We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Trouble With Money [amended at 7:05 PM Seattle time]

Click here to access article by tdOs from Pray for Calamity.

I've taken a very circumnavigational web route to arrive at this article! As a result I am running short of time this morning. Although this violates my rule to post articles posted originally on the web within a month, I am featuring this because it so neatly fits with my current postings and with my blog/website's central focus on the dysfunction of capitalism. 

I think that the author comes from a rather fresh perspective to offer more insights about the dysfunction of capitalism and its ruling class's use of money to gain ever more wealth and power at the expense and suffering of ordinary people. Capitalism is now in the process of destroying societies via austerity policies for the poor and neoliberal policies for the rich. It is well on its way to destabilizing our biosphere by polluting the land and air around us and exhausting resources. This will lead to one disaster after another until our planet can no longer support human and other life forms.

The only criticism I have of this essay is that the author seems to focus our attention more on money than the system in which it functions. Money, as a medium of exchange, is only a tool. It is the way the system of capitalism uses it that poses so many dangerous problems. Look at this concluding paragraph:
As long as we exist within the confines of the capitalist paradigm, we will owe our lives to the controllers of capital. We will buy our survival day by day via the bending of our backs. Capital will accumulate, poverty will grow, and the natural world will be converted into an arid waste dump as we watch powerless to help. .... When we understand that money came into being as a direct accounting of social debts community members had to one and other and to the whole, and has now morphed into the relation itself between people, it becomes clear that money is power over others, and that the accumulation of money establishes non-negotiable power dynamics in which those with large sums of wealth can subjugate those without. If we seek to interact with one and other horizontally and to destabilize the current pyramid of power, we must take the power out of money. .... We need to abolish money altogether, and we need to abolish monoculture and industrialism along with it. 
And, look at the final sentence in this paragraph. The author seems to understand how the capitalist system has transformed money into a tool to exploit both fellow humans and nature, but then makes an astounding claim that the remedy is to "abolish money altogether, and we need to abolish monoculture and industrialism along with it"!

More background on the author's views and a theory

(Note: The reason I am posting the following material about another blogger is not to denigrate him/her, but to raise awareness of a growing trend that I believe is affecting both ordinary and even, as is the case here, the most educated people. Symptoms regarding the former are a refusal to look at alternative information or evidence or to even question information from corporate sponsored mainstream sources. The latter are affected by wanting to totally drop out of society and civilization, and go to extreme lengths to argue that all our problems are due to civilization while using their extensive education, itself a product of an advanced civilization, to argue for some kind of return to pre-civilization or, at least, to a pre-industrial era. Some keen observers have noticed this phenomenon and are starting to explain it as a form of "learned helplessness". I think this theory could explain a lot about many of my fellow Americans.)

In my meanderings on the web this morning, I also read some of his other articles, particularly the recent series of three entitled "The Twilight of Our Tale". The author, "tdOs" appears to be a part of a growing group of nihilists (he describes himself as a "deep green anarchist") on the web who seems so overwhelmed by the current capitalist-made present and awaiting disasters, and he/she seems to be "Pray[ing] for Calamity" so that we can return to pre-industialism and even pre-civilization.

