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, December 4, 2016

Trump declares support for Dakota Access Pipeline ahead of evacuation order against protesters

Click here to access article by Joseph Kishore from World Socialist Web Site

Please forget about most all of the theatrics used and campaign promises made during Trump's campaign. However this report does conform to one of his promises to promote business unfettered by government regulations and environmental concerns.  
US President-elect Donald Trump expressed his support for the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) ahead of an evacuation order, due to go into effect on Monday, against thousands of people protesting the oil pipeline project.

Trump’s transition team released a statement reaffirming his support for the $3.8 billion project and claiming that this position is not related to his personal investment of $500,000 in Energy Partners, the Texas-based company that is leading the project. In his speech in Cincinnati on Tuesday, Trump pledged to “eliminate every single wasteful regulation” and remove all “restrictions on the production of shale energy, oil, natural gas and clean coal.”
It's becoming clearer as Trump picks his cabinet members that his administration will continue to serve without any pretenses only Wall Streets' interests of profits and power as suggested by this report (from the same source) entitled "CEOs, Wall Street to drive Trump economic policy". 

But what we still have not seen so far are any substantial indications whether Trump's administration will lend support to the ruling class's obsession with their anti-Russian views in spite of his campaign's more accommodating stance and his past anti-war views. Perhaps his delay in nominating someone for the Secretary of State indicates some wavering on this issue. Because of several years of US ruling class anti-Russian propaganda and sanctions and the recent accelerating propaganda about Russian influence in the election and pro-Russian "fake news" in alternative media, I would be shocked if he defied the ruling capitalist class by pursuing a more accommodating approach to Russia and interfered with their wars.

Must Watch Video. Standing Rock Is Justified in Blocking DAPL

Click here to access article and 14:35m video posted by Rowan Wolf from Uncommon Thought Journal. 
Please take 15 minutes to watch this interview with Enbridge whistleblower John Bolenbaugh. This man has worked laying pipe and cleaning up oil spills for Enbridge – the major company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The Standing Rock, and all the tribes and allies standing with them, have good cause to be very concerned about their water supply in the face of the pipeline (and full right to protect sacred lands). First, this pipeline was originally supposed to run through Bismarck, ND, but was rerouted for concern about risk to Bismarck’s water supply (Bismarck Tribune, Aug 18, 2016).

The Iron Heel at Home: Force Matters

Click here to access article by Paul Street from CounterPunch. (Note: Christopher, an online supporter from northwestern Oregon, alerted me once again to this excellent article.)

Street points out that the "management of consent/dissent" explanation for the capitalist ruling classes policies to control their subjects that was used to contain dissent in the latter half of the 20th century has been altered with the addition of more sophisticated weapons to discourage any kind of public displays of resistance to their policies. But he reminds us that our masters in the capitalist class have often used deadly force throughout the nation's history whenever it was necessary to contain dissent:
Make no mistake: armed force state repression is alive and well in the United States. The Iron Heel lives, updated and refined for the current age. It did not simply pass into the dustbin of history with the Ludlow Massacre, the Palmer Raids, Kent State, COINTELPRO, the murder of Fred Hampton, or Wounded Knee II. It has hardly been rendered obsolete by the soft power of the mass media and other modes of propaganda and thought and feeling control, including carefully staged quadrennial electoral extravaganzas that tell people that democracy consists of getting to mark a ballot for five minutes or less once every four years and then going home to let rich people run the world (into the ground).
Now in the 21st century we are seeing an updated version of weapons used against organized resistance to protests over oppressive or deleterious ruling class activities as we saw with the Occupy Movement in New York, in organized protests in Oakland, Chicago, Ferguson, etc, and now at Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota.
The nation’s ever more militarized police departments are loaded up with an array of so-called “nonlethal crowd-control technologies” designed to abolish the right of public assembly.  The terrible tools include things like the “Long Range Acoustic Device” (LRAD) – a sonic cannon that can cause total hearing loss for protesters who refuse to disperse at authorities’ command. Drones are now routinely deployed against protestors inside the U.S.  (Along with dozens of other opponents of the eco-cidal Dakota Access Pipeline [DAPL] in Iowa, I have now been drone-surveilled at close range).

It is true that protestors are not murdered in U.S streets by government gendarmes. At the same time, the proscriptions against sheer mass and bloody repression here have incentivized American authorities to develop more subtle, technically sophisticated forms of state coercion that prevent or discourage citizens from assembling and protesting.

Trump hypocrisy

by cartoonist Sean Delonas.


