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

Thursday, September 29, 2016

France's “big idea for the world”

Click here to access article by Gearóid Ó Colmáin from American Herald Tribune.

The author reports on how the French section of the US-led Empire is plundering Africa's resources by using NGOs and indigenous collaborators. For example, he offers this perspective on the Democratic Republic of Congo:
Since nominal independence from Belgium in 1960, the country has been a neo-colony of Western interests and has been maintained in a permanent state of war and poverty. The Congo is the world's richest nation. But its people are poor. The contradiction is called capitalism. Since the CIA and Belgian intelligence agents assassinated the country's first Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba in 1961, puppet leaders have proven untrustworthy.
He gets into the details of this plundering by reporting on French operations in various countries of Africa.

Syrian and Latin American refugees, “worthy” and “unworthy” victims

Click here to access article by "Soapy" from libcom.org

By comparing mostly refugees from Central America with Syrian refugees, the author explains why refugees are regarded very differently by our masters in the capitalist ruling class depending on their value to them. In this case it is propaganda value that they are after. This is only another illustration among so many that policies under advanced capitalist rule are guided strictly by the value--whether economic, political, propaganda, etc--that can be derived from them to enhance their profits and power throughout the world. The author expresses this principle slightly differently by citing an observation made by Noam Chomsky who viewed the same phenomenon in terms of worthiness:
This is a perfect example of what Noam Chomsky calls “worthy” and “unworthy victims”. The “worthy” victims are the ones mistreated by groups the US is opposed to and therefore receive our support. The “unworthy” victims are the victims of our crimes, and they are treated as nothing more than a nuisance.

Earth 'Locked Into' Hitting Temperatures Not Seen in 2 Million Years: Study

Click here to access article by Nika Knight from Common Dreams.

In a new research study by Carolyn Snyder related to her doctoral thesis at Stanford University was published in Nature (behind a paywall). She is now employed at the government's favorite protector of corporations doing environmental damage and suitably represented by an Orwellian name--Environment Protection Agency. It seem likely that her career at this agency will be problematic.
Nature described Snyder's findings in greater detail in an article accompanying her published study: "Even if the amount of atmospheric CO2 were to stabilize at current levels, the study suggests that average temperatures may increase by roughly 5° C over the next few millennia as a result of the effects of the greenhouse gas on glaciers, ecosystems and other factors. A doubling of the pre-industrial levels of atmospheric CO2 of roughly 280 parts per million, which could occur within decades unless people curb greenhouse-gas emissions, could eventually boost global average temperatures by around 9° C."
It appears that already her findings have been labeled "controversial" by various well-placed scientists.

A new definition for "P.C."

by cartoonist Dan Wasserman.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Media as watchdogs of American hegemony

Click here to access article by James George Jatras from Katehon

After examining his resume in various government functions, I thought he could not really deliver on what he promised in this introductory post. After a lengthy reading of his full article, I was rather impressed with how far he went to provide an understanding of the existing power structure in the US, but I also concluded that he stopped safely short of examining any unifying ideology or class structure. 

There was no mention of capitalism or capitalists in the article, and no class structure. The closest came was his brief designation of an "investor class" at the end of page 35 (PDF). In his section entitled "A note on the role of ideology" there was none to describe the ideology of the US governing deep state. And my final criticism is that he at one point suggests that the only path to bring about change in this deteriorating governing structure is to work within the two party system--even as corrupt as they are!
...the only path for even marginal change is an insurgency within one of the two established parties. As it happens, in 2016 there was rebellion in both parties. This is not coincidental. The failures of the two-party consensus are evident in voter fury directed against Republicans and Democrats alike....
Still, in spite of its limitations, I regard the article as a very good read.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

'Something Very Serious Transpired' Between Russia and US Over Syria

Click here to access this post which features a 10:26m interview with Gilbert Doctorow from Sputnik.

This veteran political observer is clearly alarmed by recent events in Syria and in the vitriolic remarks and hostile actions of US officials and US forces in Syria. He attempts to explain this unprecedented level of hostility in several ways including what is suggested in the headline, but he also suggests that it might have something to do with the fear of the "war party" with the prospect of Trump winning the forthcoming election. He posits a "war party" but doesn't elaborate what he means by this phrase, and suggests that Obama has acted to restrain them. This is in accord with those who theorize that the Pentagon has acted independent of the president and the State Department to undermine the negotiated ceasefire agreements.