In this series the author advises people to essentially drop out of society--and to do like tdOs has done, go live in a cabin, gather mushrooms in the forest, chop timber for heating and cooking. tdOs reveals more of his/her nihilism:
Further, you need to stop looking for a plan. Stop trying to figure out how to make the workable work or the unsustainable sustain. Society is the demon. Civilization is the leviathan. The wise of Middle Earth knew that no good purpose could be achieved with the dark lord’s ring, it had to be destroyed in the fires where it came into being. Society is not redeemable. It cannot be made good.
The author then applauds anti-social acts because, after all, "society is the demon" and "civilization is the leviathan". But, he/she warns us not to let this reality destroy us. The antidote to save us is a return to primitive living as he/she has done.
But may I humbly suggest, that we need to touch the Earth. We need to sit in circles with our tribes. We need to experience the world subjectively through our many senses, and to know that our subjective experience of the land around us contains more truth and validity than all of the photographs and recordings humming away on spinning hard drives in an office tower somewhere. We have to value the direct experience of our individual lives and try however we might to cross the divides of time to remember that which the demon and his acolytes have beaten, and raped, and killed to make us forget.
In Part One, he makes frequent reference to "the system" as being an overwhelming problem for people today. Later he makes only passing reference to various abstractions, one of which includes "capitalism", which appears to be only a demonic force that functions as a "eater of our souls". Thus, this is not the capitalist system he frequently refers to earlier, but only another hopeful delusion that will eat our souls. Again, the solution is to drop out of this malignant society and return to a more primitive style of living. 

But, of course, this is not totally a hunting and gathering style of living because tdOs still uses a wood stove which is likely made out of steel or iron forged in a foundry using more advanced technology, the cabin must have been made using tools and technology devised under civilized societies, and there are probably other such deviations from a primitive life style.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Distorting Reality

Click here to access article from the Public Good Project.

I've recently discovered this website, and I am very impressed with it as a source of independent and reliable information. In this article they have made a major contribution to activists serving the 99 Percent by "outing" The Real News Network as another NGO front organization that functions as a gatekeeper of information in service to, and for the the interests of, the ruling capitalist class. I've had my suspicions about them in the past year as I've seen the quality of their reports slowly degenerate. However, their earlier reports worked well as a "hook" to lure me into following them on the web for quite a while.
For those who had high hopes for The Real News Network, the TRNN love fest with social capitalists like Naomi Klein and other con artists on Wall Street’s payroll — laundered by foundations like Ford, Rockefeller and NoVo — comes as a disappointment. So it should come as no surprise that TRNN start-up money ($350,000) came from Ford and MacArthur foundations. Two thirds of TRNN ongoing operating revenue comes from the rich.
This report provides further evidence that our masters are using the same vehicle of information management, astro-turf NGOs, as they are using in many foreign countries to manage information (they are also used in foreign countries to destabilize governments in favor of more NATO aligned governments).

Often such generous funding seduces otherwise honest observers, analysts, and investigative website administrators who justify receiving this money, along with assurances of independence, by thinking that they can be much more effective with this funding in their quest to shed light on many issues. And they may be left alone for a while; but after they become thoroughly hooked on the money, they begin to feel the pressure to tread lightly on certain issues or to avoid them altogether. (For example, Democracy Now! will not interview any knowledgeable person who casts doubt on the official 9/11 story.) Other non-profit organizations with websites are likely directly managed by trained propagandists serving the ruling class. (See an excellent piece of research on the subject of gatekeeping authored by a political refugee (from FBI harassment) who fled from Seattle to where she now lives in New Zealand.)

American Politics: A House of Mirrors

Click here to access article by Ulson Gunnar from Land Destroyer Report. (Note: I normally post articles from their original sources, but in this case I couldn't find it in New Eastern Outlook.)

Gunnar aptly uses the metaphor of a carnival house of mirrors to describe what it is like for the average American who is subject to Empire propaganda everywhere in his/her life. These Americans have long lost all grounding in reality and think that the distorted images in this house of mirrors are real.
We must understand that for special interests that collectively control trillions of dollars in assets, profits and infrastructure all over the planet, the last thing they are willing to do is allow for the existence of a system that might actually put into power a form of authority above their own, that would set policy predicated upon the interests of the people, rather than their own. They have the money, the power and the ability to ensure policy is set to suit them, and them alone, and they clearly have done just that.
He then goes on to see the implications of this for the election system which those on the outside of this house of mirrors, our ruling capitalist class, use to further deceive us that we have real choices when we vote, and thus live in a "democracy"--the biggest illusion of all.

