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, January 26, 2013

Nature’s Capital is the Limiting Resource

Click here to access article by Paul Craig Roberts from CounterPunch.

Heilein's fantasy, which is about humans migrating to other planets after destroying this one, is just that--pure fantasy. Capitalist ideologists like to think of everything as disposable, but they are deluding themselves if they think they can just drop the Earth into a garbage can and move on.

Roberts writes:
... unregulated capitalism is one of the greatest forces of destruction of peoples, animal and plant life, and the Earth’s ecology. The book shows that for short-term profit, capitalists are willing to destroy irreplaceable resources. Future profitability is not important to them.
This also implies another delusion--that capitalism can be regulated for the interest of all and the survival of all. It's like asking a drunken alcoholic to behave himself/herself. Capitalism delivers the drugs and power to a few who are so addicted that they are uncontrollable. Unfortunately, they are also very powerful! It is only by the elimination of the source of their drugs that humanity can survive.

Where the elites like to socialize and hang out, Part 1 of ?

by Ron Horn. 

Two weeks ago I hinted that I may be running a series of articles on our neighbors, so to speak, among the top layers of the One Percent. This has been difficult because they, for some reason, are very secretive or else very shy. They seem to like publicity, but only within their exclusive circles. We should not let that deter us from examining their lives to promote much greater understanding and empathy. It is important that we become more acquainted because they impact our lives so dramatically.  They decide our fates, whether our nations go to war and where, and whether our economies are in a boom or bust part of their capitalist economy. 

Because One Percenters usually do not work (unless they want to) they have a lot of leisure time. A major focus of their leisure activities is devoted to games of wealth and power. They love to gamble on Wall Street especially with the new types of "derivative" betting methods. Such gambling often bring our economies crashing to a halt resulting in the chaos we see today in our lives. But, such chaos doesn't bother them one bit. Whether they win or lose, their lives are usually not affected.  Likewise, in their games of power we see contests over resources, regime-change operations, and many wars both big and small. In the end, these activities are all games to them, mere pastimes with which to amuse themselves.

Yet, they still have time for other activities such as socializing. I've discovered that they like to hang out together at various exclusive clubs. One of their favorite social venues are "gentlemen's clubs" which have origins that go back a long way into class conscious imperial British society.

Wikipedia has traced the origins and evolution of today's clubs very well. From Britain they have now spread along with the Anglo-American Empire to many areas of the world where the Empire rules. It is today's clubs that interest me and that is what this posting, and maybe future postings, is all about. 

Of course, not everyone can just join up--that wouldn't give it its exclusive and status character. You and I would never be admitted. From Wikipedia we learn that...
From the 1970s onwards some single-sex clubs opened to both sexes as guests and as members, partly to maintain membership levels.
Serious social networking takes place in these clubs as members meet and befriend high ranking and very powerful individuals who are also members.
.... Some top clubs still maintain distinctions which are often undefined and rarely explained to those who do not satisfy their membership requirements. After reaching the top of a long waiting list, there is a possibility of being blackballed. In these circumstances, the proposer of such a person may be expected to resign, as he failed to withdraw his undesirable candidate. More often, the member who proposes an unsuitable candidate will be "spoken to" at a much earlier stage than this, and he will withdraw his candidate to avoid embarrassment for all concerned.
So without further adieu, let's pay a virtual visit to one of these clubs to learn more about this part of their lives. Today's visit will be at Home House in London. I will "introduce" you to the team who manage the place, and then I will leave you on your own to proceed from there through the various links provided.

Friday, January 25, 2013

What Would a Trillion-dollar Coin Mean?

Click here to access article by Stephen Zarlenga from Huffington Post.
What the trillion dollar coin has to offer is illuminating our constitutional money power, and Congress's malfeasance in allowing banks to create the national money supply as interest bearing debt. This can be important in helping people understand that the monetary power belongs with the United States government to promote the general welfare, not with the caprice of private bankers acting to promote their own corrupt interests.
This author knows of what he writes. He has done a lot of research on the subject of money and its issuance, and is the author of an excellent book entitled The Lost Science of Money.

Mali: Disregarded Lessons in ‘Humanitarian’ Intervention

Click here to access article by Jeremy R. Hammond from Foreign Policy Journal

I believe that the author gets the facts regarding Mali correctly, but fails to draw the proper conclusions. I don't think that Empire agents under the guise of "humanitarian intervention" disregard lessons; I think they are deliberately sowing chaos in Africa to justify intervening there and establishing permanent military bases, all, of course, directed toward the ultimate goal of exploiting African resources. They are not stupid.
Western powers are engaged in yet another military intervention, this time in Mali, a country whose troubles are in no small part a consequence of the U.S./NATO war on Libya to overthrow the regime of Muammar Gaddafi. And yet policymakers and political commentators are proving as disciplined as ever in disregarding the obvious lessons.

