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, May 17, 2014

The War on Climate Scientists

Click here to access article this week's Bill Moyer's show (including transcript) on PBS.

This week's show features the conclusion of an interview with a well-known Canadian scientist and environmentalist (at least in Canada), David Suzuki, who has worked his entire life to save the planet for human habitation. This statement near the end of this 25 minute segment of the interview confirmed my worst suspicions and left me a bit discouraged. 
...a lot of my colleagues have now said it's too late. Clive Hamilton, an eminent eco-philosopher in Australia wrote a book, “Requiem for a Species.” And we're the species it's a requiem for. I've read everything, the entire book, and there's nothing I disagree with there. James Lovelock, the man who invented this idea of Gaia, says 90 percent of humanity will be gone by the end of the century. 
And Sir Martin Rees, the royal astronomer in Britain was asked what are the chances humans will be around by 2100, and he said 50/50. So there are a lot of my colleagues are saying we've passed too many tipping points to go back.
In a way the extinction of humans might serve justice in that we humans have caused, and are causing, so many other species going extinct. In any case, Suzuki is not quitting his fight to save us. Shall we just give up or shall we join him in this fight?

We humans created the Age of Enlightenment which held so much promise for our species; but it, like everything else, was hijacked by capitalists to use in their obsessive quest to "own" wealth created by people who work, who contribute something useful to society. To accomplish this capitalists created a system of private ownership of entire economies, a privatization of a human legacy of technology created over many generations. These sociopathic humans, with their infantile minds and grandiose imaginations, have become so obsessed with hoarding wealth and power for themselves that they are now attacking not only their fellow humans but nature which sustains us and so many other species on this planet. Unless we can rid ourselves of the worst of our species and their exploitative economic system, nature will soon flick all of humanity off the planet like some obnoxious flea.

The Twilight Zone of American Political Life Where Almost Every Word of News Isn't What it Seems

Click here to access article by John Chuckman from Uncommon Thought Journal.

Chuckman certainly zeros in on the omnipresent disinformation provided by corporate media, but he searches in vain through history for what caused it. The powerful corporations? The great military-security-policing agencies? The CIA? What has eluded him: the natural development of capitalism to create overwhelming concentrations of wealth and power in the hands of a few.

He did provide one insight with which I, a blogger, especially connected:
The Internet in general has provided an outlet for critical views, but the total exposure to the public is small in the scheme of things - a few channels, as it were, in a multi-trillion channel universe - and can mostly be ignored by authorities, and, in any event, the Internet is evolving quickly into something else far more dominated by commercial interests. The Golden Age of the Internet, so far as ideas are concerned, may well soon be over. 
The nearly total dominance of the highly developed communication technologies by major corporations makes sites like my own rather ineffective...sort of like pissing in the wind. On the other hand, this situation probably keeps me safe, because they, the ruling capitalist class, don't see me and many others like me as a threat to their rule. This also allows them to proclaim that theirs is a society where freedom of speech and tolerance of dissenting views exists--proof of a "democracy". However, they intend to increase their safety from ideas coming from dissident websites by having their corporations purchase fast-track internet service and leaving the slow congested lanes for us--a 21st century version of the Enclosure Movement.

Militarised Humanitarianism in Africa

Click here to access article by Joeva Rock from Inter Press Service.
As the world remains transfixed by the kidnapping of almost 300 Nigerian girls, there have been increasing calls for international intervention in the effort to rescue them. But what many people don’t know is that the U.S. military has been active in the region for years.
With the Iraq War over and the war in Afghanistan slowly ending, it is becoming increasingly apparent – from interviews with generals, recommendations from influential think tanks, and private conversations with military personnel – that Africa is the U.S. military’s next frontier. 

