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, August 9, 2014

The West on the wrong path

Click here to access article by Gabor Steingart from Handelsblatt (a leading German financial newspaper).
As neighbors of Russia, as part of the European community bound in destiny, as recipient of energy and supplier of this and that, we Germans have a clearly more vital interest in stability and communication. We cannot afford to look at Russia through the eyes of the American Tea Party. 
While European officials are quick to support the US Empire's aggressive policies in support of their puppet government in Ukraine and in opposition to Russia, there may be cracks appearing in the German ruling capitalist class if this article is any indication. Germany, and Europe in general, have much to lose if US aggressive policies toward Russia continue. The separation of Russia from Europe is one of the prime considerations of Empire policies. Thus, Empire directors must be worried by opinions like this. (See also this, this, and this.)

Corporate 1% in U.S. Gets Wealthier While Cash Piles Up

Click here to access article by Lorraine Woellert from Bloomberg. 

The global nature of corporate activity transcends national boundaries under the latest version of capitalism called neoliberalism. Unlike their policies which control the movement of workers across national boundaries, our ruling class has made it easy for the rich and their corporations to move operations across boundaries. Just as US corporations have reduced their labor costs by transferring their operations to low cost labor areas of the world, so have they kept their money in low tax areas of the world. This results in austerity policies within the US and the further hollowing out of the infrastructure. Of course, US government expenses that are never cut are military and largely secret subversive and surveillance agencies like the CIA and NSA to insure the global dominance of the US-led capitalist gang.
Because tax law discourages moving that money back to the U.S., cash is piling up abroad and companies are taking novel steps to adapt, including borrowing against those assets to finance operations at home.

.... American multinationals are taxed by the country where profits are earned and by the U.S. when -- or if -- the money is brought back.
Hence, US corporations tend to keep their money out of the country.

What Obama Told The Caliph

Click here to access article by Bernhard from Moon of Alabama. (satire?)

Berhard has an uncanny ability to see through public relations statements coming from the Empire and discerning what they really mean--especially from the Empire's leading public relations officer. In this piece he speculates on what the Obama's message Thursday really meant to the Caliph.

Climate Change – Point of No Return

Click here to access article by Margaret Kimberley from Black Agenda Report. 
Time’s up, or so planet earth seems to be telling humanity. Extreme weather conditions around the globe, including rising temperatures, droughts, crop failures, melting sea ice, rising sea levels, disappearing glaciers and the loss of plant and animal species all point in only one direction. The tipping point towards the sixth great extinction is taking place right now. 

Israel-Palestine: By the Numbers

Click here to access article by independent journalist Garry Leech from his blog. 
...this article seeks to use numbers to present the historical reality in an easily accessible manner and to highlight the distortions and inaccuracies that are prevalent in the rhetoric that emanates from Washington and Ottawa as well as the propaganda promulgated by the mainstream media in these nations. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Naomi Klein: 'Our Economic Model Is at War with Life on Earth'

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

The author introduces us to a very important new book by the well-known Canadian activist entitled 'This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate'. In it Klein develops a thesis that she recently expressed so well to a union audience:
The case I want to make to you is that climate change—when its full economic and moral implications are understood—is the most powerful weapon progressives have ever had in the fight for equality and social justice. 
But first, we have to stop running away from the climate crisis, stop leaving it to the environmentalist, and look at it. Let ourselves absorb the fact that the industrial revolution that led to our society’s prosperity is now destabilizing the natural systems on which all of life depends.
Climate change...[is] not an 'issue' for you to add to the list of things to worry about it. It is a civilizational wake up call.
In a video trailer introducing the new book, Klein quotes a scientist delivering a talk to a meeting of the Geophysics Union entitled "Is the Earth Fucked?":

Palestine: the only solution is now the one-state solution

Click here to access article by John Rees from CounterFire (Britain).

