If nearly 3,000 people can be murdered in a terrorist event and no one cares how it happened or who did it, then it does not matter who is president. Americans will not remain safe or free by pandering to superficial differences between oligarchs while ignoring real threats to freedom and social consciousness.On 9/17/2016 Ryan recanted his argument about Stein with an article entitled "Jill Stein Proved Me Wrong".
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 30, 2016
This journalist-author with extensive experience in war-torn areas reports on an astounding piece of news:
A petition urging the US government to recognise Black Lives Matter as a terrorist organisation has now gathered more than 100,000 signatures, it means that the White House will consider the request and formally respond to the demands made.His answer:
I’ve seen with my very own eyes the sheer bestiality of dictatorial regimes supported by overt and covert US funding – dictators who were massively involved in the systematic ending of innocent lives, for no better cause than their being in the wrong place at the right time – whilst racism within the US is steeped in much the same type of crimes against humanity; and therefore it is the Washington administration and the elite caste in control of the American alphabet agencies that ought to be considered for the latest bout of regime change that is currently sweeping the dawning decades of the twenty-first century; and it is these controllers and financiers that must be held to full account for their seemingly endless violence.
As a white skinned male I stand in full support of Black Lives Matter.
What I especially like about this interview with the people of Redneck Revolt is that they offer explanations as to why working people should not let themselves be divided racially/ethnically by the ruling capitalist class in the US. Divide and rule has always been a major strategy used to quell opposition to the rule and exploitation of ruling classes, and there is currently an obvious attempt to do just that here in the US. The interview also provides numerous examples of working class struggles throughout US history that have been expunged from the history books that most working class children are exposed to.
I have only one criticism of a view taken from one of the interviewees when he/she declared:
As Fascism is also inherently an anti-capitalist ideology, we have to understand that at this historical moment, when many are suffering under capitalism, and looking for better ways to live, that the working class, and particularly the white working class, is much more susceptible to reactionary and fascistic ideologies and influences.The premise that fascism is an anti-capitalist ideology is completely false. Granted fascist organizations will sometimes use fake anti-capitalist rhetoric to attract militants, but in their actions they always serve the powerful capitalist class. They as sociopaths are easily drawn to, and corrupted by, the ruling class because they are rewarded in a variety of ways by ruling class agents. Fascism must be understood as capitalist rule without all the niceties of civil rights and legal processes that adorn and serve to hide their rule. Thus fascism is capitalist rule without the soft leather gloves of some rather anemic civil liberities to reveal the hidden fists of authoritarian class rule. But it is still the same class rule.
The planet’s record-breaking temperatures every month of this year have taken scientists by surprise, according to a leading expert who said they had expected “nothing like” this level of global warming.I've seen several reports this morning regarding the surprise of scientists at the accelerated world temperatures. I'm not sure which scientists they are referring to (they seem to be mostly meteorologists), but I am not at all surprised because of the scientific reports I've read and posted during the past five years. I also remember that many of these scientists were smeared in mainstream media, their emails hacked with damning attacks on some of their casual remarks, many subject to job harassment and lawsuits, while others were bribed by major corporations to downplay the threat of global warming.
I remember particularly scientists predicting that there will be positive feedback loops that would accelerate global warming. Here I am referring to the melting of the tundra in northern regions which in turn would release huge amounts of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. I am also referring to the melting of the ice in the Arctic which in turn would reduce the reflection of the sun's rays that would increase global warming. So, I'm mystified by the reports I've read this morning.
Friday, July 29, 2016
The parade of useful idiots, the bankrupt liberal class that long ago sold its soul to corporate power, is now led by Sen. Bernie Sanders. His final capitulation, symbolized by his pathetic motion to suspend the roll call, giving Hillary Clinton the Democratic nomination by acclamation, is an abject betrayal of millions of his supporters and his call for a political revolution.It's debatable whether Bernie Sanders fits the definition of useful idiot as accurately defined by Wikipedia:
In political jargon, useful idiot is a term for people perceived as propagandists for a cause whose goals they are not fully aware of, and who are used cynically by the leaders of the cause.Although one can't get in Sanders' head to really find out, it is really quite unbelievable, given his long career in government, that he didn't know how the game is played in the selection of fake leaders--also known as the election process--to act out their roles in government. You either play up to the real power centers in the invisible government peopled by major bankers, stockholders, and corporate CEOs, or you forget about having a political career.
