Why Burn Books When You Can Stop Them from Being Published?

You won’t have to burn them if they’re never published

W.J. Astore

There are many forms of lying. One that we don’t always think about is lying by omission. A partial truth can be a more insidious lie than an outright falsehood. I might argue, for example, that the Vietnam War was awful for America, dividing the country and costing more than 58,000 U.S. troops their lives, along with innumerable other mental and physical casualties. But if I leave out or downplay the far more horrifying costs to Southeast Asia, the literally millions of Vietnamese, Laotians, and Cambodians killed in that war, the poisoning of their land by highly toxic chemicals like Agent Orange along with millions of unexploded mines and munitions, which still kill to this day, I have most definitely lied by omission. Perhaps the Vietnam War was a “tragedy” for the U.S., but it was far, far worse for those on the receiving end of American firepower.

It’s not easy to get books published that tell tough truths we’d prefer not to hear. For example, Nick Turse’s book about “the real American war in Vietnam,” entitled “Kill Anything that Moves,” was published by Metropolitan Books, which is now being shuttered and shut down, notes Tom Engelhardt in his latest article at TomDispatch.com. Engelhardt has seen this before, with Pantheon Books, another publisher known for publishing books that told uncomfortable truths about America. It too was a victim of consolidation in publishing, of being shut down, mainly because the consolidators simply didn’t like the books being published. And perhaps too because these same books sometimes didn’t make enough money (though some proved to be bestsellers, which, from the owners’ ideological perspective, may have been worse).

Engelhardt’s heartfelt article made me think. Imagine that. It made me think that the best way to “burn” books is to make sure they’re never published.  Same with banning books.  You don’t have to ban them when they can’t find their way into print.

Also, it’s far easier to manufacture consent — to control the national discourse — when only certain books are being published and hyped — the ones reflecting and reinforcing mainstream thought.

Whether it’s shutting down Pantheon or Metropolitan or similar publishing houses, it’s about blocking alternative views that challenge capitalism, neoliberalism,, neoconservatism, and similar mainstream ideologies. You can always claim that the house you’re shuttering just wasn’t making enough money, wasn’t moving enough product, never mind the quality of that “product” and the invaluable service it was providing to democracy and the free exchange of ideas.

Readers here know that I started writing for TomDispatch in 2007. My first article was critical of the Petraeus Surge in the Iraq War, but my goal back then was “to save the U.S. military from itself,” from its misleading and often mendacious metrics to its inflated sense of itself, shown most clearly with its obsession with medals and decorations even as the war was going very poorly indeed. I tried several mainstream publishers including the New York Times and Washington Post without success. A friend mentioned TomDispatch to me, I wrote to Tom, and he found something in my writing worthy of being published at his site. My next “Tomgram” will be the 95th I’ve written for the site.

If TomDispatch didn’t exist, my criticisms and critiques would probably have never been published. Tom’s example inspired me to write further, to become a regular at Huff Post and Antiwar.com and to start my own blogs. Bracing Views exists because of the example provided by TomDispatch.

Good books beget other good books. Critical books beget other critical books. Scholarship builds on itself. When you block or severely limit opportunities for good, daring, and critical books from being published, you strike a blow against scholarship, against the free exchange of ideas, against the very idea of an enlightened America made more powerful and righteous by its informed citizens.

Sure, it’s just another publisher being put out of business. Nothing to see here, move along. Except it’s much more than that. It’s a form of book burning before the book ever existed, a silencing of synapses in our minds, an insidious form of mind control in the sense of curtailing certain thoughts and ideas from ever taking form.

Do I exaggerate? Readers, what do you think?

167 thoughts on “Why Burn Books When You Can Stop Them from Being Published?

  1. From Publishers Weekly: “As 2022 began, the U.S. trade publishing business was dominated by what has been called the Big Five—Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Hachette Book Group, and Macmillan”
    They do not need to take risks, nor are they individual, with iconoclastic editors and strong viewpoints. They are in it for the money. The only “silver” lining (and in my mind, more of a tin foil lining) is that tiny presses and self publishing CAN break through in this market. It takes time, knowledge in promoting a book after you’ve written it, establishing strong networks, and a heaping helping of luck. It’s a thin string to support any marketplace of ideas.
    I’m grateful that you do write for TomDispatch. I enjoy your columns, and often you teach me something about the military that I did not know. You affiliation with them has brought me other people’s viewpoints, as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Linda.

      Not only do they not need to take risks — they don’t want to, for the most part. The Big Five are, well, big. Corporate. Why publish books that would risk cozy relationships with other big corporations? Publish the memoirs of Obama, Barack and Michele. Or George W. Bush. Or a Trump “insider.” Or someone against Trump. Or another book about the Greatest Generation in World War II. And so on.

      Used bookstores are so vitally important as oases of ideas. How soon before they’re banned or shuttered? I supposed some used bookstores survive by occupying a specialized niche, such as detective fiction etc. But how many can and will survive when books become less popular, more uniform, and even perhaps too difficult for many people to read, given much shorter attention spans and desires to be stimulated constantly by noise, colors, and other “virtues” of the Meta world?

      Ray Bradbury’s “firemen” may not be needed. The books will just crumble into dust — a dystopian vision for sure.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Bill, Powells Books in Portland Oregon, for new, used, and rare books online and in-person – bills itself as the world’s largest independent bookstore. It is a mecca for book junkies. And every day it has a line of customers like me and my wife selling a pick-up load (!) of our used books. (They pay very good prices). And for me, especially technical books.
        You owe it to yourself once in a lifetime to go to Powells…..”covering an entire city block, Powell’s City of Books is more than a great bookstore: It’s a microcosm of Portland, packed with smart and eclectic offerings and passionate people”. If Powells can’t get you the rare book you are after – it has not been published.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. The publishing and music industries operate on the same principle: if you control the flow of product, you control the demand and, ultimately, the profit margin. Neither is about creativity or artistic freedom. And the American public has shown itself to be perfectly happy to be fed what they read, listen to, and – yes – who they vote for. As the late Jim Dickinson – a record producer of considerable repute – said, “30 million people shouldn’t be listening and liking the same thing. There’s something wrong that.” The same goes for literature. And yet … in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, we demand diversity in everything except in what read, hear, and, ultimately, think.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Bill, I tried to get a technical book published when I was living in the USA. On the history of racing motorcycle engines in the USA – going right back to the proud American Indian Motorcycle Company. I had put 5-years into writing it. 42,286 words! Oh dear!

    To my great disappointment, I discovered that it was essentially an impossible task. There is so little money to be made on printing and selling books in these days of the internet that it’s not worth it unless your book sells at least 10,000 copies. You would never recover your costs – unless you paid yourself less than $0.25 per hour!

    And even then, all the publishers I approached without exception wanted to have your book printed off-shore by a Chinese printer. Which I did not want. We buy enough from the Chinese in the US.

    It was suggested to me that I set up my own Publishing Company, and self-publish my book. I had a friend in New Zealand who did this. But it cost him money – instead of making him an income. Sadly, I think somebody like yourself even with your excellent writings is also going to find it a non-starter.


    1. Dennis, if you simply want to make your book available – the royalty rates are beyond laughable – I recommend Amazon/Kindle. Yes, most of the money generated by sales goes toward Jeff Bezos’ next trip to space, so it’s a decision of Art over commerce. I don’t expect any of my books to ever be picked up by a major publishing house or optioned for a film, but that isn’t why I write. So, if making Tom Clancy Big Bucks is not a major concern – I bring in enough to take my sweetheart out for pizza once a month – then go to Amazon’s home page, scroll down to the bottom, and click on “Self-Publish with Us.” Check it out. It will either appeal to you, or it won’t. (Note: you retain all rights to the content.)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you very much BUTSUDANBILL,
    My big problem is that my voluminous tome has copious photographs – all lifted, copied, from the internet. And some from already published sources. Like the weekly CYCLE NEWS newspaper that used to be published – before it went online. And magazine articles. Oh dear!
    They tell me I will need to obtain permission from every single photographer/source to publish! Do you know if Amazon has this requirement.
    BTW I have not been worrying about this in just giving single copies to my private friends.


    1. My guess, Dennis, is that You would have to get permission from every photographer/source before Anybody would publish that; and not just Amazon.


    2. Dennis, during the pre-publication process, there is a box with these two options:
      “I own the copyright and I hold necessary publishing rights. (What are publishing rights?)”
      “This is a public domain work. (What is a public domain work?)”
      They assume your book will be one or the other. “Necessary publishing rights” would cover clearances of non-Public Domain content. (In other words, it’s a CYA move in case of legal action.)
      I do know it is possible to include photographs, though I have not done so myself. They are pretty good about answering questions, either by their “online community” or by the Amazon/KIndle staff. The process itself is simple and straightforward. About all I can do on a computer is write & send email, but I can set up a book (fill in the necessary details, upload the manuscript and cover art) in an hour or less. It’s worth checking out.

