MSM Adamantly Avoids The Word “Coup” In Bolivia Reporting

By Caitlin Johnstone

Source: CaitlinJohnstone.com

There has been a military coup in Bolivia backed by violent right-wing rioters and the US government, but you’d hardly know this from any of the mainstream media headlines.

“Bolivian President Evo Morales steps down following accusations of election fraud” proclaims CNN.

“Bolivia’s Morales resigns amid scathing election report, rising protests” reports The Washington Post.

“Bolivian Leader Evo Morales Steps Down” says The New York Times.

“Bolivian President Evo Morales resigns amid fraud poll protests” declares the BBC.

“President of Bolivia steps down amid allegations of election rigging” we are informed by Telegraph.

“Bolivia’s President Morales resigns after backlash to disputed election” says the Sydney Morning Herald.

So there you have it. The indigenous leader of a socialist South American government which has successfully lifted masses of people out of crushing poverty, which happens to control the world’s largest reserves of lithium (which may one day replace oil as a crucial energy resource due to its use in powering smartphones, laptops, hybrid and electric cars), which has an extensive and well-documented history of being targeted for regime change by the US government, simply stepped down due to some sort of scandal involving a “disputed election”. Nothing to do with the fact that right-wing mobs had been terrorizing this leader’s family, or the fact that the nation’s military literally commanded him to step down and are now currently searching for him to arrest him, leading to ousted government officials being rounded up and held captive by soldiers wearing masks.

All perfectly normal and not suspicious at all.

As is usual, mass media’s reporting on this story is in full alignment with the US State Department, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also advancing the “disputed election” line in a tweet shortly before the forced resignation of Morales. Pompeo cited the evidence-free and discredited allegation of suspicious vote tallies during Morales’ re-election last month from the Washington-based Organization of American States (OAS). As Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic & Policy Research explains in a recent article for The Nation, the OAS receives 60 percent of its funding from Washington, which gives the US tremendous leverage over the supposedly neutral and international body. This ties in interestingly with what we discussed the other day about Washington’s known history of using its disproportionate financial support for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons as leverage to force that supposedly neutral and international body to comply with US agendas.

The field of narrative management keeps making more and more advances.

The US-centralized empire just keeps throwing coup attempts at unabsorbed governments until they stick. The coup in Venezuela failed in 2002 and again in 2019, but they’ll just keep attempting them until one takes hold. A kickboxer throws strikes in combinations with the understanding that most attacks will miss or do minimal damage against a trained opponent, but eventually one will get through and score the knockout blow. Imperialist regime change agendas employ the same punches-in-bunches philosophy: just keep attacking and undermining at every possible turn, and eventually something will stick.

And the empire can afford to do this. When you have all the power and resources, you can bide your time, knowing that if the current attempt at toppling the government in a sovereign nation fails, there’s always tomorrow.

At a United Nations Security Council meeting last year, President Morales summed up the true nature of America’s role in the world very accurately, and, it turns out, very presciently.

“I would like to say to you, frankly and openly here, that in no way is the United States interested in upholding democracy,” Morales said. “If such were the case it would not have financed coups d’etat and supported dictators. It would not have threatened with military intervention democratically elected governments as it has done with Venezuela. The United States could not care less about human rights or justice. If this were the case, it would have signed the international conventions and treaties that have protected human rights. It would not have threatened the investigation mechanism of the International Criminal Court, nor would it promote the use of torture, nor would it have walked away from the Human Rights Council. And nor would it have separated migrant children from their families, nor put them in cages.”

“The United States is not interested in multilateralism,” Morales continued. “If it were interested in multilateralism it would not have withdrawn from the Paris Agreement or given the cold shoulder to the global compact on migration, it would not have launched unilateral attacks, nor have taken decisions such as illegally declaring Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel. This contempt for multilateralism is motivated by the thirst of the United States for political control and for the seizing of natural resources.”

“Each time that the United States invades nations, launches missiles, or finances regime change, it does so behind a propaganda campaign which incessantly repeats the message that it is acting in the course of justice, freedom and democracy, in the cause of human rights or for humanitarian reasons,” Morales also said.

“The responsibility of our generation is to hand over a fairer and more secure world to the following generation,” Morales concluded. “We will only achieve this dream if we work together to consolidate a multipolar world, a world with common rules that are respected by and defended from all the threats ranged against the United Nations.”

Indeed, the only reason the US is able to wage its endless campaign of regime change agendas against unabsorbed governments is because the unipolar world order it rules has allowed it the power, resources and leisure to do so. A multipolar world would enable the citizenry of this planet to have a say in what happens to them in a way that is not dictated by a few sociopaths in and around Washington, DC. A multipolar world is to democracy as a unipolar world is to monarchy. The citizens of the world should oppose this unipolarity.

 

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The Wounded Mind

By Kingsley L. Dennis

Source: Waking Times

There’s something fundamentally wrong with how the world is right now. Don’t you see it – feel it? We are a species with noble character, with a great spirit, and with a sacred soul. In our hearts we wish only for the betterment of all people; for love and justice and communion. And yet what we see going on in the world is nothing less than complete madness. We have to say it exactly as it is – there is a sickness going on and this pathogen is being perpetrated on a vast scale.

I propose the possibility for the existence of some kind of infection/invasion/contagion that produces a form of mental ‘madness’ that is so normalized within us that we hardly recognize its presence. That is, this ‘presence’ has embedded itself into our various forms of social conditioning (or perhaps even produces this conditioning) in order to veil its existence. This normalized madness then usurps genuine thinking patterns, with the result that when everyone shares the collective psychosis then the madness of the world appears to be a ‘normal feature’ of human civilization. And those people who are ‘awake’ to the genuine human spirit and mind are considered the crazies – the anomalies – as the following tale shows:

There was once a wise and powerful king who ruled in a remote city of a far kingdom. And the king was feared for both his might and his love of wisdom. At the heart of the city was a well whose water was cool and crystalline, and all the inhabitants drank from this well, even the king and his courtiers, because there was no other well in the city. One night, while everyone was asleep, a witch entered the city and poured seven drops of a strange liquid into the well, and said:

‘From now on, anyone who drinks this water will go crazy.’

