The Collapse of the American Empire – Lecture Featuring Chris Hedges
[Q&A begins at 46:13 mins in.]
Jan 31, 2020
YouTuber Josh Pieters has revealed that he pranked far-right British commentator Katie Hopkins by flying her to Prague and presenting her with a fake award. Hopkins, who is frequently retweeted by President Trump and was recently suspended on Twitter, was awarded the Campaign to Unify the Nation Trophy, abbreviated as C.U.N.T. And if you think that’s mean, just wait until you hear her hate-filled acceptance speech for the award.
The 26-year-old Pieters explained the prank in a new video on his YouTube channel, which has over 1.2 million subscribers. And it was a surprisingly large undertaking to convince Hopkins that she was getting a real award. Pieters organized flights, hotels, a dinner at the Four Seasons, and even hired actors to play members of his fake advocacy group, the Cape Town Collective For the Freedom of Speech.
Pieters, who’s originally from South Africa but lives in the UK, set up a fake website to make his organization appear more authentic, though there are some clear hints it might be fake. The photo of the founder that appears on his website is the current leader of the Ku Klux Klan, as just one example.
Pieters flew from his home in London to Prague and set up hidden cameras to capture the prank from a number of angles before Hopkins got there. Hopkins, who has previously echoed Nazi language by tweeting about the need for a “final solution” to the problem of terrorism, never seems to understand that the YouTuber’s banquet is a joke.
“We made Katie Hopkins fly 1,600 miles and accept a fake award and put the word ‘cunt’ behind her without her noticing,” Pieters says in the video. “You might wonder if this is a bit mean. For a moment I did too. But then she made her speech and told us what she really thought.”
The video delivers a rapid fire assault of Hopkins saying hateful things during her acceptance speech like, “If you call Mohammad in a school playground, 2,000 fucking kids come running and you don’t want any of them,” and “Epileptics are all weirdos. They’re up there with the Asians.”
Hopkins can also be heard repeatedly saying that Muslims are “raping their own mother” and she also mocks Arabic names, calling them “retards.” Hopkins can also be heard referring to 17-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg as an “autistic fucking wench.”
Interestingly, if you look closely at the video, Pieters shows one of Hopkins’ emails from when they were setting up the trip, which includes her suggestion that the fake group meet with Dominik Tarczynski, a member of Poland’s Law and Justice Party.
“He is more South African than many South Africans and I think an excellent contact for your group!,” Hopkins writes.
Who’s Tarczynski and why is he “more South African than many South Africans” in Hopkins’ estimation? He’s a far-right politician who says he doesn’t want Poland to be “taken over by Muslims, Buddhists, or someone else,” as he told Al Jazeera. Apparently, Hopkins believes that all white South Africans must be as racist as Tarczynski.
Full article: Source
In a little less than a year and a half, Ms. Thunberg has garnered a great deal of media attention for her passionate pleas that the world finally take heed to the very real crisis of climate change affirming that if we fail to meet the requirements laid out for us by the IPCC we will most assuredly have no planet to live on 11 years from now. Ms. Thunberg has confidently and frequently stated this in almost every interview or speech she has made since her media blitz began.
This is of course very disturbing news indeed.
What is just as disturbing is that it is seemingly all up to the children around the world to take matters into their own hands, since all adults have apparently become the equivalent to the walking dead, with children being the supposed organisers behind these immense marches across Europe, Canada and the US, to save the planet from total annihilation. This regard for the adults in the west and their seeming encouragement of this regard of themselves is very disappointing, but hardly surprising when you realise that many of them are from the ‘Make Love Not War’ live in the moment movements from the 60s that used as one of their main slogans “Never trust anybody over 30”. Interestingly, these are the parents of the dejected youth of today, who seem to have all taught their children the same lesson: don’t trust adults. Apparently something really terrible happens to you once you turn 31 and either you have to accept the fact that you are now analogous to a sack of potatoes or maintain a 20 something year old mental state for your entire life in order to stay “relevant”.
‘Forever young’ justice warriors such as Jane Fonda are a model for us all on how to never mentally develop past the age of 30. At the age of 81, Jane has made the vow to get arrested once a week for 14 weeks until she has to film her tv show ‘Grace and Frankie’, where at that point she will have fulfilled her part in making the world a better and safer place and will have earned her entrance into sainthood. As Jane stated in an interview with Washington Post, “Greta said we have to behave like it’s a crisis…We have to behave like our houses are on fire”. Jane apparently has a strange understanding of what she would do if her house was on fire since she continues to fly frequently and supports the eating of meat, the two top “no-no’s” from Greta. Regardless, Jane is on a mission to send a message to everybody else that even though she does not follow what Greta asks, if others also do not, we will all die horrible deaths in 11 years. After all, Jane will be 92 at that point…but with the mind of a forever young 20 year old.
As Roger Hallam, co-founder of Extinction Rebellion, put it, “If we don’t work together, we are going to die together”. Bone-chilling words to be sure. The way things are going we might end up seeing baby boomer NATO Defense Ministers holding hands singing “We Are the World”, wait…that already happened in 2015.
However, it is no longer good enough to distrust anybody over 30, and those now leading the charge are just entering their teens since people in their 20s are becoming part of ‘the problem’ and are just not willing to do enough to save the planet. In a world that up until recently was obsessed with whether someone had a PhD title before they could make any public statement on the climate change subject, now could care less about academic titles and don’t even require a high school diploma to dictate world policy. Why? Well, because “all the science is already in” on climate change and now it is just about getting action done and since adults have been the problem that has got us to where we are today, it is only fitting that the children take matters into their own hands…right?
Before we dare to answer that question I thought I would share some interesting periods in history that may help provide a new perspective about the current situation we find ourselves in. Bare with me, I am past 30 years in age.
The Art of Prophesising
On January 23, 2019 Greta made the prediction: “The date is January 23, 2031. The world has just ended. No humans are left on the planet once known as ‘Earth’ ”.
Have we really come to a point where we are at the brink of the end times? I have spoken with a great many people who believe this to be the case. Whether they believe it will be in 11 years or 50 years, the consensus among the many is that we are certainly approaching the end of the world, something that used to be associated to the crazy guy who pulled out all his teeth so they could no longer hear his thoughts, holding up the sign “The End is Nigh” and babbling apocalyptic lines from the Book of Revelations…now the majority of us would look at that guy and say “You know, I think he has a point.”
