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, December 15, 2018

My brief review of the panel discussion at United in Solidarity for Julian Assange last night

I listened to the last two hours of this program last night and was impressed after the aged Mike Gravel, the former courageous US Senator from Alaska, appeared and offered his observations. He advised that the only realistic solution was to have organized, huge demonstrations by both British and European activists (someone interjected that flights of American activists to London were already being organized) in London in order to free Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy and to prevent him from being turned over to US authorities. 

The participants should wear some article of clothing like the "gilets jaune" in France, circle through the nearby Harrod's store, the British store for the rich shoppers in London in order to get the attention of British mainstream media, and then, if need be, physically free Julian from the Embassy of Ecuador. This proposal broke the ice of reluctance of the others to support such a necessary and obvious solution.

Some time ago I surveyed British alternative websites and, to my surprise, I found none that covered the plight and significance of Assange's imprisonment in the Ecuadorian embassy and the likelihood that he will soon be turned over to American authorities! Since then I've badgered and shamed some of the British alternative and activist websites, but as yet have received no reply. I encourage you to do likewise.

This project of United in Solidarity for Julian Assange is obviously operating on a shoe-string budget. I wanted to propose a similar comment that was then offered by Gravel but I couldn't send the message. Later when the audio was missing, I successfully sent them a message to that effect. Also, I thought I heard that there will be another such marathon program next week on Friday, but their website does not confirm this nor does it list last night's program. Such technical problems must be corrected. 

(12/16/2018 @ 11:24 AM CT: I just noticed that Consortium News has re-posted this broadcast.)

Friday, December 14, 2018

Julian Assange: No Surrender

Click here to access article by Ann Garrison from Black Agenda Report.  

Ann Garrison adds her voice to the thousands of other activists trying to arouse the world's public to come to the aid of one of their own who has reported the secret crimes of our masters. Do we care? This issue is much bigger than protecting one human being. Julian Assange represents all who have stopped trusting our drugged-out capitalist masters and their control of our lives. It is now our responsibility to take control from them in order to secure peace and the survival of humans on our damaged planet Earth. By securing Assange's freedom, we will take an importance step in that direction.

Stay tuned, better yet, stay active for it is your actions, along with millions of others, that may determine the outcome of this drama that has vastly more significance than the fate of Julian Assange. In the meantime while you are being active, join Margaret Kimberley and many other activists to participate in the defense of one of our own:
The three-hour video conferences regarding developments and possible responses to the UK and US governments pursuit of Julian Assange can be viewed every Friday evening beginning at 8 pm Eastern Time on the website Unity4J.com. Viewers can ask questions, make suggestions, and share details of upcoming Assange solidarity events in the YouTube chat window.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Articles about the "yellow-jacket" protests in France

The yellow vests movement in France is now shifting decisively to the left, as shown by the huge anti-capitalist bloc in Paris on the December 8. Led by prominent campaigners against police violence, The Adama Committee for Justice and Truth, it included railworkers, striking postal workers, other rank and file workers, students, migrant workers groups, important collectives such as The Rosa Parks Collective, sex workers, LGBTQ groups and many more. The mood has changed completely since the horrific mass arrest at a school in a Paris banlieue; now workers are calling for a general strike, and the student movement is exploding with schools and universities blockaded throughout the country. [my link]

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Recommended articles for Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Note that this website is "A project of the Nation Institute", and as such expresses a liberal point of view regarding the issue of species annihilation by ignoring the effects of capitalism on the environment and other species. The system is regarded by this liberal website, as in all liberal websites, as a fixture of reality, much like the sun. Note also that this post downplays the importance of the issue by entitling the article the way it does. Other websites have re-posted this article (see this, this, and this) with different titles that emphasize the importance of the issue. Although the author recognizes that species extinction is related to the threat of global warming, he rather vaguely suggests only in the last paragraph that it might also threaten humans, and refuses to recognize that global warming is caused by the man-made capitalist system.

Veneration Of Power Leading To Climate Catastrophe

Click here to access article by an editor of Media Lens.