Is a united and effective climate movement possible?

Click here to access article by Trent Hawkins from Climate & Capitalism.
...we are faced with an unanswerable riddle. How to steer the boat away from the iceberg, when the captain and crew are convinced there is no iceberg, and the passengers are too busy enjoying themselves. How does a small group, aware of the problem, organize a mutiny in time?


Click here if you wish to access the source posting of the splendid 3:50m video posted by "old fart" at Dogma and Geopolitics.

Altogether now folks, let us join with the Brits in singing "bugger the bankers and politicians..." C'mon people, I can't hear you here in Bellingham, Washington. Louder!

Davos Still Pushes Failed Global Vision

Click here to access 10:15m video featuring an interview with Professor William Kurt Black who is an American lawyer, academic, author, and a former bank regulator. He is currently in Davos, Switzerland observing the World Economic Forum where banking and other corporate elites are meeting to discuss future policies. Black reports:
...I researched what in God's name the World Economic Forum actually does. And it has two primary products. One is this global competitiveness index, and the second is a global risk report. And I discovered that this competitiveness index is really a glorified expanded version of the Washington consensus. 

How Big Soda Co-Opted the NAACP and Hispanic Federation

Click here to access article by Nancy F. Huehnergarth from Huffington Post

The author cites two examples of how corporation philanthropy co-opts groups that might be potential adversaries and transforms them into political allies serving their corporate interests.
If you want a prime example of how Big Soda successfully uses its "philanthropy" (e.g., deep-pockets) to silence potential critics, look at the embarrassing mess in which the storied NAACP and the Hispanic Federation now find themselves embroiled.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Fossil Fuel Intransigence and Idle No More

Click here to access article by Bill Henderson from Brave New World.
By analogy, given the mounting scientific evidence of the dangers of second-hand smoke, especially for children, governments everywhere introduce laws banning smoking indoors and in public areas. But when it comes to climate change and agreements to control emissions the smokers just continue to smoke at home, in the car with the kids, around the dinner table; Dad, my Prime Minister Harper in Canada, blowing smoke rings of tarsands expansion into the rapt faces of the innocent kids.
Unfortunately, this Canadian author doesn't see the 500 pound guerrilla in the room which is driving humanity and many other species into their annihilation--the One Percent's addiction to power and wealth delivered to them by their beloved system of capitalism. This is a far bigger obstacle to change than powerful fossil fuel industries.

Davos: The Syria War Continuum and the Tripartite Energy War

Click here to access article by Christof Lehmann from nsnbc. (Note: this German writer's use of "stall mate" obviously means stalemate.)

The representatives of the world's One Percents are currently meeting at the annual World Economic Forum held at their favorite hangout, a ski resort in Davos, Switzerland. Lehmann's article provides background on one of the most contentious issues that will be dealt with at the forum--the fight over pipelines that will deliver gas from the huge PARS gas fields located in the Persian gulf between Qatar and Iran with Syria as a major transit point. 

The pipeline issue is seen by many political observers as a key issue driving the present Syrian war and threatens a future war with Iran. (For more background, see this excellent article by Pepe Escobar.) The pipeline issue, in turn, affects the value of the US dollar which has been imposed on much of the world by the US Empire. 
The energy security stall mate after the Russia – EU Summit in Bruxelles in December 2012 continues in Davos. Russian – European relations with regard to energy security have suffered considerably since the onset of the war in Syria. With the United States, using its political leverage to drive a wedge in between Russia and Europe, and with the cause of the Syria war still not being discussed openly and constructively, both Russia, Europe and the US-Dollar may be heading toward a deep freeze.
Although Russia since 1991 has returned to the capitalist world camp, that doesn't mean the end of conflicts among leading nations. The capitalist system always spawns numerous conflicts among One Percent elites for dominance with devastating results for the 99 Percents of the world. Need I remind you of the two world wars where German and Anglo-American One Percents competed for world dominance? The last, WWII, resulted in 65 million lives lost and probably five times that many with permanent disabilities. The present rivalries for world dominance include the One Percent ruling classes from the US Empire (NATO countries), China, and Russia.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Lance Armstrong and the world of professional sports

Click here to access article by David Walsh from World Socialist Web Site.

A ruling class puts it stamp of culture on the entire society: its values, behaviors, beliefs, etc. This is well illustrated by the example of Lance Armstrong and his ignoble history in sports. Of course, not everyone succumbs to such sociopathic behaviors seen everyday among leading figures in the ruling class, but those with latent sociopathic inclinations such as Armstrong are easily seduced by the rewards of fame and fortune to engage in such despicable behavior.
...the cycling champion’s ruthless outlook did not come out of the blue. Armstrong matured in the Reagan-Bush-Clinton years, when the “free market,” selfishness and greed were worshipped at every turn by the entire media and political establishment. “Force works,” declared the Wall Street Journal following the war on Iraq in 1990-91, and the notion that bullying and violence were the solution to each and every problem was communicated through the political system, popular culture and the sports industry.

