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, March 3, 2012

US Congress passes authoritarian anti-protest law

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

The velvet glove of capitalist "democracy" is being pulled off to reveal the mailed fist of fascism.
A bill passed Monday in the US House of Representatives and Thursday in the Senate would make it a felony—a serious criminal offense punishable by lengthy terms of incarceration—to participate in many forms of protest associated with the Occupy Wall Street protests of last year. Several commentators have dubbed it the “anti-Occupy” law, but its implications are far broader. 

Will We Choose a Chinese Future?

Click here to access article by David Sirota from In These Times. 

Neoliberalism promoted by US political operatives to gain access to the world's cheap and exploited labor is now doubling back on unemployed and desperate US workers.
...at least a few manufacturing jobs are suddenly coming back to America, and the same CEOs, economists and politicians who have tried to squelch any honest discussion of exploitation are inadvertently admitting that exploitation has always been the manufacturing economy’s invisible hand. They are admitting it when they concede that jobs are returning primarily because American wages are precipitously dropping at the same time Chinese minimum wages have slightly risen–from awful (in some places, $100 month) to a mere terrible (still just a $240 a month).

Big Food Must Go: Why We Need to Radically Change the Way We Eat

Click here to access article by Christopher D. Cook from AlterNet. 

The author makes some very good arguments about the fundamental problems of the highly concentrated food industry for the health and welfare of Americans. Afterwards he proceeds to list a number of impossible-to-obtain reforms that could rectify things; but then, to his credit, he boldly crosses the red line that is the border between political liberalism and radicalism, between what is tolerated and what the enforcers of the Empire punish, to express a profound truth. He states:
Ultimately, we need to understand that this isn't just a few bad corporations -- this is capitalism doing what it naturally does, exploiting people and land for profit. Even Adam Smith warned of the inherent tendency of capitalism toward ceaseless growth and monopoly power. Whether you're for revolution or reform, let's be honest about the system we're dealing with. Capitalism is unraveling, undermining even its own interests with its tireless demand for more growth, more profits, endless new markets with no protections for local industry, more corporate consolidation and monopoly power over both economics and politics.

The Jeb Scenario: Can You Say “President Bush” again?

Click here to access article by Russ Baker from Who What Why.

The sad spectacle of US election campaigns has been substituted for real news in the One Percent's mainstream media. This is the periodic spectacle that they try to frame as being the essence of "democracy". This independent journalist and author who is an expert on the Bush clan (he wrote Family of Secrets) explains how the Republican party primary election campaign has left the current crop of contenders for their party's nominee for President looking so bad that they may be forced to turn to another candidate who might have some credibility. 

Okay, I hear you screaming that you couldn't stand another Bush in the White House! Don't worry. This is all about appearances. The One Percent really loves Obama. As Baker writes:
My hunch is that the Bushes and the real establishment (that’s not the Tea Party, not the Santoriacs or the Gingrichites, folks) just love how bad the GOP field is. Obama is almost certain to be reelected. Which is just fine. Like Clinton, he’s played ball on all the big issues that really matter to the One Percent of One Percent—foreign intervention, oil, Wall Street bailouts.

Saudi Arabia’s Free Pass

Click here to access article by Serge Halimi from Le Monde Diplomatique.

Nothing reveals more about the hypocrisy of the One Percent's media than they way write reports about Saudi Arabia compared to countries like Syria, Iran or Libya under Gaddafi. Because there is nothing good to say about Saudi Arabia, mainstream media simply report nothing unless it's about oil supplies. (Here is a rare exception that probably got no further than the NY Times.) After all, Saudi Arabia supplies the One Percent with its drug of choice--fossil fuels.
Saudi Arabia’s record is no better than Iran’s when it comes to respect for human rights. Yet the international community always manages to overlook the Wahhabi monarchy. Could this be connected with Saudi Arabia’s status as top oil-producing country and trusted ally of the US? Saudi Arabia can intervene in Bahrain, crush democratic protests there, execute 76 people in 2011 (including a woman accused of “sorcery”), threaten to execute a blogger who posted an imaginary conversation with the Prophet on Twitter, sentence thieves to amputation, announce that rape, sodomy, adultery, homosexuality, drug trafficking and apostasy are to carry the death penalty, and nobody except the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights seems to care.

