Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Canada's Russian Hating Foreign Minister

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "chrystia freeland photo"
Chrystia Freeland

Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau has replaced Stephane Dione as his Foreign Minister with Chrystia Freeland, a former journalist proud of her Ukrainian roots and well-known for her hostility toward Russia. Fiercely anti-Russian Chrystia Freeland says her Ukrainian grandfather struggled “to return freedom and democracy to Ukraine,” but she leaves out that he was a Nazi propagandist justifying the slaughter of Jews. To quote her from the Washington Post:

"Russia should stop calling my grandfather a Nazi", but the truth is irrefutable that he was an active Nazi. This truth is repeated in the Western press so Freeland can`t bury it as Russian propaganda. This woman is intellectually dishonest about her family history and clearly a bigot in her professed hatred for Russians. Consequently she is barred from entering Russia and unable to perform her ministerial duties.

Extracts from Consortium News:   Chrystia Freeland’s dark family secret is that her grandfather, Mykhailo Chomiak, faithfully served Nazi Germany right up to its surrender, and Chomiak’s family only moved to Canada after the Third Reich was defeated by the Soviet Union’s Red Army and its allies – the U.S. and Great Britain.
Mykhailo Chomiak was not a victim of the war – he was on the side of the German aggressors who collaborated with Ukrainian nationalists in killing Russians, Jews, Poles and other minorities. Former journalist Freeland chose to whitewash her family history to leave out her grandfather’s service to Adolf Hitler. Of course, if she had told the truth, she might never have achieved a successful political career in Canada. Her fierce hostility toward Russia also might be viewed in a different light.

Michael Chomiak and wife Alexandra, with their children in Canada in 1952. Freeland’s mother Halyna is second from left.
Freeland’s Grandfather
According to Canadian sources, Chomiak graduated from Lviv University in western Ukraine with a Master’s Degree in Law and Political Science. He began a career with the Galician newspaper Dilo (Action), published in Lviv. After the start of World War II, the Nazi administration appointed Chomiak to be editor of the newspaper Krakivski Visti (News of Krakow).
So the truth appears to be that Chomiak moved from Ukraine to Nazi-occupied Poland in order to work for the Third Reich under the command of Governor-General Hans Frank, the man who organized the Holocaust in Poland.

Governor Hans Frank (left) and Emil Gassner open the German Press House in Krakow, March 1942
Mikhailo Chomiak comfortably settled his family into a former Jewish (or Aryanized) apartment in Krakow. The editorial offices for Krakivski Visti also were taken from a Jewish owner, Krakow’s Polish-language Jewish newspaper Nowy Dziennik. Its editor at the time was forced to flee Krakow for Lviv, where he was captured following the occupation of Galicia and sent to the Belzec extermination camp, where he was murdered along with 600,000 other Jews.
So, it appears Freeland’s grandfather – rather than being a helpless victim – was given a prestigious job to spread Nazi propaganda, praising Hitler from a publishing house stolen from Jews and given to Ukrainians who shared the values of Nazism.
On April 24, 1940, Krakivski Visti published a full-page panegyric to Adolf Hitler dedicated to his 51st birthday (four days earlier). Chomiak also hailed Governor-General Hans Frank: “The Ukrainian population were overjoyed to see the establishment of fair German authority, the bearer of which is you, Sir Governor-General. The Ukrainian people expressed this joy not only through the flowers they threw to the German troops entering the region, but also through the sacrifices of blood required to fight Polish usurpers.” (Because of Frank’s role in the Holocaust, the Nuremberg Tribunal found him guilty of crimes against humanity and executed him.)
Beyond extolling Hitler and his henchmen, Chomiak rejoiced over Nazi military victories, including the terror bombings of Great Britain. While praising the Third Reich, Krakivski Visti was also under orders by the German authorities to stir up hatred against the Jewish population. Editorial selections from Chomiak’s newspaper can be found in Holocaust museums around the world, such as the one in Los Angeles, California.
The Nov. 6, 1941 issue of Krakivski Visti ecstatically describes how much better Kiev is without Jews. “There is not a single one left in Kiev today, while there were 350,000 under the Bolsheviks,” the newspaper wrote, gloating that the Jews “got their comeuppance.”
That “comeuppance” refers to the mass shooting of Kiev’s Jewish population at Babi Yar. In just two days, Sept. 29-30, 1941, a total of 33,771 people were murdered, a figure that does not include children younger than three years old. There were more shootings in October, and by early November, Krakivski Visti was enthusing over a city where the Jewish population had “disappeared” making Kiev “beautiful, glorious.” Chomiak’s editorials also described a Poland “iinfected by Jews.”

