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 23, 2015

It’s time to Flood, Occupy, Blockade and Shut Down the systems jeopardizing our future

Click here to access article from Occupy Wall Street.

The article introduces us to an action by Rising Tide North America which is organizing anti-capitalist actions in the fall. I don't know anything about this organization, but Occupy Wall Street has an excellent reputation.
Beginning today, our allies at Rising Tide North America are calling for mass actions in the Fall of 2015 to shut down the economic and political systems threatening our survival. Already, hundreds of thousands  have taken to the streets to fight back against climate chaos, capitalism and white supremacy.

The Problem With the TPP is Capitalism

Click here to access article by Rob Urie from CounterPunch.

Urie provides a devastating attack on all the justifications and theories used by capitalist elites and their agents such as Obama to eliminate all vestiges of citizen control over their respective nation's economy. 
Understanding what Western elites really want from the TPP and TTIP is crucial. President Obama argues that either ‘we’ write the global trade rules going forward or the Chinese will. Point one is that trade rules are not ‘free-trade’ in the sense of an absence of rules— what is being negotiated is ‘managed’ trade. Point two is that the ‘we’ writing the rules are corporate representatives— Bank of America and Monsanto do not represent the public interest and the assertion that they do is profoundly anti-democratic. And despite lip service to the contrary, the ISDS mechanism of these (and past) trade agreements is designed to preclude effective environmental and labor regulations by allowing corporations to sue for wholly imagined ‘lost profits’ that might result from them. In other words, and with apologies to George Orwell, (economic) freedom is slavery.

Implied in Mr. Obama’s view is a unipolar world run by multi-national corporations for their own benefit. Wall Street would be near the top of this food chain— the same Wall Street that got everything it asked for in terms of ‘freedom’ from oversight and regulation and nevertheless killed the global economy in 2008 and exists today on public guarantees, transfers and implied future too-big-to-fail bailouts. 
However, I must take issue with the way he writes. The problem I always have with his articles is their difficulty in comprehension, and I am probably better able than most ordinary people to comprehend them. Too often he uses obscure language and long convoluted sentences. While his attack on capitalist propaganda is very revealing and his exposures of the real effects of the neoliberal trade treaties very useful, considering his writing style he seems to be addressing only an academic audience. Academics are very much controlled by department heads and boards of directors (Board of Regents) that are heavily populated by capitalist agents. 

I think he should be writing clearly to ordinary people because it is these people who can bring about real change. And as he finally concludes, the only real solution is revolution.
For those of us stuck on the choice between Hillary or Jeb, Democrats or Republicans, what they can do— all that they can do, is drop bombs, exacerbate environmental catastrophe and be really mean to poor people. There is truth in the idea that societies are judged by how we treat the ‘least’ among us, not in some cosmic accounting, but by how we live our lives in the present. From one side the question is: how much crap do ‘we’ really need and from the other, what is the true cost of it and who pays this cost? Vote if you care to, call ‘your’ representatives to vote down trade agreements if you think doing so is useful, but revolution is the solution.

Manufacturing the Global Food and Agricultural Crisis

Click here to access article by Colin Todhunter from CounterPunch.

Read this to see how the British author, who has lived in India for a number of years, carefully builds with evidence this towering conclusion:
...big agribusiness in collusion with big pharma will continue to control our food and define our healthcare by pushing their highly profitable ‘miracle solutions’ for the health and environmental problems which they conspired to create in the first place. It is all part of the wider corporate-elite agenda to colonise and control every facet of human existence.

The wretched of the sea [an African point of view regarding refugees fleeing to Europe]

Click here to access article by Hamza Hamouchene from Pambazuka News (Africa).
Despite the chaos and mayhem caused by the NATO intervention in Libya, the country is still a key transit point for illegal migration from to Europe. A significant number of the black Africans living and working in Libya find themselves forced to escape to Europe because of the deep instability as well as the vicious racism they face.
But the author also is very critical of Algeria which is also the source of many refugees along with other countries in which capitalist exploitation forces people to flee.
People in Algeria and elsewhere in the global south immigrate because their countries’ economies are failing them, due to the ongoing capitalist exploitation and western imperialist domination that go hand in hand with repressive and corrupt regimes. 

