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, April 1, 2017

Trump is Obama’s Legacy. Will this break up the Democratic Party?

Click here to access article by Michael Hudson from Democracy at Work for Economic Justice

Wow! After reading this article and the following post featuring Hudson's views of the Social Security system, so many thoughts have rushed through my brain like a raging torrent after a heavy rain. Because they have overflowed my banks of good judgement, I will wait until tomorrow to critique his views as expressed in both posts. To be sure his views on Social Security in the US is right on, but his overview of political reality leaves much to be desired. I will concentrate my commentary tomorrow on the latter. 

'J is for Junk Economics': Michael Hudson on TRNN

Click here to access a 12 minute interview (with transcript) with Michael Hudson on The Real News Network.
Economist Michael Hudson explains why social security does not need to be 'pre-funded' by its beneficiaries.

Friday, March 31, 2017

White Trash-A Book Review of Our Family (Part 2)

Click here to access article by Ramin Mazaheri from The Greanville Post. (I'm only posting part 2).
Instead of discussing race politics, I argue that this book proves we absolutely must reject the anti-Trumper’s contention that the current schism in the US is a cultural divide and not a class war.

The White Trash Revolution (WTR), a theme of mine which gained a foothold with Brexit, has always been about class and not race. How else could someone named “Ramin Mazaheri” be one of its leading propagandists?

But elevating race in order to deny class is what Americans always do, and that’s why the author decried this systematic class unconsciousness on the book’s very first page:

“It is as though in separating from Great Britain, the United States somehow magically escaped the bonds of class and derived a higher consciousness of enriched possibility….The very act of migration claims to equalize the people involved….”

It does not, so give up your racial, gender and sexual politics. Let’s get to the down-and-dirty of it all – class.

Soft power centralisation: the CIA, Bilderberg and the first steps towards European integration

Click here to access article by Bas Spliet from his blog Scrutinized Minds. (I thank Newsbud for introducing me to this author and article.)

In this article the author focuses on the more covert aspects of European history since WWII. Although I can't vouch for all of the details he has provided, from my own knowledge of this history, I think he offers in one piece a very important, often missing, history that shaped present day Europe.

This project of the US-led Empire was first conceived even prior to the US entering the war and was announced by a well-connected person of the deep state at that time, Henry R. Luce, in an editorial entitled "The American Century".  After the war the US hidden ruling class directorate in what has become known as the "deep state" clearly saw the necessity to eliminate the many borders of Europe that not only interfered with transnational commerce but which also served to isolate capitalists within these small nation-states. They had a globalist vision and wanted to absorb all major capitalists in their project of building an empire, and to act as a bulwark to defend against the influence of the Soviet Union and especially against the popular notions of socialism in the rebuilding of Europe. Also with a more unified Europe, the continent was much more easily managed by this new transnational class of capitalists.
Severely hit by the carnage caused by WWII, the nations of Europe were significantly weakened. Because of the widespread poverty and the decisive role of communist resistance movements during the war, communism became relatively popular in postwar Western Europe. Electoral victories by communist parties were expected throughout Europe, and a Tito-backed communist insurgency in Greece was only beaten back with British intervention in the late 1940s. The US, hoping to expand its sphere of influence in Europe, was not just going to let that happen, however.

Russia seen by the Amnesty International and Channel Four Television Corporation

Click here to access article by "The Saker" from his website.

Based on the article's contents, the headline should be titled "Russia seen by Amnesty International, Channel Four Television, and others guided by YouTube". Yes, advances in digital technology is not only being used to market us so that we can become better consumers, it is also used to corral us into their thought enclosures of safe articles approved by the "Ministry of Truth" of the capitalist ruling class. Social media is doing the same thing. "1984" arrived a little late, but it has now fully arrived. Our masters have acquired the means, which were created by workers but under the rules of capitalism are "owned" by our masters, to achieve full spectrum dominance over our thoughts.

"The Saker" illustrates how YouTube steered him to "safe" articles on Russia.

Trump's EPA

by editorial cartoonist David Horsey.

