Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

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Links June 2021

June 6, 2021

Last year wasn’t business as usual. But while many routines and habits were disrupted by the ongoing pandemic and the resulting economic crisis, the global poisoning of the biosphere with man-made chemicals, the extermination of wildlife, and the destruction of natural habitats went on unabated.

The planet’s climate also continued on its warming course, with particularly high levels throughout the last decade.

In 2020, the global climate was 0.6 C warmer than averages between 1981-2010 and around 1.25 C above pre-industrial levels. Global lockdowns have led to slightly lower greenhouse gas emissions, while air quality improved, at least temporarily. But the world in 2020 still experienced record-breaking temperatures and extreme weather in what experts deem now the hottest year in history.

Up to three times more people have died due to the pandemic than indicated by the officially reported Covid-19 deaths, the WHO (World Health Organization) claims. The WHO Assistant Director-General in charge of data: “total deaths are at least 2-3 times higher than officially reported.

The pandemic served as a stark reminder of at least three things: 

a) The nuclear family is not enough and schools can’t be its sole safety net. The ethos of toxic individualism which permeates this society can’t sustain families in such crises (and neither in normal times). Individualism, egoism, selfishness (Ayn Rand: The Virtue of Selfishness) are only possible in times of resource abundance or when a warrior society exploits subjugated nations, tribes, or social classes (slaves, ethnic groups, religious minorities).

b) The skills and the knowledge we promote as most valuable are tied to workforce demands — not to what should count as actual life learning or growth. People isolated in lockdowns had to learn first how to self-regulate and deal with complex time management.

c) Pandemic disruptions showed us the beauty of slowing down and the preciousness of family and friends. Many of us have a far clearer sense now of what’s most worth valuing in life as they step back into a world altered by Covid-19.

Feline news:

https://www.businessinsider.in/international/news/hundreds-of-cats-were-abandoned-on-an-island-off-the-eastern-coast-of-brazil/articleshow/83254481.cms
https://investigatemidwest.org/2021/06/02/watchdog-group-finds-toxic-forever-chemicals-in-popular-flea-and-tick-collars
Either be sickened by ticks and fleas or by PFAS, it’s a hard choice.
http://hatchingcatnyc.com/2021/04/12/dolph-cat-goated-into-east-harlem-ice-palace/
http://hatchingcatnyc.com/2021/05/22/harry-cat-remsen-street-brooklyn-heights/
https://www.dw.com/en/india-lioness-dies-from-covid-in-zoo/a-57783722 

Against the odds:

https://meta.eeb.org/2021/06/02/urban-mining-when-communities-reject-the-throwaway-economy/
https://www.dw.com/en/world-bicycle-day-germany-sees-covid-bike-boom/a-57762676
https://abeautifulresistance.org/site/2021/5/21/the-secrets-of-sphagnum

Environmental news:

Back to the old normal: South Korea saw its May exports growing 45.6 percent, year-on-year, as global demand soared for key items like semiconductors, cars, and petrochemicals.

https://abeautifulresistance.org/site/2021/5/20/under-the-banner-of-progress
https://www.localfutures.org/co-creating-urban-regenerative-futures/
https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/pope-launches-green-initiative-decrying-predatory-attitude-toward-planet-2021-05-25/
https://dgrnewsservice.org/civilization/ecocide/agriculture/we-should-all-be-worried-about-the-united-nations-food-systems-summit/
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/pesticides-are-killing-the-worlds-soils/
https://civileats.com/2021/06/04/how-pesticides-are-harming-soil-ecosystems

