“Death to Wikileaks”: the battle for truth

The recent Guardian article penned by  Luke Harding – of famed ‘the Russians are invading Ukraine with  a convoy of (mythical)  tanks”  and other anti-Russian hysteria,  and  co-author Dan Collyns,  alleges that  Paul  Manafort, U.S.  convicted felon and former Republican  campaign  chief for Donald Trump’s election campaign, met  and conspired with  Julian  Assange of Wikileaks  to  ensure Hilary  Clinton was not elected President.

The authors of the Guardian story, Dan Collyns and Luke Harding, were in Ecuador recently with Equadorian , Fernando Villavicencio, who ‘assisted’  with this story  and who they had previously worked  with on  other  evidence -free  stories. Villavicencio ( Fernando Villavicencio, oil exsindicalista refugee in the US)  has fabricated claims about people visiting Assange in the past. In May he claimed Farage visited Assange on 28 April  2009, a month after Ecuador initiated its 8 month-long isolation of Assange, banning phone calls, all visits and  internet. Assange’s isolation at  the Embassy coincided  with the  defeat of Ecuadorean president  Rafael  Correa to  U.S.  supporter Lenin Moreno. The Guardian article states ; based on  the allegations from  Villavicencio,  that Manafort entered the Equadorian  Embassy  in London  where Assange is currently in  refuge,  and spoke   to  Assange, on  several occasions.  But as  Craig Murray  notes ,  the Equadorian Embassy  security files,  let alone the London Police records,   strangely show no  evidence of such  meetings.  Embassy employees who were there during that entire time period  also say they never saw Manafort or heard of his visit.

Assange and Wikileaks; and also  separately,  Paul Manafort, are  now proposing legal  action  against  the Guardian.  Wikileaks is raising money here for their legal  appeal. In likely response to these legal  threats, the Guardian has now edited its original  story  to  soften  the tone  of the allegations.  See the edits here  at   https://www.newssniffer.co.uk/articles/1706143/diff/0/1. If both libel  actions are successful  against  the Guardian;  its capacity to   survive financially are questionable -as will be its reputation as a reputable news-source.  Why  then would the Guardian  take such  a risk? It is to be noted that  legal  libel proceeding costs in  the U.K.  can be up to  140  times the costs of similar proceedings in  Europe ( ironically this is a Guardian link) .

Wikileaks’ crime is not only that it did the unpardonable;  it published leaked   information that  accurately and truthfully described war  crimes committed by  both  the U.K. , the US and  other Western states,  but more importantly  Wikileaks also  has put into  question the very  lucrative financial  dealings of the City of London  and also the Maltese government.    Without these illegal   financial dealings,  (primarily via Russian ‘oligarchs’ who  have  fled Russia), it is possible  that  the City of London   and much of the British  economy,  could collapse.

These murky financial  dealings  intermesh  with   much of the  terrorist activities carried out by  Western (particularly U.S.) intelligence agencies  to  ensure  their corporate sponsors  retain  their supplies of cash regardless of the  impacts on  lives  and the local environment. South  American  right wing governments and  their military/intelligence agencies have played a key  role in  these activities –  hence the arrival  of the very  dubious Fernando Villavicencio and his timely allegations of  collusion between  Trump,  Assange and the Russians.

Jimmy Llama notes  many  convoluted links to  neo’liberal’  thinktanks,  shady  corporates and   U.S.   and other individuals    such  as Bill  Browder,  famed for instigating  the U.S. Magnitsky Act ( Russia  has now accused Browder of Magnitsky’s murder) and a key player in  the Russiagate allegations.

These allegations are one of many determined concerted media  efforts to  ensure that once  Assange is  no  longer under the protection of the Ecuadorian  London  Embassy,  there will  be limited public backlash   against  those governments responsible for his subsequent  deportation to  the U.S.  –  his show-trial and likely disappearance..

That  process is after all ,  standard practice  already by  the United States and others;  make allegations against  someone you don’t like or need ,  inform  the necessary  Western authorities,   and a  drone   can  eliminate any unnecessary  evidence forthwith.

