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, December 24, 2011
In case it is still a little unclear to you why so much American industry has left American workers behind to re-locate elsewhere, this video and article should enlighten you a bit. Back in 1999 we in the Seattle area protested globalization policies at the WTO meetings as best we could. Now, 12 years later, we are seeing the results of the abandonment of American workers by the One Percent who, in pursuit of more profits, decided to outsource production and our jobs to cheap labor areas all over the world. We simply cannot lose more of these battles. This video from 2004 provides a good introduction. The article suggests that little has changed since then.
The author explores the consumerist-orgy theme that the ruling capitalist class has used to subvert the older, traditional meanings of Christmas.
...millions in America and elsewhere buy stuff they don't need. Economist Paul Baran described it as "want(ing) what we don't need (consumer unessentials) and not what we do," including safe food, clean air and water, education, healthcare, and good governance.
It's worst at Christmas when frenzied spending dismissively becomes getting into the holiday spirit until bills arrive. Institutionalized self-gratification diverts people from what matters most, including ending imperial wars, eroding civil liberties, human rights and other democratic values, lack of jobs, gutted social services, ecological destruction, and policies benefiting America's privileged at the expense of beneficial social change.
The author describes his experience watching American TV, controlled by the One Percent, in which a version of a heart warming story is presented to sooth those who are destitute this Christmas.
Let’s outline some key social trends, some growing ideological markets and some possible future scenarios as the class-war continues to warm up. These aren’t predictions, as such – they are attempts to open up our understanding of our current situation as ideologies come crashing down around us. We need to write new stories about how we got here, who we are, and how we’re going to cope with what is to come.Although the article focuses on conditions in Britain, much of it applies to conditions throughout Western countries.
Presented as an anodyne research and development initiative that promises to produce thousands of jobs and hundreds of "spin-off" tech companies, the Cornell-Technion campus is also likely to be a boon to the military-industrial complex in the US and Israel.As America's industrial base mostly disintegrates from the neo-liberal policies of the ruling capitalist elite, there is one sector that continues to boom--weapons technology and production. This article reveals in this example how the sector is increasingly wedded to the Israeli ruling class.
It's becoming clear that the rulers of the Empire realize that many people, especially in the US, the center of the Empire, are beginning to see through the lies about the War on Terror and the War on Drugs. Hence, they are becoming a morally bankrupt ruling class that must increasingly depend on their sophisticated weapons and the threat of violence in order to continue their domination of many people across the globe. Never before has it been possible for so few to impose their will over so many. The only weapon, we the people have, is knowledge and the use of technology to spread that knowledge. But ideas are powerful, so the future of the 99 Percent remains in question: are we destined to live under conditions of barbarism or can we establish societies that are free of dominating, exploitative ruling classes? Stay tuned...or better yet, stay active.
Friday, December 23, 2011
America at Christmas 2011 is a society of mass poverty, on the one hand, and vast wealth accumulation, on the other—tens of millions of people are poor and desperate, while a relative handful enjoy riches undreamt of by the Egyptian pharaohs or the aristocracy of Louis XIV.I know that "tis the season to be jolly", but this year I simply can't manage it, can't fake it. No, I think tis the season to advance the Occupy movement into something which has a chance of liberating us from the capitalist foot that is crushing down on all our necks and killing what human dignity we still have, crushing the hopes of our young people for a bright future, and destroying the planet that supports us all. It is a time for us all to renew the spirit of Patrick Henry who in his oft quoted phrase, "Give me liberty, or give me death", refused to be placed in indefinite servitude to the British Crown. We must refuse to be placed in perpetual servitude to the current ruling capitalist class.
The day is rapidly approaching when that troubled piece of real estate many claim is holy will be bereft of the most highly educated and consistently nonviolent Palestinians –the indigenous Palestinian Christians/AKA The Forgotten Faithful.
Researches predict that if things do not change very soon, Holy Land churches will be nothing more than museums for Christian communities across the region are declining due to low birth rates coupled with increasing emigration due to the persecution and violence rooted in the now 44 years of Military occupation of Palestine.
...the bourgeoisie in Europe understand that "this is the right moment to do it quickly, when the trade unions and leftist parties are weakened, disconcerted or divided, before protesters organise and react; and, if necessary, [to] put an end to democracies to ensure change. There is a great deal at stake here."Read how the capitalist predators in Portugal are currently tearing apart the flesh of social support systems and running off with the bones of public property to satisfy their never ending appetite for more.
