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, October 4, 2014

Prof. Diana Ralph: There's Little Doubt That the US Was Involved in the 9/11 Attacks

Click here to access article featuring an interview conducted by Kourosh Ziabari with a Canadian retired professor posted on FARS News Agency (Iran). 
I do not believe that the American people, or likely the Israeli people, understand the underlying economic and political reasons for the post 9/11 assaults on their civil liberties and the huge economic costs of waging these brutal military attacks. They are subjected to enormous propaganda from the media, the educational system, and government announcements about terror threats, to believe that these “anti-terrorism” measures are necessary.
Although a number of her observations about 9/11 corresponds well with facts and interpretations I learned from a wide variety of other independent sources that I've followed since that incident, I also learned a few more very interesting items. Prof. Ralph has clearly done her research very thoroughly.

Imagine a system better than capitalism

Click here to access article by Gary Engler from New Commune-ist Manifesto.
...for those of us who believe human beings are in control of our own destiny, or at least the rules that govern our economy and politics, it is time to come together and imagine a better system, one that promotes environmental sustainability, equality and international cooperation.
The way to begin is by identifying the most critical issues we face then think about how our current system makes those problems worse or prevents us from dealing with them.

Too Big to Jail?

Click here if you wish to access the source posting and introduction from Moyers & Company, a PBS program, to this 23:21m video featuring William Black, a former bank regulator.   
While large banks have been penalized for their role in the housing meltdown, the costs of those fines will be largely borne by shareholders and taxpayers as the banks write off the fines as the cost of doing business. And by and large these top executives got to keep their massive bonuses and compensation, despite the fallout.
But the story gets even more infuriating, the more Black lays bare the culture of corruption that led to the meltdown.
Black leaves little doubt that banksters in the financial industry have the government thoroughly corrupted and under their control. He leaves us with little hope by offering a vague suggestion about fighting back to where he thinks democracy once existed. Of course, he has been thoroughly indoctrinated in the capitalist version of democracy which has inevitably led to where we are now. No, we can't go back. Our only hope is to destroy the cancer of capitalism which has enabled a small segment of the population to take complete control of our society.

What I found most disturbing is his conviction that we are headed for a much bigger economic disaster (20:02m). Unfortunately, it appears that only a huge disaster can wake people up sufficiently to make the necessary radical changes.

What's Wrong with this Picture?

 From Lisa, the intrepid political humorist and satirist at All Hat No Cattle:

Friday, October 3, 2014

Top German Editor: CIA Bribing Journalists

Click here to access article from Russia Insider.

Members of the German media are paid by the CIA in return for spinning the news in a way that support US interests, and some German outlets are nothing more than PR appendages of NATO, according to a new book by Udo Ulfkotte, a former editor of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, one of Germany's largest newspapers. 

Terrorism and Turmoil: US Containment of China

Click here to access article by Tony Cartalucci from Land Destroyer Report. 

Cartalucci continues his examination of the Empire's use of NGOs as a Trojan Horse to stir up unrest and opposition to enemies. Of course, one of the designated enemies is China which the directors of the Empire see as a competitor who pose a threat to their hegemony over the world. 

Anyway, we are now witnessing huge demonstrations in Hong Kong over the right to select candidates for political office: local capitalist oligarchs or capitalist members of China's "Communist Party". I'm sure the controllers of the NGO Trojan Horses couldn't care less about the substance of the issue, they just want to stir up opposition and thus weaken China's central government--the old "divide and conquer" strategy in its new 21st century's version.

Cartalucci first delves into the history of this containment strategy followed by some interesting details about which NGOs are serving the Empire's strategy in China and are behind the current protests. The analysis leads him to this conclusion:
For the mobs of "Occupy Central," many have good intentions, but the leadership is knowingly in league with foreign interests seeking to subvert, divide, and destroy the Chinese people - not unlike what China had suffered at the hands of European powers in the 1800's to early 1900's.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

US Openly Approves Hong Kong Chaos it Created

Click here to access article by Tony Cartalucci from Land Destroyer Report.

