Archive for the ‘WarWeaponsViolence’ Category

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Observations and guesses August 2022

August 20, 2022

Full disclosure:

I try to restrict online time to 2 hours a day. Most of the time is spent by sifting through incoming emails and by research for this blog. I abhor the virtual reality (surreality) of the internet but it has allowed me to isolate and thereby reduce the chance of a COVID0-19 infection (no shopping, necessary goods are ordered online).

One thing though is clear: More internet means less direct (face to face) social contact, less personal interaction. More internet means that we will inevitably step by step lose the ability to engage socially with our fellow human beings and that social cohesion will be reduced up to a point where the social construct crumbles and breaks down like a house of cards.

Chaos and anarchy will ensue.

I oppose industrial activities which use lot of resources (materials, energy) and damage nature. I abhor industrial agriculture and long distance food distribution systems. Food should grow in the neighborhood, people who cannot grow it by themselves should buy it from nearby farmers and gardeners. Industrial farming needs chemical fertilizer and big machines which burn lot of fuel.

Travel should be restricted to educational, administrative, cultural, and religious purposes, to fact-finding and negotiations. Travel should, whenever possible, be replaced by electronic communication, tourism should be banned.

Technological progress often causes more problems than it solves. Constant growth of industrial activities is not possible in a limited world. Consumerism doesn’t make people happier, more machines, appliances, gadgets don’t mean more happiness, peace, and love.

A synthetic environment of concrete, steel, glass, plastic is a nightmare, urban life with its noise and pollution from millions of cars is hell.

People should not live in places where food for them cannot be grown and basic necessities cannot be produced.

Will overpopulation be solved by further pandemics, wars, famine, and fatal neglect of the powerless and marginalized? A frightening outlook!

People should live in harmony with nature and not fight nature. We are part of nature! If we destroy it, if ecological systems (oceans, forests, soil) have broken down, if air, water, soil is contaminated with our toxic refuse, if we have wiped out our fellow animals, our life will end too. And it will end painfully.

There will be no judgement day, there will only be silence.

You maybe think, this is ludicrous, hysterical, silly. You maybe will consider this as the nonsensical babbling of an idiot.

Please save this text and read it in a few years again.

Feline news:

Peggy Gavan tells on her website many “true and unusual animal tales of old New York,” lovely little stories which are all testifying that our enchantment with cats is not a recent phenomenon.

http://hatchingcatnyc.com/2022/08/12/morris-police-cat-sheepshead-bay-homecrest/

https://mymodernmet.com/galina-bugaevskaya-cat-art/

Against the odds:

Becca Renk writes about Nicaragua and the privilege of free health care:

Nicaraguans seem to go to the doctor all the time. If my neighbor’s kid gets diarrhea, they bring her straight to the emergency room. I used to think this was because people were afraid – in the 1990s and early 2000s, child and infant mortality rates were high in Nicaragua and many kids really did die of preventable diseases. But as child health has improved – infant mortality down by 61% and chronic malnutrition reduced by 66% over the past 15 years – I have finally begun to understand that Nicaraguans take their kids to the hospital because they can.

https://www.tortillaconsal.com/bitacora/node/353

Or: https://www.casabenjaminlinder.org/navigatingnicaragua/privilege-of-free-health-care

Environmental news:

Due to climate change, the socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and various violent conflicts, the world is doing worse than ever before in terms of hunger eradication. Around 10 percent of the global population – about 768 million people – faced hunger and undernourishment in 2020. More than 750,000 people are expected to face starvation and death in 2022.

Based on current trends, the world will fall far short of Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG2), which aims to achieve “zero hunger” by 2030.

An unprecedented drought has stricken most European countries. Authorities restrict water use, municipalities across Europe have been left without drinking water and farmers have lost a substantial part of their crops and livestock feed.

Water levels in aqueous bodies are falling and vanishing. Italy’s River Po has been reduced to such a level that rice fields can no longer be watered consistently, nor clams sustained. It is not clear yet, how much damage has been done to food production, but it is for sure essential.

In France, the warming of the Rhone and Garonne have made their water too hot to cool nuclear reactors.

Europe’s major waterways have been suffering a fall, producing colossal headaches for those involved in the transportation sector. In Germany, the Rhine River has been so depleted that most vessels have been unable to sail with regularity and appropriate tonnage. For the petrochemical business, this has meant sharp increases in costs.