Pandemic news:

https://www.rt.com/russia/525609-sputnik-coronavirus-who-kluge
https://tomdispatch.com/swept-into-a-covid-hell-of-profits/
https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Argentina-To-Start-Large-Scale-Production-of-Sputnik-V-Vaccine-20210603-0010.html
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2021/06/03/wuha-j03.html
https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Lab-Leak-Theories-of-COVID-19-Are-Unfounded-Scientists-Say-20210603-0003.html
https://khn.org/news/article/covid-long-haul-illness-pots-autonomic-disorder/
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/they-plan-wear-their-masks-indefinitely-their-reasons-extend-beyond-n1268176
https://www.dw.com/en/virus-variants-in-asia-threaten-the-whole-world/a-57745685
https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Putin-Invites-Foreigners-To-Get-Vaccinated-in-Russia-20210604-0006.html
https://www.rt.com/russia/525707-sputnik-vaccine-who-ema-approval

Economic news:

https://truthout.org/articles/its-time-to-bust-the-myth-that-endless-economic-growth-is-good-for-us/
The title of this article is misleading and should be changed to: It’s Time to Bust the Myth That Endless Economic Growth Is Possible.
https://meta.eeb.org/2021/05/18/economic-growth-without-gdp-growth/
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/05/31/the-dark-side-of-congos-cobalt-rush
How the mining of precious minerals destroys the land, the rural society, and old ways of life.
https://www.rt.com/russia/525569-dollar-wealth-fund-currency/

Technology, media, propaganda news:

https://truthout.org/articles/zionist-groups-in-us-operate-campaigns-to-quash-palestine-solidarity-on-campus
https://truthout.org/articles/rashida-tlaib-demands-that-social-media-companies-stop-censoring-palestinians/
https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/israel-palestine-disinformation-censorship-discourse
https://fair.org/home/conservative-jewish-journalists-use-false-claims-of-censorship-to-try-to-silence-critics/
https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2021/05/are-palestinians-gaining-court-world-opinion
Given the massive propaganda efforts of traditional Western media to establish a “balanced” view of the Palestinian conflict and bury the history of expulsion, ethnic cleansing, and systematic destruction of Palestinian property and livelihoods (house demolitions, burning orchards, poisoning wells), the author is maybe too optimistic about a change in public opinion.
https://fair.org/home/israel-palestine-coverage-presents-false-equivalency-between-occupied-and-occupier/
https://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/Emily-Wilder-Associated-Press-Israel-Palestine-AP-16192391.php
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-57342967
Everybody who dares to criticize Israel’s oppression and mistreatment of the Palestinians has to be very careful that her/his words cannot be misinterpreted. The antisemitism card has been played very successfully to stifle criticism but it had the unfortunate effect of increasing simmering fascist tendencies. Many uninvolved bystanders looked at the scene and thought: “Maybe there is a reason why the Jews are disliked.”
https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/06/03/antisemitisms-misdirection-who-gets-hurt/
https://fair.org/home/israels-war-against-press-turns-more-literal/
https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2021/05/29/israel-narrative-management-is-getting-incredibly-desperate-and-brazen/
https://theconversation.com/bbc-diana-cover-up-why-lord-dysons-report-is-a-body-blow-for-broadcaster-161328
Another fairytale about alleged quality journalism. The BBC always was, is, and forever will be a propaganda tool of the establishment. Also: Britains obsession with the royals. This is not the behavior of a normal society, in other words, this is simply sick.
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/524769-uk-academic-msm-propaganda/
https://greenwald.substack.com/p/as-anger-toward-belarus-mounts-recall
https://dezayasalfred.wordpress.com/2021/05/31/fake-news-and-dis-information-in-the-wikipedia/
https://www.medialens.org/2021/two-centuries-of-the-imperialist-warmongering-hate-filled-guardian/
The British newspaper Guardian is just another Western media propaganda operation sugarcoating itself with the claim of being a liberal news source only guided by lofty democratic, progressive, and humane ideals. “Fair and balanced,” as they used to say.
https://fair.org/home/jeff-bezos-fake-news-in-the-newspaper-he-really-owns/
https://fair.org/home/stability-news-codeword-for-under-us-control/

Imperial news:

