Bulletin N° 789
See also Jean-Luc Godard’s controversial 1987 film production of :
The story of “The Ear” - of a man who could not believe what he saw; but only what he heard, and the tragedy therein . . . .
Subject : Twenty-First Century Politics: A Tale of Misanthropes – of blind, lying, cheating, stealing, murdering misanthropes.
18 March 2018
(147th Anniversary of the Paris Commune)
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
Many years ago, when I was writing up the research for my Ph.D. dissertation on the anarchist French school teachers’ movement in the early years of the Third Republic, I came across a statement by Jean-Paul Sartre, which suggested an orientation for understanding the Post-Paris-Commune primary school teachers in France and their militant commitment to “emancipatory pedagogy”.
What we call freedom is the irreducibility of the cultural order to the natural order.
--Critique of Dialectical Reason, J-P Sartre
This was in the early 1970s, when an intellectual collective in America had formed around the publication, Science for the People, and about the same time as the periodical Impasciences was galvanizing progressive thinkers in France.
The thesis of my Ph.D. thesis was that several thousand primary school teachers working in the early years of the Third Republic were attracted to the ideology of anarcho-syndicalism due to palpable contradictions in their lives (not the least of which was the entrenched political power of the Church in French society, stemming from the days of the Second Empire), as well as the fact that these teachers identified strongly with their students’ intellectual and social needs for quality education. As the First World War loomed on the horizon, these men and women joined with other socialists around the world to denounce the nationalist preparation of future “cannon fodder” in French public schools. They loved their students and their work, and they were committed to preparing future generations to participate fully in making a better society for all by acquiring methods of scientific enquiry as well as humanist cultural assets.
Years later, I found reading Fritjof Capra’s 1975 book, The Tao of Physics to be an unsettling experience, to say the least. In this lucid account of the history of “the new physics,” the author - who received a Ph.D. in physics in 1966 from the University of Vienna and did research in high-energy physics at the University of Paris and at the University of California in Santa Cruz, at Stanford, and at Imperial College in London, and is now conducting research at UC-Berkeley – describes the radical changes scientific understanding of our material world has undergone since the beginning of the 20th Century and compares it to the teachings of ancient Eastern Mysticism, some 2,500 years ago.
Capra presents this fundamental shift in scientific thinking in physics by comparing it with ancient Hindu mythologies found in the Vedas and the Upanishads, with Buddhist teachings compiled in the much revered Avatamsaka-Sutra, which was written in Sanskrit beginning about 500 years after the death of Buddha, and with Taoism. All of these Eastern religions embodied the idea of preparing the mind to experience reality without a priori concepts by carefully seeking empirical evidence of the mental states of the observer. Astute observation is also the hallmark of the new physics by employing the most sophisticated technology. The discoveries from both of these self-conscious experiences are remarkably similar, according to Capra, who nevertheless identifies one current difference, namely that: Mystics believe they know, while Scientists know they believe (all scientific theories being tentative mental constructs).
It seems . . . that Eastern mystics and Western physicists went through similar revolutionary experiences which led them to
completely new ways of seeing the world. In the following passages, the European physicist Niels Bohr and the Indian
mystic Sri Aurobindo both express the depth and the radical character of this experience.(p.55)
In 1934, Bohr wrote: “The Greatest extension of our experience in recent years has brought to light the insufficiency
of our simple mechanical conceptions and, as a consequence, has shaken the foundation on which the customary
interpretation of observation was based.”
In 1958, Aurobindo wrote: “All things in fact begin to change their nature and appearance; one’s whole experience
of the world is radically different . . . There is a new vast and deep way of experiencing, seeing, knowing, contacting
Describing “classical physics,” Capra writes,
The stage of the Newtonian universe, on which all physical phenomena took place, was the three-dimensional space of classical Euclidean geometry. It was an absolute space, always at rest and unchangeable. In Newton’s own words, ‘Absolute space, in its own nature, without regard to anything external, remains always similar and immovable;’ All changes in the physical world were described in terms of a separate dimension, called time, which again was absolute, having no connection with the material world and flowing smoothly from the past through the present to the future. ‘Absolute, true, and mathematical time,’ said Newton, ‘of itself and by its own nature, flows uniformly, without regard to anything external.’
The elements of the Newtonian world which moved in this absolute space and absolute time were material particles. In the mathematical equations they were treated as ‘mass points’ and Newton saw them as small, solid, and indestructible objects out of which all matter was made. The model was quite similar to that of the Greek atomists. Both were based on the distinction between the full and the void, between matter and space, and in both models the participles remained always identical in their mass and shape. Matter was therefore always conserved and essentially passive. The important difference between the Democritean and Newtonian atomism is that the latter includes a precise description of the force acting between the material particles. This force is very simple, depending only on the masses and the mutual distances of the particles.