Read this if you don't believe the cartoon.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

U.S. Journalists and Professors Appearing on RT America Get Blacklisted

Click here to access article by Pam Martens and Russ Martens from Wall Street on Parade. (Note: Christopher, an online supporter from northwestern Oregon, alerted me to this article.)

With the election/selection of Donald Trump as CEO of America, Inc. we have seen the dramatic rise of a new campaign to smear dissent by independent journalists, bloggers, and now professors as reported by this article. I am of the opinion that this has little to do with his election, but is a symptom of a fear that is gripping powerful political circles among the US capitalist ruling class. This fear has been activated by setbacks in their extensive efforts to destabilize Syria, the diminishing prospects for a Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, the increasing influence of dissent within the US (especially among alienated young people), and other indications that the US Empire is losing power in the world in the face of challenges by Russia and China.

Thus if I am correct (I don't pretend to be omniscient), we would have seen exactly the same phenomenon if Hillary Clinton had won the election/selection. This conforms to my long held position that it is the ruling class that decides important issues, policies, and even who is elected/selected to head the government. Because we only see the top of this political iceberg and it is very difficult to see what lies below the sea of ruling class intrigue, we tend to focus too much attention on what lies visibly above. 

What is currently disturbing to many is the increasing appearance of blacklists of dissenters, the most recent of which is what this article reports:
...200 university and college professors have been placed on a new Professor Watchlist being operated by Turning Point USA, a right-wing nonprofit run by 23-year old Charlie Kirk who spoke this year at the Republican National Convention. Kirk has raised well over $1 million from conservatives to spread the “free markets/small government” mantra at high school and university campuses....
Many allusions have been made to the McCarthy period regarding these lists, but I think conditions today are quite different from the 1950s. Then there was very little of an alternative media to challenge ruling class media. The latter had an almost exclusive monopoly over discourse and they used this to instill fear of the Russians and Communist subversion of our country that reached hysterical proportions. Then the US reigned supreme in the world and our ruling class was clearly high on their drugs of power and profit that lay before them for the taking. Today they are increasingly challenged especially by Russia and China, and by the dissenters in alternative media at home. They are losing their battles with Russia and China, but in desperation they are now directing their frustrated wrath on dissenters and alternative media.

If my argument is correct, then we should not cower in fear but redouble our efforts to expose the ongoing lies that our masters spread throughout their corporate media while supporting in any way we can independent journalists and credible dissenters.

Climate change: three tales about extraordinary insanity. Part 1

Click here to access article by Will Denayer from Flassbeck Economics International (Germany).
This short series on climate change is in three parts. In the first part, I explain some of the latest findings about the climate. Things are looking increasingly poor, not to say outright disastrous. Incredibly, there is no reaction whatsoever.
(Part 2 is posted here.)

Friday, December 2, 2016

Why U.S. 'News' Media Shouldn't Be Trusted

Click here to access article by Eric Zuesse from Strategic Culture Foundation.

My quick reading of this article suggests that Zuesse argues that we are constantly being lied to by "authoritative sources"; but in spite of this, we continue to go back to those same sources in the future. He doesn't offer any explanation for this rather startling discovery except he posits that people like to be lied to. So, permit me to offer my explanation of his discovery which I believe to be absolutely true as his assembled evidence attests to.

This phenomenon of lying which many people support offers another clue as to what kind of society we live in. Although out of fashion in today's worldview (dictated by capitalists in the ruling class of the US Empire), we live in a class structured society that pretends, for historical reasons, to be some sort of "democracy". This ideological edifice requires a tremendous amount of lying. Those who fail to go along with ruling class lies are punished as outcasts and forced to live very marginal lives. This fact of reality effectively discourages most people from being dissidents and actively opposing capitalist ruling class policies and actions. It also offers an explanation of why they look to ruling class explanations which are always made clear in corporate media. You see, Karl Rove, one of the major ruling class handlers for George W. Bush, expressed this fact of reality very well when he said:
We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.
Hence most people who cannot accept leading marginal lives look to corporate media to define their reality; and with the election of Donald Trump as figurehead CEO of the Empire, which was a shock to many people, they figure that the reality has changed and they want to learn about this new reality by following corporate "news" media.

Although I can't be certain at this early stage, I believe that political reality really hasn't changed significantly--only superficially. The Broadway musical "Hamilton" may have signaled a change of style of ruling class ideology, but not its practice. However conformist Americans, especially among the middle class, may need to learn about the new style so that they can parrot the memes of this new reality to preserve their own comfortable lifestyles. 

