Bill is usually right; the problem is with his delivery. These are not Left/Right issues, but people love the team sports, so he remains popular with the Left. The net-effect is an increased divide between Americans who subscribe to the Left/Right Paradigm.
If he were to deliver it any differently, and not leverage the Left/Right divide, his jokes wouldn’t be funny… that’s his schtick after all so expect nothing to change. So after listening to this people are left with the impression that IS/ISIS/ISIL is no threat to America and we should eat organic.
Of course we should eat organic… if they labeled the stuff in the store ‘Made with Pesticides‘ and ‘Made without Pesticides‘ the healthier food would probably be easier to spot for anyone.
Of course IS/ISIS/ISIL may be planning on leveraging our open border for domestic attacks on America. The only way you fight a more powerful enemy is through asymmetric warfare. So the only way to establish their Caliphate is to cut our achilles heel here at home so we can’t so easily chase them through the desert.
I’m as liberal as they come, so liberal in fact that I gave up on political team sports a long time ago. I don’t usually tune into guys like Bill Maher because they constantly drive divides between Americans.
In times like these shouldn’t we drop our differences, agree to disagree on the little stuff, and focus on the crap on the table?
BTW… the hedge trimmer joke was racist – and liberal audience laughed.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has made some recent statements about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Here are some highlights:
- Exponentially growing epidemic – “The number of cases is doubling every three weeks.”
- Systems overloaded – “The disease is destroying health systems. More people are now dying in Liberia from treatable ailments and common medical conditions than from Ebola.”
- Supply chains failing – “Inflation and food prices are rising. Transport and social services are being disrupted.”
- Local government systems failing – “The leaders of the affected countries have asked the United Nations to coordinate the global response.”
The chart above shows what the number of cases doubling every three weeks looks like. This is not a prediction, just simple math. The CDC is predicting 500,000 cases by the end of January – now you can see how that math works if something doesn’t stop this epidemic.
Today we’ve got just over 5000 cases of Ebola on record. If the Secretary-General’s math is right, then by mid-April 2015 we could see over 5,000,000 cases unless something happens that shuts down the exponential growth rate.
More Important Than The Math
It’s also important to point out that Ebola is not causing the destabilizing of West Africa. It’s the fear of Ebola that’s causing all the other impacts to supply chains and rule of law.
But hope can being order too. Maybe the UN can bring some hope with their efforts too and help avert exponential increases in fear.
Those of us living in unaffected areas might want to take note of this factor too. Hope can be more powerful than fear and give us the strength to ride through any storm. So take the opportunity now and build some hope by educating yourself and preparing for the possibility of destabilization.
[Update: YouTube removed the video I had linked to. Probably a good thing, since it helps decapitate (pun intended) the ability of IS/ISIS/ISIL to spread propaganda.]
Fascinating turn of events. The Islamic State (a.k.a. ISIS or ISIL) is trying to turn the propaganda war in their favor. Now that they have America’s attention – gained via what many think are fake beheading videos – they are preparing to tell their side of the story. This is the first video of a series to be released.
Like the telling of all stories, we should take these with a grain of salt – but not miss this truly unique moment in time. A relatively small organization – the Islamic State – can now send its message to a world wide audience via social media. What will be most interesting is how effectively they are able to control the narrative and the response from western governments.
My gut tells me this propaganda effort will be successful in further destabilizing the west and may contribute to the catalyst for war.
But the tone of this video hints at another motive – one that contradicts the beheading videos. The reasonable tone set forth in the video seems directed at appealing to logic and deep desire to know the truth. In other words, it looks like it’s a campaign intended to gain the support for withdrawing western militaries from the Middle East.
Up until now I’ve suspected that they want the U.S. to bomb them because it will only intensify their local recruiting efforts. But if the American public’s support for war could be undermined, the Islamic State many benefit from a two-sided propaganda campaign.
- More anti-war sentiment in the West would make it harder for western powers to destroy the Islamic State militarily.
- More anti-American sentiment in the Middle East would make it easier to recruit people to join their Caliphate.
