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, July 2, 2016

After the leave vote: we can beat back racism and austerity

Click here to access article by Joseph Choonara from Socialist Review (Britain).

In my opinion this is by far the best analysis of the recent Brexit vote. See what you think.

Referring to the European Union, Choonara writes:
A neoliberal organisation, which has again and again acted in the interests of European capital, grinding the Greek people under the heel of austerity, supporting Francois Hollande’s assault on French workers and seeking to implement the TTIP free trade agreement with the US, with contemptuous disregard for any opposition, has suffered its greatest blow to date.

Yet the mood of many on the left in Britain is despondent. For them, the referendum is seen as an outpouring of nationalism and racism directed against migrants from the EU.

It is a gross oversimplification to reduce this to a vote over racism.
And later, referring to issues that the capitalist ruling classes have always used to divide us, he writes:
Socialists have always recognised that workers can hold in their heads contradictory combinations of ideas, some based on solidarity and common struggle, other uncritically absorbed from society and reflecting the market ideology that sees us as isolated individuals destined to compete for jobs and resources. This is an unstable combination that can, in times during which mainstream politics and ideology are disrupted, explode to the right or to the left.

Our challenge is to combine struggles against racism with struggles against the wider attacks on the working class.

Mainstream economics and the public

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

The economics profession under capitalist rule has suffered and American economist Ruccio lists many of there failures. The problem, of course, which Ruccio only alludes to, is one that Humpty Dumpty recognized long ago through the words of Lewis Carroll in Through the Looking Glass
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”
Because capitalists eventually took control of most advanced countries, they refused to adopt Marxist oriented economics because it undermined all capitalist class propaganda. As Ismael Hossein-Zadeh argues in an essay entitled "Marx on Financial Bubbles: Much Keener Insights Than Contemporary Economists", Marx could explain current economic events much better than most contemporary economists.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Puerto Rico 'Rescue' Bill to Reinforce Colonial Relationship with US

Click here if you wish to access a 12:09m interview (and transcript) conducted by Gregory Wilpert with activist Julio Lopez directly from Real News Network.

If you haven't followed this issue very well, I recommend that you read this, this, and this for further background information which you should have to understand the present situation. For a history of Puerto Rico view this 28:43m video interview entitled "Puerto Rico: 500 Years of Colonial Bondage & Resistance" conducted by Abby Martin with two professors of Latin American studies, Luis Barrios and Danny Shaw.

New U.S. "Offer" To Cooperate With Russia in Syria Is Deceptive Nonsense

Click here to access article by Bernhard from Moon of Alabama

The author explains the contradictions and deceptions of US policy in Syria in order to pretend to be attacking terrorist armies while supporting the latter armies to destroy Syria. Of course US war mongers fool nobody but the passive American public, but that is sufficient for them to continue trying to destabilize the Syrian government.

Rising Tide of ‘Politically Acceptable’ Killings Spells Danger for Environmentalists Worldwide

Click here to access article by Nika Knight from Uncommon Thought Journal
“Across the world, collusion between state and corporate interests shield many of those responsible for the killings. In cases that are well documented we found 16 were related to paramilitary groups, 13 to the army, 11 to the police and 11 to private security—strongly implying state or company links to the killings. There was little evidence that the authorities either fully investigated the crimes, or took actions to bring the perpetrators to account.”
Read also this Greenpeace report entitled "Brazil: the most dangerous country for environmental activists in 2015".

Pro-GMO Spin Masquerading as Science Courtesy of “Shameful White Men of Privilege”

Click here to access article by Colin Todhunter from East by Northwest.
Unlike their predecessors, early 21st century missionaries do not come armed with bibles. They come as members of a scientific priesthood, spouting slick PR and are supported by the likes of Bill Gates, taxpayer ‘aid’ and the global agritech cartel and rely on the leverage of international institutions like the World Bank, IMF and WTO.

More than 100 Nobel laureates have put their names to a letter urging Greenpeace to end its opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Well, what can you expect when the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Barack Obama?