Gun buying increased around the elections and during the pandemic and is still up. Preliminary research data show that about a fifth of all US-inhabitants who bought guns last year were first-time gun owners. 

https://www.leftvoice.org/israel-tests-repression-on-palestinians-then-teaches-u-s-cops/
https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2021/05/26/the-us-empire-is-a-self-reinforcing-trauma-factory/
https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2021/05/31/us-troops-die-for-world-domination-not-freedom/
https://truthout.org/articles/former-dnc-chair-tom-perez-now-works-for-anti-labor-law-firm/
Which side are you on boys?
https://cindysheehanssoapbox.bmetrack.com/c/v?e=12778DF&c=1BD0F&t=0&l=54F39C9&email=fZ0E1awabLzvoouBnIlWpwif8GG0Zxj9
Keep the flame burning.
https://undark.org/2021/05/31/foreign-farms-virtual-water/ 

Imperial conquest news:

The Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab was pulled off a plane on June 12, 2020, during a refueling stop in the Republic of Cabo Verde, an island nation off Africa’s West Coast. His alleged crime is conducting legal international trade in violation of US sanctions on Venezuela.

Saab, Venezuelan envoy to the African Union, was on a humanitarian mission to Iran at the time of his seizure to arrange emergency shipments of food, medicine, and essential supplies for Venezuela. While detained and imprisoned in isolation and darkness in Cabo Verde, Saab was apparently tortured.

Saab is battling cancer and urgently needs care by his doctors in Venezuela.

The USA sanctioned Saab for his diplomatic role purchasing essential supplies for Venezuela and indicted him for building houses for the less well-off, calling his work “money laundering.” Yet, after a three-year investigation, Swiss prosecutors found no evidence to support charges of money laundering.

Saab has never worked nor lived in the United States, nor was he involved in any transaction that included the USA. Every aspect of Saab’s seizure and abusive treatment violates international law.

If the US government can get Alex Saab, Washington will be emboldened to seize and charge anybody anywhere. This kidnapping is a chilling reminder of the notorious US program launched in 2001 of secret renditions and disappearances of hundreds of people worldwide, some held for years without trial.

A credentialed diplomat, Saab’s arrest and detention flagrantly violates internationally guaranteed diplomatic immunity. This act, ordered by the Trump Administration, should not be continued by the Biden Administration.

The request for extradition is entirely illegal as the USA has no extradition treaty with Cabo Verde, whose population of 561,000 is spread over 10 volcanic islands.

Cabo Verde is a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The ECOWAS Court of Justice ordered Saab’s immediate release and termination of the extradition process on 15 March. Pressured by the USA, Cabo Verde has yet to comply with the ECOWAS Court’s decision and is preparing an extradition trial.

US sanctions on Venezuela, Iran and 37 other countries violate international law and the UN Charter. Aimed at destabilizing a country through economic sabotage, sanctions inflict impoverishment and suffering on the civilian population and create dire shortages in essential supplies.

The USA has sabotaged Venezuela’s exports and imports for years and has especially targeted a direct, house-to-house, food delivery program, called the CLAP Program, depriving Venezuelans of food.

The bogus charge against Alex Saab, as well as similar cases against North Korea’s Mun Chol Myong and China’s Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou involve individuals engaged in perfectly legal international trade, not US trade.

Alex Saab’s case has received international publicity, especially in African and Venezuelan news media, but there has been no coverage in Western media,.

Saab’s case impacts the 15 African countries already under US sanctions. It resonates in sanctioned Iran and in Venezuela, where social media campaigns and demonstrations have demanded Saab’s release.