The next morning all the inhabitants drank the water from the well, except the king and his lord chamberlain, and very soon everyone went mad, as the witch had foretold. During that day, all people went through the narrow streets and public places whispering to each other:
‘The king is mad. Our king and his lord chamberlain have lost their reason. Naturally, we cannot be ruled by a mad king. We must dethrone him!’

That night, the king ordered a golden cup of water from the well to be brought to him. And when they brought the cup the king and his lord chamberlain drank heavily from it. Soon after that there was great rejoicing in that distant city of a far kingdom because the king and his lord chamberlain had regained their reason.

The King and his love of wisdom (Genuine Mind) was corrupted by the poisonous drops of the witch’s liquid (virus/pathogen) that resulted in the mass epidemic of craziness (psychosis/Wounded Mind). This corrupted mind then became the dominant narrative that influenced social behavior. This Wounded Mind is like a contagion that infects.

Our collective ‘cultural mind’ is continually being shaped by dominant social-cultural narratives that normalize our mental and emotional behavioral patterns. These norms are then transferred into cultural myths that serve to transmit and reinforce these mass-minded belief systems. We end up validating our own corrupted thinking through unconscious affirmations. Once this seed of psychosis is planted then it aims to propagate and strengthen through diversions and manifestations that legitimate its own ‘logical’ existence. Like a mental cancer it ingratiates itself into our own neural pathways as an insider rather than an outsider so that we fail to notice its toxic presence. Yet there remains a niggling sense of something being ‘not-quite-right’ deep within any sensible/sensitive person.

This strange reality of ours becomes internalized so that we adapt to a form of ‘normality’ and anyone who speaks up or questions this ‘paradigm of normality’ is considered either odd, eccentric or, at worst, crazy. A more recent category for such people is now to be designated as a ‘conspiracy theorist’ which is a quick brush to dismiss people with ideas or thinking contrary to this ‘norm.’ And those people who appear to accept and encourage such norms are quickly brought ‘into the fold’ and supported in their career paths. The majority of those manifesting the Wounded Mind are not in psychiatric care but running most of our social, political, and financial institutions. Positions of great power necessitate their own specific mindset, one that is generally provided by the corrupted mind.

A Disturbance of Mind

The presence of the Wounded Mind is like a sickness of the soul, and it manifests as a disturbance in the collective unconscious. Just like any other virus or pathogen, it seeks to spread itself by infecting as many carriers as possible. Those people who carry the Wounded Mind (whether knowingly or not) act as transmitters and amplifiers for it, strengthening its frequency within the collective nonlocal field of consciousness. A collective possession is what we refer to as a psychic epidemic, or a disturbance in the field. Such disturbances can have varying affects upon people’s mental health and well-being.

People who suffer from a Wounded Mind may carry it as an ‘undefinable’ trauma within them, and it is common to turn to alcoholism or drug dependencies as a way of coping (or of escape). When a person feels stressed or traumatized they are like an open wound for further mental invasion. And it can be quite subtle at first as our modern societies have devised endless ways for our interference. We are distracted to look away from our own minds and thus miss the psycho-pathogen in action. As a person further integrates the Wounded Mind they may find themselves vulnerable to victimization; such as through social harassment and bullying (especially online nowadays), or as addicted-consumers of sexual deviancy, pornography, and socially-sanctioned extreme experiences. The monk Thomas Merton said that our modern societies suffer from a crisis of sanity:

‘The problems of the nations are the problems of mentally deranged people, but magnified a thousand times because they have the full-straight-faced approbation of a schizoid society, schizoid national structures, schizoid military and business complexes.’1

If all modern institutions are infected by a corrupted system of mental thinking patterns then, as Merton suggests, this instability will be amplified and made worse. Individual neuroses are given institutional sanction and support within a culture that has based its social norms upon such irrationalities. The irrational has broken through and implanted itself as the rational standard rule. It is perhaps little wonder that people can be so susceptible to this mental pathogen when it comes to us dressed up in sheep’s clothing. As is always the case, those people most vulnerable are usually those who are conditioned to authority and/or passivity. This trait, unfortunately, is one that is first implanted through compulsory schooling.

Likewise, people who are easily influenced by external opinions, and whom are prone to group-thinking, are amongst the first to give away their mental independence to external sources. The virus of the Wounded Mind preys upon such ‘group-think’ individuals as they are the mass open playing fields for psychic epidemics. The ‘mass mind’ of humanity helps in the transmission and proliferation of the psychic pathogen – the wounded mind. As the famous psychiatrist R.D. Laing once said – ‘The condition of alienation, of being asleep, of being unconscious, of being out of one’s mind, is the condition of the normal man…normal men have killed perhaps 100,000,000 of their fellow normal men in the last fifty years.’2 Conscious awareness is perhaps our greatest antidote.

If we are to see human history from a wider perspective then it is important we view major events, human actions, propaganda, social disturbances, power struggles, and the rest, from this standpoint of the wounded mind. The modern human mind has been formed from many traits that include greed, lust, ambition, materialism, insincerity, and a ‘split’ personality. In all, these are traits that mark a lack of authenticity. The Wounded Mind seeks to develop greater degrees of inauthenticity and lack of empathy within the individual. We can see such personalities walking across the world stage.

The peril of the Wounded Mind is that resistance may also help to spread it. That is, people who often start out resisting and fighting against this corrupted mindset often find themselves adopting it’s values in order to survive. It’s the ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ type of thinking. And this cliché too is very likely to have been a product of the Wounded Mind intending to verify itself. It may seem that we are struggling to awaken against our very own spell of sleep.

Under the Pathogen Spell

It has often been said – by mystics, sages, and wisdom traditions – that humanity is collectively asleep. Our ignorance over our condition, and the absence of real knowledge, indicates we are asleep.  Similarly, the Gnostics viewed humanity as being ‘asleep’ under a trance – a form of material spell – that has severed us from contact with a genuine divine source. Instead, we are ruled by a false or ‘flawed god,’ a demiurge, that has malevolent intentions to keep us trapped within the material realms.

