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Greenwald: No One Talks About Ending Ukraine War For Fear Of Being Labelled A ‘Traitor’

Greenwald: No One Talks About Ending Ukraine War For Fear Of Being Labelled A ‘Traitor’

It’s a “dangerous delusion” to dismiss Putin’s nuclear threat

Journalist Glenn Greenwald noted Monday that talks to deescalate or end the conflict in Ukraine are virtually nonexistent because the legacy media and political elites have nurtured an atmosphere where to do so is considered ‘unpatriotic’.

Speaking to Tucker Carlson, Greenwald stated “There is a very real threat of a nuclear exchange, or even a direct confrontation with Russia and the United States. And over what? Over who governs and rules, not even Ukraine, but the Donbas, the eastern region in Ukraine, where a majority of people actually identify as ethnic Russians and want to be part of Russia.”

Greenwald continued, “Yet there’s almost no debate about whether we should be sending huge amounts of money there and risking the lives of American citizens through the possibility of a nuclear war.”

“Because everyone knows that the minute you step up and step out of line, there’s a hoard of people ready to call you unpatriotic, or a traitor, or an admirer of Vladimir Putin, as I know is being done with our very segment right this minute by all those Media Matter people and all those other people online,” the journalist continued.

“It’s a really repressive atmosphere and squashing a debate that we absolutely have to have,” Greenwald further urged.

Greenwald and Carlson also warned that it is foolish not to take Putin at his word that he is willing to deploy Russia’s nuclear arsenal.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

‘Rationality is Not Permitted’: Chomsky on Russia, Ukraine and the Price of Media Censorship

‘Rationality is Not Permitted’: Chomsky on Russia, Ukraine and the Price of Media Censorship

Professor Noam Chomsky. (Photo: via Wikimedia Commons)

One of the reasons that Russian media has been completely blocked in the West, along with the unprecedented control and censorship over the Ukraine war narrative, is the fact that western governments simply do not want their public to know that the world is vastly changing.

Ignorance might be bliss, arguably in some situations, but not in this case. Here, ignorance can be catastrophic as western audiences are denied access to information about a critical situation that is affecting them in profound ways and will most certainly impact the world’s geopolitics for generations to come.

The growing inflation, an imminent global recession, a festering refugee crisis, a deepening food shortage crisis and much more are the kinds of challenges that require open and transparent discussions regarding the situation in Ukraine, the NATO-Russia rivalry and the responsibility of the West in the ongoing war.

To discuss these issues, along with the missing context of the Russia-Ukraine war, we spoke with Professor Noam Chomsky, believed to be the greatest living intellectual of our time.

Chomsky told us that it “should be clear that the (Russian) invasion of Ukraine has no (moral) justification.” He compared it to the US invasion of Iraq, seeing it as an example of “supreme international crime.” With this moral question settled, Chomsky believes that the main ‘background’ of this war, a factor that is missing in mainstream media coverage, is “NATO expansion”.

“This is not just my opinion,” said Chomsky, “it is the opinion of every high-level US official in the diplomatic services who has any familiarity with Russia and Eastern Europe…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Revolution In Air As Brits Burn Power Bills Amid Historic Energy Crisis

Revolution In Air As Brits Burn Power Bills Amid Historic Energy Crisis

Energy prices for millions of households across the UK rose on Saturday. Soaring power bills amid the worst cost-of-living crisis in a generation led to a continuation of growing discontent ahead of the dark winter.

Thousands of Brits marched in London and other metro areas this weekend in protest of being thrown into energy poverty while inflation is at forty-year highs.

There were countless videos on social media showing Brits holding signs about their dire financial situation. “Can’t afford to live,” “Freeze profit, not people,” and “Eat the Tories,” read some of the signs people held. 

The protest was organized by Don’t Pay UK, an anonymous group spearheading the effort to have more than one million Brits boycott paying their power bills this winter (the movement is nearly 200,000 strong).

“Millions of us simply won’t be able to keep our heads above water and many will freeze when the weather turns cold,” a spokesman for the campaign said.

The protest coincided with the new energy price cap that took effect on Saturday, increasing the power bill average per household from £1,971 to £2,500 annually. Without this government intervention, annual bills would’ve continued skyrocketing.

New Prime Minister Liz Truss said that the government’s support for households and businesses shields them from energy hyperinflation. Meanwhile, Truss’ support is already in turmoil. Labour leads the Conservatives by a stunning 33%, according to a recent YouGov poll, up from 14% when she assumed power just three weeks ago.

