An Interview Of James Boswell.

By Jerry Alatalo

r. James Boswell, editor at wall of controversy here on WordPress, has kindly agreed to accept an invitation to take part in our recently initiated interview series. Mr. Boswell is the 9th person thus far to generously share their perceptions in response to five fundamental questions we pose by way of an interview format. His distinct and remarkable set of insights builds upon, and shares the qualitative aspect with, those eight men and women preceding him in the series: that of provoking deeper, broader, and creative thinking on the varied ways human beings have perceived life on Earth.

Thank you James Boswell for sharing your unique and valuable perceptions, found in the following words.

***

Question 1: What was your primary motivation for entering the world of blogging – the internet?

The brief answer is that after years of insouciance following the end of the Cold War, I had a rude awakening upon realising where we were actually heading: the perpetual wars, the rise in surveillance, the hardening of the police state, allied to a correspondent immiseration of our already fractured and terribly unequal Western societies. After the initial trauma (trauma is really no exaggeration), I felt the need to speak out and the internet provided a platform. This is half of the story.

The other half is that I had been in the midst of writing a book when a friend suggested posting up chapters by way of a blog. Purely as a test run we set up a WordPress website and uploaded a short travelogue about my adventures in Tanzania. I kept the travelogue and began adding articles about current affairs and this is how the blog steadily evolved. Eight years on, the book (a quirky, stream-of-consciousness treatise on life, the universe and making things better!) remains a work in progress, and though some of its chapters have since been uploaded, I devoted my spare time instead to expanding the main content of the blog, which is journalistic, since this seemed a far more urgent project.

Question 2: How would you describe yourself with regard to spirituality?

Throughout most of my youth I was an ardent atheist. At university I studied physics and this early venture into hard science was no doubt an unconscious bid to prove the solid existential truth of a godless and soulless universe. It never occurred to me there might be viable alternatives to the bleak materialist worldview I had embraced. Metaphysics, I once joked (playing on a line from John Lennon), was just Greek for codswallop. But jokes of this kind were lame attempts to laugh off an unspoken dread.

Although belief in secular materialism (and it is a belief) means contemplation of the abyss, this seemingly courageous act deliberately avoids a worse terror waiting patiently beneath in the form of more astonishing depths of an ultimately unknowable unknown. After all, it is not the lack of light that makes anyone afraid of the dark, but what might be lurking unseen. And so, as with any adopted religious creed, atheism provided me with solace by chasing the darkness away. Yet this felt like a cheat, because it is one. The fact is that all suppositions of ultimate truth – whether comparatively sophisticated or otherwise – obstruct your worldview and cloud your judgment.

Spirituality is a funny word, however, and claiming to be “a spiritual person” always sounds a bit naff to me. What it means, I think, is that you have a religious longing (a god-shaped hole) but that religion has such a diabolical reputation, justifiably so, that you need to distance yourself from anything so moralising, so authoritarian, and so drenched in superstition. All these aspects of orthodox religion I detest of course and also find similar self-righteousness lingering in so many corners of the self-declared “new age” along with bountiful helpings of alternative mumbo jumbo.

Nevertheless, these days I am happier to say I am ‘spiritual’ (or even ‘religious’ – why should labels matter much?) if only because I no longer cling to the reductionist dogmas of scientific materialism. It is perhaps truer to say I’m a confessed agnostic! Appreciation of the wonder of life and the wider mystery of existence is more straightforward once the limits to human comprehension are firmly acknowledged. I might even venture so far as to say that I have a modicum of faith, but faith in what exactly?

This is such a huge and involved question that I am tempted to stop there. The greater half of the world’s finest literature devotes itself to matters of this kind, and effing the ineffable is the province of the great poets and other artists. But I will add just one last (albeit extended) point about an often overlooked aspect of ‘spirituality’ and how it relates to self-awareness.