The more we breed this Wounded Mind within our societies and cultures the more people will behave and live like automatons. We will live within a tighter range of conditioned stimuli that programs specific opinions and thinking patterns that validate the pathogen. A person who is more conditioned to obedience is more susceptible to receive the mental virus. Perhaps this is why our modern societies are establishing rigid orders of control and obedience, such as when we travel, pass through airports, etc. It can be likened to a preparation for automated behavior as a requisite for an automated mind. The mystic George Gurdjieff wrote:

‘Contemporary culture requires automatons. And people are undoubtedly losing their acquired habits of independence and turning into automatons, into parts of machines…. Man is becoming a willing slave. He no longer needs chains. He begins to grow fond of his slavery, to be proud of it. And this is the most terrible thing that can happen to a man.’3

By adopting the mentality of the Wounded Mind, we participate in our own suppression and further the behavior of an automaton. We need to recognize that many of our incumbent social systems are set-up to corroborate and reinforce the consensus mind-set. Any genuine resistance cannot come from any ‘mass movement’ but only from those persons who can think and act independently.

It is important to recognize that the Wounded Mind is a field phenomenon, and that our own mind and thoughts do not exist securely guarded within our heads. Since we are all interconnected within the non-local field, we are all susceptible to the infection of this predatory virus. The first step we can take is to accept the possibility that the pathogen virus exists. The Gnostic text The Gospel of Philip says: ‘So long as the root of wickedness is hidden, it is strong. But when it is recognized, it is dissolved. When it is revealed, it perishes…’ The danger lies in our distraction.

We must guard against being diverted away from our authenticity and lured into the modern distractions of hedonistic pleasure-seeking, greed and materialism, and the running after shallow satisfactions. After all, this illusive psychosis offers false promises. Our modern cultures appear to want to prevent the majority of people from pursuing their own genuine developmental paths. This is no doubt because our capitalist-consumer based societies require a regular mass of workers and consumers whom live a regulated, predictable, and conformist life.

Yet it is now necessary to see the Wounded Mind for what it is – recognition and acknowledgement is key. If we cannot bring harmony and good sense to the world around us, then we should at least bring it upon ourselves. We are the wounded ones who can become our own wounded healers.

Posted in Authoritarianism, conditioning, consciousness, Consumerism, culture, elites, Health, media, Media Literacy, news, Oligarchy, Philosophy, propaganda, Psy-ops, Psychology, Social Control, Social Engineering, society, Sociology, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Saturday Matinee: T2 Trainspotting

“T2 Trainspotting” (2017) is a a sequel to the cult classic Trainspotting. Both films are directed by Danny Boyle, written by John Hodge, and based on novels by Irvine Welsh. T2 stars the original cast, including leads Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, and Robert Carlyle and also includes film clips, music, and archive sound from the first film.

The film picks up 20 years after the events of the first film in which Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) stole £16,000 in drug money from his friends and fled to Amsterdam. After suffering a heart attack in a gym, Mark finds himself in a mid-life crisis and decides to return to Edinburgh to make amends with his former friends. However, things don’t go as smoothly as planned.

Watch the full film here.

Posted in Art, culture, Film, Saturday Matinee, Video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Resignation of Bolivia’s Evo Morales was no victory for democracy, but a US-sponsored coup

By Eva Bartlett

Source: RT.com

Evo Morales, an indigenous leader who bucked the IMF and condemned US imperialism, has been pressured by the military to resign after winning an election. Yet Washington calls this blatant coup in Bolivia a victory for democracy?

Morales was re-elected as Bolivia’s president on October 20. The coup-backing Organization of American States (OAS) wasn’t pleased and went ahead interfering in a sovereign nation – as the US itself does so well – issuing a report that the vote result wasn’t satisfactory to their desires.The heavy funding from the US surely has no influence on OAS policies…

In any case, on November 10, President Morales first announced a new election. Later that day, he announced his resignation, naming as reason the recent brutality of Bolivia’s right-wing opposition, including “kidnapping and mistreating” families of indigenous leaders and burning down the homes of public officials.

I resign from my position as president so that (Carlos) Mesa and (Luis Fernando) Camacho do not continue to persecute socialist leaders.

Morales was clear that his move was solely due to the violence incited opposition leaders. However, it soon became clear that this was a coup, not a resignation.

Former Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff tweeted her solidarity with the “legitimate president of Bolivia [Evo Morales] who was deposed by a military coup, had his house raided by the police and suffered an illegal arrest warrant. A very serious attack on democracy in Latin America and violence against the Bolivian people.” 

Another Brazilian ex-president, Lula, likewise declared the “stepping down” a coup. And even before the events of November 10, Argentina’s Cristina Kirchner foresaw there would be pressure to force Morales out of office, as did Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro.

As most readers know, this is not the first US-backed coup in Latin America. Washington’s history of meddling in sovereign nations stretching back many decades. But let’s look at how Bolivia changed under Morales’ leadership.

Poverty, unemployment and illiteracy all decreased significantly under Morales. In fact, according to a report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), Bolivia’s was the “fastest-growing” economy in South America, having “basically been stagnant for a quarter century prior to Morales becoming president in 2006.”

To do so, however, “the Bolivian government ended 20 years of IMF agreements in 2006,” the same CEPR report notes. Furthermore, expelling US military bases, threatening to close the US embassy in Bolivia, and nationalizing the oil and gas industries haven’t done much to put him in the good graces of ‘democracy-bringers’.

After all, with America’s lust to ‘democratize’ the world and steal precious resources in the process, nationalizing a country’s goods really mucks up Washington’s dirty plans. It doesn’t help that Bolivia has $2.3 billion worth of contracts to develop its lithium deposits with China, not the US.

Who benefits from Bolivia losing Morales as president? Not the Bolivian people, that’s for certain. In fact, some predict Bolivia’s future could be very dire under the rule of a US puppet.

“My sin is being a union leader, indigenous. We are giving up so that my brothers do not continue to be kicked,” Morales said, when submitting his forced resignation.