However, the price cap for a typical household has doubled since last year — the massive increase has sparked discontent among Brits who are crushed by a cost-of-living crisis.

The UK Misery Index is at its worst level in three decades. We noted that Half Of UK Households Will Be In Fuel-Poverty By January last week. 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Rise of Public Health and ‘Green’ Police: Securitization Theory

The Rise of Public Health and ‘Green’ Police: Securitization Theory

Policing has come a long way since the days of good ole boy Barney Fife.

Once upon a time, cops were tasked primarily with things like catching murderers and rapists and protecting property.

They were always used, of course, whenever necessary, to protect state interests – but, then again, the state’s interests weren’t always so obviously nefarious and illegitimate as they are today.

Law enforcement’s purview expansion is explained in large part by securitization theory.

As a result of the this process, peculiar new breeds of law enforcement – Public Health© officers and green police – have sprung up throughout the West.

Securitization theory: the advent of new security threats

The basic premise of securitization theory in political science is that, given the opportunity, a state will endlessly concoct new security “threats” as a justification to exercise greater power outside of the constraints of the normal political process:

“Securitisation theory shows us that national security policy is not a natural given, but carefully designated by politicians and decision-makers. According to securitisation theory, political issues are constituted as extreme security issues to be dealt with urgently when they have been labelled as ‘dangerous’… by a ‘securitising actor’ who has the social and institutional power to move the issue ‘beyond politics’.”

The process, in a nutshell, works like this:

  • The government identifies a new existential “threat,” either legitimate or overblown, either naturally occurring or cynically engineered by the state itself.
  • The corporate media and corporate state stoke fear about the threat into the hearts and minds of a gullible public
  • In the fog of panic, the state slyly provisions itself with new authority and resources to combat the threat, thereby increasing its power

The threats change, but whether “domestic terrorism,” COVID-19, or climate change, the process largely remains the same.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Washington Post Dabbles in Orwell

The Washington Post Dabbles in Orwell

In scrubbed piece about Edward Snowden, the Bezos Post offers a preview of how history will be re-written

Russian President Vladimir Putin granted citizenship on Monday to Edward Snowden, a former security consultant who leaked information about top-secret U.S. surveillance programs and is still wanted by Washington on espionage charges.

The story added:

Snowden’s disclosures, published first in The Washington Post and the Guardian, were arguably the biggest security breach in U.S. history. The information revealed top-secret NSA surveillance as part of a program known as PRISM and the extraction of a wide range of digital information.

Snowden is America’s most famous revealer-of-secrets, and the way he’s talked about has evolved to an extreme degree in less than a decade, showing how quickly a story about security overreach can be flipped into an argument for more vigilance. The press, which once worked with Snowden in its proper role as a bulwark against government excess, is effectively an arm of the state now, as is shown again in this absurd episode.

This article began as an aggressive rewrite of history and the Post’s own views, but underwent numerous alterations after it attracted criticism online yesterday.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

New Zealand Prime Minister Calls for a Global Censorship System

New Zealand Prime Minister Calls for a Global Censorship System

C-Span screengrab

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is the latest liberal leader to call for an international alliance to censor speech. Unsatisfied with the unprecedented corporate censorship of social media companies, leaders like Hillary Clinton have turned from private censorship to good old-fashioned state censorship. Speech regulation has become an article of faith on the left. Ardern used her speech this week to the United Nations General Assembly to call for censorship on a global scale.

Ardern lashed out at “disinformation” and called for a global coalition to control speech. After nodding toward free speech, she proceeded to lay out a plan for its demise through government regulation:

But what if that lie, told repeatedly, and across many platforms, prompts, inspires, or motivates others to take up arms. To threaten the security of others. To turn a blind eye to atrocities, or worse, to become complicit in them. What then?

This is no longer a hypothetical. The weapons of war have changed, they are upon us and require the same level of action and activity that we put into the weapons of old.

We recognized the threats that the old weapons created. We came together as communities to minimize these threats. We created international rules, norms and expectations. We never saw that as a threat to our individual liberties – rather, it was a preservation of them. The same must apply now as we take on these new challenges.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Say Only What We Want to Hear, or We Will Take Away Your Livelihood

Say Only What We Want to Hear, or We Will Take Away Your Livelihood

The attacks on free and open discussion are becoming more and more widespread. Now, as Toby Young explains in an article this morning, the payment service PayPal has closed the accounts of the Daily Sceptic, which often publishes criticism of the government policy in various matters.

