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, May 14, 2016

Film Review: ‘Occupation Of The American Mind’ Unravels Israel’s Propaganda War In US

Click here to access article by Roqayah Chamseddine from ShadowProof.
“The Occupation Of The American Mind,” directed by Loretta Alper and Jeremy Earp, is a stunning documentary examining Israel’s public relations war in the United States. It premiered last month.
The reviewer must mean that it premiered in the US last month. Actually the premiere showing was in Amsterdam of last year.
With help from Peter Hart, of Fair Media Watch, Yousef Munayyer, executive director of The U.S. Campaign to End The Israeli Occupation, and others, the film deconstructs the establishment media’s propaganda efforts. Yousef Munayyer argues that when we examine the formula that mainstream media outlets follow we find Israeli spokespeople are over-represented when compared to Palestinian spokespeople by a margin of 3 to 1. So when Israel is discussed, we are inundated with commentary from officials, who propagate in support of Israel’s use of violence.
I wonder how often this film will be shown in movie theaters in the US outside of the ones on university campuses. But you can access this film online for as little as $5 at this link. Also you may be interested in another review posted in March from AntiMedia.

Power to the Community: The Black Panthers’ Living Legacy of Grassroots Organization

Click here to access article by John Clark from Academia

This very readable paper of moderate length recovers the contributions of the Black Panther Party to radical thought and practice that is supported by excellent documentation. Because American radicals have been unable to establish permanent institutions to preserve radical history, each generation to a large extent faces the task of re-learning what previous generations created and understood about capitalist and racist society.
One must wonder what would have happened if millions had followed the strategies they proposed rather than the path of slogans of street  protests and the lobbying of politicians that has prevailed! 

The Peak Oil Dilemma

Click here to access article by David Blittersdorf from AllEarth.
We’re on the backside of the bell curve, and once you start coming down, there’s no going back ever again. Fracking was a trick that most people didn’t see coming, one that gave us artificial time, but it’s not a long-term solution. And other “solutions,” like oil production from tar sands, are just as limited in their effectiveness. Tar sands oil production accounts for a fraction of our world’s supply and is both very energy intensive and very expensive, not to mention extremely destructive to the environment. ....
We're living in an oil-based world and we have a huge crisis coming because of this dependence. We haven't stopped the growth of CO2 emissions, and we're going to see some major changes to our environment because of that. Even if we reduced all emissions to zero today, we'll still see a couple degrees of global warming. Climate change is going to happen, it's just a question of how bad it will be. And it's a shame that peak oil has been delayed by a decade, because it may have forced action on this issue sooner.
Because this article is posted in what looks like a trade journal for the renewable energy industry, it holds out promise that this industry can save us from extinction. However the author does somewhat candidly see a major problem ahead.
The other significant issue we're facing is that oil drives the world's economy, and our modern economy is driven by a concept of an infinite world, infinite growth forever. In a finite world, we're going to crash against that mindset. Society doesn't tend to react until we have an actual, immediate crisis on our hands. We'll have an oil supply crisis soon--it could be in two years, it could be in ten, but it's coming.
The "mindset" is, of course, irrationally driven by our capitalist masters because they are addicted to the wealth and power that capitalism provides them with. Only a massive program that involved planning and implementation to radically reduce carbon emissions on a bigger scale than the Marshal Plan following WWII might save us.

WikiLeaks: Brazil’s Acting President Michel Temer Is US Diplomatic Informant

Click here to access article by Kit O'Connell from Mint Press News
Brazil’s new acting president is a known U.S. informant who has provided Washington with insider information about the Brazilian government on multiple occasions.

Michel Temer’s ties to the U.S. government, as revealed by WikiLeaks’ Public Library of U.S. Diplomacy, add to the growing body of evidence that the parliamentary impeachment of Brazil’s democratically-elected president, Dilma Rousseff, was supported by allies in Washington.
The author (and others) base their argument that the current acting president of Brazil, Michel Temer, is an informant for the US, the author on two Wikileaks reports (others on other reports such as this) which were sent to the National Security Council and the US Southern Command. Also in the cables mention was made by Temer that he had met with "CG" which mean consul general and "poloff" which means political official. Both presumably refer to US local officials with "poloff" likely being a CIA officer.  

