in color or black and white.

Also, since many of the people who have ordered Unspeller should have by now received it, and perhaps even given it a try, I want to take this opportunity to start an open thread devoted to your experiences with it, good, bad or confusing. Your experiences in learning and in teaching Unspell are particularly interesting. And, of course, any suggestions for how the book can be improved are always welcome.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Ebola and the Five Stages of Collapse

At the moment, the Ebola virus is ravaging three countries—Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone—where it is doubling every few weeks, but singular cases and clusters of them are cropping up in dense population centers across the world. An entirely separate Ebola outbreak in the Congo appears to be contained, but illustrates an important point: even if the current outbreak (to which some are already referring as a pandemic) is brought under control, continuing deforestation and natural habitat destruction in the areas where the fruit bats that carry the virus live make future outbreaks quite likely.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

An important announcement

[Update: the new book is now in its second printing, with a few typos fixed.]

As some of you may have noticed, I didn't crank out my usual weekly essay this week. I didn't even edit and run a guest post. This is not, I assure you, due to a shortage of interesting topics. I could have written on any of the following ones:

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

America—the Grim Truth

[This is an old reader favorite. Guest post by Anonymous. It's a bit embarrassing really; this is the all-time most popular post on this blog, and I didn't even write it! It's something for you to ponder while this blog is on hiatus because I am out at sea... sailing away...]

Americans, I have some bad news for you:

You have the worst quality of life in the developed world—by a wide margin.

If you had any idea of how people really lived in Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and many parts of Asia, you’d be rioting in the streets calling for a better life. In fact, the average Australian or Singaporean taxi driver has a much better standard of living than the typical American white-collar worker.

I know this because I am an American, and I escaped from the prison you call home.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Understanding Organizational Stupidity


Shintaro Kago
[Another re-run. Regularly scheduled blogging will resume once I've sailed far enough down the coast. Homework assignment: read this article and apply the concepts within it to the Obama administration's policies on Ukraine and Syria.]

Is it morning in America again, or is the bubble that is the American economy about to pop (again), this time perhaps tipping it into full-blown collapse in five stages with symphonic accompaniment and fireworks? A country blowing itself up is quite a sight to behold, and it makes us wonder about lots of things. For instance, it makes us wonder whether the people who are doing the blowing up happen to be criminals. (Sure, they may be in a manner of speaking—as a moral judgment passed on the powerful by the powerless—but since none of them are likely to see the inside of a jail cell or even a courtroom any time soon, the point is moot. Let's be sure to hunt them down once they try to run and hide, though.) But at a much more basic and fundamental level, a better question to ask is this one:

Thursday, September 11, 2014

9/11 After 13 years

[An excellent article by Paul Craig Roberts. In case you didn't know, Amerigo Vespucci was a big fat liar. And so are the leaders of the country that stole his name.]

The tragedy of September 11, 2001, goes far beyond the deaths of those who died in the towers and the deaths of firefighters and first responders who succumbed to illnesses caused by inhalation of toxic dust. For thirteen years a new generation of Americans has been born into the 9/11 myth that has been used to create the American warfare/police state.

The corrupt Bush and Obama regimes used 9/11 to kill, maim, dispossess and displace millions of Muslims in seven countries, none of whom had anything whatsoever to do with 9/11.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

The Madness of President Putin

Juliette Bates
[This is a re-run. I originally published this article on February 18th of this year, and everything I said in it still stands.]

[In italiano. Grazie, Massimiliano!]
[日本語訳。大谷正幸、ありがとうございます。]

[Many thanks to Max who helped put this together.]

Of all the various interpretations Western leaders and commentators have offered for why the president of the Russian Federation has responded the way he has to the events in Ukraine over the course of February and March of 2014—in refusing to acquiesce to the installation of a neo-fascist regime in Kiev, and in upholding the right of Crimea to self-determination—the most striking and illuminating interpretation is that he has gone mad. Striking and illuminating, that is, something in the West itself.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

How can you tell whether Russia has invaded Ukraine?

[Auf Deutsch] [По-русски] [En français]

Last Thursday the Ukrainian government, echoed by NATO spokesmen, declared that the the Russian military is now operating within Ukraine's borders. Well, maybe it is and maybe it isn't; what do you know? They said the same thing before, most recently on August 13, and then on August 17, each time with either no evidence or fake evidence. But let's give them the benefit of the doubt.

You be the judge. I put together this helpful list of top ten telltale signs that will allow you to determine whether indeed Russia invaded Ukraine last Thursday, or whether Thursday's announcement is yet another confabulation. (Credit to Roman Kretsul).

Because if Russia invaded on Thursday morning, this is what the situation on the ground would look like by Saturday afternoon.