Steel Cage Match: America’s Torturous History vs. ISIS

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Despite the current “war on terror” façade, not much about American war propaganda has changed over the past century (besides, of course, how it’s transmitted). Rhetorical edits aside, it remains true that U.S. wars and interventions are skillfully packaged and sold and the official history of those conflicts is subject to spin and distortion.

These realities exist in order to portray our leaders—of either party—as moral and thus lay the foundation for future military ventures.

By portraying all our [sic] enemies as a never-ending parade of savages auditioning for a starring role as the “next Hitler,” wartime spin plays into our worst fears—the bogeyman—while shoving  America’s catalogue of criminality down the proverbial memory hole.

handpointRTig Click here to read my full article

(Occupy this Book: Mickey Z. on Activism can be ordered here.)

People Before Prophets?

 

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There are several different versions explaining the gift and curse of Cassandra; the most popular one is that God Apollo fell in love with her and granted her with the gift of prophecy.

When Cassandra denied the God and his advances, he placed a curse on her, so that no one would believe her words or her predictions. He gave her a gift that would bring frustration and despair to her.

Thus, the first patriarchal use of the “friend-zoning” concept guaranteed that man’s myopic, murderous ventures would go virtually unchallenged.

Hell (on Earth) is for Children

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“Stop killing our kids,” warns Ward Churchill, “if you want your own to be safe.” What’s that? You’re not killing anybody’s kids? Au contraire, mon ami

With nearly half of all U.S. tax dollars going to the military, the vast majority of Americans have contributed to enough death to make Kissinger blush.

handpointRTig Click here to read my full article

(Occupy this Book: Mickey Z. on Activism can be ordered here.)

Bill McKibben: False Eco-Prophet

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In 2010, I interviewed Bill “funded by Rockefeller oil $” McKibben and, among other things, asked him:

Of your work, Derrick Jensen has said: “One of the problems that I see with the vast majority of so-called solutions to global warming is that they take industrial capitalism as a given and it’s the planet which must conform to industrial capitalism, as opposed to the other way around.” How do you respond to this critique?

He replied: It strikes me that the single biggest variable explaining the structure of the world today is the availability of cheap fossil fuel – that’s what happened two hundred years ago to create the world we know, especially its centralization. I think if we can put a serious price on fossil fuel, one that reflects the damage it does to our earth, then the fuels that we will depend on – principally wind and sun – will push us in the direction of more localized economies. Those kind of changes have been the focus of my work as a writer in recent years.

#evade #deflect #deny

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I also asked him: The U.S. Department of Defense is the world’s worst polluter, the planet’s top gas guzzler, and recipient of 53.3 percent of American taxpayer dollars. How does your work address this situation and the concurrent “untouchable” status the U.S. military has among the majority of American citizens?

He replied: I’m not sure it really does, directly. Indirectly, I think the biggest reason we have the oversized defense that we do is that we rely on distant and unstable sources of energy as the core of our economy. I remember one sign in particular from the early Anti-Iraq-War rallies I went to: “How did our oil end up under their sand?”

#evade #deflect #deny

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And, of course I asked him this: Since 51 percent of human-created greenhouse gases come from the industrial animal food business, are you encouraging people to adopt a plant-based diet lifestyle?

He replied: I’ve written time and again that industrial agriculture, especially factory livestock farming, is a bane – not only for its greenhouse gases, but for myriad other reasons. Interestingly, though, scientific data from the last couple of years is leading to the conclusion that local, grass-pastured, often-moved livestock, by the action of their hooves and the constant deposition of manure, improve soils enough to soak up more carbon and methane than they produce. (This would explain why, say, there could have been more ungulates on the continent 300 years ago than now without it being a curse to the atmosphere). So there may be hope for meat-eaters as well – but only if you know and understand where your dinner is coming from.

(Not surprising, I guess, from the man who says: “There’s no company on earth who’s done more to try and change the planet than Ben and Jerry’s.”)

#evade #deflect #deny

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Climate Change: (Not) For the Birds

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A new report by the National Audubon Society found that climate change is likely to “so alter the bird population of North America that about half of the approximately 650 species will be driven to smaller spaces or forced to find new places to live, feed and breed over the next 65 years. If they do not — and for several dozen it will be very difficult — they could become extinct.”

The report projected “21.4 percent of existing bird species studied will lose ‘more than half of the current climactic range by 2050 without the potential to make up losses by moving to other areas.’ An additional 32 percent will be in the same predicament by 2080.”

News Flash: It’s not just climate change. We humans have been waging non-stop war on our avian co-inhabitants, e.g.

*Eighty million birds are killed each year when they collide with plate glass windows in tall buildings and another 60 to 80 million birds are killed by motor vehicles. 

*Nearly 200 million birds collide fatally with radio-transmission towers per year (add in cell phone towers and that number approaches a half-billion).

*Hunters murder another 120 million birds annually. 

Then, of course, we have the meat-based diet—the biggest bird killer on the planet. For example, every day, 23 million chickens are killed in the U.S. for food (sic); that’s 269 per second.

(P.S. The global animal by-product industry murders a trillion animals each year, consumes one-third of the planet’s land surface, and is the #1 source of human-created greenhouse gases.)

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For those of you scoring at home, that’s billions of birds victimized by our beloved way of life. It’s Hitchcock in reverse as the planet’s most destructive species systematically slaughters everything in its path. 

Reminder: Voting for Democrats, marching in co-opted parades, and consuming the Standard American Diet only makes things worse.

I don’t wanna live on a planet without birds. Do you? 

EVENT: To continue conversations like this, come see Mickey Z. in person in Astoria, NY at Creating a Climate for Change: Mickey Z. on Eco-Defense.

PR Mind Control: Even Better Than the Real Thing

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“Edward Bernays was surely one of the most amazing and influential characters of the twentieth century,” explains John Stauber, co-author of Toxic Sludge is Good for You: Lies, Damn Lies, and Public Relations. “He was a nephew of Sigmund Freud and helped to popularize Freudianism in the U.S. Later, he used his relation to Freud to promote himself. And from his uncle’s psychoanalysis techniques, Bernays developed a scientific method of managing behavior, to which he gave the name ‘public relations’.”

The Vienna-born Bernays was heavily influenced, of course, by his uncle’s work but it was in the service of war that he helped shape what we call “PR” today.

handpointRTig Click here to read my full article

(Occupy this Book: Mickey Z. on Activism can be ordered here.)