Most of us go about our daily lives thoughtlessly presuming we possess autonomous free will. We presume indeed that all humans and possibly other creatures possess the same freedom to think and act at will. That is, we ordinarily presume we are not total zombies. This is an everyday act of faith. It is also the root to anything we might ever describe as ‘spirituality’.

Science sidelines free will as ‘a perception’; as if it doesn’t actually exist. Hard-boiled scientism goes so far as to actually deny the possibility of free will outright. Yet those who solemnly subscribe to this surprising opinion do not refrain from casting their own moral judgements. They congratulate, chastise and even punish behaviour (their own included) that is purportedly predetermined – I suppose praise and punishment do aid in the reprogramming of future behaviour!

The point is that we overlook many such minor everyday miracles. A whole gaggle of academic disciplines, taking their lead from science (which merely ignores the so-called “hard problem” of consciousness out of convenience), will tie themselves in knots by rejecting its priority. Surely it makes far better sense to celebrate consciousness and free will. Consciousness is the most blatantly obvious faculty distinguishing human beings from viruses, bricks and plastic waste. (Being merely “a carbon-based life form” just doesn’t cut the mustard!)

Without consciousness there would be no science; no world that is ever experienced. And being free agents makes us the architects of our own destinies. It also means accepting responsibility for what we do and don’t do. The Golden Rule is its unavoidable corollary. But then without kindness and respect for fellow creatures, claims to being “a spiritual person” are very hollow ones in any case. When the poet Philip Larkin realised he had accidentally killed a hedgehog after mowing the lawn he wrote “Of each other, we should be kind/ While there is still time.” In one sense there is nothing more spiritual than Larkin’s heartfelt sentiment.

So I suppose the problem with lofty words like ‘spirituality’ is that they have a tendency distract us. They carry us outwards toward the heavens or else inwards to contemplate our navels and this rather misses the point. The point itself is eternally here and now and often deceptively mundane.

Question 3: What were some of the most memorable transforming points across the years (world events, books, personal contacts, mystical experiences, etc.) in the developing of your current spiritual perspective?

Some of this background is already told above although I have forgotten to mention how my doubts about secular materialism were first seeded by two very close undergraduate friends; one of whom today works as a professor at CERN. Although both are physicists too, these friends are also Christians of different Protestant denominations. The coup de grace, however, came a little later, and mostly thanks to a poet and self-described pagan anarchist who I met as a postgraduate, and who introduced me to the joys of reading as well as to completely unfamiliar modes of thinking and being.

We soon embarked on a sort of spiritual journey together, which happened for many reasons, not least of which my friend’s scholarly interest in Jung and his consonant fascination with dreams. Regarding shared adventures, the term ‘mystical’ is befitting of more than a few occasions, the lasting effect of these remarkable experiences greatly amplified by a growing interest in literature on the subject. The strange collision of otherwise tangential life trajectories has always seemed fated to me. The friendship remains a cherished one.

It is a terrible cliché to include Aldous Huxley among any list of authors who helped to shape one’s spiritual outlook, but I must add his name because for a decade at least I read his works over and over. Later I became obsessed with Alan Watts (another cliché!). In between I began reading some of the canonical texts of the non-Abrahamic faiths and eastern philosophies. The traditional writings that still inspire me today are mostly those from Daoism and Zen Buddhist (sorry to be so predictable). Other significant influences include the poetry of Blake and Eliot; the visionary films of Tarkovsky; and more philosophical works such as, for instance, a lesser known book by psychologist and pragmatist philosopher, William James, titled “The Varieties of Religious Experience”. In this book, James distils the most concise and straightforward account of why atheism is unsatisfactory that I have read. His great advantage is that he writes as a genuine agnostic.

Question 4: What is your greatest wish for readers as a consequence after reading and considering your writings?

As a writer, the prime motivation is always a hope somehow to impel readers to think new thoughts. On the blog, where writing is largely journalistic, my general aim is simply to correct widespread falsehoods and to challenge received opinion, whether by appealing to reason or to the reader’s conscience. In fact the strapline to my website is “the other side of the story” and this is what I have consistently tried to present whilst taking pains to ensure that all stated facts are established ones and these are comprehensively referenced. The MSM generally misleads the public by omission more than anything else and so one of my lasting objectives has been to join up the dots from mainstream sources.

