Canary in the Coal Mine

Saturday, July 20, 2019


“Who is that woman who has made the coalition fall in Austria? According to several Russian media, it is Alena Makarova , who also has a Latvian passport. She is the niece of Igor Makarov, creator of a gas company called Itera, which in 2013 sold its Rosneft assets (one of the two largest Russian energy companies).“

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Tuesday, July 9, 2019


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Thursday, July 4, 2019

9:10PM - Why everything will collapse

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Wednesday, June 26, 2019


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Thursday, June 20, 2019

9:16PM - pwnage

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Sunday, June 16, 2019


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Friday, June 14, 2019


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Tuesday, June 11, 2019

7:13PM - Weird seeds

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Monday, June 10, 2019


"In the 1930s, 40 percent of the total membership of the American communist party nationwide came from one small immigrant group - the Finns."

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"Unless the refugees overrun us all. Like they did in the 'ring of fire' years, back when Ur and Hammurabi were writing. A chain reaction of failed crops, refugee migrations and overloaded ecosystems culminated in Egypt being nearly destroyed by the 'sea people', a flotilla of desperate refugees. It only ended when Egypt armed everybody and defeated them (killed them all)."

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Friday, June 7, 2019


[For his investment portfolio, Mark Twain] practiced what we might call “existential hedging,” taking a personal stake in companies he likely believed were complicit in making the world a worse place, but which he nevertheless expected to flourish, expressly because they adopted a business model he found morally reprehensible. By owning a piece of publicly-traded corporations like United Fruit, he could, at least, reap monetary reward from the geopolitical agenda which enraged him. [..] Closely examining Mark Twain’s portfolio forces one to consider more carefully what makes an investment “good.” If returns are the only metric, than shares in United Fruit were among the best assets an investor could hold in the early decades of the 20th century. From another perspective, Twain’s sizable stake in United Fruit reveals the utmost hypocrisy, as he privately profits from Roosevelt-ian imperialism even as he berates it in public.

[..] This piece of Twain’s portfolio also leaves open a third interpretation of good investing practice. “Activist investing” has become something of a misnomer, as contemporary “activist investors” frequently use their shareholding simply to lobby for better returns. But the original ideal of “activist investing,” as articulated in the The Ethical Investor (1972), was to use shareholding to pressure publicly-traded corporations to adopt more progressive policies, including improving labor conditions, increasing employee profit-sharing, and embracing consumer protections.

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Wednesday, June 5, 2019

10:06AM - From Lithuania, with love

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Saturday, June 1, 2019

10:44PM - Sweden's Crisis Preppers

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8:35PM - For First Time, Moscow Publishes Photocopies of Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and Its Secret Protocols

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Thursday, May 23, 2019

12:53PM - Tehniskie traucējumi EP vēlēšanās šodien lieguši nobalsot vairākiem simtiem uz iecirkni atnākušo

Krievu specdienesti beidzot arī “tuvajās ārzemēs” veikuši kiberoperāciju, izpalīdzot Ušakovam tikt uz eiroparlamentu:

“Pēc Laizānes paustā, iespējamais sistēmas traucējumu iemesls tiek apzināts, visdrīzāk tas saistīts ar naktī uzstādītajiem sistēmas atjaunojumiem.”

Kurš izdomāja, ka naktī pirms balsošanas ir laba doma veikt sistēmas “uzlabojumus”? Vai nu kiberoperācija, stulbums vai sabotāža. Cimdaru nomainīja ar solījumiem tieši ieviest šo moderno, elektronisko vēlētāju reģistru. Lūk, rezultāts. Operācija izpildīta.

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Monday, May 13, 2019


Kā pie velna izskaidrot šo dokumentu sākot no lpp. 275?

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Friday, May 10, 2019

3:47PM - Nevaru atrast Moneyval ziņojumu par BC (Canada)

"[I]n BC - and honestly that mostly means Vancouver - [money laundering] was just egregious and completely out of control.

1. Lawyers in BC are exempt from reporting suspected money laundering activity - protected by solicitor client privilege. Trust accounts were horrifically abused to move billions into real estate.

2. Gangs literally washed bags of cash at casinos with virtually no oversight.

3. Billions - literally billions - worth of exotic cars were bought with dirty money and exported to China in shipping containers to avoid BC luxury vehicle tax and Chinese car taxes.

When the dust settles on this episode, BC will probably have the reputation of the seediest corner of the developed world wrt money laundering."

"Australia too. Reportedly 70% of Chinese buying property in Sydney and Melbourne pay in cash.

Exempted from our anti money laundering KYC laws are realestate sellers, lawyers, and accountants (setting up corporate structures to circumvent foreign ownership review board scrutiny).

The median house price in Sydney is now greater than $1,000,000 while the average gross wage is $82,000 per annum."

