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, January 26, 2019

The Yellow Vests, the Crisis of the Welfare State and Socialism [a must-read and understand]

Click here to access article by Michèle Brand posted on CounterPunch

This analysis of the welfare state ("social democracy") is brilliant, and a must-read and understood by you if there is any chance of survival of humans. The welfare state has been used as a weapon against workers in the advanced West to preserve the capitalist ruling classes and their system of  capitalism  that has delivered so much wealth and power to this tiny class. It has been used as a pacifier for workers of Western capitalist countries to prevent them from becoming too discontented with capitalist rule, but at the enormous expense and sacrifice to Third World workers. The only alternative which can save humanity from the twin threats to their survival--their habitat destroyed and a global nuclear war catastrophe--is a socialist system created by ordinary workers throughout the world.

The author concludes the analysis with this profound insight:
Socialism is what we should fight for. In abandoning the aspiration toward the welfare state model, we’re certainly not abandoning the struggle for workers’ rights, social services, and all the other advantages associated with the welfare state. We’re fighting for these with a clearer vision of the goal: socialism.

The yellow jacket movement’s weakness is the vagueness of its demands, calling for the return of the welfare state. But its force is its dynamism, its determination, its size, and its deep-set, justified feeling of anger at economic injustice and inequality. To win, we should stop looking backward, and start looking forward, toward the construction of socialism.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Recommended posts for Friday, January 25, 2019

And one I couldn't bring up on my computer is the following link to an article by Wayne Madsen, who I frequently follow, from Strategic Culture Foundation:

Putin Warns US: Hands Off Venezuela

Click here to access a broadcast by Rick Sanchez from RT

US Regime Change in Venezuela: The Documented Evidence

Click here to access article by Tony Cartalucci from his blog Land Destroyer Report

I recommend this article as a best analysis of the recent astonishing move by US authorities to recognize an opposition leader as President of Venezuela. His analysis focuses on two main themes: 
  • A Venezuela governed by a stable political order able to produce wealth from its massive oil reserves - and dedicated to a multipolar alternative to Washington's current international order is intolerable for Wall Street and Washington and explains the vast amount of time, energy, money, and resources the US has invested in destabilizing and overthrowing first President Hugo Chavez - with a coup attempt in 2002 - and now President Maduro.
  • While the nature of the US government's extensive meddling in Venezuela remains intentionally covert - admissions surrounding Sumate's activities illustrate how even entire referendums are organized through the use of US money and guided by US directives.  
Cartalucci summarizes his analysis with this statement:
Venezuela sits on an ocean of proven oil reserves. It has been openly slated for regime change by the US and has been for years with documented evidence proving the current opposition vying for power is funded by Washington, for Washington's, not Venezuela's benefit.

Sanctions and economic warfare have been aimed at Venezuela just as the US has done with the numerous other nations it has overthrown, invaded, and otherwise destroyed - or those that it is trying to overthrow and destroy.

There is no missing puzzle piece that makes Venezuela an exception to what is another textbook case of US-backed regime change.

US-Led Efforts to Overthrow Maduro Spurred by Business Interests, Not Democracy

Click here to access article by Stephen Gowans from his blog What's Left. 

Gowans places the astonishingly arrogant recognition of another figure as President of Venezuela in the context of the US past history of interventions throughout Latin America: in order to restore a government that is favorable to US commercial interests. But I think it is much more than that.

As I have argued in the recent past, the directors of the transnational capitalists aligned with the US-led Empire are seeing a reverse in their domination of the nations on our planet, and they feel very threatened. The the threats they are coming from several directions: domestic opposition, international opposition led by Russia and China, and the threat that global warming poses for their system that has brought so much wealth and power to them. Like a wounded beast, they are becoming more irrational about slashing out at their imagined and real enemies. In short, they are now very dangerous with their control of vast armies, weapons, and most especially, nuclear weapons. 