Chart of the Day: our ruling class and ownership of the government

from article entitled "Why Hasn’t Democracy [Managed Elections] Slowed Rising Inequality?" published in Journal of Economic Perspectives—Volume 27, Number 3—Summer 2013—Pages 103–124

Notes: The red line tracks the share of campaign contributions in all federal elections donated by the top 0.01  percent of the voting age population. The number of donors included in the 0.01  percent share of voting age population grew from 16,444 in 1980 to 24,092 in 2012. During the same period, the minimum amount given to be included in the top 0.01 percent grew in real terms from $5,616 to $25,000 (in 2012 dollars). The shaded line tracks the share of total income (including capital gains) received by the top 0.01 percent of households. 

Salute the super-rich

Click here to access article by Ian Birrell from The Guardian.

The center of wealth in not in the US; but in terms of power, clearly we, that is, our masters in the One Percent, are number one!
...it is little wonder that the startling news that our capital is home to more super-rich than any other place on the planet has sparked outrage.
Britain now has more than 100 billionaires, according to a Sunday Times survey – more per head than any other country. Most live in London, and more than half were born abroad. For many Britons, such revelations confirm fears the nation has become a magnet for dodgy characters, crystallising concerns over globalisation, inequality, immigration and tax avoidance.

China Hires NYPD to Advise on Repressing Protests

Click here to access article from The Daily Currant. (spoof)
Authorities in China -- where freedoms of speech and assembly are restricted -- said they were impressed with the NYPD’s reputation for serving the wealthy and privileged while using excessive force to break up peaceful protests, most notably Occupy Wall Street, and convicting the protesters in kangaroo courts.

Friday, May 16, 2014

In the service of imperialism: Right-wing “intellectuals” gather in Kiev

Click here to access article by David North from World Socialist Web Site.
A group of right-wing academics, journalists, pro-war human-rights activists, and specialists in “discourse” is gathering in Kiev this coming weekend (May 16–19). The purpose of the meeting—headed by Professor Timothy Snyder of Yale University and Leon Wieseltier, the neo-con literary editor of the New Republic—is to bestow political and moral respectability on the Ukrainian regime that came to power in February, through a putsch financed and directed by the United States and Germany.

Bad Apple: end smartphone sweatshops

Click here if you wish to access the original post on Green America.

I can't understand how conditions like this have developed in the land of Mao.

Emails Reveal Close Google Relationship with NSA

Click here to access article by Jason Leopold from Al Jazeera. 
Email exchanges between National Security Agency Director Gen. Keith Alexander and Google executives Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt suggest a far cozier working relationship between some tech firms and the U.S. government than was implied by Silicon Valley brass after last year’s revelations about NSA spying.
If you are a member of Boiling Frogs Post--and you should be--you can listen to a 57 minute interview with investigative journalist Leopold regarding this relationship in much more detail. 

In Historic Vote, FCC Advances Rules to Kill 'Open Internet'

Click here to access article by Jon Queally from Common Dreams.
Democratic commissioners betray net neutrality rhetoric by approving consideration of rules that would create 'two-tiered internet'.

“We, The Elite”

Click here to access a poem posted on Raging Bull-Shit.
Here’s another incendiary little number from the poetess of righteous rage, JuliJuxtaposed. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

How five American companies control what you think

Click here to access article by Eric Sommer from RT.
You might wonder how so many different news sources could all completely avoid mentioning that the US government is consciously supporting two radical far-right parties, Svoboda and Right Sector, which are in control of key positions in the coup-installed new 'government' of the Ukraine. You might also wonder why almost all the US mass media news sources could conceal – with vague phrases like ''the sequence of events is not clear' and similar techniques – the role of these extremist organization in murdering dozens of unarmed civilians in the past few days in southeastern Ukraine.
 The explanation is surprisingly simple....

‘US needs oil wars to topple Middle East chessboard’

Click here to access article by William Engdahl from RT.
That is the grand chess game, as Brzezinski called it, of control of Eurasia because what has been happening for the last six or seven years, or even a little bit longer, is that the countries of Eurasia, especially China and Russia in different ways, with different strengths and weaknesses, have been coalescing under the pressure of the US military foreign policy gone mad really in terms of inside wars.

Rumors of American mercenaries in Ukraine spread to Germany

Click here to access article by Matthew Schofield of McClatchy News Service via Stars and Stripes.

