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, January 23, 2016

The Fake Left

Click here to access article by Dady Chery from News Junkie Post.

I was really impressed with this piece that provides an exposé of what often passes for a left perspective on the web, and how the writings of the fake-left effectively undermine genuine revolutionary writing.
 ...the motivations of the fake left are money and fame: the preservation of their place in their ivory towers, together with all the trimmings of an upper middle class or wealthy lifestyle. For them, the path is smoothed and the wheels of the machine are oiled for lucrative book deals, speaking tours, radio and television interviews, and articles that are infinitely reverberated through approved sites in the Internet. Their spokespeople channel political ideas toward electoral cycles and transform revolutionary musings into banalities, paralysis, and futile actions. They attack the public’s thought process itself and engender an attention-deficit disorder. Ideas are not pursued, shared, honed, and acted upon but instead displaced by fleeting slogans like “hope and change,” or “feel the Bern.” Alternatively, the ideas are muddled, branded and labeled with names like “shock doctrine,” “disaster capitalism,” or “climate capitalism,” so that they may be put away and no longer examined.
I think that people of the fake-left have a number of motivations that range from the subversive to the cynical to sincere views and it is often hard to determine where on this continuum any one writer lies. I tend to think that people like Naomi Klein and Chris Hedges are motivated primarily by fame and fortune while others like Soros are consciously subversive propagandists. But all these types seem to be well-funded and their articles proliferate throughout the web-world.

George Soros: Anti -Syria Campaign Impresario

Click here to access article by Vanessa Beeley from her blog The Wall Will Fall

Beeley in this rather lengthy article launches a devastating attack on Western media's anti-Syrian coverage by focusing on their recent Madaya propaganda reports (I personally missed them) with particular emphasis on BBC coverage which have been picked up by many other Western TV stations (for example, see this). She traces much of this propaganda to the influence of George Soros and his funding of various NGOs. She views such propaganda as an effort to open up unfriendly governments to opposition groups that are oriented and often funded by various Western foundations.
It explains perfectly the funding of the "people power", "time for change" campaigns that run in synch with any regional or national schisms that are then piggybacked by imported or locally fostered opposition movements to propel the Imperialist friendly movements towards regime change. [I supplied the quotes]

Of course there is never any intention from the behind- the- scenes- string- pullers of allowing the much acclaimed people power.  The goal is the now familiar power vacuum to be filled by an Imperialist compatible ruling entity that will ensure the completion of Empire’s hostile corporate take over bid.

Heart of Darkness

Click here to access article by Jay Taber from The Wrong Kind of Green.
In terms of relevance to the indigenous nations often referred to as the Fourth World, the rollouts from the COP21 gathering of UN member states, Wall Street-funded NGOs, and the global financial elite resemble colonial initiatives undertaken as a result of similar 19th Century gatherings to carve up the world for capitalism. Then, as now, indigenous territories and resources were targeted for expropriation through coercion, with Africa being a prime target.

Friday, January 22, 2016

EXCLUSIVE: The Secret Behind the Next Global Crash

Click here to access article by Pepe Escobar from Sputnik.

What I particularly like about this article is that it is an illustration of journalism that recognizes the reality of the behind the scenes "Masters of the Universe" otherwise known as the behind-the-scenes capitalist puppeteers such as the Rockefeller clan, the banksters, the Bill Gates, the Henry Kissingers, the George Soroses of the world, who manage their Empire with often devastating consequence for the rest of us. This is in sharp contrast to other journalists who like to focus our attention on puppet shows such as the current US election campaigns.

Although Escobar has been "road-tested" and proven to be an excellent journalist in service of the truth, he is not clairvoyant. Of course, nobody is. In this article he speculates (using excellent references) on the outcome of Saudi machinations that are destabilizing oil markets and having major impacts on the world economy.
Moscow and Tehran are very much on it. The logic behind crashing markets, creating a recession and a depression – from the point of view of the Masters of the Universe above the lame duck President of the United States — is to engineer a major slow down, cripple buying patterns, decrease oil and natural gas consumption, and point Russia on a road to ruin. Besides, the ultra low oil price also translates into a sort of ersatz sanction on Iran. 

