Tag Archives: consumerism and the environment

Patient dummy

Democracy & the Power of Persuasion

Patient dummy
The dummy in the hospital bed

That  racist old warmonger, Winston Churchill,  has often been  quoted as saying,  “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”…

Is it true now?-  and was it ever true?

The capacity of taxpayer funded government institutions to  manipulate public opinion has grown over the past 100  years as the theories of propaganda and  the power to  influence  individuals’  beliefs with  media, particularly electronic media, has grown   exponentially.

Modern  government bureaucracies  have always constructed ‘stories’  for their publics about how the world is:  who  is our ‘enemy’ – what  is ‘safe’ and what  is  ‘appropriate’ etc;  and the major medium  in  the past has been  via  status quo  newspapers ( the vast majority of modern newspaper and visual  media publishers are  active mouthpieces of  state propaganda  ( as in  the U.K.  with the BBC and The Guardian)  perhaps because of the enormous  costs of printing and distribution which  requires substantial  funding from  status quo funders.

Solely online social  media however;  blogs and online newspapers require far less input and resources, and their legitimacy  and media sources can  be easily hidden. They are easily accessible at minimum  cost  to  every  member of society, and the public can be ‘fed’  the official line-subtly and invisibly through  advertising   and other online  preference algorithms. The one small  downside of the electronic medium  world for  governments however,  is that  ‘rogue’  alternative media outlets also have access to  this cheap  media distribution process  (hence the desperate measures by  ‘respectable’  news outlets and governments to  promote the ‘fake news’  narrative and the need for  major  search  engine algorithms  to  be tightly controlled by  ‘respectable governments.

To  foster  and maintain the government narrative therefore requires more and more input to  feed the official  media line. As Craig Murray  notes, in the U.K. there are very large amounts of tax payer money  going into   manipulating public opinion for the benefit of those currently in  power.  The 77th Brigade of the British Army, the Integrity InitiativeMI5 and MI6 and GCHQ all run major programmes of covert online propaganda. These information warriors operate on twitter, facebook, and in comments sections across the internet. 

We can  be sure that  those U.K. manipulation agencies also exist everywhere across the world where there is sufficient taxpayer money, and sufficient need to  maintain  the status quo.

We could accurately call  these individuals and agencies,  the ‘Secret  Thought Police’.

Perhaps, if those agencies had some access to  a higher truth;  a global  need for a better life for all, saving the planet  or simply creating a more equitable world,  we might be able to  possibly argue that  those secret agencies are to  our mutual  benefit. But the reality is far from  that. Those agencies are designed to  entrench  those in  power with more power,  and with more money,  and to  negate,   satirize  and destroy by  whatever means available, alternative arguments, alternative strategies  that  might benefit and save ourselves and the planet. They  are in  consequence,  administered by  humans with limited understanding of their world,  with vast  prejudices  and with limited ethics and morality.

With  those huge resources  of thought engineering at  their disposal,  ‘governments’ which   across the world,  have  demonstrated their blindness and  total incapacity to  respond to  the catastrophes of global   heating and species loss facing us now, have instead steadfastly maintained their incestuous linkages with  the very corporations and  industries which  have created the nightmare unfolding day  by  day  in front of us.

When  many Western  governments,  but especially the U.K.  and U.S.,  have  knowingly and actively collaborated with states,  individuals and agencies over many years in  many countries   that   create  public fear  through  violence (the anatomy of terrorism), then  we have a sick  and debauched set of governments who  have no  moral right to  govern. Certainly  the current  leaders of Britain  and United States will,  in  the future, be key defendants  in  the dock  for war  crimes in Yemen  and other countries.

The Colour revolutions of the  past  10  years , (harnessing local  discontents with   resources from  foreign  governments and NGOs  and businesses such  as Soros) which have destabilized both  authoritarian  and socialist  governments alike across the globe,  have also, perhaps inadvertently , cast into question the authority of ‘democratic’ governments. Election results  are  more easily able to be questioned and invalidated in  their eyes of their voting publics.  Even  those  governments who  have destabilised   other foreign  governments with  such  tools for many years;  particularly the U.K.  and the U.S. , now find  themselves the victims of such  anti-establishment processes.

We have the somewhat  unique situation of the U.K.s Brexit poll  being questioned by  many in  the U.K.;  not because  the voting was flawed,  but  simply because it was not the result that  the powers that  be ,  wanted. The U.K.   may therefore  hold further Brexit votes until  they  get  the answer they  want;  a process which naturally underlines the key premises of the democratic system-  that  you vote for a party or issue  at  a certain  moment in  time  to  make longer term changes which  you may  or may  not disagree with later.

The recent Hong Kong riots  are an  example of the complexity of the issues where governments are actively destabilised by internal groups. The fears that  the proposed new extradition laws from  semi-autonomous Hong Kong to  mainland authoritarian  China will  create opportunities for Hong Kong dissidents to be controlled or  imprisoned in  China are  likely correct. As a former British  colony , ceded by  the  Qing dynasty of China  to  the British after the  First Opium War,  a brutal  and ethically bankrupt  war raged by  the British  to  ensure  a good supply of Chinese opium addicts, British  Hong Kong was  governed by  a British  Governor appointed by  the British “Crown”  and who  had  significant powers of authority up  to  1997 . The current dissidents therefore hancor for a non existent time when  there was in  fact a democratic Hong Kong not controlled by  ‘foreigners”. It is very  likely that , in the current anti-Chinese climate being rapidly developed by  U/S.  intelligence agencies,  that  their British  underlings are supporting the dissidents in  Hong Kong to put further pressure on Communist China,  along with  the  National  Endowment for “Democracy”,  an  NGO front for the U.S.  government destabilization agenda.

