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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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Double jeopardy

What a strange paradoxical world we live in? The French, US and UK governments have been funding, training and supplying arms to Al Qaeda affiliated groups to conduct regime change in Libya and Syria and yet, Moazzam Begg, who had been detained in Afghanistan in 2002 and incarcerated at Bagram and then Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, is to appear in court on charges related to terrorist offences. More likely, he has been arrested to stop him digging for further evidence of complicity in torture by senior politicians and civil servants in the UK.

Moazzam Begg a Political Prisoner Again By Craig Murray

Meanwhile, Syrians don't want foreign intervention.

Syrians across the Country Say No to Terrorism and Foreign Interference By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

There is a mass movement across the country against foreign interference.  This mass movement is not being reported by the Western media.

Surveillance and psyops

"...the most powerful means of control available to a modern capitalist state is not coercion or imprisonment, but the ability to shape the world of ideas." - Antonio Gramsci

If you are connected to the internet or have a mobile phone, you are a target for surveillance and propaganda (psyops). The convenience of shopping at Amazon is a double edged sword.

What Happens When You Marry The NSA's Surveillance Database With Amazon's Personalized Marketing? By Glyn Moody

Should you stand against injustice or visibly express dissent, you risk being targeted to undermine your credibility and reputation.

How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations By Glenn Greenwald


Shock therapy for Ukraine

Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine is essential reading to understand how the corporate agenda is imposed around the world. Most countries have endured the IMF/World Bank prescriptions of privatising water and utilities, the imposition of unaffordable debt accompanied by the creation of ruling oligarchies to enforce payment of tribute to the global elites.

In Chile, one of the first "experiments" to test the theories of the Chicago Business School, the doctrine was applied with brutal force by Augusto Pinochet. Over the years, the process has become refined and more subtle but the basic approach prevails: undermine the legitimate government by instigating dissent and sabotage (often over years), add in some false flag activity to precipitate a crisis and then impose a new "democratic" regime. There are many examples described in Klein's book. The plan for Ukraine is unfolding before our eyes.

Ukraine’s Sickness and Europe’s Cure: Neo-Liberalism and Neo-Fascism Join Hands By Eric Draitser


Critical examination of GM foods and the environment

Yesterday's Daily Pickings referred to the desperate need for critical thinking in education to meet the challenges of the 21st Century. Yet many issues cannot wait for education to catch up with current debate which often consists of false assertions being repeated until they are accepted as truth. Prime examples are the justifications for war. The US and UK repeatedly claimed Saddam Hussein possessed WMDs but these lies were only exposed when they could no longer be sustained, ie. once Iraq had been decimated and the Middle East thrown into further chaos. The trick was repeated in Libya (the "responsibility to protect" lie) and is now in progress in Syria and Iran ("humanitarian" pretext in the case of the former and fictitious WMDs in Iran).

One contentious issue in the current secretive negotiations of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is GM foods which are widely consumed in the US but resisted by Europeans. However, false assertions about the safety of GM foods in respect of health and the environment have been made by Anne Glover, chief scientific adviser of the European Commission. As a biotech "insider" she can hardly be regarded as impartial and clearly isn't.

Human Health and the GMO Industry: Puppets in High Places By Colin Todhunter