The empire strikes again?

Click here to access article by David F. Ruccio, professor of economics and rabble-rouser extraordinaire from his website Occasional Links & Commentary.
Apparently, the British public...are generally proud of their country’s role in subjecting the world to colonialism and the British Empire, according to a new poll: 44 percent were proud of Britain’s history of colonialism, while only 21 percent regretted that it happened. 23 percent held neither view.
Because it's often easier to point out the faults of others, it might be easy to look at the "educated" British public and regard what they believe to be true as ridiculous. This article does that precisely. After you are through amusing yourself about the stupid Brits, you might think about all the public opinion survey results here in the US which reveal that many people have unquestioningly swallowed similar lies about the good deeds done by our humanitarians imperialists. 

The great challenge of working people everywhere is to overcome our brainwashing by searching for credible historical information in books, online and offline articles to recover the history of our worker ancestors and the real history of our capitalist masters. And be on guard against the more subliminal messages about our history that permeates all of capitalist media and cultural products.

Putin 'Probably Approved' Murder Of Baby Jesus

Click here to access article by Bernhard from Moon of Alabama. (humorous satire)

This blogger lightens our day with a bit of humor over the latest bit of desperate propaganda designed to get us to hate the Empire's latest enemy, Vladimir Putin. You no doubt have heard reports on corporate TV that Putin poisoned Alexander Litvinenko, a former KGB agent. If you didn't hear of it because you don't own a TV set or are "out of the loop", please view CBS's recent coverage of this "event" as an example.

Bernhard is very good at spotting anti-Russian propaganda. In an article entitled "Warmed-Over Propaganda: 'Putin Asks Assad To Leave'" is another he has discovered.
These claims are part of psychological disinformation campaign the U.S. and its allies are running against Syria. The stories are supposed to sow doubt between Syria, its allies and supporters. 
However for most well-informed people such propaganda is easy to spot. What is often missed are all the other reports that are carefully designed to promote capitalist ideology and support Empire-friendly interests everywhere in the world. That has become the primary role of corporate media.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The US School That Trains Dictators & Death Squads

Click here to access introduction by "Don Quijones" to the following 28:18 video from his website Raging Bull-Shit.

I am on an email list from a human rights watch-dog group--for example, see this--that currently reports on human rights violations in Honduras and Guatemala. I receive almost weekly reports of horrendous violations committed by the militaries and paramilitaries (essentially private terrorist armies) of these countries. It is likely that graduates of this school are involved in these crimes. 

Although the following video report mostly focuses on the activities of this school in the 1980s and 90s in Central America to promote the interests of US and Canadian mining corporations, this report is not merely an historical account because the school is still very active today.

Just Who Exactly Benefits Most from the Global Giving of Billionaires Like Bill Gates?

Click here to access article by Jon Queally from Common Dreams
As the world's political and economic elite gather to discuss their top concerns at the annual Davos summit in the Swiss Alps and with attention this week focused on the scourge of economic inequality, a new report begs questions about the potentially disastrous role the super-wealthy are playing when it comes to addressing key problems of global inequity, endemic poverty, and international development.

Released on Wednesday, the study by the UK-based social justice group Global Justice Now takes a specific look at the impact of the world's largest philanthropic charity, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), to assess how large-scale private giving may be "skewing" how international aid works. In its conclusion, the report argues that what may look like altruism on a grand scale may actually mask a sinister reality....

Syria: Has Anyone Stepped Back from the Brink?

Click here to access article by Michael Jabara Carley (professor at U. of Montreal) from VoltaireNet (France).

