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, April 13, 2019

Articles recommended for Saturday, April 13, 2019

Assange Arrest: The Turning Point is Here — Don’t Let Them Win [a "best post"]

Click here to access article by Whitney Webb from Mint Press News (based in Minneapolis).

I find myself in total agreement with this Chilean commentator.
The world has known for years that Assange would meet this fate. Little was done. Now, the turning point is here. Will we continue to escape into the false realities of television, cinema, video games, and whatever we use to distract us and numb our pain while the actual world in which we live devolves into a technocratic, imperial dictatorship? Will we continue to ignore the obvious threats to our lives and our children’s lives because confronting these threats is uncomfortable and often difficult?

Will we wait until they come for us because our homes are built atop resources they wish to plunder, because we shared information online they found objectionable, because we dared to question why madmen are in control of our country and much of the world?

Friday, April 12, 2019

Articles on Assange's arrest and its meaning for Friday, April 12, 2019

FBI Sued for Failure to Provide 9/11 Evidence to Congress

Click here to access a podcast of a nearly one hour discussion conducted by Bonnie Faulkner with people who are prominently involved in this lawsuit and posted on Guns & Butter.

Here is the written introduction:
The Lawyers Committee for 9/11 Inquiry, Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, along with 9/11 victim family members have filed a joint federal lawsuit against the US Department of Justice and the FBI for their failure to perform a congressionally mandated assessment of any evidence known to the FBI that was not considered by the 9/11 Commission related to any factors that contributed in any manner to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. David Meiswinkle, Mick Harrison, Barbara Honegger and Richard Gage provide a broad overview of both the lawsuit and the filing of a grand jury petition; the seven counts of relevant evidence included in the complaint which also cites the destruction by the FBI of evidence related to the "High Fivers"; the Executive Director and Commissioners of the 9/11 Review Commission along with its twelve staff members; next steps in the legal process and what a successful outcome would look like.

Emergency Meeting for Assange

Consortium News announces an emergency meeting regarding Assange via the internet's web this afternoon at 4 PM ET. (Time Converter)

The Problem With Wikipedia and the Digital Revolution

Click here to access article by Paul Craig Roberts from his blog.

I first noticed this phenomenon about five years ago, and it is getting steadily worse.
Yesterday (April 10, 2019) a reader alerted me to the fact that I am being smeared on Wikipedia as a “vocal supporter of the current Russian government and its policies.” The reader also reports that an article in the Daily Beast calls me a “Putin worshiper.” The reader says that he tried to edit the Wikipedia entry without success, and he urged me to give it my attention.

I do not know whether the person who wrote my Wikipedia entry intended to smear me or is merely uninformed. However, dissenting voices do get smeared on Wikipedia. It is an ongoing problem for many of us. For years readers and people who know me would make corrections to my Wikipedia biography, but as soon as the corrections were made, they would be erased and the smears reinstalled.
He concludes his essay with this frightening statement:
The emergence of technology capable of falsifying reality in real time presages a future in which fact and fiction become indistinguishable. The unintended consequence of this technology may well be the death of truth.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

EU and China sign a Mandate of Trade Heaven

Click here to access article by Pepe Escobar from Asia Times.

China scores again while the Empire plays regime-change games and arrests and jails journalists.
... Beijing’s drive is to configure national champions in virtually every industrial and post-industrial sector, including preeminence in 5G and AI. The crux of the Chinese strategy is not the US but a close relationship with Europe, where opportunities to acquire first-class technology and first-class education are immense. Not to mention that Europe is BRI’s privileged terminal.

Perception is reality. There’s no doubt the Beijing leadership has understood that this EU-China agreement goes a long way to show, especially to its leaders, that they are dealing with a responsible emerging superpower. The contrast with the acrimony and intimidation tactics displayed throughout the US trade war could not be sharper.

Julian Assange arrested after Ecuador tears up asylum deal

Click here to access article from RT. (Added video from Mint Press News at 11:19 AM CT.)
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been dragged out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where he has spent the last seven years. That's after Ecuador's president Moreno withdrew asylum.

That's only a day after WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson claimed that an extensive spying operation was conducted against Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy. During an explosive media conference Hrafnsson alleged that the operation was designed to get Assange extradited. 
Other coverage:
  • Julian Assange’s legal team make a statement following his arrest. The following video was posted on Mint Press News

So, you think Washington’s long war on Syria is almost over. Think again.

