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I've written many times that I only watch the U.S. corporate propaganda channels (MSNBC, FoxNews, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS) when I'm doing research on the subject of public opinion manipulation through deception, especially when we're in the middle of manufactured crises.  And so this morning while I was on the thread-mill in the gym (hey, is raining today, so I decided to go to the gym instead of outdoors), I watched an hour of CNN (with Candy Crowley), which I consider to be the official war propaganda channel.

I'll be putting together some additional thoughts on this latest round of misinformation  and false narratives, but here I just wanted to point out that if there is a silver lining about being lied to (about these important issues of war and peace and geopolitical games), is that at least these events present us with an opportunity to learn geography through war propaganda.

Another neat thing is that people start trying to pronounce the names of foreign leaders, and different ethnic and religious groups.  Given the fact that the Neo-liberal establishment here is engaging in the wholesale undermining of the public education system (teaching to the test and such), at least there is one small positive thing resulting from the type of frenzied propaganda we are exposed to during these periodic events.



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Comment Preferences

  •  Interesting observation (10+ / 0-)

    Geography is everything. And you are so right that we seldom learn it except through war.

    Mapping itself can be a political act and has often been used to show lands as being unpopulated when the colonizer draws them.

    Geography's early history contains many instances of support for Imperialism.

    We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

    by occupystephanie on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:44:28 AM PST

    •  Borders are (5+ / 0-)

      a construct created by elites, for the most part. They're not real things, and usually serve a powerful central authority. They often divide people of the same culture, or force an unwilling unity on people of disparate interests and cultures, create an artificial form of nationalism, patriotism, nativism. States are not people, but rather territories dominated by central authority who have professional armies to enforce the appropriation of territory.

      As Emma Goldman brilliantly put it:

      Conceit, arrogance and egotism are the essentials of patriotism. Let me illustrate. Patriotism assumes that our globe is divided into little spots, each one surrounded by an iron gate. Those who have had the fortune of being born on some particular spot consider themselves nobler, better, grander, more intelligent than those living beings inhabiting any other spot. It is, therefore, the duty of everyone living on that chosen spot to fight, kill and die in the attempt to impose his superiority upon all the others.

      The inhabitants of the other spots reason in like manner, of course, with the result that from early infancy the mind of the child is provided with blood-curdling stories about the Germans, the French, the Italians, Russians, etc. When the child has reached manhood he is thoroughly saturated with the belief that he is chosen by the Lord himself to defend his country against the attack or invasion of any foreigner. It is for that purpose that we are clamoring for a greater army and navy, more battleships and ammunition.

      An army and navy represent the people's toys.

      So many of these conflicts stem from a contest of wills, usually over resources and power, between competing States and their interests, rather than serving the real interests of the inhabitants of these lands.

      People then choose sides between recognized State powers, forgetting that they are deciding between political entities which are artificial constructs, as if this is the only choice. There is another choice completely forgotten, which is supporting the people, themselves.

      "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

      by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 01:15:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  only state borders are artificial (5+ / 0-)

        Real borders exist and are definitely worth killing over to a lot of people who live along them, but they tend to be invisible and are therefore ignored by political authorities invested in forms.

        Geography matters: different terrain, rainfall, access to a river or ocean, etc. usually lead to different ways of life which inevitably come into conflict, especially if you force them both into the same state under the same authority and the same policies.  Democracy doesn't help that; it just provides a different battlefield for the same old tribal war.

        The Sahel is an excellent example.  We often talk about African countries being artificial, but what we dismiss as the inevitable tribal wars with no real motivation beyond hate are actually all linked by geography.  The Sahel is the border zone between the forest and the desert, between farmers and herdsmen both hungry for land, between animism, Christianity pushing north along the rivers, and Islam driving south from the desert, between Western influence and global connections along the coast and jealously guarded isolation and purity inland, and between fundamentally incompatible sociopolitical models that pre-date European colonialism.

        Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

        by Visceral on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 01:38:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I was referring to state borders (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          occupystephanie, AoT, Bisbonian, gerrilea

          enforced by central authority. Certain natural geographic features physically divide populations, and these may become thought of as political borders, but these are culturally based. The idea is to allow local self-management, based on free association, rather than forcing from outside divisions which don't serve local people, but rather the wealthy elitists who accumulate power and control.

          "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

          by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 02:40:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think you've got it backwards (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ray Pensador, occupystephanie, AoT

            100 years ago you might have been right, but the weird thing is that today the powers that be seem determined to do everything in their power to break down the old mentality of us and them and "This is mine and that's yours until I decide I want it for myself."

