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Politics and its Discontents: Free Trade Is Never Free

While it is beginning to look like International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland’s departure from CETA negotiations was more of a ploy than the end of talks, the hiatus at least gives Canadians the opportunity to once more reflect on its dangers, the same dangers that afflict other so-called free trade deals.

The fact is, . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Free Trade Is Never Free

Dead Wild Roses: The State of the Republican Party – Noam Chomsky

As far as concise descriptions of the state of the GOP in the US go, this is fairly accurate and sadly amusing all at the same time.

“It is important to bear in mind that the Republicans have long abandoned the pretence of functioning as a normal parliamentary party. Rather, they have become a “radical . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: The State of the Republican Party – Noam Chomsky

Dead Wild Roses: Noam Chomsky – On Pornography

“(Asked about his stance on pornography, in response to perceived endorsement of Hustler, who had tricked Chomsky into giving an interview for the magazine.)

Pornography is humiliation and degradation of women. It’s a disgraceful activity. I don’t want to be associated with it. Just take a look at the pictures. I mean, women are degraded . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Noam Chomsky – On Pornography

The Disaffected Lib: Well Isn’t That Just Typical – Two Old Jews…

Who just happen to be totally awesome – Noam Chomsky and Bernie Sanders.

Chomsky is plainly on board with Sanders quest for the Democratic presidential nomination only he doesn’t think the Vermont senator has a chance.

I’m glad that Sanders is running. A good way to bring important ideas and facts to people. His . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: Well Isn’t That Just Typical – Two Old Jews…

drive-by planet: Risk of ‘accidental’ nuclear war: Chomsky on the ‘worst case scenario’

Chomsky on the threat of nuclear war

It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which any world power would deliberately start a nuclear war given the dire consequence for the planet. Rational thinking and the will to survive prevents us from believing that any nation… any leader… could be crazy enough to intentionally unleash what could wind up being a terminal war of reciprocal destruction. But what is often overlooked is the increasing likelihood that a nuclear war might well be started by accident.

During a recent RT interview Noam Chomsky addressed this possibility:

The worst-case scenario, of course, would be a nuclear war, which would be terrible. Both states that initiate it will be wiped out by the consequences. That’s the worst-case. And it’s come ominously close several times in the past, dramatically close. And it could happen again, but not planned, but just by the accidental interactions that take place – that has almost happened. It’s worth remembering that just one century ago, the First World War broke out through a series of such accidental interchanges. The First World War was horrifying enough, but the current reenactment of it means the end of the human race.

Chomsky’s reference to a nuclear war begun ‘by accident’ makes sense when you look at how this might come about. An escalation factor might be faulty intelligence, leading for example to a mistaken belief that the other side is planning an imminent nuclear strike. The decision may then be taken to use tactical nuclear weapons in order to seize first-strike advantage. Underlying intelligence failure of this sort could be a more general strategic misreading of the enemies’ intent and other communications failures that fuel a pattern of escalation.

A report entitled Towards a Grand Strategy for an Uncertain World: Renewing Transatlantic Partnership lays out a new vision for the NATO alliance. It contains a number of statements that confirm the importance of nuclear weapons “in the quiver of escalation”… ostensibly to prevent “existential dangers.” But in fact their use is also clearly about maintaining a winning edge however couched in the language of prevention, as this statement from the report suggests:  “What is needed is a policy of deterrence by proactive denial, in which preemption is a form of reaction when a threat is imminent, and prevention is the attempt to regain the initiative in order to end the conflict.” Tactical nuclear weapons are very much a part of any so-called “proportional” response. This scenario opens the door for all kinds of potential disaster.

Tactical or non-strategic nuclear weapons are now part of the toolkit of the world’s major militaries. These weapons can be calibrated to suit the challenges on hand. Variable yield allows operators to set the weapons’ explosive power in consideration of target and conditions. Small-yield tactical nukes might encourage preemptive strikes especially if a conventional force is facing defeat. They may be used in other ways to seize the advantage. Under war conditions the step from tactical to strategic nuclear weapons might not be such a huge leap, especially on the part of a military staring down the barrel of defeat.

