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, November 26, 2011

Targeting of Christian Syrians and Black Libyans: The "Clash of Civilizations" is on the march

Click here to access article by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya from Voltaire.

This Canadian sociologist and independent journalist has assembled a complex, but compelling view of the grand strategy that informs the Empire's policies in the MENA region.
What is unfolding amongst the Arab peoples is naturally a mixed package. Insurgency is part of this package as is opportunism. Where there is revolution, there is always counter-revolution too.
Clearly the Empire is influenced by the principle which states, "never let a crisis go to waste".

Obama: Trilateral Commission Endgame

Click here to access article by Patrick Wood from Voltaire. 
The global banks and corporations are running circles around the nation state, including the United States. They have no regard for due process, Congress, or the will of the people.
Along with trade and all other economic activities, governance has surreptitiously become globalized and concentrated in the hands of the 1% from all over the capitalist world. Still, these new governing bodies believe that it is in their interest to maintain the fictions of democratically and independently governed nations.  

The fact of this new global governance is precisely why real change can only come from working people across the globe coordinating with each other to emancipate themselves. This does not mean centralized organizations like the capitalist globalists have, but coordination among organizations that are organized from the bottom up.

The shocking truth about the crackdown on Occupy

Click here to access article by  Naomi Wolf from The Guardian.
As the puzzle pieces fit together, they began to show coordination against OWS at the highest national levels.

Black Friday: Occupy Protests Discourage Shopping On One Of Retail's Biggest Days

Click here to access article by Beth Duff-Brown and Juliet Williams from Huffington Post. 
In San Francisco, a few dozen people in tony and touristy Union Square used signs to spread an anti-consumerism message. One, 9-year-old Jacob Hamilton, held a sign that read, "What is in your bag that's more important than my education?"
I doubt that the San Francisco Bay Area is representative of the US as a whole, but we can dream, can't we?

Vaccine Conspiracy: The CDC Caught Lying Again

Click here to access article by Gary Null, Jeremy Stillman, and Nancy Ashley from Progressive Radio Network. 
In a news release last Tuesday, CoMeD [Coalition for Mercury-free Drugs] exposed a cover-up by authorities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and vaccine researchers who deliberately omitted critical data from a 2003 article on mercury and autism that was carried out in Denmark.

At Durban, the big emitters will no doubt fail us again on climate change

Click here to access article by John Vidal from The Guardian.
Before Copenhagen we were told the world would stop at nothing to get an equitable, fair agreement. Then, we were told, a deal could be done in a week. After Copenhagen, it was so important for the future of humanity that we could expect a deal within the year. That then morphed to two or three years, and now ministers and senior diplomats are playing down expectations even further by suggesting it may take another four years of talks to come up with a plan that could, possibly, come into effect in 2020.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday Antidote: George Carlin on Advertising and Consumerism

This 9:44m video was posted today by Naked Capitalism. For foreign visitors let me explain than today is promoted as Black Friday by corporate media to start people shopping for the Christmas season. As Yves Smith expresses it, "Americans roll from a holiday [Thanksgiving] that has come to be about overeating to a day where merchants hope to seduce customers into an orgy of overspending." Meanwhile, Occupy Wall Street activists are declaring it, "Buy Nothing Day!"

What next for revolution's second wave?

Click here to access article by Amira Howeidy from Al-Ahram.
The more the police have attacked and killed protesters, the stronger the urge to resist. Thousands have poured into Tahrir since Sunday as the death toll increased. Many people interviewed by the Weekly say they decided to join the protests after seeing graphic film footage of corpses piled by the side of the square and others being dragged by policemen and left on heaps of garbage.
Journalists and women are treated worse in Egypt by their police forces than here in the US:

A doctor treating injured protestors is one of the latest victims of US trained and equipped military satraps in Egypt using gas, no doubt, supplied by the US.

"Death to Al Sa`ud" Chants by Thousands in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province: A Game Changer?

