If Europe Really Cared…

Acropolis from the Plaka Hotel, October 24, 2011
Acropolis from the Plaka Hotel, October 24, 2011 … Hey, is THIS for sale???


Europe has never been asked what happened to what they gave Greece. They simply didn’t control it. Why not? Because Germany and France have done good business.

Petros Markaris


Petros Markaris is a very popular Athens-based, Greek author and playwright who has created a series of novels based on an Athens police detective called Costas Haritos. Markaris was born in 1937 in Istanbul to an Armenian  father and Greek mother. The family moved to Athens when Markaris was 17. He went to university in Vienna and can write in German, Greek and Turkish. He has lived in Athens for four decades. He is a candid lover of Greece and an astute observer of its politics.


Continue reading “If Europe Really Cared…”

The Greeks Get It

Pynx Hill, behind the Agora's middle stoa - where Athenians voted 260 to 220 against Socrates
Pynx Hill, behind the Agora’s middle stoa – where Athenians voted 280 to 220 against Socrates in 399 BC

Greeks learn once more the lesson

That Socrates taught

Until his soul was silenced.


Socrates never wrote anything down, but Plato, his best-known student, attributed the following quote to Socrates when he spoke at his trial on the Pynx Hill, just north of the Agora:
An unexamined life is not worth living.
Socrates preferred to drink hemlock rather than face a sentence of exile or enforced silence enforced by the powerful, ignorant and  selfish in an Athens recently humiliated by Sparta.
The vast majority of  21st century humans have absorbed nothing of ethical importance in the 24 centuries since Socrates.
Simon and Garfunkel had it figured out as early as 1966: The Sound of Silence:
We are praying to a Neon god.
Smug, we ridicule the Greeks, quoting from neoliberal scripture, while not getting what’s really going on. Being already victimized makes them wiser than us.  So are Palestinians, Southern Sudanese, the Nile fellahin who have been displaced over the past several years from their farmland by the rush to build hotels for the smug, etc. etc. fere ad infinitum.

MH17 And Ukraine – A Continuing Study

Bullet Holes? photo credit: anderweltonline.com
Bullet Holes? photo credit: anderweltonline.com


Friday, November 26: I looked at this post, posted August 13, 2014 with the intention of placing the earliest post item dated Nov 21, 2013 first and listing them in chronological order ending on this last page: November 27, 2018, but, after working on it for hours yesterday, decided against it because a small but significant number of links no longer work or match what they originally were. So this post it is as it was with the latest post first. It would have been too much work to revise and make changes. For once, the perfectionist in me deferred to common sense and dealing with the present. Six years of dedicated writing in here. It will have to suffice. I think the conclusions expressed are still close enough to the “truth.”


November 27, The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) continues to be exposed as having used critically flawed “evidence” to discredit Russia… The latest presentation from Russia from Sept. 17, 2018 is thoroughly damning in its destruction of the JIT’s claim on May 24 that:

the BUK-TELAR which was used to shoot down flight MH17 originated from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade of the Russian armed forces.

The Russian response on September 17 was extremely thorough about the production and shipping details of the missile the JIT identified. Lt. Gen. Nikolai Parshin took 12 painstaking minutes to explain that this BUK (whose casing and venturi serial numbers were identified by the JIT) found in the crash area

was delivered by rail 29 December 1986 to military unit 20152 of the Ukrainian army and never sent back to Russia.

Russian Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov then attacked the video used by the JIT to explain the movement of this BUK from Russia to Ukraine. Konashenkov used sophisticated, carefully explained, geometrical evidence to demonstrate that the BUK truck was superimposed on another video of parts of its alleged “route” to the launch site. Then Konashenkov said:

This is conclusive evidence that Ukraine was not just involved in this tragedy but it also manipulated the international investigation.

Konashenkov then played a recording of a 2016 conversation between servicemen preparing for military exercises in Odessa. Ukrainian Armed Forces Col. Ruslan Grinchak suggests to one of his soldiers who is objecting to an order:

Hey! If this keeps going on we will take down another goddamn Malaysian Boeing and everything will be great again. So, that’s what we will tell them.

Konashenkov also explained that in July 2014, when MH17 was shot down, the colonel was the commander of the 164th radio technical brigade, nr A1451 of the Ukrainian Air Force. […] In other words Grinchak knew exactly what was happening in the air over Donbass, because it was his job.”

The General then stated that Ukraine was clearly involved in the MH17 tragedy and has concealed key information from the JIT that would lead to evidence of Ukraine  involvement.

