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 Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Beware of Kicking the Dragon and Bear!

Click here to access article by Andre Vltchek from CounterPunch.

This is quite a lengthy article, but a very important one. It, along with other articles I've perused and other experiences I've had recently, has impressed upon me the power of the Empire's propaganda not only to frame issues within the US, but worldwide in order to manufacture consent for Empire policies.

Here in the US I sometimes feel that most of my fellow Americans are living in some kind of artificial, parallel universe of information and understanding. I find it hard to carry on a serious conversation with them about international affairs. What I usually get are regurgitated versions of sound-bytes propagated by corporate media that have little to do with reality, or turns reality on its head always in support of US Empire policies.

I try to be understanding by considering that most Americans are struggling to survive, and often with the burdens of overwhelming debts. They don't have the time to find alternative, reliable sources of information. But, to my astonishment, when I try to help them find such sources, they react with very strong resistance. It's not an angry form of reaction because my approach is always very gentle. It appears that they looked at my suggested articles or websites, but then they always make excuses about not having time to really read the material. It's as if I were challenging their religious beliefs! (I think they experience what mental health professionals refer to as "cognitive dissonance".) Such is the power of the Empire's propaganda and their ubiquitous indoctrination agencies.

Vltchek, as an independent investigative journalist, has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries, and traveled widely throughout the world. He knows what is going on, and knows what is being reported by transnational media corporations is often times a totally false picture of reality. And, he is worried that the Empire's propaganda machinery is preparing people for major, catastrophic wars.
The anti-Chinese and anti-Russian propaganda howl is reaching a deafening crescendo, especially in Asia. Western media outlets are in the highest gear, spreading propaganda through both their own outlets and through their local media affiliates in the client states, mostly owned by big business.
China and Russia are now vilified, openly insulted, and blamed for the escalation of tensions in the Asia-Pacific region, and for the military build up. The entire mighty Western propaganda machine is now at work, demonizing China, Russia and other independent countries.
It is because the West is obviously pushing this planet towards the war. Not to see it would require truly great discipline.

WW III: More Interclass Than International

Click here to access article by Ismael Hossein-Zadeh from CounterPunch.

The author begins his essay by describing the global nature of capitalism under the rule of the US Empire, and argues that there is a kind of WWIII in that international capitalists associated with the Empire constitute a new ruling class that is waging austerity wars against populations under their control.
WW III is already here; it has indeed been raging on for years: the unilateral, cross-border neoliberal war of austerity economics that is waged by the transnational class of financial oligarchy against the overwhelming majority of world citizens, the global 99%.
In contrast to Andre Vltchek this author sees the aggressive policies pursued by the Empire as likely being limited to small wars and various subversive projects. 
Globalization of capital and interdependence of world markets has reached a point where large scale military clashes of the magnitude of World Wars I & II could lead to financial catastrophe for all. Not surprisingly, the network of transnational financial elites, who often elect politicians and run governments from behind the scenes, seem to be averse to another wholesale international war that could paralyze worldwide financial markets. 

Christopher Black Destroys the Myth of the Rwandan “Genocide”

Click here to access a one hour and 14 minute interview conducted by James Corbett with an international lawyer from Toronto who is not only familiar with what the real story is about the Rwandan "genocide" based on a successful legal case he won, but many other phony stories concocted by the Empire's propaganda machinery. I don't normally have the time to listen to such a lengthy address, and you may feel the same way. But, just listen to the first 6:15m of the interview to see if you can resist listening to much more. There are also four supporting documents at this post that are valuable.

Addendum, 6-8-2014:

I'm sure you wouldn't be surprised to learn that the books Black recommended in the very last part of the interview are difficult to get. One book he recommended is entitled Global Justice Or Global Revenge?: International Criminal Justice At The Crossroads by Hans Kochler. It was out of print at Amazon, but I found used copies available at their Canadian subsidiary called Abe Books.

Rwanda 1994: Colonialism dies hard, the English translation of Robin Philpot's book Ça ne s’est pas passé comme ça à Kigali, appears to be available only online.

There is also this lengthy document posted online from a New Zealand website entitled "The Dallaire Genocide Fax" by Chris Black.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Capitalism & Climate Change: The Growth Problem Part 1 of ?

Click here to access article by Alyssa Rohricht from blog Black Cat Revolution.

It is so encouraging to see so many others beginning to see the dramatic contradictions between capitalism and our planet's ability to sustain human and other life forms.
Many argue that market and techo-based approaches are the way to combat climate change. They push for carbon taxing and trading, geo-engineering, and renewable energy without considering the fact that the system itself is incompatible with sustainability. By its very nature, capitalism seeks only to grow and accumulate – an idea that is diametrically opposed to a sustainable existence. 
In this series, I will examine how the capitalist system has brought us to climate disaster, and why it cannot get us out of it.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Who the hell are the Henry Jackson Society?

