Toyota

Since the Dilly, Dally, Delay & Stall Law Firms are adding their billable hours, the Toyota U.S.A. and Route 44 Toyota posts have been separated here:

Route 44 Toyota Sold Me A Lemon



Friday, May 5, 2017

CounterCurrents: Avoiding Another War In North Korea





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Binu Mathew
Editor
www.countercurrents.org





Avoiding Another War In North Korea
by William John Cox 


During the Korean War, the United States dropped more bombs and napalm on North Korea than was used against the Japanese during World War II. The carpet bombing destroyed all of the cities and most of the villages in North Korea. More than 3,000,000 Korean civilians died in the war—most were in the North. Since the war ended with a cease fire in 1953, the North has been governed by the Kim family dictatorship, which uses the threat of American aggression to maintain its ironfisted physical and mind control of the North Korean people.





A Few Lines From Young Marx
by Farooque Chowdhury 


The young student stepped into active political activities at the age of twenty-four. At that time, he began playing his role as a journalist. With the passage of time and political activity, Marx emerged as, according to Wilhelm Liebknecht, a man of science. With carrying on working people’s struggles over years, Marx emerged as a man of philosophy and politics, a man of revolution.





A Victory for Theresa May Will See Britain Dragged Further Towards War With Russia
by Colin Todhunter 


British Prime Minister Theresa May has been warned by various political leaders in Britain not to rush to attack Syrian government forces if she wins the general election in June. The Guardian reported that she might hold a vote on military action this summer. If this is the case, it would imply that she wants to press ahead without UN backing.





In Yemen, Shocked to His Bones
by Kathy Kelly 


The ruins carpeted the city market, rippling outwards in waves of destruction. Broken beams, collapsed roofs, exploded metal shutters and fossilized merchandise crumbled underfoot. In one of the burnt-out shells of the shops where raisins, nuts, fabrics, incense and stone pots were traded for hundreds of years, all that was to be found was a box of coke bottles, a sofa and a child nailing wooden sticks together. This is Sa’ada, ground zero of the 20-month Saudi campaign in Yemen, a largely forgotten conflict that has killed more than 10,000, uprooted 3 million and left more than half the country short of food, many on the brink of starvation.





Greater Albania And The Balkan Problem
by Dr Binoy Kampmark 


The Balkans has always been cursed by a recurring theme: that each entity within it can, at some point, become greater and more consuming in territory than the next neighbour. Each nation has, and in some instances continues, to nurse dreams of enlargement, pecking away at borders and assuming that few will notice.





Nine Key Political Propositions For Building The Commons
by Martin O’Shaughnessy 


This piece is extracted from a series of reviews on Common: An Essay on Revolution in the 21st Century, a book by Pierre Dardot and Christian Laval, from which Martin O’Shaughnessy summarizes the authors´ nine political propositions





Why We Should Be Concerned About Low Oil Prices
by Gail Tverberg 


Oil prices have been too low for producers since at least mid-2014. It is possible to hide a problem with low prices with increasing debt, for a few years, but not indefinitely. The longer the low-price scenario continues, the more likely a collapse in production is.





‘Butcher of Kabul’ Returns To Kabul In An Afghan Peace Deal
by Abdus Sattar Ghazali 


According to Anadolu News Agency of Turkey, Hekmatyar, who heads the Hezb-e-Islami party, drove all the way from eastern Nangarhar province and entered the city in a heavily-armed convoy of armored vehicles and pick-up trucks packed with his top commanders and fighters.





Pope And I In Cairo
by Andre Vltchek 


“POPE OF PEACE, IN EGYPT OF PEACE” one reads from the thousands of posters hanging on the electric poles of Cairo. Really? Egypt of peace… “The famine of love!”He and the General (currently President), together, are now ready to tackle it, heroically, hand in hand, while millions are rotting in prisons, and the country is gradually collapsing.





A Billion Dollars Isn’t What It Used To Be
by James Rothenberg 


The United States is on an uncertain trajectory, with a host of internal conflicts. It’s getting harder for Washington to fool most of the people most of the time. The public has started — just started — to lose trust in its institutions. With the obvious public solution close at hand, and ignored, how long will it take for the pressures of alienation and disaffection to create so much unrest that socialism will appear as a preservative? Asked but not answered.





The Bad Brother!
by Sally Dugman 


We can educate ourselves about maladaptive behaviors and resist as best as possible the allurement of diminution of others; we can personally reject domination of others (our kind and other species) and the ruin of the natural world as a whole. We can resist destruction of peoples in other and our own nations whose resources we want and whose lives we devalue in our lust to raise ourselves into being “the top dog.” In short, we CAN resist the Ricks of the world, but only if we see them for who they are and with firm adamancy stand up together to reject and thwart their violent patterns!