Jeb Bush and Brotherly Love

Click here to access video cartoon by Mark Fiore from Vimeo.

It's election time again when our masters provide us with their selection of (very willing) puppets that will occupy government offices and play like they're making decisions. Then we get to vote on which ones we like best to perform in the show. Ain't capitalist democracy wonderful? Of course, it might be just a show, but it is entertaining, isn't it?

Anyway, here is Fiore's take on one such puppet. Too bad he didn't make one for Hillary--maybe next week.

Friday, May 22, 2015

U.S. Intelligence Predicted: U.S. Support For Rebels in Syria Would Lead To Fall of Ramadi

Click here to access article by Bernhard from Moon of Alabama.

The author digs up more evidence that the Empire directors knew and executed plans to use terrorist groups, which were trained, supplied, and funded by the Empire, its Medieval Arab allies, and Turkey to overthrow the Syrian government and to generally create chaos in the region. 
Three new news items provide that the Obama administration, as well as Turkey and other countries, have knowingly created the current situation in Syria and Iraq. They knew that their support of the opposition which from the beginning included Al Qaeda would likely lead to the creation of an Islamic State. The administration was warned as early as August 2012 that this would then lead to the fall of Mosul and Ramadi to an Al Qaeda entity. 

As the Empire's secret terrorist army, ISIS, wracks up one more victory, the fall of Ramadi, capital of Anbar province in Iraq, the Empire does nothing while they pretend to be fighting ISIS.

Matt Taibbi on Democracy Now: Banks Admit to Crimes, Pay $5 Billion, And Still No One Goes to Jail

Click here to access article by Yves Smith from Naked Capitalism.

As we learn of another white cop shooting unarmed African-Americans suspected of shoplifting some cartons of beer, we also learn about another example of banksters robbing the entire economy with impunity. The banks merely pay fines which do not appear to function as a deterrent to discourage further bankster crimes. Many keen observers see this as very similar to a mafia style "protection racket": banks pay the fines and their banksters go free to commit more crimes. The banks' reactions? Oh, but it's just a case of a few bad apples.

The article exposes the lies of former Attorney General Eric Holder, one of the ruling class's favorite "house niggers", who promised with great fanfare in February that his Dept. of Justice would be prosecuting banksters for their crimes.

A Toxic Affair: How the chemical lobby blocked action on hormone disrupting chemicals

Click here to access article from Corporate Europe Observatory.
An investigation led by research and campaign group Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) and journalist Stéphane Horel exposes corporate lobby groups mobilising to stop the EU taking action on hormone (endocrine) disrupting chemicals (EDCs). The report sheds light on how corporations and their lobby groups have used numerous tactics from the corporate lobbying playbook: scaremongering, evidence-discrediting, and delaying tactics, as well as using the ongoing TTIP negotiations as a leverage. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Why does Greece not simply get it over with and default?

Click here to access article by Jerome Roos from Reflections on a Revolution
History has shown that defaulting countries tend to fall harder but recover faster. So why does Greece’s left-led government not simply get it over with?
Roos's essay provides some answers to this question and to Greece's dilemma as the Syriza administration play this game of chicken with their international creditors. So far the creditors seem to be set on an uncompromising hardline course--perhaps because their capitalist "house of cards" is so fragile that they have no choice. So, it appears that the outcome is finally up to ordinary Greek citizens. Their dilemma and ultimate choice brings to mind the soliloquy of Shakespeare's Hamlet
To be, or not to be, that is the question—
Whether 'tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing, end them?
Should the Greece government default, the consequences could have widespread geopolitical as well as economic reverberations throughout the world. As usual, the vast majority of my fellow Americans are sound asleep, and their dreams are filled with illusions purveyed by corporate media which have little to do with the real world.