Cartalucci has dug up a lot of information to support his argument that the "Occupy Central" protests in China have been to a considerable degree engineered by the usual subversive agents of the Empire:
Behind the so-called "Occupy Central" protests, which masquerade as a "pro-democracy" movement seeking "universal suffrage" and "full democracy," is a deep and insidious network of foreign financial, political, and media support. Prominent among them is the US State Department and its National Endowment for Democracy (NED) as well as NED's subsidiary, the National Democratic Institute (NDI).
I certainly wouldn't go so far as to argue that many people in these protests are not genuinely concerned about democracy, but would there really be a significant difference between candidates selected by the capitalist oriented Communist Party of China and those selected by the ruling oligarch's in Hong Kong? Can either create, or even have an interest in creating, a real democracy in Hong Kong? 

Here is a followup report from Cartalucci which I have only scanned.

Obama Targets Free Expression

Click here to access article by Stephen Lendman from Uncommon Thought Journal.

This whole article is total nonsense, nonsense written by an American liberal who otherwise offers many good critiques about the political direction of US society. It also illustrates how conventional thinking can lead one down to various (political) dead ends such as cynicism, voting for the other party, dropping out of all political action, etc. In contrast to conventional thinking which caused him to write such nonsense, a class analysis (capitalist, middle, and working class), which I use throughout my commentaries, offers a powerful understanding of the hows and whys of political events that happen in our capitalist world. 

The fact that a class analysis is missing from conventional thinking is testimony to the powerful actions of modern capitalist indoctrination agencies. Capitalists who enjoy enormous power and benefits from their system learned a long time ago that a class analysis must be purged from the thinking of its subjects, and replaced by superficial, formalistic thinking which obscures how the system actually works. 

Capitalism inherently promotes inequality which the recent French economist Thomas Piketty argued so well in his recent tome Capital in the Twenty-First Century that it created quite an embarrassed stir in capitalist circles. Capitalist ruling classes have always had to hide their system behind rhetoric that claims the system's legitimacy is based on the "rule of law": courts, "due process", representative governments, and constitutions that promise freedom of speech, a free press, and all sorts of human rights. Thus the power that the concentration of wealth based on private ownership of the economy provides people and corporations as well as the inherent tendency toward inequality must be suppressed in their institutions of indoctrination: media, schools, and entertainment.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

People need to face reality regarding 9/11 if they want to truly grasp what’s currently going on in the Middle East.

Click here to access article by Joseph Davis from his blog. 

The headline says it all, and the article is packed with links to sources that support this profound truth. Most Americans not only fail to understand what is now "going on in the Middle East", but do not understand everything that has gone on in the region since 9/11/2001.

Smooth Talkers: Marketing Imperial Civil Society

Click here to access article by Jay Taber from The Wrong Kind of Green.

This brief article packs a lot of condensed insights about the ruling capitalist class's use of these three Chiefs of Public Relations and NGOs to support their class's never-ending wars, ever increasing debts for ordinary people both personal and sovereign, austerity policies, and the growing split between a small number of the very rich amidst huge numbers of the poor in the US. 

Until the Rulers Obey: Learning from Latin America’s Social Movements

Click here to access an excerpt from the introduction to Until the Rulers Obey: Voices of from Latin American Social Movements, edited by Clifton Ross and Marcy Rein and posted at Upside Down World.

This article appears to give an excellent, up-to-date summary of the political conditions throughout Latin America with emphasis on "progressive states" in South America (Bolivia, Venezuela, Argentina, and Brazil) and the problems encountered by radical movements who aligned themselves with these states. 