This history professor tries to wrap his head around the Syrian situation and Russia's desire for a peaceful settlement when countries associated with the US Empire continue behavior that is characterized by dishonesty, double-dealing, hypocrisy, and guile.
Is cautious optimism warranted about a Syrian peace? It is hard to see how. Kerry may say whatever he wants in Moscow, but when he gets back to Washington, he sings a different song, or his colleagues do. His boss, President Obama, said "Assad has to go" only a few days after Kerry returned home. And then there is the new phantasmagorical story published by Seymour B Hersh, the muckraking US journalist, who has revealed that not everyone inside the US government is brain dead. 
You might also be interested in this piece entitled "Syria - Some Preliminary Positioning For An Endgame" by Bernhard from Moon of Alabama.
When the Russian campaign in Syria started Obama promised that it would end in a quagmire. Various media and opinion writer picked up that narrative. It was false as Russia was and is executing a well thought out campaign.

Being confronted with reality the U.S. media is now changing its false narrative. 

The Complexity of Simple

Click here to access article by tdOs from his blog Pray for Calamity

This blogger has been trying to live a simple life in the country to conform to his ecological values and is finding it very challenging.
The simple life is expensive, and the honey, eggs, strawberries and other fresh foods we can produce are essentially valueless to the outside world thanks to petroleum. But we have to keep pace. Little house on the prairie only works when everyone is playing. If no one uses a car, it is not expected that you will, and the overall pace of your society slows down. Money is energy and velocity. Your rate of production must be commensurate with that of those around you with whom you hope to trade, or you will be for all intents and purposes, too poor to participate. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Film Series Sheds Light On Neoconservatives Old And New

Click here to access article by Dan Wright from Shadowproof. (updated with cartoon on 1/22/2016)

Wright reports and promotes a series of three films by Robbie Martin called "A Very Heavy Agenda" which focuses on the relatively recent rise of "neoconservatives" and their agenda of world empire. The second of the three has now been released, and the third is expected next month. Although Wright provides an excellent description of the three parts and includes trailers, I have a problem with his and the filmmaker's perspective on the phenomenon of neoconservatism

Both suffer from a short time historical time frame which lends support to a perspective advanced, in my opinion, by people primarily of a middle class background whose knowledge of history has been truncated by the US ruling class's educational system. This view has been popularized by such people as Naomi Klein especially in her recent book This Changes Everything which focuses only on the recent period dating from the Reagan administration (1981) to the present in which neoconservatives and their ideology have taken over control of the US from the previous nationally oriented capitalists. 

This new faction has a decidedly global agenda to which the internal US interests are sacrificed to their obsession with power and wealth. This has very adversely affected the US middle class who benefited from their privileged position while the US capitalist ruling class had a much more nationalist perspective even though they engaged in imperialist adventures. This change was by no means a coup which seems to be suggested by many bloggers and writers in addition to Klein like Paul Craig Roberts, Kevin Barrett, and others. The neocon phenomenon was only a natural evolution of a capitalist state from a nation-based imperialist orientation to a global aspiring empire due to the coalescence of interests among US allied global capitalists and their unparalleled accumulation of wealth and power. The first such capitalist evolution in modern times was the Nazi-led Axis empire. 

Having crushed this empire, a global agenda was first pursued by a new secret postwar US agency, the CIA, through the Anglo-American-European complex of nations. After assassinating (with organized crime's help) the Kennedy brothers and others that stood in their way, the CIA and their political expression, the neocons, first infiltrated the Reagan administration followed by the full development of neocon power and their agenda under George Bush #2. 9/11 was their first project which paved the way for all their invasions abroad and the curtailment of civil rights within the US. Now leaders of both capitalist parties talk openly about the US as an "exceptional nation" and its people as "indispensable". As Roberts explained:
If a country is “the exceptional country,” it means that all other countries are unexceptional. If a people are “indispensable,” it means other peoples are dispensable. We have seen this attitude at work in Washington’s 14 years of wars of aggression in the Middle East. These wars have left countries destroyed and millions of people dead, maimed, and displaced. Yet Washington continues to speak of its commitment to protect smaller countries from the aggression of larger countries. The explanation for this hypocrisy is that Washington does not regard Washington’s aggression as aggression, but as History’s purpose.