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/525000-israel-palestine-natural-gas/
https://www.blackagendareport.com/palestine-mirror-contemporary-world-struggle-against-imperialism-and-its-contradictions
https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/maureen-clare-murphy/ceasefire-puts-no-end-israeli-repression
https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Israel-Arrests-and-Prosecutes-Hundreds-of-Palestinians-20210524-0009.html
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/5/24/a-war-declaration-palestinians-in-israel-decry-mass-arrests
https://www.medialens.org/2021/the-savage-punishment-of-gaza-israels-latest-assault-on-palestines-open-prison/
https://peoplesdispatch.org/2021/05/27/israel-us-and-uk-vote-against-world-health-assembly-decision-to-improve-health-facilities-in-palestine/
https://truthout.org/articles/biden-state-department-quietly-grants-boeing-license-for-735-million-bomb-sale/
https://tomdispatch.com/america-dominant-again-in-arms-sales/#more
https://consortiumnews.com/2021/05/26/a-peoples-guide-to-the-war-industry-2-profits-deception/
https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2021/05/23/countering-the-american-way-of-war-proof-of-concept/
https://www.blackagendareport.com/us-moves-against-ethiopia-and-eritrea-atrocities-alleged-sanctions-imposed
Important! This article and interview is packed with crucial information which one will never get from mainstream media.
https://www.blackagendareport.com/index.php/alex-saab-v-empire-us-tries-extradite-venezuelan-diplomat-securing-food-hungry-0
https://covertactionmagazine.com/2021/05/27/secret-documents-expose-british-cloak-and-dagger-activities-in-lebanon/
Looking for traitors and collaborators, for chances to incite unrest, for ways to destabilize by exploiting social tensions.
https://www.jpost.com/middle-east/mob-boss-turkey-diverted-aid-for-turkmen-to-nusra-linked-extremists-669604
Ottoman empire.
https://apnews.com/article/donald-trump-middle-east-iran-iran-nuclear-global-trade-826ea21eb3d9f9fed3681b0ae6b4aa3a
US piracy.
https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2021/06/pentagon-issues-warning-over-iran-warship-reportedly-headed-venezuela
Don’t forget: It is war, and as the saying goes: All is fair in love and war.
http://johnhelmer.net/novichok-inquest-to-be-stopped/
The alleged Novichok poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, which was a pretext to harsh anti-Russian sanctions, becomes more and more difficult to prove.

China news:

US President Joe Biden’s budget proposal for the next fiscal year was recently announced, and it requests $715 billion for his first Pentagon budget, 1.6 percent more than the $704 billion enacted under Trump’s administration. The outline states that the primary justification for this increase in military spending is to counter the threat of China, and identifies China as the U.S.’s “top challenge.”
https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/06/02/a-deadly-contradiction-the-chinese-dreamers-vs-the-u-s-hegemon/
Neither the Chinese dreams of Western living standards nor the US goal of maintaining the current consumerism are realistic as global boundaries are crossed and environmental catastrophes (storms, droughts, wildfires, floods, deforestation, desertification) will invalidate all plans.
https://theconversation.com/china-finances-most-coal-plants-built-today-its-a-climate-problem-and-why-us-china-talks-are-essential-161332
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2021/05/29/budg-m29.html
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-05-25/chinas-plan-to-build-mega-dam-on-yarlung-tsangpo-brahmaputra/100146344
This is terrible and one can only hope that unforeseen technical difficulties will make the project fail.
https://apnews.com/article/china-ap-top-news-bd12b9c524853f33cca8db3a6930b936
Fewer people means less environmental destruction, but that is not a relevant argument for politicians and bureaucrats who are fixated on endless economic growth.
http://thesaker.is/its-a-nikolai-patrushev-yang-jiechi-world/
https://gowans.blog/2021/06/01/a-scandal-is-being-thuggishly-covered-up-by-a-regime-more-interested-in-propaganda-than-human-life/
https://apnews.com/article/china-coronavirus-pandemic-coronavirus-vaccine-business-health-06be676e04bbd672120ebabc9e6e9561
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/525702-investing-ban-us-chinese/

Doom porn:

In Welcome to the Monkey House, Kurt Vonnegut  writes, “a sane person in an insane society must appear insane”. Thomas Stephen Szasz contends: “Insanity is the only sane reaction to an insane society”. And the British psychiatrist R. D. Laing said, that insanity was “a perfectly rational adjustment to an insane world”.