It seems that after the brutal overthrow of the Chilean socialist government in 1973 and the Nicaraguan government ultimately in 1989 by subversive forces of the Empire, the Empire favored the implementation of soft power to continue their neoliberal policies especially in states that harbored revolutionary movements.
The Conquest of the Americas continues as an ongoing process of “primitive accumulation,” that is, through brutal dispossession, only changed in detail. The looting, once only of gold and silver picked or shoveled from mines by slaves to satisfy the greed of Conquistadores, has increased exponentially in recent decades to feed transnational Capital. This behemoth has left behind the sword to devastate the region with an arsenal of new tools for plunder: strip-mining “megaprojects” with giant machines that dig for lithium, copper and gold, laying waste to landscapes; countless drills for oil, poisoning rivers; dams for hydroelectric power that flood indigenous lands; battalions of tractors sowing industrial soy for cattle and biofuel, or cane for sugar and biofuel, or eucalyptus for paper mills, or other monocultures that raze entire ecosystems and steal peoples’ ways of life….
Still, there is hope given the unique cultural fact of strong communitarian values of the indigenous people in this area. They have achieved some successes, and more promising is that they are learning a lot of lessons which may serve them in overcoming these powerful neoliberal forces. We activists in North America can learn much from their experience.
Some form of socialism or communitarianism is embedded in the cultural matrix of the entire southern continent, in the indigenous concept of the “minga,” “minka,” or “cayapa,” meaning “community work for the collective good without self-interest.” The Roman Catholic Church—especially Liberation Theology— posed community as the way to redemption, unlike Protestantism in which salvation has generally been considered an individual matter. When left to their own devices, Latin Americans have often chosen communal forms of mutual aid and populist, corporatist or even socialist governments that advocated for the interests of the working majority.  In any case, in the neoliberal globalizing world of TINA, Latin America seemed not to have gotten the memo that socialism was dead and Capital was writing history’s final chapter. 

“The Lone Gladio” Reviewed

Click here to access this 23:16m podcast by James Corbett from his website.

Corbett starts his review of Sibel Edmond's new book by explaining the origins of Gladio operation in post WWII history and its more recent "B" version that is being applied in operations in Eurasia and the Middle East. It's all about the Empire's efforts to gain control over energy in these regions using Islamic related terrorist groups. Edmond's has had access to important secrets of the Empire through her work as a former FBI translator of communications from and to the Middle East. 

Sick-Outs and Walk-Outs: Students and Teachers Escalate Fight Against Censorship of History

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

It's wonderful to see students actively opposing education in the form of indoctrination in an area best known through ruling class media for a school massacre. I very much doubt that you will see coverage of these protests on your corporate TV broadcasts this evening. Instead, they will cover the protests in Hong Kong which meets with the ruling class's approval because they are directed against one of the latest targets of the Empire--China.
The actions are in response to a proposal from the conservative, five-member school board to establish a committee that would review the district's Advanced Placement history course in order to ensure its materials "promote citizenship, patriotism, essentials and benefits of the free-market system, respect for authority and respect for individual rights" and don't "encourage or condone civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law." Conservatives nationwide have claimed that the AP history course is "revisionist" and overly focused on the "negative" aspects of American history.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What Does Corporate Personhood Have to Do With Climate Change? Everything.

Click here to access article by Carl Gibson from Occupy Wall Street.

After furnishing an outline of steps in which the capitalist class in the US have gradually perverted provisions of the Constitution to serve their class interests, the author then launches onto the issue of communities and their legal ability to determine how and if corporations are allowed to function in their communities. Following this, he introduces the experience of people in Humboldt county (northern California) to prevent Walmart from establishing a retail store, and a lumber company from cutting down redwood trees. Since then the people of this county, who played by all the legal rules and processes, have suffered one legal defeat after another. But this does not discourage Gibson from proposing a fix in the form of another legal, and very expensive, process within a society that now exhibits overwhelming capitalist control of all institutions: a Constitutional amendment taking away "personhood" from corporations. 

Most ordinary Americans abide by the "golden rule" and most of the Biblical commandments, especially "thou shalt not kill". Yet, our ruling capitalist class have never had any difficulty getting us to stop what we're doing and go off to kill people in foreign lands as we are now doing in Syria and Iraq. Our ruling class have assassinated people in our own country who stood in the way of their access to wealth and power. So, do you think that they won't be able to stop such an amendment, ignore it, or reinterpret it to suit their needs by judges they appoint? Do you Gibson and others seriously think that a piece of paper will get in their way of plundering the Earth?

No, I insist that American activists grow up and realize that having been defeated by these criminal forces throughout US history in their efforts to promote social justice, the only real solution is to attack the system on which their power is derived. Any efforts short of that are like pissing in the wind, and will only result in the eventual extinction of human beings either through nuclear wars or catastrophic climate destabilization. Somehow, this reminds me of a song:

The Radicalization of Phil Donahue - Reality Asserts Itself (1/3)

Click here if you wish to access the transcript of this interview conducted by Paul Jay from Real News Network. 

From Wikipedia we learn:
The Phil Donahue Show, also known as Donahue, is an American television talk show hosted by Phil Donahue that ran for 26 years on national television. Its run was preceded by three years of local broadcast in Dayton, Ohio, and it was broadcast nationwide between 1970 and 1996.
I was fascinated by this first of three segments of the interview because I was curious how such an "all-American" boy could have attained so much success in mainstream media. Also, I could identify with him and his experience growing up in roughly the same time period as myself.  

I was not at all surprised when his popular show was cancelled. Although I watched his program only very occasionally, I was always surprised by its content and guests, and that it was permitted to exist at all. It's clear that the directors of the Empire learned from this, and have tightened their control over media considerably since his firing. So, I think that this is evidence to support an argument that media up until this time had slightly more opportunities to present alternative views on controversial issues than they do today where they exclusively broadcast pure, well-designed propaganda in support of ruling class interests. 

Study Finds Treated Fracking Wastewater Still Too Toxic

Click here to access article by Andy Tully from OilPrice.  

This website focuses on all issues related to energy and is mainly directed at investors of energy companies. Thus, it is particularly interesting so see in this online publication an article like this which provides additional evidence of the hazardous nature of the new shale-fracking technology which capitalists are so excited about.
One of the biggest concerns about hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is that the vast amount of wastewater produced by the process of extracting oil and gas from shale rock deep underground is incredibly toxic. 

Most often, the wastewater is injected into disposal wells deep underground. But a process does exist to convert contaminated water into drinking water that involves running it through wastewater treatment plants and into rivers.

Now a new report says that treated wastewater could be fouling drinking water supplies.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Will the US use ISIL to attack Assad?

Click here to access article by Jim Dean from New Eastern Outlook.

Although I think that Dean offers an excellent analysis of events related to the new ISIS "threat" to Western Civilization, I fault him for not providing any links to substantiate his argument that the "West is engaged in a War on Terror, and a War of Terror at the same time." The most damning omission is a link to the charges posed by EU’s ambassador to Iraq that the EU was supporting ISIS by buying oil from them. 

The TTIP Trojan horse: Selling Out Europe To US Corporate Plunder

Click here to access article by Colin Todhunter from his blog East by Northwest.
Do people in Europe want the likes of Monsanto determining policies in secretive meetings in Brussels?

Would they like Unilever, Kraft or Nestle determining what is allowed in their food? Do they want big business removing or weakening health and safety standards and undermining consumer and workers’ rights?

In other words, do they want their parliaments to be sidelined by powerful corporations that determine policies behind closed doors with bureaucrats and officials in Brussels?
The directors of the Empire are only doing what all such directors of empires do: consolidating the wealth of their subsidiary regions to serve the center of the empire. This is the result of the integration of European states into the US Empire since WWII which the working people of Europe failed to prevent. It is little late now to complain of this arrangement, but hopefully not too late to change it.

Will Russia and China Hold Their Fire Until War Is the Only Alternative?

Click here to access article by Paul Craig Roberts from Institute for Political Economy.

Having served in the Reagan's administration at a high level, Roberts is very well connected with the levers of political power. Although his outlook is constrained by a multi-polar capitalist world perspective, he has many valuable insights about the existing power arrangements in the world. 

This article, I think, contains some of the most useful in understanding what is going on in the global world of capitalist elites in which national boundaries are increasingly being erased. Here I am thinking of the information he provides about the subversive influence of Empire-based neoliberals that he locates within the ruling classes of Russia and China. 

The solution, of course, is not a return to nationally based capitalist elites--which is impossible--but the replacement of the very system that has produced the dangerous and destructive world we live in. Only the world's underclasses can do that. But, will they? Stay tuned. Better yet, stay active and informed.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The commons as an approach to governance, sustainable resource management and social wellbeing

Click here to access a summary article and 49:15m podcast interview with David Bollier from the Norwegian website Levevei. (I accessed this from P2P Foundation where Bollier has written articles.)

David Bollier is widely recognized as a leading advocate of the exciting paradigm of “the commons”, and he has recently written a book on the subject entitled Think Like a Commoner. The article provides an excellent summary of sections of this interview which can guide you to sections of interest if you do not have time to listen to the whole interview. Important topics that Bollier addresses is the concept of the commons, human nature, examples of existing commons, its contrast with existing capitalist organization of society, etc. 

My only comment on Bollier's views is that he at one point exhibits a political naïveté when he talks about communities negotiating with the state to establish a legal framework for a commons-type arrangement. Such an attitude fails to understand that the state is really a construction by the capitalist class to mediate competing capitalist interests. Thus, one must not see the state as separate from this class. Likewise, it follows that the capitalist state will never voluntarily permit the growth of this type of societal organization.

The invasion of corporate news

Click here to access article by Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson from Financial Times Magazine. (One can access at no cost a limited number of articles from this website by registering.)

I regret having to post an article like this from a primary ruling class source. Because this excellent report on the growing trend of directly produced corporate news did not come from alternative media, it is a very bad sad sign of the times we live in. 

While news organizations with concentrated ownership are increasingly covering news with a pro-corporate bias and frequently publish corporate-sourced articles in their media, corporations are now engaging directly in their own form of journalism by publishing "news" on their websites using the talents of professional journalists who can no longer find employment in traditional media. This excellent article tells that story.

Referring to "Coca-Cola Journey", an example of a corporate news platform, Ashley Brown [the former director of Coca-Cola’s content marketing program] provided these revelations:
Much of the content...is produced by former journalists.... Brands need storytellers, and journalists represent the greatest pool of storytelling talent out there, he says. At Coca-Cola, we wanted people who know how to package up a story with tension and emotion, and more importantly know how to do it quickly and efficiently.
Very frequently such "news" reports get picked up and spread throughout social media.

A Too Complicated Game: Obama's Deals With The Saudis And Al-Nusra

Click here to access article by Bernhard from Moon of Alabama.
According to the Wall Street Journal Obama made a deal with the Saudis. They will lend legitimacy for his attacks against the Islamic State and AlQaeda in Syria (aka Jabhat al-Nusra) and he will later overthrow the Syrian government under president Assad. Like the Saudi prince Bandar, who nurtured the Jihadists, was ousted over it, but is now back in the deal, the neocon editors of The Economist are doing victory jumps. They managed to get the U.S. back into their war. Hurray!
Like most political analysts, Bernhard assigns too much agency to Obama, and the latter's concerns about the next elections, instead of a deep state functioning behind him and giving him instructions. I also doubt that Bandar (formerly known as "Bandar-Bush") was ever really ousted; it is far more likely that he was intentionally dropped out of public sight in order to organize ISIS.