Click here to access article from Jadaliyya.
Protests in this predominantly Shi`i region evolved after  Sunday's shooting. Thousands swarmed the streets calling for the "Death to Al Sa`ud" (i.e., death to the Saudi royal family).
Even people in armed-to-the-teeth Saudi Arabia are fighting back against their US satrap. No amount of repression can keep people down indefinitely. Ruling classes that exist only through the use of force have much to fear. Human beings are very adaptable, but there are limits, and these limits are being tested in many parts of the world today.  People throughout history have expressed this basic component of human nature in various ways:
Give me liberty, or give me death!
Patrick Henry - March 23, 1775, at St. John's Church in Richmond, Virginia (Virginia Convention)
There's a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious—makes you so sick at heart—that you can't take part. You can't even passively take part. And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all.
Mario Savio - December 2, 1964, University of California, Berkeley, California.
And then I got to Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers? Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.
Martin Luther King - April 3, 1968, Mason Temple, Memphis, Tennessee.

To Be or Not to Be – Reform or Revolution – Fear or Love?

Click here to access article by Carol Brouillet from Progressive Radio Network. 
The idea of revolutionary change is generally terrifying to most people, at least to people who have an adequate income, shelter, food, clothing, and family and simply want to enjoy the pleasures of life. Under current conditions, however, a large majority of people are threatened with the loss of their livelihoods, lands, homes, pensions, health, and living standards. Their very survival demands a radical change in our financial system.
The privatization of our money is not the only thing that needs to be radically changed by being socialized to serve the public interest. Our whole economy needs to be radically changed. Our economies must be socialized to serve the public interest. People all over the world are reaching their limits of tolerance of private interests controlling public interests. They are facing down the brutality of the enforcers of private interests--the heavily armed police and armies who commit all kinds of crimes against humanity.

Reporter Greg Palast Exposes How U.S. “Vulture” Funds Make Millions By Exploiting African Nations

Click here to access 13:25m video from Democracy Now which includes a transcript.

View video interview to get an example of how vulture capitalists feed off the misery of 3rd world countries.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Obama Predicament-and the Final Option! “To attack or not to attack Iran?” That is the question!

Click here to access article by Rev Richard Skaff from Global Research.

The author provides a cynical, but insightful, evaluation of Obama's job performance and what he needs to do to earn a second term as CEO of America Inc.
Every American president sets the stage for the next one, in order to continue the work in progress that has been set for him by the global corporate elite. Mr. Obama has been a faithful serf to his money masters, and he played his cards carefully and correctly, therefore, he will deserve a second term. 

How Online Learning Companies Bought America's Schools

Click here to access article by Lee Fang from The Nation.

Following the current capitalist principle to never let a crisis go to waste such as in this period of severe austerity, people and organizations such as David Koch, Jeb Bush, ALEC, Rupert Murdoch, and numerous investors and corporations see a great opportunity to profit in online education while, at the same time, launching a war against public education and teachers.
...by combining the financial firepower of their corporate clients with the seeming legitimacy of privatization-minded school-reform think tanks and foundations ...policies designed to boost the bottom lines of education-technology companies are cast as mere attempts to improve education through technological enhancements, prompting little public debate or opposition.

...It’s big business, and getting bigger....
And, so far there is very little research that justifies online education. In any case, any and all educational techniques must never be controlled by the ruling class. To be sure, they indirectly control education now, but this project would put education directly under their control and directly link education to private profits.

Frank Miller and the rise of cryptofascist Hollywood

Click here to access article by by Rick Moody from The Guardian. 
...Frank Miller has done Occupy Wall Street a service by reminding us that our allegedly democratic political system, which increases inequality and decreases class mobility, which is mostly interested in keeping the disenfranchised where they are, requires a mindless, propagandistic (or "cryptofascist") storytelling medium to distract its citizenry.
I've often been aghast at the apparent popularity of this Hollywood trash. Fortunately, the 99 percent are beginning to wake up.

