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, March 10, 2018

The CIA Democrats -- Parts 2 and 3

by Patrick Martin of the World Socialist Web Site

Part 2
... the number of candidates who openly proclaim their role in the CIA or military intelligence. In years past, such activities would be considered confidential, if not scandalous for a figure seeking public office. Not only would the candidates want to disguise their connections to the spy apparatus, the CIA itself would insist on it, particularly for those who worked in operations rather than analysis, since exposure, even long after leaving the agency, could be portrayed as compromising “sources and methods.”
Part 3:
There is growing popular hostility to the Trump administration [among the general population], but within the political straitjacket of the two-party system, it is trapped without any genuine outlet. In November 2016, faced with the choice of equally repugnant ruling class figures—Hillary Clinton, the longtime stooge of Wall Street and the Pentagon, and Donald Trump, the corrupt billionaire from the financial underworld of real estate swindling and casino gambling—millions refused to vote. But disappointment and anger over the bankrupt, right-wing policies of the Obama administration led a sufficient number of working people to vote for Trump, particularly in devastated industrial states like Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, that he could eke out an Electoral College victory despite losing the popular vote. [my clarification]
.... In a sense, the Democratic Party’s promotion of a large number of military-intelligence candidates for competitive districts represents an insurance policy for the US ruling elite. In the event of a major swing to the Democrats, the House of Representatives will receive an influx of new members drawn primarily from the national security apparatus, trusted servants of American imperialism. 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Make-Believe America: Why the US Unemployment Rate Doesn’t Indicate Economic Recovery

Click here to access article by Paul Craig Roberts from Foreign Policy Journal

The former Assistant Secretary of Treasury under the Reagan administration points to another lie spread by the current capitalist ruling class.

Today the labor force participation rate is the lowest since February 1978, reversing all the gains of the Reagan years, and the Federal Reserve has used an increase in consumer debt to fill in for the missing growth in consumer income for so long that consumers have no more room to take on more debt. [my emphasis]
Roberts might be forgiven for indulging in a bit of braggadocio. As you can see, the participation rate under the Reagan administration was not much higher than it is now, and it increased under subsequent administrations. In addition, one must not forget that the government under each administration provides little employment for workers except in the military. The Reagan administration brought in the neoconservatives and the neoliberals who promoted an aggressive foreign policy and the elimination of borders that were impediments to their profits. It just took them about 15 years to implement their policies. 

This change was brought about by the ruling capitalist class, not by administrations who are the servants of the ruling class. However, Roberts does reveal another lie of this ruling class to hide their attack on American workers in pursuit of cheap labor elsewhere in the world. And he makes another good point: the fact that ordinary Americans are maxed-out in debt is a growing threat to (the capitalist organization of) the economy.

The latest false-flag attack against Russia?

These two articles point to suspicious clues that, indeed, this incident in Britain was the latest example of a false-flag incident to hoodwink people into hating Russia, supporting the armaments industry, and likely a propaganda campaign to prepare ordinary people for a war against Russia.

Stop Sessta and Fosta

Click here to access article from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The people at this foundation are good, sincere people who naively believe that the political organs of capitalist rule serve ordinary people. They absolutely do not! However, if you have an extra $10,000 laying around, promise your Congress representatives that you will donate to his/her campaign if he/she will oppose these bills.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The CIA Democrats [Part 1]

Click here to access article by Patrick Martin from World Socialist Web Site.

According to Martin in part one of a series of three, it looks like the ruling capitalist class is packing one of its two political parties, the Democratic Party, with "intelligence" operatives and military personnel as candidates for the next House of Representatives 2018 election to insure that the US government follows their imperial agenda. Isn't (fake) "democracy" wonderful?!

The New Blacklist

Click here to access article by Matt Taibbi from Rolling Stone.

Even intelligent and moral liberals like Taibbi are becoming upset over the insanity of the Russiagate events which, as he argues, are designed to "become a way of targeting all dissent".
From Trump to Bernie Sanders to Brexit to Catalonia, voter repudiation of the status quo was the story of the day. The sense of panic among political elites was palpable. The possibility that voters might decide to break up the EU, or put a Trump, Corbyn, or Sanders into power, led to a spate of "Do we have too much democracy?" essays by prominent think tankers and national press figures.

Two years later, the narrative has completely shifted. By an extraordinary coincidence, virtually all the "anti-system" movements and candidates that so terrified the political establishment two years ago have since been identified as covert or overt Russian destabilization initiatives, puppeteered from afar by the diabolical anti-Western dictator, Vladimir von Putin-Evil.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Recommended articles for 3/7/2018

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The Weaponization of Social Media

Click here if you wish to access the 15:57m video (or podcast and transcript), that is provided below, directly from James Corbett's website. This is a best post.
Now openly admitted, governments and militaries around the world employ armies of keyboard warriors to spread propaganda and disrupt their online opposition. Their goal? To shape public discourse around global events in a way favourable to their standing military and geopolitical objectives. Their method? The Weaponization of Social Media. This is The Corbett Report.
In the past capitalist ruling classes initially were largely identified with nations which were under their control. Although national constitutions often used extravagant language about "democracy" and serving the people, in reality these ruling classes created governments to promote their interests and to moderate various capitalist factions that would occasionally come into conflict. These capitalists frequently adopted the corporate form that functioned largely within nations. 