Greece Says That It Will Default On June 5th, And Moody’s Warns Of A ‘Deposit Freeze’

Click here to access article by Michael Snyder from The Economic Collapse.

This author specializes in market analysis, and he is clearly worried (from a capitalist point of view) about the likely Greek default.
Sadly, most people living in North America (which is most of my audience) does not really care much about what happens on the other side of the world.

But they should care.
In addition to Moody's cautionary steps several paragraphs later, he bolsters his warning with this observation: 
According to the Bank for International Settlements, 74 trillion dollars in derivatives are directly tied to the value of the euro, the value of the U.S. dollar and the value of other global currencies.

So if you believe that what is happening in Greece cannot have massive ramifications for the entire global financial system, you are dead wrong.

Sowing The GM Seeds Of Depopulation?

Click here to access article by Colin Todhunter from East by Northwest
While most of the literature on GMOs is concerned with the impacts of crops that have been genetically modified to deal with pests or herbicide spraying, there are very worrying trends regarding plants being genetically modified to contain industrial pharmaceuticals or possess possible contraceptive traits.
Then in the next paragraph he attacks the overpopulation argument that capitalist ideologues often make as the basic problem that threatens survival today:
The world’s problems are not being caused by overpopulation, as Turner states, but by greed and a system of ownership and global power relations that ensures wealth flows from bottom to top. The issue at hand should not be about stopping population growth in its tracks but about changing a socially divisive global economic system and the unsustainable depletion of natural resources.
While I think this attack is valid, I think it is inadequate because it does not make clear that overpopulation is an effect of capitalism rather than a cause of many economic problems. His argument leaves out the underlying reasons why the system, which results in such extremes of wealth and poverty, causes overpopulation: the extreme insecurity imposed by the capitalist system on the majority of the world's adults. Please spare me the effort of repeating my argument by reading the commentary in this previous post entitled "OVERdevelopment, OVERpopulation, OVERshoot".

And the War Just Keeps on Comin'

Click here to access article by Phillip A. Farruggio from World News Trust.

The author suggests reading Orwell's 1984 as an antidote to a current war propagandist. He ends his passionate anti-war, anti-propaganda essay with this conclusion: 
As our cities crumble, both economically and physically, and more of us working stiffs are struggling to make ends meet... folks wake up! The enemy is not just those crazies in the Middle East that our Shock and Awe campaign helped ISIS to recruit. NO, the real enemy is greed and the quest for total dominance that, sadly, our empire is guilty of... As well as all the political and business leaders of all the nations of this tired and beaten down planet.

Many good souls I know who agree with this writer keep talking of Revolution. No! What we need is Realization first, and then Rejection of the processes that allow the status quo. Not an easy task for all working stiffs worldwide, but...
But, doesn't ending "the processes that allow the status quo" mean that we have to start talking about revolution? What do you, Phillip Farruggio, want us to do, sign another petition? Vote more Democrats into office for the "Change We Can Believe In"? I've signed thousands of petitions throughout my life and things have steadily gotten worse. And, I've long lost any illusions about electing left-wing capitalists, aka Democrats.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Russia Turkey and the New Greek Sirtaki

Click here to access article by F. William Engdahl from New Eastern Outlook.

Engdahl uses a popular Greek dance, Sirtaki, as a metaphor for the celebration of an apparent Russian deal with both Turkey and Greece to build an pipeline through their countries. And, Putin apparently also offered money to the Greek government to sweeten the deal. The Greek and Turkish governments may be celebrating, but will Europe join in the dance? Stay tuned for the next episodes.
...Russia and Turkey have completed the landmark deal to begin deliveries of Gazprom Russian gas via a new “Turkish Stream” pipeline into and across Turkey through a pipeline now in construction. Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller announced on May 7 that, “An agreement has been made on the beginning of exploitation and deliveries of [Russian] gas along the Turkish Stream in December 2016.” The statement came following Miller’s meeting earlier in the day with Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yıldız. The new pipeline will travel through Turkey to a gas hub on the Turkish-Greek border for further distribution to European customers.