Click here to access article by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed from his blog The Cutting Edge.

I've sporadically encountered this right-wing, elite think tank in my journeys across the World Wide Web; and the material I encountered strongly suggested that they were among the top influentials in the ruling class. Having spent a lot of time in the Northwest of the US, I knew who Henry Jackson was (long time Senator from Washington state), and thus assumed that it was an American think tank--it's British. Actually, with this article written by a very astute author, it is now clear to me that the Society plays a key role in what historian Carroll Quigley has referred to as The Anglo-American Establishment (title of his very important book) which arose to dominant power after WWII and has become, what many refer to as, the US Empire, or simply the Empire (a 4th Reich?).

Also, the fact that this Society is British-based is a clear illustration of how the capitalist ruling class directorate of the Empire crossed national boundaries in the decades since WWII as described by Quigley. Subsequent to this development, they went on to thoroughly integrate the capitalists of many other countries into what is now familiar to most political analysts, a US-led Empire complete with its own army--NATO.

Senator Henry Jackson of Boeing's Washington state played a key role in bringing into the government important neoconservatives such as Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Elliot Abrams, Douglas Feith, Robert Kagan (and wife Victoria Nuland), Charles Horner, and James Woolsey . 
...it is hugely important to understand [why] that HJS [Henry Jackson Society] and the interests it represents are so out of whack with not only what the vast majority of the public would agree with or desire, but even what most policymakers would want to see happening in the world.

The Great Climate Change Conspiracy

This 17:40m video was produced by Truthloader, a YouTube channel, a project of ITN Productions (Britain).

The video explores the conspiracy conducted by the fossil fuel industry and their collaboraters (for example, see this article) throughout the capitalist world to sow doubt about and/or deny the scientific evidence of the growing threat of climate destabilization which is likely to end in the extinction of humans.

The US media and the release of POW Bowe Bergdahl

Click here to access article by Patrick Martin from World Socialist Web Site.
The American media is once again exhibiting its boundless capacity for dispensing propaganda and promoting the most backward and reactionary conceptions. Such is the campaign of vilification directed against Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, released May 31 in Afghanistan in a prisoner exchange with the Taliban.
The depiction of Bergdahl by many mainstream media pundits illustrates a principle that the ruling capitalist class espouses: obedience to their authority is a virtue and those that exhibit it are celebrated as heroes, those that don't are castigated as traitors.
As far as the media apologists for imperialism are concerned, a soldier who is horrified by crimes against humanity and refuses to participate in them is a criminal, while those who obediently carry out atrocities are heroes. It should be recalled that the defense of “just carrying out orders” was flatly repudiated by the Nuremberg Tribunal into the crimes of the Nazis during World War II. Those who would revive it today are paving the way for even greater crimes.  

'We Are Resetting the Net to Shut Off Mass Surveillance'

Click here to access article by Jon Queally from Common Dreams.
To mark the one year anniversary of the first reporting based on information revealed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden on June 5, 2013, privacy advocates, organizations, and technology companies all over the world on Thursday are participating in 'Reset The Net'—an online day of action in which participants pledge to take real steps to protect online freedoms and fight back against mass surveillance.
Queally reports that many "websites, app developers, organizations, and individual internet [are promoting] what they call 'privacy packs' so that people everywhere can have better access to online privacy and encryption tools. 

The New Age of Banana Republicanism

Click here to access article by Maria Camila Morales and apparently translated from Spanish by Don Quijones and posted on his website Raging Bull-Shit. 

While many political observers have been celebrating the turn to the left and independent policies of many Latin American governments, Morales argues that these are lies when one looks below the surface. She hints that the hidden hand of the US Empire still operates to stifle any real change.
Most Latin American republics continue to be dominated by people who govern out of pure self-interest while paying lip service to the needs and well-being of the general public.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

How long will Europeans accept austerity?

