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, October 20, 2012

The lame rules for presidential debates: a perfect microcosm of US democracy

Click here to access article by Glenn Greenwald from The Guardian.

The author describes the history of the so-called presidential debates and recently leaked documents to reveal how carefully managed these performances are to insure that nothing truly revealing or embarrassing happens. The methods used illustrate those used to manage the larger fabricated version of "democracy", a political production stage-managed by operatives employed by the One Percent.
To understand the US political process, one can just look to how these sham debates are organized and how they function. This is the same process that repeats itself endlessly in virtually every other political realm.

Marketing Agency, Branding Hope: War, Kony, and "Three Cups of Tea"

Click here to access article by Sarah Lazare and John Wesley Jones from Jadaliyya

This is an excellent analysis of the use of current methods that draw on sophisticated techniques created by modern advertising and public relations industries to manage the consent and dissent of the 99 Percent. Joseph Goebbels, propaganda minister for the Third Reich, if he could return to life today, would be astounded by the advances that have been made by those who manage minds to serve the needs of the current Empire. Nowadays, we witness the most heinous crimes against humanity not only hidden behind the veils of humanitarian concerns, but successfully promoted by such phony concerns.
This is an important moment to reflect on the ways that militarism has affected our lives and changed public perception of the use of military violence as normal. It also gives occasion to look at how an era of endless war has given birth to some political and social campaigns that accept militarism as given, and at times outright embrace military solutions to social and humanitarian problems.

Recovered History: How Wall Street-Funded Self Help Propaganda Greased the Real Estate Bubble

Click here to access article by Yasha Levine from The Exiled

The author finds an answer to a vexing question at a little bookshop in the Mojave Desert in California: 
...how and why so many millions of people bought such ridiculously overpriced homes and took out mortgages and loans they clearly could not afford?

Corporate Christianity Canadian Style

Click here to access a book review by Jim Miles of The Ugly Canadian - Stephen Harper's Foreign Policy, authored by Yves Engler, posted on Uncommon Thought Journal website.

It is clear from this book and many other sources that the US One Percent ruling class could not have a more loyal friend of the Empire than Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, even if they had appointed him as their puppet. The reason is rather simple--Harper's political career was shaped by Alberta's oil industry whose oil piplines go directly south to feed the US, and thus he has become a certified, "card carrying" member of the Empire's One Percent. Yes, the One Percent has gone global. Although many of the core members are still US citizens, they have enlisted members from all over the world who share their addiction to money and power. Most are logically found in NATO countries and Israel.

While spending considerable time in Canada, I was amazed at the widespread ownership of the media in the hands of rabid Zionists (Asper family) who used their media to spread the most outrageous pro-Israel propaganda. Hence, I think that a more apt title to this article would be "Corporate Christianity and Judaism Canadian Style" because right-wing elements of both religions are actively promoting Empire policies and actions.
In another earlier work, Building Apartheid, Engler presents Canada's history of support for the Zionist cause and the Israeli government. Canada's historic British imperial perspective (now being revived by Harper) plus the general trend of the government personnel supporting the Millennial right wing aspects of Christianity, have combined to create Canada's current foreign policy. While reprising that information, more information is added concerning the military-economic-security ties that stand between the two countries establishment elites. Domestically, criticism of Israel/support of Palestinians is viewed as extremism and "repeatedly equated criticism of Israel with racism towards Jews." Ultimately, Canada's principled position is "Israel can do no wrong."

Friday, October 19, 2012

Cameron and the celebration of slaughter

Click here to access article by John Westmoreland from Counterfire (UK). 

The author exposes the lies used to support the fake patriotism often parroted by agents of the One Percent to glorify their horrible wars of the 20th century, and to prepare ordinary people for new ones.
The commemoration of the onset of World War I is a project that needs to explode in Cameron’s face. It is a blatant attempt to hijack our history and attempt to make political capital out of a mass slaughter that should have led to the complete overthrow of the system that caused it.
As I see it, there are three basic reasons that this class of people promotes wars:
  1. Inter-capitalist rivalries for access to, and control, of resources and markets.
  2. Threats to capitalist rule from left wing and popular movements.
  3. Destruction of the capital of the above enemies to stimulate demand from, and profits for, the winning capitalist powers.

