A New Year’s Message

23 December 2022 — The New Dark Age

Wow, what a year eh! 2023 promises to be a watershed year for the planet and for all kinds of reasons. I think it may well be the year that decides whether our species has a future or not. Will the Evil Empire triumph or will it take us all down with its demise?

Meanwhile, I’m reducing my work here, largely because I have to complete a novel I started some years ago and after rereading it recently and having a friend (and a professional) read and critique it I’ve decided  that’s well worth completing and hopefully, get it published in 2023. It needs some work, not a lot of work but I need to clear the deck so-to-speak, to complete it without the pressure of maintaining The New Dark Age. Maintaining this site to my own satisfaction, actually takes several hours of work a day and to think I started doing something very similar when I launched New York On-Line when I lived in Brooklyn, NY in 1983, that’s a long time, 40 years!

So here’s to a just and healthy 2023

¡A luta continua!

billy

Living In the Age of Ironies By William Bowles

Monday, 3 October 2022 — Investigating Imperialism

Irony #1

What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of postwar history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.

— Francis Fukuyama, “The End of History?”, The National Interest, No.16 (Summer 1989)

Hmmm… so much for predictions.

The Russians have surely put the cat amongst the pigeons and put paid to “the end of history” nonsense, big time! All our traditional yardsticks, the way we evaluate events and ideas in this post-Soviet space, have we to jettison them all because of Russia’s ‘Special Military Operation’ (SMO) in the Ukraine? Even the much-vaunted contest between left and right, a contest all of us have grown up within, has been cut adrift from its moorings, but these alone don’t identify the key elements of the transition to a neoliberal planet, however brief its reign may be. But of course, it’s not just the Russian SMO, it’s the entire trajectory of events since the US’s regime change operation that overthrew the Soviet Union in 1989, that have been leading up to this denouement. What is depressing, is that so few in the West recognise it for what it is, and of course this is intimately connected to what has happened to politics in the West. Or rather the disappearance of politics, which in its way, explains in part, why the left has been rendered impotent. If you like the SMO is a wakeup call as it signals a new epoch in the making for both left and right to chew on. So far however, the left has shown that it’s not up to the task.

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Taking a break…

Saturday, 17 September 2022 — The New Dark Age

Updates below…

Sunday, 18 September, 2022 – Sunset From my hospital Window

I’m kinda ‘under the weather’ right now, in fact I’m feeling rather shitty,  some kind of chest infection which, hopefully will respond to antibiotics (when I can get hold of them with our trashed NHS!), so I won’t be updating the site for a couple of days I think.

William

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

From my hospital window somewhere in London, around 7am.

I’m planning at least one piece on the neoliberal, authoriatarian transformation of the National Health Service [sic], the NHS. Oh, and it wasn’t some shitty chest infection but once again, my heart. Not a heart attack but very close to it. Right now, I’m shattered but as I say above, this transformatiom is very closely connected to my health, or lack of.

Friday, 23 September 2022

Well my illness  is a deal more serious than I thought. I’m not dying, well not immediately anyway but I have to take it real easy for awhile, which means I’ll continue the updating but at nothing like the usual rate. My daily Ukraine News Links will have to be suspended for awhile unfortunately but I will publish stuff that I think is important, for example, MK Bhadrakumar’s excellent analysis that essentially presents the view from the Global South (I hope he doesn’t disagree with that!).

That’s all for now folks…

Google is censoring this – and many other independent news sites

Friday, 17 June 2022 — The New Dark Age

The Message is: Don’t Use Google to search for anything ‘Contraversial’ as You won’t Find It!

I wondered why readership, according to my WordPress stats, has plummeted since March of this year and it’s because the Google ‘search’ engine is filtering out searches that include ‘williambowles.info’ as part of the address. It’s no doubt connected to my coverage of events in the Ukraine, given the date, March 2022, when the Russian military operation began. It also implies that these censoring tools were already in place!

Using Startpage instead of Google, results in just a handful of additional results but because Startpage uses the Google engine, this was to be expected.

The best so far have been DuckDuckGo and Ecosia which both return actual links to articles on this site. Google, by comparison, returns just 2 hits, the home page and the About page, that’s all I get! So that explains why I’m now getting so few visits, censorship. I might add, that there are over 27,000 stories on this site and no doubt, people doing specific searches would be denied access to any hits on this site!