We are in  desperate need of change. Our ‘democratic’  system  is deeply flawed,  easily manipulated by  the powerful, and does not benefit in  the  longer term or even,  in  many cases,  the short term ,  its constituent publics.

 


Links

https://www.army.mod.uk/who-we-are/formations-divisions-brigades/force-troops-command/77-brigade/ 

How To Spot A Twitter Troll

https://williamblum.org/chapters/rogue-state/trojan-horse-the-national-endowment-for-democracy

 

 

 

 


Links

http://www.twainquotes.com/19100424b.html

A submission to my local Council on bio-diversity & climate change

I note that the Mayor states in the forward to  the  Council’s proposed Annual  Plan that: ‘A strong area of focus for our Annual Plan 2019/20 is climate change. Council recognises that climate change mitigation and adaptation present key challenges for our region, country and the globe. We need to build our resilience and harness innovation to ensure we can plan and act in a responsive and responsible way”

It is rather difficult to reconcile this statement, which confirms the enormity of climate change as a fundamental threat to human sustainability, with the actions proposed in this Plan.

It is interesting to note that there is no mention in the Plan about species loss and ecosystem collapse- issues which have equal weight in terms of human capacity to survive on this planet in the medium to long term, and which are completely interrelated to climate change. Other than the Department of Conservation, which has a very limited range of actions permitted to it , there is no human agency out there looking out for nonhuman survivability either in this region or nationally. Councils must act!

Given the recent government report; ‘Environment Aotearoa 2019’, which as “Stuff” notes paint a grim picture in many respects, the report’s assessment of native ecosystems and the plants and animals they contain is particularly bleak. Almost two-thirds of rare ecosystems were threatened by collapse, the report said, and thousands of individual species were either threatened or at-risk of extinction. Those species include 90 per cent of all seabirds, 84 per cent of reptiles, 76 per cent of freshwater fish and 74 per cent of terrestrial birds.”

Actions which focus on th city’s  “development’ are fundamentally in opposition to working to reduce climate change and at the very least, slow down our catastrophic species loss. Whether we like it or not, humans are entirely dependent on the other species on this planet for our survival. We cannot live on shopping precincts and electronic baubles.

Human ‘progress’ equals the substitution for living and wild areas for dead spaces or toxic farming areas. Like it or not, your city planners will be forced sooner rather than later to plan for a zero growth economy – why not start now?

E.O Wilson’s book “Half Planet” and the Half-Earth Project https://www.half-earthproject.org/ make it very clear that humans will not survive on this planet without urgent and dramatic restoration of the eco-sphere that protects us all . The Extinction Rebellion movement of our youth also makes it very clear where our future does not lie and what our options are.  Act now with bravery! https://rebellion.earth/

Since coming to this city I have been amazed at the amount of concrete “easy-care’ properties; in a climate where plants grow well and where lawns could quickly become low maintenance shrub and vegetation areas that support a wide range of habitats and species.

Surely our recent wildfires are a lesson to be learnt? Re-plant hill areas with native shrubs and trees that provide shade and damp ground areas beneath them and provide moisture back into the air, increasing the likelihood of rain. Stop the planting of pines and eucalypts – plants which are adapted for drought conditions and which minimise moisture loss from their leaves and produce resins that encourage wild fires in dry times.

Some Proposed Actions:

  • Develop and environmental code for all city planning decisions , which place predominant weight in planning decisions that ensure minimal disruption to all wildlife, along with specific actions to increase wildlife . Equal species rights is the only survivable option https://www.humansandnature.org/humans-nature-the-right-relationship

  • Apply permaculture strategies for urban planning https://permaculturenews.org/2012/03/07/re-imagining-urban-design-and-city-life/ (and please note that quote there in terms of busineses co-opting open spaces: The enclosure of public spaces, by the same reasoning, is anti-democratic. When shopping malls and office towers eliminate our public squares, our parks and our promenades, we lose our capacity to see each other, to socialize and speak publicly, to identify and empathize with each other, to be commoners. Without these spaces, we are forced into playing roles dictated by the Market or the State.

  • Develop city planning processes that are aligned with human and other species centric behaviour https://centerforthelivingcity.org/janejacobs. Develop a city whose structures and systems fosters and celebrates other species in our presence, that encourages interactions between all members of its human society (the poor, the unemployed, the wealthy , the young and the old) , that promotes safety, connection and wellbeing for all.

  • Replant most large lawn areas owned by the council with native and edible plantings. And stop putting toxic acid bark as mulch. Pine bark kills most of the native insects and other organisms for some soil depth – mulch with living plants.

  • Completely eliminate immediately the spraying of weedicides to keep berns and other grassed areas “tidy”.

  • Develop a city by-law to limit the concreting over of properties – all new driveways remain gravelled and unsealed .This will allow the soil to breathe underneath and permit the multiple soil species in that area to survive. It will also allow rain water to soak into the ground and help create more life, rather than being siphoned off into concrete storm-water drains and into the sea.

  • Extensively replant all stream, river and estuarine boundaries to the water’s edge with plants natural to those habitat areas. This will reduce erosion, silting up and improve water quality, and greatly improve the diversity of all species surviving in the area and beyond the water.

  • Severely restrict fishing in all areas close to the shore. Such fishing is helping (along with the commercial companies) to destroy our oceans, by eliminating essential breeding grounds for fish and other marine animals.

  • Stop the development of more commercial areas unless they are densely planted with native and other species.