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

He argues with solid documentation (read especially the link from Foreign Affairs, a publication of the Deep State) that the US has conveniently, with Trump's help, made its war in Syria invisible to the American people. This permits our masters in the Deep State to go ahead, undisturbed by domestic opposition, with their continuing efforts to destabilize Syria using their hybrid war magic weapons: 
... economic warfare, cyber-warfare, covert CIA operations, special operations forces, mercenaries, proxy armies, and allies—weapons of war that can be concealed behind a cloak of secrecy and which minimize the involvement of the US public.
I have a strong hunch that the Deep State has not only intimidated Trump by continuing their attacks on him through their media corporations, but by ignoring his executive orders. I don't think there is any doubt that the Deep State holds the allegiance of the armed forces as well as their super-secret "intelligence" agencies. Trump has instincts for powerful players and attempts to mollify them (notice his neocon appointments like Pompeo and Boldton to major posts) to keep them from forcing him out of office. 

Meanwhile, what passes for a "left" in the USA is enthralled with the candidacy of Tulsi Gabbard. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

A World Divided by Ideologies

Click here to access article by Graham Peebles from Dissident Voice.

Peebles uses some research to support a major insight: every ruling class has always used every institution to indoctrinate their subjects in their self-serving ideology.
We have all been the victims of such sociological/psychological conditioning, some more, some less. Conditioned images of oneself and of others are unconsciously built up, attachment to content made firm. Far from creating the security we yearn for, attachment to the construct ensures fear is maintained. .... The image of ‘me’ in contrast to the ‘you’ is formed, the ‘us’ against ‘them’ takes root; my country versus your country, my political party against yours, my God versus your God, my opinions versus yours and so on, and on, and on.

Attachment to the image is strong, defense of its beliefs and ideals fierce. From this narrow, conditioned center thoughts emerge and actions proceed, creating multiple divisions and disharmony, endless wars and violent conflict.
You can see how the present capitalist ruling classes, due to advances of technology and the increased concentration of power, have been enabled to vastly increase their ability to condition the majority of people to support their interests of profit and power. Wars have been the most profitable of all their activities, and have resulted in the concentration of power like never before. This self-serving concentration of power is now threatening human habitat resulting in severe doubt the very survival of humans and many other species.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Articles recommended for Tuesday, April 9, 2019

  • Click here to access a book review by Martin Empson of a new book entitled The Biofuels Deception by Okbazghi Yohannes, a professor in the Political Science department at University of Louisville, Kentucky. Posted on Empson's blog ResoluteReader, Climate & Capitalism, and Monthly Review

Monday, April 8, 2019

The Looking Glass Splinters

Click here to access article by Alastair Crooke from Strategic Culture Foundation. (Minor editing at 7:10 PM CT for greater clarity.)

I'm not sure that I should have posted this because of its rather difficult writing style for the average reader, but this normally insightful author (a former member of MI6) is very worried about the political-economic scene in Europe. He suggests that Europeans may on the cusp of major changes to their fundamental alliances and relations, but the British leadership, in particular, are behaving according to "business as usual". Is it all pretense? Crooke sees fractures everywhere behind the scenes. Among his concerns are Brexit, China's BRI, central banks, the poor European and world economy that's on the brink of recession, and the ongoing Yellow-Vest protests in France. Consider the following examples of his remarks:
Tectonic shifts like this, are rare. But when they do occur, they throw up the possibility of profound change and realignment.
"What is astonishing is the apparent continued belief amongst our superior classes that 'ordinary people' aren’t watching and understanding what is afoot.”

From some radical, perhaps? No it is a quote from the former Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, with 30 years’ experience of UK and EU government.
I have a feeling he is on to something.

Trump’s support for Zionism includes defining US Jews as foreigners

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

Gowans expands on some comments by Trump to illustrate the latter's ignorant view that all Jews look to Israel for their identity. This is only a short step away from seeing Jews as a foreign element in an otherwise Christian society and a legitimate target for hostility. However, this attitude of Jews belonging in the apartheid state of Israel is also shared by Zionist Jews.

Jews as an ethnic group have always excelled in finance because of the Christian and Muslim history of forbidding their members to charge for lending. (Jews also could not charge interest on loans to other Jews.) The almost instinctive attitude against usury was common before capitalism first rose in the 17th century. After the capitalist ruling classes overturned feudal authorities, usury became a common feature of our world. Because Jews had already established a foothold in this business, they became prominent financiers and as such played a very significant role in capitalist enterprise. Ruling classes, both feudal and capitalist, in the past often used hostility against Jews, who were mostly workers, as a "divide and rule" weapon against workers throughout the Christian world.