But in all seriousness, are we truly living in the darkest period of humanity’s existence?
I will come back to that question because I truly do not take it lightly, but it should be known that there is not only a long list of false prophecies for the end of the world that had massive followings throughout history, but there are a lot of parallels to those periods and to that of our present day.
In 1345 the biggest financial collapse of history hit Europe. Food became increasingly hard to come by and water sanitation could not be maintained. It was not long after that the plague, carried by ships travelling from Asia, consumed a vulnerable Europe. During this time, many cities suffered up to a 50-70% mortality rate, killing much of the very young and old.
Many thought this to be the end of the world. There was no seeming solution to the problem and many believed that they were either being punished or had been abandoned by God, and since their condemnation seemed certain, took the path of living in the most hedonistic lifestyles imaginable as death and despair surrounded them. Others tried to buy their entrance into Purgatory with “indulgences” issued by the Church (somewhat reminiscent of today’s purchasers of carbon offsets). The basic idea was that one could reduce the amount of punishment one would undergo for committing a sin in exchange for money. This gave individuals, who could afford it, a way to partake in this end of world orgy-fest while avoiding their soul’s eternal damnation, or at least so they were told.
Others took matters a little more into their own hands to make it right with God. They set out onto the streets whipping themselves profusely. It was thought that if they punished themselves God would spare them from the plague, while others who had already contracted it thought it would move God to take the sickness back. These were known as the Flagellants, and they had a very large following. Later on they would blame the Jewish people for God’s wrath and resorted to the slaughter and burning alive of these groups of people in the hope that God would finally relent.
Another interesting period to take note of was during the Roman Republic. One of the most illustrious positions that one could hope for, outside of being Consul, was to be an Augur. This was an incredibly prestigious position within the Roman government that was usually assigned for life. An Augur was basically the interpreter of ominous and fortuitous signs, which included interpreting animal entrails (considered an exact science at the time), behaviour of birds and so forth to dictate future policy of the Republic.
There was also the period between the 4th and 5th Crusade known for its ‘Child Crusaders’. According to George Zabriskie Gray’s research on this subject, in 1212 a twelve year old boy named Stephen, from the village Cloyes in France claimed he had been selected by God to lead a Crusade of Children to rescue the Holy Land. He would recruit 30, 000 children to join him. Around the same time, a 10 year old boy named Nicholas, from Cologne, would also begin to preach and recruit children for the same mission. He too claimed that he had been selected by God and recruited a following of at least 20, 000 children. What little is known of the fate of these children is that the majority of them died of either starvation, were murdered or sold into slavery. Of the few thousand that actually set sail for Palestine, it is not known what happened to them, but only that they never arrived to the Holy Land.
And the list of examples goes on…
In Praise of Folly
So what is the point of all this? I think it is useful for us to have a memory of our past folly. And I think we are in the greatest danger of committing folly when we forget the foolish whims and beliefs of the past that were not just based on religious misconceptions but also on misconceptions of what passed for ‘science’. I think it is very dangerous when a population cannot even remember its recent ecstasies in folly in end of world prophecies such as the Y2K scare only 20 years ago, with a massive following of believers who were prepared for end times. This was a subject that was constantly being talked about on mainstream media and even by the governments of countries, President Clinton being no exception.
I think it is also very dangerous when there are absolute statements made such as “all the science is in” on a subject. Climate science is a relatively new science, and an extremely complicated one with many unknown variables. It is interesting that a group of scientists in this field have claimed that they know everything there needs to be known on this subject, when I don’t think we can say that for any other subject in the sciences to this date. Either climate science is far more simple than we thought or we are skipping steps.
What is also concerning is that although this grouping of climate scientists speak with such certainty about what the climate will be 10 years from now and what is influencing it, they are still unable to accurately predict the weather 2 weeks from now (let alone when a cold or hot front will be entering a region months or years from now). Meteorologists admit that their forecasts are at best an “educated guess” from measurements they take in change of atmospheric pressures. This does not even take into account the role of the Sun, which is an obvious contributor to global climate cycles, nor other factors within our galaxy such as supernova emissions of radiation and cosmic rays. Yet despite this lack of understanding we can be certain that climate scientists can with confidence predict the climate trend of the WORLD 10 or even 50 years from now!
We are told that the climate is completely chaotic now and unpredictable but moving towards a measurable point in the future. This confident prediction is being calculated by super computers. Computers that are ultimately limited to their programs’ parameters and variables. It is claimed that these computers can ‘learn’, can ‘problem solve’, but it still is operating within a human-made program and is thus limited to the assumptions of that program. A computer cannot decide to start taking into account the Sun’s role in climate change for instance. It does not even have a concept of what the Sun is. There seems to be an almost mystical faith being put into these super computers, likened to a shaman who shakes a bag of bones and dumps its contents out to form some random pattern that somehow will reveal our fate.
How can a computer have all the answers when we don’t even know all the variables let alone how they interact in order for it to calculate the outcome years from now? Well the answer is we obviously can’t. It is not an accurate prediction. Just like the Y2K scare.
I would further add that when a movement forms vehemently asserting that the end of the world is nigh, that is a reflection of the breakdown of that society. It is a reflection that the people of such a society no longer have faith in that society’s fitness for survival. I think it is no coincidence that the leading nations supporting the prophecy of Greta are largely first world western countries, countries that at one time enjoyed the highest standards of living but now are experiencing decay and economic collapse.
There are already answers to the clean energy crisis. Namely nuclear power, with fission power (and soon fusion) not only being the cleanest forms of energy but by far the most efficient and most powerful source of energy human civilization has ever had access to, making actions once impossible turn into the possible, such as long-distance space travel. The technology of the plasma torch has the capability to break down matter into its ionic components, this means that landfills could be cost-effectively broken down into their elemental forms which would thus turn them into resource mines. It is a wonder that those who seem to care so much about solving these problems never seem to bring up these very evident solutions.
