In Defence Of Intellectual Oxygen

Some things are not wrong because Russians happen to believe them.

Charles King, Profssor of International Affairs and Government at Georgetown University in Washington in a March 9, 2014 with the CBC’s Michael Enright.

In my considerable reading on international affairs since the US-engineered Ukraine coup in February 2014, RT, the Russian news source, has been one of my go-to sources for that rapidly vanishing, endangered species: Latum alterum.

And a re-reading of Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark might cause Democrats et al. to think twice about their immensely destructive campaign to thrash about, looking for a foreign scapegoat, in search of an innocent, victimized Hillary Clinton.

An Agony in 8 Fits, indeed…

I am disappointed that Twitter has caved in to pressure from the Blame Russia Chorus and singled out RT to be banned from advertising on Twitter.

Here is RT’s response.

New Clothes for the Emperors

The Works Progress Administration in Ohio presents The Federal Theatre for Youth in "The emperor's new clothes" LCCN98517057

Brad Wall, Premier of Saskatchewan, in his 2017 budget, appears to be in the process of selling what seems, to an unapologetic sixties leftist like me, every remaining good thing in that province to private corporations.

Naomi Klein’s prescient book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, would shed some keen insight on this, unfortunately worldwide, trend. And the seismic shift in Saskatchewan, and possibly soon in Ontario, has happened on our watch!

As for Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, more hurt than help here, appears keen not only to leave all of Harper’s anti-democratic buckshot legislation, squirrelled away in over a dozen omnibus bills, in place, but more than that, to contribute his own pro-corporate slavish sauce to the mix. At this very moment Trudeau’s trying to figure out how to slyly dress his cabinet to keep the alt-right from going with someone like Kevin O’Leary.

The clothes of the Emperor (the proper name for any Prime Minister or Premier with a majority) are all but gone, and so many of his promises are in tatters, but he cuts a dashing figure in boxing trunks, doesn’t he?

Pierre must be spinning, and, simultaneously shrugging, in his grave.

Donald Quixote and Sancho Trudeau

img_1643 Credit: Dewet on Flickr Creative Commons: Attribution/Share-Alike

Miguel Cervantes, in a brilliant, caustic reaction to the addiction in Spain in the early 17th Century to a huge crop of silly, chivalrous romances, published Don Quixote de la Mancha (Part 1 in 1605 and Part 2 in 1615). It is considered by some authorities as one of the first, and possibly the very best, novels ever written. Cervantes had a keen nose for farcical BS.

The knight-errant, Don Quixote, having read way too many such trashy stories, loses his mind and decides to take issue with almost anything he encounters in the desolate flatland of Spain called La Mancha. Suffering constantly from delusions of grandeur and hallucinatory visions, he sets off to right all imaginary, unchivalrous wrongs, accompanied by a tired old horse, Rocinante, having persuaded a humble neighbouring farmer, Sancho Panza, to be his squire.

As a Canadian surveying the political scene in February 2017, the comic analogy described in the above photo has burrowed rapidly into my consciousness. Where the metaphor breaks down a little:

Sancho Panza possesses a sharp, entertaining sense of burlesque, whereas “Sancho” Trudeau is comparatively dull-witted and a trifle narcissistic.

But, does the darkness of the surroundings ever work…

A Voyage… Of Sorts

PICT0387 4x6 RS.jpegAbove: a project of mine that is almost finished. It may just come in handy…

Ever want to just get away from it all? Things just south of where I live seem to be getting a little dodgy. I’m not following it closely – bad for my health – but I get the impression that we (the entire Planet) are in for a frightening amusement park ride, kind of like being on a rickety contraption that has needed maintenance – no, out-and-out modification – for waaayyy too long. Circumstances beyond our control, such as locked iron bars across our laps, forbid escape, yet we might have avoided the crisis by Continue reading “A Voyage… Of Sorts”

The Scary Big Picture

It increasingly appears that the US, facing eventual economic decline, is desperate to consolidate its One Superpower Forever role, no matter what misery has to be inflicted on the rest of the world to do it.

Trade Deals, such as the TPP, with Investor-State Dispute Settlement Agreements (ISDS agreements) that allow corporations to sue governments, are one aspect of the American hegemony’s struggle. These have been encountering some difficulty in being ratified. And Donald Trump has threatened to tear up NAFTA, a trade agreement that already favours the U.S.A. over Canada. NAFTA’s  ISDS agreement section is Chapter 11. Google that to see that the U.S.A. has never lost one of these dispute settlements.

World-Wide Military Goals:

There are three main military aspects to the ugly struggle to stay on top:

  1. NATO: This European military tool, NATO, disguised as an international alliance of willing, like-minded states.
  2. Levant: In their exploitation of the Levant the US partners with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel and jihadists it arms.
  3. Its Pivot to Asia, which I will not address here.

Uncle Sam seems to me to be preparing for all-out war to consolidate its hold on the planet. I shall discuss NATO first.

NATO: First, let me mention an article called NATO Aggression: Is There A Way OUT? by Christopher Black, an international lawyer based in Toronto. Published in the journal New Eastern Outlook, it uses great economy of words to shed new light on the macabre, complicated entirety of the NATO situation, down to the Continue reading “The Scary Big Picture”

The Best Article Ever on Syria

 

The Need to Hold Saudi Arabia Accountable – Consortiumnews
https://consortiumnews.com/2016/12/08/the-need-to-hold-saudi-arabia-accountable/

The magnificent Robert Parry so much wisdom in so few words. The best article on world politics I have EVER read!