One doesn’t want to exaggerate, but Armstrong, in his intimidation tactics, relentless, almost provocative, lying, and his apparent belief he could get away with anything, seems to have borrowed more than a little from official America’s relations with the rest of the globe over the past two decades.

A Leader’s Lexicon for the 21st Century

Click here to access article by Lesley Docksey from Dissident Voice.

Actually, I think that this lexicon could be very useful as tool to decode Empire propaganda for the more naive ordinary citizens among us, propaganda that is used daily to deceive and manipulate us into supporting their war crimes. This is the 21st century's version of Newspeak in which agents of the Empire have been trained to use when speaking to the 99 Percent through corporate media.

Idle No More: This Is About the Future

Click here to access article by Cathy Gerrior from Halifax Media Co-op. 

(This article is provided by ordinary Canadians who insist upon taking back media to serve the 99 Percent. To do this they have organized a network of media co-ops across their country. This is radical activism at its best.

In this time of destruction of the Earth's ecosystem, we Euro-Americans and others have much to learn from indigenous people who have had an intimate connection with the Earth and all living creatures.
Speakers and performers at Montréal's Idle No More protest

We are a proud people who know through many centuries of teachings that the Earth is our Mother, the Sky is our Father, the Moon is our Grandmother, and the Sun is our Grandfather. We know that all life, from the smallest grains of sand to the Eagles that fly high above us, to those that dwell under the earth as well as in the rivers and oceans, they are our Sisters and Brothers. We know that we are neither more, nor less important than they. And we know that it has always been, and always will be our responsibility to be caretakers of this land and its many life sources.

Seeing bias but supporting the architect of bias: We have a long way yet to go

Click here to access article by Pete Dolack from his blog Systemic Disorder.

In this essay the author looks at racism as suggested by the title: it is the structure or organization of society that fosters racism. Racism is just another way to divide workers from each other because the One Percents know that together workers present a formidable foe. In North America racism has been used as a prominent feature of class war because of the early history of European invasions on indigenous lands on this continent followed by the tremendous need for workers to transform the natural wealth that existed into commodities, and then into monetary wealth appropriated by the new capitalist class. 

Thus, African-Americans played a huge role in the economic development of North America, and likewise in US political developments by their crucial role in the Civil War: the Lincoln administration was forced to emancipate and recruit African-Americans to fight against the slave-holding southern aristocracy in order to prevent the country from being split in two.

Introduction to the Sociopathic Society

Click here if you wish to access source of this 5:07m video by Andrew Gavin Marshall from his blog.

Marshall provides a progress report on the book that he is currently working on and hints about a future project. We, the people, simply must support intellectual activists who have dedicated their lives to exposing the nefarious actions of the One Percent and provide information in order to construct just, peaceful societies that can exist without destroying the planet that we all share.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Noam Chomsky: From the Strategic Mind to the Radical Politics of Imagination

Click here to access article (Sorry, I didn't include the specific link. You can find the article here.) by Nozomi Hayase from Brave New World

I highly recommend this piece for people who have been tormented by issues related to voting in elections which are sponsored and managed by the One Percent, and/or for those who have been influenced or bothered by the voting recommendations by such notable figures on the left such as Chomsky. The author, in his very well-balanced critique of Chomsky and other left intellectuals, criticizes their political advice as informed by "a creed of objectivity". She explains:
The creed of objectivity creates an artificial separation between mind and heart. It trains researchers to consider themselves impartial and objective, as not affecting the outcome. Researchers trained in this identity as ‘neutral observers’ are divorced in their thinking from passion, morality and most of all the actions of their own will. This prevailing creed has helped to encourage citizens to feel passive, powerless or indifferent. With the absence of passionate citizens, democracy gets hollowed out to become a merely a game played by the rich and powerful. From climate change to militarism, extractive monetary policy to increasing poverty, reality gets abstracted and reduced to policies that serve only brutal commercial interests. 
I tend to see those who exhibit this "creed of objectivity" as compromising their political beliefs because of their own class interests. It is a way of rationalizing actions that do not appear to be consistent with their political views. While intellectuals in academia can provide important contributions to political analysis of issues, their own careers in institutions of higher learning can be severely threatened if they stray too far, especially if they act on their beliefs in ways that threaten the ruling class.

Also, regarding the issue of voting, I see no problem with employing "strategic thinking" by voting for candidates who may slow the inevitable attacks on working people's interests; however, one should never take voting in itself as a serious political act. I think that strategic voting may be justified on the basis of buying more time for progressive forces to get their act together so that they can organize effective political resistance.