See also this report entitled "107 Nobel Laureate Attack on Greenpeace Traced Back to Biotech PR Operators" posted on Independent Science News

Thursday, June 30, 2016

A Very Heavy Agenda Part 3: Maintaining the World Order - Out Now

Click here to access article from 911 Blogger.

The Empire's capitalist project has been referred to by various names such as Bush's (Sr) New World Order or the Neocon's Project for a New American Century. It's clear to me that the right-wings fascists of the former merged with the Zionist faction of the latter to accomplish their Empire's dominance of the world. Unfortunately many of us were asleep and tending to our individualistic goals like every good aspiring mini-capitalist should while they were creating this world. Now that it has arrived, how do you like your their new world?

Well, the people at 911 Blogger, A Very Heavy Agenda, and Vimeo don't seem too comfortable with it. If you are not, why not support their efforts and get informed at the same time?

#Brexit confirms: the neoliberal center cannot hold

Click here to access article by Jerome Roos from ROAR
While Brexit clearly hands victory to the bigots of UKIP and the Tory right, a victory for remain would simply have perpetuated the anti-democratic neoliberal masochism that produced the motivation for people to align themselves with these bigots in the first place. In this light, we have to stop seeing the rabid nationalism of the far-right and the neoliberal cosmopolitanism of the pro-EU camp as polar opposites — in reality, the former is the logical outgrowth of the latter; its deformed Siamese twin in flesh and blood. The only thing the pro-EU camp was able to offer British voters was a continuation of the structural conditions that led to Brexit, combined with fanatical fear-mongering over the consequences of that outcome.

Ultimately, the British vote to leave the EU, whether it eventually materializes or not (and there is no guarantee that it will), is symptomatic of a much deeper and much more debilitating crisis....
I agree with his analysis of the consequences of this British vote to leave the European Union (if it actually does), but I disagree that a positive outcome rests of one man's shoulder: Jeremy Corbin. I don't like individualism and I never will. We are all in this together, and together is the only possibility for our salvation: even if salvation in the end only means a modicum of self-respect as fully politically conscious humans.

An even more extreme illustration of political immaturity is shown by Dave Lindorff's take on Bernie Sander's prospects in his article "What is Bernie Up To?". He naively believes that winning a capitalist election would solve the many faceted dilemmas that we find ourselves in.

A display of political ignorance is one recently illustrated by Noam Chomsky. Jeffrey St. Clair amply criticizes this in an article entitled "Noam Chomsky, John Halle and a Confederacy of Lampreys: a Note on Lesser Evil Voting". 

Financial Conflicts at National Academy Advisory Panel on the Future of GMO Regulation

Click here to access article by Jonathan Latham from Independent Science News
... at least six of the 13 committee members chosen have financial conflicts of interests with the biotech industry, four of which are not publicly disclosed. Several other committee members have backgrounds advocating biotechnology development, including a representative of Dow AgroSciences and Richard Johnson of Global Helix LLC. Johnson, according to their report of 2014-2015, is also head of the United States Council for International Business committee on biotechnology.
That is precisely the way it is among all institutions. The church of capitalism has placed their agents in every important organization to insure that it functions in complete loyalty to Wall Street, the Vatican of the capitalist Empire.

Too many lies

by cartoonist Dan Wasserman

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

State Terrorism and Education, the New Speculative Sector in the Stock Market [Mexico]

Click here to access article by Renata Bessi and Santiago Navarro F. from El Enemigo Común.