Actually, there are numerous sources all over the world that are reporting this. (See this, this, this, and this.)
The report, which appeared Sunday, has since been repeated by many German news outlets. The allegation that the information was presented to the chancellor’s office in a weekly briefing in April lends it gravitas. That such reports in Bild on more than one occasion have proved true enhances its credibility. The chancellor’s office and the German intelligence service have declined to either confirm or deny....

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Russia Holds "De-Dollarization Meeting": China, Iran Willing To Drop USD From Bilateral Trade

Click here to access article by Tyler Durden from Zero Hedge.

De-dollarization may be the next stage in the global power struggle between capitalist gangs. That could very well produce another shock to American citizens comparable to, or likely exceeding, 9/11. Meanwhile, back at the American ranch most are soundly asleep.
...if one can do it, all can do it, and next thing you know the US has hyperinflation, social collapse, civil war....

Libertarian communism: an introduction - DRAFT

Click here to access article from Libcom.
A short introduction to what we at libcom.org refer to as communism or libertarian communism, what it is and why we think it is a good idea.
Lots of good ideas about a different kind of organization of society that we simply must start thinking and bringing about if we are to survive. 

'Energy [R]evolution': Nearly 100% Renewable Is Doable, says Report

Click here to access article by Jon Queally from Common Dreams.

Views like this are dangerous to our health and well-being...and the planet's. The authors of the report are arguing a position based on pure fantasy. Our masters in the One Percent love stuff like this because it will divert attention away from the nightmarish realities that they are daily creating. Look no further than the report's set of principles.
The five key principles behind the "Energy [R]evolution" will be to:
• Implement renewable solutions, especially through decentralized energy systems and grid expansions
• Respect the natural limits of the environment
• Phase out dirty, unsustainable energy sources
• Create greater equity in the use of resources
• Decouple economic growth from the consumption of fossil fuels
Are any of these realistic under a system which allows a small minority to "own" our economy which, in turn, gives them overwhelming power to rule our societies? Their system of neverending growth relies on fossil fuels which are still relatively cheap and the huge existing infrastructure which supports their use. Widespread use of alternative energies would require the construction of a new infrastructure which would cost far more than any one corporation would want to invest in. Most of these people who rule our society--owners, managers, and financiers--cannot look beyond next quarter's financial statements. 

'Unconscionable': Nobel Winners Blast Development of 'Killer Robots'

Click here to access article by Lauren McCauley from Common Dreams.

We are only beginning to enter the nightmarish dystopia that our capitalist masters are preparing for us. This article gives us a hint of that future. You can be dead certain that weapons like this will be used on us if we, in any significant way, oppose our masters. You can also be dead certain that the first models are already being built and that they have plans for many other ghoulish weapons unless we take control of our societies.

UW researchers: Polar ice sheet doomed, but how soon?

Click here to access article by Craig Welch from The Seattle Times.

This article made the front page in The Seattle Times yesterday. It's a sign that our capitalist masters are starting to take the ramifications of fossil fuel use seriously. But unless you and I and others get together to change the system that is driving this developing catastrophe, nothing will be done. In fact, we can expect only an acceleration of more disasters.

Washington Gets “Less Crazy”

Click here to access article by Chris Toensing from Middle East Research and Information Project.
...outside official Washington, the BDS movement is attracting more and more attention. There is an ambient sense that younger generations, Jews and non-Jews, will not be able to tolerate the contradictions inherent in “the only democracy in the Middle East” insisting on being a “Jewish state.” The needle of the sayable-inside-the-Beltway is twitching in response.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Ukraine: The waiting game

Click here to access article by Pepe Escobar from Asia Times Online.
Everything one needs to know about mediocre political elites allegedly representing the "values" of Western civilization has been laid bare by their reaction to the referendums in Donetsk and Lugansk. 
The referendums may have been a last-minute affair; organized in a rush; in the middle of a de facto civil war; and on top of it at gunpoint - supplied by the Kiev NATO neo-liberal neo-fascist junta, which even managed to kill some voters in Mariupol. An imperfect process? Yes. But absolutely perfect in terms of graphically depicting a mass movement in favor of self-rule and political independence from Kiev. 
This was direct democracy in action; no wonder the US State Department hated it with a vengeance.

