The dark times that haunt the current age are epitomized by the monsters that have come to rule the United States and who now dominate the major political parties and other commanding political and economic institutions. Their nightmarish reign of misery, violence, and disposability is also evident in their dominance of a formative culture and its attendant cultural apparatuses that produce a vast machinery of manufactured consent. This is a social formation that extends from the mainstream broadcast media and Internet to a print culture, all of which embrace the spectacle of violence, legitimate opinions over facts, and revel in a celebrity and consumer culture of ignorance and theatrics. Under the reign of this normalized ideological architecture of alleged commonsense, literacy is now regarded with disdain, words are reduced to data, and science is confused with pseudo-science. Thinking is now regarded as an act of stupidity, and ignorance a virtue. All traces of critical thought appear only at the margins of the culture as ignorance becomes the primary organizing principle of American society. For instance, two thirds of the American public believe that creationism should be taught in schools and most of the Republic Party in Congress do not believe that
“Our data show what needs to be done to improve the level and distribution of happiness” globally, the authors of World Happiness Report 2016 argue ambitiously in their latest assessment across nations and continents. “Increasingly, happiness is considered to be the proper measure of social progress and the goal of public policy.” With Ministries of Happiness springing up in Venezuela, Ecuador, Bhutan, and the United Arab Emirates (sometimes to mockery, as protesters in Venezuela indicated they would prefer a functioning Ministry of Justice), measures of happiness increasingly are being used to assess individual and social well-being, in ways that appear more comprehensive and on-the-ground than are separate assessments of income, health, education, good government, and social context. At the same time, inequality between countries has sharply increased over the past 200 years; according to the Guardian newspaper, global inequality is now “worse than at any time since the 19th century.” Hence perhaps the mockery—the impression that a Ministry of Happiness might be more Orwellian than practical or useful. Oxfam’s latest figures show that the wealthiest “1% now have more wealth than the rest of the world’s population combined.” Read
Undoubtedly, for nearly two decades, the most dangerous place on Earth has been the Indian-Pakistani border in Kashmir. It’s possible that a small spark from artillery and rocket exchanges across that border might — given the known military doctrines of the two nuclear-armed neighbors — lead inexorably to an all-out nuclear conflagration. In that case the result would be catastrophic. Besides causing the deaths of millions of Indians and Pakistanis, such a war might bring on “nuclear winter” on a planetary scale, leading to levels of suffering and death that would be beyond our comprehension. Alarmingly, the nuclear competition between India and Pakistan has now entered a spine-chilling phase. That danger stems from Islamabad’s decision to deploy low-yield tactical nuclear arms at its forward operating military bases along its entire frontier with India to deter possible aggression by tank-led invading forces. Most ominously, the decision to fire such a nuclear-armed missile with a range of 35 to 60 miles is to rest with local commanders. This is a perilous departure from the universal practice of investing such authority in the highest official of the nation. Such a situation has no parallel in the Washington-Moscow nuclear arms race of the Cold War era.
Born in the 1940’s We Remember, with Meria and Jim Fetzer. Brussels attack, Was it staged? Sandy Hook, Boston, 11-22-63; Trump & Hillary’s speeches at AIPAC; Bernie (the only Jew) didn’t attend; Trump blamed Muslims for 9/11 instead of Israel,MOSSAD,CIA etc; Is the EU at war now? will this speech strengthen Trump? blaming Iran; Cuba & Obama; corporate takeover; Chris Matthews on JFK & Cuba;attacks on Jim; suing the media for lies about Sandy Hook; 9/11 Planes? Jeff Bauman? Boston lies; Ted Cruz;Is Bernie the second coming? Trump & Hillary vs.U.N/Iran/Palestinians; Israel the apartheid state home of false flags;stabbing Obama in the back and lots more.
