Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

h1

Links January 2020

January 7, 2020

The US grassroots organization “March on the Pentagon” sent this email:

We Condemn The Assassination Of Iran’s General Qassem Soleimani.

First of all, we send our deepest condolences to the family of Qassem Soleimani and the people of Iran and our sincerest apologies that the nation we live in has decided to assassinate him (and others) in a blatant attack which should be prosecuted at the highest levels of international law.

We also stand in solidarity with the people of Iran who are in the streets protesting this current crime by the tens of thousands [actually 15 million who were attending the funeral procession].

We’d also like to honor the memory of General Soleimani and the many sacrifices he made fighting US-led or fomented terrorism in the Middle East. Although we oppose war, we also recognize the right of the people to resist violence and occupation and we oppose US imperialist mis-adventurism and violence most of all.

Since Soleimani was in Iraq to help Iraqis battle terrorism when he was murdered, we’d also like to show our solidarity with the people of Iraq who have been resisting US imperialism for many decades. We join our voices with theirs to demand a full and rapid withdrawal of US troops, independent mercenaries, and all CIA operatives from their country. The government of Iraq must listen to the voices of its people and not the demands of the bully-nation that has been destroying it for profit.

As we are already seeing the stock of “defense” contractors skyrocket along with the price of oil, March on the Pentagon also strongly condemns the ghoulish profiteers and oppose any further carnage on their behalf.

Iran has long been the “cherry on top” for the neoconservative US/Israeli imperial project, and only the people of the world, united in solidarity against this newest outrage, can stop the disaster looming on the horizon. 

https://marchonpentagon.com/condemn-assassination-iran-qassem-soleimani/ 

Feline news:

https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/12/the-surprisingly-complicated-physics-of-why-cats-always-land-on-their-feet/
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7855967/Thai-cat-tests-Buddhist-monks-concentration-crawls-lap-chants.html
https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-50856274 A well written and touching propaganda piece. There were for sure similar situations in places attacked or under siege by Islamists (Maaloula, Mhardeh, Western Aleppo, Deir ez-Zor, Fuah and Kfarya, Nubl and Zahra), but stories from there will never be published in Western media.
https://felinesofnewyork.com 

Against all odds:

https://dgrnewsservice.org/resistance-culture/biophilia/deepen-your-ecological-perception/
https://truthout.org/articles/this-turkish-chef-is-fighting-climate-change-with-the-help-of-syrian-refugees/
https://earther.gizmodo.com/courts-grant-a-landmark-climate-victory-that-could-resh-1840553657?utm
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-science-fiction-and-the-unforeseeable-future-in-the-2020s-lets/

Environmental news:

The biggest environmental polluters are not fossil fuel companies, but agribusiness and factory farming, with powerful food industry giants (Nestle, Mars, Kraft Heinz, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill, Dean Foods, Unilever, Dow AgroSciences, Kellogg’s, Tyson, Bayer/Monsanto, Associated British Foods, Danone, JBS, etc.) playing a major role. Oil-dependent farming, industrial livestock operations, the clearing of carbon-storing meadows and forests, the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and the combustion of fuel to process and distribute food are estimated to be responsible for as much as one-half of human-caused pollution.

Before farmland was cultivated, it had soil carbon levels of 3 percent to 7 percent. Today, those levels are roughly 1 percent carbon. If every acre of farmland globally were returned to a soil carbon level of just 3 percent, 1 trillion tons of carbon dioxide would be removed from the atmosphere and stored in the soil – equal to the amount of carbon that has been drawn into the atmosphere since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution 200 years ago. 

The carbon content of soil can be increased through “regenerative” farming practices, including planting cover crops, no-till farming, rotating crops, reducing pesticides and chemical fertilizers, managed grazing (combining trees, forage plants, and livestock together as an integrated system, a technique called “silvopasture”).

Regenerative farming increases microbial diversity, reduces inputs (machines, fertilizer), produces higher yields and more nutritious crops.