Why Americans Distrust The Press More Than They Distrust Trump
by Eric Zuesse 


A Morning Consult poll published on April 28th showed that “roughly half (51 percent) of Americans said the national political media ‘is out of touch with everyday Americans,’ compared with 28 percent who said it ‘understand the issues everyday Americans are facing’.” Plus: “Thirty-seven percent of Americans said they trusted Trump’s White House to tell the truth, while 29 percent opted for the media.” So: the U.S. ‘news’ media are widely distrusted by the American people.


media
Morning Consult poll published on April 28th showed that “roughly half (51 percent) of Americans said the national political media ‘is out of touch with everyday Americans,’ compared with 28 percent who said it ‘understand the issues everyday Americans are facing’.” Plus: “Thirty-seven percent of Americans said they trusted Trump’s White House to tell the truth, while 29 percent opted for the media.” So: the U.S. ‘news’ media are widely distrusted by the American people.
Among Republicans, 72% trusted “Trump’s White House” over (or more than) “National Political Media,” and 10% trusted the media over Trump, and that’s a ratio of 7.2 to 1 trusting Trump over the media. Among Democrats, however, 54% trusted media over Trump, and 12% trusted Trump over media, and that’s a ratio of 4.5 to 1 trusting media over Trump. So: Democrats there were far more trusting of the media than were Republicans.
The big turning-point on the trust of U.S. ‘news’ media was 2003. Americans had trusted the media not to be mere stenographers for the George W. Bush White House back before we invaded andwrecked Iraq on 20 March of that year, and Americans gradually discovered that the media instead had been mere stenographers, not authentic journalists at all — not journalists in any genuinely democratic country. (In any country where the newsmedia can’t reasonably be trusted, and this must include any stenographic press, no real democracy is even possible.) Other studies have shown that Republicans trust Fox News and other Republican Party organs the most as ‘news’media, and that Democrats trust CNN and other Democratic Party organs the most as ‘news’media. Practically everyone seeks ‘news’ that ‘confirms’ his/her particular political myths.
And Gallup has found that during 1997 to 2005, Democrats’ “Trust in Mass Media” gradually rose from around 60% in 1997, to a peak of 70% in 2005, as Democrats’ suspicions of the Republican White House after Bush’s invasion of Iraq soared when no WMD were found there and the ‘news’ media were by now blaming the ‘errors’ upon allegedly ‘faulty intelligence’, instead of upon America’s real dictatorship — the actual regime in power and its stenographic ‘news’ media. From 2005 till now, that 70% figure among Democrats has declined to 51%, as increasing numbers of Democrats come to recognize that we live in a dictatorship. Meanwhile, Republicans during the period 1997 to the start of 2003, trusted the “Mass Media” at percentages ranging in the 40s, but this figure suddenly plunged down to 31% after the invasion of Iraq when the ‘news’ reports from Iraqdisconfirmed all of the Republican regime’s allegations — Republicans distrusted the press the more, as the truth started to be reported the more. By the start of 2015, those Republican percentages were still around 31%, and Republicans were still trusting the most, the Republican news network Fox News, which had cheer-led Bush’s invasion of Iraq. But then, on 14 September 2016, Gallup headlined “Americans’ Trust in Mass Media Sinks to New Low”, and reported that the main reason for the new low was that now only a record low of 14% of Republicans still trusted the “Mass Media.” It had plunged more than half since the prior year’s 32% figure for Republicans. And, at that same time, 51% of Democrats still trusted the “Mass Media,” which was a record-low percentage for Democrats too, but still remained higher than every Republican percentage for trusting the media except for the 52% Republican trust in the “Mass Media” back in 1998, when the Democrats’ Lewinsky affair and impeachment of Bill Clinton dominated the ’news’.
In other words: people trust the media if and to the extent that the media are confirming their suspicions. American politics is two imaginary ‘realities’, both controlled by the same aristocracy: the Republicans’ ‘reality’, and the Democrats’ ‘reality’ — and both ‘realities’ are dominated by the same lies, but different bumper-stickers representing them. (These shared bipartisan lies are the falsehoods that are essential to supporting the entire oligarchy, and they mainly concern international relations.)
Trust in the ‘news’ media is sinking, but remains unrealistically high, unrealistic especially amongst Democrats (since they still overwhelmingly trust the ‘news’); and this trust is the chief thing that keeps the U.S. regime — both the “Democratic” and the “Republican” wings of it — in power, as a two-Party dictatorship, both of whose Parties represent the same aristocracy.
During the 2016 U.S. Presidential campaigns, it was clear to any intelligent American that neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton was at all trustworthy, and so the country split even more sharply than before along purely partisan lines. There was really nothing else for voters to go on; it was just a selection between two competing psychopaths. Not voting at all in such an ‘election’ is to allow all other voters to make the choice instead; and this can be an efficient thing to do in such a desperate situation, if both of the psychopaths are approximately of equivalent evil — just letting everyone else do the ‘coin-tosses’.