America's Addiction to Terrorism

Click here to access article by Shabbir Lakha from CounterPunch

The author points to many of the issues raised in an interesting new book entitled America’s Addiction to Terrorism by Henry A. Giroux.
As well as explaining in detail some of the biggest issues faced by society today, Giroux very eloquently connects the dots between them and highlights their roots within the neoliberal project. Giroux discusses torture, militarisation, surveillance, racism, education and austerity among other things and draws the links to the military-industrial-academic complex. In this review, I will go through some of Giroux’s arguments and his suggestions for working-class resistance against them.

Saving Face: America's TPP Disaster

Click here to access article by Joseph Thomas for New Eastern Outlook

The author poses some interesting thoughts as suggested in the headline about the significance of Trump's election/selection to be the CEO of US Empire, Inc. According to Thomas, while our masters may have given up the idea of TPP, they will continue with the other methods of containing China.

Record losses as global warming worsens

Click here to access article by Paul Brown from Climate News Network
As summers get hotter, seas get warmer and extreme wind and rainstorms inflict ever-greater loss of human life and property, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) is trying to develop and early warning system for vulnerable countries and regions.

In a report yesterday to governments at the UN’s COP22 climate talks in Marrakesh, Morocco, the WMO said that 2016 was almost certain to be the warmest year on record, and detailed the “considerable socio-economic losses in all regions of the world” that has resulted.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Living Through the Death of Capitalism

Click here to access article by Joe Brewer as posted on Uncommon Thought Journal.

Because the US ruling class directorate has selected as figurehead CEO of the Empire someone who so crassly illustrates the worst traits among successful businessmen, the US somnolent public, and much of the world, is in a state of shock. Donald Trump appears to be the antithesis of the smooth talking, articulate, African appearing figurehead of Barack Obama. What people don't realize is that in spite of the fact there might be a change of emphasis here and there, nothing substantial will change with this change of figureheads. On the other hand, this change appears to be serving as a wake-up call to many Americans--and this is very good news. 

Joe Brewer has certainly woken up, but I think he fails to justify bringing a new human into a world when every awake person must become an activist and revolutionary to accelerate the death of capitalism and to prevent the disappearance of humans along with capitalism from our Earth-home--which is a very real threat. Being a parent is a full-time job which reduces one's effectiveness as a revolutionary.  

The following 1:17m video, which should be titled as "This is why we are here", explains this urgency and our responsibility.


Old Cold War Revives as Castro Dies

Click here to access article by William Blum from Consortium News

What I think is the most valuable about this piece is his explanation of why a few states try desperately to insulate themselves from the insidious influence of the capitalist Empire by imposing restrictions that appear to violate the principles of free speech and thought. With the Empire's giant megaphones of media, education, and entertainment that reach to nearly every corner of the Earth, they effectively drown out independent voices in all these sectors and regions. And if in rare cases that doesn't work, the directors of the capitalist Empire manage to have such dissidents purged and/or legally harassed (see this, this, and this). 
Apart from the question of how free Western media is, if that’s to be the standard, what would happen if Cuba announced that from now on anyone in the country could own any kind of media? How long would it be before CIA money – secret and unlimited CIA money [and/or capitalist NGO] financing all kinds of fronts in Cuba – would own or control almost all the media worth owning or controlling?

Is it “free elections” that Cuba lacks? They regularly have elections at municipal, regional and national levels. They do not have direct election of the president, but neither do Germany or the United Kingdom and many other countries. The Cuban president is chosen by the parliament, The National Assembly of People’s Power. Money plays virtually no role in these elections; neither does party politics, including the Communist Party, since all candidates run as individuals.

Again, what is the standard by which Cuban elections are to be judged? Is it that they don’t have private corporations to pour in a billion dollars? Most Americans, if they gave it any thought, might find it difficult to even imagine what a free and democratic election, without great concentrations of corporate money, would look like, or how it would operate.

Trump promises

by Pat Bagley.



Wednesday, November 30, 2016

‘You don't end up elected president of the US without being a fast track insider’

Click here to access article featuring an interview with Joachim Hagopian by the Muslim Press.