Wall Street issues its orders to Obama, Romney

Click here to access article by Patrick Martin from World Socialist Web Site.

I must preface my comments on this article with a critical note about a common journalistic practice at this website. This online publication often offers articles which look at the underlying class based motives for various political events--and this is to their credit. There are not many sources on the left that do this as well as they do. What bothers me is that their reports usually omit any links to information that supports their arguments. For that matter, you will have difficulty finding any external links on the website that don't refer back to their organization.

I think this practice is rooted in two basic sources: one, a self-serving motive to discourage people from wandering away from their website. Second, a sectarian disease that infects their entire political framing of issues: they are the font of all political wisdom and therefore they do not need to support their arguments with any documentation.

I do not think that my criticism is a petty one. I think that it directs attention to a fundamental problem found in many leftist organizations. It seems that the habits informed by individualist motives promoted under capitalist indoctrination agencies persist even into those circles most critical of capitalism. Such an orientation tends to support "leaders" and to regard ordinary people with well disguised contempt. This is a another form of authoritarianism which informs capitalist ideology and can wreck much harm in grass-roots based organizations.

Having gotten that off my chest, I recommend this article because it illustrates once again who really runs this country, and cuts through many veils of propaganda and indoctrination that promote "democratic" myths about how our government actually functions. Also, having been printed as an open letter in this primary ideological organ of the One Percent suggests that it is to be taken seriously by all One Percent opinion shapers and makers throughout society.

The letter from bankers referred to in the article can be viewed here. (Note: links to Washington Post articles have a way of disappearing after some time.)

NYC: another bogus "terrorism" bust?

Click here to access article by Bill Weinberg from World War 4 Report.

Periodically the agents of the One Percent manage to entrap some young person into a bombing plot. Most are Muslim, young, and induced by some kind of substantial reward. These entrapments always serve a variety of purposes, chief of which is the ongoing promotion of threats to the public which require police forces to "protect" the public, and thus, more expenditures to build a police state. It also continues to frame Muslims as the new next enemy along with domestic anarchists which, in turn, promotes more support for military interventions in the oil-rich Middle East.
You'd never know it from the sensationalist headlines, but the latest supposed near-miss, would-be, almost-was terrorist attack in New York City appears to be yet another highly specious case in which the "terrorist" plot turns out to be a creation of FBI infiltrators.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Malala the Worthy Victim

Click here to access article by Margaret Kimberley from Black Agenda Report. 

US corporate media worked overtime to portray a recent victim of Taliban terrorism. Kimberley effectively puts the lie to their humanitarian concern. Propaganda agents of the Empire always look hard and long to find ways of portraying those perpetrating war crimes with humanitarian motives and concerns.
The corporate media that have given Malala Yousufzai so much attention give none to the nameless victims of American terror. These drone attack victims in Pakistan have been deemed unworthy with no right to be mentioned or spoken of for the simple reason that our government killed them.

NATO packs it in; Turkey on the verge of a nervous breakdown

Click here to access article by Thierry Meyssan from Voltaire Network
...the signs of Western retreat from Syria are multiplying. The influx of Western arms and combatants is drying up except for the ongoing transfers funded by Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
The author describes the cynical use of various terrorist groups by agents of the Empire, mostly Turkey and the Gulf monarchies, to destabilize Syria; and argues that they are all headed for defeat. It is a bit much to hope for, but he assembles some very cogent arguments. 

Meanwhile, what is to become of Syrian and other Mid-East activists who genuinely wanted more democratic reforms? These latest Empire adventures into Libya and Syria may represent a real tipping point from which we will see a decline in imperialism. But, what is really needed is a powerful new ideology that supports the formation of bottom-up, inclusive democratic societies.