Here I have to credit the brilliant source of the information I used for this entry. Most of what I have said above is clearly explained in this September 17 post by Max van der Werff ( @MaxvanderWerff ). I’ve been following him since June 2015. I followed the tragic MH17 very closely from July 2014 for two years. I still have a keen interest in everything that has happened but only report from time to time when the occasional breakthrough is made.

This is such a time. I’m not holding my breath for the truth to come out. It’s been four years and four months since the shutdown and February 22, 2019 will mark 5 years since the US-promoted coup d’état that ousted Viktor Yanukovich and started this whole mess that I call the Blame Russia Chorus.

Propaganda has very deep pockets.

March 25, Could these two events be related? The Ukrainian SU-25 pilot, Vladislav Voloshin, who may have been ordered to shoot down MH17, allegedly “committed suicide” on March 18 – one week ago! See this link that includes pilot Voloshin in my timeline below dated April 26, 2016. And Nadia Savchenko (Hero of Ukraine under Poroshenko) has just been jailed in Ukraine for bringing her late-found Maidan sniper truth to power and talking about reversing the 2014 US-promoted coup. My “sniffer” alerts me to the possibility that the MH17 official story is becoming increasingly suspect (at last) and the people who can tell the truth, like Voloshin, continue to be eliminated.

January 26, MH17 Aside…  for an amazing moment: a terrific and entertaining, loosely-related (via the Dutch Masters – of BS), brilliant article on NSA-dominated Fake News and the very scary, “collect-it-all worldwideBig Data  goal of the Deep State.  This article by suzi3d on steemit.com exposes much more than a sloppy, popular, professional CIA troll named Garland. It ruthlessly dissects and exposes a total load of paid-for anti-Russia horse manure found on Twitter.

2017 Update

November 21 Key Update: I had not seen the video that accompanied this 3 year old Guardian article from Nov 5, 2014. The sound track is the conversation between the Estonian foreign minister, Urmas Paet and the EU’s Catherine Ashton. The real block buster is an Italian article that shows actual video of the foreign snipers entering and exiting the buildings on Maidan square with large bags that contained rifles. There is also this Nov 19 2017 YouTube report in Italian with English subtitles in two 10-minute parts that shows testimony and gory footage of the carnage that ensued, killing at least 80 pro-EU protestors and police with the same guns and bullets. Names of US and Ukrainian advisors and commanders are given in this YouTube video. Georgian and Lithuanian snipers principally had been guns hired by the Ukrainian coup operators that were commanded to shoot indiscriminately to sow the chaos that ultimately caused Yanukovich to flee and assured the US-engineered coup.

January 13, 2017 Key UpdateChristopher Black of New Eastern Outlook posted this on January 11: Trump and MH17: Just One Step Too Far?  In it he describes the extraordinary detention at, for God’s sake, Amsterdam‘s Schiphol Airport, of journalists Michael Spekkers and Stefan Beck and the seizure of all their cameras and electronic devices plus pieces of the MH17 wreckage still in the Donbass that they found with the help of Graham Phillips. All of their material, photos and data have been looked through but we’ll not get the chance to see it.

This is yet one more piece of evidence that implies that NATO and its “servants,” the Dutch authorities, are very worried about evidence being revealed that neither the Russians nor the Eastern Ukrainians were, in any way, responsible for the shootdown of MH17.  The guilty parties are very likely the Ukrainians for shooting down MH17, either accidentally or deliberately, and the Americans would then be guilty of hiding evidence at a minimum and, if the shootdown was a deliberate false flag, actual criminal involvement before, during and after the July 17, 2014 event.

The article summarizes the MH17 event succinctly and highlights the key smelly points. Mr. Black, an international lawyer based in Toronto, adds that the relentless onslaught of propaganda and incredible, as yet unproven, machinations against President-Elect Trump add serious gravity to the suspicions of thoughtful observers who haven’t let this farce go. The neocons are seriously spooked at the possibility that Trump will launch a proper investigation into MH17, one that I suspect will be hugely embarrassing to the American security apparatus, to the Obama democrats and humiliating to the American people themselves.

Below is a lot of information that I’ve collected in my study (ongoing since August 2014, less than a month after the shootdown) of MH17 and the Ukraine coup and its own background. Immediately following are other updates, and if you scroll down far enough you will see a very thorough chronological set of events and articles with links so that you, yourself, can analyze this puzzle to your heart’s content. 

