Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 17, 2021

Open Thread 2021-046

News & views ...

Posted by b on June 17, 2021 at 12:13 UTC | Permalink

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@93 Canadians certainly have a lot to answer for. They steal the land, murder native children, cut down trees, kill baby seals and pollute everything with their oil-sands and pipelines. All in the name of a high standard of living. Canadian schoolchildren should be made to feel guilty and ashamed. They should beg for forgiveness. What do you think James?

Posted by: dh | Jun 19 2021 0:24 utc | 101

Nonsense, dh. Those are responsible who did these things, and they must find forgiveness. The children are innocent. Who has taught you these things?

Posted by: juliania | Jun 19 2021 1:09 utc | 102

@215 There seems to be some information missing about the 215 bodies found in Kamloops juliama. Some are calling it genocide. Over what period did they die? What did they die of? I doubt if we will ever know and the people responsible for the school are probably dead too.

Posted by: dh | Jun 19 2021 1:15 utc | 103

@ Fyi (#100),

What about these nations? Who creates money in Switzerland, Holland...? Who owns their central banks and private banks? What are their core values & priorities?

Time will tell... A reckoning with reality is on deck! How much later is a very good question. What has been hidden will be revealed!

Posted by: Max | Jun 19 2021 1:21 utc | 104

@103 You seem to have missed the point of my post. I actually think it's absurd that Canadians should be made to wallow in guilt about the past but that seems to be the gist of the article posted at #93

Posted by: dh | Jun 19 2021 1:22 utc | 105

The murderers of Milosevic is back with vengeance.

Their ambition this time,
nothing less than ...
Han genocide.

Already you see Chinese singled out for attack all across five liars landscape.

Lies most foul...
Chinese virus
UIghurs genocide
TAM 'massacre' commemoration
[sobs have been regurgitating the same lie every 4/6]

Exhibit A

One witness, Qelbinur Sidik, alleged that in the female concentration camp where she was teaching detainees her professional subject, Mandarin Chinese, which must have been useless to the detainees, she estimated the presence of 8,000 to 10,000 women prisoners. All the women were according to her raped by the guards on a nightly basis and consequently were unable to sit up straight in her class

It does get my blood boils.
I'd like to get my hands on the rapists those serial lying sobs.

The same ones who'r now doing their damnedest to nail the chicom on SARS2

Posted by: denk | Jun 19 2021 2:29 utc | 106

@ 101 dh and juliania... lol... not a laughing matter, but it seems to me the ordinary canuck likes to wallow in guilt... and it is a useful tool for blackmailing too.. generalized though... the church and the whole ideology of being a christian nation and forcing the right language and religion on people was not unusual 100 years ago.. i suppose the infatuation with this ideology was wearing thin by the time the 60's rolled around and ended in the case of the residential school in kamloops in the mid 70's... the first time i started playing professionally, i started in kamloops.. there was a joke i was told about the place - they named it as a breakfast for mechanics..

it is a sad part of canadian history, but it is built in the same way that a lot of commonwealth countries built it - glory to the queen or whatever and we're a god fearing nation and etc. etc. truth is everyone has to account for there deeds, whether it remains hidden or not and no one escapes any of this..

it may some bizarre but i think we are all on this planet together and in all of this together.. identifying a particular way, or as a member of a particular nation has never been my thing because i have always felt we are so much more then all these limited and limiting ways of defining ourselves... i am sorry for all the suffering happening in the world today and would like to do my part to lessen all of it.. coercing me with guilt doesn't work though... i am not into the woke movement and identity politics and all the things that are used to try to divide people... funny how certain things from the past just never completely go away like these issues, in spite of how long ago they happened.. people still seek some form of release and redemption from it all.. i read a book on the highland clearances a few months back as that is the area where my fathers ancestors came from... different story, but these stories are all stories on peoples inability to treat others with kindness and compassion.. same stuff is going on as we speak today on any number of fronts too.. i think i have lost the plot..

dh - thanks for asking! and as always i appreciate your sense of humour and perspective most of the time!

Posted by: james | Jun 19 2021 4:14 utc | 107

Expect some anti-Chinese Hollywood movies in the mid future?

Posted by: m | Jun 19 2021 4:26 utc | 108

Australia and Zambia are the only two countries in the world with a Pentecostal head of government. The more that Australians find out about Pentecostal beliefs, the more they will realise how distant those views are from their own.

"when you are fighting the good fight, it is easy to think any tactics are permissible. If you think you are the instrument of God, it is a short step to thinking that whatever advances your cause is justified."

Read how Pastor Morrison's crackpot sect promotes exceptionalism and the 'prosperity gospel.' Of course we can throw in Zionism and rapture cultism for good measure.

Posted by: Paul | Jun 19 2021 4:29 utc | 109

@107 Thank you james for not taking me too seriously. I have family in Canada and I get my information from them but their take on the Kamloops tragedy seems to be similar to yours. The Residential School system was a well-meaning (in the context of colonialism) government attempt to integrate and educate native people. As for the deaths ....children died from many causes in the days before vaccination....maybe they were not living in the best conditions before they got to the schools. Not trying to excuse it all but I don't think we can really make a judgment without more information. I do think there has been a rush to use words like murder and genocide.

Posted by: dh | Jun 19 2021 4:46 utc | 110

Justin Fauci exposed by The Grayzone

Notorious for his presence in viral video of Israeli home thefts in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah, “Yaakov Fauci” is actually a federally charged con artist from Long Island named Justin Fauci.

Posted by: Paul | Jun 19 2021 5:06 utc | 111

The gay Empire strikes yet again.

Ever offending, but always pretends to be offended.

Posted by: Smith | Jun 19 2021 6:50 utc | 112

Reposting from the China space superiority thread.

Biolabs USA May 2015: What, me worry??

A USA TODAY Network investigation identifies more than 200 biosafety level 3 and 4 lab facilities that work with dangerous pathogens - and reveals safety records that some of them fought to keep secret.

Vials of bioterror bacteria have gone missing. Lab mice infected with deadly viruses have escaped, and wild rodents have been found making nests with research waste. Cattle infected in a university's vaccine experiments were repeatedly sent to slaughter and their meat sold for human consumption. Gear meant to protect lab workers from lethal viruses such as Ebola and bird flu has failed, repeatedly.

A USA TODAY Network investigation reveals that hundreds of lab mistakes, safety violations and near-miss incidents have occurred in biological laboratories coast to coast in recent years, putting scientists, their colleagues and sometimes even the public at risk.

Oversight of biological research labs is fragmented, often secretive and largely self-policing, the investigation found. And even when research facilities commit the most egregious safety or security breaches — as more than 100 labs have — federal regulators keep their names secret.

NO NO NO... look over there... Wuhan.

2015? perhaps this paper might be relevant?
The researchers at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill however did manipulate corona viruses to make them more human transmissible. This is the article in Nature Medicine from Nov 9 2015 that spells out the damning trail all the way back to the USA. I know, they are persistent in denying its relevance. But there are so many papers.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 19 2021 6:57 utc | 113

Big news in Iran:

I think b should have an article on Raisi, or did he?

Posted by: Smith | Jun 19 2021 8:52 utc | 114

Most ppl only read titles
... so it's always better to put the blame on the Palestinians (rule 1 of Western journalism in the last 50 years).
Covid: Palestinians cancel vaccine swap deal with Israel
... then one can always mention some embarrassing details in the body of the article, which few will actually read (and not just skim).
"Earlier, Israel said it didn't need an ageing stock of vaccines and they were to be used to speed up the Palestinian vaccination programme.

In return, the Palestinians were to give Israel a similar number of vaccines they are expecting from the Pfizer organisation later in the year.

Palestinian Authority Health Minister Mai Alkaila said they had been told the jabs would expire in July or August, but, when they arrived, the marked date was June."

Posted by: Mina | Jun 19 2021 9:15 utc | 115

DG @ 65

Given that the vaccine does not stop transmission of the Coronavirus, (and alone cannot end the pandemic) variants continue to mutate; and given the declining enthusiasm for vaccination amongst populations (despite the pharma / WHO media-driven campaign of fear); many governments (that is, economies reeling from continual lockdowns) are essentially now having to choose between mandatory vaccinations and early antiviral treatments; where there is money to be made now, as long as the efficacy of existing antivirals continues to be ignored.

Feds Now See the Need for Funding Antivirals: TrialSite will Track the Spend Carefully

Even Rolling Stone, sorry Matt Taibbi, is focussing on early treatment, sorry media censorship

Why Has "Ivermectin" Become a Dirty Word?

