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, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up
Sunday, October 22, 2017
Because I have limited time today, here is some thoughts off-the-top-of-my-head (def.) to this article.
I think that Bernhard is reacting to a surface phenomenon. It is rather easy to see that Trump has included many military figures in his cabinet and other government posts and mistake this for military takeover of government. I rather think that it reflects Trump's mindset: he is authoritarian because of the nature of being successful at business enterprise, and he is racist given his socialization in the US. Thus, he likes soldiers because they have been trained to follow and give orders. He also has demonstrated his racism by pursuing blindly and in a most visceral fashion everything that was associated with the Obama administration: opening up to relations with Cuba, the Iranian nuclear accord, and the Affordable Care Act. Otherwise it appears so far that he is leaving most all other foreign policy matters to his military men, and pursuing domestic issues to serve his class (example: lowering taxes for the rich).
His allowing the generals to determine military policies, of course, is dangerous because the generals have been trained to make war and to devise strategies to defeat any opponents of the US and its empire. They have not been trained or socialized as people who understand the many political complexities of any given situation; and they have not been educated in the real history of humanity, rather they have been subject to intensive indoctrination to capitalist views and values. The latter also makes them very comfortable for Trump to relate to.
I feel that Bernard underestimates the staying power of the capitalist Deep State: those who have since the late 19th century have accumulated vast quantities of wealth, and have ever since then, promoted the use of this wealth by first taking over the control of the currency in 1913 with the Federal Reserve Act, by taking control over every social and political institution (especially those engaged indoctrination and propaganda), and have organized a vast network of secret agencies (even organized crime syndicates) to commit illegal acts and to spy on ordinary Americans who might be inclined to carry their dissent to defiant acts of resistance.
Bernhard's thesis that a military junta has taken control of the US under the Trump administration depends largely on a piece published in The New Yorker, a ruling class magazine that inspires a following of the upper classes (from the upper-middle class to the capitalist class). However, I think that this piece functions only as a part of the ruling class campaign to get rid of Trump, and to prepare American "opinion leaders" for the removal of Trump from the White House.
Saturday, October 21, 2017
Reading this piece requires some knowledge of Iraq, its past decade of politics under US occupation, and some effort. However it seems to me that if you can manage all of these requirements, you will find some very rich political gems in the article that will help you understand recent and current events in that area of the US-led Empire.
It is clear from my reading that Emma Sky is a very useful Deep State figure whose task is to promote the Empire's many interests in this strategic, oil rich area and curbing Iran's influence. In addition the article reveals connections between her role and the rise of the terrorist armies of al-Qaeda and ISIS. This piece represents investigative journalism at its best.
Friday, October 20, 2017
The author, who is a Russian ex-patriot living in Florida, knows whereof he speaks when he examines US and Russian propaganda over the past 60 years. This article is an updated version of one he wrote in 2016 which I barely scanned today. I think he makes the same points as in the earlier article, but elaborates by describing various Western anti-Russian "experts" who Russian TV programs host on their programs. These are usually former Russians who while in the West spout some of the worst and ridiculous anti-Russian propaganda. He explains how this arrangement is far more effective than the censorship practiced by the Soviets.
However I wonder if the reason that this arrangement works so effectively is because the US anti-Russian propaganda has sunk so much deeper in the mud of ridiculousness than was the case in the Cold War simply because they can. As I've stated several times before, I can't recall a time when US propaganda has been so downright silly than it is nowadays. I find myself grasping for explanations for this and all I can find is that US propaganda agents have been so successful in the past 50 years in covering up the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy, M. L. King, Malcom X and all the other crimes that they lied about (the US support of the Contras--funded by criminal activities such as drug trafficking and selling weapons to Iran-- who terrorized Nicaraguans to vote out the popular Sandinista government, the invasions of Granada and Panama, the 9/11 false-flag project, the invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan, and all the other false-flag terrorist incidents. Apparently the directors of US propaganda programs have so easily accomplished the above that they feel safe in promoting the most ridiculous narratives justifying their continuing crimes throughout the world. I find it difficult to understand why my fellow Americans continue to believe such rubbish!
