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 LappĆ©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Pushing Russia Toward War

Click here to access article by Alastair Crooke from ConsortiumNews

In this piece Crooke demonstrates an acute insight about Russian-American relations, and asks some very important questions. For example:
So has Putin’s strategy of co-opting America in the Middle East been the failure that the Bastrykin faction implies? In other words, is it the case that the policy of gaining cooperation has failed and that Putin must now move beyond it, because America is not about to cooperate and is, instead, continuing the process of cornering Russia?
However, I think he is much better at understanding Russian and European deep politics than he is of American deep politics. He sees Donald Trump as challenging the reign of the neoconservative (or Zionist) faction of the American ruling class which worked their magic especially through the Bush administrations and continued with lesser fidelity during the Obama administrations. I think Trump is an unknown factor in American deep politics. I always look at a person's track record in government office to determine his actual politics, and Trump is an unknown factor because he has never held office.

To be sure, he has spoken and written a lot that distinguishes his views from that of the neoconservatives and has made them uncomfortable, but I've seen his willingness to pander to power as demonstrated with his address to AIPAC where he received standing ovations. I think he is very ambitious; and since he has already achieved billionaire status, why wouldn't he go for the ultimate prize--the highest (formal) political office?  I think his sociopathic character makes him very capable of making a deal with the deep state to follow their policies in return for their backing. 

But can we assume that the deep state will adhere to its Zionist orientation? Could the ground be shifting a bit in this faction of the ruling capitalist class? This is affirmatively argued in another essay entitled "The Widening Cracks in Zionism" by Lawrence Davidson. So, who knows where the directors of the Empire are headed? That is the most important question. Forget about elections in the pseudo-democratic nation  of the US. Think about constructing a powerful, sustainable revolutionary movement--because that is the only way real change will come about.

In any case I think, as I have always thought, that Hillary Clinton will be elected to the formal office of president because a large segment of the American population feels threatened by a Trump presidency because of statements he made to suggest a very authoritarian orientation. Still, if Trump can make an accommodation with the directors of the deep state, who knows how much their corporate media can influence ordinary Americans to support Trump by manufacturing a new political persona for him?

Class, this is a test question: who really runs the political affairs of the US? Or, to put it in Bush Jr's vernacular: who are the real "deciders"? 

Keep on truckin’—without drivers

Click here to access article by David Ruccio form his blog Occasional Links & Commentary.
I was perplexed. I couldn’t figure out what all the fascination was with self-driving cars. Why all the investment in designing cars that could be operated with little or no hands-on attention by a human driver?

So, I asked a friend what that was all about, and he quickly responded: it’s really about trucks, not cars.

McTeacher Night is new low in marketing to schoolkids

Click here if you wish to access this cartoon directly from Jen Sorensen's website. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Is the 9/11 scam coming undone?

Click here to access article by Tony Hall (editor/) from American Herald Tribune.

Hall takes off from the current trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, aka KSM, at the kangaroo court at the US torture site in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the many inconsistencies and known deceptions about the official reports of the 9/11 event, to reach this conclusion:
Surely the US government’s destruction of yet more evidence in the prelude to the long-delayed trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, or whoever it is that is currently cast in the part, is yet another indication that there is much for authorities to hide when it comes to 9/11. What will it take to force some genuine reckoning with the role of 9/11 and the long series of false flag terror events that will continue to accelerate in frequency unless and until the corrupt core of this vile psychological operation is exposed? When will the real culprits rather than the patsies of 9/11 be brought to justice?
My only criticism is that his essay could have benefited from many more links to evidence that supports his contentions and arguments. Since 9/11/2001 I have followed the various corporate stories and compared them with the evidence turned up by independent investigators, and I can confirm that his facts and arguments are solidly supported by the latter. 

Al Qaeda Goes to Syria: How to Build an Emirate Overnight

Click here to access article by Ulson Gunnar from New Eastern Outlook.

It seems to me that I have posted several hundred articles that have provided solid evidence that the US Empire and its sordid (pun) assorted allies have been organizing and arming various terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq since 2012. The whole project to destabilize the Syrian government and replace it with a regime that follows the dictates of the Empire has been built on the grossest lies, most of which I, and many others, have exposed in web posts.
Considering the immense resources admitted by the United States, the European Union, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar pledged to rebel groups in Syria, an alarming question arises when considering how much better equipped and funded Al Nusra appears to be. Where precisely are they getting more funding to be so much better equipped than rebel groups the US and its allies are pouring billions of dollars into? How is Al Nusra able to acquire more resources than the combined efforts of America, Europe and the Persian Gulf?

