The priorities of government

Source: The Price of Liberty
by Nathan Barton

“What are the priorities of government? Of government agencies? Of government employees? Of politicians in power in government? The standard civics class speaks glowingly of ‘public service’ and ‘serving and protecting’ and such nonsense. Some analysts will talk of ‘enlightened self-interest’ and people will talk about defending life and property. It’s babble. (And there is frequently VERY little ‘enlightened’ about the self-interest that states and rulers display.) Government is, first and foremost, a parasite. The priorities of parasites have little if any relation to the priorities of the host.” (02/18/18)

Study: Drinking two beers a day “slashes your risk of drying young by a fifth”

Source: The Sun [UK]

“Two beers a day and a few excess pounds are the secret to living longer, scientists say. The glasses of beer, or wine, cut the risk of dying young by a fifth. And carrying a few excess pounds in later life makes an early death 3 per cent less likely. … The boffins analysed data on 14,000 people aged 55 to 100 to find the secrets to a long life. They have tracked the volunteers for up to 37 years, with some still being monitored. … The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.” [editor’s note: No, I didn’t write that headline. But I did get a good laugh out of the pun – TLK] (02/19/18)

Foreign Policy Focus, episode 157

Foreign Policy Focus

Source: Foreign Policy Focus

“Will Porter returns to Foreign Policy Focus to discuss the new indictments by the Mueller Probe. Will and Kyle debunk the lies that surround the claim ‘Russia hacked the election.’ We break down the responses to the new incidents by Leon Panetta, Rachel Maddow, Brian Williams, Tucker Carlson, Chris Hayes, Peter van Buren, and Rob Reiner. We also look at possible future of the Russiagate story.” [various formats] (02/19/18)

Russia’s election meddling: Worse than a crime; a blunder

Source: The American Conservative
by Robert W Merry

“Three Russian companies and 13 Russian citizens were indicted by U.S. authorities Friday on charges of engaging in a three-year, multimillion-dollar effort to interfere in the election. Americans naturally are shocked at this brazen effort to unravel the political fabric of their country. But it isn’t really all that shocking. To understand why it was more of a blunder than a crime—and a blunder with likely tragic consequences—it is important to absorb five fundamental realities surrounding this important development in U.S.-Russian relations. First, countries have been doing this sort of thing for centuries. … Second, no nation has been more aggressive than the United States in pursuing efforts, covert and even overt, to destabilize other regimes.” (02/19/18)

UK: Most KFCs remain closed because of chicken shortage

Source: The Guardian [UK]

“The fast food chain KFC has been forced to temporarily close most of its UK outlets after problems with a new delivery contract led to a chicken shortage. More than 600 KFC outlets remain shut after a weekend of closures. KFC published a list of only 254 of its 900 stores that were still open on Sunday night. Many were offering a limited menu and restricted opening hours. … The problems came after KFC switched its deliveries from Bidvest Logistics to DHL in a deal struck last year. DHL said ‘operational issues’ meant several KFC deliveries over recent days had been incomplete or delayed.” (02/19/18)

Beyond mere survival


“The personal and the political often meet and merge — and, in my case lately, this has certainly been quite true. I won’t go into the details of my recent cancer diagnosis, which I wrote about here, except to say that it has certainly intensified and sharpened my perceptions of what’s wrong — and right — with the world. And of course it’s made me look at things in retrospect, as old memories are dredged up and seen in a new light. When I look back on the twenty-plus years of my time here at, I’m struck with wonder: how did we ever survive this long? What’s significant is that we did far more than merely survive — we greatly expanded our very faithful audience, extending the reach of the anti-interventionist cause across traditional left-right lines. Of course, it’s easy for me to portray our success as a constant upward arc of progress, but the truth is that it wasn’t that way at all.” (02/19/18)

Idiots get upset at singer for singing song differently than usual

Source: ESPN

“Fergie tried something different with her national anthem at the NBA All-Star Game, and not everybody was cheering. The Black Eyed Peas singer’s slow, bluesy rendition of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ on Sunday before the 67th edition of the NBA’s annual showcase wasn’t particularly well received at Staples Center or on social media. A low chuckle rumbled through the sold-out arena after Fergie finished the first line of the song with a throaty growl on ‘the dawn’s early light.’ Fans throughout the star-studded crowd reacted with varying levels of bemusement and enthusiasm while her languid, two-plus-minute version of the song continued. Although Fergie was on pitch, her tempo, musical accompaniment and sexy delivery were not exactly typical for a sporting event or a patriotic song.” [editor’s note: IT’S. A. SONG. Tune-wise, a non-American (British), non-Christian (Greek pagan) drinking song. Get over it, people – TLK] (02/19/18), 02/19/18


“Robert Wright (, The Evolution of God, Nonzero, Why Buddhism Is True) and David Frum (The Atlantic, Patriots) … David: strong national spirit is wonderful so long as it’s inclusive … Trump makes liberals rethink their suspicion of the intelligence community … David: Party loyalties may not withstand this century’s unique problems … Why Trump’s seeming ambivalence about domestic abuse allegations could drive off moderate Republicans for good … David’s new book, Trumpocracy, surveys Trump’s damage to the American Republic.” [Flash video] (02/19/18)

The Democrats keep capitulating on defense spending

Source: The Atlantic
by Peter Beinart

“Since earlier this month, when Congress passed a budget deal that massively boosts both defense and non-defense spending, liberal commentators — and even some Republican politicians — have accused the GOP of hypocrisy. Republicans, they noted, are supposed to loathe debt. They’re supposed to loathe government spending. Yet, in large numbers, they voted for much more of both. Fair enough. But what about the Democrats? If Republicans are supposed to worry about the United States bankrupting itself with social-welfare spending, aren’t Democrats supposed to worry about the United States bankrupting itself with military spending? Not anymore. In the run-up to the deal, Nancy Pelosi’s office fired off an email to House Democrats proclaiming that, ‘In our negotiations, Congressional Democrats have been fighting for increases in funding for defense.’ Chuck Schumer’s office announced that, ‘We fully support President Trump’s Defense Department’s request.'” (02/19/18)

US regime pushes Europe to commit to reneging on Iran nuclear deal


“The Trump Administration is once again setting up an ultimatum for the US staying in the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran, this time pushing on EU participants to commit to the idea of changing the deal by May, the next time Trump could withdraw sanctions relief. President Trump has long opposed the Iran deal, and demands massive changes to the already signed pact, despite everyone else agreeing the terms are final and no renegotiation is needed. US officials suggest the only way to keep them on board is to commit to unspecified future changes.” (02/18/18)