Author: Vaska

The 6th mass extinction is a product of capitalism — not population growth

by Barnaby Philips, 25 August, 2017, via RCG ‘Every particular mode of production has its own special laws of population, which are historically valid within that particular sphere. An abstract law of population exists only for plants and animals and even then only in the absence of any historical intervention by man’ – Karl Marx, Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 25, pp783-784 ‘You don’t need to be a scientist to know what’s causing the sixth mass extinction,’ began Professor Paul R. Ehrlich in a Guardian article on 11 July. Given the ‘developed’ imperialist world’s throwaway consumerism and the well-documented destruction of the environment by multinational corporations, it should indeed be fairly obvious. Ehrlich however names one main culprit: population growth. His solution? Some unspecified form of ‘humane’ population reduction. Apparently the reason you don’t need to be a scientist is because the pseudo-science of eugenics suffices. Ehrlich must be refuted with science.  It is capitalism’s need for infinite economic growth that is destroying life on earth. Ehrlich is best known for his 1968 book The Population Boom, which warned that …

The German Election: The West’s Nervous Breakdown Continues

by Gregory Barrett, September 25, 2017 Following Sunday’s nationwide parliamentary election here in Germany I can hear the mocking laughter of 1989’s ghost, echoing throughout Europe and around the world. The great victory march of the “Free Market” Religion, which featured pompous, self-righteous politicians, pundits, and other worshippers at the altar of Big Finance strutting and crowing in the years following the fall of the Wall about the final demise and alleged failure of the supposedly evil and misguided socialist idea, has come to a grinding halt. The rapid growth of the anti-immigrant, anti-EU party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) in Germany – which received almost 13% of the vote and will now be the third biggest party in the new Bundestag or parliament — has been driven, above all, by widespread rage and frustration in Germany’s Eastern states, the former communist German Democratic Republic (Deutsche Demokratische Republik, DDR), over the broken promises made at the time of German reunification regarding “blooming landscapes” (former Chancellor Helmut Kohl) and the associated affluence that was to be expected …

Actors and other Useful Idiots for Empire

by Cindy Sheehan In 2005 while I was roasting for peace under the hot Texas sun at Camp Casey in Crawford, Tx, Rob Reiner sent his wife Michelle and a crew there to film a commercial with me. Before the end of 2005, a lot of the people/groups who supported our antiwar effort kicked us to the curb when they figured out we really were against war and not just against Bush’s wars. The Reiners were among the ones that I discovered didn’t so much care about the wars, but cared more about getting Demo-quacks elected. Soon after Camp Casey temporarily shut-down that summer, I was invited to the Reiner’s house to have a meeting. I was never the kind of person who got all twittery over so-called celebrities, but if the Reiners could help our cause, I was anxious to further our collaboration. Rob Reiner and his team had already offered to do the paperwork and pay for getting Gold Star Families for Peace (my organization at the time) non-profit (501c3) status which we …

The Killing of History

by John Pilger, September 21, 2017 One of the most hyped “events” of American television, The Vietnam War, has started on the PBS network. The directors are Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.  Acclaimed for his documentaries on the Civil War, the Great Depression and the history of jazz, Burns says of his Vietnam films, “They will inspire our country to begin to talk and think about the Vietnam war in an entirely new way”. In a society often bereft of historical memory and in thrall to the propaganda of its “exceptionalism”, Burns’ “entirely new” Vietnam war is presented as “epic, historic work”. Its lavish advertising campaign promotes its biggest backer, Bank of America, which in 1971 was burned down by students in Santa Barbara, California, as a symbol of the hated war in Vietnam. Burns says he is grateful to “the entire Bank of America family” which “has long supported our country’s veterans”.  Bank of America was a corporate prop to an invasion that killed perhaps as many as four million Vietnamese and ravaged and poisoned …

According to Emmanuel Macron, the days of popular sovereignty are over

by Thierry Meyssan, September 5, 2017, via VoltaireNet Delivering a keynote speech before the most senior of French diplomats, President Macron revealed his conception of the world and the way in which he intends to use the tools at his disposal. According to him, there will be no more popular sovereignty, neither in France, nor in Europe, and therefore no more national or supra-national democracies. Neither will there be any more collective interest, no more Republic, but an ill-defined catalogue of things and ideas which compose the common good. Describing their new programme of work to the ambassadors, he informed them that they should no longer defend the values of their country, but find opportunities to act in the name of the European Leviathan. Entering into the details of certain conflicts, he described a programme of economic colonisation of the Levant and Africa. Participating in the traditional Ambassadors’ Week, President Macron gave his first general speech on foreign policy since his arrival at the Elysée Palace [1]. In this article, all the quotations in inverted commas …

