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, March 22, 2014

The Long-Distance Executioners: Camus in the Time of Drones

Click here to access article by Jeffrey St. Clair from CounterPunch.

St. Clair makes a compelling argument that the use off drones as killing machines is a new terrorist weapon employed by Empire directors "to humiliate, subdue and dehumanize" their targeted populations.
The conscience of the killer has been sterilized, the drone operator, fully alienated from the act he is committing, can walk out the door after his shift is over and calmly order an IPA at the local microbrew or play a round of golf under the desert sky. He is left with no blood on his hands, no savagery weighing on his conscience, no degrading images to stalk his dreams.

Drone strikes, Camus would argue, are not just meant to kill. They are programmed to terrorize. In this regard, whether the missile strikes its intended target or incinerates a goat-herder and his flock is incidental. In fact, the occasional killing of civilians may well be a desired outcome since collateral deaths intensify the fear. This is punishment by example, not for any particular crime or impending threat, but merely because of who you are, where you live, what you might believe. These new circuitries of death are meant to humiliate, subdue and dehumanize.

New documentary: Bosnia and Herzegovina in Spring

Click here to access article from Global Uprisings

This post contains a recently released 14:40m film documenting the recent uprising in Bosnia and Herzegovina (one country) that was created out of the former Yugoslavia mostly by major capitalist powers including the US and Russia at Dayton, Ohio in 1995 (Dayton Accords). We see a lot of familiar elements here as we have seen elsewhere where capitalist governments take over from nations that had considerable state control over the economy: privatization of the economy, the assumption of loans from major capitalist finance agencies (IMF and World Bank), and in this case, balkanization of a former state run economy. 

Beginning in February of this year there have been widespread protests against the government that, in some cases, have grown into riots. This documentary explains what is happening there.

Russian sanctions as war and farce

Click here to access article by Pepe Escobar from Asia Times Online.

With his usual cutting wit, he ridicules the latest sanctions imposed on Russia by the Obama administration to punish the Russians for interfering in the Empire's regime-change project for Ukraine and also for their other impudent actions regarding Syria and Iran. They have to be taught a lesson about which capitalist gang rules the world's neighborhood.

However, I think he, and other critics, miss the point of these sanctions: they are mostly designed to appease the right-wing in the Empire's ruling class and to satisfy indoctrinated Americans after their bellicose condemnation of Russian actions.

Meanwhile, other knowledgeable people are trying to figure out the delayed effects of this event and the next moves on the global chessboard as the capitalist gangs line up in their game called "world dominance". Tyler Durban at Zero Hedge sees Russia cozening up to China and India. Manlio Dinucci sees an increase in NATO power in Europe in his piece "The new Cold War 'shield'" and also sees this result:
...Washington has scored the first point: the mounting tension in Europe enables the U.S. to increase its influence over its European allies.
It is quite literally a game to these capitalist elites, but a game which often has dire consequences for us. As long as we allow them and their system to exist, we will never have peace or a sustainable ecosystem.

Unfun Unions Would Trash Our Fun, Fast, Friendly Culture (Not to Mention Require A Living Wage) Says Target's New Agit-Prop

Click here to access article by Abby Zimet from Common Dreams. 

Wage slaves in USA

Target doesn't like unions - maybe because, as America's third-largest retailer with 2012 revenues of $73.3 billion, it can get away with paying its CEO $24 million a year, or $14,000 an hour, while paying its average sales "team member" less than $17,000 a year....

Fifth Avenue Freeze-Out: Uptowners, Feeling Chill, Eye Miami Over Manhattan: 'Don't hate me because I'm 10021.'

Click here to access article by Richard Kirshenbaum from New York Observer. (Satire)

This is another contribution to my frequent practice on Saturdays to run articles about our fellow citizens of the One Percent (actually .01 of the 1%, or one out of every 10,000 of us) hoping that by doing this that we don't lose touch with their world and their concerns--you know, to promote understanding. It is important that we become better acquainted so that we can serve them better and make it easier for them to carry out the daily burden of making important decisions, decisions which affect whether we go off to war in foreign lands to kill their enemies, if we have jobs, if we live in a home or under a bridge, if we can afford their health care services, education, etc.

