| On Contact with Chris Hedges |
28 Minutes Show | On the show, Chris Hedges discusses the building of climate fortresses with the author and journalist, Todd Miller.
Industrialized nations, among them the world’s largest polluters, are compounding one human-made crisis with another one. Rather than invest in technologies to end our dependence on fossil fuels they are investing billions to construct climate fortresses ringed by border walls. There are already more than 63 border walls, manned by tens of thousands of border guards. These nations, including the United States, are investing in technologies and equipment including robots, drones, surveillance cameras, iris recognition software, weapons, acoustic detection devices, and ready-to-eat meals to blockade and criminalize those fleeing war and the worsening climate emergency that is triggering famines, droughts, wildfires and declining crop yields. More than 44,000 people (a vast undercount, according to researchers of the International Organization on Migration) have died crossing borders from 2014 to 2020, in both the world's deserts or seas. And tens of thousands of others are incarcerated in a global network of more than 2,000 detention centers, while companies in the border industry anticipate more profitable contracts with the intensifying climate crisis. For four decades, with virtually no public debate, a handful of large corporations such as Northrop Grumman, Elbit Systems, General Atomics and Deloitte have driven up immigration enforcement budgets in the United States behind closed doors and beyond public scrutiny.
The year of sickening global psychosis ended with virologist and vaccine-uberspecialist Dr. Robert Malone truth-bombing the Internet with three hours of straight talk about the US health authorities’ campaign to destroy the lives of at least half a million US citizens (so far) and, leading by example, to harm multiples of that number of innocent people across all of Western Civilization. Podcaster Joe Rogan assisted skillfully in an interview that is finally rocking the world out of an epic consensus trance. (Listen.)
By health authorities I don’t just mean Dr. Anthony Fauci, the designated National SARS-CoV-2 Coordinator, or his accomplices in the Dept. of Health and Human Services agencies, CDC, NIH, NIAID, etc., but also the purblind US medical establishment of actual doctors in clinical practice, researchers, hospital administrators, and pharma executives who acted with a collective stupid malevolence not seen since the crematory-stuffers of the Nazi bureaucracy carried out their final solution. READ MORE
Buried deep within the massive infrastructure legislation recently signed by President Joe Biden is a little-noticed “safety” measure that will take effect in five years. Marketed to Congress as a benign tool to help prevent drunk driving, the measure will mandate that automobile manufacturers build into every car what amounts to a “vehicle kill switch.”
As has become standard for legislative mandates passed by Congress, this measure is disturbingly short on details. What we do know is that the “safety” device must “passively monitor the performance of a driver of a motor vehicle to accurately identify whether that driver may be impaired.”
Everything about this mandatory measure should set off red flares. READ MORE
Propaganda is most impactful when people don’t think it’s propaganda, and most decisive when it’s censorship you never knew happened. When we imagine that the U.S. military only occasionally and slightly influences US movies, we are extremely badly deceived. The actual impact is on thousands of movies made, and thousands of others never made. And television shows of every variety. The military guests and celebrations of the US military on game shows and cooking shows are no more spontaneous or civilian in origin than the ceremonies glorifying members of the US military at professional sports games — ceremonies that have been paid for and choreographed by US tax dollars and the US military. The “entertainment” content carefully shaped by the “entertainment” offices of the Pentagon and the CIA doesn’t just insidiously prepare people to react differently to news about war and peace in the world. To a huge extent it substitutes a different reality for people who learn very little actual news about the world at all. READ MORE
The U.S. delivered lethal weapons to Ukraine, it increased its support for 'rebels' in Syria. It attempted a regime change in Belarus and instigated a war between Azerbaijan and Armenia. The U.S. is now implementing measure 5 which aims to 'reduce Russia’s influence in Central Asia’.