And another thing about Google; it’s insinuated itself into the essential elements that make the Internet work, making it de facto indispensible to its functioning. I proved this to myself a couple of months ago by canceling my Google subscription and a lot of things I did normally on the Internet, no longer worked!

Corporate capitalism at work, creating an effective monopoly out of what was meant to be a shared, collective resource.

I might also add that it’s only because I have around 1000 subscribers, possibly a lot more via my old Google Feedburner feed that I no longer have access to, that I get the readership that I do. But of course, what the Google censor  does is deny access to alternative views of events that people might be searching for. It’s insidious and apparently legal! Isn’t democracy wonderful.

I have since discovered that virtually all independent news and information sites are getting the same treatment! This is blanket censorship across a vast range of sources!

Malak Mattar: Last Scene Before Flying with the Dove to Paradise

Thursday, 19 May 2022 — The Tricontinental

This image, from the latest Tricontinental Newsletter is so beautiful as well as so sad that it deserves a page all to itself, lest we forget.

Malak Mattar (Palestine), Last Scene Before Flying with the Dove to Paradise, 2019.

This is an extract from an essay by Nada Elia on Mattar: https://mondoweiss.net/2017/10/mattar-dreamed-studying/

Malak Mattar’s paintings hang on the walls in the homes of her many fans around the world, from India to England to the U.S.  With vivid colors and haunting stares, they express, beautifully, as only the greatest art can do, the utter misery of life and death in the besieged Gaza Strip. They were smuggled out of Gaza through the tunnels, featured in exhibitions in Spain and India, with a solo exhibition in Bristol, England, then sold to a few lucky fans, while the artist herself remains trapped in the besieged strip.  Mattar is a child prodigy who started painting at the age of 14, in the aftermath of “Operation Cast Lead,” Israel’s 2014 assault on the besieged strip. With government-provided low-quality watercolors and paper, she discovered the euphoric liberating effect of self-expression and soon graduated from aquarelle to acrylic on canvas. Last year, she left the Gaza Strip for the first time in her life, when her art was shown in Jerusalem.  

Then & Now

Monday, 18 April 2022 — The New Dark Age

April 1933. Germany:

The Nazis began a boycott of Jewish-owned businesses. Stormtroopers positioned themselves in front of Jewish shops, with yellow stars painted on the houses and “Don’t buy from Jews” posters. The SA storm troopers (Hitler took over the SA in 1930) attack shops owned by Jews, pogroms ensue. Under the new law, only “Aryans” are recruited. Government employees of Jewish origin, including school and university professors, are dismissed.

April 2022 Germany:

People with Russian passports are “not welcome” in cafés. Clinics refuse to treat Russian patients. Children do not speak Russian on the street to avoid violence. Schoolchildren are forced to repent and answer “correctly” about Ukraine. Russian cultural figures are fired. Truck drivers get their cars beaten up. Russian TV channels are banned. There are “hate letters” in the mailboxes.

Since February 24, 2022, 383 crimes have been committed in Germany against Russian-speaking citizens, most of them Jews.

I will leave it here.

I need to step back

Thursday, 17 March 2022 — The New Dark Age

I need to amend this; It’s virtually impossible for me to ‘switch off’, I’ve already broken my own ‘rule’ twice! But I will endeavour to chill out, I have to.

I’m going to have to take a step back from editing/publishing for awhile but I hope not my writing, as my health is suffering under the stress of dealing with the endless nightmares being inflicted on us by the Anglo-American Empire, but especially of course the events in the Ukraine, a place extremely close to me, perhaps too close to me really, as my maternal family originate from that corner of the former Soviet Union, in fact before the Soviet Union even existed!

And for more than two years we have suffered under the engineered crisis of Covid-19, the pretext for the establishment of some kind ‘digital’ Fascism, that is to say, the corporate, surveillance state, which has now entered its second stage; total censorship of any and all divergent views and analysis; any views that challenge the existing presentation of events.

 

Nostalgia?

Friday, 11 March 2022 — Investigating Imperialism

By William Bowles

The power of symbols

Ukrainian Neo-Nazis (note the Flags of NATO and the Azov Battalion and of course, the Swastika)

No, I don’t think it’s nostalgia and it’s not Andrei Tarkovsky’s stunning movie, ‘Nostalghia‘ either, it’s the image below, one of the 100s of Russian military vehicles in Ukraine, they are after all, One People and somehow, it makes sense, I view it as a tribute, or perhaps acknowledgement of the 27 million Russians who died in the Great Patriotic War (WWII to you and me), including virtually all of the Russian side of my family, made all the more hurtful by the presence of these Neo-fascists, openly celebrating the Ukrainians who sided with Hitler’s Germany and exterminated 100s of thousands of Jews, Roma and Slavs in Ukraine during the war. Perhaps I should have called this, ‘Lest we Forget’ instead because clearly we have forgotten or been made to forget.
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The censorship is starting to bite!

