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(Insert Adjective) New Year!

So…

2016, eh?

What was all that about, then?

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I suppose one way to approach any summary of our last ‘spin around the sun’ is to take stock of what has been learned.

And my gut response to that would be, as a race, evidently, not very much.

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As I prepare to hang the new calendar up, I can’t stifle the nagging feeling that there’s a greater chance than ever before that I won’t need one next year.

I realise how morbid, even defeatist, that sounds. I may even be looking back at this, twelve months from now, and chiding myself for being such a ‘worry wart’.

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Death, Inc(…onvenient)

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Well, let’s see:

2016 saw a notable number of people, whose names we all knew, ‘pass on’. Thousands of column inches and air time were given over to describing what the world had lost by way of talent and contribution to the quality of our lives.

And rightly so, where it was warranted.

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But, increasingly, as social and mainstream media spouted the usual cliches common to such events, my hindbrain started wondering how many people whose ‘names’ will never be known globally – whose lives, had they not been arbitrarily shovelled into the ever-hungry furnace of endless, profitable war, might have achieved astounding, even world-changing things, too.

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Figures vary enormously and it is difficult to even choose criteria for any count of innocent lives lost over the last twelve months. From refugees in transit, to direct attack, to drone assassinations, to brutal executions, to ‘unfortunate collateral’, it is, very likely, well over seven figures by even a rough estimate and using the broadest parameters.

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Unrealistic and impractical, I know but, perhaps, if the laws of conflict demanded that an agency publish the name, age and a photograph of every victim of war violence, alongside the name of the killer, the perpetrators might be more reluctant to bask in patriotic fervour.

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But, I can’t help but seethe when I hear Presidents and P.M.s dribbling platitudes about ‘regrettable losses’ resulting from the violent pursuit of their hegemonic ambitions.

‘Regrettable’.

Note the subtle language.

Note the distancing – the detachment from personal responsibility.

One can almost see the parentheses open, filled by the words, “…if you happen to be that way inclined…”, or, simply, “…for some…”

Of course, when those working on the instruction of a leader achieve an, arguably, worthwhile objective, watch the language change. It becomes, “As I promised the people; so have I delivered.” or, “It is with great pride that I…”

The simple truth is, they ‘regret’ nothing except that they have to take time out to pretend to have a modicum of human empathy so as to lend some legitimacy to their actions.

And, once that meaningless sound-bite has been propogated, they carry on exactly as before. Nothing changes. The only ‘regret’ they feel is that someone noticed and dared to publicly point it out.

And as long as the tax-cattle are happy that killing innocent people ‘by accident’, ( i.e. because they happened to be where we wanted to put a bomb), then that’s fine – and the ‘regrettable loss’ bullshit will keep working – over and over again.

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Plus ça Change

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2016 is, to me, the year the ‘elites’, having had their machinations exposed over and over again, gave up pretending and, as they braced themselves for that huge backlash and world-wide revolution, realised that the ‘bewildered herd’ was, in fact, far more bewildered than they had expected them to be.

What they encountered was a world responding like a cowed and abused spouse – a case of Global Stockholm Syndrome, even.

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It seems they can say and do just about anything they like, however absurd, abusive, despotic, self-serving, controlling or inhumane, the cattle will accept it as necessary for their own ‘safety and protection’.

Ben Franklin should be spinning so fast by now you could attach a couple of magnets and power an entire city from him.

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Previously we have had a world where the 9/11 narrative that launched the ‘War Against a Noun Describing a Sane Reaction to War’ has long been comprehensively and repeatedly blown out of the water.

But that doesn’t matter because it served its purpose and got the ball rolling.

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The few ‘conspiracy’ types who tenaciously refuse to let it go may as well carry on, but Mr & Mrs Average have their hands (and ears) increasingly full just getting by, day to day, without having to assimilate, let alone react to, the idea that their own governments are playing them like a fiddle.

Life is just ‘comfortable’ and un-harassed enough for them not to rock the boat and jeopardise little Jimmy’s college prospects – or Mrs’s promotion prospects at work.

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Sure, they may understand how utterly preposterous the official story is, how horrific the subsequent and ongoing death toll has become. And they will also agree that the true culprits should be exposed.

But, not by them.