Neoliberals from international banks are meeting stiff opposition in Mexico in their efforts to transform public education into commodities that can be bought and sold in capitalist markets. They have no qualms about murdering people to obtain their objectives.
The reasons why the Mexican government wants to impose the Educational Reform, even if it means killing people, as with the massacre in Nochixtlán by repressive state forces on June 19, are rooted in economic objectives guided by international financial organizations. The reform, proposed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), with the OECD-Mexico Agreement to Improve the Quality of Education in Schools of Mexico, aims to lay the groundwork to shift education from being a State responsibility to instead being resolved in the realm of the financial market.
Lois Weiner of New Politics introduces another report with this statement:
Another piece explains the complicity of the "official" pro-government teachers union, SNTE, in supporting the government reforms, against the will of thousands who have taken to the streets. The protests are being led by a reform movement, CNTE, within the official union.  An activist in the Chicago Teachers Union who has done work with CNTE has organized a fund-raising appeal.  Money will to directly to CNTE, which is fighting with unbelievable courage against reforms that are planned for the rest of the world. Yes, the US as well.

Genocidal Corporate Media

Click here to access article by Mark Taliano from Global Research
NATO terrorists, for example, are invading and occupying Syria, and the Syria government is blamed for the ensuing disasters, but the presstitutes omit this this from their narratives and instead find creative ways to blame the al Assad government whose duty it is to protect Syria, its sovereignty, and its territorial integrity.  When terrorists are occupying cities, as they do in Syria, innocent people will always be victimized, including during government operations to clear out the terrorist infestations, but the presstitutes blame the Syrian government, not the NATO terrorists.
President Assad is fraudulently demonized for a war perpetrated by aggressors who are tasked with destroying Syria....

Book review: The Killing of Osama bin Laden, by Seymour Hersh

Click here to access article by Alison Broinowski from The Border Mail (Australia). 
A veteran journalist who broke the stories of the My Lai massacre, the expansion of the Vietnam war, and the torture at Abu Ghraib, and who has continued through his long-established contacts in the US military to poke around in dark places, Seymour Hersh may still strike fear into Americans with bad consciences. But now, he suggests, they don't even feel guilty about supporting tyranny, fomenting violence and lying to allies, the Congress and the American people.

The New York Times castigated the Bush administration for the Iraq disaster but shied away from printing Hersh's evidence of how President Obama perpetuated it. He turned to the London Review of Books, which published his essays last year. Here, they conveniently reappear in a slim book with an eloquent 2016 introduction.

The ‘Dissent’ Memo That Isn’t

Click here to access article by Gareth Porter from ConsortiumNews.

Porter challenges the Empire's chief propaganda organ known as the NY Times in their recent "leaked" piece regarding the advocacy of more militant actions against Syria by State Department personnel.
The memorandum by 51 State Department officials calling for U.S. military intervention in Syria has been treated in news media coverage as a case of “dissent” from existing Syria policy by individual officials involved in Syria policy.

But the memo has all the earmarks of an initiative that had the blessing of the most senior officials in the department – including Secretary of State John Kerry himself – rather than having been put together by individual officials entirely on their own. And it may mark the beginning of an effort to take advantage of the presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Bernie, Bakken, and Electoral Delusion: Letting Rich Guys Ruin Iowa and the World

Click here to access article by Paul Street from CounterPunch.

Street exposes the shallowness of the "Bernie" campaign which has played the American left-liberal activists for fools. The level of political consciousness and maturity of American activist has slowly and steadily deteriorated over many decades since the 1930s when activists really challenged the ruling class. 

Our masters are very clever. After WWII during the McCarthy period they purged the left of any true radicals from every institution, refilled them with "right-thinking" people. Then they went on to concentrate media and entertainment into the hands of a few who loyally served the capitalist class by feeding the public with information to dumb down, distract, and divert attention away from real issues to phony ones, and managed elections so that only people suited to serve them could win. As a result most Americans nowadays have the political consciousness of eight year old kids who, inspired by comic book heroes, look passively to political heroes to deliver them from evil. (Sorry for the sarcasm--I'm in a bad mood today.)