Jewish women lined up waiting to be shot at Babi Yar, September 1941
According to John-Paul Himka, a Canadian historian of Ukrainian origin, Krakivski Visti stirred up emotions against Jews, creating an atmosphere conducive to mass murder. In 2008, the Institute of Historical Research at Lviv National University published a paper co-authored by Himka entitled “What Was the Attitude of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists toward the Jews?” The paper states that, by order of the German authorities, Krakivski Visti published a series of articles between June and September 1943 under the title “Yids in Ukraine” that were written in an extremely anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi vein. The Canadian historian writes that Jews were portrayed as criminals, while Ukrainians were portrayed as victims.
Refuge in Canada
As the war turned against the Nazis and the Red Army advanced across Ukraine and Poland, Nazi propagandist Emil Gassner took Mykhailo Chomiak in 1944 to Vienna where Krakivski Visti continued to publish. As the Third Reich crumbled, Chomiak left with the retreating German Army and surrendered to the Americans in Bavaria, where he was placed with his family in a special U.S. military intelligence facility in Bad Wörishofen, a cluster of hotels situated 78 kilometers from Munich in the foothills of the Alps.
The Chomiak family was given accommodations, living expenses and health care. In her biography, Freeland refers to it only as “a refugee camp.” In September 1946, Mikhailo Chomiak’s daughter Halyna was born in that spa town. In May 1948, the facility was closed and Chomiak, the former Nazi editor, departed for Canada.
While it is true that the sins of a grandfather should not be visited on his descendants, Freeland should not have misled the public on history of such importance, especially when her deceptions also concealed how she partly developed her world view. The family’s deep hostility toward Russia appears to have been passed down from Mikhailo Chomiak’s generation to his granddaughter Chrystia Freeland.
Like many of today’s Ukrainian nationalists, including pockets of post-World War II immigrants in Canada and the United States, Freeland glosses over the violent abuses of the current regime in Kiev toward ethnic Russians, including the fatal firebombing of the Trade Union Building in Odessa and enlistment of neo-Nazi militias to prosecute the so-called “Anti-Terror Operation” against ethnic Russian rebels in the Donbass region. Overall, the conflict has killed some 10,000 people, including many ethnic Russian civilians.
But Freeland only sees “Russian aggression” and vows to maintain an unrelentingly hard line to punish Moscow. So, the pressing question about Freeland is whether her family history makes her incapable of an objective assessment of this dangerous New Cold War crisis. Is a person who describes her Nazi-collaborating grandfather as someone who “worked hard to return freedom and democracy to Ukraine” fit to represent Canada to the world?