Define 'Lesser' [evil]

Click here to access article by Mickey Z. from World News Trust

The One Percent's propaganda machines are so powerful that even people such as Glen Ford, as I recall, melted in his opposition to Obama in the 2008 election and supported him. How much longer are the American people going to be taken in by these liars and poseurs, and these election circuses? Well, I think the numbers are diminishing and that is precisely why the One Percent's operatives are preparing a police state before our very eyes.

Mickey Z. concludes his essay with a profound question that is often on my mind.

Post-Revolution Tunisia: Still Fighting for Rights

Click here to access article by Ghassan Saoud from Al Akhbar. 

After reading this piece you may be convinced, as I was, that the so-called "revolution" in Tunisia was a fiction invented and propagated by Qatar's propaganda organ called Al Jazeera. There was regime change, but no system change--hence, no "revolution". It was only the first step in what Tunisians continue to fight for: a real revolution.
The people of Sidi Bouzid do not approve of the term “January 14 Revolution.” In the town that sparked it, it is called the “December 17 Revolution.” That was the day when a man with a street vendor’s cart worth around 50 dinars ($33) set himself alight in Sidi Bouzid. On that day, as locals retell it, a group of angry people who had emerged onto the street from the Ittihad cafe joined with others in the western part of the town, and were filmed by a camera from the second floor of an overlooking building. Al-Jazeera called it a “revolution,” and so it became.
[The people of] Sidi Bouzid went out onto the streets that day, and has never gone back in. People there are surprised that the revolution should be linked to the day Ben Ali left power, as though the problem was only with him personally.

World’s biggest geoengineering experiment ‘violates UN rules’

Click here to access article by Martin Lukacs from The Guardian.
A controversial American businessman dumped around 100 tonnes of iron sulphate into the Pacific Ocean as part of a geoengineering scheme off the west coast of Canada in July....
According to Wikipedia iron sulphate is a by-product of certain types of steel production:
In the finishing of steel prior to plating or coating, the steel sheet or rod is passed through pickling baths of sulfuric acid. This treatment produces large quantities of iron(II) sulfate as a by-product. 
Our masters in the One Percent have given many indications that they have given up on reducing the pollution of our atmosphere by their never-ending consumption of fossil fuels which feeds their addictions to wealth and power. Instead, they are now preaching the wonders of geo-engineering projects which are little more than desperate fantasies of capitalist engineers.

This article reports on one enterprising and slick American businessman, who knows how to game the system, and who sold a Canadian native tribe and the Canadian government on an idea to dump these by-products into their ocean with promises to reduce carbon. As result the businessman received money from the tribe to dump his waste iron and backing from the Canadian government which, of course, is owned and controlled by their One Percent. It wouldn't surprise me if he had received money from steel producers to get rid of this material. You have to admire his hutzpah.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Threat of Barbarism: US Imperialism Unleashed

Click here to access article by Ben Schreiner from MR Zine

Demand periodically is unable to keep up with supplies furnished by capitalists simply because the latter repress wages as much as they can to boost profits. However, capitalists create economic crises in other ways in their mad pursuit of profits. They are very creative in extracting their profits as seen before the recent economic collapse in which they induced people to sign up for home loans which contained very easy initial conditions. Subsequently, the mortgage loans were packaged and sold like snake oil all over the world with the blessings of rating agencies and look-the-other-way regulatory agencies. They also devised and used derivative bets to multiply the gains (and losses) that could be made on these packages.

Now they are sticking the debts from their bad bets to ordinary citizens everywhere in the Western world, slashing all public services, and laying off public sector workers to pay their debts. Such austerity policies have their problems by reducing further the ability of people to buy products from the private owners of our economy. However, when all else fails, capitalists always have one other trick up their sleeves, a trick they used frequently in the 20th century. The article describes that trick and indications that political operatives of the One Percent are now willing and looking to use it to stimulate demand.