The Message in Cartoons

Click here to access article by Guy McPherson from his website Nature Bats Last

The views of this retired professor of biology represents a growing trend that is having a marked influence on people who are knowledgeable about the precarious conditions humans are facing in relation to climate destabilization. The cartoons he has selected for this article well illustrate his take on the dim prospects for human survival that he has articulated intellectually in a number of writings, interviews, presentations, etc. (See this, and this for starters.) However, except for the first cartoon, the others point to "civilization" as the cause for our probable demise.

 I agree with his dire assessment regarding the prospects for human survival, but I absolutely disagree with his views about how we should cope with this reality. 

A major mistake he makes is one which no scientist should make. He ascribes causality to correlation. The rise of civilization has enabled the development of technology, the application of which is now under the control of capitalists, is threatening human species with likely near term extinction. Hence civilization is the cause. (Wrong!) Ergo, there is nothing to be done but loving others, doing what we love doing, or looking within ourselves for some sort of spiritual salvation. I regard this solution as some sort of ultimate "selfie", a retreat into self-absorption and narcissism. 

This position neatly eliminates the role of a particular social-economic system created by a class of people to provide themselves with the wealth and power to rule over societies in the latest era of class-structured societies. The system has a name: capitalism. His take on the present crisis conveniently absolves capitalists of all responsibility--the culprit is the abstract concept of civilization.

I agree with McPherson that it is likely too late to save ourselves as a species, but I thoroughly disagree that our response should be a retreat into some sort of spiritual or emotional narcissism. 

Because our demise is not absolutely certain, I think the best action is to attack the cause--capitalism.  Even if we knew that that the odds of our demise were 100%, I would still argue that in the interests of justice that we should attack capitalism. Personally I have devoted the rest of my life to attacking the cause--that is what I love doing.

Perhaps McPherson has also been thoroughly indoctrinated by capitalist agencies so that his attention has been diverted away from seeing the real source of our dilemma. Or maybe he is even being encouraged to spread his message among those who are well informed of the destruction of human habitat and are acting in opposition to capitalist activities.

Monsanto, America’s Monster

Click here to access an introduction and a 24:00m video presentation by Abbey Martin from Media Roots.
In this episode of The Empire Files, Abby Martin issues a scathing exposé on the corporate polluter, chronicling its rise to power, the collusion of its crimes with the US government, and the serious danger it poses today.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Europeans Contest US Anti-Russian Hype

Click here to access article by Joe Lauria from ConsortiumNews

Lauria is no anti-capitalist but he insists on discerning and telling the truth about political events as best he can. In this piece he reveals many cracks (including the Brexit vote), cracks that are usually never reported in US corporate media, that are appearing especially in European governing circles in relation to the US Empire's control over Europe and their anti-Russian campaign. 

Too many heads stuck in the sand on Brexit

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

This evaluation of the Brexit vote and the British shadow government looks "spot on" as the Brits would say. He also reports receiving many loud complaints about a previous article entitled "Brexit and the diseased liberal mind" which exposed liberals in all their obscene pro-establishment nakedness.

CIA Weapon Deliveries to Syria Rebels Stolen by Jordanian Spies

Click here to access article from TeleSur.

This recent incident in Jordan highlights more evidence of the Empire's military support of terrorist armies that are trying to bring down the Syrian government.
Weapons from the Central Intelligence Agency and Saudi Arabia intended for a Syrian rebel training program were stolen by Jordanian intelligence agents and sold on the black market, U.S. and Jordanian officials said in a joint investigation by Al-Jazeera and The New York Times....
Just before my deadline I found this piece entitled "'Jordan Bad,' Officials Tell NYT - Pressure For A New Southern Front Attack?" from Moon of Alabama which adds more ramifications to this report. 

Warming Arctic creates GHG [Green House Gas] danger zone

Click here to access article by Tim Radford from Climate News Network.
Climate scientists have coolly established the mechanism by which a warming Arctic will accelerate the warming of the whole world. It’s simple: as the permafrost warms and dries, it will release ever greater quantities of carbon dioxide from the Arctic soils.