Mazaheri gives us the other side of the ongoing dispute with the North Korean leadership which unfortunately is missing in the reporting by the Empire's media corporations. There is always two sides to every dispute, but our ruling masters consistently give us only one side--their side. The other is very difficult to find because our masters don't want us to know it. (They claim it's for our own good: so that we are not exposed to "fake news".) The other side as reported by the author is very revealing!
Back in 2013 I did 17 reports in 19 days, so it was a crash course in on-the-ground reporting in South Korea. Thanks to an excellent production team already in place, I interviewed top analysts, university professors, political activists and dozens of people on the street.
And almost every single report has been wiped clean from the internet. This process started this year, and it has affected top leftist sites like the World Socialist Web Site, The Greanville Post and many others. I have been able to provide a few web links, after much surfing.
But I wrote this article to provide 5 key things to know when discussing North Korea, but which you have probably never heard.
Thursday, October 19, 2017
Go to https://www.bitchute.com/channel/sane... for EXTENSIVE new vid on V-egas up TODAY: My recent Vegas coverage got me put in the naughty corner with youtube, lost my live streaming ability. Oh well, good push to develop platform outside of big brother site. If you would like my analysis on sensitive subjects including V egas go here: https://www.bitchute.com/channel/sane... New video up today with EXTENSIVE summary on what actually happened.
Although Webb emphasizes regulatory capture by the pharmaceutical industry and only points to some facts--like heroin production is booming in US occupied Afghanistan (before under the Taliban government it was banned) and that US troops guard their poppy patches--I think we will likely learn in the future that US government agencies actively colluded with criminal organizations to refine and especially distribute heroin, much of which ultimately ended up in the hands of Big Pharma and resulted in opiate addiction in the US.
I well remember from my days in the San Francisco Bay Area that the CIA was directly flying in heroin and other drugs from southeast Asia into Oakland using their Air America airline (see this, this, and this).
You may also be interested in an article entitled "Make Big Pharma Pay for the Opioid Crisis" by Karen Hicks posted on CounterPunch.
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
This essay made perfect sense to me. It tied together so much knowledge that I've gained from other historical writings on this issue. By reading it, see how he weaves together many historical facts to arrive at this rather dramatic conclusion:
...Zionism is not a “normal” movement of national liberation that shares the dual character of many such movements struggling against colonial oppression while oppressing other communities, be they national or of another nature. This is the claim of those partisans of Israel who are not fanatical to the point of denying the oppression perpetrated by the Zionist state. The truth, however, is that the Zionist movement was built upon exploitation of the oppression suffered by the Jews and reliance on the help of anti-Semites in order to create a colonial state structurally integrated in the imperialist system—not a postcolonial state as it pretends.
This website is honoring the activities of past revolutionaries on whose shoulders we stand in the fight against the capitalist monster. They are inspiration for us all in our daily activities against this monster who will devour us all if we don't finally slay it.
“The Irish working class must emancipate itself, and in emancipating itself it must, perforce, free its country.” Those were the words of James Connolly, the great Irish socialist.
Connolly was a revolutionary socialist and trade union organiser in Scotland, where he was born of Irish parents, the United States and Ireland. He participated in the great debates of the international socialist movement at the beginning of the last century, standing on its revolutionary wing.
The UK government is all set to sledgehammer free speech in unison with the US deep state. News from The Guardian foretells of social media platforms being labeled “publishers” rather than information platforms, a move that will end the spread of free ideas to UK citizens. But the movement warns of international implications given recent events in the US aimed at Russia. The true message from Russia and beyond won out in recent media skirmishes, but as a byproduct we may soon witness the end of rights we took for granted for too long.Meanwhile back at the (US) ranch we learn from Bloomberg News that Facebook will be working closer to the US spy agencies to counter "fake news" and Russian interference in our elections, that is, to censor and shape news to conform to policies of the capitalist Deep State.
