I think we’ve heard this before.

To use Jim Kunstler’s phrase, what a “clusterfuck”!  Political drones like Theresa May, like any drone, are paid not to think.  Just like the journo hacks supposedly “reporting” stuff like this.   People like May are paid to spout any nonsense they’re handed to read.  As to who, exactly, is writing this nonsense about the Russians involved in extra-territorial murders doesn’t really make any difference.  These so-called “people”, these arbiters of public opinion, are exposed every day, in all our daily “news”papers.  They condemn themselves with every word they write.  Why anyone pays any attention to this nonsense is beyond me.

If you want to try to sort it all out, I would suggest you follow the links provided below.

https://thesaker.is/when-dealing-with-a-bear-hubris-is-suicidal/

https://timhayward.wordpress.com/2018/03/14/urgent-communication-questions-to-be-addressed-regarding-novichoks/

https://off-guardian.org/2018/03/15/further-signs-of-more-war-a-most-dangerous-game/

https://off-guardian.org/2018/03/15/the-farcical-reality-behind-theresa-mays-novichok-story/

https://cluborlov.blogspot.fr/

http://www.moonofalabama.org/

I don’t know what I can add to all this but to say that it’s beyond belief that anyone can swallow this stuff.

Update.

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/03/of-a-type-developed-by-liars/ found on https://russia-insider.com/en/bombshell-british-scientists-balked-pressure-link-nerve-gas-russia/ri22809

https://russia-insider.com/en/shocking-diplomatic-incompetence-theresa-may-and-boris-johnson/ri22802  A recent post from Orlov.  Read it.

Conclude what you will.

Update

https://www.ukcolumn.org/article/skripal-russian-web-or-rusi-web – Very informative article by former British intelligence officer.  Link provided by commenter BigB to this article on OffGuardan:  https://off-guardian.org/2018/03/16/uks-novichok-claim-exposed-as-lies-what-is-the-current-reality-of-the-skripal-case/ .

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Russia’s Warning

11 mars 2018

https://cluborlov.blogspot.fr/2016/05/a-russian-warning.html

Posted nearly two years ago, I would urge anyone who stops by this blog to read this short, succinct, and prescient letter to the citizens of the US, especially in light of US reactions to Mr Putin’s recent speech to the Russian Federal Assembly. Still not convinced? Orlov’s got a more recent post that deals with reality based consequences of Russia’s new defence stance.

I would also suggest visiting The Saker’s blog which has a number of posts concerning the speech that provide commentary and context sorely needed in these days of headline-grabbing hyperbole.

On another note, Orlov’s use of the Chekhov quote about the “gun on the wall” reminded me of The Polemicist’s article on gun rights from a Left point of view, which I highly recommend.

 

 

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Presstitues on Fire. I Love it.

http://www.medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/2018/864-follow-your-bliss-the-tweet-that-brought-corporate-journalism-to-the-brink-of-a-nervous-breakthrough.html

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/03/08/wall-street-sells-subprime-history/

 

I don’t do Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, PayPal. They’re all part of my personal BDS movement. And while I often wonder why people who rant against the corporate oligarchy use platforms that enrich these same oligarchs, I figure it’s their karma, and who am I to judge, anyway? The pace of things these days is already too fast for my liking. Besides, I don’t have one of those super phones. I reckon if something important happens, I’ll hear about it sooner or later, like I did when I went over to MediaLens this morning, after seeing the headline at DissidentVoice.

Reading that the corporate twits (is that why they “tweet”?) were all atwitter in indignation at the thought that writing for our oligarchs, in order to be paid and eventually accede to Westminster, may not be the best way for an aspiring journalist (or any other writer, for that matter), who has any sense of ethics or real courage, to begin a career. In other words, writing for free, writing what you want, not what your corporate masters tell you. “Following your bliss”.

Since corporate media are nothing more than government propaganda agencies, writing for them means that you’re just fine with the wars, the inequality, the environmental destruction, and pretty much everything else that’s wrong with the world these days. Which, to me, means that you’re also pretty well qualified to man the joysticks of the drones patrolling not only the skies of however many relatively defenceless countries The West is occupying, bombing, subverting, but the very surveillance state your  oligarchs run. Meaning your own. Or doing anything else they tell you to do. Kind of like being a slave. Kind of like Ward Churchill’s “Good Little Eichmanns”.

