Tuesday, 31 August 2021

Elimination vs Mitigation, Acceptable Horror and Externalised Costs - problem solving for whom?


"We need to address the societal well-being of our nation, not just the economic well-being: our people are telling us that politics are not delivering and meeting their expectations. This is not woolly, it’s critical.”  Jacinda Ardern

Amrit Lohia tweeted the following:

Giving everyone "access to water and food" requires socialism. Eradicating SARS-CoV-2 also requires a shift to a socialist model where we recognise our responsibility to protect each other. Tagging in @coreluminous who can probably explain this better than I can.

I replied:  I think you have distilled it into its purest form.

"where we recognise our responsibility to protect each other." 

That is the essence of the situation with regards to COVID, Climate Change, pollution, poverty, environmental degradation, Racism, Misogyny etc.

Then I wrote some more.

I would call it a pro-social model rather than ideological Socialism.


Management of the shared commons implies duty of care to all who share the commons. This demands that decisions on policy and practical implementation are grounded in equity and mutual aid and are based on evidence rather than upon ideological belief or the opinion of any one group.

Externalised Costs
.

Costs incurred by producers or consumers any other actors acting within the shared commons, that are not resolved, that are passed on to others who bear the burden are anti-social, profoundly so.

This is where I part with existing ideological Socialism which seeks equitable pay and conditions for all, whilst still allowing externalised costs to be accrued. Externalised costs is  the root of all the problems we face, globally. 

Resolution will be of that issue will be complex, that's well understood. 

That said it is attachments to power and status which make it more complicated than it needs to be.

Thus a reckoning with power and status lies ahead, it cannot be avoided.

Does this reckoning have to descend into a power struggle?

Only if those who hold asymmetric power choose to make it so.

Those who hold positions of power and status could choose to share that power, and they could manage it slowly enough to empower the corrective changes required that would protect us all as we move through this phase.

That choice is real.

To recap:

Elimination of community transmission is possible.

It's really simple. Virus needs to date a new human host, or it dies out. It is a complex operation to support a population to do EoCT.  Professor Gabriel Scally is a highly respected, deeply experienced public health professional and scholar. He is in no doubt whatsoever that elimination of community transmission is the best possible strategy under the current circumstances, where in the UK we are still at less than 20% population infected, and globally much less than that. There is an immense amount of harm to prevent, to avoid and it makes no sense to push the global population into harms way.



What complicates it are matters of power, wealth and status. That much is clear.

1. there's a world of difference between eradication and elimination of community transmission.


2. New Zealand is not in complete isolation from the rest of the world. Tourism is not an essential human activity. Quarantine can manage necessary travel.

3. Proof of concept is 1.8 billion people who were not faced with multiple national level lockdowns, health care and economic harms over extended periods. 

4. Proof of concept is variants from areas that rejected elimination strategy arriving and breaking through quarantine systems.

5. Australia’s official COVID-19 strategy, suppression, doesn’t have an epidemiological definition. 

“Suppression isn’t a known technical term,” says epidemiologist Raina MacIntyre, head of the Biosecurity Program at the Kirby Institute and Professor of Global Biosecurity.

6. “It’s either elimination or disease control.”

‘Disease control’ means reducing the number of cases to a locally acceptable level, but community transmission may still occur. 

7. In England that successful disease control is defined by Johnson as being 1000 deaths by Covid19 per week. No mention of the acceptable number of cases of chronic disease, Long Covid.


8. So, if I was one of those 'acceptable deaths' would I agree with Johnson?

If you or your beloved, or your son or daughter was one of those 'acceptable deaths' would you agree with Johnson?

9.  And the other more harsh reality of each death by covid is this:

These are truly awful, horrific deaths. Really, really grim.

https://vox.com/2021/2/20/22280817/covid-19-deaths-us-nursing-home-icu-ventilator

Oxygen depletion, organ failure, death. Terror, despair and horror over the course of ten days or so. One thousand times every week. Thousands of families. Hundreds of ICU teams

Who decides these deaths are acceptable? On what metric?

10. In another context, how many terrorist bombings would be considered an acceptable level?

Is it the case that the 241,000 Afghani deaths of the past 20 years are acceptable to UK citizens, but the 404 combat deaths of troops are not? 

11. Who makes these calls about policy and public health strategy, which have such immense impact the shared commons, and on what basis? 

12. Is there a need now for urgent collective decision making and collective action to prevent further avoidable harm, when we are in a situation that affects us all?

Kindest regards

Corneilius

"Do what you love, it is your gift to universe."

Monday, 30 August 2021

The best leverage we have is collective solidarity.

The best leverage we have is collective solidarity. 
Acting together, we have each others back.

stopping the spread is spreading the love

https://twitter.com/SafeEdForAll_UK

The best tool for change we have is, and has always been, social solidarity, collective conjoined action, similar to a general strike. 

Specifically some kind of mass grass roots action such as a rent/mortgage/school strike or boycott, or demonstration gatherings of parents, students and teachers outside Government buildings, or outside Churches, Broadcasters, News Paper offices or even local schools which we refuse to open under unsafe conditions, citing two legal frameworks for our action - the UN Convention on the Rights of The Child, and The Right to Health, to protect our children and citing Duty of Care, Malfeasance and Misconduct in Public Office to bring this English Government, that is causing so much avoidable harm, to heel.

To assert our civic responsibility as mature citizens, to uphold our shared duty of care to our children, and to confront this Governments failures to meet their duty of care to all of us.

No more appeals. We must direct Government. The issue must be forced through.

This is unbridled, optimistic wishful thinking on my part, because to be honest, I really do not know how we resolve this. I understand that this Government, this English Government has an 80 seat majority. I understand that  this English Government has no moral standing, that it is utterly unwilling to acknowledge any of it's errors, mistakes or its deliberately bad policy decisions and is behaving as if it is above the Law, beyond reproach, immune to any accountability. This English Government is the perfect expression of an elective dictatorship.