A majority of Americans—54 percent—oppose nuclear energy, a Gallup poll released Friday found. It marks the first time a majority in the country has felt this way about nuclear energy providing electricity since Gallup began asking the question in 1994. Forty-four percent said they are still in support of it. The new results show a major shift from responses last year, when just 43 percent expressed opposition to nuclear energy and support stood at 51 percent. Republican support, in particular, dropped steeply from 2015. Fifty-three percent now say they are in favor of nuclear energy, compared to 68 percent last year. Thirty-four percent of Democrats are in favor of nuclear energy, an 8-point drop from last year. Even in 2012, the first time Gallup asked the question after the Fukushima disaster, 57 percent of Americans were still in favor of nuclear energy. Read
With foresight and analysis, this incisive article written more than three years ago in January 2013 provides an understanding of unfolding events in Syria. Since the kindling of the conflict inside Syria in 2011, it was recognized, by friend and foe alike, that the events in that country were tied to a game plan that ultimately targets Iran, Syria’s number one ally.  De-linking Syria from Iran and unhinging the Resistance Bloc that Damascus and Tehran have formed has been one of the objectives of the foreign-supported anti-government militias inside Syria. Such a schism between Damascus and Tehran would change the Middle East’s strategic balance in favour of the US and Israel. If this cannot be accomplished, however, then crippling Syria to effectively prevent it from providing Iran any form of diplomatic, political, economic, and military support in the face of common threats has been a primary objective. Preventing any continued cooperation between the two republics has been a strategic goal. This includes preventing the Iran-Iraq-Syria energy terminal from being built and ending the military pact between the two partners. Read
The game is rigged — you know it, I know it and so does a growing number of Americans know it. A recent Gallup poll found that in 2014 three in four Americans (75%) acknowledged corruption was widespread throughout the U.S. government. More revealing, it noted that over the last decade this perception increased; in 2007 and 2009, it was at two in three Americans, 67 percent and 66 percent, respectively. The belief that the game is rigged is a core assumption in the 2016 presidential election. Last August, in one of the early Republican presidential debates, Donald Trump acknowledged the underlying truth of American politics. “Most of the people on this stage I’ve given to, just so you understand, a lot of money … I give to everybody. When they call, I give” he admitted. “And do you know what? When I need something from them two years later, three years later, I call them, they are there for me. And that’s a broken system.” Read
The UN Security Council is worried about Libya—and rightly so. As we noted in February, the country has seen a doubling of Islamic State forces in recent months, and ISIS has expanded its control of territory, including Sirte, the home city of deposed leader Muammar al-Qaddafi. In a UN-issued report this week, the Security Council noted the Islamic State’s growing capacity, which has been buttressed by a flow of foreign fighters from places like Sudan, Tunisia, and Turkey. The development hasn’t gone unnoticed by the United States, which last month killed dozens of ISIS fighters (and two Serbian hostages) in airstrikes on a training camp. Ironically, the Libyan branch of ISIS, which grew largely from local militias in the failed state, is now promoting itself as the most credible defenders of Libya from outside forces, even as it absorbs fighters from abroad. “ISIL has been spreading a nationalistic narrative,” the UN report noted, Read
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian moderates have won a majority in parliament and a top clerical body charged with selecting the next supreme leader, dealing a major blow to hard-liners in the first elections held since last summer’s landmark nuclear agreement with world powers. Final results released by the Interior Ministry and broadcast on state TV show that reformists, who favor expanded social freedoms and engagement with the West, won at least 85 seats. Moderate conservatives, who also supported the nuclear agreement, won 73, giving the two camps a majority in the 290-seat assembly. Hard-liners, who had opposed the deal, won just 68 seats, down from more than 100 in the current parliament. Five seats will go to religious minorities, and the remaining 59 will be decided in a runoff, likely to be held in April. Read
A poll taken in Iowa before the presidential caucus found that 70 percent of Democrats surveyed trusted Hillary Clinton on foreign policy more than Bernie Sanders. But her record as Secretary of State was very different from that of her successor, John Kerry, who has overseen groundbreaking diplomatic breakthroughs with Iran, Cuba and, in a more limited context, even with Russia and Syria. In fact, Clinton’s use of the term “diplomacy” in talking about her own record is idiosyncratic in that it refers almost entirely to assembling “coalitions” to support U.S. threats, wars and sanctions against other countries, rather than to peacefully resolving international disputes without the threat or use of force, as normally understood by the word “diplomacy” and as required by the UN Charter. Read