They have too much to lose right now to be rocking the boat.

These will also be the same people who will shake their heads and express disbelief that citizens of a certain European country, some seventy years ago, allowed a certain leader to get away with certain atrocities and didn’t spontaneously rise up, en mass, and overthrow him.

Perhaps, now, they understand.

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You Couldn’t Make it Up…? Oh yes.

So.

2016…

Obama, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, comes to the end of his tenure as Puppet-in-Chief having focussed almost his entire time expanding, sorry, ‘projecting’, the US Empire’s military power (or, at the least, making the now-familiar overtures to ‘pretext’), into every country famously listed by Gen. W. Clark.

Imperialist projects being what they are, the timing and order has altered a bit but the plan is still, clearly being pursued.

The ‘killer robot’ project – or what I call, ‘Call of Doodoo(tm): Flying Assassins’ – has expanded enormously and allows the US to murder anyone they they want to, anytime, anywhere, ignoring international borders and inconvenient laws because, look, it’s not ‘boots on the ground’, is it?

Besides, the US has plainly stated that they can unilaterally give themselves permission to do what the hell they like, where they like, whenever they feel like it.

Because ‘National Security’, ok?

False Flag events this year are so numerous as to be beyond the scope of any detailed examination here.

Suffice it to say, this relates back to my point about the Powers That (want to) Be not even bothering to change the script any more (and often use the same actors): ‘Lone, Crazed Gunman: VII’, ‘Lone, Crazed Driver: III’, all have the same M.O. And, as long as one ‘witness’ clearly hears ‘Allahu Akbar!” and the bad guy gets gunned down before he can have his public day in court, it’s a go-er.

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Big Burger is Watching You.

(Post-Fake-Truth-News)

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Another initiative from which all pretence has been effectively removed is ‘surveillance’.

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I hardly need to describe the downward arc the western world has experienced in their right to personal privacy. (Slow down, Mr Franklin! You’ll make yourself dizzy! See? you’ve started Mr Orwell off again, now…)

Yes. No more privacy.

None.

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This is a fait accomplis. I know this because whatever draconian measures your government is trying to bring into law is always, by definition, a clandestine practice they have been engaged in for some time that they want to retroactively gain public acceptance of/for.

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So, the turkeys have indeed already given their vote for Christmas.

Now, to capitalise on this win, the turkeys need to vote for who among their number should be taken to the nearby ‘The Shed of Strange Chopping Noises’ first.

Perhaps, it is suggested, these should be the ones who make the others uncomfortable with their worrying talk of how things might not be quite how they seem to be?

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It is a sad fact that many would choose to live a lie, in fact will silence any who seek to expose it, rather than admit to having been gullible.

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So it is that we enter 2017 with the words: ‘Fake News’ and ‘Post-Truth’ filling the airways.

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Post-Truth, The Oxford Dictionary’s ‘Word of the Year’ is described by them as a concept which has been in existence for only the last decade.

I disagree. It is much older than that. Bernays, himself, was writing about the concept in the late 1920s, in fact.

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The fact that even the least critical of minds have now begun to entertain the concept as ‘a thing’ that has been deliberately practised upon them is, possibly, cause for one, half-hearted blow on a party squeaker.

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The promotion of the ‘Fake News’ narrative, however, is, in my opinion, the greatest threat to actual, real truth-seeking and freedom mankind has ever seen. This is the big guns swinging around to take aim.

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The narrative, and multiple scenarios, of hackers…

Of cyber-bullying…

Of online ‘safety’…

Of individuals radicalised by terrorist-funded websites…

Of conspiracy nuts…

Of rude ‘trolls’…

Of lone, crazed killers posting threats to ‘Farcebook’…

has been running and purring in the background of cattle-consciousness for a good while, now.

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But that has all been a program of acclimatising – of habituating internet users to the idea that the online world is like the Wild West and none of your children will be safe unless some honourable and trustworthy agency steps in to defend their right not to see gratuitous expressions of opinions that conflict with their cosy world-view.

Remember, you have an actual ‘right’ not to be ‘triggered’, ok? Here, have a safe space. There you go. Better now?”

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But who will step up to the plate and defend the common man from the horrifying menace of ‘other opinions’ and the dissemination of inconvenient ‘evidence’?

