Canary in the Coal Mine

Monday, December 11, 2017

4:00PM - Russia's Geography Problem

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1:49PM - How Europe lost its tech companies

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Saturday, December 9, 2017


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Friday, December 8, 2017


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Thursday, December 7, 2017


"For example, Lord Haw-Haw, the Irish-American who broadcast from Germany in English to undermine morale and sow confusion among Allied troops, was arrested by the British and executed for treason. A mere radio broadcast was deemed sufficiently dangerous to warrant the death penalty.

Yet here we are, not in a state of war, and our systems of government and law enforcement are baffled by what in wartime would be understood very clearly as an act of war, and at least from one side is being conducted as such."

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

8:47PM - The Kremlin Playbook: Understanding Russian Influence in Central and Eastern Europe

"Although Rus­sia’s military activism has received significant policy attention by the United States and NATO, transatlantic understanding of Eu­rope’s susceptibility to and complicity with Rus­sian influence—­which constitutes an equally serious threat to Eu­ro­pean security—is completely lacking. A disunited, po­liti­cally para­lyzed, and antidemo­cratic Eu­rope would erode the ability of NATO to defend and uphold transatlantic norms, values, and institutions, seriously undermining and ultimately questioning the future of the alliance. The stakes are enormous."

"Just as the West demonstrated the superiority of its economic and po­liti­cal model in the 1989–1991 era, which led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Kremlin may be attempting to affect a reverse outcome by actively discrediting the Western liberal demo­cratic system as well as offering the alternative model of its illiberal managed democracy and siloviki-­style economic systems, which could undermine the cohesiveness and stability of NATO and the Eu­ro­pean Union. Once this outcome is achieved, a new Eu­ro­pean security architecture can be negotiated."

"Malign Rus­sian influence can be likened to a virus that attacks democracies. ­After inconspicuously penetrating a country through what appears to be a harmless and most likely l ­ egal business transaction, the virus begins to spread purposefully through local networks, quietly taking hold of its demo­cratic host. Demo­cratic institutions are able to function as normal. The virus initially thrives as it gradually works its way through the host apparatus clandestinely. Over time, the host countries’ economies and institutions become compromised to such a point that the very institutions designed to combat corruption and monopolistic practices (e.g., anticorruption offices, interior ministries, prosecutor’s offices) are fully disabled, allowing Rus­sian influence to rapidly spread to the point where the infected democracy is rendered incapable of resisting Rus­sian influence, which allows for the Kremlin’s effective control over the government."

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Thursday, November 30, 2017


"All of this home automation and internet of things hype is going to end in tears. Computers are just. not. secure. They're not even necessary in these applications. I don't want tech that includes massive amounts of software doing the job of simple things. It just is not necessary. I'll walk over to the lightswitch and turn the lights on. I'll set the thermostat and use its old-school timers to save energy. I don't need it internet-enabled (and hackable). I don't need WiFi-enabled smoke alarms--especially if they have a damn microphone inside! (and yes, Nest smoke alarms have a microphone built-in for self-testing!?) I don't want to talk to Google or Amazon and ask them questions. I just don't need their services, and I sure as hell don't want them listening all the time. We seem to be in some kind of insane tech bubble where we need to put gluttonous software literally everywhere, often for nebulous gains. And if you aren't scared by pervasive surveillance, fine. Just imagine Russian script kiddies chuckling over your miserable sex lives. Or imagine how well your stupid internet-enabled doors and teddy bears will work in a cyberwar with Russia.

I leave my smartphone at home these days. Partly because I know what it is doing, and partly because I don't know what it is doing. Partly because I just want my old life back. I take walks and see cool things without needing to tweet about it or even take pictures. I am trying to get away from this madness."

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017


“Financial ­instability tends to follow periods when asset growth has been disproportionate to ­underlying measures of income,” Rivelle says. “People usually say a recession happens because consumers stopped spending. What really happens is the economy ­becomes malformed.”

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11:56AM - The Western Elite from a Chinese Perspective

"I studied economics at Cambridge, a field which has become more and more mathematical since the 1970s. The goal is always to use a mathematical model to find a closed-form solution to a real-world problem. Looking back, I’m not sure why my professors were so focused on these models. I have since found that the mistake of blindly relying on models is quite widespread in both trading and investing—often with disastrous results, such as the infamous collapse of the hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management. Years later, I discovered the teaching of Warren Buffett: it is better to be approximately right than precisely wrong. But our professors taught us to think of the real world as a math problem.

