The International COVID 19 Vaccine Response

It is important to acknowledge the enormous grief and loss and suffering that a pandemic brings- those who lives were cut short , those who others relied on for their physical or emotional wellbeing, and those who made a wonderful contribution to a better life for all, while they were alive.

Prior to vaccine rollout in the ‘developed’ world, those countries that did best at reducing COVID deaths and infections were island nations- New Zealand, Taiwan, Iceland, Australia and even South Korea whose mainland border to the north is almost completely sealed. Being able to restrict access by humans from other countries played a huge role in reducing risk, and a sea border is a very efficient border wall once passenger flights are stopped or very closely monitored.

The most marked exception to the sea border rule is China, whose COVID restriction practices, while repressive to a degree, resulted in more freedom as a result of the control of the spread of COVID infection.

The map below from Our WorldinData.org for 3rd May 2021 illustrates the wide variation in death rates across the globe. Infection and death rates are a far more reliable indicator of a country’s effectiveness in managing the Covid crisis than simple numbers. A case in point being India , with a current horrific number of deaths (226,188 as of 4th May- but a rate per million population of only 163.9, as opposed to for instance the current rate of deaths in Bulgaria of 2390 per million but ‘only’ 16,609 deaths in total.

The map would suggest that while poorer countries have less effective formal health systems, they have an advantage of less mobile populations to spread the virus, and often greater access to open spaces where virus particles can more safely disperse.

However, once vaccines began to roll out, we begin to see a different story. Britain, a country with the highest death rate per million population for much of the earlier pandemic as a result of government incompetency and corruption, has now seen a remarkable reduction in deaths over the past month as the vaccine has been rolled out in a very systematic way. Similarly the United States, and some of the more wealthy European countries like Germany and the Scandinavian countries are also beginning to show marked improvements in death rates; in part because of tight lockdowns and the onset of summer with people spending less time in enclosed spaces , but mainly due to the vaccine roll-out.

Unsurprisingly, ugly power games between countries vying to be ‘top dog’ in the world, have resulted in extensive propaganda by all sides in rolling out vaccines to the world. These global power plays and the truly appalling greed of the pharmaceutical companies has also played a part in ensuring that the poorest countries do not get adequate access to vaccines, despite all the hollow platitudes from the United Nations and the propaganda from states.

One sublime example of the propaganda at play is this Guardian article which argues that because many Western governments are refusing to use the Russian Sputnik V vaccine because it is Russian (and dares to have the Russian flag on the box!), it is therefore a Russian ploy to sow dissent in the West. The fact that the esteemed (U.K.) Lancet medical journal has stated that Sputnik V has an enviable efficacy rate of 91.6%, doesn’t rate a mention. Sadly the article is one more demonstration of the global degradation of investigative reporting skills, understanding the difference between allegation and fact, and the capacity to use logical analysis. (but anything to further the ‘West is good/Russia bad’ meme)

The COVID epidemic has graphically illustrated the incompetency of many world leaders, and a reminder of the brutal sadism of many of them to kill innocent people in far away lands because of petulant power plays, jingoism and systematic racism.

Along with state power and incompetency, we have also witnessed the capacity of global pharmaceutical companies to capture the enduring essence of capitalism:- profits at any expense, including the loss of millions of human lives.

We need a better way……..

___________________________________________

Links

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/apr/30/is-russias-covid-vaccine-anything-more-than-a-political-weapon-sputnik-v

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/sputnik-v-vaccine-covid-brazil-russian-vaccine-ban-efficacy-recombination/

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2021/03/16/russia-slams-us-over-brazil-coronavirus-vaccine-pressure-a73250

https://ourworldindata.org/covid-deaths?country

https://thegrayzone.com/2021/03/24/chomsky-on-the-joke-of-russian-interference-and-the-savagery-of-us-sanctions/

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)00234-8/fulltext

Ego Emere, Ergo Sum; (I buy, therefore I am)

J.G. Ballard’s ‘The Subliminal Man’, written in 1963, outlines a future 1960-ish world where the state ‘encourages’ the population to buy more useless things so that they work more hours to pay for them and therefore consume more… in a never-ending circle of supply and demand.

In ‘The Subliminal Man’, the population is locked into this endless cycle via subliminal messaging from huge electronic billboards next to the motorways…How far we have come since 1963!

Today one is struck by governments all over the world exhorting the public to go out and spend, go on holidays etc, once COVID 19 lockdowns are over, ostensibly to ensure that we have full employment and therefore more money in the system….

But the reality is that we are all locked into a crazy system that relies on ever increasing demand for ever increasingly useless items that need to be ‘sold’ to us as essential, as ‘must-haves’, or the ‘bucket-list’, so that we can afford to live the life we ‘choose’….

We are no longer consumers; we are the consumed.

The barrage of advertisements on our cellphones delivered via social media and the apps we use; the ever more strident advertisements on TV for another ‘latest product’; even the billboards on our highways, are all testament to the fact that those advertised things are really non-essential- otherwise they would not need to be ‘sold’ to us. We would simply purchase them when our old product stops working, when we really need them, or not purchase them at all.