And those bits of tundra that warm, thaw and become increasingly soggy will release ever greater quantities of methane, a greenhouse gas (GHG) more short-lived but also a far more potent heat trap than CO2.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Past Is Prelude: Stalin Was Right About National Defence (Part 2 of 2)

Click here to access article by Michael Jabara Carley from Strategic Culture Foundation. (Note: This is the final segment of the essay which I posted yesterday.)
Sovietophobia remained strong in both the United States and Britain. British generals hated the Soviet Union, and did not hide their animosity. Churchill, who was no Roosevelt, had trouble hiding his fear of the Soviet "crocodile". In the British Foreign Office, not a bastion of Sovietophilia, officials worried about the raving British generals who could set back Anglo-Soviet relations by 100 years. Those officials were right to worry. If you start the clock in 1917, the centennial comes up next year, not exactly a date to celebrate.

Perhaps, the people in Moscow making Russian foreign policy should keep in mind the history of western-Soviet and western-Russian relations since 1917. With the partial exception of the Grand Alliance, this history is one of unrelenting western hostility toward Russia… before 1941 and after 1945. Let’s call it Acts 1 and 2 of the Cold War.
As I see it, the Grand Alliance that consisted of Britain, USA, and Soviet Union was solely an alliance of necessity that was held together only by their mutual interests to defeat Nazi Germany and its allies of Italy and Japan. This was in an era of a true multi-polar capitalist world in which a powerful Nazi Germany emerged due to the encouragement and support from capitalists of the other countries who saw Germany as a useful agent to destroy their non-capitalist nemesis, the Soviet Union. But when Germany threatened both the dominance of the British Empire and its ally USA, things dramatically changed.

It all began when capitalists all over Europe and the US reacted with indifference to Germany's unilateral abrogation of many of the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles, the treaty concluded after WWI to constrain German militarism. The fascist powers first demonstrated their usefulness with their crushing of the leftist Spanish Republic in 1938 while the US, Britain, and France maintained strict neutrality. Soon they stood passively by as Germany went on to take control of Austria, Czechoslovakia, and finally Poland. Because the latter country had a mutual defense treaty with Britain, the latter formally declared war on Germany. What ensued over the next nine months was widely referred to as "the phony war" because Britain and France did nothing militarily against Germany. But then Germany made the great mistake of attacking Belgian, Holland, France, and Britain which greatly upset Western capitalists and threatened the British Empire. 

The alliance began formally in January of 1942, but really didn't function seriously until after the winter of 1942-43 during which the Battle of Stalingrad saw the German armies decisively defeated by Russian forces. Only then did the US and Britain aid and collaborate with the Soviets, and opened a second front to defeat the Axis powers. Thus the alliance immediately fell apart after the conclusion of the war.

This vote was about far more than immigration

Click here to access article by Alastair Stephens from CounterFire (Britain).

I don't pretend to have firm opinions about European political affairs, but it seems to me that this writer untangled some of the confusion about the attitudes of Britishers regarding the Brexit issue. In a nutshell voters were motivated by mainly two concerns 1) class politics combined with opposition to the anti-democratic European Union versus 2) what is essentially identity politics in relationship to the hordes of migrants swarming all over Europe to escape the trauma of living in the war zone of Syria and Iraq. 

Essays which saw the winning vote motivated by #1 are the following:
And #2:

Hezbollah Wages an Existential Battle in Syria

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

Cartalucci explains why Hezbollah and other countries are so heavily invested with the fighting in Syria against the proxy terrorist armies funded by the US and its regional allies. 
Syria’s battle is Lebanon’s battle. It is also Iran’s battle, as well as Russia’s and even China’s. These nations do not support and defend the Syrian government out of an obligation to an ally alone. They do so with the realization of where the conflict will lead to later if not ended in Syria now.

This is precisely why Syria, Russia, Iran, and Lebanon – and to a lesser extent, China – cannot afford to abandon Syria. This is also why “assurances” from the US that if only “regime change” is accomplished in Syria, the conflict will end, cannot and should not be entertained.