  • Provide extensive education training and practical opportunities for communities to ensure their neighbourhoods are safe places for all species. (learn how to provide natural habitats, how to plant your backyard, compost etc etc ) Develop a free city-wide ‘creative commons’ of internet shared space for creating community, connection and environmental sustainability.

  • Develop public transport systems that are innovative and flexible and light- eg shared transport options that are modelled on electric scooter technology, and also encourage community interaction.

  • Encourage local small scale human activities that work alongside nature. Develop community garden initiatives, seed sharing clubs, local community planting initiatives…

  • Significantly extend and improve the filtering and natural oxidation processes for sewer discharge. More swamp ponds and natural screening filters to ensure all sewage and other industrial water discharges are naturally filtered and no untreated discharges occur in extreme weather events (events which are becoming more and more frequent!)

  • RE-PLANT!

Venezuela Madness

President Trump has  recognised as President of Venezuela, a man  who  has never stood for the Presidential  role  but who presides over  the Venezuelan  national  assembly: Juan Guaidó— a man  who  the New York Times (1/22/19) describes as “virtually unheard-of”—and who has now – at  the behest of the Trump administration- proclaimed himself the country’s new leader. Guaido  was elected President of the National Assembly of Venezuela in December 2018, and was sworn in on 5 January 2019.  He appears to  have strong links into  the American  neocon  ‘thinktank’  and policy   systems and strongly supports  the United States  re- taking more ownership  of Venezuela’s extensive oil  reserves, (the largest in  the world)  and the privatisation of many state-run  services which  currently fund health  and welfare  in Venezuela.  In  addition,  according to  ConsortiumNews,  he hads a long history  of involvement in  the violence associated with Popular Will party  which   formed the shock troops of the guarimbas that caused the deaths of police officers and common citizens alike. He had even boasted of his own participation in street riots. And now, to win the hearts and minds of the military and police, Guaido had to erase this blood-soaked history.   According to  Consortium News, Within 48 hours, Guaidó quickly tried to seize control of Venezuela’s major US-based oil refiner and use its revenue to help bankroll his US-backed coup regime.  Guaidó is attempting to fire the directors of Citgo Petroleum, which is owned by Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA, and seeks to appoint his own new board……This plan would involve the creation of a “new hydrocarbons agency” that would “offer bidding rounds for projects in natural gas and conventional, heavy and extra-heavy crude.” In other words, these are rapid moves to privatize Venezuela’s oil and open the door for multinational corporations. As David Pear notes- this is essentially a racist  white supremacist  counter-revolution 

The current President of Venezuela is Nicolas Maduro,  who  was  re-elected in  a disputed election ( ie some of  the opposition parties  chose not to  run  a candidate and then disputed the election)  in January  2019 . Maduro has used increasingly repressive measures to  maintain  his powerbase and repress  opposition, whilst  confronting increasingly violent  opposition groups.  Telesur (a news agency funded by the Government of Venezuela and  other governments such as CubaNicaraguaUruguay, and Bolivia ), notes that the ‘National Assembly has been in a situation of contempt of court for almost two years. After the election of deputies in December 2015, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) candidates in Amazon State filed a complaint because their opponents had purchased votes to win the election. The court subsequently condemned the fraud and the Electoral Power Tribunal demanded that the election for these three seats be redone. Since the Speaker of the National Assembly refused to comply with the judicial and electoral authorities, the National Assembly was declared in “contempt of court.” Decisions and votes emanating from the legislative power are therefore null and void as long as the speaker of the National Assembly fails to authorize the return to the polls.”

The United States has implemented wide-ranging sanctions against the  Maduro  administration since 2014 ,  claiming that it is a dictatorial regime. The sanctions ,  along with  declining oil  prices and to  a lesser extent, structural  failures by  the socialist  Bolivarian presidents, Chavez and Maduro  administrations ,  has resulted in  an  economic disaster for Venezuela,  with  rampant inflation  and high  unemployment . The working classes and peasants who  formerly supported the Maduro  government because of its extensive redistribution of state owned oil  wealth  and its  health and social  policies, appear now to be  increasingly angry  with  the Maduro  administration for the economic failures they have recently endured.  Mainstream  media in  the West  and many Western  politicians are now able to  insist that  it is solely the  socialist  agenda of the Chavez/Maduro  administrations  that  has caused this economic crisis, while  ignoring the very  deliberate attempts by  the United States to de-stabilise the country  over an extended period of years via sanctions and supporting an  attempted coup  in 2002,  and using its pressure with other Latin American  states to  isolate the Venezulean  administration.

The United States and its Western  and Latin American ‘allies’  have a desperate need to  invalidate the socialist  wealth  distribution policies of Venezuela;  both  to  ensure its corporate elites, the “comprador”,  continue to  receive their ‘rightful’  incomes, and bank  accounts in  Miami , but also  to  ensure that their home populations do  not begin  to understand that  state ownership  and wealth  distribution is a very  valid and effective method to ensure a  sustainable and fair world. (where would we be -God forgive!!-if we had an equitable, efficient, sustainable   and accountable economic process that  ensured a country’s assets actually returned to  all  of its population?)

 The appointment of Elliot Abrams by  the Trump  administration to  coordinate ‘diplomatic’  efforts to  replace Mafuro is a clear indication of the regime change efforts of the United States. The contemptible Abrams was heavily involved in  the  coordination of terrorist activities by  the  Reagan  era contras in Nicaragua and El Salvador, and would clearly be  a key contender for  long-term incarceration if there was in  fact a neutral   international  War Crimes Tribunal. As the Guardian  article on  the 2002 notes:  the crucial figure around the coup was Abrams, who operates in the White House as senior director of the National Security Council for ‘democracy, human rights and international opera tions’. He was a leading theoretician of the school known as ‘Hemispherism’, which put a priority on combating Marxism in the Americas.

