News and ruminations September 2021

September 5, 2021

Full disclosure: This blog is biased. Just like everything else what you read on the internet. Just like everything what you ever read and hear. Everyone is biased and anybody claiming to be objective is either lying or simply unaware of own prejudices and preconceptions. Everyone describes matters from a certain perspective and the descriptions can differ widely.

The author of this blog hails from a working class family and consequently sympathizes with the poor, the disadvantaged, the downtrodden, the underdogs. He dislikes the privileged and favored, the rich, the rentiers, the billionaires and multimillionaires, the high stakes gamblers of Wall Street, and the white color criminals who amassed a fortune by stealing everything from everybody.

The author also dislikes weapons, big machines, and big factories. He dislikes everything what makes noise, spreads poison around, and poses risks to health and life.

If you don’t share the mentioned sympathies and antipathies, or if you are driven by hate and bloodlust, please leave this site, you will only get annoyed if you continue reading. 

Caitlin Johnstone writes:

If you’ve got any urge to write articles or make videos or a podcast, just do it. You’re infinitely more qualified to be the media than people who are paid by billionaires to lie, and they’re not asking anyone for permission to speak. If Chris f***ing Cuomo gets a voice, then so do you.

You don’t have to be perfect or professional quality or whatever; hell, give yourself permission to outright suck at first if that’s how it plays out. Give yourself permission to not be perfect and just learn as you go and correct your mistakes as you make them. That’s allowed. Again, no matter how bad you are you’re still infinitely more qualified to report the news and tell the truth than any of the sh**stains who are being platformed by multibillion-dollar media outlets right now, and whatever you make will be better than what they make. Just do it.

Don’t stop if you don’t get a big audience right away, or if you never do. It’s not about that. If you can open even one person’s eyes to one aspect of reality, you are helping humanity to become a more conscious species by that much. That’s what it’s about. That’s what matters. And even if you don’t do that, fleshing out your ideas in some public medium is a great way to help yourself become aware of more things and deepen your own understanding, so you’re still improving humanity by that much.

Feline news:


Against the odds:


Environmental news:

Rising electricity demand outpaced the growth of renewable energy and pushed CO2 emissions 5 percent above where they stood before the coronavirus outbreak (UK think tank Ember).

While the United States, Europe and Japan had modest emissions declines during the first six months of the year, rising energy use increased planet-warming pollution for the power sector in China, Bangladesh, India, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, and Vietnam.

Wildfires are raging in the western regions of North America, the Middle East, Southern Europe, and Siberia. After years of drought, soil moisture is depleted, drying out vegetation and making it more prone to combustion.

More cars in the wilderness destroying natural spaces. It seems that it needs more severe pandemics and environmental disasters to change human behavior.
You will not read about this in mainstream media.
One could not say it more candidly.

Economic news:

The pandemic has devastated employment and livelihoods, pushing hundreds of millions of people, mostly in the developing world, into poverty and hunger. According to the International Labour Organization’s World Employment and Social Outlook Trends 2021, the pandemic caused the loss of nearly 9 percent of total global working hours, equivalent to 255 million full-time jobs. This trend has continued in 2021, with working-hour losses equivalent to 140 million full-time jobs in the first quarter and 127 million jobs in the second quarter.

Economic inequality between and within countries has reached levels that were unimaginable in the already extremely unequal pre-pandemic world. While many people face substantial income losses, declining access to basic needs, acute deprivation, and hunger, a tiny minority of the extremely wealthy and a few large corporations have grabbed even more income and wealth, thereby multiplying their assets.

Today’s new forms of conspicuous consumption (such as the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, recently spending 5.5 billion US$ for a four-minute ride around suborbital space) are literally out of this world. This amount could instead have funded the COVAX (COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access) program to provide vaccines to two billion people in poor countries, who are currently unlikely to get them in the next two years.

As usual, socializing research, privatizing profits.

Pandemic news:

The concept that humans emit thousands of microscopic drops of fluid (called aerosols) with each breath, which then float in the air for hours and are disbursed by random airflows into every corner of a room, is apparently too abstract for many people to grasp. Aerosol transmission has come out to be the main way of getting infected, but as people don’t understand how this works, they also cannot take the necessary precautions to avoid getting sick.

Adequate measures would be: Tight-fitting masks/respirators (FFP3, P3, N100), ventilation systems or standalone air purifiers with HEPA (high efficiency particulate absorbing) filters, avoiding crowded rooms and places, avoiding close contact with persons who could be infected.

“This is impossible,” people may say. “How can anybody demand this from us?” 