Why, The Ministry of Truth, of course.

You can trust them to provide you with only the very best, and most comforting, information – and, of course, protect you from all that troublesome effort of research, fact-finding, evidence-sifting and discourse.

There now, you are safe and secure. Can we, perhaps, get you another pillow…?

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The Ruskies Are Coming!

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Russia has come to deserve special attention from the US and its allies, this year.

Why?

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It seems that Russia has been engaging in world-threatening protection of it’s own territories and refusing, in a clearly provocative way, to invent humanitarian pretexts to invade other sovereign countries for their resources.

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It even had the sheer audacity to complain about having its borders surrounded by foreign missile bases and daring to cite that this was contrary to post-WWII assurances that this would not happen.

Such clearly threatening rhetoric, running the risk of escalation to war, was, fortunately, defused through the long-tested diplomatic tactic of promising the Russians that we won’t point them towards their country –

Look. See? We’ve pointed the missiles the other way. There you go. Happy now? Good.”

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Besides, it was admitted by the USA, itself, that verbal promises from the USA mean precisely squat, anyhow. They should have known that.

More often than not, written undertakings don’t amount to very much, either.

And let’s not even get into adherence to international law, hmm?

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This worrying trend became even more pronounced when evil, belligerent Russia responded to a direct request for aid from another sovereign state that was being destabilised and attacked by foreign mercenary forces, funded, trained and armed by *cough-cough*…

What is more despicable is that they immediately started having significant successes. And continue to do so. Where will their immoral ambitions end?

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The latest despicable behaviour appears to be the ‘hacking’ of the recent US (s)election process, which led to the ‘wrong’ psychopath getting the job.

Those dastardly Ruskies, in a stroke of evil genius, even left no viable evidence whatsoever that they had done so. Therefore, it stands to reason that it couldn’t have been anyone else but them.

They even had the bare-faced audacity to deny it on the grounds that they couldn’t actually give a flying crap which of the numpties got in.

Notwithstanding, this narrative is getting the ‘repeat often with qualification for the first week until the idea takes hold, then start to drop the qualification so that it becomes accepted fact’ treatment.

And, voila! Job done.

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Oh, Israel…

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(Playtime at World’s End Primary School. Benny sits on the swing, rubbing his hands with a hankerchief).

Teacher (stern but exasperated): Hey, Benny! Benny… Oh, good grief, what have you done, this time…?

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Benny, (defiant but trying to project innocence): Nothin’, Miss.

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Teacher: Wait a minute, where’s all that blood come fr… Oh, Benny! Isn’t that Izzy on the floor over there by the seesaw? It was his turn to have the swings this playtime! What did you do?

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Benny: It was his fault. I wanted the swings and he said no so I pulled him off and he threw soil at me so I stabbed him. He got what was coming to him. He shouldn’t v provoked me!

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Teacher (noticing other kids gathering around):Benny, that’s not acceptable behaviour. Now, go and apologise and let Izzy have the swing back.

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(Other kids murmur agreement among themselves but Sam, Benny’s friend, balls his fists and hushes them).

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Sam (stepping forward): It’s true miss, Benny was just protecting himself. I see’d it.

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Benny: Yeah, I was. See? Sam’ll vouch for me.

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Teacher: Yes, Sam always does vouch for you, doesn’t he? But, this is the seventh piece of playground equipment you’ve claimed this week. I’m sorry but I’m going to put you on report, Benny.

(Many hissed ‘yes’s and ‘low fives’ from the other kids).

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Benny (shrugging):Whatever. Like that means shit. Come on, Sam, let’s go find your lunch box so we can share, eh?

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Sam (hesitating): Think I’ll pass, this time, Benny. Got my last report card coming up next week and I gotta be careful, y’know?

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Benny: Really?That’s how it is, is it? Well, fuck you, Sam! I don’t need you! I don’t need any of you!

What about you, Charlie the Toff, You comin’? No? Well, that’s it. None of you are comin’ round my house again!

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(Storms off)

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Benny: (Offstage, as lights fade): I’ll get you all! I don’t need any of you! Understand?!

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End

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Brexit Bollox

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Damned if we did; Damned a little more slowly if we didn’t.

We did.

Well. Not yet.

But, soon, ok?