            Today it's the elites who are committed to ever-greater political and economic integration, to the systematic lowering of barriers to the free flow of capital, goods, and people, to the reduction of all individuals to anonymous, perfectly interchangeable, and disposable units of production and consumption, to nurturing the mentality that we should forsake identity as the driver of our actions in favor of economics, and that instead of rooting deep we should follow the money from one corner of the world to the other and back again ... or at least welcome those who are following the money.

            It seems like it's ordinary people who would be happy to build a million heavily armed but fundamentally inward looking tribal strongholds - be they based on race, religion, culture, language, or ideology - that ally and trade with each other only when necessity.  It's ordinary people who are [unconscious] corporatists: who believe in vertical integration where all members of the tribe - from the very top to the very bottom - must conform to the shared ideals and work and fight as a team, lest their society collapse from within before the alien hordes even show up.  While the elites don't want international class solidarity for obvious reasons, they only pay lip service to tribalism and clearly don't believe in it since their actions never benefit whatever tribe they cynically claim membership in.

            The left struggles because while we oppose the elite's plutocratic agenda, we also operate in a fundamentally economic paradigm, while most people operate in the realm of sociology.

            Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

            by Visceral on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:34:42 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The elites (6+ / 0-)

              want this global economic freedom for themselves, but not for the working class. If not for the borders, workers would be able to go anywhere the best paying jobs are. Only by encapsulating workers within borders, while the multinational corporations outsource jobs to where they please, can there be cheap labor. They want some borders to be permeable, some not, depending on the advantage.

              The State is still used to secure markets, expand markets, and divide and distract the workers against each other in economic and military conflict, while they are exploited. And, of course, the conflicts fuel the war profiteering and arms sales. And the multinationals use the State for protection and insulation while they dart into and out of global and regional markets. They can choose one with the best tax rates, one with the least restrictions, pitting states against each other to get the business.

              Its more complicated than you're making it.

              As to ordinary people and what they want, they have been so manipulated over hundreds of years, and acculturated to knowing only hierarchy in the workplace, that it will take an awakening to get a new "common sense" going that serves their interests, but with the level of exploitation going on, I would not count that out. I talk to "ordinary" people at the bottom where I live, and when I speak not of statist, top-down Marxism, or capitalism, but of a free, democratic participatory work place where people freely associate and are in control, governing themselves from the bottom up, I've seen "don't tread on me" right wing types who are poor light up and take notice -- many having never before conceived of this model, since it has been suppressed by both the capitalist left and the statist-socialist left.

              "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

              by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:54:20 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I wouldn't read too much into that (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT
                I talk to "ordinary" people at the bottom where I live, and when I speak not of statist, top-down Marxism, or capitalism, but of a free, democratic participatory work place where people freely associate and are in control, governing themselves from the bottom up, I've seen "don't tread on me" right wing types who are poor light up and take notice
                Right wingers always gave me the impression that their politics boil down to "Ain't nobody gonna tell me what t' do!  'f anyone's gonna do any tellin' 's gonna be me!"  It think it's a stretch to argue that their distaste of state power and the appeal of an employee-owned, employee-run workplace somehow means they're anti-coercion and anti-exploitation in toto.  Put right wingers on a workers' council and it wouldn't change them one bit; they'd be screaming about all the ways in which their co-workers don't measure up to their own self-serving expectations and how horrible it is that biggubmint keeps taxin' an' regulatin' an' why th' hell do we hafta do all this librul bs that's makin' more work fer us an' takin' money outta mah pocket?!

                Right wingers don't just vote for plutocracy because they're stupid; they too want more for less and think they're the only ones doing any work at all.

                Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

                by Visceral on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:51:33 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You underestimate (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  AoT, Bisbonian, gerrilea

                  my ability to gauge those with whom I converse. You don't speak for people at the bottom, unless you're as poor as we are. Poverty and powerlessness create a different kind of motivation than those who are better off can grasp. Many of these people at the bottom appear ready for something new. They know they're being exploited. They're angry. They hate both parties. They hate government. Its a matter of realizing just who the exploiters are. I think if they were to get a taste of a society where they had a real voice, they would begin to quickly feel more worthy, more valued, more a part of society. They would heal, they would change.

                  Some (notice I write some) of them are a hair's breadth away from making a leap to something new.

                  And I know just what to offer them.

                  "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

                  by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:00:52 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  ABSOLUTELY...slowly and surely they are (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Ray Pensador, ZhenRen

                    waking up, they're finding out the enemy isn't you or I but those that pit us against one another.

                    "See something, say something."

                    Some are at the very beginning stages, they aren't hungry enough yet to put it all together....but put it together they will.

                    Its a matter of realizing just who the exploiters are.

                    -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

                    by gerrilea on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 05:24:20 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

        •  Disagree...there is no border worth killing over (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ray Pensador, ZhenRen

          unless its the door to my home and you decide you wants what's contained therein.