The least intelligent Americans chose instead the inefficient way to allow everyone but oneself to make this political choice: these were the voters who cast ‘protest’ votes for third-party candidates whose only real participation in the contest was to draw off more voters from one major-Party candidate than from the other and so to throw the ‘election’ to the one whose lying rhetoric sounded the more different from that given third-party candidate’s political rhetoric. This ‘symbolic’ act (third-party voting) was merely enhancing the prospects that a minor-party candidate could become a ‘kingmaker’ between the two real candidates, and thus adding still further to the pervasive corruption. It happened with Nader in 2000 (who was crucially funded by major Republican donors), but that was the only successful recent third-party Presidential candidacy up till then — Bush v. Gore would never even have been possible, and both Florida and New Hampshire would have incontestably gone to Gore, if Nader hadn’t thrown that ‘election’ from Gore to Bush, but Nader was the only recent successful “spoiler.”
In an oligarchy, public politics is always a choice between two evils (not really more than that). It’s an attempt to select the lesser evil. What protects the oligarchs the most, is whatever sustains the lie that the nation is (or that it remains) a democracy — in other words: the longer that the myth of there being (or still being) a democracy can be sustained among the public, the safer the oligarchy will be. Maintaining this lie is maintaining the existing dictatorship.
However, it’s not only the ‘news’media that serve this essential function for the aristocracy. For example, Google, now officially known as “Alphabet Inc.,” is a major determinant of the ‘news’ that the public receives from web-searches; and in order for Google to be able to shift blame onto “an error by one of our contractors” whenever an online site that Google wants to bury discovers that Google has been hiding the given site from the public, Google has selected contractors who understand the objectives of the people who control Google; and, when those contractors then suppress a site, they cite the best-sounding excuse they can, so that the company that’s paying them, Google, will always have some excuse for its (contracted-out) censorship, and can always override the contractor’s decision as having been a mere ‘mistake’ if ever the suppressed site is already big enough to be able publicly to embarrass Google for having censored it out. Thus, for example, as “Business Insider,” one of the aristocracy’s ‘news’media explains it, “A vendor hired by Google employs contractors to rate the websites that appear in its search results — the rating is used to improve search quality, helping Google’s automated search algorithm prioritize higher-rated, reliable information.” And, after the large anti-Establishment InfoWars site complained, “Google said Monday that a vendor mistakenly told staffers working for the search engine that InfoWars should be ranked as a low-quality site.” In other words: the censorship then can be described as having been a “mistake.” (But, of course, the contractor doesn’t usually get fired for a ‘mistake’ — unless it really was that, which rarely is the case.) And, so, “Google’s representative distanced the company from the contractor’s instructions, telling Business Insider that it does not instruct quality raters how to grade specific websites.” “Quality raters” — as if Google really cares about quality, instead of about its own bottom-line, which depends not upon quality, but upon satisfying the rest of the aristocracy (which means to provide lowquality, deceiving the public in the ways that the aristocrats want).
More commonly, Google’s “quality raters” target little-known, truly independent, sites, which have no allegiance to any Party but only to truth. (Some people care about truth, no matter how unprofitable it might be.) For example, when Google threatened one of my publishers, RINF, it was over a specific article, which Google (probably actually one of their “contractors”) demanded the site to remove. The site refused to remove it. No issue of “quality” was even involved, merely a demand, and an implicit threat. The site’s owner ultimately decided that he’d rather just quit than participate in Google’s censorship of the web; and so he instead chose to ignore the threat. These are small sites, anyway; so, almost everyone who goes there is a repeat visitor, and becoming rich isn’t such a site-owner’s chief objective. These are individuals who really do care about democracy, and this means also about truth.
Incidentally, Google was deeply committed to Hillary Clinton’s becoming America’s President, and also participated importantly in her State Department’s successful coup in Ukraine, and in its (as-yet-unsuccessful) effort to overthrow Syria’s Russia-and-Iran-allied government and replace it with one that allies instead with the owners of Saudi Arabia and of Qatar, and with their allied governments, which control the U.S. and Israel.
So, international affairs are a rich thicket of deceptions, and of power; and the largest international corporations are intimately involved in it. Trump’s voters thought that he would resist that, but instead his international policies (and also many of his domestic policies) seem to be just continuing those of his predecessor, whose international policies he had intensely condemned. Mass-deception is at the basis of this ‘democracy’. But it’s not only the media, and it’s not only the government; it is the whole corrupt system, and especially the coterie of perhaps as few as a hundred people (perhaps most of which are hidden from the public, and there is no guess here as to whom are at the very top) who collectively control it.
The higher one gets, the darker it gets, but this is the only thing that’s clear, about the system. The ‘news’media serve that system, and cast any light they shed, only downward from it — below and away from it, where the stage is, not where the scriptwriters and directors and producers are, which can be very different places.
It’s all just a show, even if it’s not an entertaining one. It’s where the public are, split into various prejudices, and the prejudices that are their opposites. It’s organized truth-evasion, on ‘both’ sides.
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Originally posted at strategic-culture.org







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