The Virus and the Parasite

Posted by: Hemiola | Jun 19 2021 10:01 utc | 116

Perhaps I am suspicious but I find the USA pointing the finger at the Wuhan lab and China in general to be less than genuine. So I have been doing a little catching up on the Biolab perspective.

Earlier I posted a link to a 2015 report from USA Today and so took a detailed peek at the data in that report. There is a state by state analysis of USA mainland chemical laboratories of the BSL 3 and 4 status here.

I have extracted a summary of that 2015 data that shows there are at least 195 BSL 3 standard labs and at least 8 BSL 4 standard labs in the USA. See below for a state by state summary.

Inventory of USA BSL 3 and BSL 4 labs
NOTE, the folllowing caveat was made for every state: Facilities that include BSL-3 or BSL-4 labs identified by USA TODAY’s research. Additional “high-containment” labs may also exist in this state.

Summary by state:
AL-4, AK-2, AR-3, AZ-4, CA-10, CO-5, CT-2, DE-2, DC-1, FL-3,
GA-5 +2x BSL4, HI-2, ID-1, IL-7, IN-1, IA-3, KS-4 +1x BSL4, KY-2,
LA-4, ME-1, MD-13 +3x BSL4, MA-9, MI-3, MN-3, MS-2, MO-5, MT-2,
NE-3, NV-1, NH-1, NJ-1, NM-3, NY-14, NC-4, ND-1,
OH-7, OK-3, OR-2, PA-6, RI-1, SC-1, SD-2,
TN-5, TX-12 +2x BSL4,
UT-4, VT-2, VA-9, WA-6, WV-2, WI-3, WY-1

Total BSL3=195 and BSL4=8

I suspect there is much room for human error and misadventure from that large number of facilities and the report actually details some of those misadventures and calamities. I need to match every coronavirus research paper against each laboratory to get a layer of analysis that might be pertinent. But that is a herculean task tonight. (Perhaps when the sun rises I will tackle this maze a little further.)

So while the wagging finger and yelling at the top of their lungs is coming from the USA, pause for a moment and just consider the enormity of this situation. I have broken it down to the name of every laboratory in every state if b would permit me to post 9 pages. But the link will take you to the broad data set to digest.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 19 2021 11:36 utc | 117

James and DH,
IMO that article was more about how Canadians think of Canada--

"Canadians have been led to believe by the people who foster mindless patriotism that their country stands for peace, democracy, equality, and freedom."

Gowans is pointing out the fact that Canada is in no position to point fingers.

Most Canadians still believe that we are a peace loving country that would do no harm. Anytime Canadian troops are sent some where like Haiti we are told that they are peacekeepers not soldiers.

Posted by: arby | Jun 19 2021 12:26 utc | 118

Vk @ 17:

May be you should choose your sources a bit more carefully:

"WHO’s Proposed Actions for Member States include preventing drinking during pregnancy and preventing foetal alcohol spectrum disorders (bottom of p17). There is no proposal to promote abstinence among women of childbearing age."

Posted by: Jörgen Hassler | Jun 19 2021 12:31 utc | 119

Apologies, dh - it was late and unbearably hot here - rather, it was hot, not so late but I felt the heat, retired early. On my muddled mind was the 'medical mafia' link posted earlier by John and then Grieved. I misread you, sorry.

Not to go too far into the weeds, my garden has survived this hot drought heavily mulched. (Lovely red sunrise this morning - maybe rain?) But unusually this year, mafia now are the lovely birds, tearing through the mulch in search of worms, precious to this topsoil deficient region. The garden was a mess. Even swift-swallows, not garden-destroyers, are yelling at me as I type, not their usual happy chatter. "No mosquitos! Bill Gates:murderer!"

Reflection: bird desperation is understandable - insects have been woefully absent, no crickets this year, aphids as well. They are starving.

So it is in mafia wars. The new malevolence, forced vaccines, is because mafia sources of nourishment are drying up. My garden strategy: break up dead branches from fruit trees; barricade every open spot of mulch; protect the worms! (You fight with the army you have.)

So sorry to have sounded birdlike; mafia are dinosaurs, the tyrannosaurus kind. Big teeth, tiny arms. Ugh!!

But even Christ, crisis upon him, said two swords were enough. Dead branches are enough.

And rain.

Posted by: juliania | Jun 19 2021 12:48 utc | 120

@Hemiola, 116

The situation in Greece is getting really serious.

“ The National Bioethics Committee is expected to give its approval for the mandatory vaccination of specific social and professional groups, such as health workers, in its report on Friday to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

It is a given, however, that from next autumn vaccinated people will enjoy privileges such as being able to eat in indoor dining areas. Fully vaccinated people will begin enjoying privileges in the coming weeks, as they will be able to head to gyms without a mask and enter indoor cinemas that open at the beginning of July with the demonstration of their certificate without having to upload their self-test results. As of July 1, the fully vaccinated are expected to be excluded from the program of mandatory self-tests.“

As you can see we are heading into a dark future with ppl forced to take experimental medicines and being discriminated against if they don’t.

I think this is a very terrifying future and I’m surprised by the complete indifference with which a lot of ppl are treating the issue.

Posted by: DG | Jun 19 2021 13:13 utc | 121

juliania @102: "The children are innocent. Who has taught you these things?"

Unless they are white male children, of course. Those are born with the "Original Sin" of "white privilege".

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 19 2021 13:25 utc | 122

@122, are you woke, William? Hard to tell these days ;)

Posted by: juliania | Jun 19 2021 15:12 utc | 123

@121, DG, Greece is such a sad story, from 'OXI' on. Perhaps they can set an example of what it is all must avoid, reductio ad absurdum?

Posted by: juliania | Jun 19 2021 15:16 utc | 124

James and DH,

Canada is pretty chummy with these guys for example--

Saudi officials plan to execute over 40 teenagers over participation in Qatif protests, say activists

Posted by: arby | Jun 19 2021 15:19 utc | 125

@125 I'm sure you can find lots of examples of Canadian duplicity and hypocrisy arby. Didn't Canada dare to criticize Saudi a couple of years ago and get told to mind its own business?

Posted by: dh | Jun 19 2021 15:44 utc | 126

hey gang... thanks for the comments... i didn't read that whole article from gowan arby but thanks for sharing it. i tend to see it like @ 126 dh... yes - canada did criticize ksa, but the fact is what the people of canada want and what the corporations and politicians want seem like 2 different realities... this is not unusual either...

i think canada has always played a minor but important role on the world stage... we live next to the usa and it makes sense we would try to get along with them... that we now align with them on all foreign policy issues is unfortunate... we probably did something similar in an earlier period in our history - aligned with britain... we are always aligning with powers that are bigger then us and not really taking an independent position.. and we are typically caught in the middle of a lot of this as was the case with the huawai ex at vancouver airport... we really need better politicians.. as that article says that arby shared - there is really very little difference between the major political parties in canada at present... and there definitely isn't much in the way of leadership.. that is a thing of the past here in canada...

so, it would be nice if canada could get its head out of its ass, but until a real leader comes along, i think things will continue in a similar direction.. we aren't a big player and we get walked on regularly... and our politicians sell us out regularly... read linda mcquaigs latest book - the sport and prey of capitalist... great book that covers much of this and more...

Posted by: james | Jun 19 2021 15:56 utc | 127

Enjoying reading the Canadian themed comments but I'm not going to add to them.

I received a message in my email this morning from Maggie's Organics, an American manufacturer who makes organic cotton goods. They have a partner in India who is currently being affected by catastrophic flooding. Thought I'd share their post.

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Jun 19 2021 15:58 utc | 128

capitalist sssssssssss. oh well.. another typo..

Posted by: james | Jun 19 2021 15:58 utc | 129

@127 You are more qualified to speak than me james. But I do have a soft spot for Canada. I like the landscape, the infrastructure and the social system. I have grand children there. Canada can be quietly proud of a lot of things. Maybe self-flagellation is better than boasting. :)

Posted by: dh | Jun 19 2021 16:08 utc | 130

All right, I'll add one comment, since the Canada-conversation turned to Saudi Arabia. I did find an article on from a PR trade magazine a few years ago about Saudi Arabia hiring a new PR firm. The strategy from that PR firm? To make Saudi Arabia look like Canada. 'We have to make Saudi Arabia seem like Canada.' That was the strategy.

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Jun 19 2021 16:09 utc | 131

@ dh... thanks... yes! i much prefer self flagellation to boasting! it might be a canuck trait... not sure..

@ 131 bruised northerner... interesting...thanks for your comments!