Kazakhstan, Russia’s southern neighbor, was part of the Soviet Union. It is a mineral rich, landlocked country three times the size of Texas but with less than 20 million inhabitants. A significant part of its people are Russians and the Russian language is in common use. The country is an important link in the strategic Belt and Road Initiative between China and Europe. READ MORE
“Looking at the present, I see a more probable future: a new despotism creeping slowly across America. Faceless oligarchs sit at command posts of a corporate-government complex that has been slowly evolving over many decades. In efforts to enlarge their own powers and privileges, they are willing to have others suffer the intended or unintended consequences of their institutional or personal greed. For Americans, these consequences include chronic inflation, recurring recession, open and hidden unemployment, the poisoning of air, water, soil and bodies, and, more important, the subversion of our constitution.”—Bertram Gross, Friendly Fascism: The New Face of Power in America
Despotism has become our new normal. READ MORE
Rebels in France have declared war on the infrastructure of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
An ever-expanding resistance movement has been sabotaging the widely-hated 5G network.
Says a three-part report on the Reporterre website: “Relay antennae are being torched, fibre-optic cables cut, pylons unbolted. During the night, people burn construction machinery, attack masts with disc cutters or destroy electrical equipment with sledgehammers”.
Vehicles belonging to telecommunications businesses have also been set on fire in at least 140 attacks since the start of the Covid repression, with the cost to the industry running into tens of millions of euros.
sab mapSays the report: “This is a movement which is advancing underground, out of the spotlight, a deep revolt spreading across France”. READ MORE
In a fervor of cross-partisan struggle and in pursuit of a bombshell, the New York Times was forced to publish hundreds of secret Pentagon records on innocent civilians that died due to reckless airstrikes conducted by the US military in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. Flawed and handicapped US intelligence is a notion that the rest of the world is now getting used and alludes to when speaking about the intelligence agencies of the most “democratic” but also the most aggressive nation in the world.
The never seen before documents, obtained by the newspaper, shows (other than deeply flawed intelligence), how the rushed and often imprecise targeting by warplanes or drones in West Asia occurred during the attacks and the murder of thousands of innocent civilians, many of them children. More than 1,300 secret reports are in the hands of the paper (more than 5,400 pages in total) and the timeframe dates between September 2014 to January 2018. READ MORE
America’s military power is a sham. With talk about fighting ground wars against Iran or Russia, only those who really know America’s military and its current condition can understand the insanity of these scenarios.
I served in America’s military, the Marine Corps, in Vietnam. Pay was typically 30% of minimum wage and less than 20% of my actual pre-service pay. Money was taken out of $60 dollars a month to pay for uniforms, military looking buttons and “doodads” and for required and needed hygiene products.
No attempt was made to justify the war itself. You see, even the Marine Corps got draftees and those who volunteered were often faced with the draft and chose service because of a number of factors:
- Family members who served in World War II or Korea
- Confusion brought on by a lifetime of phony patriotism sold through Hollywood
No one serving in combat units in Vietnam cared about who won the war and most who served in real combat were under 20 years old and looked on the US military as an adversary, an enemy.
This is the simple truth of it. READ MORE
WATCH: Craig Murray, Roger Waters & Randy Credico on Julian Assange, Torture, the Ruling Class & Censorship
Weeks after being released from Saughton Prison in Edinburgh, former British diplomat Craig Murray joined Roger Waters and comedian Randy Credico.
Credico’s show, Live on the Fly/Assange: Countdown to Freedom, on WBAI radio in New York aired on Friday night. Also discussed is the psychology of the ruling class, censorship on the internet, slavery, John Stuart Mill, Prince Andrew, George V, Thomas Carlyle’s kindling and the public’s growing acceptance of war crimes and torture.
Nick Turse reports on the proliferation of U.S. military targets since U.S. Congress gave successive presidents an essentially free hand to make war around the world.
It began more than two decades ago. On Sept. 20, 2001, President George W. Bush declared a “war on terror” and told a joint session of Congress (and the American people) that “the course of this conflict is not known, yet its outcome is certain.”
If he meant a 20-year slide to defeat in Afghanistan, a proliferation of militant groups across the Greater Middle East and Africa, and a never-ending, world-spanning war that, at a minimum, has killed about 300 times the number of people murdered in America on 9/11, then give him credit. He was absolutely right. READ MORE
When Pompey the Great made his triumphant return to Rome in 61 BCE from his stunning conquests in the East, a spectacular ceremony was planned. Pageantry on a grandiose scale was designed both to satisfy his outsized ego and to display superior status in his rivalry with Julius Caesar.