So here I am, an Arab journalist in Silicon Valley, where four out of every four people I meet believe Facebook invented the Arab Spring. Three more weeks here and I may start to hallucinate that Mark Zuckerberg was a Cairo-slums native named Hassouna El-Fatatri, who rotted in a Mubarak prison for advocating personal privacy rights.It appears that the Empire's media executives do not like to report on opposition to their satraps and stooges all over the world; but when a people finally refuse to tolerate them and risk their lives to protest, what do the Empire's media managers do? They credit Western technology. Those dumb Arabs could never do such things by themselves. (sarcasm)
The reality is that these courageous Arabs inspired the young, and not so young, people in the US and other Western countries to finally stand up and say, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore!"
Thursday, December 22, 2011
The author describes the significance of the Occupy movement both globally and historically.
The occupation is a powerful tactic for a number of reasons: it foregrounds the political issues of everyday life and public space, it produces a positive communitarian solution to the problems it critiques, it is highly visible and struggle is continuous in a way that radicalizes its participants. It has been used throughout history in fights for social justice, peace, and revolution, but now its moment has truly arrived, and there are many more occupations to come.
Wall Street banks have turned millions of Americans out of their homes since the foreclosure crisis began in 2007. On Dec. 6, Occupy activists in more than 20 states teamed up with local community organizations to start moving people back into some of those foreclosed homes.
The author provides a good analysis of how mainstream media effectively manages the consent of its population to serve the interests of the One Percent. But, in doing so, I think he overstates his case.
The more mainstream media's version of reality clashes with the realities experienced daily by the 99 Percent, the more the credibility of MSM breaks down. Likewise, more and more people are turning to alternative media to find out what is really happening. The reports from Wikileaks and alternative media along with the messages coming out of the Occupy movement are all having a major impact on the political consciousness of ordinary people. That is precisely why the One Percent is enhancing its support of its enforcers (police and prisons) to quell dissent.
During the first approximately 10 minutes the interviewee critiques various popular views of the present dire economic situation. After that he focuses on questions regarding worker coops such as the Mondragon Co-operative based in Spain, especially on their value and limitations as a model to serve the interests of workers.
Yesterday, I used the latest example of none-coverage by US media--the massacre of striking workers in Kazakhstan, to illustrate how mainstream media controls coverage of events in the world where the One Percent have an interest in those areas. Clearly the One Percent do not like the challenge presented by the Occupy movement here within the US. Initially they simply ignored it. Recently they have been covering it with a lot of ambivalence, but what is often overlooked is how the enforcers of the One Percent are treating journalists who try to cover the various protest actions. In this piece the author assembles reports of numerous incidents across the US where the authorities are arresting, detaining, and assaulting journalists trying to cover events related to the Occupy movement.
The human-caused release of increased carbon dioxide into the atmosphere...presents climate scientists with something they've never seen in the 65 million year record of carbon dioxide levels — a drastic rate of increase that makes it difficult to predict how rapidly the Earth will respond.
..."Humans have overwhelmed the natural, slow changes that occur on geologic timescales," Hansen said.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
This popular writer on money matters reviews the bankster scenario that has been playing out in the US since the economic collapse of 2008, explains once again how private control of money functions to enrich the One Percent, and what the solution is--public ownership and control over money issuance.
However, I don't think she understands how this capitalist scam is at the very core of their class rule. And also, this is not the only interest that the One Percent have in current social-economic arrangements: they also want to continue their historical scam of ownership and control over the wealth that is socially created. Thus, the 99 Per Cent must organize themselves sufficiently to change the entire system of capitalism to something that serves their needs: achieve freedom from wars, from extremes of wealth and poverty, and from environmental degradation.
Mark Ames, the editor of Exiled magazine, talks about the current class war in the US, why the financial sector is richer than ever after the collapse of 2008, the importance of the Occupy protests, and why he expects things “to get ugly”.
I am only posting this piece because it epitomizes a liberal interpretation of the failure of political leaders to serve the public interest. It is a kind of morality tale which obscures the hidden reality of class rule which is the function of liberals within capitalist societies. Obama and Geithner were hired by the One Percent to perform as they are currently doing: serving the interests of the One Percent instead of the 99 Percent, otherwise known as the "public", who these leaders are suppose to represent according to "democratic theology".
