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

Saturday, July 16, 2011

How the U.S. government uses its media servants to attack real journalism

Click here to access article by Glenn Greenwald from Salon. 

This article illustrates how the US ruling class operatives carefully controlled media, or propaganda machine, manages news that it deems inconsistent with the Empire's image of respectability and legitimacy. Also, it illustrates how nothing has changed under the "change" regime of Obama simply because the same political operatives are in charge of Obama, the media, and most everything else. 
While the establishment media has been largely ignoring Scahill's revelations, a few particularly government-pleasing journalists have been dutifully following the CIA's script in order to undermine the credibility of Scahill's story.  CNN's long-time Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr -- one of the most reliable DoD stenographers in the nation (she actually announced that the real Abu Ghraib scandal was the unauthorized release of the photographs, not the abuse they depicted) -- has been predictably tapped by the CIA to take the lead in this effort.

New Zealand: Greed is good, as long as it's green

Click here to access article by Sue Bradford from Pundit. 
Big business is driven by the imperative to maximise profits for its shareholders, which means continually pushing for more – more resource extraction, higher margins from those whose labour it uses and more pollution, all often just shifted from one part of the world to another.

No amount of "greening" of the nature of this growth takes away from the fundamental fact that this planet cannot sustain infinite growth.

Let's make money [6:47m video]

John Perkins provides a summary of what he learned as an economic hit man for banking institutions and reported in his book entitled, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. He chose this Mafia associated title intentionally because neo-liberal capitalism has functioned in a similar fashion with the notorious Mafia that used such tactics against their victims. This book is necessary reading for all activists.

Where Were Your Kids This Summer?

Click here to access article by Jamie Johnson from Vanity Fair.

Once a week I like to pay a visit to those who rule over us to see what concerns they have in their lives. Jamie Johnson, who is of this class and a critical observer, is the perfect guide for us. 

Should you wish to learn more about our capitalist aristocracy, I highly recommend that you view both his films: "Born Rich" and "The One Percent".
In wealthy circles, how a person spends his or her summer says everything about social class. Having family ties to a prestigious resort enclave and country club provides crucial cul-de-sac cred, the assumption being that those who vacation in the best spots have the necessary prerequisites for American aristocracy: money, access, and taste.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Spanish Revolution [7:37m video]

Many thanks to Yonny Galactico for this excellent, inspiring video .

Actually the title of this video is a bit misleading. The Spanish Revolution has only just begun. But, it portrays the new consciousness that has arisen among Spanish workers, and they wish to communicate their optimism to the workers of the world, to encourage them to believe in themselves, to believe in their power to create a new society that is just, free of corruption, and sustainable. 

This new consciousness is infectious. It has been spreading across the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe. We in the US are lagging behind. Mostly activism has been shown only by people in the state of Wisconsin. But, I'm confident that when it really takes hold here, the current system will collapse like a house of cards. 

Barack Obama: America's First Tea Party President

Click here to access article by Marshall Auerback from New Economic Perspectives. 
Marshall Auerback has over 28 years’ experience in investment management.
This writer is no anti-capitalist radical, but he is astute enough to realize what Keynesian capitalists have long realized that in order to rescue the system from its own contradictions then...
Cutting public spending at this juncture is the last thing the US government should be doing. Yet this President is pushing for the largest possible cuts that he can on the Federal government debt. He is out-Hoovering the GOP on this issue. He is providing “leadership” of the sort which is infuriating his base, but should endear him to the Tea Party. This is “the big thing” for Barack Obama, as opposed to maximizing the potential of his fellow Americans by seeking to eliminate the scourge of unemployment. Instead, his big idea is to become the president who did what George Bush could not, or did not, dare to do: cut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. What more could the Tea Party possibly want?
So, how can we understand the ruling class political operative's pursuit of what, at first glance, appears to be a self-destructive course of action? I think it is due to a combination of factors. 

I think that these people have gotten away with so much since WWII that they are filled with the arrogance of power. They have nearly eliminated the power of unions, they have engaged in one foreign adventure after another and now have a world empire in their grasp, they have subverted and concentrated the media into a few, well-controlled hands, they have wiped away most opposition to their foreign wars by using a "war on terror" following what many knowledgeable people believe was largely a staged 9/11 event to shock Americans into compliance with imperialist policies.

They now occupy or control most important areas of the world in terms of resources and markets through bribery, collusion, threats, military occupation, military bases all over the world, and their control of financial institutions .