The New Cold War’s Ukraine Gambit

Click here to access article by Michael Hudson from his website.
Finance in today’s world has become war by non-military means. Its object is the same as that of military conquest: appropriation of land and basic infrastructure, and the rents that can be extracted as tribute. In today’s world this is taken mainly in the form of debt service and privatization. That is how neoliberalism works, subduing economies by indebting their governments and using unpayably high debts as a lever to pry away the public domain at distress prices. It is what today’s New Cold War is all about. 
Hudson gives us his geopolitical analysis of events in Ukraine which features the inter-capitalist gang wars for dominance. This is not inspiring reading, but I think his analysis is realistic. So far, ordinary people all over the world appear to be helpless victims in this drama.
The political problem for neoliberalism is how to deter voters from acting in their self-interest along these lines. In Latvia and Ireland voters have submitted to the anti-labor, anti-government policies of global finance. Neoliberals have come to see that they can win at the polls by imposing even more austerity. We are dealing with something like the Stockholm syndrome, most typically when kidnapped victims look to their kidnappers for protection. Poverty begets fear, prompting the weak to vote out of servility to the rich – or against each other in ethnic rivalries. The wider the polarization, the more the poor victims rely on their exploiters, hoping to survive by becoming abject clients in a predatory patronage system.
This means that the further economic inequality widens and the more a population is ground down into poverty and debt, the more the weak identify their interests with those of their oppressors. They believe that their best hope is that somehow the rich will reciprocate by accepting them in a patronage system. The effect is to demoralize populations and make them so fearful that they feel even more dependent on their oppressors, whom they hope will see how obediently they are behaving and will treat them better.

Western intervention will turn Nigeria into an African Afghanistan

Click here to access article by Lindsey German from The Guardian.
...we should be wary of the narrative now emerging. This follows a wearily familiar pattern, one we have already seen in south Asia and the Middle East, but that is increasingly being applied to Africa as well.
It is the refrain that something must be done and that "we" – the enlightened west – must be the people to do it. 
It's called "humanitarian intervention", an Orwellian label for 21st century imperialism. Only the incorrigibly gullible think that Empire agents give a damn about African girls.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Washington‘s Shale Boom Going Bust

Click here to access article by William Engdahl from New Eastern Outlook.

The extraction of fossil fuels by the new oil mining technology known as shale fracking or hydraulic fracturing is polluting, expensive, and of short duration. It is driven by hype, debt, and "quantitative easing". It is a desperate attempt to satisfy the voracious appetite of the beast known as capitalism.
Even the US Government’s EIA projects that US oil output will peak at 9.61 million barrels a day in 2019. They see tight-oil or shale oil topping at 4.8 million barrels in 2021. That’s only seven years out. And if the US Government is trying to fast-track approval of LNG gas export terminals on coastal ports to allow US gas companies to export their gas, completion of such complex terminals including environmental impact approvals typically takes seven years. Hmmmm.

Debate: Hansen’s program is more than a carbon tax

Click here to access article by Ian Angus from Climate & Capitalism.

I really don't see the point in advocating or debating proposals like this. Our masters in the One Percent are now so addicted to their money and power machine of capitalism that most will never allow any fuels for the machine to be restricted in any significant way. Economic actors in this system are like cancer cells--they must grow or die. The only real debate is between human extinction by climate destabilization or extinction by global nuclear wars caused by capitalist gangs fighting over disappearing fuels to run their machine. The only real solution is...change the system!

The debate described in this article is about a plan proposed by James Hansen, a noted climatologist.
Hansen calls his fee and dividend plan the “essential backbone” of his proposals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Under it, a substantial fee would be levied on all fossil fuels at the well head, mine shaft, or point of entry, and subsidies to the fossil fuel industry would be eliminated. The fee, which would increase in predictable steps over time, would be paid by fossil fuel companies, and each month every legal resident would receive an equal share of the money collected, as a direct bank deposit or debit card.
This would directly increase the price of fossil fuels as such, and indirectly increase prices for products and services that use fossil fuels, but Hansen calculates that the poorest 60% of the U.S population, who generally have small carbon footprints, would receive more in dividends than they would pay in increased fuel and other prices. 

