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, February 21, 2015

The Logic of the Imperial Security State

Click here to access article by Luciana Bohne from CounterPunch.

Bohne sees through Empire propaganda with her laser vision to reveal "the logic of the imperial security state". Referring to the architects of the Empire of Chaos, she writes:
They may be megalomaniacs, but they have a plan for precisely disorder, no less a plan than to subdue the world to its economic will militarily. America is slipping from its rank as the #1 economy in the world, a record held since the 1870s. History instructs that it is impossible to maintain a global empire without economic primacy. The American empire has its back to the wall, but it still has military supremacy, after the exit of its main challenger, the USSR, the greatest tragedy to relative peace in the world of our era. The world really did change on 11 September 2001.
And she continues on to explain how "terrorist" incidents (think 9/11, Boston Bombing, Oklahoma City bombing, etc.), "terrorist" armies and the "national security state" fit neatly into this imperial plan.

How Greece Got Outmaneuvered

Click here to access article by John Cassidy from The New Yorker. (There are limits to accessing this valuable website without subscribing. But they offer a generous no cost subscription that allows more access.)

It's clear that all the bluff and bluster coming from Syriza leaders about not accepting anymore austerity policies was just that. They are clearly not duping their opponents in the “troika” (the European Central Bank, the European Union, and the International Monetary Fund) who are playing hardball. The latter will give Syriza leaders just enough crumbs so that the latter can pretend to go back to their constituents and proclaim some kind of victory. Whether the Greeks will be duped into accepting such crumbs is a major question. They desperately need relief, but will they accept such token forms of relief?
...when it took power, on January 25th. ...there was talk of liberating not just Greece but the entire continent from the grip of austerity policies. After Friday’s deal was announced, some Greek journalists warned that Varoufakis and Tsipras would have a tough time selling the deal to the party’s radical elements, which have been out on the streets protesting the perfidy of Germany, Brussels, and the E.C.B.

Bush Says He Will Harm Nation Differently from His Brother

Click here to access article by Andy Borowitz from The New Yorker. (satire)

“George already did it, and Dad did it before him,” he said. “Call it my independent streak, if you will, but I want to spawn some disasters of my own.”

To that end, Bush said that he and his foreign-policy team were already scanning the globe for “new and different places” where the United States could become involved in open-ended and pointless quagmires.

It doesn't matter much who occupies the White House, however unlike most presidents Jeb Bush as a competent member of the Bush clan is a part of the inner circle of capitalist ruling class directors. (His brother was too stupid to exercise any initiative.) I think what is even more important is that he is a member of a highly aggressive faction of the directors, and as such he might be even more dangerous than Obama who functioned mostly as a pseudo-populist puppet of the less aggressive faction.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Two reliable sources about the war situation in Ukraine

It appears that the Ukrainian fascist puppets have suffered another major defeat; this time it may be a very demoralizing one for their armed forces, and have consequences for their sponsor, the US Empire. Both bloggers below speculate on what happens next.

Similar to 1930s when Nazi Germany was plagued initially by major debts and needed to conquer their neighbors to pay off the debts, the US is now in a far worse debt situation. The debts are owed to capitalist creditors who support the Empire or want to park their money with the world's "top dog". The latter subverted the legitimate government of Ukraine after years of preparation as part of a plan to bring Russia under Empire domination, following which they are intent on major actions to subdue China. Thus, the capitalist ruling class of the One Percent has no alternative but to pursue this imperialist policy until the bitter end (which may be the end of all of us).   

Click here to access article by The Saker from The Vineyard of the Saker entitled "The strategic implications of the battle for Debaltsevo". [The Saker can now be accessed at his new website, A bird's eye view of the Vineyard.]

Even though this American blogger, a native of Russia, is clearly a Russophile ("Russia Stands for Freedom" [on his old website]), I have followed his blog for some time and I find it very reliable, especially compared to most other sources. He is clearly well informed on developments in Ukraine. In this article the Saker sees the defeat of the Empire-sponsored Kiev forces at Debaltsevo as having major demoralizing consequences for its armed forces.
I think that what we are witnessing these days is truly a historical event.  While the defeat in Debaltsevo is tactical in its dimension, it will most definitely have serious operational consequences and possibly even strategic ones.  Though I cannot say that with any degree of confidence I am getting the strong feeling that the entire Ukrainian military has reached the famous "breaking point" I often mentioned here in the past: the point were regardless of your remaining capabilities the entire organization of your military suddenly and rapidly breaks down.  Yes, I know, the rest of the front is currently stable, but I think that the defeat in Debaltsevo will have a crippling effect on the morale of all the junta forces.  Not only that, but as soon as the cauldron is fully eliminated, the Novorussian forces who took it will be available for operations elsewhere.
Click here to access article by Bernhard from Moon of Alabama entitled "The 'West's' Dilema [sic] After Debaltseve: What To Do About Poroshenko?"

Bernhard also recognizes this major defeat, but narrows down the implications of it to speculations about the next moves of the "neoconned State Department".
Many "western" journalist are no streaming into Debaltsevo and their will soon be reports about the real disaster and the real losses the Ukrainian government troops had there. Those will be hard to hide.

It will then be difficult for the "west" to continue working with Poroshenko. He has now been shown to be completely off his rockers. He can no longer be sold to the public as the bearer of the truth, the sincere white knight against the dark forces of Russia.

How will the "west", Obama and his neoconned State Department react to that? Will they prepare a coup against Poroshenko or do they have other means to get rid of their useless puppet or to save the situation?

Chevron’s Lobbyist Now Runs the Congressional Science Committee

Click here to access article by Lee Fang from Republic Report. 
For Chevron, the second largest oil company in the country with $26.2 billion in annual profits, it helps to have friends in high places. With little fanfare, one of Chevron’s top lobbyists, Stephen Sayle, has become a senior staff member of the House Committee on Science, the standing congressional committee charged with “maintaining our scientific and technical leadership in the world.”

Throughout much of 2013, Sayle was the chief executive officer of Dow Lohnes Government Strategies, a lobbying firm retained by Chevron to influence Congress. For fees that total $320,000 a year, Sayle and his team lobbied on a range of energy-related issues, including implementation of EPA rules under the Clean Air Act, regulation of ozone standards, as well as “Congressional and agency oversight related to offshore oil, natural gas development and oil spills.”
This website specializes in "Investigating how money corrupts democracy". This article is another illustration of how major corporations have taken over the government to serve their interests. This development together with militarized police forces, 24/7 surveillance of citizens, the loss of basic civil rights due to the Patriot Acts, and imperialist foreign policies are all characteristics of fascism. However, the crushing of civil liberties has not been used much yet because ruling class media and the entertainment industry has served so well to keep people ignorant and misinformed. 

Thus knowledgeable people such as Pete Dolack argue that fascism cannot be used to describe political condition in the US. I think that such people must keep in mind that fascist countries have always used a strong dose of propaganda together with authoritarian measures to control their populations. The fact that authoritarian measures have not affected most (mostly middle class white) people in the US, is hardly a reason to believe that fascism does not exist here. Fascism occurs whenever capitalist ruling classes become desperate in their maintenance of their class power, and I think there is plenty of evidence to argue that it exists now in the US.

China pivots everywhere

Click here to access article by Pepe Escobar from RT

Brazilian journalist Escobar along with many other people, especially those in the BRIC nations, look to China as their salvation from US Empire domination. Although understandable, I think it is a mistake to cheer one capitalist gang over another just because one is the underdog. Capitalist gangs are all destructive--if not now, then later when they become "top dog". And, of course, the strong tendency of all capitalist operations is toward the exploitation of workers and/or the destruction of the planet's environment.

Still, it can't be denied that China, Russia, Brazil, etc, are making rapid strides toward independence from Empire domination, and Escobar sees this especially happening in China.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Syriza will have to choose between Scylla and Charybdis

Click here to access article by Jerome Roos from Reflections on a Revolution.

This is an excellent analysis of what appears to be an unsolvable (within capitalism) crisis in Greece and Europe. I think that the crisis could be playing out the major contradiction of capitalism we are currently witnessing in many areas of the world. The operation of capitalism is increasingly dividing the people of the world into tiny islands of the rich surrounded by oceans of the poor, tiny groups of creditors versus the huge populations of debtors. Thus what happens in Greece might very well be the beginning of the end of capitalism.
Germany and its allies [the creditors: banks, capitalists, etc.] are not the least bit interested in negotiating a major Greek debt restructuring or a meaningful easing of Greece’s repayment terms. Their entire strategy is based on being as unreasonable as possible and not granting Syriza [the people of Greece] a single inch of leeway.

This tough creditor stance appears to be intended purely to torpedo Syriza’s progressive program, which is based on the notion that both Scylla and Charybdis can be avoided and Greece and its foreign creditors will arrive at a common solution that benefits all. Yet even if this win-win scenario would indeed be the optimal outcome from a game theoretical point of view, it is proving to be unacceptable to the Germans from a political point of view. For this reason, Syriza’s leadership will soon find itself forced to choose between the demands of its creditors and the demands of its citizens and internal opposition.

Federal Reserve says your wages are too high

Click here to access article by Pete Dolack from Systemic Disorder.
Stagnation, declining wages and the ability of capitalists to shift production around the globe in a search for the lowest wages and lowest safety standards — completely ignored in the orthodox hunt for economic scapegoats — are the norm. Our need to sell our labor, the resulting reduction of human beings’ labor power to a commodity, and the endless competitive pressures on capitalists to boost profits underlie the present economic difficulties.

Collective bargaining through unions and the needs of capitalists to retain their employees can be brakes against the race to the bottom — what the orthodox economists at the Fed and elsewhere are arguing is that these remaining brakes be removed and wages driven down to starvation levels. That is what global capitalism has to offer.

Avaaz: the World’s Most Powerful NGO

Click here to access article from Public Good Project.
Using foundations as intermediaries, the fascist oligarchy on the Democrat side has a legal money laundry for promoting such fraud as the “new economy”.

As Cory Morningstar described The Art of Social Engineering by Avaaz, “Funded by the ruling class oligarchy, the role they serve for their funders is not unlike that of corporate media. ...." 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Three Evils of Capitalism

Click here if you wish to access the transcript posted on Eric's Rants and Videos in addition to the following outstanding 13:52m video produced by Eric Schechter.

I very much take exception to Schechter's self-effacing name of his website as "Eric's rants...". This is a very well reasoned attack on liberal critics of capitalism such as Naomi Klein who limit their criticisms of capitalism to only the unregulated kind. It is also the best critique of capitalism as a system that I can imagine in 14 minutes. It is definitely not a rant.

Ocean Acidification, Now Watchable in Real Time

Click here to access article by Brian Kahn from Climate Central. 

Ocean acidification is another result of the excessive burning of fossil fuels required by the capitalist imperative of growth which creates profits and power for a tiny few. The author explains the process of acidification and how it can now be monitored by satellite instruments.
The depressing task of monitoring ocean acidification just got a little easier. A collection of scientists from Europe, the U.S. and India have developed a technique that could provide the first global and nearly real-time assessment of our rapidly acidifying seas.

Congressman Blasts CDC for Incestuous Relationship with Vaccine Makers

Click here to access article by Christof Lehmann from nsnbc. 

The revolving door between the government's watchdog agency on vaccinations, Center for Disease Control, and major pharmaceutical corporations is having a major impact on the public's trust of vaccinations. 

Lehmann also reports:
nsnbc noted a clear attempt to derail genuine dialog in comments to articles pertaining vaccine safety issues. Within a 12 months period from February 2013 to March 2014, nsnbc registered more than 30 different “commentators with different names, who together attempted to post more than 500 comments, posted from only two different IP addresses in Australia and the USA, with one of them leading directly to a pharma sponsored pro-vaccine website.

The core strategies used are ad hominem attacks, attempts to discredit, strawman attacks, and, remarkably, also outlandish anti-vaccine claims and attempt to distract the call for transparency by posing as an “obviously” irresponsible parent or by asking for medical advise so as to detract from debates about oversight, transparency and vaccine safety issues.

Thailand: US Passionately Pleas for “Compromise”

Click here to access article by Tony Cartalucci from New Eastern Outlook.

Hillary Clinton and Yingluck Shinawatra Dec. 2011
This Thailand based independent journalist exposes Empire attempts to salvage their favorite Thai criminal puppets after they have been disgraced in their own country. 

Corporate-funded think tank, the Council on Foreign Relations, in their magazine Foreign Affairs, recently published an article titled, “Silencing the Shinawatras.” In it, author Matthew Wheeler encapsulates current US policy toward Thailand regarding the recent ousting by military coup of its proxy regime headed by Thaksin Shinawatra and his sister, Yingluck Shinawatra.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Why Kobanî Did Not Fall

Click here to access article by Dilar Dirik from Kurdish Question. 

What is really behind Kobanî's resilience? What does Kobanî symbolize in an era of failed revolutions and endless wars?

Read the article to find Dirik's answers to the these vital questions based on the Kurdish experience in Kabani and the region of Rojava. 

From Chiapas to Rojava: seas divide us, autonomy binds us

Click here to access article by Petar Stanchev from Reflections on a Revolution. 
Although both movements have received some bitter criticism from the more sectarian elements on the left, the very fact that the only major and successful experiments in revolutionary social change originate from non-Western, marginalized and colonized groups, should be considered a slap in the face of the white and privileged dogmatic “revolutionaries” of the global North who have hardly been successful in challenging oppression in their own countries but who still believe it is their judgment to decide what revolution looks like.

In reality, the struggles in Rojava and Chiapas are powerful examples to the world, demonstrating the vast potential of grassroots self-organization and the importance of communal ties to counter the social atomization wrought by capitalism. Moreover, they are forcing many on the Western left — including some anarchists — to reconsider their colonial mindsets and ideological dogmatism. 

Interconnected Banks Pose Greatest Threat to U.S. Financial System

Click here to access article by Pam Martens and Russ Martens from Wall Street on Parade.
Last Thursday, the Office of Financial Research (OFR), part of the Federal boondoggle created under the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation in 2010 to foster the illusion that the government was reining in risk on Wall Street, released a new study showing almost unfathomable levels of systemic and interconnected risk among the too-big-to-fail banks that cratered the U.S. financial system in 2008 and has left our economy still struggling to right itself.

...the report reconfirms to Americans that nothing significant has been accomplished in the last six years to prevent casino capitalism on Wall Street from crashing our financial system and the U.S. economy again. 

Demonizing Scientists and Opponents of GMOs: The Cheap Propaganda of the Pro-GMO Lobby

Click here to access article by Colin Todhunter from RINF Alternative News

Todhunter launches a devastating attack on the profit-obsessed GMO industry using links to considerable evidence as ammunition. He also points to a wonderful satirical video.

Argentina’s Reconnaissance Work against US and Israeli Spy Networks

Click here to access article by Nil Nikandrov from Strategic Culture Foundation.
...the US Embassy in Buenos Aires is pushing to ensure that the questionable circumstances surrounding the death of Prosecutor Nisman are magnified in every way possible. The previously established facts have been denied and entirely new evidence has found its way into circulation, the purpose of which is to destabilize the government of Cristina Kirchner.

Why is this attack being unleashed upon the Argentine government?

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Russian Loan and the IMF’s One-Two Punch

Click here to access article by Michael Hudson from CounterPunch.

The US Empire is using full-spectrum warfare in its attempt to subdue Russia to Empire dictates, and it's clear that the main victims of this new cold war are the Ukrainian people. While the European elites seem comfortable with financial warfare, they seem desperate, unlike the US, to avoid any spread of the military conflict by their latest independent effort together with Russia to secure a ceasefire agreement at Minsk, Belarus. Hudson explains the rather complicated financial side of this warfare.
The Ukraine-IMF debt negotiation shows is why finance has become the preferred mode of geopolitical warfare. Its objectives are the same as war: appropriation of land, raw materials (Ukraine’s gas rights in the Black Sea) and infrastructure (for rent-extracting opportunities) as well as the purchase of banks.

The IMF has begun to look like an office situated in the Pentagon.... 

Nuland attempts Kiev Version 2.0 in Skopje

Click here to access article by Wayne Madsen from Strategic Culture Foundation.
After having initiated her well-planned Maidan Square uprising in Kiev in early 2014, triggering Europe’s worst conflict in Ukraine since the Balkan Wars of the 1990s, Victoria Nuland, the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, recently attempted a Kiev-style putsch in Macedonia aimed at overthrowing that nation’s democratically-elected government of Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.

Monsanto on the Menu: Science, Power and GMOs

Click here to access article by Colin Todhunter from RINF Alternative News.

Todhunter addresses the issue of the corruption of science and science reporting by corporations with vested interests. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Washington’s World: February 16th, 2015 – February 22nd, 2015

Click here to access article from Swoop.

I occasionally check out this news summary from a source that makes the following claim which I think could very well be accurate:
Swoop is produced by the Washington Assessment and Analysis Service (WAAS). WAAS brings together seasoned practitioners – American and European – who enjoy insider access to the centers of power in Washington DC. Having occupied positions that afford them intimate knowledge of how US policies are formulated and how outcomes are determined, Swoop’s writers have established expertise in interpreting US positions to global audiences.
Well, this morning I was rather startled to see the following quote in this passage which made reference to the recently concluded Minsk 2 ceasefire agreement:
...the US Ambassador to Ukraine did not wait for the ceasefire to come into effect before posting evidence of Russian violations. With suspicion of President Putin’s intentions deeply embedded in the US foreign policy establishment, it seems certain that US voices will be among the first to fault Moscow. A senior NSC official commented privately to us: “I cannot see us giving the ceasefire a chance to succeed. This may turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
This seems to lend support for Finian Cunningham's article entitled "Washington Wastes No Time to Sabotage Minsk" in which he argues:
...the US-backed regime-change operation in Ukraine that brought the Kiev junta to power last February is fundamentally predicated on Washington’s long-term objective of destabilising Russia. That is why the prospects of a ceasefire being implemented are something of an oxymoron. A peace settlement in Ukraine would only be an impediment to Washington’s geopolitical objective of undermining Russia.
For those of you who might have stumbled onto this website and tend to believe what you see in major media, you probably should read this article entitled "The Putin-Did-It Conspiracy Theory" to bring you up to date on reality.

Divide and Rule American Style

Click here to access article by John Spritzler from New Democracy World. 

All ruling classes have used this technique throughout the past 10,000 years of their existence, and today's capitalist class is really employing it to the maximum. To his credit Spritzler points this out with recent examples. However, what I think Spritzler misses, or at least doesn't emphasize sufficiently, is that under capitalist class rule, like any class rule, it is impossible to provide for the equitable needs of everyone in society. Someone has to suffer under class rule, and nobody can accept being treated unfairly--that is an integral part of our human nature. Our masters just want us to fight each other over who gets the goodies to divert attention away from them, the ones who are hoarding wealth and power which is promoted by their capitalist system. 

Instead of pointing this out, Spritzler focuses on the "best way" to cope with failure within this failed system. I don't think that there is a best way, or even a good way. Thus, the most effective way of fighting this technique would be to attack the incapacity of capitalist organized societies to meet demands of social justice. This would raise people's consciousness of the real problem and thereby direct their efforts toward attacking the system and not each other. 

Land and seed laws under attack as Africa is groomed for corporate recolonization

Click here to access article from Ecologist.
A battle is raging for control of resources in Africa - land, water, seeds, minerals, ores, forests, oil, renewable energy sources.

Agriculture is one of the most important theatres of this battle. Governments, corporations, foundations and development agencies are pushing hard to commercialise and industrialise African farming. 

Citizens worldwide mobilize against corporate water grabs

Click here to access article by Victoria Collier from Ecologist.
Earlier this month on 5th February, New Jersey became the latest state to subvert democracy by authorizing the fast-track sale or lease of water utilities without public notice, comment, or approval.

The controversial decision highlights the intensifying struggle over who owns, controls, and profits from the most precious - and threatened - resource on Earth. 

Western US to Face Worst Droughts in 1000 Years

Click here to access article by Jenna Iacurci from Nature World News.
"Unprecedented drought conditions" - the worst in more than 1,000 years - are to plague the US Southwest and Great Plains after 2050 with devastating impacts, according to a new study in the journal Science Advances. 
The research study is also reported at Mongabay in an article entitled "U.S. Central Plains and Southwest will likely face apocalyptic drought".

Geoengineering Not the Solution to Climate Change

Click here to access article by Jenna Iacurci from Nature World News.
Researchers with the US National Academy of Sciences say in their new two-volume report that while in theory geoengineering may seem like a good idea, it's actually both "irrational and irresponsible."