What  Guaido and his American  neocon  advisors seem  to fail to  understand,  is that his possible ascension to  the Venezuelan presidency  ( a re-run of the coup  of  the U.S.  2002 attempted coup ), while  allowing the US regime to  remove sanctions and its stranglehold over the Venezuelan  economy,  will  inevitably lead to  a nationalist  backlash  in Venezuela as it becomes clear that  the majority of the country’s resources are being sold off  to  US corporates and the IMF,  with  possible negative implications  for the  recently installed intellectually impaired Bolsonaro  extreme right wing administration  in neighbouring   Brasil-as it becomes clear who  is pulling the strings in  that  country.

In addition,  as the centre of global  power inexorably moves from  the United States to  China , Latin American  states aligned to  increasingly erratic  and violent U.S. corporate and  state imperialist  ambitions, will  find themselves isolated.

What  is also  equally disturbing is the alacrity which  which  EU nations have fallen in line behind the United States’ sponsored coup  in Venezuela. Their insistence on  interference in  another country’s domestic issues and their pronouncements on who is the ‘legitimate’  ruler of Venezuela do  not bode well  for human  rights and the international  rule of law.

Postscript: Stansfield Smith  at  Covert Action lists  a damning history of U.S.  intervention  in Venezuela and beyond

See another unpleasant history of U.S.  intervention  in  Venezuela here at  Telesur https://www.telesurenglish.net//opinion/The-History—and-Hypocrisy—of-US-Meddling-in-Venezuela–20190128-0016.html?

https://www.telesurenglish.net/opinion/Understanding-Venezuelas-Crisis-An-Interview-With-Guillaume-Long-20190129-0005.html

https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/venezuela-why-capitalism-not-socialism-blame-corruption?

History of US Interventions in Latin America (courtesy of @asadabukhalil on Twitter.)

Or read David Pear’s analysis that  this is essentially   a racist  counter-revolution http://www.unz.com/article/us-and-canada-are-backing-an-elite-white-supremacist-minority-in-venezuela/ 


Links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_Guaid%C3%B3

The Making of Juan Guaidó: US Regime-Change Laboratory Created Venezuela’s Coup Leader

https://venezuelanalysis.com/video/14253

https://www.telesurenglish.net/opinion/Ongoing-Coup-in-Venezuela-What-If-Same-Scenario-Happens-in-France-20190126-0007.html

https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Bank-of-England-Refuse-to-Return-US1.2BN-Venezuelan-Gold—20190127-0003.html

Yet Another U.S. Coup Attempt to Eradicate the Bolivarian Revolution

Venezuela’s US-Backed Coup Leader Immediately Targets State Oil Company and Requests IMF Money

US Backs Coup in Oil-Rich Venezuela, Right-Wing Opposition Plans Mass Privatization and Hyper-Capitalism

https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Bank-of-England-Refuse-to-Return-US1.2BN-Venezuelan-Gold—20190127-0003.html

‘Resistance’ Media Side With Trump to Promote Coup in Venezuela

 

The Madness of Military Intervention in Venezuela

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/01/venezuela-trumps-coup-attempt-is-based-on-a-seriously-flawed-plan.html

The Vultures of Caracas

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/venezuela-us-sanctions-united-nations-oil-pdvsa-a8748201.html

Your Complete Guide to the N.Y. Times’ Support of U.S.-Backed Coups in Latin America

“Death to Wikileaks”: the battle for truth

The recent Guardian article penned by  Luke Harding – of famed ‘the Russians are invading Ukraine with  a convoy of (mythical)  tanks”  and other anti-Russian hysteria,  and  co-author Dan Collyns,  alleges that  Paul  Manafort, U.S.  convicted felon and former Republican  campaign  chief for Donald Trump’s election campaign, met  and conspired with  Julian  Assange of Wikileaks  to  ensure Hilary  Clinton was not elected President.

The authors of the Guardian story, Dan Collyns and Luke Harding, were in Ecuador recently with Equadorian , Fernando Villavicencio, who ‘assisted’  with this story  and who they had previously worked  with on  other  evidence -free  stories. Villavicencio ( Fernando Villavicencio, oil exsindicalista refugee in the US)  has fabricated claims about people visiting Assange in the past. In May he claimed Farage visited Assange on 28 April  2009, a month after Ecuador initiated its 8 month-long isolation of Assange, banning phone calls, all visits and  internet. Assange’s isolation at  the Embassy coincided  with the  defeat of Ecuadorean president  Rafael  Correa to  U.S.  supporter Lenin Moreno. The Guardian article states ; based on  the allegations from  Villavicencio,  that Manafort entered the Equadorian  Embassy  in London  where Assange is currently in  refuge,  and spoke   to  Assange, on  several occasions.  But as  Craig Murray  notes ,  the Equadorian Embassy  security files,  let alone the London Police records,   strangely show no  evidence of such  meetings.  Embassy employees who were there during that entire time period  also say they never saw Manafort or heard of his visit.

Assange and Wikileaks; and also  separately,  Paul Manafort, are  now proposing legal  action  against  the Guardian.  Wikileaks is raising money here for their legal  appeal. In likely response to these legal  threats, the Guardian has now edited its original  story  to  soften  the tone  of the allegations.  See the edits here  at   https://www.newssniffer.co.uk/articles/1706143/diff/0/1. If both libel  actions are successful  against  the Guardian;  its capacity to   survive financially are questionable -as will be its reputation as a reputable news-source.  Why  then would the Guardian  take such  a risk? It is to be noted that  legal  libel proceeding costs in  the U.K.  can be up to  140  times the costs of similar proceedings in  Europe ( ironically this is a Guardian link) .