The teacher vs. the billionaire

Click here to access article by Sarah Blaskey and Phil Gasper from Socialist Worker.

The authors provide a very good summary of evidence and arguments against the privatization of public schools currently seen as the next big profit opportunity by some investors. Because I don't think that the school union advocate did an effective job on arguing his case (maybe due to time constraints), you probably can skip the video debate. 

See also this, this, and this.

Iraq records huge rise in birth defects

Click here to access article by Sarah Morrison from The Independent (UK).

I advise you not to read this shortly after consuming a meal--you may lose it.
The new findings, published in the Environmental Contamination and Toxicology bulletin, will bolster claims that US and NATO munitions used in the conflict led to a widespread health crisis in Iraq. They are the latest in a series of studies that have suggested a link between bombardment and a rise in birth defects.
But wait--didn't they have weapons of mass destruction that they were about to use on us? (sarcasm)

Obama-Romney debate number two: Another stage-managed charade

Click here to access article by Barry Grey from World Socialist Web Site.

I am posting this as an antidote to the nausea you may have suffered if you watched this performance last night and/or while being subject today to constant serious commentaries and analyses of who won the "debate" while searching in vain for hard news in mainstream media. 

This piece from Socialist Worker entitled, "The big lie about tax cuts and jobs", might also help.

NYT Coverage of 'Cuban Missile Crisis'

Click here to access article by Michael McGehee from his blog Truth Addict.

There is much to recommend this as clarifying some issues regarding the Cuban Missile Crisis. I well remember that day, and I was terrified. Few people realize how close we came to a nuclear Armageddon. However, neither this author or many others such as Noam Chomsky (see this) give Kennedy any credit for the peaceful solution of the crisis. I'm convinced after read the outstanding and well researched book entitled JFK and the Unspeakable by James W. Douglass that we would have experienced a nuclear holocaust if any other US president had been presiding at the time of the crisis. Of course, credit for the peaceful solution also goes to Khrushchev and a Soviet submarine officer who defied orders to launch missiles.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The New "Golden Age of Oil" That Wasn't

Click here to access article by Michael T. Klare from European Energy Review.

The author offers an up-to-date review of the state of the oil extraction industry to counter mainstream media glowing reports of a "golden age of oil". The growth based system of capitalism requires ever increasing amounts of energy; hence, the need to publish such reports so that people do not lose faith in the religion of capitalism, a system which bring so many short-term rewards to the high priests (the One Percent) as it creates one disaster after another for the rest of us. 
...the future may prove far more recalcitrant than these prophets of an American energy cornucopia imagine. To reach their ambitious targets, energy firms will have to overcome severe geological and environmental barriers - and recent developments suggest that they are going to have a tough time doing so. 

Deniers cherry-pick in vain effort to prove up is down

Click here to access article from Climate Code Red (Australia).

The article illustrates how climate deniers in mainstream media deal with global warming by describing the effort of one mainstream media propagandist in the UK. He will, no doubt, enjoy a very successful career in mainstream media which is owned by this small, but very rich, One Percent class.

Washington’s Salafist Quagmire in Syria.

Click here to access article by Christof Lehmann from nsnbc

The author provides a very interesting take on the current situation in Syria that seems to correspond with events on the ground. Following the article is also an interesting 4:34m video interview by RT with a German journalist regarding recent Turkish intercepts of airplanes flying into Syria.
The problem for Washington and the pro-opposition coalition is that a coherent and political opposition has failed to manifest. The National Transitional Council of Syria has always been an incoherent group that was plagued by internal rivalries. Since the failed campaign for Aleppo it has more or less entirely collapsed. The influx of Salafist groups which are fighting in Syria has also led to, that ever more radical elements are demanding political influence, and Washington has difficulties to overtly negotiate with known terrorist groups about the future of a free and democratic Syria.
Surely the author doesn't believe that the US is ever interested in establishing "free and democratic" countries! Surely he means that they are having difficulties pretending to do this while collaborating with such groups. The Empire is only interested in establishing compliant, subservient countries to serve the needs of the Empire's One Percents.

