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, July 13, 2013

A Bird’s Eye View of Contrived Terror – Part I. A Preview

Click here to access article by Moti Nissani from nsnbc international. (Note: I am normally reluctant about posting articles promising future articles on a subject no matter how promising they look. However, I was so impressed with his introduction which offered a highly condensed version of the future articles that I decided to post it.)

In this series the author is making a critically important attempt to understand what is at stake in the ongoing struggle to set upright an "upside-down world" that has been created and perpetuated by the "Syndicate" (=international bankers).
  • Conclusively show that 21st century terror is traceable, for the most part, to the Syndicate (acting in part through its principal outposts in Washington DC, London, and Jerusalem),
  •  Convince us that we live in an upside-down world,
  • Reverse our expectations—we will be shocked and surprised if the Syndicate, just once, serves the interests of humanity as a whole—not when it doesn’t.
  •  Divert our precious resources from the Syndicate’s daily crimes to the question and actions whose importance supersedes all others: How can we save humanity and remove this Syndicate from power?

What’s Next for the Egyptian Revolution

Click here to access article by Shamus Cooke from Workers Action
...many pundits see only tragedy in the recent events of Egypt, rejecting any optimistic possibility. They argue that the recent events in Egypt are purely the machinations of foreign powers — again, there is evidence to partially legitimize this claim. But this analysis ignores the revolutionary X factor — the Egyptian people and the continuation of the revolution.
The author provides a different perspective on the revolutionary potential of the Egyptian people than what is widely seen across liberal and left circles in the West. Like few other people in recent memory, Egyptians are undergoing a number of revolutionary experiences that are providing them with a series of concrete lessons in real power politics in contrast to the contained and managed politics as interpreted by dumbed-down ruling class media that commonly occurs in capitalist "democracies".

Third phase of the Egyptian Revolution: Is this the path to war?

Click here to access article by Horace G. Campbell from Pambazuka News.
The Egyptian army's ousting of the democratically-elected president, Mohammed Morsi, in a military coup on July 3, 2013, marked a new phase of the revolution. This new phase has gripped the attention of humanity as the differing paths become clear. Will the popular progressive forces of workers, grassroots women, students, cultural workers, journalists and the secular elements of religious tolerance be able to build a new form of politics to break the power of the military and entrenched social and economic forces? Or, will the military along with their external allies and bankrollers in the United States and Saudi Arabia thrust the society into civil war?
In his analysis of the phases of the ongoing Egyptian revolution, he sees future pitfalls that can only be avoided by an indispensable revolutionary consciousness.
In this analysis, we draw from the lessons of the previous two phases of the revolution and seek to learn the positive lessons for a protracted struggle for the development of a truly revolutionary consciousness to set in motion a process of structural transformation.

The Snowden Affair: The Servility of the Satellites

Click here to access article by Diana Johnstone from CounterPunch
...the reduction of government to “governance” whose primary function is to keep the people quiet while institutions, laws and armed forces pursue the task of making the world safe for investment capital to reap its maximum profits, people are disempowered and politics becomes an empty exercise in conformity.

Pine Island glacier loss must force another look at sea-level forecasts as giant iceberg is spawned

Click here to access article from Climate Code Red.

While corporate media pundits always downplay the news about global warming, the actual evidence keep accumulating that suggests the future threats to human habit is even worse than what climate scientists have predicted. In other words, climate scientists have been too optimistic about such threats. This report offers another piece of evidence that supports this argument.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Big Brother Is Watching Us

Click here to access article by Ignacio Ramonet from Inter Press Service.
Snowden, Manning and Assange are champions of freedom of expression, and defenders of healthy democracy and of the interests of all citizens on the planet. Now they are being harassed and persecuted by the U.S. Big Brother.

Why did these three heroes of our time take such risks that could even cost them their lives?

Snowden, who has asked a number of countries for political asylum, replied: “If you realise that that’s the world you helped create and it is going to get worse with the next generation and the next generation, and extend the capabilities of this architecture of oppression, you realise that you might be willing to accept any risks and it doesn’t matter what the outcome is.”

Here is the transcript of the statement issued by Edward Snowden today at the Moscow airport.

Why the Egyptian revolution is far from dead

Click here to access article by Philip Rizk from Reflections on a Revolution. (Note: I am posting the article from this website rather than the original source Jadaliyya because of the much more positive headline.)