Posted by: james | Jun 19 2021 16:12 utc | 132

Posted by: james | Jun 19 2021 15:56 utc | 127

You can be proud of the question that the Radio Canada correspondent asked Putin, compared with the vitriol, bile and bad faith of the US correspondents. Canada still has a good international image, I think the flag has a lot to do with it ;) but nothing like what it had during the present PM's father Pierre Elliot. I spent sometime in BC, I'll always be thankful to that impressive land, but in spite of all the positive aspects it is a colonial project, and I imagine things are not as easy now as they used to be, yesterday a friend from Montreal sent me a link about a new mortgage craze and housing costs with the average house price in Canada close to 700K Cad$, which means in Vancouver must be a lot more since it always was more expensive, that takes a lot of years to pay, with a decent job. By the way I remember Kelowna as a nice small place by a lake.

Posted by: Paco | Jun 19 2021 16:31 utc | 133

@ Posted by: Jörgen Hassler | Jun 19 2021 12:31 utc | 119

That's not surprising. The WHO is not a sovereign institution, therefore it just do "advice".

But don't fool yourself: Western powers are very worried about the chronic fall in birth rates and they are planning to force their women in childbearing age to reproduce more. The WHO's advice was just the spark/prologue.

Posted by: vk | Jun 19 2021 16:39 utc | 134

@ 133 paco... thanks paco.. unfortunately there is a lot of group think here in canada and our broadcasting outlets - cbc - are not very helpful.. we seem to have swallowed a lot of the koolaid from south of the border - without question.. we might be a bit more laid back, but even that seems to be changing.. the 700K sounds about right where i am, but not sure if it is that way all across canada.. they are blowing a bubble and there seems to be no end in sight on the r/e front.. vancouver prices are obviously more.. it is unsustainable - much like our collective actions on the planet are unsustainable.. i go back to the issue of how the financial world is set up at present and the need for this to be completely overhauled or taken apart.. i can dream!

kelowna is no longer very quaint.. in fact - it is my least favourite place in the okanogan area... we have some friends who lives in peachland - nicer, but again - run over with big box houses and many from vancouver cashing out... prices are unrealistically high in this area too.. our friends live on a small farm they inherited from her family who were original settlers in the westbank - peachland area.. we picked italian plums on their farm late summer last year..

on a related note - you are in spain correct?? we are talking about going to seville next year... any thoughts around that?? all travel ideas welcomed, if we get to make this trip.. thanks for your many posts and input here at moa paco!

Posted by: james | Jun 19 2021 17:03 utc | 135

Posted by: james | Jun 19 2021 17:03 utc | 135

There are lots of nice places to see and enjoy in Spain, Seville is extremely hot during summertime, so consider that if you and 45ºC are not compatible. For a local that looks for shade instead of sun like northerners do I enjoy travelling within Spain during the fall, sprig time and early summer are great too.

Posted by: Paco | Jun 19 2021 17:12 utc | 136

Concerning the summit people need to remember that it was very short.

Considering the things Lavrov said they talked about I can all too easily imagine the Russians saying that and then the US counterparts more or less simply nodding while it passes over their heads. I'm willing to bet a pilsner on that :)

No, things can be true without being significant.

Instead with the short amount of time available (even less time after each item in any of either party's "laundry list") if anything at all of significance was discussed (and I do believe there was) it would have been a handful of things at most, and it would have had to be very direct and efficient. Two or three topics of fact that could be mutually "agreed to" seems to be the reasonable limit.

(I apologize if this is stepping on Lavrov's and/or Putin's shoes.)

In addition for there to be anything to discuss or analyze back in Russia ie. anything of genuine significance, anything of actual consequence, one is forced to read between the lines and look for any mutual reality checks taking place.

In the current situation where a basic common understanding is missing one simply doesn't discuss the finer points of anything unless one deliberately wants to waste time, and no time seems to have been wasted since they concluded early.

- - - - -

Putin's description of Biden as "energetic" …is perhaps a tad unfortunate :)

- - - - -

If nothing else I say the things no one else seems to be saying here or elsewhere.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jun 19 2021 17:44 utc | 137

So it seems poor Champ has passed on:

'We Will Miss Him Always': Champ, President Biden's Dog, Passes Away

Posted by: Bemildred | Jun 19 2021 17:52 utc | 138

Sunny Runny Burger

My guess is that China was the subject Biden or his handlers were most interested in. Like Trump wanting to attack Iran, US now wants Russia to turn a blind eye to any US attack on China. I think that US is now beginning to understand that if they use nukes against any country, Russia can and will destroy them. Putin has said in one or more interviews that if a fight is inevitable, strike first. I was never sure of how he judged if a fight is inevitable, but now I think that line is when US uses nukes against any other country.
In a speech a few years back, Putin stated a nuclear attack against an ally no matter how small would be considered a nuclear attack against Russia. After the Jerusalem meeting of Israel, US, and Russia, the Russian envoy felt the need at the press conference to specifically state in public that Iran was an ally of Russia.
Here in Australia, a lot of money is going to be used to upgrade and also build new military bases supposedly for joint training exercises with the US. US will be storing large amounts of military supplies here. Australia is looking at building US designed ballistic missiles here? (most likely the building will consist of pulling a missile ouit of a box and putting a made in Australia sticker on it) In plain speak, US are going to set up nuke missiles across the north all pointed at China.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 19 2021 18:22 utc | 139

thanks paco... we are talking early april at this point...

Posted by: james | Jun 19 2021 19:11 utc | 140

Thinking on the summit and the slow dawning of the US that mutually assured destruction is alive and well, or if anything Russia's destruction may not be quite as assured as it is for the US.
Back when Putin unveiled the new generation of strategic weapons systems, He said "now you will listen to us" so perhaps it didn't take to long for what Putin was saying to get through Biden's dementured skull.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 19 2021 20:06 utc | 141

Putin addresses United Russia Party Congress as elections to Duma near. Russia under Putin has certainly become a democracy by Lincoln's definition just as China has as noted by former Singapore FM Yeo @ 42 above--government of the people, by the people, for the people. Putin demonstrates that Russia is exactly that in the opening of his address:

"In December, the party will celebrate its 20th anniversary. Over the years, it has successfully established itself and gained numerous supporters. Of course, being the biggest political force in such a large country for so many years entails a huge burden of responsibility, which means that you, colleagues, the people who work in the field, bear this responsibility to the people. Together with the country you celebrate its achievements, and you share the blame for what did not work out, you bear responsibility for that. This is a heavy burden. Our work and our daily life do not consist of daily celebrations, and all this is the responsibility of the people who have taken on the challenges that the country faces.

"Nevertheless, the party withstood competition with dignity at all levels of elections and displayed an ability to renew itself and constantly develop. In routine work and in making decisions that are paramount for our Fatherland, the party has shown responsibility and patriotic commitment. Friends, I want to thank you for this.

"Today United Russia confidently occupies a leading position, with a majority in almost all legislative and representative municipal bodies. Most importantly, I want to remind you that in every region, city and town, you need to rely on like-minded people, on people who strive to create and to benefit the nation.

"This is undoubtedly a very powerful resource, and it is crucial that it serves practical purposes, the interests of our country’s citizens and of our state, and ensures the stability and sustainability of our political system. This is vitally important for present-day society and the country, and for solving the large-scale tasks we are facing today. They are, first of all, related to the preservation of our nation, improving people’s well-being and quality of life in all regions of the Russian Federation." [My Emphasis]

Here inside the Outlaw US Empire, neither the Ds or Rs can truthfully speak the words Putin spoke. Now that the inflation caused by many years of Federal Reserve policy of "Quantitative Easing"--Providing trillions for the Neoliberal Parasites--can no longer be hidden, the Rs are trying to pin it on the Biden administration which has only been in power 5 months when the initial policy was Bush's, expanded by Obama, then expanded even more by Trump. These charts provide all the proof required that the most egregious spike was done over the last two years by Trump. Then there's this associated chart, the one at bottom using the methodology that was abandoned in 1980 so Reagan's VooDoo Economics--Neoliberalism unleashed--would look good. That chart reflects the reality of new autos costing $35,000 and homes being priced out of many people's reach--look at the lead-up to the 2007-8 crash and now.