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Tuesday, May 7, 2019


"And how much is [Uber, Inc.] the company actually worth? They’ve got an answer for that and it’s not an inspiring one: “Our historical net tangible book value as of December 31, 2018 was $(7,620) million or $(0.02) per share.”

Net tangible book value consists of the real assets of a company — its physical properties, like buildings and equipment — less its debts. By this valuation, Uber is $7.6 billion in the red. (Parentheses are how you do negative numbers in financial statements.)

Traditional investors looked for stocks with a low ratio of market price to book value; the legendary Benjamin Graham thought you should never buy a stock with a price-to-book ratio of over 1.5. Uber’s is essentially infinite. But that’s old stick-in-the-mud thinking. According to the new thinking, which went out of fashion after the dot-com bubble burst but has since returned, a firm like Uber’s value comes from intangibles, like its intellectual property, its app, its relationships, its reputation."

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Saturday, May 4, 2019


Travis ultimately evokes Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” to indicate something of the scale of the technological dysfunction created here by Boeing: “Raise the nose, HAL.” “I’m sorry, Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

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Friday, May 3, 2019


"The etymology of 'advertise" is "advert" -- to distract the gaze, attention, or focus."

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Saturday, April 27, 2019

7:22PM - Cuban DGI Infiltration

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Friday, April 19, 2019

12:59PM - American Democracy March 14, 2019 Lecture

"This is a truly remarkable video, so telling, starting from the mere geometry of the scene:

-- Thiel is flanked on either side by two aging, name-brand professors. On the right C. West, a visual self-caricature with his tired 3-piece suit+pocketwatch and hyperbolic Afro, a look that is not aging well. The talk starts with some mumbled reference to "intimate little tableside chit chat". Hmm I see how convenient, that means honored guest PT is literally boxed in.
-- On the left, R. Unger, nervously fidgeting in his swivel-chair, impatient to get his words in, looking like a little boy uncomfortable his first suit.
-- On the right, C. West very soon moves in even closer, PT clearly taken aback by the personal space violation, shifting a little in response to C. West's intrusion. C. West spends nearly the entire talk crouched, elbows on knees, angled in and insinuating that he's ready to pounce.

The old leftists demonstrate their decrepit ideologies with two favorite tactics on full display. C. West attempts to ape the 60s Black oratory tradition with his "brothers and sisters" and exaggerated (and well-timed) African American Vernacular to his enthralled audience in the audience. R. Unger in a truly amazing display of ivory-towerism combined incoherent long-winded diatribe with multiple references to his own Marxist ideas that presumably got him tenure 50 years ago and were seemingly being taught to the students in the class as 2019-relevant (yes PT I wanted to know as well, WTF is "the new vanguardism"??) in the form of "questions" designed specifically to NOT genuinely understand what the class GUEST thought about the subject at hand.

Settled behind the immovable desk, with no means of escape and so close to his new friends that from either side he gets hit by the hot air exhaled by both old men's bloviations, PT then gets barraged with questions from an UN-MIC'd (!!) audience. We can barely comprehend their specific questions, they won't be left for the record, no matter, they took the lead from their professors so very well and with an esteemed guest in their midst somehow managed to make every question about themselves, trying to catch PT in a "gotcha" moment where he might stumble and inadvertently cause insult. Or they launched into soft-polite tirades upbraiding PT for something or another via the way only the ignorant+arrogant can.

Physically trapped in an old mildewing institution and literally between two of the old mildewing academics it enables, PT faces the firing squad and respectfully engaged these student-footsoldiers and thankfully THIS TIME nobody dies. But don't miss the geometry here, it's really key, and it's dead serious. This is a classic YT video in both content and form, visually and aurally. It encapsulates PT's thinking so well, and then the video ITSELF proves him right, irrefutably, in real time, for all of us to see."

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12:58PM - Thiel: Google has $50B, doesn't innovate (2012)

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Sunday, April 7, 2019

4:01PM - Maisi vaļā

"The FBI, it became clear to the burglars, had been and was engaged in “blackmail, burglary…. Agents and informers were ordered to spy on…the private lives, including sexual activities, of the nation’s highest officials.” Hundreds of thousands of Americans were targeted—or enlisted as informers—even members of various Ku Klux Klan groups. The FBI’s files included massive amounts of data, much of it supplied by untrained informers. There was an agreement with 16,700 American Legion Posts, utilizing 100,880 members, to spy on their own communities."

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Friday, April 5, 2019


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2:13PM - Traģisks ieskats vāciešu izpratnē par Eiropas kontinenta drošību

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Friday, March 22, 2019

3:13PM - The Dark Romance and Grim Reality of Life in the French Foreign Legion

In 1883, in Algeria, a general named François de Négrier, addressing a group of legionnaires who were leaving to fight the Chinese in Indochina, said, in loose translation, “You! Legionnaires! You are soldiers meant to die, and I am sending you to the place where you can do it!”