The Danube is also diminishing. In Romania, Greenpeace activists tried to draw attention to the issue by dragging kayaks to a stretch of shoreline exposed by the retreating water. “We want Danube waves, not heat waves,” the protesters declared in their banners.

Germany intends to postpone the closure of three nuclear plants past the scheduled date of December 31. A story in the Wall Street Journal suggests the plants will be kept going only for a few additional months, as in to tide Germany through the worst of the winter. The German Minister for Economic Affairs, Robert Habeck, a member of the Green Party, is taking steps to increase the use of coal for electricity generation.

Economic news:

More and more nations are doing business in yuan and rubles to bypass the  US$ based global financial system. Saudi Arabia for example is exploring a “petroyuan” currency and India is using a rupee-ruble dual-payment mechanism for purchases of Russian oil.  Payments in UAE dirhams are also considered. It was barely 10 or so years such attempts got you instantly regime changed (like it happened to Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, who wanted to introduce the Gold Dinar for African countries).

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The following linked article is about the debt trap which most developing countries fall into.

The top 10 underwriters of developing country sovereign bonds are investment banks from the USA, UK, Switzerland, and the EU, with the market power of large underwriters becoming stronger.

The interest rate of Eurobonds is much higher than that of preferential loans. For example, the coupon rates on 10-year Eurobonds issued by African countries in 2013 – 2019 are around 4 to 10 percent, and low or middle-income countries paid 63.2 percent of their total interest payments on international bonds in 2020 while only paying 9.8 percent for bilateral debt.

https://www.pekingnology.com/p/eurobonds-not-bilateral-debts-trapped

The world chip shortage has already affected 169 industries, including steel and concrete production and even soap manufacturing.

Mobile phones are going to get costlier. Apple might increase the price of the upcoming iPhone 14 by 100 US$. 90 percent of smartphone brands are affected by the global chip shortage. In 2021, only 70 percent of the requested components were delivered to mobile phone manufacturers. Companies like Samsung, Oppo, and Xiaomi were even more affected than Apple.

TSMC in Taiwan is the world’s largest chip manufacturer. It manufactures Apple’s A- and M-series chips along with the chips of Qualcomm and several other companies. It accounts for over 50 percent of global semiconductor production.

Taiwan witnessed severe drought in the last 50 years. In 2021, the country received no rainfall and since semiconductor manufacturing requires huge amounts of water, companies faced difficulties. TSMC had to fetch water via tanks from the water-heavy side of the country to feed its manufacturing plants.

Pandemic news:

An updated guidance from the US CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) eases coronavirus recommendations and puts more of the responsibility for limiting viral spread on individuals, rather than on schools, businesses, and other institutions.

https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/cdc-changes-covid-guidelines-causes-confusion-rcna42514

The new CDC guidance comes at a critical time, when schools are preparing to open and Covid funding is drying up. While the guidelines are not binding laws, they will make it increasingly difficult for states and cities to maintain or propose more stringent preventive policies. And they will leave responsible and vulnerable people who are trying to protect themselves by wearing a mask open to increased ridicule, isolation, and even discrimination.

In a world where special shopping hours and accommodations for those at greater risk of hospitalization and death are long gone, these relaxed criteria further leave behind people who are chronically ill, disabled, or immunocompromised.

The central claim by the US CDC is, that public health measures to stop transmission are not necessary because the tools exist to prevent severe illness and death. Throughout the document, emphasis is placed on preventing “medically significant” illness, which is defined as severe acute illness or post-COVID-19 conditions (Long COVID).

By the CDC’s own data, every infection should be considered “medically significant.” The agency released a study last week on the effects of COVID-19 in children which found that those previously infected were at substantially greater risk for multiple life-threatening conditions, including acute pulmonary embolism, myocarditis and cardiomyopathy, venous thromboembolic events, acute renal failure, and Type 1 diabetes.

Alarmingly, a hypothetical projection done by government analyst Stuart Jones, using the CDC’s estimates of Long COVID prevalence, found that after 20 to 30 years under the current policy, 70 percent of the population would have severe Long COVID and be considered disabled.

Renowned epidemiologist Eric Topol discusses the latest research about Long Covid:

https://erictopol.substack.com/p/some-light-on-long-covid

The new CDC guidance makes various often complicated and confusing recommendation for wearing masks. Common sense suggest, that wearing a mask will reduce the likelihood of infection in any setting, so it should be generally encouraged even if local COVID-19 infections are low. Yet, there are medical and social downsides of extended mask wearing, the main ones being that oxygen reception will be reduced and social interaction be impeded.