I am entirely candid about my own leftist political persuasion although very often I hope to write for people who have a different political outlook from my own. Party political conversion has never been a conscious aim, but it would be disingenuous to deny any wish to shift the readers’ political awareness in more fundamental ways. And it is nice to think that a few visitors to my site will take as much trouble considering why they disagree with me or else chasing down relevant facts that contradict the ones supporting my argument, as I did when writing it. Polite comments are always gratefully received even if I don’t reply.

Question 5: Can you offer any advice to people having a difficult time dealing with government and media lies, especially as it pertains to so many average citizens who hold erroneous perceptions on important events and situations around the Earth?

Aldous Huxley was fond of imagining that rather than windows open to the world, our senses instead operated as filters that narrowed the bandwidth on what we might perceive. I remain unsure of whether this notion carries much validity even in the mystical sense he intended, but it certainly provides an elegant metaphor for the role of the media, which ought to be society’s eyes and ears but instead provides a valve that inhibits the flow of too much dangerous information. This should not surprise us. After all the press isn’t free but bought and paid for a thousand times (to quote Gore Vidal). And the internet, once a refuge for genuinely independent journalism, is now undergoing a rapid shutdown as I write this. The gatekeepers on this occasion are the tech giants. For all its faults (the propaganda, misinformation and blind hatred that will always be the greater part of any truly open media platform) we should organise to save net neutrality before the internet becomes nothing more than a vast shopping mall and surveillance hub.

More personally, as my own worldview split away from the permitted mainstream narrative, I found that the instinctual refusal to let matters rest was having detrimental effects on my happiness and even my health. Not only was this leading me into a pit of my own despair but I was suddenly falling out with family and friends, and, as this vicious circle intensified, I felt more isolated and disempowered than ever. The blog turned out to be a godsend. It provided an invaluable outlet for expressing otherwise pent up fear and rage. Perhaps more curiously, the process of writing was enabling me to better handle my justified anxieties about the future. Trite as it sounds: action can indeed conquer fear.

One answer to your question therefore, maybe the most direct advice I can offer for anyone struggling on a psychological level, is to engage more directly in the fight against your oppressors. Participate actively in a pressure group for a cause you wholeheartedly believe in. Or organise a new campaign group. Meanwhile, those of us who are happier sat behind a desk might use this small and tightening window of opportunity provided by the internet to get our message out. Importantly, it is not that one person’s actions will change the world (of course to some degree all actions do), but that you are able to find a way to stop the world adversely changing you.

One last thought is this: if after scrupulous research, certain of the facts (facts you have independently verified so far as possible), you arrive at a position that is in direct contradiction to received mainstream opinion, it is better not to use your new found knowledge to assail unwitting opponents. The temptation to spread the message can be a forceful one, and the sense of urgency is often extreme. But it is disrespectful to force unpalatable truths on people ill-prepared to receive them. Rattling their cage will not release them from it. On the other hand, when challenged on the matter in question we should always try to hold firm to the facts. “When the truth is replaced by silence,” wrote the Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, “the silence is a lie.” I thank John Pilger for providing the quote, the finest investigative journalist alive today.

***

Thank you again, James Boswell. Peace.

 

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Headlines Study Reveals Christmas “Checking It Twice” Omission.

By Jerry Alatalo

“No one is fool enough to choose war instead of peace. For in peace sons bury fathers, but war violates the order of nature, and fathers bury sons.” 

– HERODOTUS (485-425 B.C.) Greek historian, “father of history”

hey’re making their lists … and checking them twice. The familiar lyrics from the classic Christmas song “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” came to mind when reading only headlines of posts published in the last 24 hours at  WordPress reader. What became apparent while engaged in reading the headlines was the remarkable absence of one single but ultimately vital word.