The ongoing process to ensure ‘essential items’ are designed to be non-repairable, only replaceable, and that commodities are constructed with plastics and other materials that deteriorate rapidly, also ensures that we must continue to buy and consume.

Everything that humans now require to live becomes a commodity, a consumable, packaged and labelled and sold; from the food we eat to the water we drink, the sentient animals we depend on for food; perhaps soon too, the air we breathe. Only money now provides us with meaning …’we know the price of everything and the value of nothing’.

Given that societies’ globally almost all rely on this psychotic fragile consumer cycle – we are in deep sh*t.

We know our consumer behavior is pushing our living world to oblivion- destroying the remainder of the natural world and creating enormous amounts of toxic gases and plastics and ‘land-fill’-yet our governments continue to relentlessly promote this consumer society, while simultaneously talking about reducing carbon emissions and retaining biodiversity.

It is as if they don’t think there are any other options- but of course- there are- just not ones palatable to the businesses and global corporations feeding off our consumer addictions.

We all deserve a better life than this..

_______________________________

Links

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/01/could-we-live-in-a-zero-growth-society/

The unraveling of the web of life

The Leaf in  the Concrete Pool
The Leaf in the Concrete Pool

A U.K.  February  2021 report by Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta,  entitled ‘The Economics of Biodiversity’ outlines the ‘extreme risk’ the ‘world’, is being put by  not taking into  account the  ‘rapid depletion of the natural  world’.

While the overarching intent of the paper is to  be applauded in attempting to  reduce species loss,  the underlying assumptions outlined in  the paper  about humans’ relationships to  the rest of this living world  are,  to  put it mildly,  grotesque.

Prof. Dasgupta’s comment that  ‘Truly sustainable economic growth and development means recognising that our long-term prosperity relies on rebalancing our demand of nature’s goods and services with its capacity to supply them’, is truly bizarre.

The natural  world (including the human  species) does not exist  to provide ‘goods and services’. This arrogant and ignorant perspective of the living world around us  is the root cause of  why  the  living planet around us, is dying. All  living things on  this planet exist  in their own  right and to  construct  a web of  interdependent life around themselves; a web  that  humans have been  unravelling at  ever-increasing speed for the past 3000  years.

To  view other living organisms as ‘good and services’  for humans, is not only  to  debase the sanctity of life, but also confirms our  fundamental  lack of understanding of how life on  this planet life continues to  maintain  itself,  and once thrived. The more humans choose some organisms as being ‘worthwhile’  ( for humans),  and others not-  the more we destroy the web that  holds all  life on this planet together.

There are many humans on this planet who  have never known  what  it is to  be connected with  the living world around them – who  look  out their windows in  the morning at  the dead concrete jungle surrounding them  and think  this life. Who  truly do  think  of the living world as a commodity solely for humanities’  use, and who  never once consider that  the view from  their window  would have once been  a joyous riot of life-   of birds,  trees  insects and many other  animals. What  humans have not known, we do not miss. The more humans become immersed in  an inanimate world of concrete  and tar, the more it becomes ‘normal’.

We do  not comprehend what  we have done to  our world, and what  awaits us at the end of this journey  of ‘commodification’.

 


Links

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/feb/02/economics-failure-over-destruction-of-nature-presents-extreme-risks

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/final-report-the-economics-of-biodiversity-the-dasgupta-review

An Australia We Can Believe In

Australian  Prime Minister Scott  Morrison is apparently incensed about  Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian’s posting of an image of  an Australian  soldier slitting the throat  of a young Afghan boy.

Chin'as constrcuted image of Aussie war crimes in Afghanistan

The  ‘constructed’  image  that  Zhao Lijian  used  was based on  an  Australian government  report into  Special Operations Task Group in Afghanistan,  which  found   ‘credible information of 23 incidents of unlawful killing of 39 people “by or at the direction of members of the Special Operations Task Group in circumstances which, if accepted by a jury, would be the war crime of murder. None of these are incidents of disputable decisions made under pressure in the heat of battle, found the inquiry.” Those 39 prisoners and civilians were unlawfully killed and two treated so cruelly, the soldiers’ conduct amounted to a war crime.

This new report follows on  from  previous allegations of misconduct  by  New Zealand troops in  Afghanistan, by  journalists Jon Stephenson and Nicky Hager where New Zealand “Defence” Force personnel  breached rules of engagement in an SAS-led raid in Afghanistan in 2010 and covered up the resulting civilian deaths.

Why  such a report about  murders and abuse should be a surprise to  anyone, is a mystery. Western  countries have prided themselves on their superiority to  the ‘less than pink’  skinned races of the world  in  their  centuries’ old thrust  to control  the world’s resources for their exclusive benefit. Such  superiority extends to  a  war culture that dehumanises the ‘enemy’  as ‘gooks’,   ‘rag-heads’ and the ‘yellow peril’, among many other perjorative names..

Australia and the Western media at large depict their country as an innocent victim of ‘Chinese bullying’, ‘coercion’ and ‘aggression’, through  China’s use of  tarriffs, border controls and  monitoring of import goods’ quality,  to  press its argument that  Australia needs to  learn which side its bread is buttered on.