      Liked by 1 person


        I sent an email to Amazon, and got an answer….

        Can I publish a word document with photographs I have copied from other sources and don’t have permission to use?


        When we find that publishers are out of compliance with a Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) policy, we let them know so that they can address the issue. This helps ensure a better experience for customers.

        For security reasons, we can’t provide details about our internal procedures. To learn more about our policies, check our help:

        Terms and Conditions:

        Program Policies:

        Thanks for your understanding”

        And I have been wondering – even you are successful, how do people know about the exitance of your “book”? Do they have to search Amazon? Using Amazon’s search feature?


        1. Social media works well enough for me, Dennis. It doesn’t cost anything and as I write primarily for myself, my family, and my friends, any sales are a bonus. There are plenty of ways to advertise, but I take the utterly-too-cosmic-for-some approach that my books will find their way to whoever needs them. And, again, I make enough each month to take my sweetheart out for pizza once a month. In a really good month, we go to a little place on the coast (we are a ten-minute drive from the North Sea) for really good burgers. I wouldn’t presume to ask for more.


  5. Are books obsolete? I hope not because I love to read them. The editorial function of the book publishing business can easily be a fault, one shared with the hard copy newspapers of old, but the publisher can nix a lot of awful stuff that doesn’t deserve to be published. With consolidation, something happening in every industry, the power of one of the big publishers is tremendous.

    Fortunately, the internet provides an outlet for anyone and everyone. We are all here because we find WJA’s writing thoughtful, truthful and compelling and nobody (so far) can stop his stuff. The problem comes in a person being able to find such sites as this one. The best method of promoting good stuff is mentioning it as Bill does TomDispatch. I have discovered several good sites from mentions made at other sites. The Great Publishers are bypassed in this way. The only problem is that lengthy, well researched, persuasive material (as appears in books) seldom appears on websites. Settling back to absorb hours of reading on a single topic by a single author is very unusual online.

    But there’s a danger with online publishing, editorial control after the publication appears. I just read a most interesting essay by Matt Taibbi, The Washington Post Dabbles in Orwell, regarding the paper publishing an article on Snowden being offered Russian citizenship by Putin. It first appeared with an anti-Snowden slant, then it was altered to be more favorable to Snowden, then altered back all within a few hours. Who is calling these shots, I’d like to know. It shows that behind the scenes the big online publishers have a debate on what we the people should see, most likely based on what VIP’s believe we should see.

    Regarding references to other valuable sites, I highly recommend Breaking Points with Krystal and Saagar. Krystal Ball’s in depth take on current events is remarkable for the knowledge she brings to her subject. She can devote 10 to 15 minutes of rapid delivery to one item and wastes no words, invariably seeing right through BS. Also valuable is a recent discovery, The Lever by David Sirota.

    Good stuff is all around, but we have to share our discoveries to spread it widely. It was characteristic of the movers and shakers of old that they would read several different newspapers every day simply to know what they were talking about. We have a far wider field of material today over which we can search for truth.


  6. CLIF, in the United States, the internet, and the collapse of all the many small magazine publishers into a few dominant mass media players, has decimated the magazine industry.

    In the field I followed for many decades, the motorcycle industry and its hobby, we used to have about a dozen quality magazines. With great articles, and technical analysis. Written by knowledgeable and dedicated writers. The three that remain now are no more than flimsy supermarket checkout aisle rags. With content being reduced to blurbs reproduced from the motorcycle companies advertising departments. The old days of authors critically reviewing products been consigned to the dustbin of history.

    And the internet sites that have replaced these old magazines are just mere shadows of the content of the old printed monthly magazine we teenagers eagerly anticipated at the magazine store every month. There is no way that reading the Pavlovian (?) dross of these computer motorcycle websites – can match the sheer pleasure of sitting down to pleasure yourself with perusing those great old magazines. (There is a cartoon in here somewhere about the guy who says he can read these latest magazines in the time it takes him to go to the bathroom!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oddly enough the UK magazines and the superb Italian motorcycle magazine, Motociclismo, are going great guns! Their content as great and controversial as it ever was. Go figure eh?


  7. Some 25 years ago I had an editorial cartoon showing the 5th Estate, the News Media, being the 5th Horseman of the Apocalypse.
    With so many SINS of Historical OMISSION being Propagandists for the NATO WAR MACHINE in this US War with Russia over Ukraine, the Western MSM are conforming to the proscribed US-NATO-Ukraine War Narrative without question, and Peace Makers are excluded and given no exposure discussing the War Narrative.

    The People of the nominally Christian Nations believe God is on their side. The Russian Orthodox Patriarch says God is on their side. The OT Chosen People of God are added into the mix.

    The Revelation is when it can be seen unfolding in THIS Material World Day by Day. A lot of the Revelation is mysterious making little sense, but a lot of it is in plain language that can be understood.

    These 2 verses, the 1st part from Rev 11 and the 2nd part from Rev 12 is in plain English with no doubt what it’s saying.
    And the NATIONS were ANGRY, and your WRATH is come & the devil is come down unto you, having great WRATH, because he knows that he has but a short time.

    There is no denying the Nations are Angry. In Europe alone there is the US and it’s 30 Vassal Nations against Russia. If that isn’t already a World War, what is?
    The People within those Nations are getting angrier too, especially in the HQ of it all, the USA.

    The Question in those 2 verses remains? Who can discern WHICH WRATH IS WHICH?


  8. Thank You for another Thought-Provoker, Bill. Very well said, as always.

    But i have to ask the same question clif9710 did: “Are books obsolete?”

    And i have to agree with him completely when he says: “Fortunately, the Internet provides an outlet for anyone and everyone.”

    An answer to his question, at this point at least, is: “Probably not. At least not yet. But that day could be coming.”

    A Gallup Poll earlier this year found “Americans Reading Fewer Books Than In Past”: 1] The average number of books read is down to 12.6 from 15.6 in 2016; 2] The percentage of Americans reading any books is stable; and fewer are reading more than 10; 3] College graduates show the largest decline in number of books read. [ https://news.gallup.com/poll/388541/americans-reading-fewer-books-past.aspx%5D

    And the Internet eliminates any complaints that Anyone can have that the only “News” available is what the MSM decides, determines, and deems to be “News,” whatever the term “News” actually, really means. Or is even supposed to mean.

    The Question for everybody exploring those optional sources online, of course, ultimately boils down to: “So How does one separate the Wheat from the Chaff; the Lies from the Truth; the Reality from the Bullshit?”

    And That is, perhaps, the Ultimate Challenge confronting Human Beings in the second decade of the 21st century. Especially when it comes to things like Wars, Pandemics, Economic Distress, Climate Change, and so forth.


    1. ps: i do have to question Clif’s assertion that “The only problem is that lengthy, well researched, persuasive material (as appears in books) seldom appears on websites. Settling back to absorb hours of reading on a single topic by a single author is very unusual online.”

      There are PLENTY of books [and professional natural and social science research papers] on virtually every subject imaginable available online [for free or with nominal access charge], if one knows where to look for them.


      1. I don’t think CLIF disagrees with your second sentence Jeff – he is just saying that settling back to absorb hours of reading on a single topic by a single author is very unusual ONLINE. And I tend to agree with him. People online, by the very nature of the computer, aren’t looking for long reads. They are after the efficiency the computer promises and don’t want to sit in front of a screen for hours of reading. We want it all and we want it now!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. i agree with both Clif and You, Dennis, that very few people spend extended periods of time reading books, research papers, etc, while actually ONLINE.

          But most of those books, papers, etc that are available to be read online are also available for Download: as “e-Books,” as content for devices like Kindle, as PDFs, or as Word documents. And thus Can be and Are read completely OFFLINE.


          1. @JG MOEBUS

            Downloading and printing a book, 100’s of pages, is an onerous and expensive task eh Jeff?


              1. i agree that there are distinct differences between reading a physical book and reading it on a Kindle, etc.

                But i also very much like having access to a virtually unlimited number of books, research papers, and other publications on a device that fits into a pocket, and does not need to be online in order to read them.


                1. Books can be beautiful objects. And a bookcase filled with books is like a wall with many, many, miniature works of art.


              1. But a downloaded document still has to be read on my computer – thats online eh? I don’t have any devices.


                1. i think that when most people talk about being “online,” they are talking about being actually, physically connected to the Internet, and not simply just using a computer.

                  Reading a book ~ without being actually connected to the iNet ~ that has been previously downloaded from the Net and is stored on a computer ~ is not reading it “online.”