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

Although he can't answer the question posed in the title, Dolack provides a good summing up of the significance of the recent elections to the European Parliament. Given that people under capitalist rule have few choices to select from and that capitalist governments have little real independent power, he writes:
Europe is not ready to revolt. Or, possibly more accurately, given the 43 percent participation rate, Europeans simply see the European Parliament as irrelevant. Given the little power it has, and the anti-democratic structure of European Union institutions, many saw the election as simply as an opportunity to cast a protest vote.
He concludes the article with this insight:
An intensified race to the bottom is all that is on offer by the governments and institutions of the world’s mature capitalist countries. There is no tweak of policy, nor exchange of one corporate party for another corporate party, that can solve the structural crisis of the global economic system. 
You might also want to take a look at Wayne Madsen's take on the election entitled "European Parliament’s New 'Neo-Nazi / Far Right' – Not so 'Nazi' and not so 'Far Right'" as a measure of political change among Europeans who voted. He essentially argues that many of these "far right" parties have been de-contaminated of much of their traditional far-right views and have been co-opted into supporting most pro-Empire policies. 

Ukraine: New president escalates austerity, civil war; popular resistance deepens

Click here to access article by Roger Annis from Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal.

Annis gives us a very recent and comprehensive political update on the conditions and events in Ukraine.
Contradictions and shortcomings in the political movement in the east should be expected in conditions where for decades, workers and ordinary citizens have been excluded from democracy and citizen engagement. The deadly civil war now being waged against the movement, with NATO’s firm backing, makes conditions enormously more difficult. Indeed, the goal of the military intervention is precisely to weaken and destroy any movement towards a grassroots and working-class revolution.
The desires of the population in Luhansk, Donetsk and elsewhere in eastern Ukraine are crystal clear—they cast ballots in large numbers on May 11 for political autonomy and social justice. All but the most hidebound of Western reporters in the region acknowledge that support for autonomy is widespread and is growing with each Kyiv regime attack. 

Workers and environmentalists of the world, unite!

Click here to access article by Stefania Barca from Reflections on a Revolution.
By becoming aware of what has already been done by other people, past and present, with their struggles and movements, either in our own communities or elsewhere, we will immediately get a much clearer perception of the possibility of not just one but many other worlds.
Seeing those possibilities in their reality, with their dreams and their challenges, with their victories and their contradictions, will help us envision our own possibilities here and now and better organize our own struggles. This is the contribution that this article aims to give to all those who are struggling for self-liberation from the straitjacket of occupational blackmail.
Her examination of the "possibilities in their reality" leads to this conclusion: 
Breaking out of the multiple crises that afflict the world today — both in the domains of the economy and work as well as in the domain of ecology and public health — requires no lesser effort than completely abandoning the “treadmill of production”, including the politics, economics and ideology of unlimited growth. This requires an ecological revolution as theorized by Carolyn Merchant: a complete shift in the social organization of production, reproduction and consciousness.

Brazil: Workers Struggle Trumps Sports Spectacle

Click here to access article by James Petras from VoltaireNet.
For decades social critics have bemoaned the influence of sports and entertainment spectacles in ‘distracting’ workers from struggling for their class interests. According to these analysts, ‘class consciousness’ was replaced by ‘mass’ consciousness. They argued that atomized individuals, manipulated by the mass media, were converted into passive consumers who identified with millionaire sports heroes, soap opera protagonists and film celebrities.
The culmination of this ‘mystification’ —mass distraction— were the ‘world championships’ watched by billions around the world and sponsored and financed by billionaire corporations....
Today, Brazil is the living refutation of this line of cultural-political analysis. Brazilians have been described as ‘football crazy’. Its teams have won the most number of World Cups. Its players are coveted by the owners of the most important teams in Europe. Its fans are said to “live and die with football” . . . Or so we are told.
Yet it is in Brazil where the biggest protests in the history of the World Cup have taken place.
[my emphasis]
More details on the events related to the World Cup in Brazil are supplied by an activist from India in an article entitled "A spectre on the World Cup"

Psychiatry Keeps Anti-Authoritarians Off Democracy Battlefields

Click here to access article by Bruce E. Levine, a clinical psychologist, from Z Communications.
A frequently used psychiatric diagnosis for rebellious young people is oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). This so-call “disorder” was created by a committee within the American Psychiatric Association and listed, in 1980, in the APA’s diagnostic manual, the then DSM-III. ODD’s symptoms include “often actively defies or refuses to comply with adult requests or rules” and “often argues with adults.” Since 1980, ODD has become an increasingly popular psychiatric diagnosis for young people, with an increasing number of those diagnosed being drugged for this “condition.”

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

If Stalin Equals “Communism, Bad,” Why Doesn’t’ “Hitler Equals Capitalism, Bad?”

Click here to access article by Steven Jonas from The Greanville Post.