Unprecedented Ocean Acidification Underway

Click here to access article by Julia Whitty from Mother Jones. 
A new and alarming paper in the prestigious journal Science [behind a paywall] reports today that the world's oceans may be acidifying faster now than at any time during the four major extinctions of the last 300 million years, when natural pulses of carbon sent global temperatures soaring as much as 6 degrees C (10.8 degrees F). 
I keep wondering how catastrophic climate extremes have to become before the political operatives of the One Percent's capitalist system acknowledge that there is a problem which the system cannot deal with. Likewise I wonder how long before the 99 Percent allow the One Percent to go on their merry way destroying our habitat. Should we of the 99 percent allow the growth addicts of the One Percent take us all down because they cannot get enough of their fossil fuel fix?  

It appears that many political liberals don't care enough about social injustice to question the system, but surely they care enough about the human race to question the system! So far they seem to be more worried about "violent protesters" breaking a few windows. (See this.)

Friday, March 2, 2012

America's Dangerous Game

Click here to access 25:01m video and brief article from Al Jazeera.

The title refers to a new film made by Richard Rowley and Jeremy Scahill embedded in this brief article. After viewing the film, I recommend that you listen to the following 12 minute audio interview with Scahill of Nation Magazine which provides a concise summary of his reporting on the Empire's activities in Yemen:

If you wish Scahill's more comprehensive report, read this piece from The Nation entitled, "Washington's War in Yemen Backfires".

Although this journalist has been described as independent, his reporting is a politically liberal type of view which is nowadays barely tolerated by the Empire's media enforcers. It is tolerated because he, as illustrated in the above article, does not challenge the premise of the Empire's propaganda that it is fighting "terrorism" or admits that the real goal is to extend its power and control over as much of the world as possible. Thus,what this journalist sees as a big mistake is only foreign policy as usual for the political operatives of the One Percent's Empire: they will always support the most oppressive and brutal rulers as long as they find them useful.

On Regaining a Spirit of Defiance: ‘I’m Worried Now but I Won’t Be Worried Long’

Click here to access article by Phil Rockstroh from Common Dreams. 
...the one percent would not be capable of building a propaganda apparatus slick enough, nor be able to hire enough cops, nor assemble armies with enough troops, nor build prisons rapidly enough nor large enough to keep us enslaved–if only enough of us awoke to the reality of our common plight.

Therefore: “I’m worried now but I won’t be worried long.”


Thursday, March 1, 2012

WikiLeaks vs. Stratfor: Pursue the Truth, Not Its Messenger

Click here to access article by Amy Goodman from Truthdig. 

Isn't it interesting how people such as those employed by Murdoch's media empire get away with intercepting emails of victims in order to write sensational stories for their media, but people who pursue the truth are criminalized. And well connected organizations that spy on American activists are rewarded with huge government contracts. Such is life at the center of the Empire.

Banker Occupied Europe and America

Click here to access article by Stephen Lendman from his blog.
Wall Street and major European banks usurped unprecedented money making power. With complicit politicians, they make it the old fashioned way. They steal it.

As a result, ordinary people are harmed. They've lost jobs, homes, savings, and futures to let privileged elites get richer and more powerful at their expense.
In the 19th and 20th centuries the industrial capitalists stole from workers and slaves the wealth they produced. Nowadays, the capitalist ruling class consists mostly of people connected to the central banks which are privately owned (sometimes with a thin veneer of government accountability) that are now exploiting working people through debt slavery throughout the world.

Diplomacy to seal Iran's fate

Click here to access article by Victor Kotsev from Asia Times Online.

"Diplomacy" sounds like such a positive word, but it hides the dangerous fact that class-based elites with their class interests in mind decide the critical fates of so many ordinary people in large areas of the world. Until a world movement by the 99 Percent can overthrow these ruling classes, we can only pray that their war games will result in as little destruction of our lives as possible.

