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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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Democracy's not just an anniversary

After the charade of the Magna Carta celebrations, against a background of illegal detentions and the tightening noose of state control over our lives, the world moves on. But away from the gaze of the media, many folk are exploring the concept of democracy and constitutional change.

There is a second charter which not many people have heard of, the Charter of the Forest, that was for the common people rather than the barons.

Butter, bacon and fire: reclaiming the two Great Charters
Magna Carta is only one of the two Great Charters of English Liberty, writes Peter Linebaugh – and we should reclaim them both from the conservatives and neoliberals

The major obstacle to change is the global banking and monetary system but most protest and activism is misdirected and fragmented. Of course, we need to fight to protect the vulnerable and the environment because many consequences of the current system are irreversible in their effect - eg. one cannot bring people back from the dead - but unless we change the system, activists and campaigners are losing a war of attrition. More and more people are becoming victims of this abusive political economy.

Critical Thinker Janos uses a metaphor for our predicament: most activists are busy fishing babies out of the river as they float by, we can't get them all out but we do what we can. What we need to do is go upstream, to find out who's throwing babies into the river and stop them.

A common platform to unite dissent is essential if we're to reverse the descent into totalitarianism, war and oppression. The June Magna Carta special edition of the Runnymede Gazette lays out a Declaration of Grievance which could form a common platform for people to unite around for change. It's only two pages but lays out 12 grievances. It's a modest start but we need scale to face down the banks. Together we're irresistible.

From Korean War to ISIS

A couple of days ago, James Perloff explained to the Corbett Report what his extensive research had revealed about the Korean war which began 65 years ago. Korea is commonly referred to as the forgotten war (which may suit some) because once you start scratching the surface so many inconsistencies are revealed: the build up of communist forces in North Korea funded by US dollars, channelled through the Soviet Union; Stalin's bungling in not realising that as a senior member of the UN he could have vetoed going to war; and the removal of General McCarthur for doing his job, ie. waging a successful war in pushing the communist forces north, almost to the Chinese border.

 


Significantly from the Korean War on, America, through various UN mandates, has tried to cloak declarations of war as humanitarian acts of world policing. Perloff almost trips over his words when he realises the obvious similarities between the emergence of ISIS and the template used for fomenting war, as seen in this conflict 65 years earlier.

In this respect, further detailed knowledge of the Korean war is essential when trying to contextualise and somehow begin to address our world today: Tony Cartalucci's recent article explores how the US is planning an invasion of Syria on the premise of restoring order, through buffer zones, to a region in absolute chaos due, in no small part, to US funding and meddling....

 .....It is very important that we have the continuity, the context all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle so we are not just looking at 9/11 but understand everything that has brought us here; the world wars, Tonkin Gulf, the Lusitania, the sinking of the Maine , all of these things that have progressively led America into the role of the world's policeman but ultimately a world government where our own sovereignty will be subverted. It is a long term plan and the Korean War is a piece of that Jigsaw puzzle.... James Perloff

Shut up, conspiracy theorist!

CIA drug and arms dealing, JFK's murder, 9/11, WMDs in Iraq, creation of ISIS, MH17, Aleppo chemical attacks, Charlie Hebdo, global warming alarmism, Bilderberg etc. etc. etc. are all "conspiracy theories", a term established by the CIA to discredit those who seek to expose their black ops. But most so called "conspiracy theories" are far more consistent with the facts than the fantasies promoted by our media and corrupt institutions.

Many of these "conspiracy theories" are subsequently validated by later disclosures. Wikileaks and whistleblowers are now getting relevant information out much earlier and more and more conspiracy theories are being validated as fact.

Read more...

The cookie crumbles

At root, the current political economy is a simple scam in which the Structural Elite extract all the wealth, while the rest of us are driven into debt (public and private) slavery. The political economy foments wars, inequality, deprivation, oppression and environmental destruction. It corrupts all our institutions and rewards psychopathy.

It is also an elaborate scam, in so far as the truth is obscured by layers of arcane political, legal, commercial and economic complexity but the artist, Mark McGowan (aka. Artist Taxi Driver), gives a simple but accurate, devastating critique of how the world works that anyone can understand.

In this 30 minute video, McGowan covers the three fundamental economic flaws relating to land, money and labour and the concentration of wealth and power. But if you're short of time, start at around 12 minutes in for the biscuit game (from the Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists). It clearly explains how, using biscuits (cookies), the rich get richer and the rest of us get poorer.

That's the way the cookie crumbles and we're left with the crumbs.