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 25, 2017

America’s Enemies, Who’s On the List?

Click here to access article by James Petras from Global Research (based in Canada). (Clarification added in first paragraph on 12/1/2017.)

The latest fascist Empire, like the Third Reich, must pursue war in order to pay off the debts accumulated by the US government, which has now passed $20 trillion--debt which is owed to its mostly capitalist investors. Yes, capitalists do invest in war...well, not directly. They mostly invest in weapons manufacturing corporations and other supplies needed by their armies. Otherwise they invest in US securities like Treasury bills which are owed to them by the government's taxpayers--that's us. This enormous debt is presently the basis for the "never-ending wars" agenda of the Empire that was made possible by the 9/11 event. By conquering or intimidating other countries, we can force the latter to pursue policies favorable to Empire capitalists. But, do we, the people, have to (def.) go along with this agenda?
For almost 2 decades, the US pursued a list of ‘enemy countries’ to confront, attack, weaken and overthrow.

This imperial quest to overthrow ‘enemy countries’ operated at various levels of intensity, depending on two considerations:  the level of priority and the degree of vulnerability for a ‘regime change’ operation.

The criteria for determining an ‘enemy country’ and its place on the list of priority targets in the US quest for greater global dominance, as well as its vulnerability to a ‘successfully’ regime change will be the focus of this essay.

We will conclude by discussing the realistic perspectives of future imperial options.

Cheap dignity of the Ukrainian revolution

Click here to access article by the editorial board of the Oriental Review (independent website based in Russia--no doubt Russian propaganda--sarcasm).

If you followed the Ukrainian coup, engineered by Victoria Nuland of the US State Department and the CIA, as closely as I did, you will not be surprised by this article and the following videos which the article refers to. Still the videos offer more concrete evidence that the US paid snipers to create chaos in Kiev during the anti-government protests, and brought about the coup. I'm sure our ruling class masters consider the $5 billion spent on the coup as money well spent. (The videos may take more than a few seconds to appear.)

And Then The Clown Prince Told Friedman: 'Suck On This.'

Click here to access article by Bernhard from his blog Moon of Alabama
The Moustache of Understanding, Thomas Friedman, has written the probably most embarrassing fanfiction ever....
I don't normally post articles like this that lampoons someone, but this is so brilliant that I can't pass it up. Besides, it occurs to me that Friedman and the NY Times, as revealed here, illustrate the degeneration of the US Empire's entire trans-nationalist capitalist ruling class. Bernhard's satirical exposĂ© suggests not only Friedman's literal obscene behavior, but metaphorically the real obscenity of the Empire's ruling class and their weltanschauung (def.)--after all, the NY Times is the "newspaper of record" for the Empire! This is well-deserved satire when many alternative sources are reporting about the horrible humanitarian crises that the Empire and its vassal kingdom of Saudi Arabia are currently creating for the people of Yemen (see this, this, and this or this). 

Friday, November 24, 2017

Hostile Posturing Towards Iran Proves U.S. Losing Grip on Power

Click here to access article by Randi Nord from Geopolitics Alert

It seems that all we hear nowadays is bad news: attacks on the internet and censorship increasingly occurring on the internet, Russia-gate, mysterious events in the Middle East, and Trump's administration (together with Congress) increasing belligerence toward North Korea and Iran, the recent distractions offered by allegations of sexual misconduct by well-known men, etc. In dramatic contrast to these bad news events is that ISIS, the world's number one terrorist organization, is about to be thoroughly defeated! I think that all of these events are related, and I'd love to be able to write such an article.

Could it be that the defeat of ISIS is bad news for the US Empire's capitalist ruling class and its vassal states? It appears so.  I think this article by Nord, which I believe offers sound insights on the relationship of at least some of these events, adds to this suspicion of mine. And if, as she argues, our ruling masters are losing their grip, God (or Allah, etc) help us! Because it appears that we are unwilling or unable to help ourselves.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Pentagon Says It's Staying In Syria, Even Though ISIS Appears Defeated

Click here to access article by Mark Katkov from NPR (National Propaganda Radio). 

