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
Thursday, November 23, 2017
Read how the "good guys", the USA, are helping Syrians and want to restore "democracy" in Syria. Then following this, read remarks from Pentagon officials and their explanation (lies) as to why they want their military to remain there.
Now read the report from RT which our government has forced a media company to register as a "foreign agent" in a post entitled "Syria, Russia & Iran shift to diplomacy, while US and allies push for war". Which of the two reports do you think is the most accurate? Perhaps our government should register as a "foreign agent".
The Department of Justice ordered RT to register as a foreign agent, yet refuses to cite what laws were broken. Furthermore, the government has done nothing to demonstrate how RT journalists are taking orders from the Kremlin or that RT employees have lobbied Congress on behalf of the Russian government, which is required by law. This move is clearly political since ACTUAL foreign lobbyists like the Podesta Group and AIPAC were not threatened with arrests and a test case for a wider campaign of media suppression. The fact is the political establishment is scared to death that more and more of us are abandoning its corporate media, and doesn't want us hearing outside perspectives.
This is a rather long article with many links to document his arguments. Nevertheless, if you can spare the time, it will offer you important information, and one that I will supplement by another Kuwaiti independent journalist, that contributes to a comprehensive picture of the terribly complicated, game-changing and potentially explosive nature of the present situation in this area.
Because I don't like to be dependent on one source of information, I am supplying you with another article by Elijah J. Magnier, an independent Kuwaiti journalist, entitled "A US buffer zone in north-eastern Syria and a land-Bridge from Tehran to Beirut" which corroborates much of Bernhard's post and offers more information on this volatile area. I have provided the following maps: one furnished by Magnier that I've enlarged, and have provided another so that you can clearly see what both posts refer to.
I am providing you with one more link which will confirm Bernhard's claim that the US military advised the Syrian Kurds to add "democratic" to their name. See this general's remarks at 25:10m into his talk at the Aspen Institute in July of this year. This is an illustration of how attuned US leaders are to framing issues to hide their illegal and criminal activities behind nice sounding words.
To disguise its cooperation with the Kurdish terrorists, the U.S. renamed the group into the "Syrian Democratic Forces" (SDF). Some Arab fighters from east Syrian tribes were added to it. These are mostly former foot-soldiers of ISIS who changed sides when the U.S. offered better pay. Other fighters were pressed into service. The people of the Syrian-Arab city Manbij, which is occupied by the YPG and U.S. forces, protested when the YPG started to violently conscript its youth.However, I think the Syrian Kurds are more complicated than he describes them here. They do have some factions among them that have appealed to US leftists. I think that they were fighting for survival from ISIS forces (the US played both sides in relation to this terrorist army) when they teamed up with the US military and allowed the latter to construct bases on territory which they controlled in northeast Syria. But I think that now their continuing collaboration with US forces is a very serious mistake.
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Mazaheri, an Iranian-American working in Paris, borrows heavily from a new book entitled A People’s History of the Russian Revolution (by Neil Faulkner) to explain what this revolution was all about.
What we should increasingly understand is that 1917 actually occurred not thanks to the intellectual – even a non-solitary one like Lenin – but thanks to the decades of grassroots organizations which defied the state police who then found their ultimate catalyst in the soldier unwilling to fight for a Tsarist, and then also a Bourgeois (West European) state.
We must remember that common soldiers are – for all intents and purposes – an organised, “grassroots” group…especially once they rebel from state authority and transfer allegiance to the People, who were increasingly represented by worker and share-cropper councils.
That is precisely what happened in 1917 – the confluence of massive groups which discussed, agreed and then carried the People’s will and placed it – fully formed – into the hands of a Bolshevik Party which promised to implement Their will.
This post represents a crucial battle in the war against real information being delivered to you via the internet. Trump's appointee, Ajit Pai, head of the FCC is launching another campaign to attack (reduce access to) information that the internet service providers like Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, etc, don't like or which don't see certain websites as providing sufficient profitable opportunities for them. After all, that is what America Inc. is all about: providing never-ending profits and power to our ruling capitalist masters. Because Pai has the votes on the FCC Commission, it looks certain that he will be able to transfer oversight from the FCC to the FTC which has extremely weak enforcement measures.
On December 14th the internet as we know it may be deceased. Cenk Uygur, the host of The Young Turks, tells you what you can do to stop it. ....
“Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai will reportedly seek to completely repeal net neutrality rules put in place under former President Obama, according to a Monday report.
Sources close to the matter tell Politico that Pai will seek to completely remove the net neutrality rules, which reclassified internet service providers (ISPs) as telecommunications companies and required them to treat all web traffic equally.