Friday, May 13, 2016

Manufacturing Dissent: When Revolutions are Sponsored by Wall Street

Click here to access an introduction and a 47:00m audo recording  of a discussion by Michael Welch, Prof Michel Chossudovsky, and Barrie Zwicker from Global Research (Canada based). 

This discussion starts at about 11:00m after a review of current topical events. Keep in mind that the participants are Canadian and sometimes make references to Canadian events with which (unfortunately) Americans are not very familiar.

I don't normally like to post audio or video interviews who formats do not allow for documenting links to support their arguments. (For nearly seven years I have posted supporting articles from very credible sources that support the views of these participants.) But the popularity of the omnipresent hand-held electronic devices are appearing everywhere, and many people are using them to access audio broadcasts and podcasts.

This podcast provides a discussion of a critically important subject: the influence of the capitalist class on left activist organizations to limit their dissent especially on topics that might expose their class's dirtiest secrets--the assassination of John Kennedy and the 9/11 project. Basically they use their massive riches to control the limits of any critical examination of their rule, and pay infiltrators to control some activist movements. Chossudovsky argues that the best way to determine if an organization is contaminated by these influences (45:40m) is by examining their funding sources. I have found that the main source that our ruling masters use to funnel money to dissident organizations is the Tides Foundation (see this article for an excellent illustration. You might also enter "Tides" into one of my search boxes to find other articles on this funding source).

9/11 - The monstrous myth

This 4:40m video was post/ed on YouTube an/d Brasscheck TV

This video reinforces not only my belief that 9/11 was an inside job, but that George Bush Jr was only an acting president. (Actually I believe this to be true of most presidents since the assassination of J.F. Kennedy, but this was especially true of the incompetent Bush Jr.) Also it reinforces several other beliefs of mine: that Bush Jr. was too incompetent to be allowed to lead in any way the government's response to 9/11, he was assigned to be reading stories to children in a Florida primary school while Dick Cheney took operational command of the government after 9/11 to make sure that the project was secure, that Bush Jr. was only a very useful tool of the perpetrators of 9/11, why the "deep state" interfered so aggressively in the presidential election of 2000 to make sure Bush was elected, and in 2004 to make sure he was re-elected to secure their nefarious project from any scrutiny.

Robert McChesney: Capitalism Is a Bad Fit for a Technological Revolution

Click here to access article in which Mark Karlin interviews McChesney regarding the current developments in computer technology and artificial intelligence. 
Our point is simple: Capitalism as we know it is a very bad fit for the technological revolution we are beginning to experience. We desperately need a new economy, one that is not capitalistic -- based on the mindless and endless pursuit of maximum profit -- or one where capitalism has been radically reformed, more than ever before in its history. It is the central political challenge of our times.
I take issue with the clause "one where capitalism has been radically reformed". This is an oxymoron. Capitalism as a system can only evolve in a certain direction much like organisms. The best analogies I know of are cancers and parasites where the disease eventually takes control of, and destroys, the host. Activists must absolutely forget about "reforming" the system.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Fairy Tale of GNP per capita

Click here to access article by Asad Zaman from the WEA Pedagogy Blog of the World Economics Association. 

This is an important, but somewhat narrow, critical examination of how economics is taught in higher educational institutions by focusing on GNP. His criticism of this measure easily leads him into important important insights about the powerful influence of the wealthy on how economics is taught.
Students can go through entire courses with the deceptive titles relating to Income Distribution, Inequality and Poverty. These courses go through a lot of mathematical material on how to measure inequality, and descriptive empirical material, but implicitly teach students to regard these as natural features of an economy. There is underlying message of indifference: inequality does not matter, and the best way to combat poverty is through economic growth. The use of the GNP per capita measure helps sustain these myths. The rapid transfer of trillions from the bottom billion to the top 100 people will not show up in the GNP per capita statistics.