Recently, near Marseille, an old legionnaire told me about a lesson he learned as a young recruit, when a veteran sergeant took a moment to explain dying to him. He said, “It’s like this. There is no point in trying to understand. Time is unimportant. We are dust from the stars. We are nothing at all. Whether you die at age 15 or 79, in a thousand years there is no significance to it. So fuck off with your worries about war.”

[..] He warned me that the smugglers had placed a lookout directly across the river from us, and that he was watching us now, and maybe wondering why I had arrived, except that he probably already knew. The Russian was a burly man, aged 40. Around 1993 he had been a young soldier in the Soviet Army in Berlin when his unit was suddenly disbanded. Feeling betrayed and uprooted, he had drifted for three years until finding the Foreign Legion forever.

His name was Pogildiakovs. He said, “You do not live in the forest; you survive.” His men did not love him as they loved Boulanger. Still, they called the camp “Pogigrad” in his honor.

There had been some excitement the week before when a patrol surprised two couriers hurrying toward Brazil along the riverbank. One of them jumped into the river and escaped. The other, who was captured, said that the swimmer was carrying 18 pounds of gold in plastic bottles taped to his body. The captain came to Pogigrad soon afterward for a visit. That night when he heard the story he said to Pogildiakovs, “Did you write it up? Write it up! The general will jump for joy, because we still don’t know where the gold goes!”

Pogildiakovs eyed him evenly. Jump for joy? Maybe that’s what generals do, he seemed to indicate, but let’s not forget that the gold got away. The night was hot. He had had a bit to drink. We all had, even the captain, if only as a gesture. Rum and water, with Tang stirred in. Ten men were sitting around a rough-hewn table by the camp kitchen under an assembly of tarpaulins in heavy rain. They spoke in whatever French they had. Drink. Pour. Another. Enough.

Pogildiakovs got up, scowling. He said, “I do not feel at all sorry for the bastards. These are not helpless victims. They are breaking the law. Some of them make more money than I do.”

He left. Later, a dark-bearded soldier sat beside me and said, “Yes, but the ones we catch, they’re always the poor.” He was born in the Cape Verde Islands. He emigrated to Brazil, went to school in Rio de Janeiro, got a master’s degree in computer science, became fluent in English, and three years ago found himself sitting in an office working on cyber-security. He checked out, flew to France, and joined the Legion. The surprise, he said, was to find himself now as a soldier involved in suppressing Brazilians.

That night after dinner I sat in the open-sided mess hall with another group of legionnaires, some of whom I would accompany on a one-week patrol into the most remote areas of Guiana. The talk was of women. One soldier was an Argentinean who had spent $25,000 on prostitutes, drugs, and drink during a one-month binge in Amsterdam.

Another soldier said, “You’re really crazy. You risk getting killed for six months in Afghanistan, then take the money and spend it like that?”

The Argentinean said, “Everyone should do it at least once in life.” He looked at me for affirmation.

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Monday, March 18, 2019

1:47AM - British and U.S. Paras land in Latvia (20th minute mark)

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Monday, March 11, 2019

10:53PM - Fighting in the Woods

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Friday, March 8, 2019


"[On the U.S. Cyber Command emphasis on the offense: ]That was General Hayden's call. He dedicates a fair amount of space to that decision in his memoir. His basic calculus was that defense is 1000x harder than offense, so skip defense and punish your adversary through effective offense. I think the Air Force "Air Power" doctrine may have interfered with his thinking."

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Thursday, March 7, 2019

10:31AM - ‘A Partial Freedom’: What Latvia Found in the KGB Archives (

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Wednesday, March 6, 2019


“Understand, I’m no angel,” he said. “In Russia, you have three paths: Be a revolutionary, leave the country, or be a conformist. So I’m a conformist.

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Saturday, March 2, 2019

8:30PM - Bye, bye Europe

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Friday, February 22, 2019


“Vladimir Putin has dug a pretty big hole for himself. An attempt to go around the back of a major treaty that actively made his country safer has ended up sinking the treaty. Rather than endure a humiliating climb-down that would involve admission of cheating and the destruction of the new missiles, Putin is blustering new threats.”

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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

9:28PM - Гордон / вДудь

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Thursday, February 14, 2019

9:05PM - The World’s Shrinking Problem

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Thursday, February 7, 2019

10:11AM - The Battle of Alesia (52 B.C.E.)

