Links September 15 2020

September 15, 2020

I’m listening to Marvin Gaye’s masterwork What’s Going On. Produced in 1971, Gaye had to fight for it to be published, as it was deemed too controversial by Tamla Motown’s boss Berry Gordy. 

How can one not break into tears when listening to this?

Well, we all got numbed by the information onslaught. Nothing has improved since 1971, none of the problems Gaye sang about have been solved. 49 years of technological progress, 49 years of more machines, computers, robots, and weapons, all increasingly powerful and versatile, 49 years of more noise, more stuff, more mining, more chemicals, and more pollution.

How can this be called progress? How after 49 years where two-thirds of natural life were wiped out and previously rare diseases like cancer, heart disease, and stroke have become the most common causes of death, can we still cling to the illusion that technological progress and novel machines or substances will improve our lives?

While the wisdom of the elders is forgotten and buried under useless scientific “peer reviewed” studies and biased think tank analyses.

Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) by Marvin Gaye

Whoa, oh, mercy mercy me,
Oh, things ain’t what they used to be, no no
Where did all the blue skies go?
Poison in the wind that blows from the north and south and east

Whoa, mercy, mercy me,
Oh, things ain’t what they used to be, no no
Oil wasted on the oceans and upon our seas, fish full of mercury

Ah, oh mercy, mercy me
Ah, things ain’t what they used to be, no no
Radiation on the ground and in the sky
Animals and birds who live nearby are dying

Whoa, mercy, mercy me,
Oh, things ain’t what they used to be

What about this overcrowded land
How much more abuse from man can she stand?


Feline news:

A 2013 study in the journal Nature Communications found that cats kill between between 1.3 and 4 billion birds each year. Is there a similar study about how many birds are killed by human activity? Maybe one should restrict outdoor access for humans — the coronavirus pandemic is a first step, but more needs to be done to avoid natures destruction.

Against all odds:


Environmental news:

One of Earth’s most biodiverse habitats could be wiped out by mining.
If one uses tools, machines, or appliances containing steel (and that are nearly all), one better makes them last as long as possible because the steel industry emits 7 percent of man-made greenhouse gasses.
The WWF reports, that wildlife populations have fallen by more than two-thirds in the last 50 years.
About professional (corporate, billionaire funded) climate activism. An 11,000 words long compendium, which tells it all, and everybody who wants to know whom to trust, should read it and seriously consider the presented information.
China beets on nuclear power while in the USA the nuclear industry withers away.
The big lie of recycling.

Economic news:

All the most profitable industrial activities involve inflicting pain to living things. War, mining, fossil fuel extraction and use, clearcutting forests, fishing, hunting, factory farming, building cities, roads, railroads, ports, airports, power plants, factories, landfills, incinerators, sewage plants, and all the other infrastructure necessary to enable and maintain our consumerist high energy lifestyle.

We will traumatize our planet bare if human behavior remains driven by profit and competition. We would need to slow down, turn around, and begin collaborating with each other and our ecosystem. Yet pursuit of profit is inherently opposed to this, so we continue crushing our ecosystem and each other in a mad rat race toward extinction.

Preparing for bad times: 

China has announced plans to boost its strategic commodities reserves to assuage anxiety over energy and food security. Starting in 2021, it will make massive purchases of crude oil, strategic materials, and farm goods, officials say. This is being done to ensure China can ride out any repeat of this year’s supply disruptions, or a deterioration in trade relations with the USA. This is part of the shift to “internal circulation” (greater self-reliance), which is already being flagged, and which will kick in for the five year plan 2021-25.

Massive purchases were already happening across the board for some time: China has been swallowing up raw materials and strategic goods far in advance of what the economy needs right now.

Long read (8,000 words).
The US-China economic decoupling doesn’t seem to happen. Chinese products are cheaper and available in the necessary quantities. Most important: China has fully restarted its economy while the USA is still struggling with a raging pandemic.
Finally some good news. No air travel, no pollution.

Pandemic news:

Epidemiologists are concerned that as temperatures cool, people will engage in more activities indoors rather than outside, helping to spread the virus. The combination of the pandemic with the flu season, which generally begins in October, could completely inundate hospitals, testing centers, and all other health facilities.

In the USA COVID-19 has become the third leading cause of death, behind only heart disease and cancer. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington released a new report estimating that 410,000 US inhabitants will have died by the end of the year.

A focal point of the Trump administration is the push to open schools and get teachers back to work, as that is seen as critical to forcing workers back on the job. Many colleges and universities have already reopened, becoming centers for the transmission of the virus. In the case of one school, SUNY Oneonta, 17 percent of students tested positive less than two weeks after classes resumed, forcing the school to shut down and send everyone home. This will be replicated with the reopening of K-12 schools.

The policy implemented in the USA is being repeated internationally. From the UK to Spain to Brazil, governments are pushing for the reopening of schools even as the pandemic accelerates. In France, new cases have surged far above the earlier peak in May, just as 12 million students are being sent back to school. In India, the government of Narendra Modi is eliminating all remaining restraints on transportation and business operations, even as the country has surpassed Brazil for the second most coronavirus cases, trailing only the USA.