Jonas exposes the inconsistent logic of US indoctrination agencies which have hammered into the heads of its citizens that communism/socialism has been thoroughly discredited by the Soviet experience. They continue to uphold capitalism, aka "free markets", as the only solution to bring about peace and prosperity in the world. Of course, such a view has been thoroughly discredited by history since WWII which has seen unending smaller wars, economic collapse, and climate destabilization. Nevertheless, the slick capitalist indoctrination agencies have largely succeeded in blurring this history.
...with the victory of the allies, including the Soviet Union, there was no reaction to fascism of the “look where capitalism leads [or can lead].”  Rather the United States, unscathed physically by the war, moved immediately to re-secure capitalism in Western Europe.  The Marshall Plan was designed specifically to restore Western Europe’s industrial base, especially that of Germany (the western part only, of course), which had been so heavily damaged during the war.  No Marshall Plan aid for the Soviet Union, of course.  On the contrary, announced by Winston Churchill’s famous “Iron Curtain” speech...the “75 Years War Against the Soviet Union” was resumed almost immediately.

Coup de Tete: A Radical Takeover of Your Head

Click here to access article by Kili Mitra from Kindle (India).

American-born Mitra is critical of Indians, even "socialist" Indians, who supported the widely celebrated victory of neoliberal candidate Narendra Modi for Prime Minister. He refers to the victory as a "coup" engineered by thought control experts employed by the global capitalist aristocracy. Doesn't it sound familiar?
This ‘coup’ is the practice of hijacking the public debate – and really the background political culture – by controlling the framing of the issues, by defining all the terms, and by inventing agenda-fuelled labels, however false, to slap onto people and things; labels that get repeated over and over, without a hint of irony, on talk radio, TV, increasingly tabloidized ‘newspapers’,  the internet …and any media outlet owned by Rupert Murdoch… until these become society’s default positions, so that they no longer have to be defended or explained.  For example, ‘welfare’ is now practically a profanity in some circles; estate taxes are ‘death taxes’; affirmative action is ‘reverse discrimination’; tax cut is ‘tax relief’; and all kinds of oppressive and discriminatory policies are ‘traditional values.’ 

Return of the living (neo-con) dead

Click here to access article by Pepe Escobar from Asia Times Online.
Amid much hysteria, the notion has been widely peddled in the United States that President Obama's "new" foreign policy doctrine, announced last week at West Point, rejects neo-cons and neo-liberals and is, essentially, post-imperialist and a demonstration of realpolitik. 
Not so fast. Although stepping back from the excesses of the Cheney regime - as in bombing whole nations into "democracy" - the "desire to lead" still crystallizes might is right. 
Moreover, "exceptionalism" remains the norm.

Press Release: World Trade Center Bldg. 7’s Controlled Demolition: 9/11 Consensus Panel Releases New Evidence from Witness Testimonies and Architectural Drawings

Click here to access article by The 9/11 Consensus Panel from Consensus 9/11.
The 24-member 9/11 Consensus Panel – which includes physicists, chemists, engineers, commercial pilots, attorneys and lawyers – today announced three new studies confirming the controlled demolition of World Trade Center 7.
The studies scientifically refute the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) claim that, for the first time in history, fire caused the sudden and complete collapse of a large, fire-protected, steel-framed building on 9/11.
The article provides more evidence that building 7 of the World Trade Center was fully rigged with demolition explosives, a condition that takes weeks to accomplish. Hence, this lends additional support to other abundant evidence that the other buildings likewise were set up for a controlled demolition. 

Britain's Corporate Garden Of Eden

Click here to access article by Michael Barker from Swans Commentary.
...given Smit's desire for reform, this article will make some strategic suggestions for how he might best use the Eden Project's excellent corporate connections to address some of the most egregious problems caused by his capitalist colleagues. 
Don't be taken in by Barker's statement as to his purpose in writing this article. What he really does is expose the true nature of  "green capitalism" as practiced in Britain to add grace to capitalism in the eyes of British liberals who may have some guilty concerns about the environment. He specifically takes aim at Tim Smit and the well-connected people of the "Eden Project".

Monday, June 2, 2014

Plutonomy and its 12-point manifesto

Click here to access article by Edward Fullbrook from Real-World Economics Review Blog. (Note: Fullbrook is being a bit coy by writing "This appeared on my screen last night.")

Capitalists, Technocrats & Fanatics: The Ascent of a New Power Bloc

Click here to access article by James Petras from Boiling Frogs Post.
Today capitalists everywhere confront great uncertainty, as markets crash and endemic corruption at the highest levels erode competitive markets. Throughout the world, large majorities of the labor force question, challenge and resist the massive transfers of public wealth to an ever reduced oligarchy. Electoral politics no longer define the context for political opposition.
Capitalism, neither in theory nor practice, advances through reason and prosperity. It relies on executive fiats, media manipulation and arbitrary police state intrusions. It increasingly relies on death squads dubbed “Special Forces” and a ‘reserve army’ of para-military fanatics.
The new power bloc is the merger of big business, the wealthy professional classes, upwardly mobile, elite trained technocrats and cadres of ethno-religious fanatics who mobilize the masses. 

