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August 2016 S M T W T F S « Jul 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
‘We the people’ are outgunned. Part of the reason is that too many of us are lost. People are hopelessly propagandized, indoctrinated and uncaring. Too many of us are zombies perfectly willing to eat fellow 99 percenters. Maybe a progressive with stature, like Sibel Edmonds or Noam Chomsky, will have friends and family who respect her ideas and listen respectfully to her words, but, I fear, Most of us regular people, progressives, who talk to others about these things – coups and the antidemocratic antics of our political leaders – are met with disinterest or anxiety that only turns to frustration, resistance and anger when we try to push them to care and know, especially if those who we attempt to push are haughty. Caring ‘is’ knowing. When you care, you lift your head up and look around, looking out for danger because you care about yourself, your loved ones and your home and you therefore want to avoid that which can cause you, those you love and that which you value, harm. And the earth is also your home, which you will understand unless you’re hopelessly stupid. Seeing is knowing. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.
The political and other leaders who feed and worship the wild beast of corporatocracy have succeeded in foisting on us their mafia capitalist system and their propaganda and the brutal work culture that we endure. One component of that propaganda is the idea that capitalism and democracy are the same God-given thing. And you show your true devotion by spending and if you don’t have enough to spend on what ads tell you you want, then work more. People work too hard for too little, if they can find a job. Parents, who have their hands full, have a great challenge. At the end of the day, a tired breadwinner isn’t going to go home and dig into his (or…) copy of Noam Chomsky’s “Deterring Democracy.” Instead, he will plop in front of the 1%’s secret weapon, the television set, with a snack and a drink, or drugs, and zone out. To the extent that there’s any interest in what’s going on in the world, that parent might watch a few minutes of MSNBC or something. And that’s it; Become a know-it-all zombie who will eat any who don’t agree with you. Suck up the propaganda and then just chill with whatever mindless entertainment you choose. We all need to self-tranquilize. I do it. But 99% of the 99% have completely broke down. They don’t even spend 20 minutes a WEEK thinking, actively, about important things. Thinking actively means lifting a little finger. It means not sucking up, or unquestioningly accepting, the propaganda, the corporatocracy-generated poison that comes through the television set. It means turning off the passive learning mode and seeking out information, which means going online (or into a book) and digging a little. And digging is digging. You’ll get plenty of information online (and in books), but How much of that is pushed at you and how much of that is what you discover when you don’t automatically (as in ‘automaton’) accept whatever returns you searches call up (or whatever books your bookseller pushes at you)? Also, If you’re completely lacking humility and can’t entertain, for even a minute, the advice of that lonely progressive voice (a progressive friend or family member), serving as a guide by suggesting a source of information or an individual or organization to start with in your search, then nothing at all will help you. You have to possess humility in order to learn and progress. If you don’t possess any humility, That’s you saying that you already know it all, that you’re too smart to be bamboozled and therefore you are not afraid of being misled and you don’t need to exercise caution. How does that attitude lead to your enlightenment?, for real that is.
“If a person spends all of his time protecting his ego, he will never grow. In order to grow, we must learn from our mistakes. But if a person is intent on reducing dissonance, he will not admit to his mistakes. Instead, he will sweep his mistakes under the rug, or, worse still, he will turn them into virtues.” – Elliot Aronson, pg 156 of “The Social Animal”
In my own case, I don’t just ‘fear’ that I can’t reach people, That’s what I’ve experienced. Friends, family and acquaintenances don’t care, don’t know, don’t want to know, argue back out of embarrassment (because you believe it makes you appear as though you have knowledge) and so on. There’s nothing we can do about any of that. You can’t make people care. We are outgunned. It will take a higher power to fix this mess and to dispel this darkness. I accept that. And even most progressives who haven’t become zombies yet don’t accept that. They choose to not beleive in God and his plan of salvation for imperfect humankind. I can do nothing about them. If there is no God and no plan from God to fix things therefore, Of course progressives will look to themselves or to lesser evils (all whom are imperfect) to save imperfect humankind and the liveable earth from the destruction that those who feed and worship the wild beast of corporatocracy are causing.
*edit, July 21, 2016 – I referred below to some 6000 laws in the Mosaic Law Code. That should be 600.
An excerpt from the above linked-to article by Alex Kane follows:
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Facebook has not changed the fundamental contours of the conflict, but it has accelerated it. A demonstration against the Israeli occupation can be organized in a matter of hours, while the monitoring of Palestinians is made easier by the large digital footprint they leave on their laptops and mobile phones.
Israeli officials have blamed social media for inciting a wave of violent attacks by Palestinians that began in October 2015. Since then, Israeli security forces have arrested about 400 Palestinians for social media activity, according to Palestinian rights groups Addameer and Adalah. Most of the arrests have been for postings on Facebook, a popular network among Palestinians.
In that year alone, the Israeli attorney general opened 155 investigations into alleged social media incitement, a marked increase from previous years, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz (although the law on social media incitement applies to all citizens and residents, the vast majority of cases have been directed at Arabs in Israel).
