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Reading for June 25 from Praying for Justice. “Surely the righteous will praise Your name, and the upright will live in Your presence.” Psalm 140: 13

25.06.2019 – Santiago de Chile – Redacción Chile

Corporate power and human destiny

By Juan Gómez*

We have witnessed over the past decades that humanity and its environment seem to be on the wrong track leading to their imminent destruction.

The alarm signal was triggered by the depletion of some non-renewable natural resources, extinction of many animal species, atmospheric pollution, pollution of rivers and seas. Also the consequent deterioration of the flora and fauna that inhabit them, partly depleted by massive fishing, partly intoxicated by the waste of human activity and also diminished by the increase in the temperature of their waters.

Wars for power and natural resources have always existed, for centuries, however they have never had such a destructive effect on people and their habitat because of the technological development of the weapons used, which has generated massive exoduses of entire populations, migrants that nobody wants to receive given the nationalist policies of Western countries.

The model of almost universal development of countries based on growth through consumption generates various types of problems both for the environment and for the human beings who inhabit it:

Firstly, it generates an enormous emission of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming and climate change. In spite of having clear possibilities of changing the energy based on fossil fuels for cleaner energies, this is not done because we do not want to affect the oil and coal industry.

Secondly, because of a materialistic consumerist lifestyle that is alien to the true essence of the human being. A harmful appetite for material goods that results in excessive ambition to have over being, basing its human quality on this parameter. It denatures people, uprooting them from their true essence, generating a harmful individualism alien to their true sense of life, which is found in sharing with a spirit of service to the community.

In keeping with the above, a nefarious business custom has been created of producing disposable articles, to accelerate the demand for their products, generating millions of tons of garbage, many times difficult to eliminate and degrade.

This model of production quickly and irreversibly depletes the non-renewable natural resources of the only planet we have.

It installs enormous inequalities between the people who have the best opportunities and capacities to generate resources, condemning an immense majority to poverty and a minority to scandalous, astronomically superior wealth. Thus, it segregates people into first, second and third class.

This model that everyone perceives as harmful resists disappearing, rather it tends to be exacerbated, given the intense promotional and advertising management of transnational economic entrepreneurship. Indeed, they do so by promoting through the media products that promise to bring us a lot of happiness. Cell phones, cars, trips to paradisiacal places, drinks, BBQs with friends and a long etcetera draw us a world of fantasy that is based only on pleasure, but as a mirage fade into tinsel that do not bring us what we promised.

Although we know that consumption does not bring happiness, but rather disenchantment and frustration for the majority, and that it leads to the destruction of our habitat by the environmental disaster it causes, we have not been able to change our model and we are still aboard a train that threatens to derail.

There is nothing more powerful in this world than business interests, with their publicity and lobbying on governments and parliamentarians to co-opt them, making them obscene with their interests, contrary to those of the populations.

People, through representative democracies, elect governments and parliamentarians to represent them and defend their interests, however, they have been unable to do anything in spite of the cry of the conscious citizens that demands effective measures against climate change and also the right to live in peace in a violent world. The rest live anesthetized by consumer fervour and their escape valves such as football and parties.

Despite the urgency of effective measures to curb climate change and the arms race, almost nothing has been done to contain them. This leads us to think almost without fear of being mistaken that the real power that handles the policies of governments is the business world with its economic interests. The evidence is obvious. Companies need to grow in order to generate profits that satisfy their shareholders, therefore, they need to make a strong promotion of their products and the model of life to which they lead, and a gigantic lobby on governments to generate policies that are in line with their commercial interests. It has already been demonstrated that when a government goes outside the norm and adopts a different model of life based on more equitable economic policies that better distribute income, withdraw their capital and disinvest, and when the interests in that place are very great given their natural wealth or geopolitical importance, they force the imperialist governments to apply sanctions and economic blockades. We see this clearly in the case of Venezuela.