However, beginning in the 1980s largely due to the developments in technology, transnational capitalists and their corporations became a dominate faction in Western nations, particularly in the nations that comprised the US-led Empire. These new capitalists promoted an ideology called neoliberalism ("neo" plus the classic meaning of "liberalism") that sought to eliminate trade barriers such as tariffs that interfered with their profits. They have used this transnational Empire to promote their interests of profits and power, much like their national predecessors did, but with a more aggressive use of subversive organizations such as the CIA and the use (or the threat) of their Empire's military forces.

In this video Corbett brings us up to date by revealing the ruling class of the Empire's use of internet technology to manage the views of the general public to be consistent with their global interests. (You may need to wait a few more seconds for this video to upload on your device.)

(For a very good, although very naive, explanation of only one of the tools, algorithms, that social media corporation use, listen to this 30:38m podcast from Mozilla Corporation.)

Monday, March 5, 2018

Fake History. How The Money Power Controls Our Future By Controlling Our Past

Click here to access article by Jim Macgregor and Gerry Docherty from Information Clearing House

These British authors and researchers of real history describe the methods of the capitalist ruling class, who they name as the "Money Power" or "elites", to alter history to support their interests of profit and power, and to discourage any real understanding of history by ordinary people. However, it must be understood that the ruling class insures that all institutions (media, entertainment, education, etc) support their interests. That's precisely why people, who are aware, call them the "ruling class".
To maintain control and stem dissent, the ruling elites maliciously misrepresent and question the integrity of alternative media and non-corporate news sources which broadcast genuine news, and the honest revisionist historians who relate historical truths. George Orwell suggested in his ‘war is peace’, ‘freedom is slavery’, ‘ignorance is strength’ thesis that the masses fall for the ruling power’s lies because their critical thinking has been so repressed they will believe any absurdity in contradiction of the plain facts.

Recommended articles for 3/5/2018

  • America is a System Not a Democracy by Chris Kanthan from Signs of the Times (SOTT) More and more people are waking up to the practice of "democracy" in the USA, and the real powers behind the political system which he identifies as the "System". However, the author doesn't name the system. It has a name--capitalism, and those that control it are a capitalist ruling class. Also, he doesn't realize that there never was any kind of meaningful democracy in our country.

Extracts from a new book entitled "How Will Capitalism End?"