Cold War 2.0 : Further actions by the US to surround China

Click here to access article from the unbalanced evolution of homo sapiens. (Although this blog uses a US server, it appears to be very oriented to Greek issues.) 

This brief report lends support to my recent argument in my commentary from another article entitled "Ukraine Partnering with NATO…to the Surprise of No One".
This sort of aggressiveness demonstrated by the directors of the current advanced capitalist empire is not because of "evil-doers" (although the system creates and promotes people that are inclined to do evil or anti-social acts), it is the inherent nature of advanced capitalist controlled nations to expand in order to meet capitalism's insatiable need for growth. Such nations take on enormous debts in the process of this expansion (current US estimate is over $18 trillion dollars--much of it owed to China which makes them the ultimate target), which fuels more imperialism, which inevitably leads to major wars.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Revolution Will Not be Fast-Tracked

Click here to access article by Rob Urie from CounterPunch. 

In this piece Urie reveals many of the realities behind the mythology regarding the Republican versus Democratic parties of the capitalist government. With a focus on the current push by the Obama administration to fast-track the neoliberal trade treaties through Congress, his careful examination of the mythology versus reality leads inevitably to this real conclusion:
Democrats are the more proficient facilitators of this unfettered corporatism because they are skilled at hiding economic interests behind political platitudes.
See also this piece entitled "Democratic Trade War" from Common Dreams in which we see that some members of the Democratic party are opposed. But keep in mind that an influential liberal Democrat Sen. Ron Wyden (Oregon) has united with conservative Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah) to sponsor the fast-track bill. Also, remember that it was a liberal Democratic president, Bill Clinton, that wanted to expand NAFTA with fast-track authority.

James Petras: Syriza's Deception Must Stop

Click here to access the interview with Petras posted in TruthOut.

Retired sociology Professor Petras is very familiar with the recent history of Greece, and is very knowledgeable about Syriza, the current party in power. He offers his views on Syriza as it confronts the demands of the European Commission.
Scholar, analyst and author James Petras discusses his relationship with former Greek prime minister, Andreas Papandreou, the impact of Papandreou's politics on Greece, the reasons why he believes that Greece's new Syriza-led government is a continuation of the corrupt old guard of Pasok, and the continuation of austerity and debt repayments by the new Greek government.

7 quirky luxury products for the super rich

Click here to access article by Alanna Petroff from CNN Money.

This is another contribution to my occasional practice on Saturdays to run articles about lifestyles of the rich ruling classes also known as the One Percent (actually .01 of the 1%, or one out of every 10,000 of us) who, under the rules of capitalism, essentially "own" the economy in which we work--in effect, we all work for them to support their lifestyle. 

I hope that by doing this that we don't lose touch with their world and their concerns--you know, to promote better understanding. It is important that we become better acquainted so that we can serve them better and make it easier for them to carry out the daily burden of making important decisions (for us, since we are too stupid or lazy to do this ourselves), decisions which affect whether we go off to war in foreign lands to kill their enemies, if we have jobs, if we live in a home or under a bridge, if we can afford their health care services, education, etc.

Unfortunately, for some reason they tend to hide their lives from the rest of us behind walls of secrecy, literal walls of guarded gated communities, private clubs, esoteric publications, traveling with private jets, etc. We should not let that deter us.

We learn about the fabulous sums that they accumulate (I almost wrote "earn", but that is something you and I do), we often wonder how they spend it; and when you realize that many of them accumulate so much that they will never be able to spend it, you wonder why they go to such extreme lengths to accumulate so much.

In this piece we see a sample of some of the useful everyday products they buy. But if you dig deeper, you will discover that buying such products can't even make a dent in the cache of money that many of them hold. So, this begs the question: what drives them? I will offer my humble opinion. 

The concentration of money which is promoted by the capitalist system also brings the possessor enormous amounts of power, and this power is like a powerful aphrodisiac for capitalists, not for sex, but to obtain greater highs from power. This, in turn, requires more money which delivers this potent drug of power. Thus, it's highly addictive and the means with which it is delivered, concentrated wealth, should be totally banned. 

