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

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Reviewing Force Multipliers [an introduction to must-read materials]

by Maximilian Forte from Zero Anthropology and archived at Encircling Empire

The materials related to the book Force Mulitipliers is extremely important to understand for all people concerned about the direction that the US Empire in its unending search for profits and power seems to heading. The direction is impelled by the system of imperialist capitalism whose directors employ so many new instruments of deception and proxies which they describe as "force multipliers" as well as brute force typical of earlier forms of capitalist imperialism. It is the new instruments which has been studied and revealed in detail by this author.

I spent a lot of time reading related materials and the original source (pdf format) from a new book entitled FORCE MULTIPLIERS: The Instrumentalities of Imperialism by Forte. The book can be order through Lulu Press for about $10 (incl. postage) or read online (I prefer a hard copy and ordered it). Probably the most efficient way of accessing his ideas is a 68 slide show presentation located near the bottom of this posted introduction--here is the direct link.

Here is the "Overview" or introduction from the second slide:
In the drive to accumulate ever more global power for the US state and its allies, both political and corporate, the quest for totalization [global domination] confronts the challenge of “overreach”. To operate using smaller efforts to carry larger loads, US strategists have devised what they call “force multipliers”. Force multiplication is about “leverage”: using partners and proxies in an expanding network. Forces are conceptualized in multi-dimensional terms. Anything in the world of cultural systems, social relationships, and material production can become force multipliers for imperialism: food security, oil, electricity, young leaders, aid, social media, NGOs, women’s rights, schoolgirls, democratization, elections, the G8, the European Union, NATO, the IMF, the World Bank, the World Economic Forum, AFRICOM, development, policing, borders, and epidemics, among others.

Putin’s Revenge? The Fight for the Border

Click here to access article by Mike Whitney from CounterPunch.

Whitney (my "neighbor" in Washington state) finds that the Russian actions are exposing the many lies and false flags used to hide the Empire's project to turn Syria into another failed state that can be controlled to serve the interests of the Empire.

Can you imagine when a request was made by a prominent Iraqi official to attack ISIS (Daesh) oil tankers how this might have caused a US Empire director to pause a few moments to figure out a reasonable answer? Finally the director came up with this excuse: "Daesh trucks that sell oil are ‘civilian targets’ to US"!

To learn more about the various terrorist groups operating in Syria, an article from Sputnik entitled "The Land of Terror: Is Daesh Syria’s Only Deadly Menace on the Ground?" appears to offer some valid answers.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Guess Why The U.S. Is Not (Seriously) Bombing ISIS's Oil Business

Click here to access article by Bernhard from Moon of Alabama
The U.S. did not start bombing the Islamic State's oil infrastructure and oil distribution system until the Russian president Putin shamed U.S. President Obama at the G20. Putin showed around satellite pictures of huge oil truck assemblies waiting in the desert to be filled. These were through 13 month of bombing left completely unmolested by U.S. air strikes. The U.S. then bombed a bit and claimed to have destroyed 116 waiting oil trucks while the Russians claimed to have destroyed over 1,000.

So far I have found four reason given to explain why the U.S. did not bomb, and does not seriously bomb,  the oil truck convoys.

Turkey Refines and Sells Stolen Syrian and Iraqi Oil for ISIS

Click here to access article by Stephen Lendman from Global Research.
Erdogan is an international outlaw, He’s supporting ISIS, US proxy foot soldiers in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere, directly involved in their oil smuggling, refining and sales worth hundreds of millions of dollars on the black market.

America and other Western  nations are well aware of what’s going on, doing nothing to stop it, aiding it by inaction and/or direct support – Russia alone intervening by bombing ISIS’ truck pipeline, transporting oil along with its facilities in Syria.
Read also this piece entitled "Turkey's links to Islamic State" by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey from Pravda.  