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
This Mid-Eastern political creation of the Empire, which was created after nine years of invasion and occupation at a cost of nearly $1 trillion and millions of lives lost, already appears to be coming apart at the seams.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said that the United States, whose troops completed their withdrawal from Iraq over the weekend, "have expressed our concern regarding these developments."
Clearly, money power in private hands failed. It's wrecking the country, devastating the American dream, impoverishing millions, destroying jobs, contaminating the environment, and funding America's military machine that's ravaging the world one country at a time, and threatening humanity with extinction.
An estimated 14,000 excess deaths in the United States are linked to the radioactive fallout from the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear reactors in Japan, according to a major new article in theDecember 2011 edition of the International Journal of Health Services. This is the first peer-reviewed study published in a medical journal documenting the health hazards of Fukushima.See also followup report on today's posting from the same source for more details.
Monday, December 19, 2011
While states and municipalities are forced to cut back on education, health, and welfare, the big corporations play off one region against another or threaten to leave the country in order to garner huge benefits and exemption from taxes.
While it was once taken for granted that large U.S. corporations would do most of their investing at home, companies such as Boeing and Intel now act as if they are doing the country a favor with their domestic projects and expect to be rewarded handsomely in the form of special state tax breaks on top of those business-friendly provisions available to all firms.As corporations, their stockholders, and bankers, and all of the One Percent are swimming in cash and luxury, the 99 Per Cent are sinking deeper into poverty. See this report entitled, "US mayors decry rise in poverty, homelessness" from AFP (Agence France-Presse).
It is clear that the protests and struggles for a genuine democracy in Egypt during the Arab Spring will not be allowed to disturb the ruling US backed junta, that is, if US political operatives have their way.
Washington views the Egyptian military as its main ally to defend its imperialist interests in the region. It gives $1.3 billion each year to the Egyptian army, second only to its support for the Israel Defense Forces.In contrast to the coverage of protests during the Arab Spring in Egypt, now US media is mostly ignoring the current brutal attacks on peaceful protestors.
See also this piece from WSWS for more details about the arming of the Egyptian military by the US.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
In the case of the McCain/Levin amendment [to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)], this is a warning to every U.S. citizen who takes issue with this corrupt, murderous, even illegitimate government in Washington, D.C., no matter where they are here in the United States, that the military now has a hunting license to come to get you and ferret you off to a secret stalag for torture and indefinite incarceration.It appears from the evidence provided in this and many other current articles is that we, the 99 Per Cent, are all Palestinians now. Yes, that's right, the end game has finally arrived--we are now the enemy. Or, at the very least, they want us to believe that and be too frightened to protest anything.
In any case, the provision in the NDAA is real. Apparently the Occupy movement has scared the Bejesus out of the One Percent because the last nails are now being hammered into the lid of the coffin of our civil liberties in Washington by our "change" President and the Congress. Meanwhile the media of the One Percent keeps us distracted by exhorting us to go out shopping for Christmas. It no doubt will take a while for this to really sink into the psyche of most of the 99 Per Cent.
So, the question remains: has fascism really come to America? Are they really going to put dissenters into internment camps as the report from InfoWars suggests? This report has stirred up a lot of coverage not only in the alternative media that focuses on sensational material, but also among Wall Street type sources such as Business Insider and Max Keiser's blog. Then there is other evidence that the author of this article provides which suggests that the threat is authentic. And, of course, the NDAA amendment essentially justifies these camps. The author provides a very sensible, well-reasoned, and well balanced analysis of these events.
In a way I think this is probably good. We have been like children who have believed in sugar plumb fairies of democratic freedoms and the Santa Claus of a government that was serving our interests. The growing police state will force many of us to finally grow up. Only adults can effectively cope with real threats in their lives.
Massive not-for-profit corporations, like the Carnegie, Ford, and Rockefeller foundations, created by the world’s leading capitalists, have “gone to great lengths to rationalise the contradiction between democratic principles and elite dominance.” Seen through the eyes of their executives, democracy only functions when it is run by the few for the many.The author reviews the ideas and findings of a 1983 by Edward Berman entitled, The Influence of the Carnegie, Ford, and Rockefeller Foundations on American Foreign Policy: The Ideology of Philanthropy, to shed light on how the rich have used philanthropy to indoctrinate students from all over the world in the values and perspectives of capitalism.