Unfortunately, for some reason they tend to hide their lives from the rest of us behind walls of secrecy, literal walls of guarded gated communities, private clubs, esoteric publications, by traveling with private jets, etc. We should not let that deter us. 

I think that this piece, which is from one of the favorite publications of the New York rich, describes very well some of their leisure time activities and supplies us with a number of quotes from conversations that gives us a rich understanding of their views and concerns.

My first impression was from the sub-headline which expressed feelings of not being liked by us in the 99 Percent simply because they live in a certain area. ("10021" refers to a zip-code where the rich live in Manhattan. The Hamptons on Long Island is another such place he refers to.) They are a aware of the existence of "haves" and "have-nots", but they resent being blamed for this development. As one friend of his explains:
“This weather really has me down,” he shivered, wrapped in a khaki wool coat and a Russian-style military hat. “And then you realize you’re out of favor and that everyone hates you,” he complained.

“How can you say that?” I asked in disbelief. “Who hates you?”

“Them,” he shivered, eating the lonely saltine left in the cellophane wrapper, crumbs pouring onto his rough, woolen trousers. “We used to run this town. Now I feel like they want to run us all out.”
The rest of the article points to other people, particularly an Italian friend named Bella, who are bothered by such feelings, but mostly I think they are understated. I think that they don't want to be seen by us as wallowing in self-pity. After all, they are our masters and we must look up to them for leadership. 
My second impression was that they are very modest. I'm referring to Kirshenbaum's introduction of his first pal as only a "Wall Street friend". I imagine that he is very likely a hedge fund manager who has to toil daily over his office computer making huge bets using money from pension funds, insurance companies, municipal funds, etc. I think this must be very nerve-wracking. What if he lost a lot of these bets and wrecked the economy? He would feel embarrassed in front of his colleagues and be seen as a loser. This would only further aggravate his feelings of being disliked, this time by his own rich set. And with regard to Kirshenbaum's background, we only learn at the end of the article that he is a CEO of some new venture firm. With further research I learned that he is also a co-founder of this firm which is a major ad agency.

Other people are only identified as a "financial whiz", people from Italy, and a friend who happens to have multiple homes in several countries. Well, of course, these people have global investments that they must look after. What do you expect--that they should be homeless when they visit these countries?

Besides learning what they do to enjoy their free time, we get to sort of listen in on their conversations which are similar to ours--you know, about the weather and other such trivia. For example, our hero the author...
...goes to a swanky bar and meets a woman friend.... “These days, I have to wear a reversible fur when I go downtown,” [I guess this must be a comment on the cold weather] one of the queens of couture sighed with disbelief, knocking back a cosmopolitan at an uptown hotel bar....
“I mean, the very fact that I would be jeered at and pilloried in my own backyard for wearing a sheared dyed mink,” she droned on. “Well it’s just unconscionable. I don’t jeer at them for not showering and shaving and wearing patchouli oil, which I find equally offensive.”

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Ukrainian Revolution & the Future of Social Movements

Click here to access article by CrimethInc. Workers' Collective from their website. (Appears to be based in Salem, Oregon.)

I and many others think that a thorough study of what happened in Ukraine is of utmost importance if we, ordinary people, have any chance of surviving in a decent world. Although this collective does not clearly identify themselves as anarchists in their "about" page, from their writings, and this one in particular, they clearly express an anarchist perspective. 

I've never been able to identify my own political orientation even though I have agreed with some elements in various left ideologies. This has been especially true of anarchism about which I've always experienced a lot of ambivalence. It looks to me like that this piece may be helpful in clearing up most of my confusion in addition to offering a very thoughtful examination of recent Ukrainian events. Therefore, while my following comments may seem like a digression from the article's examination, I think it adds clarity to the latter.