Bottom line, our continued use of these weapons raises the ante when it comes to the prospects of large scale nuclear war. Chomsky sums up the stark choice we face in this paragraph:

We can think back as far as 1955, when Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein produced an appeal, a joint appeal to the people of the world, in which they said to all of us, you have a choice that is stark, unavoidable, the question is, will you eliminate war or will you eliminate human race? These are your choices.

Right now we are making bad choices. The provocations of the West in Eastern Europe and the expansion of NATO’s reach to the borders of Russia is fraught with risks that can’t be taken lightly. Chomsky rightly characterizes NATO as a “US-run intervention force.”

The official mission of NATO became to control the international, the global energy system, pipelines. That means, to control the world. Of course, its [a] U.S.-run intervention force, as in Kosovo and Serbia in 1999 – it was a U.S.-run intervention force. That’s the new NATO and it did expand to Russian borders…

The demonization of Russia in Western media and the toxic cold war-like environment that is being whipped up is driven by geopolitical ambitions, energy and resource considerations and a very particular animus toward a major global power that is unwilling to alter its long held values and traditions. This offends some people, who over and above the larger geopolitical considerations, appear willing to risk heightening an already tense situation in the course of pressing a Western-centric rights agenda.

. . . → Read More: drive-by planet: Risk of ‘accidental’ nuclear war: Chomsky on the ‘worst case scenario’

Dead Wild Roses: Noam Chomsky Spoke at the UN in October – I Didn’t Hear About it Either.

Ah, the joy of the free press down in the US. Let’s catch up with Noam as takes us through some possible solutions to the Palestine/Israel conflict.

 

Filed under: Education, International Affairs, Media Tagged: Israel, Noam Chomsky, Palestine, UN

. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Noam Chomsky Spoke at the UN in October – I Didn’t Hear About it Either.

drive-by planet: Risk of ‘accidental’ nuclear war: Chomsky on the ‘worst case scenario’

It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which any world power would deliberately start a nuclear war given the dire consequence for the planet. Rational thinking and the will to survive prevents us from believing that any nation… any leader… could be crazy enough to intentionally unleash what could well wind up being a . . . → Read More: drive-by planet: Risk of ‘accidental’ nuclear war: Chomsky on the ‘worst case scenario’

Dead Wild Roses: US Support of Fundamental Islam – The Alternative is Worse.

In the crazy fun house world of imperial politics nationalist regimes are less preferable than radical religious ones. Noam Chomsky and Andre Vltchek discuss the motivations of empire in the Middle East in this selection from the book: On Western Terrorism – From Hiroshima to Drone Warfare.

“Noam Chomsky:

“Anyhow, going back to the Middle . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: US Support of Fundamental Islam – The Alternative is Worse.

drive-by planet: Chomsky on Israel’s Gaza assault – ‘hideous atrocity, sadistic, murderous’: video interview

In this edited Democracy Now interview Noam Chomsky graphically describes the vicious cycle of violence Israel visits time and again on Gaza… with particular reference to the most recent Israeli military assault dubbed Operation Protective Edge.

It’s a hideous atrocity, sadistic, vicious, murderous – totally without any credible pretext. It’s another one of the periodic . . . → Read More: drive-by planet: Chomsky on Israel’s Gaza assault – ‘hideous atrocity, sadistic, murderous’: video interview

Dead Wild Roses: Noam Chomsky on The Nightmare in Gaza

The following article reproduced in its entirety from Altnet.org.

Noam Chomsky explores the history of repression and violence that stand as precursors to the current conflict. August 7, 2014 |

Amid all the horrors unfolding in the latest Israeli offensive in Gaza, Israel’s goal is simple: quiet-for-quiet, a return to the norm.

For the West . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Noam Chomsky on The Nightmare in Gaza

The Canadian Progressive: Noam Chomsky on media’s “shameful moment” in Gaza

by: Democracy Now! | Posted Mon. Aug 11, 2014

As a new 72-hour ceasefire takes hold in Gaza, we turn to part two of our interview with world-renowned dissident and linguist,MIT Professor Noam Chomsky. Criticizing U.S. media coverage of the Israeli assault on Gaza, Chomsky says: “It’s a shameful moment for U.S. media when . . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: Noam Chomsky on media’s “shameful moment” in Gaza

Politics and its Discontents: A True Critical Thinker

For many decades Noam Chomsky has been fearlessly fighting for truth. His capacity for incisive critical thinking and unwillingness to submit to the bluster of the right is much in evidence in this excerpt from a 1969 edition of William Buckley’s Firing Line. Would that today’s progressives were as tenacious.

