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, July 25, 2015

China’s NGO Law: Countering Western Soft Power and Subversion

Click here to access article by Eric Draitser from New Eastern Outlook.

Draitser reports on how China in addition to Russia is countering the Empire's subversive use of NGOs to create destabilizing societal effects. Predictably Empire agents are raising a howl of protests over what they frame as civil and human rights oppression. Much of the rest of the article explains why the Chinese government has passed a law restricting the operations of foreign-funded NGOs.
...amid all the hand-wringing about human rights and democracy, what is conveniently left out of the narrative is the simple fact that foreign NGOs, and domestic ones funded by foreign money, are, to a large extent, agents of foreign interests, and are quite used as soft power weapons for destabilization. And this is no mere conspiracy theory as the documented record of the role of NGOs in recent political unrest in China is voluminous. It would not be a stretch to say that Beijing has finally recognized, just as Russia has before it, that in order to maintain political stability and true sovereignty, it must be able to control the civil society space otherwise manipulated by the US and its allies.

Turkey Lauches War On Islamic State's Worst Enemies - The Kurds

Click here to access article by Billmon from his blog Moon of Alabama.

Billmon provides evidence that the US is providing help to both Turkey and the Kurds, whereas Turkey is now directly attacking the Kurds. He writes:
It seems that the U.S. is now helping the Turkish government, which supports the Islamic State, to target Kurdish positions while at the same time giving air support to the same Kurds against the Islamic State.

Who in Washington came up with such a lunatic policy position and what is the real aim behind it?
I don't think this is a "lunatic policy"--it's only the usual strategy of the Empire and Israel in the Middle East: creating as much chaos as it can by getting Muslims to kill other Muslims.

Sexual equality is in our genes

Click here to access article by Chris Fry from Workers World.

Fry reports on a recent paper published in Science (behind a paywall) which confirms some long held Marxist opinions about the original humans and human nature: the social structure was based on mother-right, or matriarchy, in which a fundamental equality existed between women and men. Today this period of human social development is often called the primary commune.

Fry also sees this confirmation has having support for those Marxists and other activists who believe that humans are capable of creating very different societies to replace today's dominant patriarchal type that is reinforced by capitalism.
Not satisfied with just academic research on this, Marxists view the legacy of egalitarian matriarchy, of the primary commune, to be a springboard into the present-day struggle against this outmoded, racist, sexist, anti-gay, oppressive class society.

Because of the early level of the productive forces, humans in the original communes faced a tough, uphill struggle against the forces of nature. Yet they provided evidence that we humans can build a powerful social model in which to survive and grow, based on equality and filling the needs of the whole community.

Today, we humans have developed vast powers of production that could be used to satisfy our needs. Instead, in most countries, economic life is chained to the profit motive. To reach the next step on the ladder of social development — the construction of a society that meets the needs of all people on a much higher level — this rotting capitalist system has to be overthrown.

Economic changes needed to tackle climate challenges

Click here to access article by Kieran Cooke from Climate News Network.

There have been a series of meetings leading up to a major meeting of world politicos and others to be held in Paris starting in November. The meetings like the grand summit in Paris give world capitalist leaders opportunities to say how concerned they are about climate destabilization--only they don't use such a dramatic term, instead they prefer "climate change". 

The author in this piece reports on some of these grand statements at one of these preliminary meetings. For example, the president of Ireland condemns neoliberalism. He like many others sees this advanced stage of capitalism as the culprit. Thus, returning to nationally-based, regulated capitalism would solve our problems. This is like saying that the symptoms of metastasized cancer can be cured if we can only return it to a localized cancer.

Are countries legally required to protect their citizens from climate change?

Click here to access article by Sophia V. Schweitzer from Ensia.

The article addresses the implications that a recent Dutch court ruling might for the rest of the world.
People in poorer countries, who have contributed least to climate change and are also often least well prepared to respond, are likely to suffer the most. It’s for them that the Dutch victory is critical, says van Berkel. “The rights of our co-plaintiffs are central, but people outside of the Netherlands will be even harder hit by climate change,” he says. “The ruling will encourage others to appeal to human rights when it comes to climate change threats.” Which brings up the big question: Is the Dutch court ruling a landmark for the entire globe?

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Eurasian Big Bang: How China and Russia Are Running Rings Around Washington

Click here to access article by Pepe Escobar from TomDispatch. (If you wish to skip the introduction to the article by Tom Engelhardt, you will need to scroll down to the article.)