posted by Ron Horn

The book, published in 2016, that I will quote from is written by Wolfgang Streeck, a German sociologist who I believe has some important insights about the capitalist system that I would like to share with you and for your consideration. This doesn't mean that I endorse everything he writes in the book. After all, his educational experience has been somewhat contaminated by capitalist authorities that oversee all institutions within the US-led capitalist Empire. (Note: I've taken the liberty to re-format the paragraphs to make them more suitable for online reading.)
The image I have of the end of capitalism--an end that I believe is already under way--is one of a social system in chronic disrepair, for reasons of its own and regardless of the absence of a viable alternative. While we cannot know when and how capitalism will disappear and what will succeed it, what matters is that no force is on hand that could be expected to reverse the ... downward trends in economic growth, social equality,and financial stability and end their mutual reinforcement.
In contrast to the 1930s, there is today no political-economic formula on the horizon, Left or Right, that might provide capitalist societies with a coherent new regime of regulation.... Social integration as well as system integration seem irreversibly damaged and set to deteriorate further. What is most likely to happen as time passes is a continuous accumulation  of small and not-so-small dysfunctions; none necessarily deadly as such, but most beyond repair ....
Conceiving of the end of capitalism as a process rather than an event raises the of how to define capitalism. Societies are complex entities that do not die in the organisms do: with the rare exception of total extinction, discontinuity is always embedded in some continuity. If we say that a society has ended, we mean that certain features of its organization that we consider essential to it have disappeared; others may well have survived.
I propose that to determine if capital is alive, dying or dead, we define it as a modern society that secures its collective reproduction as an unintended side-effect of individually rational, competitive profit maximization in pursuit of capital accumulation, through a 'labour process' combining privately owned capital with commodified labour power, fulfilling the ... promise of private vices turning into public benefits. It is this promise, I maintain, that contemporary capitalism can no long keep--ending its historical existence as a self-reproducing, sustainable, predictable and legitimate social order.
.... One might think that a long-lasting crisis of this sort would open up more than a few windows of opportunity for reformist or revolutionary agency. It seems, however, that disorganized capitalism is disorganizing not only itself but its opposition as well, depriving it of the capacity either to defeat capitalism or to rescue it. For capitalism to end, then, it must provide for its own destruction--which, I would argue, is exactly what we are witnessing today.
But why should capitalism, whatever its deficiencies, be in crisis at all if it no longer has any opposition worthy of the name? When Communism [i.e. the Soviet Union] imploded in 1989, this was widely viewed as capitalism's final triumph, as the 'end of history'. Even today, after  2008, the Old Left remains on the brink of extinction everywhere, while a New Left has, until now, failed to appear. The masses, the poor and powerless as much as the relatively well-to-do, seem firmly in the grip of consumerism, with collective goods, collective action and collective organization thoroughly out of fashion. As the only game in town, why should capitalism not carry on, by default if for no other reason?
At first glance, there is indeed much that speaks against pronouncing capitalism dead, regardless of all the ominous writing on the historical wall. As far as inequality is concerned, people may get used to it, especially with the help of public entertainment and political repression. Furthermore, examples abound of governments being re-elected that cut social spending and privatize public services, in pursuit of sound money for the owners of money. Concerning environmental deterioration, it proceeds so slowly compared to the hum lifespan, so one can deny it while learning to live with it. Technological advances with which to buy time, such as fracking, can never be ruled out, and if there are limits to the pacifying power of consumerism, we clearly are nowhere near them.
Moreover, adapting to more time-consuming and life-consuming work regimes can be taken as a competitive challenge, an opportunity for personal achievement. Cultural definitions of the good life have always been highly malleable and might well be stretched further to match the onward march of commodification, at least as long as racial or religious challenges to pro-capitalist re-education can be suppressed, ridiculed or otherwise marginalized.
Finally, most of today's stagnation theories apply only to the West, or just to the U.S., not to China, Russia, India or Brazil--countries to which the frontier of economic growth may be about to migrate, with vast virgin lands waiting to be made available for capitalist progress. 
My answer is that having no opposition may actually be more of a liability for capitalism than an asset. Social systems thrive on internal heterogeneity, on a pluralism of organizing principles protecting them from dedicating themselves entirely to a single purpose, crowding out other goals that must also be attended to if the system is be sustainable.  Capitalism as we know it has benefited greatly from the rise of counter-movements against the rule of profit and of the market. Socialism and trade unionism, by putting a brake on commodification, prevented capitalism from destroying its non-capitalist foundations--trust, good faith, altruism, solidarity within families and communities, and the like. Under Keynesianism and Fordism, capitalism's more or less loyal opposition secured and helped stabilize aggregate demand, especially in recessions. Where circumstance were favourable, working-class organization even served as a 'productivity whip', by forcing capital to embark on more advanced production concepts.
 ... capitalism can survive only as long as it is not completely capitalist--as it has not yet rid of itself, or the society in which it resides, of 'necessary impurities". Seen this way , capitalism's defeat of its opposition may actually have been a Pyrrhic victory, free it from countervailing powers which, while sometimes inconvenient, had in fact supported it. Could it be that victorious capitalism has become its own worst enemy?

Sunday, March 4, 2018

How far can the Americans be pushed?

Click here to access article by Ghassan Kadi from A bird's eye view of the Vineyard. (Added a relevant quote by the author at 9:40 AM Seattle time.)
... after the petro-dollar loses its world dominance, and this doesn’t seem very far away, a time will come when it will become virtually impossible to keep propping up the American economy with quantitative easing (aka printing money). And as America loses its economic stature, its only remaining prowess and might will be in its nuclear arsenal. The question is this. If America is imposing sanctions and bans right left and centre right now, and for no good reason at all, will a much more desperate America use its nuclear power to restore its dominion?
Such questions have been troubling me for some time. With all I know about the desperate, sociopathic ruling class, I can't reach any other conclusion but that they will risk all in their determination to rule the world and to salvage their huge run-up of debts. They are totally addicted to the drugs of power based on concentrated wealth that capitalism has supplied them with. Anyone who has had any experience with addicts knows that they are likely to engage in desperate acts while under the influence of drugs.

We are now witnessing the end games that they are engaging in by converting every ounce of information into self-serving propaganda, subverting nations, activating military operations all over the world, and issuing bellicose threats to nations that stand in the Empire's way. 

Nobody likes to be lied to, but the information that the ruling class's media corporations are spreading are riling all sorts of honest and aware people from right to left on America's political spectrum (which is mostly skewed to the right). We see almost daily articles by Paul Craig Roberts and Pat Buchanan, who are on the right of the spectrum, American libertarians like Ron Paul and James Corbett, and numerous liberals (people who believe that only reforms are needed to the capitalist system) who are all extremely troubled by the lies and other aggressive acts of the Empire's transnational capitalist ruling class.

I think that only the American people can stop them, but I don't hold much hope for this to happen given that so many Americans believe their lies while others who know that they are lying, but due to capitalist indoctrination of individualism, are mostly preoccupied with their who own security concerns.