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, July 20, 2013

US- South Africa War Games: The Pentagon’s Hidden Agenda is to Make “Africans fight Africans”

Click here to access article by Michel Chossudovsky from Global Research.

Referring to statements made by a South African military leader, Chossudovsky writes:
What these official statements imply is that The Republic of South Africa is slated to participate in US-NATO sponsored “humanitarian interventions” directed against other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, which have been tagged by Washington as  “unstable nations”.
However, if you examine the statements made by another South African commander, I think one can arrive at another objective which we have seen obtained elsewhere by US forces, most recently, in Egypt: the cultivation of social ties between US military officers and their counterparts in the target countries.  
Col. Vuka Sean Mahlasela, 44th Parachute Regiment commander, South African National Defense Force, or SANDF, said the exercise helped both forces learn to cooperate with each other and improved the relationship between U.S. and South Africa.
“Joint and multinational operations have become the norm of the day. The national defense forces play a very significant role to be able to operate with regional, international and multinational forces to test tactics and share skills and knowledge as well as to learn from each other as multinational forces,” Mahlasela said.
Of course, we can expect such social ties to be strongly reinforced with military aid and other perks of a more personal nature such as junkets to the US. This results in the integration of top military leaders of the targeted country with the US Empire which the directors of the latter can use against resistance forces within the targeted country as we see in Egypt.

Egypt Cabinet, Constitutional Decree Show Who Holds Power

Click here to access article by Sarah El Sirgany posted in Al Akhbar

Referring to numerous reactionary appointments under the interim Egyptian government, she writes:
Taking the participation of state institutions and its supporting, conservative segments of society in the June 30 protests, these developments are hardly surprising. The military and the state remain the dominant force in the background that can accept or reject demands. This is met with defiant optimism by some activists hopeful they would eventually wrestle change or somber resolve that the fight for radical change is going to be a long, arduous one.
See also this piece from Muftah entitled " Egypt: A New Cabinet for the Old State".

This land is your land [not], this land is gas land

Click here to access article by Peter Rugh from Waging Nonviolence
The Obama Administration has proposed new regulations for hydraulic fracturing on 756 million acres of public and tribal lands. The rules were written by the drilling industry and will be streamlined into effect by a new intergovernmental task force, established by the president, to promote fracking — a practice that has been linked to water poisoning, air pollution, methane emissions and, most recently, earthquakes. 

Keep Calm… And Leave The Violence To Them?

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

The author confronts the hypocrisy and/or the shallowness of those who preach non-violent political resistance. I have witnessed this theme urgently professed by certain people at every activist movement I've participated in over the past 50 years; so much so that at times I've wondered if it wasn't being orchestrated by hidden actors and a questionable agenda. The most widely known example of someone who quite literally preaches violence-is-evil-if-perpetrated-by-activists is Chris Hedges who always gets considerable coverage in liberal-left media. See this, this, and this.

But Mickey Z. does not go far enough. His emphasis on animal cruelty, wiping out of native populations, and the use of violence against 3rd world people to obtain minerals avoids any discussion of the economic system that promotes such violence. Thus, his analysis is also moralistic and shallow. Both Mickey Z. and Chris Hedges exemplify where the main activist orientation is in the US, and why it has been unable to challenge a ruling class whose power is derived from the system of capitalism.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Revealed: Gen. David Petraeus’ course syllabus features ‘Frackademia’ readings

Click here to access article by Steve Horn from DeSmogBlog.

The author uses Gen. Petreus as an example to illustrate how ruling class directors circulate trusted figures in their financial-industrial-military capitalist complex in key areas of society, in this case academia, to insure their control over society. With such figures controlling what is taught in major institutions of higher learning, they secure control over ideology; hence what and how people think about ruling class interests, policies, and actions.

While examining Petraeus' course syllabus, he discovers that...
...two crucial studies [pro-fracking] on the syllabus reading list - and the lack of critical readings on the topic of fracking - offers a glimpse into the stamp of legitimacy industry-funded studies get when they have the logo of elite research universities on them. It's also another portrayal of the ascendancy of the corporate university.
Of course, capitalist ruling classes have always exercised control over all sections of society as much as they could. The only difference nowadays is that their increasingly concentrated power provides them with the will and the means to exercise every greater direct control. This tendency is perfectly natural within a system which supports concentration of wealth and power in ever fewer hands. As a system it is now achieving its ultimate destiny. The only problem is that it is a system that is completely incompatible with an ecosystem that can sustain human and many other life forms.

We Must Grasp Reality to Build Effective Resistance

Click here if you wish to access source of this 10:16m interview with Chris Hedges and the transcript from Real News Network.

