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 LappĂ©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Fidel Castro: Historic Leader of the Cuban Revolution Dies

Click here to access article from The Dawn News. (Edited for clarity on 11/29/2016)
Cuban Revolution leader Fidel Castro died on Friday night at the age of 90. The unfortunate news was announced by President Raul Castro, via a special broadcast on the national television. The head of state informed that the body of the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution will be cremated, following his will.
Because all lives only occupy a micro-instant on the scale of geologic time, I often think that we shouldn't be too despondent over the loss of individual lives, even the end of our own lives when we approach reach the end. However there are some lives whose outstanding achievements are remarkable. I think that the loss of Fidel Castro's life should not be mourned, but celebrated as a very successful revolutionary who, following the Cuban Revolution in early 1959, created a society in which all people could enjoy the benefits of health care, education, housing, and productive work--instead of a wealthy few who served North American corporations. Unlike most revolutionaries who irritated the US ruling capitalist class (and others like the Kennedy brothers and Martin Luther King), he defied all odds by living more than 90 years. His dedication to revolutionary struggle against the predations of capitalism should be an inspirational model for all of us to follow.

I remember well those days when I was enrolled in political sociology courses at a university. I witnessed first hand the virulent criticisms of Oregon's Sen. Morse and others as Castro and the new Cuban government threw out the mafia owned casinos and whore houses, nationalized lands owned by North Americans and gave them to the peasants, nationalized the phone company which was owned by US capitalists, and executed many of dictator Batista's government supporters who enjoyed friendly relations with the US. Of course, the criticisms were mostly focused on the executions, but the real source of their anger were his decisions to take over some of the property owned by US capitalists and mafia bosses. 

This resulted in a tit-for-tat round of conflicts that resulted in the Cuban government nationalizing all important industries owned by North American capitalists and turning to the Soviet Union for help to ward off the ongoing threats from the US monster. A serious threat soon appeared in the April 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion by an army organized and funded by the CIA. This event was followed in the Fall of 1962 with the Cuban Missile Crisis with the Soviet Union when the world narrowly escaped a nuclear war. And hundreds of attempts to assassinate Castro were made both directly by the CIA and contracted out to organized crime then ensured.

I can recommend two other posts that address the significance of Castro's life:

Washington Post Promotes Shadowy Website That Accuses 200 Publications of Being Russian Propaganda Plants

Click here to access article by Max Blumenthal from AlterNet.

The fact that major Empire media corporations are running such articles is worrying. Is the "fake news" issue and this promotion of a website that smears websites most of which take issue with Empire policies and activities another indication of a rightward turn in ruling class governance? Instead of offering the "carrot" of administrations like "hopey-changey" Obama's, are we now seeing a trend that our masters are preparing for us under a "stick" administration of Donald Trump? Are we going to see an increasingly threatened Empire establishment turning to overt fascist style methods to deal with dissent among their subjects? Stay tuned, or better yet, stay informed by following authentic media, and active in defense of the people. 

Already it appears that this campaign is having an effect by outing paid agents for Putin in this satirical piece by Chris Floyd entitled "Smear-Mongering: a Mea Culpa for the Age of McCarthyism 2.0".

AI & Biotech: Striking a Technological Balance of Power

Click here to access article by Tony Cartalucci from LocalOrg
Artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and other forms of emerging technology must be viewed by each nation, state, community, and individual not as a mere novelty or potential industry, but also as a potential means to grant those who develop and monopolize it economic, political, and even military superiority history has taught us they most certainly will abuse. 
However, I believe what we need most is the development not of newer technologies that can be used for good or evil, but the creation of radical grassroots social systems to replace a class system based on the ownership of property that is tearing humanity apart with never-ending wars, widespread poverty, and environmental devastation. Until then we, as humans, are only gambling with our ultimate fate, and the best we can hope for is a lengthy "stay of execution" of our extinction.

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Dangerous Deception Called The Trump Presidency

Click here to access article by  F. William Engdahl from New Eastern Outlook.

Engdahl, like many other political observers, offers his opinions about the significance of the election of Donald Trump to be puppet-in-chief for the US Empire. However based on my many years of following his articles, I take his assessment much more seriously than others.
I state clearly my conviction, and please recall this as Trump Presidency policies unfold after January 20, 2017 to see if I am correct or not: Donald Trump was put into office to prepare America for war, a war the banks of Wall Street and the US military industrial complex are not presently in a position economically or industrially or otherwise, geopolitically, to win. His job will be to reposition the United States for them to reverse the trend to disintegration of American global hegemony, to, as the Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz Project for the New American Century put it in their September, 2000 report, “rebuild America’s defenses.”

To do that preparation, a deception strategy that will fatally weaken the developing deep bonds between Russia and China will be priority.

