Sunday, September 18, 2016

They lied about Iraq and Libya: Do you trust them now about Russia? -- Puppet Masters --

They lied about Iraq and Libya: Do you trust them now about Russia? -- Puppet Masters -- Just as President George W. Bush deceptively painted Hussein's supposed WMD as a danger to Americans and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dishonestly portrayed Gaddafi as "genocidal," U.S. officials and pundits are depicting Putin as some cartoonish villain or some new Hitler.

And, just as The New York Times, Washington Post and other mainstream media outlets amplified the Iraq and Libyan propaganda to the American people - rather than questioning and challenging it - these supposedly journalistic entities are performing the same function regarding Russia. The chief difference is that now we're talking about the potential for nuclear annihilation. [See's "The Existential Madness of Putin-Bashing."]

Friday, September 02, 2016

Andrew Bacevich: 'Christian realism' for foreign affairs | NewBostonPost

Andrew Bacevich: 'Christian realism' for foreign affairs | NewBostonPost: Describe your approach to foreign policy.

Andrew Bacevich: If I had to assign myself a label I would call myself a ‘Christian realist.’ Christian realism is a foreign policy perspective that originated with Reinhold Niebuhr, the famous moral theologian and public intellectual who was really a titanic figure on the American scene from the 1930s into the 1960s. The essence of Christian realism—which is very much at odds with anything that smacks of utopianism—is to appreciate that there is evil in the world to which we must respond but also to appreciate that our own motives are likely to be less pure than we may fancy them to be. It’s not simply that the motives of the other guys are suspect but we ourselves should always be mindful of the extent to which our own motives [may] be subject to question. That’s the outlook that I tend to adhere to when I look at the world and the way it works.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

How Facebook’s news feed algorithm works.

How Facebook’s news feed algorithm works.: And yet, for all its power, Facebook’s news feed algorithm is surprisingly inelegant, maddeningly mercurial, and stubbornly opaque. It remains as likely as not to serve us posts we find trivial, irritating, misleading, or just plain boring. And Facebook knows it.