These money/power addicts have been known to commit all sort of heinous crimes: moving our jobs to other countries, crashing economies, creating widespread unemployment and related suffering, stealing lands and resources, murder, engaging in wars, etc. Then there is the pollution from all their money-making enterprises that is destabilizing our climate. So, clearly this addiction is thoroughly dysfunctional for our social system and even for our survival. Well, of course, you and I know that our laws, like most all of the rules, are made by these people--so, of course, it's perfectly legal. This begs the next question: what is the most effective remedy?

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Doomsday Video

from HBO TV via YouTube.

I'm not sure that the demise of humans is suitable material for comedy. It may serve to trivialize the concern, or it might serve as a good antidote for excessive anxiety about this concern so that we can pursue constructive efforts to avoid this doomsday. You decide.
CNN produced an actual doomsday video to broadcast when the world is ending and it’s incredibly dull. We've enlisted Martin Sheen to help make humanity’s final moments happier!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Ukraine Partnering with NATO…to the Surprise of No One

Click here to access article by Eric Draitser from New Eastern Outlook.

In this piece Draitser once again demonstrates the best in critical thinking skills by uncovering more evidence to support a "conspiracy theory" that the directors of the US Empire have been planning Ukraine's "partnership" or collusion with the Empire's army, NATO, for a number of years as an ongoing effort to dismember, destabilize, and bring Russia under the control of the Empire. Of course, there is no lack of evidence--there is actually a mountain of such evidence--but it seems that it takes a mountain of evidence to successfully challenge the mountain of lies that the Empire's directors constantly disseminate through their ubiquitous engines of propaganda (here is a current example cited by Jonathan Cook).
Remember back in 2013 and 2014 when those who railed against the US-NATO manufactured conflict in Ukraine – decrying Washington’s and Brussels’ belligerent policies as clear and unmistakable provocations – were called ‘conspiracy theorists’ for daring to suggest that behind the flowery language of ‘democracy’ and ‘liberal European values’ lay an insidious effort to bring Ukraine into NATO’s orbit? Remember how such voices (this author included) were described as ‘paranoid’ and ‘Putin propagandists’ while the United States’ handpicked successors to deposed President Yanukovich in Kiev were described as ‘patriots’ and ‘protectors of sovereignty’? Well, as it turns out, the conspiracy theories were incontrovertible facts, and the so-called ‘patriots’ were (and are) inveterate liars.
This sort of aggressiveness demonstrated by the directors of the current advanced capitalist empire is not because of "evil-doers" (although the system creates and promotes people that are inclined to do anti-social acts), it is the inherent nature of advanced capitalist controlled nations to expand in order to meet capitalism's insatiable need for growth. Such nations take on enormous debts in the process of this expansion (current US estimate is over $18 trillion dollars--much of it owed to China which makes them the ultimate target), which fuels more imperialism, which inevitably leads to major wars. 

That is precisely why observers frequently compare the system to a cancer which in its advanced stages metastasizes in order to take control of the whole body. It is this nature of private ownership of an economy that is the reason we will see precisely the same tendencies in Russia and China, despite both nations having a significant public ownership sector, should their capitalist economies successfully counter the current Empire's quest to bring them under control. On the other hand, with all of these nations possessing nuclear weapons, we are more likely to see a catastrophic nuclear conflagration with dire consequences for human civilization.

Larry Summers: Democrats are Crazy and Hate Trade

Click here to access article by Don Quijones from Raging Bull-Shit.

The article features an interview with investigative journalist Greg Palast who tells how he received and verified a memo leaked to him which exposes the machinations of capitalist "democracy" to serve the One Percent, and he also explains their current interest and efforts in fast-tracking TPP (and TTIP and TiSA) through Congress.

