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, September 21, 2017

Single Payer, the Democratic Party and the Nonprofit Industrial Complex

Click here to access article by Russell Mokhiber from The Greanville Post.

I am posting this piece only as an illustration of an incorrigible reformist liberal who still thinks that...
...the people at the grassroots...have lit the prairie fire that will not be extinguished by Democrats, or Green Democrats, or public interest Democrats, or the Democratic public option, or Democratic incrementalism, or Democratic affiliated sheepdogs.

It will not be extinguished until single payer becomes law. That means overcoming the pharmaceutical industry, the healthcare industry, the Democratic Party, Green Democrats, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and the nonprofit industrial complex.

Onward to single payer.
He makes this statement following his excellent exposé of the frustrating lessons he's learned while working in various liberal groups to pass legislation that purportedly serves the interests of ordinary people. This piece shows the political immaturity of American liberal activists which, I believe, constitute the majority of American activists. (The same applies to another post from the same website entitled "A Cure For Mad Trump Disease" in which the author claims that the solution is electing the right people to Congress!)

There is no way that a single payer medical plan will ever be permitted to pass into law in the US as long as the capitalist class is in control. Private insurance plans are a bonanza for the capitalist ruling class. Likewise with all the other progressive measures that interfere with the ruling capitalist class's pursuit of wealth/power and their attempt to control the world. While in pursuit of the latter goal, they have wracked up a huge government debt of $20 trillion dollars, which is owed to mostly capitalist creditors throughout the Empire. Their investments can only be realized if they succeed. 

Obviously at this point our masters have only one option: to continue with "business as usual". And, likewise, we have only one option if we are going to save ourselves from a nuclear war conflagration or a more gradual extinction due to climate destabilization. Guess what that is?  

The forbidden questions about the Korea crisis

Click here to access article by Moss Roberts from Asia Times
Why does Washington insist on continuing the war games? Is it about strategy, military budgets, promoting weapon sales, face? Is the purpose to maximize tensions and so push South Korea away from China and toward Japan?
The author asks many serious questions about why sensible solutions are not followed by the US, South Korea, and Japan. The answer is the US-led Empire's compulsive policy of rollback which began after WWII against the influence of the anti-capitalist nations, Soviet Union and China, and is now continuing a similar policy under contemporary conditions in which these nations with mixed economies and North Korea (with a bureaucratically run socialist system) are beginning to seriously challenge the Empire's imperial dominance. US propaganda organs sell this imperialist policy to its citizens as "American exceptionalism" or as America's "unique leadership" in world affairs.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Russia’s Interesting New Oil Geopolitics

Click here to access article by F. William Engdahl from New Eastern Outlook

Engdahl lends his geopolitical perspective on the current situation in the Middle East.
Russia, China, Turkey, Iran, Qatar. They are weaving deeper peaceful economic ties, walking away in the case of Qatar and Turkey from their ill-conceived US-inspired war against Syria’s Bashar al Assad, developing long-term energy cooperation and defense ties. At the heart is Russia’s emerging new oil geopolitics.

The response to this all from the sinking Titanic that used to be known as the United States of America, of its military lobby and their Wall Street bankers who actually run Washington policy via their web of think-tanks, is infantile: war, destabilizations, color revolutions, sanctions as a form of economic war, demonization, lies. That’s all rather stupid and ultimately boring.
[Notice his description of the shadow government, what I refer to as the Deep State.]

Realism in Astana: The Prequel to a Decade of Peace in the Middle East

Click here to access article by Ollie Richardson from Oriental Review
America and its European vassals now find themselves neck-deep in the consequences of their own idiotic decisions. The new reality involves a bloc involving both Iran and Turkey deciding not only the outcome of the Syrian war, but also the next 10 years in the Middle East.
This offers the best political analysis I have seen of the current conditions in the Syrian conflict and the future of the nearby region. 

"Astana" refers to the recent talks between Russia, Turkey, and Iran at Astana, Kazakstan. Notice that the US and its coalition partners were excluded as participants (although observers from US, UN, etc were allowed) in the 4th (May 2017), 5th (August), and 6th (September) talks held there in which "de-escalation zones" (he refers to them as "deconfliction zones") were decided.

I'm waiting with great anticipation to see how the US-backed Kurds and the area under their control in northern Syria is resolved. 