          WV man shoots, kills, two men he thought were on his property

          You justify racism:

          Geography matters: different terrain, rainfall, access to a river or ocean, etc. usually lead to different ways of life which inevitably come into conflict,
          Reality is that this planet's ecosystem and geography have molded us into the "races" we are but we're never going to evolve past this if you honestly believe we are nothing more than a product that can be created.  Or that we have no control over what we chose to become.

          What ZhenRen is saying was echoed by Arundhati Roy and presented in the amazing video by The Paradigm Shift:



          "Flags are bits of colored cloth government's use to first shrink-wrap people's brains and then as ceremonial shrouds to bury the dead."
          It's long past due when WE unite as one human race.  Denying those that wish to keep us forever divided any power or legitimacy.  The machinations of those "special interests" you mentioned,  have been revealed.  

          Christianity vs. Islam, herdsman vs. farmer, rural vs. urban, these boxes and labels are false constructs that must be done away with.

          Then you know what?  We won't need "the State" for anything more than to keep our criminal overlords in jail.

          -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

          by gerrilea on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 05:16:33 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Hi Ray these maps as well (14+ / 0-)

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/...

    Ukraine more of a USSR concept than a purely historical one

    "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

    by LaFeminista on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:44:45 AM PST

    •  Most borders are conceptualized (4+ / 0-)

      more by the ruling class warring amongst its own members than by the common people who are used to fight their wars.

      "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

      by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 01:24:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  ZhenRen, but that's the world we live in. One (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Don midwest, corvo, Bisbonian, gerrilea

        thing I totally agree with you is that what people need to start doing is to try to get from under the yoke of the Neo-liberal corporate state (in the U.S. and France, and the U.K., and Greece, et al) and start forming their own social systems at the grassroots level, and then collaborate with each other internationally with the common purpose of undermining and weakening the corporate state.

        I think that is possible, and that may actually be our only way out from neo-feudalism.

        •  That is the world we live in, but only (4+ / 0-)

          because we keep stating that as a truism. It is the world we live in foisted upon us not by our consent as people, or our own choice, but by violence and wars fought by the ruling class. Look at the series of maps in the link by La Feminista.

          It serves no purpose to obscure this, and be coerced into choosing overlords, as if that is freedom.

          When it comes to analyzing disputes such as the one in Ukraine, it is useful to remember this basic concept. Are you choosing between states (based on a "lesser of evils" approach, or based on ethnicity, or some other critiera?), or supporting the right of people to manage their own affairs? It all becomes so convoluted over hundreds of years of historic tug-of-wars between ruling elites that few remember the real people at the bottom.

          Here's an interesting view from the left in Russia which shares my view (see following quote, read the article at the link). They see both their own country, Russia, as well as the US, to be imperialist. They aren't being seduced in to choosing which ruling class to support, but rather they want people to self-determine their own affairs.

          Today it is very difficult to evaluate and predict the actual consequences of the Kiev Maidan. It has led both to the resurgence of the oligarch clans suppressed by Yanukovych, and brought about victories for the popular grass-roots movement that were unthinkable for the post-Soviet space. Maidan has opened the sluices of activity of the far-right thugs – and at the same time has spurred to political life great masses of people, who perhaps for the first time perceive that they themselves are capable of determining their fate. This range of possibilities has the potential to resolve itself both into progressive social changes, and into the victory of extreme reaction. But the final decision must, without doubt, be left to the people of Ukraine themselves – whether in Kiev or Lvov, or in the Crimea or Donetsk.
          http://www.criticatac.ro/...

          "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

          by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:04:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  And yes, this position (5+ / 0-)

            is to the left of your left, Ray. I know people here want to make this into a left/right binary, but there are views outside of that simplistic model. As far as I'm concerned, the real front line today, the cutting edge, is getting away from being manipulated by one ruling class or another. It doesn't mean one can't make choices, but the choice should reflect a more sophisticated analysis of the State.

            My two cents.

            "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

            by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:17:38 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Ukraine means Borderland (0+ / 0-)

      As an independent historical entity, its history begins in 1918, when there was a short-lived Western Ukraine Republic. Then again, as independent nations, Estonia and Latvia date from then too.

      As a loosely-defined region with a common language and culture, it's far older. (Of course, the pre-1941 version also had a large Jewish, Yiddish-speaking population, pretty much gone now.)

      Ethno-linguistic map.

  •  CNN? there's an hour you'll never get back, Ray (9+ / 0-)

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:45:46 AM PST

  •  Sometime I wish they would actually examine (12+ / 0-)

    the history as well as the damn charts n stuff

    "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

    by LaFeminista on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:50:16 AM PST

  •  Speaking of propaganda (5+ / 0-)

    There are two reasons that this crisis has been so jarring for the neoliberal establishment.