This statement poignantly demonstrates the racism and utter lack of concern by the US for the people of Bolivia. Concerned citizens around the world are holding rallies in solidarity with Bolivia’s elected President and against yet another US-backed coup of a sovereign nation.

“He is now in hiding with his Indigenous Nation, and the death squads have issued an arrest warrant for him,” analyst Laith Marouf noted. “Know now that if they kill him claiming he resisted arrest, or that he committed suicide; that it was an assassination in the land that saw the assassination of Che Guevara.”

As events unfold in Bolivia, it’s important to keep in mind the possible frightening outcomes. Anything is possible when US imperial interests are at stake.

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Our Vanishing World: Insects

By Robert J. Burrowes

About 12,000 years ago, late stone age humans precipitated the neolithic (agricultural) revolution that marked the start of the steady rise to civilization. Coincidentally, this occurred at the same time as the beginning of what is now known as the Holocene Epoch, the geological epoch in which humans still live.

However, since the industrial revolution commencing in about 1750, just 270 years ago, humans have been destroying Earth’s biosphere with such tremendous ferocity that the Earth we inherited at the beginning of the Holocene Epoch is vanishing before our eyes. And life is vanishing with it.

While this catastrophe first gained significant public attention with the publication of Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring in 1962, efforts in response to her effort to raise the alarm, credited with inspiring the modern environmental movement, have paled in comparison to the ongoing human effort to silence Spring.

In fact, we are destroying the biosphere with such ruthless efficiency that the global extinction rate is now 200 species per day, with another million species ‘under threat’. Moreover, according to the recent Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services researched and published by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) – the scientific body which assesses the state of biodiversity and the ecosystem services this provides to society – ‘Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history.’

So severe is the crisis through which we are now living that the normally sober tone of scientific papers is vanishing too, with words such as ‘biological annihilation’, a ‘frightening assault on the foundations of human civilisation’ and the ‘sixth mass extinction’ event in Earth’s history are being used with increasing frequency. See, for example, ‘Biological annihilation via the ongoing sixth mass extinction signaled by vertebrate population losses and declines’.

So how extreme is the threat?

Well, despite the number of elite-controlled intergovernmental processes and corporate scientists paid to promulgate delusion about our timeframe, an increasing number of scientists are now warning that existing and accumulating evidence indicates that human extinction is likely to occur by 2026 (assuming that we can prevent nuclear war and prevent the deployment of 5G in the meantime). Unfortunately, too, the full extent of this unfolding catastrophe is readily masked if the many interrelated factors – emotional, political, economic, social, climatic, environmental, military, nuclear, geoengineering and electromagnetic – synergistically shaping this outcome are not each and all considered. See ‘Human Extinction by 2026? A Last Ditch Strategy to Fight for Human Survival’.

For example, it is poor science to measure climate impacts in isolation from the cascading impacts they generate ‘downstream’ (such as the adverse impact of temperature increases on insect populations in rainforests and what this means for the rainforest habitats they occupy) and to predict outcomes for humanity based on the climate impacts alone. If enough insects are gone – whether through destruction of habitat, extensive pesticide use, 5G electromagnetic radiation, climate impacts… or a combination of these and other factors – before we reach the critical climate ‘tipping point’, then human food chains will collapse rapidly followed by the human population whatever the state of the climate at the time.

However, rather than reiterate the comprehensive evidence in relation to the synergistic threats to human survival here, let me instead present the evidence only in relation to the decimation of the global insect population – variously given such labels as ‘insectageddon’ and ‘insect apocalypse’ in an attempt to convey the gravity of the crisis – including what is driving it and what it means.

The Importance of Insects

So how important are insects? According to one recent study conducted by Caspar A. Hallmann and eleven associates, insects are vital to ecosystem functioning:

‘Insects play a central role in a variety of processes, including pollination, herbivory and detrivory [an organism, such as a bacterium, fungus or insect, that feeds on dead plant or animal matter], nutrient cycling and providing a food source for higher trophic levels such as birds, mammals and amphibians. For example, 80% of wild plants are estimated to depend on insects for pollination, while 60% of birds rely on insects as a food source. The ecosystem services provided by wild insects have been estimated at $57 billion annually in the USA. Clearly, preserving insect abundance and diversity should constitute a prime conservation priority.’ See ‘More than 75 percent decline over 27 years in total flying insect biomass in protected areas’.

To underscore the importance of insects, in their study Bradford C. Lister & Andres Garcia simply note that ‘arthropods comprise over two-thirds of terrestrial species’. See ‘Climate-driven declines in arthropod abundance restructure a rainforest food web’. And, as Robert Hunziker observes: without insects ‘burrowing, forming new soil, aerating soil, pollinating food crops…’ and providing food for many bird species, the biosphere simply collapses. See ‘Insect Decimation Upstages Global Warming’.

However, despite their crucial role in maintaining the habitable biosphere, insects have been in decline for several decades. And the decline is accelerating.

The Decline of Insects

Any study of insect populations readily confirms their rapid decline. For example, in the recent study by Lister and Garcia, they note that ‘Arthropods, invertebrates including insects that have external skeletons, are declining at an alarming rate. While the tropics harbor the majority of arthropod species, little is known about trends in their abundance.’ Hence they compared arthropod biomass in Puerto Rico’s Luquillo rainforest with data taken by Lister back in 1976. They found that ‘biomass had fallen 10 to 60 times’ and their analyses revealed ‘synchronous declines in the lizards, frogs, and birds that eat arthropods’. Moreover, they noted, over the past 30 years forest temperatures have risen 2.0 °C and their study indicated that ‘climate warming is the driving force behind the collapse of the forest’s food web’. Ominously, they observe: ‘A number of studies indicate that tropical arthropods should be particularly vulnerable to climate warming. If these predictions are realized, climate warming may have a more profound impact on the functioning and diversity of tropical forests than currently anticipated.’ See ‘Climate-driven declines in arthropod abundance restructure a rainforest food web’ and ‘Insect collapse: “We are destroying our life support systems”’.