Never before has it been necessary for ordinary people of the lands that the evil Empire controls to oppose their actions in order to save all of humanity from even more desperate actions that could lead to a nuclear war catastrophe in the short run and to the ultimate destruction of our biosphere on which all human life (and many other species) depends.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Recommended articles for Thursday, January 24, 2019

I recommend this piece by Meyssan for those who track rather closely the details of the Empire's highly secret and deceitful strategies to control the fossil fuel rich Middle East and their vendetta against Iran for opposing these strategies. Meyssan, a French geopolitical analyst, normally writes on this own website, Voltaire Network, but the owners of Mint Press News out of Minneapolis has close kinship relations with the Middle East and apparently trust his judgement. I don't always agree with his analyses, but I feel that he is sincerely trying to understand events.
Economists love graphs, a statistical image that portrays some data, and this piece offers many graphs that point to some striking features of a capitalist system: it promotes the formation of a tiny class of rich/powerful, private owners of socially produced wealth.
  • Hicks vs. Globalists by Linh Dinh from The Unz Review. (This is a very different kind of post which I found so enthralling (def.).)
To see the world--and he appears to have traveled the world--through his eyes and expressed so well in his inimitable prose is a very unique experience. 

Democracy Or Extinction

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

The article opens with some very important questions: 
What will it take for governments to take real action on climate? When will they declare an emergency and do what needs to be done? How much concerted, peaceful public action will be required to disrupt the current economic and political system that is driving humanity to the brink of extinction?
And it ends with this paragraph:
We have now had three decades of increasingly alarming reports from climate scientists since the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was set up in 1988. Last October, the IPCC warned that we only had 12 years left to turn things around, taking radical action now. But alarm bells from scientists have not, and will not, stop governments in their tracks. Only peaceful and massive concerted action from citizens around the world stands a chance of doing that at this desperately late stage. 
Notice that the author places much emphasis on "peaceful" efforts to stop this chain of events to will result in human extinction. Why is it that we must be peaceful in the face of our own extinction? I am not prone to violence, but I will engage in it if my life is seriously threatened. Show me a species that doesn't fight for survival! I don't mean that we should engage in reckless violence, but I do think that we must not exclude any means for survival, especially if it is organized: because we are facing a powerful, well-armed enemy of the people.

Take a look at my revolutionary proposal as one illustration of how we might save ourselves.

However, I do like his overall arguments and facts, and especially this one:
To any reader unsettled by the scare word 'socialism', simply replace it with 'democracy': a genuinely inclusive system where the general population has proper input and control, and does not simply have its wishes overridden by a tiny elite that enriches itself at our, and the planet's, expense.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Recommended articles for Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Yes, I recognize the smile in the picture. I've seen it occasionally over my long adult life, but never in a grossly intimidating situation as in the picture largely because I'm white.
The founders of Media Lens (a British alternative website) David Cromwell and David Edwards, are interviewed by Klarenberg. Much of the discussion centers on "liberal media" which I admit I no longer understand. The political spectrum of what some people call the Anglo-American Empire has so shifted to the right that I am quite confused about the distinctions. Because liberals and conservatives served the same capitalist ruling class, such distinctions logically moved to the right following the events of the last 40 years. I am referring to the stark contradiction of the system of capitalism and a habitat that could be sustainable for human beings to live in. I am also referring to the dramatic challenges to the capitalist Empire (4th Reich?) that emerging nations such as Russia and China have posed for the directors of the dominant capitalist Empire. Therefore, separating liberal from conservative is no longer valid. It is now corporate media, under the control of the capitalist ruling class, versus alternative media which are increasingly questioning the narratives of corporate media.
Anyway, the questions pose to the founders of Media Lens draws out much very interesting material about how our masters of the Empire are flooding the media with self-serving propaganda in an attempt to shape our views and values and see the world through their lens, which is that of power and profits.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Articles recommended for Tuesday, January 22, 2019

And you wonder why so many Hondurans and their neighbors are fleeing north to survive.
The author provides us with many very interesting details of the current political scene in Russia as he tries to figure out the growing split in popularity between Putin's followers and those of Medvedev that he describes as a "fifth column" supported by Western capitalists. 
This descendant of White Russians (those who fought against the Bolsheviks in the Russian Revolution) sets us straight about frequent US propaganda that testifies to the unpopularity of Pres. Vladimir Putin. He explains the current Russian political scene as one where the former members of the nomenklatura (Soviet bureaucracy) rose to form a political class after the dissolution of the Soviet government in the years around 1990. These former members connived to buy up shares of the former Soviet companies "for pennies on the dollar" to become rich, and they were aided by Western capitalists. They are still around today, and their leader is Dmitry Medvedev who has alternated with Putin in running the Russian government. 
The author concludes:
The political landscape in Russia is becoming more complicated, which is both good and bad. It is bad because Putin’s personal political credit suffers, however modestly for now, from his continuous inability to purge the Kremlin from the 5th columnists, but it is also good because if things get bad enough Putin will have no choice but to (finally!) get rid of at least the most notorious 5th columnists. But fundamentally the Russian people need to decide. Do they really want to live in a western-style capitalist society (with all the russophobic politics and the adoption of the terminally degenerate “culture” such a choice implies), or do they want a “social society” (to use Putin’s own words) – meaning a society in which social and economic justice and the good of the country are placed above corporate and personal profits.