If there are any decent Conservative MPs, they remain silent and cowed. Starmer supports this Government, no ifs or buts

I am at a loss on how to prevent the next wave of death and disease that this English Government is about to inflict upon the English population via our children.

Here are some elements of Laws about protecting our children's rights, their health and safety, asserting the duty of care that all schools (and Governments) must uphold,  that I think every parent ought to become more familiar with


2. https://www.bmj.com/content/374/bmj.n1794/rr-1 : defining what elimination of community transmission means

3. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)00978-8/fulltext : evidence that elimination of community transmission strategy prevents the harms associated with 'slow spread' mitigation policy aka 'living with the virus' ideology.

4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duty_of_care_in_English_law : Duty of Care English Tort Law.

5. https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/defences-duress-and-necessity : What rights, duties or protections do we have, under law, to prevent a greater harm or a greater crime?

6. https://www.lawtonslaw.co.uk/resources/misfeasance-in-public-office : Malfeasance in Public Office

7. https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/misconduct-public-office : Misconduct in Public Office

We must build a solidarity like none ever seen in English history. 

A general strike : wishful thinking that we English would really do what it takes to protect our children from harm.

Kindest regards

Corneilius

"Do what you love, it is your gift to universe."

Sunday, 29 August 2021

A general strike : wishful thinking that we English would do what it takes to protect our children from harm.

This English Government failed to protect the the elders across the country who were living within care homes. There were over 530,000 tests carried out in the UK by 20 April 2020, yet this Government couldn’t test 25,000 people discharged from hospitals into care homes, after they had seen it spread rapidly through care homes in Italy, France and America.

This was deliberate action taken, in spite of ample well evidenced warnings and advice. 

Now as we arrive at the end of summer, 2021, it's about all our children. 

School starts in a few days. This English Government has failed to make our primary and secondary schools Covid safe. Scotland's children are already in school, and Delta Variant Covid cases are rising rapidly. The same is guaranteed to happen here. Delta Variant is having a significant impact on children in America and in Israel, and elsewhere. Many parents are at their wits ends, really distressed by the current situation.


What will it take to get the adults of England to step up and protect the children of England from being forced into harms way?

Since February 2020 this English Government has refused to place effective quarantine restrictions on our borders, and knowingly allowed the virus to be seeded into and across the country on multiple occasions, citing 'free trade' rather than 'free movement' as the basis of their decision.

"Free trade is being choked and that is no fault of the people, that’s no fault of individual consumers, I am afraid it is the politicians who are failing to lead.

And in that context, we are starting to hear some bizarre autarkic rhetoric, when barriers are going up, and when there is a risk that new diseases such as coronavirus will trigger a panic and a desire for market segregation that go beyond what is medically rational to the point of doing real and unnecessary economic damage, then at that moment humanity needs some government somewhere that is willing at least to make the case powerfully for freedom of exchange, some country ready to take off its Clark Kent spectacles and leap into the phone booth and emerge with its cloak flowing as the supercharged champion, of the right of the populations of the earth to buy and sell freely among each other.

And here in Greenwich in the first week of February 2020, I can tell you in all humility that the UK is ready for that role."

There it is. We do not need, in this internet age, to travel during a pandemic. Tourism is lethal luxury. Business meetings can be conducted online, screen to screen. We can still buy and sell freely within and across tightly quarantined borders - goods can flow in spite of the global pandemic. Goods are not a vector of transmission - human beings are.

As it happens the primary block on the flow of goods within England is Brexit. Irony upon irony, as tourists carrying the virus travel freely and workers who could move goods are impeded.

This English Government refused to make resources available to enable find, test, trace, support and isolate as a local government and local Health Authority run system, designed to stop community transmission of the virus locally across England.

Instead this English Government deliberately outsourced the essential epidemic utilities of PPE supply, of testing and of contact tracing through private business contracts which were handed to crony's - to inexperienced people previously associated with the government, thus wasting precious time, wasting borrowed money and leading directly to avoidable fatalities, avoidable chronic disease and avoidable economic hardships as those losses of PPE impacted health care, the lack of test and trace lost track of viral transmission and as infected people continued to go to work, rather than isolate because there was no financial salary protection incentive in place for them to do so. All 100% predictable and avoidable. Deliberate action.

This English Government Failed to protect the UK Population. Deliberate action in spite of ample evidenced warnings and advice.

This English Government Failed to protect UK School Children. Deliberate action in spite of ample evidenced warnings and advice.

This English Government Failed to protect Afghani citizens who helped with the occupation and the utterly corrupt attempt at imposing Democratic Government upon Afghanistan. Deliberate action in spite of ample evidenced warnings and advice.

Defence minister Ben Wallace ignored a letter written three months ago by 45 retired senior officers requesting that urgent action be taken immediately to evacuate those Afghani who worked with the British Military and other staff over the past 20 years, before drawing down troop numbers.

Former Chief of the General Staff Lord Dannatt speaking on evacuation of Afghan interpreters: 

“Many of us have been pleading with the government in the last two or three years and more vociferously in the last month or two to get this aspect of it right, because our reputation will be trashed, our moral position compromised and in future conflicts people will be very wary about potentially coming to work with us.

When 45 senior military retired officers including many ex chief of defence staff write an open letter to the PM, Foreign Secretary, Home Sec, Defence Sec- [on interpreters] and it’s not really taken seriously then I think there’s a gap in who’s listening to whom in govt atm."

All deliberate actions - not incompetence, at least not the kind where they tried, honestly, and failed. And then took considered corrected action to address the failures. Nothing of the sort. Instead we are treated to gaslighting, scapegoating, blame avoidance, denial of responsibility - all deliberate action.

Keir Starmer has supported this Government all the way through. No ifs, no buts.
This English Government, the enfeebled Parliament, the supine opposition: the enemy within.