Honest governance ought to be a bipartisan hot button since the rabidly dishonest governance since 1981 has ruined the nation. The unspoken yet massive advantage enjoyed by China and Russia is their systems that produce good governance that uplift their citizenry and motivate them to improve. Such motivation has all but disappeared within the Outlaw US Empire, and its beginning is well marked by the iconic 1982 Billy Joel tune, Allentown, where he notes that middleclass factory workers could no longer expect to do better economically than their Old Man. It's now almost 40 years later--two entire generations have been born and grown to adulthood. So, it's not surprising that Identity Politics is the rage since that's all millions of young people have as equity. And as for Lincoln's attributes for being a democracy, they were usurped long ago when it was decided after WW2 that the USA would take over the UK as the world's Outlaw Empire.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 19 2021 21:11 utc | 142

Hemiola #116

Thank you for that post and I have to add that many centuries ago people were murdered who had the temerity to scientifically describe the earth's motion around the sun and not vice versa. Many western countries have descended to this current lunacy due to big pharma and having abandoned their critical faculties. There is immense pressure to conform or be canceled and it is a response mechanism, corporate culture, call it what you will, that will destroy the west.

I was with a group of people the other day and the talk strayed to vaccines and they each told their stories and I would estimate that many people in that group have not even considered the circumstance beyond the headline or lead TV news story. They all were desperate to hear my story and so I told them that I had advice that due to my medical history to very specifically avoid the jabs on offer and had the emergency medications needed to respond. They were amazed, they were wandering into their lives asleep to the repercussions and were astounded when I advised that when a century old vaccine technology such as Sputnik V or Sinovac is available in Australia, I would seek it out if I still had no natural immunity. They were speechless when I pointed out that some 98% of the population are entirely unaffected by the virus. They had been extrapolating the propaganda to think they were doomed without the jab. These were very healthy older people.

This is a great takeaway from Matt Taibbi's post:

As a result, doctors and organizations that may have little to do with politics but have advocated for ivermectin, from Dr. Tess Lawrie’s British Ivermectin Recommendation Development (BIRD) to California pulmonologist Roger Seheult to many others, have been shut down online with the same unilateral abruptness platforms apply to hate speech or threats. Dr. Sabine Hazan, a gastroenterologist and CEO of a genetic sequencing laboratory called ProGenaBiome in Ventura, California, was blindsided. She got involved with ivermectin when she was pulling out the stops for Covid-19 patients.

“I felt, no one is going to be investigating a cheap solution, so I did it myself,” she says.

Some weeks ago, Hazan got up early on a Sunday to present findings to a group of physicians that included Dr. Kylie Wagstaff, one of the physicians in the first in vitro ivermectin study, a family doctor in Zimbabwe named Jackie Stone, and others.

She uploaded the talk on YouTube, and “lo and behold, it got taken down. It’s amazing. These are doctors talking. It’s not anyone selling anything.”

Soon they will be burning books again at this rate.

Its not Fahrenheit 451 that we are witnessing, its Fahrenheit the byte killer.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 19 2021 21:31 utc | 143

Sunny Runny Burger #137

Putin's description of Biden as "energetic" …is perhaps a tad unfortunate :)

I thought it was perfect. Why mince words with fools? Putin gets to meet Erdoghan periodically and is trained in the art of avoiding throttling idiots at the earliest opportunity.

Putin demonstrated the perfection of that training with Biden.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 19 2021 21:37 utc | 144

Julianna @ 120

So you have earthworms? None in our garden. I’ve helped two others turn over plots in their gardens, none there either. There are reports of worms locally, I’ve seen none.

Can work all day in the garden or painting, no bugs. Even tasks as priming underside of porches and stairs there are no bugs to be seen. No bugs, thus no spiders.

Bird population might be one quarter of last year and last year was a shadow of the past.

Have you noticed the trees dying? Some can see it, most have no clue what I am talking about. The roar of chainsaws and chipper trucks is as constant around here as the sound of gas lawnmowers, everyone thinks it is just individual trees getting old, no one sees that it is systemic.

While others rant about the evil liberal plot to gin up climate change when there is none, I simply grieve every minute of every day. When we do see a bird we say goodbye.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jun 19 2021 21:40 utc | 145

@ 145 oldhippie.. that is a sad sorry tale you describe... i must be living in paradise then... we had a friend comment on how many birds we have in our yard.. in fact, i think there is at least one new family here staying close by and we have many birds - hummingbirds - the year long type, but the rufus variety come by too.. robins, a few dove, starlings,and many other birds.. my wife likes to feed the birds.. this probably helps.. and we have many worms.. we do direct deposit into the soil with our compost... tons of red worms come from this, but we also have the big fat other kind too which the robins love.. every time i turn over a bit of soil, they usually show up.. and bluebirds were here earlier this year, and i suspect the magpies will show up in the near future.. crows and birds of prey - hawks and eagles are also around as we have a squirrel population from the hazel nut trees here which they periodically cull..

about the trees, we've been told the arbutus tree special to the westcoast of b.c. washington and oregon has some type of disease that is noticeable.. i think this is new... of course we had the pine beetle affecting the trees in the interior and fortunately we've had more rain the past few weeks then usual which will cut down on the number of forest fires hopefully... but we did have a dry winter here which is very unusual and i am sure that is impacting the trees in some way too... i thought i would offer up my view which is in contrast to yours.. i suspect your view might be more accurate for everywhere at this point though.. we are killing the planet and unable or unwilling to change it seems.. i hope i am wrong..

Posted by: james | Jun 19 2021 21:53 utc | 146

@145 Here you go OH. Good exercise too...

Maybe buy a sack of birdseed while you're out there. :)

Posted by: dh | Jun 19 2021 22:11 utc | 147

Chris Hedges on Julian Assange and the 'crime' of truth telling.

Posted by: Paul | Jun 19 2021 22:37 utc | 148

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 19 2021 21:31 utc | 143

I am of the opinion that what is needed is preventives and vaccines to subdue this novel, probably GOF lab-escaped virus; and the primary reason ivermectin is black-listed in the Western media is due to financial interests — by interests who want to profit from products currently in the big pharma pipeline. The earlier reasoning to obtain EUA ifor vaccines I s passed imo.

Can anyone remember how many times we had to hear the name of a drug product, beginning with the letter “R” — worthless and expensive, promoted as anti-covid treatment world wide including by the former Potus PR team? Even wealthier Indian areas are still paying for this snake oil.

Solutions to a problem in the current (declining) US financial empire are unacceptable if they are simple, unpatented and cheap. Our bodies are currently one of their last home frontiers for exploitation. So ivermectin “fails” in the so-called west due to its potential to suck out profit takings by rentiers, lives be damned. Also, as julianna always stresses, making a mask is simple and a home-made solution to get by in such a crisis. Nobody profits but everybody benefits. Also imo, the right vaccine for you is a best option if you’re in good health to receive it, some better than others for individuals depending on age, health status and circumstances.

I suppose I am a little dictatorial as I would have— if I had had the power— called a cessation to all activities for two to three weeks when this thing became apparent, leaving it nowhere to reproduce. Libertarians would have screamed, as they did indeed even as this best-case scenario for curtailing the novel virus tout de suit was not pursued in most of the west.

As I imagine a two or three week paid vacation would have been welcomed by most working-class people burdened by 40 years of neoliberal assault but drawing out the pandemic to benefit profit takers at the expense of workers widens the class divide— it glares at us tauntingly. Who with what ideology will respond?

Posted by: suzan | Jun 19 2021 22:45 utc | 149

dh @ 147

Fresh planted trees do not live long. The little ones get fungus so fast. The maple leaves turn black. Elms are perforated to lace by ??? Oaks are consumed by wasp galls. Nurseries used to guarantee their saplings would live. No more.

The report from James is what I expect. Tree death is everywhere in Northern hemisphere and noticeable in Southern. Heck, photos of paradises where you should fly for a vacation regularly feature dead trees now.

The trees that blow over or simply fall are hollow and black inside. The property where we are living measures 107’x185’. Part of that is a house, a coach house, a parking pad. When we moved in eleven years ago there were twenty-three trees here. Now there are seven. No one notices. The seven that are left all have dead branches, are leaning over, have heavy mats of lichen, epicormic branching, splits, bark falling off. No one sees a damn thing. Our favorite campsite nearby in Wisconsin is called Pinewoods, the forest is pine telephone poles. No one notices.

We are baking in the sun because of the tree loss. Other side of the alley a very large old elm fell over two weeks ago. Minor windstorm. The homeowner had consulted an arborist just last summer. Arborist told him the tree would outlast him. Homeowner had tree fall on his roof. Still convinced the arborist was right, nothing is wrong. The tree hollowed out in ten months for particular causes. It is all individual. Nothing to see here, move along.

I am pissing in the wind. No one has eyes. Maybe Julianna does. Politics a diversion.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jun 19 2021 23:05 utc | 150

oldhippie #150

Thank you for your tree story. They are still robust here in the bunya nut republik. Recently I traveled through a burned out zone of two years ago that everyone had declared lost and yet almost every tree was sprouting new branches and likely would set an abundance of flower and seed in their lust to regenerate. I have inquired of my other friends of the forests and they report the same good stories. Certainly some species were set back but it appears the hardy long life trees that stand for a hundred years and more are all in sound condition.