The arrests of Palestinians for Facebook posts open a window into the practices of Israel’s surveillance state and reveal social media’s darker side. What was once seen as a weapon of the weak has turned into the perfect place to ferret out potential resistance.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a slew of punitive and deterrent measures against Palestinians in the wake of the shooting in a popular Tel Aviv nightspot, the deadliest attack in a months-long wave of violence. Among the measures, the Israeli government said it was revoking entry permits for more than 80,000 Palestinians to visit relatives in Israel during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, a move likely to further stoke tensions. / AFP / ABBAS MOMANI (Photo credit should read ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images)
= == =================
My online response to the above linked-to article follows. I always get tripped up by the complex puctuation that results from writers quoting writers quoting writers. Adding to the confusion, I don’t always agree with punctuation that others do. Bible passages often present me with that sort of difficulty. I struggled with it a bit in quoting the passages you see in my following comment. I recommend that you do not struggle to sort it out. It isn’t necessary for the meaning to come through:
———— — –
I never pay attention to the religious justications for Zionism because I am a former Bible student (forgetting much and not studying, to be honest) and I know my Christian Bible, which includes the Hebrew/ Aramaic part that religious Jews claim to believe in. And their religious ideas, like Catholics, are ‘based’ on Bible texts. One Catholic reference book, I’m told, explains simply that the Catholic religion is based partly on the Bible and partly on tradition, which Jesus Christ cautioned against. See Mark 7:9-15. He didn’t say tradition was automatically a sin. He only noted that there are those who water down God’s word with their tradition. They simply ‘use’ the Bible. They use God. I don’t know of religionists who don’t ‘use’ God, to be honest.
It’s pretty wonky that religious Jews then reject the Christian Greek scriptures. The New Testament is simply part 2 of the same book. By ignoring that, and accepting only one of the volumes as good, you destroy the integrity of the story and lose the value of it’s lessons and instructions. You introduce yourself to darkness and then become a source of confusion. You become incoherent.
The labels of old testament and new testament are okay, but they would possibly be better to read old and new convenants. (“…M’Clintock and Strong’s Cyclopediae (1981) says, under “Covenant”: “There seems to be no necessity for the introduction of a new word [other than “covenant”] conveying a new idea.” Did they mean ‘the same idea’? – page 520 of “Insight On The Scriptures” by Watchtower Bible And Tract Society Of New York, Inc.. The thing is, there [are] more than two convenants in the Bible. Also, “Covenants always involved two or more parties. They could be unilateral (where the party on one side was solely responsible to carry out the terms) or bilateral (where parties on both sides had terms to carry out). Besides the covenants in which God is a party, the Bible records the making of covenants between men, and between tribes, nations, or groups of persons. To break a covenant was a grievous sin. – Eze 17:11-20; Ro 1:31,32”)
The Old Covenant, which is to say the core text that Old Covenant refers to, is found in the Bible book of Exodus. It was the Law Covenant, which the Israelites broke, as God’s people again did when they broke the New Covenant foretold by Jeremiah in the Hebrew/Aramaic Scriptures (Jeremiah chapter 31). “The terms of the Law covenant were that if the Israelites kept the covenant they would be a people for the name of Jehovah, a kingdom of priests and a holy nation… The Law covenant extended benefits to others not of natural Israel, for they could become proselytes, getting circumcised, and could receive many of the Law’s benefits. – Exodus 12:48,49″
One of the purposes of the Law Covenant was to lead the Jews to Christ. Jesus’s sacrificial death (which I think everyone misunderstands, believing that God meant for Jesus to be killed exactly the way he was killed), in integrity before God, created a legal value (symbolized by his shed blood) that could now be bestowed upon those who acted to avail themselves of it. Those who would accept Jehovah God and his standards and his plan of salvation for imperfect humankind and his appointed chief agent for making it possible would be those availing themselves of the benefits of this arrangement.
“”Look! The days are coming,” declares Jehovah, “when I will make with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah a new convenant. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their forefathers on the day I took hold of their hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, ‘my covenant that they broke, although I was their true master’”, declares Jehovah.” “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares Jehovah. “I will put my law within them, and in their heart I will write it. And I will become their God and they will become my people.” – Jeremiah 31:31-33. It goes on and is worth reading. One sees clearly that only through Jesus Christ can that New Covenant be activated. Jesus himself said, I came not to destroy the Law but to fufill it. And at a convention of Jesus disciples, it was determined that God’s people would no longer be bound by the old Mosaic law code (with some 6000 laws, only summarized in the ten commandments that are all most people know), but they only need exercise faith in Jesus (showing loyalty to God and staying within his new covenant), each one treating others the same as he or she would be treated and loving God with all one’s heart. At the time, Christian and Jews who had begun following Jesus were experiencing some dischord, due to the (unecessary) burden of having to observe the many laws of the Mosaic Law code and the apostles and elders met to deal with. They prayed, received guidance and settled upon a course of action, which they announced: “For the holy spirit and we ourselves have favored adding no further burden to you except these necessary things: to keep abstaining from idols, from blood, from what is strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you carefully keep yourselves from these things, you will prosper. Good health to you.” -Acts 15:28-29. I guess there’s not a lot of work there for those who want to be priests, and experts in all kinds of rules and rituals, but it is what it is. And it shouldn’t be what it shouldn’t be.