In this article the author provides what looks to me like a good assessment of the various ruling class interests that may be informing the moves in this dangerous war game that Zionist Israel and the Empire are pursuing now in the Middle East. 
While neither the Russians nor any other player is likely to have its full agenda in the Middle East fulfilled, the bargaining that is undoubtedly raging in secret will seal the fate of the region, at least for the near future.

Labor Pains

Click here to access audio link to 55 minute program from KPFA (Berkeley, California).

If your life is time constrained, you might want to listen to this as you perform some mindless chore. 
Occupy Wall Street has brought the issue of class inequality to the forefront of American politics in a way that unions have not. Hence, organized labor and the Occupy movement would appear to be natural allies, but their relationship is not seamless.  Radical Occupy participants and union organizers Angela MacWhinnie and Adrian Maldonado talk about successful collaborations between trade unions and Occupy, the places where friction has emerged, and the challenges that the Occupy movement faces in reaching out to most working class people.
I found the comments of the San Francisco Bay labor activist to be particularly interesting.

US mothballs airborne laser missile defense weapon

Click here to access article from Associated Press via Fox News. 

If you are distressed by the large teacher-student ratio of the classes that your children attend, the cutbacks in library hours, the huge tuition increases in universities, cutbacks in medical care for the poor, etc, well here is where more than half of your tax money is going--weapons and those that make them such as Boeing, General Dynamics, Lockheed-Martin, Raytheon, etc. (see this

This article reports on how they kept this particular boondoggle going for "defense" contractors for 15 years inspired by full spectrum dominance fantasies originating in Reagan's neoconservative administration.

I wonder how many more teachers and librarians that we could have had with this $5 billion dollars that they spent on this weapon. I guess we should be grateful that it proved to be worthless and didn't kill anybody.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Planned Regime Change in Syria

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

The author reveals how the latest "humanitarian" regime change strategy implemented by political operatives of the Empire against Syria follow a pattern starting with Yugoslavia in 1999. 
 Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and now Syria had peace and calm until Washington intervened belligerently.

Strategies and tactics vary. Objectives are consistent. They involve replacing independent regimes with pro-Western ones by any means, including war.
This strategy was most clearly promoted and articulated by neoconservative think-tank Project for the New American Century which has been recently reorganized under Foreign Policy Initiative. Their influence has always been to extend the dominance of the US Empire throughout the world, but, of course, always under the guise of promoting democracy and human rights. 

However, the outcomes may be quite different in the future due to the chaos and economic destruction produced in the center of the Empire by neo-liberal economic policies (while also concentrating wealth in the hands of the One Percent), the widespread opposition within the Empire (think Occupy movement) and in 3rd world countries, and the ascendancy of Russia and China.

The Other Civil War: Capitalism's Uncivil Peace

Click here to access article by Dr. Zakk Flash from InfoShop News.

There are so many insightful gems in this article.

I take exception to only one of his statements: "The way that capitalism measures progress is a sham." It's only a sham for the well-being of the 99 Percent--and, of course, that is what he meant. On the other hand, GDP is extremely useful to capitalists as a measure of their accumulation of wealth extracted from workers and the environment.

I found the details that he reported about this upcoming event in Chicago quite disturbing:
The elites that own the governments behind the world’s largest economies are gathering with NATO in Chicago on May 19-20, 2012 to discuss global political and economic policy.
Specifically, I am referring to the police-state type policies being promoted by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to stifle dissent and protest of this meeting. Rahm Emanuel, the former White House Chief of Staff in the Obama administration, is one of those US political operatives who serves Israeli interests. 

Although he has always denied having Israeli citizenship, he has very strong ties to Israel where he was born. See this and this. For example, during the Gulf War in 1991 he supposedly volunteered with the Israeli Defense Forces to defend against an anticipated Iraqi attack. People wonder why he didn't volunteer in support of US forces.  