Holloway: Critical Thought against the Capitalist Hydra

Click here to access article by John Holloway from Reflections on a Revolution. 

From May 3rd through the 9th Zapatistas held a seminar at the University of Chiapas Land in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico to which many foreign activist and intellectual guests were invited. One of them, John Holloway, spoke at the seminar. This is a text of his talk.

Holloway introduces his main theme by referring to the plague of debt ("storm") that is placing enormous burdens on the workers of the world while enriching the holders of the debt-- creditors who are mostly capitalists.
...if we cannot extract the profit we need, then we shall pretend that it exists, we shall create a monetary representation for value that has not been produced, we are going to expand debt in order to survive and also try to use it to impose the discipline that is necessary. This expansion of debt is at the same time the expansion of finance capital, expression of the violent weakness of capital as a social relation.
He then puts into an interesting perspective what the struggles of those in attendance is all about.
Capital depends on us, because if we do not create profit (surplus value) directly or indirectly, then capital cannot exist. We create capital and if capital is in crisis, it is because we are not creating the profit necessary for capital’s existence: that is why they are attacking us with such violence.

In this situation there are really two options of struggle. We can say “Yes, all right, we shall carry on producing capital, we shall continue to promote the accumulation of capital, but we need better living conditions for everybody.” ....

The other possibility is to say “Goodbye, capital, time for you to go, we are going to create other ways of living, other ways of relating to one another, both among humans and between humans and other forms of life, ways of living that are not determined by money and the pursuit of profit, but by our own collective decisions.”

Here in this seminar we are at the very center of this second option.

Tour Guide to the Khilafah

Click here to access article by Nafeez Ahmed from INSURGE intelligence.

This crowd-funded independent journalist examines a document used to recruit Muslims into ISIS especially in Britain and finds links to MI5, the British counterpart to the FBI. Ahmed adds more evidence to support the growing widespread suspicions and evidence of involvement by foreign intelligence services in addition to Saudi funding in the creation of ISIS and its ongoing operations (see this, this, this, this, and this). How else can one account for the sudden rise of this militarily well-equipped terrorist organization that uses internet software in a very sophisticated fashion? 

The document appears to be appealing to the millions of poverty-stricken Muslims throughout Europe.
...what is...revealing...is the entire focus of the document. There are no substantive theological references or justifications, no references to Islamic canonical texts. The document is not attempting to convince those who already reject ISIS’ twisted theology — but is aimed at those who, sympathetic to its professed goals, sceptical of Western reporting on ISIS, sceptical of Western foreign policies generally, might be nudged into believing that ISIS represents not a totalitarian fascist abomination, but an authentic utopian experiment.

The entire pitch is about the promise of a better life in this world, appealing not to spiritual sentiments or religious convictions, or even to a hunger for glory or meaning through martyrdom — but simply to material wants and needs. This reveals that the target audience is very specific: if you are already verging toward ISIS sympathy, are hungry, poor, and lack opportunities, here’s the utopia you always wanted — “no glass ceilings here” ....

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

FBI’s warning of white supremacists infiltrating law enforcement nearly forgotten

Click here to access article by  Samuel V. Jones from the grio.
Because of intensifying civil strife over the recent killings of unarmed black men and boys, many Americans are wondering, “What’s wrong with our police?” Remarkably, one of the most compelling but unexplored explanations may rest with a FBI warning of October 2006, which reported that “White supremacist infiltration of law enforcement” represented a significant national threat.
I can't help but think that right-wing hate groups were welcomed, even intentionally recruited, into police forces for the past decade, and the FBI document that was issued back in 2006 was designed to "cover their asses". I've spent 20 minutes this morning trying to find some link to a media article reporting this warning in 2006, and I failed.