China is particularly annoyed with  Australia  foolishly following the Trump  propaganda line  that  COVID19  is a Chinese  communist government threat  to  the world. Startling, when it is China who  has done most to  show the world how to  limit infection spread…

Australia’s former finance minister, Joe Hockey, labeled China’s President  Xi’s actions “economic coercion.” As Hockey told Bloomberg in a Nov. 3 interview: “That’s not the China that I knew when I was treasurer” for two years until September 2015. This “immature action,” Hockey says, is “not the behavior of a great power.”.

One might be forgiven  for laughing at Joe Hockey’s ‘belief’  that Western  ‘great powers’   never use extortion,  threat  and violence to  get their  economic way. The creation of economic sanctions  and wars of aggression on countries the West  does not like,  is a time honoured tradition- not the sole prerogative  of Donald Trump!

We are now subjected to  the shameful  behaviour of both  the Australian  and New Zealand prime ministers whitewashing these current war  crimes by  claiming that  the images posted by  Zhao Lijian were ‘fake news’. Clearly the images posted were indeed not taken  in the heat of  Australians  killing Afghan children for fun; they  were intended as representations of real  events. Apparently,  ‘an obscure artist in China made an art about the tragedy which was widely circulated in Chinese social media, and which Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Li JianZhao tweeted.’

Human  Right Watch  notes that: The former military lawyer and whistleblower David McBride, who was deployed to Afghanistan with the special operations task group, was charged with a number of offenses in 2017 after he spoke to reporters about the alleged abuses, and his trial is ongoing. He is the only person who was charged, and the charges are unrelated to his conduct in Afghanistan.

One should therefore not be surprised by  a  Chinese (and North  Korean,  Vietnamese,  Syrian, Iraqi,  Libyan etc etc )  call  in  the future  to  demand reparations for all  those countries Australia and the other Five Eyes and Fourteen Eyes countries ( In addition to the Anglo-Saxon countries, the group includes Italy, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, France, Sweden and Norway), that have ‘bullied’ with  war and sanctions  over the past 60  years- the genocidal  wars in  Korea and Vietnam   come to  mind;  let alone Iraq, Libya or Syria…..and recently American  sponsored atrocities have come to  light….

That  Australia  and New Zealand  continue  to  defend  their  positions as  ex-colonial  powers  allied to  racist  and war-mongering  Western European states and the U.S., is no  surprise; but it does give an indication of the intelligence and humanity  of their political  and ‘intelligence’ communities, and their capacity  to grasp where  the future lies.


Links

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/508216-china-australia-soldier-afghanistan/

https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/11/19/australia-follow-afghan-report-prosecutions

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2020/11/no-comparison-between-alleged-australian-defence-force-atrocities-in-afghanistan-and-kiwis-actions-in-operation-burnham-kiwi-war-journalist-jon-stephenson.html

https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/China-s-bullying-of-Australia-is-bound-to-backfire

Australian Lowlifes – American Empire’s Bitches

Stealing Mineral Wealth for Corporate Interests: U.S. Bankrolled Mass Murder of Millions in Central Africa

https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/secret-docs-reveal-dubious-details-of-targeted-killings-in-afghanistan-a-1010358.html

 

Navalny’s Novichok

The recent suspected poisoning  by  Novichok of Alexei  Navalny , politician & anti-corruption campaigner  in Russia, apparently  demonstrates remarkable levels of incompetence by the  Russian Federation & Vladimir Putin.

It should be noted that while Navalny is certainly a thorn in the side of Vladimir Putin  and his United Russia party from  an  anti-corruption point of view, and attains mythical  status  in Western  mainstream  media as Putin’s   potential  nemesis leading his  ‘Russia of the Future’ political  party , Nalvany’s  has 3 to  5% support amongst  Russian voters nationally and  by whom he is often perceived as an extremist, means that he is  currently little  of a political  threat to Putin.  However Nalvany’s   supporters in Russia and West allege, “state-run” media ignore him  and the ballot boxes are always stuffed in  Putin’s candiates’ favour. He may however have many enemies in both  government and private corporate Russian circles.

Craig Murray,  ex U.K.  ambassador, whistleblower on U.K  complicity in torture, supporter of Assange and other unpopular human rights issues,  and  now conveniently  likely soon  to  be imprisoned by  the U.K.  government on  some highly questionable charges , outlines below just  some of the  ‘peculiarities’ of the poisoning.

Let us first take the weapon of attack. One thing we know about a “Novichok” for sure is that it appears not to be very good at assassination. Poor Dawn Sturgess is the only person ever to have allegedly died from “Novichok”, accidentally according to the official narrative. “Novichok” did not kill the Skripals, the actual target. If Putin wanted Navalny dead, he would try something that works. Like a bullet to the head, or an actually deadly poison.

“Novichok” is not a specific chemical. It is a class of chemical weapon designed to be improvised in the field from common domestic or industrial precursors. It makes some sense to use on foreign soil as you are not carrying around the actual nerve agent, and may be able to buy the ingredients locally. But it makes no sense at all in your own country, where the FSB or GRU can swan around with any deadly weapon they wish, to be making homemade nerve agents in the sink. Why would you do that?