Why? Well although climate warming is disrupting the entire biosphere at an accelerating pace, the rate is generally slower in tropical habitats. Nevertheless, the evidence still clearly suggests that tropical ectotherms (organisms reliant on environmental heat sources) may be particularly vulnerable to the warming climate. Citing an earlier report based on research by Daniel H. Janzen – see ‘Why Mountain Passes are Higher in the Tropics’ – Lister and Garcia note that tropical species that evolved in comparatively aseasonal environments have ‘narrower thermal niches, reduced acclimation to temperature fluctuations, and exist at or near their thermal optima. Consequently, even small increments in temperature can precipitate sharp decreases in fitness and abundance. These predictions have been verified in a variety of tropical reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates.’ See ‘Climate-driven declines in arthropod abundance restructure a rainforest food web’.

In another recent report ‘Worldwide decline of the entomofauna: A review of its drivers’, Francisco Sánchez-Bayo and Kris A.G. Wyckhuys present ‘a comprehensive review of 73 historical reports of insect declines from across the globe, and systematically assess the underlying drivers’. In essence, their research reveals ‘dramatic rates of decline’ with the main drivers being i) habitat loss and conversion to intensive agriculture and urbanization; ii) pollution, mainly by synthetic pesticides (glyphosate, neonicotinoids and others) and fertilisers; iii) biological factors, including pathogens and introduced species; and iv) the climate catastrophe. ‘The latter factor is particularly important in tropical regions, but only affects a minority of species in colder climes and mountain settings of temperate zones.’

Moreover, they note, the general studies of insect declines are ‘in line with previous reports on population declines among numerous insect taxa (i.e. butterflies, ground beetles, ladybirds, dragonflies, stoneflies and wild bees) in Europe and North America over the past decades. It appears that insect declines are substantially greater than those observed in birds or plants over the same time periods and this could trigger wide-ranging cascading effects within several of the world’s ecosystems.’

But perhaps the most alarming report is the one written following research conducted by Caspar A. Hallmann and his associates. Noting widespread concern about insect loss, they observe that ‘Loss of insect diversity and abundance is expected to provoke cascading effects on food webs and to jeopardize ecosystem services.’ Employing a standardized protocol to measure total insect biomass using Malaise traps, deployed over 27 years in 63 nature protection areas in Germany (with 96 unique location-year combinations) their analysis estimated ‘a seasonal decline of 76%, and mid-summer decline of 82% in flying insect biomass over the 27 years of study’. Moreover, the decline was apparent regardless of habitat type. ‘This yet unrecognized loss of insect biomass must be taken into account in evaluating declines in abundance of species depending on insects as a food source, and ecosystem functioning in the European landscape.’ See ‘More than 75 percent decline over 27 years in total flying insect biomass in protected areas’.

Just one cascading impact of the rapid decline of insects in Germany is the ‘decimation’ of the bird population. See ‘“Decimated”: Germany’s birds disappear as insect abundance plummets 76%’.

In summary, from the study by Sánchez-Bayo and Wyckhuys: More than 40 percent of the world’s insect species are on the fast track to extinction. See ‘Worldwide decline of the entomofauna: A review of its drivers’.

Why are insects declining?

In essence, apart from the causes of insect decline noted above, such as destruction of habitat, poisoning (using glyphosate, neonicotinoids and other pesticides) – see, for example, ‘Trump EPA OKs “Emergency” to Dump Bee-killing Pesticide on 16 Million Acres’ – and the climate catastrophe, insects are also adversely impacted by light – see ‘Light pollution a reason for insect decline’ – ingestion of plastic – see ‘Microplastic ingestion by riverine macroinvertebrates’ – wars, nuclear contamination – see, for example, ‘Fukushima butterflies highlight heavy cost of nuclear disaster’ – and will be further and horrifically impacted, along with all life on Earth, if 5G is deployed. For an earlier study identifying the existing problem of electromagnetic radiation on life, see ‘Bees, Birds and Mankind: Destroying Nature by “Electrosmog”’, but for recent updates on the extraordinary hazards of 5G to all life, see ‘5G and the Wireless Revolution: When Progress Becomes a Death Sentence’ and ‘Western Insanity and 5G Electromagnetic Radiation’.

In essence, without sufficient diversity and density of insects the existing biosphere will collapse and homo sapiens will join the fossil record. And we are rapidly approaching that particular tipping point.

Part of the problem is that far too much attention is being directed at the climate catastrophe while ignoring the vast evidence from other disciplines offering highly instructive research not only in relation to climate impacts but to other human behaviours that are negatively impacting ecosystem functioning.

This has a range of negative impacts, including that it deludes people into seeking outcomes that are hopelessly inadequate if we are to address the full extent of the crisis in our biosphere.

Is anything being done?

Not much. The elite’s corporations have enormous political power so have little trouble resisting efforts to contain their destruction of the biosphere, including of insect populations.

Hence, while scientists routinely offer fine suggestions, such as the following one, they are also routinely ignored.

‘A rethinking of current agricultural practices, in particular a serious reduction in pesticide usage and its substitution with more sustainable, ecologically-based practices, is urgently needed to slow or reverse current trends, allow the recovery of declining insect populations and safeguard the vital ecosystem services they provide. In addition, effective remediation technologies should be applied to clean polluted waters in both agricultural and urban environments.’ See ‘Worldwide decline of the entomofauna: A review of its drivers’.

But, to reiterate, it is corporations that have political power and that also control the media narrative; not scientists.

So what can we do?

Given that the insect apocalypse is deeply connected to other issues of critical importance to human survival, as always it is vital that this issue is addressed strategically from a holistic perspective. For that reason, we must approach the issue by addressing fundamental drivers but also several vital symptoms that arise from those drivers. Let me explain what I mean.

The fundamental question is this: Why are humans behaving in a way that destroys Earth’s biosphere? Surely, this is neither sensible nor even sane. And anyone capable of emotional engagement and rational thinking who seriously considers this behaviour must realize this. So why is it happening?

Fundamentally it is because our parenting and education models fail utterly to produce people of conscience, people who are emotionally functional and capable of critical analysis, people who care and who can plan and respond strategically.