The centerpiece was to be a towering throne where a regally costumed Pompey would pass through a Victory arch installed for the occasion. A small problem arose, though, when a rehearsal showed that the throne was 4 feet taller than the height of the arch. READ MORE
The Biden administration has released a plan to accelerate removal of lead water pipes and lead paint from U.S. homes. As a geochemist and environmental health researcher who has studied the heartbreaking impacts of lead poisoning in children for decades, I am happy to see high-level attention paid to this silent killer, which disproportionately affects poor communities of color.
Childhood lead poisoning has declined significantly in the U.S. over the past 50 years. That’s largely due to the elimination of leaded gasoline in the 1980s and the banning of most lead-based paints. READ MORE
Vladimir Putin was “defiant” during his end-of-year press conference last Thursday. The Russian president, who has held these impressive question-and-answer events for the past 20 years, was “bellicose.” He was “threatening.” So we read in the all-the-same-always American press.
Here’s a gem from one Mary Ilyushina, a CBS News correspondent in Moscow: Putin is worried about the military activities of NATO members in Ukraine, she tells us, “you know, on Russia’s doorstep, which is what Putin believes Ukraine is.” READ MORE
There is a hill in Dover, England, that winds down from the main road through housing estates, past schools and to the town center and port. On the hill, somewhere just before Christ Church secondary school, is a section of road characterized by mini-roundabouts, each of them painted with the slightly fading white and red of the St. George cross.
At the bottom of the hill, inside Dover’s shipping port, a red line on the floor designates the bicycle check-in route. The line weaves between trucking lanes and the port reception building, and approaches the small passport control booth, where five or six armed border officers are busy eating their breakfast. READ MORE
2021 is the 25th year in a row in which Greenland’s ice sheet lost more mass during the course of the melting season than it gained during the winter.”
That’s according to the latest report from Polar Portal, a website featuring observations from Danish research institutions that monitor the Greenland Ice Sheet and the sea ice in the Arctic.
The report explains that while “the early part of the summer was cold and wet with unusually heavy and late snowfall in June, which delayed the onset of the melting season,” July saw a heatwave that “led to a considerable loss of ice.” READ MORE
In the late hours of January 6, after more than two months on strike, the Student Workers of Columbia (SWC-UAW) reached a tentative agreement for their union’s first contract with Columbia University.
Contract wins include significant raises for workers, bringing annual compensation for those on 9-month appointments to just over $40,000 and raising the minimum wage for hourly workers from $15 to $21. SWC members also won dental insurance, childcare stipends, and an emergency healthcare fund available to all union members. They also won full recognition of all student workers as part of the bargaining unit and provisions for neutral arbitration of harassment and bullying cases. Full details have yet to be released to the public. READ MORE
More than 20 states across the U.S. increased their minimum wages on the first day of 2022, raises that called additional attention to the fact that the federal wage floor remains at $7.25 an hour — where it has been stuck for more than a decade.
In an analysis published Thursday, David Cooper, Krista Faries, and Sebastian Martinez Hickey of the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) observed that the January 1 wage hikes in 21 states “range from a $0.22 inflation adjustment in Michigan to a $1.50 per hour raise in Virginia, the equivalent of an annual increase ranging from $458 to $3,120 for a full-time, full-year minimum wage worker.” READ MORE
**Spoiler alert.** "Don't Look Up" is a flawed movie about everything my climate colleagues and I hate about the world, and then the world ENDS.
On cue, pundits from all corners showed up in near-perfect embodiment of the movie's various villainous stereotypes and began their pecking. It's inaccurate! It's simplistic! It's despairing! All true. (It's also/ˈsaˌtī(ə)r/.)
I come from a team of climate scientists, analysts and advocates. For us, "Don't Look Up" was both like pulling teeth to watch and air-punchingly validating. We felt desolate and seen. (JLaw, if you're listening, this 90% female team is here for Kate Dibiasky.) We saw the futility of our work reflected, and its necessity. We feel hopeful some people can be moved to action. And more than ever we want to gnaw the bones of the obstructionists. (Legal says to be clear that's humor.) So basically, another day at the office. READ MORE
Last year saw record-breaking high temperatures recorded at more than 400 weather stations around the world, with meteorologists voicing alarm over what climate scientists say is the shape of things to come, according to a report published Friday.
