From Serious Tactical Error to Downright Insanity

The following two paragraphs are quoted from a New York Times tribute to George F. Kennan on March 18, 2005. Kennan, who died at 101 in 2005, was a major architect of the Cold War. He was no friend of Russia and was hard-nosed about waging political warfare with the USSR, but had a healthy respect for the importance of avoiding unnecessary, stupid conflict with that powerful political adversary.

“In February 1997, Mr. Kennan wrote on The New York Times’s Op-Ed page that the Clinton administration’s decision to back an enlargement of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, to bring it to the borders of Russia was a terrible mistake. He wrote that

expanding NATO would be the most fateful error of American policy in the entire post-cold war era.

Such a decision may be expected to inflame the nationalistic, anti-Western and militaristic tendencies in Russian opinion; to have an adverse effect on the development of Russian democracy; to restore the atmosphere of the cold war to East-West relations, and to impel Russian foreign policy in directions decidedly not to our liking,” he wrote. His views, shared by a broad range of policy experts, did not prevail.”

That was waaayyy back in 1997. What we see now is the U.S. and the E.U. playing serious “chicken” games with/against each other and Vladimir Putin in a dangerously destabilizing game of craps for the Ukraine. Forcing a bear into a corner is never a smart move.

Transparency My Ass

On December 2nd CBC’s Evan Solomon presented Ryerson Professor, and lawyer, Pam Palmater arguing against the First Nations Financial Transparency Act.  Arguing for so-called “transparency” was Aaron Wudrick of the small, parsimonious, right-wing lobby group, the  Canadian Taxpayers Federation. If you can wait out a compulsory 90 seconds of commercials forced upon you by CBC Player you can listen to the powerful Palmater dissect and consume Aaron the Unready here. It’s worth the corporation-enforced wait.

I will not précis the whole issue but will only say that the Harper CPC can only get away with this egregious harassment of First Nations because of the abysmally ignorant state of Canadians on everything to do with our First Nations. Government “logic” succeeds only because of the typical Canuck couch potato’s massively wrong assumptions and deep, unconscious prejudice about our indigenous people. “Settler” mentality creates big holes in public awareness for the government offence to run through.

Via huge omnibus bills the Harper Conservatives have passed (undebated) a boatload of needle-in-haystack legislation designed to totally destroy the power of our First Nations to stay united and fight pipelines and other attacks on our shared and fragile biosphere.

Professor Palmater maintained, in a talk to Idle No More – Alberta, that:

“It’s time to come up with a plan to let Canadians know that we (i.e. First Nations – ed.) are their only hope of saving the land and waters and animals and plants in this country.”

Continue reading

1914 to 2014: A Century of Getting The Big Things Wrong

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Check out the blogroll on Novorossia’s site – see above: Kiev’s forces, no doubt involving RW militias, are cranking up the attacks on Donetsk and Lugansk.

Link for the source of this screenshot.

Link to Naomi Klein’s scary assessment on how the West’s most hawkish hawks seem to be trying to push (shame, even) Vladimir Putin into defending ethnic Russians in E. Ukraine from these atrocities.

I’m back to being as frightened of a nuclear holocaust as I was when I wrote the song  “Radiatin’ A-Bomb Blues” back in the 1980’s. maybe more.

Seems like the MH17 mess has been finally, and hastily, cleaned up… perhaps to pave the way for paving, or otherwise burying, Donetsk. I wonder if they remembered to bring this to show the farcical JIT? A piece of the cockpit that appears to show shelling from both sides – round, smaller entry holes larger, jagged exit holes?

Hope the cleanup crew didn’t forget to take this…

Since this all started, Western mainstream media and so-called leadership have been covering up for overzealous Kiev “misadventures”: MH17  (as appears likelier with each new day), Maidan, Odessa and E. Ukraine.

One hundred years after 1914’s “The War To End All War”, will we, in 2014, be the victims of The War To End All History?

That “Channel One” Photo

This post discusses the famous Channel One air-to-air shoot-down photos.

First of all, a fake air-to-air shoot-down photo, even if made (improbably – see below) by Russians , does NOT prove Russian involvement in the MH17 tragedy.

For a detailed outline of all the important alternative news versions and speculation since July 17 about the MH17 tragedy see my very detailed, ongoing study. Discussion of the Channel One photos would have taken up too much space to include there, hence this separate post.

On Friday evening, November 14, Russia’s not-so-impartial Channel One aired Mikhail Leontyev’s program, Odnako, in which the now notorious photos of the fighter plane shooting down MH17 were presented. In it Leontyev quoted and/or interviewed Ivan Andreisky, vice president of the Russian Union of Engineers, who showed a letter or email from a certain MIT graduate, George Bilt (likely an alias), that accompanied the photographs. Andreisky stated that he and others had examined it and could find no evidence that it is false. Andreisky also said that it was “taken from a low orbit” and that the coordinates hinted at an American or British satellite being the source.

“Mr. Bilt” claimed to support the Russians’ theory of an air-to-air shootdown and sent on the photos to Andreisky.

By November 15 Reuters was reporting on it, stating that sources Bellingcat and Andrei Menshenin (not to mention Ukrainian “experts”) had jumped on it quickly to call it a “crude fake.”

Continue reading

The Increasingly Warped Power of TV and Other MSM

“Right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.”

Thucydides, The History of the Peloponnesian War

Still true today, methinks. And, ohh, what shock and awe when modern weapons “do what they can.”

Made possible in a so-called democracy by a  hydra of means that keep the War Machine in power by manufacturing consent and suppressing dissent.

Here, largely as a note to self, is a very old concept diagram I built from a small book or article whose source I cannot remember. It is from the “days of yore,” designed to examine tools, and dirty tricks, used in actual verbal or written discussion:

A chart used to identify rhetorical strategies

A chart used to identify rhetorical strategies

What truth is up against today is much more sinister. Continue reading

My Uncle Eric

My uncle Eric was my closest uncle and a wonderful mentor.

He gave me my first watch at 7, my first ukelele at 9 and introduced me to photography when he gave me my first camera at 13 or 14, showing me how to use it – the intricacies of combining shutter speed, f stop and film sensitivity to create a properly exposed photo. He did his own darkroom work and had an incredible ear for finding the right, very sophisticated chord on a guitar.

Eric and my mother’s younger sister, Rita, were wonderful to my sister Anne and me. Eric could pull an original bedtime story out of his head and we loved his stories. He was devoted to Rita and welcomed Stella, his mother-in-law, into their home, where she lived for many, many years.

His sense of humour was really original, as one of the macabre photos below and in this short, YouTube tribute I put together from old photos demonstrates.

Here are a few more photos: