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Links June 2014

June 11, 2014

Environmental news
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140602170341.htm
http://dgrnewsservice.org/2014/05/21/kim-hill-it-is-up-to-us-to-act/
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140522104856.htm
http://www.climatenewsnetwork.net/2014/05/buried-carbon-causes-deep-concern/
http://www.nature.com/news/nuclear-waste-facility-on-high-alert-over-risk-of-new-explosions-1.15290
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/newsflash_fukushima_is_still_a_disaster_20140603#

Philantrophy news:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/philantrocapitalism-gates-the-worlds-largest-and-most-powerful-foundation/5383461
http://pando.com/2014/06/05/revealed-gates-foundation-financed-pbs-education-programming-which-promoted-microsofts-interests/
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/06/09/ravitch-time-for-congress-to-investigate-bill-gates-role-in-common-core/
http://pando.com/2014/05/31/ebay-shrugged-pierre-omidyar-believes-there-should-be-no-philanthropy-without-profit/
http://pando.com/2014/06/04/just-as-we-predicted-indias-new-leader-is-about-to-make-pierre-omidyar-a-lot-richer/

Inperial news:
http://cnsnews.com/news/article/ali-meyer/1-5-children-live-poverty-us
http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/05/23/the-economics-of-contempt/
http://thebaffler.com/blog/2014/05/friends_without_benefits
http://raniakhalek.com/2014/05/29/process-of-settler-colonialism-in-the-us-is-largely-completed-in-palestine-its-ongoing/
http://www.mintpressnews.com/new-law-facilitates-privatization-us-water-systems/191577/
http://www.workers.org/articles/2014/05/29/water-right/
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-06-03/ex-bankers-upgrade-the-good-life-as-violin-pools-beckon.html

Imperial conquest news:
http://www.workers.org/articles/2014/05/26/venezuela-palestine-fuel-deal/
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/from_elections_to_mass_movements_how_wealthy_elites_20140529
http://www.globalresearch.ca/obamas-foreign-policy-a-us-military-intelligence-agenda-which-seeks-to-destabilize-the-planet/5384367
http://www.globalresearch.ca/do-we-really-need-to-re-start-the-cold-war/5385849 Must read!

Everything else news:
https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/06/human-rights-watchs-revolving-door/
http://www.pieria.co.uk/articles/categorising_the_poor
http://www.dawn.com/news/1108001/now-we-have-a-democratically-elected-totalitarian-government-arundhati-roy
http://pando.com/2014/06/04/just-as-we-predicted-indias-new-leader-is-about-to-make-pierre-omidyar-a-lot-richer/
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/10847034/Europes-centre-crumbles-as-Socialists-immolate-themselves-on-altar-of-EMU.html
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/06/michael-hudson-further-thoughts-on-the-eu-parliament-elections.html
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jun/04/coalition-attacks-nhs-return-britain-age-workhouse
http://wagingnonviolence.org/feature/fight-system-change/
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_common_roots_of_misogynist_culture_in_pakistan_and_the_us_20140605

Inevitably in spring and summer the garden work consumes all available time and till October the rare blog posts will be written in between watering, pruning, planting, transplanting, harvesting.

The Siberian blueberry bushes (lonicera kamtschatica) are doing very well and from April on I could harvest blueberries. Right now the wild blueberries (low bush) are ripe and soon the cultivated (high bush) blueberries will be ready. The latter btw originated in America and were not introduced into Europe until the 1930s.

The plant lice infestation has somehow decreased, though the camomile plants and some trees are now infected. One of the apple trees and the only cherry tree lost half of their fruits. That hurts!

As I found out, the treatment with cooking oil is not recommendable, because one has always to dilute the oil with water and a cleaning agent (which is necessary to mix oil and water in the first place). Both the oil and the tensides are damaging the leaves and they also hurt the ladybirds and lacewings, who feed on the lice.

