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
Friday, September 21, 2018
In consequence of the alleged manipulation of new and opinions during the 2016 election, Congress threatened to regulate social media. It demanded testimony by the owners of social media companies - Facebook, Twitter and Google - about their plans to weed out so called "fake news" distributed through their systems. Instead of defending the freedom of individuals and organizations to publish opinions deviating from the mainstream, the companies promised to increase their censorship capabilities. To avoid to make judgments themselves, they decided to outsource these to 'independent' fact checking organizations. Anything those deem "fake news" will then be censored.I applaud his concluding paragraph:
Facebook Inc just gave such powers to two well known U.S. government regime change operators.
The best way to avoid such campaigns and censorship of so called social media is to avoid them entirely. One can still get an objective view of the world by looking for original news sources and by applying a skeptical view towards presented "facts". It on us to teach others how to do this.
Thursday, September 20, 2018
I'm short of time today and didn't view the film and only scanned the article-review. However, I am posting it because the article and the one hour 18 minute video (below) regarding the secretive City of London is being posted on other websites that I consider reliable. I will view the video this evening.
The Spider’s Web offers unique insight into the British Empire, both past and present, and its colonies and far flung outposts. This is a story which, if known at all, is often understood through a rose tinted view of what that British Empire actually represented. The Spider’s Web details how the former Empire was transformed after World War 2 into a new financial empire of offshore tax havens and secrecy jurisdictions.
- Russia reveals the MH17 ‘smoking gun’ by Pepe Escobar from Asia Times.
- US Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard Blasts America’s Support for Al-Qaeda in Syria, as Trump Threatens Further Military Action by Mohamed Elmaazi from Global Research.
- America: The garrison state by Andre Damon from World Socialist Web Site.
Pilger describes the descent of journalism which corresponds in my view with the assent of the US-led transnational capitalist Empire after WWII. Now the imperialist Empire is not only using their media corporations and all institutions of Western societies to spread their propaganda, but is also starting down the road of outright censorship of alternative media that dares to challenge their propaganda. He concludes the article with this very insightful observation:
So much of the mainstream has descended to this level. Subjectivism is all; slogans and outrage are proof enough. What matters is the "perception".
When he was US commander in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus declared what he called "a war of perception... conducted continuously using the news media". What really mattered was not the facts but the way the story played in the United States. The undeclared enemy was, as always, an informed and critical public at home.
Nothing has changed. In the 1970s, I met Leni Riefenstahl, Hitler's film-maker, whose propaganda mesmerised the German public.
She told me the "messages" of her films were dependent not on "orders from above", but on the "submissive void" of an uninformed public.
"Did that include the liberal, educated bourgeoisie?" I asked.
"Everyone," she said. "Propaganda always wins, if you allow it."
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
After describing the recent 30,000 people march in San Francisco organized by It Takes Roots and the doubts about its effectiveness, the author asks "What does this all mean for the future of ecosocialism?" Then he lists the first of three major reasons:
First, it means we means we who belong to largely white ecosocialist groups have many allies with deep roots in communities of color who share our understanding that capitalism is incompatible with a decent future for life on our planet.
- Emma Fiala on the Women's March on the Pentagon, an interview (for activists) with Fiala by James Corbett from his website. Of special interest is the planned demonstration in Washington DC in October as an alternative to the corporate media-supported Women's March of last year.
- Middle Eastern Take on the Turkish-American Face Off by Yuriy Zinin from New Eastern Outlook. He seems to have an informed and sincere understanding of the mysterious role that Turkey under President Erdogan is presently playing vis-à-vis USA and its European puppets.
- Two Major Middle East Projects Are Afoot & Gaining Mass; They May Collide Before Long by Alastair Crooke from Strategic Culture Foundation.
I don't usually post articles like this that I see as highly speculative; however considering that it is written by Crooke, a former MI-6 agent and now independent geopolitical analyst, I offer it to those who want to follow closely geopolitical political events in the often obscure Middle East. He sees two strategies or projects backed by powerful Empire agents that could have major impacts on political events in the Middle East.
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
This article and especially the video (reproduced below) illustrates how the US Empire uses its massive control over all their media institutions, which includes Hollywood as well as their media corporations, to concoct propaganda in support of its imperialist projects. There is no shortage of people who can be bribed or national governments allied to the Empire to participate in their propaganda campaigns. Click on the video to access it directly from YouTube and notice how YouTube, owned by Google corporation, discourages people from viewing the video. At least they don't have the nerve (yet) to completely censor the video as they have some other websites, videos, and even books.
