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, June 18, 2016
I am mostly posting this article as an illustration of how many political analysts only look at the political surface to analyze what is happening. This investigative reporter probably spent too much time in corporate media and brainwashed to think in a conventional ruling class-approved manner. Thus he implies that President Ronald Reagan brought the neocons into the US-led Empire, and tries to explain why some of the succeeding presidents were unable to oppose this element.
This is a popular way to look at political events. But others see below the surface reality and come up with a "deep state" kind of analysis. I am referring to people such as Stephan Gowans, Peter Dale Scott, Patrick L. Smith, Paul Street, and many others who have argued that a "deep state" organized by the One Percent really drives the policies of the Empire. Presidents such as Reagan, Truman, Eisenhower, Clinton, Bush Jr, Obama are really only useful idiots who served the Empire and its imperial capitalist directorate for various reasons, but mostly they were seduced by all the fame, perks, and wealth that go along with that office.
(No doubt there will be people who object to Eisenhower being on this list because of his well-publicized warning (in alternative media) about the "military-industrial complex". He only made the warning in one single sentence in his final speech as president. No doubt he was trying to expiate his guilt. Otherwise he was completely passive as the CIA cancer grew to enormous proportions. It was under his watch that the CIA planned the invasion of Cuba which was inherited by John Kennedy who did what he could to stop it.)
Regarding the infiltration of the neocons into the circles dominating the Empire, I think one of my previous posts points to a much more accurate source--the Henry Jackson Society.
Nevertheless I do agree with Parry that a "collective madness" has overtaken the State Department, but not only this department. I think it is a symptom of a large section of the ruling class directorate. However, in my opinion they are not a dominant section. But who knows?
He continues to raise questions about the FBI's role based on evidence from the many mass shootings.
The FBI often opens these cases when suspects with questionable mental health make statements online or to friends, family, or co-workers indicating possible support for terrorist groups or terroristic aspirations. Comments could range from claims of belonging to a terrorist group or expressing a dislike of or a desire to cause harm to certain groups.
Instead of recognizing a potentially dangerous, mentally unstable individual and getting them the help they need, the FBI instead proceeds with a process of entrapping them. They work often for months posing as terrorists, gaining the trust of the suspect, and leading them through elaborate, scripted terror plots.
So elaborate are these undercover investigations, that in at least two cases, FBI informants would actually train suspects how to use real explosives and even practice detonating live explosives in remote areas in the lead up to the final "attack."
Some of the key players in this worldwide infrastructure boom are huge investors such as the World Bank. The past few years and decades have seen the rise of major new investment banks, such as the recently founded Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), and the dramatic growth of funds such as the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES).
The new banks, along with traditional big lenders such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the Asian, African, and Inter-American Development Banks, are very fond of funding big infrastructure such as roads, dams, gas lines, mining projects, and so on.
Some people had hoped that these banks would promote sustainable and socially equitable development, but it now seems that they could end up doing precisely the opposite.
May was the 13th month in a row to break temperature records according to figures published this week that are the latest in 2016’s string of incredible climate records which scientists have described as a bombshell and an emergency.
The series of smashed global records, particularly the extraordinary heat in February and March, has provoked a stunned reaction from climate scientists, who are warning that climate change has reached unprecedented levels and is no longer only a threat for the future.
Friday, June 17, 2016
Cooperative enterprises are more stable than conventional capitalist enterprises, are more productive and create jobs that are more sustainable. And although the temptation to see coops as a magical solution to the ills of capitalism should be resisted, that they are better for workers than top-down enterprises shouldn’t be any surprise.
Thursday, June 16, 2016
So every coup is now literally allowed in South America; indirect attacks to the Brazilian currency, the real; bribing local comprador elites with the backing of the global financial system; a concerted attempt at the implosion, simultaneously, of the top three economies: Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela. SOUTHCOM went so far as to produce a report on “Venezuela Freedom” earlier this year, signed by commander Kurt Tidd, which proposes a “strategy of tension”, complete with “encirclement” and “suffocation” techniques and allowing to mix street action with a “calculated” use of armed violence. Echoes of Chile 1973 do apply.It appears that this excellent Brazilian journalist is losing his faith in a "multipolar" capitalist world as he witnesses the attacks on Brazil's mild form of social democracy. What is happening in Brazil and many other nations of South America is a perfect illustration of the truth that there can be no compromises with capitalism, most especially the virulent advanced form of capitalism, known as neoliberalism, that is driving the aggressive policies of the US-led Empire.