What we now have are global capitalists who recognize few national boundaries--they were mostly eliminated for capitalists by the "free trade" policies they have managed to impose on most of the world. Thus, they view Americans only as consumers, not as a society. In fact, they view most people in the world this way. Given that this class largely "owns" the means of production and distribution in the world, they no longer feel concern about any particular region of the world, unless, of course, it directly affects their profits. The US society means no more to them than does the Republic of Botswana. In fact, they prefer workers from Botswana because they will work for less wages and benefits.

Given all these accomplishments on behalf of the owning class, the political operatives are now ready and eager to dismantle the expensive social spending measures created by the New Deal that have sustained US working people through all the booms and busts of a capitalist casino economy. They have cleverly selected a "change" candidate who came wrapped in "minority" clothing to spearhead this effort. They have bamboozled the American public through their control over every significant societal institution and thereby produced a public that is mostly too dazed to think straight.  

And, in case Americans should wake up and take action, the Empire's political operatives have in place very sophisticated surveillance systems, well-equipped police forces, stacked judiciaries, and an elaborate prison system to handle any opposition. This, I believe, is how they see the world and informs their policies accordingly. 

They largely do not see the rot of doubt, questioning, and defiance that is taking hold in many populations all over the world. Or, they don't take these symptoms seriously; and finally, the dynamics of a capitalist system forces them to keep moving ahead because they instinctively know that if they stop, the system that lays their golden eggs of power and wealth will die.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Culture of Concealment: Corruption South Africa Style

Click here to access article by Danny Schechter from Global Research.

This is an important read for people who need to understand how capitalist elites strategize to control opposition to their rule. According to the narrative put out by Western media and educational institutions, the overthrow of the apartheid system in South Africa was a "successful struggle for freedom and democracy...one of the most dramatic stories of our time." (Ref. link

In actuality, it became too expensive for the capitalist class to maintain this racial system of exploitation, and so they decided merely to co-opt black power activists into a more typical system of capitalism which is based on class exploitation--and it worked! Schlechter gives us the details.
I never imagined that the “new” South Africa, a country that I, and so many millions around the world fought for, would succumb so quickly to deep and blatant corruption. Much of it had its origins in the private sector’s “helping”/bribing willing politicians.

Its painful for me to write about this because I have been a believer in South Africa’s potential as a “Rainbow Nation” that has a lot to teach the world.

The great billion dollar drug scam [Parts 1 and 2]

Click here to access article by Khadija Sharife from Al Jazeera.
Khadija Sharife is a journalist and visiting scholar at the Center for Civil Society (CCS) based in South Africa, and a contributor to the Tax Justice Network. She is the Southern Africa correspondent for The Africa Report magazine, assistant editor of the Harvard ‘World Poverty and Human Rights’ journal and author of ‘Tax Us If You Can Africa’.
I nearly missed this in-depth report "examining methods used by multinational drug corporations to control markets - and lives."

Read part 2 here.

Yes or No For a Climate-Killing Oil Pipeline -- and Obama Gets to Make the Call

Click here to access article by Bill McKibben from Tom Dispatch. 

This noted environmentalist reports on plans for a new oil pipeline that will accelerate the transmission, and thus the production, of the dirtiest form of oil on earth. As you can see, this political liberal, by referring only to Obama, obscures the real decision makers and their system which makes such plans inevitable.
So there will be a battle, and there will be nothing complicated or abstract about it.  It will be based on one question: Does that carbon stay in the earth, or does it pour into the atmosphere?  Given the trillions of dollars at stake it will be a hard fight, and there’s no guarantee of victory. But at least there’s no fog here, no maze of technicalities.

Debt Political Theater Diverts Attention While Americans' Wealth is Stolen

Click here to access article by Dennis Kucinich from OpEd News.

This U.S. Representative from Ohio's 10th congressional district recognizes the reality of all the media hoopla currently being staged in Washington DC for what it is--political theater. And, this theatrical production is not even entertaining. It's mostly designed to frighten citizens and preparing them for more devastating cuts. And, it's designed to divert attention away from the one-sided class war that is going on throughout the US.

Some of you may be wondering why the ruling class allows such political renegades as Kucinich and Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont to sit in the halls on Congress. I think there are basically two reasons. First, neither of them questions the system of capitalism. They only want to reform it. Second, the ruling class needs a few renegades in government to help create the illusion of diversity--this helps them sell their fake form of democracy.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Syntagma Experiment – Democracy From The Bottom Up

Click here to access article by Jérôme E. Roos from The New Significance.

