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, February 17, 2018

BBC Journalism 101: They’re Just ‘Conspiracy Theorists’ in Need of an Explanation [a best post]

The Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth (AE911Truth) alerted me to the following 28:33 YouTube video that features a rebuttal by Roland Angle, a highly qualified civil engineer of 50 years, to a recent BBC program entitled “The people who think 9/11 may have been an ‘inside job.’”. There are many such sites in which various qualified people or eye witnesses offer evidence that conflicts with the official government's story which is parroted by all corporate media, but never permitted to express their views on corporate media.

The many architects and engineers that are active in AE911Truth are risking their own careers by taking issue with the official explanations of the tragedy that happened on September 11, 2001. Thus, they are very conservative in their challenges to the official story which I am convinced was a major false-flag event that made possible the launching of the War on Terror which permitted US armed forces to actively intervene in so many countries of the world since then. 
Two weeks ago, the BBC published a vapid iteration of its unrivaled brand of anti-journalism on all things 9/11, which it unironically titled: “The people who think 9/11 may have been an ‘inside job.’”

Unlike the hate-mongering Gizmodo article of two weeks before that, the BBC piece adopted a softer tone, trotting out the familiar trope of suggesting that people believe in “conspiracy theories” because of their supposed “need for an explanation that’s proportional to the event itself.”
(The following video may take a few more seconds to upload on your device.)  

Also, I recommend reading the commentary posted on the YouTube post.

The All-Important Doorman

Click here to access article by Jeff Thomas from International Man. (Credit for this post goes to Christopher of northwest Oregon.)

The only problem with this post is that its treatment of the "deep state" is so superficial, and its author posts it on a site (International Man) that is dedicated to capitalist speculation. Having perused the website, it is clear that it is managed by a transnational capitalist whose grasp of history is, of necessity, very ahistorical and superficial. Likewise, the author only suggests that the political system has been infected with corruption by big banks, the military industrial complex, Big Pharma, etc.... Thus, both the author and the website administrator cast a condescending glance at those ordinary people who naively believe that "somehow, those who are elected remain loyal to the voters, not to those who paid for their election". 

Meanwhile, they with their riches, which were apparently obtained through stock market speculation, neglect to mention that the system of capitalism has given the super-winners of the system not only fantastic riches but also super powers to ensure that ordinary people remain ignorant of their comprehensive corruption of society. 

The super-rich, that is, the owners of the banks, the industrial complex, Big Pharma, etc. constitute a ruling class that controls not only the political system, but every institution of society. This control of every institution insures that their values and interests are supported and that no one is allowed any significant platform to dissent from capitalist ideology. The author suggests that except for these super-rich corrupters of the system, the system would be fine. This post is an excellent illustration of the American version of libertarianism

The metaphor of the doorman is superficially apt, but unoriginal, and, of necessity, only attempts to explain political reality, and not the broader picture of capitalist rule. This allows the author and the website administrator to smugly continue on to enrich themselves with stock market speculation and to sneer at dumbed-down workers. 

Friday, February 16, 2018

The Wars No One Notices

Click here to access article by Stephanie Savell from The Unz Review.

The author describes her journey from an uninformed, uncaring person about the many wars we are engaged in throughout the world to where she is now: an awakened and caring researcher on the costs of these wars.
Do Americans really not care? That, at least, seems to have been the judgment of the many journalists who received our press release about the report.

In truth, this has become something like a fact of life in America today, one that’s only been made more extreme by the media’s full-time fascination with President Donald Trump — from his tweets to his insults to his ever-wilder statements. He — or rather the media obsession with his every twitch — poses just the latest challenge to getting attention of any sort for the true costs to us (and everyone else) of our country’s wars. 
In addition to their chronic use of fake news and propaganda, the ruling capitalist class, in my opinion, has mainly accomplished through their successful 9/11 monumental false-flag event. 

Operation Pacific Eagle: Duterte Falls in Line with US Plans for the Philippines

Click here to access article by Elliott Gabriel from Mint Press News

I have watched with amazement at the antics of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte during the past 1 1/2 years. I first witnessed his outrageous anti-American statements which called a member of Obama's administration "a gay son-of-a-bitch" and Obama "a son of a whore". Then there were his visits to China and Russia followed by his statements that he was aligning his country with China and Russia. Following this there appeared almost on cue the appearance of the Islamic army in the Philippines which was followed by Duterte asking the US for help in fighting them! Either Duterte is a very good actor or he is unstable to the extreme, possibly both.