This English Government: the most consistent threat to the health and safety of the English people. Inaction on Climate Change, Environmental degradation, Air Pollution, Plastics, Processed Foods, COVID, Austerity and amongst all this, they are exporting weaponry for warfare in Yemen and elsewhere - all in pursuit of profits, as English billionaires increase their wealth and power and more and more English citizens come to rely upon 'uplifting' food banks. 

Treasury head Rishi Sunak installs luxuries in one of his homes during Parliament summer holidays, whilst planning to remove £20 'uplift' from Universal Credit payments to people in poverty. Foreign Secretary Raab on a £40,000 beach lounger as Afghanistan is allowed to fall into chaos. 

This English Government: a toxic, predatory network of institutionalised bullies, their institutions, their working class mercenaries and their middle class enablers.

Until we, the English people admit this, and for as long as we, the English people, deny this, it will continue. Nationalistic cant and flag waving in the face of this much harm causation is deeply, deeply anti-patriotic!

Rioting, appealing for change is all futile. Neither tactic has ever delivered the results the English people needed. Not once.

The best leverage we have is collective solidarity. 

The best tool we have is a general strike, specifically a rent/mortgage/school strike, citing two frameworks - the UN Convention on the Rights of The Child, and The Right to Health, to protect our children and citing Duty of Care, Malfeasance and Misconduct in Public Office to bring this English Government that is causing so much harm to heel.

This is unbridled, optimistic wishful thinking on my part, because to be honest, I really do not know how we resolve this.

I am at a loss on how to prevent the next wave of death and disease that this English Government is about to inflict upon the English population via our children.

Here are some elements of Laws about protecting our children's rights, their health and safety, asserting the duty of care that all schools (and Governments) must uphold,  that I think every parent ought to become more familiar with


2. https://www.bmj.com/content/374/bmj.n1794/rr-1 : defining what elimination of community transmission means

3. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)00978-8/fulltext : evidence that elimination of community transmission strategy prevents the harms associated with 'slow spread' mitigation policy aka 'living with the virus' ideology.


5. https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/defences-duress-and-necessity : What rights, duties or protections do we have, under law, to prevent a greater harm or a greater crime?

6. https://www.lawtonslaw.co.uk/resources/misfeasance-in-public-office : Malfeasance in Public Office

7. https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/misconduct-public-office : Misconduct in Public Office

We must build a solidarity like none ever seen in English history. 

A general strike : wishful thinking that we English would really do what it takes to protect our children from harm.


Kindest regards

Corneilius

"Do what you love, it is your gift to universe."

Tuesday, 24 August 2021

Peace is more than the Absence of War - Songs from 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2018

I still cannot get my head and heart around the idea that USUK and other NATO armies have Christian chaplains and other religious pastoral officers embedded in their ranks. For me critical thinking is grounded in empathy. But that is one dynamic my empathy cannot reach. A spirituality that blesses organised violence makes no sense to me. Other than it presents the psychology of dominator cults as rather cruel, callous and manipulative. The concept of God as an absolute hierarch is a mirror image, a projection of the bully culture. 

So  yeah, I can understand that and I can also really feel for everyone affected and afflicted by the horrific Twin Towers violent mass murder terror horror.  I really do. 


I was never one to say "America got blowback, got a bit of what it dished out, fair enough!" That's just the most venal, unthinking, heartless and debased way of framing that event. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. 

I know a little about trauma, and how it afflicts one after the events, how it can linger and contaminate one's life ever after. For some the impact is worse than for others, because we are all different. Comparisons are less than useful unless they are attended to with great empathy.

I can kinda imagine the pain, terror, grief, hatred, confusion, despair, loss, of anyone in the many situations that  morning, in offices, stairwells, clambering for safety, having to walk over dead bodies, fleeing for safety without really knowing what was going on...  by thinking of all the times I felt terror, trauma, fear of death, horror, disgust and grief and multiply all that, and make it headpsinningly fast, turn my world upside down so I don't know what hit me until it's well over and the dust has settled feeling, the first quietness, that stillness when the grief really strikes.

I can kind of  imagine being on the streets seeing this happening, not knowing, making decisions to flee, or be rooted to the spot, to experience terror and horror and fear and outrage as a witness a mile away, two miles way, 100, 10,000 miles way, as it was then broadcast as a happening event.

Luck, accident of birth
 
I realise I am a very lucky human being to have been born where I was away from all that - it is a matter of luck and luck alone to be have been born in London, Paris, Rome, Moscow, Bejing, New York, or Baghdad, Gaza, Hanoi, Seoul, or born in Algeria, Libya, Yemen, Myanmar, or to find oneself as an indigenous peasant in South America being attacked by militarised police waging war against drugs, or to be civilian in any one of any number of wars, or a bystander or a target in any number of mass shootings, or caught up in riots and crackdowns. 

I have missed so much trouble by luck more than by effort on my part. A little humility goes a long way towards a more realistic view of our culture.

I have my story, it's a minor tragedy in comparison. You have yours. Mine seems big to me, impacts me daily, and yet I see that it is only that big because I am close to my own trauma, and obviously it seems so impactful.

So many people are made to suffer through no fault of their own, by this dominator cult we call 'civilisation' - hierarchies of wealth, power and violence.

Propaganda, lies and The War Against Terror.


"Everybody’s worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there’s a really easy way; stop  participating in it." Noam Chomsky

So when the propaganda vomits over the air waves and the light tubes this weekend, as they deny the War Crimes of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen and so many others  from Vietnam to Troy, from Agincourt to Trafalgar, from Pearl Harbour to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, from Gaza to Aleppo, from Sudan to Mali, I resist by reminding myself that war is the result of the behaviour of the leading bullies of the bully cult, Such behaviour is not an innate or inherent part of being human, it is a dirty, ugly, sick, depraved way of dominating for the sake of dominating..

I reject all fatalism about war's inevitability.

I have written anti-war, pro-peace, love songs for a nurturant culture for all of my working musicial life, and will continue to do so until I pass on or the wars stop - it's more likely the former, than the latter, yet my hope springs from the unfinished nature of life itself.

War is not inevitable. Dominator Cult is not inevitable.

