Links December 2018

December 8, 2018

George H.W. Bush, the 41st US president, died peacefully at his home in Houston. He was praised in obituaries and eulogies, published in every traditional media channel, while bloggers and dissident websites presented a long list of his misdeeds.

Which include:

In 1976, after a Chilean government assassin killed a dissident and an accompanying US woman with a car bomb, the CIA, headed by George H.W. Bush, leaked a false report clearing Chile’s military dictatorship and pointing the FBI in the wrong direction.

During the 1980s, the Reagan administration (with Bush as vice president) secretly provided critical battle planning assistance to Iraq against Iran and sent billions in military and economic aid, despite the gassing of Halabja in 1988 and other atrocities.

In the 1988 presidential campaign (commonly viewed as the dirtiest campaign ever) images of Willie Horton, a black convicted murderer who abducted a couple, assaulting the man and raping the woman, were used to smear Michael Dukakis, who as governor had signed Hortons furlough. The Horton ad set the tone of racist politics in the USA for decades.

As president, Bush used his office to obstruct justice and thwart investigations into the criminal activities of the Reagan administration (among others the conspiring with Iran about US embassy hostages and the Iran-Contra Affair).

In December 1989, Bush invaded Panama to topple Manuel Noriega, longtime CIA asset and helping hand in the Reagan-era Contra War against Nicaragua. As many as 3,000 Panamanians died.

Bush put Dick Cheney in charge at the Pentagon and nominated Clarence Thomas to the US Supreme Court. Thomas was barely qualified and accused of sexual harassment, but got nevertheless narrowly confirmed.

The Bush Administration gave Saddam Hussein the false impression that the USA would not interfere if Iraq’s army was to invade Kuwait. After Iraq conquered Kuwait, war was sold with false claims of atrocities (the incubator babies, a story told by the daughter of Kuwaits ambassador).

Operation Desert Storm destroyed the Iraqi army in only 43 days. 12,000 Iraqi civilians and 20,000 Iraqi troops were slaughtered and Iraq’s infrastructure, including water and sewage treatment, food processing, agricultural facilities, and the electrical grid was destroyed. An additional 70,000 Iraqi deaths resulted from this infrastructural damage. The sanctions that followed Desert Storm caused the premature deaths of as many as 500,000 Iraqis.

One day before the 9/11 attacks as well as on the morning of 9/11, George H.W, Bush was meeting none other than Shafiq bin Laden, the brother of the alleged terror mastermind Osama bin Laden.

As a board member and unofficial “ambassador” of the private equity Carlyle Group, Bush made millions from that company’s weapons sales which resulted from his son’s Iraq war and the following occupation.

Eight women claimed Bush groped them during picture-taking sessions (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-41987895).

All of this is well documented and there are many other details which suggest dirty games and outright criminal machinations of Bush Sr. It’s a sobering and disillusioning record, but what else would one expect from a former CIA agent and CIA boss?

And yet, though I agree with all the damning articles and comments, I personally have difficulties formulating a coherent and tenable policy in regard to this or similar cases and usually just keep quiet.

The monstrous villains who are responsible for suffering and pain, for death and destruction need to be neutralized in one way or the other. Preferably they should just disappear from the face of the earth without a trace, but if getting rid of them involves a long agonizing death struggle, so let it be. I will not enjoy their moaning and whining, their death rattles will not be music to my ears, I don’t want to be a witness of their horrible end.

Revenge and punishment are not building blocks of a peaceful and harmonious society.

When Hugo Chavez, one of the iconic figures in my private shrine of fallen heroes, died after a long and exhausting battle with cancer, US House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Ed Royce only had to say: “Good riddance to this dictator.” Many US journalists and politicians chimed in. Good riddance!

When Muammar Gaddafi, another icon in my private shrine, was tortured and killed by a gang of NATO enabled sadists, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was giggling, coining the phrase: “We came, we saw, he died” (vein, vidi, mortuus est). An unforgettable moment, if there ever was one.

When Asma al-Assad, wife of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to undergo chemotherapy, Western papers rejoiced and called her “First Lady of hell.”

I don’t want to be like this people, I don’t want to be filled with hate.

William Blum (Anti-Empire Report), 85 and suffering from ill health, expressed sympathy and pity as Senator John McCain was dying from brain cancer, even though McCain was one of the most despicable neocon warmongers.

The miscreants, the grisly and ghastly war criminals at the helm of the US empire will not be remembered fondly, and yet:

In death we are all equal.

https://cindysheehanssoapbox.blogspot.com/2018/11/crisis-in-yemen-soapbox-podcast-110418.html Please support Cindy Sheehan!
https://marchonpentagon.com/yemen-fast/ And visit this website!