So how did European civilization ultimately survive the mayhem of the Black Death? Fortunately there were those who did not believe that this was the end of the world and sought to not only rebuild but improve upon the conditions of the past. They did not believe that people needed to resort to some form of supplication to avoid the end of the world (somewhat reminiscent of today’s concept of all humans being innately polluters who must repent and minimise the negative effects of their mere existence). Rather those that brought Europe out of the Dark Ages believed that the avoidance of the end of the world could only come about through human intervention, which had the highest capacity for the good and depended on scientific discoveries that could only be brought about through the creative imaginings of an optimistic human mind.
Will anarchist extremists save the world from destruction
through organised chaos and compulsory veganism?
By Lasha Darkmoon
Oct 14, 2019
“First the eco warriors shut down British cities,” the Daily Mail screams in a recent report. “Now their militant vegan wing—with close links to the RSPCA—are opening a new battle front to stop us eating meat, fish and dairy products.” (October 5, 2019, p. 20-21).
Britain’s most popular newspaper, the Daily Mail, whose special appeal is to the older generation of respectable middle class citizens, waxes eloquent in deploring the imminent doom of the Carnivorous Generation.
No more slaughter houses, those architectural gems hidden away from all human habitations! No more friendly family butchers, porcine and pink-cheeked, in their spotless white aprons! No more picturesque street sellers flogging us sizzling hamburgers, hot dogs bursting with health, and steak-and-kidney pies oozing with pure goodness!
A dying generation of noble carnivores is being kicked into the long grass. So sad. The Carnivore Haters appear to have won the long battle. Over 200 years ago (in 1813) we have the vegetarian poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, pictured, complaining, “It is only by softening and disguising dead flesh by culinary preparation that it is rendered susceptible of mastication or digestion; and [for this reason] the sight of its bloody juices and raw horror does not excite intolerable loathing and disgust.”
Ingrid Newkirk, President of PETA, would agree with the great English poet, who died, incidentally, at the early age of 29 in a drowning accident and who subsisted almost entirely on bread and water. Ms Newkirk advises—and her advice would have delighted the veggie poet, “Recognize meat for what it really is: the antibiotic and pesticide laden corpse of a tortured animal.”
The Daily Mail will have none of this soppy sentimentality.
“Lovers of bacon butties, breakfast yoghurt, milky coffee and juicy steaks might consider all this to be dystopian science fiction,” the paper warns grimly, “but the plan is deadly serious“
Extinction Rebellion intends to bring London to its knees within the next fortnight by staging scantily clad demonstrations. In pursuit of their evil aims, the semi-naked fanatics (pictured) of Extinction Rebellion are prepared to get arrested. 20,000 activists, it is reported, are on the march, flashing their brazen tattoos. They are prepared to go to prison and fast to death—if anyone in the prison service should be tactless enough to offer them a bacon sandwich or fried egg on toast for breakfast.
All fast food outlets, beginning with McDonalds, should be bombed or burnt to the ground at once. And replaced with open green spaces sparkling with rivers of mineral water imported from Greenland. Fountains of soy and almond milk should be dotted round the idyllic landscape. No more dark Satanic mills! And shrines should be built everywhere to the Great God Quorn—with altars piled high with tofu, tahini, vegan fudge, veggie burgers, and Chinese noodles fried in virgin olive oil.
Pardon my flight of fancy.
To summarise: Animal Rebellion, an extremist faction of Extinction Rebellion, wants all animal farming and fishing banned. It also plans to “occupy” both Smithfield and Billingsgate markets, from which many of London’s restaurants and takeaways source their meat and fish.
Policing the last ‘Rebellion’ in April cost the Metropolitan Police £16 million. “For a blockade or an obstruction of the highway, the police can only hold you for 24 hours,” Jane Tredgett, the spokesperson for the group explained. Jane, as you might expect, is “woke”.
Unlike the bulk of the population, the carnivorous majority are now seen as the Enemies of Mankind. As minions of Satan who need to be ground up in mincing machines. And fed to the sharks.
‘They’re going to put you away for a maximum of 24 hours,” Ms Tredgett explains helpfully to her followers. “Then [they will] release you. It will go to court several months later. Usually, you’ll get a couple of hundred pounds in fines and a smack on the wrist.”
So that’s all right then.
Sipping cups of organic tea—laced with sexy soy milk—the vegan activists in Newcastle sat through a lengthy presentation by Ms Tredgett (pictured here) on the “urgent” need for government bans on animal farming and fishing.
Her talk culminated in a minute’s silence for a beef cow called Hero who has now entered legend.
Hero became instantly famous last year when she hit the headlines.
After escaping from a Polish abattoir, “Hero Cow” (as she is now known in Poland) managed to launch a plucky resistance movement against her cruel human tormentors. Swimming heroically over rushing rivers and taking refuge in the most unlikely places, Hero was the talk of the vegan community for the next four weeks. But it was a losing battle for the plucky bovine beauty (pictured here).
Hero finally died of stress or a heart attack—after being bombarded with tranquillizer darts by her kindly human “rescuers”.
Hero Cow has now entered the pantheon of Feminist Martyrs. Had Hero been a bull—a hated chauvinist of patriarchal provenance—he wouldn’t have stood a chance. Belonging as she does to the eternally oppressed and persecuted female sex, Hero’s fame is now guaranteed. She is first feminist martyr of the bovine species! 🙂
— § —
One of the principal beliefs of the Animal Extinction brigade is that meat and fish products leave a greater carbon footprint than vegetables. Eating meat produces more greenhouse gases. Moreover cows produce an enormous amount of methane every time they pass wind. Which, according to one of my learned informants, is tiresomely frequent. They are among the world’s most efficient producers of flatulence. So they need to be phased out of existence pronto.
Veganism is the only way, it is argued, to prevent environmental catastrophe and save the planet.
This view has gained momentum ever since Cambridge University removed beef and lamb from its menus in 2016. The boffins of Britain’s second most prestigious university appear to be on the side of the vegan zealots.
The Daily Mail reports:
Animal Rebellion compares its efforts to ban meat, fish and dairy products (plus, one must assume, leather) to the 19th-century campaign against slavery. They say they are following in the footsteps of a long list of people including Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi. One of Animal Rebellion’s most oft-repeated slogans is: “Kill capitalism, not animals”.