Kindness, Activism, Ego, and Social Skills

Click here to access article by Mickey Z. from World News Trust.

The author applies the results of a very interesting research study in order to criticize what too often occurs in activist circles--dysfunctional relationships.
...the issues and factors that splinter communities in the general population -- privilege, propaganda, ego, fear, and so on -- very much exist within the activist world. Radical circles are infested with humans ready to pontificate about justice in the abstract but unready to occupy even the most rudimentary of social skills. This alleged community is devoid of manners, sensitivity, even eye contact. But hey, why bother with basic niceties when there are Instagram ["likes"] to be counted?

Citing Iran to Justify Yemen Slaughter

Click here to access article by Gareth Porter from ConsortiumNews.
As the Saudi bombing campaign against Houthi targets in Yemen continues, notwithstanding a temporary pause, the corporate media narrative about the conflict in Yemen is organized decisively around the idea that it is a proxy war between Iran on one side and the Saudis and United States on the other.

USA Today responded like Pavlov’s dog....
This report of full media compliance with the imperial interests of the Empire is another illustration of how carefully managed corporate news propaganda is in the US.

For a real report citing US support for the Saudi coalition attack on Yemen and the humanitarian crisis that this support is causing, I suggest you see this piece from a French news service

FBI tortured US citizen in foreign prison for months for refusing to become an informant, man claims

Click here to access article by J. D. Heyes from Natural News.

Evidence is surfacing in a Portland, Oregon mosque to show how the FBI (and probably the CIA) aggressively recruits citizens of foreign origin, mostly Muslim, to become informants on fellow Muslims. Those that resist are subject to being placed on a "no-fly list". I think the FBI likely uses such informants to induce other Muslims in this country to engage in terrorist acts to further increase fears about terrorism and anger against Muslims and Muslim countries. However, one such American Muslim refused to go along, and he claims in a lawsuit against the FBI that he was tortured.

New age of water wars portends 'bleak future'

Click here to access article by Nafeez Ahmed from Middle East Eye.

Ahmed examines the current and projected effects of climate change in the form of water scarcity, and finds that many areas of the world are already experiencing a crisis.
Although less developed regions are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate-induced water scarcity, richer Western countries and emerging industrial economies are increasingly feeling the heat.  

Thursday, April 23, 2015

We Lucky Molecules

Click here to access article by Robert Parry from ConsortiumNews. 

This piece exhibits both a profound cosmic perspective and a very naive understanding of current human societies. He starts out by showing how we humans are an extremely unlikely life form in a vast universe of dead molecules. 

Such a cosmic vision impels us as humans to recognize our unique existence beyond merely our individual lives and our daily, rather petty preoccupations. Parry confronts us with the stark fact that we humans now possess the means of our own destruction: 
There can be a sense of senselessness to the human existence. There is wholly unnecessary destruction, driven by greed or fear or ideology or religion. We have seen plenty of that in human history and especially over the past century, a time of world wars, human-caused global pollution and advanced instruments to deliver death, even the potential to exterminate all life on the planet.
Parry sees the main driver of humanity's self-destruction as ignorance, and see his vital role as a journalist to report the truth about human events as accurately as possible in order to prevent the disappearance of our unique set of organized molecules from the known universe. 

This is where naiveté sets in. Like so many of today's humans, he seems unable to rise above the profound indoctrination by ruling classes which ignore their role in this orgy of self-destruction. During the last 10,000 or so years societies have been organized into classes of people with some enjoying far more power, wealth, and privileges than others. During this period we have also seen societies plagued by continual wars and crime. Worse yet, in the last few centuries a new driver of our self-destruction has come in the form of an economic system, capitalism, that drives economies to perpetual growth in a finite planet. 

The system has now spread so much pollution that the ecosystem is being so dangerously altered that the planet will soon no longer be able to sustain humans along with many other life forms. This system of capitalism has also dangerously affected the health of societies upon which humans depend for their existence. Societies are now so wrecked by inequality, vast poverty for the many amidst fabulous wealth for a few, that wars and crime are now a major menace to societies. Parry also correctly sees a threat from another product of human creativity in the form of "advanced instruments to deliver death, even the potential to exterminate all life on the planet".