In this second article of a series of three by Gabriel he draws on comments by exiled Filipino revolutionary Jose Maria Sison and Professors William I. Robinson and Roland Simbulan to ascertain what Duterte is really like. The author tends to see Duterte's personality as very much like the Empire's Donald Trump. According to Sison, Duterte's former college professor, Duterte has been under the control of the US Empire all along. And Gabriel reminds us of the history of the Philippines as the first US imperialist launching of what has now become a worldwide Empire. 

For more information regarding US-Philippine relations, I recommend his first article entitled "Operation Pacific Eagle in the Philippines: Washington’s New Colonial War" and his last article yet to be posted.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Recommended articles for 2/15/2018

  • Who is burying the Olympic movement and why? from Oriental Review. Although this rather lengthy post originates from an independent website in Russia, I think that it at least provides balance to the ongoing smearing of Russia athletes by the US. Actually I think most Russian and other nations' websites, whether independent or funded by their governments, offer far more accurate coverage of issues that those under the control of the transnational capitalist class in nations under the control of the US-led Empire.  Media corporations in the latter nations have no scruples about planting fake news stories, presenting extremely biased reports in their media, and engaging in censorship by refusing to offer the views of independent journalists.
  • The following video was posted in an article entitled "A chi sono utili le «inutili guerre»" or "The Art of War: For Whom are the 'Useless Wars' Useful For?" posted at Il Manifesto, an Italian journalists' cooperative website. The 16:08m video provides a very good summary of the article. (The video may take a few seconds to upload.)

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Tet Offensives, Hungry China and Dumbed Down Americans

Click here to access article by Linh Dinh from OpEdNews

After describing the cartoonish nature--due to the influence of the ruling class's ideological institutions--of the views of ordinary Americans regarding history and countries, the author, who has recently returned to his native Vietnam, launches into the real history of China, southeast Asia, and Western countries. He concludes with a most important question that has been on my mind:
Drugged, decadent, easily manipulated, narcissistic and ignorant of history, how will Americans deal with the existential storm awaiting them?

Russian Historiography of the Korean War

Click here to access article by George Burchett, son of renowned independent journalist Wilfred Burchett. (Much of what I learned about the true story of the Vietnam War during that war was furnished by his father, Wilfred Burchett, an Australian independent journalist.)

George, who is an artist living in Hanoi, Vietnam, writes of the massive efforts in the continuing campaign of denial of bacteriological warfare engaged in by the US forces in the Korean War by subsequent propaganda agents of the class that rules the US-led Empire, particularly evidence sourced from supposedly recovered documents from old Soviet files in the 1990s. 

I strongly urge those who are interested in the US use of bio-weapons in the Korean War read a recent book by Dave Chaddock entitled This Must Be the Place (2013) in which he extensively covers the subject from both sides of the controversy and comes to the definite conclusion that the US did indeed use bacteriological weapons in Korea and adjacent areas of China. Chaddock also confirms what George Burchett writes about Unit 731 of the Japanese army headed by General Shiro Ishii in WWII. 
These “former officers” belonged to Unit 731. While many of the worst Japanese war criminals were tried and sentenced to death by a U.S. Military Court in Tokyo, the leader of Unit 731, General Shiro Ishii, and his top aides, were granted immunity and asked to work on the U.S. BW research and development program.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Recommended articles for 2/13/2018

  • View these YouTube videos below that portray north and south Korea cordial gatherings in relation to the Winter Olympics in south Korea, and see what is causing fits among the US ruling class that has been promoting conflict between the two sides ever since the actual ceasing of hostilities during the Korean War. This cold war attitude was expressed by Yahoo Corporation in this post, and because of such coverage most uncritically thinking Americans will continue to hate and fear north Korea.  (You may need to wait a little until the videos upload.)
  • Focus on China: The East is green? by Martin Empson from Socialist Review (Britain). I am offering this post to balance so much of the uncritical coverage in the left websites.
  • What U.S. News Reports on Syria’s War Hide by Eric Zuesse from Washington's Blog. Zuesse tells you the straight story regarding US history in Syria, and, in addition, explains how you can critically think about news coverage especially in corporate media.
Billionaires have lots of clout. There’s talk about “manufactured consent,” and this is the way it is “manufactured.” It is manufactured by incessant lying, not only by the Government, but by the press.

A good rule is to distrust everything you read, and to click onto at least a sampling  of its sources and examine them yourself to see whether they support the allegations that they allegedly support; and to evaluate whether those sources are themselves trustworthy — and to ignore any ‘news’ medium that doesn’t link to its sources (doesn’t conveniently let you check out its truth or falsehood), which includes especially TV, radio, and print media.