The ‘bootstrap’ philosophy of nature that was originated in the early 1960’s by UC-Berkeley Professor Geoffrey Chew (b.1924) represents, according to Fritjor Caper, the final coup de grace for the uncritical reign of Newtonian Physics for over 300 years.
The bootstrap philosophy [which starts from the idea that nature cannot be reduced to fundamental entities, such as elementary particles or fundamental fields. It has to be understood entirely through its self-consistency, with its components being consistent both with one another and with themselves] constitutes the final rejection of the mechanistic world view in modern physics. Newton’s universe was constructed from a set of basic entities with certain fundamental properties, which had been created by God and thus were not amenable to further analysis. In one way or another, this notion was implicit in all theories of natural science until the bootstrap hypothesis stated explicitly that the world cannot be understood as an assemblage of entities which cannot be analyzed further. In the new world view, the universe is seen as a dynamic web of interrelated events. None of the properties of any part of this web is fundamental; they all follow from properties of the other parts, and the overall consistency of their mutual interrelations determines the structure of the entire web.
[T]he bootstrap philosophy represents the culmination of a view of nature that arose in quantum theory with the realization of an essential and universal interrelationship, acquired its dynamic content in relativity theory, and was formulated in terms of reaction probabilities in S-matirx theory. At the same time, this view of nature came ever closer to the Eastern world view and is now in harmony with Eastern thought, both in its general philosophy and in its specific picture of matter.(p.302)
In a word, the bootstrap theory of nature asserts that "nature is as it is because this is the only possible nature consistent with itself."
In the fourth chapter, entitled “The New Physics”, Capra defines what is new and different about the new science.
Quantum theory has thus demolished the classical concepts of solid objects and of strictly deterministic laws of nature. At the subatomic level, the solid material objects of classical physics dissolve into wave-like patterns of probabilities, and these patterns, ultimately, do not represent probabilities of things, but rather probabilities of interconnections. A careful analysis of the process of observation in atomic physics has shown that the subatomic particles have no meaning as isolated entities, but can only be understood as interconnections between the preparation of an experiment and the subsequent measurement. Quantum theory thus reveals a basic oneness of the universe. It shows that we cannot decompose the world into independently existing smallest units. As we penetrate into matter, nature does not show us any isolated ‘basic building blocks’, but rather appears as a complicated web of relations between the various parts of the whole. These relations always include the observer in an essential way. The human observer constitutes the final link in the chain of observational processes, and the properties of any atomic object can only be understood in terms of the object’s interaction with the observer. This means that the classical ideal of an objective description of nature is no longer valid. The Cartesian partition between the I and the world, between the observer and the observed, cannot be made when dealing with atomic matter. In atomic physics, we can never speak about nature without, at the same time, speaking about ourselves.(pp.71-72)
The concept of a field has been associated not only with the electromagnetic force, but also with that other major force in the large-scale world, the force of gravity. Gravitational fields are created and felt by all massive bodies, and the resulting forces are always forces of attraction, contrary to the electromagnetic fields which are felt only by charged bodies and which give rise to attractive and repulsive forces. The prober field theory for the gravitational field is the general theory of relativity, and in this theory the influence of a massive body on the surrounding space is more far-reaching than the corresponding influence of a charged body in electrodynamics. Again, the space around the object is ‘conditioned’ in such a way that another object will feel a force, but this time the conditioning affects the geometry, and thus the very structure of space.
. . .
Material objects not only determine the structure of the surrounding space but are, in turn, influenced by their environment in an essential way. According to the physicist and philosopher Ernst Mach, the inertia of a material object – the object’s resistance against being accelerated – is not an intrinsic property of matter, but a measure of its interaction with all the rest of the universe. In Mach’s view, matter only has inertia because there is other matter in the universe. When a body rotates, its inertia produces centrifugal forces (used, for example, in a spin-drier to extract water from wet laundry), but these forces appear only because the body rotates ‘relative to the fixed stars’, as Mach has put it. If those fixed stars were suddenly to disappear, the inertia and the centrifugal forces of the rotating body would disappear with them.
This conception of inertia, which has become known as Mach’s principle, had a deep influence on Albert Einstein and was his original motivation for constructing the general theory of relativity. Due to the considerable mathematical complexity of Einstein’s theory, physicists have not yet been able to agree whether it actually incorporates Mach’s principle or not. Most physicists believe, however, that it should be incorporated, in one “way or another, into a complete theory of gravity.