Enjoy:

h/t The . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: A True Critical Thinker

Politics and its Discontents: What Stephen Harper, Tim Hudak And The Rest of The Neocons Really Think

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Politics and its Discontents: Sound Familiar?

H/t Occupy Canada

“You can’t control people by force anymore, but you can get them to focus on nothing but maxing out five credit cards, okay you got them.”

H/t Noam Chomsky Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: Noam Chomsky On Pope Francis And Liberation Theology

Given past American behaviour, Pope Francis had better be careful if he begins to practise what he preaches, considering what Noam Chomsky says here:

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Dead Wild Roses: There is always a Class War going On – Noam Chomsky

From an article at Counterpunch, I suggest you go there and read the whole interview with Noam Chomsky:

“Well, there’s always a class war going on. The United States, to an unusual extent, is a business-run society, more so than others. The business classes are very class-conscious—they’re constantly fighting a bitter class war to improve . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: There is always a Class War going On – Noam Chomsky

drive-by planet: Noam Chomsky in Montreal: Canada on fast track to "destroy the environment"

 Chomsky in Montreal/ Tar Sands/ Syncrude upgrader plant north of Fort McMurray

Noam Chomsky was in Montreal last week on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Canadian Dimension magazine. While in the city he delivered a speech.

In an interview covered by the Guardian, Chomsky took direct aim at the energy policies . . . → Read More: drive-by planet: Noam Chomsky in Montreal: Canada on fast track to "destroy the environment"

Cowichan Conversations: Oh Canada! We Were Once Respected, But Now We Are Despised!

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

PM Stephen Harper set out to change Canada so that it would not be recognizable. He has succeeded in spades and at the same time as he is being damned , by association so are we all.

He has diminished our sense of pride and replaced it with shame.

All . . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: Oh Canada! We Were Once Respected, But Now We Are Despised!

BigCityLib Strikes Back: More On The Piraha (My Favorite Folk)

The Piraha are a small tribe living along the Amazon with an extremely peculiar…simple, primitive…language:

Among Pirahã’s many peculiarities is an almost complete lack of numeracy, an extremely rare linguistic trait of which there are only a few documented cases. The language contains no words at all for discrete numbers and only three that approximate . . . → Read More: BigCityLib Strikes Back: More On The Piraha (My Favorite Folk)

Politics and its Discontents: America: A Superpower Of Near-Demonic Dimensions

So says Noam Chomsky in this 2003 video produced for the BBC. I find little with which to disagree in his analysis:

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drive-by planet: Democracy Now interview with Noam Chomsky on Syria and related matters: U.S. ‘torturing’ Iran for 60 years

In this talk hosted by Democracy Now, Noam Chomsky raises a number of key points with respect to the U.S. government’s approach to Syria and Iran. He also addresses the self-serving attitude of the U.S. with respect to international law.

The spectacle of Barack Obama, a president known for his predator drone “kill . . . → Read More: drive-by planet: Democracy Now interview with Noam Chomsky on Syria and related matters: U.S. ‘torturing’ Iran for 60 years

Dead Wild Roses: The First and Second 9/11 – The Hidden End of Chilean Democracy

Greetings gentle readers, should we not consider the first 9/11 and also mourn for its victims? The first 9/11 essentially ruined Chile as a country; Chile was thrown backward into dictatorial hell where thousand of its citizens were systematically abducted, tortured and murdered. Why we choose not to mourn Chile’s 9/11 is because we . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: The First and Second 9/11 – The Hidden End of Chilean Democracy

Politics and its Discontents: Oh, How The U.S. Right Must Hate Him

If you’re not sure why, watch this short Noam Chomsky video, in which he shares his thoughts on Edward Snowden and American hypocrisy:

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Politics and its Discontents: Pensée Du La Jour

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Politics and its Discontents: Sunday Sermon

Just got back from my bike ride, so this will have to suffice for the time being:

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