This is a double edged sword, as nearly every technology is. This could open up new doors for the treatment of PTSD, depression, and other mental illness. Illnesses which cripple millions around the world. If more effective than current treatments such chips could indeed prove a real blessing. There is far too much suffering in the world. Alleviating suffering is among the noblest of goals.
On the other hand there is a dark side to this technology being developed in the skunk labs. Are we crossing over the transhuman Rubicon here? (Not a good or bad thing per se.) Are we sowing the seeds of our own extinction? Are we doing it with our own tax dollars?
I pray that this technology helps people live more fruitful lives. We have made huge strides over the last 30 years in the area of mental illness. Hopefully this is a new stage. Yet we must go forward with caution. We are in very uncharted waters.
Peggy Noonan writes in the Wall Street Journal of a fundamental disconnect between what she refers to as “elites” (I despise this term, many, if not most people in power I have met are not what I would call “elite.”) and their indifference to the pressures which come from massive immigration. She makes an important point. A giant increase in immigration flows isn’t going to really impact the circle Angela Merkle runs in, except that perhaps the people in this circle will be able to pay their gardeners even less. But for the many unskilled and low-skilled workers in the West it has a very real impact. These people also, unlike Merkle and Company are not part of the deeply entrenched crony system. They are on the outside in their own countries. Now many of these people, in Europe and in the USA, see new immigrants pushing them even further to the economic margins.
As we have said many times we are generally for immigration, but just opening the gates completely is not a solution. We recognize that this puts us at odds with some of the people we consider intellectual brethren, but to deny that unrestricted immigration won’t have a serious (and likely negative) impacts on the US and Europe is to deny that one can have too much of a good thing.
To dismiss the immigration concerns of many middle and working class Americans and Europeans as simple-minded and bigoted is wrong. Policy makers need to listen more closely and must find a humane answer to the current challenges in Europe and the US.
It should also be noted that much of the chaos we see in the Middle East wouldn’t be happening had we not gone into Iraq 12 years ago. So much of this is of the West’s making. Lots of people won’t like us saying that either.
So the Russians appear to be in Syria fighting alongside the Syrian government troops. We’re droning stuff in the region. The Iranians were carrying out strikes against ISIS in the region recently. The Turks are warring. The Israelis are freaking out over the Iran deal. The Saudis are involved.
This in a very small piece of real estate. A piece of real estate which just happens to be right where some would like to plant a giant natural gas pipeline which could supply Europe. Right now Europe must rely on Russia for natural gas.
It’s true. Free people stand up for themselves. Free people respect others but question why it is that they must fall in line.
This general disposition annoys politicians and perhaps more importantly it annoys the people who do not see any value in standing up for themselves, in thinking independently. Why can’t you just get along? Why do you have to question everything? What makes you so special that you get to challenge the system which is obviously (sic) in place for the greater good?
It really is a question of what one thinks it means to be alive. It’s that fundamental.
Look, there are a whole lot of people who want to be ruled. They crave it. They want to be managed. They need to be told what to do. And by God they want others to live under the same yoke.
What kind of pathetic person makes the case for colonial domination, and then tries to couch such an argument in “progressive” terms? A particularly gutless fellow I’d say.
Someone who would prefer to be a subject, and prefer more importantly that others be a subject, than be a free individual. Think about that.
He argues that if only we’d stayed part of the empire we’d have been a lot nicer to native peoples etc. This person has apparently NO KNOWLEDGE of the British Empire beyond, well, I doubt he has much knowledge at all. We suggest that this writer for Voxstart by learning about British rule in India, then go from there.
Who do you think got the slave trade really going Mr. Mathews? It wasn’t colonial Americans I can assure you of that.*
Truly stupefying ignorance.
What’s particularly bizarre is that this guy doesn’t even understand (apparently) that he’s making a reactionary, a “conservative” (in the worst sense) argument. That we should never have manifested the Enlightenment in the American Revolution. We should have just puttered along as subjects, sub-humans fundamentally, to the British crown.
What’s the old adage? Never engage in a land war in Asia? Well we tossed that one out a while ago and now it looks like we might be heading for one on the high seas. No kidding. China is building island bases in the South China Sea, right over massive deposits of oil and smack dab in the middle of Asian trade routes, and we are not happy about it. In fact we’ve ordered China to essentially stop immediately. They are not complying, and are using diplomatic talk of the kind which isn’t very diplomatic.
We have gotten to the point where sober minded people (well probably most of the time) with serious skin in the game are getting concerned.
So a generally libertarianish guy who believes in free markets, lowering taxes, and actually reducing the size of the government is a “liberal Democrat”? Well, gee, this country is better off than we may have thought. Our colleges must be filled with professors calling for deregulation and the protection of property rights because we know that our university system is “liberal.” Ted Kennedy was actually for liberty and freedom not an ever expanding state, you didn’t know that?
And the guys who want to spend tons and tons of money America doesn’t have nation building and generally expanding the size of government are actually CONSERVATIVES! Holy moly, this changes everything. Good thing we have “conservatives” like Bill Kristol, whose political lineage extends back to a bunch of Trotskyites in the 1930s (the neoconservatives) to explain to us what a “liberal Democrat” is.
As I’ve written many times before, I grew up around the military industrial complex. I am a Navy brat and am still a Navy Football fan. (Pretty much the only team I care about these days.) I know the squeal of an F-14 as it banks in at sunset to land with its wings open. I can practically recite Top Gun to you. At one point I thought I might want to be a navy SEAL. My mother used to take us to the beach and we’d watch the giant hovercrafts ramp over the dunes. I used to go surfing right next to a gunnery range. (No joke. The break is called Pendleton and one could watch the shells splash into the water just to the south.) The point is when I post articles about the Military Industrial Complex I do not come from a position of ignorance. I do not come from a place of jaded familiarity either. But I am a tax payer. And it disturbs me that the weapons industry is the juggernaut of cronyism it is. It’s not healthy for our republic. To say the least.
It concerns me even more to think that war is perpetuated officially because behind the scenes powerful interests want to see warfare continue. I don’t want to believe that’s true. Most Americans don’t want to believe that’s true. And it may even be less true than many critics believe. But I think most informed individuals think that the MIC drives foreign policy at least to some extent. And even some is pretty messed up and not the way it should be in the United States.
And let’s be real honest. They aren’t just lapdogs for Obama. They are lapdogs for Sheldon Adelson (Graham’s new sponsor) the billionaire head of Las Vegas Sands who hates Rand Paul and Paul’s father and anyone else who thinks that aid to Israel isn’t sacrosanct.
That’s $45 billion dollars the military can’t track and the reason is … ridiculous. According to SIGAR, the Pentagon didn’t check a box on an electronic form when it filed the information in government databases.