CIA’s Brainwashing Mayhem is in the Full Swing in the EU

Click here to access article by Grete Mautner from New Eastern Outlook.
It must be clearly understood that a web of deception is always being created by the CIA in those regions and in those periods when specific Washington’s actions may become the cause of serious criticism and may lead to the manifestation of one’s independence from the United States. For this purpose, the White House annually allocates billions of dollars to the National Endowment for Democracy, USAID, the CIA and countless NGOs to spread disinformation. However, such steps are not causing alarm among European politicians, that are subjecting their people to vassal dependency on Washington and its position.
Mautner doesn't really offer any evidence that the CIA is active in the new campaign of anti-Russian propaganda in Europe, but the author reminds us of the CIA's similar disinformation campaign in the 1950s called Operation Mockingbird. And Mautner does tie this current campaign to a major US ruling class "think" tank article written for The Henry Jackson Society just prior to when the current campaign was launched in Europe. Once again we see that the origins of major policies lie in US secret capitalist ruling class organizations.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Who’s the Biggest Peddler of Fake News?

Click here to access article from Washington's Blog
There certainly is a lot of fake news.  And some of it is by anti-establishment types trying to discredit American institutions with false reports.

But – as we document below – the government and mainstream media are by far the biggest purveyors of fake news.

Major Media Crash: They Need a Scapegoat

Click here to access article by Jon Rappoport from Activist Post

I wasn't aware why this "fake news" issue suddenly started appearing in mainstream media (probably because I don't follow corporate media very much), but this assertion as expressed in the headline does make sense because of its timing right after the election. However, I wish that Rappoport would have provided a link to an illustration that attempted to explain or excuse how corporate media got the presidential election outcome so wrong.

I differ with some of Rappoport's assertions such as the internet companies had conspired from the beginning to promote capitalist ruling class (he refers to them as "elites") propaganda and his optimism about how people are turning to independent media in droves. However, in general, I think he makes some very good points.

US Regime Change in Malaysia: Bersih 5

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

It is so refreshing to read political analysis by Cartalucci. In contrast to corporate sponsored pundits and "experts" who use fake news and opinions that are informed by Empire propaganda, false-flag events, PSYOP events, he accesses statements by authors in the deep capitalist state (our masters refer to them as "think tanks") such as the Council on Foreign Relations to support his arguments, and in addition, seeks out information about front organizations (NGOs that frequently pretend to advocate "human rights")  that the US Empire uses to overthrow or harass governments that resist the policies of the Empire. As you can see, the directors of this Empire rely to a considerable extent on fakery, but this is always backed up by the threat of military force and frequently used when fakery fails.

In this piece he goes a long way to uncover various operations of the Empire that is usually referred to by our masters as a "pivot to Asia", but is designed to encircle and contain China with hostile governments. Here he provides current details of these operations in Malaysia, Thailand, and Myanmar (Burma).

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Three Green Berets killed by ISIS infiltrator after CIA ignored warnings

Click here to access article by Jack Murphy from SOFREP

This website devoted to veterans that have served in Special Operations (SO) units has inadvertently disclosed information about how the CIA is using Special Operations forces to train terrorists in nearby Jordan to take down the Syrian government. Unless you have a personal interest in this incident, you can ignore the first three paragraphs which gives various conflicting reports about the incident. To learn how our the ruling class's government uses the secret (from us) agency of the CIA to support terrorism, start on the fourth paragraph that begins with this sentence:
The slaying of three Green Berets comes after years of the Special Forces soldiers assigned to the CIA’s Timber Sycamore program complaining that the moderate rebels they had been sent to train were actually ISIS and al-Nusra infiltrators.
You might want to compare this coverage of the event with another report carried in the Washington Post.

And look what I found at another area of the SOFREP website: a link to a CIA paramilitary project. It was apparently intended to attract veterans of SO to join up for the CIA's paramilitary program.

China’s Interests in Syria and the Middle East

Click here to access an interview with Dr. Christina Lin posted on Syria Comment

The interview, which was conducted by the website's administrator Joshua Landis, contains by far the best observations regarding China's involvement and political interests in the Syrian conflict and nearby regions that I have seen to date.
China does not want Syria to turn into a haven/base for Uyghurs to attack Chinese citizens and interests overseas as well as in the Chinese homeland.  The August 30 bombing of the Chinese embassy in Krgyzstan, planned by Turkistan Islamic Party [TIP] in Syria and financed by Al Nusra, is a sign of what is to come if they continue to grow.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

We Are All Deplorables

Click here to access article by Chris Hedges from Truthdig.