Meanwhile, we read about another police murder of an African American in this report entitled "How Did a 26-Year-Old Iraq War Veteran Die Serving a 2-Day Jail Sentence?".

10 Conspiracy Theories That Turned Out To Be True

Click here to access article by Jake Anderson from AntiMedia

These are only a sample of cases where ruling class directors have conspired to commit the worst crimes against humanity. Others should include the overthrow of the Chilean socialist government of Chile in 1973, US's illegal sponsorship of the Honduran terrorist army called the Contras which ended in the destabilization of the Nicaraguan government, and the Gladio operations following WWII. 

Who Owns Agricultural Land in Ukraine?

Click here to access article by Elizabeth Fraser from Oakland Institute.

Here you can see one of two major reasons that explain why the Empire's capitalist directors sponsored the overthrow of the elected government in Ukraine in early 2014: to plunder their rich farming lands by capitalist agricultural corporations. The other major reason was to set up more NATO bases on the edge of Russia as a way to intimidate the Russian government.
The fate of Ukraine’s agricultural sector is on shaky ground. Last year, the Oakland Institute reported that over 1.6 million hectares (ha) of land in Ukraine are now under the control of foreign-based corporations. Further research has allowed for the identification of additional foreign investments. Some estimates now bring the total of Ukrainian farmland controlled by foreign companies to over 2.2 million ha [hectares: one hectare equals 2.47 acres].
It appears that Western agents and their Ukrainian fascist collaborators are using the same method that they used in Russia and other satellite countries to convert and concentrate ownership of former collective and state owned properties into private hands--this time into the possession of Western corporations in addition to their Ukrainian collaborators.

Washington’s ‘Wet Drought’ Gets Worse

Click here to access article by Brian Kahn from Climate Central.
With its snowpack at abysmal levels and some streams recording record low flows, Washington is perhaps looking at a worse drought than it anticipated even a month ago. The impacts already being seen prompted Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday to expanded an emergency drought declaration to cover the whole state.
Here in the Puget Sound area of Washington state where I reside, I haven't noticed much concern from the media about the lack of snow pack in the nearby Cascade mountains or Governor Inslee's declaration of a drought. It seems that the global warming deniers among our ruling capitalist class have conditioned media people to play down this story. It has been easy to do because we have gotten normal rainfall throughout the winter and spring, but this year it fell mostly as rain which proceeded to drain into rivers and out into the ocean leaving little stored as snow in the mountains. This area of Puget Sound has a huge population and depends to a major extent on snow pack to get through the drier summer and fall months.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Obama Gave Up on Ukraine, Press Simply Ignored It [updated commentary]

Click here to access article by Eric Zuesse from Real Independent News & Film.

Last week at a press conference in Sochi, Russia Sec. of State Kerry was asked this question:
Mr. Kerry, you’ve said several times that Minsk agreements is the best way to proceed to settle the Ukraine conflict. What can you say about what Mr. Poroshenko said when talking to the representatives of Kyiv army when he said that they are going to gain back the Donetsk airport?
To which he answered:
Well, thank you very much. I have not had a chance – I have not read the speech. I haven’t seen any context. I have simply heard about it in the course of today. But if indeed President Poroshenko is advocating an engagement in a forceful effort at this time, we would strongly urge him to think twice not to engage in that kind of activity, that that would put Minsk in serious jeopardy. And we would be very, very concerned about what the consequences of that kind of action at this time may be.
Even though the Russian media ignored this remark, Zuesse makes the claim that it announces a significant about face in US backing of Kiev's aggression in eastern Ukraine. "The Saker" in his article of last week mentioned without reference to any documentation that Asst. Sec. of State Victoria Nuland, who was the architect of the Kiev regime, "refused to speak to the press and left looking rather unhappy."