    First, white people just don't fight wars against each other any more. And while Russians are only marginally white in many social arenas, they are white enough that it's rather scandalous when they fight other white people.

    And second, and probably more important, this pokes a massive hole in the neoliberal inevitability propaganda. If Russia holds onto Crimea without serious consequence, which I expect, then it is a clear example of how incredibly evitable neoliberalism is.

    If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

    by AoT on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 01:05:41 PM PST

    •  I'm starting to come to the conclusion that there (6+ / 0-)

      needs to be another non-aligned movement where countries start disconnecting themselves from the international financial system.  It is fraudulent and it has become an instrument of those wanting to spread neo-feudalism.

      This of course would be exceedingly difficult, but what countries need to start doing is first go back to printing their own money and take full control of their monetary policies, and second disconnect completely from the IMF and World Bank, and that may include declaring all foreign debt void and null.

      I'm doing some research on this right now, reading a very interesting paper on how these Neo-liberal financial cartels are manipulating countries and their peoples...

      •  Ray... (3+ / 0-)
        there needs to be another non-aligned movement where countries start disconnecting themselves from the international financial system.
        The Global Justice Movement (aka anti-global movement) has been active in this for years.

        "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

        by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:22:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  White people don't fight wars with white people? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, Andrew Lazarus

      What about the bloody dismemberment of Yugoslavia?

      Nothing human is alien to me.

      by WB Reeves on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:06:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Twenty years ago (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WB Reeves, Ray Pensador, gerrilea

        And it was a huge fucking deal. It was the moral issue of the day. The US was up in arms, literally, because of it. I don't think you'd disagree that the US has a racism problem and it manifests in our response to foreign wars.

        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

        by AoT on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:54:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Almost 19 years ago to be exact (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, Andrew Lazarus

          More like 15 if we're counting the Kosovo War (1999). Again, if we're including Kosovo, the warfare lasted, off and on, for nearly a decade.

          I recall quite clearly people arguing then that nothing was being done because Balkan peoples weren't seen as being "really" white.

          Of course the US has a racism problem and of course it affects the response to foreign wars. It doesn't follow from this that the effect is uniform in every instance or that race is the dominant factor.

           

          Nothing human is alien to me.

          by WB Reeves on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:24:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The racism isn't the whole story (4+ / 0-)

            But seriously, Russia has killed no one in this conflict(should that be in quotes?) and it's being compared to Iraq. Not to mention the people who were claiming this meant that Russia was going to attack the Baltic states too. Like, oh shit, there's "attacking" white people! RUN!

            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

            by AoT on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:04:53 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I missed the part about the Baltic states (0+ / 0-)

              but I can see the logic, if one assumes that the actions in the Crimea herald a new policy of reclaiming former SSR's by military force.

              It's a doubtful assumption, ignoring as it does the historic relationship between Russia and the Ukraine.  

              Nothing human is alien to me.

              by WB Reeves on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 08:31:30 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Do they really count as white? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, truong son traveler, gerrilea

        In "civilized Europe" they certainly don't.  I've lived in Austria, where they're thought of as little better than animals.

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:53:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It varies from place to place (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo, gerrilea

          In Russia people from the Caucuses aren't considered white.

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 06:21:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  We didn't consider the Irish white (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT, gerrilea

            until about 1800. Add another couple of decades for Italians.

            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

            by corvo on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 06:29:25 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Well I thought AoT was talking specifically (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hey338Too

          about US racial attitudes. European racism has some distinctive differences from the US, as the experience of Nazism grimly illustrates. Historically, ethnicity and nationality have been central to European racism.

          Nothing human is alien to me.

          by WB Reeves on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 07:34:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  "manufactured crises"? (6+ / 0-)

    The miasma of CT makes breathing free difficult. Nevertheless, it's clear that Russia has invaded Ukraine in breach of its undertakings in the Budapest Memorandum:

    1. The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the CSCE Final Act, to respect the Independence and Sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine.

    2. The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in self-defense or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.

    3. The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the CSCE Final Act, to refrain from economic coercion designed to subordinate to their own interest the exercise by Ukraine of the rights inherent in its sovereignty and thus to secure advantages of any kind.

    4. The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm their commitment to seek immediate United Nations Security Council action to provide assistance to Ukraine, as a non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, if Ukraine should become a victim of an act of aggression or an object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear weapons are used.

    5. The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm, in the case of the Ukraine, their commitment not to use nuclear weapons against any non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, except in the case of an attack on themselves, their territories or dependent territories, their armed forces, or their allies, by such a state in association or alliance with a nuclear weapon state.

    6. The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will consult in the event a situation arises which raises a question concerning these commitments.

    By occupying Crimea, the Russian Federation is disrespecting both the sovereignty and then-existing borders of Ukraine. The Russian Federation also is using force against the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

    If anyone has "manufactured" the present crisis, it is Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation. The pressing question is, what can be done, with all appropriate prudence, to stop Russian imperialism?