Wikileaks’ crime is not only that it did the unpardonable;  it published leaked   information that  accurately and truthfully described war  crimes committed by  both  the U.K. , the US and  other Western states,  but more importantly  Wikileaks also  has put into  question the very  lucrative financial  dealings of the City of London  and also the Maltese government.    Without these illegal   financial dealings,  (primarily via Russian ‘oligarchs’ who  have  fled Russia), it is possible  that  the City of London   and much of the British  economy,  could collapse.

These murky financial  dealings  intermesh  with   much of the  terrorist activities carried out by  Western (particularly U.S.) intelligence agencies  to  ensure  their corporate sponsors  retain  their supplies of cash regardless of the  impacts on  lives  and the local environment. South  American  right wing governments and  their military/intelligence agencies have played a key  role in  these activities –  hence the arrival  of the very  dubious Fernando Villavicencio and his timely allegations of  collusion between  Trump,  Assange and the Russians.

Jimmy Llama notes  many  convoluted links to  neo’liberal’  thinktanks,  shady  corporates and   U.S.   and other individuals    such  as Bill  Browder,  famed for instigating  the U.S. Magnitsky Act ( Russia  has now accused Browder of Magnitsky’s murder) and a key player in  the Russiagate allegations.

These allegations are one of many determined concerted media  efforts to  ensure that once  Assange is  no  longer under the protection of the Ecuadorian  London  Embassy,  there will  be limited public backlash   against  those governments responsible for his subsequent  deportation to  the U.S.  –  his show-trial and likely disappearance..

That  process is after all ,  standard practice  already by  the United States and others;  make allegations against  someone you don’t like or need ,  inform  the necessary  Western authorities,   and a  drone   can  eliminate any unnecessary  evidence forthwith.

Julian Assange and Wikileaks have indeed played a very dangerous game-  unmasking the  extremely brutal  and vicious  international  game of exploitation and greed by  those  in  positions of power  in  the name of “democracy and freedom”…


Links

 

https://theintercept.com/2018/11/27/it-is-possible-paul-manafort-visited-julian-assange-if-true-there-should-be-ample-video-and-other-evidence-showing-this/

Assange Never Met Manafort. Luke Harding and the Guardian Publish Still More Blatant MI6 Lies

https://www.latimes.com/ct-julian-assange-russian-visa-20180917-story.html

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/nov/27/manafort-held-secret-talks-with-assange-in-ecuadorian-embassy

https://www.couragefound.org/2018/11/the-guardian-publishes-fabricated-claims-of-paul-manafort-visiting-assange/

https://www.gofundme.com/wikileaks-suing-the-guardian-over-manafort-story

https://archive.fo/9w6Zv

The Fate of Julian Assange: Chris Hedges Interviews Consortium News Editor-in-Chief Joe Lauria

A Written Guide to the Guardian’s Smear Campaign Against Assange

The Truth About Fernando Villavicencio, the Guardian’s Source for Their Anti-Assange Campaign

Russiagate Part One: The Story That Everyone Missed

Russiagate Part Two: Malta

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/what-really-killed-sergei-magnitsky-16612

https://wikileaks.org/Statement-Julian-Assange.html

https://justice4assange.com/

Misreporting Manafort: A Case Study in Journalistic Malpractice

https://www.telesurenglish.net/opinion/Why-No-Outrage-Over-Ecuadors-Illegal-Constituent-Assembly-20181130-0016.html

12 Years to Go….

Homo  sapiens are a strange species. They self-proclaim their superiority over other species  because of their  supposed ‘intelligence”, while they  are self-evidently systematically  destroying all aspects of life on  the planet  they rely on  for their survival. We are, branch  by branch,  cutting off all  the limbs of the tree of life that  enables our survival.

One might be forgiven   for thinking that  those actions of destroying life in  exchange for  the creation of inanimate objects might be considered the ultimate in  folly and stupidity;  but apparently this is not the case.

Academics, politicians and researchers continue to promote an undeniably ridiculous self-delusional  note that  more  human ‘progress’  can somehow,   in its ongoing destruction of the natural living world ,  create a new and better world  for humans-  ( a dead world)  Perhaps these Nobel  prize winners will  continue to get  their  university research stipends  from big business  until  their lives become unlive-able in  their hothouse  university offices; part of  that newly ‘progressive’ dead world…where slight-of-hand carbon  trading,  or the wonders of “renewable energy”,  allow us to pretend –  right up  to  the last  moment-  that we are creating a new reality..

A quote from The Guardian about these illustrious Nobel Prize winners…

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the two men had won the prize – which is not one of those originally instigated by Alfred Nobel – because they had “designed methods for addressing some of our time’s most basic and pressing questions about how we create long-term sustained and sustainable economic growth”.

The two men, it continued, had “significantly broadened the scope of economic analysis by constructing models that explain how the market economy interacts with nature and knowledge”.

One of the most recent media  releases from  the Intergovernmental  Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) notes that  global  warming will  certainly   increase  to 1.5C  above previous ‘normal” global  temperature levels in  the next 12 years,  and that  that increase will  dramatically impact  on  human being’s survival  and many other species . Should global  temperature increases reach  2C;  as they  will  without dramatic  intervention,  then the impacts on  all  species will  be catastrophic..