In the past ten years I have witnessed Hedges often hedging his critical views against the ruling capitalist class with his sermon-like essays (in his youth he did enroll in seminary to become a preacher like his father) about the immorality of the ruling capitalist class--of course, he never identified them as such, and still doesn't. He still prefers casting shame against the "liberal class" and the "oligarchic and corporate elites". And I really got my dander up when he wrote that despicable piece called "The Cancer in Occupy" in which he didn't merely argue against the tactics of anarchists but condemned them for directly attacking the violent agents of the ruling class (the police) and because they broke a few windows in the process. (I can foresee a future when we will all value the knowledge gained by anarchists in their experience while fighting these enforcers of the ruling class.)

But I've noticed a decided change in this piece. He appears to be climbing off his conflicted ideological wall and advocating for the destruction of capitalism and capitalist rule, that is, if we can take what he writes in this statement seriously:
The liberal class has no hope of defeating the rise of American fascism until it unites with the dispossessed white working class. It has no hope of being an effective force in politics until it articulates a viable socialism. Corporate capitalism cannot be regulated, reformed or corrected. A socialist movement dedicated to demolishing the cruelty of the corporate state will do more to curb the racism of the white underclass than lessons by liberals in moral purity. Preaching multiculturalism and gender and identity politics will not save us from the rising sadism in American society.
Initially when I read this, I was put off by his constant use of the phrase "liberal class". To me words matter because they are the vehicles by which we understand reality. My higher education was in political sociology in which I learned that class always referred to social-economic class whose components were framed in an understanding of the class nature of capitalism. The word "liberals" has come to mean in modern usage (as against the classical usage as an advocate of capitalism) as an apologist for capitalism with its emphasis on identity issues while ignoring and obscuring class issues. Most contemporary liberals are found in the middle or upper-middle class, particularly in those who enjoy the many privileges of academic employment. This, of course, is where Hedges has been situated as a highly educated career journalist for some of the major media corporations.

But then it hit me. If he means what he writes, he has decidedly given up his fence sitting and is now clearly decided to oppose the rule of capital and support the rule of workers. I also liked that he affirmed a loyalty to workers even though many have been confused and deluded by voting for Trump (when they should not have voted for neither). He identified with them and their plight by writing that "we are all deplorables" which referred to Hillary Clinton's condemnation of Trump's supporters.

I wondered if I had short-changed Hedges by not reading most of his articles. So I did a search on the partial word "socialis" (to find either socialism or socialist) in each of his articles posted in the last six months. I found only one which pertained to the US: a November 6 article entitled "Defying the Politics of Fear" in which he wrote this moving and inspiring statement:
No social or revolutionary movement succeeds without a core of people who will not betray their vision and their principles. They are the building blocks of social change. They are our only hope for a viable socialism. They are willing to spend their lives as political outcasts. They are willing to endure repression. They will not sell out the oppressed and the poor. They know that you stand with all of the oppressed—people of color in our prisons and marginal communities, the poor, unemployed workers, our LGBT community, undocumented workers, the mentally ill and the Palestinians, Iraqis and Afghans whom we terrorize and murder—or you stand with none of the oppressed. They know when you fight for the oppressed you get treated like the oppressed. They know this is the cost of the moral life, a life that is not abandoned even if means you are destined to spend generations wandering in the wilderness, even if you are destined to fail.
I inadvertently found an article posted on September 25 entitled "Police Killings Won’t Stop" in which he wrote what I believe described his prior liberal point of view: "The corporate state, by pillaging the nation, has destroyed capitalism’s traditional forms of social control." I think that this statement suggests a previous view that capitalism could be reformed by restoring "social control" (or regulatory controls) and therefore restoring a legitimate society that workers could be satisfied with. This rejection of controlled or regulated capitalism paved the way for his November 6th article where he explicitly came down on the side of socialism, the public ownership and control of the economy (however organized), and affirmed the necessity of revolution!    

How Taxes Were Shifted Off Real Estate

Click here to access this interview with economist Michael Hudson complete with transcript conducted by the Real News Network.

Hudson does us a good service by explaining how the shift of taxes off real estate benefits the bankers at the expense of workers. This argument is another attack on the banking sector for taking over more of the pie that American workers bake by reducing the interest income that bankers enjoy onto taxes that workers pay to maintain necessary public services, and some not so necessary such as huge expenditures to maintain the military forces necessary to maintain capitalist class control of their Empire. 

Of course, Hudson does not argue the latter because he is very much a part of the ideological system that the ruling class employs. As long as he restricts his criticisms to peripheral issues such as the growing financial sector's dominance of the economy that few people understand, and never attacks the capitalist system in which finance plays a major role, his job will be safe--and he knows it.

I think he needed to expanded on certain parts of his argument to create greater clarity. I had to go over this section several times to understand its meaning:
What they don’t realize is that when the real estate taxes are cut, that leaves more rental value of the land available for new buyers to pledge to pay the banks in interest. The basic principle is that rent is for paying interest. This is true in commercial real estate as well as residential real estate.