While not taking anything away from the men and women who published the many genuinely important articles, it might prove a positive action to consider or reflect upon what’s left out of the article titles, and what that omission – certainly unintentional and innocent – illustrates about the current state of world affairs.

It’s been the cardinal sin at Christmas to open presents early, so, follow the rules to avoid positioning yourself in the “naughty” category. Without “cheating” by scrolling to the bottom where we disclose the word remarkably absent considering the time of year – and its great significance for such a large segment of humanity – read through the following moderately extensive list of post titles, and during that education-in-itself process think on what’s missing.

***

  1. The Information-Industrial Complex
  2. Israeli Soldiers Arrest 16-year Old Ahed Tamimi and Her Mother
  3. Macron Upset That Assad Claims France Has Supported Terrorists in Syria
  4. Analyst Dismisses White House Claims Pyongyang Behind WannaCry
  5. US War on ISIS the Biggest Lie Since 2003 Iraq Invasion: Here’s the Proof
  6. No Health Care for Migrant-Women Healthcare Givers
  7. Key Facts You Should Know About Global Migration Trends
  8. UN Rights Chief Calls for Independent Probe into Israel Forces ‘Shocking’ Shooting of Amputee
  9. US ‘Will Be Taking Names’ During UNGA Vote on Jerusalem Move, Envoy Haley Warns
  10. Almayadeen: 2017 Days
  11. Shadow Economy, Democracy and the Manipulation of Public Opinion
  12. Ansarullah Leader: You Bomb Sanaa, We’ll Bomb Riyadh, Abu Dhabi
  13. Veil Bans in the European Court of Human Rights
  14. PSI Spies – A Different Kind of Dark Web?
  15. Gaining Wisdom
  16. Will Nikki Haley Get Her Iran War?
  17. Saudi Blockade of Yemen Violates US Law: Trump Nominee
  18. Notes From Catalonia on the Eve of Tomorrow’s Elections
  19. The Power of Music and Emotions
  20. When Washington Cheered the Jihadists
  21. Child of Woe, Child of Wonder
  22. Ahed Tamimi … A Child Who Is Not
  23. ‘None of This Was Worth It’: Up To 11,000 Civilians Killed in Battle to Free Mosul, AP Probe Reveals
  24. The Multi-ring Spectacular
  25. Afghan Ghani Takes On the ‘King of the North’
  26. Record Renewables Growth in 2017 as New Global Solar, Wind Installations Are Projected to Hit Near 175 GW
  27. AEMO Plans for Future (Clean) Grid, With No Mention of Base-load
  28. Tesla Big Battery Outsmarts Lumbering Coal Units After Loy Yang Trips
  29. The Further Unraveling of Adani’s Carmichael Coal Project
  30. NSW Coal Fleet Feels the Heat, With State at Risk of ‘System Black’
  31. Turnbull’s Big Climate Fail, and No Positive Change in Policy
  32. Dynamics of Nuclear Power Policy in the Post-Fukushima Era
  33. Fukushima Radioactive Contamination: Children Nosebleed While Asleep and In Daytime, Especially After Playing in Sand
  34. ARENA Says Renewables Could Be Australia’s Next Great Export
  35. Time to Unlock Solar and Storage for Everyone in NSW
  36. Victoria Regulator Proposes 29c/kWh Solar Export Tariff in Peak Period
  37. Another Mini-grid Breakthrough for AusNet in Suburban Melbourne Trial
  38. $30 Million for Farmers to Manage on Farm Energy
  39. BHP to Exit World Coal Association Over Differences in Climate and Energy Policy
  40. Anti-Adani Activists Set Their Sights on ALP
  41. Labor and Greens Slam Coalition Climate Review
  42. In Latin America the Pendulum Swings to the Right
  43. We Need to Change the Culture of Christmas
  44. Australian Government’s Hugely Disappointing Climate Policy Review
  45. How to Skip the Small Talk and Connect With Anyone
  46. Radium Girls
  47. America Recognize Terrorism Risk of Nuclear Research Reactors (Like the One at Lucas Heights)
  48. Paul Street: We Live in an Abject Authoritarian Plutocracy
  49. Netherlands Waking Up to the Huge Cost of Running Research Reactor (Like the One at Lucas Heights)
  50. Syrian Aid Money: Did British Police Keep Charity Cash Seized From Convoys?
  51. Syrian Army Rolls Into Idlib With Weapons Captured From ISIS
  52. Taxpayer Crutches for the Nuclear Industry
  53. Malcolm Turnbull’s Silence on the Nobel Prize Win – He Is An International Embarrassment