At least the Trump administration is being a little more honest. It is mainly for Democratic administrations to deceive the public; and after each such administration knowing they have been deceived, they vote in the Republicans. Ain't democracy wonderful? Tweedledee and Tweedledum, you say? Well, at least there are style differences.


Thursday, March 30, 2017

We’ve Let Capitalism Kill the Planet

Click here to access article by Christian Sorensen from The Greanville Post. (Thanks to Caren in northwest Oregon for alerting me to this article.)

The article delivers in only three paragraphs some very powerful points as to why we must get rid of the deadly infection of capitalism in order to survive.

The Arctic just set a grim new record for low levels of sea ice

Click here to access article by Chris Mooney from The Washington Post.

I see the Post as a mouthpiece of the CIA; and because the latter is engaging in a vendetta against the Trump administration, they are posting articles like this as a reaction to Trump's anti-climate change stance. (obviously a conspiracy theory)
Floating sea ice at the top of the world has set another troubling record for its low spatial extent, shattering a record set just two years ago for this key component of the planet’s climate system.

According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, the sheet of Arctic sea ice, which expands and contracts in an annual cycle, probably reached its maximum size this year on March 7, when it spanned 14.42 million square kilometers, or 5.57 million square miles, atop the Arctic ocean. That’s an enormous area, but it’s also the smallest winter maximum extent ever observed in records dating to 1979.
You might also be interested in another piece of scientific evidence that our climate is becoming destabilized by reading another article from the Post entitled "One of the most troubling ideas about climate change just found new evidence in its favor".

But unlike the climate change articles above, I don't think you will find any articles in corporate media that even suggest that excessive meat production is contributing to climate destabilization as does this excellent article from Grain entitled "The global dangers of industrial meat". 

Why This Isn’t Time For Public Option Or Medicare For Some

Click here to access article by Margaret Flowers from Health Over Profit.

Flowers reports that some liberal politicians favor public option insurance and Medicare for some, and why such insurance plans are really only beneficial to insurance companies. 

Well, we are a capitalist country, and capitalist rule promotes the profit of corporations, and regarding this issue, private insurance corporations. (Duh!) And the US-led Empire must prioritize military expenditures (also to private corporations) to support the Empire's influence in the world in order to secure for their corporations resources, markets, cheap labor (for example, see this), and the security of the US dollar which most nations need to buy to do international business. If the yuan or ruble or some other currency replaces the US dollar, then our ruling capitalist masters are in deep-do-do. Then their economy might experience such enormous problems that they would have difficulty maintaining their rule and their system.

Hence, it follows that we will only have adequate health care (and other such good things as peace, income security, happiness, a biosphere that can support human life, etc) if or when we, the people, replace the system of capitalism with a system that serves all of the people and is controlled by all of the people instead of a tiny class of people.

Health care reform

by political cartoonist Rick McKee.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Identity Politics and Class Struggle

Click here to access article by Robin D. G. Kelley originally published in New Politics, winter of 1997, and now posted in libcom.org.

For some time I have attacked the limitations of identity politics (see this, and this) as a strategy encouraged by the capitalist ruling class to divert political resistance to their rule onto fairly harmless activities. Although in one article I tried to argue that I wasn't opposed to identity politics--indeed, I wrote that we all benefited from it--but it simply wasn't revolutionary. This post by Kelley gives a much more vigorous defense of identity politics that has modified my views on the subject.

Historically the capitalists have frequently used identity politics as a method to divide workers. For example, when I lived in Hawaii for five years in the 1970s, I learned the history of the big plantation owners that were engaged in sugar cane farming and sugar refining and how they learned to effectively pit one nationality of workers against others by playing them off against each other. They imported workers from numerous countries: Japan, China, Portugal, the Philippines, etc., and encouraged them to fight each other for favorable treatment by the owners. That still occurs, but nowadays more frequently capitalists prefer to keep politically active people engaged in identity politics. 