Freeland is one of thirteen Canadians banned from travelling to Russia under retaliatory sanctions imposed by Russia. With Trump announcing intentions to strengthen ties with Russia one has to wonder why Justin is setting himself up as a Cold War warrior.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Saturday, August 27, 2016

JOAN (1922-2016)

Joan you were my big sister, 7 years older than me. When you were still in grade school you had a bad fall when skiing on Mount Royal in Montreal. Your back suffered multiple fractures and you ended up consigned to your bed in a full body cast. The doctors worried that you might not walk again. Up until then, I remember you as a carefree and popular young woman. The war was on and you and Margaret, joined the Officer's Club to socially mix with the young officers before they were sent overseas. Now in a body cast, our home became an open house with teachers, students and my mother helping you with your assignments and preparing for your tests. It turned you into a scholar and you never looked back. When the cast came off I thought at the time it should hae been plastered onto the wall because it was covered with signatures and mostly funny statements and drawings by your friends.
As your much younger brother I was proud of you, not because of your academic accomplishments,- I was too young to think about that-, but because you attracted so many men, mostly in uniform, and some academics including professors. You were a magnet. They were mostly nice guys and some gave me a penny or two to leave the room. I can say now that you combined a shapely beauty with with a happy intelligence that seemed to make all your male acquantances take you seriously, and many certainly smitten and developing a crush. Our mother was rooting for Bernie, a young man whose father was a General. Much to her dismay Stanley Jackson, from our high school, and now a navigator in the Canadaian Airforce, arrived from overseas.You knew he was the one. Mother was finally won over.

Later as I pursued my profession as an economist and management consultant I had occasions to visit with you and Stan in New Haven on several occasions and you arranged for me to attend lectures in Yale. I even had the rare privilege of meeting and listening to a lecture by the Nobel Prize-winning economist, James Tobin, just shortly before he died. When Stan died you invited me to share the pulpit in Yale's august halls to say our goodbyes. The hall was packed and in the line-up I learned of the deep affection employees and academics had for 'Joan and Stan', and the minister commented that in Yale you were always thought of as a team.

Joan many years have passed. We have talked daily and our affection for each other has grown. I will miss you terribly, but now it is time to say goodbye.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

God, Voltaire, Huxley and doubt

  • The secret of genius  is to carry the spirit and entusiasm of the child into old age Aldous Huxley 
  • Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy.Voltaire                                                                          
  •  Once your faith, sir, persuades you to believe what your intelligence declares to be absurd, beware lest you likewise sacrifice your reason in the conduct of your life. Voltaire
  • Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is an absurd one.Voltaire
  • Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without  having tp believe there are fairies at the bottom of it too? Adams
  •  Organizing atheists can be compared with herding cats who tend to think independently and will not conform to authority. Dawkin

In this vast universe can we honestly believe that there is a God  who cares about the people who live on this tiny planet? 
Image result for pictures of earliest to modern manWhen the first cavemen began asking the questions; why are we here? how did we get here? and what happens when we die? they came to the inevitable conclusion some higher mystical power had some answers.  Man invented God. 

The Horrible Real Hillary

Come on Bill, put your d**k up!  You can’t f**k her here!!”  “Inside the White House” by Ronald Kessler, p.243-Hillary to Gov. Clinton when she spots him talking with an attractive female.
  •  "I read that Hillary's staff is starting to worry that her campaign still doesn't have an official theme. Then Hillary said, 'Yes it does – revenge.'" –Jimmy Fallon
Hillary has clearly shown poor judgment before and during her role as Secretary of State in the Obama administration and is totally unqualified to become the President of the United States. Here are some reasons why:

1. Many months after the Bush administration itself acknowledged that Iraq had neither WMDs nor ties to Al-Qaeda, Clinton declared in a speech at George Washington University that her support for the authorization was still “the right vote” and one that “I stand by.” Similarly,  in an interview on Larry King Live April 2004, when asked about her vote despite the absence of WMDs or al-Qaeda ties, she acknowledged, “I don’t regret giving the president (Bill, her husband) authority.”
Hillary Clinton voted to authorize George W. Bush to go to war in Iraq. As a result of that war, tens of thousands of Americans and Iraqis died needlessly, trillions of dollars were added to the debt, and the Middle East was destabilized in a way that led to the rise of ISIS, the Syrian Civil War, and the European refugee crisis is now threatening to unravel the European Union.
And no Apologies but now admits that she made a mistake.
 The 2016 Democratic presidential campaign is coming down to a race between Hillary Clinton, who supported the Bush Doctrine and its call for invading countries that are no threat to us regardless of the consequences, and Bernie Sanders, who supported the broad consensus of Middle East scholars and others familiar with the region who recognized that such an invasion would be disastrous.
 Electing Hillary Clinton — or anyone else who supported the invasion of Iraq — would be sending a dangerous message that reckless global militarism needn’t prevent someone from becoming president
Latest announcement is that Robert Kagan, an extreme right-wing pundit and author, has endorsed Hillary for President.
2. It also raises this ominous scenario: If Clinton were elected president despite having voted to give President Bush the authority, based on false pretenses, to launch a war of aggression — in violation of the UN Charter, the Nuremberg Principles, and common sense — what would stop her from demanding that Congress give her the same authority?
3. punctuated by disasters she supported U.S. intervention in Libya and Egypt, undermining governments that were no threat to American interests,

.John Kerry Could End Up Outdoing Hillary Clinton.” The New York Times chimed in with an article on the “tough comparisons with Kerry” Clinton is now facing, summing up the debate as one over whether she was anything more than a loud-mouthed “pantsuit-wearing globe-trotter” in her years as Secretary of State. Irresponsibly referring to Putin as Hitler is hardly a pronouncement for building good relationships with Russia.

  • Hillary Clinton tells close former aide Dick Morris what she REALLY thinks of her supporters.SOURCE: http://www.amazon.com/Rewriting-History-Dick-Morris/dp/B000ECXDLC/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1445767167&sr=8-3&keywords=dick+morrishttp://hillaryclintonquotes.tumblr.com/

Friday, December 04, 2015

Obama's policy confusion; Assad patriot or villain?

Farces and Fabrications
  • After the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in 2011, rooting for the rebels was, for many in the West, synonymous with rooting for democracy and freedom.
  •  goal was to train about 15,000 rebels in Jordan and other countries so they could return to Syria and fight. However, US defence officials admitted last month that only four or five of the recruits in the programme had actually returned to the battle.
  •  “If you want to talk about a nation that could pose an existential threat to the United States, I’d have to point to Russia,” said General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., at Senate hearings on his nomination to be the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “And if you look at their [the Russians’] behavior, it’s nothing short of alarming.”Editor's note/ I suspect that Dunford (alias DR Strangelove) is alarming!!
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Was ist der Dum Doozle???

Obama is calling for Regime Change in Syria. "Assad must go !" Why? Because Obama blindly  accepts the doctrine of Victoria Nuland and her husband Robert Kagan, co founders of the Project for the New American Century, that led to the disastrous and bloody US invasions of Iraq and Libya, support for Nazis in Kiev, and with Republican support, ambitions for a bloody repeat in Syria. She is truly a viscious and evil woman.  Putin at this point has defanged Washington by militarily supporting Assad in his battle against rebel forces within Syria and joining with him in his  declared war on ISIS and Al Queda terrorists.  

To add to the confusion Washington recently initiated the bombing of the Syrian army. Take 
the time to listen to this lengthy interview of Assad with the western press before passing US Media fed judgement.

One of the toughest critics of President Obama’s strategy against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat who represents his home state of Hawaii.
Gabbard, 34, one of the youngest members of Congress, is a Hawaii Army National Guard captain with two deployments under her belt, including a year in Iraq, where she served in a field medical unit. She is vehmently opposed to removing Assad, the legitimate leader of Syria, since there is no alternative and it would be simply allying US goals with terorists. She claims that we made this mistake in Iraq and Libya and would simply be repeating it again. Gabbard is clearly a brilliant and knowelgeable woman. Listen to her comments on this news clip and draw your own conclusions. https://www.youtube.comd /watch?v=329TFfPxZBU