A previous study  by  the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) noted that  species loss is as great  a threat to  humanity (and the rest of the living fabric of the Earth,  as climate change.   It does not appear to  occur to those scientists  that   climate change and species loss are part of the exact same issue:  the commodification of the living world.

I am always reminded when  I go  to  our local  supermarket of this bizarre absurdity- of man making living things into  commodities for human beings ,  when  I see the little plastic  labels on  the fruit and vegetables  being sold there. Human beings have somehow created a collective psychosis  over many millenia that  sees this world we live in as something for use- something outside of us –  rather than  the reality of being intimately and totally connected to  us and essential  for our mutual  survival.

Few,  except  some of the South American  indigenous communities have retained this essential understanding of how our world actually lives and breathes. Human  beings will  only survive on  this planet  if we recognise our intimate and sacred connection to  the rest of our living world.

Is it too  late to start  to  re-learn  this lesson   and begin the  re-greening  of  our world?


Links

http://www.ipcc.ch/news_and_events/pr_181008_P48_spm.shtml

http://report.ipcc.ch/sr15/pdf/sr15_spm_final.pdf

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/08/world-leaders-have-moral-obligation-to-act-after-un-climate-report

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/08/two-us-economists-win-nobel-prize-for-work-on-climate-and-growth-william-nordhaus-paul-romer

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/oct/09/shell-ben-van-beurden-mass-reforestation-un-climate-change-target

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/fate-of-human-race-depends-on-massive-greening-effort/

http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/going-full-circle-growth-planet/

https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/UN-Report-Confronts-Nations-with-Tough-Choices-on-Climate-20180930-0010.html

https://www.fws.gov/nativeamerican/pdf/tek-salmon-2000.pdf

Brazilian Indigenous Guardian of the Amazon Murdered: & Facebook..

In the last few weeks Facebook  has become assiduous in   removing “fake news’  newsposts  from  its servers.  Telesurtv is one such example-  now  reinstated

One might be forgiven for thinking that Facebook  serves interests other than  truth and honesty in  its promotion of the ‘fake news’  meme,  when one looks at just one such  media article listed on  the Telesur website  Telesur is one of the few English language media outlets in  South America that promotes indigenous rights against  the rapaciousness of corporate entities ( predominantly   US-based).

The history of  the U.S. ongoing  intervention in South  America to promote its own  interests ( ie US corporate profits) has resulted in many many thousands  if not  millions of of deaths,  the decades long support of South American tyrannical  regimes ,  death  squads,  torture and the oppression of South America’s working classes, peasants and indigenous population-  as well  as the rape of its incredible environmental heritage for logging and  meat production companies, and the facilitation of the drug trade .

The recent U.S. sanctions against Venezuela are just one more example of the techniques used by  the United States to  destabilize various Latin  American  governments that  do not suit U.S.  corporate interests.

How much longer does South  America have to endure  the tortures of this ignorant  bully from  the North  I wonder? How much longer will  supposedly ‘honest’  American media portray  U.S.  interventions as being upholding ‘freedom  and democracy’?

Sadly this distortion and manipulation  of ‘truth’ by  powerful  American  companies  for the benefit of corrupt  U.S. businessmen has been  an ongoing reality for the past century.

Craig Murray   beautifully outlines  the Facebook  censorship  issues from  another perspective here,  and the  extraordinarily ignorant and inept role of the Atlantic Council. 


Links

https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Brazilian-Indigenous-Leader-Guardian-of-the-Amazon-Murdered-20180816-0009.html?

http://www.yachana.org/teaching/resources/interventions.html

https://www.telesurtv.net/english

Facebook Censorship, Mad Ben Nimmo and the Atlantic Council

A Fiery Dead-end?- or “Feel the Heat…”

Its as though  we are all  watching  in   slow-motion;  a dream  in  which we slide inexorably  towards that massive motorway  firey pileup  – helpless to  change anything and knowing the inevitability of our fate.

The latest July 2018 temperature records: 

UAE: 51.4°C, Africa + Algeria: 51.3°C, Tunisia: 49.2°C, LA: 48.9°C, Baku: 42.7°C, Yerevan : 42.4°C, Japan: 41.1°C, Kabul: 40.5°C, Tbilisi: 40.5°C, Montreal: 36.6°C, Lapland: 33.4°C, Swedish polar circle: 32.5°C, Baltic Sea: 25°C’

And yet, if it were not for almost every  government across the world being in bed with  international  and national  corporations who  drive “progress’  ( ie the destruction of the natural world to create the inanimate world humans enjoy)-   this whole firey end  might have been  (and maybe still  can be )  averted.

Global  warming  needs to be seen as simply one of the symptoms of the catastrophic global  non-human species loss caused by human beings’ insatiable lust  for ‘things” over the past 1000  years-  a tiny timeframe in  geological  terms.

However ,  as a recent study  by  the Stockholm Resilience Centre notes;

“Human emissions of greenhouse gas are not the sole determinant of temperature on Earth. Our study suggests that human-induced global warming of 2°C ( The Paris Accord limit), may trigger other Earth system processes, often called “feedbacks”, that can drive further warming – even if we stop emitting greenhouse gases,” says lead author Will Steffen from the Australian National University and Stockholm Resilience Centre.

According to  the Stockholm Resilience Centre, we have but 3 years to  attempt to  stabilise global  emissions and avert major devastating climate change. We know that renewable energy  has some capacity to  limit global  warming ;  but we also  now that production of renewabl energy  components come at  a massive cost  to  the environment.  We also  know that  man is  ‘requiring’  more and energy  to  fuel his ‘progress’  addiction. Humans have to  dramitacally reduce our energy  consumption if we are all  to  survive.