    Shalom v' salaam; peace and wholeness

    by another American on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 01:06:57 PM PST

    •  A paper bag my help with hyper-ventilation. n/t (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dianna, corvo, Bisbonian, gerrilea
    •  I think this may be a little too simplistic (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hey338Too, Andrew Lazarus

      from the other side.

      There are a lot of interests at play here. Recognizing that fact and taking it into account isn't itself CT.

      However, presenting speculation as established fact is.

      You are certainly correct that it is Putin who has violated both the borders and sovereignty of the Ukraine. This is consistent with the historical practice of both the late Soviet Union and the Tsarist regime that preceded it.

      Nothing human is alien to me.

      by WB Reeves on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 02:26:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The troops were already there (6+ / 0-)

        And positioned troops at the request of the head of Crimea. They haven't killed anyone, which is more than either side in the psuedo-civil war in Ukraine can say. And the fact of the matter is that the legitimacy of the current government of Ukraine is in serious doubt under any objective measures.

        None of which legitimizes a takeover of Crimea by Russia, but I see hysterics on the anti-Russian side far more than I see any where else. The Ukrainian opposition with goading from the EU and training from the US precipitated this crisis. They kicked out a legitimately elected president and kept a parliament that was elected in terribly unfree and unfair elections. Which means they went against the will of the majority of voters.

        I don't want there to be war, and I think that if there is it will be a horrible one. But I expect Russia will either just keep Crimea or negotiate for a power sharing agreement in the entirety of Ukraine.

        Either way, all of this "Russia is evil and started everything" seems to be ignoring the past month in Ukraine. Fascists were attacking the government. While not all protesters were fascist, not even a majority or a plurality, the violence was largely coming from fascist groups. Now the party representing those groups is in charge of the ministry of defense. This whole "Russia is a bad guy" shtick is what's frustrating to me.

        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

        by AoT on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 02:44:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's what they want. That's what it's all about. (7+ / 0-)

          Just look at all the rats coming out of their cages like Brzezinski, Albright, McCain, a bipartisan show to kick the Cold War into the open.

          "Fragmented and confused, we have no plan to combat any of this, but are looking to be saved by the very architects of our ruination."

          by BigAlinWashSt on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 02:50:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  a supposed liberal on this site (6+ / 0-)

            got all huffy when I ridiculed that motley collection of Cold Warriors and sociopathic neocon/libs represented by the likes of Brzezinski, Albright, Zakaria, etc. etc. etc. . . .

            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

            by corvo on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:54:38 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Well the US has troops stationed around the (4+ / 0-)

          globe. If the US were to suddenly seize control of the territory where they are located, I doubt that we would be arguing as to whether that constituted a violation of borders.

          Is the Crimea an autonomous entity? If not, I'm not sure what the request by its "head" has to do with anything.

          If a Governor or Mayor in Venezuela were to request a takeover of their territory by the US, would that make such action ok?

          Personally, I'm having more than a little difficulty reading this as Putin challenging the onward march of Neo-Liberalism. Looks more like old fashioned Great Russian chauvinism to me.

          Nothing human is alien to me.

          by WB Reeves on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:03:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It is an Autonomous Republic (4+ / 0-)

            Specifically it's the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Sevastapol is a separate entity.

            Personally, I'm having more than a little difficulty reading this as Putin challenging the onward march of Neo-Liberalism. Looks more like old fashioned Great Russian chauvinism to me.
            I don't think he's in Russia sitting there thinking "Man, I'm totally going to challenge neoliberalism."I just mean that what Russia is doing challenges the inevitability of neoliberalism as a practical mater.
            If a Governor or Mayor in Venezuela were to request a takeover of their territory by the US, would that make such action ok?,/blockquote>

            No, but if the region was majority American and had been for centuries then it would be a bit of a different situation. Texas would be an example. Or if there were massive anti-latino riots in Arizona and the mayor of Mesa county(If that's really a thing) or some county on the border of Mexico requested troops then I don't think it would be the worst thing ever. And this is really the point here. I'm not happy Russia is doing this. I think it's fucked up, but I'm so confused by this narrative about Russia being the worst country ever for not even killing anyone while the opposition and Ukraine government has blood on their hands.

            If Kenya could have intervened in Tulsa in 1923 during the race riots I would have been all for it. To give some historical context. Not a good analogy, but it's there.

            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

            by AoT on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:12:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well I agree that nothing good will come (0+ / 0-)

              from demonizing Russia. As a general principle, I think it's bad idea irrespective of whether it's being done to a country or an individual. If plain fact isn't sufficient, then whatever is being pushed is likely a very bad idea.