Thus modern physics shows us once again – and this time at the macroscopic level – that material objects are not distinct “entities, but are inseparably linked to their environment; that their properties can only be understood in terms of their interaction with the rest of the world. According to Mach’s principle, this interaction reaches out to the universe at large, to the distant stars and galaxies. The basic unity of the cosmos manifests itself, therefore, not only in the world of the very small but also in the world of the very large; a fact which is increasingly acknowledged in modern astrophysics and cosmology. In the words of the astronomer Fred Hoyle,
Present-day developments in cosmology are coming to suggest rather insistently that everyday conditions could not persist
but for the distant parts of the Universe, that all our ideas of space and geometry would become entirely invalid if the distant
parts of the Universe were taken away. Our everyday experience even down to the smallest details seems to be so closely
integrated to the grand-scale features of the Universe that it is well-nigh impossible to contemplate the two separately.
The unity and interrelation between a material object and its environment, which is manifest on the macroscopic scale in the general theory of relativity, appears in an even more striking form at the subatomic level. Here, the ideas of classical field theory are combined with those of quantum theory to describe the interactions between subatomic particles. Such a combination has not yet been possible for the gravitational interaction because of the complicated mathematical form of Einstein’s theory of gravity; but the other classical field theory, electrodynamics, has been merged with quantum theory into a theory called ‘quantum electrodynamics’ which describes all electromagnetic interactions between subatomic particles. This theory incorporates both quantum theory and relativity theory. It was the first ‘quantum-relativistic’ model of modern physics and is still the most successful.
. . .
The quantum field is seen as the fundamental physical entity; a continuous medium which is present everywhere in space. Particles are merely local condensations of the field; concentrations of energy which come and go, thereby losing their individual character and dissolving into the underlying field. In the words of Albert Einstein:
We may therefore regard matter as being constituted by the regions of space in which the field is extremely intense . . .
There is no place in this new kind of physics both for the field and matter, for the field is the only reality.
The conception of physical things and phenomena as transient manifestations of an underlying fundamental entity is not only a basic element of quantum field theory, but also a basic element of the Eastern world view. Like Einstein, the Eastern mystics consider this underlying entity as the only reality: all its phenomenal manifestations are seen as transitory and illusory. This reality of the Eastern mystic cannot be identified with the quantum field of the physicist because it is seen as the essence of all phenomena in the world and, consequently, is beyond all concepts and ideas. The quantum field, on the other hand, is a well-defined concept which only accounts for some of the physical phenomena. Nevertheless, the intuition behind the physicist’s interpretation of the sub-atomic world, in terms of the quantum field, is closely paralleled by that of the Eastern mystic who interprets his or her experience of the world in terms of an ultimate underlying reality.
. . .
Buddhists express the same idea when they call the ultimate reality Sunyata – ‘Emptiness’, or ‘the Void’ – and affirm that it is a living Void which gives birth to all forms in the phenomenal world. The Taoists ascribe a similar infinite and endless creativity to the Tao and again, call it empty. ‘The Tao of Heaven is empty and formless’ says the Kuan-tzu, and Lao Tzu uses several metaphors to illustrate this emptiness. He often compares the Tao to a hollow valley, or to a vessel which is forever empty and thus has the potential of containing an infinity of things.
In spite of using terms like empty and void, the Eastern sages make it clear that they do not mean ordinary emptiness when they talk about Brahman, Bunyata or Tao, but on the contrary, a Void which has an infinite creative potential. Thus, the Void of the Eastern mystics can easily be compared to the quantum field of subatomic physics. Like the quantum field, it gives birth to an infinite variety of forms which it sustains and, eventually, reabsorbs. As the Upanishads say,
Tranquil, let one worship It
As that form which he came forth,
As that into which he will be dissolved,
As that in which he breathes.
The phenomenal manifestations of the mystical Void, like the subatomic particles, are not static and permanent, but dynamic and transitory, coming into being and vanishing in one ceaseless dance of movement and energy. Like the subatomic world of the physicist, the phenomenal world of the Eastern mystic is a world of samsara – of continuous birth and death. Being transient manifestations of the Void, the things in this world do not have any fundamental identity. This is especially emphasized in Buddhist philosophy which denies the existence of any material substance and also holds that the idea of a constant ‘self’ undergoing successive experiences is an illusion. Buddhists have frequently compared this illusion of a material substance and an individual self to the phenomenon of a water wave, in which the up-and-down movement of the water particles makes us believe that a ‘piece’ of water moves over the surface. It is interesting to note that physicists have used the same analogy in the context of field theory to point out the illusion of a material substance created by a moving particle.(pp.218-223)
. . .