The FCC will reportedly vote on the plan in December, according to Politico.
Pai and other Republicans have argued the Obama-era FCC overstepped its authority with the regulations by reclassifying the ISPs as common carriers.
The FCC held a months-long open comment period on its proposal to repeal the rules after facing massive backlash after releasing its initial proposal in April.”
Here are some other posts that may interest you regarding this issue:
Antarctica is a giant landmass — about half the size of Africa — and the ice that covers it averages more than a mile thick. Before human burning of fossil fuels triggered global warming, the continent’s ice was in relative balance: The snows in the interior of the continent roughly matched the icebergs that broke away from glaciers at its edges.I hope this graphic will help you understand the material.
Now, as carbon dioxide traps more heat in the atmosphere and warms the planet, the scales have tipped.
A wholesale collapse of Pine Island and Thwaites would set off a catastrophe. Giant icebergs would stream away from Antarctica like a parade of frozen soldiers. All over the world, high tides would creep higher, slowly burying every shoreline on the planet, flooding coastal cities and creating hundreds of millions of climate refugees.
All this could play out in a mere 20 to 50 years — much too quickly for humanity to adapt.
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Forget rationing and waiting lists. Socialized medicine delivers comforts and convenience that Americans can only dream about.As an elder I no longer can receive adequate health care. No physician in private practice will take me on as a patient, because I can no longer afford supplementary health plans (to grow old in the USA is to sink into poverty) issued by insurers to add a subsidy to Medicare. I don't blame the physicians because the payments under Medicare are inadequate. Now only when I'm very sick (not for physical examinations, or minor ailments) can I receive Medicare coverage for health care from a charity clinic staffed by very poor physicians who apparently can't get a job working for clinics and hospitals. Very fortunately for me, I have taken good care of myself all my life, and as a result I enjoy excellent health, but sooner or later this will change. Yes, I agree, the USA is an "exceptional nation", but only in the sense that our nation, or more accurately, our ruling class, refuses to provide universal coverage for its citizens.
The proclamation of the Republic by the Catalan Parliament on October 27th was short-lived. The Spanish state was ready to crush it decisively, while the Catalan government had no plans and no strategy to defend it. That, however, is not the end of the movement.The author uses a class analysis to frame the future of the Catalan movement for independence. He sees an organization the emergence of the Committees for the Defence of the Republic as a constructive step toward a revolutionary movement of the people instead of merely the capitalist class in the Catalan province. (This step reminds one of the broad steps of the 1917 Russian Revolution.) The next official step of the Spanish government will be the holding of elections in Catalonia on December 21.
Virtually unchallenged to this day, corporate media are accustomed to using a number of misleading “cultural equations” to hide the existence of undemocratic institutions at the core of the American system. Thus, capitalism, a “hierarchic tyranny” as Chomsky calls it, is usually identified by its euphemisms: “Free Enterprise,” “market system,” “private enterprise,” “the American Way,” etc. Academia also cheerfully participates in this deliberate cosmetisation [def.] of what otherwise many people would begin to recognize as something unhealthy and malodorous in their midst. But of all these quaint labels and false equations the most outrageous and cynically deceptive is that which makes “Americanness”—the very national identity of the United States— identical with capitalism, both concepts one and inseparable. [my link]Our masters in the capitalist ruling class play all sorts of tricks on our minds by conflating the "American way of life" with capitalism and the latter as simply a state of nature or as the highest state of achieved by humans in their quest for the perfect economic and political system. Hence, the "end of history" argued by Francis Fukuyama, a noted capitalist ideologist. But what Greanville overlooks is the fact that every ruling class puts its ideological stamp on every society over which they have ruled since the beginning of civilization. Ideology, or the belief system of a society, is critically important to maintain a ruling class in power. They must convince their subjects to be loyal to their rule or else they must maintain their rule by force which is very expensive.
That is why capitalist regimes, when they get in trouble, always revert to fascism. That is precisely why fascism was so attractive to the ruling capitalist classes of Western countries (and Japan) during the Great Depression of the 1930s when the Soviet Union was improving their economy by "leaps and bounds" (def.) and where there was no unemployment. And, that is why we are witnessing today the growing rise of fascism in the USA after the collapse of the economy in 2008 known as the Great Recession from which many economists argue that we still have not recovered.
In this fake form of democracy capitalist elites control all the political institutions ranging from the original adoption of the constitution to their control over political parties that are allowed to function. Only when humans have gotten rid of all class structured societies and achieve something like true equality can real democracy exist. That means control by the people, and for the people, every institution of society including especially the economy.
