We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, May 14, 2021

Posts that I especially recommend for Friday, May 14, 2021

Science is supposedly a self-correcting community of experts who constantly check each other’s work. So why didn’t other virologists point out that the Andersen group’s argument was full of absurdly large holes? Perhaps because in today’s universities speech can be very costly. Careers can be destroyed for stepping out of line. Any virologist who challenges the community’s declared view risks having his next grant application turned down by the panel of fellow virologists that advises the government grant distribution agency.

The Daszak and Andersen letters were really political, not scientific, statements, yet were amazingly effective.
  • 💥The Markets Are Rigged by James Corbett from The Corbett Report with audio, video (47:11m) & transcript. This is a best post. My reaction: Corbett keeps on investigating the capitalist Wall Street markets and discovers in this post that the "markets are rigged", with government collusion, by top capitalists who are in control of central banks throughout the US/Anglo/Zionist Empire. This discovery might lead him to adopt a Marxist perspective, which will replace his anarchist (agorist--a specific type) ideology, with a self-serving ruling class. But that is verboten in a capitalist society, especially in the heart of a capitalist Empire. So, we will continue on with descriptions of "oligarchic billionaires" who control the stock market for self-serving ends. Corbett will likely not conclude that a ruling capitalist class controls every institution in a capitalist society, that is, that they control media corporations, education, opinion shapers (thesaurus) like Hollywood films, etc.
  • 💥Denying the Demonic by Edward Curtin from his weblog Behind the Curtain. This is a best post. My commentary follows: 
This is a "best post" because Curtin exposes the insight that demons are a part of what it is to be human: "For they are part of ourselves, not alien beings, as the tragedy of human history has shown us time and again." And Curtin ends with a death-bed confession by James Jesus Angleton, who many believe was a sinister "devil" along with his boss Alan Dulles of the CIA. It seems that we are all susceptible to the classic conditioning of Ivan Pavlov, and it appears that power is the irresistible drug that we all occasionally aspire to have. People who designate others as being "evil people" are the latter who find this drug to be irresistible. It may be, and probably is, our "Achilles heel" that now threatens us with extinction as a species, in addition to so many others, on planet Earth--or elsewhere should a few of us manage to migrate to other planets.
But, what if a ruling class consists of these people that are sometimes designated as "evil people"? What if these people infest all ruling classes? What if the nature of ruling classes infect all advanced societies? These questions suggest a Marxist perspective which is heavily censored throughout all advanced capitalist societies. What about mixed societies (mixed between privately owned and controlled enterprises and those which the government owns)? I do not know, so I will confine my comments to capitalist societies represented by the leading nations under the control of the US/Anglo/Zionist Empire (US, Britain, and Israel)  
Israel sought not only to sustain its military supremacy in the region but also, like any colonial project, to present itself as a superior and more civilized population. The identification of the Palestinians as a primitive and violent rabble in contrast to the sophisticated, cultured and European Israeli society supports this feeling of superiority, while reinforcing the unequivocal link with its European origin and American endorsement. After all, it is these states that finance Israeli military policy. Hence the immanence of the security discourse, which in turn enables the practices of oppression, discrimination and murder by transforming them into practices of defense and revenge.
  • Silencing Supporters Of B.D.S. featuring Max Blumenthal (of The Grayzone) on Jimmy Dore's YouTube channel expressing his views on the subject. (Note: You will need to know what B.D.S. means.)
  • Explained: Strona and Bradshaw 2018 features Prof. (retired) Guy McPherson, an independent scientist who has focused on the climate crisis, starting a series on his YouTube channel discussing reports from peer-reviewed websites (this one is from Scientific Reports) published in 2018).