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 LappĂ©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Why Faculty Should Join Occupy Movement Protesters on College Campuses

Click here to access article by Henry A. Giroux from Truthout. 

This distinguished academic and writer argues that faculty have much to learn from students in the Occupy movement, and not only about what is wrong with education.
...students have more to offer than a serious critique of the university and its complicity with a number of antidemocratic forces now shaping the larger society. They are also modeling for faculty new modes of participatory democracy, and exhibiting forms of pedagogy and education that connect learning with social change and knowledge with more democratic modes of self-development and social empowerment.

Appeal for Your Support [from an outstanding independent journalist]

Click here to access article by Keith Harmon Snow from Conscious Being. 

This outstanding independent journalist has been reporting on the crimes against humanity perpetrated by regimes often supported directly or indirectly by the Empire. I have followed his reports for several years and have always found them to be very informative and insightful. We of the 99 Percent simply must support the work of the few independent journalists that are still covering events in areas of the world that are largely uncovered or covered by corporate media according to the interests of the Empire.

The article describes the work he has been doing, and a current documentary project and related writings he is working on. Donations for either or both can be made at the "Donate" links at the upper left hand corner of the article.

Battlefield Occupy

Click here to access article by Allison Kilkenny from In These Times

This article provides a review of current weapons being used by the enforcers of the One Percent against Occupiers, some new ones currently being tested, and future weapons under consideration to use against dissidents. Yes, folks, the class war is heating up and the political operatives of the One Percent are taking the kid gloves off their enforcers to reveal the naked fist of fascism. 

Here in my home town of Bellingham, Washington, on Wednesday Occupiers who are a very peaceful bunch were shocked to see police show up to clear their camp in full riot gear.

No doubt, the idea of these police actions, which are coordinated nationwide, is to intimidate people. The political operatives of the One Percent want to inculcate the idea into the minds of the 99 Percent that there is no alternative to their rule and policies, and they will not tolerate any significant opposition.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Huntsman calls Ron Paul "unelectable" because of racist newsletters (updated)

Click here to access article by Stephanie Condon from CBS News. (Late posting)

I am hearing more and more criticisms of Ron Paul's candidacy for President in the Republican Party primary elections. Mostly spokespeople are saying that he is "unelectable" even though he appears to be more popular among Republicans than any other of their candidates. This morning I heard on Bloomberg TV criticism of him as being racist and homophobic! As if Republicans cared about those issues! 

Ron Paul has been gaining a lot of popularity because of his attacks on the Fed and its control over our currency. He is very correct on this issue. However he has made many racist and homophobic remarks in the past, and he is also opposed to social welfare programs, Social Security, and labor unions which do conform to Republican and ruling class views. See this and this. So, on only one issue does he not conform to Republican views. So why the recent attacks?

To me this illustrates where most power is actually situated within the ruling class. It has been my contention for a long time that the powerful core of the ruling class is largely based in the financial sector. Their control over money issuance is extremely important to the top bankers. Money is the lubricant that enables the machinery of an economy to function. With this control they insure their control of society to serve their interests of power and profit.

(Even later add-on posting) I just found an excellent article by David Glenn Cox from OpEd News. He has done much more work on this phenomenon of mainstream media's smear of Ron Paul. It is similar to the recent campaigns against Syria and Iran. It's uncanny. It is precisely as if there was some sort of coordinating media body who was directing these media campaigns. Any guesses where it might be located? 

Syria Update: US Government Gives Green Light to MSM

Click here to access article by Sibel Edmonds from her blog, Boiling Frogs.

If you are unfamiliar with this former FBI employee and whistle-blower, please read Wikipedia's biography of her through the above link. She knows her subject well.
The controlled reporting and propaganda by the Washington war machine has not been limited to the US mainstream media. Many popular quasi alternative channels have followed the exact same trend, the most troubling one being AntiWar.Com. For several months they refused to run any of these confirmed reports while they ran every single bit of propaganda coverage by the US mainstream media on Syria.
I am laughing at reports slowly leaking out in mainstream media that the Arab League observers in Syria are not reporting the line approved by the Empire. I expect this will change, but it will depend on the degree to which Empire political operatives can apply pressure to these observers. I haven't time to look for US sources, but here is one from Australia.

Occupy must fight back and include homeless to ward off evictions and remain relevant

Click here to access article by Zoe Williams from The Precarious. 

Another call for the Occupy movement to focus on housing based on the author's experience in Denver, Colorado.

Capitalism and Loneliness: Why Pornography Is a Multibillion-Dollar Industry

Click here to access article by Harriet Fraad and Tess Fraad Wolff from Truthout. 