The Persian Gulf: Who is turning the region into a powder-keg?

Click here to access article by Viktor Mikhin from New Eastern Outlook.

The Empire's key anchor to power lies with its cozy association with the Medieval-like kingdoms of the oil-rich Middle East. Major components of this association consists of their commitment to sell oil only in US dollars in exchange for Empire protection (see this, and this) which insured the value of the US dollar, and their huge purchases of weapons from the US insures that their oil revenues get recycled back to the US's military-industrial complex. 
...billions of dollars from Arab oil exports began to flow back in exchange for new American and Western-made weapons arsenals. According to rough estimates, in the next few years, the Arab Gulf countries will buy weapons worth over $ 120 billion. American arms dealers are again rubbing their hands together and counting the windfall from their bloody business.

Target China

Click here to access article by William Engdahl from White TV.
The New World Order (NWO) is the banksters (Rothschild, Rockefeller) plan to achieve world dictatorship. There are two main obstacles: Russia and China. The attacks on Syria with foreign mercenaries (the Syrian opposition is not violent) aim to cut Russia of from the gas supply for Europe. New pipelines are planned from Saudi Arabia and Qatar via Syria to Europe, making the Russian gas obsolete. The attack on Syria targets even China and Iran in the long run.
Unfortunately, from my point of view, Engdahl, like several other geopolitical analysts, sees a hopeful future in a multi-polar capitalist world. Still, his insights of the global rivalry between the US Empire and the BRIC countries are very valuable.
F. William Engdahl has published a best seller in China: Target China. In the interview he gives an overview to that in China famous book. 

The dangerous myths of ‘anti-extractivism’

Click here to access article by Federico Fuentes from Climate & Capitalism.
The narrow extractivism/anti-extractivism counter position has been used to foster divisions among social movements, weakening the unity needed for radical change to achieve radical change.
There is ample evidence to show that foreign governments and NGOs have been working to stoke, rather than resolve, tensions among the regions’ diverse social movements. Such forces are happy to promote “anti-extractivism” if it serves to bring down popular governments and roll back changes.
This website has now produced two other views on this issue in a current article entitled "Two views of ‘extractivism’ and ‘buen vivir’". 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Bilderberg Elite Gather in Denmark to "Circle their Wagons"

Click here to access article by Wayne Madsen from Strategic Culture Foundation.

Madsen reports on the current meeting of the real directors of the capitalist Empire who control the strings of the "democratically" elected puppets in their official governments.
As usual with Bilderberg conclaves, the 2014 meeting in Copenhagen is cloaked in secrecy with a massive public and private security presence in place to deter protesters or inquisitive reporters. For example, journalists were cleared out of the Copenhagen Marriott Hotel, one of the venues for the Bilderberg meeting, by security staff. The journalists were later detained by Danish police for asking too many questions about the Bilderberg meeting. 

The Exact Timing of Near-Term Human Extinction Is Academic

Click here to access article by xraymike79 from his blog Collapse of Industrial Civilization.

The author provides us with scientific evidence that our capitalist masters refuse to acknowledge because they are addicted to a system that supplies them with their drugs of wealth and power. In short, we humans are already in deep doo-doo; but if we continue to allow their system to function, we will be flushed down the toilet of extinction.
If all industrial activity stopped right now, we would already be committed to 2.65°C, a global average temperature rise of three times what we are currently experiencing. With all the drought, flooding, hurricanes, landslides, fires, and other manifestations of climate change that we are undergoing now, I shudder to think what the world will be like in 2050 and yet humans continue to burn coal and other fossil fuels at breakneck speed. According to the Climate Accountability Institute, half of all emissions have been produced in the past 25 years.

The Real Agenda of the Gates Foundation

Click here to access article by Jacob Levich from Aspects of India's Economy.

The article contains four separate, concise articles covering various aspects of philanthropic foundations and their use in furthering capitalist Empire interests.
Charitable activities that undermine democracy and state sovereignty are immensely useful to the ruling class. Robust, effective social programs in developing countries are an impediment to the current imperial agenda of worldwide expropriation; healthy people, in control of their own destinies and invested in the social well-being of their communities, are better equipped to defend their claim to the wealth they possess and produce. Far better, from the point of view of the Good Club philanthrocapitalists, if the world’s poorest billions remain wholly dependent on a largesse that may be granted or withdrawn at pleasure.