I thoroughly agree with his feelings of alarm and most other observations, but I am very skeptical of the reasons he suggests as to the cause of the very strained relations between Russia and the US Empire. I don't think these events have anything to do with the forthcoming election nor any one event that transpired regarding Syria. And I think we should ignore the superficial differences between the official agencies of government as reported by corporate media. 

I think that the aggressive neoconservative faction which is likely the dominant faction in the US capitalist ruling class is seriously frustrated in their attempts to advance their imperial agendas in Ukraine, Syria, and other places by Russia and secondarily by China. Because of this we are at a very frightening stage which threatens a catastrophic war, and Doctorow expresses this anxiety very well.

Joe Biden is Washington Troublemaker-in-Chief

Click here to access article by F. William Engdahl from New Eastern Outlook.

Engdahl may have accurately put his finger on one major link between the deep state and the Executive branch of the US government.
Biden is clearly an enforcer for a faction of what we might call the permanent establishment, the hidden real government that runs on automatic imperial pilot regardless who is nominal US President. That “permanent establishment” is currently becoming “dis-established” everywhere in the world. It sees with horror that its grip on the entire world is crumbling. It does only what it has always tried in such cases—war, war, war. Only of late, those wars—war against Russia over Ukraine, war against Assad’s Syria, an attempted war against Erdogan in Turkey, a war against the growing economic muscle in the world of China—have been impotent flops. Biden, a dutiful servant of those interests, carries the flag of war to where he is sent, much like the character in Monty Python’s Ministry of Silly Walks.

[A German] Interview With Al-Nusra Commander "The Americans stand on our side"

Click here to access article by Jürgen Todenhöfer published originally in a major newspaper in Cologne, Germany, and translated imperfectly by Bernhard, the blogger for Moon of Alabama.
Jürgen Todenhöfer: How is the relation between you and the United States? Does the U.S. support the rebels?

Abu al-Ezz [Al Nusra commander]: Yes, the U.S. support the opposition, but not directly. They support the countries which support us. But we are not yet satisfied with this support. They should support us with highly developed weapons. We have won battles thanks to the "TOW" missiles. We reached a balance with the regime through these missiles. We received the tanks from Libya through Turkey. Also the "BMs" - multiple rocket launchers. The regime excels us only with their fighter jets, missiles and missile launchers. We captured a share of its missile launchers and a large share came from abroad. But it is through the American "TOW" that we have the situation in some regions under control.

To whom did the U.S. hand those missiles before they were brought to you? Were those missiles first given to the Free Syrian Army by the U.S. and from there to you?

No, the missiles were give directly to us. They were delivered to a certain group. When the "road" was closed and we were besieged we had officers here from Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United States.

Clinton-Trump debate: A degrading spectacle

Click here to access article by Patrick Martin from World Socialist Web Site.

Martin describes the two candidates for the highest office in the government as gangsters. This is a very apt description especially because at this advanced stage of capitalism, the ruling class's rule can most aptly be described as "organized crime". The only difference between their rule and the activities of organized crime figures is that, instead of taking control of the government, the latter are in a hurry and take short cuts by using threats of physical harm to intimate anyone who gets in their way of acquiring riches and power. They are perfectly aware how so-called legitimate capitalists have gained their power, that the latter steal from workers using threats of intimidation if they don't comply, and as a result they call themselves "wise guys"--not Mafia figures or the "mob" as described in corporate media. Hence Martin's portrayal of the two candidates as gangsters:
Trump is the personification of business gangsterism, a billionaire who built his fortune on swindles, bankruptcies, the theft of wages and deals with the Mafia. When Clinton charged him with profiteering from the collapse of the sub-prime mortgage market, which touched off the 2008 financial collapse, he retorted, “That’s business.” When she accused him of paying no taxes on his vast fortune, he boasted, “That makes me smart.”

Clinton is the personification of political gangsterism, deeply implicated in the crimes of American capitalism over a quarter century, from the destruction of social welfare programs, to the criminalization of minority youth, to the launching of imperialist wars that have killed millions. At one point in the debate she declared that her strategy for defeating ISIS was focused on the assassination of its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. She alluded to her role in “taking out” Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi and said she would make such killings “an organizing principle” of her foreign policy.