Julian Assange and Wikileaks have indeed played a very dangerous game-  unmasking the  extremely brutal  and vicious  international  game of exploitation and greed by  those  in  positions of power  in  the name of “democracy and freedom”…


Links

 

https://theintercept.com/2018/11/27/it-is-possible-paul-manafort-visited-julian-assange-if-true-there-should-be-ample-video-and-other-evidence-showing-this/

Assange Never Met Manafort. Luke Harding and the Guardian Publish Still More Blatant MI6 Lies

https://www.latimes.com/ct-julian-assange-russian-visa-20180917-story.html

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/nov/27/manafort-held-secret-talks-with-assange-in-ecuadorian-embassy

https://www.couragefound.org/2018/11/the-guardian-publishes-fabricated-claims-of-paul-manafort-visiting-assange/

https://www.gofundme.com/wikileaks-suing-the-guardian-over-manafort-story

https://archive.fo/9w6Zv

The Fate of Julian Assange: Chris Hedges Interviews Consortium News Editor-in-Chief Joe Lauria

A Written Guide to the Guardian’s Smear Campaign Against Assange

The Truth About Fernando Villavicencio, the Guardian’s Source for Their Anti-Assange Campaign

Russiagate Part One: The Story That Everyone Missed

Russiagate Part Two: Malta

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/what-really-killed-sergei-magnitsky-16612

https://wikileaks.org/Statement-Julian-Assange.html

https://justice4assange.com/

Misreporting Manafort: A Case Study in Journalistic Malpractice

https://www.telesurenglish.net/opinion/Why-No-Outrage-Over-Ecuadors-Illegal-Constituent-Assembly-20181130-0016.html

12 Years to Go….

Homo  sapiens are a strange species. They self-proclaim their superiority over other species  because of their  supposed ‘intelligence”, while they  are self-evidently systematically  destroying all aspects of life on  the planet  they rely on  for their survival. We are, branch  by branch,  cutting off all  the limbs of the tree of life that  enables our survival.

One might be forgiven   for thinking that  those actions of destroying life in  exchange for  the creation of inanimate objects might be considered the ultimate in  folly and stupidity;  but apparently this is not the case.

Academics, politicians and researchers continue to promote an undeniably ridiculous self-delusional  note that  more  human ‘progress’  can somehow,   in its ongoing destruction of the natural living world ,  create a new and better world  for humans-  ( a dead world)  Perhaps these Nobel  prize winners will  continue to get  their  university research stipends  from big business  until  their lives become unlive-able in  their hothouse  university offices; part of  that newly ‘progressive’ dead world…where slight-of-hand carbon  trading,  or the wonders of “renewable energy”,  allow us to pretend –  right up  to  the last  moment-  that we are creating a new reality..

A quote from The Guardian about these illustrious Nobel Prize winners…

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the two men had won the prize – which is not one of those originally instigated by Alfred Nobel – because they had “designed methods for addressing some of our time’s most basic and pressing questions about how we create long-term sustained and sustainable economic growth”.

The two men, it continued, had “significantly broadened the scope of economic analysis by constructing models that explain how the market economy interacts with nature and knowledge”.

One of the most recent media  releases from  the Intergovernmental  Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) notes that  global  warming will  certainly   increase  to 1.5C  above previous ‘normal” global  temperature levels in  the next 12 years,  and that  that increase will  dramatically impact  on  human being’s survival  and many other species . Should global  temperature increases reach  2C;  as they  will  without dramatic  intervention,  then the impacts on  all  species will  be catastrophic..

A previous study  by  the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) noted that  species loss is as great  a threat to  humanity (and the rest of the living fabric of the Earth,  as climate change.   It does not appear to  occur to those scientists  that   climate change and species loss are part of the exact same issue:  the commodification of the living world.

I am always reminded when  I go  to  our local  supermarket of this bizarre absurdity- of man making living things into  commodities for human beings ,  when  I see the little plastic  labels on  the fruit and vegetables  being sold there. Human beings have somehow created a collective psychosis  over many millenia that  sees this world we live in as something for use- something outside of us –  rather than  the reality of being intimately and totally connected to  us and essential  for our mutual  survival.

Few,  except  some of the South American  indigenous communities have retained this essential understanding of how our world actually lives and breathes. Human  beings will  only survive on  this planet  if we recognise our intimate and sacred connection to  the rest of our living world.