According to a story entitled “UK government considers classifying Google and Facebook as publishers,” Karen Bradley, the UK Culture Secretary, told MPs at a meeting of the digital, culture, media, and sport committee that the government is considering changing the legal status of Google, Facebook, and other Internet companies over “growing concerns about copyright infringement and the spread of extremist material online.”
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
For the most part, “fake news” is a fake concept designed by the corporate news media to discredit those who challenge the official U.S. hegemonic narrative. The typical MSM fake news accusation starts with some egregious fictionalization and then morphs over to the real targets: the subversives, those who would dispute foundational elements of the official history or its recent approved updates.I strive daily to be one of those "subversives".
These subversive elements are likely to question important myths, such as the necessity of the nuclear incineration of Hiroshima or – before the Iraq War – Saddam Hussein possessing WMD, and hence must be silenced.
Over the last decades, and especially since the (foreign induced) Salafi insurrection weakened the states of Syria and Iraq, the Kurds had made huge territorial and political gains. But they became overly greedy and did not see that these gains were not sustainable. Iraq and Syria reasserted themselves. The "western" allies of the Kurds rediscovered that their strategic interests are best served by intact nation states.I don't know where Bernhard gets all of his information regarding the Kurds, but so far the "facts on the ground" support his views, and such views make a lot of sense to me. It will be very interesting if future events support his interpretation of events at the current stage. One thing that I am reasonably certain is that the terrorists remaining in ISIS will be saved by the Empire and its vassals for another day elsewhere in the world. Terrorist proxies have been far too useful to them to dispose of such battle-hardened armies now. Already they appear to be showing up in the Philippines and Myanmar (Burma).
Also, if his views of events are accurate, this situation marks a tremendous setback to the plans of the Empire and associates (Israel and Saudi Arabia) in that region, and this is likely to have a major impact on the ruling classes in the Empire which I can't imagine will be to the good. Some people think that a war with Iran looks likely (see this, this, and this), others imagine in Ukraine. In either or both, nuclear weapons are quite likely to be used.
...attempts to reform it [capitalism] through parliaments haven’t worked. In the past century a whole number of left wing governments have been elected in various places, and while many have been able to temporarily ameliorate some of its worst effects, none has been able to legislate away the basic, brutal truth of capitalism: that it is a system based upon the exploitation of the vast majority by the extreme minority who own and control the means of creating wealth.
The Russian Revolution, and specifically the October Revolution, confronted this truth head-on, and for a period it showed how it might be possible to run society differently.
This did not come from the heads of Lenin and the Bolsheviks bestowing their knowledge upon the masses; rather it came from an intense period of workers’ self-activity. This self-activity didn’t only extend to the workplace — it also tackled forms of oppression and political grievances which had shackled Russian workers and peasants for decades.
Monday, October 16, 2017
The history professor’s work on the subject began by accident. In 2013 she stumbled across a deserted clapboard house on the campus of George Mason University in Virginia. It was stuffed with the unsorted archives of a man who had died that year, whose name is probably unfamiliar to you: James McGill Buchanan. She writes that the first thing she picked up was a stack of confidential letters concerning millions of dollars transferred to the university by the billionaire Charles Koch.James McGill Buchanan is an excellent example of contemporary America's "house nigger" as described by Malcolm X. He is an upper-middle class academic who loyally served plantation owners like Charles Koch. Unlike intellectuals such as historian Alfred W. McCoy and America's informal theologian Chris Hedges who serve the ruling capitalist class by managing dissent within safe limits, Buchanan went whole-hog (def.) in collaborating with the ruling class to consolidate and extend their power. Because of his loyalty and performance, he was amply rewarded.