This criterion is also applicable to the arms industry, in particular that which produces nuclear weapons, the other great threat hanging over humanity. This industry, like all others, needs to grow and for that it has to promote itself in order to sell more. The promotion in this case is even more harmful, nefarious, because it is based on  tension and insecurity. A peaceful and calm world is absolutely contrary to those interests. The permanent threat of wars and conflicts in different parts of the world is the perfect scenario to sell more weapons. The governments of manufacturing countries are strongly pressured by this industry to authorize sales to countries with serious problems of crimes against humanity in contravention of all international rules and treaties including the Arms Trade Treaty. The most emblematic case is that of arms sales to Saudi Arabia by most producing countries. Human rights and human security are thus subordinated to commercial interests.

With governments co-opted by business interests, which can do little and nothing to reverse this order of things, it is civil society that is called upon to act by generating the critical mass necessary to generate, through intelligent actions, strong pressure on governments and congressmen to reconvert this industry that leads to our own destruction, for a sustainable industry at the service of life. It is a slow and difficult but indispensable process. Current conditions are unsustainable. A change of course is urgently needed.

There are laudable initiatives by many civil society organizations that undoubtedly need to be more massive in order to have a real impact on the course of events. Of note is the immeasurable work of Greenpeace on environmental issues, Amnesty International on Human Rights, ICAN promoting the ban on nuclear weapons. But also from organisations that work to end wars and the arms trade, through disinvestment in the arms industry such as Pax Christi, World beyond War, Stop War Coalition, World without Wars and without Violence, Veterans for Peace, International Peace Bureau and many others for the end of wars. I congratulate the activists of Greenpeace, of Codepink, of the Movement for the Protection of the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington for their courage in defending the cause. We need thousands of them.

However, we need to unite more to generate more pressure. Unity is strength. We have to leave behind the organisational egos in order to generate a great World Movement for the defense of the planet, of human beings and their survival. We cannot remain immobilized by language barriers, distance or misunderstood nationalisms. We are all equal behind the same cause, which is the redemption of humanity for its survival.

The Movement for a World without Wars and without Violence is organising its Second World March for Peace and Nonviolence that will start on October 2, 2019 in Madrid and then circumnavigate the planet and finish in the same city on March 8, 2020. Everyone is called to participate in whatever way they want by highlighting the imperative need to end nuclear weapons, wars, the arms race, illegal arms sales, foreign military bases, and in general all forms of violence, physical, social, economic, religious, sexual, racial, etc.

More information can be found at

Also in the future we are all called to support each of the activities that organisations working on these issues. We can be one for all and all for one. Only in this way will we be able to create the critical mass necessary to produce real changes in human destiny.

*World Without Wars and Without Violence


Translation Pressenza London

Reading for June 24 from Praying for Justice. “ [The unrighteous] justify the wicked for a bribe, and take away the rights of the ones who are in the right!” Isaiah 5: 23

Trust in God
To make it clear
Why you and I
Are here
David Herr

25.06.2019 – US, United States – David Swanson

Protecting Children from Police

By David Swanson

Donald E. McInnis’s book, She’s So Cold, is painful to read. McInnis was the defense attorney for one of three boys falsely accused of killing one of the boys’ sister. Much of the book is recreation of police interrogations that were videotaped, and of a court hearing.

This was one of those cases the mass media love and for which they effectively convict the accused in the minds of the public. This was in 1998 in San Diego, and the original victim’s name was Stephanie Crowe. But there were more victims, including Stephanie’s brother, two of his friends, and the three boys’ families. The trauma willfully and knowingly inflicted on them by the police and prosecutors was limited by the fact that so-called “confessions” by two of the three boys were videotaped. I haven’t watched the videos, but reading them is like watching violence in slow motion.

Some — O.K. basically everyone — would dispute my characterization of police behavior as “willful and knowing.” But I think the facts speak for themselves, and that it reduces human beings to unthinking objects to suppose them completely unaware of the most extreme pretenses and manipulations they engage in. Two of the boys have been awarded multi-million dollar settlements by the government for, I assume, something other than a well-intentioned accident.