You could say that this is a battle of greed vs ethics.

The future of Russia, and much of the world, will depend on the outcome of this battle.

The Fetishization of the Corporate Media

Click here to access article by C. J. Hopkins from his blog Consent Factory, Inc.

There are so many insightful gems in this piece that I only want to urge you to read it. So, I will try to keep my commentary short. 

Hopkins uses his masterful gift of satire to ridicule our rather desperate masters (or overlords) in the ruling capitalist class while he provides serious reasons why we shouldn't listen to these purveyors of "horseshit". Yet, media corporations remain a fetish for most ordinary Americans who daily tune in to find out what is going on in the world. 

His attack of media corporations is only one step away from urging us to establish our own media in one big, powerful, bottom-up based authority structure to take down their media corporations; and along with them, to take down their domestic and foreign policies and actions that are literally and figuratively killing us and so many people across the world!

To demonstrate the latter truth, I will only quote his and critically important, final paragraph--and urge you to read the article.
If Russiagate serves no other useful purpose, it is at least exposing the corporate media as the propaganda factories that they are. Given the amount of obviously fabricated horseshit they have disseminated during the last two years, you’d have to be a total moron or a diehard neoliberal cultist not to recognize the function they perform within the global capitalist ruling establishment (which is essentially no different than the function the establishment media perform in any other society, namely, to disseminate, maintain, and reify the official narrative of its ruling classes).

Monday, January 21, 2019

Recommended articles for Monday, January 21, 2019

Shocking Admission By FBI Veteran Shows Why The FBI Shouldn’t Exist

Click here to access article by Caitlin Johnstone from her blog. 

When King decided to join the Civil Rights Movement to the Vietnam Anti-war Movement, roughly a year before he was assassinated by our masters, he became the enemy of the Deep State who saw this as a major threat to their rule. They were right. 

I confess that I really didn't pay much attention to the article. You see, I already know so much about this criminal event perpetrated by our masters that I didn't want to waste time. Yes, the FBI handled the assassination, but on the orders of the Deep State.

Our masters decided that they could rather easily assassinate this leader as they did with the John F. Kennedy because the machinery of assassinations had already been setup against Castro, and the CIA was well experienced in knocking off numerous other leaders in the past such as Patrice Lumumba of the Republic of the Congo and President Allende of Chile. No doubt having accomplished the assassination of JF Kennedy and had it covered up without significant resistance from the American people, it gave them confidence to use it against other targets of people who they perceived interfered with their policies or threatened their rule such as Robert Kennedy, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King. Observe in the following video the haughty contempt with which the CIA Director Dick Helms, who reported only to the fascist Deep State, answered questions before the last committee of Congress in 1976 to investigate CIA activities:

It should be remembered that the leader of this committee, Sen. Frank Church, was never elected again to the Senate after his committee's work was finished. He died a few years later.

Does Our Civilization has at Least Some Chance to Survive?

Click here to access article by Andre Vltchek from New Eastern Outlook

This wanderer over distant lands gives us his assessment of the chances of survival of humans. In spite of all the troubles and setbacks he's witnessed, he is still in the fight for survival. This willingness to fight for our survival is something so essentially human about Vltchek. He admits that he is scared, but he looks extinction squarely in the face and refuses to stop fighting.
Lately, I have been asked this question on several occasions. “Can our humanity really survive?” “Am I an optimist or a pessimist?”

My replies vary, as I don’t think there can ever be one single answer to this most urgent, the most important query.

Sometimes my answer gets influenced by location: where I am at that moment, or where I have been recently? In a Taliban-controlled village in Afghanistan, on a rooftop of a whorehouse in Okinawa while filming deadly US air force bases, or perhaps in an elegant café after visiting an opera performance with my mom, in Stuttgart or in Paris.

Whether I have been injured on a battlefield or in a slum, or have been applauded (most of the time, hypocritically) at some event where I was invited to speak? Have I been doing something ‘forbidden’, insane and dangerous, or merely processing my visual or written materials in Japan or in Bangkok?

Depending on the circumstances, I can sound negative or cautiously optimistic.

But the truth, the honest truth is: I am scared.