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“It’s not hard to bring out the worst in large numbers of citizens by constantly pressing their buttons; fear, hate, greed, false pride and blind loyalty are the main emotions used to manipulate people so much these last years. Reversing this process and empowering people through courage, love, generosity, humility and critical thinking is harder but it can and must be done.” -- Coleen Rowley for RootsAction; FBI whistle blower

What is what and who is who and who cares what if who is not, said the reflection to the shadow.



Ukraine
Putin - you don't deserve the title Mr - just one civilian death as a result of your armed invasion of Ukraine makes you without doubt a murderer and a war criminal.
Suck on that asshole.

_____________

Vladimir Putin,
You invade a peaceful sovereign country with an army, shell, bomb and use illegal weaponry on cities. You have declared war, no-one else.

You feed riduculous lies to the Russian people through your state-owned propaganda machine.

You are the propagandist.

You accuse Western nations of 'banditry' and then state that those countries imposing sanctions against Russia have 'declared war' on Russia.

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Vladimir Putin - YOU are the bandit, the criminal, the warmonger, a murderer.

You threaten people with 15 years in jail for spreading 'fake' news of the war - anything, that is, that is outside of your myopic vision.

Vladimir Putin - you are now the 2022 Hitler of Russia.

To the people of Russia - you now have an opportunity through your public rejection of Russia's barbaric war in Ukraine to oust your dictatorial leaders and their minions who have held the Russian people in bondage for decades.

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Julian Assange and the war against freedom
There is and never was anything illegal in the case of Julian Assange other than the continued and deplorable actions of dark elements within the US administration - actions which in any other instance would have seen the case thrown out - thrown out due to actions by these dark elements which themselves are outside of and shun both US and international law.
  Should the UK grant the US the Assange extradition request, then the UK administration and justice system will themselves become accomplices of those dark elements.
  One of the underlying tenets, or principles of modern journalism is to examine and report to the public any underhand, illegal or dubious activities of the powerful, including those in government.
  The current US witch hunt against Assange is the greatest threat to and assault upon journalism and the reporting of the truth in history.

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Covid-19 and the future
Social and domestic life in most of the developed and sheltered countries of our world has been torn apart by the covid-19 disease and the lock down measures taken by governments.
 
The wealth of a nation depends on the health and well being of its people and not on their enslavement by capitalism and its goals.
  The coronavirus tragedy unfolding in the US, which does not have a free national health service, will bear sad testimony to that.
  The same scenario is also unfolding in the UK, which once had one of the best free national health services in the world but which has been drastically under resourced by successive governments over the past decade and more.
  In the less developed and less sheltered countries the suffering caused in the main by other people continues unabated - except those suffering must now also face a pandemic.
  Humanity is truly at a crisis crossroads with few, if any, avenues of escape.
  We are not a pleasant species to ourselves when we find ourselves feeling backed into a corner, as human history undeniably shows.
  The only way out of the mess is for us all to work together as a cohesive species and try to forge a true global balance between nature and the survival of civilisation.
  At this present time such a reality appears further away than the ship smoke disappearing below the far horizon.
  Can we pull the ship closer?

_____________

Julian Assange — a warning
The illegal seizure and arrest of Julian Assange should serve as a warning of just how corrupt the involved governments and their minions have become.
  One of the first tricks of dirty governing when faced with any embarrassing exposure of underhand activity is to attempt to discredit and assasinate the character of those releasing the information. History bears testimony to such acts.
  One of the accusations amongst many used to justify the seizure and arrest of Assange was that he used Wikileaks to “meddle” in the internal affairs of states.
  Given that such is exactly what the United States and United Kingdom has persistently done over the past 100 years, such an accusation can only be described as blatant, unashamed hypocrisy. History will reveal such human dregs for the garbage they truly are.
  Dark days indeed lie ahead.


 

Contributed opinion items appear below


OMG, War Is Kind of Horrible       printable version
14 Mar 2022: posted by the editor - Features, International

By David Swanson

For decades, the U.S. public seemed largely indifferent to most of the horrible suffering of war. The corporate media outlets mostly avoided it, made war look like a video game, occasionally mentioned suffering U.S. troops, and once in a blue moon touched on the deaths of a handful of local civilians as if their killing were some sort of aberration.

The U.S. public funded and either cheered for or tolerated years and years of bloody wars, and came out managing to believe falsely that a large percentage of war deaths are of troops, that a large percentage of war deaths in U.S. wars are U.S. troops, that wars happen in a mysterious place called a "battlefield," and that with rare exceptions the people killed by U.S. troops are people who need killing exactly like those given death sentences in U.S. courts (except for the ones later exonerated).

For decades, wise and strategic peace advocates counseled against bothering to mention the millions of men, women, and children slaughtered, wounded, made homeless, terrified, traumatized, poisoned, or starved by U.S. wars. Nobody would care about them, we were told, so mentioning them wouldn't actually help them. It would be smarter to mention only U.S. troops, even if it perpetuated the false belief that the wars were not one-sided genocidal slaughters. It would be even smarter, we were told, to focus on the financial costs of the wars, even though the U.S. government simply invents how ever much money it wants for more wars. Money, we were told, is something that people can care about.

