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10C Above Baseline

Earth at 10°C above pre-industrial is unimaginable. It’s a deadly horrifying thought, but as shall be explained herein, it should not be dismissed out of hand.

The following story might be labeled as reckless, and it might be criticized as a fearmongering piece of journalism and probably will be. Nevertheless, “10C Above Baseline” explores a dystopian world envisioned by John Doyle, Sustainable Development Policy Coordinator of the European Commission in Brussels.

Doyle’s thesis of a 10C world, within current lifetimes, is based upon sober-minded analysis. Of course, it envisions a planet of few or maybe no humans. Granted, it is hard to …

Interview with Journalist Whitney Webb on the Jeffrey Epstein Case

Patterns of Compromise: The EasyJet Data Breach

It has been a withering time for the airlines, whose unused planes moulder in a gruelling waiting game of survival.  The receivers are smacking their lips; administration has become a reality for many.  Governments across the globe dispute what measures to ease in response to the coronavirus pandemic; travel has been largely suspended; and the hope is that some viable form will resume at some point soon.

For the low-cost airline EasyJet, a further problem has presented itself.  Earlier in the week, the company revealed that it had “been the target of an attack from a highly sophisticated source”, resulting …

Faschion: Dressing for Obedience 

Asset Deals: John Paul II and his successor ex-Hitler Youth and Roman Grand Inquisitor Joseph Ratzingen, Benedict XVI
In 2015 I argued that the purpose of the CIA war against Vietnam was two-fold. First of all the company was charged with preserving the now US interest in what had been French business in Indochina. The second objective — a …

The Importance of Compensating Veterans for Trauma

Image Source:  Unsplash
Since the United States was established, veterans have put their lives on the line to fight for freedom and so much more. From the deadly battles of the Civil War to uniting with allies in World War I and II, to fighting against terrorism in more recent years, our military has never backed away from doing the right thing for the flag.

But it’s nearly impossible for the average person to fully grasp what a vet might have to go through during their time in …

A Thought about Racial Tension

I recently came across a tweet, where the tweet writer proclaimed:

I am convinced that 90% of racial tensions remaining in the West would evaporate within 5 years if lefties\liberals stopped racializing everything, stopped obsessing over and judging based on skin colour and stopped re-opening stale historical wounds unnecessarily…

My immediate thought was that I needed to reply and refute this misinformation as quickly as possible. Then as quickly as it came, that thought was replaced by a realization that a response to this could never and indeed, should never, be an off-the-cuff reactionary response. So, I let it sit and simmer; …

Why Israel Fears the Nakba: How Memory Became Palestine’s Greatest Weapon

On May 15, thousands of Palestinians in Occupied Palestine and throughout the ‘shatat’, or diaspora, participated in the commemoration of Nakba Day, the one event that unites all Palestinians, regardless of their political differences or backgrounds.

For years, social media has added a whole new stratum to this process of commemoration. #Nakba72, along with #NakbaDay and #Nakba, have all trended on Twitter for days. Facebook was inundated with countless stories, videos, images, and statements, written by Palestinians, or in global support of the Palestinian people.

The dominant Nakba narrative remains — 72 years following the destruction of historic Palestine at the hands …

Brave New Normal (Part 2)

My columns haven’t been very funny recently. This one isn’t going to be any funnier. Sorry. Fascism makes me cranky.

I don’t mean the kind of fascism the corporate media and the fake Resistance have been desperately hyping for the last four years. God help me, but I’m not terribly worried about a few hundred white-supremacist morons marching around with tiki torches hollering Nazi slogans at each other, or Jewish-Mexican-American law clerks flashing “OK” signs on TV, or smirking schoolkids in MAGA hats.

I’m talking about actual, bona fide fascism, or totalitarianism, if you want to get technical. The kind where governments …

Will Washington Allow the WHO to Investigate its Military Bio Labs?