Because the US middle class (in addition to the working class) has been harmed by the rise of the neocons in the ruling class (as well as advances in worker-created technology that is "owned" by capitalists), only now are middle-class writers and bloggers complaining. Only now after the neoconservative capitalists have taken over and have implemented their neoliberal policies which have adversely impacted the US middle class are we seeing these people come out of the social justice woodwork and complain. The working class have always felt the heel of capitalist exploitation and oppression bearing down on their faces.

‘Corporate Courts’ Have Taken from the Poor and Handed to the Rich – TTIP Will Turbo-Charge This Redistribution

Click here to access article by Nick Dearden from Common Dreams

By examining cases where agreements have been referred arbitration courts under the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) method, the York University (Toronto, Canada) study found a strong relationship between the size of a company and the judgements.
Our main findings are that the beneficiaries of ISDS-ordered financial transfers, in the aggregate, have overwhelmingly been companies with more than USD1 billion in annual revenue – especially extra-large companies with more than USD10 billion – and individuals who have over USD100 million in net wealth. ISDS has produced monetary benefits primarily for those companies or individuals at the expense of respondent states.
Such agreements have apparently already been made by governments on a bi-lateral or small multi-lateral basis to protect investors from so-called "arbitrary" laws passed in the future by the participating foreign governments. I write "apparently" because Dearden does not make this clear. What is needed is much more explanation of how such courts have already been set up, who appointed the judges, and associated issues such as "forum-shopping" cited in the study so that ordinary educated people can understand this issue. 

For example, from Wikipedia (under "Foreign investment protection/Modern practice) I learned that under this ISDS arrangement that governments cannot win any money if they win the case--they can only lose money if they lose the case in these unique arbitration courts.
...only foreign investors can sue states under investment treaties, because states are the parties to the treaty, and only states can be held liable to pay damages for breach of the treaty. States have no corresponding right to bring an original claim against a foreign investor under such treaties, again because investors are not parties to the treaty and therefore cannot be in breach of it. Thus, a decision in favour of the State means that the state has not been ordered to pay compensation, not that it has received any compensation from the investor, although costs can be awarded against the investor. A state cannot "win" in ISDS in the manner of a foreign investor - a state which wishes to sue a foreign investor does so through its own domestic courts, without the need for a treaty. [my emphasis]
What is clear to me is that such treaties have been designed to protect capitalists from governments who want to enact laws and regulations on behalf of the public interest. ISDS is simply designed to prevent governments infringing on the rights of capitalists to reap profits from operations that may be damaging to the environment, exploiting workers, and otherwise not in a nation's interest. It is obvious that this arrangement has been created by capitalist controlled "democratic" governments for the interests of capitalists. Like all the other features of these fake democratic states, capitalist interests always take priority. Also what is clear from this Canadian study is that the richer an investor or corporation is, the more money he can make through these "arbitration" courts. But that's the way capitalism always works.

Inequality and the World Economic Forum

Click here to access article by Pete Dolack from Systemic Disorder
The world’s rulers are getting together at their biggest bash of the year, the World Economic Forum. Prime ministers and other high government officials will also be in attendance.

The theme for this year’s Forum, which began on January 20 at its usual home in Davos, Switzerland, is said to be “Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
He continues on in the essay to explain what this theme might mean for them and for us.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

U.S. Government Has Long Used Propaganda Against the American People

Click here to access article from Washington's Blog.

A companion piece from the same blog offers an excellent introduction to this history of media manipulation.
Americans’ trust of the media is at an all-time low.

But most Americans still don’t understand that the U.S. mass media is untrustworthy because  it’s completely manipulated to promote propaganda.
[my emphasis]
The author provides an excellent history with many factual references, many of which I have posted before, to prove the truth of the above statement.