Two score songs and more.

I have a reverbnation account that allows me to present MP3 files of my songs, for listening and for downloading, all for free and there's more than 50 there. The first six are arranged as my proPeace songs written in response/reaction to 9/11.

Below are descriptions of each song, why I wrote it, what the context was for each. Folk music is story telling.

Play them at least once this weekend, for me, for you, for your friends, for your children and for all their friends. Play them for the Afghani women and children, play them for the Yemeni people, the Libyans, The Iraqis, the New Yorkers, the people of Idlib, the people in Nablus and Hebron, play them the desperate people, the families with small children, trekking across strange lands, to get into in small dangerous boats to cross wide choppy waters just to find degrees of safety from wars our governments and oligarchy and businesses export for profit.

Play them to make sounds that are pro-peace, that are less anti-war than they are for peace.

I will be doing a  few live stream shows this weekend, from my Facebook Page and I will record them and put them up on youtube.

The theme will be this : Peace is more than the absence of war. Why can't we have Governments that avoid avoidable harms to human beings, to our shared environment, to the species that live with us? Is peace too much to ask for? 


1. TOWERS:  September 2001


This song was written the week after the awful 9/11 terror attacks in USA. This recording was taken at a Virtually Acoustic Club night, in Angel, London, first week in October, with additional layers added later on that month. I had been writing letters, sending emails and even spoke on LBC Radio phone in to John Gaunt, all to articulate my desire for honesty, healing, maturity and to urge the US and UK refrain from further violence, warning that it would only make matters worse globally.

I understood the pain, the trauma, the anger - on all sides. 

This song was my way of bringing that compassion to life in a song. It's not that I was 'right'. I was and remains that warfare is an abomination, is an irrational, reckless chaotic way to do foreign policy. Hierarchies of violence are toxic.


2.  WE ARE GOING TO WAR : November 2002


A youtuber account known as Edensounds, a purveyor of fine music, of selected tunes and mixes, well known in certain communities associated with electronic music dance events in London, (a stalwart of the DJ craft long before the acronym EDM was ever coined), made a video of the song, listing English/British Combat Deployments since 1900, noting that there was only 1 year where British troops did not engage in combat, in the 110 years between 1900 and 2010 when he made the video. 

Professional violence at the behest of the English parliamentarians has a long tradition, indeed. Ever since the New Model Army, and before. None of it is honourable. The two world wars erupted because the prevailing culture was a culture of violent Empire. Every war since then has emerged from the same dynamic. In that context no-one fights for ordinary people's freedoms - wars are fought to preserve violent hierarchies. That is why they fight.


This song was written in November 2002, while I was living in an art collective squat in North West London, Kensal Rise.   


What was this new war for? Was the outcome assured? Had we not already seen failure of War policy in Afghanistan? The Helmandi had not forgotten. Blair blatantly did not take heed of history.


3.  WAR TAX : December 2003


This song was written in late 2003, and produced in 2004, in response to the battle of Fallujah that March, This track was the first I produced in my first real home of my own, in London, after 6 years of homelessness after my flat was destroyed in a fire in 1997.

The tax bill to pay for war means all that cash and effort is not being directed into nurturing healthy communities, abolishing poverty, making life better for ordinary people.

Witnessing the appalling invasion of Iraq, in which it was already clear that it had brought, at great expense, chaos, blood, gore and horror to the people of Iraq and vast profits to Corporate America, I was really furious, and also terribly sad. I also safe in a new rented social housing home of my own after a long time of homelessness,  and I was imagining the unfortunate, innocent people of Iraq, so many displaced, surviving in camps, homeless due to the violence of USUK.

How lucky am I to live here, and not there, I would tell myself every morning, as I ate breakfast and took in the news.

4. DARK DESERT HIGHWAY. September 2003

A rewrite of Hotel California inspired, if that's the right word, by the images of US Military convoys on darkened desert roads heading towards Baghdad.
 

5. DEPLETED URANIUM BABIES May 2001

Inspired by Brian Haw's protest outside the Houses of Parliament in London. There were an inordinate or excessive degree of birth deformities post Gulf War I, across areas of Iraq exposed to aerial bombing with DU munitions.

Depleted Uranium munitions have been in use since the 1990s, in Iraq, The Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq II, Libya, Syria and elsewhere by US and NATO forces.. Arguments rage about the health impacts to troops and civilian populations exposed to DU. Typically exposure occurs within a war, where there exist multiple potential contaminants and stressors and not enough research has been diligently pursued to give definitive answers. The precautionary principle ought at the very least led to an examination of toxic effects before such munitions were ever deployed. No such examination was undertaken.



6. THUNDER RUN July 2003

Written after I read reports about an armoured 'charge' of US Military Battle group into Baghdad, The Thunder Run, which apparently involved competition between battlefield commanders for the glory of being the first to 'conquer' Baghdad. As the column was travelling through urban areas, they shot the shit out anything that moved or appeared in front, to the sides.... thousands of innocent civilians and their homes were raked with live rounds..

Then a year later it was being discusse in heroic, glowing terms as a suitable subject for a Hollywood movie.


7. ALL WAR IS CHILD ABUSE December 2018

My response to the odious  'celebrations' of the 'Victory' claimed by British Empire in November 1918. Nobody wins in war, apart from the war supplies industries. I wrote this song that summer, and blogged it in November 2019, with a more detailed piece exploring all the ways in which warfare is related to child abuse, from training young boys to become killers, to towns and cities destroyed, from comics and propaganda to toy soldiers and war movies.

I understood long, long ago that vast quantities of money that could have been used for social benefit was being wasted, and grifted into the bank accounts of already obscenely rich oligarchs.
 


We had known that environmental degradation, air pollution, climate change and poverty were becoming immense problems that really needed to be addressed. But no. 

"We are going to war, so PAY your taxes to guarantee our borrowings for this war!"


Afghanistan 2021 - USUK end the 20 year war, but deny it's harms.