PayPal has also closed the account of the Free Speech Union, which provides support to people whose freedom of opinion is under attack, for example those fired from their jobs because of their opinions. PayPal has even gone as far as to close the rarely used personal account of Toby Young, who is in charge of both the Daily Sceptic and the Free Speech Union, and is also associate editor of The Spectator, one of the world’s most respected newspapers.

As Toby reports in his article, the company has offered no explanation for this move.

When payment services or banks begin to act in this way, it should dawn upon us what a serious threat to free and open exchange of opinions we are facing. Not only can you be fired from your job, your very possibility to make a living will be taken away also.

Now, there is little doubt that many people think that as long as their own opinions are allowed, everything is fine, even if other opinions are forbidden. But that position, apart from being morally wrong, is based on an utter lack of understanding of the threat we face; the question is not if, but when it will be your own opinions that are censored, your own livelihood taken away.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Who Is Really Spreading Misinformed Disinformation?

Who Is Really Spreading Misinformed Disinformation?

Ne’er has there been more fertile ground that exemplifies how those in charge of the narrative are either (1) grossly incompetent, (2) saying what they need to simply to suit their own agenda, or (3) both – than the topics of Covid, inflation, Trump’s non-existent Russian collusion and Hunter Biden’s laptop.

Because I have written extensively about these issues over the last year, I had been putting aside a collection of quotes from the “authorities” on each topic. I thought this morning I would release all the quotes I had put aside as one giant compendium showing just how important it is to automatically agree with whatever our masters in the mainstream media/government suggest to us.

Given that we now know almost definitively (in my opinion) that Covid came from a lab, that inflation is here to stay, that Trump didn’t collude with Russia and that the laptop was definitely authentic, enjoy this trip down memory lane.

  • “You’re not going to get Covid if you have these vaccinations.” – Joe Biden, July 2021
  • “Fact: Covid-19 is NOT airborne.” – World Health Organization, March 2020
  • “Now we know that the vaccines work well enough that the virus stops with every vaccinated person. A vaccinated person gets exposed to the virus, the virus does not infect them, the virus cannot then use that person to go anywhere else,” she added with a shrug. “It cannot use a vaccinated person as a host to go get more people. [Vaccines] will get us to the end of this.” – Rachel Maddow, March 2021
  • “When people are vaccinated they can feel safe that they won’t get infected, whether they’re outdoors or indoors.” – Dr. Anthony Fauci, May 2021
  • “From the data we have, it still seems to be rare that an asymptomatic person actually transmits onward to a secondary individual. It’s very rare.” – Maria Van Kerkhove, PhD, head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, March 2020

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Strike, Strike, Strike

Strike, Strike, Strike

The mounting social inequality is fueling protests around the globe. The global ruling class is determined to prevent these protests from employing the weapon that can bring them down — strikes.

The ruling oligarchs are terrified that, for tens of millions of people, the economic dislocation caused by inflation, stagnant wages, austerity, the pandemic and the energy crisis is becoming unendurable.  They warn, as Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and NATO Secretary GeneraJens Stoltenberg, have done, about the potential for social unrest, especially as we head towards winter.

Social unrest is a code word for strikes — the one weapon workers possess that can cripple and destroy the billionaire class’s economic and political power. Strikes are what the global oligarchs fear most. Through the courts and police intervention, they will seek to prevent workers from shutting down the economy. This looming battle is crucial. If we begin to chip away at corporate power through strikes, most of which will probably be wildcat strikes that defy union leadership and anti-union laws, we can begin to regain agency over our lives.

The oligarchs have spent decades abolishing or domesticating unions, turning the few unions that remain — only 10.7 percent of the workforce is unionized — into obsequious junior partners in the capitalist system. As of January 2022, private-sector unionization stood at its lowest point since the passage of the National Labor Relations Act of 1935. And yet, 48 percent of U.S. workers say they would like to belong to a union.

As a result of crushing conditions workers have been subjected to for years, the nation is facing its first major rail strike since the 1990s…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Escalation: Recent Events Suggest Mounting Economic Danger

Escalation: Recent Events Suggest Mounting Economic Danger

A common refrain from people who are critical of alternative economists is that we have been predicting crisis for so long that “eventually we will be right.” These are generally people who don’t understand the nature of economic decline – It’s like an avalanche that builds over time, then breaks and quickly escalates as it flows down the mountain. What they don’t grasp is that they are in the middle of an economic collapse RIGHT NOW, and they just can’t see it because they have been acclimated to the presence of the snow and cold.