I often see capitalism as organized crime in which a relatively few highly organized "owners" of our economy have taken nearly complete control of our country and much of the world. Although it is still too soon to determine with confidence, the evidence is mounting that suggests the election of Trump signals a more aggressive criminal element of the capitalist ruling class has taken control of our their country.
Joachim Hagopian: What I meant calling Trump "an insider" is the fact that he was born into a wealthy family with a silver spoon in his mouth, receiving an Ivy League education (University of Pennsylvania). When the Donald was a mere lad in his mid-twenties, he met his mentor Roy Cohn who as the quintessential insider essentially owned New York City. Cohn was the high-powered, ruthless attorney who represented Senator McCarthy during the McCarthyism reign of terror in early 1950's America as well as the consigliore attorney representing all five heads of the infamous NYC mobster families. Trump became a real estate tycoon who for years used Cohn as his personal attorney, mentor and steppingstone ladder to making countless deals with New York mayors, mobsters and top Wall Street banksters.

Fidel Castro’s legacy: The Power of Ideas

Click here to access article by Susan Babbitt from Muslim Press
...ideas change how we think, which changes how we speak and how we act. It’s a simple truth, recognizing cause and effect. In Caracus, after Hugo Chávez was first elected, Fidel said people suffer because of “nicely sweetened but rotten ideas ... that man is an animal moved only by a carrot or when beaten by a whip.” That is, we suffer because of false ideas about what it means to be human.
The power of ideas is precisely why a ruling class makes vigorous efforts to control the vehicles of ideas--education, media, and even entertainment. 

Meanwhile, back at the Empire's ranch, we see a different take on Castro's death

Millions of Muslims March Against ISIS During Pilgrimage and Mainstream Media Completely Ignores It

Click here to access article by Matt Agorist from The Free Thought Project

The author, who is a former US Marine, NSA intelligence operator, and now independent journalist, writes about a huge gathering in Karbala, Iraq of Shia Muslims who have been targeted by ISIS, the fundamentalist terrorist organization sponsored and trained by Saudi-Qatari regimes and Empire allies.
Many of the stories on Muslims in the U.S. that make it on to the mainstream are those that stoke divide. When a Muslim hero saves hundreds of lives by jumping on a bomb — which actually happened in July — the mainstream and the Islamophobic alternative media is mum.

Those who would judge 1.6 billion people by the actions of just a few are creating a narrative in which innocent lives are put in danger.

Throughout history, most mainstream religions have perpetuated extreme violence upon the world. To attempt to paint Islam as the problem is no better than labeling all Catholics murders for the inquisition.

But peace and empathy are enemies to the establishment who need you to hate others. When the establishment can paint things as black and white, it is easier for you to be controlled. Consequently, this is the exact mission of ISIS
[and their sponsors in the US Empire and medieval Arab allies].

Citigroup Whistleblower Charges Should Raise Red Flags at the Fed

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

But, of course, no red flags will be raised at the Fed simply because they share in the capitalist rule of the US with their Citigroup counterparts. 

This is a report on more whistleblowers losing their jobs by reporting the illegal practices of banksters to government agencies that pretend to regulate and oversee banking practices.

Between Standing Rock and a hard place

by cartoonist Steve Greenberg.



Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Class before Trumponomics, part 2

Click here to access article by David Ruccio from Real-World Economics Review Blog.

This economist provides charts and data to support the following observation about our lives in recent decades:
What is clear from this brief survey of the changes in the condition of the U.S. working-class in recent decades is that, while American workers have created enormous wealth, most of the increase in that wealth has been captured by their employers and a tiny group at the top—as workers have been forced to compete with one another for new kinds of jobs, with fewer protections, at lower wages, and with less security than they once expected. And the period of recovery from the Second Great Depression has done nothing to change that fundamental dynamic. 

Reflections on the ‘Dispossessed’

Click here to access article by Nicolas J S Davies from Consortium News

Davies takes us on an historical journey over the past several centuries since near the end of feudalism and the rise of capitalism to see how humans have benefited--or not. Both systems have divided societies into a tiny group of "haves" and a multitude of "have-nots", into owners and the dispossessed. Then he brings us up-to-date with the advanced stage of capitalism known as neoliberalism which we are now entering.

Although throughout this long period there have been sporadic gains along with horrific periods of wars and famine, we are now faced with a neoliberal world order which threatens to mire most of humanity in a swamp of poverty along with the threat of our extinction either from climate destabilization or a nuclear holocaust--depends on which comes first. 
In the Western world, the prior gains of movements for labor, environmental, civil and human rights have fallen victim to a rampage of neoliberal political and economic policies, backed by triumphalist claims for the “magic of the market” that have more in common with religious dogma than social science. But the laws of economics have not really changed since the 1930s, when an apocryphal saying attributed to J.M. Keynes defined this kind of laissez-faire capitalism as “the absurd idea that the worst people, for the worst reasons, will do what is best for all of us.”