South America is now arguably the prime geopolitical space where Exceptionalistan is laying the bases to restore its unrivalled hegemony — as part of a multi-dimensional, geo-finance war against the BRICS bent on perpetuating the unipolar world.
Capitalist ruling classes throughout South America have been thoroughly integrated with the Empire's and together they are dedicated to the Empire's neoliberal plan to rule the entire world. The lesson that Escobar and many other progressives have yet to learn is that there can be no permanent compromises made with capitalist ruling classes. The latter must have their private ownership of economies taken away from them and put into the hands of the people. Only then can humans have a socially just world free from wars.
I fear that we may have already run out of time to free the world of the capitalist cancer that is now destroying its host planet Earth. But since we don't know this for certain, let us proceed with the most promising solution--revolution! Actually, I would work for a revolution anyway to punish those who caused our extinction along with so many other species.
Street does an excellent job of criticizing mainstream media coverage of the Alberta tar sands fire.
The mass viewing audience is encouraged to conclude that Mother Nature is going off on its own – with no assistance from the human-made Greenhouse Effect cooked up by modern capitalism and Big Carbon.Of course, this is the only likely response that capitalist media could have to this event and all the others in which capitalism plays a significant role.
Now that so many progressive American sheeple have been gathered by the sheepdog Sanders, they are ready to be sent down the chute to the capitalist class's slaughterhouse in November. My head hurts at the memories of so many deceptions that our masters have used to maintain their rule, their wars, and their profits and power.
His voting record belies his rhetoric, consistently saying one thing and doing another – on the wrong side of too many major issues to ignore.
It seems that many people are benefiting from charter schools in Denver except the students.
Former school board member Jeannie Kaplan also questions the success of such reforms. In an op-ed published last year in the Denver Post, Kaplan spotlighted numerous negative outcomes after many years of portfolio-based reform, including growing achievement gaps between white and non-white students, a school system stubbornly segregated along racial lines, and high staff turnover rates in schools.
Her op-ed pointed to a 2015 analysis from the University of Washington’s Center on Reinventing Public Education (an organization that advocates the portfolio approach), which looked at the 50 largest urban school districts in the country that have been actively engaged in education reform. Kaplan noted that, "Of them, Denver Public Schools was dead last in both reading and math, with gaps of 38 percent and 30 percent respectively. The average for the other districts was around 14 percent for each subject.
“As for graduation rates, Denver ranked 45th out of the 50 districts."
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
My only criticism of this piece is that Wright doesn't sufficiently make clear that Hillary Clinton, like her sociopathic husband, is a puppet of the Zionist-infested capitalist ruling class. Thus the title of this article should have read something like this: "The Zionist infiltrated ruling class has selected Hillary Clinton to star in their next puppet show". The new project will definitely not be "Hillary Clinton's Project".
Corporate media's denial of the reality of the behind-the-scenes management of the US government by capitalist puppeteers is deliberate; but when alternative media follows this practice, it is a symptom of their immaturity and that of much of the left in the US. Of course, one must make allowances for some of these authors whose careers would likely be adversely impacted if they even alluded to this reality. But those who have escaped from the world of safe mainstream media and conventional thought such as Dan Wright have a responsibility to make this reality clear.
Otherwise most of the content of the article is very good.
This award-winning American playwright and satirist based in Berlin takes satirical aim at social liberals and assorted others who were made very uncomfortable with the campaign run by Bernie Sanders.
Put yourself in their shoes for a minute and imagine being forced to pretend to care about Obama and Clinton fomenting coups, and otherwise destabilizing other countries, or assassinating pretty much anyone they like, anywhere they like, with complete impunity, or unequivocally supporting the State of Israel, and our friends in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and whichever other despotic regimes we happen to be supporting at the moment.