This appears to be an opening segment of a multi-part interview with a quintessential moralist and resistor of Empire policies who never strays beyond benign protests. In this segment he once again demonstrates that he has difficulty naming the system that is driving us to extinction.

Georgia: The New CIA-NATO Arab Terrorist Training Center

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

Learn a bit more about the Empire's terrorists, who they train and where.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Banking on Influence With Bank of America

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

In this segment of his Global Power Project the Canadian researcher trains his perceptive eyes on Bank of America and its directors. First he reports on their nefarious and criminal activities to show that they are, indeed, "banksters". Then he proceeds to locate them in the ruling institutions of our society: leading "think" tanks, corporations, leading policy centers such as the Business Roundtable and Council on Foreign Relations, major media, and prominent educational institutions. From their locations in these top institutions they direct their vast resources and influence to the three branches of our their government to insure that government operations serve their interests. 

What is not mentioned in the article is the direct influence these decision-makers have over the secret surveillance agencies (CIA, FBI, NSA, etc) of the government that can be used against government officials in a disciplinary way (see this). 
...Sibel Edmonds reflects on Russ Tice’s recent revelations to Boiling Frogs Post and The Corbett Report that the NSA has wiretapped top government officials for years. Edmonds discusses from her own experience how the FBI collects dirt on Congressman and public officials for use as political leverage.
Such information is, of course, exceedingly difficult to obtain.

The Michael Hastings Wreck–Video Evidence Only Deepens the Mystery

Click here to access article by Michael Krikorian and David J. Krajicek from WhoWhatWhy.

There are a number of facts about the "accident" that don't add up. In addition, Los Angeles police handling of the event raised some suspicions. These facts plus the fact that the victim was an investigative journalist who wrote articles not pleasing to the shadow government suggests another possibility. Unfortunately, the video evidence the authors refer to is not included in the article.

Also, view this report on a San Diego TV station which provides some other details and perspectives:

ReThink911: The Evidence Might Surprise You

Click here to access article and 3:31m video from ReThink911.

There is an abundance of questions posed by scientists, engineers, and architects which cast severe doubts about the government's version of this event. Concerned people across the world are appealing for your support to get the message out to more people.
ReThink911 is the first ever global 9/11 anniversary campaign. Sponsored by a coalition of more than 40 organizations, ReThink911 will be seen in 11 major cities around the world this September 2013.
The campaign will include outdoor and transit advertising on subways, taxi tops and billboards worldwide, coupled with grassroots actions involving thousands of concerned citizens and guerilla advertising in the form of bumper stickers, lawn signs, t-shirts and more. ReThink911 will launch on September 1st and continue for the entire month of September.
Join us in this historic effort.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Why Doesn’t the Government Use Its Mass Surveillance to Bust the Big Criminals … the Banksters?

Click here to access article from Washington's Blog.

That is an easy question to answer, except for indoctrinated Americans. The banksters are the government! Let me break it down for you. 

Capitalism is the system governing the US. (No, at this stage of capitalism called neo-liberalism the government hasn't anything to do with civil rights or rule of law in spite of what you have been taught.) A capitalist system promotes the concentration of wealth, therefore POWER, in fewer and fewer hands. The banking sector is the core profit center, or engine, of the capitalist system. Therefore banksters and their corporate allies, who in today's world have so much concentrated wealth (POWER), no longer need to play by the rules. They have taken over government.  

However, for some reason the banksters and their corporate allies keep maintaining the fantasy, and many citizens are all too willing to collaborate with them, that government is controlled by people who are chosen in free and open elections. Sooner or later, sufficient numbers of people will wake up and smell reality, and they will feel a responsibility to change things. Then you will see banksters and their other corporate allies shed all pretense and openly declare a police state. And they are well prepared to do this: the infrastructure of a police state has already been put in place--prisons, full spectrum surveillance, militarized police forces, centralization of police forces under the Department of Homeland Security, etc.

How to Boycott Big Tech

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

This brief article is an introduction to a James Corbett 18:08m video that provides valuable information on ways to circumvent NSA spying on your internet and email activities, and to boycott big tech companies that are collaborating with spy agencies. The video is available to subscribers, while a shortened version and an even longer transcript are available to everyone. I strongly encourage people to subscribe to this website which is doing so much to combat Empire lies, secrecy, and surveillance on citizens. 

Hunger Strike in the Empire of Dungeons

Click here to access article by Glen Ford from Black Agenda Report
Prisons – especially prison systems designed by diabolical American minds – are meant to break men’s wills, to make them non-persons, groveling masses of flesh. Solitary confinement is the ultimate tool of the man-breaker, narrowing the scope of human activity to the bare functions of processing food into waste. For a person so restricted, the only mode of resistance available is to refuse to eat.