The article begins describing the uniformly unreal eulogies of H.W. Bush in nearly all corporate media in the US Empire as an illustration of the Empire's veneration of imperialism, and ends by noting that corporate media compulsively ignore signs that the fascist capitalist system is leading us inevitably toward environmental catastrophe and our extinction as a human species.
All this matters because the media's veneration of Bush, and western leaders generally, is a glaring symptom of a deep truth about the corporate media: their primary function is to project a severely distorted view of world events, one that embodies state and corporate priorities rooted in power and short-term profit at any cost.

The public is perennially starved of rational facts about the real state of the planet, and the greed-driven policies that hold sway over electorates and even over global ecosystems. The appalling consequence is that we are now certainly headed for climate catastrophe.

The Indiscreet Charm of the Gilets Jaunes

Click here to access article by C.J. Hopkins from The Unz Review

This master of ridicule aims his weapon at our capitalist masters who are making frantic efforts to delegitimize the Gilet Jaunes in France.
... this is the problem the corporate media (and other staunch defenders of global neoliberalism) are facing with these gilets jaunes protests. They can’t get away with simply claiming that what is happening is not a working class uprising, so they have been forced to resort to these blatant absurdities. They know they need to delegitimize the gilets jaunes as soon as possible — the movement is already starting to spread — but the “Putin-Nazi” narrative they’ve been using on Trump, Corbyn, and other “populists” is just not working.

No one believes the Russians are behind this, not even the hacks who are paid to pretend they do.
He also "trains his sights" (def.) on the "Identity Politics Left".
These leftist gatekeepers have been struggling a bit to come up with a response to the gilets jaunes … a response that doesn’t make them sound like hypocrites. See, as leftists, they kind of need to express their support for a bona fide working class uprising. At the same time, they need to delegitimize it, because their primary adversaries are fascism, racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, and assorted other isms and phobias, not the neoliberal ruling classes.

Nothing scares the Identity Politics Left quite like an actual working class uprising. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Other posts that I found particularly interesting

Security Services Cinema – Lights, Camera, Redaction. It was the screenwriter Blake Snyder who said that screenplays are Swiss clocks of emotion. But what effect on society do screenwriters have if their work is being influenced by institutions that push a government narrative? Could that Swiss clock of emotion be used nefariously to further geopolitical agendas – or is that just conspiracy theory from cloud cuckoo land? Host Ross Ashcroft is joined by author of ‘Reel Power, Hollywood cinema and American supremacy’, Dr. Matthew Alford and a few interview questions with Jay Dyer toward the end. 
  • Truth and Free Speech Are Being Taken Away From Us by Paul Craig Roberts from his blog. (Added this article at 1:45 PM CT thanks to an activist who alerted me to it.) What Roberts doesn't know is that any significant truth that exposes the lies of a ruling class has never been tolerated. It's just that now the lies are major war crimes and are much more frequent due to the desperate conditions of the Empire.

The U.S. Government’s Plan Is to Conquer Russia by a Surprise Invasion

Click here to access article by Eric Zuesse posted on Washington's Blog
The following combination of articles explains — and they link to conclusive evidence proving — that the United States Government is actually designing its nuclear forces now with the intention to win a nuclear war against Russia (World War III), and no longer (if they ever really were) adhering to the idea (“Mutually Assured Destruction”) that WW III would produce unacceptable catastrophe for both sides, and must therefore be prevented. The U.S. Government is definitely set upon winning WW III, not avoiding WW III. Nuclear weapons are thus being built and deployed by the U.S. Government with the intention to conquer Russia, and this goal has become NATO’s mission, and its only remaining core function, though this fact is not publicly acknowledged.
The fact that the Empire's military plans for all kinds of wars is not news, and the fact that they are planning to destroy Russia is quite reasonable given that the US Empire is desperately trying to remain top dog in the world. But the key question is: will the Empire's Deep State (see this, this, and this) have the nerve to implement these plans? No, it wouldn't be Trump that would make the decision. As Alastair Crooke, the former member of the British MI6, wrote:
All in all, President Trump emerges from this summit, a pussy-cat. Big on talk, short on action: Short on action domestically; short on action in cleaning the swamp; and short on action generally. Jatras concludes, more in sorrow than in anger, “it would be only a small exaggeration to say that with respect to foreign and security policy, Trump is now a mere figurehead of the permanent state. Even if Trump and Putin do happen to meet again, what can the latter expect the former to say that would make any difference?”.
After all, the war would likely destroy much corporate property and make large parts of the globe uninhabitable. Well, I wouldn't bet on the sanity of the capitalist members of the Deep State to avoid such a war.