So I begin my commentary on this piece in a very skeptical mood. I've watched Chris Hedges too long to not be skeptical. He loves to sermonize. (He originally started training to become a preacher like his father.) He has enjoyed a high standard of living and arguably one might say that he has served as a "useful idiot" for the NY Times, the mouthpiece of the real but invisible government. I grew especially skeptical of his sincerity after he wrote the piece depicting anarchists battling police (the enforcers of the capitalist deep state) on the streets of Oakland as "The Cancer in Occupy [movement]". Apparently seeing people fighting back against what passes for law and order in the US was too much for Hedges' allegiance to the capitalist state. I came to think of him as a consummate poseur who liked to moralize, and got off on people seeing him as some kind of radical.
So along comes this post which could have been written by a genuine revolutionary. Taken at face value, it is a very eloquent call to action against the capitalist state. But then I notice that he read this essay at the "Socialist [sic] Convergence" gathering in Philadelphia to commiserate over Sanders' defection and to salvage some valuable scrap out of their political wreckage. This occasion presented a perfect audience for him to demonstrate his well-honed oratorical skills loaded with radical sounding themes and to lend credence that the movement to elect Bernie Sanders had something to do with the radical sounding term "socialism" which their movement has redefined--to the comfort of the invisible "deep state", into that of social democracy.
Like Sanders I can't get inside Hedges' head to determine definitively whether he is a fake or not. But I have my doubts. (I tend to agree with Joseph Kishore in his article from World Socialist Web Site.) When Hedges talks explicitly in favor of public ownership and control of the economy, I will then recognize him as a genuine revolutionary. You, as always and as an independent thinking human being, will have to decide for yourself.
Zeusse digs a lot of evidence from the report of "the Missing 28 Pages" and from other sources, but carefully limits his speculation about who was behind it--it was the Bush and Saudi families.
So, the long-bonded-together Bush and Saud families both had their own private – not merely their official and governmental – information sources about the impending attacks. Whereas the Sauds were masterminding and financing the operation (and so necessarily knew ahead-of-time the details of it), the US President (the American Bush) simply refused to be officially informed about any of its details until the attacks had already occurred and the CIA and FBI would then be assigned to do a report explaining why they had failed to prevent it from occurring (which actually wasn’t within their power to prevent); they were just Bush’s hirees, to take the fall for him after the attacks.The Saudis masterminded the operation? How does the evidence even suggest that? Then the above conclusion doesn't correspond well with an earlier statement that the operation was more inclusive:
My July 20th article reported US President George W Bush’s connection to these persons, and to the 9/11 attacks, and also US President Barack Obama’s covering up for his predecessor-in-office, and for the Saud family. Both of America’s political Parties are in on this, and are covering up about it; the operation is bipartisan.Such an analysis is so stupidly superficial that I can't help but think that Zuesse is consciously engaging in damage control for the deep state.
He offers as useful description of how capitalism has changed over time, its transition from a nationalist based phase with that of the rise of global capitalism. He sees basically four changes from previous versions which emphasizes the component of imperialism to reveal how this current form of imperialism differs from past versions.
As an almost after-thought he describes how the nature of the capitalist ruling class has changed from it base in nations to today's transnational nature. This, in my opinion, is what I regard as the most important qualitative change in capitalist rule which determines the very nature of imperialism. National boundaries to capitalists mean very little except to control the movement of workers. Otherwise they--most especially under the US-led Empire--see themselves as a transnational class with their own interests separate from workers' interests within various nations under their control. He accurately describes this phenomenon as follows:
Globalization of capitalism and (along with it) universalization of economic austerity, has led to an indisputable cross-border class alliance between global plutocracies. Representatives of transnational capital and their proxies in capitalist governments routinely meet to synchronize their cross-border business and financial policies—a major focus of which in recent years has been to implement global austerity measures and entrench neoliberal policies worldwide. These meetings include the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the World Bank and the IMF annual meetings, the Periodic G20 meetings, the Aspen Institutes Ideas Festival, The Bilderberg Group annual geopolitics forum, and the Herb Allen’s Sun Valley gathering of media moguls—to name only a handful of the many such international policy gatherings.But then I was very disappointed at his recommended remedy which was contained in only one paragraph, and which he thought sounded radical. There was no mention of the elimination of the very basis of capitalism--the private ownership of the economy which creates the class structure, all the class conflict, and all the imperialism. However, how could one expect anything different from a retired academic who has enjoyed a lucrative career in the heart of the capitalist Empire? This is what passes for dissent in the Empire along with Bernie Sanders' "revolution".
