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Daily Archives: 02/03/2011

(eagainst) Interventions took place on February 21st in a speech of George Papandreou at Humbold University of Berlin. Two different groups of people from Germany and Greece managed to interrupt Prime Minister’s speech by verbally attacking against the Greek regime.  Another intervention took place on February 26th in Paris during an event of director Costa Gavras in the “Greek house”. Students from Greece and France who were there for intervention in solidarity with the struggle of the 300 migrants hunger strikers recognized among the attendees the vice-president of Greek government Theodoros Pangalos that was forced to leave the hall. Read more: http://eagainst.com/articles/greek-politicians-can-no-longer-move-freely-neither-abroad/


RussiaToday | Mar 1, 201

The reports of Libya mobilizing its air force against its own people spread quickly around the world. However, Russia’s military chiefs say they have been monitoring from space — and the pictures tell a different story. According to Al Jazeera and BBC, on February 22 Libyan government inflicted airstrikes on Benghazi — the country’s largest city — and on the capital Tripoli. However, the Russian military, monitoring the unrest via satellite from the very beginning, says nothing of the sort was going on on the ground. At this point, the Russian military is saying that, as far as they are concerned, the attacks some media were reporting have never occurred. The same sources in Russia’s military establishment say they are also monitoring the situation around Libya’s oil pumping facilities.

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYesnOD6_gQ

(Asia Times) The country of Oman is a tinderbox: Its sultanhas ruled for four decades, exports 750,000 barrels of oil a day and half its population is under 21 — with massive unemployment.

Picture a feudal, or neo-medieval, paradise, the former home of legendary Sindbad the Sailor, absolutely ruled by an unmarried, slim, lute-playing septuagenarian who prefers to live alone in his palace; paradigm of discretion Sultan Qabus bin Sa’id. That, in a nutshell, is Oman. Read More

(straight.com) One of the incidental pleasures of the past few weeks has been watching the western media struggling to come to terms with the notion of Arab democracy.

The Arabs themselves seem clear enough on the concept of a democratic revolution, but elsewhere there is much hand-wringing about whether Arabs can really build democratic states. After all, they have no previous experience of democracy, and it’s basically a western invention, isn’t it? The Arabs don’t even have Athens and the Roman republic up their family tree.

Sure the revolutions are brave, and they’re exhilarating to watch from afar, but in the end the military will take over, or the Islamists will take over, or they’ll mess it up some other way. This is the assumption—sometimes implied, sometimes flatly stated—that still underpins much of the outside comment and analysis on the Arab revolutions.

The current rationale for this arrogant and ignorant assumption is the “clash of civilizations” tripe that Sam Huntington and his pals have been peddling around the official circuit in Washington for almost two decades now. The Arabs just belong to the wrong civilization, and so they can’t get it right.

If this sounds vaguely familiar, that’s because it’s really the centuries-old justification for European imperial rule over the rest of the planet, recycled for modern use. Europe once ruled the lesser breeds with a firm hand, but it can no longer do that directly. Instead it backs tough local rulers who promise to provide “stability”—and coincidentally protect the West’s interests in the area.

So when the Arabs start overthrowing their rulers in nonviolent revolutions that are just about democracy, not about Islam or Israel, there is astonishment and disbelief in the western media. Time for a little deconstruction.

What makes the Arabs suitable candidates for democracy is their heritage as human beings, not their specific cultural or historical antecedents. Democracy didn’t need to be invented—just resurrected.

The default mode for human beings is equality. Every pre-civilized society we know about operated on the assumption that its members were equals. Nobody had the right to give orders to anybody else.

What drove this was not idealism but pragmatism. In hunting-and-gathering groups, nobody can own more than they can carry, so there is no way to accumulate wealth. If you want meat, then you’ll have to cooperate in the hunt. These were societies where nobody could control anybody else, and so they had to make their decisions democratically.