The listed measures are not demanded but proposed. To implement them or ignore them is up to ones own judgement and level of risk acceptance. 

Recent research showing waning efficacy of the Covid 19 vaccines, particularly Pfizer, from a variety of sources: data from Israel, which injected most of its population early, in January and February, with the Pfizer vaccine; a Mayo study, which showed falling efficacy for all vaccines, particularly Pfizer, which it found at 42 percent (Moderna holds by contrast at 76 percent over the same time period).

Media coverage portrays the Delta surge in the USA as primarily driven by states with low vaccination rates and anti-masking laws, but over the last month, the state with the highest growth rate in new COVID-19 cases in the entire US is Vermont, which also has the highest vaccination rate of any US state. Furthermore, high-vaccination states are also experiencing high growth in hospitalizations.

The US infection rate, nearly one in every eight people, is the highest for any major country. This comes despite the US having administered 370 million vaccine shots and fully vaccinated 174 million people, 52 percent of the population.

A new study finds, that survivors of COVID-19, even if they were milder cases, face a heightened risk of kidney damage.
US officials have loosened controls on high-risk, NIH (National Institutes of Health)-funded research that could cause pandemics. The previously unreported changes defined the research with supercharged pathogens (known as “gain of function” experiments) more narrowly and stripped a high-level federal committee of its authority to veto proposed projects. What is the purpose of this research? 

An important discussion about the cost-benefit analysis of pandemic policies, as politicians and pundits start arguing that a certain amount of sickness and death has to be accepted in order to keep the economy, the education system, and basic social structures intact.
Lasting cognitive impairments even after mild COVID-19. This has been discussed before, but new studies add more evidence. Having to care for a large number of impaired people will have a profound impact on society.
Using the pandemic to remake the education system and tailor it to the need of corporations and industry.
Easing doubts about vaccinations. It will be pro and contra for some time, with big Pharma and the political establishment on one, and understandably suspicious citizens on the other side.

Media, technology, and propaganda news:

The BBC headlines an article with: US ends two-decade presence in Afghanistan

The New York Times writes: The last US military plane left Kabul Monday night, ending a presence that spanned two decades but failed to defeat the Taliban and left behind tens of thousands of Afghans.

An interesting choice of words. The US military was not invading and occupying, it was simply present. And, Lord knows, they made their presence felt!

US media has been transformed into a state propaganda machine and in the process, the ruling class has created an instrument not only of deception, but also of self-deception.
Recycling Afghanistan war lies.

Imperial news:

Caitlin Johnstone writes:

The fact that Joe Biden’s mind has declined sharply in recent years is significant not because it means the US president can’t lead the country, but because it shows no US president ever leads the country. Republicans keep highlighting the fact that the sitting president’s brain doesn’t work to suggest that a Republican president would be more competent, but of course that’s not true. You’d just be swapping an impotent puppet with dementia for an impotent puppet without dementia.

The most powerful government in the world is run not by its elected officials but by a loose nationless alliance of plutocrats and government agency insiders who Americans never get to vote for. This has been obvious for a long time.

An epic rant but no alternative vision, except: “We figure out how to fight back in radical ways.”

Imperial conquest news:

The surprising collapse of the Afghan government and army raises serious questions about US intelligence gathering, military might, and competent strategic planning.

This is a catastrophic and humiliating defeat for the US empire. Empire means in this context the Washington insiders who move the levers of power, the billionaire class, and influential representatives of pressure groups. These persons love to play games with peoples lives and don’t worry about the pain and suffering which they might inflict. Kind-hearted and gracious persons may exist among them, but they are rare and atypical.

307,000 Afghanistan soldiers and police trained and armed by the USA (at the cost of 92.7 billion US$) were not enough to prevent 80,000 Taliban fighters (who had no air force, artillery, or armor) from taking over. The Afghan army essentially folded without a shot being fired. Tens of thousands of US-trained and armed troops did nothing to stop the advance of the enemy, they just handed over the keys and went home.

When the US abandoned Bagram airbase they left hundreds of armored vehicles, weapons, and over 5000 prisoners to the advancing Taliban forces.

What was originally envisioned as the orderly departure of the remaining US troops and diplomats turned into a desperate scramble as crowds of Afghans charged the airfield. More than 130,000 people were flown out by the US and its allies over the following two weeks, the vast majority of them Afghans seeking refuge in the West. 

The US intervention in Afghanistan, which has had such catastrophic consequences for the people of that country, did not begin 20 years ago, but in 1978, during the presidency of Jimmy Carter. It started as an effort to foment civil war, to mobilize insurgents against a Soviet-backed government in Kabul and give Moscow “its own Vietnam,” in the words of Carter’s chief strategist, Zbigniew Brzezinski.