Here the bell birds transform the forest architecture by setting parasites on a short life (80yr) variety of gum and then set up their bell ringing song to deter other birds from their food source. Beautiflul sound from a selfish intent. That parasite eventually overwhelms the gum, allows light to penetrate to the ground and then the very long life softwood and hardwood trees emerge and the parasite cant live on or affect them - thus the forest regeneration and selection process is driven by a minor sweet nectar producing parasite feeding a small bird that rings like a tiny temple bell. This regeneration/selection progresses through the forest like a hundred year long wave. The mighty hardwoods claim that zone and the softer woods proliferate where they can. The cedars and rosewoods are comfortable on the damp gullies and fringe of the hardwood that loves the slopes and ridges and the forest thrives.

In your region you may well find trees that are resilient to the human induced decimation and so plant them as your statement of defiance ~ and hope.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 19 2021 23:34 utc | 151

@150 That's a terrible picture you paint OH. I had no idea things were so bad. Not sure what to say.

@151 I remember the birds in Australia. Varied and colorful. Though I did hear a few complaints about the Common Myna.

Posted by: dh | Jun 19 2021 23:45 utc | 152

oldhippie @150

I don't see that where I am right now, but it was definitely an issue back when I lived in Japan. It was not an issue that the farmers I hung around with would raise often, but when the subject came up it would kill conversation and they would look pensively across the forests lining the valley. While most of the trees seemed healthy to me, there were noticeable dead ones visible in the forest and even some of groups of dead ones. I was a newcomer to the area, of course, but the farmers had lived there their whole lives so they knew what looked normal and what didn't, and the numbers of dead trees was apparently not normal. It was one of those sorts of situations where everyone there seemed to know and worry about it but they didn't talk about it because they didn't know what to do.

I hope that problem has passed since then.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 20 2021 1:20 utc | 153

here in b.c. they plant trees from seedlings and they do grow.. that link from @dh is a vancouver based company.. treeplanters are a part of the fabric here in b.c.

the technique of slash and burn replicates what @uncle tungsten describes with all the life coming back after a forest fire... it puts a ton of carbon into the soil and it is great for growth of seedlings... of course people can plant trees where they live too, if they feel inclined.. still the arbutus trees do seem to be suffering from something here on the coast... all the other trees - cedar, fir and spruce being the most common - all appear fine in the forests i walk in regularly...

Posted by: james | Jun 20 2021 2:04 utc | 154

posted a comment and it completely vanished after hitting the post button...

shortened version.... slash and burn is a technique used on the westcoast for planting tree seedlings.. it replicates the dynamic that has happened in uncle tungstens country where large fires took out much... essentially the fire throws a lot of carbon, and or nitrogen into the soil which is great for growing seedlings..

Posted by: james | Jun 20 2021 2:06 utc | 155

oldhippie @ 145, if you have earth I think you should try to see if there are worms in it by starting a compost heap, from which the earth itself will unseen regenerate. I wish I could help - indeed in our area we had a terrible drought some years back that forced the lovely pinons to become prey for bark beetles, so in our arid regions most of them died. I still have one on the west side of my garden wall - they are slow growing; there are still small ones often in the shade of the junipers. This is mountain desert country - we have had huge fires in past years that would break your heart. It happens. Drought ended a civilization at Chaco Canyon. The people left, but in recent years I visited and the rains had come and made the canyon beautiful again.

I saw a reclamation video on PBS that was a project in China for areas worse than ours, a desert in which nothing had grown so the people who lived there were in a bad way. China reclaimed that land by issuing shovels to the villagers so they could terrace the hills and plant trees. The trees helped bring back the rain. That's a poor explanation, but we had such projects under FDR - it could happen again.

My own little plot had only a clothesline in it, rocks and gravel, when I came here nearly 30 years ago. I dug a tubsized (one gallon) area here and there, put my kitchen compost in each one. Worms came from nowhere. Next year I planted a little tree in each (mine are mostly fruit trees). They are big now and give shade. Or, just get some containers and plant those. We need this. We will need this. And when your potatoes sprout - plant those! More people are making gardens now, and this will also affect the climate, even these small efforts --cumulatively!

Posted by: juliania | Jun 20 2021 2:13 utc | 156

juliania - i was telling old hippie about direct deposit - burying your compost - as well! tons of worms are a byproduct of that..

Posted by: james | Jun 20 2021 2:19 utc | 157

I had another thought, oldhippie. Dead trees have had large root systems, and no matter what has killed your trees, those root systems are food for the earth. Even pine forests that die leave food for earth creatures - my garden got better when a huge cottonwood next door died in one of our droughts - the roots were in my garden. This is a cycle perhaps in your area that needs encouragement - the earth would be feeding on the roots of the dead trees, and with more light you must have places new plantings would do well. Don't give up.

Posted by: juliania | Jun 20 2021 2:28 utc | 158

Yes James! And the thing of it is, worms make topsoil - they are great soilbuilders. The people in the high mountains of Tibet know this - they respect their worms greatly! But we have been just as hoodwinked on this by the oligarchical system under which food is chemically produced by conglomerates owned by huge corporations - that's death for the planet! They are only concerned to extract wealth for the corporate heads and that is a great crime. But the time is coming when what Russia learned from too much consolidation of farms - that small holdings by the little people could supply better quality food than any of that - will spread, and what China is doing for individual farming families will spread. What we individually do out of love for the soil is infinitely better and more productive!

Posted by: juliania | Jun 20 2021 2:36 utc | 159

Monsanto was a great crime; Roundup is a great crime. We have to be patient; the earth will recover from these great crimes. It has already done so many places. Our government doesn't realize what it has done for generations, so it will take time. Their policies won't last. People are waking up. And when that happens, there is no going back. We don't have to be the earth's scourge; and it starts with us, one at a time, us.

Posted by: juliania | Jun 20 2021 2:47 utc | 160

james, did you see? A quiet young man, a Canadian, is one of the leaders at the US Open Golf Tournament - I thought of you watching today. It is at Torrey Pines, and I know folk have a justified abhorrence of too many golf courses, but to me it is better use of the land than a megamansion or two would be, or some skyscraper luxury apartments - and with the coastlines eroding, how better to let folk enjoy the landscapes provided by a golf course to get back in touch with what is happening in nature? I think we need it, even if it is a rich man's past time. Certainly in the desert it ought to be only a desert landscape surround, and there ought to be fewer where water is a problem. But I think we need their beauty, we need the sport that is competitive but not violent. We need the beautiful trees.Good luck to your countryman, james!

I share oldhippie's sorrow at the loss of his trees.

Posted by: juliania | Jun 20 2021 3:19 utc | 161

oldhippie I grieve with you each passing note of the natural world that remains. Where I am, it's not all gone yet.

We are climate refugees now.

Perhaps we can stay where we are and plant the next wave of life, although we may be dead by the time that life takes over - and what will that matter? Or perhaps we can move to where the living is easy, for the moment.

This conversation is more fundamental and perhaps even more vital than the geopolitical ones. I expect we will have more.


We are so advanced now that we depend on water falling from the heavens for sustenance, as if by gift alone. We can beg this from ritual or from seeding, but the principle remains true. What was that advancement again?

And what about mushrooms? The mycelia are the secret life of trees.

But, here on the surface, how can we restore the earth to sustenance capacity? I think there are numerous ways, just as there are with energy, and all the many profligate ways we have lived.

The Earth has been so provident that we have not had to economize. But now we can - and this is a gain, because there is great abundance in economy. I have a feeling that the providence of the Earth will not fail us. Only we can fail ourselves. But the universe itself is not hostile.

This world of being that we find ourselves in is deliriously prolific.


But a sad mind cannot fathom these ways of repair and regrowth. A happy mind can see them arrayed in their gleaming abundance. This is why the Chinese will save the entire planet. Their happy minds in their non-profit volunteerism will discover the ten thousand ways to create sustainability, and to make a repair that is never separate from beauty.

And we in the shaman continents of the Americas may have to sit in dryness and emptiness, and despair, and relearn the power of simple prayer. And reconnect with the humility of ground level. This can be a tragedy but it can also be a blessing.


This was just a paean. You'll find no recipes here.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 20 2021 4:15 utc | 162

Posted by: oldhippie | Jun 19 2021 23:05 utc | 150
Posted by: james | Jun 20 2021 2:19 utc | 156
Posted by: juliania | Jun 20 2021 UTC 2:28

Turkey has it own environmental issue on the Sea of Marmara: Sea Mucilage

I have noticed no one swimming in the sea around my hometown.However, the government is attempting to clean up - the surface at least.