Although the authors make many good points, I think they overstate their case regarding pornography. I do not think that pornography as such is a problem, only the addiction to it is. Also the quality of pornography can vary considerably. Exposure to pornography can enhance one's sexuality or it can induce negative attitudes. Most experiences and substances are not in themselves problematic; but certainly when people become addicted to them, that they can create problems. The authors fail to make this distinction. This is likely because they are both therapists who, by definition, treat people with behavior problems.

Media has become Orwellian

by Ron Horn.

This rant was in part set off by reading a report entitled, "US-Saudi $30bn arms deal to counter Iran" from Al Akhbar.

One industry that flourishes in the US is the weapons industry that is the source of the infamous military-industrial complex which rules over the Empire. Being located near Seattle where Boeing has its main plants, I am now witnessing glowing media reports over this sale. This is one of the few industries where the ruling One Percent will not outsource most of this work to low wage countries, for obvious reasons. The fact the weapons are used to inflict violence and the threat of violence on many people across the globe in order to serve the interests of the One Percent is, of course, never mentioned.   

All the media and other mainline institutions of the Empire always promote the weapons industry as a wonderful source of jobs--as if jobs were of great concern to the Empire. Well, in a way they are because jobs are a cost factor in their profit seeking enterprises. Thus, they make every effort to reduce these costs, to reduce the number of jobs whenever they can. Meanwhile, cities and states across the country are slashing jobs in education, social and other public services. So, leaving aside the killing aspects of these weapons, let us take a look at how many jobs they create according to Robert Pollin of the PERI Institute.

I don't know if the propaganda function of mainstream media has gotten worse in recent times or if it has always been this way. It seems like it is getting worse, but that may only be because I have spent considerable time on the web in the past two years uncovering the reality behind the media lies. It sometimes seems to me that mainstream media reports are now carefully and exclusively calculated to serve One Percent interests. Media now seems to be taking on thoroughly Orwellian characteristics.

This impression has been bolstered over the past several months when I've seen how they have aggressively promoted shopping for the holidays, how they have covered the Occupy Movement, how they have promoted the war in Libya, coverage of Western insertion of terrorists in Syria portrayed as Syrian government oppression, events in North Korea, etc. Just in the past week I've noticed very optimistic, almost ecstatic reports about future job growth in the US from the main TV networks which has been totally at odds with reports from investor sources such as Bloomberg TV. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Little Satire

Thanks to TW3 News for this post.

He prepared for the office of President by selling cancer-causing cigarettes. I can't think of a better way to prepare for selling government policies formulated by the One Percent, especially neo-liberalism that has made us all sick. On the other hand, it made the ruling One Percent even richer.

Solidify Occupy: A Suggestion for What’s Next

Click here to access article by Charles Imboden from Better Worlds, Brighter Futures. 

After a review of the brief, but exciting history of the Occupy movement, the author offers some suggestions for developing its future. 
...a two-fold strategy is suggested: on the one hand, defense of the commons through the defense and extension of the general assembly, as well as an extremely local, grassroots, horizontal, directly democratic alternative political movement known as libertarian municipalism; on the other, expansion of the commons through the transformation of neighborhood spaces and creation of elements of the egalitarian and ecological community known as prefiguration.

Occupy Geeks Are Building a Facebook for the 99%

Click here to access article by Sean Captain from Wired. 

The article describes the efforts of several software designers to create social networking programs specifically for the Occupy movement.  This is more evidence of how alive and growing the Occupy movement continues to be in its efforts to create change in today's world. They/we are, in a very real sense, starting to build a new world that can sustain everyone--including the One Percent. We must all do our part by supporting the movement in any way we can.
...the Occupy movement’s surprising rise in the U.S. has added new impetus to the desire for open source versions of the software that is playing an increasingly important role in mobilizing and connecting social movements, as well as broadcasting their efforts to the world.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Chilean Cops Arrest Santa!

thanks to Greek Left Review for posting this.

Even Santa is not immune to arrest in the New World Order
Via TW3 News: A demonstrator dressed as Santa Claus is arrested by riot policemen during clashes with students protesting against the government to demand changes in the public state education system in Santiago, December 22, 2011. Chilean students have been protesting against what they say is the profiteering in the state education system.
Yes, Santa is an activist, too! See what he did to risk arrest in Santiago.

Vote Obama – if you want a centrist Republican for US president

Click here to access article by Glenn Greenwald from The Guardian.
American presidential elections are increasingly indistinguishable from the reality TV competitions drowning the nation's airwaves. Both are vapid, personality-driven and painfully protracted affairs, with the winners crowned by virtue of their ability to appear slightly more tolerable than the cast of annoying rejects whom the public eliminates one by one.
What I find hard to believe is that excellent journalists like Greenwald really believe that elections are about who actually governs the US. This article, along with so many by the author and others, decries the fact that Obama is no different than Bush. And, many other articles by this author and others complain that lobbyists control Congress. Yet, Greenwald and so many other intelligent people too often appear unable to take the next logical step to look for the real decision makers, or the directors behind the actors on the political stage.

