Death by Oligarchy - by Chris Hedges, illustration by Mr. Fish for Truthdig

Death by Oligarchy

Chris Hedges:
Privilege does strange and unpleasant things to human beings. I saw these distortions among my rich classmates as a scholarship student at prep school and at Harvard University, an institution designed, like all elite schools, to perpetuate the plutocracy. Living in privilege spawns callousness, even cruelty, to those less fortunate and feeds a bottomless greed.
All our institutions—the press, the courts, legislative bodies, the executive branch and academia—have been perverted to serve the oligarch’s narrow, selfish interests while an oppressed citizenry, struggling to survive, is seething with mounting rage and frustration.
Oligarchs, freed from outside oversight and regulation, wantonly pillage the political and economic institutions that sustain them.
Greed is bottomless. It is the disease of the rich. All societies are plagued by social inequality, but when those on the bottom and in the middle of the social pyramid lose their voice and agency, when the society exists only to serve the greed of the rich, when income inequality reaches the levels it has reached in the United States, the social fabric is torn apart and the society destroys itself.

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A broken portrait of former Bolivia's President Evo Morales is on the floor of his private home in Cochabamba, Bolivia, after hooded opponents broke into the residence on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. Morales resigned Sunday under mounting pressure from the military and the public after his re-election victory triggered weeks of fraud allegations and deadly protests. (AP Photo)

5 Fast Facts About the Military Coup in Bolivia and What You Can Do

At a United Nations Security Council meeting, Evo Morales explained:
“I would like to say to you, frankly and openly here, that in no way is the United States interested in upholding democracy. If such were the case it would not have financed coups d’etat and supported dictators. It would not have threatened with military intervention democratically elected governments as it has done with Venezuela. The United States could not care less about human rights or justice. If this were the case, it would have signed the international conventions and treaties that have protected human rights.It would not have threatened the investigation mechanism of the International Criminal Court, nor would it promote the use of torture, nor would it have walked away from the Human Rights Council. And nor would it have separated migrant children from their families, nor put them in cages.”
Morales went on to say, “Each time that the United States invades nations, launches missiles, or finances regime change, it does so behind a propaganda campaign which incessantly repeats the message that it is acting in the course of justice, freedom and democracy, in the cause of human rights or for humanitarian reasons.”

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Forest Fire

Indonesia and France’s Dirty Little Secret: The Arms Weapons Deals that Keep The Indonesian Forests Burning

Unbeknown to the world, the closeness and strong relationship between France and Indonesia. The French weapons and arms sales that keep the forests in Indonesia and Malaysia burning and the ramifications of these business deals to the world ecological crisis and world peace.
We as global citizens of the world have to start questioning the importance of money or profit above everything else, above humanity, and above our survival on this planet earth. Are we going to let money and greed rule us to the extent that it threatens our humanity, freedom, peace and our existence on this planet earth?

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Second Whistleblower Emerges from Investigation into Douma Chemical Attack

OPCW Losing Credibility As Even More Revelations Surface On Douma. Caitlin Johnstone flags a report about another member of the OPCW investigation who says his findings, which contradicted the official conclusions, were suppressed.
With the US-centralized empire’s increasingly evident influence over the OPCW, we’re seeing evidence of a campaign to distort the public understanding of what’s going on in a foreign nation the likes of which we’ve never before seen.
Stay skeptical and remember Iraq. These new reports which keep surfacing on unacceptable practices by the OPCW are just one more piece on a mountain of evidence that whenever the political/media class and their hypnotized victims try to bully us into accepting the official narrative about a longtime target for regime change, we should stand firm and insist on an amount of proof which rises to the level required in a post-Iraq invasion world.

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U.S. bomber prepares to launch a strike mission from Al Udeid AIr Base, Qatar, April 13, 2018, in support of the multinational response to reports of Syria recent use of chemical weapons. (U.S. Air Force/Phil Speck)

Panel Finds Gaping Holes in OPCW Report on Alleged Syrian Chemical Attack

A whistleblowers’ advocacy group finds “unacceptable practices” by an investigation of the 2018 chemical attack in Douma, writes Caitlin Johnstone.
The Courage Foundation, an international protection and advocacy group for whistleblowers, has published the findings of a panel it convened last week on the extremely suspicious behavior of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in its investigation of an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria last year. After hearing an extensive presentation from a member of the OPCW’s Douma investigation team, the panel’s members (including a world-renowned former OPCW Director General) report that they are “unanimous in expressing our alarm over unacceptable practices in the investigation of the alleged chemical attack in Douma, near the Syrian capital of Damascus on 7 April 2018.”
Establishment narrative managers had a very difficult time spinning the fact that the OPCW had taken it upon itself to hide findings from the public which dissented from its official report on an incident which preceded an international act of war upon a sovereign nation, and all the implications that necessarily has for the legitimacy of the organization’s other work.

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Max Blumenthal

“This Charge is 100% False”: Grayzone editor Max Blumenthal arrested months after reporting on Venezuelan opposition violence

The Grayzone editor Max Blumenthal has been arrested on false charges after reporting on Venezuelan opposition violence outside the DC embassy. He describes the manufactured case as part of a wider campaign of political persecution.
If this had happened to a journalist in Venezuela, every Western human rights NGO and news wire would be howling about Maduro’s authoritarianism. It will be revealing to see how these same elements react to a clear-cut case of political repression in their own backyard.

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citarum river

Citarum River in Java, Indonesia, The Most Poluted River in The World

Citarum River in Java Island, Indonesia has become the biggest septic tank. The habitants come here for fishing not fish but garbage. Citarum River irrigates 4000 rice fields and provide drinking water to 25 million people. The Java island is the most populated island and also one of the poorest in the world. Industries from textile, pharmaceutical, food industry throw their waste water in Citarum river.