The author explains why the Egyptian revolution is not dead simply because it is part of the global neoliberal rule which includes managed elections, co-opted protest movements, and a local power structure beholden to foreign elites.
In the context of the authoritarian Brotherhood regime, which was supported by their Western trading partners who had their own political and economic interests in mind, the everyday needs of the people are not a priority of the political decision-making process. This means that those who come to power in Egypt through the electoral process must first receive the approval of local elites like the military generals and their foreign backers. Then, a flawed electoral process allows their emergence to power. It is as simple as that.
These elements are shared in different proportions with current and recent protests against neoliberal regimes across the globe. Therefore, it seems logically to follow that such national resistance movements across the globe must cooperate and share resources in their common struggle to rid humanity of the scourge of capitalism and its current stage called neoliberalism. There can be no national liberation from the global rule of neoliberal elites without their system being eliminated from the entire globe.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Egypt: Staging a “Democratic” Military Coup

Click here to access article by Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich from Global Research.

This author sees the hand of Empire manipulation behind the scenes of the recent Egyptian military takeover of government, and then poses the logical and critical question. 
...one should ask why was it that Washington which has a long standing relationship with the Moslem Brotherhood rejected Morsi?
Her proposed answer was unlike any other interpretation of recent Egyptian events that I have seen, and her reasoning was quite convincing. See what you think.

Of course, others have also viewed the "Arab Spring" uprisings as being created and manipulated by the clever hands of Empire operators. It's my view that they have consisted of both manipulation and deep-seated discontent. They could not have been engineered without the latter ingredient. However, attempting to manipulate such mass content incurs a huge risk of blowback. But then, Empire directors seem to be exhibiting ever greater arrogance in their desire to rule the world, or else they are getting desperate.

On the other hand, who can blame them for feeling arrogant. After all, they have gotten away with assassinating a US president, a major and popular civil rights leader, the 9-11 event, lying about "weapons of mass destruction" to justify the invasion of Iraq, the Boston marathon bombing, and numerous other crimes while the American public remain mostly passive, docile, and gullible as they sink into ever greater depths of economic misery.

Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) - Threat To National Sovereignty

Click here to access article by Dr. Chandra Muzaffar from Land Destroyer Report.

Here is another rather brief report of the effects of the Empire's attempt to integrate within its orbit the Pacific area nations to further its neoliberal agenda. 

Of course, China is not invited for the obvious reason that they represent a threat to US world dominance. Russia likewise is not invited to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership meetings that the Empire is using in an effort to integrate the nations of the European Union. Yes, it's all about the Empire's capitalist players aggressively continuing their pursuit of dominance over the world and over their own nation's laws and regulations.

Wilkerson: Nominated FBI Director Is Model of Revolving Door

Click here if you wish to access source article and transcript from The Real News Network.

Lawrence Wilkerson, who is a self-identified conservative, a retired United States Army soldier, and former chief of staff to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell, provides his candid views of the "revolving door" character of US government. From my experience, there is nothing really new about this phenomenon--it has always existed since the capitalist class established our country. That is what class rule is all about. It's just that it has gotten more extreme than ever before.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Edward Snowden - They missed his conscience

Click here to access article by William Blum from Uncommon Thought Journal

The author provides a broad perspective on the exposure of the Empire's secret operations which includes his personal experiences and those of others whose consciences could no longer tolerate further participation, and in some cases, resulted in their actions against government agencies.

Ahmed Assem: the Egyptian photographer who chronicled his own death

Click here to access article by Robert Tait and Magdy Samaan and 0:31m video  from The Telegraph.

This disturbing incident immediately brought to my mind earlier reports of such sniper incidents, especially targeting journalists, that occurred in Syria, Libya (see this), and Iraq. The use of snipers seems to be a pattern, and a tactic used by foreign militaries. Could they have learned this while attending the School of the Americas, sometimes referred to as "School of Assassins"?

It’s Not Egypt: the Myth of a Coming Military Coup in Pakistan

Click here to access article by Michael Kugelman from Muftah.

Although the author provides a perspective that coheres with a ruling class political institution of which he is a member--the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars--he does provide many accurate observations about the commonalities and differences between the Egyptian and Pakistani military establishments. While revealing his capitalist bias with references to bourgeois superficial forms of "democracy", i.e. managed elections, he also unwittingly provides evidence of Pakistan's military ties with the Empire. Pakistan's military has like Egypt received the Empire's treatment that includes abundant supplies of weapons, training, and social ties with counterparts in the army of the US. 

Sleepless in Istanbul V

Click here to access article by Dominic from libcom.org.

This is an excellent, objective report on recent developments of self-organizing efforts in Turkey by an author published in an anarchist publication. As such he clearly comes from an orientation that emphasizes political self-organization, people power, inclusive democracy, and bottom-up political structures. 