Not that Sanders was ever going to change the nature of U.S. foreign policy, or be able to achieve his domestic agenda. As Jeffrey St. Clair wrote in his recent piece, this was always “a rhetorical revolution.” Words, however, do not amount to nothing … not completely nothing, anyway. And Sanders has been saying a lot of stuff that folks in the international spotlight are not supposed to talk about publicly, and definitely not on television.
With evidence mounting that the FBI facilitates the numerous terrorist incidents that have terrified most Americans, Cartalucci notices the same pattern in Syria where even mainstream press now acknowledges that ISIS is being supplied with weapons through Turkey, a NATO member.
It seems that both in Syria and at home in America, the special interests running Washington have found in the "Islamic State" a perfect tool with which to advance its various political agendas.Meanwhile most mainstream coverage makes excuses about the inadequate performance of the FBI and others associated with the Orlando incident. One author directs criticism at the multinational private security corporation, G4S, who failed to screen out the shooter and employed him for a number of years, as simply due to "poor management". In an article entitled "How US Counterterrorism Funds Ended Up in the Orlando Terrorist’s Pocket", he was using the apparent ineptness of this security corporation as an illustration of his argument that most of the billions spent on counter-terrorism is mismanaged. Either this author is terribly naive or is engaged in deceptive reporting.
In this article Beeley express her profound chagrin over the recent appointment of Israel has chair of a law committee under the United Nations General Assembly. Israel has been in violation of a considerable number of UN resolutions concerning the Palestinian territory for a number of years. This appointment adds salt to the UN wound caused by Saudi Arabia's appointment to the UN Human Rights Council.
I was particularly struck by the quote from Aldous Huxley--it was very prophetic and insightful.
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
This is a followup report on yesterday's posting entitled "US Law Enforcement Knew Florida Shooter BEFORE Shooting" by Cartalucci. Using FBI documents and the Intercept's investigations, he goes into some detail how the FBI uses their own trained "informants" to pose as members of a terrorist organization and among their duties...
...includes providing and training suspects in the use of real explosives, providing suspects with arsenals of weapons precisely like those used in the recent shooting in Orlando Florida, and encouraging suspects to adopt "radical ideology" over the course of the investigation. Suspects are given the false impression that they are working on behalf of terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda or the self-proclaimed "Islamic State," often cultivating delusions of grandeur among otherwise mentally ill suspects.
Inside the Terror Factory an Award-winning journalist digs deep into the FBI’s massive efforts to create fake terrorist plots.
sentenced to life in prison.
The verdict could well have presented the opportunity for the media to examine in detail the complicity of the US, UK, France and their major allies in the Middle East and North Africa in the appalling genocide Habré inflicted on Chad during his rule – from 1982 to 1990. After all, Habré had seized power via a CIA-backed coup. ....
Indeed, while coverage of Chad has been largely missing from the British corporate media, so too was the massive, secret war waged over these eight years by the United States, France and Britain from bases in Chad against Libyan leader Colonel Mu'ammar Gaddafi.
Monday, June 13, 2016
The latest mass shooting in Florida reveals a familiar pattern with past such shootings: ranging from security agencies' knowledge of the perpetrators to the weapons that were used.
The FBI and other US, Canadian, and European law enforcement and intelligence agencies "accidentally" failing to stop terror suspects they have long-known about and have even arrested multiple times has since become endemic. In recent years, virtually every suspect has either been known by such agencies beforehand, or has been involved in a history of crime and terrorism before carrying out their final acts of grand terrorism.
Such was the case in the various French attacks. Many from the network that carried out the French attacks were then directly involved in the Belgium attacks. ....
In reality, what is playing out is an engineered strategy of tension using both the threat of terrorism and actual terrorism to create hysteria, fear, division, and ultimately obedience and capitulation across Western populations.
I believe that this book is extraordinarily important in providing more details about the emergence of the capitalist right-wing to power in the US and the subsequent construction of the US-led Empire that we see today.
It is my belief that the combination of the rise of a fabulously wealthy capitalist elite in the US in the early 1900s and the Soviet revolution in 1917 provided the basic ingredients that fermented during the Great Depression of the 1930s and led to an aggressive fascist element within the capitalist ruling class. In the 1930s right-wing capitalists were greatly disturbed by the restrictions placed on their up-until-then freewheeling capitalist adventures caused by the mild concessions the FDR administration made to working people, and they went to work on various projects to establish their uncontested power over US society.