However engagement in identity politics can be very revolutionary if it serves to eliminate competition or adversarial relations between social identities so that the ruling class can no longer use it as a tool to divide us. I remember with some embarrassment in my past political activities that men thoroughly dominated anti-Vietnam War organizations. And for similar reasons, no African-Americans or Latinos participated. The activism was largely an all white, male dominated affair. There is still work to be done on social identity issues and I support such activities, but we also need to work together on class-based politics because that is the only way we will overcome the class-based theft of our creativity and hard work and the destruction of our planet.

While consciously pursuing revolutionary class politics we also need to be aware of the marked tendency of upper-middle class professionals to identify with the ruling capitalist class. Such people are very active on the web to suppress revolutionary thinking. They do this consciously to serve their masters in the ruling class or unconsciously because their political views are compromised due to the fear of losing their comfortable lifestyle. I've specifically targeted the issue in this post, to some extent in this post, and this is illustrated in the following post for today.

The CIA’s 60-Year History of Fake News: How the Deep State Corrupted Many American Writers

Click here to access a 32:38m video and transcript of an interview by Robert Scheer with Joel Whitney the author of a new book entitled Finks: How the C.I.A. Tricked the World’s Best Writers.

This is a particularly timely book because it illustrates how the CIA and other organs of the capitalist deep state intentionally practiced fake news operations over three decades following the end of WWII. Not that there wasn't fake news perpetrated by the capitalist ruling class before then, but it wasn't so intentionally and systematically practiced. The book also shows how easily highly educated and literate people of the upper middle class can be so easily induced with money to participate in programs which are intended to spread propaganda or fake news.

What the book doesn't deal with are the systematic attempts to issue fake news since this period. I've read several books by authors that claim that such systematic methods are no longer used because they are unnecessary: media corporations have been so thoroughly cleansed of genuine journalists who are dedicated to reporting reality, and the existing staff so thoroughly indoctrinated in the values and views of the Empire's capitalism that they have no problem with fake news.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

US Media’s Global Warming Denialism

Click here to access article by Jonathan Marshall from ConsortiumNews

This essay is an archetype of a liberal position on a major issue--climate destabilization. It implies that the problem is all Trump's fault; and if we had voted for Hillary Clinton, everything would be fine. 

Liberal capitalists hidden in the deep state, which really is in control of our fates, much prefer the deceptions of a Democratic Party rather than an open and honest Republican administration that promotes expansive, fossil-fuel dependent capitalist enterprise. Capitalists are very much like drug addicts: they only care about getting their next fix of profits, and to do that they must exercise maximum control over the rest of humanity and the planet. To get their next fix of profits, they must use a cheap source of energy; and fossil fuels (although becoming more expensive to obtain) supply that source rather abundantly. 

However, for decades scientists have been accumulating evidence that the fossil-fueled enterprises of capitalism are killing the biosphere on which human life (and many other creatures) depend.  It is clear to most sophisticated capitalists as well as scientists that renewable energy sources cannot supply the amounts of cheap energy that capitalist enterprises need to supply them with their drugs of profits and power. Like any hardcore addict, most capitalists simply deny reality. Thus the human designed capitalist system is on a collision course with the needs of the planet, and unfortunately the drug addicted capitalists are in control of our future. Guess who will win and who will lose.

There is a growing awareness that liberal capitalists, and their propagandists like Jonathan Marshall, serve the preservation of the system just like conservative capitalists do, but they do it much more deceptively. Many capitalists in the deep state are worried that the Trump administration's clumsy efforts will give away the ruse that the ruling capitalist class care about the future of humanity (or the present condition of humans outside their own class).

It's sad to see that Robert Parry, as a truth-seeker, honest journalist, and editor of this website, is going along with this ruse by posting such an article. He, along with so many upper middle class people who serve, or have served, the ruling class and their capitalist system so effectively, are so well indoctrinated in the tenets of capitalism that they cannot imagine any other way to live.

Consuming ourselves to death

by political cartoonist Stephanie McMillan posted on Cartoon Movement.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Five Ways Cybersecurity Will Suffer If Congress Repeals the FCC Privacy Rules

Click here to access article by Peter Eckersley and Jeremy Gillula from Electronic Frontier Foundation.
...last Thursday, Republicans in the Senate voted to repeal those rules. If the House of Representatives votes the same way and the rules are repealed, it’s pretty obvious that the results for American’s privacy will be disastrous.