It's quite amazing to see so many astute political analysts viewing an event with such different perspectives. This piece by Escobar offers views of the Iran deal which is in sharp contrast to others that I have posted on my website. I'm referring specifically to Petr Lvov ("Iran is Heading West Now"), Keith Jones of World Socialist Web Site ("Obama promotes 'historic' nuclear deal with Iran"), and Eric Draitser ("The Geopolitics and Economics of the Iran Nuclear Deal"). All of the above view the Iran deal as a victory for the Empire and a setback for countries who wish to pursue an independent path.

Escobar has long been viewing the efforts of the BRIC countries, led by Russia and China, to create what he celebrates as a great alternative to the Empire's hegemony, thereby creating what he sees as a wonderful "multi-polar world". And, in this piece he sees the deal as a victory for the BRICS and their plans to create an independent union and a multipolar world. In this celebration he ignores all concerns about this alternative ending in a nuclear confrontation with the Empire nor the substantial contribution to global warming by this alternative's grand plans for development of Eurasia which will require huge amounts of fossil fuel energy. 

Finally he ignores the fact that their governments intend to use the engines of capitalism to realize their plans without any concern that the capitalist classes in the BRIC countries will eventually overwhelm or co-opt the somewhat independent, bureaucratic classes of their respective countries in order to implement the same hegemonic tendencies of the existing US-led Empire. What unites these countries now--opposition to the hegemony of the Empire--could eventually, assuming they were successful, lead down the same destructive path that these same critics see the Empire on today.

Hiding Its Own Role NYT Publishes Anonymous Officials' Snowden Smears

Click here to access article by Billmon from Moon of Alabama.
What do certain U.S. administration officials do when they want to push a line of propaganda out to the world? They call up some willing stenographer from the New York Times. The NYT stenographers guarantee anonymity to the government officials and they certainly do not check the logical or factual plausibility of the fairy tales they are told. Instead they write up what they whatever is said as exclusive and a scoop.
.... But the real agenda of the whole story may be condensed in just one paragraph which stands out as an obvious lie....

IMF Fairy Tales

Obtained from today's website, occasional links & commentary

What should be made clear in the cartoon is that the "magic cash crop beans" will be supplied by multinational corporations and the beans will be genetically modified which will require purchases of huge amounts of pesticides.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The problem with center-left critiques of neoliberalism

Click here to access article by Martijn Konings from Reflections on a Revolution.

I initially was put-off by the condensed writing style of Konings article which, I think, caused me to go to the first link to Steve Lambert’s art installation, Capitalism works for me! I found the material on the latter site most fascinating because it featured what is for me a most puzzling absence in the milieu that I circulate in--discussion about capitalism. The latter is most dramatically illustrated by my discovery of the lack of interest in my website by people I come in contact with. When I mention that I'm working on a blog and give them the name of it, they express very little interest in it, and the few that follow up by perusing the site, never re-visit it or comment on it directly with me. (Here I need to explain a little bit about my "milieu". I live near, but some distance from Seattle in a middle sized city. I think the people here offer a representative sample of people living across the US.) I was sidetracked quite a while by Lambert's work and really enjoyed what is starkly missing from my life and social contacts. 

Then I returned to Konings' essay to try to make sense out of it. It finally dawned on me that he is addressing a phenomenon that is related to my puzzling experiences that I've briefly described above, and more to the point, the many "left" critics among intellectuals in countries aligned with the US-led capitalist Empire that I've frequently criticized in my blog--people like Naomi Klein, Chris Hedges, and even Richard D. Wolff.  I think the latter kind of critics are what Konings is also targeting in this piece. These are critics who refuse, or are afraid for various reasons, to attack the system of capitalism as a system. They always qualify their criticisms by referring to "unregulated capitalism". Such critics take the "democratic" components of capitalism seriously, and think that they can be restored if only capitalists are more regulated. And they look to state institutions as a countervailing force to keep capitalists in check. The only problem is that the capitalists essentially own the state as well as everything else of value.

The "democracy", the freedoms, and the "human rights" which capitalist leaders love to go on about have always been an ideological prop to convince ordinary people that capitalism was concerned about these values. What they really represent is a legacy of the capitalist revolutions that occurred all over Europe several hundred years ago when the rising capitalist class desperately needed the working class in their struggle with monarchies and aristocracies. 