      2. Jstor is an example of what you are talking about Jeff, but Dennis’ take on what I said is what I intended to convey.


  9. And another thing about BOOKS is… :

    THE VALUE OF OWNING MORE BOOKS THAN YOU CAN READ: Or, How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love My Tsundoku. by Kevin Dickinson 22Oct18

    Many readers buy books with every intention of reading them only to let them linger on the shelf. Statistician Nassim Nicholas Taleb believes SURROUNDING OURSELVES WITH UNREAD BOOKS ENRICHES OUR LIVES AS THEY REMIND US OF ALL WE DON’T KNOW. The Japanese call this practice “tsundoku,” and it may provide lasting benefits.

    I love books. If I go to the bookstore to check a price, I walk out with three books I probably didn’t know existed beforehand. I buy second-hand books by the bagful at the Friends of the Library sale, while explaining to my wife that it’s for a good cause. Even the smell of books grips me, that faint aroma of earthy vanilla that wafts up at you when you flip a page.

    The problem is that my book-buying habit outpaces my ability to read them. This leads to FOMO and occasional pangs of guilt over the unread volumes spilling across my shelves. Sound familiar?

    But it’s possible this guilt is entirely misplaced. According to statistician Nassim Nicholas Taleb, these unread volumes represent what he calls an “antilibrary,” and he believes our antilibraries aren’t signs of intellectual failings. Quite the opposite… :

    Continued at https://bigthink.com/neuropsych/do-i-own-too-many-books/ [EMPHASIS added.]

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Off topic – but a lot covered by Rand Paul here.
    If only more American swamp creatures were like Rand.
    Trouble is, he, and his Dad, just make too much sense!



    From the summary of the 2015 published book entitled UKRAINE: ZBIG’s Grand Chessboard & How the West Was Checkmated:

    “UKRAINE: ZBIG’s Grand Chessboard & How the West Was Checkmated speaks to the historical and geostrategic moves by the West to control the Eurasian landmass: the broken promises and treaties, the geostrategic missteps and, finally, how Grand Chessboard fundamentalism actually catalyzed Russia’s re-emergence as a global power, shifted geostrategic power eastward and, proverbially, snatched defeat from the jaws of a U.S./NATO victory.”

    Seven years later based on today’s grand chessboard stage, the above scenario imminently appears to be a done deal in the making. With a Friday September 23rd headline claiming World War III is already here from Mike Adams of naturalnews,com, the first two sentences of his article assert:

    “World War III has already begun. You simply aren’t being told this because your government and dishonest media outlets are dedicated to keeping you in the dark.”

    Though some may construe this narrative as sensationalized click bait, sadly it does appear World War III is upon us.

    With the hectic tempo of doomsday events unfolding this past week in combination with the hyped-up social media buzz of cryptic dire predictions for September 24th that include the “death of America,” now that it’s come and gone, though thankfully nothing so cataclysmic as 9/11 has occurred, arguably the world does appear to be on the verge of earthshaking calamity.

    Continued at https://www.globalresearch.ca/as-this-week-war-drums-beat-louder-world-war-iii-looms-ever-closer/5794530


    1. Heh. And who rates “mediabiasfactcheck.com”?

      And how do those folks rate the NYT, WaPo, CNN, Fox, and all those other wholly-owned, operated, commanded, and controlled MSM purveyors of Ruling Political Class Bullshit?


    2. Well, some vaccines are indeed dangerous. And that’s been proven.

      9/11 as a “false flag”: I’d say 9/11 generated way too many American flags and not enough critical thought and reflection

      Liked by 2 people

      1. America’s MSM generated Zero critical thought and reflection about 9/11 when it happened, and even less over these past 21 years.

        As far as 9/11 goes, its primary function was [and remains] to discourage and ~ when necessary ~ to deny critical thought and reflection.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. @JG MOEBUS

    Michel Chossudovsky is the President of GlobalResearch and professor emeritus of economics at the University of Ottawa. His website purports to be concerned for humanity, but has been widely criticized for routinely publishing false information that in fact misleads humanity. According to the Ottawa Citizen, Chossudovsky’s academic research has kept him on the margins of mainstream academia. In fact in 2005 colleagues expressed discomfort with Chossudovsky’s ideas, describing them as having a conspiratorial element.

    His site has published numerous articles alleging that the U.S. intelligence agencies had far more forewarning than they claimed of 9/11 and that the U.S. funds al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.

    Other claims are that sarin gas was not used in the Khan Shaykhun chemical attack, and was a false flag operation orchestrated by terrorists opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

    It asserted that the July 2005 London bombings were perpetrated by the United States, Israel, and United Kingdom. And that Osama bin Laden was a CIA asset.

    He has written outlandish posts accusing the United States, Israel and Britain of plotting to conquer the world!

    The website has been a constant source of anti-vaccine misinformation. In The New Republic, Muhammad Idrees Ahmad, lecturer in digital journalism at the University of Stirling, describes the Centre’s website as a conspiracy site. The Jewish Tribune, citing a complaint from B’nai Brith Canada, describing the website as being rife with anti-Jewish conspiracy theory and Holocaust denial.

    And it’s not only mediabiasfactcheck Jeff. According to PolitiFact, the Centre has advanced specious conspiracy theories on topics like 9/11, vaccines and global warming. Foreign Policy magazine tells how the site sells books and videos that expose how the September 11 terrorist attacks were most likely a special covert action to further the goals of corporate globalization.

    I would take anything I read on this guy’s site with a grain of salt, maintaining a large degree of skepticism about its truth.


    1. Again, Dennis: Who rates Your “fact checker”? Do any other “fact checkers”?

      And how do You take what the government and its MSM feed You? With a similar grain of salt?

      And which “fact checkers” do You trust to tell You that what that government and its Media are telling You are indeed “FACTS”?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Jeff, I’m every day on sites like this, and everyday reading what “fact checkers” like you post here .
        I don’t have a TV, or listen to talk radio, and don’t get any newspapers.
        Just surf and read the internet – way too much!
        And make up my own mind who I trust to tell me “FACTS”.

        That’s my answer. And I’m sticking to it. So, which “fact checkers” do You trust to tell You that what that government and its Media are telling You are indeed facts? You quoted Michel Chossudovsky on this thread today. And if I am not mistaken you have linked to his site before on Bracing Views. Am I then to take it you believe he is a trustworthy “fact checker”?


        1. i don’t trust any “fact checkers” to tell me anything about what the government and its media tell me are “facts,” Dennis.

          As far as i can tell, they all have their own organizational and institutional agendas, goals, objectives, and intentions.

          If the government or its media puts out “information” that i have questions about, along with checking what the various “checkers” have to say, i do my own independent research on the issue at hand, and learn what individuals, organizations, and institutions outside the government and its media have to say. Which is but one example of the many absolute Wonders of the Internet.

          And i didn’t quote Chossudovsky today: The article was written by Joachim Hagopian. But i have linked Global Research to BV on several occasions. Not because i think GR is a “trustworthy fact checker,” but because it offers a perspective and a point of view that directly and very effectively challenges all of the Mis-, Dis-, and Mal-Information put out as Facts and Truth by the government [particularly the MICC and SSSP] and its media.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. That article by Joachim Hagopian on GlobalResearch is brilliant. That guy is a brilliant commentator on such issues. I trust him in having the facts.

            A thing you might find interesting Jeff. Back in the days when I still worked with a bunch of colleagues and was a naive newbie to geo-politics, I got hooked on Michel Chossudovsky’s site and used to cheerlead for him amongst my workmates in the office – and to my family! For which I took a lot of shit – excuse my french! A lot! And I was eventually weaned off of him – especially by my family. Being convinced his take on thinks were crazy and that I was crazy! So I stopped reading him.

            But I have to admit in researching the guy today online, there is still a lot of things I agree with him on. A lot!
            Actually, I probably agree with him, and his guests more often than I disagree with them. LOL


            1. Glad You took another look at him and GR, Dennis. Based on all that has happened since Your family and friends convinced You to stop reading him and it, it would be interesting to see how they feel about things today, that which he and it have been effectively predicting since just after 9/11.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. All my family Jeff, including my extensively, (and expensively I might add), educated medical doctor daughters, are of the ilk “better dead that red”. Even more so today than ever! They are 110% convinced that Putin must be deposed, and the US needs to achieve regime change in Rusia.
                No use arguing with them. They won’t go there with me! I feel like I have been excommunicated from my family for my “wrong” geo-political views. It’s so discouraging


                1. Heh. Well apparently they do not realize that Russia is no longer “red” ~ as in Communist or Socialist ~ but is now a newly emergent mutation of Fascism. Just as is Xi’s China. and just as is Biden/Trump/Obama/Etc’s America.

                  And what are they ~ as individuals ~ prepared to actually see happen in the Real World to make that deposing and regime change happen? More war, and food and heat shortages over winter? As long as it stays over yonder?

                  And more importantly, what are they ~ as individuals ~ prepared to actually DO in that Real World to make that happen? Offer to pay more taxes to pay for all this? Volunteer to offer their medical skills to the cause?