Further we are expected to believe that, the Russian state having poisoned Navalny, the Russian state then allowed the airplane he was traveling in, on a domestic flight, to divert to another airport, and make an emergency landing, so he could be rushed to hospital. If the Russian secret services had poisoned Navalny at the airport before takeoff as alleged, why would they not insist the plane stick to its original flight plan and let him die on the plane? They would have foreseen what would happen to the plane he was on.

Next, we are supposed to believe that the Russian state, having poisoned Navalny, was not able to contrive his death in the intensive care unit of a Russian state hospital. We are supposed to believe that the evil Russian state was able to falsify all his toxicology tests and prevent doctors telling the truth about his poisoning, but the evil Russian state lacked the power to switch off the ventilator for a few minutes or slip something into his drip. In a Russian state hospital.

Next we are supposed to believe that Putin, having poisoned Navalny with novichok, allowed him to be flown to Germany to be saved, making it certain the novichok would be discovered. And that Putin did this because he was worried Merkel was angry, not realising she might be still more angry when she discovered Putin had poisoned him with novichok- Craig Murray

Curiously again, Navalny’s poisoning just happened to coincide with an  intense level  of blackmail  and lobbying from  the United States for Germany to  renege on its agreement with Russia to  provide  Germany with cheap  natural  gas via Nordstream 2 pipeline ( to  ensure Germany buys vastly more expensive U.S. gas) and  the current political  debacle occurring in  Belorussia,  where Poland,   the Ukraine and the Nordic states are putting intense pressure on  the Belorussian state to  not sign  up  to the previously agreed political  and military  merging of Belorussia with Russia.

As Southfront notes, it would appear that  the Navalny case and the colour revolution style demonstrations   supported from  those states, has prompted the Belorussian  President Lukashenko; just  recently re-elected on  somewhat dubious grounds after obtaining 80% of the vote!- to  once again  change direction and support the merger with the Russian Federation.

It also  appears somewhat  strange that  Germany has decided that  a Russian national ,  supposedly poisoned on Russian soil,  is the political  business of the German  state. Should Germany wish  to pursue that line of political  enquiry, then  Germany should have  rightly long ago  sanctioned and demanded explanations from the United States, United Kingdom, France and other Western  states for their appalling record of genocidal wars  they they have engaged in.

And one more speculative narrative  explores whether the Novichok accusations are part of a campaign  by  the U.S.  to  ensure the  newly developed  (and rather rushed) Russian COVID19  vaccine, does not  undercut U.S.  attempts (and particularly Bill Gates’) initiatives to  market a vaccine to the world.

All  this  alongside the ongoing attempt by  Western intelligence  agencies  and their mainstream  media “associates” to ‘fit up’  Russia and China  with every possible charge of criminal  activity and human rights violations, so  that  Western  populations can  accept and applaud the loss of access to Russian and Chinese goods, the need for more weapons and even the justification for war. It is important to recognise too, that the linkages between Western  intelligence agencies are very  strong,  and often can be at  odds with  the positions of those in  government, to the benefit of those who  can make money  out of death  and destruction.

The U.S.  and the U.K.  are very much aware that  their economic influence on the rest of the world is rapidly waning, and their historical  methods of violence intimidation and corruption no longer have the power they use to,  with the rise of China as an economic counterweight.

Thus we see  a long term pattern of accusations of the use of “Weapons of Mass Destruction” or other mass human rights violations  against  states the U.S.  and the U.K wish  to  first destabilise and  then  extract   the profits from  that destruction. The list  includes   Iraq,  Syria,  Libya, Iran,  Russia, Venezuela,  China…   Those countries that  continue to  violate human  rights on  a massive scale like Israel, Saudi Arabia, Colombia and many others  are exempt from  that pressure because they are already  within  the US/UK economic sphere . And of course the  genocidal  activities of the U.S. and U.K.  in their endless colonial  wars are simply brushed under the carpet.

Both the U.S.  and the U.K.  know that once China ,  in collaboration with its Belt and Road partners, achieves overwhelming economic ( and military) superiority,  there will be many many British and American  leaders  confronting the International  Court of Justice in the Hague for their crimes and the need for just  compensation for those states they have destroyed over the past  100  years.

Follow the money….

Postscript

Southfront posits some alternative reasons for Navalny being ‘poisoned’ here 


Links

Homo Homini Lupus Est: Did Navalny’s Allies Poison The Oppositionist For Flying Too Close To The Sun?

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/09/navalny-gets-skripaled.html#comments

https://www.unz.com/ishamir/navalny-poison/

https://www.thelocal.de/20200822/whos-behind-the-berlin-ngo-which-rescued-russias-opposition-leader

The Navalny case: Poisoning or another occasion to heighten Russo-European tensions?

https://www.unz.com/ishamir/navalny-poison/

Novichok, Navalny, Nordstream, Nonsense

https://www.sott.net/article/440822-German-Novichok-poisoning-claims-over-Navalny-will-prompt-familiar-circus-of-sanctions-Russia-demonisation-But-who-benefits

https://www.thenation.com/article/world/alexei-navalny-poisoning/

 

Belarus Chooses Integration With Russia Against Navalny Poisoning

Novichok and Nonsense: From a Post-Factual to a Post-Logic World

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/09/05/pers-s05.html

Germany, Not Russia, Should Answer Questions Over Navalny Case

 

Back to the Old ‘Normal’?