In this article as in so many anarchist writings, one sees an emphasis placed on the "state" and governments which rule states. Anarchists are fundamentally anti-authoritarians and, of course, states and their governments are inherently authoritarian. Socioeconomic class concepts are sometimes inserted in their discussions, but their importance is lost in the background because the state is so dramatically thrust into the foreground. Thus the state becomes an independent actor in the drama of human affairs, according to anarchists, and I think that this perspective is clearly reflected in this article.
A variety of capitalists and state actors must be evaluating these protest movements as a way to pursue politics by other means. As more resources flow into the hands of reactionary participants in social struggles, we will likely see more developments like those in Ukraine and Venezuela.

Likewise, powerful governments will not stand by and let common people get a taste for overthrowing them. They will be pressed to intervene, as Russia has in Ukraine, in hopes that war can trump insurrection. War is a way of shutting down possibilities—of changing the subject. It is a risky business, however—it can help governments to consolidate their power, but history shows that it can also destabilize them.

With war looming, even the limits of violent nationalism become obvious. Mere protest militancy is worthless in the face of the Russian military; only contagious disobedience could serve to even the odds when a social movement does battle with a superpower. This is the one thing anarchist opposition to the state has going for it today: in a globalized world, all insurrections must ultimately become international or perish.
I argue that states (and their governments) are creations of the capitalist class to serve the competing interests of capitalist players and to establish the legitimacy of their class rule in the eyes of their working class subjects. Capitalist propaganda has always portrayed the state as serving all of society. This is explicitly expressed in national documents where one encounters such words as "of the people, by the people, and for the people", "inalienable rights" of people, and a "Bill of Rights" as in the US constitution. They have continually affirmed in their propaganda and indoctrination that they have established "democratic" governments and the "rule of law" that supports all people. (Of course, the reality is completely different: rights and access to their legal system, as well as everything else, all depends on how much money you have.) 

Victorious capitalist classes merely substituted state concepts in place of kingdoms after taking power from monarchs and aristocracies. They did this originally to enlist the support of working people to overthrow the rule of the old feudal authorities. When their victories were accomplished, they were stuck with all the promises contained in their propaganda and thus had to create new authoritarian structures which pretend to be "democratic". Hence, their construction of the concept of "state".

Ukraine signs political deal with EU

Click here to access article from euronews.

Notice the language used by the European Council President Herman Van Rompuy regarding the new deal that the European Union made with the coup-established government of Ukraine that violently overthrew the previously elected government with considerable Western aid:
“It recognises the aspiration of the people of Ukraine to live in a country governed by values, by democracy and the rule of law, where all citizens have a stake in national prosperity,” said European Council President Herman Van Rompuy.

UkrainianGirl - Breaks Down Media Lies

A 21:37m YouTube video interview conducted by SyrianGirlpartisan with UkrainianGirl.

How refreshing to hear ordinary knowledgeable people discussing political conflicts! UkrainainGirl provides all the nuances of what is going on in her tragic country that is missing from class-biased Empire media. Unfortunately, we will always have these insurrections and wars as long as so many ordinary people remain disengaged from political issues, allow class-structured societies to exist, and allow ruling classes to enlist ordinary people to fight and kill each other to promote the interests of one ruling class over another. Meanwhile, the conditions for ordinary people remain the same, and it is they who end up suffering.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Beyond Neoliberal Miseducation

Click here to access article by Henry A. Giroux from Uncommon Thought Journal. 

This educator has written a lot about the deterioration of education under the onslaught of neoliberals and their ideology. He certainly identifies the deleterious effects that they have had on education. However, he falls far short of a fundamental critique that can liberate us from the juggernaut of capitalist control that is adversely affecting all of our lives, and is even now threatening to destroy conditions on our planet Earth that can sustain human life.

In this piece the liberal educator appears to pretend to be more radical than other liberals. Of course, the political spectrum in the US has shifted so far to the right that he is able to make such an argument. Because of his limited perspective, I hesitated to post this article on my website. However, social critics like this are given such wide exposure on the web that I thought that, once again, it is necessary to poke holes in it. 