The Guardian reports that 10 countries—Canada, Dominica, Italy, Morocco, Oman, Taiwan, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States—set or matched their national monthly high temperature records last year.
"Climate change is real and it's now," tweeted Catherine McKenna, founder of Climate and Nature Solutions and a former Canadian environment and climate change minister.
McKenna noted the numerous Canadian temperature records that were shattered last year, including in Lytton, British Columbia, where the mercury soared to 49.6°C, or 121.3°F, in late June. READ MORE
Let’s stipulate for the moment that The United States of America is a representative democracy and not, like many on the left believe, an oligarchy or a plutocracy.
The European think tank International IDEA certainly thinks so. International IDEA recently labeled the U.S. a “backsliding democracy.” This designation is in line with what most Americans believe—that American democracy is “in crisis and at risk of failing.” READ MORE
On January 10, American and Russian officials will meet to discuss Putin’s proposal on mutual security guarantees. Western media and political analysts have cast Putin’s demands that NATO not expand further east to Ukraine and that NATO not establish military bases in former Soviet states nor use them to carry out military activity as bold and impossible.
Here are six crucial pieces of background that the western media will not tell you. READ MORE
Farmerless farms manned by driverless machines, monitored by drones and doused with chemicals to produce commodity crops from patented genetically engineered seeds for industrial ‘biomatter’ to be processed and constituted into something resembling food. Data platforms, private equity firms, e-commerce giants and AI-controlled farming systems.
This is the future that big agritech and agribusiness envisage: a future of ‘data-driven’ and ‘climate-friendly’ agriculture that they say is essential if we are to feed a growing global population. READ MORE
Let me start 2022 by heading back — way, way back — for a moment.
It’s easy to forget just how long this world has been a dangerous place for human beings. I thought about this recently when I stumbled upon a little memoir my Aunt Hilda scrawled, decades ago, in a small notebook. In it, she commented in passing: “I was graduated during that horrible flu epidemic of 1919 and got it.” Badly enough, it turned out, to mess up her entry into high school. She says little more about it.
Still, I was shocked. In all the years when my father and his sister were alive and, from time to time, talked about the past, never had they (or my mother, for that matter) mentioned the disastrous “Spanish Flu” pandemic of 1918-1920. I hadn’t the slightest idea that anyone in my family had been affected by it. READ MORE
Awards and honours bestowed by States or private committees, republican or monarchical, are bound to be corrupted by considerations of hypocrisy, racketeering and general, chummy disposition. From the Nobel Peace Prize to the range of eccentric and esoteric orders bestowed each year in Britain by Her Majesty, diddling and manipulating is never far behind. You are bestowed such things as a reminder of your worth to the establishment rather than your unique contribution to the good quotient of humanity. Flip many a peace prize over and you are bound to find the smouldering remains of a war criminal’s legacy. READ MORE
For decades now, federal government and their cohorts in law enforcement have been carrying out theft of the citizenry on a massive scale. We’re not talking about taxes, but an insidious power known as Civil Asset Forfeiture (CAF).
The 1980s’-era laws were designed to drain resources from powerful criminal organizations, but CAF has become a tool for law enforcement agencies across the U.S. to steal money and property from countless innocent people.
No criminal charge is required for this confiscation, resulting in easy inflows of cash for law enforcement departments and the proliferation of abuse. This phenomenon is known as “policing for profit.” READ MORE
NOAA's September 2021 global mean methane reading is 1900.5 parts per billion (ppb), which is 15.8 ppb higher than the reading for September 2020. By comparison, NOAA's annual global mean methane increase for 2020 of 15.74 ppb was the highest on record.
World Powers Denounce
Nuclear War While Modernizing Weapons
Jesse Ventura and Brigida Santos discuss nuclear non-proliferation among five world powers, and the latest in the Jeffrey Epstein saga including Ghislaine Maxwell's conviction, Prince Andrew's legal woes, and Alan Dershowitz's controversial appearance on BBC World News. Veteran and Author, Jerad W. Alexander talks about his experience in fighting America's forever wars.
Not enough to choose from this week? Use the Sources page to access many of the best independent news websites. These articles posts are just some of my favorite choices. There is plenty more where they came from!
