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Writings of J. Todd Ring: Danger and Delusion: From ISIS to Ebola

There are very real dangers in the world, but let’s not lose all perspective. Perspective is everything. Don’t believe the hype. It must be stated directly: the majority of people have wildly irrational, and frankly delusional modes of thinking when it comes to risk assessment. And of course, pre-formed, unreflective opinions, that is, prejudice and […]

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Scotland, Crimea and the Right To Self-Determination

Do the people of Scotland have the right to vote in a referendum to determine their own future? Of course they do. Just as the people of Greece had, and have, the right to vote in a referendum as to whether or not to stay in the EU. And do the people of Crimea have […]

drive-by planet: Western hypocrisy on Ukraine

drive-by planet: Say what!?

drive-by planet: Hard question about MH-17 disaster: BUK missile video blaming Russia is debunked

Below right: Black boxes being handed over to Malaysian delegation

Since the crash of Malaysian Airlines MH-17 in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, questions have been raised about why the plane was flying over a war zone. MH-17′s flight path on July 17 diverged from the path taken during its earlier flights over Ukraine. On previous occasions the plane flew a route further to the south, over the Sea of Azov – a route declared safe by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

According to on the day of the crash, MH-17′s flight path diverted northward taking the Boeing directly over (Read more…)

drive-by planet: US corporate media propaganda: NYT’s misleading photo ‘evidence’ of Russian soldiers in east Ukraine

Back in 2003, when Colin Powell presented “evidence” at the UN to back up the White House claim that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, major US news outlets ran the story believing the Bush administration had the goods. During the UN presentation Russia’s ambassador at the time, Sergei Lavrov,  greeted Powell’s “evidence” with a look of incredulous disbelief or perhaps disdain might be the better term.  As we now know, the Russians were entirely right to cast scorn on Washington’s pack of lies about Saddam’s non-existent WMD.

In the current war of words-and-images on Ukraine, Russian media (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Paul Krugman compares the U.S.’ longtime recognition that concentrated wealth can do massive social harm to the Republicans’ recent efforts to claim that raising any revenue from the rich is somehow un-American: The truth is that, in the early 20th century, many leading Americans warned about the dangers of extreme wealth concentration, and urged that tax policy be used to limit the growth of great fortunes. Here’s another example: In 1919, the great economist Irving Fisher — whose theory of “debt deflation,” by the way, is essential in understanding our current (Read more…)

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Nukes, world war, Dr. Strangelove and global showdown – Where’s Slim Pickins when you need him?

So the end-game plan for the US/NATO/EU alliance and the Western oligarchs and plutocratic elite who control it, in their bid to consolidate their present and highly precarious global dominance, seems to be, after encircling Russia and China with military bases and nuclear missiles, to eliminate Russia’s first strike response capability – which means, in […]

LeDaro: Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine – A New Cold War?

 Is there a new Cold War? The situation in Ukraine is escalating with Russian troops invading the Crimea, and with concerns about Russian soldiers potentially advancing further. There has been a dip in world markets in response to this news. The United States has halted trade and investment talks with Russia and the planned G8 summit in Sochi looks to be in trouble.

In the 21st century, an era of globalization and trade, a post-Cold War era, this talk is shocking, and really does sound like another Cold War could be upon us. Hopefully not, hopefully this situation will de-escalate (Read more…)

drive-by planet: U.S. hypocrisy on Russian involvement in Crimea

This week US president Obama raised concerns about Russian involvement in Crimea.  He said he is “deeply disturbed” by the Russian move and that “Any violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilizing.” He made reference to “costs” facing Russia for its “military intervention” – adding to warnings coming from other quarters.

It’s unsettling to listen as Obama piously evokes “sovereignty” and “territorial integrity” given the American hand in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.

The US is in a class of its own when it comes riding roughshod over other nation’s sovereignty and territorial integrity… US (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Is the U.S. Working to Sabotage Its Nuke Deal with Iran?

According to Asia Times, the U.S. is adopting an Israeli policy platform that could scuttle the prospects of a nuke deal with Iran.

The Barack Obama administration’s insistence that Iran discuss its ballistic missile program in the negotiations for a comprehensive nuclear agreement brings its position into line with that of Israel and senators who introduced legislation drafted by the pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC aimed at torpedoing the negotiations.White House spokesman Jay Carney highlighted the new US demand in a statement Wednesday that the Iranians “have to deal with matters related to their ballistic missile program”.

Carney cited (Read more…)

LeDaro: Dangerous and erratic weather in U.S

Signs of more dangerous storms to come as the effects of climate change become more intense. What will the deniers say now? Global climate change – from human activities – is no longer a prediction… it’s a reality, and it’s getting worse. It is costing governments money as they have to clean up after multiple disasters. Also, creates havoc for people’s lives.

The Disaffected Lib: America Inks Nuke Deal with Iran. Israel & House of Saud Outraged.

They’ve been itching to bomb Tehran,  just looking for any plausible excuse.   Israel has even been set to go it alone, with Saudi backing of course.  Now they’re both fuming that Washington may have deflated their preferred pretext – Iran’s nuclear bomb project.

The Geneva agreement between Iran and the United States, China, Russia, Britain, Germany, France and the E.U. is really a package of confidence building steps to pave the way for a comprehensive deal to keep nuclear weapons out of Iran.