The police-state policies he is promoting for the Chicago meeting reminds me a lot of the methods used by Israel against Palestinians to control and stifle their dissent. 
Under the rule of former White House Chief of Staff and current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, police powers are being extended, along with public surveillance without oversight, restrictions on public activity, amplified sound, morning gatherings, and parades.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Poor America

From the BBC this 29:18m video.
With one and a half million (1.5 million) American children now homeless, reporter Hilary Andersson meets the school pupils who go hungry in the richest country on Earth.

So Many Prisons and No Room for War Propagandists?

Click here to access article by David Swanson from War Is a Crime. 

The author introduces the following 25 minute video with some brief remarks about international law forbidding war propaganda.

10 Reasons Why the Israel Lobby AIPAC is So Dangerous

Click here to access article by Medea Benjamin from OpEdNews. 
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is one of the most powerful lobby organizations in the country. AIPAC's clout helps fuel a never-ending cycle of violence in the Middle East.  

Get Organized with Occupy.Net’s Extremely Useful Tools & Info!

Click here to access article from InterOccupy. 

As the title suggests, this post contains some very useful links for Occupier activists.

Tribalism, Racism and Projection – Part 2

Click here to access article by Gilad Atzmon from his blog. (Note: you may wish to read Part 1 either before or after reading this to get a wider view of his perspective.) 

This Israeli-born British jazz saxophonist, novelist, political activist and writer explains how Zionists use the shield of racism/anti-racism to prevent any examination of their actions. They also like to hide behind "NGOs claiming to promote moral agendas, such as humanitarian aid and human rights." (See this.)

Be sure to watch the video in the article that includes a recorded death threat by an Israeli against a journalist, Alison Weir, who spoke at UC Berkeley.

Conflict looms in South China Sea oil rush

Click here to access article by Randy Fabi and Manuel Mogato from Reuters. 
A decades-old territorial squabble over the South China Sea is entering a new and more contentious chapter, as claimant nations search deeper into disputed waters for energy supplies while building up their navies and military alliances with other nations, particularly with the United States.

Are You Living a McLife? And Would You Like Some Fries with That?

Click here to access article by Mitchell Waldman from Worldwide Hippies.
Just think about it. It’s 2012. And most of us are living fast food, junk food lives. Oblivious to what’s out there beyond the fast food information sent to us by the big media corporations.
Today's capture of the minds of ordinary people by the boob-tube (TV) and all the other corporate media is very much like a wet-dream that Joseph Goebbels probably had during the late 1930s. It is so powerful in its influence that few ordinary people are conscious of its control of their ideas, values, and behaviors. 

One thing that really bothers me is that many activists are too concerned about how their actions will be portrayed in mainstream, McLife media, and thus, allow their actions to be shaped accordingly. I think that little headway can be made against the juggernaut of capitalist culture until activists realize that they must place a high priority on establishing their own media and weaning people away from McLife media.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Debating Tactics: Remember to ask, “What works?”

Click here to access article from Carwil without Borders. 

This blogger-activist shows how resistance to government actions exposes people to police violence that cannot be simply dealt with using some broad principle of non-violence. His article contributes to a discussion about resistance based on historical examples and most recently on Occupier activities in Oakland, California.

With dismay and growing suspicion I have seen too many people in the US advocating non-violence as if it were some kind of religion. Their references to Gandhian figures and their practice of non-violence is always extremely selective and often gloss over the actual results of this practice. 

In contrast to the apostles of non-violence, the Occupiers are affirming principles of horizontal democracy, self-organizing, and a diversity of resistance tactics all of which are in direct conflict with the hierarchically organized class system of capitalism based on private ownership of productive property. The Occupy movement is truly a revolutionary movement whether activists in the movement are conscious of this yet or not. Because it is fundamentally revolutionary, we can expect that the enforcers of the One Percent ruling class will deal with it as harshly as they can while using mass media to cover up their human rights crimes.

As we have already seen, this revolutionary struggle will present problems for many liberals as they interpret and respond to this revolutionary struggle. Ultimately, they will have to choose where their true allegiance lies: with the 99 Percent or with the One Percent.

Syria: Rogue Elements Rampant

Click here to access article by Felicity Arbuthnot from Dissident Voice. 