We are currently seeing the early efforts at such societal self-organizing happening throughout the world to challenge the overwhelming power of the Empire and its planet-destroying system of capitalism. Thus it is of critical importance for those of us who view this as the only alternative solution to hierarchical structures that have resulted in so many crimes against humanity since the beginning of civilization.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Pentagon Unilaterally Grants Itself Authority Over ‘Civil Disturbances’

Click here to access article by Jed Morey from LongIslandPress.com
The manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects offered the nation a window into the stunning military-style capabilities of our local law enforcement agencies. For the past 30 years, police departments throughout the United States have benefited from the government’s largesse in the form of military weaponry and training, incentives offered in the ongoing “War on Drugs.” For the average citizen watching events such as the intense pursuit of the Tsarnaev brothers on television, it would be difficult to discern between fully outfitted police SWAT teams and the military.
The centralization of military forces in societies ruled over by capitalist ruling classes has always been the their solution to the breakdown of the democratic facade. 

One of the first acts of the Nazi regime, whose takeover of the German government was sponsored by industrialists, was the consolidation of local police forces under Himmler and the SS

Here in the US this has been accomplished more deftly under the "War on Drugs", and since 9/11 aggressively pursued under the Department of Homeland Security. This fact became startlingly clear to me when early this year alert citizens brought to the attention of civilian authorities in Seattle that the Seattle police force had secretly acquired surveillance drones directly from Homeland Security (see this).

Recent Military Civil Disturbance Drills Prepare to Take Down Protesters

Click here to access article by Susanne Posel from Occupy Corporatism
Earlier this month, the South Carolina National Guard (SCNG) conducted a “rapid reaction force” training drill in order to ready reservists to subdue a crowd of protesters for 24 to 48 hours or until reinforcements could arrive.
The ruling class is clearly preparing in every way for the crisis they fear the most: when people in the US finally wake up and smell a police state.
Lt. Col. Robert H. Bumgardner, explained: “The RRF training was unique for us in several different ways. The most unique part of the RRF training is that it highlighted the core of the National Guard. Being able to ask a soldier to defend against an enemy [Empire rebellion] abroad one week and then asking them to protect the citizens [ruling class] of the state the next week is a huge accomplishment.”

Egypt: The Military’s Account of Mursi’s Ouster

Click here to access article by Iman Ibrahim from Al Akhbar

This report reveals how both sides, the Egyptian military establishment (SCAF) and Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood, are beholden to US Empire directors with both appealing to the latter for support. SCAF, of course, won. 

April 24, 2013, Egyptian Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi reviews honor guards during an arrival ceremony for his U.S. counterpart at the Ministry of Defense in Cairo. El-Sissi, born in 1954, appointed commander in chief of the Egyptian armed forces since August 2012, replacing Field Marshall Mohammed Hussein Tantawi. He is the chairman of the supreme council of the armed forces and the minister of defense. El-Sisi graduated from Egyptian military academy in 1977 and had masters degree from US army War College in 2006. He was appointed Commander of the Northern Military Region-Alexandria and then Head of Military Intelligence. [Source]

This is what one would expect if one understands the modus operandi of Empire directors: they always secure relations to the military of targeted countries by supplying them with weapons, sponsoring training junkets, and promoting activities which strengthen social ties between the target country's military officers and their counterparts in the US (see this, this, and this). 

Although Empire directors have found the Muslim Brotherhood very compliant in supporting Empire interests in the Middle East and therefore backed the Mursi regime; when push comes to shove, their fundamental commitment is to their fundamental power base--the military establishment.

See also "How the Muslim Brotherhood Views the Crisis" from Muftah. 

Now the question remains, what post-coup strategy will the Empire directors pursue--the Salvador Option or the management of another election to bring some other US puppet to power (see this)?

When Yasiin Bey was force-fed Guantánamo Bay-style

Click here to access article and source of the video from The Guardian
Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def, had agreed to submit his body and fame to a form of torture. The body bit would involve being chained to a feeding chair while doctors inserted more than a metre of rubber tubing up his nose, down his throat and into his stomach. His fame would hopefully draw attention to that fact that this is happening daily to 45 hunger strikers in Guantánamo Bay.

Monday, July 8, 2013


Click here to access article by Sharmine Narwani from Aletho News.

The author describes what the Empire's rhetorical use of "freedom and democracy" really means.
Freedom and democracy. How I have come to loathe this phrase. Two-lofty-words-and-a-conjunction bandied around by handmaidens of Empire: verbal grenades that can gut entire nations. When I hear “freedom and democracy” I instinctively look for cover....

The Secret War

Click here to access article by James Bamford from Wired.
...in their willingness to pay top dollar for more and better zero-day exploits, the spy agencies are helping drive a lucrative, dangerous, and unregulated cyber arms race, one that has developed its own gray and black markets. The companies trading in this arena can sell their wares to the highest bidder—be they frontmen for criminal hacking groups or terrorist organizations or countries that bankroll terrorists, such as Iran.
I'm a bit overwhelmed at times by all the information that has been reported about the many US spy programs, agencies, the personalities involved, and the related high tech companies reaping big profits from these operations. This lengthy article presents a lot of the details of the 21st century's version of the military-industrial complex.