Moving Closer to Europe: ISIL Sets Its Sights on Expansion in Libya

Click here to access article from Sputnik (based in Russia).
The Islamic State has increased its presence in the Mediterranean city of Sirte in Libya from 200 fighters at the start of the year to a force of 5,000 men, including administrators and financiers; the base is the first to be directly established by ISIL outside Syria and Iraq, and brings the terrorists closer to Europe.
This report is corroborated by a similar report in the Wall Street Journal. It has been speculated that that large buildup in Libya has been from ISIS soldiers fleeing from Syria where their forces have been besieged by Russian and Coalition bombing raids, and ground forces of the Syrian and Kurdish armies.

Big Oil, TTIP And The Scramble For Europe

Click here to access article by Colin Todhunter from East by Northwest.
TTIP is too often presented by officials and sections of the corporate media as constituting a well thought out recipe for job creation and economic growth. This depiction forms part of the neoliberal globalisation paradigm that sanctifies the notion of ‘free trade’. In reality, however, what we actually have is trade and markets that are anything but ‘free’: markets are rigged, commodity manipulated and nations coerced, destabilised or attacked in order that powerful players gain access to resources and markets under the banner of free trade and democratic freedoms.

The TTIP is a mandate for corporate plunder and, given recent revelations, for major polluters. It represents a pro-privatisation agenda that enshrines the privileges of the world’s most powerful corporations at the expense of ordinary people, the environment and the climate.
The ultimate aim of TTIP is to draw Europe closer to the US and divide the European continent by side-lining Russia.

The secretive trade agreements that could scupper climate change ​action​

Click here to access article from Grain
While all the focus and hope for tackling climate change is on COP 21 in Paris, starting today, secretive global trade deals are already negating any commitments that might be made at the summit.

Hillary Clinton 2016 election parody song: emails, Benghazi and Bill

Click here if you wish to access the video and/or lyrics directly from TomoNews channel at YouTube.

For your amusement on this Monday after a long holiday weekend.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

NATO’s Terror Convoys Halted at Syrian Border

Click here to access article by Tony Cartalucci from New Eastern Outlook

Cartalucci once again scores with this piece which exposes one of the most dramatic grand schemes in history to crush a sovereign country. Once again he uses solid arguments and evidence to support his exposé. 
Russia’s increased activity along the Syrian-Turkish border signifies the closing phases of the Syrian conflict. .... It is likely Syrian forces will arrive and secure this region as well.

For those that have criticized Russia’s air campaign claiming conflicts can’t be won from the air without a ground component, it should be clear by now that the Syrian Arab Army is that ground component, and has dealt ISIS and Al Qaeda its most spectacular defeats in the conflict.

When this corridor is closed and supplies cut off, ISIS, Nusra, and all associated NATO-backed factions will atrophy and die as the Syrian military restores order across the country. This may be why there has been a sudden “rush” by the West to move assets into the region, the impetus driving the United States to place special forces into Syrian territory itself, and for Turkey’s ambush of a Russian Su-24 near the Syrian-Turkish border....
And, I might add to the last sentence, proposals by many US officials advocating the creation of "safe zones" in northern Syrian to continue their supply lines to their proxy terrorist armies.

Confession of a CIA Agent: They gave us millions to dismember Yugoslavia

Click here to access an interview with a former CIA agent who provides some details of the agency's operation to dismember Yugoslavia. Note that the interview was first published by a Serbian source and translated by the staff at this Serbian-British website, but it is also being picked up by several North American websites.

It often takes years for informed people to leak information about the many nefarious projects sponsored by the Empire's directors. In the destabilization of Yugoslavia we learn from a former CIA case officer some of the details and US government lies almost 25 years after the dirty deeds were done. Note once again the use of NGOs and the bribing of local Yugoslavian media owners to spread lies.
Robert Baer, ​​a former CIA officer, has authored many books which disclosed the secrets of both the CIA and the administrations of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. He has been arrested and detained several times. Mitt Waspurh, a personal friend who worked at the Senate and shared information was killed at gunpoint. As a senior CIA operative, Baer worked in Yugoslavia during the 1991-94 period and in the Middle East. He has worked on several documentaries on National Geographic, accusing the Bush administration of waging war for oil.

The interview was conducted live in Canada, during my trip a few days ago. Robert Baer is currently promoting his book “The Secrets of the White House” in Quebec, where we talked. In an interview we spoke of the background of the war in Yugoslavia.