Capitalist ruling classes are the ones who benefit from this arrangement. It is they who put their stamp of self-interest on every institution in their societies. The deadliest form of this self-interest are the pervasive deceptions about the realities of their rule and their system. Parry in his quest to report the truth will always be thwarted by his own self-interest and by threats from these ruling classes. Should he report too much truth about their rule and their system, he will be banished to the journalistic equivalent of Siberia--if he hasn't already. He seems completely oblivious to this reality.

Bounding the Planetary Future: Why We Need a Great Transition

Click here to access article by Johan Rockström from Great Transition Initiative. 

After reading and some scanning of this article by a professor at a Swedish university, I think that the professor tries hard to avoid saying anything that will threaten capitalist ruling classes while, at other times, tries to reassure them during his effort to form a rational argument for what is needed to save humanity from its present trajectory of threatening planetary boundaries. He does this, like many academics, by resorting to high levels of abstraction to avoid attacking real actors, capitalist ruling classes, who are intent upon transgressing these boundaries for their own interests of wealth and power. For example, he writes:
The urgency of the challenges ahead demands a two-prong strategy: acting within our current obsolete development framework to bend environmental and social justice curves as much as possible, while simultaneously fostering the longer-term shift in consciousness to values and institutions that equitably integrate people and planet.
What he really means here is that we must both work within the existing capitalist system but also work for more fundamental changes that he vaguely references as "values and institutions that equitably integrate people and planet".

To avoid antagonizing ruling classes, Rockström occasionally makes very naive, vague statements like this:
Navigating to a safe and thriving future will require stronger global governance. Increasing the powers of global governance does not, however, inherently weaken local, national, or regional governance. To the contrary, democratic global governance for meeting PB requirements can stimulate innovation, adaptation, and market-based solutions at the local, national, and regional scales. In such a scenario, global governance, local action, and adjustments in the business sector go hand-in-hand; indeed, the interplay of governance levels becomes a necessity in the Anthropocene.
 And by reassuring them that the "Great Transition" is really not all that tranformative:
...decarbonizing the world by the second half of this century is not only possible (through a wide strategy of energy efficiencies and applying multiple wedges of renewable energy options), but also compatible with economic development. Renewable sources like solar and wind are already competitive (without subsidies) in many economies, and they can and will generate new markets, innovations, and jobs.
And here where he seems to want capitalists to eat his cake and have it too.
Our species must thus give up the illusion that a heavy reliance on market-based policy measures—which can, at best, deliver relative, not absolute, improvements—can deliver a flourishing civilization in this century. In place of illusion, we can pursue creativity, combining strategies to nurture the innovation and efficiency of the market with hard regulatory policy measures to set the boundaries of the space in which the market operates.

Ayn Rand, Alan Greenspan and Their Early Corporate Ties

Click here to access article by Pam Martens and Russ Martens from Wall Street on Parade.

The Martens brilliantly succeed in revealing the deep hypocrisy of two leading people in our recent ruling class. There is no indication that things have changed with the leading actors of our present ruling class.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The US Hand in Libya’s Tragedy

Click here to access article by Robert Parry from ConsortiumNews.