                  And don’t feel bad: i have had a number of folks who had been Real World Friends or iNet Communicators for a long time who have severed all relationships with me because of my position on Ukraine. Just like i lost a lot of old Army Buddies back in 2001 when i told them exactly what i thought about 9/11, the AUMF, and the start of what ended up being our “Forever War.” So it goes, eh?


  13. Another brilliant commentator,

    Washington’s Pointless War on Behalf of a Fake Nation
    by David Stockman Posted September 28, 2022

    “The messages are coming in loud and clear today – from the crashing pound, to repudiation of establishment governments in Italy, Sweden and more to come, to Hungarian Prime Minister Orban’s call to end the Sanctions War and do so pronto.

    So let’s be clear: Washington’s dunderheaded intervention in the intramural spat between Russia and Ukraine and the accompanying global Sanctions War is the surely the stupidest, most destructive project to arise from the banks of the Potomac in modern times. And the architects of this perfidious folly – Biden, Blinkin, Sullivan, Nuland, et. al. – cannot be condemned harshly enough.

    After all, this madness is being pursued in the name of abstract policy norms – the rule of law and sanctity of borders – that make Washington a laughing stock. More than any other nation on planet earth (and by a long-shot), it has serially and blatantly violated these standards scores of times in recent decades”



    1. Mr Stockman is a regular source for an alternative view on lots of things for me, Dennis. Especially actions by the government that involve war, the manipulation of the economy, and the manufacturing of “Truth.”


      1. When one reads Stockman’s clear repudiations of US foreign policy – one just face-palms – how could Biden, Blinkin, Sullivan, Nuland, et. al. BE SO STUPID?


        1. And you know Jeff, the good ole New Zealand left wing Labour Government, with good old Jacinda, and the majority of gullible low information Kiwi’s, is just 110% right on board with supporting this STUPIDITY.


            1. Correct me if i’m wrong, Dennis, but aren’t pump prices ~ along with food, home energy, and every other price ~ going up virtually all over the Planet for everybody, and not just for all those “gullible low information Kiwis”?

              Or does that make the folks on the rest of the Planet equally gullible and low information?

              What does the NZ government say the current Inflation rate ~ its Consumer Price Index ~ is down there?

              And i’m curious: Where does New Zealand get its fossil fuel imports from now? Might that explain part of the price hikes? Or is it all just the big oil companies ripping off the rest of us?


              1. I’m no expert but I think NZ just buys its petrol on the World open market. Which has been destabilized by the war sanctions, and of course big oil is just milking this “problem” to the hilt as an excuse to rip off consumers.

                This stuff is way above my pay grade:
                “The annual inflation rate in New Zealand increased 7.3 percent in the second quarter of 2022, following a 6.9 percent gain in the previous period and above forecasts of 7.1 percent. It was the highest since the second quarter of 1990, as prices advanced faster for housing & utilities (9.1 percent vs. 8.6 percent in Q1 2022), transportation (14.5 percent vs. 14.3 percent), recreation & culture (4.9 percent vs. 4.8 percent) and alcoholic beverages & tobacco (3.7 percent vs. 2.9 percent). On the other hand, prices eased for food & non-alcoholic beverages (6.5 percent vs. 6.7 percent) and miscellaneous goods & services (5.5 percent vs. 5.6 percent). Compared to the previous quarter, inflation rose 1.7 percent, easing from a 1.8 percent gain in the last period but above market expectations of a 1.5 percent gain. source: Statistics New Zealand”


          1. Not so much stupid as compromised and corrupted by the system they inhabit, represent, and reinforce.

            You could even call them smart in the sense that they’ve achieved positions of power and will doubtless cash in if they haven’t already.


        2. None of this shit started with Team Biden, Dennis. Teams Trump, Obama, Cheney/Bush the Lesser, and Clinton were all intimately involved. As were Bush the Elder, Bozo, and The Peanut Farmer. As was their Media.

          All Comatose Joe is doing is carrying out and on what his predecessors initiated, developed, established, and presented to him with instructions as to what to do next.

          Liked by 1 person

  14. Jeff, here is a commentator I trust with the truth.
    Galloway was a Labour MP in the British Parliament.
    Who dared to tell the truth and reveal inconvenient “facts”.
    So what did the Labour Party do – he was expelled from the Labour Party for bringing the party into disrepute! And chucked out of parliament!
    This is a great segment on Georges MOATS show – that you would never see on MSM TV
    ( A comment on this YouTube video: The thing is with evil you have to expect the worst. I mean Victoria Nuland and Blinkin and all those heartless journalists and the rest.)


    1. If Wiki is accurate, Galloway was expelled from the Labor Party for his open and forceful opposition to Britain’s participation in America’s search for Saddam’s WMDs and his overthrow. All of which merely goes to prove exactly how big a sock puppet the Blair Regime was to the Cheney/Bush II White House.

      In any event, i have a very hard time listening to [let alone watching] a woman who Galloway calls a “political commentator” who: 1] Calls herself “Dagny Taggart,” of Ayn Rand’s ATLAS SHRUGGED fame, no doubt; 2] Draws a complete blank on Googling “Dagny Taggart political commentator”; and 3] Has a face painted like a Geisha Girl.

      Can You recommend any of Galloway’s other recent shows?

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks for sharing that; i’d like to watch the whole program to see who and/or what he was responding to. And i will check out website.

          And based on that short clip, i would say that he would probably agree with my statement that “None of this shit started with Team Biden, Dennis. Teams Trump, Obama, Cheney/Bush the Lesser, and Clinton were all intimately involved. As were Bush the Elder, Bozo, and The Peanut Farmer. As was their Media.”

          And, of course, i could have continued with Ford, Nixon, LBJ, JFK, Ike, HST, FDR, and so forth back to Wilson, if not McKinley and the Spanish-American War.


          1. Jeff, if you have about 45-minutes.
            Watch his appearance before the US Congress
            And enjoy him exposing them for the charlatans they are, LOL


            1. And if you want to see two of the greatest debaters of our time
              Christopher Hitchens (RIP) I think was one of the great intellectuals of our time
              But George Galloway I have to admit gets the better of him here.
              Enjoy the spoken English language at its best.


          2. “None of this shit started with Team Biden, Dennis.”

            JG, aren’t you overlooking the Fact Biden was the point man, along with Russia hater Victoria Nuland, before and during the 2014 US/CIA Coup/regime change of the Russian friendly elected government the majority Russian speaking UKRAINIANS voted for, precipitating the 8 year Civil War between the US proxy anti-Russian government the US put in power, with Biden pouring weapons into Ukraine to prolong the War Today, now about to envelope this whole World?


            1. He may have been the “point man” ~ whatever that is ~ for all that, Ray; but he was taking his marching orders from the folks who owned, operated, scripted, handled, commanded and controlled him and Obama.


  15. Speaking of Jacinda, here’s what The Lady Caitlin has to say about her recent performance at the UN General Assembly. [ https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/nobody-who-supports-nato-is-a-moderate , which includes a video of excerpts from her speech]… :

    It sure was nice of governments to assign themselves the responsibility of regulating how we talk to each other online. I don’t remember anyone asking them to do this, and it sure sounds like a lot of work, but by golly they’ve volunteered for the job anyway:

    JACINDA ARDERN – “There will be only one source of truth and free speech is a ‘weapon of war.’”

    She calls for your censorship, Citizens who think and speak for themselves are a danger to the new normal.

    She asks: “How do you successfully end a war if people are led to believe the reason for its existence is not only legal but noble?”

    I keep tripping on this part. She’s saying people should be forbidden to say certain things about a war, on the absurd grounds that free speech can prevent peace. Even if you ignore the tyrannical mentality from which this claim arises, it also just makes zero logical sense. People saying online that a war is justified prevents that war from being ended? What? How? How could that possibly even happen? What the fuck are you talking about?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Yeah Jeff, Jacinda has worn thin on a lot of Kiwi’s.
    She reminds me so much of Obama – a great charismatic speaker who achieves nothing.
    She is only supporting the Ukraine because you have got to be one of the club.
    Many Kiwi’s think that NZ should mind its own business here.

    This poor Kiwi in this video’s comment section may have trouble expressing himself – but most Kiwi’s know what the poor guy is trying to say:
    Yeah how about our gas prices that would do us better why should we nz first give that money to the poor here nato got rich of war monger’s supplying them why should we donate to them give it to foodbanks here people are starving here.


  17. Yesterday I posted in the Washington Post the most likely saboteur of Nordstream I & II is the US with the submarines to launch a torpedo to do the job. No discussion of my comment, just the usual inane comments calling me a Russian troll or Boris or any other Russian name. I haven’t checked yet to see if it’s still there?