Shale Gas Emerges as a Burning Issue

Click here to access article by Peter Custers from Inter Press Service. 

The author brings us up to date on the issue of fossil fuel developments as capitalist interests continue their suicidal project of profit über alles. Unfortunately, we live on the same planet as they do; otherwise I would say, "go for it"!
...the example of the fracking of shale gas retells the story of deregulation which has been so characteristic for the U.S.’s and the world’s financial sector in the era of neo-liberalism. In both cases, the profit interests of corporation and of a narrow section of company executives have been put wide above the welfare of the world’s population.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Liberating the Impossible

Click here to access article by Yotam Marom from The Organization for a Free Society.

Very inspirational! 
We need alternative institutions that fight, and fighting institutions that express an alternative. And we need them all to have real, long-lasting effects.

We need institutions truly capable of meeting peoples’ needs – we need health clinics and social workers, democratic schools and worker cooperatives, neighborhood assemblies and reclaimed homes. We need them on a large scale, and we need to defend them from the attacks of the status quo. We need to take space not symbolically, but for keeps.

Worker Cooperatives Reduce "Hard-Core" Unemployment [Argentina]

Click here to access article by Marcela Valente from Inter Press Service. 

Not exactly current as most of my articles are, but very important. An issue that is often overlooked when discussing the outsourcing of American jobs are the loss of skills this practice, after many years, has on American workers. To prevent this and to sustain workers and their families, we simply must establish our own work sites to produce goods and services needed in our communities. This can be successful if and when communities begin to view corporate produced goods and services as not in their best interests, and be willing to pay higher prices for cooperative products at least in the short run. The Occupy movement along with the obvious decline in the standard of living for ordinary people is rapidly creating this climate of opinion. 

See also this article entitled, "Millions Stand to Benefit from Farmers' Co-ops", regarding farming and food co-ops.


Click here to access article from Adbusters. 
You’ve been sleeping on the streets for two months pleading peacefully for a new spirit in economics. And just as your camps are raided, your eyes pepper sprayed and your head’s knocked in, another group of people are preparing to camp-out.
Do you think this other group will be harassed by police? After all, under capitalism shopping trumps free speech and freedom of assembly.

Black Friday is probably the most important day in the US for the one percent who depend upon profits from their mostly outsourced factories to sustain their profits--the sole interest of capitalist ruling classes the world over.

Van Jones and Democratic Party Operatives: You Do Not Represent the Occupy Movement

Click here to access article by Kevin Zeese from OpEd News. 

The author writes about how the Democratic Party operatives are preparing to co-opt the OWS movement to support their candidates in next year's elections. But, can they be co-opted?
At Occupy Washington, DC, we recognize that putting our time, energy and resources into elections will not produce the change we want to see. What we need to do right now is build a dynamic movement supported by independent media that stands in stark contrast to both corporate-bought-and-paid-for parties.

Egyptian military using 'more dangerous' teargas on Tahrir Square protesters

Click here to access article from The Guardian.

The pepper gas spraying of peacefully assembled students on the University of California campus in Davis has received widespread publicity--even on mainstream media. What is less known is that this weapon performs a critical role in the Empire's arsenal to enforce its will upon those outside of the global elite. This and other articles linked here, here, and here provides convincing evidence of that.

And look what corporate representatives in Congress are currently considering--rolling back torture prevention measures they previously passed! They must be getting desperate. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Click here to access article by VoiceOfReason from Pastebin. (Or if you can bear computer-generated language, you can listen to the text here. The link from the Pastebin webpage is an abbreviated version, for the full version it seems that you will need to download it to something like a Word document, which I have done.)

This is an up-to-date version of Thomas Paine's Common Sense inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement. A must read.
A Declaration of INTERDEPENDENCE, born of necessity, from and for the collective conscience of the "99%" to and for the oligarchic "1%" of the United States of America.