The culture of Cambridge followed the dogmas of the classroom: a fervent adherence to rules and models established by tradition. For example, at Cambridge, students are forbidden to walk on grass. This right is reserved for professors only. The only exception is for those who achieve first class honors in exams; they are allowed to walk on one area of grass on one day of the year.

[..] When I was an intern, in one of the training presentations, a senior banker told us to distinguish between the process and the results. He said that we should focus on the process, which we can control, rather than the result, which is subject to luck. And here at Goldman, he said, we don’t punish people for losing money for the right reason. I have always loved asking questions, so I asked him, was anyone ever punished for making money for the wrong reason? After giving it some thought, he said that he had not heard of any such thing. And he was righ.

[..] One class was about strategy. It focused on how corporate mottos and logos could inspire employees. Many of the students had worked for nonprofits or health care or tech companies, all of which had mottos about changing the world, saving lives, saving the planet, etc. The professor seemed to like these mottos. I told him that at Goldman our motto was “be long-term greedy.” The professor couldn’t understand this motto or why it was inspiring. I explained to him that everyone else in the market was short-term greedy and, as a result, we took all their money. Since traders like money, this was inspiring. He asked if perhaps there was another motto or logo that my other classmates might connect with. I told him about the black swan I kept on my desk as a reminder that low probability events happen with high frequency. He didn’t like that motto either and decided to call on another student, who had worked at Pfizer. Their motto was “all people deserve to live healthy lives.” The professor thought this was much better. I didn’t understand how it would motivate employees, but this was exactly why I had come to Stanford: to learn the key lessons of interpersonal communication and leadership.

[..] One of the papers we studied mentioned that subjects are often not conscious of their own feelings when fully immersed in a situation. But body indicators such as heart rate would show whether the person is experiencing strong emotions. I thought that I generally didn’t have a lot of emotions and decided that this might be a good way for me to discover my hidden emotions that the professor kept asking about.

So I bought a heart rate monitor and checked my resting heart rate. Right around 78. And when the professor said to me in class “Puzhong, I can see that story brought up some emotions in you,” I rolled up my sleeve and checked my heart rate. It was about 77. And so I said, “nope, no emotion.” The experiment seemed to confirm my prior belief: my heart rate hardly moved, even when I was criticized, though it did jump when I became excited or laughed.

This didn’t land well on some of my classmates. They felt I was not treating these matters with the seriousness that they deserved. The professor was very angry. My takeaway was that my interpersonal skills were so bad that I could easily offend people unintentionally, so I concluded that after graduation I should do something that involved as little human interaction as possible.

Therefore, I decided I needed to return to work in financial markets rather than attempting something else. I went to the career service office and told them that my primary goal after the MBA was to make money. I told them that $500,000 sounded like a good number. They were very confused, though, as they said their goal was to help me find my passion and my calling. I told them that my calling was to make money for my family. They were trying to be helpful, but in my case, their advice didn’t turn out to be very helpful.

[..] What I realized is that if we look at one individual’s life in isolation, it is very tempting to come to the conclusion that one’s particular actions lead to whatever happens next. But if we look at the society as a whole or look across generations, we can see that people with very similar backgrounds can take similar actions and end up with vastly different results.

[..] On the other hand, it seems odd that this should be the principal lesson of a Western education. In Communist China, I was taught that hard work would bring success. In the land of the American dream, I learned that success comes through good luck, the right slogans, and monitoring your own—and others’—emotions."

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Sunday, November 26, 2017

9:39PM - John Brennan (D/CIA) on Russian interference

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Friday, November 24, 2017

9:33AM - TIL

"All the major building materials- concrete, bricks-are made using sand. That makes it second most used natural commodity after water. More than 40 billion tons of sand and gravel are used every year. Mining of sand is a $70 billion industry"

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Thursday, November 23, 2017


"It never seems to have occurred to them that their advertising engines could also be used to deliver precisely targeted ideological and political messages to voters. Hence the obvious question: how could such smart people be so stupid?"