A one-state solution has always been the only legitimate solution for the huge mistake that Anglo-American ruling classes and their Zionist collaborators made by setting up the state of Israel. However, such a solution is not possible as long as the Empire, or any capitalist empire, exists. This pariah state is a creation of capitalist imperialism in order to control access to the abundant fossil fuels in the Middle East, and only the dissolution of capitalism and the establishment of egalitarian societies can finally lead to a one-state solution. 

This liberal author and CounterFire have a myopic view of the current crises as argued in another article entitled "From Gaza to Ukraine: unite opposition to Britain's warmongering elite", and because of this they can only advocate the same old strategies of working within the capitalist system to make the problems go away. And, one of their favorite strategies is an old one--protests and more protests

It seems that liberals are exhibiting a kind of mental illness by constantly doing the same thing and imagining a different result. Capitalist ruling classes have clearly demonstrated the ability to control protests so that they don't interfere with their various destructive projects.

The Old Continent’s Road to Ruin (Through Moscow)

Click here to access article by Don Quijones from Wolf Street. 
The message was clear from the U.S. and European leadership: sanctions against Russia would have a “limited spill over” on U.S. and European businesses and a “moderate effect” on their economies. At least that was the plan – or at least the plan presented for public consumption. Unfortunately, the spoilsport that is Vladimir Putin seems rather less inclined to play along.
.... As the stakes get higher in a trade war that has already inflicted serious pain on many European and Russian companies as well as on their broader economies, the big question is: Who Will Fold First?
Russia, as always throughout modern history, refuses to submit to the dictates of other would-be imperial powers. Thus, they must be punished. The problem for the directors of the Empire is to keep Europe under their control while directing mostly a proxy war against Russia. The author sees a lot of difficulties that may get in the way of their plans.

So, once again, if we fail to act, we ordinary people must brace ourselves for more capitalist intrigues and power struggles. There seems to be no end to the crises that they are imposing on the world's Ninety-Nine Percent. The question I ask is: why brace ourselves instead of working to dismantle the system which gives them their power? Why put up with their intrigues, their crises, and their disasters any longer given the fact that future disasters will be far worse than ever before?

The Role of US Corporate Entertainment in the Social Control Element of Imperialism

Click here to access article by Danny Haiphong posted on Black Agenda Report.

It is rather rare to find anyone pointing out the influence of the capital ruling class on entertainment. Like every institution in society, the ruling class directors insure that it serves them not only with their imperialist projects, but also by hiding the nature of class-based social power and to bind the minds of their subjects in service to all aspects of their pursuit of wealth and power. 

This was most viciously demonstrated in the purge of left-wing Hollywood figures following WWII that resulted in many talented people in Hollywood losing their careers. Nowadays, the screening process to select those who will serve the ruling class is much more subtle, but very effective, and extends to every ideologically sensitive institution.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Stopping Israel

Click here to access article by Bashir Abu-Manneh from Jacobin. 
It will take years for Gaza to recover from the Israeli army’s material destruction, and even longer for Palestinians’ psychological scars, grief, and wounds to heal — if, that is, Israel allows them to live without bombs and invasions in the future.
The fact that Israel can repeat Gaza 2008-9, destroy even more infrastructure, and kill even more Palestinians, is troubling for all those who believed that the public outcry and outrage of the past would at least put some constraints on Israeli state conduct.
Why is it, then, that we find ourselves again faced with such a grim actuality? Why is it that Israel is given a free hand to deal so violently with the Palestinians? What could put constraints on Israel’s behavior in the future?
Most aware people know the answers to the first two questions, but the author argues that answers to the third question will require action on the part of us.

Genocide becomes mainstream in Israeli discourse

Click here to access article by Yazan al-Saadi from Al Akhbar. 
Over the course of Israel’s latest brutal attack on the besieged Gaza Strip this past month, a recurring narrative peddling the notion of genocide as a tactic to be used against the Palestinians has become prevalent, indicating a significant shift of extremist rhetoric from the fringes of society to its mainstream. 
The author then goes on to supply numerous pieces of evidence (with links) from Israeli sources to support his thesis. 