To gain the allegiance of ordinary people to overthrow the rule of feudal authorities, they came up with the ideology of "liberalism" which proclaimed that they were concerned about freedoms from the arbitrary rule of their feudal masters. What they were really only concerned about were their freedoms to function as "owners" of economic property to do what they wanted with workers and the environment regardless of the effects on society or the environment. 

Since then there has been a kind of dialectic dynamic between the real interests of this new ruling class of capitalists and these so-called freedoms in relation to the people they employed (or enslaved), the workers, in their various economic enterprises. The problem was that the dialectic was between two very unevenly matched antagonists. And there's the rub, as Shakespeare would say. 

Since their successful revolutions, capitalist ruling classes have gradually been accumulating wealth and power to where we are today with highly concentrated wealth and power by a capitalist few with the rest of humanity in debt to them. Since then they have reinforced this ideology, now called "neoliberalism", via education, media, and even entertainment. From experience they have found such indoctrination and management of consent/dissent much more cost-effective than outright police state rule (although they are well prepared to use that also). Many academics have been subject to this indoctrination and many academics on the left have been affected likewise. These limited critics of capitalism are what Konings is targeting in his essay. He sees such critics as having been influenced by the writings of Karl Polanyi.

Global warming’s record-breaking trend continues

Click here to access article by Alex Kirby from Climate News Network.
The authoritative report by the NOAA’s Centre for Weather and Climate at the National Centres for Environmental Information (NCEI), published by the American Meterological Society, draws on contributions from 413 scientists in 58 countries to provide a detailed update on global climate indicators.

“The variety of indicators shows us how our climate is changing, not just in temperature but from the depths of the oceans to the outer atmosphere,” says Thomas R. Karl, director of the NCEI.
Notice the language that this director uses to describe what is happen with great rapidity when considered in the framework of geologic time--which it should be. After all the alarming data presented in this major study, all that director Thomas Karl can say is that the study "shows us how our climate is changing". So, we can all go back to sleep, keep drilling for, and burning more, fossil fuels to keep the voracious engines of expanding capitalism as it devours everything in sight in order to accumulate more power and profits for a tiny class of "owners".

One only needs to peruse the text of the study (contained in a PDF document) to determine that what these world 413 scientists from all over the world have seen in their research is that the tremendous amounts need to fuel these capitalist engines are rapidly warming the Earth from the bottom of the oceans to the highest mountain peaks all over our planet-home. From this document I read the following:
Carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide—the major greenhouse gases released into Earth’s atmosphere—once again all reached record high average atmospheric concentrations for the year. Carbon dioxide increased by 1.9 ppm to reach a globally averaged value of 397.2 ppm for 2014. Altogether, 5 major and 15 minor greenhouse gases contributed 2.94 W m–2 of direct radiative forcing, which is 36% greater than their contributions just a quarter century ago.

Accompanying the record-high greenhouse gas concentrations was nominally the highest annual global surface temperature in at least 135 years of modern record keeping, according to four independent observational analyses. The warmth was distributed widely around the globe's land areas, Europe observed its warmest year on record by a large margin, with close to two dozen countries breaking their previous national temperature records; many countries in Asia had annual temperatures among their 10 warmest on record; Africa reported above-average temperatures across most of the continent throughout 2014; Australia saw its third warmest year on record, following record heat there in 2013; Mexico had its warmest year on record; and Argentina and Uruguay each had their second warmest year on record. Eastern North America was the only major region to observe a below-average annual temperature.

But it was the oceans that drove the record global surface temperature in 2014. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

#TalkReal in Athens: Democracy Rising--Syriza and Europe

Click here to access the introduction to this 39:21m video of a panel discussion produced by European Alternatives and posted on their website.
European Alternatives is proud to present a new media format to you: Talk Real. In this talk show host Lorenzo Marsili discusses urgent political questions with distinguished guests. The first episode was shot in Athens and deals with the relationship between the Left and Europe since the Greek crisis.
Beside the host, panel members consist of : Costas Douzinas, acclaimed Greek intellectual close to Syriza; Margarita Tsomou, Greek performer and commentator based in Berlin; Jerome Roos, writer and founder of Roar magazine and Srecko Horvat, Croatian philosopher and member of the board of European Alternatives.


Europe’s Stark Choice: Resignation or Revolution?