There are dozens of commercial products, insecticidal soap, pyrethroids, summer oil, dormant oil spray, but I would not like to use them. Of course one has to do also something against the ants, who protect the lice.

I have garlic and onions everywhere in between, that helps a little bit. I also have made now nettle spray, which seems to be a good method, because it not only fights off the lice but also is healthy for the plants. Unfortunately the stinging nettle solution smells terribly. Squashing the lice with the fingers and spraying with water seems to be still the easiest method.

The last days were quite hot and this could be the start of a heatwave. I try to keep the plants alive with the water from the rain barrels, but in two or three days the barrels will be empty and then I have to use water from the municipal water supply network. Fortunately the local water service is not privatized yet and water for irrigation is still affordable.

plastic bottle irrigation DSCN0919

I developed some tricks to irrigate more efficiently, for instance using old plastic bottles (which I collected from the transfer station) where I have cut the bottom off. The bottle is turned upside down and put on a pipe stuck in the ground, the bottleneck is pressed into the soil, When the bottle is filled with water, the water slowly seeps into the surrounding earth. A few unused flower boxes partly buried in the ground fulfill the same purpose. It is kind of low-tech drip irrigation.

From 12 am to 4 pm it is impossible to work outside because of the heat, this is the time for doing house work, eating, and writing.

What essential things can one write in the short time before garden work starts again? What can one write that has not been written before? Have the most essential issues regarding the human condition not already be covered by Buddhas teachings, Ludwig Wittgensteins Tractatus, the essays and treatises of Bakunin, Kropotkin, Malatesta, Trotsky, Castro (just to name a few).

Well, occasional annotations, interpretations, comments here and there are maybe still useful and the 340 blog posts published on this website tried to cover contemporary topics, raise new questions, analyze and diagnose current events, and predict outcomes in a way that is unique and not present anywhere else.

I cannot judge if I succeeded and the texts were helpful but I tried at least.

Until now most predictions in the blog posts were correct. Libya is a failed state and the Arab Spring has indeed proven to be a sham designed to topple the remaining independent secular governments in the Middle East. Syria could not be subdued until now, the country is devastated but still not a failed state.

Vital resources (especially water) are becoming scarce while the looting of public assets by the oligarch cast is accelerating worldwide.

The USA is desperately trying to conquer further territory (Ukraine) and increase the exploitation of allied countries with one sided trade agreements (TPP, TTIP).

The European Union is slowly disintegrating, the US dominated global financial system is approaching the next crash and bailout. Russia and China are closing ranks and try to get rid of the US dollar. The Russian and Chinese leaders have realized that an appeasement of the USA is not possible. Maybe they knew it all along but didn’t expect the ferocity and the accelerating pace of the imperial conquests.

US Strategic Command Emblem

One cannot deal in good faith with a rough nation which from the first years of her existence has broken all agreements and treaties it ever signed (Indian Removal Act 1830), has consistently ignored the basic foundation of international law (military interventions, coups, assassinations), and disregarded any universally accepted rules of decency and fairness (NSA spying on friends and enemies alike, theft of foreign gold reserves deposited in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s underground vaults).

One of the essential questions asked in previous blog posts was: What can be done against a predator nation which uses military might to enslave or destroy other peaceful nations? The reformulated question applying to a personal level: What can be done against armed individuals who rob you at gunpoint?

A just and harmonious society doesn’t need many weapons to uphold the social contract. Weapons are wasteful and destructive, the weapons manufacturing diverts vital resources which should be rather used for the production of food, the building of houses and infrastructure, and for necessary tools.

NRA Emblem

The soldiers learn to shoot and kill, yet they rather should learn necessary crafts and acquire skills to build and mend things.

Weapons production and the employment of huge armies are a terrible waste of resources and a crime against humanity. One billion humans live in poverty and an estimated 870 million are suffering from chronic undernourishment. Poor nutrition plays a role in at least half of the 11 million child deaths each year.

And still — ending poverty, ending the suffering of the worlds children is not a priority for the worlds rulers. They prefer to use the taxpayers money for weapons instead.