North Dakota Fascism – A Wake-Up Call?

Bleakness abounds. Politicians with considerable power turn away. Mammon rules with asymptotically growing crudity, cruelty and excess, even without Trump in “power.” No big surprise that American “democracy” is a crock if one’s eyes are truly open to HRC’s portrayal by Wikileaks. We have learned nothing from the fascism of the past and, ironically, we minions who have benefitted from neocolonial atrocities committed upon others around the globe for over a century will, in turn, be ground under.

So wrong on so many levels.

And, President-Elect Trump, the idea of Greatness in the old-fashioned, Roman sense of economic growth and world dominance, is meaningless. In a finite biosphere, growth, as we have known it, is unsustainable. Get over it.

It is time for a Damascene Conversion.

True greatness Continue reading “North Dakota Fascism – A Wake-Up Call?”

Family Photos and US Politics

I am sitting in my living room looking at the photos of my family on the piano and listening to the US election results come in on CBC radio on my iPad. One of my children and one of my grandchildren live in the US.
I have long been critical of the first-past-the-post electoral process and what happened on November 8th in the US reminds me vividly and viscerally how poor and unpredictable that antiquated system is and how farcical what we on both sides of the border call “democracy” has become.

However, my immediate, personal concern is about how vulnerable and scary things in neighbourhoods and on Main Street USA may become for the possibility of random acts of violent hostility caused by primitive emotions produced to no small degree by the shabby rhetoric and vaudeville displayed by both sides in this shameful, cynical contest.

Julian Assange has done courageous service in exposing how those controlling the world’s overwhelming superpower really have nothing but disdain for its average citizen and zero appreciation for those killed or maimed in the unfortunate places that they choose to manipulate. If I were a Syrian, Libyan, Afghan, Honduran, Salvadoran or any or any other tragic victim of decades of American hegemony, I might have been indifferent to this outcome.

But having two vulnerable, much-loved family members across the border…

***

Things predictably unpredictable are coming too quickly to a head.

JIT: Dutch-“Led”, Ukraine-Fed

July 28 – Without real evidence (Ukraine Air-Traffic-Control records, black box contents unrevealed kept secret though in British possession, pilot autopsy results, Ukraine radar, USA satellite info they claim that they had but have never made public in the 26 months since MH17 was shot down) the Dutch-“led” JIT blamed Russia for the MH17 tragedy. Ukraine, one of the suspects, who has a veto over any statement the JIT makes, got to supply the JIT with most of the “data”: hand-picked, doubtful, imprecise voice intercepts and social media posts. Ukraine data came from their intelligence service, the SBU. The same SBU accused by the United Nations of torture and threats/attacks on families of people they don’t like. Continue reading “JIT: Dutch-“Led”, Ukraine-Fed”

MH17 – New Raw Radar Evidence

Here is the latest addition to my long time post MH17 and Ukraine – A Continuing Study, begun in August 2014. If your curiosity is aroused by what you read below, you can find this page and much, much more, by going to the Continuing Study post (above link) and scrolling far down to the top of its lengthy “Chronological Notes” section.

September 26: Here is an excellent report by RT’s Nadira Tudor on the Russians’ presentation of raw radar data from July 17, 2014, discovered by Almaz-Antey, today to the supposedly Dutch-led JIT, who will bring out yet another suspiciously plodding report this week. The raw data allegedly proves that, if a Buk missile did bring down MH17, it could not have come from rebel-held territory. The Russians challenge the US and Ukraine to come up with the evidence that those two countries are obviously withholding that would cover attacks from the North or the West. To my understanding, the Almaz-Antey report, as described by all sources I’ve seen, does NOT eliminate the possibility of Ukraine jets being involved either alone (i.e. no Buk) or to clean up a disabled but flyable MH17 wounded by a “botched Buk” fired by Ukrainian-troops or a rogue Ukrainian paramilitary group. On-board witnesses that might describe events that would implicate a Ukrainian-fired Buk or fighter jet(s) would be an embarrassment worth committing mass-murder to conceal. The Alma-Antey information seems limited to proving that no Buk left rebel-held territory. So, folks, you can once again ignore the latest malignant BS coming from Bellingcat.com, a paid neocon obfuscation website run by Elliott Higgins. Higgins has been proved wrong on Syria and, of course, wrong also on MH17.

The RT interviewer talked with the distinguished British aircraft expert, Julian Bray, who explained why, for real reasons of military secrecy, a nation might not want to reveal part of its jig-saw puzzle (raw radar data, for example) for fear that the data could be reverse-engineered by an adversary to determine what that nation (in this case, Russia) has “on the ground, in the air and into outer space.”

Mr. Bray (of Lockerbie investigation fame) also said near the end:

I take my hats (sic) off to the Russians for what they’ve done so far and hope the other people (US and Ukraine) will bring their information to the table.

Russia’s delay in “finding” the above-mentioned raw data, given the above comments from Bray, may show how desperate a military risk they are prepared to take to eliminate the economic and political bashing to which they are being subjected by the US and its patsy, NATO.

In view of the enormous loss of face and world-class shame that the US and the Ukraine would face if what a growing number of people regard as the real facts behind this shoot-down were to become known, I’m not holding my breath. I’ve been watching the tragic MH17 show for over two years, now…