Well, I read Saker's article also and like him and the Russian media I didn't know how serious this rather off-hand remark was. It's puzzling the way the Obama administration and media are supporting the Minsk II agreement. Although the US was not a party to the agreement, they are now expressing support for it by issuing statements casting doubts that Russia will abide by it. See this and this. At the same time, the Obama administration have been sending military supplies and US soldiers to train Ukrainian troops. And, clearly Ukrainian officials have not gotten the message. See this and this. So, what do you think?

Further thoughts on 5/19/2015 8:30 AM Seattle time: I think the reason that every media--not only Western media--as well as most political observers ignored Kerry's statements and other propaganda statements is simply because they have had much more experience with Western leaders and Western imperialism than has Draitser. They know that Kerry was speaking with a "forked tongue" as Native Americans would put it. 

Regarding the departure of the "wicked witch of the West", Victoria Nuland, from the media event, she was likely expressing her scorn for Kerry's attempt to reassure the Russians while lying to them.

Think about. If you know someone who is a chronic liar and con man, do you not tend to look at their behavior to determine their intentions rather than believe what they say?

Why Do Bankers Wage War to Stop National Banks?

Click here to access article by Brandon Turbeville from Activist Post. 

Although I like the attention that Turbeville is giving to private central banks, but I immediately spot two weaknesses in his essay. First, I think he overstates the reason why the Empire and its Kiev regime, a fascist creation, has so aggressively waged war against the breakaway regions of Ukraine with constitute the Donetsk People’s Republic; and second, he does not explain in this essay, or his linked-to previous one, the how private central banks and their control over international credit agencies such as the IMF and World Bank function as only one major weapon in the domination of the capitalist class over entire nations. 

As to number one, it's clear that Russia is the target of their support for the Kiev regime (which the capitalist Empire created)--I won't even bother elaborating on that argument because it is so obvious. The small national bank in the Ukrainian breakaway republic is of very minor concern to the Empire's capitalist directorate. They are going after Russia and China basically because their ruling classes refuse to submit to the domination of the Empire.

As to weakness number two, one cannot separate out private central banks from the system they serve which is what he seems to be doing. Private ownership of the money supply gives core capitalists the control over how money is used in any given society. Thus, money is not used for the benefit of societies as a whole, but only to serve the interests of the tiny class of major owners of economic property (capitalists): the accumulation of wealth and power. This control of money serves as only one major weapon along with many others to secure for the Empire's gang of capitalists the ability to exploit labor and resources and to control markets in the rest of the world. The accumulation of sovereign debts that have been occurring all over the world is one consequence and not the objective of advanced capitalist actions.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

U.S. on Wrong Side of History

Click here to access article by Bruce K. Gagnon from OpEdNews.

If the old saying is true that you can judge a person by his friends and if we can apply this aphorism to national ruling elites, then our ruling class directorate are a bunch of scoundrels. These Middle Eastern anachronistic monarchies only exist because of the Empire's protection. We have armed and trained their armies against their own people (think Bahrain) in exchange for selling their oil only in US dollars, one of the main supports propping up the dollar's value. If this reminds you of a mafia-type protection racket, you wouldn't be far from the truth.
This is what it has all come down to.... the US and the corrupt, dictatorial Gulf monarchies meeting at Camp David Thursday and agreeing on a plan to flood the Middle East with 'missile defense' (MD) systems.

These Gulf monarchies are the essential allies of the US in the world now (in addition to a few other fascist-leaning nations). Together they are destabilizing and creating chaos in Syria, Yemen, Ukraine and beyond. This meeting is evidence of the desperation and the moral decay of the USA.

Obama announced that that he would streamline weapon sales and increase joint military exercises with Bahrain (home to US Navy Central Command and the Fifth Fleet), Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates....
And look how a court in another allied Middle East nation controlled by another favorite dictator of theirs has decided about the fate of an elected rival in this report entitled "Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's First Freely Elected President, Sentenced to Death".  