 

The Importance of an Education
           The Importance of an Education

As the  world’s populations witness the ongoing farce  and unnecessary  deaths  that is the U.K. and U.S.  responses to  the pandemic; they  see two countries whose rulers are totally incompetent,   bombastic,  entirely ego-centred and without a clue in  the world. Their  egotistical  traits and their greed has directly resulted in  thousands more human  deaths than ever needed to  occur in this pandemic.

The entire Washington system-  Democrat  or Republican  is now hell-bent on  demonising China. China,  the cause ( supposedly deliberately  if we were to  believe that thug and inveterate liar, U.S.  Secretary  of State Pompeo), of the  COVID-19  global  pandemic. One  of the more brilliant (crazed) theories   by  the Washington swamp  is that   information  to  the world on  pandemic and the  epidemic epicentre in Wuhan  China was delayed so  that  China could corner the market  on COVID-19  masks and PPE equipment!

They  see  those two regimes, The U.S.  and The U.K.,  whose only apparent interest  is maintaining  their disintegrating economies (and subduing  countries who  do  not toe the U.S.  line on  all  matters) while their  health  systems  teeter on  the verge of collapse,  in  contrast  to  those ‘authoritarian” and other  more democratic governments, who have prioritised the safety and health of all  their populations.

No  wonder then,  that there is a desperate need  for the United States to  try  and re-assert itself as   ‘world leader’ and master of the universe in  the face of  governments who share proved demonstrably more agile,  smarter and  more  compassionate to  the needs of their populations. The bully-boy of the globe is under threat:  from  within  and without. Secretary of State Pompeo   therefore exemplifies perfectly what  America stands for-  and what  it has always stood for: greed, violence and lies.  The new trade alliance with  the U.K.  one of the desperate last gasp  attempts to  maintain  some hegemony in  the world .

In places like New Zealand and other countries high on  the ‘bucket list’  for wealthy  people to  visit , overseas tourism has slumped dramatically since the pandemic. Tourism  operators and regulators are now  calling for   big media campaigns to  artificially promote local  tourism. It does beg the question as to  why  our society  has to  rely on manipulated  media -driven purposeless consumption to  survive.

Tourism  is one of the primary  human  activities which  are rapidly degrading our planet till  it is no longer live-able for us or any other known  species. Its reliance on  massive air traffic flows  and consequent  very  high CO2 production  through long-haul  jet plane engines,  its reliance on  building non-organic  infrastructure like  roads,  hotels,  tracks through  nature and many other acts of ‘progress’, in  natural  environments  and   consequent human  traffic,  which  rapidly degrade  the lives of other species we are so  desperate to  see,  are just  two  of the massively environmentally destructive activities of tourism  that global  human  populations  has been  sold as a ‘must-have’  over the past 30  years.

It has to  stop. It will  stop,  but surely better it is  that  we plan now for job transfers to  essential and  non-environmentally destructive activities, before we face  a new inevitable  likely larger shock  to  our  crazy  economic system, and consequently even  more   massive human  dislocation, trauma and death . Unemployment  deals a savage blow to  people’s sense of hope and a bright future;  let alone the impact  it can have on  access to  food and  health  services . We know that global environmental  collapse, and consequent complete economic collapse, is going to  happen unless we shift our  focus to  providing just  the essentials for human  beings and stop  destroying our world for nothing.

New cycle lanes or more public transport in  our urban  environments are lovely things to have while we  speed  ever more rapidly to    environmental  disaster – but they  don’t go  anywhere near the  need for change required to  turn  our economic system around into  something  sustainable  that  values all  living things.

Our bizarre and psychotic  magical belief in  the ‘invisible  hand ‘  of capitalism  over the past 100  years  to create wealth  and happiness for all humans ( but not other species we rely on  in this world for our survival)has created this  appallingly stupid and callous human centric world system we live in;  where other species become ‘products’  for our consumption;  where the  living and  beautiful natural environment that  surrounds us  is simply there for us to  make ‘productive’  by poisoning it with pesticides and fertilizers, or sealing it over with concrete and tar; where we do  not think  for a moment about the massive destruction of the lives of other species we destroy every  day in  our quest  for ‘progress’- all those animals who  we now know for certain   have fears and thoughts and emotions and who  we so  callously and cruelly inflict  pain  and loss on every  day.

We do  not need this ‘progress’ that  the  media and  business have propagandized  into  our hearts and minds for so  long :  we can  in  fact  live more productive and contented lives being more attuned to  the living world of which  we are inextricably part of-  but we have to  change now!


Relevant Links

Human Crises & Saving the Planet-New Antarctica

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/may/01/city-leaders-aim-to-shape-green-recovery-from-coronavirus-crisis

Why It’s Wrong (and Racist) to Blame Covid-19 on Chinese ‘Wet Markets’

Conserving Politics or Conserving Nature?

