We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore LappĂ©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Planned Chaos in the Middle East—and Beyond

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

This is not exactly a new thesis, but it bears repeating.
The seeds of the chaos were planted some 25 years ago, when the Berlin Wall Collapsed. Since the rationale for the large and growing military apparatus during the Cold War years was the “threat of communism,” U.S. citizens celebrated the collapse of the Wall as the end of militarism and the dawn of “peace dividends”—a reference to the benefits that, it was hoped, many would enjoy in the United States as a result of a reorientation of part of the Pentagon’s budget toward non-military social needs.

But while the majority of the U.S. citizens celebrated the prospects of what appeared to be imminent “peace dividends,” the powerful interests vested in the expansion of military/security spending felt threatened. Not surprisingly, these influential forces moved swiftly to safeguard their interests in the face of the “threat of peace.”
The author continues on in the article to expertly develop the thesis of a voracious military-industrial complex and adds Israeli-Zionist territorial ambitions to the mix. I agree with all of his arguments, however they are not sufficient to explain the policies of the US-led Empire. 

The Empire's capitalist elite who determine those policies are also concerned about acquiring control of rapidly diminishing resources, particularly fossil fuels, needed to keep their giant wealth-sucking capitalist machinery fueled for more growth, or at least, to sustain it until some mythical new energy source is obtained. Thus, they have an imperial agenda to acquire as much control of these resources as they can, and they will attempt to subvert or attack any opposition, which includes the rapidly developing capitalist gang known as the BRICs, that stands in their way. This, in addition to the impending catastrophic climate destabilization which their system is causing, is what makes today's world so dangerous.

The Outrage This Time

Click here to access article by Andrew Levine from CounterPunch.

I always spend substantial time on Saturday mornings trying to find good satire of capitalists and their system, but I often fail. I've noticed that the right-wing does a much better job using satire to ridicule what they stupidly regard as a liberal government. I've even found myself laughing at some of their material. So with that apologia expressed, I offer this piece as the best I could find this morning in the way of satire.
Whenever my local NPR station has one of its frequent on-air fund-raisers, I am tempted to call in to tell them how Morning Edition is my source for conventional wisdom and pro-regime propaganda.
I could say the same, of course, about NPR’s weekend news programs and All Things Considered.  But Morning Edition is special; it starts the day.

The whistleblower speaks to Alan Rusbridger and Ewen MacAskill about life in Russia, the NSA culture, his time there and the future of communication

Click here if you wish to access the edited transcript of this 13:59m video of the interview conducted by The Guardian journalists.
He doesn’t drink, he’s reading Dostoevsky and, no, he doesn’t wear a disguise. A year after blowing the whistle on the NSA, America’s most wanted talks frankly about his life as a hero-pariah – and why the world remains ‘more dangerous than Orwell imagined’. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Senator Warren Lets Yellen Know She’s Had It With the Fed’s Charade About Too Big to Fail [revised]

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

There are few people besides Martens who has followed more carefully the shenanigans of Wall Street actors. People from Wall Street have long been identified as the real directors of the US government. In other words, actors from this sector, especially the financial part of Wall Street, constitute what many keen observers of power in the US as a "shadow government" or "deep state". Although major capitalist actors have exercised major influence over the US government for over 100 years, their control has become so consolidated that they now have a hidden directorate who function as a shadow government. 

Unbeknownst to most people, following WWII the ruling class directorate became very interested in establishing an empire, and gradually established another branch of their directorate in northern Virginia to manage the empire. This has been well described in a recent book entitled Imperial Suburbs by Andrew Friedman. A 55 minute interview with Friedman broadcast from KPFA in Berkeley provides a detailed description of this event.
In the early days of the CIA, Allen Dulles moved the agency from Washington, D.C. to the suburbs, spawning a complex of government and private entities in the service of US empire. Scholar Andrew Friedman unearths the significance of the national security state's base in Northern Virginia. He examines the imperial ties and intimate connections between agents....
With domestic affairs run by agents in Wall Street and Empire affairs run by their people in northern Virginia, what they left behind in Washington was merely a well-constructed facade of "constitutional government founded on democratic principles and the rule of law", an ongoing performance of a stage play called "Democrats versus Republicans", and the periodic extravaganzas of political campaigns and elections. It is the facade, the staged drama, and election campaigns that mainstream media report on, while the actions of those in the well-coordinated shadow government in Wall Street and northern Virginia go unreported.  However, the fake nature of the official government is becoming ever more apparent as Martens is discovering.