Both Israel and Saudi Arabia have benefitted from America’s decades-old Cold War with Iran. (Read more…)

Writings of J. Todd Ring: NAFTA, “Free Trade” and the TPP: Fast-Track To Full Corporate Rule

“Twenty years ago, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed into law. At the time, advocates painted a rosy picture of booming U.S. exports creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs, and economic development in Mexico, which would bring the struggling country in line with its wealthier northern neighbors. Two decades later, those […]

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Strong winds, big waves, and the interconnectedness of life

When the waves are high, from my backyard I can hear the lake, which is just a few hundred feet away. It sounds like a great, strong wind, or a freight train in the distance – or a tornado. The strange thing is, the sound of the waves does not always coincide with the […]

Writings of J. Todd Ring: American and Canadian Politics – A brief comparison and lay of the land

Here is a rough translation of Canadian political culture for Americans and others who may be unfamiliar with the political landscape of the second largest country on earth, the holder of the largest oil and mineral resources on earth, the pantry to the American empire, one of the richest nations on the planet, and a member of […]

The Disaffected Lib: China Warns Washington to Act on Debt Ceiling

When you have a serious debt problem and your biggest creditor gives you a slap upside the head maybe it’s a good time to rethink what’s not going right at home.

The Chinese government has conveyed a sharp message to Washington – stop acting like children.

Beijing demanded US President Barack Obama take ”concrete measures” to ensure the US did not default on its debts. ”Safeguarding the debt is of vital importance to the economy of the US and the world,” China’s vice finance minister Zhu Guangyao said. ”This is the United States’ responsibility.” The warning (Read more…) . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: China Warns Washington to Act on Debt Ceiling

Writings of J. Todd Ring: US government shutdown drives people against Republicans and into the arms of Obama and the Democrats

Reportedly, Americans are blaming the Republicans for the government shutdown, which most of them do not like. This plays well for the Obama government and the Democratic Party. It has been a successful PR campaign so far, it would appear. The Democrats are looking good in the eyes of the people, in comparison to the […]

Writings of J. Todd Ring: US government shutdown, and other fairy tales and political theatre

I’m not sure what to make of the hoopla going on in the US right now. I’m inclined to think it’s all just political theatre, as Gerald Celente calls it, designed to distract the people from the real issues – the central one being, who controls the government and the nation? Wall Street, the big […]

Writings of J. Todd Ring: The deeper reasons for the “war on drugs”

There is a deeper reason for the war on drugs, which is the central reason for the policy, even outweighing profits from private prisons and seizure of property by law enforcement officers, both of which no doubt are also significant and strong motivations for keeping the “war on drugs” going. Nearly thirty years ago, Chomsky […]

LeDaro: John Baird in his Santa’s lap

“I am concerned that there is a little bit too much enthusiasm as a result of the different tone. And what we hope is, the world won’t take the pressure off the regime (Iran) to make the substantive changes that are needed.”

“The stakes are so high, we have to stay focused on what actions they take,” Baird said.I believe that Iran must not develop nuclear weapons. But by the same token Israel must hand over its nuclear and chemical weapons to U.N. to be destroyed. U.S. must demand the same from Israel what it is (Read more…)

LeDaro: U.S and Russia reach a deal on Syria

“The United States and Russia struck a deal Saturday under which Syria will allow its stockpile of chemical weapons to be removed or destroyed by next year — easing a crisis over a threatened American military attack.”

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

“The Russian foreign minister called it an agreement “based on consensus and compromise and professionalism.” France welcomed it as an “important step forward.” Kerry and his British and French counterparts will talk about the deal’s implementation over lunch Monday in Paris.”    I believe (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: LeDaro: U.S and Russia reach a deal on Syria

The Disaffected Lib: Reaping the Whirlwind in Egypt

If democracy is to have any chance of surviving in Egypt it’s up to the E.U. and the U.S. to move against the generals.   The Egyptian army’s counter-coup is now a fait accompli.   Expectations that toppling the democratically-elected Morsi government would pave the way for a secular, non-elected, democratic (???) civilian government have been dashed as the generals moved to consolidate their hold on the country.

It’s been suggested that Western governments and media demonized Morsi to condition the public for his ouster.   If so, it worked.

Mubarak was released, Morsi imprisoned.   When (Read more…)

LeDaro: Assad of Syria agrees to put chemical weapons’ stockpile under international control

Russia asked Syria to put chemical weapons stockpile under international control and Assad has agreed to that. Will that stop U.S. strike against Syria?

 “Syria welcomes a Russian proposal to place its chemical weapons under international control, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said Monday after talks in Moscow, praising the Kremlin for seeking to “prevent American aggression.”  Moualem, who spoke to reporters through an interpreter after Russia expressed hope the proposal could avert military strikes against Syria, stopped short of saying explicitly that President Bashar al-Assad’s government accepted it.” Read more CBC News.

The Disaffected Lib: While We’re Focused on Chemical Warfare

It’s interesting how selective the United States can be about weapons of mass destruction given that the U.S. continues to be responsible for widespread death and destruction from its own chemical and nuclear weapons.

The gas that Obama-Kerry are blaming on Assad appears to have killed somewhere between a few hundred and a thousand or more Syrians.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, the locals are left to live with the radiation hazard created by American depleted uranium (DU) shells and bullets.  D.U. is known to cause cancers, birth defects and stillbirths and D.U. contamination is believed to (Read more…)