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Links Mai 2018

May 18, 2018

This is a collection of hyperlinks to articles on the web which I read and consider as informative.

At the moment I have no time and I’m also not in the mood of writing. There are a lot of topics worth to be discussed, for instance: Western public indifference to Israels slaughter of Palestinians on the Gaza border wall; Israel bombs Syria and Putin shrugs; another color revolution, this time in Armenia; new US sanctions and threats against Russia; continuing NATO war preparations; growing GDP at all costs remains the economic mantra.

I considered to pause blogging during summer, because working in the garden is so much more joy and reward than sitting on the computer, but today it rains, so there’s a little time to write a few sentences and publish a post. I will not stop blogging, though eventually I have to find another blogger service. Any suggestions about an alternative platform are welcome, please give me a cue!

Feline news:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180402160808.htm
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/russia-sergei-skripal-pets-cat-guinea-pig-sealed-home-starved-death-salisbury-nerve-agent-novichok-a8291321.html
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/sergey-skripals-cat-guinea-pigs-12311861 Skripal’s cat Nash Van Drake, collateral damage in the propaganda war against Russia.
https://twitter.com/QuarterToAli_/status/989115189571317760
https://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/articles/three-injured-after-bobcat-kittens-mistaken-for-domestic-cats-san-antonio-wildlife-rescue-and-rehabilitation/101198/

Environmental news:

http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/
https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/04/02/fukushima-jitters/ Unsolvable, unredeemable, unescapable. Our bright radioactive future — get used to it.
https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/04/27/move-over-chernobyl-fukushima-is-now-officially-the-worst-nuclear-power-disaster-in-history/
http://news.morningstar.com/all/dow-jones/us-markets/2018032812979/firstenergy-plans-to-shut-down-three-nuclear-power-plants-by-2021.aspx Nuclear energy is too expensive.
http://www.dw.com/en/britain-offers-millions-in-cash-to-bury-its-radioactive-waste/a-43170682
https://grist.org/article/nuclear-is-scary-lets-face-those-fears/
https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/04/20/seas-rise-pilgrim-mulls-moving-its-nuclear-waste-higher-ground/rcrkilSqo4cGpfledFyrJJ/story.html
http://www.atimes.com/article/india-heading-day-zero-water-reservoirs-shrink/
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/16/climate-change-china-bans-import-of-foreign-waste-to-stop-pollution.html
https://news.mongabay.com/2018/04/indigenous-environmental-activist-killed-in-myanmar/ RIP.
https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty-dozen.php Grow your own food.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/01/argentina-new-river-soya-beans At least, they have water, so this will not become desert.
http://www.ehn.org/what-are-the-threats-to-future-food-security-2562981347.html
https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/air-pollution-quality-cities-health-effects-institute-environment-poverty-who-a8308856.html
https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/food-production-farming-agriculture-needs-change-avoid-crisis-population-nine-billion-2050-a8275646.html
https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/04/23/chemical-madness/
https://www.alternet.org/heatwave-kills-one-third-great-barrier-reef
https://e360.yale.edu/digest/scientists-confirm-florida-sized-dead-zone-in-the-gulf-of-oman
http://www.ehn.org/how-much-e-waste-is-shipped-to-nigeria-2561214315.html Use your gadgets and appliances sparsely and keep them as long as possible.
https://mashable.com/2018/04/26/how-to-recycle-ewaste/#8UuDWOfQNkq2
https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/05/01/the-cult-of-hunting-and-its-timely-demise/

Economic news:

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/04/11/the-decree-of-the-capitalist-god/ Must read satire.
https://voxeu.org/article/marx-and-modern-microeconomics
https://orionmagazine.org/article/the-curse-of-bigness/ Long read, but worth it.
https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/05/02/privatization-is-killing-us-dispatches-from-the-capitalist-war-on-society/
https://www.ineteconomics.org/perspectives/blog/the-forgotten-vision-of-market-socialism

Media and technology news:

http://www.gazettenet.com/Columnist-Vijay-Prashad-criticizes-Western-reporting-from-Gaza-16600945
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49155.htm YouTube censors Israel criticism.
http://www.defenddemocracy.press/media-cover-up-shielding-israel-is-a-matter-of-policy/
https://aeon.co/ideas/say-goodbye-to-the-information-age-its-all-about-reputation-now? Interesting perspective.
https://www.zdnet.com/article/coalition-of-tech-giants-hit-by-nsa-spying-slams-encryption-backdoors/
http://medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/2018/870-a-suffocating-groupthink-sampling-the-corporate-media-on-israel-iran-syria-and-russia.html

Imperial madness news:

Most US-Americans are completely ignorant of the situation in Syria. And even if they wanted to be informed, it’s impossible unless one uses the Internet. Cable news has turned into one channel that does nothing but praise Trump (Fox News) and a set of channels that do nothing but broadcast things which make Trump look bad (CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS). Actual news about what’s going on around the world is practically ignored because the agenda of Pro or Anti Trump has become more important than actual news.