The Plot to Blame China for COVID-19

COVID-19: Complicit in Millions of Deaths Since 1945, UK Govt Won’t Face Justice Over Virus

COVID-19: Donald Trump’s Caligula Moment

https://www.unz.com/pescobar/get-ready-for-the-next-game-changer-the-digital-yuan/

https://theconversation.com/guide-to-the-classics-mary-shelleys-the-last-man-is-a-prophecy-of-life-in-a-global-pandemic-136963

https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-three-misconceptions-about-how-animals-transmit-diseases-debunked-134485

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-05/11/c_139048008.htm

The Whirlpool of Environmental Collapse

Greta Thunberg is to sail across the Atlantic in a high-speed racing yacht next month to attend UN climate summits in the US and Chile ….which she described as “pretty much where our future will be decided”.

While 16 year  old Greta is  a passionate and well-meaning advocate for change to  our headlong dash to  climate  and species loss disaster;  it is eminently clear that  talk-fests by  leading politicians and climatologists are definitely not going to  make one damn bit of difference to  our current polices rapidly destroying the planet.

The Paris Accord, hailed as some  turning point in  human behaviour to our planet, was simply a cruel  facade and a hoax. Global  emissions have increased,  not declined since that accord was signed, and the environmental destruction of our living world has accelerated. We now elect clowns and idiots  to  run   our countries. Those who  participate in  those climate  talk-fests are those who  are in league with  those who  knowingly destroy our world-  the business men,  the media men, the investors,  the politicians-  all  locked in to  making more money  from  the destruction of the thin veneer of life  that used to  make our little blue world  a safe place for all its inhabitants.

The solutions are not to be found with  those who  have created this disaster. The solutions are simple ones which  do  not provide any profits or backhanders for those in  power. In  fact  the solutions  will  help  to demolish the lie of   the ‘human progress’  model  that  has been  sold to  us for the past 200  years.

Planting billions of indigenous  trees, ripping up  the concrete and tar that  seals the life out of our  once living earth;  growing plants  of all  kinds,  not for profit or ‘development’  but to  help  restore our natural  world, is our only saviour. We cannot ‘develop’  our way  out of this tragedy,  or find a new technological  solution-  that  is the way  of the con-man. We must  return  to  nature-  our natural  heritage.

Native  indigenous trees not only  breathe  in carbon  dioxide , they  provide a refuge for  enormous numbers  of living things, from  the insects that  feed from  trees, the  local fungi  and bacteria that   symbiotically  live near the roots of the trees, the birds that  live on  the insects  and the multiplicity of other organisms ( including humans)  that thrive in  proximity to  the trees. Trees also  have a huge capacity to  provide shade in  hot climates, to   eliminate human made toxins from  the air , and to  increase the  level  of water vapour  in  the air bringing life-giving rain  while protecting the soil  beneath  from erosion. Despite the ongoing hype and lies from  the mass- killers of animals –  we humans do  not need  to  consume the vast  amount of dead cows, pigs  and  sheep  that  we are led to  believe keeps us healthy.   Dramatically reducing  the area of land  used for   grazing  and replanting with  the trees that  once lived there, can  indeed help  save our planet.

The fishing industry  empires, scouring the seas for the last surviving fish  in  our over-heated oceans are not required. Humans can  and will  have a much  smaller footprint on our earth.

Do  you need that  air plane trip  to  Bali  for your holiday? Do  you need that  new car? that  non- repairable piece of technology ?

Each  of us can  plant a tree, can  help  save our world-  now!

 


Links

https://science.howstuffworks.com/nature/climate-weather/storms/trees-affect-weather1.htm

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/07/29/earliest-ever-earth-overshoot-day-shows-humanitys-consumption-planets-natural?

Venezuela Madness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Links

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

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

https://venezuelanalysis.com/video/14253

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Madness of Military Intervention in Venezuela

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

The Vultures of Caracas

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

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

Demonic Russia

Over the last few years we have seen an increasing crescendo  of Western  media implicating Russia in wars of aggression,  threats to  its neighbours  and more recently involvement in  gas attacks in  both  Syria and now the U.K.

Russia as one of the major  international  suppliers of natural  gas and  oil , is like Iran ( and previously Iraq and Libya) , one of the few states not aligned to  Western corporate  interests. And  like China, (a major oil  importer)  operates a defence arsenal -both  conventional  and nuclear,  which is  largely independent of Western  suppliers.

After the breakup  of the Soviet bloc in the 1990s, and the resultant Yeltsin  years of asset stripping by  newly emergent  Russian “oligarchs” and Western companies, Russia under Putin  has slowly regained some of  the strengths it had acquired as a communist nation. But this time with  a much  stronger ethnic Russian  flavour, as the Baltic states and many of the Eastern  ‘Stans’  of Soviet times, devolved from  the newly formed  Russian  Federation .

Western  interests had intended that  any Russian  resurgence would be minimal  and closely aligned to  Western  corporates. However President Putin’s presidency has had a strong focus on  Russian  nationalism, independence and self-reliance-all anathema to  Western  ‘think-tank” and government foreign  policy planners..