In other words – a delicate propaganda balance delivered via social media. An amazing feat if they can pull it off. But no propaganda yields positive results.
If the Islamic State chooses to hold-off on any attacks on American soil it would help them maintain their balance and achieve their goal of establishing a Caliphate. This would be a short-term win-win for Americans – because they don’t have to experience the bloodshed first hand. But in the long-term the reality still stands that the people of the Islamic State hate Americans for the imperialistic nature of our government and foreign policy. So the creation of a Caliphate in the east might be a far greater threat to the people of the west in the long run.
What to do?
- Watch, listen, digest, keep your head strait. We’re about to witness some of the most amazing propaganda humanity has ever seen, delivered at the speed of light to your mobile phone.
- Prepare for destabilization – it’s more on-the-table than ever before. We are at war.
“Hope. It is the only thing stronger than fear. A little hope is effective. A lot of hope is dangerous. Spark is fine, as long as it’s contained.” – Hunger Games
Playing with fire can suddenly get out of control.
So-called rogue cell phone towers, the type that can intercept your mobile calls and data, are cropping up all over the United States, including here in Chicago, according to a company that specializes in developing highly secure mobile phones…
ESD America’s cellphones protect users data, phone calls and text. The phone looks like a typical Android phone, but the inside includes encryption algorithms developed by a German company, GSMK, that protects the phone from intercepts.” – CBS Chicago
Hackers & thieves are clever buggers. Amazing the lengths they will go to turn a buck. Seems like the best hedge right now is to watch your bill and store no secure data on your phone, like credit cards, social security number, drivers license number, and passwords.
A post-apocalyptic Earth, emptied of humans, seems like the stuff of science fiction TV and movies. But in this short, surprising talk, Lord Martin Rees asks us to think about our real existential risks — natural and human-made threats that could wipe out humanity. As a concerned member of the human race, he asks: What’s the worst thing that could possibly happen?” – TED.com
Listen to Martin Rees: Can we prevent the end of the world? at TED.com.
The problem with most people is that they don’t believe something can happen, unless it already has. It’s not stupidity or weakness, it’s just human nature.
Read more about the Normalcy Bias. The new normal is change until something else happens.
The Nail In The Petrodollar Coffin: Gazprom Begins Accepting Payment For Oil In Ruble, Yuan” – Zero Hedge
What worries me most about this Zero Hedge headline is that most Americans have no idea what this means, not to mention the impact on the value of the U.S. Dollar. If they knew… they’d be buying tangibles with cash and not new cars and luxury items on credit. Historic times we live in.
Asymmetric warfare can describe a conflict in which the resources of two belligerents differ in essence and in the struggle, interact and attempt to exploit each other’s characteristic weaknesses. Such struggles often involve strategies and tactics of unconventional warfare, the weaker combatants attempting to use strategy to offset deficiencies in quantity or quality.” – Wikipedia
The American Revolutionary War was won this way, and it’s not an American invention. In fact it’s probably a tactic that dates back to the first prehistoric bully beating up on the first prehistoric nerd.
To engage a stronger enemy the weaker fighter uses tactics that undermine the stronger opponent. Since there is no such thing as too big to fail, and the truth being the polar opposite, that the bigger they are the harder they fall… we should make a quick assessment of ourselves and build our own self-reliance.
Asymmetric warfare isn’t the only threat, not even close. Any individual or civilization that relies too heavily on tight margins risks collapse if anything undermines stability. For example when deep in debt and living hand-to-mouth any disruption in cash-flow or unexpected expense can cause one to tumble deep down the debt rabbit hole. We’ve all been there, right?
On a macro scale the USA is in a similar situation – hence all the extreme measures being undertaken on foreign battle fields, and in stabilizing our economy.
If the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL is out there plotting and planning with it’s American recruits they will likely coordinate an asymmetric attack on us that undermines the fine margin we rely on so heavily. It’s only logical. This is also a worst case scenario – and not likely to happen.
Ironically the same set of hedges that keep you in the black when an unexpected expenses hit is the same starting point for any calamity. When communities of like minds come together and build on each others strengths, even a stronger foe – man or circumstance – can be overcome.