The MIC (military industrial complex) propagandists have convinced US citizens that their interests (making billions from a bloated military budget) are actually everyones interests. In reality, their interests are directly opposed to the ones of the general population, because every dollar in the pockets of the Lockheed Martin, Boing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, General Dynamics, BAE Systems CEOs is a dollar not available to funding healthcare, education, infrastructure, and social services.
https://www.ineteconomics.org/perspectives/blog/america-is-regressing-into-a-developing-nation-for-most-people Interesting analysis of US two-tier society.
http://evonomics.com/the-american-healthcare-system-shows-why-we-cant-trust-free-market-ideologues/ The invisible hand (of the market) is the hand of a pickpocket.
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/04/05/ineq-a05.html About race and class.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-nukes-plutonium-specialreport/americas-nuclear-headache-old-plutonium-with-nowhere-to-go-idUSKBN1HR1KC
http://cindysheehanssoapbox.blogspot.com/2018/04/sorry-not-sorry-open-letter-to-babs.html
https://www.defensenews.com/congress/2018/04/25/defense-industry-needs-5-percent-annual-budget-growth-to-stay-healthy-says-new-aia-report/Staying healthy” with more war. 

Imperial conquest news:

“Delenda est Carthago” is undoubtedly the true guiding principle of US geopolitics. Somewhere in the Pentagon and CIA vaults there are plans — likely various and alternate ones — for the destruction of Russia, or at least for its dismemberment.

This guiding principle is evident by numerous moves — some less, others more significant — in Chechnya, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Macedonia, Syria, Iran, Armenia, together with hostile aggressive actions like sending tanks, artillery, and troops to Russian borders, ringing Russia with anti-missile missiles, preparing to nullify weapons treaties, for instance INF (immediate-range nuclear forces), committing a fortune to new-generation nuclear weapons (B61-12), contrived personal attacks on Russia’s President Putin, sanctions and still more sanctions, pressuring other countries not to buy Russian goods, and many other often clandestine and sneaky activities.
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/05/07/flee-m07.html War preparations.
http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2018/04/27/hoisting-false-flag/hRC63gFcq1zMUmd8UObqLM/story.html
https://williamblum.org/aer/read/157
https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/04/19/crimes-of-a-monster-your-tax-dollars-at-work/
https://www.marchonpentagon.com
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/04/07/usru-a07.html The New York Times writes: “Trump’s Approach to Syria Is No Way to Run a War.” Good that we know, that the USA is waging a war. And don’t forget: All is fair in love and war.
https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/04/02/uncontroversial-mass-destruction/ One cannot argue with MAD (mutual assured destruction) people. They should be locked away in a mental institution, not left at the levers of power in the White House, Pentagon, and Langley.
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/04/06/skri-a06.html They want war, because the social and economic situation in Western countries is heading for a severe crisis.
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/04/trump-right-about-syria-withdrawing-troops-will-strengthen-security.html The article argues, that Syria and Islamic State are not and never were US security threats. This is naive, it’s not about US security, it’s about the conquest of Russia. Syria is a necessary stepping stone on the way to the Caucasus and Central Asia. Iran would be the next step. Without the destruction of Syria the destruction of Iran is difficult to achieve. Without the destruction of Iran the front against southern Russia (in the form of Islamist insurgents) is not possible. The front against western Russia (Baltic states, Poland, Ukraine, Romania) alone is too week for a successful non-nuclear assault.
Trump thinks, that Syria is devastated enough that it can be bypassed in a war against Iran. Maybe he is right — we will see.
https://imperianews.com/russia-news-analysis/attack-on-russia-is-being-prepared/
https://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/the-ruinously-expensive-american-military/
https://securityassistance.org/sites/default/files/US%20Arms%20Sales%202017%20Report.pdf
https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2018/04/06/israeli-violence-against-palestinians-will-never-end-as-a-result-of-un-us-hypocrisy/ Cold blooded slaughter in Gaza and the Western press, UN agencies, and Western politicians are silent. This is the cynicism of monstrous psychopaths.
http://www.atimes.com/article/yes-john-bolton-actually-just-called-for-libya-model-for-n-korea/ Kim Jong-un is surely aware of Gaddafi’s fate.
https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-struggle-for-liberation-in-southern-africa-cuba-and-the-future-of-pan-africanism/5637264 A little bit of colonial and neo-colonial history, especially about the role of Cuba in Africa’s struggle for independence. It contains a few debatable statements, for instance calling China a non-capitalist country.
https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/04/25/the-empire-turns-its-sights-on-nicaragua-again/
https://www.truthdig.com/articles/conflicts-of-interest-drive-wars-from-iraq-to-syria/
https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/fifteen-thoughts-about-israel-cd047979ea92

Armageddon news:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/26/were-doomed-mayer-hillman-on-the-climate-reality-no-one-else-will-dare-mention
http://www.eco-business.com/news/land-degradation-compromises-wellbeing-of-32-billion-people-study-says/ This belongs into the “armageddon” category because the recommendations to mitigate or even reverse land degradation are so far away from actual policies of most nations that it is very clear that land degradation will not stop but rather accelerate.
https://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/2018/04/our-communities-are-scaled-and-built.html
https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/05/02/natures-breaking-point/
http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/9192/

Uncategorized news:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/psychological-weapons-of-mass-persuasion/
https://dgrnewsservice.org/civilization/alienation/faith/
https://www.opendemocracy.net/transformation/zad-forever/revenge-against-commons Keeping the dream alive.
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/05/12/assa-m12.html Ecuador hints it may hand over Julian Assange to Britain and the USA.
http://themovement.1millionmeditators.com/ref/Is13717556
https://www.localfutures.org/localization-a-strategic-alternative-to-globalized-authoritarianism/ I liked this article very much, but:

Raising awareness will be difficult, because the message of localization and self sufficiency will be censored and discarded as “fake news.” Anyway, as long as people are glued to TV, computer, and smartphone screens, they will be insensitive to the message of local independence.