Click here to access article by "Don Quijones", a British ex-patriot living mostly in Spain, from his blog Raging Bull-Shit

In the wake of the defeat of the Greek people by the European branch of the capitalist Empire, this author sees Europe as a whole heading for defeat. Like the Greeks, they will be confronted by a stark choice of suffering "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" by surrendering to bankers and assorted capitalists, or "by opposing [with a revolution] end them" but risking a "thousand natural shocks" or even death.
...the global financial system’s days are already numbered. In short, the system is already buckling under the combined weight of unsustainable debt, unpayable pension schemes and a derivatives market whose total value dwarfs global GDP by magnitudes that exceed all human logic.

The question is, once it does collapse, who’s going to pick up the pieces and rebuild a new, more sustainable system in its ashes? Will it be us, the people, or will it be the same bankers, central bankers and heavily compromised political half-wits that got us here in the first place? Will we bravely stake our claim to a new future, or resign ourselves, in fear and despair, to the global bankers’ dystopian nirvana?

Whatever choice Europeans make in the coming months and years, one thing is clear: the human, social and economic costs will be tremendous either way. For the unpleasant truth is that we have allowed ourselves to be lead so far down the rabbit hole of perpetual growth and exponential debt that reemerging into the light of day will take years — perhaps even decades — of collective struggle and sacrifice.

The Geopolitics and Economics of the Iran Nuclear Deal

Click here to access article by Eric Draitser from New Eastern Outlook.

Draitser explains why Empire directors made this deal with Iran.
Anyone who understands the imperial and hegemonic agenda of the US should immediately understand that there is an ulterior motive for Washington in securing this deal, one which has nothing to do with morality, peace, or cooperation. Instead, the US wants to transform Iran from a regional and global adversary into something of an asset. This is not to say that Tehran and Washington will become instant allies, but rather the idea that Iran could be made into a neutral party, one that will cease to be an obstacle to the US agenda.

Essentially, the strategy relies on the tried and true colonial tactic of “divide and conquer,” or perhaps more appropriate in this case, “divide and neutralize.” What the US would like to achieve is a sort of fracturing of the Iranian political establishment, where the business elites with tremendous influence in Iranian society will have a vested interest in not creating or exacerbating tensions with their associates in the West, thereby making Iran into a de facto partner for western-led hegemony. Were Iran’s political leadership to become less assertive in the region and internationally thanks to internal pressure from powerful economic and business interests, this would greatly benefit US plans, and of course those of its allies in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and, despite its belligerent rhetoric, Israel.
This must be understood within the larger geopolitical challenge that Empire directors are confronted with by other state/capitalist elites that refuse to submit to their domination:
...the US wants to remake Iran from a bulwark against US-NATO-GCC-Israeli hegemony, into a weapon to be used as a wedge against BRICS-SCO-EEU-New Silk Road cooperation.

We may have already committed ourselves to 6-meter sea-level rise

Click here to access article by Pete Dolack from Systemic Disorder

It's clear to me that one major problem, among others, in arousing people to take action to prevent climate destabilization is the time scale which many humans use--at best, about a few decades ahead, but typically much shorter time periods. Capitalists mostly focus on the next quarters' financial statements and do everything they can daily to enhance the bottom lines. Because capitalists rule over societies, their time scale informs all discussions carried by their media and all other ideological institutions. 

In this piece Dolack first addresses this problem indirectly by stating facts that we humans have already created climate destabilization to a marked degree. He ends this piece by explaining how the latest stage of capitalism called neoliberalism is accelerating the problem.

Capitalism, Green or Otherwise, Is ''Ecological Suicide''

Click here to access a review by David Klein of a book entitled Green Capitalism: The God that Failed by Richard Smith posted on TruthOut.
The climate crisis is the greatest threat humanity has ever faced. At the current rate of global greenhouse gas emissions, warming of the planet will shoot past two degrees Celsius by mid-century and reach 4°C to 6°C beyond pre-industrial averages by 2100. The magnitude of the impending catastrophe was eloquently described by Hans Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, when he said, "the difference between two and four degrees is human civilization …" 

Zuckerberg's Internet.org will control what billions do online

Click here to access article from No Fake Internet campaign.

This article provides another reason not to use Facebook.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Profiting from Global Warming [A must listen-to interview]

Click here to access this 51:30m audio recording of a recent interview with independent journalist and author McKenzie Funk from a listener sponsored radio station (KPFA) in Berkeley, California.