In contrast to the mystic, the physicist begins his enquiry into the essential nature of things by studying the material world. Penetrating into ever deeper realms of matter, he has become aware of the essential unity of all things and events. More than that, he has also leant that he himself and his consciousness are an integral part of this unity. Thus the mystic and the physicist arrive at the same conclusion; one starting from the inner realm, the other from the outer world. The harmony between their views confirms the ancient Indian wisdom that Brahman, the ultimate reality without, is identical to Atman, the reality within.(pp. 322-323)
One item of concern that this book raises is the problem of understanding the infinite with what appears to be a finite mind (a mind accustomed to apprehending in sentient everyday life no more than three dimensional space and unable to conceptualize, via highly abstract calculations, fourth dimensional space-time with the absence of a linear time frame). How else can one explain Capra’s chilling reference in the Epilogue of this book, on “the problems of an overpopulated world”?
The mechanistic world view of classical physics is useful for the description of the kind of physical phenomena we encounter in our everyday life and thus appropriate for dealing with our daily environment, and it has also proved extremely successful as a basis for technology. It is inadequate, however, for the description of physical phenomena in the submicroscopic realm. Opposed to the mechanistic conception of the world is the view of the mystics which may be epitomized by the word ‘organic’, as it regards all phenomena in the universe as integral parts of an inseparable harmonious whole. This world view emerges in the mystical traditions from meditative states of consciousness. In their description of the world, the mystics use concepts which are derived from these non-ordinary experiences and are, in general, inappropriate for a scientific description of macroscopic phenomena. The organic world view is not advantageous for constructing machines, nor for coping with technical problems in an overpopulated world. (emphasis mine)
In everyday life, then, both the mechanistic and the organic views of the universe are valid and useful; the one for science and technology, the other for a balanced and fulfilled spiritual life. Beyond the dimensions of our everyday environment, however, the mechanistic concepts lose their validity and have to be replaced by organic concepts which are very similar to those used by the mystics. This is the essential experience of modern physics which has been the subject of our discussion.(p.321)
Indian artists of the tenth and twelfth centuries have represented Shiva’s cosmic dance in magnificent bronze sculptures of dancing figures with four arms whose superbly balanced and yet dynamic gestures express the rhythm and unity of Life. The various meanings of the dance are conveyed by the details of the figures in a complex pictorial allegory. The upper right hand of the god holds a drum to symbolize the primal sound of creation, the upper left bears a tongue of flame, the element of destruction. The balance of the two hands represents the dynamic balance of creation and destruction in the world, accentuated further by the Dancer’s calm and detached face in the center of the two hands, in which the polarity of creation and destruction is dissolved and transcended. The second hand is raised in the sign of ‘do not fear’, symbolizing maintenance, protection and peace, while the remaining left hand points down to the uplifted foot which symbolizes release from the spell of maya. The god is pictured as dancing on the body of a demon, the symbol of man’s ignorance which has to be conquered before liberation can be attained.
Shiva’s dance – in the words of Coomaraswamy – is ‘the clearest image of the activity of God which any art or religion can boast of.’ As the god is a personification of Brahman, his activity is that of Brahman’s myriad manifestations in the world. The dance of Shiva is the dancing universe; the ceaseless flow of energy going through an infinite variety of patterns that melt into one another.
Modern physics has shown that the rhythm of creation and destruction is not only manifest in the turn of the seasons and in the birth and death of all living creatures, but it is also the very essence of inorganic matter. According to quantum field theory, all interactions between the constituents of matter take place through the emission and absorption of virtual particles. More than that, the dance of creation and destruction is the basis of the very existence of matter, since all material particles ‘self-interact’ by emitting and reabsorbing virtual particles. Modern physics has thus revealed that ever subatomic particle not only performs an energy dance, but also is an energy dance; a pulsating process of creation and destruction.
. . .
For the modern physicists, then, Shiva’s dance is the dance of subatomic matter. As in Hindu mythology, it is a continual dance of creation and destruction involving the whole cosmos; the basis of all existence and of all natural phenomena. Hundreds of years ago, Indian artists crated visual images of dancing Shivas in a beautiful series of bronzes. In our time, physicists have used the most advanced technology to portray the patterns of the cosmic dance. The bubble-chamber photographs of interacting particles, which bear testimony to the continual rhythm of the dance of Shiva equaling those of the Indian artists in beauty and profound significance. The metaphor of the cosmic dance thus unifies ancient mythology, religious art, and modern physics. It is indeed, as Coomaraswamy has said, ‘poetry, but none the less science’.(pp.255-256)
Capra concludes in his final chapter, “Interpretation,” by discussing the parallels between the “New Physics” and Eastern Mysticism which he claims may one day very well converge.