In truth, nobody ever wins war. Everyone exposed to it loses, apart from the weapons suppliers and other material production logistics essential to the prosecution of any war.

Now, in August 2021, as the disastrous, pointless USUK and NATO war in Afghanistan is supposedly coming to an end and we witness yet again the reckless nature of the Governments involved. As it happens White Christian English Europeans have been importing war into Afghanistan for close on 200 years.

Given the most recent utter folly exposed in the awful, bungled, stupefyingly callous mismanagement of the 'withdrawal' of USUK/NATO Military forces (even as they still hold the threat of air warfare over the incoming Taliban as a future 'bargaining chip)' it should be blatantly obvious that the entire premise of imposing Democracy at the point of a gun is just a banal evil.  

Biden, Trump, Obama, Bush, Johnson, May, Cameron, Brown and Blair and their Cabinets are all War Mongering Hierarchs to the core. Watching the English Parliament discuss Afghanistan last week was sickening. Repeated claims that the mission was honourable defy all notions of honesty. These people are utter hypocrites. They do not represent ordinary, decent people and their dishonesty is repugnant, makes a mockery of the very idea of a healthy and honest democracy.

Refusing to acknowledge that their war mongering allows evil behaviour to prevail, collecting a wage from the tax payers. 

Clive Lewis

Here's an honest interview with MP Clive Lewis, who was in the Territorials, a Reserve of the British Army, and who is a combat veteran of Afghanistan, where he did one three month tour of duty.

One three month tour of duty, among men who had to do, who were ordered to do many, many more. I feel for the terrible burden those troops have to bear, to know they were placed where they had to kill or be killed, to endure loss, pain, woundings and grief and rage, and it turns out to have been a failure, because it was wholly illegitimate, even as they fought in good faith.

He speaks openly and honestly, informed by that experience and a wider understanding of the issues evolved since then. The theme was Afghanistan and his exclusion from being asked to speak in the House of Commons.





Kindest regards

Corneilius

"Do what you love, it is your gift to universe."

Friday, 20 August 2021

We are told the Taliban are Evil. They are not alone: Johnson, Blair and Bush et al, they are all in the same club.

Greta Thunberg wrote:

"You say you hear us, and that you understand the urgency... if you really understood the situation and still kept on failing to act, then you would be evil, and that I refuse to believe."


I have to say, she'd better believe it. We all should, really. 

It is not a negative approach to acknowledge harmful behaviour as harmful. It is, in fact, a hugely positive step as it is the first step towards resolving the problems caused by the harmful behaviour.

Our collective, cultural and individual refusal to admit, to acknowledge, to accept and integrate the evidence all around us, to understand what the corruption, the bloody wars, the environmental destruction really means - the evidence that our rulers and their sponsors are engaged in evil behaviours - is our weakest point. 

We dare not go there.

We will not be able to generate the international co-operation needed to create and apply adaptive strategies that help meet the evolving dynamics of climate change, that cease harmful toxifying industrial and agricultural practice, that start the processes of repair and recovery until we confront and cease the war mongering. This is clear. All war is evil, all war is abuse of power.

We install eco-lightbulbs hoping that will be enough. We recycle, we re-use, fingers crossed. We hope and we pray. We drive a Tesla car. Faint hope. Delusion.

Everyday evil is not dramatic, it is banal. It wears a suit, a neatly ironed shirt, sports boyishly tousled hair, wears a charming smile to mask lying eyes. Evil is looking at a bank balance or a power advantage and judging that to have more value than a human life, than the environment, than the well being of others.  That decision is evil. Adopting that stance and maintaining it is evil.

Evil is normalised.

Evil is normalised, so much so we do not see it. In order to see evil, we must know what it is. 

Evil is consciously allowing, enabling or otherwise permitting avoidable un-necessary harm in order to maintain wealth advantage and power disparity over others. Externalised costs are the very definition of evil. Somebody else pays the price.

It is evil to test cosmetic formulations on captive animals in order to assess how much of the toxic compound can be used, or what toxicity levels one can get away with human use of the product. 

There is no need whatsoever to use toxic chemical compounds in any products for use by any person, except for profit. Those tests are protecting future profits, rather than protecting human beings. The captive animals bear untold and intolerable suffering, for shareholder gain. That is evil behaviour.

Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Palestine, Vietnam

Excellent, honest and insightful interview with MP Clive Lewis, an Afghan War veteran who shows more humane leadership in this segment, than Sir Keir Starmer has shown since he joined the Labour Party.



Twenty years of war upon Afghanistan, so much violence, nothing to show for it except the prospect of more violence.

Honest history in all our schools would go a long way towards preventing the grass roots population from being manipulated or groomed into accepting war as a tool of State policy, and would undoubtedly help to reduce Xenophobia, Racism and Misogyny.

Hypocrisy

Blair, a proven liar and war criminal walks free, on a generous state pension, whilst Julian Assange, an honest journalist,  rots in a prison cell, held under false charges.

Afghanistan never needed the USUK or NATO to guide it's progress. 

As Naomi Aldort wrote: "Our children do not need us to shape them, they need us to respond to who they are."

The same applies to sovereign countries. Conquest, NeoColonialism, and the urge to force other cultures to adopt the culture of a dominating State is a negative malign influence, and undermines global efforts at peace and co-operation.

The truth about the Establishments hatred of Corbyn is this : the evidence of the past 20 years implicates a significant cohort of the English Establishment, as war criminals, who prosecuted those awful horrific wars, and who knew what they were doing was both amoral and illegal, though it did enable a massive transfer of wealth from ordinary tax payers to already obscenely wealthy oligarchs who donated heavily to the politicians, buying influence. That is evil behaviour.

Lowkey has a spot on take here.


That is a dishonourable legacy.

