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”

Maciej Cegłowski on The Unbridled Growth of Surveillance

On June 16, 2016 Maciej Cegłowski, one of four panelists on a seminar called The Moral Economy of Tech, startled his SASE audience of social economists with his ten minute contribution. It is worth taking the few minutes it takes to read. He reveals the scary extent to which our institutions gather a dangerous, gargantuan, indigestible amount of data on virtually every citizen.

Border customs agents are (Egad!) discussing asking travellers routinely for their social media links.

Cegłowski calls for a rethink of this invasive activity that governments and corporations do “just because we can” and muses about what could happen if extrajudicial murder by military or police drones were to become as commonplace in the First World as it is in an increasing number of US-strategic, Third World, places. And what place isn’t “strategic” for Barrack and Hillary these days?

One “tongue in cheek” photo to highlight America’s relentless military expansion:image

The above courtesy of russia-insider.com

Cegłowski points out that many of these drone hits are simply based on circumstantial data collection from cell phone contact lists or social media interchanges that create some imprecise “probability” that a target, guilty or innocent, is in a house or a car or at a wedding:

Get into the wrong person’s car in Yemen, and you lose your life.

He concludes with this frightening statement about data collected for data’s sake:

What we’ve done as technologists is leave a loaded gun lying around, in the hopes that no one will ever pick it up and use it.

I’m getting tired of passing on this stuff like Jeremiah.

 

Scary! The TPP Fast Track! Please Sign Naomi Klein’s Petition

The senate has just given President Obama the power to take  America into the dreaded Trans-Pacific Partnership, described as “NAFTA on Steroids” because it probably includes provisions enabling Corporations to sue governments for laws they enact to protect the environment – as NAFTA’s Chapter  11 now does.

Congress is next to vote to give the President similar, draconian, totally undemocratic powers.

Please read up (if you need to) on the TPP and quickly sign Naomi Klein’s petition against it HERE!

PLEASE.

IT’S URGENT…

An Incomplete List of Crimes (and Lies) “Demon Putin” Never Perpetrated

Watching my once-precious CBC (Canada’s budget-browbeaten public broadcaster) line up with CNN and Fox on the “disproportionate evil” of Vladimir Putin compared to Obama or Cheney or Bush or Clinton or Truman or Reagan or Cameron or Harper… or… makes me want to spit.

Instead, this more venomous response:

2014: The Latest Exposed Lie

We do not torture.

http://www.salon.com/2014/12/11/exclusive_corrupt_toxic_and_sociopathic_glenn_greenwald_unloads_on_torture_cia_and_washingtons_rotten_soul/

About Hiroshima:

1945: Here, just three lies listed by John Pilger – there were more. There are always more…

1. “No radioactivity in Hiroshima ruin” said the front page of the New York Times

2. The atomic bomb was dropped “to end the war in the Pacific and save lives.”

3. Prior to bombing Hiroshima “the Japanese were not suing for peace.”

About Iran:

1953 – 2013 – The CIA was “not involved” in the coup that put the Shah in power. Took 60 years for them to ‘fess up.

1980: USS Vincennes shoots down an Iranian passenger Airbus 300 – Iran Air Flight 655. There were 290 deaths – sound familiar? The US lied about their carrier being in Iranian waters and that they mistook an Airbus for a jet fighter 1/3 the size. Commanding Officer Captain William C. Rogers III was decorated in 1982.

1985-1987: Iran Contra Affair – see Nicaragua below.

2005-Present: G.W. Bush authorized “black ops” against the government of Iran. They appear to finance and assist terrorist groups trying to destabilize Iran.

About Guatemala:

1954: The CIA was “not behind” the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Guatemala led by Jacobo Árbenz

Continue reading “An Incomplete List of Crimes (and Lies) “Demon Putin” Never Perpetrated”

About Time – About Drones

I see other voices bigger than mine crying in the wilderness that Obama’s use of drones may be criminal. About time.

http://www.cbc.ca/m/touch/world/story/1.2129761

And, from The Onion LOL “Obama Spends Afternoon In Garage Restoring Classic Drone”

When Our Paradise Includes Video Game Killing

Above: “Stealth attack drone” – a bit of levity before the deluge of gloom…
*********
A couple of quotes from July 2013 articles that point to a divorce between capitalism in the extreme form into which it has morphed and what we used to think of as democracy.

Maybe there’s something wrong with our notion of paradise.

The above quote is from a book called Trouble in Paradise by Slavoj Zizek reviewed in the July 18th London Review of Books.
The second quote is from the same issue of the London Review of Books. This one is called What’s In It For Obama by Stephen Holmes. It discusses the current president’s now widespread and cowardly use of attack drones to kill mere suspects of anti-US activity and any other innocent humans and pets who happen to be nearby.
… has Obama’s switch from a policy of detain and interrogate to a policy of kill on sight really followed an anti-liberal script written by Bush-era hawks? The speculation has a ring of truth. At the very least, Obama’s armed drone programme is a blood relative of Bush’s original unindicted detention programme. Their kinship is suggested by the shared principle that suspected enemy combatants do not deserve hearings to prove they are innocent of the charges against them
I had a lot of sauce to add to these two quotes but I have distilled it into the following few lines. The last quote is mine.
I have called the use of drones cowardly before (here, here, here and here), but this cynical, callous and, yes, evil use goes beyond the pale. Marshall McLuhan saw early that technology changes how we live. It is clear that it has made it possible to make real warfare into a thoughtless and self-serving video game. This is (as if we needed it) ultimate proof that technological progress has outstripped humanity’s moral capacity for using it properly.
Disgust doesn’t even come close to how I feel about how far our species has fallen.