From the abstract of a preprint study:

Cardiovascular effects were found in 29.24% of patients, ranging from tachycardia, palpitation, and myopericarditis…. The clinical presentation of myopericarditis after vaccination was usually mild, with all cases fully recovering within 14 days. Hence, adolescents receiving mRNA vaccines should be monitored for side effects.

https://www.preprints.org/manuscript/202208.0151/v1

A new study in Pediatrics, a medical journal published by the US Academy of Pediatrics, revealed that about 8 percent of children hospitalized with COVID-19 at major pediatric hospitals in the USA experienced a neurologic complication of some kind, even if they were otherwise healthy.

The neurologic complications can be encephalopathy, encephalitis, aseptic meningitis, febrile seizure, non-febrile seizure, brain abscess, bacterial meningitis, and cerebral infarction. In total, over 10,000 children may experience neurological complications just in the USA alone.

People seem to have forgotten about the pandemic and they ignore even the most basic safety recommendations. World Health Organization spokesperson Margaret Harris: “We are indeed very much still in the middle of the pandemic with intense transmission globally with close to a million cases daily and sadly over 14,000 people dying every week.”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/aug/19/us-covid-cases-mandates-deaths

Media, technology, and propaganda news:

Joshua Tucker of New York University, who co-directs NYU’s Center for Social Media and Politics and is a senior advisor at Kroll, a tech, government, and economic consulting firm: “It is dangerous for society for us to be moving in a direction in which nobody feels they can trust information.”

Imperial news:

Philadelphia is awash in guns and everybody is armed. More than 1,400 people have been shot this year in Philadelphia, hundreds of them fatally — a higher toll than in much larger New York or Los Angeles.

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2022/08/12/all-our-systems-are-built-to-elevate-viciousness/

Cindy Sheehan and Slave on Dust Jame’s Youtube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gRfBSSE8WU

Imperial conquest news:

On August 5, lightning hit an oil tank in the industrial zone of Matanzas, some 100 kilometers east of Havana. Four of the oil tanks in the oil depot, each with a capacity of 50 million liters, burst into flames. Matanzas is Cuba’s largest port for receiving crude oil and fuel imports. Oil and diesel stored in 10 huge tanks at the port are mainly used to generate electricity on the island.

Cuba received solidarity support from several countries worldwide and specialists from Mexico and Venezuela with experience in fires of this magnitude rushed to Matanzas yo help. The firefighters used fireboats (two of them were sent by Mexico), planes, and helicopters and after five days were able to bring the fire under control. The fire destroyed 40 percent of the Caribbean island’s main fuel storage facility and caused enormous power outages. One firefighter was killed, 14 are missing, more than 100 people were injured, and five remain in critical condition.

The USA didn’t offer help.

https://scheerpost.com/2022/08/11/while-cuba-deals-with-blazing-fire-the-u-s-heartlessly-watches-and-waits/

Musician-composer Roger Waters, co-founder of Pink Floyd, denounced the role of the US government in the war between Russia and Ukraine and discussed other contemporary political issues in two public appearances.

Waters, currently on a 38-date concert tour in North America entitled “This is Not a Drill,” appeared in a short interview on CNN and was featured in a 90-minute webinar on Monday hosted by World Beyond War.

In the course of the CNN interview, Waters took the opportunity to explain why, during his concerts, he includes President Joe Biden as a “war criminal” who is “just getting started” on a list along with every other US president since Ronald Reagan.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2022/08/11/bamn-a11.html

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/57186.htm

Venezuela successfully overcame a nearly total blockade by the USA and allies, the theft of its overseas assets, steep recession, hyperinflation, severe scarcity of basic necessities, and the collapse of exports. It is now universal acknowledged that the country is on the way of economic recovery.

https://libya360.wordpress.com/2022/08/14/understanding-maduros-successful-socialist-economic-strategy/

In Western media reports, the armed groups fighting the Syrian government since 2011, collectively known as the FSA (Free Syrian Army, were part of a Syrian revolution that represented the Syrian people, but there is no evidence that the FSA ever enjoyed significant popular support among Syrians, including among Syria’s Sunni community, the FSA’s presumed demographic base. Instead, Syrians broadly feared the FSA groups, which attacked and invaded many towns and cities over the course of the war.