Image result for
Tulsi Gabbard
 A bit about her background:   Elected in 2012, she is the first American Samoan[3] and the first Hindu member of the United States Congress. In July 2004, Gabbard Tamayo asked to deploy with her Hawaii Army National Guard unit, volunteering for a 12-month tour in Iraq, where she served in a field medical unit as a specialist with a 29th Support Battalion medical company Those experiences have shaped her views on the fight against ISIS and given her credibility as a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

Gabbard says she simply disagrees with elements of Obama's foreign policy.
She  is an outspoken critic of regime change in Syria and like Putin believes that for now Assad must be supported since there is no credible alternative. His removal would simply play into the hands of Al Queda and would be a repeat of the drastic mistakes made by the US in Iraq and Libya.

US policy and strategy reads like a script out of the Keystone Cops.
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Keystone Cops
The confusion arises because the US isn't sure whether the Syrian President and his three hundred thousand strong army or ISIS is their prime enemy target. Putin suffers no such confusion and with Assad has joined in a strategy to militarily defeat ISIS. He is bombing the supply routes of rebel forces. This has resulted in so called moderate rebels supported by the US, in their quest to unseat Assad, being bombed by Russia. In effect a proxy war is underway between Russia and the US, with Iran and Syria supporting Russia and  the US squandering its resources and unsure of it's intentions. 500 Million dollars wasted on a US acknowledged military fiasco to train non existent moderate rebels with only 5 rather than 5,000 soldiers admitted before Congress being trained. To add to the fiasco the equipment America is financing has already fallen into the hands of Al Queda terrorists.

Fortunately Rep. Gabbard and her supporters see the issues clearly but is Congress just listening to John McCain or following the script written in the NYTimes and Fox news? And where does Obama stand? His fog index is high.

Syria and Iran strongly support Russia's military efforts while Washington vacillates and flounders with the issues.  I think that the fundamental problem in Washington is their hegomonic ambitions threatening regime change in any state that opposes their objectives. NATO is their historical battering ram against Russia and a 60 Year legacy of the Cold War still exists and of late is intensifying. Proxy wars such as we are seeing in Syria will be the wars in the future since a major war with nuclear armed nations will be unthinkable unless a suicidal Dr Strangelove shows up.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Brain Dead conformity

 “People are sheep. TV is the shepherd.”
Jess C. Scott, Literary Heroin (Gluttony): A Twilight Parody  

 “Why do you have to be the same as the others? ...Most of them are stupid.”
Ken Follett, Winter of the World

  “The city was filled to overflowing with persons who had neither brains nor individuality, who bore no resemblance to men that live by bread, and had only their outward shape to distinguish them from sheep.”
Lucian of Samosata

 “I don’t like the term “Average Joe.” I prefer “Dolly,” because not only is the Everyman a sheep, but he’s also a clone. They all think alike and act alike.”
Jarod Kintz, 99 Cents For Some Nonsense

Pavlov and his experiments with dogs.
Pavlov Ivan Petrovich Pavlov was an eminent Russian physiologist and psychologist who devised the concept of the conditioned reflex. In his initial experiments, Pavlov rang a bell and then gave the dog food; after a few repetitions the dog started to salivate in response to the bell. Pavlov called the bell the conditioned stimulus because its effects depend on its association with food. 

Just like the dogs we all have Pavlovian responses to repetitive stimuli. French teenage girls are exposed repetitively to TV and film images of attractive people smoking and a very high percentage of them smoke. Russians have experienced a profound rise in their living standards under the leadership of Putin and experience a positive Pavlovian response to his name. Conversely Western media associate Putin with a rejection of our American leadership and in our media he is vilified. Just like the dog's salivating response on hearing the bell ring, many in the West have an instant negative response on hearing his name. Republicans have the same spontaneous bell ringing reaction to hearing Obama's name. 