With  NATO pushing hard against Russian  borders in  the West, and the Polish  and Baltic states electing ever more nationalist  governments, Russia  has responded with  increasing its defence arsenal –  both  nuclear and conventional. The capabilities of many of these new weapons , like the Kalibr cruise missile and the newly announced Russian hyperspeed missiles have come as a surprise to  Western  defence analysts. Russia’s military  successes in  supporting the government of Syria against  the Western  and Gulf State supported jihadists attempting to overthrow the Syrian regime have also  confounded Western military  analysts.  Russia’s  brief war on its borders in Ossetia and in Georgia  and its seizure of the Crimea  and its centuries old Russian naval  base there, after Western intervention in the Ukraine , also  came as a surprise to  those in  the West  who  expected easy  victories there.

However what  is much more of a threat  to  Western interests than  all  of the above, is Russia’s capacity to be an overland ( and thus secure) conduit for China’s vast consumer production  to  Europe and beyond . Bizarrely though, it is the military  and economic  pressure by  the West  which  has cemented  the alliance between  China and Russia and further enabled the “One Belt One Road” project . In addition, this reinvigorated Russo/Chinese alliance will  ensure China’s access in  the long-term  to  essential  oil  for its factories which is not  at  risk from  maritime attack or blockade by  the U.S.  or its allies.

While Russian capacity to  understand or even work as an  equal  partner  with its ever-more-powerful  eastern  neighbour is  currently limited- this China/Russia  alliance has enormous future consequences for global  trade and dominance ( should global  warming and environmental  destruction not impede or destroy world capacity for  human ‘progress” in the meantime!)

While the U.S. remains the largest  economic, and by  far the largest  military  power in  the world;  that power is indisputably waning. Endless fruitless wars have drained its coffers, as well  as inflicting enormous suffering on  so  many of the world’s populations. Rampant corruption at  all  levels of American  society,  but particularly in  Washington, has left government and strategic vision entirely in  the hands of greedy  corporates,  whose only ‘vision’  is more power and money for themselves. It’s strongest  ally,  the U.K.  has long suffered from  the loss of income from the colonial  states it is now largely unable  to ravage, but its moneyed classes hold still  to  a vision of a truly “Great” Britain. The “City of London” , the mercantile capital  of the world in  many respects,  has reaped,  and continues to  reap, enormous profits from  the largely illegal  siphoning of capital  from  what  were once the state enterprises of the Soviet Union into London’s coffers,  via Russian  ‘oligarchs‘ .  The British press  and politicians like to portray  these  “oligarchs’  as “Putin’s men” ,  whereas in  most instances they  are extremely anti-Putin because of Putin’s  nationalist  views and his desire for Russian money to  stay inside Russia .

The recent Kemerovo mall  fire tragedy in Siberia, with  its obvious implications of corruption and negligence at  the Siberian   governorship level, will  both require and assist  Putin  to  further crack  down on corruption in Russia.

Now, entrance the ‘Novichok’  affair…Moon of Alabama and  Craig Murray,  among many others,  have effectively destroyed any  argument by London’s   ‘ruling classes’ ,  that this was indisputably a Russian  government initiated nerve agent attempted murder of a   Russian  ex double agent and his Russian daughter.  However what  seems often missed in  these accounts of the counter-arguments to  the British  Government’s spin  on  the attempted murders is the extraordinarily implausible likelihood that  such  nerve agent deaths would not only occur within  a few kilometers of Britain’s only Chemical Weapons facility at  Porton  Down near  Salisbury, (where disgusting and inhumane  activities are carried out in  the name of the Western  world, and in direct  contravention of the U.K.s obligations as a signatory  to  the UN Conventions on the prohibition of chemical and biological weapons),  but that  a few weeks before, the BCC had aired a  British  /American  spy drama called “Strike Back” in  which Novichok   was used  by  a disgruntled ex-Russian  spy.  The laws of probability say  that  those two  events, and the actual  attempted murders,  cannot be coincidence.  Now add in  into  the mix the current controversy  over Facebook personal details being leaked to  benefit Trump’s presidential  campaign  by  SCL subsidiary , Cambridge Analytica.    As Bella Caledonia notes: SCL is a very  British  company dedicated (and funded by  the British  Ministry of Defence) to  manipulate public opinion  in  a multitude of foreign  and domestic environments.  There in Bella Caledonia’s post you will  note that  in  2005 SCL ” went public with a glitzy exhibit at the DSEI conference, the UK’s largest showcase for military technology.  It’s ‘hard sell’ was a demonstration of how the UK government could use a sophisticated media campaign of mass deception to fool the British people into the thinking an accident at a chemical plant had occurred and threatened central London.” And the Novichok affair gets rather messier for  Western  ‘intelligence’   here..

As SCL notes on its website: ‘SCL is experienced in using data driven communication to achieve behavioral change in civilian groups. National programs across the spectrum from social programs, health campaigns, and educational initiatives can all be designed using advanced data analytics informed by our behavioral tools. SCL combines the micro-segmentation data from the target audience and combines it with behavioural profiles to increase the effectiveness of information campaigns.’