War on terror forever

Click here to access article by Pepe Escobar from Asia Times Online.
And the winner of the Oscar for Best Sequel of 2013 goes to... The Global War on Terror (GWOT), a Pentagon production. Abandon all hope those who thought the whole thing was over with the cinematographic snuffing out of "Geronimo", aka Osama bin Laden, further reduced to a fleeting cameo in the torture-enabling flick Zero Dark Thirty. 
Welcome to the next sequel of the never-ending war on terror as described with much sarcasm by Escobar. He delights in pointing out the abundance of hypocrisy, deceptions, and delusions of the Empire builders. Well, isn't it better to laugh than to cry over the latest war crimes of the Empire? Actually, I do both. It seems that humor provides a "spoonful of sugar", and makes the reporting and reading of war crimes easier to swallow.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Coming Clean Beyond the Fiscal Cliff.

Click here to access article by Catherine Austin Fitts from Solari Report

This is a very complicated piece that is important because of the scarce information that the author provides about the inner workings of our government. She is highly qualified in that she served as an officer in an earlier elite investment bank (Dillon Read & Co.) and in a number of important federal government offices. She knows whereof she writes. 

The article is complicated in its structure which is introduced by an allegory that represents the mind-numbing reality that she goes into in more detail in her 22 Challenges. Several of the "Challenges" sections provide links to other articles which contain links, etc., mostly to articles she has written in the past about issues related to this theme of a government in financial disarray. Thus, a few times I found myself lost in the labyrinth of links. 

Some parts seem rather rough like a first draft, but other parts provide some real gems of insights as to the chaotic state of our their (the One Percent's) government's financial affairs. It is a story of secret black budgets, missing inventories, illegal operations, pilfered Social Security funds, outrageous accounting practices, etc. 

If you thought the accounting practices of Enron and Worldcom were bad, you may need to take an anti-depressant pill to handle this article. It is a mind-boggling story of the fleecing of America to enrich the One Percent and to build their world Empire, and the ruins of a nation in which we now live.

I recommend especially the first six "challenges" and the other sections related to economic matters which she is very qualified to write about.

Martin Luther King on America’s Wars Abroad & Their Impact on Civil Rights At Home

Click here to access article from Muftah.

For me, the thing I most admire about Martin Luther King on this legal holiday commemorating his birthday is how this giant of man continued to grow as a leader connecting one issue with another to finally see the whole picture of rule by a wealth-and-war obsessed ruling class. He grew from attacking racism that denied African-American workers opportunities, to understand that racism was used to divide workers in order to exploit them and that all American workers were exploited by this class; and then his final insight that the ruling elite used wars against workers all over the world. This was the last straw for the ruling class. They had to kill him. 

Of course, he knew that he was threatening them and that they probably would kill him, but his life was dedicated to speaking the truth in the face of lies, to social justice in the face of exploitation, and to liberation in the face of oppressive power. His life illustrated the finest characteristics of human nature in contrast to Obama who is someone who has sold his soul to power for the hollow rewards of short-term fame and fortune. During our time, we desperately need the courage of Martin Luther King to continue the fight against our class enemy, and we need his dedication to the establishment of just, sustainable societies.

Goldman Sachs cashes in, world on brink of food crisis

The brief video report from RT is posted here to introduce an article following the video that provides an excellent understanding of futures commodity markets, their history, and the deregulation of them which has led to the crises as depicted in the video.

I encourage you to gain a deeper understanding of this issue by reading this report entitled "How Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Other Financial Institutions Are speculating With Food at the Expense of the Poorest from Foodwatch (Germany).

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Is Mali The Real Target?

Click here to access article by Bernhard, an American blogger who blogs at Moon of Alabama.

Although it is clear that the Empire is doing all it can to establish beachheads in Africa, France may have slightly different motives for their current overt military actions. This blogger looks at the prized resources of Algeria and the history of this former French colony for clues. It appears that Algerian authorities are not cooperating in these imperial adventures.
...there are indeed some signs that outer forces, mostly the U.S. and the French, have - sometimes competing - designs for the wider area of which the rather rich Algeria is a part. 

In Greece, the criminals live in other Villas

Click here to access article by Leonidas Oikonomakis from Reflections on a Revolution
Claiming to fight lawlessness and chaos, the Greek state is cracking down on one of the last bulwarks against fascism: the anarchist squats of Athens.
The author notes that many people see the squats as...
 “free spaces”, “temporary autonomous zones”, “cracks in capitalism”, where a different way of life can be practiced and experimented with — a non-capitalistic and non-hierarchical space, in which direct democracy and social solidarity thrive, proving that another world is possible. 
That is precisely why the proto-fascist Greek state is attacking them. They are an example of a way of organizing life than is totally antithetical to a capitalist organization of society where hierarchy, exclusive rights to economic property, and selfishness reigns. They are a major threat to the self-serving, parasitic One Percent, and therefore must be crushed.