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 Lapp√©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Posts that I especially recommend today and some commentaries: Thursday, April 30, 2020

  • Dr. Ioannidis on Results of Coronacirus Studies from Journey Pictures via YouTube. (Note: Stanford University professor Dr. John Ioannidis reports on data from various parts of the world and their implications for coping with such a virulent virus as Covid-19.)
My comments: According to early data from this higlyly qualified source and other competent sources, Covid-19 is not more fatal than influenza. You should behave rationally to protect yourself from suffering from this virus. However, if you believe what media corporations, which have a record of spreading lies, are telling you that you should fear for your lives, then I have several fine bridges to sell you.
I am 84 years old with chronic bronchitis, and I see myself as extremely vulnerable to this virus. Thus, I am observing carefully all social distance advisories as should all people in my condition. (Edited comment for clarity of my views based on date between 4:30 PM and 6:45 PM CT.)
Next day commentary: I don't see that Valentine's thesis that the ruling class used the Phoenix Program, which they used in Vietnam, has been used to suppress dissent in the USA. Our masters have used a variety of sources to increase their control of society, but they have done this while perserving the ideology of a "democratic" society that has a number of civil liberties. The use of propaganda through the infiltration of media corporations was primarily applied in the USA and to lessor extent to the European countries of the US/Anglo/Zionist Empire. Vietnam's society was not the same as US's society. Thus, they have used a variety of means, including their experience in Vietnam, to exercise more control over dissidents in the USA. The only transfer of the Phoenix Program was the use of computers to identify dissidents, but that was perfectly logical to use updated technology to track dissidents. His observations did describe the growing militarization of US society to control dissent that have occurred over many recent decades, but again that was only logical and the roots go back to all fascist regimes. All of these methods were designed to control populations under their control to counter any threats to their capitalist system.
  • Welcome to the era of the Great Disillusionment by Jonathan Cook from his weblog. (Note: I hope that this is the "era of the Great Disillusionment", but I have doubts. We have been lied to for many decades since WWII. Media corporations lied before this, but their lying was not as systemized and consciously controlled as it is today.)
My commentary: I've spent entirely too much time on this article, and I advise you to avoid it in the interests of efficiency of your time to understand current monumental issues that confront humans. Zuesse's tremendous efforts in this article is to establish, once and for all, his social-democratic understanding of these these current issues. His views are a product of a post-war education in which social-democractic views were still fashionable on college campuses and those espousing them were amply rewarded. To hold his social-democratic views is to ignore the innumerable historical events of capitalist exploitation of workers that preceded WWII. Some of these events I have written about in my "best posts" category.
I only draw attention to this article because this perspective still exists among American intellectuals, and its influence is pernicious to say the least. To restore capitalism as it was before WWII is impossible, but that is what many American bloggers like Paul Craig Roberts, old-fashion conservatives like Pat Buchanan, and historians like Eric Zuesse want to do. If, on the other hand, you see capitalism as a system that evolves or develops over time into complete capitalist class rule (fascism), you will see social-democracy as a dead end, and work for system change.
“Recent developments in our region, particularly in Syria and Libya, have once again demonstrated the importance of upholding the Turkish-US alliance and cooperation at full strength,” Erdogan wrote.

One Turkish official, speaking anonymously, told Middle East Eye that Ankara’s calculation has been changing since its military clashed with the Syrian government in the country's Iblib province, where nearly 60 Turkish soldiers had been killed in February.
My question: Could the unpredictiable Erdogan simply be playing USA and Russia off against each other (def.) similar to the prime ministers of India?