Mindless Conformity
It logically follows that our Pavlovian responses can blindly lead us into collective herd-like and mindless conformity. A rush into a war in Iraq with flags waving. Oops!! a mistake based on lies that leaves a nation destroyed  including 5,000 American soldiers and as many as a million Iraqis dead.  Thomas Friedman, (described by Matt Taibbi of the Rolling Stones as light weight but popular columnist of the NYT) was a strong advocate for this war. 
This was a repeat that followed the disaster in Vietnam that killed an estimated 3.6 million in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, and 6,500 American soldiers and ended up with an ignominious American defeat.

 The Lonely Crowd - Written in 1950 by David Riesman describes three main cultural types:  tradition-directed, inner-directed, and other-directed. If we can step aside from the herd and listen to mainly inner directed personalities it can give some hope to the human race. The Internet has opened a window to these voices all of whom reject mindless conformity. Their voices are now being heard and shared by millions through the Internet. The aren't so lonely anymore. My list is long but here are a few names: Chris Hedges, Matt Taibbi, Jon Stewart, Naomi Kline, Jesse Ventura, Michael Moore, Pepe Escobar, Elizabeth Warren, Edward Snowdon, Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange (Wiki Leaks) Cenk Uygur (Young Turks), Erik Margolis, Peter Lavelle (RT).

Where does mindless conformity take us? There are many allegoric stories written about this human weakness such as
  • Herman Melville's 'Moby Dick' where the crew blindly follows Captain Ahab's  obsession to kill the Great White Whale. Only the first mate rejects this maniacal obsession and survives to tell the tale.
  • The fable 'The Pied Piper' tells the story of children listening to the leaders flute and blindly following him to their death. Dates back to an actual event in Hamelin in 1284 where 130 children were killed.
  • Examples of modern day Pied Pipers for military interventions, including the disastrous wars in Iraq and Libya, include Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post, Fred Barnes of Fox News, Thomas Friedman of the New York Times and influential Republican right wing policy advocates such as Victoria Nuland and her husband Robert Kagan with the backing of PNAC (Project for the New American Century).  She is currently busy in Kiev with a 5 billion dollar budget to realize her hegemonic goal to replace Putin with a US handpicked leader just as they  replaced Ukraine's elected leader with Poroshenko, a US handpicked stooge. 

What can we do to prevent being swept away by mindless conformity? Unfortunately the  controlling and wealthy interests need their armies of well cared for sheep. The Koch Brothers can  be included in this select group of 20 people whose wealth is estimated to amount to a total net worth of over a half-trillion dollars. 

Their collective investments run into the many millions to finance chosen politicians, conservative think tanks and media campaigns. Koch brothers for example promote the rejection of global climate change regulations related to oil and gas production and generously finance conservative politicians who support their causes. 

The history of the Koch family makes for some very interesting reading. The pile of money Fred Koch and his family made working for the Bolsheviks in the late 1920s and early 1930s, building refineries, training Communist engineers and laying down the foundation of Soviet oil industry provided the foundation of wealth for Koch industries. Fred Koch (1900 - 1967) from this experience in Stalinist Russia became an ardent anti-communist and a founding member of the John Birch Society. He was convinced that the evil 'socialism' was taking over America through unions, colored people, Jews, homosexuals, the Kennedys and even Dwight D. Eisenhower. He had four sons who were all rabid conservatives; Charles and David who manage the Koch empire, and Frederick, the oldest brother a philanthropist who died in 2014 and William, the youngest brother an American businessman, sailor, and collector. William's  boat was the winner of the America's Cup in 1992.
Read about an unsavory Nazi past of Koch relatives.

Since Sheep rarely think about these issues, their complacent conformity lends a helping hand to the influence of the .00001% as they trash Obamacare and environmental protection. In my view only an economic upheaval can alter the course of this complacency.