Monday, November 20, 2017
I've been wondering if the Deep State has set up controls on Trump to prevent him from launching nuclear armed missiles against any nation. It has become clear that he has exhibited and impulsive, volatile behavior which is not exactly what anyone wants who has his "fingers" on the triggers of nuclear weapons. Apparently there are members of Congress who have similar worries.
This past week’s Senate hearing was the first in Congress on presidential authority to use nuclear weapons since 1976, when a Democratic congressman from New York, Richard L. Ottinger, pushed for the U.S. to declare it would never initiate a nuclear war. Ottinger said he wanted to “eliminate the prospect that human ignorance and potential human failure in the use of nuclear materials, especially nuclear weapons, will lead to the destruction of civilization.”In case you are a member of one of the younger generations that has been raised on Star Wars, Star Trek, and all the computer games featuring futuristic combat by "good guys" and "bad guys" where the good guys always "win" in the end, I think you might be interested in a little realism that is offered in the following videos about nuclear war.
“We are concerned that the president of the United States is so unstable, is so volatile, has a decision-making process that is so quixotic, that he might order a nuclear weapons strike that is wildly out of step with U.S. national security interests,” said Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said at the outset of last week’s hearing.
Saturday, November 18, 2017
The Irish journalist sees capitalism, which has brought so much wealth and power to so few in those elites associated with the US-led Empire, in its death throes as illustrated by its official leaders neurotically declaiming about the wickedness of Russia.
Inequality, poverty and the denial of decent existence to the majority of people stands out as the clarion condemnation of capitalism and its organization of society under private profit. The human suffering, hardships, austerity and crippled potential that flow from this condition represent the crisis of our time. Yet instead of an earnest public debate and struggle to overcome this crisis, we are forced by our elites to focus on false, even surreal problems.All of this hysterical behavior that we are daily witnessing, he sees as a neurotic response psychologically defending them from the frightful reality that the end of a system and their rule is approaching, a system that has served this tiny ruling class so well over the past several hundred years. And he concludes with a warning to us ordinary people that we need to do something before they take us with them in a nuclear war conflagration or, more slowly, in a deteriorating environment that can no longer support human life.
American politics has become paralyzed by an endless elite squabble over whether Russia meddled in the presidential elections and claims that Russian news media continue to interfere in American democracy. Of course, the US corporate-controlled news media, who are an integral part of the plutocracy, lend credibility to this circus. Ditto European corporate-controlled media.
The biggest disconnect is the obscene inequality of wealth and resources that capitalism has engendered in the 21st century. That monstrous dysfunction is also causally related to why the US and its Western allies like Britain are pushing belligerence and wars around the planet. It is all part of their elitist denial of reality. The reality that capitalism is the biggest threat to humanity’s future.We are increasingly noticing others who think that capitalism has become thoroughly dysfunctional. Read this review of a book entitled How will capitalism end? by Wolfgang Streeck re-posted in Real-World Economics Review Blog.
Do we let these mentally deficient, deceptive political elites and their media dictate the nonsense? Or will the mass of people do the right thing and sweep them aside?
Friday, November 17, 2017
... these days most elitist wankers are trained how to write, and read, and think, in MFA conformity factories, where they screen out any unstable weirdos with unhealthy interests in political matters. This is to avoid embarrassing episodes like Harold Pinter’s Nobel Prize lecture (which, if you haven’t read it, you probably should), and is why so much of contemporary literature is so well-behaved and instantly forgettable. This institutionalized screening system is also why the majority of journalists employed by mainstream media outlets understand, without having to be told, what they are, and are not, allowed to report.Hopkins writes in a chatty style to explain how he learned about the subtle ways corporations have to discourage people from writing or accessing ideas that the ruling capitalist class finds objectionable. The reference to COINTELPRO is intentional to convey the hidden or secret nature of these methods. He doesn't see the methods as constituting outright censorship, but adapted from earlier forms to fit in the contemporary "brave new world" of digital media. As a writer and thinker he tells his personal story of his road to discovery of the pitfalls that any independent thinker/writer should consider when writing for this brave new digital world, or by implication, the difficulties that others might encounter trying to access material by independent thinkers and writers.
Actually the methods aren't all that new because I, personally, have experienced their analogs (def.) while working for bosses throughout much of my life. They have just been re-adapted to fit the online world. You see, our ruling masters want us to continue to believe the myths propagated by their system of indoctrination that all of their subjects (that's us) are exposed to all of their (our) lives; you know, the myths about all the freedoms we enjoy as Americans living in an exceptional country. So, what's a ruling class to do under those circumstances? Well, they have found sure-fire methods to discourage anyone from straying from their capitalist ideology while either writing for, or perusing, the World Wide Web. Read about Hopkins' experience to learn more, and you might find some similarities in your own experience either online or off.