Agents of Wall Street tried to recruit the popular Gen. Smedley Butler to head a new government after a coup was planned to remove FDR (censored, see this instead). The next project was to destroy the Soviet Union by supporting the rising corporate-fascist elements in Germany while hiding under the banner of "isolationists". (To be sure, there were genuine isolationists, but few among the ruling capitalist class. After all, war is good for business!) Having failed that, they then quietly went about preparing for the takeover of the cumbersome machinery of government after the war. It was a project to preserve only the facade of democracy, to rid government and the entire society of the legacy of social-democratic laws passed during the FDR administrations and to remove from all institutions any key people who advocated worker interests. (If you are not familiar with what happened during these dreadful years, read this Wikipedia summary.)
While this was going on, they rather stealthily constructed largely unaccountable secret agencies like the CIA and NSA to work outside of the purview of the official government to build a capitalist empire under their control. The assassination of Kennedy in 1963 (and his brother a few years later) signaled to all social-democratic and liberal rivals in the capitalist ruling class that a right-wing capitalist deep state had taken control of the US.
I strongly disagree with the reviewer's state that this assassination "...forces us to consider how different the world would be if JFK had lived." The fact that revolutionary forces on the left failed to overthrow the rule of capitalists made the right-wing coup of Dulles and others an inevitable outcome of so much power and wealth that was concentrated in so few hands. Individuals play a role of little significance compared to a social-economic system.
This book promises to fill in some missing pieces to this largely secret history of this right-wing accession to rule. And as they say, the rest is history. The legacy of this history is what we see today: the rule of a deep state behind a facade of "democratic" government complete with managed elections, a huge propaganda apparatus straight out of Orwell's 1984, NATO armies engaged in never-ending wars, corrupt head-chopping allies, use of sovereign debts to control entire nations, sponsorship of terrorist armies to undermine others, neoliberal trade treaties to enrich the already rich, the ongoing military threats to Russia and China, and all the rest of their obsessive efforts to extend their control over every nation on earth.
This post is a bit dated about a fast moving anti-government resistance movement in France, but I think it sheds much light on what is happening there. The authors offers a left political perspective and analysis on the ongoing crisis precipitated by the introduction of a bill in the French parliament that would further take back workers' rights and benefits. The post was written by a Frenchman to people who are at least somewhat familiar with French politics and their government. So I will add a few explanatory notes to help especially American readers to better understand the nation-wide protests and strikes that are currently occurring all across France.
The opening paragraph refers to the French constitution which permits the passage of this bill without a vote:
“The 49-3 is a brutality. The 49-3 is a denial of democracy.” Despite François Hollande’s opinions on this article of the French constitution in 2006, his government under Manuel Valls (who had himself been among the MPs proposing it be suppressed in 2008) used it to force through the unpopular law proposed by Minister for Labour Myriam El Khomri on May 10. This provoked an immediate reaction from the coordinating committee of workers’ and students unions calling days of national mobilisation and strikes on May 12, May 17, May 19, to continue on May 26 and June 14.The "PS" party refers to the Socialist Party. Notice once again how a party that is spearheading austerity and neoliberal programs uses the word "socialist" in their party's name. This is another illustration of how agents of capitalism use deception whenever it serves to secure their class rule.
The author describes the characteristics of the mostly young people who form the core of the resistance to government policies.
...whereas the old generations of activists, absorbed by institutional politics, have thrown away their revolutionary hopes, the new generations who do not have the same traditional baggage often have a strong awareness of the evils of capitalist barbarism and are always receptive to political arguments about the need for revolutionary transformation. This consciousness is often combined with a very strong demand for real democracy, and a rejection of delegation of decision-making – the heritage of the fiascos of Stalinism and of social democratic governments.Crémieux sums up his analysis with this statement:
It clearly appears both that the political system is profoundly undemocratic and that real power lies obviously outside the elected assemblies. The banks and the multinationals, the centres of capitalist power, not only make laws but exonerate themselves from respecting them.Thus you can see why US corporate media has censored all coverage of this rebellion.