It is evident that the complete ‘bootstrap’ view of nature, in which all phenomena in the universe are uniquely determined by mutual self-consistency, comes very close to the Eastern world view. An indivisible universe, in which all things and events are interrelated, should hardly make sense unless it were self-consistent. In a way, the requirement of self-consistency, which forms the basis of the bootstrap hypothesis, and the unity and interrelation of all phenomena, which are so strongly emphasized in Eastern mysticism, are just different aspects of the same idea. This close connection is most clearly expressed in Taoism. For the Taoist sages, all phenomena in the world were part of the cosmic Way – the Tao – and the laws followed by the Tao were not laid down by any divine lawgiver, but were inherent in its nature. . . .
Joseph Needham, in his thorough study of Chinese science and civilization, discusses at great length how the Western concept of fundamental laws of nature, with its original implication of a divine lawgiver, has no counterpart in Chinese thought. ‘In the Chinese world view,’ Needham writes, ‘the harmonious cooperation of all beings arose, not from the orders of a superior authority external to themselves, but from the fact that they were all parts in a hierarchy of wholes forming a cosmic pattern, and what they obeyed were the internal dictates of their own natures.’
According to Needham, the Chinese did not even have a word corresponding to the classical Western idea of a ‘law of nature’. The term which comes closest to it is li, which the Neo-Confucian philosopher Chu His describes as ‘the innumerable vein-like patterns included in the Tao’. Needham translates li as ‘principle of organization’ . . . .
It is easy to see how such a view led the Chinese thinkers to the idea which has only recently been developed in modern physics, that self-constancy is the essence of all laws of nature. The following passage by Ch’en Shun, an immediate pupil of Chu His who lived around A.D. 1200, gives a very clear account of this idea in words which could be taken as a perfect explanation of the notion of self-consistency in the bootstrap philosophy:
Li is a natural and unescapable law of affairs and
things . . .. The meaning of ‘natural and unescapable’
is that (human) affairs and (natural) things are made
just exactly to fit into place. The meaning of ‘law’ is
that the fitting into place occurs without the slightest
excess or deficiency . . . . The men of old, investigating
things to the utmost, and searching out li, wanted to
elucidate the natural unescapableness of (human) affairs
and (natural) things, and this simply means that what they
were looking for was all the exact places where
things precisely fit together . . . .
In the Eastern view then, as in the view of modern physics, everything in the universe is connected to everything else and no part of it is fundamental. The property of any part are determined, not by some fundamental law, but by the properties of all the other parts. Both the physicists and mystics realize the resulting impossibility of fully explaining any phenomenon, but then they take different attitudes. Physicists . . . are satisfied with an approximate understanding of nature. The Eastern mystics, on the other hand, are not interested in approximate, or ‘relative’ knowledge. They are concerned with ‘absolute’ knowledge involving an understanding of the totality of Life. Being well aware of the essential interrelationship of the universe, they realize that to explain something means, ultimately, to show how it is connected to everything else. As this is impossible, the Eastern mystics insist that no single phenomenon can be explained.
The Eastern sages, therefore, are generally not interested in explaining things, but rather in obtaining a direct non-intellectual experience of the unity of all things. This was the attitude of the Buddha who answered all questions about life’s meaning, the origin of the world, or the nature of nirvana, with a ‘noble silence’. (pp.305-307)
Capra notes that the idea that each particle contains all the others has also been expressed in Western mystical thought. He cites the British poet William Blake’s famous lines:
To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.(cited on p.315)
Modern physicists share the same view when they examine a subatomic particle, like a hadron.
Where, then, does the bootstrap idea lead us? This, of course, nobody knows, but it is fascinating to speculate about its ultimate fate. One can imagine a network of future theories covering an ever-increasing range of natural phenomena with ever-increasing accuracy; a network which will contain fewer and fewer unexplained features, deriving more and more of its structure from the mutual consistency of its parts. Someday, then, a point will be reached where the only unexplained features of this network of theories will be the elements of the scientific framework. Beyond that point, the theory will no longer be able to express its results in words, or in rational concepts, and will thus go beyond science. Instead of a bootstrap theory of nature, it will become a bootstrap vision of nature, transcending the realms of thought and language; leading out of science and into the world of acintya, the unthinkable. The knowledge contained in such a vision will be complete, but cannot be communicated in words. It will be the knowledge which Lao-Tzu had in mind, more than two thousand years ago, when he said:
He who knows does not speak,
He who speaks does not know.