The USA Micro-Managing the World

Click here to access article by Johan Galtung from Transcend Media Service

For me, this author's overly economical use of words and awkward writing style to describe what he regards as most important about Snowden's revelations gets a bit in the way of some important insights. His ten "methods" I would frame as the current ruling class's prime methods of social control. 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

A year of democratic farce in Egypt: Samir Amin

Click here to access article from Tlaxcala featuring "Samir Amin, Egyptian philosopher and economist, director of the Third World Forum in Dakar, [who] talks about the last year in Egypt with the Brotherhood in power, interviewed by Giuseppe Acconcia."

I am, and will be, devoting a lot of articles on the situation in Egypt. I have a strong hunch that what is happening there and Syria are moving toward a turning point in the fortunes of the Empire, and thus are critically important in foreseeing the future course of history.

Egypt: The people still want end to regime

Click here to access article by Tony Iltis from Green Left Weekly (Australia).
Mamdouh Habashi, co-founder of the Egyptian Socialist Party, told Green Left weekly in April that the coming of “the Islamists to power was not by chance. It was a series of actions led and directed by the United States with its tools.

“These were the military council and the Muslim Brotherhood with their deals and in the backstage the big financiers like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and so on. These are the tools with which they play and create new facts and divert and divide and so on.”

A hurried electoral process and the administrative disqualification of candidates ensured that the final round of the presidential vote was between Morsi and Mubarak crony Ahmed Shafik.

“At the end of the day, when Egyptians had to vote for a new president, they had no choice but between cholera and cancer,” Habishi said.

America’s Plan B in Egypt: Bring Back the Old Regime

Click here to access article by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya from Strategic Culture Foundation.

This independent Canadian journalist and sociologist provides his views on recent events in Egypt. While I differ with him in mostly matters of emphasis, I think he has many accurate insights on events in that troubled colony of the Empire.

Where I significantly differ is his view that the coup was a dangerous event and that the elections that brought Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood to power were legitimate. Although the last point is a matter of contention, the rejection of Morsi by the people was inevitable given that he betrayed his citizens with lies and moved ever closer to serve the interests of the US Empire. It remains to be seen if the Egyptian people are as foolish about who really rules their country as this author suggests. 

If they are not foolish, how can Plan B be brought back? Knowing what I know about the directors of the Empire, they will likely attempt another engineered election to put another puppet into government. If that fails then they will be tempted to sow as much chaos as they can by secretly funding dissident and/or terrorist groups. Their idea here is that after this treatment, Egyptians will eagerly invite the armed forces to take direct control of the government.
The road that has been taken in Egypt is a dangerous one. A military coup has taken place in Egypt while millions of Egyptians have cheered it on with little thought about what is replacing the Muslim Brotherhood and the ramifications it will have for their society. Many people in cheering crowds have treated the Egyptian military’s coup like it was some sort of democratic act. Little do many of them remember who the generals of the Egyptian military work for. 

Egyptian Summer of 2013

Click here to access article by John Spritzler from NewDemocracyWorld. (Note: the use of the word "bogies"in the article must mean rail cars.)
The power in Egypt remains in the hands of those who want society to be unequal and based on capitalism. The rank and file soldiers, to my knowledge, have not refused orders from the top military generals, but have in fact obeyed those orders. The top military generals are not only the commanders of the military but, somewhat unique to Egypt, are also among the nation's top capitalists, owning key industries not related to military matters, and exploiting the labor of rank and file soldiers among others.
We have here a perfect contemporary illustration of how power mongers still use revolutionary labels to bring themselves to power.

India Press describes how Nepali Maoist leader went from revolution to bourgeois path

Click here to access article, a re-post of an article in The Hindu and commentary from Frontlines of Revolutionary Struggle
Prachanda makes it appear that the turnabout was a political version of a religious experience, but the "born-again bourgeois" actually prepared this reversal and capitulation and betrayal over many years.  Still, his sugary description of the lure is a near-textbook example of the peaceful road to integration into the bourgeois/feudal state machine and capitulation to India and China and the Western imperialist powers. -- Frontlines ed.
This piece provides an excellent contemporary illustration of how labels are still misused to lead people into subordination to a class system for the benefit of its leaders.

Drilling Faster Just To Stay Still: A Proposal To Use ‘Production Per Unit Effort’ (PPUE) As An Indicator Of Peak Oil

Click here to access article by Andrew McKay from The Oil Drum

The author provides an excellent way of assessing peak oil, and the results do not look good.
We can hypothesise that when peak oil occurs we would expect to see PPUE [production per unit effort] decline for all these factors. As rig numbers increased the amount of production would decrease, as footage drilled increased the amount of production would decrease and as the money invested increased the amount of production would decrease.