The parasites who Orwell called the “so-called owners” of the world think they have built an impregnable legal fortress on the equally absurd idea that they own everything and that the rest of us therefore come into the world with nothing and must pay them for the privilege of living here. This is not the way that human beings have lived throughout our history on Earth, and it is not an improvement.

These so-called owners now threaten our very existence with their insatiable greed and genocidal behavior. So let us make sure that this disastrous experiment is short-lived, and that it ends, not in a nuclear holocaust, nor with a society destroyed by climate change, but with a peaceful, sustainable world that we will all love, share, and safeguard for future generations.
In the end it is up to all of us to see whether this human saga ends or whether we survive in reasonably dignified conditions, or survive at all. Are we simply going to submit to the predations of our capitalist masters, or are we going to model our lives after Fidel Castro, Helen Keller, and many others, and fight back with every ounce of our courage and intelligence? Stay tuned, or better yet, stay informed and active. 

Washington’s Secret War on Syria

Click here to access article by Martin Berger from New Eastern Outlook.
It goes without saying that the so-called Syria’s civil war is the most dangerous and destructive crisis on the planet. Hundreds of thousands have already perished in this conflict, while around ten million Syrians have been displaced since early 2011.

To start this conflict and then keep its fires burning the US and its Satellites have spent billions of dollars.
You may be tired of reading about this subject (as I am), but this author uncovers many reports that document the sources of supplies to terrorists (identified as "rebels" in corporate media, you know, the good guys fighting the bad Assad government in Syria). These sources and participants do not include the CIA training of these terrorists that was revealed in one of my recent posts.

Unlike the lies of our puppet leaders of the Empire, President Erdogan of Turkey doesn't use the complicated fighting "Islamic terrorism" myth so prevalent in US Empire propaganda. Instead he uses simpler lies as reported in this post because he knows that the people in this region know the whole story about Turkey's role in supporting ISIS.
President Erdogan told the group of international parliamentary leaders that his country’s only intention in Syria was to “end the rule of the tyrant al-Assad who terrorizes with state terror.” Erdogan says he wanted to make clear that the Turks “do not have an eye on Syrian soil. The issue is to provide lands to their real owners. That is to say we are there for the establishment of justice.”

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Major Purveyor of ‘Fake News’ is the CIA-Corporate Complex

Click here to access article by Wayne Madsen from Strategic Culture Foundation.
Considering the long close relationship between the newspaper and the CIA, the Post is the last media outlet that should be writing about fake news.
And I was outraged as Madsen was at the inclusion of the website maintained by the USS Liberty Veterans Association on a list of fake news websites. This inclusion shows strong Zionist influence behind the purveyors of this list. If you want to know the full story of the much censored incident that the website is devoted to, I suggest you read Assault on the Liberty by James M. Ennes, Jr. The author was serving on the USS Liberty when it was attacked by Israeli warplanes in 1967 and almost sunk while killing 34 Americans and wounding 171 others during the Arab-Israeli Six-Day War. 

And if you wish to learn more about fake news perpetrated by the deep state that controls the US Empire, you might be interested in this confession by a German journalist in 2014:

“Orders to Kill” Dr. Martin Luther King: The Government that Honors MLK with a National Holiday Killed Him

Click here to access article by Edward Curtin from Global Research.

This is a review of the latest book of three (also in an audio edition) by William F. Pepper with the full title The Plot to Kill King: The Truth Behind the Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. His previous books on the subject were An Act of State and The Plot to Kill King. I read An Act of State which provided the details about the only trial held by jury of the three major assassinations carried out by the deep state which rules the US. The jury in Memphis, Tennessee essentially found the US (deep state) guilty of the crime. I write "essentially" because the King family was only able to bring a civil suit against Lloyd Jowers who confessed to his involvement in the crime. Pepper was the attorney for the King family.

A criminal trial of the official guilty party, James Earl Ray, was never held because he initially confessed to the killing. Later he recanted this confession, but the government blocked all attempts to bring him to trial. Ray eventually died in prison. 

In 1999 the King Family pursued a civil trial in Memphis, Tennessee. They were not going after monetary gain, only justice and truth which the King family felt strongly that they, and the government's patsy James Earl Ray, had been denied. Thus a civil suit was brought against Jowers, who was terminally ill and confessed to a role in the crime, and "others, including governmental agencies." They were essentially putting the deep state and their secretive enforcers (CIA/FBI) on trial. In less than one hour the jury found that Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated by a conspiracy involving government agencies.