For anyone who has managed to avoid the many accounts of how false confessions are created, and protected from reality a belief in the impossibility or unlikelihood of false confessions, this book is an excellent introduction. On the day that 14-year-old Michael Crowe’s beloved sister was brutally murdered, police began subjecting Michael to days of lengthy interrogation, denying him contact with his parents, falsely claiming that his sister’s blood was found in his room, suggesting to him that he might have a split personality and have murdered his sister without being aware of it, and threatening him with horrible punishment unless he admitted to what he had unknowingly done despite having no memory of having done it.

To understand why any reasonably intelligent 14-year-old might be won over by days of this interminable badgering, and good-cop/bad-copping, one must consider fear, exhaustion, and above-all an extreme and irrational faith in the absolute honesty of police. That last factor, the faith in police, is ubiquitous, and most people reading this hold it themselves, so we’re not supposed to call it irrational. But this “confession” and many others like it would not have been possible without that faith.

The irrational beliefs at the root of the tragedy recounted in She’s So Cold are not held by the three innocent boys, but by the police, prosecutors, corporate media, and public at large. They begin with the irrational belief that an unsolved crime is a failure. If a crime is committed and there is no persuasive evidence of anyone’s guilt, then how is the lack of a solution a failure? Who could possibly be blamed for it? If a reasonable, even fanatically extensive effort is put into gathering evidence, as happened here, and no guilty party is identified, where’s the blame? But in our culture, there is blame for such a thing, and it is directed at police and prosecutors. This madness contributed not only to the extensive efforts to make three kids “confess,” but to the defense of them presented by their lawyers. Central to their lawyers’ case was evidence that someone else, a man named Richard Tuite, actually committed the crime. Had the lawyers been unable to both point out the lack of evidence against their clients and also do the job of the police by demonstrating the likely guilt of someone else, their clients might have gone to prison.

Another irrational belief system that police may or may not fully believe in, but which they certainly act on, is that whoever they have targeted is lying. So, in reading these horrendous interrogation transcripts, we recognize that the kids, and even some of their parents, will believe the most absurd assertions from the police, because the police are believed to always tell the truth (even when they tell you, for example, that you are possessed by a demon who murdered your sister without you knowing it), but the police will not believe the most credible statements by those they have targeted for guilt, because such people always lie, and even tell gratuitous and superfluous and self-damaging lies. In this case, Michael told the police that he had gotten up in the night and gone to the kitchen for a drink, and not noticed his sister’s dead body in the doorway to her room. Great resources were devoted in this case to the question of exactly where her body had been and whether Michael would have seen it. But, had he been her murderer, he might have simply not volunteered that he got up in the night for a drink.

When the police began subjecting two of Michael’s young friends to the same treatment, they similarly isolated the kids from their parents, except when they were able to manipulate parents into helping them. By suggesting to a father that the best course was for his son to implicate the other two boys, they gained a powerful ally, thanks to the father’s irrational belief that baseless statements from police officers were gospel. The police tried to play each of the three families against the other two, falsely claiming to possess secret evidence, and that the other sides were squealing, and so forth, while in fact never possessing any evidence against any of their three victims. The police used pseudo-scientific tests to pretend to know that terrified children who were telling them the truth were lying. The children went on telling the truth while explicitly agreeing that they would lie if that’s what they had to do. And that was called a “confession.”

Are we to suppose that the capacity for self-doubt and correction has been eliminated from the police and their hired experts? They claim otherwise. They claim to have been objectively and without desired outcome pursuing the truth. They claim not to have been seeking admissions of a guilt they already believed in. Either they are lying about having taken that open-minded approach, or they were fully in control of their faculties when they manipulated frightened young people into “confessions.” They can’t have it both ways.