In any case, I found it pretty funny that all those so-called journalists would react with such frenzy to something that is becoming more evident. They’re being seen for what they are: sycophants. Frightened little scribblers whose cover is being blown. Read the article. It’s worth it.

It makes me think of how the Russians could very well be looking at, and thinking about, the US and its European and other various vassal states: People so uninformed, so close-minded that it would be hilarious if they weren’t totally deluded and armed to the teeth.

Which brings me to the second link above. While not directly related, O’Brien is pointing out how the corporatocracy sees as part of its mission the dumbing down of its consumers. And not just the WallMart shoppers (who probably don’t care what the CFR has to say about anything), whose sale behaviour resembles the piling on of MediaLens’ critics. No, supposedly well respected think tanks and magazines (dare I say it?) constantly pump out pure propaganda, no matter how well it may be written, in order to enforce this herd mentality. That’s their job. Con a different class of consumer, but con it just the same.

There did exist cooperative societies at one time. Their histories have been lost in the fog
of too many wars. Ending his piece, O’Brien writes:

To keep the West going as a project requires – it seems – that the West be dumb. If that’s the case then the West and Wall Street – with or without the white supremacy – has no future. And who knows – the supremacy of the Reds might return. Not just in Russia and China but everywhere.

 

I don’t think any of this is news to a certain segment of the public who attempt to remain informed. Our job is to grow that segment, and at the same time, reduce that percentage of the population overly influenced by corporate “twits”. By writing what we feel like writing. And doing it for free.

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Want to Recapture Your Mind? Read This.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/03/02/colonizing-the-western-mind/

Hirthler does it again.  Must read.  I normally don’t like articles that refer to films, but this makes total sense.  And yes, I watched the film.  Twice.

Since I now live in the EU, I found this paragraph of particular interest, having witnessed the erosion of nation-state sovereignty first hand.

This ‘Washington Consensus’ is the false promise promoted by the West. The reality is quite different. The crux of neoliberalism is to eliminate democratic government by downsizing, privatizing, and deregulating it. Proponents of neoliberalism recognize that the state is the last bulwark of protection for the common people against the predations of capital. Remove the state and they’ll be left defenseless. Think about it. Deregulation eliminates the laws. Downsizing eliminates departments and their funding. Privatizing eliminates the very purpose of the state by having the private sector take over its traditional responsibilities. Ultimately, nation-states would dissolve except perhaps for armies and tax systems. A large, open-border global free market would be left, not subject to popular control but managed by a globally dispersed, transnational one percent. And the whole process of making this happen would be camouflaged beneath the altruistic stylings of a benign humanitarianism.

I had the good luck to stumble across Circus Politicus (https://fr.scribd.com/document/363490104/Deloire-Christophe-Dubois-Christophe-Circus-Politicus-2012-Pastichat-Giga-978-2-226-26936-2) shortly after its publication, which I now consider the definitive work on the origins of, and the reasons behind, the EU.  Hirthler’s analysis of our present situation is entirely consistent with the conclusions reached in this revelatory and highly readable book.

 

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Slow Com Updated

24 jan 2018

I’m reading via WSWS and Jonathan Cook that the billionnaire bosses of US (anti-)social media sites are hiring these days, but don’t get your hopes up. Most of those jobs (if ,indeed, they are even located in the US) will probably be no more highly paid than the remaining supermarket cashiers in order to perform, if I stretch things a bit, jobs not that much different.

You want to pass through the check-out counter? You better have some cash or, more likely, in too many cases, enough credit remaining on your plastic, to make it to the exits. Or maybe I should have likened these new jobs to the armies of gropers we find infesting the airports these days. I doubt their pay is much different.

So what are these new jobs all about? They’re about checking to see if what you post on “their” media is okay with the US government. They’re about being “good little Eichmanns” for the “good big Eichmanns” who have decided to basically operate as sub-contractors, enforcers if you will, for the surveillance state.  Eric Prince comes to mind.