If you had any doubts about the fact that we are living in an Orwellian age, this article should dispel them. It is quite amazing to have witnessed so many Empire twists and turns, crimes against humanity, and class war all covered (and covered up) so effectively in mainstream media as to arouse so little dissent thus far in the American populace. They are waking up, but much slower than I could ever have imagined. Her introductory quote is so apt:
The individual is handicapped by coming face to face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists.
—  J.Edgar Hoover, 1895-1972

CNN Silences War-Skeptical Soldier

Click here to access article by Ray McGovern from Consortium News. 

This author caught CNN red-handed censoring the news.
When CNN interviews a U.S. Army corporal preparing for his third deployment to Afghanistan, should TV viewers be permitted to hear him out on a front-burner issue like Iran’s alleged threat to Israel? For those who might think so, watch what happens when 28-year-old Cpl. Jesse Thorsen touches a neuralgic nerve by suggesting that Israel can take care of itself.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Purchasing Prisoners, Creating Criminals & How Occupy Could be Next

Click here to access article by Arvind Dilawar from The Occupied Wall Street Journal. 

With the current push to decriminalize marijuana possession which could dramatically cut the number of prisoners, corporate operated prisons will need to look elsewhere for inmates. See the article entitled, "Prison Stocks: What Happens When Marijuana Is Legalized?"

The author of this piece suggests that investors among the One Percent need not worry if they own stocks in these corporations: they are currently very busy with their bags of money influencing your state and Congressional representatives. But maybe activists should. 

I have been very puzzled by efforts of officials underway in my state of Washington to legalize the use of marijuana. It seems to me that one could be forgiven if they thought there might be a connection between legalization efforts and anticipated imprisonment of activists.

What Happens After Israel Attacks Iran

Click here to access article by Ehud Eiran from Foreign Affairs.
(Ehud Eiran is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of International Relations at the University of Haifa in Israel and a faculty affiliate of the Middle East Negotiation Initiative at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.)
For those of you not familiar with this publication, it is a prime outlet for issues being discussed by political operatives of the US ruling class. Of course, being for public consumption, it is carefully modulated to be a presentable and legitimate type of discourse. 

The author is concerned that the impetus for Israeli forces to attack the nuclear facilities in Iran is driven too much by military leaders in Israel who lack a broader perspective on the wider consequences. He suggests that such leaders are perfecting willing to make the decision independent of US influence.  Given the upcoming election in the US and the civil war in Syria, Israeli political operatives may feel that the time to strike now is very favorable. What this Israeli author doesn't mention is the powerful influence of Zionist lobbies in Washington. 

How We Know Global Warming is Real and Human Caused

Click here to access article by Donald R. Prothero from Skeptic.
Thanks to all the noise and confusion over the debate, the general public has only a vague idea of what the debate is really about, and only about half of Americans think global warming is real or that we are to blame

The Muslims are coming cartoon

Thinking the Unthinkable: Engineering Earth’s Climate

Click here to access article from Yale University's Environment360 website.
Jane C. S. Long, associate director-at-large of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, is convinced that the only sensible way to combat climate change is to work toward “a zero-emission energy system as fast as possible.” But as chairwoman of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s 18-member task force on geoengineering, the hydrologist and energy expert realized two fundamental things: that the world has still not come to its senses on global warming, and that science would be remiss if it didn’t consider the possibility that CO2 emissions will continue to soar for decades.
Because educational institutions are controlled by the One Percent, I suppose one ought to forgive US scientists for not understanding that the social-economic system which is dedicated to securing profits and power for the One Percent is the source of the problem, and needs to be changed. In any case, it appears that US scientists are left with dreaming up desperate fantasies for engineering the Earth's climate.  

Another explanation might be that they are too intimidated by threats coming from the One Percent to consider social-economic system change. See this piece entitled, "Attacks paid for by big business are 'driving science into a dark era'". Activists for the 99 Percent are very familiar with the extreme and often brutal methods that enforcers of the One Percent are willing to use to protect their system.