They were all very little societies: rarely more than 50 adults (who had all known one another all their lives). On the rare occasions when they had to make a major decision, they would actually sit around and debate it until they reached a consensus. Direct democracy, if you like.

People have been running their affairs that way ever since we developed language, which was almost certainly before we were even anatomically modern human beings. So 99.9 percent of our history, say. That is who we are, and how we prefer to behave unless some enormous obstacle gets in our way.

The enormous obstacle was civilization. All hunting-and-gathering societies were essentially egalitarian. The mass societies that we call civilizations arose less than 10,000 years ago, thanks to the invention of agriculture. Until very recently all of them, without exception, were tyrannies, pyramids of power and privilege in which the few decided and the many obeyed. What happened?

A mass society, thousands, then millions strong, confers immense advantages on its members. Within a few thousand years the little hunting-and-gathering groups were pushed out of the good lands everywhere. By the time the first anthropologists appeared to study them, they were on their last legs, and none now survive in their original form. But we know why the societies that replaced them were all tyrannies.

The mass societies had many more decisions to make, and no way of making them in the old, egalitarian way. Their huge numbers made any attempt at discussing the question as equals impossible, so the only ones that survived and flourished were the ones that became brutal hierarchies. Tyranny was the solution to what was essentially a communications problem.

Fast forward 10,000 years, and give these societies mass communications. You don’t have to wait for Facebook; just invent the printing press. Wait a couple of hundred years while literacy spreads, and presto! We can all talk to one another again, after a fashion, and the democratic revolutions begin. We didn’t invent the principle of equality among human beings; we just reclaimed it.

Modern democracy first appeared in the West only because the West was the first part of the world to develop mass communications. It was a technological advantage, not a cultural one—and as literacy and the technology of mass communications have spread around the world, all the other mass societies have begun to reclaim their heritage too.

The Arabs need no instruction in democracy from anybody else. They own it too.

by Gwynne Dyer

Source: http://www.straight.com/article-377078/vancouver/gwynne-dyer-arabs-dont-need-lessons-democracy-west

Official site: http://www.collapsemovie.com/index.html

… or watch it here:
http://www.disclose.tv/action/viewvideo/50078/Collapse__part_1_/
http://www.disclose.tv/action/viewvideo/50113/Collapse__part_2_/

On Michael Ruppert (critics also): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Ruppert

Synopsis:

Americans generally like to hear good news. They like to believe that a new President will right old wrongs, that clean energy will replace dirty oil, and that fresh thinking will set the economy straight. American pundits tend to restrain their pessimism and to hope for the best. But is anyone prepared for the worst?

 

Michael Ruppert is a different kind of American. A former Los Angeles police officer turned independent reporter, he predicted the current financial crisis in his self-published newsletter “From the Wilderness” at a time when most Wall Street and Washington analysts were still in denial.  Smith has always had a feeling for outsiders in films like “American Movie” and “American Job.” In “Collapse,” Smith stylistically departs from his past films by interviewing Ruppert in a format that recalls the work of Errol Morris and Spalding Gray.

 

Sitting in a room that looks like a bunker, Ruppert recounts his career as a radical thinker and spells out the crises he sees ahead. He draws upon the same news reports and data available to any Internet user, but he applies a unique interpretation. He is especially passionate over the issue of “peak oil,” the concern raised by scientists since the 1970s that the world will eventually run out of fossil fuel. While other experts debate this issue in measured tones, Ruppert doesn’t hold back at sounding an alarm. He portrays a future that resembles apocalyptic science fiction. Listening to his rapid flow of opinions, the viewer is likely to question some of the rhetoric as paranoid or deluded; and to sway back and forth on what to make of the extremism. Smith lets viewers form their own judgments.

 

The film also serves as a portrait of a loner. Over the years, Ruppert has stood up for what he believes in spite of fierce opposition. He candidly describes the sacrifices and motivators in his life. Clearly, he believes that a dose of bad news can do some good.

Source (zip file): http://www.collapsemovie.com/Collapse_PressKit.zip