From listening/viewing mainstream media, I learned only about African migrants losing their lives trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe. So, I wondered why Parry's focus is on Libyan chaos and the need for Libyans to escape. I've spent that past 20 minutes trying to find out the origins of the African migrants. The earliest report I came across was from the NY Times which reported the sinking on Sunday the 19th of April. This report briefly alluded that such boats were coming from Libya, but only made vague reference to the migrants' origins.
The fatal shipwreck may prove to be the Mediterranean’s deadliest migrant disaster ever and is only the latest tragedy in Europe’s migration crisis. Warmer spring weather has unleashed a torrent of smuggler boats, mostly from Libya, bearing migrants and refugees from the Middle East and Africa, often fleeing war and poverty for a foothold in Europe.
Subsequent reports failed to list any migrants from Libya and abandoned any context which might lead to the chaos in Libya and adjacent areas of north Africa; instead the reports focused on the larger problem of Africa migrants and the loss of lives at sea, the efforts of European authorities to control the problem, the arrest of boat officials on human smuggling charges. Furthermore almost all of the reports failed to disclose that this latest tragedy involved a boat which had sailed from Tripoli, Libya. Here is a typical report of the origins of drowned migrants and the focus on the problem of human smuggling:
In Rome, the prime ministers of Italy and Malta on Monday called for targeted, nonmilitary intervention against Libya’s human traffickers.

This year’s death toll in the Mediterranean Sea is thought to have already surpassed 1,500 victims — a drastic spike from the same period last year. With the arrival of warmer weather, the number of migrants on smuggling boats has risen sharply, with more than 11,000 people being rescued during the first 17 days of April. Migrants also now seem to be coming from a larger geographic area — from Bangladesh and Afghanistan in Asia; Syria and Iraq in the Middle East; and African nations such as Gambia, Somalia, Mali and Eritrea.
So, how does one account for the rather uniform context-missing, distorted coverage by Western media? It seems to me that this coverage can only be explained by some kind of deliberate control of media by politically oriented agents. Indeed there is evidence to support a "conspiracy theory" that the likely suspect are agents of the CIA installed in newsrooms of major news agencies: see this, this, this, this, this, and directly from the 1975 CIA's horse's mouth, CIA director William Colby before a Senate committee:

Corporate green-washing on Earth Day Apr 22

Click here to access article by Pete Dolack from Systemic Disorder. 

Dolack visits Union Park in NY City for the Earth Day celebration to distribute some anti-trade agreement flyers and discovers the fingerprints of corporations all over the event. His discoveries tell the story of corporate adaptation to environmental concerns. Such concerns stem from what is now a vast accumulation of evidence that the ability of the planet to sustain human and other life forms are now being threatened by the operations of corporations under a system that requires the ongoing transformation of the planet's resources into products for private profit using fossil fuels that are threatening the stability of our climate. 

This contradiction is obviously no problem for the public relations departments of these corporations. Their job is to transform perceptions of concerned citizens into images which portray corporations as working to solve such concerns. Dolack explains how they try to accomplish this feat, but also exposes the fallacies of such attempts.

(Note: the graph he displays in the article makes sense only if one clicks on it to bring one to the original source, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which transforms it into a very interesting interactive graphic.)

Hillary Clinton Calls For ‘Toppling’ the 1%…While Being Bankrolled by the 1%

Click here to access article by Nick Bernabe from AntiMedia.

Every election year we are presented with this kind of foolishness. Politicians in this system that proclaims itself a "democracy" because they sponsor competitive elections between two or more people with the same ideology never tire of such foolishness--but this one might top all the others.
This really happened. As crazy as it sounds, Hillary Clinton is trying to repackage her war-torn reputation into a populist spitting image of progressive icon Elizabeth Warren. The New York Times reports that “Mrs. Clinton pointed at the top category and said the economy required a ‘toppling’ of the wealthiest 1 percent, according to several people who were briefed on Mrs. Clinton’s policy discussions.”

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Faux Democracy and the Tea Party: How Far Back Does It Go?

Click here to access article by Pam Martens and Russ Martens from Wall Street on Parade. 
Manipulating Americans to organize or protest against their own interests is the sine qua non of big corporate front groups. These groups are alternately known as astroturf organizations because the grass in “grassroots” is fake turf.

Just how fake that turf is came into crisp perspective on April 2 when Christine Stapleton, an investigative reporter at the Palm Beach Post, revealed that a protest rally called by the Tea Party of Miami and Florida Citizens Against Waste used paid actors from the Broward Acting Group as faux protesters.