Thursday, 10 March 2022 — The New Dark Age

Update: South Front is back online as is Indian Punchline!

South Front has gone and now Indian Punchline has disappeared, so no one, not even a retired Indian diplomat is safe from the long arm of the ‘fake news checkers’. I’ll keep this page at the top and add to it as and when necessary.

I see the Saker is still available: http://thesaker.is/

 

One Twit Quits Twitter (again)

10 November 2020 — The New Dark Age

Yet again I’ve shut down my Twitter account (the last time was several years ago), then I was foolishly persuaded to rejoin the evil propaganda outlet of the Gangsters.

Actually, I really MUST BE MAD to use Twitter and not only line the pockets of the bastards that own Twitter, but to add insult to injury the bastards censor us, vilify and slander anybody who opposes the Goebellian Monster called Twitter.

We must be masochists or just plain stoopid to continue to use the evil Panopticon. My online (not very good) dictionary sums it up thus:

noun [no longer] historicala circular prison with cells arranged around a central well, from which prisoners could at all times be observed.

And circular pretty well sums up Twitter, you might as well talk to yourself for all the good it does. In fact talking to yourself I think, gives one a distinct advantage given that Twitter can’t (yet) stop you doing it and talking to yourself is just as (in)effective as using Twitter, so why not? Then again, keep using Twitter and have them censor you when you mention the unmentionable.

So why do we persist in deluding ourselves, that by using Twitter we can reach our audiences and thus help change things for the better, when increasingly, our efforts just incentivise the Gangsters to exert ever more control over us? We really are living in a delusional state of our own making!

So, no more Twitter. Goodbye Twitter. Fuck Off Twitter!

 

 

The Great Scampede or The Iron Heel Revisited

16 September 2020 – Investigating Imperialism

By William Bowles

Virus stats

Source: https://twitter.com/JohnDStats

[T]he great majority of people will not die from this [virus] and I’ll just repeat something I said right at the beginning because I think it’s worth reinforcing:

Most people, a significant proportion of people, will not get this virus at all, at any point of the epidemic which is going to go on for a long period of time.

Of those who do, some of them will get the virus without even knowing it, they will have the virus with no symptoms at all, asymptomatic carriage, and we know that happens. – Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England, 11 May, 2020

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The Great ‘Reset’ (of Capitalism)

12 July 2020 — Investigating Imperialism

By William Bowles

Why can’t I shake the feeling that the Virus is really the back story, a story that diverts us from something far deeper and much more threatening than the much-maligned Virus? The social distancing; the masks; the lockdown; the shutdown; all designed to distract? And the glue that cements it all together? Fear.

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Dark Ages (Empty Stages)

29 June 2020 — Investigating Imperialism

 Dark Ages (Empty Stages)

Copyright William Bowles & Cheryl Byron

August 1977

Cheryl byron

Cheryl Byron

This is the first song I ever wrote, actually co-wrote with my dear friend and musical colleague, Cheryl Byron, (1947-2003) in August 1977 following the Blackout in New York City, in my little ‘railroad’ apartment on Madison Avenue in East Harlem. It was Cheryl who actually encouraged me to write songs, I actually had no idea how at the time. We recorded it on a 4-track but unfortunately I’ve lost it! The amazing Cheryl died in 2003 and there’s a very strange story to this that I’ve appended at the end here. Here is the site of Cheryl’s group, ‘Something Positive‘, still going after all these years!
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Taking a break (not)

22 June 2020 — The New Dark Age

I need to take a break from this, I am totally burned out. I’ve been running this blog for far too many years. This version started in 2003 but earlier versions first started in 1983 and ran until 1992.

This is not to say that I won’t add specific stories if and when they come along but my usual fair of 10-12 stories a day is on hold for awhile, the stress of life is just getting too much for me. On top of this, I’ve got ongoing health issues which this damn virus has made more difficult to deal with (eg NHS meltdown, leading to my doctor’s surgery being closed, leading to shortage of medications, leading to increased stress, leading to my elevated blood pressure!) Not good.

WB