It’ll happen. Mark my words – a lot of careful planning has gone into this.

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May – be… You’ll think of me…

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And, not for the first time, the UK has an unelected Prime Minister who simply got the job because the previous one resigned in shame.

But, as Maggie Thatcher’s youngest clone, she is certainly keeping the legacy alive.

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-Cronyism and lobbyists thrive. As does racism, nationalism and bigotry and disability abuse in general, encouraged, as it is, by right-wing, political rhetoric and the Fake News rags published by a foreign, non-resident billionaire.

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-The poor and vulnerable take still more pain while the toffs make yet more gain.

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-The NHS continues to be underfunded and sabotaged then blamed for not meeting patients needs – which, in turn, opens the door for private companies to step in and ‘save the day’.

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-Our politicians are still bitches of the banks and corporate interests.

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Oil and Water don’t.

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Obama is a coward.

There. I said it.

Not only that, but he has latterly been swinging between being his devious, underhanded self one moment and, the next, throwing a hissy fit because his aunty Hillary didn’t get the house and doing his best to piss on the furniture and sabotage relationships with the world at large before Mr Psycho-Narcissist Drumf moves in.

Seriously, you could write a sit-com.

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What I believe should never, ever, be allowed to be forgotten is his utter lack of action regarding the Dakota Pipeline. The enduring images of 2016, for me, are primarily those showing truly courageous, unarmed and essentially peaceful citizens standing up to corporate thugs, armed and armoured to the teeth, dispensing every human abuse they thought they could get away with.

And still the defenders stood.

What were they defending?

Water.

Free access to clean, untainted water. As basic a human right as any that exists.

But big oil wanted to make a buck and, when big oil wants to make a buck, woe betide any who get in their way.

And at the height of it, when defenders were being violently attacked, gassed, exposed to hypothermia, beaten, dogs set on them, being shot at and permanently maimed, Mr O thought it best to watch and “let it play out.”

I’ve never attempted to write in chicken before, but: “b’kauk, b’kauk” should suffice.

I guess someone, coming near to the end of his current employment, was hoping to keep his options open with, perhaps, a potentially lucrative advisory role in the oil industry being one such option? Maybe.

I guess we’ll see soon enough.

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The mainstream media are also cowards, toadies and total lack-wits who are an insult to true journalism everywhere. Nary a word from them on the whole Standing Rock issue. Nada. Nichts. Diddly-squat.

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These ‘repeaters’ and ‘journoliars’, who have the sheer gall to pontificate about the threat to truth posed by ‘Fake News’, haven’t the balls, let alone integrity, to report what hundreds of thousands of citizens are seeing first-hand, often in real time, through alternative media sources.

That is, an unarmed, non-violent protest being met with military arms and equipment – and state/police forces pimping themselves out as corporate mercenaries in violation of the very oath they took to serve and protect citizens.

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Meanwhile, while there has been an enforced pause (…possibly a tactical wait until the world’s attention is drawn elsewhere…), and the defenders remain through the coldest season, wisely keeping guard and waiting for the next shoe to drop.

This is not over.

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Off She Went With A Tr… Oh, shit.

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Finally, I feel I should address the whole Trump ‘thing’.

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Here goes:

(*ahem*…)

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‘Fuck’.

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I actually DO want to wish everyone a Happy New Year.

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But… well… it’s all going to depend, isn’t it?

Racking my brain cell for something positive to end on, I will say this:

This year is, I think, going to be a clincher.

The war for free access to information is going to be the big one. Without a joined-up, truth-seeking community – without total, universal freedom ,across the board, to express and discuss views and opinions without censorship, then there is no freedom at all.

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Yet, I am encouraged by how far we have come and how many more people are waking up – at least to the idea of waking up.

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There is now, surely, so much evidence out there of the Machiavellian machinations of those who seek to cling to neo-feudal power, and how they play their ‘game’, that all but the most vapid and deluded cattle can’t miss it if they choose to look.

But, they need to choose to look. Then, they need to choose to act.

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Surely, surely, the tipping point can’t be that far off, now.

Truth is a lever that grows to accommodate all who choose to grasp it.

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So, let’s make Archimedes proud and gather all hands to the lever – and make 2017 our chosen place to stand.

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