  54. The House Just Stripped Medical Marijuana States of DEA Protection – Tell the Senate to Act!
  55. ISIS Raids Village Behind US-backed Forces Lines in East Syria, Slaughters Civilians
  56. Historic! Norway’s Parliament Votes to Decriminalize All Drugs
  57. Climate Refugees – This Humanitarian Disaster is Already Upon the World
  58. Musta’ribeen, Israel’s Agents Who Pose as Palestinians
  59. Leading Stanford Scientist Builds Incredible Net Zero Home, Complete With Tesla Powerwall
  60. ‘Terrorists Don’t Arm Themselves With Bananas’ – Busting the Nuclear Lobby’s Dishonest Spin
  61. 20 Companies Pledge to Phase Out Coal
  62. The Saga of Kim Dotcom, or How New Zealand is Merely America’s Lapdog
  63. Sighting. The Snowflake Photographer
  64. I Don’t Know How to Explain to You That You Should Care About Other People
  65. The Google-Facebook Duopoly Threatens Diversity of Thought
  66. Call to Action: Write New Zealand Politicians and Demand They #FreeBrendon O’Connell
  67. What Is the Guardian Afraid of When Attacking Honest Syria Reporters?
  68. White Helmets in Syria: Some Questions for Our Government
  69. Trump’s Grandstanding on National Security Could End in Tragedy
  70. Billionaire Michael Bloomberg: ‘The Tax Bill is an Economically Indefensible Blunder’
  71. Yes, America, There is a Class War, and You Just Lost it
  72. Canada’s National Sovereignty: America’s Plan to Annex and Invade Canada
  73. Ahed Tamimi Arrested After Slapping Israeli Soldier
  74. 76 UN Members Abstain & 26 Vote Against as Crimea Human Rights Resolution Passes
  75. The Other Side of the Post’s Katharine Graham
  76. For Each Child Who’s Born…
  77. The Pressure Towards Larger Societal Aggregates Controlling Smaller Nation-States
  78. Remembering Lockerbie (Dec 21, 1988) – The Saga of PanAm 103 Told by the People Themselves
  79. French Public Activists Demand RT France’s Broadcasting License Be Revoked
  80. To Be a Latin-American Migrant in Madrid
  81. The State of the Empire in the Age of Trumpism
  82. A Winter Night’s Vigil
  83. US Drone Strikes Double in Somalia, Triple in Yemen Under Trump Administration: Report
  84. People Who Caused the Violence in Venezuela Awarded Human Rights Prize
  85. UN Report Uncovers Israel’s Support for Terrorist Organizations in Syria
  86. Such an Idiot, Boris Johnson Attacks Russia Before Moscow Visit
  87. Conflict Causing Spikes in Food Insecurity in Near East and North Africa
  88. What Was Verifiably Great About America: Fragments of a Memoir Set to a Musical Soundtrack
  89. The Huffington Post: Americans Must Hear the Other, Hopeful Side of the Venezuelan Story
  90. Syrian-Iraqi War Report – December 20, 2017: Iran Deploys Reinforcements On Syria-Iraq Border
  91. 1,000 Days of Saudi War on Yemen
  92. Three Nobel Prize Winners Calculated the Genetic Damage of Nuclear Energy
  93. Republican Tax Plan Opens Backdoor to School Vouchers
  94. We’re Witnessing the Wholesale Looting of America, It’s Smash-and-Grab Time for the GOP
  95. Ruth Bader Ginsburg: At 84, Where Does She Get Her PEP (Progressive Except Palestine)?
  96. Family Farmers are Going Extinct, Parity Can Bring Them Back Via Living Wage
  97. Pyongyang Rejects Biological Weapons Rumors, Accuses US of Fabricating Pretext for Attack
  98. Suspected Cholera Cases in Yemen Reach 1 Million: ICRC
  99. Trump’s Approval of Lethal Arms to Ukraine Is Sideways Move to Nowhere
  100. The Recent Guardian Whitewash of the White Helmets is More Sinister Than We Realize
  101. Bullies of a Feather Play Together
  102. Trump to Delay Signing Tax Bill So Devastating Impacts Aren’t Felt Until After Midterms
  103. India Stands By Russia as US Crosses ‘Red Line’ in Ukraine
  104. Puerto Rican Governor Vows to Unseat House GOP in 14 States For Raising His Island’s Taxes
  105. Buyers Still Think Electric Cars Cost More Than Gas Cars: They’re Wrong
  106. Out of Control: Nikki Haley’s UN Rant
  107. What to Do, What to Do?
  108. White Helmets: The Guardian Protects UK FCO Destabilization Project in Syria
  109. 128 Countries Vote in Favor of UN Call for US to Withdraw Jerusalem Decision
  110. Al-Houthi to Saudi Civilians: Keep Away From Target Areas!
  111. UN Votes to Condemn Trump’s Jerusalem Decision
  112. The Case Against Iraqing Iran by David Swanson