You may also be interested in the growing effort to privatize the internet--the better to (def.) control its content--by reading "'Time to Raise Hell': Internet Defenders Mobilize as FCC Aims to Kill Net Neutrality Within Month".
The profound effects of the revolution on the rest of the world only started after the Bolsheviks took power. The capitalist ruling classes throughout the West looked upon this workers state with horror, and from the beginning saw the necessity to crush it. They saw it like a virus that could be spread to workers in their own countries and threaten their rule. In fact, as you will see in succeeding posts, this nightmare for the capitalists shaped most of the subsequent events of the 20th century.
Initially, Lenin seemed to be right when he declared that the civil war phase of the revolution was over and that the Bolsheviks could now concentrate on the peaceful construction of the new regime. But this idea was soon to be shattered by events.
Whereas the anti-communist counter-revolution – also known as the White movement, as opposed to the Reds – was militarily and politically defeated, its leaders who were living on the country's borders received enormous military assistance from the great imperialist powers of the time. This started already in the early days of 1918. White units were equipped with high-tech weaponry, such as tanks and planes: all things that were lacking to the young Soviet republic.
Thursday, November 16, 2017
A People’s History of the Russian Revolution pits new scholarship vs. Mainstream Media [part 1 of 5]
It occurred to me this morning that there is another war going on that you may not be aware of. It is a war for your mind, that is, for the control of your mind about all things political. The capitalist US-led Empire is under siege by the new technologies of the Information Age, and the war is being fought over your allegiance to both the Empire and capitalism, the ideological foundation of the Empire. Being aware of this war should encourage you to take much greater care on what to believe about the world you live in. I hope this website and this post contributes to that process.
This series of posts, which is based on new book entitled A People’s History of the Russian Revolution by Neil Faulkner, promises to offer you a much better understanding of the realities and the significance of the 1917 Russian Revolution which has had such a profound impact on subsequent world events. The book, and I think this series, presents a very different view of the revolution that you may be getting from mainstream media or what you were taught in schools.
... on the book’s very first page the author describes the formula of any successful popular revolution, just like the Iranian Revolution of 1979: “In essence, the Russian Revolution was an explosion of democracy and activity from below.”
Mainstream media and all bourgeois (US/West European) democracies have no interest in such explosions, and it is for this reason that they purposely distort not just the 1917 Russian Revolution but all anti-capitalist, pro-socialist, and anti-imperialist cultures. And they always will, because that is the only way they can try to preserve their status quo dominance.
Everyone was buzzing about the shocking, bombshell new report by The Atlantic yesterday, which revealed that Donald Trump Jr. and the WikiLeaks Twitter account had engaged in a “largely one-sided” conversation in private messages over the course of several months.The author explains how a major capitalist publication manufactured a smear against one of the world's greatest sources of exposures of Empire lies and secrets. Julia Ioffe can expect a "brilliant" and well-paid career ahead of her as a propaganda specialist for media corporations.
Don Jr. actually comes off looking fairly normal in the report, while WikiLeaks comes off looking weird and sleazy in a way that will likely damage its reputation even further than the mainstream media campaign to smear the outlet already has.
In this article you will learn about how well-indoctrinated US government sociopaths, accompanied by bodyguards, pay phony respects to a monument that they, and their associates, helped to erect in Ukraine. But first, if you are a bit hazy about the history of US interference in Ukraine's affairs, you should see this and this. Then if you are totally clueless about the US interference in their affairs which brought about the establishment of an overt fascist government, you can click on the category "Ukraine" (on the lower right-hand side) to find out more.
Spike is a former [British] soldier, now a poet and peace activist. Once his experiences drove him on a path to self destruction. But through poetry, he has found an outlet. He is now a performance poet and speaker where he attacks the establishment that thrives on war. He is polemic and unswerving in his damning condemnation of the war machine.It seems to me that many combat veterans like Spike could benefit psychologically by engaging in anti-war and anti-establishment activities that a genuine revolutionary movement could provide for them. The challenge to return such veterans to civilian life is monumental, but mainly the ruling class has taken this challenge by keeping damaged veterans in ideologically controlled "therapy" sessions. In other words, the veterans are lied to by the ruling class to sign up for such killing activities and they lie to them again when they return damaged in body and soul to civilian life by portraying them as heroes, people who have "sacrificed" for some noble cause. It seems to me that a real healing, a real return to psychological health could be provided by a revolutionary movement that would engage these wounded people in activities that would serve to undermine the power of their real enemies: the ruling capitalist class.