Is it too  late to start  to  re-learn  this lesson   and begin the  re-greening  of  our world?


Links

http://www.ipcc.ch/news_and_events/pr_181008_P48_spm.shtml

http://report.ipcc.ch/sr15/pdf/sr15_spm_final.pdf

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/08/world-leaders-have-moral-obligation-to-act-after-un-climate-report

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/08/two-us-economists-win-nobel-prize-for-work-on-climate-and-growth-william-nordhaus-paul-romer

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/oct/09/shell-ben-van-beurden-mass-reforestation-un-climate-change-target

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/fate-of-human-race-depends-on-massive-greening-effort/

http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/going-full-circle-growth-planet/

https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/UN-Report-Confronts-Nations-with-Tough-Choices-on-Climate-20180930-0010.html

https://www.fws.gov/nativeamerican/pdf/tek-salmon-2000.pdf

Brazilian Indigenous Guardian of the Amazon Murdered: & Facebook..

In the last few weeks Facebook  has become assiduous in   removing “fake news’  newsposts  from  its servers.  Telesurtv is one such example-  now  reinstated

One might be forgiven for thinking that Facebook  serves interests other than  truth and honesty in  its promotion of the ‘fake news’  meme,  when one looks at just one such  media article listed on  the Telesur website  Telesur is one of the few English language media outlets in  South America that promotes indigenous rights against  the rapaciousness of corporate entities ( predominantly   US-based).

The history of  the U.S. ongoing  intervention in South  America to promote its own  interests ( ie US corporate profits) has resulted in many many thousands  if not  millions of of deaths,  the decades long support of South American tyrannical  regimes ,  death  squads,  torture and the oppression of South America’s working classes, peasants and indigenous population-  as well  as the rape of its incredible environmental heritage for logging and  meat production companies, and the facilitation of the drug trade .

The recent U.S. sanctions against Venezuela are just one more example of the techniques used by  the United States to  destabilize various Latin  American  governments that  do not suit U.S.  corporate interests.

How much longer does South  America have to endure  the tortures of this ignorant  bully from  the North  I wonder? How much longer will  supposedly ‘honest’  American media portray  U.S.  interventions as being upholding ‘freedom  and democracy’?

Sadly this distortion and manipulation  of ‘truth’ by  powerful  American  companies  for the benefit of corrupt  U.S. businessmen has been  an ongoing reality for the past century.

Craig Murray   beautifully outlines  the Facebook  censorship  issues from  another perspective here,  and the  extraordinarily ignorant and inept role of the Atlantic Council. 


Links

https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Brazilian-Indigenous-Leader-Guardian-of-the-Amazon-Murdered-20180816-0009.html?

http://www.yachana.org/teaching/resources/interventions.html

https://www.telesurtv.net/english

Facebook Censorship, Mad Ben Nimmo and the Atlantic Council

A Fiery Dead-end?- or “Feel the Heat…”

Its as though  we are all  watching  in   slow-motion;  a dream  in  which we slide inexorably  towards that massive motorway  firey pileup  – helpless to  change anything and knowing the inevitability of our fate.

The latest July 2018 temperature records: 

UAE: 51.4°C, Africa + Algeria: 51.3°C, Tunisia: 49.2°C, LA: 48.9°C, Baku: 42.7°C, Yerevan : 42.4°C, Japan: 41.1°C, Kabul: 40.5°C, Tbilisi: 40.5°C, Montreal: 36.6°C, Lapland: 33.4°C, Swedish polar circle: 32.5°C, Baltic Sea: 25°C’

And yet, if it were not for almost every  government across the world being in bed with  international  and national  corporations who  drive “progress’  ( ie the destruction of the natural world to create the inanimate world humans enjoy)-   this whole firey end  might have been  (and maybe still  can be )  averted.

Global  warming  needs to be seen as simply one of the symptoms of the catastrophic global  non-human species loss caused by human beings’ insatiable lust  for ‘things” over the past 1000  years-  a tiny timeframe in  geological  terms.