Read how the "good guys", the USA, are helping Syrians and want to restore "democracy" in Syria. Then following this, read remarks from Pentagon officials and their explanation (lies) as to why they want their military to remain there.

Now read the report from RT which our government has forced a media company to register as a "foreign agent" in a post entitled "Syria, Russia & Iran shift to diplomacy, while US and allies push for war". Which of the two reports do you think is the most accurate? Perhaps our government should register as a "foreign agent".

RT America a foreign agent, tax dollars fund sexual abuse & more

Click here if you wish to access this post directly from RT that features Lee Camp doing satire . 
The Department of Justice ordered RT to register as a foreign agent, yet refuses to cite what laws were broken. Furthermore, the government has done nothing to demonstrate how RT journalists are taking orders from the Kremlin or that RT employees have lobbied Congress on behalf of the Russian government, which is required by law. This move is clearly political since ACTUAL foreign lobbyists like the Podesta Group and AIPAC were not threatened with arrests and a test case for a wider campaign of media suppression. The fact is the political establishment is scared to death that more and more of us are abandoning its corporate media, and doesn't want us hearing outside perspectives.

Syria - This U.S. Occupation - Or "Presence" - Is Unsustainable

Click here to access article by Bernhard from Moon of Alabama.

This is a rather long article with many links to document his arguments. Nevertheless, if you can spare the time, it will offer you important information, and one that I will supplement by another Kuwaiti independent journalist, that contributes to a comprehensive picture of the terribly complicated, game-changing and potentially explosive nature of the present situation in this area.

Because I don't like to be dependent on one source of information, I am supplying you with another article by Elijah J. Magnier, an independent Kuwaiti journalist, entitled "A US buffer zone in north-eastern Syria and a land-Bridge from Tehran to Beirut" which corroborates much of Bernhard's post and offers more information on this volatile area. I have provided the following maps: one furnished by Magnier that I've enlarged, and have provided another so that you can clearly see what both posts refer to.

I am providing you with one more link which will confirm Bernhard's claim that the US military advised the Syrian Kurds to add "democratic" to their name. See this general's remarks at 25:10m into his talk at the Aspen Institute in July of this year.  This is an illustration of how attuned US leaders are to framing issues to hide their illegal and criminal activities behind nice sounding words.
To disguise its cooperation with the Kurdish terrorists, the U.S. renamed the group into the "Syrian Democratic Forces" (SDF). Some Arab fighters from east Syrian tribes were added to it. These are mostly former foot-soldiers of ISIS who changed sides when the U.S. offered better pay. Other fighters were pressed into service. The people of the Syrian-Arab city Manbij, which is occupied by the YPG and U.S. forces, protested when the YPG started to violently conscript its youth. 
However, I think the Syrian Kurds are more complicated than he describes them here. They do have some factions among them that have appealed to US leftists. I think that they were fighting for survival from ISIS forces (the US played both sides in relation to this terrorist army) when they teamed up with the US military and allowed the latter to construct bases on territory which they controlled in northeast Syria. But I think that now their continuing collaboration with US forces is a very serious mistake.                                                                                                                                                            

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Who was not responsible for the Russian Revolution, and who was? [part 2 of 5]

Click here to access article by Ramin Mazaheri from The Greanville Post

Mazaheri, an Iranian-American working in Paris, borrows heavily from a new book entitled A People’s History of the Russian Revolution (by Neil Faulkner) to explain what this revolution was all about.
What we should increasingly understand is that 1917 actually occurred not thanks to the intellectual – even a non-solitary one like Lenin – but thanks to the decades of grassroots organizations which defied the state police who then found their ultimate catalyst in the soldier unwilling to fight for a Tsarist, and then also a Bourgeois (West European) state.

