Make a difference, sponsor a warlord — CIA advertisement

November 10, 2014 Just for fun No comments , , , , ,

The Toike Oike, UofT’s engineering newspaper, has reached majestic heights of spoof advertisement in the November issue, with the following advert placed by the CIA

make a difference sponser a warlord, CIA advertisment

The sad thing is that there is so much truth embedded in this bit of parody.

I congratulate the author for most excellent work. Very nice work! Oh, and finding the smiling guy in fatigues with his gun toting buddies in the background was a real nice compositional touch.

Some initial thoughts on a read of William Blum’s “Rogue State”

July 22, 2014 Incoherent ramblings No comments , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I have started reading the disgusting book “Rogue State, A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower” by William Blum.  It is disgusting not because it is poorly written, but because of the US government, CIA, and military atrocities it details.

It is also a discouraging book, and hard to stomach, and downright depressing.  It is, however, encyclopedic, thorough, and contains extensive references.  If you ever wanted a detailed list of US atrocities to counter arguments that governments, military, and intelligence agencies serve us positively, this book has everything on the shopping list.

There is a huge disparity between popular and media perception of the USA and what is presented in this book.  This disparity brings to mind the paradigm shift discussion of Kuhn’s “Structure of scientific revolutions”.  The perception of the USA (or its NATO and economic puppets like Canada) as freedom loving “democracy” is so indoctrinated into us that to accept the reality that exactly the opposite is true requires a complete paradigm shift.  It is too painful to realize that we have to totally discard our current world view, and be willing to accept the pain and discomfort associated with the mental revolution required to see the actual state of the world.  Kuhn also points out that such a revolution isn’t going to happen until people have a ready made alternative to the current paradigm.  The history of warfare and evil in our world is so pervasive, that I don’t think we have a ready made model of peaceful interaction available for this switch, and are therefore willing to overlook the errors of the current model.  I think that this book details enough of those errors that it puts the current world view on shaky ground.
I find this author to be is an extremely effective communicator.  A sample of his style can be found in this 2002 speech.

The speech above also contains a quote from the intro in “Rogue State” that I found particularly striking:

“If I were the president, I could stop terrorist attacks against the United States in a few days. Permanently. I would first apologize — very publicly and very sincerely — to all the widows and orphans, the tortured and impoverished, and all the many millions of other victims of American imperialism. Then I would announce that America’s global interventions have come to an end and inform Israel that it is no longer the 51st state of the union but -– oddly enough -– a foreign country. I would then reduce the military budget by at least 90% and use the savings to pay reparations to our victims and repair the damage from our bombings. There would be enough money. Do you know what one year’s military budget is equal to? One year. It’s equal to more than $20,000 per hour for every hour since Jesus Christ was born.

That’s what I’d do on my first three days in the White House. On the fourth day, I’d be assassinated.”