“Jesus said to her: “Believe me woman, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father… Nevertheless, the hour is coming and it is now, when the true worshippers will worship the Father with spirit and truth, for indeed, the Father is looking for ones like these to worship him.” – John 4:21,23
Jesus was speaking to a Samaritan woman who he came upon as he was travelling through the area, which he was forced to do because the Jewish religious leaders at that time were seeking to kill him, apparently. They didn’t like his work and saw him as a competitor, among other things. Jews were supposed to have no contact with apostate Samaritans. But times change.
“Now look, A man versed in the Law stood up to test him and said: “Teacher, What do I need to do in order to inherit everlasting life?” He said to him: “What is written in the Law? How do you read?” In answer he said: “You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole strength and with your whole mind and your neighbor as yourself.” He said to him: You answered correctly. Keep doing that and you will get life.” But wanting to prove himself righteous the man said to Jesus: “Who really is my neighbor?” In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down to Jericho and fell victim to robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went off, leaving him half dead. Now by coincidence a priest was going down on that road, but when he saw him, he passed him by on the opposite side. Likewise, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the opposite side. But a certain Samaritan travelling the road came upon him, and, at seeing him, he was moved with pity. So he approached him and bandaged his wounds, pouring oil and wine upon them. Then he mounted him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said: “Take care of him, and whatever you spend besides this, I will repay you when I return.” Who of these three seems to you to have made himself neighbor to the man who fell victim to the robbers?” He said: “The one who acted mercifully toward him.” Jesus then said to him: “Go and do the same yourself.”” – Luke 10:25-37.
Palestinians, Samaritans. Same thing. And the religious Jews and all of the Nazi Jews in Israel who base their depravity and abuse of God and their neighbors upon the Bible will have to answer to God for it. If they didn’t know God at all, they’d have some excuse. But they certainly claim to, and they do possess enough of his message to us. As Jesus said, “If the light that is in you, is in fact darkness, then how great that darkness is.” – Matthew 6:23b
– — ————
“Something of a tour de force of moral bankruptcy even for the team that brought you the Polonium story.” – Catte
An excerpt from the above linked-to article by Catte follows:
You see, happily for Luke and the pro-war agenda, Richard was killed on board MH17, and his parents blame Vladimir Putin…
“Amid their grief, the Maynes came to a grim conclusion: Richard had been murdered. The man whom they believe murdered him is Vladimir Putin. It was Putin, they believe, who gave orders for the Russian military to cross the border, setting in train a series of consequences, including the shooting down of MH17 and 10,000 dead in the conflict.”
Let’s be crystal clear at this point. No one can blame this family for their anger. They’re desperate and grief-stricken and need someone to be punished for the crime that took their son…
And then we get this:
“Certainly, Russia has done everything it can to cover up the crime. The Kremlin used its UN security council veto to stop an international investigation similar to that carried out following the Pan Am Lockerbie bombing.”
Getting into his stride, Luke abandons implications and guilt by juxtaposition in favour of his old standby – the outright lie. Let’s take a moment to appreciate how completely unfazed he is by the total absence of evidence anywhere that Russia covered up anything, or by the small detail that Russia did not veto an “international investigation”, at all but in fact supported UN Resolution 2166 that called for “efforts to establish a full, thorough and independent international investigation into the incident in accordance with international civil aviation guidelines”. What does Luke think the Dutch Safety Board international investigation was if not – well, an international investigation?
And so on. Read the article. It’s very good. I have followed this story myself, but it’s unfolding slowly and my attention is not focussed on it. My ‘go to’ source for info on this subject is the fantastic site maintained by Roger Annis called “The New Cold War: Ukraine And Beyond.” The above New Cold War banner is a link to site. And here’s a link to a return for a New Cold War site search of the term “MH17”: https://newcoldwar.org/?s=MH17
My response doesn’t deal with MH17, but rather it deals with Luke Harding. Apologies for being off topic, but it’s not completely off topic. The article by Catte deals with both Luke Harding and the downing of MH17. I personally have no doubt that it was the Ukrainian Nazis who did it. There’s a great deal of complexity to this story, but here’s a small sample of interesting facts that my reading around has uncovered. I don’t know how much of this is copied. I am pretty sure that I at least copied some of it, rather than simply put it into my own words. I printed it out and stuck it on the wall in front of my computer desk. There’s no quotation marks and I didn’t bother to keep track of the source, since it was information for my own personal use. Consider:
The Australian report spells out the problems of gathering and authenticating evidence in Ukraine, where there was “no forensic control”; where the international air crash guidelines issues by Interpol weren’t followed; and where there was inappropriate interim storage and body preservation.”