Police Violence and Mass Policing in the U.S.

Click here to access article by Howard Lisnoff from CounterPunch
Wondering which side police in the U.S. are on…. left or right, is a more certain social science proposition than attempting to guess how many angels can safely fit on the head of a pin.

For those close to protest from the 1950s through today, including all facets of left protest, the broken and murdered bodies of protesters in the civil rights movement and the Vietnam antiwar movement, and movements beyond those heady days of protest are quite telling. Guns, fire hoses, batons, tear gas, fists, planting evidence, etc., have all been used viciously by police throughout the U.S. in doing the bidding of their political and financial overlords.

Who does Emmanuel Macron owe?

Click here to access article by Thierry Meyssan from his blog Voltaire Network

By reading this article you will learn from the French geopolitical analyst, among other insights, how well-connected people are chosen to lead the various nations that make up the US-led Empire. 
Emmanuel Macron did not feel destined for a career in politics. As a young man, he hoped to become a philosopher, then a senior civil servant, then a business banker. To help him on his way, he frequented Uncle Sam’s fairy godmothers - the French-American Foundation and the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

It was in this milieu that he met Henry and Marie-Josée Kravis, in their residence on Park Avenue in New York.

MASSIVE Breakthrough In 9/11 Investigation! - Must WATCH (with Richard Gage & Barbara Honegger)

Click here if you wish to access the video directly from YouTube. The 33 minute video (the last three minutes was a pitch to donate to WAM) was produced by WAM (Winnipeg Alternative Media) and featured prominently on AE911Truth (Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth) website. The founder of WAM is Josh Sigurdson who functions largely as a moderator for this excited discussion by Richard Gage and Barbara Honegger.
Josh Sigurdson talks with Richard Gage AIA of Architects & Engineers For 9/11 Truth as well as Barbara Honegger who famously exposed the truth behind the Iran Contra scandal in the 1980s as a member of the Reagan White House with her book 'October Surprise' and now works with the Lawyers Committee For 9/11 Inquiry.
Some massive news has come out in recent days regarding a petition originally filed in April of 2018 asking for a new investigation into 9/11. Just a few days ago, LCfor9/11 got a letter back from a US attorney agreeing to comply with a Federal law requiring submission to a special grand jury of report by Lawyers' committee and 9/11 victim family members of "yet to be prosecuted 9/11 crimes."
The implications of the case they are pursing are staggering. They do have a mountain of evidence that the government's interpretation of this event was false, and events since then overwhelmingly suggest a coverup. It's obvious that the government led by the Deep State and its "security" and "intelligence services" were involved to bring it off. Cui bono? This is also obvious which leads Sigurdson to ask a most obvious question at 7:38m--essentially that the government cannot investigate itself with any credibility. 

The people at AE911Truth and the Lawyers Committee For 9/11 Inquiry are, as the names suggest, consist of professionals in the engineering, architecture, and legal professions. As professionals they have gone through long years of education and have enjoyed the perks that all professionals enjoy in a capitalist economy. Thus, they have been thoroughly indoctrinated in the ideology of capitalism, specifically with regards to the much vaunted "rule of law". Now they will find out how shallow this part of capitalist ideology is. 

Yet, I don't expect that their futile efforts will change many of their minds because they, who have served an indispensable function for capitalists, have enjoyed so many advantages. They will not "bite the hands that feeds them" in spite of the fact of their mountain of evidence (which they cite at length in the video), the fact that some of them lost loved-ones in this false-flag operation, and millions of people have been terribly impacted throughout the Middle East. Barbara Honegger clearly has not lost her faith in the system because of the Kennedy and other assassinations (the Zapruder film she mentions in the video was given immediately to the authorities), and her own experience with exposing the October surprise which the Reagan operatives engineered to get him elected. Nobody was held accountable for any of these crimes!