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/did-the-syrian-revolution-have-popular-support/

Ukraine news:

One week after six blasts devastated Russia’s Saki airbase in northern Crimea and destroyed 7 Russian fighter jets of the type Su-24 and Su-34, a series of major blasts rocked another military base in a neighboring region of the Black Sea peninsula.

While Ukraine has not officially taken responsibility for the blasts, leading Kiev officials admitted, that Ukraine was behind them. Minutes after news of the blasts broke, Andriy Yermak, the main advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, provocatively tweeted, “The Ukrainian Armed Forces continue the filigree demilitarization operation to fully rid our land of Russian invaders. Our soldiers are the best sponsors of a good mood. Crimea is Ukraine.” In a clear hint that more attacks are to come, Ukraine’s Zelensky wrote on his Telegram channel that Ukrainians should stay away from Russian military bases in Crimea and East Ukraine. Senior US officials openly endorsed the strikes and encouraged further attacks on Crimea.

Russian spokespersons reported that drones were destroyed by Russian air defense systems and a military warship in Crimea in the area of Sevastopol Bay, which is home to the naval base of Russia’s Black Sea fleet.

The US will snd 15 ScanEagle surveillance drones to help the Ukrainians spot and correct precision artillery and rocket strikes.

A long-range HIMARS precision-guided artillery rocket hit a Wagner field headquarter in the Donbass town of Popasna. According to Ukrainian military news feeds, at least 10 members of the group died and more than 20 were injured. The location was possibly revealed by photos which Russian military reporter Sergei Sreda made.

US arms deliveries will include 40 heavily armored MaxxPro mine-resistant vehicles, which were originally developed for the occupation forces in Iraq. The Pentagon will furthermore provide fighter-launched high-speed anti-radiation missiles that can target Russian radar systems, as well as TOW guided anti-tank missile systems, sixteen 105 mm howitzers plus 36,000 rounds of ammunition, and 2,000 rounds for the Carl Gustav recoilless rifle.

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Independent journalist Sonja van den Ende writes about the situation in territories recently taken by Russia:

https://covertactionmagazine.com/2022/08/10/russians-welcomed-as-liberators-in-many-eastern-ukrainian-cities-contrary-to-western-media-depictions/

Patrick Lawrence denounces mainstream media lies in regard to Ukraine:

https://scheerpost.com/2022/08/11/patrick-lawrence-so-far-as-i-can-make-out/.

The New York Times publishes an article finally admitting that Russia occupies the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power plant. The headline: Threat to Ukraine Nuclear Plant Increases as Fighting Rages. The subhead: Russia, trying to pin down Ukraine’s forces to blunt a counteroffensive in Kherson, has been firing shells from near a nuclear plant it occupies.

Western media normally make extraordinary linguistic efforts to construct Russian culpability for the endangerment of the environment and of civilian lives, but after initially reporting that Russia had shelled the nuclear power plant, Western channels lately had to accept that Ukraine was the culprit. The truth had been indisputably spilled by none other than Zelensky and his senior advisor Podalyak. Zelensky declared that “Every Russian soldier who either shoots at the plant, or shoots using the plant as cover, must understand that he becomes a special target for our intelligence agents, for our special services, for our army,” while Podalyak confirmed that Kiev will “use any kind of weapon” to “liberate” that facility.

The Ukrainian military has fired multiple rockets directly at coolant systems and nuclear waste storage sites inside the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. One of the guided missiles hit just ten meters from the barrels with spent nuclear fuel. Since the storage site is out in the open, any hit will result in the release of nuclear waste ranging from dozens to hundreds of kilograms and contamination of the area. A successful strike may result in a radiation release equivalent to a “dirty bomb.”

While the reactor itself can only be destroyed with a tactical nuclear weapon, the coolant systems and waste storage are far more vulnerable and damage to them could easily cause a disaster, including a meltdown bigger than the 1986 catastrophe at Chernobyl.

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Scott Bennett, a former member of the US Army 11th Psychological Operations Battalion and a terrorist finance investigator, spent 2 years in jail as alleged whistle blower. His discussion with Scott Ritter is interesting and sometimes even entertaining.

https://rumble.com/v1g1pdf-great-awakenings-scott-ritter-and-scott-bennett-analyze-ukraine-war-8-11-22.html

The UK is deeply involved in the Ukrainian war and has spent billions in arms, special forces, and volunteers to keep the Ukrainian army functional.

https://thegrayzone.com/2022/08/12/britains-military-russia-ukraine/

The New York Times writes: To escape the war, Ukraine’s factories are moving west. The government is working to save hundreds of businesses from Russian bombs, remaking western Ukraine into the country’s new economic heartland. It seems, that Ukraine itself expects to be reduced to the areas west of the Dniepro River.