How the UN Covers for US Aggression

Click here to access article by J.P. Sottile from ConsortiumNews. (Edited for clarity around 8 PM Seattle time.)

It is obvious that the "UN covers for US aggression" and Sottile provides all the historical details that illustrate this truth. However the "how" is not well explained. Permit me to fill in the "how".

The term "United Nations" was first used by President Franklin Roosevelt in early 1941 as a propaganda gimmick during a meeting with Prime Minister Winston Churchill in August of 1941 in Newfoundland, Canada. This term was officially referred to in the Atlantic Charter as a part of a more elaborate propaganda campaign waged by the leaders of the embryonic Anglo-American capitalist empire (later to become the US-led Empire) to wrap themselves in high-minded principles. (Churchill had considerable difficulty with the third principle of the Charter because of India's strong desire for independence: "all people had a right to self-determination", and he never took it seriously, nor did US officials as subsequently illustrated in Vietnam.) Such a propaganda campaign was needed in order to rally isolationist Americans to the Anglo-American cause and to enlist the support of many neutral nations in their contest with their overtly fascist competitors, the Axis powers (Germany, Italy, and Japan) for world dominance. As you can see, these two warring capitalist camps were little more than what we commonly recognize as neighborhood gangs fighting over the control of turf.

At this time only Britain and Russia were engaged in this war (WWII), but FDR was a diehard anglophile and anti-fascist capitalist, and saw the necessity of the US coming to the aid of desperate Britain. He did everything he could to support the British in spite of widespread isolationist sentiment and opposition in the US that was mostly engineered by the fascist wing of the capitalist ruling class. Both Britain and later the US were forced to ally themselves temporarily with the Soviet Union, their arch-enemy, in order to defeat their rival, the German Reich, for world dominance . 

Many fascist capitalists in the evolving deep state at the time became aware that this war offered a splendid opportunity for US world dominance after the war was over. This informal project of the Deep State became known as the American Century, a term that was first coined by fascist-inclined Henry Luce, president of Time, Inc., a major multimedia corporation consisting of numerous mainstream publications, radio projects and newsreels. The publication of this article (by the same name) rallied the fascist wing of the US capitalist ruling class, which had previously hid under the label of "isolationism", to support the war against the Axis powers. Well, with this support and the provocations of US government trade embargoes against Japan, whose fascist ruling class were building their own empire in Asia, inevitably led the US in a few short months to a war with Japan and the rest of the Axis powers.  

After the Allied victory in WWII, the US, which was by far the dominant power in the world as forecast by the fascist promoters of the "American Century", and its subordinate partner Britain established what was originally known as the United Nations Organization. Of course with such origins the organization was largely dominated by the US. The first indication of the latter was the UN resolutions in 1950 condemning North Korea's invasion of South Korea--although this happened after many provocations by the US-backed South Korean forces (read The Origins of the Korean War, v1 by Bruce Cumings). This was the pretext for President Harry Truman, without a declaration of war, to order troops to Korea to enforce these resolutions (in reality to contain and roll-back a communist government). In order to provide the US's intervention with more legitimacy as a UN force, the US managed to get token forces from other nations to join them.

As another indication of the US domination of the UN, despite many UN resolutions condemning Israel for their settlements on Palestinian territory, there has never been an attempt to enforce them with any military actions.

We Will Not Be Silenced: First They Ignore You, Then Comes Censorship

Click here to access article by Teodrose Fikre from The Ghion Journal
...let me state this truth. The system of global oppression—where a few lord over billions—is not afraid of those who speak with fiery rhetoric and those who agitate people into angry discontent. Far from fearing demagogues, the status quo actually elevates them for the playbook of divide and conquer depends on those who peddle separable grievances in order to shatter the people into islands of resentment. From Obama to Trump and the endless sea of politicians and mainstream media pundits are nothing more than two faced snakes who present injustice through one sided perspectives for this very reason. What the elites and the powerful fear are those who speak for universal justice and who try to rally people to the flag of humanity and our commonality of hopes.