One of the first indications of his limited political perspective as expressed in this article was his criticisms of Obama. This is a fundamental error of political understanding that will lead many people to avoid a deeper, and more accurate, understanding of how capitalists rule today. I am referring to the existence of a ruling class that functions with a shadow government that essentially issues orders to their agents in the formal institutions. I have no idea if he does this deliberately as a ruling class ideological gatekeeper, or if he is blinded by his long immersion in capitalist institutions. (The same observation applies to Chris Hedges.)

He identifies the "evil doers" in today's society as mostly neoliberals, but also names the "corporate class", corporations, and "casino capitalism". However, it is clear that he only takes issue with the latest stage of capitalism--not capitalism itself--which has outgrown national boundaries and is now gone global. Thus, capitalists, who dominated much of the rest of world to favor their own national economies, have now abandoned their home nations, removed all boundaries inhibiting the flow of commerce, and now see the world as their oyster. The only purpose that their national bases provide for them is the supply of weapons and training for their military forces. Thus, the huge developments of the military-industrial complex in NATO countries, a police state with 24/7 surveillance of communications, austerity policies, and increasing corporate influence over all aspects of education (and all other institutions) to serve corporate needs about which Giroux is so knowledgeable.

Ending the affair between polluters and politicians

Click here to access article from Corporate Europe Observatory

(Note: Once again I've experienced difficulty accessing articles on their website--actually even worse this morning. Thus, if you have problems, to save time I advise you to load a similar article from Climate Connections that expresses the same theme.)

If you follow this website you have read numerous articles about the influence of industries on the governments of Europe and their interference with climate policies that reduce carbon emissions. The same phenomenon, of course, applies to the USA. 

Let me say first that such articles are excellent to help us gain an understanding of how the capitalist version of democracy works. The problem I have is that they never go beyond their theme of industry interference in climate rehabilitation policies. They refuse to admit that capitalism and sustainable climate policies cannot coexist. As long as societies are ruled by a narrow segment of capitalists, the latter will inevitably destroy biospheric conditions that can support human and many other life forms.

In article after article the website's authors provide interesting details on how industry leaders have such easy informal as well as formal access to European official political leaders. Referring to informal contacts, they will make frequent statements like this:
They meet at birthday parties, over breakfast meetings, during cocktail receptions; so just how close are Europe’s dirtiest industries to senior politicians and regulators?
And they will give specific examples:
“Early July I had the pleasure of sharing a dinner table with Commissioner Oettinger at the birthday celebrations of Dr Klaus Mangold in Munstertal [Executive Adviser to the Chairman of DaimlerChrysler] .... I was wondering if he [Oettinger] would have some time either after the breakfast, or perhaps over dinner the evening before, to continue
our conversation from Munstertal about the future of energy and CO2in Europe.”

Email from Shell executive to the European Commission
They go on to discuss the massive lobbying efforts of industry. They report on closed door meetings between business leaders and government officials which are followed up by formal meetings where the former are again given priority over those concerned about carbon emissions. They acknowledge that there is a revolving door between industry and government positions. But, they stop short of recognizing that there is a ruling class consisting of capitalists who thoroughly control political institutions along with all other institutions in society. They always stop short of recognizing the basic contradiction between the short-term profit dynamics of capitalism and a sustainable biosphere.

The website's cartoons illustrate the same limited perspective. This one merely suggests that the European business man will go the way of the dinosaurs, but in reality human beings will go that way if we continue to allow this class and their system to rule over us. 

Trickle-up economics

Click here to access article by Lars Syll from Real-World Economics Review Blog. 
"Once you realize that trickle-down economics does not work, you will see the excessive tax cuts for the rich as what they are--simple upward redistribution of income, rather that a way to make all of us richer, as we were told."

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

De-Manufacturing Consent- “Boston Bombing Revisited: Official Narrative Unraveling”

Click here to access videos in which contain an interview with investigative journalist Russ Baker regarding his further research's into the Boston Bombing incident.