It has been attributed to climate change, but I suspect it also has a lot to do with farm runoff, various industrial effluents, and the waste from 25 million humans living around the sea. It has also been suggested that about 70% of those nutrients come from the Black Sea via the Danube and Dnieper.

Posted by: Bluedotterel | Jun 20 2021 7:05 utc | 163

Another set of interesting photos of the Sea "snot" issue in the Sea of Marmara

Posted by: Bluedotterel | Jun 20 2021 7:10 utc | 164

Bluedotterel #162 and 163

That looks like way too much nutrient coming out of human sewage treatment plants. A similar contamination from excess sea algae bloom was beginning in the bays surrounding me and the local governments were driven to improve the sewage treatment process to the extent that almost all nutrients were removed before the water was returned to the sea. That put an immediate stop to the problem. It becomes a nightmare issue where human waste is inadequately treated and then dumped into rivers and seas. You get massive algae blooms that rob all the dissolved oxygen from the water causing massive fish kills and the anaerobic bacteria that then flourish are harmful to all. The nutrients can be used in agriculture after extraction. Yes it is a costly process but we made it so and must pay the price.

The Australian Aboriginal people had a highly developed science for fire management and building land fertility to grow their grains and tubers. They did well for tens of thousands of years and managed the native animals and fish in abundance. They were soil builders not nutrient takers. They would never deposit their waste in a water course.

Not far away are the oldest human constructions on this planet where the stone built water traps still exist for fish management.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 20 2021 8:13 utc | 165

Not a fan of football but I hope the Hungarian beats the crap out of the german, getting real sick of this rainbow pride stuff.

Posted by: Smith | Jun 20 2021 10:08 utc | 166

Hey, juliania!

When do you suppose the folks around here will learn to spell your name?

Just wondering...

Posted by: john | Jun 20 2021 11:39 utc | 167

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 20 2021 8:13 utc | 164

Anaerobes are going to own the earth when we are done with it, and I expect they will do a better job than we did too. There is not much you can say for a creature that strangles itself in its own waste out of greed for imaginary assets and social status competition.

Thank you for at least bringing these subjects up. If we don't start to deal with the monkey politics and our other anthropoid obsessions we are going to deservedly go extinct.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jun 20 2021 12:04 utc | 168

OH - I googled Pinewoods and I live about an hour from there, it would appear we live in the same general area.

I see what you see, but it appears almost no one around me sees it. Sadly, I don't think there is much to be done about it. Things have been set in motion that are going to take generations to play out and no one has even begun to do anything to offset them, in fact they are adding more energy to the system, which means it will take even longer to play itself out. The earth will regenerate, but not until it gets rid of this virus called humanity.

We have poisoned the soil all over WI to the point that the ecosystem is crashing at an increasing rate. It started a while ago, but is finally gaining enough momentum so as to be observable to those that look.

Because WI grows so much food people often make the mistake of thinking that we have great soil. We have crap soil, almost all clay or sand, which means all that food we produce is entirely dependent on immense amounts of chemicals. We do have a shit ton of water. All those chemicals have killed off most of the insects.

When I was a kid and played in the fields near my house there was an abundance of butterflies, grasshoppers, and banana spiders (not their actual name, but that is what we called them, bright yellow and black). Lightning bugs, dragon flies and worms. All of these are a rarity now. So, rare that when I see one of these I take note and remember how abundant they were in my youth (40 years ago).

This applies to all those things that feed on insects as well - frogs, snakes, birds. Next on the list will be squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits.

What about the heat and lack of rain recently? This type of heat in late May and early June is not normal, nor is being nearly 9" below normal rainfall levels (now about 7" thanks to a massive storm Friday evening).

I have been aware of the changes taking place for at least 20 years, and realized pretty early on that we were beyond mitigation even if their was the will to do that. I always comforted myself with the fact that I don't have any children and the worst of it would come near the end of my life and after, but it appears that it is happening much faster than we initially thought it would, and I am not getting off that easily.

Individual efforts like Julianna mentioned are not going to cut it, and when the SHTF, others are just going to come and take it from you, and probably destroy it in the process. (Not that I am suggesting that she and other shouldn't do those things, I do them myself. But realize that such an insignificant amount of people actually caring isn't going to change anything).

Enjoy what is left while you can and be glad that you are old. Future generations are pretty well fucked.

Posted by: David F | Jun 20 2021 12:15 utc | 169

@Sunny Runny Burger | Jun 19 2021 17:44 utc | 137

Putin's description of Biden as "energetic" …is perhaps a tad unfortunate :)

Maybe Putin couldn't help but notice the effects of the amphetamines given to Biden for the occasion and made a sarcastic dry comment about it.

Posted by: Lurk | Jun 20 2021 13:49 utc | 170

David F @ 169

I have been aware of the changes taking place for at least 20 years, and realized pretty early on that we were beyond mitigation even if their was the will to do that

Yeah, how ironic that chimpanzees, who share 98% of our genes, are highly endangered and will probably be extinct within 20 or 30 years, can only be saved through human intervention.

Posted by: john | Jun 20 2021 14:09 utc | 171

Lurk @170

Exactly. Putin's "energetic" comment sounded to me more like Russian humor.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 20 2021 14:34 utc | 172

@ 161 juliania... i don't have a tv and don't watch sports, but i am happy some young person is doing well at the game of golf... i have heard golf courses are hard on the environment, but i haven't looked at it closely... like so many things that are man made - the use of chemical fertilizers, and etc. etc. to give the image of a nice manicured lawn go with the terrain as i understand it.. i don't believe the scots would have resorted to that when they first played the game! your comments @ 159 are indeed true... having sounded like a broken record on encouraging others to read the works of wendell berry, i will do so again for more insight into who is running the food and farm industry in the usa and canada.. and - it ain't pretty..

@ 162 grieved.. i always admire and appreciate your commentary and presence here at moa... however, i am always taken aback at your unlimited confidence in the chinese to somehow transcend the typical foibles of humankind... i think your idealism is misplaced, but it is cute that you hold to it!! cheers

@ lurk / wg - yes, humour is far more likely..

@ john... you must have some fancy spell check, lol...

Posted by: james | Jun 20 2021 15:50 utc | 173

In a recent interview at The (“The 2021 Corporate Bamboozle On World Food Systems”) this was revealed:

“...about 70% at least of the world’s people depend upon that small holder production to stay alive, to feed themselves. And that also comes out to roughly the same percentage in terms of the amount of food, not just the number of people, but also the amount of calories and so on that are being produced.”

The report released by ipes which is discussed in the interview looks at different paths to the future. Which table will you eat at?

I am a smallholder producer who eats seasonally from the abundance of the earth and by my toil. When I began over 40 years ago there was little diversity here. It reminded me of a Dorthy Lange photograph from the dust bowl era. Now it’s a garden of eden although the neighboring surrounds have become more homogeneous, somewhat scary — sterile looking.

This is a cultural preference ‘chosen’ by people here who are influenced by the wider corporate culture. Most rural residents no longer spend time outside other than to mow turf. Some have a few herbaceous plants and a few trees but there is no rich complexity and so no diversity. In urban areas people try to do more as juliania describes, composting, planting fruit and shade trees, enriching the soil and nurturing their postage-stamp sized gardens into beauty and productivity. They have the best tasting, most nutritious, food tables.

Agribusiness uses 75% of the world’s land and resources to feed 30% of the world’s population while externalizing burdensome costs onto society difficult to overcome. There may be little reason for optimism ensconced as we have been for the past 40 years in escalating inequality and destruction of ecosystems but some places and peoples are showing us a way that holds promise. The path or journey is what matters.

Posted by: suzan | Jun 20 2021 15:52 utc | 174

@ suzan... thanks for that... the link says they are based in europe... it seems the europeans are much more concerned about the quality of their food then north americans by and large... here is a link to a wikipedia page on wendell berry... i am going to quote a few lines from it..

On January 4, 2009, Berry and Wes Jackson, president of The Land Institute, published an op-ed article in The New York Times titled "A 50-Year Farm Bill."[21] In July 2009 Berry, Jackson and Fred Kirschenmann, of The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, gathered in Washington DC to promote this idea.[22] Berry and Jackson wrote, "We need a 50-year farm bill that addresses forthrightly the problems of soil loss and degradation, toxic pollution, fossil-fuel dependency and the destruction of rural communities."[

this man is a leader in every sense of the word and one that is sorely needed in the usa, especially with regard to agricultural practices..