However ,  as a recent study  by  the Stockholm Resilience Centre notes;

“Human emissions of greenhouse gas are not the sole determinant of temperature on Earth. Our study suggests that human-induced global warming of 2°C ( The Paris Accord limit), may trigger other Earth system processes, often called “feedbacks”, that can drive further warming – even if we stop emitting greenhouse gases,” says lead author Will Steffen from the Australian National University and Stockholm Resilience Centre.

According to  the Stockholm Resilience Centre, we have but 3 years to  attempt to  stabilise global  emissions and avert major devastating climate change. We know that renewable energy  has some capacity to  limit global  warming ;  but we also  now that production of renewabl energy  components come at  a massive cost  to  the environment.  We also  know that  man is  ‘requiring’  more and energy  to  fuel his ‘progress’  addiction. Humans have to  dramitacally reduce our energy  consumption if we are all  to  survive.

And how is it that,  in  the face of all  the evidence and the very  visible destruction of our planet’s living fabric, we continue to  press on  to  final  global  destruction?  Simply man’s greed  for transient baubles of ‘wealth’  and power. Humankind prides itself on being a  supremely intelligent  species.

The evidence is out-  to  the contrary- we are the most ignorant of all  species.

What  do  we need? We need a global  body  that  transcends artificial  national  state borders  and that   forces each  nation-state to  rebuild its natural living fabric: beginning with massive tree-planting of native local  species, a forced requirement that  no  non-essential  products  for humans  can be bought and sold ;  an end to  the  so-called global  ‘consumer society” and  a requirement that all  non human  species be prioritised  for their  survival  over any human  “progress”.

Is that  going to happen?……..

Do  we have an alternative?

___________________________________________________________________________

Links

http://medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/2018/875-world-on-fire-climate-breakdown.html

Heatwave in northern Europe, summer 2018

https://www.thoughtco.com/global-warming-inevitable-this-century-3322005

http://www.stockholmresilience.org/research/research-news/2018-08-06-planet-at-risk-of-heading-towards-hothouse-earth-state.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Agreement

https://www.nature.com/news/three-years-to-safeguard-our-climate-1.22201

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2018/07/31/1810141115

How to Kill Off a Vibrant Green World in 6 Easy Lessons

From: THE MODERN WORLD BOOK OF WONDERS BY PAUL TOWNEND (1950)
  1. Allow One species to  completely dominate all  other species on  the planet in  numbers .
  2. Give that  species the capacity to  modify  the living  environment to  suit its own  purposes.
  3. Give that  species an understanding that it has a right to  eliminate all  species that  are not immediately useful  to  it.
  4. Give that species an  understanding that it is superior to  all  other species  using criteria based on  its own  species’  traits.
  5. Give that  species an understanding that  dead inanimate things that amuse it are more important than other living things.
  6. Give it limited powers of empathy and understanding towards other species that  are not its own.

A tragic and heart-bleeding video below  of a Borneo  orangutan  futilely trying to  fight off a mechanical digger which has destroyed its beautiful   home  and its  sustenance and countless more other living  things that will  be  forever no  more ( note the  condescending language used of “seemingly defending its home “. ) for a  few dollars in  pay  for the loggers and a few thousands of dollars to  the logging company.  This is why  we are destroying the only home we will  ever have –  our beautiful  earth.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/orangutan-defends-jungle-home-video-digger-ape-borneo-indonesia-deforestation-a8387836.html

Not just in Borneo,  but all  over the world for the last three  thousand years , we have destroyed the trees and living world that made this world our home – for no purpose whatsoever…..


Links

https://www.ipbes.net/news/media-release-updated-biodiversity-nature%E2%80%99s-contributions-continue-dangerous-decline-scientists

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/21/human-race-just-001-of-all-life-but-has-destroyed-over-80-of-wild-mammals-study

http://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/early/2018/05/15/1711842115.full.pdf

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/07/12/exti-j12.html

https://phys.org/news/2018-02-biodiversity-loss-extinction-cascades.html

https://weather.com/science/environment/news/2018-03-26-animals-extinction-water-loss-climate-change-study

http://davidattenborough.wikia.com/wiki/The_First_Eden

 

Faking News

As the great journalist John Pilger notes in  his 1st April  2018  article about the Ecuadorean  Government’s silencing of Julian Assange , we are being subjected to  a constant battering on  many fronts to  ensure we only listen to the ‘right’  information about the world around us.