.... It is for this precise reason that the outrage machine has been cranked up full blast; the closer we get to seeing how we are all getting duped as a people, the more the elites try to dupe us through hoodwink [read Hoodwinking US]. The same elites are reverting to something even more sinister as corporations and those in power at the Federal level are nefariously silencing those who stand for unity and togetherness.
You seem to argue that there is no alternative other than getting back on Facebook.
It is easy for others to say “leave Facebook” and to log off as a way of protest; but Facebook is the largest media platform in the world. They have effectively monopolized the industry of information sharing; being silenced on Facebook is effectively lynching our first amendment right of a free press, fifth amendment right protection of liberty, and our human right to speak—especially when the Ghion Journal espouses unity and love. 
No, it is not "easy", but there is no alternative unless you want to be a part of the "system of global oppression". You either seek truth or you are banned in this era of "deception and subterfuge" that so effectively serves the ruling capitalist classes. Is this not the fundamental choice?

Monday, September 18, 2017

Condemned to Repeat It: History as Rerun

Click here to access article by Jason Hirthler from The Greanville Post

In this rather lengthy article the author looks at a variety of events from current news to early 20th century US history to illustrate his theme that the ruling capitalist class will insure that we see such events through their lens of class interests. Likewise, they will brand as "communism" any threats to their private ownership (and control) of the economy.
...the real threat to capitalism is communism, not fascism. As prolific and fearless author Michael Parenti writes, “fascism is nothing more than a final solution to the class struggle, the totalistic submergence and exploitation of democratic forces for the benefit and profit of higher financial circles.” 
The antidote to their views of events is to study the real history of class warfare instead of their fake history. I have lists of excellent resources to gain such an understanding (see here and here).

What Does the Sale of Venezuelan Oil in Currencies Other Than the US Dollar Mean?

Click here to access article originally from Mision Verdad in Spanish, translated into English and posted on TeleSur. (Thanks to Caren in northwest Oregon for alerting me to this article.)
The petrodollar is more important for US global domination than either arms exports or Hollywood culture, because it allows the US to be the biggest exporter of the dollar bills the rest of the world needs to be able to buy oil.
Most American have little or no understanding of this opening sentence. The US-led Empire's attempts at global domination means the threat of economic and military violence on countries who fail to support the Empire's interests of profit and power. Since the Vietnam War nearly bankrupted the US Treasury, the latter began in earnest to issue US Treasury securities backed by oil from Saudi Arabia and associates (which can only be purchased with US dollars) to capitalists and governments worldwide to support their increasing deficits. That is why our ruling class loves these head-chopping, medieval monarchs.  

US Treasury securities has long been regarded as one of the safest investments because they are backed by the economic and military power of the US. This means that those countries which do not support US policies, like Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, North Korea, Russia, etc. are threatened with, and often suffer from, both forms of power. With US government debt reaching $20 trillion dollars, many countries and capitalists are beginning to wonder about the safety of these investments, and many countries as reported in this article are starting to use alternative currencies to buy what they need. And, that is why the US is currently engaged surreptitiously and overtly in so many countries to insure US dominance. This, of course, costs money. As you can see, the deeper in debt the ruling class's government becomes, the more they use economic and military weapons against other countries. To me, this looks like a death spiral.

Meanwhile most Americans are either fast asleep or their attention is totally focused on entertainment to be bothered with such events.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Deplorable Ignorance and Indifference of Most Americans

Click here to access article by Stephen Lendman from his website.

I must, sadly, admit that I share the Lendman's reaction to a recent Gallup pole reported in this article.
Americans are the most over-entertained, uninformed people on the planet – mostly know-nothings about domestic and geopolitical issues mattering most.
A new Gallup poll provides more evidence – 58% of respondents supporting war if peaceful methods with North Korea fail. 

CIA vetoes Chelsea Manning’s Harvard fellowship

Click here to access article by Eric London of the World Socialist Web Site.

London provides us with another dramatic illustration of how one of the Deep State's secret operational organizations, the CIA, impacts decisions in the institution of higher education. This is generally true of all institutions simply because the capitalist system is not merely an economic system, but a comprehensive social-economic system that was created (centuries ago) by a relatively tiny class of capitalists and exists for their many benefits of profit and power. In this piece he reveals that Harvard withdrew a fellowship (def.) from Chelsea Manning only days after the CIA gave strong evidence of their opposition.

(As an aside, I must take this opportunity to point out a flaw in this article which is prevalent in nearly all of the articles published by this website. I write "nearly all" because several days ago I found one exception to this rule which very much surprised me. I am referring to their usual practice of omitting any links to evidence to support their arguments from other websites. It is a common fear among bloggers that if you provide such links, readers will be diverted to other websites and might never return to the original one. Such practice conforms to the strong tendency among Trotskyists to believe that they are the font of all political wisdom, or the vanguard that we should uncritically follow. I, of course, am critical of this perspective and practice in spite of the fact that I have a general respect for the accuracy of their views expressed on their website which I have followed since it began in the middle 1990s.)