Evil is human action, human behaviour, more, nothing less. That means it is tractable, it is something we can confront, challenge and impede, and indeed prevent. Here Rory Stewart lays out a perspective that criticises the action of one American president, without taking the whole into consideration. He even suggests maintaining a foreign military presence in other people's lands is a virtue. It is not a virtue.
It is an evil. But Stewart's eloquence masks the evil, by pointing at just one aspect of the evil. He is correct that the way this withdrawal has been handled has exposed Afghanistan's civilian population and civil infrastructure to greater risk than need be - but he does not acknowledge that the USUK/NATO presence in Afghanistan is also a much greater evil. 

The unexciting banality of everyday evil.

War is almost always about someone making a killing.

$10,000 of stock evenly divided among America’s top five defence contractors on September 18, 2001 — the day President George W. Bush signed the Authorization for Use of Military Force in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks — and faithfully reinvested all dividends, it would now be worth $97,295.

"Several commentators address this dynamic in the 2005 documentary “Why We Fight,” about a warning that President Dwight Eisenhower issued about the military-industrial complex. Former CIA contractor and academic Chalmers Johnson states, “I guarantee you, when war becomes that profitable, you’re going to see more of it."


Concentrated Wealth is the most powerful political collective among the developed nation states. 

War is not cheap.

The political power of Concentrated Wealth is based upon externalising costs.

Somebody else pays the price. Leveraging power to dump the costs onto others is evil.

Boris Johnson's behaviour evil. Read a list of his decisions that burdened others with the cost of his egoic avarice.

Tony Blair's behaviour is evil. There were no WMD in Iraq, and even if there had been, the War of Aggression against Iraq would still have been amoral, and illegal.

Jacob Rees-Mogg behaviour is evil. Food banks are indeed graciousness, yet the policies that created the need were one's he pursued, with others for a decade. Uplifting indeed!

The behaviour of Taliban  1.0 was evil. Theocracy always is.

The behaviour of the Saudi Regime are evil. Theocracy always is. Others pay the price.

The behaviour of the Vatican is Evil. Theocracy as a political hegemon always is. They protect their power at immense cost.

The grooming of 'Incels' as a violent political misogynist movement is evil. Grooming always is.

behaviour of NATO is evil. War is dishonour on every measure. Nobody wins in war. War is a losers enterprise.

Nigel Farage's behaviour is evil. Grooming always is. Exploiting vulnerabilities in other people is evil.

Keir Starmer's behaviour is evil. Sending children into schools, to spread the virus, in spite of the available evidence proving that it was unsafe to do so. No ifs, no buts.

Jacinda Ardern's behaviour is not evil. She places empathy at the centre of her policy decision making.

Donald Trump's behaviour is evil. The art of the steal, the grift, the con, the grooming of vulnerable people.

Obama's behaviour as an American President prosecuting multiple wars  is evil. Drone warfare expanded, killing more and more civilians. Funding violent militia in Libya and Syria. Supporting war against Yemen. And he is charming, urbane has a wide smile. So what?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's behaviour is not evil. Empathy for the vulnerable modulates her policy deliberations. She seeks to prevent harm.

Darren Grimes behaviour is evil.  Grooming other people through their vulnerability always is.

Noam Chomsky's behaviour is not evil. He has always spoken truth to Power, properly researched and ruthlessly accurate, he has never faltered.

Katy Hopkins's behaviour is evil. Grooming always is. 

Patrick Fagan's behaviour is evil. Grooming always is. A psychologist who misuses his knowledge to exploit vulnerable people.

Gabor Mate's behaviour is not evil. He presents the evidence of socially induced trauma's adverse affects on vulnerable folk, to raise awareness and suggest  ways to recovery and prevention. He does this diligently.

Most ordinary folk, most of humankind are not evil.

Most of us ordinary folk are caught in the cross fire of systemic evil, and most of  us are trying out very best to get by, doing the best we can by ourselves and their families. Most of us ordinary people are innocents thrust into this mess by accident of birth. There's also a significant cohort who are actively trying to counter evil, attenuate the impacts of evil, a constituency of helpers and protectors and healers and pragmatic activists.

And yes, there are evil folk among us too.


The US and UK Military Command (one could argue - all military commands) are, at best, at a rather long stretch, and I am being really, really generous here, decent enough people who are manipulated by evil people, if not evil in and of themselves.

If, at best, they are decent people manipulated by evil, then they are not that intelligent, they are not that brave, they are not really courageous nor are they worthy of their status. They enable the evil rather than challenge the evil. Whose freedoms do they wage war for?.

These people and these powerful hierarchy of violence organisations are all examples of liars and lies that are institutionalised to permit avoidable harms to happen, which do not prevent harm at source, which do so for their personal and institutional gain.

I do understand that for combat veterans this is a huge problem.

Imagine the trauma of extensive violent combat, tour after tour of shocking violence, carrying that, enduring that because you believe you were serving a decent cause? But it was a lie.

To admit that you were manipulated and groomed into performing the most horrific acts of violence, repeatedly, under the pretence that they were fighting for 'freedom' would be too much to bear, alone. 

To turn to civilians who praise 'the sacrifice of our brave men and women' and say 'you are being misled by really evil people' who misled me and convinced me to do intolerable harm to others, my hands are bloodied, my spirit is tainted, my mind seared with agonising violence, my heart is broken.

To say to civilians, to those who love you, that your praise is a denial of what really happens, your concept of our bravery is a lie, your desire to believe in that lie no longer protects us - that is too much to bear.

For us civilians to hear that, to bear the burden with the combat veterans, to accept some shared responsibility for that immense sorrow, to admit that our brothers and sisters never fought for our freedoms, to admit we too were manipulated and exploited, and to understand that we too must sit with the trauma, the pain, the sorrow, the grief and then we must resolve to take action to prevent this from ever happening again.

That is courage above and beyond anything we know of.

There is immense grief here. Immense loss. Unspeakable pain and sorrow, masked by stoic perseverance and resilience, obscured by coping and mere survival - all of which is exploited wilfully by really evil people and really evil organisations.

If  the Taliban are evil, they are no more or less so than the USUK and NATO organisations they have been waging war with for the past 20 years,

The only way to cease war is to wage peace, and peace is more than the absence of war.