              Consistent with that, I don't think we can simply overlook the history of Russian domination of the Ukraine.

              The fact that Crimea has the status of an autonomous republic within Ukraine certainly complicates the question. I don't know enough about the political structure of either to make a competent judgement as to the legality of Crimea's request but it does undermine the characterization of Russia's action as naked aggression. As do the reports of Ukraine Government troops going over to the side of Crimea.

              I'm not sure that a direct comparison between any of the fifty states and Crimea would be politically apt since I'm not clear that the status of an autonomous republic is equivalent to that of a state within the Federal Union. It's been pretty well established since the Civil War that Federal authority trumps State authority, as though of us who lived through the Civil Rights movement have cause to remember.

              I'm also not clear on how on how fundamental a challenge to Neo-Liberalism Putin's actions may pose. Is there really a fundamental incompatibility between Russian oligarchy and Neo-Liberalism?

              I've got more questions than answers, which tells me that I need to learn a lot more about the current situation. Thanks for the informative reply.

              Nothing human is alien to me.

              by WB Reeves on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 09:28:39 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Here's a view (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Andrew Lazarus, Bisbonian

          from an anarcho-communist site:

          Ukrainians, Russians and Europeans against Putin's war

          For those who like something outside of the usual dkos framing of the "left".

          The anti-war demonstrations today are the only shaft of light I can see in a dark sky overshadowed by the danger of war, with 6000 Russian troops reportedly on Ukrainian territory in Crimea, some of them surrounding Ukrainian bases.
          Russia

          In Moscow, anti-war demonstrators were detained in large numbers. Each time protesters assembled on Manezhnaya square in the city centre, more were arrested. Novaya Gazeta, the liberal opposition paper, reported 265 arrests and counting just after 16.00 Moscow time.

          Voices on the Russian radical left were unequivocal. “It is necessary to call a spade a spade: what’s happening in Crimea these days is a classic act of imperialist intervention on the part of the Russian state”, said the Open Left group in a statement published in English here.

          "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

          by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:48:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Not, I think, all of them (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT

          as there are reports of Russians in the Russian-speaking eastern part of Ukraine.

          •  Not surprising (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Andrew Lazarus, gerrilea, WB Reeves

            And let me make clear again that I don't support this move by Putin. I'm against it. I just think that the people in hysterics about how horrible Russia is because of this need to chill.

            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

            by AoT on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:26:49 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  This, I agree with (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AoT, WB Reeves

              I don't find it terribly surprising either. If they drive to Kiev, that would be horrible. The Ukrainians aren't the Serbs, but quite rightly, some borders don't make much sense.

              If Western Ukraine becomes friendlier with the EU while the East stays with the Russian economy, I think the latter will be disappointed down the road.

    •  These troops were already in Ukraine (6+ / 0-)

      And seriously, there was basically a civil war going on that had been fomented by the EU and fascist groups. Please get off the "Russia is evil" nonsense.

      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

      by AoT on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 02:44:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's a tug-of-war between two great State powers (5+ / 0-)

        The US neoliberal policy, and its EU allies, vs Russia.

        Russian leftists want Russia to stay out as much as American leftists (myself included) want the US to stay out.

        Here's another good article that gives a more nuanced view:

        http://www.theguardian.com/...

        I love this final paragraph:

        In this situation, the best policy for the west would be to insist on the peaceful resolution of the interregional conflicts in Ukraine, taking a strong position against participation of the far right in the new government and uncontrolled rightist paramilitaries on the streets. Last but not least, the west could offer unconditional help to Ukraine by cancelling its foreign debt – a popular demand raised by many progressive movements all over the world.
        Yes, cancel the debt, goddamn it. It seems hard for people to view this in a non-statist way. If all of these actors on all sides would demand what is good for the people, it would be easier to decide the Russia vs US binary.

        I'm seeing this as a people vs the exploiting capitalist class binary, which recognizes no borders.

        "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

        by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:21:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And Russia is pseudo-neoliberal (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ray Pensador, corvo, gerrilea

          Or possibly a failed neoliberal experiment. Either way, it isn't a solution.

          Canceling the debt would be a good start.

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:57:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly my point (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT, Bisbonian, gerrilea
            Either way, it isn't a solution.
            The anarchists and leftists, when they oppose war, and the intervention of Russia, are also against the manipulations of the US as well, which I already indicated, but I figured people would know that.

            "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

            by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 06:49:06 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  "but I figured people would know that." (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Bisbonian, gerrilea

              I think most do, but a hell of a lot pretend otherwise.

              If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

              by AoT on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 06:52:12 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  At this juncture (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT

                I don't know who are not pretending, who are complete frauds, who have or don't have the ability to think beyond superficiality. There is a remark in this comment section which I think may directed at me, or includes me as part of a group which was labeled. Whether or not I've been marked as such, this was a weird experience, in that it occurred to me that I, too, may now thought to be a shill by certain of the "left" on this site. LOL. If some of you only knew.