I was also struck by the bizarre fact that the Dutch (who wanted to join with the Australians and Americans in sending troops to Nazi Ukraine following the downing of MH17), who had nationals on board downed MH17, were eventually cut out of the investigation. Go figure! I don’t imagine that such a decision by whoever was even legal. There are all kinds of irregularities in connection with this tragedy.
My online response to the top of post linked-to article by Catte follows:
re the article
What to expect from this guy? I discovered Luke Harding through reading his poorly written, unprofessional hatchet job of a book, “Wikileaks.”
“Wikileaks – Inside Julian Assange’s War On Secrecy,” which is the last thing you want to look to Luke Harding (and David Leigh) for, is full of the ranting and twisting of facts that only someone with a “narcissistic persecution complex” could put before the public this way.
The authors, who have a hardcore hate-on for alternative media, recount the “Collateral Murder” video that helped make Wikileaks a widely known and inspiring phenomenon, which other news orgs thought to imitate (http://bit.ly/29LazzR). Quite early in the video, when all you saw was men, including the two Reuters cameramen, casually strolling down the street, One yahoo in an Apache helicopter watching the scene from a great distance, and clearly working himself up for some killing, utters “Fucking prick.” Uh huh. That’s what I think when I see some guys casually walking around, doing NOTHING! The authors are determined to put this instance of whistleblowing in the worst light they can, deriding the title Wikileaks gave for the video as “tendentious” and leaving out of their retelling the presence of two children in the video. They were in the van that happened on the scene of carnage. It figures that these killers would be surprised to see life where they are. I also found it interesting, and disturbing, that while the murderers were chomping at the bit to kill, at no point did you see any effort by the Apache crew to determine whether there were others – soldiers, civilians, anyone – in the area who these supposed fighters, strolling quite casually, were going to engage. You don’t see anyone else and you hear NO ONE ask the question, “Where is the enemy or target or targets that these fighters are engaging?” I’m just glad that these guys fighting for my values and freedom are professionals. Not!
The murderous Apache crew are soon looking at dead bodies from a great distance and there’s no mention of any possible targets of the supposed fighters, because all they have on their minds is killing, which I guess means a job well done and approval and acceptance. And a paying job. “Oh ya, Look at those dead bastards,” says one murderer. Another responds with “Nice.” Then more congratulations follow, as well as expressions of glee when they think they might get to fire some more. You hear someone wishing out loud for one of the later to arrive Iraqis, from the van, to pick up a gun. They are amused by one victim crawling around, unable to stand, and wish out loud for him to pick up a gun. I kid you not. And they get a real chuckle out of the apparent running over of a dead body by the Bradley armored vehicle that arrives about 8 minutes after the real fun.
The authors like this killing too and clearly worry about public perception of the easy to understand video, because they try to shift the cruelty on display from the murderers on the scene to their far away bosses, hoping that the readers will not notice that the cruel murderers on the scene are in sync with their cruel murderous bosses elsewhere. Indeed, Anyone can be a soldier. “The cruel decision to treat the Baghdad streets as a battle-space on which all were fair game was made not by individual sadists or war criminals, but by the US military at a much higher level.” As noted, a van appeared and the courageous driver and other passengers who tried to tend to any wounded ended up dead for their trouble. The Apache that fired on the two Reuters employees and their Iraqi companions also fired on the these later arrivals when they exited the van and on the van they arrived in, wounding two children who were inside. The treating soldier who arrived in the Bradley minutes after the shooting had stopped, found two wounded children in the van and in what one ‘might’ say was the sole act of human compassion in all of this, he decided to send the children to the nearby US base called Rustamiyah. But, out of concern for the well being of these young victims of war, who were a big part of the reason the Americans were in Iraq afterall, higher command ordered that the children instead be handed over to Iraqi police (IPs in the video) who would presumably take them to an Iraqi hospital and, due to circumstances, a lower standard of care. We hear the dogs talking about it: “Well it’s their fault for bringing their kids into a battle,” says one dog. Then another responds with “That’s right!” I think if Iraqis (Pakistanis, Yemenis, Syrians) knew where ‘battles’ were going to break out, they wouldn’t be driving around in the area with their kids. But maybe that’s just my unprofessional opinion.
Wikileaks revealed this (one) instance of the US military’s operation of liberating Iraq. For that, Luke Harding and his co-author, boosters of imperialism and their imperial bosses, can only say “This was surely what free speech was meant to be all about. In many people’s eyes, Assange deserved to be seen as a hero.” They know that they can’t get us to believe that it’s wrong to know this, but they might succeed in getting us to join them in criminalizing Julian Assange. The “many people’s eyes” clearly don’t include those of the authors.