Political scientist and author of this article offers his observations of Greek activists attempting to create a new form of inclusive democracy to replace the capitalist fake version of democracy called representative democracy where the representatives are controlled by the owners of economic property. 
What we are witnessing here in Athens — and in Madrid, Barcelona, Lisbon, Paris, and hundreds of other squares around the continent — is a genuine experiment in direct, participatory democracy. Democracy from the bottom up. Democracy for and by the people. Democracy without representation, hierarchy or borders.

People's Assembles

Click here to access this website.

Activists all over the world are seeing the necessity to move beyond protests to start the challenging work of building a new type of society based on an inclusive democracy. This website is devoted to bringing those activists together and furthering their absolutely essential work. View their 11:31m video below as an excellent introduction, and then read their articles to find out what these activists are doing.

Israel expands its borders into Europe

Click here to access article by Dahr Jamail from Al Jazeera. 

Read how Israelis are making extraordinary efforts, including sabotage of ships, to thwart Freedom Flotilla II from bringing humanitarian supplies through Israeli's criminal blockade of Gaza.

Read also how Flotilla "Activists prepare to set sail for Gaza".


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

France Says NATO Bombing Has Failed

Click here to access article by Franklin Lamb from Information Clearing House. 

If this young Libyan is correct, then the latest Empire invasion may be its Waterloo, or at least, a decisive turning point that will dramatically change the future chain of international events. Cracks are definitely appearing in the ranks of political actors within the Empire.
“What your American government has done in the region to destroy yourselves since 9/11 is amazing to Libyans. Now you are going to fight us?


You already had all our oil you wanted at a bargain prices, we stupidly put our sovereign funds in US banks and we did not even bother Israel much. Every day that NATO bombs it kills more Libyan civilians.

We sacrificed nearly 1/3 of our population or more than one million of our brothers and sisters expelling the Italians 70 years ago. Doesn’t anyone in your government study history? We are not Bahrainis or Syrians. We are armed and will use our weapons. Among the errors our leadership has made, one of the worst is that it believed the US agreements we made in 2004. The Iranians and North Koreans laugh at us for trusting you and giving up nuclear and biological weapons programs. Believe me dear, if Qadaffi leaves power you will miss him because the Libyan people will be tougher against your projects than he has been.”
The world was shocked when poorly armed Hizbollah led the Lebanese to fight the US armed-to-the-teeth Israelis to a draw a few years ago. Just think what inspiration other insurgents will get from a NATO defeat in Libya?
Thanks to Terry Everton and Dissident Voice where I found his cartoon.

This reminded me of a scene I witnessed just yesterday while shopping in a newly opened food market owned by a large corporation. I noticed a young woman working at an extremely fast pace arranging items on a shelf and exhibiting signs of fear. I recognized these signs immediately because I, too, have experienced that fear--the fear of losing one's job.

The Fourth Estate is bankrupt

Click here to access article by William Bowles from his blog.

The recent hacking scandal by involving members of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp in Britain illustrates the close ties that big media corporations have with the political operatives of the ruling class and their combined role--the management of information available to ordinary citizens. This is precisely why we need WikiLeaks.
No wonder the word ‘toxic’ has been appearing with increasing frequency in the MSM, a word that parallels the state’s ‘loss of legitimacy’ in its significance. Such events put the fear of God in the ruling elite. Put the two together and you’d think that it would be obvious that it’s not only about corporate/state power ganging up to suppress knowledge of the unholy alliance that exists between Murdoch’s News Corp and the ruling political class. And not just News Corp. And not just the News of the World. And not just the current government, Labour had an equally comfortable, incestuous relationship with Murdoch’s empire. It’s about a global conglomerate, News Corp deciding what kind of government we get and of course, what kind of economy.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Deficit Reduction Versus Democracy

Click here to access article by Shamus Cooke from Global Research.

The author provides some insightful comments on the political theater in Washington DC where "The Budget Crisis" is currently being performed.
Listening to Congress debate deficit deduction is like listening to a den of lions discuss the welfare of zebras. In both cases the debate is very one-sided. Democrats and Republicans sound disagreeable on TV, but their arguments differ by the tiniest of degrees (like lions fighting over how best to eat a zebra.)

The zebras in this case are U.S. working people, who are not seeing their interests represented by their so-called representatives. Instead of fixing the national deficit in the way that the vast majority of Americans would like, only the opinions of a tiny minority of very rich people are being considered. Both political parties are uniting to reduce the deficits on the backs of working people. 

The Great Unravelling

Click here to access article by Stephen Lendman from Counter Currents.