Peace can only start with the absence of lies. We must face the truth, which is simple, complex and is also complicated. None of this will be easy. Doing nothing is not easy either.


Kindest regards

Corneilius

"Do what you love, it is your gift to universe."

Monday, 16 August 2021

Political Grooming Gangsters, Incels and Legislation.

Political grooming gangsters, Incels, Authoritarianism and Legislation


This is a very brief over view of the Incel phenomenon.

The recent mass shooting in Plymouth is part of a larger pattern. Our culture is a dominator culture. Within it emerge subcultures of violent domination and supremacy, and what tends to happen is that these subcultures are used as proxies and as scapegoats when they are in fact symptoms of the prevailing culture.

There are lots of superb well researched scholarly explorations of the Incel movement, not least because there have been a number of attempted and 'successful' serious, horrific mass shootings and other crimes 'inspired' by the ideology of 'Incel' and that drives a need to properly understand what is going on.

A problem fully understood is half way towards a solution, whereas a problem partially understood is insoluble.

"Mass violence connected to incel ideology has increased public and academic scrutiny of incel communities online. Although not all such communities support violence, and not all those who identify as incel will go on to commit violence, incel communities have drawn the public, academic, and policy world’s attention."

source : here

I wanted to write about this as it links a few different domains that my previous writing has touched upon.

“Opinion is really the lowest form of human knowledge. It requires no accountability, no understanding. The highest form of knowledge… is empathy, for it requires us to suspend our egos and live in another’s world. It requires profound purpose larger than the self kind of understanding.” ― Bill Bullard source

A young Canadian woman started an online web discussion board in the 1990s to explore the experience of being unable to create and maintain intimate relationships, in a world where sexual relationships were paraded as a rite of passage and mark of success, to create a self help group, a place of understanding, a safe space free of ridicule or disdain. 

The term 'Incels' was derived from the descriptive 'Involuntary Celibate' coined by these people, as a term to describe themselves, a cohort of people who were experiencing  problematic intimate loneliness, men and women alike who found forming intimate relationships really challenging, difficult  and distressing (a not uncommon experience) and who were using this online forum to write about and explore their experiences, as a kind of self help dynamic. 

 People in pain and distress trying to help each other. 

It was shortened first to 'InvCel' then to 'incel'. 

Those discussions were well moderated for a few years, and the community grew, and it remained basically honest, and was a safe space for those who were using it.  The Canadian woman who initiated it handed it over to others after a few years, as she moved on in life. 

These posting boards and forums were then taken over by a dedicated group of male supremacists, who swamped the boards, and then actively manipulated and exploited the vulnerable lonely men who were gathering online about their issues, who were seeking support. The male supremacists deliberately worked to create this cult that is now a radical ideology that demands dominion over women’s body’s as sex providers by right.

The term Incel was co opted and made into an identifying badge of honour by the infamous Bodybuilding Miscellaneous forums, 4chan and other havens of young men who like to sadistically troll the world and each other with the most cynical interpretations of their social prospects. 

Starting arguments, making money.

This is part of a dynamic called 'The Internet Of Beefs'

A competitive atmosphere where actors deliberately initiate open ended arguments that cannot be 'won' or 'concluded' because they are not evidence based, they are opinion or belief based: deliberately inciting deeply biased positions into oppositional arguments in order to drive almost endless traffic through to a page which carries advertising, in order to generate income. 

When people started to make significant income from stimulating aggressive arguments online it became a business model that was hard to put down, and then it became impossible to prevent, the genie was well and truly out of the box. Anger drives traffic online. More traffic means more income from advertising.

The second wave which co-opted Incels was in turn were influenced by pick up artists. PUA theory is basically a modern version of the existing beliefs about women’s nature from the time of (actual anthropological) patriarchy. This tied into existing networks of misogynistic political activity.

The ‘movement’ is driven rather than emergent. It is not by any means a natural development, an emergent movement. 

Driving a 'movement'

Someone with access to funding and logistics is stoking political fires, with intent.

"The “Red Pill,” a term that comes from the 1999 film The Matrix, has become a framework for individuals to describe their awakening to some previously hidden supposed reality. The major contemporary secular male supremacist movements—PUAs, men’s rights activists, The Red Pill, and Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW)—all use this terminology to describe their “realization” that men do not hold systemic power or privilege. Instead, they awaken to the “truth” that socially, economically, and sexually men are at the whims of women’s (and feminists’) power and desires. 

As in the film, to be blue-pilled is to accept the mainstream narrative and choose to live in ignorance of the truths of the world. Red Pillers see themselves as intellectually superior to “blue-pilled normies.”

The Red Pill terminology grew in male supremacist forums and was adopted more broadly by far-right and white supremacist groups to describe their own versions of awakenings, conspiracist worldviews that often overlaps with male supremacist positions, such as antifeminism.38

Beginning around 2016, misogynist incel forums began to shift from a Red Pill to an increasing “Black Pill” mentality. This belief system accepts the Red Pill view of society dominated by women but rejects individual-level attempts such as learning game to achieve a sexual relationship with women as misguided, asserting that only change at a societal level has the possibility to be effective. Black Pill adherents believe that looks are genetically determined, and that women choose sexual partners based solely on physical features (“lookism”), so whether or not a person will be an incel is predetermined.39

Misogynist incels attempt to prove the truth of the Black Pill through misreadings of scientific studies, online dating datasets, and their own “experiments” to prove that women only care about a man’s physical looks. Although some incels still seek out plastic surgery, work out (“gym maxxing”), or try to otherwise improve their physical features, many believe such strategies are pointless as inceldom is a problem with society, not the individual. Blackpilled incels are aware of appearance and sociability/game strategies and reject them as solutions.