Open Letter. Please Stop the Hate

Click here to access article by Rowan Wolf from Uncommon Thought Journal.

In our era of globalization we see the same fear/hate methods used by capitalist elites everywhere in the world to control people. We in the USA are certainly no exception to this pattern. One recent illustration of this is the use of fear and hate to promote terrorism targeting Planned Parenthood facilities.
All the hype and repetition aside, the “videos” of the supposed “horrendous” acts of Planned Parenthood are hoaxes. They are cobbled together, and highly edited, to create a story that is not true. Our political leaders (and wanna be leaders) know this, yet some keep pointing to them to rouse us to anger and pull us to support them. Now someone has decided to take justice for a fabricated crime into their own hands in Colorado Springs and 3 people lie dead … because of the lies. [my link]

We have all seen the horror of the attacks in Paris. This has been taken up by some political leaders (and wanna be leaders) to fear monger the population.

Building a global climate movement: COP21 and beyond

Click here to access article by Tabitha Spence from Revolutionary Socialism in the 21st Century (rs21) [Britain]. 
What has become abundantly clear is that...the crisis consists in the fact that the old is dying, but the new cannot yet be born. We are seeing death and destruction on a massive scale as a direct and indirect consequence of climate change, but remain stuck within a logic that insists on putting profits above humanity and the very conditions of our existence.

As we have witnessed in all past failed attempts to reduce emissions, breaking the deadlock cannot occur without recognising the roots of the fundamentally oppressive and exploitative system, and then taking a clear position against it.

What Passing a Key CO2 Mark Means to Climate Scientists

Click here to access article by Andrea Thompson and Brian Kahn from Climate Central.
Humans have burned enough fossil fuels to drive atmospheric CO2 to levels that world hasn’t seen in at least 400,000 years. That’s driven up temperatures, melted ice and caused oceans to acidify. Some extreme weather events around the world have become more likely and stronger because of it, and some will likely only get worse as the planet continues to warm.
Because CO2 sits in the atmosphere long after it’s burned, that means we’ve  likely lived our last week in a sub-400 ppm world. It also means that the reshaping of our planet will continue for decades and centuries to come, even if climate talks in Paris in two weeks are successful.

The elephant in Paris – the military and greenhouse gas emissions

Click here to access article by Nick Buxton from Common Dreams.
A close look at [US] military climate change strategies reveals that their focus is on securing borders, protecting trade supply-routes for corporations, controlling conflicts around resources and instability caused by extreme weather, and repressing social unrest. They turn the victims of climate change into ‘threats’ to be controlled or combated. There is no critical examination of the military’s own role in enforcing a corporate-dominated fossil-fuel economy that has caused the climate crisis.

In fact, there is evidence that many players in this corporate-military-security industrial nexus are already seeing climate change not just as a threat but an opportunity.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Records reveal warming’s first warning

Click here to access article Tim Radford from Climate News Network.
Climate scientists have been warning for decades that the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, as a result of the human combustion of fossil fuels, will at some point tip stable climate zones into new regimes – a shift defined by the researchers as an “abrupt, substantial and persistent” change.

Most climate scientists expect such change to happen in the next few decades, but this new study seems to declare that it has already started to happen.

The Right to an Unfair Trial

Borrowed from a post from cartoonist Jen Sorensen's website.

This is a huge story that many progressives seem to be overlooking. In 2013 the Supreme Court allowed companies — Netflix, T-Mobile, rental cars, banks, private schools, medical practices, online retailers, etc. — to slip “arbitration clauses” into contracts for services and jobs that circumvent the court system entirely. If you have a legal grievance, you will be shunted into their private kangaroo court, presided over by often-laughably biased officials hired by the company. The NY Times has a must-read three part series on this truly incredible overturning of a fundamental Constitutional right.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Class, War And David Cameron

Click here to access article by Colin Todhunter from East by Northwest.