Hmmm- might a display of ‘novichok” in  some quiet little British  city be helpful in  pushing the case that Russia ( and instrumentally  Vladimir Putin)  is indeed the demon  we have always thought her to  be? And here is the ‘proof’  in 5 slides  that  Her Majesty’s Government was able to  persuade its NATO allies that  Russia  did indeed  do  the deed. Demonstrably we are indeed talking about totally incompetent UK politicians , defence planners and easily bought NATO allies  here…

And finally,  with  the appointment of  the psychopath John Bolton as the new  U.S.  National  Security Advisor,  whose only known diplomatic strategy  is to  kill  people he doesn’t like in  vast  quantities,  we have the capacity for those with  very  limited intellectual  capacity to  destroy  the earth (in a nuclear armageddon)  much earlier than planned….

And Country Joe’s song is just  as relevant now as it was then in 1969…

 

Postscript

Gareth  Porter provides a possible alternative explanation as to  why  the purported Novichok nerve agent did not immediately kill the Skripal’s, as it should have done.


Links

Strategic Communications Laboratory (SCL Group)        https://sclgroup.cc/home

SCL – a Very British Coup

Shadow Democracy

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/dispatches/2005/09/you_cant_handle_the_truth.html

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/422502-west-russia-diplomats-skripal/

Will America accept its defeat or will it challenge the Russian Bear and the Chinese Dragon? (1/3)

Will America accept its defeat or challenge the Russian bear and the Chinese dragon 3/3?

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/03/the-geo-political-poker-game-wheres-the-off-ramp-by-.html#more%22%22

https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/with-expulsions-of-russians-the-westen-masseconfronts-putin

Salisbury Nerve Agent Attack Reveals $70 Million Pentagon Program At Porton Down

http://www.medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/2018/865-no-spirit-of-liberty-the-salisbury-case-corbyn-and-the-need-for-dissent.html

http://syriapropagandamedia.org/doubts-about-novichoks

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/03/clinton-state-department-discouraged-novichok-discussion.html#more

https://www.rt.com/news/422871-russia-questions-uk-skripal-case/

An Alternative Explanation to the Skripal Mystery

Christmas 2017 & The Dishonest Broker

In the last few months we have seen the Trump administration reeling from one extraordinarily stupid move in foreign policy, to another.

Firstly  we have the tragedy and farce of the declaration that the US will ‘accept’ Jerusalem as Israel’s capital; somewhere that all Western nations have been loathe to go (officially) whilst fully accepting and unconditionally supporting the reality of the triumphalism of the apartheid racist Israeli entity.  A two state solution has, since 1948, been known to  all  parties  as a totally non-viable option, and will never happen.

It is of course possible that the Israelis finally realise that the nation of Israel has no future in the long term , unless it grants full right of return to all Palestinian and full compensation for lands stolen since 1948 and lives destroyed… The alternative for Israel does not bear thinking about.

It is not that Trump’s declaration changes anything;  what is upsetting for the West and for China and Russia, is that it makes plain that there never was a two state option- and that the United States has always been the Dishonest Broker in the ‘peace process’ .

Now we can start to face reality in Palestine- and it is not a pretty picture for the Israelis.

The ludicrous aspect of this, is that for those modern day Israelis whose ancestors came from the Levant; they are of exactly the same ethnic Semitic lineage as the ‘dirty Arabs’ they despise . We have seen more than 60 years of completely farcical “peace’ negotiations; the Israelis have never had any intention of returning any of the lands stolen by war or genocide, and both the ‘disinterested” broker and the Palestinian negotiators have always known that.

Then  we have the  ongoing playground bully tactics to North Korea by  the United States president and his policy  advisors and chiefs of staff.  A country that knows full well the epic scale of barbarity the American nation is capable of;  having endured American genocide in the Korean War and the continuous threats from various U.S. presidents and US generals since that time to blast them back into the stone-age. With its back against the wall, North Korea has only one option- to continue to develop enough nuclear ICBMs to substantially debilitate the American economy ( Given that of course from the American side, there will be no negotiations with North Korea until they ‘behave’ )

And then we have dear Nikki Haley the United States ambassador to the United Nations displaying bits of what are supposedly Iranian made missiles launched by the Yemenese Houthis against their Saudi aggressors ,who are currently killing thousands of Yemen citizens with cholera and millions through starvation…

But hey Nikki!- what ‘s more important? -the lives of a few million Yemenese? Or the need to destroy Iran to serve the interests of the Israeli supporters and Saudis who pay Congress and the Washington ‘think-tanks’ ? One hopes that karma is not for real:- Nikki’s future lives are not going to be exactly pretty…nor will it be in this life should true international justice be finally served.

It is not that Trump has really changed anything;- the brutality, cynicism, duplicitiousness and lack of humanity of United States foreign policy has remained largely unchanged since the Second World War. Trump has simply made it very clear what it  has always been about for the United States:- money!

The facade has been removed…We have  seen  a dramatic transition from  a President able to so  plausibly lie through his teeth  (and win  a Nobel peace prize for it), to  one who  seems  to  say  (or tweet) whatever  fleeting thought is on  his mind at  the time ,  but whose sole  immediate directive for decision-making is money  and power, rather than  a longer term strategy of deceit  to reach  the desired same end.

It is disturbing to think that these great leaders of the ‘Free World’ are supposedly the best of humankind- a sad indictment on us all


Links

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/world-will-not-mourn-decline-u-s-hegemony/