‘Lost Connections’ review: the material basis of depression

Click here to access article by Martin Swayne from In Defence of Marxism (British Trotskyist website). 

This is a book review of Lost Connections authored by Johann Hari, a British journalist. His book was obviously inspired by his own experience growing up with depression and being treated by the medical and pharmacological establishments who viewed depression as a chemical imbalance in the brain. This view supported the belief that the favored treatment was to ingest chemicals to restore balance. Hari's journey ended up challenging this belief. This parallels my own journey to unlearn so much of what I was taught growing in a capitalist society to where I am now with this blog challenging such an organization of society as the root cause of so many of the evils we experience everyday of our lives.

The reviewer writes:
It has been proved that depression is, to a significant degree, not a problem of the brain, but of life in general. In that sense, depression is not a mystical and irrational illness. It is a very rational and understandable response to the adverse conditions of capitalist society.

.... To his credit the author names disconnection from meaningful work as cause number one.
Hari finds the second cause to be "disconnection" from society. This flies in the face of capitalist ideology as interpreted by Margaret Thatcher who said "there is no such thing as society". Once again the extreme individualism of capitalist societies create many conditions that end up causing disconnection or isolation from society which often leads to depression.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Under socialism

by cartoonist Stephanie McMillan

Recommended articles for 2/12/2018

The war against our minds sponsored by the ruling class of the US Empire

by Ron Horn, administrator of this website.

Over the past decade I've witnessed with increasing alarm the use of carefully crafted capitalist propaganda the intent of which is to fill our minds with rubbish about the motivations of the US Empire to garner our support for their interests of profit and power. With the ruling class's history of increasingly fake news that really took off with the assassinations of prominent political figures, JF Kennedy, his brother Robert, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and the official narrative about 9/11 which represented a coverup of their major false-flag crime, we are now seeing a daily dose of this sort of material as well as efforts to prevent access to alternative sources of information

What is startling clear to those of us who pay attention is that the ruling class are smearing, and preventing access to, alternative sources of information regarding the activities of their government. For example, compare two different posts on YouTube: one uploaded by a Russian news and analysis network, RT, and a second post regarding an organization sponsored by governments associated with the US Empire and developed by Netflix, a major US media corporation. Did you notice that the RT post on YouTube added the statement, "RT is funded in whole or in part by the Russian government", but the second Netflix post omitted any reference to the funding of the White Helmets organization? 1984 has arrived--a little late--but it has arrived in full bloom. What is so sad is that most Americans are completely unaware of this. 

Rebel Without a Clue: Autonomy and Authority in the American Public School

Click here to access article by Susan Cain and Mark Mason from Dissident Post. (This is a guest post by Caren Black, an engaged activist, whose career spans three decades as a teacher and administrator in private and public schools as well as business, Caren Black has taught eight grade levels and served as assistant principal and principal for middle schools in the public school system.)

Muda by Design

The Japanese term, "muda", which means waste, breakdown, failure, planned obsolescence, all familiar components of capitalism’s sales structure, extend to the much misunderstood American public school system. Here is an excerpt from my book Get Over It!  Education Reform Is Dead. Now What? that describes my view regarding this concept:

 A concept introduced by Toyota Production System creator, Taiichi Ohno, and defined as “any human activity which absorbs resources but creates no value” muda is, quite simply, waste….

In education, of course, waste takes human form:  students we cannot or do not serve, people who get excluded from societal roles because they are too slow, too kinesthetic, too bright, too poor, too abused or too non-white to pass easily along our lock-stepped graded conveyor belt. As in any assembly line, we still reject those who don’t come out in standardized form.  When our system was designed, dropouts could still make their way in the world quite successfully.  Today, that is no longer true. The human cost of the rejection from our educational assembly line is high. Where do we think kids go when the system rejects them?  How does our rejecting kids pollute our communities?

“I want that kid out of my class!” Out of the school, off the planet, far away. “He’s disruptive! He’s defiant! He’s behind! He doesn’t do any work! I can’t teach with him in here! The class is fine when he’s gone!” It’s all true and it’s definitely a problem.  He is a problem.  For him, life is a problem.  He needs an attitude adjustment.  He’s got some learning difficulties.  His mother was (pick a couple):

  1. drinking
  2. snorting
  3. not eating
  4. without medical care
  5. being beaten
  6. uneducated when she was carrying him fifteen years ago.
He’s either hyper or asleep (meaning he does ecstasy weekly at raves). He’s in a crew or being jumped into a gang. Maybe he’s already in a gang.  He reads English at a third grade level and doesn’t know his multiplication tables.  We want him out of the classroom. (Yes, but to where?) He can’t sit quietly at a desk for 45 minutes and take notes on what we tell him were the causes of the Civil War without bothering other students or interrupting us.