Today’s elites of global capitalism “are becoming a trans-global community of peers who have more in common with one another than with their countrymen back home,” writes Chrystia Freeland, Global Editor of Reuters, who travels with the elites to many parts of the world. “Whether they maintain primary residences in New York or Hong Kong, Moscow or Mumbai, today’s super-rich are increasingly a nation unto themselves,” she adds.
The author entertains us with an amusing interpretation of how the Russian word makes the American ruling class directorate crazy.
The corrosive psychological effect of “nyet” on the American hegemonic psyche cannot be underestimated. If you are supposed to think and act like a hegemon, but only the thinking part still works, then the result is cognitive dissonance. If your job is to bully nations around, and the nations can no longer be bullied, then your job becomes a joke, and you turn into a mental patient. The resulting madness has recently produced quite an interesting symptom.... The truth is, they are sick, deranged non-diplomatic warmongers. Such is the power of this one simple Russian word that they have quite literally lost their minds.
Thursday, July 28, 2016
I perused two articles this morning that pushed my emotional buttons because they were written by highly educated people that reflects much of what passes as advanced intellectual thinking about two primary problems tormenting most of mankind today--1) wars, acts of violence, terrorism, etc and 2) the relatively imminent prospect of catastrophic climate destabilization (often benignly labeled as "climate change"). Related to number one was an article entitled "The Psychology of Ideology and Religion" by Robert J. Burrowes, and number two was illustrated by "The Guaranteed Ending?" by Guy McPherson.
What I will attempt to do this morning in the time remaining is to argue that both articles are illustrative of the incredible power that capitalist ideologues have. I don't have the time to speculate very much on how they exercise this power, but will concentrate on the fact that they are able to influence the minds of highly educated people so that their views are diverted away from any criticism of the capitalist system and by extension from any class-structured social system.
In the first article Burrowes essentially argues that adults are responsible for instilling fear in children that not only produces violence-prone behaviors when they reach adulthood, but also prevents them from developing any kind of critical judgement about their beliefs. Children are seen as innocent victims of adult behavior. Thus adults are evil-doers! That's it!
In the second article McPherson provides a concise summary of his concern about catastrophic climate destabilization. I don't dispute the facts supporting his concern that climate destabilization is going to result in the extinction of humans--indeed, I agree. What I see as a major flaw in his argument is that he attributes the cause of the profligate use of fossil fuels and other environmental disasters to industrial civilization or simply civilization. The core meaning of the word civilization is human knowledge about the world in which we live. McPherson argues that if we had not entered the civilization phase of our existence, we humans would be just fine. If we had remained stupid and only able to survive tenuously in rather primitive circumstances, we would be alright today.
Both of these highly educated people abort any reasonable effort to go beyond these rather superficial analyses to find real causes of the problems they are addressing. Both argue what looks like a more sophisticated version of the biblical "original sin", specifically the sin of disobedience by learning from the tree of knowledge.
Anthropological knowledge has revealed that although the difficulties seem to have paralleled the rise of civilizations, they more specifically had to do with the rise of class-based societies in which a ruling (or more powerful) class of people appropriated disproportionately more of the wealth of societies. Such classes originally were created through violence of the stronger over the weaker, but soon ideologies (including religions) rationalized and justified such class structured societies so that people soon passively accepted social injustice and inequality. This caused problems expressed in article number one. The second problems that McPherson addressed came later with the rise of industrialism in the class structured (capitalist) societies with the discoveries in technology related to cheap and abundant fossil fuels.
What I object to with both positions argued by these two highly educated people is their reluctance to go beyond what is essentially a position taken several thousand years ago--the concept of original sin--even though they dress up their arguments with more sophisticated terminology. I do not think this is an indication of a deficiency of intellect, but the influence of capitalist ideology which discourages in a variety of ways any examination of their system or of any class-based system.
Knowledge seeking is a primary characteristic of human nature. Ruling classes want to have a monopoly of knowledge to preserve their power, therefore they want the classes of people they dominate to remain in ignorance. It is imperative that we of the subjugated classes should use the knowledge humans have gained over the last 2500 years or more to properly diagnose the major problems of violence and catastrophic climate destabilization that we see today. Such knowledge points directly at class-structured societies.
Thus a solution according to our human natures lies in overthrowing our ruling classes and creating societies that insure equality. Yes, catastrophic climate destabilization will likely happen anyway along with the extinction of humans, but I and most others as politically aware human beings, with a human sense of justice, with a human sense of fairness, insist on pursuing this course anyway to the last gasp of our existence.
