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, November 3, 2012

Greece’s uncertain future: a short documentary

Click here to access source of the 10:02m video source and brief article, reproduced below, by Brandon Jourdan and Marianne Maeckelbergh and posted on Refelections on a Revolution.

This is an excellent video presentation that covers all the main features of the current social-political drama being played out in the worst battlefield of class war--Greece. As such it covers not only the police oppression, fascist goons, a disintegrating social fabric, but also a lot of community self-organizing going on to sustain local economies and to defend their communities from police and their fascist collaborators. There are also some suggestions that the crisis is reaching a tipping point of public anger against the authorities that could develop into a different level of conflict. 
This short documentary looks at the current social crisis in Greece, the growth of alternative economies, general strikes, and the rise of the anti-fascist movement in response to violent attacks by the far-right. After six years of recession, the situation in Greece is growing increasingly dark. As the unemployment rate continues to rise and salaries continue to drop, the country has descended into an increasingly unpredictable situation.

The State of Human Rights in the U.S.A.

Click here to access source posting of 4:32m video interview with Michael Parenti, posted on Dandelion Salad.

The interview is a clip from a new film entitled "Long Distance Revolutionary" about the life of Mumia Abu-Jamal. In this interview Parenti fills in missing information about US human rights violations in a report issued by the US State Department.

Journalism in the Obama age shows the real media bias

Click here to access article by Glenn Greenwald from The Guardian.

The author, who now writes for The Guardian, attacks a rival liberal media outlet, Rolling Stone, for a sycophantic interview with President Obama. His insight and criticism that (mainstream) media serves power is very apt, but he dare not attack the system that has produced this kind of "critical" media. Hence, by framing this and similar reporting as related only to the "Obama age", he is at the outer limit of what the ruling capitalist class will permit to be expressed in liberal media which includes The Guardian. Should he ever stray beyond that boundary he will find himself excommunicated from the church of capitalism, and from all mainstream media. I wonder if he is as naive as this paragraph suggests:
What makes this most ironic, and most destructive, is that this function is the exact antithesis of what media figures claim they perform and what pioneers of press freedom protections envisioned. The political media is designed to be adversarial because it is supposed to serve as a scrutinizing check on the claims of those in power, not serve as worshipful, propagandistic amplifiers of those claims.

Hurricane Sandy a Taste of More Extreme Weather to Come

Click here to access article by Stephen Leahy from Inter Press Service

With a taste like Sandy, imagine the full meal we can look forward to: a banquet of catastrophes prepared for us by our ruling class masters who are terminally addicted to capitalism!
Killing nearly 200 people in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean and crippling much of New York City and surrounding areas earlier this week, Hurricane Sandy was the kind of extreme weather event scientists have long predicted will occur with global warming.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Occupy is the Latest Generation (Know your history)

Click here to access article by Mickey Z. from World News Trust

Along with Mickey Z. and many others I have a strong hunch that the current lull in radical political activity has a lot to do with the false history which the historians and ideologues employed by the One Percent continue to propagate. In spite of the huge growth in profits and the concentration of wealth by the One Percent and the stagnation, if not decline, of wages and benefits for the 99 Percent and the continued sinking into the quicksand of debt, there is a persistent belief among many of the latter that things will return to a mythical past if only they work and try harder. This strategy employed by the One Percent to distort our memory about history acts to dis-empower us. Mickey Z. implores us to know our true history.
A society purposefully and relentlessly conditioned by corporate propaganda is a society quite receptive to the alluring appeal of the “good old days” (GOD). Like all myths, the mere existence of the GOD illusion makes other myths easier to swallow.
If the GOD invention is accepted as accurate, the wars fought, the businesses started and subsidized, the legislation passed, the culture created, and the leaders elected during the GOD get a free ride on their coattails. We become a nation of people gazing backward for innocence lost rather than looking ahead with lessons learned.