Monday, February 02, 2015

I Can't Take it Anymore - Feb 2015 update

  •  last week, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney sharply criticized austerity policies common to the Eurozone states, warning that the single-currency area was constrained by strangulating levels of debt that could plunge it into years of stagnation. 
  •  Following Carney’s comments, UK economist and anti-austerity campaigner Michael Burke argued that debt burdens of struggling EU states such as Greece and Ireland are unsustainable, and must be largely written off if real growth is to occur in these states.

Jan 2015 update. The sweeping victory of Alexis Tsipras's left-wing Syriza party raises hope for a better life in Greece and dashes Merkel's demands for endless austerity.  Read on.

"The Tsolakoglou government has annihilated all traces for my survival, which was based on a very dignified pension that I alone paid for 35 years with no help from the state. And since my advanced age does not allow me a way of dynamically reacting (although if a fellow Greek were to grab a Kalashnikov, I would be right behind him), I see no other solution than this dignified end to my life, so I don’t find myself fishing through garbage cans for my sustenance. I believe that young people with no future, will one day take up arms and hang the traitors of this country at Syntagma square, just like the Italians did to Mussolini in 1945"
Dmitri  Christoulas
* * *

Our Capitalist Manifesto: Welcome to laissez-faire Global Capitalism!! Anything goes! We the bankers and international oligarchs own the system, enforce the rules, and the public must pay for it.  As personal profit is our sole motive we shelter our wealth off shore to hide it from Nation States, lend without discipline and constraints to create collapsing bubbles, day trade for speculation from tax havens sums that exceed by many times the world's daily GDP , and take ownership of the media and flood the political system with largess to ensure it does our bidding. We grab hold of an ever increasing share of the nation's wealth from a less worthy citizenry and accept that many will provide their inexpensive labour within a modern framework of serfdom.

In the US, Canada, Great Britain and the greater part of Europe the public, largely disillusioned and passive, have retreated from participation in the public debate. Demonstrations are scattered, lacking teeth and soon forgotten. France is currently an exception that raises hope for revolutionary reforms. This hope for change comes from a movement on the Far Left that has become the third force in the election battle. It is a revolutionary call for citizens to take charge to gain their rights and bring an end to laissez-faire capitalism. It's apparent that there is an awakening of a disillusioned public, many of whom in the past have retreated from voting. With more than 15% of the popular vote and not far behind the UMP(conservatives) and PS(Socialists) they have become a deciding factor in who will take power in France. It is also a cry that is reaching the public in Greece, Spain and other countries now facing years of brutal restraints to pay off the bankers who are largely responsible for creating the financial mess they are in.

This movement is being led by a fiery orator,  Jean-Luc Melanchon who is attracting audiences of  70, 000 or more wherever he speaks filling public squares and surrounding streets.  Here is a video of his oration in Toulouse. You don't have be bilingual to gain an impression of his passionate delivery and the audience's enthusiastic response. 

His critics, of which he has many, say that his programs for radical reforms are unaffordable, in conflict with France's trading partners and excessively idealistic. Clearly his is critics are right if France decided to go it alone, but I think Melanchon  is reaching out for an international audience to bring about unbearable pressures on laissez-faire capitalism and those fighting to maintain the status quo. 

The months ahead will determine whether this movement burns out from exhaustion or this is the beginning of a constructive and hopefully non-violent revolutionary movement that will spread.

Feb 2015 update.
Alexis Tsipras
Alexis Tsipras
Feb 2015 Update!! On Jan 25th the Greeks finally gave voice to "I can't take it anymore" and elected the left-wing party SYRIZA led by Alexis Tsipras winning a legislative election for the first time ever, securing 149 out of the 300 seats, 2 seats short of an absolute majority. On the other hand, conservative and then-ruling New Democracy lost 53 seats and obtained its worst result ever in terms of seats won.

 The above was written in 2012. With the election of Alexis Tsipras, Merkel's demands for endless austerity is being challenged and with it the overpriced Euro. In the months ahead we predict that southern European countries including France will rally around Greece's issues . Like Roosevelt before them, they realize  that austerity is the problem and not the solution.