In Fort Detrick, Maryland, the U.S. Army has cutting-edge labs researching viruses. In August 2019, Ft. Detrick labs were closed and a number of pneumonia cases, or illness with similarities to pneumonia, occurred in Maryland. What happened when the labs were shut down? What does the U.S. need the labs for? Dr. Qiao tries to connect the dots and get closer to the facts.

You Can’t Lick the People: Individual and Collective Struggles in the Films of Frank Capra

A prince being thus obliged to know well how to act as a beast must imitate the fox and the lion, for the lion cannot protect himself from traps, and the fox cannot defend himself from wolves. One must therefore be a fox to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten wolves.

— Niccolò Machiavelli (1469–1527) The Prince, 1513

Introduction

In 1939 the American director Frank Capra released Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, a film that was nominated for eleven Academy Awards, winning for Best Original Story and turned James Stewart into a major star. Stewart plays Junior Senator Jefferson Smith in Washington …

Canada Does Not Deserve a Seat on the UN Security Council

Despite its peaceful reputation, Canada is not acting as a benevolent player on the international stage.

Rather, Canada ranks among the twelve largest arms exporters and its weapons have fueled conflicts across the globe, including the devastating war in Yemen.

In a disappointing move, Canada refused to join 122 countries represented at the 2017 UN Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, Leading Towards their Total Elimination.

Ottawa has also been an aggressive proponent of the nuclear-armed NATO alliance, and currently leads coalition missions in Latvia and Iraq.

Echoing Trump’s foreign policy, Canada has …

Soaring Beyond the Green New Deal

Review of The Green New Deal and Beyond: Ending the Climate Emergency While We Still Can by Stan Cox

When Stan Cox was writing his book, The Green New Deal and Beyond: Ending the Climate Emergency While We Still Can, he scripted these prophetic words: “The oft-predicted national decline in use of fossil fuels is nowhere to be seen, and it is unlikely to occur on its own, at least until the next economic meltdown.”  He became one of those few people who dare predict the future; but it was unfortunate for humanity that his prediction came true.  Between the time that Cox foresaw the conditions under which …

Economic Collapse Caused by Capitalism Not “COVID Pandemic”

The aversion of the rich and their political and media representatives to science in general and economic science in particular is legendary. When it comes to making sense of the economy, they rely mainly on irrationalism and discredited ideas. It is no accident that mainstream economics has long been called “the dismal science.” It lacks any robust explanation of economic realities. It is not useful to the public. Back in 2009, leading economists and “financial gurus,” when asked why they think the economy collapsed and wreaked havoc everywhere, relied heavily on “know-nothingism.” “We don’t really know for sure,” many nonchalantly …

What You Need to Know about the ICC Investigation of War Crimes in Occupied Palestine

Fatou Bensouda, Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), has, once and for all, settled the doubts on the Court’s jurisdiction to investigate war crimes committed in occupied Palestine.

On April 30, Bensouda released a 60-page document diligently laying down the legal bases for that decision, concluding that “the Prosecution has carefully considered the observations of the participants, and remains of the view that the Court has jurisdiction over the Occupied Palestinian Territory.”

Bensouda’s legal explanation was itself a preemptive decision, dating back to December 2019, as the ICC Prosecutor must have anticipated an Israeli-orchestrated pushback against the investigation …

Why is Sam Husseini Channeling Neocon Conspiracy Theories on Covid-19?

Journalist Sam Husseini, was once known for challenging the Neocon warmongers on the Iraq War in a former lifetime. He now seems to have joined them, becoming a promoter of anti-China Neo-con conspiracy theories on the origins of Covid-19.

Husseini recently wrote a series of articles that recycle a large amount of right wing disinformation–alt-right fecal matter–and smeared them inside a juicy little hamburger of truth: the fact that the US engages in dangerous biowarfare research.