On the other hand, what do you think would happen to Greenwald if he did take this step? He would be banished from any mainstream media outlets and end up on some obscure blog like this one. 
Unfortunately, by failing to take the next step, he functions as a gatekeeper to keep political discourse within acceptable limits--acceptable to the political operatives of the ruling One Percent. 

If you want to learn about these political operatives, you could do no better than read the book entitled, The Secret Team, by (retired) Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty.  

When political leaders fail to follow the orders of the real decision makers, they are removed from office one way or another ranging from assassination in the case of Kennedy or withdrawal of funding in the case of Sen. Frank Church who asked too many embarrassing questions.

Congress seeks legal framework for Internet censorship

Click here to access article by Mike Ingram from World Socialist Web Site. 

Because the ruling One Percent have seen how effective the internet can be in the hands of activists, they want more control over it using the cover of intellectual property rights. Their employees in the US Congress have dutifully presented bills to do just that.

The article lists some of the egregious sections of these bills and the threats they pose.

Red Lines and Ticking Clocks: U.S. War Plans Against Iran

Click here to access article by Tom Burghardt from Dissident Voice. 
Wars don’t just happen.

Before the first bomb falls disinformation specialists prepare the ground.

Leading media outlets, foreign policy journals and a plethora of think tanks funded by elite foundations, energy and weapons’ conglomerates, “right,” “left” or “center” take your pick, churn out war propaganda disguised as “analysis.”
The author goes on to list all the other preparations being made by US and Israeli political operatives to increase their hegemony over the Middle East and its resources. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

From Katrina to Occupy

Click here to access this book review by Renee Feltz from Indypendent.

The author reviews a book entitled, Black Flags and Windmills: Hope, Anarchy, and the Common Ground Collective, by Scott Crow, an activist in a collective in post-Katrina New Orleans.
Ultimately, Black Flags and Windmills is about envisioning a better world and trusting ourselves to believe that our dreams actually contain the paths to make it happen, not as voters, not as consumers, but as participants in a spontaneous, horizontal democracy that looks different everywhere but meets the needs of the people where they are.

No Time Left to Adapt to Melting Glaciers

Click here to access article by Stephen Leahy from IPS.
The water supplied by the glaciers of the Cordillera Blanca, vital to a huge region of northwest Peru, is decreasing 20 years sooner than expected, according to a new study.
Michel Baraer, a glaciologist at Canada's McGill University and a lead author of the recently completed study, has come to these conclusions:
"This water decline is guaranteed. The only question is how much and how quickly," he said. There is already so much carbon in the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels that it is "already too late for most of the glaciers in the Andes,"

Their research on Peru's glaciers provides another example what many climate warming scientists see ahead: climate changes coming so fast that we will be unable to adapt. I'm not suggesting that the situation is hopeless and therefore we should do nothing. I'm suggesting that we need immediately to make every effort to change a system that is addicted to growth and driving us to extinction--capitalism.

Haiti: Open For Busines

Click to access articles, Part 1 and Part 2, from IPS News Service. 
Chalmers, who heads the Haitian Platform for Alternative Development, deplores what he calls incredible “short-sightedness” and lack of vision.

“They are betting Haiti’s future on slave labour,” he said. “I think it is more than just an error. It’s a crime, because in general assembly industry factories don’t bring development, they don’t bring prosperity, and they won’t help us get out our current situation.”

These two articles will give you a progress report on the US taxpayer handout to US corporations to exploit Haitian labor, all in the name of post-earthquake aid spearheaded by the Clintons. But, of course, it is only more of the same disaster capitalism that corporations pursue all over the world. 

The "Nation" and the National Defense Authorization Act

Click here to access article by Tom Carter and Barry Grey from World Socialist Web Site. 

The authors take a well aimed attack on a prominent politically liberal journal in American politics. As I see it, liberals are either people who refuse to grow up politically or they are covert agents of the ruling One Percent. The authors illustrate this form of political liberalism using some liberal reactions to the recent bill passed by both houses of Congress: the National Defense Authorization Act.
The NDAA was passed by both houses of the US legislature earlier this month and now awaits only President Obama’s signature before it becomes the law of the land. The NDAA has immense historic significance. It effectively abolishes the Bill of Rights and 220 years of precedent, expressly giving the US military the power to abduct and imprison any person anywhere in the world—US citizen or otherwise—on suspicion of a terror-related crime, without charge, jury, evidence, or trial.
The simple fact is, it doesn't matter who they allow us to vote for: whoever wins will serve the same political operatives of the One Percent ruling class. Someone who finally grew up said, "If [US] elections could change anything, they would be illegal." If you still think that Obama represents a really significant different leadership, you obviously need to read this piece by Stephen Lendman entitled, '"Obama Year Three: Continuing His "Rogue Agenda"'. Obama, like all Presidents since the 1970s, is little more than a public relations officer for the people who really rule this country.