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Saturday, February 2, 2019


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3:54PM - Weekend project

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Thursday, January 31, 2019


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Friday, January 25, 2019

11:16PM - On Trident renewal

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Tuesday, January 22, 2019


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“Surveillance capitalism,” she writes, “unilaterally claims human experience as free raw material for translation into behavioural data. Although some of these data are applied to service improvement, the rest are declared as a proprietary behavioural surplus, fed into advanced manufacturing processes known as ‘machine intelligence’, and fabricated into prediction products that anticipate what you will do now, soon, and later. Finally, these prediction products are traded in a new kind of marketplace that I call behavioural futures markets. Surveillance capitalists have grown immensely wealthy from these trading operations, for many companies are willing to lay bets on our future behaviour.”

First of all there was the arrogant appropriation of users’ behavioural data – viewed as a free resource, there for the taking. Then the use of patented methods to extract or infer data even when users had explicitly denied permission, followed by the use of technologies that were opaque by design and fostered user ignorance.

The combination of state surveillance and its capitalist counterpart means that digital technology is separating the citizens in all societies into two groups: the watchers (invisible, unknown and unaccountable) and the watched. This has profound consequences for democracy because asymmetry of knowledge translates into asymmetries of power. But whereas most democratic societies have at least some degree of oversight of state surveillance, we currently have almost no regulatory oversight of its privatised counterpart.

Nearly every product or service that begins with the word “smart” or “personalised”, every internet-enabled device, every “digital assistant”, is simply a supply-chain interface for the unobstructed flow of behavioural data on its way to predicting our futures in a surveillance economy.

Once we searched Google, but now Google searches us. Once we thought of digital services as free, but now surveillance capitalists think of us as free.... tālāk ... )

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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

10:55PM - James Stavridis: Power Dynamics at Sea

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Saturday, January 12, 2019


"I anticipate a great deal of migration and movement in the future. Developed countries won’t have a choice, eventually: the current methods by which modern developed democracies structure socialized services, such as medical care and welfare for the elderly, are unsustainable without at least maintaining population levels.

Japan, for example, is beginning to face serious population issues because their elderly massively outnumber their youth — and the elderly disproportionately utilize social services and programs intended to benefit the disadvantaged. The United States has known about the sustainability issue within our Social Security program for decades: there are not enough young people to support the old. Europe is well-known for the extent of “socialized” services that the government provides, but also has the lowest birthrates in the world.

Developed countries are victims of their own success. Their large economies enable the elaborate social mechanisms we’ve developed to benefit our respective peoples... But neither the economy nor those service mechanisms are sustainable without sufficient workforce, and that same large economy disincentivizes high birth rates.

So what is the solution here? Developed countries have too few children, developing countries have too many, and the solution seems obvious.

The United States is suspected to have dipped below a 2.0 replacement-level birthrate since the last census, yet has successfully delayed this crisis through immigration policy. It’s hard to remember, given the current levels of political toxicity, but the United States still accepts more immigrants legally than any other country in the world. We don’t have to have high birthrates here; we can just benefit from other countries’ unsustainable growth and maintain our own economy in the meantime. Canada, New Zealand, and Australia have taken similar strategies.

But immigration isn’t the answer for everyone, unfortunately... because racism. Eastern Europe, suffering from both low birth rates and high levels of emigration, ironically finds their extant populations unwelcoming of migrants trying to do the same. The Japanese are so unwelcoming of other people that they’d literally rather build robots than welcome foreigners into Japan (and automation brings its own dilemmas). Western Europe opened its arms to refugees for many economic reasons, including alleviating their population issue — and the far-right is growing quickly there, feeding off of fears of immigrants.

These regions are doomed to growing pains until they figure out how to welcome external populations to boost their demographic imbalances. This next Great Migration is going to happen no matter what, and has probably already begun. Developed countries are going to need to figure out how to manage it to their benefit."

"Japan’s model is currently the poster child for a terrible demographic situation. There are some serious problems that they’ll need to face in the near future as a result of their demographics problem — a problem which other developed countries have better solved by letting other peoples in. Two pensioners for every worker? A debt-to-GDP ratio over 200%? A perilously low birth rate, even compared to other developed countries? Robots and automation may alleviate some of the labor burden on the young, but you just can’t automate hospice care. Yet, Japan insists on maintaining its ethnic makeup (over 98% ethnic Japanese) when importing Filipino nurses would work just as well, and contribute to solving all of the above."

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“Vai, mīļe! Nu jou kād’ trīsdesmit gād’ jūr’ nou redzējs, kouč jūr’ tepat aiz kartapeļ’ vāg. Tur dzeloņdrāt’ žoge un jūr’ i tāl apakše. Lab’, ka ar Diev’ palīg’ es var’ dzierdet, ka jūr’ krāc.”

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Monday, January 7, 2019

6:23PM - Reflections of a Russian statesman

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5:54PM - NBA, diakritiskās zīmes un pašcieņa

... kad Biedriņam ir vairāk pašcieņas kā Porziņģim )

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