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em·pire

ˈemˌpī(ə)r/

Noun

an extensive operation or sphere of activity controlled by one person or group

The largest empire today has amassed more foreign military bases than any other in world history, spends more seeking hegemonic domination than the rest of the world combined, and has overthrown or attempted to overthrow some 60 governments, most of which were elected by their populations.

Support research, reporting, and analysis. Contribute $10 or more and receive an essay on the historical roots of the “Black Lives Matter” movement.

em·pire

ˈemˌpī(ə)r/

noun

an extensive operation or sphere of activity controlled by one person or group

The largest empire today has amassed more foreign military bases than any other in world history, spends more seeking hegemonic domination than the rest of the world combined, and has overthrown or attempted to overthrow some 60 governments, most of which were elected by their populations. - See more at: http://www.empireslayer.org/2016/01/second-most-biased-source-possible.html#sthash.Jn1BsTr6.dpuf

Friday, January 29, 2016

Ralston Saul: Neo-Liberalism / Neo-Conservatism a Low-Level Form of God-Worship

Pulitzer-winning journalist Chris Hedges interviews John Ralston Saul, an ‘award-winning philosopher, novelist and essayist’ who is considered ‘Canada’s leading public intellectual’.


Some points detailed in the discussion:

-Neo-liberalism / neo-conservatism relate to neither ‘liberalism’ or ‘conservatism’.  They are an ideology and form of religion and god-worship, based on self-interest and the whitewashing of memory.  ‘At the end of the day, it’s about power and money.’

-Declarations of ‘truth’ and ‘inevitability’ are two aspects of ideology highly prevalent in neo-liberalism/conservatism.

-Neos claiming Edmund Burke as their ‘godfather’ indicates lunacy and denial of history; like other lunatics claiming Christ or Muhammad to justify other unacceptable things.

-Adam Smith’s ‘invisible hand’ is a low-level image of the hand of god.  But when one talks to the neos about Adam Smith, one discovers they haven’t read him.  He isn’t taught.  People only know quotes.  They don’t know Smith was actually ‘incredibly distrustful’ of powerful businessmen and said things like ‘never allow them to be alone in a room together; they’ll combine and falsify the market’, etc.

-At this point, [for example, as illustrated by latest Oxfam report], all of the promises made by neo-liberal globalization [summarized in discussion, 13:30] have collapsed.  None of them happened; it’s the exact opposite.  We are now in the most nationalist period we’ve seen since the 1930s, with all the dangers that go along with it.


-There isn’t a single neo-liberal/conservative who would deny that Athens is the beginning of what we call ‘Western democracy’, and yet they don’t even know that the way Athens got going was by destroying all the debt to re-launch citizenship and justice systems. 

-While people at the bottom largely still believe they are in a ‘democratic’ society, what we have going today is a Mussolinian-corporatist authoritarian state.

-People have clearly lost faith in the ‘mafia, oligarchic elite’, which is currently using the pick-pocket’s tactic of saying ‘look over there’ at those ‘terrorists’, while robbing everyone.

-[Interesting discussion about how to move forward, largely pertaining to language and memory, presented starting at 22:30:]

Most of the writers killed globally are not killed by ‘religious’ fanatics, but by governments linked with the West, Mexico being a good example.

Robert Barsocchini is an internationally published author who focuses on force dynamics, national and global, and also writes professionally for the film industry.  Updates on Twitter.  Author’s review of the historical background to the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Animal Law Professor: Veganism Part of the Commitment to Non-Violence

Pulitzer-winning journalist Chris Hedges interviews Gary L. Francione, ‘Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of Law and Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Scholar of Law and Philosophy at Rutgers University School of Law-Newark.  Francione received his M.A. in philosophy and his J.D. from the University of Virginia.


Some points detailed in the interview:
  • “Veganism is part of a commitment to non-violence … It’s all one issue.  It’s a fundamental issue of justice.”
  • Vegans are often called ‘elitist’, when in fact, as Francione explains, “[t]here is nothing more elitist than the standard Western diet.”
  • On whether animal rights detract from human rights: “Go ahead and focus on human rights, but you still have to eat three times a day and buy clothes.  When you do, eat vegan and don’t buy leather, wool, or silk.”  [Side note on the torture and exploitation involved in producing honey for humans.]
  • Indeed, “[v]eganism leads us to many other issuesWe shouldn’t be exploiting women, we shouldn’t be exploiting children.  We should care that there’s a Palestinian genocide going on.”
  • “I say to people, do you think animals matter morally?  I very rarely encounter people who say no.  Almost everybody agrees animals matter morally.  And I say well, then fine, whatever else is the case, we can’t justify imposing suffering and death on them for reasons of pleasure [their taste], amusement [taste], or convenience [i.e. easier not to change what I’m already doing]. … We’re not on a desert island, we’re not on a lifeboat.”
  • Francione points out that since no one with any authority can argue that a healthy vegan diet is not at least as healthy, if not more healthy, than even a carefully-planned diet involving animal exploitation and abuse, then “the best justification we have” for harming and killing animals so we can eat them is pleasure, “the fact that they taste good.”


  • In Eat Like You Care, Francione and Charlton illustrate that distressing, harming, exploiting, or killing animals because we like the way they taste, i.e. for the sake of personal pleasure, makes us morally equal to Michael Vick and other people who also exploit and abuse animals with no better justification than that it brings them pleasure.  They also devote individual chapters to virtually every excuse possible for not going vegan, as well as to not-immediately-apparent issues, such as the torture, sadness and death involved in the dairy industry.
Francione points out that a vegan diet is not only easy, but is a joy rather than a sacrifice.  When eating a healthy vegan diet, one not only feels physically, but morally better.

