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 LappĆ©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Posts that I especially recommend for Wednesday, March 31, 2021 (I ran out of time)

  • Fear of Fairy Tales by John Steppling from his weblog. (Note: Steppling is currently living with his family in Norway. He has a strong background as an American playwright, director of plays, etc., and he apparently is highly educated. I find his posts rather challenging because I don't know how his frequent quotes and images relate to the substance of his articles. He is obviously very disturbed particularly with the current pandemic particularly its impact on children.)
šŸ’„Thus, I especially recommend Steppling's rather lengthy (1:23:54) conversation (via some technology) with Cory Morningstar, Hiroyuki Hamada, and Johan Eddebo found  at Aesthetic Resistance (Post #35) (also in the link at the end of the above article). I encourage you to listen to this profound conversation among these highly educated people regarding the significance of the pandemic and its impact on people.) This is a best post.
Johnstone writes in the article "Someone who says it’s human nature to be selfish, competitive, predatory, exploitative, tyrannical, vicious, brutish and violent isn’t telling you about human nature, they’re telling you about their own nature." Maybe so, but she apparently doesn't yet realize that the capitalist system is based on this view of human nature. Capitalists, and those unwitting people that support them, likely wouldn't dare admit to the negative characteristics but would swear that people are basically selfish. Thus, they would go on to support the capitalist system either completely oblivious to the more negative consequent behaviors listed above and would offer absurd rationalizations for them.
We are fed propaganda to cover-up the heinous crimes the US/Anglo/Zionist Empire commits directly or indirectly. Read a current post entitled The True Story of the Rwandan Genocide from Current Affairs for an example of a major crime (a massacre of at least 500,000 people). This is about who really was responsible for what has been "universally acknowledged as one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century".
  • Twisting the Law by Steve Martinot from CounterPunch. (Note: The following note was published within the article following the article: "[This article contains excerpts from a work in progress called “Brutality: a Study of Police Culture in the US,” which is also looking for a publisher.]". You might also be interested in this post from CGTM, a major Chinese news corporation, via Reuters.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Posts that I especially recommend for Monday, March 29, 2021

  • How the Rich Distort Politics by Rod Driver from his weblog Elephants in the Room. My reaction: Read this if you still have doubts about the sustainability of capitalism.
  • It’s Time to Bust the Tech Talent Pipeline by Isobel van Hagen from Current Affairs. (Note: Read this article if you want to know about the latest CIA effort to recruit young students into serving the capitalist ruling class's Big Tech corporations.)
Palantir, the CIA-backed software startup, provides near-omniscient “crime-predicting” military surveillance for U.S. intelligence operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. It has also built technology accused of creating racist feedback loops in “predictive policing” software. The company, which recently went public, was co-founded by Peter Thiel—the Trump-backing venture capitalist billionaire who, in a display of comic book-style villainy, literally wants to inject himself with young people’s blood.
Shea's argument is correct that the CIA's Western firewall is complete in the sense that they control all major organs of media corporations and that they will use this giant propaganda machine, combined with AI, to ever greater efforts to confuse people and propagandize people within the USA and throughout the world. 
However, I disagree with his allegiance to Stalinism and his identification of the latter with Marxism/Leninism. Stalinism is a worn-out version of Marxism-Leninism which created a bureaucratic class under Joseph Stalin's paranoid control in the Soviet Union.  
The Russian people saved themselves from being slaves of capitalism under the control of German Nazis which were strongly supported by international capitalists. This is the basic reason that his type of rule ended with his death and all pretensions of working class control vanished with Stalin's disappearance. With the failure of the classic fascist nations in WWII, mostly English-speaking capitalists emerged and organized their own fascist empire after the war under the US/Anglo/Zionist Empire.
However, the peoples of Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, and all the exploited peoples of planet Earth have risen from the ashes of WWII to confront this powerful, hegemonic Empire, and it looks like they are going to win. But their win will be a Pyrrhic victory because the victors will then face the onslaught of a destabilizing climate. The latter will result in the inability to support human and most other life forms due to the devastation of the environment and, finally, the destabilization of the climate caused by capitalist rule over the past several centuries.
The strength of this article is in the descriptions of the fact that the CIA has taken over the control of major media corporations and has turned them into a media of 24/7 Empire propaganda. 
This article contains one expression of Russian and China fantasies, but totally ignores the reality of the climate crisis. 
After WWII some nations which had devastated economies and other underdeveloped nations rose under the difficulties of the Cold War to form mixed economies which combined forms of capitalist enterprises under the guidance and supervision of socialist ruling classes. China was a prime example and the first to combine the two systems. These were compromises that suited the advanced capitalists of the Empire because they initially were able to profit from China's cheap labor. The Soviet Union soon collapsed and reformed with a largely mixed economy, and the two nations led the way to lead all other nations wanting to be independent from the burdens of serving exclusively the nations of the US/Anglo/Zionist Empire.
China and Russia are leaders of this mixed economy movement throughout the world, but I believe they are indulging in fantasies of their own much like the more purely capitalist countries of the Empire. Although members of both ruling classes are expressing more concern about the developing destabilization of the climate, they are both pursuing capitalist development policies. Thus, those nations of the Empire have their Great Reset fantasy; but Russia and China have other fantasies that largely ignore the developing climate crisis, but necessary for their dedication of independence from the hegemonic Empire. 