And how is it that,  in  the face of all  the evidence and the very  visible destruction of our planet’s living fabric, we continue to  press on  to  final  global  destruction?  Simply man’s greed  for transient baubles of ‘wealth’  and power. Humankind prides itself on being a  supremely intelligent  species.

The evidence is out-  to  the contrary- we are the most ignorant of all  species.

What  do  we need? We need a global  body  that  transcends artificial  national  state borders  and that   forces each  nation-state to  rebuild its natural living fabric: beginning with massive tree-planting of native local  species, a forced requirement that  no  non-essential  products  for humans  can be bought and sold ;  an end to  the  so-called global  ‘consumer society” and  a requirement that all  non human  species be prioritised  for their  survival  over any human  “progress”.

Is that  going to happen?……..

Do  we have an alternative?

___________________________________________________________________________

Links

http://medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/2018/875-world-on-fire-climate-breakdown.html

Heatwave in northern Europe, summer 2018

https://www.thoughtco.com/global-warming-inevitable-this-century-3322005

http://www.stockholmresilience.org/research/research-news/2018-08-06-planet-at-risk-of-heading-towards-hothouse-earth-state.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Agreement

https://www.nature.com/news/three-years-to-safeguard-our-climate-1.22201

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2018/07/31/1810141115

How to Kill Off a Vibrant Green World in 6 Easy Lessons

From: THE MODERN WORLD BOOK OF WONDERS BY PAUL TOWNEND (1950)
  1. Allow One species to  completely dominate all  other species on  the planet in  numbers .
  2. Give that  species the capacity to  modify  the living  environment to  suit its own  purposes.
  3. Give that  species an understanding that it has a right to  eliminate all  species that  are not immediately useful  to  it.
  4. Give that species an  understanding that it is superior to  all  other species  using criteria based on  its own  species’  traits.
  5. Give that  species an understanding that  dead inanimate things that amuse it are more important than other living things.
  6. Give it limited powers of empathy and understanding towards other species that  are not its own.

A tragic and heart-bleeding video below  of a Borneo  orangutan  futilely trying to  fight off a mechanical digger which has destroyed its beautiful   home  and its  sustenance and countless more other living  things that will  be  forever no  more ( note the  condescending language used of “seemingly defending its home “. ) for a  few dollars in  pay  for the loggers and a few thousands of dollars to  the logging company.  This is why  we are destroying the only home we will  ever have –  our beautiful  earth.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/orangutan-defends-jungle-home-video-digger-ape-borneo-indonesia-deforestation-a8387836.html

Not just in Borneo,  but all  over the world for the last three  thousand years , we have destroyed the trees and living world that made this world our home – for no purpose whatsoever…..


Links

https://www.ipbes.net/news/media-release-updated-biodiversity-nature%E2%80%99s-contributions-continue-dangerous-decline-scientists

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/21/human-race-just-001-of-all-life-but-has-destroyed-over-80-of-wild-mammals-study

http://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/early/2018/05/15/1711842115.full.pdf

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/07/12/exti-j12.html

https://phys.org/news/2018-02-biodiversity-loss-extinction-cascades.html

https://weather.com/science/environment/news/2018-03-26-animals-extinction-water-loss-climate-change-study

http://davidattenborough.wikia.com/wiki/The_First_Eden

 

Faking News

As the great journalist John Pilger notes in  his 1st April  2018  article about the Ecuadorean  Government’s silencing of Julian Assange , we are being subjected to  a constant battering on  many fronts to  ensure we only listen to the ‘right’  information about the world around us.

The demonisation  of Russia can partly be explained by  Western Government’s concerns about the role of RT.com  providing an  alternative meme ( in most cases as legitimate -and often more so   than its Western news-agency  counterparts) to that  expressed through what is termed Mainstream media (MSM) . Mainstream Media is in  essence, western media which  toe the dominant  political party line –  whether it be anti-Russian,  anti-Trump,  pro-‘intervention’ ( read  ‘killing’)  in  other countries, or most importantly,  pro-consumerism.

But this attempted silencing of alternative media stories, no  matter how legitimate or truthful they  are, not only extends to  foreign  entities like Russia or China ,  it also  includes any  highly visible figures like Assange  who  do not espouse what is known to be ‘right’ by  our esteemed leaders, and the multitude of internet  bloggers who  research  and analyse the stories behind the stories.

The recent bizarre attempt by western governments and MSM,  to conflate alternative opinion as ‘fake news”,  borders on  the psychotic.  It  is a  witchhunt against  those who do  not respect  the  often  infantile repetitive lies told in  the MSM or by  apparently intellectually impaired politicians such  as U.K’s Foreign  Secretary  Boris Johnson, or for that  matter  Donald Trump. By  now the old lies about  the reasons we must fight  wars in  ‘foreign’ lands  for ‘freedom  and democracy”  or  to “save civilians”, are wearing remarkable thin.

Thus the  ‘establishment’ is now flailing around for a further reason why  we should just  accept that   the mass-killing  of ‘other’ people is good for them. In  John Pilger’s belief,  this media frenzy  against  those who detour from  the party line is  a  significant threat to  the establishment, with the intended  war against  Russia and China looming and the drums beating ever louder – they can  not afford a dissenting “fifth column” in  their midst who  can undermine the thirst  for war or the need for civilians to rally behind the flag.