The vegan food pyramid:





Vegan cookbooks:

books_0007

Don’t worry much about protein.  It is highly overblown in our culture.  Essentially all vegan foods have it, and combining grains and legumes (ie pasta with almonds) creates a complete protein and high protein meal.  Numerous plants contain complete proteins by themselves.

The real problem with protein is that most Westerners get far too much, leading to health problems.  “Excess protein has been linked with osteoporosis, kidney disease, calcium stones in the urinary tract, and some cancers.”

Still worried?  Don’t be.  All the information needed and more is easily searchable and accessible online and in books.

And check out one of the strongest men in the world, vegan strongman Patrik Baboumian:









And some of our animal friends safe in farm sanctuaries:











“If a man aspires towards a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from injury to animals.” – Albert Einstein


“As long as there are slaughterhouses, there will be battlefields.” – Leo Tolstoy

“What should move our very hearts and sicken us,… is the realization that animals are morally innocent, that they have done no harm. Next they have no power whatever of resisting; it is the cowardice and tyranny of which they are victims which makes their suffering so especially touching… there is something so very dreadful, something so dreadful, so satanic, in tormenting those who have never harmed us and who cannot defend themselves, who are utterly in our power …” – Linzey, Animal Gospel, 65

"Vegan fucking power!" - Patrik Baboumian

Robert Barsocchini is an internationally published author who focuses on force dynamics, national and global, and also writes professionally for the film industry.  Updates on Twitter.  Author’s review of the historical background to the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Second Most Biased Source Possible Alleges Putin Involved in Assassination

An inquiry from the second most biased source possible, the UK, (which comes in second to the US), a country completely hostile towards Russia, has speculated that Putin was ‘probably’ involved in the assassination via poisoning of an ex-spy.

There are several key points to bear in mind when considering such allegations.

First, thanks to xenophobia, ethnocentrism, and racism, it is predictable for most Westerners to think that Putin, or any other political leader not under Western hegemony, (the main qualification for being nefarious), is ‘probably’ guilty of any villainous act he could possibly be involved in, and, as leading US propaganda outlet NYT has demonstrated, many acts in which he could not be involved.

Second, if we regard  ‘inquiries’ from from hostile parties known to conduct psychological and propaganda warfare as worthwhile, we should be consistent.  As I.F. Stone award-winning journalist Robert Parry points out, the Republican right in the US has all kinds of allegations and ‘evidence’ about assassinations carried out by Bill Clinton of members of his own cabinet, opposition members, and a range of other people.  Those on what in the US is called the ‘left’ dismiss these as conspiracy theories, or at best dubious and fundamentally biased allegations made by a hostile party with massive conflicts of interest, and which is known to rely heavily on propaganda.


However, when identical conspiracy theories are peddled by the West about countries and people the West wants to conquer, such as Russia and Putin, the theories are given credence in the West generally, just like the conspiracy theories about Bill Clinton are given credence within the US Republican right.

When it comes to foreign countries targeted for conquest, Westerners of the ‘left’ and ‘right’ join together to do exactly what the US ‘right’ does to Bill Clinton (and others).

For example, NYT recently printed:

“In all likelihood no one in the Kremlin actually ordered the killing [of Nemtsov]… The Kremlin has recently created a loose army of avengers who believe they are acting in the country’s best interests, without receiving any explicit instructions.”

Imagine an article in Pravda claiming Obama, without orders, has created a “loose army of avengers” to assassinate journalists like Michael Hastings, and other people around whom assassination theories circulate.  The amount of credence a US citizen would give to such allegations from within Russia is the same amount of credence a US citizen attempting to be objective and non-ethnocentric should give to the same conspiratorial allegations when they are made by the US, or its lieutenant countries like the UK, against Russia.

Next, if someone attempting to ‘prove’ that Putin is the new Hitler, worse than all the mass-slaughtering regimes of the West combined, etc., points to the new UK allegations as a reason to further pressure or sanction Russia, ask whether the person supports those measures being applied to the US government and its allies, which constantly assassinate, torture, and kill people en masse.

As Bill Moyers reports, the US government recently sentenced 59-year old US woman Mary Anne Grady Flores to six months in jail for mildly opposing the US global assassination campaign being run by Obama.

Finally, if we are aiming for true consistency, there is another ‘inquiry’ to which we must pay heed.

As Parry reports, ‘Almaz-Antey, the Russian arms manufacturer of the Buk systems, conducted its own experiments to determine the likely firing location’ of the missile that brought down flight MH-17 in Ukraine.  His inquiry placed it ‘in an area under Ukrainian government control.’

So a Russian inquiry finds that it was ‘probably’ the Ukrainian junta government, installed with major backing from the US, and which the US continues to support, that brought down the civilian plane, killing almost three hundred people.

When the MH-17 downing was being blamed on Russia, before this report came out, it was a key argument for Western sanctions against that country and major condemnation of Putin.

But now that we know it was carried out by the US side, desperate US/Western calls for immediate sanctions against the gangster Ukrainian ‘government’ and its dark, nefarious US/Western supporters are surely forthcoming.  Any day, now.

Robert Barsocchini is an internationally published author who focuses on force dynamics, national and global, and also writes professionally for the film industry.  Updates on Twitter.  Author’s review of the historical background to the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.