Entire Western Media is a Troll Army

Click here to access article by Finian Cunningham from Sputnik (Russian website).

This independent Irish journalist offers his views on Western media.
The frantic spell of Western media behaviour could be a case-study in how it is centrally manipulated with a political agenda and thought-control. Editors at major Western media corporations are evidently following a political line cast by [ruling class directors in] Washington and its European allies.

The multi-billion-dollar Western news media networks are replete with an unquestioning, unwavering anti-Russian agenda. This agenda is recklessly inflaming international tensions to the point of inciting further conflict and even an all-out global war.

TTIP leak: EU proposal undermines democratic values

Click here to access article by Lora Verheecke from Corporate Europe Observatory. 

Although our capitalist masters impugn any attempt by the Ninety-Nine Percent to discern what our masters are doing in various secret gatherings by the derisive labeling of such efforts as pursuing "conspiracy theories", numerous leaks from whistleblowers and inside observers have supplied abundant evidence that our masters are always engaged in conspiring to promote their interests which are often at the expense of our interests. 

Such collusive discussions and planning (conspiring) by our ruling masters is clearly an ongoing activity and is an integral part of class conflict or class struggle spotlighted by social critics in the 19th century such as Karl Marx. Unfortunately after so many decades of brainwashing, it seems that most working people in the US believe this mythology of "conspiracy theories" (which is itself the product of a conspiracy designed to delude people) and uncritically absorb most explanations given by our masters about their policies and actions as interpreted through their ubiquitous media and other institutions. The fact that important decisions are made in secret behind closed doors doesn't seem to make a dent in this majority acceptance of ruling class views of reality.

In this article (which will never be reported in mainstream media, therefore it doesn't exist) we see leaked information that clearly shows how this TTIP trade policy, like all neoliberal policies, will further compromise the anemic processes of really existing democracy in Europe, that is, capitalist (aka bourgeois or liberal) democracy to serve the interests of ordinary people.

US Training Nazis, Western Media Providing Cover

Click here to access article by Eric Draitser from New Eastern Outlook.
...the reality of Ukrainian fascism is obscured by vague assertions that such conclusions are merely “Russian propaganda,” that they are simply Kremlin talking points, and not statements of objective reality.

Indeed, influential political figures...and global media brands like The Guardian and FOX, have all rushed to the nearest camera or twitter account to proclaim that Ukraine is “free” and that we should “stand united” with it. Carefully embedded in these pleas is the notion that Ukraine is democratic, and that whatever “ultra-nationalists” – coded language for fascists and Nazis – exist, are merely a marginal influence at best.

Such vacuous statements belie the inescapable fact that Nazis make up an important strata of both the political and military establishment. Moreover, they are intended to provide cover for US policy which provides these elements with the support they need to both influence the political development of the country, and prosecute its illegal war against the people of Donetsk and Lugansk.
Draitser puts the spotlight on the important role that Nazi oriented figures are playing in Ukraine to serve the US Empire in its attempt to destabilize Russia and bring it under the Empire's control. However, his cynical perspective distorts and obscures some realities about democracy and capitalist rule.

Draitser evidently accepts capitalists' version of democracy (here I am wrong--see the comments section) as real democracy and obscures the pronounced capitalist affinity for the authoritarian methods of fascism whenever their class rule is at all threatened or whenever it advances their interests. If you need further clarification on this latter assertion, I suggest that you read some of my previous posts (especially my commentaries) here, here, and here.

Them a Murderer

Click here to access article by Don Quijones from Raging Bull-Shit.
For decades the suited and booted economic hitmen of organisations such as the IMF and World Bank have subjected some of the world’s poorest countries to a brutal process of neocolonial wealth extraction. Across vast swathes of Africa, Asia and Latin America they created an economic wasteland and called it progress.