All dynamic political campaigning and enlightened grassroots activities will be undermined by planted agents who not only will report every move to their masters but also sabotage particular actions. The revolutionary movement against globalization and consumerism has to be quiet, hidden, without leadership and organizational structures. The members will find each other easily, as they all are recognizable by their strive to minimize the personal carbon footprint.

Every activity which endangers the profits of big business is considered criminal and perpetrators face the full weight of justice. Subsistence farming and gardening, community gardens, barter / swapping groups, tool lending libraries, neighborhood help, co-ops, and counter currencies are mostly insignificant local initiatives and therefore ignored at the moment, but they will be dealt with as soon as they gain traction.

Nevertheless, growing one’s own food, wearing only second hand cloth, repairing instead of replacing, being an “organic prepper,” shunning the malls and supermarkets makes sense and will not be in vain, if such a lifestyle is eventually accompanied and complemented by a tidal wave of boycotts, strikes, tax refusals, obstructions, disruptions, insubordinations, mass defiance, and civil disobedience.

The timing should be right, and the right time will be the crash of the global financial system. We have to prepare for this moment. 

Beware of the “disaster capitalists,” they are lurking in the shadows to become the next oligarchs.

News from cat paradise:

This spring is characterized by a long drought, and the usual heavy rains in April didn’t happen. This is very uncommon in our region and hopefully not a harbinger of future climate changes. I’m running around with watering cans and have nearly used up the water in the rain barrels, I also turn on the sprinklers between 5 AM and 7 AM. Water tables are dangerously low.

Finally it rained today, but not enough. There are now maybe 1,000 liter in the rain barrels, they could hold 4,000 liters.

Slugs and snails are not a problem this year, it’s too dry for them. Peach leaf curl seems to have been defeated, but there is a new leaf infection of currant and jostaberry bushes, which looks very similar, though it is caused by aphids. Ladybirds would be the ideal aphid predators, but their population has plummeted.

Many other insect populations have also declined, though bumblebees fortunately are thriving. I love the buzzing sound, which they use to get their mitts on pollen in hard-to-reach blooms of blueberry bushes. Spiders are also doing well, this is important, because they eliminate a lot of plant pests.

Many humans have an instinctive fear of spiders (arachnophobia) and of snakes (ophidiophobia), but as a gardener one has to overcome such irrational emotions. I’m wary of ticks though, which are at the moment infesting forest and garden, and I check the cats for ticks every time when they come in.

My beloved feline friends unfortunately are brutal killers and this spring they have already murdered a little frog, a blindworm, a mole, and countless birds. They have also slaughtered mice and voles, but this is very welcome — empathy only goes that far. If I could just explain to them that mice are okay and frogs or toads are not. Unfortunately this is beyond their cognitive capabilities.

We all have our limits and humans are also not able to understand everything. Our brains evolved to be adaptable, but the underlying neural architecture has barely changed since our ancestors roamed the savannas and coped with the challenges that life there presented. It’s surely remarkable that these brains with not more than 86 billion neurons have allowed us to develop particle physics and quantum theory, scientific interpretations far removed from the everyday world in which we evolved and not explainable with common sense.

While the laws of the universe most likely are beyond our grasp, abstract and strange forever, familiar environments like forests and gardens are evenly difficult to understand, as gazillions of living beings compete for resources, sometimes collaborating in symbiotic relations, sometimes fighting and eradicating each other. Experience can help a little bit to predict outcomes, but often the most knowledgable people are wrong as well, especially when it comes to weather forecasts and climate science in general.

Nature, so they say, is a dynamical nonlinear system with mind boggling complexity and even the most advanced statistical procedures or sophisticated scientific frameworks like chaos theory, probability theory, and network theory will not be able to solve all its mysteries.

Good so.

Cats are curious creatures and they are eager to explore and scrutinize their surrounding, though that doesn’t necessarily mean that they ponder about the mysteries of nature. I’m not sure about Gandhi Jr., as he often sits in front of a mirror or other reflecting surfaces and looks at his mirrored image. He sometimes turns his head and raises his paw, sometimes he meows and looks at me pleadingly, and then I have to sit down, pet him and explain to him calmly what this all means. He may not understand my explanation intellectually, but he understands that I care about him, that I will be with him till the end of our days, and that everything is okay.

Gandhi Jr. doesn’t ruminate about quantum entanglement and related issues. He would be probably terrified by the story of Schrödinger’s cat, so the blissful ignorance sparse him a lot of distress.