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, December 24, 2016
The real Trump is starting to emerge from the fog of political campaign theatrics. Here we see evidence that he will pursue a pro-Zionist policy in support of apartheid Israel. Like I wrote "many moons ago", you will likely not see any significant difference under the new administration. That is simply because our ruling capitalist class politicos do not depend on the functions of the official government to decide their policies. They use the official government as a facade or puppet show behind which they pull the real strings of power. This arrangement is called the "Deep State".
This is not to deny that there might be competing factions within the ruling class, but their differences are only marginal in terms of the interests of ordinary people. Hence the seemingly never ending political campaigns and the official organs of government are for show only. Our capitalist masters don't even use the official organs of government to settle differences of strategy to attain their profits and power as they did in the distant past. They do this in their "think tanks" such as the Council on Foreign Relations, Brookings Institution, American Enterprise Institute, etc.
Josh Earnest, a White House spokesman, said in a news briefing on Tuesday that the queries "could have been an attempt to target civil servants," including "scientists and lawyers and other experts who are critical to the success of the federal government's ability to make policy."
By design, their work transcends the term of any one president, Earnest said.
Trump, a Republican, said during his election campaign that climate change was a hoax perpetrated by China to damage U.S. manufacturing.
Indirect evidence suggests that the Southern Ocean is a net carbon sink and has absorbed as much as 15% of the carbon emissions emitted by humanity since the industrial revolution. But at some times of year and in specific places in this region, carbon-rich surface waters release CO2 into the atmosphere.
Now, researchers are getting some of their first glimpses in near-real time of what happens in the Southern Ocean, particularly in winter. “Right off the bat, we are seeing CO2 fluxes into the atmosphere that are much greater than we had estimated before,” Sarmiento says. “It’s just revolutionary.”
Friday, December 23, 2016
Without commenting on whether the Pizzagate stories are true or not, Engdahl alerts us to the suspicious timing of the widespread reaction by major media and government officials to these events and their plans to crack down on "fake news". He also reveals many of the disreputable people involved in supposedly combating "fake news". Given all this information it seems likely to me that the Pizzagate stories were planted by agents of our capitalist masters as a part of a PSYOP project to effectively censor websites that reveal too much about the widespread lies spun over their corporate media. He concludes his article by writing:
It’s not even the foxes who are guarding the Internet Henhouse. It’s the werewolves of CIA and US Government censorship. Whether the explosive Pizzagate Podesta revelations merely triggered a dramatic acceleration in the timetable for the CIA’s planned “Fake News” operation as the successor to their 1980’s “Conspiracy Theory” linguistic discrediting operation, it’s clear this is no unbiased, objective, transparent public service to protect the Internet public from harmful content.
And, besides, who are they to tell me or you what you are allowed to read, digest and form your independent ideas about? This is a 21st Century reincarnation of the Spanish Inquisition, one by the real fake newsmakers–Washington Post, AP, ABCNews, Snopes.com, FactCheck.org, the CIA and friends. I would say it’s an alarming development of cyber warfare, not by Russia, but by those CIA-run networks that are fomenting Fake News to demonize any and everyone who opposes Washington intelligence propaganda.
Big Lies and other type fake news are repeated enough get most people to believe them. Americans are the most over-entertained, under-informed people anywhere - carpet-bombed by state-sponsored and supportive scoundrel media propaganda, aided by constant bread and circuses distractions.
According to neocons infesting Washington and top Pentagon officials, Russia is America’s main threat - even though it poses none to any country.
Thursday, December 22, 2016
Several astute political observers cite reasons and evidence that secret agencies of the US Empire were likely behind the assassination of the Russian ambassador in Turkey. Empire secret agencies are famous for their use of false-flag incidents to further their imperial aims, and this incident was likely aimed at the warming Russia-Turkey relations.
The bullets of an assassin shook the world on Monday. Shot from behind by a former Turkish police officer, at an art gallery in Ankara, right across the street from the US embassy, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, a man with a long and distinguished career in the Soviet and Russian Foreign Service, died on the spot.Others such as F. William Engdahl and especially Sibel Edmonds, a Turkish-American who worked as a Turkish translator for the FBI and knows a lot of the dirt behind CIA operations in Turkey are among those who have their suspicions. Kurt Nimmo assembles their rationales and evidence that informs their suspicions in an excellent article entitled "Did CIA Assassinate Russian Diplomat Karlov?".
Those who are behind this assassination, for no one can believe that this man acted alone, are exposed by the slogan he shouted after the murder, “Don’t forget Aleppo.” They are exposed by the words and photos which were quickly splashed across the front pages of the western media and set in an editorial context that implicitly condoned the act.
Today, WhoWhatWhy has seen heavy traffic coming from Google searches that point to a story we ran almost two years ago. Why the sudden interest? It took us only a moment to discover the connection: We had written about the odd phenomenon of terrorists repeatedly leaving ID papers behind at the scene. And now, with the Berlin truck attack, we see yet another such example.