Given the preoccupation of modern society with producing submissively obedient students, workers, soldiers, citizens (that is, taxpayers and voters) and consumers, the last thing society wants is powerful individuals who are each capable of searching their conscience, feeling their emotional response to events, thinking critically and behaving strategically in response. Hence our parenting and education models use a ruthless combination of visible, ‘invisible’ and ‘utterly invisible’ violence to ensure that our children become terrified, self-hating and powerless individuals like virtually all of the adults around them.

This multifaceted violence ensures that the adult who emerges from childhood and adolescence is suppressing awareness of an enormous amount of fear, pain and anger (among many other feelings) and must live in delusion to remain unaware of these suppressed feelings. This ensures that, as part of their delusion, people develop a strong sense that what they are doing already is functional and working (no matter how dysfunctional and ineffective it may actually be) while unconsciously suppressing awareness of any evidence that contradicts their delusion. See ‘Why Violence?’, ‘Fearless Psychology and Fearful Psychology: Principles and Practice’, ‘Do We Want School or Education?’ and ‘Love Denied: The Psychology of Materialism, Violence and War’.

So if we are going to address the fundamental driver of both the insect apocalypse and destruction of the biosphere generally, we must address this cause. For those adults powerful enough to do this, there is an explanation in ‘Putting Feelings First’. And for those adults committed to facilitating children’s efforts to realize their potential and become self-aware (rather than delusional), see ‘My Promise to Children’.

Beyond this cause, however, we must also resist, strategically, the insane elite corporations that are a key symptom of this crisis by manufacturing and marketing a vast range of insect (and life)-destroying products ranging from weapons (conventional and nuclear) and fossil fuels to products made by the destruction of habitat (including rainforests) and the poisoning of agricultural land (to grow the food that most people eat) while now planning the imminent worldwide deployment of 5G. See Nonviolent Campaign Strategy.

But we can also undermine this destruction, for example, by refusing to buy the products provided by the elite’s corporations (with the complicity of governments) that fight wars (to enrich weapons corporations) to steal fossil fuels (to enrich energy, aircraft and vehicle-manufacturing corporations) or those corporations that make profits by destroying rainforests or producing poisoned food, for example. We can do this by systematically reducing and altering our consumption pattern and becoming more locally self-reliant as outlined in ‘The Flame Tree Project to Save Life on Earth’ or, even more simply, by committing to The Earth Pledge (below). In a nutshell, for example, if we do not buy and eat poisoned food, corporations will stop poisoning our food and this will save vast numbers of insects (and many other life forms besides).

You can also consider joining those working to end violence in all contexts by signing the online pledge of ‘The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World’.

The Earth Pledge

Out of love for the Earth and all of its creatures, and my respect for their needs, from this day onwards I pledge that:

  1. I will listen deeply to children (see explanation above)
  2. I will not travel by plane
  3. I will not travel by car
  4. I will not eat meat and fish
  5. I will only eat organically/biodynamically grown food
  6. I will minimize the amount of fresh water I use, including by minimizing my ownership and use of electronic devices
  7. I will not buy rainforest timber
  8. I will not buy or use single-use plastic, such as bags, bottles, containers, cups and straws
  9. I will not use banks, superannuation (pension) funds or insurance companies that provide any service to corporations involved in fossil fuels, nuclear power and/or weapons
  10. I will not accept employment from, or invest in, any organization that supports or participates in the exploitation of fellow human beings or profits from killing and/or destruction of the biosphere
  11. I will not get news from the corporate media (mainstream newspapers, television, radio, Google, Facebook, Twitter…)
  12. I will make the effort to learn a skill, such as food gardening or sewing, that makes me more self-reliant
  13. I will gently encourage my family and friends to consider signing this pledge.

Conclusion

In response to a range of synergistically impacting behaviours, homo sapiens is on the fast track to extinction. Just one critical and largely ignored variable in this rush to extinction is our decimation of the world insect population denying us an ever-expanding range of ecological services.

On this count alone, we have already crossed a dangerous tipping point that will cause increasing problems over time. Whether we can stop short of the ultimate tipping point depends on what you decide.

 

Biodata: Robert J. Burrowes has a lifetime commitment to understanding and ending human violence. He has done extensive research since 1966 in an effort to understand why human beings are violent and has been a nonviolent activist since 1981. He is the author of ‘Why Violence?’ His email address is flametree@riseup.net and his website is here.

 

Posted in consciousness, Corporate Crime, culture, elites, Environment, Oligarchy, Philosophy, Psychology, Science, society, Sociology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Human Violence: Pervasive, Multi-dimensional and Extinction-threatening

By Robert J. Burrowes

Violence is pervasive throughout human society and it has a vast range of manifestations. Moreover, some of these manifestations – particularly the threat of nuclear war (which might start regionally), the climate catastrophe and the ongoing ecological devastation, as well as geoengineering and the deployment of 5G – threaten imminent human extinction if not contained. Separately from these extinction-threatening manifestations, however, violence occurs in a huge range of other contexts denying many people the freedom, human rights and opportunities necessary for a meaningful life. Moreover, human violence is now driving 200 species of life on Earth to extinction daily with another 1,000,000 species under threat.

For just a sample of the evidence in relation to the threats noted above see, for example, ‘Rapidly expanding nuclear arsenals in Pakistan and India portend regional and global catastrophe’, ‘Plan A’, ‘City on Fire’, ‘Human Extinction by 2026? A Last Ditch Strategy to Fight for Human Survival’, Geoengineering Watch, ‘International Appeal: Stop 5G on Earth and in Space’ and ‘5G and the Wireless Revolution: When Progress Becomes a Death Sentence’.

Given the expanding range of threats to human survival that require a strategic response if they are to be contained, is that possible?

Well, any candid assessment of the relevant scientific literature coupled with an understanding of the psychological, sociological, political, economic and military factors driving the violence, clearly indicates that the answer is ‘highly unlikely’. Particularly because so many people are so (unconsciously) terrified and incapable of responding powerfully.

However, this does not mean that many people are not trying and some of these people perceive the interrelated and synergistic nature of these threats and know that we must be addressing each of them strategically if humanity and an enormous number of other species are to have any meaningful chance of survival in a viable biosphere. These people range from ‘ordinary’ activists, who work passionately to end violence in one context or another, to globally prominent individuals doing the same. Let me tell you about some of them.