The answer is just as alarming. It is not a coincidence that the US has spent billions on training programs for rebel groups that do not exist and are not currently fighting on the Syrian battlefield. The money was truly spent, but not on "rebels." Instead, the money, through Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar, has gone straight into Al Nusra's war chests, armories and administrative budgets. The proof stares the world in the face each day with headlines of Al Nusra's spanning exploits amid Syria's grinding war.
After WWII concluded, Allied critics wrote reams of articles and books about how the Germans must have known about all the atrocities committed by the Nazi regime. The implication was a condemnation of the German people because they allowed these crimes to happen. Well, if the US and British critics are to be consistent, they must also condemn their own people for the crimes committed by their leaders in the Middle East since 2003. Doesn't it logically follow with our condemnation that we, too, deserve what the Germans experienced: the destruction of our nation? Well, difficult as it is, I think we should think about it.

Up Close on Venezuela’s Crisis

Click here to access article by Lisa Sullivan from ConsortiumNews
It is out of concern for the most vulnerable sectors in Venezuela, such as my neighbors, that I break my silence to write. As I watch their efforts to obtain food for their families become more desperate and more futile, and as I witness pounds dropping from their bodies, I think the time has come to do more than share from my own scarce cupboards and gardens as they share with me. These people, my friends and neighbors and family, are literally being swallowed up by massive economic and political interests.
From my two week visit to Nicaragua in 1982, three years after the Sandinista revolution, I brought back a profound respect for Maryknoll lay missioners who were very active in the Sandinista social programs. They impressed me as some of the most sincere and honest humanitarians that I had ever encountered. Thus I believe that Sullivan's observations from her recent visit to Venezuela, and her many years of service there, deserve the closest attention.
A perfect storm of a collapse of global oil prices combined with massive internal economic errors leading to unbridled corruption on all levels of society has left these vulnerable sectors literally almost starving.

The reaction of the U.S. and other global interests seems clearly based on Venezuela’s enormous oil reserves (the world’s largest). Those interests are circling our nation like vultures, ready to swoop in and devour. 

The Gig Economy

By cartoonist David Horsey of the LA Times.

 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

American Aggression Against China: A World Crisis Looms

Click here to access article by Christopher Black from New Eastern Outlook.

This widely respected Canadian international criminal and human rights lawyer provides some inside information on the views of Chinese leaders regarding the ongoing provocations by the US military off the coast of China. 

This blog is dedicated to informing people about the twin threats that threaten the future of humans and providing ideas about how we can prevent them from happening. Both threats are propelled by the system of capitalism. An immediate threat consists of the increasingly aggressive acts of the US-led capitalist Empire which could lead to a nuclear conflagration--and this could happen anytime; while the latter is climate destabilization that many scientists already see as "baked in" to our future, but a more distant future.

Black's article explains how the ongoing provocations by the US military off the coast of China is seen as an unacceptable threat to Chinese security by top Chinese leaders, and some of the ways that they are preparing to meet this threat. The same thing is happening near many borders of Russia. These provocations are an indication of the arrogance that infects the political directors of our capitalist ruling class. Many knowledgeable people, including Black, see this situation as almost inevitably leading to a devastating nuclear war.
The Chinese government has once again reacted angrily, calling this new violation of Chinese sovereignty, a “provocation” which indeed it is. But nothing more was done except to scramble some jets and ships to put on a show of the flag. But to what end? The Americans could not care less about dramatics. They only understand force. Logic requires that, unless these provocations stop there will be a shooting incident in the near future because there will be nothing else China can do. The thought of what could happen next can only make you shudder. But unless the world thinks hard about that and reacts with the necessary response, this renegade nation, the one nation that roams around the world with a big club, threatening, bullying and destroying, without regard for law, morality, or humanity, will push us all to the eve of destruction.

The American bullying attitude rests in an innate chauvinism and arrogance and a complete confidence in their superiority of arms. But it is this very confidence that will be their downfall.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

New book: Green Capitalism: The God that Failed

Click here to access this brief review of a new book by the above title authored by Richard Smith posted on Historical Materialism

My attention was drawn to the publication of this book by an announcement at Real-World Economics Review Blog. They have previously carried articles by "Richard Smith" (I put this in italics to suggest that the author might be using a pseudonym as a cover to protect himself. See a reader's comment following this post.) starting in 2011 and then in 2013 and 2014. I finally appreciated its profound importance, and posted it as a foundation article on my blog. He apparently has been developing this thesis for quite some time and now it has been published in an updated version in book form.