The first video is a 5 minute excerpt of the longer 55 minute interview--the latter being accessed by subscribers only.

If you are a non-subscriber, I hope after listening to the first short video that you will subscribe. However, if for whatever reason you cannot or decide not to do this, you can access much of the material in written form in two articles on Russ Baker's website, here and here

The latest material which Russ Baker provides casts considerable doubts on the official version pedaled by mainstream media. We have seen many investigations which found that the official versions of the many incidents from Nine-Eleven to the Boston Bombing are not supported by the evidence. (See this, this, this, and this.) Many keen observers have concluded that inducing fear in people through false-flag terrorism is being used for a variety of nefarious purposes.

Just today I viewed the latest attempt to do this while view CBS morning news on television which reported on a supposed Al Qaeda plan to bomb cars and other civilian targets in cities across the US. Their source is an online magazine whose authenticity they take for granted even though numerous questions have been raised about its authenticity in the past.

Nightmares of the Omnicidal Juggernaut

Click here to access article by xraymike79 from Collapse of Industrial Civilization
Some days I wake up and despise the monotony and pettiness of this culture and its followers: its celebrity worship, its staged news reporting, its chameleon politicians, its conniving marketers of consumerism, its cookie-cutter neighborhoods, its push-button surveillance state, and its clueless masses all working together to create the illusion of normalcy. Everyone goes along with this mindless program like obedient slaves, afraid of the social stigma attached to questioning any radical deviation from what constitutes normal. God forbid anyone openly discusses the cliff we are fast approaching....

The Tao of Toolbox (Violence/Non-Violence?)

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

The preoccupation with the subject of non-violence among activists in the US has succeeded in creating numerous divisions in activist circles, and Mickey Z. makes some excellent observations about this phenomenon. However, I would argue that these arguments over tactics are not merely due to vanity or the soothing of egos among activists.
When allies bicker over tactics, you can be certain vanity is ruling the day. ....
Please also understand that deriding others for not adhering to your finely tuned sense of purity (violent, non-violent, or whatever) is more about soothing your ego than about creating the changes we all seek.
The One Percent's domestic social controllers use a broad spectrum of methods to contain dissent, one of the more effective ones has been the insertion into activist circles the virtues and necessity of non-violence. Through their efforts the practice of non-violence has been raised to almost a religion, and the very meaning of non-violence has been broadened to mean attacks on property. It is so ironic that the most violent regime on earth and in history has succeeded in hamstringing US activist circles by causing them to engage in endless debates about non-violent tactics.

This has been accomplished to a considerable extent by constantly referring to constructed myths about historical figures such as Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Martin Luther King. I think if one really researches the facts about these epitomes of virtue you would find only King who approximated the myths spread by mainstream media. And, remember, the agents of the One Percent murdered him. This was essentially the judgement in the only trial permitted where a jury of ordinary Americans (Memphis, Tennessee) examined all the evidence in the many assassinations which occurred during this awful period. (Read An Act of State by William F. Pepper.) Of course, the One Percent made sure that the trial received minimal coverage in their media.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

It’s Not Easy Being Young in This World: Help the “Lost Generation” Find its Way

Click here to access article by Andrew Gavin Marshall from his blog. 
My aim is to raise enough funds so that I can put aside a good deal of time from my various other time-consuming projects so that I can focus exclusively on the book and get the first edition done as soon as possible. But this requires actual funds, and I am far from having anything close to the amount necessary to dedicate meaningful time to this project. I hate asking for money, but I have come to terms with being an intellectual prostitute for the time being. However, I would rather prostitute my mind for the benefit of the wider public – and most especially the youth of the current “lost generation” to which I belong – as opposed to whoring my mind and efforts out to some various institution. At this point, however, I am essentially unemployable in almost every field, and so my options are rather limited. But I think that through my work, I can help others see that as a species, we do have other options, but that requires us to come to a common understanding, and to engage in common action. We cannot change the world, or steer humanity off the course of seemingly-inevitable extinction, alone. We need each other.
I agree. Everyone who is concerned about the growing use of violence and debt to bring all the people of the world under the domination of the One Percent must now choose essentially one of two courses: 1) join together with all the other activists of the world's 99 Percent in efforts to free ourselves from the evolving nightmare of existence and create a new world which will permit people to live in dignity and harmony with one another and nature; or 2) just keep going along with the existing systems of power out of habit, or because you think it is the easiest way to live, and watch the current problems of wars, unemployment, debt slavery, a growing police state, and climate catastrophes continue to worsen.