Blood-soaked US Has No Business Opposing Sovereignty Plebiscites

Click here to access article by Dave Lindorff from his blog This Can't Be Happening! (Three pages)

It seems that democracy = elections is preached by the Empire except when it doesn't serve their needs. They also preach that violent attacks against an elected government is forbidden except when it serves the interests of the Empire as we've seen in Ukraine. It is quite amazing for me to see the media of the One Percent grappling with all these inconsistencies in their reports to the American populace. So far, to my bafflement, they seem to be succeeding or at least Americans appear not to be very bothered by them. Lindorff is bothered, and lays out all these inconsistencies in stark detail. 

However, he goes too far with the statement that "voting can never be illegal.” Certainly the results of voting are illegal when voting or the counting of ballots is in any way rigged--we've seen that plenty of times in the US.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Why the American Plutocracy Needs BOTH the Republican and Democratic Parties

Click here to access article by John Spritzler from New Democracy World.
There are several reasons, some more obvious than others. Let's look at the reasons, going from most obvious to least obvious.

World War II continues… against Russia

Click here to access article by Finian Cunningham from nsnbc.

On this anniversary of the formal end of WWII in Europe (May 7th), Cunningham's article reviews real history to clarify what he means in this paragraph:
This ongoing reality of conflict is because the Second World War, as with the First World War, was not merely about belligerents confined in time and space. These conflagrations were really about imperialist power conflict and hegemony whose dynamics still persist to the present day. 
"To the present day", of course, refers to current events in Ukraine. 

He provides much more historical detail of the European part of WWII in an article entitled "Western Reset of Fascist Aggression Towards Russia" posted at Strategic Culture

A Return to Conspiracy and Its Theories

Click here to access article by Patrick Higgins from Cats, Not War.

I thought sure that I had posted this article last month; but upon checking, I clearly failed to do so. Well, better late than never--as they say.

Higgins provides an insightful examination of some of American's prime professional gatekeepers in liberal media circles in addition to excellent definitions of ruling class, mainstream, etc, the application of psychological techniques used my our military into the management of opinions of the American people, and the branding of dissenters as "conspiracy theorists". 

Call Climate Change What It Is: Violence

Click here to access article by Rebecca Solnit from The Peace Worker.

Solnit contrasts the frequent use of the term violence popularly applied in mainstream media to poor people with the ongoing violence that is perpetrated by the ruling One Percent and their system of capitalism. She identifies what the ruling class engagement with climate destabilization is all about: how much violence shall we tolerate to promote our profits? Being addicted to profits, and the power associated with the accumulation of wealth, you can be dead-certain that they will continue to tolerate plenty of violence while reassuring us that everything is under control.
In every arena, we need to look at industrial-scale and systemic violence, not just the hands-on violence of the less powerful. When it comes to climate change, this is particularly true. Exxon has decided to bet that we can’t make the corporation keep its reserves in the ground, and the company is reassuring its investors that it will continue to profit off the rapid, violent and intentional destruction of the Earth.


Click here if you wish to access the original posting of this 19:47m video at the Testosterone Pit.

There are people all over the world who refuse to believe the reassuring messages regarding nuclear energy. An increasing supply of energy is vitally needed to appease the voracious appetite of industries run for the profit of the global One Percent, and to sustain as long as possible a system that serves the deadly addictions to wealth and power that has turned the global One Percent into hard core addicts. One such person is a Japanese youth who passionately appeals to people's common sense about the hazards of nuclear energy. He is valiantly fighting for a future for his and succeeding generations.
An awesome, amazing, and powerful appeal (with lyrical English text) to the people of Japan to open their eyes and minds. It slams the nuclear industry, the mainstream media, government bureaucrats, and politicians of all stripes.