Todhunter starts out this essay by exposing the latest lies of the British prime minister to justify attacks on Syria. But soon he urges us to regard this as only the latest deception by global capitalists to pursue their passions of profits and power throughout the world.

All activists must stop thinking and acting along national lines because our masters among the capitalist elites no longer have any regard for the interests of working people within their respective nations. In this increasing globalized world what occurs in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, or the United States is modulated by the global passions of the capitalist elites who manage their neoliberal world.

This British independent blogger, like many others, illustrates this global perspective by tying issues occurring in various hot spots of the world together. However unlike the global capitalist elites mostly operating under the direction of the US Empire, Todhunter ties together many global issues as a threat to the lives of every working person everywhere. Especially with the following paragraph he sounds the alarm to wake us up to this global war on all workers regardless of nationality.
Cuts to welfare, increases in military spending and events in Syria form part of an ongoing war on working people. That's because militarism is but one arm of a neoliberal agenda that seeks to bend all working people and regional elites - whether Assad, Putin, Saddam or Gaddafi - to the will of Western capital. It is ordinary working people who ultimately pay the price, whether refugees fleeing from conflict, civilian deaths in war zones or those subject to the types of structural violence that ‘austerity’ or other forms of economic warfare brings courtesy of the IMF, World Bank, WTO or trade agreements like NAFTA, TPA and TTIP. And, ultimately, it is the Lockhead Martins, the Blackwaters (XE Services) and the BAEs, the Chevrons and Occidental Petroleums, the Halliburtons and Monsantos and the financial interests on Wall Street and in the City of London that benefit. 

Development From Below

Click here to access an interview by Jacobin a publisher with Vivek Chibber.
In early October, Jacobin publisher Bhaskar Sunkara spoke to Vivek Chibber, a professor of sociology at New York University, about the lessons of past periods of state-led development and what kind of movements could extract real concessions from capital today.
From a working class perspective Chibber offers some very insightful views about economic development experiences of poorer countries in both the nationalistic form of capitalism that was popular in the 20th century and the neoliberalism of the 21st century. Unfortunately he concludes with views about what he sees as the only realistic possibility today: a kind of social democracy. But what else can one expect from a person situated within the comfortable middle class of North American academia?

4 Priceless Moments in ExxonMobil’s History of Climate Denial

Click here to access article by Naomi Ages from Greenpeace.

In preparation for the upcoming climate talks in Paris (COPE21), the author summarizes the recent exposés about the many deceptions of ExxonMobil in their attempt to cover up, and cover over, their earlier findings about carbon pollution and its relationship to climate destabilization. She also demonstrates a naive belief, typical of Greenpeace, that we can use moral persuasion ("hold accountable") to persuade this leading world corporation to change its ways. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Was The U.S. Involved In The Turkish Attack Against The Russian Jet?

Click here to access article by Bernhard from Moon of Alabama.

Once again Berhard demonstrates an expert sleuthing of evidence which he carefully scrutinizes and analyses to arrive at what I regard as sound and disturbing conclusions in the last three paragraphs.

Video: Interview with ISIL members captured by YPG

Click here to access article from OffGuardian

This 7:08 video features some very interesting interviews. Suggest reading the comments following it. It looks very authentic. The only problem I have with it is that the Jewish interrogator seems to suggest that Jews are victims of ISIS. I remember many other reports that indicated Israelis were providing medical assistance to wounded ISIL soldiers, furnishing the latter with intelligence by Mossad, and other types of support (see this, this, this, and this).

Black Slaves, Indians, and the US Colonial Project

Click here to access the 55 minute interview conducted by KPFA's C. S. Soong with Barbara Krauthamer, a professor of history at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. 

Notions of racial hierarchy abounded in the early nineteenth century as missionaries tried to convert Native Americans, federal officials sought to seize Indian lands, and Indians in the southern US bought, sold, and owned black slaves. Barbara Krauthamer relates what happened when people of different races, agendas, and social status encountered one another in the shadow of the US colonial project.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Corporate Parasites And Economic Plunder: We Need A Genuine Green Revolution

Click here to access article by Colin Todhunter from his blog East by Northwest (Britain).
Over the past few centuries, Western countries embarked on a road to material affluence at the expense of the environment and other peoples across the globe who were subjugated, killed or left to live in poverty. And while offering more of the same and selling unfettered capitalism to the rest of the world, Washington as the now dominant imperial power is doing all it can to destroy any rivals, not least Russia and China. It alone thinks it should be the sole beneficiary in a resource-depleting race towards a barren-wasteland finish.

