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, June 30, 2018

How the SCOTUS “Muslim Ban Ruling” Gives the President a Blank Check to Detain American Citizens

Click here to access article by Whitney Webb from Mint Press News
Mint Press speaks with legal expert and law professor Ryan Alford, who warns that hidden within the recent Supreme Court ruling on the Trump administration’s “Muslim travel ban” is a massive power giveaway to the executive branch that allows any president to order the mass detention of American citizens without worrying about a challenge from the courts.
This interview with Ryan Alford provides many illustrations of the theatrical nature of "the rule of law" that is so often touted by the capitalist ruling class in the USA. I am not referring merely to the robed costumes that the judges wear, that the justices are always seated in an elevated position above everybody else in the official proceedings, etc. The entire legal structure that the ruling class has constructed is of a theatrical nature in that the rulings are carefully scripted by appointees of the ruling class to protect and promote their class interests of profit and power. The fact that often these rulings are promoting an authoritarian, fascist-like government is carefully hidden behind legal jargon which uses such open-ended notions as "national security" to cover for racist and authoritarian directives of the executive branch that steadily weaken the legal protections for ordinary Americans supposedly guaranteed by the Constitution. 

However, this tendency is an inevitable result of a system that gives overwhelming power to one tiny self-serving, segment of society. It is a symptom which indicates that this ruling class, the capitalist class, is in the final stages of its existence. The only problem is that this class is locked and loaded with nuclear weapons; and if this does not worry you, then you need to be reminded of their ongoing attacks on our planet's habitat which supports human life.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Recommended articles for Thursday, June 28, 2018

From the United States to Europe, the “migrant crisis” is causing bitter interior and international controversy about the policies which need to be adopted concerning the migrant flow. However, these movements are being represented by a clichĂ© which is the opposite of reality – that of the “rich countries” obliged to suffer the growing migratory pressure of the “poor countries”. This misrepresentation hides its basic cause – the world economic system [capitalism] which enables a restricted minority to accumulate wealth at the expense of the growing majority, by impoverishing them and thus provoking forced emigration. [my insertion]
Erdogan has lost his parliamentary majority and must now establish a coalition with the far-right Nationalist Action Party; given the latter is anti-Western, the road ahead points in only one direction: Eurasian integration.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

How Long Can The Federal Reserve Stave Off the Inevitable?

Click here to access article by Paul Craig Roberts from his blog. (Edited for greater clarity at 6:48 AM CT on 6/28/2018.)

Roberts, like so many unrepentant capitalists, insists that regulated capitalism can work, but, as he often argues, the fight must be against unregulated capitalism which has been infected and corrupted by, neoliberalism, the new form of capitalism of the 21st century. According to Roberts and others, the new version of capitalism has replaced the good old-fashioned nationalist, regulated capitalism which he presided over in his career. 

I wish he could tell that to all the workers throughout the 20th century of "regulated" capitalism (regulated by and for capitalists) like the workers that Upton Sinclair described in his books like The Jungle, The Brass Check, and King Coal (1917) or the workers that John Steinbeck wrote about in the 1930s such as Grapes of Wrath, Cannery Row, East of Eden, etc. No, Roberts must be referring to the immediate post WWII years when American corporations shared more of the loot with their workers because American industries were unscathed by the war and were able, with the backing of a powerful military, to thoroughly dominate the post WWII scene. Funny how things turned out.

However, he does have a good understanding, although rather superficial, as to what happened to his very weak "regulated" capitalism. It's just that his recollection of regulated capitalism is largely a myth. The capitalist system has always been used by a self-serving capitalist class at the expense and suffering of workers. Its just that over the succeeding decades the system inevitably, via the concentration of wealth and power, morphed into a monster that threatens not only the well-being of the overwhelming majority of workers but our planet's habitat that supports human life as well.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

American Totalitarianism and the Culture of Fake News

Click here to access article by Finian Cunningham from Strategic Culture Foundation.

This independent Irish observer offers an insightful commentary on the results of a recent Pew research report that, according to Reuters, indicated "Only a quarter of U.S. adults in a recent survey could fully identify factual statements - as opposed to opinion - in news stories ...." 
This culture of systematic brainwashing – in a much-vaunted democracy by a self-declared free, independent news media – is undoubtedly a factor in why American citizens seem to have such a hard time telling facts from fiction. The fake news phenomenon in the US is neither new nor unexpected. It’s a corollary of the way the population has for decades been degraded to a status of controlled subjects. This has long been the objective of US elite propagandists like Edward Bernays who in the 1920s strove to “control the habits and thoughts of the populace”.
As an illustration of this type of brainwashing, see this video regarding the control of information by key officials and agents regarding the assassination of John Kennedy.