According to the Mail, other key figures in Animal Extinction’s campaign for compulsory veganism are Roger Hallam, a veteran political activist recently in custody over an alleged plot to use drones to disrupt Heathrow airport. Then there is Tim Speers, a 33-year-old Londoner arrested a few days ago while filming himself spray-painting this alarmist slogan on the walls of the Old Bailey:
“ANIMAL EMERGENCY = CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY! “
Finally, there is the formidable Jane Tredgett, already mentioned above. Aged 52, Jane has had a seat on the RSPCA’s ruling council for 18 years. She is an important person who wields enormous influence over various groups and splinter groups, all deeply concerned with two vital issues: animal welfare and the looming environmental catastrophe from the plastic pollution of the world’s oceans.
It is in our own interests, Jane Tredgett argues convincingly, that we should stop caging animals in cruel conditions and slaughtering them without mercy.
It is in our own interests to stop eating their flesh and drinking their blood, which is what we do every time we have a hamburger.
Given the close kinship between man and beast, eating these helpless creatures is indefensible. It is almost akin to cannibalism, it is often averred with a passion verging on hysteria. After all, would you eat your own dog? Would you roast your own pet in the oven and serve it up for dinner? Doesn’t the very idea give you the creeps? So how on earth can you be so heartlessly cruel and feast on the flesh of an innocent cow?
Yes, that’s how it is. Passions run high, and it is not my intention to ridicule these anarchist extremists but to understand them.
It is my theory that there has been a recent upward spike in human sensitivity. In the ability to empathise with the lower animals and feel their pain. There is now the compulsion to defend innocent creatures in the same way as a good mother springs to the defence of her baby when it comes under attack.
I could be wrong. I probably am. But I refuse to brand every animal rights activist a raving lunatic. I’ll leave that to the Daily Mail.
Let me end with a moving story.
“How would you feel,” I was asked recently by a beautiful vegan poetess in a pub, “if invaders from Outer Space landed on Planet Earth and put all us human beings into cages? Say they then decided to slaughter us in cold blood and turn us all into sausages and hamburgers? Would you like that?”
I was impressed not only by her willowy and ethereal beauty but by the burning sincerity with which she spoke.
The young man who sat next to me in the pub was amused. He stretched his long legs, sniggered, and drawled flirtatiously: “I wouldn’t mind at all, provided my killer is as beautiful as you!”
The beautiful poetess burst into tears.
“You poor little bastard.” she sobbed. “You don’t deserve to live!”
The Daily Mail, crude and insensitive as ever, concluded its report with these flippant words:
“So as thousands of angry protesters once more descend on London, we should be in no doubt: these people are coming for our Sunday roast.”
Saving this for posterity
Invited to the session by an environmental caucus called Accellerons – formed to fight what its members call “the climate emergency” – Thunberg will speak before French lawmakers on Tuesday.
However, some MPs from the conservative Republicans and National Rally parties are unimpressed.
“We don’t need apocalyptic gurus to fight climate change intelligently, we need scientific progress and political courage,” Republican Guillaume Larrivé tweeted, calling on his colleagues to give the session a miss.
J’appelle mes collègues députés à boycotter @GretaThunberg à l’Assemblée nationale. Pour lutter intelligemment contre le réchauffement climatique, nous n’avons pas besoin de gourous apocalyptiques, mais de progrès scientifique & de courage politique.https://twitter.com/LCP/status/1152590233000714247?s=20 …
[ÉVÈNEMENT] La jeune militante pour le #climat @GretaThunberg sera à l’Assemblée nationale, le mardi 23 juillet.
Suivez son allocution sur les comptes Twitter et Facebook de LCP. #DirectAN Cc @amisdelaterre @PrFeuillage @EncoreTemps_ @Alternatiba_ @RACFrance @Reporterre
Calling Thunberg the “winner of the Nobel fear prize,” Republican Julien Aubert announced that he wouldn’t show up to “applaud a prophetess in shorts.”
Thunberg has been referred to in similar terms before. Rising to fame for organizing school strikes against climate change last year, Thunberg has since switched her rhetoric from demanding action to welcoming the apocalypse with religious fervor.
“We probably don’t even have a future anymore,” she told British lawmakers in April, in a likely preview of her upcoming address in France.
“I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day,” she told the power-brokers at the World Economic Forum in Davos, several months earlier.
Against the dying of the earth, Thunberg offers only one solution: the immediate lowering of carbon emissions to net zero, a move that would see modern civilization – including car and plane travel, electricity, and affordable food for the masses – essentially wiped out.
While European politicians have yet to put any of her radical proposals into policy, they have still applauded her speeches and lined up for photo opportunities with her.
“If I say that I do not want to prostrate myself before Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old child invited to the Assembly in front of the national representation, am I (still?) Politically correct?” asked National Rally MP Sébastien Chenu.
Criticism came from the political center too. Echoing criticism of Thunberg’s messianic worldview, Lawmaker Benedicte Peyrol of President Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche! Party asked why France couldn’t “honor its own scientists who’ve been active for years in trying to save the planet,” albeit with less theatrical flair.
I may not like right-wingers and think they are a bunch of eejits, but I believe in freedom of speech. Facebook has no right to decide who and who isn’t right on anything. Facebook is a marketing company and they should stick to what it is they are, a chat and communication platform. Period. I don’t want to hear what Zuckerberg, the fake so-called genius who created FB with the help of the CIA and his Illuminati family ties, thinks or believes. Methinks he is merely a hypocritical marketer imbued with the power he does not deserve.
“No spying, no back doors,” promised Liang Hua, Huawei’s chairman during his visit to London on Tuesday where he tried to reassure European partners that Huawei doesn’t plan to snoop on them. In evidence Liang said the Chinese high-tech giant was ready to sign a “no-spy agreement” with the British government.
While Brits are weighing all the pros and cons of the possibility of future surveillance by Beijing, neither they nor other foreign politicians seem overly concerned about a snooping act which did actually happen. An unknown number of phones were attacked via a vulnerability in the popular American messaging app WhatsApp with spyware developed by the state-linked, secretive Israeli company, NSO Group.
The malware which hit WhatsApp could reportedly infect a device via a mere phone call – and the victim of the attack would not even have to answer the call. It is not even a new virus – international human rights organizations have already warned about the software being used to target activists, lawyers and journalists.