"No More Heroes": Jordan Flaherty’s New Book Excavates the Deep Roots of the White Savior Industrial Complex

Click here to access article by Wendy Elisheva Somerson from Bitch Media

It appears that the author of the book, Flaherty, writes that frequently people involved in "humanitarian" efforts are identified as heroes, but in reality they frequently end up supporting a system that oppresses working people, particularly those who can't function well in a capitalist society--the very people that they are described as helping. 
Born into privilege and most often white, today’s progressive saviors believe in their inherent superiority and refuse to listen to the people they are supposedly serving. Crucially, they lack imagination and structural analysis and therefore often end up strengthening the systems that they claim to be working against. While our capitalist culture insists that individual heroes instigate societal change, change happens through the hard work of people in grassroots movements, such as the Movement for Black Lives, the Arab Spring, and the Occupy movement. Flaherty’s point isn’t that saviors are bad people, but that our capitalist system supports and rewards saviorism, which we can help uproot by supporting movements led by the people most impacted by the issues being addressed.
This phenomenon of "saviorism" is frequently used by Empire agents in foreign affairs to justify aggressive policies against other nations, and they express these actions as "humanitarian".

Monday, September 26, 2016

Elections to the Russian Duma in 2016

Click here to access article by "The Saker" from The Unz Review.

This Russian born commentator and blogger, who is living in Florida, assesses the significance of the recent elections in Russia's parliament, the Duma. Although the winning party, United Russia, is a party divided between nationalist Russians like Putin and the Medvedev faction (aka the Atlanticists), he argues that the increase in the United Russia party's representation in the Duma really represents increased and solid support for the Putin faction. Here is an excellent description of the Atlanticist faction and what the election results represent for them:
The truth is, the real opposition to Putin is precisely that, the economic-financial ministers of the Medvedev government and all the factions which they represent: bankers, IMF-drones, corrupt businessmen from the 1990s who hate Putin because he does not allow them to steal like in the past, all the ex-Nomenklatura and their kids who made a killing in the 1990s and whose heart is in the West, the Atlantic Integrationists à la Kudrin who are basically “Washington consensus types” and who hate the Russian people for voting for Putin. That is the real opposition and that opposition is far more dangerous than the US and NATO combined. And for that opposition the result of the elections was a crushing defeat.

New Cold War Spins Out of Control

Click here to access article by Alastair Crooke from Consortium News.

Crooke sees much evidence of chaos in the official US government. Whether that is true or merely intended appearances is very difficult to determine. My opinion is that there may be factional differences about US Empire policies and strategies; but they are not in the official government, rather they are behind the official scenes in the secluded rooms of the major think tanks like Council on Foreign Relations, Brookings Institution, etc. I think that the real policies can be determined by what the major ruling class media are suggesting.
What is so surprising here is the non-surprise evinced by the editorial writers of the New York Times. The Board blandly states that the Defense Secretary and the Pentagon might not comply. Not a hint of surprise is evident at the constitutional implications of this open defiance of Presidential authority.

No, rather the Board seems to view it as quite natural and commendable that Carter should refuse to comply with this “unusual and risky” proposition. But this was not some “proposition for collaboration.” This was an agreed formal accord between the United States and another state – reached after lengthy negotiations, and done with Presidential mandate.
Notice also that Crooke agrees with "The Saker" regarding his analysis of the recent Duma elections.

Kaepernick forces Americans to choose sides

Click here to access article by Matt Peppe from American Herald Tribune.
With the atomization of society, the corporatization of political parties and the disappearance of unions in the neoliberal era, citizens have been largely relegated to the role of spectators in the political process, whose function is to support bipartisan American hegemony. Sports, where fans come together to watch passively, have become the most important venue to propagandize for militarism and American supremacy.
And the "bipartisan" part is only for appearances. It's much like "putting lipstick on a pig" to disguise capitalist rule to make it look attractive, a class rule which is designed to fool people into thinking that their nation is ruled by a democracy.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Propaganda spin cycle: 'Syrian Observatory for Human Rights' is funded by US and UK governments

Click here to access article by Beau Christensen from Signs of the Times (SOTT). 