Feline news:


Environmental news:

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-46098118 Neither hydro, solar, wind, biomass, or any other form of so called “renewable” energy sources are sustainable or beneficial for the environment, if one takes into account all longtime negative impacts.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/nov/05/energy-cost-of-mining-bitcoin-more-than-twice-that-of-copper-or-gold Cryptocurrencies should be banned.
https://www.bbc.com/news/business-46122255 Rare good news about nuclear power generation.
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/11/08/cont-n08.html All the new clever materials used in buildings can become extremely toxic when a fire breaks out.
https://www.bbc.com/news/health-46118103 Maybe Mother Earth can indeed solve the problem of human overpopulation in a gentle and painless way.
http://science.sciencemag.org/content/362/6414/527 Making gene-editing appear less scary by a carefully worded scientific article. Don’t let them fool you!
https://truthout.org/articles/the-global-extinction-rebellion-begins/ Laudable efforts, but you know: The revolution will not be televised. Nor will it be publicly announced.
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-46380418 The rare good news.

Economic news:

China and Russia discuss a pact to boost the use of yuan and rouble in bilateral and international trade, underscoring their intent to cut their reliance on the US dollar.

This agreement would include the launch of a new cross-border system for direct payment of trade invoices in yuan and rouble. China’s UnionPay credit card would be accepted in Russia and Russia’s Mir card in China.

The USA and the WTO (World Trade Organization) are currently in a row over the Appellate Body, which settles trade disputes between countries – a key function of the entire organization.

The USA has been blocking new appointments to the body in an argument over its role, leaving it with the bare minimum needed to function. If this is not settled soon, trade disputes between countries could be paralyzed as soon as next year.

http://www.cadtm.org/Argentina-in-turmoil The IMF surely has the solution: Austerity for the poor, tax cuts for the rich.
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/11/10/lead-n10.html Corporate welfare.
https://www.rt.com/business/443516-boe-refuse-venezuela-gold/ Gangster capitalism? Or has Britain joined the USA as another nation which is beyond the law?
https://www.opendemocracy.net/paul-rogers/no-way-to-run-world A repeat of 2008 with an even bigger bailout?
http://speri.dept.shef.ac.uk/2018/11/07/what-is-the-financialisation-of-food-and-why-should-we-care/ Food is an inelastic commodity, as people will always need to eat, and investing in food therefore is risk free and provides stable capitalist accumulation.
https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/The-Biggest-Threat-To-Dollar-Dominance.html Russia wants Euros instead of Dollars.

Media and technology news:

Western news organizations have the stated purpose of informing the public, but they fail this purpose. With mergers and consolidation, they have become just one more big corporate entity in a corporate state.

They largely echo government because there is no advantage in seriously investigating and challenging the state. Government approves mergers and acquisition. Government provides leaks and hints. Government offers access and validation. And in the USA, reporting against major government interests can get one labelled as subversive or disloyal.

All people concerned with news and events should not depend on a single news source. Only by following a variety of sources and making an effort to compare, analyze, interpret, and read between the lines can one hope to find out what is really going on.

https://microwavenews.com/news-center/ntp-final-rf-report Cell Phone Radiation Leads to Cancer, says US National Toxicology Program.
https://watershedsentinel.ca/articles/5g-corporate-grail/ More microwave radiation. 5G will make it worse. Stay wired, stay offline.
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/612375/using-wi-fi-to-see-behind-closed-doors-is-easier-than-anyone-thought/ If you don’t have anything to hide, why worry?
https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/samsung-electronics-apologises-to-workers-who-got-cancer-from-working-at-semiconductor-factories-1952067 Somebody has to manufacture our fancy smartphones. It’s not only robots, and if it were so, people also would complain. The dying workers get some compensation, the dying animals downstream are ignored and still lose out.
https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2018/11/25/lack-of-integrity/ More propaganda.