.... It is this money of the wealthy which drives think-tanks, research organizations, and universities to produce tons of research supporting the use of GNP per capita as the primary target of economic policies.
This is only one step away from examining the class nature of our societies and the ideology that is used to justify capitalist class rule. This ruling class shapes not only how economics is taught but also the institutions of higher learning and every other institution of society. Indeed, the fact of a ruling capitalist class explains why Zaman confines his argument mostly to an attack on the uses of GNP. Were Zaman to go further with the implications of his argument about the influence of the wealthy and thinks tanks in order to attack the dominant role of capitalists and the class structure, he would no doubt experience considerable harm to his career in economics. 

The prominent use of this measure and, indeed, the entire mechanical nature ("economic theory of self-interested utility maximization", "invisible hand", etc.) of capitalist theory constrains the teaching of economics and the entire ideology of capitalism--and this is intentional. It avoids all the messy moral dilemmas posed by the grossly immoral effects of actual capitalist practice. 

Zaman also refers to a paper by Julie Nelson entitled "Poisoning the Well: How Economic Theory Damages the Moral Imagination". She also condemns the mechanical and amoral way economics courses are taught, but she mostly poses a feminist argument to explain this phenomenon.

Who Will Control Access to Internet News?

Click here to access article by Russ Baker from his blog WhoWhatWhy.
Google has entered the fray to do battle with Facebook and others as the place where online content lives.

If these efforts are successful, people will increasingly stop visiting websites as we know them. They will get all their news from Google, Facebook, Apple, Twitter, and a few other large providers. We will see the gradual diminution of brands until online journalism is purely about which story grabs us.
It was inevitable that our masters in the ruling capitalist class would make efforts to control what information we receive over the web just as they have done with other media. I see this especially true of the hand-held electronic devices, but I think that their efforts to control what we access on the web via computers is much more limited. We just need to be informed, alert, and exercise more judgement about the nature of the web. Baker's information is helpful in this effort.

Weaponizing the Term “Conspiracy Theory”: Disinformation Agents and the CIA

Click here to access article by Dr. Gary G. Kohls from Global Research.

Dr. Kohls provides a lot of useful information about our capitalist's owned and controlled government and its agencies which both manage how you think and spy on you. This is an important part of their means of keeping in control of our nation, its policies, and its actions all over the world.

TTIP leaks highlight the dangers of regulatory cooperation

Click here to access article from Corporate Europe Observatory.
On top of private parallel courts which would create an avenue for multinationals to receive vast amount of taxpayers’ money in 'compensation' for democratic decisions, TTIP poses another threat to public interest legislation: regulatory cooperation (or convergence, as often referred to in the USA). Regulatory cooperation aims to align standards across the Atlantic by changing law-making in the European Union and the United States of America.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Alert: The European Financial Dictatorship seriously threatens France

Click here to access article posted on the unbalanced evolution of homo sapiens.

This article furnishes more background on the precipitating factor in the rise of "Nuit debout". It seems that the neoliberal agenda applied to Greece a few years ago is now being applied to France. In France this has taken the form of an end-run around normal parliamentary procedures to attack labor rights.
As it happened many times in Greece for six years since the explosion of the financial crisis, the European Financial Dictatorship (EFD) seeks to bypass democratic processes in order to impose the "Greek model" throughout eurozone. 

Syria: Regime Change Still the Main Course on the US Menu

Click here to access article by Eric Draitser from Stop Imperialism.
Eric Draitser of StopImperialism.org provides his [7:35m] commentary (May 7, 2016) on the latest comments from US Secretary of State Kerry regarding the situation in Syria. Draitser explains that US rhetoric is dictated by facts on the ground, and that Washington feels emboldened to discuss regime change with Russia’s engagement having diminished. He notes that the strategy for Syria remains essentially unchanged, with a plan to carve up the country along political lines amenable to US interests in the region. All this and much more in this jam packed short talk.

