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, March 14, 2015

Selma, Obama and the Colonization of Black Resistance

Click here to access article by Ajamu Baraka from CounterPunch.

Referring to Obama as the "master propagandist", Baraka writes how Obama is being used by ruling class elites much like M. L. King was used back in the 1950s and '60s, to contain and co-opt Black resistance. However, they soon learned that King was not so easily co-opted. Thus, King had to be assassinated when he attempted to link up the anti-Vietnam War movement with the Civil Rights Movement.
Today Barack Obama in his role as the President of the U.S. and chief spokesperson for the white ruling class, and as a representative of the “new” black professional-managerial class, has been assigned the task to explain and legitimate the ongoing subjugation of the black poor and working class five decades after the reform legislation of the 60s.
And later in the essay the author concludes:
The message that Obama’s speech was meant to convey was that despite killer-cops, mass incarceration and grinding poverty no one should be confused: you will not split black folks away from the state because these black folks belong to us.

And judging by the paucity of criticism or even discussion of the Department of Justice’s decision last week not to indict Wilson and the unrestrained praise of Obama’s speech in various black media outlets, it is once again mission accomplished for the propagandist in chief.

The State Against The Republic

Click here to access article by Thierry Meyssan from VoltaireNet.
At the request of President François Hollande, the French Socialist Party has published a note on the international “conspiracy theorist" movement. His goal: to prepare new legislation prohibiting it to express itself. In the US, the September 11, 2001 coup established a "permanent state of emergency" (Patriot Act), launching a series of imperial wars. Gradually, the European elites have aligned with their counterparts across the Atlantic. Everywhere, people are worried about being abandoned by their States and they question their institutions. Seeking to retain power, the elites are now ready to use force to gag their opposition.

How agriculture grew on us

Click here to access article by "leavergirl" (Vera Bradova) from her blog Leaving Babylon.

The author takes us back to earlier geologic time periods in an attempt to understand the origins of some of the important problems that we face in today's civilization.
Human beings of the race that calls itself Homo sapiens lived in relative equality, in small foraging bands all its existence from the time they emerged about 200,000 years ago. Then, around 30,000 years ago, during a bit more clement time within the last ice age, glimmerings of inequality arose at sites known in Europe — in places that were unusually plentiful in game.
Also along the same lines of thought, she posts (in the comments section) a fascinating video (YouTube) entitled "Lord Man Parable" which is a story used to illustrate how humans began to see themselves as separate from the nature of our planet and started having delusions about having dominion over this nature.


Police used Ferguson citizens as revenue stream

by Nick Anderson, cartoonist for the Houston Chronicle.

Cartoon is based on this report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

[The Dept. of Justice Report] describes a city government that uses its police and courts as an ATM, tolerating a culture of police brutality while pressuring the police chief and court officials to increase traffic enforcement and fees without regard to public safety.

It exposes a court run by the police department that routinely violates due process and intentionally inflicts pain on the most vulnerable residents and whose supervisors circulated racially insensitive emails, one of which in 2011 depicted President Barack Obama as a chimpanzee.

A real ambassador of the real USA in Iran (Jazz music in Iran)

Click here if you wish to access this from the original posting on A Bird's eye view of the Vineyard.

Friday, March 13, 2015

350.org: Selling a Lie

Click here to access article from SeeMoreRocks
As we have come to know 350.org is receiving funding from corporate America and even talks about "our friends in Wall Street". The line comes down from the top: from McKibben, and his "friends in Wall Street" tell McKIbben what the acceptable message is.

The aim is to obfuscate and take the discussion away from the realities that show that climate change is NOW and that, with a growing number of positive self-reinforcing feedbacks (including the growing release into the atmosphere of a gas, methane, that is a more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2. the train has long left the station.

Recycling in the Anthropocene

Click here to access article by Bill Sheehan from the Post Carbon Institute.
Sadly, just as land conservation and species preservation efforts have largely failed to stem rates of deforestation and extinctions, so too has the recycling movement failed miserably to stem the tide of resource wasting and pollution.  The brutal truth is that individualized “recycling” in the context of municipal solid waste management barely makes a dent in the throughput of materials in the global economy. Despite earnest efforts by many, resource consumption and pollution is increasing, and at an increasing rate.
.... Samantha MacBride summed it up well in Recycling Reconsidered:  larger waste streams had been rendered invisible, and individualized responsibility for waste and recycling had co-opted more meaningful approaches. UPSTREAM focused on producer responsibility as a paradigm shift that could, in theory, address the problems at the source.

The 9/11 Commission Didn’t Believe the Government … So Why Should We?

Click here to access article from Washington's Blog.

This blogger documents how members of the 9/11 Commission found their investigative work blocked at many key points, and questioned information obtained through torture which reinforced the official explanation of 9/11. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

How Iran and the US intersect in “Syraq”

Click here to access article by Pepe Escobar from RT.

Escobar secures for us some realities that lay hidden behind the piles of lies used by Empire directors to sell their terrorist wars to gullible Americans. The scriptwriters for the Empire's media must be suffering headaches from trying to keep their messages coherent to the public.
...the ‘Empire of Chaos’ keeps alive the ambivalent cover story of a Global Coalition fighting ISIS/ISIL/Daesh, with the hidden agenda of weakening Assad on the backburner.

In Syria, its Iranian military advisers who are coordinating the Syrian Arab Army with experienced Hezbollah fighters and Shi’ite militias from Iraq.

As there is no “moderate Syrian opposition” anymore – everyone migrated to the fake Caliphate - the ‘Empire of Chaos’s’ not so hidden agenda under the “authorization to use military force” would be to keep a bunch of CIA-screened weaponized “rebels” just to maintain pressure over Damascus. By now it’s plain obvious that it’s not the ‘Empire of Chaos’ but the alliance of the Syrian Arab Army, Hezbollah fighters and Iran-supervised Shi’ite militias that will prevail over the fake Caliphate. 

Libya, ISIS and the unaffordable luxury of hindsight

Click here to access article by Ahmad Barqawi from Asia Times Online.
"Who are you?" the late Muammar Gaddafi once rhetorically asked in a famous speech of his towards the end of his reign; (rightly) questioning the legitimacy of those seeking to overthrow his government at the time, calling them extremists, foreign agents, rats and drug-addicts.

He was laughed at, unfairly caricatured, ridiculed and incessantly demonized; a distasteful parody video poking fun at the late Libyan leader even went viral on social media; evidently the maker of the video, an Israeli, thought the Libyan colloquial Arabic word Zenga (which means an alleyway) sounded funny enough that he extracted it from one of Gaddafi’s speeches, looped it on top of a hip-hop backing track and voila …, he got himself a hit video that was widely (and shamefully) circulated with a "revolutionary" zeal in the Arab world. We shared, we laughed, he died.

But the bloody joke is on all of us; Gaddafi knew what he was talking about.
What he may not have known is that they (euphemistically identified as "rebels" by Western corporate media) were another Empire sponsored terrorist army organized to overthrow his government. This was a tried and true US strategy first successfully employed in Nicaragua using the "Contras" and then in Afghanistan using the Mujaheddin, which were the antecedent of al Qaeda and now ISIS, to overthrow the pro-Soviet government of Afghanistan in the 1980s.

Obama absurdly declares Venezuela a security threat

Click here to access article by Mark Weisbrot from Al Jazeera.
Yesterday the White House took a new step toward the theater of the absurd by “declaring a national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by the situation in Venezuela,” as President Barack Obama put it in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner.

It remains to be seen whether anyone in the White House press corps will have the courage to ask what in the world the nation’s chief executive could mean by that. Is Venezuela financing a coming terrorist attack on U.S. territory? Planning an invasion? Building a nuclear weapon?

Who do they think they are kidding? Some may say that the language is just there because it is necessary under U.S. law in order to impose the latest round of sanctions on Venezuela.
Funny how I didn't see this in corporate news broadcasts--maybe because it wasn't there. I guess because the corporate media managers couldn't come up with a reasonable sounding spin on it to convince even a mostly gullible public.

Obama isn't channeling anybody. To suggest this is hiding the important reality of how the US Empire functions. Empire media already do far too much of that, that is, hiding or reinterpreting reality to make Empire actions acceptable to the American public. Obama is merely following orders from the same shadow Empire directors that Reagan and Bush Jr. did. By declaring Venezuela a security threat, the shadow government is adding another weapon (in addition to the oil price war engaged in by their Saudi partners) with which to economically attack Venezuela in order to cripple their economy in preparation for another coup attempt.

Quantitative Easing for Whom? (Parts 1 and 2)

Click here to access article the source posting at Real News for part 1 with transcript of remarks by Michael Hudson.

Click here to access article the source posting at Real News for part 2 with transcript of remarks by Michael Hudson.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The art of becoming human

Click here to access article by Pete Dolack from Systemic Disorder. 
About 180,000 people enlist in the United States military each year, many of whom will come home with physical injuries or psychological damage. Recruits are trained to kill, taught to de-humanize others, to participate in torture, but are expected to forget upon returning to civilian life.

That 22 veterans commit suicide per day is a grim reminder not only of the harsh demands of military life but that the Pentagon effectively throws away its veterans after using them. 
What a powerful article Dolack has produced! He uses an art show in Brooklyn to expand on the plight of returning veterans. Because corporate media rarely cover such issues unless they can put a positive spin on their coverage, we must depend on alternative media to become aware of the terrific difficulties they face when they try to re-adjust to normal life after enduring such de-humanizing experiences.

Forget Hillary’s Emails, Here’s Her Real Scandal That Nobody is Talking About

Click here to access article by Nick Bernabe from The Anti-Media.

I think Bernabe goes much too far with this argument:
Here’s the plain truth: Hillary Clinton is largely responsible for the complete destruction of an entire nation. 50,000 or more people have died thanks to what’s been dubbed “Hillary’s War” in Libya.
I hope that this was not done deliberately to deflect attention away from a dramatic event in the US power structure. I am referring to a policy coup within the directorship of the US Empire: the Zionist-conservative (also known as "neocons") coup. This coalition of Israeli collaborators and weapons manufacturers first infiltrated the power structure by cultivating a relationship in the latter 1970s early 1980s with former Sen. Henry (Scoop) Jackson from Washington state. (See this posting which contains some very valuable links.) Since then we have seen the operation of Gladio 2: a series of phony wars on terror and the secret use of terrorist armies to advance Empire and Israeli interests.

Hillary Clinton merely signed onto this already well-formed faction within the power structure for opportunistic reasons. This move to make a big issue of her use of a personal email account to conduct government business is very likely based purely on inter-party superficial politics that we often see in the run-up to elections. Corporate media also love to deflect the public's attention away from real political issues onto superficial "scandals" like this.

Hillary is by no means an important player in the Empire's directory most of whom function behind the scenes. Empire directors love to play on the populist and liberal fantasies of Americans. They did this when Rockefeller/Brzezinski backed Jimmy Carter who was presented to Americans as a Baptist peanut farmer from Georgia. And, of course, they've done this with Obama who was used as "racial" candidate to show how racially tolerant we Americans are even though he was mostly raised by his white banker grandmother and educated and indoctrinated in elite private schools. Appearances are all that matter to corporate media managers. They're primary role is to get Americans to buy toothpaste, cars, and candidates. For several years they have been marketing Hillary by presenting her to us as a "feminist" candidate in order to satisfy a desire among most Americans who want real equality of opportunity regardless of gender, race, or class.

Another "Let's Ally With Nusra" Campaign

Click here to access article by Bernhard from Moon of Alabama.
The new campaign started with a claim in a Reuters piece, based solely on a the words of one unreliable Syrian "rebel" and anonymous Qatari sources, that Jabhat [al-Nusra] might loosen ties with al-Qaeda central in exchange for Qatari money and "western" help. Latter an official Jabhat al-Nusra paper only somewhat denied that. Then two pieces by "western" experts were launched which both try to sell al-Qaeda in Syria as the "good" side that deserves "our" support. These are not, like earlier, slightly hidden propaganda suggestions but straight out arguments to ally with al-Qaeda. 
At the BBC site one Dr. Roberts is arguing for better relations with Jabhat al Nusra.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Putin signs law ratifying BRICS Bank

Click here to access article from The BRICS Post.

"This could be the start of something big", which was a popular song in my youth could well be an understatement regarding this development among the BRICS nations to free themselves from the Empire's IMF, World Bank, and the US dollar. While it will be good for these countries, we must all "pray" that the action will not tip our mad Empire directors over the edge to even think about launching a nuclear attack. Given that the two financial institutions and the US dollar are critical components of Empire hegemony, and world hegemony has been the obsession of our masters since the end of WWII, this action could trigger such thoughts.

The BRICS Bank launched last year will fund infrastructure projects in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, and challenge the dominance of the Western-led World Bank and the IMF.

The Agreement will enter into force and the Bank will begin operations only after all member countries deposit their instruments of ratification with Brazil.

Dollar Imperialism, 2015 Edition

Click here to access article by Michele Brand and Remy Herrera.

If you didn't find the above article sufficiently challenging, maybe this one will. Both are excellent attempts to explain the ill effects of the US dollar on the rest of the world. The authors conclude this rather lengthy essay with the following commentary:
With $5.7 trillion of dollar denominated debt, the BRICS still have a ways to go before liberating themselves fully from the dollar. If they enter into a full-fledged economic crisis (and Russia is already there), they could be forced to act more quickly toward creating a de-dollarized alternative financial sphere, in order to survive. This bipolar world, which seems likely, could at least offer some respite to those economies; however, if the world split into two rival spheres, it could lead to a new cold war – and possibly the risk of a new world war. A much preferable solution would certainly be the creation of a new global reserve currency – which would not replace national currencies but only take over the dollar’s unfair hegemonic role – managed by an international institution, whether a reformed IMF (if that’s possible) or another one which would be more “neutral” than such institutions are currently.

Liberating the world from the burden of the dollar, and from the hot and cold wars waged in its interest, will of course not relieve us from the world’s true, insidious disease: capitalism. But it would allow some breathing room necessary for alternative experiences working toward the socialization of the economy, toward socialism, to survive and hopefully thrive.

‘F—k the EU,’ Revisited

Click here to access article by Justin Raimondo from AntiWar.

Raimondo finds evidence in major German media to indicate that Europeans are starting to resent the Empire's aggressive actions in Europe to stir up more conflict.
The Germans...are waking up to the reality of Washington’s domination – because they, after all, will be in the free-fire zone if and when an actual shooting war erupts between Russia and the US. That they will be happy to be America’s pawns in such a deadly game is rather doubtful. If the Strobe Talbotts of this world insist on a new cold war, then we will see a revival of Euro-neutralism – and that’s a good thing. Perhaps the time for a true European declaration of independence is not far – a circumstance in which case Nuland’s "F—k the EU" will take on new meaning.

Kerry Re-writes History of U.S. Support for Color Revolutions

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

Madsen catches Kerry in making a huge lie recently in Geneva. Of course, lying is completely normal for our Empire builders, but this is a lie that ranks at the top of the list of the most horrendous. It attempts to hide the grossest war crimes perpetrated by our masters. Color revolutions have resulted in the destruction of entire nations: they become either totally dysfunctional like Libya or torn apart like the former Yugoslavia. In the reported examples he cites, we have seen evidence of terrorist paramilitaries (including snipers) funded and armed by either NGOs or the CIA, civil wars resulting in millions of refugees, destruction of cities, and many millions of deaths. If these are not war crimes, then I don't know what constitutes a war crime.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry either has a blind spot when it comes to the last 15 years of U.S. foreign policy or he told a big whopping lie in Geneva. Kerry, in defining U.S. action in Ukraine, said that "We [the United States] are not involved in multiple color revolutions".

One in three Germans say capitalism to blame for poverty, hunger

Click here to access article from Reuters.

So? Fuck Europe! (Parroting Victoria Nuland Kagan)

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Relationship between Washington and ISIS: The Evidence

Click here to access article by Tim Anderson from Global Research. 
While there have been claims that the ISIS ‘caliph’ al-Baghdadi is a CIA or Mossad trained agent, these have not yet been well backed up. There are certainly grounds for suspicion, but independent evidence is important, in the context of a supposed US ‘war’ against ISIS . So what is the broader evidence on Washington’s covert links with ISIS?
Then he cites evidence that strongly suggest that ISIS is a creation of the US Empire, Saudi Arabia and GCC allies, and Israel. So, I'm not sure what the professor wants to come to the appropriate conclusion. Scientific proof?

It would have been better to have individual references linked in the main body where needed. He provides them at the end of the article. I can add one more. 

Sustainability for Whom?

Click here to access article by Bill Sheehan from Upstream.

After reading a new book entitled Eco-Business: A Big-Brand Takeover of Sustainability Sheehan begins to doubt the mission of his own environmental organization. From the "About" page we learn that their mission is:
Founded in 2003, UPSTREAM (formerly Product Policy Institute) conducts original research, develops model policies and educational materials, and organizes key stakeholders to build a green and just economy. Our dedicated staff work with public interest groups, government officials, leading companies and everyday people to advocate for product stewardship initiatives, where consumer goods companies are responsible for reducing or eliminating the environmental impacts of their products.
What is left unclarified in this mission statement is that they are an advocacy environmental organization that wants to promote capitalist "eco-business". Of course this means within a system that is based on privately owned businesses in which their primary function is to extract profits. After reading the results of such eco-business practices in this book, Sheehan is becoming aware that such practices pose contradictions for their mission. Yet, at this point in time he doesn't seem to be aware that the primary contradiction is to promote such practices within a capitalist system.

The Great SIM Heist: How Spies Stole the Keys to the Encryption Castle

Click here to access article by Jeremy Scahill and Josh Begley from The Intercept. 
American and British spies hacked into the internal computer network of the largest manufacturer of SIM cards in the world, stealing encryption keys used to protect the privacy of cellphone communications across the globe, according to top-secret documents provided to The Intercept by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The hack was perpetrated by a joint unit consisting of operatives from the NSA and its British counterpart Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

War and the Dollar

Click here to access article by Valentin Katasonov from Strategic Culture Foundation.

The author informs a geopolitical analysis from a debt and currency perspective. I've long argued that the US dollar is backed increasingly by sheer violence or the threat of violence against countries whose monetary policies threaten the dominance of the US dollar in world trade. He argues along the same lines, and adds the US debt amounting to many trillions of dollars into the equation. To dig themselves out of this hole, Katasonov sees major wars ahead perpetrated by the US and its allies. This may explain the present bellicose turn of US foreign policies.
...the biggest shareholders of the Federal Reserve System must be confounded by the growing discrepancy between America’s GDP and the position of its dollar. The dollar is becoming increasingly unstable. If they wished, a few powerful countries could coordinate their efforts, pool their resources, begin to unload their dollar reserves, and cause the dollar’s collapse. However, the power of the masters of the Federal Reserve lies in the fact that they have always known how to act proactively. And now there are many signs that they are taking practical steps to protect the dollar, primarily in order to prepare for a major war. The «money masters» (the owners of the Fed’s banknote printing press) have several reasons to unleash such a war.

A Europe-U.S. Divorce Over Ukraine

Click here to access article by Bernhard from Moon of Alabama.
The U.S., the empire of chaos, does not care what happens after a regime change. In the view of U.S. politicians trouble and unrest in the "rest of the world" can only better the (relative) position of the United States. If production capabilities in Europe get destroyed through war the U.S. could revive its export industries.

It seems that at least some European leaders now understand that they got played by Washington and they are pushing back. A Eurasian economic sphere is in Europe's interest.
Unfortunately, this blogger always attributes far too much agency to Obama. Obama is merely a black face that takes orders from his handlers, people hired by the ruling class to insure that he follows their script. The capitalist directors of the ruling class hired him to create the appearance of a non-racist society. Most presidents have served this public relations function since the assassination of John Kennedy who refused to take orders from the "shadow government".