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, September 17, 2016
Yes, this rather lengthy article does cover all the topics in the title. It starts off with the rapid decline of the apes and other species, but expands to cover capitalism's insatiable need for growth and how the capitalist ruling classes fool themselves and us with their "green" policies and promises.
Although the title of the article is quite speculative about future relations between Turkey and Russia, Engdahl offers substantial evidence to remind us that pipelines form a major part of the geopolitical strategy that shapes US ruling class policies of dominance in the energy-rich region, and therefore the world.
Norfield, who has a PhD in Economics, has written this article for those who have a little more advanced understanding of economic issues such as how bank create money out of nothing through loans (and charge interest on it) and some familiarity with financial derivatives. It is directed at reformers of the capitalist system who argue that finance, more specifically, banking institutions are the problem, and thus nationalizing the banks is the solution. We as developing revolutionaries must gain an understanding of how capitalism functions if we are not to be diverted down paths which merely lead to reforms of the exploitative and chaotic system.
The financial system accentuates all the absurdities of capitalism, but it does this in a way that can make finance appear to be separate from the capitalist economy, rather than an inevitable outgrowth from it. Almost every observer of capitalism makes a distinction between the ‘real’ and the ‘financial’ economy. Even those who would claim to be anti-capitalist often advocate policies to save the capitalist economy from the vagaries of disruptive financial markets.
A division between a ‘real’ and a ‘financial’ economy can seem to make sense, especially given the extravagant rewards of financiers who seem to perform no function other than to boost their own incomes and wealth. A closer look at how the capitalist economy works, though, throws a very different light on what is happening. We need to recognise that the global economy is dominated by a small number of countries and their corporations – and that the financial system is a means by which they maintain their privileged status in the world.
Friday, September 16, 2016
It’s not that global warming is like a world war. It is a world war. Its first victims, ironically, are those who have done the least to cause the crisis. But it’s a world war aimed at us all. And if we lose, we will be as decimated and helpless as the losers in every conflict--except that this time, there will be no winners, and no end to the planetwide occupation that follows.Yes, indeed, a plan of this scale is required, but I can't believe how naive McKibben, Richard Heinberg, and their associates are about the prospects that a ruling class of people who are completely addicted to power, which is derived from an economic system that requires growth, would ever adopt such plans! The fact that the Democratic Party inserted such a program in their party platform is absolutely irrelevant! That event was "political public relations 101". Only childish people believe such claptrap!
The question is not, are we in a world war? The question is, will we fight back? And if we do, can we actually defeat an enemy as powerful and inexorable as the laws of physics?
In July, the Democratic Party issued a platform that called for a World War II–type national mobilization to save civilization from the “catastrophic consequences” of a “global climate emergency.” In fact, Hillary Clinton’s negotiators agreed to plans for an urgent summit “in the first hundred days of the next administration” where the president will convene “the world’s best engineers, climate scientists, policy experts, activists, and indigenous communities to chart a course to solve the climate crisis.”Only ending the rule of capitalists can possibly save us. Only then can such plans be implemented.
This report provides another illustration of how capitalists put their stamp of influence on every institution of society to serve their interests of profit and power. In this example we see how the sugar industry during the last 50 years has deflected health concerns from sugar onto fat by funding and corrupting scientific research. (Frequently corporations do this by putting their representatives on the boards of government regulatory agencies, but that is not mentioned in the report.)
Think about this. Science, developed by humans in the Age of Enlightenment as a method of discovering truth about the world we live in, has brought many wondrous gifts to humans. However under the rule of capitalists science was soon twisted to bring environmental degradation, wars, social injustice, and assaults even on the food we eat and our health.
Thursday, September 15, 2016
The author once again does a survey of humans' destruction of their habitat (and many other species) and reports on a variety of evidence that contradicts the easy assurances we receive from international government authorities such as the 2015 Paris agreement which made a number of promises to do better in the future.
I think an honest interpretation of this survey shows that we are well on the road to our extinction. Jamail is much more restrained by writing:
Given that humans continue to inject over 30 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere annually, and the fact that what is already there has us locked into (conservatively) another 1.5-3C of warming in the coming decades, the new climate reality is upon us.So it's just another climate reality?
In fact, restraint seems to be the style of nearly all reports of climate destabilization which is usually referred to merely as "climate change". The term "Anthropogenic climate disruption" (ACD) only suggests a disruption from what is the usual. Jamail, like many others, ascribes ACD as "due to the intensely rapid industrialization" which hides the agents behind this event--the rise of the ruling capitalist classes and those countries like China who use capitalist engines for economic development.