Can Nuit Debout Succeed Where OWS Failed?

Click here to access article by Brent Gregston from French Morning (France).

I know very little about French media, but in my mind this piece has a very strong ring of authenticity to it--and it's very up-to-date (May 18th). I don't know where this movement is going and if it will last long, but I think it must be examined as another indication that all is not well with capitalist rule--to say the least. 

It has also occurred to me that events which US corporate media follows, or not follows, is a strong indication of how our ruling masters regard any politically charged topic. I recall how carefully US media followed street protests in Egypt in 2011, and later considerable evidence turned up that opposition and the protests to Mubarak's rule was heavily influenced by US subversive organizations funded by our masters. Notice currently, as one of my Oregon blog followers alerted me to, that US media is completely ignoring the Nuit Debout (night uprising) events in France--and these have been occurring since at least March 31st! (See also the photos of these events since March 31st posted in TeleSur.) 

You might also be interested in how capitalist media in France and Britain are covering this movement: see this, and this. And of course US business online media sources have been following this as newsworthy because it affects their world-wide profit opportunities--see this, for example.

Labour to open re-education camps?

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

Cook is a Britisher who spends a lot of time in Israel. Thus he knows well both the political establishment of Britain as well as happenings in Israel. In this piece he offers an illustration of how a governing capitalist class in their fake democracies deal with the occasional candidate who manages to squeak through their political filters. This especially applies to those who do not serve their interests either because they advocate policies that would burden their government with costly social services or candidates that might be criticizing the defects of capitalism too much for the comfort of the ruling class. 

Emma Goldman, that flaming red anarchist of the early 20th century in the US, was right about the futility of voting in capitalist elections ("If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal"). I have strong doubts that Bernie Sanders really threatens the US ruling class, but I am sufficiently convinced that Jeremy Corbyn is doing this in Britain. Hence the vigorous attacks by their media on Corbyn and his faction of the Labour Party. I don't see that happening yet with regard to Sanders in the US. He is mostly labeled by US media as some who cannot win in the presidential election, especially against the billionaire ogre Donald Trump. 

In any case, think what could happen if Corbyn continues to gain popular support in Britain or if the followers of Sanders caused numerous problems for our masters? The ruling capitalist classes might suspend elections altogether, take their soft kid gloves off and put their genuine class preference for fascism into practice. (Especially here in the US where they have already built the police state structure that would support it.) That might wake people up!

We can dream, or we can organize

Click here to access article by Pete Dolack from Systemic Disorder.

In this article Dolack brings our attention to, and interprets the main arguments of, a book entitled Crowds and Party by Jodi Dean.
The title Crowds and Party is carefully chosen. Professor Dean has linked these two, and given us a powerful defense of organization, of demonstrating that only as part of collectives, rather than as individuals, can we hope to overcome the mounting horrors that capitalism unleashes on the world. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

When They Killed JFK They Killed America

Click here to access article from Political Film Blog.

I strongly disagree with the author (?) that America was "killed" when JFK was assassinated by a "deep state" cabal who directed the CIA to murder him. The United States of America was already headed in this fascist direction. 

In the run-up to WWII, a large section of the capitalist ruling class in America and many other Western countries, was split between their national interests and Anglophiles on one side and those who supported the rise of Nazi Germany. The supporters of the latter were impatient with all the deceptions and difficulties of running fake democracies and controlled elections, and especially wanted an aggressive Nazi Germany to destroy the Soviet Union, the nemesis of the whole capitalist world. (Read my commentaries here, here, and here for more details and supporting documentation.) 

After the successful conclusion of WWII, the US was in a very dominant position with an intact economy, a large army, and most of the gold. People in the right-wing, people like the Dulles brothers, saw this as a great opportunity to construct a hidden government behind the facade of the official government that would really run political affairs and promote the construction of a dominant empire.

What the assassination of Kennedy did accomplish was the consolidation of a hidden deep state consisting of a class-based network of major capitalists and encompasses all the levers of power ranging from NSA surveillance, CIA infiltrated media corporations, National Security Council to powerful think tanks such as Brookings Institution, Council on Foreign Relations, Rand, etc, and the Federal Reserve. The assassination also gave a demonstration to many prominent capitalists who really ran the government. Since then they have been perfecting the machinery of this deep state that successfully engineered 9/11 and constructed the Empire we see today engaged in wars and subversive activities all over the world.