But, in spite of such reports, there is hope that eventually Americans will see through the self-serving lies and propaganda that is daily spewed through all the institutions controlled by the ruling capitalist class as illustated in this report

A Tale of Two Nuclear Deals: The China and Iran Factors Behind the Singapore Summit [part 2]

Click here to access article by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya from Strategic Culture Foundation

This independent Canadian journalist makes some very astute comments on the recent negotiations between North Korea and the Trump administration with his sharp observations regarding various members of the US administration, his comments about Libya's attempted negotiations, other relatively unknown facts, and Chinese and North Korean perspectives. 

The only criticism I have is the posting of this article. It should read "part 2" in the headline. By this omission and the citing of "Part 1" in the introduction, one could be easily misled that this article was Part 1. I didn't post Part 1 when it previously appeared because it reported on the history of what led up to the recent negotiations which I felt my learned readers and others already knew.

What’s Really Behind Anti-China Protests in Vietnam?

Click here to access article by Joseph Thomas from New Eastern Outlook.

It's amusing to me that subversive Empire agents are now promoting the traditional Vietnamese concern to be independent from their powerful neighbor, whereas during the Vietnam War days, they always promoted the domino theory to justify in the brainwashed minds of most Americans the US military intervention in Vietnam, that the latter was only a neutral "block" that the Chinese wanted in order to construct their "evil" communist empire.
It is clear that Vietnam’s so-called opposition is in no way “nationalist,” and merely opposes Chinese interests in Vietnam because Washington opposes them. By taking US and European funding and carrying out Western directives, they are actively undermining Vietnam’s sovereignty, not upholding it.

It is also clear why the US and European media omit mention of
[the sponsorship of] opposition leaders even when covering significant events like the recent anti-China street protests. Had the truth been told to international audiences, the opposition’s hypocrisy would be exposed and their legitimacy undermined.

Slavery Past and Present

Click here to access a YouTube video showing an excerpt from a talk delivered by Prof. Richard D. Wolff who explains Marxist concepts like surplus value ("value added"), revolution, fake democracy, class structure, strikes (as a weapon used by workers against employers) in terms that most ordinary people can understand. (This video was sent to me by an activist.)

However, the implication he leaves us with is that the establishment of worker coops, which he promotes within capitalism, is a method to change the system of capitalism into something that is egalitarian. This is utter nonsense. If this were true, the capitalist ruling class would never permit the establishment of such coops. Thus, he avoids offending the ruling class and any adverse repercussions to his teaching career by advocating something that is no threat to the system. Likewise, by permitting such talk to exist in their universities, the ruling capitalist class can still lay claim that it promotes free discussion of ideas in their educational institutions. The fact that such discussion of socialist concepts is so rare in our universities rejects this view.

This what Yugoslavia had before the US Empire destroyed the country in 1999 and restored capitalist control of that country. The working class under the anti-fascist leadership of Tito established worker coops at the end of WWII when it wasn't possible for the Western capitalist nations to stop this social experiment. The point is: that the establishment of worker coops cannot be a revolutionary method to overturn capitalism. It can only be a basis for a socialist type of society following the overthrow of capitalism.

Monday, June 25, 2018

The Beginning of the End of the Bilderberg Era

Click here to access article by Alastair Crooke from Strategic Culture Foundation.

Many critical observers are jumping on the bandwagon to forecast the end of the US-led capitalist Empire. Well, the signs are everywhere that the Empire is losing its grip, but I think that many such critics have no commitment to a classless society where all the people are empowered. Could Crooke be one of these? This piece has aroused my suspicions.