We also see that, in a pattern we have previously reported on with other terror incidents, the suspect was already known to authorities — had even been in custody, but was released.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Todhunter explains how the celebration of Christmas has many roots in history and many cultures, but one wouldn't know this with the present artificial celebration of this holiday which has been imposed on us by the culture of the powerful few in Wall Street and the City of London. He sheds much light on some of the consequences of this culture of capitalism.
Although the roots of Christmas lie in the commemoration of ancient rural ways which centred on humanity’s relationship with the natural environment, it has pretty much become a festival for an urban, media-manipulated population for whom the original customs and beliefs have been lost.
The ultimate irony (and hypocrisy) it that Christmas is now cheer-led and celebrated by a consumer capitalism whose corporations are destroying the environment through, for example, the genetic engineering of crops, the drenching of soil with agrotoxins, the eradication of indigenous cultures and agriculture and the privatisation of land, seeds and water. And they are doing this by ‘playing god’.
One such person is from Seattle.
|Homeless in Los Angeles|
Tickets have accumulated on her vehicle that no longer runs and that, for now, doubles as her home. A month and a half ago, the singer-songwriter packed her belongings and drove her Dodge Ram from Seattle, Washington to Venice, California.
Trump’s election is having fascinating consequences. Today the New York Times ran a long piece titled, “Liberal Zionism in the Age of Trump,” by Omri Boehm of the New School saying that liberal Zionism is a contradiction: liberal American Jews have “identified themselves with Zionism, a political agenda rooted in the denial of liberal politics.”
Boehm’s most startling point is that Zionism has anti-Semitic strains, witness its collaboration with Nazis. Hannah Arendt is happy today.
The piece will greatly increase the pressure on liberal Zionists to choose one idea or the other, and to stop denying the existence of apartheid.
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
The Jimmy Dore Show is a hilarious and irreverent take on news, politics and culture featuring Jimmy Dore, a professional stand up comedian, author and podcaster. With over 5 million downloads on iTunes, the show is also broadcast on KPFK stations throughout the country. It is part of the Young Turks Network-- the largest online news show in the world.
Also I couldn't resist posting this hilarious parody of PBS from Dore's website:
The film was posted a few days on RT, but has since disappeared to await its distribution in various countries. Having viewed it, I am inclined to doubt that it will be widely distributed in the US--if at all--except maybe on university campuses. Fortunately you can access it on this website which you may want to browse for other such informative films.
"The Coming War on China" is a warning that nuclear war is not only imaginable, but a ‘contingency,’ says the Pentagon. The greatest build-up of Nato military forces since the Second World War is under way on the western borders of Russia, and some 400 American military bases encircle China with missiles, bombers, warships and nuclear weapons. But these happenings are of course not reported as United States antagonism. Instead, there is a familiar drumbeat of war, the kind of the old “yellow peril,” a restoration of the psychology of fear that embedded public consciousness for most of the 20th century. The aim of this film is to break the silence, and as the centenaries of the First World War presently remind us, horrific conflict can begin all too easily. By recounting the secret and forgotten history of the rapacious actions of great power against China throughout the decades, such as the destruction of the Marshall Islands and the Opium wars, "The Coming War on China" is also a report of an inspiring popular resistance to nuclear weapons, military bases and warmongering of the United States, of which little is known in the West.
Scientists not only see a huge crack in the Antarctic ice shelf, but their measurements of the area of sea ice has dramatically shrunk in recent years.
Antarctica holds more than half of the planet's fresh water in its snow, glaciers and ice formations. But conditions around the continent are worsening.
The NASA mission also flew over Antarctic sea ice. It found coverage to be sparse in the Bellingshausen Sea, on the west side of the Antarctic Peninsula.
In November, Antarctic air temperatures were 3.6 - 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than normal. Antarctic sea ice set a new record low, as did the Arctic. Antarctic sea ice was a staggering 699,000 square miles below the 1981 to 2010 average.
"Antarctic sea ice really went down the rabbit hole this time," said Ted Scambos, the lead scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
Oh my god! Next we'll learn in corporate media that the Russians and Putin are responsible for this.
Monday, December 19, 2016
I am a bit leery about posting this. On the one hand it does provide information about the intrusion of government secret services into corporate media, but on the other hand it steers people to reformist oriented media that is heavily funded by the rich. No doubt our capitalist masters have learned from their arch enemy Vladimir Ilyich Lenin who has been quoted as expressing this insight: "The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves."