It's Time for the Poor to Come Out of the Plutocracy's Closet of Shame

Click here to access article by Jeff Nall from Truthout

I think that this writer has touched on the most important factor that is causing the current dulling of resistance to the rule of the plutocrats. It is the internalization of that part of ruling class ideology which justifies the existence of poverty: poor people deserve their fate because they are lazy, incompetent, or affected by some character flaw. This indoctrination comes in daily doses and results in a deep feeling of shame for those who, for whatever reason, find themselves needing social assistance, or just not being able to afford all those things that are advertised on TV that everyone else of worth seems to have. This phenomenon is a powerful influence on our lives, but yet it remains mostly hidden because it is so heavily laden with feelings of shame.
Thinkers like Malcolm X pointed out that it wasn't enough to change the political conditions of a people; subjugated people also had to stop viewing themselves through the lens of dominant culture, had to shake stereotyped, degrading visions of themselves that they had too often internalized.
This brings to mind a recent incident I had with my visiting sister who after the visit wanted to assist me with the purchase of a newer car. I drive a 1993 Saturn which has served me so well--it's the best car I've ever had, and it has saved me so much money. I was surprised by this offer because the car runs as perfect, and looks nearly as good, as the day I bought it new. It finally dawned on me that my very conventional sister was ashamed for me to be driving such an old car.

Unfortunately this liberal author does not see this indoctrination as an integral part of ruling class culture that serves to justify the system of capitalism while keeping working people in their subservient places.

'US defeat in Syria would be end of US hegemony in Middle East'

Click here to access source of video and transript of RT's interview with Eric Draitser.

Draitser sees that Empire support for their sponsored terrorists in Syria, otherwise known as the "Free Syrian Army" led by the Syrian National Council, is shifting because of a lack of support from most Syrians. As evidence he points to recent indications that Empire operatives are looking to re-constitute the leadership of the Syrian opposition. He argues that the deteriorating situation facing the Empire's terrorist army in Syria is leading to a major turning point for their domination of the Middle East.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Welcome to the Age of Hell: Entrenching Murder as the American Way

Click here to access article by Chris Floyd from his blog Empire Burlesque.

The author's article is a reaction to a series of three articles recently run in the Washington Post, one of two national "newspapers of record" detailing the ongoing development of targeted killings using drones. The author, like other political liberals, attributes this phenomenon to the Obama administration. This myopic view feeds into a seemingly unending appetite for wallowing in cynicism often found in progressive circles instead of shedding some light on this disturbing subject. Then the author makes matters worse by recommending an article by a UK blogger who goes into an orgy of blaming the American people.

This might be very satisfying to people who like to think of themselves as morally superior human beings, but it does nothing to advance an understanding of the issue, much less contribute toward any solution. 

A much better take on this subject is provided by an editorial in the World Socialist Web Site which captures the essence in this paragraph:
The terminal crisis of American democracy is deeply rooted in the structure of American capitalism, and in particular the vast growth of social inequality. Over the past several decades, a tiny financial aristocracy has monopolized enormous resources on the basis of speculation and increasingly criminal operations. After creating the economic and financial crisis that erupted in 2008, this same social layer is determined to pursue unpopular policies at home and abroad.
Targeted killings via drones, or any other method without due legal process, is a class crime and one among so many that it impossible to list them all. It does not matter whom the ruling class moves into the White House, they will always serve the needs of this ruling class that is addicted to power and profits and their commitment to a system that supplies both--capitalism. The only ultimate solution is revolution. The immediate tasks are to find ways of accomplishing this. Immersing ourselves in cynicism is not one.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Golden Dawn and the deafening silence of Europe

Click here to access article by Jerome Roos from Reflections on a Revolution

The author provides substantial evidence to confirm that neo-Nazism is seriously on the rise in Europe. It appears that the ruling One Percents have no problem with this phenomenon. Is it just a coincidence that whenever and wherever capitalist created "democratic" institutions fail to serve the people, we find this monster rearing its ugly head? I think not!
“Never Again”. Thus was the uniform slogan resounding across Europe after the full scale of Nazi horror became known in the wake of WWII. The cosmopolitan project of European integration was founded upon this promise. Never again would fascists and warmongers be allowed to tear the Old Continent and its people apart.
One day it may therefore be considered one of history’s greatest ironies that, as EU leaders were busy deciding who would collect its Nobel Prize for “the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights,” those same leaders remained woefully silent when a recent survey indicated that the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party now polls third in Greece....
Now we see another aspect of the developing fascist state in Greece as illustrated in the following 4:07m video. It relates to the recent arrest of a Greek journalist for reporting the truth:

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Frankenstorms and Climate Change: How the 1% Created a Monster

Click here to access article by Chris Williams from Dissident Voice
At this point, as a thunderous storm barrels up the east coast of the United States, still suffering from an unprecedented drought in other parts of the country, it seems indisputable that the capitalist system has put the entire web of life on a collision course with a stable biosphere and climate system. One of those systems has to give, and there is no indication that it will be capitalism.