Ashraf Ghani, who, back in 1992, celebrated the demise of the Soviet “puppet regime” in Kabul, ended up leading a US puppet regime there. Except, whereas Dr. Mohammad Najibullah ruled for three years after the last Soviet soldier crossed the Friendship Bridge into Uzbekistan, Ashraf Ghani resigned and fled even before the last US soldier left Afghan soil – reportedly forgetting bags of cash on the tarmac.

It remains to be seen how tolerant and open the (supposedly reformatted) Taliban are to women, religious or ethnic minorities, and different lifestyles. They reportedly have already destroyed the statue of a local hero, reminding of 2001, when they blew up two massive 1,500-year-old statues of Buddha carved into a mountain in Bamyan province.

The Taliban also already dispersed women’s rights protesters who wanted to march to the presidential palace in Kabul. Activists say the Taliban used tear gas, rifle butts, and metal rods against them, severely injuring at least one woman.

Some analysts warn, that what at the moment appears to be a surprising victory against the global hegemon, in reality is an arranged transition and the Taliban will take power and then cooperate clandestinely with the USA, being utilized in Washingtons regional plans towards Iran, Russia, and China.

Even before the fall of Kabul, Afghanistan’s three northern neighbors (Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan), the two other countries in the region (Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan), as well as the two outside powers most directly involved (China and the Russian Federation) all sought to calculate how large a threat a Taliban victory would represent.

China fears the Taliban may threaten its trade routes through Central Asia as well as motivate further Muslim resistance to Beijing’s rule in Xinjiang. It has issued stern warnings about how it will react should that prove to be the case, although it has not yet taken any decisive public steps. Russia, for its part, has moved to upgrade its bases in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, conducted military maneuvers with its four CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization) allies (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan), and provided additional assistance for border security.

Moscow’s reliance on the CSTO highlights a serious problem: Turkmenistan, which has a 700-kilometer-long border with Afghanistan, is not a member. The country is known for its longstanding insistence on remaining neutral in all things—its major newspaper is called Neutral Turkmenistan—and it had sought to maintain good relations with both the Taliban and the now-fallen Afghan government.

The border between Afghanistan and Turkmenistan is the weak link in the entire Central Asian region from the viewpoint of possible terrorist threats.

And yet, if China and Russia manage the situation carefully, it is not unimaginable that the new government in Kabul could join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, alongside China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. This would allow to complete the integration of Eurasia, with China and Russia leading. 

Caitlin Johnstone writes:

It’s not surprising that the Afghanistan war took twenty years to end. If anything, the way the deck is stacked in favor of perpetual war, it’s surprising it happened that fast.

Military members who support imperialism get promoted. Those who get to the top go on to work for war profiteers. The war profiteers fund think tanks which promote more wars. The mass media report “news” stories citing those think tanks. These stories manufacture consent for more wars.

The war industry reinforces itself. Those who get to the top of the war machine move on to the private sector and spend their time lobbying for more wars which create more eventual Pentagon officials who go on to lobby for more wars. Peace should be easy. This is why it’s not.

It’s horrifying when you realize how much of the behavior of the most powerful military in history is driven by the simple fact that weapons manufacturers don’t make money if those weapons aren’t being used. The most powerful government on earth is stuck in a self-exacerbating feedback loop where the behaviors of the war machine are dictated by the war industry, and people wonder why it’s so hard to end wars. With a cycle this vicious, you can only end the wars by ending the empire.

This is what you get when mass-scale human behavior is driven by profit. As long as war is profitable, you guarantee that more wars will happen. As long as ecocide is profitable, more ecocide will happen. As long as corruption is profitable, more corruption will happen. Meanwhile, peace is not profitable. Demilitarization is not profitable. Nuclear disarmament is not profitable. Getting plastic out of the oceans is not profitable. Leaving trees standing is not profitable. Leaving oil in the ground is not profitable. Freedom is not profitable.

The religion of profit drives all human behavior. And it’s a death cult that will end us all if we don’t end it first.

Important, please read!
The Taliban has got lot of US weapons and equipment.
Scott Ritter raises the Issue of language. No US solder spoke Dari, Farsi, or Pashto, and throughout the 20 years of the conflict they relied on interpreters. How much could they know about the minds of the people, about the cultural and social sensitivities? They lived in their air-conditioned tents or barracks, all the time just being strangers, aliens, isolated foreign occupiers.
The article may be overly optimistic but it contains valuable information.
Gut-wrenching! And not one mainstream media channel reports this harrowing story — it is completely blacked out.
Erez Israel.
Erdogan’s jihad double game from a Wester think tank perspective. Lot of cognitive dissonance.
Turkey wages a merciless water war with the help of climate change induced drought.