***

The word “peace” is nowhere to be found. What does this simple observation offer by way of instruction, deeper meaning or teaching, particularly with regard to collective goals, thinking on solutions and/or vision(s) for the future? Were they asked if peace was #1, top-of-the-list and their greatest wish for humanity, undoubtedly each man and woman who created these post titles and their contents would immediately answer “yes” or “most certainly”.

It’s safe to say that virtually every man, woman and child on Earth wants an end to unnecessary and profoundly harmful wars and violence. So what explains the phenomenon of reluctance to focus intensely to the maximum extent possible, to speak and write in ways directly referring to “peace”?

Would it be perhaps perceived as out-of-line, too critical or overly bold, or the inverse – conducive for facilitation of increased energy, positivity and uplift – to suggest another, closer, Christmas-metaphorical look at “the list”? Perhaps doing so will result in rediscovery of what is the most truly important potential gift of them all, and the remembering that efforts in the cause of peace represent the highest noble aspiration in this world.

Blessed are the peacemakers. May we take the opportunity to convey our best wishes for a Merry – and peaceful – Christmas to all.

An Interview Of Joe Giambrone.

By Jerry Alatalo

r. Joe Giambrone, editor of Political Film Blog here on WordPress, has kindly agreed to participate in an interview after receiving our invitation. Thank you Joe for sharing your insights in the following words.

###

Question 1: What was your primary motivation for entering the world of blogging?

The main force driving The Political Film Blog (PFB) is all that wholesale lying we get from corporate media and from politicians. It’s an anti-propaganda blog. The truth is out there, but not compiled into any sort of narrative that regular people can digest. You have to pull from numerous sources over a long time to get an accurate picture of the world, and the media is expert in doing the exact opposite. Thus, the population is uninformed or misinformed about the most important issues affecting humanity: war, environmental destruction, threats to health, and the utter illegitimacy of the political system.

I began Political Film Blog (https://politicalfilm.wordpress.com/) as a simple storage place for the many shocking news articles that are not propelled into the national news cycles, the facts that slip through the cracks. It has a great search feature, too, and over 6,000 posts spanning eight years. I tied in film reviews to attract more readers, as Counterpunch did with film and book reviews. I also invited other writers to post, as Counterpunch did. That was my model.