I'm not interested in those people who choose option 2, but I am for those who choose option 1. It is now time--hopefully, it isn't too late--to seriously act on what we need to do to affirm this option: because to choose this option means to commit to action! We, who identify ourselves as the 99 Percent, must now come together to save ourselves, to create conditions in which our labor serves our needs, to create institutions that we control and that enable us to decide what our labor is used for and the very conditions of our labor. 

A good place to start is to support people who, at great sacrifice to their material lives, have worked for us, and want to continue to work for us, instead of corporate executives, corporate boards of directors and their stockholders who are responsible for the growing nightmarish world. Andrew Gavin Marshall is one of the best such people. If we can't support him, then we have in effect chosen option 2.

There have been a lot of debates about the character of human nature. This next period of our history--hopefully, it will not be the last--will provide an excellent opportunity to test human nature to find out what it really consists of. I'm reminded of Tom Paine's words in one of his stirring pamphlets called "The Crisis" published in December 1776 in which he wrote:
THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.
Only now we do not merely live in a country, but in the world. And, of course, we are now much more aware that it was never "our country", but a country that was mostly owned and, even more so, controlled by a small minority of landowners like Washington, Hamilton, and Adams. Now we see a world that is mostly owned and controlled by their descendants. the class of people known nowadays as the One Percent. 

We must not be deceived any longer. We, ordinary people, who call ourselves the 99 Percent, must decide that we no longer will tolerate the rule by a small minority because they have brought nothing but hellish scenes of terrorism, poverty, wars, unemployment, debt slavery, and environmental degradation upon the world. These are, indeed, "times that try men's souls" and I fear that "the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from "acting to save ourselves and our planet Earth which sustains our lives. We must decide that this dreadful rule of the One Percent is over, and that we are willing to do whatever it takes to end that rule. 

One such action is to support the research and writings of Andrew Gavin Marshall.

Ukraine: Wet Noodle Sanctions And Pressure For Constitutional Reform

Click here to access article by Bernhard from his blog Moon of Alabama.
As documented yesterday the "leaked" Russian non-paper which demanded constitutional reform in the Ukraine and more autonomy for its regions was at least partially accepted by Secretary of State Kerry....
Regardless of these worthless agreements, from now on the future of Ukraine will be controlled by events on the ground. This, of course, begs the question: who will control events on the ground? Unlike in Israel where such events are controlled by a Zionist government, events in Ukraine will be controlled to a large extent by the Ukrainian people as well as the Empire's puppet government, the IMF, etc and the Russian government. I think, and fervently hope, that the Ukrainian people will be the deciding factor in this contest between capitalist powers.

The Wall Street Etiquette Guide to Helping Oneself to Other People’s Money

Click here to access article by Pam Martens from Wall Street on Parade.

Martens reveals a lot about Wall Street culture when she describes their ways of acquiring wealth:
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, there is a right way and a wrong way to help yourself to other people’s money on Wall Street. The right way propels you into the one percent replete with mansions and yachts, your name memorialized on buildings, a golden parachute, an office and car for life fronted by defrauded shareholders and regular invitations to appear on CNBC and lecture others on how to structure the financial system.
Then there’s the wrong way....

On Democracy and Orchestrated Overthrows in Venezuela and Ukraine

Click here to access article by Howard Friel from Common Dreams.