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Posts that I especially recommend for Sunday, March 28, 2021

  • Smart Cities: Digital Prisons of The Great Reset by Derrick Broze from The Last American Vagabond. My commentary follows: 
    The Great Reset is all about our masters' fantasy: the transnational capitalist ruling classes, who are directors of the US/Anglo/Zionist Empire and have a fantasy about saving their system of capitalism. Our billionaire masters are finally concerned about preventing the climate crisis and destroying their beloved system of capitalism, which is a system of organized plunder of the Earth's resources and the labor of working people. 
    Thus, it is more of the same: the ruling class is trying to co-opt us into following their self-serving plan to save capitalism for the future. If you like their past record of exploitation, never-ending wars, extreme inequality, full-spectrum control of everything, etc., you will absolutely love their plan for the Great Reset of capitalism. Brose expressed it in a nutshell when he wrote:

    In truth, the push for smart cities, the UN SDGs, and the Great Reset is based in a deeper agenda to monitor, control, and direct all life on the planet using technology. The true agenda of the WEF and the United Nations is to establish a global Technocratic State where alleged experts and technologists make decisions for the vast majority of the people in the name of saving the environment.

    The description of our masters' plans sound familiar. Doesn't it sound like what we experienced during this pandemic where dissenting voices about pandemic policies, contrary medical evidence, and scientific arguments from equally qualified experts are all dismissed or silenced? And you are confined to your homes, must wear masks, and get "vaccinated" with potentially unsafe and unknown substances in order to work or travel? And they're promising to make us happy despite owning nothing--because they will own, and thereby control, everything! Do you want such a world?

    Just because they have recognized (too late) that unlimited growth, which capitalism requires, on a finite planet is impossible, we should follow them meekly and their self-serving fantasy-plan. I think not!   
Words cannot convey how chilling and authoritarian this all is: watching government officials, hour after hour, demand censorship of political speech and threaten punishment for failures to obey. As I detailed last month, the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that the state violates the First Amendment’s free speech guarantee when they coerce private actors to censor for them — exactly the tyrannical goal to which these hearings are singularly devoted. 
And he concludes with this statement:
We are taught from childhood that a defining hallmark of repressive regimes is that political officials wield power to silence ideas and people they dislike, and that, conversely, what makes the U.S. a “free” society is the guarantee that American leaders are barred from doing so. It is impossible to reconcile that claim with what happened in that House hearing room over the course of five hours on Thursday. 
The team found that human activities have caused the radiative forcing on Earth to increase by about 0.5 Watts per square meter from 2003 to 2018. The increase is mostly from greenhouse gases emissions from things like power generation, transport and industrial manufacturing. Reduced reflective aerosols are also contributing to the imbalance.