We must remember that common soldiers are – for all intents and purposes – an organised, “grassroots” group…especially once they rebel from state authority and transfer allegiance to the People, who were increasingly represented by worker and share-cropper councils.

That is precisely what happened in 1917 – the confluence of massive groups which discussed, agreed and then carried the People’s will and placed it – fully formed – into the hands of a Bolshevik Party which promised to implement Their will.

Death Date Announced For The Internet

Click here if you wish to access this 8:40m video directly from YouTube.

This post represents a crucial battle in the war against real information being delivered to you via the internet. Trump's appointee, Ajit Pai, head of the FCC is launching another campaign to attack (reduce access to) information that the internet service providers like Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, etc, don't like or which don't see certain websites as providing sufficient profitable opportunities for them. After all, that is what America Inc. is all about: providing never-ending profits and power to our ruling capitalist masters. Because Pai has the votes on the FCC Commission, it looks certain that he will be able to transfer oversight from the FCC to the FTC which has extremely weak enforcement measures.
On December 14th the internet as we know it may be deceased. Cenk Uygur, the host of The Young Turks, tells you what you can do to stop it. ....

“Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai will reportedly seek to completely repeal net neutrality rules put in place under former President Obama, according to a Monday report.

Sources close to the matter tell Politico that Pai will seek to completely remove the net neutrality rules, which reclassified internet service providers (ISPs) as telecommunications companies and required them to treat all web traffic equally.

The FCC will reportedly vote on the plan in December, according to Politico.

Pai and other Republicans have argued the Obama-era FCC overstepped its authority with the regulations by reclassifying the ISPs as common carriers.

The FCC held a months-long open comment period on its proposal to repeal the rules after facing massive backlash after releasing its initial proposal in April.”

Here are some other posts that may interest you regarding this issue:

Ice Apocalypse

Click here to access article by Eric Holthaus from Grist
Antarctica is a giant landmass — about half the size of Africa — and the ice that covers it averages more than a mile thick. Before human burning of fossil fuels triggered global warming, the continent’s ice was in relative balance: The snows in the interior of the continent roughly matched the icebergs that broke away from glaciers at its edges.

Now, as carbon dioxide traps more heat in the atmosphere and warms the planet, the scales have tipped.

A wholesale collapse of Pine Island and Thwaites would set off a catastrophe. Giant icebergs would stream away from Antarctica like a parade of frozen soldiers. All over the world, high tides would creep higher, slowly burying every shoreline on the planet, flooding coastal cities and creating hundreds of millions of climate refugees.

All this could play out in a mere 20 to 50 years — much too quickly for humanity to adapt.
I hope this graphic will help you understand the material.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Luxury Socialized Medicine

Click here to access article by Meagan Day from Jacobin. (My thanks go to Christopher in northwest Oregon for alerting me to this article.)
Forget rationing and waiting lists. Socialized medicine delivers comforts and convenience that Americans can only dream about.
As an elder I no longer can receive adequate health care. No physician in private practice will take me on as a patient, because I can no longer afford supplementary health plans (to grow old in the USA is to sink into poverty) issued by insurers to add a subsidy to Medicare. I don't blame the physicians because the payments under Medicare are inadequate. Now only when I'm very sick (not for physical examinations, or minor ailments) can I receive Medicare coverage for health care from a charity clinic staffed by very poor physicians who apparently can't get a job working for clinics and hospitals. Very fortunately for me, I have taken good care of myself all my life, and as a result I enjoy excellent health, but sooner or later this will change. Yes, I agree, the USA is an "exceptional nation", but only in the sense that our nation, or more accurately, our ruling class, refuses to provide universal coverage for its citizens.    