Signs Indicate Trump Continuing Obama’s Support for Al Qaeda in Syria

by Eric Zuesse, September 22, 2017 According to a report issued on September 22nd by the most accurate reporter on the current status of forces in the war against Syria — the anonymous military and geostrategic blogger who owns, and posts exclusively at, the “Moon of Alabama” blog — the effort by the previous U.S. President Barack Obama in support of Al Qaeda in Syria, is continuing under the current U.S. President Donald Trump. However, that report isn’t the only indication of Trump’s continuing Obama’s war against Syria, and of the U.S. Government’s continuing pro-Al-Qaeda policy in Syria. And, furthermore, the U.S. Government even supports ISIS in Syria when ISIS is being attacked by Syria’s secular and non-sectarian Government, which Government the U.S. Government has been trying to overthrow and replace by Saud-financed fundamentalist-Sunni Islamists, ever since 1949. Back on 14 October 2016, Patrick Cockburn appropriately headlined in Britain’s Independent, “We finally know what Hillary Clinton knew all along – US allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar are funding ISIS”, but any reference to the government …

U.S. Near Bottom in Public Trust of Newsmedia

by Eric Zuesse According to the most extensive study ever done of the public’s usages of, and trust in, the news media in their country — a study that (in late January early February) scientifically sampled thousands of people in each one of 36 different industrialized countries — the United States scored #28, which was in the bottom 22% of all 36 nations, regarding the public’s trust of the news media.  However, the average American had a 53% level of trust in the news-sources he or she is relying on.  The country with the highest level of trust in the news media generally was Finland, where 61% of the population trust the nation’s news media.  Two countries were tied for the last place in trusting the media among the 36 nations surveyed, both scoring a 23% level of trust: Greece, and Korea.  All of the countries that scored below the U.S. (in order increasingly less-trusting than America, down to the very bottom) were: The Czech Republic, Hungary, Taiwan, France, Malaysia, Slovakia, and then, Greece and …

Open Letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations

by Simon Wood, September 20, 2017 “As a responsible nuclear weapons state, our republic will not use a nuclear weapon unless its sovereignty is encroached upon by an aggressive hostile force with nuclear weapons. The DPRK will faithfully fulfill its obligation for non-proliferation and strive for global denuclearization.” – Kim Jong Un, May 8, 2016 Attention: António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations Sir, I am writing in regard to a speech given by US President Donald Trump to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) earlier this week, in particular the following excerpt: “The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.” As Secretary-General you are sworn to uphold the principles enshrined in the United Nations charter. Article 1: [The Purposes of the United Nations are:] [1.] To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of …

Korea Solution Needs US to Sign a Peace Treaty

by Finian Cunningham, via Strategic Culture Germany and France have backed the stance of Russia and China for negotiations to avert the Korea crisis. South Korea and Japan also seem to be amenable to recent calls by Russian President Vladimir Putin for exclusively diplomatic efforts. Any other option in the alarming standoff with North Korea over its nuclear weapons program portends disaster. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has endorsed the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran as a model for possible negotiations. That puts the United States on the margin of international consensus, with its repeated threats to use military force as an option against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea). Last week, following another North Korean ballistic missile test that overflew Japan, US President Donald Trump’s top national security adviser reiterated Washington’s self-declared right to use pre-emptive military force, tacitly including the deployment of nuclear weapons. «For those who have been commenting on a lack of a military option, there is a military option», said General HR McMaster to reporters in Washington. While McMaster and President Trump, as …

America is Regressing into a Developing Nation for Most People

by Lynn Parramore, April 20, 2017, via Institute for New Economic Thinking A new book by economist Peter Temin finds that the U.S. is no longer one country, but dividing into two separate economic and political worlds You’ve probably heard the news that the celebrated post-WW II beating heart of America known as the middle class has gone from “burdened,” to “squeezed” to “dying.”  But you might have heard less about what exactly is emerging in its place. In a new book, The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy, Peter Temin, Professor Emeritus of Economics at MIT, draws a portrait of the new reality in a way that is frighteningly, indelibly clear:  America is not one country anymore. It is becoming two, each with vastly different resources, expectations, and fates. Two roads diverged In one of these countries live members of what Temin calls the “FTE sector” (named for finance, technology, and electronics, the industries which largely support its growth). These are the 20 percent of Americans who enjoy college educations, have good …