Then there is this statement which hides the eventual extinction of humans:
"We need to phase out CO2 emissions and we need to change our pattern of using fossil fuels if we want to save the Earth," John Vos, a member of the Dutch Labour Party, told the Yale Climate Connection.Of course, there is absolutely no doubt that the Earth will survive--it's only humans and many other species that face annihilation. It seems to me that such restraint is another more polite form of denial.
Not to worry--we can travel to other planets when we are finished destroying our habitat on Earth. ;-) That is why there is so much current excitement about space exploration (see this and this).
Read this to find out how Jonas carefully constructs an argument to reach this final question:
The question for any thinking person, therefore, is simple: at this point either capitalism goes, or we are finished.
The deal marks a trend towards consolidation in the industry with Dow and DuPont having agreed to merge and Swiss seed/pesticide giant Syngenta merging with ChemChina, a Chinese government concern.
The mergers would mean that three companies would dominate the commercial agricultural seeds and chemicals sector, down from six - Syngenta, Bayer, BASF, Dow, Monsanto and DuPont. Prior to the mergers, these six firms controlled 60 per cent of commercial seed and more than 75 per cent of agrochemical markets.
Brazil's coup govt has announced a huge privatization agenda with plans to auction off 32 major infrastructure projects.
Inside the stormy revelations concerning the coup against Brazil's suspended president Dilma Rousseff, the neoliberal "Taliban" rush to complete their mission, abolishing any pretexts.
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Scott draws from a number of solid sources to unravel at least some of the mysterious and mostly secret events that led up to, occurred during, and happened after, 9/11 in relation to the Continuity of Government of which Cheney took command.
I hope in this paper to show that Dick Cheney responded to 9/11 by using devious
means to install a small cabal of lawyers –most notoriously John Yoo –who
proceeded conspiratorially in the next weeks to exclude their superiors, while
secretly authorizing measures ranging from warrantless surveillance and detention
Some of these were measures which Cheney and Rumsfeld had previously been preparing for almost two decades, as central figures in the secret agency planning for so-called Continuity of Government (COG). ....
As a consequence, since 9/11 we have seen warrantless surveillance, suspension of habeas corpus, and the militarization of homeland security, on an unprecedented scale that is not just illegal but an erasure of rights specified in the U.S. constitution.
Furthermore, the secrecy and speed of the manner in which our rights were drastically subverted is itself an affront to the ideals of America as an open society: one in which major changes to our political fabric are only made through authorized channels, and after debate.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
I think there is considerable food for thought in this article and that is why I'm giving labeling it as a "best post". Furthermore I think that Crooke is correct in seeing in the recent G20 meeting some very important implications for the future--changes to the world order.
...China is aligning the G20 against the American claimed prerogative to set the rules of trade (through the TIPP and the TPP), and the ‘rules’ of the financial ‘system’. It seems that the G20 went along with both these Chinese proposals — western ‘leadership’ was an eroded asset at this G20. President Xi therefore, has presented himself as a global leader who intends to take a lead, at least in economic matters, and not simply defer to the ‘indispensable nation’ to hold the floor to itself.For me, this article raises a primary issue about the emphasis on growth by China and Russia, and a secondary issue of gold backing for the Russian ruble because of gold mining's polluting effects on the environment. Regarding the first issue, I don't think that there is any other sound choice for them (and for the rest of the developing world) unless they are willing to submit to US Empire's rule. As long as we have ruling classes bullying other countries into submission, there can never be policies of restrained sustainable growth and degrowth.
Obviously economic growth aggravates the risk of further damage to the biosphere and causes climate destabilization. The rational course of action for humans would be policies of degrowth for all developed countries coinciding with environmentally sustainable growth for the rest of the world. But capitalist ruling classes are not rational--they are narcissistic, self-serving, and compulsively addicted to wealth and power. So, rational choices for human survival cannot be realized...that is, until we smash capitalist ruling classes and finally end all class rule.
9/11 is a blank check for the sociopaths to further the technocratic control grid and to wage war in whichever square of the chessboard they place their terrorist boogeymen. And there is only one way to cancel that check: 9/11 truth.
Yes, you know that 9/11 was not the work of 19 men with box cutters. But your friends and coworkers don’t. And maybe you can’t paint the picture for them yourself. But there are plenty of ways to help explain it to people.