"We are now beginning to see the consequences of the dominance of this half-educated elite. As one perceptive observer Bob O’Donnell puts it, “a liberal arts major familiar with works like Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty, or even the work of ancient Greek historians, might have been able to recognise much sooner the potential for the ‘tyranny of the majority’ or other disconcerting sociological phenomena that are embedded into the very nature of today’s social media platforms."

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1:08PM - Raksturojums



Secinājums: VVF ir on point un arī varētu būt case officer :D

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017


"[T]he recent victories against ISIS in Syria are due in large part due to the efforts of YPG and YPJ, the Kurdish militias that make up most of the SDF The SDF is the preferred name used by US/Western media to reduce association with the PKK(Kurdish Workers Party), of which YPG/YPJ are military arms.

The PKK is the main political force behind Rojava or the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria, a group of self governing cantons in Syria. These are the first significant truly democratic and secular developments in the region in a long time. It is also a bold experiment towards tolerance(Rojava is comprised of Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians, Syrian Turkmen and Yazidis as equal members) and gender equality,

The movement has strong anarchistic tendencies, and the PKKs leader Abdullah Öcalan(currently imprisoned in Turkey) is heavily influenced by American anarchist Murray Bookchin(though he later preferred not to use the term).

There is no central government, and it is a union of self governing cantons. The cantons are collectively managed through Athenian style direct democracy, with strong participation of all ethnic groups and women. The YPJ is the purely female counterpart to the YPG.

If Rojava succeeds, it could be an outcome exponentially better than the Ba'athist/Islamic Nationalist status quo. Even if ends up failing, it is a symbol of hope to me, hope that we as a species can radically rethink social relations, like the French Revolution, the Paris Commune, or Catalonia during the Spanish Civil War."

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"Everything that we formerly electrified we will now cognitize."

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

5:07PM - Douglas Murray and Dave Rubin on The Strange Death of Europe (Full Interview)

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Friday, November 17, 2017

10:41AM - svenksterror

"World War I is often credited with laying the groundwork for European fascism. But the Bolshevik takeover did just as much, if not more, to spawn fascist regimes. Fascism’s birth took place amidst the intense ideological polarization that marked European politics during the interwar years. Violent street battles between radical right- and left-wing agitators helped establish fascist movements. Economic elites, fearful of leftist unrest, turned to fascist parties for protection."

"Had it not been for the Bolshevik putsch, Hitler would not have been Hitler. There may well have been no Nazi party and, consequently, no Second World War."

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017


"[A]lmost nobody in Central Europe stopped them. Russian spies openly went from general to general, from minister to minister, from one banking official to another, doing anything they wanted. After we entered NATO, our military intelligence had 200 officers with falsified documehts, holdovers from the Communist era. I got rid of them, though many in Warsaw objected to this."

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Monday, November 13, 2017

9:58AM - vs. = vienos vārtos

retorisks jautājums: vai šādu pretizlūkošanas panākumu nav, jo

(1) FSB šādas operācijas LV teritorijā neveic,
(2) FSB šādas operācijas LV teritorijā nav jāveic, jo viss jau ir kompromitēts

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Sunday, November 12, 2017


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Thursday, November 9, 2017


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Wednesday, November 8, 2017


this belongs to pajautaa:

Vai t.s. "eparaksts" mūsu ID kartēs arī cieš no ROCA IDPrime.NET ievainojamības? Tas ir Gemalto? Nekas nav dzirdēts.

update atbildi var atrast

"Atklātā Igaunijas eID karšu ievainojamība Latvijā izmantotos eParaksta viedkartes čipus neskar

Saistībā ar publiskotajām ziņām par iespējamo ievainojamību Igaunijā noteiktā laikposmā izsniegtajos eID karšu čipos, LVRTC sadarbībā ar ir veicis Latvijā eParaksta lietošanai izmantoto karšu čipu pārbaudi un secinājis, ka šādas ievainojamības risks Latvijā izdotajās eParaksta viedkartēs nepastāv. “Latvijā eParaksta karšu ražošanā tiek izmantotas gan cita veida kartes, gan čipi, gan atšķirīga karšu programmatūra, tāpēc sākotnējā izpēte liecina, ka apdraudējums, ko atklājuši Igaunijas zinātnieki, nav iespējams, tomēr speciālisti turpinās padziļinātu izpēti,” uzsver LVRTC."