The neo-conservative policies begun most aggressively under Reagan are now dismantling American society. But then neo-conservatives like Margaret Thatcher stated quite openly that they believe "...there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families."(Margaret Thatcher) So, what we have today has followed their logic completely: a narrow strata of rich individuals and families and a huge population of unemployed and underemployed, and many others soon to follow into a human garbage dump. Society is being ripped to shreds. 

Unless and until people stop listening to their ruling class media and submitting to their policies like sheep to the slaughterhouse, we will witness increasing scenes of crime, domestic violence, homelessness, police atrocities, prisons, drug addiction, etc. The descent into a social nightmare must stop, and stop soon.
It's not hard seeing where this trend is heading. It portends hard times getting harder when many millions already lost jobs, steady incomes, homes and future prospects because governments at all levels plan tougher than ever conditions ahead to transfer more wealth to America's super-rich already with too much.

Popular Assemblies in Revolts and Revolutions

Click here to access article by Sveinung Legard from New Compass. 

As societies within the Empire descend into chaos along with their neo-colonial regimes, people are increasingly realizing the necessity of taking back power in the form of popular assemblies. This author provides some perspectives on this phenomenon. 
From the main square Puerto del Sol in Madrid, to Syntagma square in Athens, Rossio square in Lisbon and other central squares in major cities throughout Europe, popular assemblies have been convened to discuss pressing economic and political issues, to place demands on governments, and to decide on the future actions of these movements.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Why Do the Police Have Tanks? The Strange and Dangerous Militarization of the US Police Force

Click here to access article by Rania Khalek from AlterNet.

While most of the American populace shop and mindlessly listen to their boob tubes, the political operatives of the ruling class are preparing their forces to deal with citizens when they eventually wake up. Because they have nothing else to base their rule on, their faith in the use of violence to protect their system of capitalism, which has largely succeeded up till now in the rest of the world, will be coming home to the USA.
...why is it that local police departments are looking more and more like paramilitary units in a combat zone? The line between military and civilian law enforcement has been drawn for good reason, but following the drug war and more recently, the war on terror, that line is inconspicuously eroding, a trend that appears to be worsening by the decade.
I think what we are now witnessing is a calm before the storm. I see people nearly everywhere in the US in denial regarding the lies of their Imperial country, about their fake democracy, and the grand illusions of consumer society.

The Zombie Shopping Empire Maintains "It Can't Happen Here"

Click here to access article by Jan Lundberg from Culture Change.

The author describes what I believe is the great calm before the storm.
...as collapse approaches, the Grand Idiocy is increasingly about denying "it can't happen here" regarding social unrest. The seemingly oblivious masses, calm for now, may celebrate the Fourth of July, but holidays have become more of a respite from overwork and are rare instances of minimal convivial social interaction. The throngs of humanity on beaches on summer weekends, where people are generally getting along, is deceptive. No one seems to be conscious to the folly of "it can't happen here" pandemonium.
Although the political operatives of the Empire are trying hard to get Americans to believe in their system, they know full well, like Brezinski, that the fundamental contradictions of capitalism and a sustainable planet will reach the point where only the ruling 1% will be able to survive in anything like decent conditions. They know full well that ordinary citizens are bound to wake up from their stupor--and when they do, the only salvation for this tiny ruling class is to use their means of violence to suppress dissent.

On flotillas and the law: civil society versus Israel lobbies in US and Europe

Click here to access article by Lawrence Davidson from Redress.

I have seen absolutely no mention in US mainstream media of Freedom Flotilla II to breech Israel's blockade of Gaza to starve out its inhabitants. Zionist influence remains supreme over the established media organs in the US and to a lesser extent in Europe. Despite the gross violations of international law by Israeli attempts to stop the flotilla, Western governments cooperate with their favorite heavily militarized outpost in the Middle East.
When it comes to the struggle against Israel’s policies of oppression there are two conflicting levels: that of government and that of civil society. The most recent example of this duality is the half dozen or so small ships held captive in the ports of Greece. The ships, loaded with humanitarian supplies for the one and half million people of the Gaza Strip, are instruments of a civil society campaign against the inhumanity of the Israeli state. The forces that hold them back are the instruments of governments corrupted by special interest influence and political bribery.
Meanwhile the Israeli state is taking extraordinary measures to prevent this flotilla from reaching Gaza. See Dahr Jamail's excellent coverage here, here, and here.

The Israeli writer Uri Avnery describes the paranoid state of Israeli citizens due to massive indoctrination by Israeli media.