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No American Should Stand for the Way We Wage War

No American Should Stand for the Way We Wage War

According to a 2017 report from Eyewitness Media Hub, if you are exposed to distressing experiences, even when not physically present, your brain has the capacity to produce symptoms of distress similar to those you would feel if you had indeed been there. This is sometimes called vicarious trauma, which is acquired through working with people who have experienced trauma, hearing their stories, and becoming a witness to the pain and suffering that they continue to endure. Common signs of vicarious trauma include experiencing lingering feelings of anger, rage, and sadness. In some more extreme cases, intense exposure to such subject matter can lead to anxiety, stress, burnout, and PTSD. A recent survey of 346 human rights advocates found that 19% of them indeed did appear to have PTSD, or at least symptoms long associated with that syndrome; 15% seemed to be experiencing depression; and 19% reported burnout. Curiously enough, such rates are comparable to those found among first responders and even combat veterans. Additionally, perfectionists who viewed their efforts, no matter how fervent, as ineffective exhibited even more severe symptoms of depression.
Still, a majority of my day is spent bearing witness to the pain, fear, and terror that America’s actions have been causing across the Greater Middle East and North Africa. I know perfectly well that I can’t necessarily change any of the outcomes there, since I’m not the one directing those strikes or making the rules. However, I also know how important it is to hear directly from those impacted, so I’ll continue to do whatever I can to make sure the stories of the victims of America’s seemingly endless wars are told.
Or at least I can try (and cry).

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The Revolution Isn’t Being Televised

Over 30 years ago, in their book Manufacturing Consent, Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky developed their theory of worthy vs. unworthy victims to explain why corporate media cover certain stories and why others are dropped. In other words, when official enemies can be presented as evil and allies as sympathetic victims, corporate media will be very interested in a story. In contrast, they will show far less enthusiasm for a story when the “wrong” people are the villains or the victims.

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jerome-powell-pinocchio-300x208

The Fed Is Lying To Us

Things are now serious. Here in late 2019, both the Federal Reserve and the ECB are now both easing again – or back to ‘fraudulent money printing’. A fraud is meant to deceive while removing something of value from one or more parties.
When printing money, the central banks say they are doing it to protect the economy, jobs and the financial system.
But what’s actually happening is that wealth is flowing like a raging river towards a select few individuals and corporations.
It’s critical to understand that the central banks cannot print up prosperity. All they can do, being redistributive organizations, is take purchasing power away from one side and hand it to another. So the key question to be asking now is: Who’s winning and who’s losing? Well, here in the US, we already know that it’s the tippy-top 0.1% that is doing almost all of the ‘winning.’ The next 0.9% are doing pretty well, too. But by the time we get just slightly below the top 10%, we run out of “winners”.

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JOHN PILGER: Did This Happen in the Home of the Magna Carta?

JOHN PILGER: Did This Happen in the Home of the Magna Carta?

John Pilger: The worst moment was one of a number of ‘worst’ moments. I have sat in many courtrooms and seen judges abuse their positions, This judge, Vanessa Baraitser—actually she isn’t a judge at all; she’s a magistrate—shocked all of us who were there. Her face was a progression of sneers and imperious indifference; she addressed Julian with an arrogance that reminded me of a magistrate presiding over apartheid South Africa’s Race Classification Board. When Julian struggled to speak, he couldn’t get words out, even stumbling over his name and date of birth. Having ignored Julian’s barrister’s factual description of how the CIA had run a Spanish security firm that spied on him in the Ecuadorean embassy, she didn’t yawn, but her disinterest was as expressive. She then denied Julian’s lawyers any more time to prepare their case – even though their client was prevented in prison from receiving legal documents and other tools with which to defend himself.

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Julian Assange Illegal Imprisonment and Torture by the US and UK

Julian Assange Displayed Signs of Torture in Courtroom Farce

What we witnessed yesterday was a naked demonstration of the power of the state, and a naked dictation of proceedings by the Americans, writes Craig Murray.
Having attended the trials in Uzbekistan of several victims of extreme torture, and having worked with survivors from Sierra Leone and elsewhere, I can tell you that yesterday changed my mind entirely and Julian exhibited exactly the symptoms of a torture victim brought blinking into the light, particularly in terms of disorientation, confusion, and the real struggle to assert free will through the fog of learned helplessness.

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The World Turned Upside Down

The World Turned Upside Down

Yet when the Houthi rebel movement that controls much of Yemen wiped out three Saudi Brigades and inflicted at least 2,500 casualties at the end of September, the Western media ignored it. The humiliating defeat that the Houthis have just inflicted on the Saudis is of comparable epochal significance. The Houthi victory serves notice that the Saudis have met their nemesis. The Houthis are now poised to bring the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia itself crashing down. Payback is coming. And it will not stop at the borders of Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

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Peter Schiff - Great Recession's Coming

Peter Schiff: The Fed Will Try Again But It’s Not Going to Work

The Fed managed to “rescue” the economy after the financial crisis, but in the process, it created an even bigger bubble than the one that popped in ’08. This bubble is about to burst and the Fed will try to repeat the process. The difference is this time it won’t work, as Peter explains. He added: “We’re going to have a deep recession with rising interest rates and this whole thing is going to come imploding down.”

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Iran Claims To Have Video Evidence Of Oil Tanker Attacks

Iran Claims To Have Video Evidence Of Oil Tanker Attacks

Iran has claimed that it has footage of last week’s attack on its oil tanker while off the Saudi Arabian Jeddah port, and it proves that the attacks were carried out by Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United States, according to Mehr news agency, who quoted Abolfazl Hassan Beigi, Iran’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission member. This evidence, Hassan Beigi said, will be provided to the UN and Security Council.

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