Friel notices that there are many parallels between the recent coup in Ukraine and the coup in Venezuela in 2002. Of course, basically the same pattern applies in many other regime change efforts by Empire directors, but the resemblance between these two fits the best. It's clear that regime change engineers have since upgraded their program (RegimeChange 5.5 to RC6.1) to include the use of snipers firing on both protestors and the police and other false flag operations that include the use of bombs to create a climate of intense fear to enhance their prospects of success. 

Having identified the main agency used in these regime change operations, Friel asks some critically important questions:
Finally, who in the United States oversees the NED? Not President Obama, who shows no intention of checking even the publicly known outrages of the NSA and CIA, let alone the mostly unknown ones of the NED. Not the Democrats or Republicans in Congress, who in 1983 created the NED “to promote democracy” abroad. Not the federal judiciary, needless to say. And not the press; surely not the New York Times, which, without Christopher Marquis, who died of AIDS in 2005, hasn’t employed anyone since who has shown an interest in shedding any light on the activities of the NED, certainly not in Venezuela and Ukraine today.
I find it difficult to understand why so many political analysts and observers resist the idea of a shadow government that rules our nation. They continue to be astonished by the lack of change between the Obama regime and the previous Bush Jr regime, but refuse to go any further. It's like a young child who believes in Santa Claus refusing to believe adults who tell him that this is just a myth. It's (past) time for progressives to grow up!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Ukraine, Austerity….Again?

Click here to access this 16:36m radio interview with economist Michael Hudson posted on his website.

Hudson's comments offer, along with some political analysis, economic predictions on what is likely to happen with Ukraine under its new NATO friendly government created by an Empire-promoted coup. There is much to recommend here; but his views do not go beyond certain limits that would be unacceptable to our ruling One Percent class. Were he to offer a more penetrating analysis, he would jeopardize his career as a college professor.

For example, he states the following toward the end of the interview:
...Americans aren't told what America has done is turn over the foreign policy basically to the neocons. It is as if Obama has adopted Dick Cheney's military policy...with an exclamation point. 
And, he continues with a rant about Obama. Obama, of course, is only an employee of the ruling class. He functions in the capacity of a public relations officer and takes orders from this ruling class who hired him. If he were to disobey them, he would be removed one way or another--assassinated if necessary. 

In general, Hudson's views represent a left-liberal analysis which, although on the fringes, is still permitted to college professors by the ruling class, but will never be allowed in mainstream media. There are some other comments which are equally troubling, favorable comments about The Fed, our central bank, and how the US taxes the rich, etc. But, I will leave you to screen out what is valid in his analysis and some of which is not.

Mainstream US Media Is Lost in Ukraine

Click here to access article by Robert Parry from ConsortiumNews. 

There are times when I think that mainstream media coverage of world events is becoming more uniform than ever before. This writer argues that and targets as the most recent example the monolithic corporate media coverage of events related to Ukraine. He complains that mainstream media coverage has taken on the role of propagandists for the government instead of providing more objective, nuanced reporting.
Objective U.S. journalists would insist on a truthful narrative that conveys these nuances to the American people, not simply behave as clumsy propagandists determined to glue “white hats” on the side favored by the State Department and “black hats” on everyone that the U.S. government disdains. But virtually the entire mainstream press corps has opted for the propaganda role....
In a typical liberal fashion he whines about the lack of objectivity and media's role of supporting Washington propaganda, but avoids any attempt to explain this phenomenon. He refuses to see this coverage as reflecting the concentration of power in a ruling class who control both government and the media along with all other important institutions in society. Such coverage is arguably worse than ever before, but I wouldn't want to pursue that argument because media has always served ruling class interests. This is especially true since media ownership became concentrated in major corporations beginning in the early 20th century. Read The Brass Check by Upton Sinclair and his scathing attacks on corporate journalism during this period, and read Even the Gods Can't Change History by George Seldes in which he as a journalist reviewed the numerous lies he saw printed in the nation's media over a half century in support of imperialist ambitions. 

A much more valuable contribution to this issue of media disinformation would be uncovering facts about how and why this happens. However, this would inevitably lead into massive exposures of myths about government, about the reality of a ruling class, about the power of a ruling class based on private ownership of the economy, and about how this system impels its controllers to seek profit and power which, in turn, lead to the crimes of wars, exploitation, poverty, environmental degradation, and a media coverage that lies about what our rulers are doing. 

