Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Paul Krugman unwittingly pulls the mask off modern fascistic imperialism.
"Overall, Americans took 9/11 pretty calmly," Krugman tweeted on the 19th anniversary of the attacks that left nearly 3,000 people dead in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania, and led to U.S. wars of choice in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere in which at least hundreds of thousands—and perhaps as many as 2 million—people have died in predominantly Muslim countries."
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Thursday, September 10, 2020
Time is running out. The human experiment is being driven rapidly off a geopolitical cliff. The worldwide levers of power are consistently manipulated to increase the wealth and influence of a sociopathic ruling class. These systems make all people and living things subordinate to their lusts for luxury and lawless excess.
The only question that should concern us all is whether we’ll destroy ourselves before or after climate catastrophe makes our actions moot. If we ignore our impact on the environment, it won’t matter if we survive World War III. Mother Earth won’t care how we commit suicide.
Our rulers don’t appear to understand the existential threats facing the human race, or perhaps more alarmingly they don’t appear to care. Behind the wheel of the doomsday car is the United States of America, the most rapacious nation in human history, and arguably the most violent.
The USA was founded and made strong by destroying peoples and stealing resources. Its history is one of global military and economic violence, increasingly for the benefit of a tiny minority. The myth that we are the good guys can only be maintained by ignoring our history.
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"American Holocaust: D. Stannard (Oxford Press, 1992) – “over 100 million killed” “[Christopher] Columbus personally murdered half a million Natives”
“Hitler’s concept of concentration camps as well as the practicality of genocide owed much, so he claimed, to his studies of English and United States history. He admired the camps for Boer prisoners in South Africa and for the Indians in the wild west; and often praised to his inner circle the efficiency of America’s extermination – by starvation and uneven combat – of the red savages who could not be tamed by captivity.”
— P. 202, “Adolph Hitler” by John Toland
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The Middle Passage
1. In the history of the trans-Atlantic slave trade (1525-1866), 12.5 million Africans were shipped to the New World. Of them, 10.7 million survived the dreaded Middle Passage, disembarking in North America, the Caribbean and South America. Only about 388,000 were transported directly from Africa to North America, as David Eltis, David Richardson and their colleagues have definitively established in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database.
2. Children typically comprised 26 percent or more of a slave ship’s human cargo, David Eltis writes in his “Brief Overview of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.” On average, the voyage took “just over two months,” and because of “filthy conditions,” “a range of epidemic pathogens” and “periodic breakouts of violent resistance,” “between 12 and 13 percent of those embarked did not survive the voyage.”
3. The importation of slaves into the United States was banned by Congress (under Constitutional command) in 1808, yet by 1860, the nation’s black population had jumped from 400,000 to 4.4 million, of which 3.9 million were slaves. The primary reason was natural increase, a distinguishing feature of American-style slavery. Between 1790 and 1860, reports Ronald Bailey, author of “The Other Side of Slavery: Black Labor, Cotton, and Textile Industrialization in Great Britain and the United States,” in the spring 1994 issue of Agricultural History, the U.S. slave population increased between 25 percent and 33 percent per year—an average of 28.7 percent over the period.
4. In the U.S., on average, a slave mother gave birth to between nine and 10 children, “twice as many in the West Indies,” according to the Gilder Institute of American History. Yet, in 1860, “less than 10 percent of the slave population was over 50 and only 3.5 percent was over 60.”
Etc. Etc. Etc.
About 120 military conflicts are listed on the horribly-slanted Wikipedia website. This list obviously doesn't include clandestine interventions, coups, and weapons-fueled mayhem that regularly occurs without our consent.
List of wars involving the United States
Here's what you might call a short summary of that list:
War is a Racket
(by Major General Smedley Butler)
Here's some more uncomfortable history.
How the Fascists Won World War II
(H. Bruce Franklin at Counter Punch.org)
"This is a mystery story. It revolves around a building that—as you will all come to agree—should have been bombed.
Before construction of the Pentagon during World War II, the two largest and most famous office buildings on planet Earth were the Empire State Building and the headquarters of German industrial behemoth IG Farben. Building these palaces of capitalism was a frantic race run in 1930-1931, at the opening of the Great Depression. Both edifices were designed to inspire awe, by “skyscraper” height in New York, by overwhelming grandiosity in Frankfurt. Unlike the original World Trade Center, both buildings still stand. There is no mystery about how the rugged steel frame of the Empire State Building survived the 1945 direct crash into its 79th floor by a twin-engine B-25 bomber, lost in fog over the city. How the IG Farben HQ survived World War II, however, is a mystery whose dark depths hold secret links between the past and the present."
"War profiteers are such a loathsome notion. The idea that while people are struggling for causes while others use the confused nature of military logistics to make dishonest money is appalling. The thought that these companies supported the most deadly regime in the world and went on to become fixtures in our daily lives is loathsome, even well over half a century later, yet it remains a bitter reality.”
“The United States has intervened hundreds of times in the affairs of Latin American countries—from spying and proxy wars to major military invasions. Here are the top 8.”
Vivid accounts of human suffering and the long-term detrimental effects of ongoing ecological tragedies have been recorded by historians, can be found in vast and varied personal records and official documents, and in pictures or on film. But history can show both good and evil. It can be a source of beauty as well as ugliness. In history we can discover viable methods to mitigate outcomes. Individuals and organizations currently exist that are trying to wrest control of the doomsday car from the oligarchs, they are trying to steer us in the right direction, away from the cliff. I've listed a couple below; there are many others. Find out what went on in the past, what's going on right now, and discover ways you can support those fighting for a better future.
"CODEPINK is a women-led grassroots organization working to end U.S. wars and militarism, support peace and human rights initiatives, and redirect our tax dollars into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming programs."
'We were ignored': anti-war protesters remember the Iraq war marches
The voices for reason after 9/11 were not simply marginalized but demonized outright. The sad thing is there are still so many who don't acknowledge, or refuse to see how right the dissenters were then and now.
Hear how right she was.
Read this and weep.
(The Agenda with Steve Paikin)
Recorded a year ago, worth watching today.
“By the time I went down there in the early 1990s, many people had died, cancer rates were skyrocketing according to several independent health evaluations, people were really hurting. There was zero regard for the lives of the local people by Texaco. I was a very young lawyer back in 1993 when I first went to Ecuador. It was like looking at an apocalyptic scene. There was oil on the roads. People were living in abject poverty. They had no shoes. They would get oil on their feet when they walked along the roads. The oil pollution had permeated every aspect of daily life. It was in the food supply. It was in the water supply. It was in the air. The average person there would get exposed multiple times a day to very harmful, cancer-causing toxins, with foreseeable results.”
“I, with other lawyers, filed a lawsuit in New York against Texaco. The reason we filed in New York was because Texaco’s headquarters were in New York in 1993. The decisions to pollute in Ecuador, to play God to the people of Ecuador, were made in New York. We sued in New York. Texaco tried to get the case back to Ecuador where they had never been held accountable, where they knew the indigenous peoples had no money or resources to find lawyers.”
BONUS VIDEO INTERVIEW
(On Contact with Chris Hedges - includes transcript)
"On the show this week, Chris Hedges talks to Steven Donziger about the reach of corporate power. Donziger battled corporate oil giant Chevron over environmental pollution and destruction in Ecuador and won a settlement of $9.5 billion for indigenous communities. Since then, Chevron has waged a campaign against Donziger to try and destroy him economically, professionally and personally. He is on trial in federal court in New York on September 9 for contempt charges, which could send him to jail for six months."