Collateral Murder: http://bit.ly/29Y3al2
Well, I’ve yanked the Mother Jones magazine link from my blog. No damn way will I keep that. I could put it in the ‘mainstream media’ category I suppose. But I’d rather kick MJ out of my home right now. And it’s sad. MJ has been a source of progressive views for me for many years. My first exposure to alternative media included Mother Jones. In the early years after discovering alternative media, I was aware of only a handful of sources. As the years went on, my list of sources grew and visits to MJ were fewer. I might even have come to doubt MJ’s status as a progressive org (which I certainly have done in the case of the pro Democratic Party ‘The Nation’ magazine), but I was never so bothered by MJ as I am now. Here it is disappearing ‘all’ of my comments. It turns out it has blocked me. The last things I commented on had to do with John Oliver’s (unusually) pathetic Brexit show. Hmmm.
Remember Brexit? For those who don’t (but should) know what Brexit means, it refers to Britain’s exit from the European Union. The UK, at former PM James Cameron’s instigation, decided on putting it to the people in a June 23 referendum whether they should stay in the European Union or get out of it. His reasons were cynical. He thought he could use the proposal for a referendum to placate the Eurosceptics (Conservatives who wanted out of the European Union) in his Party and thereby his position as it’s head. He didn’t want a Brexit and didn’t see one coming, but he had to propose a referendum to keep his Party from undergoing a civil war and thereby strengthening the Labour Party (which doesn’t make much difference to the people). But he lost control of the ploy and it took on a life of it’s own.
The bosses and rich people wanted to remain in the EU. They saw Brexit as something that would hurt them financially. The workers and progressives who identified with Europe’s economic victims, which victims are guaranteed in large numbers wherever neoliberal capitalism prevails (which is everywhere now), saw no merit in staying within a barbaric European Union where the stronger countries, and bankers, simply ate the weaker ones. Austerity, or going without, only happens to those who aren’t well off within a neoliberal social economic system. Of course, There were those on the Right who wanted to leave too, for wrong reasons. (The corporate owned media gave their voices much more play time than the Left argument for leaving.) They are the anti-other anti-immigrants, susceptible to the rants of the fascists who whip up a negative nationalism. The establishment, corporate-owned media went into overdrive (and even influenced the alternative media, but not all) to paint ‘all’ those who voted for Brexit as fascists. Fascists tend to do that. They get a kick out of calling others fascists. Brexit happened and now the task is for the Left to be as quick and energetic as the Right in taking advantage of the shock to the system. It’s not looking good. The people everywhere are outgunned in this dark world.
Note that while Disqus has enabled me to identify my disappeared posts, they are often chopped. It looks like it depends on the size of the post. None of the posts looked at here were crazy long. I don’t know why Disqus would do that. There’s an alternative. The text can be hidden after so many words, accessible by a simple ‘show more’ button. In any case, I’m not a fan of (data mining) Disqus, but it’s forced on us. The text in the second last image, above, taken from the Mother Jones site is a bit hard to discern, so I’ve typed it out (below). Also, I scrolled a little further on Disqus and found another disappearned MJ post (namely the image immediately above). That’s four of my posts that the ‘progressive’ Mother Jones website has recently disappeared.
I noted, after perusing my Disqus comments, that the supposedly progressive Mother Jones has been disappearing all of my comments. I didn’t support the Remain camp in the recent UK referendum to decide on membership in the barbaric EU. Maybe that had something to do with it. But I’m not rightwing. I’m never foul mouthed and every post I’ve done here recently has been disappeared. I noticed three right away. Two were here. I thought John Oliver’s rant was awful, as did others (http://bit.ly/29KURYX). I am not an owner of a television (a propaganda device) and don’t watch much John Oliver. I’ve come across mention of him here and there and have followed the links sometimes to one of his potty-mouthed shows, which I enjoyed. I thought his politics were pretty decent. Now I wonder.
But Mother Jones? I’m on to you. It’s interesting how, when you disappear comments, you do it silently. No one else can see it. There’s no marker. No indication. How many ‘wrong’ political views do you off in a given discussion?
I’m a little dense. For a long time, those who promoted the EU would point to the fact that no European country had attacked another. I honestly thought that writers making that statement were just being dishonest. They were, but not in the way I imagined. Obviously there has been war in Europe since the creation of the EU in 1993 (See Wikipedia for a rundown on dates and details, but nothing more. Wikipedia, which anyone who knows how to can edit, just isn’t trustworthy.). There just hasn’t been war between individual members, as if that matters. (If I murder you with a gun, it’s murder. If I murder you with a knife, it’s murder, even if you are a big fan of knives and don’t want to associate anything negative, like an accusation of murder, with them.) There was horrific war in Europe in the late 1990s. (And there’s war right now in Ukraine!) And Europe, following uncle Sam’s lead, allowed it. The fabulous economist (and contributor to the collection of essays in “Hopeless – Barack Obama And The Politics Of Illusion,” edited by Jeffrey St. Claire and Joshua Frank), Michael Hudson, contradicts those who say that no European country has attacked another. You don’t have to use tanks and missiles in order to be guilty of attacking a country and what Germany and France did to Greece through barbaric EU rules and banks was an attack.