Carbon-enriched soils are healthier and more resilient to extreme weather conditions, show improved water permeability, and because of that prevent rainwater runoff that otherwise would contribute to algae blooms and dead zones in oceans.

https://www.wired.com/story/we-might-not-be-planting-the-right-kinds-of-forests/
https://truthout.org/articles/why-we-cant-just-plantatree/
https://theconversation.com/statistic-of-the-decade-the-massive-deforestation-of-the-amazon-128307
https://news.mongabay.com/2019/12/bolsonaros-brazil-2019-brings-death-by-1000-cuts-to-amazon-part-one/
https://news.mongabay.com/2019/12/illegal-tin-mining-leaves-trail-of-ruin-in-protected-brazilian-rainforest/
https://theconversation.com/how-sales-shopping-is-killing-the-planet-128725
https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/dark-side-nordic-model-191205102101208.html
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jan/02/year-plastic-pollution-clean-beaches-seas

Economic news:

https://truthout.org/articles/worlds-500-richest-people-gained-1-2-trillion-in-wealth-in-2019
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/12/28/pers-d28.html
https://evonomics.com/capitalism-case-for-abolishing-billionaires/

Media and technology news:

According to new estimations the world’s data centers will devour up to 651 terawatt-hours of electricity in the next year and computing will use 11 percent of global energy by 2030.

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/476980-syria-terrorists-media-platform
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/12/28/opcw-d28.html Total media control is not achieved yet because there are still some independent bloggers, rogue journalists, and a few “enemy” media channels operating in the “free West.” But wait, they are working on it and there will be a radical new interpretation of what “free speech” means.
You will be still free to think whatever you want, but in future you will be severely punished from distributing fake news, conspiracy theories, and “enemy” propaganda.
If you are lucky, you will be just blacklisted and hindered to publish any of your dissenting opinions, but you could as well end up like Chelsea Manning or Julian Assange.
https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/12/28/medias-deafening-silence-on-latest-wikileaks-drops-is-its-own-scandal/
https://thewallwillfall.org/2020/01/06/censorship-of-free-speech-in-canada-why-was-vanessa-beeley-de-platformed
https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/political-commentary/taibbi-2019-news-media-932789/


https://www.wired.com/story/the-two-myths-of-the-internet/ Some good points but ignores the collusion of big tech-corporations (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, etc.) with the powers to be.
https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2019/12/theyre-abysmal-students-are-cell-phones-destroying-the-college-classroom/

Imperial news:

https://www.gunviolencearchive.org
https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/12/27/the-looming-u-s-water-crisis/
https://readsludge.com/2020/01/03/members-of-congress-own-up-to-93-million-in-fossil-fuel-stocks/

Imperial conquest news:

We kill whomever we want to kill and you are a helpless little piece of dirt which will be killed too if you get into our way. 

The assassination of Major General Qassem Suleimani by a US drone at the Baghdad airport gave many people the chance to reaffirm their allegiance to the empire and their disrespect of international law and basic ethical principles.

But don’t get too mach worked up, this is what one has to expect from a criminal empire led by evil idiots. General Suleimani should have foreseen it, maybe he wrongfully projected his own moral boundaries onto his adversaries.

The evil empire knows no moral boundaries.

His departure to God does not end his path or his mission, but a forceful revenge awaits the criminals who have his blood and the blood of the other martyrs last night on their hands,” Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a statement and he cried at the funeral of Qassem Suleimani. 15 million people attended the funeral and most of them probably cried too.

https://gowans.blog/2020/01/05/soleimani-assassination-only-one-of-many-and-not-the-most-consequential-us-acts-of-war-against-iran/
https://thegrayzone.com/2020/01/06/soleimani-peace-mission-assassinated-trump-lie-imminent-attacks/


https://www.globalresearch.ca/188-democrats-join-gop-hand-trump-738-billion-military-budget-includes-space-force/5698748
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/12/28/syri-d28.html Finally, Donald Trump declares his open support for the last al-Qaeda stronghold.
https://www.globalresearch.ca/u-s-sponsored-uyghur-insurgency-in-xinjiang-70-years-of-u-s-destabilisation-in-china/5698425
https://www.mintpressnews.com/pro-coup-venezuelan-soldiers-defected-to-us-locked-ice-prisons/263764/ Karma is a bitch. Or: When schadenfreude becomes a noble and legitimate sentiment.
https://thegrayzone.com/2019/12/24/bolivia-free-territory-chapare-coup-invasion/
https://thegrayzone.com/2019/12/28/andronico-rodriguez-bolivia-coup-interview/

Armageddon news:

Bushfires have destroyed more than 4 million hectares (10 million acres) – an area the size of Japan — across Australia in recent weeks.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison attacked environmental activists in a November speech, warning of radical activism and pledging to outlaw boycott campaigns that he argued could hurt the country’s mining industry.