The diversionary debate over the Benghazi attack

Click here to access article by Bill Van Auken from World Socialist Web Site.

The author describes the attempt by the leading capitalist candidates to divert attention away from the latest blowback incident coming from US's cynical use of terrorist groups to further their global domination strategies.
What is striking about this debate is that it deliberately skirts the fundamental political questions. What is the state of Libya nearly one year after the gruesome murder of its former head of state, Muammar Gaddafi, signaled the victory of the US-NATO war to topple his regime? And how is it that this war, supposedly waged to protect human life and promote democracy, has produced a situation in which Al Qaeda-linked militias are able to operate with impunity?

Monday, October 15, 2012

A note of appreciation from the rich

Click here to access article (parody) posted on Eagainst (Greece).

As the attacks on working people's wages, benefits, safety nets have increased over the past several decades, I have noticed an increase in lotteries. Apparently, our masters have formulated an updated theme from that ascribed to Marie Antoinette ("let them eat cake!"): "let them play the lotteries!" But, in a brief moment of candor, this ruling class writer is honest about our chances:
Let’s be honest: you’ll never win the lottery.
On the other hand, the chances are pretty good that you’ll slave away at some miserable job the rest of your life. That’s because you were in all likelihood born into the wrong social class. Let’s face it – you’re a member of the working caste. Sorry!
In this note of appreciation, they thank us for submitting so peacefully to these arrangements:
So we’d truly like to thank you from the bottom of our heartless hearts. Your loyal sacrifice makes possible our corrupt luxury; your work makes our system work. Thanks so much for “knowing your place” – without even knowing it!

Does America Share Its “Values” With Terrorists? [satire]

Click here if you wish to access source of this 4:00m video at Prison Planet.
Paul Joseph Watson asks what “values” Mitt Romney thinks America shares with Syrian Rebels who burn U.S. flags, torture and execute prisoners and carry out terrorist attacks.

Morgan Stanley Sued for Racial Discrimination in Pushing Predatory Loans to Black Homeowners

Click here to access article from American Civil Liberties Union.
Morgan Stanley discriminated against black homeowners and violated federal civil rights laws by providing strong incentives to a subprime lender to originate mortgages that were likely to be foreclosed on, according to a groundbreaking lawsuit filed today.
I'm not sure that the plaintiffs will win this case because I think that banking institutions discriminated more on the basis of class than race. I think that anyone who appeared to be uneducated or naive was subject to the same incentives.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A year later, the war in Libya is far from over

Click here to access article by Horace Campbell from Pambazuka News (Africa).
Citizens of the United States learnt of the levels of insecurity of the people of Libya on September 11 when the Ambassador of the United States to Libya was killed in Benghazi, the city that was the base of the rebellion against Gaddafi. The death of Ambassador Stevens brought out facts of the US diplomatic/intelligence activities and its relationship to the militias.
I'm afraid that the author is too optimistic about the ability of ordinary Americans to glean any truth from all the contrived stories of this incident. However, you should read this to see what a can of worms that US propagandists were trying to hide. 

Vote for Me Puppets

Click here if you want to access source posting; cartoon by Jonik posted on Dissident Voice.

The REAL Reason America Used Nuclear Weapons Against Japan

Click here to access article from Washington's Blog.

This article provides an excellent summary of evidence to support arguments that the justifications given to the US public for the use of the A-bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were lies, and the real reason--demonstration to Soviet Union of awesome power in the hands of the US and preventing the Soviets from getting any rewards in the post-war Pacific war settlement. 

Truman was a poorly educated, naive former haberdashery owner who, I believe, was put into office because he was seen as a "useful idiot" to serve the real masters of the US who were well connected to Wall Street. What remains to be discovered are the names of these "masters". They were the same ones who built the foundations of our National Security State under the first CIA director, and Wall Street lawyer, Allen W. Dulles.