I have just read this article on Microsoft News – taken from the Evening Standard newspaper – about the latest Covid-19 figures. The article is copied here in full, in inverted commas and italics, unedited.
“The number of confirmed global cases of Covid-19 has passed 40 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.
The US research institute which collates reporting of cases from around the world said the milestone was passed today.
It said infections had reached 40,050,902. There have been more than 1.1 million deaths.
The actual worldwide figure of Covid-19 cases is likely to be far higher, as testing has been variable, and many people have had no symptoms meaning they are unaware of having the disease.
Some governments have also being accused of concealing the true number of cases.
The US, Brazil and India are reporting the highest numbers of cases, although the increase in recent weeks has been driven by a surge in Europe.
An analysis by Reuters has shown the global rate of infection is continuing to rise.
It took just 32 days to go from 30 million global cases to 40 million, compared with the 38 days it took to get from 20 to 30 million, the news agency said.
Record one-day increases in new infections were seen at the end of last week, with global coronavirus cases rising above 400,000 for the first time.“
My opinion for what it’s worth, and please don’t attack me immediately – I am only reporting on the official figures and asking questions. I’m not saying that Covid doesn’t exist or that it’s not killing people, but please hear me out. This is an opinion piece….but I am asking you to look beyond the news headlines and fearmongering.
So….another Covid infection milestone to wind up the terror. They tell us that there are now 40 million cases of Covid in the world – Hoping no doubt that the moronic masses will say “OH my god that’s a lot. Quickly lock us down again and protect us!” But remember, this is out of a world population of 7.8 billion ….so percentage wise, you’re only looking at 0.05% of the worlds population that are said to be infected. But then, realizing that this figure is insignificant, they then add that the infection rate could be higher because many who have covid actually have NO SYMPTOMS. Therefore, we are meant to fear this virus that is so “deadly” that we may not even know we’ve got it, because it has ZERO effect on many of us. Please think about this. Those telling us to be fearful of Covid, are also telling us that it has ZERO effect on many people. The article then goes on to say the death count is now 1.1 million…again for a population of 7.8 billion it’s about 0.014% of the world population who are being REGISTERED as covid death cases. I am not belittling the lives lost or the anguish their deaths cause to their loved ones, BUT, the majority of the dead were extremely elderly and/or had other life threatening illnesses.
They are, remember, including in this death count anyone who dies WITH covid in their system, not necessarily that covid was the ultimate cause of death. WITH covid in their system not FROM Covid. So if you tested positive for covid but had a history of heart problems and died of a heart attack you are included in the covid death statistics. So, with the above in mind, the number of deaths DIRECTLY resulting from Covid is therefore much less than 1.1 million and, if the authorities are to be believed, and the actual number of infections are way higher than the reported 40 million cases ( due to infected people having no symptoms and therefore not being included in the infected figures), your chances of dying from covid, if you are infected, are statistically reduced significantly.
In another recent article, this one concerning the curfews imposed on Paris and several other French cities, one has to question whether this is about health and safety or if it is a social experiment about how easy it is to control the masses.
The article stated that the curfews would be in place from 9pm until 6am and anyone found outside during those hours would be fined. In addition you are allowed no more than 6 people to gather in your own home. BUT outside of curfew hours you can go to restaurants, shops etc. with crowds of other people. Link below.
I don’t know about you, but such a news article has me wanting to ask a few questions such as :- Is covid like Count Dracula and only appears after sundown and goes into hiding again at sunrise, hence the need to hide away in their homes between 9pm and 6am? Why is it safe to be among a hundred or more people in other places, such as restaurants and shops, and yet your own social/family group in your own home has to be 6 or under? Is this an attempt to distance friends and family members, stop us talking to one another and forcing us to have less reliance on family ties and more dependence on the State in a bid to divide and conquer? Why is it that, these days, the news media doesn’t ask the hard questions of government anymore, merely parrots whatever they are told? AND anyone who does ask questions about the official narrative are belittled and accused of being conspiracy theorists in order to make their questions appear to be invalid or nonsensical. Why are people not resisting or at least asking questions and are instead blindly following every contradictory rule imposed on them by governments who are meant to represent them, not repress them?
A couple of evenings ago I finally watched the 2005 dystopian political action movie V for Vendetta on Netflix and in this election time (this month in New Zealand and next month in the USA) found it a timely reminder for us all.
The movie, filmed in 2005 and set in 2020 – would you believe – contains some very pertinent scenes and quotes, a few of which I’ll be putting your way very shortly. But first a little background about its origins.
V for Vendetta began life in the 1980’s as a graphic novel penned by Alan Moore, morphed into a series in DC Comics and finally the 2005 movie. The title character V is shrouded in mystery – an anarchist revolutionary who wears a Guy Fawkes mask – who has vowed to bring down the fascist state. The movie is set in the UK after a nuclear war when the government is run by High Chancellor Adam Sutler – played ironically by John Hurt (you may remember him being the downtrodden victim of a totalitarian state in 1984). Here he is the all powerful baddy! He rules with a rod of iron, keeps the citizens in a constant state of fear in order to get their unquestionable obedience and things seem to be going his way until V begins to fight back.
So as not to spoil the plot I am not going to go into the story in any great length, but found some parallels between the movie and real life politics – or should I say rumours about real life politics – some would call them conspiracy theories but “rumour” is defined as – “an unofficial interesting story or piece of news that might be true or invented”. Before I go on, can I ask if anyone else has noticed, particularly over the last few years, how much disastrous news is spewed at us daily via the TV and on-line news media? Climate change, pandemics/viruses, shootings, terrorism, extreme weather events, water shortages, forest fires, the threat of civil war etc. The list gets longer with every news programme. Now watch this clip from the movie where the High Chancellor wants to make sure that the public keep in line….and have a real good look and listen to what is said and what is being shown on the nations TV screens in the movie.
One would have to ask if we as citizens of our countries are all being played by our governments – or the powers behind each nations individual government. WE seem, just like the citizens in the movie, to be kept in a state of constant fear as a result of news reports and rely on our governments to provide the answers and “keep us safe”, even at the cost of certain civil liberties. With that thought in mind I will give you a few quotes from the movie/graphic novel. V for Vendetta.
One would have to ask if we as citizens of our countries are all being played by our governments – or the powers behind each nations individual government. WE seem, just like the citizens in the movie, to be kept in a state of constant fear as a result of news reports and rely on our governments to provide the answers and “keep us safe”, even at the cost of certain civil liberties. With that thought in mind I will give you a few quotes from the movie/graphic novel. V for Vendetta.
“People shouldn’t be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.”
“Knowledge, like air, is vital to life. Like air, no one should be denied it.”
“Since mankind’s dawn, a handful of oppressors have accepted the responsibility over our lives that we should have accepted for ourselves. By doing so, they took our power. By doing nothing, we gave it away. We’ve seen where their way leads, through camps and wars, towards the slaughterhouse.”
“They say that life’s a game, & then they take the board away.”
“Our masters have not heard the people’s voice for generations and it is much, much louder than they care to remember.”
“The ending is nearer than you think, and it is already written. All that we have left to choose is the correct moment to begin.”
“There’s no flesh or blood within this cloak to kill. There’s only an idea. Ideas are bulletproof.”
And these last 2 are very much worth thinking about…..“Equality and freedom are not luxuries to lightly cast aside. Without them, order cannot long endure before approaching depths beyond imagining.”
And ….. “Authority, when first detecting chaos at its heels, will entertain the vilest schemes to save its orderly facade.”
A movie to watch for entertainments sake, but also for the message beneath….the bones of which are captured in those last two quotes above. Make what you will of it all, but please cast your vote wisely this election.
Again, many thanks for taking the time to read my blog. Comments – even negative ones – are welcome as are likes, shares and follows. Until next time….
I know that most people are sick and tired of hearing about nothing but this bloody virus so I’ll try to make this brief, and make it my last word on the issue.
As of today New Zealand has had its first and only death (so far) attributed to Coronavirus. The number of infected has passed 500 but only 9 are now in need of hospital care and I believe 56 or 57 have already recovered from the illness.
Just a few things I’d like to run past you at this point. Anyone who has been confirmed to have Coronavirus, no matter how mild a case is numbered among the infected – which is fair enough. What is less fair, and adds to the hype and panic over this “flu like illness” is that even if it was not the coronavirus itself, but other pre-existing illnesses that actually caused the death, the person is still put down as a coronavirus death, due to coronavirus simply being present. I’m not necessarily referring to the single NZ death here, because no details have been released yet at the request of the deceased’s family, but basing it on information about the thousands of deaths in northern Italy. What also needs to be taken into consideration is the age, particularly in northern Italy of the majority of the victims – average age of mid 80’s and the fact that many had other health issues including bronchial illnesses caused by air pollution in that area (worst air pollution in Italy).
Similarly in Wuhan…very bad air pollution and incidentally home to a lab experimenting with viruses.
Other than “essential” workers, New Zealanders are on lockdown supposedly to protect the most vulnerable in the community – the very old and the very sick, with pre-existing medical conditions. And yet, staff working in old folks homes or making home visits to the elderly do not have to wear personal protection equipment. No masks, no gloves. How does this help to keep the elderly and sick safe?
Why self isolate everyone, even the healthy? If a healthy person gets a mild dose of this coronavirus they feel under the weather for a couple of days – some don’t even show any symptoms at all. Once recovered the body has natural immunity, as they do with other illnesses. If enough people who would not be considered to be “at risk” get the illness, don’t need hospital treatment, just a little R and R at home, and build a “herd immunity” for the community and therefore protect the elderly and infirm in doing so, why are we not doing this rather than locking everyone down? By all means lockdown those most at risk – AND then protect them by having all people who look after them wear masks, gowns and gloves. After all they have worked and paid taxes all their lives to help fund their health service and pension funds. Pensioners are not freeloaders….they earned their pensions.
OK, so those of you who believe everything that their government and the media tell them….who believe that their government care more about people than the economy and making money….you should stop reading here.
Those labelled conspiracy theorists, by the CIA in the 1960’s to discredit their claims, might say that todays governments, or the 1% who control the governments have the following aims.
1. Control of the masses and elimination of citizens who are a burden on society – (the old and the sick) – otherwise why lock everyone up and yet leave the elderly and sick without adequate protection – staff without PPE gear.
2. Putting armed police and military on the streets to enforce lockdowns (although it’s not got that far yet in NZ)….gets us used to the sight of military on the streets to “protect” us….later to control us.
3. Having everyone at home 24/7 using household internet servers puts a strain on the wifi service. This results in complaints of slow download and streaming times from the public demanding better service. This gives the government the go ahead to roll out the untested 5G network – Which has not been shown to be safe. There are public health issues, but it will be fast tracked during or just after this coronavirus lockdown period. This tactic is known as “Problem, Reaction, Solution”. The government create a problem – strain on the internet caused by locking the entire population down at once – the public react by demanding their internet speeds be retained in times of high use – the government provide the solution – 5G an untested health risk…using technology not dissimilar to the Active Denial System weapon used for crowd control – really, look it up…which will in turn continue to reduce the human population due to the health complications it causes in the community at large. It also disorients bees and birds….but who needs bees right? Who needs bees to pollinate 80% of our food?
Incidentally, it is claimed that the wavelength that 5G operates on is detrimental to human health and weakens immune systems among other health issues. And coincidence or not, Wuhan was a testing ground for 5G which was then rolled out across China. South Korea had 5G rolled out in 2018 and by 2019 85 cities were covered. The UK – coverage of the major cities began in 2019 and by 2020 over 70 cities have 5G. Vodafone launched 5G in Italy in these five cities in June 2019: Naples, Bologna, Milan, Turin, and Rome. And by 2020 had added another 6 cities. Vodafone Spain was the first operator to launch 5G in Spain and it’s available in many Spanish cities already. Vodafone Spain launched 5G trials in various cities in June 2018, including Madrid, Valencia, Seville, and Barcelona. In late 2018, they installed a 5G network node in La Nave, Madrid, and in February 2019 used standards-based 5G phones to complete their first 5G video calls between Madrid and Barcelona. In the USA 5G is currently being rolled out. It’s in a number of cities already and more areas will get at-home and mobile 5G this year.
Is there a connection between 5G and coronavirus victims due to reduced effectiveness of immune systems? Or is it coincidental that every hotspot for coronavirus around the globe just happens to coincide with 5G technology? Why have NO INDEPENDENT TESTS been done on the health effects of 5G before it was rolled out in all these countries? Why are governments – who are supposed to work for the benefit of their citizens – so desperate to roll out this untested technology as quickly as possible?
4. The lockdown period, initially of a couple of weeks in some places, 4 weeks here in NZ will be extended “to make sure that Coronavirus is wiped out”. BUT eventually they will tell us that the only really safe way to make sure that there are no more coronavirus deaths is vaccination of the masses. They could even make vaccination mandatory and attach penalties to those who try to avoid vaccination such as community restrictions – no vaccination, no school, no college. Or no vaccination, no benefit payments (already being pushed in Australia). Possibly even no vaccination, no passport. State sanctioned medication of the masses, even against our wishes. Then again they are already doing this in NZ with fluoride in the drinking water – mass medication of citizens without our consent.
5. The elimination of cash money. The excuse will be that viruses spread on bank notes…true, but you could also say no more door handles, no more petrol pumps, no more manually operated taps, no more library books, no magazines in waiting rooms – all surfaces that could pass on a contaminant / virus. Where do you draw the line? BUT in getting rid of physical money and making everything digital they make control of the financial world so much simpler. Another benefit being that your wealth can disappear at a click of a mouse should you do or say something that those in charge don’t agree with. But hey…they’d never do that would they?
6. Microchipping of the masses. Already underway in Sweden. AND being done to people who are asking to be chipped, not being forced! This is being done firstly as a replacement for money and credit cards….just wave your chipped hand or finger over the pad and hey presto you’ve paid your account. Which is a worry in itself in my opinion. I’d rather lose a wallet to a mugger than a finger or entire hand….BUT, it can also be used to track and control movement.
7. Many of the western countries involved in the coronavirus shutdowns of countries are borrowing millions, billions and in some cases trillions of dollars in order to pay workers and keep businesses afloat. The entire world is in debt, but to who? The USA alone already had a national debt of over 23 trillion dollars – a ludicrous amount – and they are adding to this to bail out corporations who are meant to then let this bail out money trickle down to their workers….good luck with that. All of which adds to a world debt that can never realistically be paid off. Eventually the entire debt based economic system has to implode. So what’s the solution? The big banking families…the less than 1% of the worlds population who hold the vast majority of its wealth will offer individual nations an offer they can’t refuse. A one world currency, regulated by a one world bank which will have total financial control. Enter the one world government. Farewell sovereignty of nations, farewell individual rights and freedoms.
8. United Nations agenda 21….superseded by agenda 2030 which is meant to be about environmental measures but is actually about making money from the state of the environment….AND massive population reduction.
BUT of course this is all simply conjecture from conspiracy theorists. None of it can be true can it?
I’m not asking you to believe any of it. Just because I’ve written it doesn’t validate the claims. What I would ask though is that you take your time – since we have lots of it on lockdown – and look it up….all of it…. individually. You’ll find sites to debunk every claim….but who runs those debunking sites? Follow the money. Sure, some of the sites you’ll come across are run by crackpots wearing tinfoil hats, but others are respected professionals, experts in their fields. Can they ALL be wrong or is there a grain of truth? Can we really trust those who govern us? Don’t be a sheep….don’t automatically believe the government….don’t believe me either, or the other tinfoil hatters. BUT don’t be lazy or complacent either. Do your own research, don’t just rely on sites recommended through Google either, come to your own conclusions.
Something to think about during your confinement. As usual thanks for reading….and yes, if this is what I write after only 3 days of lockdown… you can imagine what a month or more will look like. Greetings from the crazy house. Take care. See you on the other side.
Before you start calling me irresponsible for referring to what is now, according to the W.H.O. a pandemic, as a debacle, I’m using the word firstly to describe the conflicting, contradictory information and advice we are being given either through the media or from government/health officials and secondly due to the sometimes crazy response from the general public….and thirdly I am writing this a little bit tongue in cheek – because the whole issue is absurd.
Reading an article in the NZ herald newspaper, it talks about a 79 year old grandmother who was scared she may be infected with the virus as she was sitting close to a woman on a plane from Italy who has since been confirmed as having the COVID-19 coronavirus. So far she is not showing any symptoms but since there is an incubation period of between 2 to 10 days she was afraid that she may have already passed on the virus as she had attended aqua aerobics classes with lots of other people. She has since been advised to self isolate for 14 days. But what about those she has been in contact with previously?
Now here’s where the conflicting info comes in. The W.H.O. world health organization says that anyone who doesn’t have symptoms is not infectious. BUT the scientists in China, where the virus originated, have prompted the Chinese health minister to state “that the ability of the virus to spread seems to be getting stronger.” And that “people with novel coronavirus may be able to spread the illness before they even develop symptoms.“
Similarly there is conflicting information about whether wearing a mask will protect you or not. Officials have said – on the one hand – that masks are ineffective against coronavirus because many of them don’t seal to the face…..and in the next breath they tell us that we shouldn’t stockpile masks because we are causing a shortage for front line health professionals dealing with the virus, and putting them in danger. So….the masks don’t protect civilians, but somehow work for doctors and nurses…..right. Meanwhile Mitre10 and Bunnings Hardware stores along with any other store selling masks of any kind have been cleared out, so you may have to be inventive……and don’t forget about your pets.
Similarly there was a rush on supermarkets in Auckland – which has a high Asian population. Security guards were only allowing one person into the supermarkets as one person left the supermarket to save congestion and chaos inside. Shoppers cleared the shelves of bottled water, toilet paper and canned goods. Of course if they had been sensible New Zealanders who should, in theory, already have a stockpile of food, water and other essentials for a minimum of 3 weeks to see them through a natural disaster such as earth quake, volcanic eruption, superstorm etc there wouldn’t have been this panic buying. I mean come on people it makes sense to build up a stock pile over time….a couple of extra cans or packet of dried food every time you go shopping. Be prepared Kiwi’s.
To put things into perspective. Coronavirus COVID-19 has caused about 4500 deaths world wide so far. There seems to be a lot of fuss about something that has yet to cause a single death in New Zealand, and yet the flu causes 500 deaths here on average each year (and about a half million deaths yearly, world wide). Around 400 people die in traffic accidents each year in New Zealand too….and New Zealanders are really crap drivers….but drivers are not asked to self isolate. We also have around 800 to 1000 deaths yearly attributed to alcohol consumption….of course tax on alcohol brings a lovely amount of cash into the government coffers so we can’t really stop people drinking can we?
The “leader of the free world” – cough cough….and no I don’t have the virus…..on the one hand told us that it’s all false news and pushed the problem across the desk for his deputy to deal with, but now has closed the borders to European travelers….as well as Chinese, Koreans and Iranians. BUT he’s allowing travel between Britain and the USA, even though there are already over 200 confirmed cases in Britain……AND he’s not stopping American citizens from going to Europe, or returning. It’s really difficult to understand the logic there. President Trump’s latest brainwave….I call it a “brainwave” because I think he has finally waved his brain goodbye….is to be talking about putting a ban on flights from California to Washington D.C. It’s all very strange. Perhaps he doesn’t realize that California is part of the USA? But its unfair of me to say that because we all know that Mr Trump is a clever…very clever…intelligent….very intelligent, super intelligent man who knows a lot….much more than most people actually about just about anything – he told us that himself….many times, many, many times.
Meantime to counter the US claim that COVID-19 is both the fault of China and originated in China, the Chinese are now saying that the virus was manufactured in the USA, that deaths in the USA from the coronavirus have been happening for a long time (before it broke out in China) but were attributed to the flu. The playground squabbling has begun. “It was him…no it was him, he started it!” Yes folks these are the people we elect to “RUN THE WORLD”…..what a joke!
China, Korea and now Italy have shut down their countries in order to get on top of the coronavirus situation and by the sound of things the USA isn’t far off sealing it’s borders to anyone but US citizens and Brits.
Meanwhile here in little old New Zealand people coming into the country are still not being monitored or examined by health professionals. They are instead given a piece of paper telling of the symptoms of COVID-19 and are told that if they feel ill they should self isolate for 14 days. Of course everyone who comes into NZ are totally responsible and will obey this bit of paper. History has told us how little faith we should put in a piece of paper. Remember British PM Neville Chamberlain with his piece of paper from one Adolf Hitler guaranteeing “Peace in our time”….in late 1938. Oops!
Meanwhile the stock markets are taking a beating and of course this is being blamed squarely on COVID-19 even though the cracks in the world economy were already showing prior to the virus. Some economists were even predicting another crash like, but worse than, the one in 2008. So is coronavirus being used as a convenient, or even manufactured, scapegoat? The conspiracy theorists say so. Naturally “Joe Normal” isn’t going to believe anyone who is a “conspiracy theorist”…..maybe if we changed the name to “Truth Seekers” the public would listen?
I’ll give it a try…see how it sounds….roll it around the tongue.
The Truth Seekers ….oooh yes I do like the sound of that…..The Truth Seekers say that the Corporate bosses and their bought and paid for media are blaming the Coronavirus for all the financial problems that have brought about the drop in the stock market. The Truth Seekers say that this is just a smokescreen so that the public won’t realize that the whole foundation supporting the economy and finance was about to crumble and fall anyway. Like all great civilisations of the past, ours has run its course. The debt part of the Debt Economy has finally caught up with us. The Trillions of dollars of debt finally needs to be paid. Blaming the coronavirus is a last ditch effort to buy time to try to shore things up. And governments restricting civilian movement is the first step in the United Nations agenda 21….now superseded by agenda 2030…the reduction and control of the civilian population. They can’t just close borders and restrict travel or people will complain about their rights….BUT do it as a “safety measure” to “protect the people”…. and I think we may fall for it. And lets face it the public can be sooo stupid! Sales of Corona beer have plunged because of its name…..it’s too much like coronavirus. I kid you not. So there you have it. If someone with such a responsible name as the TRUTH SEEKERS say the economy is a sham, and BIG BROTHER from Orwell’s 1984 is about to come true…then surely it must be true. And it must therefore be time to start anew and find a better way of running things…….right?
Either way….if you haven’t already stocked up on food, water and toilet rolls, for goodness sake don’t forget toilet rolls….AND cleared out your bank account before the collapse….do it now.
There’s a couple of things I’d like to discuss today about rebellion….what it is, what it isn’t and what it probably should be.
First off though let me just say that I’ve just finished reading Mark Boyle’s“Drinking Molotov Cocktails with Gandhi” and would definitely recommend it to everyone as essential reading. It will push and pull at your sense of what’s right and wrong in the world and how we should react to rectify matters. Boyle pulls no punches in standing up for nature, suffering from the onslaught of human greed in the form of the industrial/political machine. He says that if we really want to effect change, by rebelling against the status quo, we need to be prepared to use every tool in our tool box. He has to choose his words carefully so as not to be placed on some form of government watch list…..he’s probably on one anyway….and so stops just short of inciting violent protest, but clearly indicates that violent protest is the only effective protest.
Conversely, we have Extinction Rebellion (a catchy name and a trendy logo), led by Roger Hallam and Gail Bradbrook in the UK, which has quickly spread around the world as the “alternative” environmental movement. XR, as they are known, say that they are an environmental movement who use nonviolent civil disobedience to compel government action to avoid tipping points in the climate system, biodiversity loss and risk of social and ecological collapse. By stipulating that they use only nonviolent civil disobedience, they limit what tools they can draw from their toolbox to fight against injustice.
I have been a protester/activist/political commentator from my mid teens to present day. In my 60 years on this earth I have been a founding member of a peace group, joined this peaceful campaign and that, taken part in peaceful marches, sit ins, rallies, gone door to door with petitions for everything from saving the forests, banning the bomb, assorted attempts for world peace, marched against Monsanto’s GMO’s, marched against fluoride in the drinking water etc etc. So I do understand where XR are coming from in declaring themselves a nonviolent movement. I’ve seen it all, been there done that and for the most part sadly, these tactics (petitions and peaceful protest) have been totally ineffective in changing the way that government or industry do things. There’s a famous quote that says Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Yet still we pull out the same tools from our toolbox that have failed us before and expect, or at least hope, that this time they will actually work.
If you look up the word Rebellion in the dictionary it will say: noun – an act of armed resistance to an established government or leader……the action or process of resisting authority, control, or convention. Rebellion, uprising, or insurrection is a refusal of obedience or order. Rebellion generally seeks to evade and/or gain concessions from an oppressive power, a revolt seeks to overthrow and destroy that power as well as its accompanying laws. Elsewhere I find Rebellion = Resistance, Revolt = Revolution. And Rebellion: is a violent uprising of the masses against their leadership.
So, a couple of these definitions specify violence or armed resistance. Something that XR rule out. One has to ask how rebellious the civil disobedience of Extinction Rebellion actually is, when they report to the police and councils to give prior notice of actions being taken, in order to get permission to protest. Not very rebellious I’d say. In footballing terms it’s a bit like Manchester United giving Liverpool notes on their tactics for their upcoming game. The authorities then give them permission to protest – march, block bridges, picket buildings etc., under police supervision and on condition it doesn’t lead to excessive public unrest. The fact is that they are only ever going to be as rebellious as their masters (the government, councils or police) allow them to be.
Don’t get me wrong. I believe that XR’s heart is in the right place. They are well intentioned and have had a few minor results go their way, but are playing within the rules enforced by the oppressors that they profess to be fighting against. This is neither a rebellion, nor are they likely to win the war using these tactics, even though they will win the occasional battle or gain the odd concession here and there. Civil disobedience, according to Mr Boyle’s book, is about NOT reporting to the authorities about forthcoming rebellious action, causing as much disruption to the status quo as possible, and is about keeping ALL options open.
In Drinking Molotov Cocktails with Gandhi, Boyle tells us the only thing that both the government and big business fear is damage to their profit margins. Peaceful demonstrations, blocking some roads or bridges while leaving alternative routes open, orderly marches and endless petitioning are not going to stop the progress of big business or prevent their wanton destruction of the natural world. We need to change the entire corporate/government/military/consumer driven economic system. We need to escape the shackles of the debt riddled society in which we live and simplify our lives, return to living within the boundaries of nature and to stop dominating and plundering nature or as big business and government refer to it “natural resources”. Can’t nature just be left as nature, and valued for it’s beauty and wildness, without being given a monetary value and classed as a resource?
Some years ago a small group of activists by the name of ELF (Earth Liberation Front) used violent action (arson) against corporate property with the intention of damaging financially the businesses that are wreaking havoc on nature and the environment, without violence to people – so no injury or death to anyone. They burned down several properties of companies that they saw as threats to the environment or as being directly destructive to nature. This included a timber mill that was illegally logging trees, and a slaughter plant that was killing so many wild horses that the blood released into the waterways was such that the water department could not cope and nearby towns water supply was polluted. In many cases, as a result of ELF’s “Ecotage”, the business either folded completely, or moved elsewhere. It was generally acknowledged therefore that ELF were successful in their actions. Just a note for the authorities here…I am not condoning Arson, nor am I inciting it. I am merely stating that it was affective in achieving ELF’s goals. Although many of their actions took place in the 1990’s it wasn’t until post 9/11 that arrests were made under new terrorism laws. Although ELF never threatened the lives of anyone, nor injured, or took a life by any of their actions, they were deemed to be bigger “Terrorist threats” than, for example, white supremacy groups who had killed and were continuing to kill/threatening to kill. Why is this you ask? Boyle says it’s because although white supremacists threaten lives, usually of people who are not white, they do not threaten businesses profit margins. When a multi million dollar or multi billion dollar company tells their government officials that they demand action against what they term “Eco-Terrorists” otherwise they will withdraw their financial support…they get listened to. Money makes the rules. Big business tells government what to do. The tail wags the dog. For the people, by the people….don’t make me laugh! To view an excellent 2011 video documentary “If a tree falls” – about ELF’s actions and their eventual capture by the authorities, link to YouTube doco is below. It is an insight into the methods of direct action and the thinking behind movements such as ELF.
Meantime the public keep on signing petitions, or take their plastic to recycling stations and think that they are doing their bit in saving the planet.
Boyle, in the closing pages of his book says that “The landscape of activism today is, like the forests of England and Ireland, dominated by the deer who quickly nibble at any shoots of resistance….however our monocultural political terrain is in need of a ferocious predator. We need the wolf to bring balance to the wild forests. We need the Wild Revolutionary to stand up to the threat in the wild, but the authorities would prefer the political landscape to be inhabited only by reformists, pacifists and the like….like domesticated animals to browse within the fence line“.
He also says that violent direct action should certainly not be the first route to take. It should be the very last tool taken out of the tool box, but it should not be ruled out from the very start. “If the day comes when we accept that both fierceness and gentleness have their appropriate time and place within our struggles in defence of Life, we may again earn the chance to experience the only real peace there has ever been: the peace of The Wild“.
So what Boyle is saying is don’t use a sledgehammer to crack a walnut, but when a wall needs knocking down a nutcracker won’t do the job. Also in the book he says that sometimes the very idea of having to use that sledgehammer paralyses us and we opt for reformist half measures even though we know they are doomed to fail against the military/industrial/political machine.
Money from industry, buys political support, dictates political policy and indirectly funds the armed wings of government – its police, its army, along with its guns, drones, nuclear weapons, courtrooms and prisons, all ready and willing to serve their master. These are co-funded by us, the citizens, by our paying of taxes. We fund our own oppressors. How crazy is that? It’s scary to stand up for nature and for ourselves against such a “machine”. They have CCTV cameras on every street corner and, as Edward Snowden made perfectly clear, they can use our own smart phones, smart TV’s and computers to listen our private conversations within the sanctity of our own homes, even turn on smart appliance cameras remotely, along with systems that monitor our emails, check our internet use and phone conversations. To stand up against this phenomenal opponent would appear to be suicidal. They are everywhere, have infiltrated every nook and cranny of our lives. Big Brother, as Orwell wrote in the book 1984, IS watching you.
This is one of the reasons that Boyle first spent 3 years living without money and then widened this by also living without modern technology. He is off grid completely. The more people that follow Boyles example and escape the digital ties that bind us to the machine, the harder it is for “them” to influence and dominate our lives.
The system of government works against the very people that it is meant to represent. The industrial/military/political machine gets to make all the rules and enact laws, that they claim are for our protection, but actually serve only to restrict our movement and make us easier to control. The laws also make it easier for them to justify pillaging nature….or as they call it “making use of natural resources”. In his book, Boyle states – If you consider that the natural world, nature equals Life, then the “machine” is the enemy of Life, and for us to play by the rules that the enemy of Life enacts is laughable.
Our economy is at war with many forms of life on earth, including in many cases human life. Look at the displaced tribes of the Amazon who’s land is systematically levelled to enable yet another beef ranch, soya or palm oil plantation. Look at communities who have no drinking water because it has been sold to water bottling plants for export, or has been so badly polluted by industry that it is no longer safe to drink. Look at small family run businesses who are driven out of business because of international or multinational corporations. Globalization rather than benefiting everyone, as promised, with it’s so called trickle down economy, has only increased the wealth of those at the top of the food chain while driving millions into poverty, and destroying national identities, centuries old customs, and borders.
There is a hell of a lot of information and misinformation out there in the media, in books and on line about climate change or climate crisis. It’s difficult, but not impossible, to sort out fact from fiction, particularly when often fact is so much stranger than fiction. As things currently stand, I see activist groups like XR and other “peaceful” protesters as being patsies for the establishment and “one world/one government” political policies. In their blocking of streets and bridges, while still obeying the rules of engagement, XR are getting TV news time because it serves the political policy makers. It proves to the world that the government allows its citizens the right to protest (albeit under strict rules and conditions), proves they are a democratic and “free” society. Try not paying your taxes and find out how free you really are! The general public are being made aware of “the threat of climate change” but are also getting pissed off at being constantly delayed in going about their business. When XR blocked London’s bridges, they even blocked the cycle lanes. Surely those cyclists were already walking the walk, as it were, while XR are still at the stage of talking the talk. The cyclists are not contributing to the global warming problem as they are not using transportation powered by fossil fuels. The very thing that XR are pushing. It was a stupid mistake in their policy to block cycle lanes as well as general road traffic. In the end XR will not affect business as usual in London or elsewhere. The consumerist driven growth economy is not going to shut down because of their actions, and shareholders profit margins are not going to be affected in any long term way.
On a personal note…It’s my prediction, and I realise that many people will think of me as a conspiracy theorist (and I probably am to a certain extent, but as I stated earlier, a lot of so called conspiracy theory is actual fact – as strange as some of it may seem), that eventually the government(s) will turn to the public and say “OK we have seen how serious the public are about the climate problem, because of the protests on the street” (which they have been happy to allow because it suits their agenda). “We know that we only have a short time frame to turn things around so we have to make radical changes…bring in some new rules and regulations… to save the world….are you with us?” The public agree, desperate to survive, get sucked in, and the UN’s agenda 21, or the updated agenda 2030, gets quickly rolled out giving governments extra emergency powers under the guise of rapidly reducing our carbon footprint, controlled by a unified One World Governing Body – the UN. And we – the public – who have been fed a steady diet of misinformation, will vote for it and give our blessing, so that THEY will be able to control not only the movement of people, but what we eat, the jobs we do, where we live, how we live, the redistribution of wealth, total control of our bank accounts by getting rid of physical cash money (something that the Reserve Bank is already talking about), confiscation of land, birth control/population control (including “voluntary” sterilization). Back in the 1960’s the UN were brainstorming to think of ways to get the general public to fall in behind support for a one world government – controlled by them, the UN, to push their own policies. They have stated that 375 million is the ideal population for the earth and they have been looking for ways to achieve this, but needed a banner to unite the world behind. Climate change/Global warming is that banner. We are up near 8 billion, so that will mean a reduction of about 95% of the current population…..how are they going to achieve that figure? War? A pandemic perhaps? (I see that there has been a reported outbreak of Pneumonic Plague – a more dangerous cousin of Bubonic Plague – in China – link to article – https://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/world/plague-is-diagnosed-in-china-prompting-fears-of-an-outbreak/ar-BBWHMaz?ocid=spartandhp). Biological weapons released by “Terrorists” maybe? Do they just shut down the power grids (hacked by foreign powers?) and watch us rip one another limb from limb once the food supply runs out? How do you qualify to be in that surviving 5%? And will that 5% then continue with business as usual?
I realize that for many people this idea of a one world government deliberately looking to control citizens and force a reduction in population sounds fanciful, the thing of Science Fiction. So I will share with you with a few quotes below, and ask that you please read Boyle’s book, do your own research into climate change, the UN and population control, oh yes…and the Club of Rome (see the quotes later on). And examine what is happening in the world with eyes wide open….don’t just accept the version presented by the state run media. We certainly need to embrace the natural world again and not pillage it. I can’t see a world government actually doing that despite the spin they attempt to put on things.
Quotes follow from some of the most powerful political figures, or influencers of political policy in the world. I find it quite terrifying that these corrupt people have been allowed to dictate policy by which we are expected to live.
Henry Kissinger, American politician, diplomat, and geopolitical consultant who served as United States Secretary of State and National Security Advisor (and winner of the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize under controversial circumstances, with two members of the committee resigning in protest) said – Today, America would be outraged if U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to restore order. Tomorrow they will be grateful! This is especially true if they were told that there were an outside threat from beyond, whether real or promulgated, that threatened our very existence. It is then that all peoples of the world will plead to deliver them from this evil. The one thing every man fears is the unknown. When presented with this scenario, individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well-being granted to them by the World Government.
Thomas Ferguson an American political scientist who wrote about the Logic of Money-driven Political Systems – There is a single theme behind all our work – we must reduce population levels. Either governments do it our way, through nice clean methods, or they will get the kinds of mess that we have in El Salvador, or in Iran or in Beirut. Population is a political problem. Once population is out of control, it requires authoritarian government, even fascism, to reduce it.
David R Brower, environmentalist and the first Executive Director of the Sierra Club is also on board saying – Childbearing should be a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license. All potential parents should be required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing.
Timothy Endicott Wirth, a former United States Senator from Colorado. He served both as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Education for part of the Nixon Administration and later for the Clinton Administration as the first Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs for the U.S. State Department. – We’ve got to ride the global-warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.
Aurelio Peccei, industrialist and philanthropist, best known as co-founder with Alexander King and first president of the Club of Rome, an organisation which attracted considerable public attention in 1972 with its report, The Limits to Growth. – The common enemy of humanity is man. In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. …The real enemy then is humanity itself.
And finally a couple of quotes from David Rockefeller. Rockefeller from one of the wealthiest families around, was assistant regional director of the United States Office of Defense, Health and Welfare Services before teaming up with the rest of the family at the Chase National Bank where he became President. The bank was closely associated with and has financed the oil industry, having longstanding connections with its board of directors to the successor companies of Standard Oil, especially Exxon Mobil. It’s now known as JPMorgan Chase bank. – We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost 40 years……It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supernational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national autodetermination practiced in past centuries. – Which goes to confirm that the media are under the control of big business and government and complicit in the plot to take away the public’s right of self determination.
and finally, Rockefeller again – We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis. Of course the crisis selected was Global Warming.
So folks, as you can see from these quotes….we are not paranoid….they ARE out to get us and have been plotting against the citizens of the world for decades! It’s not simply crackpot conspiracy theory. AND I do realize that it’s so hard to know what to believe after that quote from Aurelio Peccei. As you will see from earlier posts, I was initially ready to believe the UN IPCC panel and was blown away by the emotional Greta Thunberg…until her last speech at the UN, which was a rehash, virtually word for word, of an earlier UN speech but delivered with the venom of a consummate actor….”How dare you…” It just didn’t seem authentic anymore. And why would an organisation as powerful as the UN allow a teenage girl the opportunity to berate them time and time again – with full TV and press coverage – for their inaction on Climate Change, if it did not serve their purpose? Do we blindly follow the UN? We hear UN climate scientists presenting dooming facts about climate change – although incidentally they do not allow for the phases of the sun, solar maximum and solar minimum in their calculations. Long-term secular change in sunspot number is thought, by many scientists, to be correlated with long-term change in solar irradiance, which, in turn, might influence Earth’s long-term climate. The sun being the main regulator of temperature here on earth I find its exclusion from climate change calculations quite worrying – and ex Presidential hopeful Al Gore (a member of the establishment who, incidentally, is making bucket loads of money from the whole climate change situation) is leading the charge. Having now seen the quotes above, by the political movers and shakers, about ways of gaining control of the citizens by causing widespread panic using Climate Change as a unifying factor, via the formation of a One World Government under the control of, to quote Rockefeller, “an intellectual elite and world bankers”….what do we do? Indeed, what can we do?
Boyle says that although the “Machine” appears to be powerful and omnipotent, it is its omnipotence that makes it so weak. It is so thinly stretched that, if the citizens were to rise up against it simultaneously, it would be overthrown simply by weight of numbers. An interesting theory.
In the meantime the rich and their Globalist Corporations continue to get away with tax avoidance while the working classes are squeezed for every taxable penny – with threat of imprisonment should they refuse. Whether climate change is totally due to the actions of man, or just a phase of the suns warming, or a combination of both – has still to be proven 100%. Yes a panel of UN Climate Scientists have declared their findings to be accurate, but the UN is the same organization vying for total domination of us, under their one world government, so their “undeniable” findings should be considered dubious or, at the very least, warrant further investigation. There is no denying however that the forests are being cleared, the waterways and the oceans are being polluted, as is the air that we breathe, and a genuine extinction of species is happening, as their habitat (nature) is destroyed by globalist corporates and needs immediate action to reverse this insane destruction. Should we protest? If we want to live, if we truly want to protect nature – what’s left of it to protect – surely we must take some sort of action. Do we take peacefully to the streets with our placards and/or sign petitions yet again, hoping insanely for a different result, or this time do we use ALL the tools in our toolbox and say “Enough!”? This, I think, is the conclusion that Mr Boyle in his book Drinking Molotov Cocktails with Gandhi is hoping that the citizens of the world will come to.
Please note – I am not inciting the masses to commit violent acts. I am, for the most part, reporting on or reviewing a book. BUT, it would be wonderful if you would read the book Drinking Molotov Cocktails with Gandhi, watch the video If a Tree Falls – do your own research into the problems that we are facing today and come to your own conclusions. Is nature worth saving? I hope you’ll agree that it is. As usual thank you for reading. Any shares, likes or comments are most appreciated.
If voting actually changed anything, it would be made illegal.
Democracy is not in the voting….it’s in the counting.
Elections are about standing or falling…., the people find out what politicians stand for, and the politicians find out what the people will fall for.
If God had wanted us to vote, he’d have given us candidates worth voting for. – (Particularly applicable to the 2016 US election).
If the people of a democracy are allowed to do so, they will vote away the freedoms that are essential to that democracy. – AND the politicians (and media) will make sure that we do vote our freedoms away, by feeding us mis-information.
Sorry about this folks, but I’m having a bit of a rant. Totally pissed off about the New Zealand political system, be it local or national. Local politics. Does it matter? Does our vote count if the system is not one we subscribe to? How about National politics….does the same apply?
My opinion, and it is only my opinion, for what it’s worth – I don’t pretend to be an expert on all things political – is that the best system of governance is self governance. Being responsible for our own affairs is by far the system where your own needs have a better chance of being met. The current system here, where we have locally a District Council with a Mayor and 14 Councillors, plus a Regional Council with 8 Councillors selected from the various towns and cities that make up our region, I don’t feel works as it should.
We recently, earlier in October, had our local elections and although I did vote, I could not vote for the candidates who I wanted to vote for…the ones I thought would best represent my needs and stood for the same issues and ideals that I have. The candidates who I wanted to vote for were not in my immediate electorate so I had to pick and vote for other people, and basically what it boiled down to was selecting the one I thought would bring least harm to me, my family and our community. In the end, the one person who I felt would have been the best councillor for me and mine, didn’t even get elected, he was in an electorate that was not mine… though we displayed his political banner/sign on the fence of our property. All the councillors regardless of the electorate that they were standing in, end up serving on a local government council that represents the whole area, so why not just give us a list of all candidates who have been nominated for council and let us vote for any of them (in the hope that the best of the bunch get elected), rather than restricting our vote to someone who is in our electorate, who we may not think is suitable, or even fit for the job?
In addition to electing councillors, we also got to choose members to sit on the local health board governing body….25 applicants of which 7 were to be elected. Of course there was the usual blurb and photo of each wanna-be official in order to convince us that they were the best person for the job. The interesting thing that I found in all this literature, was that only one of the 25 prospects actually mentioned preventative health care. ONLY ONE….thought to remind us that we can help to take responsibility for our healthcare by first taking care about what we put into our mouths – healthy eating, healthy diet equals healthy body. As Socrates said a couple of thousand years ago – “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. So, as far as I am concerned only that one person actually deserves to serve as our representative on the heath board. BUT her views are going to be voted down by the other 6 who get elected and who have vested interests in the pharmaceutical side of the business.
So, me and my family….and our beliefs/way of life etc., have little or no representation on either our district council or our regional council….or Heath Board. When it comes to the national New Zealand Government – in parliament in our capital city of Wellington – we are even less represented.
We are told that these elected officials are our representitives….in government to represent our rights and to make choices on our behalf. Making rules and regulations that we have to live by….spending our taxes in a manner to which they see fit.
I have had concerns about a number of issues over the 30 years that I’ve lived in New Zealand….and have emailed my local member of parliament, certain Ministers in charge of key portfolios, party leaders, the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister with these concerns, asking specific questions for which I would like answers. This, I want to point out, was not only during the reign of our current Labour Party / NZ First / Green Party coalition government (led by the ever smiling Jacinda Ardern), but also during the 9 years prior when the National Party were in charge. In most cases I received no reply at all, in others I received an initial, apparently automated, reply stating that my email had been received and someone would formulate a reply to it shortly. I am still waiting. They never get back to me. It’s not just one political party either, it’s across the entire political spectrum. Do I feel that I am being represented – NO I don’t. So what is the bloody point of the whole system, and what does my voting achieve?
All that my vote achieves is – that it goes toward getting someone a nice well paid job in Wellington, someone who will use their position, power and money to further their own agenda and feather their own nests…someone who has not the slightest intention of representing me, my family or community at all. From my own viewpoint voting is an utter waste of time. The bigger a government – or any organization – is, the less the needs of the individual citizen are met…or even listened to. But you know what they say “If you don’t vote, don’t moan about who gets elected.” Then again, wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was an election and everyone refused to vote….in protest, at the system and it’s lack of true representation. A bit like that old Vietnam war era bumper sticker “What if they gave a war and no one came?”
Of course the biggest problem with politics and politicians is that they not only never do anything constructive for us the people they are elected to represent, but they also never say anything tangible. They will never, EVER, answer a yes or no question with a yes or no answer. They spend hours talking around the question instead in order to bore us into submission. And if, on the odd occasion, they actually do say or do anything…obviously in error….they make such a mess of it and have to have a committee formed to look into the problem. Spending more of our hard earned taxes. I think American comedian and political critic George Carlin summed “politic speak” up nicely in the following address to the National Press Club….
I fully understand why the people of Britain voted to pull out of the EEC – feeling that their needs were not being looked after by a Government who rule from Brussels and who take millions of pounds out of the British coffers and invest very little of those funds back into Britain – whether I agree with it or not is beside the point. They don’t feel that being ruled from Brussels benefits them in any way, shape or form….and the lack of border control is eroding what is left of the British identity, customs and culture. So they vote to pull out….much to the surprise of the government…who are left in a bit of a void because now they have to do some work and negotiate a deal whereby Britain can leave the EEC without becoming completely ostracized.
Of course prior to having governments voted for by the people (even if they don’t actually represent the true wishes of the people) we were all subjects of and servants to Kings, Queens, Emperors etc who took their positions of power either by being born into it, or by having armies big enough to wrest control from some other monarch.
The question is, are we actually better off with the system we now have? Or is it time for another change….a revolt if you will? It would have to be a revolt because the people in power aren’t going to either simply step aside, or allow us to vote them off. An “Anarchistic Autonomous Collective” sounds pretty good right now (see Monty Python sketch below).
I’d like to know if YOU feel that you are being properly represented by your elected officials, where ever in the world you live….or if you too are coming to the end of your tether and feel forced into taking action.
Meantime here’s a sketch from the Monty Python team…..amusing yes, but with a lot of truth in it.
If you look at this post’s title and wonder “after we stop pretending” about what? I’ll get to that shortly. It’s a prickly subject and it will make a lot of people very uncomfortable. Others won’t feel any discomfort or shame simply because they (a) don’t understand the problem or (b) just don’t give a shit. But please bear with me and I’ll do my best to explain.
Have you ever started on something and it leads to something else and that leads to somewhere else, or an idea, or pattern of thought that hadn’t occurred to you? That’s kind of how I got here….to the After We Stop Pretending thing…and it’s all my wife’s fault. Let me explain.
She, like me, has become very disenchanted by the direction that modern society is going in. Being connected to Wifi, the world wide web, to our phones, to technology, to over consumption of stuff….but completely disconnected from one another, from society, from community and most of all from nature. However, unlike me – I who am content to moan and bitch about how, as a species, we’ve lost our way and how terrible this disconnect with nature is – my wife tends to look deeper into the problem and to try to find out if it can be solved. It was her search to find ways of disconnecting from technology and reconnecting with nature that brought her to Mark Boyle – an Irishman, writer, environmentalist, free thinker and freeconomist – who was formerly as entrenched in the system as the rest of us, having trained as an economist.
Mark Boyle has written a book, (actually he’s written a few books…..but this one in particular was one my wife was drawn to), called “The Moneyless Man”. Which is about how he took a year off from the system – from modern day life – from the economy – from consumerism – and lived for 12 months without money. (This actually became his way of life for a 3 year period, not one). Both to see if it could be done at all and also as a bit of a social experiment. He didn’t completely disconnect from technology though. He lived in a caravan on someone’s farm – he was allowed to park the caravan there in exchange for several days labour in the fields each month. On the caravan he had a solar panel with which he would charge his cell phone – on which he could only accept incoming calls as he had no money to make outgoing calls – and his laptop on which to write his book and a number of newspaper and magazine articles about his one year of living without money. He used a bike for transport and his food came partly from what he grew, partly from what he could forage in the wild and partly from dumpster diving behind the supermarket in the nearby town. His life for the next 12 months proved that necessity is indeed the mother of invention AND that living without money is a possibility.
This first book brought my wife to Boyle’s latest book called “The Way Home” – in which, 9 years on from his moneyless experiment, he has now built his own cabin, has realised that money is in some cases necessary – so has used the money from his book sales to purchase some land of his own – but has opened it up for anyone to live there. He has totally kicked modern technology into touch, even his phone and laptop have now gone. He still writes, but on recycled paper, with pens he finds here and there abandoned or lost by other people. His philosophy is one of paying it forward – he does things for people without expecting anything in return. There is no quid pro quo with Boyle.
It is this recent book, The Way Home (2019), that provides us with the next link. In The Way Home, Boyle refers to another writer by the name of Paul Kingsnorth. Kingsnorth is a former journalist, former editor of the Ecologist and according to his book is “A Recovering Environmentalist”. He is co founder of The Dark Mountain Project – a haven for writers who have seen through the veil of misinformation and fabrication of todays society, have come to the conclusion that the environmental movement has been hijacked by big business and political clout, decided that as things stand our disconnect from nature and our belief in the ideals of consumerism and the growth economy will push us not just to the brink of extinction, but over the brink. After the collapse of the system, perhaps people views about the sanity of the status quo will change. Only After We Stop Pretending can we make the changes in the way we live, that we should have made 40 years ago and get down to the work of re-growing a living culture.
Much is made these days about buzz words like “sustainability”. It used to be about sustaining and about not abusing nature or “natural resources”. These days the green movement is more about sustaining our life style by replacing one thing with it’s perceived “eco” counterpart. Environmentalism has become about sustainable development – which let’s face it is an oxymoron. Big business and the consumer lifestyle must, it seems, be the things that we place the priority on sustaining.
We have had countless feel good rallies in parks, marches to parliament to present petitions about protecting the environment, to which a smiling politician speaks a few empty promises about looking into the problem….probably involving committees and sub committees and flights overseas to see how other governments are handling the “environment problem”. But nothing happens to slow down the wheels of industry, of commerce, of commercialism.
We’ve had countless years of presentations of scientific evidence, discussions, debates and resolutions at the United Nations – yet still nothing has been done to slow the commercial machine – CO2 emissions continue to rise, pollution of the air and seas continues unabated, the rain forests continue to be cleared at alarming rates, the icecaps and glaciers continue to melt, sea level continues to rise as do average temperatures. But it’s all okay, none of this will affect the value of your shares on the stock exchange. Despite all the international agreements and environmental protection agencies we are destroying and polluting at an ever increasing rate. Changing your lightbulbs to energy efficient ones or banning single use plastic bags in supermarkets – whilst a step in the right direction – are not going to solve the problems we face and are in fact a case of too little, much too late.
The problem is a result of the system we follow, blindly. It’s not just about our consumption of, and our reliance on, fossil fuels that is the problem – it’s about the need to change the system that drives this consumption. This is the truth that everyone skirts around because of fear of how the abandoning of the growth economy system will affect their lifestyle.
The more disconnected we are from the source of our food, the less we value it and the more wasteful we become. If I can explain….go back to hunter gatherer time…Back when we were hunter gatherers we would spend a couple of hours a day sourcing our food from the forests and streams in the locality of our home base. We’d work along side and within the natural world – take as much as we needed from nature, eat it that day, fresh and then start the whole process again the next day. Rinse and repeat.
Then some bright spark had the idea of gathering some seeds from the bushes and plants that they found in nature and farming the ground close to home base to grow the food we needed right on our doorstep. Because we now take care in tending our food supply it takes us a little longer, but we are still very connected to our food and to nature. We value it and take only what we need. Jumping forward several hundred years we have for the most part separated ourselves from nature. We now live in cities and work 8 hour days, or more, in order to earn these tokens called money. With this money, we can pay for other people, sometimes on the other side of the planet to grow our food for us, pay for the mining and refining of the fossil fuel to power the trucks, ships and planes to bring it thousands of kilometres to a supermarket near us, where we can jump into our cars, using more fossil fuel, to drive to the supermarket to collect the food, (now mostly wrapped in plastic packaging on Styrofoam trays), that we once used to grow fresh on our own doorstep. We have no idea about how much petro-chemical sprays or other toxic materials have been used in the production of our food – which is now grown for shape and colour and shelf life rather than for any nutritional value. And then we waste a third of all the food we buy. This we call progress….and….civilisation. Is it just me, or can anyone else see that this just makes no sense at all?
And don’t even think to get me started on all the other rubbish that we import from around the world that is built only to last for a limited span of time. We have embraced the throw away society whole heartedly. We have fast food, fast fashions and even fast furnishings. All of which are tasteless and unfortunately get us addicted for more of the same. Anything to keep us spending that money and keep growing the economy. We are blasted by advertisements to buy more, update this, bigger that, new and improved…buy buy buy! Celebrity endorsements on TV, in magazines, on billboards, on the internet. We have so much stuff these days that off site storage is now a multi billion dollar business. It’s craziness. We haven’t just lost our way, we’re completely off the map. A byproduct of this greed for more stuff is that we need more land and more resources, to make the stuff, so we destroy nature, we wipe out hundreds of species weekly….WEEKLY…without even pausing to consider the consequences. We need to have the courage to change, to be responsible for our own actions and to do it quickly. Governments support the status quo – they are NOT going to save us if we don’t force them to.
It’s been said many times, so I’ll say it once more in the forlorn hope that this time someone will read it and say – yes that’s absolutely right, and make the change that we all need for our survival – “You can not have infinite growth on a finite planet”. So, yes we need to Stop Pretending that everything is just fine and dandy. The science says that we may have already passed the tipping point or are within a year or two of it. It’s frightening, but we need to accept that, to look despair right in the face and change the way we live. Let’s not make things any worse than they are already going to be. Is it only when money, credit and “the economy” are seen to be nothing more than the Emperors New Clothes of fairly tales and the system comes crashing down around our ears that most of us will finally admit that it was doomed to fail all along, and try to change the system to one of living with nature. We must realise that we are part of the natural world, not above it.
If anyone is interested in finding out more about the Dark Mountain Project, the link to their website is https://dark-mountain.net/
Mark Boyle (the moneyless man) will be at Scotland’s Booktown – Wigtown – for their annual book festival, appearing on 4th October 2019. He’ll be talking about his latest book and his life without technology.
What does it mean to be human as boundaries between man and machine blur? Mark Boyle tried to find out, embracing life with no running water, car or electricity. The former business graduate, who once lived without money for three years, talks about his remarkable life on a Galway smallholding.
As 9/11 approaches it seems only fitting to review these two movies.
Earlier in the year on an international flight I watched the movie Vice (2018) – about Vice President Dick Cheney and what goes on behind the political scenes with regard to running “black-ops” missions.
It shows us that ethics have little place in politics, where rules are made up as they go along, and then broken to suit their passing whims. Often, things are happening behind the scenes that even the President is either totally unaware of, or is partly aware, but the finer details are with-held from briefings. This, as shown in the movie Vice, has been going on at least since the Nixon administration, possibly even before that. A select few at, or near, the top of the political food chain are the ones pulling on the strings of the puppets fronting for the media….and the public. During the Nixon administration Cheney worked as an intern under Donald Rumsfeld, and overheard Henry Kissinger discussing the secret bombing of Cambodia with President Nixon, revealing the true power of the executive branch to Cheney.
Christian Bale plays the title role and is quite brilliant in his portrayal of the ‘win at all costs’ Cheney for whom ethics do not exist. Amy Adams plays his wife….who pushes her husband along all the way. Over various presidencies, Cheney works his way up the political ladder taking on roles that bring him closer and closer to the Presidential inner circle including being secretary of state under George H W Bush. During the Clinton administration he was the CEO of Halliburton (a big player in the Oil industry and later in the business of private armies/armed security details). Cheney is asked to be George W. Bush’s running mate and to take up the Vice President role. He agrees, on condition that the President hands over the daily running of certain “mundane” executive tasks such as foreign policy and energy. Bush is so keen to have someone as experienced as Cheney to show him the political ropes that he readily agrees. Cheney then manipulates president George W Bush so easily, by making suggestions and then encouraging Bush to adopt them as his own. I always thought that George W was a scheming, lying, jingoist…..but it seems, if the movie is to be believed, that the foreign policy ideas came from Cheney. Bush is still guilty of waging wars on countries such as Iraq based on false intelligence. He is complicit by signing the presidential orders to attack, although he may not have been the instigator.
We all have suspicions that this sort of cloak and dagger/smoke and mirrors, shadow world exists in politics. This movie goes a long way to confirming those suspicions. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and can’t rate it highly enough. There were comedic episodes along the way, but mostly it’s about politics and war at its most unethical. I give it a 4.5 out of 5 – see it if you can.
The second movie again about political activities going on behind the scenes, this time involving CIA operatives, is called Fair Game (2010), which I saw yesterday on Netflix. It stars Naomi Watts and Sean Penn. It is based on Valerie Plame’s memoir, Fair Game, and Joseph C. Wilson’s memoir, The Politics of Truth. Be warned – there are spoilers below, but even with the spoilers, the movie is definitely worth seeing.
Plame/Watts is a CIA operative working predominantly in the middle east and is tasked with finding out if Iraq are manufacturing nuclear weapons. Her husband Wilson/Penn, a retired diplomat is sent on a government mission to Niger in 2002 to investigate claims that Saddam Hussein is attempting to buy ‘yellow cake uranium’ from the Niger government. Both of them come to the conclusion, via their separate investigations, that there is no substance to either of these claims. The nuclear programme in Iraq was shut down and dismantled under US instruction and oversight in the 1990’s. But the CIA were investigating with a view to casting suspicion on this….to give the Bush administration grounds for invading Iraq.
When it appeared that, in spite of both reports that the US government were pushing ahead with the “Saddam has weapons of mass destruction” line, Wilson/Penn made his report public knowledge by releasing it to the news media, who ran front page stories. This naturally incensed the powers that be and the CIA were directed to blow Plame/Watts’ cover and expose her as a CIA agent. After 18 years as an operative for the CIA, Plame Wilson’s spy career effectively ended July 14,2003, when The Washington Post published Robert Novak’s column detailing Wilson’s ties to the CIA, including Plame Wilson’s identity as a covert agent. The column followed her husband Joe Wilson’s outspoken opposition to the invasion of Iraq, and the leak of Plame’s identity by top-tier Bush administration officials. This therefore put her and her family in danger. It also exposed all the people she had been in contact with in the various middle eastern nations – scientists and informants – resulting in the internment or execution of these individuals.
All this had a negative affect on their marriage, which was in tatters. There are death threats and government lead public humiliation. After pressure from Wilson and much soul searching, Plame/Watts agrees to go to the Congressional committee. This doesn’t topple the government, but a senior government official – chief of staff and national security adviser, Scooter Libby (former adviser to Dick Cheney) is selected to be the one to fall on his own sword – forced to resign, and is also found guilty in Federal court. He gets 30 months in prison and a hefty fine, both of which are quashed by President Bush and Libby goes free. Again another high scoring 4 out of 5 from me for the movie Fair Game.
Now….both of these movies go to show that the rules don’t apply to those in power. Rules are here to keep you and me in our place….down there. To control and subdue the public, while the powerful – comfortable in their ivory towers – flip the finger at us and the courts. And as the Wilsons found out, it doesn’t matter how hard you work, or how much use you have been to those in power – it doesn’t even matter if the truth is on your side – once you are not needed, or you become an embarrassment…you’re expendable. They will cut you loose and feed you to the wolves.
So, people….please realize that although both of these are dramatizations of real life events….they tell the truth about how our governments work. Not just the US government, but ALL governments. Just like Lord Acton said back in the 1800’s, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” I think that is a very apt quote on which to end.
As usual, many thanks for reading/following/liking. And your comments are always welcome.
Australian Damon Gameau’s 2015 directorial debut, That Sugar Film became the highest grossing non-Imax Australian documentary in history. He’s back again in 2019 with a new doco-movie titled 2040 – where he looks at the problems associated with “Climate Change” and what we can do to not only stop the man made portion of it in it’s tracks, but help reverse the long term effects. It’s a positive and optimistic look at the technology and methods available today that can help to save tomorrow’s earth, so that in 2040 the problems caused by human action that have helped to create climate change, rising temperatures and rising sea levels, will have been conquered – by making sensible, smart changes now, in 2019 and beyond.
Concerned about what the future would look like for his 4 year old daughter, he set about looking into alternative solutions to today’s industrial problems interviewing a number of innovators – the movers and shakers in eco and alternative methods. The result is a surprisingly optimistic, glass half full view of tomorrow’s world – where 2040 is seen almost as a utopian vision rather than the doom and gloom predicted by today’s climate scientists.
The UN Climate Science paper of 2018 told the leaders of the world that we had very little time left to stop Climate Change becoming irreversible…..and yet almost 18 months later, world governments are still bickering over the fine print and for now it’s still more or less business as usual with the destruction of the rain forest, pollution of the world’s oceans, the belching out of fossil fuel smoke from power plants and transport, and Big AG farming methods – which rely on massive use of fertilizer and petro chemicals, which deplete the life in the soil rather than helping it thrive.
What I find frustrating is that Gameau’s movie shows us clearly that the answers to all our pollution problems are here today, available for use world wide, if only the powers that be would bite the bullet, change their ways and adopt them.
The movie is peppered with interviews with small children, being asked how they would like the future to look…..what they want to see. Of course kids being kids you do get a few asking for clouds that rain chocolate….but I was so impressed with some of their answers. Children today seem far more aware of what’s happening to the planet than I did as a kid. Their honesty and intelligence is quite humbling. They are the guardians of tomorrow’s earth – if only today’s decision makers leave them an earth worth looking after – and the sooner we allow them to take over, the better. We, my generation and those before, have totally fucked things up (pardon the language). For thousands of years we lived in harmony with nature and therefore with the earth…..we were part of the natural cycles. But for the last hundred, maybe hundred and fifty, years we have tried to dominate the earth and in doing so have wiped out millions of species and are gradually pushing ourselves toward extinction.
Link to the movie trailer is below. It’s only a couple of minutes, please take a look.
As I write this post, the Amazon rain forest, which we depend on for providing around 20% of the earths oxygen, is burning out of control. The oceans provide at least 50% of our oxygen. Depending on which set of figures you believe, ocean phytoplankton are responsible for between 50 and 70% of Earth’s oxygen production and yet we continue to pollute the oceans. It’s like we have a death wish as we pursue the god of money.
The 2040 book is equally impressive and contains all of the information from the movie. There are lots of easy to follow ideas and instructions on what we can do as individuals in our own lives to make small changes in our daily routines that, with the participation of millions of others, can result in big changes and positive effects on the climate change problem. There are lots of colour photos and drawings that go along with the text to make it so easy to understand. The book is littered (pardon the pollution pun) with photos of the young kids who were interviewed along with little quotes from them.
When asked how they would like the future to look, here’s what some of them had to say:-
Stella who says “Well I’d like it to be human instinct to just look after the world and to care for the world”
Caden says “In the future I think people should find other ways to settle their problems instead of forcing each other around with guns”
Charlotte even said “Well, a lot of people text. Maybe we should talk face to face more. I’d probably like to see people less on electronics.”
Raahil points out that we don’t consider the consequences of our actions. “By 2040 I would like if people acknowledge that the factories they build hurt nature sometimes….like the things we produce, it can hurt the wildlife and it’s not good but people just ignore it.”
And finally Scarlett who points out our tardiness on fixing the problems we’ve created. “Well, I would like for the government to have done something on global warming and pollution as now I think they’re not really doing anything about it”.
So, as you can see, the kids know that there’s a problem and that it needs fixing urgently. They can’t understand that we adults are dragging our asses playing for time, when there may not be much time left. The kids see the problem, note that there is a solution to it and their first move would be to stop doing the things that cause pollution and the second thing would be to implement the new technology or methods required that have a positive effect on the earth. Simple. What the kids don’t take into consideration, or share our obsession about, is the economy….money and profits. They care about the earth, nature and human well-being.
The system we have is causing the problems so the sensible thing is to change the system…..OR to make changes within the system that negates the problems it currently creates.
The book also points out the methods that the corporations and big industry employ to create doubt about climate change science. For example in a three year period alone, Exxon spent $8.9 million and the Koch brothers $24 million on the dissemination of climate misinformation. They also set up and funded a range of groups, organisations and companies under different names to give the impression that there were lots of climate denial groups – when in fact they all stemmed from one or two base companies. A power company in New Orleans was caught paying actors with placards pretending to be “concerned citizens” who were supporting a new natural gas plant.
They always argue that Big Ag, (agriculture that produces mono-crops or animals in feed lots), can not change it’s farming methods, as they claim that those methods feed the world. But in fact Big Ag actually produces only about 20% of the worlds food and a lot of that is soy and sugar – particularly high fructose corn syrup that seems to find its way into so many manufactured ‘food like products’. Smaller family run farms with a diverse crop are the people who feed most of the worlds population. All the better if the farms are run on organic and regenerative methods.
Another argument the deniers use is that “the science isn’t settled”… and they wheel out a stream of fake “experts” to denounce climate change. This method almost worked for the tobacco industry saying that smoking and cancer were unrelated.
I don’t want to say too much more about either the movie or the book as it’s important for you guys to see and read for yourselves and to form your own opinions. I enjoyed, and was educated, by the book and the movie equally and would give each one 4 out of 5 stars. Thanks for taking the time to read this post and I hope it’s been of some help.
This is not the post I had been planning on writing this morning. However, my wife Lizzie came home last night with a copy of Greta Thunberg’s book “No one is too small to make a difference”. It only costs NZ$7.00 and the money raised goes toward the Climate Crisis movement….so please buy a copy and help Greta to stand up for her generation….for all of us in fact.
Greta Thunberg was born in 2003. In August 2018 she decided not to go to school one day, starting a strike for climate outside the Swedish Parliament. Her actions ended up sparking a global movement for action against the climate crisis, inspiring millions of pupils, world wide, to go on strike for our planet. This action has earned Greta the prestigious Prix Liberte (Freedom Award) – Thunberg, 16, is the first recipient of this new award, which was designed to honor a young person ‘engaged in a fight for peace and freedom’.- as well as a Nobel Peace prize nomination. Greta has Asperger’s, and considers it a gift which has enabled her to see the climate crisis ‘in black and white’.
No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference is Greta’s first book in English, collecting her speeches from climate rallies across Europe to audiences at the UN, the World Economic Forum, and the British Parliament. She is not afraid to hold the older generation responsible for the mess our planet is in. She is not afraid to call out governments and corporations to act responsibly and to help to clean up the mess that they have created, or have allowed to be created, all in the name of the mighty dollar…for profit in financial terms, and to hell with the environment on which we all depend for life itself.
She is an amazing, caring, passionate, intelligent and very responsible little girl with a huge heart who deserves our respect and our support, so please buy the book….or at least read it….or view/listen to her speeches on Youtube – link below – and join in the fight for the survival of the earth and all life, (including your own), on it. The corporate world hate her and fear her – every time she speaks to an audience, more and more people get on board to help the climate crisis cause – so they try to discredit her, belittle her for her ‘simplistic ideals’ and accuse her parents of manipulating her. There have also been personal attacks linked to her autism and her physique. It is pathetic to attack a child who’s only interest is to save the earth which we all – even the corporate executives – depend on for life.
I can’t wait for her to become of voting age…to see politically where it will take her. This young lady will go far. Click on the link below to hear her speak.
I would be delighted if any other bloggers would like to share this blog post to help to get the word out about Greta and her quest. She, we, and our planet, need all the help we can muster. Many thanks.