We are working to identify mechanisms that can successfully outlaw these indulgent and selfish practices that threaten the livelihoods of fellow Australians, especially in rural and regional areas,” Morrison said. “New threats to the future of the resources sector have emerged […] A new breed of radical activism is on the march. Apocalyptic in tone. It brooks no compromise. It’s all or nothing.”

After a short relieve Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and other major population centers are once again be blanketed in smoke and endure “hazardous” air quality.

https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/cattle-have-stopped-breeding-koalas-die-of-thirst-a-vet-s-hellish-diary-of-climate-change-20191220-p53m03.html
https://redflag.org.au/node/6974
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/12/28/ment-d28.html Is this another symptom of the unraveling of Australia’a society?
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/22/in-australias-drought-towns-angry-residents-rely-on-charity-not-government-for-water
https://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/incredible-moment-thirsty-koala-stops-south-australian-cyclist-to-drink-water/news-story/b207a8e37cc84d035793575718e87008
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/12/28/thousands-koalas-feared-dead-australia-wildfires
https://www.businessinsider.com.au/australian-koala-hospital-photos-show-wildfire-devastation-2019-12
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7833803/More-30-000-tourists-told-flee-Victorian-seaside-town-ahead-extreme-bushfire-danger.html
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-50938504
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-50952253?
https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/australasia/article/3044160/australia-fires-zoo-staff-take-monkeys-and-pandas-home-save
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-50969088
https://www.businessinsider.com.au/australia-bushfires-humanitarian-crisis-everything-happening-2020-1


https://www.politico.eu/article/when-will-the-netherlands-disappear-climate-change/ 

Uncategorized news:

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2019/12/the-loss-of-fair-play.html
http://www.defenddemocracy.press/cuba-found-to-be-the-most-sustainably-developed-country-in-the-world-new-research-finds/
https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/12/article/75-of-young-want-to-escape-south-korean-hell/ 

News from cat land:

There’s not much going on here. Yesterday was dreary, foggy, a bit wet, but not cold. In the morning the ground is frozen but during the day all the ice thaws. This will be probably the warmest January ever, just like December was the warmest December ever.

All the butterfly bushes got little new leaves which unfortunately will die in the next cold spell. The butterfly bushes can cope with that, they are very robust and will grow new leaves again. They also spread like weed to every corner of the garden, there must now be approximately 20 of them here. I hope that there will be enough butterflies next spring and summer to enjoy them.

The cats most times are gathering in the sitting room watching the fire in the wood stove. They get along with each other very well, all the rivalries and resentments are forgotten. As I wrote already in an earlier blog post, winter is the time when the cat family grows together and becomes a real family just like the ideal which one usually imagines.

The discrepancy between this idyllic scene and the bleak picture of the outside world, painted by a steady stream of reports about disasters and wars is stunning. I’m tempted to dismiss the negative news as “disaster porn” and “war porn,” yet some signs in my immediate environment, things that I can see and hear and feel without a screen in between indicate that indeed there’s a lot amiss.

The writing is on the wall: 

There are clearly visible changes in climate, and biodiversity declines. Chronic diseases and cancer seem to increase — many people in the neighborhood are severely sick. There are social changes: More people live alone and they spend most of their time with their smartphones, on the computer, or looking TV.

This is an affluent country, participating in the ongoing brutal and deadly exploitation of weaker countries and nature. Nobody here is really poor, nobody has to starve, there’s enough money to guarantee a comfortable and easy life for everybody. Nobody needs to do hard and degrading work. All the strenuous or mindless repetitive work is done by big machines and robots.

And yet: people are nervous, anxious, restless, tense, hectic, and depressed. People complain all the time but they don’t try to implement improvements. Sometimes they act out and vandalize public installations.

The wars and disasters are still far away but in this world, where everything is connected with everything, our little cat paradise eventually will be effected in one way or the other. I try to prepare for the possibly hard and dark times, I try to minimize my carbon footprint and give an example of ecological living, I try to warn against the foolish destruction of nature, the reckless poisoning of the biosphere, and the insanity of war.

What else could I do?

P.S.: No, the cats don’t give much thought to ecological considerations. They do what they always have done through thousand of years and I only can lessen the damage by creating refuges for toads, frogs, blind worms, and lizards which the cats are not able to access.