It is this relativity of sanity that Fromm calls into question in The Sane Society. “The fact that millions of people share the same vices,” he wrote, “does not make these vices virtues, the fact that they share so many errors does not make the errors to be truths, and the fact that millions of people share the same forms of mental pathology does not make these people sane.”

He felt that society needed certain objective conditions to be sane, including environmental sustainability. If too many of humankind’s most basic needs were not being met despite unprecedented capacity, he felt it would be proper to declare a society sick, even if the behavior producing the sickness was widespread and validated by its own internal cultural logic.

This was already addressed in the first paragraphs of this blog post, but it cannot be said often enough:

The climate emergency points to our fatal addiction to fossil fuels. We know their combustion is killing the planet, but we can’t help ourselves. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was established in 1988 to advise us on the science of climate change, yet here we are, more than 30 years later, and carbon emissions continue to rise (excepting only the years of financial crisis or pandemic). We emit 37 gigatons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year, in full knowledge of it’s impact.

The human dominance of the planet under global capitalism is contributing to a holocaust of biodiversity loss, with the World Wildlife Fund recently reporting that populations of vertebrate species have declined by 68 per cent since 1970. We are living through the sixth mass extinction, driven by human economic activity that is not just normal but encouraged (to grow), rewarded, and widely admired.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/05/21/chernobyl-alert-and-the-doomsday-clock/
https://www.globalresearch.ca/accelerating-destruction-earth-biodiversity-when-will-we-act/5746224

Uncategorized news:

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/05/30/un-human-rights-chief-calls-end-all-forms-violence-after-troops-deployed-over
Mainstream media ignores Colombia because the protests are against a US-friendly government.
https://theconversation.com/nagorno-karabakh-in-the-aftermath-of-war-armenia-faces-an-unpalatable-choice-161375
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/524870-eu-hungary-migrants-veto-post-cotonou/
https://cosmosmagazine.com/earth/sustainability/the-guitar-industrys-hidden-environmental-problem-and-the-people-trying-to-fix-it/ I just bought a guitar from Yulong Guo (model Granada) and my justification is: It has a pleasant sound, it is a pleasure to play, and most of the purchase price is for wages of the luthiers and the sales people. 

News from cat land:

Princess Min Ki is suffering from kidney failure. I never thought, that this could happen, because she was always very healthy and she is only 16 years old.

She drinks much, she has lost weight, and she often comes to me and looks at me pleadingly. When you feel increasingly weak and unwell, when an incurable disease has afflicted you, when your life comes to an end, you will need a loving friend to accompany you through your last month, weeks, and days.

Even a proud princess will appreciate and highly regard the attention and love of her close friend.

Once a week Min Ki is checked by the veterinarian and she gets infusions and shots, which are comparatively painless medical interventions. I have bought lot of special dietary food (for renal failure), which she mostly rejects. She in fact rejects nearly everything and is down now to 2.8 kilo, one kilo less than her normal weight. With the food which Min Ki rejects I can easily feed the rest of the cat family.

She nevertheless enjoys our daily walk in the forest, though she prefers to be alone with me. I therefore have to conduct two forest walks, one with the princess and one with my other cat friends.

She still enjoys the warming morning sun, maybe she still can enjoy summer. I try to lift up her spirits, try to radiate peace, happiness, and love. My heart is heavy, yet this is a chance to redeem myself from past misdeeds.

This is clearly a chance to grow and mature, it also brings me a little bit closer to the paramount but far away goal of my life: becoming a teacher of peace, happiness, and love.

I amended the little poem for Min Ki which I published in an earlier post:

Princess Min Ki,
Leader of the family
Be my truthful, loyal friend
A friendship that will never end
My little angel, heaven-sent
My sweetheart and my
Lovely little darling
Princess Min Ki,
Stay with me.