We love to talk of terror – but after the Munich shooting, this hypocritical catch-all term has finally caught us out
It all comes down to the same thing in the end. If Muslims attack us, they are terrorists. If non-Muslims attack us, they are shooters. If Muslims attack other Muslims, they are attackers.This outstanding, long-time journalist correctly identifies inconsistencies with Western reporting of violent incidents, but he never speculates as to why different groups of people receive different coverage from Western media. It seems obvious to me.
There is a political agenda, likely inspired by Zionists in the US-led Empire, to separate Muslims from the rest of humanity as evil-doers, or targets of hate and fear in order to divert attention away from the real evil-doers who are promoting endless wars and exploitation on behalf of financial and corporate based ruling classes aligned with the Empire.
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Video: Hillary Clinton, A Threat to All Humanity. World War III is “On the Table”. Her Candidacy Must be Opposed
There is nothing like sensational headlines to grab people's attention, and many left writers are doing just that with Hillary Clinton's official candidacy for president by the Democratic Party.
I have argued for years that we in the USA (and most of the US-led Empire) are governed by an invisible government also referred to as a deep state, shadow government, and often more vaguely as "the powers that be". It appears that I and other deep state theorists have not had the slightest influence on many left political analysts whose articles are frequently posted on alternative websites. Still, I am in good company with people like Peter Dale Scott, Tony Cartalucci, Carroll Quigley, Stephen Gowans, and others.
I would like to put this to the test of future events, but that will not prove anything because the present government led by Obama is already on a very aggressive foreign policy course that has a high probability of ending in a nuclear conflagration. Therefore nothing is going to change under the presidency of Hillary Clinton. How can anyone dispute the premise of my argument and still argue that Hillary will be even more dangerous! The directorate of the ruling capitalist class have been grooming her for a long time to become president. She will represent them in this grand facade naive people call "democracy" very much like Obama has done. You won't be able to tell the difference. Thus, I recommend that you ignore this video and many articles like it.
This review of left movements and governments in South America is long overdue, and Sankey makes a very good effort to meet this need in this analytical report. We should have many more to fully understand the deficiencies of these movements/governments and to determine what strategies revolutionaries must pursue in the future.
The weakness of this analysis as I see it is that Sankey too often obliquely and abstractly alludes to what I think is the core problem with these pink governments: attempting to promote radical change within nations whose economies are overwhelmingly dominated by owners (capitalists) and these owners have strong ties with multi-national corporations and agents of the US-led Empire. I don't have a definitively practical remedy for this defect, but it is a problem that needs to be widely discussed among revolutionaries and left activists.
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
In this review of a new book entitled The Great Class War 1914-1918, you can ignore Petersen's gratuitous moralism about "great" as used as an adjective in reference to wars. Instead focus on the author's use of the word "great", connoting "major" as applied to class war. As such the book appears to offer an alternative and accurate way to view the history of this war as a class war instead of obscuring this reality by presenting it as various nations gloriously clashing for dominance that one gets in conventional histories. The book appears to offer an antidote to the usual brainwashing we experience while treading through capitalist ideological muck of conventional ideological institutions, especially education.
Pauwels presents the assassination of archduke Franz Ferdinand as a pretext for war. However, the war was launched by elitists1 who feared the hoi polloi eating into profits by forming unions and demanding higher wages, and demanding greater democracy. There was also competition among nation states to grab colonies and gain economic advantage. The elitists believed that a war would crush revolutionary zeal, aspirations for democracy, and replace socialism with nationalism.
Wow. Bayer, BASF and Syngenta are suing the European Commission to overturn a ban on the pesticides that are killing millions of bees around the world.
A huge public push won this landmark ban -- and we can't sit back and let Big Pesticide overturn it while the bees vanish.
Last summer, 37 million bees were discovered dead on a single Canadian farm. And unless we act now, the bees will keep dying. We have to show Bayer and Co. now that we won't tolerate them putting their profits ahead of our planet's health.
Oliver Stone thinks this near failure was due to self-censorship by major film studios. It only takes a few adverse consequences to infect many people and agencies with the mechanism of self-censorship. Obviously with Edward Snowden considered as an official enemy of the US state, any film that portrayed him in a positive light would be considered not in the national interest (read this as ruling capitalist class interest). This makes me wonder how many films are not made or not distributed because of self-censorship.
The film is scheduled to be released on September 16th.
I wonder how many people are going to be fooled by the rebranding of the terrorist organization Jabhat Al Nusra to Jabhat Fateh Al Sham. This apparent ruse has resulted in a US agreement with Russia to ...