Economic decline is a process that takes many years, and while you might get an event like the market crash of 1929 or the crash of 2008, these moments of panic are nothing more than the wreckage left behind by the great wave of tumbling ice that everyone should have seen coming far in advance, but they refused.

In 2022 the job of warning people is far easier than it used to be because we are well past the midpoint of the process of decline. But, believe it or not, I still get people today who claim that we analysts are “doom mongers.” The power of willful ignorance is truly amazing. It’s enough to make a person blind to stagflationary crisis, supply chain disruptions, quickly inflating prices, stock market carnage, bond market instability, record consumer debt, and international conflict.

At this point, I think if a person can’t see the dangers ahead they are probably a waste of time and space and are destined to be buried in the ice; there’s nothing that can be done for them…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

In Brief: Trading safety, An inflection point, The crisis of under-consumption, A reign of decline

In Brief: Trading safety, An inflection point, The crisis of under-consumption, A reign of decline

Trading safety

Within the inner sanctum of one of the world’s oldest and most esteemed universities, an ageing professor sits in a battered leather armchair.  Oblivious to the day-to-day sensations within the room – the slow tick and tock of an antique grandfather clock, the shimmering particles of dust caught in the beam of sunlight making its way through the sash window, or the odour of the worn, dusty and tea-stained carpet – our professor meditates upon the deeper mysteries of the universe.  In the adjacent reception sits a dragon secretary, whose main role in life is to guard the inner sanctum and to ensure that none of the mundane workings of a modern university be allowed to disturb the professor’s haven of tranquillity.

After three decades of neoliberal governments turning universities from bastions of knowledge and inquiry into the individual units of a cargo cult-based Ponzi scheme, this vision of a university may be but a reflection of a lost past.  It is, however, a metaphor for the way in which the human brain works – just like the dragon secretary – to prevent any of the millions of pieces of data that flood in through the senses from disturbing peace of mind.

When the mechanism – which psychologists call the “Affective Signalling System,” which causes us to seek pleasure and avoid danger – works properly, any sudden change in the environment will be allowed to enter the conscious mind.  This is a safety mechanism wired in by ancestors who needed to know if that rustle in the grass or snapping of a twig might indicate the presence of a predator hungry for a hominid meal.  And even within that tranquil inner sanctum, the odds are that our professor will notice immediately if the old grandfather clock stops ticking.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

IMF Chief: Harsh Winter May Spark Social Unrest In EU Amid Energy Crisis

IMF Chief: Harsh Winter May Spark Social Unrest In EU Amid Energy Crisis

A number of countries in Europe may experience social unrest if the upcoming winter is harsh amid an economic crisis, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned on Wednesday.

“There is certainly fear of recession in some countries, or even if it is not recession, that it would feel like recession this winter,” said Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the IMF.

“And if Mother Nature decides not to cooperate, and the winter is actually harsh, that could lead to some social unrest,” she added.

Attending the 2022 “Michel Camdessus Central Banking Lecture” held in Washington, D.C., Georgieva pointed out that Europe is directly affected by Russia’s attack on Ukraine, saying the war has led to “horrible” economic consequences and added fuel to fears of recession in some countries.

Georgieva said the current situation meant that the European Central Bank needed to be “mindful of the necessity to keep the economy going,” while also remaining persistent in fighting broad-based inflation.

“Inflation is stubborn, it is more broad-based than we thought it would be,” Georgieva said. “And what it means is … we need central bankers to be as stubborn in fighting it as inflation has demonstrably been.”

Second-Order Effects

Georgieva noted at the event that the global economy had two consecutive shocks, the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s attack on Ukraine, which contributed to surging prices and a cost-of-living crisis.

The disruptions in the flows of Russian gas to Europe remain the primary cause of Europe’s current energy crisis. The continent has relied upon cheap Russian energy for years to power factories, generate electricity, and heat homes.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

JOHN PILGER: Silencing the Lambs — How Propaganda Works

JOHN PILGER: Silencing the Lambs — How Propaganda Works

Leni Riefenstahl said her epic films glorifying the Nazis depended on a “submissive void” in the German public. This is how propaganda is done.

Leni Riefenstahl, center, filming with two assistants, 1936. (Bundesarchiv, CC-BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons)

In the 1970s, I met one of Hitler’s leading propagandists, Leni Riefenstahl, whose epic films glorified the Nazis. We happened to be staying at the same lodge in Kenya, where she was on a photography assignment, having escaped the fate of other friends of the Fuhrer.