Her discoveries in that house of horrors reveal how Buchanan, in collaboration with business tycoons and the institutes they founded, developed a hidden programme for suppressing democracy on behalf of the very rich. The programme is now reshaping politics, and not just in the US.
But doesn't Monbiot also serve to manage dissent when he writes the following reassuring statement as a conclusion?
Complete freedom for billionaires means poverty, insecurity, pollution and collapsing public services for everyone else. Because we will not vote for this, it can be delivered only through deception and authoritarian control. The choice we face is between unfettered capitalism and democracy. You cannot have both.Thus he tells us that we must strive to do a better job of regulating capitalists, and that our "democratic" institutions are still viable and able to do this job. (In the words of a 1911 activist) if that isn't pie-in-the-sky optimism, I don't know what is.
Buchanan’s programme amounts to a prescription for totalitarian capitalism. And his disciples have only begun to implement it. But at least, thanks to Maclean’s discoveries, we can now apprehend the agenda. One of the first rules of politics is know your enemy. We’re getting there.
Reading an article by Rockstroh, a leading American wordsmith, takes a little more time and effort, but I think you will agree that it is often worth it.
This article of his was prompted by a NY Times piece entitled "“Why Are More American Teenagers Than Ever Suffering From Severe Anxiety?”, and he attempts to answer the question. He concludes his article with this insightful remark:
Due to the reality that capitalism, on both an individual and collective basis, drives individuals into madness, all as the system destroys forest and field, ocean and sea and the soulscape of all who live under its rapacious dominion, our plight comes down to this: We either struggle and strive, by and any and all means, to end the system — or it will end us.Rockstroh's article instantly recalled my early morning experience listening to NPR's Morning Addition through the fog of awakening to my radio-alarm. It's amazing what one can learn listening to NPR, America's radio station! This morning I learned that not only American teenagers are going crazy but adults as well. But NPR's directors would not leave their listeners to suffer because they assured us that there were apps (def.) to cure this. And if that didn't work for you, they immediately followed with another segment to report that American entrepreneurs had devised other cures such as "floating away your anxiety and stress" for as little as $50 a float! (sarcasm)
In the final presidential debate of 2016, Hillary Clinton famously called Donald Trump the “puppet” of Russian President Vladimir Putin. But what’s increasingly clear is that Trump has a more typical puppet master for a U.S. politician – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.I would put a rather different take on the source of Trump's policies and actions. Although a bit crude in his actions and not skilled at public relations, I view him as an otherwise consummate capitalist in that he is thoroughly addicted to the drugs of profit and power. This addiction drives his sociopathic personality to seek alliances with wealth/power figures who are richly ensconced throughout the capitalist power structure. I am referring to the powerful and rich Ziocons and even mafia types who seem to thrive in the US Empire.
10:15 AM Seattle time--Addendum, a quote by Phil Rockstroh:
When life is negotiated within a collective value system that devalues and deadens the individual’s inner life thus warps every human transaction, anomie descends, the worst among a people ascend to positions of power.
This report seems too good to be true. I will await other reports before I believe it. (Here is the first confirmation from a key Empire propaganda source.)
The dreams of an independent Kurdistan in Iraq have just been buried again. Masoud Barzani's position has been weakened significantly. This huge blunder might cost him his head. The Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi has gained in standing and is now in position to win next years election.
These events will also have consequences for the Kurdish position in Syria. They demonstrate that they can not hope for continued U.S. support and will have to reconcile with the Syrian government. The idea of some autonomous or even independent Kurdish entity in Syria is, as of today, also dead.
[Weekly series of the Russian Revolution of 1917] October 16-22: Trotsky leads Bolsheviks out of Pre-Parliament
As the Bolshevik party leadership continues to hotly debate Lenin’s calls for an armed insurrection, Lenin forcefully continues his campaign to orient the party toward the seizure of power. He writes a number of letters to different Bolshevik delegations and party committees, in this way circumventing the Central Committee and reaching toward the working class.