Ukraine’s economy is in a desperate state. Real GDP is projected to decline by more than 30 percent in 2022 and the unemployment rate is 35 percent. Foreign private creditors agreed to the country’s request for a two-year freeze on payments of about 20 billion US$ foreign debt.

Ukraine imposed in 2001 a moratorium on the sale of land to foreigners, and the repeal of this rule has been a main goal of Western institutions. Despite the moratorium on land sales to foreigners, by 2016, ten multinational agricultural corporations had already come to control 2.8 million hectares of land. Today, some estimates speak of 3.4 million hectares in the hands of foreign companies and Ukrainian companies with foreign funds as shareholders. Other estimates are as high as 6 million hectares.

The moratorium on sales, which the US State Department, IMF, and World Bank had repeatedly called to be removed, was repealed by the Zelensky government in 2020, ahead of a final referendum on the issue scheduled for 2024.

Economic reforms, imposed by the West, include slashing labour protections, and in March 2022, the Ukrainian parliament adopted emergency legislation allowing employers to suspend collective agreements. In May, it passed a permanent reform package effectively exempting the vast majority of Ukrainian workers (those at businesses with fewer than 200 employees) from Ukrainian labor law.

https://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2022/08/13/ukraine-the-invasion-of-capital/

https://thesaker.is/sabotage-terrorist-and-other-diversionary-attacks-are-a-real-risk-for-russia/

https://gilbertdoctorow.com/2022/08/20/john-mearsheimers-latest-article-on-ukraine-in-foreign-affairs-a-critique/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJdNXR4zBEI

China news:

A COVID-19 outbreak with nearly 2,000 cases is reported in Hainan province. 10,000 doctors, epidemiologists and other specialists from Guangdong, Sichuan, Hunan, Jiangsu, and other provinces have been sent, a mobile laboratory for PCR testing has been installed. More than 2.9 million residents in the provincial capital of Haikou and nearby cities and towns have been locked down and some 178,000 tourists are reportedly stranded in Hainan.

The National Health Commission has warned of a “high risk of spread” in Tibet, where there have been 28 confirmed cases. In the capital Lhasa, authorities have set up a 2,000-bed makeshift hospital with the capacity to test 300,000 people a day. Officials have also temporarily closed tourist sites, including the famous Potala Palace, and suspended large events while mass testing gets underway.

In Xinjiang, authorities reported 122 new infections, bringing the total number of active cases to 536. Authorities in the capital Urumqi announced a five-day period of “static management” involving business closures, the suspension of public transportation and the closing off of residential communities.

Armageddon news:

A study in the journal Nature Food projects that a full-scale nuclear conflict between the United States and Russia would spark a catastrophic global famine, with potentially as many as five billion people dying of starvation in the years immediately after the war’s conclusion.

The study examines six scenarios: a nuclear war between USA and Russia and five smaller-scale nuclear conflicts between India and Pakistan.

The study comes to the conclusion: The reduced light, global cooling, and likely trade restrictions after nuclear wars would be a global catastrophe for food security.

While a nuclear war between the USA and Russia — owning together roughly 90 percent of the global inventory of atomic warheads — would have the most devastating consequences on food production, a localized India-Pakistan war would also reverberate worldwide, resulting in a 7 percent decline in global food production and two billion deaths from famine.

https://countercurrents.org/2022/08/nuclear-war-will-eliminate-more-than-5-billion-people-oppose-war/

Chris Hedges very skillful and compelling paints a picture of desperation and doom. He focuses on global warming, but this is only one of the many existential threats humans face. The steadily increasing poisoning of the biosphere with man-made toxins, the collapse of ecosystems (oceans, forests, arable soil), mass extinction, and nuclear war are equally grave dangers.

https://scheerpost.com/2022/07/26/chris-hedges-the-dawn-of-the-apocalypse/

Uncategorized news:

India’s tabla tradition fades, as global pop culture, easily produced and controlled by big multinational corporations, suffocates all indigenous cultural traditions.

https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/lifestyle-culture/article/3188662/indias-tabla-tradition-fades-drum-craftsmans-heart

New pictures from cat land: