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, May 2, 2015

Writing The New Rules For The 21st Century – In Secret?

Click here to access article by Dave Johnson from Campaign for America's Future.

In this strongly sarcastic, but well-deserved, attack on NY Times columnist Thomas Friedman who seems to be the mouthpiece for the Empire's policies of globalization and war, Johnson distills the basic effects of TPP, and by extension, other neoliberal trade policies: an attack on the American economy and democracy (the little that exists) for the benefit of international corporations.

Caving In to Corporatism: Endgame for Secret “Trade” Pact Negotiations

Click here to access article by "Don Quijones" (British expat living in Barcelona) from Wolf Street.

The author reports and comments on how European elites are making a pathetic attempt to preserve the illusion of democracy while supporting a major corporate effort to wrest control of European economies from limitations imposed on corporations by any representative type of government. Preserving democratic illusions is of critical importance to them because the legitimacy of capitalist rule rests on the foundation of these illusions.

If you read any ruling class policy piece for public consumption, you will frequently encounter the word "democracy" or "democratic" sprinkled throughout. Often the word is used as a synonym for capitalism because that is the way they want us ignorant masses to think of democracy. For example, even in a piece which promotes war strategies like a 2008 report from Rand Corporation entitled "Unfolding the Future of the Long War" on pages XVI - XVIII, you will find such references:
This strategy holds that the United States should use decisive conventional military force to change the regime in certain key Muslim countries and impose democracy in its place. [their emphasis] The theory here is that the geopolitical earthquake caused by regime change will empower democratic forces throughout the Muslim world and force much of the Salafi-jihadist warrior community to come out into the open to fight U.S. conventional forces, thus giving the United States a better chance of crushing them decisively. This strategy is part of the “Steady State” because of the continuing focus on building democracy at some level in Afghanistan and Iraq. Although the notion that the birth of democracy in those two countries would cause it to spread throughout the entire Middle East has long since been discredited, one can still argue that the existence of two democratic states in the middle of the Muslim world would create two likely security partners and potential allies for the United States over the long term. 

Cities And States Paying Massive Secret Fees To Wall Street: Report

Click here to access article by David Sirota  & Matthew Cunningham-Cook from International Business Times. 

This piece reports on another scheme that our capitalist masters use to screw workers out of their full retirement pensions. It's essentially a skimming operation very much like racketeers have used in gambling casinos--but then, isn't capitalism itself a racket? The system skims off worker created wealth and puts it into the pockets of owners.
California’s report said $440 million. New Jersey’s said $600 million. In Pennsylvania, the tally is $700 million. Those figures are public worker pension fees being paid annually by taxpayers to Wall Street firms, and they have kicked off an intensifying debate over whether such expenses are necessary. Now, a report from an industry-friendly source says those huge levies represent only a fraction of the true amounts being raked in by Wall Street firms from state and local governments.

In all, CEM Benchmarking concludes that America’s public pension funds are paying billions of dollars in undisclosed fees to private equity firms.

An NSA job interview that sends a message

A 2:49m clip from the film Good Will Hunting (written by Matt Damon & Ben Affleck) presented via YouTube.

This is the usual Saturday's offering of satire to get you thinking about what our masters are up to.

In this video clip a choice scene is presented in which Will is in a job interview with an NSA employer. Will asks the employer why he, Will, should work at NSA. In reply the employer explains to Will the advantages of working at NSA. Then, at about 52 seconds into this scene, the employer asks Will why he shouldn't work for NSA. Here is the video clip of this scene followed by the transcript of Will's rapid-fire sarcastic reply:

Will: Why shouldn't I work for the N.S.A.? That's a tough one, but I'll take a shot. Say I'm working at the N.S.A. Somebody puts a code on my desk, something nobody else can break. Maybe I take a shot at it and maybe I break it. And I'm real happy with myself, 'cause I did my job well. But maybe that code was the location of some rebel army in North Africa or the Middle East. Once they have that location, they bomb the village where the rebels were hiding and fifteen hundred people that I never met and that I never had no problem with get killed. Now the politicians are sayin', "Send in the marines to secure the area" 'cause they don't give a shit. It won't be their kid over there, gettin' shot. Just like it wasn't them when their number was called, 'cause they were pullin' a tour in the National Guard. It'll be some kid from Southie takin' shrapnel in the ass. And he comes home to find that the plant he used to work at got exported to the country he just got back from. And the guy who put the shrapnel in his ass got his old job, 'cause he'll work for fifteen cents a day and no bathroom breaks. Meanwhile he realizes the only reason he was over there in the first place was so we could install a government that would sell us oil at a good price. And of course the oil companies used the skirmish over there to scare up domestic oil prices. A cute little ancillary benefit for them but it ain't helping my buddy at two-fifty a gallon. They're takin' their sweet time bringin' the oil back, and maybe even took the liberty of hiring an alcoholic skipper who likes to drink martinis and fuckin' play slalom with the icebergs, and it ain't too long 'til he hits one, spills the oil and kills all the sea life in the North Atlantic. So now my buddy's out of work and he can't afford to drive, so he's walking to the fuckin' job interviews, which sucks 'cause the schrapnel in his ass is givin' him chronic hemorroids. And meanwhile he's starvin' 'cause every time he tries to get a bite to eat the only blue plate special they're servin' is North Atlantic scrod with Quaker State. So what did I think? I'm holdin' out for somethin' better. I figure, fuck it, while I'm at it, why not just shoot my buddy, take his job and give it to his sworn enemy, hike up gas prices, bomb a village, club a baby seal, hit the hash pipe and join the National Guard? I could be elected president.

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Politics of ‘Looting’ and ‘Violence’

Click here to access article by Eric Draitzer from CounterPunch.

Draitzer sees how ruling class media frames the backlash in Baltimore to justify police murders, police brutality, and police oppression. By comparing capitalist media's portrayal of domestic upheavals with similar events in foreign countries, he reveals the true function of capitalist media: to frame events in such a way as to justify the actions of the ruling class.
...it is power, not objective reality, which determines what is and is not acceptable violence. To take by force [referring to the social disorder in Iraq after the US invasion] in Baghdad in 2003 is liberating and justified; to take by force in Baltimore in 2015 is violent “thuggery” and unjustifiable. The relation of any group to the agenda of power is the only determinant of righteousness and sin according to the morality of the Empire.

Sadly it is no surprise that the corporate media would spin a narrative of mindless violence and race riots, barbarism and chaos. The media exists not to inform, but to reflect the values and objectives of the forces that own and control it.

How Baltimore’s Police and Poverty Fueled A Youth Revolt

Click here to access article by Juan Thompson and George Joseph from The Intercept.
In order to understand the events that followed Gray’s killing — the fires, the looting, the clashes with police that occurred Saturday and Tuesday — one must first understand the relationship between the police and the poor, mostly black residents of this section of the city.
See also this article from The Intercept this article entitled "Maryland Legislator Discusses Taking Food Stamps From Parents of Protesting Youth".

Capitalism, the working class and the fight against police violence

Click here to access article by David Walsh from World Socialist Web Site.
...the fundamental division in Baltimore—as in American society as a whole—is class, not race. Like many urban centers, Baltimore is run by a predominantly black political elite, including the mayor, the city council president, the police chief, the top prosecutor and many others. Half of the police force is black as well.
Our ruling masters like to divide Americans on racial lines, however this is only to obscure the class lines and class war waged by the ruling capitalists along with their middle-class servants, against the rest of the population. But then in the 1950s and '60s the Civil Rights Movement happened to ameliorate the worst forms of racism, and it wasn't fashionable anymore to be a racist. So, then our masters came up with another deception to hide their racist divide and rule operation. They trained, rewarded, and generally co-opted a small layer of African-Americans like Obama who were willing to sell their souls to the master-owners of society much like they did with African slave traders who sold their fellow Africans into Anglo-American slavery.
To facilitate the war on the working class, the ruling class worked deliberately to integrate a small minority of the African-American middle class into the mechanisms of state power, including through policies such as affirmative action. Meanwhile, conditions for the vast majority of African-American workers and youth are worse today than they were in the 1960s.
Obama himself represents the culmination of this process.
This reminds me of the saying often attributed to Mark Twain: “History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” The current way which our masters use this thin layer of African-Americans is much like what existed in the early days of slavery in our country. Malcolm X gave a very vivid description of this history.
There was two kind of slaves. There was the house negro and the field negro. The house negro, they lived in the house, with master. They dressed pretty good. They ate good, cause they ate his food, what he left. They lived in the attic or the basement, but still they lived near their master, and they loved their master, more than their master loved himself.
The point is: all Americans in the shrinking middle class are essentially "house niggers", but African-Americans suffer racism most dramatically at the hands of police; but milder, hidden forms of racism are still prevalent throughout all institutions which adversely impact the economic opportunities for African-Americans the most.

What are the top 10 financial worries of Americans? Two of the most common themes include paying for children’s college and saving enough for retirement.

Click here to access article from My Budget 360.
Financial worries are a big concern for many American families.  In spite of a booming stock market and a resurgent real estate market, most Americans don’t seem to be feeling financially better.  A large reason is that many Americans did not partake in the rise in the investor driven real estate boom and also, many Americans own very little to no stocks at all.  Is it their fault?  For some, yes.  But for many the growing low wage economy simply leaves little left to save after paying for daily expenses.  Having enough for retirement is becoming a growing issue since 10,000 Americans per day are hitting retirement age.
The author provides hard data to show how ordinary Americans are most affected by austerity policies. Instead of spending money to upgrade the deteriorating infrastructure and general economy in the US, our ruling masters want to spend more on military weapons and thereby enrich capitalists invested in the military-industrial complex. Our masters have already used our financial resources to construct military bases in many foreign countries, provided military aid to corrupt, oppressive regimes, sponsored terrorist armies like the al-Nusra army in Syria, engaged in costly operations to overthrow governments like Ukraine, and have launched many costly and criminal wars

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Pentagon's 'Long War' Pits NATO Against China, Russia and Iran

Click here to access article by Pepe Escobar from Sputnik International.

The Brazilian journalist provides a geopolitical assessment regarding efforts by key BRICS countries to protect themselves from the hegemonic strategies of the US Empire. 
This budding military Eurasia integration is a key subplot of the New Great Game that runs parallel to the Chinese-led New Silk Road(s) project.

As a counterpunch to encroachment, it was bound to happen; after all Beijing is confronted by US encroachment via the Asia-Pacific; Russia by encroachment via Eastern Europe; and Iran by encroachment via Southwest Asia.

.... So the multi-vector Russia-China-Iran strategic alliance is a go. Because whatever happens with the nuclear negotiations this summer, and as much as Tehran wants cooperation and not confrontation, Iran is bound to remain — alongside Russia — a key US geostrategic target.

The ugly ramifications of the Trade in Services Act (TiSA)

Click here to access article by Don Quijones from Wolf Street. 
Much has been written, at least in the alternative media, about the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), two multilateral trade treaties being negotiated between the representatives of dozens of national governments and armies of corporate lawyers and lobbyists (on which you can read more here, here and here). However, much less is known about the decidedly more secretive Trade in Services Act (TiSA), which involves more countries than either of the other two.

At least until now, that is.

The Long Arm Of The EU: The Association Agreement And Expansionist Policies

Click here to access article by Jürgen Wagner from The Greanville Post. 

It appears to me that this author's article reveals the perspective of many right-wing members of the European elites who represent the European branch of the US Empire. They, as demonstrated in this article, have pretensions of forming their own empire, while vaguely acknowledging that it can only be a branch of the larger US Empire. In addition I think it is interesting because, unlike many other imperialist writers of our day, Wagner is rather candid about the imperial ambitions of the European capitalist elites who, I think, can be safely regarded as close collaborators with US ruling class directors.

Influential exponents of European politics are more and more openly articulating the pretension to join the front line of the battle for global power and influence. Thus Social-Democrat Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, said in 2013:

“Whether it wants to be or nor, Europe is a ‘global player’. The EU is the biggest and richest single market in the world, our economic strength accounts for a quarter of the world’s GDP. The EU is the biggest trading bloc in the world, the biggest donor of development aid in the world - the EU is an economic giant. Global economic power goes hand in hand with global political responsibility; Europe cannot back out of that responsibility. Europe’s partners are justified in expecting that Europe will face up to its responsibility and that the economic superpower will also become a global political superpower”.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

War crimes and forgetting

Click here to access article by Pete Dolack from Systemic Disorder. (Commentary modified at 4 PM Seattle time.)

Dolack reviews the war crimes the US committed in Vietnam and adjacent areas and the US policies and actions to stifle any democratic aspirations of the people in this area. All the while our criminal actions were going on, we Americans were lied to about our government's actions. I think it is useful to provide a little historical background in order to understand why the US ruling class pursued the Vietnam War and other such war crimes.

After WWII the war lords in the Pentagon, who are employees of the ruling capitalist class situated in Wall Street, saw the overwhelming and unrivaled power that the US possessed. Only one power clearly stood in the way--the Soviet Union which did not allow for capitalist operations in their country or their satellites. There was also an ideology which they rather poorly represented, but it was a major inspiration of downtrodden people throughout the world: public ownership of the economy under the control of the people. However, due to the chaos caused by invasions from capitalist nations, civil war, famine, and disease immediately following their 1917 revolution, the institutions of public control of the economy, the soviets or workers councils, were dispensed with. The management of the economy quickly devolved into a rigid ruling class based on a self-serving bureaucracy.

Thus, the capitalist empire builders of the US and its embryonic Empire were intensely focused on ridding the earth of not only the Soviet Union but this ideology which was regarded as an abomination by capitalists. This fear/hatred of all such ideas became an intense, fanatic obsession. The communist goblins were everywhere! (This obsession was also manifested within the US in the forms of the Hollywood witch hunts, purging leftists in labor unions, education and government offices in general (loyalty oaths), and other such measures.) Most of the initial efforts were focused on Europe in the form of CIA operations, since revealed as Operation Gladio (see this and this), using various covert forms of subversion and terror to prevent any leftist organizations coming to power. Added to this type of subversive operation were direct military attacks on countries which posed a threat to capitalist enterprise. (They also made extensive use of propaganda media such as Voice of American, Radio Free Europe, etc. and "cultural" exchange programs.)

Because the Soviets soon obtained nuclear weapons, our capitalist masters could not directly attack them, but other nations were a target, the first of which was Korea. Koreans had long suffered under Japanese colonial rule. Many Koreans looked to Russia for inspiration, thus the  US rulers immediately saw a "communist" takeover which immediately triggered their fanatic reaction to prevent this from happening. US forces immediately occupied the southern part of the country, and all independent voices were quashed even to the extent that former Japanese collaborators were placed into positions of power. Briefly, this lead to the division of the country. (The real history of the Korean War can be learned by reading The Origins of the Korean War by Bruce Cumings.)  

Our communist-obsessed ruling class also saw in the Vietnamese aspirations for independence the same kind of communist ideology. In the Vietnam War our spin-masters covered up their imperial policies and actions and replaced them with lies (the "domino theory" was one of the biggest followed by a false-flag event, the Gulf of Tonkin incident, and the lies have continued after the war as described in this piece by Dolack. This triple strategy of subversion and direct military attacks against perceived foreign enemies and the use of lies and obfuscation against the domestic population have been repeated countless times since then. 

Since the demise of the malformed "socialist" countries and the apparent demise of the dream of people controlling their own economies, our capitalist masters and their allies became drunk with power. They became megalomaniacs who claimed that capitalism had triumphed and the historical development of societies had reached their zenith with this triumph. With this intoxication of power they have set out to build an Empire. Mainly Russia and China stand in their way and they have become the new enemy. Thus, today we see the most outrageous lying by our spin-masters against Russia primarily, and China to a lessor extent.

NBC’s Conduct in Engel Kidnapping Story is More Troubling than the Brian Williams Scandal

Click here to access article by Glenn Greenwald from The Intercept.

Greenwald reveals the extraordinary lengths that Empire propagandists currently go to justify their wars and sponsorship of terrorism in support of their imperial interests. Here he reports on another use of a false-flag event to promote the overthrow of the Syrian Assad government. What is most shocking is that they recruited journalists to do it.
In December 2012 — as the pro-intervention cause was strengthening — a group of five journalists working for NBC News, including its star international reporter Richard Engel, was kidnapped inside Syria. They were held for five days, threatened with death, treated inhumanely, and forced to record a video in which Engel was made to call for an end to U.S. involvement in Syria. Scrawled on the walls of the room where the video was recorded was graffiti of pro-Assad messages along with well-known Shiite references.

The obvious intent was to make it appear that these NBC journalists had been kidnapped and mistreated by Shiite forces associated with Assad.

"Thugs," "Hooligans," and "Riots," Challenging Narratives with Dominque Stevenson

Click if you wish to access this interview directly from The Real News Network.

The Real News Network is based in Baltimore, Maryland and this gives them and their staff direct access to the recent conflicts between people and police that has erupted in violence and the bringing in of the National Guard. The conflicts stem from the death of another African-American while in custody of the local police. TRNN appear to be doing a very good job of bringing reality to the coverage of these events, but also trying to understand the events by examining historical and other factors. Because major media are once again doing a very poor job of coverage, I highly recommend viewing their other videos of these events in Baltimore.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

No Alternative?

Click here to access this 55 minute interview with Richard Swift (from Canada) via KPFA, listener sponsored radio from Berkeley, California. (I didn't have time to listen to all of it.)

In this interview with Sasha Lilley of KPFA, Swift first offers a compelling argument that an alternative is needed to capitalism because of all the disasters that it has caused and will likely cause in our future. He then proceeds to look at desirable alternatives.
Since the global financial crisis, capitalism has been seen as the culprit for so many of the world's woes, from inequality to the destruction of the environment. Yet no other system appears to be viable. But is that in fact the case? Journalist Richard Swift assesses anarchism, state socialism, social democracy, and the left turn in Latin America. He makes the case for eco-socialism and degrowth.

Take back the factory: worker control in the current crisis

Click here to access article by Dario Azzellini from Reflections on a Revolution.

In this edited excerpt from Dario Azzellini’s new book, An Alternative Labour History: Worker Control and Workplace Democracy, the author looks at worker enterprises that attempt to provide a real alternative to capitalist organized companies. He provides a survey of such experiments in several countries and looks at their features and the problems they experience while functioning within a capitalist system.

China and The New World Order

Click here to access 1:11:55 video and transcript by James Corbett from The Corbett Report. (I made some modifications to my commentary at 3:25 PM Seattle time.)

I read most of this transcript recently and found Corbett's grand geopolitical view to be overly "conspiratorial", that is, in my opinion it ascribes too much power to power figures that can influence global political events. The metaphor that he often uses refers to a puppeteer controlling puppets. The puppeteers he has in mind are globalists, mostly bankers, who are intent upon creating a "new world order", and they have been attempting to do this for quite some time, at least since about 1916.  

Such people who come up with unconventional explanations of world events are often smeared with the term "conspiracy theorist". I don't wish to smear Corbett for his effort because I think it is an honest effort to understand the world we are living in, but I think his analysis suffers from an over emphasis on the power and omniscience of relatively powerful figures. However, his theory does appear to support an explanation for what I still regard as the inexplicable participation of so many Western countries in China's international banking organizations, particularly the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank. (I will address this later.)

In this long podcast essay he draws from a number of sources evidence to support this theory and I don't have the time or desire to confront many of them. He draws a lot from Antony Sutton who, I believe, was also overly impressed with powerful figures acting from behind the scenes of world events and went to extreme lengths to cherry-pick evidence to support his theory. (In the process he did uncover a lot of valuable evidence that bankers played both sides in WWII.) 

Yes, there were capitalist funders who did supply some modest amounts of money to Lenin and Trotsky to aid them in getting back to Russia and alter the Russian government. There are always some capitalists who believe in using their money to influence people who they think can shape political events. They do this in an effort to co-opt such people into serving their interests. We have seen this phenomena in recent years here in the US and abroad with capitalist foundations and NGOs funding alternative websites and organizations in order to influence their views. But, they are not omniscient or all powerful--they do make mistakes, and they did so dramatically with Trotsky and Lenin.

Today, we are seeing some people (such as Kissinger) in the ruling capitalist classes who realize the inherent dangers of trying to dominate China, that in this nuclear age a war would be far too devastating to contemplate, and thus they would like to reach an accommodation with Chinese and Russian leaders. Capitalist ruling classes are not monolithic with regard to strategies for enhancing their wealth and power. There are many others, often in the ranks of neoconservatives, who think otherwise. They are pursuing policies of aggressive containment with both Russia and China. From all appearances, I think that they are the dominant faction among the Empire's directors.

Getting back to how his theory accounts for many Western countries participating in China's international investment banks, I think there are other alternative explanations. The most likely one is that they want to influence how the investment banks function so that they do not collide with the interests of the Empire. Or global-elitist factions in these countries see this as a step to reach an accommodation with Chinese leaders in pursuit of something like a collusion of elite interests, or something like a "new world order". Or some combination of these motives. But I don't yet have a definitive answer. I'm still looking.

Media reports on warm 'blob' in Pacific Ocean pretend it can't be related to huge plume of radioactive waste

Click here to access article by David Gutierrez from Natural News. 
Media outlets are widely reporting on two recent studies in the journal Geophysical Research Letters describing a giant "blob" of warm water that may be responsible for recent ecological and weather anomalies across the United States -- from California's drought to the East Coast's severe winter to the thousands of dying sea lions washing up along the West Coast.

The "blob" -- more precisely, the "warm anomaly" -- is a patch of ocean water just off the coast of the Pacific Northwest that is about 1,000 miles across, 300 feet deep, and 3 degrees Celsius (5 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than usual.

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Trouble With Money [somewhat revised at 7:05 PM Seattle time]

Click here to access article by tdOs from Pray for Calamity. (Revision applies to the section "More background on the author's views and a theory".)

I've taken a very circumnavigational web route to arrive at this article! As a result I am running short of time this morning. Although this violates my rule to post articles posted originally on the web within a month, I am featuring this because it so neatly fits with my current postings and with my blog/website's central focus on the dysfunction of capitalism. 

I think that the author comes from a rather fresh perspective to offer more insights about the dysfunction of capitalism and its ruling class's use of money to gain ever more wealth and power at the expense and suffering of ordinary people. Capitalism is now in the process of destroying societies via austerity policies for the poor and neoliberal policies for the rich. It is well on its way to destabilizing our biosphere by polluting the land and air around us and exhausting resources. This will lead to one disaster after another until our planet can no longer support human and other life forms.

The only criticism I have of this essay is that the author seems to focus our attention more on money than the system in which it functions. Money, as a medium of exchange, is only a tool. It is the way the system of capitalism uses it that poses so many dangerous problems. Look at this concluding paragraph:
As long as we exist within the confines of the capitalist paradigm, we will owe our lives to the controllers of capital. We will buy our survival day by day via the bending of our backs. Capital will accumulate, poverty will grow, and the natural world will be converted into an arid waste dump as we watch powerless to help. .... When we understand that money came into being as a direct accounting of social debts community members had to one and other and to the whole, and has now morphed into the relation itself between people, it becomes clear that money is power over others, and that the accumulation of money establishes non-negotiable power dynamics in which those with large sums of wealth can subjugate those without. If we seek to interact with one and other horizontally and to destabilize the current pyramid of power, we must take the power out of money. .... We need to abolish money altogether, and we need to abolish monoculture and industrialism along with it. 
And, look at the final sentence in this paragraph. The author seems to understand how the capitalist system has transformed money into a tool to exploit both fellow humans and nature, but then makes an astounding claim that the remedy is to "abolish money altogether, and we need to abolish monoculture and industrialism along with it"!

More background on the author's views and a theory

(Note: The reason I am posting the following material about another blogger is not to denigrate him/her, but to raise awareness of a growing trend that I believe is affecting both ordinary and even, as is the case here, the most educated people. Symptoms regarding the former are a refusal to look at alternative information or evidence or to even question information from corporate sponsored mainstream sources. The latter people are so disaffected by the existing social system that they want to totally drop out of society and civilization, and go to extreme lengths to argue that all our problems are due to civilization while using their extensive education, itself a product of an advanced civilization, to argue for some kind of return to pre-civilization or, at least, to a pre-industrial era. Some keen observers have noticed this phenomenon and are starting to explain it as a form of "learned helplessness". I think this theory could explain a lot about many of my fellow Americans.)

In my meanderings on the web this morning, I also read some of his other articles, particularly the recent series of three entitled "The Twilight of Our Tale". The author, "tdOs" appears to be a part of a growing group of nihilists (he describes himself as a "deep green anarchist") on the web who seems so overwhelmed by the current capitalist-made present and awaiting disasters, and he/she seems to be "Pray[ing] for Calamity" so that we can return to pre-industialism and even pre-civilization.

In this series the author advises people to essentially drop out of society--and to do like tdOs has done: go live in a cabin, gather mushrooms in the forest, chop timber for heating and cooking. tdOs reveals more of his/her nihilism with this advice:
Further, you need to stop looking for a plan. Stop trying to figure out how to make the workable work or the unsustainable sustain. Society is the demon. Civilization is the leviathan. The wise of Middle Earth knew that no good purpose could be achieved with the dark lord’s ring, it had to be destroyed in the fires where it came into being. Society is not redeemable. It cannot be made good.
The author then applauds anti-social acts because, after all, "society is the demon" and "civilization is the leviathan". But, he/she warns us not to let this reality destroy us. The antidote to save us is a return to primitive living as he/she has done.
But may I humbly suggest, that we need to touch the Earth. We need to sit in circles with our tribes. We need to experience the world subjectively through our many senses, and to know that our subjective experience of the land around us contains more truth and validity than all of the photographs and recordings humming away on spinning hard drives in an office tower somewhere. We have to value the direct experience of our individual lives and try however we might to cross the divides of time to remember that which the demon and his acolytes have beaten, and raped, and killed to make us forget.
In Part One, he makes frequent reference to "the system" as being an overwhelming problem for people today. Later he makes only passing reference to various abstractions, one of which includes "capitalism", which appears to be only a demonic force that functions as a "eater of our souls". Thus, this is not the capitalist system he frequently refers to earlier, but only another hopeful delusion that will eat our souls. Again, the solution is to drop out of this malignant society and return to a more primitive style of living. 

But, of course, this is not totally a hunting and gathering style of living because tdOs still uses a wood stove which is likely made out of steel or iron forged in a foundry using more advanced technology, the cabin must have been made using tools and technology devised under civilized societies, and there are probably other such deviations from a primitive life style.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Distorting Reality

Click here to access article from the Public Good Project.

I've recently discovered this website, and I am very impressed with it as a source of independent and reliable information. In this article they have made a major contribution to activists serving the 99 Percent by "outing" The Real News Network as another NGO front organization that functions as a gatekeeper of information in service to, and for the the interests of, the ruling capitalist class. I've had my suspicions about them in the past year as I've seen the quality of their reports slowly degenerate. However, their earlier reports worked well as a "hook" to lure me into following them on the web for quite a while.
For those who had high hopes for The Real News Network, the TRNN love fest with social capitalists like Naomi Klein and other con artists on Wall Street’s payroll — laundered by foundations like Ford, Rockefeller and NoVo — comes as a disappointment. So it should come as no surprise that TRNN start-up money ($350,000) came from Ford and MacArthur foundations. Two thirds of TRNN ongoing operating revenue comes from the rich.
This report provides further evidence that our masters are using the same vehicle of information management, astro-turf NGOs, as they are using in many foreign countries to manage information (they are also used in foreign countries to destabilize governments in favor of more NATO aligned governments).

Often such generous funding seduces otherwise honest observers, analysts, and investigative website administrators who justify receiving this money, along with assurances of independence, by thinking that they can be much more effective with this funding in their quest to shed light on many issues. And they may be left alone for a while; but after they become thoroughly hooked on the money, they begin to feel the pressure to tread lightly on certain issues or to avoid them altogether. (For example, Democracy Now! will not interview any knowledgeable person who casts doubt on the official 9/11 story.) Other non-profit organizations with websites are likely directly managed by trained propagandists serving the ruling class. (See an excellent piece of research on the subject of gatekeeping authored by a political refugee (from FBI harassment) who fled from Seattle to where she now lives in New Zealand.)

American Politics: A House of Mirrors

Click here to access article by Ulson Gunnar from Land Destroyer Report. (Note: I normally post articles from their original sources, but in this case I couldn't find it in New Eastern Outlook.)

Gunnar aptly uses the metaphor of a carnival house of mirrors to describe what it is like for the average American who is subject to Empire propaganda everywhere in his/her life. These Americans have long lost all grounding in reality and think that the distorted images in this house of mirrors are real.
We must understand that for special interests that collectively control trillions of dollars in assets, profits and infrastructure all over the planet, the last thing they are willing to do is allow for the existence of a system that might actually put into power a form of authority above their own, that would set policy predicated upon the interests of the people, rather than their own. They have the money, the power and the ability to ensure policy is set to suit them, and them alone, and they clearly have done just that.
He then goes on to see the implications of this for the election system which those on the outside of this house of mirrors, our ruling capitalist class, use to further deceive us that we have real choices when we vote, and thus live in a "democracy"--the biggest illusion of all.

Cold War 2.0 : Further actions by the US to surround China

Click here to access article from the unbalanced evolution of homo sapiens. (Although this blog uses a US server, it appears to be very oriented to Greek issues.) 

This brief report lends support to my recent argument in my commentary from another article entitled "Ukraine Partnering with NATO…to the Surprise of No One".
This sort of aggressiveness demonstrated by the directors of the current advanced capitalist empire is not because of "evil-doers" (although the system creates and promotes people that are inclined to do evil or anti-social acts), it is the inherent nature of advanced capitalist controlled nations to expand in order to meet capitalism's insatiable need for growth. Such nations take on enormous debts in the process of this expansion (current US estimate is over $18 trillion dollars--much of it owed to China which makes them the ultimate target), which fuels more imperialism, which inevitably leads to major wars.