Thomas Friedman,"Imperial Messenger''

The armchair warriors of Official Washington are eager for a new war, this time with Russia over Ukraine, and they are operating from the same sort of mindless “group think” and hostility to dissent that proved so disastrous in Iraq, 

Robert Parry.

The Nitwits are in charge
Exclusive: Pundit Thomas Friedman laments that the new Cold War isn’t funny enough for him, but there really isn’t anything funny about the U.S. plunging into an unnecessary nuclear showdown with Russia over Ukraine while Friedman and his fellow VIPs misreport what’s happening, writes Robert Parry.
By Robert Parry
Sometimes I wonder if today’s crop of U.S. pundits and pols could ever rise to meet some truly urgent need of the American people, let alone the interests of the world. Everything, it seems, is done with a snigger and an attitude – even as we stumble into a wholly unnecessary confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia over which batch of thieves and oligarchs gets to run Ukraine.

Friedman's position as one the world’s leading pundits is “testament to the degenerate state of the mainstream media”, and right to characterize him as a “mouthpiece for empire and capital” and “resident apologist for US military excess and punishing economic policies”.

 Belén Fernández, Verso

 “The walls had fallen down and the Windows had opened, making the world much flatter than it had ever been--but the age of seamless global communication had not yet dawned.”
Matt Taibbi's  comments about  Friedman's prose:
“How the fuck do you open a window in a fallen wall? More to the point, why would you open a window in a fallen wall? Or did the walls somehow fall in such a way that they left the windows floating in place to be opened? Four hundred and 73 pages of this, folks. Is there no God?”

Though Thomas Friedman, a leading New York Times Columnist is clearly a shill and has been wrong again and again such as promoting the stampede into Iraq, He is still regarded as perhaps the preeminent foreign policy pundit in the U.S. media.  I find  him horribly glib and superficial. He is a booster of globalization and with it the spreading of the good will and intentions of US foreign policies and initiatives. He even sees the wars in Iraq, Aghanistan and other foreign interventions as beneficial, spreading American know how, and enlightenment to backward nations. The violence and killings are merely an inconvenient but  necessary shaking up of backward people. 

Here are a few a few of his observations and beliefs.
  •  “to be a French educated Arab intellectual is the worst combination possible for understanding globalization. It is like being twice handicapped” 
  • “the education of Hezbollah….the only long-term source of deterrence was to exact enough pain on the civilians – the families and employers of militants – to restrain Hezbollah in the future”
  • Friedman announces in 2003 that the reason for the invasion of Iraq was the need to burst a “terrorism bubble” that had emerged in “that part of the world”:
  •  His complaint that American occupying forces in Iraq “are baby-sitting a civil war” is a direct echo of Barack Obama’s promise during the 2007 presidential election campaign that “we're not going to babysit a civil war”, as though the bloodbath engulfing the country was attributable to the infantilism of its people and not to the effects of it being violently invaded by a foreign power. Elsewhere, Friedman’s likening of the US occupation of Afghanistan to the adoption of a “special needs baby” 
In the Ukraine Friedman states as fact that 9,000 Rusian troops are in Ukraine. As usual Friedman throws around accusations without adequate evidence. The Guardian provides a much more balanced perspective while aware of thae dated photos and uncertainty of much of the evidence.

Which brings us to the issue of his views about Ukraine and Russia. As the United States rushes into a new Cold War with Russia, we are seeing the makings of a new McCarthyism, challenging the patriotism of anyone who doesn’t get into line. Friedman and Hilary likening Putin with Hitler is a pathetic cheap shot unworthy of a leader. It might be more rational to associate the very active Nazi's movement in Kiev with Poroshenko and his aid and support from the US's notorious Victoria Nuland, the famous 'regime change advocate' who when working for Dick Cheney promoted the disasters in Iraq and Libya and  hand picked the leadership in Kiev. Seems this would be worth Friedman's comments.