...share intelligence to coordinate air strikes against the Syrian Al Qaeda branch “Jabhat Al Nusra” and prohibit the Russian and Syrian air powers from attacking the so-called “moderate rebels.”The answer seems obvious to me: the vast majority of Americans who unwittingly assume that corporate TV broadcasts news instead of propaganda to engineer their consent for Empire policies and actions.
Monday, July 25, 2016
Cartalucci attempts once again to get us to see another subject through his clear lens rather than through the distorted lens of capitalist ruling class media. This time he focuses his lens on a prominent subject increasingly in the news--terrorism. However as long as so many of us are locked into corporate media, I think that his efforts will be for nought. Let us pray that this isn't so.
In this article he addresses the publication of the previously censored 28 pages of the official government's 9/11 Commission report. It appears that our masters did this in spite of vigorous Saudi opposition as a way to deal with the many years of pressure from 9/11 activist organizations to reveal them.
The Western media has attempted to downplay the impact of the document's release, claiming that subsequent investigations found the "many" of the allegations in the document "without basis" - even as the US and Saudi Arabia today openly arm and fund terrorists in Syria.
Many mistakenly believe on one hand terrorism is simply an inevitable clash of civilizations between "Islam" and the West, while others maintain it is the predictable backlash to flawed or unjust Western foreign policy.
In reality, it is neither.
I'm not sure exactly when this began, but I've been noticing the steady rise of propaganda style reports or the management of news coverage in mainstream media for quite some time, but it seems to have accelerated since 9/11. Back in the 1970s reports (see this, this, and this for starters) kept surfacing about the insidious use of media by the CIA from government investigations and from renegade journalists. From all appearances the problem seemed to have diminished, but what I really think happened was that our deep state (one analyst reveals a lot about the "Deep State" in spite of being motivated by damage control) of which the CIA forms a crucial part burrowed even deeper so that corporate media today functions as an arm of the deep state.
For quite some time the deep state has been grooming Hillary Clinton to become president to take advantage of the identity political orientation of Americans which they have cultivated over many years to discourage any class-based orientation (see my 2013 commentary here). Thus during this election season their media went to work to insure that outcome. This article cites the most recent evidence of this phenomenon.
The pattern is unmistakable in both the UK and US – and I apologise for sounding like a stuck record. Liberal mainstream media prove over and over again their aversion to telling us the news straight. They conspire – I can think of no fairer word – with the political elites in Washington and London to spin and subvert stories damaging to their mutual interests, even when the facts are driving real events in an entirely different direction.
A perfect illustration is the story of the Democratic party’s leaked emails....
Zionism’s range of influence is shrinking. One can see this progression worldwide. At a popular level the Israelis have lost control of the historical storyline of Israel-Palestine. They may teach their own citizens their version of the story, the one wherein the Jews have a divine and/or historical right to all of Palestine’s territory. But beyond their fellow Zionists and the loony Christian Right, no one else believes this story. Significantly, an increasing number of Jews no longer accept it either.
None of this means that the Zionists are not still influential. Yet their influence no longer has a broad popular base. It is now largely restricted to Western government circles.
With all the terrorist incidents and other indications of social conflict happening, you may not have paid attention to what is happening across our border with Mexico. Campbell attempts to summarize what has been happening.
With the ongoing teachers’ strike that has morphed into a widespread rebellion, primarily in Oaxaca and Chiapas, we haven’t put together a more general roundup of resistance and repression in Mexico in some time. While that struggle is very much alive and well, the intensity with which it is unfolding has diminished some. This column will first take a look at the past three weeks of that conflict (if you need to get up to speed, check out this piece) and then cover some of the other recent events around the country.
Sunday, July 24, 2016
In selecting Kaine, Clinton is making clear that she plans on running a right-wing, pro-war campaign targeted at winning over the military and sections of the Republican Party dissatisfied with Trump, and particularly with the Republican candidate’s attitude toward Russia. Clinton also wanted to repudiate any association with the issues of social inequality that motivated the widespread support for her main rival in the primaries, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
Kaine is among the most hawkish figures among Senate Democrats.
Current temperatures in large parts of the Midwest have been rising steadily for more than 100 years, with accelerated warming in the past few decades. According to the 2014 National Climate Assessment, the average temperature in the region increased by more than 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit between 1900 and 2010. Between 1950 and 2010, the rate of increase doubled, and since 1980, the pace of warming is three times faster than between 1900 and 2010.