It is certainly true, if not really hot news, …

Left Gatekeepers Through the New Left: Monitored Rebellion (Part 1)

Cultural containment meant “ring around the pinkos”

— The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters, Frances Stonor SaundersLeftist Patron Saints

What do the following people have in common: Noam Chomsky, Cornel West, Naomi Klein, Robert Reich, Michael Albert, Howard Zinn, Amy Goodman, Medea Benjamin, Norman Solomon, Chris Hedges, Michael Moore, Greg Palast, and Chip Berlet? With the exception of Norman Solomon and Chip Berlet, these are household names among “progressives”. What they appear to have in common is that they are “left.” How far left? …

Why Thinking Makes It So: Donald Trump’s Obamagate Fixation

The “gate” suffix has been wearing thin since the break-in scandal that gave it its birth.  Since Watergate, virtually anything dubious and suggestive, and much more besides, is suffixed.  Which brings us to the issue of President Donald Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama.  Finding himself in hot water (did he ever leave it?) Trump has been sowing the seeds of “Obamagate”, a fairly grotesque measure that serves to fill the shallow spaces of the social mediaverse.

Obamagate is a show without much of a script, supported by the faintest of threads.  Supposedly, they revolve around the merrily murky former national security advisor …

We Don’t Have to Choose Between Our Health and the Economy

The United States is at a critical moment in the COVID-crisis. This week, the nation is likely to surpass 100,000 deaths and new hotspots in the south and midwest are developing. Forty-two states have either started “reopening” their economies or imminently plan to do so without putting in place essential public health measures to prevent the spread of the virus. As of May 7, more than half of the states that had either reopened or planned to do so (30 at the time) have seen an increase in

The Soviet Victory over Nazism 75 Years Ago and Covid-19

How could the Great Patriotic War in which the Soviet people (including many members of my own family) lost at least 25 million lives, have anything in common with the latest outbreak of the novel coronavirus?

You think this is an absolutely insane question?

However, before you dismiss it, think twice. There are similarities how they are being portrayed. There is a dangerous, even deadly, pattern.

The storylines of both monumental events have been shamelessly kidnapped and perverted by Western propaganda!

Those people and countries that fought hard and heroically have lost the narrative. At the same time, those who negotiated to twist and …

China’s New Crypto-Currency:  First Step to Full Dedollarization?

 ‘We’ll cut off the whole relationship’ –Trump threatened China in a recent Fox-Business interview, suggesting he may cut diplomatic relations with China and thereby saving US$ 500 billion. He didn’t say how, though.

Mr. Trump’s anger referred to what he calls China’s “mismanagement” of the corona crisis. This is consistent with the new China bashing hard line being pushed by his administration. “I’m very disappointed in China,” Trump said during the same Fox interview. “We asked to go over and they said no,” he continued, referring to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) February offer of assistance to the virus-stricken city …

An Illusion of Protection: The Pandemic, the “Criminal” Government and Public Distrust of the Media

Any notion that the UK government actually considers that its primary responsibility is to protect the health and security of the country’s population ought to have been demolished in 2020. The appalling death toll that continues to mount during the coronavirus pandemic is largely rooted, not merely in government ‘incompetence’, but in criminal dereliction of its core duties in a supposedly democratic society.

The UK has the highest death toll in Europe, and the second highest in the world (the US has the highest). On …

Another Bank Bailout under Cover of a Virus

Insolvent Wall Street banks have been quietly bailed out again. Banks made risk-free by the government should be public utilities.  

When the Dodd Frank Act was passed in 2010, President Obama triumphantly declared, “No more bailouts!” But what the Act actually said was that the next time the banks failed, they would be subject to “bail ins” – the funds of their creditors, including their large depositors, would be tapped to cover their bad loans.

Then bail-ins were tried in Europe. The results were disastrous.