    Russia has been a RELIABLE SUPPLIER of Europe’s ENERGY NEEDS FOR DECADES – until the US DOMINATED European Nation NATO started steadily advancing right up to Russia’s Border. The Soviet MILITARY WARSAW PACT opposite NATO EXISTED NO MORE disappearing with the Soviet Union in 1991. Only Russia was left as Americans were all over YeltSIN, convincing him to sell off all the heavy Soviet Industries for pennies on the US Dollar leaving Russia Bankrupt to start over again.

    The US in the DELUSION of it’s imaginary UNIPOLAR HUBRIS, reasoned there’s nothing Russia can do to stop us. We’re advancing the US MILITARY right up to Russia’s BORDERS. It doesn’t matter what Russia thinks?
    With the collusion of US MASS MEDIA MANIPULATING THE MINDS OF THE MASSES, the SILENT MAJORITY went along with it, except for the Rah! Rah! in the MANIPULATED MILITARISM in the constantly brainwashed American Mind.

    In 2019 the US, fearing any further rapprochement between Germany and Russia, put Economic Sanctions on any and ALL European NATO Companies daring to defy American Dictates, and continue working on the last miles of Nordstream II in German Territorial Water. Of course for the Love of Money they stopped working on the Project. It was finished a year ago but German Leaders, most likely under pressure from the US, made Germany’s Interests subservient to US Interests and there may be hell to pay. It’s projected to be an exceptionally cold Winter as hell freezes over.

    Putin already implemented “the Nuclear Option” when he cut off the flow of gas through Nordstream I this month. With the 1 sided US WAR Propaganda, everything’s Putin’s fault. That premise is not True to begin with.

    This article in Global Research this am, details the reasons why I posted what I did Yesterday in The Washington Post.
    ‘The Anglo-American Axis vs. Eurasia: The Nord Stream Terrorist Attack in the Baltic Sea’

    This terrorist attack destroyed any chance of an energy-driven Russian-German rapprochement, immediately catapulted Poland into the position of being one of the continent’s most pivotal energy hubs, and thus took the Anglo-American Axis’ plans for dividing and ruling Europe to the next level.

    The unprecedented damage done to the Nord Stream pipelines Monday night was certainly an act of sabotage exactly as Denmark, Germany, Poland, and Russia suspect, though nobody can agree on who carried out this ecological terrorist attack in the Baltic Sea. Kiev, however, predictably blamed Russia for destroying its own pipeline in a remix of its earlier conspiracy theory alleging that Russia regularly bombs the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant that’s also under its control. That ridiculous scenario can therefore reasonably be ruled out, especially since Moscow could just keep the tap turned off for technical reasons without risking getting caught sabotaging its own pipelines in NATO-controlled waters……………….


    Liked by 1 person

  18. When the time comes to publish “The Best of William J Astore,” today’s piece on Tom Dispatch will get my vote for one of the ~ if not The ~ best ever. https://tomdispatch.com/integrity-optional/

    “OUT-Bloody-Fucking-STANDing, Colonel!” as they might put it in the parlance.

    Were I King of The Forest, there would be a mandatory 24-hour Stand-Down of all American non-strategic defensive operations and personnel in any way associated with the “Military” or the “Industrial” wings of the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex for the following purposes:

    That every individual working or training in the military and industrial wings of the MICC ~ from the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs down to the Squad and Assembly Line levels ~ be required to read and watch an oral presentation of “INTEGRITY OPTIONAL: Lies and Dishonor Plague America’s War Machine.”
    That every individual working or training in the military and industrial wings of the MICC then be required to THINK about “INTEGRITY OPTIONAL,” to DISCUSS it with their Families, Friends, Cohorts, Colleagues, and Compeers, and ESPECIALLY their Leaders, and then ASK themselves the following simple Questions: “So? So What? And NOW what?”

    Of particular resonance and importance, Bill, was Your conclusion: “The U.S. military has no shortage of goods, given its whopping expenditures on weaponry and equipment of all sorts; among the troops, it doesn’t lack for courage or fighting spirit, not yet, anyway. But IT DOES LACK HONOR, ESPECIALLY AT THE TOP. MUCH IS GONE WHEN A MILITARY CEASES TO TELL THE TRUTH TO ITSELF AND ESPECIALLY TO THE PEOPLE FROM WHOM ITS FORCES ARE DRAWN. AND COURAGE IS WASTED WHEN IN THE SERVICE OF LIES.

    “COURAGE WASTED: Is there a worst fate for a military establishment that prides itself on its members being all volunteers and is now having trouble filling its ranks?” [EMPHASIS added.]

    Thank You for that piece, Bill. It is a definite Bell Ringer. Or at least it could and should be.

    The question now is: How does this message get to the People who need to hear it most? Which requires answering a first question: And exactly Who are these People that need to read it?

    Who are these People who need to read, react, and respond to it? And if it IS Bell Ringer, what do they plan to do about it? Or more precisely: What COULD they do about it if a Critical Mass of these folks got together and decided and determined to CHANGE that?

    ~ jeff

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Yeah, I agree Jeff. One of the Lt. Cols. best ever articles.
    Great work Bill!
    But as Jeff says..How does this message get to the people who need to hear it the most?
    Indeed how does it?
    Jimmy Dore is doing is best

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It would be interesting to see the Viewer/Listener/Reader statistics on exactly how many civilian and military personnel in the MICC/SSSP actually listen to/watch/read what Mr Dore has to say.

      And even more importantly: How many agree with anything he has to say?


  20. Meanwhile, in Other News… :

    Any American or European who buys the ascendent “official conspiracy theory” propagated by their Governments and their Governments’ Medias ~ that it was Putin who sabotaged his own Baltic Sea gas pipelines ~ deserves exactly what they get.

    Just like they got exactly what they deserved for buying those same Governments’ and Medias’ “official conspiracy theory” about 9/11.

    And as Mr Ray Joseph Cormier pointed out earlier, the Global Research article “The Anglo-American Axis [AAA] vs. Eurasia: The Nord Stream Terrorist Attack in the Baltic Sea” explains exactly WHY, and concludes as follows:

    “Sabotaging the Nord Stream pipelines accomplishes precisely that by completely disincentivizing Germany from potentially clinging to whatever energy-driven plans it might have for eventually repairing relations with Russia. With that scenario confidently discounted after Monday night’s ecological terrorist attack in the Baltic Sea, which also served the purpose of making Poland among the continent’s most pivotal energy hubs, Germany might also figure that it doesn’t have anything more to lose vis a vis Russia by possibly being the first country to send cutting-edge battle tanks to Kiev. This artificially manufactured strategic inertia would thus doom Russian-German relations for decades.

    “Considering these outcomes, both immediate and emerging, there’s no doubt that the AAA benefits the most from the ecological terrorist attack that was just carried out in the Baltic Sea against the two Nord Stream pipelines. They’re insulated from the consequences of the ecological disaster that they created and are thus able to advance their grand strategic goals without any cost to themselves. This terrorist attack destroyed any chance of an energy-driven Russian-German rapprochement, immediately catapulted Poland into the position of being one of the continent’s most pivotal energy hubs, and thus took their plans for dividing and ruling Europe to the next level.”

    Full article at: https://www.globalresearch.ca/anglo-american-axis-benefits-from-ecological-terrorist-attack-baltic-sea/5794777

    Note: “AAA” or “Anglo-American Axis” is an updated moniker for Carroll Quigley’s “Anglo-American Establishment” and/or George Orwell’s “Oceania.”

    Liked by 2 people

  21. That it was Putin who sabotaged his own Baltic Sea gas pipelines ~ pfffft!
    John Pilger is truly one of the all-time greats of journalism.
    Surely what he says must be listened to – for his words ALWAYS carry the weight of unfettered truth.


    1. Dennis: Does Pilger have anything to say about the Nord Stream “sabotage”? This video is from July 8. Thanks.


      1. President Biden already announced it on February 7th this year:

        “If Russia invades…then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.”
        Reporter: “But how will you do that, exactly, since…the project is in Germany’s control?”
        Biden: “I promise you, we will be able to do that.”


        1. That doesn’t answer my question, Dennis: Has Pilger had anything to say about Nord Stream? That’s what we are talking about, isn’t it?


  22. Anybody here ever hear of that old American political dirty trick “The October Surprise”?

    The Chessboard is being set up… : The September 21 speeches by Putin and Biden; the Referendums and looming Annexations [in which case Ukrainian military action in the contested Provinces is action in territorial Russia]; and now the Nord Stream “sabotage.”

    And interestingly enough, today ~ 29 September 2022 ~ is exactly 40 days before America’s Midterm elections. It has all the makings and markings of a Very interesting month, eh?