From the Russian perspective, the situation is clear: “The Russian side came here [to Geneva] with a clear position that contains a number of elements that, to my mind, are understandable and have been so clearly formulated—including at a high level—that deviating from our approaches simply is not possible,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the press after a pre-meeting dinner on Sunday hosted by U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, who is leading the U.S. delegation.
Ryabkov was referring Russian President Vladimir Putin’s demands to U.S. President Joe Biden in early December regarding Russian security guarantees, which were then laid out by Moscow in detail in the form of two draft treaties, one a Russian-U.S. security treaty, the other a security agreement between Russia and NATO. READ MORE
By the late 7th century BC, ancient Greek civilization had already reached a critical breaking point.
This was still in the ‘archaic period’ of Ancient Greece, centuries before the classical ‘Golden Age’ and famous historical figures like Socrates, Herodotus, Archimedes, and Pericles.
Yet at this early stage in Greek history, Athens was on the verge of destroying itself.
A few bad harvests had brought the city-state to the brink of civil war. The working class was heavily indebted and going without food. The wealthy were battling against rising crime rates and threats to their properties.
Athens was literally lawless at the time; most disputes were settled through violent retaliation, resulting in endless sworn blood feuds between opposing families, and peasants were routinely pressed into slavery. READ MORE
Displays number of deaths and disabilities associated with each batch/lot number = indication of relative toxicity of one batch/lot compared to another
No one currently knows the reason why some batches/lots are associated with excessive deaths, disabilities and adverse reactions (up to 50 x). Until we do know, it is best to be cautious
[“Batch-code” = “Lot Number” = the number they write on your vaccination card.]
Check out your batch code (lot number) READ MORE
An American Russia expert recently observed that diplomacy is not a reward for good behavior. Rather diplomacy is a necessary activity required for averting war. Skilled diplomacy requires one to understand the perceived interests of the other side and what shapes those perceptions. This helps both sides to arrive at a mutually agreeable resolution that takes into account the most serious concerns of each. The Biden administration would be wise to give a fair hearing to the security concerns of the world’s other nuclear superpower at the upcoming meeting with Russia on January 10th in order to avert unnecessary escalation in Eastern Europe.
As Putin gets further into what could be his final term as president, he has decided to try to get a meaningful resolution to one of his top priorities: ensuring Russia’s national security. If he can successfully resolve this issue, he may feel freer to open up the purse strings and invest more in his other top priority: raising Russia’s living standards, which have fallen behind as a result of the austerity that has been imposed as the Russian government has focused on macroeconomic stability to make the economy “sanction-proof.” READ MORE
As the Czech Republic’s national elections approached in October, Andrej Babis seemed on track to win another term as the country’s prime minister. Polls showed his centrist party, ANO, leading all opponents.
Then on Oct. 3, one week before the first vote, the Pandora Papers investigation revealed that Babis — a populist who has thundered against the corruption of political and economic elites — used shell companies in tax havens to buy a chateau on the French Riviera. He did not disclose the chateau or companies, as required by Czech law. One media poll suggested 8% of his party’s supporters switched their votes as a result of the disclosures by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and its media partners.
When the votes were tallied, Babis and his party finished second, allowing a coalition of other parties to form a new government.
The fall of the Czech billionaire leader is just one of the headline-making results of the Pandora Papers investigation, the largest journalism partnership in history, which drew on the largest leak ever of confidential offshore financial documents. READ MORE
Nils Melzer, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture, is one of the very few establishment figures to denounce the judicial lynching of Julian Assange. Melzer's integrity and courage, for which he has been mercilessly attacked, stand in stark contrast to the widespread complicity of many human rights and press organizations, including PEN America, which has become a de facto subsidiary of the Democratic National Committee.
Those in power, as Noam Chomsky points out, divide the world into "worthy" and "unworthy" victims. They weep crocodile tears over the plight of Uyghur Muslims persecuted in China while demonizing and slaughtering Muslims in the Middle East. They decry press censorship in hostile states and collude with the press censorship and algorithms emanating from Silicon Valley in the United States. It is an old and insidious game, one practiced not to promote human rights or press freedom but to envelop these courtiers to power in a sanctimonious and cloying self-righteousness. READ MORE