And what about the prosecutor who looked at the same police work that the defense attorneys and a judge found unacceptable, and chose to attempt to put three kids in prison? She, Summer Stephan, is now the District Attorney in San Diego. McInnis claims that she must have meant well, while simultaneously expressing a lack of understanding as to how she could have possibly meant well. I believe that in our observations of human behavior we are often far too reluctant to see extreme altruism and kindness and also far too reluctant to see cruelty and heartlessness and even sadism. If you cannot explain cruel behavior as well-intended, why assert that it must have been so?

At the end of his book, McInnis recommends a couple of steps that would certainly help prevent repetitions of this horror story. One is a Children’s Miranda Warning that is lengthier than that now used (or not used) for adults and children alike. It explains what the current Miranda Warning means, and adds to it the right to have your parents present. Another is a children’s bill of rights. It is specifically a bill of rights of the accused, and it limits the time of questioning a child to 4 hours in a 24-hour period, and establishes numerous other rights. I would add to this the fact that the United States is the one nation on earth that is not party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child which states that a child has the right “not to be compelled to give testimony or to confess guilt.” Why not join the world? Why not back the full range of rights, including some that might protect kids separated from their parents and locked in cages by fascist border patrols?

Beyond the creation of such rights and their defense, I think children (and adults) should be taught why they need them and how to employ them. The belief in inevitable and universal police honesty should go the way of beliefs in the inevitable honesty of war propaganda or campaign promises or religious scriptures. People should be taught to think, to be skeptical, to believe what’s proven, to trust where merited, and to be comfortable not knowing answers to questions that have not yet been answered.



And feeling blue

God is always

There for you!

David Herr

Reading for June 23 from Praying for Justice. “You shall give him his wages on his day before the sun sets, for he is poor and sets his heart on it; so that he will not cry against you to the Lord and it become sin in you.” Deuteronomy 24: 15

23.06.2019 – Countercurrents

Beyond climate tipping points: Greenhouse gas levels exceed the stability threshold of the ice sheets
Meltwater lakes on McMurdo Ice Shelf

By Dr Andrew Glikson


As the world keeps increasing its carbon emissions and exports,rising in 2018 to a record 33.1 billion ton per year, the atmospheric greenhouse gas level has now exceeded 560 ppm CO2equivalent when methane and nitrous oxide are included, intersecting the stability threshold of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. The term “climate change“ is no longer appropriate since, what is happening in the atmosphere-ocean system, accelerating over the last 70 years or so, is an abrupt calamity on a geological dimension, threatening nature and human civilization. Ignoring what the science says, the powers to be are presiding over the sixth mass extinction of species, including humans.

As conveyed by leading scientists: “Climate change is now reaching the end-game, where very soon humanity must choose between taking unprecedented action, or accepting that it has been left too late and bear the consequences”Prof. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber.“We’ve reached a point where we have a crisis, an emergency, but people don’t know that … There’s a big gap between what’s understood about global warming by the scientific community and what is known by the public and policymakers” Prof. James Hansen;

  1. Rising greenhouse gases and temperatures

By May 2019 CO2 levels measured at Mouna Loa, Hawaii, reached 414.66 ppm, growing at a rate of 3.42 ppm/year, the highest rate recorded for the last 65 million years when the dinosaurs went extinct. The total CO2, methane (CH4) and Nitric oxide (N2O) expressed as CO2-equivalents has reached 56o.3 ppm(Table 1), the highest concentration since the Oligocene (33.9 to 23 Million years ago) when atmospheric CO2ranged between 400-500 ppm.