After splitting with Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra is being presented to the West as a moderate force. It’s nothing of the sort

Click here to access article by Robert Fisk from The Independent (Britain).
The jihadist force's reputation is being cleaned up, to suggest it is deserving of CIA support. 
And an important Empire advisor, Charles Lister, associated with the Brookings Institute appears to be behind the effort. The Brookings Institute is a prime funnel of Empire's deep state influences. Fisk's assessment suggests that the Empire is making an effort to clean up Al-Nusra's image to place the terrorist jihad back in the "moderate opposition" that the Empire has been backing in their effort to topple the Assad government in Syria.

Also read another article by Bernhard from his blog Moon of Alabama entitled "Charles Lister Asks 'Moderate Rebels' To Hide Their Cooperation With Al-Qaeda". 

The capitalist Empire's main quest is global hegemony and it will back any organization that it can use, often with deception, to achieve this objective. Thus we see Empire operatives colluding with the most anti-democratic regimes on earth, terrorist organizations, NGOs, and even more legitimate political groups that they can corrupt with money and other support. 

How Schooling Leads to War

Click here to access article by Dan Sanchez from AntiWar.com

Like every other institution, in a class structured society the ruling class insures that education serves their interests. In contemporary capitalist America this means the top goals are profit and power in the form of world hegemony. The latter means endless conflicts and wars. Thus our children need to be taught to have allegiance to military and other authorities, and they need to be taught that there are "evil-doers" out there that they must fear--only the police and military can protect them from these "evil-doers".
How did we become so manipulable and herd-like? So easily spooked into hysterical stampedes? So docile and ready to be driven by our government herders over the precipice of war?

In a word, near-universal compulsory schooling. In school, students are not so much taught as they are conditioned. Schooling deeply ingrains certain mentalities that foster militancy: timidity and tribalism, dependency and docility, conformity and credulity. And so schools sow the spiritual seeds of war.

“Green” Capitalism builds Big Solar: Should we throw the baby out with the bathwater?

Click here to access article by David Schwartzman from Capitalism Nature Socialism (CNS). 

I think that the author is engaging in a bit of knit-picking with another anti-capitalist writer, Hamza Hamouchene, but nevertheless the former does focus on the immediate issue of reducing fossil fuel emissions without neglecting the ultimate agenda: the urgent necessity of replacing private control of economies under capitalism with social control of economies under some form of socialism.
While ecosocialist class struggle is still too weak to prevent the deficiencies in these big solar projects, and as the global climate and energy justice movement gains strength, then the opportunity to create a sustainable and just solar transition will grow. But the creation of a wind/solar energy infrastructure should be welcomed now even with all the problems pointed out by Hamouchene. We cannot wait for the end of the rule of capital to start building this renewable infrastructure; it will be too late.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

It’s Difficult to Say Exactly What, But Something is Happening A Social Movement Awakens in France

Click here to access article by Anouk Colombani from The Brooklyn Rail

I've been aware of these protests known as "Nuit debout" (translated as "Up All Night", "Standing Night", and "Rise up at night") for some time, but I've recently become aware that it is spreading all over France, reaching nearby countries, and has even turned up in Montreal. 

What sparked it was apparently a law proposed to attack labor laws protecting workers, morphed into protests against the whole austerity fabric of capitalist rule under the latest phase of neoliberalism, and incorporated issues and methods of the more recent protest movements such as the Indignados and Occupy movements. As North American activists we need to know what is going on with these spreading protests. This article is the best I have seen to capture the origins and evolution of the movement. (I also recommend reading the recent Wikipedia entry about Nuit debout.)
Scattered, messy, refusing leaders and celebrities, the movement is sustained by the masses of people who make it. The diverse and often new forms it takes are signs that people are searching for new kinds of political organization. In the space of a month and a half, we have participated in the birth of new kinds of struggle but also in raising hundreds of issues for the broader public to consider, such as the vegan issue, the return of radical feminism, radical ecology, and horizontal democracy. This protest movement didn’t come from nowhere. If it refuses to take on a partisan label, it is clearly the product of protest movements and marginal practices that have been going on for the last twenty years. It also signals a political rebirth in many working-class neighborhoods. ....

Large crowds provoke fear
[among the ruling class]; as a result repression shows its face when people come together. Since the week of March 16, the police have not hesitated to intervene with tear gas, beatings, and arrests.