I remember a political argument with my wife’s family. My father-in-law said one of the most astounding things I’ve ever heard in a political discussion. He was an Orange County Republican, in the oil industry, and prone to fly around to oil fields globally. It was the midst of the political upheaval of 2000, the rise of the Green Party and Ralph Nader speaking truth to power. Here’s what my wife’s father said:

“Corruption is not a problem in America.”

My jaw may have hit the floor, how anyone could possibly believe such a thing when the entire system is literally legalized bribery, it is pay to play in Washington, arguably the most corrupt place on earth. They fly in from around the empire to “lobby” and bribe our politicians, the Saudis, Israelis, Turks, Stans, even the Russians, allegedly. US politicians are bribed every day of the year to betray their constituents and to act in the service of their paymasters.

While low-level bureaucrats are not openly taking bribes as in third world countries, those on television screens are only there because they take bribes to the tune of billions of dollars! Corruption is THE problem with America.

The PFB was intended to counter that sort of willful blindness. It provides easy recall of the news articles that refute such muddleheaded thinking. In the years since, I have used the blog as a research tool on numerous topics such as illegal NSA spying, the proxy wars against Syria and Ukraine, 9/11 and other hot-button controversies. The more a subject is flooded with disinformation and emotional baggage the more desperate is the need for clear verifiable facts at your fingertips. That’s why I continue to post entries.

Question 2: How would you describe yourself with regard to spirituality?

I have no imaginary friends. I’m agnostic on the question of the supernatural. It’s quite simple, to me. I can’t prove or disprove supernatural phenomena. Neither can today’s physicists. They have no absolute answers, merely more questions. That’s good enough for me. I’d prefer some sort of bonus prize for this life, but I’m not banking on it.

Question 3: What were some of the most memorable transforming points across the years (books, personal contacts, mystical experiences, etc.) in the developing of your current spiritual perspective?

In my 20s I got into psychology in an effort to heal my own mind. I noticed similarities between Zen meditation and Primal Therapy. These each end up giving adherents a more present-moment mindfulness. They calm the mind and channel attention into the current sights, sounds, tactile sensations.

In studying psychology I began to doubt the veracity of my previous religious delusions. Being introduced to religion in the 7th grade, I already had formed my own personality without a need to defer to some religious mumbojumbo in every new situation. Now a teenager, I found the Catholic religious instruction stifling, oppressive, creepy, and unnecessary. I did, however, buy into it eventually. Maturing stresses the brain, and we grasp for answers, particularly answers about death. It’s a powerful motivator to believe things that don’t have any basis in empirical research simply because everyone else is doing it. Religion is the worst peer-pressure offender.

Question 4: What is your greatest wish for readers as a consequence after reading/considering your writings?

Most of the time I’m simply a proponent of the truth, seeking to dispel lies and champion the facts. Unfortunately, Americans largely don’t care about facts. They care about propaganda that helps their cause and demonizes their opponents—and nothing more. I run into this every day.

The news has long been weaponized, and we have the “liberal” news and the “conservative” news. Neither of which is the news at all, but that’s what people want, the only thing they want.

I don’t play that game. I’ve said many times: Trump bad don’t make Clinton good. I have yet to meet a Democrat who could compute that statement. The US political system is a glaring sham, and I’ve got the thousands of articles tagged and bagged on the blog to prove it.

So, my wish at the blog is always to set the record straight and dispel the delusions that make up people’s warped imperial worldview. The blind nationalism is a huge component. They actually believe that America can bomb the world with impunity if only their team is in charge. This is a Nazi view. This is what World War Two was fought over. This is why we hung people at Nuremberg: Crimes Against the Peace. But in the imperial delusion, none of that, no history matters to them. They are the ones controlling the big military now, and as long as people like themselves push the buttons it’s perfectly acceptable for them to kill… Millions?

We are surrounded by immoral people in an immoral, rapacious military empire, and that’s not okay with me. It should not be okay with anyone.