Personally I still keep distance, wear masks, and avoid indoor gatherings. The risk of lasting lung, heart, and neurological damage is too big.

As an environmentalist, one is tempted to cheer lockdowns, travel bans, and all other measures which reduce industrial activity. As an environmentalist, one hopes for a devastating second or third wave, which will finally crush the international finance system, which will end globalization, consumerism, and the rule of the billionaire class.

No, I don’t revel in the illusion that this would lead to paradise where the visions of Krobotkin or Bookchin would be perfectly implemented, but it would enable a big reset and give nature a much-needed breathing space.

A fellow blogger asked: But won’t the reduction of industrial activity not lead to mass starvation? 

The collapse of vital ecosystems will evenly and inevitably lead to mass starvation, human suffering will be far, far higher than what a stop of the “economic growth machine” would inflict on us.

What may people on the US West Coast at the moment consider as the biggest threat to their wellbeing?

Antibodies that people make to fight the new coronavirus last for at least four months after diagnosis, a new study says.
The pandemic could cause global famine.
The bradykinin hypothesis could explain many uncommon symptoms of Covid-19 and improve treatment.
Good so. The USA doesn’t need the global community and the global community doesn’t need the USA.
Pathogens find new hosts more easily than thought (sloppy fitness space). Globalization, climate change, and the disruption of ecosystems work hand in hand to increase the spread of diseases and the emergence of further pandemics. Interesting times ahead.
Grim expectations.

This was addressed here already several times. Did they really need a scientific study to figure that out?
KN95 still in short supply. Nobody could have seen that coming, they will say, revealing a stunning lack of imagination
As stated before, it is still not possible to estimate the longterm impact of a coronavirus infection on the brain and nervous system.
Sweden has the highest number of single households in Europe which makes quarantine and self isolation a lot easier. A country where most people get their information and communicate via electronic devices is an authoritarian’s dream, because total censorship can be easily implemented.
Most of the victims are over 70. Abandoning the elderly frees the country from a social burden. Sweden is a nordic, cold country and maybe also a cold society (I don’t have enough information to make a sound judgement).
Some officials try to use China’s success in halting the epidemic to push for a “social credit” system.

Media, technology, and propaganda news:

Jonathan Cook writes: Assange had to be made to suffer horribly and in public — to be made an example of — to deter other journalists from ever following in his footsteps. He is the modern equivalent of a severed head on a pike displayed at the city gates.

Caitlin Johnstone writes: Assange started a leak publishing outlet on the premise that corrupt power can be fought with the light of truth. Corrupt power responded by smearing, torturing and imprisoning him, thereby proving his thesis unassailably correct. The depravity of the powerful can only operate behind veils of secrecy, because if it happened out in the open our greatly outnumbered rulers would risk finding themselves on the wrong end of a guillotine blade. Assange sought to hold power in check by reducing the amount of hiding spaces it has, which is why he is currently behind bars.

We should be making our governments afraid to hide the truth from us. Instead our governments are making us afraid to try and learn the truth about them by brutally punishing anyone who tries.


Imperial news:

A new Forbes 400 billionaire report declares: “Pandemic be damned: America’s 400 richest are worth a record 3.2 trillion US$, up 240 billion from a year ago, aided by a stock market that has defied the virus.”

The numbers provided by Forbes are from July 24, and since that time, the wealth of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, has increased to more than 200 billion US4, while the wealth of Tesla CEO Elon Musk has grown to over 100 billion.

An important article with an important message. Someone with an agnostic, Buddhist, or pantheist conviction may suspect Christian proselytizing, but that doesn’t invalidate the message. Similar texts have been published here on this blog.

Yet, one aspect is missing:

A sedentary, unnatural  lifestyle, distractions and information overload by digital media and social media sites, hectic urban life, noise from traffic and industry, from millions of big and small machines, and from millions of big and small loudspeakers may also increase noradrenaline and testosterone levels and with it the overall level of social tension and aggression.

New York, the city that never sleeps.” No wonder, that people go crazy in such a place. “Less talk, more action.” Fast moving TV shows, computer games, merciless drum beats and distorted guitar riffs in pop music (heavy metal, hip-hop), flickering bright lights, everything is geared toward faster, louder, more hectic,  — and more destructive.

While the quiet places of nature where one could find solace and peace are disappearing fast or are inaccessible because billionaires have bought and adapted them as their private retreats in the event of war or a collapsing society.

Good so, as they cannot fall victim to US propaganda or being targeted by CIA recruiters.
According to Feeding America, 2.3 million rural US inhabitants currently lack adequate nutrition or are food-insecure.
According to AP: Disarray, dismay, disconnect overburden the USA.

Imperial conquest news:

Caitlin Johnstone:

The US-centralized empire (of which Israel is a part) is entirely dependent upon endless war for survival. If military violence ceased to be a tool which power structures could use to enact their agendas, this empire would necessarily cease to exist, because there’d be nothing to stop nations from exercising their sovereignty on the world stage. Currencies, resources and commerce would begin moving along completely different channels.