Ramesh Agrawal is a prominent social and environmental activist in India who has devoted many years to educating and organizing local village people, including adivasi communities, to defend their homes and lands from those corporations and governments that would deprive them of their rights, livelihoods, health and a clean environment for the sake of mining the abundant coal in the state of Chhattisgarh. However, because his ongoing efforts to access and share key information and his organization of Gandhian-inspired grassroots satyagrahas (nonviolent campaigns) have been so effective, he has also paid a high price for his activism, having been attacked on many occasions. In 2011, for example, he was arrested despite ill-health at the time and chained to a hospital bed. A year later he was shot in the leg, which required multiple operations. He still has difficulty walking with six metal rods inserted through his thigh.

The Jan Chetna (‘peoples’ awareness’) movement started by Ramesh has spread to several parts of Chhattisgarh as well as other states of India. For the latest account of his efforts including the recent ‘coal satyagrapha’ focused on coal blocks owned by state power companies but being developed and operated by Adani Enterprises, see ‘Thousands Hold “Coal Satyagraha”, Allege Manufacturing of Consent at Public Hearing’. For his nonviolent activism, Ramesh was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2014. See ‘Ramesh Agrawal: 2014 Goldman Prize Recipient Asia’ and ‘Chhattisgarh activist, Ramesh Agrawal, bags Goldman prize’.

In Ghana, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) continues its work under the leadership of President Dr. Ayo Ayoola-Amale, a certified mediator and peacebuilder. One recent activity was a two weeks training course on negotiation and mediation as a tool for conflict resolution for women in the Upper West region of Ghana, particularly three districts: Lawra, Nadowli and Lambussie. The training was aimed at providing local NGOs, community elders, administrators and others with the skills and knowledge to further improve their capacity in the work they do. In such courses, Ayo emphasizes the importance of trust, identity and relationship building issues, quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: ‘Life and history give eloquent testimony to the fact that conflicts are never resolved without trustful give and take on both sides.’

But Ayo has also conducted other courses, such as a three day workshop on peacemaking and mediation skills for the teachers and students at Okyereko Methodist Junior High School which taught skills such as communication (listening, speaking, silence), cooperation, trusting, empathy, responsibility, reconciliation and problem solving. Ayo also used her storytelling skills to convey an understanding of what it means to be a responsible person and how that puts us in charge of our lives. Through the storytelling she reveals some of the personal benefits that come from being honest, reliable, trustworthy and principled and how treating people with respect helps us get along with each other, avoid and resolve conflicts, and create a positive social climate. She told workshop participants that every choice they make helps define the kind of person they are choosing to be and their character is defined by what they do, not what they say or believe.

Professor René Wadlow, President of the Association of World Citizens headquartered in France, has been involved for decades in efforts to engage people in world events rather than leave these events to be mismanaged by elites with a vested interest in a particular outcome. In this article, for example, he reflects thoughtfully on the ‘Iran Crisis: Dangers and Opportunities’ by drawing attention to opportunities for citizen engagement through NGOs to influence how the conflict plays out. As he notes: ‘The dangers are real. We must make the most of the opportunities.’ René also continues to examine issues and throw light on subjects well outside the spotlight of the corporate media, such as conflicts in Africa. See, for example, his article ‘Sahel Instability Spreads’.

Since 2017 Dr Marthie Momberg in South Africa has been working with international colleagues to address Zionism amongst Christians. Along with a colleague from Kairos USA, Marthie offered, for example, a seminar entitled ‘Christianity and the Shifting of Perceptions on Zionism’ at Stellenbosch University’s Beyers Naudé Centre. ‘With some other colleagues we are also in the midst of a research project at this Centre to understand how to sensitise Christians on the nature of Zionism and how it serves as an important lens on so many other struggles in our world. I am also in the process of writing a number of scholarly articles on ethics and religion in the context of Israel and the Palestinian struggle.’

And while on Palestine, US activist journalist Abby Martin recently completed her debut feature film Gaza Fights for Freedom. Directed, written and narrated by Abby, the film had its origins while Abby was reporting in Palestine, where she was denied entry into Gaza by the Israeli government on the accusation she was a ‘propagandist’. Connecting with a team of journalists in Gaza to produce the film through the blockaded border, this collaboration shows you Gaza’s protest movement ‘like you’ve never seen it before’. Filmed during the height of the Great March Of Return protests, it features riveting footage of demonstrations ‘where 200 unarmed civilians have been killed by Israeli snipers since March 30, 2018’ and is a thorough indictment of the Israeli military for war crimes, and a stunning cinematic portrayal of the heroic resistance by Palestinians. You can watch a preview of the film here: Gaza Fights for Freedom (preview). And if you would like to buy or rent the film (and support Abby’s work) you can do so here: Gaza Fights for Freedom.

In Guatemala, Daniel Dalai continues his visionary work providing opportunities for girls to develop their leadership capacities at Earthgardens. If you haven’t previously been aware of their work, including in Bolivia and Nicaragua, you will find it fascinating to read how girls – including Carmen, Angelica, Reyna, Katiela, Yapanepet, Zenobia, Deysi, Rosalba, Charro, Katarina and Marleni – in this community each changed their society, often by forming ‘Eco-Teams’, with a remarkable variety of initiatives.

The Asia Institute ‘is the first truly pan-Asian think tank. A research institution that addresses global issues with a focus on Asia, The Asia Institute is committed to presenting a balanced perspective that takes into account the concerns of the entire region. The Asia Institute provides an objective space wherein a significant discussion on current trends in technology, international relations, the economy and the environment can be carried out.’ Focused on research, analysis and dialogue, and headed by president Emanuel Yi Pastreich, the Institute was originally founded in 2007 while Emanuel was working in Daejeon, Republic of (South) Korea. Emanuel writes extensively on culture, technology, the environment and international relations with a focus on Northeast Asia. He also serves as president of the Earth Management Institute, a global think tank dedicated to developing original approaches to global governance in this dangerous age. But for more on The Asia Institute, see the website above.