  23. Two comments on a South China Morning Post Youtube video posted today:

    “The area where the gas leaks occurred is according to the British Department of Military Defense too shallow for submarines to operate and so the attack must have involved undersea drones or robots which would need ships in the area to operate most probably robots to remove the concrete shell. At the beginning of June, the US Sixth Fleet had an exercise in the area of the leaks where its Specialist Underwater Warfare Unit used a demining robot to demonstrate laying and recovering mines. Just before the explosions the USS Kearsarge flotilla was also exercising in the area and was only 30 km away having left the area when the explosions occurred – the helicopters Russia referred to came from this ship which had been docked nearby in Gdansk Poland. Add in Biden and Nuland’s statements in February 2022 before Russia commencement of SMO in Ukraine, and the pressure on the German public onto Scholtz to open Nordstream 2 in response to the offer made last week by Putin at the Samarkand conference. Occam’s Razor rules we do not have to look any further, for most likely the culprit is USA.
    Whether this will cause a rift with the EU and affect NATO we will have to wait to see. This terrorism is not only an act of war against Russia but also an economic war against Germany and the EU. Russia can still deliver gas to Germany either as LNG from its St Petersberg plant or via the Northern Lights/Yamal line via Belarus and Poland. However Poland now getting gas from Norway via the newly inaugurated pipeline, Poland may be prompted by the US to refuse passage Russia gas which will bring their present rift with Germany to a head.”

    “Strange its alignment coincided the mid terms in America coming up, a massive fall in the pound, Russia mobilisation”


  24. Comment on Alexander Mercouri’s site today:

    “It is astounding to hear, the many theories about the “sabotaged” attack on Nordstream 1 and 2, as anyone can see on any Marine Tracking application, which where the vessels on side near Bornholm on September 26 and 27 when the sabotage took place, and thus limit the amount of theories
    It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, that two American navy vessels where on side when the explosions where registred by the Swedish seismographic agency, and one German navy vessel a couple of hours afterwards
    With all the threats of the US in the months ahead, by Biden, and Nuland, and just hours afterwards by an ex-minister of Poland on Twitter stating “thank you, USA”, one has all the motives why the US would’ve undertaken such a reckless, distorted and psychotic action

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Heh. This is shaping up to be a carefully choreographed re-worked-for-21st-century America “Gulf of Tonkin Incident.” And we all know how THAT turned out, eh?


      1. Jeff at least something happened here – a gas pipeline was sabotaged.

        The “Gulf of Tonkin Incident” was a big nothing. In 1995, McNamara met with former People’s Army of Vietnam General Võ Nguyên Giáp to ask what happened on August 4, 1964. “Absolutely nothing”, Giáp replied. Giáp claimed that the attack had been imaginary.

        Do I have that right?


        1. To tell the truth, Dennis, i did not know that McNamara met Giap in 1995, and that they discussed the Tonkin Gulf Incident[s]. But a little Google Hunt n Gather led me to offer the following thoughts:

          It is very interesting that it was McNamara who asked Giap the question ~ “with urgency in his voice.’What really happened in the Gulf of Tonkin more than 30 years ago.’” Nor is it at all surprising that Giap declared “There was absolutely nothing.”
          [ https://archive.seattletimes.com/archive/?date=19951109&slug=2151509 ]

          What should have happened is that Giap asked McNamara the exact same question, because McNamara knew very, Very well what exactly, actually, really happened: Nothing. Not a bloody, freeking thing.

          In any event, You may have missed my point: Whether the Tonkin Gulf Incident actually, really happened as claimed by the American Government and its Media, that Government and its Media were able to sell the American People [or at least Congress] on their Bullshit Story, and pave the way for what the Vietnamese People term “The American War.”

          The so-called “sabotage” of the gas pipelines ~ along with all the other things that have happened on the Chessboard since the September 21 speeches mentioned earlier ~ may be just another link in the chain of events kicking in as we march merely along on the next stage on the road to World War III.

          Especially if the American People can be sold the idea that Russia blew up its own primary source of leverage over Western Europe just as Winter approaches. And that Putin must fall and regime change occurs in Moscow to save Western Civilization, And if [or perhaps i should say When] Ukraine launches military operations in the soon-to-be-annexed-by Russia Eastern Provinces, that will be an attack on territorial, if not Mother Russia Herself; and that will change Everything.

          Liked by 1 person

  25. Alexander Mercouris has never gotten anything wrong on any aspect of this conflict.

    And as he says in this excellent video it comes down to a process of elimination – and all the evidence points to the Great Satan, the United States of America.

    And as he points out – any Western dominated investigation will be a kangaroo court deciding it was the Russians who sabotaged their own pipeline. The only question now is what Putin’s next move is going to be?


  26. Follow the money and who gets the power.
    It sure as hell isn’t Russia.
    Interesting that no one in the administration has condemned the attacks.


  27. “Denmark and Sweden have said leaks from the Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea were caused by blasts equivalent to the power of “several hundred kilograms of explosive”.

    The conclusions were made in a joint report by Denmark and Sweden which was delivered to the United Nations. The UN environment programme said on Friday the ruptures are likely to have led to the biggest single release of climate-damaging methane ever recorded.

    German authorities have also said they believe that highly explosive detonations were responsible for the attacks on the two pipelines. The EU, Nato and the governments of Poland, Sweden and Denmark have all said they believe the leaks were caused deliberately.

    Data analysis has revealed huge clouds of methane gas are hovering over the leaks, from natural gas that has been pouring into the Baltic Sea from both pipelines since Monday, the ICOS, a greenhouse gas observation system operating across Europe, reported….

    Intelligence sources quoted in the news magazine Spiegel believe the pipelines were hit in four places by explosions using 500kg of TNT, the equivalent to the explosive power of a heavy aircraft bomb. German investigators have undertaken seismic readings to calculate the power of the blasts”



    1. Of course he did it! The man’s a maniac! A grand chess master thinking five moves ahead. He’s sacrificed his queen only to set up a master move that will checkmate us all!

      Actually, I don’t see much by way of a motive for Putin to have done this. But remember, Dennis: USA and Ukraine: GOOOOOOOOD. Russia and Putin: BAAAAAAAAAD

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The only problem with the analogy of a Grand Chess Master making five moves ahead, Bill, is that The Game that is being played is not “Chess.”

        Rather, The Game being played is the strategic board game called “Wei Chi” in Chinese, “Baduk” in Korean, and ~ most familiarly to Americans ~ “Go” in Japanese.


          1. Heh. It’s more like an obsession, isn’t it?

            Just like the operative conceptual model of post-World War II geopolitics was, and the model for post-Cold War I has been, and the model for Cold War II as it unfolding now is Brzezinski’s THE GRAND CHESSBOARD: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives. Chess seems to be an obsession in all the centers of Wealth and Power on the Planet, as well.

            The thought i’m just in the initial stages of exploring is that THE GAME that is actually being played is a lot less like Chess than it is like Go. If for no other treason than that in Go, there is no one single critical piece [the King] to be killed in order to win the game. In Go, the winner is who controls the most territory on the Go Board when the game is over.

            Another reason to suspect that what is and has been going on in the realm of global geopolitics is more like Go than Chess is that, in terms of relative complexity, Go is to Chess as Chess is to Checkers.

            Like i said: That’s a thought i’ve only just begun to explore, but i think it has a great deal of potential to help better understand what is going on today, and has been going on for quite some time.


    2. Well i guess That settles THAT, eh?

      If the “majority of YouTube viewers” accept that narrative, what possible doubt can there be?

      i’m curious, Dennis: How did and does the majority of YouTube viewers regard what the US Government and its Media said about what actually, really happened on 9/11?


  28. Bill, Putin gave a great speech this morning. Rational, reasonable and truthful.
    If you don’t mind Lt. Col. here is how it was portrayed in the New Zealand MSM:
    Its long – but how his speech was presented to the New Zealand people is very revealing

    Remember, USA and Ukraine: GOOOOOOOOD. Russia and Putin: BAAAAAAAAAD

    In an angry, conspiratorial address on Friday (local time), amid grand fanfare, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered the Kremlin’s justification for Russia’s annexation of four Ukrainian territories, presenting an anti-Western worldview that accused “Anglo-Saxons” of neocolonialism and sabotage.

    The half-hour speech was delivered in the ornate Georgievsky Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace, where Putin announced that Russia would formally incorporate Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions after staged referendums there.

    “People have made their choice, an unambiguous choice,” Putin said.

    The staged plebiscites came amid condemnation by world leaders and a Ukrainian military push that means Russia does not control all of the regions it now claims as it own.

    Russia will never give up annexed regions

    Putin vowed to welcome the citizens of the Ukrainian regions to Russia but suggested that Moscow would never give up the annexed areas.

    “I want the Kyiv authorities and their real masters in the West to hear me, so that they remember this. People living in Luhansk and Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia are becoming our citizens. Forever,” he said.

    Putin also said he was justified in accepting the territory as the first article of the United Nations’ founding charter allows for self-determination.

    Russia has annexed Ukrainian territory before; in 2014, it took control of Crimea after a similar staged referendum. However, most of the international community still considers the peninsula part of Ukraine, and Kyiv has pledged to regain control of it.