2016 Introduction

September 11, 2016: This post, begun on August 13, 2014, was expanded to include the Ukraine coup d’état in February 2014 financed and organized by the US State Department. MH17 didn’t happen in a vacuum. Since MH17 went down 26 months ago on July 17, 2014, a mystery story has evolved for me that goes back to 2013.

Background: To properly illuminate and present this story, it was necessary to examine the events that led up to MH17 and ultimately spawned its horror. So, some time ago, at the bottom of this longgggg post, I added a brief timeline listing the dramatic and violent events of the Euromaidan protests that began in November, 2013, three months before the coup, that forced the elected President Viktor Yanukovich to flee on February 21, 2014. The replacement of Yankovich with puppets selected by the US State Department alienated the citizens of Crimea and the Eastern provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk. Crimea acceded to Russia after a 90% referendum vote in March, and Donetsk and Lugansk proclaimed themselves independent peoples republics on April 7, 2014.

Continue reading “MH17 And Ukraine – A Continuing Study”

Tonglen, Illusion and Injustice – A “Theory of Everything”

This worm, my brother, symbolizes vulnerability for me
This worm symbolizes vulnerability for me

I really like combining some tonglen breathing with my dumbbell exercises and a set of tai chi. I usually come away with a feeling of calmness and purpose.

I precede the above with 30 minutes uphill walking on a treadmill, during which I listen to a CBC podcast from one of my four favorite reflective CBC programs: Ideas, Tapestry, Writers and Company and The Sunday Edition. These free podcasts come automatically into my iTunes account.

I don’t do the exercises every day, and, for me, that’s OK. Often I walk outside instead in “Our Woods” with my wife. Our walks have been getting longer as we will be walking a lot on our next trip and, at 68, that can be challenging.

This morning when I began my routine I was thinking about a thoughtful blog I had read a couple of days ago by Traveling Thane Furrows. N.B. Thane’s blog is no longer available.  Pity. His post featured one of my living heroes, Noam Chomsky. Thane presented several of Mr. Chomsky’s points in an October lecture given at the American University in Cairo. Thane commented in the above post that Chomsky “nonchalantly condemns US Imperialism and gives lucid explanations for the current political events sweeping our world.” I remember thinking that the last adjective I would use to describe anything Chomsky does is “nonchalant.” He has spent much of his very long life meticulously and passionately documenting political abuses of the third world by the powerful nations and trans-national corporations. The US is his principal, but by no means sole, target and he gives copious endnotes to support all his sources.

But Thane made me think twice when he respectfully suggested that there is typically too much negativity among critics of the status quo. I had to think about my recent posts that have been severely critical, contemptuous even, of Canada’s small “c” conservative government under Stephen Harper.

Thane refers wisely to Buddhist  and Kabbalist beliefs and tonglen as tools that can be used to soften one’s heart and learn to look primarily for the good. I think Thane feels that Chomsky and I are too unrelentingly harsh in our criticism of the right wing. He quotes the Kabbalist,  Rabbi Moshe Cordevero:

Your ears should always be tuned to hear the good, while rumors and gossip should never be let in, according to the secret of sublime listening. There, no harsh shouting enters, no tongue of evil leaves a blemish. So listen only to positive, useful things, not to things that promote anger.

This quote initially took me aback. It seemed that Thane was implying by this passage that Chomsky should have been more circumspect and positive in his lecture. I suspect now that Thane was quite sympathetic to the “facts” as Chomsky presented them, but was troubled that this information darkened his perspective and made Thane himself somewhat prone to negative feelings that he personally wants to overcome.

Here I invite Thane to comment on this post, because I am not certain of his perspective and do not want to misrepresent it. I thank him for stimulating me to think more carefully about my writing style.

My opinion on this is that there are different, valid roles for all of us if we “H. sapienses” are to find our way intact into the next century. People like Noam Chomsky, though overwhelmingly critical, are important communicators of the serious issues that need to be addressed if justice, peace and sustainability are important. In Canada, for example, there are four times as many right wing daily newspapers as liberal ones. Voices like those of Chomsky and Naomi Klein are a necessary, if tiny, attempt to bring the public, poorly informed due to materialistic distractions and the bias of the  corporate-dominated media, up to speed on the reasons and powers behind what is happening to the indigenous in Central America, Canada and, soon, to them. This is what the recent Idle No More Movement is about. People are becoming aware of threats to Canada’s First Nations and to themselves if our land, water and air continues to be polluted to serve the god of GDP and the corporate growth paradigm.

There is also place for spiritual leaders of good faith, past and present. There is also place for agnostics and atheists. There is an important place for indigenous spirituality, which is closer to Mother Earth than any other form.