Government Sachs Gets Golden Wrist Slap For Global Financial Crisis

Click here to access article by James Corbett from The Corbett Report.

Corbett explains the injustice meted out to big banks that wreak our economy (and our lives) when placing their bets at the Wall Street casino. Unlike justice for banksters in Iceland, you will never see a bankster go to jail in America.
...Goldman makes tens of billions by selling the very toxic assets they were secretly betting against and in the end they pay a $5 billion penalty.

…Oh, and (needless to say) the Injustice Department practically fell over themselves to announce at the earliest possible opportunity that no one would even be prosecuted for this fraud (let alone go to jail).

…Oh, and poor Goldman will make a slightly smaller profit this year as a result of this golden wrist slap, equivalent to one measly fiscal quarter of profit for the banking behemoth.

Austerity for the people American style

Click here if you wish to access this cartoon by Brian McFadden from the NY Times or here to access it and others from his website. Also read this justified rant from American NewsX.

Meanwhile the corporate dominated government has no problem funding military bases in over a hundred countries, and bombing and invasions in places like Iraq, Libya, and Syria. It's clear that our masters are sacrificing our health and well-being in order to prioritize the corporate interests of profit and power throughout the world. 

No longer is it "guns and butter" as we experienced under Lyndon Johnson administration (guns to kill Vietnamese and butter for us)--our nation is now too poor to afford both. And, it's only going to get worse as we go deeper in debt...if we continue to maintain a state of passivity while watching their dumbing-down TV and entertainment.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Central banks as an integral part of the banking community

Click here to access article by Norbert Häring from Real-World Economics Review Blog.

Although the article is not well-written in English (likely because the author is a German economist), it offers some very candid insights about central banks that one rarely finds in media of all types. It's good to read such insights also because our most important ruling capitalist class directors are always located in such critically important institutions. 

Notice how our masters obscure the private nature of these banking institutions, which control a nation's money supply and thus control how the money is spent, with names like Federal Reserve, Bank of England, European Central Bank (ECB), etc. Thus the title should read "Central banks as an integral part of a nation's governing structure". 
The ECB and other central banks do not only talk about the control of financial institutions over governments, they enforce it vigorously. They have even brainwashed the German constitutional court, which held that it would be unconstitutional, if governments would be relieved from the pressure of financial markets.

The ECB is not even hiding its very warm and protective feelings for commercial banks. It wears them as a badge of honor, saying that everything which is good for banks is good for the economy and thus for all the people.

The economy and governments, thanks to a system controlled by the ECB, are so dependent of healthy banks, that this is true.

EXCLUSIVE: Navy Uses US Citizens as Pawns in Domestic War Games [in Washington state]

Click here to access article by Dahr Jamail from TruthOut.
In the new scenario, which the military calls "realistic military training," Navy SEALs carrying "simulated" weapons may also travel across public and private property within city limits, and may swim through public and private marinas occupied by people living on boats. They could conduct war game patrols on roads through residential communities. In addition to tribal, state, federal and county lands, there are many properties on the Navy's list of training sites marked as private.
You may also be interested in a more recent recorded 35 minute interview with Jamail (with transcript) mostly regarding this report at this post from Shadowproof.

Davos and Its Threat to Democracy

Click here to access article by Nick Buxton from Common Dreams.

While headline for this article makes the ridiculous implication that what we have had is some meaningful democracy, Buxton's essay does make clear that our capitalist masters are prepared to move away from any pretense of democracy. This is actually good unless their media manage to convince most of their subject populations that this is a move to more "democracy". It's good because more astute and awake members of the public will no longer be fooled by the present democratic fakery of managed elections, but it's bad if most of the public swallows more of their lies. The main problem is that capitalist rule intentionally creates a passive, misinformed population over time.

