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Daily Pickings is a blog on issues and events related to the work of the Critical Thinking project and invariably references videos, articles, books and academic papers. Accumulation of these materials adds to the "Critical Thinking reference library". Use the search facility to find articles on specific topics or you can browse the titles of every Dailly Pickings article since inception via the Site Map for which you need to be registered.

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Responsibility to protect?

Yesterday, in the British Parliament, the UK Prime Minister promoted Israel's right to "protect itself," completely ignoring Israel's crimes against the Palestinians in Gaza, effectively a concentration camp in which basic amenities are denied (or yet again destroyed).

When Muammar Gaddafi sought to expel Al Qaeda from Benghazi, he incurred the wrath of Cameron who, with UN backing under the "responsibility to protect" (R2P) resolution, joined in the bombing of Libya back to the dark ages.

Where is the responsibility to protect Palestinians?

The New York Times claimed the massacre of innocents in Gaza was essential.

Editorial Position of the New York Times: “Thumbs Up for Gaza Slaughter” By Norman Solomon

Is it any wonder western hypocrisy is decried by so many.

Only truth can save us

As long as we deny truth, misery and suffering are our destiny because it allows those who perpetuate violence on their fellow humans to dominate.

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

As long as the perpetrators of 9/11 remain hidden. As long as we continue to believe the lies used to justify invasion and killing on an industrial scale in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Gaza. As long as we continue to believe we're on the side of the righteous who manufacture and exaggerate terrorist threats to justify police states and perpetual war. As long as we accept media lies such as 9/11 was orchestrated by 19 Saudi hijackers, that Saddam Hussein possessed WMDs, that Muammar Gaddafi was going to commit a massacre in Benghazi, that Bashar Assad used chemical weapons on his own people, that Vladimir Putin is responsible for the violence in Ukraine and that M17 was shot down by Russian dissidents. As long as we believe Israel is anything other than a rogue state committing ethnic cleansing and expanding its territory, funded and supported by the US government.

As long as we deny that our economic and political systems allow the narrative to be manipulated and atrocities to continue under the false pretext of "keeping us safe", the spiral of decline of our civilisation will continue.

As long as we accept all this, we are responsible.

"To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget. " - Arundhati Roy

MH17 - Cui Bono?

The vital question to ask when alleged "terrorist" atrocities occur is "who benefits?"

In the case of the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government last year, the western backed rebels seeking "regime change" had everything to gain and little to lose by using chemical weapons, whereas Bashar Assad would have reinforced his pariah status by their use. All the evidence points to repeated false flag attacks to implicate him.

Similarly, who has most to lose by the downing of MH17 and who benefits?

Cui Bono?
Flight MH17 Down Over Ukraine By Tony Cartalucci
Flying over warzone Ukraine, the probable & convenient happens.

At no juncture during the Ukrainian crisis could the downing of Malaysian Boeing 777 flight MH17 have been more convenient for NATO and its proxy regime in Kiev. Kiev's forces were being picked apart in eastern Ukraine with several units encircled and destroyed. In the west of the country, dissent was growing by Ukrainians unwilling to march off to fight in the east. NATO's attempts to bait Russia into moving into Ukrainian territory and shift global opinion against Moscow had repeatedly failed.
The final card to be played by the US was another round of sanctions that almost immediately was ridiculed as ineffective and impotent. Even US corporate-financier interests condemned the latest round of sanctions claiming they were "unilateral" in nature and thus limited US enterprise from interacting with Russia while leaving European competitors free to move into the void.  An effective US policy of confronting, containing, and undermining Russia would require multilateral sanctions with almost universal support - but the impetus for such sweeping sanctions did not exist - until now.

In the immediate aftermath of the atrocity, the elite controlled media spun into action to demonise Russia and Vladimir Putin.

It Was Putin's Missile! By Pepe Escobar

While US warmongers capitalise on the tragedy to further their strategic goals.

MH17: World See Tragedy, US Sees “Game Changer” By Tony Cartalucci

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power made a series of baseless, contradictory accusations aimed at politically exploiting the tragic loss of Malaysia Boeing 777 flight MH17 with nearly 300 civilians on board.

Banking union in Europe

European opposition to TTIP  has focused on GMOs, chemicals, privatisation of public services in health and beyond, together with the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) proposals.

There are two sides to this transatlantic agreement. The US has made some attempt to reign in its banks, albeit the Dodd Frank Act  is too big and complex to be effective, but the EU is paving the way to grant even more power to the banking industry under supervision of the European Central Bank (ECB), run by ex-Goldman Sachs banker, Mario Draghi.

In the aftermath of the subprime mortgage crisis of 2008, which led to massive taxpayer funded bailouts, there were calls, on both sides of the Atlantic, to break up banks deemed to be too big to fail (TBTF).  But in Europe things are moving in the opposite direction.

Why Are TBTF Banks So Happy With The EU Banking Union? by Don Quijones

On Tuesday, November 4th of this year, supervision of the Eurozone’s 130 biggest banks, representing 80% of total financial assets, will be passed from national authorities into the welcoming hands of the ECB. From that day on, European banking union will be a reality.

Hat tip to Gerry for this

People across the EU and US need to join forces to kill off TTIP and take back control by demanding that the banks be broken up.

Goldman Sachs and the other major banks precipitated the subprime crisis, manipulated LIBOR and the foreign exchange markets and laundered money on behalf of drug cartels, yet they're being given free reign to bring us to disaster.

The lunatics have the keys to the asylum.