It is the comprehensive coverage of this propaganda or its pervasive coverage throughout the institutions of media, entertainment, and even education that makes it so effective in convincing ordinary people of its validity. People who are constantly exposed to this insidious propaganda from such a variety of sources are rather easily convinced of its truthfulness.
Monday, September 17, 2018
- Global warming’s paper trail by Benjamin Franta from Japan Times.
- Silicon Valley’s corrupt nexus: War, censorship and inequality by Andre Damon from World Socialist Web Site.
- Amazon’s worth $1 trillion, so why is it robbing taxpayers? by Jim Hightower from Intrepid Report.
Although this article is formally entitled "Understanding Capitalism", it is really a very positive scholarly review of the book entitled Mindful Economics by Joel C. Magnuson in which, he argues, leads to a real understanding of capitalism. In his introduction to his review, Greanville goes at some length to show that economic theory as taught and interpreted in the USA has over time degenerated into a method to induce a widespread false consciousness in order to obscure how the economy really works for the benefit of a few at the expense and misery of the vast majority.
As might be expected the instruments to mould opinion in a significant manner are jealously guarded by the ruling classes everywhere. In capitalist America, these tools are literally priced out of the reach of most common mortals. This is logical and consistent with the wealth and power distribution of such societies, where the savvier sectors of the plutocracy understand that the monopoly of opinion manipulation is vital to the survival of their system. Outright repression can certainly ensure a level of compliance, sometimes for a generation or two, but in the long run intimidation cannot guarantee political stability or legitimacy. Only covert mind control can deliver that. Thus by far the most efficient solution is when we are made to carry the chains and prisons right inside our heads. Policing our own actions while still believing in our total freedom is simply a diabolically effective formula to ensure perpetual bondage, but to make it fly the system requires the confluence of many critical factors, including the complicity of academia.
Sunday, September 16, 2018
- Erdogan, Putin to Meet Monday in Sochi as Turkey Moves More Weapons into Syria from 21st Century Wire.
- The Bluffer’s Guide to Bombing Syria by Peter Ford, former British Ambassador to Syria, posted on 21st Century Wire.
- Analyzing the business behind the controversial Nike Kaepernick ads by William Bayless from News Rep.
- Elections, Power, & the DSA: The Failure of the Left in Power from It's Going Down.
Along with obsession over “ANTIFA,” the growth of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) in the wake of Bernie Sanders’ failed Presidential run has garnished mass attention in the press, been demonized by the Right, and also embraced by some sections of the liberal class as the new shepherds of the Democratic Party.
Meanwhile, the DSA has continued to explode in membership, hitting over 50,000 dues paying members in recent weeks. While some DSA backed politicians have become house hold names as the DNC aligned media smells blood in the water in the lead up to the midterms, DSA chapters have also become a fixture at protests and demonstrations, from fighting against the Alt-Right to supporting strikes.
But key questions remains, will the DSA be used, much as Bernie Sanders’ campaign was used, to activate key sections of millennials and the working poor, and prime them for elections?
This British journalist has been located in the Middle East where it is much easier to identify the obvious evidence of power influencing the way information is shaped by all the powerful owners of media corporations to promote the power and profits of our masters in the ruling capitalist class. He has been among the leaders that led the effort to warn about this encroachment on truth-telling by the powerful; and true to his insights, he has pursued, probably at great material sacrifice, a very independent career in journalism. There is much to be learned from his articles, and we need to support his independent journalism especially because it is disappearing due to the overwhelming presence of corporate media.
In this article he attempts to explain the blinding effects of corporate journalism which functions to prevent us from seeing the truth about important events (and many minor ones) in the world that impinge upon the power of capitalist elites. Although people can recognize abuses of power by individuals, they are prevented from seeing the abuses of power that are promoted by the neoliberal (advanced capitalist) system that sustains power and wealth for a very few who own the media (and nearly everything else of value).
Because the abuse of power by our fundamental system of capitalism is so pervasive and kept well-hidden, I urge readers to not only read this article, but to study it. And the same goes for two major links included in the article: the links to previous articles from Media Lens here (the latter is the same article which he posts in his own blog) and here, and other references in the latter articles.