Superstorm Sandy Shows Nuclear Plants Who’s Boss

Click here to access article by Gregg Levine from his blog capitoilette.

I also thought it strange the way the news about the first nuclear plant shut-down was reported. (I hadn't heard about the second one.) This author provides a much more realistic picture of the possible dangers that flood-waters can cause to these nuclear plants. 
While neither of these shutdowns is considered catastrophic, they are not as trivial as the plant operators and federal regulators would have you believe. First, emergency shutdowns–scrams–are not stress-free events, even for the most robust of reactors. As discussed here before, it is akin to slamming the breaks on a speeding locomotive. These scrams cause wear and tear aging reactors can ill afford. 
On second thought it became clear to me that if there actually were real threats posed to these plants that could lead to catastrophes, mainstream media would handle such reports precisely this way.

Does TV Help Make Americans Passive and Accepting of Authority?

Click here to access article by Bruce E. Levine from AlterNet

You will have to skip nearly half of the article to get to the interesting evidence and arguments he offers about the connection between passivity and TV viewing. (Scroll down to "How TV Viewing Can Make Us Passive".)

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Global Banking ‘Super-Entity’ Drug Cartel: The “Free Market” of Finance Capital

Click here to access article by Andrew Gavin Marshall from his blog.

This brilliant, young Canadian author describes the institutions and people who are at the core of the Empire and decide on its policies and actions. This report on his latest research is supported by many key documents. For example, look at his very first document:
In October of 2011, New Scientist reported that a scientific study on the global financial system was undertaken by three complex systems theorists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland. The conclusion of the study revealed what many theorists and observers have noted for years, decades, and indeed, even centuries: “An analysis of the relationships between 43,000 transnational corporations has identified a relatively small group of companies, mainly banks, with disproportionate power over the global economy.” As one of the researchers stated, “Reality is so complex, we must move away from dogma, whether it’s conspiracy theories or free-market… Our analysis is reality-based.” Using a database which listed 37 million companies and investors worldwide, the researchers studied all 43,060 trans-national corporations (TNCs), including the share ownerships linking them.[1]
This is unfiltered, uncensored, unbiased social research and reporting at its very best. 

Proposing A Vision Of A New Earth

Click here to access article by Rajesh Makwana from Just International.

I post this article to show that there are still sane people around; it's just that they will never be allowed to express their ideas through mainstream media. What he basically proposes is an alternative vision of society different from that of the capitalist view which was articulated most famously by former Prime Minister of Britain, Margaret Thatcher.
There is no such thing as society, there are only individuals and their families.
Even those One Percenters who are less likely to express such outrageous statements, you still find them arguing that capitalism may not be pretty, and it may not be moral or just, but through its use of the meanest human emotions, the desire for self-enrichment at the expense of others, it is the only system that delivers the goods.

But what the world's One Percents really believe is that there is no alternative to the private enterprise way of reaping their profits. This is actually correct. The fact that along with this wealth concentration, there is also power concentration which is rarely expressed.  Only a new system based on truly social values will be able to create a healthy functioning society. It would be ridiculous for us to wait for this profit-addicted class of people to create such a society.

Playing God

Click here to access article by Gernot Wagner and Martin L. Weitzman from Foreign Policy.

With regard to global warming and related carbon emissions, it looks like scientists have mostly given up on Plan A  It seems that cutting back on carbon emissions interfered with the One Percent's addiction to profits and the very system that creates profits, capitalism. So now it's Plan B. So what does this look like?
These scientists are beginning to look for a Plan B. There are two distinct approaches under consideration....

Fall 1941: Pearl Harbor and The Wars of Corporate America

Click here to access article by Dr. Jacques R. Pauwels from Global Research.