(cited on p.319)
The 22 items below offer CEIMSA readers some points of reference in these turbulent times, when of social interconnection and rational conversation has been disrupted by high pitches of delusion and careful observation of behavioral patterns has yielded to chimeric illusions.
Professor emeritus of American Studies
Director of Research
University of Paris-Nanterre
Center for the Advanced Study of American Institutions and Social Movements
The University of California-San Diego
What Secretary of State Tillerson’s Firing Means
by Paul Craig Roberts
Senator Chuck Schumer (D, NY) says Tillerson’s firing indicates that the Trump administration is disintegrating. I understand why Senator Schumer sees it that way, expecially following all the other dismissals and resignations.
I see it differently. The firing of Secretary of State Tillerson, the movement of CIA Director Pompeo to Secretary of State, and the promotion of Gina Haspel, who oversaw the secret CIA torture prisons in Thailand (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/02/us/politics/cia-deputy-director-gina-haspel-torture-thailand.html), indicate that the military/security complex has closed its grip on the Trump regime. There will be no more talk of normalizing relations with Russia.
The combination of the Israel Lobby, the neoconservatives, and the military/security complex have proven to be too powerful for peace to be established between the two nuclear powers. If you look at Trump’s administration, the above three forces are those in charge.
From: Mark Crispin Miller
Sent: Saturday, 10 March
Subject: [MCM] Meanwhile, there's this ocean, and our children's food....
From Douglas Yates:
It’s rare to see media notice anniversaries of highly consequential events. For greater discernment,
observe where media attention is focused while 'Rome burns.' [The piece below, from the Vancouver
Sun, came out in March, 2014—MCM]
On a daily basis, the Fukushima nuke complex continues to leak 300-400 tons of highly contaminated
water into the Pacific Ocean. Aerosol dispersion moves additional radiation into the global air mass.
The leakage is absorbed by lifeforms and is cumulative. In Japan’s contaminated zones, the flowers
of cedar trees contain cesium levels that exceed 250,000 bq/kg. Every spring pollen grains re-contaminate
It’s a page out of Sisyphus’ punishment routine. Wait, there’s more:
By 2048, according to rates of bio-accumulation, radiation in the tissue of PNW killer whales is expected
to exceed the Canadian guideline [1,000 bq/kg] for consumption of sea food. Japan’s food safety laws
forbid sale if radioactive cesium exceeds 100 becquerels per kilogram for regular food items such as meat, vegetables, and fish; 50 becquerels for milk and infant food; and 10 becquerels for drinking water.
What’s the intervention level for food in America? It’s 1,200 bq/kg.
When thinking about bio-accumulation, think grandchildren, great-grandchildren. Your choice.
From March, 2014:
Troubled waters: Nuclear radiation found in B.C. may pose health concerns
LARRY PYNN, VANCOUVER SUN 03.12.2014
Fukushima: Living with a Disaster
[This was produced by Greenpeace in 2016]
From: "Alison Weir, If Americans Knew" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Friday, 9 March, 2018
Subject: Detailed exposé on how Israel works to censor the Internet
The Marketplace of Ideas: Assaulting the First Amendment
by Stanley L. Cohen
A decade before he was to become President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson (the principal author of the Declaration of Independence) then serving as Minister to France, penned these words for the ages. It was the eve of the French Revolution and the world was ablaze with revolutionary ideas and potent words:
“The people are the only censors of their governors: and even their errors will tend to keep these to the true principles of their institution… Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”
Poetry of freedom, this verse has safeguarded the chase of truth in ways that no military might can provide or preserve be it in the United States or elsewhere.
Almost 250 years later, we are, again, witness to an evident onslaught upon the core of our collective freedom… the marketplace of ideas.
Putin on U.S. election interference: ‘I couldn’t care less’
by Alexander Smith
Russian President Vladimir Putin has told NBC News that he "couldn't care less" if Russian citizens tried to interfere in the 2016 American presidential election because, he claims, they were not connected to the Kremlin.
Clueless Boost for Putin
by Ray McGovern
With the Russian president in the heat of a re-election campaign, Putin sat down to talk with NBC’s Megyn Kelly for an interview that enabled him to burnish his credentials to the Russian electorate, Ray McGovern explains.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s team swept a doubleheader on March 1, with his mid-day speech claiming strategic parity with the U.S., and then the nightcap duel with NBC’s Megyn Kelly. Any lingering doubt that Putin is a shoo-in for another term as President is now dispelled. Putin might consider sending NBC a thank-you note.
From: "Mark Crispin Miller
Sent: Tuesday, 13 March, 2018
Subject: [MCM] The NYTimes calls Yemen "the world's worst humanitarian crisis"—yet doesn't cover it.