Establishment Blinders: Philip Shenon & 9/11

Click here to access article by Joe Giambrone from Political Film Blog.
I am a bit disgusted today. Philip Shenon–formerly of the New York Times–has done an incredible amount of work exposing how utterly fraudulent the “9/11 Commission” actually was. It was a complete sham from start to finish. He shows us easily a hundred facts that establish how disgraceful and untrustworthy its report is. There is much laughter in the audience throughout his talk.

It is, however, not a laughing matter.

The Right Rises Up as Latin American Left Faces Setbacks

Click here to access article by Benjamin Dangl from Toward Freedom.

Dangl has been one of Latin America's leading leftist intellectuals, so I was looking forward to reading this piece for his assessment on all the recent right-wing gains in South America during the past year. I was profoundly disappointed. I googled his name to find out if he wrote other essays about this disturbing trend. I only found another brief article in Upside Down World of which he is the editor. I noticed that he is a doctoral student at McGill university in Montreal, Canada. I also noticed in my googling survey that his articles have been frequently published on liberal websites like the Nation, the Guardian, AlterNet, TruthOut, etc. So, my searches and perusals of his articles left me wondering if he was now trying to tone down his militant politics in order to protect his doctoral status and a future career. Anyway this brief article and another one posted on his Upside Down World website are both very disappointing. In the latter article he seems too casual in his brief sum up of this right-wing trend:
The new Latin American left, in all its shades of red or pink, has lately been experiencing perhaps its roughest string of months since it came to power. From embattled Venezuela to the possible political death of the Workers' Party in Brazil, from the demise of the Kirchners in Argentina to Bolivia's own turmoil, the situation is grim.
It seems to me that he and others are failing to acknowledge, or in denial of, the unsustainability of left-liberal regimes in which the left governments permit the existence of a major capitalist sectors within their countries. The latter can and do wreck havoc, with their Empire partners, on any such left-liberal government and can rather easily regain control of governments.

Capitalists in most countries in Latin America and elsewhere typically maintain close ties with the US capitalist ruling class and vice versa. These capitalists are keenly aware that their existence depends to a large extent on US support and protection. Any radical revolutionary movement will be opposed not only by the local capitalists, but by the powerful US Empire. 

Given this reality, it seems to me that revolutionaries in Latin America and other countries under the heel of the US Empire must coordinate their activities and collaborate to insure their ultimate victories. Capitalist ruling classes, under the direct or indirect influence of the Empire, do this as a matter of strategic practice to maintain their control over most of the world. As Russian revolutionaries knew even before their successful Soviet revolution, socialism in one large country (or several small countries) cannot survive in a capitalist world.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Feminism is Bigger Than Gender: Why I’ll be Happy in Hell Without Hillary

Click here to access article by Barbara MacLean from CounterPunch

Although she necessarily uses generalities to characterize the history of the left in the US, her historical summary is quite accurate. However her criticism of "old left Marxists" for their rather "mechanical understanding of the relationship between social class and other forms of identity" is, I believe, a little unfair. Though this was appropriate when aimed at those who clung literally to Marxist dogma especially in the lead up to WWI, she omits the history of oppression, at times brutal, of left parties and organizations that capitalists mounted after WWI, the Soviet revolution of 1917, and ever since. 

After the assassination in 1963 of President John Kennedy who refused total cooperation with a CIA engineered plan to invade Cuba and his brother Robert Kennedy's (he was assassinated in 1968)  aggressive campaign against capitalist corrupted labor unions, our ruling capitalist masters refused to permit any Kennedy to run again in any election. This marked the beginning of the "deep state's" complete control of the government. Since then our ruling capitalist masters have devised a variety of techniques (in addition to the usual ones--control over both parties and the use of their media corporations to support or smear candidates), one of which has been the use of left-liberal candidates.

This has consisted of entering left-liberal candidates to lure in the large number of disaffected left voters who would then ultimately vote for an approved capitalist candidate, particularly if they had a scary right-wing candidate for the Republican Party. For this purpose Senator Eugene J. McCarthy of Minnesota worked very well in 1968, Al Gore in 2000, and Howard Dean in 2004. Now we see the same purpose served in the candidacy of Bernie Sanders.