Many economists in the US and Europe argued that the next time the banks failed, …

COVID-19 Great Depression: Global Ecosocialism Is the Way Out

Sunflower field in Hudson — Photo by Larry Goodwin

Suffering in numbers

The abstract science of mathematics is a language like music. But while music is in the realm of pure emotion, the language of mathematics only speaks to the mind not the heart. Numbers and equations do not lie. They are not, by essence, subjective. This being said, when the numbers are those of the dead, they can have the chilling emotional effect of a meat …

A Plague From Harvard 

Practically speaking, government might do well to maintain a more vigorous countermisinformation establishment.

Cass Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule

In 2008, Harvard law professors Cass Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule published “Conspiracy Theories” with the Social Services Research Network, and a year later in The Journal of Political Philosophy under the title “Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures”. In time, the contents became known to a shocked public, because the authors, to summarize, recommended that citizen groups failing to believe official accounts of events should be covertly penetrated by governmental agents who would then work to bring opinion into line with …

The Need to Know

A review of TDY by Douglas Valentine

Early on in this “based on a true story” book, Pete, narrator and central character, says something important to understanding it as a human document. “I wish I could tell you more about Rusty, José, and Taurus,” he says wistfully. “I wish I could fully develop their characters and entertain and enlighten you with snippets of our repartee. But we never had any clever conversations, and after our initial introduction we stood there looking at each other, not knowing what to say … In fact, just as Taurus and …

Pilpul for Beginners

Americans may be surprised to learn from Alan Dershowitz that their constitution is far more intrusive and oppressive than what they and their forefathers have believed for generations. The law ‘scholar’ declared yesterday that “you have no (constitutional) right to not be vaccinated.”

Watch Video: You Have NO RIGHT to NOT be Vaccinated” – Alan Dershowitz:

One possible explanation for Dershowitz’s peculiar constitutional ‘interpretation’ is that some parts of the American constitution were actually written in Yiddish, Hebrew and Aramaic. As such, their meaning is only accessible to a small privileged segment within the American population, one that amounts to 2% or …

Down and Out in Portland: Retired in Style in Waldport, OR

The irony of this quote from the Dustin Hoffman movie, The Graduate, is not wasted on Duane Snider:

— One word: plastics.

That was Benjamin Braddock, just graduated from college, sitting in a swimming pool. Giving him advice on gaining the American dream, the neighbor’s statement says it all. Today? Hedge funds? Flipping houses? Coronavirus repossessions?

For Duane, that one word: artwork.

Duane as a child with his only sibling.
We’re sitting on the back porch of his brand-new Adair home on a third of an acre on the high land of Waldport. He and his wife Linda …

The Spiritualisation of Culture

Much like socialism or love, ‘spiritual’ is a word that through overuse and misappropriation has been diluted to the point where it has lost virtually all meaning. Although commonly understood to allude to something separate from the material world, according to esoteric literature that which we regard as ‘spiritual’ – referring to spirit, and its opposite, form, exist in duality and are but the positive and negative polarities of one energy, which we broadly think of as ‘life’. Spirit then is the highest most refined form of matter, and matter is the lowest, or grossest form of spirit.

Helena Blavatsky, founder …

Learning from the Great Depression

According to Mark Twain (supposedly), history doesn’t repeat itself, but it frequently rhymes. He was right. Donald Trump, for example, rhymes with Mussolini. The decline of organized labor in recent decades rhymes with its decline in the 1920s. And the coming depression will rhyme, in many respects, with the Great Depression.

For decades, in fact, it has been clear that the political economy of neoliberalism “rhymes” with the political economy that caused the Depression. In addition to (and in part because of) the analogous collapses of organized labor, economic inequality skyrocketed in both eras: in 1929 the richest 0.1% …

The Online Double-bind

The trap was set at least twenty-five years ago and the mice jumped at the smell of the cheese.  I am referring to the introduction of the computer as a mass necessity and the Internet that followed. I was slow to enter the trap, “forced” finally in 2007 by the college where I was teaching. Up to that point I was just a member of The Lead Pencil Club, whose motto was “a speed bump on the information superhighway” and whose membership list numbered twenty-three and a half people worldwide. When I slowly and reluctantly reached for the cheese, the …