In this article she cites Fed Chair Yellen's semiannual report to the Senate Banking Committee as evidence that there is no serious planning by the Fed to exercise any discipline over reckless actions of "too big to fail" banking institutions as promised to the American people and as mandated in the Dodd-Frank bill following the most recent collapse of the economy. She also provides evidence of the collusion of major Wall Street actors with enforcement agencies, police and other legal authorities. 

Economists say solution to problems is more of the same

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

Few people explain capitalist economic concepts and analyses better than Dolack. In this piece he deconstructs a document entitled “Policy Challenges for the Next 50 Years,” issued by a major capitalist organization called the OECD (the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). 

It appears that key capitalist policy makers insist that they must continue with the same neoliberal austerity policies with plenty of assurances that everything will be fine, but admit that their beloved system must now accept slow growth for the foreseeable future. Of course, what they are really facing is stagnation as their system which demands high rates of growth comes up against the resource limits of a finite planet, especially cheaply available energy from fossil fuels.
The implications of that stagnation are a sputtering economy, more unemployment and more inequality because capitalism is a system that requires growth. A system based on endless growth can’t function without it — slow growth (all the more so no growth) means misery for working people as the recent years of “recovery” from the 2008 economic collapse has demonstrated.
However, as Dolack correctly concludes:
An economic system designed to meet human needs, rather than private profit, would have no need to grow. But as capitalism is designed for private profit, and requires continual growth to maintain itself, harsher austerity (and the force that will be necessary to implement it) is what is on offer by the world’s elites.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Ukraine: Kiev’s Ticking Time Bomb

Click here to access article by Tony Cartalucci from The Greanville Post
After a brief ceasefire, Kiev has resumed the bombardment of populated centers in the eastern breakaway provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk, both bordering with neighboring Russia. Kiev and its Western backers face a confounding dilemma – continue military operations in eastern Ukraine and create a heavily militarized opposition while racking up a troubling human rights record, or commit to a ceasefire and for all intents and purposes forfeit Donetsk and Lugansk just as Kiev has done regarding Crimea.
 Cartalucci's analysis of the terrible situation in Ukraine suggests a positive outcome leading to a "multi-polar world".
With NATO’s brand of hegemonic expansion swept aside, the world will be tasked with describing a new order with which to replace it. The multipolar world preferred by nations like Russia, China, and other BRICS members is already poised to serve this role. With the devastation of the West’s unipolar model on full display in eastern Ukraine, the cause of establishing a multipolar world gives added impetus to those resisting Western advances both within Ukraine, and beyond.
First of all, I don't see a multi-polar world as anything like a panacea. At best, it only temporarily averts a dangerous nuclear war. Secondly, I question the ability of the crazy neo-con infested Empire directorate to settle for any kind of multi-polar world. This is what makes the situation in Ukraine so dangerous. They have worked on the subversion of Ukraine for the past 20 years and have seen their recent success as a major step toward their quest for world domination. Thus, I see a more likely scenario in which the Empire's directorate throws in all kinds of military aid into the conflict including, if necessary, private armies to overwhelm the opposition in eastern Ukraine. I, too, see the Ukraine mess as a "ticking time bomb", but one that could easily lead to a major conflagration.

Plans for Redrawing the Middle East: The Project for a “New Middle East”

Click here to access a current re-post on The 4th Media of a prophetic 2006 article by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, a Canadian sociologist and geopolitical analyst. 
This article first published by GR in November 2006 is of particular relevance  to an understanding of the ongoing process of destabilization and political fragmentation of Iraq.
I've always been impressed by Nazemroaya's views on geopolitical events in the Middle East, but this piece represents the best of his work.

Has America’s Economy Entered the “Coffin Corner”?

Click here to access article by Fabius Maximus from Wolf Street. 

Maximus uses some very apt aerodynamic metaphors to illustrate the dilemmas confronting our capitalist masters ensconced in central banks as they desperately try to maintain their craft aloft.
In the absence of effective and comprehensible economic theory, economists often rely on analogies. Such as comparisons with aerodynamics. Flying complex vehicles at high speed under variable conditions, often with inadequate or old information — the role of pilot has similarities with that of central banker.
I particularly loved one comment by "Simon" following the article:
Just to riff [expand] a little more on the analogy….. we ought to add that the ‘central banker pilot’ is trying to keep the ‘plane’ aloft whilst strapping on his own parachute, making sure that his/her buddies have chutes also, whilst telling those in coach that everything is going swimmingly and we will all be ok!
 ...oh and those in coach are worrying about what movie they should watch! (ignorance is truly bliss).
"Altitude" in this analogy should be interpreted as the aircraft approaches the limits of the Earth's atmosphere--clearly a metaphorical referent to a capitalist economy which is running up against resource limits, especially cheap fossil fuels, to keep their giant wealth-sucking machinery fueled for more growth.