Google offers to take food pictures for me

by Denis Churilov, September 20, 2017 You know you’re boring when even the NSA doesn’t bother collecting data on you. I feel sorry for the large IT-corporations, though.  Unlike government agencies, I give them my personal information voluntarily just by using their services, so they HAVE TO store and analyse it all (regardless of whether they want to) to find patterns for target advertisements (not that there is much variety in the data about my life… just saying). Whenever I go to a local restaurant, Google Search app notices it through GPS-tracking and offers me to take pictures and write a review.  So thoughtful of it.  It always knows what I’m up to and what I’m about to have (pfff, as if I’m impressed by it; the staff in all local fast-food stores know me by my name and what I’m going to order at any given day of the week too).  I’m wondering when will my phone start sending me notifications saying something like “What?  Nado’s?  This place again?  Really?  Denis, have you ever …

The Rohingya Psyops: Waging Covert War on Myanmar

The United Nations has accused the Government of Myanmar of committing ‘genocide’ against the Rohingya Muslim minority in the country’s troubled Rakhine State. In recent weeks the crisis in Myanmar has escalated, with human rights groups and NGOs publishing copious denunciations of the alleged human rights abuses and mass murder committed by the Myanmar Armed Forces, (Tatmadaw). The Myanmar government claims that they are fighting a war on terrorism against forces which seek to destabilise the state, Islamist forces in particular. They also claim that the so-called ethnic minority commonly referred to as ‘Rohingya’ are really illegal East Bengali immigrants.

We Lived Better Then

by Stephen Gowans Over two decades ago Vaclav Havel, the pampered scion of a wealthy Prague family, helped usher in a period of reaction, in which the holdings and estates of former landowners and captains of industry were restored to their previous owners, while unemployment, homelessness, and insecurity—abolished by the Reds– were put back on the agenda. Havel is eulogized by the usual suspects, but not by his numberless victims, who were pushed back into an abyss of exploitation by the Velvet revolution and other retrograde eruptions. With the fall of Communism allowing Havel and his brother to recover their family’s vast holdings, Havel’s life—he worked in a brewery under Communism—became much richer. The same can’t be said for countless others, whose better lives under Communism were swept away by a swindle that will, in the coming days, be lionized in the mass media on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s demolition. The anniversary is no time for celebration, except for the minority that has profited from it. For the bulk …

Is Sri Lanka being used by big powers to make the Indian Ocean another South China Sea?

by Lasanda Kurukulasuriya, September 17, 2017, via Defend Democracy Press The Indian Ocean Conference (IOC) organised by the India Foundation and held at the Sri Lankan Prime Minister’s official residence ‘Temple Trees’ from Aug. 31 to Sept.1, was billed as a gathering of Indian Ocean Region countries and ‘other concerned nations’ with a view to advancing ‘Peace, Progress and Prosperity” in the Indian Ocean. While this is no doubt a laudable goal, the absence of perspectives from regional players like China and Pakistan points to somewhat more partisan objectives than those advertised. The delegate described as ‘Principal, Ambassadors’ LLC Group, China’ was actually an American citizen, and while there was ambiguity as to the interests she represented it would be safe to surmise that she did not represent the People’s Republic of China. However, the US, also an external power, was represented by its Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Central and South Asia, Alice Wells. A post on the Conference’s Facebook page points to objectives not revealed elsewhere. It describes the gathering as being …

Terror in Myanmar as US faces off against China

by Sean Stinson China’s Belt and Road Initiative portends a monumental transformation of the global economic order; one which poses an existential threat to the Pax Americana which has existed since the end of the Cold War. Understanding this context is critical to making sense of the current hysteria gushing from the NGO-Industrial complex and being fuelled by Western liberal punditry. As I’ve argued previously, decisions taken by the Trump administration since January indicate a shift in US foreign policy. No longer concerned with waging petty wars on behalf of the Israel lobby and the billionaire class, attention has been focused acutely on Asia, and in particular China. Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon was quite forthright about this in his August 16 interview with American Prospect magazine in which he stated unequivocally “To me, the economic war with China is everything. We have to be maniacally focused on that. If we continue to lose it, we’re five years away, I think, 10 years at the most, of hitting an inflection point from which we’ll never …