Jāsmejās gan par to, ka ievainojamību "atklājuši Igaunijas zinātnieki", jo tie ir Čehi:

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Saturday, November 4, 2017


"[T]he national presidency is shared between a Serb, a Croat and a Bosniak, who take turns serving as its chairman every eight months. Modern Bosnia is made up of two ethnically based “entities”, which both have governments and presidents, plus Brcko, an autonomous town. One entity is the Serb-dominated Republika Srpska and the other is the Federation, dominated by Bosniaks and Croats. The Federation consists of ten cantons, each with its own prime minister. All this is ridiculous, say critics. But such complications are hardly unique to Bosnia. The United Kingdom, after all, has four entities, three regional parliaments and a head of state who must be a member of the Church of England. Power in Bosnia lies with the entities and the cantons, not the national government—but something similar happens in Switzerland."

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Friday, October 27, 2017

10:06PM - TIL Kara-Murza

"[Kara-Murza's] father is a great-grandson of Latvian revolutionary Voldemārs Bissenieks (1884–1938), and great-grand-nephew of Latvia's first Ambassador to Great Britain, Georgs Bissenieks (1885–1941), both of whom were shot by the NKVD. The Latvian agronomist and publisher Jānis Bissenieks (1864–1923) was their older brother."

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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

4:38PM - The History of the Squat

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"When I asked my guide why her sister gave up almost all the trappings of modern life, she mentioned freedom, fresh air, animal spirits"

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Sunday, October 22, 2017


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"Price's law states that the square root of the number of people in a domain do 50% of the work. This means the number of "useful" people increases linearly with size but the number of not-so-useful people increases exponentially. If you have 10 people, 3 do half the work. If you have 100 people, 10 do half the work. Google has 60k employees, so about 250 people are getting half the work done. This is basically impossible to maintain and is part of the reason megacorps die."

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Sunday, October 15, 2017


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"Most of the enthographic literature is consistent with the hypothesis that people don't willingly join civilization (city-based, hierarchical societies) when given the choice. Civilization has its clear advantages but its externalities have not nearly been solved."

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Wednesday, October 11, 2017


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Monday, October 9, 2017


"The thing that people in power fear the most is a population that has basic security and time"

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Sunday, October 8, 2017


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Sunday, September 24, 2017


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Saturday, September 23, 2017

9:13PM - Pedreira dos Húngaros

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

3:00PM - Ancient Human Genomes...Present-Day Europeans - Johannes Krause

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Saturday, September 16, 2017

6:33PM - Vasili Mitrokhin walks in a bar...,7340,L-4869986,00.html

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1:10PM - TIL [what an awful name for a site though, Politi-co. really?]

“Every leaf and every grass blade on earth makes more and more sugars as CO2 levels keep rising,” Loladze said. “We are witnessing the greatest injection of carbohydrates into the biosphere in human history―[an] injection that dilutes other nutrients in our food supply.”

"In agricultural research, it’s been understood for some time that many of our most important foods have been getting less nutritious. Measurements of fruits and vegetables show that their minerals, vitamin and protein content has measurably dropped over the past 50 to 70 years. Researchers have generally assumed the reason is fairly straightforward: We’ve been breeding and choosing crops for higher yields, rather than nutrition, and higher-yielding crops—whether broccoli, tomatoes, or wheat—tend to be less nutrient-packed.

In 2004, a landmark study of fruits and vegetables found that everything from protein to calcium, iron and vitamin C had declined significantly across most garden crops since 1950. The researchers concluded this could mostly be explained by the varieties we were choosing to grow.

Loladze and a handful of other scientists have come to suspect that’s not the whole story and that the atmosphere itself may be changing the food we eat."

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Thursday, September 14, 2017


When I asked Peskov what Putin meant by RT’s mission to “break the monopoly of Anglo-Saxon global information streams,” he went into something of a dissertation, speaking in English with obvious relish and little room for interjections. “The whole trend of global media was set by Anglo-Saxons,” he began. “It’s like the first conveyor belt. It was created by Mr. Ford in the United States.” (It wasn’t, but Ford was the first major manufacturer to use the technology on a grand scale.) But now, he went on, “the conveyor line is not only working in G.M., in Ford — it’s also working in Citroën, in Renault, in Mercedes-Benz, in Toyota, everywhere in the world.”