Personally, I don’t use any of that stuff. Yeah, I use a computer. At the moment, it’s a hundred sixty euro Lenovo ideapad, bought new last year when my last Mac went dark for some still unknown reason. I use it for the net, email, and writing stuff, some of which I put up on this blog. And yeah, I have a portable telephone which I use for telephone calls and receiving messages from the train company here so I can buy my tickets online so I don’t have to have a printed ticket. The train guys may, or may not, scan my “senior” card. But I’m good to go and have nothing to throw away when I arrive at my destination.

But I digress. For the few of you who stop by here, I figure you don’t need this warning anyway. You’re probably not addicted to (anti-) social media. In fact, I’ve got a correspondent in Spain who doesn’t even like the telephone. My kind of guy. Slow com, like slow food, is always worth the wait. If I want to visit him and his wife, I’ll probably just ask around his town and knock on his door.

Update.

And still I digress. Anecdotes keep getting in the way.

What amazes me is the fact that all, or most of, the sites that publish rants against our media oligarchs and their pernicious platforms continue to use the very platforms against which they rant. They know that there’s a good chance that (if it hasn’t already happened) their sites will, in one way or another, be discriminated against if not outright disappeared, kind of like all those nasty socialists (and other anti-capitalists) in various countries the world over who were, in some cases, pushed out of airplanes or helicopters over the nearest ocean at the behest of the various US agencies with whom our billionnaires now collaborate, and from whom they collect hundreds of millions of dollars in “finder’s fees”. Why these sites continue to use the near equivalent of Saudi head-choppers is beyond me. Have they never heard of the BDS movement? Have people forgotten how to write a check? Or is that no longer allowed? Or are our keyboard warriors too lazy to get off their asses to go down their local (hopefully, if any still exist) bank and cash them?

If people are so pissed off at the billionnaire media masters, why continue to do business with them?

For example, the quality of the baguettes at one of our neighborhood bakeries went south a while ago, and we changed bakeries. I stopped by the other day for a different kind of bread, and the woman behind the counter remarked that she hadn’t seen me for a while. Had I been out of town? No, I replied, it was just that the former quality of their baguette had gone missing, and we had been buying elsewhere. Had they changed baker, flour supplier? Yes, she answered, and I wasn’t the only one who remarked the difference. She offered me a half baguette and hoped that we would find it up to their previous standards. As it turned out, it wasn’t all that bad. A bit short of their former quality, but not bad at all.

Granted, you can’t walk into the offices of our billionnaire head choppers and demand that they leave you alone, any more than you ask the same of any of our politicians or any of our so-called security agencies. They’re all safely walled off in any number of physical or virtual nether worlds whose boundaries seem to know no limits. The only way to reduce their power is to stop feeding them. Is that too much to ask?

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“Shithole Countries”, “Oprah for President!”, “Missile Attack!”

Let’s take them in order.

Paul Haeder, resident ranter over at DissidentVoice, has a pretty good take on what constitutes a real shithole of a country: our very own United States of America, citing (along with his own very personal experiences in this domaine) Chilean economist Manfred Max-Neef, who has come up with a new classification on the Development Scale which perfectly describes the US as an “Undeveloping” country. Couldn’t agree more.

Note. The Max-Neef link, which is included in Haeder’s piece, does in no way endorse DemocracyNow!, since I consider Goodman’s “golly gee!” type of Moyer-esque questions to be really stupid. Then again, maybe she really is that naïve. Or disingenuous. Or has an interview style that rubs me the wrong way.

The Oprah thing. Typical Democrat reaction. Bereft of any ideas whatsoever, they simply repeat past behavior and copy the Republicans, gushing over yet another TV personality billionaire. No wonder they lost the “election”.

The mistaken missile attack warning on Hawaii made me wonder where said “button” was located. Was it on an open panel similar to what you might see in an elevator, where someone could just as casually press that button as any other? Unlikely, but I wouldn’t put it past the geniuses who designed the F-35 to try to simplify matters at bit, considering that a written warning about the purpose of said “button”, given the US literacy rate, probably wouldn’t be understood by a fair portion of the employees of whatever agancy is/was in charge.

