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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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Critical Thinking is a collaborative, educational project relying on contributions from diverse sources.

Geopolitical reality - an introduction

Critical Thinking's task is to make sense of what happens in the world, ie. to understand cause and effect and identify levers for change. In so far as the official narrative for wars and other events seldom reflects reality, it is necessary to look back to trace the origins of conflict to identify the real aggressor. In looking for information and analysis we draw on many sources and writers. One source of independent analysis of geopolitics is Andrew Gavin Marshall who has written some excellent pieces.

Power Politics and the Empire of Economics: An Introduction by Andrew Gavin Marshall
The President sat and listened to his closest adviser as they plotted a strategy to maintain Western domination of the world economy. The challenge was immense: divisions between industrial countries were growing as the poor nations of the world were becoming increasingly united in opposition to the Western world order. From Africa, across the Middle East, to Asia and Latin America, the poor (or ‘developing’) countries were calling for the establishment of a ‘New International Economic Order,’ one which would not simply serve the interests of the United States, Western Europe, and the other rich, industrial nations, but the world as a whole. It was on the 24th of May 1975 when President Gerald Ford was meeting with his Secretary of State and National Security Adviser, Henry Kissinger, easily the two most powerful political officials in the world at the time. Kissinger told the President: “The trick in the world now is to use economics to build a world political structure.

The piece is excellent as far as it goes but is potentially misleading in one significant respect. Marshall fingers the US as the primary culprit which is true at a superficial level but deeper it can be seen that the US empire is a lever of power of the Structural Elite.

http://freecriticalthinking.org/images/images/worldnutshell560.png

Layers of deception

In the final decade of the 20th century and before 9/11 created the pretext for the phoney "war on terror", there was the breakup of the former Yugoslavia. The centrepiece of the official narrative, to justify military intervention in the region, was the alleged massacre of Bosnian Muslims at Srebrenica.

The following article is instructive not only in respect of Srebrenica but as a case study in critical thinking, describing the layers which make up the narrative and the process by which truth is revealed.

The Srebrenica Massacre as Paradigmatic Media Spin by Stephen Karganovic
A careful study of the chronology of events coupled with official utterances suggests that several years passed before Western policy makers realized the additional potential of Srebrenica as a rationale for “humanitarian interventions” against sovereign states, or the now famous doctrine of R2P. The first application of this doctrine, with the moralistic cry of “not another Srebrenica” was Kosovo in 1999, where the Albanian minority was supposedly in danger of being exterminated by the Serbs. More applications using the same invented pretext followed in Iraq, where Saddam Hussein was allegedly at the point of exterminating Kurds, then in Libya and Syria, as all will easily recall. In each of these campaigns mounted to destroy governments unfriendly to Western political interests emotional reliance on the level one misrepresentation of what happened in Srebrenica was the motivating factor and relentless media promotion was the key element in its political success.

Read more...

You are what you eat

A rule of thumb for healthy living is: the more processed your food, the less nutritious and healthy it is. Waste and by-products from manufacturing processes are now incorporated into products and sold misleadingly as food. Consequently, avoiding processed food is a good maxim for health. However, if your food has been modified before it is harvested, what protection is left?

“Altered Genes, Twisted Truths” : A Challenge to Monsanto by Colin Todhunter
Attorney Steven Druker's New Book
In a challenge delivered to Monsanto’s headquarters on May 20, 2015, US public interest attorney Steven Druker calls on that corporation to find any inaccurate statements of fact in his new book:
Altered Genes, Twisted Truth – How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public.

Monsanto captured food regulation on Ronald Reagan's watch in the 1980s and the US Food and Drug Administration has been complicit in covering up the company's crimes ever since. Should the TransPacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) come into force, the march of GMO foods will become unstoppable and they will infect the entire food chain. We risk sowing the seeds of our own destruction and that of many other species with the willing connivance of those supposedly representing our interests. This one facet of these trade agreements alone should consign them to oblivion.

Just keep going

 Luke Rudkowski of wearechange.org put out this thought provoking video:

In those dark times, when the task ahead seems impossible, realisation that most people have the motivation and will to do good in life nourishes belief in a better future.

The choice is between fear and love.