Table 1. Total atmospheric CO2e from CO2, CH4 and N2O

CO2 ppm CO2 ppm rise/year CH4 ppmCH4 forcing =25CO2e CH4 ppbRise/year N2O ppmN2O forcing =  298CO2e
414.66 ppm 3.42 ppm/year 1865.4 ppb 9.2 ppb/year 332ppb
CO2ppm414.7 CH4 ppm forcing 1.865×25= 46.6CO2e (equivalent) N2O ppm forcing 0.332×298 =99 ppm CO2e

Total CO2e: 414.7+46.6+99 = 560.3 ppm CO2e

Plus: SF6,CHF3, CH2F2, CF4, C2F6, C3F8, C4F10, C4F8, C5F12, C6F1


Figure 1. Projected CO2 levels for IPCC emission scenarios

The current rise of total GHG to about 560 ppm CO2-equivalent implies that, for a climate sensitivity of 3 degrees Celsius per doubling of atmospheric CO2, global warming has potentially reached 3oC. This level is almost 3 times the 2018 global land-ocean temperature of 0.8oC above pre-industrial levels as reported by NASAA rise of about 1.5oC in land temperatures is reported by the Berkeley Earth institute.Considering the albedo effects of aerosols, including sulphur dioxide, dust, nitrate and organic carbon, the mean rise of land temperature exceeds 1.5oC.   

The threshold for collapse of the Greenland ice sheet is estimated in the range of 400-560 ppmCO2and approximately 2.0 – 2.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures. The threshold for the breakdown of the West Antarctic ice sheet is similar. The temperature conditions under which the East Antarctic ice sheet formed in the late Eocene – early Oligoceneabrupt cooling period (34.1 to 33.6 Ma) are in the range of ~800–2000 ppm and 4 to 6 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures. Based mainly on satellite gravity data there are signs the East Antarctic ice sheet is beginning to melt in places (Jones, 2019), with ice loss rates of 40 ± 9 Gt/y (Gigaton ice/year) in 1979–1990 and up to to 252 ± 26 Gt/y in 2009–2017 (Rignot et al., 2019).

The cumulative contribution to sea-level rise from Antarctic ice melt was 14.0 ± 2.0 mm since 1979, including 6.9 ± 0.6 mm from West Antarctica, 4.4 ± 0.9 mm from East Antarctica, and 2.5 ± 0.4 mm from the Antarctic Peninsula (Rignot et al., 2019).Based on the above the current CO2-equivalent level of 560 ppm is higher than the mid-Miocene(~23 to 5.3 million years ago) atmospheric range of about 400-500 ppm and 3-4oC(Figure 2) when the Greenland ice sheet did not exist and large variations affected the Antarctic ice sheet (Gasson et al., 2016).

Figure 2.Updated Cenozoic pCO2 and stacked deep-sea benthic foraminifer oxygen isotope curve for 0 to 65 Ma (Zachos et al., 2008)converted to the Gradstein timescale (Gradstein et al., 2004). ETM2 = Eocene Thermal Maximum 2, PETM = Paleocene/Eocene Thermal Maximum.

  1. Transient Stadial freeze events

As the glacial sheets disintegrate cold ice melt water flowing into the ocean lead to the formation of large cold water pools, as indicated by interglacial records of the last 450 kyr, including a growth of cold pools in the northern Atlantic Oceansouth of Greenlandand in the southern Ocean fringingAntarctica (Figures 3, 4). Warming of the Arctic driven by the ice-water albedo flipand the weakening of the North Atlantic Thermohaline Circulation lead toweakening of the jet stream and the Arctic boundary.Penetration of Arctic-derived cold air masses southward through the weakened boundary ensues in extreme weather events in North America, Europe and northern Asia.

Warming of 3 to 4 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels leading to enhanced ice-sheet melt would raise sea level by 2 to 5 meterstoward the end of the century,and likely by 25 meters in the longer term, a level consistent with Pliocene global temperatures of +2 to 3oC.Golledge et al. (2019) show meltwater from Greenland will lead to substantial slowing of the Atlantic overturning circulation, whilemeltwater from Antarctica will trap warm water below the sea surface, creating a positive feedback that increases Antarctic ice loss. Howeverthe effects of ice-melt waterson the oceans were hardlyincluded in IPCC models.Depending on the amplifying feedbacks, prolonged Greenland and Antarctic melting(Figures 3 and 4) and a long term stadial freeze event may ensue, lasting perhaps as long as  two to three centuries as in the8200 years-oldLaurentian melt event, and even as long as the Younger dryas12.9-11.7 Kyr.