The Camp is the World: Connecting the Occupy Movements and The Spanish May 15th Movement

Click here to access article by Luis Moreno-Caballud and Marina Sitrin from The New Significance.

The authors identify the key elements of the Occupy movement which as a model can be used to expand the movement by inserting it into all spaces in society. 
...what this could continue to look like in the US is that there are assemblies on street corners, in neighborhoods, in workplaces and universities, working concretely together with neighbors and workmates, as well as then relating together in assemblies of assemblies or spokes councils in parks, plazas and squares, sharing the experiences from the more local spaces. All the while continuing to occupy space and territory, but seeing the territory as what happens together, with one another, in multiple places, and then coming together to share in another geographic place. This could take places on the level of neighborhood to neighborhood – to the level of city to city, all networked in horizontal assemblies.

Monday, November 21, 2011

From Occupy Wall Street to Occupy Your Street

Click here to access article by Paul Rogat Loeb from On the Commons. 

In an effort to move the Occupy movement further, there are a lot of discussions going on all over the US. This author provides some that are, no doubt, being seriously considered. But, I am bothered by what I detect as a gatekeeper function that seems to inform his discussion. He seems intent upon containing the options of OWS within ruling class political processes which he sees as realistic.
If the Occupiers stay contained in their familiar enclaves, or steer people away from electoral participation, they risk helping those at the top prevail even more.

That’s a real possibility given the blanket dismissal of voting by far too many of the Occupy participants I’ve spoken with, or at least of voting within the two party system.
He then continues on with the usual threats of the greater evil being elected--hence we should be engaged in the electoral process which, of course, has been designed by the ruling class and vote for the lesser evil.

But, perhaps he redeems himself when he concludes with the following paragraph:
Like participants in previous movements for justice, the Occupiers need to avoid the false choices between protest and organizing, community building and electoral involvement, surrealist theater and the grunt work of change. The criticisms they raise go beyond any single election, Congressional bill, or policy shift. They need to keep raising them, but in ways that keep spiraling out. If they can trigger enough conversations in communities as yet untouched by their voices, they have a chance to prevail. But they have to recognize that the powerful public presence they’ve created is just a beginning.
I would feel better if he had developed this theme further, because any participation in ruling class institutions is at best a holding action to provide more time to organize real power from below. There is room for all kinds of discussion about real change, but I do not think it is "realistic" to close off radical changes, because that is what it is going to take to create real change in our lives.

Labor Must Choose Between Occupy and the Democrats

Click here to access article by Shamus Cooke from Workers Action. 
If labor plans on building a strong movement with Occupy — and they had better — then these suicidal pro-Democratic Party policies must end. Labor cannot earn credibility within the Occupy Movement and then completely change course to campaign for Obama, in effect throwing all credibility in the garbage.

No Cops, No Bosses

Click here to access article from UCDavis Bicycle Barricade.

It's quite amazing and inspiring for an old-time activist like myself to see the current fire of revolutionary consciousness spreading all across the US by courageous young activists. So, let us pay a visit to the campus at UC Davis in Davis, California.

The [university] administration, as a managerial class for whom the ideal university is a massive corporation in imperialist partnership with other massive corporations and banks, will never accede to our demands for self-management, greater student and community participation in university governance, and better working conditions. The administration at UC Davis and every other UC campus has proven that, when faced with these demands, they will unleash violence in our learning spaces.

We demand the abolition of the administration and the transfer of all their functions to workers, students, and faculty.

Prof. Johan Galtung Supports the Leaderless 99%/Occupy Movement Worldwide

Posted by Transcend Media Service

Some very wise words from Professor Galtung:

It appears that the professor is speaking at the Brookings Institution, a major center of ruling class power at the heart of the Empire where the real decisions are made. (I hope you don't think that real political/economic decisions are made in Congress, the Supreme Court, or by the President!)

The Egyptian masses rise up again to complete their revolution!