The demonisation  of Russia can partly be explained by  Western Government’s concerns about the role of RT.com  providing an  alternative meme ( in most cases as legitimate -and often more so   than its Western news-agency  counterparts) to that  expressed through what is termed Mainstream media (MSM) . Mainstream Media is in  essence, western media which  toe the dominant  political party line –  whether it be anti-Russian,  anti-Trump,  pro-‘intervention’ ( read  ‘killing’)  in  other countries, or most importantly,  pro-consumerism.

But this attempted silencing of alternative media stories, no  matter how legitimate or truthful they  are, not only extends to  foreign  entities like Russia or China ,  it also  includes any  highly visible figures like Assange  who  do not espouse what is known to be ‘right’ by  our esteemed leaders, and the multitude of internet  bloggers who  research  and analyse the stories behind the stories.

The recent bizarre attempt by western governments and MSM,  to conflate alternative opinion as ‘fake news”,  borders on  the psychotic.  It  is a  witchhunt against  those who do  not respect  the  often  infantile repetitive lies told in  the MSM or by  apparently intellectually impaired politicians such  as U.K’s Foreign  Secretary  Boris Johnson, or for that  matter  Donald Trump. By  now the old lies about  the reasons we must fight  wars in  ‘foreign’ lands  for ‘freedom  and democracy”  or  to “save civilians”, are wearing remarkable thin.

Thus the  ‘establishment’ is now flailing around for a further reason why  we should just  accept that   the mass-killing  of ‘other’ people is good for them. In  John Pilger’s belief,  this media frenzy  against  those who detour from  the party line is  a  significant threat to  the establishment, with the intended  war against  Russia and China looming and the drums beating ever louder – they can  not afford a dissenting “fifth column” in  their midst who  can undermine the thirst  for war or the need for civilians to rally behind the flag.

As the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal  has made clear;  it is not just  Russia and the ‘enemy’  who  is manipulating public opinion through  ‘slanted stories’ and  twitter bots! SCL, Cambridge Analytica’s British parent company,  prides itself on  its capacity to manipulate public opinion in  both  foreign lands and internally in  the UK.  We can be sure that there are many other western  companies and intelligence services who, despite their actual  minimal real intelligence,  aim  to manipulate public opinion at  home and abroad. In the United States, this is an  easy  task. The vast majority of Americans have limited education,  no understanding of foreign countries and no memory  for history-  an ideal  subject for manipulation!

In the United States therefore we have something passed into  law by  Congress  in  2016  called

The Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act would ensure America’s national security infrastructure helps counter the false narratives that harm our security — delivering truthful information and making the world a safer place for the United States and our allies.”

Note .. that as written into the NDAA, the legislation’s provisions establish an inter-agency body “to track and evaluate counterfactual narratives abroad that threaten the national security interests of the United States and United States allies,” and to develop “procedures to expose and refute foreign misinformation and disinformation and proactively promote fact-based narratives and policies to audiences outside the United States.”

Where the ‘facts”  come that  the public needs re-education on,  and the ‘false facts’  that  the public needs protection from,  do  not of course need to  be stated. Our respective governments always know best! -don’t they??

As we have seen in  the ludicrous litany  of lies put out by  the British government  around the Salisbury  nerve gas poisoning affair, all  the key  mainstream  UK and other Western media have jumped in lock-step to  push the U.K government Russian-basking charges without once examining the implausibility of the  facts presented. Whether these media agencies and their journalists  are  paid,  bribed, coerced or blackmailed into  regurgitating this British  propaganda, is unknown  at  this point,

This is of course not something new.  State entities  have always attempted to manipulate their publics to ensure compliance to  the  official  line -whether it be going to  war, or maximising the potential threats of other states  to  maximise profits for the corporates who  fund the ruling “elite” . In  all  cases, the states’ manipulatory processes are for  short-term  gain and almost  inevitably have a long term negative impact  on  their public.

The most telling  and catastrophically fatal example of this flaw in  our ‘democracies”, is the media  and political drive for corporates to produce more ‘things’  and for their publics to consume more things.  All analysis shows that in  a closed system  like our little world, this drive inevitably leads to  planetary disaster – but it helps keep  political  parties in  power…for now….