Anyone wanting to pursue a career critiquing media coverage in depth would run up against this ruling class and would suffer many consequences. Some journalists like Gary Webb paid with their careers and ultimately their lives while trying to pursue the truth about our government's involvement in drug trafficking.

Banker Farce: Spanish Bank Chief Launches Moral Crusade Against Political Corruption

Click here to access article by Don Quijones from Raging Bull-Shit. 

This is another article which demonstrates that our capitalist ruling classes are heavily involved in the illicit drug trade while preaching about morality, promoting a "War on Drugs", using the latter to justify militarizing local police forces, and locking up petty dealers in private prisons for many years. This article compares one Spanish bank executive's words with his bank's known involvement in drug trafficking.

“Why Shouldn’t I Work for the NSA?”?

Click here to access the source posting of this scene, a posting from Raging Bull-Shit.

Thanks to Raging Bull-Shit for this great 2:50m clip featuring a job interview with the NSA.

"Never Forget": for Rachel Corrie

Click here to access article by Gary Corseri from Uncommon Thought Journal. 

There are many wonderful, ordinary people in Washington state where I live, and Rachel Corrie was one of them. (I sometimes think that we should hold a referendum here to declare our independence from the US Empire.) We will never forget her and the heroic humanitarian actions she took to defend Palestinian homes from being destroyed by Zionist bulldozers of the Israeli ruling class. Corseri writes about her heroism and humanitarianism.

For more details on Corrie's life and death, see this article entitled "'There Are No Civilians In Wartime.' Rachel Corrie’s Family Confronts The Israeli Military In Court"

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Billionaires With Big Ideas Are Privatizing American Science

Click here to access article by William J. Broad from The New York Times.

I normally try to avoid posting articles behind registration sites, but I will make an exception occasionally for important articles behind sites that require only free registration as does this website.

The article is an important posting for my website because it points to another example of the growing influence of capitalists over every sector of US society. In this piece the author reports that there is a parallel trend of cuts to government funding of science research with an explosion of privately funded research. Billionaires, who are rewarded with tax deductions, are donating their tax money instead to their favorite research projects. (Of course, their sponsorship of Congress gives them influence over the tax laws.) Thus, the latter are having a much bigger influence than ever before on the types of science research that is being performed. 
...personal setting of priorities is precisely what troubles some in the science establishment. Many of the patrons, they say, are ignoring basic research — the kind that investigates the riddles of nature and has produced centuries of breakthroughs, even whole industries — for a jumble of popular, feel-good fields like environmental studies and space exploration.
Other negative consequences? Well, they are touched on throughout the article, but they are frequently balanced, if not overwhelmed, by positive testimonials and a lot of information about the enormous funding that billionaires devote to their pet projects. Yes, basic research will suffer because billionaires like to focus on such "practical things as drugs, jets and gadgets, rather than fundamental insights into the mysteries of nature." Also, with regard to diseases, they are more likely to donate to finding cures for diseases that affect white people. Barely mentioned is the fact that the interests of billionaires might influence the findings of research itself which we've seen with regard to climate change.

The Ukraine Crisis - What You're Not Being Told

Click here if you wish to access the complete article from StormCloudsGathering.

The poster from this website has put together a lot of key pieces of information that I've posted separately before regarding the Ukraine crisis in this one 10:36m video. It serves as a good summary of information that is not reported by, and conflicts dramatically with, the propaganda being served to us by Empire media. As such, it might be useful as something you could send to friends and relatives who tend to mindlessly believe what is fed to them by corporate media.

What bothers me about this website is the lack of information about the website and authors of posts. There is nothing but content posted.

Our Way of Life/Death

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

We hear so often from our masters in the One Percent references to "our way of life" and often using this slogan to justify all sorts of crimes against humanity and nature. Mickey Z. turns this usage on its head.