Meanwhile, accusations against Huawei are based on reported backdoors discovered by Italian Vodafone in Chinese equipment back in 2011 where the issue was resolved. But Huawei, it’s been alleged, has more of those backdoors elsewhere.
What is more concerning for the White House: Huawei’s spying capabilities or the fact that the company has quickly become one of the biggest players on European and international telecommunication markets? In an apparent answer to the question, President Donald Trump said “the race to 5G is the race America must win.” But not according to an unknown senior National Security Council official, who wrote “we are losing” in a memo leaked last year.
Amid the new hacking scandal does anyone call to ban WhatsApp, impose sanctions on Israel and schedule Congress hearings on national security? Not really, but Washington is still preoccupied with security – lawmakers are drafting a new act which would bar US companies from using telecommunications equipment made by firms posing a national security risk. Basically that would mean a ban on doing business with Huawei.
In the end, it was enough for WhatsApp to ask its 1.5 billion users to update the software for the story to disappear from headlines. And Huawei? Well, the company might have to build its chip research and development factory in the UK to regain the West’s trust.
With permission from
After struggling against our own self-destructive tendencies throughout the entirety of recorded history, humanity is now at a point where that struggle is probably going to be resolved, one way or another, within the lifetime of most people reading this.
The movie about this struggle has been written with one of two possible endings. In the first, we are unable to overcome our self-destructive tendencies, and the last of our species dies by radiation poisoning or choking on the dust of an uninhabitable planet. In the second, we evolve beyond our self-destructive tendencies and move into a healthy relationship with our minds, our ecosystem, and each other.
Neither of these two endings would work in a Hollywood blockbuster. In the first, humanity dies off not with a bang but with a whimper as a result of nuclear fallout or climate collapse. In the second, conflict and drama as we know it will cease to exist as we pull up and away from the self-destructive patterns which brought us to this point. We’ll either keep along this same destructive trajectory and meet its inevitable end very soon, or we’ll deviate from that trajectory into something wildly different. In either case, there is no kissing the girl while the credits roll, no coolly striding away from the explosion, and no spin-kicking the bad guy off a cliff into lava after uttering a short, memorable line.
I say this because it seems like a lot of people are kind of hoping for a Hollywood ending in some way. People are hoping that Donald Trump gets arrested for conspiring with Russia and dragged off in chains and everything goes back to normal. People are hoping that President Trump drains the swamp, locks up Hillary Clinton, arrests most of Capitol Hill for child molestation, and destroys the Deep State. People are hoping there’s a violent revolution which restores individual sovereignty to the citizenry. People are hoping there’s a peaceful people’s revolution which ousts the ruling class and replaces the status quo with whatever their personal favored strain of leftism is. Everyone’s subconsciously looking for some big, momentous climax where the Good Guys are vindicated and the Bad Guys are brought to justice.
And it just isn’t going to go down like that.
If you’ve paid much attention to human behavior throughout your life, you know that we reliably repeat the same patterns until there’s inner healing and personal growth. If you’ve experienced inner healing and personal growth, you know that the actual experience of it is generally anti-climactic. True healing is always a game of subtraction, and it moves in the exact opposite direction of the egoically satisfying mental narratives which Hollywood has grown so skilled at providing us. When true inner healing takes place, it doesn’t usually make for a good story, and its effects often go unnoticed for some time, because they are evidenced not in the addition of something new but in the subtraction of something old. You look at your memories of your old unwholesome behavior patterns and think “Hmm, how strange that I used to do that sort of thing!”
If humanity transcends its unwholesome patterns at the end of this movie, it’s going to happen in much the same way. Not in an egoically gratifying way where we see our most hated political figures punished and our own ideological preferences uplifted, but in the simple falling away of old patterns. If human consciousness evolves to the point where we can avert our own destruction, then it will necessarily have dropped the egoic patterns of fear, greed and negativity which kept us bound to our old destructive behaviors. Were that to happen, we’d probably struggle to even remember what we used to stress and rage about when looking at the state of our world.
Nothing else will do the trick. If we do come to some dramatic, egoically satisfying climax, like where all the oligarchs and warmongers are guillotined and their wealth distributed among the needy or whatever, then it isn’t the end of the movie. We have not arrived at a point where we’ve transcended our old patterns, we’ve just seen those old patterns manifest in a way which happens to be egoically pleasing to us in this particular instance. And we will soon see them manifest in ways which we find far from pleasing again.
We will not arrive at our happy ending unless we collectively heal away those old egoic addictions to drama and conflict. Even if we did somehow manage to create a utopia without healing away those old egoic addictions, it would be quickly destroyed and the countdown to doomsday restarted by the gnashing, looping patterns which brought us to the brink of extinction in the first place.
Because guess what? From the perspective of our current state of drama-addicted and conflict-addicted collective consciousness, a world without drama and conflict is dull and worthless. Those addictions will keep leading us toward our destruction until we shed them, if for no other reason than our psychological inability to live in a peaceful, harmonious world.
Are you able to live in a peaceful, harmonious world? A world that is boring to the ego and unsuitable for Hollywood scripts? When I look at the behavior of a lot of activists on social media, it seems like a lot of them fear an end to drama and conflict more than they fear the end of the world. It sounds funny to say, but I think this is legitimately the case for many people. Our addiction to drama and conflict is so strong and our ability to just be at peace in the here and now so weak that keeping things from becoming harmonious can feel like an existential life-and-death need. And we all know people who are strongly predisposed toward stirring up drama to feed that illusory need.
To be able to live in a peaceful world where we collaborate harmoniously with our ecosystem and our fellow humans, we’ll have to transcend our inability to simply be. To have a world where all human ingenuity is pointed at making the world a better place instead of inventing new ways to create landfill for mass consumption and new ways to kill and exploit each other, we’re going to have to have minds that are able to survive in an environment with a lot less conflict, and, once our ingenuity really gets going, a lot less work as well. Minds that can rest comfortably without frenetic busyness or drama. Such minds are currently rare among our species.
The reason there are so many Hollywood movies about dystopian futures and hardly any about utopian futures is because there is no drama and conflict in utopia. Hollywood movies bring in the big bucks by being egoically pleasing to watch; it’s ego candy to watch heroes kicking villains off cliffs, because we can place ourselves in the role of the protagonist and imagine ourselves emerging triumphantly from the drama and conflicts displayed on the screen.