Funk is a journalist who has undertaken a six year study involving travel to 24 countries to find out of what is being done about climate destabilization. Well, he found out that a lot was being done in the short-term to enrich the already rich, but almost nothing to save humanity in the long-term.
Getting rich off of global warming may seem like the ultimate cynical business plan. But corporations are hedging their bets on unchecked climate change and the opportunities it affords. Journalist McKenzie Funk reports about the very lucrative business to be made from the deleterious effects of climate change, from opened shipping lanes in the melting Arctic to newly exposed mineral deposits, from food production on previously inhospitable land to the sale of artificial snow to the Alps.
Although this was not elaborated on in the interview--and it should have--I think you will agree with me that he concluded that the capitalist system was the problem because of the way it trains and indoctrinates people to function to enhance corporate profits (see the concept of "trained incapacity" here and here). This lends support to my blog's thesis that all the major problems facing humanity today will not be solved until we end the rule of capitalism. Only then will we be able to create a system than can enable humanity to solve the climate crisis along with the many problems related to gross inequality which capitalism creates. Unfortunately, time is running out. Our expiry date is fast approaching. Of course, this doesn't mean that we should give up. No, it means that action to end this deadly system is more urgent than ever before.

Ruthless Power and Deleterious Politics: From DDT to Roundup

Click here to access article by Evaggelos Vallianatos from Independent Science News. 
The banning of DDT in America in 1972 did not bring about any rethinking of factory farming and its addiction to deleterious pesticides. In fact, large industrialized and pesticide-dependent farms are now crowding the planet. Their owners preach a war on hunger but in actual practice their war is directed against the natural world and small farmers and peasants. And despite their propaganda for feeding the world, they only produce about a third of the world food. Peasants, not industrialized farmers, feed most of the world’s people. But industrialized farmers are responsible for huge harm done to the natural world and people. That harm comes in the form of global warming and the poisoning of wildlife, rivers, drinking water, and food.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Seeking War to the End of the World

Click here to access article by Robert Parry from ConsortiumNews.
If the neoconservatives have their way again, U.S. ground troops will reoccupy Iraq, the U.S. military will take out Syria’s secular government (likely helping Al Qaeda and the Islamic State take over), and the U.S. Congress will not only kill the Iran nuclear deal but follow that with a massive increase in military spending.

Like spraying lighter fluid on a roaring barbecue, the neocons also want a military escalation in Ukraine to burn the ethnic Russians out of the east, and the neocons dream of spreading the blaze to Moscow with the goal of forcing Russian President Vladimir Putin from the Kremlin.
This is another partial exposé of the "neocon" phenomenon that should be more accurately labeled as a Zionist Fifth Column (ZFC) in the US. Their allegiance to Israel has little to do with traditional American conservatism except that its adherents, who are right-wing Jews on steroids and their right-wing Christian pals, have become enamored with the use of violence to attain wealth and power while faithfully advocating strong support of the racist European colony in the Middle East called Israel. If this sounds familiar, it is because we've already seen this in the last century when it was identified as fascism or Nazism.

I noticed this morning that Zionist influence appears to be extending to the use of words. Traditional American conservatives are now referred to as "paleoconservatives". The prefix "paleo" of course refers to ancient, and as such has a rather pejorative connotation in contrast to "neoconservative" which has a mildly positive connotation. But then, of course, we live in an Orwellian age.

Greece’s Lesson For Russia

Click here to access article by Paul Craig Roberts from his blog.

Roberts is what is now known as a "paleoconservative" (see my commentary on this neologism here). Somehow he was appointed as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury by the Reagan administration and held other posts in various branches of the government during this administration which was stealthily infected with the doctrine of "neoconservatism" (aka Zionism, a right-wing Jewish form of fascism), a foreign policy component of which was the Wolfowitz doctrine. This doctrine is a variation on the theme of "exceptionalism", as recently avowed by our (official) leader Obama.
The Wolfowitz doctrine, the basis of US foreign and military policy, declares
that the rise of Russia or any other country cannot be permitted, because the US is the Uni-power and cannot tolerate any constraint on its unilateral actions. 
As a "paleoconservative" he believes, like many critics (even many self-identified "leftists") of this neoliberal stage of capitalism, that capitalism was just fine before it was deregulated. It is ironic that he served in an administration which brought in so many Zionists, facilitated de-regulation, and launched the neoliberal stage of capitalism that he so often rants and raves about today. Perhaps it was because of this experience that he feels betrayed, and this may account for his many rants and raves, although quite well-informed, in recent years.

Anyway, in this article and many others he makes some valid criticisms of the various policies and actions occurring in our brave new world of neoliberal capitalism.