[Note: I've spent considerable time this morning gathering information about SOTT to see if they are a credible source and to find out about their funding. The website is a project of Quantum Future Group whose founders are a Polish-born physicist, Arkadiusz Jadczyk, and his American wife, Laura Knight-Jadczyk. Besides this website they are into some kind of mysticism called "Cassiopaea", however I see little evidence that their articles are in any way used to advance this philosophy. The website's staff are mostly English speaking located in the US, Canada, Ireland, and Britain. The Jadczyks apparently moved from Florida to France about five years ago where, I believe, they still reside. I failed to find financial information, because to obtain it they required registration and too much information about myself. However, I find the articles contained in SOTT meet my standards of credibility: sincerity, independent, insightful, well documented, and considered reputable by other reputable sources.]

Empire agents have frequently set up fake NGO's for a variety of nefarious purposes. In this article the author examines one fake "human rights" organization that is frequently used by corporate media based in countries of the Empire to document their deceptive propaganda against a targeted country, in this case Syria.
For 5 years, bloody mayhem has been going on in Syria, and in all that time only independent media has picked up on the really obvious flaw in the official narrative about the "Syrian civil war" ...

Officially, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) is a UK-based organization providing data to the Western press about troop movements, government policy and public sentiment in Syria. The Western press then reprints the information they are given - no questions asked.

What Western media editors conceal from the public however, is that the "Syrian Observatory for Human Rights" is neither based in Syria nor is it an observer of what actually goes on there.

Syria ceasefire failure is entirely the U.S.'s fault

Click here to access article from Signs of the Times (SOTT). [If you are curious about this source, see my note regarding the website here.]

This article is particularly insightful regarding Obama and the other government officials of the US who are seen acting under the supervision of a "deep state". This is illustrated by their actions in the recent negotiations regarding the Syrian conflict.
The Russian cellist and conductor Sergei Roldugin recently shared an eye-opening anecdote regarding Putin and Obama. He apparently told a group of journalists - "confidentially" - that "Obama's bodyguards are not trusting enough to leave him alone with Putin, so that they can speak one-on-one." Sure, Putin is a martial arts master and ex-KGB, but to imagine he would put Obama in a chokehold or poison his tea is ridiculous. There has to be another reason, besides concerns for his physical safety, why Obama needs minders during his meetings with Putin. What could it possibly be?

The answer should be clear, and it has to do with what we wrote about on Tuesday regarding the differences of opinion between the State Department and the Pentagon, for example. But it goes deeper than that.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

US-Turkey Lurch to World War in Syria

Click here to access article by Finian Cunningham from Strategic Culture Foundation.

It appears the regimes of US and Turkey are two Machiavellian peas in NATO's pod. Each have somewhat different agendas, but their agendas are complementary regarding Syria. Both are up to their necks in lies about what they are doing in Syria, but both want to crush the Syrian government.

Cunningham's assessment about their collusion seems correct.
Given the grim prognosis for the regime-change conspirators, Turkey and the US appear prepared now to ratchet up direct military intervention. In short, they are moving to fully-fledged war on Syria.

Erdogan seems to be using the failed coup in his country in mid-July as added leverage on Washington. Reeling from Turkish accusations that the US was somehow complicit in aiding the coup attempt (probably overblown), Washington seems keener to accommodate Erdogan’s demands over Syria.

Syria: White Helmets Staged ‘Russian Bombing’ Scene Near Aleppo, Lapped-up By Mainstream Media

Click here to access article from 21st Century Wire.

This study of the White Helmets in Syria is an excellent example of investigative journalism. The While Helmets have been frequently used by Empire propagandists to shore up their fabricated reports about what the US is doing in Syria. This is an investigation of another NGO that is being used by the Empire to support their war against Syria. Read it to see how the author(s) build a case to justify this disturbing concluding statement.
The ground conflict in Syria is being perpetuated by western terrorist brigades under a variety of names, but perhaps the greatest damage to Syria and the Syrian people has been inflicted upon them by the propaganda merchants, the western media, the humanitarian NGOs, the US/NATO think-tanks and all manner of NATO biased, Leftist peace activists or anti-war protesters calling for a war to end a war that was started by their governments who will escalate the war against Syria to effect their “regime change” targets.

This incident once more demonstrates the size and power of the apparatus driving this propaganda with a full compliment of ancillary crisis actors and extras.