The Bloviations of Christiane Amanpour, Queen of Fake News

by Sassy Surstein, December 11, 2016 The last week has peppered my feed with a clip of Amanpour accepting an award from the Committee to Protect Journalists, those most valuable of all citizens if you ask a journalist. Having worked in “alternative” foreign-policy journalism for years, I’m familiar with this walking talking intel op’s career shilling for US foreign policy, and it ain’t pretty. But watching this speech made me actually feel my face turning red, my heart pump a little harder. This hack had the gall to warn us about the dangers of “fake news.” This, from the mouthpiece who had a major hand in the media demonization of the Serbian people that made it easier for the US to intervene in the Balkans wars and finish off the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. They bombed Serbia for 78 days, killing around 500 people. She also sneered at the “kangaroo courts” journalists often find themselves in after being accused of subversion (in bad non-Western countries, of course). In that room perhaps only she might recognize …

If you don’t see that Washington is driving to war with Russia, you are a dumbshit American

by Stephen Lendman In response to the Trump administration’s illegal seizure and search of Russian diplomatic properties in San Francisco, a total violation of diplomatic immunity, Vladimir Putin responded to a reporter’s question, saying “Trump is not my bride, and I am not his bride or groom.” He and other Russian officials remain understandably furious. US government hostility toward Russia is unrelenting. At the weekly press briefing of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova commented on the deplorable action, mocking State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert’s explanation, including Nauert’s claim that Washington seeks normal relations with Moscow. “How does the illegality that is happening on the territory of the Russian Federation building, which formerly housed the Russian General Consulate in San Francisco, contribute to normalizing the situation,” Zakharova asked? “Why are agents of the US government whom we do not know and whom we have not invited violating our property for who knows what reason? Do these illegal intrusions also ‘contribute to the normalization of bilateral relations?’” “Who sent them there? For what purpose? What are …

US Left, You Have Been Duped

by Richard Hugus, via Dissident Voice On August 19, a week after a heavily publicized clash over a statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia, an estimated 8,000 people converged on Boston Common to protest a speaking event organized by a group calling itself the Boston Free Speech Movement. Who are the Boston Free Speech Movement and what do they stand for? We’ll never know because antifascists, leftists, anti-racists, and progressives of Boston prevented them from even speaking. Some might say this was a good thing — no one wants to hear from bigots (if that’s who they were) — but, in fact, the left in all its self-righteousness was duped into an assault on the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution, which guarantees the right of free speech, for everyone. The left have been the pawns of much more powerful forces who, if they aren’t organizing these news events and provocations outright, are certainly happy to see precedents set for publicly shutting down free speech by the use of force. First it will …

Common Knowledge vs. Reality: The propaganda ghosts of the Cold War

by Denis Churilov Russians are extremely sceptical people. This is partly due to the fact that the modern Russian history has been turbulent, rollercoaster-like, with ideological frameworks changing a few times within a single person’s lifetime. Take the last 40 years, for instance: Soviet propaganda, blatant anti-Soviet propaganda during Perestroika years, (neo-)liberal propaganda, followed by the economic reforms and privatization, which led to a disappointment in capitalism and “free market” by the majority of the population during the 1990s, the attempted “de-Sovietization” information campaign with a second wave of anti-Soviet propaganda during Medvedev years. The list goes on. There is an old joke: Russia, among all countries, has the most unpredictable past. Russian society’s view of its own history is very fluid, with official narratives changing every 4-12 years. The re-evaluation of paradigms happens often, with debates on fundamental historical and political issues being vibrant and mainstream. Most Russian people have learned how to be sceptical and how to not easily trust the official stories. Things are different in the West. Unlike Russia, the Western …

Terror Incognita: ‘Demistifying’ the Fog of War

by Sean Stinson, August 28, 2017 “The Muslim terrorist apparatus was created by US intelligence as a political weapon” – National security adviser to the Carter administration, Zbigniew Brzezinski “The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al-Qaeda, and any informed intelligence officer knows this. But, there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an intensified entity representing the ‘devil’ only in order to drive TV watchers to accept a unified international leadership for a war against terrorism. The country behind this propaganda is the United States.” – Former British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” – H.L. Mencken Corporate propaganda is flying so thick and fast lately it’s dizzying just keeping up with it. For regular readers of the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Guardian, Vladimir Putin is the new Fuhrer of American …