Figure 3.(A) Global warming map (NASA 2018). Note the cool ocean regions south of Greenland and along the Antarctic. Credits: Scientific VisualizationStudio/Goddard Space Flight Center; (B) 2012 Ocean temperatures around Antarctica, (NASA 2012).

  1. 21st–23rd centuries uncharted climate territory

Modelling of climate trends for the 21st to 23rd centuries by the IPCC AR5 Synthesis Report, 2014portrayspredominantly linear models for greenhouse gas rise, global temperatures and sea levels.These models however appear to take little account of amplifying feedbacks from land and ocean and of the effects of cold ice-melt water on the oceans. According to Steffen et al. (2018) “self-reinforcing feedbacks could push the Earth System toward a planetary threshold” and “would lead to a much higher global average temperature than any interglacial in the past 1.2 million years and to sea levels significantly higher than at any time in the Holocene”.

Amplifying feedbacks of global warming include:

A. The albedo-flip in melting sea ice and ice sheets, increasing the water surface area and thereby the sequestration of CO2Hudson (2011) estimates a rise in radiative forcing due to removal of Arctic summer sea ice as 0.7Watt/m2, which is a value close to the total of methane release since 1750 (~0.5Watt/m2).

B. Reduced ocean’s CO2intake due to lesser solubility of the gas at higher temperatures.

C. Vegetation desiccation and loss in some regions, and thereby reduced evaporation with its cooling effect. This factor and the increase of precipitations in other regions lead to a differential feedbacks from vegetation as the globe warms (Notaro et al. 2007).

D. An increase in wildfires, releasing greenhouse gases.

E. Release of methane from permafrost, bogs and sediments and other factors.

Linear temperature models do not appear to take into account the effects on the oceansof ice melt water derived from the large ice sheets, including the possibility of a major stadial event such as already started in oceanic tracts fringing Greenland and Antarctica (Figure 3). In the shorter term sea level rises include the Greenland ice sheet (6-7 meter sea level rise) and West Antarctic ice sheet melt (4.8 meter sea level rise). Referring to major past stadial events, including the 8200 years-old Laurentian melt event and the 12.7-11.9 younger dryas event, a prolonged breakdown of parts of the Antarctic ice sheet could result in major sea level rise and extensive cooling of northern and southern latitudes, parallel with warming of tropical and mid-latitudes(Figure 4) (Hansen et al.. 2016).The clashes between polar-derived cold weather fronts and tropical air masses are bound to lead to extreme weather events, echoed in Storms my grandchildren (Hansen, 2010).

Figure 4. Model Surface-air temperature (oC) for 2096 relative to 1880–1920.

Hansen et al 2016.The projection betrays major cooling of the North Atlantic Ocean, cooling of the circum-Antarctic Oceanand further warming in the tropics, subtropics and the interior of continents, including Siberia and Canada.

Andrew Glikson, Earth and climate scientist, Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Territory, Australia Email:

God is always
By my side
I don’t need
My silly pride
David Herr

Reading for June 22 from Praying for Justice. “I am exceedingly afflicted; revive me, O Lord, according to Your word.” Psalm 119: 107

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We must act and dare the appropiateness and not whatever comes to our mind not floating in the likelihood but grasp the reality as brave as we can be freedom lies in action not in the absence of mind obedience knows the essence of good and satisfies it, freedom dares to act and returns God the ultimate judgment of what is right and what is wrong, Obedience performs blindly but Freedom is wide awake Freedom wants to know why, Obedience has its hands tied, Freedom is inventive obedient man respects God’s commands and by virtu of his Freedom, he creats new commands. Both Obedience and Freedom come true in responsability (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

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