Unless I'm missing something (always possible), it looks like the Times has run six articles about
that genocidal slaughter since last August, four of them last year. On Dec. 27, the Times also pumped
out a most indignant editorial about Team Trump's blind eye toward the catastrophe—a blindness that
has also struck the Times itself.
Compare its silence vis-a-vis the ongoing US/Saudi massacre with its loud lamentations over Syria
(lamentations that obscure the US hand behind the violence there).
Thus "America's newspaper of record" has helped transform the USA into a "captive nation," where
the most educated people think they're well-informed, because they think the US press is "free."
50,000 children in Yemen have died of starvation and disease so far this year, monitoring group says
Yemeni women sit near their malnourished children who are receiving treatment in a hospital in Sanaa, Yemen, on Nov. 15, 2017. More than 50,000 children under the age of 15 are at risk of death from acute malnutrition by the end of 2017 after more than two years of escalating conflict between Saudi-backed forces and the Houthi rebels.
An international aid group says an estimated 130 children or more die every day in war-torn Yemen from extreme hunger and disease.
Save the Children said late Wednesday that a continuing blockade
by the Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemen's Shiite rebels is likely to further
increase the death rate. It says over 50,000 children are believed to have died
Authority & Expectations
Smart and provocative young veteran, Wray Harris, unlocks the sufferings served by the Iraq war.
". . . deeply moving. This close up of PTSD is something every American should see. Mr. Harris impresses me as an intelligent and thoughtful person going through hell yet willing to help others understand the evils of war." - - Veterans for Peace Chapter 1011
Go back to Raqqa & bury bodies’:
Putin calls for investigation into strikes on civilians
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said there should be an investigation into the massive airstrikes on residential areas in Syria’s Raqqa. Putin pointed out that the dead are still unburied and corpses are lying in the ruins.
“As for crimes, go back to Raqqa and at least bury the dead bodies, which are still lying amid the ruins after the air strikes on residential neighborhoods – and investigate these attacks,” the Russian leader said as he sat down for an “at times combative” interview with NBC’s Megyn Kelly. Putin also raised the point that the battle for Iraq’s Mosul involving the US-led forces left the city “razed to the ground.”
The interview heated up when the two were speaking about Syria, when the anchor asked about alleged chemical attacks, for which the West blames the Syrian government. Those claims were rebuffed as “fake news” by the Russian leader. Putin stressed that Damascus destroyed its stockpile of chemical weapons long ago, and the militants aimed “to simulate chemical attacks” which were then blamed on the Syrian army.
“All the attempts that have been made repeatedly in the recent past, and all the accusations were used to consolidate the efforts against Assad,” Putin told the journalist. As Kelly continued to ask about alleged chemical attacks that led to civilian deaths, Putin noted that there had been no thorough investigation into what had happened in Syria.
“Russia is for a full-scale investigation. If you do not know this, I am telling you this now. It is not true that we are against an objective investigation. That is a lie.”
Pentagon ‘disappointed’ by Putin’s revelation of new Russian nuclear deterrent
Top Pentagon officials have told US lawmakers that they were “disappointed” by Putin’s public announcement of Russia’s unmatched missile capability, lamenting that he will use it to further “intimidate” the US and its allies.
“I think the statements made by Russian president Putin while not surprising were nonetheless disappointing. While we have been aware of the development of Russia’s capabilities and watching with concern some of the development that has occurred in terms of Russia’s doctrine and exercise program, it is nonetheless disappointing to see that the president of the Russian Federation chose to feature these capabilities in a way that he did,” Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, John Rood, told the House Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, in a discussion on US Strategic Forces Posture and the Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Request.
Commander of the US Strategic Command, General John Hyten, added that “Putin’s statements are not surprising and only reinforce Russia’s commitment to develop weapons designed to intimidate and coerce the US and its allies.”
Newly Revealed Russian Weapons Systems: Political Implications
by The Saker
The first two of the five stages of grief: denial and anger
For those interested in the military implications of the recent revelations by Vladimir Putin about new Russian weapon systems I would recommend the excellent article entitled “The Implications of Russia’s New Weapon Systems” by Andrei Martyanov who offers a superb analysis of what these new weapons mean for the USA and, especially, the US Navy. What I want to do here is something a little different and look at some of the more political consequences of these latest revelations.
Toxic Profit: Meet the Top Super Polluters in the US
DowDuPont tops the list of the biggest air and water polluters in the country, according to PERI's new Toxic 100 index.
Researcher Michael Ash breaks down the report.