But what many people don’t realize is that Americans’ cybersecurity is also at risk. That’s because privacy and security are two sides of the same coin: privacy is about controlling who has access to information about you, and security is how you maintain that control. You usually can’t break one without breaking the other, and that’s especially true in this context. To show how, here are five ways repealing the FCC’s privacy rules will weaken Americans’ cybersecurity.
The authors writing for this foundation are likely internet geeks who are bit challenged in their understanding of political reality. The last time I tried appealing to Congress to urge any action was when the Boland Amendment was being considered for passage in 1982. Our government during the Reagan administration was actively organizing and supporting a terrorist army known as the Contras that were based in nearby Honduras to sow chaos in Nicaragua (does this sound familiar?). About this time I had returned from a trip to Nicaragua where I saw schools and clinics funded by the Sandinista government that were attacked and destroyed by the Contras. I and many activists engaged in a massive campaign to inform Americans of this and succeeded in gaining overwhelming public opposition to our government's support of the Contras, and support for the Boland Amendment which prohibited such support.

Yes, this resolution passed, but ruling class operatives (mostly in the CIA) soon engineered other ways around Congressional authority to fund their terrorist army. They used the Contras to supply a burgeoning drug operation that saw massive amounts of cocaine imported into the US, primarily into the African-American ghettos of the large cities in the US. And they sold weapons to Iran.

This experience proved to be the last straw in my hope that working through the official, supposedly democratic, institutions could change anything. I had already lived through the Vietnam War and saw corporate media engage in massive disinformation campaign to hide the realities of that war. I had already lived through the assassinations of any public figure who tried to argue against our official policies. I became convinced that the only way to bring about significant change was through revolution and the overthrow of the real controllers of our society--the capitalist class. 

Modi, Yunus and the financial inclusion mafia

Click here to access article by economist Norbert Häring from his website (Germany). 

Modi is of course the prime minister of India and Yunus is a micro-lending banker in nearby Bangladesh. Häring connects these two figures with the World Bank, USAID, Citi Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Master Card, Omidyar Network (Paypal), and the United Nation Capital Development Fund which together conspire to use credit as a method to gain control and ownership over everything of worth in the world. The mafia-like scheme represents the latest capitalist class war against the poor and gullible workers of the world.
The war on cash that is currently being waged in India and other developing countries is the culmination of a "financial inclusion”-campaign originating in the US in the 1990s. The purported goal and the US institutions pushing the agenda are the same as in two earlier financial-inclusion-drives, which have been thoroughly discredited: the subprime mortgage banking frenzy in the US and the microcredit-hype around Muhammad Yunus and his Grameen Bank. 

Gas From Israel And The Flynn Wiretapping - Behind The Deep-State Infighting Over The Trump Election

Click here to access article by Bernhard from Moon of Alabama
What is really behind the deep-state infighting over the U.S. elections and the "wire tapping" of the Trump campaign? Why was the CIA-Neocon axis vehemently lobbying against Trump? What foreign interests and what money is involved in this? Answers to these questions are now emerging.
The author, who is noted for his expert sleuthing, has laid out a convincing real story that lies behind the fake news story issued by corporate media of the firing of the National Security Advisor under the Trump administration. 

VOTE: The 2017 Horace Greeley Award for Best Fake News Journalist

Click here to access article from 21st Century Wire.

This article gives you the opportunity to vote on the best fake news story that was issued by media corporations in recent years.
If you’ve been following this year’s Fake News Final Four at 21WIRE, you will have also heard about the prestigious award for the best individual fake news journalist or media personality, because to call some of these people journalists would be inappropriate.