As the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal  has made clear;  it is not just  Russia and the ‘enemy’  who  is manipulating public opinion through  ‘slanted stories’ and  twitter bots! SCL, Cambridge Analytica’s British parent company,  prides itself on  its capacity to manipulate public opinion in  both  foreign lands and internally in  the UK.  We can be sure that there are many other western  companies and intelligence services who, despite their actual  minimal real intelligence,  aim  to manipulate public opinion at  home and abroad. In the United States, this is an  easy  task. The vast majority of Americans have limited education,  no understanding of foreign countries and no memory  for history-  an ideal  subject for manipulation!

In the United States therefore we have something passed into  law by  Congress  in  2016  called

The Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act would ensure America’s national security infrastructure helps counter the false narratives that harm our security — delivering truthful information and making the world a safer place for the United States and our allies.”

Note .. that as written into the NDAA, the legislation’s provisions establish an inter-agency body “to track and evaluate counterfactual narratives abroad that threaten the national security interests of the United States and United States allies,” and to develop “procedures to expose and refute foreign misinformation and disinformation and proactively promote fact-based narratives and policies to audiences outside the United States.”

Where the ‘facts”  come that  the public needs re-education on,  and the ‘false facts’  that  the public needs protection from,  do  not of course need to  be stated. Our respective governments always know best! -don’t they??

As we have seen in  the ludicrous litany  of lies put out by  the British government  around the Salisbury  nerve gas poisoning affair, all  the key  mainstream  UK and other Western media have jumped in lock-step to  push the U.K government Russian-basking charges without once examining the implausibility of the  facts presented. Whether these media agencies and their journalists  are  paid,  bribed, coerced or blackmailed into  regurgitating this British  propaganda, is unknown  at  this point,

This is of course not something new.  State entities  have always attempted to manipulate their publics to ensure compliance to  the  official  line -whether it be going to  war, or maximising the potential threats of other states  to  maximise profits for the corporates who  fund the ruling “elite” . In  all  cases, the states’ manipulatory processes are for  short-term  gain and almost  inevitably have a long term negative impact  on  their public.

The most telling  and catastrophically fatal example of this flaw in  our ‘democracies”, is the media  and political drive for corporates to produce more ‘things’  and for their publics to consume more things.  All analysis shows that in  a closed system  like our little world, this drive inevitably leads to  planetary disaster – but it helps keep  political  parties in  power…for now….


Postscript

A  useful analysis of military  propaganda here from Adam  Ramsay here 

Note also  the “The Times” (U.K.) fascinating attempt to shut down academic dissent around the  U.K. government’s version of events in  Syria 

 


Links

http://johnpilger.com/articles/the-isolation-of-julian-assange-is-the-silencing-of-us-all

Roger Stone: Obama’s National Censorship Board is Very Real

https://2009-2017.state.gov/r/gec/  Global Engagement Center (U.S.)

The Poison in our Body Politic

Control 101: Creating Consensus Reality

https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/philip-hammond/syria-stop-asking-questions

The Essential Alternative to Animal Slaughter

Freezing works” (ie slaughter house ) in New Zealand; from Teara.govt.nz

A recent front page article in  my local New Zealand newspaper disparaging   the future on  non meat based proteins, prompted  me to  respond.

In  2016 New Zealand mercilessly slaughtered 28,387,595 lambs,  adult sheep,  calves,  adult steers and cows,  pigs,  and goats; with young lambs totalling over  18 million of those deaths. Two of the major “meat companies’  in  New Zealand respectively  had an income from  those deaths of  just over $10 million  and $17 million. Animals  are indoctrinated to  become used to being shifted from  pasture to  pasture with  dogs and men on  farm  bikes;  and then , when  the  killing season  starts, are herded into  tightly packed   fenced areas and  forced onto   truck  and trailer units  for the long tortuous drive to  the ‘meatworks’.

Teara.govt.nz notes that  ‘in 2009 there were about 80 meat-processing plants in New Zealand, employing about 26,500 people and exporting to about 150 countries.’

A recent article in  the New York Times noted a research study  where sheep  were able to  distinguish  between the faces of different humans;-  hardly a surprise to most of us who  have emotional  connections to  our pets, but obviously so  to the scientists. (https://nypost.com/2017/11/08/sheep-learn-to-recognize-emma-watsons-face )
What it therefore correspondingly tells us  is that  those millions of  sheep   and other animals  we kill for fun  and profit every year  in New Zealand  who  are  transported to  the killing fields of the abattoirs around New Zealand and then  savagely killed and cut up; are very well  aware of the  pure terror they  and their  fellow beings  have to  endure before they die and are consumed for pleasure by  humans..

There is  undeniable scientific evidence that  humankind’s reliance on meat  production has  contributed significantly to the  vast loss of species habitat  across the world ( and particularly so in New Zealand ) ,which will  if not checked in  the near future, along with its impact  on  climate change,  lead to  the destruction of all  life on this planet.

The other ‘unfortunate truth’  is that  there is irrefutable evidence that  every  new element of human ‘progress’  results in  the destruction of more and more species on this planet-  species which  which  humans are in direct  connection for our mutual  survivability.

Look  around,  almost every  aspect of what  we call  ‘progress’  is  our relentless transfer of the living and vibrant to  the inanimate-  the concrete, the tar,   the electronics, the cut down  trees…….we are inexorably deadening the planet  with our ‘progress”.

In addition recent studies of insect  populations  in Europe reveal  rapid declines in  flying insects likely due to  monoculture, deforestation and  insecticides. Without insects,  we all  die ;  rapidly

Consequently we have no  choice as a species than  to give up  killing our fellow species for protein and profit   and begin  to  live a more sustainable and humane  life-  and we have to make that change very  soon!

Links

The Nonhuman Rights Project https://www.nonhumanrights.org/