From the reactions of Kerry and the West, it is hard not to conclude that we are being propelled closer to the abyss of a dangerous geopolitical standoff, or a World War.

How US Propaganda Plays in Syrian War

Click here to access article by Rick Sterling from Consortium News
Manipulation of public perception has risen to a new level with the emergence of powerful social media. Multibillion-dollar corporate giants, such as Facebook, Twitter and Google, influence public perceptions, often via payments for “boosting” Facebook posts, paid promotion of Tweets, and biased results from search engines.

Marketing and advertising companies use social media to promote their clients, but so do U.S. foreign policy managers who hire or enlist these companies to influence public perceptions to support U.S. foreign policy goals.

Another Known Wolf? NYC Bombing Suspect Probed by FBI, Leading to Bigger Questions

Click here to access article by Shawn Helton from 21st Century Wire

Another very suspicious "terrorist" incident! The author explores the circumstances related to these latest related incidents in the NY City area and finds once again that it looks like a staged false flag terrorist event.

All activists and the general public need to be aware that the games of deception practiced in so many places where the US Empire is involved also happen here at home. We live in a truly globalized world. The trans-national capitalist class that directs the Empire has no more regard for working people in the US than they do for working people throughout the world. They use corporate media, fake terrorist events, and their secretly funded real terrorist armies to spread their lies everywhere.
You have to wonder, were the events in New York and New Jersey also a weapon of mass distraction, following a major international embarrassment for the United States both at home and abroad – the brutal airstrike campaign in Syria that killed over 70 Syrian troops? This unlikely bombing incident just happened to also coincide with the UN General Assembly in NYC, where President Obama was delivering among other speeches, his “War on Terror” addresses to the international community. No surprise then, with the city suddenly on ‘high terror alert’ – that Obama quickly and confidently and comfortably used his center stage spotlight at the UN, shifting into ‘national security’ mode – boasting how quickly his police forces solved the case. It was almost if we was ready for events that weekend.
The Empire directors also use a major divide and conquer strategy here in the US in their attempt to split the working class between African-Americans and European-Americans. This is an old strategy resurrected in a desperate attempt to foster domestic conflict and also to create distractions from their imperial wars abroad.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Media Manipulation and Syria’s “White Helmets”, Deceive ‘Right Livelihood’ and CodePink [a must read]

Click here to access article by Rick Sterling from Global Research

This article opened up a kind of Pandora's Box for me after more than an hour of studying it, doing a little research, and jogging my memory about the Purpose organization. First of all, it should be noted that Sterling's article misidentifies it as "Purpose Foundation" which appears to me unconnected to Purpose whose legal name is "Purpose Campaigns LLC", registered in the state of Delaware. There is very little information about the organization on their website other than a self-identification as a "public benefit corporation". Mostly their website is devoted to presenting themselves in a variety of ways as doing good. 

During the course of my research I did a Google search on "Purpose" which led me to an intermediate page which posted "Black Lives Matter In Solidarity" with links to "Color of Change" and "Campaign Zero". I found a Forbes article on them from 2011 which revealed other connections. Then I remember posting information about them some time ago. 

I did a search of my own website and found a lot more information about Purpose and their connections to other questionable organizations in an article I posted in 2014. All the information I turned up suggests that there is a major propaganda source behind all these connected organizations that are designed not only to promote pro-government propaganda but to influence activist organizations within the US so that they don't threaten the status quo. In other words, these are subversive organizations funded mostly by the ruling capitalist class and probably directed by some agency of the deep state to insure their continued rule.

Genuine progressive and revolutionary organizations need to be aware of their activities, and to the best of my knowledge most of them are not. They must be exposed and every genuine activist organization must be alerted and warned about them. If the genuine alternative media organizations in the US are worth anything, they must get on this as soon as possible.

It must be understood that when an activist organization receives money from dubious sources, even if they are engaged in genuine progressive activities, they are often being used by the funders for other purposes (usually for nefarious purposes). When activist organizations no longer serve their ruling class sponsors, they are dropped. 

What also must be understood is that we live in a globalized world. For example, what the agents of the Empire do in such places as Syria regarding the While Helmets (read this), they also do here in the US to defend and promote the interests of the ruling capitalist class of the Empire.