She told me that the “patriotic messages” of her films were dependent not on “orders from above” but on what she called the “submissive void” of the German public.

Did that include the liberal, educated bourgeoisie? I asked.  “Yes, especially them,” she said.

I think of this as I look around at the propaganda now consuming Western societies.

Of course, we are very different from Germany in the 1930s. We live in information societies. We are globalists. We have never been more aware, more in touch, better connected.

Or do we in the West live in a Media Society where brainwashing is insidious and relentless, and perception is filtered according to the needs and lies of state and corporate power?

The United States dominates the Western world’s media. All but one of the top 10 media companies are based in North America. The internet and social media – Google, Twitter, Facebook – are mostly American owned and controlled.

In my lifetime, the United States has overthrown or attempted to overthrow more than 50 governments, mostly democracies. It has interfered in democratic elections in 30 countries. It has dropped bombs on the people of 30 countries, most of them poor and defenceless. It has attempted to murder the leaders of 50 countries.  It has fought to suppress liberation movements in 20 countries.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

As the planet warms, people are moving. Will Canada welcome them?

As droughts, deteriorating farmland and rising sea levels push people around the world from their homes, advocates in Canada are calling on the federal government to support those who are — and will be — displaced by the climate crisis.

Last week, Climate Action Network Canada (CAN-Rac), a body of more than 100 environmental groups across the country, sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Immigration Minister Sean Fraser asking them to grant permanent residency to all 1.7 million migrants in Canada, including half a million undocumented people. This “regularization” process is key to climate justice, explained Caroline Brouillette, national policy manager for CAN-Rac.

“Fighting the climate crisis is not only about reducing our emissions, it’s about how we care for one another — and that’s why we’re asking for this,” she said.

Climate change is already a factor causing people to immigrate to Canada, said Syed Hussan, the executive director of the Migrant Workers Alliance for Change (MWAC), which worked with CAN-Rac to send the letter. But while climate migrants come to the country as workers, students or refugees, they “may not even be able to describe their experiences having resulted from climate change.”

He said many migrants’ understanding of climate change is that it causes poverty.

“[Climate change is] actually closely linked to economic deterioration,” Hussan explained.

Take farmers, for example. Soil degradation is one of climate change’s greatest impacts, he said. Poor soil means poor crops, forcing farmers to move to towns and cities to find work. But many fail to find jobs in larger urban centres, he added, leaving them no choice but to leave their home country and seek opportunities in Canada.

Stone Age Economics, Marshall Sahlins (1972)

Stone Age Economics, Marshall Sahlins (1972)

Beginning as a presentation in 1966, what Sahlins challenged was the historic prejudice which dismissed the rights and value of ‘undeveloped’ societies and their ‘state of nature’.

‘A Book in Five Minutes’ No.16 Podcast:

Download podcast as an MP3 or an Ogg Vorbis file.

Given the various forms of public anguish about the ‘cost of living crisis’, I thought it would be a good time to do another three-part ‘special’ focussing on the nature of how we live our lives – both today, and in the distant past – to objectively question the basis of this ‘modern’ lifestyle.

The first book is Marshall Sahlins’‘Stone Age Economics’ – published fifty years ago in 1972.

‘Stone Age Economics’:

First hardback edition, 1972. ISBN 9780-2020-1098-4.

First paperback edition, 1972. ISBN 9780-2020-1099-1.

Routledge revised paperback edition, 2017. ISBN 9781-1387-0261-5.

Free PDF of first edition, via Libcom.

Free text/PDF/epub of first edition, via Internet Archive.

Beginning with a presentation in 1966, ‘Notes on The Original Affluent Society’, what Sahlins challenged was the historic prejudice which dismissed the rights and value of ‘undeveloped’ societies and their ‘state of nature’ (I will not use the word, ‘primitive’, in this context as that is even more politically loaded).

The idea of ‘undeveloped’ societies lacking economic legitimacy, and therefore supremacy over their lands and resources, had been evolved by figures such as Hobbes and Locke in the Seventeenth Century; and was the basis of the justification which permitted the expropriation of land, and the enslavement of peoples, in Africa and the Americas under early European imperial expansion.

As Sahlins says:

“The familiar conception… makes assumptions peculiarly appropriate to market economies: that man’s wants are great, not to say infinite, whereas his means are limited, although improvable…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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