Postscript

A  useful analysis of military  propaganda here from Adam  Ramsay here 

Note also  the “The Times” (U.K.) fascinating attempt to shut down academic dissent around the  U.K. government’s version of events in  Syria 

 


Links

http://johnpilger.com/articles/the-isolation-of-julian-assange-is-the-silencing-of-us-all

Roger Stone: Obama’s National Censorship Board is Very Real

https://2009-2017.state.gov/r/gec/  Global Engagement Center (U.S.)

The Poison in our Body Politic

Control 101: Creating Consensus Reality

https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/philip-hammond/syria-stop-asking-questions

The Essential Alternative to Animal Slaughter

Freezing works” (ie slaughter house ) in New Zealand; from Teara.govt.nz

A recent front page article in  my local New Zealand newspaper disparaging   the future on  non meat based proteins, prompted  me to  respond.

In  2016 New Zealand mercilessly slaughtered 28,387,595 lambs,  adult sheep,  calves,  adult steers and cows,  pigs,  and goats; with young lambs totalling over  18 million of those deaths. Two of the major “meat companies’  in  New Zealand respectively  had an income from  those deaths of  just over $10 million  and $17 million. Animals  are indoctrinated to  become used to being shifted from  pasture to  pasture with  dogs and men on  farm  bikes;  and then , when  the  killing season  starts, are herded into  tightly packed   fenced areas and  forced onto   truck  and trailer units  for the long tortuous drive to  the ‘meatworks’.

Teara.govt.nz notes that  ‘in 2009 there were about 80 meat-processing plants in New Zealand, employing about 26,500 people and exporting to about 150 countries.’

A recent article in  the New York Times noted a research study  where sheep  were able to  distinguish  between the faces of different humans;-  hardly a surprise to most of us who  have emotional  connections to  our pets, but obviously so  to the scientists. (https://nypost.com/2017/11/08/sheep-learn-to-recognize-emma-watsons-face )
What it therefore correspondingly tells us  is that  those millions of  sheep   and other animals  we kill for fun  and profit every year  in New Zealand  who  are  transported to  the killing fields of the abattoirs around New Zealand and then  savagely killed and cut up; are very well  aware of the  pure terror they  and their  fellow beings  have to  endure before they die and are consumed for pleasure by  humans..

There is  undeniable scientific evidence that  humankind’s reliance on meat  production has  contributed significantly to the  vast loss of species habitat  across the world ( and particularly so in New Zealand ) ,which will  if not checked in  the near future, along with its impact  on  climate change,  lead to  the destruction of all  life on this planet.

The other ‘unfortunate truth’  is that  there is irrefutable evidence that  every  new element of human ‘progress’  results in  the destruction of more and more species on this planet-  species which  which  humans are in direct  connection for our mutual  survivability.

Look  around,  almost every  aspect of what  we call  ‘progress’  is  our relentless transfer of the living and vibrant to  the inanimate-  the concrete, the tar,   the electronics, the cut down  trees…….we are inexorably deadening the planet  with our ‘progress”.

In addition recent studies of insect  populations  in Europe reveal  rapid declines in  flying insects likely due to  monoculture, deforestation and  insecticides. Without insects,  we all  die ;  rapidly

Consequently we have no  choice as a species than  to give up  killing our fellow species for protein and profit   and begin  to  live a more sustainable and humane  life-  and we have to make that change very  soon!

Links

The Nonhuman Rights Project https://www.nonhumanrights.org/

The World as Samsara (Illusion)

Each human being creates from infancy, an internal mental world of what the world is – what is good and bad – safe and unsafe; what the names of  the ‘things’ are ‘out there”, and how the world works . And where do those judgements come from?- they come of course from our experiences after birth. Are they reality?-in one way they are- they are our reality. Some pieces of that reality will be shared- what we like to call ‘culture” or ‘norms’ or any other excuse to define the world other than by its real aspect- but they are simply the random experiences we have acquired since birth.

But in a more fundamental way they are of course, completely fictional. This construction of the world from our thought processes has almost nothing to do with reality, and all to do with our mind’s interpretation and synthesis  of the random events of childhood and later life we are exposed to. We are conditioned to believe we are no more than the patterns of thoughts we have acquired, (i.e. my thoughts are ‘me’) but we are in fact much more than that.