Like many others who pose as a pseudo-left, Crooke wildly exaggerates James Burnham's influence, and by describing him as a former Trotskyite, smears the radical revolutionary efforts of all of Trotsky's followers. Yes, there were some ex-Trotskyites (Christopher Hitchens, David Horowitz, Irving Kristol, etc) who became influential in constructing the US Empire; but in contrast to Crooke, I see this as evidence that was well expressed in Burnham's books The Managerial Revolution and The Machiavellians: the lure of power infecting highly educated, upper-middle class sociopaths back in the 1940s. Such sociopathic socialists saw the wind shifting to the right and jumped ship from revolutionary socialist activities to those ships going in the fascist direction. They rationalized this shift by making the pretentious claim that they, because they were indispensable in running capitalist enterprises, were forming a new ruling class who were about to replace capitalists.

Could it be that Crooke, like many old-fashioned patriotic Brits, merely expresses a sour taste in his intellectual mouth because Great Britain is not so "great" anymore and has been replaced by the US Empire? I really don't know--just asking.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Is Gene Editing the New Name for Eugenics?

Click here to access article by F. William Engdahl from New Eastern Outlook

Influential people such as Bill Gates and government departments such as the Pentagon are pushing gene editing as the new frontier of biotechnology. The fact that this poses profitable opportunities for biotech corporations is very likely the motivation behind these risky efforts.
With the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the USDA and the Pentagon DARPA all involved energetically advancing gene editing and especially the highly-risky Gene Drive applications in species such as mosquitoes, one has to ask is gene editing becoming the new name for eugenics in light of the fact that GMO technologies have been so vigorously opposed by citizen groups around the world. Honest scientific research is of course legitimate and necessary. But unregulated experimentation with technologies that could wipe out entire species is definitely not the same as planting a variety of hybrid corn.

The US Ruined Their Countries, Now Trump Calls Them “Animals” and Sends Them Back

Click here to access article by Jon Jeter from Mint Press News. (Added sentence for clarity of views at 7 PM CT.)

Jeter concentrates mostly on the relatively recent history of US interference in Honduras to illustrate how the US ruling class promotes and secures their investments throughout Central America, but at the same time such interference also brings misery and death for ordinary people. Hence, many of them flee north. 
It’s important to contextualize the Americas historically as a battle between the mostly European settlers who own the New World and the mostly indigenous and black workers who built it. Destabilizing Central America allows multinationals to continue to exploit labor and resources, and dates back to the CIA’s 1954 plot to overthrow the democratically elected government of Guatemala’s Socialist President Jacobo Arbenz, whose plan to redistribute land to the country’s landless peasant farmers threatened the massive holdings of the United Fruit Company, the predecessor of Chiquita Brands. The coup eventually triggered a civil war between leftist rebels and the U.S.-backed military, led by avid anti-Communist generals.
But, to blame Trump for this, as implied by the title, is ridiculous.

If the Chinese don’t believe in democracy, do they believe in meritocracy?

Click here to access article by Robin Daverman posted on The Greanville Post. (This post was originally a long answer to a deceptive question posed on Quora which was repeated in this post.)

My life experience and education, both formal and informal, has shaped my belief that all cultures are shaped by the interests of ruling classes, or at least this is true since the history of ruling classes began roughly when humans began settling in permanent communities. Because the culture in China is much older than those in the Western capitalist countries, much has been lost to explain why Chinese culture is different from the West. Perhaps this can be partially explained by China's self-imposed isolation from the West. I believe that Daverman's insights about contemporary Chinese culture are valid based on what I do know about contemporary China from reading articles and books and viewing Chinese films.

Somehow social ethics became deeply rooted in Chinese culture and present a formidable bulwark against sociopathic tendencies among their people. Hopefully, this bulwark will endure. Therefore, the question in the title of this article comes from a fake Western ideological perspective which holds that elections automatically equal democracy.

War & Revolution2

The following video interview is with law professor (and columnist for left publications in Mexico) John Ackerman, and conducted by two members of the MexElects' website, an independent Mexican website which hopes to bring a left-wing perspective on the national elections scheduled for July 1st. These elections have been viewed by many progressives in both Mexico and the USA as heralding a new political direction, but many of Ackerman's comments challenge this notion.

My old ears could not decipher all of the rapidly delivered comments by Ackerman, but I learned much about Mexican politics, specifically, the details about how the ruling Mexican capitalist class manage their elections so that they never lose while pretending to be a "democracy". Such methods are familiar to politically aware observers here in the USA. 

In spite of the censorship and the election rigging, it appears that ordinary Mexicans are much more informed about what occurs in their country than Americans are regarding their own country. Could this be because the management of news, information, and entertainment is much more sophisticated here in the USA?