However, the US Empire's interests do not always coincide with those of the Medieval monarchies, and the recent deal negotiated by the P5+1 with the Iran nuclear issue has very much upset the Saudi rulers and their cronies. As a result Empire leaders hosted them at a very recent meeting at Camp David, Maryland to soothe their angry feelings. Finian Cunningham, an excellent independent journalist, thinks that the Saudis are hoping to scuttle the deal by pursuing their war against Yemen and provoking Iran. He explains their primary concern with Iran:
What the Saudis and the other Arab monarchs fear as "Iranian destabilisation" is the destabilising effect of a relatively democratic government in Iran being able to pursue normal relations with the region, without being continually painted as a pariah. A nuclear deal at the P5+1 would give Iran space to develop normally in the region. But that dynamic is anathema to the Persian Gulf monarchies, who rule with an iron-fist over cowering subjects. Those subjects may be more inclined to agitate for the greater democratic freedoms that are available to Iranian citizens. This is the "destabilising" effect of Iran that the Saudi rulers and their Arab allies fear most, not the much-hyped concerns of "Iranian-inspired subversion".
This strengthens the argument made in yesterday's post entitled "Power and Vulnerability: Saudi Kingdom and its Troubles" in which the author argued that the gulf monarchies are very concerned about the stability of their rule.

Russian Lawmakers crack down on foreign “undesirables”

Click here to access article by Christof Lehmann from nsnbc international

Lehmann starts off with a report on recent efforts by the Russian government to control for foreign sponsored NGOs, followed by an excellent discussion of the pros and cons of NGOs and their vulnerability to corruption by moneyed interests. The Russian government, along with other keen observers, have seen the rather long history of NGOs being used as a weapon in the Empire's arsenal to destabilize governments in targeted countries, using operations known as "color revolutions". With the increasing aggressive actions by the Empire on Russia's borders, their efforts to control such organizations is very understandable. But there are risks to NGOs that are doing honest and constructive work.

NGOs are usually starved of funding and thus easily corrupted by money interests which are usually capitalists simply because they have all the money. Empire operatives have long been aware of this weakness and have taken advantage of NGOs by using them as a subversive weapon. This weakness of NGOs to corrupting moneyed interests brings into dramatic focus the rapidly accelerating problem of economic inequality that is an inherent anti-democratic feature of capitalism.

Labour’s rebirth requires a grassroots revolution, not more diktats and spin

Click here to access article by George Monbiot from The Guardian.

I am posting this as an excellent example of what passes as left politics (often referred to as "liberal" politics) in capitalist media. Because of the Tory victory in Britain's recent elections, widespread pessimism has engulfed British labor-oriented activists. This article is essentially a sop to those people. 

Monbiot uses the language of real revolutionary activists to advocate community organizing, but his meaning is very different from those activists. His use of a "grassroots revolution" clearly means local organizing within the interstices of capitalist societies to win elections and to alleviate the worst ravages of the system--nothing more. This is a form of conceptual co-optation used to convert revolutionary language into acceptable language that does not threaten the capitalist system. This treatment gives Monbiot and others like him access to major left-capitalist publications like the Guardian.

How Photographing Pollution Became Illegal In Wyoming

Click here to access article by Claire Bernish from The Anti Media.
A key element of the Clean Water Act is reliance on public citizens to spot violations, but this trespass law, and similar legislation in other states including Idaho and Utah, renders citizen science helpless, even in the event of imminent threat to public health. What these laws essentially accomplish is putting rights of their state agricultural industries above the rights of citizens not to have our shared land fouled with pollutants. Rather than addressing the root of the issue, the law shows a preference for sweeping the problem under the rug.

The law came into being after activists with the Western Watersheds Project heavily sampled waterways under the control of the Bureau of Land Management and found the water tainted with E.coli bacteria, which is extremely dangerous to humans. Cattle ranchers, whose livestock is likely responsible for the contamination....