But back to the ideas spawned by Thane’s blog – and my stream of consciousness:

I am aware that much of what we perceive is illusion. Buddhism, Hinduism and even quantum physics support this. It seems the Hindus  intuitively “got” the String Theory of quantum physics centuries before plodding, Western atomistic scientists came to get a peek into its intricacies. Sort of reminds me of the Polynesians (through magnificent, intuitive, advanced navigational virtuosity) having populated the tiny islands of the vast  South Pacific five centuries before the Spaniards came along hugging the coast and generally screwing things up. Fast forward to the present World Order… but I digress.

Being aware of the illusory nature of existence helps one to cope with suffering. This is one of the real benefits of tonglen breathing.

Breathe in suffering, breathe out healing.

Simple, deep, effective. It helps, but it does not change the injustice that leads to widespread suffering around the world, much of which has been spawned since European colonialism began in the 15th century. I still cling to the idea that injustice must be fought. To me it is not a complete illusion that a girl going to school can be disfigured by acid thrown in her face. (The Taliban, by the way, has arisen because fundamentalism was aided and abetted by the US to drive the Russians out of Afghanistan. It achieved that goal, but turned out to be a Faustian bargain, but I digress yet again.)

This sort of injustice makes me angry. Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does. Not so angry that my blood boils and my blood vessels constrict – thanks to tonglen and, to a greater extent than previously, tuning out. My Internet activity and bodily presence at peaceful protests, critical and side-taking though it is, also helps me feel that I am doing something to fight injustice.

In the very long run, for an athiest who understands the Second Law of Thermodynamics, all momentary struggle is indeed absurd. In the end a state of formless uniformity will be everywhere in the universe. Free energy, necessary to build complex structures like a human fetus out of atoms, will be all used up.

Even in the relatively short run, our sustainer, the Sun, having indifferently helped life to evolve on Earth over the past 5 billion years, will start to lose its primary and secondary fuels, hydrogen and helium. Before it peters out to a dwarf during the next 5 billion it will cool and expand into a red giant, whose fiery mass will envelop our Planet. Sayonara, baby.

Some might say that to struggle to keep Homo sapiens and a few other vertebrates in existence on Earth for a few more millennia is itself an absurd quest, given the ultimate existence endgame. For me, and this is my own personal, though deeply held, sentiment,  it is the only thing worth doing. I consider those who aid the new colonists in their rape of my Planet the Enemy who must be turned into an ally or relentlessly opposed. I cannot do otherwise.

I will give the last word to the author of Don Quixote, the incomparable Miguel Cervantes:

Too much sanity may be madness, and the maddest of all to see life as it is and not as it should be.

Imagination Part 2

I know lots of you guys would rather see pictures of Spain… but I promised you the meat of the Ideas program/podcast on Imagination, Part 2 (with a little of my patented sauce at the end) on Nov. 29:

Buddhism, among other philosophies, tells us that the self isn’t as concrete as we think it is. Our personal identity is a bit of an illusion. What poses as a coherent individual identity is largely due to a person’s memories, and the weird thing is that those memories change; we modify (i.e. reimagine) them every time we retrieve them. What’s more: memories are the “building blocks” of imagination.

The real virtuoso imaginers are the visionaries, who possess what Jung called a mythopoeic imagination. Henri Frankfort and his wife Henriette Antonia Frankfort coined the term, mythopoeic, in the 1940’s. Frankfort, H. studied ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia – the source for most of our modern religious mythological types. Ancient Egypt is really cool, but let’s stay on topic here. Jung believed that all humans share a collective unconscious that includes bits from the memories of our ancestors – even pre-human ancestors.

Modern humans also build a community based on our common observations. Observations are really all one has to go on when one has to go – on, I mean. Continue reading “Imagination Part 2”

Thinking and Writing

Blogging from home today instead of my Toyota dealer’s customer lounge. I have been going through a very active period of thinking lately and have realized that I’ll never get this stuff down unless I stop trying to produce a detailed reference for everyone I quote or whose ideas I express. The penny has dropped that I am not writing an academic paper when I blog. I blog to develop my thoughts and communicate the products of my thinking, my music or my photography to others. Full stop.

I will give references to documents and links where and when I can do so easily, but will not slow my writing down to serve the god of total disclosure. I will ask you, the reader, to trust that I’m doing my best.

That said, I admire a writer like Noam Chomsky who, due to the controversial nature of his ideas, meticulously gives footnotes and references for every idea he presents. He faces enough opposition as it is…