A more recent strategy has been added to this: catering to people on the left by advocating reforms to conservative racist and gender discrimination laws and practices (identity politics) as a method of gaining support for Democratic candidates who demonstrated that they would faithfully take orders from the "deep state". Indeed, there has been considerable progress in the past 50 years on these issues, but they have also served as a very useful distraction from imperial policies abroad and austerity policies at home. This is how the deep state managed to have Obama elected in both 2008 and 2012. Now with Hillary Clinton, they are playing to liberal views on gender discrimination.

In this article Barbara MacLean does an excellent job of exposing this ruse except she omits the background history of how the ruling class has eliminated through their control of all institutions of indoctrination and propaganda most traces of class analysis from the American populace by replacing it with identity politics.

Thought control in economics

Click here to access article by economist David Ruccio from Real-World Economics Review Blog

Thought control is a ubiquitous phenomenon that our ruling masters exercise over every institution in society, but their application of it is particularly strong in a core capitalist curriculum like economics. As Ruccio points out, economics departments of institutions of higher learning usually do not permit any kind of "alternative" views on economics. He cites a recent exception to this rule in which the U. of Glasgow permitted for a time an unorthodox lecturer in their department--but it was not to last.

Ruccio's experience with students and colleagues was particularly disheartening for me:
No matter how many stories I tell them about thought control in economics, students and colleagues in other disciplines simply don’t believe me.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Entering the age of humans (a must read article)

Click here to access article by Ian Angus from Socialist Review (Britain). 

This article directly focuses on one half of two purposes of my blog: to bring to the attention of web surfers credible information about the increasing threat of climate destabilization. The other half focuses attention on the threat of a nuclear conflagration in an age in which capitalist wealth and power has been heavily concentrated in one very aggressive US-led Empire that has a clear track record of moving toward world hegemony. Both threats to humans are propelled by the system of capitalism. Consequently the main agenda for humanity must be the termination of this deadly system before either of these threats end human existence, and replace it with a more benign and sustainable system that is compatible with the Earth's biosphere. 
Science has long known that conditions on Earth have changed over time — that much of the planet has at times been covered in ice, and that areas that are now cold were once tropical — but it was believed that such shifts took place very slowly, over thousands of years or longer. One of the most surprising results of recent research into past climate is that rapid climate change has been the rule, not the exception. The climate is remarkably sensitive to quite small changes in the atmosphere and oceans, and rather than gradually warming or cooling, it has tended to lurch from one state to another, in years or decades rather than millennia. As one prominent scientist puts it, Earth’s climate is an ornery beast that violently overreacts even to small nudges.

That’s particularly relevant today, when greenhouse gas concentrations are not only high, but are rising more quickly than ever before.

The Great Capitalist Climacteric: Strategic Implications And Class Struggle

Click here to access article by Omar Rashid Chowdhury from Countercurrents.org.

This article, which is about the same subject as the above posted article, is in my opinion rather inferior in quality to the latter due to its stereotypical academic and wooden Marxist styles and formatting errors (words run together). Once past these faults, the reader can access more well documented evidence from numerous sources that capitalism poses a dire threat to humans.

Against Capitalist Education is a striking call for education to be freed of the straightjacket of the capitalist market, finds Phil Armstrong

Click here to access a book review by Phil Armstrong of a book entitled Against Capitalist Education posted on CounterFire (Britain).
It is written in an unusual and very engaging way; in the form of a dialogue between two passionate and angry educators, George and John, who teach at a university. The style is highly engaging and the narrative unfolds as their conversation develops and progresses in front of an audience of students in a series of acts and scenes characteristic of a play. The questions asked by the characters mirror those likely to be asked by the reader which both aids her ability to absorb the information in the text and enhances enjoyment of the book.
I've got news for Armstrong. Capitalist ruling classes have always controlled education like they have all other institutions, but probably more now than ever before.

Silence of Complacency: The Moral Universe of Progressive Gatekeepers

Click here to access article by Jay Taber from Public Good Project
I was thinking about my new piece, which I sent to the usual progressive gatekeepers in Seattle media, and was pondering the reluctance of all of them to ever use the word ‘racism’ in any of their coverage of the fossil fuel export war between Coast Salish Nation and Wall Street.
So far as I can tell, no media source has published his article.


Yes, the Native Americans and others have, to my surprise, won a major battle against major capitalist supporters, like Warren Buffet, to stop the construction of a coal terminal near their territory just below the Canadian border and north of Seattle (near where I live).