Saturday, September 16, 2017

I Have Zero Sympathy for Jemele Hill

Click here to access article by Teodrose Fikre founder of the Ghion Journal

If you are not already familiar with Teodrose Fikre, I would like to introduce a blogger who I believe offers a very unique perspective on the current oppressive state of affairs in the hope that he can contribute to our understanding of reality and better enable us to change it into something which can benefit us all. I was recently exposed to this author by watching him on RT's Redacted Tonight show where he was interviewed by Lee Camp.

In this article (that includes videos) he begins with illustrations of co-opted African-American media celebrities in order to introduce his views of racial and related issues which range from the mundane (like immediate issues that we all face while trying to survive in capitalist America) to the profound (racism).
Let me say from the outset that I do not know Jemele Hill outside of seeing her on TV. She could be a great human being and she deserves my respect for succeeding in a business that has always been dominated by male figures. As a sport analyst, she does a great job of presenting her audience with facts and figures in ways that Grantland Rice [would be] proud....
The reason I say this is two fold. The primary reason is the fact that Jemele chose to present the ills of the world through a partisan prism and in the process, either willfully or ignorantly, is actively perpetuating this system of “us versus them” mentality that is the root of our problem as a society. She is doing the same thing that the rest of the jackals in the Corporate State Media are doing; by appending all the excesses of this repressive ideology of capitalism and institutionalized nepotism on Trump, she gives cover to the invisible hands of malice that is bleeding all of us. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

NATO’s Anarchist Brigades

Click here to access article by Thierry Meyssan from Voltaire Network
Presented in the West as the realization of a friendly utopia, the brand new « Rojava » is in reality a colonial state, designed and cemented in blood by Washington. This time, the plan is to expel the populations of the North of Syria and replace them with people who were not born there. In order to implement this ethnic cleansing, the Pentagon and the CIA have mobilised combatants from the circles of the European extreme-left. Thierry Meyssan reveals this insane project which has been ongoing for the last eighteen months.
In this article Meyssan, a French intellectual and political analyst, has presented much new information about the strange appearance of the US backed Kurdish rebels fighting in northern Syria. Although he uses undocumented information to support many of his arguments, the logic of his arguments fit very well with other independent sources that have carefully examined this phenomenon. 

I, too, for the last four or five years have been following these Syrian Kurds after rather romantic coverage of them appeared on the web (see this, this, and this), and was initially much impressed by these latter reports because Syrian Kurdish spokespeople always asserted that these Kurds want to continue to be a part of Syria but under a looser federation arrangement. Now I'm not so sure particularly after I learned that they were backed by the US and the US has established numerous military bases in the territory under Kurdish control (see this, this, and this).  

If what Meyssan reports is true (and I think it is), then this is another illustration of the sophistication of US's secret services to deceptively use people to serve their many nefarious agendas, and in particular, their Ziocon agenda to balkanize Syria.

US sent weapons to Syria through Ramstein military base - report

Click here to access article by Rebecca Staudenmaier from Deutsche Welle.

More news is leaking out regarding weapons supplied by the US Empire to their terrorist proxy forces in Syria--this time sourced from German newspapers.
Washington's air base in southwest Germany was used for a time to store and send weapons to Syrian rebels, according to a German news daily. If the report proves true, the US could have violated German law.

The US military has been using its massive air base in western Germany to arm rebel groups in Syria without Berlin's permission, according to a report from German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung published on Wednesday.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Other 9/11: Unremembered and Unatoned

Click here to access article by Steve Brown from CounterPunch. (Modified at 4:30 PM Seattle time.)

Ruling classes always write their own self-serving histories, and our present capitalist ruling class is no different. Lest we forget about our ruling class's overthrow of an elected president of Chile, which you won't be exposed to in schools and corporate media, I thoroughly recommend this article:
On Monday, we saw the usual yearly outpouring of articles and editorials from mainstream media commemorating the tragic attacks of September 11, 2001, which killed 2,996 people and wounded 6,000 more. [my link]

Not that such memorials aren’t appropriate. They are simply insufficient. They fail to commemorate another 9/11 tragedy, one that took place 28 years earlier, in 1973 — not in America, but in Chile — and which caused the death – not of thousands, but of tens of thousands — while torturing and exiling 200,000 more.