New Wave of Washington Consensus in Latin America

Click here to access article by Don Quijones from Wolf Street. 

The author looks at economic trends in Latin America and sees some new moves by the neoliberal leadership of the US led ruling capitalist classes. (Neoliberal policies and operations that have been applied to Latin America are frequently identified as the "Washington Consensus".)
Something big is going down in Latin America: A slow-moving tectonic shift threatens to split the continent down the middle on ideological lines. On the Atlantic side are Mercosur nations such as Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Venezuela, whose governments are by and large statist and protectionist. On the opposite side are the four signatories of the recently signed Pacific Alliance, Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile – countries that are, in the words of the Financial Times, more “reform” and “liberal” minded.
Meanwhile, another capitalist gang known as the BRIC nations is taking shape to counter the capitalist gang represented by the US led Empire. Further details on this are provided by Pepe Escobar in his recent article "BRICS against Washington Consensus: Death Sentence for the Neoliberalism?". Unfortunately, Escobar's article suggests that the movement of the BRICs to create a multi-polar world would be a positive development. This view seems to be a common delusion among many critics of the US Empire. If you believe that, then you should also believe that the competing capitalist empires of the 20th century, the Anglo-American empire and the two blocks led by Germany in both WWI and II, were good for world.

Waking Up To Our Broken Education Policies by Jeff Bryant

Click here to access article by Jeff Bryant from Education Opportunity Network

What I find particularly informative about this article is not that major media is only recently starting to cover the grassroots opposition to the broken education policies promoted by the ruling class directorate that has been behind both the Bush and Obama administrations, but the many informative links provided by the author to sources which report on the details of this grassroots opposition. 
For years, collectivist actions in protest of public school policy have been scaling up from isolated protests to a nationwide movement of unified resistance. The movement is widespread among teachers, students, and parents. From the beginning, the movement was been grassroots driven and demanding of changes in the way our schools are being run.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Citigroup: The Original Gangsta

Click here to access article by Robert Scheer from TruthDig. 
Barack Obama’s Justice Department on Monday announced that Citigroup would pay $7 billion in fines, a move that will avoid a humiliating trial dealing with the seamy financial products the bank had marketed to an unsuspecting public, causing vast damage to the economy. 
Obviously, Citigroup isn't the only "gangsta" that has wrecked so many lives of ordinary people, and we will get nowhere to solving these periodic crises and the dire future that lies ahead by casting blame on certain players. "It's the economy [system], stupid!" However, if the Justice Department were serious about pursuing justice, there would have been criminal charges brought against key players who knowingly perpetrated fraudulent deals. Instead Citigroup, like the other too-big-to-fail financial institutions have been rewarded by the Federal Reserve with trillions of dollars of near zero rate loans that Citigroup uses to provide credit for us at rates up to 21% interest.

For many more details on the deal worked out by the ruling class's "Justice" Department with Citigroup which provided cover for any criminal prosecutions, I highly recommend you read "$7 Billion Citigroup Settlement: About Those 25 Million Missing Documents" by Pam Martens.

NATO Hopes for Russian Invasion of Ukraine

Click here to access article by Tony Cartalucci from New Eastern Outlook. 
For many reasons Russia will not benefit from invading Ukraine, and for many more reason, NATO and the EU would benefit from it – at least rhetorically. The Russians are therefore likely to resist provocations by Ukraine to cross the border and give NATO further excuses to meddle in Eastern Europe. Instead, Russia will allow Kiev to continue displaying its brutality and incompetence on the battlefield while eastern Ukrainians continue picking apart their forces. Meanwhile, economic pressure will continue undermining the regime in Kiev even amongst its supporters in western Ukraine.

