The high-tech sector, along with the U.S. national security state that it partners with, have lately been pushing the idea of upgrading society into a futuristic technological structure that makes life far more convenient. Last year the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, an organization created in 2018 to further the partnership between U.S. intelligence agencies and tech plutocrats, articulated this vision in a document. It called for a near future where the country’s “legacy systems” are replaced with a new paradigm of infrastructure, one that allows for self-driving cars, total home delivery in alternative to retail, and home appliances that can connect to an “internet of things.”
The United States seems hopelessly riven with division, as the mass protests over the police killing of African-American man George Floyd reveal.
Protesters are calling for police forces accused of systematic racism to be defunded and disbanded. While opponents – many of whom seem to be supporters of President Trump – are calling for a tough law-and-order response to what they view as rioters and subversives.
A President of the United States would never operate outside the law, ignore the U.S. Constitution and the courts, shut down the presses, imprison his domestic adversaries or turn his guns on his own people. Well, Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president did of all of that and, curiously, has been turned into a national hero for his troubles. Lincoln ignored his closest advisors and the temper of the times to engage in the bloodiest war in American history, a war that could easily have been avoided. Single handedly Lincoln terrorized the entire nation. So let us take notice. What happened once could happen again.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is in an undisclosed location away from the capital, Bangkok. Anti-Yingluck protesters are trying to shut down the government by blockading official buildings, including the prime minister’s office. LinkAsia speaks with Simon Long, of The Economist, about the unraveling in Thailand. Continue reading →
On a windy afternoon a few days ago I went to a depressed section of North Memphis to visit an old clapboard house that was once owned by a German immigrant named Jacob Burkle. Oral history—and oral history is all anyone has in this case since no written documents survive—holds that Burkle used his house as a stop on the underground railroad for escaped slaves in the decade before the Civil War. The house is now a small museum called Slave Haven. It has artifacts such as leg irons, iron collars and broadsheets advertising the sale of men, women and children. In the gray floor of the porch there is a trapdoor that leads to a long crawl space and a jagged hole in a brick cellar wall where fugitives could have pushed themselves down into the basement. Continue reading →
US Drones Coordinate Air Power For Kenyan Ground Invasion of Somalia
The large troop deployment by Kenya into Somali territory is taking on the form of a full-scale invasion, rather than a temporary incursion as initially reported.
What is also emerging – but largely unreported – is that the US appears to be providing coordinated aerial firepower to help the advance of the Kenyan military against Al Shabab Islamic militants who have held power in the southern Somali territory.