Zen Buddhism asks :” who was I before I was born?’

Or perhaps the master Osho described it with more clarity, by saying (paraphrased)  “our minds are a tool which you can use with care and attention to assist you; but they are not ‘you’ ”.

“Reality” the way our minds perceive it, can therefore be anything we choose it to be- but that choice is based on the narrow possibilities of our earlier experience till this moment.  Beyond (or under, or behind) our thoughts is pure being- our essence, or as Maori of New Zealand put it -‘Mauri’ –  which is inescapably interconnected with every other living ( and not so living) thing. That mauri is within us from the day we are born till the day we die- and long before and after that. It is always there, but shrouded by man’s constant thoughts.

How to experience that space of pure joy and oneness that is always with us? The techniques of the ages are there for us to use. -meditation is the primary and most direct path- but prayer, mindfulness, fasting and many other techniques also have that capacity to progressively strip away the mind chatter to expose the essence of ourselves and the universe within.

Our thought patterns -what many describe as our ‘ego’- are intensely malleable. We believe we are a constant person -’me’ -but in reality we shift from moment to moment in our thoughts. In addition, because we are individually defenceless primates who rely on our fellow community members for safety, we have an intense need to agree with the thoughts of other members of our primate community. ‘Group think’ is more pervasive in human society that most of us would like to think!

Individually and collectively, humans are also very good at providing self-justifications for their thoughts and actions. Our age-old justification for the use of violence  is just one proof to that!

The joy and peace is within us: we need merely to retrieve it .

As the Buddha said: We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.

The Great Acceleration….

Our current epoch has now come to be known as the ‘Anthropocene’  for the impacts man has had on our planetary environment. It is also called “The Great Acceleration..”;  being the sixth  event in the life of this  planet  where species loss has become so pervasive and devastating.

A May 2017 study for the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America was entitled “Biological annihilation via the ongoing sixth mass extinction signaled by vertebrate population losses and declines”.  The paper notes in conclusion that: “The massive loss of populations is already damaging the services ecosystems provide to (human) civilization…Thus, we emphasize that the sixth mass extinction is already here and the window for effective action is very short, probably two or three decades at most.. All signs point to ever more powerful assaults on biodiversity in the next two decades, painting a dismal picture of the future of life, including human life. .” In other words, without the survival of significant complex bio-systems of multiple species, each with sustainable population numbers, humans too are rapidly headed towards extinction.

While  we talk  (and talk) about global  warming, what we also ignore is the combined impacts of  man-made emissions into the atmosphere  with the steady  destruction of the biosphere  through human “progress’  –   the literal cancer of inert dead non-organic edifices being  built  over the top and at the expense  of  the natural  world that make up  humans’  cities and towns  and transportation systems,  agribusiness destroying countless wilderness  areas into  single species ‘dead’  environments, the ongoing deforestation of native habitats, increasing  wildfires, needless human consumption,  acidification and over-fishing of the oceans, human over-population,  meat-production, war,   pollution, global  warming, water-loss ..  the list goes on  and on…  Incrementally, humans are destroying the liveability for all species on the planet at an ever increasing rate, with carbon monoxide production being just one aspect of our ongoing destruction of this planet.

Wikileaks notesAt present, the rate of extinction of species is estimated at 100 to 1,000 times higher than the “base” or historically typical rate of extinction (in terms of the natural evolution of the planet)[14][15][16] and also the current rate of extinction is, therefore, 10 to 100 times higher than any of the previous mass extinctions in the history of Earth.

What is urgently needed is a recognition of this fact by humans, and an understanding that the model of human’ progress’ we have espoused for the past few thousand years is killing our planet. An understanding that all life- regardless of species, is inherently sacred and our  mutual survival is intertwined, and that  consequently  human ‘needs’  must be balanced against  the rights of other species. One small step to delay or even possibly reverse this destruction,  is the urgent massive scale planting of native vegetation in every possible locality and an end to our model of human  “progress”.