Zionism’s roots help us interpret Israel today

Click here to access article by Jonathan Cook from his blog. 

This free-lance British journalist who has been based in Nazareth, Israel since 2001, offers an historical background on Zionism which led to the establishment of Israel in the heart of Palestinian territory. He explains how racism, which was a very popular way of dividing up humans until WWII especially among Europe's ruling classes, was the impetus behind the Zionist motivation to establish their own nation. Zionists joined racists all over Europe, including the Nazis, in the effort to establish what became essentially a European colony in the heart of Arab territory. 

I don't think that this was the only motivation for the creation of Israel. Israel has also provided Western nations with a reliable ally to defend their interests in the oil-rich Middle East. Today's government in Israel is clearly supporting the Empire's agenda in the Middle East even against the interests of its peace-loving citizens as argued in today's article by Tony Cartalucci entitled "Who is Israel's Biggest Enemy?".

Why Saudi Arabia Is Suddenly in Serious Trouble

Click here to access article by Vijay Prashad fro/m AlterNet.

Prashad sees that the Saudi King’s son, Mohammed Bin Salman, is following a very neoliberal plan that will lead the kingdom "either into social chaos or into the Chinese orbit. No other alternative exists." And he wonders if Washington is paying attention.

Well I think Washington is paying very close attention, and so does Kevin Ryan, a 9/11 Truther and author of Another Nineteen: Investigating Legitimate 9/11 Suspects. Check out this very fascinating interview with Ryan, posted on Global Research's website, and his arguments about the recent threats to reveal the contents of the censored 28 pages of the official 9/11 report. 
...I see the 28 pages as not just a red herring that propagates the myth that “Muslims did it,” which we know to be untrue, but also as a means of controlling the Saudi regime. 

Sykes-Picot: how an arbitrary set of borders created the modern Middle East

Click here to access article by Paul Mason from New Statesman (Britain).

This writer gives us some idea of how casually early 20th century British and French imperialists divided up the Middle East to serve their ruling class geopolitical interests.
One hundred years ago today, Britain and France drew a line through the Middle East that became the border between Syria and Iraq, with a kink at the end of it that became Israel. You get a sense of the breezy confidence behind the so-called Sykes-Picot agreement from the minutes of the cabinet where the idea was hatched:

Monday, May 9, 2016

Syria, ISIS, and the US-UK Propaganda War

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

Draitser points to a major reason why and how Empire agents keep their populations at least neutralized, and at most, in support of their never ending wars in their mad pursuit of world hegemony.
With the war in Syria raging in its fifth year, and the Islamic State wreaking havoc throughout the Middle East and North Africa, it’s clear that the entire region has been made into one large theater of conflict. But the battlefield must not be understood solely as a physical place located on a map; it is equally a social and cultural space where the forces of the US-UK-NATO Empire employ a variety of tactics to influence the course of events and create an outcome amenable to their agenda. And none to greater effect than propaganda.

Indeed, if the ongoing war in Syria, and the conflicts of the post-Arab Spring period generally, have taught us anything, it is the power of propaganda and public relations to shape narratives which in turn impact political events. Given the awesome power of information in the postmodern political landscape, it should come as no surprise that both the US and UK have become world leaders in government-sponsored propaganda masquerading as legitimate, grassroots political and social expression.
[my emphasis]
I will never stop hammering away at my top revolutionary strategy. Challenging Empire propaganda and indoctrination must be a top priority of a vital, world-wide revolutionary movement. If humans are to survive the coming ravages caused by the practice of capitalism and the latest aspiring world capitalist hegemon, the US-led Empire, they must first mount an effective campaign to create their own independent information agencies. Bloggers, anti-capitalist organizations, and other peace loving people must organize and support such an effort if we are to survive the threats of never-ending wars, a nuclear conflagration, and climate catastrophes. Time is rapidly running out--indeed, it may already be too late! If the latter is the case, let us not disappear from the Earth without a fight!

The lobby firm that works both sides of the room

Click here to access article from Corporate Europe Observatory.