Of course, the obvious problem wasn't what we talked about, but that we weren't allowed on television. Of course, the average U.S. resident is not a heartless sociopath. Of course, people care all the time about distant and different human beings. When hurricane victims are presented in the media as worthy, people donate. When a famine is blamed on nature, the money gushes forth. When cancer is depicted as arising from a pristine, unsullied environment, I just dare you to find a neighborhood that won't run a marathon to cure it. So, in theory, I always believed that people in the United States could in fact care about war victims. Just as they could declare "We Are All French" when a bomb went off in France, they could in theory declare "We Are All Yemeni" when the U.S. and Saudi militaries terrorize Yemeni children, or announce "We Are All Afghans" when Joe Biden steals billions of dollars needed for basic survival.

You'll have spotted the actual problem, of course. There's no such thing as being terrorized by the U.S. military or a U.S. president stealing from foreigners. Just about nobody, in fact, even knows what colors the Yemeni flag is - much less have they pasted them up everywhere. In the U.S. media those things do not exist. But caring about war victims does exist. I distinctly remember how much people cared about fictional infants removed from incubators to get the first gulf war going, or the impact had by videos of individual victims of ISIS. "Rwanda" was a nonsensical argument for a war on Libya precisely because people are understood to care about war victims when needed to. Syrians have been worthy war victims when the wrong side has been falsely accused of using the wrong kind of weapon. Caring about war victims was always a possibility, and now it has burst forth onto central stage. We now see, directed toward Ukrainians, the concern and empathy that were always possible for little children and grandmothers murdered by war in Iraq or dozens of other countries.

For those of us whose opposition to war was always principally driven by concern for its direct victims - augmented by concern for the victims of diverting so many resources into war instead of into useful things - this is an opportunity to speak honestly. Speaking honestly is always more persuasive than speaking manipulatively. Unless you've decided to cheer for Russian mass-murder, here is a chance to say to the media-consuming public: YES! YES! We are with you! War is horrendous! War is immoral! There is nothing worse than war! We must abolish this barbarism! We must abolish it no matter who does it or why. And we'll only do that if we learn the power of nonviolent action to resist it.

Millions of Russians and non-Russians believe that Russia is acting defensively and that whatever it does is justified. Millions of Ukrainians and non-Ukrainians believe that whatever it does is defensive and justified. The arguments are wildly different, and we need not dignify the idiocy of objecting to equating them. There is nothing equal or even measurable about human actions. But Russia had nonviolent alternatives to resist NATO expansion and chose violence. Ukraine had nonviolent alternatives to resist Russian invasion, and U.S. televisions are not telling us to what extent Ukrainians have in fact chosen, with little support or organization, to attempt them.

If we all survive this crisis, the one lesson we need to take away from it is that human beings live under those fantastic streaks of light that television talking heads ooh and aah over. And if those human beings don't seem to matter much, we can just try thinking of them as if they were Ukrainians. Then we can work on comprehending that the enemy is not the people in whose names the bombs fall. The enemy is war.

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r

Who overcomes by force, hath overcome but half his foe.”
John Milton

                                                     Origins of Poverty
When man came on earth he did not live in a society or hierarchy nor was he endowed with poverty. Good health, longevity, natural cheerfulness were his own even as he found himself amidst plenty. Like other species he lived or perished as the external resources permitted but he lived or perished as a group. Only when the society organised itself into a hierarchy, it was possible for one layer to exist while another persisted during times of scarcity. Organised ways of living, knowledge of all descriptions, systems created for comfort etc. interfered with the natural living of MAN in hundreds of ways. With the passing of time these stratifications of society come to stay and even create a psychology by which even the victim takes his victimization for granted. No question arises in his mind. ...

Had not the society organised itself in such a way that segments of it are protected and other segments were defenseless, MAN would have remained as MAN and would not have been bifurcated into poor and rich.

r

Reality Page | Local comment

r

“Man was always destroying things, and beautiful things.
At the time they wouldn’t seem beautiful.
It was only afterwards that men felt pity for the things their hands had destroyed.”

  Walter Macken — The Scorching Wind

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Direct Input Headlines
Idiot Anti-Nukers Will Only Have Seconds to Say They Were Right - 27 Apr 2022 filed by the editor - Features, International
Through the lens . . . - 20 Apr 2022 filed by the editor - Opinion
OMG, War Is Kind of Horrible - 14 Mar 2022 filed by the editor - Features, International
Russian and Ukraine - 03 Mar 2022 filed by the editor - Opinion
Today's comment - 22 Feb 2022 filed by the editor - Opinion
German Court to Rule on UK Spycop's Operations - 26 Jan 2022 filed by the editor - Human Rights, Europe, European Union, United Kingdom, Germany
Escalating Crisis in Ukraine Poses an Imminent Threat to World Peace - 03 Jan 2022 filed by the editor - International, World News
Live entertainment sector reopening - 30 Jul 2021 filed by the editor - Events, Entertainment, Music, Arts, Ireland
Israel, the world, and true justice - 22 Jul 2021 filed by the editor - Opinion
Press media watchdog asks ICC to investigate Israeli war crimes - 21 May 2021 filed by the editor - Journalism, International
When algorithms come for journalists - 22 Feb 2021 filed by the editor - Journalism
Leading digital players must adhere to democratic obligations - 15 Jan 2021 filed by the editor - Internet news
Restoring the Threat of Impeachment for Future Office Holders - 10 Jan 2021 filed by the editor - General, Features, United States
RSF condemns 'unnecessarily cruel' decision to keep Julian Assange detained - 06 Jan 2021 filed by the editor - General, Human Rights, Journalism, International, United States, United Kingdom


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