Imperial news:

There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party… and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt – until recently… and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties.” (Gore Vidal)

Elections are funny. The government is the entertainment division of the military-industrial complex.” (Frank Zappa)

If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.” (Mark Twain)

The founding fathers, representing American values:

If it be the design of Providence to extirpate these Savages in order to make room for cultivators of the Earth, it seems not improbable that rum may be the appointed means.” (Benjamin Franklin, from his autobiography)

US life expectancy declined for the third year, a trend not seen since World War I and mainly contributed to an escalating drug and suicide crises. 47,173 people committed suicide in 2017. One million have died from suicide and drug overdoses since 2007.

https://truthout.org/articles/bake-sales-cant-fix-school-funding-pinch-caused-by-corporate-tax-cuts/ We don’t need no (public) education.
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-46187460 Poor guy – he dreamed the American Dream, but the American Dream died long ago, and consequently he died too.
There should be more security guards, of course, and they should be well equipped, with kevlar vests and assault rifles, so that they can respond adequately when the police arrives. And when the police then comes in armed personal carriers, the security guards have to get TOW anti-tank missiles.
More arms = better security.
https://truthout.org/articles/millions-in-masked-money-was-funneled-into-the-2018-elections/ Unincorporated entities with innocuous-sounding names that do not exist in any other physical forms can spend unlimited sums with little accountability or disclosure. Without FEC filings, incorporation records, tax documents or other disclosure requirements, it is almost impossible to uncover who is actually behind many of these ads or who is funding them.
https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/416382-kansas-city-health-department-pours-bleach-on-food-meant-for In a Kansas City park, a health inspector poured bleach on food donated to homeless people. The volunteers didn’t meet city requirements, the inspector said.
https://edition.cnn.com/2018/11/28/health/enterprise-louisiana-water/index.html 743 billion US$ are needed to fix US water systems. An enormous sum, but it is nevertheless not more than one year of military spending.

Imperial conquest news:

The National Defense Strategy Commission, appointed by Congress, issued a report backing the Pentagon’s plans to prepare for a “great-power” war against Russia, China, or both. A war between the USA and China, which according to the report might break out within four years, will be “horrendous” and “devastating.” The military will “face greater losses than at any time in decades.” Such a war could lead to “rapid nuclear escalation.”

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/12/08/pers-d07.html Must read. Preparations for WW III.
http://www.atimes.com/disregard-for-world-opinion-defines-the-us-government/?utm Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela in the crosshairs.
https://www.globalresearch.ca/propaganda-during-world-war-i-an-illustrated-account/5659679 WW I history.
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-46261983 85 thousand Yemeni children died from malnutrition.

Armageddon news:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/17/habitat-loss-biodiversity-wildlife-climate-change We all have to die anyway, so why bother?

Uncategorized news:

https://blog.p2pfoundation.net/book-of-the-day-walkaway-by-cory-doctorow/2018/10/29 Interesting, even if one doesn’t believe in “post scarcity.”

News from cat land:

Rita, the lovely little cat girl which I took home from the animal asylum, is doing well. 

I had the firm intent not to adopt another cat, but during my regular volunteer work at the animal asylum she looked at me, she followed me, she stood beside me, when I sat down she laid down beside me, she licked my hand, and when I left she looked after me and meowed: “please take me with you!”

My colleagues told me that she did that with nobody else and I still wonder why she singled me out. Was it because I’m the only male volunteer at the animal asylum? Was there something in my voice or my gestures that attracted her?

Her two siblings had already found a new home but she was not offered yet for adoption because she had ear mites and a persistent cold. The mites are gone but the cold is still not completely cured. She occasionally sneezes, but that is the only symptom and generally she appears to be in good health.

When I brought her home, the cat family was terrified and her fellow cats looked at her as if she was an alien monster from outer space. But after only three days she was accepted and fully integrated into the family.

At the animal asylum Rita was shy, withdrawn, soft, and quiet. Maybe she didn’t feel at home there, maybe her ailments bothered her, maybe she missed her siblings.

In her new home she is not shy and quiet anymore. She meows all the time, plays with the cat toys and all kind of other things which she finds and acquires, runs through the house at top speed, and occasionally hides in a corner, waiting for a chance to pounce on a fellow cat.

Lucia is her closest friend and Gandhi Jr. also seems to like her, maybe because they are both ginger cats. Cats are not necessarily self aware, but Gandhi Jr. for sure is, he often looks for a minute or more into a mirror or at other reflecting surfaces, contemplating and pondering about what he sees there. Sometimes he turns to me after that and meows questioningly. I really would like to know what goes on then in his cat brain.

I cannot have a conversation with Gandhi Jr. about the world and the mystery of life, he is a cat and I’m a human. I cannot argue rationally but I can talk to him soothingly and show that I appreciate and like him and that we will always be together till the end of our life. Maybe that answers all other questions.

Rite eats a lot and she grows incredibly fast. She is not a cute little kitten anymore and weighs now three kilo. That’s the way of the world, the children grow up faster than one can imagine. Like all the other cats, Rita loves the garden, even as most leaves have fallen off and the herbs and flowers have withered in the cold. It will be an incredible experience for her, when nature wakes up again next spring.