The struggle for a Catalan Republic enters a new stage

Click here to access article by Jorge Martin from In Defense of Marxism.
The proclamation of the Republic by the Catalan Parliament on October 27th was short-lived. The Spanish state was ready to crush it decisively, while the Catalan government had no plans and no strategy to defend it. That, however, is not the end of the movement.
The author uses a class analysis to frame the future of the Catalan movement for independence. He sees an organization the emergence of the Committees for the Defence of the Republic as a constructive step toward a revolutionary movement of the people instead of merely the capitalist class in the Catalan province. (This step reminds one of the broad steps of the 1917 Russian Revolution.) The next official step of the Spanish government will be the holding of elections in Catalonia on December 21. 

The American Brainwash: Guess what, Ma, capitalism is not Americanness

Click here to access article by Patrice Greanville from The Greanville Post
Virtually unchallenged to this day, corporate media are accustomed to using a number of misleading “cultural equations” to hide the existence of undemocratic institutions at the core of the American system. Thus, capitalism, a “hierarchic tyranny” as Chomsky calls it, is usually identified by its euphemisms: “Free Enterprise,” “market system,” “private enterprise,” “the American Way,” etc. Academia also cheerfully participates in this deliberate cosmetisation [def.] of what otherwise many people would begin to recognize as something unhealthy and malodorous in their midst. But of all these quaint labels and false equations the most outrageous and cynically deceptive is that which makes “Americanness”—the very national identity of the United States— identical with capitalism, both concepts one and inseparable. [my link]
Our masters in the capitalist ruling class play all sorts of tricks on our minds by conflating the "American way of life" with capitalism and the latter as simply a state of nature or as the highest state of achieved by humans in their quest for the perfect economic and political system. Hence, the "end of history" argued by Francis Fukuyama, a noted capitalist ideologist. But what Greanville overlooks is the fact that every ruling class puts its ideological stamp on every society over which they have ruled since the beginning of civilization. Ideology, or the belief system of a society, is critically important to maintain a ruling class in power. They must convince their subjects to be loyal to their rule or else they must maintain their rule by force which is very expensive. 

That is why capitalist regimes, when they get in trouble, always revert to fascism. That is precisely why fascism was so attractive to the ruling capitalist classes of Western countries (and Japan) during the Great Depression of the 1930s when the Soviet Union was improving their economy by "leaps and bounds" (def.) and where there was no unemployment. And, that is why we are witnessing today the growing rise of fascism  in the USA after the collapse of the economy in 2008 known as the Great Recession from which many economists argue that we still have not recovered. 

In this fake form of democracy capitalist elites control all the political institutions ranging from the original adoption of the constitution to their control over political parties that are allowed to function. Only when humans have gotten rid of all class structured societies and achieve something like true equality can real democracy exist. That means control by the people, and for the people, every institution of society including especially the economy.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Trump era sparks debate about nuclear war authority

Click here to access article by Robert Burns of The Associated Press posted at Real Clear Defense.

I've been wondering if the Deep State has set up controls on Trump to prevent him from launching nuclear armed missiles against any nation. It has become clear that he has exhibited and impulsive, volatile behavior which is not exactly what anyone wants who has his "fingers" on the triggers of nuclear weapons. Apparently there are members of Congress who have similar worries.
This past week’s Senate hearing was the first in Congress on presidential authority to use nuclear weapons since 1976, when a Democratic congressman from New York, Richard L. Ottinger, pushed for the U.S. to declare it would never initiate a nuclear war. Ottinger said he wanted to “eliminate the prospect that human ignorance and potential human failure in the use of nuclear materials, especially nuclear weapons, will lead to the destruction of civilization.”


“We are concerned that the president of the United States is so unstable, is so volatile, has a decision-making process that is so quixotic, that he might order a nuclear weapons strike that is wildly out of step with U.S. national security interests,” said Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said at the outset of last week’s hearing.
In case you are a member of one of the younger generations that has been raised on Star Wars, Star Trek, and all the computer games featuring futuristic combat by "good guys" and "bad guys" where the good guys always "win" in the end, I think you might be interested in a little realism that is offered in the following videos about nuclear war.