Posted by: james | Jun 20 2021 16:18 utc | 175

oldhippie @ 145

I was moved by your post to write something ……. this will have to do:

Living in the Wasteland of the Free

"Easy is getting harder every day" Iris Dement

Somewhere in the world today a good-to-go figure stands in front of a flaming forest vainly snapping a selfie unaware of the plastic bottles at their feet; to be posted on anti-social media which no-one will look at, wilfully ignorant of the part they play in the destruction of the environment which surrounds them and which they do not want to see.

Somewhere else an obese teenager wanders through a destroyed landscape drinking a caramel latte while looking at their mobile phone not seeing the dying bees around them, wilfully unaware of the poisoning of both their immune system and of the planet, which they do not want to see.

Some time ago we wrote an essay that you may be interested in reading entitled How to Explain Western Civilisation to a Dead Hare: Technological Fascism versus Ecological Realism. It was written as an angry response to the first Gulf War.

'Mastery and Power over Nature' is the driving force of unsustainable growth. All the warnings of the 60s have been ignored or corrupted.

The global pandemic briefly stopped the world and allowed the planet to breathe. While those around us hysterically cried for "a return to normal"; for freedom (from responsibility), for more freedom (to ignore concern for others), and even more freedom (for endless consumption), some began to take precautions and attempt to restore an immune system (almost completely destroyed by a self-destructive lifestyle), and began to recognise limits and celebrate a paradigm shift, where life can never be the same again.

The Modern World, built on the exploitation and destruction of nature (and human nature), has reached its tipping point, which (almost) no-one wants to see.

Don’t be sad ….. for although living here in the Wasteland of the Free (as alt country singer /songwriter Iris Dement sang) knowing for certain that we will not see any restoration (of the ecosystem) in our lifetime ………. (the exclusion zone around Chernobyl has recovered in the absence of human presence and has become a thriving wildlife nature reserve; so much so, that there has been a proposal to turn it into a tourist attraction 'to save the local economy') ……… we must take solace in these dark days of the revenge of nature.

How to Explain Western Civilisation to a Dead Hare: Technological Fascism versus Ecological Realism

The Virus and the Parasite

Best wishes

Posted by: Hemiola | Jun 20 2021 18:32 utc | 176

Posted by: james | Jun 20 2021 16:18 utc | 175

I agree with your assessment re Wendell Berry and Wes Jackson but they have no visible power in the current era of agribusiness-captured government. Their ideas and practices receive little media attention any more. They were allowed platform before the neoliberal consolidation of power but now if you ask a young person who they are and what are their ideas most would draw a corporate blank.

Wes and Wendell remain an uncomfortable stone in the shoe of finance-capital industrial agriculture in the USA. It has little to no concern for the people of the lands which they exploit and pollute. They focus on short-term gains and monopolization, which captured fiscal and political systems here facilitate often with exceptionalist ideology — we feed the world!!!

Without the media being on the side of everyday people, facilitating ideas and encouraging new experiments and associations in harmony with the natural world of which we are a part, light comes from elsewhere, to be seen and known but not without effort.

Posted by: suzan | Jun 20 2021 19:23 utc | 177

suzan... thanks... i agree with your assessment as well.. more needs to be done in north america where so much farm land is inside the circle of the agra corps, not to mention all the land being bought up by people like bill gates which is also cause for concern...

the temporary solution is to follow in the footsteps of people like juliania and of course wendell berry and other like minded individuals... if you have any suggestions how to move forward here, i would be curious..

Posted by: james | Jun 20 2021 21:35 utc | 178

@173 james - "your unlimited confidence in the chinese to somehow transcend the typical foibles of humankind"

But this is not where my confidence is placed. I expect the Chinese to show as many human foibles as anyone else, anywhere in the human realm. My confidence is placed in their system.

It wasn't human individuals acting in the mass willfully who despoiled this planet, it was the system of exploitation that placed a disincentive to regenerate the resources taken - call it whatever you wish, and if you want to call it capitalism and imperialism I'm okay with that.

China as we know has a system based on caring for its population and also now on creating sustainable environment. If China succeeds in its endeavors it will have a place to live that could endure and sustain its population as long as the planet itself endures. Again, call that system what you will, and if you call it socialism with Chinese characteristics I'm okay with that.

As a Buddhist, I believe I understand very well how humans work as sentient beings - this has in fact been explained minutely and fully by the Buddha, who could perceive the mechanisms directly. The Chinese are no different from the Americans except as their internal and external culture may give them slightly different habits of thought - true of any culture - but no difference in the fundamentals.

But the Chinese have a reason to be happy. Their system gives them that reason. They have a future. Their minds are on fire to populate that future with countless new treasures.

People in the US have no reason to be happy, and I personally don't know any who are happy anymore. The US has no future, and no one dreams of filling the future with anything except perhaps salvation from the trends that seem to possess us nowadays.

A happy mind is capable of miracles. A sad mind is capable of despair.

Humans have foibles and virtues - all the countless ways to be are contained within, and possible from, humans at any time, and at any stage of their personal development. It's the environment they live in that gives them their preponderant reasons to lean towards the miracle or the despair.

So it's the system I place my confidence in. If we in the US could somehow have a system like China's - or Cuba's, say - there's no telling what miracles of regeneration we might achieve for our lands and waters.

Instead, we shall probably have to live in dotage and wait for the Demonstration Effect from China to inspire us to rise again, as it will inspire all the world.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 21 2021 1:10 utc | 179

Grieved | Jun 21 2021 1:10 utc | 179
A happy mind is capable of miracles. A sad mind is capable of despair.

What a great comment regarding China; a rising power and an ancient culture of vast accomplishments...
I have been a student of Buddha's teaching for 40+ years and lived in a Buddhist culture for 18 years and counting...
Your whole pov is spot on IMHO...
...and you pegged the U.S. exactly so...a stste of depression and toxicity...

Posted by: V | Jun 21 2021 2:00 utc | 180

@ Grieved | Jun 21 2021 1:10 utc | 179 with the Buddhist take on China and human culture

I like your "A happy mind is capable of miracles. A sad mind is capable of despair." statements but believe that despair is not a given in a sad mind and some good motivation can come from heartfelt sadness and grief.

And then my thoughts go off along the path of what I have learned about the human "mind" as part of my healing process, specifically related to The Polyvagal Theory by Stephen Porges and the factoid of our neural networks that has our cortex gets the sensory input one and one half seconds after received.....what happens during that second and a half relates to The Polyvagal Theory about how the vagus nerve "brains" process trauma/stress when we were mammals and reptiles before that...our reptilian/mammalian selves are still very active in our lives. The vagus nerve brains, along with other elements of what is called the salient network, determine if the sensory input is life threatening or threatening/stimulating other core life functions. Only after that sort of processing is the vagus "colored" stimulus sent to our cortex for further conscious processing.

Stay with me here Grieved because of my limited understanding of Buddhism, I don't see these science facts fitting the buddhism understanding about humans.

Back to the vagus nerve and Porges's Polyvagal Theory and how our bodies work. I have describes this before at MoA but the short version is that the social functioning of our vagus nerve upper "brain" "matures" during a infants last trimester in the womb and extends during the first year out of the effects this thing called an ogliodendricite that wraps around the neuron going to the sinoatrial side of the heart controlling the sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous system AND emotional control and perception issues, that in Western med are called autism, ADD, ADHD, epilepsy, OCD, (TBI, PTSD, anxiety disorder (I was diagnosed with)), etc.

To summarize, we are reptiles/mammals/humans who's social interaction is severely influenced by our infancy development environment. The salient network seems to be mainly influenced by our vagus nerve development along with our reptile/mammal "instincts" and colors sensory input to or cortex for further processing.

Now to get back to buddhism. As you have read repeatedly here, I am now 18 months out from having 'negative mental health symptoms" and consider myself having a happy mind and capable of miracles while at the same time quite sad about the state of human evolution which I rant about here regularly.

Please tell me how buddhism has the answer to the human conditions that I experienced and that QEEG and other neuromodulation therapies helped me heal. Does your buddhist faith change your neural networks and massage the vagus nerve emotional control parts?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 21 2021 4:54 utc | 181

Grieved @ 179

But the Chinese have a reason to be happy

Yeah, measuring happiness has been a fairly popular undertaking by social scientists for a while now, no?