We’re covering curriculum.  Of course he’s disruptive! Of course he’s defiant!  But do we really want him on the streets with nothing to do all day except hang around outside our houses?  Are we really ready to consign him to jail at 14?  That’s where he’s headed.  Does it seem so farfetched to create alternative educational systems designs that might better address the needs of non-standardized students like him?  Still not convinced?  Let’s give him a face….
My colleague Wes Beach described its effect on students from a different capitalist class in his book Forging Paths:  Beyond Traditional Schooling:
Compulsory education is based on compulsion. Compulsion requires power over students and control of them. Power and control often become the chief concerns.

School officials were…incapable of understanding, or unwilling to acknowledge that they understood, the fact that there are many perfectly legitimate and real reasons why some kids hate school.

Many students find no challenging material to study; they are capable of working at a much higher level than the curriculum allows. Their interests are not addressed; the academic curriculum in traditional high schools has little to offer someone who wants to be, or already is, a photographer, dancer, auto mechanic, or makeup artist. They do not like the social environment; they want to talk about topics beyond the latest clothing fad or the next party, football game, or sexual encounter. They find their teachers disinterested and sometimes incompetent. They find the environment oppressive and limiting, determining not only what they study but also when they can go to the bathroom or chew gum. They hate being controlled at every turn. They don’t like being on leashes held by administrators, counselors, and teachers. They resent it when their talents and goals are not respected. While this kind of rigid structure may work well for some students, this determination should still be made by the student with his or her parents.
Complaining about the public school system is a popular pastime while “reforming” it is a pundit’s playground, but few writers have actually taught in one or served in administration and fewer still have tried to effect change from within the system -- as both educator Wes Beach and I have, in addition to establishing independent schools of our own and working with two different groups of students, from two different classes of society, who did not “fit in”. This article captured the attention of us both, renewing our online discussions after many years’ lapse.

Susan Cain and Mark Mason, authors of this article, demonstrate their homework prowess by accurately assessing the creation of public education as a tool for instilling “a common political creed…in all citizens” (Spring, p.8) and its use as a bulwark for capitalism by creating the illusion of “equal opportunities” through schooling. 

While my first book was a guide for teachers working toward education reform, my second was an exposĂ© on why reform couldn’t work. Had I written a third, it would have focused on why the power structure would not allow reform anyway because, contrary to popular misunderstanding, our school system is most definitely not broken:  It is doing exactly what it’s intended to do.

“Rebel Without a Clue” gets an “A” for research, writing and analysis.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Recommended articles for 2/11/2018

US-backed terrorism has recently claimed a Russian pilot, amid a war that has cost tens of thousands their lives over the course of several years and threatened the stability of an entire region. But long after the war ends, whenever it ends, this threat as a result of America’s state-sponsorship of terrorism will endure for many more years to come, manifesting itself not only on battlefields but also in cities and towns, targeting soldiers and civilians alike – not just in Syria but around the planet.

How F-Book, Goo ogle, & You Tuube Collude To Crush Dissent

This post features Lee Camp exclaiming about social media and internet corporations attempting to reduce people's access to alternative media. Clearly there is an information war going on by the ruling capitalist class for your political consciousness.

Russia: How the Bureaucracy Seized Power ‒ part four: the bureaucratic counter-revolution

Click here to access article by George Collins and posted on In Defence of Marxism (a British Trotskyist organization). Note: this recent post is really an excerpt from Collins book published in 1987 with the above title. Although I believe that it is an accurate portrayal of Stalin's rule, the Trotsky bias becomes evident in the final paragraphs.

The lengthy articles goes into the details of the takeover of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union by Stalin after the death of Vladimir Lenin in early 1924. Stalin's actions were not based in a theoretical analysis that Lenin or Trotsky expressed, but became motivated by the allure of power. The details are reported in the article which consisted of various twists to the extreme right, and turns to the extreme left, then settling on building socialism in one country, all of which he also used to eliminate any competitors to power in the Soviet government. Thus many of Stalin's critics accuse him of sheer opportunism in quest of dictatorial power. However, his popularity has gained in recent decades in Russia among people who view him as saving them--because he began a campaign (although ruthless) of forced industrialization in the 1930s--from slavery to the German Third Reich during WWII.
In the final part of George Collins' history of the rise of Stalinism, he explains the bureaucracy's final victory over Trotsky's Left Opposition; their shameful co-operation with fascism and imperialism; and the brutal, counter-revolutionary role they played in suppressing the working class in Russia and internationally.