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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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When the tower of lies crumbles in the sunlight, shout "terror!"

Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden, Julian Assange et al have exposed the stench of corruption and criminality rising from western rulers. How to make people "move on"? Scream terror as loud and long as you can through every available medium.

Al-Qaeda to the Rescue By Pepe Escobar 

"Gentlemen, we have a golden opportunity here. We are under siege by defector spy Edward Snowden - liberated by the Soviets - and that terrorist hack Greenwald. Snowden may be winning: even among US public opinion, there's a growing perception we may be more of a threat than al-Qaeda.

So we must show we are vigilantly protecting our freedoms. Yes; we're gonna scream Terra, Terra, Terra!" 

Big tobacco and Free Trade Agreements

Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), negotiated in secret, are the mechanism by which the ruling elites control the political agenda to increase their wealth and power. Once in place, these FTAs supersede national sovereignty and are irreversible which makes a mockery of democracy. The media smokescreen, over the UK government's reversal on plain cigarette packaging legislation, would have us believe Lynton Crosby's lobbying on behalf of Philip Morris accounts for the change of heart on the part of the UK government but this parochial slant obscures how international trade agreements have once again overridden the democratic will of the people. Linda Kaucher explains:

Why the UK government’s betrayal on plain cigarette packaging legislation is an international trade issue


Cooperation is essential for survival

Contrary to what game theorists claim, evolution punishes the selfish according to a  recent study from Michigan State University.

Evolution Punishes Selfish People, Game Theory Study Says by Shaunacy Ferro

How long can you get ahead by screwing other people over?

Hat tip to Arvind for this


Bush's poodle and Obama's bitches

America and the UK share a lot of history and, in spite of America's birth in the war of independence, have pursued common interests. However, until the "special relationship", fostered by Margaret Thatcher with Ronald Reagan, the UK has always maintained its own foreign policy, occasionally without the support of the US, most notably in Suez during the 1950s. Even Thatcher acted as an occasionally critical friend to America.

Bush's "war on terror" heralded a new era in which the then prime minister, Tony Blair, committed the UK to stand "shoulder to shoulder" with America in 2001. The UK has been complicit in illegal wars, rendition, torture and escalating drone warfare ever since. The Guardian's recent article on funding for GCHQ reveals just how much of a US imperial satellite, the UK has become. So much for independence.

Exclusive: NSA pays £100m in secret funding for GCHQ