One day in 1990 I drove by Pelican State Prison in Crescent City, California--I was horrified. I saw an enormous, windowless concrete structure that looked like a scene from a film about a future fascist state. This picture--the best I could find--does not fully capture what I saw.  

See also this, this, and this.

Top US official meets with Egyptian junta as crackdown continues

Click here to access article by Chris Marsden from World Socialist Web Site

The fingerprints of US involvement in Egyptian affairs are evident everywhere, and the Egyptian people are becoming aware of how their government is guided by Empire interests. Can such lessons lead to a solid revolutionary consciousness? Stay tuned, better yet, stay active and informed.
Above all the US wants to ensure that the military is in a position to stabilise the present situation and then press ahead with massive austerity measures targeting the working class.

How free markets corrode your character

Click here to access article by Lars Syll from Real-World Economics Review.
It seems that the impersonal market diminishes the feeling of personal responsibility. Guilt is divided when trading takes the place of explicit individual decisions. The observation of others engaging in ethically questionable behaviour might increase the willingness to follow suit.

For Edward Snowden: Letter to a Wound

Click here to access article by Vijay Prashad from CounterPunch.
Thousands such as yourself are sucked into the system, promised free dinners and expensive houses, afforded the electric proximity to power as an elixir against ethics. What they did not understand is that people like you who have such capability in your fingertips are also afforded a brain, and that the brain is an unreliable servant. .... You are not alone. There are many like you who are equally unmoored from the work that you have been doing for the world disorder.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Coup or a Continuation of the Revolution?

Click here to access the introduction to this excellent 6:59m video by the Mosireen collective from Jadaliyya.
According to Mosireen, Egyptians should draw strength in this battle from the revolutionary struggles ongoing in Brazil, Turkey, Greece, Chile, and Spain. In all these places, people are confronting their states' repression, and turning to the street instead of the ballot box to express their demands.

How capitalism's great relocation pauperised America's 'middle class'

Click here to access article by Richard Wolff from The Guardian.

He reviews the abandonment of the early centers of production by corporations which saw greater profit opportunities elsewhere. Then he poses some very important questions regarding the future:
Will capitalism in its old centers of North America, Europe and Japan be able to hold the grudging support of their working classes, as it now delivers long-term declines of wages, working conditions, and living standards? Can capitalism achieve the social acceptance in the new centers that its first 200 years found in the old centers?

How the ANC's Faustian pact sold out South Africa's poorest

Click here to access article by Ronnie Kasrils from The Guardian

The writer for the liberal publication only hints at the answer to how ANC's leadership "sold out", or more accurately, was co-opted by mining moguls in South Africa.
...by late 1993 big business strategies – hatched in 1991 at the mining mogul Harry Oppenheimer's Johannesburg residence – were crystallising in secret late-night discussions at the Development Bank of South Africa. Present were South Africa's mineral and energy leaders, the bosses of US and British companies with a presence in South Africa – and young ANC economists schooled in western economics. They [the latter] were reporting to Mandela, and were either outwitted or frightened into submission by hints of the dire consequences for South Africa should an ANC government prevail with what were considered ruinous economic policies. (my emphasis)
I don't think that they were "either outwitted or frightened into submission". I think that they likely saw that they personally could reap big benefits in terms of wealth and power by cooperating with the capitalists' agenda.

Post navigation ← Older posts Spying? Who cares? Profits are at stake!

Click here to access article by Pete Dolack from Systemic Disorder
Actions do speak louder than words, and thus the start of European Union-United States trade talks as previously scheduled would seem to hold more weight than European political leaders’ displays of public anger at the extent of the spying against them.
Resignation to their subordinate status, the extent of their own spying networks and the knowledge that considerable dirty work is necessary to remain a leading capitalist country are among the contradictory factors at work here. So, too, is a willingness by European leaders to rely on the U.S. to perform much of the dirty work, while European big business needs to sell to U.S. consumers. Business is business at the end of the day. Or at the (hoped) end of the scandal. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

The “Insider Threat”

Click here to access article by Annie Machon from her blog Using our Intelligence.

The author points to some inconsistencies in the way that the Empire directors are dealing with the current generation of whistleblowers compared to real spies and subversives. The comparison is apt, but her interpretation is off the mark. This illustrates how a thorough ruling class indoctrination makes invisible any kind of class considerations and leads one to a false interpretation. The following is the conclusion of her article:
What we are wit­ness­ing is a gen­er­a­tional clash, not a clash of ideo­lo­gies. The old­sters still be believe in the Cold War nar­rat­ive (or even “cow­boys and Indi­ans”?) of good­ies, bad­dies and exist­en­tial threats. The digital gen­er­a­tions have grown up in the wake of 9/11 and all the asso­ci­ated gov­ern­mental over-reaction — war crimes go unre­por­ted and untried, real civil liber­ties are an his­toric arte­fact, and the global pop­u­la­tion lives under Big Brother sur­veil­lance. Why on earth is any­one, really, sur­prised when young people of hon­our and ideal­ism try to take a stand and make a difference?
With all major countries in the world under capitalist rule, there is no longer a threat posed by any major country such as the Soviet Union to the system of capitalism. Now it's all about competition between ruling elites, and as such the conflicts between them are much like any sports competition: fouls (spying) are permitted and there are orderly rules for dealing with them. 