This historian does indoctrinated Americans a great service by demolishing the myth about WWII being a "good war".
Myth: The US was forced to declare war on Japan after a totally unexpected Japanese attack on the American naval base in Hawaii on December 7, 1941. On account of Japan’s alliance with Nazi Germany, this aggression automatically brought the US into the war against Germany.
Reality: The Roosevelt administration had been eager for some time to wage war against Japan and sought to unleash such a war by means of the institution of an oil embargo and other provocations. Having deciphered Japanese codes, Washington knew a Japanese fleet was on its way to Pearl Harbor, but welcomed the attack since a Japanese aggression would make it possible to “sell” the war to the overwhelmingly anti-war American public.  

Sunday, October 28, 2012

China dangers – sub prime reporting

Click here to access article by David Malone from his blog Golem XIV.

This blogger takes an upbeat article in the Financial Times newspaper, a prime ruling class source of financial and economic information, and applies his critical thinking skills, adds one part British humor, and, viola! He cooks up a delightful dish that is a perfect illustration of how cleverly the One Percent can tell lies.
Of course the public is often lied to by those in power. We only have to look at the slew of lies that made sure we went to war in Iraq.  Those weapons of mass distruction ready to fire within mere minutes but which were never actually found and indeed most probably had never existed even at the time our governments were claiming – and our news organizations were duly reporting – that they had reliable intelligence about the clear and present danger they presented.

But such outright lies are a high risk way of shepherding the sheeple to where they need to be. Rather than get caught telling lies how much better to tell the truth – just not the whole truth.

America armed to the teeth but living in fear

Click here to access article by Dave Lindorff by Press TV
It’s not just that a whole generation of kids who get regularly belted by their parents, who are warned that if they behave in a certain manner they’ll go to hell, or that their faces will freeze in some horrible contorted way, or that they will be thrown out of the house, are becoming Republicans. It’s that virtually the whole country is populated by adults who have been raised in a climate of fear by a media and a government that are hell-bent on scaring the shit out of everyone. 
The author essentially argues that while our ruling class have built the most powerful military instrument of violence in history, they have also created many citizens who cower like frightened children in a state of near complete passivity while others lose their minds to commit senseless acts of violence. 

Our ruling capitalist class, also known as the One Percent, has by its engineering of 9/11 and other acts created a monster state that drives its citizens with fear to support their policies that lead to the most heinous crimes against humanity and the planet. In addition:
...we Americans are unable to see the real challenge facing not just us, but the entire world: the threat of catastrophic climate change. And that is a very real threat that cannot be avoided by cowering in a basement or by electing some tough-talking chief executive, or by buying guns. It can only be tackled by taking bold united action as a people to change the whole basis of the socio-economic system from one premised on encouraging wasteful consumption to one based upon utility and on bettering the lot of all as efficiently as possible.

Connecting the dots between 'Frankenstorm' and global warming as extreme weather becomes the new norm

Click here to access article from Climate Code Red.
“Something is definitely up with the weather, and it is clear to me that over the past two years, the climate has shifted to a new state capable of delivering rare and unprecedented weather events. Human emissions of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide are the most likely cause of such a shift in the climate.”
This article does what corporate executives of our media refuse to do: connect the dots to this impending storm and the broader attack on the planet's ecosystem. Of course, the generals leading the attack are the agents of capitalism driven by their mad pursuit of more profits and power. 

Until we eliminate this life destroying economic system, extreme weather events will only accelerate until the planet is no longer fit for humans to live in. Actually, the sad fact is that if we stopped spewing carbon into the atmosphere tomorrow, we would still see more extreme weather for decades to come until most of the carbon blanket that is warming our planet dissipates to a tolerable level. But, at least we as a species probably would survive.

Obamneycare Converts Health Care Into Profits

Click here to access article by Paul Craig Roberts from his blog.

The author attempts to explain that neither health insurance programs advocated by Obama and Romney really makes much difference. He argues that... 
Both plans raise costs, reduce care for the elderly, and divert tax dollars away from health care to private profits.
I find the so-called Obamacare program that takes effect on January 1st mind-boggling. However, the changes to my health plan (insurance to supplement benefits from Medicare) supports this author's conclusions. After recently receiving a notice of changes to my health insurance, the first thing I noticed was that the monthly fee increased from $35 to $59. But, then after studying the benefits section, I learned that I would have to pay more in "out-of-pocket" fees and that coverage of services was reduced. Roughly speaking, it appears that the real cost of this supplement insurance has increased by 100%!