Most people have erected a mental barrier to 9/11 truth. Here’s a sledgehammer with which to smash that barrier:
In Mali on Feb. 27, 2015, the organization Nyeleni (global congress for food sovereignty) produced The Declaration of the International Forum for Agroecology. It advocated a model of food production radically opposed to the current corporate-controlled system. Delegates pledged that they would work to:
"... build our own local food systems that create new rural-urban links, based on truly agroecological food production... We cannot allow agroecology to be a tool of the industrial food production model: we see it as the essential alternative to that model... We need to put the control of seeds, biodiversity, land and territories, waters, knowledge, culture and the commons in the hands of the peoples who feed the world."
Once again, without fail, as the Syrian army makes advances in fighting al-Qaeda in Syria — aka Jabhat al-Nusra — and the child-beheading ‘moderate’ terrorists of Nour al-din al-Zenki in districts of eastern and southern Aleppo, simultaneously a new bout of the same old tired and repeatedly disproved accusations of chemical weapons attacks by the Syrian Army is making the rounds.
Apple practice is the gold standard of multinational super-exploitation that modern neoliberal corporations aspire to. How Apple functions is closely mirrored by the practice s of transnational corporations like Google, McDonalds, Amazon, Starbucks, Fiat Chrysler and many others.
The article suggests the real answer to the question posed by the headline: it depends on who is defining a "hate group", but it's ruling class authorities who define peaceful protest groups as "hate groups" in order to discredit the latter and to defend their war crimes.
Based on the history of COINTELPRO activities, I think it is reasonable to suspect that one of the ruling class's secret agencies did call in a threat to the sheriff's office and identified him/herself as a member of the protest group.
The actions of the Juneau County Sheriff’s Department show a disturbing pattern that is reminiscent of the chilling effects of McCarthyism in the 1950s and the COINTELPRO activities of the FBI in the 1960s.
Monday, September 12, 2016
Ruccio comments on a recent article published in a research journal of the International Monetary Fund, and reaches this conclusion:
The assumption about the unequal distribution of capital income is, in fact, the appropriate one for the existing set of economic institutions. As the authors understand, the only way to change their dystopian prognosis is to fundamentally change the distribution of capital income.
And, if we’re going to be honest, the only way to do that is to eliminate the private ownership of the robots and the rest of capital.
Roberts, as most readers of this blog know, was a member of the Reagan administration in the Treasury Department. People don't get appointed to this government agency unless they are highly trusted and loyal to the ruling capitalist class. It would be interesting to know how and why Roberts became such a critic of government policies and media coverage. His transformation seems to have corresponded with the 9/11 event and all the other subsequent false-flag events. Also, I suspect that he didn't fit well with the increasing influence of neoconservatives that have infiltrated the government since he held office in the Treasury in the 1980s.
The major difference between then and now is the major influence of Zionist-oriented actors in the government and the increased activities of unaccountable secret agencies such as the CIA, NSA, etc. The same goes for media: before it was controlled by the wealthy, and now the main difference is that it wasn't nearly as concentrated in a few hands as it is now.
It's obvious that Roberts is no leftist critic. He believes that "democracy" formerly existed in the US (apparently when he was in office), and since has been radically diminished by corrupt or evil actors in collusion with media "presstitutes". Of course, he is referring to bourgeois democracy or the capitalist version of democracy. The reality is that the US, since its founding, has always been ruled by capitalists and not the people . If Roberts had read Upton Sinclair's book "The Brass Check", which Sinclair was forced to self-publish in 1919, he would know that at least by then the US was firmly controlled by Wall Street. Here are two paragraphs from the book:
In any case, he does provide valuable information about government crimes with the collusion of major media which he, no doubt, gathers from his wide connections among ruling class figures.This power of concentrated wealth which rules America is known by many names. It is "Wall Street," it is "Big Business," it is "the Trusts." It is the "System" of Lincoln Steffens, the "Invisible Government" of Woodrow Wilson, the "Empire of Business" of Andrew Carnegie, the "Plutocracy" of the populists. It has been made the theme of so much stump-oratory that in cultured circles it is considered good form to speak of it in quotation marks, with a playful and skeptical implication ; but the simple fact is that this power has controlled American public life since the civil war, and is greater at this hour than ever before in our history. The one difference between the Empire of Business and the Empire of Louis [of France] is that the former exists side by side with a political democracy. To keep this political democracy subser- vient to its ends, the industrial autocracy maintains and sub- sidizes two rival political machines, and every now and then stages an elaborate sham-battle, contributing millions of dollars to the campaign funds of both sides, burning thousands of tons of red fire, pouring out millions of reams of paper propaganda and billions of words of speeches. The people take interest in this sham-battle — but all sensible men understand that which- ever way the contest is decided, business will continue to be business, and money will continue to talk.