Nowadays what we are seeing is a world dominated by global capitalist elites versus their own populations. Class wars have now gone global, and ordinary people and heroic individuals are increasingly aware of this and are fighting back. We ordinary people throughout the world are now the enemy of the global capitalist elites. Therefore, this apparent inconsistency is not due to inter-generational orientations, but to the fact that capitalism has gone global, and its inherent component of class war likewise. This is precisely why the US has trained and armed so many police forces across the world to deal with domestic insurrections. Have you noticed that anti-riot police all look and act the same the world over?

There is an inter-generational factor present that has produced the recent whistleblowers--Julian Assange, Bradley Manning, and Edward Snowden--who were doubtlessly influenced by a "geek" sub-culture where the internet is seen as "free, and which wants to guar­an­tee that it will remain free without Big Brother watch­ing over their shoulders." However, inter-generational differences do not explain why the government is so aggressively going after them.

(Later) I suddenly realized that she was a former British MI5 agent, and this required an additional comment. The Brits are not innoculated against seeing class war as are Americans. And having been in the MI5 service, she is no doubt very sophisticated about matters political. Could she consciously be engaging in damage control over the West's aggressive pursuit of these whistleblowers? Or is my conspiracy-infested mind merely acting up again? You decide.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Brzezinski: US Warmongers “Infected” By Notion Of Regional Destabilization

Click here to access article by Jurriaan Maessen from ExplosiveReports.

The author sheds some light on Empire strategies in the Middle East by reporting on recent comments made by the old "cold warrior" and Empire director, Zbigniew Brzezinski.
Former Secretary of State Zbigniew Brzezinski has come out to comment on the volitile nature of America’s current hawkish position towards Syria, stating in an interview on June 24 that he suspects certain neoconservative factions to be “infected” with the notion of destabilizing Israel’s neighbors in the Middle-East. 
In contrast to neoconservative directors such as Kissinger, he opposes this strategy and thinks it will ultimately result in the destruction of the Empire's fortress in the Middle East--hence, not in the Empire's interest.

Please note that the use of the polite word "destabilizing" is a euphemism to cover war crimes associated with the Salvador Option that has worked so effectively first in Central America and Columbia, then Yugoslavia, and more recently in Iraq, Libya, and now Syria.

Egypt: Who is filling the power vacuum?

Click here to access article by Manlio Dinucci from Tlaxcala.

The author provides a brief, but very accurate explanation of the two primary methods used by Empire directors to control Egyptian affairs.

Unravelling the spin: a guide to corporate rights in the EU-US trade deal

Click here to access article from Corporate Europe Observatory (based in the Netherlands).
This week marks the first round of negotiations for a far-reaching transatlantic trade deal. In the face of growing opposition to plans for expanded corporate powers in the proposed pact, the European Commission is trying to dispel concerns with propaganda.
The article then proceeds to demolish eight types of themes which the corporate world is using in an effort to sell Europeans on the trade deal. From this article it appears that Europeans are much more aware of this neoliberal project to subordinate national interests to corporate interests than are Americans. Here in the US there is almost no media coverage of these secret trade negotiations.
...here’s what investor-state dispute settlement in the proposed EU-US trade deal is really about: exacerbating the imbalance between corporations and the 99% by granting a powerful weapon to fight regulation of some of the world's most powerful multinationals. They will use that weapon to enshrine existing inequalities and launch a toxic attack on [bourgeois] democracy, both in the EU and the US.

Local Lawmaking: A Call for a Community Rights Movement

Click here to access article by Thomas Linzey from The PeaceWorker
...as communities have begun to move on their own, they’ve begun to ask some really tough questions of progressives, such as: if we really have government of, by, and for a small corporate minority, then does sending letters, filing lawsuits, or trying to elect the right people make any kind of difference at all?

It is here that these communities have departed from exhausted liberal beliefs – namely, the belief that we live in a democracy, and all we have to do is find a way to activate it so that it works in our favor. Instead, these communities – and the brave elected officials and community leaders who are now walking hand-in-hand with them – have seen this myth for what it is, and have begun to plow an entirely new path.
I see this local political effort as a useful tool to educate ordinary people about what kind of "democracy" they live in. Only with such lessons learned can they organize effective ways to take back power.