The rejection of the financial system, energy choices, border closures, policies of unemployment and precarious work are the ingredients that are producing a rejection of the political system, but also of the capitalist system itself. This is latent in society and it is patently obvious in places where people express themselves, such as Nuit Debout.
So this movement contains many strengths and weaknesses. The coming weeks will tell which will dominate.
Mark Willacy [of Australian Broadcasting Corporation] travels to radiation-poisoned Fukushima as few residents return home after evacuation lift. He uncovers startling new evidence of the dangers that still lurk there, and the near insurmountable task of cleaning it up.
Five years after the nuclear meltdown, the Fukushima countryside remains full of radiation and virtually empty of people. As levels spike on the radiation meter at Fukishima a guide from the plant operator TEPCO warns Willacy: "they don’t want to go any further”. “In the beginning I felt lonely", says Naoto Matsumura, described as Japan’s most contaminated person. "But now I’m used to it”. The task of neutralising hundreds of tonnes of melted nuclear fuel turns out to be far greater than previously thought, and may never be fully remedied. Naoto Kan, Japan’s Prime Minister at the time of the crisis and an anti-nuclear convert, believes that "the accident took us to the brink of destruction".
Lisa Liberty Becker is absolutely right: there’s something seriously wrong with a university system that has “gone the way of Walmart,”
Sunday, June 12, 2016
The author looks below the surface of the government's response to the nation-wide protests and labor strikes in opposition to a law restricting workers' rights to see that they are using "an old technique of class repression - terrorism."
Strikes and protests are intensifying throughout the country, with bin collectors now joining the fray. In response to these working class mobilisations, government agencies have resorted to repression and terrorism in order to gain the upper hand in this class war.He concludes his article with this excellent political insight:
Hooded thugs were caught on camera driving iron bars through shop windows during a recent demonstration against old-age pension cuts. When one of the demonstrators attempted to stop the criminal, he was promptly joined by a colleague that clearly showed he had military training, assaulting the demonstrator with a martial arts style jump-kick. Meanwhile, the police, who were present at the scene, simply looked on. It was clear these two thugs were police agents provocateurs.
For real political change to occur, the workers of the Northern Hemisphere states must liaise, organise and fraternalise with those of the Southern Hemisphere. They must understand that the same class, waging war on French workers, the same companies pushing for more profits in Europe at the expense of human life, are complicit in genocide and crimes against humanity in the world's Southern Hemisphere. They must seek the link between terrorism and class war. Mass consciousness of this fact will overcome all attempts by oligarchic states to repress through terrorism, the working-class struggle for emancipation.
As France prepare to host millions of visitors at the Euro 2016 Football Championships, a state of emergency has been extended in the country as it faces its largest protests in recent history.I have seen nothing of these strikes and protests against a proposed anti-labor law by millions in France since the beginning of April in US corporate media, and I don't know to what extent corporate media is censoring news of these events in other Western countries. It's clear to me that the recent travel advisory to Europe issued by the US State Department citing warnings about "terrorism" was really only aimed at travelers to France in order to circumvent any references to the turmoil.
Hundreds of thousands of citizens have taken to the streets in France, amounting to what some are calling the new French Revolution amid a total media blackout in Western news outlets.
You may also be interested in this more recent article entitled "French government threatens to crush strikes as Euro 2016 football cup starts" which argues that union bureaucratic leaders are colluding with government authorities in France to stifle the ongoing strikes which threaten to interfere with their hosting of the European Soccer Championship that is occurring right now in Paris and other cities in France.
This article reports that scientific research suggests that we are entering a period of runaway climate destabilization.
Climate change is happening, being driven by the human combustion of fossil fuels at unprecedented rates for more than a century. But how the climate will change is harder to guess. The suspicion is that – if the Arctic amplification process works in the way that scientists think it must do – then climate change in the Arctic can only accelerate. But right now, all researchers can do is watch, record and measure.On the same subject you might want to read this article from Inside Climate News entitled "Wobbly Jet Stream Is Sending the Melting Arctic into 'Uncharted Territory'".
Meanwhile, the capitalist ruling class employees in the U.S. House of Representatives recently voted against taxes on carbon emissions and oil production.