It will be interesting to see how the Deep State handles this grand jury investigation. It doesn't take much political intelligence to predict that it will be given minimal coverage in corporate media, the process will be drawn out and will take many years, the litigants will be offered some non-consequential legal rewards, but in the end nothing will come of it. I don't expect to still be alive when the case is ultimately concluded even though I am in very good health at the age of 82.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Foreign Interventions in Revolutionary Russia

Click here to access article by Jacques R. Pauwels from CounterPunch

This article should have been posted last year during the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. Anyway, I will re-post it because I think it is an accurate report of the strong efforts by the capitalist allies to overturn the socialist revolution. Also, most schools in the USA ignore this history with the result that few Americans know about it.

Big oil and gas nations sideline the science at Katowice, even as emissions rise and warming accelerates

Click here to access article by David Spratt from Climate Code Red (Australia). (I added an extra post to this article at 7:57 AM CT.)
Just as four big oil and gas producers block the UN climate policymaking conference in Katowice, Poland from welcoming a report on the science of the 1.5 degree Celsius (°C) target which it had commissioned three years earlier in Paris, new evidence has emerged of the striking contradiction between word and deed at the 24th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP24).
Well, what could anyone expect from the ruling capitalist classes of the world and their dependent allies? They simply must lie. The striking underlying problem is that their economics depend on fossil fuels like an addict needs to consume his/her drugs ... until they kill themselves. The only problem is that they will bring the world's population along with them to extinction.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 1.5°C report states in plain language that averting a climate crisis will require a wholesale reinvention of the global economy. By 2040, the report predicts, there could be global food shortages, the inundation of coastal cities and a refugee crisis unlike the world has ever seen. A number of scientists contend that the report wasn't strong enough and that it downplayed the full extent of the real threat. They say it doesn't account for all of the warming that has already occurred and that it downplays the economic costs of severe storms and displacement of people through drought and deadly heat waves. [my emphasis]
An article related to this entitled "The G20 and the Counter-Protests in Argentina" from LeftEast provides an excellent example of a nation going into deep debt in an effort to expand their GDP.
Economists have proven that GDP growth cannot be ‘decoupled’ from the energy sources that power economic growth. Put simply you need more energy to power more GDP and most of this energy still comes from fossil fuels. The planet needs a new energy source. We know now that we cannot burn all of the known reserves of fossil fuels (like Vaca Muerta) into our atmosphere. Explaining this to an oil or coal company is analogous to giving an alcoholic a bottle of whiskey and telling him not to drain the last sip. But as the oil companies point out they just extract the oil they don’t burn it. Industry will not change either because, for a while anyway, any transition from fossil fuel implies less energy consumption. Less energy means less profits and less GDP, which means less debt repayments and less economic growth!

Scientists tell us we need to get off fossil fuels fast.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Watch Vigil for Assange

Click here if you wish to access the video directly from Consortium News.
ConsortiumNews broadcast the latest vigil for Julian Assange as the publisher comes under new pressure to be expelled from Ecuador’s London embassy, while charges await him in the United States.

The broadcast was Friday night. With Ray McGovern, Chris Hedges, Margaret Kimberly, Suzie Dawson and more:

Book review: Professor Stephen Cohen’s “War with Russia?”

Click here to access article by Yvonne Lorenzo from A bird's eye view of the Vineyard.
Over ten years ago, one of the few voices that I listened to that provided facts outside the propaganda narrative of the legacy mass media and the U.S. government on what the situation was regarding Georgia fighting with Russia was from Russia scholar Professor Stephen Cohen. I felt blessed to discover him and his work.

After the events in Ukraine, where a U.S. sponsored putsch installed a fascist government in power, he and conservative radio talk show host John Batchelor held numerous conversations on the “New Cold War” with Russia. Professor Cohen has decided to collect the summaries of those conversations, up to recent events including the Kerch incident, in a new book, War with Russia?: From Putin and Ukraine To Trump and Russiagate. While Professor Cohen has written several works of scholarship and is unique in not sticking to the “party line” that Russia is greatest enemy of America and the West, this book is special because it’s both timely and accessible to interested readers.

Articles/videos relating to the "yellow vest" uprising in France