Solidarity instead of hierarchy as “common sense”

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

Dolack offers a review of Michael Lebowitz's latest book entitled The Socialist Imperative: From Gotha to Now. The "Gotha" in the title refers to Marx's critique of a particular working class party based in Gotha, Germany in 1875. This critique was the last great contribution that Marx made to socialist and communist ideology.

Lebowitz's views of socialism has also been strongly influenced by ideological and organizational developments in Venezuela since Hugo Chavez's reign as president. From my observations based on a visit to Venezuela in late 2005 and subsequent readings, I think that these developments were more ideological than successful, really-existing socialist forms. From my readings by knowledgeable people and direct observations, I think that the socialist organizations were used more to serve the political purposes of the Chavez government than the bottom-up, theoretical orientation. This truncated form of socialist practice was no doubt due to the delicate control that Chavistas had over a state in which a large and powerful segment of capitalists existed and backed by the US Empire.

Lebowitz concludes his review with this summary statement:
No blueprints are offered in the book; properly so as pre-conceived conceptions are useless. It would have been useful to have had more concrete examples in a book that is sometimes a little too abstract, but it does provide a thorough grounding in why the salvation of humanity and Earth itself rests on a transition to a rational, democratic system, one based on human need and not the profits of a privileged few. The form of that system will be different from 20th century systems that called themselves “socialist” and necessarily vastly different from any form of capitalism. We have a world to win, a goal for which Michael Lebowitz has given us an inspirational guide.

The tragedy of the commons, the Pope, and the system

Click here to access article by Michael A. Lebowitz from The Georgia Straight (a weekly publication from Vancouver, Canada. The name relates to the Strait of Georgia, a body of water between Vancouver Island and Canada's mainland.)

Lebowitz disposes of the capitalist notion that there is an inherent tragedy of the commons that only privatization can solve as well as the Pope's moral call for a more balanced form of capitalism instead of the runaway, destructive neoliberal form that is on a collision course with the Earth and social justice. Lebowitz suggests that the system of capitalism is now in a stage of "terminal illness" that will, if we let it, destroy the Earth's human habitat and cause extreme human degradation.

In anticipation of the November 30th start of Cop 21 meetings in France, on November 29 people all over the world will be voicing their cry of anguish over this destruction of the Earth's climate commons. But, he asks: "will it make a difference?". His answer is negative simply because the system of capitalism is obsessed with driving this destruction. But demonstrate we must...for another reason:
The root of the problem, simply, is that human beings and nature are means for capital rather than ends in themselves; accordingly, capital tends to destroy both original sources of wealth in its drive to expand. "Apres moi le deluge" is its message. But we can prevent the deluge by sending a different message—not a message to governments but a message to ourselves by demonstrating that we are many and that we are strong enough to care for our common home.

ISIS-Turkey Links

Click here to access article by David L. Phillips from Huffington Post
Is Turkey collaborating with the Islamic State (ISIS)? Allegations range from military cooperation and weapons transfers to logistical support, financial assistance, and the provision of medical services. It is also alleged that Turkey turned a blind eye to ISIS attacks against Kobani. 
The author then continues in the research article to link to considerable evidence that answers a resounding "yes" to the above question. This solid piece of research together with numerous others (all you need to do is enter "ISIS" into one of my search boxes) adds up to an overwhelming conclusion that the US Empire and its vassal states have been mounting years of lie-filled propaganda barrages to justify their overthrow of the legitimate government of Syria. 

Also, see the latest evidence of Israeli terrorist contribution to the destabilization of Syria provided by American geopolitical analyst F. William Engdahl based in Germany entitled "Israeli Colonel Caught with IS Pants Down" from New Eastern Outlook.