Gowans goes on to argue that anti-Semites among Western nations favored Zionism and its support for Jews having their own state and thus getting rid of them. This dovetailed well with Zionist objectives. However, Zionist leaders, especially in the 20th century, have nearly always allied themselves with powerful ruling capitalist classes in order to achieve their objectives. Zionist leaders even negotiated with Nazis to facilitate the emigration of German Jews to Palestine. And, as they say, the rest is history.

At this point he argues:
It is not Christian Zionism, or a sincere (though misplaced) effort to protect Jews from anti-Semitism, that motivate Western governments to support Israel. Nor is US foreign policy in thrall to wealthy Jews and their lobbying efforts, a theory propounded by people whose grasp of the forces that shape US imperialism is tenuous at best. Instead, Western support for Israel is grounded in economic interests.
Then he introduces us to British communist Rajani Palme Dutt and his views to further explain why Western capitalist countries have historically supported the state of Israel. Read the article to find out.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Concerning Humanity’s Future: Interview with Nick Humphrey, Climatologist and Geoscientist

Click here to access an interview with meteorologist/geoscientist Nick Humphrey conducted by "xraymike79" from his blog Collapse of Industrial Civilization: Finding the Truth behind the American Hologram. (ML is "xraymike79")
I first discovered the writings of meteorologist/geoscientist Nick Humphrey with his brutally honest essay The Conversation No One Knows How To Have and since then have followed his posts and comments. He has been featured or quoted in a number of publications such as Mother Jones, New York Times, Washington Post, and Science Alert. Few scientists will publicly tell you how dire things are, but Nick Humphrey is not one to shy away from the truth. What follows is a Q&A interview I held with him on a variety of questions concerning humanity’s future.

The "American Party" within the institutions of the European Union

Click here to access article by Manlio Dinucci from Voltaire Network. (You will need to know what the geometric term "tranversal" means in the metaphorical sense as applied to Europe.)
All this confirms the influence brought to bear by the "American Party", a powerful transversal camp which is orienting the policies of the EU along the strategic lines of the USA and NATO.
I think the author has hit on something very important in understanding the geopolitics of today, and I think this goes beyond its European significance. I'll try to express clearly what I have in mind.

I think that the major nations of the world are headed for a major contest between the US/Anglo/Zionist Empire and the multipolar block (chiefly Russia, China, and Iran, but also includes many ordinary people of the world). This could end in either the dominance of the Empire or lead to a catastrophic nuclear war between the latter two block of nations. 

I see symptoms of this everywhere, and not only to the Empire's transversal relationship with Europe (the Brexit controversy, the recent visit by Chinese officials to Europe promoting cooperation with the Belt and Road Initiative, the Yellow-Vest movement in France, etc): the futile threats (so far) against Venezuela by the USA, the politics of the USA (Russiagate hoax, other fake news put out by corporate media, jockeying of candidates for the 2020 election, even the disappearance of Joe Biden as a Deep State candidate, the abrogation of several nuclear weapons treaties by the USA, the threats to the US Dollar as the main international currency, etc. (many of these are addressed by Paul Craig Roberts in "Where Is The World Headed?"). Of course, the worst outcome of this clash between the Empire and the proponents of a multipolar world would be a nuclear war which would be catastrophic.

Regarding the Brexit issue, I think that this referendum was passed because it basically was a rejection by ordinary people of Britain of the Empire's dominance in European affairs which appears to be most active at the highest levels of the European Union. I also think that some form of union of European nations is desirable, but not the present arrangement under the Empire's control.

Meanwhile, all these matters distract attention from the immediate concern about the destabilization of Earth's climate and the catastrophes awaiting all of the world's people. In the end it is up to the world's people to avoid these catastrophes, but I agree with Jonathan Cook who is rather pessimistic that people can avert the threats which will end with the extinction of humans.
The deeper questions we have been evading force us to address who we are as individuals and as a society, and whether we wish to have a future, to belong to a planet that possibly uniquely in our small corner of the universe can sustain higher life forms and the supreme achievement of our evolutionary branch-line, human beings.

Only in facing those questions can we rid ourselves of our political confusion and our individual anxiety. Standing on the edge of an abyss should be no time for boredom. It is time for deep reflection, and rapid personal and collective growth.