Bankers know that every time there’s a property tax cut, they can make a larger mortgage loan against that property. The result is that instead of paying taxes, new homeowners pay interest to the bank. The higher interest payment absorbs the tax cut.
The interviewer, Sharmini Peries, rarely asks clarifying questions of Hudson who she often interviews and obviously adores. I suspect that she has been selected for this role more for her ethnic garb and appearance than her skills at interrogating guests on the program.

The fat capitalist cat and his message to workers

by Mike Konopacki from his website.

Monday, November 21, 2016

North Dakota Law Enforcement Official: “I’ll ultimately be paid by the oil people…”

Click here to access article by the media collective known as Unicorn Riot

(Note: Unlike corporate media which support the profit and power opportunities of corporations, this media collective supports the interests of the people. We simply must support them and their work. Wouldn't it be wonderful if they could unite with other such independent journalist organizations, in a revolutionary bottom-up authority structure, to share resources and skills to become even more effective? This can only happen if we support the efforts of independent journalists and organizations like this to bring us accurate news, information, and views that serves the people's interests instead of the corporations.)

This media collective through their investigative journalism has uncovered evidence that the oil pipeline company may pay North Dakota government agencies for their police work in protecting the company's strongly contested oil pipeline operations through the state. Here is one piece of evidence. Read the article for others.
The “oil company” Falk refers to would appear to be Energy Transfer Partners (ETP)  or its subsidiary, Dakota Access, LLC.  While no direct evidence of ETP or DAPL financing police has yet emerged, this email sent by Falk shows that some North Dakota law enforcement personnel think of themselves as working on the pipeline company’s behalf.
These protests by several hundred Native-American tribes, who are fighting to protect their land and water on the Standing Rock reservation, is being suppressed by law enforcement personnel from public agencies whose ostensible purpose is to serve the public's interest, not those of corporations. But under capitalism, despite all the ruling class pretenses, the reverse is true.

For the latest coverage of this ongoing defense of Native-American land and water, you might be interested in this piece entitled "400 DAPL [Dakota Access Pipeline] protesters ‘trapped on bridge’ as police fire tear gas, water cannon (VIDEO)". 

COP 22: “One step closer towards a climate that is incompatible with dignified life”

Click here to access article by Christiane Kliemann from degrowth.
Another UN climate summit is over and despite the prevalent rhetoric of hope, the gap between the 1,5 or 2 degree target agreed in Paris last year and the real commitments to achieve this target is nowhere near to closing. Worse, this gap hasn’t even been a focus of this year’s UN climate talks in Marrakesh although time is running [out].

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Election Is Over, But the Two-Headed Beast Devours On…

Click here to access article by Jeremy R. Hammond from his blog. (amended at 3:45 PM Seattle time.)
I actually think Trump was the lesser of the two evils. He’s an ignorant bigot, but Clinton is a war criminal with blood on her hands who is responsible for literally destroying nations (including Iraq, Libya, and Syria). So I’m very happy that Clinton is not president. But that doesn’t mean I’m happy that Trump is. I didn’t vote for either of them. I didn’t vote at all, actually. The way I see it is this: Why would I want to legitimize my own disenfranchisement? Why would I want to legitimize the corrupt system that produces these kinds of candidates? I think Americans needs to stop participating in this insanity every four years because it only perpetuates the criminal operation people call a “government”.
Hammond describes the beast but he doesn't identify him, and correctly argues the futility of voting for either head of the beast. It's obvious to me and others that the two-headed beast is the US capitalist ruling class. That is precisely why Trump has appointed/nominated so many Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street bankers to his cabinet.

This tiny group of players at the Wall Street casino, the owners of our economy, and those who create our money and store the wealth we create will continue to do "business as usual" after filling our heads with the temporary delusion of power--that we decide through elections how our society is managed. And business as usual means that they decide what we produce and consume, how we work (if we work at all), how we think, and what we think about the world around us.

"The more things change, the more they remain the same". That is, until we wake up from the "American dream" which has turned into a nightmare.

US Peace Council on Syria: Terrorism in Syria Sponsored by the US

Click here if you wish to access the introduction and 29:49m video directly from Judy Bello's website The Deconstructed Globe

I could have sworn that I posted this, or similar article/video, several months ago, but I can't find it. There are many people in this delegation organized by the US Peace Council who have been featured in other video presentations about their trip to Syria in August of this year--Judy was one of them. This excellent video was recently posted on YouTube, and I thank her for posting it on her website.
Members of the US Peace Council and our Fact Finding Peace Delegation to Syria recently published the following video on Syria. They talk about the role of the US in sponsoring Terrorism in Syria and the efforts of the Syrian government to restore order and provide ongoing support and to the Syrian people. It provides an excellent overview of what is really happening in Syria.