james's blog

What Are We Waiting For?

From the introduction to a video of Keith Harmon Snow talking at a TED conference -

"Sharing insightful personal experiences and stunning photographs from near and far, Harmon Snow explores a few pressing questions about consciousness, life purpose and the personal and societal changes that are required from all of us in service to building a better world.

A former aerospace & defense professional who later worked as a genocide investigator for the United Nations, Keith is a local small farmer from Williamsburg, Massachusetts, USA, a war correspondent and photographer. He was the 2009 Regent's Lecturer in Law and Society at the University of California Santa Barbara. He has worked in 44 countries, he is 'persona non grata' in Rwanda and Ethiopia, and he is also banned (for life) from Hampshire, Smith and Mt. Holyoke Colleges in Western Massachusetts. A facilitator of consciousness workshops, he describes himself as "... a spiritual seeker learning to breathe and feel fine while preparing for the end of the world as we know it."

R2P - Responsibility To Protect

NATO's interpretation of their self assumed "responsibility to protect" the people of Sirte, Libya, by laying siege to them and bombing them to death.


The following is the introduction to an excellent article by Tony Cartalucci of Land Destroyer blog. It is an extremely informative summary of the aggression against Syria, together with some background, by the NATO countries. Our governments at work -

"Friends of Syria" summit in Istanbul seeks means of rehabilitating, rearming, & redeploying hobbled terrorist proxies.
by Tony Cartalucci

Editor's Note: Much of this report is based on James Corbett's recent presentation, "R2P or: How the Left Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace Wars of Imperial Aggression."

April 1, 2012 - Updated April 2, 2012 - Even with violence ebbing across Syria as order is restored, Kofi Annan is still attempting to peddle a "peace deal" between the Syrian government and militants - demanding Syrian troops be withdrawn from cities just recaptured from terrorist forces. And as Annan seeks a reprieve for remaining militant forces, the West is meeting in neighboring Turkey, devising a method to rearm and redeploy them in order to reignite and perpetuate the bloodshed they claim they are trying to prevent.

More specifically, BBC reports in their article titled, "Syria crisis debated at Istanbul talks," that ways are being "explored" to "step up pressure on the Syrian regime and bolster the opposition." The report also makes mention of calls to arm the opposition. There is also funding being given by the West and the Arab League to literally "pay" terrorist to get back into the fight. Surely, placing pressure on a government that has just restored order across the country, while "bolstering" and arming the opposition will only trigger yet another round of bloodshed and violence.

Indeed the entire premise of the "Responsibility to Protect (R2P)" doctrine follows that if a nation is incapable of providing protection for its own population, it relinquishes its sovereignty to direct intervention by the "international community." Should such a nation manage to restore order, however, the R2P doctrine along with the meddling it justifies and the window for regime change it opens no longer applies. Knowing this, and realizing the window for forcing regime change in Syria is closing, the West is actually seeking ways to perpetuate the bloodbath, not end it, until their objective of removing President Bashar al-Assad has been achieved - revealing in incredible detail the insidious nature of the so-called "humanitarian" R2P model.

This includes foreign-funding to create proxy opposition movements within targeted nations, training, equipping, and funding mobs of protesters to sow unrest, providing covert military support to ensure the survival of these proxy movements, and a series of financial and economic measures, including sanctions used to poison the will of a nation's people against their government and foster division within ruling parties. Essentially, the violence that then predictably unfolds is cited as justification to intervene more overtly and ensure regime change is accomplished and a series of neo-liberal reforms instituted.

Read the rest including many links to further reading at Land Destroyer blog - West Seeks To Perpetuate Syrian Bloodbath

One Way Around "The System"

The outlook for most people on this planet regarding economic, political and social freedom and expression is bleak, indeed. And getting bleaker. State militarism in foreign countries and domestically is increasingly being accepted as 'normal'. The only thing that is prospering is violence. Everything good seems to be in decay. But what else could we expect with psychopaths in charge of our institutions and through them our societies, our persons and livelihoods.

It seems impossible to change this because the corruption has got to the point that our institutions are now criminal organisations and are far beyond reforming. The appeals mechanisms (courts) and the reform processes (elections) are in the hands of the same criminals. But all is not what it seems. We have been taught to think in terms of the structure and organisation of our institutions and society as it has been provided for us. The ruling clique in our society rules through our acquiescence to this model (including its appeal processes) that has been provided for us. We have never been taught about providing our own model; our own institutions. This is what this essay is about.


What Kind of Christianity Is This?

January 25, 2012. Reprinted from "Consortium News" via Poor Richard's blog

Though founded by a pacifist, Christianity has justified some of the most brutal slaughters in human history, from the wars of the late Roman Empire to the Crusades to the Inquisition to world wars to genocides against “heathens,” Muslims and Jews. Yet, Gary G. Kohls says the essence of Christianity can still be reclaimed.

By Gary G. Kohls

" - - From time to time, I read about condemnations of religion coming from non-religious groups, especially concerning the all-too-common violence perpetrated in the name of religious gods. Indeed there is plenty to condemn.


Altogether too many religions sects of both major and minor religions, despite verbally professing a desire for peace and justice in the world, are actually pro-war, pro-homicide and pro-violence in practice (or they may be silent on the subject, which is, according to moral theology, the same as being pro-violence).

Obvious examples include those portions of the three major war-justifying religions of the world: fundamentalist Islam, fundamentalist Judaism and fundamentalist Christianity.

A Path With Heart – The Christmas Message

(My apologies to Jack Kornfield for borrowing the title to his best selling book - A Path With Heart)

Christmas is a hard time for many people. It is often made harder because there is this pressure to be 'happy' coming at us 24/7, it seems. It's hard when many of us are grieving lost friends and lost hopes. Why do we get this pressure; this pressure to be happy? And where does it come from, anyway?

kindness-of-strangers Michael Leunig

It is an odd kind of happy, isn't it? There doesn't seem to be any appeal to be kind to go along with it, as far as I can tell. It seems to be a 'happy' without a heart. And without any heart, how can there be any peace? And Peace is the Christmas Message, is it not. So I'm wondering, “what is going on”?

Ron Paul and Economic Theories (and other backwards thinking)

(This following post grew out of some questions and comments on a comment thread at APea's invaluable Twelfth Bough blog)

Many moons ago scientists thought the heavens revolved around the earth. They had fashioned theories and equations to verify this. But every now and then a planet would be observed to be moving backwards. How was this possible?

Explanations were put forward including epicycles whereby planets revolved around an imaginary centre point as they traversed the sky. Some of this involved very complicated maths to 'prove' how this was possible though no cause was ever explained. Of course, only educated/trained and intelligent people could follow these explanations. So the average person of average intelligence and average education had no way of credibly arguing with these 'scientists'.
But a critical foundation that these complex calculations were based on was wrong.

There was one crucial piece of information, one crucial assumption that was backwards. And that was that the heavens, including the planets, revolved around the earth. They did not, of course. Now with this piece of missing information, the average person today can see that all these complex calculations and theories and all the disputations that occurred between the scientists were meaningless nonsense. So it is with economists and their theories today. And similarly, we don't need to understand the complexities of their false arguments to understand how they are simply wrong.

There is a fundamental equation in economics and understanding it is crucial to seeing the nonsense that is peddled as economic management today. It is simple and well known to economists yet seemingly few economists have any idea of the truth and therefore the power that rests in this simple equation. It is the economic equivalent of Einstein's E=MC2.

It is this. P=MV

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