This is why I refer to myself as a “utopia prepper”. In order to have a peaceful, harmonious world, we’re going to have to have minds that are receptive to such a thing. I consider cultivating such a mind to be the most important thing I do in paving the way for paradise on earth, abandoning all attachments to our old ways of operating and opening a path within myself for something new. This will necessarily happen among us all if we’re to see the happy ending of this movie, and if we do it won’t be spectacular. It won’t be egoically gratifying. We’ll simply cease engaging in unwholesome patterns in a very anti-climactic way, begin channeling our ingenuity into making the world a better place, and perhaps once in a while look back on history and think, “Hmm, how strange that we used to do that sort of thing!”
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“The urge to destroy is also a creative urge,” wrote Banksy, citing a leading anarchist theorist of the nineteenth century, Mikhail Bakunin, but attributing the quote to the famous painter Pablo Picasso.
In his Instagram post, Banksy explained that he built the secret device and embedded it into the painting’s frame “a few years ago”, just “in case it was ever put up for auction.” Such forethought paid off Friday, when the artist’s ‘Girl with a Balloon’ fetched a record of £860,000 (£1.04mn or $1.37mn with buyer’s premium) at a Contemporary Art Evening Auction at Sotheby’s London – and got destroyed the moment the hammer dropped.
Some auction attendees on Friday seemed shocked when the painting began to self-destruct. Others were quick to take out their cell phones to record the historic moment the Girl With Red Balloon self-shredded to strips.
While Banksy failed to share how the shredder was set in motion, those who attended the Sotheby’s event noticed a strange man inside the crowd, prompting rumors that the destruction mechanism was activated by the elusive artist himself.
“We’ve just been Banksy’d,” said Alex Branczik, senior director at Sotheby’s, on Friday. “He is arguably the greatest British street artist, and tonight we saw a little piece of Banksy genius.”
Social media users found Banksy’s own heist method also to be “F**king brilliant!”, posting support messages next to his Instagram video post. “Art and humor! Love it”, “brilliant”, “You are a genius !!!!” were just some of the comments the anonymous artist received following the stunt.
The secretive icon had once made clear that he does not like his paintings to be sold to the highest bidder. A few years back he published an image on his website mocking an auction house and their clients for bidding for the framed words “I can’t believe you morons actually buy this sh*t”.
The Collapse of the American Empire – Lecture Featuring Chris Hedges
[Q&A begins at 46:13 mins in.]
(GPA) — Saudi prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for a 29-year-old woman activist for crimes such as chanting slogans at a protest. Beheading a woman is unprecedented in the kingdom. Meanwhile, Facebook has sprung into action to protect Riyadh’s back by initiating a crackdown on hundreds of accounts posting anti-Saudi content.
One of these activists includes a woman named Israa al-Ghomgham who was arrested three years ago. Although Saudi Arabia has killed or injured several thousand women in neighboring Yemen, beheading a female is completely unprecedented inside the Kingdom thus far.
All of the activists reportedly took part in protests in Saudi Arabia’s town of Qatif — a heavily Shia Muslim region frequently under siege from Wahhabi Saudi forces.
Saudi rulers consider all citizens who do not adhere to their distorted and intolerant version of Islam, Wahhabism, as polytheists and non-believers. Saudi textbooks in schools contain content with the intention of inflaming hatred for Shia Muslims. This hatred overflows into their foreign policy and military strategies as well.
Ghomgham and the other four activists face charges such as chanting slogans, attempting to inflame public opinion, and providing moral support to protestors. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have reportedly both spoke out on Ghomgham’s behalf. Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland also took the opportunity to strike back at the Kingdom’s recent arrests.
These arrests are part of a broader trend under Mohammed bin Salman’s rule to arrest all activists, clerics, intellectuals, and journalists that speak out against the regime.
Although all of the recent arrests were Shia Muslim, Riyadh also cracked down on Sunni Muslim pro-democracy activists last month. In mid-July, Saudi authorities raided the home of Sheikh Safar Al-Hawali: a 68-year-old scholar who had just published a book critical of the Saudi regime’s policies. Hawali was arrested and his current fate is unclear.
Just as news broke about five activists, Facebook initiated a crackdown on anti-Saudi accounts — which also made headlines.
In fact, it appears that the Saudi regime and their Western counterparts in the United States have adopted the “Russian interference” hysteria as a strategy in their soft war against Iran. Facebook announced on Tuesday that it had removed 652 accounts which it claimed were promoting anti-Saudi, anti-Israel, and pro-Palestinian themes.
In addition to Facebook’s sweep, Twitter deleted nearly 300 accounts while Google and YouTube also deleted at least one. Facebook claims these accounts originated inside Iran from Tehran’s government itself — just like the hyper-inflated “Russian misinformation” campaign.
A private cybersecurity firm called FireEye tipped Facebook, Twitter, and Google off to the alleged accounts. The CEO of FireEye, Kevin Mandiant, is a former US Air Force officer with an extensive background in cyber espionage.
It’s very convenient for Riyadh that FireEye informed the tech companies about these alleged misinformation accounts on the very same day the news broke about Saudi plans to behead five new activists — and their first woman nonetheless.
And with FireEye’s ties to the US military, this is not surprising at all.
According to Human Rights Watch, the activists will face trial in a secret setting known as the Specialized Criminal Court (SCC): a tribunal designed seemingly specifically for activists speaking out against the regime. Of course, anyone who condemns the regime Riyadh considers a terrorist — both at home and abroad.
Meanwhile, Mohammed bin Salman is portrayed in the media as a poster child for liberal reforms. Although the neoliberals seem more focused on the privatization aspects and less on the oppressed populations in the Kingdom at abroad.
The continuation of arrests shows that Saudi Arabia will dole human rights out as gifts (like women driving) from the regime — rights will certainly not be earned through grassroots movements.
All the while, private security firms will partner with Facebook and other tech companies to crack down on these activists and others online.
Strikes have taken place at McDonald’s and TGI Friday’s restaurants across the UK in recent months. These strikes are the first of their kind in the UK, instigated by a new generation of trade union members fighting for better pay and fairer working conditions.