History has shown that this pariah state was born dripping with the blood of terrorism, and has continued throughout its brief existence to maintain itself with violence. It seems that terrorism, apartheid, and genocide can succeed if backed by other powerful states--at least for awhile. (see this, this, this, and this.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Washington plans for world war

Click here to access article by Patrick Martin from World Socialist Web Site. 
A remarkable document published July 31 on US military planning calls for the Pentagon to prepare to wage as many as half a dozen wars at the same time, including wars in which the antagonist possesses nuclear weapons.

HRW: Human Rights Watch or Hypocritical Representatives of Washington? (Part 2)

Click here to access article by Eric Draitser from New Eastern Outlook.
...the function of HRW runs far deeper than simply presenting information in a biased way. Rather, HRW shapes the narratives of conflicts, narratives which become solidified through repetition, and which eventually become regarded as undeniable facts.
Moreover, the language HRW employs, far from being simply stylistic choices, is deliberately utilized to obscure the reality of war zones in the service of the Empire. This is undoubtedly the case with the Israel/Palestine conflict where Israeli actions are never outright war crimes, while Palestinian ones are. It is equally true of Ukraine. This is also the case in Libya, Syria, and Venezuela, countries where HRW has played a critical role in constructing narratives in the interests of its financier and corporate paymasters, not to mention of course the US foreign policy agenda.

As Oysters Die, Climate Policy Goes on the Stump

Click here to access article by Coral Davenport from The NY Times. (addendum added to commentary)

When capitalist operations are directly affected by climate changes due to the excessive burning of fossil fuels, they and their hired government employees become concerned. Here in the area of the globe where I hang out, a major industry, oyster farming, is being threatened; and Gov. Inslee is sounding the alarm.
In his recent efforts he cites scientists who say that a global increase in carbon emissions from burning coal and oil has raised carbon dioxide levels in the oceans to unprecedented levels, translating to heavily acidic waters that are deadly to shellfish and other marine life. A major scientific report released in May, the National Climate Assessment, found that the United States’ northwestern waters are among the world’s most acidic. 
However, don't get your hopes up that capitalists really want to do anything serious about curtailing the use of fossil fuels to feed their growth machine. What Inslee really wants is to promote other industries which the region is well-positioned to exploit.
Mr. Inslee argues that in the state of Microsoft and Boeing and where science and technology drive much of the economy, denying the science of climate change is a losing political stance. “This is a scientifically literate state,” Mr. Inslee said. Washington [state], he said, is positioned in a low-carbon economy to design and build new kinds of energy technology, like solar panels and software for the electric grid. “It can be a jobs generator, and my state wants to get in the game,” he said.
Capitalists and their representatives always talk about creating jobs, but that is always a public relations way of expressing a desire to promote big corporations like Boeing and Microsoft. Jobs are always regarded as an expense by capitalists, and as such are deducted from income on corporations' financial statements. Hence, corporate CEOs are always looking for ways to reduce job costs by introducing new machines to replace workers, by cutting back on payroll expenses like health care, busting unions, outsourcing jobs to cheap labor countries like Bangladesh, etc. 

Addendum @ 7PM: While it is good to promote solar and other forms of alternative energy, they cannot meet the huge energy requirements of capitalist enterprises. Hence, capitalist ruling classes will continue to burn fossil fuels which, in turn, cause the greenhouse effect in our atmosphere, acidifying the oceans, releasing methane, melting the icecaps, flooding highly populated areas of the world, and leading us inevitably to catastrophic climate destabilization and human extinction.

Bubbles in the Sea, Craters in Earth Spark New Methane Worries

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

Evidence for one of the long-feared feedback loops caused by global warming and the burning of fossil fuels is starting to appear in Siberia and nearby seas. Scientists worry that this may be the start of runaway climate destabilization.
Seen by a team of international scientists led by Professor Örjan Gustafsson from Stockholm University travelling in the Eastern Siberian Arctic Ocean, the release of methane has long been feared by climatologists who suggest that a warming planet could trigger a mass melting of what are called methane hydrates—a frozen form of potent greenhouse gas methane trapped in permafrost or beneath the ocean floor.

Global Warming Deniers Become More Desperate By the Day

Click here to access article by David Suzuki from Common Dreams.

Capitalists love right-wing Christians who are helping to deny ever increasing evidence of impending climate destabilization caused by their rampant growth machine with faith-based statements like this:
"We believe Earth and its ecosystems—created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence—are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory. Earth’s climate system is no exception."

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

How The World Bank & IMF Plan to "Dismantle" Ukrainian Economy

Click here if you wish to access the transcript of the 5:44m interview with Michael Hudson from Real News Network.


Einstein’s theory

Click here to access article by Charles B. Anthony from CounterFire (Britain). 
You can dress genocide up in the cloth of democracy and freedom; many will buy it– the BBC for one – but the public worldwide are not that stupid, not anymore anyway. Aided by live unhampered footage direct from source, the Israeli propaganda machine is on the back foot. It may be able to convince an Israeli public cocooned in a frenzy of manufactured fear, but all the world can see right now, apart from those in western ivory towers, are mountains of dead Palestinian children. The cold revolving door of stock-excuses no longer sanitizes the hands of the killers, their masters or their masters’ friends. The emperor is naked, covered in blood and eating children.
Anthony refers to Einstein's open letter to the NY Times in 1948 co-signed by many other prominent Jews to warn Americans about the menace of the extreme Zionists that were growing the pariah state of Israel to pose his more moral argument against the recent massacre of Palestinians. These prominent Jews knew fascism when they saw it, but somehow these extreme Zionists managed to grow this pariah state anyway. Why?

Were they so exceptionally clever to pull the wool over so many eyes in the US, the BBC, and much of the world? Although by referring to the letter and it's content which accurately saw the founding fathers of Israel as fascists, the liberal Anthony doesn't seem to understand what fascism really is--or possibly he doesn't want you to understand. 

Is it only manifested in terrorism, brutality, or in crimes against humanity? No, no, and no! It is capitalist rule without the veneer of civil liberties, controlled elections, representative government and all the rest of the fake features which they have applied over the past 200 years to provide legitimate cover for their system of exploitation. Whenever their system is under stress, they bring out the hidden fist of violence against whoever threatens them--whether nearby enemies, labor movements, or their own domestic populations.

This truth explains why they have succeeded so well despite this early warning. The US ruling capitalist class along with their British counterparts saw Israeli fascism for what it was: a ruthless dedication to private ownership of economies. They also saw the usefulness of such a state as an armed fortress in the Middle East to insure Anglo-American access to the abundant oil and gas resources of the region. They have done everything to nurture and support it.

The Dinosaur from the Sixties

Click here to access article by Philip A. Farruggio from Wold News Trust. 

There is a lot views that I can identify with in this article. Farruggio and I are roughly of the same generation. While I didn't live in Brooklyn, I have lived in large cities in the West. Otherwise, I wonder rather bewildered by what this country has become, and feeling like a "Stranger In A Strange Land".

He seems to think our generation was superior, but I think that is naive. Comparing protests now which he sees as merely sporadic with protests during the 1960s, he writes:
In the late 60s this was not the case. As the Vietnam War limped on and on, more and more Americans took to the streets in protest. We closed my campus at Brooklyn College in May of 1970 to protest the illegal bombing of Cambodia. Hundreds of colleges nationwide did the same. There was a motivated and well run national movement to end that war and bring our troops home. Civil disobedience was prevalent throughout our great nation. For every act of violent demonstration by protestors, there were literally hundreds of instances of peaceful dissent. Guess what? The Military Industrial Empire had to finally alter its agenda and back off a bit.
Also, I don't think that we protestors were mostly responsible for the Empire backing off. They were defeated by Vietnamese peasants. 

The directors of the growing Empire learned a few lessons from that experience. The most important one was to have an all-volunteer army so that only those gung-ho or couldn't find a job went into their armies. Especially since the collapse of the economy in 2008, they haven't had much of a problem finding recruits.  

They've also beefed up their management of media to hide their barbarous activities throughout the world and to keep people focused on trivia, and their industries have produced all kinds of electronic gadgets to keep people distracted and entertained. Then, of course, there was the 9/11 project and the terrorist bogeymen coming to get us.

It was also very clever of them to hire a person with black skin to fill the office of "President" and to handle their government's public relations. Liberals now hesitate to protest against this government because they don't want to be seen as racist. They learned this from Zionists who very successfully played that trick against people who would otherwise criticize Israeli actions.

California continues fracking through the drought

Click here to access article by Sara Sullivan from Climate Connections.
“We’re talking about a triple threat to our water from fracking,” says Adam Scow, the California Director for Food & Water Watch. The first threat: The fracking process requires a lot of water, which then becomes unsuitable for any other use. [...] It’s also possible that fracking fluid could leach into underground aquifers, and of course the toxic wastewater left over from fracking has to be disposed of somehow — and therein lies the second threat to California’s water supply. [...] The third threat to California’s water supply, according to Scow, is that all of the oil and gas we’ve produced via fracking will eventually get burned and thus contribute to global warming, “which leads to more droughts.” 
I wonder which people will finally choose: water or gas to drive their vehicles?

'Massive Environmental Disaster' in Canada as Toxic Tailing Pond Floods Waterways

Click here to access article by Deirdre Fulton from Common Dreams.

Here is the latest environmental disaster report as a result of corporate operations to feed the voracious energy appetite of capitalist industry.
"You can't release that amount of toxic metals into ecosystems without having long-term repercussions," Hart told QMI Agency. "If they're able to clean some of it up that would be helpful, but they'll never be able to clean it all up — those metals don't go anywhere."

Will Climate Change Lead to Conflict or Cooperation?

Click here to access article by Joel Jaeger from Inter Press Service.

This article seems to represent the latest take on climate destabilization by our capitalist ruling class after denying the reality for so long: it's all so complicated, we don't know enough, and some people wish that "the whole debate would just go away". 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Stories Of Extermination: Silent = Complicit

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

The author reminds us of the fact that there is nothing exceptional about the many who still remain silent regarding the latest massacre of Palestinians. He reminds us of the real history--in contrast to the fictional history of our indoctrination--of the rise of fascism in the 1920s and 30s that was greeted by capitalist elites everywhere who for a long time overlooked the atrocities committed by their German counterparts.
Hitler's "Final Solution" took the lives of roughly six million Jews along with millions more Slavs, Eastern Europeans, Roma, homosexuals, labor leaders, communists, and others suspected of such “crimes.” If decency and morality played any role, the United States would have taken action against Germany some time during the 1930s.
On the contrary, the U.S. business class had nothing but love for the Nazi regime.
Of course, this covering up of crimes by ruling classes has been true throughout recorded history which, of course, is only about 2% of human history. In our current era of capitalist rule only one ethical principle is consistently adhered to by ruling classes: if its good for the bottom line on financial statements, it is good. They justify this with general propaganda and indoctrination about the rule of market principles which are always neutral, and in the end always benefit humanity. 

You see this principle played out in current world events. If the current ruling capitalist classes and their satellites of the Empire were concerned about genocidal events, they would take serious actions against Israel. Instead, they are taking actions against Russia which has done nothing to justify sanctions except to oppose Empire subversive activities in Syria and Ukraine. And, of course, Empire rulers have a long history of crimes against humanity in pursuit of their ethical principle.

When even Zionists admit the project has failed

Click here to access article by Yvonne Ridley from Middle East Monitor.

Of course, what she means by the title is that this project massacre has failed in the world of public opinion.
Ridley starts off her essay by stating what should be obvious: "We should all remember that not all Jews are Zionists and not all Zionists are Jews." To support this she cites comments made by several prominent American Zionists who are critical about the latest Israeli massacre of Palestinians. She also reported on one shocking article written by an Israeli entitled "When Genocide is Permissible" and posted in The Times of Israel (since retracted). 

Cash, Weapons and Surveillance: the U.S. is a Key Party to Every Israeli Attack

Click here to access article by Glenn Greenwald from The Intercept
The U.S. government has long lavished overwhelming aid on Israel, providing cash, weapons and surveillance technology that play a crucial role in Israel’s attacks on its neighbors. But top secret documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden shed substantial new light on how the U.S. and its partners directly enable Israel’s military assaults – such as the one on Gaza.

Old Mole Variety Hour August 4 2014 [two segments of the hour long program]

Click here to access this morning's broadcast of the "Old Mole Variety Hour" from KBOO radio station in Portland, Oregon. These are two segments that I highly recommend.

Segment One (from the start to 23:50m): Bill Resnick talks with local scholar of policing and government repression, Kristian Williams [author of Our Enemies in Blue], about how the police plant informants and provocateurs in leftists organizations, and how movements should deal with that.  

By the way, the new website created by Williams is "DCSC: thinking critically about security, surveillance, and counterinsurgency"

Segment Two (from 25:00m to 31:50m): Clayton Morgareidge offers a commentary on why liberals are not the change we want to see in the world.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Electronic Communications Surveillance

Click here to access article by Lauren Regan from Monthly Review.

This piece offers one of the best single sources of information that I have found that covers a broad spectrum of issues related to our ruling class's surveillance programs and methods including the integration of corporations with government spy agencies, legal challenges, implications for activists, etc. It is loaded with additional links to other sources for more specialized information.

Regan starts off with a caveat:
...there is no absolute protection against surveillance. You can make it extraordinarily difficult for people or technologies to gather your data, but no protection is absolutely impassable.
However, later on she further clarifies this statement:
...there is no absolute protection against surveillance. You can make it extraordinarily difficult for people or technologies to gather your data, but no protection is absolutely impassable.

Cambodia and Western Fabrication of History

Click here to access article by Andre Vltchek posted at The Greanville Post.

Vltchek has traveled to Cambodia many times to uncover the true history of that region during the tragic years of the 1970s. Like an excellent journalist that he is, he not only interviews people in Phnom Penh, the capital, but travels into the rural regions to interview numerous people, both ordinary peasants and local leaders, to tease out the truth of those years. 

There are many inconsistent stories, but most of these are between city dwellers in Phnom Penh and those in the countryside. It is clear that the stories from the capital have been very much influenced by US authorities who have always framed events their to suit their imperial aims in southeast Asia, especially the heavily promoted stories about "The Killing Fields" of the Khmer Rouge. One theme is consistent: Cambodia was subject to concentrated carpet bombing that created chaos and rage in the countryside.  (See also this, this, and this.)

During this time (late 1960s and 1970s) I was aware of the fact of the illegal carpet bombing by following independent journalists of that time. One I remember well--Australian journalist Wilfred Burchett whose reports I read in I. F. Stone's Weekly; meanwhile Western authorities tried every means to discredit his reporting as is evident even today in Wikipedia's entry. In the 1980s Western mainstream media began cranking out reports which constructed there own Empire-serving myth (similar to the Rwanda Massacre) about the Khmer Rouge and the Killing Fields while omitting any coverage of the horrendous war crimes committed by US leaders against that country.  

What has never ceased to amaze me over the past 60 years is the gullibility of my fellow Americans. They have been lied to so often, but most of them still swallow every lie told to them today.