Can an anonymous alternative currency — not tethered to the oppressive arm of the state — make us free? That’s the premise behind Bitcoin, invented less than 10 years ago, which has soared stratospherically and then, recently, fallen sharply. David Golumbia reflects on the rightwing libertarian ideas behind Bitcoin.
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, February 10, 2018
The television network RT asked me for a comment around the recent visit to Raqqa done by the USAID program chief together with the CENTCOM Commander. 
Before to answer the items on the humanitarian situation in Raqqa associated with the reconstruction issue –80 percent of Raqqa dwellings remain “inhabitable”, according to the UN–, I will develop on the current U.S. geopolitics in the area, against the backdrop of the U.S. emerging ‘Plan B’ on Syria ....
So far, the implementation of this new design has signified the virtual occupation of nearly a third of Syria’s territory. A hallmark of the situation consisting in the illegal character of the occupation.
I'll have to admit that the content of this show quite shocked me. Jimmy Dore essentially argues that Orwell's 1984 has now been established in the USA. It's also clear that unwitting Americans are still not conscious of this new reality. The accelerating downward trend toward an Orwellian nation is now in full operation with the 24/7 surveillance of social and other media by US intelligence agencies, the efforts by social media corporations to prevent the access of people to alternative or independent websites, the appointment of military generals to key foreign policy positions in the government, and now the appointment of CIA officials to prominent positions in media corporations. Dore does not explicitly show how all these trends are driven by an increasingly threatened ruling capitalist class, but all of his content clearly supports this view.
Friday, February 9, 2018
- "What You Aren't Being Told About NPR" by Lee Camp of RT's Redacted Tonight program. Because I've seen the former liberal (this label means that they favored popular interests within a capitalist society) National Public Radio morph over the past 40 years into a right-wing propaganda radio network called "NPR" that is sponsored by right-wing people like the Koch brothers, I delight in posting this Lee Camp's satire of the radio network.
- "Corruption is Legal in America". This YouTube video was uploaded by apparently well-meaning people at Represent.Us, a group that advocates citizens' use of referendums to by-pass legislatures and Congress to prevent big capitalists from funding candidates and their support for the interests of the rich. However, seeing that they have received favorable media exposure from The Washington Post, The New York Times, CNN, NBC, etc., I rather doubt their sincerity. It is likely an example of how the capitalist ruling class prefers to co-opt any studies and reforms groups in order to lead them into dead-end political activity--much like the Bernie Sanders campaign of last year in the Democratic Party. Anyway, the Princeton study is a very worthy one, and one that I referred to last year here on my website. This 5:50m YouTube video summarizes the study very well.
- "Why is U.S. not globally condemned for its military occupation of Syria?" by Eric Zuesse from The Greanville Post. Although the author denies that Trump is the contemporary version of Hitler, Trump is a corporate fascist because he loves the military establishment and the generals, and he doesn't hesitate to use, or threaten to use, actual military violence to get his way. That is the authentic face of advanced capitalism once it decides to take off the mask of their fake version of democracy. In this post I don't think that Zuesse makes a solid argument to support the title of the post. I think he is only referring to the many nations under the US-led Empire, but not the whole world. Here in the USA very little has been broadcast or publicized in corporate media about the incident; and what little there was, was mostly lies.
Thursday, February 8, 2018
- Propaganda! Pardon Me, Is Mine Really Bigger than Yours? by Andre Vltchek from New Eastern Outlook. Vltchek reviews his life journey to illustrate how be developed from a "totally indoctrinated, endlessly brainwashed by Western propaganda" in his youth in Czechoslovakia where, as a dissident, he listened to Western capitalist propaganda spread by BBC, Radio Free Europe, Voice of America, West German television channels and other European radio stations. Now after living in 160 countries and seeing reality first hand, he is free to write about his own perceptions. He differentiates two types of propaganda: 1) carefully crafted news and information designed by the rich and powerful to convince you of their virtue and to support their interests; and 2) people honestly and sincerely writing about how they perceive the various realities that they experience. It is a journey of discovery of realty that is far different from his early conditioning by Western capitalist propaganda.
- Syria - U.S. May Have Arranged "Self Defense" Attack On Syrian Government Forces by Bernhard from Moon of Alabama. The author carefully examines the evidence of an attack by US forces from their occupied territory in Syria on Syrian government forces that suggest that the US military are playing dirty while issuing a steady stream of anti-Assad propaganda. Meanwhile, the American people are fed only the latter by media corporations.
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
- US Jingoism vs. Russian Propaganda: From ‘The List’ To Social Media Censorship by "_anonym" from The Greanville Post.
American culture places an extreme emphasis on the right to hold an opinion with next to none on the actual ability to form one. We are, as a people, uneducated for democracy, which is to a large extent why we do not have one, and why the powers that be feel obliged to rely on censorship: people can’t be trusted to think for themselves. If Americans have neither the moral nor intellectual capacity to distinguish truth from lies, good argument form cheesy propaganda, enter the anti-propagandist and ‘censor-as-a-public-service’ to tell them what to believe.
Thankfully there is a large and growing number of Americans with no such moral or intellectual deficit, who have educated themselves for democracy since the system does not.
- Kurds, Out of Options, Look to Syria’s Assad for Help by Jim Carey, editor of Geopolitics Alert. This is a well-documented look at the twists and turns of the Syrian Kurdish leadership and their current usefulness to the US Empire to destabilize Syria. For more background information I suggest you read my post of 2/25/2017 entitled "The Myth of the Kurdish YPG’s Moral Excellence". Also, for more historical background for the Empire's on again, off again, use of the Kurds, read an article entitled "America, the Kurds, and History: Only a Pawn in Their Game".
Monday, February 5, 2018
More people are joining Steemit, an alternative social media platform. (I have no opinion on this issue.)
Along with myself and Dawson, anti-establishment journalists including Caitlin Johnstone, Redacted Tonight’s Lee Camp, HA Goodman, and many others have joined the platform and begun to publish or re-publish their work there. The move has made waves within Steemit, with one prominent user devoting an entire article to the shift.
Brennan, who played a key role in the construction of the establishment Russia narrative that has been used to manufacture public consent for world-threatening new cold war escalations, is just the latest addition in an ongoing trend of trusted mainstream media outlets being packed to the gills with establishment stalwarts from the US intelligence community."It is the function of the CIA to keep the world unstable, and to propagandize and teach the American people to hate, so we will let the Establishment spend any amount of money on arms." -- John Stockwell, former CIA official and author
We must credit Wolfgang Streeck, an economic sociologist, who first brought our attention to the concept of post-factual politics. Of course, he did not bring our attention to the constant lies fed to us by the ruling class's media corporations--that has been obvious to people who are awake and pay attention.
Just this morning I was jarred awake by an obvious propaganda segment in NPR's Morning Edition "news" program. Because of my location I can only receive a Tacoma NPR station (it seems to be ubiquitous by using repeater frequencies to cover all of northwestern Washington state), and I use it on my alarm radio to wake me up in the morning. However, this morning the station not only wakened me, but jarred me awake with complete disgust as it, once again, hammered away on the Russiagate theme. I turned the radio off after the segment and got dressed. Listen to the following segment to see if you agree with my reaction:
Christopher, an engaged activist, did some internet sleuthing and found some very interesting background material on Molly McKew who was featured in the above NPR broadcast. Thank you, Christopher!