                In my neck of the woods these days (not here) my radical left credentials would not be doubted when I don't conform on every utterance by the self-anointed left. There, there is no self appointed left. We figure you woudn't be there if you weren't thinking outside the box at least a bit. Disagreement is tolerated without screaming "shill" or constant call-outs due to disagreement.

                People on all sides here need to... get some distance.

                So, I'm going to step away from the keyboard, and go elsewhere.

                "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

                by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:36:11 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  This thread is illustrative (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT

                http://www.dailykos.com/...

                Fuck capitalism and its enablers. And you capitalist lefties can hide rate me for saying what I said in that thread. I'd be honored to make the hiddens.

                Okay, my partner brought home some nice champagne. I drank it.

                "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

                by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:16:15 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  LOL, I think i edited the worst of my comments (0+ / 0-)

                  before posting. You should have seen the first unedited comments. So, no hide rating necessary.

                  "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

                  by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:49:15 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, so you rec that one. LOL. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mahakali overdrive

        "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

        by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:52:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  OTHER people always fall for our nefarious plans (0+ / 0-)

        Sorry, AoT, but if you think Ukrainians needed our fomenting (using, of course, our neo-Nazi associates) to oppose Putin, you are deluded. You just unhappy you didn't get to see Yanukovych's zoo and car museum before they closed down?

        It's funny how anti-American protestors are always genuine to the auto-lobotomized sector of the left, while anti-anti-American protestors—not even pro-American per se—are always duped by neoliberal propaganda.

        Your Manichean world view leads to delusions, such as Putin being any sort of progressive, or any sort of leader worthy of progressive support.

        •  We funded "democracy" groups (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ray Pensador, gerrilea

          for years leading up to the Orange revolution. The people organizing against Russian influence didn't need funding to dislike or hate Russia, they needed it to learn how to organize.

          And no, anti-American protesters are most definitely not always genuine, or more genuine. Hamas is just as genuine as Automaidan. They aren't comparable otherwise, but in terms of "genuineness" they're about the same.

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:10:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Labeling reality with the "delusion" slur is in (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo, gerrilea

          itself delusion.  What AoT is describing is the truth, and what you're doing is calling the truth "delusion."

          •  Even AoT seems to know Ukr aren't in love with (0+ / 0-)

            Russia, at least, a lot of them.

            All sorts of people lead protests, and large movements, whether pro or against American interests, don't come from Voice of America broadcasts. It's very odd you don't think the pro-EU forces in the Ukraine can not come to that decision by themselves. The Russian orbit is indifferent or hostile to freedom of speech, and economically corrupt, with cronies living off natural resource extraction rights. Say, maybe it's not the Neoliberals, maybe it's a Gay Conspiracy given the different standards with which homosexuality is treated between Russia and the EU.

            •  "The Russian orbit is indifferent or hostile to (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              nextstep

              freedom of speech, and economically corrupt, with cronies living off natural resource extraction rights."

              Brothers!

              "Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana." --Townes Van Zandt

              by Bisbonian on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:13:37 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Read what some Russian leftists are saying: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Pensador, Bisbonian

      http://www.criticatac.ro/...

      And notice they consider both Russia AND the US to be imperialistic.

      They don't want their country using violent interference anymore than the American left wants the US interfering.

      How the world looks is all too dependent on where one is standing. We would do well, on the radical left, to consider the views of our comrades as well as our own. In the end, we have to get above the boundaries on the map, and think in terms of what is good for people, rather than states.

      "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

      by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:28:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Seriously??? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Pensador

      Putin did this?

      You were watching the "tel-lie-vision" again, weren't you?

      Constitution of Ukraine

      Article 37. Foundation and activity of political parties and public associations shall be prohibited if their programme goals or actions are aimed at the liquidation of the independence of Ukraine, change of the constitutional order by force, violation of the sovereignty and territorial indivisibility of the State, undermining national security, unlawful seizure of the state power, the propaganda of war or violence, fomentation of inter-ethnic, racial, or religious enmity, or infringement of human rights and freedoms or the health of the population.
      Hasn't the meme been that Yanukovych attacked "peaceful" protesters?  The ones we've paid billions to groom and cultivate?  Ones that wanted to surrender the sovereignty of their nation to the EU?  

      All this boils down to our meddling in the affairs of other sovereign nations, forcing them to take self-defensive actions they most likely would never had to take AND then spinning the results as some moral crusade to "bring democracy"!

      Their constitution binds their government to keep them an independent sovereign entity.

      That said, Russia has a right to protect the peace in the region.

