(Theme song to Yellowjackets)
Saturday 1 July 2023
If there is anyone who believes that NATO, i.e. US support for Ukraine and its supply of advanced weaponry to the Zelensky regime, is on account of its support for that country’s self-determination, then I can only suggest that they consult a psychiatrist.
How can the United States, which launched a war of aggression against Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003 and which supports Israel’s war crimes against the Palestinians, be seriously concerned with the principle of self-determination?
To those who have any doubts about what is happening and the threat it poses to the survival of humanity, I recommend that you watch the video below of a speech by Max Blumenthall of the Grayzone, which was targeted by Paul Mason on behalf of British Intelligence. I’m not sure how Max managed to address them but the video is well worth watching.
Below the video I have included a transcript of the speech. Please watch and share.
To those who don’t understand the background to what is happening in Ukraine or the possible consequences of provoking a nuclear war, I recommend the two following videos of talks and interviews with John Mearsheimer, Professor of Political Science at Chicago University and a member of the realist school of thought.
Thank you to Wyatt Reed, Alex Rubinstein and Anya Parampil for helping me prepare this presentation. Wyatt has first hand experience with the subject as a journalist whose hotel in Donetsk was targeted with a US-made howitzer by the Ukrainian military in October 2022. He was 100 meters away when the strike hit, and was nearly killed.
My friend, the civil rights activist Randy Credico, is also here with me today. He was in Donetsk more recently, and was able to witness regular HIMARS attacks by the Ukrainian military on civilian targets.
I’m here not only as a journalist with over 20 years of experience covering politics and conflict on several continents, but as an American dragooned by my own government into funding a proxy war that has become a threat to regional and international stability at the expense of the welfare of my fellow countrymen and women. Continue reading at TG.
Friday 30 June 2023
Sunday 28 May 2023
We've all been there: at that dinner-jacket-only cocktail party, right when the hosts start rolling out the canapees and suddenly you need to solve a sophisticated differential equation! You try and make a swift escape to the bar area but the damage is already irreversibly done!
Well, no more. Look at this Android-based math solver app, called Maple Calculator:
Friday 26 May 2023
A look into the global economic system, focusing on the role of debt and Europe’s debt crisis spiraling out of control.
Filmmaker: Laure Delesalle
Debt drives financial markets, creates profit and generates an endless cycle of production and consumption.
Many aspects of modern life revolve around credit. Our homes, cars, schools and government expenditures are financed by borrowing. Debt has become the engine of growth, the lifeblood of the economy. It is a machine that creates more and more debt, day after day.
This debt machine has grown to epic proportions, and now seems to have spiralled out of control. Public debt, the debt held by governments, is soaring.
The Eurozone is having a much harder time than other economies emerging from the crisis of spiraling debt. Why? How can the debt be repaid? And how can we ever get out of the spiral?
This documentary takes viewers on a fascinating journey through the rugged landscape of economics and finance. Fast-paced and dynamic, it recounts the history of sovereign debt from the late Middle Ages to the present day and offers unexpected exit routes to safeguard the Eurozone from future crises.
Caught in the debt spiral
“Government debt is not in itself a problem”, explains Karine Berger, MP, Commission of Finances, French National Assembly.
“Every country has debt. And since we have economic growth with the creation of new wealth every year, debt is ok.That’s the assumption. The problem is when your debt gets out of control, when it gets so big that you no longer control the process and its growth year after year.”
It's a debt machine, yes. When you're on it, it's very hard to get out of it.
BY LEE BUCHHEIT, INTERNATIONAL LAWYER, NEW YORK CITY
Wednesday 24 May 2023
By Craig Murray (via Tony Greenstein)
The torrential rain was shed from the policeman’s flat hat via its curved plastic peak, forming a curtain of water that flowed down in front of him, obscuring his face.
His name was Martin. A female colleague stood in solidarity beside him. Two other female policemen were filming with a large video camera from three metres away. Thirty yards down the road were large groups of burly policemen in fluorescent jackets, and beyond them the Tactical Support Group sat behind the dark windows of their mesh covered minibuses, fingering their shields and batons.
Facing Martin were the protestors. There were six of us, average age about 70. We were all absolutely sodden through, but still clutched umbrellas and tried to find angles from which to reduce the wind driven assault of cold water. As the rain was extremely noisy, and probably we don’t hear quite as well as we used to, we kept shuffling towards Martin and leaning forward to try to catch his words, before they were blown away or drowned.
Martin was reading the riot act. Or, to be precise, he was reading an order made under the Public Order Act 1986. With no sense that he understood the absurdity of his words, he intoned:
“I reasonably believe that this assembly has been organised with criminal intent. I reasonably believe that this assembly may result in violence to persons and to property. I reasonably believe that this assembly may cause disruption to the life of the community”.
Some of my top teeth are no longer natural and I get dizzy after climbing a flight of stairs or getting out the bath. I was cold and wet and longing for a nice hot cup of tea. I felt perhaps proud, but rather puzzled, to be taken for a serious criminal danger to the city of Leicester.
Behind Martin stood the paramilitary security guards of the Israeli weapons factory. They did not look really nice. I wondered if Martin was facing in the right direction.
I sneaked this photo of one of them from the taxi as I was leaving. Not entirely what you expect to find down a wooded lane outside Leicester.
Overhead a red police drone buzzed. What it could see, that the scores of police eyes on us could not see, remains a mystery. It was possibly on the lookout for subversive messages on the top of umbrellas.