This would bring an end not just to the US empire, but to the United States as we know it. Without the ability to bully and punish the world into alignment with its agendas, the US, if it continued to exist at all to any extent, would be completely unrecognizable. Whatever remained would be forced to develop a completely different kind of economy, because the US attained its economic supremacy not by means of the “free market” as some capitalism cultists like to imagine, but by rivers of human blood.

The US “economy”, if you can even call it that, is upheld not just by an incomprehensible web of debt and bureaucratic fiat, but by a petrodollar agreement on arms manufacturing and military alliances, by endless acts of mass-scale brutality, and by the most sophisticated propaganda machine ever to exist. The United States of America is built on war, is made of war, and is sustained by war. If the wars end, America as we know it ends.

About the attempted color revolution in Belarus: 

I’m collecting material but unfortunately don’t have any time to write something conclusive (apples, peaches, and grapes need to be harvested).

From a strategic point of view, NATO in Belarus would be an existential threat to Russia. One only has to look at the map. Even the Kaliningrad enclave, though it has no direct border with Belarus, would be in danger.

USAID and NED are heavily involved, some 35 projects have been funded. More transparency and democracy, less corruption and bureaucratic overreach, who wouldn’t support these aims?

Just follow the shining example of the USA.

Paul Kagame, the US viceroy in Africa.
A variant of ethnic cleansing.
A wide ranging interview with Richard Falk. Must read!

WWIII news:

About the Navalny poisoning, which could not come at a better time for NATO strategists and US interests who want to thwart the Nord Stream pipeline project.
Please visit this site!

Armageddon news (forest fires):


The wildfires in the US West Coast states continue to burn. There are more than 100 active fires across the region, including the largest fires in state history for Washington and California, with the fire season set to last until at least October or November.

Smoke from the fires will severely impact public health. The fires have filled the air with ash and smoke, compromising air quality and covering the densely populated metropolitan regions of Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles and other cities in an apocalyptic orange haze.

Fine particulate matter released by the fires will cause permanent lung damage to millions of residents and threatens the lives of tens of thousands of people with respiratory conditions. Those with heart, lung, or vascular diseases are now at higher risk for stroke and heart attack. The poor air quality weakens the immune systems of even healthy people, placing the region’s population of roughly 50 million people at greater risk of contracting COVID-19, while those who do contract the virus will suffer exacerbated symptoms.

According to official counts, which are generally considered significant underestimates, roughly 186,000 homeless people live in California, Oregon and Washington, many of whom lack access to indoor shelter and are now forced to endure unbearable breathing conditions on the streets. The limited supply of hotel vouchers provided by the Democrat-led state governments has quickly dried up, forcing thousands more people to live in their cars.

The western USA is not the only region to experience extreme heat and fires. Middle Eastern countries (Syria, Iraq, Iran) are also hit hard. In Syria and Lebanon wildfires are raging, but no countries except Russia and Iran send help because of Western sanctions. 

Syria’s wildfires are burning large swathes of Syria’s breathing lung the al Ghab Forests, and Syrian authorities accuse Israel and the USA of deliberately targeting forest areas to ignite fires.

In contrast, here in the middle of Europe temperatures were very modest throughout summer and it was (and still is) raining excessively every other day. This may change in the coming years and it seems prudent to prepare for hotter and dryer periodes.

Armageddon news (Moria):


Uncategorized news:

Long read but worth the effort. Cooperation (mutual aid) is part of the evolutionary process just like competition. Stephen Jay Gould was a prominent admirer of Kropotkin’s work.
Xi Jinping may find out, that science is not a panacea, especially if the basic policies are unwise.

News from cat land:

The cats enjoy the last days of summer, while I’m harvesting peaches, apples, and grapes. The four freezers in the cellar will soon be full, but I think I’ll be able to store all harvested fruits. It is now half a year that I haven’t visited a grocery or supermarket.

The cat vaccinations last for two years, so I don’t have to visit the veterinarian either. I ran out of anti-worming pills but I friend brought me 6 pills from the pharmacy. I’m glad that she helped me out because I would have been afraid to set my foot into the pharmacy with all the sick people buying their medicines. Only three customers are allowed to go in at the same time but that doesn’t eliminate the danger because Sars-CoV-2 laced aerosols spread by an infected customer will last for hours.

The policy of social distancing and wearing masks is not universally implemented, but here at the outskirts of the small town where we live it doesn’t matter. The area is sparsely populated and we very seldom meet people during our walks in the forest.

I’m invited to a funeral which could become one of the typical super-spreader events. I cannot completely cut my social ties so I will go there (with the bicycle) just to be seen, but keeping distance and not entering the church or any other closed rooms.

The last picture of this post is from the secret place in the forest, where my cat companions Mia and Miss Marple are buried. RIP, my dear friends, I’ll never forget you!

One comment

  1. Reblogged this on Piazza della Carina.


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