“There is a war going on in Europe but it’s not a military war anymore. They’re now using finance instead of war and they’re using finance to say, we can grab your country. We can put you out of work. We can control you and we don’t have to kill you, we can just make you immigrate by taking away your pensions and taking all your money. There’s a land grab just as if it were an invasion to grab Greece’s ports, to grab Greece’s railroads, and to grab everything else. This is war.” – Michael Hudson, May 22, 2016
My comments about war in Europe were disappeared. I am only now beginning to appreciate the depth of the manipulation by apologists for and boosters of the US-led corporatocracy going on here, with traitorous elements on the Left assisting the manipulators. The fullness of Chomsky’s words in “The New Military Humanism – Lessons From Kosovo” has sunk in. It’s perhaps worth quoting at length from pages 3 & 4 of that small, but powerful book:
On March 24, U.S.-led NATO forces launched cruise missiles and bombs at targets throughout the Federal Repulic of Yugoslavia (FRY), “plunging America into a military conflict that President Clinton said was necessary to stop ethnic cleansing and bring stability to Eastern Europe,” lead stories in the press reported. By bombing the FRY, Clinton informed the nation, “we are upholding our values, protecting our interests, and advancing the cause of peace.” “We cannot respond to such tragedies everywhere, but when ethnic conflict turns into ethnic cleansing where we can make a difference, we must try, and that is clearly the case in Kosovo.” “Had we faltered” in what the heading of his speech calls “A Just and Necessary War,” “the result would have been a moral and strategic disaster. The Albanian Kosovars would have become a people without a homeland, living in difficult conditions in some of the poorest countries in Europe…,” a fate that the U.S. cannot tolerate for suffering people. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright had already sounded the alarm, declaring on February 1 “that this kind of thing cannot stand, that you cannot in 1999 have this kind of barbaric ethnic cleansing. It is ultimately better that democracies stand up against this kind of evil.”
Clinton’s European allies agreed. Under the heading “A New Generation Draws the Line,” British Prime Minister Tony Blair declared that this is a new kind of war in which we are fighting “for values,” for “a new internationalism where the brutal repression of whole ethnic groups will no longer be tolerated,” “for a world where those responsible for such crimes have nowhere to hide.” “We are fighting for “a new world where dictators are no long able to visit horrific punishments on their own peoples in order to stay in power.” We are entering “a new millennium where dictators know that they cannot get away with ethnic cleansing or repress their peoples with impunity.” German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer “became an advocate of what Ulrich Beck, a German intellectual, has called ‘NATO’s new military humanism’ – the notion, defended by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, that the defense of human rights is a form of mission.”
“The New Interventionism” was hailed by intellectual opinion and legal scholars who proclaimed a new era in world affairs in which the “enlighted states” will at last be able to use force where they “believe it to be just,” discarding “the restrictive old rules” and obeying “modern notions of justice” that they fashion. “The crisis in Kosovo illustrates… America’s new willingness to do what it thinks right – international law not withstanding.” Now freed from the shackles of the Cold War and old-fashioned constraints of world order, the enlightened states can dedicate themselves with full vigor to the mission of upholding human rights and bringing justice and freedom to suffering people everywhere, by force if necessary.
The enlightened states are the United States and its British associate, perhaps also others who enlist in their crusades for justice and human rights. Their mission is resisted only by “the defiant, the indolent, and the miscreant,” the “disorderly” elements of the world.” The rank of enlightenment is apparently conferred by definition. One will search in vain for credible attempts to provide evidence or argument for the critical distinction between enlightened and disorderly, surely not from history. The history is in any event deemed irrelevant by the familiar doctrine of “change of course,” which holds that, Yes, in the past we have erred out of naivete or faulty information, but now we are returning to the traditional path of righteousness. Examination of the record is nothing more than “sound-bites and invectives about Washington’s historically evil foreign policy,” hence, “easy to ignore,” we are instructed by one of the most prominent scholar/advocates of the “emerging norms.” There is, accordingly, no purpose in asking what might be learned from old, musty stories about the past, even though the decision-making structure and its institutional base remain intact and unchanged.
Indeed, In “Rogue States,” Chomsky discussed the good faith principle. It’s what you would expect it to be. In good faith, I’ll trust you to do the right thing because that faith is based upon your past actions. No wonder EU-boosters disappear my comments about war in Europe! However, I’m in good company.
An excerpt from the above article by Chris Hedges follows:
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Those who live in these police states, or internal colonies, especially young men of color, endure constant fear and often terror. Michelle Alexander, author of “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” calls those trapped in these enclaves members of a criminal “caste system.” This caste system dominates the lives of not only the 2.3 million who are incarcerated in the United States but also the 4.8 million on probation or parole. Millions more are forced into “permanent second-class citizenship” by their criminal records, which make employment, higher education and public assistance, including housing, difficult and usually impossible to obtain. This is by design.
The rhetoric of compassion, even outrage, by the political class over the police murders in Baton Rouge, La., and near St. Paul, Minn., will not be translated into change until the poor are granted full constitutional rights and police are accountable to the law. The corporate state, however, which is expanding the numbers of poor through austerity and deindustrialization, has no intention of instituting anything more than cosmetic reform.