At the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD for short), we’ve been following these strikes on social media and at the picket lines, to discover what’s driving this fledgling movement, and how it differs to those that went before.
Most young people in the workforce have experience with low pay and zero hours contracts. At TGI Friday’s, table staff were told earlier this year, with two days’ notice, that 40% of their tips from card gratuities would be taken and redistributed among kitchen staff, as part of the move towards a central pool of tips called a “tronc”. We heard from workers in London that this amounts to wage losses of around £60 a week – or £3,000 a year.
McDonald’s has also drawn criticism previously, for its use of zero hours contracts. Last year the company reported it would offer 115,000 of its workers employed in this way the chance to switch to minimum hours contracts – though 80% of those asked chose to remain on flexible contracts. Nevertheless, critics have attacked these arrangements as exploitative, and workers have responded with sustained collective action to fight for better wages and more secure employment around the world – most notably with the Fight for $15 in the US.
Although staff at both chains vary in age, it is the younger generations who are represented the most on the picket lines. This may just be a product of the low average age of service sector employees. But it may also signal that young people are becoming more inclined to organise and campaign for their rights.
Trade unions are capitalising on the appetite among this generation of workers for change – as well as the potential for young, savvy social media users to extend the reach of their campaigns. McStrike is organised by the Bakers’ Union (BFAWU) while the TGI strike has the support of Unite. This is a strategic decision: both unions offer each other mutual support – and together they hope to build a broader movement across the service sector.
Far from the stereotype of the apathetic youth, the young workers involved on the picket lines are passionate and well informed. They are tuned into party politics, appreciate the wider labour movement they are becoming a part of and give confident speeches to the public to that effect. There is a clear ethos of collective action: as Shen Batmaz – former McStriker, now BFAWU organiser – told us: “This has been about working together, helping each other, to make things better.”
We’ve also witnessed a carefully crafted continuity between the two strikes. McStrikers stand side-by-side with TGI employees on the picket line. Solidarity is forthcoming from other quarters, too. BECTU members from Picturehouse cinemas and workers from the Intercontinental Hotels Group have both been fighting for the London living wage, and both had representatives at the TGI strike. All are determined to build on the momentum that is emerging.
Digital tools including social media are often heralded as the key to revitalising trade unions. Inevitably, young people have also been getting involved with trade unions and protests online. We collected 90,000 tweets during the first McStrike, and witnessed how McStrikers’ images and stories were used to personalise the strike and generate support from the wider public. Protesters’ tweets were retweeted thousands of times, creating an online network that spread far beyond those directly involved.
This online presence has continued to accompany the strikes, spreading the message that this is not just a McDonald’s or TGI’s issue, it applies to anyone – young or old – working for low pay on precarious contracts. So far, these strikes have maintained their own online identities: “#McStrike” (adopted from a New Zealand-based campaign) and “#AllEyesOnTGIs” are instantly catchy, while “#FightFor15” has gained international recognition.
There is already a strong sense that these strikes, and the movement they are building, can be successful. After the first McStrike in September last year, McDonald’s recommended pay increases for its 115,000 staff, across all ages. But whether these will be passed on to staff in franchises is yet to be seen, as franchises set their own pay rates. Although these strikes are small scale for now, they show that young workers on precarious contracts are not impossible to organise.
It began in the US with Fight for $15, but the determined cooperation between unions representing workers in similar positions has brought that fight to the UK. Online and offline, workers and trade unions are developing a model that can be replicated and expanded across different industries and in different countries. And while it’s important to celebrate the small victories, the lasting success of these campaigns may be the fact that a new generation of young people are joining unions and throwing themselves into campaigning for their rights.
“Erin Elizabeth of Health Nut News has documented 85+ doctors who have been found dead over the last few years. Most of them were holistic health practitioners offering alternative or naturopathic medical treatments. The majority of those individuals were also opposed to genetically engineered foods.”
by: Mike Adams
Friday, April 13, 2018
An activist who opposed genetically engineered mosquitoes has been found dead in the swimming pool of a Washington D.C. hotel, just hours before she was due to submit a petition with over 200,000 signatures to the EPA.
Derrick Broze of Activist Post has investigated the story and spoken to a close friend of the victim, whose name is Mila de Mier from Key West, Florida (see below).
The mysterious death has also been covered by WJLA, which reports:
The D.C. Fire Department says the reported incident happened at the Cambria Hotel & Suites Washington, D.C. Convention Center on 899 O Street, NW. They say they were called to the scene at around 9:35 a.m. Medical crews say they attempted to treat the victim but later pronounced her dead.
Her death, of course, reminds informed observers of all the death threats that other anti-GMO activists have been subjected to over the years, thanks to the “black ops” biotech industry running intimidation campaigns, reputation smear campaigns and political bribery campaigns to grease the palms of politicians. If you weren’t aware that people who oppose the biotech giants or vaccine industry are being routinely assassinated across America, you’re not up to speed on what’s really happening.
Erin Elizabeth of Health Nut News has documented 85+ doctors who have been found dead over the last few years. Most of them were holistic health practitioners offering alternative or naturopathic medical treatments. The majority of those individuals were also opposed to genetically engineered foods. “Mila was a very well known activist who fought hard against GMO’s and the use of GMO mosquitoes in Florida. In fact, she fought them so hard she was known to be a nemesis of the GMO mosquito industry,” writes Elizabeth. “Is that perhaps why the “witness” who found her floating in the pool didn’t try and get her out of the pool? Is that why they didn’t try, like any normal human being would, to perform CPR?”
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Is the GMO industry now running assassin squads to murder anti-GMO activists? It’s not a far-fetched idea, given how aggressively the GMO industry has pursued online character assassination teams backed by millions of dollars in annual funding.
It’s also, by the way, why wise activists never use their real names when staying at hotels. (And they don’t pay for hotel rooms using credit cards.) More and more anti-GMO activists, I’m told, are arming themselves in self-defense, creating a fascinating mix of left-leaning anti-GMO activists who are pro-Second Amendment.
Here’s the full story from Broze at Activist Post:
On Tuesday morning Mila de Mier—a 45-year-old activist from Key West, Florida who opposed the release of genetically engineered mosquitoes—was found dead in a swimming pool at a hotel in Washington D.C. De Meir was visiting D.C. to deliver a petition to the Environmental Protection Agency demanding the agency deny a permit for the release of genetically engineered mosquitoes in Florida and Texas.