New Map Shows Dramatic Time Lapse of Tar Sands Deforestation

Click here to access article by Kevin Grandia from DeSmog Canada.
The World Resources Institute and Global Forest Watch have been researching the world's boreal forests since 1990. According to their research, Canada holds the vast majority, 54 per cent, of the world's total boreal forest across a region of 500 million hectares or 14 times the size of California. Boreal forests hold twice as much carbon dioxide as tropical forests.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Debt: Eight Reasons This Time is Different

Click here to access article by Gail Tverberg from Our Finite Planet.

Tverberg is widely followed and respected among scientists and technologists who are informed about energy and the environment. She has been sounding warnings for many years about the fact that we, the citizens of the Earth, are running up against the limits of a finite Earth; and if we don't change our ways, the consequences will be catastrophic. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, she refuses to directly indict the system which is causing this inevitable calamity--capitalism.

In this essay she explains how the capitalist system (she always uses the word "economy") has been able to use debt as a method to solve the inevitable boom and bust crises that have forever characterized the operation of the system. Capitalism and its debt-fueled economies have depended on cheap sources of energy to create growth which always eventually succeeded in ameliorating the periodic crises in the past. However, this time conditions are dramatically different due to diminishing supplies of cheap energy and the impending catastrophe of climate destabilization caused by the excessive burning of fossil fuels. Still, the leaders of this system are hoping once again to use the same method for solving current economic problems--keep increasing the supply of debt-based money. Thus, Tverberg is led to this inevitable conclusion:
We live in perilous times. We have leaders who think they know the answers but, in fact, they do not. The debt problems we face now are not just overspending problems; they are signs that we are reaching limits of a finite world. World leaders do not seem to understand this connection. It is not even clear that they understand the connection of debt problems to the need for cheap-to-produce, high-quality energy products.
World leaders are nevertheless convinced that they know the answers, based on complex, but very flawed, models. Unfortunately, actions taken based on these models have a good chance of making the situation worse rather than better. For example, trying to tie a world economy closer together, when it is already heading toward collapse, seems like a recipe for disaster. 
Read also "Senior Bankers Warn: ‘It’s Crazy, It’s a Boom, It’s a Gold Rush’" by Wolf Richter. 

An Exceptional Decline for the Exceptional Country?

Click here to access article by Tom Engelhardt from TomDispatch, a project of the liberal Nation Institute. 

Although Engelhardt points to the ominous tendencies of the ruling class to ignore the rule of law and their reliance on military adventures which sow chaos in the world, he introduces an analysis that only confuses and leads people to wring their hands over the state of the nation and "puzzled" by what is happening.  His essay illustrates how many people identified as belonging to the American liberal political sector are really confused about today's political realities. Thus, they spread their confusion (some think intentionally) and thereby muddle effective responses to the growing crises that the world is facing: wars, growing poverty and debts for most and extreme wealth for tiny ruling capitalist classes, and impending catastrophic climate destabilization. 

Engelhardt starts off his essay by focusing on the US as a nation and dividing its rule into two interrelated parts: a national security state and a militarized corporate state. 
...two great power centers have been engorging themselves in twenty-first-century America: there was an ever-expanding national security state, ever less accountable to anyone, ever less overseen by anyone, ever more deeply enveloped in secrecy, ever more able to see others and less transparent itself, ever more empowered by a secret court system and a body of secret law whose judgments no one else could be privy to; and there was an increasingly militarized corporate state, ever less accountable to anyone, ever less overseen by outside forces, ever more sure that the law was its possession.  These two power centers are now triumphant in our world.  They command the landscape against what may be less effective opposition than at any moment in our history. [my emphasis]
While one may use such a separation legitimately for a limited analysis purpose, he doesn't go any further to show how these "power centers" are really only limited concepts that obscure the reality of a ruling, rapacious capitalist elite who must hide their criminal designs and operations from a public that they have indoctrinated into believing in a number of myths like the "rule of law" and constitutional governments based on "democratic" principles. 

Another source of confusion is his myopic concern about the US as a state in a world of nation-states instead of the reality of a transnational capitalist gang ruling over an ever-expanding Empire. (Engelhardt doesn't seem to understand that we live in an increasingly globalized world.) This Empire has its own army called NATO, and it is ruled over by capitalist elites who reside in NATO countries. This transnational ruling class continue to remove national impediments to their capitalist operations through the current secret negotiations known as TISA, TTIP, and TTP. They mostly use national boundaries to control the movement of workers (that's us) to benefit their far-flung enterprises.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Released Occupy Activist Cecily McMillan: "There's No Sense in Prison"