Something like the dissemination of Ford’s conveyor belt, he said, was now happening in media; the sort of global news networks the West built were being replicated by Russia, to great effect. What was making “the whole story successful,” he said, “is a tectonic change of the global system that all of a sudden started to develop 10 years ago.”

The transformation and acceleration of information technology, Peskov said, had unmoored the global economy from real value. Perception alone could move markets or crash them. “We’ve never seen bubbles like we’ve seen in the greatest economy in the world, the United States,” he said. The same free flow of information had produced “a new clash of interests,” and so began “an informational disaster — an informational war.”

Peskov argued that this was not an information war of Russia’s choosing; it was a “counteraction.” He brought up the “color revolutions” throughout Eastern Europe and Central Asia, which led to the ousters of Russian-friendly governments in Ukraine, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan in the mid-2000s. Russia blamed American nongovernmental organizations for fomenting the upheavals. But now, Peskov argued, all you might need to shake up the geopolitical order was a Twitter account. “Now you can reach hundreds of millions in a minute,” he said.

By way of example, he pointed to “this girl, from show business, Kim Kardashian.” Kardashian is among the most popular people in all of social media, with 55 million Twitter followers, nearly 18 million more than President Trump. “Let’s imagine that one day she says, ‘My supporters — do this,’ ” Peskov said. “This will be a signal that will be accepted by millions and millions of people. And she’s got no intelligence, no interior ministry, no defense ministry, no K.G.B.” This, he said, was the new reality: the global proliferation of the kinds of reach and influence that were once reserved for the great powers and, more recently, great media conglomerates. Even Peskov sounded slightly amazed considering the possibilities. “The new reality creates a perfect opportunity for mass disturbances,” he said, “or for initiating mass support or mass disapproval.

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Wednesday, September 6, 2017


"Russian war machine is gearing up for a major war against a peer level opponent. From the logistics perspective there are no obvious deficiencies that would prevent Russia from launching a large scale invasion against one of its western neighbors. Naturally logistics are only important if there are combat troops that can take advantage of the well prepared rear area services.

If USA, South Korea and Japan decide to pre-emptively strike the North Korean nuclear and missile programs, it would be the largest air and missile campaign the world has seen in decades. With most of the US strategic assets tied to the Far East, Russia would have the best window of opportunity it has had in a long time."

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Monday, September 4, 2017


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Sunday, September 3, 2017


"The S&P is selling at 25 times trailing 12 months’ earnings, compared to a long-term average of 15, while the adjusted Shiller price earnings ratio, which averages profits over 10 years, is approximately 30 times. The period of monetary
accommodation may well be coming to an end. Geopolitical problems remain widespread and are proving increasingly difficult to resolve. We therefore retain a moderate exposure to equity markets and have diversified our asset allocation towards equity
investments where value creation is driven by some identifiable catalyst or which are exposed to longer-term positive structural trends. We have a particular interest in investments which will benefit from the impact of new technologies, and Far Eastern markets, influenced by the growing demand from Asian consumers"

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Wednesday, August 30, 2017


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Tuesday, August 29, 2017


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Tuesday, August 22, 2017


"In the short term, what's not to like? But there comes a point when you realize that you've been funding this on credit, that you've been depending on external assistance, and that your productivity has fallen further and further behind until you've got to the stage that we've now reached where it takes 4 Germans to work the same hours as 3 Americans. And that in the long term that is just not sustainable. Europe now that it's in a globalized economy competing against China and India and indeed North America, finds that it is shrinking precipitously. In the 1970s, in 1974, Europe accounted for 36%, or Western Europe, for 36% of World GDP. Today it's 25%, 10 years from now it will be 15%. That is an extraordinary decline, over a period when the US share of world GDP has remained pretty steady, round about 26%. So there was always going to be a reckoning and I'm afraid that reckoning has come now."

-- Daniel Hannan

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Monday, August 21, 2017


the truth is a terrible thing but not compared to falsehood

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017


"Freedom in America is always about government NOT doing something, while in Europe government is defined as a protector of these freedoms. This shows up clearly with respect to stating an opinion at a US company. There is no protection of free speech on private property in the US. I first encountered this when our company got bought by an American one and they insisted that religion and politics should not be discussed at work. It surprised them that such a demand was illegal in Norway. Private property does not trump everything else as it often seems to do in the US."

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