Click here to access article by  José Antonio Gutiérrez D. from Anarkismo.net.
At this very minute, there is street fighting in all of the major cities of Egypt, particularly in Cairo, Port Said, Alexandria and Suez. In Southern Egypt there are numerous demonstrations, and clashes with the repressive apparatus of the SCAF have also been reported. Police stations have been attacked and barricades have been built on most important roads and streets.

Exposed: US Press "Freedom"

Click here to access article by Pepe Escobar. 

This perceptive writer once again exposes the reality behind one of a number of myths broadcast by the propaganda machines of the Empire: freedom of the press in the US. 
So this is how the much-lauded "freedom of the press" myth in the US actually works. If you perform the job of an actual journalist, telling truth to power, forget about attending press conferences at the White House, Pentagon or State Department. You won't even be admitted in the building.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Standoff sets in at Egypt's Tahrir Square

Click here to access article by Malika Bilal from Al Jazeera. 
Sunday's violence followed a day of clashes in downtown Cairo and other major cities, with thousands of rock-throwing protesters demanding that the ruling military announce a date to hand over power to an elected government. At least two people were killed and hundreds wounded across the country on Saturday.

"People here are not thinking about elections they are thinking about their revolution and how to finish it."


Occupy Oakland Calls for TOTAL WEST COAST PORT SHUTDOWN ON 12/12

Click here to access article from Occupy Oakland. 
We call on each West Coast occupation to organize a mass mobilization to shut down its local port.  Our eyes are on the continued union-busting and attacks on organized labor, in particular the rupture of Longshoremen jurisdiction in Longview Washington by the EGT.   Already, Occupy Los Angeles has passed a resolution to carry out a port action on the Port Of Los Angeles on December 12th, to shut down SSA terminals, which are owned by Goldman Sachs.
The article doesn't mention any consultation with the International Longshoreman's union.

Here on the West coast of the US there are so many actions going on by the Occupy movements in the various cities--this is only one planned event. See also Occupy Seattle, Occupy Portland, Occupy Los Angeles.

Financial secrecy: We really are in it together

Click here to access article by Charles Abugre from Pambazuka News (Africa). 

The author provides a good, succinct explanation of how financial deregulation and banking secrecy, the latter involved in what is known as the "shadow banking system", often has disastrous effects on the lives of ordinary people.

Buckle up – Credit Crunch 2

Click here to access article by David Malone from Golem XIV.
There is a crisis and it is in Europe , but the ‘contagion’ is not at all what our cretinous media and brain rotted politicians are telling us it is. The contagion the markets are worried about is bank contagion. Nations’ borrowing woes are the radioactive material, but the banks built the bomb.
The author explains how another credit crisis is brewing in Europe over sovereign debts that is very much the same type of scam that was involved in sub-prime mortgage securities. And, guess who the banksters again are insisting should pay for their reckless gambling?

What price the new democracy? Goldman Sachs conquers Europe

Click here to access article by Stephen Foley from The Independent.
This is the most remarkable thing of all: a giant leap forward for, or perhaps even the successful culmination of, the Goldman Sachs Project.
It seems that the banking interests, especially Goldman Sachs, are overtly taking control of Europe. See also my recent posting entitled, "The Great Putsch: welcome to post-democratic Europe".

First Five Thousand Years of Debt

Click here to access article P2P Foundation. 

This lengthy article features information on a recently published book entitled, First Five Thousand Years of Debt, by David Graeber, an anthropologist and anarchist. Although I haven't had time to read all of the article, I have read some of the three interviews that Graeber had about his book with various people, and found them to be useful in elucidating Graeber's new findings about the historical origins of money and debt.
...the very principle of exchange emerged largely as an effect of violence—that the real origins of money are to be found in crime and recompense, war and slavery, honor, debt, and redemption. That, in turn, opens the way to starting...an actual history of the last five thousand years of debt and credit....