Click here to access the interview with McMillan conducted by Sarah Jaffe from Truthout.
There's no sense in prison. There's no rehabilitation; there's no citizenship; it is completely at odds with everything that we call democracy. It doesn't make any sense. People have called me a political prisoner; that's weird for me. But if I have to really think about that title and really come up with a definition of what a political prisoner is, it's someone who goes against the law or goes against the social rules or norms in order to stand up for the things that they believe in or the people that they care for, to do what is right by their communities. There's not a single woman in Rikers who isn't a political prisoner by that standard.
This privileged, educated, white woman has learned a lot about the realities of racism, ruling class police forces, and US prison systems; but judging from her comments in this interview (I did not think that the interview as reported here was well done), I think she has a lot more to learn. 

Of course, the way the police and "correctional" system works makes perfect sense if you understand--and it seems to me that she should--that all the nonsense about a "democracy" is just that. To see how confused she remains, just look at the contradictions in this paragraph:
...I do think that the NYPD as a force has become the arm of the corporatocracy. The way that they treated Zuccotti Park, the way that they go out and seemingly round up undesirable people, especially at times that gentrification is in full swing, but never happen to be around in times when the same people actually require assistance or help. What are our police doing? Why are they doing it? Who are they responsible to? Why don't we have more community oversight? Why don't we have a democratic hand in selecting the commissioner?
She initially recognizes in an intellectual sense that our society is a "corporatocracy"; but judging by her questions, she still clings to fake ideas from her indoctrination that our society is some sort of democracy. Thus, her experience makes "no sense" to her. The interviewer failed to point out these contradictions to her and encourage her to dig deeper in her understanding. It's as if "corporatocracy" exists in some separate compartment away from the larger "democracy".

Of course, her police and prison experience makes perfect sense in a society ruled by a tiny class of people who literally own our economy under a capitalist system which rewards them with overwhelming wealth and power. They must constantly control the people they exploit, with racial minorities being the most numerous, by first of all, methods of indoctrination, and finally by a racist, classist, police force, kangaroo courts, and an elaborate prison system. Once people who are seen as dissidents, malcontents, or simply cannot function in their "corporatocracy"  get caught up in their police state systems, the kid gloves come off to reveal the hidden fist of fascism. Such people of necessity are subject to dehumanizing, humiliating experiences to break them psychologically into compliant subhumans.

McMillan's views, as reported in this interview, are another illustration of shallow thinking about our society, and as such, is a major problem among many US activists. It is preventing them from moving more seriously to discussions about the necessity for revolution as the solution to a whole range of problems: wars, poverty, police state methods, climate destabilization, resource depletion, etc.

‘Politics and Mafia Are Same Thing’ – Jailed Spanish Politician

Click here to access article by Don Quijones from Wolf Street.
...cozy ties between politicians and organized crime are hardly a problem exclusive to Spain. Nor are they a new problem: in 1920s Chicago the political class was perfectly at ease hobnobbing at speakeasies with Al Capone and his motley crew of ruthless bootleggers. Indeed, throughout history marriages of convenience have taken place between people and organizations on opposite sides of the legal divide. Lest we forget, in the mid 19th Century, the British Empire became arguably history’s largest ever drug trafficker when it began exporting – at the barrel of a gun – vast quantities of opium grown in India to China. 
I have always viewed the operations of capitalists and organized crime as coming from the same psychological source in sociopathy. (This latter term has long been competing with the term "psychopathy". The dispute between usages seems to be related to professional territories with more traditional and medically oriented professions clinging to the older usage of psychopathy versus mainly sociologists who have separated out behaviors that are based in faulty socialization versus those behaviors that have mostly an organic basis.) People who have low empathy (For a current article illustrating high empathic individuals, I highly recommend an article by Nozomi Hayase entitled "Chelsea Manning and The Power of Empathy".) or high sociopathy thrive well in a capitalist system, and likewise in a criminal organization. Thus, you will find a high percentage of such people in today's ruling capitalist classes. 

You will find a lot of evidence of the blurring of lines between "legitimate" activity and criminal activity as cited in the above quote from this article by Quijones, and there are tons of other sources of information showing the close collaboration of criminal organizations with capitalists and officials in their governments. (See this, this, this, and this for starters.)

CIA Covert Operations and U.S. Interventions Since World War II Full documentary

Click here to access a re-posting on Greanville Post of a documentary produced by Frank Dorrel. I only viewed 20 minutes of the video which covers the history of subversive activities of US secret agencies since WWII. I don't need to view the rest because I lived through all of this history.

Unfortunately, many people in the film, and people in general, see these developments as some kind of aberration rather than an intrinsic feature of a predatory ruling class such as exists under any system of capitalism. Thus, many people still hold out the false hope of correcting these problems and returning to what they have been taught to believe has existed in some mythical past: some sort of "democracy" or constitutional government founded on "democratic" principles. Notice that in this re-posting, an editor of The Greanville Post suggests that such operations of the existing system can be corrected without eliminating class rule if only we wake up:
As a class tool for the ruling elites, it’s quite obvious the CIA will not disappear or perform legitimate national security work until capitalist class rule is finished, OR Americans wake up sufficiently from their induced stupor to revamp the agency. 

Blood for gas: Why Bibi is punishing Gaza

Click here to access article by Pepe Escobar from RT.
So here’s the “secret” of Operation Protect the Zionists, sorry, Protective Edge: without smashing Hamas, which controls Gaza, Israel cannot drill off the Gaza coast. For Bibi as well as the Knesset, the possibility that the Palestinians could have access to their own gas-generated wealth is an absolute red line.

And the EU may be on it as well. No one in Brussels will admit it, but it’s easy to conceive “strategists” regarding this takeover of Palestinian gas fields opening the door in the future for the EU being less dependent on Gazprom, and a substantial importer of (stolen) Israeli gas.

Israel’s Newspeak is old news; after all they are masters of fooling no one but themselves. Expanding on what Michael Klare has brilliantly detailed, the new, open-ended, collective punishment inflicted on Gaza is most of all a blood-for-gas energy war.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

National Endowment for Empire: Democracy Promotion Means Regime Change

Click here to access article by Ed Warner from The Unz Review.

Warner reports on the Empire's leading regime change organization and its neoconservative leadership.
NED occupies an envious position. Though government funded, it operates with little in the way of oversight. Amid the many voices projecting US foreign policy – the White House, State Department, Defense Department, Congress – it can be heard above others because it speaks forcefully with ideological assurance. It is indeed the voice of the neo-conservatives who recommend US military intervention wherever it can be employed with special attention to the needs of Israel. Explains Madeleine Albright, former US Secretary of State and chairman of the National Democratic Institute, an offshoot of NED: “We stand tall, and thus see further than other nations. We are the indispensable nation.” Is a name change in order perhaps? The National Endowment for Empire.
Of course, like many other superficial observers of the US power structure, Warner goes along with the myth of an independent executive office or President as a chief executive officer of the US, instead of viewing the office more realistically as a public relations cover for a shadow government. 

This Chart Truly Depicts What’s Wrong With the ‘Recovery’ in America

Click here to access article by Wolf Richter from Wolf Street.

Richter provides some telling details behind Wall Street's "recovery". (Hint) There is a growing bifurcation of US society between the rich and the poor, between the haves and have-nots, and the latter are going into debt to spend on the rising cost of necessities like food and fuel.


The World Cup Spilleth Over: As the Soccer Games End, Political Ones Begin

Click here to access article by Danny Schechter posted on Common Dreams. 

The FIFA sponsored World Cup of soccer in Brazil has imposed enormous social costs on the Brazilians. Now with the humiliating loss to the German team, Schechter wonders if the Brazilian ruling class may have counted too much on a Brazilian win to assuage public discontent.
The World Cup has spilleth over. With the  FIFA spectacle about to pack up its goodies—most of their lucre has already been wired out of Brazil—...the “host” country now tries to cope with its financial losses, intensified social conflicts and humiliating defeat at the hands of the Germans....

The Excellent But False Messaging of the Common Core Standards

Click here to access article by Diane Ravitch from Common Dreams.  

Although Ravitch offers too much of a liberal interpretation of the issues related to the spread of Common Core standards, nevertheless she provides interesting new information to illustrate how big money can easily subvert the more established ruling class methods of education.
Have you ever wondered about the amazingly effective campaign to sell the Common Core standards to the media, the business community, and the public? How did it happen that advocates for the standards used the same language, the same talking points, the same claims, no matter where they were located? The talking points sounded poll-tested because they were. The language was the same because it came from the same source. The campaign to have “rigorous,” “high standards” that would make ALL students “college and career-ready” and “globally competitive” was well planned and coordinated. There was no evidence for these claims but repeated often enough in editorials and news stories and in ads by major corporations, they took on the ring of truth. ....

This was no accident.