In 2013, about 1740 billion US$ were spent for military purposes, 37 percent alone by the USA (these are the official numbers, there are credible and plausible estimates that the inclusion of mislabeled and secret funds would increase the military expenditures of the USA to over one trillion dollar). China and Russia came a distant second and third.

military budgets 2012

Libya had only a small army of 48,000 soldiers, the military budget was 1.9 billion US$ in 2008 — tiny compared to the budgets of the NATO states. Muammar Gaddafi preferred to spend the oil wealth rather for social welfare and infrastructure.

It was easy to destroy the small Libyan army with a NATO bombing campaign and hand the country over to Islamic militants.

Syria didn’t spend more money for the military than Libya, but it had 200,000 soldiers and Russia plus China until now could prevent a NATO bombing campaign a la Libya 2011. During the three year war, Syrian troops have become more experienced, sophisticated, and self confident, it is now likely, that they will be able to systematically clear the country from the Islamic fighters.

The Ukraine is the latest regime change project of the imperial planners. The USA does everything possible to lure Russia into a military intervention which would give the opportunity to bleed the Russian army dry with a Western funded nationalistic (neo-Nazi) insurgency.

In parallel to that plan the corporate media are painting the picture of a Russian behemoth, a dangerous monster that is threatening the Western democracies. President Putin is described as the new Hitler, imponderable, ruthless, crooked, a despot, a cold and slick tactician who craves for power.

In the alternative media universe (meaning parts of the blogosphere and some eastern media outlets) meanwhile a consistent narrative has emerged which condemns the US strategy of destabilizing countries around the world. The destruction of Libya and Syria are correctly seen as what they were, the situation in the Ukraine though is not yet completely understood.

While the annexation of Crimea was widely applauded, many bloggers confronted with massacres (Odessa, Mariupol) and a Ukrainian military assault against separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk now panic and condemn Russian inaction. Putin is accused of cowing and abandoning the Russian speaking brothers and sisters in the Ukraine.

They are wrong, Putin acts completely logical, carefully, and responsible. Russia is not a strong military power, its military expenditures are about the same as that of Germany and Italy combined and significant less than that of Britain and France combined. Russian military spending is less than one eighth of US spending.

Russia is a nuclear power, but its nuclear warheads are old and the missiles and bombers are outdated — which sane national leader would invest money in weapons which threaten the annihilation of mankind?

Unlike Russia, the USA is continuously upgrading her nuclear arsenal and building new missiles and bombers (B-2 Spirit). Beyond that, the US strategists are step by step installing a missile defense (ABM) system to reach one day a ”first strike capacity”, they nearly completely encircle Russia with military basis in adjacent countries (Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Japan), they have set up countless NGOs in Russia to sow discontent, they wage a relentless propaganda war which paints Western consumer life in the most rosy colors while discrediting and slandering any aspects of Russian culture, society, and politics.

Putins meeting with Merkel, Hollande, and Poroshenko during the D-Day celebrations in Normandy, which possibly was a first step to de-escalate the crisis and establish a ceasefire was strongly resented by the US State Department and Barack Obama. The USA clearly doesn’t need a de-escalation.

Which leaves us back to the question: What to do against an armed adversary?

Get yourself a weapon? Spend your time on the shooting range and with combat training? And if the adversary gets a more powerful weapon? Get a better weapon yourself?

MLK Anti-War

More weapons and more time for military training means less money for social projects, for health care, for infrastructure, means less time for art and social/cultural activities.

Can peace ever be achieved with more and more weapons?

I will spend greater time to discuss this particular problem when garden work ends in November and I hope that I will not have to look into the barrel of a gun before I found a solution to this quandary.

=============

The cats are fine, though for now they have retreated under the bushes, waiting for the heatwave to subside.

Gandhi forrest DSCN0776 2

 

One comment

  1. This website was… how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found
    something which helped me. Thanks a lot!



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