Globalization has created a serious problem of “surplus” or “redundant” labor in deindustrialized countries. The corporate state has responded to the phenomenon of “surplus” labor with state terror and mass incarceration. It has built a physical and legal mechanism that lurks like a plague bacillus within the body politic to be imposed, should wider segments of society resist, on all of us…
Our political elites, rather than addressing the crisis, will make it worse. If we do not revolt, the savagery, including legalized murder, that is the daily reality for poor people of color will become our reality.
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My online response to the above article follows:
“Unless Jehovah builds the house, it is in vain that it’s builders work hard on it. Unless Jehovah guards the city, it is in vain that the guard stays awake.” – Psalm 127:1
Chris is right and wrong. He certainly doesn’t tip toe around the problems. Neither do I, but I lack his writer’s skills and his cred. I actually believe in a Creator God who has a plan of salvation for imperfect humankind and it isn’t us. It isn’t revolution. Chris might say he believes in God too, but…
I’ve read enough of his writing, including where he touches on his religion, but he’s trapped in Babylon The Great. His belief isn’t going to be useful, especially if he holds to the common view that humankind in fact is God. That’s worse than actually not believing. It results in his blocking from those who need it God’s light and the truth that will set them free, a grave sin. As the Christian Bible says, ‘Get out of her my people if you do not want to share in her sins and receive part of her plagues’, which include tormenting exposure. (Revelation 18:4) I’m not usually jumped all over for bringing up God (intelligibly and when appropriate, I hope), but I am not enthusiastically embraced either. I can live with that. As Jesus said, ‘He who acknowleges me before men, I will acknowledge before God in heaven. He who disowns me before men, I will disown before God in heaven.’ (Matthew 16:25) I would think that the author of “The Wages Of Rebellion” would understand that. I don’t need to beat people over the head with my religious beliefs – as if capitalism wasn’t a religion – but neither can I call them personal and never talk about them except in some church where instructors spouting mumbo jumbo talk at the churchgoers. (And besides, I fully believe in what I believe in and feel confident about those beliefs, rather than unsure and unwilling to express them.) I am assuming that churchgoers talk about their ‘spiritual’ food among themselves however, both in private when away from church and when the fancily dressed somebody has finished talking and before all have left church and gone ‘back’ into the world.
For the record, Chris doesn’t believe in violent revolution.
Here are some excerpts from Chris’s fine (but not perfect) book, “The Wages Of Rebellion”:
“There is nothing rational about rebellion. To rebel against insurmountable odds is an act of faith, without which the rebel is doomed. This faith is intrinsic to the rebel the way caution and prudence are intrinsic to those who seek to fit into existing power structures. The rebel, possessed by inner demons and angels, is driven by a vision. I do not know if the new revolutionary wave and the rebels produced by it will succeed. But I do know that without these rebels, we are doomed.” -pg 20
“Hunger and drought, especially in the poorer parts of the globe, will force populations to carry out armed raids and internecine wars to survive and lead many others to flee for more temperate zones. An estimated 200 million climate refugees, most from the equatorial regions of the globe, will descend by the middle of this century on Europe and other industrialized countries, according to figures cited in a study from Columbia University’s Center for International Earth Science Information Network. The industrialized states, anxious to preserve dwindling resources and avoid being overrun by destitute hordes, will become ringed fortresses. Democratic rights and constitutional protections will most likely be obliterated. This may be the best we can hope for. The worst will be the complete collapse of our ecosystem and the extinction of our species. Neither scenario is pleasant.” -pg 27
“…As our lives become increasingly fragile, we will have to make hard decisions about how to ensure our own survival and yet remain moral beings… This is not the world most of us desire, but it is the world that will probably exist.” – pgs 27,28
“Our corporate hustlers are direct descendents of the whalers and sealers, of butchers such as George Armstrong Custer, of the gold speculators and railroad magnates who seized Indian land, killed off its inhabitants, and wiped out the buffalo herds, of the oil and mineral inhabitants that went abroad to exploit – under the protection of the American military – the resources of others. These hustlers carry on their demented wars and plundering throughout the Middle East, polluting the seas and water systems, fouling the air and soil, and gambling with commodity futures while the poor starve. The Book of Revelation defines the single-minded drive for profit as service to the “beast.”…
“Walter Benjamin argues that capitalism is not only a formation “conditioned by religion” but an “essentially religious phenomenon,” albeit one that no longer seeks to connect human with the mystery of life. And it is the religion of capitalism, the maniacal quest for wealth at the expense of others, that turns human beings into beasts of prey.”…
“The barbarism of our new Dark Age will hold out Faustian pacts at the expense of others; first the poor in the developing world will be sacrificed, and then the poor at home. Communities and communal organizations that manage to break free from the dominant culture will find a correlation between the amount of freedom they enjoy and the amount of independence they attain in a world where access to land, food, and water has become paramount. Such communities that share the burdens of a disintegrating society, such as the ad hoc one formed in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, are our best hope for sustaining the intellectual and artistic traditions that define the heights of human culture and permit the common good. As those who build these communitarian structures discard the religion of capitalism, their acts of charity and resistance will merge – and they will be condemned by the corporate state.” – pgs 42,43
Indeed. But Chris, who views biological evolution as fact, appears to view God’s plan of salvation for imperfect humankind as fantasy, while claiming to be Christian. It’s nothing new. He possesses remarkable skills and admirable qualities, but he may lose God’s blessing if he truly pulls away from God. I’ll leave it to God to decide what Chris’s status is. The apostle Paul was there – in the world – once. If Paul was actually lost; that is to say, If he was a willing and knowing opposer of God, then God would not have been able to reach him as he did. Paul went from persecuting Christians to becoming one himself and then leading them, with guidance from God, which guidance, through holy spirit, won’t be there for those who are truly anti-God and antichristian.