Links

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/07/05/1704949114.full

Supporting appendix to  Biological annihilation via the ongoing sixth mass extinction signaled by vertebrate population losses and declines

http://gas2.org/2017/07/16/scientists-say-sixth-mass-extinction-way/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene_extinction

Gaia and the Joys of Collective Psychosis

In Ukraine we see good Ukraine citizens believing that  ‘slant-eyed’  Russians ( perhaps Mongols from  the 12th century?)  have invaded their peaceful country, and along with a tiny number of Ukrainian traitors, have managed to  fend off the advances of the peace-loving Kiev government army  and  neo-nazi Right Sektor militias to return Eastern Ukraine to the fold. We need no  evidence-  we simply know that this is the case.

In Syria, every  good Sunni  knows that  it was Assad’s government that created ISIS;  where else could it have come from? -in order   that  evil  Shi-ite Persians and Lebanese  Hezbollah  could invade their country.  Clearly Sunni Saudi Arabia and their Wahabbist   crazies had nothing to do  with it!

In America every  good Democrat  knows that  it was only because of Russian intervention and ‘hacking’  that  Donald Trump  won  the election. How else could he have won?

And in the U.K. and in Poland the Russians are coming,  if they  are not already here! Russia’s aging  long range bombers and their sole smoking  aircraft  carrier are ready  at any moment to bring apocalyptic doom to  those good democratic shores..

I  am once again  reminded of my great great  grandfather’s time here in sleepy New Zealand, when  in  the 1890s, a  Russian Empire rust-bucket of a warship  managed to creep  this far south in  the Pacific to  to cause chaos and concern amongst us gentle white folks.  Vast  sums were raised to buy ( from British  armament factories) long range   guns to  install  on every  headland to  forestall  the imminent threat of a Russian  invasion. The Russo-Japanese brief  naval  and land army  altercation of 1904 was to  quickly prove how much  of a threat those Russian  warships  and armed forces actually were..

So-  those are  a few tangible examples of collective pyschosis –  how we as humans can so  easily be swayed into  believing an alternative reality-  because everyone else is believing it too.

However –  much much bigger than  those relatively small  events,  is humankind’s current conviction (since at  least the ‘industrial  revolution’) that  destroying all  of the  living things on this planet is ‘progress’ .  And, decade after decade, each  one of the remaining indigenous cultures have been sucked into  this ‘word-view’  that  we  humans must   produce things  to  make us humans happy and  ‘progress somewhere’ . Every one of the material things that  we produce  comes at  the expense of another living thing…

The evidence is very much out there-  and has been increasingly obvious over the past fifty years,  that  we as humans are  incrementally, and  at an ever faster pace ,  destroying the capacity of this planet to provide a sustainable habitat to not only ourselves, but  to  all of earth’s living things. But  we are still  ‘locked in’  to  ‘progress’  –  destroying  life for another bauble that will inevitably  self-destruct in  a few  months or years…

Perhaps, just perhaps, if we had had a slow motion time-lapse video which had showed   the world’s life steadily being steadily and rapidly drained away over the past 2000  years –  year upon year  –  then just maybe we might have done something about it.  Instead, we talk  about it;  we pretend that our machines of ‘progress’  can  redress the problems,  when the reality is that only other life, other species, can  reverse the  apocalypse-  if we have time.

And  that  – as we  all  know-  is not going to happen. Because human ‘progress’ its believed,   is going to  save us with more technology, more  ‘progress’  (and  more destruction of living things)…

A mammoth global  campaign to  plant and grow trees everywhere –  to revert  all  our feedstock lands to  forest, to plant trees on  every  available inch  of land  that is not absolutely necessary  to provide  humans with  a meagre  vegetable diet;  might permit this planet to  survive as a living entity….but the odds look  very very slim….Trees not only once almost  entirely covered the landmass of our little planet,  they provided a home for a huge biodiversity of other plants  insects and animals that  kept our planet viable  flexible  and   adaptable to  climactic and other  planetary  changes. That capacity to  adapt through  species diversification  is now being squeezed from  this planet.

Lovelock had it right the first time.  Our planet is  indeed a  single living entity –  Gaia -composed of  millions of different living  interlocking entities-  much  the same way as the human organism functions.

We are killing her…


Links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaia_hypothesis

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russo-Japanese_War

https://ourworldindata.org/forest-cover/#very-long-term-perspective-on-deforestation-in-specific-regions