Monday, December 26, 2011

How Unitarians Saved Christmas

Click here to access article by Rev. Nathan Detering from Angry Bear.

The Unitarian minister provides a much need historical framework to the celebration of Christmas. It's clear that capitalism has greatly added its influence over the way Christmas is celebrated. Some might say that capitalism has co-opted Christmas--like just about everything else.

Free Syrian Army commanded by Military Governor of Tripoli

Click here to access article by Thierry Meyssan from Voltaire. 
...the contradiction that was desperately kept hidden for the past decade returns to the surface: the mercenaries, formerly paid by Osama Bin Laden, have never stopped working in the service of US strategic interests since the first war in Afghanistan, including the period of the September 11 attacks. Yet they are portrayed ​​by Western leaders as implacable enemies.
This independent journalist has provided startling evidence that Al Qaeda has been employed in the service of Empire in Libya and now in Syria. If Al Qaeda is a mercenary army employed by the Empire is true, then this would explain a lot of mysterious events of the past decade. 

What comes to my mind immediately was the claim by US officials immediately following the 9/11 event that Al Qaeda was responsible and then the lack of any serious effort to go after them in Afghanistan. Instead, they invaded Iraq. Then we discovered that Bin Laden was comfortably relaxing in a home near a Pakistani army base when the US assassinated him. Could it be that they killed him because he might eventually leak the real truth? It brings to mind how Oswald and Ruby, and many others, were killed to shut them up after the Kennedy assassination in 1963. (Read JFK and the Unspeakable by Douglass) It brings to mind all the false flag attacks perpetrated by Empire political operatives. See this, this, and this.

How Occupy and Labor Can Unite

Click here to access article by Shamus Cooke from Workers Action.

This essay adds a valuable contribution to the Occupy movement which seeks direction for future actions. Also he reports on the currents attempts of One Percent political operatives to undermine all publicly funded health care.

A Doomsday View of 2012

Click here to access article by James Petras from Counter Currents. 

The retired Professor Emeritus offers his predictions for the coming year. They ain't pretty, folks, but as his last paragraph suggests, sometimes things have to get worse before they can get better. As the anti-social tendencies of capitalism develop into their nightmarish endgames, there exists the possibility that a sufficient number of us will finally get off our asses and do something about changing the social-economic system into one that is life affirming.

Law turns kids into commodities

Click here to access article by Fred Grimm from the Miami Herald. 

The author reveals how investors among the One Percent are cashing in on opportunities provided by the privatization of services made possible by their new educational policies.
No Child Left Behind, President Bush’s 2001 education reform package, since embraced by President Obama, may have forced needed attention onto failing schools, but the law also created an extraordinary new industry funded exclusively with public money.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Marines in Darwin: US Energy Imperialism and the South China Sea

Click here to access article by David T. Rowlands from Monthly Review. 

The author looks at the significance of Obama's latest move to establish a military base in Darwin, Australia. In his role as chief of US public relations (also known as the "President") Obama described this in terms of seeking to advance the cause of freedom in the Asia Pacific. 
The rapid-response MEU [Marine Expeditionary Unit] in Darwin will be of direct benefit to Western oil interests in their quest to dominate the fossil fuel resources of the South China Sea.  Contrary to the “humanitarian” impression created by Obama’s propagandistic Australian speeches, the Marines and their B-52s are coming to serve the corporate interests that they have served for at least a century.

Playing Chess in Eurasia

Click here to access article by Pepe Escobar from OpEd News. 

This perceptive journalist and commentator has a unique style, a kind of detached cynicism laced with sardonic humor ("a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down"), in dealing with the complexities and the power plays of various elites across the world. He borrows Brzezinski's chess game metaphor (The Grand Chessboard) because that is the way ruling classes relate to the world. Other people such as John Bellamy Foster identify these events as “a dangerous new era of energy imperialism.” 

The games of the ruling classes often result in disasters for us in the form of wars, holocausts, oppression, exploitation, etc. As long as we, the people, tolerate ruling classes, we will continue to "suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" and will continue to be mere pawns in their dangerous games. This current potentially catastrophic chess game is centered on the energy resources in Eurasia where so many moves and counter-moves are being made by the elites.

Spoiling for a Fight with Syria and Iran

Click here to access article by Steve Lendman from his blog. 

The author examines the details of the Empire's method of destabilizing countries in order to incorporate them into the Empire by reviewing the recent successes in the former Yugoslavia and Libya, and their current efforts in Syria with the ultimate prize of Iran in mind.