China news:

Different systems result in different priorities. Here an important marker: 97 percent of Chinese are covered by the country’s universal health care system.

With his emphasis of “common prosperity” President Xi Jinping has reintroduced socialism through the backdoor to establish it as the main pillar of Chinese political thought. This is a deadly challenge to the Western religion of greed (also called capitalism — see Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged), because it shows an alternative which could become appealing to the exploited and impoverished populations. Another reason to urgently start a war and destroy China.

This is CCP propaganda, but imagine, if it would be not just empty words….
Censoring and narrative control does nothing to solve existing problems. Allowing an unrestrained discussion would have benefits:
a. Feedback from the people.
b. Some insightful comments and analyses.
c. The presentations of novel ideas and visions.
Reducing worker exploitation.

Armageddon mews:

Preparing for civil war and a fascist takeover.

Uncategorized news:

Mikis Theodorakis died.
Losing regional languages means losing local subtleties of expression and consequently less cultural diversity. Western popular culture has steamrolled and suffocated indigenous social and cultural manifestations, it has deprived us of the richness and wisdom of regional cultures. If the trend continues, there will be no alternative and no corrective to the English way of thinking and living.

News from cat land:

The organic gardener from which I get tomatoes, salad, and various other vegetables had come down with prostate cancer last year. Now his spouse got lung cancer. Both live healthy, their garden and farm is in an idyllic place far away from industry and traffic. They have their own spring with clear, pure water.

Some times ago we talked about environmental issues and she said: “Nobody can do anything about the poison which comes with wind and rain.” Probably out of politeness she didn’t mention that there are some neighboring farms which deliberately pour poison onto their fields.

I will have to look for another tomato grower.

COVID-19 infections have increased significantly in most of Europe and also in our location. Next week school starts again with in-person learning and then there will be mayhem. Not all teachers are against in-person classes, they argue, and this is undeniable, that the personal contact with teachers and other pupils is important for developing social skills; they argue, that presentation by and interaction with the teacher cannot be substituted by remote learning.

Get used to it,” politicians and experts argue. COVID-19 will become endemic just like influenza and the common cold. What they don’t say is that many recovered cases have lasting health problems (long COVID) and others have irreversible organ damage (lungs, kidneys, liver, hearth, brain) which may only show years later. 

Which means, that society will have to cope not only with traumatized children and adolescents but also with a huge number of ailing or disabled people. Life quality will suffer, life expectancy will drop, and social cohesion will be in jeopardy, as desperate citizens rebel and make governing impossible. The elderly, which are at highest risk from COVID-19, will feel sacrificed. What will they say to their grandchildren?

Once again I need to isolate and watch from our refuge how the situation develops. Unfortunately I have to visit the veterinarian once a week for the treatment of my two sick cats, Princess Min Ki and Wendy.

Wendy has been diagnosed with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, caused by decreased production of digestive enzymes by the pancreas. I have to mix a powder with digestive enzymes into all her food, she also got vitamin B12 injections and a few infusions. Wendy feels better now but she still weights only 2 kg.

Princess Min Ki has lost weight again and is now at 2.8 kg. She is still quite active and brings me all the time presents (mainly mice and voles). As I write these lines, my two ailing cats are in the kitchen, eating the food with the medications that I mixed in. Lucia just meows  at the patio door — she wants to join the Princess and Wendy.

It is a warm and sunny day here and a period of sunshine and mild warm weather is forecast. This after a rather cold summer with torrential rain, thunderstorms, and occasionally hail storms. All the time I was reading about heatwaves, catastrophic drought, and deadly wildfires, but when I looked out the window and had to put wood into the stove it felt very unreal, even surreal.

We will enjoy the warm spell, we will enjoy every minute, every moment of life, despite pandemic, ailments, industrial poisons, and all the other things which go wrong in this complicated world.

We do everything to the best of our knowledge, and the future, bleak as it may be, doesn’t worry us. The cats purr and I smile and sigh while I slowly exhale. 


  1. Beautiful cat pictures! My daily practice now is t truly participate in each moment of peace and joy I feel each day, to store up the good and healthful feelings, because there are anxious moments, too. You’ve given your cats a good summer!


    • Thank you for your kind words. Btw, if you wonder about the blue garden chair, it is in the middle of the forest in a small clearing on top of a hill that nobody except the cats, some deer, and me knows. I put the chair there because every now and then during our walks we make a rest in this quiet place.

      The forest is a blessing


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