Here are the Top 10 finalist nominees for the first annual Horace Greeley Award for Outstanding Work in Fake News Journalism…

Sunday, March 26, 2017

How US Flooded the World with Psyops

Click here to access article by Robert Parry from ConsortiumNews. (Editing for clarity at 5 PM Seattle time.)
Newly declassified documents from the Reagan presidential library help explain how the U.S. government developed its sophisticated psychological operations capabilities that – over the past three decades – have created an alternative reality both for people in targeted countries and for American citizens, a structure that expanded U.S. influence abroad and quieted dissent at home.
This article represents an excellent piece of investigative journalism from a journalist who has already achieved renown as a genuine independent journalist. He is an example of someone who must be a part of a citizen-funded independent alternative media organization that I suggested in a piece entitled "Some observations and solutions about the contemporary class war being waged (on us) by our capitalist ruling class". 

After studying government documents he received under FOIA, Parry reports on many systemic attempts in the 1980s to influence world opinion, both within the US and abroad, to support the many crimes committed by the capitalist directors of the US-led Empire. Propaganda and psyop programs were set up, some privately funded with close collaboration by hidden figures behind the facade of government, to insure that their crimes were hidden under a media barrage of fake "humanitarian" and "democratic" themes. It is clear from the current onslaught of anti-Putin and anti-Russian stories that are inflicted upon us daily that these programs have only gotten bigger. From my observations, corporate media, including the government chartered NPR and PBS, are almost exclusively publishing fake stories and censoring out real reports of any topic that is politically sensitive.

D. Rockefeller’s Gruesome Legacy

Click here to access article by F. William Engdahl from New Eastern Outlook. (Editing for clarity at 5 PM Seattle time.)

Engdahl unwraps one of the capitalism's most secretive and powerful actors and finds the stench of a self-seeking misanthrope who devoted his entire life to satisfying his own excessive needs for power and wealth at the expense of untold number of lives across the globe. Instead of eulogizing such infantile behavior as corporate media has done, Engdahl tells the real, gruesome story of his life. 

Capitalism is a kind of religion that extols the merits of self-seeking behavior. To practice self-seeking they see the necessity to dominate and control others. Its adherents claim that the practice of self-seeking is beneficial to all. Of course, this is only a ruse to hide their ambitions to control everything in the world for their sole benefit. A capitalist has the personality development of a two year old child who is devoted entirely to its own satisfaction. 

Although capitalism as a system benefits only a few, capitalist ideologues indoctrinate all citizens in the goodness of this lifestyle from birth; and this influence continues throughout their lives in schools, corporate media, and entertainment. The end result is a full-spectrum ideological dominance over citizens to such an extent that people can no long imagine any other social-economic system in spite of the fact of the system's many deleterious effects (wars, poverty, environmental destruction, etc) on people all over our planet.

As our Empire's transnational ruling class is becoming desperate to maintain their objective of securing the entire world as their oyster, they are increasingly resorting to desperate measures that include full-spectrum surveillance of citizens and systematic propaganda and psyop programs to manage their consent to continue with the capitalists' obsession to obtain for themselves every last thing of value on the planet.

Democratic Party floats proposal for a palace coup

Click here to access article by Andre Damon from World Socialist Web Site.
Far from appealing to the broad popular opposition to Trump that began to erupt in the days after his inauguration, the Democratic Party is fixated on avoiding at all costs the emergence of a movement of the working masses. That is why it appeals to the military/intelligence apparatus and the corporate aristocracy in its struggle with the faction of the ruling class represented by Trump.

The war between the two is a war of liars between two deeply reactionary factions of the same capitalist elite. The Trump camp seeks to pursue a different approach in the drive of US imperialism for global hegemony—putting off for now war plans against Russia in order to focus US aggression first on China.

Both factions would drag the people of the United States and the world into a third world war, with the prospect of nuclear annihilation. And there is no difference between the two on the need to escalate the war against the working class.
I don't think that Friedman's open letter in the NY Times has all that much to do with the Democratic Party as it has more to do with the struggle of the two factions as argued in the above quote. As an illustration, the vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act was rejected by a combination of both political parties even though its repeal has long been advocated by Republicans. Both factions of the ruling class simply did not think it was in their best interest to provoke more anti-government opposition, and instructed their puppets in Congress to vote accordingly.

The perfect consumer of capitalism's products

by British illustrator and animator Steve Cutts from his website.