The Price Women Pay for Tips
From: Mark Crispin Miller
Sent: Saturday, 10 March, 2018
Subject: [MCM] Americans don't trust "their" government
This is a revolutionary situation; or could be, if people stop to think about it.
Hence the slo-mo crackdown on the Internet, the crackpot propaganda tarring Bernie Sanders
and Jill Stein as "Russian trolls," the militarization of police (who won't be giving up their
AR-15s), and other signs of elite desperation.
From the Pew Research Center, November, 2015:
Trust in government: 1958-2015
The public’s trust in the federal government continues to be at historically low levels. Only 19% of Americans today say they can trust the government in Washington to do what is right “just about always” (3%) or “most of the time” (16%).
Fewer than three-in-ten Americans have expressed trust in the federal government in every major national poll conducted since July 2007 – the longest period of low trust in government in more than 50 years. In 1958, when the American National Election Study first asked this question, 73% said they could trust the government just about always or most of the time.
The erosion of public trust in government began in the 1960s. The share saying they could trust the federal government to do the right thing nearly always or most of the time reached an all-time high of 77% in 1964. Within a decade – a period that included the Vietnam War, civil unrest and the Watergate scandal – trust had fallen by more than half, to 36%. By the end of the 1970s, only about a quarter of Americans felt that they could trust the government at least most of the time.
Trust in government rebounded in the 1980s before falling in the early to mid-1990s. But as the economy boomed in the late 1990s, confidence in government increased. And in 2001, the 9/11 terror attacks on the United States transformed public attitudes on a range of issues – including trust in government.
In early October 2001, a month after the attacks, 60% said they could trust the government, roughly double the share earlier that year and the highest percentage expressing trust in government in more than 40 years. But the rise in government trust was short-lived – by the summer of 2002, the share saying they could trust the government had tumbled 22 percentage points.
Amid the war in Iraq and economic uncertainty at home, trust in government continued to decline. By July 2007, trust had fallen to 24%. Since then, the share saying they can trust the federal government has generally fluctuated in a narrow range, between 20% and 25%.
Conservative Lawmaker Who Attacked Corbyn
Received Luxury Paid Trip from Saudi Arabia
Conservative MP Helen Whately claimed Jeremy Corbyn is "so poorly informed on Saudi and Yemen."
She previously led an all-expense-paid Tory junket to meet with the Saudi monarchy.
Syrian Army Finds Chemical Weapons' Workshop
in Eastern Ghouta
Noam Chomsky and Danny Glover Condemn U.S. and Canada Over Venezuela Sanctions
by April M. Short
Chomsky and Glover are among 154 signatories asking the U.S. and Canada to reconsider the sanctions.
You Still Don’t Know,
Do You, Mr. Jones?
by Paul Edwards
A terrible fear is abroad in the land. The MSM has its thongs in a knot with dire warnings that our democracy is being attacked, subverted, betrayed. Between Putin and the Russians and Trump and his clowns the cry is that America teeters on the brink of losing our priceless, cherished democracy.
You’re late, people. Lifetimes too late…
Managing the Great Charade that supports the sanctified dogma that America is a democracy has been the first duty of the Capitalist engine that owns everything, from the Founders down to today’s Imperial goat’s nest.
That democracy never functions and never has, Plato predicted and history confirms. This, notwithstanding the spin of one of the mightiest social and political reactionaries of all time–Mr. Churchill–that “democracy is the worst form of government known, except all others.” Hey, it worked for him.
Our own financial upper crust–1% of the 1%–have ingested, along with all our means of production, all organs of public information, and by relentless application have indelibly incised their holy writ in the public soul. The sadly ignorant public internalized their deception and nourishes itself, for want of any substantial sustenance, on this fatally poisonous fairy tale.
The CIA takeover of the Democratic Party
Newly Tapped Sec of State Mike Pompeo Comes with Deep Ties to the Koch Brothers
"If I were on the confirmation committee, I would be asking Mike Pompeo exactly how much money the Koch network has invested in him that has not been publicly disclosed," says Lisa Graves, Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy and publisher of ExposedByCMD.org and PRWatch.org.
Trump Replaces Rex Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo at State; Torturer Named New Head of CIA
President Trump has ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and said he will replace him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Trump announced the news on Twitter this morning. He also said CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel will be tapped to succeed Pompeo at the CIA. Both would need to be confirmed by the Senate. If confirmed, Gina Haspel will become the first woman to head the CIA.
Gina Haspel was
directly involved in the CIA’s torture program under the George W. Bush
administration. She was responsible for running a secret CIA black site in Thailand where prisoners were
waterboarded and tortured. We air President Trump’s remarks and highlights from
Democracy Now! coverage on Pompeo and Haspel.