The D.C. Fire Department says the reported incident happened at the Cambria Hotel & Suites Washington, D.C. Convention Center on 899 O Street, NW. They say they were called to the scene at around 9:35 a.m. Medical crews say they attempted to treat the victim but later pronounced her dead.
Fox5 in D.C. notes that the police report claims a witness found de Mier floating inside the rooftop pool and called 911. The Metropolitan Police Department in D.C. is investigating the exact circumstances of the drowning.
In the days preceding her death, Mila de Mier posted on her Facebook page about the fight against genetically engineered mosquitoes. “The time is now Please sign and share ! We are not guinea pigs,” she wrote. “Is time to set standards when it come to people and Biotecnology.”
Activist Post spoke with Barbara Napoles, a fellow activist and long-term friend of de Mier who accompanied her on the trip to Washington D.C., and one of the last people to see her alive. Napoles worked with de Mier for years as part of the Never Again Foundation, an organization that focused on a variety of environmental causes. Napoles explained that she and de Mier had worked on the GE mosquito issue for years and had previously made trips to the Food and Drug Administration in an attempt to express their concerns.
According to Napoles, de Mier called her on Thursday April 5 to announce her intention to drive from Florida to Washington D.C. to file her petition with the EPA. The two headed to Washington on Sunday, arrived on Monday, and planned to deliver their petition on Tuesday morning. Around 8:45 a.m. Tuesday morning de Mier left Napoles to go for a quick swim at the hotel’s rooftop pool before heading to the EPA. This was the last time Napoles saw de Mier alive. Regarding the possibility of death by accidental drowning, Napoles said Mila de Mier was not known to be a weak swimmer and had swum with whale sharks in the past. Napoles said the two also had plans to go swim with dolphins in June.
“She wanted the people of Houston to have time to comment on the release of GE mosquitoes. She would want people to continue the fight,” Napoles stated. Napoles is referring to the potential upcoming release of GE mosquitoes in the Houston area. The mosquitoes to be released in Houston are created by Oxitec, the British biotechnology company responsible for the same mosquitoes de Mier was fighting in Key West.
Oxitec was involved in the controversial vote in the Florida Keys during the 2016 election. In that vote, residents of the Key Haven voted against the release of the mosquitoes in their community. However, shortly after, the trials were approved for a different location in the Keys. Despite the approval, opposition to the controversial project has not ceased. In late November 2016, Health News Florida reported that a coalition of groups, including the Center for Food Safety and the Florida Keys Environmental Coalition, have filed a 60-day notice of intent to sue the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
In 2017 the Houston Chronicle reported that Oxitec is working on a deal with Harris County officials to release GE mosquitoes in the Houston area. Oxitec is attempting to sway Houston officials by stating that their product has a nearly 100% success rate. Gizmodo reported:
The company claims that trials in Brazil, Panama and the Cayman Islands have reduced mosquito populations by 90%, calling the success “an unprecedented level” of human control over nature. (The World Health Organization, for it’s [sic]part, has stated that while the technology “has demonstrated the ability to reduce the [mosquito] populations in small-scale field trials” there is still “an absence of data on epidemiological impact.”)
Activist Post will continue to follow the developments related to the release of GE mosquitoes, as well as any new developments regarding the death of Mila de Mier. We would like to offer our condolences to the family of Mila, as well as give thanks and appreciation to Mila de Mier herself for all of her tireless work to educate the people of Key West. She was supported and loved by many people who took inspiration from her efforts. Let us honor her memory by continuing her fight.
The USA constantly attacks, invades, or destabilizes governments all over the planet. Every time you patronize Starbucks or Home Depot, a portion of your sale ends up in the military coffers of the USA. As the USA only understands the power of money, let’s show the USA that world is fed up with wars and aggression!
Stewart Phillip is Grand Chief of Okanagan Nation and president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs. Serge ‘Otsi’ Simon is Grand Chief of the Mohawk Council of Kanesatake.
As the federal and Alberta governments continue to pull their hair out over the B.C. government’s stand against Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and tanker project, it’s important to point out, as we’ve been doing for years, that the pipeline company doesn’t have the consent of all First Nations along the route. In fact, many of them are strongly opposed to the project.
Kinder Morgan’s recent announcement that it is stopping all but essential spending proves that its shareholders are starting to understand the degree and depth of the Indigenous-led opposition movement to this pipeline project.
The Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion is made up of 150 Indigenous Nations in Canada and the United States, dozens of which are located along the Kinder Morgan pipeline route, with many of them having launched legal actions against the Kinder Morgan project.
Further, Indigenous Nations are supported by a quickly growing and broad-based network of support from allied Canadians who understand the existential threat that humanity faces from climate change and who are ready to stand up against the injustices still carried out today against Indigenous people.
More than 20,000 people have signed the Coast Protectors pledge to do whatever it takes to stop the pipeline. Thousands took part in a March 10 solidarity rally at the Kinder Morgan gates on Burnaby mountain.
Justin’s Trudeau government has a decision to make. It can cut its losses and realize it simply made a mistake in approving the project. Or the Trudeau government can double down on its current path. But Canadians should be very clear-eyed about what that represents. It represents more than a failure of climate leadership. It means going back to the Stephen Harper days when Canada’s reputation on the climate file was mud.
Importantly, it also means going back to colonial-era relations with Indigenous people. In fact, if the federal government tries to ram through this pipeline, it could mean going back to one of the darkest times in modern Canadian history: the Oka standoff with the Mohawk Nation.
We just witnessed the ugly and shameful crackdown in the United States on the peaceful anti-pipeline protests at Standing Rock.
We don’t believe that’s the Canada that most Canadians want to live in. It would be a cruel joke indeed if, in this era of “reconciliation,” Canada instead repeats the mistakes of the past.s on the same level as Oka.
The USA constantly attacks, invades, or destabilizes governments all over the planet. Every time you patronize Starbucks or Home Depot or McDonald’s, a portion of your sale ends up in the military coffers of the USA. As the USA only understands the power of money, let’s show the USA that world is fed up with wars and aggression!