I refer to the brutal coup d’état that overthrew the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende....

Israeli Website Claims ISIS Commander Revealed As Mossad Agent

Click here to access article by Whitney Webb from Mint Press News

Smoking gun (def.) evidence found linking Daesh (ISIS) to Israel's Mossad.
There has long been speculation regarding ties between the Israeli government and the terror group Daesh, otherwise known as the Islamic State. Such speculation has been fueled by Israel’s reference to Daesh as a “useful tool” and its acknowledgment that it views a Syria under complete Daesh control as preferable to the continuation of the current Syrian government. It is supported as well by the extensive aid and even medical treatments that Daesh militants have received from Israel. However, allegations have recently emerged that could suggest that the connection is even deeper than previously believed.

Reagan Documents Shed Light on U.S. ‘Meddling’

Click here to access article by Robert Parry from ConsortiumNews

Parry has done some sleuthing by examining recently declassified documents to discover much of the history behind the setting up of NGOs as subversive organizations to be used by covert agencies to promote the interests of the Empire in other countries. He starts with The Asia Foundation, but soon discovers other NGOs organized in a similar fashion.
“Secret” documents, recently declassified by the Reagan presidential library, reveal senior White House officials reengaging a former CIA “proprietary,” The Asia Foundation, in “political action,” an intelligence term of art for influencing the actions of foreign governments.

The documents from 1982 came at a turning-point moment when the Reagan administration was revamping how the U.S. government endeavored to manipulate the internal affairs of governments around the world in the wake of scandals in the 1960s and 1970s involving the Central Intelligence Agency’s global covert operations.

Instead of continuing to rely heavily on the CIA, President Reagan and his national security team began offloading many of those “political action” responsibilities to “non-governmental organizations” (NGOs) that operated in a more overt fashion and received funding from other U.S. government agencies.

Gold Oil Dollars Russia and China

Click here to access article by F. William Engdahl from New Eastern Outlook

I frequently post articles by Engdahl because I think he has a firm, but limited, grip on economic reality. I write "firm, but limited, grip" because he is a gold bug--the term I prefer is "gold fetishist". Apparently the terms apply to China and Russia. It is a fact that many, if not most people, have this fetish about gold, but it is likely the most polluting of mining industries. 

Gold has limited uses outside of gold fillings and replacement teeth (even these are being replaced by ceramics) and computers. It's not even used as money because it is so inconvenient--try buying groceries or gas with it. But countries still like to pollute the environment by digging it up and processing it with the worst polluting chemicals like mercury, and then store it forever in vaults (usually deep underground) to claim that their money is backed by the magic of gold.

Engdahl also doesn't see that the Empire's advanced capitalist system has anything to do with the irrational and suicidal policies that it is currently pursuing. 
The only factor keeping the dollar from total collapse is the US military and Washington’s deployment of deceptive NGOs around the world to facilitate plundering of the world economy.
However to his credit, he explains how this is affecting the policies of Russia, China, and other countries to develop their own economies.

September 12: New York Times hails Kornilov [Part 4 of ?]

An excerpt from a longer detailed article from World Socialist Web Site entitled "September 11-17: After the Kornilov Affair".

The New York Times backs Kornilov
The New York Times hails the would-be butcher of the Russian Revolution, General Lavr Kornilov, in its September 12 lead editorial, exposing once again the fraud that America is interested in “making the world safe for democracy.”

“He is,” the New York Times writes, “merely the representative of those forces which, long blamably quiescent, have at last coalesced to stop the rapid deliquescence of Russia, to keep it a nation, to stop its dissolution, to save it, in a word.”

The leading publication of American liberalism condemns Russia as “reel[ing] in drunken frenzy over the precipice of socialism into the abyss of anarchy.” It instead celebrates the most reactionary elements in Russian society, including “the whole force of Cossacks … under the leadership of General Kaledines [sic],” as well as “the peasant proprietors enroll[ed] in the Knights of St. George.”

The Times condemns Kerensky for failing to openly embrace Kornilov—though it remains silent over its previous calls that Kerensky himself assume dictatorial powers. Kerensky “had his choice to make, and when the test came, he preferred to throw his lot in with socialism,” the Times writes.