I'm pretty sure though that China's burgeoning economic miracle tends to ignore many, many millions of disinherited, and the anxiety of many millions more. For starters, the pattern of this economic miracle is a shift from rural to urban living, already antithetically at odds with China's deep traditions. Such an anti-utopian rush into the future doesn't augur well in my opinion, in fact, its residual suicide rate for old folks left behind in the countryside is alarmingly high, but such disturbances of equilibrium are easily overlooked when economic growth is considered the apex of modern living.

Then again, in a world where pessimism reigns supreme(unless you live in Finland, I guess), it's probably not easy to score high on the gross happiness index.

Posted by: john | Jun 21 2021 10:58 utc | 182

@181 psychohistorian

Science is still exploring and catching up to the claims made from wisdom our human inheritance - not only from the Buddha but from countless other sources.

Science is of course studying the effect of meditation on the brain. I don't know if it's studying the effect of the brain on meditation. Which influences which? Which way does the flow of influence go? Is it a one-way or a two-way street?

Does the brain originate thoughts or does the brain respond to thoughts? Science doesn't know, but those who examine thought have seen that the origin of thought cannot be found. In the same way, the mind itself cannot be found.

I acknowledge your personal experience - and in fact, I salute it and derive great uplift from it - and those who have specifically sought the nature of experienced thought and the nature of experienced mind have their own findings also. They must all be included in the study of what it means to be sentient.

The brain is very plastic, as we know. What part of our learned habits might it store for us as our new thoughts take us in our various directions? Science thus far, I believe, has not found a way to study karma - and I'm sure it will one day in the future. Yet karma is crucial to understanding thoughts as they arise.

Much still to be learned.


There's a wonderful expression that I heard: "When the pain gets small enough, we call it happiness."

Buddhist thought would understand what this means, namely that within the ups and downs of our emotions and our states of being, we are still caught in certain conditions and illusions that bring us a kind of suffering that we barely cognize, let alone know how to change.

Why don't we take all this time we have in front of us, friend psychohistorian, and continue discussing these things? But sadly, for now I must go, though I will go happily enough :)

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 21 2021 16:05 utc | 183

@182 john - "I'm pretty sure..."

I'm not that sure, and in fact I think you're wrong.

TIP: never try to parse China through western parameters. (Translation: everything you think you know about China is wrong.)

The CPC polls all of its population, across the entire land. It doesn't leave out people just because it's managing an economic boom which it has used to lift 800 million people out of poverty.

Mao himself in his greatly misunderstood Cultural Revolution forced power and learning out of the cities and down to the lowest levels of life on the ground in rural China, in a radical action that very few others in history have ever had the compassion to perform.

The literacy rate went from practically zero to 80% and above - because the peasants were given schools and real political power at the local level. This vast gain in the value of human "capital" underwrote all the economic booms made possible therefrom and thereafter.

I have seen somewhere the news that the rush to the cities is perhaps now reversing - but I haven't studied this so don't quote me - on the other hand, feel free to research this since we know the data is easily available to anyone who truly cares to know.

And while you're gathering data, I'd like to see evidence that old people in the rural areas are so depressed from their situation that they're committing suicide in "alarmingly high" numbers. I find it impossible to believe, although I'm prepared to be shown.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 21 2021 16:22 utc | 184

@ grieved... thanks for your reply and comments to psychohistorian as well here.. i commend you for the beautiful quotes you've shared with us -

"A happy mind is capable of miracles. A sad mind is capable of despair."

"When the pain gets small enough, we call it happiness."

it is interesting the concept of location and the conversation around ideas and the brain.. of course one doesn't have to live anywhere in particular for the quotes above to apply.. in fact, i think placing faith in a particular country on the globe, attractive as it might seem, has its own set of challenges too.. far better to stay focused on a happy mind - no address needed, but the one a person lives in, no matter the location is of the upmost importance as i see it.

i hope you are correct in your interpretation of the chinese system and what it is, and will be grieved.. it is good to stay positive and i think this would apply to everywhere no matter how appearances are in the present..

i would like to end with a few lao tzu quotes - 'the further you go, the less you know' and 'those who speak don't know and those who know don't speak'.... thanks again for your heartfelt reply and presence here at moa grieved..

Posted by: james | Jun 21 2021 16:35 utc | 185

@ Grieved | Jun 21 2021 16:05 utc | 183 with the conversation about our species

Yes, I live joyfully in my pain which many of my friends cannot understand.

Science is the contemplation of the unknown around attempts to understand our lives and the cosmos we live in. Religions are claims of historical fact and extensions of those supposed facts into human life, which I find disingenuous......The way that can be named s not the real way.

Grieved wrote
Does the brain originate thoughts or does the brain respond to thoughts? Science doesn't know, but those who examine thought have seen that the origin of thought cannot be found. In the same way, the mind itself cannot be found.

One of my early healing findings is that I am my body, nothing less and nothing more. Our bio-electric bodies produces wave forms that science will determine are the source of our thoughts when we develop enough tools to look there.

I posit we need to continually tell ourselves of our ignorance instead of latching onto some collection of good words as some sort of cosmological knowledge. Putting faith in religions to me is hubristic of our can a species that knows a little bit about 5% of their bodies or the Cosmos it lives in claim to know God enough to impose those claims on others?

Awe of myself and the cosmos I live in is my spirituality/ can science define something that is so individual like karma?....grin

Yes, enough for now, work to well Grieved

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 21 2021 16:52 utc | 186

"Such euphemisms illustrate one major function of language, which is to keep reality at bay."

– John Carey "Eyewitness to History" Introduction

Nice aphorisms.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jun 21 2021 17:05 utc | 187

Grieved @ 184

I have seen somewhere the news that the rush to the cities is perhaps now reversing

So that would be good news, right?

And while you're gathering data, I'd like to see evidence that old people in the rural areas are so depressed from their situation that they're committing suicide in "alarmingly high" numbers

Well, maybe 'alarmingly' is a false qualifier...

China had the third highest rate of suicide among the elderly in the world and the over-65 age group had the highest rate of completed suicide in China, which reached 44.3–200 per 100,000 [3]

In rural China today with the fast growing economy, the elderly remain traditional in social values while the youth have started move away from the traditional Confucianism, which may create psychological strains for the elderly due to the discrepancy between their expectation of their children’s filial piety and the reality (Link)

I guess they got old before they got rich, but perhaps that stat is also reversing.

As an aside, and probably not really relevant to the discussion...I did live in HK(it was always a Chinese city) for a few years, where I also lived, worked, ate, and slept with them. Even chased the dragon on occasion, but that was back in my roaring 20s, so no, I ain't got no quarrel with them Chinamen...or women.

Posted by: john | Jun 21 2021 17:59 utc | 188

@ Grieved, V, psychohistorian, James,... good discussion and many good points. Thanks.

The real battlefield is the mind.

There is no perfect socioeconomic system in our world. Every nation has its strengths and weaknesses. The countries that have been captured by the Financial Empire have lost their way and perform a function of certain BLOCK, as assigned by the Empire. Name a democracy that isn’t a suzerainty.

The Dollar Empire has become the Empire of MENDACITY. Its myths, lies, deceits, are failing and falling apart. Even the National Intelligence Council acknowledges this reality. Democracy, capitalism, free markets, independent media, freedom of speech, rule of law..., when probed further on details and characteristics, don’t hold up. In the case of China they aren’t promoting any ideology. Narrative fallacies don’t win hearts and minds. Reality is in the details and deeds. Reality trumps delusions!

In the case of China, it has a vision of restoring its position in the global order by improving lives of its people (gdp per capita) and strengthening the nation through its capabilities and capacities. This national FORCE is driving the development wave which is lifting its stature on multiple dimensions. China has developed its culture on VALUES of unity, diligence, flexibility, resilience and shared prosperity. China’s key future DEVELOPMENT THEMES are:
1. High-quality growth
2. Sci-tech progress
3. Cultural confidence
4. Responsible global player
5. National and economic security

If one can’t clearly articulate the core values and development themes of a nation, then that nation is LOST &/or they don’t have a good understanding of that nation. What are U$A’s core values and development themes? In the U$A, resources are misallocated towards misadventures and speculation. Why?

"Rome has grown so much from its humble beginnings that it is now overwhelmed by its greatness."
– Titus Livius

When is winning losing and losing winning?

Posted by: Max | Jun 21 2021 18:57 utc | 189

@188 john

Thanks very much for that study - data indeed. Evidently a newish concern for the Chinese, such that they currently have to use western clinical work as a touchstone. It will be interesting to see how this progresses over time, and how it eventually makes its way into CPC policy.

@189 Max

Compelling questions you raise in your final paragraph - why indeed? Would love to know the answer.

ps..I don't know where you find these amazing quotations, but keep 'em coming :)

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 22 2021 1:25 utc | 190

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