Chris’s understanding of Revelation is no doubt different than mine. Does he view it as nonsense or not? He didn’t specifically refer to chapter 13 of the Bible book of Revelation, but I’m guessing that when he says Revelation is about the maniacal drive for profits of capitalists he is talking about chapter 13 and the compulsion that one beast puts on the world to get the mark of another (which it is a part of). The slave’s mark is 666. The compulsion involves preventing those who don’t comply from being able to buy or sell. Indeed. In this perverted money system, money means life, relatively speaking. Bread and shelter are not free. Therefore, If you want to command obedience, and you already dominate in society, then you can withhold the means of survival – money – from those who you want to obey you. The wild beast of corporatocracy (my formulation rather than the Bible’s, but it is in harmony with the Bible’s formulations) can therefore exert tremendous pressure upon people, as Chris so eloquently explains in all his writings, to get it’s slave’s mark and become a worshipper, namely a compliant supporter of the monstrous money system and those who own and run it. But pressure is not automatically effective. One can be under compulsion but resist it. Our lives, in fact, depend on that resistance.
Jehovah God does not expect us to accomplish the impossible. We are outgunned. He knows, and knew, that. We are all cogs in the system of things now called corporatocracy. Politicians and CEOs and Generals are indeed powerful, but none are as powerful as their invisible ruler. We are outgunned. Do we resist or are we okay with this godless, violent system of things? That’s the question. But the issue is of universal sovereignty. Understanding that then requires us to respond by either showing solidarity with God and an acceptance therefore of his will, and plan of salvation (which the faithful will have no problem doing), or rejecting his sovereignty and embracing darkness and Gog (whose name probably means darkness), aka Satan, aka the Devil. If we view man as saviour, then we thereby reject God and his chief representative as saviours. And we embrace God’s chief slanderer (Devil means slanderer) and resister (Satan means resister) who is also God’s, and our, longtime enemy.
“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness, and let them have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and the domestic animals and all the earth and every creeping animal that is moving on the earth. And God went on to create the man in his image. In God’s image he created him. Male and female he created them. Further, God blessed them and God said to them, “Be fruitful and become many. Fill the earth and subdue it and have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is moving on the earth.” -Genesis 2:26-28
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts and your ways are not my ways, declares Jehovah. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For just as the rain and the snow pour down from heaven and do not return until they saturate the earth, making it produce and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so my word that goes out of my mouth will be. It will not return to me without results, but it will certainly accomplish whatever is my delight. And it will have sure success in what I send it to do.” -Isaiah 55:8-11
“And I saw the wild beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the one seated on the horse and against his army. And the wild beast was caught, and along with it the false prophet that performed in front of it the signs with which he misled those who received the mark of the wild beast and those who worship it’s image. While still alive, they both were hurled into the fiery lake that burns with sulfur. But the rest were killed off with the long sword that proceeded out of the mouth of the one seated on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.” -Revelation 19:19-21
The owners and rulers of this godless system of things simply prefer their own God, namely themselves. And they are aware of their choice and they are utterly perverted and vicious and enjoy calling to God to bring it, which they do by their evil acts in which innocents suffer. Nuclear war with Russia is what they have their sights fixed on right now. Were they to get away with that, the destruction would be greater than anything humankind has ever seen. Not just innocents, including God’s loyal worshippers, would die. ‘All’ innocents everywhere could be destroyed. They are always calling God to bring it. He doesn’t show and so the crazies ramp up the terror and destruction, because that’s their pathology. That’s their wrath toward God who they know can’t slap them on the back and say ‘Well done lads’. Maybe that wrath will work. Engaging in great violence and terrorism is something that the rebels have been doing for a long time and they will be doing that right up until the moment they finally get their wish (“while still alive”), which they also never really desired to have fulfilled. That contradiction is possible, for their darkened minds are divided and ruined. They ruined themselves.
“…But the nations became wrathful. And your own wrath came. And the appointed time came for the dead to be judged and to reward your slaves the prophets and the holy ones and those fearing your name, the small and the great, and to bring to ruin those ruining the earth.” -Revelation 11:18