See an example of how neoliberalism is currently functioning in Greece by reading an article entitled "Country for sale? Buffett buys a Greek island for 15 million euros…so does Johnny Depp". 

Propaganda Wave Portends Invasion of Syria

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

This is a followup piece to his June 26th article entitled "US To Begin Invasion of Syria" which I posted and commented on here. I tend to think that the Brookings' article was not an announcement, but more of a justification of what was already planned. As such, I think it too could be considered as a part of the "propaganda wave" in support of a more direct attack on Syria by Empire forces (American and British). In any case, Cartalucci provides updated evidence and cogent arguments that the plan is now in full operation.
It is clear that this premeditated and documented conspiracy has been fully implemented, manifesting itself as the “Islamic State” which is clearly being used both as a proxy military force with which to wage war against Western enemies, as well as a pretext for justifying Western military aggression around the world. It is also being used conveniently to maintain an iron grip at home via an increasingly Orwellian police state predicated on “fighting the threat of terrorism.”

As others have hinted at, the West is also intentionally promoting a strategy of tension to predictably divide the world’s population into two camps – those that back Western neo-liberalism, and those that back the medieval methods of ISIS and periphery ideologies. Those in the middle are intentionally marginalized by the vast Western media, and even in the alternative media, cognitive infiltration has helped mute the voices of reason and accelerate this global conflict.

Higher Education in the US

Click here if wish to directly access cartoon from occasional links & commentary
on economics, culture and society.

Clearly this was drawn from a professor's point of view. However, professors are just as guilty, if not more so, of wanting to stay with ruling class approved ideas ("preconceived notions") simply because their careers and/or academic tenureships are at stake.


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Who owns the public debt? [commentary updated at 4:45 PM Seattle time]

Click here to access article by Jonathan Nitzan from Real-World Economics Review Blog

Correlation of debt ownership and 1% wealth

Nitzan provides a brief introduction to what looks to me like some very significant research focusing on the owners of public debt undertaken by "Sandy Hager, a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Weatherhead Center for International Affairs." This introduction makes reference to three works by Hager: his doctoral dissertation and articles by him published in two academic journals, New Political Economy and Socio-Economic Review. I have downloaded and printed out the 22.3 page article from the latter journal which I intend to study.

I, too, have long noticed that very little has been written about the owners of public debt. Instead the overwhelming emphasis has been about the debtors. This, I believe, is no mere happenstance. It illustrates once again the power of the ruling capitalist class to divert the public's attention away from them, because to do so might call into question some disturbing questions about the way the system has been functioning to create concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a few in the capitalist ruling class while diminishing the influence of ordinary people (non-capitalists). Hager's findings corresponds to the revelations of economist Thomas Piketty whose research concluded that capitalism causes inequality. With my hurried perusal of the report, I found the following revealing statement on page 3.
Over the past three decades widely owned pension funds have seen their share of the public debt fall drastically, while mutual funds, which are heavily concentrated in the hands of the top one percent of US households, have seen their share increase. The findings therefore point toward the emergence of a new aristocracy of finance, composed of giant money managers and wealthy households.

Countering the neo-Cold Warriors

Click here to access article by Wayne Madsen from Strategic Culture Foundation
Obama and Kerry were quick to distance themselves from «Fighting Joe» Dunford’s saber rattling before the Senate committee. However, if they wanted to truly reset relations with Russia, Kerry could fire Nuland, Obama could pull Dunford’s nomination, and both could ask NATO to request a new Supreme Commander. However, as President Dwight Eisenhower warned in his 1961 Farewell Address about the menace of the «military-industrial complex», Obama and Kerry are powerless to get rid of those who were placed in power by what has now become a «military-intelligence-contractor» complex.
Are the neo-cold warriors merely crazy figures acting out a script like we saw in the 1960s film "Dr. Strangelove"? Are they the "bad cops" (counter-posed to the "good cops" of the ruling class behind the Obama administration) that the Empire uses to bully their perceived antagonists? Or are do they represent a real threat to human existence--like a nuclear holocaust--should they take over the leadership of the Empire? What do you think?

Climate threat as grave a risk as nuclear war

Click here to access article by Alex Kirby from Climate News Network.
An international scientific report commissioned by the UK government says the risks of climate change are comparable to those posed by nuclear conflict.
It appears that some members of our ruling capitalist classes are beginning to get the message about climate destabilization and the threat to human life. But don't expect this new awareness to change the way they think about their beloved system, the goose that lays for them so many golden eggs of wealth and power.