      Ukrainian MP threatens Russia with nuclear weapons

      What would we do if Canada devolved into a civil war?  We'd march our asses in their and restore order.

      -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

      by gerrilea on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 05:56:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  War propaganda of course goes way back to (6+ / 0-)

    the very first war, whenever that was.  Before WWI they used the churches (see Preachers Present Arms by Ray Abrams).  We've all seen the newsreels they used in movie theaters before and during WWII.  
    Now it's insidious, problem number one when it comes to the public coming to it's senses.  We've seen it time and again for the Iraq war, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Sudan, and now with Ukraine, Venezuela and Russia.  
    I don't know how we get past that without flat out abolishing the current media system, like every other system we have that is completely out of kilter with humanity.  
    Even when people know they're being lied to they still believe it.  

    "Fragmented and confused, we have no plan to combat any of this, but are looking to be saved by the very architects of our ruination."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 01:10:34 PM PST

    •  The key concept you bring up is "insidiousness." (5+ / 0-)

      That's the biggest challenge we have, the wholesale co-option of individuals and groups who pretend to be liberals or progressives but are actually carrying water for the corrupt Neo-liberal establishment.

      The same thing with the media, which touts being "free" but nothing could be further from the truth.  As a propaganda tool the corporate media is so overwhelmingly effective that it can actually be looked at as a weapon being used against the citizenry.

  •  Its really amazing to see.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew Lazarus

    How many purportedly "antiwar" and "anti-imperialist" people are perfectly fine with war and imperialism, when its not America or Israel doing it.

    True colors and all that.

    •  You mean those same leftists (3+ / 0-)

      that said this is exactly what was going to happen if the president of Ukraine was disposed? Trying to prevent the whole thing to begin with? Those who sided with the take over of the Ukrainian government shouldn't be surprised at what's happening right now. Crying foul now is a little too late.

      Perhaps it was a "grave mistake" to support the protesters to begin with?

      •  Many of them aren't leftists... (0+ / 0-)

        Many of them are on the far right.

        That said, I wonder if these same people who thought the Ukrainians shouldn't have protested also see a problem with Palestinian intifadas.  After all, Israel will obviously respond to them.  

        So i guess no one should engage in any protests.   Lest a foreign army invade.  And when that foreign army invades, its the fault of the protesters...not the invading army.

  •  RAY, thank you yet again for bringing us a (2+ / 0-)

    great conversation.

    Could I suggest something?

    I just found this "actual world map" last week, that left me utterly dumbfounded:

    Every World Map You’ve Ever Looked At Is Wrong

    We've been misinformed, intentionally.

    -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

    by gerrilea on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 05:33:59 AM PST

    •  It's a great map, and a great presentation from (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gerrilea, Hey338Too

      The West Wing, and I thank you for the link.

      A slight quibble, though - If you've grown up with globes, or pictures of the earth from space, or even satellite mapping for weather maps, the charge of misinformation slips a bit. Mercator was standard when I was a kid, but other, more legitimately drawn maps have been standard for quite a while now.

      At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

      by serendipityisabitch on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 06:18:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I only recall the top map growing up. (2+ / 0-)

        How small the US, China and India are is what surprised me, as shown in the second map.  We're convinced of our "American Supremacy" and it starts with seeing it as bigger than it really is.  

        It may have been corrected today, but the original image is what I still see in my mind's eye.

        I loved the West Wing, such great writing and acting.

        -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

        by gerrilea on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 07:16:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  All maps have distortions (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      serendipityisabitch

      You can't depict a globe as a flat surface without distorting either shape, area, direction or distance.

      The top map is the Robinson projection, and is a compromise map that attempts to minimize all four distortions at all latitudes at the expense of having some distortion in all four categories. Despite the claims in the Buzzfeed article, it does not have large distortions in area. It's a general purpose wall map intended for display, and there's very little wrong with it when used for that purpose. Ironically, the Robinson projection was developed in order to address the very well known shortcomings of the Mercator projection, which, as a navigational map, preserves direction at the expense of gross distortions in area and shape.

      The bottom map is the Gall-Peters projection, which preserves area absolutely, but at the expense of large distortions in distance, direction, and shape. For instance, the distance through 360 degrees of longitude at 70 degrees latitude is considerably shorter than at the equator, yet Gall-Peters shows the distances as equal. Moreover, if you compare Greenland to what it looks like on a globe, you can see that Gall-Peters distorts the shape horribly.

      If all you care about is relative area, then Gall-Peters is the better map. If, though, you're aiming to keep all four distortions to a minimum, the Robinson projection is completely appropriate. For Buzzfeed to say "This is what the world actually looks like" is absurd, and one glance at a globe would confirm that.

      To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

      by sneakers563 on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 09:08:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you; that's very kind. I'll check out the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gerrilea

      link.

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