Question 5: Can you offer any advice to people having a difficult time dealing with government and media lies, especially as it pertains to so many average citizens who hold erroneous perceptions on important events and situations around the Earth?

I remember the film compilation, “What I’ve Learned About US Foreign Policy.” (https://youtu.be/V8POmJ46jqk) This should be what children study in grammar school, what the US actually does around the world, today, the real world. That is not what is on the agenda, however. Americans don’t learn much relevant to our military empire at all. I find the average American completely ignorant of the most important events of the past fifty years. Current events are clouded by propaganda with foundations and paid henchmen spinning them endlessly for money and power. The CIA is also an interested player in giving a one-sided history of the world as things like Project Mockingbird and Udo Ulfkotte’s admissions revealed.

You can prove US corporate media censorship, unequivocally, with two words: Operation Gladio. You cannot find one investigation by any US corporate media entity regarding this forty-year long spree of false flag terrorism attacks across Europe! The US press is completely under the control of US intelligence, on certain topics. This happens to be the ugliest, and it was exposed by nation states and buttressed with major investigations, such as–surprisingly–by the BBC. So there is no counterargument to spin it away. The CIA blew up civilians across Europe to demonize European Leftists. That happened for four decades (at least)! But, no one in America, save for a handful of the types who read my blog, know anything whatsoever about it.

If the public knew that the CIA engaged in false flag terrorism regularly, as a matter of statecraft—they also did it in Iran in 1953 and elsewhere—would they be so quick to dismiss accusations of state-sponsored false flag terrorism today? Does anyone think the CIA and the true Deep State suddenly found morals? When did that happen exactly?

These are foundational concepts. The “Strategy of Tension” is how it is sold as a good thing, to keep the public in a state of “tension” so that they approve of new state measures, power grabs, to combat the terrorism that the state itself allows to occur. It’s so sick, and yet here we are. It’s why even though we’re in a purported “war on terror” the US government and its allies/arms customers can protect and help terrorists in Syria, Libya and elsewhere. It’s only “terror” if they kill an American. That’s their practical working definition.

The US tends to play both sides, or multiple sides in conflicts. That’s why it’s so difficult to decipher their policies. They bomb ISIS, for example, in some places, but not in others. They have repeatedly bombed the Syrian government forces who were fighting against ISIS at the time, thus helping those ISIS units. After a major research initiative in 2015, I began to make sense of their Syria policy. That one is here:

http://intpolicydigest.org/2015/11/29/why-isis-exists-the-double-game/

But getting back to the question: what advice?

Be suspicious of any breaking news stories, spread widely, which demonize one of America’s official enemies: Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, Syria, Russia. When the news machine acts in unison they are being guided by the US Deep State. That is a certainty, and the contrary facts tend to emerge over the next several days or weeks. Take everything the media screams loudly about with a grain of salt.

I’ve seen it discredited over and over again, such as with Bashar Al Assad “gassing his own people.” Assad has never gassed his own people, not once in the entire war, and no credible evidence proves that he did. It was America’s proxy allies using the gas. Those revelations were not screamed about in the media, but instead censored out.

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Thank you again, Joe. Peace. 

UN Sponsored Report on Israel’s Responsibility for Apartheid in Relation to the Palestinian People

“Blessed are the peacemakers.”

Global Justice in the 21st Century

[Prefatory Note: Below is the text of a report co-authored by Virginia Tilley and myself, commissioned by the UN Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA) that examines the argument for regarding Israel as an ‘apartheid state’ with respect to the whole of the Palestinian people, that is, not only those Palestinians living under occupation, but also those living as residents of Jerusalem, those living as a minority in Israel, and those enduring refugee camps and involuntary exile. The report concludes that Israel is guilty of the continuing crime of apartheid as it is defined in the 1973 Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid. The report reviews the evidence for such a finding, and offers recommendation for acting upon such a conclusion within the United Nations, by national governments, and by civil society. Upon the release of the report on March 15, 2017…

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