For a prime example, take this website openDemocracyUK which is a part of openDemocracy. In the article Jones writes "Only if alternative/co-operative/investigative journalism is financially supported by its readers will they be able to research and write high quality articles. This is a valuable observation about alternative media. However after looking at the funding sources of openDemcracyUK, it violates this principle. The chart shows that 54.9% of their funding comes from the rich through grants and large donations, and only 5.2% from readers. They list the Open Trust has providing most of its grants. I believe this charity functions very much like the Tides Foundation (notice that Democracy Now!, 350.org, etc are on their 2013 list of grantees) in the US: a clearing house for grant funding by the rich. They make the following very naive statement regarding their independence of the grant money openDemocracy receives from the rich:
The Trust has no direct stake in openDemocracy but conducts regular oversight to be sure that oD is operating in conformity with the Trust's charitable purpose.And, I have little doubt that these funders make sure that the grantee websites function in conformity with the political views of the rich, and the people at openDemocracyUK avoid any content that might really annoy their rich funders. Thus I don't think you will find any links to radical websites that are devoted to question the system of capitalism. At best, the reformist sites, that the author steers us to, only want the existing capitalist system to function in a kinder, gentler, and more egalitarian way.
However, in spite of my criticisms I strongly support reader supported media organizations that are absolutely independent of influence by corporations or the rich. Too much of alternative media suffers from a lack of financing which interferes with their ability to present accurate news and analysis. To overcome this problem, I think that many of them should merge in order to combine resources and skills. And, of course, we the general public must support them with whatever we can spare. At the same time I think that they must build into their organizations bottom-up authority structures not only to maintain discipline to prevent them from being co-opted by the rich or their secret services, but also to build into their organizations a successful template for future non-capitalist societies.
I'm not sure that this will reduce the deplorable function of the Environmental Protection Agency from what has happened in the past except to function with much less hypocrisy.
Sunday, December 18, 2016
While Madsen correctly reminds us of the history of the CIA interfering in elections of other countries, he is mistaken by thinking that they are interfering with "democracy". His error is clearly expressed in the final two sentences of the article.
The CIA is now directing its wealth of election chicanery toward the American electorate to discredit and undermine the legitimacy of the Trump presidency. For the sake of democracy everywhere, the CIA must be abolished.I don't know of any genuine democratic elections taking place anywhere in the world or in history with the possible exception of those in the classic period of Athens. But these were tarnished by the fact that Athenians practiced widespread slavery. I've read estimates that 50% of their population were slaves taken in many of their wars. The fact that elections are confused with the practice of democracy is one of the biggest cons (def. #4) of all time.
Elections have been used (and abused) to support the legitimacy of capitalist class rule ever since this class wrestled power from feudal authorities. One must keep in mind how elections serve this class rule, and how other preceding ruling classes used other devices to prop up their rule. Let's briefly review this history.
Capitalism has been superimposed on feudal societies by the rising power of a new class of "owners" of productive property when new forms of power (water, coal, fossil fuels) drove machines operated by workers. Feudal economies were based on a primitive kind of agriculture in which workers (serfs) were tied to the land and controlled by aristocracies and monarchs. Feudal authorities used religious authorities to ideologically support their rule ("divine right" in European countries). This ruling class conveniently ignored, and made their subjects forget, that their class were the descendants of warrior bands who took the lands by violence from small substance farmers.
The present arrangement, under the rule of capitalists, is no more legitimate than the first rulers whose rule were founded on violence and intimidation. The only difference is the application of self-serving propaganda used by these ruling class to add a veneer of respectability or legitimacy to their rule. Elections as well as propaganda serve this purpose. Having a choice between evil people, or those who support the ruling capital class has become de rigueur in capitalist societies, and is touted as "democracy". With their control of very sophisticated ideological institutions in education, media, and entertainment, this ruling class have most people believing that having a choice between two people who serve the interests of capitalists somehow represents democracy. Just as astounding is how they are able to use secret, unaccountable agencies like the CIA, that are advertised as protecting the security of the nation, to hoodwink people. But have you noticed that in case all these methods don't work, they are fully prepared to use violence and intimidation against their own populations?
True democracy can only be attained when all of the people participate meaningfully in decisions over every aspect of their lives, and control over the economy is the most important of all. Capitalism, which inevitably concentrates economic property in the hands of ever fewer people, is one of the greatest evils of all time. Private ownership of the economy must be abolished forever before any kind of meaningful democracy can be established.
What we might infer from all the present hysterical controversy over the recent election outcome is that there is a split between factions of our ruling class. But I don't think we can be even certain of that simply because the latter always rule by deception. It could be argued that the CIA is only appearing to undermine Trump's election to hide the fact of a change of major strategy to confront the power of Russia and China into one of driving a wedge between them. It could be that our ruling masters are engaged in an elaborate attempt to hide this new strategy behind a controversy over the election. Evidence to support this theory could be supported if all the present hullabaloo is simply allowed to diminish over time and subsequent events show that our masters are warming up to Russia and acting more aggressively in their relations with China.
I'm not arguing that this is the case, what I'm arguing is that we don't know what our masters are doing simply because they are chronic liars and deceivers. Instead of wasting our time trying to figure out what they are really up to, we should be preparing to overturn their rule, not only of our nation, but the entire world before their misrule ends in our extinction.
Facebook has decided to make it easier for Snopes, Factcheck.org, ABC News, the Associated Press, and PolitiFact to flag “fake news.”
What this means is alternative news stories the establishment decides are fake will be pushed down in the Facebook newsfeed.