The Black Pill philosophy typically offers only two options for what to do with their new accepted reality: accept their fate as an incel or try to change society to their benefit—usually advocated as potentially achievable by means of mass violence and terror, not politics or other methods of change. “Copes” are looked down on as methods of coping with without changing the unjust system, including denying the reality of the Black Pill."

https://www.newamerica.org/political-reform/reports/misogynist-incels-and-male-supremacism/red-pill-to-black-pill/

There are very nasty, well funded adept people and organisations who are grooming others who are vulnerable, working on the targets over time using a wide range of tactics and techniques, and online these actors are exploiting micro targeting within existing advertising systems on all platforms.

The emotive dynamics of Brexit, anti-masking, viral marketing, influencers, neuro-marketing, election hacking - based on amygdala hijacking - are all connected elements of modern advertising technologies, methods and strategies.

Cambridge Analytica, Strategic Communications Laboratories, Capuchin are the tip of the iceberg, or for a more apt metaphor, the tip of a volcano of politically motivated behavioural nudge marketing driven by Surveillance Capitalism's gathering of 'behavioural surplus' data of billions of people and their ability to analyse that data, and use it to predict and influence behaviour, on behalf of advertisers.

This area of publishing is entirely unregulated. There are no laws inhibiting nudge behavioural modification techniques, not least because they are now a core element of NeoLiberal governance settings. Nudging unsuspecting populations along lines of behaviour the rulers deem appropriate

Choice Architecture.

Channelling carefully crafted content to trigger and exacerbate those vulnerabilities, by feeding the anger side of the pain, by creating scapegoat dynamics such as blaming women, by encouraging rage and providing permission for ever more extreme expressions which leads to attitude changes and those can lead to behavioural changes that can be exploited.

More misogynists would vote for Trump after a tape recording of his misogynistic attitude is 'released'. That release did not harm Trumps election prospects.

All of this kind of activity is political grooming, it has political social impact and it has purpose.

"Regardless, there is a substantial difference between a community being vulnerable to self-harm and promoting and threatening violence against others. Members expressing suicidal ideation on misogynist incel forums are also encouraged to “go ER” or “be a hERo,” meaning to commit mass murder before committing suicide. Many misogynist incels don’t just advocate for suicide as a solution to inceldom, but also to create structural change through first committing mass violence."

Supremacy of any kind is political.

The Plymouth murder spree and other shootings carried out by men who identify as 'incels' affiliated with this online movement is not driven by mental health issues as much it is driven by political grooming operations. 

This is a cultural problem, inherent to the hierarchy of power and violence culture which I call the Bully Cult. Incel grooming and violence is a form of terrorism. Not  all the people who identify as Incel are terrorists. They are, for sure. groomed by people who really are terrorists.

We need to inhibit the movement and prevent future atrocities. That means we must tackle the groomers. That means we need legislation that defines grooming, quite precisely, as a criminal offence, as an act of psychological and emotional abuse.

It is quite similar to the dynamics that drives much of the Brexit marketing campaigns, the Proud Boys, and other online organised grooming operations, David Icke, Alex Jones and so on, including anti-masking and anti-vaxing, where pain, anger and frustration is targeted, exacerbated and turned to active rage which can be exploited for political, ideological or financial gain.

Mycelia of unresolved anger carefully fertilized, by malign actors, fruiting as above ground action, driven by active sophisticated grooming operations. 

Behavioural modification that is enabled by studying behavioural surplus data, finding trigger points, stimulating them via micro targeting, exacerbating the underlying bias or vulnerability and nudging the targets towards behavioural changes facilitated by the developments of surveillance capitalism.

Protecting the vulnerable, defining abuse, inhibiting exploitation.

I propose a discussion about establishing a legal definition of a behaviour that we are all too familiar with.

“Organised operations that target peoples cognitive biases, their social wounded-nesses, their insecurities, prejudices and worries, their misunderstandings, cultural conditioning and fears, and do that through public and social media, through marketing, propaganda, media and online social media campaigns operating as cottage industries or at an industrial scale, intentionally targeting and manipulating vulnerable people for ideological, religious, political or economic advantage.”

This behaviour is grooming.

Grooming is psychological and emotional abuse. If we had legislation defining this, and then criminalising it because it is intentional exploitation of human vulnerability and thus it is a profound abuse, then media platforms would be unable to permit any publishing of such content on their platforms, and it would be impossible then to exploit as a revenue stream. All internet providers would be legally obliged to prevent such behaviour.

I have written a few letters to News Media in England and Ireland on this, and one has been published. I have also passed the idea to my local MP, and he has submitted the concept to the Digital Media and Culture Committee of the Westminster Parliament.

Masculinism: reclaimed

 I have been mulling over this for a while, and I think it is time 'Masculinity' was redefined for the 21st Century, resonating with our most ancient and evolved egalitarian roots of Humanity



definition : we see and understand the violent hierarchy cult and we see it's inequity and we will, holding hands with one another, as men and women, work together to dismantle that violent hierarchy, confront that inequity and correct it, thus bringing human culture into a healthy balance as we move forwards.

Kindest regards

Corneilius

"Do what you love, it is your gift to universe."

Saturday, 14 August 2021

Renewing the old egalitarian Masculinism for the 21st Century - a definition of healthy masculinity.

nurture is our default nature, and key to sustained human culture

#Feminism


definition : we see and understand the violent hierarchy cult and we see it's inequity and we will, holding hands with one another, as men and women, work together to dismantle that violent hierarchy, confront that inequity and correct it, thus bringing human culture into a healthy balance as we move forwards. we call up this mass movement emerging from the humane population, to act together and to behave in ways that generate genuine equity and lasting justice because we know that peace is more than the absence of war.
Here's a good place to start from - our beginnings
What Babies Want


#honesty #learning #natural

We are evolved to learn through playful co-operation void of judgement, reward or punishment. my song about learning.

The Culture of Violent Hierarchy trickles down and afflicts us all, from conception onwards. Men and Women alike. It is not healthy and it certainly does not have to be the way it is, even if the task of confronting this looks immense the status quo is not inevitable. I have had enough




Kindest regards

Corneilius

"Do what you love, it is your gift to universe."