The article uncovers the deep infiltration of major biotech industries that produce glyphosate  into scientific efforts to research the effects of glyphosate. This article focuses on the role of lobby organizations that work both sides, but it also contains links to other articles showing that many people involved in science research projects investigating the effects of glyphosate are being funded by the biotech industry. For example, one spokesperson, Christoph Then, from a science agency, Testbiotech, has charged the biotech industry with gross interference in their research and that of others.  
Testbiotech analysis shows the biotech industry has seriously impacted the results of the research project. As a Testbiotech report published today also shows, the biotech industry has not only systematically influenced the GRACE research project, but four other similar EU research projects. All of the coordinators of these projects are part of a close network of institutions that are funded by industry.

Even specialised consultancy groups such as PERSEUS and GENIUS which have biotech industries as their clients, are directly involved in the GRACE research project. For example, the Belgian company PERSEUS that just recently approached the German government on behalf of a US biotech company about allowing the cultivation of oilseed rape derived from new methods of genetic engineering, is organising communication services for GRACE.

“The documented networks existing between EU research projects and industry cannot simply be regarded as coincidental. Just a handful of experts all organised in the same networks are dominating publicly funded risk research on genetically engineered plants”, Christoph Then concludes for Testbiotech. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Already happens: Capitalism destroys human labor force and goes to the next phase

Click here to access article by "system failure" from the unbalanced evolution of homo sapiens.

Because the English is a bit awkward, the anonymous author is likely writing this as a second language. Still the subject of increasing automation that the writer addresses is a very important issue that points to major convulsions in the future. 
Connecting the dots one can discover the most nightmarish scenarios. Destructive capitalism's next phase is the total substitution of the human labor force with robotic machines, or in other words, the hyper-automatization. There is a process taking place right now, and no one (or nearly no one) knows what would happen after its completion. 
What could be a blessing for humans is a nightmare under capitalism.
In case that these armies of interconnected machine slaves belonged to everyone, thus if everyone had the right to benefit from the goods that they produce, then no problem. What should be done, however, in case that these machine slaves, the capital of future, belong (like the most of today's capital) to the very few, while at the same time most of the people do not have access in the goods they produce and an opportunity to work for a (human) wage?” 

Our Childhood Poverty Is a Global Embarrassment

Click here to access article by Josh Hoxie from US News & World Report.

The data provided by a UNICEF study indicates that the US should be even more embarrassed.
If a society is judged by how it treats its most vulnerable members, the United States just received an incredibly unflattering judgment.

A new study published by the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund, or UNICEF, ranked the wealthiest countries of the world by the well-being of their most disadvantaged children. Out of 41 countries, the U.S. ranked No. 18 overall.

For context, the U.S. ranks No. 1 in total wealth.

The lawless state of Israel

Click here to access article by Asa Winstanley from Middle East Monitor.
For the Palestinians, Israel is a democracy for its Jewish citizens alone. For its Palestinian citizens (some 20 per cent) it is an ethnocracy. Israel is defined in law and in practice not as a state of all its citizens (as other modern industrialised nations are – at least formally) but as a state of all the Jews of the world.

This means that Jews from London, New York or Yemen with no family ties or history in the land, still have more rights to the land of Palestine that the native inhabitants of that land – the Palestinian people. This is the reality of Zionism. 

China Plans to become GMO Giant

Click here to access article by F. William Engdahl from New Eastern Outlook.
At the very highest levels it is now clear that the Chinese regime of President Xi Jinping and his Prime Minister, Li Keqiang, who is also head of the State Council, have decided to make China a world leader in the highly controversial field of Genetically Manipulated Organisms or GMO and the related highly toxic (to humans) pesticides and herbicides. This was made clear in November when the Chinese state ChemChina announced it was seeking to buy the Anglo-Swiss pharmaceutical giant, Syngenta of Basel. This is for me a personal disappointment and for the world, a major blow.

Hot March breaks temperature records

Click here to access article by Jackson Stiles from The New Daily (Australia). 
Earth’s hot streak has continued for a record 11 months – sparking fears of global catastrophe.
And read what some top climate change scientists are saying about this streak--if you have a strong stomach.