While the individuals and organizations mentioned above are just a sample of those directly involved, they are part of an expanding worldwide network in 105 countries committed to working to end human violence in all of its manifestations. Whatever the odds against it, they refuse to accept that violence cannot be ended, and each has chosen to focus on working to end one or more manifestations of violence, according to their particular circumstances and interests. If you would like to join these people, you are welcome to sign the online pledge of The Peoples Charter to Create a Nonviolent World.

If your own interest is campaigning on a peace, climate, environment or social justice issue, consider doing it strategically. See Nonviolent Campaign Strategy.

If your focus is a defense or liberation struggle being undertaken by a national group, consider enhancing its strategic impact. See Nonviolent Defense/Liberation Strategy.

If your preference is addressing the climate and environmental catastrophes systematically while working locally, consider participating in (and inviting others to participate in) The Flame Tree Project to Save Life on Earth.

If you would like to tackle violence at its source, consider revising your parenting in accordance with ‘My Promise to Children’. If you want the evidence to understand why this is so crucial, see Why Violence?’ and Fearless Psychology and Fearful Psychology: Principles and Practice.

If you are self aware enough to know that you are not dealing effectively with our deepening, multifaceted crisis, consider doing the personal healing necessary to do so. See ‘Putting Feelings First’.

Perhaps ending human violence is impossible. If that is true, then human extinction is inevitable and it will occur as a result of one cause or another. Moreover, it will happen in the near term. But every person who believes that human violence can be ended, and then takes strategic action to end it, is participating in the most important undertaking in human history: a last ditch strategy to fight for human survival.

 

Biodata: Robert J. Burrowes has a lifetime commitment to understanding and ending human violence. He has done extensive research since 1966 in an effort to understand why human beings are violent and has been a nonviolent activist since 1981. He is the author of Why Violence? His email address is flametree@riseup.net and his website is here.

 

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Two for Tuesday

Meryem Saci

 

Marcel Cartier

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Facebook and YouTube remove posts naming CIA impeachment whistleblower

By Kevin Reed

Source: WSWS.org

Multiple media sources reported on Friday that the social media platforms Facebook and YouTube were removing posts that identified by name the CIA whistleblower behind the Congressional impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

In an email statement, Facebook said, “Any mention of the potential whistleblower’s name violates our coordinating harm policy, which prohibits content ‘outing of witness, informant or activist’,” adding, “We are removing any and all mentions of the potential whistleblower’s name and will revisit this decision should their name be widely published in the media or used by public figures in debate.”

CNN also reported that YouTube issued a statement saying that it was using a combination of artificial intelligence software and human monitors to find and delete videos with the name of the “Ukrainegate” whistleblower. “The removals, the spokesperson added, would affect the titles and descriptions of videos as well as the video’s actual content,” the CNN report said.

The World Socialist Web Site has independently confirmed that Facebook is deleting posts containing the name of alleged CIA whistleblower Eric Ciaramella.

Facebook’s claim that any content posted on its platform naming Ciaramella constitutes “outing” the whistleblower is absurd. The alleged identity of the career CIA analyst who filed a complaint regarding the July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been known since October 30 when the pro-Republican Real Clear Politics website published his name.

When his name was published by Real Clear Politics, the whistleblower’s attorneys—in typical CIA fashion—said they could “neither confirm nor deny” that Ciaramella was their client.

Ciaramella is a plausible candidate for being whistleblower, given his background as a registered Democrat and CIA analyst with expertise in Ukraine and Russia. He worked under both Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice and Trump National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster. In mid-2017 he was sent back to the CIA amid accusations that he was leaking anti-Trump information to the media.

While Ciaramella’s name has been widely circulated by Republican political figures, right-wing news sites and former CIA analyst and Trump aide Fred Fleitz said, “everyone knows who he is,” the Democrats and their allies in the media at the New York Times, Washington Post and major television networks have not made his name public.

Even an article in the New York Times on Friday that reported on Facebook’s censoring of posts by the right-wing website Breitbart did not include Ciaramella’s name. By taking the step of scrubbing posts mentioning allegations that are widely shared and reported, Facebook and YouTube are now joining with these corporate media organizations and blocking the public from having access to important information.

The latest heavy-handed social media censorship—so obviously being carried out in the service of the Democratic Party impeachment inquiry and the CIA—actually helps the Trump administration, the Republican Party and the extreme right-wing political forces defending the White House, allowing them to adopt the false posture of advocating free flow of information, even as Trump continues to demonize the media as the “enemies of the people.”

The mass scrubbing of all social media content by Facebook and YouTube that mentions the name Eric Ciaramella is part of the broader censorship efforts by the technology monopolies, in collaboration with the intelligence state, and sets the stage for even more draconian attacks on freedom of expression.

This must be seen within the context of the drive by a substantial section of the ruling establishment for the social media platforms to “step up to the plate” and, as Hillary Clinton said last week, take down “false, deceptive or deliberately misleading content” or “pay a price.” Leading figures within the Democratic Party, including presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, have been campaigning for social media censorship that will block what they call “untruthful statements.”

As explained on the World Socialist Web Site, the increasing calls for censorship on social media are part of a protracted campaign by the US intelligence apparatus, under conditions of a growing movement of the working class and young people and increasing interest and support for socialism, to suppress left-wing, antiwar and progressive political viewpoints.

Furthermore, the WSWS has pointed out that what is determined as “fake” or “real” is not to be decided by the government or giant tech monopolies: “All the dishonesty of the campaign for internet censorship is contained in the failure to answer, much less consider, one central question: Who is to determine what is true and what is false?”

The publication of the name of the CIA analyst who submitted his complaint memo to the heads of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees in August is not a crime. In fact, his identity is of substantial consequence, given that his complaint became the starting point of an effort to remove a sitting president through impeachment.

Posted in Authoritarianism, censorship, CIA, civil liberties, corporate news, culture, Deep State, elites, freedom of speech, media, Media Literacy, news, police state, propaganda, Psy-ops, Social Control, Social Engineering, society, State Crime, surveillance state, Technocracy, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment