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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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GooTube

James Corbett's recent daily thought makes disturbing listening. He describes sinister goings-on in the past 2 days with Google censoring political content from alternative news/information and opinion channels.

 

Antiwar and Luke Rudowski's We are Change have suffered financially. Rudowski explains in the film at the foot of this post, how YouTube suddenly cut off funding for his work from advertising revenues. The changes reduced web traffic to the YouTube We are Change account; the number of hits suddenly dropped to 2,000 in the past week - the site has over 200,000 subscribers!

The Corbett Report, although not reliant on YouTube advertising has nevertheless also experienced a sudden and significant drop in YouTube views.

We shouldn't be surprised considering the links between Google and the NSA revealed in 2009. Google, in more recent times, has been exposed as a lobbying powerhouse through it's now once a week meetings at the White House. Google's manipulation of user news feeds and search algorithms were reported recently in Daily Pickings.

The restructuring and streamlining of YouTube, since being bought by Google, has turned it into GooTube; Corbett explains how the former top one hundred page of YouTube often brought viewers into contact with content they may never otherwise encounter. He believes this is why his 9/11 film went viral. However, since the YouTube favourites page was ditched in favour of a page based on each account's viewing history, such films are much less likely to go viral today. This is digital "kettling" of controversial material on YouTube.

What to do?

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War is a racket

Friday's Daily Pickings on Ukraine described domestic jockeying for power and shifting alliances, with US President Barak Obama appearing to pull back from the brink of war with Russia. But the danger is by no means past because there are plenty of voices in Washington baying for blood.

US House Votes 348-48 To Arm Ukraine, Russia Warns Lethal Aid Will “Explode The Whole Situation” By Tyler Durden
Yesterday, in a vote that largely slid under the radar, the House of Representatives passed a resolution urging Obama to send lethal aid to Ukraine, providing offensive, not just “defensive” weapons to the Ukraine army – the same insolvent, hyperinflating Ukraine which, with a Caa3/CC credit rating, last week started preparations to issue sovereign debt with a US guarantee, in essence making it a part of the United States (something the US previously did as a favor to Egypt before the Muslim Brotherhood puppet regime was swept from power by the local army).

As US Marine Corps Major General Smedley D. Butler wrote in 1935, "war is a racket". Incentives for war abound: the Strategic Elite (SE) accrue greater wealth and power; politicians divert attention from their appalling domestic and economic record and, of course, there's money to be made in the military-industrial complex.

Blood Money: These Companies and People Make Billions of Dollars from War by Lily Dane
    In the George Orwell classic 1984, there is a state of perpetual war between the nations of Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia. The enemy in the conflict is ambiguous, and the battlefield exists in an elusive and distant land. The enemy could be Eurasia one day, and Eastasia the next, but that location is really insignificant.
    The mission of perpetual war for these superpowers is to justify psychological and physical control over their populations, to keep their people busy, fearful and hateful towards the enemy. The perpetual war also serves as an excuse for a nation’s failings and shortcomings. The economy, the labor force and industry are all centered around war rather than consumer goods. People live a miserable existence with poverty and no hope of improving their standard of living.

War can only be eliminated through transformation of the political economy to remove the incentives for war.

Ukraine jiggery pokery

Robert Parry's recent post on Ukraine tells of the current manoeuvring at the heart of the Kiev Government. Like so much that has been observed but barely reported since the Maidan coup of Feb. 2014, violence and menace are never far from the surface.

Robert Parry's article pre-dates President Poroshenko's dismissal of fellow Oligarch, Igor Kolomoisky, the man who following the ousting of Viktor Yanukovych was rewarded with his own province, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, to control with his personal, private army.

Kolomoisky is believed to have purchased influence inside the US government through his behind-the-scenes manipulation of Ukraine’s largest private gas firm, Burisma Holdings. Last year, the shadowy Cyprus-based company appointed Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, to its board of directors.

Unhappy with recent government investigations of his business dealings, Kolomoisky used his private army to storm the offices of a majority state owned company from which his "man" running the company had just been ousted by President Poroshenko:

 

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Centre of power shifting eastwards?

Structural Elite power has coalesced around the privately owned US Federal Reserve Board since it was established in 1913 - indicative of the power of the banking cartel families.

The US dollar has been the world's reserve currency since the Bretton Woods agreement (1944) and is backed by US military might guaranteeing Saudi Arabia's dominance of the oil market. Any country attempting to sell oil in currencies other than US dollars is "dealt with". For example: Saddam Hussein planned to sell Iraqi oil in Euros and Muammar Gaddafi instigated the Gold Dinar (backed by gold) to trade Libya's oil.

It is no coincidence that the 7 countries, on the 2003 "hit-list", referred to by General Wesley Clark, operated central banks independent of the global banking cartel.

The China dominated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), having attracted support from the UK and Europe, is beginning to eclipse the US sponsored IMF and World Bank and is indicative of waning US power. But as James Corbett observes, it could be to create an East/West dialectic. George Orwell's 1984 foretold something similar. With Henry Kissinger involved in negotiations with the Chinese, the intent is unlikely to be benign.

China’s AIIB: What You Need to Know by James Corbett
China is a rising power. The US is in decline. Washington-led organizations like the IMF are no longer reflective of the true economic balance of power in the world, and thus the US is concerned about the rise of counter-institutions like the BRICS, the AIIB, etc.