Buxton shows how undemocratic the board of Global Redesign Initiative which is the body that is spearheading this drive with the support of Davos members:
While half of the Board (12) are currently corporate executives, if you look at their career history, this rises to two-thirds. Only one member can be said to represent civil society (Peter Maurer of Red Cross). There are no representatives of trade unions, public sector organizations, human rights groups, peasant or indigenous organizations, students and youth.

It is therefore no surprise when multi-stakeholder policy groups rarely, if ever, recommend any binding regulations that would damage corporate profits.
Regarding the one Red Cross representative based on my personal experience with the Red Cross, this organization is thoroughly infiltrated at the highest levels by corporate representatives.

Turkey: Bombing Its Way to a Better Narrative

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

Notice how the Empire's allies in the Middle East are learning the techniques of the "big lie" that the West has perfected in its propaganda mostly to fool their own citizens. In this piece Cartalucci cites factual reports of Turkish direct support of "opposition" and terrorist armies back in 2012. I, too, posted reports of this support on my website (see this and this) as early as 2012. Hopefully Turkish citizens are not as gullible as are their counterparts in Europe and the US. Although we can't yet know for certain who was responsible for this latest terrorist incident in Istanbul, but we do have good reasons to be suspicious.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Travails of a Bankrupt Hegemon

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

Engdahl first provides an accurate early history of the would-be hegemon, the US Empire, after the conclusion of WWII, and follows this with factual information about the dramatic contrast of today's debt-burdened US. 
Now, its domestic economy a hollowed-out shell, its transportation infrastructure in horrendous decline, its skilled labor force increasingly non-existent, its university engineering and science students mostly from abroad–mainly China and India–the United States of America is in the throes of a terminal decline, a decline caused by no one but her own people who tolerated the looting and destruction of a once-beautiful nation by a greedy, power-addicted cabal of bad people with names like Rockefeller, Gates, Russell, DuPont, Buffett and others whose names are hardly known to the broad public.

The crisis that the USA faces today as World Hegemon is the fact the nation has become bankrupt, morally, spiritually, intellectually and economically, in an eerie manner much as the British Empire after onset of their Great Depression of 1873.

A few basic indicators says volumes about the rapidly-growing limits to America’s global power projection and why Washington’s “bully” tactics are being increasingly scorned by the rest of the world.
He then supplies us with a most depressing indicators of current US weakness. This is the end result of the sociopaths of US capitalist leadership which adopted the methods and operations of the earlier sociopaths known as organized criminal gangs ("mafias") to loot everything in site. (Read The Money and the Power by Denton and Morris, Double Cross by the Giancana brothers, and Gangster Capitalism by Woodiwiss--in that order.) I think that this tendency to work with criminal gangs and the use of their methods is endemic to capitalism because the system eventually and inevitably seduces ruling classes with its drugs of wealth accumulation and power to commit all sorts of crimes against humanity. Capitalism is a perfect system for sociopaths--both capitalist and criminal types.

Although he see the current weak condition of the US Empire as "a blessing in disguise", I think just the opposite. I think that this armed-to-the-teeth Empire because of its precarious position in the world is likely more dangerous than ever. 

Climate Change: A Radical Primer

Click here to access a book review of Capitalism & Climate Change authored by ecosocialist David Klein and reviewed by Michael Gasser from Solidarity.
[David] Klein and McMillan define capitalism as follows:

“Capitalism is an economic and social system in which the means of production are privately owned. The owners, or capitalists, appropriate the surplus product created by the workers. This appropriation leads to the accumulation of more capital, the amassing of wealth, further investment, and thus the expansion of capitalism. Commodities are produced for the purpose of generating profit and promoting accumulation. Within the capitalist system, individuals pursue their self interests against competition and impersonal forces of the market.”

Some of the more useful sections of this part of the book look at consequences of capitalism that are conspicuously missing from Naomi Klein’s book, in particular the military industrial complex and population growth.
[David] Klein explains how imperialist wars are an inevitable consequence of capitalism and a major source of massive greenhouse gas emissions in addition to their more obvious destructive consequences for the countries that are invaded.