In this article he argues that Americans are now in the majority who do not believe the fairy tales in connection with the John Kennedy assassination and 9/11. But when one examines the poll reports, on which he bases his argument, in more detail, one finds that the people polled answered questions which indicated only partial disbelief with official stories. The pollsters never went so far to ask them about their belief that government agencies conspired to bring about these events.
What I found to be even more interesting was the information that he provides about the recent terrorist incidents in Europe--they appear to be false-flag terror events with government coverup attempts.
Snowden is the most entertaining, informing, and important film you are likely to see this year.You might also be interested in this article that I posted in July entitled "Why Oliver Stone’s new Snowden film almost never made it to theatres".
It’s the true story of an awakening. It traces the path of Edward Snowden’s career in the U.S. military, the CIA, the NSA, and at various contractors thereof. It also traces the path of Edward Snowden’s agonizingly slow awakening to the possibility that the U.S. government might sometimes be wrong, corrupt, or criminal. And of course the film takes us through Snowden’s courageous and principled act of whistleblowing.
We see in the film countless colleagues of Snowden’s who knew much of what he knew and did not blow the whistle.
See also RT's interview with Snowden about the film.
Sunday, September 11, 2016
McKee tells about an additional piece of information that William Pepper dug up from eye witnesses regarding the final death of King at the Memphis hospital. McKee uses this as a platform to review much of the highlights of Pepper's work to uncover the truth about the assassination of Martin Luther King on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee.
Pepper, it should be known, was the lawyer that formally prosecuted Lloyd Jowers as a participant in the murder of King in a civil suit formally known as a "wrongful death action" against Jowers by the King family. But more importantly, Pepper in the trial was able to build a case that Jowers was not only a participant, but the FBI and other government agencies were involved in the murder. This was the only trial where citizens reviewed evidence of government involvement in the major assassinations (King, the Kennedys, and Malcolm X) and found the government guilty, not directly, but in the course of the trial against Jowers it was revealed that the FBI was very much involved with Jowers and others connected with the assassination.
The following statement made by Pepper to McKee about why he is able to write so freely about the evidence implicating government agencies in King's death is particularly illuminating.
He [Pepper] says he suspects that those orchestrating the cover-up, which continues to this day, are no longer concerned with what he writes about the subject.I believe his explanation about his freedom to write without consequences also supports my theory of a human flaw (fatal?) in the form of gullibility as expressed in my commentary following one of yesterday's posts. It also illustrates how the ruling class's "authoritative" sources were able to brainwash most people regarding Kings assassination. The directorate of the capitalist deep state have, once again, manufactured their own version of what happened, their major media made sure everyone got this version, and people were so psychologically threatened by the prospect of government involvement in major deceptions that they chose, and still choose, to believe the official tales. They have been conditioned to dismiss challenging articles on the internet pejoratively as "conspiracy theories" and refuse to read books that dispute these major themes.
“I’m really basically harmless, I think, to the power structure,” Pepper said in an interview.
“I don’t think I threaten them, really. The control of the media is so consolidated now they can keep someone like me under wraps, under cover, forever. This book will probably never be reviewed seriously by mainstream, the story will not be aired in mainstream – they control the media. It was bad in the ’60s but nowhere near as bad as now.”
Regarding the latter, I am reproducing my personal experience from a post in 2013 in connection with the purchase of one of Pepper's excellent books from a used book dealer.
...a recent experience I had in the course of purchasing a used book online. The book, published in 2003, is An Act of State by attorney William Pepper. I was greatly impressed by the book which reported on the events of a civil trial: a wrongful death action brought by the King family against one of the participants of the assassination of Martin Luther King--Lloyd Jowers. ....
When I received the book I noticed it was [originally] from an Indiana public library. I wrote to the head librarian inquiring as to why they sold such a book. She replied via email that not a single person had ever checked out the book in the six years it was in their stacks! Nobody in their community wanted to know the truth!
Once the coffers of vulnerable nations are ransacked by American wars of aggression, it is the media that sweeps the crimes of state beneath a carpet of piety. The truth may come out in due time, although it is always ex post facto. Thanks to the the coordination between the corporate sector, the state, and the media, the American doctrinal system is largely a self-contained narrative. It comes complete with a smooth internal logic. Corporations set priorities, the state produces a storyline that rationalizes the pursuit of those priorities, and the media distributes and reifies the storyline until it is gospel. This is no surprise, since the corporations own the politicians and the presses.I agree with all observations the author makes about the official tales regarding Syria; but, once again, I see a writer ascribing agency to a president (Hillary) when they function only as puppets of a deep state. It seems that even the possibility of a deep state functioning behind the scenes of the official government is too much of a threatening deception for critical people like Hirthler to accept--or even to consider.