I found the police operator round the corner who, to be fair, was probably sheltering from the downpour under a tree rather than deliberately hiding behind the hedge.
The factory makes, among other things, components for the kind of drones that kill women and children in Gaza on a regular basis.
I would like you to meet Liane. One of the Palestinian children killed this week in Gaza by weaponry of the Elbit weapons company we were picketing. Whether her death involved any components made in this precise Leicester Elbit factory I do not know. It is probable.
Look into Liane’s eyes, then tell me you do not wish you had been with me, standing in the rain.
When Martin had finished speaking I replied, rather to his, and everybody else’s, surprise. He had started moving away but returned to listen.
I said that I was not an organiser of the protest, just a supporter. But the Order he had read out did not apply. We were just six people – that is not enough people to constitute an “assembly” under Part 2 of the 1986 Public Order Act.
I then went to the police camera team and said the same thing to them. As they were filming for evidence purposes to show the Order had been made, I asked them to maintain the tape for evidence that the police had been told we were not an assembly in terms of the act.
They were really not very happy about this. You could see the cogs whirring as they wondered whether they could arrest me. I presume all these police had arrived after an operational briefing that they were dealing with violent Middle Eastern terrorists, and they were having a brief bout of cognitive dissonance.
There are of course people who resolve cognitive dissonance by an immediate resort to violence, and rather a higher proportion of such people than you might expect, find their way into the police force, so I then wandered off with some friendly remarks about the weather.
I reported yesterday on the incredibly heavy handed policing of this protest. The Chief Constable of Leicestershire, Robert Nixon, has instructed the protest must be “stamped out”, according to one police officer I spoke with.
About sixty protestors have been arrested, and some 50 released on bail on condition they leave the county of Leicestershire completely.
Some have even been arrested hundreds of miles away, for the new crime of planning to attend a demonstration.
Earlier that day I had witnessed the police harass a mother in hijab. Two male officers, not accompanied by a female officer, arriving to quiz her on why three children present at the protest were not at school.
Truancy is not in general a police matter, and if an intervention was deemed necessary it should have been carried out by a qualified local authority officer. The cultural insensitivity on display was remarkable, and it underlined the fact that every single police officer I saw over two days was white.
This picture, from a few days earlier at the same protest, illustrates it well. Leicester is a very multi-cultural city, but these are the county police.
Each time I arrived at the protest, I went walking around to count the number of police and see what they were doing. Generally I chatted with whoever was in charge, and made plain I thought they were far more heavy handed than was compatible with the right to protest.
I received a message from Palestine Action to the effect that friendly chats with the police are not really how they roll. I respect their position and its cause, but my own view is that if you treat the police officers personally as the enemy, it makes it hard to complain when they do the same to you.
On this final visit I noted, in addition to the ordinary and tactical support group minibuses; the drone squad, at least four marked police cars, the same number of unmarked cars with uniformed officers inside, and five cars parked up with occupants in civilian clothes sitting there for hours ostensibly doing nothing at all.
I called an Uber to leave. I then said my farewells, and my phone beeped saying the Uber had arrived, indicating the pick up point. I walked to the car and opened the back door – and there behind the dark windows were some burly policemen in plain clothes and a directional microphone.
The bearded driver was furious. He yelled at me “Why did you open that door?”I replied “Well, if you will go around in disguise, people will mistake you for an Uber”.
The car doors were pulled shut again in anger and the car drove off. Three different groups of policemen approached, all yelling out “Why did you open that door?” “What were you doing with that car?”Laughing, I replied “I am sorry, I thought it was my Uber”. Fortunately that very second my Uber pulled up next to me. I got in and left, giggling away.
The action at Elbit is continuous. I shall definitely be back at some stage. Please do get yourselves there. I regard it as a moral duty. We were just a few gentle souls in the rain, but I am proud to have been there.
Tuesday 7 February 2023
The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 729 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services in 2021. Of the 1597 books that were targeted, here are the most challenged, along with the reasons cited for censoring the books:
1. Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe
Reasons: Banned, challenged, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content, and because it was considered to have sexually explicit images
2. Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison
Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered to be sexually explicit
3. All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson
Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content, profanity, and because it was considered to be sexually explicit
4. Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez
Reasons: Banned, challenged, and restricted for depictions of abuse and because it was considered to be sexually explicit
5. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, violence, and because it was thought to promote an anti-police message and indoctrination of a social agenda
6. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references and use of a derogatory term
7. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
Reasons: Banned and challenged because it was considered sexually explicit and degrading to women
8. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Reasons: Banned and challenged because it depicts child sexual abuse and was considered sexually explicit
9. This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson
Reasons: Banned, challenged, relocated, and restricted for providing sexual education and LGBTQIA+ content.
10. Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin
Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered to be sexually explicit.
Think the above is far-fetched? Think again (from Insider):
Amid the GOP’s nationwide push against teaching about race and sexuality in schools, two members of the Spotsylvania County School Board in Virginia advocated for burning certain books, according to the Fredericksburg-based Free Lance-Star newspaper. This came as the school board directed staff to begin removing “sexually explicit” books from library shelves, after voting 6-0 in favor of the removal, the Lance-Star reported. The board has plans to review how certain books or materials are defined as “objectionable,” the paper said, which opens the door for other content to be removed.
Courtland representative Rabih Abuismail and Livingston representative Kirk Twigg both championed burning the books that have been removed. “I think we should throw those books in a fire,” Abuismail said. Meanwhile, Twigg said he wanted to “see the books before we burn them so we can identify within our community that we are eradicating this bad stuff.”