This is the first in what I plan to be a series of articles examining the current world situation which appears to be increasingly headed to another major economic crisis and the possibility of a major world conflict. Either of these events will undoubtedly devastate the lives and livelihoods of billions of ordinary people across the planet. This comes at a critical time in history, when in the face of a climate crisis and ever more voracious exploitation it seems that corporate profits and governmental paralysis are dooming many species to extinction—and perhaps the humanity itself. Continue reading “Nations Under Attack (Part 1): In the Empire’s Gunsights”
The idea that much of the mainstream media in the USA is now controlled and shaped by some six corporations is not new. For instance, a Business Insider blog post These 6 Corporations Control 90% Of The Media In America by Ashley Lutz dated Jun. 14, 2012 shows a popular infographic/meme from the Frugal Dad weblog. Continue reading “Shaping the News: Propaganda, Media Ownership and Influence Networks”
Part I of this article sets out the background to the discourses surrounding the terms “Conspiracy Theorist” and “Truther” as rhetorical devices to negatively position narratives that expose and oppose official narratives about egregious governmental conspiracies and activities. The article then looked at the works of Zbigniew Brzezinski as a flawed but active roadmap for a US based global hegemony as a conspiracy to dominate and reshape the world. Continue reading “A Conspiracy Theory, Part II”
The thinking for this post originated in a Twitter exchange where I posted a link to an article at Global Research as a response to a New Zealand academic’s tweet about Trump describing Haiti as a “shit hole.” My point was to draw attention to the way the Clinton’s are reported to have extensively abused that country since the earthquake well in advance of Trump’s current attack on the island nation.
When this academic, whose Twitter profile describes him as a Director, Centre for Strategic Studies at an Australasian university, chose to respond to the link in terms of the Conspiracy Theorist / Truther discourse based merely on the source url (globalresearch.ca), it struck me as an intellectually lazy response from an academic and said so. He then responded with a moon landing conspiracy video. Continue reading “A Conspiracy Theory, Part I”
Being a New Zealander, the role of women as equal and active participants in civic affairs is not a unsurprising to me—New Zealand was the first country in the world where women achieved universal suffrage (in 1893). Only twenty years ago, New Zealand was the first country in the world to have the five highest offices of power simultaneously held by women, with the Sovereign Queen Elizabeth II of New Zealand, Governor-General Silvia Cartwright, Prime Minister Helen Clark, Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives Margaret Wilson and Chief Justice Sian Elias. In 2017, the country has just elected the dynamic and articulate 37 year old Jacinda Ardern as its third female Prime Minister.
Against this background, it is not a huge shock to me that the advance of women in the public sphere has been a notable aspect of the modern international resistance to the chaos that has been unleashed upon the world in the 21st Century. Rather, I find it encouraging that so many strong, highly motivated women seem to be taking a lead in exposing the corruption and moral bankruptcy of the political and corporate so-called “leaders” that front the criminal elites. Elites, who for their own greed and lust for power, have taken the world into seemingly endless wars, poverty and starvation for millions, a global environmental catastrophe and, perhaps even, our ultimate extinction as a species.
So, I would like to tell you about six women who have been an inspiration to me in my own personal journey to make sense of what is happening around us, who is responsible for the situation in which we find ourselves and, just perhaps, what we can do about it. Continue reading “Six women challenging the world order right now”
As an atheist the Islam question, the role of Islamic militants and the spread of Islamic practice through migration are thorny questions for me. The last thing I am keen to see is a resurgence of religiosity of any stripe in our society and consequent infestation of the legal system with religiously inspired laws. Frankly, we have spent the last 200 hundred years getting rid of the Christian influence and it would be a shame to see all of that lost though a similar set of laws from 14th century Islamic culture being imported in its place.
That said, religion is, and always has been, a tool of the powerful to corral and control the masses. It is used to separate people from each other and provide the ideological mechanisms necessary to justify a small group retaining power over a larger majority, from whom they can extract wealth and use to expand their operations to conquer and take over the resources of neighbouring / competing elites (in country and internationally). Continue reading “Are Muslims and Islam the problem?”
Callous inhumanity of a magnitude that shocks to the core of one’s being is my over-riding impression after reading Douglas Valentine’s follow-up to his 1990 book The Phoenix Program which documented the secret war and tactics used by the CIA against the civilian population during the Vietnam war. Valentine’s work on the CIA’s Phoenix program, which was informed by his inside interviews with numerous CIA agents and others associated with the agency, forms a large part of the background to this book. It does not matter if you have not read the earlier work, this latest book provides sufficient detail to give a strong sense of the systematic way the CIA went about establishing an all encompassing terror program aimed at pacifying the civilian population of Vietnam using psychological operations (psyops), kidnapping, brainwashing, blackmail, torture and mass murder.
I am not sure how I missed it, but although Naomi Klein’s third book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, was published in September 2007, it was not until eight years later that I finally came across it. By that time, Naomi had moved on to considering how responses to climate change were impacted by economic and political forces, including many of the forces that were the subject of her earlier work. This latter work resulted in her 2014 book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate.
When I did finally come across The Shock Doctrine in early 2015, it was a complete revelation to me as a documentation of how an extreme economic and political ideology has been spread throughout the world. It turns out that many things I had supposed to be normal and obvious about how the world is ordered have been selected and shaped to appear so and my conceptions of fairly recent historical events were revealed to be woefully incomplete as far as how the world has been reshaped by US centred interests during the last 60 years. Continue reading “Awakenings: The Shock Doctrine”