    Ukraine must give in

    Putin demanded that Ukrainian authorities begin peace talks, telling the “Kyiv regime to immediately end hostilities, end the war that they unleashed back in 2014 and return to the negotiating table. We are ready for this”.

    Ukraine has consistently demanded that Russian forces give up any land seized after the February 24 invasion of Ukraine, as well as Crimea, as a condition of peace talks. Speaking at the opening of the UN General Assembly last week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russia needed to be punished for its actions.

    “A crime has been committed against Ukraine, and we demand punishment,” said Zelenskyy, who appeared at the top diplomatic gathering via video.

    The West is trying to destroy Russia

    Though the annexation of Ukrainian states was the subject of the speech, much of its running time focused on attacking the West – and the United States in particular. The Russian president repeated many of his most conspiratorial views included in the “golden billion” theory.

    Putin accused the West of creating a “neocolonial system” aimed specifically at destroying Russia, later arguing that the West had been “drowned in an ocean of fakes” and that its leaders lie like Joseph Goebbels, the chief propagandist of Nazi Germany.

    “It is worth reminding the West that it began its colonial policy back in the Middle Ages, and then followed the global slave trade, the genocide of Indian tribes in America, the plunder of India, Africa, the wars of England and France against China, as a result of which it was forced to open its ports for trade of opium,” Putin said.

    “I emphasise that one of the reasons for the centuries-old Russophobia, the undisguised malice of these Western elites toward Russia is precisely that we did not allow ourselves to be robbed during the period of colonial conquests. We forced the Europeans to trade for mutual benefit,” he said.

    The United States, not Russia, poses a nuclear threat

    Russian officials have repeatedly made thinly veiled references to nuclear weapons during the war in Ukraine, with Putin himself suggesting last week that the Kremlin would “use all the means at our disposal” to protect Russian territory – which in Putin’s eyes may now include the annexed Ukrainian regions.

    But Putin said that it was the United States that posed a nuclear threat to the world, referencing the use of nuclear weapons against Japanese cities during World War II.

    “The US is the only country in the world to ever use atomic weapons. They destroyed the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. By the way, that created a precedent,” Putin said.

    “Let me also remind you that the United States, together with the British, turned Dresden, Hamburg, Cologne and many other German cities into ruins without any military necessity during World War II. And this was done defiantly, without any, I repeat, military necessity. here was only one goal, just as in the case of the nuclear bombings in Japan: to intimidate both our country and the whole world,” he said.

    ‘Anglo-Saxons’ sabotaged the Nord Stream pipelines

    “Sanctions are not enough for the Anglo-Saxons; they have switched to sabotage. In fact, they have begun to destroy the Pan-European infrastructure,” Putin said, appearing to refer to damage to the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines.

    The pipelines, built to carry Russian natural gas to Europe, were damaged by dual explosions off the coast of Denmark on Tuesday (local time). Some European officials have privately blamed the Kremlin for the blasts, arguing that only Russia had a clear motive for such an attack.

    The Russian government has denied responsibility for the blasts.

    Russia will never recognise LGBT rights

    In another detour, Putin railed against gay rights in the West and suggested that Russia would never follow the same path.

    “Do we want children from elementary school to be imposed with things that lead to degradation and extinction? Do we want them to be taught that instead of men and women, there are supposedly some other genders and to be offered sex-change surgeries? This is unacceptable to us; we have a different future,” Putin said.

    Under Putin, Russia has passed several laws that target the LGBT community, including a “gay propaganda” law that drew widespread international criticism.

    In the words of Ivan Ilyin, Russia’s ‘destiny is my destiny’

    At the end of the speech, Putin quoted Ivan Ilyin, an anti-Communist theoretician who was exiled to Switzerland.

    “And if I consider my homeland to be Russia, it means that in the Russian way I love, contemplate and think, in the Russian way I sing and speak; that I believe in the spiritual forces of the Russian people and accept its historical destiny with my instinct and my will. Its spirit is my spirit; its destiny is my destiny; its suffering is my grief; its flourishing is my joy,” Putin said in concluding his speech.

    Historians often refer to Ilyin as a fascist. He is known for an idiosyncratic worldview that combined more-traditional Christian and monarchist views with conspiracy theories and quasi-mystical views of the power of leaders.

    As Putin ended his speech, he signed “accession treaties” to absorb the Ukrainian regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, as did Moscow’s proxy leaders for the regions.

    To cheers, the leaders held hands and chanted:

    “Russia! Russia! Russia!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This speech is being praised by commentators all over the globe.
      The most historical speech by President Putin – the speech will be rewatched over and over again decades from now, it will be in every history book

      As one commentator said about it:
      It is about time
      That somebody and some country stands against bullies of the west
      Russia is not Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Syria, Lybia, Afghanistan
      Today is the first day and a start of a new and liberated world
      All countries now who are sanctioned and abused should stand with and join RUSSIA

      Alexander, Thank you for today’s brilliant commentary and analysis. Have a good weekend ! Thank you !


      1. Who ~ besides Your Boy Alexander ~ is “praising this speech by commentators all over the globe” Got any sources?


              1. Dennis, who gives a fat flying fluck about what a bunch of “ordinary people like you and me” say about this [or anything else, for that matter[?

                Or what Chomsky, Chossudovsky, Hedges, Stockman, and/or anybody else who doesn’t agree with them has to say?

                More specifically: Do You actually, honestly think that Anybody in Washington, Kyiv, or Brussels cares at all about what Anybody says about Anything on this whole Goat Rope except what their owners, operators, controllers, and commanders order them to do?

                If You do, i hear there’s a bridge for sale in Brooklyn You might be interested in.


                1. Jeff my old friend you be a frightful bore sometimes! I wonder why anybody should give a fat flying fluck about any of your thoughts if you care so little about theirs eh?


                2. Re-read what i wrote Dennis:

                  “More specifically: DO YOU ACTUALLY, HONESTLY THINK THAT ANYBODY IN WASHINGTON, KYIV, OR BRUSSELS CARES AT ALL ABOUT WHAT ANYBODY SAYS ABOUT ANYTHING ON THIS WHOLE GOAT ROPE EXCEPT what their owners, operators, controllers, and commanders order them to do?” [EMPHASIS added.]

                  The subject isn’t how much I care about what people like You and me [or Commenters on Consortium News] say, but how much the people running the shows in DC, Kyiv, and Brussels care about what anybody says about anything.


    2. Do You have a source for that NZ interpretation of Putin’s speech?

      Or even better: A source for an Official translation and transcript of that speech?


  29. Damit WordPress deleted the numbering of the (7) points he made…

    Russia will never give up annexed regions
    Ukraine must give in
    The West is trying to destroy Russia
    The United States, not Russia, poses a nuclear threat
    ‘Anglo-Saxons’ sabotaged the Nord Stream pipelines
    Russia will never recognise LGBT rights – (the only one I am uneasy with.)
    In the words of Ivan Ilyin, Russia’s ‘destiny is my destiny’


  30. ‘New Army command in Wiesbaden to coordinate war support for Ukraine, report says’

    The Day of Reckoning is coming when all restraint will be gone and Putin starts acting like the US is presenting Russia with an EXISTENTIAL THREAT much more immediate than Israel faces with it’s Nukes.
    Then all gloves are off, and Armageddon/WWIII could be over in hours in this Nuclear Missile Age.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. These Army Commanders in Wiesbaden obviously never sit down and watch Alexander Mercouri’s video’s eh Ray! If the West ramps up this conflict – you are right – the gloves will be off -and then some!
    Idiots! YANKY GO HOME!


  32. It’s as obvious as the nose on your face that the US Navy did this!
    Just as Biden promised they would back in February.
    That the Russians would sabotage the pipeline they have spent so much money on – is ridiculous!


    1. Heh. You sure it wasn’t the Israeli Navy who did it, just to move things on to the next Level? After all; there’s an election coming up on November 8, isn’t there?


      1. AIPAC, the coterie of Jews, neo-conservatives and Christian Zionists that dominates US foreign policy probably fit somewhere into this jigsaw puzzle probably I’d say. Pretty sure of that!


        1. Heh. i’m sure You are sure. Lots of people find great comfort in that surety.

          When’s the last time You read “The “Protocols of The Elders of Zion,” Dennis?

          After all: Weren’t the world’s first “Jihadists” those folks led by Moses out of Egypt to “liberate” Canaan and the rest of their promised Promised Land?

          So is it all just one big conspiracy by Zionists, be they Jewish, Christian, Atheist, and/or Agnostic?

          Or is that just a cover story?


  33. Jimmy Dore nails it again.
    Who is making America’s big decisions? Who is running the country?
    Yeah, good question Jimmy!


    1. F* Jimmy Dore, Dennis. Who do YOU think is running the country and making all those decisions?

      And how many civilians and military personnel employed by or “serving in” the MICC and SSSP agree with either him or You?