It could have been the work of a former vet who, having seen what US foreign policy actually involves (the terrorizing of innocent people so that people like Dick Cheney can become even more rich, and that people like Obama can go around the world promoting his award-winning brand at four hundred thousand euros a pop – the dollar’s too weak just now), decided to give his compatriots just a hint of what their tax dollars pay for, and how those on the receiving end of US “regime change” operations might feel about being bombed all the time.

There are theories floating around claiming it was a psy-ops thing (a not quite false flag) to prime the fear pump regarding North Korea, enough fear justifying somehow a pre-emptive bombing of North Korea. I find that hard to believe. Just as I find it hard to believe that la Clinton and Trump were candidates for the presidency.

Or that the Democrats now have their own pet billionaire as a possible presidential candidate. How else can you talk about a country heading for “Undeveloping” status?

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Complicity

13 jan 2018

John Davis’ article, Mud Slide, on CounterPunch this weekend, talks about a pretty pertinent question when he asks:

Can we do good within a corrupt system with which we are complicit? Or, as Adrian Parr notes, in her startling new book, Birth of a New Earth – The Radical Politics of Environmentalism, 2017, “political awareness arises from the realization that” (quoting Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari) “the reality I see is never ‘whole’ – not because a large part of it eludes me, but because it contains a stain, a blind spot which indicates my inclusion in it.”

The idea of complicity or “blind spots” got me to wondering about the moment(s) when I had an inkling of the socio-cultural straight jacket into which I had been born. The “stain”, if you will. The log in my own eye.

Was it the moment when, still toddling around in diapers, I decided to make my way down the back few stairs, push open the screen door of our row house, wander out into the back yard, wriggle out of my diapers, and pee freely in the sunshine (a wonderful feeling). Our Polish babysitter remarked from the doorway (probably in Polish, which I had come to understand), “Well now, master Stephen thinks he lives on a farm!”

Or was it five or six years later, as my father and I were torching an infestation of tent caterpillars in the winter pear trees, when I asked him why a Russian farmer would want to fight an American farmer, as I looked to the northwest from which I figured a Russian missile would come?

Was it during a winter storm, watching the snow whip by my cracked open bedroom window, weighted down by multiple layers of wool Hudson blankets, that I dreamed of being a tree, or joining a band of migratory Indians, padding their way through eternal autumns and springs?

Maybe it was towards the end of high school in the mid-sixties, when I remarked to a group of friends that I figured men had to be liberated before we could talk about liberating women. Or about the same time I decided that reading history through the lens of battles won or lost between some feuding families was less interesting than the lives of most of humanity living through those times. It was about that time I gave up reading newspapers and magazines, watching television.

Was it the moment I dove into the unknown January waters of the Calanques east of Marseille at two in the morning? Or the time I decided to be an agricultural worker, working for food and living in a tent by a river in la Drôme and reading Giono?

Or the time I refused a tenure-track position at a French university because I felt I was too young to retire from the world?

Or rolling my eyes when future naval officers in Saudi Arabia wanted nothing more than to talk about Madonna and Michael Jackson?

Or listening to the taxi driver in Istanbul talking about the true meaning of “jihad” as I let him drive me here and there, having never been there before, as I nursed a half bottle of raki?

Or agreeing to deliver a sailboat from Turkey to Greece and discovering I had just smuggled fifty kilos of gold?

Or describing my mid-life adopted home town to some journalists from National Geographic Traveler as a “speculator’s paradise”?

Or when I sold or gave everything away so I could leave the US with what I could carry?

Or that time, later on, in Morocco, when a taxi driver who was taking me to an area of illegally built seaside houses east of Rabat, after asking me what I was doing in Morocco, calmly explained that the US had no sense of history, was always in a hurry, and because of that, the patience of the majority of Moroccans would eventually outlast the senseless activity of the West, and, putting his right hand on my left arm as I was about to get out of his car, said that I should, in spite of the expected hilarity of my hosts, listen to the children.

When Davis writes:

When I turned the key in my car’s ignition recently to flee the Thomas Fire, California’s largest and almost certainly exacerbated by global warming, I was both victim and perpetrator, caught in the ouroboric moment of the snake eating its own tail.

… I could only think of the times of my own complicity in the crimes against the less fortunate, of the crimes against Mother Earth.

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