      1. Jimmy and I asked the question first!
        Who do YOU think is running the country and making all those decisions?
        And where do they have their meetings?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Dennis: If You don’t know by now ~ after everything that i have posted on BV and stated in personal emails ~ exactly Who i think is running this country, How, and from Where, then let’s just terminate the conversation, shall we?


    1. My guess is that it was the President of The United States, acting on orders from his owners, operators, scripters, handers, commanders, and controllers. Got any better guesses?


      1. That must have been one big meeting Jeff! His owners, operators, scripters, handers, commanders, and controllers – all one room! A shit load of people! And I guess they had a show of hands eh!


        1. Ever hear of Video Meetings via things like Zoom, Dennis?

          And there was no need for a “show of hands” as to what happens next. The meeting was held to formalize, implement, and then order execution of a decision that had already been made quite some time ago.

          And that’s when Biden got his marching orders and started following them to a T. Just like he has for 50+ years.


  34. And which Commander in Chief is going to OK deploying a “small” (yeah right!) tactical nuclear bomb on Russian troops in “occupied” Ukraine? A demented man?
    And when is the American Congress going invoke the 25th Amendment for Chrissake?
    And turn the power of the President over to Kamala Harris. Oh dear!


    1. You answered You own question, Dennis, about the 25th Amendment.

      The real question is: How many in the Chain of Succession to the White House have to be eliminated by one means or the other before somebody who SHOULD be the President sits in the Oval Office?

      As regards deploying tactical nukes in Ukraine? That depends entirely upon Who the CIC is when the most opportune and potentially beneficial chance to that arrives.


  35. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says New Zealand does not recognise Russia’s “illegal attempts” to annex occupied areas of Ukraine.

    In a statement on Saturday, Ardern said New Zealand condemns unequivocally Russia’s move, announced by President Vladimir Putin overnight.

    “We do not recognise these illegal attempts to change Ukraine’s borders or territorial sovereignty,” Jacinda Ardern said.

    “Russia’s sham referenda in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia are illegitimate, and have no legal basis for acquisition of Ukraine’s territory by Russia,” Ardern said in a statement.



    1. And so exactly WHAT is what NZ’s Prime Minister going to DO about that, Dennis? Commit some Kiwi troops, jets, and aircraft carriers?

      And what will New Zealanders have to pay in Blood and Treasure as a result of her declaration?

      And then what is she going to do when Ukraine initiates military action in those annexed Provinces, thus launching an attack of territorial “Mother Russia” herself? Give anyther speech at the UN?


    2. It’s not an attempt! It’s a done deal that won’t be reversed.

      Yet the West accepts without question the Israeli annexation of the Golan, East Jerusalem and the de facto annexation of the West Bank, all captured in War and occupied by the IDF since 1967. The Syrians and Palestinians weren’t even offered the SHAM of a referendum!


  36. US President Joe Biden said his administration would support any effort by Ukraine to retake the annexed territories by force, setting the stage for further hostilities.

    “America and its allies are not going to be intimidated by Putin and his reckless words and threats,” Biden told reporters. He added that Putin “can’t seize his neighbour’s territory and get away with it”.

    Ha! What was David Stockman saying just yesterday……..After all, this madness is being pursued in the name of abstract policy norms – the rule of law and sanctity of borders – that make Washington a laughing stock. More than any other nation on planet earth (and by a long-shot), it has serially and blatantly violated these standards scores of times in recent decades.


    1. Do You have a source on Biden’s statement on how the US supports action by Ukraine to “retake the annexed territories”?

      And correct me if i am wrong, but hasn’t Putin already “seize[ed] his neighbor’s territory and [gotten] away with it”?

      How is Putin and/or his cohorts, colleagues, and compeers in Russia suffering as a result of any of this? About as much as Biden and his Gang and Xi and his are suffering, is my guess.

      And Stockman nails it as usual. Unfortunately, the vast majority of Americans are totally and completely
      oblivious to, ignorant of, and could care less about what he says.

      And that’s just one reason as to Why America may not survive to celebrate its 250th birthday on July 4, 2026: 1.376 days from today.


    2. Last year long before the War started, Zelensky passed this: Decree No. 117/2021 of March 24 on enactment of the relevant decision of the National Security and Defense Council was published on the website of the Head of State, Ukrinform reports.

      “To approve the Strategy for De-occupation and Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol,” the document reads.


  37. Writing as someone who is probably physically closer to “where the action is” (and I don’t mean the old TV show) than anyone else here, and in defiance of the stream of Vladi-Love and God’s Will, I freely say I harbor no sense of outrage at Ukraine for refusing to freely go under the Russian boot heel, nor against Putin for showing his his true self at last (ex-KGB who’d probably be a body guard for some Russian mobster if he hadn’t stumbled into politics). So, here’s my solution/opinion for what should be done to stop the unpleasantness and to keep my heat on come winter:
    First, invoke the 25th Amendment to remove J. Biden (it’s nothing personal, he’s just out of his depth).
    Second, let Russia’s criminal element know that a cool $1 billion dollars awaits whoever takes out one V. Putin.
    Third, let Ukraine go back to being an inconsequential blue mass on my RISK game board.
    Another option would be to call on Awopbabaloobop, a-bopbamboom Good Gawd Awlmighty to send down an avenging angel as he always did when there was wet work to be done, and clean them all out. But since God took a powder after the Old Testament and hasn’t been heard from since, that’s not likely to happen. Soooo …
    The last option would be to claim to be Doing God’s Work and nuke ’em all until they glow. In all honesty, does anyone really care what ultimately happens to Ukraine? Or Iraq or Afghanistan or Syria or (fill in the blank)? History has shown there will always be a smaller country getting whacked by a larger country. Whether the larger country is the US or Russia or (possibly someday) China or whomever, and the smaller country is Bongo-Congo, the Duchy of Fenwick, or Shangri-La makes no difference.
    It’s going to happen, and all the links and righteous indignation and inside information in the world will not change that.
    And I believe there is Scriptural Support for all of the above (The Gospel of Butsudanbill, Butsudanbill’s Letter to Somebody or Other).
    It’s possible I’m kidding with some, possibly all, of the above. There was getting to be a “Truth Overload” and, unless it’s true that truth has many faces, well … ah, heck. No use beating a dead horse.


    1. Good thought-provoker, butsudanbill. Let me ask You a couple of questions, if i may:

      ~ 1. Do the actions of the United States, NATO, and the Ukrainians in Ukraine over the past 8 or so years have anything to do with how Putin has reacted, responded, and ultimately acted? Or is this all on him and those folks in the Eastern areas of the country who are and feel more Russian than Ukrainian?

      ~ 2. Do You think Harris would be any less out of her depth than Biden is out of his?

      ~ 3. After Russia’s Mafia disposes of Putin, do they get to pick and choose his replacement, or will somebody else do that?

      ~ 4. Do You think Ukraine is “an inconsequential blue mass” on the Pentagon’s, NATO’s, the Kremlin’s, and Beijing’s RISK game board? Or has ever been; particularly since the demise of the USSR and the end of Cold War I?

      ~ 5. And if ~in all honesty ~ nobody really cares about what happens to Ukraine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Etc, then, in all honesty, does anybody ultimately really care about what happens to the United States and Western Europe? Do You think Americans and Europeans care more about that than how much Ukrainians, Afghans, Iraqis, Syrians, Etc care about what has happened to and is happening in Their own counties? Did and do the Vietnamese, Cambodians, and Laotians care about what the United States did to their Lands, Countries, Nations, and Peoples?

      ~ 6. If we claim we’re doing OUR “God’s Work,” what’s to prevent Team Putin from claiming that they are doing THEIR “God’s Work,” as well? Isn’t that essentially what he said in his recent speech praising “Mother Russia” and promising to defend Her from the “Satanic West,” at all costs?

      ~ 7. And what exactly is a “Truth Overload”? Is that something that has happened recently? i must have missed it.


    2. And where are You that is “closer to the action” than anyone else on BV? Are You in Europe?

      i’m in Southeast Alaska, where, as the Arctic and its Ocean heats and thus opens up for resource exploitation and “strategic and tactical control of the top of the world,” things are about to get very interesting in the not-too-distant future.


  38. Gideon Levy nails it!
    Irony is hanging its head in shame; hypocrisy is embarrassed. Israel is giving them a bad name. The Foreign Ministry announced Friday that “Israel supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. We will not recognize the annexation of the four provinces by Russia.”

    Where to begin? With an occupying state preaching to a different occupying state? With an annexing state announcing that it won’t recognize a different annexation? Or perhaps with the gap that has finally opened up between the governments of Lapid and of Netanyahu: Benjamin Netanyahu’s Israel was silent, Yair Lapid’s Israel preaches morality. One is bad and the other is even worse…………………………..


    Liked by 1 person

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